I was born in a Hindu-Punjabi family and was exposed to the ideologies and traditions of both Sikhism and Sanatana Dharma. At a very young age, I overheard that Shiv Ji is Bhole Baba and worshipping Him is easy and He grants everything quickly. This struck a chord with me and I began to worship him and soon, He became my Ishta Devta.
My days began with chanting and reading the Shiv Chalisa and keeping regular fasts. Later, I also brought back a stone from Haridwar and implanted it in a pot, worshipping it as a sacred Shiv Lingam. My days always began with the Abhishekam or ritual bathing of the Shivlingam and my Nitya (daily) pooja routine. Initially, this was all just to earn my place and be in God’s good books. After many years though, with Divine grace, I was fortunate enough to meet my Prabhu Ji, my Guru, Om Swamiji. He bestowed his immense grace on me and I soon realized that apart from these daily rituals, I also needed to start imbibing and practising important virtues and this was a turning point in my journey where I turned from being merely religious to being more spiritual.
We usually think of ourselves first before anybody else. We are very good lawyers for our own mistakes and very good judges for the mistakes of others. Swamiji taught me that we need to be ‘Compassionate’ and ‘Generous’ with every living and non-living entity that we come across, as the Divine dwells in all beings, equally. Have unconditional love for all beings.
We must practice being ‘Truthful’ and ‘Humble’ as much as possible and listen to others with ‘Empathy’, without being judgemental.
We all are undergoing our own ups and downs in our lives and it’s best to face them with ‘Faith’ and ‘Patience’, as life is a journey and eventually in the vast scheme of nature, nothing really matters. Living with the faith that since everything is not under my control, I will do my best and leave the rest on the Divine, is freeing.
Last but not the least the daily practice of ‘Gratitude’, which helps us to focus on positivity and light rather than on negativity and darkness, is life-transforming.
As stated by Him (Swamiji) …. “gratitude is simply a state of mind, an expression of heart, a resolution to be happy, a feeling of peace and sense of contentment an emotion of fulfilment.”
(For a more detailed description on these virtues, please read… A Million Thoughts by Om Swami)
We should live a life of balance, ‘the middle way’, balancing the duties and responsibilities of life infused with spirituality.
With each passing day and each passing moment, I try my best to work hard on inculcating these virtues. It’s not that I am successful every time, sometimes I fail too, but then I reflect on my actions and try to think of ways to better myself and attempt to not repeat my mistakes. Practising these virtues along with my prayers and meditation has bestowed peace, contentment and bliss in me. It’s a long journey and I am work-in-progress, basking in his Divine Grace.
My most heartfelt prayer is- “Prabhuji, please keep this soul near you, for eternity, in whatever life-form it comes…”
Live. Love. Laugh. Give. 🙂
Ps. A special thanks to Vanika Om for editing it.