Those who radiate a spirit of selflessness in their everyday actions draw nearer to understanding the universal spiritual truth that all is one. Such activity expands the mind and invokes a sense of inner peace and bliss. When we engage in actions motivated mainly by self-interest, ambition or desires, our satisfaction level tends to pivot on the success or failure of our endeavors or on the fulfillment of particular desires. But the nature of desire is that, once one is fulfilled, another crops up to replace it. In this pattern, satisfaction and peace are as impossible as waves of the sea ceasing to roll. My guru says:
“Each object we cling to and each petty desire we fulfill is like a shore where we think we can rest and be still. Remember, each leap to a shore, each attempt to find stability in the world outside, actually increases the gap of our dissatisfaction.”
Another reason ego-driven actions can never bring real inner happiness is because they close the heart to concern for others. On the other hand, when we perform selfless actions, we drop the mind’s focus on ourselves and open our hearts to others. This gives a temporary pause-button effect on the grasp of ego, thus weakening its hold. When the heart opens and the ego bows down, one’s consciousness blooms, expands and transcends the ideas of separation and pain.
“The ultimate cause of all emotional wounds is our separation from the Supreme, from our true nature.”
Each kind act is like a rung on the ladder to the truth of wholeness, dissolving the illusion that we are separate. When we drop our own story to listen to someone else, it forges cracks in the mind’s inner shell, allowing light to flood in. Amma also says:
“Only if you give up your egoistic mind will it be possible to know your Real Nature. Otherwise, you will become prey to the rats of desires. If one rat happens to enter into a field, it will destroy the entire crop. Likewise, one desire is enough. It will disfigure the beauty of the Self.”
When we serve others selflessly, without expecting reward, recognition or compensation, this also serves to help us transcend the mind’s usual cravings as well as to become centered in the present moment. Being fully present in the moment without thinking of the outcome or fruits of your actions is a blissful experience because it quiets the mind and elevates the soul. That is the main teaching of the Bhagavad Gita. Those who discover the joy of charitable gestures are blessed with deep peace and bliss because they touch the core of reality. Instead of hiding our inner pain behind distractions or ambitions, such actions transmute sorrow and suffering into compassion and empathy, both of which culminate in unity and joy.
“One who has gone beyond the ego becomes an offering to the world, like an incense stick that burns itself out while bestowing its fragrance to others. For such a person, there is no sense of otherness. For a real master, one who truly doesn’t identify with the ego, his or her entire being, and every action, is a pure expression of divine love and self-sacrifice.”
When we cultivate a habit of finding creative ways to spontaneously practice this altruistic principle, life becomes an art, and all the various circumstances become canvases where we have the opportunity to practice manifesting love. Each time we do this chips away at the mind’s tendency to cling to negativity. It expands the heart and elevates one’s consciousness. It also transmits joy to others.
Random kind actions are compelling and contagious. They have the power to elevate both recipient and initiator to a moment of spontaneous unity, where ecstatic truth shines. If this ideal could be recognized and practiced extensively, the world would soon see an end to poverty and wars caused by greed, hatred, division and selfishness. All of life is interconnected, fueled by the same sap on the Tree of Life , sourced in sacredness. When we come to realize that the spark of radiant love hides in the hearts of all, we will treat each being with the infinite respect, kindness and concern we all deserve.
“May the tree of our life be firmly rooted in the soil of love. Let good deeds be the leaves on the tree. May words of kindness form its flowers and may peace be its fruits.”
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