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Monthly Archives: August 2007

As if Mr. Jeff is alive!

Click here to read in Gujarati
It pains me a lot beyond words to draft this Article as the Hero of my previous Blog “A full circle swallowed 22 years” is no more with us. The title is very significant and also philosophically profound, but there is no room of any interpretation or discussion for the same here.

I look backward to about a half century past when we first met on a volleyball ground and our friendship blossomed at the very first meeting. Over the years, we became like brothers and shared our heartaches with each other. Throughout this long time span, excluding last seven years, we had hardly been together for about 1000 days. He had been in abroad and me here in India, but our regular communication with each other did not allow us to feel any physical distance which may separate us.

Much more has been said for the Late Mr. Jafferbhai (Nick name ‘Jeff’) in the above referred Blog, but today I would like to highlight some more aspects of his character and personality. His soft and sometimes outspoken manner always reflected his inner nature. Being a man of principles, he could never adjust himself with any dual standard people. Sometimes I counseled him by quoting T. S. Eliot, an English poet, in the words, “Human kind cannot bear very much reality.” but he would instantly reply, “My work is over to say what I had to, Valibhai. Now, it is his own business whether to agree with me.”

Mr. Jafferbhai’s life was philanthropic and who-so-ever came in contact with him knew it very well. He had hundreds of friends wherever he moved and they were in variety also like Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsees. Mr. Bhailalbhai, a Jain from Ahmedabad, has remained his business partner for the last three decades and still their Partnership continues. He always favored most those African people and nobody dared criticize them face to face to him. He argued in many ways that those people are really good people, nowhere to be found on earth.jafarbhai_jeni.jpg

Mr. Jeff had run his store in a Jew population area for 27 years where he was known as “Shalom King”. Some years ago, Nasir Ismailee had written an Article on him in his weekly chain of Articles titled “Sanvedna-na-soor (Tunings of emotions)” in Gujarat Samaachar. I’ll quote Mahatma Gandhi to co-relate its wording with Mr. Jeff’s practical approach of dealing with his clientele circle. It is as this: “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work, he is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider to our business, he is a part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him, he is doing us a favor by giving us opportunity to do so.”

The Late Mr. Jafferbhai was a very popular figure among three generation of his customers with his self inspired virtues and good nature. His dealing with them was in a touch of Indian culture and affections; and that was the secret of his popularity. Financially, he earned little; but ethically he gained more. American people lacking family feelings could get comfort sharing their personal problems with him. He was a devoted man of action, compassion and love. To all, he was more than a businessman; always caring and taking personal interest to solve their any type of problems.

Such was the life of a very simple and honest man. I recall here a saying: “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life such when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” Mr. Jeff was a living example of this saying. I know that all his near ones and the rest who witnessed his life will surely miss him the great. His last struggle against his sickness of hardly 2 or 3 months is over now. The upper and the final circle of his life spread over 74 years has narrowed to a Dot. It is the hard luck of mine that I could not remain physically present when he breathed his last in States. It would have been better if I could convey my condolence in person to the members of his family there. My heart and tears are with them and I’ll also miss him equal to they people do till I am alive as I am the part of the Late’s family.

On behalf of the Late’s and my own families, I thank very much all those people around the world who have expressed their warm and sympathetic messages of condolence to us to bear the irreparable loss of the Late. Their prayers will surely prove to be beneficial to the soul of the Late in heaven and help us to draw upon our and his beloved ones’ strength to accept the fact that he is no more with us physically; but, in our memory, he will remain as if he is alive.

With a heavy heart, I conclude my Article here by reciting a pious verse “Surely, from the Almighty God we come and to Him shall we return.” May God bless his soul to rest in heaven amongst the proximity of the souls of those who enjoy the bliss and kindness of Him.

May God bless the members of my Blog family also.

– Valibhai Musa
Dtd. :
27th August, 2007

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2007 in Article, લેખ, MB

 

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Soul – Its nourishment

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Previously in my Blog “Soul – A brief study”, we had discussed that human life is composed of body and soul. Soul is a creation of God without any matter and that also by His command or as His work. I apologize from my Readers to make the repetition of the above findings as you may perhaps think them sounding like a broken record; but it is necessary to link the same with our further discussion in the subject here.

God has created souls for some objectives which are expected to be attained by the human being. Here, we will have to leave these objectives aside as it is the independent subject and the same is not related here. Now, we should bear in our mind that soul has been provided a body in which it can dwell and attain its objectives. An efficient horse-riding is only possible when both the horse and its rider are efficient. The efficiency of any single cannot bring the expected results. Same way, the soul is a rider and body the horse. Conclusion is that both soul and body must remain healthy. It is said, “Prevention is better than cure.” Now, we have to find out the root cause which makes both body and soul unhealthy or sick.

Body and soul need nutrition and hygienic care. Biological sciences and spiritual philosophies have found out a conclusive finding of the same in the words ‘balance’ and ‘imbalance’. The root cause of sicknesses of both body and soul come under this theory and to say in a single word resulting from ‘imbalance’. The slightest imbalance makes the body as well as soul sick. We take an example of an athlete walking on a horizontally hanging rope. While walking on the rope, he maintains his balance. If he fails to do so, he immediately falls down. Similarly, the same thing happens in the cases of both body and soul, an unfair state of sickness resulting from any imbalance.

Before going further into the discussion of the titled subject in detail, we will have to drop here also the discussion of body aside as the researchers have provided us a lot of knowledge in this regard. Now, we will concentrate ourselves towards ‘soul’ only in this brief essay regarding its sickness, nutrition, care and cure.

Spiritual nourishment is the food of the soul. The principal sources of this nourishment are ‘faith in God’ and ‘moral disciplines’. When the soul becomes the victim of spiritual sickness coming from psychological disturbances and complexes, the above two main remedies come forward to help us to maintain the balance of our soul.

Above two remedies, faith in God and moral disciplines cannot be found out from any outward sources. They can be created from within ourselves. Moreover, their only creation is not sufficient, but we will have to make them strong by various means which have been shown in every religion on the earth. For physical fitness, the exercises are necessary. Likewise, the exercises of soul for its fitness are common in all religions. They are such as faith, morality, prayers or meditations, adoration, overcoming desires, contemplation over life and its objectives, utilizing the precious gift of reason favored by God etc.. To make our physique sound and healthy, some months or years are enough for result orientation; but to reach towards the spiritual perfection of the soul, the entire life may be insufficient. The life long efforts may bring the satisfactory results. Any imbalance of a second may make everything ruinous.

My attempt to discuss the above subject, which is very profound and delicate also, is like a drop in the ocean; but, I am sure, it may prove to be a “Light House” to some Readers who have not yet given any thought to such philosophical issues due to their busy occupancies in their worldly affairs. Human is a thinking being. Descartes has rightly said, “I think; therefore, I exist.” Every individual’s belief should be as the natural outcome of free thinking. Human differs from the rest creatures of the earth on the ground of its reason (intelligence) which is gifted by God. The logic of the reason alone is the guide to the right path of human life. After the creation by the God, the human has been left free to do whatever it likes. It is at liberty whether to uplift its own soul upwards or throw it downwards.soul.jpg

In brief, it can be said that human is empowered with capability of being a self made super human. Human is the sculptor of its own life. My Readers will understand very well what I mean to say with the picture of a sculpture presented here. The sculpture is titled as ‘Self made Man’; but the profound message behind it is to carve own self in a spiritual form, but not the least in a physical form. Our physique is already carved (created) by the God and the making of our own body is not in our hands. What we have to do is to carve (develop) our souls ourselves.

We should try to reach the summits of spirituality so that we can know the God and get His nearness. This is the only objective of human life and to achieve the same, the human should contemplate over to understand the mysteries of the Creator and His creations. A Hadith preaches the Believers in these words: “One hour’s contemplation is better than seventy years of adoration.”

May God guide us all to the truth and lead us to His divinity by purifying our souls with His mercy.

With regards,

– Valibhai Musa
Dtd. : 25th August, 2007

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2007 in લેખ, MB

 

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Soul – A brief study

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Some of my Readers, having gone through my previous blog ,
Inspired Knowledge’ contacted me by various means and requested that I may write some more Articles like that of appealing to spirituality or philosophy. Prof. Vinayak Raval, a friend of mine, was once of the same opinion after his review of this particular story. ‘Inspired Knowledge’ is written in a typical style as the debate of some philosophical issues; but, today, I am going to represent my study about ‘soul’ in the form of an essay in brief; rather it is like to fill an ocean into a very small earthen pot.

The supreme aim of human life is to know the God. Rabindranath Tagore has quoted, “The ultimate end of man is to find the One (God) which is in him, which is his truth, which is his soul, the key with which he opens the gate of the spiritual life, the heavenly kingdom.” Ali Ibn Abu Talib (AS) also said, “Whoever knew his soul, knew his Lord.” The man has acquired knowledge in various sciences, but the profound philosophy of truth regarding God, soul, universe, life, death etc. has not yet ended with any concrete conclusions unanimously. Out of various topics mentioned here, the knowing of God is rather difficult due to the certain limitations of the human mind. Somebody has said, “In knowing Thee, O Wonder of the Cosmos, the mind is weakened all the while; Whenever my reason comes a span closer to Thee, it surely flees a mile.” A Gujarati poet has also said, “Man has overcome steam and electricity; but he could not overcome his mind. He reached the planets, but could not reach his inner soul.” Khalil Gibran’s quotation in this regard is also significant: “Say not, ‘I have found the truth’; but rather, ‘I have found a truth’.”

My preamble is over here and, now, I start to step further into my subject of soul, today. The very first basic belief about soul, in view of many scholars and also religions, is that it is a creation. Creation is always dependent of the Creator. Here, I put an example thought out myself to go further into the subject. The example is of a wooden chair, a creation; and the carpenter, its creator – better to say ‘maker’ of the chair. The chair came into existence (formation) with the workmanship of the carpenter. He designed it and gave the shape or mode of the chair using wood. This is simply an example and, by no way, the carpenter can take the place of the Creator and also the chair of the soul. All the four are quite different with their respective pairs.

Let us go further some deep into the illustration. The chair is dependent of the carpenter. It came into existence from the wood and the work of the carpenter. The Creator is eternally in existence and the rest other than Him came into existence from non-existence as His work. Thus, the Almighty God is on one part and all the rest visible or invisible in the universe are on the other part on our thinking platform. They are known as the Creator and the creations respectively. Soul is also the part and parcel of His creations. Everything including soul is from Him. The carpenter made the chair from the matter (wood); but soul is created by the Creator without any matter (object).

Further, we divide our hypothesis into two possibilities how the God has created soul. (1) Soul might have been created by his order, commandment or authority. Here it is not to be meant as any utterance of any words as we do, but His will is sufficient for anything He wishes to do. (2) Creation of soul would have been His work or task. Here also any workmanship or labor is not to be understood, but simply to say that soul is His work, a created thing and not at all self-existent.

Here, I would like to clarify that the opinions regarding the subject in discussion may vary wildly according to some religions and philosophies and also extremely contradictory.  Some consider the soul as immaterial, while others consider the soul possibly having a material component. Dr. MacDougall has scientifically tried to establish that the soul has the weight of some ¾ of an ounce or 21.3 grams through his experiments on dying persons. The theory of the soul having material form and also weight has been discarded not only by religions bent people but also the scientists. Whatever the difference of opinion may be in this regard, but it is interesting that human has been trying to know the mystery of these philosophical issues for the numerous centuries or perhaps millenniums.

Now, we come to our track of the subject. Previously in my preface of ‘Inspired Knowledge’ I had put an equation to explain existence of Human with combination of body and soul. Here below, we will try to know about the functions of both body and soul specifically.

Let us take first body in debate. The properties (characteristics) of the body are mainly growth and decay. Body requires food and it is kept securely in stomach. Its next functions are digestion and removal of the waste through urine, stool, perspiration and air etc.. Food turns into blood which circulates in the body through veins. Thus the body exists living until death comes. Body is the house of the soul and when it falls down, the soul leaves it at once. Somebody has said in a poetic style, “Soul made intention of leaving. I said, ‘Do not leave’. It said, ‘What can I do? The house is falling apart’.” Now, where the soul goes is not our subject here and if God wishes we may perhaps discuss it separately later on.

Our discussion about body still continues. We tried to understand in general the internal system of body with functions of internal organs. Now, we shall see in brief the function of one more internal organ which is called brain in Anatomy. In terminology of spirituality it is called mind. Our brain (mind) is the assistant of our soul and the master of the body. This assistant may play a roll of either an angel (friend) or a devil (enemy) of our soul. Further to clarify, it can be said that the brain has five employees under it that can be named as eyes, ears, nose, tongue and finger tips. These are the media of sensations respectively; sight, hearing, smelling, taste and touch. When the brain experiences all these sensations, it can be said that the brain is in a state of animation or living; otherwise it is called as dead brain. Thus, the properties of the functions of brain are love and hate. My intelligent Readers can understand how our feelings of love and hatred lead us towards good or evil deeds.

Thinking, memory and knowledge are the vital functions of the brain. Immediately after these abilities of the brain, the two functions of soul start; and they are forbearance and dignity. These two positive virtues of soul work as the initial driving force to still superior advancement of spirituality which may be known as Divinity of the soul. It is named also the Tranquil soul and it is the highest stage of its perfection. This perfection can be acquired with good deeds. King Solomon has said, “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, and it is destroyed when you are cruel.” Saint Tulsidas has also said in a verse,’ “Kindness is the root of Dharma (Religion).”

Let us go further. The soul of Divinity is now capable to have powers such as (1) To be immortal in morality (2) To get bliss in adversity (3) To find honor in disgrace (4) To be poor in riches; and (5) To have patience in woes. With these virtues, the soul achieves the most valuable state of faith as to accept the will of God and submit to His commands. This Tranquil soul conquers not only its worldly desires but also the desire of the paradise too. It becomes apart from temptation of Heaven and fear of Hell. In view of this Tranquil soul, the Heaven and Hell are also creations and its supreme goal is the Creator – to get His nearness and to have His mercy.

The theories invented by human minds regarding soul are many. Religions are many, but they all are unanimous in differentiating good deeds and evil deeds. The fundamental principles of all religions are the same. These common principles may make a new school of thought and behavior. This ideology may be named as ‘Humanity’. The motto of this ‘Humanity’ may be laid out as ‘Live and let live.’ The true followers of any religion are of the opinion of ‘self reform’. After the self reformation of own, they propagate for good and forbid to evil. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has said in a tradition, “To overcome evil with good is good; to resist evil by evil is evil.” The uplifting of soul depends on uplifting of the character. We are now approaching a global economy, a global culture. Now let us globalize this mission of ‘Humanity’ to establish Universal Peace. Souls of individuals make the soul of a nation; and souls of the nations make the soul of the universe. To make the universe glorious, the individuals will have to promote their souls towards advancement and perfection.

Summing up, this Article is the collective work of my own ideas, a little bit my inspired knowledge, memory of my reading in past in the subject and also the support of recently referred book ‘Journey to the unseen world’.

May God unite all humans in their various complexions, nationalities, races and lineages.

-Valibhai Musa
Dtd.:
3rd August, 2007

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2007 in લેખ, Humanity, MB

 

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Honesty

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Chanakya has quoted, “A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.” My Readers will be surprised to read this quotation, in the beginning of my essay, somewhat contradictory to the title. But, we have to mark the word ‘too’ and it will be clear that Chanakya has not denied the virtue of honesty completely; but, in a profound sense, the honest people have been  counseled and warned to be prepared with the adverse outcomes after showing excessive honesty. Honesty cannot be measured in length, weight or volume. In other words, it cannot be defined under term of any counting and therefore the question does not arise that the honesty should be in this proportion or that proportion. Thus, the word ‘too’ becomes null and void here and honesty remains in the same position as the very important factor of man’s character building.

There are many duals opposite to each other in human life that cannot live together.  In early times, it was said, “Laxmi (goddess of wealth) and Sarswati (goddess of education) cannot live together”. Same way, ‘greed’ and ‘honesty’ are opposites of each other. A greedy man cannot observe the virtue of honesty and an honest man is always far away from greed.  I would quote Mahatma Gandhi here in reference to the word ‘greed’ only as his quotation is not wholly appropriate here. The quotation is – “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” Honest people are always full of satisfaction with what they have and that is why they never come in temptation of any gain for which they have no any lawful right.

William Shakespeare’s dialogue in a play is like this, “Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.” These are the literary quotes and they can be understood in reference to the character’s situation. But, naturally honest people  show their honesty always,  not occasionally. Here below, I would like to mention an honest man. His honesty cannot be valued in money because the amount was in Indian old coins of 2 Annas (presently 12 paise) i.e. INR 0.12. Now, go further to the real story of the Late Nurakaka, the native of Kanodar, a very simple old man of 70, wearing Dhoti (Under waist garment), full sleeved shirt and headdress (turban) made of Handloom Cloth. The year of the episode was 1952 or 1953.

On that particular day, a friend of mine was to travel in the same train from Palanpur to Umardeshi (A flag Rly. Station, 1.75 mile far from Kanodar). Nurakaka asked my friend to buy two tickets for him on his behalf. My friend did so. When the train started, my friend asked him for the other person for whom the ticket was purchased. Nurakaka smiled and said that both the tickets were for him. He explained that while traveling from Umardeshi to Palanpur in the morning, he was late to buy the ticket as the train had already arrived. By reciting the name of Allah, he had traveled without ticket. He further said that it was the grace of the Almighty Allah that he was not caught by the Ticket Checker. He simply said, “Why should we be dishonest to the Raaj (Government)? After all the Railway is ours and it is for us.” What a noble thinking!

My Readers can be witness of the self inspired discipline and honesty of Nurakaka here. Moreover, Nurakaka’s honesty was natural otherwise he would have ignored such a negligible thing and that also when he had successfully completed his journey without ticket. Such are the occasions happening in our routine life also, but  we don’t give any serious thoughts over them.

One more illustration of my own experience is here. I had been to a Bank to encash a bearer cheque valued INR 800 lying idle in my firm’s A/c. The cashier took a bundle of hundred rupee notes. He counted a score and handed me over 80 notes of INR 100. I was watching through the window that he was mistaking. I picked those 80 notes in my hand, counted 8 and I placed the rest 72 notes on his table slightly. This happened like lightening. The poor fellow stood up from his chair and he was so much astonished that he could not speak anything, but his face was telling me too much which I heard lately from him on phone when I returned to my office. In a crying voice, he thanked me and told that the sum of INR 7200 was a great thing for him. In those days co-operative bank employees were paid very little. He further said that his family would have to pass three months like in a starving state or he would have to borrow money on interest.

Above illustrations are related to money matters, but the honesty has some ethical values also. An essayist in Gujarati gives an example of a shoe-maker. While assorting some waste pieces of leather, he picks up one to make the shoes of a child. But, at the very next moment, he throws it away and picks up the soft one. This interchange of the pieces of leather is the result of his honest thinking that he is going to make the shoes of a child; not any particular child, but a human child. He instantly listens to the voice of his inner soul that the shoes to be made from the hard leather are surely to irritate the child’s feet. Here, we can find a simple but very practical and ethical form of honesty. Such people are noble and perhaps the God delays to destruct the earth with some disasters as said in some religions in honor of such people.  Somebody has rightly said that an honest man is the noblest work of God.

Summing up, I cannot restrict myself in quoting Chanakya once again. He said, “God is not in idols. Your feelings are your God and the soul is your temple.” The words ‘Honesty’ and ‘Truth’ are synonymous according to some Philosophers; but, in view of many others, ‘Honesty’ is the practical stage of ‘Truth’. They argue that ‘Truth’ is first established and then stored in mind, but the honesty is the expression of ‘Truth’ resulting in action. In brief, it can be said that ‘Truth’ is the theory and ‘Honesty’ is the practical. Brigham Young says the same thing in these words, “Honest hearts produce honest actions.” The honest person is praised everywhere. He gets honor in the world. The honest man thinks honestly, speaks honestly and works honestly. Some dishonest people wear the face of honesty just to cheat others, but they do not know that they are cheating themselves. They do not hold any honor in the eyes of the people and God also. Socrates has quoted, “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”

That’s all, my friends. See you again,

With best regards,

– Valibhai Musa
Dtd. 7th August, 2007

Note:- My Gujarati Readers may read Gujarati version of this Article on Vijaybhai Shah’s Blog.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2007 in લેખ, Character, MB

 

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