Art of Stressless Living in English
God

Today modern science has understood that all matter in the universe comes from energy. Matter is condensed energy. Matter can be reverted back to its cause energy. Where does all the energy come from? This research is going on. No clear answer is available. Science of yoga gives a very clear answer. All energy physical or mental comes from consciousness. Consciousness is the underlying reality of the universe, the ultimate substance from which everything comes into existence and into which everything ultimately dissolves. Consciousness has no cause for its existence. It is a causeless substance eternally existing. The nature of this substance is bliss. God is a name given to this infinite ocean of pure consciousness, eternally existing and blissful by nature. This aspect of God is timeless, space less, nameless and formless.

God has a dual nature

God condenses a part of His infinite consciousness into energy and energy further condenses into matter. Then with this matter and energy He creates a universe. This universe and everything within it is part of God’s lower nature. This lower nature is limited in time and space, is imperfect, impermanent and constantly changing.


The Soul (Atman)

The soul is a small unit of God’s consciousness.  Although the soul is a small part of God’s consciousness, it nevertheless contains all the properties of God’s consciousness. A part of infinity is infinite we know in modern mathematics. A part of God’s infinite consciousness is also infinite.  Therefore the soul is infinite and blissful by nature. The soul though an independent conscious unit has no feelings of separation from God.  It identifies itself with God and therefore, like God has cosmic consciousness.  The soul is an eternal, immortal, blissful, luminous entity which is smaller than the smallest of any matter or energy particle but in expansiveness is greater than the greatest of any material object.  The soul is the light of all light and the life of all life.

Ego

A part of the soul’s consciousness that identifies itself with the body, mind and intellect assumes a separate identity of its own.  It is not a separate entity, it is a part, but it assumes itself to be separate.   This separate identity is our individuality, our sense of ‘I’ in every thought, perception and action.  This separate sense of ‘I’ is called ahamkara or ego. This ego works in the mind as the subjective principle of awareness or knowing. It considers itself as the doer and enjoyer of all its activities.  This ego consciousness in the mind identifies with it and feels limited.  This consciousness with its limited feeling is our ‘I’ of which we are aware. This “I” feels the pain and suffering, the joys and sorrows of life.  Our real “I” is the Soul or the consciousness that is separate from the mind.   It is this ego ‘I’ that experiences the dualities of happiness and unhappiness, pain and pleasure. 

The seat of ego is in the medulla.  This ego creates in us attraction, attachment, possessiveness, anger, jealousy, greed and a host of many other negative emotions.  This ego binds the pristine soul to the impure and imperfect world of matter.  This ego consciousness in man keeps the soul attached to the body by presenting a series of physical desires and reminding him of the limited physical relations of country, race, nation, family, possessions, individual characteristics, etc. Annihilating this ego, i.e. the feeling of separateness is the path that leads to the release of the soul from its bondage in matter.

Human Personality

Our human personality is also two fold like that of God. Our body, mind and intelligence dictated by the ego are our human personality. The soul in us is the higher aspect of our personality the divine aspect. When the soul dictates all our activities of the body and mind then the personality from being human becomes divine.

Root cause of Pain and Suffering

The root cause of all stress or tension or anxiety or frustration or depression or unhappiness or whatever negative experiences we have is only one and that is our ego and its ignorance. Ego is limited consciousness and therefore limited intelligence and limited understanding. Ego thinks I am a separate and independent individual. Survival of the fittest is its idea and eat drink and be merry is its philosophy.

Ego desires, ego needs, egoistic attitude and behavior pattern is the root cause of all human pain, suffering and misery.

Freedom that we are seeking

The freedom that we are seeking is not the freedom from stress but freedom from slavery to the dictates and the demands of the ego.

Way to freedom

The ego consciousness of separateness has to be given up and the soul consciousness of unity has to be realized and with that realization live our life. We have to raise our nature from the lower human to the higher Divine. Unless we achieve this stress, strain, pain and suffering will always continue in some form.

Divine purpose of life

Human life has a purpose ordained by God. Human life is meant to be a play ( God’s Lila). Purpose of the play is entertainment and growth. The growth is from limited, ignorant ego knowledge to unlimited, blissful soul wisdom. From human nature we have to grow into our divine nature.

Law of life

All life is governed by a dualistic law. The law creates an environment of opposing qualities- day and night; joy and sorrow; health and sickness; loss and gain; good and evil, positive and negative etc. Everything in life is impermanent, temporary and always changing. The positive experiences of life are there to encourage us in our growth. The negative experiences are there to tell us, we may be playing the game wrongly, or to teach us an important lesson for our growth, or to strengthen in us values and ideals, or to test us whether we deserve to be given a higher grade in life or sometimes the experiences are there definitely to punish us so that we stop doing the wrong things and take the right path. So all pain and suffering has a cause and a purpose. When we do not understand the cause or the purpose of the negative experiences then that non understanding creates in our mind unwanted stress, strain, anxiety or grief.

Art of stress free living and divine life

Gain knowledge and experience about the soul nature and live life with soul awareness. Rise to divine nature.

Reduce ego and its entire offspring –desires, needs, cravings, hankerings etc. Conquer lower nature.
 
How to reduce the ego

Consider all life as one connected whole. Know that I am connected with everything and am interdependent on everything. If I hurt someone that hurt will come back to me. If I help someone that help will come back to me. As you sow so shall you reap is an old saying.

See God in all things

Love all, respect all. Even those who may be doing injustice or harm to you. Forget and forgive.

Consider life as a play.

Treat good and bad as equally needed and rewarding. Do not be attached to it or its fruits.

Law of karma

Get to know the law and how it operates in human life. Obey the law strictly.

Prayer and worship

Prayer makes us humble. Worship develops in us the qualities of respect, reverence, surrender, appreciation etc.

Satsang

Seek the company of the saints. Their company and teachings generate vivek (discrimination), the power to decide correctly what is permanent and what is not. And get vairagya (dispassion) distaste for the worldly enjoyments.

Service to a Spiritual Master (Guru)

Unquestioning service to a Master does not make us weak or a slave. It frees us from the clutches of likes and dislikes (Raga & Dwesh), the two strong currents in the mind that creates hatred, envy, jealousy, anger etc. It teaches us to surrender to a higher intelligence. It helps to free ourselves from our moods and wrong habit patterns.

Social work

Any social work where we sacrifice our personal needs, comforts, desires and time to take care of others needs and help others to be happy.

Silence & Fasting

Keep a day of silence and fasting every week. Silence conserves energy. Fasting cleanses the body and mind. It develops will power and reduces sense desires.

Regular meditation

Daily meditation as directed by the Master helps to become aware of the soul and its nature. Ego and its desires become less strong and effective.

Practical hints to keep life stress free

Financial

Earn money through honest means. Do not cheat or deceive other in the process. Do not crave for quick gains. Drop get rich quickly philosophy. Everything comes through sustained hard work.

Do not take loans from banks and institutions. Although the giver of loans shows that the loan is very lucrative and easily repayable. Loans do create unnecessary tension in most cases. Cut your cloth according to your means.

How rich or wealthy we can become in this life is not depended on our present effort alone. It partly depends on past karma as well. So practice santosh (contentment).

Save a part of your money for bad days.

Donate a part of your money for charitable purposes. This helps to get rid of miserliness and develops detachment.

Am I on top of my finances or are they on top of me?

Family life

Treat all family members as an aspect of God. Matri devo bhava. (Mother is God), similarly father is God. Children are aspects of God. Reduce expectations from parents, children or spouse. Do not dependent on other family members. Be honest and truthful in relationships. Relationship outside of marriage will always create tension.

Understand each other’s feelings and needs. Respect them and help to fulfill them. Guru Nanak said “(Ek ne kahi duje ne mani, Nanak kahe dono gyani). If one says and the other listens then both are wise.

Respect differences in opinion and learn to live peacefully in spite of the differences.
Divorce is not always the remedy to deal with differences. Adjust, adapt and personal sacrifice can be a better solution.

Treat daughter-in –law as your own child. Do not ask for dowry. Do not differentiate between a male and a female child. A happy family is a stress free family.

Work Culture
                                                                                                     
Select a work that suits your inner temperament called dharma in India. Work done for the purpose of earning more money will never be satisfying and always create tension. You must love the work and have the talents to perform it well. Do not over work. Do not bring office work home.
 
       ‘Work while you work and play while you play.
        That is the way to be happy and gay’.

Do not fight over rights or rewards too much. You may however fight for legitimate demands and appropriate justice.

Do not put off work. Do it now is a good work ethics.  Do not leave things for tomorrow. That tomorrow never comes.

Am I on top of my workload or is my workload on top of me?

Keep your work as simple and selfless as possible – and do away with laziness.

Training in Self development

Do not compare

Comparing always creates a feeling of not being good enough resulting in pain.

Do not look at others wealth

It creates jealousy and envious feelings. Each of us is given in life what we deserve and what we need. This wisdom brings contentment and peace.

Do not be dependent

Learn to do your own work like washing, cleaning, sweeping etc. instead of depending on servants to do these works. Servants mean additional expenses, causing financial strain.

Practice Yama & Niyama

Practice universal laws of morality and ethics called yama and niyama in yoga. Practice truthfulness and honesty in all matters.

Change habit patterns

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Follow this precept. Reduce smoking, drinking.

Vegetarian’s diet

Meat eating is violence against animals. Eat simple, easily digestible vegetarian diet.

Do not criticize

We always feel we know better than others. We think what a better world we would live in if only people would listen to us. But has God appointed us as the supervisor of the world? Let’s face it; the world does not need our supervision. Whatever happens is the wish of God. And He looks upon everything that happens in the context of past, present and future. Hence criticizing others is criticism of God, opposing the wish, knowledge and justice of God. So do not criticize anybody for anything even if you think that he is absolutely wrong. Then your conscience will remain peaceful.

Do not judge or argue

Do not be judgmental. Quick emotional judgments often go wrong. Don’t argue with any one, for you will gain nothing from it. Winning an argument only increases the ego; the other person gets disheartened and this will only create a crack in the friendships and relationships.

Do not quarrel

Do not quarrel with any one, be it father, son, brother or business partner. Particularly when it comes down to money, a third party will only take advantage from this, so rather enjoy the peace even by getting less. Avoid getting into law suits. Advocates, courts, jails and police mainly exist because of people quarrelling. And to what result? People often have to sell what they have got to pay for the fees and fines. This, naturally, is the cause of further tension and anxiety. So realize how these ‘social robbers’ try to loot us because of our quarrels. They often have little interest in settling the argument quickly but rather prolong it for their own benefit.

This is a bit like the story of two cats fighting over a piece of bread. Both take the bread to a monkey. A weighing balance is procured to make sure that the bread is divided into two equal pieces. So the bread is divided and each piece is kept on one side of the balance. It turns out that one piece is larger than the other. So the monkey eats some bread out of the larger portion and because of this the other piece becomes larger. The monkey now eats a portion of what is now the bigger piece. In this way, the monkey gradually eats the whole bread and both cats remain mere spectators. This is similar to what happens in our courts. However, instead of bread, they will eat up all your money and – you will gain nothing.

Talk less, advice less

Speaking less is a sign of wisdom. Talking without thinking can lead to serious harm. We find an example of this in the great Hindu epic the Mahabharata. Draupadi called Duryodhana a “blind’s son can only be blind”. What happened to Draupadi is known to us all. So talk less. Don’t give advice to anybody without being asked to. Mind your own business.

Do not react to insults

So what to do if someone insults you and hurts your feelings? Do not react emotionally.  Remain calm and courteous in such circumstances. Do not get agitated. God will provide you with the necessary strength if you ask for it. And don’t have ill feelings towards that person. Forgive and forget, for this is the only way to remain peaceful. Sticking to those ill feelings will only hurt you – not the other person. For you will suffer from insomnia and high blood pressure. And ruminating happenings of the past is like scratching a healing wound.

Do not desire respect or fame

Don’t desire worldly respect or fame and don’t give much weight to people’s praise, for these only cause anxieties: If I am ‘special’ and ‘very dear’ to them today, will it be so tomorrow as well?

Drop expectations

Do not expect anything from anyone. Expectations cause frustration and anger and results in tension. Not many friends come to help in times of difficulty. So do not depend on them. Instead learn to rely on yourself and to trust in God. Adopt moral and spiritual values; they will protect and keep you happy in the long run.

Do not be a slave of desires

Do not be a slave of your desires. Desires are insatiable. Fulfilled desires lead to fresh ones and unfulfilled ones creates frustrations and anger. So use will power and reduce your desires. Slowly give them up. Learn to say no to them.

Acceptance

Sometimes the environment and the circumstances in life become a cause of tension. If we are unable to change them, we have to change our attitude towards them. What cannot be cured must be endured. Accept the circumstances as coming from God for our good.  Always be grateful to God.

Avoid bad company

Stay away from bad persons as much as possible, even it is happens to be a member of your own family. The three monkeys that  Mahatma Gandhi referred to always : one has covered his ears, indicating ‘don’t listen to bad words’; one has covered his mouth, indicating ‘don’t say anything bad’; and one has covered his eyes, indicating ‘don’t see anything bad’. So if you can’t avoid those people (in your office, for example), then don’t listen or partake in gossiping, and minor things should be overlooked.

Optimistic attitude

An optimistic attitude helps in self growth. This attitude is cultivated by knowing that all experiences are for ones good.  Whatever happens happens for good.

Dealing with loss

A saint had two sons. One day, while playing on the road, both of them died in an accident. When their mother heard about this, she brought their bodies’ home, bathed them, put them into new clothes and laid them on their bed, covering them with a white bed sheet. When the saint came home he asked about his sons. His wife did not brake the news right away but said that first he should have his meal. While taking the food, she mentioned that someone had given her two invaluable diamonds but that now he wants them back, and that she doesn’t want to give them back. What should she do? The Saint got angry with her and told her not to become greedy and that therefore the diamonds should be returned immediately. Then the wife said, “Those two diamonds were given to us by God in the form of our sons but today He has taken them back.“

So don’t feel sad when a near and dear one passes away. Rather, try to see it from the perspective that God has given you this person for a time but now has taken him or her back for you to practice detachment. Thinking like this gives peace.

Avoid astrologers

To get rid of present pain or tension avoids involvement with astrologers or tantriks. They are only after your money. Rama and Ravana, Sita and Surpanakha, Krishna and Kansa – they all had the same zodiac sign, but while the one was divine, the other was demonic. So by looking into your ‘future’ or by giving you ‘advice’ these people rather increase your tension and anxiety instead of decreasing them.

Do not resort to mal-practices

Do not abuse, do not indulge in any mal-practices or misbehavior in any other way when dealing with family members, servants or in business in particular. One who causes tension for others will never find peace of mind. So mend yourself. To do this you need to ‘peep into your inner self’ so to understand why you are behaving in such foolish ways – and then to change.

Charity

All religions of this world teach us to serve humanity. Muslims by charity, Hindus by donation, Sikhs have their public kitchens, Christians their acts of service. This is God’s desire, and if you help others without desiring personal gain (that is, being a instrument of God), this will give you mental satisfaction in the long run. To think of others instead of me, myself and I give you a wider perspective and lessens tension also. And if you give alms to those in needs, it helps to lessen the attachment to it. 

Please read this daily and, trying to change your behavior, become and remain tension free throughout your life.
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