AUDIO: Click on the link below to listen to the talk on Tavamithram’s PodTalks on Podbean
Tavamithram’s PodTalk no. 01- 29.04.2020
Answering the ‘Why me?’ question
About two years ago, I had written a post on the typical narcissistic ‘Why me?’ question that people ask themselves when they face challenges in life.
When things do not go as one wishes, they tend to blame others, their fate, their natal chart, their teachers, their country and everyone as well as everything else other than themself who is the actual cause of everything. I have written in quite a few posts of mine about the three possibilities why things happen to people in life:
1. Everything is merely a coincidence and nothing has any reason whatsoever.
2. It is due to the principle of Cause and Effect or Karma
3. There is a God above who is doing all this to you.
Now, if you are a person who does not happen to belong to any cult which forces you to believe in a God in heaven, a book or in any person as tenets or conditions to be a part of that cult, you must be a mentally and spiritually free person who is guided by common sense. This should make you understand that the possibility number 3 is senseless. Therefore, it could either be No. 1 or No. 2. If it is No. 1 you know that you have no control over the situation anyway. So, if, for example, you feel you have a bad marriage and cannot live with your spouse, go for a divorce and be done with it. However, if you were to go by the possibility No. 2, which is that of Karma, you need to understand that whatever the situation you may be in, it was you who caused it or rather, asked for it. So, if you have a bad marriage, it is your own past Karma that caused it to happen. You cannot escape it. If you divorce your current spouse and go for another one without making the necessary changes in yourself, the story is sure to repeat itself because you have not broken the pattern. On the other hand, if you can break the pattern and make changes in yourself, why divorce at all and add more negative Karma to your bag which is already loaded with it?
Marital problems? It was you who had ‘asked’ for them
Let me clarify an important thought about Karmic balance. It is the subject of marriage that I shall be talking about today in order to explain clearly the destiny one’s past Karma creates. As I said earlier, if you have a ‘bad marriage’ in the current Janma, it could only mean that it was you who caused it or ‘asked for’ it for this Janma. It does not mean that someone or some God is punishing you. It indicates that in your previous Janma, you were not particularly good in this area and hence you needed to work on it further. That is why your destiny has created challenges for you in your marriage so that you can learn to manage it well.
Take the example of bodybuilding. If you would like to build muscle, you would need to apply more than normal stress on the particular muscle that you wish to build. This damages your local muscle fibre and causes muscle fatigue or muscle failure. When you rest after the workout, the exercised muscle repairs itself by undergoing a cellular process during which, new myofibrils or muscle strands are formed. When this is done at regular intervals, there is good muscle growth and the person begins to look in shape. In the case of one’s past Karma, the area in which a person has been weak or has not done sufficient justice in the previous Janma is repeated so that there is ‘more pressure’ in that area that would trigger the person to act on it and learn to handle it better. This helps them improve themselves and progress towards perfection.
Couples who do not realise this truth worsen their own Karma by continuing to do whatever they did in their previous Janma which is exactly why they have a difficult marriage in the current Janma in the first place. If they do not make changes, their pattern will continue into probably the next few hundred Janmas until they receive some kind of enlightenment someday. There are some who look for relationships outside of marriage with the excuse that they are not happy in their own marriage. They woo others into such immoral relationships and ruin the progress in their respective Karmic journeys. Such acts can only guarantee more Karma which they will have to soon balance. Shedding Karma, like shedding weight, is certainly neither an easy nor an enjoyable thing to do. You might want to stay fit and avoid the collection of negative Karma just as you would avoid collecting unwanted fat.
If everyone could comprehend the fact that they are, or rather, their past Karma is directly responsible for whatever situation they might be in, their propensity to purposefully, inadvertently or even foolishly collect more Karma can be minimised. The moment realisation happens they cease to blame the other person and they take the responsibility upon themselves. This activates an important part of their consciousness which turns them into a kind, compassionate, forgiving and lovable person. Attaining this should add colour and spice to their marital life and make it more interesting as well as worthwhile.
Children are the greatest gifts after one’s own life
Something of great importance is that couples who are blessed with children have no moral right to cause any negative impressions in the minds of their little ones. It is in fact highly sinful do so because the negative impressions they create in the minds of their children could have serious repercussions on the psychology of the child and also have a lasting impact on their psyche for the rest of their lives. If we were to talk about extreme cases, the name of Adolf Hitler is one of the names that come to my mind. His father was a cruel man who treated Adolf’s mother very badly. It can be concluded that his father’s cruelty resulted in the horrifying deaths of millions of innocent people in Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship. I have two questions to people who humiliate their children – “How dare you?” and “How ungrateful can you be?” There are people who have everything in the world but are not blessed with children but then we also have people who are blessed with everything including children but they are neither thankful, happy, appreciative or at peace with themselves in their lives. Also, think of the people who have everything but not a human companion. Therefore, when people who are blessed with a companion and children complain about life, they are only expressing that they feel that they are entitled to more or better. This is sheer arrogance, vanity and ingratitude.
Why me? It is me and that is why
The ways of destiny can be very cruel. A lot of people must be well aware of this great truth by now. Instead of asking ‘Why me’, it would make sense to say, “It is me and that is why,” It is my humble request to everyone to read the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, understand some basic truths about the Sanatana Dharma and Karma, and make a resolution to never treat children and all others with disdain. After their own life, it is children who are the greatest gifts that one can receive. Children are the future. It is not merely about the next couple of generations but forever into the future. If you took a moment to think, you would be able to see that some single action of one of your forefathers thousands of years ago is the direct causal factor of your birth as the individual you are in the current Janma. Every action of yours will have an effect on the generations to come. Let us be sensible and leave behind a better world for future generations.
As it is taught in organised cults and religions, Advaita Vedanta does not teach that there is someone up there or there are planets controlling your life. It is your own past and present Karma that are determining everything that happens in your life. You are Divine and you have the possibility to change your life for the better, right at this moment. If your life is a mess, you have to change it. Going to a temple and praying can help you calm yourself down and think more intelligently but the solution in the form of a change in what you do has to come from within. Look, if you continue to do what you have always done, you will continue to get what you have always got. It is not so difficult to comprehend this simple natural principle, is it?
So what is that one should do to improve relations with their spouse?
Stop bickering, complaining, arguing, finding faults, suspecting or throwing the blame at each other. Remember that the best way to convince the other of your idea is through action and not through words. No one is going to buy your argument just because you so vehemently say whatever you say. Speaking harshly can only worsen the stress in the relationship. This is because, just like you, the other person too would do their best to prove themselves right. One person needs to give in. There is no loss of respect in giving in but it only shows that the one doing so is largehearted.
Discuss with your spouse and consider making major changes in your daily routine. This could include going to the fitness studio along with your spouse, going for walks together with spouse and children, having an early dinner together, making it a point to sit together and read a book with each of you taking turns to read page after page, cooking together on weekends, starting new hobbies, and so on. All one needs to do is to sincerely want to improve their relationship and the rest will automatically follow. Ego is the main thing that needs to be avoided like the plague. Ego leads people to think and say that they are better than the other and that they deserve a better spouse. The moment they sense disagreement, they get into a self-defence mode which soon changes into an offensive one. They start hurling abuses at each other and even at each other’s families. However, most of such people overlook the major fact that they will soon get old and that their children who are young today will grow up and would do the same thing to them.
Men need to understand that women do not like their husband to be a weakling. They usually like their man to be strong, kind, generous, appreciative, warm, forgiving and wise. Similarly, men too do not like it when their woman does not respect them or keeps nagging them constantly.
If you have decided to make changes in yourself in order to improve your relation with your spouse but are feeling embarrassed to come down from your ‘high position’ and make it too conspicuous that you are trying to change, you could begin by throwing in here and there casual words of appreciation for your spouse. You could praise him or her before friends and tell your friends all that you would like to tell your spouse but are not able to do so directly.
Change needs to happen from within. Expecting your spouse to change in order for you to have a better married life can only waste the rapidly diminishing priceless gift of life particularly the most valuable part of life which is known as youth. My humble experience in life has taught me that anything can happen to anyone anytime. Let us not, when our final moments arrive, have the need to rue not having used our time wisely.
Make the change
Dump all idiotic conditions and reservations. Life is too precious and short for such silly things. Love everyone, be kind and loving to children and o everyone else, have fun, sing, dance, meditate, party, travel, have holidays, enjoy nature, go trekking or climbing and donate things to the needy who are not so lucky as you are.
Take a vow to take the lead in catalysing a chain of recurring happy events that bless your home with love, happiness, abundance, good health and bliss. Trust me, nothing is worth wasting the most precious moment called the NOW for!
Jai Shri Krishna
LIFE IS TOO PRECIOUS – LIVE IT – BE THANKFUL FOR IT – RELISH IT – CELEBRATE IT