Always Be Positive
(Vinod Anand)

God is regarded as the creator of all life on earth; whatever names you gave Him — Allah, Brahma, Rabb, Parmeshwar or Waheguru.

If believers tell you that God created life, then ask them: if that is so, who created Him? They have no answer. The truth is that life on earth was not created. It evolved, as did every living creature, and was not created by anyone, by whatever name you call Him.

It is not God who created us, but we who created God. I am an agnostic. One does not have to believe in God to concede that prayer has power. Most people in distress pray for help when they are in trouble.

“More things are wrought by prayer than these World dreams of,” wrote Tennyson. I know of a lady faith healer whose simple formula to fight sickness is to chant ‘Omarogyam’. Apparently it worked for her; she also claims to have healed many people.

You may take recourse to passages from sacred texts: the Gayatri Mantra, the Lord’s Prayer or the Psalms, Aayat-ul-Kursi (the Throne Verse) or the sayings of Prophet Muhammad in the Hadith, or passages from the Granth Sahib. And there is nothing to stop anyone making up his own prayer.

Bernard Shaw was right in holding that common people do not pray, they beg. On religious festivals, after performing the expected rituals, people should spend about half an hour in silence and ask: ‘What does my religion really mean to me?’

I was born and brought up a Hindu. My parents, with whom I shared a room till I was 14, spent the best part of the day mumbling prayers. At the age of five I was initiated into reading the scriptures.

I learnt my daily prayers and could recite them by heart. I went to temples to pray and joined religious processions. Later, I began to question the value of rituals and the need to conform to Hindu traditions while in college. But I went along with them; I took great pains to understand the prayers that I had been reciting. Good prayers continue to move me, to this day.

While at University I attended Bible classes. I was particularly drawn to the language of the Old Testament—the Psalms, the Book of Job and the Song of Solomon. It was afterwards that I found many references to the Vedas, Upanishads and the epics that I decided to study them to better understand the meaning of my religion.

My interest in religion led me to read whatever I could on Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism and Islam. It was during my later life that I did my best not to lie. It is easier sticking to the truth than telling lies because lying requires cunning to cover up lies you have told before. Truth does not require brains.

Earn your own living and share some of it with others, said Guru Nanak:
‘Khat ghall kichh hathhon dey
Nanak raah pachchaney sey.’
I try not to hurt others’ feelings. If I have done so, I try to cleanse my conscience by tendering an apology I have also imbibed the motto: ‘Ever remain in buoyant spirits, never say die.’ It is worth pondering over. It is worth trying out.

Author's Bio: 


Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.