Friday, August 26, 2011

4th June: Shivir – Day 4

Went for yagya this morning, but not at 4:30 am but at 5:30 am.  So that way I would not have to fight for a spot in the first one.  But I was wrong! These lovely old desi ladies cannot get by without cutting the line.  It seems like their food will not get digested if they don’t cut in line!!  I wonder if they are listening to anything any of the speakers are telling them about civility.  The yagya was a short one – about 15 mins.  I have started doing more jap daily now.  I am more well rested and am getting into the mood of things.

Morning session
It was all about doing the right thing in life as a person, as a family member and as a citizen.  I did not take any notes because everything they talk about is so basic.  I am amazed that our people have lost so much of humanity that the speakers have to remind them to be kind to their neighbour’s kids, help each other out and just in general be good.  How could we have lost our way so much?

Afternoon session
Skipped this one – it was toooo hot!! Stayed at home and read Sharmaji’s book “The Only Solution to All Our Problems”. 

It was very fundamental on doing the right thing, having good morals and standing up against social injustice.  I think our society has degraded so much in ethics and morals that he had to write such a book.

India prides itself on its culture and philosophical foundation, yet when I look around in present India I see none of the culture and good philosophy.  Streets are littered with trash, there is no civility on the road or in any office building.  I feel that India has become a huge trash can.  Poverty does not bother me so much but what bothers me is that humanity is missing from everyone whether he is rich or poor.  Illiteracy is no excuse, good behavior and civility does not come from school but from family.  It must mean that the family is broken. 

We are not teaching the right values to our children and then we open these aashrams where we have to teach these things as “Art of Living”.   The “knowledgeable speakers” propose to teach these values but people still don’t change.  They come, attend sessions as if it is a pill to be taken during sickness and go on living their lives as usual.  They may not even make the changes while living in the aashram.  Unless a change in a individual is not made nothing will happen.  The old women still break queues, men still spit on the paths of the aashram.  It is not just a matter of being “ganwaar” it is more of a lack of values and lack of respect for property and people.  How did this happen in a country where Ramaayan and Geeta were written?

There is a general dirtiness in home design, markets and city.  No matter how much one cleans one does not feel clean – why? India is full of contradictions – where there is great spirituality here there is also great materialism, poverty and richness, India welcomes foreigners with open arms yet don’t help their own people.

And really – on a last note here – we need good dentists in India.  Everyone’s teeth are terrible!!

Evening Session
It was all about Dev Sanskriti Vishv Vidyaalay (DSVV).  It is so named because Devta is missing these days from life.  And so is our sanskriti. So in this university they teach not only the course material but also values and culture as each person is a dev but has just forgotten it.  The University does not require fees (has some charges for hostel and food), and has strict admission guidelines.  It would be nice to teach here for one semester – but what??

Personal Thoughts
The men and women sit separately during the lectures, and since I have been sitting with the ladies, I have been observing them a lot more.  It has been quite interesting! They don’t listen to the lecture, they are on their phones or dealing with their children or socializing with each other (maybe this is the only time they can talk to each other!).  This one old lady will always come late and move some other women sitting against the support (wall or otherwise).  Why doesn’t she come on time? And then in a few minutes she will take a call and leave her bag at her spot.  It’s a daily affair.

I wonder why all these people are here.  Are they participating in all the events? Are they really listening to the lecture? Are they having a family outing? Did they come here just to visit Haridwar? They are required to give one hour of their time during the day to some activity in Shantikunj, so at least that must make them think a bit about giving back to community (I think).   I feel that they don’t appreciate Shantikunj for what it stands for and what they are getting here.

The upper layer of management is all elite and a highly literate group.  I really enjoy talking to them; they are all doctors, engineers and/or administrators and have spent time with Sharmaji on a personal level.  So it is good to hear their perspective on life and spirituality.

I think about 70% of India still lives in villages. How good are these villagers in giving their children good values and civility?  I don’t even care about literacy – I just care about good eating, sitting and clean habits.  It means we need to look more into the education and development of villages.  But they are so stuck in their old habits and traditions……Please correct me if I am wrong here.

I strongly feel that girls should get educated more in India.  Men do contribute to values at home but I think women have a lot more to do with the kind of values the children get; the kind of food they eat; and the kind of behavior they exhibit.  Most men are too busy earning money to teach all these things to their children.  It would be nice if they would just support their women.

I did go for lunch today after two days of not eating – it was kadhi day! Yumm... but how to eat the watery kadhi without a spoon?? I will have to figure something out for next time.

Went for a walk in Shantikunj after the evening lecture.  It was pleasantly lit up and there were so many people around, some doing their jap, some talking etc. 

One thing is definitely true in one travels alone, everyone is with family or friends! I felt just a little bit alone roaming around on my own….but I don’t mind being alone, I get time to reflect!! All of today I have spoken only 3-4 sentences! Being silent for the whole day is also meditation.

1 comment:

Davendra Gupta said...

Yes, MAUN Varat is a big kind of varat- Meditation; Ladies have to learn and practice Maun Varat, at least once a week.
glad to know that you are gaining lots of new kind of experience about several things not only spirituality...