Articles published in "Sadguru's Blessings" magazine - July and August, 2014 issues -
NATURE – OUR NATURAL TEACHER!
Nature is a great gift of God to mankind. In fact, it is a cozy cradle within which all of us are living comfortably. Nature is nothing but that which has come down to this earth naturally. In other words, all that which is not artificial can be termed as nature. Nature is an integral part of our lives and it is beyond imagination to think of life sans nature. Nature is a wonderful and delightful piece of poetry authored by the Lord Supreme. The greatest and unique characteristic of nature is that it has everything to offer for the wellness and wellbeing of others. ‘Living for others’ is the undeclared rule of nature! On the contrary and unlike us, it never expects or exploits or disturbs others for its own selfish ends. Nature, therefore, is like a ‘Kamadhenu’ and if properly harnessed and utilized it can make our lives really enjoyable from all angles.
The hills, mountain ranges, rivers, forests, the sun, the moon, sky, oceans, innumerable species of trees, fruits, vegetables and varieties of forest products etc., are part of this wonderful, but yet, totally unexplored nature. The varieties of animals, birds, insects etc., that inhabit this planet make this nature more colourful, lively and thrilling. Till the rapid advancement of technology and population explosion, this nature was at its best. The increasing population and reckless advancement in science and technology with scant respect to its ill-effects on nature have begun an undeclared war of destruction against this nature. We are sitting at the edge of a great tree branch and trying to cut it at its base! Once the base is cut, the branch along with the person sitting there on falls to the ground. Both the man and the tree are destroyed. This is what is going to happen actually soon if our reckless and thoughtless attack and assault on nature is not stopped forthwith.
The forests are being cut most indiscriminately to make way for human dwellings; rivers are being polluted beyond imaginable limits in the name of industrialization; ponds and lakes are being dried up to locate townships; agricultural lands are also facing the same fate. At this rate, virtually this divine nature is subjected to most inhuman rape by man without regard to its horrible consequences. As Mahatma Gandhi once said: Nature has plenty of resources to cater to our need; but it cannot satisfy our greed!
Besides, nature is our natural teacher like our mother! Nature always caters to the needs of others sans any expectations in return. It never bothers about itself or its welfare. It takes pleasure in giving to or serving others. Briefly said, like in Karma Yoga, it just performs its function most dispassionately! In spite of the reckless assault of man, it continues to serve him. What an example of selfless service indeed! It is a well-known fact that a tree full of hundreds of fruits always bows downwards. It never shows its ego or pride by standing erect like a man who boasts of his smallest of achievements. The moral is: Never hold your head high with pride or ego. Even the winner of a gold medal gets his medal only when he bows his head down. See a river. We pollute it all through its course in hundreds of ways. But still it continues to flow and feed us. See the animal world around us. They, through their own typical ways, earn their food for the day. They never store anything for tomorrow unlike us nor do they cause damage to nature in the process. They are happy and contended on what they have earned for the day. See the grazing animals. They only eat the top portion of the grass or plants and they never uproot them. An example of preserving nature for tomorrow! Besides, unless provoked or attacked, they never harm others. Less said is better about the rain and the sun. Without any sort of discrimination, they shower their favours on the entire earth. A river taking birth from the top of a mountain flows miles and miles before reaching the ocean. Throughout its course it fosters civilization, protects flora and fauna and is a perennial source of happiness and contentment to all those dependent on it. Another interesting thing about nature is that it is never in a hurry; but yet it accomplishes everything! Every man should take a leaf out of this lesson and become an ambassador of peace, happiness and joy wherever he goes. We will find more such lessons in the woods (nature) than in books. In fact, nature teaches many great things mutely which cannot be learnt even from greatest of teachers. But to clearly discern this process, one must first be a lover of nature besides its keen observer. If we look deep into the nature, we will better understand it. Then only these great values hidden and demonstrated by nature in various ways can be better experienced and understood.
Since time immemorial, man has been worshipping nature in several ways. In fact, it was his way of expression of gratitude to nature for the invaluable favours bestowed on mankind. Naturally, sun, trees, rivers are held in high esteem in India and are worshipped with great devotion. But man’s greed and lack of fore-thought coupled with a hollow dream of converting this earth into an artificial comfort zone, have all combined ruthlessly to destroy nature. Disregard to nature is nothing but disregarding or disrespecting God. Nature’s destruction will ultimately and definitely lead to the total destruction of mankind itself. It is high time that we correct ourselves and begin to live harmoniously with nature. Or nature will definitely, like its various concealed lessons, teach us a very great and ultimate lesson! But then it will be too late to realize or learn or rectify ourselves. Nature (in the form of earth) is a personification of unlimited patience. But yet, it has its own tolerance level. Once that limit is exceeded, total destruction is the only final result. It is now or never to wake up and avoid the wrath of nature, the wrath of our off-springs for our atrocities on nature and above all the wrath of Almighty and rededicate ourselves to restore nature to its original form.
Nature is our greatest teacher, preacher, philosopher and guide! Worshipping and conserving nature is one of the best ways of pleasing or worshipping the Almighty. It is the least a man can do in return for the invaluable favours received from nature throughout his life-time.
Open your eyes and see deep
into the nature and enjoy its beauty. Live with nature harmoniously, breath its fresh and fragrant air and lose yourself in its midst. The bliss and contentment it provides is nothing but the boon of God – Mother Nature. God is personified in Nature. Let us all admire, adore and restore it!
Believe in Yourself!
- Kavi Suresh
an is a store-house of immense potential – physical and mental. Given the right direction backed up by unstinted and concerted efforts, there appears to be nothing in this world which is beyond the comprehension, accomplishment and reach of man. The recent technological advancements around the globe in all spheres of human life are a clear pointer to this. But, yet, it is also a true fact that the human potential has not been exploited or put to full use to the extent expected. There are several factors which control or inhibit this. Economic, social and psychological factors coupled with lack of proper education, orientation, training etc., are some of the plausible reasons.
A man’s main strength is his mind. A strong and firm mind, at the outset, paves the way for easy accomplishment of set goals. You may also call it ‘will-power’. In other words, a strong and steady mind is nothing but a strong belief in one’s potential, capabilities and a firm resolve to face any eventualities for the fulfillment of set targets. No doubt, one should be aware of his limitations and short-comings also! This virtue can also be described as self-confidence. To elaborate, self-confidence is nothing but a confidence or belief in oneself; confidence in one’s potential and abilities; confidence is one’s resolve; confidence in one’s aim or purpose; confidence in oneself about the future and so on. Self-confidence promotes in oneself a feeling of firmness, courage, stability and ability to handle any situation with boldness, conviction and decisiveness. It is a process of going from confusion to understanding. In short, self-confidence equips one to tread a different and complicated path of life with ease as compared to many others.
How to develop self-confidence?
An important key to success is self-confidence and key to self-confidence is preparation! We see that some people are born self-confident. It is in their genes and they are gifted. But for many, it is a virtue which has to be developed through various means. The varied challenges in life, influence of people coming in contact, influence of society and many such factors mould a man in re-orienting his outlook to external happenings and thereby build up his confidence level. They generally and naturally act bold and take daring steps in the execution of their thoughts. In fact, self-confidence and dashing nature go hand in hand.
Failures in life, financial problems, prolonged illness, death of near and dear ones, inferiority complex, fickle mind – all affect a man’s self-confidence. But it is an open secret that worries and troubles are an invariable and unavoidable part of life. They haunt everyone. Experience of many tells us that happiness or sorrow never stay forever. They are like day and night! Every situation – good or bad – is a passing phase in life. It is up to us to take each situation in our stride, treat them on merits and handle them with a dispassionate and firm mind. Life is a perennial fight against hurdles and a firm and strong mind alone will equip us to over-come them and stay fit and fine.
A comprehensive and complete knowledge in one’s field of activity is the mother of self-confidence. Knowledge is a powerful tool as well as an effective weapon. To face any challenges in one’s field, knowledge powered by proper expertise would be a very handy. In fact, it is the edifice upon which self-confidence rests and grows. Therefore, to be self-confident, build up your knowledge base. There are no short-cuts for this.
Many unforeseen situations and circumstances suddenly crop up in life. They may be due to factors which may not have been pre-thought of by us. While our efforts are concentrated in our set field of activity, it is very essential for one to be sensitive and careful about the happenings around us. Keeping an eye on everything, though cursorily, will enable us to face such sudden unexpected challenges more ably.
However, one has to be aware that self-confidence or over-confidence has a tendency to breed arrogance and a highly egoistic state of mind. One has to be very careful about this. Remember that this virtue is the result of the grace and blessings of the supreme divine power. Any amount of self-efforts goes in vain unless it has the backing or support of that unknown power. It is an established, experienced and time-tested true fact that nothing in this world moves, happens or vanishes without the nod of the power supreme - iÉålÉ ÌuÉlÉ §ÉhÉqÉÌmÉ lÉ cÉsÉÌiÉ. Hence, to be self-confident, please equip yourself and train yourself under the directions of a good preceptor (Guru) and pray regularly to Lord Supreme to bestow his blessings on you. Ardent devotion and a prayer with a feeling of total surrender over a period of time makes a man firm and strong in himself. A state in which he is unfazed by any external influences and that which carries him forward steadily towards his pre-determined goal. Hence, self-confidence, as a virtue, if nurtured and steered in a righteous manner, ultimately leads us to success in life – materially as well as spiritually.
Ultimate success comes to only those who have grit and determination, who have steadfast belief in themselves and the power of the Lord Supreme, who dare to take all risks and above all who have the temperament to accept failure or setbacks in the same way they cherish success.