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Sunday, January 20, 2013

'Saying- A place to say it...

Are these mountains or mole hills?
"Each man is cause for his own misery" is what Vipassana teaches. WAIT A MINUTE before interpreting this statement! It  is explained further with example as follows- A person speaks harshly to you. His anger was a projection of his own suffering. You feel hurt by it. Your hurt feelings are your own reaction and so each person is creating, generating his own unique brand of suffering. Indeed a person's feelings of hate, anger, hurt are all generated by his own body. He can control it and give himself a different reaction, by understanding, by confidence, by clarity and if an action is required take action- a pro-action not a reaction.

So in that context“One cant clap with one hand” is definitely a statement guilty of being used in wrong places. The saying has a context and cannot be used everywhere. Where as per what vipassana teaches, we are all guilty of clapping with one hand, or in other words we are always slapping ourselves!

Taali ek haat se nahi bajti (One cant clap with one hand) is a saying we hear often. It is one saying which has often irritated me by its thoughtless usage. I am irritable, I get irritated with stupidity. If I am angered by a person using this saying and I slap him; would he say he was as much responsible for my having slapped him? After all no issue arises from one party? But really wasn't my anger my own problem. He was just using a saying what he felt was right, which I felt was out of context! I have a right to my feelings, my irritation, my anger, but in my anger I am not allowed to sin. 

Recently the above saying was used by a spiritual guru for a horrifying abuse case. In one's own lust aroused with or without provocation, one is not allowed to hurt or kill another. Lust is an individual's own problem, just as anger, as greed- the three gates to hell.  

A same girl walking the street may be ignored by one guy, admired by another and assaulted by a third. The girl completely dressed or semi naked does not make the difference. What makes the difference is how cultured the guy is. In fact it has been observed by women, that completely clad girls are evaluated by many guys as being “not confident” and weak and may be more prone to be 'taken for a ride' rather than their ‘confident’ boldly dressed sisters. Also it is a fact that many guys are more attracted to or aroused by completely clad women (in fact like those in burqa) because of the ‘mystery’ factor. Each man is provoked by different things and each man reacts to provocation in different ways. Even to the same 'provocation' every man reacts in different ways, (or may not find it to be provocation at all!). All issues arise in our selves. As Buddha implied-Someone may be trying to give you something BUT it is up to you to take it or not.

We find ways of coping with our issues or our faults. Self reflecting people analyse themselves, realize their faults and change for the better. People with evasive attitudes and pride find someone to blame and think that removing or harassing them will heal their own pain or issue. Hitler coped with his issues of inferiority, rejection, failure etc by blaming. His attitude was his fault. Punishing the Jews for what arises in him was his weakness. Rather than dealing with his inferiority etc in a mature way by self analysis he targeted his hate and issues onto a group of people. Would punishing and eliminating the Jews remove the miseries his own body, his mind was generating? Nothing can be blamed on provocation. Our action reaction or pro-action may have causes but nothing can justify an ill deed done on another; at best we can express our view or advice.

The truth is I LOVE sayings, quotes, some are my very favourite and I use then often but I understand that to each saying there is not just a place, a context…but also maturity.  But yes I err sometimes too. I tell my eight year old daughter  'Baal ki khaal mat nikalo' (Don’t try to skin a hair). She asks me what it means and I tell her that it means 'don’t try to find issues where there are none.' Once as I was making ‘paranthas’ (cooked dough) in the kitchen I told my five year old son (related to some issue at the moment)- ‘Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill’ He is too young to understand as much English and he thought it was some abuse so he reflexively abused me back saying 'muli ka paratha YOU'.(Which means -'It's not me, rather you are a radish parantha') Mountain, molehill, muli…indeed they sound similar! 

Sayings are good and useful to explain something briefly and are like unforgettable tablets that can be preserved by the hearer; but they have to be used at a right place, context, and maturity or it would be more harmful than any good. 

By the by I am sure you agree that I was advising my kids as every mother should?  Neither of them understood it at first, but one tried to find out what I meant and another, the 'younger' one got agitated and reacted to assumptions. 

And another thing before I wind up; please try to recognize the baffaloes and bulls before you advice, as it might not only be futile but also could be dangerous for you. I am not trying to discourage or scare you, but you know..there are these SAYINGS...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Promise Has Two Ends

I was reading someone's post today, expressing gratitude to her husband for being beside her not just in her best but at her worst too,and being with her all through...

Considering what we usually read in the papers about marriages, this was a refreshing read; but again not all couples are happy and may end up getting separated. Are they wrong in the eyes of God? I have held different opinions over time on this topic and currently it so happened that in our daily family prayer time we have been reading the old testament and it is revealing to me new and surprising lessons every day. One particular lesson I have shared in an earlier post (titled- In Love and in War) and now I intend to share another lesson I learnt. 

The lesson is- A Promise has Two Ends. If one end of the promise is not kept, by rights the other end of the promise is made null. It can be withdrawn! This is what I gathered from the story of Solomon. God promised David,  Solomon's father that if he and his descendants obeyed God then the family line would rule for ever. Solomon showed a promising spark when he prayed to God for wisdom, and so God blessed him not only with wisdom but also wealth.  But with time he turned  disobedient. He began to get obsessed with gaining more and more riches at the expense of his subjects. He made the subjects unhappy in his rule by making them work for him without pay and charging excessive tax. Solomon didn't keep the promise to obey God.  By rights the whole kingdom could have been taken away but  still God’s love being greater, his promise to David was held good but only in name. Ten of the twelve tribes of the kingdom were taken away from under the rule of Solomon's descendants! 

There are two ends to every relation. A plant wilts without water; animals move in search of food. No living thing stays in a place which provides nothing for its survival, health and happiness.

Trees that don’t bear fruit are cut by the farmer however many years he might have tended it. A bird abandons the nest on a branch if the branch is shaken incessantly. That is a rule of nature; it is not promises, it is usefulness and responsiveness that survives. Even God can't help those who wont help themselves then how can a mere mortal stick to non responsive relationships? 

Gods mercies and grace falls on the person who shows promise, a spark; but stays on the one who obeys him. The blessings stay on the one who uses those blessings to convert the spark in him/her to a fire in the service of God. There is the story where the servant who invests all the talents given by the Master doubles it , and receives as reward from the Master 'all of the talents from the servant who did nothing with his share'. A grateful heart is essential to recognize all the blessings in one's life in the form of family, friends, health or wealth and not wait for their loss to recognize it. By not being grateful and aware towards God's blessings a person unwittingly pushes those blessings away. 

There is something I have always believed in -"A man is as good as his word, his promise" but I also believe today -"A promise does not a stand without the other end held good"

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