Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Retirement is “Nirvana”


Today is September 30 – and I am celebrating my Retirement Anniversary.

I retired exactly 5 years ago.

Ideally – Retirement should be “Nirvana”.

Retired life should be free from all encumbrances and responsibilities – to enable you to live the life you always wanted to live.

You have played your innings – and now – you can relax and enjoy being a spectator.

But  is it so?

If you have retired – or are about to retire – here is a wisdom story for you to ponder over  the story is called “VOW OF CELIBACY

Are You Ready “Nirvana” ?
Inspirational Wisdom  For the Retired and About to Retire

VOW OF CELIBACY - An Apocryphal Teaching Story by Vikram Karve

A worldly man seeking Nirvana, true enlightenment, renounced worldly life.

He took a strict vow of celibacy – which was the sine qua non for attaining enlightenment and achieving a state of nirvana

He then headed for the hills to live an ascetic existence of a hermit.

He found a secluded cave where he began his simple contemplative meditative life.

He survived on natural wild vegetation in the forest  and he began his journey towards his quest for enlightenment and attaining nirvana.  

One day  he noticed holes in his robe.

He discovered that there were lots of rats in the cave who were chewing off his robes.

 the rats were nibbling at his toes and disturbing his meditation.

Perplexed  he went down to the town  and he consulted his Guru who said: “No problem. The solution is simple. Get a cat.”

“A cat...?” asked the man, perplexed.

“The cat will take care of the rats,” the Guru said.

So our nirvana seeking man got a cat  and he took it up to his cave.

The cat took care of the rats 
 and the man was undisturbed in his quest for enlightenment.

A few days later  the cat had eaten up all the rats in the cave.

As there were no rats left to eat  the cat started feeling hungry.

One day  the famished cat started moaning with hunger.

The constant moaning and crying of the cat disturbed the man’s meditation.

So  the man again rushed to consult his Guru.

“Get a cow,” the Guru advised the man.

“A cow...?” the man exclaimed in astonishment.

“Yes. The cow will yield milk with which you can feed your cat and satiate its hunger,” the Guru said.

So – the man got a cow.

He took the cow up with him  and he tied the cow outside his cave. 

Now the man would spend some time milking the cow – then feeding the cat with cow’s milk  and then settle down for his meditation.

A few days later the cow stopped giving milk  and the cow mooed loudly in a sad tone.

The hungry cat too had started moaning again.

Totally disturbed by the shrill anguished moaning of the hungry cat and loud disquieting mooing of the starving cow  the wise man ran to his Guru once again to seek his advice.

“Buy some seeds and plant them. Grow grass. Water your garden and tend to the plants. The crop will give food for the cow and for you,” the Guru said.

The man planted the seeds which yielded food both for the cow and for himself.

However now the man had to spend so much time tending to his garden 
 feeding and milking his cow  and giving milk to his cat  that he hardly got any time for meditation.

He rushed to his Guru again for help.

The Guru once again had a ready solution: “There is a young woman – she is a widow – poor thing  she is a destitute woman. She will look after everything  she will take care of all your needs  and you can meditate in peace and attain enlightenment.”

So – the man took the young woman up with him to the cave.

It was indeed a wonderful arrangement.

The young woman looked after everything.

The garden bloomed  cow and cat flourished  and the wise man could do his meditation undisturbed in his quest for enlightenment and he was on the path to nirvana.

Then  the winter season came  and it started getting cold.

One day it began to snow  and the temperature fell to sub-zero.

The young woman started to shiver owing to the biting cold.

 she could not bear the bitter cold any longer.

So the woman snuggled into the wise man’s bed.

She still felt cold.

So the woman tightly embraced the man with her arms.

But this was not enough – and she continued to feel cold – so she put her legs around him.

But – even now – she still felt cold – so she put her entire body in physical contact with his body  as that was the only way for her to keep warm.

Now tell me  which man can resist the tight embrace of an attractive woman in the prime of her life...?

His vow of celibacy lay shattered.

And so – with the vow of celibacy” broken  there ended the man’s quest for enlightenment and nirvana.

Soon  with all his new possessions to look after (the cat, the cow, and the woman)  the man returned back to the material world.

He began to live a worldly life as he used to do before  the same busy worldly life from where he had begun his journey towards enlightenment to attain Nirvana.

The “wise man was back to square one.

His dreams to attain a state of Nirvana remained unrealized  as he got busy with his worldly life.



Metaphorically  retirement is supposed to be nirvana”.

And celibacy is the essential prerequisite to attain a state of nirvana”.

“Celibacy” means burning your bridges to your previous material world, cutting off from your work life, and “doing nothing”.

Once you retire  you are supposed to give up all your “worldly” activities  and attain a state of bliss.

But does everyone do that?

I have seen that for many retired persons  there is no difference between their retired lives and earlier busy lives.

Even after you retire  you keep getting involved in various worldly affairs due to which you are not able to achieve the idyllic state of a blissful retired life.

Read the Story again.

And think about all the worldly activities which are hampering your quest for a tranquil and blissful retired life.

Is your retired life “Nirvana”...?

Are you living the tranquil life you always wanted to life in your autumn years...?

Have you “switched off”...?

Or are you still entangled in the hurly-burly of worldly affairs...? 

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All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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