If we are open to learning we get life lessons from everything and everywhere in this world. Life lessons could be learnt from an object, an animal, a child, a bird or from totally unknown and unexpected sources.
Lord Dattatreya is the best example of how one can learn spiritual lessons from the various objects and beings in this world. He considered he had 24 Gurus which included Mother Earth, Air, Sky, Fire, Pigeon, Python, Moth, Ant, Elephant, Honeybee, a prostitute named Pingala, etc. He had learnt one lesson from each one of them and evolved spiritually.
Similarly, we can also learn life lessons from nature, from the objects around us and from the various activities happening around us. A child can teach us how to forget enmity in no time. A spider teaches us that when we try to trap others, we only will eventually get trapped (spider tries to trap insects through its cobweb but eventually gets itself trapped in its own cobweb). Nature teaches us that if we try to disturb its balance then it will balance itself through earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, etc.
One day while I was casually lying down on my bed and looking at various objects around, I realised that each object started giving me some life lessons. I was filled with ecstasy and from that day my life underwent a change for good. The life lessons I learnt from the objects in the bedroom were these:
The fan taught me how to spread happiness. Happiness is there in every being like air is there everywhere in the atmosphere. But to experience the existence of air we need to switch on the fan which will make the air spread around. Likewise, we need to invoke happiness in others by talking to them nicely, appreciating them, offering unconditional love and the fan of happiness will start rotating thereby spreading the breeze of happiness all around.
The air conditioner taught me to give coolness to others even when we are hot inside. Which means, whatever state we are in (stress, tension, pain, etc), we should not reflect that outside and we should continue to smile, behave positively and help others.
The pillow taught me to give comfort to everyone even when we are pressed hard for time, money or inconvenience.
The window taught me to look outside ourselves and not to confine ourselves to the four walls of selfishness.
The door taught me to keep the mind open for fresh opportunities to flow in and not keep it closed.
The mirror taught me to look at ourselves first before pointing fingers at others and criticising them.
The TV taught me that this life of yours is only like one episode of a serial. There have been many episodes (lives) before this life and many would follow beyond this life. All that which we have done in the past is reflecting in the present and all that we do in the present will reflect in the future, so always try to do good to others and secure a bright future.
The roof taught me to look up in life instead of looking down on the small dust particles of the pain and turbulence below.
The newspaper taught me that only the present is worthwhile. The past has no value.
The wall-clock taught me that time is constantly moving, so realise your true potential at the earliest and do whatever you want to do for others and for your own spiritual self.
The carpet taught me to tolerate others’ mistakes, unruly behaviour and anger without any reaction. Be soft even to those who stamp on you.
Sadguru Rameshji is a modern age spiritual guru and the force behind Poorna Ananda, a Hyderabad-based centre for spiritual evolution and joyful living. He can be contacted at www.poornaananda.org...