FREEDOM AND PEACE.

Freedom and peace are interrelated and every one including all creatures wish to have absolute peace as well as freedom. Is it possible to have absolute freedom and peace in this world? This seems to be just an illusion and a mirage and the humans since inception have been trying very hard to achieve this but have miserably failed in their mission. For attaining peace we have been fighting wars and have left no stone unturned to wipe out the entire creation from the globe. This certainly is not the right solution. The great wars of Ramayana and Mahabarta followed by thousands of wars all along the dynasties have failed to provide lasting peace and freedom to the different nations.

Peace is a bliss, it is to be felt internally by stabilizing and calming the waves of our mind. We, instead try to find peace externally by oppressing those who don’t appreciate our point of view, and for that, we choose a wrong path which results in disasters, animosity, hate, and wars. Many wars happened for the search of peace. This approach is a product of a biased, and arrogant mind. Only Peace can induce peace and wars are certainly not a solution.

Similar is the case with Freedom. It too has to be experienced. It is not something tangible. We have to identify the masters who have enslaved us. Many of them are internal such as mind, senses, anger, greed, pride, attachment etc. They keep us within their control and make us dance to their tunes. They are the mother of all evils. How can we enjoy freedom under their slavery? We are bound to our religion and there is nothing bad in it. No religion advocates hate, all preach universal brotherhood, love, and trust in one God. But is this actually happening on the ground? We become biased and lose objectivity resulting in losing whatever little freedom we have. We don’t stop at religion, we have divided ourselves further into castes, subcastes, creeds, and colors. Belonging to the same country we are divided into different regions, states, cities, areas, and even to streets. Under such a mental setup how can one remain unbiased and hence feel free?

Freedom of any type always has some limitations. Freedom of speech does not give you the right to hurt anyone’s sentiments by your words. You can’t move freely across the national boundaries unless you have proper permissions. You have to act within the limits permissible under the law of the land. For building a simple house on your own land with your own money, you need a lot of permissions from the concerned agencies. You are made to pay taxes against your will and you don’t get a job of your choice despite required qualification. Doesn’t this look ridiculous if we hope to enjoy full freedom? Sometimes we feel that the birds and animals are far better than us as they enjoy full freedom and peace. Yes, they do because they don’t have much of the bondings such as greed, lust, hate, prejudice, bias, attachment, pride and they have not divided themselves into different religions, and castes. They have not divided the earth into different countries or regions and have not drawn any boundaries. They have full faith in the Almighty and live to His will as against humans who have no control over their wishes and are always begging for more and more. HOW CAN A BEGGAR EXPERIENCE FREEDOM AND PEACE? And above all, We the humans being the descendants of THE ADAM AND THE EVE who disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit have to pay for their as well as of our own sins.

All this doesn’t mean that peace and freedom are not possible. These can be easily achieved by learning something from the birds and animals. We need to shun violence, hate, greed, bias, and all other negative attributes and respect and love all humans because we are the children of same universal Father. We need to bring an element of objectivity in our thinking process as well as enhancing the area of our compassion beyond our family to neighbors, streets, cities, states, countries, castes, religions and to the whole human race and extend it further to include animals and birds and trees. The more we enlarge our contours of compassion, more peace and freedom will surround us. We have to empower our soul which is a particle of God in us and control our mind i:e the negative power within us. Whenever we are about to make a mistake, the positive power in us i:e the soul definitely stops us, though feebly, but we ignore the command under the influence of our mind and its tricks and get involved into a conflict. The soul will always direct you to love and peace whereas the mind entangles us in the negativities. Tolerance and submission are the roads to peace and real freedom.

The greatest advocate and worshiper of peace, tolerance, and non-violence of the modern times -Mahatma Gandhi has said that in case someone slaps you on one cheek, please don’t react but instead, offer the other cheek to him. By this, he didn’t mean that you should unnecessarily keep on getting slaps on your cheeks from every tom and harry. He wanted to convey that we should not be intolerant and react to all actions. No one will unnecessarily hurt you without a reason, and when you react then he will respond and an unending chain reaction will set into motion. The only way to avoid this is to not to react. We generally don’t value our own virtues and our actions are mostly a result of our reactions towards other’s actions. Then, where are the peace and freedom? A very revered Muslim saint Sheikh Fareed has in one of his Kalaam said,” Jo te maaray mukian, tina na mareen Kum, aap nerhay kar ja ke paer una de chum”. Which means that in case someone beats you by fists,  don’t react and respond by hitting him back with heavy blows but instead go near him and kiss his feet. This will bring peace and end the conflict.

Fights, wars, and oppression are not the solutions. We need to empower our soul and control the mind to achieve peace, tranquility and real freedom. Tolerance, compassion, love and objective thinking are the tools required at the micro level to attain peace and experience complete freedom in the real sense at the macro level.

 

 

 

 

THE DESERTED MANSIONS

From the time immemorial, Man has been building big mansions to live in happily for himself and for the generations to come. He has been building big castles and strong forts for his safety and security.

But has he achieved his desired objectives? If we look at those huge ruins today, we find the dwellers missing. These deserted mansions are dying slowly but steadily. Have the strong forts and big castles saved his life from death?

All these huge buildings are decaying, crumbling, and being consumed by insects as there is no one to take care of them. Wild bushes and big trees have taken roots in their sturdy walls and roofs. Once magnificent mansions, have now become a home for the rats, bats, vampires, cats, and monkeys. Some of these, once beautiful structures, are now haunted by the ghosts. The beautiful and priceless paintings in the magnificent halls and rooms are covered with spider webs and dust; no one to appreciate their beauty and take care of their maintenance. Has the person who got them built with so much wealth and passion, ever thought of the fate, his proud possessions would one day meet with such a pitiable condition? If by chance he again comes to human life with all his old passion and memory and visits his choicest possessions: Can anyone imagine how he would feel? He would definitely repent as to why he committed such a great blunder in his life……

Humans have the tendency of ignoring the history and trying to derive satisfaction and happiness from the huge possessions. Instead of achieving satisfaction and happiness from the possessions, they become restless while creating such possessions. Their cravings for more and more keep them toiling restlessly and sometimes they have to sacrifice the values of life and good principles of humanity. How can one derive happiness and satisfaction by such means? This is the dilemma of life and a Mirage which keeps one running until the end.

Happiness and satisfaction are not in the possessions, but these are in the contentment. A man with a contented heart is the richest of all and the  one with greed and discontented heart is worst than a beggar even if he has abundant of wealth. We should take a lesson from the history and lead a simple and contented life and should always thank the Almighty for whatever he has bestowed upon us.

Whatever you can use in your life is actually yours. What you keep on possessing without using is a waste; for others to use. One keeps on building mansions, forgetting that lifespan is very short and he may not get the opportunity to enjoy his living in those mansions which he created with so much toil.

If we take a look at the present times, nothing seems to have changed. There is no dearth of big mansions which are empty as there is no one to live in. Those for whom, their ancestors had built these huge buildings have either migrated to other cities or abroad for their living.

We care more about our future generations than for ourselves,  little realizing that if we are able enough to live our life comfortably as per socialistic and societal standards , will our  future generation not be able to do anything for themselves? Why such a negative thought takes root in our mind? If we could do something ourselves, Our future generations would do better than us. With such a positive attitude, live your life happily lest you may have to repent afterward.

PAINS OF RETIRED LIFE

Pleasures and pains go side by side. Every coin has two sides. The day is followed by night and winters by summers. Everything attracts its opposite and the cycle of nature goes on moving. Nothing remains stationary in this world. Change is the secret which sustains life. Changes may be positive or negative and we have to bear both with a bowed head as there is no escape.

The pains of retired life is a mix of crunches of both retired life and of old age because incidentally, the retirement generally happens at a comparatively advanced stage of the age. The pleasures and sense of freedom one can enjoy under certain circumstances is already discussed in the previous blog published on 9th Feb,2018. The pains of retired life/old age can be :-

  • Health issues of self and that of the spouse.
  • Change in attitude of associates, relatives, and friends towards you.
  • No pension or inadequate pension to meet day to day needs.
  • No one to take care in case of an emergency.
  • Pending family settlements and liabilities.
  • Children not suitably settled.
  • Depression because there is no work to substantiate abundant free time.

The only solution to all these problems is to live to the will of Lord and change your own attitude towards life. We are not the masters of everything and might not be destined to finish every so-called liability during our lifetime. There is always something pending for others to complete or accomplish.

Life is full of struggles from day one until the end. We did struggle to speak, sit, crawl, and walk when we were infants. Struggle for learning, understanding various fields and activities kept us engaged throughout our school to college and university days. We further intensified our struggle to build our careers. And now at this old age, Can we avoid making struggles? We have to continue struggling until the end with a Positive Mental Attitude.

The sufferings and pains are part of life for all of us. Health issues are a cause for concern especially at the old age when many vital organs get fatigued, become weak and can’t give the required output to keep our body healthy. Our body is a very complicated machine and consists of thousands of working parts and millions of cells. These have been working tirelessly for so many years. Parts of any machine do get worn out and need replacement, which in case of the human body are a  very costly affair and in some cases not possible. We have to bear with this, as there is no other way out. It is advisable to get medical insurance done in order to take care of heavy expenses in case of an emergency.

After one is out of power he should not expect his associates, relatives, and friends to flock him the way they were doing when he was in power. Our relationships of all types are because of some need or dependence which is a bitter truth. Once that need is fulfilled or we lose the capacity to meet people’s needs, they will start disassociating from us, in the same manner, we did with our associates, relatives, and friends when they lost power or capacity to help us. Needs and interests are the basis of many relationships with few exceptions.  Who will then come to our rescue in such state of affairs in this world? Only Lord is our hope. He loves us more than anybody else and that too without any expectations from us. SO CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE, DO NOT CARRY BAGGAGE,  FACE THE SITUATION WITH POSITIVE MINDSET, AND LEAVE EVERYTHING TO THE WILL OF LORD. Unnecessarily taking these things seriously will only make you more uncomfortable leading to Stress or Depression. Ignore people who ignore you and stop bothering about them.

You must make financial arrangements for the rainy days of your life while in active service/job. You are bound to suffer humiliation in case you don’t have regular and adequate resources to meet your needs. Stay with your children or relatives if you can manage or go to an old age home. All of us have to bear our KARMAS; no escape. Your children or close relative may not be able to devote more time to you because of their own compulsions. Stay calm and contended and thank GOD that at least they are with you.

Settle your liabilities well in time otherwise, you will remain worrying when you will become unable to settle them. You can’t make hay when the sun is not shining. Try your best to settle your children well in time. However, if you could not do, don’t worry as your worry will not help. It will only add more wrinkles to your face and help you to increase your stress, blood pressure, and depression. You played your inning well and now it is their turn to earn and take care of you.

Please understand that all of us have to pass through pleasures and pains while we are in this human body. We have to bear our own Cross as this world is run by one universal principle ‘AS YOU SO, SO SHALL YOU REAP’. When Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Hazrat Mohammad Sahib(PBUH), Guru Nanak Dev Ji and other Gurus suffered and fought battles with the evil, how can you be an exception? During the battle of Mahabharat Pandavas fought with their own brothers; The Kauravas. This signifies that the evil is within us and we have to fight it within. Arjun the great warrior surrendered to Lord Krishna and gave the reins of his chariot to Him and shot arrows in the direction Lord Krishna moved the chariot. Have we ever surrendered control of the chariot of our life to Lord and fought the battle of life ourselves? Instead, we hold the reins in our hands and want the Lord to fight for us. This will not work.  We have to live up to His will and remain satisfied because both pains and pleasures come with His will.

The Fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj, was being tortured by making him sit on the hot iron plate and boiling water was poured on his head and before being martyred, you know what he said? “Tera bhana meetha lage”, Means “Oh my Lord All this is happening with your will and your will is sweet to me”.

When Jesus Christ was mercilessly tortured before being crucified, He prayed to GOD and said,”O GOD forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing”. This is the level of tolerance that is expected for attaining peace and tranquility.

 

So, remain contended in whatever circumstances the Lord keeps you. He will always give us what is to our benefit; a chocolate or a bitter medicine. He knows well, so don’t fear or worry even about your death. You don’t have much time at your disposal so live to the hour. No time to worry. Keep on doing good and remain happy. Let God worry about you.