Whatever is here in this post is my understanding of the teachings of pujya swAmi Dayananda Saraswati. Any error in understanding is mine alone.
Another talk and a few powerful learnings. Every day seems to dawn with revelations and then moments of awe and smiles, giving that feeling of “What I think is not wrong after all!! I just need to refine how I think” 🙂
I have just taken a part of the talk and expanded an aspect which struck a chord in me. A chord that is making its own melodious tunes in the space that is created inside, due to the learning.
To have a desire is a privilege; which means we have a right to have a desire.. When we have a desire (within the boundary of dharmA), it is also but natural for that desire to be fulfilled..
There are desires each one of us have and to just name a few..
- own a vehicle (two wheeler / four wheeler. be it Indian or imported)
- be free to do what we want to do
- learn well
- settle abroad
- be well placed in life
- travel to different places
- live a healthy life
- be wealthy enough
- find peace and calm
- get well soon if ailing
- see light when everything seems dark
It is but human to pursue one’s desires and work to fulfill our desires. When our desires don’t get fulfilled despite efforts, there is a lot of frustration, pain, anger, a sense of failure and therefore the need to give up too. Confidence and self esteem take a plunge. Then starts the questions in each one of us (can’t resist them :-))
– Am I wanting too much?
– Is my desire too lofty?
– Where did I go wrong?
– How will I face people?
– How will I answer others?
– What will others think of me?
There are a lot of expectations that we have from ourselves and from the environment around us.
Have we factored in our capacity to fulfill these desires, in terms of the resources we have?
Have we kept in mind the limitations that we have, to have these desires fulfilled?
In almost every situation that we face in our lives, there are aspects that are in our control and aspects that we are not in control.
We can perhaps face the aspects in our control far more cheerfully, than when we are hit by situations that are not in our control.
We can control what we know but we cannot control what we don’t know.
We can attempt to plan for what we think we know is ahead of us but we cannot do the same for what we don’t know is ahead of us.
So where is the crux? Is it in the desire? Is it in the fulfillment of the desire? Is it in expecting the desire to be fulfilled? Or is it in handling the expectation when the desire is not fulfilled?
The example pUjya swAmiji gave was a situation from real life that one could relate to. The possible 4 outcomes that emerge are also explained along with the situation. Needless to say, we can extrapolate this to situations each of us have faced and are facing in our lives.
The situation – I want to catch a bus that stops on the other side of the road. I see the bus standing in the bus stop.
Outcome 1 – I quickly cross, looking both sides of the road and catch the bus – the outcome is equal to what I expected. This is an outcome that happens sometimes.
Outcome 2 – I cross the road but miss the bus – the outcome is less than what I expected. This is an outcome that happens many times.
Outcome 3 – I cross the road and a friend of mine comes by and requests me to get into the car for me to be dropped home – the outcome is more than what I expected. This is an outcome that happens though rarely.
Outcome 4 – I attempt to cross the road and look both sides before crossing but I fail to look at the banana peel in front of me. I slip and fall and what happened to me I don’t know. When I wake up I am in the hospital with no memory of what happened (I sure can relate to this one – a similar incident of a different kind though :-)) – the outcome is opposite of what I expected. This is an outcome that happens too and again rarely.
The outcomes of equal, less, more and opposite happens in every situation that we face in our lives. How do we handle each one of these outcomes?
What is the feeling when we get more than we expect or when we get the same as what we expected? Elation or happiness?
What then will be the feeling when we get less than what we expect or the opposite of what we expect?
I have heard people saying that we should learn to handle our emotions if we do not get something; or if we get lesser than what we expect, we should be thankful for what we have got.
The learning pUjya sWamiji has given to handle these 4 outcomes was so profound that it brought in a paradigm shift in my thinking, and one that is here to stay.
‘If we can handle the two realities of getting exactly what we expected and getting more than what we expected with a proper attitude, dispassion and objectivity, we can perhaps retain that attitude when we face the other two realities of getting less that what we expected or getting the opposite of what we expected. An attitude that is healthy and causes less damage to our self esteem ‘.
Some more questions rise in me..
Is it possible to do this?
Is it easy to do this?
How can I be dispassionate about my elation when I have got more than what I expected?
How can I objective when I have got what I expected?
I don’t have answers to any of these questions.
However, after listening to this talk, I am of the thought that “When I am in a positive frame of mind (on getting more than or equal to what I expected) I am more open to tell myself that any success is only up till this one; and the next situation may not yield the same outcome. When I am in a negative frame of mind (on getting less than or opposite of what I expected), my mind just fails to think. Any thought that may arise is also negative, pulling my self esteem down further. Nothing would hence work well”.
Leaves me with the thought – Just like charity begins at home, everything is within me and starts with me.
P. S – here is the link to the video that was the instrument for this blog – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag-bANVW4J0