Swami Nikhileswaranandaji’s talk

Swami Nikhileswarananda - 2

Last Sunday, September 15, 2013 Revered Swami Nikhileswarananda, spiritual head of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Memorial, Vadodara, gave a talk on “Happiness and Peace in Everyday Life” at Vivekananda Vidyapith.

I just wanted to share briefly few practical guidelines and inspiring thoughts from his talk and question-answer.

 To avoid unhappiness and anxieties, do not compare our-selves, our family members, our achievements, wealth and worldly possessions with others.  Comparison and competition bring anxieties and we cannot enjoy what we have.

If we want to compare, compare our worldly possessions with people who live with lesser means and for our development compare ourselves with ourselves.  Also, for progress compare ourselves with people who have made great achievements in our field, especially in the spiritual path.

To avoid problems created by a generation gap, develop communication between two generations.  Parents should try to listen to youngsters and understand them even if sometimes it looks silly.  On the other hand youngsters should remember that elders may not be computer or technology experts, but they have many years of experience.  Do prayer together every day and eat dinner together.

 To bring happiness in the family, forbear, forbear, forbear.  Holy Mother Sri Saradadevi used to say “Sa, Sa, Sa;  “Sahan karo, Sahan karo, Sahan karo.”

In order to be happy, remember the last message of Holy Mother which was told to her devotee.  “If you want peace, do not look into anyone’s faults.  Look into your own faults.  Learn to make the whole world your own.  No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own.”  Holy Mother never saw faults in others.  She always encouraged everyone.

 To attain infinite happiness, peace, and unselfish love, practice four yogas described in the Bhagavad Gita and elaborated by Swami Vivekananda in his lectures, namely Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raj Yoga, and Jnana Yoga.  For that, respectively do unselfish service, prayer, self-control and meditation, and discrimination.

 People say, “I want happiness.” 

I tell them, remove “I” (ego) and “want” (desires), and then what remains is “Happiness.”

Q:  How prarabdha (fate) and purushartha (efforts) are related?

A:  In a card-game, the cards you had received is prarabdha and the game you play is purushartha.  Again, the result of the game becomes your prarabdha.

Q:  Why good people suffer?

 A:  Joys and sorrows depend on how you look at them.  A devotee thinks that both joy and sorrow are given by God for some purpose.  Mother gives bitter pills to her child to cure child from illness.  Devotee sees that God is the doer of everything.

Q:  In our actions, how much we do and how much God does?

A:  That depends on the intensity of our ego.  If we have 100% ego, then we are the doers of everything.  If we have 0% ego, then God does everything.

33 thoughts on “Swami Nikhileswaranandaji’s talk

  1. Very nice blog. I really liked when Swami Ji mentioned to avoid problems caused by generation gap. I definitely agree that both parents and children should try to understand each other. From that, we build a strong bond and relationship!

  2. I enjoyed reading this blog because I understand Swamiji’s talk and understand how I can apply these details and practices to my life. All of the points made by Swamiji can be related to my life and I understand that it is important to practice different things to attain happiness in our lives.

  3. I really like this blog as it shows valid points made in Swami Nikhileswaranandajis speech. I really liked how he explains that to attain happiness we must get rid of the “I” or ego and the “want” or the desires. He explains everything in a way that is easy to understand like his analogy of playing cards when he explains how prarabdha and purushartha are related.

  4. After reading these lines summarized after the talk, I realize that it would have been beneficial to go listen to Swami Nikhileswarananda. I should have gone because these words summarize the meaning of happiness and all its aspects. One pointer in this talk that I’ve never taken into consideration; we want everything but in reality we have nothing in this world of competition and achievements. It is a worldwide concept. We want happiness but for all the wrong reasons; the desire for possessions and wealth. In this world, to attain true happiness we must look past everything that can be owned because in reality-we own nothing. Our fate is what we own. It’s so interesting because just last Saturday I learned this concept in first period and I had never taken it into consideration. And if we ever compare, the result should be us thanking God for having the things we do compared to those who have little to nothing.

  5. I agree with the idea of developing communication between two generations. That would really help resolve many problems between a child and his/her parents. In addition, I liked how Swami Nikhileswaranandaji discussed that comparing ourselves to others, will only bring unhappiness.

  6. I found Swami Nikhileswaranandaji’s speech insightful, especially because most teenagers and I can relate to his point of communicating between two generations. He advises that in order to avoid problems between parents and children, both parties need to listen and look at the problem at hand from the others’ perspective. I also liked how he explained why good people suffer by using the example of a mother giving her child bitter medicine to overcome an illness.

  7. After reading this blog, I realized that communication between the two generations is necessary. The only way to create communication is to tolerate and listen. Swami Nikhileswaranandaji made a very insightful speech on happiness. We tend to compare ourselves with others which causes anxieties. But if we compare ourselves with people who have excelled in spiritual practice, we can improve gradually. I liked how he explained how to gain happiness when people say “I Want Happiness.” All you have to do is remove the ego and desires.

  8. This short blog was very enjoyable to read because the things Swami Nikhileswaranandaji discussed can be directly applied to my life. One point in particular that stuck out to me was closing generation gap between parents and kids. I feel that this is very important and wish that more kids and parents try to listen to each other. Another point was not comparing yourself to others. I couldn’t agree with this more. In this day and age, many people compare themselves to their peers and it only brings them unhappiness. The only time we should is when the other person has less than us, and the end result should be us appreciating and thanking God for everything. All in all, this was a very helpful and blog that I relate to.

  9. It is quite obvious the amount of intellect and knowledge Swami Nikhileswarananda possesses. In order for one to remain happy in life, it is vital for one to not always look to what others have compared to that of his. Rather, he must remain appreciative and should acknowledge his current state as happiness. Imagine if all one had today was gone tomorrow. With this concept prevalent in one’s everyday life, a new perspective will be forever inscribed in one’s mind and daily actions. It is vital to learn to respect rather than to forever depreciate.

  10. I was quite intrigued when I first read this. My favorite part was the how Swami ji explained not to compare yourself to each other. In a way I disagree but at the same time I agree. I feel that sometimes comparing yourself to those you are higher than you can make you want to strive for more but then if you compare too much it can be bad. It is like last year when we were talking about karma yoga and bhakti yoga. One way to reach God is through love which is good.Those who believe in Him should love God, but when that love makes you a fanatic it can be bad. Last year uncle gave an example that when you become a fanatic you try to make everyone love your God, but it is like making everyone love your mother. And Swami ji is completely right when he says that if we do wish to compare ourselves it should be in our fields. You cannot be a sales clerk and be upset you are not making as much as a doctor.

  11. I think the philosophies and ideas Swami Nikhileswarananda spoke about are the key ways to living a happy, honest life. In his talk, he focused on the ways to nurture your spirituality, to not compare our own worldly possessions to others’, and how to develop communication between generations. I thought this ideology was extremely interesting; as a second generation immigrant, sometimes it is hard to communicate effectively with my parents on our different viewpoints, because we grew up in different areas. Praying together and eating together are ways to develop this communication, and trying to understand each other’s struggles as a generation can be helpful as well.

  12. This short blog was very interesting. Swami Nikhileswaranandaji brought up a point that can relate to every senior now a days. Being a senior now and preparing for college, Parents and children have such little time to spend together. Decreasing the gap between parent and child can help the family survive. Parents and children must listen to each other instead of squabbling away for no reason. In this century people compare everything. Whether if its to find out something new or just because they are jealous. We must bring family closer, stop comparing in negative ways, and remember what the ending quote means. “I want happiness” – “I want” = “Happiness.”

  13. I found this blog to be very insightful. Swami Nikhileshwarananda made very good points that easily relates to my life. in his talk, he made a point about the generation gap between parents and their children. I feel that it is very important to develop communication between the two generations. Another point that I thought was important was that in order to be happy in life, one must not compare what they have to what others have. One must be appreciative of what they have. Overall, one should take these points into practice in order to live a happy life.

  14. I believe many of these teachings can apply to us. I believe the teaching about not comparing to our selves or others such as our family is very vital in our lives, since sometimes we are faced with failures whether it be in school or other places, and like the quote the Holy Mother said which was very good, we should look at our own faults and make our whole world our own. We put ourselves down when we look at other people and compare to them, when we should focus on ourselves and learn to improve and learn from out mistakes. I think that it is an effective way to avoid sadness, and lead a happy and productive life.

  15. I liked how his teachings were basically a conglomeration of practical points that could easily be implemented. Many of these teachings can be easily applied to our lives and thus, allow us to live happier and more content lives. I really liked his comment on “I want happiness”. It’s a memorable demonstration of how the removal of ego and desire is necessary for true happiness.

  16. I found Swamiji is very intriguing and insightful. His teachings are very knowledgeable and can be used for everyday things. I especially liked how he explained how to have happiness in your life. Swamiji said that in order to be happy you need to get rid of your ego, it also talks about how fate and efforts and how they relate and how swamiji says that my fate rests on the efforts I put into something. I also learned that good people suffer because god must give everyone some good and some bad, and the last thing is a way to become happy is to stop thinking of me and start thinking of god. If I do good I should not praise myself but offer what I did god to god. In all swamiji’s speech was very exciting. I would love to have him come again to vidyapith

  17. I like how these are very practical teachings. I can understand how we can attain happiness by not comparing ourselves to others with more, but by comparing ourselves to others living with less worldly desires. It allows you to remove your ego and become truly happy.

  18. Swami Nikhileshwarananda brought up many points that we can all implement in our lives. 1) We shouldn’t compare ourselves with anyone else, because we will always be unhappy. For example, if we get a B, we should be proud that we got a B and should strive to do better. If we hear that our friend got an A, we might not feel as good about the B and may feel discouraged. We should just be content with what we have and do and aim to make only ourselves better. 2) Although we are teenagers and the communication gap is getting larger, we should really try to understand our parents. 3) We should practice the 4 yogas (with our own modern twist) to be truly happy. If all this is applied, then we will be one step closer to true happiness.

  19. This blog really captures the essence of a few strong, practical, and spiritual values. I really enjoyed the point about how comparisons impede happiness and contentment. This idea can be implemented in life by always keeping a positive disposition on the current situation. I also enjoyed his talk about keeping close family bonds and avoiding age-related problems. Furthermore, his analogy of fate and effort to cards shows how people can overcome any obstacle with determination. Overall, happiness is ubiquitous in that everyone can attain it as long as they let go of their ego and desires.

  20. These lessons and points from his speech are simple and easy to understand, making them easier to follow. I love how he does just what Sri Ramakrishna used to do: Instead of spending an hour waxing poetic on a complex topic with large words, he summarizes the big ideas and the core of the teachings in but a few sentences. I also like his words on communication between parents and children. I feel I can implement this particular teaching in my own life easily, and that it will benefit my entire family if I do. Listening is key to developing good relationships with those around you.

  21. I really enjoyed reading this summary of Swami Nikhileswarananda’s lecture from Sunday. I thought that what he talked about was applicable to kids my age. In particular I agreed with his point about comparing yourself and your things with others and with what others have. I believe this is true because if you get too caught up in comparing our possessions with someone elses, then you will never be happy or satisfied with what you have and you will always be wanting more than you can have, this will ultimately lead to unhappiness. I also agree with his points about generation gaps because that has become a very large problem today. It is extremely important that the two generations have a mutual level or understanding for eachother.

  22. What really stood out to me was the simplicity of everything. Simply put- “I want happiness” can turn easily to just “happiness” with the removal of desires and ego. There was a sense of realism in all the ideas that were given. It was not assumed that a family can always be perfect- but rather the problems were addressed. The promotion of unity in the familial unit through prayer and time is important. Regardless of the generation gap given, the solution is again, simple. Sahan karo. Pray with your family. Eat with your family- and simple happiness will be obtained. There is easy daily life application provided in those simple words.

  23. I really like the points Swamiji made in his talk, especially on how to avoid lack of communication between generations. This applies to all teenagers today, and can really help kids my age begin to develop good relationships with their parents. I also liked the point he made on happiness and how we should get rid of the “I” and “want,” in order to be able to attain it.

  24. Attending Swami Nikhileswaranandaji’s lecture was an amazing experience because of the thoughts Swamiji had to share. What particularly appeal to me was the “equation to happiness” and how simply Swamiji stated the fact that there are only two things stopping us from attaining happiness. Also, the way Swamiji incorporated Holy Mother’s final teaching: never find faults in others. Holy Mother never found bad qualities in anyone, to her, everyone was her child. By finding faults in yourself and attempting to remove them you are slowly lessening your ego which is also a major step towards true happiness.

  25. I completely agree with all that was said in this synopsis of the talk, however, the point I agree with the most is the first one- they key to happiness is not comparing yourself with another. That is something I try to apply in my life everyday- I whole heartedly agree with that statement, every person in this world is different. If you are not as good as someone else in a particular subject area or skill- it does not matter! Every person is good at something even if it is not the conventional or normal thing. Another part that I found really interesting is his saying that a generation gap should not divide us from our parents. I agree with this as well and when my parents say or try to do something, I try to follow what they say and keep in mind that the way they grew up is completely different from mine. However, I feel as though adults need to better understand that where we grow up is different from theirs. Not everything that they practiced or the way they lived can be applied to life here, life today and I think that needs to be kept in mind.

  26. I think the points that Swami Nikhileshwaranandaji made in his talk were very interesting and applicable to my own life. My favorite point was how to avoid the lack of communication between two generations. I think it’s important for a parent and a child to openly communicate and have a good relationship.

  27. I really liked the first two points of the blog, to not compare with others that have more than you and, if you want to compare, compare with those that have less than you. This will help satiate one’s desires to have more by preventing one from comparing themselves with those that have more and being thankful for what they already have.

  28. This very inspirational message by Swami Nikhileshwarananda seemed to relate to lives almost everywhere. It discussed the differences between members of a family and how a generation gap creates this idea of how “times change,” but at the same time the experience of elders can be used in most situations. The key to happiness was also an interesting point with the quote from Holy Mother he used.

  29. I really like everything that Swami Nikhileswarananda said. I really like the point where he says that if you want to compare, then you should compare the worldly possessions with people that have less than you. This can really help me become more happy because I can see that even though I may not have EVERYTHING , I have things that others don’t. WIth this thought in mind, I can help other people be happy by giving them their “everything” which could be simple things like food or clothing.

  30. After hearing what Swami Nikhileswarananda said, I got influenced to not compare myself or my wealth, achievements with others. If I want to compare then I should compare with myself and try to get better. In addition, I also, learned not to find faults in others, as Holy Mother said or if I want to find faults, I should find faults within myself and again, try to fix them.

  31. Swami Nikhileshwarananda’s speech was really pragmatic and his teachings were all applicable to our daily lives. One of his points that stood out to me the most was not comparing yourself to others. I find that I am always trying to beat the person next to me or am trying to do better than my sister did. But in reality I should just be trying to do my best and focus on reaching my potential. To continue, in conjunction with Sri Sarada Devi’s teaching that you shouldn’t find fault with others, I remember Swami Nikhileshwarananda reminded us that whenever we point our fingers at someone else, or find faults in others, there are still three fingers pointing at ourselves.

  32. Finally I got a chance to go on your blog and read a bit. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas. The point summary of Swamiji’s lecture is very refreshing and serves as a reminder to live our life by the philosophy we hear, read and study in our daily routin.
    Thanks for creating the blog:))

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