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Preparation

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    “Are you prepared?” I asked, and he responded, “Prepared for what?”

    This is a conversation between my son and myself. This questioned triggered me to go into a deep contemplation mode. Am I preparing myself for the unknowns in life? Am I preparing myself against the challenges the world throws at me from time to time? Am I preparing myself to handle my old age? Am I preparing myself for after life? What is that I am preparing myself for?

    “Life is a dress rehearsal for eternity” said Leonard Ravenhill. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; most massive characters are seared with scars” said Khalil Gibran. “Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom” said Rumi. Cloud comes floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky” said Rabindranath Tagore. “When the sun rises and shines, not all the lotus buds in the lakes and ponds bloom, only those that are ready, do. The rest must bide their time, but all are destined to bloom, all must fulfill that destiny. There is no need to despair.” said my Guru.

    I keep looking to understand what I need to prepare for and what is my Dharma in life. To understand what is my Dharma, I need to know what is Dharma. I keep looking for meaning in the books, television serials, friends, family and whoever and whatever is available. I happened to watch a television serial of Mahabharatam and Lord Krishna was describing how to understand Dharma to Draupadi. According to this conversation, Dharma is built on five platforms namely a) Knowledge, b) Love, c) Justice, d) Surrender and e) Bravery. Lord Krishna in continuation of His conversation tells Draupadi that one who understands oneself is the one who can understand everything.

    True knowledge is about knowing that the knower and the known are one and the same. Our very core is full of knowledge, love, justice, surrender and bravery. It is sheer encryption that created the layers of dust around this very essence that is Sat Chit Ananda. All our preparations are to understand this encryption and deal with them with care and diligence. It is our cauldron of thoughts known as mind that makes us believe that we are building a castle on this encryption which itself is not permanent. Our duty is to build our life on the foundation which is our core.

    For doing that successfully, we need to understand how our mind works. Mind is an adroit substance that changes from time to time based on what we perceive from our five senses. It is a moving target and projects the world for us different than what others perceive. It has four components called Manas (emotional element), Buddhi (intellectual element), Chitha (memory) and Ego (Ahamkara). There is also a fifth element that is called “Constant Integrated Awareness” (Antakarana) that shows up to remind we are beyond the four elements described above.

    Our preparation is to make the Manas learn the ingredient of love, Buddhi to gain Knowledge, Chitha to establish Justice, Ego to surrender and Constant Integrated Awareness to become our state as much as possible. Let our emotions be filled with love, intellect be filled with knowledge, memory be filled with justice, ego be filled with the attitude of surrender for us to realize who we really are. Conquering our encryption and let our innate nature to blossom is the preparation we need to be involved in.

    A person who understands himself/herself very well understands everything. The world we perceive through our mind changes its form into a substantive knowledge to learn what is manifested by the mind outside is nothing but what resides inside of us. When the billions of cells interact with each other, they have full knowledge of their respective roles and work very well with each other in the interdependent world they function. They care for each other, share with each other and complement each other’s functionality. The perform their Dharma with full knowledge of five pillars of Dharma. They know there is nothing to prepare for. Eventually, knowing there is nothing to prepare for is our objective.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  2. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa,What a great piece of writing it is!
    You have concluded that ultimately we have to understand that there is nothing to prepare!
    Very logical to learn and understand but very difficult to follow, though not impossible.
    How to deny all these scientific developments, our own life partners, our own children and kith and kin ,our own self and the society as farce?

    It is rather difficult for normal human beings.
    'Karmanyeva Adhikaarasthe maa phaleshu kadhachana' says Lord.
    Krishna.
    The latter half seems to convey'Don't get prepared',that is not your jurisdiction.
    But the the earlier half relates to'doing your duties' and has something to do with worldly things and realizing life as normal human beings perceive.
    Duty means responsibility;responsibility in real sense is 'getting prepared or making you or your children or students prepared for something--you visualise as great;May be a great artist,an educationist,a scientist or a philosopher.

    Whatever it is, we are going towards some aim or Lakshya or 'preparedness'.

    Sometimes when there is crisis, we have to prepare ourselves for the worst also--like losing the beloved ones, a permanent handicap,a chronic malady requiring constant medication and treatment,some financial crisis as loss to the business in the form of theft,forgery or fire accidents or political enmity, dealing with adamant kids, or children who go astray inspite of our careful bringing up,failures notwithstanding sincere efforts--and the list is endless.

    What I feel is 'no preparedness ' is more or less a non reality and amounts to aimless life.,though it may be argued that 'moving towards 'non preparedness' itself may be construed as aim of life.
    There are two things.
    1..Hoping for the best:preparing yourself to receive the good news of great achievement you have been aiming for and striving for
    2.Preparing for the worst:- Preparing yourself for the negative results and making up your mind to come out of the stress which is but a natural human trait.

    Both amount to some 'preparing'

    This is the mantra,my father used to say.

    When they open a hospital for good treatment and welfare of people, they also design
    'Intensive care Unit, provisoin for ambulances and a segregated place for mortuary also.
    This is preparedness.
    We keep natural medicines,country drugs ,cough syrup and anti-clot tablets to meet emergency.That is preparedness and wisdom too.
    Knowing resuscitation techniques to save a a patient from breathlessness is 'preparedness'.
    Even saving important phone numbers in our mobile is some type of 'preparedness'.
    Many common sense activities like 'taking extra cash' while going out, taking your credit/debit cards,carrying your identity details such as Aadhar amount to preparedness.

    God also helps those who prepare or strive.
    God himself may not support the view'maram vaiththavan thanneer ootruvaan;( God who has created will look after everything')

    To make ourselves prepared is our 'karma' or duty.
    To make ourselves 'not expecting anything'is His Will.
    This is how I wish to interpret Gita.
    Thanks for the highly introspective article.
    No malific intentions of negativing your wonderful thoughts.I have just shared my views.

    Jayasala42
     
  3. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa,
    When I contemplated on this topic I came to the conclusion that nothing can be achieved in life without preparation.
    Even our daily domestic cores need some preparation. We have to prepare a menu for three time meals and collect the ingredients.
    Students have to prepare for exams and even for the daily classes and teachers also have to prepare before they take the class.
    To take relief from the birth and death circle we have to make some preparation. We have to take the guidance of a spiritual guru or we have to gather spiritual knowledge by reading spiritual books and scriptures.

    The human form of life is meant for understanding the Supreme, the Absolute Truth. But if we do not endeavor for this, if we misuse this opportunity and simply remain like animals, we will keep returning to this circle of birth and death repeatedly.

    To achieve this also lot of grit and mental preparation is required, easily said than done.
    Without His Grace it is difficult to achieve this.
    அவனருளின்றி இதனைப் பெறுதலரிதாகும்.
     
    sindmani and Viswamitra like this.
  4. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    a person who understands himself is the true spiritual person. Knowing oneself is the essence of spirituality and not believing there is n invisible man in the sky who made us. But the material world is a lot more than perception.
     
  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Smt. Jayasala:

    I consider it as my privilege to elicit a response from someone so knowledgeable like you for something that is not so well-informed write up (at best can be considered as word salad in the language of @Gauri03) from someone who is still a beginner and in the process of learning. You encouraging first line gives me a great appetite to write more.

    I am a big fan of science and I keep very close track of all scientific developments in various fields. I will never recommend ignoring science altogether under any circumstances. Science is a great tool to enhance the understanding of the human race. I also agree that we can't live our life without performing actions and our duties and that requires preparedness. We have come here only for that purpose. Performing actions without expecting fruits of our actions is what Krishna told in Bhagavad Gita. Those actions need to be done skillfully to achieve great sense of fulfillment, lovingly to have this action to have a positive outcome and selflessly with no expectation of the fruits.

    I wasn't talking about preparations on our day to day life and I was talking about how we prepare ourselves to achieve the highest goal of self-realization. Becoming who we really are appears to be the only sensible way to achieve this goal. That is why I was suggesting we need knowledge-filled Buddhi, loving Manas, Justice-driven Chitha and surrendering ego to enable our Constant Integrated Awareness to demonstrate braveness. Body-consciousness eliminates the opportunity to realize our true Self. This is what Krishna explains as essential ingredients of Dharma in life.

    Viswa
     
  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Smt. Srinivasan:

    Yes. You are right when we function as body, mind and intellect for our day to day life, we need to be prepared. We need these three to achieve our ultimate goal of realizing who we really are. As I mentioned in my response to Smt. Jayasala, I was not talking about preparedness to make a living but to find out who we really are. We have to realize gaining knowledge, showering love, establishing justice, surrendering our ego, etc. are only for one purpose. We work on all of it to realize who we really are. When we dust of the residue, we become pure. When one achieves awareness, there is no more preparation.

    Viswa
     
  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Balajee,

    I enjoy reading your comments knowing fully well that you are an atheist. If there is a guy in the sky, he certainly is not expecting us to worship him but realize our true potential. Let us not limit ourselves and be contented with what we have achieved and keep challenging to learn more and more until we have no more to learn. At that stage, we would have realized our complete potential and you can call it with whatever name you like. As long as we are seeking something, we have not reached the end of our potential.

    Viswa
     
  8. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa,

    I wrote my reply only after reading your snippet more than twice.I know fully well that you are referring not to worldly achievements but for a higher goal. But we are all ordinary human beings. Unless we fulfill our worldly responsibilities with ambition , ( you may name it desire or lust) to compensate the kaarmic effects, it may not be possible at all to attain self realization or be one with Universal Consciousness, which is stated to be the real goal of human life.

    I have very often heard that human beings have a tendency to build up desires in some form or other and are accumulating paapas and punyas and it never comes to a nil balance.
    That is why people who are in the virge of getting United with Almighty mostly take birth as worms with the shortest span of life in which they have neither action of the brain nor do they have sufficient time to do karmas.

    Whenever I see small maggots slowly moving, I used to wonder they should have done great punyam to be born as worms.
    Is it the reason that the silk manufactured out of killing 'silk worms'( just before attaining moksha or salvation) is considered very auspicious and sacred even by Heads of Mutts ?They don't mind decorating the idols of Gods and Goddesses with silk garments. In fact In Sringeri Sarada peetam, they insist that devotees should give pure silk sarees only to adorn goddess Sarada.
    I once again confirm that your ideas were not misunderstood by me and that i have viewed it in a different angle.

    jayasala42
     
  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Smt. Jayasala:

    I totally understand your perspective. It surprises me to know that silk is welcomed by the Mutts? To my knowledge, Paramacharya kept teaching every woman devotee not to wear silk sarees and avoid buying them even for weddings. I am not sure what happens in Sringeri Mutt. That is definitely worth checking with someone I know who is closely associated with Sringeri Mutt. At least it would be a good education for me to know why they use Silk, if they are suggesting to dedicate them to Saradambal.

    Viswa
     
  10. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Not at all Viswa! In fact I was fascinated by the transition of your thoughts, from the urgency to prepare for the unknown, to the realization that there is in fact nothing to prepare for. Your internal monologue flows seamlessly to its eventual conclusion. Nicely analyzed.

    I have to agree with @jayasala42 ma'am here about karma. I don't know what my dharma is, and even if I did, I doubt I have the will or foresight to live a life aimed toward a greater goal. Since I cannot control the outcome I devote myself to the process. I embrace my karma and focus my energy on not only doing my duties but enjoying them as well. The process is all there is. Karma, in the end, is life. Rest is unknown and in any case far beyond our control. Why worry about it?

    I found some interesting parallels with the writings of Stoics like Marcus Aurelius and Seneca that I wanted to bring up, but I will save that for my next post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
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