It was my thirteenth birthday if I recall correctly. A close relative had given me a couple of spiritual books as a birthday present, and I didn’t even bother to look at them. At that age, I was more interested in Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes and my perennial favourite — British humorist PG Wodehouse.
Fast forward to three years later. It was the lowest point in my life; my father and elder brother passed away recently. My world had turned upside down. Life seemed totally, completely, absolutely meaningless. Then I glanced at the cover of the first spiritual book; the hypnotic eyes of Shri Ramakrishna on the cover page had me in thrall. The book was called “The Life of Ramakrishna” and I read it from cover to cover in one sitting. Then I started on the companion book “The Life of Vivekananda” and read it in one sitting.
My life turned around; I had found my inspiration. I read more books on Swami Vivekananda’s Vedanta philosophy, and then I read some of the Upanishads, the Bhagavat Gita and even the Bible, drawing inspiration from each source. I met some self-realized people and started practising yoga. Suddenly, life seemed worth living again.
When you are down in the dumps, what do you do? What is your inspiration? Please look for a source of inspiration. It will turn your life around.
If you are looking for spiritual books, you will find plenty at Gutenberg.org, downloadable free of cost. Books like “The Autobiography of a Yogi” can also be downloaded for free on the internet. You can find all kinds of inspiring books at the local library, and of course, you can buy them at bookshops or on Amazon. I prefer the older books that carry the energy of ancient spiritual traditions with them.
Inspiration is not just in books, it is everywhere. As a popular song goes:
“The words of the prophet are written on the subway walls.”
I find inspiration in children’s words. My granddaughter has inspired many of my blogs. Look for inspiration n popular music, such as The Fight Song by Rachel Platten:
“This is my fight song, prove I am all right song.“
Listen to the song of the reed, it has its own story to tell, inspired by Rumi.
Good bhajans can uplift your mood in a moment. I find that the Tulsidas Ramayana is very melodic, there is no bad way to sing it.
There is plenty of inspiration on YouTube, including many talks by our own Om Swami ji. There are inspiring TED talks and plenty of good music from almost every genre available for free.
Above all, do judge a book by its cover, especially if it has a photograph on it.
The Inner Voice: Pritha found inspiration in playing with a dog without exchanging a word. The dog gave her two valuable spiritual lessons: 1) If you want something, believe it is possible and the universe will make it happen; 2) Demand to live the life that is rightfully yours; keep trying till you succeed.
The dog accomplished all this simply by expressing a desire to play with a ball without words. If a dog can do this, you, a human, can do so much more!
Does Familiarity Breed Contempt?: Richa has given a fresh twist to the well-known saying ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’, thanks to the modern means of communication. When a boy and a girl are new in a relationship, she says, they understand each other better the more they communicate. However, as time passes, too much communication through social media causes problems. There is no healthy space between the two, leading to misunderstandings and, eventually, break-ups. She gives several examples of how too much communication has led to break-ups in modern society. We must be careful in choosing what, when and how much to communicate.
Hard to Say Goodbye: Shivani Kohli has finally realised that there is no guarantee of tomorrow in our lives. The number of tomorrows we have left is a dwindling quantity. She finds that some of the people she knew are no longer around. Many of the people she knows today will no longer be around in the future. However, she also finds it challenging to live in the present because although tomorrow is not guaranteed, it might come anyway. She believes life is all about finding a balance between the present and an uncertain tomorrow. Truly, this is an inspiring lesson for all of us.
Writing As Stream Of Consciousness: Elena, a former air hostess, left her comfortable home in Florida, USA, to live in the Himalayas. She had all the comforts she wanted in the USA, with nothing missing except happiness. She is perfectly happy in her newfound home, sharing it with two puppies and feeding the black crows that visit her every morning. She writes in a very inspiring “stream of consciousness” style, just putting her thoughts into words as they flow out. Her simple message is: if you are unhappy with your life, go ahead and change it.
One Day or Day One: We all know this too well. For most of us, our New Year starts with this thought: One day, I will start exercising, and one day I will < insert your resolution>. Aditya Shahi writes about the Day One mindset that got him going.
Maa & Paa…: “Any woman can be a mother but it takes a brave and strong woman to be a Dad too.” Navjot Lidder is that strong and brave person. In this inspiring personal blog, she writes about making choices during difficult times.
Reimagine Life: Tushar Kanikdale inspires readers to reimagine their reality and life. He says we can create possibilities, eliminate negative emotions, and live this adventurous life more consciously.
Light Reflects: Find enough inspiration to unleash your true self in AD Inspiration’s verse. ‘
Surrender to the temptation to be less than what you were meant to be There is no rush in becoming something other than what you were meant to become.
To deny yourself of the pleasure of being you, you rob the world of seeing the beauty inside of you
Watch it Now!
Wisdom from Om Swami
Shedding Your Past: Forgive yourself for the mistakes of the past. Go easy. Spiritual leader Om Swami shows the way to leave our shadow behind us for a happier now.
Give a Damn About Something: What’s a life without purpose? Not worth living, according to a popular adage. Make it worth it with this definitive way of finding meaning and purpose in your life. Read spiritual leader Om Swami’s wise words now!
Humour for the Week
Here are some reverse proverbs that work just as well as the original:
The early worm gets eaten by the bird.
What’s your hurry? Take life easy, and you can survive a little longer, like the lazy worm.
Every silver lining has a cloud.
Every good thing comes with problems. It takes intense effort to travel on the spiritual path. Plus, every medication has its side effects.
Here is another.
What goes down must come up.
If you bounce a ball on the ground, it rebounds and comes up. So can you, when you are down and out.
Can you think of any more reverse proverbs that work for you?
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