Have you noticed that you are right all the time. At least that is your opinion about yourself which remains unchanged. You always feel that something is wrong with others and everything around you. Sometimes 2 or more of us may have the same opinion because we belong to a particular group. We are either accepting the view of others simply because their views are similar to ours or we refuse to accept what the other person or the other group is saying. This is okay because each one has a right to think the way he thinks. The problem starts only when you want to know who is right? If everyone says I am right then who is wrong. Is there something called right and wrong at all in this world? Or is this an eternal disagreement signed by nature?
When you were a naughty child or a teenage prankster, I am sure you thought your parents were beyond their senses. And when we are the parents we are certain that our own child is the devil incarnate.
When we consume alcohol, the habit sounds socially great and symbolizes wisdom and social etiquette. Once you start drinking you are somehow aware that alcohol dilates the blood vessels and in small quantities is actually good for health though you rarely consume less. There are many good things that get associated with you, the way you drink, lick the edge of the glass and hold it in case you are drinking expensive wine. Alcoholic drinks is the nectar from heaven. There is good quality, duplicate and bad quality drinks. For those who abstain from drinking, alcohol stinks, is always a poison, needs to be banned and people who drink are considered as useless and without purpose in life.
If you are a soldier then killing your enemies (even though they are human beings like you) is your duty and if you are a saint you will say that you should not even kill a bacteria. There are many in India who do not swallow an antibiotic pill simply because they don’t want to kill bacterias.
We are divided by our opinions all the time.
Long time ago when I used to go for a swim in the Anna swimming pool complex near Anna Statue in Madras (Now Chennai) close to the beautiful Marina, I used to travel by the public transport bus popularly then known as the PTC bus. Frequent trips on Sundays on the same bus got me close to the bus driver and to his seat because I always wanted to stay ahead. So, sitting next to him our conversation mostly revolved around the tiny road bugs on the street. These bugs were the infamous Chennai auto-rickshaws which run on 3 wheels and looks very much like a bug because they are tiny and cause much trouble as they go between the buses.
The bus driver used to say “Look at that auto-rickshaw idiot, the way he drives”, and I added fuel to fire by making statements like “yes and they need to be stripped off their licenses”. Sometimes the bus driver used to say, “They need to be rammed up from their behinds” and I supported this comment by saying “I would love to see you do that”. Of course we did not really do such things because the law prohibits such retaliations but we wished we did all that was being told. I felt that the auto-rickshaws drivers were always driving the wrong way. Everything about them was wrong. I even prayed to God that the Government soon imposed a ban on them from operating in Chennai because it genuinely appeared that none of us were safe as long they were on the road.Later after many years, my financial position got better and I had enough money to travel in auto-rickshaws. The friendship with bus drivers were now a thing of the past. Now my friend was Mr.Ranganathan, the auto-rickshaw driver who took me to the swimming pool on all Sundays. He used the best of the abusive words in Tamil language known to modern youth of Madras whenever he pointed menacingly his fingers at the PTC bus drivers. He said, “the idiots think they are the law, the government and the ultimate living beings on the road”.
The police don’t stop them because they both work for the government. See that guy who is coming up from behind and frightening me with the loud blaring horns as if he would run me over if don’t move out of his way”. More than anger, I was praying fervently to the Almighty to take me to my destination in one piece with so many giants around me in the form of buses. They looked like the demons from the stories of Lord Sri Krishna.
After 2 decades of hard work and when the hair on my head turned white in most places, I managed to purchase a brand new car. From that day on until today, whenever I travel in my precious car, I feel everyday that the drivers of the auto-rickshaws and the PTC buses were definitely the most dangerous species in Chennai.
Today when I think of all these things and my changing opinions it suddenly dawned on me thatwherever I am seems to be the right place and the rest is always wrong. If I am in the bus, the bus driver is right. If I am in the auto-rickshaw then he is right. And when I am in my car then both of them are wrong.
I am Rotarian so I feel that other clubs that work for the welfare of the organization are not as good as we Rotarian’s are. Even within my Rotary Club, I feel that members are doing the wrong thing because currently I am the President of my club (in the Rotary year 2009-10). Before I became the President I felt all other Past Presidents were super-egoistic and they thought that they owned the club. Today when a member says something against me as the President I feel that the member should be terminated without informing them. But Rotary prohibits such actions. Thank God.
There are many things we love to argue about and one of them common to all of us is that we love to make the whole world listen to us. If I like Jesus then I want everyone to accept that Jesus is the only way. In that case every other form of God or religion is the right way to hell.
We all love dogs because they obey us and wag their tail when they see us.
Dogs fortunately don’t argue with us. They are completely under our mercy. Because they live in cities and in between houses they cannot find their own food and therefore they will wag their tail whenever they see the master. We love all those who obey us. We like those who say that our opinion is right. Dogs unconditionally obey the Master.
Have you ever wondered why the computer gaming is a big industry today? We love to play those video games because the character in the game or the virtual car that you drive is totally under our control and nothing can go wrong with us as we drive through traffic. You are in total control. Nothing opposes you. That is heaven. No conflict. No disobedience. No police and no sin. If they come you need not stop. You can run them over any number of times.
We hate people because they disobey us, they don’t listen to us, do not agree with us and they don’t wag their tails when they see us. In short you will never find a good dog amongst human beings. So most people love dogs instead of their children.
If you are a man then you love that girl because she comes to the same place that you told her to come to. She thinks of you all the time and said that she likes what you like and she also likes the way you talk. You are sure that she is controlled by you. You hate her as soon as she disobeys you. The moment she has an opinion contrary to yours then conflict begins.
If I am a magician, I want everyone in front of me to believe that I am actually creating the rabbit though I know that I have hidden it cleverly from their view. This is an example where you know that you are lying and yet you want the whole world to think that you are telling or showing them the truth. On the other hand, with all the common sense you have, if you are part of the audience, you know pretty well that no magician can manufacture a rabbit out of nothing but yet you pretend that the magician has indeed created the rabbit. That adds to the fun. In real life you cannot digest any such fooling around. You will make hell out of a heavenly home if you find out someone has faked something. You want to prove that you are smart and no one can get away from you. And think of it, you pay money to get fooled by the magician.
The atheist says “Show me God if I have to believe in Him”. Seeing is believing. Jesus often complained that despite showing the miracles people did not believe him.
However, those who believe in God say “God is one that you cannot see. Can you see air, but you known it exists”. There are many things we have not seen and yet we believe in them, because others have spoken about them or we can easily reason it out. For example no one has seen a black hole in the universe or an electron and yet we believe whatever they have said about it. You haven’t seen your great great grandfather and yet you know he must have existed.
So seeing is not a must if you have to believe in something. Even if you have not caught your wife cheating on you, you think that the forbidden event has definitely happened.
The other day I met a group of people with common interests on Astrology and the law of karma. One man proudly told me, “Dhilip, do you know that I don’t believe in God”. I said, “That’s okay”. He then added, “That’s why you know I never enter a temple. Whenever I go with my family I wait outside and they all go in”. He was so proud of his great opinion about the existence of God. Then I said “Dear friend, something is surely wrong with you”.
He looked at me with a confused look. I continued with my explanation “…..when you said that you don’t believe in God, I said that’s okay. But when you refuse to enter a temple I think that you are afraid of something that is inside the temple. Not only that by your refusal to enter the temple you are actually acknowledging the existence of God. If you say that God does not exist then according to you the temple is perhaps just a museum, a building or a piece of great architecture with lots of people inside it looking at the art or simply an empty place. If the temple does not have God inside then you should very well go inside because you do not believe in God”. To you God is not inside the temple or outside”.
I made things worse for him by saying “your belief that God exists inside the temple is perhaps stronger than your family members because your family members may not have really believed that God is inside the temple. They may have gone into the temple just because that is a habit that was formed over several years, whereas you believe 100% that God is inside the temple which is why you wait outside. You are in fact afraid of God more than the believer”.
Two years ago I met an intelligent man who said “Astrology and Karma” are just used to play on the sentiments of the weak minded people. He tried to convince me by saying “I believe that everything is a result of hard work. There is nothing called bad time or bad luck. Success and failure is simply based on the quality of your work or how intelligently you do your work”.
I asked him “How much effort does it take for a person to become a millionaire”?. He said “may be 10 years of hard work”. Then I asked him “how much effort does it take to become a billionaire”? How much time does all this take? He answered all these questions with great ease and confidence. He was pretty sure of his logic.
Then I asked him to just think of a child who is born to a billionaire. This child is now a billionaire. Just by a simple process called birth. How much effort did the child put in to become a billionaire?
He took a long time and then replied “such things happens without any reason, it is just a matter of chance”. Only a few minutes ago he was asserting that all you see is the result of hard work and effort in the right direction. Those who believe in rebirth and theory of Karma know that he is right because the child is born rich due to hard and good work done in the past life. A child is born in a poor man’s family because the demerits of the past lives were more than the merits.
We love to ridicule the doctors and their (mal) practices. But when we are ill and meet the doctor, somehow we forget all that we said and the doctor now seems like an Angel. When we are on the death bed the doctor is like God and the Savior.
We love to speak ill of Astrologers and their ways of making use of human sentiments and weaknesses. After a series of bad incidents and failures some of us may end up meeting an Astrologer or a Psychiatrist. We make the Astrologer or Psychiatrist our temporary God. If the Astrologer says crawl, the client will crawl and if he says keep this lemon in silver container and keep it immersed in a deep well and chant this mantra 1008 times during midnight hours the client will listen without any objection. And once the times change from bad to good, the same client will ridicule the Astrologer once again. In this paragraph you can safely replace the word Astrologer with Doctor, Laywer, Tantrik, Policeman and anyone.
Our memories thanks to God is short. They don’t last long enough to show our gratitude.
Not realizing that we may be wrong we try to change others to our ways and thoughts, not knowing that our own opinions are likely to change even before others have changed their opinion because of what we told them.
At one time in our life we believe in God and we think that the Atheists are fools. Some other time when we feel that God has forsaken us, we say that the believers are stupidly wasting their precious time.
When I was in my teens, I was an atheist and a very good one at that. Using a sequence of statements, I easily made people accept that there is no God. Some of them have become atheists because of what I have said. Today I believe in God and when I met some of these Atheists I had to use a similar set of powerful arguments to prove that God exists and most of them became believers again.
Consider the following example. I am wearing red spectacles and therefore all that I see is red. You show me a blue object and tell me that it is blue. I don’t see blue no matter how hard you try to convince me. Then I ask him “what color spectacles are you wearing” and he says “blue”. Then I meet the 3rd man who says both of us are wrong because this man is wearing green spectacles. My problem is that because I am wearing red spectacles I can’t even see that they are all wearing spectacles of different colors. To me their spectacles are red.
Let us imagine a situation where 3 of us are wearing red spectacles and we are all okay between ourselves because we see the object as red. There is no conflict. The problem starts when another person wearing an yellow spectacles come by and tell us that we are collectively wrong and that the object is actually yellow. To support his view this yellow spectacled man can get many other yellow spectacled men to argue with our group.
The 5th man comes by and he does not wear any spectacles. He says that the object that is the cause of dispute is actually orange. He can see that we are all wearing spectacles of different colors. That man who is not weaing any spectacles is what the world calls as the enlightened master who see everything the right way.
If you are born into a Christian family then God according to you is a Christian God. Everyone else according to you who is not a Christian is following the wrong concept and wrong God. If you are born into a Hindu family then your God is a Hindu God and the most important form of God is usually Maha Vishnu. However the Hindus worship about 99 forms of God. Muslims believes there is one formless God but He has 99 names. Hinduism accepts formless worship too in which case there are other objects that represent God. For example Lord Shiva is worshiped as Shiv Linga.
Then we have the person who does not believe in God even though he was born into a family that follows a particular religious faith. He has his own reasons. He is unable to understand why God is so unkind by making people suffer and when he sees some of them who are physically handicapped or even deprived of basic things he is unable to accept the existence of a generous and kind God. So such a person even wishes that God exists.
If you ask a person well versed in Indian philosophy (Vedanta) he is most likely to say “the soul is eternal, what you see as suffering is related to the body and that is impermanent, therefore suffering is unreal, the soul does not know suffering, so God does not see suffering in human beings. Human beings see them because of their ignorance. The body dies, not the soul. So there is no death and there is no suffering”.
It goes on and on and after the spiritual discourse, the common man within a matter of a few minutes goes back to his world of suffering which looks real and he gets the feeling that the spiritual discourse was perhaps a dream.
Conflict and unhappiness is the output when we attempt to make others think the way we think. I have an opinion and that may have been formed because of my culture, my environment, my way of reasoning, my intellect, my knowledge or due to what my parents and teachers taught me.
Think of God at least twice a day, one when you wake up in the morning because you did not die when you were sleeping and two when you are about to sleep because when you were awake you did not die.
Stop the arguments. Be happy with existence. Be happy with your friends and neighbors. Love your neighbor. Enjoy your stay on earth. Live and let live. These are the magic pills for our happiness. They were told repeatedly by saints, yogis, masters and those who represented the Good in the world.
Keep your opinions to yourself. Don’t force it on others. No one needs it here.
Keep all your opinions to yourself like you keep your money and all that you possess. Share your opinions on the day you start sharing all your wealth, your home, your food and all that you posses.
And that I bet is never going to happen.
Shhh! And if you say that I am wrong, that’s okay. May be you are right.