“shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society.”

In “Walking with Krishnamurti”, Devyani Mangaldas paints a moving picture of her mother’s life on the canvas of her beautiful lifelong friendship with the philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Among other things, Devyani writes of her mother, Nandini Mehta, establishing Bal Anand, a school for poor, uncared-for children — an initiative that she poured herself into all her life, an institution that “changed the course of countless lives.”

“One rainy day in July 1954,” Nandini’s house-help, “brought in two young girls. She had discovered them standing forlorn in the torrential rain beside an overflowing drain. Their mother had just died, and their father lay on a pavement nearby in a drunken stupor. The girls,  Matu and Bhaja, aged two and four, were shivering, perplexed, and frightened.”

Devyani writtes that “Nandini reached out to them….dried their hair….held them close, calmed their shivering bodies, and gave them a few biscuits to eat.

The next day they reappeared and stood helplessly at the gate. Nandini noticed them and gave them a snack, and this time, also a piece of paper and a crayon. The three of them sat together under the shade of a mango tree and talked and coloured.”

This led Nandini to set up Bal Anand — a place that started with these two young girls and grew to be home for many many. It was a place where children were tutored in academic subjects, and got nutritious food. But more importantly, at Bal Anand, children “felt cared for and experienced affection” — it was a place that “treated them as children, not as drivers’ or cooks’ children.”

Nandini lived Krishnamurti’s teachings, and “Bal Anand ran on the power of love and strength of Nandini’s compassion.”

In what is arguably his most profound Talk (titled “A Time to Break Silence”, delivered on 4th April 1967), Martin Luther King Jr. calls out to each of us. “Let us love one another” — love that is “all-embracing and unconditional.”

Elsewhere in the Talk, he exhorts us to “shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society.”

He then speaks to conscience.

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

Peace 😊

“One moment of anger can destroy years of patience.”

The monk, Matthieu Ricard, writes in “Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill”:

“In the 1980s, I had just acquired my first laptop computer, which I used to translate Tibetan texts. One morning as I was working, sitting on the wooden floor in a monastery at the far end of Bhutan, a friend thought it would make a cute joke to spill a handful of tsampa (roast barley flour) on my keyboard as he passed by. I saw red and shot him a filthy look, saying, “Was that supposed to be funny?” Seeing that I was truly angry, he stopped and tersely replied, “One moment of anger can destroy years of patience.” His gesture hadn’t been especially clever, but he was essentially right.

Another time, in Nepal, a person who had swindled the monastery of a large sum of money came by to lecture me on morality. Again my blood boiled. My voice trembling with anger, I told her to get lost, and helped her out the door with a nudge. At the time, I was convinced that my anger was perfectly justified. It was only hours later that I came to see how destructive an emotion anger really is, reducing our clarity and inner peace and turning us into veritable puppets.”

In Volume 1 of the “Mahabharata” (translated by Bibek Debroy), we read Shukra advising his daughter:

“The learned regard as a true charioteer he who reins in his anger like horses….O Devayani! Know that he who restrains his rising anger through feelings of non-anger conquers everything. A man who restrains his anger through forgiveness is compared to a snake that casts off its old skin….Between two men, one who performs sacrifices continuously every month for a hundred years and one who does not feel anger, the one without anger is the superior one.”

Peace 😊

Contentment

The Professor of Management Science at Stanford, Robert Sutton, writes in an April 2010 article titled “Do You Have Enough? Or Do You Keep Lusting For More More More for Me Me Me?” that  “Certainly, some people need more than they have, as many people on earth still need a safe place to live, enough good food to eat, and other necessities. But too many of us are never satisfied and feel constantly slighted, even though — by objective standards — we have all we need to live a good life.”

He goes on to credit the wise Kurt Vonnegut for this realization. “I got this idea from a lovely little poem that Kurt Vonnegut published in The New Yorker called “Joe Heller,” which was about the author of the renowned World War II novel Catch 22….the poem describes a party that Heller and Vonnegut attended at a billionaire’s house. Heller remarks to Vonnegut that he has something that the billionaire can never have, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.””

In Shakespeare’s “Henry VI (Part 3)”, King Henry is asked “But, if thou be a king, where is thy crown?”  He answers:

“My crown is in my heart, not on my head;
Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen: my crown is called content:
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.”

Peace 😊