Humans have a very strong trait in them - Habit. Habitual properties need to be maintained and developed in a positive direction. As stated in the teachings of Hinduism, the habits that can create happiness on this earth are those that follow the ways of God, Ida Sang Hyang Widhi. So then, how can we develop positive habits? Actually, we do not need to think too far ahead; it is enough to do this in a simple manner with prayer and meditation. The more we draw ourselves closer to God, through prayer and meditation, the more we open ourselves to be fed with divine characteristics. These will, at the same time, also take us farther away from the Bhutakala, the lower forces that form negative characteristics. I understood this from a simple formula when I saw a little boy playing with two balloons that were connected to one another on a string. When the child pulled the white balloon, it would automatically push the black balloon upwards and away, and vice versa. I connected this with existing properties or characteristics in human beings, the nature of the Divinity and Bhutakala. When people pull the Divine nature towards themselves the Bhutakana properties will push them farther away. Equally if one pulls the nature of Bhutakala towards themselves the nature of Divinity will be pushed away. By praying regularly, it helps us draw the Divine nature towards us to keep the nature of Bhutakala away. If this behavior becomes a habit and is followed by daily actions of patience, compassion and forgiveness, the nature of the Gods or Divinity will be maintained and flourish within us. One may ask, what is the difference between prayer and meditation? Generally, I can provide the following insight: If we pray, then we concentrate on God, Ida Sang Hyang Widhi. Whereas if we meditate, we open our hearts to attain God, Ida Sang Hyang Widhi, which resides within. So which one is better? Both prayer and meditation must be practiced in a balanced way, as if we are looking at two sides of a coin to see what the value is. It is not going to be different or have twice the value if we could see both sides. But by looking at both sides, we know what the complete shape of the coin is. By doing both praying and meditation in balance, we will be able to enjoy happiness in life, as a guarded fortress of Divine characteristics within ourselves. Indeed, the human element within Divinity is dwelling in the sloka "Aham Brahma Asmi" or "I am Brahman" which should be reflected in our day to day behavior. This is what we should be aware of and further develop through prayer and meditation, supported by the application of patience, love and forgiveness. Equally important is being able to choose correct food, because food is a source of energy that will affect the soul. Eating and drinking cleanly and purely begins with the cooking process, the tools used to cook and serve and also environmental conditions in which the food is grown. Our Hindu religion strongly emphasizes the importance of Divinity and Purity; to avoid things that are dirty or unclean. Keeping the inner nature of Divinity must be done both in the Sekala, the seen World, and Niskala, the unseen world.
Om, Santih, Santih, Santih, Om
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