Hello and welcome to episode 79 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the power of simplicity and how it can completely transform your life.
Today’s question comes from rayuthi and she says “no matter what I do my life is always complicated. I’m always busy, in my mind and outside it. What can I do?”
The train of thought
Thanks for the question. We are going to simplify your life right now. I was watching a documentary about trains in India. Here the doors on the trains do not close, at least not on the local ones. When the trains are about to leave the station you get a lot of people running to catch them, it can actually be quite dangerous. The people inside the train help those who are running by grabbing them and pulling them in.
One person was pulled on to the train and realised that he was on the wrong one. The train had already left and while he man was trying to get off the moving train others were still trying to get on to it! He managed to get out of the compartment but because of the momentum of the train he kept running. The people in the next carriage thought he was running to catch the train so they pulled him back in! Our minds are very similar. We try to get away from it all but we end up being pulled back in.
Simplify daily life
All of the great beings say we should try and simplify our daily lives. It is only when you simplify your day to day life will you have the capacity to absorb greatness. Technology may have evolved but our minds are still in the Stone Age. We still cannot give up our hatred and bitterness. This is because we do not take the time to simplify our daily lives.
Preference to God
Do not confuse simplifying with organising. Organisation is good because it helps you get things done faster but simplifying is one hundred times higher because it means you will have less to organise. I highly encourage organisation but simplify your life first. Give preference to the most important thing, which is God and meditation. Then get to the organising.
There are two things involved, you as an individual and those who are in charge. In India the Heads of State make things so complicated. Here we fill out so many forms when one page forms would be more than enough. Here in India I would say 20% of our lives are spent filling in forms!
We can also look at education. In school you are expected to study multiple subjects in every year. We study so much that is of absolutely no use to us. I think that we should focus on one subject per year and become an expert in that subject. We need to make it easier for children to learn. Right from the start we learn things that are of no use to use and it only complicates things.
We do this so much throughout our childhood that it starts to affect us as adults. We end up like performing monkeys. Vivekananda had something very important to say about this. He said that no one can teach anyone. The teacher spoils everything by thinking he or she can teach. All the teacher has to do is awaken the spirit within because all knowledge is self-knowledge. I am doing the same thing with these videos. I am just reminding you of the knowledge you already have. The teacher just needs to give the person that little push to look inside themselves. That way they can blossom themselves.
All education is doing is trying to make an ass out of a horse. They keep pushing and pushing hoping the information will stick and this is such a long winded way to go about things. You can’t force people to learn. You can only give them the tools they need to learn for themselves. It reminds me of the following:
“Give a man a fish and he will have food for a day. Give him a fishing rod so he can teach himself to fish and he will have food for life.”
Everyone has a different personality and comes with their own set of traits and skills and we must respect and nurture that. Instead of trying to turn a horse into a lion we need to respect the horse for what its good at and encourage it to build on those skills instead of wasting time trying to persuade it to behave like a lion. Remember you cannot change ones true nature.
Do one thing
You cannot be everywhere and know everything at once. Like we talked about before, do one thing and do one thing well.
Vivekananda said that in education there are two things: dharma and karma. The root of all education should be religion. Religion as in realisation and knowledge of the consciousness. Everything else sits on that. That is dharma. The baggage that comes with us is karma.
Once we have knowledge of the consciousness then we stick only to what is there in our karma, like our passions but we do it beautifully because we are always detached from the results. Vivekananda compares it to rice and curry. If you eat curry on its own it will cause indigestion and if you eat rice on its own you’ll also get stomach problems. The world is the curry and the rice is the consciousness. He said we need to have the rice with the curry.
So all this comes down to the fact that we need to think less to achieve more. I’m going to take it a step further: Think nothing and achieve everything. This is what the great sages do. Remember the best things in life come with zero effort.
So I want you to spend the first hour of every day with God by meditating. Read the following verse:
“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”
I’ve repeated this verse in so many episodes because it is so powerful and people tend to underestimate the power of things. Write it down and mediate on it for one hour every morning. When you get this step right everything else will follow and become effortless. You will be able to do that one thing perfectly and your mind will be at peace.
I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.