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Article Directory - The Ruling Powers



Life is perfect…when we alone are in control. From a young child exploring its world to adults fighting against terrorism, everyone wants to be powerful in their own fields. What is this 'power' we covet? Is it merely the ability to control other’s behaviour or circumstances? Why has it gained a negative shade?

No matter how many governing powers exist today - money, beauty, education, prestige, intelligence, nuclear power etc. - every great leader knows that real power goes beyond. There are many schools of thought regarding life. No one wishes to accept that an external force is driving us, be it a Supreme Energy or fate because freedom is an innate quality; more so, it is our right. Physical or mental power stems from deep within. But as is often seen, anything in excess is unhealthy; being truly powerful involves reaching equilibrium. This is why every child is born with the right to live as it wishes but also with the intellect to decide how to use that freedom. For instance, a physically strong individual can perish if he or she chooses brawn over brain. Power, in the true sense, is to be in charge of one's own character. Whether we are dealing with human relationships or unavoidable circumstances, ‘the only thing I can change or rather, I have complete right to change, is myself'. Our most precious assets are the mind (thoughts), intellect (decisions) and personality traits or sanskaars. But today, human beings are more a slave to their desires and circumstances; thoughts run like wild horses, decisions are based on insecurities, fear, society etc. and weak habits govern our thinking and actions. How can I truly show my authority over situations when I am unable to rule myself?

The 5000-year old Raja Yoga meditation teaches us self-sovereignty. It is highest form of yoga. It is the meditation that makes us a King (or Raja) of the Self. Very often, the drama of life unveils scenes that are over-whelming and show no deliverance. What can be altered is our response to these challenging situations. Raja Yoga (experiencing the innate self and then forging a link with the Supreme Entity) teaches the mind to alter its thoughts (quality and speed), educates the intellect in being accurate decision-makers and transforms negative sanskars. As any jeweller can tell you, strength lies in the purity of a substance. Therefore, empowerment begins with pure thoughts and inculcation of virtues, devoid of impurity or negative traits. Although moral values are a much-discussed topic today, our actions do not mirror our speech. A major portion of society thinks values and goodness are obstacles to progress and success. Of course, success means many things to different people and today, our thinking and aspirations are mainly confined to the material world and short-lived attainments. Why go through the trouble of being a slave to these physical desires when self-mastery guarantees that they will follow like shadows?

As we begin to unleash and refine the dormant spiritual strength (by empowering our consciousness), this energy becomes our personal power. Self-mastery is displayed in eight unique ways:

• Power to Withdraw – disengage from the world around. A large amount of our focus is placed on other people and external events, which is why they have shaped our personality. Therefore, we need to withdraw our attention; just like a tortoise pulls in its head and legs. This means taking time to self-reflect for at least 15 minutes to half an hour daily.

• Power to Pack-Up - master the chattering mind, an intellect with endless questions and an avid memory choosing to remember the past. This is not a battle where the entities are subdued, but a time to make them our friends. We need to serve the mind, care for the intellect, value our experiences as if they are our teachers, and they will return the service hundred-fold.

• Power to Tolerate – disturbance in peace results in pain. Tolerance enables us to be undisturbed by events going on around or within us. This comes when we detach from the feelings that accompany our reactions. We are not our thoughts and emotions; they are our creation.

• Power to Accommodate – to acknowledge other people in 'our' universe is important if we wish to be part of theirs. Accommodation means accepting and working with others' ideas. It requires a certain fearlessness to mould oneself according to the situation.

• Power of Judgement - re-discovery of the power to tolerate and accommodate allows us to make judgements; namely, assessing a situation in order to give the most correct response, judging other's actions so as to learn from them and judging the self for improvement.

• Power of Discrimination - the art of seeing with the inner, third eye rather than the physical eyes. The spiritual eye sees what is true, based on laws and principles that govern life.

• Power to Face - only with inner strength restored by true knowledge of the Self and Supreme can we deal with obstacles and challenges in life. The process of meditation empowers us.

• Power to Co-operate - real co-operation comes from deeper spaces of attitude, feeling and vision. Co-operation is seeing another's positive traits and offering them powerful thoughts towards success. It is a fabric of unity, song of harmony and the road to prosperity.

The present time implores us to claim and use this imperishable treasure of powers. Why forego this ever-lasting treasure (which, in reality is our birth-right) for anything temporary that the world has to offer?

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Keywords:
Will-power, character, spirituality, Raja Yoga

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