Friday, May 15, 2015

Being happy... making others happy.

i was reading this article here and was struck by this passage:
India Knowledge@Wharton: Do you have any reason to hope that the way Indians are will some day become the way Indians were?
Raghunathan: I am not a spiritual person. But in doing research for this book, for the first time I read the Bhagavad-Gita [...]. I realized that the Gita has a lot of things which help resolve the prisoner's dilemma readily. For example, if you do your dharma [duty] towards humanity, the level of cooperation could be much higher. That is what having a good character is all about.

This gives me hope for the future. As India's economy improves and education spreads, I hope defection will be replaced by cooperation. My question about why Indians are the way they are is a rhetorical one -- it is an expression of my frustration. But my attitude towards India is like that of a parent towards a beloved child who needs correction. You don't love that child any less; it is because of your love that you want to bring about change. I hope these ideas will encourage some introspection about how to make things better.
At the end of the Mahabharata (svargArohaNika parva, 5.49), Sri Vedavyasa expresses exactly this sentiment (hat-tip: prekshaa). 

ऊर्ध्वबाहुर्विरौम्य़ेष न कश्चित् शृणोति माम् ।
धर्मादर्थश्चकामश्च स किमर्थन्न सेव्यते ।।

Liberal translation: Here i cry out, with uplifted arms, that from dharma flows artha (material wealth) and kAma (desires, their fulfillment). But none listens. Why don't people pursue dharma?

So dharma (duty/righteousness/...) not only will leave us feeling good about ourselves but also leave us materially happy.



Sandeep Bhasin said...

How many of us really work towards upliftment of our friends a la the farmer who shared his seeds? Knowledge is for sharing but again most of us would like to keep it private. This of course, results in boosting ego (as in I know more than you) which may lead to a small blip of happiness (by looking others down, as he does not even know this???!!!!).

Happiness to me is an internal process and most of the time we fail to look inside.

p.s.: Nice reading your post after such a long time.

Sharan Sharma said...