Every human being aspires to be successful and experience satisfaction in the world. But for a spiritual student, the rules are a little different. A spiritual student, Swami Sukhabodhananda says, needs to be a Columbus in the field of consciousness to be successful or experience satisfaction. He/She has to explore, take risks, and go deeper not only in the outer world of life, but also in the inner world of mind, consciousness and being.
Swamiji reminds us that though most of us want to be successful and experience satisfaction in life, these are two different aspects of life. Success is often an external achievement, while satisfaction is attained by knowing the art of going inward. A spiritual student is one who knows that how to balance between being an outer winner and an inner winner.
When we concentrate on going inward, we feel satisfied and become an inner winner. But if we only concentrate on going outward, though we might be successful, there is no guarantee of satisfaction. It is when we combine the risk of going outward and being successful, with the spiritual paradigm of going inward and being satisfied, that our life becomes a flowering of spiritual consciousness.
However, if you notice, many successful people in life are not satisfied. Swamiji says, this is a consequence of need to have more and more which leads to unhappiness. This unhappiness, he points out, is due to the toxin called ‘greed’. Greed is a disease that has consumed humanity from ages. Swamiji reminds us that while greed acts as the fertilizer for horizontal growth, it is not a growth that is spiritually satisfying to human life.
So, can greed disappear from the world? Swamiji reminds us it is naïve to wish so. Instead, he asks us look within ourselves and discover the joy and peace inside which can make us eternally happy and satisfied. Bringing in vertical growth opportunities (of being calm and tolerant), in-between horizontal growth is what Swamiji reminds us to do.
Most people still believe that the ego is what makes them successful in life, not the Divine. But we don’t need ego to be successful, says Swamiji. Renouncing the ego and learning to function from the spiritual angle of inner and outer growth is what helps us acquire both success and satisfaction in life.
Reflect on this joke which illustrates how the ego works –
“A Chinese national was invited to a party in America. As the Chinese man was eating his dinner, an American comes, looks at the Chinese man and forms an opinion about him. In his mind, Chinese people drag words when they speak. So the American looks at him and asks, “You like the Soupyyy…..?” The Chinese person just shakes his head. Watching the Chinese man serve himself some rice, the American asks him, “You like the Riceee….?” Again, the Chinese man simply shakes his head. As he serves himself fish, the American looks at the Chinese and asks, “Do you like fishyyy..?” Before the Chinese man can reply, he is invited by someone to approach the stage. The American realizes the Chinese person is the main speaker for the evening. He watches in stunned silence as the Chinese person speaks about Shakespeare’s literature in perfect English, with the best pronunciation and grammar. After the speech finishes, the Chinese man comes down, goes to the American person, looks at him and asks, “You like my speechyyy…?”
Can you see with the help of the joke, how the ego works? Man is more of a machine than a conscious being. In our day-to-day life, we keep creating concepts and images about others. We have stopped seeing people as people and have started seeing them based on beliefs we have in our mind. When we start operating from such ego concepts, we end up affecting our success and our satisfaction.
But when we move to our inner spiritual world, the ego begins to fade. We start experiencing calmness and silence in the mind. Then the higher centers start operating in us and we start looking at creation differently. When we renounce the ego, the concept-creating mechanism in us, our mind starts looking at things differently. Then we begin to experience peace within. From that space, we find creativity opens up and translates into success in our outer world as well. That is the true recipe for satisfaction and success in the world.
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