Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dharm and Karm

A couple of days ago I published a blog on "Hatred and Forgiveness". One is such a quick concept and another is such an incomprehensible concept. One is a very natural concept, while the other one is an unnatural concept. People hate many things. Whatever they don't like it, they do not say that, "We don't like it." They say, "We hate it." In fact the "hate" word itself is a very intense negative word. "Don't like it" expression is still better because it is much more milder than the "hate" word.

Now as much intense negative is the expression, to forgive is difficult in the same proportion. That is why if one cannot be pure positive, one should be at least only mildly negative, so that forgiveness becomes easier and he can walk on the right path soon and easily.

One can save himself from this situation by following his Dharm and Karm. When he follows his Dharm and Karm, he finds easier to feel peace in his heart, to do many things according to his desires, and to deal with different types of people easily. Why? Because he is following his Dharm and Karm; and other people cannot blame him for saying or doing anything wrong. When other people cannot blame you, you are free from all kinds of criticism, evil thoughts, dissatisfaction etc etc.

One has to think this with a clear mind, not with irrationality, that how a Karm done with Dharm is different from a Karm done without following Dharm? What are their consequences and then compare them to evaluate them.Which one seems better - at this point forget that which one is difficult or impossible or it is in your interest or not, just compare them as if you are guiding others to follow your advice (it is easier to do it). When you have decided it then you choose your path.

Dharm and Karm
Now let us see what is Dharm and Karm, and how they can be followed by us. Dharm means what ever are our duties, or whatever we should do in a certain context - with a certain person, at a certain place,  at a certain time or our responsibility in lay man terms, is our Dharm. One can behave with one person differently when he is at different places and at different times, , I need not to explain this in detail, otherwise this will take a book, but everybody knows it that how people behave differently in different circumstances with the same person.

And Karm or action is the translation of what in theory is our Dharm,  though Dharm has a wider connotation encompassing gamut of entire animate and inanimate spectrum. So Karm is the action what we do with all our 11 Indriyaan (senses) according to our Dharm, whatever our Dharm is. If our Dharm is to offer water to a thirsty man, that is our Dharm, but to offer water in actuality is our Karm.

In this context one must know that everybody has his own Dharm - a set of his own actions. One cannot compare one's own actions with th other person's actions. All have their own Dharm and Karm. although there are some general Dharm also which are common for all and all should follow them.

Who are not following their Dharm, or whose actions are not according to their Dharm, they are very far from God. Why? Because as explained above, Dharm is not biased. It does not see whether somebody is our relation or an enemy, an animal or a human being, black or white - it has nothing to do with cast, race, color or species. As God has no cast, race, color or species, in the same way Dharm is also beyond them. For the same reason if a human being does not follow his Dharm, he is far from God.

That is why one should find out his Dharm, and follow it sincerely, he would soon find himself near to God; and after a while he would feel so much satisfaction in it that he would advocate it to everybody.

Sushma Gupta

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hatred and Forgiveness

Every negative thought and emotion secretes acid in your body, and the same acid destroys the vessel which contains it. Negative emotions like anger, frustration and disappointment are visiting emotions. The only consolation is that they rise in you when some event occurs and then they die once you are distracted to some other event.

Hatred does not die like this, it is a progressive negative emotion. It gains depth with the passage of time. The more you process your hurt or tend your hurt, the more you deepen your hatred, the more acid is released in your system. It remains as a lingering background. In fact, the hurt you suffered from the event is insignificant compared to how much you keep intensifying the hurt by repeatedly reprocessing and tending whatever has already had happened. Hatred takes you away from your real self. You cease to feel, think and act as yourself. The "hated" now becomes the hero of your mind and heart, literally controlling your feelings, thinking and actions, although remotely. Buddha says - "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."

The irony is that only the "hatred" is oblivious reason to all this. When you forgive the hated, the forgiveness is not liberating him from you, but it is liberating you yourself from the hated person. Nothing deserves a disturbing presence within you. Let go the disturbance within you and let you be in peace. When Peter went up to Jesus Christ and said - "Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me?" Jesus said - "As often as seven times? Not seven, I tell you, but seventy times seven times."

 It is said - "To err is human, to forgive is divine." All human beings are susceptible to mistakes. The inadequacies of human beings are part of His design. That is how it is meant to be. People make mistakes and learn out of them. Wrong doings are a matter of self-realization, but not all men are evolved enough to be objective in judging themselves, and "wrong" will continue to emanate from them. Haven't you noticed it on the road that the other driver always thinks that you were wrong, and gives you a stare? [You also think in the same way] No human being is perfect. Man can at their best strive towards perfection, but can never become flawless. People do what they think right to do, because at that point of time only that action seems right to them whatever they are doing. Otherwise also "wrong" is seldom intentional. Nobody wants to do any wrong intentionally. Even if there is any wrong action, it is often either out of ignorance, or because they thought that it was a correct action. They do not know that they do not know or they are ignorant. The simple logic - if they knew that their that action was wrong, why should they do it? Nobody wants to do anything wrong to anybody.

And, that is why you can never make sense to that man against his Will. Whatever you may say, he will still have the last "say" justifying his own actions. And that is right, because he thinks in that way. That is why, for most of the people who commit wrong, whoever points out at their mistakes, will always be mistaken.

When the same wrong is committed by some other person, it affects you, you get hurt. Your non-acceptance of that person and the situation that is affecting you, both turns your hurt into hatred towards him. If you keep continue intensifying your hatred towards him and decide on an eye-for-an-eye reaction, it becomes revenge. One negative emotion cascades into yet another negative emotion - from hatred to revenge. Thus you will be progressively pressing your self-destructive button. Save yourself from yourself, much more than saving yourself from others.

Let nothing that happens outside of you cause a blemish inside of you. Buddha prophesized - "Hatred is never ended by hatred, but by love." People need your love much more when they are wrong than when they are right. Think only good even to those who have not been good to you. Live your own character, not others, no matter what happens. Every man faces the consequences of his own doing, not of others. There is a very good story about this. Two people were arguing on some matter. In the heat of arguments, A hit B. B also hit A. Both indulged in fighting with each other. Somehow a third person C intervened and separated them. When their time came they died and came to Yam Raaj. Yam Raaj asked his accountant the account of the person B's actions. Among other actions, the accountant pointed out that he hit A, for which he should be punished. B said - "I hit him only when he hit me." Yam Raaj said - "I am not asking you when did you hit him, I am just saying that you hit him. Answer me Yes or No." B said hanging his head down - "yes". Yam Raaj then explained him - "Here we judge the individual on his own actions, so you will have to suffer or enjoy only for your actions, not for others actions. Whatever you have done you will get its fruits and whatever any other person has done, he will enjoy his own Karm's fruits. Because you hit him that is why you will have to bear its fruit. If he had hit you, he will bear his own Karm fruit, do not worry, he will have to." Thus everybody faces the consequences of his own actions, not of others.

You yourself must not do anything wrong to prove the other wrong. It is not in your favor. Give up your desire to prove the other wrong by doing wrong. It changes nothing in your life towards good, but it rather takes it towards worse - and that is not your goal. Your goal of life is to become better day by day. So do not try to prove that you have been victimized. That is not going to make your life better. Something had happened to teach you something, learn the lessons and just move on on a better path. Let Him take over the game from here.

Sushma Gupta

Putra Moh in Devtaa

Dhritraashtra has been all the time blamed for his Putra Moh (intense love for his son) by everybody in the whole Mahaabhaarat. Everybody blamed Dhritraashtra that he was not doing his duty as a king, and was after Putra Moh only. I am asking why shouldn't he love his son? People worship Devtaa, keep fasts, perform Yagya (Dasharath did Yagya to get sons), do Tapas (Krishn did it to get sons) then why they should not love their sons?

When even Devtaa favor their sons and do all kinds of dirty work to save them from all kinds of calamities, then, in comparison to them, Dhritraashtra was only a human being. When the Soul is Immortal... or one should do his duties and leave the rest on God, as Geetaa says, then why these Devtaa who are very learned and Tapaswee were so much worried about the so called "body" of their sons? One can go even thus far that why should people care even for their own body?

Here are  a few stories of Devtaa showing their extreme love, affection and interest for their sons and what they did to save them.

(1) Pavan Dev
Pavan Dev or Vaaayu Dev had two sons on Prithvi - Hanumaan and Bheem. Once Hanumaan got hungry and looked for food. He saw rising Sun and thought him a red sweet fruit, so he started flying towards him to eat him. As he reached near the Sun, he confronted Raahu who was also coming to eat him. He saw a small Vaanar obstructing his way in getting his food. He fought with Hanumaan but Hanumaan pushed him back, so he went to Dev Raaj Indra and told him that he saw a child coming to Sun to eat him, and although he fought with him but he pushed him back. Indra got surprised to know this and came riding on his Airaavat elephant with Raahu to see that wonderful boy who pushed Raahu back.

He saw a Vaanar child. Coming Airaavat towards him, Hanumaan attacked Airaavat also. Seeing this Indra got angry and hit him with his Vajra on his chin. The child Hanumaan fell down and got unconscious. Vaayu Dev saw his son falling down, so he caught him in his arms on his way to coming down. He took him in a cave and sat down sad carrying him in his arms. Angry with Indra Dev, he stopped moving in the world.

As Vaayu stopped moving in the world, all living beings got worried and became like half dead. Seeing this all Rishi Muni etc came to Brahmaa Jee to please Vaayu Dev. Brahmaa Jee came to Vaayu Dev and requested him to move about. Vaayu Dev said - "Hey Pitaa, See my son is lying in my arms unconscious, how can I move about?" In the meantime Indra also came there. Then Brahmaa Jee, Indra and other Devtaa brought Hanumaan to life and bestowed many boons on him.
Thus even Vaayu Dev took such a serious step to end the world when Indra hit his son with his Vajra. If Brahmaa Jee and other Devtaa did not confer Hanumaan boons, perhaps this whole world would have finished without air. Was Dhritraashtra at fault not to love his son?

(2) Soorya Dev
Although Soorya Dev did not hurt anybody else, but he did care for his son. When Hanumaan was born, Soorya Dev said to him that when he would grow up, he would educate him; so when Hanumaan had grown, he went to Soorya Dev to get educated. Soorya Dev said - "I cannot stop to teach you like that, so how I shall educate you?" Hanumaan was very clever and a devout disciple. He immediately said - "No problem. I will walk in front of you with your speed so that you can teach me. Besides, I cannot keep my back facing you, so I will walk backward so that I can always face you." Soorya Dev was very happy to hear this. He taught Hanumaan with a great devotion. Thus Hanumaan obtained his education walking backward tirelessly with the speed of Soorya.

After Hanumaan's education was complete, he asked his Guru as what Guru Dakshinaa he could offer to him. Soorya Dev said - "I am very happy with you and your devotion, you need not to give me any Guru Dakshinaa. You may go just like that." But Hanumaan insisted. At this Soorya Dev said - "If you really want to give me Guru Dakshinaa, go and serve my son Sugreev on Prithvi." And that is how Hanumaan came to Sugreev and served him throughout his life.

Soorya's another son was Karn. As soon as he came to know that Indra was planning to beg for Karn's life protective Kavach and Kundal (armor and earrings), he immediately appeared in Karn's dream and warned him about this future incident and guided him not to give them to him as they were his life savers. When Karn did not move from his vow, he advised him to ask for the Shakti (Power) from Indra in return of the Kavach and Kundal, for which Karn agreed with great difficulty. So even Soorya Dev also wanted to save his son.
Then if Dhritraashtra was favoring his son, what was wrong in it?

(3) Indra Dev
Indra had two sons on Prithvi - one was Baali and the other was Arjun. To protect Baali, he had given him a gems necklace which made him invincible. Besides, he had another boon that with whoever he would fight, his half strength will come to him. For the same reason Raam had to kill him from the behind, otherwise He would lose His half strength to Baali. Thus he favored his son Baali also by special boons.

His another son was Arjun. Indra was so much worried about him that when he came to pray Krishn after Krishn saved Brij from his continuous rains, he asked Him only to protect his son and Krishn promised him to do so.

Not only this, as if this was not enough, he went to Karn to beg for his life, in the form of Kavach and Kundal (armor and earrings) so that he could save his own son Arjun's life from him. Shame to him. He saved his son by killing another Devtaa's son? This cannot be expected from the King of Devtaa whose duty is to take care of his people (Prajaa), not that he should kill the son of his one Prajaa.
Then if Dhritraashtra was favoring his son, what was wrong in it?

(4) Chandra Dev
When Krishn was incarnating on Prithvi all Devtaa were requested to send their Ansh (part) on Prithvi to help Him in carrying out His objective. So Dharm Raaj produced Yudhishthir, Indra produced a son named Arjun, Pavan Dev produced the son named Bheem etc etc. When Chandramaa was asked to send his Ansh, he said - "I cannot send my son on Prithvi, because I cannot live without him." Then all Devtaa explained him that they all were sending their Ansh in some way or the other, so he should also send his son. After a long persuasion, he agreed but put a condition that since he cannot live without his son, his son should come back at the end of 16 years and another thing that he should die in the way that he should always be remembered. So he produced a son Abhimanyu, and that is why Abhimanyu did not live long and died at the age of 16 years. Besides he fought so bravely that he made a place in everybody's memory. He fought alone with 7 Mahaa Rathee (great warriors). This case shows that Chandramaa also loved his son so much that first he he did not want to send him on Prithvi, and secondly if he sent him, he would not be able to leave him for long, because he would not live long without him. 
So when Chandramaa knew that his son was going to help Bhagavaan, why was he so much possessive of his son? And when he being a Devtaa loved his son so much then why only Dhritraashtra should be blamed for his Putra Moh?

Dhritraashtra is not comparable to anyone of the above, They are Devtaa and immortal, while Dhritraashtra was only a mortal human being. Then why he should be blamed all the time for his Putra Moh. Everybody loves his son. People do so much worship, Tapasyaa (Krishn did to get His sons), Yagya (Dasharath did it to get his sons) to get sons and died in separation of his beloved son Raam who was exiled for 14 years, then why shouldn't they love them? Mahaabhaarat says that the son is one's own image born from his own field.

Sushma Gupta