Creating Harmony In You And Around You

Harmony the Rythm of Life

by Jayaram V

If you are not in harmony with yourself, how can you be in harmony with others? Jayaram V.

Harmony does not come by being tactful and diplomatic or with cunningness and shrewdness. People may be initially impressed by such tactics, but as the masks come out and people see the true faces it will lead to conflicts, bitterness, and distrust. Jayaram V.

Conflicts are inherent in the design of Nature. Your survival and success in life depend upon how you manage your conflicts and achieve your goals. From a worldly perspective, cooperation and harmony are part of the conflict resolution process only. To secure the help, cooperation and support of others, first you have to extend your friendship and cooperation. If others reciprocate, the relationships strengthen and harmony becomes a part of them. Harmony manifests as peace. If there is peace, there is harmony and vice versa

Your primary and deeper concern is always about yourself. Others come later, when your needs are met. As in case of everything else, there can be exceptions to this, but this is the general design of life. It is true even with regard to your need for peace and harmony. You seek them primarily to secure or consolidate your place in the world and extend your influence through them. Their higher purpose, the universal peace and harmony, that transcends your personal interests do not enter your mind unless you have reached a certain stage in your spiritual and mental evolution and overcome your fear and attachment.

In this scenario, is there a chance that you can be in perfect alignment with the rest of the world? Can you bring harmony into your relationships and resolve all conflicts? Is it possible to be at peace with yourself and with the rest of the world? How can you transcend Nature's design and bring peace and harmony into your mind and your life?

These questions have attracted the attention of scholars since the Vedic times. Interestingly, all the religions that originated in India suggest the same solution to bring peace into your life. They acknowledge the problems and limitations that people face in controlling the processes and the factors that govern their lives. At the same time they also recognize the dangers that are inherent in leading a passive and submissive life.

What is the solution then? How can you bring order and regularity (rita or rhythm) into your life? Our scriptures suggest a three-step approach to deal with the problem. When used with discretion it produces the best results. The three approaches are as stated below.

1. Finding your purpose and doing your duty in fulfilling your obligations to others.

2. Letting go of the things over which you have no control and practice faith and detachment.

3. Cultivating sameness towards the dualities of life and become a silent observer.

Depending upon what you do with your life, you may have to choose one or more of these to bring peace and harmony into your life. All the three help you suppress the modifications of your mind and experience equanimity. On the path of liberation, each of them progressively becomes more important. In the final stages, a yogi who has reached perfection in the practice of yoga, settles with the third one and achieves the impossible goal of self-absorption.

This comprehensive approach works in all situations, if you cultivate the right mindset. It is also a very practical approach. Think of this. To be in harmony with others and with the world, you must either control the world, fit into it, or let go of it. In the first two, you exert your will and intention through your words and actions. It is an active and aggressive approach to mold the world according to your needs and desires. It is not always possible to succeed in doing it, and it can also leave you exhausted, and with a lot of pain and disappointment. In the third, you simply surrender to the world and try either to fit in or to let go, without expecting others to do the same.

The reality is you cannot always be in harmony with the world, even if you are eager to do it. You cannot be friendly with everyone, please everyone, or find approval and acceptance from everyone, by meeting their expectations, winning their approval, or submitting to their demands and standards. Conflicts are inevitable in relationships. If you are friendly with a thousand people, it does not mean there are no conflicts underlying those relationships. You cannot, therefore, establish harmony through effort only. Sometimes you need to facilitate it by withdrawing and letting go of your need to control everything.

From music we can learn a very important lesson about harmony. Each note or sound in music has its own value, distinction, place and time. It is not always in harmony with the rest of the sounds. The harmony arises only when it is fitted in a right place and at a right time along with other notes. It is true for every sound and note in a musical composition. Individually, they are distinct and independent. Their harmony comes from their arrangement, and how they are played together in a perfect combination.

The same holds true for life. To be part of a harmonious whole, you have to find yourself in a right place, at a right time, with right people or conditions. Since, you cannot always find yourself in favorable conditions and circumstances, you must also learn to be silent when necessary by cultivating sameness, tolerance and humility, accepting all conditions in your life as the same. With sameness, you experience peace and inner harmony, whether the world is agreeable or not. When you have peace in you, you will have peace around you. If you are in harmony with yourself, you will be in harmony with the world. The quality of sameness is difficult to acquire, but it is the best way by which you can express harmony in your thoughts and actions.

Returning to our analogy of music, to create harmony you must be either a musical note or the silence in it. Music is not always about sounds. Silence is a major part of it. Silence is present in music like a continuous under current and rises to the surface when the notes fall silent. Without silence, you cannot create music. When the sounds are active, silence takes a back seat. When they become inactive, it presents itself.

You can be that silence in the symphony or cacophony called life, knowing when to express yourself, without replacing the notes or dominating them, and when to let the world express itself so that you can relax and invite silence to enter your heart and mind. God is always in harmony with everything else. You may not be in harmony with him, but he always remains in harmony with you with sameness towards your perfections and imperfections, and lets you be yourself. He is the silence as well the music in the heart of life. Existence is the symphony of God, and you can be a part of it by following his very example.

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