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Aphorisms of a guru

Aphorisms of a guru
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Garrulous oration is altogether different from meaningful speech. In fact, they are distinctly separate genres. An oration appeals normally to the...

Garrulous oration is altogether different from meaningful speech. In fact, they are distinctly separate genres. An oration appeals normally to the emotional psyche of the audience while a speech reaches the mind. An oration is consistent prodding of an idea, goaded, grafted and often drilled into the audiences. A speech or a 'talk' chooses its audience, reaches the heart and becomes a caring friend and a soothing angel. Oration hits the bull's eye while a good talk vibrates the fine chords of the heart. The irony is that the great masters are bad speakers while great orators are good businessmen of their chosen thought. The glaring example of later is today's politician. The unique example is Adolf Hitler. Hitler could inject poison into minds of millions of his audiences through his verbal mastery. Conversely, three masters come to mind who are bad speakers- Gandhi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sri Sri. There is one and only outstanding example when the two genres culminated into one and stunned the world nations. That person- no, that institution's name is- Vivekananda. He was a great orator who could drive home the Indian thought in its deepest form to world religions and arrived on the world stage 120 years ago. Spending an evening with Sadguru Sivananda Murthy Garu is a privilege and fortune. It cleanses your mind and rejuvenates your vision. He speaks haltinglyas though he is thinking aloud. But that is his way of expression. Many of his lectures were made into books by his disciples. Every statement of his becomes an aphorism. You have to correlate and consolidate his ideas. He underplays the word and emphasizes the thought. Sadguru Sivananda Murthy Garu had over simplified the entire malady of the present day in one sentence. He said and I quote," Today's man is courting pain for pleasure". I need a luxury car. For this comfort I struggle 50 months to pay the instalments. I need one crore to make me happy. But why one crore? That is the yardstick I set for my pleasure. And what about A.Raja? What about Kanimozhi? And Vanpic people? Jagan? Yeddyurappa? And a host of others. People often emphasize the wrong 'comfort' and court the base pain. And then there is the ultimate renunciation (vairagyam). In our culture, it is the ultimate stage for any man when he is supposed to renounce worldly pleasures in his evening of life. Kings, his subjects and any and every common man did it, once. It is a way of life in our culture. But renunciation doesn't mean helpless resignation when you have been cornered, jailed, defamed, suffered, humiliated and ultimately condemned. Renunciation is a gift of soulful contentment. When you reach a stage in life and tell yourself ''this is enough. Let me walk into a different station in life'' that is vairagya in the true sense of the word. How do you get contentment? By living honestly. Honest life leads to contentment. Dishonest life to fear, misery, jail, defame and depression. We extol Lord Shiva as 'daridrudu'- an embodiment of penury. What is penury? Not having what you want. But what is being penurious for the Lord himself? Not having the very want! In 'chamakam' you pray the lord to give you plenty and immediately ask him the old age! "vriddim chame, vruddam chame''. This is a strange wish to crave for. The entire import of our culture lies in these two lines. Asking for plenty, the devotee hastens anxiously, lest he may get lost in the worldly pleasures and forget the real goal of life- opts for old age, which negates anything. No other religion in the world could reach these depths of human behavior. There is no middle stage. You have everything. And then you have the dignity to say 'no' to anything. To stretch it even further this great culture has even propounded a stage- when a man- having lived a soulful, purposeful life- decides to voluntarily quit his human abode. Death is not what is inevitable. Death in this country- in an exalted plane �is by choice. A person goes out of this human body, not when he is helpless. No, He helps the life to go out of his system while the body is warm in the process. Our religion says that it is 'vimukti', liberation. This may sound like a metaphysical sermon to people- who see our ministers, chief ministers, leaders going to jails each day. Watch death as an ultimate misery and gruesome nemesis. Only two examples are suffice to elucidate "contentment '' and 'voluntary exit' from life. When Gandhi was invited from prison to General Smuts' office in South Africa and was released forthwith- Gandhi, who was in jail livery asks for a loan of one shilling to go home in a cab. How many times do we see leaders arrested on criminal charges coming out of jails only on bail to hero's welcome by thousands of party workers. Vulgarity? Show of Power? Bullying the system? And then, when the medicines administered on him were not yielding expected results, Vinobha Bhave took the message of his body and decides to relinquish it obliging its inability to serve him. A modern version of Bhishma? One evening with the great teacher can evoke any number of right ideas. The modern way of life has come to a stage when these very concepts might look Utopian, imaginary, or debilitating illusions of a religious freak. But it is worth remembering what we are missing these days. According to Confucius 'to know that we do not know what we do not know' is true knowledge that is worth emulating. Because today the great legacy of this country has been pitifully clouded by the stunted logic and obstinate opportunism of the modern man. (gmrsivani@gmail.com)
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