In the spiritual life the easiest way to conquer ego is to offer gratitude to God for five minutes daily. If you cannot offer gratitude for five minutes, then utter it for one minute. Offer your gratitude to God. Then you will feel that inside you a sweet, fragrant and beautiful flower is growing. That is the flower of humility.
Why do we fail? Is it because we are unlucky? Is it because we have not worked very hard? I s it because we have not invoked God's Compassion and Blessings? Is it because God has accepted this failure as an experience He wanted to have in our life? Is it because God has granted this failure to us? Is it because God has willed that we should lose? No! not it is for a different reason that we experience failure. It is for the strengthening of our consciousness that, at times, God grants us defeat.
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In this world, man has two significant possessions: intelligence and emotion. These two possessions govern our day-to-day life. But very often we see that emotion (ego) gets the upper hand in our life. We know that even if someone is extremely intelligent, when his emotion comes to the fore it will devour him. He is compelled to do what his emotion asks him to do.
Through concentration we become one-pointed and through meditation we expand our consciousness into the Vast. But in contemplation we grow into the Vast itself. We have seen the Truth. We have felt the Truth. But the most important thing is to grow into the Truth and become totally one with the Truth. If we are concentrating on God, we may feel God right in front of us or besides us. When we are meditating, we are bound to feel Infinity, Eternity, Immortality within us. But when we are contemplating, we will see that we ourselves are Infinity, Eternity, Immortality.
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You can purify your existence by feeling deep within yourself a beautiful rose or lotus, or any other flower that you like. A flower is all purity. Try to identify yourself with the consciousness of the flower or with the purity of the flower. Today it is imagination, but if you continue imagining for five days, or ten days, or a month or two, then you are bound to see and feel the flower within you. First you may feel it, then you are bound to see the existence of the flower, and then automatically the fragrance and the purity of the flower will enter into you to purify you.
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The most important and most significant good quality in our human life is gratitude. Unfortunately, that good quality we somehow manage not to express either in our thoughts or in our actions. Right from the beginning of our life, we have somehow learned not to express it. So we have the least amount of the very thing that we need most in order to become a better person.
Your soul has a special mission. Your soul is supremely conscious of it. Maya, illusion or forgetfulness, makes you feel that you are finite, weak and helpless. This is not true. You are not the body. You are not the senses. You are not the mind. These are all limited. You are the soul, which is unlimited. Your soul is infinitely powerful. Your soul defies all time and space.
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Has your soul a special mission? Yes. Your mission is in the inmost recesses of your heart, and you have to find and fulfil it there. There can be no external way for you to fulfil your mission. The deer grows musk in his own body. He smells it and becomes enchanted, and tries to locate its source. He runs and runs, but he cannot find the source. In his endless search, he loses all his energy and finally he dies. But the source he was so desperately searching for was within himself. How could he find it elsewhere? Such is the case with you. Your special mission- which is the fulfilment of your divinity- is not outside you, but within you. Search within. Meditate within. You will discover your mission.
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Peace is something tangible. It silences the outgoing energy of the mind and feeds the aspiring heart. Peace is not merely the absence of quarreling and fighting. True peace is not affected by the roaring of the world, outer or inner. This sea of peace is at our command if we practise the spiritual life.
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It is only through meditation that we can get lasting peace, divine peace. If we meditate soulfully in the morning and receive peace for only one minute, that one minute of peace will permeate our whole day. And when we have a meditation of the highest order, then we really get abiding peace, light and delight. We need meditation because we want to grow in light and fulfill ourselves in light. If this is our aspiration, if this is our thirst, then meditation is the only way.
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When you really have something to offer to the world, then you can become truly humble. A tree when it has no fruit to offer, remains erect. But when the tree is laden with fruit, it bends down. If you are all pride and ego, then nobody will be able to get anything worthwhile from you. When you have genuine humility, it is a sign that you have something to offer to mankind.
Meditation is like going to the bottom of the sea, where everything is calm and tranquil. On the surface of the sea there may be a multitude of waves but the sea is not affected below. In its deepest depths, the sea is all silence. When we start meditating, first we try to reach our own inner existence, our true existence- that is to say, the bottom of the sea. Then when the waves come from the outside world, we are not affected. Fear, doubt, worry and all the earthly turmoils just wash away, because inside us is solid peace. Thoughts cannot touch us, because our mind is all peace, all silence, all oneness. Like fish in the sea, they jump and swim but leave no mark. When we are in our highest meditation, we feel that we are the sea, and the animals in the sea cannot affect us. We feel that we are the sky, and all the birds flying past cannot affect us. Our mind is the sky and our heart is the infinite sea. This is meditation.
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There are two ways to illumine anger. One way is to enlarge your heart. If you have been wronged, use your power of identification. Feel that it is you yourself, or an extended part of your own consciousness, that has done the wrong thing. The sooner you can rid yourself of the idea that somebody else has done something to you, the better off you will be. The second way is to think of perfecting yourself. When you stop thinking of perfecting others and only care for your own aspiration, you will be liberated from anger. Instead of looking around to see who is obstructing you or standing in your way, just pay all attention to your own self-discovery. When you have discovered your true self, you will see that there is nobody imperfect on earth. Everybody is perfect in you.
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Real joy means immediate expansion. If we experience pure joy, immediately our heart expands. We feel that we are flying in the divine freedom-sky. The entire length and breadth of the world becomes ours, not for us to rule over, but as an expansion of our consciousness. We become reality and vastness.
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When your heart's gratitude comes to the fore, when you become all gratitude, this gratitude is like a flow, a flow of consciousness. When your consciousness is flowing, feel that this gratitude-flow is like a river that is watering the root of the tree and the tree itself. It is always through gratitude that your consciousness-river will grow and water the perfection-tree inside you.
Right now fear, doubt, anxiety, tension and disharmony are reigning supreme. But there shall come a time when this world of ours will be flooded with peace. Who is going to bring about this radical change? It will be you: you and your sisters and brothers. You and your oneness-heart will spread peace throughout the length and breadth of the world.
If we have a simple existence, we shall feel how happy and how fortunate we are. There are some people who are of the opinion that simplicity is almost tantamount to stupidity. But simplicity and stupidity are like the North Pole and the South Pole. One can be as simple as a child and, at the same time, one can have boundless knowledge, light and wisdom.
To simplify your life, just think of yourself as a four-year-old child. Try to imagine the way he thinks of reality. If you have to talk to someone about a so-called complicated matter, see how you can simplify it. No matter with whom you are talking, feel that you are a child and that person is also a child. When a childlike quality comes into your life, everything automatically becomes simple.
Unless and until we have peace deep within us, we can never hope to have peace in the outer world. You and I create the world by the vibrations that we offer to it. If we can invoke peace and then offer it to somebody else, we will see how peace expands from one to two persons, and gradually to the world at large. Peace will come about in the world from the perfection of individuals. If you have peace, I have peace, he has peace, and she has peace, then automatically universal peace will dawn.
No price is too great to pay for inner peace. Peace is the harmonious control of life. It is vibrant with life-energy. It is a power that easily transcends all our worldly knowledge. Yet it is not separate from our earthly existence. If we open the right avenues within, this peace can be felt here and now.