Lead a Wise Life
(Vinod Anand)

What really matters in the end, said Gautama Buddha, is, “How well did you love; how fully did you live and how deeply did you let go?” All the three are golden rules of wise living.

Here, ‘let go’ means renouncing with hill clarity and determination those aspects of life which are a deterrent to a full, wholesome life. Life goes on inexorably and before we can comprehend and appreciate its functioning and profundity, it is time for our exit. In our ignorance and ego, we spend an entire lifetime trapped in negativities and self-defeating behavioural patterns.

Broadly, we remain ensnared in endless desires, undue attachments, coloured visions about others and the past and future. ‘Letting go’ is a slow and arduous process that cannot be achieved overnight. As one traverses life and advances in age, experience and - wisdom, the anomalies of one’s life fl become lucid. Once identified, it is easier to make a conscious effort to surmount them. Myriad desires assail us.

Desire for wealth, power and fame never seem to be satiated, leading to discontent, frustration and inner turmoil. The beauty of life remains untapped and life just passes by in a mindless pursuit of desires. A state of no-desire is verily an impossibility and tantamount to Godhood. But we can certainly work with full understanding on minimizing our desires and gradually relinquishing them.

We have a compelling propensity of dwelling in the past and brooding about the unseen future, thereby neglecting the present. Reveling in past glories or wallowing in self-pity due to past tribulations is futile. Past is a graveyard and the future, inscrutable.

We need to abnegate them fully, only then can we seize the golden opportunities of the present and move on in life. Largely, our behaviour and beliefs are the result of mental conditioning. Our mind gets conditioned by our previous experiences with people and events and accordingly forges opinions which, with time, ossify into convictions. An entire lifetime can be squandered in hatred and hostility towards individuals who do not deserve it.

We are changing, evolving... flexibility in our beliefs and opinions is life- enhancing. We need to sincerely let go our• prejudices, grouses, biases, anger, jealousies via reconditioning of our mind. This will be conducive to a healthy, equanimous life. Our undue attachments to animate and inanimate objects can be painful not only for ourselves but for others as well.

Who is not familiar with the ephemeral nature of these objects? Undoubtedly, wealth in certain measure is required for comfortable living. We do not have to abandon wealth. What we need to give up is our greed and possessiveness for material objects.

We need to relate to them with mental resignation. They should be a means for life, not life itself. Paradoxically, wealth can be a prerequisite for spiritual enrichment. It is only after our material needs have been taken care of and we are still unfulfilled that we choose to turn inwards. Similarly, we should let go of our attachments to the near and dear ones.

Attachment is essentially selfish love. Attached parents may not permit their children to settle abroad, despite their growth prospects, because they need them in old age. Replace attachment with love which is pure and altruistic. Rabindranath Tagore said, “Love• does not claim possession but gives freedom.”

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.