Friday, August 21, 2009

With Krishna....

Suddenly I'm staring at my self, which is 30 years younger.

'Want to go to playhome....No', sobs tejas.

We hug him and allay his fears with 'you'll only play and come back home', 'Mamma will also come with you,', 'We too went to school and playhomes long back,''You'll find many friends and teddy bears to play with'.....but he's not convinced. There's fear in his eyes, the fear of stepping into an unknown world full of strangers, without the assuring warmth of mamma and pappa. The fear I grew up with and still haven't shaken off from my core.

Nothing consoles him. His eyes are about to become small pools of water.

Like with any two and a half year old, it's irresistable not to cuddle, kiss and pamper our child. Our hearts melt at his plight. He's the apple of our eyes, the song of our hearts. Our very own little krishna.

But a fearful little krishna he is. Always playful, adorable, mischievous, sharp but also vulnerable and tender.

We want him to be fearless, to take on the world head-long, to plunge into the world and challenge it. Latch on to his purpose and pin it down. Be a hero.

And I cannot expect my son to be like the real krishna, the lord of the universe who played his flute but also slayed fearsome demons. The butter-thief who played pranks on everyone but humbled mighty rakshasas. The divine child who incarnated to set right the imbalance of this imperfect world. That spark of divinity is present, no doubt, in every child's heart, in every adult's soul. Yet I realize that it takes a herculean effort for that divinity to express itself. Forget divinity--to become the master of your own emotions, thoughts and decisions itself takes the cake.

And how easy was it for the Lord to abandon his childhood paradise and step into the terrible new world, to fulfill his destiny. He kept aside his flute and picked up the conch shell, to become a Warrior, a political strategist, a mastermind. He abandoned the brindavan of his childhood and entered the Mathura of his adulthood, never turning back once, never returning to his homeland, never visiting the sweethearts of his boyhood days. The divine lord steps out of his beloved Gokul, leaves behind his innocence and play to enter the battlefield, to enter the big, bad world out there. The battlefield is his new playground. There are armies to conquer, victories to be won, injustice to be answered. A coming of age tale. The story of every soul in this universe.

In contemplating on Lord krishna's life, in observing my son's anxiety about abandoning a known world, I also realize that I'm in a way looking at my own life, my own fears-motives-anxieties. And what's true to my son is true with me too, in another context, in a subtle way.

I've been enjoying the relative comfort of a 'career' without much risk or change for the past few years. Now the time has arrived to make a change, or abandon this known universe to step into something totally new, totally unknown. And, inspite of my desire to take a jump, inspite of my love for the new life, I can sense an apprehension, a subtle anxiety. Much like my son's fear. And unlike Krishna's acceptance of the new.

I think it was Osho who said, 'Courage will come to you. At any instance, choose the unknown.' This goes totally against the old creed:-'A known devil is better than the unknown angel'. I'm stuck with the known devil, enjoying the sense of security and hope it raises in me, revelling in the warmth of this monotony and changelessness. And in every little act, I seem to choose the devil--either consciously or unawares. The same job, same house, friends, barber shop, groceries, movies, music, food, routine....nothing binds us down than a set of activities where the result is known, where the outcome isn't threatening.

Unless this changes, I know, I cannot move an inch. Unless my kid overcomes his hesitation and fear, he cannot learn and grow.

A friend said once: 'We fear because we're attached--to an outcome, to the known world, to our routine. Only by realizing that nothing remains constant, that everything is in a state of flux do we actually overcome this attachment. With detachment comes fearlessness.'

Only with fearlessness can we embrace a new world that's in waiting. Whether this new world is a classroom full of new faces, a new company with an unknown work-challenge, a new locality with strangers to live with, a new career-path, a new attitude---or a totally new world with a different paradigm....we need to abandon our hesitation, our fear of the unknown, our attachment to the old comforts and jump into the void, so to say.

Lord krishna does this. Maybe that's why he's the Lord. Or maybe he could do this because he's a God afterall.

But the spark of krishna is within me, within my son, within everyone of us--buried deep underneath layers and layers of our egos. My effort therefore should not be to strengthen this ego in any way but uncover the hidden divinity. In every thought, in every action, in every intent of mine, I need to strive to bring this out. I need to make conscious choices, take bold decisions, but first make a sincere effort to lose my attachment with the known world. Love it but keep a distance--internally.

We are at a great and turbulent period in our individual and collective history, where the known is going to collapse and a new order is getting ready to take birth. The signs are ominous--with a little attention, anyone can notice the great surge of changes that are happening all over the world. The financial collapse was just a beginning of this series of waves. The coming days will test the mettle of each individual on this planet and one question everyone of us will have to answer individually is this:'Do I want to go with the new or am I going to get crushed along with the old?'

I can never forget this from 'Rang de basanthi': 'I'd met two kinds of people. Those who went to their gallows wailing and protesting; those who went in silence. Then I met the third type--those who went singing and dancing'.

The gallows of the old give birth to an unimaginable new. How do we enter this crossover point--in fear, in mute silence or in ecstacy?

How can I arrive at this point in ecstacy? How....?

1 comment:

  1. Must it be ecstasy or just thoughtfulness and inner peace? Both are difficult to achieve. I guess this fear of change is because we know that the world is really an empty place with no guarantees of safety or love. The only one who can protect and love us is ourself.