Yesterday, I attended my first Zoom satsang with Swami and all the lovely devotees and absolutely loved those 30 minutes while Swami spoke. Having never met him (Thank you Covid for raining on my travel plans !) this was the first time I heard him interacting live.
I had always heard it from the fellow devotees that how Swami makes jokes and keeps the environment super-cool but experienced it live only yesterday when a devotee complimented him on how good he was looking and replied with a “Thanks for telling me something I already know” . I would have laughed so hard that if my camera were on, all the 750 live members would have laughed seeing my funny expression-ed face ! I too have found myself wondering about Swami’s skin care routine a lot of times! 😛
So yesterday, Swami gave us a challenging task of “Mindful Speech” for the whole week. This always used to be a trouble area for me. If you pressed my trigger buttons (read if you said something or did something that falls on the wrong side of my “right” and “wrong” list) be prepared for my volcanic wrath!
Right from the childhood, I have had a strong sense of ‘right and wrong’ and have lectured my friends and parents innumerable times. It would have helped had I stopped there, but having inherited the short tempered-ness from my father I went ahead and started showering my arrows of mindless anger on other people, too. And here, I honestly and shamefully accept that I found it easy to rain on people who had less chances of arguing with me.
Although I have never shouted on anyone causeless, but I was never careful about my words either, I would just say anything that clicks my head— not examining if it was a pebble or a rock that I was throwing.
For the first time, I realised this was almost three years ago when I was reading ‘Om Swami As We Know Him’ by Sadhvi Vrindaji. she writes in the book that Swamiji once said, “Dolly, even a single misplaced word is enough to hurt others.” These words went through my thick skin like a hot iron rod goes trough plastic. Because I had never thought it from the other side of the story; I had never given a thought to how the other person might have felt. I have never taken any responsibility of other’s feelings.
I tried numerous times to improve my mindless habit but wasn’t showing any visible progress. Even after trying to be more like Swami, people just used to get under my skin and trigger me like anything.
For me, it was my faith in my deity that brought significant changes in my behaviour — many of you would know that I was an atheist until a few years ago. Faith changes you in so many ways that you don’t even realise.
As Swami often says, ‘You get transformed into butter and never go back to being milk. When you have faith, when you love someone so deeply their words and lifestyle starts dawning upon you, their teachings starts affecting you and the best part is — you don’t even have to struggle to make your mind agree to it. You don’t feel like raining your anger on people anymore. You can’t find the energy to do that because all of your energy, at least most of it will be spent on thinking about and talking to your deity, so with what little energy you have left you’ll always use it mindfully and on things that require your utmost attention.
Think about it as this: Suppose you have just returned after spending a looong vacation with your beloved in some beautiful place, let’s say Switzerland, will you feel like shouting on people at the moment while you are still in the ecstasy of the moments you spent together? (I was having troubles explaining these feelings and this perfect example just crossed my mind :P) .
Similarly when you spend so much time with your deity, you remain in a different sort of ecstasy all the time. It shields you from everything that might trouble you, it shields you from your own bad habits.
When Mahadev burned Kamadeva with his third eye, he burn down his own desires that were inside him. Thats’s what devotion does to you, it gradually burns down your toxic qualities. Now whenever I feel like doing something stupid, the mind automatically asks me if my god would approve of it. The path of devotion I would say, is the easiest one! So may be this week we can all immerse ourselves in devotion and service and see if that helps.
As Swamiji said — There is a difference in being firm and being angry. Faith and love makes it a thousand times easier. All the best from this crazy kid to all of you, may we all succeed in the challenge :P.
PS. It feels so good to be back, the Upanishad series will be resumed from this week onwards and as promised, fitness series is on the way! I am sorry for not replying to the earlier comments — I am catching up with all the lovely comments and the posts that I have missed due to my exams. May his grace be with you. Har Har Mahadev !