For many people, the world seems to be place full of pain and misery. There seems to be too much violence, injustice, inequality and evil. Most people in the modern world are not happy and healthy despite tremendous material and medical technology growth brought by science. Even those people who have acquitted everything in their life and reached to the pinnacle of their power and prosperity seem to be unhappy and unsatisfied.
Yet amidst the magnitude of unhappy people, we are often surprised to find people, who seem to be extremely happy and healthy. When we closely look at their life, we find that their happiness and health comes to them without any effort in the most natural manner. They seem to have no complaint from the world and its people. They seem to like most people around them. They have a number of friends and hardly any enemies. They have just the right weight, do not suffer from any illness and live a life full of vitality and joy.
We often wonder how is it possible for some people to have so much fun in this world while we suffer so much.
Perhaps they are just lucky to be born with the right genes and from the wealthy parents?
Yet soon we discover that such people are not really blessed due to their birth. They are often born from ordinary parents from ordinary families and suffered the same painful life in their childhood. We are then surprised to find that almost all great people like Gandhi, Buddha, Stalin, Hitler, Mao or Obama rose from very ordinary life to become the ideals of their nation and even the world.
Such people become ideal for their generation as very person wants to become like them.
People want to transform themselves to become like their ideals so that they can have an ideal life.
Can we transform ourselves to become like the people whom we admire and respect? Hidden behind our desire of transformation is the sole desire of man to become happy and healthy.
The Dream of Happiness Health and happiness seems to be different and one pertains to body while the other pertains to mind. One is measurable and other is not. Yet they are not distinct but two sides of the same coin.
One can not be happy if he is not healthy nor one can hope to remain healthy if he has lost happiness.
The truth is that health and happiness goes hand in hand with each other. You get one and you get the second one as a free bonus.
Three Paths of Salvation
In Indian philosophy and Hindu Religion, there are three paths of salvation. Salvation in Hinduism means to become one with Divine and become free from the pain and misery of the mortal world.
The Indian philosophy of Gita suggests that man can achieve divinity by following the path of
– Knowledge of God ( Gyana),
– Action of God (Karma)
– Love of God (Bhakti).
The soul of man is eternal that can neither be created nor destroyed. Just like a man changes his cloth, the soul changes the body when it becomes old and takes a new body (new birth). However, the new body depends on the accumulated karma. Hence one gets a better birth if he does good karma while one is born in a worse body, if he does bad karma. Based on the karma, man can be born in the body of any specie.
With good karma, man keeps on rising higher in the ladder of birth after death. When a person’s good karma becomes as good as divine, he becomes one with God, i.e. become free from the cycle of birth and death.
How can you work like God? In other words, how can you work as the God would have liked you to work?
Every karma and action is not divine. Gita, therefore, calls only selfless action as the divine karma. Yet karma is not same as rituals prescribed in the scriptures which are inflexible and seems to be an end in itself. No one can act like divine unless he knows the thoughts of divine.
Hence Gita provides knowledge of divine as the second path. If you can know the mind of God you can work like God. Thus a person seeking salvation by knowledge has to learn numerous scriptures of the saints to understand the mind of God. No doubt, most people are not capable of such feet and can not achieve salvation by knowledge.
Hence Gita provides love or Bhakti as the way to understand the mind of the God. When a person is in love with another, he seems to understand the mind of his love without any effort.
Three Paths of Transformation
Einstein once said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. It is because every particle of the universe seems to follow same law. Hence if you know the particle, you know the universe and vice versa. The same philosophy was stated by Indian philosophers in the concept of “I am Universe” (Aham Brahmasmi). So if you know yourself, you have known the world because the universe is same as you.
Thus the same principles that have been described in Gita to achieve salvation, i.e. to become like divine can be easily applied for any purpose. If we wish to transform ourselves to become like another person, we can do it by following any of the three paths.
(1) Transformation by Action
One of best method to transform yourself is by repeating the action of the person who is your ideal. It is the simplest formula of transformation. If you wish to become like Christ, just follow the actions of Christ (rather than remembering the worlds of Bible). The action of man is intricately linked with his real self. Christ stated very cleary,
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)
Buddha too said,
“He who sees me, sees the dhamma (the teaching), and he who sees dhamma sees me.”
Therefore, all good Christians must follow the life of Christ and all good Muslims must follow the life of Mohammad. If you follow the life of Buddha, you automatically get Enlightenment.
It is easy to know the life of a person from his biographies and from the history. The lives of the lesser known people can be known with little effort. The lives of great people are known to the world. You can know what they did in their life and if you repeat the same, you are bound to reach to the same destination.
When you repeat the action of a person several times, till it become a natural act for you, you get transform in the process and become like that person.
(2) Transformation by Knowledge
Karma is an easy path in theory, but extremely difficult in practice. The reason is that the world and people are changing every moment. Hence by the time, you start practicing the lives of these great people, the world has changed and the situations are different. What worked in the time of Gandhi would not work now.
Therefore, it is important to understand the world as it is. Buddhist believed that every person must understand the principles of Buddha rather then following or idolizing Buddha. All type of idolizing leads to idol worship which is extremely dangerous as people worship the person rather than his thoughts.
Thus, if you read the thoughts of great men and developed an understood his mind, you can follow the person under any situation. Once you have known the thought of the person and absorbed these thoughts in your self, these thoughts transforms you and you become same as that person. In the words of Gautam Buddha,
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”
(3) Transformation by Love
Love is the most mysterious force on this world because it transforms the person automatically. When a person “falls in love”, his soul become one with his loved one. Thus people in love are called two bodies one soul as they may have two bodies yet they have the same thoughts and feelings as their souls have become one.
Thus when you fall in love with another person your own identify is lost and you become one with the lover. Therefore, if you want to become like another person, you just have to love that person with all your heart and all your soul. Soon you will become like that person.
It is for this reason that every single scripture ask people to love God as love transforms a man automatically. If you start loving God, you become like God and achieve salvation. Bhakti or devotion is therefore, integral part of every religion.
There are ample examples of transformation by love.
In India, Gandhi created a generation of people who believed in nonviolence so much that they could give their life but not hurt any other person. The struggle of Indian to free their country from the British rule was fought without shedding any blood. Once people loved Gandhi, even without any action on their part they became like Gandhi.
Almost on the same time, Millions of people were in love with Hitler. The Germans and Austrians, who loved Hitler soon became like Hitler. They saw nothing wrong in killing millions of innocent people particularly the Jews like Hitler, as by their love, they got transformed.
Love is therefore, a dangerous method of transformation. If you fall in love with wrong person, your life may be ruined. However, love continues to be the easiest method to know the mind and soul of any person as you know everything about the other person whom you love.
Love however poses another problem. You can love only a live person and not a dead or unknown person. Hence how can you become like Christ or Gandhi by falling in love with them. Humanity has, therefore, invented idols to help a person falling in love with a person, who does not exist in the mortal world.
People go to Churches and Temples and pray before these idols. Thus for a devotee the idols are not made of stone or wood but like the real person. They just fall into love with the idol who represent for them God. It is for this reason that even Buddha who always preached against idol worship could not escape the idolization of the self and today there are more idols of Buddha than any other deity.
Need for Transformation
All of us think that we are all right, unless we fail to solve our own problems. It is like a overweight person, who find many good reasons to remain overweight. He can blame everyone starting from his genes to his lifestyle, to his habit to his profession for his weight. He continues to do so until a point comes when he can not believe himself this false logic and accepts the truth. Once he starts searching the truth, he finds no alternative but to transform himself to make himself lean and thin.
In the same way, every person seems to accept that he is fine and needs no transformation. He keeps on following his nature till he finds that he fails to get the result what he planned. Then he wishes to change himself to become like one, who is happy and healthy.
Then, he can transform himself by following any of the three method above.
The Best Method of Transformation
Which method is best for transformation?
The answer to his question is not easy. One has to search within to find which method suits him. He can start from any method as final the destiny of the three paths is one, i.e. transformation of self to the right personality.
One path automatically leads to another.
If you just do the right action, transformation of thoughts and faith is inevitable. It is for this reason that every religion provided rituals and prayers as the first step of religion. If you start going to Temple, Mosque or Church regularity, you just can not help transformation to a religious being. If you start doing exercises, you soon become a healthy and fit person. Gradually, the right knowledge emerges from within.
If you start transformation from knowledge, your action automatically become one with knowledge. No human being would like to do anything that he knows is wrong and harmful.
Once you have the right knowledge, you just can’t do the wrong act.
Can you drink a glass of milk, if you know that it is mixed with poison?
Once the synergy between thought and action is established, the person gets transformed and his self gets transformed.
Be The Right Person
It is wisely said that we do not see the world as it is but what we are. For a good man, the world is full of good people while for an evil person the world is an evil place. Therefore, the only method to make a better world is by the transformation of the self. Once this simple truth is understood, the transformation of the self is the only alternative for the transformation of the world. It is not difficult to find many people, who seem to be in tune with this world and enjoy health and happiness in their life. We can make those people as our ideal and transform ourselves like them by following any of the three methods. Once you get transformed, happiness is not far away.