Do you get inspired? Are the people you are inspired of, tremendously successful? Have you ever wondered what could be the one factor that made them successful apart from their personal strengths?
Dig a little into their awe-inspiring lives and you will definitely find one common thing: The presence of one or more great Mentors.
Now, I would like to emphasize my point with a story.
Mythological stories are always paradoxically cryptic and enlightening at the same time. The first time you hear it, you may like it, probably you might even derive a moral out of it but that’s it. My intrigue is with what you learn from the rest of the times you hear or read it. The message hidden within such stories differ based on the narrator, on your mood and perception, maybe even age. It’s like those magic mirrors you might have seen in fairs, after seeing distorted images for some time you start wondering how your real image would look like. It completely shakes up your perception. Stories too do the same; they shake up your perception of reality and imagination. They for some time shrink the distance between known and unknown.
Today I learnt a new interpretation for one such story: The curse on Hanuman.
For the uninitiated Hanuman is a Hindu deity. The version of story I had until today was that Hanuman was quite naughty when he was a little boy, too unruly for the peace loving sages living near the forest where he used to try his antics. Despite multiple warnings, they couldn’t reign him in so they cursed him with amnesia of his superhuman strength, essentially where he forgets that he has superhuman strength. The sub clause of the curse was that he would remember his capability only when somebody else reminds him of his strength. This curse was apparently for his benefit, for him, to stay put till he could use it well at the appropriate time.
Now I won’t go into the bigger plot and sub plots of this story. The crux is that he was cursed to forget his strengths (Imagine how strong he must be if we feed our children saying they can be as strong(healthy) as him 🙂 ).
The new interpretation to this story that occurred to me today was this: “It’s our story! “
Half of us today are barely aware of our strengths and even if we are, we barely use it. The lucky, smart people who are aware of their strengths would have needed superb mentors to help them realize their strengths and achieve their maximum potential. Don’t you think everybody needs a mentor? Somebody to identify and remind them of their strengths? How many successful people do you know who have made it to the top alone? Without guidance, approval, inspiration and encouragement? There may be exceptions to the rule but my limited senses have not yet perceived such a person.Even gold needs to be honed for it to be purposeful.
So, if you are a person confident about your abilities mentor somebody who is not yet fully aware of his strengths and if you are one among the many who has to explore his strengths then find THE mentor.
As for the story, Jambhava reminded Hanuman of his strength and the result was an Epic.
Would like to hear your mentor stories, your super human strength stories too, if you are willing. Mentor away and let the chain of knowledge grow longer and yes, do not forget to thank your mentor. The best way to thank your teacher is by teaching somebody worthy of his teachings.
Do you remember the bedtime stories you heard as a child? Do you still feel the euphoria of being pulled up into the stories and living a life very different from your own? I do.
These days, I am more of a storyteller than an audience. I think childhood is much better than adulthood because of that one unique quality where we listen more than we speak, where we learn much more than we teach. If only we could still be kids in those aspects life would be much easier.
Breaking from tradition, today, I was the recipient of storytelling rather than my kids. Today, my dad had a story to tell and I was as raptured by it as I was during my childhood days when I used to listen to stories told by my grandparents and parents. For those few moments, I was once again a child as enraptured by my dad’s story as ever. I guess parents have that power of keeping the child in you alive, I hope I can do the same for my kids. Anyway, the old Indian fable goes like this:
A guru wanted an important task to be done. He wanted a disciple worthy of doing the same. So he chose his best three disciples and gave them a test, whoever succeeded in the test would be chosen for the task. He called his disciples, gave them each a pot full of oil and said, “Keep this pot in the centre of that road. Bring it to me in the morning and ensure that you don’t spill even a single drop of the oil”.
The road on which they had to keep the pot of oil was a road frequented by cows and unlike humans you couldn’t expect them not to hit the pot in their hurry to return back to their abode (these days probably humans too won’t bother about what’s in their way)
Next morning, the first disciple came, placed the potful of oil near his feet and said: “Master you gave us an impossible task, I couldn’t do it for the fear of the cows hitting the pot”. Hearing this the master was disappointed and sent the disciple away.
The second disciple approached him and said: “Master, I tried my best to do as you instructed, but I couldn’t save all of the oil, a little of it spilled when a cow hit the pot”. The master was disappointed but kindly let him know that he was happy that he tried.
Then came the third disciple, he promptly placed the potful of oil near the master’s feet and stood back with folded palms. The master was surprised and asked “How?” The disciple said: “Master, you asked me to keep the pot of oil in the centre of the road but you did not mention how long I should have kept it. Hence I kept the pot on the road, picked it up and went back home, now the pot is in front of you as you commanded”. The master gave a smile of satisfaction and chose the smart disciple for the task he wanted him to do.