CHALLENGES OF LIFE
There are multifarious challenges which our life throws at us. A true Yogi works towards meeting these challenges which life throws head on, with a spirit of fortitude besides adopting policies based on accommodation, sympathy and cooperation. While meeting challenges, we have to break free from the pre-conceived worn-out ideas which have not stood the test of time. Care should also be exercised that while facing challenges negative traits in the form of anger, jealousy, greed etc should be given burial. For this, the example set by Lord Hanumanji has to be emulated by a Karma Yogi. He was the embodiment of huge strength, courage, and self control besides being wonderfully sagacious. He accepted the challenges of finding Sita Maan while He was told to do so by Lord Rama. He had no inhibition whatsoever in sacrificing his own life for the cause at hand. This he made it abundantly clear while interacting with Demon King Ravana when Lord Hanumanji was brought to his palace. Such wholehearted devotion is expected of us all to break the jinx which life challenges throw on us. If we solve our problems with selfless zeal and enthusiasm most of challenges will vanish in the thin air and make our life peaceful at all times.
While we are overcoming challenges, analyzing the cause of challenges is a natural corollary, it should never be forgotten that there is a elusive hand of Omniscient rendering us His assistance.
When Arjuna was faced with daunting challenges of his lifetime of fighting his own near and dears besides fighting the stalwart warriors superior to him in prowess. The teachings of the Gita helped him win both the internal integrity while facing external challenges and thus achieve complete contentment.
Gunas are the important attributes of all the individuals dealing with person’s physical and spiritual life. These attributes are always at work whether we recognize these or not.
• Sattvic Attributes. Under the Sattvic influence the mind is free of any inertia or agitation. It is in consonance with the Creator. Equanimity prevails in both happy and bad times. There is a better understanding of all the challenges that life throws while working in any situation. A person with Sattvic disposition is in total harmony with himself and his environment. It is like some smokescreen on the mirror which when removed just is a revelation by itself. Bhagavad Gita rightly professes, “He does not avoid light, activity, or illusion…he remains disinterested or unmoved by the qualities of nature.
• Rajasvic Attributes. A person with rajasvic influence aspires for material possessions and is having immense attachment for material possessions including relatives. Equilibrium of this person is disturbed hugely when his particular desire meets with failure. Challenges of life makes this person more restive.
• Attribute of Tamsic Guna. The nature of Tamasic Gunas is lack of cohesive thought; lack of intelligence; hateful conduct and even resort to violence to get things done.
VARIOUS CHALLENGES FACED BY US INDIVIDUALS
Challenges of our life start on fertilization of the egg In the womb of a mother. Its survival depends on so many factors than one. This ‘survival of the fittest’ is unique in many ways. It goes to show that life itself is a challenge – a challenge of highest order.
• Challenges faced by the Voters. In democratic set up there is a big challenge for the voters as to which party or candidate to be elected to ensure stability and good governance. The voters should vote for the one who has ability and conviction besides huge reserve of integrity to serve the country and not just serving his/her own interest. They should vote for those who deliver and not for those who create artificial policy paralysis.
• Challenge of soft emotions. All have emotional attachment for their love ones and the status quotient but when these soft emotional upsurges go over board/cross the limit then challenges dawn. Wisdom is to keep a healthy balance so that these challenges are dealt with judiciously. This is applicable both in family life and attachment with our possessiveness. It should never be forgotten that our soft emotions are very precious to us all.
• Physical challenges. Notwithstanding big strides made by humans in medical sciences there are innumerable physical challenges encountered by the living beings. Which disease or disability will befall at what time is known only to our Creator. Some are due to us humans and others are just natural. For example the disturbance caused by humans by disturbing ecological balance is cause of many a diseases. Research and development in new medicines for cure of even previously considered incurable diseases like cancer etc have been made possible. But then new crop of diseases are befalling with ferocity due to ecological imbalance.
• Self control. A man can be as he thinks to be. Many a times it has been observed that man is its own enemy. He loses control over his own conscious mind and does something which is against the norms set by the society or acting against the natural laws. Self control is a biggest challenge that we ought to exercise for a ethical and moralistic based living. Self control can also be ensured by first removing all the dross from the human nature. Just surrender ourselves to our Creator is the answer for a total self control. By so doing we can have total and lasting control over all our faculties. This way we can face all the challenges which ‘time’ hurl at us.
SELF-CONTROL has been very rightly enunciated in Bhagwad Gita as:
“He who acts because it is his duty, not thinking of the consequences, is really spiritual and a true ascetic; and not he who merely does rituals or who shuns all action.” O Arjuna! Renunciation is in fact what is called Right Action. No one can become spiritual who has not renounced all desire.
• Challenges of environment. Atmospheric /environmental degradation is causing ecological imbalances and becoming the cause of many a imbalances. Humanity as a whole have to accept the challenges of keeping the ecological balance for a healthy living. This challenge has to be accepted on a war footing otherwise our next generations will suffer the adverse affects in the form of natural furies like tsunami and earthquake and other natural calamities.
• Stress at work place. We encounter problems at work places when we are not able to meet the challenges /expectations of an organization or unable to meet goals. We have to put in sincere effort to accomplish our goals. Not fully meeting the challenges means becoming a cause of stress causing unspeakable consequences. A true Yogi works just faces all challenges with equanimity and remains unfazed in stress or no stress. Try devising various methods to alleviate stress by maintaining composure in stress and strain and work towards it not as a work but as a worship. Not as a stress giving tool but as a stress buster. For this to happen we have to draw out our innate potentials through spiritual forward march.
• Dealing with difficult people. There are challenges furled by people who are fastidious in nature. Do anything to serve their causes; they are not pleased. Just the people with Tamsic mentality (violent mindset) who are very possessive in all their endeavours. They are the people who would adopt even the corrupt or unethical practices for the fructification of their causes. They have no limit in anything.
• Thought of future challenges. More often than not present is the time which we have to live with. Past is the time which we have lived. But instead of living the present moment we remain thinking about the future and its challenges which are uncertain and also do not leave the old blanket of past. By doing so we neither are able to use the experiences gained in the past nor can live in harmony the present moment.
• Heartbroken situation. Life is a journey by twosomes – by male and female. If one is sincere in his/her love and the other one just acts counter to others’ interests. Some people do not get what life challenges throw at them in the form of love and understanding and as a consequence just lose in the bargain. Just heartbroken is the result ultimately.
• Death in the family. Death in a family presents a very demoralizing challenge especially so when deceased one is a sole earning member. Life throws so many challenges on us all. But when a tragedy dawns it will have far reaching affect on us. Coordination and cooperation in the family give fillip to family cohesion and goodwill leading to balanced upbringing of the children to face the challenges that the life throws.
• Challenges in decision making. At times we face challenges in decision making. It may be in our domestic life or workplace or other formal or informal institutions.
• Control over anger and fear. It has been experienced that more often than not we spoil our relationships with the people we come across by intemperate behavior. While in anger; nothing gets accomplished satisfactorily. On the other hand most of our differences are caused due to anger. Thus a challenge for every human is to control this negative trait otherwise it will take away our modesty and sagacity.
• Control over lust. Lust for more possessions and sex outside the recognized institution makes us immoral. This is a challenge we have to face / control otherwise we would not be called a civilized.
It has been illustrated in Bhagwad Gita as:
Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to the material senses, mind and intelligence, O mighty-armed Arjuna, one should steady the mind by deliberate spiritual intelligence (Kṛṣṇa consciousness) and thus — by spiritual strength — conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust.
• Quest for happiness and challenges thereof. Every human beings have the moral authority to aspire for a happy and prosperous life and the challenges these throw while pursuing the same. It is also helpful in finding one’s self worth and face the challenges of life.
• Challenges to overcome jealousies. Jealousy is one of the negative traits which encourages division in all walks of life. The challenge is to overcome jealousy and enhance the self worth based entirely on love and trust.
Over and above the above referred challenges we have other challenges like:
• Challenges posed due to negative tendencies.
• Single parents.
• Infidelity and forgiving.
• Fear of solitude.
• Challenges in the decision making.
• Marriage and family.
These are a few challenges which are to be analysed threadbare and solved without any wastage of much time otherwise it will challenge our very existence.