Dear AD, Please tell me what is discipline? – Smita
Beloved Smita, I know when you are asking this question you are referring to some sort of guidelines in terms of conducting your everyday routine. I also know why are you asking this question for I know you at times feel guilty of not being able to follow a fixed routine.. (smiles) but remember discipline is for more vast and encompasses even your behaviours and thought processes which are normally not visible to others and it has a purpose. For without purpose there can be no merit in any method.
For normal people getting up at 5:30 AM and doing regular exercise, timely meals, fasting once a week, punctuality in office, keeping promises of meetings, drinking only once a week and partying every Friday night gives feeling of being disciplined. On the other hand for so called holier than thou this list gets longer and almost fanatic.. Different religions offer different “to-do-list”.. for some offering prayers 5 times a day, for another “sandhya vandan” twice, for yet another group “Homam or agni vandan”, for some attending the “mass” every Sunday and for some discipline is about spending 8 years 24×7 in the cremation ground and so on.. The question is not what is discipline and how do different people define it but the real question is why is discipline needed at all?
First of all you should understand that the cyclic movement be it of matter or mind produces transformational and creative forces. Each cyclic or rhythmic movement has its own characteristic energy associated with it depending on the locus of movement and all the events which are touched in a complete cycle of it. Whole science of “Mantra” is based on this principle and mantras need to be chanted repeatedly following a specific pattern of syllable and then there is “purashcharan” which means after certain number of repetition the chanting will be able to release certain amount of transformative energy. That the mantra shall become energized possession for you and you can use the power of it at your will. The discipline means forming rhythmic patterns around you.. predictable and precise. And when you are able to sustain a particular discipline it is able to manifest the appropriate result which is characterized by its content. Discipline is about creating up-lifting energy cycles around you.. the cycles which are capable of turning in to cyclones and will have power to transport you to a new level of existence.
Smita, If you observe this universe minutely and meditatively you can clearly see that smallest of event follows a rhythm, a pattern a definite cycle under an operating principle unless disturbed. The so called evolution of life from matter and its culmination to the powerful species of humans on this planet has been outcome of series of disciplined (rhythmic) events. The world has not been created by God or the supreme consciousness in flat 6 days as some preach.. It is most illogical and unscientific to think that it has been created without series of principled events for only rhythmic ways are capable of creation. Series of events without having a way to be able to restore to its initial stage are only devastating and destructive just like a nuclear bomb.
In fact the evolution or growth is nothing but triad of intrinsic forces or causes operating concurrently through universal principles or laws to produce effects.. whether tangible or intangible for human senses. These universal laws or principles are called so because they are obeyed universally i.e. in all the places.. all the time in this eternity of time and space i.e. universe and universe is not what you see outside.. it is equally within. Buddhas, Masters of universal energy and Vedic seers have seen it so vividly so clearly that they could declare “Yatha Pinde tatha Brahamande”.
The visible discipline is external reflection of the state of internal harmony and rhythms of creative forces that are rooted in the universal principle . This is perfected through continuous, relentless and patient practices. In such a state there is no conflict.. neither inner nor outer. In such a state a person feels empowered and is at ease with himself. In such a state you are in complete rest.. sense of peace and joy comes from within. This is nothing but the outcome of being completely disciplined.
Being disciplined is far more than having a fixed routine in your day to day life it is definitely about following a definite pattern in life albeit with total awareness without which you shall not be able to grow in the spiritual domain. When your outer circumstances and compulsions don’t allow you to follow a fixed routine the methods need to change. These should focus on creation of inner discipline instead. It would amount to failure of a spiritual master if he is not able to provide protection to the inner flame of inquiry of a seeker if he or she is not able to conduct in a fixed routine. The methods must be changed then and I know these changed methods equally help you in reaching your goal for these enhance the level of your awareness. But awareness does not need to taken for being goal oriented for when you become interested in results you lose the skill.. Chuang Tzu has said this so very beautifully..
When an archer is shooting for fun
He has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle
He is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold
He goes blind
Or sees two targets –
He is out of his mind.
His skill has not changed,
But the prize divides him.
He thinks more of winning
Than of shooting –
And the need to win
Drains him of power
This is the approach of a chinese master who is professing “Gita’s” Karmayoga in disguise. There have been millions of masters so far and each one of them had his unique approach to take you to this state of harmony.. a state of heightened awareness. Depending upon their temperament and psychic built each used specific handle for bringing about change in your inner chemistry but remember you are always in the center. Only you can ensure the efficacy of your master’s methods for he is giving you methods a pattern to follow but the awareness is something which only and only you can bring in and without awareness and meditation any amount of discipline is of no use.
I give methods to people which suit their profession, their temperament, their conditioning, their karmic baggage.. You have come a long way I can see. So don’t feel guilty of not being able to fix your life in a routine for that will take away the purpose of your social existence. The locus of your behaviour in persuasion of real discipline shall emerge from meditativeness so my advice to you is still the same – just stay aware of every single heart beat, every breath and every step you take.. be in the state where you are able to listen to what you are saying… intensify your practices and you will take astounding leaps. The result of this inner discipline takes you to the same goal where external discipline can. Even earlier than what external practices can.. because external things can become ritualistic and you can cheat others.. you may start taking pride in your discipline because it is visible to others but when it is about innner discipline of following a practice a technique you are in the seat of judge and remember that judge never gives wrong verdicts.
Love and light
– Ach. Agyaatdarshan Anand Nath