MASTERTING THE ART OF LIVING


For this Sunday, we have an article from a current student of Swami’s Institute, Sri Vijay S Prasad.

For this Sunday, we have the transcript of a talk delivered by a student, Sri S Arun Kumar, during the prayer session in Bhagavan’s Institute a few weeks ago.


Along the forest woods, I wandered alone one winter day,
Of the ways of the world I pondered, as I went on my way.
And as I walked I could clearly hear a father CROW
to his fledglings say,
“My children, you must know no fear,
a success you must be in everyway.
Lay your hands on as much treasure;
for by what you have, others will measure,
In all things you must be first and use fraud if you must.
If someone dares against you to rise,
show the world your mighty face,
Break his bones, don’t heed his groans.”

And again I walked along the forest road;
through the fog and misty cloud,
Thinking of all that the crow had said,
Oh that the truth may before me unfold.

And as I walked I could gently hear,
a father DOVE to his fledglings say,
“My children, you must know no fear,
a success you must be in everyway.
To those who want, freely give, and your life, upright live.
In all your ways be humble, to all be kind and humble.
If someone wrongs you in his ways or puts you down to save his face,
Don’t hold in your heart the wrongs he has done,
for by that your victory you have won.”

And as I walked I couldn’t help but wonder,
is life such a complex maze?
Can both these paths that are so asunder really lead to a single place?
Perhaps, thought I, it all depends on whose line we choose to trod.
On who defines the life we plan.
Is it God………… or is it man?

When the means become as sacred as the end, we have hit the right path to immortality. To make a living is far easier than living. An illiterate boor can make a living. But it requires the greatness of a wise man to live. Others merely survive. The desire to live a life should burn in one’s heart.

When a man wants to live, he needs to dream. And dream big. For, when a man ceases to dream, he ceases to live. There were three trees on a hill slope. They too had dreams. The first one wanted to become a child’s cradle. The second one wanted to become a huge ship. The third one wanted to become a pointer to God. Each had its own dream. But none became what they had wanted. The first one became a manger. But it was in that manger that Jesus was born. The second one became a small boat. But it was in that boat that Jesus traveled. The third one became a cross on which the dead bodies were laid. But it was on that cross that Jesus was crucified. None became what they had wanted. But each had exceeded its dream. If a man wants to live, he needs to dream. Your destiny depends on your dream. It is in this context Swami says,

“Dust you think, dust you are,
God you think, God you are.
Verily thoughts are things,
As you think so you become.
You are the makers of your own destiny.”

When a man wants to live, he needs to have the right attitude. The vision of happiness beckons many, but the path of happiness is known but to a few. Happy man is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. Lord Goutham Buddha declared, “Sarvam Dukham.” Life is full of pain. But what he didn’t say is that the suffering is optional. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. You always have two choices to choose from. Skeptics may say, “One can’t be a positive person all the time. How does one do it?” Each morning you wake up say to yourself, “I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I shall choose to be in a good mood.” Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn something from it. I shall choose to learn from it.

Life is all about making choices. When you cut out all the junk, each situation is a choice. The bottom-line is that it is your choice; how you want to live your life. Make your choices today. Choose the positive side of life. Choose to be a winner. A winner always has an answer for every problem. A loser finds a problem in every answer. A winner always has a plan. A loser always has an excuse. A winner says, “Let me do it for you.” A loser says, “It’s not my job.” In fact it is hard work that characterizes the character of a person; some turn up their sleeves; some turn up their noses; some don’t turn up at all!

How you perceive things in life is a key to how your life turns out to be. The same stone can turn out to be a stepping stone for one, while being a stumbling block for another. What one approves, another scorns and thus each discloses his nature. One finds a rosebush full of thorns, while the other sees the thorn bush filled with roses. One day the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “It was great Dad” replied the son. “Did you see how poor people live?” asked the father. “Oh yeah,” said the son. “So tell me, what you learned from the trip?” asked the father. The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patios reach the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our eyesight. We have servants who serve us but they serve others. We buy our food but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us while they have friends to protect them. Thanks dad for showing how poor we are.” If a man wants to live, he needs to have a proper attitude.

To lead one’s life, one should be disciplined. Swami once said that culture is actually what one does, when no one is observing him.

If God came to our house to spend a day or two,
If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what we would do.
Sure, we’d give our nicest room to such an honored guest,
And all the food we’d serve Him would be the very best.
We’d keep assuring Him, we’re glad to have him there,
And serving Him in our own house is a joy beyond compare.
But when we see Him coming, would we meet Him at the door,
With our arms outstretched in welcome to our heavenly visitor?
Or would we have to change our clothes before letting Him in?
Or hide some magazines and put the holy book where it had been?
Would we turn off the tape and hope He hadn’t heard?
And wish we hadn’t uttered that last loud hasty word?
And I wonder if God spent a day or two with us,
Would we go right on doing the things we always do?
Would we go right on saying the things we always say?
Would life for us continue as it does from day to day?
Would we sing the songs we always sing and
read the books we always read?
And let Him know the things on which our mind and spirit feed?
Would we be glad to let Him meet our very closest friends?
Or would we hope that they would stay away until His visit ends?
Would we be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would we sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know the things that we do,
If God in person came to spend some time with us too.
Discipline in one’s life is to do the things we do,
Knowing that God is watching us all day long and night too.

A man is like an atomic nucleus holding incalculable energy that is latent. A disciplined man is like a controlled nuclear reactor utilizing its immense power for the welfare and the benefit of the world. An undisciplined man is like an atom bomb.

The most important art to be mastered when one wants to live his life is the art of prayer. More things are wrought by prayer than is actually believed. But what should one pray for? Don’t pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Don’t pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of the task will not be a miracle. But you will be a miracle. Every day you will wonder at yourselves and at the richness of life that the grace of God has brought to you. Always remember, the one who kneels before God shall be able to stand up to anything in life.

With all these thoughts in your mind and a prayer on my lips, I take leave today. “Oh Lord! Help us in mastering the art of living so that our life becomes Your message.”

Did you like this special article? Would you like more such contributions from the students of Swami’s Institute? Please let us know at h2h@radiosai.org. Thank you for your time.

Jai Sai Ram.



With Love and Regards,
"Heart2Heart" Team.

 

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