Monday, March 30, 2015

Climate of Karma

What's been the hottest topic in India or at least in all of north India for the aspst several weeks? An American scientist's claim to have created life in a laboratory, thus effectively pink-slipping God? The patch between the Ambani brothers? Mayawati's/Mamata's latest tantrum (tick whichever applicable)? No, the hottest topic for the past few weeks has been the heat.
The plains of north-west India get hot in summer. It's a fact of life. Like gravity makes apples (ad other things) fall. Like birds can fly, but pigs can't? Like Behenji/Mamatadi will throw a tantrum on any given day (tick whichever applicable, which on some days might be both).
However, summer heat has always been a hot topic. Everyone agrees that the summer of 2010 is the hottest summer they've ever been through. However, within this broad framework of agreement, there is plenty of scope for heated argument. Some say it's the hottest summer in 60 years. Other says it's the hottest summer in a hundred years. Some say it's the hottest summer since meteorological records were invented, whenever that was. Other claim it's the hottest summer since the molesters were invented, whenever that was.
The more people talk about how hot this summer is and how much worse it might still get-the hotter I feel. Ad I am sure so does everyone else. So why do we do it? Why do we work ourselves into a frenzy telling each other how hot it is, recounting cases of people we know who've got sunstroke, or are likely to get sunstroke? Why do we send our internal mercury soaring by squabbling about whether it was hotter yesterday than it is today or whether that ought bothersome dog which, if you pay it the slightest attention, will feel encouraged to get familiar, trying to jump into your lap and slobber all over your face with its great big drolly tongue? Why do we make the heat so much worse by talking so much about it?
Are we a nation of masochists, people who take pleasure in their own suffering? Is that why we allow ourselves to get so hot and bothered about a routine occurrence: On the tropical plains, summer is going to be hot, as sure as eggs is andas? Or do we talk so much about the heat simply because we have no other topic of conversation. (Scientist who created life in a lab? What's so hot bout that? Didn't that Frankenstein fellow do its years ago? Tell you what. Let's compare heat waves instead. I bet my heat wave is bigger than your hat wave).
No, I don't think it's either of these reasons. I think that the reason we talk about the heat so much is because of our profound philosophy, not of man-made climate change, but of karma, which is the same thing. According to the laws of karma, all suffering in this life is an expiation of sins committed in a former life. If we suffer now it's because in our past we probably had it far too cushy and swanked round living the life of Reilly and looking down our noses at our less fortunate neighbors. Yesterday's gain today's pain. That's the karmic formula, as cosmically valid as E=MC2. Conversely, today's pain must equal tomorrow's gain. If we put in more than our fair share of suffering today, tomorrow must in recompense, be hunky-dory, and the more dory the hunky the better. It's like insurance premia; the bigger the premium you pay today (pain) the bigger the insurance pay-off you get tomorrow (gain).

That's why we moan and bitch and bellyache about the heat. Because by doing so we hope in our next incarnation life will in all senses of the term, be cool. Me? The heat's making me so miserable right now that in my next innings Hell itself should freeze over. A real chill out.


What do IPL and the mango have in common? Indians love both, both are the centre of stormy arguments and both can end up creating the most unholy mess. Indians are gage over IPL and they're orgiastic about mangoes. IPL is divided into teams, each of which has its assertive fans. There are the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai super Kings to name only two (who are known, respectively, as the Mumbai Idiots and the Chennai Supporters of the other teams). Mangoes have their own competing teams so to speak.
First is the Alphonso (which is also known to its intimates by its nickname, Haphoos). The Alphonso (or Haphoos) is claimed by its adherents to be the king of mangoes. The Alphonsoese - as Alphonso lovers sometimes call themselves - claim that the Alphonso should be declared India's National Fruit, in support of which contention they quote the song composed by a famous poet which almost became the country's national anthem: Sare Jahan se achchha, Alphonso hamara.
Codswallop, retort those who favor the Alphonso's closest rival, the Sinduri, which in some parts of the country is called Gulabkhas. (Mangoes, like cricketers, tend to go in a lot for aliases, like sachin also being known as Master Blaster and Harbhajan as Bhajji.) The Sinduri - or Gulab khas - is so called because of its patches of red which contrast prettily with the rest of its green skin.
Third - some would say not third at all, but leading the pack - is the curiously named Langra, which comes - or rather limps - all the way from Benaras. No one knows why the Langra is called the Langra. However, an NGO advocacy group which champions the cause of politically correct terminology is believed to have launched a movement to have the Langra's name, with its derogatory connotations, changed by deed poll to PI, which is not a mathematical quantity but the abbreviated version of physically impaired. But whatever the type of mango eating it is a messy business. IPL created a mess thanks to sweat equity. Mangoes create a mess thanks to squirt equality. Looks at a man about to eat a mango. The mango is on a plate, beside which is a knife. The mango is the patient the plate is the operating table and the knife is the scalpel with which the man is about to perform one of the trickiest operations known to humankind; how to cut open and eat a mango without making a total muck-up of it. The man balances the mango on its broader end, tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth to maintain balance, and with the knife tries to cut off one cheek - let's say the right cheek - of the mango. The mango stone gets in the way. The man turns the mango around to make a second incision from the other side, so that two cuts can meet, thus enabling one hemisphere of the mango to come away free from the stone and the rest of the fruit. Frowning with concentration, the man completes the second cut. The two cuts don't meet. The cut mango is dripping juice, but its flesh is still inaccessible. The man decides to try cut off the other the left, cheek of the fruit. Makes the two cuts. Same result. By now the mangled fruit is oozing juice and the squirt equity is coming into play. Plate and hands full of sticky mango squirt, the man desperate by now, looks around to see no one of tender age or finer sensibilities is watching, says the hell with it, and tries to rip the goddam thing apart with sheer muscle power. There is s sound like an elephant pulling its foot out of quicksand and the mango explodes in a spray of yellowish orange guck that covers the table, the man's clothes and a part of the ceiling. The mango stone lands on the man's lap, as the holds the dismembered, dripping halves of the butchered fruit in each hand. End of civilization as we know it. The man looks heavenwards and utters one short, sharp word. Mothers cover up the ears of their children. Susceptible auntiejis swoon in shock. Bouncers come and take the man away.
Mango's Not for this man, no when it comes to the king of fruits I am a strictly no-aam aadmi.

Heavenly Atmosphere from the Family

Meaning: According the line of Athervaved 7/36/1 — let us husband and wife, look at each other with the gaze of love, always speak sweet words and reside in each other's heart. Let us be two bodies but with one mind only.
Message: What is the aim and ideal of marriage? Right from the beginning of civilization, why is this institution of marriage still continuing? If satisfying only the sexual desire is the reason for marriage, then this deal is very costly and troublesome. In this deal both sides seem to be heavy losers. Like the oil-miller's bullock tied to the grinder's beam and moving round and round throughout 8 to 10 hours, man also is crushed under the drudgery of earning for the family and the woman ruins not only her health and personality but also her life in the vicious circle of producing children. The aim of marriage is never like this. If that was the aim, the organization of the human society would have been completely destroyed and had been at a level lower than that of animals.
Marriage is a spiritual endeavor. This is a union of love which is nourished on the high ideals of self-denial and generosity. This is for men of goodwill and men who are brave. For a happy home-life, the life of the would-be groom and the bride-to-be should be of a high level, and both should be persons with quality and virtue. The groom should know the Vedas, properly educated, cultured and tolerant. The bride-to-be should be pure and impressive. With internal cleanliness of the body, the mind and intellect become pure. If the mind is clean, then the intellect and the mental tendencies too would be pure. With the body's inner and outer cleanliness comes the purity of conduct, good qualities develop and the light of knowledge and determination spreads around. The test of man's life is based on knowledge and character. Bright men and learned women, proven true on the above test, can achieve spiritual progress by joining in marriage and by living a 'yagyiya-life'. If the bond of marriage is making on the basis of capacity, learning and worthiness, then the life of husband and wife becomes happy.
The situation in the present times is indeed very strange. Maximum importance is given to pomp and wealth, but inner beauty (i.e. virtues) and personality in the form of qualities are ignored. As a result generally dissatisfaction and distrust are seen. In the absence of real sympathy, warmth and unity, despite living together, they live like lifeless strangers. They remain deprived of the inner joy and enthusiasm of the happiness, naturalness and tolerance of married life. A woman attuned to modality turns the peace of home into restlessness.
Husband and wife are complementary to each other. The objective of a successful family-life will be achieved if both consider each other venerable and work diligently for the success of marriage with mutual faithfulness, closeness, service, honor, cooperation, goodwill and generosity. For this holy objective, the husband and wife must be completely loyal to each other, and not think of any other woman or man.

By doing this, a heavenly atmosphere will be created in the family.

Ocean Creates the Rain

Meaning: According to the line of Athervaved 14/1/13 — when the ocean creates the rain (through evaporation of its water into clouds), the rivers get water, that is, the ocean controls the rivers. Similarly, o wife! You too make the entire family happy by becoming the owner of the house.
Message: The life of a householder is full of responsibilities. Only men whit deep insight, understanding and practical skills can be successful in this phase of life. Even educated men commit mistakes because of lack of practical skills, then what to say about uneducated persons? One develops practical-ness by living with experienced men. It is not possible merely by getting high education. A person must obtain the knowledge from experienced people about the practical conduct with parents, parents-in-law, brothers, sisters and other family members after matrimony.
The joint family system in our country is a blessing in disguise and a person gets exposed to family's responsibilities right from childhood. There is great importance of the joint family system from the spiritual and sentimental viewpoint also. Service to parents, help to brothers and sisters and to think of problems of the family members as one's own and getting involved in their solution, reduces one's selfishness. And increases generosity of mind and heart. Those thinking of only their own bodies and the comforts of their wives may obtain certain facilities in early life, but they have to suffer the punishment for their narrow-mindedness for the remaining life. The usefulness of a joint family is realized during illness, weakness, calamities and quarrels and fights and at that time the other members of the family help in their own way and lighten the burden on the family. The inclusion and maintenance of unworthy, incapable, mad and wicked is possible in a joint family system. Left to themselves, such men would have found even begging and survival difficult.
The new bride is the centre of the family and all family members have some expectations from her. The maintenance of the family's cheer, joy, enthusiasm and harmony depends on her practical skills. If mutual goodwill warmth, courtesy, respect and cooperation are maintained, then dissatisfaction and malice are never produced. Every member of the family must fulfill his duties properly and must not claim undue rights. It should not happen that because of being seniors some persons keep enjoying and the juniors have to work like the ox carrying the burden of drudgery in an oil-mill. This leads to the division of the family.

The administration of a family should be like the mutual relationship between the ocean and the rivers. The ocean is the master of all the water in the world. The water of the rivers also flows down into it, but the ocean never considers the water as his exclusive property. Through clouds, he rains down the water to every nook and corner of the world. Similarly it is expected of the new bride that, becoming the mistress of the happiness and comforts of all members, she should consider as her supreme good-luck to think of their interests with sobriety and gain the love and respect of the family members.

Live With Effortless Grace

A peaceful life is essentially a simple one and hence effortless. The sheer simplicity of peaceful life is a magnet that attracts, for deep within we identify with it. To be simple is not something external; we have to become simple and natural from within, be open to our own 'internal self' and perform actions knowing where they are leading to. One has to consciously bring bout this change, as Paramhansa Swami Niranjananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of yoga, Munger says, "To change externally is just a cosmetic change, it is feeding the intellect, the real change is internal". Being open to our internal selves connects us to the fantastic inner world wherein in each one of us a 'sage' dwells. Once connected to this sage our decisions are taken from deep within and we no longer need approval of others. We stand tall and empowered, yet simple, natural and in harmony with self and others.
However, being t peace does not guarantee freedom. We all have responsibilities that bind us in many ways, creating a web around us in which we feel enmeshed. So how do we experience freedom? Though it may seem contradictory on the face of it but one who is disciplined is the one who experiences real freedom. Freedom, like peace, is an internal concept; we can experience freedom only when we feel freedom within us. A disciplined man is able to organize his life and take care of his responsibilities with aplomb, and thus he is set free. A disciplined man is able to achieve balance in life.
By virtue of our existence we live in a world of relationships with others. The only constant in life is change and that is true of relationships as well. Only relationship that does not change with time is the one between mother and child, where normally affection is unconditional. If we honestly view our relationships we will find that we are constantly 'performing' with others. We unleash words and thoughts often couched in terms of 'love' while the intent to have control over others. The moment we are able to stop performing, relationship grow within, infuse discipline in our lives and stop enacting dramas in our relationships we are at peace and free. Once at peace and free, happiness happens. Life becomes an expression of divine calmness and flows with effortless grace. One becomes a 'farmer' instead of a 'warrior'. As paramhansa Swami Niranjananda Saraswati says, "in life becomes a farmer instead of a warrior: Learn to nurture and take care and begin the process with yourself with your personality and mind. The victory of a warrior is accompanied by destruction while the victory of a farmer is accompanied by creations".

Sindhu in might surpasses all the rivers that flow… The roar of the river is lifted up to heaven above the earth; it puts forth endless vigor with a flash of light …. Even as cows with milk rush to their calves, so other rivers roar into the Sindhu. As a warrior king leads other warriors, so does Sindhu lead other rivers …….
The shrill note of a motorcar's horn from the street below brought me back from my reverie. I saw a 'warrior' in a huge shining red car weaving his way aggressively through the traffic before I turned and went inside the apartment.

Gender bender in a Unisex World

The other day I read that in some cold and organized part of the first world, a group of over funded, under worked engineers had managed to put a female mind into a male body. No, It wasn't Hollywood production. They apparently inserted a chip which was programmed to be a female mind into a hapless male and checked if he stopped watching the sports channel or playing pocket billiards. (Not really, I just made that bit up).
Actually, it was a much duller research project to see whether the technology of gene transfer could be extended into the area of brain. Functions concerning perception. At least that is what I understood, but then I can't add fractions so don't count on me. Now if you have no time for unscientific drivel, go away. But if you have an unfettered imagination, and a propensity to worry about none is sues read on.
Imagine the implications of putting a female mind into male body. If you survive the shock of finding yourself wearing unflattering colors, you may collapse once you've calculated the financial implications of hair removal. The only thing likely to because you joy is the presence of slimmer things narrower hips and hopefully, no stretch marks.
Let's see the impact this would have on society. What would you do if a man walked into the room and, in 10 minutes, no t gets petty bout a new ear that somebody else had bought? Worse still, he won't be smiling foolishly at young women and ignoring the older women. Instead, he would be finding out where you bought that sari, and what the best place to look for throw cushions was.
One could go on making lists of things that a Man with a Woman in his Head (very different from a Man with Woman on his Mind) would be doing but hang on. There are many subjects that have become unisex now. You wouldn't know if it's the chip speaking or whether the original brain has re-asserted itself if he starts talking about cricket, wine or Shashi Tharoor : You will be foxed if he knows the calorific value of cup of sprouts and the long term benefits of Tai Chi.
The truth is that the unisex mind is already among us. We have nurtured it because life now demands that you don the male and female that. If you have reached the age of 50 and believe that the gender of our brains is the gender of our body, then please check out the BBC website. There is a quiz that allows you to find out the gender of your brain. I won't tell you my results but I can tell you that one of my men friends was a borderline male.

It's all very well for men to talk about nurturing their female side, and for women ot believe that they are "man enough". But what if you would happen if men didn't know that when they are being sensitive, it's their female side at work and women didn't know that they were being man enough when they switch off in the middle of a conversation? Losing your gender can be as scary as your hard disk crashing without having saved your files. All the women will break into a cold sweat at the thought of losing their capacity to color coordinate or detect a lie. And you men out there, would you survive if you couldn't compartmentalize your lives and continue to believe that you are emotionally stable? So hang onto your gender because you may be already gender because you may be already on you way to losing it.

Fame Spread in the World

Meaning: According to the line of Athervaved 6/39/3 — may my fame spread in the world, in the same way as the fame of Sun, Moon and Fire. May I be more famous than all persons?
Message: We feel the brightness of some person by the light in his heart. Some person's face shines with the brightness of knowledge and good deeds, whereas the speech of someone is so profound and exciting that it goes straight to the heart of the listener. Some people's walk is such that with their every step, the earth shakes, and some people have such a sharp graze that just by a mere look from them the arrogant enemy's pride is shattered. Only such bright men automatically receive honor, trust, respect, fame and supremacy in this world. Does Sun ever have to give a lecture about his own excellence? Does Moon ever have to declare his cooling pleasantness? Does deity of fire ever have to plead not to be crushed? Does lion, the king of the jungle, ever have to beg for votes to be elected as the undisputed leader of the jungle? They are all famous only because of their qualities. The Sun and the Moon are constantly working for the benefit of the whole world. With brightness, heat and energy, the Sun vitalizes the living beings. Along with it, the Sun also dries up the filth and thereby destroys it. Their only aim is nurturing of good qualities and eradication of bad tendencies and they achieve fame because they are constantly busy in trying to achieve this objective. The same is the objective of human life. Real spirituality lies in working for the welfare of the world till one's last breath.
A spiritual life is extremely necessary and important from the view-point of human glory, bright future, societal organization, spiritual bliss and inner satisfaction. Those who become inspired for and aspire for such a life should be called lucky and far-sighted in real sense. For leading such a divine life, nobody has to wear monk's robes or leave the home, nor beg for food like a monk, nor is it necessary to be involved throughout the day in recitation (of God's name or mantra), austerity, observing vrat (a combination of fasting and worship), ritual baths, visiting temples for bowing down before the icon of God and in singing psalms and hymns. It is enough to do spiritual thinking or self study and worship. But the main point is to implement in our thinking, faith and work-system, the spiritual principles and ideals. Man's life becomes successful only with that.

The meaningfulness of spiritual life lies in putting into conduct the principle of 'simple living and high thinking' and simultaneously observing in the life the principle of every woman is my mother, the wealth of others is for me like dust and that every living being has the soul similar to mine. It is both necessary as well as natural for men of excellence to look with purity of heart upon all women. With the necessity for procreation, there is bound to be sexual desire between husband and wife, but during the ordinary times there is no such thinking for each other, and it helps in maintaining this attitude of purity (i.e. men looking upon other women as their mothers or sisters, women looking upon other men as their brothers). The basis of a healthy society will be created only when men and women maintain this purity of outlook and all citizens have the strength of character. Every woman must be looked upon as mother, sister or daughter depending upon the age.

Cloud Comp and Reincarnation

There are several theories of reincarnation but none describe what passes from body to body when it happens. Cloud computing might help.
In cloud computing, most of the information for personal usage is stored in cyber space and accessed on demand with a user ID and password. Similarly, it is possible that most of the deep memories of an individual, both good and bad, exist in knowledge space (KS) and can be accessed by an avatar.
KS is where concentrated thoughts and strong emotions are stored as memories. A powerful emotion or deep thought is a stable structure and hence can stay for a long time as memory in KS that is just like a virtual server of cyberspace.
It is possible that what gets transferred during the time of death is only the user name and password. If somebody wishes and has the ability then he can access those memories from KS. This is the basis of reincarnation.
Since memories can be accessed from KS, an individual also has the ability to change them. This could be the basis of Patanjali's idea. He says that with yoga and sanyam yogi develops powers so that past birth sanskars can be modified or destroyed to achieve liberation. If the soul reincarnates into an animal body then those memories remain dormant till one can again find a human body and change them.
Energy-wise the transfer of only user name and password from one body to another makes more sense since a "switch" is easier to transfer than memories of a whole life time. Besides, it allows us to shed the baggage of old memories so new life starts with a clean slate.
Cloud memories in KS may have subtle effect on the actions of the person possessing them. This may be the basis why almost all religions have stressed on doing good so that past actions do not come back to haunt you. It seems memories are cumulative, that is they accumulate through various births. However, not all memories exist in KS; only deeply emotional ones do.
Since the user name and password are important parts of reincarnation this could be the basis of ancient tradition of child naming ceremony practiced in almost all religions where the birth name is given based on the child's horoscope.
How can we access our memories of past births? Only a yogi with practice of sanyam might have the ability to know about their own or other's past births. Sri Ramkrishna came to know of the reincarnation of Swami Vivekananda by touching him on his chest.
Similarly, Swami Vivekananda once described how by touching the hand of a disciple he saw the disciple's past memories as though written in black and white with sky as the blackboard. With his knowledge and yogic powers Vivekananda could access the disciple's memories - much like one can access date in cloud computing.

There have been reports of several children who are known to have recollected their past births. As they grow older, personality and identity development obliterate the 

Chasing the Oracle

There isn't a single Indian TV news channel that hasn't featured Paul the celebrity octopus. After successfully forecasting the results of FIFA World Cup matches, this eight-legged marine creature has proved his clairvoyance. Well, that's at least the case with an energetic game played by the two-legged race, a sport that has become a passion in several countries but is yet to capture the hearts and minds of our young Indians. There's however, been recent news of threats from German fans to serve Paul up as soup or on seafood platters. But he and his handful of Indian fans seem far from appalled, now that the German authorities have vowed to protect him. Not without reason.
The Germans looked upon by the entire Euro-zone to pull it out of economic toxicity, have finally found Paul to lend a helping hand. For, if not European youth in search of employment. Paul certainly had many job offers - most of them from India, the only place that has plenty of jobs today!
So, will Paul prevent the polarization of countries of the Euro alliance by accepting the offer from our TV business channels to predict the outcome of our stock markets - for which he would have to study some other what longish sideways movement of the bourses, analysts are divided over which way the stock market will go. They would welcome Paul's help in figuring out the way ahead. After all, despite several heads pooled together on the issue, there's no consensus on this subject. One can't help but think more legs may work better than more heads. Paul could aid the experts in overcoming their 'predicament' - the predicament of being unable to predict the future.
But once Paul lands on the shores of our great country, regional politicians will be quick to make angry statements about soothsaying 'outsiders' and root for our traditional parrots. After all, there is many a bird in India competing with Mani, the fortune telling parakeet who happens to be an astrologer's assistant in Singapore's Little India. Our desi parakeets are waiting to make a complete poppet out of Paul the octopus, despite him having got it right with every football match outcome. Only, most of us are likely to think of homegrown psychics as ghar ka tota dal barabar. Which means Paul will get more offers, especially from 'charitable' and flush-with funds cricketing bodies, to predict the results of IPL matches. Why, he may even have to pick out the man of the match. Be prepared for lots of legwork, Paul!
Bollywood will then jump into the fray. It'll want to cast Paul in a lead role with female octopus chosen from a reality TV show to partner him. So if he's worried that all this television coverage will only give him temporary fame, he'll be underestimating the power of publicity on our national channels. Indeed, he'll have an opportunity to dance with his costar around plastic trees even while a villain forces him to turn his predictions into chores at gunpoint. But what the heck - think of the moolah the industry will offer!
Psephologists will not be far behind. At the cost of being renamed pse-Paul-logists, they too will extend an invitation to the eight legged - or is it eight-handed? -Creature. This time around, Paul will need to familiarize himself with a dozen national and scores of regional political parties in order to choose winners! That is, if he wants to be here and do something more than just drift listlessly like our bourses. Get the drift? But there's a catch. Paul may survive the threats of being turned into soups or seafood platters. But chances are he may not survive our media trails if ever allegations are made about a 'foreigner' coming to our shores and playing Paulitics! So good luck Paul, you might just need it.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Crime Against the Society

Meaning: As stated in the line of Yajurved 23/21 — "the woman or man who spreads adultery by indulging in sexual lust, must be punished, mead-eaters too should not be spread punishment. They are criminals in the society".
Message: The influence of the bad deeds and bad thinking is like a continuous dose of poison gripping the conscious and the subconscious mind. These poisons are then transformed as the high mobility, agitation, impulsiveness, anguish of the mind and make a man like a half-mind person. He is not able to do any deed with a focused mind and is always torn between the states of whether to perform the deed or not. As a result he receives failure at every step and stumbles along. Because of his unbalanced conduct and therefore failures, he sulks, becomes dissatisfied, non cooperative, and a criminal. A man used to quarreling with everyone in the family and the society is always in an abashed and anguished state of mind. He is not able to think properly. A man in ill health and in mental anguish is suffering hellish torture and spoils the societal atmosphere also.
Addiction is more painful than death. An addiction free man obtains happiness after death also, whereas a man trapped in addictions dies every moment in downfall. The reason for a man's grace is his lack of addiction. A man who does not take intoxicants is certainly considered better than a man taking intoxicant. A man not eating flesh will be considered better than as meat eater. Similarly a non gambler gains honor and reputation compared to a gambler.
A man trapped in bad deeds, bad conduct and addiction not only becomes the cause of his own downfall, but also commits grave crime against society. Because of him anarchy and unrest prevails in society and nobody knows how many people's lives are badly affected by such men's influence. A man indulging in adultery and rape suffers lifelong mentally.
Where these bad habits or addictions are a crime against the society, meat-eating is a crime against all living beings. It makes man wild and uncivilized and warps the intelligence. With meat-eating, the sentiment of pity disappears from a man's heart. It obstructs his physical, spiritual, mental and intellectual progress and leads towards downfall. Meat, fish and eggs are not man's food, (i.e. they are a food for meat-eating animals, but not for man). Therefore they must be considered taboo. Almost all the great thinkers of this world have been vegetarians and have condemned meat-eating because of its bad effects on man and because of the violence involved. Meat-eating is done only by rejecting non violence. Our sages have always praised the grandeur of non violence. It has been clearly mentioned in Mahabharat "Ahimsa paramo dharmaha; sarwapranbhootaam vara" i.e. not killing any animal is the supreme religion. There is no religion higher than non-violence.

These people committing crime against the society and other living beings in the world, these opponents of humanness must be punished properly. We must plan projects for rooting out these bad activities. Only then can we properly fulfill our societal responsibilities.

Gambling is not Good

Meaning: According to the line of Rigved 10/34/10 — the wife of a gambler suffers grave hardships. His mother keeps weeping. He is always sunk under debt and entering other people's homes, steals money from there, Gambling is a very obscene adduction. One must also save himself from it.
Message: Superficially it appears that dishonesty is necessary for earning quickly and more. Most wealthy person seems to be working with dishonesty in their work. Most honest persons appear poor. Therefore, by ordinary understanding it appears that if we also remain honest then we shall become poor. There is tremendous importance of money in the present times and only with money can comforts, facilities, means success and honor be achieved. That is why people are busy in becoming wealthy very quickly through dishonesty or some such means.
But if the situation is studied closely, this distortion in thinking vanishes and we come to know that we made a great mistake in accepting the glory of dishonesty. Wealth cannot be earned in this way and if earned so, then it cannot be maintained steadily. When does not mean that the result will be beneficial only. Daring, hard work, insight and understanding, pleasant talk and organizing ability are the qualities which contribute to earning. The earning with the sweat of one's brow is pure as nectar. Only bad name, non cooperation, distrust, hatred, state punishment, dejection etc, result from money earned through dishonest and improper means. Real earning is made only through good qualities contain the elements of productivity. Big projects, big trades, big plans in this world have been established and succeeded only on the basis of honesty. Not with wealth, but with good intelligence and good activity only progress is achieved. A man of good character (and not a man with wealth) becomes happy.
The addictions of gambling and lottery are also spreading wide on the basis of quick money through any means. Every man wishes to become wealthy by earning the maximum money in the shortest time. This act goes against the tenets of religious book and is a condemnable act. It leads to internal division and leads to quarrel. To bet with one another on the slightest excuse, and speculation and similar act re various forms of gambling only. Its addiction destroys the essential purpose of man's life. He is busy only with one thought that, if not today, certainly tomorrow the number on which he bets, will win and whirling in this vicious circle, he bets more and more. As a result he goes on wasting away his wealth. Whereas he does not get the wealth of a win, he loses whatever he has got. In the ensuing hopelessness man starts sealing his family's ornaments, utensils, and even clothes and puts the money on bets. Becoming poverty stricken, the person even resorts to suicide. In addition, the family undergoes hell.
Because of gambling only, Dharmaraj Yudhishthir along with his brothers had to become a slave of Duryodhan and had to undergo the terrible torture of witnessing the evil Duryodhan trying to disrobe his wife Draupadi. Gambling produces such horrendous results only.

If you wish personal welfare, never gamble in any way. Reject it completely.

Identity of a Man with Character

Meaning: As expressed in the line of Rigved 10/117/8 — "In this world all are not equal in status. All are in ascending order, someone wealthier than the other, someone more learned than the other, and so on. To compare one's own self with someone with more capacity is always painful, therefore whatever we have received should be considered as a favor from God and we should go on ddoing our duty."
Message: 'Gyanmay karma evam karmamay gyan' is a proclaimed truth of Nepalese philosophy which means our deeds should be backed with knowledge and our knowledge should be in action i.e. there is a need for harmony in knowledge and deeds. The goal of all our scriptures and learning is only this that the light of the ultimate knowledge within our hearts should continuously brighten up our path of life.
All are not alike in this world. Not only the birds, animals and insects, but even men differ in their worth and capacities. Each man in not capable of carrying out every task, nor is he capable of every attainment. Mostly men themselves run away from work and keep on carrying for not obtaining various achievements. Most men in this world are unhappy 'why should others be happy'? They themselves do nothing and expect that they should get all the happiness, comforts, money wealth and achievements in the martial world. Such ignorant people who keep building castles in the air create a hell like life for themselves and simultaneously create an anarchic atmosphere in the society. Such distorted thinking only blunts their knowledge. Only their difficulties are visible to them and they always keep on crying. They neither have the time nor the knowledge to understand the sorrow of the millions of people living in want.
When the proper knowledge of the reality enlightens the mind, then accordingly, man decides the actions to be taken. For this harmony, he requires constant practice. To cultivate this habit is at first difficult, even impossible, but gradually by practive it is achieved. The Hindi saying is, 'karat karat abhyaas ke jdmut hote sujaan' i.e. by constant practice even dull persons become knowledgeable. A person, who does not know swimming, becomes mortally afraid when taken into the water, but within the next few days he is able to swim like fish. Similarly, by constant practice the entire life can be made full of knowledge.
A knowledgeable person has a quiet and balanced attitude. He considers all his achievements as a favor from God and remains satisfied. He does not have any emotion of jealousy or malice. He does not have ill-feelings on seeing others' happiness, comforts and progress. Never does he cry or get irritated or angry. He knows the sanctity of deeds and with a broad outlook keeps a compassionate attitude for all animals. With the attitude that all animals possess a soul just like his own, he is not satisfied merely with personal progress, but understands that in the progress of all lies his own progress.
This is the identity of a man with character.

Ekpaadrbhooyo dwipado vi chakrame
dwipaatripaadamabhyeti pashchaat.
chatushpaadeti dwipadaambhisware,

sampashyanpaktirupatishthamaanah .. (Rigved 10/117/8)

Nature of Renunciation

Don't desire sense-enjoyments. The body is being maintained by providence any way. Have no attachment towards any thing because everything is ever-changing. Know this and be contented. The Supreme Self, witness to these changes, is eternal. Know the majestic glory of the Eternal and be one with that. Enjoy both, the ever-changing and the eternal. Don't allow yourself to be dragged down by the ever changing and do not turn back from the eternal.
For ages we have been wandering through numerous forms of life because of our desire lust and attachment. "Get rid of the sense of 'I' and 'mine' of the pairs of opposites like pleasure and pain. Destroy all ignorance and differences.
Have no attachment and no hatred; eradicate all defects from the mind. Root out desire from your heart. Bring supreme good to your real Self. Destroy duality; contemplate on Self abiding in all/" Thoughts of duality breed vices like attachment and hatred, fear, grief, worry remorse desire and the sense of 'I' and 'mine'. Contemplate on the Universal Self.
What is desire? I want to get something. To seek pleasure in doing something, grasping, seeing and listening. We have been hankering after these desires for ages; yet we didn't get happiness that lasted. Had we got lasing happiness as much as the water on the tip of a needle, we would have had tons of happiness with us by this time. But nothing of that sort happened and we are left with zilch for all our efforts.
Krishna says" Renounce desire; next renounce longing as well. Even after this, attachment or the sense of 'mine' is left. This too brings misery. Renounce the sense of 'mine' as well. But even after renouncing attachment, desire and longing, there remains the ego of renouncing these. This ego too has to be renounced. Ego is of two kinds — natural ego, an evolutes of Prakriti and unnatural or ignorance borne ego.
Natural ego is limited to the body alone. It preserves and protects the body. It says, 'I am the body'. If the body feels hungry, the natural ego provides food to it; if the body is tired, it takes it to the bed. If the mind feels bored it takes the body to a place of entertainment. Natural ego is not that painful.
Ego in transient things like this is my house, I have this much money, I have this much land, I have so many friends is unnatural or ignorance-borne ego.
In reality true renunciation means complete disbelief in favorable and unfavorable conditions because the favorable gives rise to attachment, and the unfavorable to hatred. The absence of attachment and hatred is the only renunciation. Renunciation brings in theism, and then it gets transformed into love and after having experienced theism in absolute sense that love gets culminated in knowledge. Liberation is achieved by renunciation of desire and not by giving up things. The mind becomes free from prejudice after renouncing vanity; it attains peace and the ability to attain to Supreme Brahma.

Desire, longing, the sense of 'mine-ness' and ego or the sense of 'I-ness are the causes of rebirth. If one renounces these four one becomes liberated here and now.

Many Path to Bliss

Sanatana Dharma, which means 'eternal principles of wisdom' can be approached and accessed in three ways: Through the Vedas, through the Upanishads and through the Purans like Shrimad Bhagavatam and Devi Mahatmyam.
The fire rituals or havens that we perform today have come to us from the Vedic age. Despite this the pure austere lifestyle of that age is impossible for most of us to practice in this hectic, demanding modern world.
The Puranic approach is generally for those of us who are more religious in the traditional sense as it establishes a culture or sanskar of rites and ritualistic worship. Though primordial, pure, cosmic consciousness is beyond time and space, it is easier for the verge individual to relate to God through divine forms with specific attributes. So, with their own changed consciousness, they invoked this primordial energy to manifest through a form. Mantras came to be revealed in the process. Each mantra has the divine power to invoke a particular deity. It begin with 'Oam' the seed syllable, concluding with salutations to that particular deity like a bridge that connects us to our own soul at one end and  to Divinity at the other. So, whenever we chant that mantra with faith and devotion, we start vibrating to the frequency of that deity to receive Grace. The 19 major Puranas of Santana Dharma describe the qualities, origin, mystical symbolism and power of these deities through vibrations.
In the Upanishadic approach we understand how to recognize and realize divinity in us in relation to the cosmic power. Our sages experimented in subtle inner realms by following a set of principles with complete awareness for long periods until they reached a state of bliss which was automatic and ecstatic. In this enlightened state, they found that they were permanently free of thoughts, desires, negativity expectations and limitations of all kinds. So, they codified these principles in Upanishads and passed them on to their disciples. In Sanskrit 'Upa-ni-shad' means 'to sit close to the sadguru', i.e. to sit at the lotus feet of the guru as a disciple and imbibe wisdom.
The Sadguru triggers the notion of self-enquiry in the disciple, thus activating his inner most core. The disciple's life then follows a path of dynamic motion and evolution within. Satsangs are spiritual forums where inner exploration is done with fellow seekers and guidance of the sadguru. This is the true 'gurukul' where we are inspired to practice self enquiry. When the sadguru enters our lives and we imbibe His wisdom, it shatters our egoistic mindsets and attitudes, dissolving the karma which had prevented us from feeling the presence of our own soul. His energy ignites our awareness invoking divinity, inner faith and stability. So as we evolve spiritually, our worldly life also becomes free from troubles, problems and worries because we start burning our karmas away. Each day is stable, joyous and fulfilling. The soul's qualities of love, peace, patience, tolerance, compassion, care and share blossom in us, harmoniously integrating spiritual progress and material prosperity.

Sanatana Dharma gives us simple, effective and practical formula to reorient our lives within the framework of satya, dharma, ahimsa and prema or truth, noble principle, non-violence and unconditional love. By walking in the footsteps of realized sages, we learn how to shed our limitations and live constantly in the blissful core of self.

Material Happiness

Meaning: According to the line of Rigved 10/31/2 — for those wishing material happiness and spiritual salvation, it would be proper to have truthful dealings in mind, speech and deeds and to be partners in good deeds. This is the only means of achieving permanent happiness.
Message: There is a very close relationship of mind, speech and deeds. Whatever thoughts that arise in our minds are expressed through speech and our deeds are in accordance with that. After that we have to bear the result (good or bad) of those deeds. The mind is supreme because it is in contact with the organs of sensation as well as organs of action. No organ can become active in any work without the cooperation of the mind.
Only with firm willpower it is possible to keep the highly mobile mind under control. This mind goes on wandering from moment to moment and the fundamental basis of spiritual life is to keep it ruthlessly at one spot. Concentration in and dedication for any work is not possible at all without keeping the mind under control. Only with the reins of the mind, do the organs come under control and wicked activities do not survive. In this way it becomes easy for men to discard faults and wicked tendencies, he gets saved form sinful acts and gains real spiritual knowledge by self study and 'satsang' (good moral company and study of scriptures) by making good use of time.
This true knowledge remains like an armor over the mind and prevents the entry of sinful tendencies. With the slightest weakness in this amour, sinful tendency enters the mind. With the company of excellent men and by listening to their lectures with respect, we can strengthen this armor and open up the road to success in life.
Tremendous alertness and carefulness is required for saving the mind from sinful tendencies. Man experience sweet thrill in sinful feelings. Those who save themselves from this temptation are saved from destruction.
When man obtains excellent knowledge by controlling his mind, then his speech is truthful and so also are his deeds. With good and truthful conduct only, the works for the welfare of the people are carried out and with that only, is God's grace achieved. to experience God, one's total mind has to be surrendered to God. Spiritual development is not at all possible without constant practice of trying to experience closeness with God and experiencing God's existence during every moment of one's life.
We are able to obtain true knowledge by controlling the mind through satsang, and through self-study as well as worship and spiritual endeavor but very quickly we wander away from our objective, lose whatever has been obtained and become unhappy.

For permanent happiness and salvation it is necessary that, believing in God as our witness, we always keep ourselves away from sinful deeds.

Path of Justice

Meaning: The line of Rigved 5/51/15 says us that -"O men! Just as the Sun and the moon moves on their prescribed paths with regularity, similarly man also should go on the path of justice
Message: What is this creation? This is merely a small part of the universe, which is extremely great and extremely vast. Despite their progress every day, the scientists have been able to learn only on infinitesimally small part of this vast universe. Nobody knows how many solar-system, earths, and constellation etcetera God has created which, bound by a definite organization, are moving in space since billion of years. There is never any distortion in that organization and not one of them shows laziness or neglect in following the rules.
This is the biggest gift to humanity. Yet, despite actually seeing the miracle of God's organization, man himself considers living by the rules as an imprisonment. Whether it is his familial or social work, in everything he wants to behave willfully, and considers it as burdensome and insulting to follow the rules. The guardians of the law, themselves consider it a feather in their cap to break the law. They forget that working by the rules in an organized manner, everyone gets much more facilities for development and an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm is also created. It is possible that a few men will get undeserved by unbridled conduct, but by and large it gives rise in the majority of them to frustration, which then develops into mutual enmity, malice etc.
Once upon a time, man may have lived in solitude, but today he is a social animal. His stability, facilities, devotion, progress and cheerfulness, all are dependent on societal organization. Who created the innumerable means for his bread, clothes, shelter, and comforts? How many million person working day and night in fields and industries create these and reach out to him. If there is a slight disturbance in this arrangement, or someone does something with selfishness, then there is harassment to the society. Dark clouds of uncertainty, doubt and disturbance will spread everywhere if attention is not paid to organization and rules in the society. Everywhere lack of interest and harshness will be seen and we will have to face improper and aggressive wickedness. In such a situation the hope for one's own security, peace, organization and future will crumble to dust.
We must cultivate the habit of doing every work with regularity and punctuality in personal, familial and social life. One's diet, daily schedule of work, exercise, worship, trade or profession, all these must be carried out in an organized manner, governed by rules. The members of the family, specially the children, must be explained its importance right from the beginning, so that progressing along, they will shine forth like the sun in the society.
One must cultivate the nature of following the rules —

Swasti Panthaamnu cherem
suryaachandr masaviva

jaanataa sangamemahi

                        (Rigved 5/51/15)

Religious Harmony

Penal Code Embodies Tenets of Islam, Hinduism
Gujrat High court has observed that Indian Penal Code embodied the basic tenets of Islam and Hinduism that attack is permissible for self deference only and not to inflict injury to others. The order also defined Hinduism and the concept of Jihad in detail.
Upholding a seven year jail term awarded to two Muslims by a special Pota court in a firing incident on Surat based lawyer Hasmukh Lawala in 2002, a Bench comprising Justice Jayant Patel and Justice ZK Saiyed deprecated the act of violence as being revenge for post-Gdhra violence.
Stressing that India is wadded to secular policy, the judges observed if citizens of the country start with mental strategy of division bases on religion, it my result in damaging the unity of nation and consequently would tinker with the integrity and security of the nation.
Neither Hindu nor Muslim religion permits taking of revenge……. no religion professes that if a person from one religion has committed misdeed, revenge should taken from all persons following that religion, the bench observed ……
·         The judges also dwelled on historical aspects and noted, "The Hinduism is based on principles of 'sahanshilta'. It has been cited so many times that it is on account of receptivity and adaptability of Hindu culture, it has survived for more than 5,000 years, though the number of persons following Hindu religion are less as compared to others in the world - Christians, Muslims and Buddhists…"
·         The judges cited Maulana wahiduddin Khan's book "true Jihad to explain Jihad. Islam never permits use of violence for taking revenge, but power is to be used only as a protective measure. It is only by way of self defense, attack is permissible. Such principles are interwoven even in the IPC for invoking the right of self defense" the order states.
·         The court also observed, "The country is like a family having members of different ways of thinking and sometimes different way of praying to the God. Merely because the ways to get the blessings of God are different, one cannot divide the family….. "The accused sentenced are Mohammed Tahir Bakaswala and ashraf Nagori. Two others  Livver singh Chikhligar and Ishaq Makrani died as under trials and Salim Variava is absconding in this case.

Spirituality of Married Life

Meaning: according to the line of Rigved 2/35/4 — those young men and young women should marry whose hearts are clean and pure. A man possessing physical strength should brighten his family by getting married.
Message: Born and brought up at two different places in two different families and in different atmospheres, an adult man and woman, although of different nature and different physical forms, fulfill the aim of life by joining in total unity. The real meaning of marriage is to end the separate identity of two different persons and to be dedicated to each other. Only by this dedication and harmony a joint authority develops which can be termed as 'two bodies, but with one soul (or one identity)'.
Marriage means not only a union of two bodies but also a union of two souls. This is a spiritual endeavor. The basis of spiritual progress is love. A man is an ideal man in proportion to the deep and pure love in his heart. Devotion means sentimental love for God and a devotee means a lover of God. The spiritual endeavor of love for God is to make our life full of the divine sentiment of love. Only love is God. The experience of God in a man's heart is expressed as a surge of love. The practical experience of this spiritual grandeur of love learnt in childhood is possible only in the laboratory of marriage life. Unique inseparable belonging and dedication for each other, faith, goodwill, equality and faithfulness makes the life full of love and warmth. A sense of belonging is a unique feeling. The one for whom this feeling develops, becomes very dear to us. The husband and wife do have human weaknesses and faults, but if, by understanding the aim of life, there is a mutual sense of belonging, dedication, unity and warmth, then the householder's life progress with joy. A man will automatically reform personal weaknesses and faults if he thinks 'nothing for me but everything for my life-partner'. Experiencing an inner love, both the husband and the wife, experience goodness at every moment.
To-day the people has forgotten the high aims and ideals of marriage which has now become a certificate for animalism of sex. Boys seek beautiful girls who will excite them so that their lust can become intense. Along with this the girls look for a moneyed boy so that along with sexual gratification, they also get luxury and comforts. People forget that the foundation for success of marriage is the mentality, culture and idealism of the life-partner. The principal aim of marriage is spiritual and with it the marriage life becomes happy and only then happiness, peace, prosperity and bright cheer reign in the family.

This is the spirituality of married life.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Purity of Thinking

Meaning: The man, who robs a woman of her virtue, commits a friend's murder and does not obtain knowledge despite becoming aged, achieves downfall.
Message: The Vedic religion lays great stress on good conduct and morality. Every act should be for all regions, supreme and applicable at all times. It should not be related to a particular region of time. Speaking the truth, serving others and obliging others are such deeds only. Sadachar (good moral conduct) means those deeds which satisfy man's conscience and which give him the feelings of cheer and enthusiasm. By doing such good deeds, a man will never feel ashamed and his soul will be satisfied. This virtuous and moral deeds itself is called "Sadachar" or good deeds or good conduct. The opposite of it, i.e. the deeds by which a man feels ashamed, sorry or grief-stricken is called 'doorachar' or bad deed or bad conduct.
The general broad meaning of 'doorachar' is bad conduct and wicked dealings, but one of its meanings is also adultery. Obscenity and bad conduct are very closely related and the possibility of a man who accepts obscenity going for 'doorachar' always exists. Our ancient sages have laid great stress on 'vaasanaatmak pavitrataa' (i.e. purity as far as the desires for sex are concerned). The means for this purity is freedom for addictions and staying away from addictions are imbibing of liquor and other intoxicants, eating meat, fish and other animals, obscenity, adultery, and gambling, which becomes the cause of man's downfall. Among these the addiction of sexual lust is the most dangerous and therefore keeping it under control is the most important 'sadaachar' (or good conduct). As long as the fire of man's sexual lust is not aflame, till then man's greatness, learning, gentlemanliness, status and discretion remain. This itself is the measure of Nepalese 'sadaachar' or good conduct.
The man who decides to keep his eyes, ears, speech and mind in a pure state and keeps them pure, i.e. uncorrupted, he surely will be saved from obscenity. To save oneself from bad thoughts, not only are these restrictions necessary, but also along with it one has to adopt devotion to God, reading of god books and the company of morality pure men. Obscene thoughts will be away from us in proportion to our devotion to God, and bad thoughts will be away from us in proportion to the reading of morally good books. The company of good men will inspire us to proceed on the path of 'sadaachar' (morally good conduct).
The objective of Vedic religion and culture is to reach God while making use of means provided by Nature. God is 'shuddha swarup', i.e. God is the embodiment of purity itself and nothing but purity. Therefore to reach this pure Form, man's soul will have to become cleansed and pure. For refinement and purity of the soul, good conduct must be adopted along with the rejection of all addictions and bad habits. Good moral thoughts are produced in the mind only when 'saatvikta' (a combination of morality and simplicity) is made the basis of our lives. With that, high clean and pure thoughts are produced, which inspire us to adopt moral conduct.

Purity of thinking is the principal basis of 'Sadaachar'.

Please Pay attention

We have needed to 'originate' the slow food movement to counter fast food culture; only then do we feel we can get to something that we once had, but lost! What we had lost is the attention that goes into creating and savoring nourishing meal.
While previous years were all about multitasking we now hear and read people asking us to please 'uni-task', coining an odd sounding term to remind us to pay attention, even enjoy, each thing we do. It would be funny it if weren't so sad. Nicolas Malebranche, a 17th century philosopher said "Attention is the natural prayer of the soul." If that is true most of us have forgotten how to really pray.
Thich Nhat Hanh in The Miracle of Mindfulness writes about how he and a friend once sat under a tree sharing a tangerine. The friend began to talk about plans for the future, becoming so immersed in it that he literally forgot about what he was doing in the present.
Popping a section of tangerine in his mouth, before he had begun chewing he lifted another slices to his mouth again. The teacher gently suggested, "You ought to eat the tangerine section you've already taken, "startling him into realizing what he was doing," as if he hadn't been eating the tangerine al all…… If he had been eating anything, he was 'eating' his future plans."
Educators speak of the shrinking attention span of young people today, but few schools teach children the gift of savoring the moment. There are some parents who say that the capacity for attention is theirs to claim.
There is another aspect to attention; attention to others around us. Psychotherapist Pierro Ferrucci refers to attention as a precious gift. People who are suffering may need advice, diagnoses, interpretations and interventions, but still more do they need sincere and complete attention. He points out that attention, being completely available, may well be the most coveted gift: "We silently hope that someone will want to do that for us….. Attention is a type of friendliness and the lack thereof is the worst kind of rudeness. Attention is the means that allows us to let friendliness flow. Anyway who can't give others attention, will never be friendly. Attention gives energy, while the lack of attention takes it away.
From yet another angle, we learn that what we give attention to grows. Even when it does not actually grow, it certainly seems to, because we tend to see little else.
Often people I meet in therapy mistakenly think they must only focus on what's wrong. Sure, things could be wrong; even very wrong. But is that all that's happening in one's life? When they make a list also about what's going right, they are shocked at how long or how rich it actually is! Life is a mix of what we label good or bad - not to mention that there is often good in the bad and also, on closer like, some bad perhaps in the good.
We need to learn to pay attention to our entire life, not just parts of it. Focusing only on problems is draining, exhausting. Knowing there is already some good shifts us out of 'poor me' place and pumps us with energy to work on what we need to work on.

Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little. (Gautam Buddha)

You have no compassion; the Lord's Light does not shine in you. You are drowned, drowned in worldly entanglements. (Guru Granth Sahib)

We are ready to become the people we are meant to be. None of us can afford to squander our days, our years, or our lives. We have too much to give; we have too much to live. (Lama Surya Das)

The most precious gift we can offer other is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Strive Firmly

Meaning: The line of Rigved 10/117/4 says that — "Those who do not repay the debt of their obligation, who are stingy about giving their service to others, nobody in this world is their well-wisher. Therefore, man must always be generous by nature.
Message: Man is but an infinitesimal part of the vase creation of God. God has created innumerable, countless living species of animal-life and plant-life and among the plants various shrubs, trees, vegetables and medicinal plants and herbs. He has also crated water, earth, sky, wind, Sun, Moon, stars etc. Among all these he has created the human-body with a special aim. Only because of the wonderful grace or benevolence of the Supreme Father this divine creation, i.e. the human body, has obtained the best skills. Whatever has been created in the world is for his use and consumption. Even though we know this fact, we show stinginess in expressing our gratitude to Him. Instead of being grateful to Him, we become proud ourselves.
God's directive is 'tyaktena bhoonjitha ma grudhaha' which means consume with n attitude of renunciation and do not be greedy. But we want to have everything and every moment we are immersed in selfishness. First and foremost we must express our gratitude to that vast Almighty and as directed by Him we should work for the welfare of all by giving up selfishness.
Man cannot be aloof even in the day-to-day life. Every time he receives cooperation from one or the other, and therefore he has been able to achieve this much progress. No matter however much insight and capacity we possess, it is almost impossible to do anything without others' cooperation. We should liberally express our thanks to all our associated, big or small. Without making any distinction of young or old, high or low, we should try to repay them to the maximum extent for their help. Those who show stinginess in this are committing grave sins and are permanently deprived of God's grace.
It is unfortunate that man always thinks that his ultimate objective lies in nourishing his body, indulging his senses, loving the family members and relatives, and as such, he spends his entire life in these only. Trapped in these worldly affairs he neglects the values of life and receives society's contempt. In times of his need, nobody comes to serve and help him. Nobody is his well-wisher. Even the society condemns a man who does not thank others, does not cooperate with others and is always immersed in his own world.
We should strive to firmly establish our ideal values of life and should not be miser in expressing our gratitude for the cooperation we receive from various living beings from our birth to death. We should try to be of maximum service to them in return for all the obligations. It is our supreme duty to express our gratitude to God, our Supreme Father.

Na sa sakhaa yon a dadaati sakhye
sachaabhuve sachamaanaaya pitvaha
apaasmaatprey yaanna tadoko asti

prunantamanyamaranum chidichchhet (Rigvved 10/117/4)

The Global Language

At the 1920 meeting of the newly founded League of Nations in Geneva, India - a member state represented by Maharaja Khengarji - joined China, Persia and eight other countries in urging the League to take Esperanto seriously. Teaching this easy to learn link language to school children might help shape a viable post war world they felt. The League's vice secretary general, Inazo Nitobe, submitted a positive report. In 1921 India, China, Persia, Japan and nine other countries sponsored a favorable resolution. France vetoed it. Setbacks like this veto - or the 1935 defeat of feminist legislation in the US - make the movements stronger and more articulate. When we look at the way Esperanto has been recontextualized over the decades, it turns out that at every stage there were a few Indians making significant individual contributions.
Maharaja Khengarji III Ketch didn't know Esperanto. That he supported it possibly had something to do with Irish Jehangir Sorabji Taraporewala (1884-1957), a highly visible linguist. As a translator of Tagore, Taraporewala was the first Indian to make it into print in Esperanto. There is an unbroken chain of distinguished Indians publishing in Esperanto, from Taraporewala to Ashwini Kumar and Badal Sircar. But the biggest achiever in this domain was Lakshmiswar Sinha (1905-1977) of Santineketan.
In 1928 Tagore sent Sinha off to Sweden to get some training in the handicraft based pedagogic system called ' sloyd'. Sinha proceeded to learn Esperanto from his new friends in Sweden and promptly became a legend. He published half a dozen books, lectured in 10 European countries, made friends everywhere - their children have fond memories of him to this day - and Esperanto and India on each other's map. His is a key name in the story of work for cultural equity across literary regions.
Sinha's translation of short stories by Tagore, published in 1961, was designated by Universal Esperanto Association (UEA) as the first book in its 'Oriento Okcidento' series. Launched in the context of UNECO's global program for educational and cultural transformation, this series is one place where UEA, on of UNESCO's formal partners, promotes the goal of providing everybody with the equitable diet of cross-cultural reading that they are entitled to.
"But people read each other anyway"! You exclaim. "An overwhelming number of books get translated into English; doesn't that count as global dialogue? It does; but I put it to you that ordinary people reading world literature through English do not run into Lord Tadeusz by Mickkkiewicz of Poland, or Seven Brothers by Kivi of Finland or The Tragedy of Man by Madach of Hungary. But adult readers in Esperanto count as illiterate if they are unfamiliar with these major nineteenth century classics, translated by iconic Esperanto authors like Grabowski, Setala and Kalocsay. This is not about a couple of token peaks; UESS's series is just official applause for a fraction of the work routinely done by Esperanto translators. Catalan author Abel Montegut has shown that the Esperanto translation basket is far more equitable in terms of cross regional representation than the baskets in other major translation vehicles.

Recent extensions of the enterprise are based on Esperanto translations of literacy works that have not been rendered into English. A 2007 Euro Indian project had a Croatian children's classic by Ivana Brlic Mazomanie translated into Bangla through an Esperanto translation. Esperanto's transparent word architecture makes these bridge versions hug their originals very closely. New partners form Italy and Slovenia and EU support have made possible a bigger 2008-10 project. - Publishing children's novels from Croatia,, Italy and Slovenia in Bangla and a Bangla children's novel in Slovenian etx. The public likes the books; if they didn't, we would know we weren't addressing a seriously felt need. Sinha, personally a life long anti-elitist, was part of the transition from our reaching for the elite sky in 1920 to our inter local work today.

The Prime Mover of Life

The ground state or vacuum state is an inexhaustible field of creativity, energy, orderliness and intelligence: Literally a field of all possibilities. Everything in the universe - animate and inanimate - emerges from this quantum mechanical level. It is the total potential of Natural Law. All of the innumerable laws of nature the impulses of nature's intelligence responsible for governing all diverse tendencies in the universe, are found here. This same field of nature's unlimited potential can be located within each individual at the source of thought, the most settled state of one's awareness. Acting from this level of pure consciousness, one inherits the infinite organizing power of natural law, making all power of natural law, making all things easy of attainment.
Imagine a wave on the sea. Even a very big wave has limitations; it is only this high and that wide. Now imagine that wave settling down, until it merges with the sea. Its value then assumes the unlimited, infinitely more powerful status of the sea. The wave, which was bound before, has gained boundlessness.
The mind is capable of the same settling down, or transcending process. During Maharshi's Transcendental Meditation ™, the waves of thought 'retire' to the source of thought. The word 'transcend' means to go beyond; "Meditation" refers to thinking. During TM the mind experiences progressively less excited states of thought until one transcends thought completely to arrive at its source. The agitated, limited value of thought gains the unlimited status of Being, the silent depth of the ocean of consciousness.
Transcending thought is as effortless as thinking. The mind is like a body of water; choppy on the surface, silent and stable at its depth. When we experience only the 'noisy' surface level of thinking, difficulties abound. If we could anchor the surface mind to its vacuum state - if we could enliven the stability inherent at the depth of consciousness - we would be insulated from 'the winds of change'.
In the Bhagavad Gita (2.48) Krishna says; 'Yogasthah kuru karmani': - Established in yoga or pure consciousness, perform actions. Here the mind is most powerful, most effective. 'Yogah karmasu kaushalam' (2.50): Yoga is skill in action. From this level we "do less and accomplish more". The growth of inner silence is the basis of spiritual unfolding and material success.

Consciousness is the prime mover of life. Everything we do depends on the quality of our consciousness. If your mind is sleepy, agitated, or negative, then everything you perceive. Speak or do reflect that incoherence. But if your consciousness is orderly, fresh and alert, the world appears much different. Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness. When you wear red tinted glasses everything appears red and when you wear green tinted glasses everything appears green, The Vedas say that knowledge is structured in consciousness. The world is as we are. If you are anchored to the silent, blissful state of consciousness, everything you do becomes joyful. Maharshi summarizes simply, "Handle that one thing - consciousness - by which everything else is handled".