Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
We are reading "Tips for Happy Living - jIvnsUÇai[ /jiivanasuutraani", by Swami Tejomayananda (Guru-ji). Choose-days writings are here to prompt deeper thinking on the choices made on a daily basis and seek to provide prompts for raising the standard of one's thinking and living. This text composed in format of Sanskrit traditional teachings, speaks directly to this purpose. As ever, the full text may be obtained from CM Publications - or your local centre (see sidebar).
Take a moment to review the last few entries on Jiivanasuutraani. We left off two weeks back with questions of "what are the consequences of imbalance? Can there be hope of a balance?" This was in relation to the balance between the individual who is living daily in their ego-base and That which is known as the Total Self. Guru-ji goes on to say;
_avtu svR_aUtihtkra s)lta.12.
Tayormadhye saamangjasyamastu ||10||
Bhavatu sarva-bhuuta-hitakaraa saphalataa ||12||
Let there be harmony between them,
Otherwise there is calamity.
Let success be a blessing to all beings.
Wholesomeness in harmony. This is the key. An individual's growth at the cost of others, or overall prosperity at the cost of any individual is undesirable.
If we see another is unhappy, to whom we can make a difference, how can we, in turn, be truly happy without making that effort? Conversely, if we ourselves are unhappy in our role of making others happy, how is that balanced? It is not. There has to be a balance, a harmony found, in which we remain content within ourselves as the individual even as we endeavour to take our share of ensuring contentment in our wider circle.
A sportsman who plays in a team cannot think as solo sportsmen would; to think only about achieving individual records and medals. These may come incidentally, but his or her focus must be that of the team. There is different kind of strength that comes from working with others towards a common goal which inspires and drives. If anyone gets stuck on the idea of individual glory, the team is weakened and happiness is greatly reduced if not absent. To work well as a team, egos must be managed.
In the matter of wealth, it is often seen that there is an imbalance. There are those with huge and disproportionate share of wealth. It can be said that the obtaining of that wealth is, quite often, at the expense of individuals and their rights. How often have we heard and read of corporations which have no respect for their employees and even less for environment and society in which they operate? Being a large business is not, in itself, an issue; the modus operandi and the corporate policy as well as the attitude to people at all levels is what defines the impact that business has on the contentment and security of the individuals and society.
Individuals may have learned to care for society or the country in which they live, but are we always sensitive about living in harmony with the earth or the whole universe? That alone would be called sustainable development and growth. We live in an age where science and technology can ensure we live in an eco-friendly way… it is only our short-sightedness and selfishness that does not allow individuals and nations to do so. Thus we have the issues of global warming, famine and so on.
We must also understand that all limbs in our body can never be equal. Everyone in society cannot have equal power, wealth or resources. An activist demanded from John D Rockerfeller, "You are one of the richest men in the world and also a great philanthropist; you should distribute all your wealth equally with mankind." he said, "True, my total wealth is 'x', the number of human beings are 'y', so each person gets ten cents. Will the sharing of my wealth equally help any individual?" It would be true success indeed if all were on a totally equal stage, but neither can any one individual be held as responsible for all - and neither ought the 'have nots' to depend solely on the charity and goodwill of those who have. Each limb of the body has its role to play. True progress would be a balancing, a working together, so that each becomes content with their lot, quality regardless of its quantity. This would be considered as success and a blessing to all.