Morning Circus

The schools have started again and the traffic is all over the place. It has once again gotten busy in the mornings. Like at mine, the Morning hustle-bustle similar to a circus must have begun at several homes. It’s quite a sight in the mornings to see half-asleep kids being hurried into the buses as early as 6.30 AM. Will it not be better to start elemenatary school a bit later, say at 8.30? I wonder. More kids will then eat a healthier breakfast. 
One day, amidst all the morning circus, my little one  asked – Mama, Why shouldn’t I be a bird or a butterfly? I wouldn't have to go to school. I will be so free, so happy! I wouldn’t have to wake up so early.
This is indeed a serious question especailly as it was asked by a 5 year old at 5.45 in the morning. Hence I gave it some thought. I want to tell my little one:
Aridhu aridhu manidarai pirathal aridhu,
adhaninum aridhu goon, kurudu, sevidu pedu neengi, pirathal aridhu,
nyanamum kalviyum nayathal aridhu,  dhanamum dhanamum seivadharidhu.
The above means – “To be born a human is most venerable;  even more revered is to be born as a human without goon (hump on the back), blindness, deafness or sickness. This is because humans have the freewill to seek knowledge, to learn and to have the ability to do dhanam (charity/help others)”
There is a also nice saying with similar intent in the 3rd chapter of Bhagvadh Gita:
mayi sarvāṇi karmāṇi
nirāśīr nirmamo bhūtvā
yudhyasva vigata-jvaraḥ
The above is one of the most important verses on Karma Yoga, which is based on 5 principles :
1)  Adhyatma Cetasa – Humans have the ability to choose and pursue spiritual goals.They can choose: To take a bigger perspective of life and to be peaceful. To know the difference between Atma and Anatma, Nithya and Anithya. To think and prioritise things such as service to mankind over the daily run of the mill in life, and to choose spiritual happiness over materialistic happiness.
Often misconstrued is the meaning of ‘To be peaceful’. This does not mean one has to renounce all actions and becomes a saint. Infact the scriptures laud the people who are active in the world, yet practice Karmayoga. Karma means ‘Action’ and yoga means ’Attitude’. Thus doing the right action with the right attitude is the gist of the 2 words given above.
2)  Mayi sarvani karmani – Right action is a huge subject – what does right action mean? there are several chapters that talk about this subject in the scriptures. The simplest definition is to do things that will not prick our conscience – i.e. to do actions that will not disturb our peace and does not become the reason to wake up at night. It is said that even a thief knows that stealing is a wrong deed. He hears the inner voice, however quashes it. Do not quash your inner voice, listen and act rightfully. And dedicate these actions to God.
3)  Nirāśīr – is to be free from hankering for the rewards of the actions. This means to do actions ‘with’ happiness rather than ‘for’ happiness, and to let go of worrying (about results). Worrying is not a deliberate action – it is a sign of not being in control. Again do not confuse with Planning – Planning is a good thing –  we should plan for right actions and for rightful goals. Mahatma Gandhi had rightful goals, so did Mother Terasa. Having a goal and planning for it is a good thing,  but worrying is not a good thing. 
4)  Nirmamo – in simple terms means to be humble. Humility is the greatest virtue and nirmamah means to be without a sense of Ego.To denounce the ‘I did it!’ attitude on getting success and to look at things in a humble and understanding manner.
5)  Vigata-jvaraḥ – To perform without a sense of grief.  This has a slightly deeper connotation. To have a equanimous  and balanced attitude towards deeds. To have a 'Work is worship' attitude and to love the work one has to do. In spite of the work not being in line with one’s Swabava (liking). In case you do the work you love, you are double blessed, otherwise love the work you do.
It is said that these principles will help us understand why it is better off being a human than a bird.

I want to tell my little one all of the above. However, I realise the timing may not be right. Hence I pack his school bag and hurry him into the bus. As the bus drives away and his gleamng eyes go past me, I ponder what Gandhiji said.
"The best way to find you is to lose yourself in the service of others", said the Mahatma.
This note is for all the moms and dads who do the Morning Circus!


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