In the Path of Light
     
Swami Parameshwarananda
   
Promoting Our Evolution

NATIONAL SEMINAR ON RELIGION, SCIENCE AND SOCIETY:  CHALLENGES AND SOLUTION          (VARANASI, INDIA, NOVEMBER 15-16, 2010)

 OM JAI JAI SAI MAA                             JAI SHRI KRISHNA

PROMOTING OUR EVOLUTION

Paramacharya Swami Parameshwarananda

We all see, feel and experience what is happening on the planet right now.  The turmoil, upheaval, uncertainty, instability, constant dramatic changes from what we have known.  We can resist, reject, struggle with the current state of affairs, or we can accept, understand and see this as an opportunity for creation and reinvention of ourselves and our world.  Our evolution is inevitable.  It is a matter of how we relate to it, who we are and what we do to accelerate it or slow it down, whether we suffer through it or move freely and naturally as it unfolds.  This paper addresses how we can speed up our development, ensuring that it is aligned with the natural laws of the universe and the manifestation of the divine purpose for which we incarnated.

What is occurring in our lives at this moment in time represents the culmination of eons of evolution that bring us to this incarnation where we are being asked to transform radically, to create new realities, to embrace new possibilities for how we see and express ourselves individually and collectively.  In actuality, we have no choice but to transform, as the new higher frequency energies arriving on the planet require us to raise our own vibration, to purify our bodies (physical and subtle) to align with these changes.  We are meant to be pillars of light, ambassadors of the new Golden Age where we realize ourselves as creators and the embodiment of Spirit.

In the East, through centuries of devotion and practice, studying the ancient teachings in the sacred scriptures (e.g., the Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita), many are aware of what is now being realized by more and more Westerners: we are not the body; we are not our names, jobs, roles, possessions; our identity is not defined by what we have accumulated or defined ourselves as throughout our lives.  We are Love, Light, Spirit, Creation and, as this, we are eternal and never separate, always One.

In addressing one the themes of this seminar, "Promotion of Desirable Human, Social and Sustainable Development", it is important to define some of these terms.  First, "development" means that something or someone changes, improves, progresses, evolves, grows, advances, matures. When we add in "desirable", the development that takes place is valued by those who are developing, the outcomes or consequences are desired.  Importantly, the development makes a difference that satisfies the needs or concerns of those involved. 

All of us as humans have important concerns we wish to be addressed and satisfied in our lives.  These concerns become more obvious to us when there are "breakdowns" in our lives where the concerns are no longer transparent, we become conscious of them, because they are not being satisfied.  These concerns fall into certain domains, including the body, family, relationships, work, career, education, money, community, society, the world, religion/spirituality.  When any of these concerns are not satisfied, we become aware (or we can be educated to be more aware), and we can then choose to find new possibilities for satisfying them — development in these areas becomes much more desirable to us.

Promotion of this "desirable development" within ourselves, or with others, happens  through education, when we understand more how the development is desirable for us, when we learn about the reasons for the development and how they satisfy our concerns, when we have a vision for what the development will lead to or look like that corresponds to our desires.  When we truly feel this relationship between the development and our desires, the connection with our concerns being satisfied, we become inspired, motivated, willing, passionate, engaged, committed. 

Yes, development is promoted through education about the relationship of the development to our desires and concerns.  It is also promoted when we as a person, group, community, society, realize that we can actually develop, make the change ourselves, that we are capable and have access to the resources (time, energy, information, people, possibilities) to take the action for the development to happen.  In other words, development occurs when we realize we are the creators and not controlled by outside circumstances or events, we have the power along with the responsibility to create, develop, transform, evolve.  In summary, the promotion of development (human, social, sustainable) is contingent upon education and awareness about our satisfied concerns and our personal power for creation.  Now let's take a look at how this applies to the areas of human, social and sustainable development.

Promoting Desirable Human Development

So first, what is desirable human development?  According to the Bhagavad-Gita, we as humans are to develop in the sense of realizing we are divine, we are Spirit or Presence that is eternal, permanent, absolute.  We are not to be attached to, or define ourselves as, the body, our desires, or outcomes of our actions.  We are to live all of the good qualities of life with full coordination of heart and mind.  We are to take right action, live in righteousness, realizing our Being as the basis for a good life.  Desirable human development is living as Spirit in human form, the alchemy of human and divine, through purification and transformation founded on love and devotion.

As this is our natural essence, our developing to be this should be desirable for us, should resonate within us because it is the manifestation of our Self.  We are only to be reminded of this, remember this, through education, teachings, practices, our teachers, Masters, Gurus.  Our development to be this, in our state and way of life, is also desirable because it satisfies many of our concerns, brings us the abundance of the universe that resides within us, enables us to access our multidimensionality and express all of the aspects of the universal being that we are in truth.

Now how do we promote this type of development?  We can transform our thoughts, feelings, words and actions through introspection, self-inquiry and witnessing ourselves and how we live our life.  We develop through our Self-Mastery, which includes becoming aware of what is to transform within us, making choices and taking decisions to transform this, focusing in action for the transformation to take place, and realizing the transformation through this focus.  In addition, Sadhana, our daily spiritual practice, serves us to develop to be our true Self, in that we go within to find the answers, we still the mind, and in our inner silence we tap into our wisdom; we raise our vibration to be in alignment and coherence with the highest vibration which is the love we are. 

Traditional practices include different forms of meditation, breathing exercises, pujas, repetition of mantras or japa, yoga, chanting, dance.  Sadhana includes seva or selfless service where we serve others without expectation of any kind of return or outcomes for ourselves; we devote ourselves in the present to taking action out of the kindness of our heart, right action.  A personal, living example of this is the humanitarian seva carried out for the Vitamin Angels—Humanity In Unity 20/20 project, in which dedicated teams of volunteers (students of Her Holiness Jagadguru Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi) travel to India to distribute Vitamin A and Albendazole de-worming tablets to the children of Varanasi, Vrindavan and the surrounding areas (approximately 30,000 have been served with the numbers growing exponentially).  This project is sponsored by the Sai Maa Vishnu Shakti Trust which was established by H.H. Sai Maa and His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Satuwa Baba Maharaji,

We promote our development by reminding ourselves of our experience, knowledge, skills, qualities with gratitude and appreciation, rather than judging ourselves or thinking we are not enough or cannot achieve what we wish in our lives.  Through our own positive perspective on ourselves and our world, or through educating others to shift their perspectives or frames of reference, we access and energize our leadership, we empower ourselves and our self-expression.  We develop as we actually exercise our leadership in different domains, applying our knowledge and skills.  We can design projects in which we and others lead and create.  We can identify and take advantage of opportunities in our lives that resonate with us and our values and satisfy our concerns (first understanding what we truly value in life, what actually concerns us).  We can develop relationships with others who are "like minded and hearted", who support us to express ourselves powerfully, to live a life based upon righteousness and the discovery of our truth.

In order to promote becoming aware of this truth, to align with and live as our essence, we are also to care for our body as a vehicle of our love, light, energy, multiple dimensions.  We are to purify and transform what does not serve this realization through our diet and nutrition, exercise, balancing of our hormones, management of the level of acidity and basicity in the body (our pH being more alkaline).  We are to become aware of our lifestyle and what choices we have been making that no longer serve our health and well being (e.g., habits and addictions related to food, drugs, etc.).  We can research healthcare services and modalities that strengthen our bodies (physical and subtle), enable us to maintain a high quality of health, such as Ayurveda, homeopathy, massage and body work.

We can powerfully promote our development by realizing we are energy, everything is energy, working on ourselves energetically to transform, learning to release, expand, uplift and share our energies.  Energetic awareness and practices have existed for centuries among Masters and their students, including different forms of "Diksha" or energetic initiations.  H.H. Sai Maa has gifted us with "Sai Maa Diksha" which is available for everyone to receive from those who have been trained and initiated, and then for everyone to offer and train others once they have been trained and initiated.  The "Brain Illumination Method" is another example of a meditation that anyone can practice to bring light into the physical and subtle bodies through the brain.  (Explanation of both of these practices is available at www.HumanityInUnity.org).

Promoting Desirable Social Development

What does desirable social development look like?  As our natural essence is love and oneness, we inherently desire unity, coherence, togetherness, however our thought patterns, belief systems, veil us in ignorance and delude us into thinking we are separate.  Again, as the Bhagavad-Gita teaches, in truth we are forever interrelated, always one.  Our "individuality" is dependent upon the courses of action of others; we have free will while also living according to the dynamics of action and reaction (karma).  We develop socially when we realize this interrelatedness and thereby our power for collective action and creation. 

Another aspect of this desirable social development is everyone behaving "rightly" (right action), serving one another with good will and open hearts, impacting society as a whole as the path of our evolution and our actions affect society and future generations.  We are to engage in specific modes of activity that keep the stream of life in harmony and moving forward in the direction of progress and evolution.  Desirable social development satisfies concerns that we have regarding our relationships with family, friends, groups we interact with, communities we belong to, the society in which we are members, the world in which we are global citizens.

How do we then promote this type of development?  First, we identify those relationships and social interactions we have that we most value, that are important to us and we desire to develop and sustain.  We look to see if these relationships are healthy, loving, harmonious, expressive of the oneness that is our essence.  We build and strengthen those that are, or we determine what is out of alignment with the qualities of "desirable relationships", and we take action to move them back into alignment.   We create forums of conversation, opportunities to be together and create community.  We identify new groups or communities to create with, those that hold the same values or interests, vision or goals, those that resonate with what we desire for ourselves and the world.  Projects can be large or small in scope, affecting a few people or many, short- or long-term (some projects may be revealed during this national seminar).

An example of a co-creation for social development is the Life Divine Initiative sponsored by Humanity In Unity.  This is a global community-based movement with members joining their energy, ideas and resources to create a life of prosperity, fulfillment and spiritual empowerment to serve humanity's awakening.  In promoting the development of the community, there are regular newsletters, conference calls, email messages, an Internet discussion forum, and occasional in-person gatherings.  (For information, go to the Humanity In Unity website or send a message to info@livinglifedivine.com.)  Another example of desirable social development is the 20/20 humanitarian project mentioned earlier for children and their families, which also includes education about hygiene in addition to medical care.  Through the health and education of children and their families, as in this case or through other means, we contribute to the development of society.

Of course, to develop loving relationships and greater oneness, the quality of our communication is highly important, whether that be with one person, or our family, our co-workers, our communities. The more we are honest and authentic in what we express to others, the more we are open and genuine in how we listen to others, the more we develop socially.  We often forget that listening is key to effective communication, not just speaking, where true listening is being with others from where they are speaking.  Many times we think we are listening, however we are preoccupied with our own thoughts, opinions, judgments, preconceptions, answers to what others are saying before they have finished speaking.  Constructive, loving communication also means being honest with ourselves about what we think and feel, and communicating this to others from the heart for the sake of improving and building our relationships. 

In working with groups, we can use different techniques or practices to support the development of cohesiveness, harmony and unity.  Examples include effective facilitation of conversations so there is a balance of speaking and listening, everyone is participating, agenda topics are covered, meeting outcomes are achieved, group dynamics are managed, and relationships are developed especially if the group is to continue in its work together.  Other methods for social development in groups include dialoguing (keeping the conversation open and flowing with no particular agenda other than developing the group); brainstorming (eliciting ideas and creativity without evaluation); consensus building (agreement of the whole group around a specific topic).

In that we are all energy, we can also ensure desirable social development in groups by noticing the energy of the group and transforming it with our intent, expressing to the group what is noticed (e.g., up's and down's in the energy level, mood of the group, specific body language), supporting the group to come together and to be more energized, to resolve conflicts.  Groups can also create collective intentions or affirmations (declarations) for what they would like to  manifest.  For example, there are recurring global gatherings where everyone meditates at the same time to shift group consciousness; peace prayers are held that are intended to spread world peace.

Promoting Desirable Sustainable Development

In common parlance, the term "sustainable development" means the patterns by which we use resources so that we meet human needs while also preserving the environment now and for generations to come.  This includes environmental, economic and sociopolitical sustainability.  We can also add that sustainable development relates to "energy" as a resource and how we use it, transform it, expand it, share it. 

In terms of the environment, we can promote sustainability by loving and respecting nature, by taking action to ensure the environment is clean and pristine, by joining groups that create projects that care for Mother Earth (for example, water purification, the cleaning of the Ganga).  We can create organic gardens to grow our own food, learn about composting and recycling. We can look at how we are polluting the environment and make immediate changes (e.g., car pooling, purchasing cars based on gas consumption, car exhaust). 

We can become more aware of how we are consuming and wasting resources that deplete the environment or cause greater need for future production and consumption (e.g., purchasing what we do not really need; replacing computers, telephones and technology without making full use of what we already have; not sharing with others what we no longer want and they can use).  In addition, related to economic sustainability, money is a resource (and also energy), and we can become more aware of how we spend money, how we allocate our financial resources.  We can be honest with ourselves about whether we are afraid and hold onto money, or whether we are not attached and share it freely with others, such as giving a percentage of what we earn to worthy causes through donations.  What do we think and how do we feel about money?  What patterns do we have in our actions related to money — are they limiting rather than expanding, destructive rather than creative?  Do we trust, have faith, are we open to the endless abundance of the universe and tap into this on all levels through our intentions, affirmations, actions?

Energetically, we are all interrelated with the Earth, our energy fields are connected with Gaia.  Therefore, we can purify and transform our own energies and radiate them to Mother Earth, and we can create energetic grids individually or collectively for her purification and development.   We can go into nature and radiate our love from our heart to the trees, flowers, streams.  When we camp, we can ensure we leave the environment as it was when we came or better; we can walk on the earth with reverence and grace.   

Another way of looking at "desirable sustainable development" is that all of the forms of development addressed here (human, social, environmental, economic, energetic) are sustained long-term for the benefit of the Earth and humanity at large.  In other words, we can see to it that the ways we have found to promote these developments endure and flourish, are sustained over time no matter what is happening on the planet.  This continuity can happen through our commitment to a vision of what will manifest through our actions, through our shared values and intentions, common agreements about the desirable outcomes to be achieved.  The deeper our transformation, getting at the roots of patterns and past attachments individually and collectively, the more the development will continue and expand.  The more we establish and anchor the energies within us that are aligned with what is "desirable", the greater the likelihood of ongoing transformation.  Sustainability also comes through inspirational leadership, personal empowerment, and specific structures, systems, practices and creative conversations that continue, build and accelerate this development.

Conclusion

The time is now, and it is up to each and all of us to evolve as deeply, powerfully and quickly as we can for the sake of ourselves, humanity and the planet.  We serve our evolution on all levels by educating ourselves, becoming more aware, realizing who we are in truth, the power of our inner essence as love, and taking responsibility to transform ourselves, our communities, society and the planet.  We are never alone, as we are one with everyone on the planet, the planet itself, with All That Is.  The evolution of our consciousness, of our matter, the manifestation of our living life as Spirit in the new Golden Age will happen.  It's a matter of how soon and how easily based upon our perspectives, decisions and actions.  Use the suggestions included in this paper as guidelines, determine what is "desirable" for you in the domains of human, social and sustainable development, and act now individually and collectively to promote this development in yourselves and others.  In this way, you are an active participant, a co-creator, in the evolution of humanity and the planet, and you fulfill the divine purpose for which you were born.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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