May 2011 Three parameters with which to gauge the quality of your life When you study in the same school for 14 years from your lower kindergarten to 12th standard, your school becomes your second home. This is certainly the case with Jai who will be passing out of school this year. Almost everyone, teachers and students, knows that Jai has no competition for the coveted Best Outgoing Student award. This evening will be the school day function. This evening will be Jai’s evening. We all became what we became in life because someone believed in us much before we began to believe in ourselves. That someone was Avyakta for Jai. The student-teacher chemistry is a mystery. We never know when it would happen, with whom it would happen and why it happens. But as and when it happens, miraculous transformations happen. Jai’s and Avyakta’s was just one such chemistry. In discovering Avyakta, Jai discovered himself. Avyakta saw something in Jai and hence began to work on Jai. Jai would so often proudly proclaim, “I’m my teacher’s product.” That evening Jai came early to school. He went searching from one staffroom to another for Avyakta. When he approached the ninth standard block, he could hear Avyakta’s voice from one of the staffrooms. Avyakta was in conversation with one of his old students. The ‘hero’ of the evening waited outside, but could candidly hear the conversation that was going on. The old student, someone who had passed out from school almost 20 years ago, one of the first batch of students Avyakta had taught, was sharing his success story with the ‘potter’ behind the ‘pot’. He was sharing about how he had made 18 crores last year, what his future plans were, his family life, and some nostalgia about his school days. Jai’s imagination ran wild: “What would I be sharing with Avyakta when I meet him 20 years from now?” The old student exchanged a hug with Avyakta and took leave. Jai entered the staffroom and Avyakta smiled ear-to-ear. More than your own success, the success of those you create are always dearer to you. In a way this was Jai’s evening. In a way this was also Avyakta’s evening. Avyakta, a man with an eye for details, enquired, “Have you planned your speech of acceptance?” Jai replied, “Expecting this question from you I’ve already prepared my speech of acceptance.” Shri TT Rangarajan,a Chennai-based spiritual teacher,is the founder of Alma Mater, which is responsible for the transformations of innumerable people and organisations. “Sir, feed my curiosity,” Jai said. “I happened to overhear the conversation between you and your old student. What does it mean to you, Sir, when students you have created do so well in life? I mean, how do you take it? I know what teaching means to you. Yet, doesn’t it affect you – do you ever wonder: ‘While I have remained a teacher, the world I have created has gone so much ahead.’ Don’t you feel while you have created so many leaders – no doubt you have been the ladder for those leaders, but isn’t it true, Sir, you have remained where you have remained. Can I have some clarity, Sir, on what goes on inside Avyakta?” Creator and the created Anything from his wonder boy made Avyakta smile. He asked Jai to take his seat. He glanced at the clock. There was at least another half-an-hour. Avyakta said, “The ’cause’ doesn’t compare itself with the ‘effect’. Why will parents compare their success with their children’s; why would a teacher evaluate his life relative to that of a student; why will a potter be affected by the adulations that his pot gets? Gardeners know that the trees they create will outlive them. Teachers, potters, gardeners… they are creators. Personally, there has never ever been even a glimpse of thought to compare my life with that of my students. It is only as you question I realise that you can also look at things that way. In fact, it will be adharma for a teacher to compare himself with his students. My dharma is to create, and create I shall as a teacher… 20 years ago him, today you, and tomorrow someone else. A creator never compares himself with his creation.” Jai smiled in return and said, “That’s what makes you who you are. That’s why a student comes back to you 20 years later and shares his success story with you. I feel so blessed to have been created by you.” “Nevertheless,” Avyakta clarified, “Jai, you should remember one thing. Money is a wonderful byproduct and a very poor point-of-focus. When your work becomes one of self-expression, money comes in search of you as a natural byproduct. It cannot be the other way around, where money is the point-of-focus and work is only a means to it. People who work purely for the sake of money may know success, but they will never know what it is to be Happily Successful. When the process of creation drives you, the creation fee that life pays you is money. And Jai, prosperity is a fallacy. Even with crores, you are always poorer than someone else; even with thousands, you are always richer than somebody else. It is so relative. He who isn’t happy with what he has, will never be happy, no matter how much more he has. So, live to create. Whether it is the Tatas, the Birlas, the Murthys, the Ambanis, the Gates or the Gandhis, the Teresas, the Mandelas, the da Vincis, or the Picassos – they all lived to create and life richly paid them their creation fee.” “Sure, Sir,” agreed Jai. “One last question.” Both of them glanced at the clock. Avyakta nodded. Jai asked, “If it is not by money, then how do I measure my growth?” Measuring growth “Good question,” Avyakta acknowledged. “Make yourself accountable to these three questions. They are, 1. Am I doing justice to my potential? 2. Year after year, in how many more lives am I becoming useful? 3. Day by day, am I living my life in a way that I am moving closer to my God? Firstly, no matter where you reach in life, still keep asking yourself, ‘Am I doing justice to my potential?’ Man was created to create. Man was designed to design his life. By the very process of creation, and then through parents, relatives, teachers, and society – too much of an investment has gone in the making of a man. As a result, every man has a moral responsibility to live a life worthy of his potential. Remember, success is not what you achieve compared to others, but what you achieve compared to what you are capable of – and what you are capable of is defined by the infinite sleeping potential within you.” Avyakta continued, “Now the question is, how will I know I am doing justice to my potential? There comes the second question – year after year, in how many more lives am I becoming useful? Even a cow, a bull, a parrot feeds a family of humans. It would be pure shame to live a life of mediocrity – a life of mere me, mine and myself. Measure your success by the usefulness of your life. Remember, none of us are useless – just that, we are used less.” “And finally,” Avyakta concluded, “We are living in a time when people believe even murder is okay if you can produce results. But it’s not okay! Without ethical and moral accountability, as I said earlier, success may be possible, but being happily successful is not. Mark 10:25 states, ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ Here ‘rich man’ isn’t an absolute reference, but a reference to men who choose to be rich by hook or by crook. Let’s not trade God for the kingdom of God. Arjuna sought Krishna and Duryodhana chose Krishna’s resources – the rest is history – we all know who triumphed. If lower ideals can produce so much results, then trust me, the higher ideals will only give you a lot more in life. So never go to sleep without answering the third question, ‘Day by day, am I living my life in such a way that I am moving closer to my God?’ Jai, be worthy of these three questions and life will give you everything else as natural byproducts – and money will be just one of them.” The Best Outgoing Student of the school had now been made ready to be the Best Incoming Student of life.
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