We have come alone in this world.
We will leave alone.
Behind all the glamour and colors of this world, the great joys and laughter, and all the pain and horrific suffering, the fact of being alone is a constant for all beings.
Meditation on this fundamental truth serves as a gateway to Self-Realization.
Describing this state, Maharshi Patanjali (Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras) says in Book 1, the third verse, “The Seer now rests in His own nature.”
If we find the company of good people on our path, it enhances our life in every way.
In Sanskrit, we call this, Satsang (Spiritual Fellowship).
Sages emphasize the power of Satsang to transform our life.
The Satsang need not be physical or face to face. Coming into contact with the thoughts of great saints and yogis via books or other media also constitutes Satsang.
Sri Ramana used to say that physical contact with the Guru is not important. It is the mental and spiritual contact that is critical and central for our growth.
My father was a professor of mathematics.
Ever since I was a child, I remember my father reading palms for fun and entertainment. He read palms on demand and instantaneously!
No was ever refused. Someone could come to him off the street and ask to have their palm read. My father would stop immediately, hold the persons hands and look at all the lines on both palms and give his reading.
My father was always positive about what he said and was careful to couch anything negative by emphasizing the power of prayer and the role of will power. His readings were optimistic and he was very enthusiastic about communicating how destiny could be overcome by hard work and sincerely praying to God for help.
My father motivated people. He told them to not focus on their weaknesses and worry, but to enhance their strengths through mantra meditation and prayer.
Anyone who came to our house would have both their palms carefully examined and told about their future and given advice as well to overcome any obstacles!
The picture given above is of my father from the early 1970s. I was serving as his assistant and helping out managing the lines of people who wanted their palms read.
Whenever my father read palms, great crowds would gather.
No one was ever charged. All the readings were completely free.
Know yourself to be free
and realize your bliss.
Thinking yourself bound
will make you miss
that which is easily found
by being still.
What is the secret of happiness?
Don’t bother anyone.
Don’t be bothered by anyone.
That is the path of joy and freedom.
Help those who come your way. Help where needed.
But don’t bother anyone. Don’t impose yourself and your views on others.
Stay with people and be part of the community devoted to universal love and peace.
Stay away from those who like to argue. Let them find their way.
Sri Ramana used to say that the best help we can give others is to transform ourself.
Be a person of peace and compassion, and this will reflect in your actions.
Be the light. That light will illumine your path and that of others and will be the best help you can give.
Quietly shine in your own pure nature of peace and radiance.
You will have done all you can.
Whether honored or tormented, in laughter or tears
the wise man, who is aware of his Self-Nature
does not see the body and mind as his own
and releases them to their natural ways.
Freedom from duality comes from Self-Knowledge
and reveals the joy that takes one beyond all sorrows.
Here are the original verses from the Asthavakra Gita 3.9-3.14
Whether feted or tormented, the wise man is always aware of his supreme self-nature and is neither pleased nor disappointed. 3.9
The great-souled person sees even his own body in action as if it were someone else’s, so how should he be disturbed by praise or blame? 3.10
Seeing this world as pure illusion, and devoid of any interest in it, how should the strong-minded person feel fear, even at the approach of death? 3.11
Who can be compared to the great-souled person whose mind is free from desire even in disappointment, and who has found satisfaction in self-knowledge? 3.12
How should a strong-minded person who knows that what he sees is by its very nature nothing, consider one thing to be grasped and another to be rejected? 3.13
An object of enjoyment that comes of itself is neither painful nor pleasurable for someone who has eliminated attachment, and who is free from dualism and from desire. 3.14