Sunday, December 30, 2018

1224. Masculine and Feminine...

In Vedanta philosophy, the highest word used for the Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient entity is “Brahman” (Absolute Consciousness) and word only slightly below that is Iswara Chaitanya (Cosmic Consciousness). Iswara is Brahman with attributes. Scholars call this as the union of Purusha & Prakriti. 

Purusha symbolises masculinity and Prakriti symbolises feminine energy. It is the fusion of these masculine and feminine energies that has brought in the creation, and so, the two forces always co-exist. This fusion is depicted by the union of Shiva and Shakti, as the androgynous deity Ardhanaareshwara.

Interestingly, this dual energy is not limited to the cosmos alone but is within each of its creation. Thus every individual living here on this earth harbours a masculine and a feminine side. This duality is present irrespective of their physical structure which only signifies their nature. We should know that a few qualities in nature have been identified as masculine and few as feminine. If there is an urge to conquer or subdue it is the nature of masculine, being kind and compassionate is the nature of feminine (please do not relate the terms mentioned here as masculine and feminine to the gender of a person).

Masculine has the natural tendency of being outward bound wanting to be the custodian in the survival process. Feminine natural tendency is to be inward and create an ambience of love, care and gentleness. Every individual has these qualities but in an imbalanced state. If the creativity of feminine nature is balanced with the concierge of the masculine nature, the individual hits perfection.

The nature of masculine is to protection and that of the feminine is to take protection. Unfortunately in the name of “Independence” we are killing the feminine in us. In the race to be successful economically we have forsaken to nurture our creativity and innovative skills. There is no dictum that cooking is the work assignment meant for individual born with female physical anatomy. We have had Bhimasena and Nalamaharaja as ace cooks. Monarchy is not labelled as the triumph of those who possessed the male body, we had many Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai, Kittur Rani Chennamma, Obavva, Rudramma Devi and many more. Even today we have individuals born in female structure managing efficiently in their work place. Showing love and compassion towards the family and friends is the idiosyncrasy a male displays which is from his feminine facet. 
There is nothing to feel great in the body of a male or a female as we do have both masculine and feminine quirk. The masculine and feminine which appear as physicality is just an identity of the body, but our thoughts are processed by the mind which decides actions according to the appropriate situation. Instinctive action is the feminine quality and intuition is that of masculine, as a human we do have both of them which we use accordingly. 

Ardhanaareshwara is the representation of Shiva & Shakti depicting that the male is as much female as the female is male. This clarifies that masculinity and femininity are mere attributes to take the progeny forward. We just have to accept that in this physical body we have both masculine and feminine angle from which we perceive the activity and perform the action. This acceptance will let us understand that there is necessity to fight against gender inequality or gender discrimination. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

1223. Hurdles are Inevitable in the life track....

Hurdles are inevitable in the track called life. Nothing is a cakewalk here and to live on we need to learn to handle them whenever they crop up. Even though we plan our actions in advance and take extra caution to have a trouble free execution, there is no assurance that everything goes according in the flowchart. Every conscientious person develops the attitude to fight the hardship and look for means to overcome them successfully. Today’s hurdles cannot be jumped over unless yesterday’s obstacles are cleared. Nastiest situations cannot be turned nice in a jiffy, but they can be tackled in a way that they turn out to be favourable to us. Courage is the key to tackle such nasty situations.

Being courageous does not mean to be daring but to be able to gaining victory over fear. Courage is the by-product of self-confident. Without self-confidence everything around seems to be gunning for us. Self-confidence is not having solution to all problems, but it is a trait to face them. A self-confident person can easily win over the confidence of others.

Low self-esteem, dearth of trust in self and lack of self-belief are the symptoms of poor self-confidence. Belief in self is exactly what is required at any given moment to make fear drift away. Fear that started in the mind will fade away in reality.

The way we behave at work and interact with our colleagues has its roots in the self-confidence that we have. The workplace is not a ruthless arena if we have self-confidence. When we are on guard and have enough faith we can mould our career well. Positive thinking generates positive attitude, response and feeling, which in turn design the blue print of success. On the other hand, negative attitude, full of fear, doubt and worry, reinforce negative behaviour. Fortunately we can empty our mind of such useless thoughts and feed them with positive information. We can replace fear with faith, doubt with determination, worry with wonder and hate with humane.

Hurdles are never a nuisance, if we have the strength to accept them as challenge for which they are. They are positioned there to be jumped over. Sometimes the hurdles we face in our daily life might appear to be intimidating. We may feel as if we are not ready to overcome what lies before us. But the truth is that we are always ready. Every event in our life is customized to our utmost needs, regardless of our readiness. Hurdles are here to mould our personality and make us aware of our potential which lies beyond our capabilities; we need to put an extra effort when facing hurdles.

In the tug-of-war between Free-Will and Destiny, the Grace supports the one with the upper hand. Absolute helps those who help themselves. Don’t worry about hurdles, with determination take a giant leap and glide over them.

Friday, December 28, 2018

1222. Self-Interest or Selfishness???

I was watching a discussion in one of the regional channels on “Svartha” (Self-Interest). A group of youngsters were talking against Self-Interest while a few felt Self-Interest is the way to self-actualization. In the heat of discussion  one of the youngster talking for Self-Interest was saying, “Every action we perform is encrust in Self-Interest. Even in charity there is Self-Interest of emancipation. A devotee praying to God in the place of worship also wants grace and even that amounts to Self-Interest. A employee working in a corporate company toils to see that he is escalated to higher position, that is Self-Interest.”

When I heard the Youngman’s argumentation astonishingly for a few minutes I too was inclined to think what he is saying was true. I started to think that Self-Interest could be the real motivator to get one to wellbeing. To be happy one has to be interested in the self. As the young man had said there is Self-Interest in every act we perform. Then after a few seconds I thought if Svartha was a requirement then why did our elders insist we do not develop Svarthabuddhi???

A few days back while walking on the beach bare foot a thorn stuck to my foot. I suppose it was a dry bramble floated back to the shore and its tip had pieced in my sole. I had to remove it so that I can walk comfortably. Thought it was not causing me pain there was a discomfort which made me look for something sharp to dig out the thorn. Fortunately I happened to see the thorny twig and I pulled a thorn from the twig and using it I was able to remove the sharp spike out of my foot. I felt relieved of the discomfort in my foot.

To get the thorn out of my foot I had amazingly used another thorn. And as soon as the thorn in the foot was removed I threw back the thorn I had used in the operation. So there was a thorn which caused discomfort and another thorn that relieved me of the discomfort. 

Just like how the young man in the debate had felt that Self-Interest is the same in mundane and spiritual sense. The thorn is the same but it is the usage which makes all the difference. Self-Interest can be a discipline and also can work as detractor. Self-Interest which started as discipline transform into Selfishness and act as detractor,  individual unaware of it.

Self-interest carries within it the seeds of its own destruction. It drives to achieve a goal, but once it reach a certain level it no longer function as a discipline. When goals are within reach, Self-Interest is tempered by the need of rising the comfort level and it is here that it becomes a detractor.

When any action performed has a tinge of altruistic attitude then there is no question of Self-Interest as the Sanskrit verse say, “Paropakaram Idam Shareeram” (This body is to serve others).

Thursday, December 27, 2018

1221. Life Problems....

Life is filled with problems that have solution ingrained in the situation. It appears to be unsolvable only if I try to find for solutions with the same mind which has made me think that particular situation is a problem. This tendency is called the “Tunnel Vision Tendency” where I focus only on the negative aspect of the situation more than seeing the positive in it. Under such a stress it is obvious for me to find the situation worse and more complex than it really is. The solution for this is to be aware of the situation and to look at it in a different perspective. If the situation was really bad I become nervous about things going from bad to worse and there was a fear of failure and embarrassment. The solution for it is to think that this is not the end, and it would not get me death sentence. Just thinking that I have made a valiant effort to see that the situation did not go from worse to shabby really helps.

Earlier I was confused and uncertain of the right priorities. The solution which I could find for this was to take the help of the moral compass which could guide me as to what should be done at the right time.
Even after taking the guidance if I ended up fearing a problem and believed that I have made a blunder and deserve punishment, I am in a guilt feel. There is a solution for this also. If I had really made a lapse there was no shame for me to make restitution and ask for forgiveness and have a thought not to repeat it again. I become more aware that it was always wise to learn from mistakes and move on. If it was a phoney guilt I needed to set it right and bring down that unnecessary and illogical burden.

Self-pity was one problem in me which made me think I am less worthy than others. It was a terrible and incurable flaw in me to constantly compare myself to people whom I think were perfect. The solution to this was for me to be aware that there is no Mr. Perfect and everyone has stumbled at some point of time before they learned to walk.

Another most evident problem in me was to hold on to the grudge and refuse to bulge and move on. My mind would not let those bitter thoughts to fade out; it would re-project every time my sight fell on either that thing or the person. It would flare up the thought and make me lose my peace of mind. Amazingly that thought would swell in size every time it surfaced just like the wound on a monkey which aggregated every time it scratched. The solution for it was in developing the attitude of Let go! Holding resentment never worked, I used the ordeal to make myself wise, compassionate, and also mentally strong.

Resentment presented me with another gift of being stubborn, the refusal to re-examine the situation and find out if I was wrong. I never had the will to change the mind when I knew that I was wrong. I was in the intention that reconciliation would hamper my pride. The solution emerged when I noticed that for the fresh air to get in the ventilator had to be kept open so that the carbon dioxide go out of the room. It would be foolish to live with the unwanted and useless thoughts, it is wisdom to flow according to the tide and adjust accordingly and set a new course.

Eventually I understood that a problem is in fact like a small sand grain if I take it too close to my eye it covers the whole world and if I put down below my foot and crush it, it will turn to dust. It is the way I perceive the problem which make it bigger that what it is.

Ultimately as time passed and with maturity taking centre stage I stopped finding solution for the problem that arise every now and then instead I noted that “Life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experience.”  

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

1220. Unsour Curd....!

“Anamala Dadhi Ksheera Saman” (Unsour Curd is equivalent to Milk).

Ayurveda treats unsour curds as milk. Milk gets converted into curd through fermentation process. A bit of old curd is added to warm milk and the Lactobacillus bacteria present in the old curd converts whole milk to curd. Bacteria consume lactose, the sugar component in the milk and produces lactic acid. Thus giving a tangy taste to curd, the more the lactic acid the more sour it turns out to be.

It so happened in Mahabharata that Shakuni and Duryodhana planned to eliminate Bhishma, Sri Krishna and Bhima. They went into a forest where a Tantrik (Occultist) lived. The Tantrik worshipped Goddess Bhairavi and was practising Vamachara (Black Magic). He was believed to have power to invoke the Goddess and instruct her to eliminate any person.

Shakuni and Duryodhana felt that Bhishma was a hindrance as he was always advising Dritharashtra to consider “Dharma” whenever he had to take decisions regarding his own sons and the sons of Pandu. Then there was Sri Krishna was the power behind Arjuna, without Him Arjuna was a dummy, so Sri Krishna too was to be eliminated. Bhima was invincible and since the day of childhood, Kauravas had failed in many occasions to kill him so he too had to be eliminated.  Shakuni and Duryodhana approached this Tantrik to make offerings to Goddesses and invoke her to eliminate all the three.   
The Kshudra Pooja (Occult Worship) started with fire offering and the Tantrik was able to invoke Goddess. The Goddess asked, “Who has to be eliminated?”

Tantrik said, “Bhishma.”

The voice said, “Bhishma has the boon of Iccha Mrityu (Death on Desire), and so it is impossible to eliminate him. Who is next?”

Tantrik said, “Sri Krishna.”

The voice said, “He is divine, no one can touch Him, even death.”

Finally Tantrik said, “Bhima.”

The voice said, “Make appropriate rituals and offerings, let me see.”

Bhima who was hiding behind a tree rushed and pulled down the thatched roof which fell on the fire before the Tantrik. Tantrik was burnt alive. Shakuni and Duryodhana ran away.    

What I understand from this episode is that Sri Krishna was Divine and hence he could not be touched and this made him a bit like immortal. Bhishma by his good virtues had gained the boon of Iccha Mrityu that was equal to Amarattva (Immortality) from his father Santanu which he got for taking a vow to get his father married to Satyavathi, the fisher woman. Sri Krishna is Shuddha Atma, while Bhishma is a Jeevatma. As told in the verse above Curd can also be considered Milk if it is not sour. If the Antahkarana (Inner Conscience) is Shuddha then Jeevatma is also Shuddha Atma.

For the Antahkarana to be pure one has to have Trikaranasuddhi, (Congruence in Trio) indicating purity and harmony in Kaaya, Vaacha and Manasa (Thought, Word and Deed).

(my sincere and special thanks to Nand Kishore Jha ji for the Sanskrit sentence in the Pic.) 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

1219. GOAT No.3

Mandya in my state Karnataka is a place which is vibrant in agricultural activities. It is one of the region which is green with vegetation. The K.R.S dam provides all the water needed for irrigation. Major cultivation is Sugarcane and Paddy. It is 100 Kms from the state commercial capital Bengaluru and 50 Kms away from the cultural capital Mysore. Sugar factories contribute to the major economic output of the state. Hence this place is called “Sakkare Nadu" (Sugar Territory). People residing here are also like Sugarcane sweet but fibrous. Though the Kannada they speak is rough like the fibres in the sugarcane the content is as juicy and sweet as cane juice. 

The youth of the region are always joyful and jubilant. They are used to playing pranks and being mischievous with the new face in the town. The number of hours they spend more in the compound of the college is more than the time they sit in the classroom. 

One evening a group of college students had a crazy idea. They rounded up three goats from the neighbourhood and painted the number 1, 2 and 4 on the side of each goat. Purposefully they left out the number 3. That night they let the goats loose inside their college building with a sack full of leaves from shrubs for the three goats to much on the whole night.

The next morning, when the authorities entered the college the wrenching smell of urine and dung hit their nose hard. They knew some cattle had strayed inside the campus. One of the attendants saw the goat droppings on the stairs and near the entrance and realized that some goats had entered the building.

A search was immediately launched and very soon three goats were caught and tied to the pole. Goat No.1, Goat No. 2 and Goat No. 4 was there but the authorities were wondering and bit worried as to where was goat No. 3? Amazingly none of those searching for Goat No.3 anticipated the possibility of Goat No.5. Since they had Goat No. 4 they were sure of Goat No.3. They all spent the rest of the day looking for goat No.3.

Gradually there was panic and frustration. The college declared classes off for the students for the rest of the day. The lecturers, readers, security guards, canteen staffs, students both girls and boys were all busy looking for the Goat No. 3 which of course, was never found as it simply never existed.

It is not just those people who went after Goat No.3 there are many among us who inspite of having a good life are always feeling a “lack of contentment”  looking for the elusive, missing, non-existent Goat No.3. This is a syndrome called “Missing Tile Syndrome” it is trying to attain what is not in life rather than enjoying what us already got.

Whatever the area of complaint or search or dissatisfaction be it relationship, job or materialistic achievement. An absence of something is always larger than  the presence of many other things.
The best way to avoid lamenting on the missing tile is to do a balance sheet of life. The chances are that if you are ones among those reading this write-up you are better off than 98% of the population right away. 

So don't worrying about Goat No.3 just chill and enjoy.

Monday, December 10, 2018

1218. Fire of Knowledge....!

Karma is suggested to be of three namely Sanchita*1, Prarabdha*2 and Agami*3. It has to have a Kartha (Doer) and his Kartritva Bhava (Emotion of Doer-ship). Karma is not that of Deha (Body) it is Achetana (Insentient) without Chaitanya (Consciousness). As long as there is Dehatma Buddhi (Body Identity) Karma sticks on. Transcending the Body Identity one becomes a Jnani. Does a Jnani not need his body??? Yes, he does but only as a vehicle to manoeuvre him in the journey of life.

How does a Jnani deal with Karma???

We all are told that Jnana (Awareness) is Agni (Fire) that burns away all Karma (Resulatant Fruits). Sanchita and Agami will be burnt away for a Jnani but what happens to the Prarabdha???

In one of the Pravachanas (Discourse) I heard the propounder say, “Jnanagni sarva karmani bhasma kurute” (The fire called Knowledge burns off all Resultant Fruits). This is actually what Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 verse 37. He continued to justify with an interesting analogy: Suppose a man having three wives dies, is it wise to say that his first and second wives are widows and the third is not? So accordingly for a Jnani who is no longer a Kartha and hence all the three, Sanchita, Prarabdha and Agami no longer exist for him.

Though the speaker gave a very good explanation, however as far as my knowledge on Karma Siddhanta, Prarabdha has to be endured and so Jnana can burn Sanchita and Agami leaving Prarabdha alone.

Now I was in a fix, does a Jnani remain helpless to his Prarabdha then??? Is he unable to subdue his Prarabdha???

Just as I had these kinds of thoughts I remembered the words of Sri Krishna in the previous verse where He compares Jnana (Awareness) to Plavaka (Boat). Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, “When you are situated in the boat of knowledge, you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.”  

So well Sri Krishna has cleared the case of Prarabdha to Arjuna first in verse 36 by saying, Jnana is a boat with which you can transcend Prarabdha, which is inevitable. Jnana helps the seeker to go beyond the turmoil that the Prarabdha Karma has in store. The Jnani is aware that his body functions for which it has taken its birth and will enjoy and endure all that it has to. From the Jnani point of view it is only the Self which manifests in such variety taking various bodies as vehicles so Prarabdha does not affect him. In these two verse 33 and 37 in the chapter 4 which deals with Jnana Yoga (Incantation of Knowledge) Sri Krishna gives us all the clarity on our Karma Phalas. With this Jnana one can take part in Karma (Action) without much of a bother.

*1 Sanchita - Store house of the Resultant fruits of our Actions from all our past many lives.
*2 Prarabdha - The stored Resultant fruits from our Sanchita store that are ripe and we have to bear its impacts be it enjoyable or remorseful.
*3 Agami Karma - The Actions performed action now in this life which is a new load added to Sanchita store.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

1217. Human Rights OR Human Duties???

Today is World Human Rights Day.....Congrats!!!

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status be. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. These Rights sometimes are enforced by the court of law taking jurisprudence into consideration. In few occasions Rights may be entirely based on morality in which the court of law cannot enforce. For example, the obedience on the part of teenaged children towards parents and the respect on the part of adults towards elderly parents. 

Everywhere in the world we see fight for Rights. Much of the discord is a result of one’s belief that if one is being denied of his Rights and he has to fight to regain it.  It has become a general trend for everyone to demand for their Rights even if it is hampering the Duty they need to perform. The Duty takes a beating here as he wastes his energy in regaining his Rights and has no time to perform his Duty.

It is a debatable question whether Rights and Duty are necessarily co-relative. As I understand every Right has a corresponding Duty. Therefore if they are not co-relative they are interlinked, as every Right claimed involves two or more persons bound together by Duty. There can be no Duty unless there is someone to whom it is due. Likewise, there can be no Right unless there is someone from whom it can be expected from.

Duty also sounds to be similar to Rights as both are used in jurisprudence as well as in morality. Duty is that which is performed
and Rights are those which are claimed. Duty also sometimes attributed to a good action which is prescribed for us to do. But there are actions which are obligatory and many are tempted to avoid. However the claim of Rights is never spurned as they are considered mandatory.

If Rights are justifiable as claimable in a community then Duty has to be an obligation to fulfil that claim. Duty may thus be defined as the obligation of an individual to satisfy a claim made upon him by other in the society living with him for a common good. The child has a Right for education and it is the Duty of the father to ensure it is provided. Rights are claims for which Duty is never a requirement. A son is obviously the claimant of the father’s ancestral property even if he fails to perform his Duty as a son.

It is not only in the Father/Son arrangement but even in society we have seen that there are many organisations fighting for the Rights but I have never noticed any organisation which is highlighting the Duty that has to be performed. 

An organisation is formed to agitate to claim reservation for certain community but have they ever stroked the Duty conscience of that community. A legislator who is elected to represent us also wants to know about his Rights as a politician rather than knowing his Duty. An accused in the police station is more knowledgeable about his Rights and it becomes more relevant than the duty of the police officer at the station. We have Human Rights Commission have we ever thought of having a Human Duty Commission???

"Karmaneva Adhikarasthe" (Your Rights is in performing your Duty) says Sri Krishna to Arjuna In Bhagavad-Gita. This words from the Lord prompted Mahatma Gandhi to decline to say about Human Rights when Julian Huxley, English evolutionary theorist and the then director-general of UNESCO wrote to Mahatma asking him to contribute his reflections on human rights when it was intended to be commissioned. Mahatma had said, “I learnt from my illiterate but wise mother that all rights to be deserved and preserved came from duty well done. Thus the very right to live accrues to us only when we do the duty of citizenship of the world.”

Saturday, December 8, 2018

1216. Hardware and Software of Life....!

The word Yajna is used many times in Prasthana Traya, the three authoritative primary sources namely Upanishads, Brahmasutras and Bhagavad Gita. Yajna in simple word is Sacrifice; it is misunderstood to be a ritual where offerings are made to Devas through Agni, the Fire God. Though it is one of the aspects of Yajna, it is not the one and only. The basic idea of Yajna according to the Vedic thought is for the human to be happy and have a prosperous life living in harmony with Prakriti (Material Nature) and the Purusha (Spiritual Nature). Hence just a selfless performance of our prescribed duty for the welfare of all beings will account as Yajna.

There are different kinds of Yajnas to be done of which the Dravya Yajna and Jnana Yajna seem to be important. Whatever action we undertake to transform Matter into Food it becomes Dravya Yajna which is also termed as Karma Yajna. In the daily work we perform we fulfil our basic necessity called “Annam” (Food) and help others to garner the same for themselves and their family this is Dravya Yajna. The quest to analyse and acquire knowledge from various scriptures or to achieve it by experience is called as Jnana Yajna.

In Dravya Yajna, I am a part of the Brahmanda (Macrocosm) in working for the well being of all my co-existing entities. Collective Consciousness is at work here. It is important for every being to be a part of anything and everything that is happening which is ensuring the harmony and wellness of the society. My factory is the Yajna Kunda (Offering Place). The raw material at my factory is made into finished product by adding some value to it. In this process there is acquiring of wealth by righteous means for my living and giving an opportunity for others to be a part of it and aid them to make their living as well, this is taking part in Dravya Yajna.    

While a part of our scriptures gives importance to Dravya Yajna there is another part which encourages us to go for Jnana Yajna. Jnana Yagna implies to gaining knowledge by enlightening ourselves to know what is not known about our own Self. In Jnana Yagna, I am a part of the Pindananda (Microcosm) working for the betterment of my existence and be aware of it. There is my Consciousness from within at work here. My five Jnanendriyas namely Shotra (Sense of Hearing), Tvak (Sense of Touch), Chakshu (Sense of Sight), Jivha (Sense of Taste) and Gahana (Sense of Smell) become the Yajna Kunda (Offering Place) where those which I listen, feel, see, eat and sniff become the Ahuti (offerings). Buddhi (Intellect) is the Ghee which is the supporter of combustion to know Self. The question “Who I am?” is the Fire. In this process there is acquiring knowledge of Self and to be Self-aware by becoming one with it.

Both the Dravya Yajna as well as Jnana Yajna is required just as how both Hardware and Software are required to run a programme in our computer.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

1215. Agnihotra.....for Honey Bees, Earthworms and my Mind!

“If insects were to disappear, the world would fall apart — there’s no two ways about it,” said Goggy Davidowitz, Professor in the Departments of Entomology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. 

About 60-70 % of our diet is from flowering plants so our food depends on insects for pollination. Honey bees are considered the best pollinators as a single bee visits nearly 5000 flowers each day and helps pollinating 1/3 of our food supplies. Extinction of honey bees would be catastrophic, destabilising important ecosystems and threatening global food security for humans as well as animals.

Earthworms are natural tillers feeding on dead and decaying organic matter present in soil they egest compost. This compost is very fertile with essential nutrients N.P.K (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash) required for the growth of a plant. There are several other minerals in compost that suppress disease in plants and increases porosity and microbial activity in soil. Presence of Earthworms assist in keeping the land aerated and help in retaining water as well.

It is important for us to take extra care in protecting Honey Bees and Earthworms for our survival. The first step towards the protection of these two species is to see that Desi Cow (Indian Breed Cows) are domesticated more and more.  How does rearing a Desi Cow protect Honey Bees and Earthworm??? What is the connection between these three??? 

Let’s go deep into this:  

For the Honey Bees to survive air should not be polluted. Bees’ ability to forage decreases as air pollution increases. Polluted air disturbs scent signals that bees need to locate and reach flowering plants for their nectar hunt. Earthworms populate high if the soil is rich in Bio-nutrients. Earthworm multiply quickly in micro-organic matter. Desi Cow dung ash has the ability to increase the pH level of the soil as it is alkaline in nature and surge the micro-organic culture and soil organic matter. Our farmers preserved the seeds by smearing Desi Cow dung ash as it is very effective in keeping the pest and insects away.

Air pollution is the presence of pathogenic bacteria and viruses which gets annihilated by the fumes from burning of dry Desi Cow dung cake with rice using ghee as supporter of combustion. This fume purifies air and the ash from this when spread out on soil enriches it with bio nutrients making it feasible for the Earthworm to flourish. Desi Cow, Honey Bee and Earthworm thus have an invisible connection. 

Agnihotra is a simple Vedic ritual where ghee & rice are given as oblation by burning it over dry Desi Cow dung cakes at the time of Sunrise and Sunset while chanting of two different mantras (for Sunrise and Sunset). The fumes and the ash do what is needed for protecting Honey Bees and Earthworms. Now, in this whole exercise we can take care of “thought pollution” too. The mantra while offering oblations end with words “Idam Na Mama” (It is not Mine) so that the seeker is reminded that whatever he thinks is offering is from God and for the benefit of all. Agnihotra enhance the state of tranquillity of mind. The fume from Agnihotra gathers particles of harmful radiation in the atmosphere and on a very subtle level neutralises their radioactive effect. 

Worship of Agni and Surya is always been a part of life style for a Sanatani and I feel fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to practice Agnihotra.   

Thursday, November 29, 2018

1214. Question n Answer....!

Looking at the temple priest clearing the cobweb a young boy asked his father, “When God has created every living being why is a spider and its web is not allowed to be in the temple???”

Father who was a middle aged man said, “Spider builds its web from the secretion out of its body and it is inauspicious to have anything that has oozed out of the body.”

“But we use the honey to anoint the idols which is literally the vomit of a bee, isn’t it???” quizzed the young boy.

“You are becoming too loquacious; this trait in you is making you behave like a rationalist” shouted the boys’ father.  

It was unnecessary for the father of the young boy to be so freaky, if he did not know how to answer the question of the young boy. Most of the elders often go frenzy when they do not know the answers, instead of answering the queries of the young they start shouting at them. Agreed that everyone cannot have answers to all questions, but there is not even one question which doesn’t have an answer. In fact the answer lies in the question itself. “Look for the answer inside your question” says Rumi. Youngsters who have lot of questions may find it tough to find answers themselves all they need is someone to guide them to look for the answers.

In Taittiriya Upanishad Bhrigu asks his father, “Who is Brahman?” His father Varuna, the rain God without answering the question directly wants his son to know by himself and so he says, “Brahman is THAT from which the world has sprouted, by which the world is sustained, and into which the world merges. Contemplate, my son, and discover what Brahman is.” Bhrigu goes into contemplation and search for the answer. Many times he approaches his father Varuna with different answers starting from “Anna” (Food) and finally gets the right one, “Ananda” (Bliss). 

This episode from the Upanishads highlights the need for continuous and enduring contemplation in the life of a seeker. Mind begins to enjoy probing into the answers for the questions it has. Those questions which rise in our mind are to be answered so that there is a better understanding on the subject. Question is a tool to dig deep, the more they are the better we get to the bottom of it.   
Many of our ancient customs and traditions are now considered ridiculous as we do not have a valid reason or a satisfactory answer as to why we are continuing them. We either were not interested or feared to ask why. 

As far as why we do not allow cobwebs in our home or temples is that a spider web which is silky with a spider in it is sticky.  This stickiness helps the arthropod to feed on those getting stuck to the web. Once the spider abandons the web it is called “Cobweb” and the sticky nature attracts dust. A dusty cobweb is not good from hygiene point of view. Hence it has to be cleared.

As far as honey is concern, the bees have two stomachs. One stomach is used to convert the flower nectar into food; the other is more like a pouch which are called “Honey Sac” to store and to make it a durable preserve. This pouch produces enzymes that help produce some of nature’s best medicine called bee propolis which a kind of glue that is used to repair its hive and it a natural antibiotic.      

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

1213. Motivation and Discipline...!

If we wish to purchase a pump for the well we are asked if we need Standard pump or Self-Priming pump. Self-Priming pump is designed to draw water from level below the pump suction without having to fill
the suction piping with water. It accomplishes this by creating a partial vacuum at the pump suction which removes the air from the suction line. Many prefer the Self-Priming one as they need not fill the suction line with water if the foot valve is bad. Also a Self-Priming pump does not need a foot valve.

Just like how a pump which is need to elevate water from one level to another we have our actions to excel us to higher levels. Our action can be propelled by Motivation which is like the Standard Pump that needs external source or by Discipline which is Self-Priming and need no external source to intervene as it is purely internal exercise. It is an erroneous assumption that we need motivation to get into a precise mental or emotional state so that we perform our actions better. If our performance is conditional on feelings, then waiting for the right mood and moment becomes a crafty way to procrastinate. Getting motivated could be one of the ways occasionally but we should not always be dependent on it. 

Many think reading motivational books or attending motivational talks will have an impact on them to perform well; does it really work like that???

The answer is NO.

Books and talks on motivation stimulate the urge to perform. Will that stimulation last long or will it be like the initial fizz of a soda bottle is the question. All that is needed is to work and to work we need to apply our thoughts. Thoughts are many and a cluster of them is called “Mind.” Mind which is either overcrowded with many thoughts or polluted by a few of them will cause hindrance to perform better at work. Discipline begins with the mastery over mind.

Discipline is to perfect the utilisation of time which in turn helps us not only perform our actions punctually but also provide the required time to pursue creative and innovative ideas and activities. Discipline separates external impact on our thoughts and thereby makes them free and fearless. Having a free and fearless thought process is the key to perform a task to its ultimate.

Getting motivated is not a bad thing but motivation without discipline will get us nowhere. If Motivation is energy, then Discipline is to channelize that energy in a proper direction. Discipline is self motivator but Motivation without Discipline is immaterial.

Suppose I have a car and would wish to reach the destination. I start the ignition and fire the engine. If I do not shift gear and press accelerator the car goes nowhere. If firing the engine by turning on the ignition is the Motivation, changing gear and pressing the accelerator is Discipline. Turning the ignition on and off consistently will not get me to the destination.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

1212. Paradox of the Stone....!

In the 12th century Andalusian Islamic philosopher and thinker Averroes who was a stern follower of Aristotle had a question to challenge the existence of omnipotence by incorporating the paradoxical use of twisted logic. His question was, “Can the Omnipotent God create a huge stone so heavy that He cannot lift it?” This question is used by Atheists and Rationalist since more than millennia. If the answer is “yes” then there is a stone that God cannot lift. If “no” then God is unable to create a stone huge enough that he cannot lift. Either way the answer to this question will put “God” into fix.

What would a Sanatani say about it???

Sanatani would not consider this paradox to be logical and he might feel this question is weird. A Sanatani has experienced “God” not as a human as he knows that Hiranya Garbha, the primeval energy is the source from which this entire universe is emanating. This primeval energy in a dormant state before this universe came into existence. When the Primeval Energy became vibrant, as Rigveda puts it, the universe we experience emanated from Purusha, the Primeval Cosmic Being. Purusha is described as all that has ever existed and will ever exist in future. Purusha is the personification of that Primeval Energy.  

I think this philosopher from the west who has this paradoxical question was born around the same time when Srimad Ramanuja was taking to us about the six Kalyana Gunas (Auspicious Attributes) of Purusha namely Jnana (Wisdom), Bala (Power), Aishwarya (Opulence), Shakti (Strength), Virya (Vigour) & Tejas (Splendour). That Purusha who is all-pervasive is name Vishnu, in Sanskrit. In simple words Vishnu is in all and He is all, now what feat is impossible for Him??? 

If we have read the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagvatam we have Hiranya Kashyapa asking Brahma a boon which was Lokaviruddha (Paradoxical) in nature.  He requested, “O Supreme! Let my death not occur by the hands of either human, or animal, or deva or demon. Let me not die indoors or outdoors, neither during the day nor night, and neither by weapons nor mantra, neither on earth nor sky. Let me not be killed by any one born from Andaja (one born out of egg), Jaraja (one born out of womb), Shakaja (one born out of moisture) or Udbija (one born out of seed). Let me not die on Earth or in Space, or in Fire or Water, inside a building or outside, not by a weapon of holding (Sword) or throwing (Spear/Arrow), by any thing that is animate or inanimate nor by anyone created by you (Brahma)”. 

Manifestation of Narasimha was the answer, nothing is impossible is the key for Omnipotence. This is how Purusha can beat all paradoxical norms. When Hanuman was crossing the ocean to land in Sri Lanka shores he encountered Surasa, the she-demon who put a condition that whoever wishes to go past her had to pass through her mouth. Hanuman using Mahima Siddhi, first made himself so large that Surasa could not swallow him, but she opened her mouth wider and wider. Then is a swift action Hanuman shrunk himself to the size of a dust mote using Anima Siddhi and flew between Surasa’s teeth. If a devotee can perform such a task effortlessly imagine his master. Can’t the Lord of Hanuman create a stone so huge that he cannot lift and make it float in thin air without even touching it???

Monday, November 19, 2018

1211. Cucumber detach from creeper.....

Our Former Prime Minister who hails from my state Karnataka in an interview last week stated that “The only thing I need now is an effortless death.” And a month back while campaigning for his daughter-in-law who was the candidate for by-election to Ramanagara Assembly segment we heard him say, “I’m stubborn. I want to have a peaceful death, but I have many pending works to be completed.”

The words like “Effortless Death” and “Peaceful Death” coming from an octogenarian could have a lot of meaning. Although these two words pushed me to contemplate on what could effortlessness and peaceful mean in terms of Death. Here is what I could understand: Before going into the details of death let’s know what life is. Life is a rhythmic dance between Velaa (Time) and Ojas (Vigour). Ayusa (Duration of Life) of an individual is Daivapara (Predestined) but can never be Pravyahrta (Foreseen). Generally Ayurveda says that a healthy human survives 1008 lunar phase which roughly amounts to 84 Solar Years. So the dance of Time and Vigour last for 84 years. 
In case Time elapses before Vigour for an individual, we call it Apamrutyu (Untimely Death), and if the Vigour vanishes earlier than Time it is termed as Sadaiva Shithila Avastha (Persistent Vegetative State). Owing to the Karunayogya (Pitiable) state of the Stula Deha (Physical Body) when Vigour declines earlier than Time, we say “Life is the unnatural state of Compulsion and Death is the natural state of Freedom.” Is life a forced occurrence then? No, not at all it is a celebration for those who perceive it from the Vedic point of view transcending the fear.

Untimely Death is an incidence which cannot be interfered with, but in regard to the fear of losing Vigour before the Time lapses we Bharatavasis are fortunate to have a remedy.  In the Rigveda Samhita the 59th hymn of the 7th mandala has a mantra visualised by Sage Vasishta. It is the Mrityunjaya Maha Mantra which was chanted by young Markandeya when Yama threw the Paasha (Noose) to pull the Jeeva away from the body. The Mrityunjaya Maha Mantra orchestrates the rhythm for the Time and Vigour to dance in tandem. This Maha Mantra prepares the Sukshma Deha (Subtle Body) to get ready to leave the body with ease. The mantra helps the seeker to transcend the fear of Death and help in easy transition of the Jeevatma.   

The Maha Mantra is:
Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat.

This chant is on Maharudradeva, the Three Eyes Lord. Who permeates and nourishes like fragrance. He nourishes us by granting us strength. This is a request to Him to release us from the bindings of death when the time comes. Just as the Cucumber is detached from bondage of being attached to the Creeper, to free us from all the bondage of Samsara (Worldly Existence), and not to separate us from immortality.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

1210. I am lost....

Once the most valued employee of a company did not turn up for work. The boss noticed that and was anxious why the employee who had never absentee himself in his entire ten years of association with the company did not turn up that day. The boss wondered why his efficient employee had not called to inform his inability to attend work. Curious he reached out to his mobile and dialled the employee’s cell number.   

The boss heard a child whisper from the other side.

“Hello” said the cute voice.

“Is your Papa home?” asked the boss.

“Yep” whispered the small voice.

“Can I have a word with him?” asked the boss.

The child whispered, “No, right now you can’t.”

Surprised the boss asked, “Is your Mama around ?”

“Yes,” whispered the little voice.

“May I talk to her?” requested the boss.

Again the soft voice whispered, “No.”

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, “Is anybody else there?”

“Yes,” whispered the child, “policemen”

Shocked what cops would be doing at his employee’s home, the boss asked, “May I speak with one of them?”

“No, they are busy,” whispered the child.

“Busy doing what?” asked the boss curiously.

“Talking to Papa and Mama and the Fireman,” the whisper answered.

Growing more anxious the boss heard the sound of an approaching helicopter through the earpiece on the phone; he became tense and asked, “What is that sound outside?”

“Oh! That’s a chopper.” answered the whispering voice.

“What is going on there?” shouted the boss, now truly apprehensive.

Again, whispering, the child answered, “The search team just landed the chopper on the terrace.”

Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked, “What’s the search team searching for?”

Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle. “ME”

Like the naughty child, the mind sometimes behaves as if lost.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

1209. Gold and Clay are Same.....!

In a village where the four roads meet there is a sole lamp post that guides the traveller on which way he has to take. A transgressor in the area uses the same light from the street lamp for his crime. The light that has beamed out of the street lamp remains unaffected and unperturbed by all this and just brightens up the zone. Who is using the light for what purpose does not matter much to it. Similarly Brahman too shines within the cave of my heart and it is expected that as an individual I have to engage myself in activities with the inspiration of that Divine illumination within. The kind of activities I get engaged in is purely my choice; I can be a boon or a bane for people around me. 
It implies that Brahman which is Absolute Consciousness, in its untarnished inner most purity and originality is the unaffected non-participant to the activities taken up by me either through my Body or my Mind & Intellect complex. The activity which I undertake can get approval or reproval from others. Irrespective of its outcome the cause of the activity will not and cannot be superimposed on Brahman which is always pure is its essence.

Mandukya Upanishad proclaims “Ayam Atma Brahma” (This Self is Brahman). If we notice in this statement it is in “Passive Voice” signifying that it is the observer who is a separate entity is observing both Atma and Brahman and saying that they both are one. A person standing in front of the ocean and letting the waves touch his feet observes that the wave had its own identity before hitting the sand on the shore and retrieving back. Seeing this he declares that the ocean and wave is one and the same. The individual’s mind trying to understand this Mandukya Upanishad statement could be observing from a witnessing position not related to either Atma or Brahman. If looked on the surface it could to be a perspective contrast with Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman), which declares that “I am” an inner experience, rather than from an observing standpoint.

To get to this “Mahavakya (Great Statement), as a seeker I have to sit in the seat of silence and reflect on the inner core of my Swaroopa (Natural State). I should not visualise anything, but allow my awareness to touch the feeling aspect of the centre of my existence. On holding this attention for a few seconds or minutes, I can slowly shift my attention in such a way that I can experience the extensiveness of both Sat (Eternal) and Asat (Ephemeral). Thus it becomes easy for me to realise the oneness that pervades in totality. No longer will the gold and the clay make any hierarchical difference to me. 

Steadily from not having differential attitude towards the material matter, I would have stated to experience that the teeny spark in all of us as Atma (Individual Consciousness) and the Cosmic fire that is Brahman (Absolute Consciousness) is one and the same. Atma as also being within that oneness of Brahman has been realised. This evolution of thought will bring insight and bliss. Internally the words of the Mahavakya, “Ayam Atma Brahma” is resonating within.