Friday, August 5, 2011

Happiness and content is better than any other material possession: a personal argument

If there is no money, there is no life is a common phrase which explains the value of money to all. Living would be difficult without money; money is the price that we pay for buying needs and wants. Though it’s possible to sustain without wants, we can’t survive in absence of basic needs like food. But money cannot do everything for many of us. Money cannot buy a peace of mind. Happiness which is defined as a state of mind by Dalai Lama is like an antidote for all types of suffering that we suffer in this cruel world.

“Health is Wealth”, highlights on the importance of health against wealth. Many of us catch two forms of disease, biological and mental disease. Mental problems are becoming serious in the 21st century. It’s causing severe treat to one’s family, relationship and to the society. Bhutan is currently facing lots of challenge to overcome this deadly virus. The rate of substance addiction among teenagers is rapidly increasing due to change in lifestyle and culture all because of modernization. While in the past Bhutan has been beautiful place to live as said by our parents and grand parents. Despite the fact that people are living a hardship life people of that time were happier among their family and in community. Younger one respects elders irrespective of rank and wealth that they have. Such kind of culture is diluted today. Presence of drug abuse, suicide, gang rapes etc has not heard or seen during those times.

A serious patient with prostrate cancer could be treated in highly equipped hospital abroad, if a family is wealthy enough to takes his patient outside Bhutan. A student can complete highly professional courses of his interest and would have been highly skilled person back in his country if the financial was not a serious matter. Money is what it does, it has power to save life and bestow a great foundation of knowledge in us. But it seems useless and meaningless for a real Buddhist practitioner like great Rinpoches and Trulkus. They use to teach people that desire for wealth act as a great enemy for one to take interest and practice religion. There are many texts too to explain the wonderful things about mind and meditation of controlling our mind, heart and soul to be a perfect human being. As such having money and properties are not just enough to lead good life. Being a kind, gentle, honest and compassionate to others and where his mind is arrested or addicted in learning Buddhism is the right approach to journey towards our life.

We cannot be sure to protect our wealth and life. One may be thinking of buying a luxurious car of Rs. 10,00000 with his money to show off his wealth. ‘What is there’? If he buys a car and a bad accident takes place within few days, not only the car even his precious life will be in high risk. Such type of accidents occurs frequently in all parts of the world. What are we going to do with our assets and properties if we are going to die tomorrow? Isn’t wise to become jachubsempa or enlightened beings rather than business minded creatures? When you have too much of wealth you will not have a peaceful mind, within a second you will develop negative thoughts or shift your inner personalities. Though you might have accumulated merits before within a fraction of second that merits will vanish.

Today our country is mostly known to the outside world with GNH philosophy. The idea of GNH is said to have originated from the father of modern Bhutan, third king of Bhutan. He has started the development activities of changing Bhutan with the fundamental concept of “Growth and prosperity”. It was actually based on balanced between material needs and spiritual needs. Such kind of development philosophy can be also interpreted as ‘Money in the hand and God at heart’. May be he doesn’t want his country to cry and shed tears as it is true that money creates chaos and disorder in the system resulting into too many crisis. It was wisely thought and articulated as a guiding philosophy to protect the sovereignty of our country by the great, fourth king of Bhutan. It has become critical subject worldwide. GNH could be a powerful strategy to tackle causes of unhappiness and suffering in this world. You can think of other things to argue that happiness and content is better than any other material possession?

The Waste Collector

The wonderful scenario presents a refreshing atmosphere for all in the middle of spring, 2008. People from different places gather the inhabitants of this magnificent foothill. They are mostly appointed by the government to provide services for the economic development of the nation. The most interesting part of the place would be meeting with ethnic group called Lhops, who are popularly known as Doyas. These local tribes are gentle, kind and naive by nature. One would definitely experience the real meaning of friendship, love and attachment by spending few days with them. ‘I have a friend from there, his name is Sam’. It is a garden for delicious fruits like oranges, leechi and Jackfruit. Jackfruit trees are scattered over almost all the places that it is not being used as the source of income which otherwise could have been possible.

Meanwhile Tsheten Doya is experiencing a slight change in his lifestyle as recently being employed as a dry sweeper in the dzongkhag administration. Initially his weak and fragile body failed to suit the demand of ESP personnel. He was about to be rejected from the interview but his simplicity and honesty earned him a reward which other competitor could not live up to. He called his friends who accompanied him till samtse to find a work and celebrated the occasion of getting a new job in Tamang’s Bar. ‘Today, I don’t have much to offer, let’s share one bottle of whisky among ourselves’. ‘We are so happy that you finally found your work’ replied one of his friends. As time stretch by, they enjoyed drinking a sip of whisky which lately made them quite benumbed.

Leaving him all alone, his friends left Samtse towards Sendhen embracing him with deep sorrow the next morning.

Possibly he managed to get one rented house at a low rent. Despite his meager income he bought things on a priority basis and started beginning his new life without any difficulties. After the third salary, he managed to buy one Samsung mobile @ Rs.1500. Since then he became interested in listening to radio and music most often.

A miracle awaited him unexpectedly. A doubt is suspected that a thief could have left the bag hidden in the secret garbage. As he segregated the waste, he discovered to his astonishment a brand new suitcase. He tried to rub his eyes twice to confirm it again. Taking it behind the toilet wall, slowly and carefully looking around him he opened the suitcase. He felt scared at first instance when he saw a bundle of 500 notes filled packed in the suitcase.

“What shall I do with this amount” he asked himself. “Should I return it back to where it lied or what about reporting it to the police”? After sometime, he alters his idea; instead thought wisely to accept the money as a gift of god. Later, he went home immediately to conceal it.

Following the incident, Doya bought a santro car and started doing small business on rented cottage in samtse market. By that time he has given up his work. The success of his business went well according to his plans. He knew how to invest and earn more profit so within a short time he became so rich by doing contract works. Then he was about to get married.

But one of his friends disturbed him too badly knocking the door. Later he came to realize that it was just in his dream. When he narrated the dream to his friend, both of them couldn’t stop laughing for a while.