O B S T A C L E S
Lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.
H A P P I N E S S
Pit atleast half of your energy into making yourself free of empty wishes, and very soon you will see that in so doing you will receive much greater fulfillment and happiness.
– After Epictetus
S A T I S F A C T I O N
The self is beyond the gross body and subtle mind. He is the potent active principle of the body and mind.
Without knowing the need of the dormant soul, one cannot be happy simply with emolument of the body and mind. The body and the mind are but superfluous outer coverings of the spirit soul. The spirit soul’s needs must be fulfilled.
Simply by cleansing the cage of the bird, one does not satisfy the bird. One must actually know the needs of the bird himself.
– Srimad Bhagvatam 1.2.8
M I S F O R T U N E
The materialistic world is called the darkest region of God’s creation. Yet the unhappy materialists can get out of it simply by desiring to get out.
Unfortunately they are so foolish that they do not want to escape. Therefore they are compared to the camel who relishes thorny twigs because he likes the taste of the twigs mixed with blood. He does not realize that it is his own blood and that his tongue is being cut by the thorns. Similarly, to the materialist his own blood is as sweet as honey, and although he is always harassed by his own material creations, he does not wish to escape.
– Srimad Bhagvatam 1.2.3
F A I L U R E
Sometimes we fail in our actions, sometimes we fail inspite of our actions.
No matter how severe the setback maybe, the real failure is if we don’t use our failure as a stepping stone to becoming a better human being.
Atleast two positives that each failure offers is a lesson in humility and a nudge to not judge others for their limitations/failures, for we have erred too.
– Gudakesa, 05 July 2020
M I S E R Y
The threefold miseries are (1) those miseries which arise from the mind and body, (2) those miseries inflicted by other living beings, and (3) those miseries arising from natural catastrophes over which one has no control.
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.3
M E D I T A T I O N
Meditation is a practice to enhance our consciousness beyond the bodily restrictions and make it ready to experience the divine.
– Gudakesa, 27 June 2020
M I N D
Don’t rely on your mind for liberation. It is the mind that got you into bondage. Go beyond it altogether, said Nisargadatta Maharaj.
Our mind and limited intelligence alone can’t help us get out of the entrapment of distractions and illusions.
We need the light of wisdom from the creator himself which is embedded in the vedic scriptures and a truthful and sincere urge in our heart to transcend this material darkness after having surrendered to the creator and having left behind our false ego of bodily identity.
– Gudakesa, 26 June 2020
S A L V A T I O N
No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path, said the Buddha.
We must realise that the all powerful and compassionate Supreme Being is more than keen to help but the responsibility to drop our false sense of ego and realise our true position as a minute fragment of the creation rests on our shoulder. Only once we have surrendered our false ego and have we acknowledged our limitations do we become ready to transcend them with the help of the Supreme Being. We have been given the freewill so that our salvation is also our own choice and our own doing.
– Gudakesa, 21 June 2020
J O Y
We experience joy not via the senses but in our mind. Our mind momentarily registers and processes the emotions of joy, happiness upon receiving signals from our senses and an approval from our intelligence.
A very basic example is feeling good while eating our favourite food. If that happens to be healthy as well, then our intelligence approves it completely and we experience not just pleasure but satisfaction also; else it could distort in the form of a guilt pleasure.
However, similar experiences of happiness or joy can be generated through less gross, more subtle experiences also – for instance revisiting our favourite moments from our past, or while day dreaming a utopian future. In both these cases there is no interaction of gross material senses with outside world or sense objects but yet we experience joy.
Thus it is critical to understand that joy, happiness is not restricted to accumulation and engagement with sense objects.
Through disciplined practice of meditation, we can transcend these limitations and gradually go beyond even the subtle intellectual experiences to experiencing pure spiritual bliss. The trick lies in uncovering our mental conditioning and reviving our consciousness and awareness.
– Gudakesa, 19 June 2020
T R U T H
There is no new truth to be explored. The eternal & immutable truth that carries the meaning and essence of this entire creation and of our existence was always the same and will remain the same.
We just need to build our own capacity to realise, comprehend and accept the truth. The pursuit is as much for the truth as it is for our developing our capability to face the truth.
– Gudakesa, 15 June 2020
I N S P I R A T I O N
We all seek a drive to accomplish our goals, complete our tasks but struggle with it most of the time.
One of the surest way to build this drive is to link our intentions, plans and actions with the ways and means to serve the divine creator and his creation; including our fellow souls – human and animals.
As soon as we align ourselves with the way of life recommended in the scriptures by the creator himself and offer our actions as our service to the Divine Creator and his creation, we become subject of his attention and grace. This grace is what then transforms into the divine inspiration for an individual and guides, nudges us to keep moving forward with his/her good deeds.
– Gudakesa, 14 June 2020
S U P R E M E
Without inconceivable potency there is no meaning to the words Supreme Lord.
In fact, there is nothing except God within and without. Everything is manifested of his different energies, like the heat and light of fire, which means there is a oneness among the diverse energies.
– Srila Prabhupada, Purport @ Sri Isopanishad
G R O W T H
Growth is not a unidimensional pursuit for achievements but at times also means losing.
While growth is signified by attainment of more knowledge, more wisdom but is also manifested when we drop off our false ego, inflated sense of self-importance.
Meditation is an exercise to help us shed some of the undesirable baggage that we have been carrying for years and in the process gain more clarity, conviction, joy and to grow.
– Gudakesa, 08 June 2020
S U F F E R I N G
We suffer not at the hands of others but in the confines of our own mind.
More suffering is caused due to our mental reactions to actions of others than their action directly.
One sure way to reduce this suffering is to be mindful of our thoughts, emotions originating as reactions.
– Gudakesa, 06 June 2020
S U R R E N D E R
In a material context, act of surrender has a historically negative connotation. It is primarily associated with defeat, humiliation, loss.
However in the course of spiritual practice, the act of complete surrender is one of the most remarkable & beautiful accomplishments.
While we may realise it or not, all of us are struggling on the material platform of life. We are always facing one pity problem or the other and in order to deal with these problems and to make ourselves feel better for the moment, our mind projects and positions ourselves as someone who’s strong, capable of handling all sorts of challenges.
While temporarily helpful, this reassurance and reinforcement is fundamentally flawed as we are severely restricted in our material faculties and capabilities but it is actually our true nature – our spiritual nature – where our strength lies. But we get stuck in the opposite paradigm and keep nurturing our false ego and identity associating ourselves with this body. This false association with our body and repeated conditioning is what withholds any true spiritual progress.
The starting point for our spiritual growth is to identify our true nature as spirit soul and to also be cognizant of the Supreme Soul as a source of infinite beauty, knowledge, opulence, strength, bliss and as someone who has our best interest at heart. Once this realisation occurs, it is very natural for us to shed our false bodily identity, our false ego as that body and to seek association with the source of all knowledge and bliss.
Vedic scripture highlight and we can also understand that the best relationship is built when we surrender all pretense and offer ourselves in complete honesty and in complete knowledge of the authority of the Supreme Being. This is like a fulfilling relationship between parent and a child, master and servant, close friends.
Thus, surrender becomes the all important stepping stone. So don’t let your mind and conditioning get in the way of a fulfilling life.
– Gudakesa, 05 June 2020
D I S A P P O I N T M E N T
Disappointment is one of the undeniable aspect or feature of our engagements, relationships, possessions on the material platform.
It is impossible for one to recount a life or even a brief period of our life without any form of disappointment.
The Supreme Being, however, is the only source of unconditional bliss. Our spiritual relationship with the divine creator is the only engagement which can and does provide us an experience without any form of disappointment.
– Gudakesa, 02 June 2020
D E A T H
Tomorrow or the next life – which comes first, we don’t know. – Tibetan saying.
P A T I E N C E
Every transformation takes time – from night to morning, from an infancy to youth, from summer to winter.
Similarly, our spiritual evolution also demands time.
Thus, only those who persist and have patience to endure the interim phase of struggle and trials will be able to achieve the state of sustained bliss.
– Gudakesa, 30 May 2020
S O U R C E
It is not the physical lamp but the heat & light created from an energy source which really dispels the darkness. However, one not aware can likely give all the credit to the bulb.
Similarly, we human beings are just a via medium for the wonderful, ecstatic energy of the Supreme Being which can dispel all forms of ignorance, troubles.
Thus we must not seek credit or bolster our ego for being able to do some small things that people around us may find impressive.
We must realise and understand the true source of all our capabilities and with all humility surrender our actions and outcomes to that divine, supreme source. Only such complete surrender can help us get out from the trap of material distractions and sense of false ego of seeing ourselves as this body.
– Gudakesa, 28 May 2020
F O C U S
Simply put, focus is nothing more but eliminating distractions. So it is not so much about attaining a state of mind, but more about letting go of the ideas occupying the mind & attention.
– Gudakesa, 27 May 2020
C O N F U S I O N
A life without clarity of identity, purpose and a plan of action is either a life not being lived at all or one full of confusion, chaos and anxiety.
– Gudakesa, 25 May 2020
P R A C T I C E
We all seek clarity and a sense of direction for making firm & right decisions in life.
Taking into account our biases and limitations as a conditioned soul, we are likely to make mistakes and wrong choices. Thus, it is recommended to rely on the grace, blessings and mercy of the Supreme who is full of knowledge and knows the best for us. However, most of us struggle in establishing a connection or relationship strong enough with the Supreme Being to let our ego allow us complete surrender, dependence and reliance on the Supreme.
Only with a sustained and disciplined practice one can improve one’s relationship with the Supreme which allows him the protection and guidance for a meaningful, joyful and content life. Thus, we must preserve our practice to gain clarity, conviction and confidence to make and execute the right decision.
– Gudakesa, 24 May 2020
I M M O R T A L I T Y
Humans consciously or unconsciously seek immortality but unfortunately we seek it in the material paradigm which itself is temporary and continually undergoes the cycle of creation and destruction.
However, one who is inquisitive and perceptive can find from the Vedas that our body for which we seek immortality or longevity is just a covering for our true selves, spirit soul, which is anyways eternal.
Hence, the event called death is in essence the moment when we loose the material covering in form of our current body and take up another material body or form.
We, as spirit soul, are anyways eternal in nature. Thus, what we must seek is not immortality but a break to the cycle of birth and rebirth in this material realm. We must strive for being able to enjoy our original nature of being while being in serene, blissful company of the all loving and caring supreme creator.
In this age of darkness and ignorance, Bhakti Yoga is recommended as the most favorable path for success in this pursuit.
– Gudakesa, 23 May 2020
S U R R E N D E R
The most beautiful aspect of spiritual practice is not the knowledge or insights that we gain about ourselves but the strength and humility to surrender our false ego to the Supreme.
With every act of submission to the Supreme Creator and acceptance of our limitations, we break through the coverings of our ego related to this material body. As the bodily identity and the pride & ego associated with it diminishes, our true identity and beauty as a spirit soul starts emerging.
Through our conscious act of surrender, we then gradually start relishing the bliss & joy of divine association with the Supreme Being. This bliss is what we all have been always seeking but have been looking for in the material objects & relationships all along.
So, if we turn to the right source with all our humility and in complete knowledge of limitations of bodily form and of the Supreme Soul’s unlimited strength, beauty, wisdom then we are assured of a delightful and serene experience right here amidst all the material chaos.
This relationship and resulting joyful experience is, in essence, the fruition of our spiritual practice.
– Gudakesa, 22 May 2020
B R E A T H
Every breath of ours should be a reminder of how the Supreme Creator lends us his energy to sustain this body.
Every breath must be a celebration of the conscious receipt of the Lord’s grace.
With every breath we must experience a sense of gratitude to the Supreme Being.
Treat your breath as your way to connect with the God and your true self.
– Gudakesa, 21 May 2020
B U R D E N
Unfortunately, our social systems give disproportionate importance to the outcome of our actions and don’t accord due credit to the sincere and authentic efforts. A major reason for this is that we heavily discount the external factor of luck, grace, our past karma and simply equate efforts and outcome.
In moments of success, this exercise inflates our misplaced sense of ego as the doer, the achiever who is completely responsible for all achievements and we rather relish and seek this affirmation.
However, during the testing times the same notion works adversely for us when the entire burden of expectations, results, outcomes rests on our shoulders. This is when lot of people start cracking up under the misdirected pressure and are unable to even make the efforts that they are capable of.
Vedic scripture Bhagavad Gita points out to the fallacy of this idea and rather directs us to focus only on the efforts and not be concerned about the outcomes. Lord Krishna guides Arjuna to fulfill his obligations as Warrior Ruler without worrying about the consequences of his actions. We should however keep our actions aligned to the larger good and the instructions of the Supreme Being for them to be effective. This is applicable in context of both material and spiritual pursuits.
Thus the source of intelligence itself has clarified to us and reminded us at the battlefield of Kurukshetra that we must not burden ourselves with the anticipation of favorable results or with the fear of adverse outcomes. We are accountable for acting responsibly and not towards the outcomes.
So, we must hold ourselves accountable for our proper conduct and not fall into the trap of reinforcing false ego as the super achievers. Only this realisation is what will help us stay grounded during the moments of success and failure alike.
– Gudakesa, 20 May 2020
E M P A T H Y
The Supreme Soul resides within us as his Paramatman feature.
We have limited consciousness and our awareness is restricted to this body. However, Paramatman feature of the Supreme present in all living beings is thus all-pervasive with complete awareness.
As soon as we immerse ourselves in Bhakti Yoga and start surrendering our false ego related to this material body, this Paramatman feature starts taking over. And, so we start experiencing enhanced consciousness and awareness of not just our own emotions, thoughts but also that of those around us.
This enhanced awareness is what in essence Empathy is. Thus, in this age of Kaliyuga – the age of negative energy & distractions – Bhakti Yoga is the recommended path to truly connect with ourselves and our world.
– Gudakesa, 19 May 2020
L I F E
A singular purpose and a matching commitment is all it takes to relish this experience called life.
We often lead our life distracted and unsatisfied for we struggle to find the worthy purpose that we can commit completely to.
With a common identity as a spirit soul, we all also share a universally common purpose. However, due to our conditioned state of mind we are unable to realise that purpose.
This purpose and the corresponding responsibilities is what the Vedas refer to as Swadharma. We must make an effort in this human life to understand and realise our Swadharma; only then can we be happy and content.
– Gudakesa, 18 May 2020
The Complete Whole
The Complete Whole has everything, both within our experience and beyond our experience. Otherwise He cannot be complete.
Thus, it is impossible to perceive the Supreme Soul with our material faculties and efforts. He can be understood & realised only by his own grace or with the help from his true devotee.
– Gudakesa, 17 May 2020
Give To Seek
The best way to express and experience devotional bliss is not by giving up action or karma but through our service to the supreme.
Hanuman ji manifested this in the most beautiful, serene way by rendering himself completely to the cause and service of Shri Ram. He had no element of doubt about his devotion to the Lord and his actions were soaked with undivided love, affection for Shri Ram.
Only through such selfless service and complete surrender to the Supreme can we purify our consciousness in this Kaliyuga. Only our spiritually directed actions & service to others have the potential of lifting our veil of ignorance and helping ourselves and others progress on this spiritual journey.
– Gudakesa 17 May 2020
We are fortunate to have the localized, impersonal feature of the supreme soul present within us.
Vedas refer to our soul as ‘atman’, and the supreme soul residing along within us as ‘parmatman’. Awareness of atman is limited and restricted to our own body. Due to our material association and conditioning, potency of atman becomes dormant but Parmatman feature of Lord has complete awareness and doesn’t get affected by the lower nature of material energy. In our sleep state, Parmatman feature is just observing us and letting us, the atman, drive the actions and experience the consequences.
But for our spiritual growth, it is suggested that the atman must surrender to the paramatman and let the supreme energy shine through us and guide us.
This complete surrender with a knowledge of our special relationship with Bhagavan – the personality of Godhead – is what Bhakti Yoga all about.
– Gudakesa, 16 May 2020
We are all born ignorant but it’s a misfortune to die ignorant.
We must reach out to authoritative source of knowledge – Vedas to seek knowledge about our true purpose and identity beyond this material body.
A human life lived in ignorance is no better than an animal’s.
– Gudakesa, 15 May 2020
There are layers of distractions and ignorance that keep us in dark and stop us from awakening to the true knowledge about our identity; we are a spirit soul and not this body.⠀
We must make every effort to keep decluttering our lives, our days and hours to operate in complete awareness of this knowledge. ⠀
Only if we align all our actions towards building a stronger personal connection with the supreme soul, can we be sure of liberation from the material attachments and bondages and relish the eternal & unlimited bliss and knowledge that comes as a part of association with the supreme soul – Bhagavan.
– Gudakesa, 13 May 2020
In an imperfect world, it is our imperfect understanding of the world that make us believe that we can have a perfect life.
Let us not be disappointed with the imperfections, failures and the challenges – they are the moments and occasions when we redeem our Karma.
So feel lighter with each setback and dejection and keep striving for improvement.
– Gudakesa, 12th May 2020
Mind – Agent or Victim
Our mind is not the enemy, Our mental conditioning that has now taken shape of our thoughts, beliefs, worldview and which triggers & guides our mind to act in a certain way is the real enemy. Our mind is infact a victim of the falsehood that we have been feeding to it.
We need to work not against the mind, but against the stream of thoughts, ideas and concepts which have conditioned our mind to develop a false ego that restricts our identity to this temporary bodily form.
This incomplete understanding, which places matter above spirit, diminishes our capacity to go beyond the matter and makes us focus only on our bodily needs, desires and thus inhibiting any chances of realising our true potential & purpose.
Thus, to be able to make any progress we must immediately start working on nourishing our mind with true and complete knowledge about our body, mind, intelligence, ego, soul and the supreme soul. Vedic wisdom offers a sophisticated & evolved understanding of our lives and universes. It provides an easy comprehension of the profound truths and we must seek a guru to help us access that knowledge, uncondition our mind and to start our journey of self realisation.
– Gudakesa, 10 May 2020
For a mirror to reflect light, it has to orient itself to the the source of light. Similarly, for us to transmit bliss and knowledge, we need to orient ourselves to the sat,chitta & anand vigaraha(form) of our creator – the supreme and original source who is eternal(sat) and full of knowledge(chitta) and bliss(anand).
– Gudakesa, 09 May 2020
Setback & Growth
We all have our moments of struggle when our consciousness weakens & we loose the sight of our true north and submit ourselves briefly to the inferior material distractions.
Our progress, however, depends a lot on how we recuperate post this brief and temporary phases of self-harming indulgence.
Having committed the Karma, we must accept we shall have to bear the consequences but not let this fact affect our commitment to keep trying to purify our consciousness. It is essential to realise that it is only because we had, and probably still have, these weaknesses of character and limitations of self-awareness that we started our journey of self realisation. So any slip-up on the way should only be used to keep our false ‘Yogi’ ego, which makes us see ourselves better than others because of our self-discovery practice, in check and to remind ourselves that we have a long way to go. Thus, every weakness manifested should become foundation for future strength.
– Gudakesa, 08 May 2020
We are so bound and engulfed by our false ego that we forget that our body and our temporary identity associated with this body is just a channel and a via media for transmission of all the wisdom and creative energy of the supreme. With our imperfect senses and limited capabilities, we are dependent on God’s grace for any understanding and realisation about the spiritual realm. Hence, with complete knowledge and awareness we must surrender ourselves to let the supreme creator’s energy shine through us.
– Gudakesa, 07 May 2020
Mind and Meditation
Our mind wanders endlessly and unfortunately most of the time we are not even aware of it. However, as we strive to meditate upon something we feel a strong urge to discipline it and let it know who the master is.
But we must realise that mind is like a child, one with immense energy and potential that needs nurturing and not knee jerk reprimands. It is our biggest asset and while we are stuck in this material body, our mind is our only window of perception, awareness and the one that helps us actualize and manifest our consciousness.
Our mind, thus, has to be treated like a special friend, a pampered but innocent child and one should engage in a firm and yet delicate way to build a harmonious relationship.
– Gudakesa, 06 May 2020
Meaning of life
A child who doesn’t yet know how to read fails to understand the meaning embedded in words and even a beautiful poem appears gibberish to the child. Similarly, one who is not yet ready to surrender the ego and perceive the meaning of life, will fail to interpret the message about our divine purpose.
– Gudakesa, 05 May 2020
Arjuna, one of the greatest yogis, got baffled in the battlefield of Kurukshetra inspite of being accompanied by the Lord himself.
This situation of confusion & despair however was created by design so that Krishna could enlighten the entire human race via his discourse with Arjuna.
Similarly, in our lives crisis may be appearing as part of a bigger plan to teach us something of immense value. Crisis doesn’t mean that God has deserted us but it only is an opportunity to better our karma and realign ourselves to our true purpose.
– Gudakesa, 04 May 2020
The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding, namely Brahman, or the impersonal all-pervasive spirit; Paramātmā, or the localized aspect of the Supreme within the heart of all living entities; and Bhagavān, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. – BG 2.2
The Sanskrit word bhagavān is explained by the great authority Parāśara Muni, the father of Vyāsadeva. The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation is called Bhagavān. BG 2.2
Spiritual journey is very much like raising kids. It’s a beautiful exercise but does call for a lot of enthusiasm, patience, hardwork and commitment.
– Gudakesa, 02 May 2020
More misery and harm is triggered by our own uncontrolled mind and false ego than any other external source.
Both, an untrained mind and unrestrained ego, build a sense of entitlement. This sense of entitlement makes us not just hope but believe that we should get the best from people and circumstances. And thus the unreasonable & unfulfilled expectations become the real source of our misery rather than the external circumstances or relations.
– Gudakesa, 24 April 2020