Dharma and Karma

Today I was watching a Kannada Program on TV which was about Culture, Philosophy and ‘Dharma’ (These days I have started liking such programs – a sign of maturity or that of age catching up with me?) It was in ‘Question and Answer’ format with people phoning in with their questions which were being answered by a learned man.

One lady had an interesting question. She told that her father followed all that is prescribed by the ‘Dharma’ and led a pious life. But he suffered a lot from cancer and deceases at the end. She wanted to know whether one reaps the benefit from leading a pious life in this life or in the next life. She got an answer which on these lines: Leading a pious life will add to our account of good deeds (‘Punya’) but many a times we will not be able to draw from that account. But those good deeds will definitely result in good things.

This answer, I felt, was not complete. May be it would have been better if the answer had elaborated the fact that leading a disciplined and pious life makes one better prepared to face the turbulence in one’s life with confidence and helps in leading a happy life. This is the real and tangible (!) Reward one gets by leading a disciplined and pious life. And one gets the rewards in this life itself and need not wait for afterlife! But the greater reward is the love and regards of the near and dear ones which cannot be measured but can only be experienced. Yes, that daughter who was phoning in with the question did love her father immensely and it was evident in her voice!

This was in sharp contrast with the reality show episode (on a celebrity Kannada and multi-lingual actor) I had seen a few days earlier in which he said that he learnt what are all the things one should not do from his father!

Any thoughts?

If you can still do at 55, what you did at 15, it means ……

If you can still do at 55, what you did at 15, it means ……. you weren’t doing much at 15

This 55th birthday is what I consider to be a landmark birthday! I had promised myself that I will not retire from whatever I do for a living before I am of 55 years. Now that I have completed 55 years on this planet Earth, I feel free to hang my boots at any time I wish to! It’s really a great feeling!

This might be termed as being on the threshold of the “Golden Years,” but I understand that those living in them often don’t find much gold. However, I believe there is not only gold but whole lot of things i.e., treasure to be discovered in the coming years!

With age comes wisdom and understanding! But only to those who remain open to new experiences! The main realization for me now is that I have been staying at many places without really belonging to any of them! Sure, it does have whole lot of positives in terms of rich experiences, broader outlook and understanding which makes life more enjoyable and of course brings higher income and a better quality of life. But it has some downside too! Whether it was North-East of India or Hong Kong or Mauritius or the Middle East, I have stayed in these places for long years without being able to speak their language or understand to a large extent their culture and traditions. And I am not the only one but thousands of us do so. However, this makes one feel like an alien in perpetuity. May be the time has come to end this!

Its time now to grow and become aware of new capacities and capabilities which develop while aging. It’s time to become more authentically myself!

Pursuing a passion is what ultimately makes each day worth living and this is perhaps what I am looking forward to. I realize that I have worked 36 + years at various jobs in banking and finance to make a living. Although that was and still is a worthwhile and noble pursuit, and it does gets me up each day, perhaps there isn’t much of excitement, energy, and the urge to get to it. I am not complaining – I did what I had to do, met some wonderful people along the way, participated in the growth of multiple institutions, and survived. Now I would like to start my day wanting to get going and anxious to do what I love, and a force to be dealt with.

In this journey I have someone with me who is a friend when I am low, a companion when I am lonely, my helpmate, my joy, my cheerleader, my fan and my gift from God. She is my wife! I am also thankful to God for blessing us with two lovely kids who gave us un-quantifiable happiness and who have grown to be brilliant and capable youngsters.

I am also thankful to all my relatives and friends for all the love and affection which I received in plentiful!

Life is a journey and our faithful travel companion is our aging mind and body. We can prepare for the trip with maps and plans and wishes, but the road ultimately leads where it will. The best way to enjoy the trip is to appreciate each moment, each new sight and sound and feeling. Live, learn, love, and keep going. Who knows what lies beyond the next sunrise………..