October 2013

The secret vein of energy that runs in every one of us is struck, not through pills and elixirs, but through dedicated actions. – Chinmaya

The modern man appears to live like a breathing corpse, shuttling between home and the office, carrying a face wrinkled with family-worries and work-pressures.

His only relief appears to come from Saturdays, Sundays and holidays – spent leisurely in clubs, pubs and in theatres. Thus drained out totally in health and wealth, through drugs and drinks, the modern man appears to drag his life aimlessly from the womb to the tomb.

This is but natural. For the one without any higher purpose of life, even a hefty pay-scale can act only as a catalyst to hasten him towards disease, decay and death.

But when actions are performed for a noble cause, in a selfless spirit of service, for the welfare of all, without expecting anything in return and without allowing the ego to interfere, one gets infused with a divine power unknown to the self-centred majority. The abundance of energy gushing from one’s own within astounds even its possessor, before dazzling the world in all its brilliance.

The Founder of Chinmaya Mission, Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, even at the age of seventy-five, with his heart functioning with only 18 per cent efficiency, used to work18 to 20 hours a day.

His day, starting from3:30 am, would be packed with a wide range of activities – answering a heap of letters sent to him from the world over, conducting morning sessions on Upanishads/meditation, writing commentaries on scriptural texts, organizing meetings with committee members, attending interviews, giving management talks in colleges and corporate institutions, survey-visits to the construction sites of the Mission ashrams/vidyalayas/ hospitals/social projects, attending bhikshas, conducting Geeta Jnana Yajnas for an audience ranging in thousands…

Hour by hour, day by day, year by year, Gurudev spent his life serving others for more than 40 years as a worship of the Lord. He used his body like camphor, burning it out till the last breath, without even a trace of ego, giving the light of Self-knowledge and fragrance of divine Love to one and all.

Once a devotee, an army officer, asked Gurudev, “Swamiji, What is the secret of your unending enthusiasm?” Gurudev replied with a smile, “While you take rum, I take Ram”!!

In another instance, one press reporter came to Gurudev and enquired, “Swamiji, are you the head of Chinmaya Mission?” The reply was instant, “No, I am the tail.”

With such a great leader to inspire and with an entire team of selflessly dedicated members to support, no wonder that the Mission has grown in leaps and bounds in the last 60 years after its establishment, with around 300 centres all over the world.

Field Marshall Cariappa, the first Indian Commander-In-Chief of the Indian Forces, was a great devotee of Swami Shivananda. In his study room, he had a picture of Swamiji, his parent’s picture and a statue of an ordinary Indian soldier.

Every day morning, after his bath, he would go to his study room, salute the statue of the soldier saying, “It is you who protect our motherland. That is the highest thing a man can do. I salute you.” Then he would stand before the picture of his parents and pay due reverence saying, “You have given me this body; you have trained me and made me fit to become what I am. I am ever grateful to you.” Then he would bow down before the picture of Swami Shivananda and pray in all humility, “You are a great man. I salute you. Please bless me.”

During the 1965 war, his son Flt. Lt K.C. Cariappa, an Indian Air Force pilot, was shot down over Pakistan. He was captured and imprisoned as a POW (Prisoner of War). Pakistan was then under the military rule of General Ayub Khan, who had worked closely with Field Marshal before the partition, and had high regards for him.

When Gen. Khan offered to release his son immediately, Field Marshal, who was then living a retired life, scoffed at the idea saying, “Every soldier in the Indian Army is my son. So I can’t request special privilege for only one.” the old soldier thundered. “He is the child of this country, a soldier fighting for his motherland like a true patriot. My many thanks for your kind gesture, but I request you to release all or release none. Give him no special treatment.” The Field Marshal is reported to have said.

When actions are performed with a selfless attitude, one experiences a sense of fulfilment within oneself which then becomes the sole motivating factor for all noble undertakings.

Let’s ever remember these electrifying words from Swami Vivekananda, “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life. Think of it, dream of it. Live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, and every part of your body be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced. Others are mere talking machines.”

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Posted in: Chintana

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