Tuesday, 21 April 2015

If They Answer Not To Your Call, Walk Alone

There is a famous Bengali Song, written and composed by none other, than the great Rabindranath Tagore, which goes like this,
Which basically means,
If they answer not to your call walk alone

Indeed, if we don't hear our own heart's calling, who will? How often do we give in, to bow to public expectations, social expectations? This song, comes from a time, when India was fighting hard to get rid of the cruel and immoral British colonists, the time to overthrow them was near, and the song encouraged people to follow their hearts, and join the fight, even if those around them did not. But to me, its message holds true in nearly every situation of life. I am sharing with you, here the English translation of this song,  by Tagore himself.

If they answer not to your call walk alone

If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open your mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
O thou unlucky one,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.

If they shut doors and do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou unlucky one,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite your own heart,
and let it burn alone.

It is often in life, that friends, family or society will not join us when we call out to them, and then it is upto us to decide, if we wish to follow our heart, or simply fall back because, we have no one to join us. I hate to fall back, that is not to say, that I do not do it, but that, I don't like myself for being a coward at those times in my life. If a man does not have the courage of his own convictions, what does he have? There was a time when I would incite people into believing what I did, I would incessantly pursue them, but I have learnt better, as I have grown older, and hopefully wiser. I have greater courage now to follow my own heart, even if I stand alone, and I try my very best to not give in. And it gives me a satisfaction, like nothing else would. I try not to hurt my loved ones, in this pursuit, I try to explain my position to them, but no longer do I persuade them to join me.

The fact is, that nothing else is with me, as is God. No one is with me, as is He. And I can cheat everyone, even myself , but not Him. The best bit about remembering this at all times is, I am always inspired to do good, I am spurred to be better than what I am, everything that I am motivated to do will be positive and moral. What my heart tells me to do, approved by my own conscience, can never be wrong.

This does not apply, only to the big things in life, like a protest march, or standing up to a bully all alone, when everyone else backs off, and it usually means getting beaten up, but also the smaller things in life, like not picking up a drink or a cigarette, even when everyone around me is. Being an ex-pat in a country, whose culture is so very different from my roots, this song could pretty much be my life anthem. No, not because, I want to stand apart, because, I love Australia and want to be a part of it very much, but, because, I also want to hold on to things that are precious to me from my own roots, things that I believe are good and positive parts of what I have learnt in my life, growing up. And I believe in our lives, we have all experienced situations, where we either give in, or we follow our heart.  I have done both at different occasions, but now, I try to hold on and walk with pride on the path I have chosen for myself. It is not easy, but the thing to remember, is, that it is not a war. If I believe in it, I do it, but that does not in anyway mean, having animosity or malice towards those who wish not to join me. Just as I expect others to respect my choice, it is but, my duty, to first respect their's.

This beautiful saying from the Holy Bible, says, that once we are calm and still, we are indeed one with God. And this stillness can only be achieved in solitude. Isn't it simply wonderful to be with God, and follow the path with Him, rather than anyone else at all. It is in calmness, we can find our true course, our conscience. If we follow the others, we follow their path, not ours. Each of us is unique, and has a distinct path set for us, but it is often in our herd mentality, we ignore it, and blindly follow or join in. It is upto us indeed, to know ourselves and have faith to follow our own path, even if we do it alone. If we are fortunate, we will find support from friends and family, if not, we must stand up and do what we know from within is right!

Leaving you with this beautiful renedition of the song .

सद्गुरु  श्री अनिरुद्धार्पणमस्तु ॥

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Cone Of Me

Its a world filled with the 'self'. My wish, my wants, my choice, my desires, my freedom, words and phrases we are bombarded with constantly, everything with an I, me or my. Its almost like living in isolation in a crowd. For all the 'my's we have, as people we still seek the warmth of genuine human affection at all times. Some seek it from a close circle, some from more, but the simple fact is, we all need it. And the more We solidify the cone of isolation, the worse we get, and the more we seek love.

Everybody wants the freedom to be themselves, why then do they seek approval. The biggest angst people have is disapproval of 'others'. Others who are a very micro unit of the very society that these people think is orthodox/intolerant/unfair and more. It is because what we truly seek, not just a show of approval, but a genuine warmth from our fellow human beings. And its possibly the easiest thing to give and receive. But mind you, we must first give, in order to receive. We need to care, shed the I, and absorb the us, the them, the others. As a very simple example, I may wish to wear a certain outfit, its my wish, my want. But I also know that it is not what I am expected to wear at that place, or as per the culture. Now I can say 'My Body, my wish', wear it anyways, and then sit and grumble about people being judgmental, or I may simply choose to wear that outfit to a more suitable location later. This act, does not in any way make me weak, but rather shows my strength of character, in the fact, that I respect others, and care for them, their sensibilities, thus becoming a better person, and thus automatically attracting the same from others. But how often do we choose the latter. Its one of the rarest of our choices. What is worse is, it is often just an excuse to be selfish. Our fight against the world is often, nothing but our desire to do only what pleases us, not having to spend an iota of effort thinking about others, and then blaming them for not accepting us. While it may begin with the outer world, it soon seeps into our personal relationships and acts as poison. If we are all about 'me', and never about the 'other', how can any relationship survive.

Pseudo feminists are the worst of the lost. They irk me, more than I can ever express in words. Not only are they self-centred quacks, pretending to be fighting for a cause, what is worse is, they actually dilute the real issues facing women. There are women fighting against domestic violence, or female foeticide, while the pseudo feminist wonders, why she cannot wear next to nothing and walk completely drunk on the streets, in the middle of the night and feel safe. Its a simple thing, if you don't care about others, they don't care about you either.

This obsession with the 'I', spreading like a virus across the world, scares me. And I wonder how and why we are all so absorbed by it. No one talks about caring about the people, our society, the sensibilities of the world, the community. Social rules and sensibilities exist for a reason, the simple one being, that it helps maintain an equilibrium, often the fear of society prevents us from doing something wrong, unethical.Imagine a society without any moral or ethical code. That is what I think we are heading for, where everyone wants their own way, defending whatever it is they want to do, in the name of rights and individuality.

Is this the product of a world moving away from God.,the ultimate epitome of selflessness? The One who gives, protects and loves all and one. The One who through practice teaches us, to give, share and care. No matter in which form we call Him or believe in Him, He is the one who gives and cares without expecting anything other than love.Why then do we not learn that, why are we moving from being self-centred to self-obsessed? May we all learn to give and be more considerate. Love others, and adjust a tiny bit to accommodate some happiness for others. Let us share joy and happiness, not strife and anger. Give a little, Live a little I say!