Follow the Path

The following is an excerpt from ‘Instructions for Enlightenment’ in The Bhagavad Gita Demystified Volume 3 by Paramahamsa Nithyananda.

‘Yes, but I am happy if the results are what I want,’ you say. But how long are you happy? Human nature is such that you are never satisfied with one thing for long. You move in greed from one desire to another. Even with a simple understanding of the law of probability, you can see that half the time you will fail and be in sorrow. You will bounce back and forth between sorrow and happiness like a roller coaster ride.

You have asked, ‘How can I be unemotional? How can I be detached?’ These emotions – happiness and sorrow, irritation and excitement, violence and fear – happiness when you set goals and expectations and link your future to them. You feel that only if things happen the way you want, your future is secure; otherwise you feel your future is in jeopardy. How many of these life and death situations do you face daily, weekly or monthly? It is unlikely that we face such situations, where our life depends on what we do, more than a few times in our entire life.

The rest is pure imagination. You build fantasies and feel that unless these fantasies are realized, you will not be happy. Then it goes without saying: you will not be happy. That is why most of you are unhappy. You simply build fantasies that have no connection with real life. 

First, renounce fantasies about things you do not have. Renounce what you do not have. Live with what you have and enjoy that. We can all do this. It is perfectly possible to achieve this, is it not? There is nothing superhuman in accomplishing this, is there? You simply need to reduce your greed. Make an effort to appreciate what you already have. Make a list of everything you have, including your physical and mental faculties; then give gratitude to the Almighty for having been so compassionate. 

Once you get into this mode of being happy with what you basically need and have, which is the discipline of aparigraha laid down by Patanjali for simple living, you settle down into a mood of non-expectation. You enjoy the present instead of craving the future. 

When you move into the present moment, you renounce the past and future. Focus on the present, and what you need to do now, without worrying about what should happen. Let what happens happen. Do what you need to do. Focus on the path, not on the destination. 

When you focus on the path, you begin to enjoy the journey. The path itself has no goals fixed to it for you to achieve. So, there is no attachment. The requirement is only that you travel that path. Wherever you reach will be the right destination. 

Live life the way it is served to you. Enjoy whatever happens. Remain in the understanding that the universe is always compassionate to you. Whatever happens is for our good. Whether we realize it or not at that moment, it is good for us. This is surrender. This is renunciation. When this renunciation happens, when you trust that whatever happens is for your good, the universe smiles on you. Bliss descends on you!