STEVE JOBS : THE BUDDHIST

· Religion, Uncategorized
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His name is Biblical. Connected to Job the central character of the Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible and a prophet of God. His logo the Apple is inadvertently connected to biblical Eve . Yet Steve chose to be a Buddhist.

India woke up to a world without Steve Jobs. His company, Apple, has sometimes treated its India customers with disdain, launching products here months after the international release. Yet, India mourns with the rest of the world. But the truth is that Steve Jobs had a short lived fling with our country in the ’70s, before he founded Apple, and like many flings it was a bitter experience.This led him to Buddhism which he adopted.

Today Calcutta woke after Dashami to a front page, eight column banner headline tribute to Steven Paul Jobs. Many will criticize it as unwarranted. But there it is.He was neither a king nor a movie star.Yet from Barack Obama to Manmohan Singh, from Google to Microsoft, from the Vatican to a satirical newspaper that used the f*** word, the world paused yesterday to pay tribute to Steven Paul Jobs, who changed lives in his short life that did not cross 56 years and ended on Wednesday.

I could never afford an Apple. The first one I saw was in the Chamber of Aveek Sarkar,the Chief Editor of The Ananda Bazar Group and the second in the office of Ram Ray, Chairman of Respose Advertising, both avid user of Apple,way back in the 90’s. But I followed his work . His contribution.His was truly an American story, an astonishing tale of a mortal who emphatically wrote his own destiny right from the time he was given up for adoption by a Syrian immigrant into the US.

Biological parents giving him up for adoption, parents without college education adopting him, then he himself dropping out of college, backpacking in India, co-founding Apple when he was 20, getting kicked out at 30, letting his creative prowess flower during such a low, pioneering computer-generated imagery through Pixar Animation Studios (remember Toy Story), muscling his way back to the top at Apple, launching the three game-changer devices one after the other (iPod, iPhone and iPad), getting diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in between, undergoing a liver transplant yet not allowing it to stand in the way of innovation and eventually calling it a day in one of the most graceful exits ever.

“In the Mahabharata, Karna boasted that birth may be ordained by the gods but fate is ordained by man. Yet in the end, Karna was not allowed to come up trumps,” said an Indian Apple admirer, who underscored the individual brilliance of Jobs.

He would borrow ideas aggressively — even from competing teams within Apple. “If he saw something that could be made better, smarter and more beautiful, nothing else mattered,” Pogue wrote in The New York Times.

Although the counterculture of the 1960s influenced Jobs and he was a fan of Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Joan Baez, his creative approach to business was coupled with a sometimes ruthless, autocratic nature. The unconventional single-mindedness and self-belief made Jobs a most conventionally successful businessman.

His personal life too had its share of controversies. His journalist daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, was born in 1978, just as Apple was experiencing significant growth. Her mother, Chris-Ann Brennan, was for a time forced to bring Lisa up on welfare after Jobs initially refused to accept paternity. Jobs later expressed regret for the way he had handled the situation when he had found out he was about to become a father.

It is perhaps this mixture of personal frailties and indomitable will to beat back odds that made Jobs such an acceptable figure in death in spite of his supposed irascibility, petulance, combativeness, ruthlessness and desire to control all aspects of his personal and working life.

Jobs had said: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking”. This is a Buddhist doctrine.

I do not know if Job achieved Nirvana. But the fact that he could quit consciously leaving everything behind is Buddhist renunciation.The fact that he went into meditation is Buddhist practice. The fact that he could leave peacefully is the Buddha way .

Buddham saranam gachchhami
Sangham saranam gachchhami

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