With the advent of modern times, the literacy rate and awareness among people have increased.
Dr Suman Bharali
With the advent of modern times, the literacy rate and awareness among people have increased. Now, every news item goes global immediately. The event happening in one part of the world is known by everyone around the world and is impacted by it. The ancient Indian philosophy of "Vasudeva Kutumbakam" or the whole world is one family has become a reality. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine are recent examples of Globalization. Now people are not restricted only to their own religion, beliefs and culture. Every person has direct or indirect exposure to what's happening in other parts of the world and how people in other parts of the world live. Modern education and information technology have expanded the boundaries and given exposure to different cultures and beliefs in the world. People are not bound to their age-old restrictions and superstitions. They can observe, understand and follow what is best for them in their opinion. There is increased awareness of gender equality and financial independence among modern women with an increase in literacy rate. Nobody wants to live and pass their lives in terms of other people or social and cultural barriers. There is only one life and everyone has their own dreams and expectations. Time keeps goings and people don't have infinite time on this planet. Everything must be done within a definite time during the lifetime. Therefore, nobody wants to remain stuck in an unwanted situation or environment for a long time. People start new endeavours, careers, relationships or projects and soon feel they are not getting what they want and get burnt out and get out of it. Then move one to a new thing hoping it will give them the importance and want to explore every opportunity. Thus, people are becoming impatient and intolerant and jump from one point to other soon. This is because they follow what is fed to them in the media and social media where one can see only the tip of an iceberg. There is always a curiosity to explore the unknown. But it should be understood that there is no absolute freedom in this world. Everything and everyone are interdependent. The universe gives us back what we give it. Everything is based on causes and effects. We are responsible for our happiness and sorrow, loss or gain; success and failure. We have to take absolute personal responsibility for everything that happens to us. Blaming others and complaining about the situations is vogue and will not help in our betterment. We must take responsibility for our mistakes and learn from them so that we can improve. We must accept what happened and move on forgiving others and ourselves as well. Freedom and discipline are interconnected. Freedom without discipline is destructing and too much discipline without freedom is suffocating and hinders progress and development. No matter how much our family, friends and loved ones support and encourage us, we have to fight our battles, run our races, climb our mountains and pass our exams by ourselves. Dreams are personal so are the hard work and sacrifices. We have to complete the journey towards our destination alone. Some people will give company and support for a while but will take their own path eventually. So, we must not depend on anyone for our work. Otherwise, we will not achieve the result within time or the result will not be as we expect. Thus, we should avoid procrastination and start doing the task now and here without depending on someone or waiting for favourable conditions. While advancing towards our goal we will get help from many people and we should also reciprocate the same. Because we are all interdependent.
Today what we are is the result of thousands of years of evolution. What differentiates a human from other living beings or machines is the presence of emotions and consciousness. Most people understand the importance of physical health and some understand mental health. But most people are unaware of emotional well-being. Since our birth, we suffer from physical pains like diseases, injuries, physical exercises etc., and overcome them. Also, we go through stress, fear, anxiety, insomnia etc., mental discomfort and become aware of them. But emotional pain hurts us deep and hard. It is felt when we lose something or someone very precious and close to our heart. When our dreams are crushed, we are betrayed or someone we love dies or leaves us. These events are unexpected and happen all of a sudden when we are not ready when we might be facing the downward spiral of life. In an instant, everything vanishes and the core of the person is shaken. Life loses its meaning and all the time, energy, efforts and money invested is wasted. All future plans are lost all dreams shattered. All the superficial illusions are removed and the ego is dissolved. The truth and lies of life are clearly visible. It shows who are our true friends and well-wishers and who are fake and opportunistic. It pushes the person into a void and state of nothingness. There is existential crisis and hopelessness. A sense of failure and worthlessness is felt. When all the illusions disappear then clarity in vision and purity in consciousness arise out of the emptiness. We can understand what and who is important to us; and for whom and for what our life is valuable. When we lose everything outside and move inward towards our soul, we find our true selves. Gradually we understand our true potential, knowledge, skills and value. When we understand ourselves, we no longer need anybody to approve or acknowledge us. We can find our purpose in life and a higher selfless goal to dedicate our lives. Then we find our connection with the universe and super consciousness. We see everything loves us and blesses us. We are protected and provided everything by the universe. We are a part of the Universe and the Universe is in us. A sense of belongingness and oneness with everything dawns. Small petty things no longer impact us and we become peaceful and spontaneous. We start to be in the present and act for universal harmony and betterment, without any emergency but consistently. We strive to be our best form and to express our full potential, now and here.
When emotional pain strikes the person is bewildered and all the knowledge and wisdom are overshadowed. Their faith is lost and the future seems to be hopeless and unclear. It takes a lot of strength and endurance to stabilize. They have to live with the pain for a while and feel it closely. At this phase, one should learn to live in the present and do what is necessary at the moment without analysing too much about the past or worrying too much about the future. One should take care of the self and focus on self-improvement. They should take a good diet, adequate sleep and rest. Indulge in some physical exercise and recreational activities. They should follow a good daily routine and develop their personality. They should not confine themselves inside a room and isolate themselves, but rather go out into nature and stay among people. They should talk to their friends and family members to clear their minds. Despite all discomforts, they should keep performing their duties and keep advancing forward in life. Soon they will cope with the adversities and learn to live alone and understand the basic necessities of life. They will understand that they are responsible for their happiness and misery. As the days pass soon the person comes out of the emotional pain and lives normally. Here spiritual knowledge can be helpful.
Bhagwad Gita is a motivational treatise that can guide a person during different seasons of life. When a person is distressed in life, they may go through it. Causes of our miseries and ways to come out of them can be found here along with a tremendous amount of knowledge. In Bhagwad Gita is said that when a person keeps thinking about an object, they develop an attachment to it; from attachment, lust develops and a desire to attain it; when desire is not fulfilled anger arises. Anger bewilders the mind and makes it delusional; from delusion the intellect is destroyed and the person cannot think clearly and all his knowledge and wisdom vanish. When the intellect is destroyed all the memories of past experiences are lost. Such a person thinks, speaks and acts for the destruction of self and others. So, we should not get too attached to anything or any person, as nothing is permanent in this universe. Everything is changing every moment only our soul is unaffected by anything.
We perceive the universe through our sense organs and attain knowledge. So, in order to remain free from attachments, we must learn to have control over our sense organs. In Bhagwad Gita it is said that we should renounce all the objects of sense gratification and engage in devotional service with pure consciousness. We attain their qualities of them, about whom we keep thinking and following. So, if keep our minds focused on God, we will attract good and pure qualities. This will bring positivity, happiness, prosperity and peace. It is said that a person should not be affected too much by happiness or grief, pain or pleasure, fame or infamy, success or failure, appreciation or insult. A person should try to be equipoised in any situation and respond to their friends or enemies in the same way. A person who is not affected by achieving something or losing something and keeps performing his or her duties sincerely is said to be liberated.
It is said that the mind is very freckle and hard to control, but by practice and renouncement it can be controlled. In Bhagwad Gita, it is said that a person should perform his or her duties sincerely without worrying about the result, thus one can be free from attachments. By living in the present moment and doing what is right a person can keep his mind free from resentments of the past and anxieties and insecurities about the future. This comes under "Karma Yoga." Another way to be free from attachment to illusions of the materialistic world is "Dhyan Yoga." Which is to keep our mind focused on God, think about Him, talk about His stories, chant His name and sing. By doing so, we attract His qualities which are perfect. The law of attraction also attracts those things and qualities which we constantly think of. The third way "Bhakti yoga," is to engage in devotional service in the name of God. This is to surrender before God and offer Him everything, whether good or bad. By offering all the results of our actions to God we get liberated from the bondage of karma. We become free from the doer ship by thinking everything is happening as per God's will. This helps us forgive ourselves for our mistakes and saves us from guilt, grief, anxiety and depression. We should perform our duties sincerely and with full potential; then offer the result to God whatever is the outcome. This keeps us detached and dissolves our ego. We become humble and peaceful and don't think about harming anybody and are not hurt by others easily when our false ego is dissolved. This will liberate me from many forms of miseries and emotional pain. When we are at peace with ourselves and radiate love and positivity, the whole Universe will reciprocate the same.