Our ancient ideals of truth and beauty are embodied in the vision of the Goddess Saraswati, the personification of knowledge, culture, art and music. Is it not significant that Saraswati is also known as Bharati, the embodiment of the spirit of Bharata, the nation? Bharati is the great knowledge giver; and true knowledge is freedom! And to me, Bharati, Saraswati is the embodiment of purity and simplicity: two virtues that all of us need to cultivate. In simplicity is true beauty; in purity is the seed of perfection. Let us aspire to these great ideals. I ask you to be simple in dress, diet and daily habits. Imbibe this message of simplicity.
Many of us are apt to equate happiness and success with money, material wealth and possessions; and I blame it on our materialistic culture. It is for the youth to lead the movement that will take us in the other direction. People cannot be happy just because they live in mansions or penthouse apartments or just because they drive expensive cars or just because they are millionaires.
What is wrong with earning money? What is wrong in accumulating wealth for the security of our loved ones, you might ask. Nothing – if we are able to be content with what we possess. But unfortunately, we do not stop there. We look at others, we compare ourselves with them, and we are unsatisfied if we have less. We are haunted by the greed for more, more and more.
Exercise your soul! Turn to nature to nurture you. Learn to spend at least a little time every day in outdoor activities – it can be something as simple as walking, or just sitting on a garden bench. When you turn to nature, you rediscover yourself.
When we look at advertisements, every product seems to promise us happiness, fulfillment and complete satisfaction. Thus we fall into the trap of desiring more, acquiring more, possessing more – and more! We are in bondage to our possessions. And they demand more out of us. The bungalow needs to be painted and repaired, it needs security guards; the car needs to be serviced and maintained; the gadgets demand their upkeep. And we carry all these self-imposed burdens for the sake of possessions. But are they truly contributing to our inner happiness?
That is a question which each one of us has to answer for ourselves.
Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader
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