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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Short Stories for Success for Young Readers: A New Lexicon Unfolded - Excerpts from my book: "C" for "Choice"

C for Choice

Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.” – Ayn Rand, The English Author

That day Kamala teacher was pleasantly surprised to see Brinda in the front row in the class. “I am pleased to see you in the front,” she commented looking at Brinda.
“Yes teacher. After hearing the story of Rani of Jhansi, I decided to change myself.”

“I appreciate, Brinda. It is always a question of Choice before you: “To stay back and lag behind or go forward and make progress”. In every moment, everyone has a choice. The choice that you make now, decides your next moment. You are always left with the dilemma of having to choose between opposites. When you choose something that enriches you, empowers you, helps make progress - you will be happy. When you choose something that pulls you down, sucks your energy or brings obstacles to what you do - you are bound to be unhappy,” Kamala teacher lectured.
The children knew that Kamala teacher was ready to tell them a story and were all in great anticipation.

“Mahabharat is a great epic of India and we have several lessons to learn from it.
One such incident relates to Duryodhana inviting Yudhishtra for playing ‘chaturang.’  Chaturang was a game of gamble. The intention behind the invitation was wicked. Duryodhana suffered from jealousy and wanted to usurp Pandavas of their wealth and kingdom. He had Sakhuni, an expert player in chaturang, to play for him. Yudhistra knew that the invitation to play chaturang was with bad intention. Everyone around advised him to refuse the invitation. They all cautioned him that there was an evil intention behind the invitation to the game. Yudhishtra was in a dilemma. On one side, as a royal invitation, he couldn’t refuse it and on the other side, he knew that he would lose if he accepted it and played chaturang.

He chose to accept the invitation and play for the sake of ‘Dharma’ of a king. Again, while playing Chaturang in the Royal Court of Drudharashtra, he had several opportunities to halt the progress of the game. But he chose to continue to play pawning his small possessions first, then his wealth, his kingdom, his own brothers, himself and finally his wife. In every moment he had an opportunity to bring the game to a halt and redeem himself, but he didn’t.  The seeds of Kurukshetra war were first sown when Pandavas lost their chaturang game to  Duryodhana.

Another significant incident relates to the Kurukshetra war itself. The armies of both Kauravas and Pandavas had lined up for the war in the battle field. Arjuna was dismayed seeing the long lineup of his gurus, grandfathers, great grandfathers, besides all his kith and kin on the opposite side. He was shaken by the thought that all his kith and kin would be killed in the war on both sides. ‘What is the use of this war? How can I fight against my own kith and kin?’ were the questions uppermost in his mind. He asked Krishna for his advice and Lord Krishna delivered the most significant sermon in the form of ‘Bhagavad Gita’. Krishna reminded Arjuna about his duties and responsibilities and advised him against attachment to results of one’s actions. Finally, having given him the most remarkable advice ever in the history of mankind, Krishna told Arjuna, “Now you decide, what you should do.”
Even the Lord leaves it to man to make his choice. Arjuna decided to fight and uphold Dharma. The entire race of Kauravas was eliminated in the war. There were significant losses on Pandavas’ side too.”

Could Arjuna or Yudhistra or Lord Krishna have altered the course of the epic by making a different choice? Think of it.
So, your present moment and the choices you make now are the most important things in life. Remember that.”


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