Fighting Life is what causes misery

Just surrender to the Universe’s energy, to Life, don’t fight it!
Don’t you agree that if there indeed is a Master of the Universe, who was controlling, coordinating, delivering, granting, blessing and driving whateveris happening in the world, in your Life and mine, then this person is mighty intelligent? So intelligent that zebras have stripes while horses don’t, that when the East has daylight, the West has stars in the sky, that there are four seasons that keep changing as if someone is operating the switches in a Master Control Room, that mangoes are different from oranges and the Himalayas are different from the Rockies! None of these has been or can be controlled by you or me. Yet they happen! And so, we have to admit that the Universe’s energy, which, in my humble opinion, powers our lives, is far more intelligent than all of us put together.
If this energy is so powerful, so intelligent, why are you not able to trust it? When things go per your expectation, you don’t have an issue. When they go against what you wish is when you start fighting Life. Your DVD player doesn’t work when you sit down to watch a movie and you start complaining about Life. Small thing, you will eventually get over that setback! You will fight your DVD player for a while, then chuck it out the window and move on. When you are out of job, or when you are out of cash, or both, you fight, you resist the Life which you currently have to endure. You sulk, you brood! Does that change anything? Or what if your liver malfunctions or your heart suffers an attack? That’s a situation you can’t even mentally fight! That’s when you learn the art of surrendering to Life. Now, if we could consider surrendering to Life in all contexts, how much more simpler and easier to live will our lives be? In Hindu scriptures, they talk of surrender as ‘saranagati’ and to a physical God, an idol. I am suggesting, surrender to Life, the energy that keeps you alive! Think about it!
The truth about Life is, no matter what, what is to happen, will happen! Take Shah Rukh Khan’s Life for instance. The story goes that the TV serial ‘Fauji’that launched him in 1988 as the smart, daring Abhimanyu Rai, was supposed to have had a certain Milin Kapoor play that key role. Kapoor was 6 ft+, handsome and fitted the role perfectly. But because the show’s producers wanted Kapoor, who was well qualified technically too, to focus on the cinematography and editing, the role went to Khan. The rest, as they always say, is history. This is what will happen to you too. Ahead of your time or beyond what is ordained for you, nothing in your Life will ever happen to you. When it’s your turn, the Universe will conspire to deliver whatever you need for your Life’s story to advance. And advance does not always mean ‘meeting your expectations or exceeding them always’. Advance here means to simply (be forced, at times, to) go with the flow on Life’s pre-planned path. The Universe’s design, the Master Plan, is inscrutable. And yet, what I have learnt, is this – the Master Plan has no flaws.

Whatever is happening to you just now is what is ordained to happen. Therefore, intelligence demands that you don’t fight Life. Fighting Life is what causes you misery! You will find bliss instead, when you simply, sensibly, surrender to it!

Find peace by walking away from whatever holds you to ransom

The simplest way to peace is to walk away from things that imprison you, trouble you, anger you and tempt you.
This doesn’t mean that you abdicate your stand or your responsibility of those things. It only means you don’t react and seek time to think through the situation and act on it calmly. Consider what can possibly be imprisoning you. Your fears, insecurities, anxieties are all the metaphorical shackles that keep you nailed to the ground. Because you are not free, and a prisoner of your own thoughts, you are in despair. You are troubled. Continuously being in an agitated state can cause you to explode. Initially your tolerance levels are higher. But over a period of time you become a victim of your own reactions. You are angry first. But soon you are angry that you lost your cool. You are angry with yourself. Then you succumb to the temptation of pitying yourself and get into that ruinous depressive spiral. Your temptations can also come from your desires. From eating an extra piece of a Black Forest to having that smoke to compulsively wanting to control, everything is a temptation that you find hard to resist. When you are controlled by your desires, you are but a slave of your mind.
To be free, to be the Master of your mind, and therefore of your Life, you must first walk away. Don’t think. Just walk away. From an argument, from a bar, from your desire to light up, from irrational behavior that provokes you. Walk away and ask yourself what will be lost if you don’t succumb, if you don’t indulge, if you don’t get involved. Almost always, the answer will be that nothing will be lost. Though the mind would have been tempting you, creating often a sense of urgency, that without your immediate involvement, Life will go out of control. Resist that mind game with a physical response: walk away! Almost instantaneously, you will discover you are at peace with the moment. Just this awareness that walking away is not going to bring the world to an end, is inspiring. It is an action that demonstrates immense trust in Time’s ability to heal and resolve. It never is borne out of cowardice and insecurity. But is an act of courage and delivered with a feeling of complete security.

Try it on anything that is troubling you or holding you in its vice-like grip (a habit or a relationship perhaps?). Try it on your own emotions, like your compulsive urge to get angry. Or on your inability to resist temptation. Try it once by walking away. You will find peace in a nano-second. And then, like Oliver Twist, you will want more!

Stop coming in your own way

Life’s at work on you continuously.
Life’s like an artisan-sculptor-miner who’s chipping away, digging, at times even polishing, to get you to the gold__to get you to the real you. Every event, opportunity or ordeal is Life’s way to purify you so that the real you emerges: cleansed and resplendent. So submit yourself to Life. And yes, one more thing: just make sure you don’t come in your own way!
We view Life’s myriad challenges as part of a grand conspiracy to suppress or annihilate us. Relax: this ain’t any conspiracy! On the other hand, Life has a grand design for each of us. It is Life’s responsibility to ensure we know ourselves and see ourselves as who we truly are. Though all of us are born pure, over several years of conditioning, we have acquired a different hue. We can’t even recognize ourselves. Our insecurities, our anxieties, our greed, have made us cold, bitter and lusterless. Our simple nature has been overshadowed by a complex craving to be noticed and understood, our intrinsic selflessness has been held hostage by me-first-ism, our fears suppress our faith and jealousy prevents us from letting others win.
 
We must recognize and accept the truth that we are not in control here. No, not in this lifetime. We are like passengers on a plane: we have to fasten our seat belts, sit back and either enjoy or endure the ride. At times it will be calm, sometimes fun; at some other times there could be turbulence and the journey could be scary. To enjoy or endure a plane ride is a personal choice. But instead of trying to take charge, don’t we always simply let the pilot to do her job and land us safely? Do the same with Life too. Stop coming in your own way. Stop resisting every move of Life. Simply surrender and go with the flow!

Surrender to Life to see how beautiful it really is

When you can’t do anything about a situation you find yourself in, in Life, simply surrender.
You have probably heard this before. But possibly you have struggled with both the concept and act of surrender. Surrender means to completely give yourself up to Life, to be in a let go! This really is your native state. As an infant, you surrendered yourself to Life. When you were born, you didn’t know your parents. You didn’t know if they will provide for you or not. You did not know where to look for warmth, succour and nourishment. You did not crave for either attention or love. Yet you got everything you needed without even asking for it – or knowing how to ask for it. And that’s because you were worry-free and unwittingly – through your under-developed sense of being – were at Life’s mercy.
To be sure, Life hasn’t changed. You – and I – have. If you let go, and surrender to Life, it will still provide for you and give you all that you need without exception. The reason you find it hard to let go is because your education and intellect come into play. You have come to believe that you must solve all the situations that Life throws at you. So you keep battling with and fighting Life. The harder you fight, the tougher it gets. Because what you resist, will persist! Simple! You must realize that there are only two kinds of problem situations in Life. Those that you can solve and those that, inspite of howmuchever hard you try, you simply cannot solve. For those situations or problems that you can solve, you don’t need to worry. While logically you don’t need to worry about situations that you can’t solve either, your mind will force you to, precisely, worry about them. So, instead of letting go and surrendering to the situation, you will keep fighting it imagining that you are trying to solve it! This is how you create suffering and invite misery into your Life!

Intelligent living is not about applying your intellect to Life. It is about being intelligent enough to know that you must let go when you can’t help or solve a situation! All ancient scriptures talk of the concept of surrender. In Hinduism it is called saranagati. It basically means being in a let-go! But because the wisdom of the scriptures are often expressed through religion, which currently is practised very divisively and needlessly ritualistically, it ends up alienating even those people who may be willing to give the concept a chance.
The path of surrender involves letting go of your ego. It is the state when you realize that the “I”  in you can’t solve a problem or crisis! You are then willing to go with the flow of Life. Even then your Life’s problems may not get solved immediately. But, importantly, you are not fighting them anymore. And when you are not fighting, when you are not resisting, you are peaceful. This is when you will find that Life is beautiful, despite the circumstances you are placed in or faced with. This is when you will know what living really means!

Embrace your tragedies just as you would your fortunes


Have you felt helpless about everything at some time__ your Life, your work, your relationships, your health, your money? Or if you are feeling so just now, either about all those, and more, aspects, or perhaps about a few, simply surrender to Life. Totally accept what is. And let Life take over.

In fact, Life was always in control. It was your foolish ego that was making you believe and imagine that you were controlling your Life or were at least leading and directing it on your own accord. Your ability not to be able to control it in times such as this is a way of Life reminding you that you were never in control!

Trying to control Life is like trying to hold on to water in your clenched fist. The more you try to hold on, the more you will see it flow away. And the more empty you will feel. As your feeling of emptiness increases, so does your suffering.

A friend of mine lost his only child. I visited him to offer my condolences. We sat together for 45 minutes. He didn’t say anything. I didn’t either. Finally as I got up to leave, he burst out into tears and said: “I simply can’t understand Life. I just feel so helpless!” I had nothing to say to him. What could anyone say? No amount of consolation would be enough and would only seem hollow. Mere words in the face of Life’s deep, painful wound. A few months after this incident, another couple we know, lost their teenage son. He committed suicide. When we visited them, they appeared stoic but their pain was evident. Occasionally tears would run down. For some moments there would be silence. And in some others they would recall memories of their child. When we hugged the couple, and took their leave, they thanked us. And the husband, the father of the boy, said, “Who can change Life’s plan? I am not trying to make any meaning out of this. I have let go!”

Sorry for those morbid stories on a Sunday morning. But in them there’s a germ of a big Life learning. A person who understands Life will not try to understand it. He or she will be in a let go. Because Life was never in your control. Life was never offering any meaning. Or guarantees. Or solace. You imagined you were in control. You thought you understood Life. You believed because you were good and ethical, Life will treat you fairly. But Life never promised anything.

It is in Life’s dark moments and tragedies that we awaken. It is through pain that we can let go of suffering. It is in the darkness that we can truly appreciate the value of light. So embrace your tragedies just as you would welcome your fortunes. Because there simply is no other way. Every scripture points to this. Every painful Life experience leads to this learning. So let go. Surrender. And let Life, like always, take you to where you truly belong!

There’s a great beauty in being incapable



There is a great beauty in being incapable. This may seem absurd. In a world where performance is measured in nano-seconds, all the time, how can being ‘incapable’ be something to celebrate, to crow about? The world only wants capable people. How can someone incapable even dream of surviving in an intensely competitive arena?

The fact that you are capable and have caused your success is the biggest myth you__and I__are wedded to. In fact, we have long been kidding ourselves with this view.

Every once in a while, through its inscrutable ways, Life will render you completely incapable. You will be left dangling at the edge of a precipice. You can’t possibly do anything. If you do something of your own, you risk falling off that edge, into a ravine, with no possibility of a return. So, you then have only one way out. To surrender to Life. And let Life take you to where you belong, to where you must logically go.

Surrendering is not at all complex. At one level it is a no-brainer. If you can do something about a situation, why would you worry? Why would you fear? Why would you suffer? Similarly, if you can’t do something about a situation why would you worry, fear or suffer? Simply accept that you can’t do anything about it.

Surrender requires nothing but a total acceptance of what is. The truth about Life is that all your grief comes from what you are attached to. You feel you have worked hard__which you indeed have__and so if something is being snatched away from you, it is grossly unfair and unjust. But Life is such that what you perceive as unfair will keep happening again and again and again. It is when you resist what is happening to you that you will suffer. It is when you keep clinging on to your false sense of capability that you will be miserable. Instead let go of all notions. Let go of your definitions of success and failure. Just accept that there will be some situations in Life that you cannot do anything about. That all you can do is to live through them.

Through your awakening to your incapability, through surrender, you will arise into freedom. And discover how beautiful, magical and bountiful Life really is!


Stop looking for meanings, simply surrender to Life!


Life is incredible, beautiful, inscrutable and miraculous. Only when we try to make meaning out of it do we agonize. 
There are many situations in Life where logical explanations are not possible. We can either accept whatever is happening, choosing to live in complete amazement of the Universe’s ways. Or we can question, challenge and grieve over our inability to explain why certain things are happening the way they eventually are.
You may face a challenging situation for several reasons. You may invite the challenge upon yourself __ like drinking and driving, and crashing your car, for instance. Or you may walk into one __ like quitting a job and taking another one only to realize that your employer is a fly-by-night operator and by the time you bail out, you have lost the momentum and opportunity spectrum in the market. Or something may befall you __ like a death in the family in the most unexpected circumstances or at the most inappropriate times. When Life decides to stir your story just a wee bit, perfectly happy marriages could be ruined and very families could be thrown in disarray. In all of these, and other, situations while you may imagine that things are happening only to you and may grieve asking either ‘why’ or ‘why me’, there’s no denying the fact that what has happened would have happened any which way. Life operates with a mind of its own. It doesn’t have any specific intention to fix you. It just goes on with a plan that’s been ordained for you, a plan that you will never quite understand or know in its entirety until you have lived through the Life that you are ready to review! The most intelligent way, therefore, to deal with Life is to just accept it, surrender to it and to never question it or its rationale.
Things never change overnight because you accept them or choose a higher path! They just become simpler__not necessarily easier__to handle. You are, with surrendering to Life, better off than fighting Life. Because a fight is always spewing negative energy. It is always about brute force. When you try to untangle a ball of knotted up wool, impatiently, by tugging at it from all sides, the mess will only become worse. Instead, calm, patience, diligence will help.
Pi and Richard Parker: Peaceful Mates
In the movie ‘Life of Pi’, Pi faces up to Life’s inscrutable ways with an equanimity which comes with understanding the futility of fighting Life. His initial period of helplessness and brute force, resisting his situation, does not yield him any results. He concludes that he can survive his ordeal only when he surrenders to Life’s grand design. At the same time, he resolves to do what is in his capacity, which is to make peace with Richard Parker, the tiger. He works on establishing a method of communicating with the tiger and training it to understand that co-existence was the only way forward for both of them! That was his diligence. His application of thought in what he could possibly do. So, surrendering to Life does not mean giving up. It means giving in, while doing whatever is possible.
Most situations in Life are pretty much like that. They are Catch 22s __ where the game is not over and there is still something, however small, that you can be doing to stay in the game. It is when we mistake these still workable, still doable situations to be ones where we are check-mated, that we encounter grief and misery. In a check-mate, the game’s over. In a Catch 22, the game is still on! With a check-mate you are usually dead. If you are alive, it is only a Catch 22.
So, hang in there. However incredible your story may be, stop analyzing and trying to make meaning out of your present state. Just know that in the end you will prevail. And when you look back, like Pi does in the movie, you will find that it all happened to make you richer from the experience and wiser from the learning!