Field of Comfort

By: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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What you are looking for in life is comfort. Why do you need money? Because you want comfort, is it not? Any need in any direction boils down to one word – comfort.

There are many levels of comfort. One is physical – if you are sitting on the grass you think, “oh, it would have been better if there was a cushion.’’ Then there’s mental comfort – this is even more essential. If you have a comfortable home but the mind is not comfortable, you will not be able to sleep even on a comfortable bed.

Another type is emotional comfort – you have everything, but if someone close to you doesn’t speak to you or, does something that hurts you, then your emotional comfort is gone. Then there’s spiritual comfort – this is comfort of the soul, which means total peace, an uninterrupted flow of peace and joy from within.

Comfort means to just be yourself. But where is comfort? Is it in the body or mind? It is in a combination of both. Sometimes when the body is not comfortable, the mind is also not comfortable and vice versa. You may have a very nice bed to rest but if you are disturbed, you cannot sleep. More than the body, comfort of the mind is important. The mind is three times more powerful than the body, so mental comfort is three times more important than physical comfort.

Your comfort is based on commitment. So people’s commitment brings you comfort. For example, the milkman’s commitment to bring you milk gives you comfort. Similarly, your commitment should bring comfort to everyone else. Sometimes one says, ‘‘Oh, I am stuck with the commitment so I am unhappy.’’ Now, don’t think every commitment will be smooth from the beginning. If you are committed to completing your medical school, then there is bound to be some rough time in between.

But commitment can take you across all obstacles. The greater the achievement, the greater the commitment. The more you commit the more is your capacity and capability to do any work. Commitment is always about something a little more. You don’t say, ‘‘I am committed to drinking a glass of water or walking a mile,’’ which you do anyway. If you think, ‘‘I can only do this much work,’’ then your commitment has to be more than what you think you can do. Commitment is about stretching your capabilities.

Self-confidence
Today we do not instill confidence and commitment in our youth. That is the main reason for poverty. So the youth keep blaming someone or the other, the government, the people, their parents or someone else. They do not take responsibility for themselves. That makes them weak and they become dependent. When there is so much dependence on everything around, there cannot be happiness or comfort.

So youth, wake up! You need not be bogged down by commitments. Have confidence and faith. At the same time, keep an open mind. Don’t get stuck miserably. A few minutes of quiet meditation, a few minutes of deep relaxation, a few minutes of singing from your heart will help you get through your commitments successfully.

There is so much talk about success everywhere. Everyone wants to be successful. Have you ever thought about what success is? It is simply ignorance about one’s capabilities. Success is ignorance about the power of the Self because you assume you can do only that much. So you have set a limitation to your Self and whenever you cross your own boundary or limitation, you claim success.

You never say, ‘‘I successfully ate a banana!’’ When you put a limitation, then you are limiting the power of your own Self, your own consciousness. Every time you achieve something, you feel proud about it, isn’t it? Actually, you should feel sorry about it. You are just proud about what you can easily do because you do not know you can do much more than what you are proud of. When you are successful, you are proud of it, and if you fail – you feel guilty and upset. Both can drag you out of your joy, out of the greater potentiality that you possess.

So the best thing is to surrender to the Divine. If you are successful, so what? It is another happening, another thing that you did, and you can do much more. And if you couldn’t do something well, then, you couldn’t do it, that’s all. This moment, do you wish to do it again? Then have that Sankalpa, the intention – ‘‘I have to do it!’’ Then you will make good progress in that direction, without feeling guilty, or being judgmental.

Traits to Watch Out For
Your craving, anger or aversion comes from hearing. When you are in a group, you have to watch out for two things – one is craving and the other is aversion. In the group, when you see someone good, or nice, then your mind goes there and clings to it. The cravings start developing in you and they eventually lead to anger, demands, frustration, etc. When you give anything to somebody – any help, kindness or love – with that craving then that love will start to demand – ‘‘Look, I have been so good to you, you better be good to me.’’ Then all the negative qualities in you pop up and the beauty is lost.

Watch out for cravings. A craving happens first for appreciation of talents and then you start getting attracted to it. Then attraction turns back into craving and all these things go on. The world that begins for you then is not a divine world but a demonic world. So watch out for this craving in you, it will cling to anybody. Then you will send a ‘‘I miss you so much’’ card and say, ‘‘Oh, you put me into so much longing, you are so good, I never met anybody like you!’’ and such expressions. All this happens not out of surrender or gratitude, but out of craving.

The other thing which you have to watch out for is aversion. When you are averse to somebody, then your mind gets stuck. The body also goes through a lot of physical twisting. It happens that you see the person and your stomach churns and you feel like walking away, running away, getting away. Not only that, you go on speaking about your aversion, about a thing or a person or a situation.

Often your aversions reflect your own nature. Whatever you are averse to and avoid doing, you will find that same thing in some form or the other. The same aversion reflects through your own consciousness. Only the flavor may be different, the quality may be different, but basically, you will also be stiff. Kick out all the complaints from your head, for if you keep them, then that head is not going to be very useful. It is such a good point! Because only then your consciousness, which is like a flower, is all blossomed, brilliant, blissful, peaceful, and full of love.

Cravings and obsessions take over your life because of three basic reasons. One is when you are not focused. The second is the time in your life – there is a certain time when these obsessions and cravings reach the peak and come down. However much you read books which tell your mind to avoid them, these forces are so strong that they take over your mind. The third thing is the nature in your body. When there is too much rajas or rajogun or too much energy that is not channeled properly, then there is obsession. This can also happen because of lack of understanding about the obsession or lack of understanding about truth, the reality.

But if you fail to conquer your obsession once, twice or even three times, don’t lose heart. Do not start to blame knowledge and lose faith in it when it doesn’t work to control your obsession. It is working and it is controlling. Your weakness will enable you to pray deeper. So, when you really feel weak and incapable of doing something, prayer starts. When you want to be free from certain things, then wanting to be free can uplift you, elevate you. That is devotion.

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