30 June 2012


(courtesy: Speaking Tree) 

Master says: Dharm (religion) should be smiling not gloomy.

This one is for laughs:

A nun who works for a local home health care agency was out making her rounds when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, there was  a station just down the street. She walked to the station to borrow a can of gas.

But bad luck, the only can at the station was already loaned out. 

As the nun was on the way to see a patient, she decided to think out of box.; walked back to her car, after looking thoroughly in the car, manged to find a bedpan.

She carried that to the station, filled it with gasoline and came back to her car.
As she was pouring the gas in the tank of the car, two men walked by. 

One looked to the other and said: "Now that is what i call Faith!"

26 June 2012

Adaptation: a key for Happiness

Its amazing how my body adapts to the weather change around me.
Delhi, where I live reaches 45˚c- 48˚c in summers and 1˚c- 4˚c in winters. In between, the temperature fluctuates according to other seasons: autumn, spring and the monsoons. There are times its dreadful to go out without fully covered with woolens; other times even the mention of word jacket/coat is intolerable. There are days when, winds of spring are the most lovable guests; whereas at times the dry autumn current, baring the trees of all there leaves seems like uncalled for invitee at the doorstep. 

My body adapts to these seasons smoothly without much fuss.
It was just three or four months before when I was having around 4 -5 cups of hot masala tea everyday. Along with it there were interspersed breaks of steaming soups or rasam (Indian soup made of spices). In contrast, in this scorching June, the idea of tea is kept far, almost totally out of mind. Its place has been taken by fruits juices, fresh cold drinks ranging from sugarcane juice, aamras (mango drink) and nibu pani.

However, my mind is not easy to comply with the changes life brings. Unlike my body, my emotions and heart lingers after things long after they are nowhere around. Why do I brood when somebody (relation) or something (job) changes? Is it my attachment to people and things or simply my ego?

It is time for some rational thinking. Something has to go for something new to come. For one, i know through experience that change is the rule of existence. As I accept the changing seasons, I need to accept every other change without much brooding. There is no point fretting over things, which are not in my hand. The body adapts to the new circumstances and moves on. It’s no rocket science! The body knows- by drinking a cold lemon drink in the scorching Sun, it will feel good - so it does that; instead of crying ooh,… why is the Sun was sooo hot? or why its raining non stop? Just a few changes in the eating habit and Wallaha, I am quite equipped to face the next few months of heat.

Master says: “ कबूल करना ही है तो रोते- रोते क्यों, हँसते -हँसते क्यों नहीं 
 If we have to accept & tolerate, then why not do it happily.

By being happy, I'm contributing. If I just as easily take every change in my stride instead of asking why, what, when and how, I would be a much happier person.

If someone were to ask, how would that help the world or the society?
Well, a happy person emits positive vibrations, which have direct effect on the environment around. As simple as that!

Being happy is my contribution for a better world.
If all of us were to be happy, we would make the WWW (whole wide world) happier and much fun to live in.

23 June 2012

to be myself

i hate to write under pressure
i declare: I'm not a writer i.e  not a professional ( at least not yet), but i love to write.
although like any other art form, i enjoy audience and appreciation, its a heavy burden.
i suddenly feel multitude of eyes on my words, this includes my family and loved ones.
and believe you in me, that's a lot of pressure; the want and need to
but how can i be right all the time, when I'm still a student! I'm still LEARNING.

Read the following , somewhere-
if you are not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original and beautiful...... 
Hence, decision made- 
I'm ready to make mistakes..., but more importantly, I am under oath to try to create nothing but Beautiful, through my WRITINGS

just like Master says: विश्राम सहजता के बिना कोई नहीं देगा [ Be who you are; be yourself, if you want peace and rest] 

19 June 2012


Master says: we have done so many experiments, why not experiment with 'Faith ' for some time!
He believes; Faith is Worship

My Father- a story 
A small boy is sitting by the window seat of the jumbo 777. The flight took off on time, after about an hour the airplane hits the bad weather. Severe turbulence grips the flight. Along with the seat belt signs, the flight attendants tell everyone to take to their respective seats.
Storm Clipart Image: Bad Weather Threatening an Airplane
(image courtesy weatherclipart.net)

The boy, looks out from his window seat, gives a glance around, sees all the commotion and  goes back to playing with his toys. 

There is no worry nor any sign of fear on his face. Its as if he couldn't be bothered!

The man sitting next to the kid sees this peculiar kid who is totally happy with his toys, not bothered about the bad weather condition.

Forty minutes or so later, things get back to normal.

The man can't retain his curiosity," hey kiddo, you put all us adults to shame,how come? weren't you scared at all? ", he finally asked the boy.

The boy smiled," the man who is flying the plane is my father. Why should i be scared. I know he'll take care of things!".

Master: God was aware, the new baby will not have teeth. It was of this reason, the mother's body had already started lactating, as soon as the birth took place.

There is somebody somewhere, who is keeping a watch and taking care. What i need is, have a little FAITH.

16 June 2012


An affirmation – Truth has different levels and hence not easily understood.

               On one hand, a verse from Taittiriya Upanishad says,
              " Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava
               Acharya Devo Bhava, Attiti Devo Bhava.."
               It means Regard mother, father, teacher and guest as God.

On the other hand, Saint Goswami Tulsidasji tells Meerabai to give up all relations. Giving advice to Meerabai, who was in a dilemma, and replying to her question, Tulsi advised her in a verse which meant:
"...Abandon those who cannot understand you and who do not worship Rama or Shyama, even though they are your dearest relatives. Prahlada abandoned his father; Vibhishana left his brother Ravana; Bharata deserted his mother; Bali forsook even his Guru; the women of Vraja, disowned their husbands to get to their Krishna. Their lives were all the happier for having done so. The relation with God and the love of God are the only elements that are true and eternal; all other relationships are unreal and temporary…"
One might wonder at this apparent contradiction. A layman might get confused and wonder what the right thing to do is. So drastically different the two messages are. Then what is the truth?

Master says, " there are two things; one is gross truth (स्थूल ) - something which can be seen and comprehended by limited human eyes. The other is subtle truth (सूक्ष्म )- which is not visible through naked eyes, but that doesn’t deem it from being so.” 

Let me make it simple by giving a simile-
If you were to ask me, what exactly I’m doing right now. I would say,” right now, I’m sitting on my chair, typing on the computer.”
Now, nothing can be more honest than the above sentence. But in the same breath if I was to say, " Right now I’m also going round and round in circles...” how many of you would believe me?
Whether you believe or not but that’s the fact. I am rotating at this moment. How is that possible? Well, I can scientifically prove it.

The Earth is never still! Got the idea, a school student knows this.....

Earth's rotation: the rotation of the solid Earth around its own axis. 
Earth spins steadily – and moves at a constant rate in orbit around the sun – we as an earthly passengers move right along with it.
we are rotating along with Earth

The circumference of the Earth at the equator is 25,000 miles. The Earth rotates in about 24 hours. Therefore, if you were to hang above the surface of the Earth at the equator without moving, you would see 25,000 miles pass by in 24 hours, at a speed of 25000/24 or just over 1000 miles per hour. 

Earth is also moving around the Sun at about 67,000 miles per hour.
[the above figures taken from the net]

This was a simple example to prove that something which can't be seen by physical eyes (except by astronomer) or grasped easily, is still the 'Truth'.

Human life is to progress

Let's go back to the main affirmation, by presenting the view of Swami Vivekananda, a great soul of our times.  He who spread Vedanta in the west says:
this world is good as far as it is a means to perfect ourselves, and as soon as it has ceased to do that it is evil, nothing but evil. So wife, children, husband, money, dollars or learning are good, as long as they help us forward; but as soon as they have ceased to do that they are nothing but evil”.
In the Manas it is given rather vehemently : Perish that property, house, happiness, friend, mother, father, or brother, who does not gladly help one turn towards Lord Rama. 

   जरउ सो संपति सदन  सुखु सुह्रद मातु पितु  भाइ I 
             सनमुख होत जो राम पद  करै न सहस सहाइ II

Here Rama also means the one ultimate Truth.

The Vedas deem the highest Truth as progression; evolution and this Human life is the best place (and only place) for achieving this. Everything else becomes subservient to this highest truth, although they are right at their own level. Sometimes to see the subtle truth we need a minuscule view, something that our normal eyesight might miss.

or like Master says: to understand the scriptures ( शास्त्रा ) we need to sit at somebodies feet.


13 June 2012

Listening: an Art

On the Bhakti marg, Shravan is given immense importance: Listening.
Our Rishi's and Sages of yonder knew its value thousands of years before. That's the reason  in navadha bhakti the first place is given to Shravanam.   

Sukadevji  narrating Bhagvat
                       In Bhagavad Mahapuran, king Pariksit has simply done shravanam. He sat down to hear Sage Sukadevji, during the last seven days of his life. 

In the Manas, Tulsidasji gives a beautiful metaphor and compares human ears to cups.
In Uttara-kanda, Parvatiji says, her ears have become 'Cups' through which she is drinking the nectar-like story of Sri Rama narrated by Shiv Bhagwan.
                    नाथ  तवानन ससी श्रवत  कथा सुधा रघुवीर I 
                             श्रवन पुटन्हि मन पान करि नहीं अघात मतिधीर II  


Master says the aim of every art form and all learning should be the attainment of the Supreme.
In his usual all-encompassing and all-embracing nature he goes a little further and states: do not limit yourself to Granth; Scriptures only. Listen to the flow of river, the waves of the ocean, the chirping of the birds....Nature speaks to us , if only we could listen.

In contemporary  world too, the science of listening is considered valuable. In fact management classes are held to teach this art. What Goswami Tulsidas did almost five hundred years ago, is used now, in our times. 
The picture below is from a workshop, held for monks to teach them the science and art of proper Listening, using a cup exercise.

sound cups monks
workshop at Deer Park Institute
If I may use Tulsidasji  image and take our ears as cups, then three things need attention: who? what? how?
~ we need to be alert of who we allow, rather who we listen to.
~ what is being served  in our cups.
~ and how we understand and comprehend it.    
This simple technique might help us in being careful of avoiding some Manthara (queen kaikeyi's maid) from pouring venomous portions in our cups. 
Instead why not use these cups to drink only what is pure, serene and worthy.

09 June 2012

Art of Listening

                                         Listen with discretion                                             

Master says: The Art of Listening is giving ear to things only worth listening.

It’s a waste of energy and time to listen to everything everybody says.

Remember the famous lines of the Hindi song… people will speak something, which is their job. Do not waste precious moments on futile talks.

A short story:                                                 
A Group of frogs decide to climb the Girnar Mountain. They start their journey. Seeing them, the other frogs are startled. “What do you think you are doing”, they said,” have you ever heard frogs climbing such high peaks. Don’t be ridiculous, come down and forget about it.”

Listening to them, half of the group came down. Others still went on with their expedition.

The on-lookers kept dissuading them, putting wet blanket on each step. This did have an affect, more returned back.

As the climb became tougher, plus the calls from below, saw more frogs give up.

Finally, only one lone frog is left. He went on, slowly but steadily. He did not look back and totally ignored what others were telling him.

Everyone was stunned and silence swept around as the lone frog reaches the Datta peak. He had made history!

He did his circumambulation and his pranam to the Lord and started climbing down.

At the base, many had accumulated to receive him. Journalist and media were also around to capture this sensational news. At the base, he is garlanded and appreciated for the feat he had achieved.
One journalist puts a question, “how come, when all others came back, you didn’t. Why ? Everybody was telling you to give up and return. What were you thinking? ”

The victorious frog giving a naïve smile replied, “I can’t hear with my ears, I’m DEAF”. 
At times, it’s wise to BECOME DEAF…

05 June 2012

9 days Ram Katha

9 days of katha !  “And you try to go to as many as you can?” someone asked me. Yes, I replied.  

It’s very difficult to make people understand ‘why’, about the things which are close to our heart. Especially, when there is no monetary benefit coming out of it. Most of us do not understand the point of “following one’s heart”. Seeing someone actually doing it always brings skepticism and speculations. 

I call it a Big Blessing, to be able to do what I love- travel with  katha.
Camel Caravan In Desert
I state few perceivable rewards below (the incomprehensible ones can't be put in words):-
 A katha rejuvenates me: in the same way as a walk, a spa, a yoga session or a short holiday break works for others. I get the benefit of all the above in one katha. I get to see new places. Sitting for 3-4 hours, squatting down on the floor (in typical Indian style) gives me what a yoga session does to others. Does one stop, after one yoga class or after couple of days of morning walk? No, it becomes a part of life. 
Katha is part of my life now. 

Katha shows me the real India: having grown up in a cosmopolitan city, I would have  never seen places like Hastinapur, Buxar, Gorakhpur, Umreth, besides many others. I certainly take more pride in my own country and culture now. Of course, we need to do lots of improvement. However, that’s another topic.

katha  has taught me tolerance: towards people & situations / conditions. Traveling in the remote corners of India I have learnt to accept varied living conditions. My fussiness has been replaced by gratitude,for the smallest  things. A clean bed and bath is now a reason enough to thank God!

Katha changes the outlook towards life totally: the next job promotion, the  next pay hike, the new car… etc, does not remain the top priority. I feel like a gypsy or a wandering Sadhu, in the caravan of this world. I am learning to cherish each day    as it comes.

In Buddhism, they say - Buddham sharanam gachami…. 
For me its:     Sri Ramchandram sharanam prapadhe; 
                   Sri Ramdutam sharanam prapadhe; 
                 Sri Ramkatha sharanam prapadhe.


Master puts it in a beautiful manner. He quotes a small incidence: 

A vegetable vendor is sprinkling water over his vegetables. When asked about it he replies, “I am sprinkling water to keep my veggies fresh.”
Katha does the same for us- it’s a sprinkle on our being, to keeps us fresh, day after day.

Master also calls it a mirror. Don’t we all look in the mirror from time to time, to see ourselves?
He says katha acts like a mirror. We go to katha, to see if we’re doing fine. Ram Katha is a mirror to look into our own self.