What are the eight knots in the life’s rope?
Once the great Tilopa gave an eight knotted rope and asked his disciple what it meant? Naropa who was educated in the Nalanda, told him that they meant the eight dharmas with which every human being is tied up.
These are praise and criticism. We always get so much carried by praises that we get a bloated ego sooner than we think. The moment we are criticized, we become so tiny and small that we would love to run away or hide. We never want the praises to stop. The cook believes that he has cooked the best dish and deserves a praise. But that causes the whole exercise of cooking beautiful dishes vanish. Praise has to be natural and not motivated. Also criticism has to help one become better and not feel bad or get miserable.
The next is fame and disgrace. Everyone loves to become famous, get a name for themselves and preen around. You have to watch the Hollywood Oscars to see the fake fame on show. The same turns to disgrace when your life is splashed in the media with various allegations of misconduct. Look at that paraplegic persona on trial for his wife’s murder. He made millions with sympathy and is now disgraced man after the heinous crime.
The next are gains and losses. When we get more than we expected, our greed grows exponentially and our mouth opens wider. The gains we experience in life, career or in our fortune, makes us grow with pride. The reverse are losses. We suffer terribly whenever we incur losses. Even in loss of words in a debate is putting us down. Losses create a vacuum in our psyche. We feel defeated and want victories so we crave for them. Check out a man at the gambling table. He is losing all the time but he believes the next game will be his win and he eggs on and on. Thereby loosing literally everything. See how Yudhisthir lost everything. He even lost his wife. Man looses every sign of sanity when losses strike him.
The last two knots were happiness and misery. Would you love happiness or would you want to be miserable? The answer is always happiness. We strive so hard in life to get that little bit of happiness. We lose our entire lifetime running after it. Still it is elusive and we are always miserable. Every man works harder to get that bit of sunshine. He slaves for himself and his family. Finally everyone deserts him and yet he never stops running after happiness. Misery is our constant companion. She never leaves us ever. Always at our beck and call, she enjoys the attention. You become a great martyr succumbing to misery.
All of the above eight dharmas are to be disowned. To bring equanimity we have to neither swing left, nor right. Centered beings are those who never care for ignominy or for praises. They just keep on doing without expecting anything at all. When we are not focused on the end result but just put in the maximum efforts, we can then move on to the next on our plate.
Praises can cause us to wait for plaudits or prizes. We expect gifts and publicity. Then we stop working. Never stop. Just plod on.
The negatives can pull us down. We can go in depression and loose ourselves. Imagine the efforts needed to motivate a person in life? It is gargantuan efforts to pull a miserable wretch out of his misery. It’s easy to fall down and tough to rise. But our efforts to rise will pay off. But again don’t ever fall down to the minds play when misery strikes.
Faith is the greatest weapon that we can use. Faith in God and in the God in us to help us win. Keep the faith.
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