Ceiling on Desires
Every human being would like to live a peaceful and happy life. However no matter how hard one tries one does encounter difficulties at some point through one's life. Why is this so?
It is because of the actions in one's past life one will need to face these difficulties in the present life. For one not to have difficulties it's necessary that one should not commit sins. How then can man live a life without committing sin?
The single most important factor to committing sin is driven by selfish desire. When this is so, man lives in a state of constant dissatisfaction. When man exists in this state even if there was abundance he will deem it to be insufficient. In order to satisfy or fulfil one's selfish desires or greed man continues to put a great deal of energy in search of material things.
In this situation to attain satisfaction one will often deviate from performing righteous or dharmic actions. Situations will arise when truth and honesty is pushed aside and sins are committed. If man wants to lead a life without sin and live on the path of truth he must first be satisfied and contented with what he has and peace will follow with certainty.
Everyone has a certain capacity; and must put in effort to do this at the fullest. If one's capacity is only to earn say Rs 100/- one must work with sincerity to achieve this. If one does this, it does not signify greed. If one's capacity for example is limited to Rs100/- and the selfish desire is to earn Rs 100,000/- this desire could drive one to do wrong deeds to acquire this amount. It is not incorrect to have desires, but it is greed that will drive one to do wrong deeds.
If one is contented with what he already has this will create less agitation in his mind and he will experience happiness and peace of mind. If man, in order to please the mind just goes on doing actions that the mind generates without control; he could commit wrong acts. In doing so, he will neither have happiness nor peace in this life or in the next life. Therefore it is very important for everyone to have a ceiling on desires. Seek goals based on capacity and put in the effort to achieve them. It's important for every one to have discipline and ceiling on ones desire in order to lead a life in happiness and peace.
On this auspicious day Amma blesses all the life forms that exists on earth live in harmony and peace.
Everyone has many commitments but the most important and necessary commitments can be of two types. One type is taking care of the children and parents. These are a must. Giving a good life and creating a good future for the children are necessary commitments. The next type is as per one’s own desire, people create additional commitments. For example feeding horses can be a commitment for someone. For another, because of bad habits, may need to spend money. This will also become a commitment. If someone has bad habits that affect their budget, the bad habits will become a commitment via their monthly budget.
Does making a commitment mean that you are making commitments as stated by law? No, it is from your own wishes. You are creating these commitments. It is not from anyone else. If someone says, “I have lots of commitments,” it is their commitments. They are making the commitments. It is not from the law or from some other pressure. If they choose that something is very important for them, then they will decide and make that as a commitment. If someone feels that something is very important to them, then it will become one of their commitments.
Once you decide certain things are commitments; it means that whatever struggle you may have no longer matters. You will always fulfill those commitments. Once you’ve decided that you have to do something, your heart will be in it and you will be ready and you will definitely be successful. You will not postpone it or stray from it. Sometimes even some worries may come from your commitments. If you have a commitment that you want to fulfill, to satisfy, sometimes to fulfill it, you need to make a big effort, and this may create some worries. Even then, you will still remain committed.
Everyone does not have the same commitment; it is different for each person. For example, spending money in nightclubs may be a commitment to some, one which you know they have created. They can’t stop that. For some, bad habits are their commitments. They can’t stop that. Once you decide that you can’t live without something or say, “I cannot stop,” then definitely you will not be able to. When you decide that something is very important to you then you make it a commitment.
When you speak about dharma and about good deeds, how many people are doing good deeds as a commitment? Very few are. When people talk about doing good deeds, instead of making that commitment they talk about their problems. “Oh, I have a crisis. I have a problem. I have this or that.” These statements are not true. When you can spend money on unwanted things in the name of commitment why can’t you make a commitment to do good deeds?
Once you create the commitment, you will definitely do it. Everyone tries to fulfill their commitments. They sometimes worry and struggle to keep their commitments. Even with the worry and struggle they satisfy their commitments. In this situation, why can’t you choose to do good deeds as a commitment? Say to yourselves, every month I must take some amount from my salary for good deeds. If you wish this and you feel that it is very important, definitely you will do it. Once you make it your commitment, “I have to do this. I need to do this”; then definitely you can. There are many of Amma’s devotees here who all make a commitment for all of the good deeds that are going on here at Peedam.
As Amma said, when you make commitments, it is in two ways; one which is really necessary and others that are more like habits. Sometimes it may be good, sometimes it may be bad. Amma need not tell you what it is. Everyone knows what commitments are really not necessary. Still, you make those kinds of commitments because you like them and can’t leave them. When you choose to make good deeds a commitment and you decide that from today onwards, every month you are going to feed ten people, when you make that a commitment then definitely you will fulfill it.
As Amma already said, the strength is not from outside. It is from the heart. When you are ready, when you have a strong wish to accomplish it, definitely you will succeed. Two days ago Amma gave a discourse that the human birth is a gift. Only in that birth can you use the phrase “I am that” which means “I am divine” Aham Brahmasmi. Aham means “I am” Brahmasmi “I am nature. I am divine”
How is it possible? For example, look at today’s program. There were so many people. Some did not have legs. Some did not have hands. Some cannot hear properly. We can simply say that the reason for all of this is because of their karma. If it is their karma; who can change it? Only one force can change karma. What is that force? It is the Divine. The Divine is the only force that can wipe out the karma.
Today, all of Amma’s devotees had the opportunity to wipe out their karma. For example, the person who came today without a leg, for him, until yesterday, he felt that he was not going to walk in this world at all. He feels lost because of it. When he was given a cycle today, that tricycle for him is a leg. Maybe for others it’s a cycle worth fifty dollars but for him it is a leg. Is it possible for a human to replace a leg for someone? No, but you did that today by way of serving them. Just by giving the tricycle, for them it is not iron or metal. For them it is a leg. There were other people who received artificial limbs. For them it is like their hands and legs.
When you have this good heart, it creates so much happiness. With the fifty dollar cycle, you must paint the fifty dollars in several ways. Today it gave life. Today it gave meaning to a person’s life. In this way you are all blessed to have this opportunity. As Amma said many times, having the opportunity is the biggest gift beyond anything. Many people may have wealth and many people may have will, but how many of them will have good opportunity? You need divine blessings for that. Only then is it possible.
So those people who all benefited today, is a big day in their life. For you it may be about fifty dollars or one hundred dollars? But for them, they received a useful hand. They regained the use of their legs. They got back their ears to hear. Amma has started another program in connection to Amma’s thirtieth birthday celebration. Amma asked the doctors in Sri Narayani Hospital to do three hundred free cataract operations for the poor people. Who is doing all these things? Is Amma doing all of these things? No, you are all doing these things. You have received the opportunity. Many people do not get this opportunity. It is because of your good karma you are receiving these blessings and opportunity.
There may be many commitments and in that some may be important, and some may not be so important. Decide for yourself which is really necessary and which is not. When you feel that there are some commitments which are not really necessary, replace them with commitments to do good deeds which will create more joy to you and which will bring more happiness and peace to the world. Then life will be full of worth. For example, when we give a tricycle it may be worth about fifty dollars.
Someone may think,”Why? Why can’t I keep the money for myself?” When you keep the money, it will just be paper. It will never have life, but when it given in this form, it moves to others with love, unconditional love and then it has life. So it is in your hands to make your life with meaningful or not. Take a pledge from this day, “I will commit to doing good deeds.” It could be anything but make the commitment. “Yes, I have to do this,” and definitely you are not going to struggle to fulfill it. When you compare all of your commitments, it’s going to be better than most. It will definitely bring more peace and harmony to your life.
Instead of just listening to Amma’s discourses, take the next step and move further ahead. Implement. Implementation is a very important part. Try to do that, not just listen. Listening is only one stage. It’s nice to be in kindergarten but you should not have the wish that you should be in kindergarten forever. You need to mature and become wise. Think broad and feel that you are blessed to have this opportunity. Utilize this opportunity. Very few are blessed with the opportunity. Whenever you find a good opportunity, feel that you are blessed to find it.
Don’t feel that you are going to give. You are going to do. Just feel you are blessed to do it. This will bring humility. If you feel that you are doing, it will create ego; pride. Feel that you are blessed whenever you hear that there is a need for help. Just be the friend. The opportunity is there as the result of being with Amma. When Amma always says, “You are special,” what does being special mean? Being special means that you’re not just listening. You should be special in your way of life. Whenever there is a need, whenever you find the need, be the friend.
Whenever you hear that there is an opportunity for service, do it. It doesn’t matter how big it is. Try to do what you can. It’s not by force that you have to do this much. It may be up to your limit but try to utilize the opportunity. Amma said many times, that the human birth is gifted. It’s a blessing to do good things. For that you need the opportunities, which are not possible for everyone. Very few are blessed with that opportunity. When you are connected with the divine, when you are connected with a spiritual life, you are blessed to do these things. Utilize the opportunity. You will feel joy. When you feel joy definitely it will create good energy in the world, the energy of peace and love.
Once upon a time there was a good businessman who conducted business by the rules of Dharma, truthfully and sincerely. He was regular in doing prayers to attain God’s grace. He had a flourishing business. One day, he contemplated a change in business. He wanted to market salt in the neighbouring villages by buying salt from the manufacturers. He planned for this and decided to do Vinayaka prayer by breaking 108 coconuts.
The designated day came and after appropriate prayers, he started the business. Many other businessmen dealing with other items like steel, utensils etc. were travelling with him. Suddenly, there was a downpour of rain. Alas! All the salt he procured got destroyed and dissolved in the rainwaters.
This event disillusioned the trader and made him very angry with God. He stayed in the forest highly discouraged; cried and angrily shouted that God does not exist. Evening came and his friends urged him to return home with them. He refused. Darkness descended, night came and robbers arrived at the scene.
Looking at the salt trader, they shouted, “It seems that you sold all your salt! Where is your money? Let us have it”! He had nothing to offer them. The robbers angrily threatened him and one among them was ordered to shoot the trader.
When the robber attempted to fire the pistol, it would not work because the gunpowder was wet due to the rain. One after the other, they attempted without success, and finally they receded back into the thick of the forest. If the trader had sold the stock of salt and if there was no rain, surely he would have been a victim in the scene. God saved his life.
We all plan for different things. If we do not achieve what we want we have a tendency to get very angry. Patience is the rule. We must have patience. For every incident there is a reason. We should never get flustered with small difficulties. Difficulties and happiness are all repetitions. They alternate in the game of life.
For each flower there is always a stem. Life’s difficulties teach us humility, the impermanence of us and everything seemingly stands stolid around us. Every difficulty should be entertained positively and gotten rid of with patience. We have to experience the actions of Karma.
Difficulties reduce our Karma. We all should be glad and delighted to wash off our Karmas. Our souls are never bound; therefore we should not allow ourselves to be bound by anything. God has given difficulties only to make us good and perfect. Every experience in life should be welcomed. All of us have difficulties in varied degrees.
“Amma blesses everyone to have peace of mind without any difficulties”
Each and everyone’s happiness and sorrow is directly attributed to the respective individual’s merits and demerits (past and present actions -- Karma). Whatever you do in this life will determine the good or bad you will reap in the life to follow.
Human beings have the highest privilege offered by the Lord among his creations to attain self-realization. If we live a Dharmic life, we will dissipate our karma rapidly and attain God Realization.
Bhakthi, Sadhana, Puja, Japam, Yagna, Bhajans, Meditation are all different methods of purifying our mind. We can do any kind of simple ritual or one of the above to discipline and purify our minds. Purification of mind can be achieved by good actions and love for everyone.
“Amma blesses and encourages everyone to do Dharma for their own upliftment”.
When a baby is born in a person’s life, one of the very first ritual is choosing a name for the baby. Friends and relatives are invited and there is a celebration in which the child is given a good name. Why the name is given, especially the name of God? A name of God is given so whenever we call the person’s name, we remember God. Hence the names Rama, Krishna, Lakshmi etc. are given to our children.
Once upon a time there was a good businessman who had two children by the name of Rama and Krishna. This man did not believe in God. He would never remember God, and would tease and insult people who prayed to God. His family cautioned him not to hurt people this way, especially those who keep God dear in their hearts.
He never listened to anyone. He would always preach that there should be no prayers and no temples built for God. In his village, the people worshipped often and this businessman was not popular among them. People disliked him for his attitude and said when he dies; he will surely go to Naraka (hell).
His time to go arrived. He suffered a heart attack. His plea for water was ignored. He called his sons desperately, “Rama”, Krishna, please bring me some water”? No help arrived and he collapsed and died. Just before he died, he imagined going to hell, due to his attitude towards people and God.
When his soul separated from his mortal body, he could see a chariot and the Devas waiting to receive him and take him to Heaven. Then he realized that there is really Heaven and Hell, and he asked the Devas, “How come I am being so lovingly received with pomp and taken to Heaven”? He further stated that, “I also committed a lot of sins”.
Thereafter, the Devas replied with a lot of love that, “You called upon God numerous times everyday, by calling your children Rama and Krishna. Indirectly, you were remembering God several times a day. Therefore we are pleased and welcomed you to Heaven”.
Many people are of the opinion that they have no time to pray. In order not to forget the Lord we give the Lord’s name to children and by calling kids by their name, we remember God indirectly. Today the fashion is to give nick names such as Jimmy, Andy etc. to kids, but God’s names are Vatsala, Nirmala, Saraswathi etc.
When a girl is given a name Lakshmi and is called, she will come. At the same time when that pleasing name is called, Gopala also comes to bless. Thus the practice of giving deities’ names to children is to constantly remember God. When calling them, we gather Punya (merits) for our upliftment.
Nowadays, unfortunately, even older persons when leaving the homeland change their names as well, imagining a better acceptance in the new land. Original names were given with a purpose. Our elders have followed the age old method of remembering God by giving their siblings the many names of God. To be accepted, we should not shy away form our Dharmic beliefs. We will greatly benefit in our lives if we follow our Dharma wherever we are.
“Amma blesses you to follow the path of Dharma”.
Tsunami & Other Natural Disasters
When people deviate from dharma (righteousness; path of good thoughts, good words and good deeds) its opposite, adharma, increases. (As with light and darkness; when there is less light there is more darkness). At this time, there are already a lot of bad energies in the human world. That is why this time is called the Kaliyuga,(the Age when sin is at its peak). It is a time when negative forces dominate this world. You need more dharma - righteousness - if you want to lessen the negative forces and if you want protection from these negative forces.
Dharma can protect people from these negative forces. When people leave this dharmic path; for example, if they just lead their lives the way they want - with materialism and greed, it is like opening the door for the negative forces to come in. Because of these things, once this negative influence comes in, then their thoughts, words, actions, everything will be negative. This creates bad karmas and bad energies in the world. This leads to the creation of things like natural disasters. So, is there is any solution to stop the disasters like the tsunami? Yes~ How? Dharma.
The more good deeds that you do, the more good energies and joy will be created. So once you are filled with joy and love, you will be the representative of the good forces and the positive energies. What is God? God is love, unconditional love. Once you have created the unconditional love by doing good deeds, you can absorb Divine energy because your physical body will then be suitable to do that. It will be able to absorb the Divine in you. When there are more Divine forms, more love beings in the world; you yourself can create good energy for the world. So good energy to the world means people, your neighbours and friends will feel the energy from you. It will help them change their lifestyle. As the world changes onto the path of spirituality and dharma, it can control the disasters. This is because human sin and bad deeds are creating them in the first place.
The solution is this: today is the day. You cannot do anything about yesterday and you cannot do anything about tomorrow. Yesterday is like a broken pot: you can’t do anything with it. It is finished. Tomorrow is like a cat on a fence: you are not sure where it will jump. A cat may jump off to one side or to the other side. Like the future, you don’t know whether it will be one way (good) or the other way (bad). So, what you know is this; today is the day. Today you have the chance and the opportunity: only do good things, so that your future is good.
When you start to worry about the future, it brings fear and it uses up your time. Instead of thinking about good things and good deeds, when you start to worry about yourself, then there is no time to think about the world or to do service. To remove your fears and worries, just do good deeds. Whatever your problems are, whatever your worries are, whatever your sufferings are, just do good deeds. It will change today’s life and it will bring you a good life in the future. So, the future is in your hands. You do not need to worry about the future. The things you do now will determine your future, so just have good thoughts and just do good deeds.
Amma blesses you all.