ON BOREDOM

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It was a desolate evening in the peak of summer
Clouds gathered in the sky to spread a gray roof overhead
Not a single leaf stirred…not a single bird chirped
Deadly silence spread its cloak on sky, Earth, man and bird alike!

I roamed around in the almost empty streets
And felt a ‘killing’ sense of boredom envelope me
I crossed the road and sat by a pond in the park
And watched the passers-by taking their stroll

There came a young lady with a four-year old
The child kept prattling without a break
And the mother patiently listened, smiled and nodded in consent
They were in a world of their own…of love, of bond, of trust, of sharing!

Then came a man in his fifties with his dog which kept pace with him
He kept talking to it and it wagged its tail and ‘woofed’ and ‘woofed’
Such good company the two made for each other
That I wished I had a pet to talk to , to share with, to love and be loved!

All of a sudden the sky turned to a bluish purple
And shed a purple hue on all of us
It struck me that the moods of the sky are beyond comprehension
One minute gray, then turns to blue, and then to purple, and then to blue again!

My thoughts were interrupted by a friend calling out my name
I turned around and saw him walking towards me
He came and sat beside me and told me about the day’s events
About how he had paid a visit to the countryside and had a great time!

He told me that it was his first visit to his countryside in the last five years
For, he had been busy at work during day and at the club in the evenings
And had been leading his life like a robot
From the time he got up to the time he went to bed, it went on the same way, for years and years!

But it took its toll on him and he got so bored in life that he wanted to get away
It was then that his wife had a brainwave…to visit her parents in the countryside
So with his wife and kids, bag and baggage he left for their ‘retreat’
A beautiful farmhouse with a smiling housekeeper at the doorstep to welcome them!

“The surroundings were idyllic …farms and farms with blooms of new crops coming up
Trees and shades and birds and rabbits and all Nature’s sounds
Brooks and ponds and water gushing everywhere
It was all music to the ears! Eden to the eyes! A Feast to the senses!

We went for early morning walks, we trekked some days
We learnt a little about farming and harvesting
We plucked fresh fruits, we did gardening and had fresh soup
We had dreamless sleep and we woke up , fresh, alive, rejuvenated , every morning!

Far, far , from the madding crowd we found our haven
Haven of love, peace , and the profundity of true Silence
And, before we realized it, it was time for us to leave
To return to our routine life, the stress, the din and the boredom of monotony!”

He broke his reverie with a sigh when he was tapped on the shoulder by his son
To remind him that they had finished their purchase and it was time to go home
He said goodbye to me and left
Leaving behind him nostalgic memories of their wonderful ‘retreat’!

The thought of sprawling farms and lush greenery
Of hiding rabbits and chasing hunters
Of plucking fruits and harvesting crops
Kept flooding my mind, to chase away the sense of boredom !

Suddenly it flashed upon my mind that boredom can set in anywhere
Be it the countryside, be it the city
Be it while trekking, or be it while catching rabbits
Be it while farming, or be it while harvesting!

For, I am sure, that those who get used to the sights and sounds
And to the daily routine of the country side
Must be feeling monotony in all that we find thrilling!
Be it farming, be it gardening, be it trekking, or be it harvesting!

And my mind looked back on all those things that held my interest once
My work, my club, my tennis sessions and my outings with my family
I realized with regret that they no longer were interesting for me but just ‘mechanical exercises’!
So monotony or boredom is not in the sense objects or their stimuli!

Monotony and boredom are in the human mind
Which falls into pattern-thinking in the wrong context
Pattern-thinking for completing a numerical series is a skill
Whereas the same, for looking at one’s life and what it offers, is a disadvantage!

Beware! Let us not let our mind fall into the same pattern of our daily life
Let us go about our daily work as if we were doing it for the first time, each and every time
Let us live moment-to-moment with our body, our thoughts and our mind
Coming into harmony with the breath , to make life vibrant, dynamic, thrilling!

‘An idle mind is a devil’s workshop ‘ – so is it rightly said
But, once awakened in Spirit , it becomes the guiding light
And the mind expands to look at life with a new perspective
And when the mind expands, the Frankeinsteins of boredom, loneliness and depression vanish into thin air!

The rejuvenated mind rejuvenates the body in turn
The fortunate seeker, in this state, lives life, celebrating every experience
He is as much to himself in a crowd, as he is when he is alone-‘’the Retreat into the depths of the SELF”
Peace, Contentment , love and creativity are born from the womb of solitude!

By solitude , I mean, the mental state of such a human being
And not physically running away from the real-life-scenario as ordained for him by Nature
He is totally in sync with Nature, Creation and God and what they offer him
So also is he comfortable in his surroundings, like a fish in water!

So, this encounter with my friend was a priceless tool to make me realize
That whenever I get bored, I have stopped moving and am static and rusting
And it’s time to introspect and do something about it
Yes! To do anything that will bring me back to my centre, to Myself

For, Nature has designed me to be alive, blissful and dynamic
And to treasure every second of this precious lifetime
Goodbye to monotony! Goodbye to boredom! Goodbye to loneliness!
For, every moment I say to myself “ I love you! Live life to the full and celebrate it every moment!”

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HOW I BECAME A VEGETARIAN

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It was one of those moments in my life
When I was sitting by a lake
And watching the ducks waddling in it
How graceful they looked and how white they appeared, ‘within’ and ‘without’!
I mused a while on the wonder of God’s Creation!

My thoughts were abruptly broken by a wounded bird which fell at my feet!
Just a gunshot and that ended the life-story of the bird on its flight!
Man kills cow or bird or animal
Be it for pleasure, or, be it for food
All amount to the same……man still lives in the old way “Might is right”
And forgets that “ our rights end when others’ rights start”!

I picked up the bird and kept it in my lap
Gently did I caress him and soothe him in his moment of agony
For he was half-dead or half-alive, and in pain!
I felt sad for the bird and a rush or anger at the cruelty of man!

Man trades in things that make him richer,
But kills insect, fish, bird and animal
Be it sericulture, be it poaching
All amount to his gain at Nature’s loss!

Man cut wood from the forest to make shelter
And so also did he cut it to get firewood
All of which we can say was Nature’s way for his sustenance
Elephant or man …both trample on multitudes of insects when we walk!
But then man has been given two legs to walk on,
So do I feel that those that come under his feet are killed, Nature’s Way
And man has not done any sin therein!

Coming to mosquitoes , cockroaches and spiders invading his kingdom
It is a question of the survival of the fittest and so man is right
If he finds a snake blocking his way, he has only two alternatives,
And these are to either kill it or let himself be killed,may be

So, when man kills knowingly or unknowingly for survival
He can’t brand himself a sinner
But when he kills for his pleasure and satisfaction of the senses
He sins, for, even animals kill but only “Nature’s Way”

A lion can’t live without meat
There are many such animals as are carnivorous
Man is herbivorous and can sustain himself without meat
But he eats meat for satisfaction of his ‘taste buds’

Cow or lamb , pork or chicken, frog or lobster, prawns or crabs
All do service to man by being food for his ‘appetite’!
Old Stone-Age man wandered here and there
And ate leaves and fruits plucking them from trees!

When he found no flora but only fauna
He made a fire and grilled it and ate to live
He was uncivilized! We are civilized!
And we are the highest among all species!

So how does it matter if we rule over other species?
We have a greater right over life than all of them!
So do we live the way we do!
Sin and redemption don’t come into picture here!

Let us be what we are! Let us lead life the way we do!
Till such time as animal, bird and fish becomes extinct from this Earth!
Then will we think of new ways to indulge our whims and fancies
Then will we think of sparing the cow, the lamb, the lobster and the crab!

Then will we think of spinach, bitter gourd and ash-gourd
And of course carrot and ladies finger and pumpkin
Let us think of crossing the bridge when we come to it!
God has created everything, every living thing, for us!

So, let’s enjoy ourselves, and live life to the full
That is to indulge our senses , even if bird, fish or animal comes in the way!
To cage animals and train them for the Circus!
To cut forests to make buildings and drive animals from their habitats
To catch fish to an extent that they may become extinct one day

O God! Who knows what I had been in my previous births…cow , fish, animal or man?
Who knows what I will be born as in my next birth?
What if I were shot or cut the way man does to other species?
What if I were a bird and I looked on as my chick were shot dead by man?

I wondered at my ruminations and at the shift in my consciousness!
‘Higher sense’ prevailed and I decided to be a vegetarian from that moment
I knelt down on the sands , beside the lake , in regret, in prayer, in humility, in gratitude!
And ,since then ,have been at peace with myself , and with all Creation!

THE SILKWORM – A TEACHER OF LIFE

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My friend and I were taking a stroll the other day
And, she called out to me “LOOK! How the silkworm has made the cocoon
And has encased itself in it in self-defence!
But will man allow it to grow into a moth and break out of the cocoon!
I am sure not, for, he can’t do trade in it!

What if he waits for the moth to break out?
Then the silk will not be worth it! For, it will not be in strands!
So, he collects the cocoon with the worm inside it
And boils it and takes out the silk, but kills the worm!

Is man’s design coming in the way of ‘Nature’s design’ here?
Is n’t it a sin to trick the worm and take out the silk to make himself richer?
Or, is it also part of the ‘balance of Nature”?”
She asked me and shifted her attention to the silk robe I was wearing

I looked at my robe with a ‘new eye’ and it hit me hard all of a sudden
That all other species of creation, including the silkworm
Just are in the ‘is’ state of consciousness, though not aware of it
They live for the moment and don’t know what will happen to them next

They neither know nor do they worry about
What will happen to them the next moment
They don’t remember what danger they survived the previous moment
So, blessed are they in the way they are made!

But man! What about him?
As he collects the cocoons from the mulberry tree
Does he not create numbers and figures in his head
About how much silk he will be able to trade in this season?

Does he also not wish that he had been in this trade earlier
Does he not regret that he had missed a God-given opportunity
To prosper in life, to get richer, and richer, and richer?
Meanwhile , does he also not plan for the next season..how to make the best of it?

How gorgeous my robe looked- with shades of colours in it!
Nature-dyed by the Sun’s rays filtering through the strands and caught up in them!
How noble the silkworm is, making silk inside its cocoon and dying inside it
To give man the best that it can offer, silk…and..with, it beauty and wealth!

Is there a sense of guilt coming up in me when I think of it
That I own many beautiful silk robes, thanks to the silkworm?
Can’t he let the cocoon be on the mulberry leaf
Till the moth comes out of it to live its full span of life?

Sacrifice is such that is made without one knowing that he has done it!
Sacrifice is that which is forfeited by one at own loss and for others’ gain!
And the silkworm is not aware of it’s noble deed, of its sacrifice!
It just lives “Nature’s Way’ and dies, mostly, ‘man’s way’!

Hence, the silkworm, has proved to be a teacher of life for me!
Its stage of building its cocoon has brought to my mind an analogy
Of man In his ‘caterpillar’ stage of evolution
Before he grows into a ‘moth’ and breaks out of his cocoon!

That stage in him is that when the Self or the Spirit is awakened in him
And he starts making a cocoon around himself , just like the caterpillar
For protecting himself from the environment – thought-word-action-karma
And he may take the shelter of his cocoon either for one lifetime or more!

The ‘silk’ woven around him are the Sudarshan Kriya, knowledge, seva and satsang
That are gifted to him by his Lord
The gum that he secrets to hold the silk threads together
Are again the gifts of Love, Longing, patience,FAITH and Sweet surrender

Changing physical bodies won’t break the cocoon or throw him out of his shelter!
A stage comes when he is fully-grown…the ‘moth’ of the Self-realized in him
Comes out of his cocoon, for he doesn’t need it any more
And thus he celebrates ‘life’ in the worldly terms of life and death alike!

For death is only of the body, not of the Spirit!
And the moth of the Self-Realized soul continues to live ‘Nature’s Way’
Lays ‘eggs’ , more larvae worm out of it to grow into caterpillars
And then they build their cocoons and then make silk and repeat Creation!

बलात्कार

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आदमी को भगवान ने इसलिए जन्मेन्द्रिय दे रखा है कि वह प्रकृति की नियम का पालन करते हुए और जाति की तरह काम वासना पर काबू रखे!भगवान ने इस काम वासना का लगाम इनसान के हाथ मे ही दिया है. पूछो कैसे तो शादी, प्यार बीवी ये सब देकर !फिर वो अपनी कामवासना को इस लगगम के ज़रिए तृप्त क्यों नही कर लेता? क्यों वह अपनी कामवासना के घोड़े पर संवार हुए बिना लगाम के उसके साथ इधर उधर भटकता है?
अगर किसी आदमी को ये अनुभव होता कि उसकी माँ या बहन के साथ भी ऐसा ही एक ‘घुड़सवार’ ने व्यवहार किया था तो उसे कैसा लगता?कुछ इनसान अपने लिए एक नियम और दूसरों के लिए एक नियम क्यों बना लेते हैं? क्या उन्हे यह लगता है वे सरकार और नीतमंडल से बचके आराम से जी पाएँगे?? और अपनी ज़िंदगी का पूरा मज़ा लूटके मरेंगे?? और कोई देखनेवाला और सुन्नेवाला नही होगा? क्या उन्हे ये लगता है कि वे अपने इस घोर पाप से बच पाएँगे? कभी नही! अगर वे यह सोचते हैं इधर के नियम कमज़ोर है और सरकार और नियम दोनों बदलते रहते है और अपने अपने बल दिखाने के लिए आम आदमी को ना गौर करते हुए नियम यूँ ही रद्ध करते है और बनाते है तो वे ग़लत सोचते हैं! अगर वे यह सोचते हैं कि बलात्कार जैसा घोर पाप करने के बाद सरकार और जनता कुछ दिन हुल्ला मचाएँगे , जनता कुछ दिन हर्ताल करेंगे, सरकार उनको फाँसी की सज़ा सुनाएगी और फिर थोड़े दिन जैल मे रखकर फिर छोड़ देगी तो ग़लत सोचते हैं अगर वे यह सोचते हैं कि ना बालिक होने के कारण वे सज़ा से बच पाएँगे तो वे ग़लत सोचते हैं!

इस देश मे देर है अंधेर नही! अगर ऐसा अंधेर संभव हुआ तो भी भगवान के इन्साफ मे देर नही लगती! पलक झपकते ही आदमी की ज़िंदगी मे इधर की उधर हो जाती है!
अगर वह सोचता है कि,क्योंकि वो केंद्र सरकार या संस्था केन्द्र मे है, या कोई धर्म संस्ता मे प्रथम स्थान मे है, और, कोई उसका कुछ नही बिगाड़ सखता , तो वह ग़लत सोचता है! अगर वह यह सोचता है की एक विद्यापक या आचार्य का नकाब पहनकर कोई पाठशाला या कॉलेज मे बच्चे और लड़कियों की इज़्ज़त के साथ खिलवाड़ कर सखता है तो वह ग़लत सोचता है!

हर औरत एक देवी है! अगर वह ऐसा नही बर्ताव करती तो उसे हमे क्या लेना देना? उसकी कोई मजबूरी हो सकती है जिससे वो दिल से या मन से ग़लत काम नही करती हो अपने बच्चों की पालन के लिए करती हो!
एक पाँच या छे साल की बच्चे के आँखों मे देख लेता और उनमे अपने बच्ची या बातीजी नज़र आती तो इनसान उसका बलात्कार नहीं कर पाता!

हे मृगमानुष्य! ना! मृग बोलाना तो मृगों की बेस्ती होगी क्यों की वे कभी बलात्कार नही करते…वह अपने स्वाभाव मे रहते है और एक दूसरे को नुकसान नहीं पहुँचाते और दूसरे की आत्मा को मसलके उसको जीते जी मार नही डालते!
खबरदार! होशियार ! वे सब जो जन्मेन्द्रिय की रहस्य का मान ना रखे! चेतावनी उन सब को जो कामवासना मे उलट-पलटकार बंदर नाच करते है! दुर्गा माता सिर्फ़ पूजा मे नही आती वह सब जगह फैली हुई है; जब जब अच्छेै-बुरे का फ़र्क इनसान भूल जाता है तब तब दुर्गा मा अवतार लेती है और इस देश की हर औरत मे यह अवतार छिपी है!
जो बीत गया सो बीत गया! जो लोग ऐसे बुरे लोगों के कर्म के पात्र बने उन्हे अब दुर्गा मा ही रक्षा करे… उनके आत्मा को अब जगतमाता की हवाले कर ले!
लेकिन अब ऐसा नही होगा! ज़रूरत पढ़े तो हम लड़की और औरत लोग खुद तलवार उठाएँगे ऐसे असुर की वध करने वास्ते!
मेरी यह प्रार्थना है अपने गुरु से, अपने केंद्रिय और राज्य सरकारों से ,अपने नियम बनानेवालों से, , अपने धर्म के टेकेदारों से….. उठाइए अपने शस्त्र और चलाइए अपने बाण ऐसे समाज के विद्रोहियों के खिलाफ!
दया करो! अपनी माँ , अपनी बहन, अपने बच्चे ,हम सब लड़कियाँ और औरतों ही आवाज़ सुनो और ज़रूरत पढ़े तो इस बलात्कार के घोर पाप के लिए खड़ी से खड़ी नियम को कायम करो ताकि ऐसा पापी फिर कभी ऐसा जुर्म करने से पहले हज़ार बार सोचेगा! ऐसे जुरमियों को जल्द से जलद और ऐसा सज़ा दो की दूसरा कोई ऐसे जुर्म करना तो छोड़ो ,ऐसा सोच मे भी नही करेगा! इस देश के जितने बलात्कार के मामले है उन्हे जल्द से जल्द लिपटादीजिए जिससे जनता को सरकार मे भरोसा कायम रहे और ऐसी पापियों को सरकार की इंसाफ़ का ख्वाफ बना रहे!

मेरी यह प्रार्थना सिर्फ़ यह देश चलानेवालों से नहीं! यह प्रार्थना उन सब को भी है जो अब तक सिर्फ़ अपनी आवाज़ को अपने दफ़्तर, पातशाला, परिवार की सीमा मे सुनाते है या आवाज़ उठाके थोड़ी देर के लिए लड़ते हे फिर चुप हो जाते हे! ये आवाज़ तब तब और वहाँ वहाँ उठाइए जहाँ जहाँ औरत की बेस्ती होती है चाहे वो दफ़्तर मे, चाहे वो KSRTC बस मे, चाहे वो राजनीति के मंच पर, और, चाहे वो धर्म के जानी मानी टेकेदारों के बीच मे!. महाभारत मे दुशासन तो एक ही था पर आज के धर्मक्षेत्र युद्ध मे कई दुशासन है! तो क्या हुआ! केशव या कृष्णा के भक्त भी तो बहुत हैं जो उनके वचन के पालन करते हैं!

तो आइए! मैदान मे उतरिए सब लड़कियाँ और औरतों की रक्षा करने क्योंकि इनकी रक्षा करना अपनी माँ, अपनी बहन , अपनी बेटी की रक्षा करना है और अपनी भारत माता की इज़्ज़त को बचाना है!
वो देश ही क्या जो लड़कियों और औरतों को ना सुरक्षित रख पाए? औरत के बिना घर-परिवार तो क्या, यह देश तो क्या, यह श्रीष्टि ही अदूरी है!
जय हिंद! जय भारत माता! जय दुर्गा माता!

सावन

Gopi-Searching-Krishna

आयो रे सावन! आयो रे सावन!
हुमारे किशन के आने का पैगाम लिए
देखो रे कांता! देखो रे ज्वाला!
रिम-झिम, रिम-झिम सावन के मधुर गीत!

आयो रे मेघा अंबार के विशाल क्षेत्रा मे
घने है बादल, काली ओडनी लहराए!
जैसे चुराए हो उनकी आँखों से काजल!
ये तो उनके आने का पैगाम है और क्या?

पंछी बोले कू.कू-कू, मेन्डक बोले टर-टर-टर
आसमान बोले घर-घर-घर
और हुमारे दिल धड़के धक-धक=धक
तुम सबको भी यूँ ही लगता है क्या?

बोले सारे गोप-गोपियाँ
हाँ जी! हमें भी कुछ ऐसा ही महसूस होता है!
ये सब उस नटखट किशन की लीला है
जिससे उन्हें बेहद आनंद मिलता है!

हम उनके लिए तरसे और तडपे
और हमे देखकर वे आनंदित हो जाए
ताली बजाए और बाँसुरी बजाए
और हमे और ज़्यादा उनकी याद दिलाए!

ये ही लीला तो चलती आ रही है बहुत जन्म से
सच कहो तो द्वापर युग से
तब से लेकर अब तक ये भागी दौड़ी
कभी हम उनके पीछे और हभी वे हमारे पीछे!

पहले तो हमारे गिले शिकवे सुनने को मा यशोदा थी
अब सूबद्रा तो है पर दूसरे रूप मे कि लगता है वो हमे भूल ही गयी है!
और अब हम किसके पास जाएँगे किशन की शिकायत लेकर?
चलो हम उन्ही को सुनाते है उन्ही की शिकायत!

हे किशन ! अब बस भी करो तुम्हारी ये मनमानी!
क्योकि अब बहुत हो गई है तुम्हारी ये क्रीड़ा!
तुम तो इस लीला मे रस लेते लेते करुणा करना भी भूल गये हो
और बन गये हो अब निर्दयी! हमे बेहद तड़पानेवाले!

बस! अब आ भी जाओ तुम्हारे वो मन्मोही रूप लिए
सुनो भी ये भेड़-बकरियों की तड़प और चीक
ज़रा गौर करो! ये पंचियाँ तो चहचहना भूल गये है!
ना ही यहाँ मोर नाचता है अब और ना ही कोयल गाती है!

देखो ये वृक्ष-लताये हो गये हैं उदास
सारी ब्रज मे छाया है एक सन्नाट्टा
लगता है एक युग बीत गया
यमुना के तट मे ना बाँसुरी की गूज़ और ना पायल की झन्झन!

अरे देखो! मेरे प्यारे गोप और गोपियाँ
कैसे नाचने लगे ये वृक्ष और लताये!
और कैसे चहकने लगे ये पंछी
नाच रहा मोर और गा रही कोयल

सारी ब्रज मे गूँज उठा बाँसुरी का धुन
सावन के बूंदों मे गूँजे दिव्य प्रेम के सरगम
आ रहे है! आ रहे है! हमारे किशन काली घटाओ मे सवार
सावन का मौसम लाया ब्रज मे ख़ुसी का त्योहार!

THE PANACEA OF ALL EVILS – A STRESS-FREE SOCIETY…BUT…HOW?

babies

adolescents

youth


senior citizens

multicul

Both constipation and stress have two things in common.
Both throw a person totally ‘out of gear’. We don’t come to know previously about our going to be constipated till we experience it. So also is the case with stress.
There are two marked differences between both. Constipation upsets the biological clock whereas stress throws a person totally out of mental and emotional balance. And, constipation harms us and us alone , whereas stress harms us and so also all those around us…and so it passes on..one to the other, to the family members, to relatives, to friends, to the workplace and colleagues and finally to the entire society….to result in a stress-borne society!
Just as we have an antidote for constipation, we have an antidote for stress – regular breathing exercises , meditation, some kind of service beyond the family and friend boundaries and once-a-week satsang, and of course, SUDARSHAN KRIYA.
Regular breathing exercises with meditation bring about a harmonious alignment to the body, the breath and the mind to keep us centred in the Self, hence peaceful, calm and dynamic.Breathing exercises work more on the physical level while meditation takes care, more, of the mind.
Regular SUDARSHAN KRIYA sucks out all the negative ( negative in the sense that neither do they bring us any joy or peace nor do they bring them to others around; in fact, it kills peace and joy for ourselves and others around as well) thoughts, words, actions, the negative feelings and emotions of guilt, unfounded fear, unbridled anger, self-damaging jealousy, the small, contracted ego, self-image , all of which lead ultimately to self-induced disillusionment and depression .
Breathing exercises and meditation go a long way in keeping us physically , mentally and emotionally healthier that we can ever be without these. SUDARSHAN KRIYA sucks out (vaccum-cleans!) stress gone to the subtlest levels of the mental and emotional planes collected over a period of days, weeks, months, years, lifetimes, previous lifetimes and yugas, and, that too, in a very short time!
Breathing exercise and Kriya keep us physically, mentally and emotionally healthy. Service or seva at least , say, an hour or so every week – seva that extends beyond the family boundaries….opens us up to receive GRACE , as it widens our mental horizon and keeps our ego ‘at bay’, makes us sensitive to those around and hence takes us beyond selfish pursuits. If we do service just for peace and a sense of fulfilment ,it is very good, and we are very fortunate. And if service happens , out of sense of fulfilment, and out of a spontaneous overflow of love and peace within and without, it is the ULTIMATE and each of us one of the most fortunate. It gives us a sense of fulfilment that we are doing at least a little bit towards society.Financially, we may be doing seva , but, when physically, we give that hour or so every week, in a place where it is required, we just EXPAND. With seva, we stop looking all the time at our physical problems, our unfulfilled desires, our ‘feeling of lack’ in life, if any- we stop being obsessed with the ‘I, I, and my problems” mind ; we stop over-analysing ourselves and carrying all the problems in our head . Once-a-week satsang , which may include a bit of singing, group kriya and meditation can help us to remain connected to the Self – Spiritual-group dynamics once a week goes a long way in further strengthening our fortress as it does so for the others in the group and each of us is able to initially stop passing waves of negative energy spreading to others and the environment, at large, through negative thoughts, emotions, feelings, words, actions…it becomes much lesser or becomes just ‘traces’, or, may completely get erased. Gradually, over a period of time, with regular sadhna, satsang and KRIYA ( without a day’s break) we become so strong everyway that no negative energy can touch us…a natural ‘Kavach’ or protective shell is all around us – a kavach as natural, Nature’s Way as that of the tortoise, and not the man-made kavach of self-image, ego and so on!
Along with these as above, proper diet and once-in-a-while fasting is required to complement and supplement the unconditioning , the healing, the purifying, the de-stressing, process that’s happening by itself.
It depends on us . Do we want to make small sacrifices of reducing consumption of or forgoing consumption of tea or cofee , sugar , too spicy food, pickles , non-vegetarian food to give us long-term benefits of a healthier body, a healthy mind, a well-balanced emotional build- up,or, do we want to carry on living the way we do——dragging our body, mind, intellect, and emotions not to their optimum, but to their maximum…..stretching…stretching…stretching…till the elastic breaks and we are a burden on ourselves and those around? Usually, most of us live this way, unawares or awares . We don’t spend that first-rate time for ourselves….we spend the time , money and our prayers to gain what we may have lost, when NOTHING else works…no poojas, no temples, no doctors, no psychologist, no change of place and situations( they may work for some time, after which, we are back to Square A, when we return to the same scenario) ! First-rate time is that which is given when we are 24×7 engaged in our duties at home, in our social circles and at the workplace..Can’t we take out half an hour to an hour daily to refuel ourselves, to clean ourselves ( we clean the body everyday…what about the mind ?)This is, I feel , because, we are conditional in whatever we do, we take the initiative to do something on priority only when we know the result or benefits of the same ( in terms of worldly benefits of money etc.. mostly…no harm, but…)…and…self-growth or SWAADHYAAYA is such that one cannot know the benefit unless one does it!
We are told by a friend about a very nice Chinese food joint in Banaswadi…he or she even describes the cuisine and tries to convey how it tastes…are we satisfied? No, we want to go and taste it ourselves! Another friend rings up to pass the word about a 50% sale in MAX shopping outlet..she even shows us the things she has bought from there and at a competitive price…are we satisfied? No, we want to buy some for ourselves.If our mind catches on to the experience of our friend , even if we get negative feedbacks afterwards from a few others, we still go,because you have set your mind on it! On the contrary, when it comes to regular spiritual practices and their benefits, we are not ready to give it a chance….there’s no harm , anyway……we are ready to learn aerobics and other tools for physical fitness; we are ready to visit holy places regularly and donate also for a good cause ( we don’t ask for proof when we put our money in the hundis in temples; we just believe in it…WHY?). But most of us are not ready to work upon ourselves….for, may be, we are NOT AWARE OR DON’T WANT TO BE at the cost of our time and money which can be useful to bring us more financial gain, more popularity, more immediate satisfaction, and last, but most important of all, greater recognition and acceptance in the small family, friends, and the social network that we have built around us of people with similar likes and dislikes, similar outlook and judgements, people who care for each other, may be, truly so, but in most cases can’t help each other to transcend the comfort zone to observe the discomfort zones of unfed or undernourished ego. It brings back to my memory the story I heard from my grandparents in childhood about ‘ the frog in the well’!
Let us ‘open’ ourselves. Let us hop out of of the ‘well’ and see how it is to be in the ‘ocean’. Anyway, frogs or we, we know how to swim ‘with the current’ or keep floating , hence, won’t drown…..!
So why not go on a self-growth adventure and retreat……love, relaxation, peace and contentment, fountain of joy, sensitivity, alertness, awareness, sharper intellect and greater memory power, multitudes of friends of all countries and religions and belief systems to bring beauty in diversity, pollution-free surroundings.? All these are part of the holiday package. Isn’t it one of the best bargsins every made to be a win-win situation , not just for ourselves and the other party , but, for all, our kith and kin, friends and acquaintances, so-called or so-believed enemies and rivals or opponents, for the entire society?
GIVE YOURSELF A HOLIDAY AT THE ART OF LIVING ASHRAM ASAP. IT’S WORTH IT BECAUSE YOU’RE WORTH IT AND, so also, EVERYONE IS WORTH IT!
So, our gradual shift from a stress-borne society of criminals, terrorists, rapists, psychopaths, depressed individuals, escapists wanting to give up this precious life…depends to a great extent on us, and, on us, alone, moving head, as ONE,irrspective of gender, caste, religion, nationality, race, educated or illiterate, and all other man-made barriers to all-round progress of an individual and society, at large.

SO, LET’S AMAKE A BEGINNING! WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO! LET US JUST KEEP MOVING ON TOGETHER!

And, coming back to what we started with..constipation…most of us or all of us have experienced it at least once in our lives…so, how do we feel after we are cured of it…”THANK GOD! WHAT A RELIEF!” – Similarly, when we get totally free from stress, hollow and empty within, the relief and the gratitude that we experience is, at least, a million times, more!

COME ONE! COME ALL! WE ARE ALL WAITING FOR YOU TO GIVE YOU ONE OF THE MOST WONDERFUL HOLIDAYS THAT YOU HAVE EVER HAD IN YOUR LIFE!
LEAD KINDLY LIGHT…..!!!!!

SPIRITUALITY OR SANCTIMONY?

sanctimony

guru purnima

spirituality

The recent spurt of rapes in the country has led to a sudden onslaught of unbridled fury at the incapability of the Central and some State governments to protect the rights and honour of women. These incidents have not only detonated the dormant fury in socially conscious individuals and groups but also led to a theatre–replay of similar incidents that have happened in the past. These outbursts of anger have made me realize that the same unforgivable crime-rape or molestation of women –has been committed by people in the educational sector, in the political circles, in the Corporate Sector, in the field of Medicine and last, but , not least of all, in the apparently spiritual circles.
But, it is the conduct of the putative spiritual seers that has kindled a fire, which is fast spreading into a ‘towering inferno’ against all spirituality and saints. These incidents have had a twin-impact on the public.
That part of the public who have always been sceptical of saints and god-men have reinforced their scepticism and are spreading the same to the half-sceptics or those whose faith is in the ‘gray ‘ area. So sceptics are increasing by leaps and bounds everyday.
Then have I encountered all those who had built their edifice of faith on one or more of these so-called god-men who have been ruthlessly insensitive to millions of their devotees or disciples as they have tramped on their faith and brought a deluge of doubt, disillusionment, total negation of spirituality and saintliness and the credibility of living saints! I am in full empathy with this class of men as they have lost everything by losing faith and are in great torment!
Even before these incidents in the spiritual circles happened, there had a lot of scepticism about living saints, but, this has made it worse. One can at least accept the possibility of a person not on the spiritual path doing such a crime , but, spirituality being the seat of lasting values, moral degradation of a well-known seer on the path falling so low, makes me sit up and think!
For a saint or a spiritual master to be stamped with the seal of purity, enlightenment and saintliness we must not depend on his popularity or the number of devotees he has in the country or across the globe. We also cannot say that every man who works for peace , spiritual upliftment and a happy society in this world is in the ‘gray’ area of credibility.
Whatever we come across in this kaliyuga, one thing is for sure….our lives are all revolved around two words….HOPE & FAITH..both interdependent on each other. Man survives all the ups and downs of life just because of Hope and Hope is an outcome of faith in someone or something….in oneself, in parents , a relative, friend or some other person. We can’t survive without hope and faith.
And Faith is not that which sustains itself on empirical facts. Faith is that which cannot be proved by experiments that one does to prove it right or wrong. So Faith will remain so till it is disproved ,as it has with regard to these incidents in the spiritual circles. And , so also, just because an odd case or two have happened, we can’t vouch that all the god-men are womanisers or hypocrites!.
And, every time and with every incident of rape or molestation of women that happens, the only story that is most circulated in social media is that of the incident in the spiritual circles! And the story is further reinforced by graphic representation of the incident to an obscene extent!And , so also, every other video posted on Facebook tells about some incident of a child’s or a woman’s rape or molestation by man. The thought that in these times, when children and teenagers and budding youth use the social media like Facebook, such videos reinforced again and again in multiple ways in a very short time, in such manner that before the drastic impact of one on the viewer is absorbed, another is super-imposed, irreparable damage can happen to the young minds…they will grow up and in the process cultivate an artificial collective consciousness of doubt, negation, scepticism and unbridled, all-consuming anger. A society built on such a foundation will stop producing the Einsteins, the Narayana Murthys, the Sachin Tandulkars and the last, but no least of all, the believers in the rich , lush, spiritual heritage of this soil. It is really disturbing, and, I wonder, what a young girl or a girl-child will go through if she reads such mail or sees those images!
Those who are my kith and kin or those of my friends and acquaintances who happen to read this may tend to think that I am taking such a stand because my children are grown up and are adults themselves….but then, I am a grandmother also, and let me tell you, I am a mother or a grandmother, a sister or an aunt to every girl-child and woman in this world and I am as furious and as shocked as other girls and women are! But being empathetic to one and all, I have also experienced the turmoil going in some young minds on being told about these incidents and prayed and meditated for clearing the fog from this social issue and for giving more clarity, patience, faith and skill to handle this.
There are certain times in the world when unprecedented events take place which make us feel ‘thunderstruck’! This is one of those incidents. But, by again and again harping on the same incident to cite an example is not only making us obsessed and paranoid with fearful thoughts…some of them well-founded…some of them ‘phantoms’ of the others. We are also spreading this paranoia to all around..we are exchanging such thoughts with one another that can create a negative atmosphere around us, which will not be progressive for us, and , esp. for our children and posterity.
So, come what may, let us save our minds and our openness to what this country has to offer us inspite of everything. Let us tell our children and the youth the dirty stories in a different way…in a matter-of-fact manner so that it doesn’t leave an indelible scar on the young minds.
And, given that these incidents of rapes and molestation of women have been an oft-repeated evil in our society, let us not weaken our resources of constructive anger by verbal outbursts of anger , This anger is valuable.If it is given vent to again and again, it won’t be efficacious, anyway. Let us keep this anger burning within us for a while, like the clay at the kiln, before it is made into a brick….it has twin-benefits.
Firstly, time is the all-healer. The new government at the centre has just taken over. We cannot expect miracles and , in due time , this situation will change . We have to be patient and watching and still careful that we don’t instil fear in our growing children as this will have a lasting undesirable effect on the young minds. We need to tutor them in a skilful and delicate way with a lot of empathy and sensitivity to the issue concerned.
Secondly, as I said earlier, anger, if it is well-founded and is directed towards a noble cause such as a secure society for women and children, has to be handled with care and expertise as that which was displayed by Arjuna in archery . Let this anger build up, become strong and solid with time, just like the clay becoming brick at the kiln by exposure to high temperatures over a period of time. If the situation doesn’t ease in sometime and these incidents continue to take place, the Crusade against rape and molestation of women will take its natural course.
It’s good that we are preparing our youth and children for unprecedented incidents and tutoring them on how to protect themselves. But , let us not give an overdose of the same, for they are very young, budding, blossoming minds. If they become paranoid about anything, it will put a spoke in the wheel of their progress.
Over and above all, the Omniprescent Sees, Hears, Listens, Guides and Protects. Let us leave bygones as the gray areas of doubt which can’t be cleared…it must be something connected with the deeds done in past life or lives…better to remain positive by surrendering such questions as cannot be answered, to the play of Fate or the Divine!
Cheer Up! The condition of women and children in our country will definitely improve….it was a turning point…..society has woken up….we are more aware, more alert, we will not take nonsense from anyone any longer just because we are women and we are girls. A secure, progressive, all-embracing society, irrespective of gender will be our lot very soon. The Clarion Call has already echoed across the country, across the world, and across the Cosmos.
To be part of a Crusade, it will take time, our infinite patience, some sacrifices and unshakable FAITH in the justice of the Almighty( thought it may appear to us as ‘blind’ sometimes). Who are we to question His Justice? We don’t know about ourselves, the sins we may have committed , what can we say about others and their past? Let’s just surrender our fear, our anger to the Almighty, and let us keep our eyes, our ears, ( they are already so) , and so also our minds open , in spite of everything.
We are going through the worst part of this Kaliyuga and we have to go live through all these unprecedented incidents….natural calamities, calamities brought about by man’s folly , and moral degradation. We can’t escape it . We can’t solve it in a day or a week or a month. So also, we cannot keep quiet about it i.e. our exchanging obscene graphics and remarks are not hitting the mark. What do we achieve? We need to prepare for taking action as ONE….all women and young girls…muster as many in numbers as we can…and be ready to ACT when the time comes. That’s why I call it a Crusade.
And, those of you, who don’t agree to my conviction….please don’t take it personally….you may keep your scepticism or drop it and have just faith in yourself and your closest kith and kin and friends’ circle. I will keep my faith in the innate goodness of man and in the greatest gift of the rishis to our country….spirituality and saints. In ratio and proportion, if expressed, five out of ten may be masks put on for personal benefit; or, for that fact, even nine out of ten ( it has not come to that, as yet!) but it leaves scope still for belief and Faith . It’s very easy to lose faith or so-called faith as it is conditional, and, that which is conditional, is not faith.
Still, I want to say that I love you all , all girl-children, young girls and women all over the world…I have just shared my views with you…it may not have an equation with yours….no problem, if a time comes when we need to ACT , I am there with you ..we will join our god-given powers to bring a change in this society, in gratitude to our God/Gods!
Every day I pray to Goddess Durga, to the line of Gurus and Rishis starting with Anjaneya, and last but not least of all, to the ‘antharguru or the guru principle within me and all the other girls and women in this world to give us the ‘viveka’ or power of discrimination to draw the line between spirituality and sanctimony, and, to protect the honour of women and girls, not only in our country,but all over the world .God Bless One and All with the right thought, right word, right action, right way of life , to live life together, in love, in joy, in a sense of belongingness to feel SECURE and in CELEBRATION!
May He Lead the Way!