Does the cycle of life and death never end?
The whole world is like that. It is all spherical; everything moves in cycles. You have to come back, but you have a choice. If you are born out of compulsion then it’s the same old story again and again. But if you get liberated, then you have the choice and the will to be born when you want. When you come back after being liberated, it is joyful.
Distractions and problems of everyday life come in the way of spiritual progress. Isn’t it better to lead a detached, quiet life?
Life is a combination of both: dynamism and silence; chaos and quietness. You shouldn’t be afraid of either. Those who are used to chaos are scared of silence. Similarly people used to their silence, to their comfort zone, are scared of chaos and disturbance. Both are part of life. You should feel as comfortable with silence as you are with chaos, and that is the art of living. We see dynamism in silence and silence in chaos. When you are comfortable with both, you are able to contribute in both situations.

Should one never get angry?
Anger should be used as a tool when it is necessary. It’s natural to be angry when things don’t go well. But don’t ever let that anger ferment in your mind and turn into hatred.

Sometimes anger is good, especially in a world where there is corruption, injustice and when there are people who do all sorts of wrong things, and take advantage of you. It is necessary then to raise your voice and show anger. But don’t take it to heart. Don’t let it upsets you. It is when anger consumes you that you are in trouble. As long as the anger is just a line on the surface of water, it is healthy. You should have a healthy anger.

How can I get over the feeling of being victimised whenever I find myself in difficulties?
You have already overcome this feeling the moment you realise the pattern. You know that it’s all a making of your own mind and that it happens every time you are in trouble. Once this realisation dawns everything will be fine. It takes time, but eventually gets sorted out. Imagine how you were five or 10 years ago. How much you have changed? How much better it has become since then? Put your attention on this. The more we are grateful, the more grace we will have in our life.

The first step to fun is relaxation. What tires you is anxiety and ambition for tomorrow or the anger and hatred of yesterday. In the same way, feverishness also pulls down your enthusiasm. In deep relaxation, you find everything to be fun.

What if we feel we have got more in life than we deserve and are afraid to lose it?
Be grateful and prayerful. Know that whoever has given it to you, cares for you and would not take it away. Do service. Put your attention on giving back to society. This is giving back to God. If negative thoughts, insecurities, doubts come into the mind, chant Om Namah Shivaya. This itself will put you on the right track. Take the past as destiny and the future as free will. What was meant to happen, happened. We tend to do the reverse. People often think the past is free will and the future is destiny. This only makes you miserable in the present.

Wrongdoers prosper and those who do right, suffer. Why?
You think that the people who do wrong progress in life. But haven’t you noticed how they meet their downfall? Those who attain success through unfair means eventually suffer humiliation. If you are suffering, it may be due to lack of skillfulness.

We need four things in life — power, skill, devotion and liberation — shakti, yukti, bhakti and mukti. You cannot be successful without power and skillfulness. And you cannot achieve success without devotion and liberation.
If you meet these so called successful people you’ll find that most of them are so miserable that they do not get proper sleep at night. They may hide their feelings from the world, but deep down they are very miserable. You are better off; you can smile from within.

Sent by Sojan Augustine, c.s.c.