on old age

A new- age musician, John Mayor was asked that if he had an hour, what would he like to convey about himself to the listener…. He replied by saying- nothing. He said that every man thinks he knows the other man. We all presume what everybody is, according to our perception, which is why the same man must play many varied and differing roles in his life. He is not one man, he is one body, playing the role of many different men- he is one body, but also a son, also a father, also a grandfather, also a serviceman, and innumerable other things….

“it would take me an hour simply to explain to the person that he knows absolutely nothing about me…. Whatever he thinks he knows about me is wrong…. That is when he can really start to know me…”

Humans today face a very major dilemma, we have come very far from the animal kingdom of which we were a part. I say were because it is an impossibility for todays man to understand that he is no different, from his pets. This puts us in the hands of the society and world that we have created. And this entire web has been created solely for the human being- nothing else. This is why we sometimes refer to the same as maya- jaal or the illusion. The reality is that we are animals. A study showed there is more in common between an average man and a chimpanzee than an average man and Asristotle.a human being is one who understands the full potential of “being human”

Man himself is a part of the scheme of god. God is not out there making plans, God is evolving with us. The plans are being made- here in the now, in the present moment. God is within and without… it is the consciousness behind the manifest that we refer to as god.

Imperfect understanding, lack of knowledge and the inability to control our desires have led to a very haphazard society. Our ancient masters understood that like everything else we are a part of something bigger. A piece of a larger puzzle, a wave in the ocean. They referred to this as the ‘scheme of God’- the scheme of the omniscient power that is the reason for all life, and for everything else that follows as well.

Old age and the weakening of organs is essential. It is the best thing about life. The most beautiful truth of life is- Death. It is an inevitable truth- it cannot be denied and it is indeed beautiful for it allows the consciousness millions of new avenues…our souls do not die, nor do they grow old, neither are they good or bad… everything that we think we think, is infact external. This is the junk that we accumulate and shed off depending on where we are in life. The objective is to experience. For example the object was to travel, like you were telling me, there was the bullet, then the scooter you rode to Jalandhar when fuel was still under a rupee, the car that you had bought. With our changing needs, our requirements change. To use something new, the old must go, for you cannot use both together… similarly our bodies serve their purpose and when the engine becomes old and weak we shed off the body, like we discard the bike and we prepare to purchase the scooter or next vehicle. The new vehicle will then give you a new set of expirinces. The rider will change many rides…. It is similar to the Jiv aatman- and if this example be taken further, if there were only riders in the world then the cumulation of each individual rider would be the param- aatman. Or the parmatma, or god.

The human life is special because it endows us with immense power of mind.it allows us to understand the reason for our existence, it allows us to philosophise and to think. It allows us to know who we really are.

we are not the body, and thus old age must come to man that he may understand that even this body is not mine, even this will not accompany me any more. How then can those around me. What is within me that tells me life remains. That there are still many wonders to see.

This was the reason for vaanprasth and then sanyas. A sanyasi does not need those organs any more. A sanyasi has no need for this physical shell save the fact that it allows him to express. Young sanyasis therefore go through a small problem and also become the teachers of an age.they must convey what they know, they must still respect this body, for even the attainment of knowledge to them brings with it a purpose. After the age of seventy five, having gone through vanaprasth, man realizes that he no longer needs anything except silent contemplation. He can be free, finally. There is no longer any purpose behind anything. The purpose of this purposeless life is finally understood. The vehicle has served well, the destination has come… all our lives were so busy running, without knowing where we are or where we are going. If not for old age we would keep running. Old age is the greatest gift because it gives you- time, ironically this time is given by clearly showing the lack of remaining time. And this is what enables true life. Complete withdrawal from sense organs becomes compulsory. The only question that remains is the way you have reached your destination. If you have done everything the right way, if you are satisfied with everything then this is the age where you can be at bliss- absolute peace.

An old man crossed where the Buddha was sitting. Buddha asked hi his age, he replied by saying that he was 5 years old. Everybody was surprised, they said but you look at least 80…. He said, no brothers I started living five years ago, before that I was not aware that I am alive….

We associate our lives with what this society shows us. It is not that we are abandoned or cast aside, it is simply that there is no time.the most important thing taught to the child is to do well in the world. Even ‘seva’ to parents means to make them proud and get a good job and do well in life. That is exactly what the child does. And because he is doing that, he can never truly do the seva that was his primary task for birth. Seva does not mean cooking food and massaging legs, it means to give back what they have taken, in terms of emotions, in terms of feeling. Old age accentuates lonliness. The fact is that we have always been lonely- bheed main tanhai aur tanhai me bheed…. When we are with people, we are actually alone, and when alone, were lost in the crowd that rules our mind.

There are many advantages of this age, but it has its disadvantages…. Everything comes in part and parcel… yes it is true that this is a part of the scheme of God, but if we have understood God then only can we function as per his scheme, and in that case everything that is treated as a problem of old age is actually a boon, allowing us further clarity within, enabling us to face ourselves and understand ourselves. Reading is not required, neither is talking, food is limited, movement restricted- in other words- its dhyan. Old age forces man to do what Buddha chose to do. He let go off everything and sat under a tree…. Restricted movement, limited food, no reading and talking only when he realized that he must.

The role of man has been to mess up this transition.we have been hurtled at such a speed that we don’t know how to stop and look around. Just stopping scares us so much, we prefer to keep moving and that is why old age becomes a hassle a burden, we feel like we are no longer what we once were. In all our running we have forgottrn the reason for our being here. In doing so, we create the burdens.

Everything depends on how you look at it…sometimes things are not in favour. The only reason is because we wanted things to be different. We cannot accept them as they are.we spend our present deciding what we want our future to be, and the future is spent lamenting because, it can never be as per your plan…

There are greater powers in this universe. the aim is take life like it comes- to accept it with its ups and its down, to remain constant in pleasure and in pain, in happiness and in sorrow….

Old age is the test that sees how well life has been understood.

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