Thursday, December 18, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
"By whom willed and directed does the mind alight on its objects? By whom commanded does the prana(vital breath, that precedes all, start? By whom willed do men utter speech? What intelligent power directs the eye to see, the ear to hear?"
- Kenopanishad 1.1
"It is the ear of the ear, It is the mind of the mind, It is the speech of the speech, It is the breathing of the breathing, It is the eye of the eye...."
- Kenopanishad 1.2
"The teacher proceeds from the known to the unknown....We all know that we hear with our ears. But a set of ears on their own are as deaf as a post. Follow the sound vibrations through the eardrums along the nerves. It is the brain which is actually hearing those vibrations. But that is not the end of it. If the Consciousness leaves the brain you won't hear. Even if that Consciousness simply shifts the focus of your brain for a moment, the ears still transmitting the sounds to it as it ticks away, but you are deafened...
Consciousness is the see-er in the eye, the mind in the mind, the speaker in the speech. That says the teacher, is the source of existence, is God(Brahman). So God is the subject of all you see, hear, smell, touch, taste, feel or understand. Therefore, God can never be an object of perception or comprehension."
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I have to quote the last few lines verbatim, as there can be no better way of expressing my feelings too on this particular subject than what has been written by M J Akbar. He says, 'Indian Muslims are bitter, but it would be foolish of them to permit this bitterness to ferment into bile. Any government is a passing phenomenon; the nation is a permanent asset. Governments can fracture; a nation must hold. When those in power fail, it becomes vital that we, the people, Hindu and Muslim and Christian, reach out to preserve the common good. Common sense is often the best recipe for for the common good; alas, that is the first thing that a victim abandons'.
How true Mr. Akbar. I do hope that better sense prevails. Our strength is unity in diversity. Let us not make it our biggest weakness. We the common people must resist this divisive politics by every means possible. Jai Hind.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups- porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite-telling them to help themselves to the coffee. When all had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said.
“If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.
Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what you drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups. And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.
Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us. God brews the coffee, not the cups. Enjoy your coffee! The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.”
Sunday, October 12, 2008
My parents married 60 years ago, had five children, who are alive - four sons and one daughter. All of us married and had two children each, in due course. This whole big family last got together about a decade, or more, ago, I think. My daughter is now married, and has had a baby girl, 'Meher' on 29 Sep 08. This time, we were many members short of this huge big family. My parents missed the ones that were not present, but had a good time, and basked in the attention that was showered on them. My mother could not hold her emotions...she did not say anything but we could sense her loneliness in her old age.
Imagine, having been directly or indirectly responsible for bringing so many of us into this world, they live by themselves. Three of my siblings live independently in the same city along with their families, and two of us live in Chennai and New Jersey respectively. My kids live in Toronto. My mother still manages her own house, and kitchen, as best as she can. It's not too difficult for us to fast forward 20 years.
We are all parents and would have to go through the same fate, when we grow old - the fate of having to be content with just memories of happier and fulfilling days, or of days spent in waiting for the off springs to drop by whenever they have the time and the inclination, or for an occasion, or for some bad news. Everyone has to go through this cycle of childhood, parenthood and then waiting........watching your off springs following some 25 years behind. The Kaal Chakra never stops!!!!!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
In my opinion religion’s only purpose is to help the individual achieve his long term spiritual goal. How? Religion, like all else in life, has its own primary education of rituals, which are further re-inforced by the secondary education in mythology. Eventually each one, depending on his/ her personal motivation, must go through the university education of philosophy, if the final goal of understanding the Unity of all Creation has to be understood, which is the essence of each religion. Practiced religions differ on rituals and mythology but are very similar when it comes to philosophy. Philosphy is the most important part of religion and helps each individual evolve as per his own understanding. Once you reach the summit and look down you will find any number of paths, both charted and uncharted, to reach the summit. All paths will finally reach the summit if you keep on climbing. Each individual has his own perception of his Creator, irrespective of his religion. Even in the same religion, we may follow the same rituals and may have been fed on the same mythology, we still would have our own perception of the Creator in our brain/ mind, which will be different from every one else. Rituals and mythology provide us humans the basis to develop the faith to go onto bigger things in the spiritual field. Rituals and mythology are taught/ learnt through pandits/ mullahs/ granthis/ priests. They would in all probability be inadequate guides to help one progress in the Doctorate of spiritualism. We need to understand this important difference - a primary or secondary school teacher cannot guide one at the Doctoral stage. Only some one who has ‘been there/ done that’ can show the way. The trudging has still got to be done by the individual. This is the spiritual realm and has nothing to do with politics and democracy.
Politics on the other hand has to do with our needs to live a purposeful and fulfilling life in the physical world. Human needs are common, irrespective of religion. We all need certain facilities, freedoms, laws that can fairly regulate our rights and responsibilities, and the like. Any good politician, irrespective of religion, should be able to provide us with all this in a democracy, as long as we can hold him accountable, as in the West. However, in South Asia vote banks are created on the basis of religion, caste etc. and this does not help anyone but the politician and his coterie. The only way out, I believe, is through separation of the physical world of politics from the spiritual world of religion. Education and strengthening of our democratic institutions is probably the only answer. We Indians, irrespective of caste or religion, need to understand this basic fact. Once this happens there will be no majority/ minority vote bank to woo and politicians would have no choice but to concentrate on providing good governance.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
- Paulo Coelho
Swami Vivekananda has said that ‘every religion comprises of three parts – mythology, rituals, and philosophy’. Religions vary in their mythology and rituals but very nearly propagate the same philosophy in different words, i.e. they all point towards the same light. I believe the problems of this world are due to the differing mythology and rituals that we imbibe from imperfect humans and then practice them considering them to be the end in themselves. These rituals and mythology are only meant to strengthen the desire to know, and also to create doubts, so that we can develop clarity and faith, with the final aim of understanding the philosophy. To reach there, we need to listen to the mythology, question it – find answers; perform rituals – to strengthen our resolve and will power to finally use these attributes to get to understand reality, and in doing so reach the destination of ‘the same light’.
Every thing that we do in life follows the same pattern. Take our education. Why do we study? Who enjoyed studies? Remember how your parents gave you stories of why education was very important. Why start with the alphabet? Is the aim of education the teaching of the alphabet? Why do we go through the ritual of going to school at a set time everyday? Rituals and mythology have a role to play but what must be remembered is that these are but a means to an end. Education is much larger than learning the alphabet. Similarly religion is beyond rituals and mythology. Please do not mistake the means for the end – which is ‘the same light’.
Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother
- Khalil Gibran