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Hinduism: The Blissful Warrior

If there is one golden rule that Hinduism emphasizes for all people, it is to be cheerful (aanandit) in whatever one is involved in. No matter what one's vocation, no matter what one's calling, it is the virtue of inner bliss which is the ultimate quality of the mystical being. The very impulse of bliss imbues our work with much energy. All the different aspects and aspirations of material living - be it respect from others, be it the creation of value, be it the conviction that others have in your ability, be it interpersonal and professional relationships, be it your own level of energy and creativity – all these derive fundamentally from the level of bliss you can feel within yourself and express through thought, work and action.

Now it is very important to remember that we have an infinite capacity to experience this cheerfulness, to experience this bliss. It is simply a question of deciding to be that way! Then even battle itself becomes transformed into a field of joy. The whole concept of the warrior in ancient India - and in fact in ancient cultures throughout the world - was of a person who could be absolutely his finest self in the midst of war itself. The warrior could find stillness, silence, grace and a transcendent cheerfulness even while facing death on the battlefield. That was considered true courage, and that is the kind of courage which is considered the highest spiritual quality. It serves us well in all pursuits of life.

From the Hindu point of view it is not about escaping from the duties of the world, but it is about being in the world yet having a transcendent joy within one's heart during all these duties. This attitude and view of life takes one beyond the limitations of localized space and time, and into a higher dimension.

Yet one aspect which is to be remembered is that bliss and joy are not the function of thought. Rather, thought often impedes joy. Yes, the mind is a good vessel for bliss, but bliss ultimately derives from having a vision which is beyond our immediate thoughts and beyond the mind. It is about feeling the wonder of the entirety of existence itself. And when you feel that wonder of existence, you spontaneously become filled with joy. So the very act of filling yourself with joy is a function of how much harmony you feel between yourself and the greater cosmos.

This key principle is to be remembered, because it is the transcendent message of the rishis and sages. To be linked with the infinity of reality: through that comes about great joy. And this linkage is not necessarily through big things: it could be as simple as through one's connection with nature. One’s connection with the trees, one’s connection with the grass, one’s connection with the earth itself. That is the link. That is the bond. Find joy in the simple act of being alive on this beautiful earth! Then you will spontaneously feel peaceful. Then nothing will feel like a burden, because it will all seem like a bonus and a gift which has been given to you. And when you receive a gift, you do feel joyful. So if you look at things that happen to you as a gift, joy will automatically and spontaneously arise. In a manner which is very decisive, and has a direct effect on your aspirations in life. For example, you'll find your friendships improving. People will find you more and more friendly, and more sharing. Also, there'll be an certain grace in the way you function; a certain natural power of consciousness and heartfulness will arise in you. And this will have a profound effect on the way you act and are perceived of in the world. Your whole manner will become empathetic, creative, and in a way meditative. And through all this will come about an ecstasy not only in the way you feel about yourself, but in the way you feel about your work, your relationships, your existence, your place in the world. So with this remembrance you come to a situation where you enjoy the journey itself...Where you enjoy gathering the different treasures that life has to offer. Hence, become a gatherer of treasures, become a gatherer of precious moments... and then you'll find that all things have a hidden meaning. Then you'll begin to see the value in things which you had not perceived of previously.

Through all this, you will find yourself growing in a manner where your heart is involved in a more passionate way in your living of life. That is the way of the mystic warrior. Through this vision of being aanandit and cheerful, your energy becomes enhanced far more when it comes to work itself. This transformation is all a result of being alert to the possibility of bliss, which is always around the corner! And which you only have to have a positive mental attitude towards, in order to activate in your life.

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