Life is: A Tug of War

He is the center

And He is the core

And He is in

Our hearts.

The more we are away

From Him

More is our suffering

And more is the pain

But even this suffering

And also the pain

Are His gifts only

To bring us

Back home

Life is a Tug of War

A 24/7 struggle is always going on in our lives! We are tossed around like a wave in the sea or a straw in the wind! And looks like there is no escape! 

All of us are subjected to this tossing around because two opposing forces are continuously at work in our lives — one is Centrifugal and the other Centripetal. One is throwing us out and the other is pulling us in!

One is Maya, the Delusion, Satan, or Worldly Attractions and Temptations: which are pulling us away from God, from Love, which is at the center, the core of our being! Maya is a tenacious foe because for lifetimes we have identified ourselves with the mortal body and mind. So long as we remain engrossed in their ceaseless reactivity to the drama of daily life, our energy and attention are kept hostage to outward circumstances – to the demanding pressures, the constant sensory stimulation, and the peace-disrupting information overload prevalent in this modern world. 

The other, His love and His magnetism are pulling us towards Him, towards the center. The further away we are from the center more is our suffering and restlessness. And the nearer we are to the center more is our joy and peace. All of us are His prodigal children and will eventually return to Him, to the center. 

Even if you aren’t a believer or are an agnostic; you might be aware of the Big Bang theory, which says – that the universe began approximately 14 billion years ago as an unimaginably small, hot, and dense point (The Singularity) and rapidly expanded. The expansion of the Universe occurred at a very fast rate of speed; which was referred as a huge explosion.

That Singularity can be called God, Spirit, Universal Consciousness, Brahma, Allah or any name we choose to give it! 

(When I say God the reader is welcome to think of it with any name comfortable to him!)

It is humanly impossible to imagine the Force and the Power of this Big Bang, and its Intelligence! It is this Force, this Power which created the manifest universe; and it is this unimaginable force that created and sustains the unimaginable Infinitude of Creation! At the same time if it didn’t have supreme intelligence the cosmos would have been extremely chaotic. But it is perfectly balanced, organized and harmonious! One can just look nature with awe, amazement and wonder!

So both these forces are working on us all the time. His love, our innate nature, is pulling us back to Him; and the worldly attractions, the Satan, is pulling us away from the center, away from God. 

The negative emotions, feelings and actions, which take us away from the center, are:

  • Anger
  • Greed 
  • Lust
  • Hate and
  • Envy

And the emotions, feelings and actions; that pull us towards the center are: 

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Compassion
  • Kindness and 
  • Selflessness

The closer we are to the center, more at peace we shall be; and further away we are from the center, more restless we shall be! 

This tug of war is constantly working in our lives! At times we are running towards the center and at times crawling. At times we are inching away from the center or running away. That is the cyclicity of life! That is His play! But the good thing is that His Love is all-powerful and shall always win in the end! In the mean time we keep enacting the karmic play in the Reality Show, in the Cocktail we call Life!

It is the cohesive power of God that keeps the earth together. It is the attraction and pull of His love that we exist. But for His grace we would have disintegrated long back!

Paramahansa Yogananda had said that if we could see God, His love and joy; all will run back to Him! But then the play, the show will lose meaning! Therefore He has veiled Himself with all the worldly attractions and sensuous pleasures. At the same time He has given us the intelligence and reason, and the power to tear away this veil and find our way back home!

God wants that we use our will power, initiative, and soul-inspired discrimination to banish from our consciousness the limiting thoughts, desires, and behaviors that eclipse our innate divinity and bliss.

Even a touch of that God-bliss can spiritualize us and enlarge our awareness of possibilities in whatever circumstances confront us. We can assess daily situations more even-mindedly, and be guided by calm reason and soul intuition rather than impulses of the ego and emotions. We are able to express more understanding and compassion to others, based not just on moral imperatives but on the deeper empathy one feels for one’s own.  

Bee and its Love!

There is a popular verse in ‘Sanskrit literature’, which relates a bee’s story. The bee was sitting on a lotus flower, drinking its nectar. As the sun began setting, the petals of the flower began shutting. But the bee was so attached to enjoying the object of its senses that it refused to fly off. It thought, “There is still time for the flower to close. Let me suck some more nectar while I can.” 

In the meantime, it became dark and the lotus flower closed, trapping the bee. It thought, “Never mind! Let me remain inside my beloved flower for tonight. Tomorrow morning when its petals open again, I will fly away.” 

“A bee has the power to cut through wood. But look at the attachment to the sense objects that the bee which can cut through wood is stuck inside the soft petals of the lotus.” In the meantime, an elephant came, broke the lotus from the stem, and swallowed it. The bee along with the lotus went into the stomach of the elephant. The bee was thinking, “My beloved lotus is going somewhere, and I am happily going along with it.” It died shortly thereafter.

In the same way, we humans too remain engrossed in the gratification of the senses, and do not pay heed to the messages of the saints and sages. We can see old age coming as a sure sign of death, but like the bee, we remain engrossed in enjoying worldly pleasures.

Material desires are like an itching eczema, and the more we indulge in them, the worse they become. How can we be truly happy in this state of material indulgence? 

A person who has not learnt to discipline the mind and senses can neither meditate upon God nor experience his divine bliss. Without the higher taste, it becomes impossible to renounce the lower taste, and such a person keeps hankering for material happiness, like the bee finds it impossible to renounce the nectar of the flower. 

Copyright ©

You may like to read my earlier posts :

Life is a Cocktail

Life is a Reality Show


63 thoughts on “Life is: A Tug of War

Add yours

  1. I cannot claim sufficient scientific expertise on this point. But from what I understand the singularity which (assuming the Big Bang Theory is correct) gave rise to the universe was, itself, a point in space-time when matter was infinitely dense. That would mean it was something physical while God is metaphysical, outside space and time. He was and is the Creator. Satan is but a creature, powerful though his influence may be.

  2. May God and Jesus be ever with you my friend. It is so good to have an open mind 😇
    At the highest level : Nothing really happens without His grace 🙏

  3. It was an honour reading your great works Sir. Aaah, thanks for the clarification, I see what you mean and fully agree. Thank you for the complements-I am always open to learning new things. Looking forward to glean more from your experience and insights 🙂

  4. Thank you so much my friend for the visit and your detailed and insightful comments.
    Looks like you go more by words and the scriptures and I by concepts and my experiences and realisations.
    I am with you 💯 percent on grace and faith. If I want to experience: I and my Father are one — I need to put in lots of effort or love. My master, Paramahansa Yogananda says: To realise God it is 25% devotees effort, 25% his teachers or masters effort and 50% God’s grace.
    And yes faith can move mountains.

    And yes God is not at the center 😂 He is everywhere. There is nothing He is not in!
    He is eternal, infinite and omnipresent.

    I am talking about two opposing forces, which are working in our life: one pulling us away from our true nature, our pure soul and God’s love pulling us towards him. The whole Tug of War is within our own selves only. When we have love and peace and compassion and joy in our hearts we are blissful. When we have hate or jealousy or greed etc in our heart we are restless and unhappy and unfulfilled.

    Life goes on at three levels : Body, Mind and Soul and there are different answers or concepts at each level.
    You seem to be very intelligent and reflective for a young person. Am so glad to get in touch with you.
    Just got up from my evening meditation and was thinking I need to read your post on Light again 😊

  5. This is lovely, and full of great perspectives.But sometimes although we strive to reach the centre, we mostly don’t get it right, like Paul put it, ‘I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.’ This makes me think that sometimes what keeps us from the ‘centre’ is ourselves, our very being.

    ‘A person who has not learnt to discipline the mind and senses can neither meditate upon God nor experience his divine bliss.’ does that mean that based on our good and noble works can we only experience God?’ This is true but I also think we should give room for grace.

    Also, we don’t work towards the centre to get to God, but we do because God already did the work for us and thus He enables us to do what is required of us. ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God’ – Ephesians 2:8 and ‘Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ…for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.’- Galatians 2:16

    God is not just at the centre, for He is not stagnant, He is all around us, everywhere… Infact, ” If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” -Psalm 139:8

  6. I am so glad you found it interesting my friend. Many of my posts of last year look so relevant today.
    Thank you so much for the read and your words of wisdom 👏

  7. You know this is so powerful and true.. I experience those two forces daily in the spirals.. today I was watching the water cycle anti clockwise down the bath plug hole and it reminded me of the earth’s gravitational force field which differs from pole to pole and we too always oscillate… the question how to be in the world but not hooked by the world.. this has given me a lot to think about Ashok thank you for sharing it…

  8. Welcome back Ashok! Your discussion was well-received by other readers, and I found much to bring encouragement to my faith journey. You are right about life feeling like a tug of war.

  9. We humans have the intuition that there is something bigger than us and we acknowledge it in different ways. That is why wherever you go, whichever religious/spiritual practice you look into, you see similar ideas and practices. Lovely post as always, Ashok!

  10. I love this post!!!!!!

    You remind me of the thought that however much good exists there’ll always be the same pull in the opposite direction for free will to exist. For example when idol worship was no longer prevalent – when that stopped, prophecy ended. Witchcraft doesn’t exist much nowadays – neither the good or bad.
    I can’t recall what else I was going to say though there was lots. Better for you 🙂

    Love, light and glitter

  11. Thank you so much Amy.
    Yes, it is possible to walk away from ego/maya and experience heaven right here. Paramahansa Yogananda has given us a simple practical way and I am so thankful for that. It is His grace that I keep experiencing this heaven on earth so often.
    Thank you once again 🌹😊🌹

  12. A post I really related to, Ashok! Powerful words of wisdom found here, ones that I just so happen to be understanding on a level never before understood. Truly one can experience God regardless of life circumstances. It depends on where one’s eyes are at, and the state of the “mind”. I’m reading a book right now that explains it is possible to walk away from ego or maya. That is when heaven on earth is known. Bless you for sharing such a glorious post!! xo

  13. You have beautifully explained the tug of war man faces in life Ashokji. I have felt strong pulls from both sides at different points in time. With age, maturity and understanding now the pull seems to be more towards HIM.

  14. Beautiful philosophy!! 🌺🌺
    Science and religion coexist to help each other and that just shows through this post. I believe in this. 🌺🌺🥰
    Also, long time no see, how’s it going?

  15. You have excelled in writing this beautiful post. The core is the main value of our life and often God isolates us so we can draw closer to HIM.We have to find and secure our faith in HIM. For God builds our strength and understanding of our life. Blessings and grateful to for expressing such beauty in words.

  16. Wow! It’s such a beautiful beautiful post. I loved reading it… would like to read it again …I’d like to share this post with others.
    I think it’s one of the best ones of yours!!

  17. This is one of the best written blog I ever read.. So nicely explained technically the universal phenomena Uncle

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