October 13, 2010 § 6 Comments
I can’t exactly recall when it died, but the works of Vivekananda were a very strong source of inspiration for me around 7 years back. As a young engineering college student, I was very ambitious, feeling that fire in me, to do something different, really, really out of the general league. Yes, at that time self-motivation, and thus the powerful words of Vivekananda were a source of strength. Also, I enjoyed the dialogues of Socrates – they were clarifying, and of course, the arguments were fun from a purely intellectual point of view.
Then, at some point when I was at Chennai, the mind got peace and clarity by reading what Jiddu Krishnamurti had said. This was interspersed with teachings of the Buddha (and Siddhartha remains a preferred book today), and the words of Jesus and Guru Nanak. I was in my first job, new, and far away from home. It was very peaceful, a lot of my perspectives changed, prejudices disappeared and I saw the world more clearly. That continued for around 2-3 years. But around a year back, I read about Krishnamurti’s life in his biography and then the disillusionment happened. I stopped reading the books.
And I don’t remember ever being inspired by people in business, art, science or sports. Was a fan, yes. But did not draw strength from them. It was always those who had tried to understand life, and to bring positive change, with more focus on the former part.
Now, nothing of that remains.
But there is still inspiration. Much simpler, and more real. And it’s from people around me, people I have seen growing alongside me over the years. I draw lessons from the lives of my batch-mates, the ones who made it good by following their passion, even when they were not great academic performers. But they were true to themselves. And many quietly faced hardships, kept going on, and have not forgotten those who helped them on the way. They may be selfish and ambitious too, but honest in the choice and the following of their goals.
Lessons from reality are not fancy or fiery, they are satisfying.