Yours truly is being subjected to a spiritual class which focuses on the Bhagvad Gita, Karma Yoga, Gyana Yoga, Upanishads and the works, here at college. Needless to say, my skepticism on the usefulness of the class has not ebbed away. I still maintain my reservations on the actual value, if any, that the class would add to the growth of me. The main reason I believe I’m in this place is that I can’t seem to see the thin line between religion and spirituality, despite the claims that the professor makes. As always, I guess the true value of this course might be seen when I look back and connect the dots.
We had a class which spoke of the ‘Aatma’ or the self or that indefinable object which is said to move from body to body discarding us like shells. The soul or the aatma is expected to carry virtues of ‘Karma’ from life to life. Trained in the proper yoga and mind, it would be possible for the present human form occupied by the soul to tap into the previous life and see the deeds/misdeeds. Now, a lot of people, especially the ones who know me well, might wonder why the devil I am talking about spirituality and karma. Am sure a couple of friends are thinking that I’m smoking something funny. Here comes the good part, I’m actually quite interested in that form of yoga with which one can see what they were in their past lives, provided the whole aatma concept is true.
Imagine! You could have been some one great who perhaps fought great battles; or someone who wrote great music. Maybe even a great thinker; or even a blood thirsty tyrant. I pretty much spent the rest of the class thinking how cool it would be to know who I was. Behind all my endeavors, there always has to some subliminal juvenile desire. And I have not failed myself with regard to spirituality either. My parents would be so proud. Nearly 25 and he still thinks like a 12 year old. Yeh manager banega company ka ????
Back to the main theme. I’ve listed a couple of people I could have been in the past life and why I think I may be carrying their soul. We’ll take this sequentially. Feel free to laugh. Or you could just completely agree with me.
Napoleon Bonaparte – Short man with a terribly large ego. His arrogance kept him alive and motivated to give the world nightmares. A story goes that Napoleon once tried to kill himself by consuming poison, but his ego was so large that it refused to kill itself and he threw up all the poison.
Alexander the Great – Another man who paid no heed to his age and did what he felt was right. By the time he was out of his teens, Alexander conquered the world. Now, I’ve done no such thing. I barely managed to make it to school captain. But the fact that I believe that age has got nothing to do with desire might be something we share.
Adolf Hitler – Most people would not exactly compare themselves to Adolf, but I see no harm in doing so. The man was perhaps the greatest orator of our time. And not wanting to be boastful, I do have a bit of a reputation of being very comfortable with making public speeches and performances and the whole ‘on stage’ jazz. Basically, stage fright isn’t a concept I am familiar with. There is something so inspiring about the stage that makes me feel the most at home. Maybe this is where I picked up my orating skills. Another thing I have in common with Hitler is we both have terrible hair, are short men and look terrible in a moustache.
John Lennon ( Please don’t throw tomatoes) – Lennon is perhaps one of the most profound poets of our time. Besides being a lead singer for the Beatles, Lennon was known to be a rebel without a cause from day one. I’m the devil without a cause. (Ask my mother) Both of us weren’t exactly the greatest with the guitar but the passion for music drove us to learn it fairly well. Not to mention the dashing good looks which we share. ( I can picture a lot of the ladies gagging right now )
Charlie Chaplin – Why I think there may be a chance that we may share a soul is the fact that, even though Chaplin was a man who made the world laugh, he still remained a man who was pretty much by himself. For him, the issues of the world like the world war, the industrial revolution etc meant more to him than his family. This was to a point that the man went nearly mad trying to be a perfectionist. Also, Chaplin’s ability to switch from serious to funny in a jiffy was uncanny. In my opinion, Chaplin’s was a serious comedy that transcended all languages and barriers and till this date, there has not been one who has come remotely close to the Tramp.
Howard Hughes – While Hughes may not be in the same august company as the people above, I do believe we may share a few things in common. The fact that Hughes was impulsive and hard headed was perhaps his greatest virtues. He kept regard for the fact that he could do anything in the world. And It was this eccentric madness for achievement and perfectionism that drove Hughes to a severe case of OCD ( Hoping never to be there…am showing signs of it). Why I mention Hughes is his ability to defy the odds and to challenge only those bigger than him. Hughes never stepped back from a fight and did whatever it takes to win.
These are all just random thoughts and delusions of grandeur. Reality is that one can only aspire to become such influential men. Despite the claims of the professor that it would only be hell to reveal who one was in their past life, owing to the fact that the present itself is perilous enough, I still think it would be worth something to know where you came from and what sort of Karma you carried. There could and quite possibly would be a flip side to all this. You could be the man who crucified Christ, the man who shot JFK, the poor soldier who administered mustard gas to Jews in WWII, the man who shot Mahatma Gandhi and a whole host of other ghastly things. Even worse, you could be a nobody; a plain old human who was born, and died without as much as a whimper in the world. Even then, there would be a certain common thread that would run through all the Karma. For one thing, I’m sure I was never Casanova or any of the great romantics of history. I’m more suited to be the arrogant, fool hardy, head strong, superiorly over confident types who’d waste time conquering the world around him.
Quite obviously, the whole spirituality class, claustrophobia of the 5 star hotel rooms, the mad pre-reads are starting to take their toll on me. One can make out by the fact that I’ve become audacious enough to compare myself to great men, while I have achieved nothing myself. But who knows, an awakening might be just around the corner. Forget the awakening; I think I need some sleep right now. I’m writing absolute rubbish and I think the schizophrenia is starting to kick in. Goodnight !