Body - Mind - Heart - Spirit
A Role Model is a must for all. It is a great help. Unconsciously we all have one. It is something which inspires us, it touches the core of our heart. Something we love to emulate. We want to be something like that. It is personification of our goal - in flesh. We can touch & feel it. Even before we learn to think the role model starts talking to us, it starts channelising our energy in a particular direction. It starts coloring us and we feel really happy about it.
Role Model & our Goal
Goal is a must in life. A person without a clear & inspiring goal just drifts and wastes his or her life without any achievement or joy what so ever. No goals, no challenges, no achievements & no love. Goal implies the end which we ultimately cherish, not the means which we initially work hard to acquire. Something which having attained we would consider our self fulfilled. Basically the most important thing which touches our heart has to be one, but as a person is multi-dimensional our list of priorities may include various other things too. The best of various things at various levels. Money, relationships, competence, work-satisfaction, recognition, status, comforts, beauty, dignity, betterment of children, happiness of spouse, parents, social work, culture, spirituality etc. This at times becomes a tricky & slippery field. We have a list of aspirations. What should be our priorities ? What is the most important of them all ? What are the means for attaining these ends ? How much importance should be given to the means ? Where should one draw the line ? In these maze of questions if we find someone who reflects my priorities and has obviously sorted out the various difficult questions which were bothering me, then meeting or even knowing the existence of such a person is like a blessing from the blue. The whole complex issue of goals & priorities becomes easy to handle. Now we just have to follow someone, get inspiration & if possible also get some tips & directions from him. Such a person who fits my bill is my role model.
The 'Upasana' of Role Model
We see youngsters having posters of their pet sportsmen, artists or even natural beauty. The dynamic spirit, name, fame, prosperity of those people & at times their beauty touches the fans heart. They feel good & positive seeing such dynamic & successful people around and want to be something like that too. The devotees have their gods & saints around and get the same feeling. The feeling of goodness when increases to such an extent that we forget ourselves and just be 'that', is called the state of upasana. Upasana is a kind of meditation wherein we exclusively bring the thought & feeling of some inspiring person in our mind and feel highly inspired & good. There is a loving identification with the role model and simultaneously there is a temporary forgetfulness of our existing identity. Such a state is very joyful and regular sojourns in it helps make our individuality malleable for change, apart from channelising our energy in that direction very easily & effortlessly. Such subjective jaunts have far reaching role to help bring about new impressions, deep down in our sub-conscious & unconscious minds. This in turn is the singularly most potent thing to transform a personality and thus even the society at large. As this is the deep rooted & profound effect of upasanas, the scriptures are very particular that our role model should be an embodiment of positive virtues & knowledge. He should necessarily have a holistic personality.
The Ideal Role Model
We are free to choose any Role Model, but we should be ready to face the music of their negative impressions too, if any. It is necessary to first understand that who is it who really deserves to reside in our hearts. Lord Ram resided in the heart of Hanuman, and this role model helped bring about a fearless, dynamic, tough & intelligent personality of the son of wind-god. The essence of the role models provided by our scriptures is that they are all fearless, dynamic, selfless, and the most important thing is that they are all awake to their transcendental dimension too. They literally have an 'out-of-the-world' source of inspiration. This simply implies that the source of their strength is always within them, and unlike the worldly things is not perishable. Thus no situation which can ever make or break these people. Even in the most testing times they are fearless & highly inspired. These people have the strength to tread the unchartered paths and give something new to the world. These are very loving, sensitive & intelligent. They can afford to be like this because they have no stakes in this perceptible changing world, that in which they do have stakes is already available, attained & eternal. They live like kings. Fulfilled, magnanimous & contended. These people alone deserve to be our role models.
Inspiration & Attainment of Goal
Ability to do the upasana of our role models, will not by itself bring about the attainment of the goals represented by them. The upasana will certainly bring about the right inner conditions to work for that goal confidently & intensely. We will not only have the will & love to do, but will also have the confidence to attain our goals. We know it can be done because we have a person right in front of us who has done it. The hard work which will be subsequently put will also be a great joy by itself. The very doing of hard work will be yet another aspect of doing the upasana of our beloved role model.
- Swami Atmananda