The new year fever is still in the air. Abhishek Prasad, colleague of mine was sharing a joke that was circulating on WhatsApp groups regarding the New Year Resolution, which was like — “My resolution for 2018 is that I will complete the incomplete resolution that I wrote in 2017, which I planned in 2016 and thought about in 2015….” And we all laughed. But that made me think. Do we actually RESOLVE to do anything? Are we determinded to follow through the decisions taken, and fulfill them? The question in my mind was — How do I RESOLVE?
“Once, in an old traditional noble family, a small seven year old child was to be sent for his education to the “Gurukul” (school). His father told him that “It’s the tradition of our family that those who have gone out for seeking education have never returned without completing it. And it was a pride of our family that when any child that left for the Gurukul did not cry or keep looking back at the house. Because when I was sent to Gurukul, my father had told me that I should not shed tears and if I did that, then I would not be able to return to this house; it would no more belong to me…we do not like such crying babies in the house. Now, this is what I am telling you that tomorrow morning at 4 am you will be sent to Gurukul. One of our servants will take you on the horse. At one mile from the house there is a turn till which point you will be able to see the house, but you dare not look behind. We will keep watching you from the balcony, as we cannot trust the guy who keeps looking back…if you do so, as I mentioned, you will not be allowed to enter this house again.”
This seven year old innocent little child was shaken and afraid. At night his mother also told him not to be afraid as this was what had always happened, and she had heard that once someone had looked back, and was thrown out of the house forever. That young child could not sleep that night in despair that he won’t be able to see his parents again, nor the house…couldn’t even cry and shed tears!?
One would react by saying that the parents were stone-hearted, ruthless and cruel. We would have been different. We would have pampered the child going away for the first time to school, given him chocolate, would have cried with him and expressed a lot of affection and love.
This is not true Love. It is a way to kill the RESOLVE from the child’s persona. We behave more childish than the child. By doing all these things, the child would never have strong determination that ought to be nurtured within him. The spine will not get built in his inner self.
The child left at 4 am. Neither of his parents came to see him off at the door. The child was placed on the horse in the dark hours of the night in the chilling cold. The servant who was accompanying him said, “Baba, please do not look back, you are prohibited from looking back. You are not little anymore, your parents have great hopes from you. There is nothing one could expect from the person who keeps looking back. Your father is watching from the balcony and thinking how happy he would feel that his son did not look back till the turn which is a mile away.”
Can you imagine what the mental state of this child would be? How much he would be wanting to look back to catch a glimpse of his parents, his home? But this seven year old did not look back, crossed the turn and went on his way.
He reached his school in the early hours of the morning. The Master Monk of the Gurukul who would educate him, met him at the gate and told him that there were rules to enter the Gurukul and not everyone who came there would get an entry. The Master Monk said, “Sit here near the door with your eyes closed. Till the time I come back and ask, do not open your eyes and do not get up from here. And if by chance you open your eyes and see what’s happening around or you come inside, you will be asked to leave the Gurukul. Just to let you know, your horse and servant are waiting outside. And mind you, till date, no one has ever failed this test and left for home in your entire family. This is your entrance exam.”
Just imagine…a child of seven made to sit at the gate…No one asking him that your mother must be worried, come in, and take some food, rest…
The teachers also must be very cruel and heartless!? But those who know, know that there is no one more loving and merciful than those parents and those teachers.
The child was sitting at the gate as other kids entered the school…somebody pushing him, teasing him, throwing pebbles at him…after all they too were kids. But this boy had to keep his eyes closed at whatever cost and if he failed, he may have to return home. What will he tell his father, that I was rejected and came back? That young child was sitting outside…the sun was rising, heat increasing, flies were harassing him, kids were pushing him, he was feeling thirsty and hungry but he was not to open his eyes or move from the place.
It was now afternoon and the sun was scorching hot and child does not know what was happening around. No one was coming yet, calling him…he kept sitting there without opening his eyes even once. It was almost evening when the sun was sliding down the hills when the master monk and other monks came and told him that he had cleared the entrance test. He had the RESOLVE and now something could be done with him…He was then allowed to come in.
When the child grew up, he wrote that it was such a blissful feeling that he crossed one mile and did not look back! As he recalled, he realized that the love and empathy of his parents and teachers were truly amazing and they were very kind.
Our empathy is very weak. We are spineless towards others as well as towards our own self. We don’t have any resolve. If we really want resolve, we need to do something specific, something as monumental as what the child did at his tender age. We may need to take certain decisions, we need a bit of daring, a bit of focus, a bit of perseverance and a lot of determination…may have to stop somewhere….In that moment of pressure the RESOLVE will be born. — Osho
I was amazed listening to Osho (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxoz_vVwgMs&t=812s) and thought to myself, when I was raising my three kids, was I truly kind to them and loved them? When I myself cannot sit for just 10 to 15 minutes quietly without opening my eyes, have I cleared my ‘entrance exam’?
Osho says there are three steps in this journey: First we need the RESOLVE, then we need to practice / experiment with the resolve. Initially it will be unstructured and not orchestrated, like when we throw ourselves into the water, we will just be splashing water by randomly beating our hands and legs but slowly and steadily we will get the rhythm and will swim effortlessly. The third step is, have patience and wait. The more we practice, the more the RESOLVE will get firmed up within us.
Now for 2018, my resolve is to first learn how to RESOLVE.
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स्वामी विवेकानंद जी ने कहा है:
“हार और जीत अपनी सोच पर निर्भर है –
मान लो तो हार है
ठान लो तो जीत l “
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Swami Vivekanand ji once said:
“Haar aur jeet apani soch par nirbhar hai,
Maan lo to haar hai
Thaan lo to jeet.”
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Winning or losing is a state of mind.
Accept it and you lose,
Resolve, and you will succeed.