Spiritual Musings - Part 6
Be Fair In Your Dealings
Learning to live in acceptance mode was not easy in the beginning…there were instances when I would fall a victim to self-pity, complain and sorrow. However, gradually, I started becoming aware of the damage such episodes could cause to my journey towards the Self and prompted me to recognize the importance of living in the surrender mode perpetually. Once I embraced this idea wholeheartedly, my sailing in the life’s ocean became smoother. My vision became broader and I could find more occasions to smile. Now I could term myself as “Rasik Bairagi”, a beautiful term given by Saint Sukh Sagar ji- implying that you must live this life fully, with complete Mindfulness, enjoying it to the bits and at the same time be ready to give it all when it is so required, without the slightest tinge of pain. “Rasik” is a word which stands for a person who is totally engrossed in the surroundings- in the life in its entirety, while “Bairagi” denotes one, who is completely above all the attractions of this mundane existence!
“You must learn to live with your attachments with total detachment”, said Swami ji during one of my interactions with him. It may sound paradoxical but this is the only way to lead a balanced life. It does not mean running away from your worldly responsibilities. On the contrary, you do a better justice to your duties with such a state of mind. You work with a single-minded devotion to do justice to your accountabilities without being unduly perturbed by the results or the outcomes. You have lesser distractions, your logical power is enhanced and you continue tackling the life situations actively, though with a “passive’ mind, i.e. your mind becomes less noisy and lets you deal with the problems minus facing unwanted hurdles created by an unsure thought process.
Living an unconditionally happy life is the first and the foremost condition to advance towards Spirituality according to Reverend Saint Sukh Sagar Ji. Other than this, he outlines three more major steps towards the attainment of the ultimate Bliss. Now, it was time for me to move on to the next step in Spirituality. The second lesson taught to me by him was being honest and fair in all my dealings.
To be fair in all your dealings encompasses a vast range of areas. One must be honest in the financial transactions, to start with the list. If you borrow money from someone, be it from your closest kin, it is your moral duty to return it as soon as you can. The amount may be enormously big or ridiculously low, it does not matter. If by chance, you are incapable of returning the amount, talk about it to your creditor and find out some viable solution. By no means should you just choose to ignore the matter, even if the creditor does not remember it. This practice is very uplifting for Spirituality even if it seems and sounds like something “very worldly and mundane”. Swami Ji is of the opinion that your Spirituality has deep roots in all your actions. You must walk about in this world with a clean conscience. When your mind is free from guilt feelings, your inward journey becomes easier. In fact you cannot climb the ladder to Spirituality with a “laden heart.”
If you are selling some commodity or a skill, you must fix its price. It would be all right to sell something at double the price if you declare the price openly and express your intention of doing so. In this way, you are giving a chance to the buyer to purchase that product from you or from somewhere else, after comparing its price in the market. However, charging “hidden” prices from the gullible client after luring the person with a lower price tag would be totally unfair. You have all the rights to earn as much money as you desire, but do it ethically.
It is not only in the financial transactions that you need to be upright and honest. In fact you need to be fair and candid in each and every action of yours. Keeping up promises, however big or small, also comes under the second principle underlined by Swami Ji. He told me that the best judge of your honesty, sincerity and uprightness is you, yourself. His favorite quote is, “You may recover if you fall from a great height, but if you fall in your own eyes, there is no getting up.” These words by him always resound deep down in my consciousness now, in all my dealings with the outside world or within my own self. He went on to say that if you make a promise with someone, it becomes your religious duty to fulfill it. “Don’t enter into false commitments if you are not sure of honoring them,” he warned. Now this commitment can again be as small as making a phone call or entering into a lifelong partnership! The key factor is “honoring” and not the “degree “of the obligation.
I reflected on the wisdom of what he was saying and realized that all this could be followed only if you are living in a state of complete Mindfulness and Awareness. “Anything you do with Mindfulness would be fair as your awakened mind never allows you to drift into deceitfulness”, he endorsed. I can feel the applicability of this tip valid in all the spheres of life. In fact sometimes, I smile at myself, when consciousness jolts me even when I am being unfair to myself by breaking my diet plan, although nobody is watching me…
Being “fair in your dealings” resultantly strengthens the conscious Mindfulness, which slowly but definitely leads to the truth that we are actually formless Spiritual beings, on a sojourn on this Earth in assigned forms or bodies. By following these simple principles outlined by Saint Sukh Sagar Ji, one can practically find oneself shedding even indiscernible forms of guilt and remorse which undeniably impede one’s Spiritual growth.
Closely related to this norm of being fair in your dealings, is the concept of rising above expectations. I vividly remember that once some family friends brought some gifts for me from their trip abroad. I was visibly very happy and excited and showed those gifts to Swami Ji. He smiled and praised my little possessions but at the same time asked me a question whether those knick- knacks gifted to me by my friends had stirred expectation in my mind that I would receive presents from them in future also?
Now, exchanging gifts with your loved ones and acquaintances can seem to be a very harmless transaction, but when you are on Spiritual path, you need to be watchful as to what feelings accompany the action of such a “give and take”! Let me elaborate on this aspect a little bit more. When I receive a gift, normally two feelings are generated in my mind- first how I am going to reciprocate and what I would gift the person back so that my gift looks better than what I received! (Subtle forms of ego surface here), and secondly, an expectation is born in my mind as to what would my friend bring back for me from the next trip? Not only that, most of the times we start making mental calculations and comparisons as to what other friends will bring! Many times, we end up in being caught in an intricate web woven by us alone even without our realizing so. In our day to day routine life, we do not pay any heed to such mental calculations, but these do take a toll on our transcendental progress.
“Does it mean that we should stop the exchange of gifts?” I asked Swami ji in a complaining tone as if he was threatening to snatch away this custom from me which I always had cherished. (Here, I must add that by now I had developed a relationship with him that was as close as the bond between a parent and a child and felt comfortable sharing all my doubts and curiosities with him). He laughed heartily at my childlike disappointment and said, “You can, but learn to do so without any judgment or anticipation. Receive or give a gift just for the sheer joy of doing so, without attaching any further story or attachment to it”. He explained the role of mindfulness in this regard also. With constant practice, your awareness level goes on increasing; you will realize the importance of following these small but important codes of social conduct, which have deep impact on your Mystical quest.
Ruminating, I can see the relevance of every single advice given to me by him. It feels as if I have shed tons of unwanted trash I was carrying- of heavy judgments, of countless obligations and of baseless stories which were constantly weighing me down. I am now progressing ahead with light feet and a song in my heart on a journey towards the attainment of Heavenly Bliss!
Puneet Sodhi (Assciate Professor of English)
Previous - Part 5 ====> Living In Acceptance Mode (Tera Bhaana Meetha Laage)
Next - Part 7 ====> Acquiring Mindfulness
© 2015 Puneet Sodhi