April 2013

Man can change his destiny not by wishing for it, but by working for it. – Chinmaya

Very often we hear people say, “We have no choice but to accept whatever is there in our prarabdha…; Who can change what Vidhaata (the Creator) has written in one’s forehead?…; What can we mortals do when planets/ stars have already decided our fate?…; We are just puppets dancing to the tunes of the master puppeteer (God)…; The whole world is like a drama – the story, the end, the characters, the roles – are all decided. We have just to play our part…”

These statements are made by none other than the spineless weaklings who have not the least guts to take the blame upon themselves for their falls and failures. The plain, bare truth is we alone are responsible for whatever happens to us. Thought by thought, action by action, we alone design and carve out our destiny.

But these escapists of life try to detach from their responsibilities by putting the blame on someone else– the grahas (stars)/ ill-luck/ karma / vaastu /fortune/ destiny/fate/apa-shakuna(ill-omen) / raahu-kaala (inauspicious moment) and hosts of other nonsense!

No doubt, it is our past which has brought us to our present. But let us not forget that the equation of life is:
past’s influence + present efforts = future destiny

Thus we need not be helpless victims of our past misdeeds. The present moment is ever available for necessary alterations. Take care of the present, and the bleak past gets transformed into a brilliant future.

Legend has it that Panini was born a dull child, but as one whose interest in learning knew no bounds. An astrologer who happened to come to his school read Panini’s palm and conveyed to him the sad fate that the child’s palm had no line for learning. The heartbroken boy wanted no impediments to his learning. Soon after, Panini’s guru saw a happy boy whose palm was bleeding. Upon asking, Panini answered that he had drawn the “line of learning” on his palm with a knife! The guru was overjoyed on seeing his interest in learning and vowed to make him a scholar.

Today Panini is known all over the world as the author of Ashtaadhyaayi – the earliest complete grammar of classical Sanskrit, unmatched in its brevity and completeness in any ancient grammar of any language. It is considered as the foundational text on Sanskrit grammar, studied exhaustively by the students and scholars of all times.

Helen Keller, born in Boston, the USA in 1880, lost her eyesight when she was a mere two years old baby. Soon, due to a terrible fever, she lost her power of hearing and also the ability to speak.

The compassionate Lord takes care of all. Divine help came duly in the form of a teacher named Anne Sullivan, who developed a special interest in this utterly helpless, dumb, deaf and blind child. Their relationship lasted for almost 50 years. Anne taught her untiringly, with infinite patience and love, and soon the little girl was able to communicate by writing on the palm with fingers. As the years rolled by, their combined efforts started yielding results.

Mastering the Brail language for the blind, she learnt English, German and French. Joining the college, she became the first deaf-blind person to pass the BA degree, that too with first-class! Her hobbies included horse riding, swimming, rowing, and playing chess and cards!!

She has authored twelve books. Her autobiography ‘My Story of Life’ was translated into fifty languages of the world. Her book “My Inner World” is a treasure to the world literature.

Helen Keller established the “Blind Society” and published many books for the blind in Brail language. She travelled around the world to places like Europe, Canada, Australia, Egypt, India, Japan, South Africa etc., encouraging blind and deaf people all over the world.

Someone asked, “Don’t you feel that God was unjust towards you?”

Her calm reply was, “I believe that God is in me, as the Light in my darkness, as the Voice in my silence… So much has been given to me by Him that I have no time to ponder over what has been denied… I thank God for all my handicaps; for through them, I have found myself, my work and my God…”

She added, “If the blind put their hands in God’s, they find their way more surely than those who see but have no faith or purpose…”

About success, she said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing… No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit…We can do anything we want as long as we stick to it long enough. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going…The character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Her message to the world is “Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look at the world straight in the eye. Nothing is impossible for you.”

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Posted in: Chintana

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