Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! It is your birthday, happy birthday to you, in a flat monotone, since the happy birthday to you song is owned by the Time-Warner corporation and all public use of it without payment or permission is a violation of their copyright. Do remember to have two extra pieces of cake on our behalf. Your Thammi and Dadu have already sent in their wishes for your birthday a day in advance as they wanted to be the first to wish you, as have Tipukaka, Chandreyeekakima and Cousin Mia.
It has been a very long time since I wrote to you. Though I do not get to know about how things are turning out for you, I am assured that you are busy building an unshakeable foundation that will let you manifest your fullest potential. The universe has its reasons for testing my resolve to be able to be with you, and I am doing all that I can to live up to the test. You will be happy to know that I am winning, and that my victory is yours too.
You are growing older, and you are able to see things and understand things as they are rather than as you imagine they are or as others would have you see them. It is essential that you develop penetrating insight, using the forces of courage, wisdom, prudence and firm faith. Many of us remain deluded for a greater part of our lives, and there is nothing sadder than regret. Know that you are always in my thoughts and in my prayers, and that no prayer or intent goes unanswered. With each day that we are not able to be with each other, the day that we will be together comes closer.
The months of July and August are very special for people all over our land. The rains come and make it possible for the earth to blossom forth with that which will sustain life for all beings. It is also the time of acknowledging the role that mentors play in our lives. The full moon of Ashad which usually falls in July is observed as Guru Purnima. It is believed to be the day that Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath after gaining enlightenment. It is also believed to be the birth day of the great sage and Guru, Vyasa, the one who wrote the Mahabharatas. Having a mentor is a matter of great good fortune and can change one’s destiny. There is a lot to learn from the lives and works of both these amazing thinkers.
Most of us know that India got Independence from being a colony on August 15, 1947. Of course, in many ways we are still enslaved to colonialists of a different type even today, but that is another story. What many people do not know is that at the same time, on August 14, 1947, a sickly 19-year-old Japanese youth called Daisaku Ikeda met the man who would forever change the course of his life, Josei Toda. These two men were responsible for the rebuilding of an organization called Value Creation Society in Japan. This is an organization aimed at promoting peace, culture and education among all. You will find out more about it and the philosophy behind it as you grow up. I mention this because this man has consistently submitted a fresh peace proposal every single year for the last several decades to the United Nations. Some of his ideas have been heard, some have been acted upon, but many of them still lie unaddressed.
We are very fortunate to have been born into our times, Parth, and it comes with a great responsibility too. Over the last century, we have drifted away from our connectedness and allowed our greed and selfishness to create monsters. The problem with the monsters we have created is that they come disguised as progress, welfare, and pleasure. The harder one tries to unmask these monsters, the more effort they put into protecting their disguise. You will find them all around you but you will not recognize them as monsters. They appear warm and soft like teddy bears, bubbly like fizzy drinks, and sweet like chocolate. They even come with proclamations that they are actually good for you. We have legitimized the evil we do in every possible way, and made sure that the price for this is paid by the generations to come. That is truer than true!
The world around us is in a biggish mess, which I am sure they will teach you in school, and the need of the hour is for young minds like you and your friends to develop into leaders who can be trusted with the future of the planet. We cannot escape the fact that the generations of leaders before us have only allowed our civilization and our natural resources as a people and as a planet to be destroyed and plundered. To be able to become trustworthy leaders, you need a great deal of strength, and that strength can only come from conviction and compassion.
I have been blabbering. Now it is your turn. You know that we are waiting. Do take a look at some of the other things we have been doing, which you will find in the sidebars. Do take care, and prepare yourself for the big party we will have when the world can no longer stand between us.