As a newborn and an infant the child is more focused only about self. First comes the 'I'. Later on as the child is able to recognize and connect with its surroundings it becomes aware of its mothers presence and starts to connect with her. As time passes by the zone of 'I' and 'mine' slowly starts extending to others who care for and love the child. As the child grows this zone around the child continues to grow. Its only a matter of time before the child, now a young adult is able to comprehend the world around and connect with it as well. But the journey of life for most of us in the modern world is stalled by then. Many rarely get to move from I to WE. What is this journey the Vedas are talking about?
“ I” drives all of us. “ I love”, “ I want”, “ I think”, “ I feel”.. I, I, I and on and on it goes. Without the “ I” it would be very difficult for mankind to even exist. “ I” is the secret of our identity and our existence. “ I” is all that exists in this world. The journey that the Vedas are talking about moving from being “ Self I Centric” to “ Universal I centric”. This journey is not just about saying “ We” but making that We a part of I. In olden times the Gurukula system of education ensured that this training was a part of the daily lifestyle to help the child blossom into an adult.
A disciple once asked his Guru “ Swami, how can I get rid of selfishness? How can I become selfless? ” To this the Guru smiled and replied “You cannot be self less. Self is everything. The very quality of this creation is the feeling of ‘I’. Observe it, understand it, break free from its illusionary boundaries and then you will see the same self in everyone and everything around. Be true to this universal self and you no longer are Self-fish but a Self Ocean “
The Ancient Vedic way of Life took one through the following stages of evolution
Stage 1. Purely "I" Centric (Infant ) The infant was loved and care was taken to create an environment that would help nurture qualities of universal love
Stage 2. Understands the boundaries of Self (Child ) – Taught to respect others and practice basic sacrifices for the sake of siblings, family and friends
Stage 3. Understands the importance of being Selfless (Teen and Young Adult) – Grown up to be dependable citizen in the society, who can be trusted and relied upon by friends , family and community members
Stage 4. Practices being Selfless ( Parent )
Stage 5. Transitions from I to WE ( Universal Parent )
If you are reading this blog then you are either at Stage 3.4 or5 and we all can decide to follow the path of a " Universal Parent". It is time for each of us to start giving more value to " We" rather than "Me". We have to break free from the shackles of modern “I” centric lifestyle. Look around, and see how you can be of help. There are millions of opportunities for us to make a difference in someone else’s life.
We need to take decisions and lead a life from the vantage point of the " Parent" and "Universal parent". Every action has an impact and we have to ensure that our decisions are in the best interest of everyone. Many of these decisions could impact one at the personal comfort level, yet it would be of great help to many. A " Universal Parent" would not hesitate for a moment when it comes to taking a decisions that would benefit the masses.
For e.g the main reason as to why we ( Prehealing Participants) avoid grains
Grains grow on grasses and to supply the demand for grains more and more forests need to be cut down so that grasses can be grown
Growing grasses impacts the delicate ecosystem balance. Over a period of time most of the forests will be reduced to Human Feeding Grasslands
Cutting down of the trees impacts biodiversity and a lot of animal species that are dependent on forests have nowhere to go
Grasses are cut and burnt after harvest and this releases a lot of green house gases into the air. ( Fruit trees on the other hand bear fruit for much longer periods )
Most of the grains are not gut friendly and need to be processed to make them easier to digest thereby increasing our carbon footprint
If we stop using grains then we would be dependent on trees that bear fruits, nuts and vegetables and this would impact not only our health but our environment too.
To exclude grains, non vegetarian foods, fast foods etc is quite difficult for many, yet this decision will benefit the ecosystem as well as our future generations. A little bit of gustatory sacrifice can go a long way in helping our children live in a better world.
Well this is but a small example as to how we could decide to embrace " WE" over "ME". The modern 'I' centric lifestyle has already taken its toll and if we are really keen to live a good life and see our children live a good life as well then we have no choice but to embrace a " We" centric lifestyle.