Every year we ring out the old and ring in the new. We celebrate a new era with bonfires, colored lights and outward signs of illumination. Every year we make resolutions. For a few days, we keep our enthusiasm and then we fall back again into the previous year’s behavior. We follow leaders in the world, both political and religious, who are mediocre in all respects, who do not cooperate with each other, and who do not bring sanity or solace to the peoples of the world. Yet we feel like owing allegiance to them, without knowing the reason why we are doing it. This may amount to self-deception, practiced on a grand scale. This may be the main reason why the human race is not progressing, in spite of the fact that we show sympathy toward the run down conditions of the world.

Children defy their parents; parents do not take care of their children. We are proud of our society; yet we have created a society of violence and addiction. We try to study earnestly to gain knowledge in various fields of life. Somehow we become disappointed and go on asking, “What is the use of all this? What is the purpose of my being here?” at times we may become stubborn or docile, passive or aggressive, but the mind runs on the line of dullness, clogged with the knowledge that it cannot digest. Our whole life becomes a fluctuating surf. We amass knowledge, but still our minds become duller and duller. The accumulation of knowledge overpowers our natural ability to decipher nature and its bounty that is for our benefit. Our lesser knowledge gives us the renewed impetus and we think it is our business to plunge into all that is going on around us. But we must know that when we plunge into something without keeping our head high, we become submerged. When we are submerged, we cannot see anything clearly. The current of life is blocked by the barriers we erect and the unthinkable we try to achieve. Instead of a writer’s block, we have a living block.

When a human child is born, it produces the original sound of the quarters. It comes from the infinitesimal point (the Bindu) the point of emergence that is no point at all. We are enamored of that sound, and we try to imitate the sound of the baby. A child is born as a divine grace coming from the womb of a mother. Every mother’s womb is holy, a sanctum sanctorum, or in Sanskrit it is called the “Garbha Goudi”, the womb of the temple. Our body is our temple. The question is how much do we build up our life from the beauty of our birth and the holiness of its depth?

If we can be in the world, and not of the world, we can remain above the calamities around us, and we’ll be able to help dissolve the calamities and prevent disaster.

All scriptures and religions of the world are good. It is the followers who distort and pollute them. The simple procedure to follow is to “Speak the truth, and follow the law.” Speaking truth is expressing facts as they are. The law proclaims “be good and do good.” From this, arises simplicity and the human being tops everything. We can hold our heads high in disaster, in prosperity, and in adversity. This attitude when perfected brings grace and boon to the world. The human being is the only creature in creation who can easily look up to the sky. We need to command and not to demand. We can command love, respect, and happiness, without demanding them from the objects of the world. Demanding is an organized way of begging. As human beings we need something of the world for our little happiness or pleasure. When we go on demanding, we are remanded into custody of our own making. We become our own prisoners. From the prison, we can try to study every strand of life. If we don’t concentrate on demanding, we can go on with our duties, without being swallowed up by circumstances. If we are not under the obligation of others, we place ourselves in a commanding position. Then, we are unassailable.

© 2001, Shrikrishna Kashyap