Friday, May 14, 2010

Humility: Opening Our Eyes

With summer rolling around, we may enjoy spending time outdoors under the sun while catching the fleeting breeze. Taking in the natural scenery around us, we could hope not to miss the life bustling about, especially the lone ant scouring about for food.

The ant is one of nature's most famous explorers. How else can it hope to find that treasure of treats locked away in our kitchens? Exploration also happens to be an interesting trait we share with our insect brethren. Columbus sailed the ocean blues in 1492. The United States put the first man on the moon in 1969. History is full of many more examples as we love to explore.

So let's put on our explorer hats for today's sabha. Start off by having everyone recount something they experienced for the first time recently. It can be a new car, a new sport, a new video game - whatever - but have them write briefly about how they felt about the experience on a sheet of paper.

Upon sharing, we find that exploration encompasses enthusiasm. When we are in explorer mode, we are excited. We are so energetic that we can take on the world. We beget boredom - nothing can drop our motivation!

Now here's a crazy idea - what if we could...
  • ...cultivate this attitude and forever rid ourselves of being bored? 
  • ...forever remain motivated?
  • ...never feel constrained by our complacency?
The answer lies in humility, in humbling ourselves to the world around us. The enthusiasm we reflected upon in the activity can be recreated if we just mold our attitude accordingly.

For instance, let's flash forward to Monday morning. With what mindset do we start our day?
  • Do we feel ecstatic about the day to come - energized to tackle any challenge and learn new things?
  • Or do we just feel exhausted that we have to make it through yet another day?
When we humble ourselves to the world around us, we put on the explorer's hat. We treat everyday as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. We become grateful for what others have to share with us rather than just simply shrugging it off. We become passionate for the problems we encounter rather than fall into a pit of pessimism.

Let's look at an example.

Our friends from Sesame Street, Bert and Ernie present this principle well. While Bert held out initially from exploring Ernie's activity, only when he shed his ego and humbled himself did he find enjoyment! He came to understand the fun garnered from just simple imagination. 

We can tie this back to our gurus. Why do you think Yogiji Maharaj or even Pramukh Swami Maharaj take so much interest in us? Their humility is as its height; everyday is full of excitement, energy, and enthusiasm. Though they are the epitome of enlightenment, they humble themselves before all and feel the explorer's  elation in every moment.

So to become like the Energizer Bunny, we must become the explorer. Humility is thus defined.

1 comment:

  1. Jai Swaminarayan

    Here's another guru-shishya example in the animal kingdom: Ants.
    Ants help each others as teachers and pupils. It is the first non-human example of two-way instruction. The leader ant helps the follower ant and adjusts to his progress. Similarly, our guru, understands us. He listens to our problems, understands our lifestyle, and guides us accordingly. He knows the path and just like the leader ant who waits for the pupil ant, our Guru never gives up on us.

    Below is the article: