Livelihood Vs. Buddhahood

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Buddha is not against living. He is definitely against leaving. He is against leaving problems to God to solve them. There is no God the way we perceive God to be. We perceive God to be a super human entity somewhere up in the heaven. There is no such God somewhere up. So he can never come and solve our problems. We always look up and never look in. All the problems in life are our problems and surely it is our responsibility to solve them. We have created them and hence we have to own up the problems to find solutions to solve them. Buddha is in favour of improving our lives. He is for bettering our lives. He is not against life. He is not against love. He is for better life and better love. He is for Enlightened Living. He is for living wisely out of mindfulness. He is for a conscious living. He is not against Dollars. He has reverence for Dhamma and Dollars. He is not against Numbers. He is for Numbers and Nirvana. He is for quality in quantity. He is for a Quantum Consciousness. He is for matter and spirit together. He is for spirit in the matter. Everything is divine and sacred. There is nothing in the existence that is evil or non-sacred. The whole existence is divine.

Then why he left the world? This is a basic question. The only answer is that he was not aware of all this. He was carrying a wrong notion and a wrong understanding because of a wrong spiritual tradition. The tradition was that of renunciation and asceticism. And this was utterly a wrong tradition. This was one reason for his leaving the world. And the second reason was that in his whole life since childhood he was given to know only one side of life, that is, the life of comfort and convenience. He was never shown the other side of life. That is, the life of poverty, hunger and misery. Life is like the two sides of a coin. And the psychology is that if we accept only one side then slowly the other side will start surfacing and attracting. This is a simple psychology. It is a simple psychology of the attraction of the opposite. In the east people have been living in acute poverty and hence an attraction for Technology Leadership and Business Leadership. In the west people have been living in abundant comfort and luxury. And hence an attraction for Spiritual Leadership and Enlightened Leadership.

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When we suppress and repress one side, the other side creates a pressure and gains a momentum to assert and surface. This is a simple psychology. We need a new science of holistic living. We need a science of total living. Body and soul are not two different things. Matter and spirit are not two different things. Quantity and quality are not two different things. Hardware and software are not two different things. Dollars and Dhamma are not different things. Number and Nirvana are not two different things. Materialism and spiritualism are not two different ways of living. Therefore, Livelihood and Buddhahood are not antonyms. They are not against each other. They complement and support each other. Buddhahood is nothing but bringing in mindfulness in livelihood. Buddhahood is living with mindfulness. And there is no need to leave anything. There is no need to give up anything. The non-essential things, the unwanted things (wrong ideas, wrong notions, prejudices, preoccupations, wrong perceptions) will automatically be dissolved and disappeared in the process of mindfulness. Mindfulness embeds within two powerful principles. The observer is the observed. This is the first principle. The observation changes the nature of the observer and the observed. This is the second principle. And in the process of mindfulness there is a unification and an experience of oneness. Because the object is not only an object it is a subject too. The object gets transformed into the subject.

The above experience of unification and oneness is not possible in the objective science because of the observer principle. At the heart of science is a duality because of the observer principle. This observer principle always keeps the observer away from the observed. And the difference between the observer and the observed remains infinite.

Let us bring in mindfulness in livelihood and bridge the gap between Livelihood and Buddhahood. They are not two different ways of living. Let us make them as one way of living. Let it be an Enlightened Living. An Enlightened World and an Enlightened Universe is waiting for us 🙂

“Mindfulness embeds within two powerful principles. The observer is the observed. This is the first principle. The observation changes the nature of the observer and the observed. This is the second principle. And in the process of mindfulness there is a unification and an experience of oneness. Because the object is not only an object it is a subject too. The object gets transformed into the subject.”

Is the student’s intelligence being massacred?

An email written by the principal of St Xavier’s College in Mumbai to all their students and also put-up on the college website has attracted reactions from educationists, students, and politicians. The principal has not only written this email to all students individually but has also put-up the same on the college website. This was available at this link but the same now gives an error. It seems the same has been removed after lot of criticism.

In this article he has criticised the Gujarat Model of Development while praising UPA’s Rojgar Yojana and Food Security Bill. This has attracted nation’s attention, some praising and some criticizing. People from the Congress Party have praised the actions of the principal while the BJP people have criticised the same. The BJP has even complained against the college and the principal to the Election Commission (EC) on the ground that the college is receiving grants from the Government and hence the action of the principal to impose his individual opinion on the students is improper. The biggest question that is being asked is, is it right and proper on the part of the principal, Dr. Frazer Mascarenhas, to influence the minds of the students by his individual opinion?

Let us ask a fundamental question. What is education and what is the purpose of education? There is a Sanskrit phrase which says, Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye. On translation it means, education is that which liberates. It means knowledge is that which frees and liberates an individual. Education is not that which binds and bounds. The purpose of education is not to create any kind of bondage and slavery. The cosmos is expanding and accelerating and hence the individual consciousness and collective consciousness also has to expand and accelerate. We can not keep our consciousness static. We have to make our consciousness dynamic. The purpose of an education institution is to sharpen the intelligence of the students. The purpose of the education institution is to give freedom to the students in all these dimensions – physical, intellectual, emotional, psychological, social, economical, and spiritual. The goal is to see that every student is capable of thinking and deciding in his life on his own intelligence. The purpose is to make him a Swayambhu, one who is self-reliant, self-sufficient, and self-fulfilled.

The elders – parents, teachers, etc. can share their experiences with the children and the students but under no circumstance should they impose their opinions. In my opinion what the principal has done is not fatherly, and what the college has done is not saintly. We are not here to massacre the intelligence of the students. And all our actions and efforts should lead us towards “Enlightened Education” and “Enlightened World”.