Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Priest

After coming back from India, things had been insanely hectic. Too many things had been going in parallel and it made me think one day whether I am even thinking what I am doing or just behaving like a robot finishing all the work on the to-do-list one by one. But a friend gave me a surprise and I could not help but share it on the blog.

A friend of mine from India has decided to join a missionary and lead a life of a celibate as a priest. This might not sound like a big deal to many but let me share some background information of the guy. He is from Kerala, from a Christian family, successfully completed his Engineering in Computer Science in India. Then worked for a big Chinese communication company in China for several years and finally came to Germany to pursue his Masters Degree in the same subject. After completing his Masters, he even worked for a renowned Research establishment here for about an year. But just recently he broke this news to us that he is quitting his job and moving back to India to join a missionary somewhere in the east.

I was not much surprised to hear that since I know he is a pretty devoted guy. No matter what but he never used to miss the evening mass at the church. There are only a few people I know who are as down to earth, well balanced, caring, unbiased and honest as him. I had always admired how he lives such a simple life without the influence of any new age menaces. So this decision of his made me respect him even more. But it also made me think about a lot of things.

It might be easy for him but from my perspective it is a pretty tough step to take for many reasons. We live in a world far from ideal where new temptations are added everyday around us. Now to live around these lollipops like a BMWs, iPhones, Tag Heuers etc, knowing that they exist yet denying them completely even knowing that you have the ability to earn and afford them, needs nerves of steel. I have personally seen a couple of people living a simple life often criticizing such things but eventually succumbing to the temptations. I don’t blame them.

Among the 5 major vices mentioned in ancient Indian literature called kaam (lust), krodh (anger) , lobh (greed), moh (attachment), ahankaar (ego), I believe winning over kaam is the toughest. A prime example from Indian mythology is Vishvamitra. Even a man of his intellect and dedication could not save himself and fell for kaam. No matter how much we deny or shy away from it, it is one of the universal truths of life.

To live a celibate life with minimum needs and serving others definitely deserves my admiration. So when someone tells me he is going to live such a life, I say more power to him. 

Tomorrow, I am flying again to Washington DC for work for 2 weeks and again feeling anxious like last time as discussed here :)


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine was a tough Police Officer in the I P S. He had a second life as a spiritual person. Now he has retired and become a famous Guruji spreading the message of Shiridi Sai Baba. He has been writing a lot of books on spirituality. When he was in IPS, I was wondering how he can combine his role as a Police Officer who have to sometimes use Third Degree Methods, with his life as a spiritual person.
The Gardener said...

finally I got a comment from you :D but wowwww .... a spiritual police officer .... quite contrasting characteristics. It made me think ... how can a police officer successfully fulfill his duties if he has compassion and forgiveness which are the major building blocks of spirituality ?

Gayatri said...

Hmmm if you say he was a devoted guy anyway, then it probably isn't as surprising. Some people are just made with the ability to shun temptation. I respect & envy them at the same time. But It's the ones that live a vice filled life and then become spiritual that I am most skeptical about.

Have fun it DC! It's cold cold cold here in Amreeka!!

Gayatri said...

Ditto ... I envy them too, Gayatri. But why skeptical about the other ones ? Badman before and Godman later was proved by Valmiki :)
And the weather in DC is quite unbelievable. It was pretty warm here today at 18 Degrees :) So quite a warm welcome :P