This email contains three sections:
1. Posting: Why Frustration + Cure
2. End Quote: Why Buddhists Got Confused
Fatigue and frustration are common human ailments that many people suffer from at some point or another. People even lose inspiration and energy for pursuits that were of great interest to them. This is the widespread malady.
As sadhakas, by His grace, we can escape this dual problem of fatigue and frustration, and invite a perennial source of energy and inspiration into our lives that will touch every facet of our existence.
It is our duty to theoretically and practically understand this matter so we can implement it in our own lives and guide others. Specifically, why do people lose energy and inspiration and become frustrated. Second, how can one overcome, nay eliminate, fatigue and feel inspired in all types of work and duties. That is what this letter is all about.
Many people get tired during the course of their day. Those working daylong for someone else’s profit are generally the first to get tired. Their day will just drag from the moment it begins. Their muscles ache; their brain gets dull; and there is little motivation or stamina for them to continue. They just slog through their day.
In your comings and goings around town, you have surely seen such persons. Their mind is not connected with the work they are doing. This is the first category of people: They become tired almost immediately.
Ananda Marga teachings state, "When people’s actions are supported by their physical energy and actional faculty but not by their spiritual energy, they become easily tired in the process of work." (1)
BUT GIVE UP MOTIVATED BY PETTY DESIRES
Next, there are those who seem to truly like what they are doing – whether it be their job, hobby, sports, or family time. Often, such persons are motivated by some type of psychic desire such as name and fame, money, spouse, family status, prestige, and so on. They will sacrifice much to achieve their worldly ends and material pleasures, and it looks like they can continue forever, but even they get tired – invariably. This is the common phenomenon.
When they do not receive the psychic-cum-material reward for what they are doing – such as recognition or money etc – then their attraction for that project will wane. And ultimately they will give up entirely. This is the normal course.
For instance, this often occurs in the general society with political leaders before elections. In that pre election period, they are very active in doing all sorts of service / seva. But the moment they are defeated in that election they give up doing those service projects. Similar is the case with those who volunteer for mundane non-profit work. They may be psychically motivated to feed the poor or clean-up the environment, but when hurdles arise then at some point they lose inspiration. They feel that, "It is not worth it." So they select a different course in life. Those volunteering for their own name and fame will give up the task even more quickly. Whereas those who think that - "This is His work and He is giving me energy and I am doing to please Him” - are blessed with perennial inspiration for their pursuits.
SELECT CASES OF WTS AND FAMILY MARGIIS
Unfortunately, we see examples of this in our Ananda Marga as well.
Amongst our wts, some entered into uniform to travel the world, or to get respect, or for any number of reasons. And when the real challenges of their endeavour come to the fore, that longing for fame or prestige is not enough to carry them through. In that case, they may just take rest in the jagrti for hours, or days, or months, or they may leave entirely.
And this happens in family margii life as well. A person formerly committed to Ananda Marga social service projects might become frustrated by the lack of results, or they may feel that no one else is helping, and think "Why should I be the one doing this." Overcome by that angst, they divert their energies elsewhere and spend all their time exclusively doing for their own self or laokik family. Whereas those who think that - "This is His work and He is giving me energy and I am doing to please Him” - derive perennial inspiration for their pursuits.
In both cases, with Wts and family margiis, we see how frustration and fatigue sometimes gain the upper hand.
This happens with each and every worldly work if their efforts are not fueled by spiritual inspiration. Why? Because those worldly pursuits, endeavours, and hobbies fail to provide eternal stamina and inspiration to continue. No matter how enthusiastically and seriously one is involved, tiredness consumes them. No material pursuit driven by some desire like name, fame, or social status etc can provide ongoing energy. Inevitably fatigue consumes them. Only those who devotionally and psycho-spiritually involved can persevere. They think that - "This is His work, He is giving me boundless energy, and with that stamina I am doing to please Him.” They are blessed with ongoing inspiration for their endeavours.
Ananda Marga philosophy guides us, "When people are engaged in intellectual activities, their work is bound to be temporary; likewise, when they perform action simply for the sake of action, this too is only temporary." (2)
That is one end of the spectrum: Worldly pursuits buoyed by some or more degree of psychic motivation.
On the other end of the spectrum are those who derive their inspiration from the Supreme. For them, the aim is not any amount of name or fame, or material wealth or prestige, or any other mundane or relative factor. Nor are they motivated by an intellectual or social interest in a given issue like the environment or women’s rights. They are exclusively motivated by the idea of serving Parama Purusa.
When one has wholly adopted this spiritual outlook, they think that "This is His work; He has blessed me with the energy to serve; and I am doing to please Him.” By His grace, this idea imbibes each and every cell of their mind. They derive ongoing inspiration for their pursuits. Such persons never experience frustration or fatigue.
Ananda Marga philosophy states, "Since devotion has awakened in them and they have been endowed with spiritual inspiration, they are sure to attain success in whatever action they undertake. Plunge into action and you will find that you will be able to do anything and everything." (3)
Buoyed by spiritual ideation,one will never grow tired and one will always have ample energy to continue on in their noble endeavour. And they will do all sorts of great, lasting work for society, i.e. establishing His ideals.
Thus one must always cultivate the right outlook: "This is His work and He is giving me energy and I am doing to please Him." With practice and perseverance, this outlook along with spiritual sadhana will give one tremendous scope to perform all actions devoid of any feelings of frustration.
This is how Baba says we are to proceed. No matter the work, whether it be physical, psychic, or spiritual, if one moves ahead with true spiritual feeling, then one will never experience frustration or fatigue.
Ananda Marga philosophy states, "The momentum or attraction of the psychic realm is much more powerful than that of the physical world, and the momentum or attraction of the spiritual world is still more powerful. When people hesitate and doubt whether they can accomplish something, and if they start to work in that hesitant frame of mind, they can never accomplish that task. But if they plunge into action thinking of their goal with courage, imbued with spiritual inspiration, they are sure to be crowned with success. No action is greater than the human capacity to perform it. Of all the manifold entities in this expressed world, human beings are the most powerful." (4)
At the beginning of this letter, we discussed those who work motivated by physical or psychic longing. Both of these types of people are bound to suffer from fatigue – quickly. There are no shortage of examples of this in our human society.
Whereas, the one who ideates on the Lord and thinks that - "This is His work; He has blessed me with the energy to serve; and I am doing to please Him” - they derive ongoing inspiration for their pursuits. Because that bhakta sees one and all as the manifestation of the Supreme. In that case their mind is ensconced in the thought of the Divine, even though they are living and working in this world.
So the ideation behind the action is what determines whether that person is prone to fatigue or not. Those who think that - "This is His work and He is giving me energy and I am doing to please Him”- are truly blessed and receive ongoing fuel from Parama Purusa for all their pursuits.
DHARMA PRACARA OR SOCIAL SERVICE PROJECTS
In our Ananda Marga, you may have seen some Wts become frustrated by their dharma pracara or social service projects. Mentally, they were more involved in worldly measurements and completely missed out ideating on and serving Him. Such workers were easily frustrated & often left. A classic example of this is type of mentality is to see how a Wt behaves after losing their post. If they become depressed and inactive, then it means they were motivated by having that high post and prestige. Whereas those doing to please Him always feel buoyant, blissful and ready for life - irrespective of their organisational stature etc.
That is the stark difference between those who think that "This is His work and He is giving me energy and I am doing to please Him” and those motivated and affected by worldly gains and losses. If one is doing any service project or seva in order to please Parama Purusa, and not for name and fame - “I did this, I did that, this work was done by me” etc - then one will get ongoing inspiration. Fatigue will never sap them of their energy and motivation. Undauntedly, they will move ahead.
This should be the approach cent-per-cent of the time. For that, one must critically analyse their motivations and evaluate the nature of one’s work. Is this work solely for my individual or petty gain? if so, one is sure to lose inspiration quickly. Whereas those who think that - "This is His work; He has blessed me with the energy to serve; and I am doing to please Him” - receive ongoing fuel from Parama Purusa for all their pursuits.
With this type of self-analysis – along with regular spiritual practices – one will always persevere and gain success. Because they think that: "This is His work, He is the Supreme Doer, I am a mere tool in His hand, and I am doing to please Him." Then by His grace one will never experience any sort of fatigue. One will receive eternal inspiration from Him to complete each and every task in a nice way.
Thus one must always cultivate the right outlook: "This is His work; He has blessed me with the energy to serve; and I am doing to please Him.” With practice and perseverance, this outlook along with spiritual practice will give one the scope to perform all actions devoid of any feelings of frustration.
By cultivating this spiritual outlook one will receive endless inspiration, while those motivated by mundane gains burn out quickly. Adopting a spiritual perspective is our strength. This is how Baba says we are to proceed.
When a person feeds their baby and thinks that they are serving Parama Purusa in the form of this child, then they will go on and on and never tire of their duty. Similarly, when one thinks of Him and raises the Prout slogan to please Him – and not for some unit psychic desire of getting elected to public office etc – then no matter the outcome one will not tire of doing Prout pracara work.
Here we should be aware about one thing: People look around the general society and often think that so-and-so individual is great and has boundless energy. They glorify their neighbors, friends, and acquaintances because they only see part of the picture. They know the problems that crop up in their own house, but they naively think others are immune to such issues. Thus they indiscriminately place a gold ribbon around such persons.
But this is wrong. None should fall in this type of delusion. What they are seeing is not the full picture. Those on the path of materialism are subject to fatigue, frustration, ignorance and despair. Keep that in mind the next time you see someone around town and think, "Wow, that person is really great in all respects."
Never forget, materialists are prone to fatigue and frustration. No matter how grand their life may look from the outside.
One can only overcome all tiredness and frustration by thinking that "This is His work, He has blessed me with the energy to serve, and I am doing to please Him." By this approach, fatigue will disappear and one will get renewed energy to do all kinds of good deeds and welfare projects for Him.
One must always cultivate the right outlook: "This is His work, He is the Supreme Doer, I am a mere tool in His hand, and I am doing to please Him." With practice and perseverance, this outlook along with spiritual sadhana will give one the scope to perform all actions devoid of any feelings of frustration. Frustration has an inverse relationship with spirituality. The more spiritually-based a person is, the less they will feel frustrated or mentally dejected.
Sadguru Baba has blessed us with a proper social-sum-spiritual outlook, dharma sadhana, and the way to ideate while working in this world: "This is His work, He has blessed me with the energy to serve, and I am doing to please Him." One must practically and theoretically realise these gifts. Then there will never be fatigue in life; one will always feel that they are at the lotus feet of Parama Purusa.
Ananda Marga ideology guides us, "When human beings seek to do something lasting, or build something new, or promote human welfare, or establish something valuable to society, they must establish themselves in spiritual life. Without devotion, without inspiration, they cannot achieve anything." (5)
Sadguru Baba says, "Never think that you cannot do a certain work; just commit yourself to doing that work and you will see that you will certainly be able to do it. When you start working for the welfare of society, society can never remain backward; it is bound to progress, and through the advancement of society you will also achieve success in your life." (6)
Again, the only way to avoid feelings of hopelessness is to do for Him - and not for any selfish or worldly motivation.
Thus one must always cultivate the right outlook: "This is His work and He is giving me energy and I am doing to please Him." With practice and perseverance, this outlook along with spiritual sadhana will give one the scope to perform all actions devoid of any feelings of frustration.
This is how Baba says we are to proceed.
Ananda Marga philosophy states, "In this way it becomes easy to perform righteous deeds. What is important is to move towards Parama Puruśa, the only permanent Entity, along with one's knowledge and action, which we collectively call devotion. Without the inspiration of devotion, nothing lasting can be achieved. Thus conscientious people, whatever actions they may perform, must not deviate from the Supreme Goal in life. Ours is a subjective approach with objective adjustment: our main purpose is to continue with our mundane activities while placing our minds at the feet of Parama Puruśa. You must accept Him as the ultimate Goal of your lives, and then move on. If impediments arise in your movement towards the Goal, they must be removed from the path; and those circumstances which are beneficial to your progress must be encouraged. In this way you will individually progress, and that individual progress will also advance the collective life." (7)
To cultivate the feeling of “doing to please Him,” one must have reverence for Parama Purusa. And this only comes from sadhana and devotional longing. Without spiritual practices, one will be perplexed and wonder, “Why should I do for Him.” That is why non-sadhakas cannot manage this approach. Only those bhaktas fueled by sadhana and the thought of Him can think, “This is His work and He has blessed me with the opportunity to serve and by His grace I am doing to please Him.”
When the goal is pleasing Parama Purusa - and not worldly factors like praise, adulation, or post - then it does not matter if one is being heralded by others or not. Because one is not striving for or hoping to get that type of self-acclaim etc. In that case, if you are serving Parama Purusa and His creation and no one is praising you, then you are not deterred or deflated. Rather you will continue serving - fueled by that eternal source of inspiration. Regardless what others think or say, that sadhaka will continue working to please Parama Purusa. All because one is motivated by a deep spiritual yearning - not for any mundane gain. Then and only then does one receive perennial inspiration to move ahead.
The overarching idea of this entire letter is that those motivated by mundane longing and worldly attainment invariably experience frustration and other psychic ailments. While those who take His name and work to please Him receive perennial inspiration to move ahead and never feel an ounce of frustration. That is the remedy.
1. Ananda Marga Ideology & Way of Life – 11, Momentum and Attraction
2. Ananda Marga Ideology & Way of Life – 11, Momentum and Attraction
3. Ananda Marga Ideology & Way of Life – 11, Momentum and Attraction
4. Ananda Marga Ideology & Way of Life – 11, Momentum and Attraction
5. Ananda Marga Ideology & Way of Life – 11, Momentum and Attraction
6. Ananda Marga Ideology & Way of Life – 11, Momentum and Attraction
7. Ananda Marga Ideology & Way of Life – 11, Momentum and Attraction
completely unrelated to the above material. It stands on its own as a point of interest.
"Regarding jiivátmá [unit consciousness], Buddha did not use the term jiivátmá or any such word, but he uttered one sentence, Attáhi attánaḿ natha. This sentence may have two meanings. One meaning is, “One is the lord of one’s own self,” and the other is, “Átman is the lord of átman.” The second meaning perhaps is more acceptable because in the Prákrta language the word appan is generally used to indicate one’s own self, while the word attá is mainly used in the sense of átman, or soul. Thus one cannot conclusively prove that Buddha did not accept the existence of átman; there is sufficient scope for controversy on this point." (1)
"Buddha clearly and firmly supported the doctrine of rebirth. In fact, no doctrine before him had placed as much stress on the theory of rebirth as his did. One who accepts the theory of rebirth is bound to accept the existence of átman also. If the átman is non-existent, then who will take rebirth?" (2)
1. NSS, Dsic: 18
2. NSS, Dsic: 18
== Section 3 ==
completely unrelated to the above letter. It stands on its own as a point of interest.
Answers on Pranayama