Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam gave me an opportunity to be his co-author for Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji. Later I met Pramukh Swamiji and was struck by his life-long commitment to living for others. He had built a global organization to help and support the Indian diaspora in keeping the traditions and Indian way of life alive through their younger generations.
Pramukh Swamiji had a multitude of achievements to his name but shunned credit and said that it was due to God, and his gurus and that he was merely an instrument. When we can begin to think in this manner our work becomes living for others. Pramukh Swamiji even knew the emotions of another person better than them, and like a mirror, his heart could feel their needs even before they expressed them.
By authentically valuing the needs of others you are filled with desire for the betterment of those around you. Later this compassion and connection for the joy of another has been understood as an aspect of intelligence.
The term “Emotional Intelligence” has been popularized by American psychologist Daniel Goleman in his book of the same name published in 1995. He made people realize that by tuning in to their emotions with intelligence and expanding their circles of caring, they can transform their behaviours work from the inside out and make a positive difference in our world. Goleman joined Dalai Lama in writing A Force for Good and explaining how to turn our compassionate energy outward.
Indian civilization describes the nature of reality as Sat-Chit-Ananda – the experience of realizing the unity and wholeness of all existence as joyful consciousness, or bliss. It is said that sat-chit-ananda is the source of all consciousness and all perfection. Chade-Meng Tan in In Joy on Demand substitutes meditation for long hours with fifteen seconds of mindfulness and explains how inside joy put into motion forms a cascade of happiness in daily life.
The surest way of feeling joy is to use your life working for the good and wellbeing of others. It is not such a big deal as it sounds. It can be done by preferring giving over taking in every micro-transaction. If you chose to listen instead of speaking, make way for the people passing by you, make them comfortable in your presence, and radiate loving-kindness through your body and gait.
So, how do I ensure that I end up giving more to life than I take? The simple mantra is by responding instead of reacting, not waiting to be asked, told, or sought after but sensing the needs of others around us and attending to them in whichever little way it can be done. I have communicated to you 11 messages responding to the pressures of high-paced modern life – noisy, crowded, and polluted – and enjoyed doing it. Please take them forward and stay blessed.
Living in this world, your intent should be making things better and people around you relaxed. If for any reason it is not happening, you can at least ensure that no one is hurt by your thoughts, words, or deeds. This is a simple and yet surest way to help those around you. A person living conscious of the sensitivities of others is indeed God walking on earth.