Recently, I went on a travel in this hot summer and after coming home, I fell mildly sick. I was quite weak on one of the days. In my moment of physical weakness, I reached out to YouTube to engage myself. Surprisingly, in this state of physical weakness, my mind resisted to listen to spiritual lectures on YouTube. It only craved entertainment. (This experience taught me clearly how a weak body can weaken the mind and why good health is very important to stay in the path of spirituality.)
I gave in to my mind’s demand for entertainment and I casually browsed YouTube. I found a channel with family dramas. Ok, it looked interesting and I started watching the videos. I binge watched around 8 videos. These videos are not related to any of my goals in life. They did not teach me love, compassion, gratitude, peace, discipline. They did not make me intelligent. They did not teach me anything new about life.They are just for entertainment with beautiful settings, nice dresses, food and good looking people.
After this binge watching, my mind is very mesmerized by these videos and it started telling me new goals. It said – ‘Hey Geethanjali! Enough of your goals and spirituality! Why dont you live a new life? Spend time in shopping, getting new dresses, travelling, selfies. Dont be so serious in life.’ Ok, I too found these goals to be interesting. My mind made many plans. I also started behaving differently. My way of speaking has changed. My actions have changed.Unknowingly, I was imitating these characters I have watched. My husband was surprised and asked – ‘What happened to you? Are you alright?’
Thats when I realized that there is an unhealthy change in me. Oh my God! What am I doing and thinking? Just 8 videos could undo my years of spiritual work on myself. It was unbelievable to me. I came to my senses and realized how my mind has become. After this realization, I did energy healing on myself and removed this garbage from the mind. I unsubscribed from the channel and read something spiritual which took me in the direction of my goals. I came back to my normal self.
This experience taught me the power of association. If spending few hours of my time on a junk channel changed me this much, what will happen if I watch these videos everyday? There is nothing wrong in dresses, locations, food etc but believeing that they alone will bring me happiness and I should passionately pursue them is foolish. I know from my past experiences that they can never bring me deep satisfaction. But watching these videos continuously made me temporarily believe that these are my goals and I should pursue them. This is the power of wrong association.
Scriptures tell us that just by being associated with noble people, we can progress very quickly in our lives. I have experienced this too in my life. Before I met my mentors Ruchi Sanjil, I knew nothing about spirituality. I believed lots of money will make me happy in life and money was my only goal. Association with my mentors gave me new knowledge, new goals and changed my entire life. I embarked spiritual journey and became a better human being because of my association with them. Everytime I interact with them, I learn something new and progress. This is the power of right association.
So, what are we watching everyday? Whom are we spending our time with? What are we reading? Where are we going? What are we eating? All these impact our mind and personality. Here are 9 ways to bring right association into our lives.
- Consciously, seek the company of noble people. If they are friends or relatives to you and they are ok to give you time, call them once in a while or visit their home. If they are your teachers and don’t have time for individual interaction, attend their classes now and then even if its a review. Somehow, be associated with these noble people. They can help you progress quickly in the right direction in a short span of time. One of the best ways to spend time with noble people is to serve them. They may have some projects for the welfare of others which need help. So, ask them if you can serve them in some way.
- Read books written by Gurus and Saints. Reading a good book is equal to spending time with a wise person. Its like interacting with their aura, thoughts, emotions and soul.
- Read stories and words of God and his devotees like Ramayanam, Bhagavatham, Mahabharatham, Bhagavad Gita.
- Be part of good whatsapp groups which spread positivity.
- Practice meditation regularly. Every minute you spend in meditation is like associating with divinity.
- Practice Psychotherapy(Level 3 of Healing) on self. It helps in removing the garbage in the mind and filling the mind with divine energies.
- Have a spiritual buddy in life. For me, its my husband Balachander. Whenever I fall down from the right path, he is there to help me see that and remind me of the right path again. This support is very much needed in spiritual journey. Spiritual journey is a lifelong journey and there will be up’s and down’s. We all need that one spiritual friend who can empathize with us and help us come back on track again.
- Listen to lectures by great people on YouTube. Its a beautiful platform that can help us be associated with noble people if we use it rightly.
- Practice mantra chanting. This is an excellent way to be associated with the divine.
These are some ways to build right associaton in our lives.
My recent experience has clearly taught me the importance of association. I hope I don’t fall again into wrong association. I thank my spiritual buddy Balachander for helping me come out of the wrong association quickly. Ending this blog with these lines of Shankaracharya from Bhajagovindam.
Satsangatve nissangatvam, nissangatve nirmohatvam,
nirmohatve niscalatattvam, niscalatattve jivanmuktiH.
Meaning: “Through the company of the good, there arises non-attachment; through non-attachment there arises freedom from delusion; through freedom from delusion there arises steadfastness; through steadfastness, there arises liberation in life”
Sarve jana sukhino bhavanthu!
-Contributed by Geethanjali Balachander