50 things I learnt in my spiritual journey

1. It’s desire that keeps us trapped, yet we also learn through them. The goal is to let go of desires and live in gratitude. Accept the things you cannot change.

2. Parents focus too much on their children’s future. Instead, they should focus on their character. That way a good future is assured.

3. Human beings can often make one bitter experience the centre point of their lives. But this affects their success and happiness. Instead, the only focus needs to be on self growth and to be prepared for any challenges that lie ahead. As you rise in life, your challenges will keep increasing. How much you let them affect you determines your happiness, and ultimately your success. 

4. The second name for future is struggle. When the heart desires something and it doesn’t happen, it starts planning for the future. But the ultimate truth is that life belongs only to the present moment. Always remember this and quit living in the past or future.

5. Parents always try and inculcate the right values in their children but sometimes in the process also end up passing their negative judgements and opinions to them. Children should be allowed to become independent thinkers.

6. Fear is an illusion. Yet, we attach fear to so many things in our lives. True independence is only achieved through eradicating fear of anything in our lives – minor or major.

7. Life doesn’t always give you what you ask for. And often when you look back, you couldn’t have asked for better!

8. All relationships are based on expectations, which only leads to struggle. Enjoy a relationship for the beauty of it; that’s when true love works out. Otherwise it’s just a compromise.

9. Every moment in life is a moment of decision making. And every decision taken leaves an impression, creating happiness or sadness. The mere aspect of decision making causes the mind to become a battleground. We often make decisions not to solve a problem but to simply quieten the mind. But can someone eat food while running frantically? No. So can a battle ridden mind ever take a sensible decision? No! Only a decision taken from a quiet mind leads to happiness. But one who takes a decision just to quieten the mind is asking for trouble in the future.

10. We enter into relationships to complete us, to make us happier. Yet it is relationships that cause so much struggle in life. But the key to happy relationships is acceptance. The greater the acceptance, the lesser the struggle. And if we must change something, we shouldn’t try improving the other. But rather, focus only our own self improvement.

11. Whenever there’s injustice done to us in society, our heart becomes bitter and we develop a general distrust in all. We want the offender to feel regretful. And that’s correct. But sometimes in our pursuit of justice, we get blinded and end up participating in the injustice ourselves. It’s important to do the right thing and then simply back off. Let karma take over.

12. Relationships must be based on independence. When we impose limits on another, we stifle their independence and fill their hearts with sadness. And when we see them breaking our defined restrictions, our hearts get filled with sadness! What an irony. The key to relationships is ensuring that the other is free to do what his or her soul pleases. This is tough to accomplish but it’s not impossible! 

13. We often get influenced by others’ negative opinions and suggestions. This can lead us down a dangerous path of self destruction. The key is to always have dharma in your heart and that will lead you to always make the right decisions.

14. Parents will always want the best for their children. But they try and show their children the path by warning them of the obstacles and challenges that they faced in the past, citing their own lives as an example. While this intention is noble, isn’t it true that what successes or failures the parents experienced in their time might not be relevant in a new time and age? There’s no guarantee that the path adopted by parents will be of the same benefit/harm to the children. Most importantly, isn’t facing challenges and rising above them one of the key purposes of life?

15. Truth is another name for fearlessness. And fearlessness is the essential nature of the soul. 

16. When desires aren’t fulfilled, it leads to anger in the heart and we tend to punish those responsible for our desires not being met as a way of justice. Yet, true justice only stems from love and compassion. Moreover, the reason for desires not materialising could be many – character, nature or simply the intrinsic aspect of desires itself which is subject to not being fulfilled. And most importantly, God may have better plans! Learn to surrender.

17. We make plans at this moment to alleviate our future problems! Is this sensible? Every problem when it occurs also gives birth to a solution at the same time. People who use problems to better themselves as souls, to think greater thoughts, and are in a constant state of self improvement, they are the saviours of society. Those who don’t become problems of society!

18. Tradition has a place in society but it cannot be equated with right action. Those who follow tradition blindly thinking it’s the right thing to do, may be deluding themselves into thinking that they’re following their dharma – this couldn’t be further from the truth.

19. When taking a decision, simply ask your heart. Is this decision based on ego or dharma? Instead of taking decisions based on the future, take those based on dharma. That way the future will sort itself out.

20. What’s the point of regretting and constantly blaming yourself for a misdeed if karma is going to play out anyway? Instead, accept your flaws and move on. The pursuit of self improvement makes the soul stronger.

21. You don’t do the right thing because of some potential future happiness. You do the right thing because doing it itself is happiness for the heart. 

22. We take so many decisions based on fear. But is this fear real? If someone simply makes a plan to hurt you, can they really hurt you? No. But a heart filled with fear causes us greater harm, while a heart filled with trust sees us through all challenges.

23. What is self-confidence? The ability to take on all challenges instead of running away from them. 

24. The pursuit of power is basically about influencing others and imposing your thinking on them. When power is attempted through devious means, an individual may experience the feeling of power for a while but in reality he’s setting himself up for destruction. 

25. Children are born sin free. They have no positive or negative qualities. But parents unknowingly create certain impressions on their minds which could lead to negative behaviour. And then they are surprised when their children behave a certain way!

26. When the mind and soul face difficulties, they get stronger. When we try and shield our children from the trials and tribulations of life, and only focus on their comforts and luxuries, we end up compromising their ultimate happiness. 

27. Knowledge is gained through surrender. But what is true surrender? The mind plays a lot of games during knowledge assimilation, and we end up acquiring half-baked knowledge. Only total surrender destroys the ego and strengthens the mind. 

28. Two students can go to the same teacher but yet only one may end up acquiring knowledge. That’s because to gain the right knowledge from a teacher, you need complete surrender and unwavering dedication. But do not surrender to any external guru, organisation, or cult! Only focus on the inner self, which is God – the true and only teacher.  

29. We tend to look at everything as a competition and we only strive to be better than our nearest competitor. This is setting yourself up for disappointment and unnecessary struggle since it’s an unending cycle. It’s better to strive for excellence so you’d be only competing with yourself, and ultimately, without even focussing on it, you will become the best at what you do. 

30. What is true prayer? Doing the right thing without worrying about the results of your efforts. Karma is everything after all. 

31. You’re not here to teach people lessons or make them spiritual. These are things you keep to yourself. Your only role is self improvement.

32. Where there is true love between two people, there is no scope of uncertainty, anger, struggle, ego, or desires. Love for everyone is known as compassion – which dissolves anger in an instant. Compassion for everything and everyone is true dharma.

33. Only those who understand that they do nothing themselves (everything is from the source), can actually do something of great importance.

34. Helping someone will always increase one’s own strength. 

35. Many people make pride (arrogance) the focus point of their lives. And spend every moment enhancing their pride. But what is such kind of pride? A proud or arrogant individual demands respect and desires to hear praises from everyone. He’s not confident of himself. Only those who have fear in their hearts are proud or arrogant.

36. Who am I? This is the only relevant question in life. We need to realise we are all divine manifestations. Yet very few people know this. We ask others to tell us who we are – yet how can they? When they are unaware themselves.

37.Dharma has five principles – knowledge, love, justice, surrender, and patience.

38. People who retaliate aren’t strong. True strength in found only in silence and tolerance. 

39. You worry about the future, but the future is ever changing. The future is based on your decisions and actions (karma) today. If you’re happy about your choices today, then happiness in your future is assured.

40. Fate is man made, not set in stone!

41. Sometimes doing the right thing is a big struggle and taking the wrong path leads to instant happiness. It’s easy to get blinded by such a situation but if we remain steadfast in our intention to do the right thing, we get closer to God. Doing the wrong thing can often lead to short term happiness, but doesn’t it damage the character? Remember, this might not be your last incarnation on Earth!

42. Sometimes other people’s actions unsettle the mind. But this is the most important time to keep the mind stable. 

43. To get something is not victory, and to lose something is not defeat. It’s all a matter of time, the very nature of which is change. 

44. If any situation causes fear or extreme discontent in you, you are defeated there and then. To remain calm and collected even after losing something, that’s victory. It’s always about being in balance.

45. Vows and principles are dependent on the situation – you can’t let injustice or a distressing situation exist simply due to a silly vow. In such instances, breaking a limiting vow is way better than keeping it. 

46. There need not be anyone between God and you. Avoid gurus and cults. You don’t need a middleman to broker your relationship with the almighty. He is always within you.

47. When in doubt choose love. When there’s more doubt, increase the dose.

48. Don’t enter into useless debates like choosing between veg food and non-veg foods. Focus on what comes out of your mouth rather than what goes into it!

49. Do not ever let others and their opinions into your private relationships. Not even parents or siblings, and certainly not friends. And especially during times of discord. When others interfere in your relationships, even with the best intentions, something in that relationship dies forever.

50. Accept that you can’t get every decision right. And more importantly, a decision you think to be right could be the wrong one. Then what to do? Put out your intention to God but let his will happen!

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