By T G L IYER :
There is the story of the Zen Master who considered a thief to be one of his teachers. He stayed with the thief for three months. Every night the thief would go out to steal and he would return empty handed. But he continued his efforts because he believed that one day he would be successful. It became clear that anyone who had the patience that the thief had was bound to succeed. There was a father who used to play with his son everyday, when he returned from office. One day he was not in a mood to play with his son but the son pestered him and made the father to think of alternatives. The father took a world map and tore it to pieces. He told his son “Today’s game is that you should piece together the world map”. The son took-up the call with determination and in 15 minutes he joined the map together. His father was astonished and asked his son how he could join the map so quickly? The boy replied: “Very simple, father. There was a portrait of a man behind the map.
I fixed the portrait and the world map automatically became alright”. Most of us spend our time spending all our energy in the past or in the future. Either we are wondering why someone performed an injustice against us or we are worried what will happen tomorrow. Why not spend the present joyfully and get a grand feeling of life? Take a conscious decision to live life in the present. Enjoy each moment in your own way. Make a habit to look at the brighter side of life because past is history, the future a mystery and the present a reality.
Doctors say that eighty per cent of diseases are caused due to Psychosomatic problems, which means that our problems are our own creations, not the creation of some germs or bacteria. For example, a man consumes eatables which are not healthy and later in old age suffers from some attacks or the other. He blames fate for his sufferings instead of blaming himself for leading an unhealthy life. He goes to a Doctor who says that he should undergo surgery to maintain proper circulation of blood. There are blocks in his arteries and a bypass surgery only is the remedy. He gets admitted in a hospital and spends lacks of rupees for his recovery and prolonging his life.
What is the point in living then after having lived an unhealthy life knowingly in the past? Voltaire preferred monarchy to democracy because in a monarchy it was necessary only to educate one person whereas in a democracy you have to educate thousands to run a country properly. A united minority against a divided majority wins in an election.
All politics is the rivalry of organised minorities, who cheer the victors and jeer the defeated contributing nothing whatsoever to lift the fallen and give them a decent life. We all know that a good show window will sell anything shoddy to the customer. Once a certain King left the throne and became a monk under Gautam Buddha. To show that he was disciplined and not lazy, he undertook long fasts and would sleep very little. One day, the Buddha asked 0him “Suppose there is a Sitar whose strings are too tight; will it produce music or suppose the strings are too loose; will it produce music?” The Monk replied: “In either case it will produce only noise and not melodious music”. Buddha continued that if the strings are not too tight or loose; will it produce Music?” The monk replied “It would produce music instead of mere noise”. Buddha said: “You have to strike a balance between the two; only then you can lead a good life.”
The key to living a happy life is discipline, moderation, patience and tolerance. Live a simple life balanced and controlled in all manifestations. Treat everything as a game in which victory or defeat is certain. Therefore, keep in mind that nothing is permanent; everything is ephemeral or temporary. Why we like a movie is because there is something similar to what we are. When the plot has no similarity, we declare that the movie is boring.
Happiness is such an elusive thing that if you chase after it, it is out of reach. It comes knocking the door at the unexpected moment usually in a crisis which we solve using our talents. When you strip away all mystery and leave the truth naked, something sweet and attractive is lost. There will always be the unknown; there will always be the improbable. Faith confronts these frontiers with a thrilling leap. Then life becomes vibrant with adventure. My teacher used to say “Be careful in what you want; you will get it. Wanting is believing and believing produces results”.