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From Limitation comes Infinity


Dr. Hansaji Yogendra

The Yoga Institute is the oldest organized yoga centre in the world

Growth, expansion, killer-instincts are the buzz-words of this day and age.

Everybody wants to grow and grow at lightning speed: the 3year old child wants to get rid

of his tricycle and ride a bicycle, a graduate wants to become the CEO, the start-up wants to

become a unicorn, a millionaire wants to be a multi-millionaire, a multi-millionaire wants

to be a billionaire. And so on. You get the gist. If there is one word that is anathema to

contemporary aspirations and ambitions it is: limits. Nobody likes being told that they have

limits. A mother telling her young child that a bicycle might be a little too much for them

right now would have many detractors. Some would outright say that she is ruining the

child’s future by imposing limits on them. Similarly, someone telling their boss that some

new plan for expansion or growth is impractical would be seen as an impediment to the

Company’s growth-plans, an unambitious deadweight in corporate India. Everyone wants

to be limitless; soaring and ever-expanding.

Many would argue that if the Universe is limitless and ever-expanding why should

we not be so? Why should humans not achieve everything there is to achieve? For one, yes,

the Universe is expanding but it is in that state simply a cluster of gases. It wouldn’t be

wrong to argue that living, breathing humans are a little more than gases zooming through

nothingness. Limits are an essential quality of our beingness. For instance, the human eye

can only see light wavelengths from 380 to 700 nm. Even here, our eyes have a structural

blind-spot where we can’t see anything. Similarly, we cannot hear what the bats can or the

whales can. Human are neither the fastest animals on earth nor the longest nor the

strongest. Yet we hate the idea that we have limits or that we are limited in any way. Why?

Because having limits has become something of a buzz-kill in the world. If we have

limits to the amount of money we have; we see as a limit to our relevance in the world. If

we have limits to the amount of power we have; we see ourselves a weak and open to

attack. If we see limits to the way our body looks; we read that as a sign of our worthiness.

But what if limits were meant not to bind you but actually help you thrive?

What if someone told you that limits on your pursuit of wealth were intended to

assure that wealth did not impede happiness? What if limits on power were designed to

stop you from autocracy and dictatorial tendencies. We push our bodies day in and day out

in gyms, with various protein-shakes and powders, growth hormones and steroids. We

push our bodies beyond its limits to get the perfect six-pack abs or the next fashion fad.

This disavowal of limits is the root-cause of the recent tragic deaths of young actors, who

were so as to say physically fit! But their hearts gave away under the constant strain of

having the body’s limits pushed. The Bhagwat Gita also reminds us that true poverty is not

having less but always wanting more. The idea is that wanting more implies a persistent

and pernicious state of scarcity in the mind. When our wants are without limits; our

capacities to fulfill them will never be enough however competent we may be. Remember it

is futile to think that you can drink the water of the entire oceans; as thirsty as you maybe

that will always be beyond you.

The sun is limitless but on earth it is limited by night. What if it tried to push the

limits of day and night? Or if the earth decided to break the limits of gravity and go closer to

the sun, would all be well? So, understand this, limits are the natural order of things. Limits

do not bind, they help us survive and thrive. When we live with our limits, it is then that life

enjoys a sense of balance and harmony and becomes truly beautiful. For Gen Z and the

woke, the idea is simply: chill and then be brilliant. It is an emphatic avowal that you were

put on this Earth to live. You were not put here to work, to stress, to worry, to prove or to

achieve more and more and more. The idea of limits suggests that we try to put down the

burden of all that we must do and become. Instead it calls for each of our hearts to

celebrate fully who we are, as we are.

For life, here’s something for you to think over:

“Atitrushna na kartavya,trushna naev parityajaeth

Shaneha shaneshchaha bhautakvyam svayam vittammupajritamaha”

“Avoid extreme yearning but do not avoid desire itself,

Learn to enjoy all that you have earned in moderation”


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