In 2011, I did a three year stint as Assistant Professor in the Dental Department, Christain Medical College, Vellore. It’s one of the best Medical College in India. Apart from the awesome and taxing work environment, I loved the spiritual culture of this esteemed instituition.
Each and every Department, unfailingly must have a prayer meet, one hour in duration either morning or evening on any day between monday & saturday.
Ours was on Friday morning 8-9am. All the staffs from the H.O.D, Assoc. Prof, Asst. prof, Senior residents,Nurses, Receptionists, House keeping staffs everyone has to attend, it’s mandatory. A pastor would lead the group starting with reading from the Bible, the relevance of the Bible in the present times. Then discussion within the group about how anyone faced a similar problem and doubts about what to do in certain difficult real life situation and the pastor guides everyone in relation to the Christ. It would be followed by prayers for everyone, if anyone is sick or anyone’s kid is taking an exam or job interview. Finally the meet ends with a few songs on Jesus Christ. I would often envy this gathering and imagine if this could be followed in all the Hindu institution with the reading of The Gita, it would be a definite way to rejuvenate and rekindle the Santana Dharma.
On one such Prayer meet, the Pastor said, “Imagine, because of the advent of the Christ, so many millions of people in the world have attained salvation”. I asked him in return, “Father, then why is there still so much poverty, suffering and pain in this world?”. I wasn’t trying to pull his leg and was genuinely seeking an answer for this question for a long time. He looked at me, not knowing how to reply as if cornered and said, ” That’s a very good point, something which we all need to think about”. The meet ended with songs on Jesus Christ.
The answer to this question or quest should I say, landed on my lap half a decade later when I read one of Swami Vivekananda’s parable ‘The dog’s curly tail’.
It’s not the parable itself but the commentary of this parable by Swami Ashokananda, a monk of the Ramakrishna order who wrote few excellent books on mediatation and metaphysics. Not sure in which book of his I read, he says, “ This world is like a dog’s tail, no matter how hard you try to straighten it, the world doesn’t get straightened but instead you get straightened. By trying hard you become a better person and finally attain freedom”.
Not to sound dramatic but it was kind of a revelation. My Ego would often blackmail me with this thought, “ why me? 🤨why?😑what harm did I do to anybody?😶why do I have to go through this😏?”. I am sure everyone at some point in life could relate to this thought😉. The above commentary solved the “Why me?” riddle of mine. How? Well, for once I realised that this world is pulled up for me in this life with such and such people around me , so that I can clean up my internal garbage but to think that I am cleaning up the world or helping others is an illusion.
A soul which entered from absolute undivided conciousness into maya with a returtn ticket to get back, enters into various scenarios of set up to work out it’s karma… wait, wait! Where, when and how did karma entered from nowhere? 😅 Well, karma is the incentive package paid upfront to experience Maya, I guess 😁.
Remember Morpheus in Matrix, ‘Tank, Load the jump program’. Likewise, load this one in Bhuloka, in Bharatha Varsha,in Coimbatore, let’s see what he can do😆. Load this one in Andromeda galaxy, Let’s see if this one can light up life.
Remember, in the Puranas, Brahma creates the four kumaras and asks them to start life. They four being filled with light of the absolute undivided conciousness and discrimination refuse and walk away. They knew the karma incentive package isn’t worth it for they were beyond maya and had a choice and are free.
Let me go and clear my house garbage and inturn clear my internal garbage and get my return ticket sanctioned if possible in this lifetime, so that I can be free and also have a choice as infinite as maya itself.
Ending this with a quote which I found on the back cover of Swami Ashokananda’s book, ‘Let us be God’ – “The world for me, not I for the world. Good and evil are our slaves, not we theirs. It is the nature of the brute to remain where he is, not to progress. It is the nature of man to seek good and avoid evil. It is the nature of God to seek neither, but just to be eternally blissful. Let us be God! – Swami Vivekananda”.
P.S : Last week, I was reading the chapter ‘From suffering to happiness’ in ‘The big questions of life’ by Om Swami and this whole episode of the dog’s tail sprang up and hence this post. 🙂