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Author Topic: EDITORIAL Proper Outlook  (Read 2858 times)

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Offline JR

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EDITORIAL Proper Outlook
« on: March 06, 2007, 01:44:16 AM »
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  • Our outlook on the human beings and objects in this world is not impartial. We always have some opinions in favour of certain persons or things and we almost have a nausea for certain other things. Some persons have these opinions from the begin¬ning and some opinions are formed by them later on because of their varied experiences in life; but when we behave like this, we forget that all objects are the creation of the same god and when we show dislike or disrespect for a few of his creations, we are showing disrespect for our creator himself!

    Under such circumstances we must examine our likes and dislikes and find out how far they are correct. We must also try to see whether our outlook requires any correction and if it is required, we have to find if we can correct it and have a proper outlook on this world. If we refer to the fifth conto of Shrimad-bhagwadgeeta we get some direction in this respect.

    After Lord Krishna explained to Arjuna in the earlier can-toes the Sankhyayog and Karmayog, Arjuna's mind got confused. He could not choose between the two and hence at the beginning of the fifth canto Arjuna puts a question to Lord Krishna and requests him to explain definitely as to which of the two was better to follow and also wholesome for him. Lord Krishna was a persistant advisor. He was always ready to answer any num¬ber of queries of his favourite disciple Arjuna. He therefore ex¬plains in the fifth canto Karmasanyasyoga.

    Lord Krishna again explains that when any person does all the things in this world without expecting any fruit therefrom and dedicates all his actions to Brahma or God, then his actions have no effect on him. He has no attachment for anything and no action is said to have been done by him. In the second canto when Lord Krishna was explaining Sankhyayoga to Arjuna, he asked him to explain how a Sthitapradnya may be recognised. There also the question of keeping the intellect neutral was raised by Lord Krishna and he said almost on the above lines that the Sthitapradnya does not have attachment to the fruit of the deeds he does and keeps himself aloof from the worldly affairs.

    In the third canto while .explaining Karmayoga to Arjuna Lord Krishna again tells him that like a learned person you do your duty without hankering after its fruit. He further says that such a person gets Moksha in the end- In the fifth canto Lord Krishna does not simply explain the theory. He becomes more clear by giving concrete directions as to what he means by neutral intellect. That shloka runs thus :
     
    The meaning of the above shloka is that a learned person (Pandit) looks equally on a Brahmin, who is endowed with learning and humility, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a chandala.
    !
    In the days of Mahabharata the learning consisted mainly of study of religious books and a Pandit   was   a   person   not   well-versed in archery or horse-riding or mace-fighting, but a man who [knew the Shastras very   well   and was   well-conversant   with   the (principles of religion. Thus the word Pandit used here   by   Lord Krishna is nothing but the synonym of the word Sadhu or a sage.

    [In the above shloka Lord Krishna has ^selected   two   extremes of the society viz. a Brahmin and a chandala.  In the days of Mahabharata the society held a Brahmin in high esteem and   when  he was endowed with learning and humility,  then the society   would naturally have high regard for such a man.      The   chandala   was supposed to have been born in that community because of his bad deeds and sins of past life and   hence   he was   actually   despised. Hence by making the mention of these two, Lord Krishna  has to suggest the neutral outlook of a learned person or a sage   on   all the communities in the society.

    Among the animals also the Lord has cited three species viz. a cow, an elephant and a dog. If we consider the outlook of the society on these three animals we will find great incongruity. The cow was perhaps considered sacred because she gave milk, her dung was found useful as a manure for the field, and the bul¬lock, who was the main instrument of agriculture, was also got from her. Thus because of her utility the cow might have been considered sacred. Similarly because of his granduer, his utility in warfare and other usefulness to the society, the elephant also must have been esteemed by the society; but the third animal mentioned by Lord Krishna was never liked by the society. In mo¬dern days, of course, the rich are always keeping a dog as a pet or in fact to possess a dog as a pet is an indication of wealth. The dogs are also being trained and used for investigating crimes; but in the Mahabharata time a dog was despised. He was never considered to be holy. A cow was considered auspicious but a dog was considered inauspicious Thus Lord Krishna has cited three animals which belonged to different levels of popularity and said that the Pandit (sage) looks equally on them. He looks on them with untainted eye. Lord Krishna has thus suggested neu¬tral outlook on all objects and living beings in Ihis world. A per¬son well-versed in Shastras is thus expected to have a neutral outlook on the world. He should not have unnecessary and ill-founded dislikes and likes about things in this world.

    If we look at the lives of the sages in different parts of the world, the first thing that strikes us is their neutral outlook on life. It is perhaps the other way. A person becomes a sage when he has a neutral outlook on life. Because of this outlook he does not take more fancy for a thing nor does he despise other things. Right from Dnyaneshwar to Tukaram, if we analyse the lives of the saints or sages we see this neutral outlook on life. The Brahmins of Paithan illtreated Dnyaneshwar and his brethren but they never got ruffled. They remained neutral. The result was that their names even are not known to the history; but even after seven centuries the name of Dnyaneshwar is held in high esteem and his criticism of Geeta is being studied by more and more people, because there is hardly any book that has reached that level.
    The life of Tukaram also teaches us the same moral. Rame-shwarbhat and a number of other people tried to redicule Tukaram. They even ordered him to throw away his Abhangas in the Indra-yani river; but he did not allow himself to be ruffled. He behaved equally with all. Mumbaji, who was envying him like anything, once beat Tukaram's buffalo with a stick; but the result was that the marks of the thrashing were seen on Tukaram's back. This shows that Tukaram had sympathy not only for the human beings but also for the animal world. This clearly shows his neutral outlook on life. He is also reported to have refused the costly articles sent to him by Chhatrapati Shiwaji Maharaj as present, as he considered the stones, the earth and wealth at par with each other.

    The life of Eknath also indicates the same thing. Only one incident will prove his neutral outlook on life. Once when he was going to the Godavari in the blazing Sun, he saw the child of a Harijan walking in the hot sand. Seeing that the child would scorch his feet, though Ekanath was a Brahmin, he did not think for a moment and at once picked up the child and carried it. Such an act was absolutely against the ethics of those days; but Saint Eknath did not care for it, because of his neutral outlook on life. Some other incidents in his life like feeding the Harijans on the Shraddha day before the Brahmins were fed and the incident when he gave the sacred water of the Ganges to the donkey who was totally restless and was rolling in the hot sand due to thirst, go also to point out his neutral outlook on the human being and the animals in this world.

    One similar incident is told in the life of Saint Namdeo. Once when he was taking his lunch, a dog came and snatched away the bread from his dish. Saint Namdeo was taking ghee and milk along with the bread; but seeing that the bread itself was carried away he was not upset. He, on the other hand, felt sympathy for the dog and he ran after the dog in order that he may not relish the dry bread and hence he should also take the milk and ghee along with the bread.

    The above incidents, quoted from the lives of a few former saints, indicate their neutral attitude towards life. The lives of Guru Nanak, Saint Kabir and other saints-are also lull of such incidents. Saint Mirabai and the Greek Philosopher Socrates even took poison that was offered to them. Apart from these ancient Saints if we consider the lives of some modern saints like Shri Guru (from the Gurucharitra), Shri Wasudevanand Saraswati, Shri Gondawalekar Maharaj, Akkalkotkar Maharaj, Shri Sai Baba or Shri Upasani Maharaj, we have to come to the conclusion that they had a neutral outlook on life. They never had any attach¬ment for any person or thing. Their main object in taking birth in this world was to give solace to the living beings in this world and hence they showered their favours evenly on all the persons who came into their contact, like the Moon or Sun who shower their rays equally on a lofty skyscraper of a multimillionaire and a humble hut of a poor person.

    The incidents from the lives of some of the saints mentioned above might be known to every body; but we should particularly look at the life of Shri Sai Baba. He was never looking to the cast or creed or even the sex of his devotee. The rich or the poor was also no consideration for him. The learning or illiteracy of a person was also not considered by him. Multimillionaire like Shri Buty, solicitors like Kakasaheb Dixit and other people with status like Shri Dadholkar (Hemadpant) and Nanasaheb Chandorkar were also among his devotees. At the same time Baijabai, Laxmibai, leper devotee Shri Shinde, Mhalsapatj, Tatya Kote Patil and such other ordinary people also found a place among his favourite devotees.

    His monetary favours were also not reserved for any cast, creed or religion. He gave liberally to all. He even did not consider the religion as bar. Among his devotees we find the Hindus, Muslims and even Parsees in larges numbers. He lived in the Masjid, lighted a fire and took interest in the festivals like Ramnawami, Dasara, Gokul Ashtami and the Bhajan He thus appears to have a neutral outlook on different religions in this world He took food offered to him by Baijabai as well as by some rorward people of advanced community.

    Shri Sai Baba liked the human beings from all communities, similarly he had communion with all sorts of beings in the animal world. The incident where he said, that the chapaties offered to the dog and pig were received by him, show his neutral attitude towards all living beings. The very fact that he allowed the crows and dogs to partake freely out of the food that he kept in Dwar-kamai and out of which he himself ate, shows his neutral attitude prominently. The incidents of the two goats, the lizards on the wall, the story of the snake and the frog and the story of the tiger who was brought to his feet by a Darveshi, also show his, liking for the animal world. His liking and love for his favourite horse Shyamsundar also shows his attitude towards the animal life!

    The examples, quoted above, fully express the neutral attitude which is the proper attitude towards this world, which we all should try to cultivate. The likes and dislikes referred to in the beginning of the article are the main cause of our unrest and sorrow The saints and sages lived a peaceful life full of joy because they never had such strong likes and dislikes as we have and hence they had only joy in life. There was no wrath or despise in their character and therefore, they had no quarrels, no feuds in their life. Hence if we also want to have real pleasure and peace in' this life, we should follow Shri Sai Baba, whose devotees we call ourselves, in adopting this neutral outlook on the things and living beings in this world, as that is the proper attitude we should have towards all the cerations of the great creater, who has crea¬ted every thing in this world, including ourselves.
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