Steps to Gandhigiri
Gandhi was not born a mahatma. The struggles, apprehensions and even setbacks and failures on his spiritual journey are a strong reminder to all of us that we can aspire to raise ourselves to such a level.
"Be the change you want to see," he said and we can be so, if only we try. Gandhi's ecommended 11 vows for the individual are surely the first step on this journey.
- Ahimsa (non violence) Do not shout back at the next person who abuses you. If faced with an unjust action, state your case calmly without resorting to jibes or personalised statements. Our words and actions are potent tools that can cause immense agony or create and spread love.When we refuse to allow violence to reside in us, even in thought, our soul shall indeed bloom, unfettered by negativity.
- Satya (truth) Try telling the truth next time you refuse an invitation, are too busy to call somebody, or need to remain absent from office.The results may surprise you and eventually, life will get simpler and uncomplicated.
- Asteya (non-stealing) Next time you are tempted to slip into the train without a ticket, stop yourself. Remember that travelling without a valid ticket, not paying taxes, making claims on false bills, are as morally incorrect as picking someone's pocket.
- Brahmacharya (discipline) Switch off the television while eating dinner or when you need to sleep. Do not indulge in splurging or binging. He who revels in Brahman is the Sanskrit etymology of this term and naturally such a person is in full control of his senses. The
choice of whether we make our senses our masters or slaves entirely depends on us.
Aparigraha (non-possession) Today, the market is constantly offering new products and gizmos. Do we, however, need any of this? Truly, multiplication of wants is one of the malaises of the times we live in and this principle is more relevant than ever to retain our sanity, if nothing else.
- Shareera shrama (physical labour) The contribution of physical labour in keeping the ego under check and fostering humility has been emphasised by many masters, over the years. Even if the nature of your job is not oriented in this direction, you could take up an activity that involves physical exertion and is productive; for instance, cultivating a kitchen garden, volunteering at a local charity, cooking up a community meal.
- Aswada (control of the palate) Eat to nourish your body, not to please your tongue.This will pay off rich dividends in making you calmer, fitter, healthier and happier.
- Sarvatra bhaya varjana (fearlessness) Be truthful and fearless in expressing your opinion, without worrying if the next pink slip could be yours, or that you will miss the bus if you don't toe the line. Similarly, even in your personal relationships, do not allow fear and insecurity to restrict you from taking the correct action. This will do wonders for your self-esteem and the ultimate victory will be yours.