Posts Tagged ‘lessons of life’

As the Election fever escalates, the drama gets more and more bizarre. Gone are the days when “rising” and “ascending” meant personal motivation to increase the personal benchmark each day, based on “uplifting” the value based standards of oneself.  I am always reminded of the exercise we did about making a short line into a longer one without touching the line. We were so excited and inspired when we got the right answer which was, that all we needed to do was to draw a bigger line next to it. So simple and so uplifting! But, hey, just try saying this to the warring politicians of today!

Let us examine this in the present context. Do we perceive Shri Arvind Kejriwal trying to “draw the bigger line” in Varanasi to cut down Shri Narendra Modi? Or, do we see Shri Rahul Gandhi trying to resurrect his party from the ashes by looming large with dramatic and desperate announcements of reforms through advertisements on TV Channels and calling it drawing the bigger line? In fact, is UPA using AAP as a front to acquire a so called “clean image” and thus, attempting to disguise their desperation for return by “cutting down” the Shri Narendra Modi line because at this time, whatever they do, the last thing on their mind is to draw the bigger line in favor of progress which they have failed to achieve, given their long run at the centre.

The defiant reaction of all the non BJP parties is not so surprising because the writing on the wall is that every thinking individual in India is banking on the surmise that the coming in of Shri Narendra Modi means a chance and a new hope at actual governance. This one point has shaken up most of the politicians, sadly, even some within BJP. Shri Arvind Kejriwal is only trying to topple Shri Narendra Modi because the perception of Shri Narendra Modi and even some endorsement of him as “incorruptible” is an image the corrupt politicians cannot afford to and will not live with. However “well meaning” Shri Arvind Kejriwal may be towards the “aam aadmi”, there is something to be said about political maturity. Governance is serious business and grabbing eyeballs with high voltage drama may not be constructive for any party at this juncture. Neither will preying on the emotions of people bring in the much required change. It becomes necessary to construct a dam when the waters deviate from their course and start to cause destruction.

If BJP members are genuine about restoring the glory of India, they will show a solidarity and faith and allow Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Ministerial candidate chosen by most of them for a good reason, to prove himself with the total support of his party. This sounds utopian at the moment because, unfortunately, personal gains override the total interest of the country.

Wisdom lies in understanding that if the country prospers, so will its citizens. An ushering in of “Ram Rajya” cannot be given the myopic connotation of radicalism among Hindus. “Ram Rajya’ only means genuine secularism, equality for all, harmonious living among different religions based on of, for and by all religions, ensuring peace and prosperity for all and working to raise the economic and social standards of the grass roots of this wonderful country called India.

Time is right for a massive change and I would like to believe that just as Lord Krishna allowed only one hundred sins to Shishupal before destroying him, the current “amrit manthan”, the churning and awareness will commence the process of complete transformation. People are fed up with non-performance, greed, lack of justice and equality and living under unpredictable and fluctuating social and economic conditions. There is desperation to see concrete proof of prosperity and an equitable distribution of wealth along with human dignity for every citizen regardless of the work profile and economic status.

If my words are idealistic, the good news is that today’s idealism was the reality earlier in time. There is an element of confidence, therefore, that those times will return and it is people themselves who will bring them back. The intolerance towards the current state of affairs is complete. Beyond the denseness of this darkness, there can only be light.

The obvious and common thought pattern at this time should be, have war and terrorism, degeneration of the mind and selfishness and greed created the wealth of happiness for anyone?  Today, in the world, there is only fear and all the emotions like anxiety, anger, hatred and intolerance sprouting from fear. Let us try love for a change. We just may be surprised at what love can do for the individual, families, societies, countries, in fact, the whole world.

Surekha Kothari

BodyMindSoulCentre, Chennai

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As much as we live in a scientifically evolving world, we are also afflicted with spiritual poverty. Ironically, this has happened in the very land of spiritual masters, sages and the enlightened Buddha, a land which the entire world turns to for spiritual knowledge.

Unfortunately, there is no measure of the spiritual rate of growth. In the words of Diana Cooper,” if children and adults were given permission to speak their truth and taught to follow their intuition, then honored for doing so, there would be no war.” In these words, we see the presence of spiritual values as being directly connected with the individual and war.

In the period of “satyug”, there was science, politics, economics, a system of justice. The difference is that every child was taught the ethics and values that should underlie all of these.

Therefore, the creation of the ASHRAM CHATUSHTAYA or the four stages of life was the most effective system for the natural, practical and spiritual regulation of society.

In the first stage, BRAHMACHRYA ( the student and celibate stage until the age of 18 years), the child learnt all the subjects : academics, sports, use of weapons, creative arts and above all, the values of honesty, respect for elders, integrity, duty consciousness, charity, love and compassion and balancing duties and responsibilities. The teachers were sages and elevated people who actually set an example with their own lives instead of just preaching without practicing what they taught. Today, it is not easy for parents and teachers to earn respect for the reason that, often, they do not live their lives in an exemplary way. Today, there is very little of value based training happening and children are growing up without the required anchor of the right knowledge and inner strength which is not and cannot be the product of mere affluence. Mark sheets and gnawing ambitions are the second stage, the first being the moral, ethical fibre of each person which adds the most important value to the other aspects of success. Promiscuousness and greed form the basis of a teenager’s quest for independence and relationships. With the element of self absorption, the corruption of the misled youth is complete.

In the second stage, GRAHASTH ASHRAM ( the householder phase , from 18 years of age), the students from the earlier phase were trained and groomed for marriage and the duties and responsibilities that go hand in hand with this phase. This was a phase of professional training, often under the elders of the family because many enterprises were hereditary. This trained the individual in teamwork, maintaining respect for family and social norms. Mutual trust was the moving force, whether in family or society. Helping the less fortunate by contributing 10 % of earnings was an inbuilt part of the social fiber. Today, we see a very different picture. Even charity is done for motives other than compassion and duty consciousness. The overwhelming greed of money, power and comfort have eclipsed most of the earlier tutoring by wise teachers. The elders and dependent family members are treated as impediments to personal growth instead of being looked after. We see more and more old age homes mushrooming. The element of complete intolerance towards taking care of our own is a chronic malfunction of the societies today based on the erosion of relationships and the emerging of insular families. The contemporary youth has gradually been deprived of the right values and today, we see more spiritual poverty than ever before.

The purpose of the third stage of life, VAANAPRASTH ASHRAM (celibacy stage) was two fold. Meant for the heads of the family, it required the parents to transfer their householder status and business to the children who had , by then, stepped into the householder stage and had already had a few years of training under the parents in the field of economics as well as social values and behavior. The parents were then supposed to be there for the children in an advisory capacity along with looking ahead towards their future. Today, the elders don’t want to let go of the reins and are also known to control the lives of their children based on their image in society and their own aspirations for their children. In many homes, the lack of freedom of decision making is the cause for strained relationships and frustration among children whose voices are strangulated. While so many career options have opened up, the minds are not as open. Parents, teachers, families and societies are all interconnected in depleting the balance and the energies of the upcoming generation. Although changes are seen, there is still enough pollution of moral corruption going around. Change will happen rapidly when the intolerance towards this corruption is voiced in ample measure. This trend is becoming visible and there is hope that it continues unabated and strengthens manifold to actually manifest the return of what we, as Indians, stood for.

In the fourth and final stage of life, SANYAAS ASHRAM, this was a preparation to pass on from this world. “SANYAAS” means taking leave from active participation in worldly activities and moving towards spiritual evolution. In the earlier times, the senior couple would sometimes leave the children to stay in another home to pursue spiritual activities such as prayer and charity. Today, there are battles between father and son because the order of natural succession is not observed. This also happens because the children may not exhibit the caliber and mature thought processes to carry on the work of the elders effectively. So, we have to go back to the initial training given to children. In other scenarios, parents are unable to “retire” from the lives of their children. This leads to resentment and the corrosion of relationships.

It is true to say that the old order changes, giving place to the new one. However, there is a constant truth that prevails in all times, and that is the authenticity of universal laws governing us. Each time the law of Harmony is violated, the results have been terrible. We need to go within ourselves and experience the connectivity with everything in this Creation and unleash the power of love and compassion. Every soul has all the right knowledge within but gets enmeshed in the dark energies instead of making the choice of living in the light.

As Diana Cooper says in her book, “A New Light of Ascension “, “if children and adults were given permission to speak their truth and taught to follow their intuition, then honored for doing so, there would be no war”.

I would like to add here that “war” has to be waged against the dark forces within and outside us, against destructive thought patterns, speech and actions , in fact, against anything which does not result in harmony and “win-win” situations.

As the old souls reincarnate on the earth to raise it’s over all consciousness, I urge every existing soul to adopt a self searching path to help in raising the vibrations of the earth to a much higher level. Become a light worker and spread the light in the universe so that all of us can bathe in this light of peace, health and happiness.

Surekha Kothari

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I , like a million others, used to love fairy tales and the proverbial “happy ending” where I saw myself “living happily ever after”. They were glorious days of freedom with “eternal happiness” at the end of the rainbow. As I ” grew up” , in years and in maturity, I started to think of happy endings , co relating this with so much misery around me and in this world.

The first thought that came to mind was…as eternal souls, we must have known and EXPERIENCED this happiness somewhere, at some time, to intrinsically believe in it as the ultimate end of our search on this physical plane. This thought enthused me further and I wanted to understand why this feeling of happiness eluded us or was sporadic, at best.

It is true that ultimately, happiness comes from within. But it is also not so simple, when one has to live day to day , experiencing nature, events and people on a regular basis . Life unfolds differently for different people and those whose expectations from life are belied , begin to look around and find the lives of others better. The feeling of “I am not happy” then creeps in. This , while it is human, is also the beginning of a deep sense of loss and unfulfillment. For some, this aspect improves with time and for some, it does not.

I relate this with the “happy ending ” syndrome only because there is no universal way to be happy. Fairy tale endings are for fairies and , more important , they are tales. I am not for a minute insinuating that there is no happy ending . I am just thinking whether it would be better to shift our

perspective from the traditional view of happiness to apply it to individual lives. Therefore, , maybe, a happy ending for a happy marriage is truly”living happily ever after”. And maybe, a happy ending for two miserable people living together is to move away from each other. Maybe, a happy ending for an ambitious  parent is to give in to a child’s ambitions of doing something different from the parent’s wishes. And maybe, the same happy ending can be achieved by each one of us just be counting our blessings for what we have.

I was amazed to find that all the people who came into my life and generated unhappiness were actually those who taught me the best lessons of my life and helped me evolve. Maybe, this is happiness…the fact that there is no negative charge within me when I think of or meet these people. And maybe, the generation of compassion when we see people struggling with their emotions and inadequacies is also a source of happiness because then, we can truly help those who need it. Helping others is also an act of God which leads to a tremendous amount of happiness.

So, friends, happy endings are for those who feel happiness everyday in their routine lives, in feeling good about themselves each minute, in being aware of the connectivity with the universe through  people , nature and the flora fauna around them, for those who recognize perfection within all the imperfections on this earth and those who can accept their situation before they use their free will to achieve further evolution.

There is no destination like “living happily ever after” unless we achieve the popular destination among humans , “moksha” , or, freedom from the cycle of birth and death.  But life is the journey where there are many , many happy endings and the beginning of a new journey after every happy ending. Eternal happiness awaits us and will be ours with a gradual and increasing  our awareness of  ourselves as beings of light , thus dispelling the clouds of darkness which block our vision at the moment.


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