Defining success divinely
By M.V. Kamath
12 Cosmic Laws of Success by Usha Puri, Rupa & Co, pp 476, Rs 395.00
What is success? If one asks ten people, one is likely to get ten different answers or ten variations of the same answer. If one asks Mukesh or Anil Ambani they may talk in terms of thousands of crores of rupees in business turnover. If one asks the vendor selling coconuts round the corner he would probably be happy if he were to make a profit of a hundred rupees a day.
How do we measure success? There is no lack of gurus today who can tell one how to be successful. Ask Deepak Chopra, easily one of the most successful of gurus. ?Success?, Jawaharlal Nehru once said, ?often comes to those who dare and act.? And he added: ?It seldom comes to the timid. One would imagine that Nehru was one of the most successful men of his generation. Could one have predicted that he would one day turn out to be India'sPrime Minister and a co-founder of the Non-Aligned Movement? Would one call Mahatma Gandhi as a success? Would one say that of Subhas Chandra Bose? Do we measure success in terms of money earned, power exercised or fame attained? Questions, questions, questions.
Usha Puri started life in the world of advertising, selling products for 25 long years. Her friends inevitably thought that she was following a successful career. That, apparently was not how Usha Puri measured her life. She had moments of despondency; she knew she had to get out of them. She writes: ?I took a journey into myself, a journey which transformed my life. I introspected, researched, read books on holistic healing, experimented with universal truths and finally zeroed in on 12 of them which I labelled the 12 cosmic laws of success. These key cosmic laws changed me at the core level. I made fundamental changes in my personality, visible to close friends and business associates who demanded I teach them.? Which she did?successfully. Requests thereafter poured in urging her to launch a structured personal growth and transformation programme for the public. That she did too, willingly. Over the years she had discovered a system of ?being? which enhances one'sstate. It was this that finally led her to write this book. It is in a class by itself.
Be positive. You create every experience by the way you think, act and behave. You have the power to change yourself.
In her quest for learning the secrets of success, Usha Puri had taken the trouble to interview ?successful? people. To name a few: The late Dhirubhai Ambani, for one, Shiv Nadar (technologist), industrialist, Narottam Sekhsaria, advertising guru Alyque Padamsee, television star Sabira Merchant, spiritual painter Udayraj Gadnis…. people from different walks of life but all of them notable successes in their own way.
Dhirubhai Ambani had started his life with nothing. At the age of 16 he was working for a Shell petrol station in, of all places, Aden to earn a living. He told Usha Puri : It was then that I swore to myself that one day I would head a company like Shell, hunt for oil and refine it. The sceptics laughed. Family and friends pleaded reason. But the fire burned inside me. I was unstoppable.? And wasn'the ? Usha Puri learnt from him as indeed she learnt from many others. It is what she learnt from them, placing the knowledge that she had garnered in the process in the context of her own emotional and spiritual development, that makes this remarkable book what it is. It might be argued?as is very often argued?that Usha Puri has not discovered anything new.
Much the same can be said about gravity. It was always there but it took Isaac Newton to discover it. What exists is not always realised. It needs someone with deep insights to discover it and present it as knowledge. Wisdom lies in articulating what makes for right living. To say, for instance, as Usha Puri says, that one must take a journey into oneself, to understand the power of the subconscious, to use it to visualise one'sway to success, to love the self unconditionally, to harmonise one'srelationship with one'sparents, to think positively, to focus on an objective and strive to attain it, to forgive, to set goals for oneself is to say the obvious. But to elaborate on these points, to show how they work is the task of the guru, which is what, in substance, Usha Puri is.
Paths exist, but we need a pathfinder to put them to right use. Usha Puri, in that sense, is a true path-finder. How often have we heard friends, relatives, colleagues, even strangers say: ?I am a failure, I don'tcount, I don'tdeserve to be happy? in bouts of self-pity! And how often hasn'tone heard other statements, self-defeating in purpose, such as: ?I am unworthy of love. It is very difficult to give up smoking. I am not organised enough?. And so on. We create our own lives.
Usha Puri'sadvice as always is: Be positive. You create every experience by the way you think, act and behave. You have the power to change yourself. Reading Usha Puri makes one wonder why no one discovered these simple ways to success and happiness before. Her strength is in presenting these thoughts in precise ways. The first step on the ladder of success is to love oneself.
Says Usha Puri: ?Undervaluing yourself, sucking up to others for love, being self-sacrificing, suffering from lack of self-worth, self-regard, being the last priority in your life are some of the symptoms of not loving yourself. It leads to a negative view of life, takes away life'sopportunities, makes you pay an excruciating price, leaving you hurt, wounded, bewildered, wondering why, despite all the goodness you have shown, the world responds to you with such cruel, callous disregard.?
She couldn'thave summed up the situation better. What 12 Cosmic Laws of Success does is to open up the doors and light up the path in front so one can march forward to the goal ahead. What Usha Puri tells us, in sum, is that success is possible for each and everyone of us, irrespective of the situation in which we were born, inspite of whatever is attributed to our genes, if only we know how?Usha Puri teaches us how. She touches the core of our hearts, stir us into action and wakes us up to the possibilities of attainment. To quote one of the successful men she interviewed, Subroto Som: ?You are the karta of your life. If you work at creating what you want, you will enjoy it. Discover and believe in yourself. Take charge of your life!?
12 Cosmic Laws of Success is one of the most instructive books of our times. Usha Puri deserves our thanks for showing how, in the words of lennyson, it is possible ? to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield!? What, in effect, she is telling us is that we can get what we want, if we truly intend to get it! To read the book is a joy for its sheer emphasis on positive thinking.