“If you have a rose, will it ever smell like a jasmine?
Can the flower of a pandanus plant smell like a plumeria?”
Param Pujya Bhaishree starts Valentine's Special swadhyay, in the open terrace of Bhalani Residence, by asking us this question. Each flower has its unique smell and thus no two flowers can smell the same. This shows us that every flower has an integral connection with its smell. A rose will always smell like a rose. Similarly, every flower will spread its unique scent. Our thoughts are just like these flowers and since every flower emits a smell, so do our thoughts. Our behaviour and mood is the direct result of our thoughts. The rule of a flower and its smell is universal. Whatever our thoughts will be so will our actions. If our thoughts are weak, they will make us weak. However if we keep our thoughts strong, we will become strong. The smell of our thought like flower is inescapable. The fruit of our thoughts will be borne by us, no matter what.
If you start your day with an affirmation and telling yourself how it is a wonderful day, you will end it on a positive note too. On the contrary, if you wake up feeling lazy and complaining you will spend the rest of your day complaining about small things and go to bed unhappy. Our thoughts are like pearls that we bead into a thread, every thought we have in the day is added to the thread and at the end of the day we have to wear that necklace around our neck. Thus, every thought will affect us. If we have negative thoughts towards someone else, we will feel the results on ourself too. Bad thoughts not only hurt you but also those around you. The rule of thoughts works both ways, good and bad. If you think good, you will feel good but if you think bad you will feel that too. You reap what you sow.
There was once a saint, every morning he would wake up and tell himself, “God has made today a beautiful day. I must enjoy it.” This simple affirmation makes sets his mind for the day and makes sure he is happy. When we get up feeling lazy and wanting to not get out of bed we place a rock on the road to happiness for the day and walking on rocky roads is never easy. We ourselves hold the power to define our day and make it happy.
Think about how this man started his day that at the end of it he can say, “Dear god, today went by very well. I had a filling meal, good clothing and even finished all my work. But I’m most grateful for the opportunities I got to help others and the peace and contentment that I experienced today. You answered my prayers and guided me throughout the day. Thank you.” To reach this state of satisfaction he might have worked very hard. There are a lot of rich and successful people in this world but they don’t have even half the contentment, happiness, gratitude and peace they should. These feelings are what make a man successful in the true sense.
We do need money for our basic necessities like food, shelter and clothing, we can not survive a day without money so we don’t have to leave it completely. At the same time, we don’t have to concentrate so much on making money that we forget everything else and are blinded. Even money is a flower that has its own scent but in the bouquet of life it is only one flower and not the whole necklace. If you keep smelling only this flower it is possible that our sense of smell and then the smell of money will entice us and we won’t be able to recognise sweeter smelling flowers.
In the south there is man named Datpal. He is educated and from a good family. He had a religious inclination since he was a child. He denied marriage and spent his time contemplating about the Soul and giving lectures. He had become quite famous as he did not believe in giving himself any importance. His outlook on life was very inspiring. He said that money is neither a friend nor a foe but simply a medium to live life. If we accept this concept we can easily let go of our greed for money. Money on its own isn’t the source of any happiness or sadness. It is our desire for money that makes us happy and sad. If we have the same desire for other things, money won’t be as important to us as it is. Running after money and wanting more of it all the time will only leave us poorer. We should think of life a big chest of drawers and reserve only one of them for money, the rest of the drawers are for other things in life.
One man starts emptying his pockets as soon as he gets back home. Even before stepping inside his home his hands are in his pockets. He puts everything on the table outside his door and carries no papers related to work inside. He does this because he doesn’t like to carry the burden of office related work back to his home. He left all his office related thoughts outside his room with those papers and then did his sadhna. He found this difficult in the starting but with practice it got easier. He was suffering from insomnia so he had to make this change. Even at night thoughts of his business and maximising his profits kept him awake. These profits cost him his sleep and health and he decided that it was not worth it. This made him adopt the tiny practice of leaving worldly thoughts outside his room and concentrating on achieving peace at home. Very few people understand the importance of health without one or two such experiences.
“Is the body a beautiful flower or a walking pillar?” Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu would ask his students. One would answer, “Calling the body a tower doesn’t take away its flower-like characteristics. The imminent connection between the soul and God is our body. The body even connects the outside world to our mind.”
Helen Keller was born deafblind. On her visit to India she met Rabindranath Tagore. She asked him if she could touch his eyes. Tagore gently took her hands and placed them on his eyes. She said, “Great are these eyes that saw the beauty in the world and great are your hands that put that beauty into words for blind people to see.” Tagore said that, that day he understood the true importance of his body. What will it take for us to value our body and stop us from taking it for granted?
A plastic surgeon turned psychiatrist stated that humans need to cater more to the mind than to the body. We can easily tell with a stomach ache that our body isn’t fine but it is very difficult to know whether our mind is fine. We do feel stress, restlessness, sleeplessness or depression but we never take it seriously. We don’t actively look for peace, even if we find it we can’t recognise and even if we do recognise it we fail to understand its true power. This is equivalent to not noticing the ganga when it is flowing in our own backyard.
Shraddha [faith] is another immortal flower. When difficulties arise in life it is our shraddha that always comes to our rescue. Faith is the base and foundation of our road to salvation.
God has created thousands of flowers but one man can’t possibly smell all. If we even recognise the important flowers and take in their sweet smell our human birth will be successful.
“गुरु प्यार है, गुरु प्यार है,
तु ही प्रीत है, तु दुलार है,
तु ज्ञान है, तु ही ध्यान है,
गुरु प्यार है, गुरु प्यार है "
One saint was very famous for his amazing oratory skills. While handing over control of the ashram to his disciple he asked, “You have my blessings for everything, but ask for whatever you want and I shall give it to you.” His disciple asked for his oratory skills. The saint replied, “After 25 years you still did not understand that speech is a worldly virtue. Out of everything you wanted this? The greatest thing in the world is love. You should ask for love, kindness, humanity and compassion. A man isn’t great if he can get the stars to the earth with his words, he is great if he can grow flowers of love within the hearts of the people he meets.”
A man who was always happy was asked what was the cause of his never ending happiness. He said, “I realised that I can control all my thoughts. I started concentration on happy thoughts and that has resulted in this. Worldly situations cannot control my line of thought anymore.” If we can learn to do this our hearts too will become gardens full of flowers of love. We all have to spread love in this manner. Spread the love to one and all. God has given us all equal amounts of love but it is our lack of understanding that stops us from spreading it.
The power of love will pass from one person to their family, their neighbours and so on. Everyone in contact with the person will experience happiness and peace. Understanding of true knowledge and the awakening of our soul nurtures this flower of love. Our soul is a desert without this understanding but with it our soul can become a garden. Once this flower of love starts blooming within us, its scent will slowly spread to whoever you meet and eventually in the world. We must all light the candles of love within our hearts to break away from this world of attachments.
An expression of Selfless Love
A Poem by Brahmnisht Minalben
A day to shower supreme love on our special one
A time to openly express our feelings and enjoy the eternal fun.
Our divine master who is the ruler of our heart
We seek your blessings as you are the cherry on our tart.
We offer you red balloons representing our naughty mind
We place at your feet our attachments from the entire mankind.
We surrender the riches of our ego and our pride
We have given up all and kept only you by our side.
What a feeling of pure, sacred sense of fulfilment
We can see the pinnacle of peace as we have begun our ascent
Steady and firm is our gaze on your serene eyes
We hold on to you tight, leaving behind all worldly ties.
We can momentarily experience the bliss in which you dwell
Our mind, body and soul is in unison is all we can tell.
We bow with deep veneration and selfless love today
To convey our heartfelt devotion on this Valentine's Day.
We not only just love you, we worship you and adore you
Oh our dear Bhaishri there is none other than you, you and only you.