SELF-COUNSELLING

Demand not  ; Be prayerful

Complain not ;  Be grateful

Fear not ;  Be careful

Betray not;  Be faithful

Despair not ; Be hopeful

Cry not; Be joyful

Brood not ; Be mirthful

Flatter not ; Be truthful

Blurt not ; Be tactful

Punish not ; Be merciful

Gullible be not   – of being  exploited ; Be mindful!

Remember not all that gives you pain… of past hurts; Be forgetful!

Hold not any grudge or thoughts of revenge against any; Be Forgiving and Compassion-full!

Hate not for hate begets hate   and restlessness ;so Be loving and peaceful

Give up not your love for life ; ; Always be zestful

Doubt not ever of the Divine Justice,come what may in life ; Be FAITH-FULL

Think not to change for others; you deserve to change for yourself, for, YOU’RE UNIQUE & WONDERFUL!

Doubt not ; Be trust-full

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Animal Rights

monkey

When I was in Delhi in India, once, on my way to my place of work, I saw a big monkey tied below a cart full of goods. The monkey was roped to the cart in such a way that the entire weight of the goods was on the poor monkey. I couldn’t forget the horrible sight for a long time and it kept disturbing me.
In the early days of evolution on this planet, when man was struggling for mere survival, the horse, the donkey , the elephant , the cow, and the sheep were considered godsends by him,but not any longer. For, if he continued to do so, he would not be meting out such harsh injustice to them. The horse would carry him uphill on its back; the donkey would carry his load of clothes to the riverside and back; the elephant would carry timber for him to build his hut and his fence to protect him; the cow would give him milk , and, the sheep would give him fur to keep him warm. That was fine for man co-existed with them in peace and harmony , may be, with a live-and-let live attitude, but most likely to be so because he had no choice!
But, nowadays animals are exploited by man for his selfish interests. When will man realize that animals also have an equal right to live peacefully on this planet and without uncalled-for interference from him?
Dogs, cars, cows and goats are generally comfortable to be domesticated but they can be used only to the extent that they are comfortable and happy in their surroundings, and , provided we just modify Nature’s laws to suit the times and don’t go totally against these, to own these animals . We need to look into ourselves to understand if we are doing the right thing by taking animals away from their natural habitats for our entertainment alone , be it a circus, or, be it a snake-park. If the animals we use for this purpose are happy and peaceful ,and, are looked after like one looks after one’s children, it’s fine. I don’t think there ‘s any harm in it. But, if the animal seems unhappy and agitated and out-of-place, we need to keep its happiness as our priority and do the needful!

Keeping pets and training them doesn’t mean you starve them and tie them up day in and day out in a kennel and sometimes even beat them up when they get agitated and tend to be violent due to being tied up all the time and due to feeling neglected and orphaned, may be. To just give them food for their stomach , to give them a kennel and a bed to sleep on is not enough.
elephant

Animals ,,when taken as pets need to be taken care of as infants need to be. Let’s take dogs, for example. They are part of the home and are so unconditional in their love that they wag their tail and come to you and lick you all over and comfort you when you are in one of those pits of depression or when you have had a hectic day and you are tired. Sometimes, even when your spouse and your children , or, you siblings and your parents, can’t stand your foul mood, they will be there for you, always ready to give, give and give love.
Those of us who constantly interact with animals or have pets at home need to make sure that the pet is happy with us and is well-treated and is nourished with not only food and shelter, but also lots and lots of love and fond care.

EYES

 eyes                  eyes 1

Eyes can convey what words can
So also can they convey what words cannot!
Look into the eyes of a newborn! What do you see?
Divinity, Divinity and Divinity!

What tales do a little girl’s tell-tale eyes tell you?
Tales of wonder and innocent curiosity!
And a bird’s eye looks into yours with love or fear
For where there is fear, love is not visible !

bird's eye

Looking into the lotus eyes of My Master
Gives one the feeling of looking into the unfathomed depths of the Ocean Blue!
But yet does one see such Innocence , Love and Compassion for all
That one is left speechless and feeling so small and insignificant and awe-struck
Just like Mother Yasoda felt When her Divine Child Krishna opened his mouth
And gave her a glimpse of the entire Creation!

In fearlessness, love un-screens itself in the eyes
Be it of child ,man, bird, fish, or beast!
Eyes are the peepholes into heaven or hell
Yes! For through them can you get a glimpse of the heaven or hell within!

O Lord! Only if I could have enough words to praise
Yes! To praise the wonder of your creation
If what all created on this planet are so lovely
I wonder at what it all will be like – the beings, animate and inanimate , of your realm !

O! Only if I had ‘eyes’ to see your awe-inspiring Form!
O ! only if you could look into the eyes of your infant that I am!
You will see yourself there and nothing else!
And eyes always mirror the Truth – that – I am Your Image!

Thank You O Lord, for the eyes that you have gifted me with
Thank you O Lord, for giving me the power of vision to discriminate
To feast my eyes on what keeps me centered
And to turn my eyes away from what takes me away from myself!

THE JOKER

joker

I looked into the mirror and winked
And behold! The joker winked back at me!
I gave a stare and said , “ How dare you?”
Then what struck me was like a slap on my face!

Who could it be winking back?
It could be none other than I
Then I wondered at the truth that dawned on me
And wondered if it was a magic mirror!

For, many a time had I been looking into the mirror
But never had it reflected me as truly myself!
Yes! The real me as the greatest joker that ever lived
A joker who never fails to entertain me, come what may!

All the time he mimics me in all my moods
Be it in joy! Be it in sorrow!
He plays the part to perfection and almost makes me forget
That he’s acting it all and not really in it!

He is my best friend, guide and philosopher
For he fills my life with mirth unlimited!
So that I sustain my sense of humor most of the time and in most places
Be it amidst laughter and cheers or be it amidst woes and tears!

So now I know who to look up to for succour , for relief from roles to play in life
Yes! Who to share my woes with when I feel sad, forlorn and helpless
So helpless that I forget to take life with the sportsman-spirit
And forget the truth that it’s all a game, after all – nothing less, nothing more!

For if one has to play the game of life
One needs to remain untouched by hurts, ridicule, insults and slander
One needs to be so strong, not to be shaken by failures and disappointments
And so also to be equanimous in the play of opposites in life

Be it fame and notoriety; or, be it praise or calumny
Be it success or failure; or, be it good-health or illness
It really don’t matter – these oscillations in life
It doesn’t matter if one succeeds or fails in the game of life!

All cannot win; some do; and some don’t
Besides, success and failure are relative terms and very subjective
It doesn’t matter either way to the joker, who knows this fact
And, for him, what matters is to continue to play the game and with unabated enthusiasm!

How does it matter what one goes through in this life?
How does it matter how the world looks at it?
If one wins, one wins
And if one loses, still one wins!

For, it’s all a big joke – everything of this world!
The joker winks at me again and tells me
“ I am the joker and nothing matters to me
Yes! Nothing is of concern to me more than your ‘uninhibited’ freedom
Your freedom to smile, be merry, laugh and make others laugh! Ha ha ha!”

Soul-to-SOUL

soul

Neither does one die when the body dies
Nor is one born when one assumes a body
For one is not this body formed of the Five Elements
That dissolve into them with its death

Neither do I get drowned in unhappiness
Nor do I fly on wings of ecstasy
For sorrow and ecstasy are aliens to me
They just cast shadows and sunlight in my life as they pass by!
I am just a witness to their entry and exit!

Neither am I swept off my feet by the lure of the senses
Nor do I abstain from the ‘selective’ indulgence of these gifts of God
Sometimes, I have desires; sometimes I am free of them
But yet they are strangers to me and I watch them come and go

Faith and doubt are contradictions within me
Sometimes I have faith, and sometimes I have doubts
But I am not these for I am betwixt these two
And I just let them be and behold their play

Love and hate …are they me? Nay, I am sure not!
I love something and I hate another
Or I love something this moment and hate it the next
I can’t be blinded by neither love nor hate, for I am above these!

Aren’t these are gifts given to me?

Yes! As tools for evolving , given by my Lord
Tools given to empower me
Yes! To empower me to discriminate between the ephemeral and the eternal

And mould myself into what I truly am…His Image
All these begin and end somewhere and at sometime, and I am beyond space and time
All these are part of this body and this little mind and die with them
Neither am I this body nor am I this little mind!

Mind and Matter – both are of this world
This human mind is the seat of all desires, fears, feelings and emotions
And matter …a game of the five senses
I am not the mind; I am not this matter body!

These are part of me in this lifetime
And may be the next and more to come
But they exist only as long as I have a separate identity
Till I recede into the Ocean and become One with it!

Now that I have listed down what all I am not
Let me ponder on “What I am?”
Why am I here? How did I chose this life that I lead?
I don’t know but I can’t help but to explore!
The search seems to be endless
But it can end with just a dash of colours
Yes! The dash of colours of Mercy, Love and forgiveness
Colours that can cleanse my tainted soul and make it pure again!

Then will the answer  come up within me
Just like a flash of light, a divine bolt from the blue
Who am I? Why am I here? Why did I chose this life?
The questions linger in the core of my Being…and burn me and melt me !

It may be late , but never is it “Never”
In some lifetime or other the miracle will happen!
My greatest search in life will remain even after this body dies!
So do I pen down this poem which has ended in words
But which still pervade my thoughts, my mind, the core of my Being
And I continue my search from the bottomless depths of the Soul!

Mercy! Mercy! Mercy! O Lord!
Have Mercy on the poor estranged souls
Who wriggle, writhe and cry in pain of separation from You!
Embrace them in Your Fold, O Great Shepherd and Lead Us!
Amen! Amen! Amen!

soul 2

FEAR

fear

Man is a victim of fear during his entire lifetime
In childhood he may fear darkness and strangers
In his schooldays and teenage, he may have fear of exams, teachers parents, peer-rejection or fear of failure.
In youth, his fear shifts to fear of failure in love, career , fear of losing fame, wealth,etc.
Middle age and old age bring with them fear of aging, dependence, ill health, death, etc.
Thus man is never free from fear of something or other as long as he is alive.
Why does man fear something or other? Because he has not understood the root-cause of fear. Fear invades an insecure mind.
What does man feel insecure about? Losing his wealth.name, fame,family,life,friends, social-image?
Do all these really make him secure?
If we ask any person who has all these, he will also have unfounded fears preying on his mind always.
Some fears are common for all ages …such as fear of losing a near and dear one, fear of the unknown…like ghosts, spirits, fear of criticism, etc. Man fears even God, for that matter, though, I wonder, why one needs to fear God! Is it a sense of guilt that leads to fear that he will be punished? I wonder!
Fear can drain the life out of you; and, freedom from fear can bring one back to life, rejuvenated!
Fear is not going to make things better; one may become over-cautious about everything and thus stop enjoying this life!
So why not take the bull by the horns?
Let’s live for an entire day or a week without any fear whatsoever, small or big, and see what happens!

LIFE

Life is HERE and NOW, or , NEVER!
This moment can’t be lived the next moment
Whatever I was in the past That I am, no longer
Hence whatever I did in the past can’t be undone or re-lived

Today can’t be lived sometime in the future
For tomorrow I will not be what I am today
Life is only in this moment, wherever I am
It’s a new life every moment!

The previous moment gave birth to this moment
And this moment will bring to life the next moment
Life is dynamic – moment-to-moment
Life is HERE and Now, or, NEVER!

abrahamlincoln137180

AS ARE THE APPETITES, SO ARE THE FOODS, BE IT FOR THE STOMACH, OR, BE IT FOR THE SOUL

polytheism--1      monotheism

I remember an incident in my younger days when I used to be skeptic and question some beliefs and their practices done by the elders in the family.
One such was when we were moving to our newly-rented house and each had to give a hand in setting up the house. I was giving my mother a hand in doing up the prayer room. She gave me about twelve photographs of different Gods and told me to hang them on the wall. My immediate response to it was a question I put up to her. “ Mom, why do you have God in so many forms? Don’t you get confused?” She just looked at me, may be, a little perplexed at this reaction of mine, but, then, smiled at me and told me that she would tell me about it before retiring to bed. She kept her promise and called me to her room before bedtime.
She asked me, “ Well, before I answer your question, I would like to say something. It’s dad’s birthday next weekend. We have planned to go out for dinner . We are going to the new restaurant nearby that serves only North Indian cuisine.” I said, “ No, Mom, I like Italian; Tony likes Chinese, and you and dad like North Indian, Whey don’t we go to a multi-cuisine restaurant? We will have a variety to choose from. “ My mom said, “Great idea. Now let me come to your question about polytheism( worship of more than many forms of God). When we are so particular about our choice of food and are sure of what we would like to have, why would we become confused when it comes to choosing our form of God ?
As are the appetites, so are the foods…be it for the stomach, or, be it for the soul. All the forms of God are actually either symbolic of some traits such as courage, Mercy and compassion, or, are symbolic of virtue winning over vice, good overcoming evil , etc. When we see those pictures everyday, the quality or qualities they represent surface in our consciousness and it absorbs these , and, hope, positivity, faith, bliss and peace dawn in us, or, are reawakened in us . The rituals of worship using sandal, turmeric, vermilion, sandalwood , fire, water, flowers, camphor etc. are all such that they purify and sanctify the atmosphere by the effect they have on our state of mind….as they lift the consciousness and result in pure thoughts and a clutter-free relaxed ,blissful and peaceful mind . And, as for choice of the form or forms of God, there are no restrictions…it is not a your choice by your senses or the intellect or shallow emotions and feelings….but a choice by a dictation from within….you may like to pray to all the Gods and still not get confused, or, you may like to pray to just one of the forms( monotheism). Doesn’t matter whether you believe in one Form or more, or , if your believe only in the Formless or just symbols, the forms , the rituals and the symbols are just means to an end and not ends in themselves…they all to one truth, which is within you,and, they just trigger that spark in you so that you can recognize what you have been seeking for, within yourself. It’s not where outside you; it’s all within, but that doesn’t mean you ridicule and condemn all types of worship with forms of God. How does it matter what means you adopt as long as you don’t disrespect and condemn other forms of our Faith or others; as long as you don’t burn places of worship and thereby hurt deeply-embedded sentiments, and, as long as you don’t take others’ lives, in the name of religion and God!
Let’s take the example of your friends, Only Gita is like us ; Tony doesn’t believe in any image or worship and not even prayers and visit to holy places, George goes to Church; Ali’s family are very regular in going to the mosque and doing their Namaaz, without fail, and, Harjeet goes to the Gurdwara for prayer and service. Aren’t they are wonderful ? One needs to remain open-minded.. Have I answered your question?
I could not answer her for I was just deeply touched by her expanded awareness and her all-embracing nature. I thanked her and planting a kiss on her cheek, left the room.

The Pillars of Strength

Not only need the pillars of a structure be built on a strong foundation, so also do they need to be strong enough to support the structure They need to be built in such a way as to be able to bear the weight, evenly, and , at the same time, each unto its own, to support a part of the structure.
Similarly , the pillars of a nation such as the government, the Judiciary, the Media , need to be built on unshakable foundations of its cultural roots and moral values and universally accepted ethical codes of conduct, and last, but not the least, the welfare of the masses. Even given the foundations are strong , any, some, or all of the pillars may give way , if they are not strong enough to collectively enable its progress, by carrying out the responsibilities delegated to each , for efficacious governance .

THE GLOW WORM

glow worm

It was a clear and starry night
I walked along the road lined with tall trees on both sides
When a blue-green light flashed by
I turned my head towards its flight and saw a glow worm!

So colorful it looked and so luminous it was
I sat awhile on a small rock
And gazed at it as it ‘ flaunted’ its pretty hues
I wondered at this masterpiece of Nature & God’s Creation!

I looked on as a midge appeared out of the blue
Flew towards the appealing light
And,,in it went, into the ‘gaping’ mouth of the glow worm!
Too late before it realized it was a snare!

The glow worm flew with renewed vigor
To and fro it flew between the trees, flashing its colors
Then a second glow worm came along as if it was given a signal!
I wondered if it was not an invitation and a ‘yes’ to mating between both!

For, the second one imitated the first
Flashing the same colors at the same intervals as the latter did
Both disappeared together into the darkness of a foliage
And left me to wonder again at the Ageless Wisdom behind Nature’s Laws!