Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Harmony with Providence

One of the greatest forces in the universe is that which makes life prevail, proliferate and flourish. Our planet has been pounded by massive meteors, been frozen by ice age, been subject to great climatic changes and now is being gradually submerged under water. And still today, peacocks continue to dance, the great whites continue to hunt, the corals continue building reefs and humans continue making newer versions of software! Life shows tremendous determination to survive and express itself in all it diversity in an extremely dynamic and unpredictable environment. What people worship as God is merely a form given to this spirit of life.
All of life taken together is like an army that is constantly struggling to persist and develop and each one of us is a soldier in that army. We will be given all that is needed to fight this battle; this is the promise of God, this is what keeps us going. All these blessings: the circumstances, the articles and the qualities that have brought us so far and that will continue to take us forward, put together is our Providence.
This perspective towards life can help us greatly in drawing fulfilment from it. We realise that we are not individuals fighting a battle all by ourselves. Instead we are a member of an enormously huge army: The army comprising of all life. Now if we can align our own motives with the motives of this great army, we will get all that we need in life. We will be in Harmony with Providence. Being in this state God himself falls on our side. And when God is with us, who can be against us?
While making decisions, forming ambitions and setting priorities most people put themselves in the centre of this process. When we do this our desires and actions often come in conflict with that of the army we are fighting for. On the other hand, if we take into account the effect our actions have on each form of life concerned and act in the best interest of all, we align ourselves in Harmony with Providence. This is not a sacrifice. For when we are in Harmony with Providence, we become a very important component of life. Being the great survivor that it is, life efficiently recognises us and does all that it takes to maintain us and keep us happy. It spreads before us every form of true joy that exists in the world. This is the practical explanation to why a person with good morals and values leads a fulfilling life.
The software company Google in its site for its charitable venture “project 10 to the 100th” states, “ studies are reinforcing the simple wisdom that beyond a certain very basic level of material wealth, the only thing that increases individual happiness over time is helping other people.” This is because by helping others we align our motives with the motives of the army. We not only become great warriors ourselves, but we also empower others to do so. And thus we make our life fall in Harmony with Providence.
People who are greedy, selfish or corrupt seem to be enjoying their lives but their joys are always short lived and incomplete. They are in discord with Providence. Sooner or later such people become failures. This is because their battles are for themselves and are not in the interest of the army.
Thus we see that greater impact we create on the world around us, the more fulfilling our lives become. On the other hand, the more self centred we get the lesser becomes the true joy we can extract from life. A person who is perfectly in Harmony with Providence leads a perfect life.

Friday, December 05, 2008

I am responsible for Terror Attacks

"The welfare of the whole world lies in every human being's selfish interest, as a flaw anywhere in the world, if allowed to develop, can manifest itself as a problem in his life." -- Transcendental Quotation, Thirty Two

Between November 26th and 29th 2008 terrorists from Lashkar-e-Taiba attack nine places in Mumbai killing close to two hundred people and injuring about another three hundred. I, an employee of a company that sells software living in a completely different city seem completely disconnected with this event. However, as I am about to show you, I am responsible for these attacks.

Judging the reaction of the people to this incident, many of them seem to be of the following opinion: They themselves are ‘good’ people. Unfortunately, all people are not like them and there are some ‘bad’ people like the terrorists. These terrorists, being ‘bad’ kill people for no reason at all, and the terrorists should be locked up in jails or killed for terrorism to be prevented.

At this point, let us take a closer look at these terrorists. What kind of life would they have lead to become what they are? Most of them would have never gone to schools, played in parks or laughed at parties. They would not have got the love and moral guidance that a proper family provides. I am here talking about values and bonding. If I had been given an AK47 and asked to murder, when I was eight, instead of being given a cricket bat and asked to play, I am sure I would have been different. The terrorists are normal humans like all. However, they have been brainwashed into what they are. This was again done by people who have been brainwashed themselves. All their lives are filled with blood, violence and gore. Their circumstances made them what they are. And the entire human society, taken as a whole is responsible for creating and then ignoring those circumstances. And I am as much a member of that society as the terrorists.

Let me give you some examples to demonstrate the connection I have with an event like this.
I have not cast a vote in a single election in the past seven years I have been eligible to do so. Maybe, if I had voted and convinced friends to do so, we would have had better leaders who could have prevented this. But I never cared, I thought it wouldn’t matter.
I have bribed policemen and other government authorities, for my convenience, just to save small amounts of time and effort. Maybe, one of them got promoted, took a bribe and allowed this to happen.
Maybe if I had given more to charity, aid would have reached the ailing corner of the world, which created these terrorists and prevented this.
I can go on like this and putting it together, I am connected and responsible in my way, for allowing the terror attacks to happen.

Looking at just me, all this may seem like a far cry, but the sad fact is there are millions and millions of people like me in this world. Our lack of sense of responsibility and carelessness combined, causes and allows for such tragedies. What can be done to stop this? Maybe we should punish different people for a change. Maybe some folks like me should be captured and beaten and killed. Alas, is there anyone who would take initiative to do something so drastic? The answer is yes, and the people who do this are known as the terrorists! Yes, this is exactly what the terrorists have done and the whole thing completes a big circle. A huge ‘Wheel of Terror’ is spinning and we all are spokes that keep this wheel going. People like me, the politicians, the security forces, the terrorists; all are just spokes: And each spoke is as responsible as any other to keep this wheel going.

The ‘Wheel of Terror’ teaches us one important lesson. We all are part of a system that balances itself, that is fair. We enjoy a life of splendor ignoring the cries of many people suffering across the world. The system creates such tragedies to balance this. It tells us, “It is your mistake, take it, you deserve it”. We must all open up and take heed of this.

For a change, let us stop pointing fingers at others, turn our hands, and point them at ourselves. Not at the politicians, not at the government, not at the security forces, not at other countries and not even at the terrorists, but ourselves. Let each one of us take responsibility for what happened, and change and improve on our part. Let us stop assuming that since our immediate surroundings are fine, the problems of the world don’t matter. Let us all act towards making proper health care, good education and lots of love be available at every corner of the world. Let each one of us consider the welfare of the whole world as his or her own selfish interest. For only then, shall the ‘Wheel of Terror’ stop spinning, and only then shall there be peace!

#Here is a video on how terrorists are recruited and brainwashed.