How to cultivate mode of goodness and live happily?

cultivate mode of goodness and live happily?

If you want to live happily then cultivate mode of goodness. This is what Krishna is saying to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita.

Krishna to Arjuna, “O sinless one, the mode of goodness, being purer than the others, is illuminating, and it frees one from all sinful reactions. Those situated in that mode become conditioned by a sense of happiness and knowledge.Bhagavad Gita 14.6

If we are not in mode of goodness, then we will be either in mode of passion or mode of ignorance. What happens to those in passion and ignorance? Most of the time or rather all the time such people are full of anxiety and live in fear. And if the mind is filled with fear and anxiety then where is the question of peace and bliss?

Now the question arises that how to cultivate mode of goodness?  Below are few of the steps we can take to come to the mode of goodness. These are based on the teachings of scriptures like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam and also based on the lectures of Srila Prabhupada and senior devotees of ISKCON. I have experienced that if we try to adopt the lifestyle discussed below then it helps us a lot in our personal life.  It does make us peaceful and happy.

Lead a regulated life to cultivate mode of goodness

If we want to come to the mode of goodness, then it is extremely important that we lead a regulated life.  Unregulated life makes our life chaotic. Regulated life gives direction to our life. So, regulation is important. And for regulated life planning is must.

It is said that “if you fail to plan you plan to fail.” I personally love this statement! 

So, plan your day properly.  Plan your day a day before.  Before going to bed you can make a list of activities you are going to do the next day. If not possible in the night, then first thing to do in the morning is to plan the day. Write it down in your diary or in your mobile. In mobile you can also set a reminder for each activity, it helps. Do not just plan in your mind and hope that you will remember everything. It does not work.

It takes little time to plan the day. But it is a good investment. In the initial few days planning will take more time but gradually once you learn the art of properly planning your day then you will be able to do it quickly. It will then take 10 – 15 minutes.

If you exactly know what you have to do, you will be productive throughout the day. And in the night, on the bed, before sleeping, when you will reflect on your daily activities you will feel satisfied. May be even delighted!  Remember we also experience happiness when we are able to do our prescribed work properly in a timely manner.  

Doings things at the last moment

Many times, we put ourselves in a difficult situation because we have the habit of doing things at the last moment. This is a problem we all suffer from. 

Once I was attending agile training in IBM. The trainer who was quite learned and senior shared a finding on the working habits of men and women.  He said that a study was done to find out how men and women will act if a task is given to them.

A piece of work was assigned to a group of men and group of women on Monday. They were told to complete it by Friday of the same week.  Study was done to find out how much percentage of work both the genders do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and finally on Friday. How many are going to complete their work before the deadline i.e. Friday?

I am giving just a summary of the findings.

  • Although the work could have been completed before Friday but most of the men and women completed the task only on Friday.
  • It was found that most of the men started working on the task on Friday morning.
  • Women were little better. They started to work from Thursday onwards.

So, women did not do anything for 3 days and men for 4 days. And then there was last minute hurry and anxiety.

You and I can easily relate with this. We might have been in such situations many a times.

Now, if we want to save ourselves from last minute hurry and worry, then we have to plan our life properly – both personal life and professional life.

Plan each hour of the day

While planning it is better to plan each hour of the day. So, we know what to focus on each hour. If there is no clarity, there will be confusion. We will end up wasting time. In confusion mind will ask (or force) us to do things which is least resistive. And we will end up watching uncountable YouTube videos, movies on Netflix, or spend hours on social media.  Or many times we may just lie on the bed gazing at the ceiling like a stupid person.

When we plan our day, we are able to complete our assigned work for sure. But along with that we will also have time to do certain other things which will improve our life.

  • For example, if you are working professionals then you can go for trainings or certification courses which will help you in your career.
  • Or else those extra time can also be used for spending time with family members, calling a friend with whom you have not spoken for months, going for a walk in the park, exercise, learning new skills and so on. 

We discussed the importance of regulated life. We also discussed that to lead a regulated life, we have to plan our day properly. But it is also important that in our daily plan we have time for those activities which will uplift our life.

So, let us see how we should plan our life so that we can cultivate mode of goodness and improve the quality of our life.

Plan your work in the following ways to cultivate mode of goodness

When you are planning your day then it is important that you give sufficient time for your spiritual growth. Unless and until you connect to God, Krishna you will not be able to lead a happy life. Secret of happy life is be connected with Krishna, the Supreme Lord always. So, our daily plan should include spiritual activities.

If you are a working professional then it is important that you work effectively and efficiently. And for that intelligent planning is required. Along with that you should have time to take care of your physical health.

Families are important. We need them, they need us. So you should spend quality time with them. You also need to socialize, have friends, have good relationship with neighbors. Not just that we also need to have some fun in our life else we will get bored and frustrated. All these activities need time and for that our life should be properly planned. Let us see how to do it.

First, let us discuss the spiritual activities which we all should have in our daily plan.

3 most important daily spiritual activities which should not be given up

Below are the three most important spiritual activities which will help us in our spiritual growth. Unless and until we grow spiritually it will not be possible to cultivate mode of goodness. So, at any cost do not give up these spiritual practices. Let us discuss them.

1. Chanting the holy names of God

Chanting or mantra meditation is very important. Daily we should chant the holy names of God like the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.  Better to plan your day in such a way that you can chant early in the morning. Assign specific time for chanting. If you are busy in the morning, then you can assign specific time to chant in the daytime.  For example, ladies may have to take care of their children or may be occupied with household chores in the morning then they can chant in the daytime.

One round of chanting consisting of 108 beads takes around 6-7 minutes. Srila Prabhupada recommended to chant 16 rounds. 16 round chanting takes around 100 minutes – 120 minutes. Many devotees including devotees who are working professions plan their day in such a way that they chant 16 rounds daily.

If you have just started chanting, then you may not be able to chant 16 rounds immediately. So, start with one or two rounds daily and gradually increase it. In few months you will be able to chant 16 rounds daily.

There are so many benefits of chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. To know the benefits please watch the below video.

2. Worshipping the deity of Lord Krishna

Devotee of Krishna do mangal arati daily in the morning. It will make your life auspicious. Arati purifies the entire atmosphere. And it takes at the most around 30 minutes.

3. Reading spiritual literatures like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam

These books are not ordinary books. Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna and Srimad Bhagavatam is about Krishna. These are transcendental literatures. If we read these books, then it will nourish our intelligence and give direction to our life.  We can read for 30 minutes daily. It can be done in the morning if we have time or else in the evening or before going to bed.

Along with reading it is also important that we contemplate on the message given these holy books and apply its teachings in our life.

If we begin our day with the above three spiritual activities, then entire day will be auspicious.  Throughout the day we will have blessings and protection of Krishna. Above three spiritual activities should be done everyday of the week.

After making sure that you have completed your spiritual duty, focus on following activities.

Plan your office work intelligently

Krishna has mercifully given us the job. So, we should do our work honestly and diligently.  So, plan your office work intelligently. Whatever work has to be completed should be listed down in a diary or mobile or even on your laptop.  

As per the deadline, priority should be given to each piece of work.  Once the work items to be completed are listed down then your mind will know what has to be done. 

Start proactively doing your work. Do not procrastinate and start work at the last moment. If you start late the work will appear burdensome. You may eventually complete your work, but you will feel exhausted and sometimes even frustrated.

Better to start early and finish early. You will be happy; your manager will be happy.  Any project needs reliable resources who are proactive in their work.  If you are the one, then you will be a sought after resource in the organization. There will be less fear of being on bench or being fired from the company. 

Also, if you do your duties dutifully then Krishna will be pleased. Krishna likes responsible people. Remember whatever work we may be doing we have to always keep Krishna in the center.

Along with your project work, it is also important to learn new technologies or skills which will be helpful for future growth.

Since I work in IT industry, so I am mostly talking from IT perspective, but it is applicable for other sectors as well.  

Whatever may be your field of activity, if you plan and prioritize your work then you will be productive and will earn appreciation from others.

It is applicable even for students. If a student plans his study properly then he will get good marks and will have good career.

Take care of your physical health

Physical health is also important. Please do not neglect it.  So, we should exercise regularly at least 5 days in a week for around 30 minutes. If not possible in the morning, then we can do it in the evening.

I was hearing an interview of Sundar Pichai, Google CEO. He said that he does not get time to exercise in the morning, so he does it in the evening. One another interesting thing he said was that he walks with his colleagues during official discussions and meetings. A good way to get the work done and also be healthy. 

Spend time with your family

It is important to spend time with your family members. We owe a lot to our mother and father. They sacrificed their life to help us grow in our life. So, we should give time to them.

We should give proper time to our spouse and children. Brother and sister also need our time. Give quality time to them.  

If our brother or sister is married and is staying elsewhere with their families then we may not be able to speak to them daily. But at least once or twice a week we should speak to them.

Take care of your social needs

Spend time with your friends. Develop friendship with the devotees of the Lord. Their association will enrich your life.  Also spend time with your neighbors, they are also part of your life. We may not be able to spend time with them daily but at least we can do it once or twice in a week.

Recreation is also important

If we only work, we get bored. So, it is also important to have fun in our life. For that you can hear nice devotional songs or go for a walk in the park with your spouse. If you know swimming, then go for it. It will refresh you.

Also once in six months you can go for outing with your family members.  Relax and rejuvenate. It will bring joy to your life. It will also make your family members happy.

Practice Cleanliness

It is said that cleanliness is next to godliness. So live clean. Take bath daily. Go for a haircut. Trim your nails both of hands and finger. Wear fresh clothes daily.  It looks like I am speaking to a child.

I remember these things were told to us when we were in kindergarten. I am saying this because I have seen people not taking bath daily especially during winters.  They use perfume or deodorant to supress the bad smell of their body. Their nails are big and untidy. Hair grows like bushes. They repeat same clothes without washing for days. These unclean habits have to be given up if we want to cultivate mode of goodness. 

Keeping ourselves clean does not take great amount of time.  It is just a matter of habit. So, we should develop a habit of living a clean life.

Along with that it is important that we keep our surroundings clean. Lord’s altar should be clean. Our study table or worktable should be clean and not clumsy. Books, laptops, mobiles should be properly kept and not thrown away here and there. Make you bed early in the morning. For these things do not depend on others like your maid or wife or children. Do it yourself. 

If we live clean and stay in a clean environment, then it affects our consciousness. It helps us to rise to the mode of goodness.

What Krishna says regarding mode of goodness

We discussed that you should lead a regulated life to cultivate mode of goodness. And for that you need to plan your life wisely. And while planning the important activities on which you should focus, we also discussed those.

If you adopt this lifestyle then slowly you will come to the mode of goodness. You will grow spiritually and have stable material life.

Krishna glorifies mode of goodness. He says to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita 14.9, “O son of Bharata, the mode of goodness conditions one to happiness.

So, if you and I cultivate mode of goodness following the steps discussed above then we will be able to lead a happy life which we always aspire for.

Leave a Reply