My mother was born in 1949 in a remote village
in South India. She obviously never played cricket, and had
not even seen people playing cricket, until she got married and moved to the city. When she first saw the cricket craze she couldn’t
just figure out how a bat hitting a ball can draw out emotions from millions of spectators. For a long time she thought the whole thing
was insane. But then something happened that changed everything. Somebody explained to her the rules of the
game. What it means to score a run, what it means
to hit a boundary, how a batsman gets out, how many balls does a bowler bowl in a single
over, what it means for a team to win, what it means for a team to lose. And that’s it. Once she knew the rules, she got hooked. Now everything that happened in a match made
so much sense to her, every ball bowled was so meaningful. Now she could cry, laugh, celebrate, enjoy
every moment of the game. The rules of cricket form the foundation of
the game, just like the foundation of a building. When you see a skyscraper, you may appreciate
its design, you may appreciate the decor within the rooms of the building. but how many people appreciate the foundation
of the building, and yet it’s the foundation that holds up the entire structure. Without the foundation, the building cannot
exist. Similarly, without the rules of cricket, the
game can’t be thrilling. You dilute the rules and the game loses it’s
charm. And similar is the case with life. If you are thinking that life free of rules
is a good life, I’m sorry – you are mistaken. We need rules and we need to follow rules
for our life to be meaningful. To follow rules means to lead a disciplined
life, to control the restless mind , to have targets, to have benchmarks of success. When you set rules for yourself, you have
something to strive for, something to hope for, something to live for, something to die
for. It makes life worth living. And even with relationships, meaningful relationships
are relationships governed by rules, perhaps unspoken rules. There is familiarity in the relationship,
but as a rule you make sure you don’t cross that line of respect for each other. There is intimacy, but as a rule you give
each other sufficient space. And obviously in yoga & spirituality, the
first step is yama & niyama – dos and don’ts – which are nothing but rules. Without rules spirituality becomes wishy-washy. When our life is governed by rules, the right
rules, we lead a purposeful life.