How to live fearlessly?


When we are born, we have no fear. In fact, if someone throws us up in the air, we laugh with joy. If a stranger picks us up, we giggle.

Then we grow up and start to walk. This is when all elders start telling us about the fear of falling. “Don’t go there… hold this… you will fall… arre, arre… dekh ke…” This is when we become conscious of falling. And lifelong we remain scared of falling.

When we learn that there is a world outside the comforts of our own house, we ask our mother “What’s there behind the mountains…” or “What’s there in the dark?” This is the perfect time to instill fear in us. “Don’t go beyond the mountains… rakshas live there….”, “Don’t go in the dark…. There are ghosts out there… “ and so on. And then we live all our life with these ghosts. These ghosts never leave our mind. Our life.

In school, we are trained systematically to become more fearful of an imaginary world. We are told how difficult it is out there in the real world. We are trained to compete and competition brings the fear of failing as only few can win. We are conditioned to be afraid of failing as failing brings embarrassment and rejection. By the time we are in college, few more ghosts are put in our minds. The ghost of job. Ghost of insecurity. The permanence. The stability. The success. Success is quantified only in materialistic terms. No amount of money or cars or rooms in a house are ever adequate. Someone always has more. This fear of performance, the fear of not succeeding, the fear of social status, the fear of losing job, money, fame. If we accumulate wealth, we have fear of losing it. Instead of enjoying it we become the watchman of that wealth.

All our lives, we carry these ghosts in our minds. These ghosts keep increasing. It’s a social glitch. Which we accept without even applying our mind that this is not real. We are not falling. There are no Rakshashas beyond mountains. We are not losing anything. The reason that we wake up every morning, drink water, walk, talk and breathe… being able to see the sunrise and sunset is reason enough to live fearlessly.

I had many fears. What if my film doesn’t work? What if payments don’t come? What if my kids become drug addicts? What if I am not accepted? Then one day, as I was walking along the Beas river in Kullu, I slipped and almost fell in that freezing current of Beas. That would have been the end. If I had fallen in the river, no-one would have known. In a split of a second I realised that in the overall scheme of Mother Nature I am inconsequential. Whether I live or I disappear, nothing would change. I felt so insignificant and tiny in front of huge mountains of Himalayas. There was only me, nature and sky. That’s all mattered. Whether I can breath or not? Whether I am alive or dead. That’s all mattered. This is when I realised that I was trained to feel self-important. To defend this bogus sense of importance, I had weaved around me a web of fears. I was living in a state of fearfulness…. Fearing to lose… fearing to be attacked… fearing of death. Nothing of which was real. Like we have a virtual life, we also have this imaginary life. But in this valley, only the real mattered. The real is the sky, the river, the grass, the breath, the prana…. The life. Ghosts are imaginary. I deleted them from my imagination. Suddenly, my mind had ample space to absorb the real world where ghosts do not exist. Only the moment if breath.

Since then I have lived without the ghosts. I go in the dark, almost all the times. I skydive, I take risks. I jump jobs. I explore, I reinvent. I have no image. I don’;t carry visiting cards. I am, because breath. I am not my job. I am not my identity. I am not my wealth. I explore unknown territories. I trust people without any fear of being betrayed. If they betray me, I treat it like slipping on a rock of Beas river, but not handicapped to walk further. I fear no-one. I fear nothing.

It’s only when fear disappears, love happens. Only in love, beauty becomes visible. When you are surrounded by beauty, peace occurs. Only a peaceful mind can enjoy life to its fullest. One who lives life fully has enlightened mind. Only then he is #IAmBuddha

Note: you can also contribute to this column by sending your ideas, stories, fables, anecdotes. I’ll use them with due credits. 

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