Theseus was the founder of Athena. As the legend goes, Theseus returned to Athena from a vary battle at Crete. Having slain the monstrous king of King Minos of Crete, the Athenians decided to preserve the ship in honor of the Hero who freed them of the terror of the Minotaur. Now this was Athens not Hamilton so, they had problems of rats who started chewing off the ship, on top of that the ship was on water because of which the wood started rotting and smelling worst than a month old unwashed sock.
The Theseus paradox we come across in our daily life, when we decide to preserve the old values, cultures and artifacts, this cynical attitude often makes our downfall. The only truth about the universe is change. According to quantum physics, the universe is changing every second on a sub-atomic level. If this is true, how far can you preserve something? Keep in mind that come what may, the Ship of Theseus cannot be preserved, its against nature, instead, improve it.
So shall we let go of the values and cultures our forefathers taught us from ages? value them, study them, don’t forget them, change them. Are they wrong? No they are not, the values and cultures where right in their own sense, in the modern world these values are better stowed away.
Our great epic Ramayana and Mahabharata are not very separate, in Satyuga Lord Vishnu incarnates as the Ram to show the world righteousness, decency and honestly. Yet, a Yuga later when in Dwaparyuga he came down incarnated, he changed himself, changed the very morals he had set down a yuga earlier. Every idea, ethics, moral needs to be located in a particular space or time, otherwise they make no sense.
You cannot start a 21st century war with the 13th century warfare, similarly if you worked as a clerk of a bank in the sixties, you cannot use the same principles you used back then. Things change and if you don’t change with the change, the change changes you.
Back in the old times people used to follow a similar pattern, go to college, study hard and get a good job, while this advise was great during industrial revolution, in the information age this will be a disaster. No one is going to guarantee you regular income if all you have is a college degree. You have to change, change yourself to prepare the world.
Thus principles of Ram belongs to Ramayana and tricks and shrewdness of Krishna belongs to Mahabharata; one cannot simply mix the values. Be prepared for the change.
But changing yourself doesn’t mean you change you. It doesn’t mean you abandon your task, you turn into a mining worker from a bank clerk, try doing that and you will know how hard it is to mine, no, it doesn’t mean that.
My friend from college did not get any placement till final year, nervously, he asked me what should he do? I suggested change his thinking, his attitude, leave the college life behind, be prepared for real world. He misinterpreted the words and decided to change, he paid heavy fee for some certifications other than degree.
He got a job, but to his bad luck and my horror, he was fired due to recession.
Crying hard he did not know what to do? His father decided to help him out in the same way millions of people are doing for like millions of ages. They took admission for an MBA. After two years and twenty Lakhs going down the drain, (and in pockets of some wealthy people who owned the college) Mr. MBA was still sad, for even now he did not get a job. What went wrong? Degrees are just the floaters you can get while sinking, but you yourself have to swim. What will happen if you do not jump in the pool with a floater on? Worse what will happen if you are strangled in the middle of the sea with just a floater and you do not swim? You will be there wherever you are.
Thus changing does not mean you stop being who you are, it simply means changing the way you have chosen to reach your destination. It may be utilizing a modern thought, a modern idea or a fresh start.
Thus the methods of Ram and Krishna are different from each other – one upholds rules and one breaks them. Yet, their task are similar to each other – they uphold the right also called Dharma. In the Ramayana, Ravan behaves like an alpha male while in Mahabharata, the Kauravas behave like alpha males, clinging to other people’s wives in one case and other people’s land in the other.
So in both the eras the task performed by Ram and Krishna are same, but, the methods utilized them are changed according to the times.
Would you like to hear more motivational and inspirational stories collected from different mythologies around the world?