Living “Well Isn’t Against the Law” e-book by V Ruzov

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Hello, Friends!

On the picture above you can see the contents of the book I was publishing from. I Have the author’s permission to publish just a few more chapters. If you are interested in getting the full content click here . Have a happy Independence Day!

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Contradictions of Love (The controversy of love, contradictions in relationship, duality). A chapter from Technologies of Success: Living Well Isn’t Against The Law by Vyacheslav Ruzov

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Love comes to us from two sources. The result looks practically

the same externally, but internally there’s a fundamental difference.

If love manifests from human lust, it is fraught with contradictions.

This is because any material activity is dual by nature. As much as we’d

like to have good luck, an equal share of bad luck follows. As much

as we’d like Yin to come into our life, it is always accompanied by the

same size Yang. Then, if love comes from spiritual reality, it is bound

to collide with material reality. And again, there’s no way to get around

contradictions.

The desire for eternal love doesn’t match with the impermanence

of this world. Thus, conflict is inevitable. But it doesn’t mean that love

is impossible. Conflict is less of a problem if we realize what’s going on.

 

The main thing is to understand the inner essence of contradictions.

The duality of this phenomenon can be minimized then. For example,

an experienced housewife knows that hot oil and water come into

conflict. If you pour water into hot oil, the mixture will explode.

However, if you pour oil into boiling water, you’ll only hear a slight

FIZZLE.

He beats you because he loves you…

These impressive and terrible words came out of the easiest

contradiction that exists in love. That is the contradiction of allpermissiveness

and the desire to protect. If I allow my beloved one

absolutely everything – gratification of any kind, I let him/her get into

a dreadful situation one day. Except joy, they will sooner or later have

to experience the same amount of suffering.

A truly loving person wants his/her beloved to be happy and

doesn’t want him/her to suffer. It requires that we resolve a contradiction

between all-permissiveness and the desire to protect against grief. And

it is resolved by the method of strictness. Strictness is the right balance

between all-permissiveness and prohibition. If we truly love someone,

we have to be strict. If we aspire for true love, we must be prepared to

be strict with ourselves.

We allow swimming in the river but strictly forbid swimming

beyond the buoys. We allow staying out but demand to come back

home before dark. We allow the child to play with friends but insist on

doing homework first. We allow riding a bike but prohibit riding on a

busy road.

Too much rigor grows into violence; lack of strictness, however,

turns into all-permissiveness. Both these extremes impede love, or, in

other words, neither is the expression of love since the key principle –

the desire to protect – is being lost.

The same principle of strictness reveals itself in spiritual love, as

well. A spiritual person loves God, but instead of all-permissiveness,

this love manifests itself as iron discipline. A believer doesn’t think that

“now that I love God I can do anything I want”. On the contrary, to

protect his/her love, one becomes strict with oneself in desires, when

it comes to mind, senses and body. It’s not that one simply rejoices

Technologies of Success: Living Well Isn’t Against The Law by Vyacheslav Ruzov 76

in spiritual happiness – along with that, a spiritual person abides by

all the rules of spiritual development. However, if he/she is too strict,

love for God grows into fanaticism. On the other hand, if one is too

relaxed, it becomes sentimentalism, or sahajiya. Again, these extremes

don’t let divine love develop and cause many types of suffering instead.

Therefore, if one speaks about the Absolute Truth but doesn’t touch on

the topic of strictness of spiritual life, in a befitting way, this is a form of

subtle violence. A listener becomes deceived, being deprived of proper

understanding of love.

Another contradiction of love manifests itself in the relationship

with the seniors. A senior person is the one we should seek good advice

from. As we try to follow this advice, a complex loving controversy

becomes apparent. The seniors invariably possess perfect rightmindedness

concerning the theoretical framework. But when it comes

to practical application, misunderstandings may occur. This is because

life circumstances of those who get advice may be different. Therefore,

whenever we face a contradiction, we must know the rules for proper

behavior. It will help us not to lose our loving relations with the seniors.

And these loving relations are among the most important ones.

Once again, strictness is what is needed. On one hand, we

wholeheartedly value the experience of the senior. We try our best to

grasp the vision of how to act. It is with all our heart that we feel the

desire of the seniors to protect us. We appreciate it and are very grateful

for their advice.

One day people complained to the old sage about all the evil that

came into being together with the so-called technical advancement:

“What’s the use of this technical junk?” they said. “How does it

help people think about the values and sense of life?”

“Anything can contribute to our knowledge.”

“What can we learn, say, from a railroad?”

“That in a moment one can lose everything.”

“What about the telegraph service?”

“That you have to pay for every word you say.”

“How about the phone?”

 

“That everything we speak here is heard over there…”

On the other hand, we mind our own life principles and strive

to get it done so that there is no contradiction at the end. We are

obliged to accept loving instructions from the seniors. But we are also

responsible for other people we love: the junior ones; those dependent

on us, the equals; and God, after all. If we are not strict with regards to

this situation, love of the seniors won’t bring happiness to us. It won’t

make them happy either. And we have ourselves to blame! To take sage

advice is not enough – one has to put it to work in a proper way. Looks

like a semi-finished product. If it hasn’t been heated, who is to blame?

This is exactly what love for seniors is – we must follow their advice

in such a way that everyone gets happy. Failure to do so will cause

misery to those who have given this advice, after all. This is especially

important to remember, if the advice raises many doubts.

We are talking about it because seniors nowadays stop playing

the role of wise mentors who know the purpose of human life. But it

doesn’t mean we should reject their advice. Disregard for seniors will

destroy our soul; destroy all culture, humanity and spirituality, along

with that. Therefore, we do follow the seniors’ advice, but if it’s not too

spiritual, we make adjustments. In the long run, these adjustments are

beneficial for us, the seniors and all the surrounding people, as well.

For example, if a senior person asks to drink to his/her health,

we are obliged to drink, but it doesn’t have to be alcohol. If you drink

alcohol, it will make you ill, and the seniors who advised it, will also

face the consequences. And so, because we wish the adviser all the best,

we drink juice instead of whiskey, as we follow their advice. By doing

so, we keep ourselves healthy and protect the seniors from negative

consequences. The one who, getting the advice, thinks not whether

it’s proper or improper, but how to follow it so that everyone derives

benefit, is a friend to all living beings. Even if you give such a person

a wrong advice, he/she will follow it in such a way that you benefit

yourself in any case.

The key is not to be afraid to act strictly. Strictness is a mandatory

attribute of a high achiever — a person who wants to do good to others.

Technologies of Success: Living Well Isn’t Against The Law by Vyacheslav Ruzov 78

A low achiever is the one ready to do good to himself/herself only. It’s

common to think that unlucky fellows are those for whom nothing

goes well. But this is not the case. A real loser is the one who benefits

himself/herself only while making others suffer. Therefore, we shouldn’t

be afraid to benefit both individuals and the community as a whole. It

will teach us true spiritual generosity – nobility of a person ready to

undergo hardships for the sake of bringing true spiritual happiness to

others. This is how a man of faith acts, and this is really glorious. Only

those who have no fear can do good and bring happiness to others in

this world.

It was right at our subway station that a terrorist attack took place

yesterday, and I’d like to tell a parable in this regard.

Once upon a time a monk wandered the world and met the

Plague. The Plague was making way to his native city.

“Where are you going to?” he asked her.

“The city you lived in,” said the Plague. “I have to claim a thousand

lives.”

It happened after a while that the monk encountered her again.

“Why did you deceive me?” he reproached her. “You said you

would claim a thousand lives, but you took five thousand.”

“I told you the truth then,” replied the Plague. “I really took a

thousand lives. Others died from fear.”

We shouldn’t be afraid whenever we come up against an obstacle

or get into trouble, or when we receive some contradictory advice. It

doesn’t matter in the least. The main thing is our willingness to make

every effort to dovetail all that with the superior purpose. The purpose

is to gain spiritual understanding since it is only spiritual vision that

can release one from suffering. I must understand that I’m the eternal

soul and being happy is in my nature. Whereas the body is temporary

and it’s always full of anxiety. Only if I manage to understand that,

can I fully focus on the soul and endure bodily problems with dignity,

thereby starting to live like a real sage.

 

To sum it up, let’s hear another parable.

Once upon a time there lived a very wise sage. People always

turned to him for help, and he always gave good counsel. The fame of

his wisdom spread everywhere.

One day it reached the ears of another man who was also wise

and famous in his neighborhood. He also used to help others. He liked

it that people considered him to be the wisest and put value in his

advice. As soon as this man learnt about another sage, he became angry.

He thought he would lose his fame now. And the man started to think

how to prove to others that he was actually the wisest.

Finally he decided, I’m gonna take a butterfly, hide it in my

hands, approach the sage in front of everybody and ask: “What’s the

thing in my hands?” Naturally, he is a great sage. He’ll twig and say:

“You’ve got a butterfly.” Then I’ll ask him: “Is it dead or alive?” If he says

the butterfly is alive, I’ll slightly press it with my palms. When I let my

hands slacken, everyone will see that the butterfly is dead.

And in case he says the butterfly is dead, I’ll set it free and it will

fly. People will see that he was not right.

So said, so done. He took a butterfly and approached the sage.

“What’s in my hands?” he asked.

The sage looked and said,

“You’ve got a butterfly.”

Then he said,

“Now tell me: is it dead or alive?”

The sage looked into his eyes and thought for a while.

“Everything is in your hands,” — he said.

Divorce, its Problems, Psychology and Help in a Divorce Situation (a chapter from LIVING WELL ISN’T AGAINST THE LAW by V. Ruzov )

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At this age and time, divorce has become not really a problem; it is something rather casual, something that nobody pays much attention to. An option of divorce is often discussed even before marriage takes place. People get used to the idea that there is nothing wrong with getting divorced; moreover, timely divorce even looks like a manifestation of cold reason. The appearance of the words “contemporary divorce” itself shows that the technology of family relationships has so much degraded. Divorce today accords to the very mood of modern family life, which does not have that piety it used to have before.  Contemporary family became a way to spend some time, not a lifelong vow pronounced in face of God, associated with responsibilities and austerities.

At Vedic times, a pious wife was able to protect her children even from death simply by being faithful to her husband. Nowadays, pious behavior is extremely rare; therefore, karma comes through the closest family and relatives. It brings one a great amount of suffering. So, on one hand, we understand that the situation became unsolvable; however, on the other hand we also realize that even in a desperate situation, it is in our power to act honorably, sublimely, piously, humanly, and even spiritually. Therefore, one has to understand some important rules, by following which one will at least not make the situation worse by taking part in it and thus will not come under the influence of karmic laws that punish everyone who is in any way involved in this undignified process.

 

Part 2

A Threat of Divorce

The initial cause of divorce is always lust that does not allow one to live peacefully, pushing one to search for new pleasures.  The lust is based on the shape of the opposite gender; this shape has a nature of penetrating into the consciousness and staying there while one keeps it there. Its influence is definitely destructive.  For example, if one looks at a bottle of alcoholic beverage, he or she becomes slightly, maybe for one percent, drunk. Lust, however, doesn’t make one just slightly drunk; it affects one hundred percent. If one lets it into the sea of his or her consciousness, it will sweep their mind like a tsunami; don’t expect just slight waves…

On the other hand, divorce comes as a result of a philosophical dilemma. People expect great happiness in family life, but all they get is plenty of new responsibilities without the slightest trace of spiritual bliss. When advertisement is there, but the merchandise doesn’t fit the description, it causes natural irritation. Same way, behind the promises of eternal devotion and love, one finds just lies and nonsense. It is quite logical that many unsatisfied customers decide to purchase the product from a competing company. This way, an idea of divorce as a way of obtaining a product that matches its advertisement comes to existence.

Ultimately, one who is not the master of one’s senses is always in danger of becoming a victim of material energy. Even if one lives in the forest as a sage, the six wives – mind and five senses – always accompany him. But for the person who has gained control over the senses by understanding spiritual science and who finds joy and satisfaction within the self, even family life has no danger. This kind of person can see the difference between a commonplace attachment and true love. Attachment and love look very much alike, but their essence is very different. Actually, the attachment is the opposite of love, for despite the display of external signs of love, it constitutes hidden pride, envy, and hatred because it is based on a desire of possession and false ego.

The attachment  is based on the desire of possession; therefore, it is nothing but false love, cunning and crooked.  True love is selfless and unconditional, and if even the tiniest condition remains in our consciousness, it means that the self in this relationship is more important than the beloved. The self is kept in the center, and therefore the other person is just a means to achieve one’s own happiness. Thus, the main mood in such relationship is the one of exploitation, not love. Hence, the words ‘attachment’ and ‘exploitation’ basically have the same meaning. True love is in some sense similar to death; one has to completely give away one’s self in the service of one’s beloved, and that is why people are afraid of the true love.

Nevertheless, even when one realizes that the attachment does not bring real bliss, one still does not try to exchange it for the true love; one just changes a partner. It actually does give a feeling of being in love for some time, because this sensation accompanies both love and attachment.  However, after some time the suffering comes back, and one has to begin a search for a new object to conduct yet another egoistic experiment. And as long as one does not understand the difference between soul and body, one will be afraid of death, and so there will be fear of unconditional love. Death brings to an end only our physical body; love, on the other hand, brings death to the subtle body, comprising our precious mind and false ego.

So, to conquer death, one has to learn how to love, and love is based on selflessness, not attachment. Hence fighting with attachments leads to victory over death. When in love, we give up not only body, but mind and false ego as well. When in love, we give up even our intelligence (reason), and that is why love appears so much similar to madness. It is the reason why people of faith and people in love are so irritating to common crowd.  On the contrary, one who completely devoted one’s self to a worthy partner becomes absolutely peaceful. In this case, their whole life is based on complete trust rather than on their own egoism.

Love demands an absolute dedication to one’s love object. Attachment, on the contrary, tries to subjugate this object, ensuring the exclusive possession of the beloved. Therefore, selfless love brings about life, while attachment brings about death. So, if after the stage of initial attachment selfless love does not develop, then the partners are just killing each other, which is manifested in mutual hatred. This world is full of people falling in love with the consequent attachment, but there is no true love, for selflessness is not being taught.

Love also gets rid of fear. One senses fear when one is scared of losing something. The fear of losing is a sign of growing attachment. Instead of loving, one starts spying on the “love” object. If that “love” object will decide to leave, then for an attached person it is easier to destroy the object rather than let him/her go. Instead of love, mutual jealousy develops in the family, characterized by suspicion and vengefulness. Thus the object of love becomes a thing, for it is much easier to possess a thing than a person. And when love is completely destroyed, then love for material objects gradually increases, and love for people decreases. In a society where there is no true love, everybody loves material objects.

 

Part 3

If Divorce is Inevitable

If the relationship has dissolved, and partners do not want to be together anymore, still no one must say that it is all over, everything should be forgotten, and each partner has to start life anew.  A reasonable person would advise to wait and see how the situation will actually turn out because many families, after breaking up, thinking things over, criticizing, and even hatred, come back together and give it another chance. It is time that announces final resolutions, not just a person. If someone instead of time will tell the spouses that the end of their relationship has come, then the time will punish him/her for taking up its functions. Time does not only punish, it also cures; therefore, do not stay in its way. Maybe everything is not absolutely hopeless.

At this time, one should not start new relationships. Usually divorce indicates the beginning of destructive Rahu period. Unfortunately, it will not end as fast as one would like. Hence, one should not take final decisions of life importance at this negative period. One has to wait for it to be over and first see some signs of improvement; otherwise all the decisions made then will not be of any use, but will worsen the suffering.

If divorce is initiated for the sake of establishing other relations, and the decision has ripened long ago, then this family practically cannot be saved. The only thing left is to say clearly and firmly that it is very, very bad to do so. If one won’t tell it, he/ she will have to accept the responsibility for taking part in this sinful activity, even though one would seemingly save good and trusting relationship with that person. Therefore, with great kindness and compassion, friendly but very firmly, one has to advise how bad it is and what serious negative effects it will cause.

If you happen to be in this kind of situation, do not blame the partner. It will let you come out of this ugly situation with some dignity. If one wants to start his/her happy new life out of this unpleasant situation, one has to at least try to make it look as noble and honest as possible, or at least not degrading. Remember, the more respectful the divorce goes, the better chance of a good next marriage exists in the future. Divorce is the beginning of a new life, and if it starts with a sin, than one should try to reduce its impact to a minimum.

Even if something is our responsibility, we need to understand the effects of our actions. Thus, Arjuna thought about the effects of killing Ashvathama, who really should have been put to death by all the rules, but he still thought about what would happen to his mother in old age. And it was Krishna’s test, which Arjuna passed with flying colors. He showed us all an example of how not to act blindly. A sage cannot be blind. To be wise means to try to act so sublime, that no one would be able to disapprove one’s actions.

Spiritually developed person is also very experienced in everything (daksha). This is one of the 26 qualities that should be developed in the spiritual life. The Vedas comprise not only spiritual knowledge, but also material one, and the real sage must be qualified in all areas necessary. All the more, everything connected to the spiritual life is not material but spiritual as well. The only thing to understand is that if the consultant has no real experience in family life, his/her advice would be not as effective, for it is a very practical and sensitive area of expertise. The Vedas say that before one starts guiding another person, he or she must achieve something substantial in a given area. If it turns out well then one can take reins of government. As a proverb says, ”Doctor, heal yourself first”.

Finally, when consulting a troubled couple, one must understand that if the house does not have vigraha — the worship of God– then this house will become galagraha — a heavy burden. Though maintenance of the temple which you can turn your home into is always difficult, it brings spiritual bliss. Maintaining the empty house, which even God does not need, is a bone-breaking labor. Even a small step on the path of spiritual development can revitalize a house and make it more suitable for the spiritual life.

True love does not come “for something”, but rather “in spite of something”, sometimes in spite of a lot. That is how God loves us. Another thing is that the response to this love should be the desire to become as good as possible for the sake of those who love us. We need to learn real humility. When no one likes and appreciates us, we have to be able to say to ourselves, “I’m not worthy of love, so why should I take offense?” And when all of a sudden we start to be loved and appreciated, we must also be prepared to say to ourselves: “There is nothing to love me for – but the Lord wants me to pass this test.” And most importantly, we must learn to love other people also “for no reason.” In such a mood one can learn to solve all problems and overcome even insurmountable difficulties. Remember – the power is in humility!

 

Part 4

 Brief Instructions

Signs of an impending divorce

He does not like his wife’s cooking and prefers to eat out, hence eating food cooked by other women.

He does not like what his wife says, preferring talking to other women.

He does not like to spend money on his wife and spends it on other women.

How to deal with the threat of divorce

Increase the communication and start in a positive manner to clarify the situation.

Get help of elders or respected people.

Remove the negative impact of the opposite sex.

Reduce the demands from the partner that cause him/her discomfort.

Do not take the advice of those who were not able to save their own family.

If worse comes to worst, one can live separately or go away for some time with a good excuse to better assess the situation.

Remember, you must try to save the family just as you save the life of a child.

 If divorce is inevitable

Do not take this as the final decision, but as a way to see in which direction the relationship will develop.

Do not create a new relationship and do not make final decisions.

Divorce for the sake of creating a new family should be clearly denoted as a very bad thing.

Do not blame the partner in a divorce; it will allow you to get out of the situation with dignity and start a new life.

For advisors

Never say that divorce is now inevitable.

Even if the divorce happened, do not say that the relationship is over and it is time to create a new family.

Do not support the accusation of one partner against another.

Put as much effort into saving a family as you put into saving a child’s life

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Things to Be Kept Secret (a chapter from LIVING WELL ISN’T AGAINST THE LAW by V. Ruzov )

TOP SECRET.pngEven though this world is based on truth, it still requires balance. Therefore, sages admonish us that some things are best kept secret. The mystery is present within the Absolute Truth. Hence, in our material world there is also a place for mystery which becomes part of culture. To reveal some secrets untimely is as harmful as not to speak about the Absolute Truth in due time. There’s a proper time for everything. There’s time for full disclosure and a certain time for mystery and secrecy. A cultured person knows what kind of behavior to demonstrate in any given situation. In one word, mystery is not a lie. Rather, this is one of the aspects of cultural behavior.

The first thing meant to be kept secret, as sages say, is a good recipe for a strong medicine that you compound. Seems like, such a recipe should be told on every street corner. But in reality, if people use it incorrectly, the result may be completely opposite. A strong medicine can easily turn into a deadly poison. Moreover, this world is filled with those who want to enrich themselves quickly. This is why any working technology is copied and applied haphazardly and indiscriminately.

Simply to compound a strong medicine is not enough – one should use it properly. Usage details depend on circumstances, and only a professional knows that. Therefore, those who possess the secrets of powerful medicines are not eager to share them. And this is the way it should be. Otherwise, the whole world will be filled with fake drugs and thus, real poison. I personally know a producer of rather strong medications. And don’t even try to ask him how he does that. Just tell him about your problem, and he will say whether he can help you. And indeed, there were several cases when people were envious of his art and started to invent their own recipes. They intended to compound medicines that would have the same appearance and smell as the original ones. But all these cases ended in severe poisoning.

The second point, as recommended by the sages, is not to share the secret concerning your charity work. Good deeds are rare in this world. This is why they should be cherished like the most precious jewels. Only secrecy may help to keep a jewel. There’s no need to tell anyone where you keep your wallet. A man sometimes inadvertently pats on the pocket where he has money, and thieves notice that. They are aware of this reflex. Similarly, one shouldn’t blow one’s own horn for one’s own good deeds. Otherwise, pride will immediately notice that and take away all the benefits that came as a result of this charity.

How come? It seems that all is done and dusted. Why is it still possible to lose such good results? This is because a deed is considered accomplished only after the last emotions in our consciousness were revealed. If the last emotion was that of pride or self-admiration, a good deed is still unfinished, and there will be no result. A cake may look nice – so what of it? It must also be tasty. A customer can buy a cake from the store, but this is not the whole story. A customer may come back and complain about the bad taste of that cake.

Similarly, as a result of a good deed there should appear a sweet taste of humility, modesty and gratitude for the chance to commit it. If emotions of pride, arrogance and bragging arise instead, a dish is spoiled: it tastes bitter and nasty. No one will eat such a cake. At best, it would be thrown into the dustbin, or at worst it would be returned to the store. Therefore, we shouldn’t tell anyone about our good deeds. It’s a good exercise for generating proper reactions and emotions. Of course, we may have trouble cooking a complex dish for the first time. But if we know exactly how it should taste in the end, sooner or later we’ll do everything right, and everyone will be satisfied.

The third point that sages don’t recommend to dwell on is the austerity we perform. No need to go on about how you limit yourself in eating, sleeping, sexual relations and everything else. Austerity brings positive results only if it is combined with emotional asceticism. If I’m ascetic only at the external level, and bloat with self-pride inside, it’s not an austerity but a mere over-indulgence.

A real austerity involves both the inner and outer world of a person. For this reason we shouldn’t be overjoyed at the mere fact that something worked out well. Suppose you stayed awake all night and didn’t eat anything for three days. So what? This is your penance, isn’t it? What’s the point of telling others about it? We must share knowledge and not our pride. If we are capable of doing something, it doesn’t make a difference in itself. Only time can tell whether our austerity actually brought benefit to us.

Ascetic people can degrade just in the same way as non-ascetic ones. On the other hand, non-ascetic people can also make good and easy progress and keep their spiritual achievements. The level of asceticism is a question of taste. Tastes differ, you know. In exactly the same way, different people have different ideas concerning the standards they set for themselves. To facilitate progress, the standard must be set individually – it should suit me, not others. Therefore, there is no logic in taking any special pride in austerity. It’s ridiculous to think that everybody eats bread with butter and cheese, and I’m a great ascetic who eats only bread and butter. And once a month I don’t even spread butter on bread…

The forth point to be silent about refers to courage, heroism and other acts of bravery. These are grand deeds, but they are given to us as a test from God. Some people need to pass external tests and some people internal ones. External tests can be seen: one receives honors, rewards or wins fame for undergoing them. But no one sees how we cope with internal challenges. No one awards medals for that. Therefore, sages advise heroes of external victories not to boast of their achievements and to show respect to heroes of internal battles.

All the more so, we shouldn’t demand honor and respect for our heroic deeds from society. It was not the society that set such a task before us. It was our personal choice to become a hero. It was our own test, our own sense of duty. Since it was a matter of personal decision, it’s very strange if we stipulate for reward. It is the same as to sweep a street in front of the bank and claim salary for that later. You scraped away the litter in front of the bank. Well-done! But the bank didn’t become indebted to you. A hero must remember that he or she obtains a reward inside one’s own heart in the form of purification. But it can be extinguished by the desire to obtain external honors. Therefore, remember: a true feat is accomplished within our own heart afterwards, and the result is truly valuable.

The fifth point to remain unrevealed concerns spiritual knowledge. How come it seems like that? This is our main purpose, after all, to tell others about the Absolute Truth. But spiritual knowledge is manifold. It has different levels which are to be disclosed only according to one’s level of purification. Therefore, the main mistake of a novice distributor of truth is the willingness to share spiritual knowledge that is too advanced. Instead of bringing a power of good, it turns out to be confusing, disturbing and even frightening.

A novice preacher has a tendency to think that the more lofty the knowledge he/she tries to impart, the more it is purifying. However, this is just another snare of illusion. Any spiritual knowledge has equal purifying capacity. But knowledge that is too advanced can barely be perceived and put into practice. Therefore, sages admonish us: spiritual knowledge must first and foremost be practical. And thus, it must correspond to the level of perception of each and every individual.

On hearing about the spiritual reality, one should clearly and distinctly understand what he or she can do right now, what actual result it will bring, how it will purify the heart and how it will make him or her at least one step closer to eternal happiness. It’s no good telling things one won’t be able to put into action. Otherwise, one will become disenchanted with spirituality and think it’s sheer lunacy to waste time on something that brings no real result. This can be compared to talking about cakes and breaking up the party without even tasting anything or sharing a recipe.

The sixth thing better left unsaid is our morality. Indeed, we may be great vegetarians. We can practice non-violence and be proud of our pure life. But as long as we live in this world, our morality is still imperfect. Each day an ordinary person cannot but commit this or that form of violence. We can avoid the main types of sin but there remains an invisible sin. It has to do with violence because it involves annihilation of living entities or inflicting suffering on them. Specifically, this is commonly known as pancha-suna, or five great sins of a householder. Pancha-suna is described in the Smritis and shows that our behavior is far from perfect.

The first type of sin pertains to killing living entities during spice- and grain-grinding. The second sin is that of killing living beings when walking. The third one relates to killing in the process of harvesting. The forth one pertains to killing during the kindling of fire. The fifth one is the sin of killing living beings when boiling or drinking water. Therefore, in traditional Hinduism “pancha-maha-yajna” system is used. It is represented by five major sacrifices consisting of forty Vedic rituals. These are meant for householders.

One of the sacrifices is called brahma-yajna, or recitation of the Vedas. It is performed in order to discharge the debt to the sages who have given us this knowledge. Deva-yajna means offering worship to demigods who help us meet our daily needs. Pitri-yajna represents gratitude to ancestors. Through manushya-yajna one can repay the debt to society, by means of offering hospitality to guests, for example. Finally, bhuta-yagna is about showing compassion to living beings in a subtle form. Although we can’t see them, they exist and somehow or other interact with us.

Hence, being too proud of morality makes no sense. Otherwise, anyone more or less versant in spiritual science will immediately accuse us of a dozen of instances of our immorality. And not just immorality, but immoral hypocrisy. Once you declare yourself to be universally non-violent, they will point out at your leather shoes, silk clothing (poor silkmoth), and electric appliances (poor fish at HPPs, animals in flooded fields). And indeed, any manufacturing process is a small chemical warfare against environment. But we enjoy these products calling ourselves great moralists at the same time…

The seventh thing, better kept under wraps, concerns your family quarrels and family life in general. It’s not enough to install steel doors and PVC windows – one should also keep one’s mouth shut about what’s going on in that house. Remember: the less you talk about your family problems, the more close-knit and stable your family will be. We must wash our dirty linen at home, not in public. If you drop litter at the neighbors’ door, no one will like it. You must scrape it together and throw it into the dustbin.

Quarrel implies getting rid of negative energy which has accumulated in the process of communication. It’s not too pleasant, of course, but it brings about some purification, although aggressive one. But if we impart this energy to others, instead of getting rid of it, it will return to the family and only add to the existing problems. Therefore, if a family man tells his/her problems to surrounding persons, it brings to mind the following picture. It looks like going to the scrapeyard to throw away a garbage can, and returning back with the same full can, without having disposed of anything. Sewage system must perform its functions properly and carry all the wastes to the natural purifier. There’s no need to flood the neighbors with sewage water. No one will like it.

The eighth thing best kept secret is that the meals you provide are cheap cooked ones. Let those who help themselves to dishes appreciate their taste. Even the simplest food can be perfectly delicious. But if a cook starts to tell that he/she didn’t have enough money to buy olive oil, saffron, brown sugar or fresh ginger, it will spoil the pleasant impression of the meal. Bad mood turns off digestion, and food becomes poison. So, keep a good table, but don’t tell anyone how much you spend on it. Porridge and cabbage soup is but our native food!

The ninth thing better left unspoken concerns expletives and slang words that have been heard from someone else. As we mentioned before, contamination can be both gross and subtle. One’s shoes can get dirty in the street, and the same pertains to consciousness: it can also become polluted. If one comes home and says all the foolish things he/she heard on the way home, this can be compared to wearing shoes in the house. Previously it was considered uncultured if someone entered the house without taking off one’s shoes. In some places of the world this tradition is still preserved.

And the tenth thing best kept secret is our far-reaching plans. Sages advise not to talk about them until they are fulfilled. The bare fact that plans are sometimes fulfilled in this world is a miracle in itself. Any plan can easily be frustrated: one only has to find the weak spots in it and let everyone know. As soon as other people know our plans, the likelihood is great that someone may throw a wrench into them. Therefore, we must be aware of the fact that our plans are not just imperfect – they have many blank sides actually. An ill-wisher can easily heat a blot and ruin everything. Don’t give them a chance, which means that you shouldn’t disclose your plans unless necessary.

Finally, I’d like to remind you that a wise man doesn’t plume oneself on one’s humility, as well. This is because from time to time we are forced to take harsh, willed and even aggressive actions in our life. Therefore, let’s be humble inside because outwardly we sometimes have to turn into warriors to meet the challenges posed by life. Arjuna wanted to exhibit humility, go to the forest and escape from the war. But it could have turned into great shame…

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Nine Principles of Employment, Employment Issues, Youth Employment Problems (LIVING WELL ISN’T AGAINST THE LAW by V. Ruzov )

 

Now that we are living in the time of crisis, things are getting a little harder: someone is being fired, others change jobs on their own initiative, and some people are only beginning to think of their life activities. So how to make sense of this seemingly common issue – what job to apply for? What advice can be given to those who ask that sort of question? And almost everyone just now seeks to get this question answered…

Everything seems easy at a casual glance: a kind of job that lets you work less and earn more is the best of all possible jobs. If it’s also close to home, it’s a great piece of luck. But is such method of thinking effective? By no means always, as experience suggests. In fact, job satisfaction is no easy thing. Our work is not just about making efforts for money – a real third, sometimes even half of our life is spent at work. And it’s not only the wage rate that is important when we choose the way to spend this time. Some more fundamental principles exist that enable us to experience satisfaction not only after work, but in work, as well. How to achieve that? Let’s turn to world-wise sages for advice.

There are certain rules that existed for thousands of years. They give an insight into how to choose the appropriate work environment, and an appropriate place for any life activity in general. Understandably, there’s no point in having a job where we can’t meet basic needs. But on top of that, the following set of rules is worth-while and should be taken into account.

iStock_000000312589MediumFirstly, one is not recommended to stay long in a place where one is not treated with respect. If we talk about damnation, a place where one is held in low esteem is exactly the cursed place. We can’t live without air, and respect for us is the air for our consciousness. Without it we may not live much longer. When they treat you with contempt, it leads you to doldrums, being placed in a mental hospital room; it’s a straight road to alcohol addiction and even suicide. These problems are much spoken of in our time but few people can understand: this is simply the evidence of atmosphere of disrespect.

Secondly, it’s impossible to stay long in a place where you have no friends. Sounds like — what’s the big deal about that? We shall get along without their help. But in fact where there are no friends there are only enemies. It’s not a workplace any longer – rather it’s a battle for life that is short enough without adding this. How is it possible to stay calm and happy in the enemy’s rear? Life becomes sort of continuous self-defense. Under such conditions one must fully accept the rules of combat, but did we mean to become soldiers on a crisis spot? No, such atmosphere is far from being tranquil. Certainly we shouldn’t expect that absolutely everyone will become our friend, but at least some co-workers must be apparently friendly; otherwise it’s better that we push off, moving by bounds…

The third principle is even more interesting. A placement without training opportunities is also unsuitable both for work and for life. Without the opportunity to constantly acquire new knowledge, a person becomes stupefied very soon. In a stupefied state one cannot but make mistakes and act foolish. This in turn makes one devitalized and deprived of their job. Other people lose respect for such a person. One can even be held criminally liable and brought to trial. Therefore, all managers should remember one simple truth: where there are no training programs, there’s much thievery going on.

The fourth obligatory time-proved principle is that there must be people around you at the very least a little richer than you. Otherwise, what’s the point of making money in a place where there are no wealthier people around? Everybody only gets poorer in such a place. People can be divided into two conceptual categories: they are either growing richer step by step, or are gradually growing poorer. Just look around you and see the trend you follow. Is it a route forward, or are you sliding into poverty instead? Remember: if no one around you is on the mend, maybe it’s a room for lingering out one’s days that you are in…

The fifth principle pertains to the managers whose responsibility is not only to give orders and hand out wages, but to take real good care of their subordinates. A place where an elaborate caring system can’t be perceived is not exactly a workplace but a slaves’ plantation. They can get rid of you any time you make a slightest misstep. It has been well said that the rot starts at the top – if not even managers care about their employees, the outlook is pretty dim. I mean – when applying for a job we enhance our ability to care for others. Being neglected ourselves what can we impart to other people? We may turn into cynic slave-holders ourselves and coming home from work shout at our family members so they fulfill their household chores. In this way one can lose not only the job and humanness, but a family, as well.

Thus what makes a good employer is a fatherly attitude towards subordinates. Don’t merely search for a job – search for a family with the father at the head.

The sixth principle suggests that it’s better to work at a place where there is some charity or welfare practice involved. This points to the fact that you are employed by merciful and compassionate people. For one thing, we can learn from them, for another thing, when you mix with such people it’s not dangerous if something goes down like a lead balloon. They will always understand you and try to help. If there is no outreach for those in sore need of help, to work in such a place is as dangerous as in a prison or in an uncouth desert. Everyone thinks only of themselves. There are no lofty ideals, social work or genuine concern for others. But having a job is exactly the desire to take care of others. If there’s no such care, it’s not a job but a hotbed of selfishness and cynicism. The mood of serving people gives way to the feather-one’s-own-nest mood.

The seventh principle says that at a workplace there must be an occupational health doctor who would provide on-going recommendations for disease prevention and for treatment of those health problems that already emerged. We live in the world where different stages of human life run their appointed course. And as far as diseases are concerned, unfortunately, they are one of the aspects of our living. Only quite a healthy person is able to work, therefore, it’s reasonable to constantly look after health and take appropriate health care measures. If very few people seem to care, then it’s a place where everybody runs ragged to death. Think of a car driver who doesn’t care about their own car. This is so silly. We may only take a dim view of such a driver. The same holds true for such a workplace – we can’t expect anything much from it. It’s more like a horse barn where a horse is driven in first, shot up next.

The eighth principle relatable to the preceding one states that we may only work at such a place where leisure facilities are also thought of. Work and rest are two sides of the same coin. If we don’t care about recreation, we don’t care about the job itself. And how can we work in a place where no one thinks about the job? This is what is called madness. Therefore, learn about the customary leisure time activities at the job you are going to apply for. Get to know what is done for that, how much money is put up – and you will understand whether it’s decent work or another way to lose time, health and composure. As scriptures say: “He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all pains by practicing the yoga system.”

And the ninth principle lies in the fact that our co-workers should be more or less cultured people. The main criterion for that is the culture of speech. Sages don’t recommend working at a place where leadership, job and other staff members are constantly given damns and curses. A place where abuse is yelled out lacks right-mindedness, and without right-mindedness, there is no life. One should be afraid of being placed in a situation where intelligence is not applied. Under such conditions one may lose their own intelligence, health and peace of mind. One may even lose their soul. Money certainly isn’t worth it. Any activity requires strenuous efforts and some verbal confrontation coming from it, but it shouldn’t be cynical, dirty and offensive. Dirty words speak of dirty motives, and this is not the best option for a place where we spend a considerable part of our life.

A perfect place is surely impossible to find, but in case you notice at least some of the above-mentioned signs, a chance of success is still there. If you are not satisfied by their partial embodiment, start your own business and bring all these principles into life. And remember –if you want to do something well, do it yourself. Therefore, if you see some discrepancy, don’t be fiercely critical of that, rather try to make some improvements within your own sphere of influence, and if you succeed in doing so, others will be willing to follow the lead.

And now we’ll tag on a parable at the end.

One man decided to change the world. But the world was so large, and he was so small… There and then he decided to change his city. But the city was so large, and he was so small… Then he decided to change his family. But his family was so large – half a score of children! Thus the man made it to the only thing that was in his power to change, given that he was so small. And that was himself…

 

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Getting Through a Rough Patch in Your Life (chapter from “Living Well Isn’t Against the Law” by V.O.Ruzov)

img_1182Seems like, if only we could hit a lucky streak, we would live life to the max! Can it be difficult to live when all’s well, when it works like a charm; when our luck holds?

Alas, it’s not as cut and dry as it sounds. In fact, you can’t make your positive time period (a lucky streak) meaningful, if you don’t behave properly during the negative one (a losing streak). When in the midst of a losing streak, it’s impossible to get anything done. Things are going from bad to worse. People turn their backs on us… You feel like you’re crossing the mountains carrying a large burden on your shoulders. But on the plus side, you can embark on studying the science of meaningful life!

Sages say you can tell if someone hits a rough patch by his or her appearance. One walks about head down, as if overburdened with a heavy load. And indeed, at such times there is no one to help us carry our karma. In good times, we carry it together with others. Our relatives and friends, near and dear ones are always there to help us out. Their positive feelings toward us lend us wings to fly over the difficulties. They are praying for us and doing a lot of good; therefore it feels much easier than during the hard times.

You can also judge someone’s state of karma by their speech. How they say “yes” or “no” is a guide to that. If they answer firmly, apparently they are on a lucky streak. At the same time, confident behavior may as well be intrinsic to those with a lively, determined character. And if they hesitate to answer, it suggests he/she either hit a rough patch, or is a cautious, timorous personality.

The point is to understand why we walk through changes at all. Sages explain that life of a human being, like of any other material object, runs in cycles. Life is a series of changes that come in repeating patterns with a certain periodicity. So in order to accomplish a life goal, we also have to accept a sequence of changes we’ll have to go through diligently and gracefully.

In a nutshell, to meet your goals you must be open to changes. Changes are based on interactions of positive and negative life patterns. All this invigorates our consciousness and purifies our desires.

The majority of people are not ready for changes. This points to the fact that one is not mature enough to dedicate their life to a sublime goal. The more sublime the goal is, the more changes, or tough periods, you have to move through.

Many people begin studying astrology as they strive to know how to overcome tough times. They undergo various rituals, chant mantras for the planets or engage in even more esoteric pursuits which resemble more of a black art, indeed.

What we don’t understand is that life crisis is not a disaster. And it’s not the end of the world. It’s not meant for useless suffering. Rather, this is the time that requires sensible decisions to be made. The word “crisis” is exactly translated as “decision”. Every time you face a life crisis, it marks a transition between two positive periods. And it requires you to pass an exam. If you do well, you’ll be allowed to pass to the next level. This means that upcoming positive period will be rich in new interesting events.

But if we fail our exams, if we simply feel anxious and bad about everything, our next lucky streak will repeat everything that happened over the last period of good luck. Practice makes perfect.  The conclusion is that to keep our life interesting we must learn how to ace exams during exam times, or life’s rough patches. Next higher level will come then. New, interesting events will ensue.

Rough patches highlight changes in our life. Although they come with new challenges, is there anything bad in taking your education to the next level? Hence, the attempt to avoid rough patches is the direct attempt to avoid positive changes. This is not only impossible – this is simply not sensible. Struggle to avoid rough patches suggests our desire to get left back in the school of life. Change in life is inescapable for every material object. But a human being is different from all others in that he/she can understand the meaning of these changes. If we don’t have that understanding, our human life hasn’t yet started. This is why people suffer from despair so often and think life is suffering and preparing for death.

Losing streak checks our readiness to make bold, sensible decisions. The problem lies not in the losing streak itself but in the unwillingness to be determined and assume responsibility. It is for this reason that problems occur. In all other respects, a losing streak is no more dangerous than a lucky one. Anyway, we must abandon the desire to sit and wait out, hoping that difficulties will resolve themselves. It’s as good as to stay motionless in the middle of the road and shut your eyes to the oncoming car. If we don’t take effective actions, we doom ourselves to disaster that will not be long in coming.

The struggle to do so is virtually endless. It will continue throughout the whole material life. But without this struggle with oneself spiritual growth is impossible. In fact, there’s nothing negative about rough patches. It’s more accurate to say that rough patches are maturity test periods that check our readiness for new discoveries.

This knowledge is of prime importance as it protects those who are aware of it against hasty decisions and despair. At the same time, full information on negative time periods is classified as insider astrological knowledge. That’s too deep for ordinary people who are likely to find themselves shaking with fear in anticipation of these events. Fear is not the best companion, as we walk the path of life. Therefore, it’s quite sufficient to know how to manage through such hard times.

Astrologer must give a complete insight into the system of development. It is based on harmonious combination between teaching and examination periods. Proper behavior during these specified periods will make us intelligent and thus happy. It is only complete insight into the system of spiritual advancement that enables people to get rid of fears. One starts to see the glorious victory behind all the troubles.

And now let’s turn to sages for practical advice. They give us some tips on how to conduct ourselves properly.

If your strength oozes away, if you lack buoyancy during these trying times, it is suggested that you start spiritual life and become a sadhu – the one who is interested in spiritual science only. Depression strengthens and becomes chronic; people suffer torments only because they don’t know this secret. They fail test that precisely checks their skill to focus on spiritual things. Thus, remember: if your strength gave out, it’s time to become a saint. You will love this!

If you lose wealth, prosperity, money or possessions, it’s time to live like a monk, become a brahmachari, and finally, start to control your sexual drive. Remember: if there’s no money, family or members of the opposite sex by your side, there’s no room for comfort and entertainment. If money is taken away by the twist of fate, it’s time to pass the test of austerity and loneliness. Loneliness itself can’t solve problems but it can help to embark on a journey of spiritual knowledge. So keep in mind: if money is tight, time is ripe to become a student.

If crisis comes to a woman in the form of aging problems, she must become devoted to her husband and try to make him happy. In any case, later-life crisis must bring family together. Our social circle tends to become smaller in old age. Only close family members can be there to understand our condition during this time. In other words, older people are not needed by anyone, except their relatives. So it would be awfully unwise to ruin relationships by grudging behavior or nagging. Remember: old age is a sign that you must grow to love your relatives, get to like something you had no special liking for in prior years.

If crisis comes in the form of disease, we must fully surrender to the Lord. This tests our spiritual devotion. Neither physicians nor relatives can really help an ill person.  They are nothing more than instruments in the hands of fate. Powerless to help us, they can only observe how things take their course. Hence, remember: when you’re ill, it’s time to build relationship with God since everything is in His hands only.

An additional point is that in the negative period we expect sympathy from others. But our anguish doesn’t always stir up sympathy. There’s a whole category of people who are not affected by our suffering at all. It is stated in the Vedas that a manager, a doer of the law, unfaithful person, thief, youngster and a beggar can’t understand the sufferings of others. If someone in your immediate circle falls under one of those categories, don’t even expect they’ll understand your hardships. Because people don’t know these exceptions, they often get offended, as they expect sympathy from those who are not destined for that.

Expensive artwork made by a modern artist was once featured in an exhibition. It was made of plastic bags and was acknowledged as one of the top mould-breaking artworks of the year. But there was one problem: night after night new janitors would come. Each of them thought it was a heap of rubbish and threw it in the garbage. Finally, exhibition contractors were fed up with that. They had to put up a notice that said: “This is not a rubbish pile. Please don’t throw it away.” The work was sold for $50,000$.

Another case is even more astonishing. Not so long ago a woman won a court case. She brought an accusation against a man suffering from epilepsy. The woman claimed she suffered stress when she saw his face during the seizure. And the court held that the man was obliged to pay $5,000$ reimbursement for moral damages. So goes the word. Don’t put your hopes for sympathy up too high.

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