Saturday, October 17, 2015

752. Truth always Eludes but a Sincere Seeker will find It....!

There is truth in Vedas, Gita, Bible, Quran, Guru Granth Shahib, and many more holy texts. But we fail to notice them as we spend most of our time and energy in finding flaws in them which are irrelevant for us. Even when the truth stares at us in the face at all times, we are unable to see it as we are always engaged in exploring that which are fictitious.

There is this comedy sequence from Telugu movie “IDIOT” which I watched a decade back. The sequence starts with a few policemen with a SI watching the check post at the state border. They have information that smugglers are using that very highway to sneak goods across the neighboring state without paying sales tax. Security is beefed up and a thorough checking around the clock is conducted. All the truck leaving the state is checked and the invoices of the goods in trucks are verified. 

A man pass by the check-post one day, he is on a bike and on the rear seat he has a huge sack fastened. The officer stops his bike and inquires about the sack which is strapped behind. The man claims that the sack contained sand used for construction purpose. Curiously officer inspects the sack and to his surprise finds only sand in the sack as the man had told. He allows the man to go. The same procedure happens the next day also. Again the officers check the sack and find only sand in it. Then the following day also the procedure is same and only sand is found in the sack. After several times of thorough checking and finding the claims of sand in sack true, the police officers stopped checking his vehicle after a few days. They did not have any proof to find any illegal activity in this man's daily routine. Once a new officer wanted a body search done, again after stripping him to his underwear they did not find anything on his person which was illegal. 

After seeing the man ferrying the sand across the border for about twenty times, the SI takes the man aside and question him thus, “I know you are into something illegal, my instincts says so every time I see you crossing the check post. Unfortunately even after a through search we could not find anything on you so that we can nail you for the crime. I some how feel you are smarter than us. Just between you and me can you tell me what is it that you are taking across the border? I promise that I will never divulge to anyone.”

The biker looks at the SI and decides to tell him the truth as he had accomplished his task. He says, “Sir, your instinct is right. I was taking something out of the border other than the sack of sand; you policemen are all too smart. But you could not guess what it was.” 

SI looks at his face with interest expecting the biker to tell him the truth.

The biker said, “As you rightly suspected I was not ferrying the sack of sand across the border on the back seat of the bike. You people might not have observed that I used a different bike every day, in fact I was taking the stolen bike across the border!”

Like the policemen in the movie sequence we are always after the obvious and miss the essence. We are able to look at only a part of this enormous treasure of knowledge and with our half baked facts we try to be a judge and give prejudice remarks.  Truth is there right beneath our noses but it is hidden under a thick cover of ego.

Never should one make a negative judgement regarding any of the holy texts. To understand a philosophy or get the essence of what it has to offer a casual look at a few lines of the holy text from a blog post is too very little. Some philosophies require many years of deep immense study to arrive at a true, deep and coherent understanding.

If there are faults it has to be in the seekers who do not follow the message of the holy text. Those who claim to have read the holy text but do not practice the message are the ones who give the followers of other philosophies a chance to talk bad and find fault. Seekers and to some extent Masters of almost all philosophies are weak at putting in the effort required to properly understanding the message contained in their holy texts. Bashing of Scriptures has now become a new trend and fashion. It is like criticising the stairs after reaching the podium safely or standing below unable to climb.

Holy texts are never a failure but a flippant seeker sure is.......

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

751. Does developing Hatred towards our own Ego help??

Reading so many spiritual scriptures and listening to so many discourses has left me to think if I can really starting hating my ego. Since almost all the scriptures have in a way stated the cause of misery, conflict and negative states of my mind is due to my inflated ego-personality. And to go with it even I have many a times felt within myself and have clearly noticed that it is the cause for peace of mind and subsequently the reason for my unhappiness.
Now that I know the cause for the unhappiness in me is my Ego and hence I try to get rid of it. How? Just by simply becoming aware of its impact on my mind, but this method does not work always, as my senses are at that very time blinded. I can understand the impact and consequences of my ego only after the event has passes on creating enough damage. The other simple way is to let my mind understand that ego is not all that bad and let it operate in its limits. It is like a farmer yearning for rain when there is no rain he want it and if it rains too much he is unhappy with it. As the farmer is unable to decide and say beyond doubt that the rain is bad, good or neutral. The truth is the rain just is and it is my very mind that makes it good, bad or neutral depending on how it suits my situations. It’s completely a section of chance and mostly an unpredictable process. If by chance I accept the rain because the rain just is, it won’t mentally trouble me any more.
The same thing happens with my ego. I have detected it within me several times and I became aware that it is the cause of my suffering and now I have concluded it to be a bad thing. Why did I conclude it to be bad? Who said so? It was me who said it. Just as the rain, the ego just is. It is the same rain that is need by the farmer and it is the same ego in me which pushes me to move ahead. Could the farmer say that it should not rain if there had been heavy rain the preceding year? He needs it that year to water his farm. I cannot hate my ego and say I should not have it hence forth.
So moderate ego can never be bad. It is just the stage of evolution which I need to experience. Just like when a awful thing happened to me I hate it and resist it, but later if I look back I realize that it seemed to be awful because I thought so, while the truth was it was actually what needed to happen for me to experience and to grow and evolve. So it is with a little ego. I need it. At the same time if I let this moderate Ego to swell it will be harming my humility.
Ego is like a pickle which adds the taste to the bland life at times.
Note: pickle can never be a main dish.

Monday, October 12, 2015

750. Seven Legendary Immortals.....!

The English word for long lived is immortal but in Sanskrit there are three words Ananta,  Amara and Chiranjeevi  which are used almost like synonyms; there is in fact a slight difference. The word Chiranjeevi is a combination of Chira (long) and Jeevi (lived) This word is often confused with Amarattva (Immortal) and Anatattva (Infinitity).

The following classification of beings will make this clear:

1. Martya (Mortals) – Who undergo separation of Subtle Body and Gross Body. All beings on this earth plane Humans, Animals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians etc.  Also you and me.

2. Chiranjeevi (one who lives long) – Who live a very long life in the minds of humans and make them feel that they live for eternity. It’s not that the Gross Body of that individual is not separated from Subtle body but they received the boon /curse of eternity. Anyone can become mortal by good deeds etc., but cannot become Amara. Puranas cite many as chiranjeevis of who seven are discussed below.

3. Amara (Immortal) -- Who never experience death at all. This includes Devas, Apsaras, Gandharvas. Even in war when they are wounded, they recover and continue to live. Puranas give credit to the ambrosia for Amarattva.

4. Ananta (Infinite) – Who live forever.  All the above three mentioned get dissolved at the time of Pralaya (deluge), including its secondary creator Brahma. The only real Eternal is Maha Vishnu and the four Vedas.  Vedas are considered Eternal in that they do NOT get destroyed at the end of time its talks about way of Life which applies to any aeon.

While those born on this earth plane face the uncertainty and finite span of human life, every being yearn for some form of immortality. If not immortality at least they wish to live a little longer in a hope to gain an indirect continuity of their existence to have the glimpse of their great grand kids wedding. While many live a life where they are mortal only through the period of their physical existence, very few aim to remain mortal by means of their achievements in their field through fame in the memories of future generations. In fact this is called Chiranjeevi (Immortal) status.

In our ancient culture there are stories about immortal beings and methods to manifest immortality. Hindu mythology mentions seven Chiranjeevis who have achieved indefinite prolongation of life along with a deed that they have performed which stays as long as sun and moon exists.

Asvattama Bali Vyasohanuma cha Vibhishana: |
Krupa Parasursmascha Saptaite Chiranjivinah: |

They are the Ashwatthama (the son of Dronacharya), Mahabali (the saintly demon King), Vyasa (the composer of Mahabharata and Puranas), Hanuman (the ardent devotee of Sri Rama), Vibheeshana (the brother of Ravana), Kripacharya (the Vidya Guru of Pandavas and Kauravas) and Parashurama (the slayer of immoral kings).

Lets us know what were the deeds performed by those seven individuals to be conferred with the status of Immortality.

Ashwatthama is the only one among the seven who attain the so called Chiranjeevattva not due to any noble deed. It was a curse from Sri Krishna after he killed all the sons of Pandavas with his Brahmastra and trying to kill Parikshit, the only inheritor of Pandavas who was in the womb of Uttara the wife of Abhimanyu. He was overpowered and destined to live for ever with festering wounds all over the body. This was a warning to generations ahead of a great personality living without virtue and good conduct which amounts to eternal suffering. In a sense a karmic reckoning which is a harsh reminder of the consequences of immoral behaviour. It is believed that even today some have seen Ashwatthama wandering near Asirgadh fort in Madhya Pradesh asking for butter to apply on his wounds.

Mahabali is a Chiranjeevi because of his surrender to Lord wherein he does not daunt to offer his own head as the pedestal when Maha Vishnu asks him a place to keep his third step. It is believed that Mahabali visits his subjects now in modern Kerela on Onam day.

Vyasa, the great scholar and author of Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam is an immortal and radiating flare of wisdom. A weaver of mysterious stories in mythology he is a depiction of the creativity that even now some great scholars and writers exhibit. He is immortal as long as the great epic Mahabharata is told and retold. It is believed that Vyasadev is still residing in Badarikashrama on the Himalayas.

Hanuman is just the reflection of modesty, selflessness, valour, devotion, power, might and virtues. He stands tall amidst all the characters in Ramayana. It was Sitadevi who bestowed on him the boon of remaining ever-youthful, energetic and immortal. There is a belief that Hanuman is still the caves near Manasarovar.

Vibheeshana is immortal for his steadfast conviction in what he believed. He was a great analyst of righteousness; he would listen only to his inner voice and never succumbed to the praise of his sycophants. He was conferred the immortal status by Lord Rama.  There are people in Kelaneeya, Sri Lanka who believe he is alive even to this day and there is a Vibheeshana temple there.

Kripacharya stands as an example of being impartial to Pandavas and Kauravas. He was Vidya Guru for both the families. He was a strict follower of ethics and standards which many would forgo citing the reasons of rules changing from location and generation. Rules may change but ethics and standards should not.

Parashurama the Guru of martial arts and the knower of all Astras (weapons), Sastras (weapons with program) and tactics of warfare. Though he was such a great warrior he never wished to be an emperor instead used all his strength to eliminate unlawful kshatriyas around the globe. It is believed that he is still alive on Mahendragiri in Kerala.

The six of the seven immortals except Ashwatthama epitomize certain basic truths, laws and standards of ethical behaviour which transcend Time, Space and Causation. They are eternal and universal therefore it should not be considered as mere deathlessness. It echoes their attitude to remain constant on the divine principles even at the time of hardship and stress.

I have to specially thank Shri B. K. Jagadish for putting a seed in my mind for the blog to sprout. Thank you Sir......!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

749. Is it true more Civilized we are, the more Stupid we become?

Stupidity is being unaware of what is actually in reality and at the same time assuming what I presume is correct. Mankind has accumulated lots and lots of useful and useless information, which often we forget to avail at crucial times. I wonder if we have just piling up information of relevance to us only to make us feel that we are not stupid. If the relevant information is not put to use or made to serve us is it not stupidity?  Is the saying “More civilized we are more stupid we become” true then. It is quite common to equate stupidity to lack of civilization, but an uncivilized person may not be stupid and there are instances where civilized people are in some situations become stupid.  

Mankind alleges to be smarter than any other living beings on this earth plane. Interestingly all the other living things serve better to the environment than humans. Amazingly while all the other living species do their bit to conserve environment it is the human race which is destructive to nature. We nurture cattle and feed them unwanted and rejected remnant waste of grains as fodder. If it were in nature would it not have had the whole grain instead of the bran to eat?  Yet those cattle are so generous to human race. Do we realize this and learn from them; instead we stupidly see them in terms of money making angle every time. When they stop yielding we sell them again to make profits.

Look at the trees, we water the plants for certain time only and as they grow from a small seed to become a big tree we do not even bother to water them yet they give us shade and periodically fruits. Have we learnt from the nature to be useful to others? Does our civilization inflate our intelligence or stupidity? The stupid part of it is that we are applying the informative knowledge that we have for destructive purposes. Can destructive activities be equated with civilization then?

We have failed in our political approach also due to our own stupidity. In the name of democracy we have let our leaders to violate the constitutional rights using the loop holes and resulting in swindling the exchequers money and property. Is it an evidence of reducing our stupidity?

Even in the case of much talked Economic progress. Though we are a country of huge population and even after increasing production of goods and services we have failed to see prosperity in the grass root levels. In what way is civilization helping reduce poverty and sorting out unemployment? Civilization has lifted the standard of living and has in fact benefited those who are already rich. It has never helped the poor who are struggling in the face of inflation, scarcity and natural calamities. Where unearned and undeserving privileges exist there will be conflicts. Is this evidence of human wisdom or stupidity?

Now the Social progress, there are several voluntary Non-Government Organizations mushrooming in every nook and corner of this country to save the poor. The big question is have these NGO made a serious dent on the problems face by the poorer section? If they really have then the number of destitute count from the previous year should have come down, but sarcastically talking the number of these organizations are swelling year by year. Is this not our stupidly not to check on these issues to have a sane and stable society?

Is it not stupidity to be afraid of the enemies outside our country and buy and build war machines spending lakhs of corers of rupees while inside we are not able to feed a hungry child in a remote village? Is it not time for us to realize the colossal stupidity involved in our thinking and do something to reverse the trend? Is it possible to say with our heads high that we are progressing towards actions based on wisdom? Is it not time to think of alternatives for reducing our stupidity?

Sir Winston Churchill, the former prime minister of United Kingdom had quoted “Indians are not fit to rule, fit to be ruled”..... But that man forgot to note that for more than 5000 years we had Monarchism in this great land. It was the British Empire which introduced Democracy where anyone could do anything even if he is a stupid person.