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Take care of the present

columns Updated: Apr 23, 2013 23:25 IST
VN Chhibber
VN Chhibber
Hindustan Times
VN Chhibber

"Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow is only a vision. But today well-lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope" - Kalidas.

What really matters in the end, said Gautam Buddha is "How well did you love, how fully did you live and how deeply did you let go." All these are golden rules of wise living. Here, 'let go' means renouncing with full clarity and determination of those aspects of life that are a deterrent to a full, wholesome life.

'Letting go' is an arduous process which cannot be achieved overnight. As one goes through life and wisdom, the anomalies of one's life become clear. Once identified, it becomes easier to make a conscious effort to surmount them. Countless desires haunt us. Desire for wealth, power and fame never seem to be satiated leading to discontent, frustration and inner turmoil.

We have a compelling propensity of dwelling in the past and brooding about the future, thereby neglecting the present. Past is a graveyard and the future inscrutable. "Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life" - Thich Nhat Hanh.

Largely our conduct and beliefs are the result of mental conditioning. Our mind gets conditioned by our earlier experience with people and events and accordingly forges opinions that, with time, ossify into conviction.

We do not have to abandon wealth. What we need to give up is our greed and possessiveness for material objects. We need to relate to them with mental resignation. They should be a means for life, not life itself.

Likewise, we should let go of our attachments to the near and dear ones. Attachment is essentially selfish love. Replace attachment with love which is pure and spiritual.