- भजुराम तखाछेँ श्रेष्ठ
Bhaju Ram Takhachhen Shrestha
As I am marching toward 70’s which is moving on to the age of incarnation of a child, I looked back to see who had been my teachers who were the building blocks of my today which is the foundation of eternity. Those many teachers were like many peaks that made the Himalayan Mountain to make Nepal. Those teachers shaped my life. Many of those teachers were my informal teachers than the formal teachers of the classroom. My mother was the first informal teacher, then my father. The first informal teacher outside of my home was well respected Muslim Hakim both religious leader and the mendicant man who taught me English and showed me the Muslim way of life. As I moved toward teen age and later age, I had many personalities whom I personally associated and I had privilege of learning from them. They included well known Nepali Shakespeare, Sri Balkrishna Sam and other literary figures like Kedarman Byathit, the politicians like Dr. KI Sing, Sri Surya Bahadur Thapa, social workers like Daya Bir Sing Kansakar, musicians Ambar Gurung who taught me guitar, General Keshar Samser JBR who showed me the love for books, business man like Hulas Chanda Golcha, many Hindu sadhus and some godmen like Swami Sachidananda and Buddhist monks. Some Jesuit fathers like Father Moran, Jim Dressman who became the first Vatican envoy to Nepal, and many other Christians who showed me what Jesus was like, and what Jesus was not like through their life style in spite of them professing as Christians. The purpose of this article, of course is not to weary the readers by sharing about those people who taught me what, for if I were to write, I don’t know how many books it would become because each person had been uniquely stood as a sign post to direct my life.
Humanly speaking we all need a guru, one or more regardless of what interest we have. In spite of my aging age, my need for a teacher or a guru has not been undergrounded. To find my guru at this age my thinking cap got focused on a baby. A baby graduates to be a child after he or she he gets weaned, may be around 2 or 3 years. So being an ex-baby myself, the more I thought about a baby, more my head started to bow toward it as I realize what a mammoth stuff a baby can teach me in order for me to become a better person, happy and self content person.
Therefore dear readers, I want to share just a few of exhaustless lessons I am learning from a baby who has become the best guru in my sunset of my life. A baby challenges us to dare to follow his examples in many facades of our life that includes spirituality too. Conventionally, a baby is addressed as "it" but I address as he, not that I could not address as she. It is just the same because sheness is in him. For it is one of 20 to 50 million male sperms a day that makes a baby, he or she.
A baby doesn’t care of knowing anyone except his mother with whom he is attached and his natal home. To him mother and mother only is his supreme personality because he came out of her. In early childhood I learned to address God, “You are my mother and my father-twomeva mata twomev pita.” How important we should learn to hold on to our Creator God-Eternal God but not to anything including people regardless of who they are, as Vedas and the Bible say. A baby knows no worry as long as he can have eye on his mother; likewise we should know no worry as long as we keep eyes on God. It is natural for a baby to throw hands and legs when he cries. It is a form of exercise for him. It is said that swimming is a best exercise because it helps to throw both hands and legs as one swim. In early days I used to swim in the Bagmati River which now it turned into dhalmati (sewerage) river. Unfortunately it is no longer recommended to swim in it, but walking, running etc helps us to keep our body limb moving. A baby seems to cry all the time or has a freedom to cry anytime. The reason he cries is because he needs attention from mother, he is hungry, and he is lonely or may be something happened to him as his body is developing. We are asked to pray in our need and anytime. When we are deeply moved by pray we cry too. Medically it is being proved that prayer can work like a healing medicine. When my wife was pronounced that she had only 6 months to live by a top cancer specialist in Nepal, I sent prayer requests to my friends. It helped her to live three more years. The oncologist in Cleveland, USA told her, “Lady, you should have been dead three years ago; medically we cannot prove why you were still surviving!” A few years ago a reputed hospital in Kathmandu wrote an article about how spirit possessed people or making people behave strange or with superpower strength were healed by Christian prayer and he asked in the paper to teach their secret. In this matter, I myself had been witness in several occasions. A child does not give up crying neither should we give up praying as Jesus said. A baby does not worry about the situation he has no control over. During the big earthquake, a little three year old child came out from the crumbled down house in Sindhupalanchowk. Her mother, grandmother and aunt had died during that earthquake but she came out saying, “A bull dozer has crashed in our house.” Currently her grand uncle is taking care of her. She is very affectionate whenever I see her. We worry and we go into depression, we take drugs for the situation or what other people do or don’t which we have no control over. Jesus said, “You can’t add an inch to your height by worrying.” A baby cares no power or position, and look at him, often we find him smiling. We are equipped with friendly fires that make our friends, institutions be a church crumble down because we want power and position, and when we do, happiness becomes still strange to us. The baby teaches us the freedom from hunger for such life threatening power and position. In my recent reading I found out that Siddhartha left his palace not because he saw sick man, old man and dead man and got disappointed (it is quite logic to think that in 30 years of his life he must have seen sick, old or dead several times) but he did not want to fight with the neighbor king who had dispute over a canal or border. He rather become Buddha (an enlightened one) than become a buddhu (bozo) over something that was going to be passé. (I read it in a Samacharpatra-the date? I forgot, a sign of old age). A baby knows no resentment. How often his mother slaps him, he does not keep resentment. It is said that the King David, the second king of Israel was regarded as an apple of God’s eyes because he held no resentment with God who denied his wants to build a temple for Him. Holding no resentment toward anyone is one of the highest attainments one can reach. A baby is addressed genderless whether he or she, also neither the baby knows whether he is she or he. Seeing people with gender equality is the demand of society. A baby knows no religion until it is imposed on him without giving him the opportunity to learn to accept or not as he learns about religion. He and the grown up should have freedom to believe or not to believe in God.
To write everything that I am thinking of why a baby is my guru, it will require a book but I won’t weary the reader with too much information on why a baby is a guru. I trust that the readers will have talent to add more.