Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

I just saw a photo of a worried baby in the bathtub , the caption of which meant something like, please remind mamma to get off Facebook and tell her I am still in the bathtub. Funny? Think again.
Just recently, there was a case of a mother whose 3 to 4 year old daughter used to come ever so often to her mom on waking up and tell her she had had a dream. It was actually a nightmare she saw regularly. Her mom admits to seeing the upset look on the face of her daughter while she narrated this but never thought of asking the child any details. Why? Because the child spoke so cutely! This child grew up to be a teenager and the nightmares continued to play havoc with her psyche. She became a withdrawn child. And finally, after proving to be one of the most ineffective set of parents, they took her to a psychiatrist!
Parents don’t ever want to acknowledge that there could be something to the child’s story. To be a parent needs so much more awareness than we are aware of. For married couples, especially in the large kind of joint family set ups, whether a couple is ready or not, the natural culmination of marriage is children never mind if the bride herself is still a child. As much as we speak of ushering in a new era with a new Prime Minister, there is a large body of social reforms and attitude changes essential to bring the adults out of their ennui and a total lack of knowledge about minute responsibilities, which should be consciously imbibed atleast for the sake of our young ones who are the future of this country. All I hear often is, “my parents were so strict, I never knew love. So, i am bringing up my child the only way I know”. This means that we have lost not only our intellect but also the ability to think of what is right and what is wrong. All in the name of love (or a lack of it). Wow! Is it a wonder then that our society is plagued with so much complexity and unhappiness?

Surekha Kothari




National Committee Chairperson, All Ladies League ( www.aall.in )

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Two men were jailed in the same cell. They were in the same condition, but one of them was unhappy, and the other one was happy. “Why are you so sad?” the happy man asked unhappy man.  “What should I feel happy for? I am unlucky. Just recently, I was free and resting at a resort, and now, I am here, in prison!”

And then, the unhappy man asked the happy man, “And why are YOU so happy?”

“You see”, the happy man said, “recently, I was in another prison, where the conditions are much worse. This place is just like a resort compared to my earlier prison. Many people want to get here, but I am the lucky one who made it. So why shouldn’t I be happy?”

Everything is relative in this world. One minute, one is unhappy and the next minute, happy. The mind shifts constantly and as rapidly as emotions change. We look at others mostly with envy, wanting what they have. But we don’t look at those who don’t have what we have and bow in gratitude for being blessed. Our intelligence fails in the wake of our wants because, at such times, we only see what others want to show us, not what the actual reality is. Only the heart can “see” such things provided it is open and loving.

But this relativity of reality is not visible to many. Human beings have gnawing and often, even obsessive needs. Greed and acquisitive tendencies can therefore, make man oblivious to the fact that everything IS relative. Possession and ownership here, on earth, is an illusion which can become a fictitious and dangerous reality for some, thus depriving them of good sense and a balanced perspective of reality.

There are always some positives and some negatives in the lives of all of us. But at the end of the day, these are mere perspectives of the mind. Contentment is being happy with what one has at all times. Any action that comes out of a basic contentment is taken more with equilibrium and less out of desperation. This is not to say that such people do not succeed in life. These are just people who are aware of their spiritual source and also have a deep faith in the process of life and the presence of Divine Energy around them. They do not consider themselves as the nucleus around which the Divine Energy revolves. There is perhaps a simplicity and purity within them that gives them access to light as opposed to the dark forces. Both are around us all the time. We have a free will to make a choice. Choosing to become beings of light is to be very high on the happiness quotient.

If we observe the way people live, there are so many who live peacefully, simply and spiritually without any scramble towards name, fame or money power. They may not ever make any headlines on news channels or newspapers and magazines, but to be around such people is a source of pure joy. They definitely live with their hearts full and with the “glass half full” attitude, with the faith that they are in this Universe for a purpose, to care and share, and also that they are safe in this Divine space. The choice of being either happy or unhappy under any circumstances is a state of mind that multiplies manifold in either case. The choice of happiness over its opposite, therefore, should be apparent. But, it is often not that apparent unless there is an in depth understanding that happiness is relative in the larger context of our existence on this earth.

The quality of the journey of each one of us “from dust unto dust” determines our actual claim to fame in the eyes of the Divine. There is no existence of a higher caliber than this reward anywhere in this world.

Surekha Kothari



Speakingtree Blog: www.speakingtree.in/public/surekhakothari




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As much as we live in a scientifically evolving world, we are also afflicted with spiritual poverty. Ironically, this has happened in the very land of spiritual masters, sages and the enlightened Buddha, a land which the entire world turns to for spiritual knowledge.

Unfortunately, there is no measure of the spiritual rate of growth. In the words of Diana Cooper,” if children and adults were given permission to speak their truth and taught to follow their intuition, then honored for doing so, there would be no war.” In these words, we see the presence of spiritual values as being directly connected with the individual and war.

In the period of “satyug”, there was science, politics, economics, a system of justice. The difference is that every child was taught the ethics and values that should underlie all of these.

Therefore, the creation of the ASHRAM CHATUSHTAYA or the four stages of life was the most effective system for the natural, practical and spiritual regulation of society.

In the first stage, BRAHMACHRYA ( the student and celibate stage until the age of 18 years), the child learnt all the subjects : academics, sports, use of weapons, creative arts and above all, the values of honesty, respect for elders, integrity, duty consciousness, charity, love and compassion and balancing duties and responsibilities. The teachers were sages and elevated people who actually set an example with their own lives instead of just preaching without practicing what they taught. Today, it is not easy for parents and teachers to earn respect for the reason that, often, they do not live their lives in an exemplary way. Today, there is very little of value based training happening and children are growing up without the required anchor of the right knowledge and inner strength which is not and cannot be the product of mere affluence. Mark sheets and gnawing ambitions are the second stage, the first being the moral, ethical fibre of each person which adds the most important value to the other aspects of success. Promiscuousness and greed form the basis of a teenager’s quest for independence and relationships. With the element of self absorption, the corruption of the misled youth is complete.

In the second stage, GRAHASTH ASHRAM ( the householder phase , from 18 years of age), the students from the earlier phase were trained and groomed for marriage and the duties and responsibilities that go hand in hand with this phase. This was a phase of professional training, often under the elders of the family because many enterprises were hereditary. This trained the individual in teamwork, maintaining respect for family and social norms. Mutual trust was the moving force, whether in family or society. Helping the less fortunate by contributing 10 % of earnings was an inbuilt part of the social fiber. Today, we see a very different picture. Even charity is done for motives other than compassion and duty consciousness. The overwhelming greed of money, power and comfort have eclipsed most of the earlier tutoring by wise teachers. The elders and dependent family members are treated as impediments to personal growth instead of being looked after. We see more and more old age homes mushrooming. The element of complete intolerance towards taking care of our own is a chronic malfunction of the societies today based on the erosion of relationships and the emerging of insular families. The contemporary youth has gradually been deprived of the right values and today, we see more spiritual poverty than ever before.

The purpose of the third stage of life, VAANAPRASTH ASHRAM (celibacy stage) was two fold. Meant for the heads of the family, it required the parents to transfer their householder status and business to the children who had , by then, stepped into the householder stage and had already had a few years of training under the parents in the field of economics as well as social values and behavior. The parents were then supposed to be there for the children in an advisory capacity along with looking ahead towards their future. Today, the elders don’t want to let go of the reins and are also known to control the lives of their children based on their image in society and their own aspirations for their children. In many homes, the lack of freedom of decision making is the cause for strained relationships and frustration among children whose voices are strangulated. While so many career options have opened up, the minds are not as open. Parents, teachers, families and societies are all interconnected in depleting the balance and the energies of the upcoming generation. Although changes are seen, there is still enough pollution of moral corruption going around. Change will happen rapidly when the intolerance towards this corruption is voiced in ample measure. This trend is becoming visible and there is hope that it continues unabated and strengthens manifold to actually manifest the return of what we, as Indians, stood for.

In the fourth and final stage of life, SANYAAS ASHRAM, this was a preparation to pass on from this world. “SANYAAS” means taking leave from active participation in worldly activities and moving towards spiritual evolution. In the earlier times, the senior couple would sometimes leave the children to stay in another home to pursue spiritual activities such as prayer and charity. Today, there are battles between father and son because the order of natural succession is not observed. This also happens because the children may not exhibit the caliber and mature thought processes to carry on the work of the elders effectively. So, we have to go back to the initial training given to children. In other scenarios, parents are unable to “retire” from the lives of their children. This leads to resentment and the corrosion of relationships.

It is true to say that the old order changes, giving place to the new one. However, there is a constant truth that prevails in all times, and that is the authenticity of universal laws governing us. Each time the law of Harmony is violated, the results have been terrible. We need to go within ourselves and experience the connectivity with everything in this Creation and unleash the power of love and compassion. Every soul has all the right knowledge within but gets enmeshed in the dark energies instead of making the choice of living in the light.

As Diana Cooper says in her book, “A New Light of Ascension “, “if children and adults were given permission to speak their truth and taught to follow their intuition, then honored for doing so, there would be no war”.

I would like to add here that “war” has to be waged against the dark forces within and outside us, against destructive thought patterns, speech and actions , in fact, against anything which does not result in harmony and “win-win” situations.

As the old souls reincarnate on the earth to raise it’s over all consciousness, I urge every existing soul to adopt a self searching path to help in raising the vibrations of the earth to a much higher level. Become a light worker and spread the light in the universe so that all of us can bathe in this light of peace, health and happiness.

Surekha Kothari

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Ever since I was old enough to understand the feeling of restlessness, injustice, of being hurt , depressed and unhappy, I went into an analysis of WHY I should be feeling so low ! Were the stars in my eyes blocking my vision ? Was I misunderstanding people , after all ? My biggest strength was people . I loved them to distraction . So, was I missing something here ?Apparently ! The thorn here was” to distraction”….a perfect imbalance, as I learnt later.

You cannot blame someone who grows up within a family set up where love is endless for looking at life with rose tinted glasses. Even today, when I listen to “Endless Love”, I have tears in my eyes. So, for such people, the popular phrase “growing up” is fraught with a fair amount of misery and disillusionment. The gradual discovery of people falling from the proverbial pedestal can be quite unsettling, believe me. It certainly tends to make a dent in the postulate; the generalization that all human beings are  wonderful and perfect.

Thus, while stumbling through event after event as I added years and experiences to me life, I also discovered a definite pattern in my relationships. I met people, developed an attachment to them in my inimitable style that was so natural within me , and , later, discovered that each one had “feet of clay”. Of course, I was not to know at the time that these patterns were repeating deliberately so that I may learn from them, and until I learnt from them, they would keep confronting me .

If one gropes in the darkness hard enough and long enough for the light switch on the wall, one does find it eventually. And the room is illuminated so that  one may see everything clearly.  I started groping to find the switch a few years ago. Eureka ! I can now sing gleefully,  “I think I’ve got it ! I think I’ve got it !”

Imagine the plight of human beings ! They come down on the physical plane from a perfect source into an imperfect world, only to find that their ultimate goal is to rediscover and return to that very source. To make matters more complicated, they are also participating in a hurdle race , with obstacles such as ego, conditioning, fears, complexes, prejudices and biases in their way, disabling them in many ways. Of course, there is a way out of these, the way of free will which may choose to be free of all the obstacles….OR , MAY NOT.  So, this is not so easy as it is counteracted by all the various temptations and promises of pleasure and happiness. Although these are, to the thinkers, temporary sources of happiness, at best, not every human being is a thinker in the right direction. Everyone is searching for permanence and some are misguided into holding onto to the temporary as permanent.

Now, in this context, don’t  our  hurts , our pain seem miniscule ? I want to explain that we are all energy in motion. The whole creation is energy in motion. Therefore, everything is ever changeable. By the same principle, WE are also changing each second, physically, mentally and emotionally. Our attempt , therefore, in holding on to what is surely and certainly slipping away is , indeed, a futile one. Karmically, we have only the power of “now” in our hands and even that becomes the past and slips away in a heartbeat.

Let us also not forget that there are many shades of our present character and personality that emanate out of our past lives , the memories of which we carry with us life after life. No wonder it is not only difficult but impossible to understand a human being completely.Since we are all in this situation together, united in our diversities, the best we can do is understand ourselves and make the required changes within us , which will automatically change the space around us into a positive or negative one, depending on the quality of changes we have made within us.

Actually, life is simple if we adhere to the universal laws which negate personal egos, greed, imbalances of any sort, and encourage compassion, human equality , integrity and living in harmony with fellow beings and nature.

In today’s world, material gains and greed have translated into magnified egos and desires which have led to a corrosion of human relationships. Instead of loving people and using material things, we  love material things and use people. The word “sacrifice” is no longer valid within a relationship context , though people will sacrifice a living being for their material possessions.

The good news is that universal laws are universally and eternally valid. Happy beginnings shall be made by rediscovering them. I mentioned earlier that we are energy in motion. Movement ensures freedom of space and evolution is possible only because of this space. Hence, in this journey of evolution, each one of us is alone. The challenge is to replace the negative with the positive initially, and then to rise above dualities to encompass the larger good.

Our challenge on a day-to-day basis is to counteract hurt and pain with compassion and forgiveness, keep faith that there is a bigger and more permanent success than what human beings term as “success” in this world. It is important to be spiritually rich than materially rich, balance out our needs which are commensurate with the laws of the universe. If we look at people as struggling to overcome the huge boulder like obstacles , we will realize that our expectations of them are, for them, a distraction at best, a distraction that they often resent and are in no mood to satisfy.  The perfect cure for this is to ask ourselves who WE are without these expectations. Will unfulfilled expectations kill us ? Is it some insecurity in us which expects from another ? Does this imply that we have to work on ourselves to become whole and complete ?

Once we cease to base our happiness on external factors including people, we are actually standing at the door of happiness and looking within. If every drop in the ocean is clean, the ocean will be squeaky clean. We are the “drop” that needs cleaning. I have heard many people say, “why should I be the only one when others are not doing it ?” For the simple reason that you are responsible only for your own soul and emulating the less awakened is going to take you much longer to evolve.

Let us stop toeing lines and chalk out our own unique path of evolution and ascension, daring to be different while seeking an awareness of who we are and what is the true nature of  the world. The higher path, the higher truth is always more difficult to access. To discover the fountain of happiness within each one of us is a wonderful starting point.

Happy beginnings towards Happy Beginnings !

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