By Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai
Whether it is a child, youth or an old person everyone seems to get disturbed by their surroundings. Pujya Gurudevshri gives us an insight into the real cause of our disturbance so that we can overcome it to become the master of our lives.
The music that comes out of your music player depends on what you play. If you play classical music, you will hear that and if you play a movie song, you will hear that. Your brain is just like that device. The tragedy of life is that the music playing in your brain is not yours; it’s been placed by others. Decide to play your own music and not others’. Resolve to delete all those old recordings of failures, humiliations, discomfort, and defeat that say, ‘you must suffer.’
No matter how unfavorable the circumstances are, stay determined to continue living happily. Your old recording says, ‘feel stressed or distressed if someone is angry or against you.’ Change it to, ‘this is not the end of the world, and even if it were, who says there is anything to worry about?’ Do not get carried away by the old recording. Play the new music of peace, equanimity, and true spiritual knowledge.
Correct your thinking
Let’s say the house next door is getting renovated. The workers are doing their job sincerely but the sound they are making is loud enough to blast the eardrums. You feel restless. You rebel and get angry with them because you feel that you are troubled by the noise and no one is understanding that. But why are you so agitated?
Your suffering is due to your past recording that says, ‘Others, not me, are creators of my joy and sorrow. My work, studies and sleep are disturbed because of noise’. Wake up to the understanding that, ‘I am unhappy and restless because of my own incompatible attitude.’ Now, let the new recording play, ‘Not others, but I alone am the creator of my joy and sorrow. I am responsible for everything that happens with me. Sound does not hinder me, I am a hindrance to the sound.’
You may feel that this isn’t fair. Some thoughtless, insensitive people make noise that the whole neighborhood can hear and I am blamed even though I am peacefully studying in a corner. How can I be a hindrance to it? How can silence hinder noise?
The cause of the stress
Open your eyes and look at your recordings from a distance. You’ll realise that the thought that makes you suffer is wrong. Then, even if it is old, well-established, and common, the moment that thought comes in the light of awareness, it gradually begins to loosen its grip on you and melts away.
The stress is real but one thing is clear – it’s certainly not their fault. The fault lies with your wrongly set principles, your stubbornness, your beliefs, and your insistence. You have created a notion that I am a very sensitive, sentimental, soft-natured, and introvert person. I need peace, solitude, and silence for my work, and without that, I just cannot work. It is my birthright to live in a noise-free environment and others must respect my right and remain silent.
A spiritually inclined and peaceful person is not one who dislikes noise, disorder, and the bustle. But he is one who remains steady within, in spite of all of them. Therefore, your opinion is wrong! The fact is that you are habituated to being intolerant to noise. It is no different from those who are habituated to being tolerant to noise. They cannot live without the noise! Had your recording said, ‘noise is irrelevant, it cannot affect my sleep or work, I don’t need absolute silence to concentrate’, then today, your condition would have been different. So work on changing your attitude.
Your wrong logic says: ‘I would have been in a better condition if I had the other habit. But what can I do now? I am helpless. My nerves are under stress and I can’t relax. And unless I relax, I cannot work or sleep properly. So the only solution is to suffer and wait patiently. My destiny!’ Defending yourself in this manner is absolutely wrong and must be stopped if you wish to progress spiritually. Just as you had convinced your brain that noise couldn’t be tolerated, you must now set it as ‘noise can be tolerated. If others can tolerate, why can’t I?’
Only after you are convinced that noise cannot spoil your work, will you realise that you were a hindrance to noise. The noise certainly is and will remain. The world is noisy and you have to live in this world only. Whether you like it or not, this is the reality. Whatever you may do, it will remain the same. To oppose is like kicking a rock. The rock will not move but you will get hurt. By complaining, not accepting, and resisting what is, you are being a hindrance and inviting your own loss. Being in harmony with the reality, accepting and giving space for what is, is the right path. If you don’t resist the noise, it cannot disturb you.
The key is in your hands
This is an example and it can be applied to any object, situation or person. You blame external circumstances but the real fault lies in you. The hindrance is never outside; it is always within. It is in the wrong concepts. But the key is in your hand. If you could create such concepts, you can also create other concepts. And if you progress spiritually, you can even become free from all concepts and live in absolute reality, which is the ultimate goal of human life.
It is not very difficult to change the attitude. Once you begin to practice, you will understand that to succeed, you will take less time than you have imagined. By changing the belief, the noise will have less influence and you will easily be able to apply yourself in your work. Only when someone points it out to you, you will notice the sound.
Disturbance and non-acceptance
In reality, there is nothing like disturbance. What you call as disturbance is non-acceptance of the present circumstances! Once a musical concert was organised. A day before the concert the singers came to the hall for a rehearsal. At the same time, some workers, completely unaware of the rehearsal, were trying to fix something in the hall using the hammer and the saw. Disturbed by their sounds, the leader of the rehearsing group approached a worker with a pitiable face. Looking at him, the worker said, ‘please continue your singing sir! We are not getting disturbed by it!’
Who was more genuine? The singer or the worker? If the worker is not disturbed by the singer, then why should the singer get disturbed by the hammer sounds? Only because he could not accept the hammering, he opposed it and found it to be a disturbance. So the solution was not to stop the hammering but in accepting it as music.
Understand, not tolerate
By correcting the attitude behind non-acceptance and accepting the reality, one does not feel any disturbance. What do you accomplish by resisting, complaining or quarreling anyway? Instead of accepting circumstances out of helplessness, start changing your attitude through right understanding and see for yourself – stress does not last long.
In fact, peace remains constant because peace is one’s inherent nature. When one’s focus shifts from events to attitude, one starts taking charge of his life. No more does he become happy or sad due to external things or beings.
Tortured or torturer
An angry person feels he is the tortured one and the one who makes him angry is the torturer. Whether he expresses his anger or not, from within, he believes that he has been instigated to become angry by someone outside. With such deluded thinking, the anger becomes intense. With the right understanding when delusion is annihilated, anger does not last long.
They alone are the masters of their lives, who live their life free from others’ influence or slavery. Should others govern your emotions, words or deeds? Do not give the control of your life to others. Only if you become the master of your life, you can ascend the ladder of Self-realisation.