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Every morning as I walk to school through the dark blue decrepit world, I feel like I’m coming down with the flu. By the time I reach the school, my entire body is depleted as if I have spent the night in chills, reabsorbing the damp excreting from my own pores. I am always excreting something. My ex-boyfriend noticed it. He would ask why I was always cold and sweating, why I was always at war with myself. When he licked the excretions off my body, I would ask myself, Is this a life? He used to say dirty things to me like, Desubjectify me, bitch. The way he fucked was senseless and crazy. I don’t get fucked like that anymore. As a teacher I am not getting fucked and the children can tell. Some of the children are teenagers and menstruating and ejaculating. They have no control over their excretions and, in that way, perhaps we’re all alike. Sometimes they talk to me as if I’m a nun. No, little children, I’m not a nun. I never was. There are people where I am standing, outside the school’s entrance. I am waiting to open the door. I encounter someone’s father. He has a cord of wood strapped to his back. How are you, Maya’s teacher? No, how are you? Then a different father holds the door open for me. Go on in, he says. I have always hated people’s families and fathers. The school is inside what used to be an American legion hall. It’s an open space the size of a gymnasium with hundreds of chairs organised in circles and two offices and practice rooms and closets. Some of the children are huddled in clumps on the floor like mounds of peanut shells. The peanut shells are listening to the Notorious B.I.G. I touch the handle of the teachers’ bathroom. There is one adult bathroom for thirty adults. The sweat on my skin dries and leaves a thin film. The door is locked. A phone is ringing somewhere. I wait patiently. I am filled with
Five Golden Principles
Wherever you live, there you are living in your home. The significance is not in living in your home, but if you live in God's kingdom then there is much significance and greatness. This home (kingdom) you have called your own. But this home was from the very beginning belonging to God only. Even right now it is God's and later on also it will remain God's. If you die, then surely this house will not go with you. It belongs to God only. Therefore from today onwards, accept that I live in God's home. Really speaking you are living in God's home. When you come to Haridwar the you say - Oh ! this is gateway to God's home. When you come to Vrindavan you say that this is the place where God engaged in His divine loving pastimes. When you go to Ayodhya then you say we have come to God's palace. Accept it as God's kingdom or God's home, then this very house that you live in will become Vrindavan. At all times let that thought prevail, that I am living in God's home, and we are his very dear ones that belong to him. From today onwards accept this. All of you, do not consider your home as belonging to you. Oh' It is God's home! We have considered it our home in the middle somewhere. Before it was God's, and later on it will be God's then in the middle how can it become ours? Simply for no reason you have put a stamp on it. There is a point that you must pay close attention to - whatever work you do, accept it as God's work and then do it. Whether it is washing your clothes, taking a bath. This body is also God's, therefore to serve God you are doing it's work. Eating and drinking is also God's work. Office work and business is also God's work. The Master of this entire world is God, therefore the master of all the bodies is also God.Therefore work related to this body and to this world can be whose work? It is God's work only! What a wonderful thing this is! We live in God's kingdom and we are doing His work - these are two points. Now the third point is - All the things that are in the house, they too belong to God only. If the house belongs to God and you belong to God then can the things belong to someone else? Mothers and sisters should want that they should take those things that belong to God and cook with them. In the mind must be the thought that Oh! it is for offering food to God that I am cooking this meal. Now offer the foods prepared to God and thereafter however many people that are in the house, understand them to be God's people and offer them food.Understand them to be God's loving people, they are God's very loving and sweet children. I am feeding them. I am serving God. Just like if you love someone's child, then his mother will be very pleased, won't she? similarly, if you serve God's children, then God will be pleased. What a wonderful point this is! Cooked God's food, offered it to God and fed God's children with the prepared foods. When you eat yourself, then too think of it as God's "prasad" (partaking in the food offered and blessed by God). How very wonderful! "Tumhi nibedit bhojan karahin | Prabhu prasad pat bhooshan gharhin || (Manas 2/128/1) As discussed earlier, make everything an offering to the Lord; not just food. If you wear jewellery, offer it to God "Thakurji". Wear only those clothes that belong to Thakurji. Let all things be taken in as if it is "prasad" (offering to the Lord), then all things will get purified. Have you seen this or not, that when food is offered to Thakurji's as "prasad" and is later distributed to all, then every person will bring forth their hand to receive the "prasad". Even if the smallest portion is given, then too he will be happy. Whether he is a millionaire or a billionaire, he too will bring his hand forward, and if you give him a small piece of the "prasad", he will be happy. Is this person hungry for sweets? If some millionaire or a billionaire asks for "prasad" and if you tell him let us go to the market and I will buy it for you from the market, then he will not be happy. He will say, am I starved of sweets or what? I want "prasad". Now tell me the importance of "prasad"? It is Thakurji's (God's) "prasad" (offering to the Lord). Everything in the house belongs to the Lord. If you follow this, then I would like to share with you a very great point. Have mercy and simply do it, then it is very great thing and very beneficial. Place "tulsidal" (the sacred basil leaf) on all the money - wealth that you have at home. On all the jewellery, clothes on everything place "tulsidal." Even for the house, offer it. On all animals, place tulsidal. On all children, place "tulsidal" Now whose children are they? They are Thakurji's (God's) children.It is like magic. If you are able to do, then I will share, but do it from the heart, then it will be magical. Son is rebellious and does not listen. With a true heart, lift off the proprietary interest (sense of mine-ness) you have in him and say that he is not mine at all. He is only Thakurji's (God's). The son will become totally alright. Just as when food it offered to God it become sanctified and many great people revere it. Similarly, with a true heart, completely wipe off your proprietary interest and only consider him as belonging to Thakurji (God) then he will be purified. He will become sacred. Try it and see for yourself. The challenge is to completely lift off your proprietary interest. Just like another person's child, similar is this child. if he dies then too no affect on you. He is not our child, if he dies the it is Thakurji's, whereas Thakurji's never dies. If he dies here, then there he is born. He is never apart from Thakurji. By doing so, the son will be purified. It is the truth. Sense of mine-ness (mamta) itself is impurity. Sense of “mine-ness” (proprietary interest) is impurity. It is due to mine that there is impurity. If you give donation - charity, then have no relation with it. “Daatavyamiti yadaanam deeyatenupakaarine” (Gita 17/20) “Anupakaareene” does not mean that the other person does not do anything helpful. IT is an understanding that previously the person did nothing beneficial, and there is no expectation that he will oblige in the future. Give donation to such a one, with whom you have no self-interest. Give to such people. Do not keep a selfish relation with family members. Both will lead to the same, as in the end only one will remain. Serve where there is no sense of mine or where you serve there get rid of the feeling of mine. It will be the same thing. We are God’s. We live in His kingdom. We do His work. We receive his Prasad. And with his offering, we serve his children. I too am receiving his “Prasad”. This is true “Pamchaamrt” (Five Golden Principles). From today onwards, grab hold of these points. “Sarvabhaaven maam bhajati” and in all sentiments and feelings worship only the Lord, therefore have the sentiments that this body belongs to “Thakurji” (My Lord). I am doing my Lord’s work. Then you will be able to do a favor for the Lord that Maharaj! (Great One) I am doing your work. A Brahmin used to keep saying - daily I feed one Brahmin. He used to eat himself and have the sentiments that daily he is feeding a Brahmin. It is such a great thing! Similarly, the entire family and various families all belong to Thakurji (God). I am taking care of Thakurji’s family. Even Thakurji says that he is taking care of the family Brother! God will be touched that yes! It is true! He is taking care of my family. When there is no sense of mine-ness, when there is no attachment, then God says that He is taking care of my family.In all sentiments, let God’s work alone be done. This will turn into pure devotion “avyabhichaari bhakti” We want to take nothing, we have no sense of mine-ness. There is neither selfishness nor proprietary interest. Whether home members listen to you or not, whether they serve you or not, we have to serve Thakurji’s family. We have to serve him, Brother! If family members do not work, then we should be happy, it is a good thing! If they work and do everything according to our preference, then understand that our good deeds are getting exhausted. Therefore if they do nothing and further give us trouble and sorrow, then it is a good thing. Even if mother-in-law causes suffering, if daughter-in-law gives sorrow, if sister-in-law or any one give pain and sorrow then be happy, thinking we are greatly benefited. We have to serve, and if they give pain then we will be doubly benefited. On one hand there will be benefit of serving “seva” and if they give pain and sorrow then your sins will be reduced. When will suffering remain, tell me? Even on getting suffering, there will be joy. There will be no place remaining for sorrow and suffering. All roadways will be blocked, then that itself is “sarvavit”. Have you understood this well? If you are becoming happy and unhappy with this world, then you have not understood this well. We are living in ever bliss. We have not the least bit of unhappiness. God supports, protects and takes care of everyone. He takes care of all, then such a devotee of God does not experience any sorrow at all. They remain ever blissful, they remain so joyful that with their association you feel delighted and intoxicated. By remembering Thakurji (God), bondages break off. Simply by reciting the divine Name, by remembering the Lord, by listening to His divine plays (stories) sins are destroyed, He is that pure. “Pavitraanaam pavitram yo mangalaanaam cha mangalam" In essence what is the point? It is a small thing. “I am only God’s” not anyone elses. For serving I belong to the world, but for our own purpose, I am no one elses. I only belong to God, simply accept yourself as being God’s, then this house belongs to God, this kingdom belongs to God, this family belongs to God, the wealth and possessions belong to God, the work is God’s, the food is God’s everything will become God’s. This is the absolutely Truth.I am sharing based on my very experience. The child that the mother has accepted as her own, when he climbs into the mother’s lap then the mother is pleased and joyful. If he climbs from the back onto her shoulder, then too she laughs and if he intentionally pretends to cry ‘Um-Um-Um” the Maa smiles that look he is pretending with me. What is that action performed by a child that the mother does not like? The child is mine. Similarly being God’s if we do all work, then all our actions will become worship and adoration of God. What to speak of worship and adoration, it makes God pleased, happy. Whatever work you do, God continues to remain happy. He is my child. My child is playing. What delight! The point is only one, to become God’s. This is the truth. If I ask you that have you taken birth in this household knowingly? If you are living, then are you intentionally living? If knowingly you are living, then who would be dead? No one would die. If you are living in a healthy body, is it knowingly so? If you were knowingly living like this, then do not ever fall sick. Whatever strength and intelligence you have, has it been knowingly acquired? Then why get old? Don’t become dependent. But you are becoming dependent. Therefore this pride is your own, nothing else. Your are simply filled with pride. Therefore I am Thakurji’s (God’s). I am dependent on God. Whatever strength Thakurji (God) gives, that alone I do. How much work did Hanumanji do? When Ramji went to Lanka, he created a bridge and then crossed the bridge. But Hanumanji simply flew over to the other side. Whose strength does he have? The strength that Hanumanji has comes from Thakurji (the Lord). “Baar baar raghubeer sambhaari.” “prabisi nagar keeje sab kaaja. Hrdey raakhee kosalpur raja.” It comes in Valmiki Ramayan that Hanumanji roared that even if thousand Ravans come they cannot spoil anything of mine, I am servant of the Lord (Thakurji).The world is suffering due to pride. Therefore have mercy and leave the pride, offer it to God, that I am God’s. All our strength has to be applied in doing God’s work. “Tvadeeya vastu Govind tubhyameva samarpaye”, “Sarvabhaaven bhajati maam” - with all sentiments they worship and adore God. Divine Name recitation is adoration, chanting holy name is adoration, reciting various scriptures is worship and adoration, to listen, to share, is all worship. By “Sarvabhaavena bhajati”, getting up, sitting, eating, drinking, sleeping, waking up, all work is God’s work that we are doing. What an elevated thing this is. We have taken refuge in the Lord and we will do only His work. The work is not ours at all. This is not our house, therefore it is no our work. All work is Lord’s work. I have heard from saints, he who cannot regard anything as his own, neither the mind, nor the intellect, nor the body, nor the life breath, nor the senses, nor the house, nor the wealth. When all things belong to Thakurji (Lord), then wherever they live there is nothing but joy! Everything is given to the Lord. Therefore they remain ever blissful. We have heard one thing about a Saint. Saints are very unique. When they go to the market and see the various different sweet dishes that are displayed, fruits that are kept and stores that are well decorated. Wherever they see some great things, there they stand-by and in their mind say, Lord (Thakurji), please partake in this offering. Please take these sweets as an offering. Simply standing they blissfully offer it to the Lord. Similarly, you too offering everything to Thakurji, please accept this offering, then it all becomes an offering. You tell me, what is the difficulty in doing this? Then you too do this. Who is preventing you from doing so? Wherever you see anything wonderful, offering it to the Lord (Thakurji). Everything belongs to Thakurji. What should we do? We will simply rejoice. Now we have no work remaining. Now it is only Lord’s work, Lord’s Name, Lord’s contemplation, listening to Lord’s divine stories. What work is remaining for you to do? You are doing the Lord’s work. Lord is the master of all the work in this universe. By offering everything that belongs to the master at his lotus feet, how much do you have to exert, tell me? You tell me that this is mine, but for how many days? How many years will you continue to say that it is mine? As such it will eventually remain the Lord’s. Therefore while living, turn it over to Him from the heart, then it will be joyful! What an easy and what a deep well grounded point this is! Saints have said - “Ram naam ki sampada do anter tak dhoon | Yaa to gupatee baat hai kaho bataave koon" Who will tell such a great point? And how easy it is! What a high class point this is ! What a worriless, fearless, blissful point this is ! neither worry, nor fear, nor dejection, nor desire to live, nor desire to die. We have no desire whatsoever. May our desire be blended (one) with the Lord. Now however the Lord does, however he keeps us -
“Jaahi vidhi raakhe Ram, taahi vidhi rahiye |SitaRaam, SitaRaam, SitaRaam kahiye"
We have no demand, nor any wish. By this our troubles will be wiped out, and God will become pleased with us. By considering it as ours, there will be worries. It is my room. Certain things are lying there. Clothes are drying there. Someone will take them, then there will be worries. Now when it is all offered (turned over) to God, then what ecstacy ! If it goes away it is the Lord’s, if it remains it is the Lord’s ! Narayana! Narayana! Narayana!
From book in Hindi "Jeevan Upyogi Pravachan" by Swami Ramsukhdasji
You don’t have to get married
’I’m not a big fan of marriage
I think marriage takes really talented dreamers and creative beings that are capable of creating real change and puts them inside this widely accepted institution of marriage, where they will then spend most of their time, emotions, magic, and valuable energy trying to be “good“ citizens and live up to the impossible ”perfect marriage/perfect family“ illusion that has been so successfully placed in our heads. Marriage also has the potential to produce a lethal feeling that we now have ownership of another soul because they said “I do,” gave us a ring and signed a contract saying they would not leave us (do you ever stop to look at how crazy it all is?).
One of the greatest deceptions we can fall victim to is the lie that we should need someone else in our life in order to be complete.
We are set up waiting for Mr. or Mrs. right to come along so that we can begin our life and be truly happy
I’ve been with the same man for 15 years and we still really, really like each other. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we each stand alone, beautiful, creating light, both working toward helping each other reach our individual goals. We are so incredibly different, but neither of us is fighting to change the other. We have grown to respect and appreciate each other as we are. We don’t need one another. We enjoy each other, but we don’t need each other... there’s a big difference. The most unromantic line in the world is ”you complete me" — it literally makes me want to scream when I hear it at weddings. I want to complete myself.
Spin solo until you are in perfect harmony with source and are able to create magic alone. Then you can, if you choose, attract someone who can spin along side you. The result is two beautiful souls who are spinning separately, but in perfect harmony... that’s where magic happens!
What about children?
I don’t believe we were all meant to have children and the pressure created by our culture to have a family is RIDICULOUS! That being said, once the decision to have children is made or made for you, then yes, it’s beneficial for their sake to find a mate willing to help you give them the best life possible. That doesn’t mean you both live in the same house, but you are committed to working together peacefully to make sure the children are given the support they need to grow into healthy, confident and emotionally stable members of society.
If you do get married, because that’s what you want... WONDERFUL! Just make sure to keep your expectations realistic and be open and honest about how you’re feeling. It’s unhealthy for anyone to be in a long term relationship where they feel trapped and miserable. It’s also why we have so much trauma related to relationships in our life that didn’t last... mother/father, first love, etc. because we had this fairy tale image of what love looks like and when it turned out different we were crushed.
Don’t marry your soul mate
Billy is a good friend (the best, really). He’s the man that thinks I’m wonderful, amazing and incredibly gorgeous. He’s all in and ready to help and support me and this unit in anyway he can. He’s the most incredible father and team-mate. We are perfect for each other in so many ways. We bring out the best in each other almost always. We don’t need or cling to each other and are able to stand alone even though we’d prefer to stand together. This relationship is easy and gets shit done. Billy is sweet, patient... downright wonderful and I love him, but he’s not my soul mate in some kind of mystical, ancient bond, finish your sentences kind of way. We are together in a perfectly unique union that has a purpose completely unique to itself.
What is a soul mate? Is there such a thing? Each of us will answer these questions differently depending on your belief system. I personally believe soul mates are people we’ve been connected to since the beginning of time. People that weave in and out of this massive interconnected web that is a collection of our many lives. Souls matched perfectly with ours to help us grow. Our soul mate or mates aren’t always meant to be our lovers. I think this is really important for all of us to understand. As a culture we seem to struggle with understanding deep relationships that aren’t sexual or unions that aren’t romantic, but have a greater purpose. Any deep connection sensed between two people is meant to become romantic, right? No. There are all kinds of connections in this wild life.
I believe soul mates exist and they will show up in each life when you need them. They come to push you, challenge you, wake you up and push you forward. Honestly, you’re probably better off not marrying that person, because then you’ll get caught up in creating the ideal marriage (WHATEVER THE HELL THAT EVEN IS) and forget why your souls were put together from the beginning. You’ll all too easily forget that your job is to help each other evolve as quickly as possible not torture each other into this bizarre role we’ve created that a husband and wife ought to play. Because who knows what that looks like for each of us. Lord knows we’ve all experienced interesting versions of those characters.
It’s this idea that one person is supposed to meet all of our needs that sets us up for heartache and disappointment. Instead, why don’t we look first at what it is we would like our relationship with another human to create or accomplish. Then believe that the universe will send us a perfect match for that goal. If you just want to have great sex and travel around the world then you will call forth a completely different soul than if you want to raise a family. If you aren’t sure, just trust me on this one. Knowing exactly what we want is the first step to being able to create the most magical union ever.
Listen, I’m not an expert, and I certainly haven’t figured it all out. I do know one thing for certain though, and that is the reality that what we are doing is working. How many happy couples do you know? Okay. How many do you know that have been together longer than a few years and have kids? Not just comfortable, but truly happy. It makes you wonder if we have it all wrong. We are all searching for that crazy, wild, intense love of our life to match up with and stay with that person at all costs till death do us part. Maybe, just maybe, we should be looking for something completely and totally different.
Let’s rewrite the norm.
Let’s hack parenting, love, partnerships, friendships, connections, soul mate unions, LIFE, and marriage as we know it and create what works, what feels right to our soul without being afraid of upsetting the norm.
Because in case no one has told you, normal is WAY overrated.