How to Lead a Peaceful Life

Based on an article by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

Householder’s Responsibilities

A householder has many responsibilities. But, whether one is a monk or a householder, one should reflect and contemplate on life’s experiences. We should learn to be accepting and positive, and go with the flow. We should do our best and leave the rest to God. Such an attitude will enable us to feel God’s presence in our lives.

Understand Your Mind

A spiritual aspirant should first learn to understand their own monkey mind and its base tendencies. Then, they should try to overcome them. We can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven. It is all in the mind.

Materialism is not Everything

Many rich people confess that their life often feels empty. Why does this feeling occur? We should understand that materialism is only one aspect of life. To get happiness, one should think and live right thoughts and deeds. Some rich people may lack contentment, fulfilment and peace of mind. This is the reason they do not feel joyful even in the midst of luxury. True joy cannot be fulfilled by material desires or pleasures.

Lesson for Life

Perhaps the greatest lesson one needs to live happily is this: Do your best but be detached to the results. We should put our best foot forward, then let go and surrender the rest to divine will. This attitude will ensure we do not carry any excess baggage in our journey through life. The excess luggage consists of indiscriminate attachments, desires and dreams which can make our life miserable.

We Leave Empty Handed

Even great rulers and dictators suffer because of their extra mental baggage. Only a spirit of detachment can bring us peace of mind in life and death. Alexander the Great conquered a vast portion of the world. But on his deathbed, he expressed a wish to be buried in a coffin which would allow him to hang out his hands with the palms turned up. Alexander explained that he wished to convey to the world that despite his great conquests in life, he was leaving the world empty handed.
The truth is, we cannot take even our own body with us when we die.

Belief in God

Why do we need faith in God? When the going is good, few people think about God. We only seek His help when we get into trouble. In such circumstances, we should surrender to the divine will and think that all is for the best, even though at that moment we may not be able to understand the cosmic plan. The laws of gravity will continue to exist, though we may or may not believe them. Similarly, belief in God’s infinite grace will help us tide calmly and gracefully over life’s vicissitudes.

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