This post is a part of A-Z Challenge for bloggers, that takes place every year in the month of April. Bloggers take part in this challenge for self-improvement and to overcome the “writer’s block”. Each one of us writes one article every day, starting from the alphabet ‘A’, right up to ‘Z’. My theme for this year’s challenge is – “Life Philosophies round the World”.
The day Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru walked down the aisles of Lahore jail to be hanged to death, marks one of the saddest days in history. However, even in that situation, if you’d ask them, “How are you?”, the three glorious rebels would only have replied, “Chardi Kala!”
What is Chardi Kala?
“Chardi Kala” originates from Sikhism which means to attain and maintain a psychological state of eternal optimism and joy. It means to always have a positive outlook on life, irrespective of life situations. Hence, the state where the mind is buoyant even when the going gets tough, because it’s easy to stay positive when everything is running smoothly.
Why stay in a state of Chardi Kala?
Do you ever remember being depressed when you were a child, say 3-4 years old? Children often cry when they fall, or make a fuss over little things they want but have you seen them cry for the fall they took 5 days ago? They may bawl when they fall down or get hurt, but they quickly get back to normal and gleefully chase after another thing that they find attractive.
What is it that keeps them happy? How can they forget something that hurt them 5 minutes ago and run around cheerfully without a care in the world? When did we stop being that silly joyous child who was in awe of everything they experienced?
Now, some may say that children’s problems aren’t that huge or cannot be compared with the failures and life uncertainties that we adults face. Well, falling for the first time when you started walking at just 12 months wasn’t easy either. Imagine, had you given up walking after your first, second or maybe the third fall? What would have happened? Did you eat while being sad about your first fall at 12 months? Or did you give up playing just because the first fall brought your morals down?
No, right? You kept enjoying everything you did in your highest spirits, irrespective of how many times you fell and bruised your knee. This is Chardi Kala in its simplest form. No wonder why we keep saying “I miss my childhood days” or “We were so free and liberated as children”. Life seemed easier back then because we weren’t burdened by negative thoughts and despair. Instead, as children we always kept looking for new games or experiences.
So, why not look forward to each day, each moment with the highest spirits and a positive outlook at 15 or 45 or 95 years of age? Aren’t we supposed to be wiser than our children? Aren’t wiser people supposed to be in a better state of mind?
So, why NOT stay in the state of Chardi Kala?
Does Chardi Kala mean to not acknowledge life struggles?
Chardi Kala implies having no negative thoughts such as fear, enmity, hatred, pain or self-doubt. Instead, the mind is only filled with positive thoughts like courage, satisfaction and self-love. This does not mean one doesn’t acknowledge their hardships or struggles. It simply means that one faces all challenges and struggles with an elated and a constructive state of mind.
Say for example,
Raghav failed his final year college exam. Can he stay in a state of Chardi Kala?
Ananya faced huge loses in her start-up. Can she stay in a state of Chardi Kala?
Asim and Shreya just got divorced. Can they stay in a state of Chardi Kala?
Now, Chardi Kala does not tell us to forget our struggles and keep telling ourselves that “everything is great”. No!
Instead, it teaches us to acknowledge that life is full of challenges and changes and we need to face them with all the grit and optimism.
We can either keep blaming and cursing while we face our sorrows, or we can look them in the eye with a joyous attitude and face them anyway. Either ways, everyone has to fight their own battles, so why not enjoy while fighting them? Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Well, if Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru could face their fate with this type of craziness and be bowed down to even today, what is the harm in at least trying to face our meagre problems with the same attitude?
Real life example of Chardi Kala
The perfect example of an eternal positive mind-set is that of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, a Sikh spiritual master. His four sons were martyred in front of him by the Mughal army and yet he said, ”chaar muye to kya hua, jeevat kai hazar”. Meaning, “so what if four are dead, thousands are still alive”. Even in that grave situation, Guru Gobind Singh ji decided to emphasize on the positive side of the situation.
It’s never easy to focus on the half full glass when it’s half empty.
But, at the end of the day, it’s up to us whether we want to rejoice the thorns for their roses or repent upon the roses for their thorns.
This attitude of Chardi Kala aids us to sail through the peaks and valleys of life with an ecstatic state of mind.
This post is part of #BlogchatterAtoZ challenge 2021.