THE TECHNOLOGICAL developments of recent times have propelled the human race on a fast track of material progress. The dignified and leisurely pace of life is almost passé. People face tough competition to excel at every stage and in every sphere of worldly life. Our lives are marked by daily frustrating commutes to the work place and back, speedy means of travel and instant communication using the latest gadgets. Urbanization is rapid and consumerism is rampant, as market driven economies are using novel ways to attract consumers.
A blitzkrieg through the glamorous world of films, television, media and sports pervades everywhere – in homes, on roads, doling out promises of instant gratification and overnight stardom. Those who are capable of enjoying the fruits of material progress and facing the challenges of modern life are considered fortunate by society. But it is really a challenging task for those who are running this difficult race today. People are under constant stress to achieve social status and material prosperity.
As fallout, human relationship, family bonds, and value systems are strained. Demanding lifestyles translate into lesser physical exercise, irregular sleep patterns, and anxiety disorders, all resulting in various diseases. Stress and work pressure eat into our time and we end up spending less quality time with family, friends, and loved ones, resulting in broken relationship and superficial interactions. Pent up emotions and lack of creative and relaxing activities translate into erratic human behavior and lack of compassion towards one another. People find it difficult to make even basic sacrifices and adjustment in life.
Generally, man wants to achieve that which he thinks is within his reach. The question arises then, why does man aspire for a better state of life? It is because we all feel that upon attaining a higher state of life we will be happier, more at peace, freer, more powerful and less miserable. We are somehow discontent with our present state of existence and want to get rid of anything that tends to limit us. In the heart of hearts every being craves for unalloyed happiness, uninterrupted peace. This is the inner quest of all humans and we are all trying best to attain it in our own ways, consciously or unconsciously. This search for peace, contentment and happiness is the underlying motive behind all our pursuits in life. From this it becomes obvious that we work incessantly only to attain contentment, happiness or bliss.
To understand how important it is to manage our lives effectively, we need to look at life in a holistic manner. Whether we are householder, monks, students, businessman, servants, ministers or even ‘nobodies’