Hello and welcome to episode 73 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the missing element in your life and what Krishna says we can do about it.
Today’s question comes from Kim and she says “I have been a failure throughout my life. Things never work out for me no matter how hard I try. I don’t know what to do.”
That’s a great question. We all go through this, failure is a part of life. One of my close friends always says this: there is a difference between “I have failed” and “I am a failure”. Failure is an important part of life because we all learn through failure. So much research has been done in this area. It is widely accepted that the more you accept the failure, the faster you can grow. It’s like a refining process.
The missing element
When you describe yourself as a failure you will lose a lot of self-esteem and that is never a good thing. Never describe yourself as a failure. It’s ok to say that something failed or that it didn’t work but don’t associate yourself with that failure. It doesn’t matter how many times something doesn’t work you are never a failure.
The whole of the Bhagavad Gita is about this missing element. It starts with Arjun refusing to fight his teacher. He did not want to fight because he was weak and fear overtook him. Whenever we want to do something important, like passing an exam or achieve success in business there is always this weakness that tell us that we may not succeed and it makes us afraid. Then there is also the other extreme where people think they will succeed no matter what and never ever fail. We always want to avoid both extremes.
Throughout the Bhagavad Gita Krishna explain that there was only one thing Arjun was missing. The one thing he was missing was faith. When you see something going wrong the problem is usually lack of faith. It could be a lack of faith in relationships, a lack of faith in health, a lack of faith in devotion or a lack of faith that something is not happening for you. Lack of faith in the consciousness is the number one reason for most problems and issues. People just don’t have faith in the consciousness. People don’t have faith that things will work out.
Krishna says “Verily a man consists of his faith. He is what his faith makes him of. Three fold is the faith of beings according to their bygone impressions. They are sattvic, rajasic and tamasic.” It is really important your faith comes from the sattvic gunas. Faith is the key element. If you have faith you can trust the process.
Without faith you will be forced to focus on the event. When things go fine no questions are asked but it’s only when things don’t work that we realise the important aspects. A rich man may think he is happy but if he decides that he wants to get in touch with the consciousness, only then will he realise that there are things that he is not good at. The reason he may not be able to do it is because he would not have faith. If you build faith your results will sky rocket.
We must have trust. When you are failing you are not going to be able to automatically trust your mind because it’s not working. The same goes for the plan or the person. So whom can you trust? Krishna says you must trust your consciousness. This voice is always ready to speak to you.
People are attempting to trust their minds but it the consciousness that you must place your trust in. Trust the jiva. I want to share a story with you. Vivekananda travelled the length of India barefoot without knowing where his next meal would come from. This was about 120 years ago. A lot of great work that has been done since was inspired by him.
One day he was travelling by train and there was a rich man sitting next to him. He was eating a lot of food and Vivekananda had nothing because he had no money. The man advised him to work because no one is going to just hand him money. He told him that simply meditating and begging for food was not going to help him.
The train came to a stop at the station. It would be about 30 minutes before the train left again so they got off to get some air. The rich man began to eat all the food he ordered while Vivekananda sat silently and meditated.
After some time a man approached Vivekananda with a large basket of food. The man offered him the food and told him to eat it because he had bought it for him. Vivekananda told the man that he must be confused. He didn’t know this stranger so he assumed he had been mistaken for someone else. The man insisted saying that God Ram had come to him in a dream and told him that someone is in need of food dressed in the form of a monk. God Ram ordered the man to bring him the food at the station.
The man said that he did not take it seriously at first but that the dream kept coming the whole night. He decided that he must listen to the dream so he prepared the food and brought it to him. Vivekananda was so happy that God had taken care of him that tears flowed from his eyes. He had faith in God and it paid off.
This story might not mean a lot too many people but it doesn’t matter. People who don’t have faith will never have faith so it doesn’t matter. Faith is the key. Vivekananda had that faith that God would take care of him and he did. Krishna says “those who worship me with devotion, him I take care of always.” God will take care of those who fix their minds on him.
Vivekananda also told a story where he wanted to prove this theory so he went into a desolate dessert where no one could bring him food to prove that God would look after him. A man from nowhere suddenly emerged and began to follow him but he ran because he did not want anyone to bring him food but the man followed him for 3 miles. Eventually he stopped the stranger forced him to eat the food . God takes care of people. Period
When things are not working take a step back and listen to the voice inside. Don’t listen to your mind and drop the word failure from your thoughts. Just let it go for a couple of days. Forget all those things that you want to happen and just focus on getting in touch with the consciousness.
When people take on something they often underestimate the time and effort that will be involved. It is really common and it can lead to frustration when things don’t happen as quickly as we think they should. Krishna says that this is because of Tamas. Work that is done without consequences of the good and bad and without regard to the competence involved is known as tamas work. This should be avoided. It causes frustration and anxiety which can lead to failure.
Don’t drink poison
The great ones say that you shouldn’t drink poison just because you can’t get nectar. Don’t resort to damaging behaviour just because you didn’t succeed this time. If you don’t get a promotion don’t go out and get drunk because of it. Don’t let failure destroy your life. Remember failure is never permanent it’s only a bump in the road. The more you stay in the game, the higher the chance of success. Don’t throw all your hard work away.
Finally don’t underestimate faith. Spend time nurturing it. Get in touch with your consciousness. Remember “him the weapons cannot cut, fire cannot burn, water cannot wet, wind cannot dry. The self cannot be cut, dried, burned or wetted…Eternal, all pervasive, stable, immovable, everlasting the Self Reigns”
In tough times faith will be your greatest asset. Increase your faith and you will succeed. I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.