There are four gate-keepers at the entrance to the Realm of Freedom [moksha].
Spirit of Inquiry
With a pure heart and a receptive mind, and without the veil of doubt and restlessness of the mind, listen to the exposition of the nature and means of liberation.
Give it your best, God will do the rest
How many times a day do you remember or think of HIM? Did you think of HIM today? If yes, was it to make a request or to thank HIM for something you received? Barring a handful of people, many of us take the name of the Almighty only when we are in distress and can’t turn anywhere else for help. And as soon as help is received in some form or the other and the problem is resolved, we simply move on. The next time we remember HIM would be when we’re faced with yet another challenge. Of course, there is no denying that there are people who remember to thank him for staying by their side and sailing with them during rough tides and hand-holding them to the shore. That’s how I would wish for all of us to be. I would like each one of us to be thankful. Further, we should remember that every time we’re faced with an issue, we’re actually given an opportunity to learn something from it, become a better person, and carry a message for our children. Life’s trials are not obstacles but stepping stones at the end of which lies wisdom and priceless experience.
Once upon a time, deep in the jungle there lived a pregnant deer that was due to give birth any minute. She went in search of a safe and conducive place to have her baby when she got into labor. At that very moment the skies got filled with dark clouds that invited a lightening. The lightening struck so hard that it started off a forest fire. As bad as it already was, the poor deer was hanging on the noose of death with a hunter aiming at her from the left and a hungry lion waiting to pounce on her from the right. That was it! Her mind got clouded with fear of being killed by one of the three, the fire, hunter or the lion. Then she suddenly paused and told herself “Hey, wait a minute. I must have my baby.” And that thought put her on the road to a progressive labor. Although the lion and the hunter were right there, she changed her focus to her baby keeping her faith in God, all the time. As if by magic, a lightening struck and blinded the hunter because of which his aim missed the deer and hit the lion instead. The dark clouds opened up a shower of rain that doused the forest fire while the deer gave birth to a healthy fawn.
Always remember HIM even when you’re happy and thank him for making this day a fruitful and happy one. And when faced with a challenge, keep your faith in HIM and focus in resolving the problem at hand. You will realize that each and every element of the problem gets resolved one by one and the problem at large ceases to exist anymore.
What would it be like if we are credited with Rs.86400 every day for our use? The catch being we have to use the money before it strikes midnight because whatever is left with us will be gone and the next day we’ll be credited with another Rs.86400 for that day’s expense. Sounds like a good deal, isn’t it? Now what if I tell you that we are indeed credited every morning with something more precious than money can buy, yet we don’t use it judiciously. TIME!!! Every morning our account is credited with 86400 seconds. All the time that wasn’t used productively is written off as lost by night; there is no balance to carry forward to the next day. Nor is there any going back or drawing against tomorrow.
Spiritual knowledge leads to humility
The world is brimming with lots of things to learn. One can never say “I know everything.” As the world is evolving day by day, some things get obsolete and some newer theories are born. As important as professional education is to a man, so is spiritual knowledge. One cannot become a surgeon without possessing the necessary knowledge and expertise. Similarly, an architect will be in no position to erect a building without the basic know-how of design and construction nor will a scientist be able to experiment without understanding chemicals and their reactions. However, from a broader perspective, this education although imperative for winning our daily bread, will not liberate us. If this is one side of the spectrum, on the other side are some people whose education has only inflated their ego and Ahankaar.
One night a scientist, philosopher and a mathematician were sailing in the ocean. It was a rather peaceful night and when they reached the middle of the ocean, the philosopher turned to the
boatman and asked “Have you heard of Aristotle or Plato? Do you know their theories?” The boatman replied, “No Sir, I haven’t heard of them. All I know is to remember God throughout the day.” The philosopher said to him,” That means you’ve wasted 30% of you life.” Then the mathematician spoke, “You must be aware of calculus and computing simple equations.” The boatman, keeping an eye on the changing weather, said “I’m afraid I do not know Sir. I only know to be kind, humble and pious.” To this the mathematician retorted, “In that case 40% of your life has gone in vain.” It was the scientist’s turn now, who asked “Have you learnt Einstein’s theory of relativity?” The boatman smiled and replied, “I have not gone to school sir; I don’t know these things.” The scientist sarcastically said, “Then 50% of life has been wasted.” A little while later a heavy storm brewed and rocked the boat violently. The boatman tried hard to fight against the thick storm and then knew he had to let go. He asked the three men, “Do you know to swim?” And they chorused a big “NO”. The boatman whispered “I’m sorry you’re going to lose 100% of your life now”; and jumped off his boat.
Many a times, our thirst for knowledge ends with a lucrative job. We overlook the truth that to handle the travails of this lucrative job we should widen our knowledge in the spiritual realm. If we get caught in the middle of angry waves, it is the knowledge of God alone that can save us. Knowledge beyond science and mathematics will teach us to be grounded to our values, stay calm and serene and face the trials and tribulations of life with confidence and positive demeanor.
This story is about a beautiful, expensively dressed lady who complained to her psychiatrist that she felt that her whole life was empty, it had no meaning.
So, the lady went to visit a counselor to seek out happiness.
The counselor called over the old lady who cleaned the office floors.
The counselor then said to the rich lady "I’m going to ask Mary here to tell u how she found happiness. All I want u to do is listen to her."
So the old lady put down her broom and sat on a chair and told her story:
"Well, my husband died of malaria and three months later my only son was killed by a car. I had nobody… I had nothing left. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I never smiled at anyone, I even thought of taking my own life.
Then one evening a little kitten followed me home from work, Somehow I felt sorry for that kitten. It was cold outside, so I decided to let the kitten in. I got it some milk, and the kitten licked the plate clean.
Then it purred and rubbed against my leg and, for the first time in months,I smiled.
Then I stopped to think, if helping a little kitten could make me smile, maybe doing something for people could make me happy.
So the next day I baked some biscuits and took them to a neighbor who was sick in bed.
Every day I tried to do something nice for someone. It made me so happy to see them happy.
Today, I don’t know of anybody who sleeps and eats better than I do.
I’ve found happiness, by giving it to others."
When she heard that, the rich lady cried. She had everything that money could buy, but she had lost the things which money cannot buy.
"The beauty of life does not depend on how happy you are; but on how happy others can be because of you…"
Happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey.
Happiness is not tomorrow, it is now.
Happiness is not a dependency, it is a decision.
Happiness is what you are, not what you have!