Thursday, 22 March 2012

SEEKING THE BOUNDLESS

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There is something in a Human being which does not like boundaries. There is something in us which wants to be boundless. This is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Animal life is just survival (and procreation). However, where animal life ends, Human life begins. Survival is the most basic need of a Human being. Once that is taken care of, the true potential of being Human opens up. Exploration of life beyond mere survival opens up. 

Beyond just survival
With rapid technological advances in the past century the survival problem has been taken care of . We have extended our lifespan and our lifestyle in many ways. We are the most comfortable generation on this planet. Now this opens up the question of 'what next'? Is it going to more of the same (comforts), or something else? Youth today are exploring options never done before. Each of us would know a friend who has chosen to take a break after college or take a break from job and chosen a path less traveled. This could be joining an NGO to volunteer for a cause, travel, choose a spiritual path, join politics etc. We see huge youth participation in many social movements around the world. Similar trend is seen in the field of entrepreneurship and choosing careers aligned to personal passions. This is the undercurrent today. The quest to break the boundaries and seek the boundless has just become stronger.

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Spiritual undercurrents
There are also very subtle and not so obvious undercurrents. Many have realized that one cannot seek the boundless from the boundaries of the physical body. Seeking answers to existential questions today youth around the world are also thronging to many spiritual movements. Art of Living of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Isha Foundation of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, BAPS of Swami Narayan Sanstha are some of the examples which come to our mind. Most of the teachers in these spiritual movements are very young.  Yoga and Meditation has entered most homes around the world. Vegetarianism, belief in karma and reincarnation, Ayurveda, traits of the ancient Hindu culture are on the rise again all over the world. Likewise we can see an increasing trend in organic farming and eco-friendly lifestyles, business schools are busy developing economic models with a Human touch, scientists are realizing that many of their theories echo the spiritual wisdom from the East etc. Basically we are getting closer to our true selves, the outward manifestations of which are varied. This is a silent spiritual movement engulfing the world. 

Aligning the Movement for Social Transformation
This movement is decentralized and touches the very core of who we are. It is widespread geographically and touches all aspects of Human life at the same time.  Mere self transformation is not enough, it needs to lead to social transformation. What is needed today is to align this exuberance of the youth with social consciousness. That is a potent mixture. We have the technology, resources and people at our disposal; if our consciousness is aligned in the right direction, most of the world's problems can be solved. These are exciting times indeed. 

'A handful of people can throw the world off its hinges, provided they are united in thought, word, and deed, never forget this' - Swami Vivekananda

Let us not be mere spectators to the change, let us be a part of it. Don't be a nut, break the shell and seek the boundless!

Shobhit Mathur

The author is a B-Tech from IIT-Bombay 2004, MS from University of Washington 2006, founding editor of Tattva an international magazine for Youth, and currently heading an organization called 'Youth For Seva' which aims to make volunteerism a movement in India. 

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