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Monday, January 9, 2012

Be one with nature

Vineet Mani, Hindustan Times

The car was moving at a normal pace but the person sitting inside the car seemed restless. The car was passing by a narrow road running in the midst of snowy hills. The sun was shining bright, a pleasant breeze was blowing making tall trees swing. The chirping of birds and sounds of different animals was adding to the beauty of the milieu. The beautiful scenery was just perfect and may be imagined as beautiful lines of a Nature-loving poet or the casual paintings of a carefree artist. But the person sitting inside the car had no concern to appreciate the beauty spread all around.

Occasionally, he looked sideways but paid no heed to Nature’s gift. He appeared to be interested only in reaching his destination. He preferred to be in his own world, totally ignoring nature’s beauty.

Life is a topsy-turvy curve and everyone faces challenges. As a child grows, the struggle and its intensity grows. The dominance of materialism has forced a majority of us to make undesirable compromises, many a times unwillingly.

We have lost the ways to spend our lives naturally. We are not willing and prepared to lead our childhood carefree moments of life any more. Is this a cumbersome exercise? Many of us who yearn to go back to such days might murmur yes as an answer to this question.

But the people who are growing closer to nature and self will raise a stiff objection. Ask them and they will say, just open your eyes, look around, set aside the day-to-day tension and troubles for a while and learn to relax.

You will be able to observe that the world around is as simple and beautiful as it always was. It depends on your being a little more receptive to the good things of life and nature’s bounties. It is our ignorance that keeps us blinded to the things we can enjoy and be one with nature.
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Mantra of good life

PP Wangchuk , Hindustan Times

‘Allah, Liberty and Love’ can be a good title for a film or a book. And yes, this is the title of the latest book by Irshad Manji. It is all about the vital elements of life like God, liberty and love and how one can use or misuse them for one’s personal gains. The holy Quran, like any other religious book, is a great treatise on the philosophy of life, teaching one the art of living a pious, useful, purposeful and helpful life. It is no good your being good unless you use your goodness to help others who are less fortunate and less aware of the responsibilities and the principles of life. At one stage, the Quran says, your being a believer in Him is of no good if you shun away the nonbeliever. It is your duty and responsibility to get the nonbeliever “back home” and show him/her the right path to become a true son of God so that he too, later on, does what you did.

Much of the ills that the world is afflicted with are because of the inability of the people to change with the times. The Quran advocates the change of mind and heart in a manner that they can adjust with the fast-changing world. It calls for change within before one goes for change without.

Don’t we have the saying that God helps those who help themselves? Manji too says something similar by quoting the Quran that Allah does not change the condition of the people until they change what is inside them.

Manji wants that the Muslim community should not be left behind in fostering peace and progress in the world. It must come out of its cocooned existence. The clergy particularly has a great role in making the community a dynamic of change. The Quran lays great importance on the need to understand its basic principles so that the world becomes free of any kind of strife; and peace and progress are on everybody’s mind.
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