BySuma Varugheseand Shivi Verma May 2012 When you find your vision, your life will be infused with meaning and purpose and you will realise your highest potential, say Suma Varughese and Shivi Verma The power of conviction that rings through Martin Luther King’s words cannot fail to bring tears to the eyes. And we understand why these words were so prophetic, so world-changing. In the wake of these words, the US Government passed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights for African-Americans in the mid 60s. At least in law, if not fully in spirit, Martin Luther King’s dream has come true. Visionaries are dreamers of dreams. With narrowed eyes they look into the distant shore and see things that others cannot. Then like divers who bring up pearls for our delectation, they show us what they see. And by doing so, they take us to the next step. We too can look into the distant future of our lives and see the final shape we would most desire. The great ones say that for any dream to come true we need to see it in our mind’s eye first. Having a vision for our lives is the first step to realising it and living it. Gautama Buddha, for instance, had the vision of enlightenment. After spending gruelling years in austerities in the hope of finding his way out of suffering, he finally intuited that the answer lay in perfect balance – the Middle Path. Freshly bathed and having partaken of food, he sat down under the Bodhi tree determined not to budge until he had dissolved his sense of self, or as he put it, dismantled his house of being. Despite innumerable distractions and temptations Gautama sat unflinching until finally the last vestiges of ego dissolved and he became the Buddha (the awakened one). Anyone who has achieved anything truly worthwhile in their lives, be it Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mountaineer Edmund Hillary, Christopher Columbus, the great composer, Beethoven, or the Russian writer Tolstoy, or Karl Marx, the father of communism, was driven by a powerful vision. A vision therefore is a compound of one’s highest capabilities and one’s highest ideals and values. Because it is born within ourselves, it is completely original, uninfluenced by reigning values, goals and ambitions. That is the source of its power. It is this which enables many to willingly surrender their lives or undergo all kinds of privations in its pursuit without complain. Victor Frankl, psychologist and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, was arrested by Hitler’s soldiers and sent to a concentration camp just around the time when he had written a book explaining logotherapy, a technique he founded. So intense was his desire to have the book published and make a difference to mankind that he suffered innumerable torments without perishing. It follows then that to be able to create a vision we must have some amount of maturity. We must detach ourselves from the influence of others, and discover or find our own value system. Only then will we find a vision that rings true for us. The power of vision Amita Shah, a Mumbai-based psychotherapist and healer, has the vision of wanting peace and harmony in the world, and is practical enough to know that this can come from each person living a wholistic life. She harnesses her vision in her work by enabling her clients to recognise the love behind what may appear to be control or domination. She says, “When people realise that even when the other is perceivably wrong, he is still driven by love, they become patient and tolerant, and peace and harmony is restored.” She says, “When I connected the dots between psychology with spirituality, I was able to see the underlying love in all action. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood… …I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!Martin Luther King I feel so happy to help people see that negativity is only an illusion. My own positivity has increased manifold.” Hyderabad-based VSP Tenneti, who teaches healing techniques based on planetary sciences, was so perturbed by the chaos of modern life that he decided to look for the possibility of order behind the disorder and proceeded to study astrology and spirituality. “I saw that that the cause of conflict arose from our habitual tendency to look for solutions outside ourselves.” Through this inner exploration, Tenneti arrived at his own vision. He says, “My vision is to see that human beings become introspective and look for answers within themselves. Unfortunately, 96 per cent of human energy stays untapped because people look outward for solutions.” Anil Bhatnagar, 54, a reiki teacher, corporate trainer and author, says that mindfulness is his only vision for life. He explains, “I was checking the body temperature of a person and could not feel it even though the temperature showed high fever. Later, I realised I was touching him while wearing gloves. I decided then that my mission of life henceforth is to be mindful.’ He adds, “No matter how much a person achieves unmindfully, his achievements are valueless. Giving an unmindful person a Nobel Prize is like garlanding a dead man. If I stay mindful, I am not capable of any wrong action and I can do no harm to the world.” After BK Chandrashekhar, 46, Sigfa healer, recovered miraculously from cancer, his mission became to awaken everyone to the invisible doctor within us all. He says, “When I lay dying of cancer in the hospital, I saw a divine light appear before me, whispering, ‘You will get well’. I want everyone to know that we have an inner healer.’ Abhishek Thakore, 29, a writer and anchor of the Blue Ribbon movement which works for nurturing social leadership, says that he stumbled upon his vision in the process of wanting to change the world and attain Nirvana. “I discovered that Oneness is the grand truth of life. Now I feel that my consciousness has merged with the larger consciousness.” The understanding is leading him to approach social change wholistically. Abhishek Thakore Nadim Asrar, 34, editor, IBN Live, is driven by an urge to free society of its cruel economic disparities. “I find it difficult to buy an expensive shirt or eat out at a posh restaurant, because it is unfair for one person to be so privileged while another has to starve. No matter what their cultural or religious background, everyone is entitled to his fair share in the national income. What has happened to the manifesto of bridging poverty in our electoral system? This is an ideal which must be striven for religiously. Internationally too, the rich and the powerful nations walk away with the booty while weak and needy countries make do with leftovers. Though I am not sure how this can be brought about, yet I am committed to this goal.” He explains, “I’ve had a tough childhood and know the pain that comes from being deprived. This has made me sensitive to injustice, discrimination and biases.” Hemant Morparia, radiologist and a cartoonist with a national daily in Mumbai, says, “Currently my vision is to integrate life. Everything is divided, between work and play, job and vacation, production and consumption. Whereas a job can be fun, and a holiday may involve a lot of work. Therefore I have stopped living in the mind. I choose to live in the body and be ever present to any truth that comes my way. When divisive thinking falls apart, a vision is the natural outcome.” Each of the above who have been lucky enough to intuit their vision (with the exception of Nadim), are in the process of realising it. The vision has given them a sense of purpose and meaning. It has unfolded for each of them their true contribution to life and aligned them with the larger universe. It has guided their path unerringly towards the ultimate purpose of life, self-realisation. Thus obtaining a vision is both the consequence of a spiritual search as well as the cause of one. It can help the seeker travel with greater clarity and sureness along the path it reveals. The reason for this is simple. Because a vision comes from within, it has the flavour of truth. It therefore unfolds further truths to the traveller on the path. It is here that a vision differs from a goal. Getting a good score, studying in a desirable college, obtaining a well-paid job, crafting a career of distinction, buying a house, getting married and so on are all worthy goals that hold us in good stead. ‘I discovered that Oneness is the grand truth of life. Now I feel that my consciousness has merged with the larger consciousness’– Abhishek Thakore But they cannot be called a vision for the simple reason that they are drawn from the standards of society. We inherit them as members of the human race, It is not drawn from the heart and soul of an inspired individual. The woman who raises her children to become successful careerists is not a visionary, but a woman who considers motherhood to be a sacred trust to help support the realisation of the highest potential of her children is a visionary. Creating a vision Prahasitha, spiritual guide, Oneness Academy, Andhra Pradesh, says that a person sees a vision when he develops a sense of connection with the world. From this place of connection a new meaning
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