We see the World as We Are!

Why can’t things ever be smooth for me?
Why do I always land a cussed deal in everything?
Why is the world such a tough place to live in?

Does this rant sound familiar? We are often dissatisfied or frustrated with our situation and the people around us, and wish that they would change. In fact, almost everyone wishes that others would change. Parents want children to stop rebelling and do as they say, while children want parents to stop forcing things on them; wives want their husbands to be more attentive, husbands wish wives would be less nagging; employers want employees to work harder, while employees wish their bosses would be less demanding.

There is a simple solution to making the world a better place and actually making a difference in this world, something that all of us inherently wish to do.

Make a difference to yourself.

Any change has to start with “me”. In fact, the truth is that the major thing that ever needs changing is “me”. We define the world.

We don’t see the world as it is; we see it as we are!

There is an interesting legend which is based on the great Indian epic, Mahabharata. Duryodhana, a cruel and arrogant prince, and Yudhishtira, an honest and kind prince, were both sent together, by Lord Krishna, on a tour of their kingdom’s capital city.

When they came back, Krishna took Duryodhana aside and asked, “What is the state of the city? How are the people?”

Duryodhana replied, “This city is full of arrogant people and cheats. There is not a shred of goodness anywhere. I don’t know how we are going to manage and bring these people under control!”

Krishna let Duryodhana go and called Yudhishtira and asked him the same question.

Yudhishtira said, “This is such a beautiful city, Krishna. Everybody is so loving, caring and helpful.”

Vidura, a minister, who stood by Krishna listening to these utterly contradicting reports was confused. When he asked for an explanation, Krishna said, “Yudhishtira saw goodness outside because he had goodness inside him. Duryodhana was arrogant and wicked inside, and hence saw the same wickedness outside.”

We don’t see the world as it is; we see it as we are!

The moment we truly realize this, transformation happens within us. So to change the world, we first have to look within. To make this world a better place, it has to start and end with “I”. Rather, it has to start with the ‘I’ and end the ego ‘I’ – that which taints and distorts the truth.

But one should remember, transformation means going from firm ground to quicksand. To truly transform ourselves we need to step where we have never gone before.

There was once a simpleton who was walking home late one night. He was absent-mindedly playing with a gold ring on his finger and dropped it on the road. He was not too far from his house, and so he ran home and frantically called his wife. He told her, “I have dropped my ring. Search under this street light.”

When she couldn’t find it, he asked her to look under another street light. This went on for a while until finally the wife asked him, “Are you sure you dropped it under a street light?”

The man said, “Oh stupid lady, I don’t know where I dropped it, but don’t you know that we can search only where there is light?”

This is what many of us have been doing with most of our lives. The problem is in the ‘dark’ – unknown, yet to be explored. But we are afraid of the dark, so we search for a solution in the light where no solution may exist!

That is why Inner Transformation means letting go of the past and trying to bring in fresh thinking; to work out what we are doing with life and to doing what we are passionate about. This will make us a tremendously different and caring person, and shall inspire people around us. Let’s start with us.

We can make a difference in this world only by our own inner transformation!

Excerpts from the lectures of Sri M. K. Ramanujam, disciple of His Holiness Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji

Sri M. K. Ramanujam is visiting the USA in Fall 2012. He will be speaking at several public locations and will also conduct many youth, adult and corporate workshops. To read his detailed profile, go to www.godivinity.org.


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