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BK Sister Jayanti – A greater, much higher love – Demystifying detachment
BK Sister Aruna – What kind of ‘brave new world’ do we want to create?
BK Dr Savita – The Secret to Strength and Greatness: Think and Speak Less
Spirituality has an interesting response: It says that everything starts inside and then extends outside. What is the conversation that goes on inside your mind? Is it a conversation of love, or is it a conversation of fear, guilt or even dislike? When we start exploring what is going on inside ourselves, we realise why we are not able to experience happiness in the give and take of love.
Love brings us together, but somewhere along the line it gets polluted, and the pollution is not from outside. When I look inside myself and ask, “Do I love myself?”, the idea immediately gets challenged: “How can I love myself? It is selfish to love myself”, and so on. But I can love others only if I love myself.
Generally, we don’t even know ourselves and that is why it is difficult to love ourselves. Unless I have been on an inner journey, I can’t know myself. It is very important to know your spiritual identity and understand that it is something different from your external form.
When we look in the mirror, we identify ourselves with the face, the figure, the style — everything we see in the mirror, such as gender, colour of skin, racial characteristics. That is not the inner being, the being that I truly am, which is the powerhouse making the body function. Some call this being the soul, others call it pure consciousness. When I come to the awareness of the soul that I am, I can connect with my inner values.
Usually, to the extent that I have been able to know myself and my core values, and I have been able to spend time in silence, taking power from the Divine, I am able to love myself. One of the reasons we are not able to love ourselves is that when we connect with the inner being and see the core values we have, and we see that we are not following those values in our lives, this disconnect makes us feel uncomfortable.
If I have not been on an inner journey, I probably have not even identified what my core values are. So, my world is always the external world, where there will always be someone who is better than me and someone who is not better than me. So, I will keep fluctuating between superiority complex and inferiority complex and will never be in a stable state where I can truly love myself.
When my core values guide my life and I am aligned with them, I can truly start to love myself. It is these values that make me a human being. Also, when I identify with my core values and am able to experience detachment from my physical identity, I can connect with the Divine and receive from Him love and all the qualities I need.
If I connect with God and take from Him whatever I need, I will be able to share those qualities with other human beings. This changes the quality of my relationships, as I no longer go to people because I need something from them, but instead I am able to give them something; first and foremost, I am able to give them love. That love is unconditional: there are no expectations, therefore no disappointment, because I have received from God all I need.
Detachment is often seen as the opposite of love, but that is not the case — its opposite is attachment. Attachment brings possessiveness and causes sorrow to both, the one who tries to possess another person and the one who is the victim. Possessiveness or the need to control others arises from insecurity. But when I am aware of my true, spiritual identity and secure and stable in the knowledge of who I am, I have no need to possess or control anyone, and I can offer pure love, which acts like a magnet that attracts people and keeps them together.
Where there is attachment there is no pure love, and it causes sorrow. The situation today is that the people we are closest to are the ones who hurt us the most, or we hurt them the most. Where there is attachment or dependency in a relationship, my mind will be trapped in the other person. This may even hinder my ability to connect with God and not let me receive from Him what I need.
Detachment means appreciation and unconditional love, where I understand the other person, know what they need, and even support them, but I let them be free. It is a state where there is unselfish love, as against a relationship of dependency, which is unhealthy and holds back both persons in the relationship from their freedom.
To be detached and loving, I first have to be detached from my physical identity and aware of being a spiritual entity. When I live with this consciousness, of being a soul, master of the body, my way of thinking, seeing, and speaking will all be right. I will be loving but emotionally independent. Such unadulterated love never causes hurt or pain, so it is the greater love. Without having detachment, I cannot access pure love from God and share that love with other humans.
Pure love uplifts, heals, empowers, gives joy, and allows the other person to move forward and grow. This greater love also encompasses the whole of humanity, because when I have moved beyond my attachments and limitations, I am able to love everyone, not just those who are close to me.
BK Jayanti is a senior Rajyoga teacher and the director of the Brahma Kumaris services in Europe.
How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world that has such people in it!”
— William Shakespeare
Today, we all have a new canvas on which to draw and create our new “normal”. Let us take our time and breathe deeply as we pick up the brushes and start to paint! Are we happy in our “brave new world”? If not, it is not too late to change things.
We must ask ourselves are we happy with the world that we have created for our children? We must become very mindful of the legacy that we are leaving behind. A world where masks, gloves, social distancing, two-metre distance; hand sanitisers, social isolation, lockdown and the virus of fear and suspicion become “normal”. Is this truly what we want? We are social beings, when we experience isolation and loneliness we do not fare well. Let us not forget that we are all connected.
These past few months must surely have given people time to reflect on what was, is, and will be… the new “normal”. Actually, it begs the question: How much was the past really “normal” at all?
Nature has had to step in and asked us to take a good look at ourselves. If we see it as an opportunity to rethink what is really important in life, then we will see it as a good thing. If we just want to get back to our old routines, not established by us in any thoughtful way really, then we will be meeting a lot of resistance to the new “normal” simply because the old way of life has been radically altered.
Our waters were getting polluted, our skies were getting blacker and smog-filled, our society was becoming senseless and corrupt, our values were becoming empty and depleted. Now we have realised how precious life is, how lovely it feels to go out freely; to go to work; to chat to our neighbour and friends; to ‘see’ and interact with people; and to “be” of purpose; to have a meaningful life; and to “be” of service to others… Now that we have rested the body from its fatigue… Now that we have slowed down… Now we can think clearly and plan out the next steps … What are we going to do?
As we start to return to what we were doing, let us take our time to think about how we wish to proceed in our new “normal” world. These are some thoughts to consider and to help us as we face our “brave new world”.
Make mindful choices
Show compassion to those around us
Choose purposeful living
Engage more consciously
Save up for that rainy day
Shape our attitude
Show our gratitude
Live from the heart
Pray and meditate more
Let us choose what our “brave new world” will look like. We must be co-creators in this future because we are going to have to live there… whether we like it or not … So, let us create a world of resonance, not dissonance. Yes, technology has helped us during this time, but Facetime, Facebook, Zoom or whatever else are no substitute for human contact and connection.
It’s time to create a world of love, compassion and connection. Let us work together to make that the new normal.
Courtesy of itstimetomeditate.org
Aruna Ladva, author of several books on self-development, is also a Rajyoga meditation teacher who has taught this ancient art of meditation in many countries.
A physical illness can be diagnosed by feeling the pulse, and similarly the speed of one’s thoughts can be determined from the lines on the forehead. If the speed of thoughts is very fast, if thoughts constantly arise one after the other, they waste our energy.
It is like the wastage of physical energy by someone who speaks too fast or talks constantly. What do we tell someone who talks too much and too loudly? Speak less and say it softly! In the same way, having too many thoughts too quickly wastes spiritual energy.
Ever noticed what is the speed of thoughts when you have waste thoughts and what is the speed of thoughts when you are remembering God? A lot of energy is wasted by one and energy is created by the other. When the speed of waste thoughts is fast, you don’t feel powerful. Just as when you are physically drained you say that your head feels empty, a weakened soul experiences emptiness inside.
For physical energy one is given an injection or a bottle of glucose. In the same way, a soul who is weak spiritually must remember God. What is the brake to stop the train of waste thoughts? Applying a full stop to what you are thinking.
By using these methods one can regain spiritual power for some time, but one who is in the habit of thinking too much will become weak again. So, the remedy is to keep the speed of one’s thoughts slow.
One should develop the habit of having only thoughts that are necessary. A thought is a seed which should bear the fruit of success. It should not be an empty seed that doesn’t bear any fruit. When thoughts are few, they will be powerful, whereas when thoughts are wasteful, they will be more in number and will bring no attainment.
Waste thoughts are like a bamboo forest — one automatically grows from the other and they rub against each other. Then they catch fire and the forest burns in the fire it has sparked itself. In the same way, one wasteful thought leads to another, and when the soul is drained of energy by such thoughts, it becomes susceptible to vices such as anger, ego, hatred and jealousy, which burn the soul, causing distress.
We need to recognise the value of our thoughts and use them accordingly, for only then will all our thoughts be realised and we will achieve success. Think less, that is, have only thoughts that take a practical form. Those who think in this way become carefree. Also, speak meaningful, purposeful words. Such words are few in number, just as there are few great persons while ordinary people are many, and the Supreme Soul is just one. So, one should not waste either type of energy — thoughts or words.
A great soul is one who speaks elevated words; one who has thoughts that become reality. We can become so powerful that anyone who comes in front of us would want us to speak a few words, which will be like blessings to them. So, we need to pay attention to having thoughts and speaking words that are filled with blessings.
BK Dr Savita is a senior Rajyoga teacher at the Brahma Kumaris headquarters in Abu Road, Rajasthan.