Develop a humorous attitude to life. When one develops such an attitude, one’s childlike nature emerges. There is a child in us which wants to be free. As we grow older the child in us is suppressed and hence our playfulness also gets suppressed. Joy disappears when we have a serious attitude towards life.
One of the greatest secrets of life that has become a mystery is that, we are born with total bliss but still remain beggars. All because, we don’t delve within ourselves. We don’t know ourselves. Hence Socrates said “Know thyself”.
The Veda says “Know thyself”.
We take ourselves for granted.
We think we know ourselves and this is most foolish. We become drunk with the indifference of who we are. And this kills the joy of living.
An elderly man and a youngster both were drunk and having an interesting conversation in a bar.
‘Where do you live?’ asked the old man.
‘I live in the Fifth Avenue,’ replied the youngster.
‘Oh! Even I live there and how is it that we have not met?’
‘Where exactly do you live in the Fifth Avenue?’ asked the old man.
‘At Sterling Apartments,’ replied the youngster.
‘Oh! Even I live there and how is it that we have not met?’ asked the old man.
‘How long have you been living there?’
‘For 25 years,’ replied the youngster.
‘Oh! Even I have been living there for almost 25 years and how is it that we have not met?’ asked the old man, ‘Which flat in Sterling Apartment?’
‘At B2.. on the second floor,’ was the reply.
‘My god! Even I am living in the same flat and how is it that we have not met?’
Another man on the next table hearing this conversation was shocked.
But the bartender said, ‘Sir, don’t get worked up. These two come here every night, have a few pegs and indulge in the same conversation. And they are father and son!’
Many of us are indifferent to who we are. Vedas tell us we are like drunkards since we don’t know who we are.
Knowing oneself is just not seeing ourselves as ‘I am the body.’ The body is the periphery – ‘Me.’ But the ‘I’ that is ‘self’ is not the periphery – ‘Me’ as my body.
The deeper ‘Me’ is the soul which is beyond the body and mind. This can be discovered through understanding, reflection and meditation.
Swami Sukhabodhananda is the founder and chairman of Prasanna Trust. He is a respected spiritual leader who is often referred to as the ‘Corporate Guru.’