Saturday, June 10, 2017

Money Can't Buy Me Love, Indian Jain Ascetic Version

Indian Jain monk Varshil Shah © AFP

A top Indian student who received the highest score in the exams has decided to take an unusual path. Instead of applying for prestigious college, he renounced the world’s pleasures and became a monk, saying that scoring top marks in exams “does not give happiness”.

Varshil Shah from the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state scored 99.9 percent in the May 27 Class 12 exam, topping the state, the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) said.

However, the teen said that he was not interested in a prestigious college or high-ranking job and announced his decision to become a Jain monk. He began his spiritual quest in an elaborate ceremony Thursday.

The 17-year-old boy shaved his head and wore white robes for the initiation ceremony. He also sought permission from his parents to renounce the world. Now he will commit to the austere life of a monk and will live an ascetic life, meditating.

RT:  ‘Scoring top marks doesn’t give happiness’: India’s best student renounces the world to become monk

Maybe you admire ... or not ... the kid's vision and determination at such an early age to enter such a rigorous discipline.  Perhaps you think he is wasting his apparent intelligence.  Maybe he's incomprehensible since why doesn't he want a big, black car just like everyone else.

There's no way the Rockhouse can reply to any of those and in part because we loathe the technique of posing questions only to answer them yourself.  In any case, I can't write of whatever is revealed to a Janist monk without actually being one.  We often see such ascetics in movies within any Asian locale but, judging by all the cars in China and India, the ascetic way isn't selling all that well.

The only reason for the comment is the kid views his choice as a path to happiness and that aspect isn't clear since the Rockhouse is deeply suspicious of parameters defining happiness when they're coming from false sources (e.g. Madison Avenue advertising, etc).  "You will be the happiest Mother on the block when you get the first new Frigidaire refrigerator this season."

From my own standpoint, I can state categorically poverty doesn't bring happiness.  My situation is different insofar as an ascetic lifestyle was forced rather than chosen but I doubt there's much substantive difference.  However, the lifestyle makes up for that absence in the fulfillment it does provide with visions of how things really are as opposed to how we are typically told they are by MSM or any number of questionable sources.

Writing of such revelation and fulfillment would take, minimally, creation of the new Great American Novel but there isn't time in the allotted span for such things, particularly when there are other things I want to do.  That Novel would take a year and possibly two to write.  I don't question the value in writing the book but I do question what else I might accomplish instead.

The perspective may seem narcissistic but, I submit, it's the same one in front of all and, in that context, I'm about one seven billionth of the perspective.  The kid makes another seven billionth so it's not quite a party yet but all in time.

Note:  there's a hat tip and deep respect to Peter Green since he knows exactly the decision the kid made.  He was one of original founders of Fleetwood Mac.

In general, I submit, practically everyone would benefit from an ascetic lifestyle and as evidence I offer just about any old person since one of the first things we do is start getting rid of stuff.  Cadillac Man makes the perfect case study since he's aware he didn't really own his house but rather had temporary stewardship of it and now his needs have changed so lose the house.


Laughing Gecko said...

I totally agree with CM's perspective on a house. In fact, it applies to virtually everything material.

Peas InOurThyme said...

Same here as he has been stalking the move for a couple of years and seems almost ready to make the cut.

The reaction to this article surprised me since I never suspected so many would be interested, especially from cultures which are highly-oriented around consumption.

Anonymous said...

I very much doubt that this decision was a surprise to anyone in this young man's sphere of influence.
Parents often make the statement I don't care what you pursue as long as it makes you happy. Then pressure thier children to succeed in the traditional sense.
Very few people find out that consumption and material wealth can make you smile it rarely makes you happy. They don't find that out until they have spent their life chasing it.
Only to find that watching a butterfly feed etc not only makes smile but it also makes you happy.

Peas InOurThyme said...

It didn't seem his parents were at all surprised by his marks or his intentions after receiving them. I might be suspicious of the kid's maturity to make such a decision except for Hendrix who knew at an extremely early age the thing he needed to do. I can't say I agree with such a strictly ascetic discipline and someday the kid may express it.

Anonymous said...

It may very well be that he lived in a very structured life of learning and steered to this end.
He has many many years to contemplate the decision.
Maybe he becomes a Kung Fu master and opens a chain of studios
Maybe be is perfectly atpeave with his decision

Anonymous said...

I am finding that "things" start to OWN YOU and trap you.

Anonymous said...

And the butterfly moment is so fleeting. Makes it all the more precious.

Peas InOurThyme said...

I've loved the guitar but also resented its physical ownership of me so that becomes acceptable but I refuse regarding anything else. I couldn't handle a truly ascetic lifestyle but I definitely don't want anything I don't need ... except for strange hats.

Anonymous said...

As CM said ownership is a state of mind.
I have a lot of stuff but none of it owns me. Most is stuff that I don't need but I enjoy.
I have had stuff and I have have had no stuff. Stuff certainly helps on those boring days

Peas InOurThyme said...

Even with almost no stuff, I'm really not often bored since the stuff which is here is the best stuff therefore I didn't even need the other stuff ... except I do miss that scooter.

My happiness definition remains absence of things which suck and owning a lot of things in whatever way increases the number of things which may suck and the nature of things is some of them will suck. With that logic, I'm better off (larfs).