After publishing last week’s article on the power of our association (Company Matters), I felt I have more to add on the subject. Lets further our discussion with a tool that’s my favourite for disseminating wisdom– A story!
One may hardly find a person born in the land of Bharat who is not aware of the story of Ramayana.
In the Sundarkand section of the Ramayana that primarily expounds the glories of Shri Hanuman, there is a beautiful incident that I wish to discuss and share.
The contingent of monkeys and bears that are sent down south for the search of Mother Sita reach the shores of Indian Ocean. There they meet with the king of vultures, who pinpoints the location of Mother Sita in Lanka. The enthusiasm and the happiness of the team having found the location of Mother Sita are quickly extinguished as crossing the vast Ocean seems to be an impossible task. All the prominent members doubt their ability to cross the Ocean and return back.
Majority of the monkey and bear team led by Angada, accept defeat and decide to fast until death.
At that moment, the oldest and wisest amongst them, the Bear king, Jambvan reminds Shri Hanuman of His divinely mystical prowess. Shri Jambavan narrates episodes from Shri Hanuman’s fantastical childhood, helps Him recognize his divinity and ultimately motivates Him to cross the Ocean and complete the designated task of reaching Mother Sita and delivering Her Shri Ram’s message. Rest, as they say, is history.
The above incident in the Ramayan is testimony to the power of the right company. When you surround yourself with the right people, you can even achieve perceived impossible tasks with sublime ease.
Everyone needs a Jambavan in their life. Someone who can remind us of our latent spiritual potential. A friend, a counsel who can motivate and inspire us to fulfil our potential. Not everyone can have the power of Shri Hanuman (it’s not even needed), and not everyone has the task of crossing oceans. But, in each person’s life, there are situations where they need a pick-me-up.
“If speaking kindly to plants can make them grow, imagine what speaking kindly to humans can do.”
Uplifting words are like nectar to the mind and the spirit. They nourish one’s inner self that motivates them to act with vigour.
What kind of company do you keep?
Does your company inspire to become a better individual?
Or does it debilitate?
The Vedic scriptures say that a true friend would even endure harsh words from the friend to bring them on the path of dharma (moral purpose and conduct).
When I was growing up, a few friends and I used to love watching the auditions of Roadies (hey, everyone has a past!). The most joyful part for us was how the judge, Raghu, used to insult the contestants. Upon reflection, I find it sad that sarcasm and putting others down has been made to appear cool by popular culture. Chandler Bing’s sarcasm (a character from the American sit-com FRIENDS) is immensely popular.
Do you remember as kids, our elders advised us to be around the studious students? The elders had were right that the company influences you.
Be around drunkards, and you’ll become one eventually.
Be around failures, and you’d start thinking it’s okay to have a victim mindset.
Associate with successful people and their magnetism will uplift and inspire you to grow.
It pains me that most often, it’s a person’s inner circle that ends up harming them than someone unknown. The most difficult challenge that one faces in life is usually from near and dear ones than that outside.
Look around your circle and find the ones who work to inspire through their conduct, words and personality. Be around such people for their company itself can a potential catalyst for your growth.
It is also essential to reflect on how do we interact with our friends?
Do we uplift, enable and inspire?
All change begins with oneself.
What you give out comes back to you, such is the law of life.
Be that light for others and seek that light.
Choose to be the wise bear. (Wise Panda is taken, wink wink)
Thank you so much for reading until the end of the piece.
Love, laughter, harmony and joy