Friday, June 7, 2019

1267. Finance and Economics.

Financial independence is the most sought trait in recent times. It is not wrong to be financially capable, but the means to achieve that has to be right. In the mundane world the yardstick to measure the status of an individual is the amount of wealth he has. The more wealth one has the eminent figure he is. While a few earn wealth without breaching the line of illegality, some have the knack of doing illegal things legally. Both may be good at finance and can flourish with their wealth, but they are causing a dent in economics. Amassing wealth by ignoring economics can bring temporary flaunt and pleasure, but in the long run, one has to pay price of ignoring the economics.

Now is finance and economics different???

They say Indians are rich but India is a poor country.  My country is financially strong, but economically weak. Economics is embodied with certain rules, regulations, policies, vision, to check on the fraudulent flow of the money. Finance is an individual matter while economics is that which focuses on holistic progress. Economics is designed to provide financial stability to the society as a whole. Finance cares only for the self and economics cares for everyone.

We have seen many who earn in crores financially but evade tax. Financially they are strong but economically they are sick. Firstly we need to understand that in any society the payment for occupation is not appropriate. A movie star is remunerated more than what a farmer who toils in his farm gets, not to talk about corrupt bureaucrats, politicians and crony capitalists. Economics is modelled to support the weaker section and eliminate the domination of the financial giants ensuring the stream of money flow towards everyone. It is the finance oriented people who smartly bend the economics and amass money. They may be termed smart, but not as wise as economists, who have the vision of stability. Amazingly the people who ignore the economics and focus on the finance are the ones who do not enjoy their money. They either get caught for breaching the regulation or end up stressed trying to safeguard their unethical collection of finance. Hoarding of money gives more stress than they can provide comfort and pleasure. Wealth is supposed to take care of us, not we taking care of it, stressed out. Mallya and Modis can boast of their wealth but live as fugitives fearing arrest anytime. Are they in joy and happiness???

Financial fraud is the effect of ignoring economics. By overlooking economics we are directly responsible for the financial crisis in the country and high rate of inflation. The nation’s financial strength depends on the implementation of economic policies and its sincere compliance. The rise and fall of Indian Rupee depend on the per capita and circulation of money in the market, not by the net income of the few financial frauds or the black money they have amassed.

There is no evidence in the history where a person who has amassed money fraudulently has benefited from it at his eleventh hour. Money may buy medicine but not health. Astonishingly the generations of those who have amassed money continue to pile garbage. It is invariably a wrong result in the wrong and unethical deeds. 

A nation can be financially robust if the economics is valued by every single individual. The onus is on us not just on the elected government. Normally an ache in the stomach is either due to hunger or indigestion. Economics is an antidote to both, it lets everyone eat their share and burp in satisfaction, avoiding starvation as well as overeating.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

1266. Body Shaming...!

We as a society are obsessed with appearance. We get caught with looks and forget the human behind that muscle, fat and skin mask. We fail to look beyond the face and peep into the heart. There is a set of artificial standards of beauty designed by the marketing agencies working for body care products and we follow them, those who do not fit those standards are subjected to “Body Shaming”    It is a psychological abuse which is widely prevalent.

It is irony that our society beauty and ugliness is viewed based on the colour, shape and size of the body. A boy is expected to be tall and muscular with a physique which makes him appear strong. While a girl has to be thin, fair with zero acnes. If someone falls out of this criteria which most of us are, we are constantly advised to improve our looks.

Media which caters to body care companies play a significant role in stimulating the culture of body shaming, considering the fake and near impossible beauty standards set over the years. The cosmetic industry advertises as to how essential it is to have a fair skin to get a job or a life partner. Added to it we have portals which recommend gels and pills to lose fat within a few days.

By giving importance to these crackpots we have increased body shaming that leads to inferiority complex and lowering confidence. A mature person would look beyond skin and body. Agreed that we need to adopt healthy lifestyle obesity is a problem, it is a risk to health and it is essential to have a flexible body. A heavy built person can have a flexible body. I have seen many who are fit but do not have enough stamina. Stamina is the strength and energy that allows sustaining physical or mental effort for long periods of time. Body Shaming is not new and the first ever revolt on it happened at the court of Raja Janaka.

I remember a story of Sage Ashtavakra who acquired his name when he was in his mother’s womb and overheard his father reciting the Vedas which was wrongly pronounced and could not resist the temptation to correct his father, Sage Kahoda. Enraged, his father cursed him to be born bent in eight places (ashta vakra).

Nevertheless, he grew into a wise and enlightened being. When he was 12 years old, Raja Janaka of Mitila hosted a huge debating conference which Ashtavakra decided to attend. Because of his deformed body, Ashtavakra attracted ridicule everywhere. It was no different at the court of Raja Janaka, filled to the brim with learned scholars and revered sages.

As soon as he entered the court’s portals, he was greeted with a loud peal of mocking laughter. The scholars and sages could not help laughing at the sight of this young boy, so twisted and malformed. Ashtavakra joined in the merriment and laughed along. Raja Janaka was astonished. Beckoning him, he said, “I can understand why the others are laughing, but why are you?”

With a look of immeasurable composure, Ashtavakra said, “I laugh because I expected to see enlightened souls in your court, but I see that they are nothing more than Chamars (Cobblers). They are not able to see beyond the skin. All they see is my bent body and the skin covering it. In the curve of this temple the Consciousness is not curved? When a pot is destroyed, is the clay also destroyed? The Consciousness is beyond change. My body is twisted, but Consciousness that lighten this curved body is not.”

A perfect slap on Body Shaming….!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

1265. Onions and Vaishnavas

Akshaya Patra Foundation run by ISKCON provides freshly cooked meal to over 18 lakh children across 12 states in our country. The food served is Sattvic and does not contain Onion or Garlic. One section of media alleges that food served minus Onion and Garlic doesn't meet the nutritional standards required for growing children. 

Nowhere in any Hindu scriptures have they mentioned to shun them but have advised to avoid excess consumption. Onion and Garlic are classified as Rajasic and Tamasic, which means that they increase passion and ignorance. While explaining to Arjuna in Chapter 17 verse 8,9,10 Sri Krishna prefers Sattvic food for an individual to excel spiritually. 

Onion and Garlic come under alliaceous plants and they are supposed to induce aggravation, agitation, anxiety and aggression if consumed in immoderate amounts. They could harm physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Understandably they are avoided by spiritual adherents because they stimulate the central nervous system, and Garlic is a natural aphrodisiac. Onion and Garlic are categorised as “Kamagra” (inducer of Sensual craving) 

Back in the 1980’s, Dr Robert C Beck made a research on the effects of Garlic on human brain functioning. He concluded that garlic reduced reaction time by two to three times when consumed regularly. A school going kid should not have a slow function brain, as far as the nutrients it can be got from any alternative source.

I understand that consumption of Onion and Garlic in limitation works as medicine but regular intake is to be avoided. Our orthodox society avoids it, why??? Maybe they are worried about its origin.

Our Puranas have a story of its origin. Ayodhya King Trishanku desired to reach Heaven with his mortal body. He sought the help of his Raja Guru Sage Vashista, who promptly refused to fulfil his wish as no one could enter with human body. As there was on going tussle between Sage Vishwamitra and Sage Vashista, and to obtain oneupmanship Sage Vishwamitra agreed to send King Trisanku to Heaven with his mortal body. 

After an ensuing Yagna, Trishanku was launched up to Heaven by the penance prowess of Vishwamitra. However Indra, the Lord of the Heavens refused to let Trishanku in with his mortal body and sent him packing back to Earth. Trishanku fell headlong towards Earth, calling out to Sage Vishwamitra. 

Enraged, Vishwamitra again used his prowess and uttered Stay Trishanku! And the King stayed hung mid-way between Heaven and Earth, upside down. Vishwamitra proceeded to create a separate Heaven around Trishanku, known as the Trishanku Swarga. 

Among all the items created for Trishanku, there were Onion and Garlic. I do not concur with those who reject Onion and Garlic because it was Vishwamitra's creation because it was the same Sage who gave us Gayatri Maha Mantra.

Many think that Onion and Garlic is kept away from a Vaishnava household. ISKCON which follow the Dvaita Philosophy of Sriman Madhva are strictly against use of Onion and Garlic, yet they serve most delicious food as prasadam. Madhva community is very particular about what to eat. They feel the food we eat controls the mind but it is paradox, is it the food we eat that controls our mind or does the mind have control on what we eat. Seeing the life style of a typical Madhva I am convinced that it is the mind which should control what we eat. Look at how the Chinese eat, they eat anything that walks, runs, flies, crawls and also those which slither. 

I personally feel that there is nothing bad in adding Onion and Garlic occasionally in our recipe but if addicted to it, it is a concern.

The cross-section of an Onion looks like Shanka and Chakra to me…… do you also feel so???   

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

1264. Jai Shri Ram

There is this small incidence recorded by the Dasavarenyaru of Karnataka. 

The battle between Shri Rama and Ravana was fierce. Every day many of the Vanaras from Shri Rama army and the Rakshasas from Ravana army were injured and exhausted. The Rakshasas observed that the very next day all the injured Vanaras were revivified to fight against them again. Some of the Rakshasas wanted to know the secret behind it and enquired the Vanaras. The answer the Vanaras gave was that the chanting of “Jai Shri Rama” which rejuvenated them.
Rakshasas too wanted to chant but they could not pronounce the word “Rama”, so one of the Vanara came up with an idea, he pointed out to a tree nearby and asked the Rakshasas as to what it was. They all shouted “Mara” (Mara in Kannada is tree). The Vanara asked the Rakshasas to continuously utter the word “Mara”, eventually they ended up chanting “Rama Rama Rama”.

There is no need to be agitated or annoyed at the chanting of “Jai Shri Ram” it is the chant that pumps in the vital energy into the system. If one is a Hindu and has not even once uttered the name of Shri Rama, his pall-bearers will chant “Ram Naam Satya Hai” (Rama’s Name is Truth). “Ram Naam” holds the meaning “the name, Rama”, which carries devotion to Shri Rama, who is Maha Vishnu. The continuous chanting in a loop implies that the dead body is no longer the truth, as the Chaitanya (Consciousness) is no longer in it. Chaitanya is referred to as Rama and Pranayavu is Hanuma. When the Mukyaprana (Vital Breath) leaves the body, the Chaitanya also departs. Anything devoid of Rama is Asat (Unreal).
Chanting of Rama Naam, would redeem of all the bad thoughts flourishing from the interaction with the external world and help look within into one’s own reality. 

The two letters RA and MA in the Hindu manthra Shastra are called the Beeja Aksharas which have the power to drive away the ominous thoughts that would pile up in the mind while interacting with this mundane world. Utterance of RA MA will keep one away from attachments. RAMA is the embodiment and personification of Dharma, the righteousness which is the ultimate TRUTH or Satya. 

Chanting the word “Rama” at the eleventh hour by the individual or his associates will ease the Pranavayu to leave the body. When the Pranavayu leaves the Manas (Mind) which is the cluster of thoughts too will detach from all the attachments it had including the body.

Also when Uma asked Maharudradeva, “O, my beloved, what is the short method to recite Vishnu Sahasranaama (if I am not able). What is to be chanted instead? Maharudradeva is said to have told, “O beautiful one! Chant Rama Rama Rama which rejoices the mind. It is equal to thousand name of Vishnu.” Even Shri Rama was unaware of the significance of chanting His name.

In Ramayan while the bridge was built to reach Lanka, the monkey troupe hurled the boulders chanting “Jai Shri Ram”, the name of Shri Rama and the rock floated and they could form a bridge. Watching this Shri Rama took a pebble near His feet and dropped it in the ocean it sunk. Shri Rama was amazed at it, Hanuman who was watching Shri Rama from behind told, “We are more powerful than You, We have the backing of Rama Nama to do the impossible possible.” Such is the power of chanting “Jai Shri Ram”.         

Jai Shri Ram
Jai Shri Ram
Jai Shri Ram.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

1263. Five forms of Manifestation.

There are various ways to relate to the Brahman, the creator. Worship is one of them and ritualistic worship is not the same as a mental worship. In the ritualistic worship an idol of the Deity is must. Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya of Srimad Ramanuja conceives Brahman in a fivefold series of manifestations known as PARA, VYUHA, VIBHAVA, ARCHA & ANTARYAMI.  Para is the Omnipresent state, Vyuha is the Cosmic state, Vibhava is Incarnation state, Archa is Manifest state and finally Antaryami is the Immanent state.

A seeker can connect to Brahman in any of the forms depending on his mental ability to grasp the vastitude of Brahman, the creator. The scriptures say that the ultimate realisation is the form known as Para, the Omnipresent one in which everything abides, including one’s own Self. When the Para is realised in everything then the Upanishad Mahavakya of “Tat Tvam Asi” is appropriate. Here the Self is not becoming one with Brahman as Samya Bhava (Emotion of Equality) as explained in Advaita, but it is to be identical to Brahman as Ikeya Bhava (Emotion of Identity). It is just a matter of interpretation by different schools of thought, but what cannot be denied is that this Self is in the nature of Brahman and comprehending it will liberated the seeker from the cycle of rebirth.

The scholars of Vishistadvaita after Srimad Ramanuja have made it easy to understand the five forms by comparing it with water. The basic necessity for any form of life is water. Water is available in nature first in clouds, then in oceans, rivers, wells and in our house in vessels.

Though there is water in the cloud it is impossible for us to drink from it. Water in the cloud is comparable to Para, the Omnipresent state. We are aware that cloud has water so also we know Brahman as Absolute. We realise that Para contains everything in it, but beyond our reach. 

The vast water body on earth is the ocean. We can visualise it but we are unable to consume the water from it, Vyuha, the Cosmic form is also the same, we can see the universe but we cannot grasp its infinity. Without ocean the water cycle cannot sustain, likewise without Vyuha, universe cannot exist and life in it cannot thrive. Level of manifestation in Vyuha form is unimaginable, but realisation of this manifestation can occur once the seeker has the knowledge that this cosmos has emanated from Hiranyagarbha, the primordial atom.

Just as we have many rivers from which we use water for various purposes, we have Vibhava, the incarnation form. Vibhava pertains to various Avataras Brahman has donned; it is for the seekers of different generations to draw the essence from them and enrich themselves. The knowledge of Avataras and their purpose helps in improving the awareness level of a person on the existence of Brahman.

Archa, the Manifest state finds its place in Vigraha aradhana, adoring the personal Deity; it is like having a well at our premises. The water from the cloud descends as rain and flows as river. A part of the river water goes into ground and can be retrieved by digging a well. The water analogy also would show how easy it is to draw water from a well which is personal to one who owns it. Adoring the personal Deity concept is as easy a way as using the water from the well. 

The water in my tumbler from which I can sate my thirst is Antaryami, the immanent state. The Omnipresent Brahman which was like the cloud has descended into the tumbler which I can say is mine, like how Brahman resides in the cave of my heart….. He resides in me as “OM.” 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

1262. Doesn't Hurt any more.....!

“One day, it won’t hurt anymore” was the status I posted on WhatsApp yesterday. A few read it as a statement displaying Ego. Superficially the statement sounds as if it is from an Egoistic, but the depth in it is a thought provoking statement. The underestimation of the word “hurt” in the statement has made it look as Egoistic. 

It hurts when I experience either Physical Pain or Psychological Pain. Pain is an inbuilt warning mechanism that helps to withdraw from harmful stimuli, be it physical or psychological. When I touch anything very hot, it is the physical reflex action which prompts me to keep away from it, so that it does not hurt me more. 

In the psychological pain the truth is that my feelings get “hurt” when the circumstances do not comply with my convenience. This is not like the reflex action that happens in the physical realm, the psychological pain stays on taking a deep dive into the sub-conscious mind and resurfacing at the conscious mind causing hurt to the feeling every now and then. Just as there is a relief to the physical pain there is also a respite to psychological pain also. If the psychological pain resides in then it is the birth of negative emotions.  

Negative emotions are a part of the “human life experience”. When I am hurt psychologically, either I am depressed or I get angry. Again both are emotions which cause more pain. The problem is that the idea my brain uses to create emotions and understand them is out-dated. We humans have spent much more time fearing the unknown than living with what is known. 

I can’t repress feeling hurt. But getting angry (which is supposed to be the natural consequence of “feeling hurt”) isn’t the answer: it has consequences I would not want and is an attitude which I obviously want to change. To say it differently, even though it is not my fault feeling hurt, how I react and the consequences of that reaction are purely my responsibility, whether I want it or not. I choose the reaction. And this is where boundaries and self-control come into play.

Self-control is controlling the reactive anger after I feel hurt. It is a realization that anger is just externalizing my pain, and there are other ways to do that. But sometimes, it is just too late to not fall into angry attitude. And usually, I just know when I am about to explode.

Well, boundaries are limits of what I am going to accept in my life. There are boundaries for what I am going to accept from people in my life, but also for what I shall accept from myself. When I know I would not be able to control myself, I can choose to leave.

By just letting the feeling pass by leaving it alone and once I can control the emotion, it is then I do not feel hurt anymore or have dealt with the pain. I can choose to say it is others fault and I am a victim of others actions or maybe just fate. Or I can choose that whatever procured me this emotion of pain, somehow, is due to my actions. And this is where I grow and experience the pain without being hurt.  

Monday, April 22, 2019

1261. ISIS, the terror.

Terrorism is not alien to a religious fanatic defending his religion. To him religion was, is and will be a reason to terrorise. In recent times Islamic fanatics have taken the means of terror in the process of globalisation of Islam. Islam as a religion has outgrown any other religion because of its aim to make the whole world Islamic, they are now almost 1/3rd of the globe. 

There are fanatics in every religion. Every time a child is taught to blindly follow an authority personality who claims his morality springs from the “holy book”, a little fanatic is moulded for the future. Fanaticism arises out of dogma, but going to the extreme of killing anyone in the name of religion and God is an act of stupidity.  

When we think of mass murders the names of Adolf Hitler, Vasili Blokhin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong come before our mind. However, the alarming truth is that in the name of Islam much more killing have happened than any of these and may surpass all of them combined in numbers and cruelty.

Islam does not encourage terrorism but it encourages “Jihad” which has accrued both violent and non-violent meanings. A few of the so called liberals have reiterated many times saying that Jihad is a non-violent way of spreading Islam. If so, one among the four types of Jihad is “Jihad Bis Saif” (Jihad by the Sword), what does this mean??? Now, don’t tell that it is to fight inner enemies, to fight the inner enemy knowledge and awareness is sufficient, you do not need a sword. For a fanatic, what started as a simple faith becomes a virus which later on infects the healthy organ of the society. 

Earlier centuries ago, it was Bhakhtiyar Khalji killing Hindus at Gahadavala, Timur killed millions in Timurid massacre of Hindus using Islam as the reason. Mohammad Ghori too attacked Hindu temples in the name of Islam. Allaudin Killji, Akbar, Aurangzeb, Tippu Sultan were fanatics who were victorious over Hindus. They believed it was Allah’s will to terrorise. This is the way the fanatics justified their atrocities. There are instances where the some pious  “Khawaja” have got involved in the mass massacre and mass conversions of Hindus. 

Even today, Terrorism is identified with Islam, because those indulging in terrorism justify their acts with the reference from Quran, and there is no outright condemnation though. In the enthusiasm to see their religion swell across the world the community remains silent which is the most dangerous thing to happen for Islam.  Media certainly should play an active role, but they seem to defend these morons. Either they are frightened to expose them or they are exploiting the circumstances to keep their viewers rating high. 

These Islamic fanatics have included the rebel ethnic groups in region to spread terror. National Thowheed Jamath in Sri Lanka which terrorised in the churches on Easter Sunday is one such rebel ethnic group which targeted innocents. 

A few of Janata Dal (Secular) workers who campaigned for the party in the recent Lok Sabha elections were on a tour to Sri Lanka. They are now among those killed. With heavy heart I feel it is barbarism to attack those who are no way connected with the issues one is fighting for.

The fanatics of Islam have been using Jihad as a tool and caused much harm to humanity. So, if muslims want the world to stop identifying them as terrorists, then it is up to them to change the perspective. That will only happen when a reform will come from within itself. Islam as a faith has to transform. This is how it has happened through out the history. 

In developing countries if there is no counterterrorism pressure there will be ungoverned spaces that are used as terror sanctuaries and terrorist training camps with insurgency and infiltration threats.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

1260. Life is a Story.....!

Life is the manifestation of the Absolute. The liveliness in life is the cosmic dance of the providence. That manifestation functions in every individual as a force which need not seek anybody’s permission to enter the body or does it ask for anyone's approval to exit from the body. It enters spontaneously and exits involuntarily. This entry and exit is termed as birth and death. Life as it is never born nor will never cease to exist. When it enters a particular body and leaves it that particular process is called birth and death.
In reality life is a bridge between birth and death. As we have an entrance to the bridge so do we have a passage out. So life is just a bridge to get over and not to build a permanent place there and reside. By the time we cross over the bridge we experience a continuous jump from one awareness to another and accumulate knowledge from those event just like how a bee jumps from one kind of fragrance flower to another and collect nectar.
Life is full of events which provide an experience to handle better if aware of what the event is, else it is mere event passing off as an incidence. Life is much more smarter than we can imagine, sometimes it works out to be in contrast to what we imagined or at other times it becomes harder to even comprehend what is happening. Wisdom lies in accepting life as it is. Instead of analysing life to make it comfortable, it is better to take it as it comes.
Life is never a problem to those who have no fear of future. Amazingly the past is dead and future is yet to be born, it is only the present which is with life. Living with the present and flowing with the life is the best. The life experience will be exciting and ecstatic only if the future is unknown. The mystic part of the future is the most beautiful phenomenon. Not knowing the next moment is the play of life. Life is awesome if it is tough and it is said that when the going gets tough the tough gets going.
Understandably the wheel of life does take us high and low, but that sine wave is real fun rather than a straight line. In the ECG pattern it is required to have a sine wave a straight horizontal line means the end. There is more to life than what our sense perceive it to be. The perceptions on life is imprisoned and contaminated in the mind as concepts, notion, imagination of how the livelihood is. But livelihood is not and will never be the life.
Neither the self-realisation nor the enlightenment need be the desire if love compassion, feeling of oneness and acceptance of everything is present as a core trait within us. It is required to cultivate a kind of detached attitude at a very young age, so that at middle or old age, it would be natural approach. The ultimate purpose is not to get away from the world, but to live life to the fullest. Living life to the fullest means living life as if there is no choice. Not bothered of what to do but just flowing with the flux of universe. Not having a choice to choose this over that, not categorizing anyone as a friend and foe. In love with the animate, inanimate, living, non living, conscious, unconscious. In love with all in love with the one. If life is a flower love is its fragrance, if life is fire love is its warmth. As sweetness is to sugar so love is to life.
One has to live in this world with artificial excitement outwardly and free of excitement in the mind as a doer outside and non-doer inside. By letting life at the outer level to go, we gain it in its inner depth. It may seem that we have lost life which is finite and trivial but we would have gained life which is infinite and immortal.

Monday, April 15, 2019

1259. Ego!!!

There are two words in Sanskrit “Ahamkara” (“I” am) and “Asmitha” (“I”ness). We often confuse these two words as in the English translation we tend to interchange them to convey our thought. As I understand “Ahamkara” is one among the four Anthahkarna (Inner Conscience) along with Manas (Mind), Buddhi (Intellect) and Chitta (Memory).

Ahamkara refers to a sense of self that is somewhat self-existent and though it is shaped up by the information received from the external resource it does not depend on it to obtain a place in my conscience.  
Asmitha is one of the four afflictions of mind along with Avidhya (Ignorance), Raga (Attraction), Dwesha (Aversion) and Abhinivesha (clinging to live). It is just a sense of “I”ness without Ego coming into play. It is just the identification of the perceiver with the reflection of the perception. From this identification there is a feel of “I” see, “I” hear etc. This “I”ness is felt as soon as one is awake in the morning. So Asmitha rely on its association to outward appearance for its place in my conscience.  

From “I” ness to “I am” is the entry of Ego. “I am” kick starts “Duality” but it is the closest entity to “Oneness”. It is the start of the primary illusion of a separate, independent identity. Every thought that generates is on the basic thought “I am”. Finding the source of that “I am” is the path to spirituality. For no apparent reason, the thought “I am” spontaneously stirs into existence just like a wave that appears on a still ocean surface.

“I am” is the first thought that comes with the manifestation triggered by Vasanas (Tendencies) and Samskara (Impression) to become a puppet in the play of the five elements. It is the phantom “I” which claims individuality as “I am” that brings objectification of everything and everyone around me. “I am” is the conscious presence liked by every individual. It is the first concept which could remain till the Prana (Vital Breath) remains in the body. No one ever has escaped from “I” ness but with sadhana one can get rid of “I am” ness. “I ness” is the first entry point of existence and “I am” is the last exit point of illusion.

For a realised soul that always remains in Self, everything is happening as play according to “Prarabdha Karma Phala”. Any sort of distortion in this thinking is the presence of “I am”. “I am” sprouts out of selfishness and grows as Ego; because of ego, there are thoughts; because of thoughts there is misery. When one misery is dropped another is created. Consciousness has no ego-sense. Individually the thought “I am” enters into it, and flow of thoughts forms the mind, and storage of thoughts forms the memory. To get away from misery Ego has to be subdued.

Ego is nothing but condensed unawareness. Every individual is an object of His will whereas an egoistic individual consider himself as subject and others as objects and amazingly each and every one consider it that way. Just like waves, egos clash forgetting their real nature and oneness. Intervention of individuality only distracts the real nature of phenomenon. Many would rather give up their lives than give up their ego. Mind dominated by ego requires an object to prolong the ego, it cannot remain in isolation. Many a times we will not be communicating with the person, but with his ego.

The answer to the question “Who am I?” is the only means to subdue the ego. All other means retain the mind, and ego takes subtler forms in the process. Practicing to perceiving things in a wider perspective relegates ego behind.

My ego always insists that I am somebody whereas the truth is that I am nobody.

Friday, April 12, 2019

1258. What is Consciousness???

I wish to share what I comprehend…

Consciousness (Chaitanya) is ever present expression of life. If it is a dancer and the entire universe is a dance. Consciousness is the mind of Awareness and every individual is the projection of it. Consciousness presence in our physical body is like presence of sweetness in sugar.

We individuals do not possess a separate Consciousness but what seems to be plurality is merely a series of different aspects of the one thing, produced by deception. Our body doesn’t own Consciousness; it is Consciousness that projects as body. For both the knowledge as well as ignorance it is Consciousness which is the source.

Without Consciousness neither can there be Delusion nor Reality, as there exists no wave or wave froth without ocean water, but ocean water can remain without wave or its froth as also without Delusion or Reality Consciousness can remain. 

Without Consciousness neither knowledge nor ignorance can be cognised. Just as the ocean water evaporates to gather as cloud and then come back in the form of rain from the cloud, the same is true with Consciousness. There can be no Consciousness without Awareness; but there can be Awareness without Consciousness, as we experience in Deep Sleep.

It is not that an individual possesses Consciousness; but the Consciousness assumes the form of individual, just as ocean water assumes the form of wave. It is the same Consciousness that expresses as mind, ego and intellect, and also appears as physical body. Consciousness when individualised suffers from ego and emotions. Consciousness in the body is not same as bird in a nest; it is like the whole in the part like gold in the ornament. The source of Consciousness is Cosmic, but its expression is individual creation. The fantasy experience of the dream is recollected in the waking stage. This shows the continuity of Consciousness in all the three stages namely waking, dream and deep sleep.

There is a misconception that once the vital breath (Prana) leaves the body the Chaitanya (Consciousness) too will leave the body. But in reality it is only the Chetana (Liveliness) that leaves the body and makes it Jada (Lifeless). The Chaitanya is still intact as the negative process of Apaksaya (Decay) is taking place. When the Prana Vayu leaves the physical body, that body will not remain the same like a rock but will undergo Vikara (Putrefy). To change from Sakara (Energetic) to Vikara also Chaitanya plays an important role. Even the apparent unconscientious stage of the rock conceals the innermost dormancy of Consciousness.

Chaitanya as a philosophical term is a divine, pure consciousness that can pull the mind into a meditative stillness. According to Advaita this Chaitanya appears in different categories namely Brahma Chaitanya (Absolute Consciousness), Iswara Chaitanya (Cosmic Consciousness), Jiva Chaitanya (Individual Consciousness), and Sakshi Chaitanya (Witness Consciousness). As told above there Chaitanya is never experienced in plural. It is singular; it has no plurality but is viewed so due to delusion.

To explain it simple, let us suppose Jute is Brahma Chaitanya, the form and name it acquires when it is made a rope is Iswara Chaitanya. In dark assuming that rope to be snake is due to the play of Mind and Intellect, that is Jiva Chaitanya. Being aware that the jute has manifested as rope and there is no snake at all is what Sakshi Chaitanya as Antaryami grants when we ask for “Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayat” (in Gayatri Mantra).     

Sunday, April 7, 2019

1257. SHIVA, the first socialist!!!

Sura (Divine) and Asura (Demon) conflict is perpetual, without a beginning and without an end. It is a tussle between good and evil. This good and evil trait that appear in both Sura as well as Asura. It only depends on the level of dominance of the trait which categorise them in one particular sect. Though Prahlada was born in Asura family he was not evil. 

According to our Puranas both Suras as well as Asuras have to austerities and please either one of the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahadeva). In almost every incidence Brahma and Vishnu seldom gave the benediction to Asuras. They both never supported demonic activities. Maharudradeva was the only hope as he is Ashutosha “quickly pleased”. 

In a way Maharudradeva is the first “socialist” he never saw any difference between Suras and Asuras. He never discriminated among his devotees. If pleased He granted the wishes and blessed them unconditionally. He finds no difference in Laukika (Worldly) and Alaukika (Heavenly) and absolutely unbiased, does not categorise an Atma (Soul) as Deva, Daitya, Rakshasa, Yaksha...and so on. A pure socialist.
When He gave boon to Bhasmasura, the boon where a touch on the head by the Asura would burn the opponent into ashes. When granted the stupid Asura wanted to test the boon on Maharudradeva. Later was Vishnu in the guise of Mohini who handled the Asura.

At the time of Samura Manthana when Vasuki, the serpent used as rope to churn emitted Halahala (Poison) it was Maharudradeva who volunteered to consume it. For the welfare of the society a true socialist will take the initiative always irrespective of the consequence which might affect him personally later.

Humiliated at the gathering Sati, wife of Maharudradeva jumps into the Homa Kunda at her father, Daksha Prajapatis place. Maharudradeva displayed “divine anarchy” by creating Veerabhadra and associates from his hairlock.  The crowd was harmonious and spontaneous generated group without fixed rules, laws or values in a society of gnostic that vandalised the entire place. Again a true socialist approach intolerant towards injustice.

Maharudradeva is the one and only entity to have shared half of His body with His beloved Uma, to be Ardhanarishwara. The socialist concept of equality between husband and wife. All married men can boast of our wife as “Ardhaangi” (one who shares half shirt, wife) but Uma to Maharudradeva is “Ardhaangha” (one who shares half body). 

Kamadeva strikes with his arrow of flowers to nudge Maharudradeva out of trance. The disturbance is so agitating that the third eye is opened to reduce Manmatha to ashes. Ideologies when put on test a socialist erupts with a devastating weapon of destruction unaware of what that might bring in future. Manmatha had to roam as Aanangha (Bodyless).

Yama arrived on his black buffalo to take away the soul of kid Markandeya. Markandeya hugs the Linga and is adamant to let go. Yama could not wait any longer he hurled his Paasha (Noose) on Markandeya which encircled the Linga too. Maharudradeva appeared to reprimand Yama of his actions. A sheer socialist act of dismissing the protocol on certain situations. 

Look at His family photo, He has a bull as His vehicle which is an easy prey to Lion which is the mount of His beloved Uma. He has a snake dazzling over his neck which has its eyes fixed on the mouse which is the vehicle of His elder son Vinayaka. Peacock the mount of His second son Kartikeya is a bitter enemy to snake, yet peace prevails. There is total disagreement in the nature of coexistence, Kailasa, the prefect party headquarters of socialist. 

Shivatattva is socially inclined but to a good cause.

(Note: Please never compare the socialist thought this write up has mentioned to todays socialist ideology of convenience.)

Friday, April 5, 2019

1256. Human Values First....!

In every religion there are a set of Do’s and Don’ts recommended to the seeker who is on the path to Truth. They are termed as “rituals” and the main reason for introducing it was to bring in some sense of discipline in the seeker. In almost all religions there are some specific rituals that need to be practiced. There is a specific method and guidelines insisted in religion to attain values which is called Dharmika Mulya (Religious Values). In a way rituals were tools used to maintain and reaffirm culture when it would otherwise be destroyed by the inevitable disorder and conflict that all societies have. Rituals are ingrained in traditions and following them is like respecting the traditions passed through cultures, ethnicity, and religious beliefs.

Every distinct ritual from every distinct religion is an external symbol to mould the moral values in a seeker. Without moral values even if one is following the traditional values he cannot tread the path of Spirituality. The purpose of every religion is to get the knowledge of the true self and there are different methods to get that knowledge. The religions have devised on specific method or rituals to gain that knowledge, depending upon the geographical and life-style constraints. These rituals uplift the religious values of the individual. This Dharmika Mulya (Religious Values) was designed as a sheath on Manaviya Mulya (Human Values). Human values are also Spiritual Values.

The religious values can be attained either by the knowledge of scriptures or ritual worship or devotional service. A seeker who is knowledgeable do not require any ritual worship if he study scriptures, contemplation on them and follow them. It is not possible for everybody to study scripture and comprehend them, for such individuals ritualistic worship were constituted to get the benefit and replicate them. Those persons for whom ritual worship also seem tough, they have option to indulge in devotional service.

The study of the scripture becomes worthless without implementing that which is learnt. The devotional services are useless without understanding its real purpose. The ritual worship is hopeless without human values though one performs keeping religious values intact.

Upholding human values is the door to spirituality not being religious. There is no need to study scripture, nor indulge in devotional service, or perform ritual worship if one has human values in him, it purifies self and open up the door of Spirituality. It is always benefit to pay attention to Human Values rather than Religious Values.

In a military parade it is mandatory for everyone present there to stand up in respect when the National Anthem is played. In fact it is a daily ritual for a soldier to stand in attention with the hand near right eyebrow palm facing downward. Suppose you are a soldier attending a parade and you are in a march past team. After the march past session at the end of the event if the National Anthem is playing and your neighbour has sunstroke and faints, do you follow the ritual of standing still or help him thinking human values are more important than rituals.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

1255. The Relentless Service....!

For any kind of work be it menial or preeminent job you have undertaken, there must always be the feeling that you want to serve. If this is the feeling, immediately the mind gets concentrated and connected with what you do. With mind connected the quality of the work done is efficient. The efficiency in work done automatically brings success.  If you are successful in rendering selfless service to the society, certainly you will make progress in the spiritual life. There is a saying in Kannada “Janara Seveye Janardhanana Seve” (Serving People is like serving Janardhana). One can never stop those who have practiced the “Art of Relentless Service”

A few days after Shri Rama’s coronation, Sitadevi and her three brothers-in-law Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna met. They were discussing about the Sevas (Service) to be done to Shri Rama. Sitadevi thought that Hanuman had taken care of Shri Rama for a long time and he should be given a break. They made a timetable as to who have to serve Shri Rama at which time. This planning excluded Hanuman from the service of Shri Rama. All the four divided the responsibility of rendering the various services to Shri Rama only among themselves. And so, they drew up a list, as exhaustive as they could make it, of the many services from dawn till dusk, down to the smallest detail and assigned each part to one among themselves.
They presented the list of services and its assignees to Shri Rama at the presence of Hanuman. Shri Rama smiled looking at the new protocol. He then read out the list of service so that Hanuman can hear. Not believing what he had just heard, Hanuman prayed to Shri Rama that the list be read once before him. Sadly he left as his name was not mentioned in the service list.

Next day, Hanuman innocently went to Shri Rama’s room to massage legs. Immediately Lakshmana told Hanuman that it is not his service and it was allotted to Shatrugna. Then Hanuman found that no service was allotted to him. He started feeling left out and was depressed. After some time he consoled himself and asked Lakshmana if he could do any service which is not mentioned in the list.

Lakshmana also agreed to that because he was confident that there was no service unmentioned. After thinking for a while, Hanuman said that he had an opportunity and would wish do that service. Hanuman said, “Our ancients have said that if you yawn, snapping fingers is a must to protect from evil effects. And so being a Chakravarthi Shri Rama can hire anyone to snap fingers whenever He yawns”.

Lakshmana thought that little service should not bother any of the three, so he told Hanuman to do finger snapping service to Shri Rama. He did not know the seriousness of this service. Nobody can predict when one will yawn so Hanuman was always required to stay with Shri Rama. He was always keeping his fingers ready to snap. He took his food with his left hand and kept his right hand ready to snap when Shri Rama yawns. That much he was determined in his service. 

Sitadevi, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna were completely bewildered at this turn of the situation.

Shri Rama smiled and thought that all of their intelligence put together cannot equal Hanuman intelligence. Then at night, Shri Rama went inside the bedroom to sleep, Hanuman followed. Sitadevi stopped him, reminded Hanuman about her domain. But Hanuman was so determined in his service that he said this yawning service is most required at night time and he has to be with the His master and it is very much essential. Looking at the plea of Sitadevi, Shri Rama asked Hanuman to go and take rest. Having received the order from his master, Hanuman left.

Monday, April 1, 2019

1254. Vote Cautiously....!

Elections are celebrated as the festival of democracy and the festival is around the corner. The Election Commission of India has announced General Elections to the 17th Lok Sabha to be held next month. The election process takes one and a half months for completion. In this festival of democracy there is campaigning, nomination public meeting, voting and counting.

The festival of democracy for the common man ends the moment when the polling officer marks his finger with purple silver nitrate. For the contestants the day of counting is the last day of the festival, but for those who have won the contest it is a long festival continuing till the end of the term probably for next five years. If the elected candidate is serving the constituency well, then off course the electorates also can celebrate the festival of democracy for the entire term. Nevertheless it is a fun filled election.

The most amusing part at the election time is the formation of alliance in the political circle. Parties who were sworn enemies come along to contest the election together. Old enemies become close friends and close friends break their decades of friendship. Next is the manifesto of the parties, they promise unimaginable and unthinkable assurances. Even the electorates know that those in the manifesto are just to make fool of the voter. Without any ignominy the party which opposed a policy before will promise to implement it if brought back to power.

It is so unfortunate that our constitution allows parties to come together to form a coalition after the results are announced. In my state Karnataka it was mockery of democracy last year when the party which was placed second supported the third and offered the Chief Ministership to stop the leading party from forming the Government. All that we citizens of Karnataka could do was just watch the political circus as the day of festival was over for us. Why not amend the constitution where the post poll alliance is not entertained, in that way horse trading can also be controlled.

Election time the social media is used and abused in many ways. The artists who are well versed in morphing and Photoshop become active and create memes to target the candidates. A few sycophants post videos on FaceBook and YouTube in which they warning and provoking the supports. Not to be left out the Regional News Channels take the opportunity to air all sorts of controversial statements made by either the candidate or his supporters to grab TRP rating. Every other day a video or an audio clip is beamed and debates and discussion are held on the issue, if the debate and discussion were to be on electing the best candidate it would be better for the electorates to decide. The New Channels to do not want people to know about the candidate instead it searches for any misadventure to telecast.

It is a know secret that money flows like river at the time of elections. The campaigning isn’t complete without a huge amount of money spent. Though incumbent Government and Election Commission spend considerable amounts to handle the process, the candidates and political parties also spend heavily. There is an official limit for the expenditure by a candidate during an election. However, there is no limit for the expenditure incurred by the political parties. In a way, this expenditure incurred by the candidates and political parties is welcomed by general public as the ill-amassed black money gets circulated.

Vote cautiously to the party which walks with all and stands for the welfare of all….. Let the celebrations be for entire term of five years.   

Monday, March 25, 2019

1253. Weak Point in a Strong Person....

I came across a sentence “He is a good person, but anger is his “Achilles Heel”. It was the first time I had heard of this phrase Achilles Heel. Later I could understand that this expression “Achilles heel” refers to a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall. Also I learnt that there is a tendon which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. This tendon is called “Achilles Tendon” and is crucial to the ability to walk, jump and rise up on the toes.

Is there any connection between phrase “Achilles Heal” and “Achilles Tendon” I wished to explore and started to read about it. I found that the phrase originates from the Ancient Greek fable of the hero Achilles. When Achilles was born an oracle foretold that he would be famous but would die young. Worried mother Thetis dipped the infant in the River Styx which was believed to confer immortality by holding him by his heels.

Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles. One day, a poisonous arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing him. Because of this legend, the term “Achilles Heel” has come to mean a point of weakness, especially in someone who otherwise is of strong constitution.

This legendary story remains me of the Great War of Kurukshetra. It was almost nearing the end and all the brothers of Duryodhana were killed. It was the 17th night of the war. Gandhari never bless Duryodhana to be “Be Victorious” as she always uttered “May you have long life” whenever Duryodhana sought blessings.

On the 17th night when Duryodhana went to his mother’s chamber she blessed him long life. Gandhari wanted her only surviving son to be alive. She knew that her son had to take on Bhima in an one to one mace fight the next morning and she could feel the ominous vibes that her son stood no chance against Bhima who was beaming with confidence after killing Dussasana. Gandhari asked Duryodhana to appear before her completely naked in the morning after taking bath.   

The all-knowing Sri Krishna accosted Duryodhana the next morning when he was on his way to meet his mother naked and asked him where he is going completely naked. When Duryodhana explained Sri Krishna about his mother’s order, Sri Krishna advised that since he was an adult it is highly inappropriate to appear before his mother in that manner. And further advised Duryodhana to at least cover his genital area.
Duryodhana immediately cover his lower part with a banana leaf and went into his mother’s chamber. Gandhari received him and then she told him that she was going to open her blindfold for the first time since her marriage and look at him for the first time. So saying she removed the blindfold to have a look at her son.

Gandhari had focused all her yogic powers obtained by the severe penance in following her husband and remaining blindfold for years since her husband was devoid of vision. She wished that when her sight fell on the body of Duryodhana it would became strong as iron. To her dismay she saw that the lower part of Duryodhana was covered, the whole body except the covered area was not strong as iron.

Later Gandhari came to know that it was Sri Krishna who had advised her son to cover the lower part of the body. And in the battle between Bhima and Duryodhana on the banks of Lake Dwaipayana, Duryodhana was hit on the thigh by the mace. Though the entire body was strong as iron that groin area was weak and Duryodhana fell dead. 
Achilles Heels and Duryodhana Groin both weak points…

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

1252. Happiness is in the Inner Fulfilment...

Can anyone define what happiness is? Is happiness got from a fixed source or is it a different thing to different individuals? Is the source of happiness in pursuing education, obtaining a degree, finding a good job, having charming wife, bringing up nice children, being in perfect health and many more such stages? It is normal to believe that approaching these stages in life would get us happiness. Whatever is done to reach the stages is ultimately for acquiring happiness. In this process we take utmost care not to indulge in any kind of act that might make us unhappy.

Astonishingly for a rug picker though what he does is unpleasant to others, he hopes that whatever he picks from the garbage will fetch him something to feed himself and his family. Likewise a businessman too trade with his goods to earn and through it he is happy. The objective is the same for both the rug picker and a business magnet.

Amazingly though the objective is same what makes one happy need not necessarily make another also happy, happiness source varies. A few are after name and fame to feel happy, anonymity brings satisfaction to the one who is spiritually inclined. So there are different things that make different people happy. Hence it becomes difficult to have a common definition of what makes one happy and also there is no particular device to measure happiness so got. Though the objective of everyone to be happy is same, happiness itself is subjective. It is a state of inner fulfilment and is never the same at all times. If a cup of hot coffee makes me happy on a chilly day, I would prefer cold lassi on a humid day. Even on identical conditions the outcome may be different at different times, hot tea is preferred instead of hot coffee or cold badam milk is better for some instead of a glass of lassi.

Astoundingly in some cases the choices that we make thinking it would bring happiness may not really fetch it. For example, a change in job with more income or shifting to a bigger home in a newer locality or making new friends do not guarantee happiness, in fact they may even result in a desire to revert to old situations. Even earning more does not guarantee happiness as money beyond a threshold point has diminishing returns. The comfort level that money can buy stops at some stage. Then how does money get us happiness? If the wealth is shared after a point when our needs are taken care, to bring comfort to larger number of people then there is happiness. It is not the money that gives happiness but what we do with it does. Likewise it is not the job we are into that matter but how it benefits others is the point. This is what brings greater mental satisfaction. The bottom line for sustained happiness beyond the initial satisfaction is what we do for others in view of the larger good, than what we do for ourselves.

Happiness cannot be measured as it varies from period to period, person to person, place to place. “Happiness has nothing to do with material things or with man’s outward circumstance. A man living in the lap of luxury can be wretched, and a man in the depth of poverty can overflow with joy.” It is for each individual to identify what brings happiness without causing unhappiness to others and pursue it. But one thing can be said with reasonable certainty, happiness is contagious. If we are with happy people, our mind also gets pulled to the path of deriving happiness.