Heaven and Hell Within Part 3 15

Heaven and Hell Within - 03

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Suppose the second native doesn’t care about any specific mango and all he cares for is to collect whatever comes his way, while making sure that he doesn’t lose the already collected mangos. Hence he looks for the mangos which are relatively easier to collect and he doesn’t fix himself on any particular mangos. As the time reaches its limit, suppose this native is able to collect 15 mangos from the tree and he drops none of the already collected mangos. Hence he finishes at a score of 35.

Though the first native has collected that specific mango, he’s missed out on a number of other mangos, he’s also dropped 15 mangoes from his basket and hence he’s lost the competition. The second native understood well from the start that the objective of the competition was to score more points and this is all that mattered. Hence he kept achieving all around success, which means he kept availing the opportunities to collect all the mangos which came his way and he also made sure that he didn’t lose the mangos he already had. Hence he scored almost the double than the first native.

The approach of the first native can be compared to your ego and the approach of the second native can be compared to your conscience. The ego ignores all other mangos in order to achieve one specific mango, which means it ignores all other things in order to achieve a specific thing. Hence it may finally succeed in getting that thing but it may end up even behind the starting line. It means your ego may take you backwards in spiritual evolution and you may end up facing more jobs to do, by the time it has achieved its target.

As you can see, the first native has ended up with 18 points whereas he started with 20. This is what your ego can do to you. Though you may actually lose, it may keep telling you that getting a particular mango is more important; and even if you lose some of the already collected mangos in order to get that particular mango, it is fine. You may get that mango in the end, but at the cost of many other mangos and at the cost of finishing behind the starting line.

Looking at your conscience, it may tell you that the first thing you need to ensure is that you don’t lose the already collected mangos in order to collect new ones. This is because your conscience understands that it is equally or even more important, not to lose things you’ve already gained, while trying to gain new things. Hence your conscience helps you balance your focus in a way that you pay due attention to collecting new mangos as well as to preserving the already collected mangos. Therefore, it helps you collect 15 new mangos and at the same time, it helps you avoid losing any mangos that you already have.

Though the ego of the first native may certainly convince him that he’s collected the one special mango and that is what matters the most; and it can make him feel like a winner even when he’s actually lost, he’s only fooling himself. Kindly understand that the mangos that you already have are also equally important or even more important than the mangos you’re trying to have. Hence your goals should be set and pursued in a way that you don’t have to lose what you’ve already achieved, in order to gain new things.

It means there is no sense in finishing your scientific project if you end up hurting as well as losing majority of important people in your life and you also face other losses. You may think you’ve achieved success; your ego has pushed you behind the starting line in reality. As a result, you’ll be born again to settle the karmic accounts with your wife, your kids and other people as you’ve broken the promises made to them and you have to pay for these karmas. You may have finished this project but in order to finish it, you have left a number of other projects unfinished, when you could easily have finished them.

Finishing a project at the cost of spoiling a number of other equally or even more important projects is something that only a person with high ego may do and a person with high conscience may never fall for it. This is because your conscience helps you evaluate things and people as they are whereas your ego can highly inflate the value of a particular person or thing it gets attached to. Hence in this case, you ego may tell you that all other commitments taken together are much smaller than the commitment made to this project and hence you must fulfill this commitment, even if all other commitments are broken.

Your conscience on the other hand, helps you see this picture as it is and hence you do your best for the project and leave the rest, as getting involved in it beyond a point can disturb the harmony in your life, thereby restricting your spiritual growth. Accordingly, you choose to focus on the effort, instead of focusing on the result, which is another prominent difference between ego and conscience. The ego will always attach to the result whereas the conscience will always encourage you to focus on the effort and remain unattached from the result.

Hence a person driven by ego may see no fun in the effort and he may be interested in results only. The results as you can understand are never guaranteed in most cases as there are a number of variables beyond our control, which affect such results. Hence this person is only inviting troubles in the long run and nothing else. For example, if you’re an actor and you’re acting in a movie, your job is to do your best and leave the rest.

If you’re an actor driven by ego, you may get attached to the success of this movie or even to an award which your acting performance may bring. This is where you’ve started inviting problems. This is because the success of this movie depends on a number of factors and your performance is not the only criterion affecting its success. Hence it may or may not succeed. As your ego is attached to this movie, you may feel happy only if this movie is successful. It means if this movie fails, you may feel let down or sad and you may not enjoy anything for a while.

However, if you’re an actor driven by conscience, your approach may be quite different. From the beginning, you may pay close attention to your acting details, you may deliver your best and you may also enjoy a number of special moments during the making of this movie. For instance, you may have an out of country schedule and you may have a lot of fun there. By the time this movie is released, you may not be worried much about its commercial success though some expectations may still be there.

Even if this movie fails, you may feel content that you gave it your best and hence your job is done. Accordingly, the failure of this movie may not disturb you as your conscience helped you get attached to the karma and not to the result. Hence you draw your pleasure from the karma of acting and you don’t wait for results, in order to feel happy. An interesting thing is that when you remember this movie after many years, you may feel happy as you may remember the fun you had while shooting for this movie.

For instance, whenever anything reminds you of the foreign country where you shot this movie, you may fill with sweet memories as you had so much fun. The same incident may still try to fill you with joy, even if you’re the actor with high ego, but this joy may be short lasted. This is because as soon as you remember the fun you had in this foreign country, you also remember that the shooting resulted in a failed movie. Hence the bitter memories of failure of this movie may stop you from feeling good and in fact, you may start feeling bad. You see, how differently your ego and your conscience work.

Another interesting thing is that the actor with high conscience may deliver much better acting performance than the actor with high ego. Though the former is not much interested in the commercial success of this movie whereas the latter is, the performance of the former may still be better than the latter. If you look from the surface, the actor with high ego should deliver better performance as he’s more attached to this movie than the actor with high conscience. However, the opposite may happen and this is why.

All of us have certain specific amount of energy available with us, though this amount may vary in case of different individuals. For each and everything we do, we need energy. Hence more is the number of things you’re doing at a time; less may be the amount of energy available to all of them or to some of them, depending on your focus. The concept of how your subconscious mind sends energy to your fields of interest has been already explained earlier in this book and hence I’ll move ahead.

When you engage in a specific karma, you have two ways of doing it. You can either focus on the fruits or you can focus on the karma. If you choose to focus on the fruits, your subconscious mind attaches a significant part of the available energy to the fruits and accordingly, not all the energy is focused on the karma. It should be noted that the fruit can only be reached through karma and there is no other way out. Hence the more you focus on karma, the better are the chances of getting the fruit at the earliest, because most of your energy is going to your karma, which certainly improves the quality of your karma.

As the quality of your karma improves, the quality of the fruit also increases as the quality of your karma is the primary factor when it comes to decide the quality of fruit. However, if you get attached to the fruits more than the karma, you may not be able to produce high quality karmas and hence the quality of the fruit may also drop. Therefore, the people who focus on their karmas more than the results are likely to get better results than the ones who focus more on the results. Isn’t it interesting how you may get better results if you don’t care about them much? This is due to the reason that the amount of energy you need to focus on results reduces the amount of energy available for focusing on karma and so the quality of karma drops.

Taking a practical example, if you’re a person driven by ego and you engage in acts of kindness with the ambition of becoming a billionaire when you may already be a millionaire, this is what may happen. You’re doing charities and with each act of charity, your hope for breaking the barrier of billions at the earliest may become stronger and your patience may become weaker. This is because you may think that you’ve done another good karma and hence your objective should be even closer. Though you may be right in thinking so, it can make you anxious.

As your primary focus is on becoming a billionaire and the acts of kindness for you are only the media through which you may achieve your objective, you may not be able to draw much pleasure from such acts. While engaging in all these acts, you’re focused on results and not on these acts. Hence your happiness depends on result and if this result is delayed which may often happen due to a number of reasons, you may start feeling anxious, restless, impatient and even unhappy with the passage of time. It is possible that after some time or after a long period of time, you may even stop engaging in acts of kindness.

This is because you may think that such acts may not be capable of bringing the result desired by you as a lot of time has already passed without the result coming to you. Hence you may lose faith in acts of kindness and you may quit doing them altogether. If that happens, you may also start having regrets and negative feelings as you may think that you’ve lost a big amount of money towards the acts of kindness and you start considering such money as lost money. Hence you end up being sad instead of being happy. You see, how your own mindset can bring you sadness even from the best types of acts?

On the other hand, if you’re a person with high conscience and your primary objective behind all such acts of kindness is to help the needy ones and feel happy in the process, you’re blessed right from the first moment. This is because you start helping the needy ones, your help brings smiles on their faces and that smile fills your face as well as your heart with smile too. Hence you start getting your happiness right from the first moment and you don’t have to wait at all. This is because your happiness is dependent on your karmas and not on their results. Since you can almost always control your karmas and you can almost never control their results, you’ve learnt the art of being happy.

Consciously or subconsciously, you’ve developed a tendency of drawing happiness from the karma itself, instead of waiting for such happiness to come through results. Hence no one can stop you from being happy as you’ve now discovered the biggest secret of happiness. Another good thing is that since you’re drawing happiness from your karmas, you don’t focus much on their results. As that happens, you’re not anxious about the quantum of rewards or their timing and hence you don’t feel impatient. This way, you keep engaging in more and more acts of kindness and you don’t expect results. This is what is called Nishkaam Karma; a good karma without the desire for result and this is what you’ve achieved now.

In deepest sense, Nishkaam karma means learning the art of drawing all the pleasure from the karma itself, rather than depending on its result for such pleasure. When you learn and master this art, you know the secret to everlasting happiness and joy; as all you have to do is to start doing what you enjoy doing, provided it’s not destructive. For example, if you’re a very good dancer, there’re two ways you may try to get pleasure through the art of dancing.

In the first case, you dance and you expect praise from other people who may be watching you perform. It should be noted that your happiness is now dependent on the reactions of other people and hence it becomes dependent on the fruit of your karma of dancing. If majority of people praise you, you may feel happy and if not, you may feel sad though you may have given your best to this piece of dance. Hence you depend on the result of your karma to feel happy and this is what can bring problems. If you don’t receive praise for a long period of time, you may even disengage from dancing as you lose patience and you see no benefit in it.

In the second case, you like dancing and you dance only in order to feel happy. Your happiness comes from the dance itself and it is not dependent on the results. It means you get all absorbed while dancing and the more you dance, the more you enjoy. By the time you’re finished with a piece of dance, you’re filled with pleasure and you don’t want anything else now, like the reactions of people who may be watching you. Your happiness in this case is dependent on your act instead of being dependent on the result. Hence you can almost always control your happiness in this case as you can start dancing whenever you feel like.

It should be noted that in case of people of second type, since the focus is on the acts and not on the results; the results are better or much better than those witnessed by the people of the first type. This is because these natives don’t get impatient or restless to get happiness as they’re getting it right from the start. Hence they keep getting more and more happiness from their acts and as they do so, their acts start getting better and better. It’s a simple fact that the more you enjoy doing a thing, the more you keep doing it and the better you become at it.

Hence these natives keep enjoying their acts, they keep engaging in them in order to enjoy even more and they also keep improving as all their focus is targeted at their acts, which brings improvements. If one such native is a dancer who enjoys dancing, his dance may keep becoming better and better; attracting more appreciation from people who watch his performances. As a result, rewards are earned earlier and at the same time, in higher quanta. Isn’t it interesting that the more you run after results, the more distant they become; and the more you focus on the path to results than the results themselves, the closer they get?

This is why while setting on a journey; you should develop affinity with the path and not with the destination. By doing so, you start loving the journey itself; more than the destination. Hence you start enjoying your journey instead of looking at it like a boring medium which leads to your destination. Accordingly, your journey becomes a happy one and your destination reaches earlier because the more you’re focused on your journey, the faster it is covered. Kindly understand that all your energy is undivided and focused on the journey; and so it is covered at the earliest. As soon as your focus shifts to destination, you start facing problems in your journey as you’re not giving it your undivided attention which is now divided between journey and destination.

For example, if you wish to help a group of hungry kids, you may do so in many ways. Let’s take a look at a couple of them. You may have a mindset that helping people will bring you happiness and hence you’re willing to donate. You see these hungry kids; you give them some money which may be sufficient to buy food and you walk away. You may not enjoy this act much because your focus is on the reward for this act and not on the act itself. Hence you may not get the most out of this act.

Let’s consider the same act when you’re a person who draws pleasure from such acts of kindness, instead of waiting for results. In this case, you may take these kids with you to a nearby place which offers good food or you may bring such food to them, you may accompany them and you may all enjoy this food together. All your focus in this case is on doing your best for these kids. Hence you enjoy this food with them or you simply accompany them while they eat food, you see them become happy and you get an instant reward in the form of satisfaction and happiness.

As your happiness is now dependant on the act itself, you may do it in the best possible way as you know that the better this act is performed, the happier you’ll feel. Hence you may try to create the best possible atmosphere for this entire act so that the kids may become very happy and their true happiness may pass on to you also. This way, you end up feeling happy in the act itself and you don’t depend on the reward. But this is not all you get and there’s more. Kindly note that in order to obtain maximum happiness from this act, you’ve done a lot more than you did in the first case where you merely donated money to hungry kids.

In this case, you may have spent the same amount of money, but you’ve offered yourself also at the disposal of these kids. You’ve spared your time, you’ve offered your services in a sincere way and you’ve tried to ensure that the kids are benefitted in the best possible way. Hence your rewards are likely to be faster and bigger than those in the first case. It’s interesting that though you don’t expect rewards in this case and you enjoy the act itself, the rewards become bigger and faster. This is what Nishkaam karma can do for you; as it teaches you do draw all the pleasure from the karma itself, rather than depending on the result.

Likewise, an actor with high conscience may focus on his acting only and as he may put all his energy in his acts, his performances may be very good. On the other hand, the actor with high ego may get attached to results and hence his energy may get divided. It means he may not be able to devote all his available energy to his acts as a significant part of this energy is already engaged somewhere else. Therefore, he may not deliver as good a performance, as the actor with high conscience may.

Coming back to the primary example, the ego of this scientist may get attached to the project and it can trouble him a lot. In this case, his ego is feeding on the intellect as it is his intellect which can finish this project and bring him recognition, which in fact is the recognition for his ego. Similar to this scientist, most other intellectual people may also develop egos with the development of intellects as their egos may feed on their intellects.

In the same way, ego can feed on emotions also. Many people think that since emotions come from heart and heart is generally related to beautiful feelings, emotions may not be as destructive as intellect. However, it may not be true in many cases and emotions can also do equal amount of damage, when they’re being fed on by the ego. We’ll discuss this topic in the next part of this book.

Such is the power of your ego which can feed on most other entities living inside you and this is what makes it the most difficult to win enemy. If you grow intellect to win over it, it may also grow by feeding on your intellect and it may start using your intellect against the real ‘You’, which is your soul.

If you grow heart to win over your ego, it may also grow by feeding on your heart and it may start using your heart against the real you. As far as physical body is concerned, it can almost never be used to win over your ego and it may almost always become a tool in the hands of your ego.

The only entity in your existence, which can control your ego and even kill it, is your conscience. When it comes to your soul, it may not be willing to interfere with the working of any one of these entities and hence the job of keeping all these entities under control is handed over to your conscience. Your conscience may be considered as the first and the purest product of your soul and hence it can be considered just like your soul, though it is not your soul.

Let’s try to understand this fact with the help of an example. Sun is considered as the source of all types of life forms on earth and rightly so. However, if we get into the bottom of this fact, we may be able to see that in reality; it is not the Sun but it is the sunlight generated by the Sun; which is responsible for creating so many types of life forms on earth and then maintaining them. Though sunlight is the purest product made by the Sun; sunlight is sunlight and it is not the Sun.

The job of the Sun is to keep burning and producing light and it doesn’t care about anything else. Whether an astral body like earth receives this light or not; whether such astral body benefits from it or not and all other questions of this type are the ones which the Sun doesn’t care for and all it cares for is to create light. Any planet that comes in alignment with its light receives its light and the quantum of this light may depend on the distance as well as the angle of Sun with respect to this planet at any point in time.

The quantum of sunlight received by a planet as well as the time period for which it receives such light decides the kind of benefits such planet may receive. If you look at the bottom; the sun doesn’t invite the planets to receive its light and it also doesn’t stop them from receiving it. The sun doesn’t prohibit the clouds from getting in the way and it also doesn’t invite them. The sun doesn’t care whether its light is creating life on a planet or not. All it cares for is that its job is to create this light and that’s it. Hence all the good things attributed to the sun are caused by its light and as the Sun is the source of this light; it duly deserves this credit.

In the same way; the domain of god is like the universe, your soul is like the sun and it generates conscience; just like the sunlight. Just as the sun is directly not interested in changing anything and all it cares for is to create light; the soul too is directly not interested in dealing with your body, intellect, heart; and even with your ego. The sun generates sunlight to deal with things and the soul generates conscience to deal with things. Hence the Sun as well as the Soul is more like a witness; which watches everything from a distance and which is not attached to anything. We’ll talk more about this, later on.

Since your conscience lives on a higher plane, it is difficult to grow as compared to your physical form, intellect, emotions and ego which lie on lower planes. As most people start their journey of evolution, they start from physical plane and then they move ahead. In order to reach the level where the conscience lives, they have to cross the level where ego lives and this is where the problems starts. Your ego may capture you, it may capture you completely and it may not allow you to cross this level at all. Hence you may get stuck on this level and you may not step into the domain of conscience.

As a result, you may have a beautiful body, a well developed intellect and even a beautiful heart but you may not have a well developed conscience. This is because with the growth of all these entities, your ego also grows and it starts controlling and using all these entities to its advantage. The only way to control your ego first and then get rid of it altogether is to try and grow more and more conscience. This task is much more difficult than it may appear to be because there’s a direct clash between your ego and conscience.

Himanshu Shangari