Sakthi Vikatan March 04, 2014



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Sēvāratṉā Doctor T.S. Narayanaswamy. Images by Aras

The way to fulfil your desire…

 “It is a familiar and significant saying that a problem well put is half-solved.”  John Dewey  (October 20 1859  June 1 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer. The actual quote of John Dewey.

The power to choose!

Every person has a natural ability and rights. That is the power to choose what one wants. Parents make the choice for children, who upon reaching majority earn the power to make choice. Parents, on knowing the needs of children, fulfill them if the desires are just.

Today’s children don’t like the choice made by the parents on their behalf regarding play things, clothes…They ask, “Don’t I have the right to choose what I want?” If you take children to the department store, they choose what they need. The children have the right to choose, their own toys, books, snacks, clothes…

As we grow in age and maturity, we exercise the right to choose. If there is a resistance to our choice, we become angry, unhappy and feel restricted. In life, experience of joy and sorrow depends on our ability to make right choices.

Is it that God creates the good and the bad? Some may say, “Is not God responsible then for my choices?”

Albert Einstein says, “God did not create evil. Just as darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of God.”  This is the actual quote.

Right judgment is the highest ability!

He lives in darkness, when deprived of light and goodness. God gave us intellect and right judgment. Right judgment is to know what is right and what is wrong and to have the ability to choose what is right. Life will be in the right path. If we make the wrong choice or make an error in judgment, we get caught in the web of difficulties and suffer grief.  Most problems come from bad choices and wrong  conclusions.

A Guru in Gurukulam taught the students, “Make good choices; stay away from evil.” One student asked the Guru, “God is the creator of good and evil. What is wrong in choosing one or the other?” Guru told him, “I will give you the answer to this question after lunch.”

There were ten students in the class. The plantain leaf with rice and a cup of milk was served to each of the nine children.  The plantain leaf of the questioner had cow dung on it with a cup of cow urine.  The boy was shocked and said, “O Guru, why does my leaf have cow dung and a cup of cow urine?”

Guru instructed him, “Rice paddy grew from the nutrients in the cow dung. Those nutrients helped the rice become food. Milk comes from the cow.  The same cow produces cow dung and urine. What does it matter, if you eat either?

The student replied in a piteous tone, “Milk is drinkable. Urine of cow is not drinkable. Rice is eatable but not the cow dung.

Guru asked him, “How did you figure that out on your own?

The pupil answered, “By my intellect and experience!”

Guru explained, “That ability is called good judgment. God gave us the discriminating judgment by which we make a good choice and avoid evil.

Bad choices give bad results and the latter cause sorrow.

Many buy houses in their desire to own houses. They fear they will spend the cash on unneeded objects. Some think investment in a house will appreciate in value. Later, for some reason, they lose the jobs. The income from the new job is below what they made before. Marriage and children add to the expenses. They struggle shouldering such burdens unable to pay the mortgages. Good people should be tenants. Further problems may pop up, if the tenant is rude and lawless, and or fail to make monthly rental payments or become squatters.

Some rush to buy houses and land in troubles: Inability to pay mortgage, some irregularity in the deed of ownership, encumbrance on the property… Court case keeps them busy. Physical and mental health suffers from stress: More visits to doctors and attendant expenses. To obtain remedy for all these problems, they make paid visits to astrologers (seeking through him divine intervention and betterment in life).

Desire, haste, and poor judgment underlie all these difficulties. There is nothing wrong in buying a house on a mortgage.  What is more important is to have deliberation with a view to the future, analyzing the advantage and the disadvantage of every move.

It is not just the desires should be just and proper but fulfilling the desire should also be just and straightforward.

We use the remote control to select one from among 100s of TV channels. We adjust the light and the sound in the TV. Likewise, our desires should be modulated in tune with our needs, circumstances and financial feasibility. That will solve half the problems.

What is the fate of those who get caught in the web of desires and attendant problems?  What is the exit strategy from these problems?  Let us consider it.

The tree will grow.

The worry of the ocean wave.

It is an oceanic expanse. The ocean wave that rose at a far distance enjoying the caress of the wind, looked at the sky with pompous pride. Then the sight of the shore caught its eye.  It saw also a preceding wave dashing on the shore in a plethora of sea-foam, mixing with the mud and sand and disappearing into nothingness and addressed God, “O God, is this fate of the waves? Is it also my fate to dash on the shore in a foam and disappear?

There was another wave behind it coming from far away. The third wave looking at the second wave said, “Why are you so sad?” The second wave fearing frothy death and disappearance on the shore, replied, “My friend, I fear dashing on the seashore and disappearing one day.”

The third wave behind the second wave said, “My friend, why are you afraid of imagined nonexistent destruction, death and disappearance? First, you are not all alone. You are part of the ocean. As long as the ocean exists, you and I also will exist.”

The second wave’s imagined problem changed from fear to hope.  A problem, when viewed from a different perspective, disappears spontaneously.