Right Direction – In Gita Verse 17.19 Penance performed out of foolishness, with self-torture or to destroy or injure others, is said to be in the mode of ignorance.

What Krishna is saying that because of our self-unconsciousness we always spend our time in correction.

Look into your life during the day how much time and energy you spend correcting your past actions. Our whole life energy goes into correction. Even if you realize this small thing you realize why so much misery is in our life.

What is required is to become alert where our energy goes?

The first key is awareness of things before they happen has a value. Being sorry has no value, because it happens afterward, and nothing can be done afterward. Crying and weeping later on is futile because it is impossible to undo whatever has happened. There is no chance of going back, no way, no door. But whatever has not happened yet can be changed. Being sorry is simply experiencing pain after something has happened. It is meaningless, it is absolutely unintelligent. You became angry – this was a mistake; and now you are sorry – this is one more mistake. You are becoming unnecessarily disturbed. It has no value. What is needed is an awareness beforehand. Such an awareness will develop as you slowly, slowly watch all the emotions of the heart.

The second key is watching and not suppressing.

And the third key is transformation.

Each quality of the heart can be transformed. Everything has many forms, everything can change into an opposite form. There is no quality or energy which cannot be diverted toward good, toward benediction. And remember, that which can become bad can always become good; that which can become harmful can always become helpful. Helpful and harmful, good and bad are directions. It is only a question of transforming by changing the direction and things will become different.

A man was running in the direction away from Delhi. He stopped and asked somebody, “How far is it to Delhi?”

The man replied, “If you go on running in the direction you are going, you will have to run around the world before you reach Delhi because right now you are running away from it! However, if you turn around, then Delhi is the nearest town. It is only a matter of turning around.”

In the direction the man was running, it would have taken him a long time to reach Delhi, but if he made a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn, he would already be there.

If you go on moving in the direction you are moving now, you will reach nowhere. You cannot reach anywhere even if you go around the whole earth. Because the earth is small and the mind is huge, a man may go around the earth, but to move around the mind is impossible – it is vast, infinite. You can go all the way around the earth – the man can get back to Delhi – but the mind is far bigger than the earth, and to move around it is a very long journey. So this understanding of making a complete turnaround, a complete change of direction, is the third point to be kept in mind.

The way you are moving now is wrong. What is the proof that something is wrong? The proof that something is wrong is that the more you move, the more you become empty; the more you move, the more you become sad; the more you move, the more you become restless; the more you move, the more you are filled with darkness. If this is the situation, then certainly you are moving wrongly.

Bliss is the only criterion for life. If your life is not blissful, then know that you are moving wrongly. Suffering is the criterion of being wrong, and bliss is the criterion of being right – there are no other criteria. There is no need to read any scriptures nor is there any need to ask a guru. All that is needed is to see if you are becoming more and more blissful, if your bliss is going deeper and deeper. If it is, you are moving rightly. And if suffering, pain and anguish are growing, then you are moving wrongly. There is no question of believing somebody else; it is a question of looking into your own life every day and seeing whether you are becoming more sad or more blissful. If you ask yourself there will be no difficulty.

People always say that they were more joyful when they were children. Poets sing songs of a blissful childhood. They must be mad. If childhood was blissful, then does it mean that because you are sad now, you have wasted your life? It would have been better if you had died in childhood – at least you would have died blissfully. Now you will die in sorrow. So those who die in childhood are fortunate.

The longer a person lives, the more his joy should grow – but your joy decreases. The poets are not saying something wrong: they are sharing their life experiences. They are correct. Your joy goes on decreasing. Day by day, everything goes on decreasing when in fact it should be increasing. So you are growing in a wrong way.

Krishna says the direction of your life is wrong, your energy is wrong. One should be constantly vigilant, constantly inquiring; one should keep the criteria clearly in one’s mind. If the criteria are clear to you, and if you see that you are moving wrongly, then nobody except yourself is preventing you from moving in the right direction.

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