Monday, September 12, 2011

Yes it is late but having just finished my work at KBC and devoured a meal

Jalsa , Mumbai      Sept 10/11 , 2011           Sat/ Sun  2 : 10 AM
Yes it is late … but having just finished my work at KBC and devoured a meal, have realized that time has indeed flown by and it is time that I should have been in bed. But … that is a hope. Nothing goes to sleep until the EF have been connected with and with whom is shared the thought for the day.
I am afraid there is not much that can be said after my time spent among the ‘bleeding hearts’ on this wonderful programme. Today was the episode played out to help and assist in any manner possible, those of our country that have had to face personal tragedy and are now in desperate state.
Tonight was the lady who’s husband a farmer in the Vidarbha region, committed suicide because he was unable to repay his loan. Suicides in this region have reached alarming proportions. There are so many of them that are resorting to this form of ending their lives because they are unable to repay their loans and are unable to find a remunerative medium in their business of farming to earn and pay off these amounts. They leave behind a family. They have taken the easy and cowardly way out. But they are gone and they have left behind a whole lot of people that now face the consequences of their absence.
Aparna, the lady who came by for the KBC contest as a special guest has two small daughters aged 7 and 3 and no support from any quarter. Her husband committed suicide to save the embarrassment of not being able to pay back his loan. Aparna now is left all alone. She was not even aware that her husband had taken a loan. She has gathered herself together somehow, and works on the fields in farming and making ends meet. She still keeps her ‘mangalsutra’ on her neck - the necklace worn by Indian women signifying her married status, because she fears harassment from other men, who trouble her with threats and envious motives. But she is resolved. She does not want to give up. She will fight her way through she says, bring up her children, earn her living through the hard work on the fields, build a concrete house, for the present one is weak and old and made of mud and broken tiles and give half of what she earns to the other widows in India, who she says are suffering with similar conditions … just incredible !!
She won Rs 6, 40,000 ! She will clear her loan of Rs 50,000 and shall perhaps repair her home and keep some money aside for the education of her two girls.
I did not have words to be able to express my anguish and grief at this state. But there it was. Stark, brutal and honest.
More of this later .. I fear I shall drop if I continued further .. so till then then ..
Amitabh Bachchan

1 comment:

  1. At the foothills of Himalayas, the first sight of the mountain and river Ganges thrilled Richard (now Radhanath Swami) beyond imagination. The sight was like a spark that detonated an explosion of emotions. He spent some days at ‘The Divine Life Mission’, the ashram of the renowned Himalayan saint, Swami Sivananda. Richard was blessed to get the association of Swami Cidananda, the successor to Swami Sivananda. Swami Cidananda was born of wealthy landowner parents in South India. At the age of twenty he heard a calling of God and gave up all material comforts to serve God. Richard was struck by his call for practicing spiritual life. Swami Cidananda said that life is meant for the realization of God. “If you die without attaining God-realization, your life is in vain. You have wasted away this precious gift of human birth given to you by God.”

    Richard is now Radhanath Swami and his message to humanity is to make the best use of this precious human life. “To explore higher and deeper levels of happiness, we need to understand that humans are a very special species in God’s creation, and they are capable of experiencing a much more satisfying and purposeful life.” Quoting his guru, Srila Prabhupada, Radhanath Swami says that humans and animals have the basic similarities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. And the human society is endeavoring to make these four activities better each day. However we can be truly happy only if we explore the crucial difference that humans have in comparison to animals. That difference, Radhanath Swami asserts is our ability to enquire about the cause of our suffering and about the actual destination of our lives.

    Initially I tended to think that the difference between us and animals is that animals can’t logically think reason, question or use intelligence. These are special gifts awarded to humans alone. However on carefully trying to understand Radhanath Swami’s teachings and on closer inspection of nature, it’s obvious that animals also use intelligence. For instance have you seen a cat sneak into the kitchen when nobody is watching? She knows exactly when to enter and she also knows where the milk is kept. Once, while staying in a monastery of monks, we were each given a couple of hangers to use for hanging our shirts. Since we dried our clothes in an open space, we left our shirts hanging in the terrace of the ashram. Slowly all fifty residents of the ashram lost their hangers and we all wondered who could have stolen them and when. As weeks passed we forgot the incident and one day as I was standing in the terrace, i saw something shocking. On the top branch of a tree facing the ashram was a beautiful nest of a crow family. What left me startled was that the nest was entirely made of our cloth hangers. I called the other inmates and we all saw in amazement the skills of these simple birds. Where did these birds learn to make a nest, leave alone an expert one made of hangers? We haven’t heard of any birds studying Civil engineering at the premier Indian Institute of Technology. This shows animals and birds also have intelligence; however the difference is they can’t think or use their intelligence beyond the four propensities of sleeping, eating, enjoyment and defending.

    Therefore Swami Cidananda and Radhanath Swami are perfectly right in imploring humans to make the best use of their lives, and not waste it in pursuits of bodily pleasures.


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