Food for thought

I wanted to share a few lines that i recently read. So here goes… Hope you like ’em..

“Man can be happy with much less that he seems to think essential.

When some article is with you for some little time, you feel it is indispensible and you fo not know how to live without it. Like the silkworm, you weave a cocoon for yourself, out of your fancy.

Do not allow costly habits to grow, costly from the monetary as well as the pain of view.

Watch you likes and dislikes with a vigilant eye and discard everything that threatens to encumber your path.”

Adio…

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Secret of spiritual success

I was reading a book, while doing so, I came across a paragraph which intrigued me. I read it several times to find some meaning between the lines, something which is not written but implied or some hidden meaning which would change entirely whay the paragraph meant. I was unable to find anything. It appeared as if the paragraph gave a simple and straight message. The first few lines on the first read confused me, the following lines cleared the meaning of the first few and the last line packed the ‘message’. I wish to share the paragraph here for the readers and also to get an opinion if there is any:

[Once Krishna and Arjuna were going along an open road. Seeing a bird in the sky, Krishna asked Arjuna, “Is that a dove?”; he replied, “Yes, it is a dove.” He asked Arjuna, “Is that an eagle?” Arjuna replied promptly, “Yes it is an Eagle”; “No Arjuna, it looks like a crow to me. Is that a crow?” asked Krishna, Arjuna replied, “I am sorry, it is a crow beyond doubt.” Krishna laughed and chided him for agreeing to whatever suggestion was given. But Arjuna said, “For me, your words are far weightier than the evidence of my eyes; you can make it a crow, a dove or an eagle. When you say it is a crow, it must be one.” Implicit faith is the secret of spiritual success. ]

Before i share my views and understanding of the article, I request you to make your own views about it. Once you read someone else’s views, they appear to be correct and in harmony with what you thought. Please read it once more and jot down (if possible) of what you feel about this excerpt and its message on a piece of paper.

After reading this paragraph, I was at first confused with the answers that Arjuna was giving to Lord Krishna for his questions. Changing them with every question. His last statement explaining why he agreed with everything Krishna said is indeed pacifying and would essentially show his immense devotion and trust in the lord; but this is what intrigued me the most.

It is clearly and frequently said that for spiritual ascension, you need but absolute, unquestioning and unshakable faith in the lord. This message has been conveyed here and in every religion/ spiritual gathering/ text/ scripture, everywhere.

Everyone from the priests of the smallest of temples to the incarnations of the lord who have come down to earth in any mythology have said this, and not once, but over and over again. This is what confuses me. We are given a mind, physical senses, by the lord (mythological speaking- no offense intended) for understanding and making well thought and wise decisions. In Hindu mythology, it is said, we are given ‘Vivek’, an ability to distinguish between right and wrong, so that we can make well informed decisions. Before taking any step we analyze, weigh the pros and cons. Sometimes in detail, sometimes superficially; but we do. So why do we need to forget all this, and have blind faith in the Lord?

Why is it a requirement in every religion to have ‘Unquestioning’ faith?

I have both side, ‘for’ and ‘against’ comments for this ‘requirement’:

FOR: Whenever the Lord has incarnated, he has always had a large group of people as followers, who have been granted freedom from this mortal coil and from the cycle of birth and death. Whenever a martal being has proclaimed to be God, be it Jesus, Krishna, Raman or any other form; he has been greeted with repulsion and hostility by some, if not many, people. There have always been a group of people who have tried to extinguish this soul for several reasons.  (I would not prefer to go into details, but I am sure everyone would know of some such instances). To prove his abilities and to show he means what he says, the incarnation has performed several miracles. This was done to show his super human nature. A lot of followers questioned him, on everything they could think of before becoming his staunch devotees.  Many if not all the questions were answered to their satisfaction.  It is because they (devotees) saw that this person is not human but someone more than a mortal body, that they believed in him and were ready to follow him and give up their lives in his service.

So questions were asked and they were answered. However, it is not practical for every question of everyone to be answered. Hence, the rule of ‘Unquestioning and Unquestionable’ faith.

Also, this is common, in the scientific world as well. If Einstein started answering every question put up to him by every student of physics, he would have committed suicide, or even worse, would have have not had the time to work on his theories. And we would have been a thousand years behind in science than we are today.

AGAINST: It is the spirit of man, it was what man was ‘designed’ to do by the Lord himself. Asking questions and looking for answers is what has brought man to where he is, to where he stands and to what he knows. It is this same intrigue which is driving progress even now.

Man is designed to question before accepting. Be it any field, unless man feels satisfied with the answers, he does not accept the superiority of the opponent or the ‘Questioned’.

CRITICAL thought: Would also make one think, why do we need to have unquestionable faith? Is there something hidden which should not be discovered?

I have not had any final answer on this. My mind tells me to ask questions. On the contrary, I personally know people who have benefitted from ‘Total Unquestionable Faith’; so I am still divided.

Do share if you have any thoughts…

 Phir Milenge

Happiness

My motivation for writing this article came from a very simple feeling which I am sure most of us have experienced not once but several times. This is not the first time I have felt it either, but this is the first time it set me thinking. So here I am writing (penning) down my thoughts.

I was on my way travelling from Delhi to Bangalore, in the 2nd day of my journey. There was this family of 4, a young girl about 9 and a boy of about 14; seated opposite to me, playing cards. The little girl cheated on her town and everyone started laughing joyfully, knowing and well catching the little one’s trick. I was reading my novel, couldn’t help but notice the smile on everyone’s faces. And what happened next inspired me to write this article. I felt an urge to smile, I felt happy too; it was an involuntary feeling and I had no time to control it as my lips were already drawn into a smirk. By the time I realized that, it may look like eavesdropping on their conversation and game.  The older son noticed me and smiled back at me to which I froze not knowing what to do or how to respond.

Their laugh lasted for a few seconds after which they got back to their game; but this incident struck me; it is often said that laughter is contagious. I have experienced this several times. Smiling strangers do get a smile back. A laughing crowd or a laughing ‘yoga group’ makes you feel light when you pass them in a park. Why does this happen? I mean the thought (s) which pop up in your mind when you see someone smiling at you may be many or none, but before you know it you’re smiling back.

People often hold back their smiles voluntarily in such situations. I know because I have done it too in order to avoid a discussion or owing to social insecurity, trying to escape a random introduction or conversation. But that internal feeling does not go away. I have, for one, despised myself several times when I held back my smile.

It is like god has made us susceptible to happiness on an elemental level. No matter who we are, where we are from, which language we speak, the language of smiles is known to all of us.

I am a very scientific person but I do not deny the idea of a god/ superpower. We are too perfect (physically/anatomically) to have evolved by ourselves. That is something which I believe suddenly. But if there is a god and there exists a soul in everyone, then a smile would be a very good and open language for conversations between them. A way to show they understand and recognize each other’s souls; just smile and receive a smile in return. So simple, serene and beautiful; just like nature.

All this may not be at all true or may mean nothing, but what I realized from this incident is that a smile begets a smile in return and brings joy and happiness to both individuals; however momentary. So spread happiness-smile-even without a cause, costs nothing and connects souls.

 Vaarwel…