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We all experience that our duties get
affected by the moods. When the mood is off, the mood is not optimal, you can’t
perform well. If our mind could always be in an elevated, inspired, uplifted mood,
we will naturally performed well. While you work, you experience there is tension,
anxiety, fear, hankering, aversio,n greed. All these negative emotions are present
in the mind. They are impacting us and together they are creating stress. What is the stress? Let me tell you a
story from the 19th century. You have heard of Nelson Rockefeller? He was the richest
man in his times. He was the president of the Standard Oil Corporation. He had a
business decision to make. Goods of the Standard Oil Corporation had to be
transported from Houston to Chicago. The question before him was, should I get
them insured or not? Insurance would have cost a hundred and fifty dollars. He was
thinking should I have waste a hundred and fifty dollars to insure it or not.
Finally he said, why not save the money? Just send it. Once the railroad the goods
started off he got the news that a storm had developed on the way, and the goods were in danger. Now his BP started increasing. To save $150, I have put thousands in stake. So he decided to
use his influence. He was the chairman of the Standard Oil Corporation. He rang up
the insurance company, and he said you have to give me an insurance now. They
had closed their office for the evening. He forced them to open their office and
by midnight he had the insurance paper. Relieved!
In the morning he got the news that the train had reached intact. He had wasted
150 dollars. This gave him so much of anxiety, till 2:00 in the afternoon he
kept walking up and down up and down his office room. The stress of business tolled
on his health. His doctor said, if you don’t change your lifestyle, you will not
live more than three years. He changed himself, he started engaging in
philanthropy. He started the Rockefeller Foundation that since then has done
tremendous philanthropic work worldwide. Now this is an account from the 19th
century. Today we are in the 21st century. The world has speeded up with mobile
phones and pagers and SMS and whatsapp and viber and tweets. The speed of the
world has increased, and the consequence is stress. While we have rapidly conquered
new frontiers in science, when it comes to conquering the mind, humankind is at a
stand still. Problems of the mind are ever increasing.
We have harnessed external nature. But when it comes to internal nature, we are
at a failure. Albert Einstein said science has succeeded in denaturing the
plutonium atom but it is unable to denature the evil in man’s hearts. How to
conquer the mind? Science doesn’t have a solution and hence stress has become a
universal phenomenon. So what is stress? To an engineer, stress is the force in a
machine part, in a beam, in a structure that tends to shear it, twist it, turn it,
break it, bend it. We also experience stress in our emotional personality when
we encounter the external world. When we were little children, we were hungry
and our mother was not around. We experienced stress and cried. And as
grown-ups, as factory manager, you experienced stress when your boss says the production is not up to the mark. Your job is under danger. The causes of stress
are infinite. So let us try and figure out how spirituality can help us conquer
this? First of all understand that stressful situations are always there in
the world. But our stressful response is the one
that causes problems. Difficult situations will always be there in the
world. Don’t expect a world free from difficulties. Sometimes people say, “why
does God send hardships my way?” Some people go beyond, “if God is sending hardships then I don’t believe in God. He should give me an easy life.” But tell me,
the student who is studying all the year long, if he says teacher I don’t want any
tests. I will only study, no tests. The teacher
will say, then how will you go into the next class? The test is there to help
promote you to the next class. Similarly God deliberately has created a world
with difficulties. It’s not that there is a defect in his design. You know he
wanted to create a perfect world but by chance the world has got earthquakes and cyclones and hurricanes. Is there a defect in his design? No. The
Chandogyopanishad says, why did God allow earthquakes etc to be a part of nature?
He could have changed the physical properties a little, so there would be no
earthquakes. The Chandogyopanishad answers, He deliberately creates
challenges so that people don’t become complacent in their situation. The
difficulty forces them to manifest their latent physical abilities, mental,
psychological, emotional, spiritual abilities to face the challenge.
That is how they grow.Now if you say, just remove it, then growth will be
retarded. There was once a young boy going to school. In his garden on the
bush he found a cocoon. Have you all seen cocoons? No seen cocoons? So he was
excited. I will see the butterfly emerging from this. I will see nature at
work. Every day going to school, coming back, he would check as the butterfly
started coming out. One day sure enough a little dot had appeared. It was a
Saturday. His school was off. He was excited. Every two hours he would come
and take a look. And finally by the afternoon. the butterfly had started emerging. The caterpillar had become a butterfly. It was coming out into the
world. He was riveted to see what is happening.
The butterfly was tearing the cocoon and emerging. Slowly it kept coming out until it was half out. Now it was unable to extract itself more. The cocoon was
bobbing up and down. The butterfly seemed to have got jammed inside. He saw that
the butterfly’s stomach was big. So he thought maybe what I can do is I can
help the butterfly. He brought a pair of scissors and he cut
the cocoon into two. The butterfly fell to the ground. He thought it will fly
away. But it was not flying. So he found that its stomach was huge and its wings were
shriveled. He thought this would probably get corrected. The wings will fill up and
the stomach will shrink. little was he to know this will never happen. That
struggle of coming out was necessary for the butterfly that would have squeezed
the fluid from the stomach into the wings. Without that struggle, the wings
would remain shriveled. Similarly when God gives us difficulties, it’s his way
for filling up our wings so that we can fly high. But we look for somebody who
can cut our cocoon, who can remove our difficulties and give us an easy life
without realizing it is those difficulties that help us, prepare us for
the flight ahead. Do any of you have difficult circumstances in your life?
Everyone has. This is the nature of God’s design. He says I want you to keep
progressing. I will keep sending difficulties not to pull you down, to
help you grow further and further and further so that one day we can become
perfect. The Bible says be perfect. Even as your
father in heaven is perfect. God wants us to reach that perfection where we are
like him and he has arranged for difficulties. But in those difficulties,
we should not become internally stressed. So the point to understand here is, hard
work never stresses us. You can work from morning to night,
and still be unstressed. What stresses us is attachment to results. When we are
attached to results that is what stresses us out. If instead of being
attached to the results, if you could focus on your effort, you will do a far
greater and better job. That is the art of work that Shri Krishna has taught in
the Bhagavad Gita. (Sanskrit verse) Shree krishna says, Arjun do your
duties. You have the right to do your work. Do it nicely, properly, with full
focus. But don’t be attached to the results. The results come for so many
reasons: your present efforts, your past Karmas. Some people they do a
little work, and get great results. Some people do great work they get little
results. There’s past Karmas , The efforts of others. Now if there’s a job
interview and fifty people have applied, one of them has to be selected. So the
efforts of others as well the general karma of the whole place. An earthquake
happened to come. what to do? The will of God, sheer chance. You happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. So the results are not in your hands. Don’t be
be attached to them. You have the effort in your hands.You
put in the effort. It will solve all the problems.

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