Where The Mind Is Without Fear

Mind Free Of Fear
Where the mind is without fear and the head held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

-Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. He was a poet, mystic, author, playwright, songwriter, artist, educator, freedom fighter, and an intellectual stalwart who shaped the destiny of an entire subcontinent.

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It Is Now That My Life Is Mine

When is our life truly ours? Is it when we are living in fear or anxiety? Or is it when we are living with regrets or anger? Our life is truly ours when we are able to allow love and life to freely flow into our lives and see it as a miracle and blessing.

In this wonderful video, Amy Gill describes her journey through a grieving process. She says she turned the corner when she understood that “this gratitude thing” had become a part of her life. It was then she understood that the lyrics of the song “It is now that my life is mine” applied to her.

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The Three Hermits

Three Hermits

On an island there lived three old hermits. They were so simple that the only prayer they used was: “We are three; Thou art Three – have mercy on us!” Great miracles were manifested during this naïve prayer.

The local bishop came to hear about the three hermits and their inadmissible prayer, and decided to visit them in order to teach them the canonical invocations. He arrived on the island told the hermits that their heavenly petition was undignified, and taught them many of the customary prayers. The bishop then left on a boat. He saw, following the ship, a radiant light. As it approached he discerned the three hermits, who were holding hands and running upon the waves in an effort to overtake the vessel.

“We have forgotten the prayers you taught us,” they cried as they reached the bishop, “and have hastened to ask you to repeat them.”

The awed bishop shook his head. “Dear ones,” he replied humbly, “continue to live with your old prayer!”

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Credit: This is based of the great novel “Three Hermits” by Leo Tolstoy. The above summary has been produced by his friend Nicholas Roerich and was recounted by Paramahamsa Yogananda in the “Autobiography of a Yogi“.

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Do Yogis Feel Pain?

Do Yogis Feel Pain?

In a daring moment of insight Haruki Murakami is said to have remarked, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” His quote goes to the heart of the issue at hand. There is a fundamental difference between pain and suffering. Pain is our physical and emotional reaction to an external event. Suffering is our internal interpretation and dramatization of the same. Words like “humiliation”, “anger”, “anxiety”, “fear”, etc., are associated with suffering. While pain is immediate in its impact, suffering stretches out.

The system of Yoga was created to avoid suffering. But this does not mean that Yogis will not feel pain. So to answer the question “Do Yogis feel pain?” The answer is: “Yes. Of course they do!” But those who are further in their journey into yoga, suffer less. There is much less regret and anger and there is this easy ability to let go and let bygones be bygones.

One way to look at life is as a series of events. Some events will bring pain and others will bring joy. The question is how do we deal with events that bring us pain? Either we take these and turn them into episodes of drama and transform our pain into suffering, or we let the episode of pain gently pass us by.

An episode of pain can and should transform us into becoming more humble and more grateful, but it should not scar us. It should not embitter us and make us fearful and anxious.

Easy words to write and yet so hard to put into practice! And this is where yoga comes in. Yoga helps systematically transform ourselves so that when an episode of pain shows up at our doorstep we are better equipped to deal with it.

To understand how yoga helps us deal with pain, we have to first understand the essential difference between pain and suffering. Pain is felt by the mind-body. Suffering is felt by the ego. The larger the ego, the greater is our suffering. Yoga helps to systematically reduce the size of our ego. When the ego is reduced, so is the suffering.

An episode of pain can have two possible impacts on our ego:

  • It can soften the ego and help reduce its size. This is more likely for those on a yogic path
  • On the other hand it can stiffen the ego and make it more rigid and bigger.

When we react negatively to pain we make things worse in two ways:

  • We turn our period of momentary pain into an extended period of suffering.
  • We expand and stiffen our ego which makes it even harder for us to cope with future episodes of pain.

It therefore helps to be well prepared for the inevitable events of pain that will show up at our doorstep. We can do this by the systematic practice of Yoga.

Our natural state is happiness. It is suffering that takes us away from our natural state of happiness. The role of yoga is to ensure that we are returned to our true state. For those who are on the path to yoga the drama of suffering diminishes, and the words of Caroline Adams begin to ring true:

“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”

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Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite. Please post your comments and thoughts on this video that has been watched by millions.

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