Our lives are full of material comfort today. We have huge bungalows to live in, lively clothes to wear, a variety of mouthwatering food, powerful cars to whiz us around, aircrafts to fly abroad, wireless and televisions to bring the entire world to our living rooms, telephones, cellular phones, pagers to converse across the world and now even telepathy according to scientists.
The question, however, is were our ancestors happier without all these material comforts listed above, or are we happier? We have to be honest in our answer. Is it not true that we don't have the peace and serenity with which they were blessed? Of course, there is nothing wrong with scientific and technological progress provided we progress spiritually also. We go wrong when the reins of our spirit are in wrong hands, and when we becomes lesser human beings due to material progress. The scientists can five us new and newer inventions, but how we use these is entirely in our own hands.
Science, of course, is conscious today that our spiritual selves are lame. Still, if you let your lame. Still, if you let your lame selves navigate the blind science, all in not list. The world can still be saved. But no one cares, why should they? Our lame spiritual self is still capable of salvaging our ruined lives, but we don't allow it to do so. Our ill mind is unwilling to exercise any control.
Anxiety : The disciple asked, "Sire, which fever troubles humans the most?" God answered, "Anxiety."
Anxiety consumes you. Age really has nothing to do with aging. But we grow old in youth due to anxiety:
It is amazing this short word 'anxiety' has the entire world in its grip, while anxiety it self roams free. If any one can really subdue or control anxiety, that man would not be an ordinary mortal-he would surely be a saint or saintly. A philosopher has said, "Anxiety, why did you come to the world? Wherever you are, man wounded by your arrows, loses his sense of direction. He demoralization leads to bad habits. You are like a mountain blocking the way of the brave, the ruler, the wealthy, the strong, the hard-working and the learned. All these are helpless before you."
How Indomitable You Are, Anxiety : Anxiety, no one is fond of you. No one appreciates your character. You reduce to ashes the very seat you occupy along with its place. You burn in your own blaze, yet the once who are in your grip cannot even exhale the smoke inside them. They choke continually. However, you spread through invisible crevices to others. Whole families and cities begin to blaze under your gaze. In Africa there are man-eating trees. You are the very pyre on which the living burn. A real pyre is not so bad, it burns to cremate the dead and that too just once. But you burn the living day in and day out. You are far worse.
A disciple asked, what is the difference between a pyre and anxiety?
The Guru said,
There is very little difference between pyre and anxiety. The Sanskrit word 'Chinta' (anxiety) and 'Chita' (pyre) are so similar in sound, only the 'n' is! How it burns to ashes the living human being and that imperceptibly! It is like slow poison, poisoning our entire being; it makes us sizzle endlessly. Excited by anxiety we are never our normal self. The entire nervous system remains taut. We are unable to sleep, unable to eat. We neither live nor die. Anxiety nullifies our entire happiness. Anxiety is so dangerous that it kills the one who seeks asylum here. The worst effect of anxiety is on our heart. Eventually the troubled heart become ill. The result is sure heart attack.
Just think- man is born free, is born to be free, yet as he grows older he is more a slave to anxiety. And thus after serving anxiety like a bonded slave he dies. Anxiety gives birth to insomnia. We start taking drugs to be able to sleep. Drugs only induce more sleeplessness. We become immune to drugs eventually.
There are two ways to fight sleeplessness. First, find out what troubles you. Analyze the cause of your anxiety. Second, don't force yourself to sleep. The more you try to sleep the more you interfere with the circulation of blood inside. This interference does not allow your mind to go to sleep. You must have noticed that if you eat peacefully without hurry, you begin to feel sleepy. Why is this so? Is it your full stomach? Is this heaviness induced by food? Neither is the reason. The mind no longer feels heavy and sleep comes. But when you burden your mind with anxiety, office work, or various tension within the family, when you carry all this to your bed, how can your mind rest! How can you sleep? You have blocked sleep's path by all the office files in your mind. Your bedroom is a place where you rest rather than toil. There is no room here for anxiety, fear, envy, jealousy and thoughts which hurt and excite our mind. We cannot deal with all this in our bedroom.
Anxiety's Grip : We all known that a place where you get your car tyre repaired is not the place for getting your clothes dyed. Similarly, in a place where the body heals, you cannot bring a file load of anxiety. Your bedroom is a place to heal you, to give you physical, mental, and spiritual rest. It's a place to recharge your inner battery. It's a place where you wash clean the slate on which you write. You have to clean it of fatigue, brooding, boredom, and irritability . If you bring anxiety to your place of sleep, encouraged by silence all around, anxiety will become even more powerful and frightening. It will dance before the captive audience of your mind. Then no one can control it. Anxiety demons will start their procession before you. Unable to stand them, you will try to swallow a sleeping pill, or toss in bed. When you wake up you will be so exhausted that you will surely quarrel with someone. Your unhappiness will disturb the entire family. And then, still boiling inside, you will leave for work. There too you will have a bad day. Your output and enthusiasm both will be low. Your failure will enrage you further, either the wife, children, or servant will get the brunt of you wrath. This cycle of anxiety is awful indeed. It's circular. Man gets caught on anxiety's horns and says eventually, 'Life is awful.'
A devotee used to come to me in Nimad, Madhya Pradesh. Every time he said, "Maharaj, I want to come often, but it is not always possible." I asked him, "Why is this so?" He said, "I have so much to worry about that I cannot cope with it. But you know so many people. Do you know anyone to whom I can pass on a truckload of my worries?"3
I felt sorry for him. I said, "But why do you worry so much? Tell me, did anxiety come first or did you invite her by walking her way?"
So Tiny This Body, So Massive the Anxiety
Dear Reader, this life is short. On top of that it is uncertain and inconstant. How can you catty on your little goat body the weight of a mountain! Just imagine, what will happen if you do this! The devotee understood. How should I word what I wish to ask you: Why do you fill your life with anxiety? Forget your worries. We are self deluded. Our ignorance gives birth to anxiety. You don't have to do tapasya to free yourself of anxiety.
You don't have to try very hard. Just remember, a man from birth brings his own destiny, life span, wealth and learning. So where is the need to kill yourself with anxiety? If you decide to change, your family life will be a divine place, a Nandan van virtually.