Understood Vedanta but No Effect in Everyday life?

Understood Vedanta but No Effect in Everyday life?

One of the Most popular genre of books is the Self- Help Ones like ” How to …… ”

” How to Become a Millionaire ” , How to be Healthy ” ” How to make friends and influence people ” . How to Become Powerful ” etc .

Despite the swelling number of books flooding the market , people craving for improvements , still many find that there are no lasting changes. Their impact on people is minimal .

Why this is so ?

One reason is of course the way we are designed. Suppose you read how to swim, That is an intellectual learning, You may even visualise and imagine yourself swimming. But unless you actually hit the water and try to swim , practice swimming , you may not become a good swimmer. You may have PhD in how to swim , yet drown in a swimming pool if you never had in past tried to wet yourself in water by entering a pool.

So their is a muscle memory involved. ( Actually memory may not be in muscle but in brain when a sequence is played , that pattern gets stored in certain way )

There is known case of a Person who had long practice of doing Japa while counting on fingers. Even when he was declared dead for very long time his fingers were moving like they were in process of Japa , though he was clinically brain dead ( As per one personal anecdote from a person I trust that he tells truth ) .

There is an interesting example by an author of a best seller book .

He gives example of an Elephant and Mahout , the elephant rider .

The Elephant is strong and may go wherever it likes. But Mahout knows certain tricks to tame it.

Listening to lectures, reading books, enjoying stories are like intellectual training of the Mind , the Mahout. So even if the Mahout is convinced of the way , the Elephant has not yet been trained and it goes the way it likes. The elephant are our sensory systems , strong and outgoing.

So What is needed is the rigorous training of the elephant i.e our senses.

How will we do that. Mock training .MIndfulness , Exposing ourselves to certain situations ( may be small , insignificant events ) and training the Senses.

Eg We are in party and you and your friend reach a table and only one Vanilla Ice cream is left. Both of you love that. Can You for once , decide and tell your mind and your senses ( The Mouth Watering Tongue ) to give up once the taste of Vanilla and offer to friend telling yourself that Its ok , You will not die or starve or this is not the only place to eat that.

The Senses ( Elephant ) just then got the training , even if little.

You have diabetes and Doctors have said – Refrain from Direct sugar in tea.

Can you for once , say in evening tea say to your mind and deny your tongue , NOT This time … You just trained your tongue . .

So These little acts of trainings of the senses , will add up.

This is Abhyas . With practice , proficiency is bound to come in time.

So To convert the ideas into practice and having a beneficial practical impact in our lives we need to Practice it . So try to come out with some instances in daily life where we apply those ideas , and practice those. i.e Do the NET practice like in Cricket, dress rehearsal like in drama, Mock Tests like in Exams, Trial Run like in industries, and When You have done that , When the Greater challenges come , The Senses have been trained to an extent and you will not find lacking – Not just Mere Talker of ideas but Practical Living Reality

Source and Inspiration

  1. Question by Sri A K Singh
  2. Books The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt 
  3. Lecture Understood Vedanta but No Effect in Everyday life? ~ All Copyright belongs to Vedanta NY by Swami Sarvapriyananda YOUTUBE