Haiti – whats life worth ?

When there is a calamity of such huge proportions, you wonder this. What’s life worth ? As with the Tsunami in South Asia, the Earth Quake in China and then in Pakistan. Whole ideas of of religious morality come into question. The equation between Sin and suffering, between Karmic action and Consequence. What Sin did hundreds of thousands of people, including children, commit to call upon such suffering ? What astrologer could look at the the horoscope of so many people and predict tragedy for all of them at the same instant ?
How many of those were young people in love about to get married. How many plans for the future destroyed in one instant. How many pregnant mothers, with their last thoughts of their unborn babies that they nurtured as the concrete fell about them. How many parents reaching out to their children in that instant with the instinct to somehow save them, and being crushed to death before their hands could even touch them for one last instant. How many people desperately clawing at debris with their bare hands as they hear their loved ones screaming and crying for help, as the cries die down and knowing there is no hope, still clawing and screaming in agony, just one word again and again
Why ? Why ?
I don’t know why. But all I do know is that life is NOW. Grab it NOW. Tell them you love them NOW. Hug your kids NOW. Do what you have to do NOW. Tomorrow is a fantasy. The only reality is this moment and NOW.
And why does it take a tragedy to remind us again and again ?
My heart goes out to the people of Haiti. And to all of us. For we are not separate from them. None of our tomorrows are certain.

41 Responses to “Haiti – whats life worth ?”

  1. kavitha says:

    Unceasing coverage of the disaster brings unceasing introspection…and tears. As does this writing.

  2. arundati says:

    very touchingly written post…and its come as a very personal message for me today… thanks for this

  3. Is nature brutal or beautiful i.e., The ?

  4. Horst Vollmann says:

    Dear Shekhar:
    Tragedies of such epic proportions touch us deeply and they make us cry as we safely sit in our living rooms. In a little while new calamities will push back the meaning of all this into the opaque regions of our consciousness and before we know it we are back to business as usual.
    Not really, I don’t thinks so. This has stirred the collective capacity for compassion and sadness more than anything in recent history and there is a good reason for that. This time it has affected those who have hardly any possessions and those who have suffered through decades of heartrending poverty caused by ruthless dictators, corruption and exploitation. All this virtually at the doorsteps of the richest country on earth. For decades the have-nots were left to their own devices as though their misery was self-induced, sort of outside the realm of our own sense of responsibility.
    I believe such disasters will no longer let us move on and be concerned with our own often trivial problems. These are happenings that will not work themselves out as time goes by. These are cataclysms that make us probe into the complex of questions why we are mostly insulated from this kind of pain and why we have access to a myriad of safety nets while those that are now living through the darkness of a tropical nightmare cannot even bury their loved ones in dignity.
    When the global economic meltdown had exposed our vulnerabilities and the inequities of wealth distribution and the anger about a capitalist system gone haywire had begun to stir within the souls of even the most guileless people it became evident that big changes are in the making. The social chasms will no longer be seen as an immutable by-product of a class system we have all tried to find our niche in. Deep inside our existence there are stirrings that make it no longer acceptable to move on to the order of the day, to business as usual. Not this time and not ever again when such horror befalls our fellow men. I believe this will be the watershed of traditional thought processes when responding to a Haiti-like tragedy. We can no longer just do patch-up work, we must go all the way and make sure that despots, opportunists and political manipulators no longer are tolerated and that this new century will either bring the enlightenment we are capable of or the human race will find it increasingly difficult to survive and to justify our tomorrows.
    Kind regards.
    Horst

  5. p says:

    live in this moment- for there is none other.

  6. nimikhanna says:

    I pray for the people of Haiti.May our colletive prayers be a balm for them to heal.May we all live in a spirit of oneness.

  7. AJ says:

    Universe is singing a song
    Be Now Here
    We go Nowhere
    With your grace and love we Live
    This moment with existence and You
    We wish for Humanity and Human race
    Life full of joy and grace
    We Live and Wish
    Be Now Here
    I live Myself: God Is Nowhere, Life Is Nowhere
    Now is the time

  8. brahmastra says:

    There is divine intelligence at work in everything. Without getting into the details, the end goal of this machine is to deliver every soul to Moksha or liberation, and it all comes down to acceptance. So, in the bigger picture, there is no tragedy. And how can you assume that death is in anyway tragic? It may be so for the ones left behind, of course. But for the ones who die, they’ll be recycled into another form for further evolution.
    It is however an interesting point to note that these catastrophic natural disasters have, thankfully, not yet struck any of the major nerve centers of the world such as London, Mumbai, New York, etc.

  9. Sanjay says:

    Prayers and heartfelt condolences ! for Haiti victims. God ! your this act is disturbing. Now grant them the power and strength to cop with it.

  10. Deepak R says:

    so what exactly does NOW mean to you.(Hopefully not this clock second in time for eg?)
    Why do you think it escapes you?

  11. Trupti Shinde says:

    Isnt that the same question,
    “Why does this feeling only lasts for a moment?”
    One more bitter truth of life, we cannot ‘always’ live for the moment, is it possible?

  12. Shyam Prasad says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    Same thoughts are filling me…i see misery all around…Why does God do this? I have no answer..maybe it is the result of Karma, but why can there not be a world without suffering…I am going through a big personal problem in my life(which I would like to share with you some other time), but that seems like a molehill compared to what the people of Haiti must be going through….Am not able to find peace…

  13. Manojkumar says:

    very rightly said shekhar..tomorrow is only a fantasy..we must live in NOW..who knows what is in stote for us tomorrow??..thnks for sharing

  14. sf says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    I read you are coming to frisco…it is going to rain here all week ..so come prepared for rain πŸ™‚

  15. Hitika says:

    Brahmastra,
    How VERY selfish!
    “It is however an interesting point to note that these catastrophic natural disasters have, thankfully, not yet struck any of the major nerve centers of the world such as London, Mumbai, New York, etc.”
    Are you saying you are thankful the disaster did not strike your own house or that you are thankful it striked somebody else’s??
    Get a life dude. You need help..trust me on this!
    Nobody thinks you sound cool by always trying to deviate from the point of view of the masses.. so..GET OVER IT! sooner the better.
    Good Luck!

  16. brahmastra says:

    Deepak,
    Profound reminiscence. As long as “Now” is considered anything other than the residence in the Self, it would just be another form of escapism.

  17. Cinda says:

    Judgement…who here is qualified?
    Loviing healing prayers to all those in need…om shanti shanti shanti….ommmm

  18. Raju says:

    Why does God allow natural disasters?
    Check this thought provoking article on BBC’s web-site.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8467755.stm
    I haven’t fully read it yet, but am rushing to share it with you guys, since what I read was well-written.
    Regards,

  19. Anu says:

    Dear Shekar
    Its a wonderful sharing … Life does present itself in many unexpected ways and we just remain a reaction. We defiantely have to do something “now”
    I like your statement “But all I do know is that life is NOW. Grab it NOW. Tell them you love them NOW. Hug your kids NOW. Do what you have to do NOW. Tomorrow is a fantasy. The only reality is this moment and NOW”
    And at this moment I want to share with you how like minded people can work for humanitarian concerns. I would request you to please take a minute and vote for Isha foundation on Facebook -a few mouse clicks can help provide education to rural children in India. Chase Bank is conducting a contest on facebook and Isha Foundation is only Indian organization in the top 5. The deadline is saturday Jan 22nd, 2010. Help support this cause. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fDGx-t5VBk
    Vote now: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/1111517
    Thanks

  20. manish says:

    shekharji,
    life is a game of creation & distruction and we are in between it. Thats why krishna preaches his Geeta in the middle of battlefield. All of our questions of what is right and what is wrong are the questions of Arjunas. We have all to fulfil our duty with all of our consciouseness and we must have to spiritual support for it. Only then we will feel ease with it.
    ” Swadharmo nidhanam shreyha
    Parodharma bhayawha ”
    – Bhagwatgeeta.

  21. brahmastra says:

    Hitika,
    You are projecting your own state of mind, and the selfishness that lies there. What I meant is, for the collective good (or temporary convenience), those disasters have not struck any of those sensitive places..can you imagine how fast the world economy would collapse if something like that happened.
    Rest assured that I am not trying to impress or seem cool to people like you. My standards are much higher than that.

  22. Manav says:

    I agree with Horst to some extent but there are some unthinkable things that happen and just simply you cannot understand them.. I feel lucky to be alive… is all I can get from it and do the most out of it.
    Manav

  23. Hitika says:

    Brahmastra,
    The world economy nearly collapsed the year before last! And apparently, it has rebuilt itself now.
    Happened the same with the WTC too.
    My point is, however, the sheer bent of mind to be thinking of financial hubs and economies and all things urban and metropolis at such a grave time for people who are bereaved of their loved ones. I just couldn’t digest it!
    Anyway, all the best to you and your high standards.

  24. Pankaj Agrawal says:

    If there is hell anywhere int this world it must be here.

  25. brahmastra says:

    Hitika,
    So, you are a good lovey-dovey person, and I am not. If that is what you want to say, I’m super fine with that. I’d recommend that once your emotions have calmed down, read my original post again.

  26. brahmastra says:

    And Hitika,
    The economy is far from having made a recovery. And even then, don’t you see any flaws in your delusional logic while comparing those events to a catastrophic natural disaster?
    The frenzied emotions that you display are an adulterated form of compassion..borne of ignorance, fear, insecurity and selfishness. Why don’t you go light a candle, hold hands and make yourself feel better.
    The world is ripe with such light-weight pseudos. What the world needs is more “real”, spiritual powerhouses that can balance all this out. You may not grasp all this now.

  27. North says:

    you described the devestation and the anxiety, fear, pain with accuracy Shekhar!! I cannot wrap my head around such suffering of this magnitude and all i can think of is perhaps Mother Nature tries to shake us off her cloak?
    Namaste,
    North

  28. Hitika says:

    Brahmastra,
    Atleast you shouldn’t be talking of –
    Fear
    Insecurity &
    Selfishness!
    and lets please hear more about the “real” spiritual powerhouses you are referring to. Can you elaborate? do you have examples to substantiate this please?
    And people like Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela must sound real jerks to you, don’t they??

  29. Hitika says:

    And Brahmastra,
    “Those” events are comparable to natural disasters. Just that they were man-made. nonetheless, disastrous.

  30. brahmastra says:

    Hitika,
    “And people like Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela must sound real jerks to you, don’t they??”
    That made me laugh out loud πŸ™‚ I think they are both controversial figures though. I wouldn’t be too hasty in placing them in a good or bad category.
    The Sun is an excellent analogy for a real spiritual powerhouse. It silently rises and sets everday making life possible on earth through its magnificent energy.
    Similiarly, there are illumined, advanced souls on this planet who silently channel the serene, powerful, healing energy of their inner Self into the planet..exponentially more effective than traditional activists, etc. The Tibetan monks, obscure Indian sages and other awakened people are fine examples of this. These people, however, function from a sense of deep connection as flawless instruments of divine compassion and intelligence, unlike in the mode of emotions and doership as so many activists function from. Nothing bad ever happens to anyone, you can call it inconvenient, yes..but it is all a progression towards detachment and liberation.

  31. Hitika says:

    You have so missed the point.
    We are not here to talk about the sun and the Tibetan monks! I wanted to know of the exact people so that I may try and emulate them and become atleast one-hundredth as good. And you seemed really confident of knowing about plenty.
    The life of every human majorly relies on the deeds he’s done for the betterment of life as a whole. It could be for fellow human beings, flora and fauna and everything that breathes. Being good needs no supernatural powers. Also, being human is important, and equally difficult.
    If each one of us does our bit, we don’t need anything else pal.

  32. brahmastra says:

    Hitika,
    You cannot grasp the point.
    If you want exact people, how about Rama, Krishna, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Adi Sankara, Vashistha, Ramakrishna and so on. There you go..try to become atleast one-hundredth as “good”. Like I said, my standards are pretty darn high πŸ™‚
    You are in a mode of doership and activism. The real good comes out when you are the non-doer. The more you are merged into the Universal Self or Paramatma, the more “good” you will be emanating in anything you do, probably without even knowing about it.

  33. Hitika says:

    Dude,
    I guess you have set your standards next to God himself! One should be a human first, then try to become Godlike.
    No one gets anywhere if their basics are out of place. And worse if one is in a mode of pretentiousness puffed up in vanity of knowing it all. Well, about your standards, I knew them right from the time I read your first post here!

  34. Deepak R says:

    brahmastra, indeed, one does need to transcend time into the timeless, the now, self.
    As other-wordly as it sounds, can it be anything else apart from this.

  35. brahmastra says:

    Hitika,
    You are once again projecting, with the vanity and pretentiousness that lies within yourself.
    So I’d rather not waste time with you, you are not worthy yet. All the best.

  36. Hitika says:

    Aww..Sour grapes Brahmastra!
    All the best to you too. May the ‘paramatma’ be with you πŸ™‚

  37. brahmastra says:

    Hitika,
    Cannot teach physics to a monkey. Monkey only want banana. Of all the beneficial things that you could have taken away from my posts, you chose to focus on petty personal squabbling. Your fluffy goodness has been put on display. Help yourself first, and then help others. That is the most basic and human thing to do.

  38. brahmastra says:

    Deepak,
    All transcendence aka unlearning will automatically happen once the tiger gets you. On the path, one should not entertain any other means of mental gymnastics than self-absorption. The body will walk and talk as necessary.

  39. Mee says:

    I cam here to leave my comment. Got side tracked in this (above) argument and lost my thought!
    Ah! Here goes: Tragic situations bring help and giving to the fore. Karmic power of individuals and society’s come alive. We each do what feels right for us, not to get praise; but because it is the right thing to do. You bet we are not certain of our tomo. So when I lay my head at night on the pillow, I thank God for all I have received this lifetime and pray for their wellness.

  40. Hitika says:

    Brahmastra,
    You remind me of a very archaic but important saying –
    Futility: Playing a harp before a buffalo.
    That’s exactly what I’ve been doing here with you. My bad.
    I’m surprised about the fact that you actually acknowledged my goodness! However fluffy it may be according to you, I’m glad I didn’t grow up to become a cynical, insensitive and a pseudo human being.
    About the “beneficial things in your posts” bit, I can only say.. ya rrrrrrite!
    By the way, monkeys don’t need to know physics anyway. But you, surprisingly, seem to be stuck with your own physics about things.
    As I said in my first post, Get a life.

  41. brahmastra says:

    Hitika,
    You need to get jiggy with it.

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