More contacts mean more opportunities — in business, in career, in jobs, in social networking.
Contacts not only affect our external lives, but they change us internally too. In fact, the nature and the number of contacts shape the human destiny.
But, in today’s Internet age, contacts are easy to make but difficult to retain.
Maintaining relations with people requires training in the science of interpersonal skills. But since few realize the need of such training, more contacts bring more stress.
Not only do we contact with people, but with things and situations as well.
Things like smart phones, laptops, electronic gadgets, household appliances, cars, furniture are no longer luxuries but unavoidable needs.
Like contact with people, things too affect our lives. And if things are not managed, they can be stressful rather than comforting.
Unlike things, situations come and go. But if we do not know how to come in contact with situations, situations too can damage and alter our emotional balance.
So, what to do? Do not make any contact. Become a recluse? Of course, that would be madness. Even undesirable. Or rather, an impossible proposal.
The best solution is to know the art of Contact. To learn how to contact and how not to contact.
So, let’s begin.
There are three types of contact — Raw Contact, Guarded Contact, and Original Contact.
And the advice is —
Avoid Raw Contact.
Learn the Guarded Contact.
And Practice the Original Contact.
The first is Raw contact.
Raw Contact is a naked or a bare contact with the world.
In this contact, the senses lack training. The eyes, the skin, the ear, the nose, and the mind come in contact with this world but with no idea how to come in contact.
Raw contact is thus an animalistic contact. Inspired by gross desires and guided by selfish, sensual reflexes.
The aim of Raw contact — Sense enjoyment. The result — Lust, anger, greed and frustration.
Considering the dangers of Raw Contact, some philosophers propose renouncing this world. Their propaganda ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’
But is that possible?
Bhagavad Gita 3.5 denies,
Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.
So, what’s the solution?
Learn the next contact — the Guarded Contact.
Guarded contact supplies the guard of Dharma.
Dharma is not religion. It is a manual of life. Scientific rules for making one’s life peaceful and stress free.
The practice of Dharma keeps the mind undisturbed amid all contacts. Dharma trains the mind to contact people, things, and situations selflessly.
Once the mind becomes selfless, it no more falls in the grip of lust, anger and greed that are born of selfishness. The liberated mind then experiences peace and satisfaction.
So unlike Raw Contact which is reflexive and selfish, Guarded Contact is conscious and selfless.
The aim of Guarded Contact — Selfless Actions. The Result — Peace and Satisfaction.
In fact, without the principles of Dharma, contacting the world is distracting and dangerous.
Bhagavad Gita 16.23 warns,
He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.
For example, Dharma trains to see every female except one’s wife as mother. Armed with this principle of Dharma, the sight of a woman will not incite lust but inspire respect.
Instead of a selfish and unsafe Raw Contact, there is now a selfless and safe Guarded Contact.
But the irony of life is that knowing and applying are two different things. Despite knowing every woman except one’s wife is our mother, who can see that way?
Guarded Contact teaches the principles of Dharma, but does not give the power to apply them.
For gaining the power we need the support of third contact — theOriginal Contact.
In Original Contact, the sole inspiration to contact the world is nothing but the service of God.
Sincere service of God focuses on understanding God, the original source of everything. Fulfilling His interests than our own selfish desires.
Original Contact thus destroys selfishness by changing the focus from self to God. And at the same time, infuses the spirit of selflessness by inspiring service attitude.
In other words, Original contact supports the Guarded Contact by bestowing the power to apply the selfless principles of Dharma.
The principles of Dharma teach selfless actions and Original Contact supplies the enthusiasm and the spirit to carry them out.
Original Contact focuses not only on God’s interests but also on God’s love.
God’s causeless love for us inspires reciprocal love for Him and is called Love of God. Love of God stays in the heart of devotees and help transcend their mind of all the conceptions of selfishness and selflessness.
Lovers of God are obviously beyond all selfish desires, but they are also beyond selfless desires and actions that still concern with the material world.
Their love makes them transcendental, focused on God and His service, beyond the material sphere.
In other words, their love two destroys their attachment even to the concept of selfless. They are not selfless because they want to be selfless. They are selfless because it is pleasing to God. That is real selflessness.
Because if you want to be selfless, then you still want to be selfless. And that is selfishness.
Indeed, without Original Contact no one can be really selfless.
Philanthropists with no Original Contact may act selfless, but deep within they are selfish. They seek personal peace and satisfaction in that selfless service. And also, they are attached to their own ideas and plans of helping others.
But devotees with Original Contact seek only satisfaction of God. And for them, only God’s idea and instructions can help others. Any other idea, even their own ideas, will eventually harm and bring sufferings. That is real selflessness of the Original Contact, beyond mundane selflessness.
This state of soul, beyond the dualities of selfishness and mundane selfless, where it is in Love with God and knows nothing but only His service is its Original state. Hence the name Original Contact.
The aim of Original Contact — Devotion. The result — Love of God. The side effect — Real Selfless.
In essence, be a Lotus in the pond.
A Lotus remains in the pond, yet untouched by its dirty waters. Similarly, you too can stay undisturbed and stress free even though living among all your contacts.
But, to be like a Lotus in the real world needs not metaphors, idioms, and rhetoric, but intelligence, training and devotion.
Intelligence to avoid the Raw Contact, training to learn the Guarded Contact, and devotion to practice the Original Contact.
Contact does Matter!