Today, one person asked me a question. Normally I dont post personal Q&A on my blog. But I thought his question was generic in one sense although personal for the person. It is generic in the sense that I think every single individual face these moments in his or her life. Moments of despair and dejection. Not knowing how to proceed forward, more questions are raised than answered. The end result is depression.
I thought posting my response on the blog might help people who are seeking answers. The question was of personal nature, hence I removed all personal names and identities and pasted my overall generic response. The response is in second person.
Q: I feel everyone is happy around me but I am sad. It’s hard. What should I do?
A. To learn and ultimately succeed we need to study and apply from great masters. The verdict from them is clear. Look within and not without.
So here is a summary.
There are always two things one must know - the theory (philosophy) and practice (day to day application).
Here is the
Life is a series of incidents. These incidents can be
1. approached as it is (or)
2. approached with our own interpretation.
Point 2 above is basically that our interpretation is invariable filled with our own likes and dislikes. Henceforth, normally we interpret life incidents based on our liking and disliking. I like this person, hence what he said sounds nice and correct. I dont like this person, hence whatever he does is to insult me and hence incorrect. Like this...we interpret reality as my like or my dislike and not necessarily see the facts. The fact is simply the person talks or behaves in a particular fashion. Thats all.
Another example, your company gets a multi-million dollar project...yes very nice...or failed the project, hence not nice. You see the truth is that the company either got the project or did not get the project. Thats all. But immediately we put another layer of like (which translates to happy) and dislike (which translates to distress). So like this, in our whole life we are desparately trying very hard to always go from being unhappy (unlikable distress situation) to being happy (likable situation). In this struggle for existance and pursuit for happiness, we are ready to step on everyone and anything to achieve happiness which actually is simply the interpretation of reality manufactured in our mental factory. In other words, this interpretation is an illusion. In other words, this interpretation or this interpretation of happiness/distress is an illusion. It only exists in your mind. In this struggle for existance and pursuit for happiness, we are ready to go so far as losing our soul and integrity. Why all this fuss...the real truth is simply to fulfill our own illusory interpretation of life incidents which fundamentally stems from our own false-ego (which is another discussion).
Therefore, to answer your question in theory is that the sadness and anxiety you have expressed is simply a product of your fertile and active and uncontrolled mind. While the simple fact is people around you are just happy, you interpret this life incident of others being happy as you being left out, rejected and ignored and ultimately this feeling of rejection you are currently experiencing is causing sadness. But in reality...no one cares enough in this dog eat dog world that they are ready to waste their precious time on accepting you or rejecting you (they have better things to worry about besides you). They are like others simply passionate to step on everybody else for achieving the elusive happiness which unfortunately they will learn later in their lives that actually there is no happiness here. This enlightenment will come unfortunately late when everyone is about to face death.
Therefore, the great thinkers of Vedic India conclude that the uncontrolled mind is the root cause for our so called happiness and distress. Therefore the great minds of Vedic India recommend controlling the mind by maintaining a balanced equilibrium of the physical body and mental body. This segways nicely into our practice (day to day application).
Practice (day to day application):
In order to maintain equilibrium, you have to
1. have proper food and diet. Too much food or less food causes imbalance.
2. have a balanced lifestyle of work, sleep and other activities depending on your inner nature. Too much work/sleep/other activities or less of it causes imbalance.
3. have to associate with inherently good thoughts and words which 99% comes from spiritual minded people (better associate with books if you cannot find spiritual minded people). Associating with people whose main goal in life is to make money, have nice house/family, have nice sex etc will agitate the mind and hence cause disturbance and imbalance.
4. cultivate a spiritual and compassionate outlook to life.
5. Connect with nature around you.
6. Take shelter of the Supreme consciousness and depend on Him and be thankful to Him for your daily living.
7. In this holistic environment, and grateful heart, finally and most important of all, you have to glorify God (chanting is recommended for this age). Glorification of God is not an option but our duty.
Like this when you balance your material desires and true spiritual values, you will experience constant inner happiness and peace. You will not find fault and depend on other people to glorify or criticize you. You will not be disturbed if someone is trying to harm or insult you.
If you go back to the beginning of this email, you will see point 1 is approach life incidents as it is without your interpretation. At the current moment, you are doing point 2 that is interpreting everything and everybody.
You have to abandon this practice and learn to accept reality as it is without your own interpretation. When you actually do this, you will have to face the bare truth -which is - 99% people on this planet earth at the current moment do not care about others or other things. As a result, there is immense pain caused by one living entity on the other. This pain is scientifically categorized as animal slaughter, environmental degradation, pollution, rape, murder, poverty etc etc all the social ills we study and read.
So you can either be part of the whole dog eat dog world who are busy exploiting and thus being part of the global problem or you can dis-associate from this main stream exploitation and look within for change.
Change has to happen within. Seek and you shall find so Lord Jesus said. Seek within and you will find happiness. Stop exploiting others and take a humble position. Stop identifying yourself based on what other people say or think about you. You are who you are - a loving and gentle soul part of the Supereme Soul. Please go back to your loving and gentle nature by reconnecting back to your original spiritual self. In this mood of reconnection, there is only happiness and peace.
Please take shelter of Krishna by chanting His Names in a mood of gratitude and humility, then you will see all your sadness vanish like thin air. This is reality without interpretation. The choice is yours - do you want to rise like the phoenix or wither like the riven cloud?