Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Celebrating Life

Sister Shivani of Brahmakumaris visited Bangalore on the 4th and 5th February 2017 and the BK centres made it a celebration of sorts organizing back-to-back programs for the benefit of the citizens. There were two public programs one each on “The Balance Sheet of Life” and “Celebrating life”, apart from exclusive sessions for doctors and IT professionals. I attended the latter program and am sharing here the gist of the talk.

At the outset, the speaker asked the audience the question:  “on a given day which is that one matter that causes disturbance to your mind?” Some one said anything that happens against my wish while another said “unwanted behaviour” of the other person. Sister Shivani found the words “unwanted behaviour” very interesting. So she asked her to name one such behaviour and got the response “hubby coming home late at night.” The speaker said that agonizing over another person’s behaviour is the easiest way of depleting one’s own energy.

Often it is difficult to determine what is right or wrong. Each person is right from his or her perspective. Yet we tend to worry or negatively think of a person who is not acting in accordance with our wishes. Earlier such negative thoughts were held as causing tension. Later, over the years the word tension was replaced with stress. In fact, these days people pride themselves on being stressed to the extent they consider being stressed, being angry and even being in fear as normal and part of day-to-day life!

Stop thinking about other people’s sanskar (Deeply ingrained behavioural traits that has set in by long practice tracing back even to previous births). It only serves to deplete your energy. This does not mean that you stop expressing opinion or giving advice. Often times if their advice is not heeded, people tend to withdraw and stop expressing themselves. What is required is to continue giving your advice or viewpoint minus the hurt if it is not accepted - मालिक बनकर राय दो और बालक बनकर स्वीकार करो !

It takes time for  people to change their sanskars. A person may be unable to trust anyone based on past experiences. One thing you can do to help is not to ridicule or criticize the person. As for example a person may have fear of heights and may therefore refuse, even to use a lift. Do not criticize a person even if you believe strongly that the  person’s behaviour is unwarranted or irrational. Responding in this manner is compassion. Instead of thinking about other’s sanskar, tell your mind to accept it. Nobody does anything thinking that his act is wrong or worthless. 

Our role is not to deplete their power but to increase it. Sister Shivani said that at the Brahmakumaris centers when people are in pain caused due to natural calamities like floods or man made disasters like a bomb blast, the members meditate in a group and send vibrations of healing to all those affected- to the souls who left the body, to the families who lost loved ones, to those grievously injured and to the terrorists who threw the bombs. There was a sharp intake of breath from the audience when she said the terrorists are  also sent healing vibrations. Sister however clarified to the audience that it is the terrorist who is in most need of healing and strength at that point of time since he would be going through the maximum amount of  pain internally.

Punishment only depletes soul power whether it is handed down to a child at school or a criminal in a jail. If we want people to change their sanskars, stop thinking about them negatively which only serves to  discharge their batteries. Instead, charge them with blessings.Criticism only serves to disempower souls.If we keep on focusing on the weaknesses of others by our thoughts, those weaknesses could come to us.Are you ready, she asked the audience, to be and do what others expect you to? Then why do you expect others to  behave the way you want? Take care to at least not deplete your energies over the little matters that come up on a daily basis.Once you see the other person as a soul in its own journey and not as your son. wife or mother and appreciate their perspective,compassion will begin to set in.

When two people from different homes and backgrounds marry, it is like two CDs with songs recorded on them coming together. while a few songs could be the same in both CDs, many of the songs would be different.Then one CD wants the other CD to play its songs and uses overt and  covert means such as nagging, one-upmanship to achieve this objective. Yet, the more one CD tries to get the other to play its songs, the more the other CD will resist and instead  want that its songs be played! Then comes the entry of the third CD which is influenced by the vibrations of the family,  and later by friends, while  also bringing its own old sanskars. In spite of differences, there is a meeting point in the sense all the souls carry the original seven sanskars common to all souls namely purity (पवित्रता), peace(शान्ति) , power (शक्ति),Knowledge( ज्ञान), Love( स्नेह),Happiness(सुख) and bliss ( आनन्द).You will be in harmony when these songs on the CD are played.

Which ever songs are frequently played in the CD, that folder remains open.There are so many more songs in the other folders but if one's favourite folder pertains to anger, jealousy and so on, this folder remains open. Meditation helps to open the other folders that are beneficial. Rajayoga meditation is taught in the BK centres free of cost. When meditation opens up our original sanskars, we are are able to radiate that energy and vibration that help open the original sanskars in others as well. Start looking out for the original sanskars in other souls.If we look at the wrong ones, our own wrong folder will start opening.Someone may be telling lies but there is also in him the sanskar of honesty as well.;look for that.We have the power by our thoughts to determine which file we want to open of ourselves and that of others.

The speaker then moved on to the subject of punishment and noted that couples resort to subtle ways such as silence or not talking to the partner. she asked the audience as to how many days they remain on non talking status after a showdown? Varying responses came ranging from 3 days to 7 days.Sister Shivani said that in such instances you are not actually punishing the other alone. In fact you punish yourself first before it moves to other person. The negative vibrations also affect the other members living in the house.  While charging of your battery happens very slowly, through such acts, discharging of energy happens very fast.

"If a person is not likely to listen to you if spoken to lovingly,there is no way he is going to do it by giving him the punishment treatment... Just imagine if you are not on speaking terms with the partner for 5 days, What would be the amount of negative thoughts and energy that is generated  and the havoc caused to the entire home environment!"The best gift that we can give our family is being able to come back to normalcy immediately after a dispute or difference of opinion irrespective of who was at fault.The way of living at home has big implications. what behaviour a son  has learnt at home in his growing up years,he will exhibit towards his wife.Good sanskar is the most important inheritance that you can bequeath to your children. This is an investment that has implications over life times.

To a suggestion that sanskars are difficult to change, the speaker stated that all you need is the "want or desire" to change.Start with changing habits which will increase your will power and  will ultimately change  the sanskar. Therefore, what you need to do is to correctly  rephrase the statement. "it is not that something is difficult but that "I do not wish to change the sanskar"and if this is the correct position, then it is okay. Often times people who are habituated to sanskars like drinking, do not wish to change the behaviour. By stating incorrectly that changing is difficult,they are shirking responsibility and giving themselves the permission  to continue with the sanskar.

Sister Shivani took questions from the audience and gave tips on handling some common issues that come up in day to day life.She gave an antidote for dealing with the feelings of jealousy thus- By an understanding of the law of Karma, one realizes that every soul is getting in his life situations in accordance with his or her karmic accounts. Therefore,the need to feel jealous fades away. She advised to move one's  thoughts from that of jealousy to those of the original qualities with affirmations such as "I get a lot of happiness in seeing the success of others. May God give them more successes",

 In respect of which ever sanskar or behaviour  you wish to change, focus on the antidotes. This will generate thoughts such as the following:-

"I am a peaceful soul"
"I am a patient listener
"When upset, I get back into balance within minutes."

Sanskars change gradually.It can be speeded up by meditation. The Rajayoga meditation can be learnt free of cost at  any of the Brahmakumaris cenres spread all over the country and the world. The visit of Sister Shivani  drew huge audiences at all the venues she spoke. As is her wont she spoke on everyday issues  which was gratefully accepted by the enthusiastic listeners The speaker concluded her talk advising the audience to do a home work and see the benefits for themselves -for the next 21 days, make it a point to come back to your normal state of mind within 7 seconds of your losing your cool or getting upset...

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