Everyone needs success. Everyone wants to achieve success. Everybody would like to enjoy a comfortable life, and achieve more with the use of less energy and work. Some people are able to come near success without being able to achieve it. Some people gain success, but are not able to retain it. Sometimes people do achieve success, but the price is so high, it does not count. There are people who gain success less investment of time and energy and more outcome and profit. HOW? Let’s see.

A princess who was going to be the queen of her country in due time had to choose a husband. The man she married would be king at her side. She therefore had three dolls made that looked exactly alike. From among the three dolls the suitors who wanted to marry her had to choose the one who would have the qualities to be a good minister. As the princess was very beautiful, and her country large and prosperous, many aspired to wed her. Some came and looked at the dolls, but not being able to see any differences between them at first sight shrugged and left. Another group of suitors looked at the three dolls but felt such a test was below their dignity. They decided it was all a waist of time and left as well. A third group of candidates looked very carefully at the dolls, felt something was there, but were afraid to fail and be laughed at, and also gave up.

One prince who wanted to marry the princess took his time studying the dolls. He found some hole in their construction. He thought carefully about this. Finally he asked for a long reed and approached the dolls. He passed the reed through the right ear of the first doll. It came out of the other ear. Then he passed the reed through the right ear of the second doll. It came out of its mouth. Finally he put the reed through the ear of the third doll and found it reached the area of the brain and stayed there. The prince declared the third doll would make a good minister. The princess asked him to explain his choice. The prince told her that the first doll represented a person with whom what would be said into one ear would go out the other. With the second doll everything that was told to him would pass out through his mouth, he would talk too much. But the third doll represented a person who would receive, keep and understand the information given to him and act accordingly. The princess understood this man would make a good husband as well as a good ruler, and she married him.

The reason why the other suitors failed was because they did not have enough control over their emotions. They were controlled by laziness, overconfidence, or an inferiority complex. Some of the characteristics of the successful suitor were right vision, self control, confidence and patience. But beyond those there was also inspiration. With little more investment than some of his time and the right commitment he achieved the success he aimed for. Would we not all like to be able to achieve success in the same way? The question is how to obtain the abilities and skills we need. And how to avoid the leakage of energy that caused the failures.

We are living in challenging times. Globalisation is changing humanity from a collection of relatively isolated tribes, villages or nation states into a geographically integrated society. At the same time we are experiencing the electronic revolution. A technical breakthrough changing the way we live and think in innumerable ways. As well as facing the ecological crises caused by the way we have been living in the past two hundred years. In between all this, individuals and organisation are facing the challenges of the changing market place.

For some time now people are trying to grapple with this situation, and much talk is going on about paradigm shifts and their necessity. The essence of our present situation is however not that such a shift in the functioning of our mind-set or that of our civilisation is necessary, but that it is inevitable. The challenge is not whether we weather this transformation, but how we weather is. The process of change has been put into motion long ago. The challenge lies not so much in whether we will accomplish this much spoken of paradigm shift, but how we will face the challenge with success, and how we will survive as entities. How successful we will be in our time as individuals and as organisations.

The million-dollar question of course is HOW? How are we to achieve the success we all are longing for? Abilities and skills like right vision, self-control, confidence, patience and inspiration do not come to all of us by birth or by upbringing. Neither does conventional education nurture the development of these skills. How could we include them in our functioning?

Our uniqueness as a species lies in our consciousness. And our consciousness expresses itself through our intelligence. Intelligence is a fluid almost intangible concept, and attempts at pinning it down have been only partially successful. But it is our intelligence which is the instrument with which we have to face the challenges that are with us at the moment, and in the future. Many methods have been devised to measure intelligence in its various aspects. But the development and improvement of intelligence as such has, to my knowledge, not been a subject of study, not been part of the educational system.

This is possibly due to the assumption that intelligence, as generated by or seated in the brain, is as it were fixed by birth and circumstances. But in reality the brain, being a physical organ, can be trained and exercised, just as we train and exercise other parts of our bodies. By stating this fact I am not introducing a new concept. In reality it is one of the most ancient teachings, tracing its origin to one of the spiritual traditions of humanity. The training and development of our consciousness through exercising the brain is part of the Vedic principles, and can be traced back as far as 13000 years before the present.

To enable a clear understanding, let me explain some aspects of the principles that allow us to train and cultivate the mind that will be introduced in this article. Whereas modern science recognises only the material world as reality, the Vedic worldview includes higher, non-physical planes. These are quite possibly identical with or related to the unseen dimensions that have recently been discovered by physicists. Primarily we can distinguish three levels or fields of reality.

The first or lowest level, which is best known to us as it is the plane of our daily lives. It is the plane of matter which gives rise to our physical bodies, including the brain. The next level is non-material, and is therefore called the subtle. This is where the energy body is functioning. The third and highest dimension of our existence is the spiritual body. It is the vehicle of our consciousness, or the soul.

Ancient spiritual practice has as aim the total development of all the faculties belonging to human consciousness, as they exist on these three planes. The methods, mechanisms and exercises that enhance and improve our functioning as conscious human beings have been handed down by the oral tradition of the learned masters through the millennia

Human intelligence can be trained to perform better on every level, and in every aspect of its functioning, whether material, social or spiritual. Applying the practices that improve mental functioning will enable us to discover and develop solutions for many of our present day conflicts and dilemmas. They are in a way a solution in themselves. These practices are based upon a right understanding of the brain-mind-soul continuity. Developing one aspect of this continuity assures the improvement of the other dimensions. The ultimate goal is complete integration and harmonisation. This cannot be achieved in a day. Just as exercising the body takes time, so does exercising the brain-mind. But immediate results can be experienced and observed, and can radically improve an individual’s life and functioning.

Successful results can be achieved through a five-step program, training and improving the functioning of individuals as well as organisations from five different angles.

* The physical dimension; by practicing certain aspects of the motorical functions of the brain a considerable improvement of the neural networks operative in the brain can be achieved.

* The practice of inner silence; it is common knowledge that unless we make something empty first we cannot bring in something new. The electrical and chemical activity of the brain generates a constant flow of thoughts, emotions and ideas. We experience this flow as our consciousness, but this is not exactly true. By giving time to silence we create space for deeper and higher levels of our being to surface.

* Once we have trained the instrument of our intelligence, we can proceed with improving and accumulating our practical skills, such as observation, analysis, understanding, interaction and communication.

* Finally it is important to recognise that in every situation both positive as well as negative energies are involved. And no amount of positive input will have the expected result if counter currents are not subsided or removed.

Our experience comes from our mistakes. And our wisdom comes from our experience. So our wisdom comes from our mistakes. But just making mistakes cannot bring us wisdom. We have to realise and rectify our mistakes. That experience brings us wisdom and success. Archimedes said, ‘give me a long enough lever, and I can shift the world.’

People who look at life with wrong approach and attitude see life as misery. But looking at life and observing it carefully shows it is a mystery. Finding the right tool is a way to decode the mystery. The way to success. Join us. Walk the path of inspiration.

© 2001, Raja Deekshithar