- Nature takes the path of least resistance. If you look at a rivulet or a stream of water flowing through mountains, it will find its way through earth by taking the path of least resistance. It will change its course if it finds a huge boulder in its way. But it will eventually reach the sea by flowing. Similarly, air & fire too act in nature. Even animals are bound by their nature and act. Humans are born on this earth so that they can excel in life and reach the Supreme through the path of least resistance. But many times we think that life is difficult and we are given unfair choices in our path. We are confused with the choices that we face because of our ego.
Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Geeta:
यदहङ्कारमाश्रित्य न योत्स्य इति मन्यसे।
मिथ्यैष व्यवसायस्ते प्रकृतिस्त्वां नियोक्ष्यति।।18.59।।
स्वभावजेन कौन्तेय निबद्धः स्वेन कर्मणा।
कर्तुं नेच्छसि यन्मोहात्करिष्यस्यवशोऽपि तत्।।18.60।।
If, taking refuge of your ego, you decide to not fight. Vain is your resolve, nature will compel you to (fight). (18.59)
O Arjuna, bound by your own action (Karma), which is born from your nature (duty), that which you decide to not do through delusion will still be done by you. (18.60)
We are all souls (Jivatma) and nature (Prakriti) does all the actions. The souls as such do not act. But as we grow older, we think that we are the doer. Thus our ego gains strength as we grow. And then we get confused later in our life with the choices that we face. How do we let Nature act it’s own way and avoid confusion in our lives, thereby living in peace?
Bhagavan Krishna says:
ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति।
भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया।।18.61।।
तमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत।
तत्प्रसादात्परां शान्तिं स्थानं प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम्।।18.62।।
The Lord dwells in everyones heart, Arjuna, causing all beings to whirl round as if mounted on a machine.(18.61)
Hence, go to Him only with all your emotions/thoughts, Bharata, By His grace you will get eternal abode and peace. (18.62)
We need to take refuge with God. We need to align our will with God’s will because he knows better for us than we know what we need. By doing this we can be one with Nature and God.
Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature – Michael Faraday
Science is all around us. But very few notice it and wonder the source of nature. Great scientists knew something is out there but they couldn’t pin point the source. Their work and study was driven by the urge for finding answers. Why does this happen? What makes it move? Where does it come from?
But science evolved after 16th century rapidly when scientists starting having tools at their disposal for their research. They could experiment and find answers to their questions.
Before that time, in 8th century and in fact even in B. C., there were people who had the same questions that were unanswered till 17th century. Those people were called Philosophers, thinkers, seers, saints, sages. The had the same questions regarding the laws of nature but not the right tools to find answers. Probably that’s why they tried to find the answers within.
Both scientists and philosophers go mad in their search. It drives them crazy to not being able to explain the phenomena out there. But they dedicate their whole life in pursuit of getting answers. Material things would not affect them.
People think that science and philosophy are two extreme studies or pursuits. But the people following these pursuits have the same purpose, same goals, same end. Only the means are different.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better – Albert Einstein
I read this article in Times of India few days back when it made me think how people perceive life. People are very much familiar with the concept of ‘Rat Race’. Since the time I have finished my graduation and started working, I have felt the race around me. It was almost like people were pushing you into it. It started with campus placements where everyone was interested in the salary package that their friends were offered. No one was interested in the role that they were offered. Everyone assumed that it will be ‘software engineer’ role. In my current company I take lot of interviews and none of the candidates ask me what their role is. Everyone is interested in the package.
Comparing yourself with others doesn’t stop at salary package. People compare themselves with their peers, friends, cousins and even family members on numerous factors – car, property, gadgets and much more. We call these things status symbol and these material objects give a meaning to our life. They feed our ego. We feel that we have accomplished something and achieved more than our parents might have in their whole life.
I am not against material things, but I believe that God doesn’t give man what he wants, he gives him what he needs. We should strive to have everything that is important in our life – like having a home to live, clothes to wear, nice food to eat. But because of the Rat Race, the definition of what is important has changed and people feel that having these objects is important and they work extra hard just to buy these things.
So there are one sect of people who look at life like a race. They want to play the race and win. If they win, they are happy, if they don’t win they are sad. If someone else goes ahead of them they are sad. I think most of us perceive life in this way since childhood.
Other way of looking at life is like a stage. It means that we all have a part or role to play in this life. We do not look at life as a race, but as a stage where everyone is playing their part. People come on stage, play their part and leave. The lead actor has a major part and the supporting actor might have a lesser one. Of course, this would mean that the lead actor might get more remuneration than the supporting actor. But in this case, there is no competition between the actors. Everyone is not trying to out-do each other as they would have in the race. Everyone knows what part they are playing in life and are happy about it. They are happy in their role and in their work. Getting remuneration for what you enjoy doing is just a bonus, like icing on cake.
Hence I suggest that before we start comparing ourselves with others, see what role they are playing and compare that with the role that you are playing. Most of the times you will be happy with your role and will accept the rewards that come with it.
Finally, I would like to end this with a favourite quote I had heard long time ago. It goes like this – “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat”. And that I think makes all the difference in the way we perceive life.
I woke up in the morning and was trying to rush to office for a client call. I tried my best to finish my morning schedule on time. Quickly I left home only to find that some moron had parked his bike outside my home. After leaving the gates, I found additional traffic on road. Finally, I reached office on time for the call only to find that the client couldn’t come today due to technical reasons (some problems with his computer).
Even after controlling so many things in the morning, I still couldn’t have the client call. There are so many things happening outside your control that you cannot predict the outcome. The only thing that you can do is give your best shot at whatever you do. You cannot expect the results of your actions. You cannot guarantee the results of your actions. Even if I had reached office half an hour early, what was the probability of the meeting taking place? It reminds me of the fact that we can only give our best shot at whatever job or task we are doing and leave the outcome to the universe.
Closing voiceover by Mohinder Suresh in Heroes (Season 3 Episode 19) :
Generations unfold — father to son, mother to daughter. Where one leaves off, the other follows, destined to repeat each other’s mistakes, each other’s triumphs. For how do we see the world if not through their lens? The same fears, the same desires? Do we see them as an example to follow, or as a warning of what to avoid? Choosing to live as they have, simply because it’s what we know, or driven to create one’s own identity? And what happens when we find them to be a disappointment? Can we replace them? Our mothers, our fathers? Or will destiny find a way to drive us back? Back to the familiar comforts of home?
Knowing your destination or end-point is not enough to reach that place. There is one more thing that you need to know, which is also as important as knowing your destination.
Your starting-point, your source. Without having a clue about where you currently are, there is no way you can figure out yourself how to reach the destination. The only solution to reach your goal, in that case, would be to ask for directions. You could be very very near to your destination or maybe miles away from it. But you don’t know that, because you don’t know where you are currently. Hence, you could just blindly follow directions as given by others and hope to reach the end-point.
So, the next time you are lost, instead of asking for directions, you should ask them where you are. Ask them where you are, how far you are from your destination, how much time and efforts will it take to reach there, and then ask them how do you reach that place? Once you know accurately where you stand, where ever you are, you will be able to make better decisions on road to reach your goal.
Its the ego that inflates our tiny self in this world.
– Rishi Agarwal
We are small people but our lives are big.
– Rishi Agarwal
I like Nelly Furtado’s song – Powerless (Say what you want) – the remix version by Josh . Been listening to it since long time.
The lyrics goes something like this :
Cuz this life is too short to live it just for you
But when you feel so powerless what are you gonna do
But say what you want
Say what you want.
People do that a lot! I have observed many people do the same thing, when they feel powerless. They cannot bear what is happening around them and if the person feels he/she cannot control the situation he is in, he ends up taking a drastic action. This action doesn’t even help improving his/her situation. For example, some go in depression, some go on a killing spree, some commit suicide, some end up hurting others, etc. No one gets affected, life goes on, except for the person who was feeling powerless.
For me, this is wrong. Take actions which elevate your position from being powerless to powerful. A man with power or in a powerful state can do far better things than him being in a powerless state. Divert all your actions to change your situation. I know its difficult. The reason you are feeling powerless is that you don’t know how to change your situation. But there is always a way out. Start analyzing your situation, how you got yourself into it, and how to get out of it. Think wisely, analyze hard.
This might be dogmatic, but I believe it will atleast prevent someone from taking a drastic, unnecessary action. Any comments ?
Everyone takes out time to clean up some stuff around them. Re-organize things. Like your desk, cupboard, etc. At times, it happens often, or once in a blue moon. But, it gives you a sense of satisfaction that you are able to organize your life and put things around you the way you want it to be.
When I was less than 10, I used to clean up ( rather re-organize ) my comics collection once a while.
Then after 10, I started cleaning my study table. This used to happen often, with my table littered with books all around and stacks piling up within a week.
Then I got to cleaning my cupboard, giving out old clothes to the needy.
During college, cleaning of my books and project stuff used to happen after every semester. To be frank, that was one of the best pleasures, to put those course materials away hoping to never see them again 😉
And today, I cleaned my Home Desktop… Phew !