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Steps towards Victory Dec 14 2019
Written in Tamil by Vidwan Ve Lakshmanan
Destiny or Fate plays an important role in our lives.. What is destiny? How does it affect us? How can it be won over? These have been perennial questions bothering us. With such notions, through this book I vouch to give a new approach and thereby refresh your minds and hearts.
The efforts we take towards Success is in our hands. The farmland to cultivate all good things is our mind. The sort of good seeds we sow in our minds gets deep rooted and so shall be borne good yield of fruits in our huge tree of life removing all kinds of griefs.
Faith in God on one side and real hard work on the other side.. When they join together obstacles get removed and replaced by happiness. Life has taught me a lot and so have I gained experience on this line.
I believe; so too will the readers of this book.
Do experience the bliss I felt. Do enjoy what I might have failed to enjoy. Climb up and reach the top step of VICTORY
- While running fast, sometimes we fall accidentally, getting a sprain by twisting an ankle. What do we as remedy? We treat with a warm compress as an immediate remedy.
- We get indigestion by overeating for which immediate remedy is to consume in right proportion of some herbs like dry ginger.
- In case we over work at night without proper sleep we become tired and keep yawning most of the time.. In order to avoid we drink some hot tea as a remedy
These are habitual practices in our day to day routine and the remedies adopted are simple and easy.
On the contrary, when do we need a serious remedy to be taken or right amends to be observed? When we are caught unaware doing something that should not have been done.. right..
If we abstain from doing something wrong why do we need a remedy or amends to be taken.But we lack the maturity of mind when we get involved in such accidental actions. Unknowingly or knowingly we get into trouble; keep on regretting and we go in search of a remedy for committing such mistakes
Of course ‘to err is human’ .. And this is quite natural. Maybe there are some exceptional human beings completely perfect and never err in their life. If indeed such people exist, no doubt they are extraordinary and need to be applauded greatly.
But we come across some who think they can get away with performing unacceptable deeds – like going against a rule, or being a public menace, taking the law into their hands – to name a few. They think by adopting remedial measures they can get away from punishments they ought to have faced in reality. More worse is they consider themselves well read and knowledgeable persons.. We do not include such persons in human category at all.
Protecting ourselves by foresight (‘வருமுன் காப்பு’) is a Tamil proverb. But there are many, being well aware of a problem arising fail to take it as a warning. They continue without protecting themselves and fall prey to troubles. This is because of their overconfidence and idiocracy.. They also belong to the category of contempt.. No use advising them.
A discipline to be followed is mandatory. If you realize a mistake, do not repeat it. A bitter experience must deter us from making the same mistake again and again.This ought to be a lesson throughout our life. This is the key to get redemption.
Once bitten twice shy.. A mistake can be forgiven once.. But will repeated mistakes be forgiven always? Consequences have to be suffered.
Besides, the thought that mistakes and crimes can be practiced any number of times knowing remedial measures exist is nothing but most foolish and despicable approach..Moreover, this is equal to driving towards one’s own destruction.
On the other hand, remedial measures will cease its effectiveness if crimes and mistakes are carried on even after performing remedies..
People take up drinks as a relaxation from tiredness, get intoxicated and yearn for more and more and in the end do not wake up to reality. Liquor is first taken as a remedy or medicine so as to relieve you from the feeling of dullness which in the long run will make you crazy and eventually kill you. Potion becomes poison..These are common occurrences all over the world.
All such attitudes mentioned above becomes a necessity according to the need of the hour; they indulge one to take the wrong path. But remember, such nondisciplinary practices or involvement in crimes and social misbehaviours can definitely be avoided easily.
But looking back, our previous lives, the bad Karmas we have accumulated over various births play a powerful role in this birth of ours.. Karmas meaning good and bad deeds. We sin by doing bad deeds. For example although a candle burns itself completely still a black residue remains collected at the bottom. In the same way the sins of our previous births get collected like a black mass, and keep following us. The same lighted candle drives away the darkness while spreading light all around; so also our sins accumulated disappears slowly in each of our births. It gets charred as we keep doing good deeds. A spark of light emerges removing the darkness within. Holding onto that light of truth we should wake up with clarity of mind with no more sinful actions.
Due to our past sins we get to face a lot of troubles. In our previous births we may have tortured many people or would have been responsible for destroying their lives.
As a result of those sins we suffer a lot in this life. What goes around comes back; be it good or bad. If we continue to walk towards evil once again in this birth just like in previous births, how can we expect to get liberated? It is quoted that rebirth is the cause of sins done in the previous births which by itself is a punishment wrought by our bad Karmas. If we continue to sin more will not the penalty also be doubled?
Here we must acknowledge a truth. However we are troubled, whatever crises we face, however we are punished we should strictly be patient, observe tolerance, be prudent enough not to hurt or torture anybody and keep away from evil practices..Must be forewarned and try to be as calm as possible..As a result, our previous bad and sinful karmas will diminish to some extent and practising good deeds will strengthen our accumulation of good karmas once again, bringing in joyful moments in this birth itself.
Before going further a small recall of the four Yugas. Most of you may be familiar with this terminology.. For people who may not have heard, Yuga in Hinduism is an epoch or era within a four age cycle. According to Hindu scriptures, all mortal beings are destined to pass through four great epochs in every cycle of creation and destruction. This divine cycle turns full-circle at the end of what is known as kalpa. A kalpa is a yuga cycle, which is a period of 10,000 divine years and is divided into four ages or yugas (Sanskrit yuga = age/epoch). According to one calculation, one yuga cycle is estimated to be 4,320,000 years, and one kalpa 4,320,000,000 years.
A complete Yuga starts with the Satya Yuga, followed by Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga. Satya Yuga or the Age of Truth is said to last for four thousand divine years, Treta Yuga for three thousand, Dwapara Yuga for two thousand and Kali Yuga will last for one thousand divine years that equals to 432,000 earthly years. It is also believed that three of these great ages have already passed away, and we are now living in the fourth one.
The epochs of time is also said to be on the basis of the degree of loss of righteousness in the world. It is said that during Satya Yuga, truth alone prevailed (Sanskrit Satya = truth), Treta lost ¼ truth, Dwapara lost ½ truth and Kali is left with only ¼ truth. Evil and dishonesty have replaced truth in the last three ages or Yugas.
In the span of four yugas, Lord Vishnu is said to incarnate ten times in ten different avatars. This is known as ‘Dasavatara’ (Sanskrit dasa = ten). During the Age of Truth, human beings were spiritually most advanced and had great psychic powers. In the Treta Yuga people still remained righteous and adhered to moral ways of life excepting for a few incidents of immorality. Lord Rama, of the famous Ithihas Ramayana lived in Treta Yuga. In the Dwapara Yuga, men had lost purity of mind and clarity of knowledge. Lord Krishna was born in this age to bring back Dharma or Righteousness. The present Kali Yuga is the most degraded of the Hindu epochs.
We live in the Kali Yuga – in a world infested with impurities and vices. People possessing genial virtues are diminishing day by day. Floods and famine, war and crime, deceit and duplicity characterize this age. This is the age wherein knowledge that Atman or the subtle body is different from the physical body has deserted mankind, leaving us only with the awareness of the gross physical body. This explains why we are now more preoccupied with our physical self than anything else.
Due to our preoccupation with our physical bodies and because of our emphasis on the pursuit of gross materialism, this age has been termed the ‘Age of Darkness’ — an age where we have lost touch with our inner selves, an age of profound ignorance!
The purpose of this book is to create the awareness of this Kali Yuga, the age of darkness to give way to the betterment and enlightenment of ourselves by mere observance of the essential remedial measures, so as to clean ourselves from dirt and deposits accumulated over a period of countless rebirths.. Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita stresses this ideology by explaining ways and means to attain purity of mind and to reach the ultimate goal of Brahman or Satchitananda. The ways and means are threefold, namely Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga each of which is explained in detail.
Let us not deviate any more. I just wanted to stress that Gita the holy scripture of Hinduism like Tiruvalluvar’s Kural deals with righteousness and various other essential values to be adhered in order to be free from all kinds of misery that affects peace and harmony in this life of ours on this earth.
Two proverbs in Tamil, one ” கலியுகத்தில் கை மேல் பலன் – Kaliyugathil Kai Mel Palan” meaning Rewards or Punishments are experienced then and there in KaliYuga.
” கெடுவான் கேடு நினைப்பான்- keduvan kedu ninaippan” He who is on the way to ruin; will mediate another’s ruin.
From the The first proverb we learn in Kaliyuga we immediately get paid according to the nature of our deeds and actions.. The good are rewarded whereas evil ones are punished. From the second it is easily understood that an evil minded person working on the ruin of another will ruin himself.
Hence what must be our decision in this birth of ours? What must be our end goal?
We should strive to do as much as good deeds as possible. Think Good; Do Good; Speak good.. Be a Good Samaritan.. It is a must, we must entertain them devotedly and with determination. There is no doubt of gaining benefits then and there by just following these simple rules. Maybe we will suffer as a result of our previous bad Karmas but turning our actions toward good Karmas sure will make us prosper and benefit a lot in this birth.
There may arise enquiries whether there are any remedial measures so as to avoid poverty; not to be miserable; not to face disappointments in this life of ours. They are valid enquiries. Easy to ask but not possibly easy to give valid replies. But that does not mean there are no answers at all for them. There are valid solution for everything – reasonable, reliable and believable. They may be given briefly or covered in detail over number of pages.
Actually giving a brief outline may not be understood completely. But let me make it brief so that a little at least may be understood.
How not to be affected from above mentioned griefs. What is the remedy?
There is a reference for this in Thirukkural written in Tamil by the great ancient Scholar Tiruvalluvar. The Tirukkural or shortly the Kural, is a classic Tamil sangam literature.
It contains 1330 couplets, which are divided into 133 sections of 10 couplets each. The first 38 sections are on moral and cosmic order forming the first part called in Tamil as Aram and in Sanskrit: dharma meaning righteousness; the next 70 are about political and economic matters forming the second part named Porul, Skt: artha meaning material welfare and the remaining 25 are about pleasure forming the third part called inbam, Skt: kama.
Of the three sections, Thiruvalluvar’s second section (porul) is about twice the size of the first section, and three times that of the third. In the 700 couplets on porul (53% of the text), Thiruvalluvar mostly discusses statecraft and warfare. Thiruvalluvar’s work is a classic on realism and pragmatism, and it is not a mystic, or purely philosophical document. Thiruvalluvar teachings are similar to those found in Arthasastra, but differ in some important aspects. In Thiruvalluvar’s theory of state, unlike Kautilya, the army (Padai) is the most important element. Thiruvalluvar recommends that a well maintained and well trained army led by an able commander, ready to go to war is a necessary element for a state. Thiruvalluvar presents his theory of state using six elements: army (padai), subjects (kuti), treasure (kul), ministers (amaiccu), allies (natpu), and forts (aran). Thiruvalluvar also recommends forts and other infrastructure, supplies and food storage in preparation for siege.
The Tirukkural text has been translated into several Indian and international languages. It was translated into Latin by Constanzo Beschi in 1699, which helped make the work known to European intellectuals. Thirukkural is one of the most revered works in the Tamil language.
Let me get back with the references to my topic.
அதிகாரம்/Chapter: இடுக்கணழியாமை / Hopefulness in Trouble
இடும்பைக்கு இடும்பை படுப்பர் இடும்பைக்கு
Idumabaikku Idumbai paduppar idumbaikku
Find some nearest translation in English.
They will torment the torment, those who don’t get tormented by torment.
They give sorrow to sorrow, who in sorrow do not suffer sorrow.
Trouble itself is put to trouble and driven away, by them who do not trouble themselves at the sight of it.
This Thirukkural gives the best answer in brief. Those who do not give a damn even when they are affected by grief, torn by sorrow or constantly facing all kinds of troubles they are the ones who give trouble to trouble, sorrow to sorrow, and grief to grief itself.
More so it can be explained as “let any trouble affect me; who cares, if I ignore it; what harm can it give me, if I have the courage to face it; nothing can uproot me..”
So must be the person strong in his belief that the approaching disaster scared by his firm belief will run away from him.
Again I may be questioned ‘ Is it so easy to attain this determination?’ and further questions like “ Is there not any way to be free from sorrows and griefs; cannot our lives run smoothly without any trouble troubling us; If we can lead a life without obstacles then why should remedial measures to be taken”
All such questions are most likely to be asked.. I repeatedly reply without any hesitation there are answers to all these queries..There are proper answers for all doubts arising from all different angles. After getting cleared of the doubts, after being ascertained by valid explanations then comes the major part of knowing and analysing ‘what is the right Parihara or Remedy’ needed to wipe away our anxiety and thereby to uniformly comply to decide how to get rid of our troubles..
To cross a river we have found a raft; to drive the raft we have got the motor equipment; the raft is huge enough to hold many passengers. Moreover, the river is wide enough, sure crossing the river will take a longer time..
Consider this book to be your raft.. Let us now sail slowly in this raft. As we sail let us consider each chapter as our Steps to Victory, observing the guidelines and right directions to reach the other side of the shore called Parihara or The Remedy..
We have taken the first step. Our next step is Prarthana or Prayer. Let us rest a while and await the next step….