Monday, November 21, 2005

What is that I want from life?

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This Post was written some three months ago when i returned from Redmond. This was lying on my laptop and i hoped that i could upload it once i get my BSNL broadband connection. But seems BSNL folks are in no hurry to get me hooked up. So this is what i did: poked my iPod into my laptop bought it to office, poked it to my dev machine and uploaded it.
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The last few days, I have re-kindled that Fire. I don’t know where I am headed. But I do know one thing: I know why I am headed wherever I am heading. It seems a natural part of me to acquire good things and if possible better things. My whole life energy is concerned with enlarging itself. I guess everyone of us has seen this megalomaniacal side of the self. It is not content with the status quo. It always strives for something more magnificent. It is the undeniable force behind every human life. Everything that we do consciously is based on this: We study well at school to get to a good college. We study well in college to get to a good company. We work well in the company to get better money. Etc. Seen in this perspective, life is just one long relentless search for the next bigger, better thing. I guess a lot of people have identified this relentless human pursuit and have responded with different notions:
1) Some people out rightly reject this pursuit as being evil. “All Desire is evil”.
2) There is an other class of people who claim that “Destination is important, but we must enjoy the journey”. This is getting fashionable these times.
I am not here to justify/vilify the above two reactions. But deep down inside, I have a feeling, a fear that either of them is incomplete. If all desire is evil, then our only desire is not to have any desire. Isn’t that a desire as well? Saying “Desire is evil” is a sure sign of vegetation. If the destination is important, then at the end of a long fruitless journey, can one feel truly joyous? Going to Isha foundation’s class either as a participant or as a volunteer, I have been opened to a new possibility. Their simple claim is why should happiness be mortgaged to some external situation? If my happiness depends on some external situation like: Whether my build will succeed tonight? Whether my manager gives me the maximum performance bonus? Whether my lover reciprocate?, then in reality I am not in control of my own happiness. We have put an unnecessary precondition on our happiness. Happiness they claim is an inner experience and does not lie in the external situation. If this in indeed the case, they only ask us why do you shackle your capacity to be happy on some other thing. This was the very profound question that I was put into. The logic was inescapable. The truth is I am happy as long as the world is in the way I want to be. If it is any otherwise, then I am unhappy. It also means that I have unconsciously threw the remote control for my happiness into some external entity/entities when I could have had it myself. Turned on all the time. The immediate question which comes to our mind now is if you are happy about everything, that means you have settled for less in the materialistic reality. The answer they gave us was simply awesome. Let us say right now there is a situation which is not perfect. The fact is right now this moment is inevitable. We cannot think about this moment. We cannot grieve about this moment. We can only live this moment. The thing is we have a choice: we can live this moment happily or unhappily. If we live every moment of our lives in this manner, then not only are we happy but we are also effective in dealing with the less-than-perfect situation. Wow!
Love:
The talk about love was a very enriching experience indeed. First Love is not about someone or something. When we talk about love, the thing which immediately comes to our mind is our near kith and kin. The reality being love is an inner experience. Human beings have a capacity to love. The problem they claim is that to experience this feeling of love, we need keys. We have constructed an artificial lock on our capacity to love. The keys to unlock our love has materialized in the form of mother, father, husband, wife etc. This is in spite of the fact that there need not be any locks nor any keys. Love is just the natural way of being. In fact they go to the extent of saying that identifying yourself with every other person and with universe is divinity itself.
I don’t know how I can express my gratitude to Swami Lokanetra who handled one of these courses. I have not been with him for more than 20 days, but I can see him changing my life. Initially I was very distant from him. I went to his discourses wearing denims that I had not washed for days. While he was dressed in white kurta which was impeccably clean. There could not be two people who are more different at least externally. As days passed by, as he captivated me with his spell of discourses, I began to get friendly. But as time moved on, there was not much to talk about. He was a Guru and I would be doing myself a favor by practicing what he taught. This kind of respect breeds reserve. But the feeling of meeting him again last week has been a very heart-warming experience. At the same time, I had shame written all over my face as I had not done the practices during my stay at Redmond.
As I said I have consciously started a journey whose destination I don’t fully comprehend fully yet. And it is taking me places. To say the least.

4 comments:

Anand Prabhu said...

Superb write up da... I enjoyed your flow of thoughts... anto machi..way to go..

My policy: Desire is the cause of innovations and personal improvement.. Try to achieve it in a healthy way... thats it... never stop to dream :)

Rams said...

Anto,
That was an amazing post. I am going to book mark it and re-read it again and again whenever I feel the need to. That was, in a way, a good summary of the Isha classes.

Every time I get across the realities they taught us, I just feel wonderful, but I get lost in the usual way I have lived for the last 20+ years. It requires a constant fuelling to relive the truths they imparted. Reading this, in a way, does help me live the days when we went for the classes.

Hope BSP rocks. Bhoobi was telling me that we'll be able to experience what we are not able to understand during the BSP course.

Waiting for mid-Dec...

anand said...

It is more important to give rather than to get.If you can do good things to the needy,be fruitful to the society life will give lots to you and also to others.An alturist gets a lots of happiness from his life.

mishi said...

That made an excellent read, but yes we need to be in touch with such people to be able to fully understand what happiness stands for. Its very easy to get carried away with the usual thought process we've had for these many years.