by Dr M C Gupta
An entry for the "Dear Me" contest, described as a motivational contest for the New Year
You have been making promises to yourself, and breaking them, all these years. That is quite a consistent record
As in the past, this New Year also brings to you your birthday which falls on the 23rd of January. This time, you will complete 75 years of your sojourn on this planet. Whatever you could do, you have done. Why promise to do something more, simply to break the promise?
Tell me honestly. Whatever you have achieved, have you achieved that all by yourself? What arrogance! On the one hand, you don’t tire of singing the praise of the Lord and of surrendering to Him and thanking Him for all that He has given you. On the other, you want to claim that whatever you have achieved is your own doing, through your own efforts, for which you alone are to be praised. What pride! What ignorance!!
OK. Let me burst your various balloons one by one.
BURSTING OF BALLOONS (OF EGO)
Firstly, you take great pride in the fact that you studied medicine at the best institute in the country (The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi) and even became a professor there. Who do you think made it possible? For all I know, God might have so chosen that you might be born to illiterate and poor parents in some remote corner of the world and you might have died of starvation and disease before you were able to live half your present life. So, your becoming a doctor was a gift from God, not your own earning. It was He who pre-arranged things for you and gave you intelligence to pursue a medical career.
Secondly, you also take some pride in being a sort of poet in two different languages. Besides your English poetry at the writing.com, you have published 10 Hindi ghazal collections so far in hard book form. But what is there to be proud of? It was all God’s doing. It was He who took away your wife of 25 years, a doctor herself, in 1996 when she was just 48 years old and you were 54. Almost all your poetry has been written after the year 2002. You started writing poetry 5-6 years after the death of your wife. There is no surprise here. Poetry needs passion and pain. Your wife’s death gave you both. Were you in any way instrumental in this? As a matter of fact, it was God who so ordained that your wife should die young and you should be buried in grief and give vent to your grief in the form of poetry. It was God, again, who ensured that you may have a certain level of proficiency in both languages. Without such proficiency, your wails in wilderness might have amounted to nothing more!
Thirdly, you are reasonably conscious, and even proud, that you studied law and joined the bar and are presently the senior-most in the small breed about ten practicing lawyers in India who have a medical degree. But you know very well in your heart the reason why you studied law after the death of your wife. The first reason is rather obvious. After your wife’s demise, her memory was always on your mind and you joined the law course mainly to try to ward off that memory by keeping yourself occupied with law studies and not having much free time to brood over your loss. But, deep in your heart, you know the real reason as well. You know that you used to debate and argue quite a lot with your wife regarding mundane domestic issues. You remember that, fed up of your argumentative nature, she sometimes used to say—“Why don’t you become a lawyer”? You very well know that when you chose law, you had a sort of feeling that you were fulfilling your wife’s desire!
So, dear Me, even your becoming a lawyer was nothing but God’s will. Had he not taken away your wife, you would still be listening to the complaints of chest pain etc. and prescribing pills. God took away your wife so that you might become a poet and a lawyer. That is a plain fact. Hence, congratulate not yourself for your little achievements but rather surrender to God’s will and accept that what you are today is because He willed so. If at all, you may as well thank that noble soul who was your benefactor in life as well as death.
THE 2017 BALLOON
The guiding balloon for this year, and all subsequent years, will be a realization on the following lines:
i)—I have lived enough, more than even Donald Trump. So, in a way, I have scored over the POTUS. Why should I continue to harbor a desire to keep on living forever?
ii) ---I certainly have a desire to retain unimpaired my bodily and mental functions till the end, whenever that be. But that is not within my control. All is subject to God’s will.
iii)—I should try to live in conformity with the phase of renunciation, which is the fourth and final phase of man’s life as per the ancient Hindu tradition. As per this tradition, man should strive to live for 100 years, divided into four blocks as follows:
First phase (Brahmacharya Ashram)—First 25 years of life, devoted to studies, living a celibate life.
Second phase (Grahasth-Ashram)—26-50 years of life, devoted to marriage and domestic life.
Third phase (Vaanprasth-Ashram) — 51-75 years of life, during which man tries to get more and more detached from the world.
Fourth phase (Sanyaas -Ashram) or the Phase of Renunciation --- 76- 100 years of life, during which man lives in this world as if he has renounced it. This is a stage of complete detachment from the world, including all worldly desires.
So, dear Me, no more New Year promises for you except to try to fulfill that single eternal promise that you would strive to relinquish all desires, physical as well as mental, in the belief that harboring desires is what takes away the tranquility of mind and relinquishing desires is what is truly conducive to mental peace. Remember that where there is peace, there is happiness. Happy is a heart that has peace but no desires.
May God bless you in achieving this aim this New Year as well as in each subsequent New Year. May you ever sing the praise of the Lord. May you ever surrender to Him. May you understand and remember that He is the Doer and you are His instrument, the medium through which He gets things done. Amen.
14 January 2017