Erase past, aim for betterment
We can erase bad memories except lessons learnt from them and keep the good ones to cheer ourselves whenever we feel low, believes AJIT KUMAR BISHNOI
What does death do? Not only does it take our bodies, material possessions, etc, but it also takes away all memories of actual details of our lives except some jumbled reminiscences which appear sometimes in our dreams in future births. Then, what is the lesson? We go through many experiences in our lives, some great ones but others not so good. What should we do with them, because they are embedded in our psyche? If we are wise, we will keep on relishing the good experiences, ie keep them alive in order to make us feel good when not feeling so great. For the bad experiences, learn some lessons and erase them from memory. This is how you do it. Any time the thought appears, shut it out firmly. They are gone; we don’t have to suffer them if we are on the right course. This is what God expects us to do when He states in the Bhagavad Gita that even if a person of very bad conduct worships God with undivided attention, he should be considered pious only. (9.30) What we did in the past is not important; what we do now is.
Let me cite some examples how forgetting the past is not only wise but practical too. Let us assume that we had neglected our studies earlier or in some particular subject. No one will stop us if we revisit the same and become proficient. Similarly, suppose we have a strained relationship with a close relative, who will stop us from rectifying the mistake by apologising and starting afresh? Imagine that we were very lusty earlier and did many stupid things. Now that we have realised our foolishness, it is time to begin purifying the self.
The same holds true about hating, being greedy, the habit of getting angry, etc. Are these something to be proud of? Certainly not. Then get over them at the earliest. Most of us have the problem of being smitten by ego. This fault gets the best of us and inflicts enormous damage to our lives. And it is very hard to give up, because we identify ourselves with our material bodies and minds only. This is the last barrier for peace and bliss even for saintly persons. Once we come to the soul level, our connection with God comes alive and we are on course to develop a lasting relationship with the Almighty, which ensures peace and bliss.
If any sins were committed, ask for forgiveness from the Lord — the ultimate arbiter of our destiny. He forgives us, as mentioned in the quoted verse, as long as we do as instructed by Him. Who hasn’t committed sins in one’s life? Why, then, feel horrible about it? One should feel terrible if one is not repentant and is continuing to sin. Then there is major trouble ahead. Our lives are meant for doing our duties. (3.8) And we should know what these are as determined by time, place, and circumstances. And these should be done following dharma. Our conscience tells us. Make sacrifices. This is the binding force of the creation. We sacrifice for others and others do likewise. This way we are able to obtain all that we need for our existence. (3.10) More important than sacrifices is to give unconditional love to others. This is crucial for our emotional well-being.
We must enjoy life, otherwise what other purpose could there be to live eternally? However, this must be done in an appropriate manner. (6.17) Purifying our existence is another crucial requirement for not only making progress in life but to have a high quality life. (5.11) Rather our lives should be examples for others to emulate. (3.21) Mind should be controlled. (6.35) Otherwise nothing proper is possible. Peace can only be achieved if the mind is controlled, failing which our minds will be our worst enemies. Lastly, human lives are meant for not only making material progress to give us comfortable living but also to make progress spiritually, which qualifies us for superior births in the future besides making the present blissful.
We can do even better than death; we can erase bad memories except lessons learnt from them and keep the good ones to cheer ourselves whenever we feel low. Death makes an almost clean sweep; we don’t have to throw the baby with the bathwater.
Bishnoi is a spiritual writer and can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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