On staying grounded

On staying grounded

Which one of us would not like to succeed in life? Power and wealth are considered to be worldly symbols of success. People who hope to attain their goals do not hesitate to go that extra mile in order to realise their ambitions.

Once the dearest wish comes true as a reward of our dedication and hard work, most of us seldom remain grounded. Our achievements make us fat-headed and arrogant. We wallow in our supremacy. We end up insulting and antagonising the very people who have supported us, guided us or paved our way to the top. Little do we realise that our pride and foolhardiness are indicators of our potential down fall. We forget that we are the architects of our destiny. The very things that we craved for the most end up spelling our nemesis when they are actualised.

A story from the Vishnu Purana endorses this fact. There once lived an Asura who performed a very severe penance to Lord Shiva and sought a strange boon to establish his power over the universe. He sought to reduce anybody to ashes by merely placing his hands on the head he sought to destroy. 

Mahadeva had no option but to grant him the boon because the Asura qualified for the same. The demon felt on top of the world. He wanted to test the potency of his boon. He tried to place his magical hand on his benefactor’s head. Shiva fled with dread towards Vaikunta with the Asura close on his heels. Maha Vishnu who noticed the commotion realised that it was time for him to intervene.

He knew diplomacy would be wasted on the foolish and arrogant Asura. So, he transformed himself into a mesmerisingly beautiful damsel popularly known as Mohini and waylaid the demon’s path. Mohini succeeded in attracting the attention of the demon. He wanted her instantly. Mohini said coquettishly that she would be his if he matched her dancing skills. The challenge was accepted by the Asura. 

Soon, he was eagerly copying the exotic dance movements of the beauty. The dancing session went on for a considerable time till Mohini placed her right hand on her head as one of the moves. The besotted fiend who had lost his presence of mind by then placed his right hand on his head and was instantaneously reduced to ashes. Bhasmasura was the victim of his own imprudence.

It is said that while it is hard to get to the top, it is harder to remain there. Those of us who hope to retain or better our prospects in life will do well not to lose sight of humility and gratitude.

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