Somebody once asked Lord Buddha, “After meditating for years, I have not been able to gain anything.” Then Lord Buddha asked, “Did you lose anything?” The disciple said, “Yes, I lost my anger, desires, expectations and ego.” Buddha smiled and said, “That is what your gain is by meditating.”

To be happy, one must learn to let go the following:

• One should let go of the desires. In Amarnath Yatra, Lord Shiva firstly let go of the Bull, which represents the sexual desires. In Hanuman’s Lanka yatra, desires are represented by Samhiki, a creature who used to catch birds by their shadow. Hanuman killed the desires. So, it is possible to kill your desires. Again in Ramayana, desires are linked to Rajsik mind and in mythology, Meghnath represents the Rajsik mind. Meghnath was killed by Lakshman, the determined mind. Therefore, one should let go of the desires by killing them by focused concentration of the mind on the desires.

• Let go of your expectations. In Amarnath Yatra, the second thing which Lord Shiva discarded was the moon, which in mythology symbolizes letting go of expectations.

• Let go of your ego. In mythology, ego represents Kansa in Krishna era and Ravana in Rama era. Both were killed by Krishna and Rama respectively, who symbolize the consciousness. Ego can never be killed by the mind and can only be killed by the consciousness (conscious-based decisions).

• Ego is also represented by Sheshnag and Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu both are depicted with a Sheshnag with mouth downwards indicating the importance of controlling one’s ego.

• One should let go of his or her ego but also remember never to hurt somebody’s ego. Hurting somebody’s ego in terms of allegations of sexual misconduct, financial corruption or abusing one’s caste is never forgotten and carries serious implications.

• In Hanuman’s Lanka Yatra, ego is represented by Sursa; Hanuman managed her by humility and not by counter ego. On Naag Panchami, we worship Naag, the ego, by folded hands and by offering milk.

• Let go of your inaction. One should learn to live in the present. In Hanuman’s Lanka Yatra, Hanuman first meets Menak Mountain, which indicates destination to rest. One should never do that and willfully divert his or her mind towards action.

• Let go of your attachments. Let go of your attachments to your close relatives and the worldly desires. In Amarnath Yatra, Lord Shiva first leaves Bull (desires), moon (expectations), sheshnag (ego) and then he gives up Ganesha and worldly desires (five elements). In mythology, this is practiced as detached attachment and has been equated to Lotus in the Bhagavad Gita. In Islam, detached attachment is practiced in the form of Bakra Eid.

• Let go of your habit of criticizing, complaining and condemning people. One should always practice non-violent communication and speak which is truth, necessary and kind. One should not criticize, condemn or complain about people, situation and events. Wayne Dyer said, “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you do not know anything about.”

• Most of us often condemn people without knowing their capabilities and label them as unmatchable to us. One should also let go habit of gossiping as it is a form of violent communication.

• Let go of your habit of blaming others: One should learn to take the responsibilities and people believe in team work. Good leader is the one who learns to be responsible in life.

• Let go of your need to be always right: It is a form of ego. Remember, in arguments either you can win arguments or relationships. Always try to win relationship and not arguments.

• Let go of your need to control situations, events and people: Learn to accept people as they are. The world is won by those who let this habit go.

• Let go of your habit and the need to impress others: This is also a type of ego where we always seek appreciation.

• Give up your belief that you cannot do it: Remember ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ is ‘I M POSSIBLE’. A belief is not an idea held by the mind but it is an idea that holds the mind. (Elli Roselle).

• Give up your resistance to change: Remember change is the only constant which will happen and always welcome it. Joseph Campbell once said “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

• Let go of your fear and all negative thoughts. Remember, the mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. It becomes very destructive if used badly. (Eckhart Tolle).

• Let go of your habit of giving excuses.

• Let go of always staying in the past.