9 Habits that changed my Life!

If you’ve read my book, you know the core of the Flower of Fulfillment model is Awareness, and then Habits. Even in the last blog, we reminded ourselves the same. Awareness—> Choice —-> Action —-> Habits. In this blog, I’ll be sharing 9 habits that have made massive impacts on my wellness, wisdom, and work.

9 Habits that can change your Life:

  1. Waking up Early. Early rising can be the best keystone habit one can have. I’ve already mentioned that in the blog: Keystone Habit that changed my Life!. And that in general, it’s better to know your sleep archetype and then plan to get extra waking hours – i.e, one may rise early or sleep late. However, in my experience, waking up early has more benefits than sleeping late. Not just the energy, vibe, etc, but mainly, your day will be influenced by the first hour. If you’re someone of the owl archetype, then, you’ll not have control of the first waking hour. Especially if you’re part of an Indian family. However, if you’re an early riser, you can own your first waking hour. You get to do whatever you like, without any disturbance before anyone else wakes up and commands you with an obligatory chore. And once you own the first hour, you can own the day.
  2. Consume Mindfully. Healthy and INTENT aligned. This habit was installed through the realization that our body and mind are just the accumulation of what we’ve gathered. Whatever goes in will influence the tendencies of your mind and body. So, try to become mindful of what you consume. Even whatever goes into your mind. This one habit comprises various micro habits. Some examples: Drink water instead of Tea or Coffee. Mute statuses /stories and notifications of general content that is not useful to you in any way or that you can find anywhere. After every piece of content you consume, observe how you feel, if you do not feel good or inspired, and mainly if it is irrelevant to your life, then stop consuming that type of content. [ Read the blogs: LIFE Alignment and INTENTional Living to know more about aligning your lifestyle with your intent].
  3. Gratitude & LOVE. This is the habit that was born out of necessity in my lowest times. Everyone who’s suffering from an existential crisis must know this. This should be the first habit they must install after the habit of reflecting for awareness. Daily, write what you’re grateful for. I usually write about 3 aspects of my life that I’m grateful for. On my worst days, I may write just one aspect that I’m grateful for. At my best, I may write up to 5 or 6 aspects of my life that I’m grateful for. And the second part of this habit is LOVE. When you’re grateful, you’ll naturally Love. And when you’re in love, you’re naturally grateful. Loving involves loving your parent, sibling, your pet, your work, nature around you, and eventually everything. [ The word “loving” may be misleading. It’s not something you do. It’s the way you feel within. ]
  4. Write. I’ve already written two blogs regarding the same [ Reasons to write every day and Write, Write better! ]. There are types of writing through which one can utilize the habit to its fullest potential. One, To know yourself. These are the notes where you write about your own tendencies, intent, etc all observations of yourself. Two, to know the world. These are the notes where you write the facts you’ve realized about life. Three, your journal, to document your life and through it become more mindful. Writing in all these forms is a great tool for reflection. And you might know through my book or through my other blogs that, there can be wisdom and awareness only through deep reflection.
  5. Read. Reading (books, and blogs) is a great tool one must have. Especially, non-fiction. Reading has a lot of benefits. As mentioned earlier we tend to become what we consume. The more greatness we consume, the more we get to become greatness. Reading provokes thinking, acts as a reminder, and much more ( read Blog: Reading Books 101 ).
  6. Yoga (Move). Even though, To be honest, this is my most recent habit (2 years), yoga has been part of my life since my childhood. And I’ve been receiving benefits from it since then. Thanks to Sanathana Dharma, yoga is intertwined into Bharath’s household culture. And thanks to Modiji, I can presume that I need not mention the benefits of Yoga.
  7. Meditate (Be still & aware). There are ways and levels of meditation. In the beginning, one might feel the need for guided meditation, then some sounds, then one will move to need ultimate silence, and eventually, none of these will be needed. One may start by struggling to stop the voice in one’s head. Then move to a stage where one can pause the thoughts but will not be aware when his/her mind starts to wander. Then comes the stage where thoughts are naturally less but the meditator is trying to move to an even more advanced stage by noticing the emerging thoughts. And meditation is not something you do, it happens, so some days are great, and some days are not (considering one is meditating only once a day). There are a lot of aspects to this that are hard for me to explain everything here. However, there are a lot of benefits to meditating daily. And the key is ‘Daily’. By consistent practice, one can train the mind to be more mindful, calmer, sharper, and all that we aspire for our minds to be. And of course, the benefits of meditation are not limited to body and mind.
  8. AnushTAna (non-negotiable habits): AnushTAna is a habit you do daily without fail regardless of at what time you wake up or how much work you have. It is a non-negotiable habit. AnushTAna can be multiple habits. Because one might be a musician as well as a spiritual practitioner. So he/she may choose to have AnushTAna for each aspect of his/her life.
  9. Work on what you Love. This may sound cliche but this is better advice than “Love what you do”. Love what you do is a piece of good advice if what you’re doing is aligned with your INTENT, with how you want to live your life. However, for example, if your intent to is to love animals and probably to make an animal care Centre in the future, you cannot “love what you do” now if your work is butchering animals for people to eat. Right? Moreover, when your work is aligned with your intentions, loving what you do is automatic. Btw, “love what you do” also has limitations. It’s when, if one’s loving work is poison for another person’s life, then it is a crime. And at the core, that won’t be what you love. Anyway, working on what you love will bring an immense sense of fulfillment in your life. “What would people think of this/me” is something you’ll have to leave to do this and it is also something you’ll leave once you do this. All you’ll be concerned about is being in that state, in that lifestyle, results don’t matter. That is the way to live a life of fulfillment.

These are the habits that make up most of my lifestyle and most importantly, these are the high-yielding habits. Now it’s your turn. Go back to the top and reflect on whether you’ve already similar habits or if not, reflect on how you can install them into your lifestyle.

Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

8 Simple Facts that can help you beat Resistance!

At the core, what are people actually struggling with? Ignorance and Resistance. That is, people struggle by not knowing something or by only partially knowing something and then there is the struggle of not being able to do/act on what they know.

It’s actually one thing, but it seems to be two things. And that one thing is ignorance (or lack of awareness). We’ve already looked into that in many of my blogs.

Whether you’re in partial awareness or in complete darkness, there exists a struggle. So, it’s awareness that can set us free from everything. Ignorance is the cause of all suffering (From Blog 95). This much, I think I’ve already established through my blogs.

And then there is Resistance. Even though resistance is also a by-product of ignorance, you cannot always wait for awareness to get you out of resistance.

This blog for example was derived from my sheer intent to write, not out of some eureka-type awareness that dawned upon me a few moments ago. Of course, I’ve written many blogs using those eureka kinds of moments too. But my point here is, sometimes you got to take action before awareness. Sure there is a risk involved. The action you take may lead to its fullest fruition or into a devastating disaster.

So, resistance. How to beat it?

Before I continue any further, I’ll have to mention that the credit for this blog goes to my sister. When I was wondering what to write for this week’s blog and asked my sister: “What do you think? What should I write about for this week’s blog? What can people learn from me?” Her first reply whether she meant it or not was – “You’ve already written all of it”. “That’s disappointing,” I said. But then she said one word – “Consistency”. This blog is not exactly just about consistency, but this has everything that underlies it.  Ok, let me continue the blog now.

Of course, essentially through this blog, it is the awareness that again helps us beat resistance. So let me tell you 8 simple facts that make action an easier choice.

  1. Seek Awareness. I know I told you that sometimes we cannot wait for awareness to take action. But if haven’t given any time to reflect, knowing the core reason for resistance can super-jolt you into action. And Awareness here means both what you must know of the world and that of within. So, Be a Bug.
  2. Action is always better than inaction. There will be growth with any deliberate action. Any deliberate action will take you somewhere. That’s why I wrote this a few years ago – Be a “+” or “-” but not a zero. (Blog 90: 6 Super Decision Making Tools). Stagnation is worse than death.
  3. Make Action Easy. Like the 2-minute rule, etc which you might have heard, make your own version of it. For example, if you’re trying to make a huge project, split it into mini, micro, then nano parts. Then start working on that smallest unit. By this, you’ll be rolling the still boulder. And once it starts rolling, you can take more and big parts of the tasks. 
  4. Make Resistance Hard. Resistance can be of various types. Sometimes it can be as simple as compulsive overwatching TV or overeating, or sometimes even in the form of a disease, at the worst case. Think of ways you can inhibit yourself from taking action. That is all that resistance can do to you. Now think of all the things you can do to prevent all that. Ex: Hiding or even uninstalling certain apps that you tend to use compulsively.
  5. Consistency is the Holy Grail. As we discussed in Blog 53: The Best Birthday Gift to Yourself!, the magical power of compound effect can work for you or against you. You have the choice. Consistency is the holy grail of action. Because it is through consistency that any action becomes a habit.  Moreover, treat it that way. If you believe in God, this should become your God. If you do not believe in God, this should be your God. And when we say consistency, we’ve moved to “Habits”. And that connects us to the discussion of Keystone habits, habit stacking, etc. How to create a habit, stick to it, etc, can be learned through great books like Atomic Habits and The Power of Habits. I recommend you listen to both of these audiobooks.
    • Awareness—–> Action <—with consistency—> Habit: Power of Compound Effect
    • Ignorance—–> Resistance <——> Inaction —with consistency—> Habit.
  6. Commit in Public. Actually, nobody cares if you fail your public commitment, but that provides enough drive within us to stick to the habit. Every work you share with the world acts as a habit contract.
  7. Motivation. In motivation again, we need to consider whether it is an Extrinsic motivator (like money, fame, etc) or an Intrinsic motivator (sense of meaning, purpose, fulfillment, etc) that one is after. And of course, if there is a strong INTENT, there’s no need to speak of motivation.
  8. What kind of person do you want to be? Do you want to be the man/woman who kept thinking, or do you want to be the man/woman of action? If you ask this simple question, it is quite simple, isn’t it? Because this is not a yes or no question. Because you’ve got no choice here, objectively speaking. Within, we all know that we need action. Even if we are seeing this spiritually, it is due to the unexhausted baggage of actions (Karma) that we have been born in the first place. So the more and faster you can take on the accumulated actions, the sooner can you be free of all action.

And sometimes, as I wrote in Blog 37, just letting go can help to get back on “the track of action”. But that’s only for one who was on that track before in the first place. And also, it is not a general remedy for all situations and kinds of resistance. But these 8 simple facts are a general remedy for all actions involving any kind of resistance. Of course, unless it is resistance you are experiencing because you truly don’t want to do that particular action. Then probably, it’s time to reflect and see what action you think you need to do.

I hope through this blog, I’ve given you enough to work on and take action immediately on what you’ve been resisting and that which you know should be doing.

Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

7 Delusions that can hold you back

We’ve seen what resistance is in blog 37. Today’s blog builds on the wisdom that – It’s only when one lacks clarity ( awareness) that there’s inaction. When and Where there’s clarity, there’s action. Also, we’ve already discussed the role of assumption in creating delusion in Blog:94Assumptions are the core bodies of delusions. One should be mindful of assumptions and avoid them as much as possible. All the mentioned delusions are nothing but assumptions, not facts. 

Some common delusions or at least some notions you should check whether you’ve deliberately chosen them out of awareness, or compulsively out of being afraid:

  1. I’m not good enough or I’m not him/her. This is just the classic from the book of excuses. When you’re saying you can’t be great, you’re trying to evade the work & dedication it requires to achieve whatever that is. But the worse byproduct of it is that you’re just affirming the kind of person you want to be. It is delusional because greatness is within everyone. Nature does not discriminate. Have you ever seen mother earth providing all that the soil provides to one tree and not for the other? Have you ever noticed air breathing in one living animal and not in another? If you were born out of nature, you are alike the rest. If one of us were able to become great, you can find greatness within you too. However, it can happen only through deliberate, aligned actions. 
  2. I get to do that after this. I’ve already mentioned this in my blog: The Tragic Drama. And that wouldn’t be the notion if one realized the mortal nature of our loaned lives here on Earth. This delusion is another excuse for inaction. This can be in various forms, some might say, I’ll do this after I get good at it, others might say, I’ll do this after I have this tool, or I’ll do this after I reach my financial goals or goals of any other domain. 
  3. I’m living in the now – day by day. Again, this is not a delusion in all cases. There are two aspects with which we can test ourselves if we’re in this delusion or not. Action is the one aspect that makes the difference. If you’re living in the now, with actions, then fine. But if there’s no action, and you’re living in the now, you’re either a realized being (which is rarely the case), or you’re just a lazy, professional, procrastinator. The second aspect is if the actions you do are aligned with your life’s intent. You know you need to be moving in X direction and if you’re moving in -X direction, that is the direction opposite to X, then, you’re being delusional when you say you’re living in the present. So if you see it further, there are no two aspects, it is just one, and that is Aligned Actions.
  4. WRAM (World Revolves Around Me) syndrome as Robin Sharma calls it. It’s basically that, their vision of the world is very little. One suffering from this delusion, at the least, cannot see other person’s perspective nor can they respect other person’s choices. Ex: If they’re a foodie, they see anyone who doesn’t live to eat as a misfit. Also, they think they’re the only ones with life, with people who love them, a job that they love, etc. In fact, they might not be aware of the mediocrity they’re letting into their lives. Nevertheless, they like to comment on others. If you haven’t heard of a celebrity they admire, they’ll look at you as if you’re alien, even worse, as if there’s something wrong with you. Again, it is Aligned Action, which is the aspect that makes this distinction easier. If that person is taking action, and contributing to the community, the larger the better, then he/she is not under the influence of this delusion.
  5. I’m what I am because of that. This is another silly excuse. “I couldn’t do that because this happened, I’m like this because that happened”. There are so many aspects of life that are not in our control. But the choice of the way we live our life is entirely within our control. Every moment. One might not choose to be stolen, but one can choose to protect and earn. One might not choose to be born or be dead, but one can choose to live. One might not choose to be ill-treated, but one can choose to not react or the way he/she responds. One might not have chosen to be in the dark (ignorant), but one can choose to seek the light (awareness), always. One might not have chosen to be ill, but one can choose to be healthy. One might not have been chosen to be talented, but one can choose to CREATE & SHARE. One might not have chosen to be imprisoned, but one can choose to be unbounded. One might not have chosen to be poor, but one can choose to be truly wealthy.
  6. He is this, she is that. I’m not trying to convey anything about gender here. Nor is this about race. It’s about categorizing people into anything. People are not black and white, they are shades of grey. That’s why we must not judge people. A spiritual person is trying to move toward the light. He is gradually moving towards the light, removing his ignorance. People with very less self-awareness are confused about who they are. That is why they swing between darker & lighter shades of grey. And this applies to categorizing animals too. I love dogs, but I hate cats. How can that be? If you’re truly an animal lover, you’ll find your way into loving all of them. Forget about love, but at least, one should not have hatred toward any creature on this planet. If we are hating, it is simply that we are ignorant of our common origin. 
  7. It’s not my piece of cake. This is not always a delusion as it is, but it can be if it’s originating from a point of incompetence, fear, or ignorance. Reading books, meditating, yoga, creating, and sharing, are absolutes. That means, they must be everyone’s piece of cake. (Unless you’re a realized being who may choose not to read books). But forget about these absolutes, even when and while deciding to do what they want to do in life, people try to shake off some part of their self saying “This is not my piece of cake”. When you don’t know who you are, isn’t that a not-so-good decision to make? Whenever you find yourself saying this, ask deeper questions. What part of this, that I don’t like? Is the part that I don’t like absolute? Or is it just some metric? Am I resigning from this because I can’t do it, or because I badly need to do something else? Am I resigning from this because it is tough or is it because you chose the hard you intend to work with?

One more delusion I would like to point out, which is very crucial to know and which can lie underneath, at the core of all the delusions mentioned above. And that is When you are assuming (again, it is the assumption that is the root cause) based on “what people think/see you as”.

All of this is erased, once one is focused on the pursuit of knowing oneself. Awareness eliminates assumptions and hence the delusions that are born from it. That’s where – Be a Bug, Viveka, LIFE Alignment, and ultimately even Understanding Advaita, come into the picture. Get started from wherever you are to start moving on the awareness timeline.

Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Monthly Wrap! (February 2023)

Monthly Wraps are blogs that are up on the last Sunday of the month which include:

  1. Blogs of the month
  2. Book recommendations 
  3. What did I curate? Resources I’m binging on – of course, I’ll be choosing the major ones. Just a brim of how much I curate!
  4. Reminders & Reflections to ponder – Of various of my reflections of the month, I’ll choose one or a few. And some re-realized reminders!
  5. My writing journey/ my book updates 

Here’s the “Monthly Wrap!” of February 2023.

Blogs I wrote this month:

  1. Blog 93: Understanding Advaita|Part-4| Why Advaita?
  2. Blog 94: Understanding Advaita|Part-5| Maya & Awareness
  3. Blog 95: Understanding Advaita |Part-6| Conclusion

Book Recommendations:

This month I could read 6 books:

  1. Eight Upanishads volume 1.
  2. The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R Covey. This was not that useful for me.
  3. Atomic habits by James Clear. Definitely different than The Power of Habits. I still love how I felt after listening to it. This one however is more practical or application-oriented.
  4. If truth be told – A monk’s memoir by Om Swami
  5. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  6. Buddha and Einstein Walk into a Bar by Guy Joseph Ale

What I curated:

Movies:

1. It’s a beautiful Life, 2. The Man from Earth, 3. La la land, 4.KrAnthi

Series:

  1. Young Sheldon S6

Must watch YouTube videos:

Apps I tried this month:

  1. ChatSonic: Best AI chat app.
  2. Merlin: Good but gives only 3 days as a free trial.

Reminders & reflections to ponder:

  • The label you attach to your food is not the status of your life.
  • Work of fiction is ok to be far-fetched as long as it places Dharma as the winner and within people’s hearts.
  • People, first practice Viveka and try to understand and see the beauty in Duality. Then you may ponder and try to understand the Non-Dual nature of the entire existence.
  • Words are mine, meaning is yours
  • Curiosity killed the cat? It is better to die in light than in darkness. Moreover, you are not as dumb as a cat, are you?
  • Pleasure vs sense of fulfillment. Pleasure asks for more, whereas, Fulfillment wonders: there’s more?
  • Act on the wisdom you’ve gained through your experience. Share that. Not what you think the society values or is trending or something that you think you want to stand for.
  • Every work you share with the world acts as a habit contract.

My Writing/Book update:

  • Becoming a full-time musician has made me less of a writer due to time constraints. But that won’t become an excuse I promise, I’ll at least write one chapter by the next monthly wrap.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Understanding Advaita | Part-6| Conclusion

I’ll be concluding this series with this part for now. Advaita is a very abstract concept, it is very theoretical people say. Yes, it is true in some sense, but through my blogs, I’ve tried to make Advaita as relevant as possible – from the different perspectives mentioned in Part-1 to this last one.

I started this series because many of our lifestyles already comprise pieces of evidence that can lead to absolute reality, but we are constantly failing to notice it.

OM

The word AUM for example directly signifies the three states. And the fourth part of the word AUM is silence, and that is the Turyam, or Brahman, or The Self.

Guru Saakshaath Parabrahma

We have been reciting that shloka since we were kids, but never ever have we paused to reflect and wonder what is the Parabrahma. And that shloka clearly shows that Parabrahma is different than the lord Brahma because Guru Brahma is already mentioned in the beginning. Why would anyone mention a god twice when there are other two gods who are equally or even more significant (Again, that’s stupid to compare the significance of gods, it’s just following the assumption).

Thvam Prathyaksham Brahmaasi

The mantras in Atharva Sheersha are something in regular practice in many Brahmin families. And yet, nobody wants to know what is GuNathrayaatheetha, Avasthaathrayaatheetha,
Dehathrayaatheetha, Kaalathrayaathetha, etc. Why is Lord Ganapathi described with these attributes? Why is he revered as Thvam Prathyaksham Brahmaasi?

Now let’s see what is “Brahman”.

We know other words by which it is called, The Self, Parabrahman, Turyam, etc. However, describing or explaining it is impossible. So, the Upanishads, and various Vedic texts, mantras, etc try only to point us towards it by Nethi-Nethi (not-not, a way to describe something by not describing it, or saying what it is not) or through phrases like GuNathrayaatheetha – one beyond the three Gunas (Rajasik, Tamasic, and Sathvik), Avasthaathrayaatheetha – one beyond the three states (Awake, Dream & Sleep), Dehathrayaatheetha (gross, subtle & causal), Kaalathrayaathetha – beyond past, present and future, and Shakthithrayaathmaka – beyond the states of energy (creation, protection, and destruction).

But the word ‘beyond’ here does not suggest or should not be confused and understood that Brahman does not exist in the above-mentioned. It is indeed in everything and everyone. Ex: even though ‘it’ is called Avasthaathrayaathetha, ‘the self’ is present in all three states. But, it is not those states. It is the fourth, we call it, Turyam. But essentially, it is in everything and it is everything.

See, I’m not an expert in Vedic scriptures nor have I read it all in the first place. But I can say that I am not that stupid to discard works of great personalities like Sri Shankaracharya, Buddha, or Sri Krishna himself. Or in fact, the rishis like Atharvana, Angirasa, Bharadwaja, etc, who are held almost as significant to gods. Or the Upanishads themselves. Or the lord of Death- Yama who gave away the absolute truth to Nachiketa through the third boon.

When Shankaracharya said “Aham Brahmasmi”, it is at that state, where he did not see another, at that state where one realizes singularity that he made that statement. And ignorant people comment about such a great personality that Shankaracharya is arrogant to claim he is God. As we busted that myth in the part 2 itself, he is not claiming to be Brahma – the god, but he was claiming what everyone & everything is.

In fact, there are a lot of similarities between Buddhism and Advaita because essentially they are trying to talk about the absolute reality. The difference is that Advaita calls ‘it’ the Brahman, but Buddha calls it nothingness. And it makes complete sense why the great Buddha called it so. Because when he was in that state? What else could he see other than himself? Nothing. Whether it is Sri Adi Shankaracharya, the Buddha, or Sri Krishna (I am you, I am everywhere.. Lines from Bhagavadgeetha), all of them are trying to convey the same absolute truth – singularity. Confusing that for monotheism is again a delusion arising from the assumption that Krishna, Shankaracharya, or the Buddha are talking merely from a bodily-associated point of view.

In the last blog, we talked about delusions. And while speaking of optical illusions, we wondered about the possibility of the whole world being an illusion. Reasoning for a while can you get you there.
Imagine this world to be a highly complex light-modulating machine. And you’re at different places, apart from the center where there is a light source. Now, the only thing that is the absolute truth is the light at the center. But due to so many multiple reflections, that source is too much distorted. The only thing you’re seeing is various distorted versions of the same light, but you are unaware that is the case.

Or you can imagine this world to be a crumbled paper. It’s the same paper everywhere, but different levels and varieties of folds, bends, and crumbled-ness throughout.

Of course, these models are again abstract. But it opens to you the possibility that everything might be one after all.

Advaita/ the path of Knowledge at its best activates your dormant Viveka and ultimately makes you realize the singular nature of reality. At its worst, it at least leaves you with the ability to stay open-minded, unlike belief systems, and the ability to find solutions through reasoning and intuition rather than being in delusion even though it is creating suffering and pain, assuming there is no way.

And through this blog series, that is all I aspire to convey. Whether you get realized/liberated or not, at the least, be open to possibilities. Be open to the possibility that you and the universe are not two but one. Just because you don’t see it does not mean it doesn’t exist. Constantly seek the truth, like a bug. If you are suffering, that means you’re not seeing something. Let that be your way of handling all life’s suffering – Ignorance is the cause of all suffering. And with that mindset, irrespective of your spiritual interest, you’ll live a fulfilled life!

Thank You
Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Understanding Advaita | Part -5 | MAYA & Awareness

OK, let me summarize all that we know so far.

In Part 1: we saw Advaita relative to Dwaitha, and we saw that Non-duality and duality are not contradictory, but that they are truths at different planes of reality.

In Part 2: we busted some more myths like the phrase “Aham Brahmasmi” translates to “I am God”, we saw Advaitha does not discard god, etc.

In Part 3: we understood the cause of such myths and discrepancies, and to know that we also looked into the major yogic paths.

In Part 4: we saw why we need Advaita. Essentially, we could understand that one cannot separate Jnana yoga from Advaita. Moreover, we saw that Advaitha is the reality of nature (it has got nothing to do with one’s religion) and that, it will be realized with awareness, regardless of the path chosen. And whether one chooses to be enlightened or not, awareness is something everyone must seek, and Understanding Advaita is that path of awareness. 

But what is Awareness? In this blog, we’ll be looking into that.

Awareness is what we’ve realized. Or we can say, it is that which we know, which has been internalized. It’s not just an acknowledgment of facts or accepting something for the sake of it, that would be believing, not knowing. It is the touch of truth or contact with truth. You know if you know.

But more importantly, Awareness is that which destroys MAYA. And what is MAYA?

As we’ve already discussed in my blogs Maya & Delusions Part -2, MAYA means delusion. Delusion is like a bubble that contains its own truth, but once the bubble bursts, everything in it, is subjected to the absolute truth, and there are disparities between them.

Some of the delusions you might have come across or have seen might be when you look into a Kaleidoscope or when you’re traveling on a highway with Sun blasting heat and you see a puddle of water at a distance. But once you are there, you’ll notice no water there.

When I was 12, I was in my village for my Brahmopadesha. The stories of the wild bison are a thing there. I woke up at midnight and it was pitch dark. There was no difference between eyes opened and closed. And it was not the center or the inner part of the house where I had slept in. I heard the heavy breathing of an animal. And accidentally my left hand touched something. I was surprised. Soon I understood it is a leg. I was scared to death. A bison had come inside the house and stood scarily still like they usually do, was my assumption. For a little while I was hesitant to call anyone for help as there were so many there and I did not want to embarrass myself. But after a few milliseconds of inspecting the leg with my hand, the fear peaked and I called out for help. And there was light. All to realize that I didn’t know that my brother had slept beside me and it was his leg and it was his breathing-type snoring.

I think we’ve all experienced these kinds of delusions when we were kids. We’ve seen human or animal shadows in the dark and when there is light, we realize it is various objects that are forming that particular shape.

Understanding the MAYA (delusions) is crucial. What happened to me that day in my village was one of the classic examples used to explain the workings of MAYA & Awareness.

In a dark room, one touches something tube-like with scale-like textures on it and assumes it is a snake. The person is scared to death. His mind and body start suffering. In fact, a person can be killed by making him believe that he is poisoned or will be killed/dead in general. But once there is light, the truth is revealed, it is actually a rope that he touched. The person is no more in delusion. There is no ignorance anymore and there is no fear and suffering anymore.

Even though it is a simple example, there are a few very important takeaways:

  1. Assumptions are the core bodies of delusions. One should be mindful of assumptions and avoid them as much as possible. And here we saw how an assumption can be deadly.
  2. Ignorance breeds suffering and fear.
  3. When there’s light, there’s no darkness. That is, once one is aware, there is no more delusion/ignorance.
  4. Awareness removes fear and suffering.
  5. The person need not believe it is rope when there’s light. He sees it as is. Acceptance is obvious and instantaneous with awareness.

Even my story of mistaking my brother’s leg for a bison’s leg has all these characteristics, doesn’t it? The assumption, Fear, suffering in the dark, and liberating realization in light.

It is through this same concept can we realize Advaitha, the reality of nature and ourselves. It is through this same concept that it claims that the duality that exists in our perception is only due to ignorance.

When a simple 3-sided kaleidoscope (triangular prism) or collection of water vapors on the highway can create such powerful optical illusions, imagine how much of such occurrences make up our entire world, when there are many dimensions to life that we aren’t even aware of. And optical illusions are just one form of delusion.

So the next question then would be “How to remove ignorance or burst out of those delusion bubbles or simply, how to gain awareness?

I’ll probably have to write a dedicated blog for that, but to say it in short, its overly simplified version would be this: It is mainly through Viveka. And as mentioned in my blog See Think Choose and in my blog: Viveka, Viveka is built over time by consistent practice of SHRAVANA, MANANA, and NIDHIDHYASANA. Mainly the first two in the beginning stages – Consume and Reflect.

Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Understanding Advaita | Part – 4 | Why Advaita?

I hope by now you’ve realized that non-duality is simply the reality of nature. And that Understanding Advaita = understanding reality. Non-duality is an obvious conclusion (after reading Part -1). That is, when you are viewing from the widest scope, everything is one. And that, dualities exist in our perception (i.e, duality exists only when you’re zoomed in).

In this part, let us see why we need to understand Advaita. To answer that question, first, we need to understand the core of this question itself.

And as already mentioned, Advaita is simply the best understanding of reality. That means, Advaita is derived from understanding. Of course, it is the final essence of Jnana yoga/Saankya yoga.

If you recall from Part-3, there are 4 major ways or paths of or to yoga. Jnana Yoga (Path of Awareness), Bhakthi Yoga (Path of devotion or ultimate love), Karma Yoga (Path of Action/work), Raja Yoga/Kriya Yoga (They are not the same, you can say one belongs to the other).

So, the question “Why Advaita?”, at the core, points to this: Why Jnana Yoga? or, Why the path of awareness? Especially, when other paths are easier to understand.

And this also points to: “Why not that?”. I mean, why not Bhakthi, Karma, or the Kriya path? Sure, all of them work! Ultimately, it is your choice. Let the choice be made with the awareness of your strengths.

Let us now see objectively here. What do all these paths lead to? Liberation, Enlightenment, or realization? Why is it called enlightened? Or realized? It’s because whatever the path you choose, ultimately, you realize, or in other words, it is the awareness that makes you “realized”.

Let us say, for example, one is following the path of Karma (Actions/Work). Ultimately, it is about realizing the non-dual nature of Life, through the work one does. In simple words, in Karma Yoga, One knows by doing.

A Kriya yoga practitioner will know/realize through inner experiences.

If one is devoted to a deity, that is, if one is on the path of devotion (Bhakthi), he/she finally realizes or at least the goal would be to realize that his/her choice of a deity is everywhere and in everything. [ And there are devotees who were enlightened by Rama, Krishna, Shiva, etc as their deity. That is, one realized Raama everywhere, and one realized Shiva everywhere. So, think about it, only Advaita can explain that phenomenon.]

And speaking of people on the path of Bhakthi, it reminds me of some ignorant cults and pseudo-Jnanis who like to show off by reciting the verses from Bhagavadgeetha and according to them, the whole purpose of studying the ancient texts is to study the god and help themselves to love and surrender to him/her.

Sure, that is a purpose. However, it is not the only purpose of reading ancient texts. And it is not the ultimate purpose either. One should have the minimum common sense to understand that the purpose of reading or listening, preaching or writing in general is to transfer knowledge, right? It is so that the awareness realized by the one writing/preaching be transferred, at least as knowledge, to the person reading or listening.

If it was not for Awareness, why would Krishna preach to Arjuna what we call the Bhagavadgeetha? If enlightenment or Life was only about Love (Bhakthi), he would just say “Arjuna, I love you”. He wouldn’t even say “Love me, love everyone”, because then, it would be preaching right? He wouldn’t preach at all if it weren’t for awareness.

If enlightenment was just about Karma (Work), Krishna would just be fighting battles as Kshatriya. And if enlightenment was just about Raja Yoga/Kriyas, Krishna would be doing intense Sadhanas, sitting cross-legged and with eyes closed.

And the reality is, Krishna did all of these. And he did all of it with awareness. We can also say, he could do all of it because he was aware. Krishna lived the most fulfilling life because he was the epitome of a balance of all these spectral lines of Yoga.

Life is about yoga, in all forms – Awareness, Love, work, energy, all of it is very essential.
The 4 major paths of Yoga, are not distinct and independent. You need all of them. [You can notice this when these paths merge. If you consider Mantra yoga for example, it is a convergent node between Jnana, Bhakthi, and Kriya yoga].

Life is this way, one thing fuels another. Hence the need for balance. However, the proportion can be a subjective choice.

And this balance can be achieved only if one is aware. When I say aware, it is to be understood, that it is everything from what to eat for healthy long life, and self-awareness, to the ultimate nature of reality – Non-Duality or Advaita.

The path of awareness has its own drawbacks. We’ll see to it in another part because this blog is already too long. But for now, you know that, Advaita: Jnana = Awareness. It is the awareness that we must seek if it is your deliberate choice to understand Advaita/Reality. And we now know that, regardless of the path chosen, in the end, it is the awareness that we’re seeking directly or indirectly.

And when one is aware, he/she is naturally in love, naturally a worker, and naturally, he/she becomes a master observer of inner experiences.

So from this blog, I think we were able to see the whole overview and where Advaita connects to the whole picture. In fact, I hope you could realize, it is the whole picture.

Thank You
Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Monthly Wrap! (January 2023)

Monthly Wraps are blogs that are up on the last Sunday of the month which include:

  1. Blogs of the month
  2. Book recommendations 
  3. What did I curate? Resources I’m binging on – of course, I’ll be choosing the major ones. Just a brim of how much I curate!
  4. Reminders & Reflections to ponder – Of various of my reflections of the month, I’ll choose one or a few. And some re-realized reminders!
  5. My writing journey/ my book updates 

Here’s the “Monthly Wrap!” of January 2023.

Blogs I wrote this month:

  1. Blog  88: Become a Tap Root
  2. Blog 89: LIFE Alignment
  3. Blog 90: 6 Decision-making Tools
  4. Blog 91: See Think Choose

Book Recommendations:

This month I could read 4 good books:

  1. Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann.
  2. Inner engineering by Sadhguru.
  3. Think Straight by Darius Foroux.
  4. The Big Questions of Life by Om Swami.

What I curated:

Movies:

1. Ram Setu, 2. Rocket Singh, 3. 1980,   4.King’sman the secret service, 5.King’sman : the golden circle, 6.The King’sman (2021), 7.Kshamisi Nimma KAtheyalli haNavilla, 8.Jojo Rabbit

Series:

  1. Young Sheldon S6 Ep9 & 10
  2. Only Murders in the building S1 & 2.

Must watch YouTube videos:

Reminders & reflections to ponder:

  • Life is about yoga, in all forms. Awareness, belief, work, energy, all of it is very essential. Hence Balance is very essential.
  • Life is this way, one thing fuels another.
  • Union is liberation. One need not be in union, but can be aligned all the way long.
  • Assumptions are the core bodies of delusions.
  • No matter how much suffering you’ve been through. It does not make you more significant. The baggage does not make your life significant. It’s the awareness you gained through those experiences that moves you forward. If you’re considering just the baggage or the sufferings as your badge of honour, then you are being a fool.
  • Scientists believe it is possible to prove the impossible. Or some day, they might be able to discover, invent or innovate something. But why do many artists think it is impossible for them to become a full-time musician, dancer, or an artist? Why do they assume that that problem is unsolvable?
  • Self acceptance and self love are a sham. It’s self-awareness one must seek. And with awareness, acceptance and love is natural, and obvious outcome. And how can you love something that you don’t know of? And accepting is hard when you’re trying to believe. But when you see, you don’t need to accept, it just happens.

My Writing/Book update:

  • Finally, lot of insights are being bombarded. I guess I’ll soon have no choice but to integrate all of them in my book.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

See Think Choose

Last week we saw the 6 super helpful decision-making tools. In this blog, we’ll see what we undergo in every decision-making process, see what’s at the core, and through it, help ourselves learn the art of designing our Lives through our choices.

We all know it, yet we fail to utilize that wisdom when required. Of course, it is not wisdom then. We might say, roughly, a decision-making process involves 3 micro processes – 1. See what are all the options we have, 2. Analyze what option to choose, 3. Finally, prioritize one over the other. But I know, you’ll tell me, “if decisions in Life were that easy..”.

In actuality, it is that simple. See, Think, Choose. Any decision, is basically derived from these 3 processes right? Proportions may vary. What makes it complex then?

This points back to Awareness. We are ignorant, especially about ourselves. And even if we take the 3 processes into consideration with respect to awareness, we are incapable of all the 3 if are not aware. How can one see without awareness? And if you cannot see, forget about thinking and choosing.

Let’s say you are stuck in a situation in your life, and you don’t know what to do next. And according to you, you see only 2 options. But what if there is a third option? What if that would have been a beautiful journey and hence the right decision for you and that you couldn’t see it?

Ok, let’s say you’ve clearly realized how many options you have. Then let’s say, you think choice A would be the right decision to make. After thinking further you think choice B would be the right decision to make. And after a while you think it is Choice C. And then through even further thinking, you are back to choice A. What would you do then? You didn’t budge, you were stuck, and you are still stuck.

Ok, let’s say you’ve thought about it long enough and now you’ve chosen B. And you start working towards that. And it works! You become very successful at that endeavor. Soon, however, it may be months or years of working on that decision you made, and something else turns up. And what’s that? It’s the accumulation of all that you had not prioritized in order to prioritize the decision (B) you made quite a long ago. Remember: The compound Effect is so powerful, so if the nature of the accumulated stuff multiplies exponentially.

However, essentially, all these 3 processes are just one. It is practicing your Viveka – Objective Thinking. Viveka is the ability to see clearly all that there is to a decision to be made. It is also the ability to think through all the options available without any bias. Viveka is also the ability to prioritize one over the other with complete self-awareness and with the realization of what effect would the accumulation of non-prioritized aspect make on one’s life.

And while I’m emphasizing Viveka and prioritizing through it, it reminds me of my book – The Flower of Fulfillment which will bring great clarity to your life priorities. So, do consider reading it!

Continuous practice of SHRAVANA, MANANA, and NIDHIDHYASANA is the way to develop or let’s say unmask Viveka in you. Other than that, I’ve already talked about Viveka in my blog 85 which has some extra pointers. You may choose to read it.

Thank You
Sanath Kumar Naibhi

6 Decision-making Tools

In the last blog, I told you about the concept called LIFE Alignment, where we saw what all is LIFE and we saw why need not be in Union but we can and must always be aligned. That concept will definitely help your decision-making ability. And that led me to this week’s blog, to compile the best decision-making tools I’ve used during hard times, and ones I continue to use whenever required. I’m talking of all varieties of choices, to major life decisions.

So here you go, here are some of the best decision-making tools I use:

  1. LIFE Alignment – We already saw this concept in last week’s blog. To practice it, ask these questions – What activities make me feel LIFE-like, and vice-versa? What events or gatherings make feel LIFE-like, and vice-versa? What kind of lifestyle makes me feel LIFE-full? Will this so-called opportunity move me toward LIFE? Is that the only way? Speaking of ways, we come to our next decision-making tool.
  2. CHOICE – LIFE Alignment can solve most of the problems, but if still there’s any confusion, then these other tools will help. Try to see objectively – what choices you have. Sometimes there might be various choices. Many times there won’t be. And once you make the right choice you’ll feel that was the obvious and the only choice you had. Moreover, when you don’t feel like “living” by choosing the other choice, then there actually, isn’t any choice right? So ask yourselves this – “Do I actually have a choice here?”. If you said yes, ask “What are the choices?”. Then ask “which will move me towards LIFE?”, f you were able to point at one of the choices for that question, now ask again, “Do I have a choice?”. If you were not able to do so, you’ll have to use other decision-making tools.
  3. You will die – I’ve already talked about this too in my second blog: Read your Obituary. People tend to postpone living assuming and considering their duration of life for granted. That is, they assume they’ll live for a long time. And that assumption will cover the person’s perspective with various delusions or myths. Ex: “I’ll work hard for a few days, months, or years now and then be happy after that”, is the biggest myth told by anyone and everyone. This is costing hugely on youth’s growth. They’re in confusion their entire life because of this. Because whatever they’re trying to do, they’re still seeking happiness. Happiness should never be, & seen as a future happening. Happiness should be a choice in the now! And moreover, how do you know? Do we know our death date? No right? Then how can you assume, I’ll “live” this way, after I earn X amount of money, or after I have my own mansion, or after my parents are pleased with me, or after I have a good story that society accepts and loves, etc, etc. Whatever it is that you want to pursue/work towards, and however that you want to live, live that life right now, because the fact is, YOU WILL DIE, and you don’t know when. And by this realization, one can easily move with death when the time arrives, because one knows he/she has lived a life of fulfillment.
  4. “Do” or “not Do”? – “Be a + or – but not a zero” – I wrote that 2 years ago. Almost any movement is better than stagnation. Of course, the more aware you are, the better. But many times, people tend to choose to not work because of some lame excuse. Action is really really important in one’s life, we all know that. So ask yourselves this – Does this decision make me “Do” something or “not Do” anything?
  5. Deep End – We talked about this in the blog: The Biggest Problem to Humanity. We don’t think enough. The LIFE Alignment model can solve this too, but if you do not think deeply enough, no mental model can help you. What I mean here is that you must ask yourselves and try to see the core reason for the decision you are making. Like in my favorite example, if you’re going to college because you want a seat in a better college for higher studies, and the reason for that is you want to get a good job, and that is because you want to make money, then the whole intention behind going to college is to make money right? This is just one kind of example, there are a lot of ways people are getting trapped by not thinking enough. You might be choosing between two streams, careers, jobs, whatever. Just dig deep enough to know why you are actually leaning toward that side. Did you choose the latter because you think you aren’t competent for the first, or did you choose the latter because you’ve already spent a lot of time wasting on it? ( if yes, Google: sunk-cost fallacy), or did you choose the first because you think that’s the only way? And “speaking of the only way”, we come to our next decision-making tool. 
  6. Assumption Scraper – OMG, this is huge! Almost every day, people are falling into this trap of their own assumptions. Again, it’s due to the lack of thinking. But I’m not talking about the quantity of thinking here when I say it is due to lack of thinking It is lack of objective thinking or Viveka. So what I mention here as an assumption scraper is actually your Viveka, scrapping off your assumptions that have sedimented on your vision. Assumptions are the core bodies of delusions. Assumptions are of various kinds. Assuming “This is the only way” is the most common one. Assuming your curiosity is your intuition trying to pursue something is another significant one. In fact, as mentioned above, the idea that you’ll be alive, after this and that, is also an assumption and creates and masks a powerful delusion. So, what to do? Scrap it all off. Start from scratch. Don’t start from an assumption itself. Start with facts. 

If you think you are at a cross-road right now not having a clue of which way to go, I hope this helps you!

Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

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