Society & Lifestyle
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Entertainment and Enlightenment
|by Dr. Varanasi Ramabrahmam|
Human beings need both entertainment and enlightenment. Getting entertained like, eating hot idlis and getting enlightened is like, possessing invaluable gems. But now-a-days it appears that we are having a heavy dose of entertainment. We are having access to entertainment through multimedia. Cinema, sports, music, dance etc., are being showcased to attract us. We are lured to spend money and time on these. TV and new channels are competing to entertain us more than enlighten us. Everything is programmed to attract more advertisements and of course to provide entertainment to us. Radio is also not lagging behind and scores of FM channels are in entertainment business presently.
We are easily entertained. No effort from our side is needed to get entertained. It is enough if we spare our time. Our senses are designed to get entertained. It is easy and joyful to enjoy entertainment. All of us are having not much leisure and whatever free time we have, we are spending for entertainment.
Poetry and literature also can entertain us together with other fine arts like painting, sculpting etc., It was a fashion and practice to mix entertainment and religion. Entertainment media were and are used to spread religions and ideologies also. It is believed that one can appeal to humans through entertainment easily. Drama was playing a great role earlier. Its place is taken by movies and TV programs now.
Recreation after a heavy schedule of daily professional engagements is a welcome relief. But heavy dose of or non-aesthetic entertainment does more harm than benefit. Mind gets addicted to entertainment of base forms. It will be more like a vice than relief. One must be very careful in choosing ways to get entertained.
Entertainment is not capable of reviving a grief-stricken heart. In human life, which is not a bed of roses but also of thorns, entertainment has limited role in human consumption. Enlightenment is a must for maintaining a healthy mind. Else we are easily stressed and strained by vicissitudes of life.
A broken heart or a disturbed heart is comforted by enlightenment and entertainment cannot do anything here. It is a healthy practice to know the ways of getting enlightened together with the ways of getting entertained right from the childhood. Parents play a prominent role in this regard. But how far present day parents are able, capable and interested to discharge their duties in this aspect is doubtful. They themselves are choosing dubious commercial spiritual gurus for enlightenment and are more entertained by these self-aggrandizing individuals and enlightenment received is less or almost nil.
Reading good literature, listening to good soothing music and the like which comfort rather than incite mind are to be practiced consciously. We have to take equal care and spend equal amount of time and money to get enlightened as we spend to get entertained. One can get enlightened in many ways. Faith plays a prominent role here; one must note that it is faith and not blind faith. Faith in tradition, culture and elders and their pronouncements play a predominant and useful role in our attempts to get enlightened.
The sign that we are in the right path of enlightenment is, we experience peace of mind and our mind is more relaxed than excited. Entertainment gives excitement. Enlightenment gives comfort, peace and bliss. Entertainment is joyful, enlightenment is serenity. Enlightenment is self-reliance; entertainment is dependence.
Ageing process makes us less enthusiastic about entertainment and only if we possess enlightenment we are joyful which transcends sense gratification. Body withers and all youthful capabilities will be on the wane. In such times, and even earlier, enlightenment lights up life. Enlightenment is wisdom. Wisdom is not only possessing right knowledge but also using it at the right time. Wisdom is ninety percent timely action and one percent possessing right knowledge. It is intelligence to use entertainment to get enlightened.
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