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Quid Pro Quo With The Gods

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, May 20, 2017.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I do not know about you, but I receive on an average about 100 messages daily through the internet. Some are crisp one liners, some not so crisp ten liners and a few 100 to 200 liners! Sometimes there are even longer messages, and the longer they are, the faster I delete them. I like people to tell me what they want to tell me in a few crisp words. Today I came across a two liner which said ‘I changed my thinking. It changed my life’. This is the kind of fodder that a jobless old guy like me would love to chew on! The most interesting thing about this statement is that there is no clue about who changed his thinking and how it changed his life. A most speculative statement, I would say!


    Quite often I ask myself if I am a good man or a bad man. I have never been able to judge myself even at this stage of my life. I changed my thinking not once but hundreds of times because I wanted my life to get better with each change, but it never worked that way. Through the best part of my life, I was only working for the betterment of my living condition and I never had time to assess the spiritual quality of my life. All I was concerned with was whether it was enhancing the quality of my physical life. In the final scene of a popular Tamil movie, the grandchild of the hero Kamal Hassan asks him if he is a good man or a bad man. The hero ponders over the question for a while and says ‘I do not know, my child’.


    The wise old Plato once said ‘Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.’ Don’t ask me if Plato really said it for I just picked it up from the net. Nevertheless, this statement had a great impact on me. I realised that there were law abiding citizens as well as law bending ones. I was recently reading an article on fourteen psychological factors that made good people do bad things. This runs counter to the belief that integrity is doing the right things even when no one is watching. I tend to believe it for I read occasionally about auto-drivers returning bags consisting of jewels worth lakhs of rupees left by the passengers in their vehicle. These drivers drive straight to the nearest police station to hand over the bag. The grateful owner of the valuable thanks the driver profusely and presents him with a crisp 500 rupee note! The police pose for a photo with the owner of the valuables and the driver of the auto. After the auto leaves, the Police collect Rs.10,000 from the owner of the jewels for restoring the valuables to him!


    In the meantime, the auto driver’s colleagues start chiding him repeatedly for his foolishness until the driver starts regretting his action! This is how the honest people are turned around to do dishonest things. We have here a situation where honest people are ridiculed to become dishonest. Corrupt bosses force their honest juniors to do dishonest things and in return for this help, they start rewarding them with gifts. Over a period of time, the honest junior employee comes to know of the ‘market practice’ and starts demanding his rightful cut! These corrupt guys spare no one. My housemaid was telling me the other day that she had to pay Rs.500 to the ‘middle man’ to get her ration card.


    There is a well known saying that ‘the more he talked of his honesty the faster we counted our spoons’. The implication of this statement is that honest people do not go about proclaiming their honesty for there is no need for it. Truly honest people do not have to convince anyone of their honesty. It is only the dishonest that keep declaring their honesty endlessly. Such dishonest folks talk of quid pro quo even with gods. A couple of years back, a wealthy businessman cum politician donated jewels worth Rs.50 crores to his favourite god for the bounty that he was blessed with! Within six months, he was jailed by the tax authorities for his undisclosed income! Every picture of Goddess Lakshmi comes with gold pouring out of both her hands. Our prayers are invariably for our physical betterment for which purpose we are even prepared to talk business with Gods! In order that we live a comfortable life, we do not mind even bribing god!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
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  2. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Am I good or bad. I have often mulled over the topic. I have grown up fascinated with the idea of being absolutely squeaky clean honest like Gandhiji (I wonder if even he was - he was human, right?) and a stickler for principles. But I wonder if it is ever possible. I mean let's take an example. The BH is on a trip of eating only home cooked food and wants to eat the same stuff week in and week out. Occasionally I feel like having something different and order from outside. I polish it off, wash the container the food came in and put it where all the plastic bowls, bottles etc are kept. So no friction. I am happy, he is happy. Now that is being dishonest. But does this dishonesty hurt anyone (except probably myself in terms of having consumed more calories than I should)? So does that make me bad? I think I don't want to waste any more of my life mulling over that question. Let God decide. Even if I am reborn and have a miserable life, I will never connect it with this wickedness of mine - I might at best accept it as my karma and get on with life.

    As for appeasing God with quid pro quos, sorry boss. That is just not my cup of tea. The maximum is 'if you let me down, I shall never believe in you again'. But he knows that this is just an empty threat. At best, I might not feel like talking to him for a while, but does not take away my belief in him. If things go right, of course he gets all the kudos due. Credits and brickbats both to him and only him. No extra goodies.
     
  3. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya sir,

    You know in the movie "PK", Amir Khan asks a pertinent question "Did God create us in his image or did we create him in ours?". We attribute our nature and our qualities to him/her and in that same light make these offerings that please us as pleasing to Gods! My ever present (in my thoughts!) and very dear grandmother has made sure that I make no habit of pleasing the Gods with worldly things. The most I can do is a few minutes of prayer/silence and as I grow older I realize that this is also in my benefit. I have no idea how any God could benefit from my silence! I only see my silence benefiting my fellow beings! I personally like the idea of nirguna, nirvikara, nirvikalpa etc God. So you are right all that we do is eventually for our betterment and betterment of our lives and those we love - of course there is a line that is personally drawn that we never cross. That is what makes us who we are, like that auto driver who chooses to return found stuff time and again knowing all that goes on. No doubt about that.

    I consider myself as one of those fortunate people who never questions if I am a good or a bad person. I do understand that the answer depends on whom you ask. If you ask my own opinion, I have done my best is all I an say with the understanding that all that was done was for my self preservation. Sir, why? why? Why are you taking us, at least me in loops like this? I get it! Everything we do has a motive, almost always a selfish one. Okay always a selfish one! I get it! Now, let me go enjoy this cloudy spring day with fog covered surroundings and smile and live up to that self fulfilling prophecy. But really, nature does make me smile!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  4. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @satchitananda
    My dear Satchi
    When you raised the question in the beginning, I looked forward to something juicy but how it fizzled out! It is just like GG making a big fuss about a set of misfit shoes! If ordering for your favourite food from a hotel without your husband's knowledge and clearing up of all the evidence before he returns is a sin, gods won't have any time to handle any major crimes. I looked at Garuda Puranam where yours is not mentioned as a sin at all. Even if they decide to add it to the sin list on the basis of your confession, the punishment, I am told, could only be to ask you to eat the same food for ten years without a break!
    Sri
     
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  5. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Mr Cheeniya,
    I don't like to appease God with quid pro quo. He knows better and will give us what we deserve. Of course I pray to Him to keep everybody happy and healthy and also that peace should prevail all over the world.
    I do have some relatives who who use quid pro quo even for petty things. Once a relative told me that at night she forgot to keep the milk in the fridge and in the morning before boiling the milk she prayed to God and made a vow that she would put 10 rupees in the hundi if the milk didn't get curdled.
    I too never question whether I am good or bad and leave it to others to judge me.
    I feel only saints and those who do not marry and spend their lives for uplifting the poor and helping the needy in whatever way they could must be good people.
    Today I read about a 73 year good old man, a librarian whose name is Kalyanasundaram donated Whatever he had earned to educate the poor. I have given the link:

    www.thebetterindia.com/12607/man-donated-every-rupee-earned-help-poor-kalyanasundaram

    PS
     
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  6. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya sir,

    That is precisely the problem. The smaller the crime, the bigger the risk of getting punished. That is why petty thieves land up in jail while the Mittals, Vijay Mallyas, Kejriwals and Chidambarams of this world go scot free.
     
  7. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Sorry for intruding CS, but this really was amusing as well as puzzling. PS Mami, it would cost just around the same to buy some fresh milk in the morning. Why bother poor God for that? :)
     
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  8. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Satchi, all I see is innocence here perhaps stemming out of fear......for work not done as expected :)
     
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  9. kkrish

    kkrish Finest Post Winner

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    Sir, please give me some time. I need to do some precis writing before I give my feedback. :)
     
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  10. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya sir,
    Would try to be as precise as possible.
    Good or bad...aren't we a combination of both? It is difficult to categorise. Good to very good t times and bad but not very bad at other times (Satchi's food from outside without her husband's knowledge is very little bad or may be on the borderline and such things are harmless to us and others). Murder, killing...all those are very bad and I am sure none of use belong to that category. It is difficult to live with too good human beings also. Always preachings and teaching morals.....people start yawning.
    Deal with God....I never make a deal with God though I pray regular which is a part of routine. Do not ask for favours on day to day basis, just pray. But when things are too difficult and beyond control then I pray God to show someway to come out of it and for the welfare.. Both for myself and others whom I like. Is it selfishness? I don't think so. Not to feel guilty I add "Sarvejana sukhinobhavanthu" in the last for my satisfaction.
    Honest people are honest because they cannot be otherwise. It is a trait in their character. Same applies to dishonest people, for e.g politicians. Can they ever be honest. Big NO. Your maid paying 500rs for ration card.....it is out of her need and not dishonesty. What can she do when the whole system is like that?
    I think this is enough for now.
    Syamala
     

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