May 2021

Finding Your Why-Power

Finding Your Why-Power

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From the Editor’s Desk

We all aspire to become better versions of ourselves. Your commitment will depend upon finding your why-power to drive you toward the ultimate goal of life. Swami Mukundananda ji has taught us the importance of the why-power and how to tap that inner resource. In this issue, we utilize some treasures of Vedic knowledge (i.e., tatvagyan) to find or maintain the direction in our life. 

Vedic Wisdom & Application

Challenge of the Month

Finding Your Why-Power

Reflection Questions

  • What is the Why-Power?
  • What is the source of Why-Power?
  • How can we tap into our Why-Power?

What is the Why-Power?

Recently, the field of positive psychology has accorded much attention to constructs like inspiration, enthusiasm, motivation, gratitude, humility, forgiveness, etc., to promote the well-being of mankind. All great achievements generally start by asking “Why should I do (something)?” This question serves as a compass for making critical life decisions. Once the “Why” is clear, the “How” will become easier to navigate. Often used synonymously with inspiration, drive, enthusiasm, and motivation, positive psychology describes the why-power as the intensity of willpower that pushes one toward the goal. 

Swamiji says that the why-power is the fuel that energizes us. It is more powerful than willpower. In the 7 Divine Laws, Swamiji stated, “If we become convinced of an imperative reason for doing something, we suddenly find hidden reserves of energy to perform herculean tasks.” The more valued the goal, the more inspired we are to accomplish it. The why-power makes ordinary people put in their best and become experts in their respective fields. However, lack of why-power can transform geniuses into ordinary people. It is the resilient energy that reminds us of the goal and keeps us strong in the face of difficulties especially when the willpower starts to wane. 

The why-power is not limited to our career paths alone. It could be the force that drives us toward any goal – family cohesiveness, service to our country, creating a community of support, and spirituality. If there is congruence in the value we attach to any goal, the why-power to pursue each of these goals will also have the same type of intensity. 

What is the source of Why-Power?

It may appear that there are several sources of why-power but all of them are founded on the beliefs that we harbor in our intellect. These beliefs are based on our exposure to the sources of knowledge, people who shape our thinking, personal experiences that influence our thought patterns, and the value we ascribe to each of these things. If our goal is clear, worth pursuing, and the outcome highly valued, the why-power will kick in!

With specific reference to the spiritual path, we need to learn the true knowledge of the scriptures to strengthen the faith through association with saints and connection with like-minded devotees. When we engage in practical devotion through satsang, meditation, feeling the presence of God, and contemplating on the knowledge, the efforts tend to be graced with the gradual removal of the impurities in the heart. Introspection is very critical to assess whether our desires are selfless or self-centered. 

Beliefs Values & Desires.png

The belief-based choices we make will lead us toward inner growth and the desire to seek eternal happiness despite obstacles. If we believe that we are the divine soul, a fragment of God, then the purpose of our life will be to serve God, our eternal relative. Such strong, resolute, and knowledge-based beliefs will guide us to choose the desired course of action to accomplish highly valued goals.

There will be times when the why-power may start to wane because we have lost sight of the goal. At such times, we should reconnect with sources of true knowledge, associate with like-minded people on a similar spiritual path, and read biographies of highly inspirational people. Swamiji says that when people can clearly visualize their goal, they will pursue it with single-minded dedication, deal with obstacles and accomplish the goal. This is true of spiritual goals too.

कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादय: |
लोकसंग्रहमेवापि सम्पश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि ||20||
यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जन: |
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते ||21||

karmaṇaiva hi sansiddhim āsthitā janakādayaḥ
loka-saṅgraham evāpi sampaśhyan kartum arhasi
yad yad ācharati śhreṣhṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute lokas tad anuvartate

By performing their prescribed duties, King Janak and others attained perfection. You should also perform your work to set an example for the good of the world. Whatever actions great persons perform, common people follow. Whatever standards they set, all the world pursues. (BG 3.20-21)

The biographies of famous personalities teach us a lot about why-power. Whether these are saints like Tulisdas, Surdas, or Maharajji, public figures like Soichiro Honda or Sindhutai Sapkal, or spiritual masters like Swamiji, their inspirational life stories can uplift us and remind us of our goal in life. Quoting from the Ramayan, Swamiji has said, “The material energy is insentient by itself. But when it receives inspiration from God, it begins to act as if it were sentient.”

We must always have the hunger for divine knowledge. The impediment in the spiritual path is the pride that we already know all about the Vedic scriptures. We will be more receptive of the divine knowledge if we develop an attitude of gratitude and humility, become aware of the huge gap between our current state and the ultimate goal, and rely on the Guru for the grace of true knowledge. 

How can we tap into our Why-Power?

Swamiji says that the mind fluctuates between three gunas that affect our inspiration levels. A satvic state results in high inspiration, a rajasic state results in complacency, and a tamasic state leads to doubt and disbelief. However, daily sadhana can help us overcome the lower states in favor of nurturing the soul toward high levels of inspiration.

उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् |
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मन: ||5||

uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ nātmānam avasādayet
ātmaiva hyātmano bandhur ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ

Elevate yourself through the power of your mind, and not degrade yourself, for the mind can be the friend and also the enemy of the self. (BG 6.5)

We must remind ourselves that we are the divine soul, a fragment of God and not the physical body made of matter. This will connect us with the purpose of our life, which is to serve God, our eternal relative. Such strong, resolute, and knowledge-based beliefs will guide us to choose the desired course of action to accomplish highly valued goals. 

Swamiji has shared critical teaching he learned from His own Guru, Shree Maharajji. 

Formula for Success.JPG

Formula for Failure.JPG

Compare the two models to choose the kind of mindset we should develop or maintain. We all have heard about how Mr. Soichiro Honda’s enthusiasm carried him forward against all odds including corporate rejections and destruction from natural and economic disasters. Even if we lose everything but not our enthusiasm, we will gain everything back. However, if we lose our enthusiasm, everything will be lost. The why-power helps us to reconnect with our valued goal through the right sources of knowledge, association with positive people, and right choices at each step. 

Tools for Your Personal Growth

One way to tap into our why-power is to assess the frequency and intensity of the sources of why-power. A downloadable tracking sheet is available for you to use. Subsequently, you can try to increase the frequency and intensity of things that drive you toward the goal and decrease those that deter you away from it. You can keep a printed or e-copy with a slider to track your progress. Remember, change takes time!

One way to tap into our why-power is to assess the frequency and intensity of the sources of why-power. A downloadable tracking sheet is available for you to use.

Love to Hear from You

Please share your comments under “Join the Discussion” below.

Gems of Wisdom from Swamiji

Here are some YouTube video titles where Swamiji describes ways to tap into the why-power.

Hold Your Breath! Check out Upcoming Events

We are very excited to share with you, two dynamite JKYog events! 

WorldWide Ramayan Utsav

WorldWide Ramayan Utsav (WWRU)

The WWRU spreads across a period of four months to provide opportunities for the global community to engage in a series of very intellectually stimulating and fun activities. There are four aspects to this Utsav, i.e., Refresh, Review, Revise and Reflect on the life lessons taught in the monumental epic, Ramayan. There will be very exciting virtual workshops to increase knowledge and practical application, competitions and cinematic showcases of the divine Ram Leelas, and a memorable award ceremony to commemorate all participants at the grand finale. This most exciting of all events will be the Kaun Banega Ramayan Vidyapati contest!

Check out all the details and plan your calendar accordingly. Remember to scroll down to the bottom of each page for a complete package of delightful events and related deadlines. Registration started on April 24 and the deadline is July 5, 2021. Do not miss this wonderful opportunity!


Spiritual Dialectics

Spiritual Dialectics

Swamiji authored a lovely book called Spiritual Dialectics. The book has a comprehensive compilation of all the different types of questions that participants asked Swamiji in his live programs. The book has brilliantly organized the wide variety of questions by topics, from the most elemental to the most complex with respect to the spiritual path. This book serves as the context for the JKYog Academy class by the same name. It is held every day of the week from 8:00 to 9:00 PM.

Voices from the Global Community

Let us introduce you to a member of our global community who has been impacted by the scriptural knowledge as taught and disseminated by Swamiji. 

This month, we introduce you to Gagan Nanda. Gagan ji works as an Actuarial and People Analytics consulting professional in Dallas, Texas. He has been associated with JKYog and Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas since 2019. The Temple is in close proximity to his home, so it has been a wonderful blessing for him to attend several festivals, engage in worship, and, of course, meet Swamiji. As part of his regular seva, he teaches an online Bhagavad Gita Study class with his mother every Sunday morning. He laughingly recalls his very first instance of seva, where he was intrinsically moved to help set up chairs in the prayer hall. The rest is history!

Please watch the video where Gagan ji describes how he benefitted from Swamiji’s teachings. 

We invite you to share your inspirations and success stories with us at [email protected].  

JKYog Transforming Communities

In this feature, we would like to share the amazing activities and news about programs conducted by various JKYog centers in the U.S.

Swami Mukundananda Exclusive (SMEx)

16 Comfortable Place to Sit for Meditation - Swami Mukundananda

JKYog launched SMEx in February 2021 as a very innovative initiative to connect like-minded people interested in understanding and pursuing divine Vedic knowledge under Swamiji’s guidance. Spiritual aspirants directly benefit from his knowledge and guidance. To date, Swamiji has delivered three live addresses on specific topics related to Applied Spirituality, Nurturing Relationships and Transformative Health. In the last live conference, Swamiji spoke about the importance of immunity in light of the 3rd wave of the global pandemic. All members have been provided with access to Swamiji's video lectures and worksheets related to each specific topic. Additionally, on April 24, much to the delight of all members, SMEx held a Q/A session where Swamiji responded to questions of participants ranging from conceptual knowledge to practical application. This is a wonderful opportunity to interact with Swamiji up close and personal. People can sign up for an annual membership to connect with Swamiji, receive his guidance, and access the practical tools for self-improvement on five critical topics.

Glimpses of Past Events

We share a glimpse of our most beautiful and successful Chaitra Navaratri and Ram Navami festival celebrated at the Radha Krishna Temple, the Headquarters of JKYog.