One more thing ! ......

Sept 1st and Semya paramannamu !

Sept. 1st is always a special day from my childhood !

First it is my mother who made this as a special day.

It was a day of special Payasam made of Semya.

There might have been other things like pujas or prayers which for a long time we did not know anything about. Even when we did come to know also it did not matter because the “semya payasam” over rode all of that !

Yes it is “my” fathers birth day”.

It is a day of surfing through the past at Giga bit speeds wondering a bit about how it all happened and wondering what would my father be thinking about . Would he be surprised about my current avocation of writing on Bhagavadgita in ?

Our love of Bhagavadgita was surely because of him. I am sure he would be pleasantly shocked about our writings on Bhagavad-Gita and more certainly surprised if he knows that I own his three volume book “ In the woods of God Realization” of Swami Ramatirtha.

What was he like ?

A simple and calming presence .

He was always encouraging and supportive.

With a BA from Pachaiyappa’s college in Madras in the early 1920’s he was a believer in education . And that was one thing he would talk always about . His emphasis on education meant that all of us siblings starting from the eldest got the benefit of education. He would tell us about the need to study and come up. Beyond that I do not remember any sermons on any other topic.

In today's environment where in we seem to jump into instant analysis and immediate advice on everything under the sun, he would be a anachronism.

In the today's world of over anxious parents with orientation for instant correction and instant response he would be an anachronism.

I remember a particularly traumatic day in my BSc. In one exam I just could not remember anything and came back half way through the paper. I remember that too vividly even now. It was in the final year of my BSc. It is a physics paper on “Light and Sound”. The Sound part of it was always a mystery! When I came home I did not get a sermon. A gentle nod and soothing encouraging words about not worrying. Part of it probably was that I was already crying thinking that it is end of my dream !

It could have been a loud “ Shut up NOW! No more crying ! Start for next one !” . Such language did not exist in those days !

There was no sermon , no direction about the next exam !

Just calm soothing words

Encouraging and telling me that I will do well !

That was magical.

Ours being a very large family I can remember vividly how it was with me and my immediate siblings. He was like that with me and my immediate siblings which is what I noted. His encouraging nature was evident outside too with countless cousins , nieces and nephews. His was always a positive calming influence.

Going through the Karmayoga , the chapter 3 of Bhagavad-Gita, knowing that he loved Gita , I can easily believe that he literally took to his heart the statement of Krishna “ never correct an ignorant one , you set an example and make them follow “. The Krishna statements through the Karmayoga make this point about a leader setting an example and making his followers follow rather than one giving empty authoritative directions ..” do it now or else ! “.

The leader and led include the set “ “Father & Son” too!

And that is what I saw in my fathers minimal advice most of the time !

This also brings me back to the present.

Having started off as a teacher , and continued the life in more of a research & development environment , I have probably got the tendency for sermonizing like “India in the security council” on every conceivable topic !

Taking a higher moral ground is the easy first thing !

I do not have to go very far to know this.

My wife and children do remind me when I lapse into a longer sermon !! Probably my daughter-in-law is my only friend on such occasions !

As I muse today, the readings of karma yoga in Bhagavadgita and my own fathers example of minimal advice I realize how sound is the advice of Krishna.

“ Never correct an ignorant one , you set an example and make them follow “ .

In current generation's language it is simpler

“Walk the talk” !

It is never too late to follow !

A good resolution for a fathers day !

||Om tat sat ||