BHASKAR JYOTI BORAH           ‘ Nature’ is a unique balance of opposites. The day is turned into night, the summer season chan...


          Nature’ is a unique balance of opposites. The day is turned into night, the summer season changed itself into winter and also there is the presence of the infinite sky and the finite land, high mountains and the oceans, the evidence of life and the existence of death all these are enough of a proof that nature balances the opposites. No one of all these can exist without the other opposites. All the opposites are equally important and therefore we need to value them equally. Similarly the values life use to teach us in terms of opposites are also important e.g. smile and tears, balance and imbalance, success and failure, discipline and flexibility, faith and doubts, concentration and detachment, work and rest, believing and not believing, courage and fear, giving up and not giving up etc. We used to learn by making mistakes. If we omit mistakes, we can’t learn. It is a part and parcel of any learning process. What compels me to write about the value of opposites is that we can’t expect to achieve ‘the good things’ without overcoming ‘the problems’. Problems exist to glorify people who want to succeed. We must learn to value all the lessons that life wants to teach us. We are not apart from the negative factors. But to achieve something greater, we need to sometimes live with negativity to conquer it. Opposites exist. We need to value, believe and accept the opposites and the lessons that we can learn from them.

1.    Balance and imbalance:
Maintaining balance is very important in our lives. When we balance our activities, works, roles and relationships, we become happy in our lives. Because by balancing our roles externally we balance our mind and thoughts. We follow a daily routine to perform our daily duties. But sometimes, due to certain reasons or conditions of life we have to remain in imbalance. There may be sometimes imbalance in relationship, in works (i.e. we have to work very hard than our usual routine), in health (i.e. we used to get caught by diseases), in thoughts (i.e. there may be tremendous stress, fear and tension due to some reason) that may disturb our progress to our goal. But we can’t avoid those conditions or situations. Therefore maintaining balance and also to cope with imbalance to maintain the balance further is also very important in our lives.
2.    Discipline and flexibility:
Discipline is as much important as flexibility. We need to have control over our activities to give direction to our lives. Discipline is a tool in our hands to create a life that we desire. But situation sometimes demands flexibility. All the days are not same. Every day we can’t maintain our discipline in the usual manner. Sometimes we have to break our discipline to ensure flexibility in our lives. Discipline is not an end in itself. It is an aid to the realization of our goal and to lead a rich and fuller life.
3.    Concentration and detachment:
Concentration is the faculty of mind to engage our mind fully occupied in the work in hand. Concentration should not be momentary or temporary. It should be holistic. We need to have concentration developed to the extent so that we can realize our goals. But concentration without detachment is a disaster. When we concentrate our mind to a particular work with a greater intensity and forget everything, we become restless. We become too attached to that work. When we become too attached to something, it becomes our bondage. Therefore, it began to deprive us of our mental peace. Because of this reason, we have to practice detachment. Practicing detachment helps us to remain mentally free. We then become free to take wise decisions, to control our thoughts, emotions and to control our destiny. Concentration gives birth to attachment and too much attachment is bondage. It may rob you of your true happiness. Therefore detachment is as important as concentration. Swami Vivekananda has stressed in his writings about the practice of concentration and also detachment.
4.    Work and rest:
If we do not take rest, we can’t work. To work effectively we need sufficient rest. A healthy person can work for 14-16 hours. But 8 hours of sleep and rest is essential every day, so that next day he can work hard again. But if we ignore rest and work more than our capacity, than we will get caught by diseases. We won’t be able to work for long beyond our capacity. Therefore regular hours of work with the required hours of rest only will keep us healthy and wealthy.
5.    Believing and not believing:
Not believing is as much important as believing. We must believe in the ideals that we set for us and we must refuse to believe in the contradictory things that may take us away from our ideals or goals. We can’t believe many things at a time. If you believe in many contradictory things you will become a hypocrite. We must believe the one right thing wholeheartedly than many right things halfheartedly. We have to be rational for that. This believing and not believing is very crucial to our personal development. We become powerless many a times because we can’t believe what we want to believe and run after other things that we should not believe. Believe only in yourself, in your capacities, in your principles, in your work, in your Mentor/Guru and God. Make your beliefs strong by not believing other principles that is not decided by you consciously, other works that distracts you, and other people that ridicule you and beliefs that weakens you.
6.    Courage and fear:
Fearlessness is a great virtue. Nothing great can be achieved without courage. Faintheartedness never brings success. The higher the goal ‘is’, the higher the requirement of courage ‘is’. Courageous people are courageous because they conquer fear. Without conquering fear people can’t become courageous, strong and fearlessness. Fear therefore, is an aid to courage. Fear is the challenge by overcoming whom people has created history. Therefore fear is as important as courage. Moreover fear protects us from danger. Fear to fail leads us towards success, fear of diseases helps us to stay healthy, fear of defamation helps us to do good things, fear of losing time helps us to spend our lives wisely and fear of God makes us more honest. Fear is not bad. It is fear that compels us to take action. It is fear that warns us to do right things on the right time. Therefore, we must learn to respect our fears, find out the causes of fear and must try to remove them at the earliest possible.
7.    Giving up and not giving up:
We must learn to give up which is not important for us and at the same time we must not give up what is very important for us i.e. our goals, principles, relationships etc. We must give up our bad habits, bad thought patterns, bad relationships which are not conducive for our self development one by one. To the contrary we must cultivate good habits, good thought patterns and healthy relationships and must not give them up at any cost.
8.    Life and Death:
Death is as important as life. It exists side by side of life. Because death exists, we use to enjoy life. It is death that warns us like an alarm bell to do whatever we like to do before we expire. It is death that teaches us the value of time, the value of discipline, peace, happiness, relationship and life itself. Life becomes more beautiful because it has a limited span of time. Therefore life becomes more meaningful.
9.    Faith and Doubts:
When we are certain to achieve something, our faith increases and our confidence level becomes high. On the other hand uncertainty gives rise to doubt and fear. Overcoming doubts, fears and uncertainties again develop our faith, strength and capacity. But if we value uncertainty and doubt, we won’t be able to cultivate faith. It is therefore, faith that determines the quality of our lives and it is uncertainty and doubt that teaches us to develop more faith, strength and power within. We can’t ignore the opposites. We need to learn the value of the problems, the uncertainties that our life offers us as a precious gift for our self development.
10.           Success and Failure:
It is said that failure is the pillar to success. If we are not ready to experience failure, we will not be able to achieve any success. Failure is as important as success. It is the fear of failure that compels us to work hard and to achieve success. It is because of failure that success has become so much meaningful and valuable. It is failure that used to teach us discipline, sincerity, courage, faith, endurance and patience. It is failure that prepares us for success. It is failure that makes success extraordinary.


Inspiration for Students by My Dear Students: VALUE OF THE OPPOSITES
Inspiration for Students by My Dear Students
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