Hopelessness and inertia can never transform your reality. Only action can.

When there is no hope, remember, you are still alive. And as long as you are there, the God within too is alive, kicking and capable of a miracle.
Most often, hopelessness leads you to conclude that it is all over. That you are finished. You miss something very crucial at that time, that all your data points, all evidence, that you use to make that conclusion, are external. They lie outside of you. Your prayers also are to reference points outside you __ a God as an idol in a faraway temple, or one in a sacred church, or at a distant dargah! When you find that your efforts to seek a miracle for yourself are reduced to a naught, you amplify your conclusion and say, nothing is possible. You resign. You give up. In all this time, even for a moment, you have not looked within. You have not cared to look at your soul. You have not realized the blessing of your being alive. There’s a famous saying, “With God anything’s possible!”  That God, that miraculous energy, is what’s powering you. The fact that you can conclude, basis external reference points, that you are finished, is proof that you are alive. If you are alive, that Universal energy is powering you. Dip into that energy. Go within. You will then realize the futility of benchmarking all your wants and needs on external reference points.
To live __ you just need to be aware of your being alive! With this awareness try and understand how you are feeling at the moment. If you are sad, accept that reality. If you are fearful, accept it too. If you are anxious, again accept it. Whatever you feel, acknowledge it, accept it. Then ask yourself, what can I do to change this reality? List down your actions. Some of them may be painful, uncomfortable actions. But if you have to do them, you have to. Because you want to change how you feel, right? With the actions you take, the problems you face, that led to a state of hopelessness in the first place, may not immediately go away. But if you are feeling good about what you are doing, you can be sure that you will walk into a new reality. Every new journey starts with a first step. That first step is to change the way you are feeling about whatever’s your current reality. You may not be able to see your destination yet, but if you have sat in the plane, fastened your seat belt and have closed your eyes, you can be assured the pilot will take off, and with the available data on probability, chances are good that you will land where you intend to in some time.
Both hope and hopelessness are imposters. One tricks you to imagine that all will be fine. It breeds inertia. And the other deceives you and tells you it’s all over, nothing’s possible. Again it breeds inertia. Whereas, by visiting the energy that powers you, you can feel rejuvenated, inspired and begin to act. Hopelessness and inertia can never transform your reality. Only action can.

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A Life lesson from the humble bitter gourd

If you want to change anything about your Life, change yourself first – from within!
Here’s a fable to illustrate this point.  A bunch of disciples invited their Guru to join them on a pilgrimage to take a holy dip in the Ganges at Haridwar. The Guru politely declines. But the disciples insist saying they have gleaned from the scriptures that such a dip in the holy river will cleanse and transform each of them. They believe that if their Guru would bless them and be by their side during this transformational ritual they would be doubly blessed. The Guru counsels them but to no avail. Finally, he advises them to take a bitter gourd as his mascot with them. He advises them to also dip the bitter gourd in the holy river when they bathe. The disciples grudgingly agree and set off on their pilgrimage. A few weeks later they come back and report to their Guru saying how good their journey and experience was. The Guru calls for the bitter gourd. One of the disciples promptly pulls it out and presents it respectfully. The Guru demands that the vegetable be sliced and each disciple taste it. With much difficulty the disciples taste the bitter vegetable, their contorted faces exclaiming with anguish as the vegetable’s juices enter their system. “Did you not dip the vegetable in the Ganges, the Holy River,” asks the Guru, demanding “Why then is it so bitter?” “We did Guruji. But how can bitter gourd stop being bitter because it was dipped in a river, however holy it may be,” reasons a disciple. No sooner had the disciple finished saying the, the moral of the guru’s abstinence from the “pilgrimage” dawns on all his disciplines.

Transformation in you cannot happen by changing the environment or by being ritualistic. Transformation has to happen from within. A holy gip or ‘Ganga Snan’cannot change who you are unless you choose to change yourself. Only when you change from within will your Life change!

Die first as who you are – so a new you can Live!


All of us aspire to transform, to improve, to get better than who we are. But we never get down to changing in reality. New Year and Birthday/Anniversary resolutions come and go. But we rarely get started. And even if we do, we don’t often keep up at it. Ever wondered why?

The reason is simple: inertia. Life as usual is comfortable. And change involves letting go of that comfort, of stepping out, becoming vulnerable. This is why we lead incomplete lives. We want a different Life but don’t want to work for it. Inertia can only be overcome by willingness. Mere wanting cannot help you. You must be willing – to be and lead the change!

American author Jim Rohn (1930~2009) said this: “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself!” Easier said than done you may think. But there’s a way.

Consider this. We have often been told that we will all eventually die; that death is an inevitable part of the creation process. Here’s a different perspective: that it is equally important to learn and know that we must first DIE to LIVE. This is not merely a spiritual point of view, it is also a very practical suggestion. Take a minute to examine yourself. You have perhaps become so regimented in your thinking, your habits are so deep-rooted and your opinions so rigid! Maybe you hate the way your Life is but are unable to get out of the rut! But if you still hope to have new Life, recognize first that you can’t get to a new destination by choosing to stay in the same place!! We all operate from To Do lists. For you to LIVE the Life you want to live, for you to transform, you must have a Never To Do or Stop-Doing list in the first place. Simply choose to stop doing a few things. Make that choice, firmly, resolutely.

Remember: For a new YOU to emerge, who you are presently must cease to exist, must DIE. So, get down to work: die to LIVE! Die first as who you are….so a new you can LIVE!


Transform from within and when no one’s asking!


Many of us want to change the way we live our lives. But we plead our inability to break away from our ‘worldly’ responsibilities, from our day-to-day challenges and to decide that what we have earned and saved is enough for us to last us for the rest of this lifetime! So, we continue living our incomplete lives, fraught with our insecurities, pining for a better day tomorrow. Each new year or birthday or wedding anniversary there is a resolution. To change. To transform. But it just stays a resolution. And when it is broken, there is more despair, more hopelessness.

For you to truly transform yourself two conditions need to be fulfilled:

  • You must be wanting to change for yourself, not because someone wants you to change
  • Whatever you are changing into gives you joy, then you begin not by thinking about what to do, but by doing it!

Without these two conditions, no personal change or transformation initiative, will succeed. Whether it is kicking a ruinous habit or starting a healthy one, changing your job, learning  a new skill, losing weight, letting a relationship go or reinventing your career. Everything must first happen within you. You must want to do it. Not because there’s money or opportunity or pride or position in it, but because you will be happy doing it. Then transformation becomes possible, and certain, even if it is not really going to be easy. Remember: no amount of resolutions or drawing up deadlines or enrolling into ‘transformation’ programs will be useful unless there’s a hunger within you!

Here’s a good old fable that illustrates this point.

A bunch of disciples invite their Guru to join them on a pilgrimage to take a holy dip in the Ganges at Haridwar. The Guru politely declines. But the disciples insist saying they have gleaned from the scriptures that such a dip in the holy river will cleanse and transform each of them. They believe that if their Guru would bless them and be by their side during this transformational ritual they would be doubly blessed. The Guru counsels them but to no avail. Finally, he advises them to take a bitter gourd as his mascot with them. He advises them to also dip the bitter gourd in the holy river when they bathe. The disciples grudgingly agree and set off on their pilgrimage. A few weeks later they come back and report to their Guru saying how good their journey and experience was. The Guru calls for the bitter gourd. One of the disciples promptly pulls it out and presents it respectfully. The Guru demands that the vegetable be sliced and each disciple taste it__without cooking it. With much difficulty the disciples taste the bitter vegetable, their contorted faces exclaiming with anguish as the vegetable’s juices enter their system. “Did you not dip the vegetable in the Ganges, the Holy River,”asks the Guru, demanding “Why then is it so bitter?” “We did Guruji. But how can bitter gourd stop being bitter because it was dipped in a river, however holy it may be,”reasons a disciple. No sooner had he finished saying it, the moral of the Guru’s abstinence from the pilgrimage dawns on all his disciplines.

We are like that bitter gourd. Our inside is what must change for our external reality to change.

Following a ritual for the sake of doing it or attempting to change the environment around you cannot lead to personal transformation. Even before the physical effects of your transformation emerge, something within you must have changed. The light within you must have come alive, lit up. Its radiance can then show you the way forward. Personal transformation is possible, successful, only when you lead the change, from within, because you want it, are happy doing it and when no one’s asking you to change!


Why Total Surrender to Life is the most intelligent thing to do!


On the path to Bliss, total surrender to Life is what works ultimately!

But the fickle human mind tries to obsess with methods and practices __ hoping to find a way out. Because the mind is reminding you__and me__that it is in control. The mind is the biggest charlatan. And it revels in controlling you. This is nothing but your ego at work. You have a relationship issue, the mind says it can solve it. You have a health issue, it says it can solve it too. You have a financial crisis, the mind says there’s a way out. And so the mind goes on, dragging you from hope to despair and back, holding you in its clutches.

Here’s a simple question: if the mind can solve all our problems, why is the world grappling with so many issues, and why are people suffering all around us?

The fundamental issue is that the mind denies the existence of a problem. It begins with denial. You have an alcohol problem or a tobacco addiction. But the mind will make you deny the problem. It will justify that so many people around the world drink. So many people smoke. Aren’t they living “normal” lives? So, nothing will happen to me. And so you will pick up another drink and light up one more time!

Denial breeds anger. Because despite your denials, the problem persists. So now you are angry. It is like a chewing gum that you has stuck on to your pants and you are fighting to get rid of it. Your helplessness, caused by the gum’s obstinate stickiness, makes you angry. And angrier as time passes.

But your denying something or kicking around does not make the problem go away. Whether it is an addiction or a broken relationship. That’s when, besieged by the problem’s refusal to go away, you ask yourself “Why Me?”. Again the same logic from the same mind. So many billion people on the planet, why am I being singled out for this treatment __ be it addiction, be it a relationship, a cancer, a lay off, a business collapse or a scandal that ruins your reputation?

Again, after screaming yourself hoarse, asking “Why Me?” for months and, sometimes, for years, you come to a grudging acceptance that the principal reason why the problem persists is because you are resisting it. Grudging acceptance is a good thing. And often leads to fleeting, momentary experiences of peace and bliss. Once you have tasted bliss, you want more of it! And some more of it! Again and again!

That’s when, tired and beleaguered of course, enchanted and enamored by the bliss you have experienced briefly, you move towards accepting your situation. From trying methods and attempting solutions, you slip into acceptance. And while the problem remains, confounded and complicated, you feel peaceful. This peace encourages you to review your own Life. And the way you have lived it so far. In whatever problem situation you are in currently, you, for the first time, recognize that you have contributed to it in some measure __ big or small. Acceptance leads you total surrender at this stage. And, in a nanosecond, in a dazzling Eureka moment, you see that for your current reality to change, to transform, YOU must first transform!

This, “I must be the change I want to see in my world”, moment is magnificent, magical. And physical personal change alone is not what happens at this stage. Of kicking an addiction or having the courage to walk out on a debilitating relationship. What happens is you change the way you look at yourself. You realize that you are not the body. You are not the mind. And in that state of surrender, deep in the throes of real-Life, real problem, you experience peace, joy and a oneness with creation. That, really, my dear friends, is Bliss. And it need not necessarily be found under a Bodhi Tree! It can be found while reading this post on facebook or in a moment of privacy and solitude on your potty! The literate will call that moment an ‘epiphany’. For the lay person, like you and me, just know that it is the time when you will feel unburdened, unshackled and liberated! And you will not what that moment to ever go away!

The question then is, if Acceptance leads us to Total Surrender which in turn leads us to Bliss, all this in such a short span of time, why do we need to, for years at times, deny, fret, fume, kick around, bemoan, grudge, blame in the first place? Why not arrive at the Total Surrender point directly? Isn’t that what basic commonsense would tell you is THE intelligent thing to do? Indeed. It will. And it is. Think about it!