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Monday, July 11, 2011

Align thought and deed

Pradip Kumar Nath

A value is a value for me only when I see the value of the value as valuable to me. This is how Swami Dayanand of Arsha Vidya Gurukulum, Coimbatore, defines value. Many among us may find it difficult to follow values such as truthfulness, non-injury, honesty in our lives because we have


not perceived the subtle gains that come to us by following these values. Or, maybe, we are too careless to realise the importance of values in life.
Chapter 13 of the Bhagwat Gita elaborates the 20 values that Lord Krishna teaches Arjuna. These values are fundamentally necessary for a seeker to prepare the mind for the knowledge of the Self. One of these values is “Arjavam” which means straightness.

Used as a value “Arjavam” or straightness is like the English word rectitude (from the Latin word Rects, Straight) which means conducting oneself in accordance with one’s ethical standard.

“Arjavam” means an alignment of thought, word and deed. What is non-alignment of thought, word and act? When I think one thing and say another, or when I say one thing and do another, that constitutes non-alignment on my part. The avoidance of this gap, that is division between word and action, word and thought and action and thought, is “Arjavam”.

Of course, no need to ask if there is any importance of alignment of thought, word and deed?

The answer is an affirmative yes. With non-alignment, I would be disintegrated. I would be no longer a complete person. If there is a gulf between me and the thinker, the speaker or the actor, the result will be a restless mind. It will be troubled by guilt and conflicts.

This kind of mind is not quite a receptive instrument ready for learning anything. For such a mind, self knowledge is a far cry. The mind needs to be together, not a split one in order to prepare itself for the teaching of Vedanta. Therefore, “Arjavam”, the alignment of thought, word and deed is included as one of the values of Jnanam (Self knowledge).

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The trial of life

PP Wangchuk

Each morning puts a man on trial and each evening passes judgement — Roy L Smith. How true! How many of us are consciously aware of this 'test' of life? For those who are not aware of this truth, there is nothing but problems galore. A whole life goes waste without even knowing that it is


gone!
As day breaks, one is exposed to the realities of life. If one faces them and overcomes them by meticulous plan and hard work, one sees a day gone beautifully and rewardingly. On the other hand, if one takes it casually and lets the day go 'unnoticed', the 'evening judgment' can't be in one's favour. And this has its own chain reaction. One problem unsolved today leads to more problems tomorrow. It is like, as they say, woe begets woe. And then, don't we say that nothing succeeds like success.

We try to avoid the present moment (today) because we take the excuse that the situation around is not congenial and that we need a day that suits our perception of a suitable situation. Mind you, that day may never come; and when one realises this, it may be too late.

Success makes one realise the importance of the 'present' and no matter what the 'situation' is, one plunges into action. He tells himself, "let it be what it is around and let people be as they are. If they don't change, I will change."

Plan and execute your work with dedication and whole-heartedness. When you come across obstacles, don't get disheartened. Miracles happen in such cases and you will start wondering how you could do it as it seemed at one time an impossible task. It is all faith and dedication that has done the wonder.

Of course, you have to love your work. That will give you confidence and the will to surmount all the difficulties. In fact, as in love, loving your work will make most of the difficulties disappear. Similarly, one has to love life. That will enable you to see the brighter aspects of everything around you.


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