Given who we are i.e. souls possessing the freedom and the power to create, the fundamental law of the universe is pretty intuitive and obvious. The fundamental law of the universe is:
We create our individual destinies.
That’s it! Simple enough!
The same law can also be expressed as:
As you sow, so shall you reap.
Like attracts like.
Gurbani clearly lays out this law and so have the sages and wise men of the past. Unlike this world, where hundreds of laws exist at district, state, national and international level, the reality or God’s domain has only one law: we create our destinies. We have the freedom and the power to create our life any way we want. Given what the law is, it looks less like a law and more as a gift given to us by Almighty himself. It makes sense also for it to be a gift rather than a law since the basic thread or relationship between a soul and the God is that of love, not of a master and a servant.
However, given the way we have made our choices or chosen to live this life, the same gift now appears more as a law to our consciousness. In a life where we have chosen
- darkness over light
- hatred over love
- vengeance over forgiveness
- pusillanimity over magnanimity
- indifference over caring
- selfishness over selflessness
we are receiving the same things in our life in equal measure.
A life filled with darkness and sorrow doesn’t look like a gift.
Unless, we accept it as a gift.
Unless, we see it as a result of the primal freedom and the power to create given to us.
And if we are able to see light (freedom and power to create) inside this darkness, we’ll also be able to see our power to replace this darkness with the light of joy, bliss, and peace. However, as it has taken us a long time (many lifetimes probably) to create the mess we are in, it will take us a long time to reach our purest state of joy, bliss, and peace. But, it does not mean that we’ll be able to see the effects of changed thoughts only after a long time. Our life will start changing from the second we decide to change our thoughts. Gradually and steadily, if we continue to prefer virtuous thoughts over our past thoughts, then the world outside will also start changing for us. We’ll start meeting with people who are good at heart and opportunities will open up for us, which we never thought could exist. All of this will happen by the simple law of like attracts like.
The world outside is a reflection of our state of mind. Therefore, no matter, how much objective and real we consider this world, all of us live in our own worlds determined by our own states of minds. All of us have different opinions on how to achieve success, happiness, a good partner, career growth, on how people behave, what are the motivations of people in general, how to respond in different situation etc. The world outside is what it is but all of us have different opinions on how it works. Who is correct? Who is incorrect? No one really. Our understanding of the world comes directly out of our state of mind – which is nothing more than the accumulation of all our past thoughts or choices. Since our states of minds are different in different ways, so are our worlds.
There is a beautiful story I heard about Lord Krishna, Yudhishtra and Duryodhan that I think may help here.
Once Krishna called both Duryodhan and Yudhishtra into his room. When they came and stood near his feet, he told them that he had a work for both of them.
“Duryodhan, I want you to go out and find one good person in this village.”
“Yudhishtra, I want you to go out and find one bad person in this village.”
He asked them to come up with at least one person each before the end of the day.
At the end of the day, both Duryodhan and Yudhishtra returned empty-handed. There was no one with them.
Krishna asked Yudhishtra why he didn’t bring any person with him. Yudhishtra responded that all the people in the village are good and he couldn’t find even one bad person in the entire village.
Duryodhan countered Yudhishtra and asked him to not to lie in front of Lord. He said, “In the same village, I have roamed. I could not find a single good person in the village.”
Then, they both looked at Lord Krishna for the resolution of the dispute. One of them was correct and the other incorrect, they thought.
However, the Lord didn’t say anything but kept laughing. When Duryodhan asked why he was laughing and not answering their question, Krishna responded that none of them was wrong. He said that this world is like an ocean and what a person sees in this ocean is just his reflection. So, it was natural for Duryodhan and Yudhishtra to differ.
Anita Moorjani says, “My outer life is actually only a reflection of my inner state.”
Khoji says, “Power of thoughts lies latent in us, and can be developed to make or mar our own life and destiny. We are continuously attracting to ourselves forces and conditions most akin to those of our own thoughts.”
If we see ourselves surrounded by crooks, cheaters, liars, violent, cunning, cruel people and we prefer people with just the opposite personalities, what should we do? Change our thoughts. And association. We should look out for people with virtues. They may not be as rich, as beautiful, as strong, as handsome, as successful or they may be but if they are virtuous, they’ll help us to elevate ourselves or get closer to our own selves. If this is what we want, then we will enjoy their company. However, if we don’t change our thoughts, no association would help because others can only motivate us to walk, the journey has to be undertaken by us: the journey back home.
But we are entrenched or drowned in this superficial world which prefers physical beauty over character and money over satisfaction and happiness and where people are mocked at for
- their eating style
- their dressing style
- their walking style
- their speaking style
- so on and so forth
Such level of superficiality!!
Why don’t we talk about character of an individual rather than these such utterly unimportant and highly superficial things? Doesn’t making fun of people and hurting them for these small things tell us about our own character? Why are we mindlessly following the ways of the society? Why do we have to do what everyone else does? Everyone else also does because everyone else does and we are all going down the drain with our eyes and nose closed. (It stinks so badly that if our nose was receptive, it would jump us into action)
Once a mother was telling his child a story that there is God and evil inside each of us. The child asked who wins. “Whom you feed”, came the reply.
Imagine an emaciated person who has not been given any food for several months now, what would he look like? How much strength would he possess? That is the condition of the God or goodness inside us. It has become so easy to express our darkness and so very difficult to express our light. We, the souls, pure lights, have become such terribly dark and inflict our darkness on people around us and the whole world around us. That is why the world is filled with
Would we prefer a different world? Where do we begin? Ourselves? Our own thoughts?
When we go about changing ourselves, a strong faith is needed in what we are doing. The results may take some time to appear. It is not that as soon as we start behaving out of compassion, trust, love, kindness, forgiveness, other people will also behave similarly. It takes some time for a seed to bear fruit. It is not going to take years or months to show its positive effects but we have to be patient. The world outside will change only gradually but definitely. We have to believe or have faith in the law.
It cannot be that all the sages or wise men were wrong. It cannot be that Gurbani is wrong. If they all have been talking about this law, the law should be correct. If we are all souls, then this law should be true.
We really need to have faith in the law. Otherwise, we’ll not be able to change. We’ll start to change and then the next moment, we’ll be overcome by fear and resort to our usual way of life. We will need to believe that if all these sages who have talked about the same law were not all wrong and if we are indeed souls, then we have the power to create our destinies.
Take one step at a time but start walking. Back home. Back to yourself. Back to a place of endless joy, bliss, and peace.