Tomorrow

When the great Sufi mystic, Hasan, was dying, somebody asked “Hasan, who was your master?”

He said, “I had thousands of masters. If I just relate their names it will take months, years and it is too late. But three masters I will certainly tell you about.

One was a thief. Once I got lost in the desert, and when I reached a village it was very late, everything was closed. But at last I found one man who was trying to make a hole in the wall of a house. I asked him where I could stay and he said ‘At this time of night it will be difficult, but you can say with me – if you can stay with a thief’.

And the man was so beautiful. I stayed for one month! And each night he would say to me, ‘Now I am going to my work. You rest, you pray.’ When he came back I would ask ‘Could you get anything?’ He would say, ‘Not tonight. But tomorrow I will try again, God willing.’

The thief was never in a state of hopelessness, he was always happy.

Kabir (1398-1518) was a Mystic Philosopher and is considered among the world’s greatest poets. In India, he is perhaps the most quoted author. Kabir has criticized nearly all the existing sects in India as he spoke without discrimination for the good of all. He is thought to have lived longer than 100 years. He had enormous influence on Indian philosophy and on Hindi poetry.

His birth and death are surrounded by legends. He grew up in a Muslim weaver family, but some say he was really son of a Brahmin widow who was adopted by a childless couple. When he died, his Hindu and Muslim followers started fighting about the last rites. The legend is that when they lifted the cloth covering his body, they found flowers instead. The Muslim followers buried their half and the Hindu cremated their half. In Maghar, his tomb and samadhi still stand side by side. There is a famous poem called a ‘doha’ by Kabir:

Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub
Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub

Do ‘Tomorrow’s work today, do today’s work now
If this moment is lost, then the deluge can happen in a second …

‘Pal mein Pralaya Hoyegi’ actually translates as the setting in of a deluge or destruction of the world.  Given the idea of poetic license, Kabir, who was an optimist and believed in the eternal may not have meant actual doomsday or the apocalypse occurring in a moment of procrastination.

Kabir is trying to explain the human tendency of laziness and procrastination that all of us are familiar with. All of us tend to postpone action and we seem to be indecisive about many matters. We also like to pass the buck and expect somebody else to do ur jobs and chores. (Raju, please answer the phone, the doorbell is ringing…..).

When it comes to our turn we hide behind the cool answer “I’m very busy, no time right now!” The poet is talking about this moment that is important. The Power of Now is a book by Eckhart Tolle in which he expounds his practical philosophy based on Buddhism, relaxation techniques and meditation. He shows us how to recognize human beings as the creators of their own pain. He teaches how to have a pain-free existence by living fully in the present. Accessing the deepest self, the true self, can be learned, he says, by freeing ourselves from the conflicting, unreasonable demands of the mind and living present, fully, and intensely, in the Now.

My greatest grief is that kids are not allowed to dream their own dreams. They are chosen to fulfil family, school and college managements’ and society’s dreams. Have you recently seen a kid just standing and watching the world go by? Have you seen a child pick up a shell, a stone, a piece of something or the other and just look at it with wonder? Have you seen a youngster look at a rainbow in the sky with wonderment or think whether the thick bank of clouds will bring rain or weave myriad patterns in the sky? (It is another matter that their hands and mouth are busy interacting with their mobiles and their vision is concentrated elsewhere with alarming consequences like accidents sometimes!)

The current mind set is to talk about tomorrow and ignore the present forgetting that this very moment is the most valuable moment of our life. Let kids live their dreams and lives in the now. The big, bad world is awaiting them anyway!

It is in the now, in the spontaneous moment of action that you can be energized to do, to achieve, to realize the ultimate truth called moksha or liberation.

Today’s topic was chosen by Grannymar.
Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Anu, Ashok, Conrad, DeliriousGaelikaa,  GrannymarMagpie11Paul, Maria the Silver Fox, Rummuser , Will Knott, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get  different flavours of the same topic.

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About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest is acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays.
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9 Responses to Tomorrow

  1. I agree – just not so eloquently of course. 🙂

    Like

  2. Delirious says:

    One of the things that I feel saddest about is that children in China, especially high school age, aren’t given the chance to dream. They are kept so busy with their schooling that they don’t even have much time to sleep at night. They go to school from about 8 in the morning until about 6:00 in the evening. They go eat dinner, then go back to school until about 10:00 at night. They are never given the chance to really be kids. I think this is the government’s way of keeping them out of trouble. But how sad that they don’t have time to enjoy their youth and dream.

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    • padmum says:

      Sad indeed! But I used to see this even in Mauritius…kids were kept busy all through the day. On Sundays the whole family would go to the beach and relax. Commerce was drilled into them from the time kids could stand!!

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  3. theoldfossil says:

    We keep making that mistake of worrying too much about our children’s tomorrows and trying to force them to do the same. In the sense that we make them prisoners of time rather than encourage the freedom of the present and its explorations.

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    • padmum says:

      I think modern parents are learning it the hard way…..but this comes with affluence. The middle class is still caught up in the dream of ‘bettering’
      oneself.

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  4. Grannymar says:

    I have a wonderful little boy who lives opposite to me. I love to watch him play all wrapped up in his own imagination, or searching my garden for lady bugs (ladybirds)!

    Like

  5. Maria says:

    Oh, yes, I do so agree. Children’s individuality should be nurtured and they should not be compelled to fulfil family expectations. But will the day ever come when this can happen?

    Like

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