Swami ji said…
We are all unique and have our own skills and talents. Some are born with them , while , others develop and hone them with time. Whatever the case may be – these abilities are what, rather often than not, enable us to earn a living, become wealthy, or even become famous. Some of us have artistic talents ; some are blessed with physical and mental prowess, and, others have exceptional gifts, that serve them well in their respective circumstances and situations. The tonal quality of a singer’s voice can win him fame and acclaim. The sharp mind of a stock trader could make him fabulously rich. Greater oratory skills could make a politician a great orator and extremely popular with his countrymen. Smart managerial abilities could make one a CEO of an international company. Hours and hours of practice at improving one’s skill or ability can pay rich dividends over time, and , there are many of us who are doing so now – enjoying the fruits of our abilities and skill. We are confident of our abilities and thereby assured of the successful outcome of our actions.
But, in all this hay and glory, we often let confidence turn into arrogance; and let our success make us feel invincible. The ego takes control over the mind, it tells us – ‘ See what YOU have achieved. Only YOU could have done this. This is all YOUR doing.’ And suddenly we hold ‘ourselves’ in great esteem and develop an air of self-importance. We hold our heads proudly and show the world what WE have created. This is the time that काल is hovering around our head – for it takes away our ‘बुद्धि’. We forget that our abilities and skills are God’s gifts to us and instead of attributing all our joys and successes to God’s grace – we instead congratulate ourselves and put ourselves on a pedestal. Our actions and words follow suit – they are egoistic and arrogant. We behave like know-alls.
The humility and patience that was once our trademark and which had helped us to reach where we are today, seem to have been shed off by us during our ‘ego trip’. We reach a stage when we refuse to listen to anyone but ourselves. Those days of the past appear to be lost somewhere , when we had always been eager to listen to others’ perspectives and feedback.
Businessmen who believe they know more than their customers; artists who feel they know better than the audience – such is the typical behavior exhibited by those heady in their own success.
It is said that the poet-sage Valmiki was once informed that even the great Hanuman had written a Ramayana. Intrigued, Valmiki ji set out to lay his eyes on Shri Hanuman’s Ramayana. On reading the words that had been written by Shri Hanuman, tears rolled from his eyes and he began to cry in sorrow. When asked by Shri Hanuman as to why was He crying , it is said that Valmiki ji confessed, that Shri Hanuman’s Ramayana was much better than his own and that he was convinced that no one would be interested in his Ramayana once they had read Shri Hanuman’s treatise. It is said that on hearing this Shri Hanuman immediately tore his own writings, leaving Valmiki ji all the more bewildered. On being asked to explain his actions, Shri Hanuman told Valmiki that he had written his Ramayana only for Shri Ram and not to receive any praise from anyone. If his Ramayana had caused grief to Valmiki ji , there was no reason for the world to see it, as he did not need the fame and accolades of writing a great epic. All that mattered to him was Shri Ram’s blessings and love.
We must learn an everlasting lesson from this story. Not once did it occur to Shri Hanuman that he was the ‘better writer’ nor did he once think of enjoying the fruits of his labor as a writer. He did not take any pride in his knowledge and literary prowess. He did not seek any recognition. What he did, he did only for Shri Ram. We too must learn to attribute all our achievements to God’s grace on us. We must accept that whichever abilities we have – are only a means to an end that God has given us. What we achieve from them are also God’s gifts to us.
हमे हमेशा यह याद रखना चाहिए – ‘ ‘क्षमता’ और ‘ज्ञान’ को, अपना ‘गुरु’ बनाना चाहिए, अपना ‘गुरुर’ नहीं…’