Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ego - Royally screwed

A husband and wife have their usual arguement and decide not to talk each other then after. Thus a few days pass by and yet their anger wouldn't subside. They now invent a new way of communicating without giving up their ego. They start writing stick-notes with crisp messages like "Please bring groceries" or "Pick up the kids from the school" and a few more days go by. This was working well for them for day to day communication. One evening, the husband is desperate to talk to his wife and ask her to wake him up at 6:00 am the next day as he has a very crucial meeting at work. However, he decides against breaking the ice and writes a note and sticks it by her bedside. The message reads "Please wake me up at 5:30 tomorrow morning". He waits to make sure that the wife reads it and then hits the sack. Next day he gets up on his own and finds out that the time was 7:00 am already. He pounces out of the bed and starts yelling at his wife "Why didn't you wake me up? I saw you reading the message." She points to a sticknote saying, "Oh! didn't you read my message". It read "It's 5:30,honey. Wake up!".

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bhaja Govindam - Spiritual ladder

Shree and Vishy have interesting questions in the comments section of my previous post.
Who is Guru?
Let us try to answer this question by defining who is not a Guru.
He is not a Guru, who pins the disciple to his beliefs inturn creating an attachment. A true Guru merely points the disciple to seek the path of non-attachment and allows the disciple reach that state on his own.
What is non-attachment?
It is obviously not attachment. But one should realize that it is not detachment either. Running away from the family due to domestic or financial issues does not mean that a person is non-attached. From where ever he is hiding, that person will be thinking more about his kith and kin resulting in more attachment and desperation. So forcing out of responsibilities and attachment will only rebound manifold. Therefore, both attachment and detatchment need an effort and neither qualifies as default. The default state is non-attached. So the effort is to return to default.

Non-attachment cannot be achieved by practise. It is the default state of every being. However, the mind has wavered from this central state to focus on various thoughts and desires. The mind, therefore needs to be trained to focus on the centre rather than on the circumference where the thoughts and desire live. That is what requires practise. The state of non-attachment brings about freedom. With that freedom, one will become fearless. His actions and judgements will be considered selfless and his decisons will be for the greater good.

To quote from Bhaja Govindam:
Satsangatvey Nissangatvam
Nissangatvey Nirmohatvam
Nirmohatvey Mischaltatvam
Nischaltatvey JivanmuktiH.

Sankara has clearly defined the path to jivanmukti.

1. Satsangatvey Nissangatvam

What is satsang?
Satsang means "good company". Good company is nothing but the union of minds to bring awareness to our self - awareness that the mind should focus on the centre and not on the desires sorrounding it. The awareness that "me" the centre is not affected by the "I" outside. Such a group that works towards this goal is alone satsang. In short, the starting point is the "satsang" which leads to "nissangatvam" (non-attachment). Temples and other punya kshetrams are the most common/obvious places to find such good satsang.

2. Nissangatvey Nirmohatvam
The state of non-attachment removes desires and automatically eliminates moha (delusion). This state helps us focus on the centre. Thus calmness and equanimity descends on one's self.

3. Nirmohatvey Nischaltatvam.
With the diminishing of delusion and the rise of clarity, one will be able to concentrate better on the centre. Sustained concentration alone can remove desires totally as the mind tends to waver back to its earlier thoughts.

4. Nischaltatvey jivanmuktih
Continuous awareness and complete concentration leads to mukthi (liberation) within the lifetime.

Adi Sankara, knowing that it is difficult for novices like us to reach the state of liberation, has provided us with this 4 step ladder to elevate ourselves.

Many of us get caught to one of the steps and choose to stay there forever. However in his Viveka Choodamani, Sankara has explained clearly that self-realization is the ultimate goal and one does not need to go to temple or take shower or be in a clean environment to reach it. All of these are mere facilitators and should be taken at face value.

Disclaimer: My interpretations are based on translated commentaries and my perception. Please use this post as a mere pointer to figure it out for yourself.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tvameva Tat Tat Tvameva

Tat tvam asi - Thou art That
is the most important hidden message of the Hindu scriptures. In an attempt to understand GOD and realize the world we tend to look outward. Over millions of years, from the period when darkness wrapped darkness around, desire has slowly taken away life and buried it deep under the worldly pleasures. The world created thus, as viewed externally, is explained as an illusion and looking inward alone will lead to the root of all beings. The great saints like Sankara, Ramana maharishi, Ramanuja, Desika, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Vivekananda have travelled the million years' worth of depth inward to reach the TRUTH. They all ended with a common conclusion - That life is universal. That You are the Truth, and the Truth is You.

Usha, to answer your question from Narayana sooktam:
Sa bhrama, sa siva, sa hari, s'endra s'okshara, parama swarat.

From GanapathuaAtharvasiirshopanishad:
Tvam bhrama Tvam Vishnustvamrudrastvamindrastvamagnistvamvayustvamsuryastvam chandrama tvam bhrama: boorbuva: svarOM.

It really doesn't matter as long as you pick one and place the complete faith.
Krishna, arguably is the most charismatic of them all - "Karshati ithi Krishnaha".
He gave the Bhagavat Gita. He graced the Gopikas (gender no bar) and Yadhavas (caste no bar) who knew no rituals/agamas of worshipping but love and Bhakti. He is the most recent Vishnu Avataram. His leelas are bountless. He is the Supreme God, if you believe.
Sarvam Krishnarpanamastu.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ramayana to go

ISKCON has done its share in spreading "Krishna Consciousness" in this part of the world. I have been quized by many colleagues about Hare Krishna. However it was strangely surprising when an American at work, asked me about Ramayana in the lift, today. "Do you know the story of 'Ramyana' "; he asked curiously. The elevator had already reached 5th floor and he had to get out there. Sure, I, not wanting to disappoint this person, gave him the gist of the story in the short time we had. "Rama killed Ravana", I quickly responded.
"Interesting", he said and got out.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Spammers welcome.Goodbye! to xyklmnju

When I enabled word-verification, I was trying to do away with those unwanted comments. Deepa's post has changed my mind. I come to agree that I need not be overly protective about one's comment in my blog that may/may not provoke another . Therefore, henceforth I shall not try to moderate comments or shoo visitors away by making them spell difficult words especially when they are in rage.

Real reason? Comments are drying out. Spam me.

Therefore, henceforth is oddly nice to use, I feel.
It reminds me of "You cannot start a sentence with because, because because is a conjunction".

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Joe, Ganguly and the jump from WTC

Not long before they were dumped, both these men were at the helm of affairs in their respective fields. Both won't give up and want to fight their way back, inspite of all odds. One finds a place among the 30 probables on the same day as the other severes his 40 year long relationship with the Dems to run as an independent. Whether one of them succeeds to break in to the mainstream again, is yet unknown. Nevertheless, it will be a great fightback for whoever does.
Ask Sourav or Leiberman, how it feels to be pushed from up there.