Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Unity in Adversity

Saluting adversity After returning from the 14 year exile, Sri Ram went and met kaikeyi, to seek her blessings.  She was  his step mother who was instrumental in banishing him and so he was asked , why salute the very person  who caused  so  much  pain and suffering in his life? Sri Rams answer was poignant. He replied that it was because of his step mothers doing that he  developed resilience, patience, came across an adversary like Ravan, which helped him discover his strengths. She was instrumental in his evolution to godliness. Therefore he wanted to express his gratitude to the person who helped him actualise himself. Very often a lot of time and energy is spent on admonishing the persons and events that we feel are responsible for our pain and suffering. Persons and circumstances are merely tools to effect what lies in store for us. Seeking revenge has been the recipe for many a celluloid hits. In fact for some, vendetta becomes the mission of their lives. Is this not in a way killing the messenger? Adversity comes in the guise of a scheming adversary, or then, as a  set of mitigating circumstances well beyond our  sphere of control.  Adversity in all it's plurality  harnesses hitherto unknown abilities and talents that would have remained dormant in more favourable circumstances. The pink cheeks of high altitude dwellers are in reality the compensatory rise in concentration of haemoglobin, to offset the lower atmospheric pressure of oxygen. Adaptation is the greatest benediction for homo sapiens. It has singularly been responsible for all the evolutionary strides.The immune system works best when exposed to a spectrum of antigenic stimuli.  Virtues are partly genetic and largely acquired.  Adversity is the genesis of  the acquired  ones and  has been the driving force that has propelled human ingenuity and resilience. The biceps hypertrophies and  bulges only after pumping iron. Adversity is the iron that flexes  and contours the biceps of the mind and spirit.  A conviction in ones abilities. It breeds innovation and enterprise. It serves as the chisel that shaves off the undesirable and ungainly aberrations to sculpt a chiselled shapely  demeanor. It embellishes confidence with a dash of humility,the touch of mascara that highlights poise with a subtlety. Adversity polishes the rough  edges of the ego to a smooth rounded wholesomeness.  It  transforms  brash self indulgence to a surreal  self reliance.  A very assertive "I can do" graduates  to a tranquil "I can endure". Adversity shifts the focus of change from without to within . It is the harbinger of  changing ones perception rather than condemning the  world around us. It generates compassion as one learns to empathise with fellow travellers  sharing this equally bumpy  and uncomfortable ride. It  sprouts equanimity  from the seed of tolerance,  watering  it with  patience. It kindles the spirit with a spark of motivation  that generates the warmth of optimism  to help thaw the chill  of  skepticism. It serves as a vaccine to stimulate an immune resilience. It lends a touch of active forbearance  to an apparently  passive submission. It helps master the philosophy of being an anvil,  viz. to  bear the impact without deforming .  It matures the spirit to a level of sublime intoxication  where the self effaces itself  to become  a  witness, an observer. Adversity .evolves the soul by transcending it to a state of immutability  in this ever changing kaleidoscopic arbitrariness called life. Dr Deepak M. Ranade (the author is a consultant neurosurgeon, - deepakranade@hotmail.com)


Mini Arya said...

A very encouraging post indeed, a good combination of spiritual and scientific facts. Adversity is a state of life which truly proves the inner strength and a right check of one's will power.
keep on posting such thoughtful and wonderful posts Dr.Deepak.

srinivasan said...

shakespeare-sweet are the uses of adversity which like the toad ugly and venomous bears yet a precious jewel on its head
gary zukov-every tragedy is a learning opportunity
thanks doc,wish this is read out by the elders to the young as they have a longer road ahead