Wednesday, May 11, 2011


It's cyclic!

There is a sadness in air. There is nothing wrong with any of the conventional parameters. All are doing fine and moving in the right directions. But I am having a job at hand. This is to make calls on various works / issues. The judgemental role never suits me. I try my best to avoid it. It is the toughest job to please all and meet or beat expectation of each, many of which are irrational to the core or highly emotional in nature. The role played, I remain prepared for the 'I-am-not-happy' faces. Probably people find me too puritans / conservative / idealistic / perfectionist (I have often heard these terms and the speaker was not actually praising :-)) in dealing with issues. I respect the right of everybody to feel the way one likes. I do not feel too much surprised to see little bit of selfishness in the demands made. In fact, most of us belong to that category and thus it does not disturb. It saddens if that selfishness becomes out of proportion and denies existence or right of others.

Shared sorrow, half the sorrow!

It is said, shared joy is double the joy and shared sorrow is half the sorrow. I infrequently, may be once a month, talk to an elderly relative over phone. This family is going through some difficult times over last two years. It came all on a sudden and apparently from nowhere. It is very difficult for one to establish a cause-effect relationship. They are a kind of losing faith in themselves and the virtuousness of the world, that it is all about being good and doing good. If honesty, truthfulness, service, dutifulness count, which they have adhered to all the time, then why such a fate is met out to them? While I talk to them, I try to say a few things which I read or heard from wise people; not sure at all how much I have digested that myself. All that I try to say, it is important to hang on and have faith.

Healer, heal thyself!

Last night as a bed time reading I was going through the selected works of Swami Vivekananda. Interestingly, one page in the section called "Inspired Talks" opened. This was a note taken by a disciple on 25th June, 1995. And behold! isn't it 'the issue' I am facing right now? I reproduce at bottom a selection from that notes. The whole of it can be found here(Link).


I may say that now I am better placed to talk to myself and the elderly relative. For that I looked for the Bengali translation of this note, to read out directly from Vivekananda to the relative. Checked the central library database. It is there. In the evening, I got an opportunity to visit the library and found one very old edition published in 1965. This article was there in Vol. IV of Bengali Complete Works under the title "Debbani". The most interesting part of course comes next. The book in the rack already had a page marker. It pointed to exactly the same place where this specific write-up was there. It appears that the previous reader also found the article very useful. The person in the issuing counter said that he occasionally visits Belur Math and brings Vivekananda literature from there for his family.

Vivekananda Speaks:

After every happiness comes misery; they may be far apart or near. The more advanced the soul, the more quickly does one follow the other. What we want is neither happiness nor misery. Both make us forget our true nature; both are chains — one iron, one gold; behind both is the Atman, who knows neither happiness nor misery. These are states and states must ever change; but the nature of the Soul is bliss, peace, unchanging. We have not to get it, we have it; only wash away the dross and see it.

Stand upon the Self, then only can we truly love the world. Take a very, very high stand; knowing out universal nature, we must look with perfect calmness upon all the panorama of the world. It is but baby's play, and we know that, so cannot be disturbed by it. If the mind is pleased with praise, it will be displeased with blame. All pleasures of the senses or even of the mind are evanescent but within ourselves is the one true unrelated pleasure, dependent upon nothing. It is perfectly free, it is bliss. The more our bliss is within, the more spiritual we are. The pleasure of the Self is what the world calls religion.

There is no possibility of ever having pleasure without pain, good without evil; for living itself is just the lost equilibrium. What we want is freedom, not life, nor pleasure, nor good. Creation is infinite, without beginning and without end — the ever-moving ripple in an infinite lake. There are yet unreached depths and others where the equilibrium has been regained; but the ripple is always progressing, the struggle to regain the balance is eternal. Life and death are only different names for the same fact, the two sides of the one coin. Both are Maya, the inexplicable state of striving at one time to live, and a moment later to die. Beyond this is the true nature, the Atman. While we recognize a God, it is really only the Self which we have separated ourselves from and worship as outside of us; but it is our true Self all the time — the one and only God.

The world for me, not I for the world. Good and evil are our slaves, not we theirs. It is the nature of the brute to remain where he is (not to progress); it is the nature of man to seek good and avoid evil; it is the nature of God to seek neither, but just to be eternally blissful. Let us be God! Make the heart like an ocean, go beyond all the trifles of the world, be mad with joy even at evil; see the world as a picture and then enjoy its beauty, knowing that nothing affects you. Children finding glass beads in a mud puddle, that is the good of the world. Look at it with calm complacency; see good and evil as the same — both are merely "God's play"; enjoy all.

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