We often find ourselves caught in a philosophical debate around the purpose of life. We feel life would be easier if we could figure out its meaning. The answers can thankfully be found in the Vedic scriptures that explain the fundamentals of life in a myriad ways, unearthing the power to mold our destiny. The immense wealth of knowledge that Vedanta embodies can benefit us, so we grow and live a peaceful life.
Spirituality provides us the tools to evolve in our journey through life. From managing worry, stress, and anxiety to honest wealth production, spirituality guides us to orchestrate various aspects of everyday life. Let’s explore the different kinds of life management techniques that the great sages have bestowed upon us:
We generally face situations in life that overwhelm us with pain and suffering. The power of sorrow is such that a mind filled with grief is unable to respond appropriately. Life hands out suffering where it hurts the most. Bearing these miseries becomes a truly arduous task.
We misinterpret the world’s true nature and as a result, condemn ourselves to suffering. We must learn how to deal with sorrow to achieve equanimity in grief. In order to manage feelings of distress and instability, it is vital to detach ourselves from the cause of the sorrow and pain we suffer from. If one remembers that every beginning has an end, then sorrow too will cease. It becomes easier to deal with the anguish. While learning how to manage such grief, one has to cultivate a forbearance that reminds us – ‘This too shall pass.’
We carry a common misconception that spirituality opposes materialism and wealth. However, a study of the ancient scriptures reveals that they have not condemned wealth but rather acknowledged its necessity for survival. Wealth in all its aspects is undeniably essential for the welfare of society. Our sages did not censure wealth but chastised our greed for it.
Due to lack of knowledge, this extreme greed for wealth arises from the delusion – or maya – that is created in our mind. We will surely descend into a world of darkness if we live a materialistic life with self-acquisition as its prominent focus. Our belief in the erroneous notion that wealth brings happiness tends to invite suffering into our lives. As opposed to the sole pursuit of acquisitions, we should strive to live a life full of contentment.
If we consider prosperity as only a necessity, we can enjoy and manage our wealth. The secret to better wealth management is to produce more than we consume and give more than what we take.
Fear is the root cause of worry or stress in everyone’s life. The anxiety of loss or failure gives birth to negative tendencies or vasanas, like insecurity, greed and hatred. To conquer fear, we need to address its root cause, of which we are often unaware. Moreover, the fears embedded in our psyche are encouraged by the expectation of the worst outcomes of our actions and decisions. It is often this fear of failing, which paralyzes our ability to optimize our work potential, resulting in a poor performance.
A small change in attitude can create the inspiration for positive efforts in our method of living, and usher in calmness in an otherwise disturbed mind. When we plan out the future, work efficiently towards it and focus with optimism on the end result, the fear of failure subsides. While worry weakens the spirit in our living moments, a shift in attitude toward anxiety can save us from its exertion.
If spirituality becomes an integral part of our daily lives, we can learn to live as content, happy beings. If we inculcate the right perspective and view of life through the broader lens of spiritual learning, it will lead to fruitful living. Embark on this journey of life management with new lessons in Self-realization through the guidance and wisdom of Vedanta.
I wish you all a well-balanced and contented life.
Global Head, Chinmaya Mission