Archive for January 3, 2013
“Look at it! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, man! Let me go out there and let me get one wave, just one wave before you take me in. I mean, come on man, where I am I gonna go? Cliffs on both sides! I’m not gonna paddle my way to New Zealand! Come on, Come on!” “To Look At It! Click on Image for another eleven!”
According to the Vedic view of creation, there are three fundamental principles that control everything: birth, life, and death. Everything has a beginning, middle, and an end. The Vedas call these three fundamental principles namely principles of creation, principles of maintaining, and principles of concluding or ending. These tendencies are seen in our personalities. Some people like to create ideas, food, or companies. Some like to manage and keep an idea or business alive. Still others have the task of removing old, broken, unworkable things, ideas or institutions. Just as food grows and stays fresh for a time and then becomes inedible, so too are people are born, live, and die. Careers begin and end.
Everything in creation is under the influence of these three laws. The secret to peace and spiritual bliss is to go beyond the three fundamental principles. What does this mean? How can a person go beyond something that controls all material existence? The answer is to switch one’s focus from material life to one’s spiritual nature. While principles of creation create all of material life, it is God who has created the three fundamental principles. In the beginning there was God, and He said, let there be creation. So God created the three fundamental principles to sustain creation and remove those things that would get in the way of maintaining it.
One may wonder how a person, who is composed of matter, can go beyond the three principles of matter. Here, we are speaking of the person as the Soul. The person is not merely the matter that houses the Soul, but is the Soul. Imagine three brothers; Sat, Roger, and Tom Goona. They want to start a computer software company named Goo-Na. It was Sat’s idea, and he did all the groundwork to get the company up and going. He got Good Ol’ Dad (G.O.D.), venture capitalists, to loan them the startup funds. But since Sat loses interest in the daily activities and likes to move on to create some more dot-com startup companies, Roger was the perfect choice to run the company. Roger doesn’t have much creative sense, so he was happy that Sat started the company; Roger’s God-gifts lie in management and organization skills. So he runs the day-to-day operation. Sat and Roger talked Tom into leaving his job at his salvage company and use his cleanup skills for their new company. Some of Tom’s responsibilities will be clearing out old computers, furniture, cell phones, cars, software, and so on, since the company must stay on the leading edge of technology and fashion to impress the clients. Tom also has the personality to compassionately deal with people when they must be let go. He is also in charge of disbanding parts of companies that their company takes over.
The people who work at Goo-Na have enjoyed their jobs, their salaries support their families, and everything runs smoothly. As the company becomes larger and more powerful, the brothers, human nature being what it is, begin to lose their idealistic focus. Roger becomes power hungry, that is to say, busy with hostile takeover attempts. Tom has become lazy and sloppy, not clearing out old inventory, not showing up for work, preferring to sit and watch plasma screen TV 28 all day and Sat, well, he spends all of his time either creating new companies or reading scripture and meditating.
As a result, corporate ethics has slipped and customers are not getting quality products. Creative ideas to serve humanity have fallen by the wayside. Other companies are being harassed where they were previously community partners, and there are even some financial scandals afoot. There remains one employee, Archie, who joined the company, and who is still inspired by its idealistic mission statement; however, he is quite upset that the company is not allowing him to truly help society. No one listens to his creative ideas. When he tries to talk to any of the brothers, they ignore him. Archie is stuck, trapped by the three brothers. The only way to get out of this predicament is to go over the heads of the three brothers. For this, he has to go to the only place that has influence on Brothers, that is to say, venture capitalists. Venture capitalists hold the purse strings and decide whether to continue funding this company. Since Archie alerted Venture capitalists about the loss of vision at the company, Venture capitalists may be able to bring integrity, ethics, and compassion back into this company by threatening to close them down; that is to say, stop funding them. As a result of Archie’s devotion to helping people, Venture capitalists succeeded in putting the company back on track.
This story gives a brief idea of how the three principles of matter work. Satwa creates life. Rajas keep things going. Tamas concludes the life cycle. To avoid getting caught up in material life and really know the eternal, non-changing Divine bliss, we are advised to go beyond the three principles of matter and to directly seek God. It may be easier to understand the value of spiritual devotion versus material ideas, through another analogy. A person can have a pile of wood, a box of iron, various tools, some plot of earth. They can even assemble these materials into a living structure. But only when a person, couple or family lives there, does the structure begin to feel like a home, a place filled with love and something beyond a mere object.
The other important point is, we need not unduly strain to achieve the results of our action, while simultaneously avoiding under-acting or being inactive. Merely sitting doing nothing, keeps one from being involved on an external level only; it does not free the mind and feelings from such desires. There is a myth that the path to Self-Realization is one of renouncing action, but this is incorrect. It is renouncing the desire for the result of action and not acting in itself. One has to release the desire for rewards of our actions culminating in Self-Realization.
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