Monday, February 25, 2019

1249. Existence is one thing, not a collection of things....!

I was watching the National Geographic Channel a few days back. A wildebeest was chased by a lioness. It was the survival instinct that pushed the wildebeest to run like hell for its life. A few minutes into the chase it will be all over for the wildebeest either it will killed by the lioness or it will manage to escape to live for another day. During the chase what is in the mind of the wildebeest??? There is only one focused thought that is to “outrun the lioness.”   

In this particular episode the wildebeest galloped to outsmart its predator and survived the day. Once the chase was over the wildebeest got back to its herd and was back to its normal self within a few minutes. I wondered how it got back to its normal state so fast. It is indeed a point to ponder.

In the wild there is no room for the prey to brood over the chase that took place or get anxious over another possible chase. An animal that is being chased does not what to know why the predator was after it??? All it knows is to run for its life. Animals are equipped with only Annamaya (Physical Body), Pranamaya (Energy Body) and Manomaya Kosha (Mental Body), it doesn’t have Vijnanamaya Kosha (Wisdom Body), in a way it is a blessing for them. This is the major difference between humans and all the other primates. Unlike the wildebeest, the human mind would not rest after a traumatic experience. It will keep brooding on the event and also build anxiety about insecure future. It is this restlessness in the mind that causes hypertension. The restlessness of mind ceases to exist when we comprehend that existence is one thing, not a collection of things to be linked together. A collection of things become an idea.

There is a story recorded in Yoga Vasistha where Sage Vasistha tells Shri Rama about three non-existent princes find happiness by knowing that the world is nothing but an idea. The world and all that is within it are the thoughts of the thinker. There is nothing outside that one reality; its energy pervades all things. As the Sage Vasistha informed Shri Rama, “As an actor plays several roles one after the other, the mind assumes several aspects one after the other. The mind makes one thing appear to be another by its powers of thinking and conceptualising.”

The story goes thus:

Long time ago there lived three princes in a kingdom which did not exist. Of the three, two were not born and the third one was not even conceived. The princes having lost all their relatives started wandering. They arrived at the banks of three rivers out of which two were dry and the third one had no water. The princes had a refreshing bath and quenched their thirst in them. Then they entered a huge city which was yet to be built. Entering the city they found three extremely beautiful palaces. Of the three, two were not built at all and the third one had no walls. They entered the palace and invited three holy men to be their guests of which two had no body and the third had no mouth. After the three men had taken food the princes ate the left over. They felt happy and happily lived ever after in that city…

Friday, February 22, 2019

1248. Losing the Mind....

Mind is “Anaatma” that which cannot be annihilated and you don’t have to either. What Maharshi Ramana referred to as “Manonasha” is to drop the mind or losing the mind. Just by knowing that mind is “mithyatva” (Illusion) one can transcend it. It is futile to try to kill the “rope snake” which is the illusion of the mind. Only being aware of the “reality” of the rope helps remove that snake in the mind. It is the mind dwelling in the head which had recorded the image of the snake that is superimposing it on the rope. If the mind had never seen a snake it would not have had the material called “Snake” to superimpose on the Rope

Mind dwells in head as well as heart. Mind in the head is quick to decide, it has Chitta (Memory) as its aide. Mind working from heart is pensive; it has Buddhi (Intellect) as its advisor. If mind perceives a thing from the head its output is Yuktartha (Rational) and if the mind is relating through heart it is Bhavapurna (Emotional). Rational mind has logic but fails to decide on how it is important. If head alone becomes the centre of activates it is better to cut off from it. This is what Maharshi Ramana mentioned when he talked about “Manonasha” (Losing the Mind).

The output got from both Rational and Emotional mind accumulates to form “I” ness. So in brief Mind is the storehouse of numerous thoughts and experiences. This “I” is a vital spark that transcends the body. The body might decline, degenerate and decay but the “I” thought is never touched by death.

This “I” which lies in the mind has unfulfilled desires and untold ambitions. Unfortunately when this physical body loses its ability to continue this “I” though does not and cannot fulfil the desire and ambitions. It needs the support of a physical body not necessarily a human. Hence that remaining residue of unfulfilled desire and untold ambitions leap forth our “I” thought to that specific condition in space and time so that the unfulfilled longings can materialise. That is the reason for the “I” thought to don a new body and this is termed rebirth.

Is there as remedy to minimise this “I” thought???? 

A Vichara (Contemplation) of “Who I am???” is the best and most effective method to lose the “I” thought which is the basic reason for rebirth. This is the Vedantic method of realising the unreality of the Mind through philosophical thinking. But then we are in the physical world what to do with the “I” thoughts that gets generated in this life span. Some say Manolaya (Dissolution of Mind) helps and it can be experienced in Nada Yoga (Merger with Music) and also by performing Pranayama (Breath Control), but unfortunately this phase is a temporary absorption of the mind. There are possibilities that “I” thought could spring back again into action.

When mind is devoid of thoughts and has nowhere to go it automatically turns inward. Then the mind sees its own source and becomes THAT (Self). It is not as the subject perceiving an object but it is becoming an un-objectivable subject. In a dark place a flame from the lamp is necessary to illumine so that we can see the objects, but to see the flame there is no need of another flame as the flame itself is self-luminous. In the same way to look at objects outside reflected light of the mind is necessary but to see the Self it is enough that the mind turns towards it. When mind turn inward it loses itself and Self shines forth. Thus when the mind is lost there is Self alone. This is Manonasha.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

1247. Suicide Squad of Hoysalas....!

At the time of Hoysalas there were elite warriors belonging to the Mugila sect in Kabbahu Nadu. They were called Garuda Lenkaru. Kabbahu is the combination of two words Kabbinada Bahu (Iron Arm). The Garuda Lenkaru were the altruistic suicide squad of Hoysala empire. They were ready to die for their ruler and none would cross the age of 30. Being called a “Garuda Lenka” was not inherited, it was to be earned. It was not a name; it was a position or a tittle as that of the Garuda, the loyal mount of Maha Vishnu.

The Hoysala ruled the Deccan plateau for more than 300 years starting from 1026 A.D. Hoysalas were known for their authority and valour. They had the unique blend of heroism and architectural grandeur. The bravery of Hoysala will be incomplete without the mention of Garuda Lenka tribe, the elite bodyguards of Hoysala Kings. This tribe swore Iron Arm allegiance to their rulers, come what may they would stick their neck out to save the King. Their loyalty and commitment was such that if they hear the news of their King killed, they would behead themselves for being incompetent.        
In the Sri Hunaseshwara Swamy Temple at Agrahara Bachahalli, near K.R. Pet in Mandya district is three pillars with a Hoysala inscription referring to these Garuda Lenkaru. These pillars were erected during the reign of Hoysala Kings Veera Ballala each pillar is 15 feet tall and is erected in front of the temple depict the valour of seven generations of elite warriors belonging to the Mugila sect, of the Bananju family of Bachihalli in Kabbahu Nadu.  

The inscription reveals the story of Kuvara Lakuma who enjoyed the rank of Senapati under Ballala. He was brought up in the king’s harem and he was “Manemaga” (Foster Son) to the King. Kuvara Lakuma is said to have worn a bracelet on his left leg in token of his acceptance of the vow his life to the ruler. Interestingly his wife Suggaladevi too wore one, declaring to her husband that “I am not like any other women who having been fed and clothed by the husband stay back and live after he has passed away.”

No wonder with 1000 member squad of Garuda Lenkaru, the era of Veera Ballala was marked the pinnacle of Hoysala fortunes. He not only subdued many refractory chiefs like the Kongalvas, Chengalvas and the Pandyas of Uchchangi, but also registered a remarkable victory over the Seuna ruler, Bhillama V in the battle of Soratur (1190 AD).

Veera Ballala II entered into matrimonial allegiance with the Chola ruler Kulothunga III. When his Pandya vassal overthrew Kulothunga, Ballala sent his crown prince Narasimha II to the Chola King’s rescue, and after successfully accomplishing the task, justifiably assumed the title, “Cholarajyapratishtapanacharya”.

Thus a new dawned in which the Hoysalas were increasingly sucked into the whirlpool of Tamil politics. Veera Ballala II was, beyond question, an outstanding ruler of the dynasty, who brought to his kingdom an unprecedented military glory and consolidated it with a wise, sober administration, all due to the Garuda Lenka troup.

When Veera Ballala died in the year 1220 A.D the devoted bodyguards along with Kuvara Lakuma and his wife Suggaladevi beheaded themselves. This incidence is recorded in Hale Kannada which translates to “No one ever before had set such a gallant example as Veera Ballala’s Mahamantri and his wife.”

Friday, February 15, 2019

1246. Empathy can never be selective.

Empathy can never be selective. Empathy is the ability to perceive the feelings of another person. Everyone should have this ability, but a few are selective in it. Mostly the celebrities are bit by this bug called “Selective Empathy.” In Kannada it is called “Jaana Kivudu, Jaana Kurudu. (Pretending Deaf, Pretending Blind). They empathise with the encounter of a terrorist in the name of “Human Rights” but never feel so when a solider at the border is martyred in a terror attack. Their hearts bleed for an anti-national and are ready to organise a candle march but do not care for the life of a Jawan. This is selective bleeding.

Media invites all the human rights activists and politicians for panel debate to discuss the pros and cons of the decision taken by the army on the encounter of infiltrators. They never bother to educate the viewers on the hardship our brave Jawans face while safeguarding our borders.

This selective empathy is common among a few of us. There are some who feel emotive for a person toiling hard at family chores, though it is good, they never realise that their own parents are also doing the same for them. Instead of just feeling emotive to others outside the family it is best to help the family member and do their bit in sharing the household chores. Being narcissist is one of the reasons for selective empathy. What starts off as selective empathy may end up as misplaced empathy. This misplaced empathy sow seeds of misery.

A narcissist is empathetic to others by being generous and helpful. He feels good about himself for being so. If his spouse is mistreated by anyone he will strongly come to her defence, but try to talk about how he ill-treats her and you will get a verbal attack that leaves your head spinning.

Narcissists can show empathy as long as he is not being accused of making a mistake. If you imply in any way that he is less than perfect, he will only hear that you are trying to blame and shame him; he will defend his fragile ego with a vengeance.

This selective empathy is confusing. Many get hurt when the empathy shown is very selective. It is better to be apathetic as one can be sure of it. A better way of describing it would be “faux empathy with an ulterior motive.” Since “Empathy” shown is devoid of emotion and, because it’s directed at those the person really doesn’t care about, thus is devoid of any cost. The main aim is to make others know about their feelings, but not to provide a constructive help for the cause.

Selective empathy is identical to being prejudice or moral depravity. If empathy is conferred exclusively to one sub-set of the community, it undermines the moral fabric of society and breeds enmity and contempt.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

1245. Love is in the Air....!

Love is not a part of speech that indicates a person, place, thing, idea or status. It is full of action, a state of mind and a spontaneous occurrence. Love cannot be conveyed or comprehended it can only be felt. Love is for a reason that is unknown; if the reason is known then Love doesn’t remain the same. Love can never be an equation or equivalence. Love is not “I love you since you Love me”. If this equation can be accepted then there could be multi steps in that equation.

In class X the algebra teacher wrote an equation on the blackboard “A=B, B=C then A=C” and asked the students to explain the equation with a practical example. A smart boy from the last bench stood up and replied, “Sir, its simple. We love you and you love your daughter… we love your….!”

“Shut up, I say,” interrupted the teacher.

Love is not something which works like as in barter system. There is this lousy notion that Love is earned by doing what the one whom we love want us to do. Unfortunately many are “in Love” believing this notion and there are a few who are taking advantage of this notion. This kind of conditional Love makes us remain below ordinary. There is way to transcend this and go for what is called Divine Love.   

Divine Love is caring about the happiness of the other without an iota of thought as to what it might fetch us. It is all about giving without expectations. “If I love you would you do this to me” is not Love at all, it is a well-planned strategy. If the person we Love is forcing us to say something or do something which is not in our nature, then it is not Love, it is a game. The one who is putting conditions to Love has more manipulating power than sacrificial attitude; this may cause injury to the relationship. He who values a relationship holding nothing back and will love unconditionally. Such a person experiences joy regardless of whether his Love is requited or unrequited as he knows only to give. 

Love is all about complete acceptance. Rose is accepted as the Emblem of Love. It is because the one who appreciates its beautiful colour and scented fragrance has to agree with the thorns.

Those who celebrate Love on a particular day are caught in the web of this conditioned Love (if I could call it Love at all). There is more of scrutinising whether the other is caring about the gain and comfort rather than bonding the relationship. Pain and discomfort is a part of human growth and it has nothing to do with Love. Love is not about fostering growth and shielding the one we Love from pain and discomfort. Many have confused Love to be providing comforts, satisfying needs and shielding from trails. 

Only a Divine Lover understands that by doing so he is only clipping the wings of his lover causing hindrance to fly free. There has to be concern and a sincere effort to evade pain and provide comfort, but that should never be with the intention of safeguarding Love out of fear.

Divine Love has no fear and is never insecure.

Gift your beloved that Love which is fearless and is secured always......Love is in the air always; never limit it for a single day!!!

Monday, February 11, 2019

1243. Past Life Regression....PLR !

A place visited for the first time might sometimes seem to be very familiar. How much ever you convince yourself that it is the first time you are stepping at that place there is an unexplainable feel of familiarity. Elders calm your nerves by saying “it could be your place in your past life.”

Due to resurrection of Jeevatma, the subconscious mind in humans keeps a vague memory of previous life. It is possible to bring those memories on to the surface of conscious mind; this is Past Life Regression (PLR). 

Do we need PLR??? 

PLR comes as a holistic therapy based on the principles of Karana (Cause) and Karya (Effect) of Karma Siddhanta. The way we react and respond could be the effect (Karya) to situations that is destined as cause (Karana) based on our past deeds. It can help us to check on our obsessive behaviour, chronic illness, phobias, addictions. PLR can be a useful tool for well-being and mental health, but this process of bringing the memory from subconscious to conscious mind requires a lot of Sadhana. PLR is a self-study (Svadhyaya) and one has to do connoting introspection.

 Our ancient scriptures say that the moment our umbilical cord is severed we forget our past, this is Vishnumaaya. Just as the ancient Chinese have “Meng Po” (Goddess of Forgetfulness). It is in her power to prevent the new born from remembering its past lives. It is said that she offers a bittersweet portion to wipe off all memories before the new born enters the cycle of reincarnation. In fact forgetting past is a boon as we do not want them to be a hindrance for our present and future life, but there are many instances where PLR has helped in reconstructing the present and future. Sage Patanjali has mentioned about this technique as “Pratiprasava” (Returning to Origin) in “Yoga Sutras.”

There are many instances in Mahabharata where Sri Krishna guides many to know why they are in the situation that they are in. After war Dhritarashtra wanted to know why he was born blind. Sri Krishna asked him to sit in the seat of silence and contemplate on his previous births. He realized that it was the law of Karma in action. In his earlier birth he was a tyrant King. One day while walking a tank bund he saw a swan with its one hundred offspring. He ordered to gouge out the swan eyes and kill all the hundred cygnets just for his passing fancy. That Agami Karma had fructified as his Prarabdha in his life as Dhritarashtra.  

Once Sri Krishna used his technique of peeping into the future and helped Pandavas without interfering in the Law of Karma. At the time of Rajasuya yagna Yudhishthira selects Duryodhana as in charge to look after the needs of the guests. Duryodhana seize the opportunity and hatches a plan to empty the treasury of the Pandavas. Sri Krishna knowing this peep into the Prarabdha Karma of Duryodhana and find that due to his past life deeds Duryodhana is entitled to have a phase in his life span where the amount he spends on the guests will be doubled in the treasury. Sri Krishna who was able to see it, made sure that the Prarabdha Karma phala is sanctioned off at the time of Rajasuya Yajna. And due to Duryodhana's prarabdha phala the Pandavas treasury literally doubled.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

1242. Earthworms are Intestine of Soil....!

“Organic” is the prefix most preferred in sales of any agricultural produce today. In general it indicates that the produce is entirely process with use of natural manure and pesticides with no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

Ancient India was indeed a world leader in the area of organic farming. Our forefathers knew how to take record harvests using bio manure like cow dung, cow urine and vegetable waste. The pesticide they used was liquid prepared with Neem leaf or a mixture of cow dung and urine.

Neem tree was revered and Cow was worshipped as they both were the central point in farming. Caring and rearing of cow along with planting of Neem sapling was a must in rural India. The economy of rural India depended on the cattle they had. In fact many families in India considered cattle to be one among their family members. Wealth was measured in terms of cattle strength, hence we find in Virata Parva of Mahabharata, Kauravas attempted to capture the cattle of Matsya Kingdom as it was considered the wealth.  

If cow dung and urine nourished the farm, cow milk was a much sought after food. From milk, butter is extracted to obtain ghee. Butter milk was the cheapest health drink which even a poor could afford. Two decades back guests were served butter milk as a welcome drink. Those were the day when “pasteurisation” was not introduced to us (pasteurisation process involves heating milk at 170 degree temperature and rendering it to be “perished milk”). Without pasteurisation there was no scope to preserve milk for the coming days. Whatever they had for the day, they consumed and were happy to share. It was a practise to keep a pot of butter milk outside the house under the shade of a tree for a weary traveller to quench his thirst from scorching sun.  

Among all domestic animals cow is the most docile. It is farmer’s friend and spiritual companion apart from being his wealth. Our scriptures say that our human life we have now is after the birth as cow in our immediate past life. This notion keeps us from protecting this valuable animal. Cows are the only creatures which consume less but give more in return. Some two to three decades ago we lost this thought and have done more injustice to this breed of animals. 

How did we lose it??? Let us analyse. I think we humans have to give a thought to this and educate other too.

Earlier say about five to six decades back farmer was producing only one harvest in a year. The sow to harvest period was only between six to eight months and the rest of the time the land was left to “rejuvenate.” Farmers of our land gave lot of preference to preservation of soil hence the time for the rejuvenation of soil after one harvest was a must. They used what is called “Jeevamrutha” fermented liquid manure prepared from Desi Cow dung and urine. This biodynamic formulation helps to prevent fungus and bacteria thus support the growth of earthworms.

Earthworm in the soil is the best bio-technologist and a true waste manager, they thrive on alkaline soil with good calcium levels. Earthworms are also natural tillers digging the soil to aerate and keep the soil moist.
Our farmers were confused by the advent of “Pesticides” (the suffix word “cide” means “a killer of”, do not know how these pesticides end up killing our farmers rather than the pests). Our farmers lost grip on natural fertilising and their traditional technique of keeping insects at bay. They were lured by saying there is more yield in agricultural produce and literally killed the soil and cattle. A tractor replaced oxen and chemical fertilisers came as substitute to earthworms. 

Good that we are arriving at our basics and rediscovering the art of farming in the name of “Organic”...!      

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

1241. Garuda, Are you well???

Deities and their Vahanas (Vehicles) have a reciprocal relationship. Vahana in Sanskrit translates as “that which carries.” It looks like the Vahanas serve the deity but in turn they are saved by those who employ them. Anantha (Serpent) and Garuda (Brahminy Kite) though by nature are bitter enemies they list in Nithya Suri (Eternal Servants) of Sriman Narayana. However the Vahanas sometimes symbolises the evil forces over which the deity dominates. We have heavyweight Ganesha riding a tiny mouse, they say Ganesha sits on the mind which generate useless negative thoughts just like how the mice reproduce in night. His younger brother Skanda rides on peacock known to be very proud of its colourful feathers.

There are also positive aspects of the vahanas which are emblematic like the Bull of Maharudradeva representing strength and machismo. Hamsa (Swan) of Brahma displaying the ability to absorb good from the lot (Hamsa Ksheera Nyaya). Airavata (Elephant) of Indra has majesticity. Seven horses of Sun is the spectrum of Seven colours -VIBGYOR

Most amazing of all is the vahanas of the Maharudradeva family. The Bull of Maharudradeva is fearless of the Lion, the mount of Mahadevi. The mouse carrying Ganesha is not worried about the serpent dangling in the neck of Maharudradeva, nor is the serpent afraid of the peacock that Karthikeya rides on. It all depends on the time, situation and place they are in which make them forget their beastly instinct. When in the vicinity of Divinity there is no place for beastly instinct.     

There is an interesting tale told in Tamil literature. Once Maha Vishnu visited Maharudradeva at Mount Kailasa. Obviously Maha Vishnu was riding on Garuda. As Maha Vishnu went inside Garuda had to wait outside Kailasa gate guarded by Nandi. After the meeting Maha Vishnu came out and Maharudradeva escorted him till the gate. Nagaraja (Serpent) on the neck of Maharudradeva looked down at Garuda who had folded his hands bowing down very humbly, ready to carry Maha Vishnu. Nagaraja haughtily asked Garuda, “Yenna Garuda, Nalamaa???” (What Garuda, Are you well). If not for the presence of Maha Vishnu and Maharudradeva, Garuda would have picked the serpent up torn it and devoured it. But now the situation, place and time were different. Garuda looked up at the serpent and said, “It all depends. As long as we are in an appropriate place, time and situation everyone will be well and safe.”  

The situation, time and place could entice a meek to mock the might under the backing of its guardian. I find the similar situation happening in land of Bengal recently. The bureaucrat working for state government had the audacity to taunt the bureaucrat under central government and stop him from doing his duty. The shield obtained from the ruling party did make him thick skinned to dodge the law. An elected representative is not designated eternally they have a term span of 5 years. So it will be right for the sycophants to be assured that the time, situation and place keep changing every five years. It is better not to wag their tail for too long.     

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

1240. Naga Sadhu, the Warrior of Sanatana Dharma

Naga Sadhus are Shaivite warriors said to have formed by Sri Sri Shankara to safeguard Sanatana Dharma. They live in the caves of Himalaya and come down only at the time of Kumbh Mela. They are naked sporting long matted hair. They have their whole body smeared with ashes of dead bodies. They carry weapons like tridents, swords and canes but do not harm any innocents. They never get in contact with mundane life and live in Akhada (Monastery). They possess divine powers which they use only to safe guard Dharma and they have no fear of death or anxiety over life.  

The Naga Sadhus have a long history; they existed since Indus Valley Civilisation. There is a mention of Alexander III of Macedon meeting Kalanos (Kalayana), a Naga Sadhu from Punjab during his stay in the sub-continent. Their way of life and the devotion towards Sanatana Dharma had influenced Bhagvan Buddha. The Digambara tradition of Jainism was inspired by these Naga Sect. Naga Sadhus are very well versed in the art of warfare archery, swordsmanship wrestling and cane twirling. Their training is not over the weapons which are just matters.  

Once an ace archer came to Kumbh Mela and met a Naga Sadhu who was hold bow and arrow. The bow and arrow of the Naga Sadhu looked ancient compared to the sophisticated Recurve bow sight. The archer had won many international tittles and was proud of his archery skills.

He wished to exhibit his skills to the Naga Sadhu. He shot an arrow and it hit the bulls eye. He turned back smiled at the Sadhu and shot another arrow which split the first arrow. “Can you shoot like this?” he asked the Naga Sadhu.

The Naga Sadhu did not say anything he sign the archer to follow him and went up the mountain. He came to a gorge which was bridged by a wooden structure. The bridge was very wobbly and could fall anytime. Naga Sadhu walked to the middle of the bridge which started shaking violently. He stood at the centre took his traditional bow paired it with an arrow and pulled the string to his ear. Looking at the archer he let the string go, for the arrow to fly swift past to hit the distant tree. He came back and asked the archer to go to the centre of the bridge and shoot at the same tree.

As the archer walked to the edge of the bridge his legs started to tremble looking at the deep chasm. He felt dizzy and started shaking violently he stumbled and fell on the bridge. The plank on the platform of the bridge could not hold his weight he was about to slip and fall. Hugging the rope tightly he shouted for help. The Naga Sadhu picked up the archer put him on his shoulder and walked calmly back. 

While giving him water to drink the Naga Sadhu said, “All the skills you have practised pertain to the bow and arrows. Your practice has made you rule over them and you do have full control on them. You don’t rule the mind that takes aim and shoots the arrow. Your mind is not under your control. The bow, arrow, the target, the aim, the shooting everything is from the mind. You control your mind and rule over it!”

Monday, February 4, 2019

1239. Earth on Tortoise back....!

Tortoise is the hero in the story “The Hare and The Tortoise” from Aesop’s Fables. Hare, as we all know is a better sprinter than tortoise but in the story the hare is branded to be overconfident and underestimated the pace of the tortoise.

Understandably the moral of the story is to make a point that “you can be more successful by doing things slowly and steadily than by acting quickly and carelessly.”

The reason behind choosing the tortoise to race against hare is the physiological limitation the tortoise has. Being herbivorous there is no necessity for the tortoise to run for food; chase is always between a predators and prey. If the predator is fast it is rewarded with food, if the prey is faster it is blessed to be alive. Our tortoise is not a predator so need not be a sprinter, what if it becomes a prey???

Tortoise has an extremely hard and tough shell to protect itself from the predators. All that it has to do is to retract its limbs and head into the hard shell in case a predator attacks. Predators cannot chew on it or scratch it up to eat. Moreover the shell of a tortoise is designed in such a way that it can withstand the eternal weight without the internal organs getting crushed. It is its shell that provides a certain measure of security, thus they have not developed a need for speed. 

The spinal column and other skeletal elements are modified into a shell. With a heavy body and a tough shell it has slow breathing which doesn’t allow it to running, tortoise have a steady pace of movement. If we observe a tortoise we can notice that it moves is in speed that is of uniform velocity, it has no jerky moments in its mobility.

In the Aesop story the hare is said to be running fast at some point of time then it slows down a bit and even stopping for a moment to take rest, but the story says the movement of the tortoise was slow but steady. Tortoise is said to have maintained the same pace it had when it started the race and continued till the end where it eventually won.     
In Kurma Purana it is stated that the entire earth is on the back of a tortoise. And it was Maha Vishu who came to rescue Mount Mandhara from sinking into the ocean of milk at the time when Devas and Dhaityas took up the task of churning the ocean of milk to get Amrutha (Ambrosia).

In these two instances it was appropriate that it had to be tortoise alone to lift the mountain and earth. But to my understanding our ancients did not look only at the weight alone, they also visualised the movement of the earth in the solar system. If we can go a few light years away and watch the movement of the planet earth the feel could be that the round ball of vegetation is on the back of the tortoise going around the Sun.  
Earth is on a steady movement without any haste or jerk, maintaining a uniform speed throughout. As though on the back of a tortoise…..!

Friday, February 1, 2019

1238. Budget: Surplus or Deficit...

A statement on the financial planning of the year by the elected government is called Budget. It is the resister of income as well as expenditure the government makes for the financial year which generally starts from the first day of April to the last day of March of successive year.

Among the important documentation that the government makes this report on finance is also important document. It is similar to a company’s annual report, where the financial performance of the previous year and the financial plans of the next year are made public. Transparency is the key of governmental budgeting. 

This report is what most citizen of a nation from the common man to the politician wait eager to know. Since the citizen of the nation comprises of Rich or Poor, Salaried or Self-employed, Business or Service, Employer or Employee, they have different opinion on the Budget. A budget can never satisfy the entire section of the society. If one section is happy there is another section which is grumbling. Also we have politics in analysing the budget. Even a person who sits in opposition and finds the budget satisfactory, he cannot express his views as his party expects him to criticize it.

Family budget and a Nations budget are not different at all.  The smartness in handling the budget is in striking the balance between revenue and expenditure. Revenue comes from various tax levied and the expenditure is on various development projects. In a family, the resources are from the bread earners in the form of either salary or rent.  

Family budget helps to figure out our long-term objectives and work towards them. If we toss money at everything we see and not one the allotted lot we end up left with nothing. Budgeting helps in managing the finance.

Many times the purchase power because of credit cards makes us become impulsive buyers. Budgeting helps in tracking the finance.   

Emergencies arise without information; to take care of the crises there is a need to save. Budgeting helps in investing and insurance.  
By presenting the Budget the country will know about it reserves so that it can analyse where it stands in the financial frame.

Finances are complicated, even with the simplest of incomes. Money management starts from budgeting. Without a framed budget we probably will buy things that are not necessary. A plan for saving and spending draws a boundary and defines what is essential. The budget from deficit to surplus can happen if the income is better than expenditure. It is hard to cut on the expenditure be it the government or at home, it is wise to increase the income gradually. Anyhow if the impulsive buying is cut down the expenditure will be only for the needed. For the necessary expenditure the revenue has to be appropriate. Moreover just as the free spending affects the home budget the freebies by the parties to appease the voters will affect the budget of the nation.

Subsidies, perks, reservations and grants are the bugs that eat away the surplus budget reducing it to deficit.