Guiding Light: Rinse, Repeat!

Ritesh AswaneyUpdated: Friday, January 06, 2023, 06:17 PM IST
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Representative Image | Pixabay

It’s a new year, and the enthusiasm from the celebration and perhaps a holiday is still fresh, reflecting positively in how we’re approaching everything from personal life to work! As time goes by, and the stresses and strains start to build up, the shine of the new year will start to wear off. But before that happens, it would be wise to remember that we’ve survived many new years and the blues that follow. In fact, its an opportune time to review verse 22 from Adi Sankara’s eternally immortal Bhaja Govindam — “Punarpi Jananam, Punarpi Maranam, Punarpi Janani, Jathare Sayanam, Iha Samsare Bahu Dustare, Kripaya Pare Pahi Murare.”

We have been through countless cycles of birth and death, and before we came into being in our current forms, we rested in our mother’s womb. Small mercy that our memories are wiped between births, well in almost all cases, or else the sheer weight of what has transpired and how many times we have made the same mistakes, would be overwhelming! This illusory world is indeed most tricky to navigate, like a boundless ocean. It is full of waves that can make you rise, but just when you’re riding a wave, another one can come crashing and knock you off balance.

The cycle of happiness and sorrow, highs and lows seem to repeat with an almost cruel disregard for how they make you feel. And in such a world of repetition until the karmic lesson has been learnt, we ask for the Lord’s mercy, in helping us cross this choppy ocean and transcend this animation that seems to be running in a loop.

This isn’t to say that we must become indifferent to everything, we should of course be grateful for and welcome the blessings that life sends our way, but without losing our balance, or letting it get to our heads. And to counterbalance the highs, also embrace the lows with the same spirit, knowing fully well that ups and downs are but a natural phenomenon. And realising that we have been in similar settings several times across births, helps put things in perspective, without allowing them to overwhelm us.

So as you see that first challenge coming your way in the new year, attempting to threaten that Zen mindset you so carefully curated over your holiday, pause, reflect and let this knowledge calibrate your response. And dive into that trough with as much grace and panache as you ride the crest of that monster adrenaline wave.

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