Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Spirit Carries On

Bhagavadgeeta - “Shareer nashwar hai, parantu aatma amar hai”

Bible and Quran - That whatsoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:15

Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that hearth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24

My point to quote these is to reinforce some statements I made last evening in the Chapel.

Before you read, please do not consider this as my boasting attitude. As expressed by many of my readers, I am merely sharing my spiritual journey here. This is not directed to anyone. If I intent to criticise anyone of you, I will do it with your name boldly mentioned.

Firstly, I want to share a LIVE music video with you – 

Some of you should know by now that I love Dream Theater’s music. This song marked the atmosphere for my last evening. I strongly agree with the lyrics of this song.

Also, I believe that it is our action that shall speak more than our words. We are in a world filled with hypocrites. Mind you, you need to consider a person’s living conditions before calling them a hypocrite. I mean, some may have dreams and may want to attain them, but their living conditions may not enable them to carry through. So, use the word carefully.

I try to keep my word. If I have not, I sincerely apologise to the ones I have offended by waving off my word.  

I had this beautiful discussion with the Elders a few hours back on life after death. They call me quite often to retrieve my understanding on various topics. I feel honoured by this. I shared my understanding with them -

“I believe that we are only departed from our body. Our spirit carries on. Our life is not complete until we die. It is then we’re judged. Or, rather our lives are seen, revisited and examined. Then, we can come to a conclusion. It is like asking for test results. We never ask for it before finishing the exam. We do it after handing over the papers and waiting for a couple of days.”

I am a very self-confident person. There has been and there is nothing that can take away my self-confidence from me.

I recall my dad saying –

“Don’t let anyone damage your self-confidence. No matter how difficult it becomes for you, you should stay true to yourself, be self-confident, OR else you will not be able to put your words into action in an effective way. When you are confident about yourself you can make things work just the way you want it to. Here, you can make a choice; do you want to be a monster? OR do you want to be a noble man? It is your choice. But, to become any of them, you need self-confidence”.

So, here I was, standing on the junction, questioning myself, re-inspecting myself. There is nothing wrong with this. At times, we reach a stage when something happens and we are asked to re-evaluate our lives. But, with self-reflection comes embarrassment, humiliation, damage and grief that leads to repentance.

I did not mention the bright side of this. I did this because I have always noticed and I continue to notice how when two individuals are not in good terms with each other, the good attributes about one another fade away from conversations. Why is this? Why is it that people only recall the bad side of someone? It is such sadist behaviour.

Having written that, I can understand if this is done during those initial days when you are no longer friends and such, because you are desperately covering your respective self from any blames. But, if this attitude continues, it is seriously unhealthy. One must refrain from such behaviour.

The bright side of self-reflection is a healthy understanding of one’s self.

John’s wife constantly kept complaining of John’s habit to spray toothpaste from his toothbrush onto the mirror as he cleaned his teeth. It often turned to loud mostly one-sided and sometimes two-sided arguments. A few years back, he died. A couple of days after the funeral, as she was cleaning her teeth, she noticed that even she did the same as he did – spray toothpaste on the mirror. She felt ashamed, guilty, sad and she repented.

This true story was shared with us only last evening. 

My response –

“It is very easy to blame someone else when anything slides downhill. During such times, people tend to forget to hold their tongue and can utter things they do not mean. Everything matters. When anyone gets angry, they turn numb to others’ feelings, and mostly go aboard with their feelings and tend to cross lines. Rationality gets chucked out by emotions. And, sometimes people bottle them up. Nothing is trivial. I am a man who believes that nothing should be left unattended. No matter what the time, one should resolve their differences before they retire to bed. Even the slightest of doubt needs to be dealt with before it burns the entire forest down. I believe in communication, as I recognise, realize and utilize the power of communication. Argument is not a form of communication. Argument is a vent to frustrations. Argument is a hole in the tank of emotions. Emotions cannot resolve problems OR misunderstandings for that matter. Communication can. Communication can facilitate understanding, which can help resolve problems. Communication can build and save a relationship, because it reinforced faith and understanding in one another. Communication is the key”  

After this, many fellow brothers looked at me and mentioned that I could be an influential speaker. Hmm. Not just a few days back, the two friends of mine, both Elders said the same. I must consider this.

Last evening, yet again, proved to me by boosting my self-confidence via reconfirming my train of thought and my way of life. It proved to me that I had a good understanding of the religious beliefs that I know of – Muslim, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity and Mormonism.

The other topic we spoke of involved this question –

“How many of you are perfect here? How many of you are close to perfection? How many of you are not perfect?”

My response –

“I am not perfect. We are all striving for perfection here. No one is perfect. However, I do believe that there are people who are close to perfection. It is not impossible. We have an example. So, we know that it is possible. We will however become perfect only after we die. When our Spirit carries on, our life completes its cycle. And then we can be judged to having been perfect OR not. So, all we can do is, live by the Commandments, which is the Code of Ethics that help and guide us to live a respectable life.”  

The other matter in discussion was –

“How different do you think is the environment here, in the Chapel from the outside?”

While someone else had finished answering, I remember murmuring to my friend, Guy –

“It is saner in here. We see the beauty amidst the dust. However, some of us are naive to only see goodness, and fall trap into it. I say trap, because, well, you know how the world is today. But, still, we become more forgiving and that helps us move on with our head held high. There is no... unfinished business. Seriously, thanks to Annie who introduced me to the Book. I mean, it has made two major changes in me. The rest reconfirmed that what I was doing was right. I learnt about forgiveness. I used to be hard on forgiving. But, I am no longer that way...”

One of the questions that were instantly tagged to this was the importance and the effect of prayer in one’s life.

While most people responded by answering it in a religious perspective, I was answering this differently. All I can add is that the Bishop was impressed with my answer –

“Prayer helps me find time to myself. It helps me be myself. I can find at least a few seconds to meditate and think of the strongest force there is. It adds sanity and sincerity and purity and authenticity and rationality to my thinking. So, once I have thanked and then requested for guidance, I have found answers. I have found answers because I am not disturbed by what is happening around. I am left with my own space in my own place with just me and the commandments that give me the answers to any problem there is”. 

Then, came another question about love. One of the brothers stood up and mentioned his sadness in losing his love, whom he thought was the one. He also mentioned that he is striving to have her let him back into her life.

It is difficult to imagine love. It is something to be felt, but reassured within those eyes of the one who loves you. I have been told that I reflect my love through my eyes. That is one feeling that I quite naturally wear on my sleeves. I reckon this is common for all who are truly in love.

I saw the truth in his eyes. I am in love. I know how it is. I could feel his pain. He was smiling, he was with his friends, but I could still see the emptiness in him.

After our speaker responded to him, he asked us to add our words.

Since I could not resist myself, and since I am a giving person by nature, I said - 

“I know you are in love. It is not because you just said so. I do not believe your words, but I believe in the purity and sincerity that I see in your eyes. Love is a beautiful thing. It comes with care, and support. Try communicating with her. Talking helps. Misunderstandings rise from miscommunication most of the times. So, try and make sure that is not the case”

He responded –

“I tried doing it. But, she does not talk.”

I continued –

“Listen, all you can do is try. You just mentioned that you thought she was the one. “The one” is only a starter. It does not mean that she is the only one. Marriage is not a stroll in the park. You will come across ups and downs, but, if communication is going to be a problem, then you will not be able to come up with solutions. Do you want that after being married? This is a sign that you should try, but, if nothing renders despite your honest and desperate tries, believe and stand by your love, but move on. When and if you love her good enough, you will let go, but be there for her. If she returns, you cherish this love. If it does not work, wish the best for her. You have loved her, you have given love. This puts you in a good position man, as you have selflessly given.”    

After the talk, I spoke to the speaker, and he noticed something that most people are and pat me on my back in happiness. Perhaps, I am growing.

I was the only one in the entire class who has not finished reading the Book of Mormon. But, I reckon my understanding is as good as theirs.

My response to one of my friends, Guy -

“My goal is to not just know the story but to understand the message because it is the message that is evergreen, and it is something that shall help me become a better person. It is a lit path, and that is what I need in this dark polluted world. Life is beautiful. Don't get me wrong. But, it is the light that helps me appreciate it, not the darkness.”

I spoke to the heartbroken guy who instantly walked up to me and asked for my contact details. We ended up talking for almost an hour OR so.

I could see his pain. In such times, one needs another person to talk to. Not just rationally, but with a dash of emotion as well. I know this very well. I am glad I could be there for him to talk to, and offer some support. I listened, I understood, and I offered my support.

After all, a friend is the one who boldly runs in when the world walks out.

As humans, we deceive ourselves that it is the weak that need support. No. I believe that the strong ones need it as equally as the weak ones do. While the weak ones need firm support and shower of hope, the strong ones need reassurance and encouragement.

I know this well enough because I was once left to hold my own hand.

Among many things that I have reconfirmed, learnt and instantly implied in my life after reading the Book of Mormon is that one needs to try to be there for his neighbours in time of distress. We are all neighbours in this world. Think about it. Although difficult, remember your boundaries. Do not go to such an extent of helping, that you snatch the sense of independence. But, offer to be there, always!

The result of the long evening was a contented smile that I saw in the mirror as I returned home and rinsed my face. Of course, there were tears too.  

Photo by Ajey Padival

Copyright © Ajey Padival 2010 (Brisbane, Australia; +61434360675;


16 responses:

Wendilea said...

I'm glad that you are self-confident and contented with your spiritual quest. Thanks for sharing your unique perspective Ajey!

James said...

Good stuff here. I think our inner selves (souls) are in fact perfect, as is the Universe. Human/physical identification drags us from the soul into the never-perfect world.

Great video. Many guitar licks to steal.

TechnoBabe said...

That is indeed a great video, hubby and I watched it together. Life after death is a deep subject with so many interpretations since we don't die and then come back to explain to others the process. But to believe in a life after leaving this life is to have hope. I like your father's words to you encouraging you to be a noble man. I like your description of argument as a hole in the tank of emotions.

Scribbling Girl said...

I loved everybody you spoke and discussed!
Spirituality is indeed tough to gain and when one does it leads to lot of inner peace.
Self confidence is a great virtue indeed...all my life that is one thing I always lacked...and do so till now...If i cd gain it more I can achieve a lot I strive hold onto it!

Nicely understandings of life u have indeed!

SandyCarlson said...

I am glad about the way your evening ended. You ask challenging questions.

The music is beautiful.

Eva said...

There's a lot in this, it is all still sinking in. I agree with many things you've said. Everyone goes through times in life when much of this should be examined.

Shadow said...

this is a wonderful post that got me thinking. too much to put all my thoughts here. but i do want to say...

you ARE your actions, your actions ARE you. hypocrisy rules in today's world, with many people living the 'do as i say not do as i do' standards. i love your father's words you quoted. after all, half-hearted actions bring half-hearted results. and if you decide to do it, do it as if you mean it, otherwise just leave it...

as for the process of re-evaluation. that's growth right?! and a necessary part of living. and if we don't grow, we get stuck. stuck in bad jobs, stuck in bad relationships, stuck in bad behaviours.

and blaming. what can i say. except that that is something i used to use as a defense mechanism. much easier to blame than to face my own faults, right? right!

but the truest and most beautiful thing you wrote here, is how love is in the eyes... now that, dear ajey, is the ultimate truth. no matter what sweet words are spoken, or what sweet deeds are done, one look can tell whether these are done out of love, or for some other hidden reason...

and now, this is long enough!

Anonymous said...

I truly am glad so so glad you sent me an email a short time ago just to see how I was doing and comment on a photo. I have admired you before but my admiration is stronger now. I think before I saw the cover of the book not what was inside. I think that is part of the reasons people do no get along,. we tend to " as you said " see the bad before the good, or judge the book by its cover. I loved what your father said. how true. I am always on a path of forgiveness because of my mother in law, I still am. It is hard and communication is KEY for all. but yet we find it the hardess do we not?

I love your words a friend is the one who boldly runs in when the world walks out. BRILLIANT!!

After my post early on my brother and now reading this, I am truly believing that things happen for what ever reasons, and people come into one another's life for a reason.

I found this read calming, I felt like I was on a path. a path filled with wonderful aromas of nature, birds singing, children in the distance laughing, serene. I wanted to open a door sit down and talk with you. I would surely LISTEN. I would leave with a smile and tears that flowed.
When I wash my face as I look in the mirror I will smile with a tear or two.


Opaque said...

@Wendilea - Thanks!

Opaque said...

@James - Thanks, you.

Opaque said...

@TechnoBabe - Thanks!

Opaque said...

@Scribbling Girl - Thanks!

Opaque said...

@Sandy - Thanks!

Opaque said...

@Eva - Yes. Thanks!

Opaque said...

@Shadow - Thanks!

Opaque said...

@Inky - :) Thanks!!