Parent trap – spiritual awakening

My mom died few months ago. Till she was alive, I was a dutiful son whose purpose in life was to look after her as well earn for my spouse and dependents. Now that my mom is no more, there is a space/void which needs to be filled in with some positive habits. Saw a family episode/serial on Netflix wherein couples fight hard, just to ensure safety of their parents. One thing to note was that both the spouses consider only their own parents as more dearer than their in-laws. My wife and mom fought for almost 17 years and lived their separate ways. My mom used to call me a married bachelor. Now that my mom is no more due to natural causes, I am urgently in need of filling up the space in my life.

Today while returning home from office, saw an old age home- gave food for my thoughts as to why people are admitted to such homes, inspite of the knowledge that it is their duty to look after their parents. Some think looking after parents is a trap, because they get manipulated. May be, my wife is right that my mom tried to manipulate me or may be my mom was right. Now that my mom is no more, should I be happier to be married? Why am I still in constant search of a habit to fill up my void.

There are copius literature in religious philosophies that not only marriage or parents are a trap but the entire existence of a human being is a trap. In Mukundamala authored by Kulashekaralwar, he compares family as a weight which brings down a person to his/her knees in this sea of life that a person cannot get liberated to reach the shore without believing in the supreme being called God. Sage Shankaracharya in his epic Bhaja Govindam, says that this human life is a misery and asks the help of the supreme personality of godhead to save.

Now that I have completed my goal to take care of the parents who gave birth to me, what should my next goal be? I believe it is necessary to plan for a goal for your entire life because without a change in goal, a person may become frustrated to end his life. A former colleague of mine by name Kirti Krishna had committed suicide after his mother died. Was it because he could not fill up his life with some goal which needed to be achieved? Once I read in some book that an average age of a human being is around 80 years -90 years and we should always be thinking as to how to utilise the still remaining life by learning something new.

I am 44 years this month. Considering I have another 44 years to live, I should be having some goals to achieve in this period. Instead of thinking that these 44 years past has been spent in activities not decided by ourselves but by our parents (10-12 years of childhood, another 10 years of adolescence, another 5 years of collegiate education etc). My father asked me to do B.Sc., and then study LLB – I did so. I wanted to do an M.Sc., just like my class mates in my BSc Hariharan and Rathnakar, who went on to study MSc in physics and later on got their Phd doctorates. Probably, I should plan now to do an M.Sc. in Physics as a goal for next few years just to realise a childhood dream or I should now fill the void in my life to concentrate on improving my career for next decade.

With Covid-19 going on, the future may look bleak, but life should go on till we breath our last breath. So planning for the remaining 44 years of my life on earth has just started. I have had several things going on like I am in my fifth semester of my Master of Computer Applications Course from IGNOU and yet to appear in a single exam – I should probably fill the void/time in my life (after office hours) to complete all my unfinished courses. I already have a couple of graduation and post graduation degrees in religious philosophies from Universities in Tamilnadu – should I join more or should I practise what I have learnt by educating others?

Choices, choices, choices. Life is full of choices. I have spent less than half of my life till date (considering that I may live till 80 or 90 years of age). What is that I would regret not doing- should I concentrate on that one thing? My earlier part of my life could have been a parent trap but now that I have lost both my parents, how am I gonna sculpt my remaining 40-50 years of lifetime. Will the spiritual scriptures come to my aid?

When I was working in the erstwhile law firm Themis Associates, I used to get a Diwali gift card from my employer and one such year I had purchased three sun glasses from the brand Fast-track. Here in this picture from February 2015, I forced my mom to wear my sun-glass for the selfie while my wife and daughter are wearing theirs. The location is a beach in Goa, India and we are on a boat to see dolphins.

My mom was a devout Hindu brahmin lady who constantly thought of the Supreme Personality Mahavishnu during her last days. In the morning of the day she died, she talked over phone with her sister-in-law Kannamma that lord Krishna has granted her liberation from this life. My mom took her last breath on the evening at 6:30 pm on 8th July 2020, when my elder sister was with her. What my mom-practised, is what she taught me too. All our religious scriptures, talk about the human life as being a painful journey which can get liberated only though the grace of supreme personality of godhead Sriman Narayana. There are lots of such scriptures written in Tamil language which needs to be translated into Kannada, which is the language I am most familiar with after English. I have prior experience in translating Tamil and English into Kannada for a blog run by a friend Sarathy Thothadri. I am gladly willing to form a habit of translating such religious texts which not only enables me to learn more but also helps others who may read it in future.

What does God expect me (or anyone) to do in life – the philosophy which I follow dictates to dedicate myself to my work and see God in it. Heavy stuff!! It asks us to surrender our soul to the lotus feet of the Lord. Heavier Stuff!! It asks us to be constantly remembering that God alone could save us from this cycle of birth and death.

There are knowledge to be learnt- both useful or useless as one thinks or believes it to be. What is useless to one may be useful to another. So learning or gaining knowledge can never be useless, but not using the knowledge gained is useless. So next comes into picture, what can be done for management of knowledge (or KM as is popularly known). How can Knowledge Management be done in such a way that the person who has gained knowledge will make it easier to comprehend by a newbie without having to go through the same rigorous process that the researcher had gone through. I am hearing that Python is a good language to analyse the data/knowledge humans have gained so far to make it easily accessible for future generation. So should I start learning data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence to manage the knowledge I have gained in reading scriptures?

Choices are endless – what we need to do is take action of fulfilling at least some of the goals. With a goal in hand, a person can never get bored in life. So to fill my void in my life, all I need to do is choose a goal and put some action into it.

Soliloquy by Thirunarayan at 2:30 am in India 😉

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