This week has been a week of praises for me. I hear Jupiter just transited into the sign of Libra, the 11th transit house in my chart, a place (as per astrology) where Jupiter, the Guru (Jupiter is referred as Guru in Sanskrit), gives one in abundance. Maybe I can attribute all the praises to the Guru. “Guru is going to be in my 11th house for a year, so what would that entail?”, a mischievous thought crossed my mind.
“How should one respond to praise”?, I wondered. I have heard Gurudev (Sri Sri Ravishankar) say “If you want a fool to work, just keep praising him/her”. Are they practicing this ‘sutra’ on me? I really don’t know and it would be quite foolish to go on the wild goose chase to find out! “Should I be replying to each of them individually? If I don’t reply, would that be arrogant? And if I reply, what should I say?” Perhaps it was the shyness and discomfort in me that was talking aloud.
“Why does one praise?”, I pondered. Is it because one sees something extraordinary in the other? The experience of something extraordinary can bring one’s mind to a state of elevation, meditation, a state of joy and abundance; and that feeling is devoid of any jealousy or ego. When mind reaches such a state, perhaps praise just flows; flows like water melting from snow-clad mountains and splashes towards the one who may not be comfortable taking a dip in that cold refreshing water getting energized.
“Who is enjoying this more? The giver or the receiver?”, I debated further.
If the receiver could only realize that when someone praises a painting, they are really praising the painter, he/she would be at ease feeling blessed. What choice did the receiver have but to appear extraordinary in the eyes of the giver?
It is all a Divine play – presenting an opportunity to take both the giver and receiver to a state of bliss.
It would be so nice if I could genuinely praise or be extraordinary to someone all the time. Either way, ecstasy and joy is guaranteed, if I see the happening from a wider context. “Is that enlightenment?”, I wondered! May be or maybe not; does it really matter?
What is easier – to be able to impress someone or genuinely praise someone? People spend lifetimes trying to be somebody, only to reel in competition, one-upmanship and ego. It may work to some degree in the short run but soon leads to misery and stress. Is impressing someone in my control? The more I try, often far I am from it. If it is really a Divine play, why can’t I just be my best self and let the Divine play out the rest!
And when can I authentically praise all the time? Only if I can find everything around me extraordinary. And when will that happen? Perhaps I have gotten so used to the routine that I am missing something very profound that this creation is filled with?
Perhaps, I just need a new pair of eyes.
I realized that my eyesight was getting worse year by year since I turned 40. It was a reminder – time to get my eyes checked and find an appropriate pair of glasses. Hopefully that does the trick.
Wish me luck and let me know if I should pick one up for you too!