Change or Perish

The world today is in a state of chaos and confusion. At home fight between couples, hatred among siblings, stress, strain, life-style diseases etc. rule the scene. Society is suffering from internal clashes and rifts. The nation is torn apart thanks to militancy, terrorism and vandalism. Where are we leading ourselves to?

“Change or perish, is the law of life.”

We resist change. We do not realize that change is a common phenomenon in nature. Infancy becomes childhood, childhood gives way to youthhood, youthhood turns into manhood, old age and so on. Change results in growth and if resisted leads to stagnation and death.

Therefore, we should change:

1. in order to survive

2. in order to get rid of old memories, habits and irrelevant traditions.

When we are free from our past burdens we can take advantage of the present.

Everyone wants change! But where do we start?

Alvin Toffler says,

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those

who cannot read and write,

but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

Now, that seems to be the key. We need to learn, unlearn and relearn.

Learn to set an ideal beyond one’s selfish interest, analyse and accept the present state, look for new ideas and take in fresh thoughts.

Unlearn habituations, negative thoughts/ideas, mindsets, pre-conceived notions that will deter our progress towards the goal.

Relearn to remain focused on the goal, be in the present without getting disturbed by past actions and future anxieties. There should be no result orientation in the present.

We need to shift our focus from the world and move within to understand who we are and what the purpose of being alive is! This enhances the process of learning, unlearning and relearning.

True growth is internal and not external. The more each one of us anchors in our inner personality, the more one grows – the more one grows, the more one identifies with the world at large. This is true globalization.

When we change, the world changes!

Now, the question arises: Do we need external force to reform us?

As Swami Rama Tirtha says,

“Reforming people is like straightening a dog’s tail.”

No external pressure can bring about internal transformation.

As the Bhagavad Gita claims in Chapter 6, Verse 5,

ऊद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत्

आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः

Raise yourself by yourself!

No one can do it for us. It is like physical exercise. Can we ask someone else to pick the dumbbells and expect our body to change? Same way we have to pick our spiritual dumbbells to see change within us.

So rise from what to what?

There are five levels that a human being can aspire to attain.

1. Spiritual Level

2. Intellectual Level

3. Emotional Level

4. Physical Level

5. Material Level

Our aim in life should be to move from material to spiritual level. Moving from one level to the next higher level involves change, stepping out of our comfort zones.