ARE YOU POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE?
We need to focus our attention on the purpose of life. Consider the number of people in the world that spend a lot of time, energy and money, attending church, prayers, pilgrimages, reading, studying, scripture study groups, and temples at home. On a world scale countless people are involved, and they spend huge sums of money in trying to achieve something in life. What are they trying to achieve? And are they really achieving what they have set out to achieve? We need to consider that because we are in the same situation.
We know from teachings in the scriptures that we have a purpose in life, and that is to realize God, and develop other righteous attributes. But in order to achieve these, there are many processes involved. One such process is to know the negative and positive qualities in life. Now, what are some of the positive things we try to achieve by becoming religious, and by attending church services? A Few of them are truth, peace, love, faith, charity, contentment, forgiveness, honesty, sharing, understanding, compassion, self-realization and spirituality. Naming all of these is to focus our attention on them. I am sure that everyone who believes that there is God and go to church and offer prayers, instinctively know that these are attributes that we have to develop. But we lose focus. We forget about these attributes, so we have to refocus on them.
How about the negative qualities that we must know, and to avoid them. Some of these are stealing, greed, jealousy, gossip, hate, selfishness, ego, anger, lust, vanity, pride, and lack of compassion, understanding, caring and humility.
People all over the world are going to their places of worship, are praying, listening to sermons, participating in rituals, studying scriptures, and go on pilgrimages. Do you think that people are developing the desirable attributes? Think about the news around the world. There are conflicts based on religion, race and politics in several countries. People are being killed in large numbers by bombs, nerve gas, beheadings, guns, and hunger. Countless people are injured, and families are destroyed, and many become refugees. When people commit these atrocities to other people, then where are the noble attributes? If we do not manifest these, then we are not living a spiritual life. Our spirituality just becomes a show. It is empty. It is of no real benefit. And in the end we are condemning ourselves because we are not living the positive attributes, but living the negativity.
Apart from the violence just mentioned, also be aware of the ones mentioned above. Greed seeks wealth. Ego seeks fame, recognition and a sense of superiority. Jealousy compares one person with another, and impels him to be better. Gossiping is talking about other people often in a negative way. The rule is, “If you cannot say something good about somebody, do not say anything.” “You must do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” is the golden rule we need to follow. Hate is another evil attribute that causes a great deal of animosity, leading to racial, religious, political and social conflicts. Children say: “I hate….” The word “hate” is in their vocabulary, and becomes easy to act out. Remove the word hate. There is no need to hate anything. You may not like something, but you don’t have to hate it?
Selfishness asserts, “What’s in it for me.” How often are we motivated by generosity? Many people are selfish. Of course, some are more selfish than others. But selfishness is something that we have to give up because God has given us abundantly. He has given us life and everything in nature that sustains us – earth, sunlight, water, fresh air, and food. He has also given us inter-dependence. He supplied plants that produced oxygen for us, and plants use the carbon dioxide that we produce. Just as God is generous to us, let us be generous towards others, including everything in nature. According to your ability, be generous with money, compassion, time, love, understanding, empathy and support.
Anger eats away at people. The anger boils within, or towards other people or circumstances and they end up creating violence, killing, poisoning, stabbing, shooting, etc.
Lust is of several kinds, and is widespread. Soldiers may take women as sex slaves. Lust in women is called nymphomania, and in men it is called satyriasis. Then there is lust for money, ego satisfaction, power and dominance. Ego is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to spiritual life. It is opposite to humility. God gave you the gift of life, not the gift of ego. As the soul you have a direct connection with God. So where is room for ego? God would have none of your ego, so abandon it.
In spiritual life you have to realize that as a human beings with body, mind, consciousness, feelings, emotion, and all the “equipment” you need to act as human beings called “homo sapiens” (man with wisdom). So accept life with gratitude and humility. We recognize that God is our Master, and our Father, and He gave us life and consciousness. When we do not have this knowledge focused in our mind, we are in spiritual ignorance. When you are truly aware of your connection with God, then you live in God consciousness. It gives you bliss. Happiness comes and goes but bliss is permanent. There is nothing temporary about God. God is always a positive Power.
When you have knowledge of God, it does not leave you. It is an experience, obtained in a state called Samadhi. Samadhi means that you have seen the reality of God, expressing everywhere in this universe. God is not only in a certain place, or in a heaven or in paradise. But God is manifesting everywhere in this universe through His Omnipresence. He manifests in us.
Let us be aware of our connection with God, with one another and with all life and all of nature. We would then live in universal harmony.
Dr. Jagessar Das
Life, church, prayers, omnipresence, anger, greed, lust, golden rule.