July 2010

Thought by thought and action by action, we are sculpting our future. – Chinmaya

‘Fate’, ‘destiny’, ‘luck’, ‘praarabdha’, ‘karma’,‘providence’…- these are some of the oft-repeated terms used by thousands amongst us to hide our inefficiencies, to justify the cause of our sufferings and to escape from the responsibilities of failures. The above quote from Pujya Gurudev puts to rest all our doubts and confusions in this matter in no unclear terms i.e. it is we who make our future and then we call it ‘fate’!

The above quote points out to us that we are today where our past thoughts have brought us; and we will be tomorrow where our present thoughts take us.

There was a young architect, greedy by nature, who married the only daughter of a wealthy and powerful man. Soon after the marriage, the wealthy man acquired a large plot of land atop a green hill, a dream location overlooking a magnificent view of a river. On this site he wanted his son-in-law to design and construct a beautiful bungalow for him.

The unscrupulous architect saw the assignment only as an opportunity to make money. He used substandard material and took all possible short cuts. He made a fortune out of the assignment and built the bungalow, beautiful to look at from outside, but with hundred unseen structural flaws.

The father-in-law, who had gone abroad during the construction period, returned at the end of the year. Meeting him at the airport, the son-in-law said, “Sir, your bungalow is ready for inspection.”

The next day, father, daughter and her husband drove up the hill to see the bungalow.

The car stopped outside the gates. The rich man looked at the bungalow and smiled with satisfaction. Handing over the keys of the house to his son-in-law, he said, “This is my surprise gift to your wife, my precious daughter!” The architect was stunned to silence!

Indeed, like that architect, thought by thought and action by action, with every passing moment, we are also shaping our future.

It is not the situation, as we may often misunderstand, that decides our future, but our response to it. For instance, in a certain house, two children grow up seeing their father, always drunk and misbehaving in the family. Whereas one child sees the calamity brought about by alcoholic addiction and grows up to be a complete teetotaler, the other one follows the footsteps of his dipsomaniac father. The situation being the same, one emerged better while the other remained bitter.

It is so well said – Watch your thoughts, for they become words; watch your words, for they become actions; watch your actions, for they become habits; watch your habits, for they become the character; watch your character, for they become your destiny.

In short, we choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them!

Someone has equated bad habits with a comfortable bed – easy to get in but hard to get out! Our habits are either the best of our servants or the worst of our masters. When noble thoughts are entertained, the purified mind gradually comes under our control. But the same mind, when allowed to drown in sensuality, tortures us with its unending temptations.

Happiness is then, not a chance but a choice. This choice is given to each one of us at every moment. It is in those moments of decision that our character is made and the destiny gets shaped.

The above quote hence reminds us of the preciousness of time, for, when we fail to prepare, we are only preparing to fail.

O   M         T   A   T         S   A   T

Posted in: Chintana

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