Pachsheel – The only way ahead
As we sift through the pages of the newspaper early morning while sipping the tea, or browse the internet or read news/messages on social media on the way to the office, certain content bother us more than anything else. The day doesn’t seem to be starting on the right note. What you read with eyes is detested by the mind. VOILENCE AND THREATS. THEFT AND CORRUPTION. ADULTERY AND RAPES. LIES AND DECIET. DRUNK DRIVING AND ACCIDENTS. TRAMPLING OF HUMAN RIGHTS. SUPERSTITIONS AND SORCERY. When on your way back home, you read similar stories with different people and locations. This time mind is not rattled, it is settled with the fact: this is how it is. By the time you reach home, your spouse has a different plan for you. After good night’s meal, you fall asleep to a dream.
We are all human beings and we are affected by the sight, by the touch, by the sound, by the smell, by the taste, by the thoughts. We are all human beings prone to errors, mistakes, felonies: unpleasant conduct taking over the pleasant conduct.
The point is how we can contribute positively towards the welfare of the mankind. And I am most certain – rather I am stubborn about this – that the Pachsheel is a first step towards it.
I take the precept not to engage in violence and threats to life, but practice loving kindness and respect everybody’s right to exist. Keeping oneself in others’ shoes may help solve the problem. Also, I am very sure that eating habits don’t make us violent or non-violent. For I have seen the strictest non-vegetarians behaving like the severest savages. The violence is in the mind and not in the food. But that should not be the reason to sacrifice innocent animals for merry making.
I take the precept not to engage in corruption or unethical possession of others’ belongings, but instead practice charity. Remember you bought a latest foreign brand expensive watch, and next morning you find it stolen. Very sad! Similarly we should not claim our right on the things not belonging to ourselves. Rather we can donate as much as we can. Bringing smile on others’ face invariably brings smile on one’s face.
I take precept not to engage in sexual misconduct, but will respect others’ physical dignity and exhibit bodily restraint. In todays modern, fast-changing, hot and happening times of social media, and internet on anything, anytime and anywhere, the momentary blithe is chosen over the lasting happiness. As people spend more time in workplace, on mobile, and remain away from each other, they tend to develop close affinity towards those with whom they spend more time. Rather new generation believes: jo paas hai woh khaas hai, kyonki Jo khaas hai woh kisi aur ke pass hai J. We must keep away this monster called attraction towards many. It is difficult to control the heart but slowly can be subdued.
I take precept not to engage in lies, but speak the words that are true and harmless. Well, things are easier said than done. We lie, manipulate, misinform, misstate, misreport. We do all these either to earn benefit or stop loss. The Lord Buddha once told Rahula not to lie even as a joke, long before the western world could think of making the lie a sin. The question: Is absolute honesty possible today? For example, you are going out on a date, and someone from your family asks where are you going? What do you say? If you are a son, probably it wouldn’t matter much. What if you are a daughter? This I leave it to you: whether being absolutely honest will help or harm.
I take precept not to take drugs or intoxicant, but engage in acceptable social behavior. Drugs and Drinks destroy families and incur financial losses. Drinking doesn’t take away your sorrows as is traditionally believed. But it does take away your happiness most assuredly.
As we become more and more desirous of less and less desirable, happiness becomes less and suffering follows more. Now what if you have broken one or more of the above. Except for murders, serious sexual offences, frauds, conspiracies, and denial of liberty, equality and fraternity, for which law will takes its own course—as you sow, so shall you reap—, otherwise no problem. As I said before, it is ok to err. We need to think where we went wrong, retrospect, apologize, and move on. Don’t dwell too much into guilty conscious. It destroys.
No matter how much philosophical depth you achieve in life, no matter how many degrees you earn, no matter how knowledgeable or influential you become, no matter how rich you become, if you haven’t tried leaving the good life, you haven’t really lived. You do meditation, practice mindfulness, do yoga, perform rites and rituals, drink Ganges water, do worship, go to pilgrimage, be in solitude or solitary confinement, the whole point is to be aware, to be awake, to be alert so as to avoid unpleasant behavior. It indeed does matter how you mind the mind because you cannot mind the mind without minding the mind mindfully. And mind it!
Alas! In the morning, you are woken up to the reality out of your dream by the crooning of the song “nashe si chad gayi” by your child as s/he prepares to get ready to the school. Same reality. Different day. This is how it is: Suffering is the first noble truth. Don’t worry, there are three more!
Headless implementation and mindless execution of demonetization will hardly help achieve corruption-less society and cashless economy. Because the problem lies in the mind, not in the money. When the mind is corrupt, everything else is corrupt. What we need is the reform of the mind. And I think the BuddhaDhamma (it closely resembles with the practices of Indus Civilization) is the probable answer.
By the way, never let others’ impressions of you affect you in any ways. If you let that happen, you are not living your own life but living the life others want you to live.
Wishing good life to All, Ajitkumar Nandagawali