Swamiji, all through our life we have been competing with others, right from our schools to corporate offices now. Sometimes this makes us tired. Can you please throw some light on this competing mindset?
In life, we are taught to compete; In the name of education or in the name of anything because everybody says competitor is a winner. There is no doubt in it. But we forget that the competitor may win and prove in front of others but a competitor is a loser within himself.
Let us look at a so called successful person’s lifestyle. As I remember, there was a CEO who could by compete others and win and in short span of time he could come up in life and flourish. He was referred as a successful man. But deep within he was feeling lonely and helpless. He was unable to share it with anyone. When he used to go for long drive, he could share a few things with his driver. One day, the driver, who was listening to his stories, asked him “Why don’t you meet that Swami who lives outside the city, near the jungle?”. So, the very next day, without informing anyone, this CEO went out to meet that Swami. When he reached there, he met the Swami and asked his question. I have everything but I feel I am nothing. Sometimes I feel I have everything but nothing is useful to me as such. Why this frustration and why deep within I feel I am a loser.
The Swami replied: Every year, a Marathon is conducted in this area and too many people from this place participate in it. Once I was watching it from a distance and an elderly man of this place came and sat next to me. Those who won the Marathon were being facilitated and given prices. Looking at it, the elderly man said “These people are real losers!”. I could not take it and asked him back, “How can you say that? They just won the race and are getting rewards and recognition but you say there are losers?”. The elderly man said “No doubt they won, but when they were running in this Marathon or their lives, they always looked at who is in the front or may be who is at the back but they would not have enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the lovely valleys and these huge mountains similar to so many sweet things in their lives. This moment, they are being celebrated by people around them, but how long will this celebration continue? After sometime, they will again feel lonely”.
Please understand, If you make competition a part of your life and think that you have to compete in order to live, you cannot be really happy in life. So just think of it and plan your life. Else, life will take over you.
Swamiji, Is it possible to control my mind? If so How?
I am not sure what you mean by control. But let me start with a common man’s approach towards mind. Sometimes, in life, people feel lonely. When they feel lonely, instead of learning to manage their mind, they try to engage their mind. That’ s why people love to have pets, especially cats.
There was a person, who was feeling lonely and decided to have a pet cat. As days rolled on, the cat grew dearer to him and in this process, he started to depend on the cat. His love and affection made the cat naughty day by day. It urinated wherever it felt like, brought dead rats to home from outside and so on. He could not take it anymore. He decided to chase the cat away from home. He tried to leave the cat far away from home but before he could come back, the cat was at home. He tried in all possible ways but all in vain. He did not know what to do. He understood he is unable to manage the cat (laughs). He decided not to pay attention to the cat and strictly stopped bothering about the cat. In due course of time, the cat left the house. It was available nearby and came home once in a while, but never created any disturbance to him after that.
Our Mind is the cat and our body is the house. So, as the cat enjoys love and affection from people at home, mind enjoys affection from our sense organs. More the sense organs are used by the mind, more the mind gets naughtier and creates disturbance. You cannot get rid of the mind or throw it away. What you can do is, let sense organs do not respond to the mind. When the organs of perception and knowledge become less responsive to mind, it slowly calms down and becomes easily manageable.
Swamiji, I have a peculiar problem. I have read many self-improvement books, it doesn’t seem to work form me. Basically, I could not believe or trust myself? Can you suggest a way to come out of this problem?
In life, people do not know how to trust oneself. When a person is not willing or not strong enough to trust oneself, he must learn to trust others. By trusting others, slowly one can grow up to trusting themselves.
Let me share a beautiful story. Once, a young boy from a small village wanted to be a great poet but he did not have trust in himself. He tried to write some poems but nothing clicked. Then he concluded that he cannot become a poet in his life. Day by day the self-rejection took over and the person did not know what to do. One day a Sadhu visited his village, this young man went to meet him with lot of pressure. He asked the Sadhu, “There is an obsession in me. I wanted to become a poet. But I am not to able. Please help me”. Swami asked “Why did you give up?”, he replied “I tried my level best, but nothing worked out”. The Sadhu consoled him “Don’t worry, I have a blessed pen. The moment you start writing with this, you will make wonders” and handed over a beautiful pen. He went back home with joy and started writing with that pen. With that Sadhu’s blessed pen, he felt he had got better flow and crossed over things just like that, which he earlier felt as big obstacles. He was recognized by others as well. After few years, one day the pen was lost. He tried to continue writing with other pens he could not write like before. Fortunately, the same Sadhu visited his village again. He met him and informed about the pen. Sadhu asked, “Why are you worried now?”. He replied “I am unable to write like before”. Sadhu said “No, the pen I gave you had a blessing that with whomsoever it stays for few years, the power will be transferred to the person. So by my knowledge the power should have come to you. Are you sure you are unable to write?”. The poet went away and tried writing with ordinary pens, he could write well again.
A disciple of Sadhu was watching all these and asked the Sadhu “Please help me understand, How this is possible Swamiji?”. Sadhu smiled and said “The pen that I gave him earlier was neither had any magic powers nor any special blessing was there. Somebody gifted a pen just before he came to meet me, I thought let this beautiful pen get into the hands of a young boy, who wants to write. As I handed this pen to him telling that it has got special powers, he started trusting the pen. Because he started trusting the pen, he could write. In the beginning he didn’t had self-trust. Now, I conveyed that the power should have got transferred to you, he has started believing himself slowly and able write well.”
When you cannot trust yourself please learn to trust somebody or something in life, because trust is life.
Swamiji, What is Prana Prathista?
To put it simply, Prana Prathista is invoking your own energy/prana and placing it to the deity. After finishing the puja again take the prana back to yourself.
There are several methods to perform Prana Prathista. I can quote a very familiar procedure here. Any idol is just an idol. But when there is energy, that idol becomes god or deity. It’s like any human being. Somebody passes away, means what, Prana goes away. It looks, as if that person is lying down. Now, what is missing in that body? The Prana. So also, with the idol, we add our prana and invoke one’s own prana and place in the idol. Then the idol becomes alive.
There is a receptivity part also for this. You can understand this well in clay idols. For Eg, On a clay Idol you can see a very clear difference before and after doing Prana Prathista. Not only that, once you finish the puja and say “Shobhanarthe kshemaya punaragamanaya cha” and move it towards north direction, you will see the face again going back to a plain idol. That will be very much reflected only in clay, because clay observes energy very fast and you can also see it very clearly. Whereas same thing happens in a subtle in every other medium