http://www.yoga-age.com/upanishads/isha.html

This Upanishad is called Isa–Vasya Upanishad, that which gives Brahma–Vidya or knowledge of the All–pervading Deity. The dominant thought running through it is that we cannot enjoy life or realize true happiness unless we consciously “cover” all with the Omnipresent Lord. If we are not fully conscious of that which sustains our life, how can we live wisely and perform our duties? Whatever we see, movable or immovable, good or bad, it is all “That.” We must not divide our conception of the universe; for in dividing it, we have only fragmentary knowledge and we thus limit ourselves.

He who sees all beings in his Self and his Self in all beings, he never suffers; because when he sees all creatures within his true Self, then jealousy, grief and hatred vanish. He alone can love. That AH–pervading One is self– effulgent, birthless, deathless, pure, untainted by sin and sorrow. Knowing this, he becomes free from the bondage of matter and transcends death. Transcending death means realizing the difference between body and Soul and identifying oneself with the Soul. When we actually behold the undecaying Soul within us and realize our true nature, we no longer identify ourself with the body which dies and we do not die with the body.

Self–knowledge has always been the theme of the Sages; and the Upanishads deal especially with the knowledge of the Self and also with the knowledge of God, because there is no difference between the Self and God. They are one and the same. That which comes out of the Infinite Whole must also be infinite; hence the Self is infinite. That is the ocean, we are the drops. So long as the drop remains separate from the ocean, it is small and weak; but when it is one with the ocean, then it has all the strength of the ocean. Similarly, so long as man believes himself to be separate from the Whole, he is helpless; but when he identifies himself with It, then he transcends all weakness and partakes of Its omnipotent qualities.

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The Path to Joy

10 Principles of Spiritual Optimism

By Deepak Chopra

In his newest book, “Why is God Laughing?” renowned teacher Deepak Chopra gives a humorous take on spirituality–using a fictional tale of a comedian and his unlikely mentor to show the way back to hope, joy, and even enlightenment. Here are 10 principles for spiritual optimism adapted from the fable that will help you direct your life on a path to joy every single day.

1. The Healthiest Response to Life Is Laughter.

This first principle serves as an antidote to fear and sorrow by encouraging you to experience life as joyous….When you feel momentary happiness, or you want to burst out laughing, or you smile for no apparent reason, you are glimpsing eternal reality….In time, these moments of joy will begin to knit together. Instead of the exception, they will become the norm. There is no better way to know that you are growing in God-realization.

2. There Is Always a Reason to Be Grateful.

This second principle is an antidote to victimization….The purpose of gratitude is to connect yourself to a higher vision of life….Once you realize that you alone are the projector of reality, you will no longer be dominated by external events. You will correct the mistake that lies at the very root of victimization: a belief that the movie controls you, instead of the other way around.

3. You Belong in the Scheme of the Universe. There’s Nothing to Be Afraid Of. You Are Safe.

The third principle is the antidote for insecurity….The role assigned to you is right and proper. It is tailor-made for you, for your complete self….The voice of fear tries to convince you that you are a helpless victim of chance. The very opposite is true. At the deepest level, the level of the soul, you are the author of everything that happens to you.

4. Your Soul Cherishes Every Aspect of Your Life.

The fourth principle is the antidote for feeling undervalued. It states that your worth is absolute, and that everything that happens to you – whether it feels good at the time or not – is part of a divine plan unfolding from the level of the soul….A person’s worth is the value of a soul, which is infinite. Since every event in your life isn’t happening just to a person but to a soul, everything in life should be cherished.

5. There Is a Plan, and Your Soul Knows What It Is.

The fifth principle is the antidote to meaninglessness. It states that your life has a purpose. You determine that purpose at the soul level, and then that purpose unfolds in daily life as part of the divine plan. The more deeply you are connected to the plan, the more powerful it becomes in your life. Ultimately, nothing can stop it.

6. Ecstasy Is the Energy of Spirit. When Life Flows, Energy Is Natural.

The sixth principle is the antidote to inertia. It states that infinite energy is available to you. You are a co-creator with God. To claim your creative power, you need only connect with the primal energies that play within you….The kind of energy you can call upon at any given moment depends on your level of consciousness.

7. There Is a Creative Solution to Every Problem. Every Possibility Holds the Promise of Abundance.

The seventh principle is the antidote to failure. It tells us that every question includes its own answer. The only reason a problem arises before its solution is that our minds are limited – we think in terms of sequences, of before and after. Outside the narrow boundaries of time, problems and solutions arise at the same instant.

8. Obstacles are Opportunities in Disguise.

The eighth principle is the antidote to inflexibility….The secret is to abandon old habits and trust in spontaneity….Whenever you catch yourself reacting in an old, familiar way, simply stop. Don’t invent a new reaction; don’t fall back on the opposite of what you usually do. Instead, ask for openness. Go inside, be with yourself, and allow the next reaction to come of its own accord.

9. Evolution Leads the Way Through Desire.

The ninth principle is the antidote to hypocrisy. It encourages us to act on our genuine desires, because they show the way to real growth. Don’t pretend to be better – or other – than you are. Don’t fall into the trap of having one face for the world and another to God. Who you really are is exactly who you should be.

10. Freedom Is Letting Go.

The tenth principle is the antidote to attachment….If you let go of what isn’t real in your life, what’s left will be real: what’s left is God alone….To be free, you must find a way to let go of all the stuck energy that keeps sending the same old messages….The past is a false guide to the future, and yet it’s what most of us rely upon. By letting go of stuck energies, you let go of your past.

(Adapted from “Why is God Laughing: The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism” by Deepak Chopra, Harmony Books, 2008)

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