Hello and welcome to episode 102 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the greatest mistake that good men and women commit every day that goes unnoticed.
Today’s question comes from Molly and she says “why is spirituality so important? Isn’t it enough that we are peaceful, law abiding citizens?”
Thanks for the great question Molly. It’s one that needs to be addressed and we did to an extent in an earlier episode.
The whole purpose of life is to form the gold image so we can see god within our consciousness. Unfortunately just living a good life is not enough because we cannot destroy our Sanchita karma, which is the baggage of our many other lifetimes. You must have knowledge of the consciousness.
Today I want to give you a different perspective by starting with a story. This story was shared by Shankaracharya in south India. He would be the “pope” of the Hindu world.
7th grade paper
There was student who was in the 8th grade and it was time for his exams. Beside him was a student from the 7th grade. He was not prepared for his exams so he grabbed the 7th graders test and wrote all those answers because he knew them and found them easy. He handed the 7th grade paper to the examiner at the end of the test and was delighted with himself. He was sure he was going to get 100%. He thought he was on to something so he decided to do the same thing for his other tests as he was never prepared for them.
2 months later, after it all was forgotten he received his results. A big fat zero. He cried and showed the paper to his parents who agreed that this just could not be possible. They all went to the principal and told him that this was impossible, there was no way their son could have gotten a zero. The principal called the teacher and she came to the room. She explained that he had written the answers perfectly right but he took the wrong test.
This is a simple story but the point Shankaracharya was trying to make was that this is what is happening in this world of ours. People say that they are doing their duties properly and they are being law abiding citizens which is fine but that is all in the 7th grade. We still need to learn why we are here. We may be doing something right but that doesn’t mean we are focusing on the most important aspects of life.
It is important to know that life should be about practicing dharma and forming the gold image to destroy the gunas. Everything else, our passion and duties, they are all karma. You are doing your karma Molly, and that is great but you must also focus on creating the gold image. That is what you should be really focused on. We need to focus on destroying the gunas that are pushed up because these are what cause us to act. There is only 2 things: the consciousness and the gunas.
Krishna says “he who sees on all sides all action performed by praculty and the self as a non-agent sees in thee.” All action and inaction are caused by the gunas: sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. Nothing is happening to you. It is all happening through you. It is our gunas that makes us dance to the tune of karma. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we close them in the evening we are acting and in acting because of the baggage of our gunas.
This is an illusion because the second we change the context it becomes insignificant. The moment the principal told the family that they boy had taken the wrong tests his results had become insignificant. If we only practice karma then in the end we too will be in tears because we will get a big fat zero from taking the wrong test. We must use our time to do what is important.
Real or Unreal?
This I why Krishna says we need to discriminate between the real and the unreal. The unreal is the thought, action, event and emotion. The reality is that there is only the gold image which is your consciousness and the gunas which make us act. Our job is to draw the gunas in and in doing so, to fix our minds on the consciousness. This is the 8th grade paper. To distinguish between the two we must meditate and draw our minds in. This is the key and we need to do it every single day. When you do it every day it becomes very simple.
Even if you sit and decide between real and unreal then automatically your next action will be better. This is why we shouldn’t just meditate in the morning. We should do it throughout the day too. The more you do it the easier it will be. It will really help to flush out your emotions.
From the moment you are born you realise that there are four forces that will pull you. They are power, attraction, money and health. Every single day we are pulled by these forces. These are all elements that make us look stupid because there is not a single person on earth who has conquered them. If you conquer them you are God. It’s as simple as that.
We succumb to them because we associate them with success. We think if someone has a lot of money they must be good at their job, if they attract a beautiful woman they must be good lucking and if they are in power then they must be very powerful but this is not true. It is an illusion. When someone makes a million dollars they won’t be happy. They’ll want to make another million so the reality is they are poor. The lack the ability to be satisfied with what they have. Having a successful karma is fine but only if you have dharma too. Otherwise it is meaningless.
You don’t want to live a life that is full of regret. It is better to make your mistakes at the start. When you die you want to die happy, knowing you did the best you possibly could. When people die and it is seen as a sorrowful time it is because they had unfinished business. That business was their dharma. Karma is only one part of life and it is not the most important part. It is not what will make you happy.
So Molly, from now on I want you to take 5 minutes, 3 times a day to sit and ask yourself what is real and what is unreal. I guarantee that within one week you will notice a difference in how you think and act. It will open your mind to what is truly important, your gold image and your dharma.
I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.