“I bow at the lotus feet of my guru who guides me through it all. This is dedicated to my guru.”
I once asked a Wall Street business man known for his ruthlessness with his staff, why he donated his time to girls scout and money to institutions for terminally ill? He said he was doing his bit to give back.
When I noticed that one of my ex-bosses was extremely generous during the holiday season with the cafeteria staff who served us, I asked her the reason behind her generosity. She told me to watch the events during after hour business receptions and dinner parties hosted in the office. Sure enough, the staff would be all around her, favoring her with best seating arrangement, asking her even before her drink in hand was over what she would have next and so on. At least she was honest and was clear about her motives.
I say it because so many of us don’t even know ourselves enough and do not wish to acknowledge our roots of selfishness. As Acharyaji says it, we as humans innately tend to serve the “I” more easily. So what if we don’t know or do not acknowledge our selfishness? Well then be prepared to be fooled again and again….. Here is a story
One of our very own special sadhaka, Krishnadasji, who has been a high school teacher in the US narrated this story. He taught at a public high school, which was once visited by a senior supervisor. After checking out several classes and teachers in action, he requested Krishnadasji and one of his young colleague teachers, Ms. Anna, to provide him with names of 5 underprivileged students from each of their classes. He said he believed in and practiced the philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which means that whole world is my family. He took these kids on a tour of Manhattan city and the kids came back very happy, raving about the supervisor. Ms Anna was smitten by this act of kindness and discussed with Krishnadasji how she was truly impressed by his generosity. She eventually started dating the supervisor and then came the day when they decided to tie the knot. She once again shared her joy with Krishnadasji who advised her to see things as they were before making life’s critical decision. She shared that he had showered all his kindness and love on her through plenty of nice gifts and she was quite sure about her decision. After 2 years of marital bliss, Ms. Anna shared the news of her pregnancy with her husband. She was distressed to hear that he did want the child and asked her to go for an abortion. She pleaded to no avail. Finally she shared her sorrow with Krishnadasji. He agreed to meet with her husband along with her parents for an open conversation. Krishnadasji our true angel was simply point blank and asked her husband what happened to his philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, when it came to his own child? It eventually came to light that he did not want his wife to have kids lest she lost her beauty!!
Most of us are no different from the Wall Street business man, the ex-boss or Anna and her husband. We tend to live in silos; doing our “good” for the society, allocating time for bhakti, etc. In our everyday lives, however, we continue to be driven by our flawed perceptions; marred by fear, attachment, pride, and our endless desires. We may not even be aware of our own sub-conscious drivers for our behaviors and actions! It is only when we start breaking down this silo mentality and begin applying the principles of kindness, generosity, and sacrifice to our everyday ordinary actions and interactions with our family, friends, colleagues, teams and partners alike that we would have taken the first step to knowing ourselves.
So why do I need to know myself? Its only when we really know ourselves will we start seeing the shades of black, grey and white in the fabric of our own lives. We may struggle to accept ourselves for who we are in the beginning but it’s a struggle worth undertaking. Once we are able to dive into it, we will eventually see the definition of “I” expanding because the same shades are present within and without just in varying patterns.
Well if we can only easily cater to the “I”, can we really go beyond it? Acharyaji says there is no need to go beyond the I! We just need to slowly start expanding our definition of “I”. Lets start small by including our loved ones and anyone else we have called “my” or “mine”.
I thank my guru, Acharyaji for his blessings and guidance through whom I am able to see a new day everyday! The daunting failures in my attempt to practice his divine teachings only drive me each day to start all over again.
This article has been contributed by Jhankhna Verma, a dedicated Tattva Shakti Vigyaan practitioner from New Jersey US under the guidance of Guruma Shakti Devpriya & Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath ji. Jhankhna is a Yoga enthusiast & has deep interest in the field of ancient Healing Systems.