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Many times, a man wants to discover the true meaning of life. When a person faces serious challenges in life, he or she will ask difficult questions that, in most cases, go unanswered. However, there are those who are brave enough to go beyond just asking questions and instead pursue answers by meditation. Max Pzoras (Bajaj) is one such man who tries to find solutions to the difficult problems that have arisen as a result of what has happened in his life. Max had been through a lot in the foreign world, and the only thing he could see out of it was to discover his karma.
Life of Max Pzoras
A lot of things agonized Max. First, his mother had been ill, and the illness caused the death of the one person in whom he had vested all his hopes and love. Later on, he is forsaken by his girlfriend, something which hugely breaks his heart. From these, Max seemed to have had great thoughts on pain and suffering. Moreover, his childhood and growth in an environment whereby he is surrounded by violence and the constant use of drugs. When he manages to succeed amidst the frenzy and goes to Harvard, Max still finds it hard for him to forget his past and maybe move on with his life, focusing on the future which he had started building, based on the success that he had gained in education. Despite securing a better chance in the corporate market of the United States, Max cannot continue to pursue the business because of the lack of peace within his soul (Bajaj).
Journey of Transcendence
The search for his karma is inspired by his meeting with a homeless man who seems to have his daily meals come from selling fruits. When Max looks at this man, he appears to be asking himself questions (Bajaj). He has done well in the education and maybe would do better if he ventured more into the business. However, in the light of the event, Max seems to be wondering why he is not at peace with himself when the homeless man appears to be at peace. In such times, the mind is fixed to the understanding that maybe there is a reason why man is not at peace with himself. The reason could be that that particular person has not reached a particular point of self-understanding.
Max seems to want to get to a transcendence so that he can live at peace. The journey takes him from America towards India. He describes this in this way, “The gripping story of a spiritual quest in which it is truly the journey rather than the arrival that matters most.” (Bajaj). Max is having grown most of his childhood years in the States seems not to have understood so much about yoga and its importance in the life of the practicing individual. Therefore in his quest to understand the meaning of life, he had to focus on the journey rather than look forward to the destination.
In his journey to Indian in the seeking to understand the meaning of life, Max meets different people and finds himself in places that present him with the various situations for his learning. For instance, Max meets with Elizabeth, a funny and ironic individual but one who also is portrayed as one who tries to make herself more important than the rest of her company. However, Max also meets a yogi, Bajaj, whose way of life is far-reaching, existential and tragic (Bajaj). This student of yoga inspires Max in some ways that make Max clean away the dirty memories of his past. In particular, Max learns and gets all of his ego altered, and his life takes a new form of modification of the self as well as self-denial, which are the benefits of the yoga.
Max getting to some parts of India, he is vexed. “He glanced at his reflection in the ATM’s glass door. Loose shirt, long brown hair, light beard, sun-burnt skin, weighing at least sixty pounds less than when he had first come to India;” (Bajaj) most likely, this must have resulted from the starvation he had experienced while in the desert in Ashram, as well as severe colds and heat. When it is expected that being well-off, Max should not be missing a thing that is essential in his life, he allows for extreme suffering to vex him, something which enables the success of his journey to finding his karma. But there are cases when he wants to have something, but he cannot get it because of the circumstances that are available. For instance, when Max goes to the ATM, his card cannot help him to acquire the money he wants to have.
Journey of Positive Reflections
A careful look at all the situations that Max is going through reveal to Max a lot of truths that he needs to understand for him to attain spiritual life. The cases that he goes through can better be understood as just the representations of the major aspects that are missing in his life. Holes which he needs to fulfill. As described, the importance of his quest was based on the journey and not the destination. From the sickness of the mother to the heartbreak caused by his girlfriend to quest in the field of entrepreneurship, to the way in which he sees people in different places, satisfied with their lives or not, and to hunger and extremes in the environment, Max seems to get answers in yoga.
Max is taken through a series of forced self-denial. First, the forced hunger makes him have more time for meditation and reflection upon his life. This does not only enable him to learn endurance but also makes him content with what is presently available to him. As much as it is a period in which it can be seen that Max is not contented with what he has or gets, the situation itself fills the need to for him to be satisfied and even put himself in the situation where he needs to have the same mentality of those starving. On the other hand, the discontentment of the present time makes Max have his past done away with for the daily necessities. The description of the journey is an attest to the fact that Max wants to live in the present fully without focusing on the complete end of his life. But if there is no need which calls for the thought of the future, then there is no need for the idea of the past. As such, instead of his mind being filled with the thoughts of the heartbreak or the death of the mother, he is lifted to finding deeper truths of life.
It reaches a point when Max can choose to go anywhere, especially when he remembers the beautiful places he was traveling to before he began yoga. However, despite being told of the weather in the Himalayas, and the condition of the bus to use as well as the length of the journey, he decides to go on (Bajaj). Max does not focus on the external, but from all that conversation and reality, he sees that the uncomfortable internal journey towards the realization of the answers he is seeking and the state of spirituality he wishes to attain.
Far from reality
Max still misses being at the top of his spiritual journey. It can be thought that the way in which the children follow him and call him Jesus is metaphoric. Jesus being God, and the name is ascribed to Max, it can be thought that this matter makes him have a thought that he is at least moving towards finding his ultimate spiritual power. However, Max cannot allow himself to be associated with a deity, when he can’t go past human. For instance, he could not imagine how much concentration it could take him to walk on water.
The journey of true spiritual development may have been practiced for long by the Buddhists, and it stands true that their yoga works for those men who have dedicated themselves to finding their own Karma. It takes a lot of self –denial, and sacrifice for humanity to combine with divinity such that the man yogi can perform those acts that seem impossible for the ordinary person. Maximus is such an inspiration to those who may also want to find their karma and is a standing testimony to them that one can leave a life that is entirely at peace with every aspect of his life. Different things that happen to many people are often the reasons for their imperfect lives. However, yoga brings out the inner man that makes the experiences of the past and cares about the future vanish, and he is left with only the fulfillment of the present needs, and above all, connecting with the divine powers.
Bajaj, Karan. The Yoga of Max's Discontentment . New York: Penguin Random House LLC, 2016.
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