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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Set your boundaries for a healthy and wholesome life

Dear Members:

A strange event on the eve of New year 2012 prompts me to write this.

In the past I have often been perplexed about why mantras do work excellently well for some while the same remedies draw a blank for others.....I nearly stumbled upon the answer yesterday - one hour after midnight when I was speaking with a close friend of mine.....

The friend had gone with some close relatives to a famous and powerful temple on 31st December 2011, and the relatives had taken the pains to do 108 pradakshinas in the temple. This friend also had lit a Moksha deepam in Honour of a friend's grandpa who expired recently. All went fine till they all decided to go for dinner around midnight when this friend had ordered some cocktails and also initiated one of the younger relatives to their first alcoholic drink.....Little did the friend of mine realize that the austerities done earlier in the day had been compromised by this activity.

The friend argues that they did not think much about it - and the austerity and the drink were unrelated as it was not "non-veg!" Well, to put matters in perspective, for people born in families where they consume non-veg food, it is not taboo to consume such foods except on certain occasions/ vrata days - but without exception, consumption of alcoholic beverages is one of the activities that can completely negate the positive effects of certain austerities. Except in certain tantrik rituals that involve use of Pancha Makara, use of alcoholic beverages is tabooed for everyone.

Moreover, the argument of "experience it once and then get over it" does not apply to drugs, alcoholic beverages, or experiencing intimacy with a professional sex worker, or drinking poison/ attempting suicide.........these are best not done at all - rather than "trying to experience so that it does not tempt later," - sometimes there is no second chance once you enter the path! (you may be surprised as to why I group drinking poison with alcohol - but actually poison at least finishes you once and for all and your woes are over; alcohol makes you a living dead - making you vulnerable...only a person like me who has bitten the bullet and escaped by the breadth of the skin in life-threatening situations will know how alertness of a high order is sometimes needed for survival - and alcohol - even in mild doses will blunt those instinctual responses - even in cases when you are not actually drunk). I know of people who began as social drinkers unable to withstand peer pressure and then gradually began liking the drink (because they thought it is best to condition themselves to that habit as anyway they have to give company to others in social occasions), and then reached a stage where they are in state of denial while in reality they have latent "substance dependence" without actually falling into substance abuse disorder category. Any activity that is not entirely desirable from a religious/ ethical/ moral point of view - but which we have done when there is no need to do it - is indicative of dependence of a mild intensity. Like in the New Year Party they need not have consumed alcoholic beverage at all as no one else was pressurizing them to do that.

The friend is on a remedial fast to overcome the dosha of having insulted a Moksha deepam unwittingly (it never occurred to me to warn them against drinking on a day when they have lit moksha deepam in Honour of others - because they initially claimed that they drank only due to spousal pressure abroad and they have not touched alcoholic drinks in the past 5 months' period), and has assured me that they won't consume alcoholic beverages in the future (with the proviso that they will resume consumption if they get married to a spouse who may insist on drinking!!!!!).

I would only request that friend not to marry such a tactless and spineless coward who can't desist from forcing a spouse into a drink just because he/ she thinks that drinking is cool and abstinence from alcohol is not! It is actually a proud thing to attend a party and still abstain from alcohol....of course, don't judge others who indulge in it - but personally don't do anything that you don't want to just because others are doing it or someone else is forcing you to do it! Many great people - including Heads of States who host banquets and official parties - have been non-drinkers, and when you are a non-drinker in a party you remember that you belong to the elite group of the world and you are in grand company!

In spirituality - the first lesson to be learnt is this.....Never ever do anything which is morally questionable under the pressure of others. If you let others to force you into erraneous deeds, you pay for that - not the ones who forced you in to that. If you have done some mistake out of intrinsic curiosity/ impulse, owe up to it - don't rationalize it - because rationalization of misdeeds is the first step towards moral depravity.

Let others pressurize you for noble deeds, not for questionable habits.....if someone argues that drinking mildly is not dangerous, ask them back then why should people who are trying to conceive abstain from alcohol?

Be like the Wolf - that is socially responsible and lives in packs but still maintains strict individuality regarding certain things.

Meditating on the animal Totem of Wolf will help you to be a responsible social person while at the same time drawing boundaries that are healthy for individual ethics/ morality (safeguarding the self from corrupting influences around you). Those who don't know how to set boundaries often end up doing everything that one person asks to do and then deciding not to cooperate at all with others who enter their lives later....this way both lives are messed up...the first one because they adjusted to someone who did not deserve that, and the second one - because they refused to adjust to the legitimate demands of the next one!

Wolf - I Beseech Thee.....Help all those who are in my life to lead responsible social lives without compromising on the ethics of the Self......Set your boundaries and live a healthy and wholesome life! Above all be loyal to yourselves and may the Wolf help you achieve that!

Blessed be.


Shailendra said...

Namaste Guruji,
I recall having read that Veda says "Suram na pibet". Perhaps you can confirm or deny this statement.
On a related note, I happened to listen to a mahatama yesterday that the "Arun prashna" of Krishna Yajurveda explains how sun and moon are continuously taking away a part of your life by their movements. (Sun is static but folks know what I mean). Another year in the quest of self-knowledge is gone - so what is there to celebrate on the occasion of the Gregorian new year :))
I am just paraphrasing the mahatma's statements. Perhaps, folks can think about it :)

with prostrations,

Pandit R. DAKSHINA MOORTHI said...

yes, the full form is "na paradhaaram gatcheT; suraam na pibEt" - meaning "Don't covet other's wives and don't drink alcoholic drinks."


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