Live a Total Life
Based on an article by Swami Sukhabodhananda
We Lead a Superficial Life
Most of us live a superficial life. Even though beauty surrounds us, we are oblivious to it. It is like living on a beautiful, scenic island and not paying attention to nature’s wonders. Our mind is so busily involved in its own workings, that it does not observe nature and beauty closely. This kind of life is deficient and keeps us mired in samsara. Instead, we should try to live a deep life of inner freedom.
Explore the World
Enlightened masters, out of compassion, try to help us live a total life. Imagine that you are living in the basement of a huge multi-storeyed building. Yet, you do not make the effort to explore the other parts of the building. In leading such a life, your view from the basement will be limited. If a visitor asks you why you are confining yourself to the basement, when there is a huge building to explore, you will look foolish. So, explore all the facets of your life to the fullest to live a total life.
In the Bhaja Govindam, Adi Shankaracharya opines that most of us are fools. This is because we do not live life to the fullest. Therefore, we should try to open our third eye of insight and see the waves of beauty around us. The Bhaja Govindam exhorts us to wake up to the lord and stop craving for superficial and inessential things.
Listen to the Masters
Most of us sleep-walk through life, our minds lost in dogmas and blind beliefs. Enlightened masters try to wake us up and make us come out of our comfort zones. In fact, our comfort zones only promote lethargy. They do not allow mental or spiritual growth. That is why we should listen carefully to the words of spiritual masters and try to implement them in our daily lives.
When you are reading or listening to a spiritual text, do so with rapt attention. Many of us do not do so, as we are unable to concentrate. But, the first step to spiritual growth is to imbibe the scriptures with attention and care. Then, we should strive to live the essence of these scriptures. Such a life of awareness will help us live a total life.