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Truth Of Life: [2.1] The Issues - 09 - Change In Outlook

Published: 30.05.2008
Updated: 14.08.2008

The Art & Science Of Living

Chapter 2.

The Issues


Change In Outlook

[People are practising different faiths according to their concept of religion. Still there is immorality, dishonesty and chaos in our society. Generally people are practising orthodox and meaningless rituals, which are contributing towards an unhealthy and unethical outlook. A materialistic outlook needs to be seriously contemplated upon. A greater awareness has to be inculcated among the masses about the irreversible aspect of old age, disease and death, so that impulses and material cravings of the people are transformed into the desire for salvation and to live creatively, constructively, morally and spiritually.]

In spite of so many religious sects and cults in India, why is there so much of immorality and dishonesty? This question has been raised several times and needs to be seriously addressed. Where religion is practised, immorality should not exist and where immorality is prospering, religion does not exist. They cannot co-exist. They cannot move concurrently. Is this not a matter of concern for a religious person? Definitely a spiritual person is aggrieved to witness the present scenario of the world. Though spirituality and religion belong to each other, however, they begin to part company as soon as religion degenerates into ritualism and obscurantism. The goal of spirituality is social and personal transformation. And spirituality alone has the resources appropriate for it, whereas religion tends to be status quo. "Do religions have any vigour today? This burning question needs to be addressed urgently.
It may not, however, appeal to the people pursuing a conservative and ritualistic religion. Before religion, faith is generated and before faith, impulse is evolved. Therefore the sequence of development is impulse, faith and religion.

We think of religion, but before that we should think about faith, and prior to that we should have activity. Unless water has activity, it will not move ahead, its activity will not move along waves, then it has to be supported and lifted to enable it to move forcefully. Everybody has activity. Activity is known as passion in the language of work ethics (Karma Sastra) and emotion in the language of psychology. No one in the world can sustain himself without activity. As long as an impulse continues to be pronounced and dominant, religion and faith cannot be thought about. Impulse remains activated as long as delusion is predominant. Delusion and impulse go concurrently; wherever delusion is prevalent, and impulses pervade and vice versa. That is why man suffers from so many problems and still continues doing the same thing solely because he is living in deep delusion and not aware of reality.

We generally move with worldly rules. None of the acts can be explained by a single rule independently. You have to use many universal laws to explain each incident. There is one universal rule of destiny. Many incidents can be explained with the law of destiny. Sometimes without any reasoning and rationale, things occur from destiny. Even though delusion may be profound, destiny rules sometimes clouding the delusion and a change takes place, i.e., impulse is transformed into the desire for salvation. The activity has to be there. The force of activity governs the whole life, whether in the form of desire for salvation or the mere activity of materialism. As long as life is there, some kind of activity will continue. The absence of activity will happen only when you leave this body. Tendencies, actions and activity are part and parcel of a body. Generally, activities do not reduce, in case they retard, then man becomes lethargic. Perhaps nobody wants to be lazy, everybody wants to be active, vibrant and vigorous. For that matter, activity is mandatory.

Acharyashree moves very fast, he does not like anyone moving slowly. He teaches them to move actively. You have to accelerate in order to reach the destination. Unless there is an activeness, sportiveness, you can never attain your goal in life. Basically there are two things associated with activity, either it is an impulse or it is a will to achieve salvation. If the activity is associated with impulse then you will certainly be misled and delusion will intensify. Activity accompanied by desire of salvation will wipe out the delusion and the will to liberation will thrive. Man has been suffering from physical, mental and emotional distress since time immemorial. Buddhism and Jainism explained the doctrine of sadism. Both the schools of philosophy advocated the principle that the world is full of agonies. On being asked, "What is agony?" they said, "The fourfold agonies of life are birth, old age, disease and death." These agonies apply to all without exceptions. Other things of life may have exceptions. Some people possess wealth, some live with prosperity and others live with adversity, this is all possible. Many people are gifted with fulfilment and remain fulfilled till their death. Exceptions are possible, but old age, disease and death have no exceptions. Everybody becomes old, faces some sort of sickness and dies one day. Life has already happened and death is going to happen. Old age and disease exist in between. In the wake of realisation of agonies due to old age, disease and death, the impulse transforms into desire for liberation (salvation). Therefore, the more the maturity gained out of the fourfold miseries of life, the more the desire for salvation intensifies accordingly.

The Samkhya philosophy elucidates three kinds of agonies, namely, physical, mental and spiritual. When man is distressed by these three agonies then delusion is shattered and the desire for salvation grows in him. The intense agony shatters the delusion and intensifies a desire to be free from these agonies. A new will is born, which could never come up owing to the intense gravity of the prevailing delusion. The sooner the delusion is slightly shaken, it will generate a new will for liberation. When the delusion is shattered then the outlook towards life changes totally, transforming man. In fact, man does not realise distress and agony in his life. Most of the time, he simply goes on suffering. Due to deep slumber, he does not realise the agony of life. Once a pig was asked if it wished to change its birth. It refused and said, "Let me be here only. I am happy and contented. I have my wife, children and family here. How can I go to another birth leaving all of them here?" Even pigs and dogs do not wish to change their births, as they are under a deep delusion or maya.

The delusion is so intense in man that he goes on suffering continuously but never intends to break this vicious circle of maya. This situation is utterly peculiar and needs immediate intervention and attention. As long as the delusion is not shattered, till then the craving for salvation does not crop up. Our thrust should be to awaken the will for liberation (salvation). Man gets addicted to liquor and cannot abandon it. He definitely cannot give up any bad habit unless the will to fight the evil crops up in him. On developing a genuine desire from within, he will be able to give up the vice.

The question of changing conduct is not so difficult as compared to changing one's outlook. When one's outlook is changed, the conduct is ameliorated on its own, so we have to strive to change our outlook. When our outlook and heart change simultaneously, then the whole world is changed. The adage is,' "As you see, so is the world" (sansara).

Today we have a question of inculcating the desire for salvation. When the desire for salvation is born then faith also springs up and one understands that he wants to be free from sorrow and the solution is to become religious. We have to inspire faith in religion. Unless there is a genuine desire for salvation, religion is meaningless. In fact, without a sincere craving for liberation, religion is like a newspaper, which has been read and discarded. Similarly, without the awakening of a true desire for salvation, religion is like a read newspaper, an absurd object. Though we have a large number of people, wedded to different faiths like Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity and Islam, the will for salvation has awakened in only a few. Unless the will for salvation is awakened, religion cannot protect and liberate you.

Religions are many, but religiousness (will to attain salvation) is scarce, in fact very rare. In the past, Mahavira, Buddha, Kabir, Nanak, Jesus, Mohammed, Krishna and Rama achieved salvation. People are bound to question why there is no change in spite of the emergence of so many religions is India. When you analyse critically, it will be found that religious people are few in number, while self claimed ones are thriving and responsible for the creation of so much of dishonesty and immorality. Their desire for salvation is not awakened; rather it is in deep slumber. Desire for salvation leads to faith in religion and faith in religion reinforces the desire for salvation. One day of water irrigation does not produce a proper crop, you have to irrigate it a number of times, only then will the crop flourish. Desire for salvation Produces faith, faith encourages the desire for salvation. Then desire for salvation again begets faith, thereby the cycle perpetuates - faith from desire for salvation and desire for salvation from faith. When these circles continue and reiterate then only belief will be purified. Purified belief will purify outlook, only then can change be expected, otherwise change should not be thought of at all. If you are content and satisfied practising the traditional, mechanical and ritualistic religion and simultaneously think of change then it will remain a dream and never a reality. In contrast, if you wish to incorporate change then the whole process has to be reviewed. In case, you hesitate to change and inculcate something new, then go on practising the so-called religion devoid of any religiousness.

The idea of change descends in the mind only when there is a pulsation, an inner agony that in spite of long practice of religion nothing has actually changed. As a matter of fact there is no awareness that we have been worshipping the religion in a state of delusion. There should be a strong conviction that the solution exists only in religion.

Man seeks the solution of a problem at the wrong place. He seeks solutions, at the wrong place. The solution of hunger, if sought in a crop is fine and if the solution of thirst is sought in water resources, it is acceptable. It is astonishing, if the solution of the problem of mind, i.e., anger, ego, fear and quarrel is searched for in money. Money can solve your problem of grains, clothes and house. We have formed such an outlook that we are inclined to seek the solution of every problem in wealth.

  • People generally quote that politics has governed all, but the reality is that money has overpowered all.
  • Money has even overpowered politics.
  • Money pervades politics, destabilises it and even changes the government.
  • Politicians easily get tempted by the power of money and switch over their loyalties and topple the governments.
  • The establishment of one-sided imperialism of money and its acceptance as the sole solution to the problems has resulted in a very big crisis.

People attending the Prekshadhyana camp, are developing the desire for salvation and faith in religion and their outlook has changed. The solution of every problem is definitely not in money. Had it been so then people from different businesses would not have come here. Their outlook has changed, realising and finding that the solution for these problems does not lie in money. Now they have started looking within for the solution of their problems. There exists a big solution within us. Our biggest failure is that we have never looked within, which is the biggest source of the solutions. We changed our temple, our system, even our Gods. Now we should wake up and think of worshipping the place where the solution of the problems lies. In order to solve the problem, breath is the starting point. The heart can never be changed without changing the breath. To change the heart, you will have to change the movement of your breath.

People who breathe improperly are not likely to shun violence, murder, robbery and thefts. It is not possible for them to give up the aforesaid propensities. In fact, these criminal tendencies are only due to shallow breathing. As long as this shallow breathing goes on, these tendencies will also thrive. When you start taking long breaths then these tendencies will start disappearing. There will be neither violence, murder, terror, plundering nor thefts. Everything will be rightly placed and a new lease of life will emerge. This might sound strange. It is generally believed that if you chant mantras, then you will be religious. Practice of breath is hardly assumed to be linked with religion. Life is definitely related to breath. Man takes breaths and is alive, as soon as the breath movement ceases, he dies. This link is known but how is religion wedded to breath is a question. Impulses are linked closely to shallow breathing. Deep breathing breaks this link and changes our thinking process. This takes us closer towards our inner self.

Edited by Muni Dulharaj
Copyright by Pathfinder Trust, New Delhi, India ©2001
Published by Sterling Publishers Pvt.Ltd., New Delhi, India
Translated by Pathfinder Trust, New Delhi, India
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  1. Anger
  2. Body
  3. Buddha
  4. Buddhism
  5. Christianity
  6. Fear
  7. Islam
  8. Jainism
  9. Jainism Explained
  10. Karma
  11. Krishna
  12. Mahavira
  13. Maya
  14. Prekshadhyana
  15. Rama
  16. Samkhya
  17. Science
  18. Science Of Living
  19. Sikhism
  20. Violence
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