Do you sometimes feel down, bored and depressed during the day?
Do your daily duties, challenges and responsibilities overwhelm you and make you feel a monotony and disenchantment with your life?
What can you do to add some inspiration and energy into your everyday life?
In this article, I will be sharing some ideas on how to do this, from an ancient spiritual text commented on by my guru, Swami Chinmayananda. The text is the Sadhana Panchakam. It is written by Adi Shankaracharya, a master of Vedanta. In it are 5 verses with various pointers for a spiritual seeker.
Inspiration arises when there’s a sense of purpose, meaning, and love for life, and what we do. It uplifts us with a fresh energy to meet our lives.
The highest inspiration comes from the various spiritual writings of the world.
The very first verse of the Sadhana Panchakam tells us to “read the scriptures daily”. This not only refers to scriptural textbooks from various faiths, but also, any books of knowledge or inspiration that contain the higher truths of life.
The higher truths of life teach us about things such as our intimate connection to God and each other, our divine spiritual essence, and the purpose of our lives. They guide us to grow and evolve, overcome negative thinking, and gain happiness, so we can live in peace and harmony with the world and ourselves.
Gain Inspiration, then Live it
“Reading” the books does not mean a mere superficial reading. We should read with the intention of absorbing the truths into ourselves, and making them our own by living them. Only then will the ideas transform our lives.
These days, with the plethora of inspirational writings on the Internet, we have access to some beautiful messages. However, there is a tendency to gloss over what we have read, and move on to the next thing.
I have done it myself. For instance, I often come across some inspiring sayings and messages on Facebook. I usually give them a “like” and sometimes, I might share them with others. But more often, I simply move on to other posts, sites. or checking my email.
Sadly, the inspiration hardly lasts more than a few minutes.
Read Early Morning and Just Before Bed
Swami Chinmayananda tells us that it’s a good idea to read and reflect on scriptural literature early in the morning, before we start our workday. That way the sublime ideas will uplift us and colour all our interactions for the rest of the day.
I dedicate 20-30 minutes at the start of my day to read and reflect on a few lines, or a page in a textbook on Vedanta.
Another good time to read something inspiring or uplifting is a couple of hours after dinner, or just before bedtime. This way, the mind is relatively relaxed.
Reading before going to sleep imbeds the ideas in our subconscious even when we are asleep. You may have noticed that the thoughts you entertain just before sleeping are the same ones you wake up with.
Serve Others as a Dedication to the Divine
Right knowledge improves our actions. Spiritual literature tells us that our bodies are not who we really are. We are pure spirit using them to transact and function in life.
The Sadhana Panchakam reminds us that our bodies are not meant merely to enjoy worldly pleasures. It advises us to use our bodies to perform actions that will help others, and serve their greater good.
As we serve others through our actions, we can dedicate those actions in loving dedication to God or a higher power. Dedication is simple—we can mentally say, “For you O Lord” whenever we do an action.
Performing our actions in this way, divinizes our lives and make them the means to grow spiritually.
Strength to meet Life
As we take up the daily discipline of reading something inspiring or spiritual on a daily basis, the ideas will gradually seep into our psyche and shape our character.
They will give us the mental strength and fortitude to stand by higher values of life, so we can face our challenges with greater strength and ease.
They will also give us the inspiration to uplift ourselves, and the lives of others through our daily actions.
Life will never become boring or mundane. There will be a glowing enthusiasm and zest for living.
This is how to stay inspired in life.
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