Monthly Archives: November 2018

Just a puppet

Pihu whistled as she got ready for her college. Mrs.Agrawal, her mother was a bit relieved seeing her in a good mood. She whispered to her husband, ‘Weather is good today…’

‘Or is it the lull before the storm’, whispered Mr. Agrawal back.

Dealing with teenagers is not easy. Pihu was all of 17 and she had given enough heartache to her parents.

Volatile temper, bad grades, you name it and Mr and Mrs. Agrawal had experienced it all.

Till her tenth Pihu had been an obedient girl. An ace student and good in sports and extracurricular activities, there has been a change in attitude as soon as she had joined junior college. Sometimes her parents had difficulty in accepting that this girl was really their daughter.

Pihu came and sat down to have her breakfast, ‘What have you made ma’, she asked.

‘Poori-bhaji’, answered her mother.

‘Maaaa’, screamed Pihu, ‘How could you?’

‘What happened?’ shivered her mother

‘Can you see the acne on my face, I can’t eat oily stuff, can’t you understand?’ said Pihu

‘You can make your own breakfast’, said Mr. Agrawal

Both father- daughter glared at each other.

‘You can have bread and jam if you want’, said Mrs. Agrawal trying to diffuse the situation.

Pihu just picked up her bag and left.

Mrs. And Mr. Agrawal sat down in contemplation. They were musing that what mistake they had done while bringing up Pihu.

Pihu came late and shut herself in her room. However much her parents cajoled, she refused to come out.

‘Do you think, she is doing drugs’, asked Mrs. Agrawal in a quivering voice.

Mr. Agrawal  just mumbled incoherently.

Overnight both decided to visit Pihu’s college. They decided to go and speak to her teachers about her behaviour. Pihu had left already for college again without having breakfast.

As they were getting ready, the telephone rang….It was the College Principal. He wanted to meet them immediately.

The Principal informed them that Pihu was not paying attention in class. In fact she was disrupting the class quite often. In fact the previous day he had taken a leave as some of his relatives were visiting him. While going around the city, he saw, Pihu and her friends near a shopping mall most probably to watch a movie during college hours.

‘Has she told you that she was going to a movie?’ asked the Principal

They shook their head.

‘Pihu is a bright student and it pains me to see a good student go astray. If need be take the help of our School Counsellor’, advised the Principal.

Mr. And Mrs. Agrawal went home.

Pihu was subdued that day. Obviously she had come to know that her parents had been summoned to the school. Mrs. Agrawal went to her room and asked softly, ‘Which movie did you go to yesterday?’

Pihu mentioned the name.

‘Pihu have we ever said no to you?? But going to a movie during college hours mad that too without telling us? You are still a minor Pihu and you take such liberties’.

Pihu sat quietly.

Her mother  continued,‘And I hear that you are not attentive in class and in fact disturb the class.Why Pihu? What about your ambitions. You wanted to be a scientist right but what is all this….?’

Tears trickled down Pihu’s eyes.

‘We have never forced our dreams on you Pihu, you have got whatever you needed’, and the Mr. Agrawal recounted all the episodes of their travels and the happy times they had spent as a family.

‘Why Pihu? Have your dreams changed or are you being influenced by your friends? If you don’t answer me I will believe that in your heart you don’t consider me as your mother’, said Mrs. Agrawal and got up.

But Pihu rushed to her side and hugged her and burst in tears, ‘Maa, don’t go away if you too leave me what will I do?’

And the whole story came out. She had Vidhi had been good friends right from primary school but now Vidhi had to go to another college because she took another stream. Phu felt lonely, it was then that she befriended a group of students who were fun. They went on adventures and took chances. Pihu wanted so badly to be a part of their troop. And she had been imitating their behaviour.

Mrs. Agrawal sighed in relief. At least now they knew the problem, the solution could be worked on.

———————————————————–

Arjuna had asked Krishna that sometimes an unknown power seems to be working upon him and unknowingly he had to do something which he didn’t wish to do.

arjuna uvaca
atha kena prayukto ‘yam
papam carati purusah
anicchann api varsneya
balad iva niyojitah

TRANSLATION

Arjuna said: O descendant of Vrsni, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force? (BG. 3.36)

Krishna had then explained that it was the modes of material nature working on him.

sri-bhagavan uvaca
kama esa krodha esa
rajo-guna-samudbhavah
mahasano maha-papma
viddhy enam iha vairinam

TRANSLATION

The Blessed Lord said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material modes of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring, sinful enemy of this world.(BG. 3.37)

The soul as such is very pure but as soon as it lands on the material nature, the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance start working upon it. And we are just the puppets of these modes.

Different times of the day the modes act differently. The early hours of the day is the time when the mode of goodness is more prominent.The day time is the time when we work and is dominated by mode of passion. The night is for the mode of ignorance,

Any food which is fresh is in the mode of goodness, spicy food and meat are in the mood of passion while stale food is in the mood of ignorance.

So the different times of the day, the food we eat and the company we keep all act on the modes and we act accordingly.

**The story above is a hypothetical one and is just to illustrate how we act and the reasons behind our actions and is not a guideline in managing teenage tantrums

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How to deal with crisis

In the world which we live, we are constantly facing some or the other crisis. The first problem that we fear is sickness either ours or our loved ones. Apart from the physical limitations we also have to deal with the financial implications. It is a case of the lion’s lair or the shark’s mouth. The second problem especially of people living in the Middle East is that of job insecurity. This problem escalates if you have children. Then you feel the sword hanging over your head 24*7. What if you or your spouse lose your job in the middle of the school year? You may search for a new job but what if you don’t get? If you decide to return to your home country, will your children get admission in the middle of the year? How to deal with such situations?

Our scriptures have divided our miseries into three:

  • Adidaivik: The miseries caused by the demigods like earthquakes, floods, tsunami
  • Adibhautik: Miseries caused by other living entities like dengue because of mosquitoes or your colleague creating problems for you at work etc.
  • Adhyatmik: Problems caused by your own mind. Why is she staring at me or I am not good enough etc.

But very often, we over selves are the cause of most of the miseries. More often than not it’s our ego the I, me, myself which cause problems for us. Colleague causing problems for you very often than not is the cause of an over inflated ego. (adibhautik), Similarly Adhyatmik Problems too are caused because either you think too much of yourself or too little.

Then you may question how do adidaivik problems arise? As we know we were all living peacefully in the spiritual platform along with the Lord but somewhere the desire to enjoy or Lord arose in us. And so Lord created this material world in which we were supposed to enjoy but at the same time we were supposed to do some prescribed duties. When we did these duties like different yagnas, the demigods would be satisfied and they would bless us with ample rain, food etc. Repeatedly doing these duties would arise our God consciousness and we would start serving the Lord and ultimately return to the spiritual world. But the age of Kali is very troublesome. We tend to forget our duties and we incur the wrath of the demigods in the form of flood, tsunami etc. If you are not a believer and you want a ‘scientific’ explanation then let me explain. We have used this earth, this environment to fulfil our greed. The incessant cutting of trees in the Western Ghats and the subsequent floods is an eye opener to all. I shudder to think with our reckless lifestyle what more is in store for the future.

We have heard about the acronym SOS. SOS or save our souls often used by people who have lost their way in deserts pr wilderness. This acronym holds true for us who have lost our way to the actual goal of life which is going back to Godhead.

  • The first thing when crisis hits us is to remember that I am not this body But a spirit Soul. However big the problem is the fact remains that it will not be carried over to your next birth. So don’t panic, this too will pass. The eleventh shloka of the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita explains this perfectly

sri-bhagavan uvaca
asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase
gatasun agatasums cananusocanti panditah

TRANSLATION

The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead.

Be dispassionate…try to look at the problem from a third angle. So the important thing is to Observe. Is there any opening in the market for my qualification…can I secure a place for my children in my home town. Don’t panic but observe. Most of our problems are of the body and it helps when we disengage and watch

  • Weigh possibilities scratch out what is not feasible.

So what is SOS…we are spirit souls, observe from all angles and scratch out options

What gives strength during moments of crisis?

  • Faith in the Supreme Lord. Take all problems as a test
  • Something better is planned for me. We say, man proposes but God disposes. That is often true because He has better plans for us.
  • Whatever happens we learn something and the experience makes us stronger.
  • I am not alone. The Lord stands by Me. As explained in the fifth shloka of Chapter 4 of the Bhagavad Gita        sri-bhagavan uvaca
    bahuni me vyatitani janmani tava carjuna
    tany aham veda sarvani na tvam vettha parantapa

Translation; The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!

So we have never been alone, He has always been with us.

Whatever struggles we face if we are in the path of Krishna consciousness, is a step nearer to Krishna. As Bhagavan says in Bhagavad Gita 4.9

janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so ‘rjuna

 TRANSLATION

One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.

Whatever crisis you come across if you are in the right frame of mind, you lead to Krishna. So take all crises as stepping stones.

(Excerpts from a class taken of 16th October 2018)

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