Jan 14th, 2022
My Dear Friends,
First of all, allow me to thank all of you – the distinguished speakers, participants and organizers of this symposium in commemoration of Anand Ashram’s 32nd Foundation Day. Gratitude, and God bless you all.
From the human point of view, this has been a long journey… from the existential point of view, however, 32 human years are negligible, so minute that they can be easily lost in infinity.
But this is not about the length of the journey. This is about the depth of the journey. Have we been on this journey fulfilling our worldly, family and social duties alone, or contributing for some larger cause?
I am reminded of J. Krishnamurti who once said that even animals take care of their families. Some of them have their societies too. We humans are destined to do something more. Have we fulfilled our destiny?
Anand Ashram provides those working for larger cause with opportunity to fulfill their destiny. We all have families and social responsibilities, let us fulfill them, but let us not stop at that. Let us do something more!
All the service activities undertaken by Anand Ashram have been commendable, and I must once again thank all of you for that. In the years to come, we have greater challenges, more complex social issues, especially related to mental and emotional health. God forbid, but I foresee a generation of less humane members of society, unless we fix such issues before they sprout and cause irreparable damage to the social fabric.
You may have heard of the expression FOMO, which is often taken very lightly. It is the Fear of Missing Out. We keep buying things, upgrading our gadgets etcetera because we do not want to miss out on something.
Unfortunately, even those who take FOMO seriously have no inkling of what causes it. FOMO is caused by False or Pseudo Identity, that most of us presently are already suffering from. We consider things we have, gadgets we acquire, the likes we get on our posts in the social media, the money we have in the bank and etcetera and etcetera as our identity. Without them, we feel worthless. There can be, my Friends, no greater insult to the Existence than such a feeling of worthlessness just because you do not have something that others may have.
Once again, very unfortunately however, most of us are already believing in such False or Pseudo Identity. As such we feel very insecure and left out, if we do not follow the trends fabricated by a bunch of rakshasas for their own profit.
Mind you, this is not just another conspiracy theory. Rakshasas have been there since time immemorial. They come in different forms. They may not have fangs as depicted in comic books. They could be well-dressed and seen as respectable members of society.
Who are the rakshasas? The word rakshasa comes from raksha or protection. They are supposed to be the protectors, to protect society and nations from evil. Doing so, unfortunately, some of them are carried away by their ego. Instead of protecting society, they turn to enslaving societies and nations. Beware of them!
Make yourself less and less dependent upon such rakshasas. Grow your own food. Barter your produce with others whose produce you may need. Do not, I repeat, do not get carried away by the glittery world of matter. You can hoard as much wealth as you can and in any currency, in any form – when you are hungry, you need food. You cannot eat the euros, dollars, silver and gold that you have been collecting. It is sheer stupidity to even think that with money you can buy anything. Learn from the mistakes made by the leaders of those countries which are now suffering on account of food scarcity.
Anand Ashram must become fully self-reliant, and in a position to provide for those who may not have means, the needy, the underprivileged. Do not waste water, do not waste energy in any form.
And, above all, reach out to those suffering from various mental issues affecting their health and wellbeing. Yoga must be lived, meditation must be translated as an active engagement with society, albeit in a detached at the same time loving manner. For, love and compassion can never ever grow as long as you have attachment, as long as you expect some kind of reciprocation. The time has come when all of us must rise above passion and work compassionately.
We were blessed with a foresight of things to come several months before the pandemic was officially known and declared. Such foresight, such vision is given for some reason and comes with a responsibility on our part to fulfill. Time to serve!
God bless us all.