My dear friends,
It is commonly advised by the spiritual masters that one should conquer the following 5- Disorders (विकार) to make life meaningful and powerful.
- काम- Lust
- क्रोध- Anger
- लोभ- Greed
- मोह- Illusion
- अहंकार- Arrogance
Conquering the above is extremely difficult for a normal human being but a directional shift is possible. A few real life examples narrated below can perhaps explain the same.
The natural attraction between the opposite genders deserves a directional shift to elevate from body-consciousness to soul-consciousness in order to become “Radha-Krishna” or “Meera-Krishna” like adorable couples inspiring true love with no trace of lust. Further, magnetic union of Feminine and Masculine virtues of the opposites can give rise to “Ardhrarishwar” अर्धनारीश्वर – a perfect being.
A directional push to lust can also convert it to passion which can transform any one’s life. Passion becomes a driving force to a great objective in life. Goswami Tulsi Das had a great lust for his wife. Once not being able to withstand separation, he rushed to his wife’s home and in order to reach her room upstairs he ascended through snakes presuming them to be ropes. His wife was horrified and exhorted him that if he had this kind of passion for Lord Rama, his life would be different. This turning point and a directional shift created history.
In good old days, there lived a poor man Doulat Ram who wanted to get his modestly educated son Ganga Ram employed. He could connect with a person who happened to be a चपरासी – a peon of a British Chief Engineer. When approached, he asked Ganga Ram to go inside and wait for the Chief Engineer. As soon as he arrives he would also come inside and introduce him to the Chief Engineer with a request to give him some kind of employment, he said.
The young boy Ganga Ram went inside and sat unknowingly on the chair of Chief Engineer himself. As soon as the Chief Engineer came back, he was furious. He screamed “what is your capability (औकात), you want to take my position?” Extremely humiliated Ganga Ram became angry but he kept it inside to prove him one day what his “औकात” was. He studied hard, worked hard and toiled upwards in the nights when others were sleeping. Obtaining a scholarship, he graduated from Thomason College of Civil Engineering (now IIT Roorkee) with the gold medal in 1873. Later for his excellent contributions in the field, British Empire awarded him the title “Sir”.
Once “Sir Ganga Ram” was welcomed by the same British Chief Engineer offering his own chair and at that time Sir Ganga Ram reminded him of the event that happened many years ago. The British melted away and said “you are great, Sir”.
Today our national capital Delhi has “Sir Ganga Ram Marg” and “Sir Ganga Ram Hospital” in his memory. IIT Roorkee has a student hostel “Ganga Bhawan” in his honour.
Mahatma Gandhi in Maritzburg, South Africa was thrown out of the train on 7 June 1893. While Gandhi was on his way to Pretoria, a white man objected to his presence in a first-class carriage, and he was ordered to move to the van compartment at the end of the train. Gandhi, who had a first-class ticket, refused and was thrown off the train at Maritzburg station. Shivering through the winter night on the platform, Gandhi channelized his anger to think “You have thrown me out of the train with a valid first class ticket; I will throw you out of the countries where you have invalid governance”. He made a momentous decision to stay on in South Africa and fight the racial discrimination against Indians there. Out of that struggle emerged his unique version of nonviolent resistance “Satyagraha” (सत्याग्रह). His resolve churned out of anger shook the entire British Empire.
Today, a bronze statue of Gandhi stands in Church Street, in the city centre of Maritzburg.
Ratnakar was a greedy dacoit who used to loot people and feed his family. He used to even kill people during his loot. Once, Ratnakar tried to rob Maharishi (महर्षि) Narad. Maharishi told him that killing was the worst sin and one has to pay heavily for it. Ratnakar found an excuse to say he was doing it for sustaining his family. Maharishi Narad asked him if his family would share the responsibility for his sin. He affirmed. Rishi said, would he go back to his family and get it confirmed. He would wait for him, if necessary he could tie him to a tree till he came back. Ratnakar did that and rushed to his family and asked them whether they shared the responsibility. None of his family members agreed to share the responsibility and they said it was his outlook how he earned their living. Ratnakar came puzzled and totally shattered. Narad said you are totally finished (मरा) today. In utter repentance he started repeating Mara which meant “I am killed”.
He did it for years in penance not realising that in continuity the pronunciation became “Rama” राम. An ant-hill grew around him, which in Sanskrit is known as “Valmika”. Repeating the holy name of Rama for many years during his self-punishment, he became pious and wrote the first ever poem “Ramayana” in Sanskrit consisting of 24,000 shlokas (श्लोक) and was given the name Maharishi “Valmiki” वाल्मीकि who is revered as the first poet or आदिकवि. Greed directed to self-realisation did wonder of wonders. The inner force remains the same, the direction changes.
An Afro-American Mrs. Blanche Rudolph, was a maid having a girl child Wilma born on 23rd June 1940 who had polio (a crippling disease that had no cure) right from childhood. At the age of 4, the doctor told “Wilma would never walk”, her left leg being paralyzed from the polio. From the age of 5, she spent her childhood in steel braces and special shoes. Mother loved her daughter immensely and at the same time lived under the illusion (मृगमरीचिका) that she would always be there to take care of her.
One day her illusion took a turn and she decided to devote herself to rehabilitate the child to make her self-reliant. She started taking her twice a week to the nearest hospital for Blacks 80 kM away, every other day of the week massaging the crippled limb at least four times a day. She shifted her resolve further from making her just walk to making her run and become the ‘fastest woman on earth’.
My doctors told me I would never walk again. My mother told me I would. I believed my mother
On Sept 7th 1960, Wilma Glodean Rudolph became the first American woman to win 3-Gold medals in Rome Olympics becoming the fastest woman in the world at the age of 20, by winning the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and ran the anchor on the 400-meter relay team. She was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Wilma G. Rudolph Residence Center was dedicated at Tennessee State University. Wilma Rudolph Boulevard was the name given to the portion of United States Highway Route 79 in Clarksville, Tennessee. A life-size bronze statue of Rudolph stands at the southern end of the Cumberland River Walk at the base of the Pedestrian Overpass, in Clarksville.
23rd June is Wilma Rudolph Day in the Tennessee State of USA.
Nations are proud of their virtues. At times their pride can convert to ego and even arrogance. British Empire was once quoted as an empire on which the sun never sets, mainly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. During this period, the British Empire reached a territorial size larger than that of any other empire in history. British started thinking they were great people. It is interesting to know how their feeling of greatness was directed towards a different dimension of their large heartedness. With his nonviolent approach in freedom struggle Mahatma Gandhi forced them to quit India as friends. The following story is quite interesting in this regard.
Coming to know that the Last Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten’s daughter was getting married, Gandhiji proposed that he would like to send a gift. He got a tablecloth made out of the yarn spun by him personally and handed over to Mountbatten for onward transmission to the couple. The viceroy sent it on with a note “please preserve it along with your most precious jewels as it is made by a person who says that British should leave India as friends. Gandhiji silently shifted their greatness from arrogance of large territorial size of their empire to the pride in their large heartedness!
With Best Wishes and Regards,
Dr. B.S.K.Naidu, BE (Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI Scholar, D.Eng. (Hon), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurugram, INDIA