Swami Udit Chaitanya is a persuasive and eloquent speaker. I and my family are hearing his discourses for the last few years. His philosophy is seemingly simple. God resides within us. We should seek him within ourselves so as to enhance or elevate our mind and thinking. Seeking God’s help to solve personal issues is futile. (Lord Rama and Lord Krishna had enough problems of their own during their sojourn in the earth. If they could not solve their own problems, how would they solve ours? ). The emphasis is no increasing mental strength to face the tsunamis during our existence.
I find this a frightening idea. I have survived so far by believing that my frequent visits to temples (near and far) and prayers turned the tide during difficult times. Now I am being convinced that God is a silent and perhaps inactive spectator to our vicissitudes. The corollary to this approach would be that while I could continue to make more PPTs to God in Sanskrit, matters would take their own course- with little or no inputs from God.
Actually the prayers recited in Sanskrit slokas sound impressive, but if recited in English or any other language the results would be less impressive. An English translation of one Para of Purushasuktha is given below.
Om= Name of God = World. Experienced as a+u+m.
Experience of waking state is “a’, dream is “u”,
sleep/death is “m”
Sahasra seershaa purushah=God has 1000 (a very large number) of heads.
Because all heads belong to the world=God
Sahasrakshah sahasra path =1000 eyes, 1000 feet. All eyes, feet belong to
Sa bhoomim viswato vritvaa=Covers the earth from all sides as sky/space
Atyatishtat dasaangulam=Yet he exceeds by 10 digits the whole world.
(exceeds finite space and time)
The real purpose is to understand and digest these prayers and not recite them unknowingly expecting some divine benediction.
While the above approach appeals to logic, the fact still remains that chanting sukthams and similar Sanskrit prayers, especially by a large and coordinated group, arrests our attention- physical and mental. Anyone who has learnt these chants (whatever is the age) starts repeating it mentally. The fact that some of these represent the earliest human record of prayers which were given from generation to generation orally is a testimony of their value and strength. (In today’s parlance – sustainability or Sustainable Development).
Progression in chronological age brings in external changes. But the mind can still retain its youth and strength. (not my original idea, but borrowed from Swamiji). Good example is Narayana Murthy. No one would call him an old fogey or one having out dated ideas. His achievement is to create a sustainable organization which has a huge ripple effect. Another example is Late H T Parekh. After retirement from ICICI , he created HDFC in 1977, at a time when Housing Finance was unknown. I know it because, I was newly married and was looking for my own house in early 80s. So age has nothing to do with freshness of approach or thinking by an individual.
What next? Is a question which gnaws at the back of my mind. If we are fully responsible for our actions and their results, then the sense of responsibility increases significantly (somewhat like boss telling a subordinate that you are on your own on this project, I have nothing to do with it). I wonder what the goal that I desire to achieve is and whether the efforts to reach it are worth it. It is nice to think that there is a fate (Lord Brahma or some other responsible God has a supercomputer which ordains what would happen to me and I could ascribe all actions and results to it) and my life moves according to it. Some paths are one way , some no entry and some you have to definitely pass thru .
Several years back, I used to visit electronic shops to look at latest TVs and Home Theatre systems and ask their prices. After some such visits, my wife refused to accompany me inside the shops for such visits. After I purchased the TVs and Home Theatre systems I desired, I would still look at those shops with longing- that is longing for something to look forward to.
Life is somewhat like that. There should always be something to look forward to. There is a tomorrow which will make a difference to my life and to others. Once that tomorrow holds only bleakness and lots of empty place, then the next cycle should start.
How would that start? According to Swamiji (the one referred to above) the life inside us represents some form of energy which is on continuous journey- thru human bodies. Once this journey ends (trains reaches VT station or Madras Central then the engine is separated from bogies), then another begins.
I find this appealing as under any circumstances, there is something to look forward to.
Do you agree?