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Nonviolence and us
[Articles] > Nonviolence and Us
This article appeared as one of two articles on the grimmest of workplace phenomena: homicide in Business Horizons/ March-April 1995.  The full extent of this problem appears subject to some debate, but no one who reads the newspapers or listen to CNN Headlines News escape the conclusion that violence is spilling over from the streets onto the job.  Thus, it seems quite appropriate - doubly so, in view of a forthcoming issue featuring an article from A.T. Kearney's research sizing up India as the "New Asian Tiger" - that we examine the following reflection by Mr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Modern society is plagued by violence - at home, at work, in the streets, in schools.  In fact anywhere there is, unfortunately, the distinct likelihood of violence breaking out.  So much violence is an indication of our deteriorating human relationships, as well as the stress under which we live and work.
Many of us enjoy living in the "fast lane" because that, we are told, is the road to success.  So we allow our minds to street us at phenomenal speed, oblivious of the danger of crashing.  When we live on the edge day after day we become like taut rubber bands - either we break or we bounce back.  And in either case, the consequence is that we damage or destroy human relationships.  What we must learn now is how to rebuild those relationships and lessen the stress so we can create an atmosphere of harmony around us.
We need a qualitative change in our behavior, a concerned attempt to slow down and put people and profit on the same pedestal so we can ultimately reduce violence.
In a pell mell world of profits and the pursuit of success, we must not forget to care about one another. Note that I emphasize the reduction of violence.  The creation of utopian state of absolute harmony is presently beyond human capacity.  The philosophy of nonviolence, as practiced by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, is based on the assumption "we are not governed by logic and, therefore, some violence may be necessary in our lives.  However, if we are progressing towards civilization we should be able to reduce violence to the bare minimum."
In the world so obsessed with materialism, one must wonder what "civilization" really means.  Are we civilized because we possess all the riches of the world?  Are we civilized because we have the best of book education?  Are we civilized because we have progressed scientifically and have the capacity to send people to the moon?  In our concept of civilization, human relations, it seems, do not fit the equation.
American society is, reputedly, build on rugged individualism, which was fine when pioneers came to conquer the land.  But once settled, a society cannot thrive on such individualism.  A nation is as cohesive as its society and the society is as cohesive as the family.  If every member of a family thought only about himself or herself, the "family" would be more like a collection of people grappling for material survival under the same roof.  There would be no love, no cooperation.  When understanding wears thin, relationships begin to fray, and before we know it the fabric we call "family" disintegrates.  The effect of this domestic disaster is reflected today in our workplace and in society.
When Gandhi said materialism and morality have an inverse relationship, he did not mean morality only in sexual sense.  He meant it also in the ethical sense.  in our pursuit of material goods and capital gains, we are often prepared to use "any means possible," throwing principles, ethics, and morality overboard.  In other words, we often unhesitantingly indulge in commerce without morality and profits without principles.
In our headlong pursuit of the ideal life, people seem to matter the least[list in the source - what is correct?] - sometimes even our own people.  This sets the stage for much of the violence we experience in our daily lives.  Violence, we must understand, is not always physical.  We practice a great deal of passive violence: greed, selfishness, thoughtlessness, prejudice, bigotry, exploitation, suppression, oppression, hate, anger, and so on.  Building a "family tree" of violence, such as the one shown in the Figure, with passive and physical as the two offspring, is a revealing exercise.  This chart should adorn a wall at home so that all family members could participate in researching each act of passive violence committed.  This is an effective way of recognizing our weaknesses and searching for ways to turn them into strengths.
Passive violence causes anger and anger leads to physical violence.  The lack of physical violence in our homes or neighborhoods should not necessarily be construed as peace and harmony.  The underlying passive violence simmers like a cauldron waiting to erupt into physical violence - which erupts because we are not taught how to deal with the anger generated by the passive violence.  We are repeatedly told, "Get it out of your system," but we are seldom, if ever, shown how to do this effectively.
Using the analogy of electricity, Gandhi, my grandfather, taught me about anger when I was 13 years old.  He said that anger can be as deadly as electricity if we abuse it, or just as useful if treated with respect and intelligence.  He suggested that I keep an "anger journal" into which I should pour my anger without inhibition, then read it periodically to find ways of improving.  A life that is not periodically examined, after all, is a life not worth living.  Gandhi said that the cardinal principles of my life should be: Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.  This helped me find ways to deal with my anger positively.  The journal also provided me with a written record of my emotions so that weeks, months, or even years later I could study the changes that did or did not take place in me.  It taught me how to become selfless and think about others while thinking about myself.
Arun Gandhi is the founder and director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee.
RAQ
* [The Goal of Human Life]
* Q: What is [the meaning of life]?
* [What is the purpose of life?]
* 2001 December 12 : [The Meaning of Life]
* 2001 December 12 : [The End of the World]
* [Living]
* [Zen] vt. To figure out something by meditation or by a sudden flash of enlightenment. Originally applied to bugs, but occasionally applied to problems of life in general. "How'd you figure out the buffer allocation problem?" "Oh, I zenned it."
* [Practice of Meditation]
* [HEARTICULTURE]
* [Mira Art]'s [RAQ|http://surprise.editthispage.com/raqs]
Weblog
[weblog - a whatis definition|http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci213547,00.html] : .....A weblog (sometimes shortened to blog or written as "web log" or "Weblog") is a Web site of personal or non-commercial origin that uses a dated log format that is updated on a daily or very frequent basis with new information about a particular subject or range of subjects. The information can be written by the site owner, gleaned from other Web sites or other sources, or contributed by users.....
2004 June 27: [How to write a better weblog|http://diveintomark.org/archives/2002/04/24/how_to_write_a_better_weblog] : .....Forget HTML, CSS, RSS, XML, OPML, Google boxes, and auto-linkbacks. Want a better weblog? Read Strunk and White’s [The Elements of Style].....
2004 June 27: [10 Tips on Writing the Living Web|http://alistapart.com/articles/writeliving], [How to Write a Better Weblog|http://alistapart.com/articles/writebetter/]
2004 May 16 : [Movable Type Migration Options - A Comparative Chart|http://www.megacity.org/blog/archives/001738.php]
2003 Oct 04 : [Philip Greenspun] : [What is the point of blogging?|http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2003/10/04#a2500] , [Blogging and Education|http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2003/10/04#a2503] , [Random Thoughts from BloggerCon|http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2003/10/04#a2504]
2003 June 17 : [Sam Ruby] : [Anatomy of a Well Formed Log Entry|http://www.intertwingly.net/blog/1472.html]
2003 Feb 10 - [Microsoft Bloggers|http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,4248,852932,00.asp]
dt? Cameron Barrett : [Anatomy of a weblog|http://www.camworld.com/journal/rants/99/01/26.html], [More about Weblogs|http://www.camworld.com/journal/rants/99/01/26.html]
dt? Dave Winer : [The History of Weblogs|http://newhome.weblogs.com/historyOfWeblogs]
|<center>The impossible is often the untried<br><br>Brave Buffalo, Brule Sioux Nation (1985) : ...The Earth People (indigenous natives) never wrote anything down, had no written language. They knew that if they wrote anything down it would be disastrous. If you write something down you don't have to remember it. And mind goes off into unconsciousness. It becomes negative, or unconscious force... </center>
Health
Aggregate Nutrient Density Index - http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/healthstartshere/andi.php
A brief interlude: The History of Medicine
!Articles
* Osho : [The Roots of Obesity]
* [The Correct Way Of Eating Fruits|http://www.littleindia.com.sg/food/food_highlights/001_the_correct_way_of_eating_fruits.htm] by Devagi Sanmugam
* Dr. [Mercola|http://www.mercola.com/] states ""Doctors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death In the US" This Site Will Help You Learn - How You Can Avoid Dying Early"
* [Dr Keki Sidhwa|http://members.rotfl.com/sidhwa/]'s The Quintessence of Natural Living for health and happiness
* [Dr. Stanley S. Bass|http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/bass/] - many articles - superior nutrition and superior health
* [Living and Raw Foods] : The largest community on the internet for living and raw food information
* [Beyond Vegetarianism|http://www.beyondveg.com/] : Reports from veterans of vegetarian and raw-food diets, veganism, fruitarianism, and instinctive eating, plus new science from paleolithic diet research and clinical nutrition.
* [Living Nutrition|http://www.livingnutrition.com] is the world's only periodical dedicated to teaching health seekers how to eat their natural diet of alive raw fruits and vegetables and build everlasting superb health in this modern, stress-filled world.
* [Sunfood.NET|http://www.sunfood.net] is dedicated to the promotion of the raw food vegan way of life. You will find articles regarding raw foodism, vegetarianism, living foods, and other aspects of natural living.
* Drugs do what they claim to do. They get rid of pain and suppress disease...but they do not cure.
* [Plato] [Charmides] : As you ought not to attempt to cure the eyes without the head, or the head without the body, so neither ought you to attempt to cure the body without the soul; and this... is the reason why the cure of many diseases is unknown to the physicians of Greece (Hellas), because they are ignorant of the whole, which ought to be studied also; for the part can never be well unless the whole is well.
Quotations
[James Michener] : The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.
[Christopher Wynter] : At the end of all Seeking... the Seeker is the one Sought.
[Richard Bach] : What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls a butterfly
[Khalil Gibran] : No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
[Christopher Wynter] : "what you are looking for, is what you are looking out of, which is what is looking for you." --- " the the true teacher cannot teach you anything...but can only remind you of what, on some level...you already know."
[Voltaire] in [Freedom of Thought] : It rests entirely with you to learn to think. You're born with a mind. You are a bird in the cage of the Inquisition: the Holy Office has clipped your wings, but they can grow back. Whoever doesn't know geometry can learn it; every man can tutor himself: it's shameful to put your soul in the hands of those to whom you'd never trust your money. _Dare to think for yourself._
[John Stuart Mill] (in [On Liberty]): If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
[Swami Sivananda] : The [goal of life|http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/messages/goal.htm] is god realisation.
In Illusions (by [Richard Bach]) : Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] : If a man hasn't discovered something that he would die for, he isn't fit to live
One who pays attention only to knowledge from outside will lose sight of one's own potential.
[Mahatma Gandhi] : When I despair I remember that all through history the way of
they always fall. Think of it always.
[Mahatma Gandhi]'s "Seven Blunders of the World"
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] : Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies
in a descending spiral of destruction... The chain reaction of
broken, or we shall be plunged into the darkness... of
[Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askosh71.htm] -- the first thing, the very very first thing, "Find out what your greatest characteristic is, your greatest undoing, your central characteristic of unconsciousness." Each one's is different.
[Henry Miller], Sexus : Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.
[Osho] : [The meaning of life|http://www.barnett.sk/software/sos/osho/osho-talks/meaning2.htm] is in the living
[Helen Keller] : I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
!Software Development
* Software Manager: It's only a bug if you see it twice
* System Administrator : I can do that in four lines of Perl
* Object oriented software development is all about localizing change.
* [The QuotesPage|http://www.westegg.com/morgan/quotes.html] of [Steven Morgan Friedman] : "These quotes sum up my views on things"
* [Words of Hope|http://www.cancer.med.umich.edu/share/shahop.htm]
The Invitation
[Articles] > The Invitation
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
for the adventure of being alive.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
from fear of further pain.
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
to remember the limitations of being human.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
after a night of grief and despair
in the center of the fire
Could you say something about forgiveness?
[Articles] > Could you say something about forgiveness?
([source|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askosh61.htm])
It is one of the most fundamental things to understand. People ordinarily think that forgiveness is for those who are worthy of it, who deserve it. But if somebody deserves, is worthy of forgiveness, it is not much of a forgiveness. You are not doing anything on your part; he deserves it. You are not really being love and compassion. Your forgiveness will be authentic only when even those who don't deserve it receive it.
It is not a question of whether a person is worthy or not. The question is whether your heart is ready or not.
I am reminded of one of the most significant woman mystics, Rabiya al-Adabiya, a Sufi woman who was known for her very eccentric behavior. But in all her eccentric behavior there was a great insight. Once, another Sufi mystic Hasan was staying with Rabiya. Because he was going to stay with Rabiya, he had not brought his own holy Koran, which he used to read every morning as part of his discipline. He thought he could borrow Rabiya's holy Koran, so he had not brought his own copy with him.
In the morning he asked Rabiya, and she gave him her copy. He could not believe his eyes. When he opened the Koran he saw something which no Mohammedan could believe: in many places Rabiya had corrected it. It is the greatest sin as far as Mohammedans are concerned; the Koran is the word of God according to them. How can you change it? How can you even think that you can make something better? Not only has she changed it, she has simply cut out a few words, a few lines -- removed them.
Hasan said to her, "Rabiya, somebody has destroyed your Koran!" Rabiya said, "Don't be stupid, nobody can touch my Koran. What you are looking at is my doing." Hasan said, "But how could you do such a thing?" She said, "I had to do it, there was no way out. For example, look here: the Koran says, "When you see the devil, hate him." Since I have become awakened I cannot find any hate within me. Even if the devil stands in front of me I can only shower him with my love, because I don't have anything else left. It does not matter whether God stands in front of me, or the devil; both will receive the same love. All that I have is love; hate has disappeared. The moment hate disappeared from me I had to make changes in my book of the holy Koran. If you have not changed it, that simply means you have not arrived to the space where only love remains."
I will say to you, the people who don't deserve, the people who are unworthy, don't make any difference to the man who has come to the space of forgiveness. He will forgive, irrespective of who receives it. He cannot be so miserly that only the worthy should receive it. And from where is he going to find unforgiveness? This is a totally different perspective. It does not concern itself with the other. Who are you to make the judgment whether the other is worthy or unworthy? The very judgment is ugly and mean.
I know Rudolph Hess is certainly one of the greatest criminals. And his crime becomes even a millionfold bigger, because in the Nuremburg trial with the remaining companions of Adolf Hitler -- who killed almost eight million people in the second world war -- he said in front of the court, "I don't repent anything!" Not only that, he also said, "And if I could start from the very beginning, I would do the same thing again." It is very natural to think this man is not worthy of forgiveness; that will be the common understanding. Everybody will agree with you.
But I cannot agree with you. It does not matter what Rudolf Hess has done, what he is saying. What matters is that you are capable of forgiving even him. That will raise your consciousness to the ultimate heights. If you cannot forgive Rudolf Hess you will remain just an ordinary human being, with all kinds of judgments of worthiness, of unworthiness. But basically you cannot forgive him because your forgiveness is not big enough.
A great old master, worshiped by millions of people, refused to initiate anyone into disciplehood. His whole life, consistently, he was asked by kings, he was asked by very rich people, he was asked by great ascetics, saints, to be initiated as his disciples, and he went on refusing. He would always say, "Unless I find a man who deserves it, unless I find a man who is worthy of it... I am not going to initiate any Tom, Dick, Harry."
The old man said, "Don't worry at all. It was only a device, because I myself was not worthy to initiate anyone, but it was against my dignity to say so. So I chose the other way round. I was saying, `Unless I find somebody worthy enough, deserving enough, I am not going to initiate.' The truth is, I was not worthy to be a master. Now I am, but the time is very short. Only this morning as the sun was rising, my own consciousness has also risen to the ultimate peak. Now I am ready. Now it does not matter who is worthy and who is unworthy. What matters now is that I am worthy. Just go and fetch anybody! Just go and make the whole village aware that this is the last day of my life, and anybody who wants to be initiated should come immediately. Bring as many people as you can."
The companion of the old man was at a loss, but there was no time to argue. He ran down the hill, reached the marketplace and shouted all over the village, "Anybody who wants to become a disciple, the old man is ready now."
People could not believe it. But out of curiosity a few thought, "There is no harm at least to see what is going on." The man had refused his whole life, and on the last day of his life suddenly such a great change. Somebody's wife had died and he was feeling very lonely, so he thought, "It is good. If he is going to initiate everybody, no question of worthiness..." Somebody was released from jail just the night before; he thought, "Nobody is going to give me employment; this is a good chance to become a saint."
All kinds of strange people went to the cave of the old man, and his companion was feeling so embarrassed at the kind of people he had brought: one is a criminal, one's wife is dead, that's why he thinks, "It is better... now, what else to do?" Somebody has gone bankrupt and was thinking to commit suicide; now he thinks that this is better than suicide.
A few had come just out of curiosity. They had no other work; they were playing jazz and they thought, "We can play jazz tomorrow, but today there is no harm, let us see what this initiation is. Anyway, that man is going to die by the evening so we will be free to remain disciples or not. We can play jazz tomorrow -- there is no harm."
The companion of the old man was feeling very embarrassed, "How will I present this strange lot when that old man has refused kings, saints, sages, who have come with deep earnestness to be initiated? And now he is going to initiate this gang!" He was even feeling ashamed, but he entered and asked, "Should I call the people? -- eleven have come."
On the last day, he said to those eleven disciples, "I bless you and initiate you. It doesn't matter whether you are worthy or not, but for the first time I am worthy. And if I am really worthy, just my presence is going to purify you. My worthiness of being a master is going to make you a worthy disciple. Now I don't have to depend on your worthiness. My worthiness is enough.
"I am just like a rain cloud; I will shower all over the place -- on the mountains, on the streets, on the houses, in the farms, in the gardens. I will shower everywhere, because I am too burdened with my rainwater. It does not matter whether the garden deserves... I don't even make any distinction between the garden and the rocks. I will simply shower out of my abundance."
If your meditations bring you to the state of a rain cloud, you will forgive without any judgment out of your abundance, out of your love, out of your compassion.
In fact I would like to make the statement that the man who is unworthy deserves more than the man who is worthy. The man who does not deserve, deserves more, because he is so poor; don't be hard upon him. Life has been hard upon him. He has gone astray; he has suffered because of his wrong doings. Now don't you be hard on him. He needs more love than those who are deserving; he needs more forgiveness than those who are worthy. This should be the only approach of a religious heart.
Your question was raised before Gautam Buddha, because he was going to initiate a murderer into sannyas -- and the murderer was no ordinary murderer. Rudolf Hess is nothing compared to him. His name was Angulimal. Angulimal means a man who wears a garland of human fingers.
He had taken a vow that he would kill one thousand people; from each single person he would take one finger so that he could remember how many he had killed and he will make a garland of all those fingers. In his garland of fingers he had nine hundred and ninety-nine fingers -- only one was missing. And that one was missing because his road was closed; nobody was coming that way. But Gautam Buddha entered that closed road. The king had put guards on the road to prevent people, particularly strangers who didn't know that a dangerous man lived behind the hills. The guards told Gautam Buddha, "That is not the road to be used. You will have to take a little longer route, but it is better to go a little longer than to go into the mouth of death itself. This is the place where Angulimal lives. Even the king has not the guts to go on this road. That man is simply mad.
The guards said to Buddha, "Don't unnecessarily take the risk." And do you know what Buddha said to them? Buddha said, "If I don't go then who will go? Only two things are possible: either I will change him, and I cannot miss this challenge; or I will provide him with one finger so that his desire is fulfilled. Anyway I am going to die one day. Giving my head to Angulimal will be at least of some use; otherwise one day I will die and you will put me on the funeral pyre. I think that it is better to fulfill somebody's desire and give him peace of mind. Either he will kill me or I will kill him, but this encounter is going to happen; you just lead the way."
The people who used to follow Gautam Buddha, his close companions who were always in competition to be closer to him, started slowing down. Soon there were miles between Gautam Buddha and his disciples. They all wanted to see what happened, but they didn't want to be too close.
Angulimal was sitting on his rock watching. He could not believe his eyes. A very beautiful man of such immense charisma was coming towards him. Who could this man be? He had never heard of Gautam Buddha, but even this hard heart of Angulimal started feeling a certain softness towards the man. He was looking so beautiful, coming towards him. It was early morning... a cool breeze, and the sun was rising... and the birds were singing and the flowers had opened; and Buddha was coming closer and closer.
That man said, "I used to think I was mad -- you are simply mad. And you go on moving closer. Then don't say that I killed an innocent man. You look so innocent and so beautiful that I want you to go back. I will find somebody else. I can wait; there is no hurry. If I can manage nine hundred and ninety-nine... it is only a question of one more, but don't force me to kill YOU."
Buddha came very close, and Angulimal's hands were trembling. The man was so beautiful, so innocent, so childlike. He had already fallen in love. He had killed so many people... He had never felt this weakness; he had never known what love is. For the first time he was full of love. So there was a contradiction: the hand was holding the sword to kill the person, and his heart was saying, "Put the sword back in the sheath."
Buddha said, "I am ready, but why is your hand shaking? -- you are such a great warrior, even kings are afraid of you, and I am just a poor beggar. Except the begging bowl, I don't have anything. You can kill me, and I will feel immensely satisfied that at least my death fulfills somebody's desire; my life has been useful, my death has also been useful. But before you cut my head I have a small desire, and Ithink you will grant me a small desire before killing me."
Buddha said, "I want you just to cut from the tree a branch which is full of flowers. I will never see these flowers again; I want to see those flowers closely, feel their fragrance and their beauty in this morning sun, their glory."
So Angulimal cut with his sword a whole branch full of flowers. And before he could give it to Buddha, Buddha said, "This was only half the desire; the other half is, please put the branch back on the tree."
Buddha said, "If you cannot create, you have no right to destroy. If you cannot give life, you don't have the right to give death to any living thing."
A moment of silence and a moment of transformation... the sword fell down from his hands. Angulimal fell down at the feet of Gautam Buddha, and he said, "I don't know who you are, but whoever you are, take me to the same space in which you are; initiate me."
By that time the followers of Gautam Buddha had come closer and closer. Seeing that now Gautam Buddha was standing in front of Angulimal, there was no problem, no fear, although he needed only one finger. They were all around and when he fell at Buddha's feet they immediately came close. Somebody raised the question, "Don't initiate this man, he is a murderer. And he is not an ordinary murderer; he has murdered nine hundred and ninety-nine people, all innocent, all strangers. They have not done any wrong to him. He had not even seen them before!"
Buddha said again, "If I don't initiate him, who will initiate him? And I love the man, I love his courage. And I can see tremendous possibility in him: a single man fighting against the whole world. I want this kind of people, who can stand against the whole world. Up to now he was standing against the world with a sword; now he will stand against the world with a consciousness which is far sharper than any sword. I told you that murder was going to happen, but it was not certain who was going to be murdered -- either I was going to be murdered, or Angulimal. Now you can see Angulimal is murdered. And who I am to judge?"
The question is not whether anybody is worthy or not. The question is whether you have the consciousness, the abundance of love -- then forgiveness will come out of it spontaneously. It is not a calculation, it is not arithmetic.
Life is love, and living a life of love is the only religious life, the only life of prayer, peace, the only life of gratitude, grandeur, splendor.
What is wrong with being in a hurry?
[Articles] > What is wrong with being in a hurry?
([source|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askosh72.htm])
First...the situation is every moment urgent for the simple reason that you cannot rely on the next moment; whether it will come or not is not in your hands. So every moment we are living in urgency. If you want to do something, do it now and here, because how can you postpone it?
But the statement is really beautiful. You got into a puzzle because you cannot think what kind of madness this is. First you say it is urgent, and urgency creates hurry; then you deny that there should be hurry, but the question is so urgent that you should start instantly. You got puzzled into the words. I will tell you how one can get puzzled into beautiful words.
Two men met at a bar and struck up a conversation. After a while one of them said, "You think you have family problems? Listen to my situation. A few years ago I met a young widow with a grown-up daughter and we got married. Later, my father married my stepdaughter. That made my stepdaughter my stepmother, and my father became my stepson. Also, my wife became the mother-in-law of her father-in-law.
"Then the daughter of my wife, my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half brother because he was my father's son, but he was also the son of my wife's daughter, which made him my wife's grandson. That made me the grandfather of my half brother.
"This was nothing until my wife and I had a son. Now the sister of my son, my mother-in-law, is also my grandmother. This makes my father the brother-in-law of my child, whose stepsister is my father's wife.
The statement is very clear: the situation is urgent because you have no guarantee for the next second. You have to start instantly because you cannot postpone--the future is not insured--and yet you cannot be in a hurry because hurry takes time.
But meditation in your life is just at the very end of your laundry list--and the laundry list goes on becoming bigger and bigger. And before you finish your laundry list, you are finished, so the time for meditation never comes.
There is no time for hurry, there is no time for worry; in a single moment what can you do? Only one thing: you can settle within yourself. That will be the great transformation of your being. And certainly it is the most urgent thing--which we have been trying to postpone as long as possible.
Living in Germany
[EtAl] > Living in Germany
* Learn [German|http://german.about.com/] - Start with [German for beginners|http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang01.htm]
!Articles
You can send money from Germany to India via [State Bank of India Frankfurt|http://www.statebank-frankfurt.com/main/schalter.html]
I feel so much anger towards my mother....
[Articles] > I feel so much anger towards my mother....
([source|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askosh13.htm])
Every child would be angry if he understood what the poor parents have been doing to him unknowingly, unconsciously. All their efforts are for the good of the child. Their intentions are good but their consciousness is nil. And good intentions in the hands of unconscious people are dangerous; they cannot bring about the result they are intending. They may create just the opposite.
Your parents have done something twenty years back, thirty years back, and you are angry now. Your anger is not going to help anyone; it is simply going to create more wounds in you. And being near me, close to me.... I am trying to explain to you the whole mechanism of how children are being brought up, you should become more understanding that whatever has happened had to happen. Your parents were conditioned by their parents. You cannot find out who was really responsible to begin with. It has been passed from generation to generation.
Your parents are doing exactly what has been done to them. They have been victims. You will feel compassion for them and you will feel joyous that you are not going to repeat the same thing in your life. If you decide to have children you will feel joyous that you are going to break the vicious circle, that you are going to jump out of the line that goes back to the very beginning and continues up to you, that you can become the dead end. You will not do it to your children or to any other person's children.
But feel for your parents. They worked hard; they did everything that they could, but they had no idea how psychology functions. Instead of being taught how to become a mother or how to become a father, they were being taught how to become a Christian, how to become a Marxist, how to become a tailor, how to become a plumber, how to become a philosopher -- all these things are good and needed, but the basic thing is missing. If they are going to produce children, then their most significant teaching should be how to become a mother, how to become a father.
We can have banks in the hospitals for both the male sperms and female eggs. And we can create exactly the same two sperms and exactly the same two eggs, so two children are born which are exactly the same. One child will be released into the world; the other will grow in a fridge, unconscious, but all his parts will be exactly the same as the other person. And if the first person is in an accident and loses a leg or loses a kidney, or has to be operated on, there is no problem: his carbon copy is waiting in the hospital. From the carbon copy a kidney can be taken out -- he is growing exactly at the same rate, he is just unconscious -- and it will be exactly the same as the kidney that has been lost. It can be replaced.
That carbon copy will always be available for replacing any parts -- even the brain. You can fall into a coma or you can even have a heart attack.... Your brain can remain alive even after a heart attack for at least four minutes -- but not more than that. If during these four minutes an identical brain is inserted, an identical heart is inserted, you will never feel that anything has changed or anything has happened to you. Perhaps you fell asleep and now you are awake. You will never know that your brain has been changed, that your heart has been changed.
This idea of having carbon copies seems to be a great advancement in medical science in a way, but it is dangerous -- dangerous in the sense that man becomes a machine with replaceable parts, just like any machine. When something goes wrong you replace the part. And if every part can be replaced then man will be falling farther and farther away from spiritual growth, because he will start thinking of himself as just a machine. That's what half of the world, the communist world, thinks -- that man is a machine.
If your parents cannot understand me, you should not be worried about it. The whole world cannot understand me. Your parents are normal people; they just follow the crowd, which is safer. You have fallen out of the crowd. You have chosen a risky and dangerous path. If they don't want to go into a dangerous lifestyle, it is their choice; that should not be a cause for your anger.
In fact you can help them by really becoming the individual that I am talking about: more conscious, more alert, more loving. Seeing you can only change them. Seeing you so radically changed can only make them think twice, that perhaps they are wrong. There is no other way. You cannot intellectually convince them. Intellectually they can argue, and argument never changes anybody. The only thing that changes people is the charisma, the magnetism, the magic, of your individuality. Then whatever you touch becomes golden.
So rather than wasting your time and energy in being angry and fighting against the past which no longer exists, put your whole energy into becoming the magic of your individuality. So when your parents see you they cannot remain untouched by the new qualities that you have grown, qualities which are automatically impressive: your freshness, your understanding, your unconditional lovingness, your kindness even in a situation where anger would have been more appropriate.
Only these things can be the real arguments. You need not say a word. Your eyes, your face, your actions, your behavior, your response, will make the change in them. They will start inquiring about what has happened to you, how it has happened to you -- because everybody wants these qualities. These are the real riches. Nobody is so rich that he can afford not to have the things that I am telling you.
It is just like you are sitting on the bank of a silent lake and you throw a small pebble into the lake. The pebble is so small that it creates a small circle at first, but circle after circle...and they go on spreading to the far ends, as far as the lake can take them. And it was only a small pebble.
We are living in a certain kind of new sphere, a new psychological lake, in which whatever you do creates certain vibrations around you. It touches people, reaches to unknown sources.
Just create a small ripple of right individuality and it will reach to many people -- and certainly to those who are most closely related to you. They will see it first, and they will understand with great awe. They will not believe their eyes because all that they know of religion is the Sunday church, where nothing happens. They have been going every Sunday their whole lives, and they come back home just the same.
In the name of religion they know only the Bible or the Koran or the Gita and they have been reading it and nothing happens, because they don't know one thing -- that you are a living being and a book is dead. And the man in the church who is delivering a sermon is just a professional. He has prepared the sermon from the books, and he goes on repeating the same sermons. Nobody listens, so nobody catches him. He is repeating the same sermon that he delivered two months before. Nobody listened that time, and nobody is listening this time. And you know that that sermon cannot change you because that sermon has not changed the preacher himself. He is just as mundane as you are -- perhaps more. I used to know a Jaina monk who was a very simple man, almost a simpleton. He asked me, "How many lectures do you have?"
One of the most famous, world-renowned Christian missionaries was Stanley Jones. He was very friendly with me but he became very angry and then the friendship was broken. He was an old man, a friend of Mahatma Gandhi, and Mahatma Gandhi respected him very much. He used to come to the city where I was living and he stayed in the house of one of my friends. He had printed cards -- ten cards or twenty cards for his whole lecture -- and he would put the cards on the table. He would start lecturing, and he would go on changing the cards.
I said, "Once in a while you should speak from your heart, not from these cards. I have looked in your suitcase, and you have almost fifty sets of these cards, so you can go on repeating these speeches. And do you think this is going to help anybody? -- these dead cards that you have repeated your whole life? And today just because one card was missing and the numbers were mixed up, you lost your temper, you lost your integrity. You were almost in a state of madness. And what do you think people thought who had come to listen to you?"
The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 15, Question 2
Sprouts
[Why Eat Sprouts ?|http://www.cityfarmer.org/sprout86.html] : "Lots of reasons! They carry plenty of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes, all necessary for the body to function optimally. In addition to providing the greatest amount of these nutrients, sprouts deliver them in a form that is easily digested and assimilated. In fact, they improve the efficiency of digestion. Sprouts are also deliciously fresh and colourful! - Sprouts are very inexpensive (even when organic), always fresh (_they grow until you chew them_) and have the potential to help solve hunger and malnutrition problems in our communities and in developing countries, because they are so rich in nutrients, affordable, and easy to transport before sprouting. Sprouts are precious in winter, when the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables is declining as their price increases."
[Sprouting : A brief Overview|http://www.living-foods.com/articles/sprouting.html] by Thomas E. Billings
[Sprouting : Questions and Answers|http://www.living-foods.com/articles/sproutingqa.html] by Thomas E. Billings
My Happiness Purpose
[Articles] > My Happiness Purpose
source : [What's the Point?|http://www.adventureliving.com/home/life/point/index.html]
What is important to me is what I do with my time on this tiny planet. The question is, "what should I do?" I answered that question a few years ago and have enjoyed my answer since. It all starts with my definition of our lives. I cannot define life itself, I do not believe anyone can, but our lives on this planet can be defined. Our lives are collections of experiences, choices, and actions. That's it. Choices and actions are obvious. Experiences include things like emotions, love, thoughts, sensory input, etc. Can you think of anything in our lives that is not an experience, choice, or action? I can't.
What is the point of defining life in such simple and general terms? It shows that the only things we can gain from this life are the memories of our experiences and possibly spiritual salvation or other spiritual benefits if you are religious. Given that our choices and actions and the choices and actions of the people around us shape our experiences, we must consider our choices well; they define our lives.
__My own memories and the memories locked in the heads of the people I care about are the most important things in my life.__ Therefore, my purpose in life is to enhance my memories and enhance the memories belonging to other people. Given that, I decided one of the ways I can enhance my own memories is by experiencing many different adventures, hence all my experiences skydiving, SCUBA diving, traveling, exploring the woods, watching nature, etc. How I enhance the memories of the people I care about varies from person to person, but I try to help each person have a slightly better life.
By enhancing other people's experiences, we expand the power and duration of our life's influence on this planet. I have decided to attempt to expand the direct influence of my life beyond just those people I have met and try to touch the lives of complete strangers. That's why I built this web site, why I respond with as much help as I can to all the email I receive, and why I try to encourage people to donate more stories, photos, and videos. I am trying to encourage my visitors to experience something new. I know that I am only touching a small percentage of them, but when people write to me telling me that my site inspired them to try something new, I feel an immense joy. I know that I have helped improve the memories of someone else. Even if I had only received one email telling me about one person, I would have felt all the effort I put into this site was worth it.
HEARTICULTURE
[Articles] > HEARTICULTURE
cannot enter the domain of supreme peace.
so too you can cultivate the flower of devotion in the garden of your
mind, by removing the impurities of the mind (such as lust, anger,
vrttis (modifications of the mind), manifest on the surface of the
form of samskaras or impressions. The samskaras again become vrttis,
only the big waves of the mind, but also the impressions which are
Those who have removed the impurities of their minds by japa
(repetition of God's name), service, charity, pranayama (yoga
meditation. The pure, ripe mind at once burns with the fire of
Without the help of meditation you cannot obtain knowledge of the
it you cannot liberate yourself from the trammels of the mind and
Self-realisation is the aim of life. The means to it are living an
Gurudeva
Occasionally people inquired about the spelling of his name, which differs
is a Tamil spelling of the Sanskrit Subhramunya (not be be confused with
of Hinduism's foremost and globally prominent spiritual teachers, a prolific
author and publisher of Hinduism Today magazine, attained Maha Samadhi,
"Great Union," today at age 74 at his ashram home on the tropical island of
battery of tests revealed the cancer and that it had metastasized to other
parts of his body. Three medical teams of radiologists and oncologists in
several days of meditation declared he would accept no treatment beyond
fully supported his decision. He died on the 32nd day of his self-declared
News of his impending passage was first released to the Hindu world on
the "Mrityunjaya Yajna," a worship ceremony traditionally offered prior to
the passing of a great saint. The yajna was performed across the USA,
exalted event, signalling the completion of his mission on Earth and his
to the remote island of Kauai to be nearby during the passage. The
suddenness of the events stunned the 2.5 million Tamils of Sri Lanka, for
whom Subramuniyaswami, the successor of Lanka's great guru Yogaswami, is
An outpouring of appreciation came from the local Kauai island residents
who, though not Hindus, had over the decades of his residence there
developed a fondness and profound appreciation of Subramuniyaswami, whom
ashram heard the same message, and by the time of the Great Departure, a
profound peace had descended upon the ashram and all connected with it.
tomorrow morning in a meditation crypt behind the sanctum sanctorum of the
Veylanswami, 59, was installed immediately as guru of the ashram, formally
As is traditional, the passage of a saint is not accompanied by the Hindu
rituals of mourning. The release from the mortal coils at the time of the
When notified of the Satguru's passing, Sita Ram Goel, one of India's most
Hinduism, and the recent reawakening of the Hindu mind carries his stamp."
Ma Yoga Shakti, renowned teacher and Hinduism Today's Hindu of the Year for
enlightened soul of the West -- a Hanuman of today, a reincarnation of Siva
Himself -- has watered the roots of Hinduism with great zeal, faith,
enthusiasm and whole-heartedness." Sri Shivarudra Balayogi Maharaj of India
helped make Hinduism an even greater gift to humanity." Swami Agnivesh of
great spiritual asset for humankind. I still carry with me the warmth of his
clear-minded books replete with explanations of everything Hindu, from the
most basic beliefs and daily practices to the loftiest refined philosophy
and yoga techniques. He was equally famous as founder and publisher of
creation of Iraivan Temple on Kauai, the first all-stone, hand-carved
granite Agamic temple ever built in the West, the founding of Hindu Heritage
participation in numerous international conferences on religion, peace and
In 1986, the World Religious Parliament in New Delhi honored him as one of
the five Hindu spiritual leaders outside of India who had most dynamically
named one of 25 "presidents" of religion at the 1996 Parliament of the World
attending the Millennium Peace Summit of World Religious and Spiritual
inches tall, with deep hazel eyes. He maintained throughout much of his life
would be astounded by his strength and grace of movement. He had a keen yet
unpretentious sense of presentation, and when moving about in public was
sense of fun, maintained even upon his death bed, for when asked by a monk
classical Eastern and Western dance and in the disciplines of yoga, becoming
the premier danseur of the San Francisco Ballet by age 19. Increasingly
yogis. In 1948, in the mountain caves of Jalani in central Sri Lanka, he
the people of Sri Lanka. The 72-year-old sage gave him his Hindu name,
Subramuniya, and initiated him into the holy orders of sannyasa, or
township of Alaveddy, just north of Jaffna.
Occasionally people inquired about the spelling of his name, which differs
is a Tamil spelling of the Sanskrit Subhramunya (not be be confused with
Gurudeva returned to America in 1950 where he went into a reclusive phase of
deep contemplation and developed the spiritual techniques imparted to him in
Sri Lanka, from which he wrote his first book, "Raja Yoga." This profound
masterpiece remains the core of his teachings. Yogaswami had told him not to
teach until he reached the age of 30, so it was in 1957 that he founded
Himalayan Academy, now with thousands of students, and opened America's
Virginia City, Nevada, and other areas of California. During this time he
Subramuniyaswami developed an effective method of teaching through
different parts of the world until two months before his passing. Among the
most outstanding of these programs was his 1969 pilgrimage to India with 65
spiritual journeys took him and hundreds of devotees to dozens of nations,
Virginia City, Nevada, and produced tens of thousands of his books and
It was during this decade that large numbers of Hindus began to emigrate
laws passed by President John F. Kennedy. Once here, they often found
themselves cut off from the guidance of Hindu leaders in India.
Subramuniyaswami sought to fill the gap by inspiring dozens of groups to
build temples and perpetuate Hinduism in their new countries. Often he would
gift the temple founders an icon of Lord Ganesha, the Hindu God invoked at
the start of any project, with instructions to immediately begin His
staff to the Hindu cause. In many cases, he would assign one of his own
Thus were dozens of temples built under his direct guidance or indirect
In the 80s, often as part of his Innersearch programs, he conducted Hindu
renaissance tours, meeting hundreds of thousands of Hindus in India and Sri
Lanka, to whom he spread a message of courage, regenerating pride of
heritage. In 1983 he traveled throughout Sri Lanka with a few of his
monastics, visiting hundreds of villages, giving powerful talks in all parts
of the country, even the remote tea plantations of central Lanka. Over
in their heritage and to cling to their faith despite efforts of other
would go for miles, with devotees crowded on both sides of the roadway,
chanting and offering flower petals beneath his long-striding feet. In
Tuticorin, deep in the south of India, city elder and staunch Saiva
the West through the streets in a marvelous procession of chariots and
Hundreds of thousands of Saivites turned out that morning to welcome the
hundreds of women with baskets full of flowers standing on the tops of each
building raining tons of flowers on the great guru below who had given
Saivite Hinduism back its pride of place among the religions of the world.
the first in hundreds of years and marked the return of the sacred dancers
its infancy, and instructing his monks to create a state-of-the-art system.
team of documentary filmmakers to the monastery to show their employees the
monastics. He enjoyed the technology and proficiently used it for his work.
scriptures, books, pamphlets, art, lessons and later through CDs and the
as an articulate, insightful and forceful exponent of the Hindu faith. In
the late 1980s and the 1990s, in historic gatherings of spiritual and
at the seminal Global Forum of Political and Spiritual Leaders‹at Oxford in
Parliament in New Delhi honored him as one of the five Hindu spiritual
leaders outside of India who had most dynamically promoted Hinduism in the
past 25 years. In 1993 he was elected one of three Presidents of Hinduism at
the 100th anniversary of the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago. It
stunning 3,000-page illustrated trilogy of sourcebooks on Saivism. The last
volume, titled Living with Siva, Hinduism's Contemporary Culture, arrived
God, from the disciplines of meditation and yoga to the direct knowing of
Divinity within. His insights into the nature of consciousness provide a key
states of being, which are eternally perfect, full of light, love, serenity
and wisdom. He urges all seekers to live a life of ahimsa, nonhurtfulness
Foundational to all of his work is the Kauai Aadheenam and its resident
Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order. This group of 14 initiated swamis with lifetime
of Subramuniyaswami's strict and hands-on personal guidance, all of his work
will be carried forward and flourish in the future under the guidance of his
This is an advaitic (non-dualist) Saiva Siddhanta order, a living stream of
elements of philosophy including a belief in both the transcendent and
immanent nature of God, the value of temple worship and the need to work
teaches the principle philosophical doctrines of the Hindu religion,
all beings, the importance of the yamas and niyamas, the need for purity and
lowest to the highest, according to spiritual worthiness. Swamis of the
Nandinatha lineage are often known as "market-place swamis," for they have
interacted freely with all regardless of social status.
advance Hinduism throughout the world. Leading swamis of India marveled at
straightforward English, perhaps the central part of his written legacy, for
until him the English representations of Hinduism were mostly Victorian in
style or academic and awkward. Swami Chidananda Saraswati, President of the
Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India, said, "All the Hindus of our global
his super compendium of books on Hinduism so carefully compiled, classified,
proclaimed that he is a genius of Hinduism. He has put millions under a deep
debt of gratitude by his unprecedented literary work."
His trilogy, "Dancing with Siva," "Living with Siva" and "Merging with Siva"
American universities for Hindu courses of study and comparative religion
in question and answer format on the basics of Hinduism. Central to "Living
with Siva" are his lengthy explanations of the traditional restraints and
observances of Hinduism and his 365 guidelines for Hindu living, of which
115-year-old Swami Bua of New York recently commented, "These guidelines
In the 365 sutras, Subramuniyaswami addressed many controversial issues of
our day, one of which came into play at the end of his own life. Hindu
as a means of accelerating one's departure from the body in the case of
path ahead and considering the severity of his condition decided to fast to
Living with Siva: "To leave the body in the right frame of mind, in the
No killer drugs. No violence. No involvement of another human being, with
systems. No loss of the family wealth for prolonged health care or into the
hands of unscrupulous doctors. No lapsing into unconscious coma. No loss of
Subramuniyaswami's speciality. It is a summation of his yogic and
metaphysical insights gained through over 50 years of meditation and inner
practices. This master work, which is a kind of handbook for seekers of
and spiritual liberation, covers a wide range of subjects including karma,
the aura, the fourteen chakras or psychic force centers of the body,
understanding and transcending the various states of mind and the methods to
origins of mankind on Earth; "Weaver's Wisdom," the best English translation
of the ancient Tamil ethical scripture, "Tirukural;" "Saiva Dharma Sastras,"
as well as dozens of pamphlets, posters and handouts. In response to a
request from the Hindus of Fiji, he prepared a children's course, Saivite
Hindu Religion, now taught to thousands of children around the world.
One book in particular, "How to Become a Hindu," published in 2000,
encapsulated one entire aspect of Subramuniyaswami's mission: clear and
he was adverse to hiding or minimizing the Hindu origins of his teachings.
Become a Better Hindu." The Shankaracharya of Puri, one of Hinduism's
enter the Hindu fold, and also to the younger generation of Hindus." The
book also has greatly assisted with intermarriage of Hindus with those
Subramuniyaswami enjoyed promoting his books, and in the course of his
would come, and compensated by bringing dozens of extra copies. At the end
of the evening, Subramuniyaswami would joke with the store's staff, "Well,
summary of Hindu news appearing in the world press called Hindu Press
periodical and the only one which deals with all denominations of Hinduism
the magazine has successfully kept Hindus and non-Hindus alike appraised of
a wide range of issues, people and institutions. Its website, along with
(start at www.himalayanacademy.com). A unique part of his website is "A
Daily Chronicle of Kauai's Hindu Monstery," at which his answers to
Hundreds of such sessions are archived there (see http://www.gurudeva.org/)
Ma Yoga Shakti, renowned teacher and Hinduism Today's Hindu of the Year for
2000, said, "We are very proud of Hinduism Today. For more than three
decades, Subramuniyaswami, a highly enlightened soul of the West -- a
Hanuman of today, a reincarnation of Siva Himself -- has watered the roots
of Hinduism with great zeal, faith, enthusiasm and whole-heartedness." Sri
lead in the effort to overcome the problem of self-alienation and growing
illiteracy among the Hindus of their heritage. It is easily the best
shortly after Subramuniyaswami had a powerful vision of God Siva walking on
the Aadheenam land in 1975. To permanently capture the power of this great
vision, he commissioned the construction of a large temple to be entirely
made of hand-carved granite. The land was prepared for fifteen years, money
raised, and India's greatest living architect, V. Ganapathi Sthapati, was
blessed by the presence of Sri Sri Sri Trichyswami and Sri Sri Sri
Balagangadharanathaswami, the two foremost spiritual gurus of Karnataka
State, who so loved Gurudeva's vision of a temple carved in India and
erected in America that they gave him 11 acres of land and supported every
phase of the work as though it was their own temple being built. On the arid
devotees of Gurudeva, Jiva Rajasankara, with his wife and sons, were brought
where starting in May, 2001, a team of seven master stone carvers from India
arrived to begin assembly. They are presently on the sixth course of the
time of Gurudeva's passing, they had just completed the floor of the inner
hundreds of man years to complete, is being produced in the same way that
simple hammer and an array of chisels. Enshrined in the temple will be a
700-pound single-pointed quartz crystal, possibly the largest in the world,
methods by other religions in India and other parts of the world. He put his
concerns directly before leaders of other faiths in public forums and in
"Hindu." As a result, Nepal remains the only officially Hindu nation in the
In the 1990s Subramuniyaswami became aware of the pervasive use of corporal
punishment in the homes and schools of Hindus. He immediately began a
to change the policies of schools. He directed his own followers in many
circumstances, and instructed them to begin teaching nonviolent methods of
positive discipline within their local community. For this, he partnered
with Dr. Jane Nelsen, one of the great voices of enlightened discipline for
other parts of the world among people of other faiths, is bearing fruit,
with dozens of schools in India now forbidding corporal punishment, and
thousands of Hindu parents reconsidering their own methods of child rearing.
When he addressed the 1,200 delegates to the Millennium Peace Summit of
he said in part, "To stop the wars in the world, our best long-term solution
children learn to solve their problems with violence. This is true of every
Within his own tradition of Saiva Siddhanta, Subramuniyaswami worked
personal teaching. Relying upon his own intuition and profound mystical
powers, he clarified and purified all of the Saivite teachings of his
inner experience. His staff researched thousands of topics and consulted
regularly with hundreds of scholars, linguists, historians, theologians and
other experts, all of whom enthusiastically assisted this great spiritual
leader. He never engaged in theological dispute with other sects of
of disagreement. As a result, spiritual leaders of all traditions embraced
beloved by other gurus, nor one so fond of a brother swami. Over the years
had special relations with a number of communities including the Sri Lankan
Tamils, the Saivites of Mauritius, Malaysia and Fiji and his fellow
practices of their communities. They also deal with worldly matters and are
addressing hundreds of thousands of Tamils. After 1983, Tamil refugees
poured out of Sri Lanka and made their way to Canada, America, Germany,
England, Australia and dozens of other countries. He founded the first
and sending it to the war-torn region of Jaffna. He established and
maintained contact with each of these communities, advised them on how to
last Innersearch travel-study program, he visited many of these communities
homes. In Denmark in August of 2001 he laid the foundation stone for an
No group of Hindus counted Gurudeva their champion more than the noble
Sivacharya priests of South India, who are traditionally attached to the
aadheenams. He helped restore the dignity of this priesthood and encouraged
young men born in the priest families to follow in the profession of their
fathers instead of opting for higher-paying but totally secular jobs. He
instructed the trustees of these temples outside of India he helped get
started to treat their priests with respect, pay them decent wages and
provide proper living facilities. He encouraged priests to start their own
considered the status and well-being of the Hindu priesthood to be the most
accurate measure of the well-being of Hinduism in general, and his successor
and monks will continue to champion the cause of Hindu priests around the
in temple worship, a training heretofore never imparted to anyone outside
Subramuniyaswami first visited Malaysia in June of 1980 with two of his
years, Hindus attracted to Subramuniyaswami's teachings started the
schools. These classes and the widespread distribution of Hinduism Today
Hindus are just 10% of the population. Gurudeva's dedicated members in this
pride in Hindu religion as a result. He sent one of his monastics to teach
devotees to teach classes for other Hindu parents in nonviolent means of
parenting and to change school policies regarding corporal punishment of
students. At a national level, the cumulative impact of his work has been a
dramatic increase in the pride of Hindus. One person said, "He has breathed
new life into Hinduism for the Hindus of Malaysia." Today three of
Manon Mardemootoo, a long-standing devotee of Subramuniyaswami and a
prominent attorney, offered this summary of Subramuniyaswami's work in the
island nation of Mauritius:
"Subramuniyaswami came to Mauritius in the 1980s at the request of Hindu
elders who were worried about the high rate of conversion from the Hindu
village to village with one of his swamis. Then Gurudeva sent a
story of our soul, our great God and Gods, the pillars of Hinduism, karma,
dharma, etc., all of which gave us a glimpse of our incomparable heritage,
the greatness of Hinduism and the oneness of mankind. He removed
misconceptions in the Tamil Saivite community. Many of us came to understand
that Sivaratri was not a festival of our Hindi-speaking brothers only, nor
"The establishment of Subramuniyaswami's mission was made official by the
the printing of a local edition of Hinduism Today in 1986 on the island and
set up a monastery on a 12-acre parcel at Riviere du Rempart. Hundreds of
part of this land has been dedicated to a spiritual park, a present of
Subramuniyaswami to the people of Mauritius and the only one of its nature
The Spiritual Park was created at a cost of several million rupees, all
donated by local Hindus. The most elaborate part of it is the Ganesha
large granite icons of Lord Murugan, in His form as the six-faced Arumugam,
and Lord Siva, in the form of Dakshinamurthi, the silent teacher, also grace
"We have had a regular flow of monastics from our headquarters in Hawaii,
retreats and seminars for thousands of youth around the island.
well he encouraged the wearing of Hindu dress at home, temples and during
headquarters in Kauai, where we presently have a Mauritian monk, Sadhaka
Tyaganatha, hailing from the same village of Rempart, who is one of the
discipline, the concept of education without violence at home and school and
will be remembered for the sense of discipline in spiritual life and
pursue daily sadhanas for spiritual progress and peaceful living in the
spirit of ahimsa in all aspects of life. This is the present sadhana of
members, to take these teachings into the public and make it a living
reality. Subramuniyaswami succeeded in creating a sense of self-respect and
a new-found identity among the Hindus of Mauritius.
community. Then in 1995, under the auspices of the municipal Council of Port
Louis, he met with religious leaders of all faiths to strengthen the bonds
of friendship, respect and harmony among the people of Mauritius. Today, in
significant part because of Subramuniyaswami's contribution, Mauritius is
cited everywhere, including on the floor of the United Nations, as an
example of peaceful coexistence in a multi-racial, multi-religious nation."
Over his 52 years of ministry, Subramuniyaswami has helped the Hindus of
is probably not a corner of the Hindu world which has not been impacted by
Even though Subramuniyaswami's Kauai Aadheenam is located outside of India
traditional functions of an aadheenam for the local community. He was a key
member of "Vision Kauai," a group of community leaders including
of Kauai, with county council members, the university provost, the
superintendent of schools, business and agricultural leaders, to bring a
unity to the ethnically diverse island of 55,000 and to offer his vision for
island. Hundreds of residents, well-to-do and not so well-to-do alike,
only remotely aware of his stature in the Hindu world. He was, in fact,
This was recognized in formal ways by the governor of the state, the mayor
and county council. Indeed, the outpouring of gratitude and appreciation
from island residents upon his passing was at times as deep and as heartfelt
as for those of his close disciples.
in harmony and love for all peoples. His monks, forged in the fires of his
Saivite path of enlightenment, continuing the many publications, teaching
art, protecting Hindu priests and the indigenous faiths of the world,
contributing to our local Kauai community, guiding the future of Hinduism
What Makes a House a Home?
[Articles] > What Makes a House a Home?
What is it that makes a house a home? A home is a place of companionship
a place of selflessness and togetherness, where everybody has time for
coming to the temple. That is the spirit of hospitality in the Hindu
framework. It is the same spirit of sublime energy flowing to the guest
over to another house, you might see a congestion of various colors,
I was once asked about the desperately poor, homeless families living
roof to make a family. You don't need a roof to make a home. The truly
homeless are some of the rich people who build multi-million-dollar houses
the family in their house. Babysitters often abuse their children. Parents
in. This is another way of looking at the rich and the homeless. Who is
Control of the computer and the Internet is also important to make a
into an office, even if everyone is at home. Many homes these days are
just offices. Human communication has stopped. The computer eats up
Singapore
# Heartware
* [National Parks Board|http://www.nparks.gov.sg/] , [The Green Singapore|http://www.thingsasian.com/goto_article/article.1918.html]
[American Association of Singapore|http://www.aasingapore.com]
Read [Stephen Palmer]'s view : [Republic of Singapore|http://www.stephenrpalmer.co.uk/places/Singapore/Singapore.html] which starts ...Singapore is a kidney bean shaped island approx. 30 miles from east to west and 2? miles north to south dangling a little precariously by a causeway and a bridge below the main Malaysian peninsula...
[Singapore - A Tropical Island|http://www.comvet.com/html/singaporeliving.html] : ...Singapore lies at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula, 1 degree 17 minutes or 137 kilometers north of the equator. The main island is approx. 40 km east-to-west & 18 km north-south, with a total land area of 632 sq.km. However, not a single island, Singapore consists of around 60 islands & islets and extends to the shores of both Malaysia and Indonesia, separated by the Straits of Johor and Straits of Singapore respectively. - - - Of Singapore's nearly 3.5 million people (4 million with expatriates & foreign workers), 70 - 75% are ethnic Chinese, with the Malay and Indian communities making up the next two largest contingents.
The three aircraft shorlisted by the Defence Ministry (Mindef) to replace its ageing fleet of A-4 Super Skyhawks are
* The Typhoon, offered by a consortium of aircraft makers from Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain
[ISS Master of Technology: Software Engineering/Knowledge Engineering|http://www.iss.nus.edu.sg/iss/postgrad/courses/mtech.jsp]
AHD Homoeopathic Centre - Tel 62961050 - 46, Campbell Lane, Singapore 209918 - Consultation Hours 10am - 9pm - Closed on 3rd and 4th Sunday of every month
http://www.windowtothepast.com - "beautiful homes and offices at affordable prices...any style and any budget, purchase or lease..."
Is life really meaningless?
[Articles] > Is life really meaningless?
Meaning has another category too: intrinsic. Life is tremendously meaningful in the second sense. Then meaning is not separate, somewhere else; then meaning is in the very living itself.
You don't ask, has love any meaning? You know love is itself meaningful, it is not a means to some end. You do not ask if the beauty of a rose is meaningful. The beauty itself is enough; it does not lead anywhere, it contains its meaning within itself.
In existence everything that is really valuable is always intrinsically meaningful. And life is equivalent to existence. Life has meaning. If you just change the word "life" into "living," you will be able to understand more easily. Living has meaning -- each moment -- because living is not something dead like "life." The word "life" is dead -- all nouns are dead. But the language is created by dead people.
Some day the new man is going to create a language which consists only of verbs, because that will be authentic to existence. In existence there is no noun. Have you seen "life"? Have you met "life" anywhere? All that you meet, experience, is living.
Sipping a cup of tea, going for a morning walk, doing your work -- all these small activities make up your living. And each part, each moment of living, is meaningful. You just have to be there; otherwise, who is going to experience the meaning?
People go on drinking tea, but they never are there; their minds are wandering all over the world. People are making love, but they are not there. It is a very strange world that we have created. In one bedroom there are at least four people. Already the bedrooms are so small, too difficult for two people; and in the bed there are four people, or even more. These two people who are making love are not there: the man is thinking of some Hollywood actress, the woman is thinking of Muhammad Ali. So there are four people. Who is making love to whom? These two people are simply going through the gestures of love -- they are not present -- mechanical gestures of love. And then they ask, "Is there any meaning in life?"
WHEN I WAS A STUDENT, my principal in the high school was continuously troubled by my absence from the school. My family was troubled. I would start going to school, but never reach there. Life was so much, and so many things were happening on the way... and the school was almost one mile away from the house.
I said, "I am always present wherever I am. To be absent is not my style of life. And what can I do? -- this one mile between the school and my house.... A magician was doing his tricks on the street, and I became present there. It was far more interesting than your teachers, and I learned more than I could have learned here -- because whatever your teacher is saying I can read in the book, but I will never meet that magician again. And he did such beautiful tricks that when he was finished I followed him to his tent outside the city.
"Life is a bigger school than your school. And I am, each moment, present wherever I am. To be absent is not my style of life, so you please take your words back."
He said, "My God, perhaps you are right. I was thinking of my buffalo -- she has not returned for two days."
I said, "You need not be worried, I know where she is. That's the beauty of being present everywhere! I have seen her just by the side of the tent of the magician. Now what do you say: Was it more worthwhile my coming to the class, or finding your lost buffalo? You can go and catch hold of her."
People are not there where they seem to be. This is why they go on missing the meaning of life. Just remain present to any small act you are doing. It does not matter -- you don't have to do great acts, become a world conqueror, go to the moon, or stand on top of Everest; it does not matter what you do.
Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing -- or not doing -- be present, and the meaning of life will start unfolding. It is tremendously blissful.
But don't seek it somewhere else -- in a church, in a temple, in a holy book. You will not find it. Even if you come across God -- who, by the way, does not exist -- but even if you come across God, you will not be present. You may be thinking of your buffalo. It is good that God is not there; otherwise, he would be so embarrassed by all these saints of all the religions, because none of them is present to the moment. They are living a life somewhere else in the tomorrows -- and today goes on slipping by, and the tomorrow never comes. Finally comes death, not tomorrow.
If you understand me... I want you always to be present wherever you are. It does not matter where you are; just be totally present, and every small act, by your presence, will become lighted up, and you will know that your whole life becomes just a caravan of lights. That's the meaning. Death comes and goes, but the caravan continues.
The algebra of infinite justice
[Articles] > The algebra of infinite justice
([source|http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4266289,00.html])
As the US prepares to wage a new kind of war, Arundhati Roy challenges the instinct for vengance
In the aftermath of the unconscionable September 11 suicide attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre, an American newscaster said: "Good and evil rarely manifest themselves as clearly as they did last Tuesday. People who we don't know massacred people who we do. And they did so with contemptuous glee." Then he broke down and wept.
Here's the rub: America is at war against people it doesn't know, because they don't appear much on TV. Before it has properly identified or even begun to comprehend the nature of its enemy, the US government has, in a rush of publicity and embarrassing rhetoric, cobbled together an "international coalition against terror", mobilised its army, its air force, its navy and its media, and committed them to battle.
The trouble is that once Amer ica goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place.
What we're witnessing here is the spectacle of the world's most powerful country reaching reflexively, angrily, for an old instinct to fight a new kind of war. Suddenly, when it comes to defending itself, America's streamlined warships, cruise missiles and F-16 jets look like obsolete, lumbering things. As deterrence, its arsenal of nuclear bombs is no longer worth its weight in scrap. Box-cutters, penknives, and cold anger are the weapons with which the wars of the new century will be waged. Anger is the lock pick. It slips through customs unnoticed. Doesn't show up in baggage checks.
Who is America fighting? On September 20, the FBI said that it had doubts about the identities of some of the hijackers. On the same day President George Bush said, "We know exactly who these people are and which governments are supporting them." It sounds as though the president knows something that the FBI and the American public don't.
In his September 20 address to the US Congress, President Bush called the enemies of America "enemies of freedom". "Americans are asking, 'Why do they hate us?' " he said. "They hate our freedoms - our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other." People are being asked to make two leaps of faith here. First, to assume that The Enemy is who the US government says it is, even though it has no substantial evidence to support that claim. And second, to assume that The Enemy's motives are what the US government says they are, and there's nothing to support that either.
For strategic, military and economic reasons, it is vital for the US government to persuade its public that their commitment to freedom and democracy and the American Way of Life is under attack. In the current atmosphere of grief, outrage and anger, it's an easy notion to peddle. However, if that were true, it's reasonable to wonder why the symbols of America's economic and military dominance - the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon - were chosen as the targets of the attacks. Why not the Statue of Liberty? Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government's record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things - to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)? It must be hard for ordinary Americans, so recently bereaved, to look up at the world with their eyes full of tears and encounter what might appear to them to be indifference. It isn't indifference. It's just augury. An absence of surprise. The tired wisdom of knowing that what goes around eventually comes around. American people ought to know that it is not them but their government's policies that are so hated. They can't possibly doubt that they themselves, their extraordinary musicians, their writers, their actors, their spectacular sportsmen and their cinema, are universally welcomed. All of us have been moved by the courage and grace shown by firefighters, rescue workers and ordinary office staff in the days since the attacks.
America's grief at what happened has been immense and immensely public. It would be grotesque to expect it to calibrate or modulate its anguish. However, it will be a pity if, instead of using this as an opportunity to try to understand why September 11 happened, Americans use it as an opportunity to usurp the whole world's sorrow to mourn and avenge only their own. Because then it falls to the rest of us to ask the hard questions and say the harsh things. And for our pains, for our bad timing, we will be disliked, ignored and perhaps eventually silenced.
The world will probably never know what motivated those particular hijackers who flew planes into those particular American buildings. They were not glory boys. They left no suicide notes, no political messages; no organisation has claimed credit for the attacks. All we know is that their belief in what they were doing outstripped the natural human instinct for survival, or any desire to be remembered. It's almost as though they could not scale down the enormity of their rage to anything smaller than their deeds. And what they did has blown a hole in the world as we knew it. In the absence of information, politicians, political commentators and writers (like myself) will invest the act with their own politics, with their own interpretations. This speculation, this analysis of the political climate in which the attacks took place, can only be a good thing.
But war is looming large. Whatever remains to be said must be said quickly. Before America places itself at the helm of the "international coalition against terror", before it invites (and coerces) countries to actively participate in its almost godlike mission - called Operation Infinite Justice until it was pointed out that this could be seen as an insult to Muslims, who believe that only Allah can mete out infinite justice, and was renamed Operation Enduring Freedom- it would help if some small clarifications are made. For example, Infinite Justice/Enduring Freedom for whom? Is this America's war against terror in America or against terror in general? What exactly is being avenged here? Is it the tragic loss of almost 7,000 lives, the gutting of five million square feet of office space in Manhattan, the destruction of a section of the Pentagon, the loss of several hundreds of thousands of jobs, the bankruptcy of some airline companies and the dip in the New York Stock Exchange? Or is it more than that? In 1996, Madeleine Albright, then the US secretary of state, was asked on national television what she felt about the fact that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US economic sanctions. She replied that it was "a very hard choice", but that, all things considered, "we think the price is worth it". Albright never lost her job for saying this. She continued to travel the world representing the views and aspirations of the US government. More pertinently, the sanctions against Iraq remain in place. Children continue to die.
So here we have it. The equivocating distinction between civilisation and savagery, between the "massacre of innocent people" or, if you like, "a clash of civilisations" and "collateral damage". The sophistry and fastidious algebra of infinite justice. How many dead Iraqis will it take to make the world a better place? How many dead Afghans for every dead American? How many dead women and children for every dead man? How many dead mojahedin for each dead investment banker? As we watch mesmerised, Operation Enduring Freedom unfolds on TV monitors across the world. A coalition of the world's superpowers is closing in on Afghanistan, one of the poorest, most ravaged, war-torn countries in the world, whose ruling Taliban government is sheltering Osama bin Laden, the man being held responsible for the September 11 attacks.
The only thing in Afghanistan that could possibly count as collateral value is its citizenry. (Among them, half a million maimed orphans.There are accounts of hobbling stampedes that occur when artificial limbs are airdropped into remote, inaccessible villages.) Afghanistan's economy is in a shambles. In fact, the problem for an invading army is that Afghanistan has no conventional coordinates or signposts to plot on a military map - no big cities, no highways, no industrial complexes, no water treatment plants. Farms have been turned into mass graves. The countryside is littered with land mines - 10 million is the most recent estimate. The American army would first have to clear the mines and build roads in order to take its soldiers in.
Fearing an attack from America, one million citizens have fled from their homes and arrived at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The UN estimates that there are eight million Afghan citizens who need emergency aid. As supplies run out - food and aid agencies have been asked to leave - the BBC reports that one of the worst humanitarian disasters of recent times has begun to unfold. Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death while they're waiting to be killed.
In America there has been rough talk of "bombing Afghanistan back to the stone age". Someone please break the news that Afghanistan is already there. And if it's any consolation, America played no small part in helping it on its way. The American people may be a little fuzzy about where exactly Afghanistan is (we hear reports that there's a run on maps of the country), but the US government and Afghanistan are old friends.
In 1979, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the CIA and Pakistan's ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) launched the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA. Their purpose was to harness the energy of Afghan resistance to the Soviets and expand it into a holy war, an Islamic jihad, which would turn Muslim countries within the Soviet Union against the communist regime and eventually destabilise it. When it began, it was meant to be the Soviet Union's Vietnam. It turned out to be much more than that. Over the years, through the ISI, the CIA funded and recruited almost 100,000 radical mojahedin from 40 Islamic countries as soldiers for America's proxy war. The rank and file of the mojahedin were unaware that their jihad was actually being fought on behalf of Uncle Sam. (The irony is that America was equally unaware that it was financing a future war against itself.)
In 1989, after being bloodied by 10 years of relentless conflict, the Russians withdrew, leaving behind a civilisation reduced to rubble.
Civil war in Afghanistan raged on. The jihad spread to Chechnya, Kosovo and eventually to Kashmir. The CIA continued to pour in money and military equipment, but the overheads had become immense, and more money was needed. The mojahedin ordered farmers to plant opium as a "revolutionary tax". The ISI set up hundreds of heroin laboratories across Afghanistan. Within two years of the CIA's arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland had become the biggest producer of heroin in the world, and the single biggest source of the heroin on American streets. The annual profits, said to be between $100bn and $200bn, were ploughed back into training and arming militants.
In 1995, the Taliban - then a marginal sect of dangerous, hardline fundamentalists - fought its way to power in Afghanistan. It was funded by the ISI, that old cohort of the CIA, and supported by many political parties in Pakistan. The Taliban unleashed a regime of terror. Its first victims were its own people, particularly women. It closed down girls' schools, dismissed women from government jobs, and enforced sharia laws under which women deemed to be "immoral" are stoned to death, and widows guilty of being adulterous are buried alive. Given the Taliban government's human rights track record, it seems unlikely that it will in any way be intimidated or swerved from its purpose by the prospect of war, or the threat to the lives of its civilians.
The desolate landscape of Afghanistan was the burial ground of Soviet communism and the springboard of a unipolar world dominated by America. It made the space for neocapitalism and corporate globalisation, again dominated by America. And now Afghanistan is poised to become the graveyard for the unlikely soldiers who fought and won this war for America.
And what of America's trusted ally? Pakistan too has suffered enormously. The US government has not been shy of supporting military dictators who have blocked the idea of democracy from taking root in the country. Before the CIA arrived, there was a small rural market for opium in Pakistan. Between 1979 and 1985, the number of heroin addicts grew from zero to one-and-a-half million. Even before September 11, there were three million Afghan refugees living in tented camps along the border. Pakistan's economy is crumbling. Sectarian violence, globalisation's structural adjustment programmes and drug lords are tearing the country to pieces. Set up to fight the Soviets, the terrorist training centres and madrasahs, sown like dragon's teeth across the country, produced fundamentalists with tremendous popular appeal within Pakistan itself. The Taliban, which the Pakistan government has sup ported, funded and propped up for years, has material and strategic alliances with Pakistan's own political parties.
India, thanks in part to its geography, and in part to the vision of its former leaders, has so far been fortunate enough to be left out of this Great Game. Had it been drawn in, it's more than likely that our democracy, such as it is, would not have survived. Today, as some of us watch in horror, the Indian government is furiously gyrating its hips, begging the US to set up its base in India rather than Pakistan. Having had this ringside view of Pakistan's sordid fate, it isn't just odd, it's unthinkable, that India should want to do this. Any third world country with a fragile economy and a complex social base should know by now that to invite a superpower such as America in (whether it says it's staying or just passing through) would be like inviting a brick to drop through your windscreen.
Operation Enduring Freedom is ostensibly being fought to uphold the American Way of Life. It'll probably end up undermining it completely. It will spawn more anger and more terror across the world. For ordinary people in America, it will mean lives lived in a climate of sickening uncertainty: will my child be safe in school? Will there be nerve gas in the subway? A bomb in the cinema hall? Will my love come home tonight? There have been warnings about the possibility of biological warfare - smallpox, bubonic plague, anthrax - the deadly payload of innocuous crop-duster aircraft. Being picked off a few at a time may end up being worse than being annihilated all at once by a nuclear bomb.
The US government, and no doubt governments all over the world, will use the climate of war as an excuse to curtail civil liberties, deny free speech, lay off workers, harass ethnic and religious minorities, cut back on public spending and divert huge amounts of money to the defence industry. To what purpose? President Bush can no more "rid the world of evil-doers" than he can stock it with saints. It's absurd for the US government to even toy with the notion that it can stamp out terrorism with more violence and oppression. Terrorism is the symptom, not the disease. Terrorism has no country. It's transnational, as global an enterprise as Coke or Pepsi or Nike. At the first sign of trouble, terrorists can pull up stakes and move their "factories" from country to country in search of a better deal. Just like the multi-nationals.
Terrorism as a phenomenon may never go away. But if it is to be contained, the first step is for America to at least acknowledge that it shares the planet with other nations, with other human beings who, even if they are not on TV, have loves and griefs and stories and songs and sorrows and, for heaven's sake, rights. Instead, when Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, was asked what he would call a victory in America's new war, he said that if he could convince the world that Americans must be allowed to continue with their way of life, he would consider it a victory.
The September 11 attacks were a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong. The message may have been written by Bin Laden (who knows?) and delivered by his couriers, but it could well have been signed by the ghosts of the victims of America's old wars. The millions killed in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, the 17,500 killed when Israel - backed by the US - invaded Lebanon in 1982, the 200,000 Iraqis killed in Operation Desert Storm, the thousands of Palestinians who have died fighting Israel's occupation of the West Bank. And the millions who died, in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Panama, at the hands of all the terrorists, dictators and genocidists whom the American government supported, trained, bankrolled and supplied with arms. And this is far from being a comprehensive list.
Someone recently said that if Osama bin Laden didn't exist, America would have had to invent him. But, in a way, America did invent him. He was among the jihadis who moved to Afghanistan in 1979 when the CIA commenced its operations there. Bin Laden has the distinction of being created by the CIA and wanted by the FBI. In the course of a fortnight he has been promoted from suspect to prime suspect and then, despite the lack of any real evidence, straight up the charts to being "wanted dead or alive".
From all accounts, it will be impossible to produce evidence (of the sort that would stand scrutiny in a court of law) to link Bin Laden to the September 11 attacks. So far, it appears that the most incriminating piece of evidence against him is the fact that he has not condemned them.
From what is known about the location of Bin Laden and the living conditions in which he operates, it's entirely possible that he did not personally plan and carry out the attacks - that he is the inspirational figure, "the CEO of the holding company". The Taliban's response to US demands for the extradition of Bin Laden has been uncharacteristically reasonable: produce the evidence, then we'll hand him over. President Bush's response is that the demand is "non-negotiable".
(While talks are on for the extradition of CEOs - can India put in a side request for the extradition of Warren Anderson of the US? He was the chairman of Union Carbide, responsible for the Bhopal gas leak that killed 16,000 people in 1984. We have collated the necessary evidence. It's all in the files. Could we have him, please?)
But who is Osama bin Laden really? Let me rephrase that. What is Osama bin Laden? He's America's family secret. He is the American president's dark doppelgänger. The savage twin of all that purports to be beautiful and civilised. He has been sculpted from the spare rib of a world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly stated policy of "full-spectrum dominance", its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. Its marauding multinationals who are taking over the air we breathe, the ground we stand on, the water we drink, the thoughts we think. Now that the family secret has been spilled, the twins are blurring into one another and gradually becoming interchangeable. Their guns, bombs, money and drugs have been going around in the loop for a while. (The Stinger missiles that will greet US helicopters were supplied by the CIA. The heroin used by America's drug addicts comes from Afghanistan. The Bush administration recently gave Afghanistan a $43m subsidy for a "war on drugs"....)
Now Bush and Bin Laden have even begun to borrow each other's rhetoric. Each refers to the other as "the head of the snake". Both invoke God and use the loose millenarian currency of good and evil as their terms of reference. Both are engaged in unequivocal political crimes. Both are dangerously armed - one with the nuclear arsenal of the obscenely powerful, the other with the incandescent, destructive power of the utterly hopeless. The fireball and the ice pick. The bludgeon and the axe. The important thing to keep in mind is that neither is an acceptable alternative to the other.
President Bush's ultimatum to the people of the world - "If you're not with us, you're against us" - is a piece of presumptuous arrogance. It's not a choice that people want to, need to, or should have to make.
Strive
[Articles] > Strive
Strive. Strive to realise God. This is the purpose of human birth.
The perfection of the realisation of absolute knowledge, supreme
from the round of births and life in eternity is the goal of man.
Till self-realisation is attained, man is subject to the law of karma
O man! Wake up from this slumber of ignorance. Why do you waste your
the pearl of atman. You will be freed from birth and death here and
Remember the goal every moment of this life. Strive incessantly to
realize it by living a life of detachment, dispassion, devotion, deep
In simplicity is the secret of real beauty. Simplify your life. Be
good and do good so that each tomorrow will find you farther than
Seek the company of saints and devotees. Control the mind. Control
Living
[Kishore Balakrishnan] > Living
[Balanced Living]
[Art of Living]
[Education for Living|http://www.asis.com/education-for-living/]
[Living Totally]
[Vedic way to healthy living|http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2002/09/02/stories/2002090200120300.htm]
Global Village
[Articles] > Global Village
If we could shrink the Earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the human ratio's remaining the same, it would look something like the following:
á 6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth and all 6 would be from the US
80 would be living in substandard housing
What is the meaning of Life?
[Karmasaya] > [Articles] > What is the meaning of Life?
[What is the true meaning of life?]
([source|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askosh53.htm])
Millions of people are living meaningless lives because of this utterly stupid idea that meaning has to be discovered. As if it is already there. All that you need is to just pull the curtain, and behold! meaning is here. It is not like that.
Can't you see the difference between religious meaning and scientific meaning? Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity; now, do you have to discover it again and again? You will be foolish if you discover it again and again. What is the point? One man has done it; he has given you the map. It may have taken years for him, but for you to understand it will take hours. You can go to the university and learn.
To understand the theory of relativity, you need not become an Albert Einstein, no. You have to be just of average intelligence, that's all. If you are not too much retarded, you will understand it.
But to understand the meaning of Zarathustra, you will have to become a Zarathustra -- less than that won't do. You will have to create it again. And each individual has to give birth to God, to meaning, to truth; each man has to become pregnant with it and pass through the pains of birth. Each one has to carry it in one's womb, feed it by one's own blood, and only then does one discover.
You must be waiting passively for the meaning to come... it will never come. This has been the idea of the past religions, that the meaning is already there. It is not! Freedom is there to create it, energy is there to create it. The field is there to sow the seeds and reap the crop. All is there -- but the meaning has to be created. That's why to create it is such a joy, such an adventure, such an ecstasy.
So the first thing: religion has to be creative. Up to now, religion has remained very passive, almost impotent. You don't expect a religious person to be creative. You just expect him to fast, sit in a cave, get up early in the morning, chant mantras... and this kind of stupid thing. And you are perfectly satisfied! What is he doing? And you praise him because he goes on long fasts. Maybe he is a masochist; maybe he enjoys torturing himself. He sits there when it is icy cold, naked, and you appreciate him. But what is the point, what is the value in it? All the animals of the world are naked in the icy cold -- they are not saints. Or when it is hot, he sits in the hot sun, and you appreciate him. You say, "Look! here is a great ascetic." But what is he doing? What is his contribution to the world? What beauty has he added to the world? Has he changed the world a little bit? Has he made it a little more sweet, more fragrant? No, you don't ask that.
Now, I tell you, this has to be asked: Praise a man because he has created a song. Praise a man because he has created a beautiful sculpture. Praise a man because he plays such a beautiful flute. Let these be religious qualities from now onwards. Praise a man because he is such a lover -- love is religion. Praise a man: because of him the world is becoming more graceful.
Forget all these stupid things! -- fasting and just sitting in a cave, torturing oneself or lying down on a bed of nails. Praise a man because he has cultivated beautiful roses. The world is more colorful because of him. And then you will find meaning.
Meaning comes out of creativity. Religion has to become more poetic, more aesthetic.
And second thing: sometimes it happens that you search for the meaning because you have already concluded. Out of a conclusion you search for it. You have already decided what meaning should be there, or has to be there... and then you don't find it.
He is missing meaning because of his idea. Let your inquiry be pure. Don't move with any fixed idea. Go naked and nude. Go open and empty. And you will find not only one meaning -- you will find a thousand and one meanings. Then each thing will become meaningful. Just a colored stone shining in the rays of the sun... or a dewdrop creating a small rainbow around itself... or just a small flower dancing in the wind.... What meaning are you searching for?
Don't start with a conclusion, otherwise you have started wrongly from the very beginning. Go without a conclusion! That's what I mean when I say again and again: Go without knowledge if you want to find truth. The knowledgeable person never finds it. His knowledge is a barrier.
Goldstein had never been to a show in the legitimate theater. For his birthday, his children decided to give him a present of a ticket for the Jewish theater.
The night after the show, they came to visit him and asked him eagerly what he thought of the show.
Now, if you have a fixed idea, then you are only looking for it, only looking for it.... And because of this narrowness of the mind, all that is available is missed.
Meaning has to be created. And meaning has to be searched for without any conclusions. If you can drop your knowledge, life will suddenly take on color, it will become psychedelic. But you are continuously carrying the load of your scriptures, books, theories, doctrines, philosophies... you are lost in all that. And everything has become mixed, hotchpotch. And you cannot even remember what is what.
An Englishman visiting America attended a banquet and heard the Master of Ceremonies give the following toast:
"Here's to the happiest moment of my life,
Spent in the arms of another man's wife -- my mother."
"Here's to the happiest moment of my life,
Spent in the arms of another man's wife..."
"By Jove," the speaker blurted out, "you will have to excuse me. I forgot the name of the "blooming" woman."
Drop the knowledge and become more creative. Remember, knowledge is gathered -- you need not be creative about it; you have only to be receptive. And that's what man has become: man is reduced to being a spectator. He reads the newspapers, he reads the Bible and the Koran and the Gita; he goes to the movie, sits there and sees the movie; he goes to the football match, or sits before his TV, listens to the radio... and so on and so forth. Twenty-four hours a day he is just in a kind of inactivity, a spectator. Others are doing things, and he is simply watching. You will not find meaning by watching.
You can see a thousand and one lovers making love and you will not know what love is -- you will not know that orgasmic abandonment by watching. You will have to become a participant. Meaning comes through participation. Participate in life! Participate as deeply, as totally, as possible. Risk all for participation. If you want to know what dance is, don't go and see a dancer -- learn dancing, be a dancer. If you want to know anything, participate! That is the true and the right way, the authentic way, to know a thing. And there will be great meaning in your life. And not only one-dimensional -- multi-dimensional meanings. You will be showered by meanings.
Somebody becomes an engineer, and then he thinks all is finished. He becomes identified with being an engineer. Then his whole life he is just an engineer. And there were millions of things available. But he moves only on one track, becomes bored. Is fed up. Is tired, wearied. Goes on dragging. Waits only for death. What meaning can there be?
Have more interests in life. Don't be always a businessman. Sometimes play too. Don't be just a doctor or an engineer, or a headmaster, or a professor -- be as many things as possible! Play cards, play the violin, sing a song, be an amateur photographer, a poet.... Find as many things as possible in life, and then you will have richness. And meaning is a by-product of richness.
Socrates, while awaiting death in prison, was haunted by a dream that kept urging him, "Socrates, make music!" The old man felt he had always served art with his philosophizing. But now, spurred on by that mysterious voice, he turned fables into verse, indited a hymn to Apollo, and played the flute.
In the face of death, philosophy and music briefly went hand in hand, and Socrates was as blissful as never before.
He had never played on the flute. Something inside him persisted, "Socrates, make music!" Just in the face of death! It looked so ridiculous. And he had never played, he had never made music. A part of his being had remained suffocated. Yes, even a man like Socrates, had remained one-dimensional. The denied part insisted, "Enough of logic -- a little music will be good, will bring balance. Enough of argumentation -- play on the flute." And the voice was so persistent that he had to yield to it.
The father said, "Absolutely no -- where is your whistle," because he was afraid. He may not even listen to his "no." He showed the whistle and the father kept his hand on his pocket, the boy's pocket. Then there was dancing, and the father forgot and he also started dancing. And Hassids are dancers, joyous people -- the cream of Judaism, the very essence of Judaism is with them, with those mad people.
Don't allow your life to become just a dead ritual. Let there be moments, unexplainable. Let there be a few things which are mysterious, for which you cannot supply any reason. Let there be a few doings for which people will think you are a little crazy. A man who is a hundred percent sane is dead. A little bit of craziness by the side is always a great joy. Go on doing a few crazy things too. And then meaning will be posible.
Understanding the Lessons of September 11
[Articles] > Understanding the Lessons of September 11
September 11 was a tragic day of unprecedented
proportion. Never before in the history of the world had one group so
blatantly, so callously, so mercilessly struck at so many thousands of
then to UK and then to Europe, spreading the messages of peace, unity and
Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, that "The whole world is one family." In the midst of
examine the pieces of that which was crushed in the tempest.
engage in these unforgivable acts of terrorism, intimidation and violence
compassionate. War, by its very definition, is none of these. The terrorists
claim they are fighting a war in the name of God. However, there is no such
against that which is unholy within our own hearts, a war of annihilating
To me, one of the most important lessons here is one of safety, one of
comfort, one of complacency. So many people throughout the world (especially
those living in India, or Indians who live abroad) think of everything
tell someone that a particular object you own is "from America," that
automatically grants it "First Class" status. The idea of sending our
Rather, there is an inherent yet almost tangible feeling of safety, security
have seen, people living in America have a very deep sense of safety,
that living under the umbrella of the American flag will guarantee not only
to God. And, in many ways, this feeling of security regarding the country is
not misplaced. The West achieves standards of excellence which are
unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. The education and professional
However, none of us, regardless of where we live,
regardless of where we work, regardless of where we have attained our
education, is invincible and invulnerable. It is only by the grace of God
that we wake from our sleep each day. It is only by the grace of God that
each of the billions of neurons in our brain continue to function properly,
allowing us to breathe and our hearts to beat. It is only by the grace of
of blood vessels in our body, continue to carry blood safely to and from the
heart, without rupturing along the way.
true protector. No insurance policy could have protected those thousands of
poor, innocent people working in the high reaches of the World Trade Center
that tragic moment came it was only a matter of them and God. It is only our
it struck the mail deliverers and window washers. It struck those living in
the posh suburbs of Long Island as ruthlessly as it struck those sharing
cramped apartments in Soho. This does not mean, of course, that there is no
our hearts and our lives to Him, regardless of our profession, that we are
in whatever way possible. Yes, we must show the world that these sorts of
on a country full of innocent, impoverished people the answer? Do we need to
sacrifice more innocent lives in order to avenge the death of innocents?
will be action in the name of compassion, action in the name of a better,
that there will be no more acts of impulsiveness, no more acts of vengeance,
innumerable acts of terrorism throughout history, are acts of ignorance and
hatred. They are acts of people who are trained to think of "us versus
them." They are acts of those who are taught to see people according to
color, religion and nationality. These are all veils of ignorance, veils of
and beneath banners of religion, nationality, color or creed. The solution
educated, peaceful nations of the world lowering themselves to the level of
continue to spread the messages of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, "The whole world is
everything. May there be no unhappiness or sorrow." For, if we, too, start
healthy;" then we will fall into the same well of despair as those who
will come. Every moment is a gift. No matter how high we build our towers of
the fertile ground of the rubble. Let us vow to live our lives as precious
towers. But let these new towers be not only towers of trade and towers of
wealth, but let them be towers of love, towers of unity, towers of
brotherhood, towers of peace. Let these new, divine towers reach
unprecedented heights, soaring toward the Divine, Infinite Abode of the
We, on the holy banks of Mother Ganga, in the lap of the sacred
Himalayas, offer our deepest prayers that the departed souls may rest in
so that they can see the folly of their ways and transform themselves. We
pray for peace to the Heavens, peace to the Earth, peace to all the humans,
Why is love so painful?
[Articles] > Why is love so painful?
([source|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askosh63.htm])
Love is painful because it creates the way for bliss. Love is painful because it transforms; love is mutation. Each transformation is going to be painful because the old has to be left for the new. The old is familiar, secure, safe, the new is absolutely unknown. You will be moving in an uncharted ocean. You cannot use your mind with the new; with the old, the mind is skillful. The mind can function only with the old; with the new, the mind is utterly useless.
Hence, fear arises, and leaving the old, comfortable, safe world, the world of convenience, pain arises. It is the same pain that the child feels when he comes out of the womb of the mother. It is the same pain that the bird feels when he comes out of the egg. It is the same pain that the bird will feel when he will try for the first time to be on the wing.
The fear of the unknown, and the security of the known, the insecurity of the unknown, the unpredictability of the unknown, makes one very much frightened.
And because the transformation is going to be from the self towards a state of no-self, agony is very deep. But you Cannot have ecstasy without going through agony. If the gold wants to be purified, it has to pass through fire.
It is because of the pain of love, millions of people live a loveless life. They too suffer, and their suffering is futile. To suffer in love is not to suffer in vain. To suffer in love is creative; it takes you to higher levels of consciousness. To suffer without love is utterly a waste; it leads you nowhere, it keeps you moving in the same vicious circle.
The reflection that you will find in the other of your own self may be ugly; that is the anxiety. Avoid the mirror. But by avoiding the mirror you are not going to become beautiful. By avoiding the situation you are not going to grow either. The challenge has to be taken.
One has to go into love. That is the first step towards God, and it cannot be bypassed. Those who try to bypass the step of love will never reach God. That is absolutely necessary because you become aware of your totality only when you are provoked by the presence of the other, when your presence is enhanced by the presence of the other, when you are brought out of your narcissistic, closed world under the open sky.
The truth is that there is no person at all in the world; there is only presence. You are not -- not as an ego, separate from the whole. You are part of the whole. The whole penetrates you, the whole breathes in you, pulsates in you, the whole is your life.
Love gives you the first experience of being in tune with something that is not your ego. Love gives you the first lesson that you can fall into harmony with someone who has never been part of your ego. If you can be in harmony with a woman, if you can be in harmony with a friend, with a man, if you can be in harmony with your child or with your mother, why can't you be in harmony with all human beings? And if to be in harmony with a single person gives such joy, what will be the outcome if you are in harmony with all human beings? And if you can be in harmony with all human beings, why can't you be in harmony with animals and birds and trees? Then one step leads to another.
Love is a ladder. It starts with one person, it ends with the totality. Love is the beginning, God is the end. To be afraid of love, to be afraid of the growing pains of love, is to remain enclosed in a dark cell.
Modern man is living in a dark cell; it is narcissistic. Narcissism is the greatest obsession of the modern mind.
If you don't go into love, as many people have decided, then you are stuck with yourself. Then your life is not a pilgrimage, then your life is not a river going to the ocean; your life is a stagnant pool, dirty, and soon there will be nothing but dirt and mud. To keep clean, one needs to keep flowing. A river remains clean because it goes on flowing. Flow is the process of remaining continuously virgin.
A lover remains a virgin. All lovers are virgin. The people who don't love cannot remain virgin; they become dormant, stagnant; they start stinking sooner or later -- and sooner than later -- because they have nowhere to go. Their life is dead.
That's where modern man finds himself, and because of this, all kinds of neuroses, all kinds of madnesses, have become rampant. Psychological illness has taken epidemic proportions. It is no more that a few individuals are psychologically ill; the reality is the whole earth has become a madhouse. The whole of humanity is suffering from a kind of neurosis.
And that neurosis is coming from your narcissistic stagnancy. Everyone is stuck with one's own illusion of having a separate self; then people go mad. And this madness is meaningless, unproductive, uncreative. Or people start committing suicide. Those suicides are also unproductive, uncreative.
This is no way to live, and the reason, the fundamental reason, is we have forgotten the language of love. We are no more courageous enough to go into that adventure called love.
Hence people are interested in sex, because sex is not risky. It is momentary, you don't get involved. Love is involvement; it is commitment. It is not momentary. Once it takes roots, it can be forever. It can be a lifelong involvement. Love needs intimacy, and only when you are intimate does the other become a mirror. When you meet sexually with a woman or a man, you have not met at all; in fact, you avoided the soul of the other person. You just used the body and escaped, and the other used your body and escaped. You never became intimate enough to reveal each other's original faces.
It is painful, but don't avoid it. If you avoid it you have avoided the greatest opportunity to grow. Go into it, suffer love, because through the suffering comes great ecstasy. Yes, there is agony, but out of the agony, ecstasy is born. Yes, you will have to die as an ego, but if you can die as an ego, you will be born as God, as a Buddha. And love will give you the first tongue-tip-taste of Tao, of Sufism, of Zen. Love will give you the first proof that God is, that life is not meaningless.
Let there be pain, let there be suffering. Go through the dark night, and you will reach to a beautiful sunrise. It is only in the womb of the dark night that the sun evolves. It is only through the dark night that the morning comes.
My whole approach here is that of love. I teach only love and only love and nothing else. You can forget about God; that is just an empty word. You can forget about prayers because they are only rituals imposed by others on you. Love is the natural prayer, not imposed by anybody. You are born with it. Love is the true God -- not the God of theologians, but the God of Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, the God of the Sufis. Love is a tariqa, a method, to kill you as a separate individual and to help you become the infinite. Disappear as a dewdrop and become the ocean, but you will have to pass through the door of love.
And certainly when one starts disappearing like a dewdrop, and one has lived long as a dewdrop, it hurts, because one has been thinking, "I am this, and now this is going. I am dying. " You are not dying, but only an illusion is dying. You have become identified with the illusion, true, but the illusion is still an illusion. And only when the illusion is gone will you be able to see who you are. And that revelation brings you to the ultimate peak of joy, bliss, celebration.
Interests
[moksha], [RAQ], [Sandhyavandanam], [Yoga], [The most beautiful place in the world], [What is the purpose of life?], [Satsanga], [Vipassana], [Marriage]
* [Living]
* [Books], [Articles], [Writing], [Words]
* [Zen] vt. To figure out something by meditation or by a sudden flash of enlightenment. Originally applied to bugs, but occasionally applied to problems of life in general. "How'd you figure out the buffer allocation problem?" "Oh, I zenned it."
* Seriously, can you describe [The fragrance of the rose]
2do
James Michener : The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.
..."What I really need is to come to terms with myself about what I am to do, not about what I am to know, except insomuch as knowledge must precede every act. It is a matter of understanding my destiny, of seeing what the Divinity actually wants me to do; what counts is to find a truth, which is true for me, to find that idea for which I will live and die."...
Grayson Harding
Grayson : I'm an underpaid misclassified Director of Technology. It's not just me, they underpay everyone. I live in the midwest, sometimes called God's Country or the Heartland of America. Yea, that narrows it down for ya'. I'm really in the country. My little half acre is almost completely surrounded by a national forest. I've seen three or four bald eagles in the last several years that I've lived here. Lots of white-tailed deer, possum, wild turkey, chipmunks, and four-legged fox.
me : We are also living somewhere closer to such a place, which is reachable by walk in 20 minutes :-) (I could think of a better sentence... but Sushma understands it right now !)
Who am i?
[Articles] > Who Am I?
The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri [Ramana Maharshi]
PRESIDENT, BOARD OF TRUSTEES
"Who am I?" is the title given to a set of questions and answers bearing on Self-enquiry. The questions were put to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi by one Sri M. Sivaprakasam Pillai about the year 1902. Sri Pillai, a graduate in Philosophy, was at the time employed in the Revenue Department of the South Arcot Collectorate. During his visit to Tiruvannamalai in 1902 on official work, he went to Virupaksha Cave on Arunachala Hill and met the Master there. He sought from him spiritual guidance, and solicited answers to questions relating to Self-enquiry. As Bhagavan was not talking then, not because of any vow he had taken, but because he did not have the inclination to talk, he answered the questions put to him by gestures, and when these were not understood, by writing. As recollected and recorded by Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai, there were fourteen questions with answers to them given by Bhagavan. This record was first published by Sri Pillai in 1923, along with a couple of poems composed by himself relating how Bhagavan's grace operated in his case by dispelling his doubts and by saving him from a crisis in life. 'Who am I?' has been published several times subsequently. We find thirty questions and answers in some editions and twenty-eight in others. There is also another published version in which the questions are not given, and the teachings are rearranged in the form of an essay. The extant English translation is of this essay. The present rendering is of the text in the form of twenty-eight questions and answers.
Along with Vicharasangraham (Self-Enquiry), Nan Yar (Who am I?) constitutes the first set of instructions in the Master's own words. These two are the only prosepieces among Bhagavan's Works. They clearly set forth the central teaching that the direct path to liberation is Self-enquiry. The particular mode in which the enquiry is to be made is lucidly set forth in Nan Yar. The mind consists of thoughts. The 'I' thought is the first to arise in the mind. When the enquiry ' Who am I?' is persistently pursued, all other thoughts get destroyed, and finally the 'I' thought itself vanishes leaving the supreme non-dual Self alone. The false identification of the Self with the phenomena of non-self such as the body and mind thus ends, and there is illumination, Sakshatkara. The process of enquiry of course, is not an easy one. As one enquires 'Who am I?', other thoughts will arise; but as these arise, one should not yield to them by following them , on the contrary, one should ask 'To whom do they arise ?' In order to do this, one has to be extremely vigilant. Through constant enquiry one should make the mind stay in its source, without allowing it to wander away and get lost in the mazes of thought created by itself. All other disciplines such as breath-control and meditation on the forms of God should be regarded as auxiliary practices. They are useful in so far as they help the mind to become quiescent and one-pointed.
University of Madras
As all living beings desire to be happy always, without misery, as in the case of everyone there is observed supreme love for one's self, and as happiness alone is the cause for love, in order to gain that happiness which is one's nature and which is experienced in the state of deep sleep where there is no mind, one should know one's self. For that, the path of knowledge, the inquiry of the form "Who am I?", is the principal means.
The gross body which is composed of the seven humours (dhatus), I am not; the five cognitive sense organs, viz. the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell, which apprehend their respective objects, viz. sound, touch, colour, taste, and odour, I am not; the five cognitive sense-organs, viz. the organs of speech, locomotion, grasping, excretion, and procreation, which have as their respective functions speaking, moving, grasping, excreting, and enjoying, I am not; the five vital airs, prana, etc., which perform respectively the five functions of in-breathing, etc., I am not; even the mind which thinks, I am not; the nescience too, which is endowed only with the residual impressions of objects, and in which there are no objects and no functioning's, I am not.
2. If I am none of these, then who am I?
After negating all of the above-mentioned as 'not this', 'not this', that Awareness which alone remains - that I am.
3. What is the nature of Awareness?
The nature of Awareness is existence-consciousness-bliss
4. When will the realization of the Self be gained?
When the world which is what-is-seen has been removed, there will be realization of the Self which is the seer.
5. Will there not be realization of the Self even while the world is there (taken as real)?
The seer and the object seen are like the rope and the snake. Just as the knowledge of the rope which is the substrate will not arise unless the false knowledge of the illusory serpent goes, so the realization of the Self which is the substrate will not be gained unless the belief that the world is real is removed.
When the mind, which is the cause of all cognition's and of all actions, becomes quiescent, the world will disappear.
8. What is the nature of the mind?
What is called 'mind' is a wondrous power residing in the Self. It causes all thoughts to arise. Apart from thoughts, there is no such thing as mind. Therefore, thought is the nature of mind. Apart from thoughts, there is no independent entity called the world. In deep sleep there are no thoughts, and there is no world. In the states of waking and dream, there are thoughts, and there is a world also. Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and again withdraws it into itself, likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself. When the mind comes out of the Self, the world appears. Therefore, when the world appears (to be real), the Self does not appear; and when the Self appears (shines) the world does not appear. When one persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self (as the residue). What is referred to as the Self is the Atman. The mind always exists only in dependence on something gross; it cannot stay alone. It is the mind that is called the subtle body or the soul (jiva).
9. What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of the mind?
That which rises as 'I' in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought 'I' rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind's origin. Even if one thinks constantly 'I' 'I', one will be led to that place. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the 'I' thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronouns appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.
When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: 'To whom do they arise?' It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, "To whom has this thought arisen?". The answer that would emerge would be "To me". Thereupon if one inquires "Who am I?", the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense-organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called "inwardness" (antar-mukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as "externalisation" (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the 'I' which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity "I". If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).
Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means. If through other means it is sought to control the mind, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again go forth. Through the control of breath also, the mind will become quiescent; but it will be quiescent only so long as the breath remains controlled, and when the breath resumes the mind also will again start moving and will wander as impelled by residual impressions. The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed, is the nature of the mind. The thought "I" is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent, the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of God, so that the body may be preserved and other people may not be under the impression that it is dead. In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is controlled. Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps breath in the body; and when the body dies the mind takes the breath along with it. Therefore, the exercise of breath-control is only an aid for rendering the mind quiescent (manonigraha); it will not destroy the mind (manonasa).
Like the practice of breath-control. meditation on the forms of God, repetition of mantras, restriction on food, etc., are but aids for rendering the mind quiescent.
Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed. The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-inquiry will become easy. Of all the restrictive rules, that relating to the taking of sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best; by observing this rule, the sattvic quality of mind will increase, and that will be helpful to Self-inquiry.
13. The residual impressions (thoughts) of objects appear wending like the waves of an ocean. When will all of them get destroyed?
14. Is it possible for the residual impressions of objects that come from beginningless time, as it were, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self?
Without yielding to the doubt "Is it possible, or not?", one should persistently hold on to the meditation on the Self. Even if one be a great sinner, one should not worry and weep "O! I am a sinner, how can I be saved?"; one should completely renounce the thought "I am a sinner"; and concentrate keenly on meditation on the Self; then, one would surely succeed. There are not two minds - one good and the other evil; the mind is only one. It is the residual impressions that are of two kinds - auspicious and inauspicious. When the mind is under the influence of auspicious impressions it is called good; and when it is under the influence of inauspicious impressions it is regarded as evil.
As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry "Who am I?" is required. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through inquiry. If one resorts to contemplation of the Self unintermittently, until the Self is gained, that alone would do. As long as there are enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands.
16. What is the nature of the Self?
What exists in truth is the Self alone. The world, the individual soul, and God are appearances in it. like silver in mother-of-pearl, these three appear at the same time, and disappear at the same time. The Self is that where there is absolutely no "I" thought. That is called "Silence". The Self itself is the world; the Self itself is "I"; the Self itself is God; all is Siva, the Self.
17. Is not everything the work of God?
Without desire, resolve, or effort, the sun rises; and in its mere presence, the sun-stone emits fire, the lotus blooms, water evaporates; people perform their various functions and then rest. Just as in the presence of the magnet the needle moves, it is by virtue of the mere presence of God that the souls governed by the three (cosmic) functions or the fivefold divine activity perform their actions and then rest, in accordance with their respective karmas. God has no resolve; no karma attaches itself to Him. That is like worldly actions not affecting the sun, or like the merits and demerits of the other four elements not affecting all pervading space.
18. Of the devotees, who is the greatest?
He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent devotee. Giving one's self up to God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other than that of the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them. Since the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and how not? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting on it why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease?
As thoughts arise, destroying them utterly without any residue in the very place of their origin is non-attachment. Just as the pearl-diver ties a stone to his waist, sinks to the bottom of the sea and there takes the pearls, so each one of us should be endowed with non-attachment, dive within oneself and obtain the Self-Pearl.
20. Is it not possible for God and the Guru to effect the release of a soul?
God and the Guru will only show the way to release; they will not by themselves take the soul to the state of release. In truth, God and the Guru are not different. Just as the prey which has fallen into the jaws of a tiger has no escape, so those who have come within the ambit of the Guru's gracious look will be saved by the Guru and will not get lost; yet, each one should by his own effort pursue the path shown by God or Guru and gain release. One can know oneself only with one's own eye of knowledge, and not with somebody else's. Does he who is Rama require the help of a mirror to know that he is Rama?
21. Is it necessary for one who longs for release to inquire into the nature of categories (tattvas)?
Just as one who wants to throw away garbage has no need to analyse it and see what it is, so one who wants to know the Self has no need to count the number of categories or inquire into their characteristics; what he has to do is to reject altogether the categories that hide the Self. The world should be considered like a dream.
All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent; therefore their conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent; once this has been understood there is no need for endless reading. In order to quieten the mind one has only to inquire within oneself what one's Self is; how could this search be done in books? One should know one's Self with one's own eye of wisdom. The Self is within the five sheaths; but books are outside them. Since the Self has to be inquired into by discarding the five sheaths, it is futile to search for it in books. There will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned.
Happiness is the very nature of the Self; happiness and the Self are not different. There is no happiness in any object of the world. We imagine through our ignorance that we derive happiness from objects. When the mind goes out, it experiences misery. In truth, when its desires are fulfilled, it returns to its own place and enjoys the happiness that is the Self. Similarly, in the states of sleep, samadhi and fainting, and when the object desired is obtained or the object disliked is removed, the mind becomes inward-turned, and enjoys pure Self-Happiness. Thus the mind moves without rest alternately going out of the Self and returning to it. Under the tree the shade is pleasant; out in the open the heat is scorching. A person who has been going about in the sun feels cool when he reaches the shade. Someone who keeps on going from the shade into the sun and then back into the shade is a fool. A wise man stays permanently in the shade. Similarly, the mind of the one who knows the truth does not leave Brahman. The mind of the ignorant, on the contrary, revolves in the world, feeling miserable, and for a little time returns to Brahman to experience happiness. In fact, what is called the world is only thought. When the world disappears, i.e. when there is no thought, the mind experiences happiness; and when the world appears, it goes through misery.
Desirelessness is wisdom. The two are not different; they are the same. Desirelessness is refraining from turning the mind towards any object. Wisdom means the appearance of no object. In other words, not seeking what is other than the Self is detachment or desirelessness; not leaving the Self is wisdom.
Inquiring into the nature of one's self that is in bondage, and realising one's true nature is release.
Deepavali
DEEPAVALI or Diwali means "a row of lights". It falls on the last two days of the dark half of Kartik (October-November). For some it is a three-day festival. It commences with the Dhan-Teras, on the 13th day of the dark half of Kartik, followed the next day by the Narak Chaudas, the 14th day, and by Deepavali proper on the 15th day.
There are various alleged origins attributed to this festival. Some hold that they celebrate the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. In Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Kali. It also commemorates that blessed day on which the triumphant Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. On this day also Sri Krishna killed the demon Narakasura.
In South India people take an oil bath in the morning and wear new clothes. They partake of sweetmeats. They light fireworks which are regarded as the effigies of Narakasura who was killed on this day. They greet one another, asking, "Have you had your Ganges bath?" which actually refers to the oil bath that morning as it is regarded as purifying as a bath in the holy Ganges.
Everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere. This festival brings about unity. It instils charity in the hearts of people. Everyone buys new clothes for the family. Employers, too, purchase new clothes for their employees.
Waking up during the Brahmamuhurta (at 4a.m.) is a great blessing from the standpoint of health, ethical discipline, efficiency in work and spiritual advancement. It is on Deepavali that everyone wakes up early in the morning. The sages who instituted this custom must have cherished the hope that their descendents would realise its benefits and make it a regular habit in their lives.
In a happy mood of great rejoicing village folk move about freely, mixing with one another without any reserve, all enmity being forgotten. People embrace one another with love. Deepavali is a great unifying force. Those with keen inner spiritual ears will clearly hear the voice of the sages, "O Children of God! unite, and love all". The vibrations produced by the greetings of love which fill the atmosphere are powerful enough to bring about a change of heart in every man and woman in the world. Alas! That heart has considerably hardened, and only a continuous celebration of Deepavali in our homes can rekindle in us the urgent need of turning away from the ruinous path of hatred.
On this day Hindu merchants in North India open their new account books and pray for success and prosperity during the coming year. The homes are cleaned and decorated by day and illuminated by night with earthern oil-lamps. The best and finest illuminations are to be seen in Bombay and Amritsar. The famous Golden Temple at Amritsar is lit in the evening with thousands of lamps placed all over the steps of the big tank. Vaishnavites celebrate the Govardhan Puja and feed the poor on a large scale.
O Ram! The light of lights, the self-luminous inner light of the Self is ever shining steadily in the chamber of your heart. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme light and enjoy the real Deepavali, by attaining illumination of the soul.
He who Himself sees all but whom no one beholds, who illumines the intellect, the sun, the moon and the stars and the whole universe but whom they cannot illumine, He indeed is Brahman, He is the inner Self. Celebrate the real Deepavali by living in Brahman, and enjoy the eternal bliss of the soul.
The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor do lightnings shine and much less fire. All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the Self. Merge yourself in this light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali.
Many Deepavali festivals have come and gone. Yet the hearts of the vast majority are as dark as the night of the new moon. The house is lit with lamps, but the heart is full of the darkness of ignorance. O man! wake up from the slumber of ignorance. Realise the constant and eternal light of the Soul which neither rises nor sets, through meditation and deep enquiry.
May you all attain full inner illumination! May the supreme light of lights enlighten your understanding! May you all attain the inexhaustible spiritual wealth of the Self! May you all prosper gloriously on the material as well as spiritual planes!
German Vocabulary
[Living in Germany] > German Vocabulary
Haftpflichtversicherung Third Party Liability Insurance
Meldestelle Registration Office
The Wooden Bowl
[Articles] > The Wooden Bowl
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
"We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor." So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.
The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.
For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives.
I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."
I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
Weblog2001December
From [Never settle for the best] : ...Give the proper [tools] to a group of [people] who like to make a difference, and they will...
Apart from family and friends, I would like to thank the following people for sharing their thoughts/life and making available usable/useful/enjoyable tools on the web.
* [Aaron Swartz] : who said 'I did it... you can do it too...' and made me realise my dream >>> [World Wide Wisdom|http://www.carnatic.com/www/]
* [Joel Spolsky] : [Painless Software Management|http://www.joelonsoftware.com]
* [Mira Art] : [Surprise|http://surprise.editthispage.com]
Hello [Microsoft]!, please check [Wingdings Om]. Thanks!
[Manish Vaidya] : [Layoff] Lessons
[Larry Page] and [Sergey Brin] are co-founders of [Google]
[Aaron Swartz] has [a dream|http://swartzfam.com/aaron/school/2001/12/23/]
[Jeremiah Rogers] [:|http://radio.weblogs.com/0001189/2001/12/21.html#a35] ...I'm only 16, so I still have (estimate here) 70-75 years ideally left until I'm outta commission. Think of how much more knowledge I can gain in that time...
[Rheinmuenster|http://www.rheinmuenster.de/] : The people of Greffern have always operated a ferry service between their town and Drusenheim on the left bank of the river: a pontoon bridge was erected in 1875, followed by the motor ferry "Drusus", which has been providing a free ferry service since 1977.
We saw [Lord of the Rings] yesterday night and at the end, a boy sitting in front of us kept shouting "Was Was Was..." several times ! and I had a similar reaction in my head !
I have an idea: When users rate anything... show them a list of similar objects (with the ratings by them) they have rated already and this will hopefully give them the correct perspective
Ofcourse, I liked the scenic shots in [Lord of the Rings]. But It is not the no. 1 movie I have seen from the imdb list !
The song [Christmas Time] is on the radio often...
[Buckminster Fuller] : "For the first time in history it is now possible to take care of everybody at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. Only ten years ago the ‘more with less’ technology reached the point where this could be done. All humanity now has the option to become enduringly successful."
[Mira Art] [:|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/12/22] : ...highways with traffic jams as long as 150 km...
[Kevin Carter]
(via PaperQuote) [Martin Farquhar Tupper] : Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.
[Extreme Programming] and [Feature Driven Development] : [a short comparison|http://www.togethercommunity.com/coad-letter/Coad-Letter-0070.html] : The Bottom Line in the article is the essence : ...It is important to discover what works for you and your organization. The name of the process you use is not important. What is important is the ability to repeatedly deliver frequent, tangible, working results on time, within budget and with agreed function...
[IBM's Test-Tube Quantum Computer Makes History|http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/news/20011219_quantum.shtml] : ...Scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center have performed the world's most complicated quantum-computer calculation to date. They caused a billion-billion custom-designed molecules in a test tube to become a seven-qubit quantum computer that solved a simple version of the mathematical problem at the heart of many of today's data-security cryptographic systems...
I started eating vegetarisch [Flammkuchen|http://www.cantate86.de/flammkuchen.htm] at 12:05 today morning !!!
[Russell H. Conwell]'s speech [Acres of Diamonds] concludes ...If you forget everything I have said to you, do not forget this, because it contains more in two lines than all I have said. Bailey says: "He most lives who thinks most, who feels the noblest, and who acts the best."...
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
The mission of the [North Carolina Christmas Tree Association|http://www.ncchristmastrees.com/] (NCCTA) is to promote "real" Christmas Trees through marketing and education.
[James Allen]'s [As A Man Thinketh] is partly responsible for the creation of the entire personal development industry. Most contemporary PD authors and teachers credit this little book for providing foundation to their principles.
[Jeff Keller] is President of [Attitude is Everything], Inc.
[Albert Einstein] : A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
[Margaret Mead] : Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
[Oliver Breidenbach] [:|http://www.fsomm.com/discuss/msgReader$902] The Spiegel figured out how to use numerology to better remember the Euro to DM exchange rate: 1.9 55 83 If you take the sum of the last two pairs it is 10 and 11, respectively. So, the exchange rate is one point nine, ten, eleven...
[Mira Art] [quotes|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/12/16] [Buckminster Fuller] : When I am Working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only of how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
I have read somewhere that the Western World follow a 'parts per million' culture while the Japanese follow the 'zero defect' culture... and that this is the fundamental difference !
[Socrates] : The unexamined life is not worth living
[Aristotle] in [Nicomachean Ethics] : The man who gets angry at the right things and with the right people, and in the right way and at the right time and for the right length of time, is commended.
[Jason Levine] : [Stanford University Interview|http://www.broaderminds.com/Profiles/Stanford_university/reviews/987553538431.html] : "More important than the workload at Stanford, I find, is the ‘humbling factor’. Basically, if you can gain admission to a school like Stanford, I have no doubt that you can work at the level set by the professors. The problem is more egotistical: can you handle meeting people just as and possibly more intelligent than yourself?"
[Saravanan Natarajan] has sent me some (10 !) CDs with Osho's speeches and I have started listening to "Osho about Creativity" and most of the speech is available on the web too...
[Osho] : [CREATIVITY: Unleashing the Forces Within] : ...Creativity means loving whatsoever you do -- enjoying, celebrating it! Maybe nobody comes to know about it -- who is going to praise you for cleaning the floor? History will not take any account of it; newspapers will not publish your name and picture -- but that is irrelevant. You enjoyed it. The value is intrinsic...
[Google] [unveils huge archive of USENET back to 1981|http://www.google.com/googlegroups/archive_announce_20.html]
[First mention|http://www.google.com/googlegroups/archive_announce_20.html] of [Google] is by [Chris Mitchell]. He doesnot actively maintain [The Searcher's Road Less Travelled|http://home.teleport.com/~lensman/roadless.htm]
But, [Chris Mitchell] has a powerful message on his home page for all of mankind - WOW !
[The Masquerade of Charity]
[The Song of the Bird]
[Mortimer Jerome Adler] : The purpose of a liberal education is not to learn how to earn a living, but to learn how to live and enjoy life, especially when not working
[Jean-Paul Sartre] : The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
[Siva Vaidhyanathan] : [Software Is Free Speech|http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/09/magazine/09SOFTWARE.html] vs [Software] Is [Free Speech]
[Isaiah Berlin] (in [The Hedgehog and the Fox]): There exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision...and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory...The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes.
[Derk Richardson] : [Eight Things I Learned|http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2001/12/06/derk.DTL] from [George Harrison]
I did something at work which makes me think of the [Elegant Hack] which is being powered by [movabletype] since some days...
Can you put [the fragrance of the rose] into words ?
Probably [Christian Kwyas] has accumulated lots of [good karma] like [Mark Pilgrim] :-)
Coming from India, I am thinking of tasty [Korma] and Lord Vishnu's [Kurma] Avatar
[Dave Winer] [:|http://scriptingnews.userland.com/backissues/2001/12/06#l86b0989154cbfbef88f0a30f41b96187] Bug reports should have three parts. 1. Here's what I did. 2. This is what I expected to happen. 3. This is what actually happened. For extra credit, if it's a public Web app, provide a URL. It also couldn't hurt to say what version of the software you're using, what OS, and other things that might make your installation different from others.
[Office XP Error Reporting May Send Sensitive Documents to Microsoft|http://www.ciac.org/ciac/bulletins/m-005.shtml]
[Peter Longo] is [Pratt & Whitney|http://www.pratt-whitney.com/]'s CIO. Pratt & Whitney is a leader in the design, manufacture and support of engines for commercial, military and general aviation aircraft, and space propulsion systems
[16 Ways to Be a Smarter Teacher]
Found [The End of the World] at his page... which made me goto [RAQ] and found [The Meaning of Life] :-)
Thinking of [Mannheim] ...
I want to buy a [Digital Camera]. [Canon PowerShot A20|http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/a20-review/index.html] is on the top of my list... [Jeff Keller] states ...As always, I recommend a trip to your local camera store to try out the /camera/ and its competitors before you buy!... Do you have any recommendations ?
"For his([Christopher Alexander]) Ph. D. Thesis, later published as the book [Notes on the Synthesis of Form], he was awarded the first Gold Medal for Research by the American Institute of Architects."
[Christopher Alexander]'s [ideas on office furniture and interiors]
[Dan Simmons] in [When Mental Growth Outruns Maturity|http://www.erinyes.org/simmons/interview.html] ...Wabash influenced every part of my life because I learned what being an educated human being meant while I was here...
[George Harrison] [dies|http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/music/newsid_1492000/1492446.stm]. [Craig Jensen] is [Sad and heart broken|http://booknotes.weblogs.com/2001/11/30]. [All Things Must Pass]
Pongal
The Sanskrit term "Shankramana" means "to begin to move". The day on which the sun begins to move northwards is called Makara Shankranti. It usually falls in the middle of January.
To many people, especially the Tamilians, Makara Shankranti ushers in the New Year. The corn that is newly-harvested is cooked for the first time on that day. Joyous festivities mark the celebration in every home. Servants, farmers and the poor are fed and clothed and given presents of money. On the next day, the cow, which is regarded as the symbol of the Holy Mother, is worshipped. Then there is the feeding of birds and animals.
The Sanskrit term "Shankramana" means "to begin to move". The day on which the sun begins to move northwards is called Makara Shankranti. It usually falls in the middle of January.
To many people, especially the Tamilians, Makara Shankranti ushers in the New Year. The corn that is newly-harvested is cooked for the first time on that day. Joyous festivities mark the celebration in every home. Servants, farmers and the poor are fed and clothed and given presents of money. On the next day, the cow, which is regarded as the symbol of the Holy Mother, is worshipped. Then there is the feeding of birds and animals.
In this manner the devotee’s heart expands slowly during the course of the celebrations, first embracing with its long arms of love the entire household and neighbours, then the servants and the poor, then the cow, and then all other living creatures. Without even being aware of it, one develops the heart and expands it to such proportions that the whole universe finds a place in it.
As Shankranti is also the beginning of the month, Brahmins offer oblations to departed ancestors. Thus, all the great sacrifices enjoined upon man find their due place in this grand celebration. The worship of the Cosmic Form of the Lord is so well introduced into this, that every man and woman in India is delightfully led to partake of it without even being aware of it.
To the spiritual aspirants this day has a special significance. The six-month period during which the sun travels northwards is highly favourable to them in their march towards the goal of life. It is as though they are flowing easily with the current towards the Lord. Paramahamsa Sannyasins roam about freely during this period, dispelling gloom from the hearts of all. The Devas and Rishis rejoice at the advent of the new season, and readily come to the aid of the aspirant.
The great Bhishma, the grandfather of the Pandavas, was fatally wounded during the war of the Mahabharata, waited on his deathbed of nails for the onset of this season before finally departing from the earth-plane. Let us on this great day pay our homage to him and strive to become men of firm resolve ourselves!
As already mentioned, this is the Pongal festival in South India. It is closely connected with agriculture. To the agriculturalist, it is a day of triumph. He would have by then brought home the fruits of his patient toil. Symbolically, the first harvest is offered to the Almighty—and that is Pongal. To toil was his task, his duty, but the fruit is now offered to Him—that is the spirit of Karma Yoga.
Be charitable. Be generous. Treat your servants as your bosom-friends and brother workers. This is the keynote of the Pongal festival. You will then earn their loyalty and enduring love.
The day prior to the Makara Shankranti is called the Bhogi festival. On this day, old, worn-out and dirty things are discarded and burnt. Homes are cleaned and white-washed. Even the roads are swept clean and lovely designs are drawn with rice-flour. These practices have their own significance from the point of view of health. But, here I remind you that it will not do to attend to these external things alone. Cleaning the mind of its old dirty habits of thought and feeling is more urgently needed. Burn them up, with a wise and firm resolve to tread the path of truth, love and purity from this holy day onwards. This is the significance of Pongal in the life of the spiritual aspirant.
If you do this, then the Makara Shankranti has a special significance for you. The sun, symbolising wisdom, divine knowledge and spiritual light, which receded from you when you revelled in the darkness of ignorance, delusion and sensuality, now joyously turns on its northward course and moves towards you to shed its light and warmth in greater abundance, and to infuse into you more life and energy.
In fact, the sun itself symbolises all that the Pongal festival stands for. The message of the sun is the message of light, the message of unity, of impartiality, of true selflessness, of the perfection of the elements of Karma Yoga. The sun shines on all equally. It is the true benefactor of all beings. Without the sun, life would perish on earth. It is extremely regular and punctual in its duties, and never claims a reward or craves for recognition. If you imbibe these virtues of the sun, what doubt is there that you will shine with equal divine lustre!
He who dwells in the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose body the sun is, and by whose power the sun shines—He is the Supreme Self, the Indweller, the immortal Essence. Tat Twam Asi—“That thou art”. Realise this and be free here and now on this holy Pongal or Makara Shankranti day. This is my humble Pongal prayer to you all.
On the Shankranti day, sweets, puddings and sweet rice are prepared in every home, especially in South India. The pot in which the rice is cooked is beautifully adorned with tumeric leaves and roots, the symbols of auspiciousness. The cooking is done by the women of the household with great faith and devotion, feeling from the bottom of their hearts that it is an offering unto the Lord. When the milk in which the rice is being cooked boils over, the ladies and the children assemble round the pot and shout “Pongalo Pongal!” with great joy and devotion. Special prayers are offered in temples and houses. Then the people of the household gather together and partake of the offerings in an atmosphere of love and festivity.
The farmer is lovingly greeted by the landlord and is given presents of grain, clothes and money.
On the next day, the herds of cows are adorned beautifully, fed and worshipped. In some villages the youth demonstrate their valour by taking “the bull by the horn” (and often win their brides thereby!). It is a great day for the cattle.
On the same day, young girls prepare various special dishes—sweet rice, sour rice, rice with coconut—and take them to the bank of a river or tank. They lay some leaves on the ground and place on them balls of the various preparations for the fish, birds, and other creatures. It is an extremely colourful ceremony. The crows come down in large numbers and partake of the food. All the time a valuable lesson is driven into our minds—“Share what you have with all”. The crow will call others before beginning to eat.
When you celebrate the Shankranti or Pongal in this manner, your sense of value changes. You begin to understand that your real wealth is the goodwill and friendship of your relatives, friends, neighbours and servants; that your wealth is the land on which your food grows, the cattle which help you in agriculture, and the cow which gives you milk. You begin to have greater love and respect for them and for all living beings—the crows, the fish and all other creatures.
In Maharashtra and in North India, spiritual aspirants attach much importance to Makara Shankranti. It is the season chosen by the Guru for bestowing his Grace on the disciple. In the South, too, it should be noted that it was about this time that Mahadeva favoured several of the Rishis by blessing them with His beatific vision.
Varalakshmi Viratham
LORD SHIVA describes the glory of this Vrata in the Skanda Purana. It is performed by a woman whose husband is still living. Maha Lakshmi is the abode of all auspiciousness and prosperity. This worship of Maha Lakshmi is done to obtain good progeny, and for the health and long life of the husband.
The Vrata is observed on the Friday immediately preceding the full moon day of the month of Sravan (August-September). After a purificatory bath, the lady should put on a clean, fresh cloth and make a mandala with the drawing of a lotus upon it. A kalasha filled with rice and topped with fresh mango leaves, a coconut and cloth are placed on the mandala and Lakshmi is invoked therein. Fresh grains are used in the worship as they convey the idea of growth and prosperity.
After the worship of the kalasha, follows the worship of Ganesha, then the worship of the raksha or the sacred thread. Now the main worship of Vara Lakshmi begins and the raksha is worshipped a second time. It is then tied to the right hand of the lady. After the worship various auspicious articles are given as charity to some deserving lady whose husband is alive. This lady is also fed with dainties.
Lakshmi not only bestows wealth and all sorts of material prosperity, but also imparts divine wisdom to all Her devotees. She is Vidya Shakti. She introduces Her devotees to Her Lord. She recommends them to Her Lord for their salvation.
She is the power of Lord Narayana who is also known as Lord Vishnu or Lord Hari. Narayana is God’s aspect of preservation. He is an embodiment of Shuddha Sattwa. Lakshmi is His causal body. She is Maya, the illusory power of Nature. She deludes the whole world by Her veiling power and projects it through Her projecting power. She Herself as Vidya-Lakshmi enlightens the spiritual aspirant. Beauty, grace, a picturesque scenery or charming landscape, modesty, love, prosperity, music, the five elements and their combinations, the internal organs, mind, Prana, intellect—all these are Her manifestations.
Without Lakshmi even Sannyasins cannot do propaganda or preaching work or run their institutions. They are in fact more in need of Lakshmi than the householders because they have to do great dynamic work for human weal. Sri Shankara worshipped Devi, Lakshmi and Saraswathi for success in his work. All great prophets and divine messengers who have done great spiritual work in the past were devotees of Mother Lakshmi, Devi and Saraswathi.
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Pancha Ganapati
has always been a festive time of year in all countries, religions and
of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed lord of culture and the arts.
Markali Pillaiyar. In Vedic astrology this time of year marks the end
of the sun's southward movement and the beginning of its movement north.
Pancha Ganapati is a Hindu expression of this natural season of worship,
During each of the five days, a special sadhana, spiritual discipline, is
focused upon by the entire family. Because of the festival's importance
as a new beginning and mending of all past mistakes, a festive shrine
is created in the main living room of the home. At the center is placed
a large wooden or bronze five-faced statue of Lord Pancha Ganapati. If
this is not available, any large picture or statue of Lord Ganesha
emerald green and finally brilliant orange. These are the colors of His
Each day a tray of sweets, fruits and incense is offered to Lord
Ganapati, often prepared and presented by the children. Chants, songs
be within the means of each family. Handmade presents are by far the
offer Hindu art and wisdom, such as verses from the Vedas. Here is how
December 21, yellow: The family sadhana for the first day of Pancha
Ganapati is to create a vibration of love and harmony among immediate
of Pancha Ganapati in the home. The sadhana of the day now begins. The
family sits together for the purpose of easing any strained relationships
suffered. When forgiveness is offered to all by one and all, they speak of
remember the futility of trying to change others and the practicality of
December 22, blue: Day two is devoted to creating a vibration of love and
with heartfelt. The sadhana of the day is to offer apologies and clear
up any misunderstandings that exist. Relatives and friends in far-off
of love and harmony among business associates, the casual merchant and
and appreciation. The sadhana today is the settling of all debts and
December 24, green: The sadhana of day four is to draw forth the vibration
of joy and harmony that comes from music, art, drama and the dance.
their artistic gifts. Then all sit together before Ganesha, Patron of
Arts and Guardian of Culture, discussing Hindu Dharma and making plans
forth love and harmony within all three worlds. Because of sadhanas well
aware of Ganesha's grace, and their love for Him is now overflowing. On
this day the entire family experiences an outpouring of love and
the hearts of everyone within it, inspiring them anew for the coming year.
annals of time back many thousands of years, and how tradition moves
following it through the context of one of the great religions of the
Happiness
"Happiness is when you want nothing, and you want to give. Where the wanting and desires end, and the sharing begins, happiness is exactly there. Memory is not happiness. When you are happy, you forget everything. It is when happiness is gone that you dwell in its memory. In the world, people are either dreaming of happiness or remembering happiness. That is either being in the past or the future. But happiness is that which is in the present."
via http://zedshaw.com/ => http://www.thewaytohappiness.org : ..The Way to Happiness Foundation International was established in 1984 with the mission of reversing the moral decay in society by restoring trust and honesty in the world through the publication and widespread distribution of The Way to Happiness. Today the book is published in 90 languages..
[Stephen Knapp] : [The Key to Real Happiness|http://www.stephen-knapp.com/key_to_real_happiness.htm] : ...Available Soon or read it now online. This book is actually a guide to one of the prime purposes of life. Naturally everyone wants to be happy. Why else do we keep living and working? Now you can find greater levels of happiness and fulfillment. Using this knowledge from the East, you can get clear advice on the path for reaching an independent and uninterrupted feeling of well-being. This information is sure to open your eyes to higher possibilities. It can awaken you to the natural joy that always exists within your higher Self...
It is a fact that everyone in the world is seeking happiness, often unconsciously (whatever their concept of it is) - some may deny it, citing other pursuits instead, but no-one actively pursues misery, except in the mistaken belief that it is happiness. That the pursuit of this ideal is often unrecognised by those seeking it, must be accepted by us - it is nevertheless a fact - and happiness is given many names, satisfaction, excitement, thrill, good times etc. Its pursuit can take on the guise of drug and alcohol abuse, sexual pursuit, greed, lust for power, high ambition, steady employment, a family, good exam results etc. The list is in fact endless, but none of them lead to real abiding happiness, because no sooner is one objective fulfilled than another raises its head to spoil the fragment of happiness obtained. So what is the solution and how do we find this real and abiding happiness ? The clues are there for everyone to see, both in the world and within yourself, but most people miss them.
To test the above requires only a few moments of clear introspection. It is the mind which conjures up daydreams and we then take part in them, acting out in our mind-world the scenes we expect to take place in the material world, imagining all sorts of bliss arising from the fulfilment of our illusions. Soon we become convinced by the illusion and set out to give some concrete form to the dream. It might be a new car, a washing machine, a holiday in the sun, a new partner, money, anything in fact. But what is the real truth - most of the time our dreams are only dreams, coming to nothing but increased frustration. On the rare ocassions that they become a concrete fact, we find not our expected result of endless bliss, but a short period of exultation as the desire dies in the achievment of the object. For a short time we have a quiet mind and in that quiet we find happiness. It is not the object that generates happiness, because if it was, then happiness would continue as long as the object remained. We all know that such is not true and the more we get, the more we want and the less peace we have. This is common to all.
Companies
Company is "A group of persons." --- Do you like your company [:-)] and donot find it here... send me email !
I would like you to imagine for a moment what it would be like if at the end of one’s tenure with a company, they said the following:
“That company transformed my life. It gave me an opportunity to transform myself. There is no other company in the world that does such a thing. When I came home to my children each night, I came home with a soft heart and more energy than when I left. I have never seen such a company in all my life. A company that devotes itself to curing the problems of those under its shelter.”
[Why Companies Fail?|http://www.fortune.com/indexw.jhtml?channel=artcol.jhtml&doc_id=207919]
[Art of Living] Foundation : ...
[Microsoft] : Where do you want to go today ?
Wendell Berry
The farmer, poet, novelist, essayist, and teacher, Wendell Berry, is a lover of the land. His appreciation and love for the land is expressed in both his life and works.
Berry was born at New Castle, Kentucky, in 1934. He grew up in this Henry County locale among "the cycle of the tobacco growing, cultivation, and marketing, so the romance of Kentucky's green gold is a living part of him" (Browning 191). In 1956, Berry graduated form the University of Kentucky with a B.A. degree in English and received his M.A. degree there a year later. During the summer of 1956, Berry studied at Indiana University School of Letters. From 1957 to 1959, he taught at Georgetown College. Later, under a creative writing fellowship, he went to the creative writing Center at Stanford University and taught creative writing for a year. While at Stanford, he wrote his first novel, Nathan Coulter.
In 1963, he taught at New York University. When Berry was offered and accepted a teaching position in the English Department at the University of Kentucky, the Berry's came home to Henry County in Kentucky. He lives on a 125 acre farm where his family has lived since the early 1800's. According to Bryan Wooley, "Berry is the fifth generation of his father's family and the sixth of his mother's to farm in Henry County, in the neighborhood of Port Royal" (8). Although his wife, formerly Tanya Amyx, lived in the city all her life, she and her husband raised their two children, Mary Dee and Pryor (Den) Clifford, on the farm. In the article "Wendell Berry, A Kentucky Writer Tries to Strengthen the Ties Between Man and the Land," Wooley discusses Berry's farm life. Berry did not initially intend to live on this farm but intended to use it as a vacation place. Instead the Berry's renovated the house and moved in around July 4, 1965. "It is a real farm, not a writer-professor's country estate. Its chores include milking cows and currying horses, and mucking out stalls and mending fences and mowing hay and all other time-consuming sometimes back-breaking, labor that family agriculture requires" (10).
Most of his farm was previously neglected, but Berry is fascinated with making this abused land productive. Oddly, he does not have a modern toilet; instead he has a clean white privy in the backyard. The wastes deposited there are made into compost. Tractors are not used to plow his fields, either. Berry uses a team of draft horses in replace of "Exhaust-stinking, engine-roaring, gasoline-guzzling tractors" (11). Berry feels he is doing his part by not harming the environment any further.
Another technology he does not convenience himself with is a computer, which Berry explains in his essay "Why I Am Not Going To Buy a Computer?" He writes his works and then his wife revises and types then on a manual typewriter. Berry gives three main reasons for not buying a computer: (1) He would hate to think that his work could not be done without a direct dependence on strip-mined coal. (2) He does not want to replace the close bond between him and his wife with an expensive unnecessary piece of equipment. (3) He does not want to "fool himself" by owning a computer, a tool that itself does not make his writing any better than the writing he does with a pencil. His first reason is in regard with his awareness of the land being striped to produce the electricity to run the computer. For the same reason, he writes in the daytime without electric lighting (179-171). By not participating in the "rape of nature," he shows his concern for the environment.
In Berry's novel, The Memory of Old Jack, this same appreciation for the earth is portrayed through the main character, Jack Beechum. Within this novel, the love for the land can be seen as a means of fulfillment. Although other prominent relationships are evident in Beechum's life, the most important relationship that he has is that with the soil and land.
Beechum remembers going though "a tormented marriage,... a jaded relationship with a hired black hand, and a tender love affair with a young widow... Through it all, Beechum is sustained by his farm, the paramount love and labor of his life" (Borries 26).
Beechum's marriage failed during courtship as Berry explains on page 54 and 55. His wife, Ruth Beechum, expected and wanted more of a business man instead of the farmer he was. The two, even though they were husband and wife, were strangers to each other. "She remained to him an unknown continent" (58). Beechum spent much of his time in the fields with the land, not with his wife. He could not fail with the land nor disappoint it, and it could not hold any expectations for him. So, he had more of a bond with the land than his wife.
Beechum and Will Wells, his Black hired hand, were originally like brothers, working on and caring for the land together. However, they grew weary in their relationship with the roles they fell into. Wells "was a man laboring for no more than his existence," while Beechum had "an increasing resentment of his dependence and a jealous remembering of the days when he had worked alone...when in his solitary work he had been so free" (81). Beechum had a greater need for the land than his hired hand.
Beechum's love for the land can be seen through faithfulness, his death, and his community. He is faithful to the earth, "Promising the return of what has been taken from it" (157). On the other hand, Jack also felt that the land was faithful to him by giving him "exactly what he put into it" (Borries 26). As death is at his door, he sits in a chair in his room, but his last visions are as though he is sitting at the roots of a tree on his farm (Berry 190-192). It is almost like his last request is to be with the wilderness. Moreover, Mat Feltner thought Beechum should have been buried secretly, only known to the ones who loved him best, at the edge of one of his fields so that: "when the last of them who knew its place (Beechum's grave-site) had died, Old Jack's return would be complete. He would be lost to memory there in the field, silently possessed by the earth on which he once established the work of his hands" (Berry 207). Therefore, he grew to love the soil and its natural surroundings greater than all else since his other relationships failed to give him satisfaction.
Another of Berry's works that displays a true love for his homeland is his poem "East Kentucky, 1967" included in his collection entitled Openings. The poem invites two questions concerning the environment. The first six lines challenge the awareness of what industrialization has done to the land. The waste produced by machines in the air and streams are at the expense of the lives all of the earth encompasses. The last six lines challenge the awareness of the future of our children. The next generation holds no hope for the reason they are "helpless." Since the children can only witness what we have shown them in this industrial period, they cannot "vision" and are "blind" to the land when it is beautiful and plentiful.
Wendell Berry expresses in his own life and in his works, a fondness, a love for the land and community. In my opinion and understanding, he wants us to realize our modernization is damaging the earth. It is killing the environment. Berry is not trying to tell us to "Save the World." The difference we make does not have to be large scale but local, individually taking part in preventing further damage. Berry explains in an interview with Bluegrass, "I think that changing yourself by doing the best work you can is of major importance" (27). In other words, if we worry about the part we can do locally, instead of thinking that we cannot do it all, then together we can make a noticeable difference.
- - -. the Memory of Old Jack. Harcourt, Brace, and World: New York, 1974.
Borries, Philip. "Retired Kentucky Farmer Recalls Days He Spent Tilling the Earth." Lexington Herald Leader. 10 Mar 1974: 26.
Nathan Coulter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1960. A book of fiction.
The Broken Ground. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1965. A book of 27 poems.
The Memory of Old Jack. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1965.
A Place on Earth. Boston: Harcourt, Brace, 1967. A book of fiction.
The Rise. Lexington, Kentucky: Grave Press, 1968. A book of nonfiction.
Findings. Iowa City, Iowa: The Prairie Press, 1968. A book of eight poems.
The Long-Legged House. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1972. A book of nonfiction.
The Hidden Wound. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970. A book of nonfiction.
The Country of Marriage. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973. A book of 37 poems.
Farming: A Handbook. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973. A book of 55 poems.
Sayings and Doings. Lexington, Kentucky: Gnoman Press, 1975. A book of 55 entries.
Three Memorial Poems. Berkeley, California: Sand Dollar Press, 1977. A book of 3 poems.
A Part. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1980. A book of 54 poems.
The Gift of Good Land: Further essays Cultural and Agricultural. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981. A book of 22 nonfiction essays.
Recollected Essays, 1965-1980. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981. A book of 10 nonfiction essays.
Standing by Words. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1983. A book of 7 nonfiction essays.
The Collected Poems, 1957-1983. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1985. A book of 203 poems.
The Wild Birds: Six Stories of the Port William Membership. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1986. A book of 6 fiction stories.
Home Economics: Fourteen Essays. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1987. A book of 14 nonfiction essays.
Sabbaths: Poems. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1987. A book of 45 poems.
Remembering. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1988. A book of fiction.
* source : http://www.tipiglen.dircon.co.uk/wendellberrybooks.htm - "I do have an interest in this book, which is for sale. (If you have bought it, dear reader, I thank you. If you have borrowed it, I honor your frugality. If you have stolen it, may it add to your confusion.) Most of the sale price pays the publisher for paper, ink, and other materials, for editorial advice, copyediting, design, advertising (I hope), and marketing. I get between 10 and 15 percent (depending on sales) for arranging the words on the pages.
* [Keith Parkins]'s http://www.heureka.clara.net/art/berry.htm
* [Mr. Wendell Berry of Kentucky|http://brtom.org/berry.html]
[Articles] : [Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer], [The joy of sales resistance]
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Rules the World
[Articles] > The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Rules the World
An Inspired Talk delivered by [Gurudeva] Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami on his 54th Jayanti, on January 5, 1980, at the Kadavul Hindu Temple in Hawaii, enjoining the modern Hindu woman to not forsake her dharma but protect the home and nurture the family as her gift of love to the next generation. Hmmm! It seems not to have gone out of date much.
Anbe Sivamayam Satyame Parasivam! Tonight we are going to talk about a vast subject, one that is important to every Hindu family: stri dharma, the dharma of the Hindu wife and mother. In Sanskrit stri means "woman." Dharma is a rich word which encompasses many meanings: the path to God Siva, piety, goodness, duty, obligation and more. Stri dharma is the woman's natural path, while purusha dharma, we can say, is the man's.
There is much controversy about the role of the woman in society these days. In the West, a strong women's liberation movement has been at work for many years, and now there has arisen an equally vigorous opposition which defends traditional values. The so-called struggle for women's liberation has affected women the world over--in India, Iran, Europe, Japan and elsewhere. In North America, I began a campaign informally called the Hindu women's liberation movement. It is not what you might expect. Its purpose is to liberate our Hindu women from the liberators, to save them from worldliness and to allow them to fulfill their natural dharma as mother and wife. For a religious woman, being liberated starts with resigning from her job and coming home. Once she is home, she is liberated and liberated and liberated. Working in the world keeps her in the outer dimensions of consciousness, while being at home allows her to live in the depth of her being. I have seen this work many times. There are so many distractions and influences in the world today that divert women away from being a wife and mother. In the West a woman is a wife first and a mother second, but in the East her duties as a mother are foremost. She is trained from early childhood in the arts of homemaking, trained by her mother who was trained in exactly the same way by her mother, and so on right down through history. It's an old pattern.
The Hindu woman is looked upon as most precious. Two thousand years ago Saint Tiruvalluvar observed: "What does a man lack if his wife is worthy? And what does he possess if she is lacking worth?" There is more respect in the East for women and for their role in society. Here in the West, the woman is not fully appreciated. Her contribution is underrated and misunderstood. In fact, this is one of the reasons she seeks fulfillment and recognition in other spheres, because Western society has become oblivious of her unique and vital role. Abused by neglect and disregard, she seeks other avenues where she may be appreciated, recognized and rewarded.
Don't forget that in the East the ties of the extended family are very close. Women live in a community, surrounded by younger and older women, often living in the same house. They enjoy a rewarding life which includes helping the younger ones and being helped by those who are more mature. Several generations work together in sharing the joys as well as the burdens of household culture. It is different in the West. Women here usually do not have the advantages of close association with other family members. Naturally, they become a little lonely, especially if they do not have a religious community of friends. They get lonely and want to get out in the world and enjoy life a little. This is another reason women leave the home. It is very unfortunate.
In the East there is a better balance of the masculine and feminine forces. In the West the masculine is too strong, too dominant. The feminine energies need to be allowed greater expression. But that does not mean women should start doing what men do. No. That only confuses the forces more. A better balance must be found. In the East the woman is protected. She is like a precious gem. You don't leave it unattended. You protect it. You guard it well because you don't wish to lose it. Hindu women are guarded well. They are not allowed to become worldly. They are not exposed to the looks and thoughts of a base public, nor must they surrender their modesty to contend with business affairs. She can be perfectly feminine, expressing her natural qualities of gentleness, intuitiveness, love and modesty. The home and family are the entire focus of a Hindu woman's life.
Many of you here tonight are too young to know that this was also the pattern in the West until about seventy-five years ago. Before World War I, women were very strict in the West. It was that war and the one that followed that broke down the ancient roles of men and women. The men were taken away from industry by the army, and women were forced out of the home into the factories and businesses so that production could continue. Earlier they had been protected, seldom seen unaccompanied in public. Throughout history, women had been the caretakers of the home and the defenders of virtue. They valued their purity, their chastity, and were virgins when they married. Many people don't know that the old values were followed most strictly up until 1915 or so. Then the two world wars broke up the family and disturbed the balance between men and women. For the first time, women were seen alone in public. For the first time, they left the home and competed with men for their jobs.
I speak often of the change humanity is going through in moving out of the agricultural era and into the technological age. This change has affected the dharma of the woman and the dharma of the man in an interesting way. During the tens of thousands of years of the agricultural age, families lived and labored mostly on farms or in craft guilds. The entire family worked on the farm. The men all worked in the fields; the women and children worked in the home. Children were a great asset. More children meant more help, a bigger farm. There were many chores that a young boy or girl could do. When harvest time came, everyone joined in. It was a one team, and everyone contributed. When the crop was sold, that was the income for a combined effort from all members--men, women and even children. In a very real sense, everyone was earning the money, everyone was economically important.
In the technological era, only the man of the house earns the family income. Everyone else spends it. The husband goes to work in a factory or large company office while his wife and children stay at home. There is not much they can do to help him during the day with his work. His work and his wife's are not as closely related as in the old days. He is the provider, the producer now; she and the children are consumers. Because the children cannot help much, they have become more of an economic liability than an asset. This, coupled with the population problems on the Earth, devalues the economic importance of the woman's traditional role as wife and mother. Whereas raising children and taking care of the farmhouse used to be a woman's direct and vital contribution toward the family's livelihood and even the survival of the human race, today it is not. Whereas they used to be partners in a family farm business, today he does all the earning and she feels like a dependent. The answer is not to have women join their men in the factories and corporations. The answer is to bring traditional religious values into the technological era, to find a new balance of karma that allows for the fulfillment of both the man's and the woman's dharma.
When young couples marry, I help them write down their vows to one another. He must promise to support her, to protect her, to give her a full and rewarding life. She must promise to care for him, to manage the home, to maintain the home shrine and to raise fine children. I ask them each to respect the other's realm, to never mentally criticize the other and to make religion the central focus of their life together. I ask the young bride to stay in the home, to be a little shy of involvement in the world.
A mother's place is within the home and not out in the world working. When she is in the home all day, she brings love and security to the children, sensitivity and stability to the husband. By raising her children, she changes the course of history. How does she do that? She raises strong children, good and intelligent children. They will grow up to be the great men and women in the community, the leaders of the nation. They will be the farmers, artists, businessmen, the teachers, the doctors, the lawyers, the architects, the presidents and, most importantly, the spiritual leaders. They will be the mothers, the homemakers and child-raisers, scientists and inventors, pioneers and poets, artists and sculptors and creators in all dimensions of life. It is such men and women who change the course of human history. This is the great power held by the mother and by no one else: to properly mold the mind and character of her children. And she trains her daughters to do the same by example and gentle guidance.
Of course, she also holds the opposite power, expressed through neglect, to allow her children to grow up on their own, on the streets where they will learn a base life. Such children will as surely change society and human history, but negatively. They will be the common men and women, or fall into mental and emotional abysses, there to express man's instinctive nature and become the exemplars of violence and lust, of dependence and crime. The very direction of humankind is right there in the early years, to be turned toward a great potential through love and attentiveness or allowed to decay through neglect. The mother is the child's first guru, and she alone can shape the mind in those impressionable years. So, you can all see the truth in the old saying: "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."
Take the case of a mother who is at home every day, morning and night, attending to her children. As she rocks the cradle, her love and energy radiate out to the infant who then feels a natural peacefulness and security. She has time for the child, time to sing sweet lullabies and console when the tears come, time to teach about people, about the world, about the little things in growing up, time to cuddle for no reason except to express her love. On the other hand, the working mother has no time to do extra things. When the infant cries, she may, out of her own frustrations of the day, become impatient and scold him, demanding that he keep quiet. "I told you to be quiet!" she shouts. The infant doesn't even understand English yet. You can imagine this helpless child's feelings as he receives an emotional blast of anger and frustration directed toward his gentle form. Where is he to turn? He cannot find refuge even in his mother's arms. What will the next generation be like if all the children are raised under such circumstances? Will it be strong and self-assured? Will it radiate kindness to others, never having had kindness given to it? Will it be patient and understanding? No. It is a proven fact that most of the people in prison were neglected or beaten as children. It is also a proven fact that nearly all parents who mistreat their children were themselves mistreated by their parents. Unless mothers care for and love their children, society will inherit an entire generation of frustrated adults who were once frustrated children. These will later be the people who rule the world. Then what happens? They in turn raise their children in the same manner, for that is the only example of parenthood they have. They will think that neglect is natural, that children can get along on their own from an early age or be raised by a governess or nurse or at a day-care center. It's a circle: a childhood of neglect produces a bitter adult life; a childhood of love and trust produces a loving and happy adult life.
We learn so many important things from the mother. This learning is not just from the things she explains to us, but from the way she lives her life. If she is patient, we learn patience. If she is angry and unhappy, then we learn to be angry and unhappy. How wonderful it is for a mother to be in the home and give her children the great gifts of life by her example. She can teach them so many things, bring them into profound understandings about the world around them and offer them basic values and points of view that will sustain them throughout their life. Her gift of love is directly to the child, but indirectly it is a gift to all of humanity, isn't it? A child does not learn much from the father until he is older, perhaps eight or nine, or ten years of age.
Let me tell you a sad story. We have a book in our library which describes a plan, made by the Christians, to destroy Hinduism in Sri Lanka and India. One of their major tactics is to get the Hindu women out of the homes and working in the world. They knew that the spiritual force within the home is created by the unworldly woman. They knew that a secure woman makes for a secure home and family, a secure husband and a secure religion. They knew that the Hindu woman is the key to the perpetuation of Hinduism as long as she is in the home. If the woman is in the home, if she is happy and content and the children are nurtured and raised properly, then the astral beings around the home will be devonic, friendly and beneficial. But if she is out of the home and the husband is out of the home, the protective force-field around the home disintegrates, allowing all kinds of astral asuric beings to enter. Such a neglected home becomes inhabited by base, asuric beings on the lower astral plane. You cannot see these beings, but they are there, and you can sense their presence. Things just don't feel right in a home inhabited by negative forces. You have the desire to leave such a home as soon as you enter it. The children absorb these vibrations, these feelings. Children are open and psychically sensitive to such influences, with little means of self-protection. They will become disturbed, and no one will know the reason why. They will be crying and even screaming. They will be constantly disobedient. Why should they become disobedient? There is no positive, protective force field of religion established by the mother. This leaves the inner force field vulnerable to negative and confusing forces of all kinds, especially in modern, overpopulated cities where destructive psychic influences are so strong. These negative vibrations are penetrating the inner atmosphere of the home, and the children are psychic enough to pick them up and suffer.
Religion begins in the home under the mother's influence and instruction. The mother goes to the temple to get strong. That is the reason Hindus live near a temple. They go to the temple to gain the strength from the shakti of the Deity, and they return to the home where they maintain a similar vibration in which to raise the next generation to be staunch and wonderful citizens of the world, to bring peace on Earth, to keep peace on Earth. There is an ancient Tamil proverb which says one should not live in a city which has no temple.
If a child is screaming in its cradle, and the baby sitter is yelling at him and couldn't care less about his feelings, and the mother is out working, that child is not a candidate for peace on Earth. That child is going to keep things confused, as they are today. So, it's all in the hands of the mother; it's not in the hands of the father. Religion and the future of society lie solely in the hands of the mother. It is in the hands of the father to allow or not to allow the mother to be under another man's mind out in the world.
Just as the two world wars took women out of the home, so did another recent change affect mankind. When the automobile came, people forgot about breeding. The automobile did one terrible thing: it made people forget how to breed and how to take care of one another. When people had horses, horses were a part of the family. People had to care for their horses and in the process learned to care for one another. People also had to breed their horses, and in that process learned about the value of intelligent breeding. In those days, you often heard of the "well-bred" person. You don't hear of the well-bred person anymore. People no longer consider that humans, too, are involved in the natural process of breeding. They have become forgetful of these important laws, and this has led to lack of discipline, to bodies indiscriminately creating more bodies. Who is living in them nobody quite knows. That's what we, as a society, forgot when the automobile replaced the horse. When you had a horse, you had to feed it, you had to train it, curry it, stable it and breed it. In breeding it, you had to choose a stud for your mare or find a suitable mare for your stallion. The qualities on both sides were closely observed, and the combination of genetics consciously planned. It was, therefore, natural for people in those days to seek proper mates for their children, and the results were the vital, creative and industrious children of the children. As a civilization, we are slowly forgetting such things, being more careless about our children's future, about their lives and minds.
Television has not helped the matter. In fact, it has virtually stopped the proper education of the child in those communities where it is watched for hours each day. Instead of developing a curiosity by adventuring for hours through a forest or climbing a tree, instead of discovering the wonders of nature and art and music, instead of becoming involved in sports and hobbies, children are mentally carried along by television stories through positive and negative states of mind. They become uncreative, inactive, never learning to use their own minds. Not all television is negative. Some of it can be quite educational; but hours and hours each day of passive absorption are not good for the child's mental and emotional development. Children need to be active, to involve themselves in a wide variety of experiences. If the mother is there, she can intelligently guide their television, being careful that they do not get in the habit of watching it for hours on end, and watching that bold sex, violence and other bad influences are not a daily experience. When the program is over, she can send them out to play. Of course, if she is gone, they will watch anything and everything. For the young, television is one of the most senseless pastimes there is, carrying the mind further and further away from the true Self. I think you will all agree that our values, the values found in the holy Vedas, Tirukural and other sacred scriptures are not found on television. Instead, TV gives our children a brutal and unbalanced view of life which distorts in their minds how life really is. These are very serious questions. It is the mother who protects her children from negative influences, guiding their young minds into positive channels of expression.
Take the case of a farmer who raises livestock, who milks cows and goats. He works hard. He gets up early and takes care of his animals. He cannot succeed if he is also working part-time in the grocery store downtown. He just can't do it. Those animals need attention. There is no sensible man who would run a farm, with cows and goats and chickens, and not be there to take care of them, because those animals need a lot of help. He stays there and takes care of his business. He is a farmer and that is his duty, and he knows it.
Well, what's more important than the child? He needs 24-hour-a-day care. He is learning to walk, to speak, to think. He falls down and needs consoling. He catches the flu and needs to be nursed back to health. It is the mother's duty to provide that care. No one else is going to do it for her. No one else can do it for her. She brought that child into the world, and she must prepare that child for a positive and rewarding life. If the farmer neglects his animals, he creates a karma. The animals suffer. The farm suffers. The community suffers when the farm fails, and the man himself suffers. There is a grave karma, too, for the woman who neglects her stri dharma, who goes out into the world and does not nurture the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of her children. She knows this within herself, but she may be influenced by ill-advised people, or by a mass movement that tells her that she has only one life to live and that she cannot find fulfillment in the home but must express herself, venture out, seek her own path, her own fortune. You have all heard these ideas. I tell you that they are wrong. They spell the disillusionment of the mother who heeds them, then the disintegration of the family that is sacrificed by her absence. Finally, they result in her own unhappiness as she despairs at the loss suffered by her family and herself.
From the point of view of the Second World, or astral plane, the home is the family temple, and the wife and mother is in charge of that spiritual environment. Man can come into that sanctum sanctorum but should not bring the world into it. He will naturally find a refuge in the home if she is doing her duty. He will be able to regain his peace of mind there, renew himself for the next day in the stressful situations that the world is full of. In this technological age a man needs this refuge. He needs that inner balance in his life. When he enters that sanctuary and she is in her soul body and the child is in its soul body, then he becomes consciously conscious in his soul body. He leaves the conscious mind, which is a limited, external state of mind and not a balanced state of mind. He enters the intuitive mind. He gets immediate and intuitive answers to his worldly problems. How can he not be successful in his purusha dharma in the outside world when he has the backing of a good wife? She is naturally perceptive, naturally intuitive. She balances out his intellect, softens the impact of the forces which dash against his nervous system from morning to night. Encouragement and love naturally radiate out from her as she fulfills stri dharma. Without these balancing elements in his life, a man becomes too externalized, too instinctive and sometimes brutal.
If a woman is working, she cannot provide this balance. She has to start thinking and acting like a man. She has to become a little harder, create a protective shell around her emotions. Then the home loses its balance of the masculine and the feminine forces. Take for example the situation in which the wife rushes home from work fifteen minutes before the husband. She's upset. The children come over from grandmother's house or she tells the baby sitter to go home. She scurries to prepare something before he comes home, then rushes to get herself looking halfway decent. Emotionally upset, she tries to calm herself, tries to relax and regain her composure. Her astral body is upset. The children's astral bodies are upset. The husband enters this agitated environment--upset by being in the world anyway--and he becomes more disturbed. He was looking forward to a quiet evening. He feels neglected, disappointed, and that leads him to become distraught, even angry. No wonder he beats his wife and abuses his child. He's mad. He gets more and more disturbed until there is nothing left to do but walk out. It's a totally impossible situation. Furthermore, it's not going to get better but exceedingly worse.
The situation I have just described is one of the main reasons that marriages today have become less stable, that so many married couples--sixty to seventy percent, I'm told--are experiencing difficulties and breaking up. People never get married with the intent of breaking up. Never. The forces do it. You put two magnets together one way and they attract one another. Turn one around, and they repel each other. The same force that brought the people together, when it is not handled right, makes them pull apart and hate each other. They can't see eye to eye. Then to make up, they go out to dinner to talk it over--in another frustrating asuric situation, as far out in the world as they can get--to try to make up. When that doesn't help, they come home, still frustrated. If they went to the nearby temple and worshiped the Deity together, that would help. They would return home in a different state of mind, and discover that their vibration had changed. Why does it help to go to the temple? Because the Deity is in the temple. The Deity is there to adjust the forces of the inner nerve system, to actually change the forces of mind and emotion.
In the home the mother is likened to the Shakti Deity. She is the power of the home. None other. So she has to be there. She has to be treated right. She has to be given the things she needs. It is the man's duty to provide for her and for the children. The husband should provide her with all the fine things, with a good house which she then makes into a home, with gold and jewels and clothes, gold hanging down until her ears hurt, more bracelets, more things to keep her in the home so she is feeling secure and happy. In return she provides a refuge, a serene corner of the world where he can escape from the pressures of daily life, where he can regain his inner perspective, perform his spiritual sadhana and meditations then enjoy his family. Thus, she brings happiness and peace of mind to the family, to the community and to the world.
This working together of the home and the temple brings up the culture and the religion within the family. The family goes to the temple; the temple blesses the family's next project. The mother returns home. She keeps an oil lamp burning in the shrine room on the altar. It's a beautiful thing. All this happens because her astral body is not fretted by the stresses and strains of a worldly life, not polluted by the lustful thoughts of other men directed to her. She is not living in the emotional astral body. She is living in her peaceful soul body of love, fulfilling her dharma and radiating the soulful presence called sannidhya. She was born to be a woman, and that's how a woman should behave.
If she does not do her dharmic duty--this means the duty of birth--then she accrues bad karma. Every time she leaves the home to go out to work, she is making kukarma. Yes, she is. That negative karma will reflect on her astral body and on her husband's astral body and on the astral bodies of their children, causing them to become insecure.
The Christian-Judaic-Islamic idea of a one life, that "you have to get everything out of this life because when you're gone, you're gone, so grab all the gusto that you can out of life" has given the modern Western woman the idea that she is not getting what she should, by being a woman, and therefore the world looks doubly attractive because she is just passing through and will never come back and doesn't want to miss anything. So, living a man's life is very, very attractive. She doesn't want to stay home all the time and not see anything, not meet anybody, go through the boredom of raising a family, taking care of the children. She wants to be out with life, functioning in a man's world because she is told that she is missing something. Therefore, you can understand her desire to get out and work, start seeing and experiencing life and mixing with people, meeting new people. The Hindu woman does not look at life like that. The Hindu woman knows that she was born in a woman's body--this soul has taken an incarnation for a time in a woman's body--to perform a dharma, to perform a duty for the evolution of the soul. The duty is to be a mother to her children, wife to her husband, to strengthen the home and the family, which are the linchpin of society. She knows that the rewards are greater for her in the home. She knows that all she is missing is a man's strenuous work and responsibility, that her stri dharma is equally as great as a man's purusha dharma, even though they are quite different by nature. Because she knows these things, she fulfills her dharma joyously.
Now, a woman may wonder, "If I don't work, how are we going to pay the bills?" The real reason that most women work is economic. The economy of the world is becoming more and more difficult, and the first answer to money problems, especially in the West, where the family unit is not too strong these days, is to have the woman go to work. This is an unhappy solution. The sacrifices are greater than the rewards. It is a false economy. Many times I have told young wives to stay home with their children. They worry. Their husbands worry. But with the wife at home, working to strengthen her husband, he soon becomes confident, creative, energetic. He is reinspired and always finds a way to make things work.
Of course, religion must be the basis of the home to make it all work. When women leave the home to work in the world, they sacrifice the depth of their religion; their religious life then simply becomes a social affair. This is true of both Eastern and Western religions. As long as the mother is home, the celestial devas are there, hovering in and around the home. How many of you were raised with your mother staying at home? Well, then you know what I mean. Now, what if she wasn't at home when you were a child? You came home and mother wasn't there. You had to fix your own snack in an empty house. You didn't feel much cared for. You were alone in an empty house, perhaps frightened, and you went around seeing if someone was hiding in the closet. You didn't feel that motherly, protective feeling. When mother finally does come home, she has other things on her mind. She is tired. She has worked hard, and now she has to work even more. She is not thinking about the little helpless kid who can't take care of himself or herself. She may get home and think to herself, "I just can't forget about that good-looking man I met at the office. I even see him in my dreams. I have a husband and I shouldn't be thinking about such things, but" And on and on and on. Arguments begin to happen for the first time in the home. What do you do? You worry for awhile. You cry a little. As soon as you can, you start fending for yourself. You work out ways to take care of yourself or even to get away from the unhappy situation as soon as you can. You end up out on your own in the world at a young age, before you are mature enough to cope with it.
The Hindu woman knows that she is born in a woman's body to perform a woman's dharma, to perform her duty and not to emulate the men. The duty is to be a mother to her children and a wife to her husband, whom she looks to as her lord. She performs that duty willingly as does the man perform his duty which arises out of being born in a man's body. The Hindu woman is trained to perform her stri dharma from the time she is a little girl. She finds ways to express her natural creativity within the home itself. She may write poetry or become an artist. Perhaps she has a special talent for sewing or embroidery or gardening or music. She can learn to loom cloth and make the family's clothing. If needed, she can use her skills to supplement the family income without leaving the home. There are so many ways for a Hindu wife and mother to fully use her creative energies, including being creative enough to never let her life become boring. It is her special blessing that she is free to pursue her religion fully, to study the scriptures, to sing bhajana and keep her own spiritual life strong inside.
Then there is the situation in which the wife is working for her husband in the home. This is not ideal, but it is far better than having her out, away from her husband, under another man's mind. At least the family is working together toward a single goal, and the mother is there to care for the child and answer questions. Of course, if working in the home does not allow for closeness of mother and children, then it is to be avoided--if, for instance, the work is so demanding that the mother is never free to play with the young ones or is so pressured by her other duties that she becomes tense and upset. Otherwise, it is a positive situation. From the child's point of view, mother is home. She is there to answer questions, to make a dosai or say "Go make yourself a nice dosai."
What is the purpose of life?
[RAQ] > What is the purpose of life?
[Sri Sri Ravi Shankar]'s [answer|http://www.artofliving.org/FlashIntro.swf]
|<a href="http://www.voiceofsankara.com/swami/maha.asp">Maha Swami</a> :
...In God’s creation, there is a purpose in everything...It is our duty to use our intelligence and find out the purpose of God in blessing us with those special powers...Sri Krishna : After death a man is what he has been just before his death. If he has not controlled lust and anger in this life, and acquired peace of mind and joy, he cannot have them after death...One is not asked to give up one’s legitimate pursuits necessary for one’s livelihood. But while being so engaged, one should not lose sight of the essential purpose of life... ( ref : http://www.voiceofsankara.com/swami/mahawords/default.asp?show=purpose )
Words Divine > http://www.voiceofsankara.com/swami/mahawords/
Weekly Knowledge
http://www.artofliving-foundation.de/Wissensblaetter/Weekly%20Knowledge.htm
Bad Antogast
http://www.artofliving-foundation.de/Web-Englisch/E-BadAntogast/E-BadAntogast.htm
http://www.artofliving.de/BadAntogast/BadAntogast.htm
European Center of [Art of Living]
Art of Living
[Companies] > Art of Living Foundation offers [The Art of Living Course]. It is upto you to reach [The most beautiful place in the world] :-)
Art of Living Foundation is dedicated to serving society by strengthening the individual. We do this by offering programs that eliminate stress, create a sense of belonging, restore human values, and encourage people from all backgrounds, religions, and cultural traditions to come together in celebration and service.
http://www.artofliving.org
Respect
But more importantly analyze what it is that triggers the sense of respect.
"Thank those who do not respect you. They have given you freedom. When people respect you, they often take away your freedom. They expect you to smile at them, recognize them and behave in certain way with them. If they do not respect you, you are not obliged to answer their questions and you can drop all formalities. You will be naturally smiling or frowning. Either way you will be complete.
"When you gain respect, you often do it at the cost of your freedom. Wisdom is to put freedom first and not bother with respect.
"True freedom is not an "I don't care" attitude. It is lightness from within, a genuine smile and lack of stiffness. Such freedom will not bring arrogance. True love blossoms only in such freedom. And when there is genuine love, respect simply follows you."
Ego and Respect at http://www.artofliving.de/Wissensblaetter/335-E.htm
There are two types of respect.
1. Respect that comes to you because of your position, fame or wealth. This type of respect is impermanent. It can be lost once you lose your wealth or status.
2. Respect that comes because of your virtues like honesty, kindness, commitment, patience and your smile. This respect no one can take away.
The less you are attached to your virtues, the more self-respect you have. If you get attached to your virtues, you look down upon everybody else and the virtues start diminishing. Non- attachment to virtues brings the highest self-respect.
Often one confuses ego with self-esteem. Ego needs the other for comparison, but self-esteem is just confidence in oneself. For example, a gentleman claims that he is thorough in mathematics or geography; this is self-esteem. But to say, "I know better than you," that is ego.
Ego simply means lack of respect for the Self.
Ego upsets you very often. Self-esteem is immune to getting upset by external factors. In self-respect everything is a game, winning or losing has no meaning, every step is joy, every move is celebration.
Celebrating Silence
http://bookstore.artofliving.org/ProductDetails_V.aspx?CategoryID=14&SubCatID=34&selection=3&productID=727
Vision Creates Great Leaders
[Articles] > Vision Creates Great Leaders
Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation, Anna University, Chennai
I am indeed delighted to participate in the 46th annual convocation of
professors and teachers who shaped them to have qualities of leadership
to take up various missions and tasks of the nation. I was thinking
important occasion when you will be entering into professional
phase of life. I would like to tell the young, "low aim is the
universal mind. Friends, with foundation of these three
qualities, let me take you on the journey of transforming India
In 1947, at the dawn of freedom, we had the best of leaders in
and they are the results of first vision of the nation commenced
hear the mid-night freedom speech of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
a great experience. An experience of best of education I can
think of. In the Tamil newspaper, on the front page, two news
pain of riot-affected families. Normally as Father of the Nation
embodiment of nobility, elevated thinking and concern for
of a schoolboy?
age of 82, while addressing young graduates. The message is
task lying in front of you. I can assert without fear of
contradiction that the quality of the Indian mind is equal to the
quality of any Teutonic, Nordic or Anglo-Saxon mind. What we
destruction of that defeatist spirit. We need a spirit of victory, a
spirit which will recognize that we, as inheritors of a proud
bridge of science and society. Friends, I request all who are
responsible for the young, all who are creators of the young,
Universal Mind birth of space science and technology in a
ago. As you all know, Prof Vikram Sarabhai is the visionary of
Prof Vikram Sarabhai were looking for a site to establish
great scientists visited a number of places. Thumba in Kerala
ionospheric research in upper atmosphere apart from study of
atmospheric structure. When Prof Vikram Sarabhai visited
Thumba, the locality had series of villages and thousands of
fishermen folk were living in that area. It also had a beautiful
Bishop’s House. Prof Vikram Sarabhai met many politicians
and bureaucrats to get the place for the work of space science
research. It did not move further because the nature of the
place. He was asked to see the Bishop of Trivandrum, at that
Pereira. It was a Saturday when Prof Vikram Sarabhai met the
me who wants our church and the place I live for the work of
"There was a chorus of ‘Amen’ from the congregation and the
Pereira, the Bishop of Trivandrum, took the noble decision to
dedicate the church in recognition of the national goal for the
establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization at
design centre, started rocket assembly, design of filament
Launching Station (TERLS) led to the establishment of Vikram
When I think of this event, I can see how enlightened spiritual
in record time. Of course the birth of TERLS and then VSSC
gave the country the capability of design, development and
India has the capability of launching geo-synchronous,
resources for the country. Today, among us, Prof Vikram
of this nation, on integration of minds and universal sense.
With the tradition of this experience of noble leadership,
armed with challenges of national development.
independence and the emergence of great minds. As the
independence movement grew, it brought out the best of
it from each part of the country, will be very big. This National
movement had also brought simultaneously best of scientists
Prof S. Chandrasekhar, the famous Astronomy scientist, in his
were no (Indian) scientists of international reputation or
Raman, Meghanath Saha, Srinivasan Ramanujam and Prof
national movement. It was a part of the national movement to
sciences, in the arts, particularly in science, we could show
Likewise, in the pre-independent period we see the birth of
many great institutions like Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore started by JN Tata, Benares Hindu University by
Maharajas who started and nurtured universities like the one in
After 50 years of progress, the aspirations are mounting that
powerful, at least to be one of the six top nations in
terms of size of the economy. Our target should be a
GDP growth of 9-11% annually and that the people
near self-reliance in defence needs of weapon,
mission. The Technology Vision 2020 consisted of 17
The Task Teams formed by TIFAC with nearly 500 experts of
our country worked for two years, deliberated national status of
various branches of national development and generated 35
for the nation and the well being of our people. "Technology" is
processing – we have to put a target of 360 million tons of food
and agricultural production. Other areas of agriculture and agro
electric power for all parts of the country. (3) Education and
the population growth and provide improvements in quality of
life of the people. Similarly, in Tamil Nadu also we have seen
the downward growth of population resulting from a unique
system of "mid-day meal" coupled with education. Studies
like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Beginning of agricultural
process. (4)Information Technology – This is one of our core
food, economic and security. A strong partnership among the
the Government departments will be essential to accomplish
transformation of India into a developed nation embedded with
the creators of new organizations of excellence. Quality
leaders are like magnets who will attract the best of persons to
leadership even during failures of individuals or organization as
they are not afraid of risks. I have seen and worked with
creators of vision and missions. The vision ignites particularly
fields. I can see a virtual image of India, the children by 2020
the song of prosperous India if we sweat in this decade.
resource on the earth, under the earth and above the earth. My
commercial houses into establishments of substance and
Life
Goal of Life is [God-Realisation]
[Living]
http://timharford.com/2018/05/statistics-fast-and-slow/ - A new book by the late Hans Rosling and his family, Factfulness (UK) (US), advocates the merits of understanding the world both through the data and through personal experience — not of news stories or tourist traps, but of the everyday lives being lived all over the world. “Numbers will never tell the full story of what life on Earth is all about,” wrote Rosling, despite being the world’s most famous statistical guru. But the story they do tell matters. In statistics, as elsewhere, hard logic and personal impressions work best when they reinforce and correct each other.
Darshak Hathi
http://www.artofliving.org
Pleiades
[Faces from the Ice Age|http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_2012000/2012385.stm] : "...It is part of Hindu tradition that Lord Muruga came from the
Pleiades, and that souls living on this Earth came from the Pleiades with
Holiday
[What makes a real holiday|http://www.artofliving.de/Wissensblaetter/350-E.htm]
Upasarga
reason as a way of life. The experience of these impediments creates
reactions that combine with the sum of all past impressions, samskaras,
the source of subliminal traits or tendencies, called vasanas, which
by which absolution can be attained for unhindered living, including
the creative arts and the several yogas.
Sudarshan Kriya
[Art of Living] > Sudarshan Kriya (part of [The Art of Living Course])
[Sri Sri Ravi Shankar] : "We need to do a cleansing process within ourselves. In sleep we get rid of fatigue, but the deeper stresses remain in our body. Sudarshan Kriya cleanses the system from the inside. The breath has a great secret to offer."
http://www.artofliving.org/c-kriya.html
[Scientific Aspect of Sudarshan Kriya|http://www.healthlibrary.com/reading/yod/dec/chap3.htm]
[Tool to discover your inner potential|http://www.chennaionline.com/society/art.asp]
Important note : Donot spend too much time trying to understand... Attend [The Art of Living Course] and feel it :-)
Language
Sri Sri [Ravi Shankar] : [Lessons in Living|http://www.lifepositive.com/spirit/new-age-catalysts/ravishankar/lessons-in-living.asp]
"The language of the head is words. The language of the heart is love. The language of the soul is silence."
die kunst des lebens
http://www.artofliving-foundation.de/Kurse/Grundkurs.htm
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
http://www.artofliving-foundation.de/Web-Englisch/E-SriSriRaviShankar/E-SriSriRaviShankar.htm
[Emperor of Air|http://www.yogajournal.com/views/738_1.cfm]
[Art of Living] Foundation, [The Art of Living Course], [Sudarshan Kriya]
[What is the purpose of life?]
The Art of Living Course
[Art of Living] > The Art of Living Course
http://www.artofliving.org/c-basic.html
http://www.artofliving.de/Web-Englisch/E-Kurse/E-Kurse-Inhalt.htm
The most beautiful place in the world
source : http://www.artofliving.net
[Sri Sri Ravi Shankar] : There is a place where you can get, where everything is beautiful. Tourists travel from place to place looking for beauty. They try to experience beauty in every place and try to take it with them. But the experience will pass like tan and the rest not last. But there is this wonderful place we are all looking for. If you are able to get there, you will find beauty wherever you are. Where is it, this place? Don't try to find it here or there - go into yourself. If you are in touch with your self beauty will radiate out of you, wherever you are go. If you are quiet in your balance, noise turns into a melody, clouds are enchanting, rain is liquid sunshine.
[The Art of Living Course]
Vipassana
http://www.dhamma.org/vipassan.htm : ...Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art Of Living.
This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation. Healing, not merely the curing of diseases, but the essential healing of human suffering, is its purpose. Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation...
Guru
the word "guru" consisting of the aksharas "gu" and "ru" stands for a teacher - one who dispels darkness (ignorance) of the the mind (person). "gu" means darkness and "ru" means the act of removal.
[Kularnava Tantra] : At the root of dhyana is the form of the guru. At the root of puja are the feet of the guru. At the root of mantra is the word of the guru, and at the root of all liberation is the grace of the guru.
[Gurudeva] : The satguru is like the sun. He is just there, radiating this very pure energy like the sun evaporates water.... It is hte seeker who opens himself to the great accumulated power of [darshan] which the guru inherited from his guru and his guru's guru, as well as the natural darshan he unfolded from within himself through his evolution and practices of [sadhana] and [tapas].
[The Tantrik Guru|http://www.shivashakti.com/guru.htm] : ...Because the guru gives mantra to a disciple and because she or he embodies the spirit and life of that mantra in an unbroken lineage to the Rishi who first perceived it, she or he is held in the utmost regard in the tantrik tradition.....This tradition of the "crazy" guru is embedded deep in the lore of the tantriks and the Nathas and has its value in shaking the conditioning of someone who aspires to be a Kaula, the tradition avers. For similar reasons, some elements of the tantrik tradition in India, such as worship in cremation grounds, the consumption of pig flesh and some sexual practices, were intended to rattle orthodox tendencies in tantrik pupils. (For a full exploration of this topic, see Holy Madness by Georg Feuerstein, Arkana 1992)...
Michael Murphy in a 'New Age' interview : We do need teachers, and there is such a thing as true authority - a person who really knows something. But the trouble is what they used to call in psychology "the halo-effect": a person's authority is overextended, and you get people going to, say, Einstein for political opinions - or to a guru on every matter. Independent judgement is a fairly rare quality among human beings. Part of being alive and growing and the whole art of living is to refine that independent judgement - to learn a kind of courage to stand up for one's inner voice and to be able to say when the emperor has no clothes.
[Ram Dass] in [Journey of Awakening] : Some people fear becoming involved with a teacher. They fear the possible impurities in the teacher, fear being exploited, used, or entrapped. In truth, we are only ever entrapped by our own desires and clingings. If you want only liberation, then all teachers will be useful vehicles for you. They cannot hurt you at all. If, on the other hand, you want power, a teacher may come along who talks about liberation but subtly attracts you by your desire for power. If you get caught and become a disciple of such a teacher, you may feel angry when this teacher turns out to be on a power trip, not leading you to enlightenment. But remember: at some level inside yourself, you already knew. Your attraction to this teacher was your desire for power. Your anger is nothing more than your anger toward yourself.
[About Gurus and their Teaching|http://www.theorderoftime.com/spiritual/index.html]
[Chinmaya Answers - The Guru|http://www.chyk.net/onlinemagazine/july2003/chinmaya_guru.htm] : ...The relationship between the teacher and the taught is exactly like the relationship of the gardener and the flowers on the bush. The gardener does not create the flowers from the soil and the manure; the flowers must themselves come from the bush. The gardener can only tend its roots, water it, protect it, see that it has the correct amount of sunlight and shade -- all these externals he can provide. But no mere gardener can guarantee the blossom; it can come only from the bush itself...
[HH Shri Gurudev Mahendranath|http://www.carnatic.com/karmasaya/index.php?Dadaji] ([Dadaji]) : In [The Magick Path of Tantra] ...A disciple asked, "Dadaji, is it better to be reborn as a woman or as a man?" Dadaji answered, "It is better not to be reborn at all."...
Param Poojya (His Holiness) Swami Chetanananda Saraswati - He hails from the Siddha lineage of Avadhoot Nityananda and Paramhansa Muktananda of Vajreshwari - http://www.siddha-loka.org : ...DIVINE LIGHT, the indweller of all beings, illuminates the universe. Realizing this truth through the grace of the Sadguru is the goal of human life. The secret of a successful life lies in meditation on the SELF. [Meditation] occurs spontaneously through Shaktipat [Deeksha]. Only a Siddha Guru is capable of giving Shaktipat Deeksha by HIS divine word, touch, glance and thought...
The Master welcomed the advances of technology, but was keenly aware of its
To his disciples he later said, "The aim of life is the flowering of
persons. Nowadays people seem concerned mostly with the perfectioning of
Courses
[The Art of Living Course]
Education
http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/ravitch-why-finlands-schools-are-great-by-doing-what-we-dont/2011/10/12/gIQAmTyLgL_blog.html : We [USA] claim to be preparing students for global competitiveness, and we reward mastery of basic skills. Our guiding principles: Competition, accountability, and choice. Finland has this singular goal: to develop the humanity of each child. Isn’t that a shocking goal? Their guiding principles: equity, creativity, and prosperity.
[Education for Living|http://www.asis.com/education-for-living/]
[Living]
Ram Dass
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/living/people/4192173.htm
known as Richard Alpert, a Harvard professor fired for his experiments with
Neem Karoli, initiated him as Ram Dass, meaning servant of God. After
famous in 1971 with the release of a bestselling book called "Be Here Now."
1997, Ram Dass suffered a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed. As a
result of the stroke, which Ram Dass termed a spiritual wake-up call from
on soul consciousness in the face of aging and ill health". Kathleen Murphy,
for me. Beauty and love pour out of him and the people associated with him."
Man
...A man, according to the Science of Para-Vidya, is not entitled to be called a man in the true sense of the word, unless he has full knowledge, both theoretical and practical, of his distinguished position in Creation, his several component parts-body, mind and soul-in order of comparative importance, and of his relationship to the Unseen Power, called God, which is to be achieved while he is living on this earth...
The University of Hard Knocks
[Books] > The University of Hard Knocks
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The University of Hard Knocks
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The University of Hard Knocks
"Sweet are the uses of adversity;
MORE than a million people have sat in audiences in all parts of
the United States and have listened to "The University of Hard
kinds of audiences. Ralph Parlette is kept busy year after year
of many deliveries.
shake the hand of every person who has sat in my audiences. And I
wish I could tell the lecture committees of America how I
appreciate the vast amount of altruistic work they have done in
bringing the audiences of America together. For lecture audiences
The warm reception given "The University of Hard Knocks" by the
public, has encouraged the publishers to put more of Mr. Parlette's
are now in preparation as this, the third edition of "The
University of Hard Knocks" comes from the press.
The University of Hard Knocks
I. THE BOOKS ARE BUMPS--Every bump a lesson--Why the two kinds of
bumps--Description of University--"Sweet are the uses of
II. THE COLLEGE OF NEEDLESS KNOCKS, the bumps that we bump
into--Getting the coffee-pot--Teaching a wilful child--Bumps make
III. THE COLLEGE OF NEEDFUL KNOCKS, the bumps that bump into
ones shake up and the little ones shake down--The barrel of life
people--A glimpse of Gunsaulus
VI. THE PROBLEM OF "PREPAREDNESS"--Preparing children for
children--The story of "Gussie" and "Bill Whackem"--Schools and
Menace of America not swollen fortunes but shrunken souls--
Helping the turkeys killed them--the happiness of work we love--
Amusement drunkards--Lure of the city--Strong men from the
Must save the home towns--A school of struggle--New School
VII. THE SALVATION OF A "SUCKER"--You can't get something for
experience--Theory and practice--Tuning the strings of life
VIII. LOOKING BACKWARD--Memories of the price we pay--My first
school teaching--Loaning the deacon my money--Calling the roll of
my schoolmates--At the grave of the boy I had envied--Why Ben Hur
keeps on going south and growing greater--We generally start well,
but stop--Few go on south--The plague of incompetents--Today our
principle, not praise--Doing duty for the joy of it--Becoming the
"Father of Waters"--Go on south forever!
you some of the multiplication table of life--not mine, not yours
lecture go differently before every audience. The kind of an
audience is just as important as the kind of a lecture. A cold
When I was a boy we had a barrel of sorghum in the woodshed. When
the woodshed to get a bucket of sorghum from that barrel.
I have brought a barrel of sorghum to this audience. The name of
the sorghum is "The University of Hard Knocks." I can only pull the
of this audience. You can have all you want of it, but to get it to
it. How much any one gets out of a lecture depends also upon the
size of the bucket he brings to get it in. A big bucket can get
That often explains why one person says a lecture is great, while
the next person says he got nothing out of it.
Here is a great mass of words and sentences and pictures to express
two or three simple little ideas of life, that our education is our
promote mental digestion like more bulk in the way of pictures and
discussions of these truths. Here is bulk as well as nutriment.
I believe in the Angel of Good inside every block of human marble.
I believe it must be carved out in The University of Hard Knocks.
see more of the Angel in you.
The University of Hard Knocks
THE greatest school is the University of Hard Knocks. Its books are
matter with us, so that we do not learn the lesson of the bump we
Some of us learn to go forward with a few bumps, but most of us are
The tuition in the University of Hard Knocks is not free.
Experience is the dearest teacher in the world. Most of us spend
our lives in the A-B-C's of getting started.
There are two kinds of people--wise people and fools. The fools are
The playground is all of God's universe.
The Need of the Bumps
"Sweet are the uses of adversity;
get preachers to preach sermons, and they build houses out of
But I am happy today that I have traveled a little farther. I am
happy that I am learning the sweet tho painful lessons of the
University of Adversity. I am happy that I am beginning to listen.
preaching and every running brook the unfolding of a book.
But if you will remember some of these things, they will feel like
two kinds of bumps--bumps that we need and bumps that we do not
We discover, in other words, that The University of Hard Knocks has
two colleges--The College of Needless Knocks and The College of
The College of Needless Knocks
There comes a vivid memory of one of my early Needless Knocks as I
That day they had the little joy and sunshine of the family in his
high-chair throne right up beside the dinner table. The coffee-pot
I became enamored with that coffee-pot. I decided I needed that
coffee-pot in my business. I reached over to get the coffee-pot.
And that day when I wanted the coffee-pot--I did want it. Nobody
how I desired that coffee-pot. "One thing thou lackest," a
coffee-pot--
I stopped it. I got the coffee-pot. I know I got the coffee-pot. I
got it. I got about a gallon of the reddest, hottest coffee a bad
applebutter on me--and coal oil and white-of-an-egg and starch and
anything else the neighbors could think of. They would bring it
over and rub it on the little joy and sunshine of the family, who
pleased. She told me not to get the coffee-pot and then let me get
the most kind and effective way to rear one stubborn boy I know of.
The neighbors and the ladies' aid society often said my mother was
kind of an insect mother was trying to raise. Mother did know. She
"side of the house."
notice upon me, and then let me go ahead and get my coffee-pot.
coffee-pot would spill upon me. I cannot remember when I disobeyed
my mother that a coffee-pot of some kind did not spill upon me, and I
got my blisters. Mother did not inflict them. Mother was not much of an
And thru the bumps we learn that The College of Needless Knocks
runs on the same plan. The Voice of Wisdom says to each of us,
"Child of humanity, do right, walk in the right path. You will be
We get off the right path. We go down forbidden paths. They seem
It wasn't my fault--all my bumps and coffee-pots! I was just
to learn the lesson of the bump and find the right path, so that
The other day I watched a blind man go down the aisle of the car to
get off the train. Did you ever study the walk of a blind man? He
And so with our own lives. Real living is conscious effort to go
line of least resistance, depend upon it you are going downward.
Look over your community. Note the handful of brave, faithful,
getting in the way of the pushers.
brave minority of thinking, self-sacrificing people that decides
the tomorrow of communities that go upward. Majorities are not
Human life is the story of the Prodigal Son. We look over the fence
of goodness into the mystery of the great unknown world beyond and
Down the great white way of the world go the million prodigals,
They just must get their coffee-pot!
The last thing Mamma Fly said as Johnny went off to the city was,
several minutes. But when he sees all the smart young flies of his
right, of course, but she isn't up-to-date. We young set of modern
You see Johnny fly back and forth and have the time of his
so soft and soothing!"
First he puts one foot down and pulls it out. That is a lot of fun.
flypaper. It is a fine place to stick around. All his young set of
Most of them stay. They just settle down into the stickiness
The tuition in The College of Needless Knocks is very high indeed!
The world loves to write resolutions of respect. How often we
There is a good deal of suicide charged up to Providence.
The College of Needful Knocks
BUT occasionally all of us get bumps that we do not bump into. They
were bumped. Some of you in this audience are just now wondering
It broke your heart. You have had your heart broken. I have had my
heart broken more times than I care to talk about now. Your home
are lessons in The College of Needful Knocks. They point upward to
most of these knocks--who have faced the great crises of life and
have been tried in the crucibles of affliction. For I am learning
The Sorrows of the Piano
see you. You are so shiny, beautiful, valuable and full of music,
Did you get the meaning of that, children? I hope you are green.
The Sufferings of the Red Mud
One day I was up the Missabe road about a hundred miles north of
hole--about a half-mile of hole. There were steam-shovels at work
throwing out of that hole what I thought was red mud.
"Kind sir, why are they throwing that red mud out of that hole?" I
of this same red mud. It had been moved over the Great Lakes and
of which being The College of Needful Knocks for Red Mud.
Then they pulled the plug out of the bottom of the college and held
Some of the pig iron went into another department, a big teakettle,
Some of the sophomore steel went up into another grade where it was
roasted yet again and rolled thin into a junior. Some of that went
they pound me and break my heart? I have been good and faithful. O,
If a ton of that red mud had become watch-springs or razor-blades,
the price had gone up into thousands of dollars.
a larger life. The diamond and the chunk of soft coal are exactly the
of Needful Knocks more than has her crude sister of the coal-scuttle.
crucibles of affliction. There is no gold that has not been refined
right down to the foot of the platform. The subject was The
University of Hard Knocks. Presently the cripple's face was shining
said. "I have been in pain most of my life. But I have learned all
well-gowned. She lived in one of the finest homes in the city. She
What would you have said? Just on the spur of the moment--I said,
The cripple girl had traveled ahead of her jealous mother. For
Schools of Sympathy
When I see a long row of cots in a hospital or sanitarium, I want
precious lessons of patience, sympathy, love, faith and courage.
more than tables of logarithms. Only those who have suffered can
sympathize. They are to become a precious part of our population.
are truly new chapters of our education if we are willing to learn
We think this is true of the good things that come to us, but we do
not want to think so of the bad things. Yet we grow more in lean
lean years we put it in our hearts. Material and spiritual
prosperity do not often travel hand-in-hand. When we become
materially very prosperous, so many of us begin to say, "Is not
Think of what might happen to you today. Your home might burn. We
look out! Some of your friends would say, "I am so sorry for you.
for it is not true. The old enemy of humanity wants you to believe
The truth is, another chapter of your real education has been
opened. Will you read the lesson of the Needful Knocks?
Out of the trenches of the Great War come nations chastened by
sacrifice and purged of their dross.
NOW as we learn the lessons of the Needless and the Needful Knocks,
a picture of it.
track was a grocery with a row of barrels of apples in front. There
was one barrel full of big, red, fat apples. I rushed over and got
a sack of the big, red, fat apples. Later as the train was under
All I could figure out was that there was only one layer of the
have reached to the bottom, for he gave me the worst mess of runts
Man of sorrows, you have been slandered. It never occurred to me
need to do it. It does itself. It is the shaking of the barrel that
in the Black Swamp of Ohio we had corduroy roads. Did you ever see
a corduroy road? It was a layer of logs in the mud. Riding over it
was the poetry of motion! The wagon "hit the high spots." And as I
hauled a wagon-bed full of apples to the cider-mill over a corduroy
of my pocket and the little ones would rattle down to the bottom.
big ones and some little things of about the same density in a box
you cannot change the place of one of the objects.
inside of it you see two sizes of objects--a lot of little white
Equality of position demands quality of size. Let the little one
The Shaking Barrel of Life
O, fellow apples! We are all apples in the barrel of life on the
way to the market place of the future. It is a corduroy road and
In other words, all the people of the world are in the great barrel
of life. That barrel is shaking all the time. Every community is
shaking, every place is shaking. The offices, the shops, the
live or work is shaking. Life is a constant survival of the
barrel of life. It is sending small people down and great people
the eternal law of life.
artificially boosted up into some place where he rattles.
our train of destiny will run off and leave us, and we will have no
Kings and Queens of Destiny
you and I are not helpless victims of blind fate. We are not
creatures of chance. We have it in our hands to decide our destiny
Each person is doing one of three things consciously or
shops, offices or elsewhere, if you want to hold your place you
of people working for me, I would have a jar in my office filled
with various sizes of objects. When an employee would come into the
office and say, "Isn't it about time I was getting a raise?" I
Luck does not depend upon the direction of the bump, but upon the
size of the bump-ee!
to size. Every business concern can tell you stories like that of
the Chicago house where a number of young ladies worked. Some of
girl from the country. It was her first office experience, and she
"Is not she the limit?" they oft spake one to another. She was. She
rules of the union! Without being told, mind you. She had that rare
Within three months every other girl in that office was asking
questions of the little Dutch girl. She had learned more about
the most capable girl in the office.
The barrel did the rest. Today she is giving orders to all of them,
for she is the office superintendent.
Going out of the building, I asked the foreman, "Do you see that
He is one of the kindest-hearted men we ever had in the works, but
So books could be filled with just such stories of how people have
gone up and down. You may have noticed two brothers start with the
Some of us begin life on the top branches, right in the sunshine of
popular favor, and get our names in the blue-book at the start.
Some of us begin down in the shade on the bottom branches, and we
do not even get invited. We often become discouraged as we look at
And afterwhile we are all in the barrel of life, shaken and bumped
about. There the real people do not often ask us, "On what branch
of that tree did you grow?" But they often inquire, "Are you big
appear to have about the same round of duties.
routine of life must every day flash a new attractiveness. We must
smaller. The joy and juice go out of our lives. We shrivel and rattle.
The success, joy and glory of life are in learning, growing, going
competitors. The minister must be getting larger visions of the
I shiver as I see the pages of school advertisements in the
We often think the way to get a great place is just to go after it
many of us expect to get ready in "four easy lessons by mail."
rattling. A testimonial so often becomes a crutch.
Many a man writes a testimonial to get rid of somebody. "Well, I
hope it will do him some good. Anyhow, I have gotten him off my
the farther they will fall.
The Menace of the Press-Notice
Now testimonials and press-notices very often serve useful ends. In
lyceum work, in teaching, in very many lines, they are often useful
to introduce a stranger. A letter of introduction is useful. A
kinds of testimonials.
The danger is that the hero of them may get to leaning upon them.
Then they become a mirror for his vanity instead of a monitor
progress by reading my press-notices instead of listening to the
verdict of my audiences. I avoided frank criticism. It would hurt
Alas! How often I have learned that when I did return the hall that
editors of America--God bless them! They are always trying to boost
a home enterprise--not for the sake of the imported attraction but
for the sake of the home folks who import it.
yourself go by"--when you can keep still and see every fibre of you
rejoice, for the kingdom of success is yours.
The Artificial Uplift
succeeded by twice as many more. They fail because instead of
The victims of the artificial uplift cannot stay uplifted. They
rattle back, and "the last estate of that man is worse than the
wants you to license him and professionalize him as a beggar.
And so every day that beggar got to be more of a beggar. The public
hopeless cripple. No doubt he belonged after a few days of the
as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise
Artful Dodger of Section Sixteen. When the whistle would blow--O,
the section-house, why I was not president of that bank. I wondered
why I was not sitting upon one of those mahogany seats instead of
rich wasn't getting richer and the poor poorer, I'd be president of a
Did you ever hear that line of conversation? It generally comes
I am so glad now that I did not get to be president of the bank.
wanted them! They would have been coffee-pots. Thank goodness, we
do not get the coffee-pot until we are ready to handle it.
today all we can stand today. More would wreck us. More would start
And this blessed old barrel of life is just waiting and anxious to
greatness is merely an incidental reflection of the inside.
in inches, dollars, acres, votes, hurrahs, or by any other of the
Come, let us grow greater. There is a throne for each of us.
the world is in the business of getting--getting great fortunes,
folderol. Afterwhile the poor old world hears the empty rattle of
I weary of the world's pink-sheet extras about "Getting to the Top"
and "Forging to the Front." Too often they are the sordid story of
a few scrambling over the heads of the weaker ones. Sometimes they
are the story of one pig crowding the other pigs out of the trough
The Secret of Greatness
top." Those two sons of Zebedee wanted to have the greatest places
in the new kingdom they imagined he would establish on earth.
"Are ye able to drink of the cup?" Then he gave the only definition
of greatness that can ever stand: "Whosoever will be great among
This is the Big Business of life--going up, getting educated,
is little business. Much of it mighty little.
Everybody's privilege and duty is to become great. And the joy of
to go off to New York or Chicago or go chasing around the world to
are now upward for an infinite number of steps.
We must take the first step now. Most of us want to take the
spectacular stride of a thousand steps at one leap. That is why we
workshop or our office and take the first step, solve the problem
blessings, we find love, the universal solvent, shining out of our
of earth are born; they rush in from the cold lands to the warm
We find our kitchen or workshop or office becoming a new throne
of power. We find the world around us rising up to call us blessed.
Generally speaking, the smaller our vision of our work, the more we
ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." That great ocean is
have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she
of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had."
Tho the rich men had cast in more, yet it was only a part of their
Master cared little what the footings of the money were in the
fear of want.
advancement of the kingdom of happiness on earth shall find it
upon the percentage of our output to our resources. Upon doing with
The world says some of us have golden gifts and some have copper
gifts. But when we cast them all into the treasury of right
We have to look farther than the "Who's Who" and Dun and Bradstreet
to make a roster of the great people of a community. You will find
the community heart in the precious handful who believe that the
service of God is the service of man.
The great people of the community serve and sacrifice for a better
They rarely get thanked, for the community does not often think of
thanking them until it comes time to draft the "resolutions of
I had to go to the mouth of a coal-mine in a little Illinois town,
the tickets and had done all the managing. He was superintendent of
the Sunday school. He was the storm-center of every altruistic
strut and pose in the show places. Few of them are "prominent
A Glimpse of Gunsaulus
he founded by his own preaching. He is the mainspring of so many
think that a vacation means going off somewhere and stretching out
history of each place, and before dinner he knew more about the
place than most of the natives.
were doing nothing. In every town he would discover somebody of
once ask the price of land, nor where there was a good investment
doesn't the doctor take care of himself, instead of taking care of
the by-products. His life of service for others makes him
This Chicago man gives his life into the service of humanity, and
things he does. Let him stop and "take care of himself," and his
If he had begun life by "taking care of himself" and "looking out
the backwoods of Morrow county, Ohio.
Gunsaulus often says, "You are planning and saving and telling
The Problem of "Preparedness"
THE problem of "preparedness" is the problem of preparing children
for life. All other kinds of "preparedness" fade into
insignificance before this. The history of nations shows that their
strength was not in the size of their armies and in the vastness
of their population and wealth, but in the strength and ideals
of the individual citizens.
living for our children. We are going to give them the best
Then, forgetful of how they became strong, they plan to take away
generally means getting out of his way. Many an orphan can be
will buy any brand they see--buy the home brand of education, or
else send off to New York or Paris or to "Sears Roebuck," and get
a bucketful or a tankful of education. If they are rich enough,
maybe they will have a private pipeline of education laid to their
until they get them full of education. They are going to get them
acquired in a life of struggle." As well expect the athlete to give
them his physical development he has earned in years of exercise.
acquired in years of practice. As well expect the scholar to give
them the ability to think he has developed in years of study. As
in a long life of prayer.
The Story of "Gussie"
great, dirty mill and a lot of little dirty houses around the mill.
The hands lived in the little dirty houses and worked six days of
There was a little, old man who went about that mill, often saying,
"I hain't got no book l'arnin' like the rest of you." He was the
man who owned the mill. He had made it with his own genius out of
The little old man often said, "I'm going to give that boy the best
export, he sent the boy to one of the greatest universities in the
blindness of his love he robbed his boy of his birthright.
The birthright of every child is the opportunity of becoming
great--of going up--of getting educated.
from Texas goes thru Mr. Armour's institute of packnology in
and receives it. There is a row of professors with their sleeves
rolled up who give him the degrees. So as Mr. T. Steer of Panhandle
eternal cold storage, each professor hits him a dab. He rides along
from department to department until he is canned.
from department to department. They upholstered him, enameled him,
done and the paint was dry. He was a thing of beauty.
crape hanging on the office door. Men and women stood weeping in
a wreck. The monument of a father's lifetime was wrecked in two
had a new kind of boss. If I were to give the new boss a
got to looking up to him to start and run things.
of the wrecked mill, they simply had to appoint Hon. William Whackem.
fool of Gussie. They said Bill succeeded so well because he never
went to one of "them highbrow schools." I am sorry to say I thought
But now I see that Bill went up in spite of his handicaps. If he
The book and the college suffer at the hands of their friends. They
Gussie was in the position of a man with a very fine equipment of
acquired these elements of greatness in their lives.
That is why they say, "All my life I have been handicapped by lack of
machine from a few bits of junk. But send him to Westinghouse and
just one series of greater commencements.
school of service and write your education in the only book you
ever can know--the book of your experience.
The Tragedy of Unpreparedness
The story of Gussie and Bill Whackem is being written in every
community in tears, failure and heartache. It is peculiarly a
tragedy of our American civilization today.
fine homes and large bank accounts, so often think they can give
A man heard me telling the story of Gussie and Bill Whackem, and he
went out of my audience very indignant. He said he was very glad
has his head bowed in shame over the career of his spoiled son.
I rarely tell of it on a platform that at the close of the lecture
gibbeted in the pulpits as the shocking example of youthful
a man. He seems to have been robbed of his birthright from the
cradle. Yet the father of this boy who has cost America millions in
court and detention expenses was one of the greatest business
generals of the Keystone state. He could plat great coal empires
and command armies of men, but he seems to have been pitifully
ignorant of the fact that the barrel shakes.
the training of their children. Poverty is a better trainer for the rest.
The menace of America lies not in the swollen fortunes, but in the
how few of our strong men get their start with steam heat?
take care of me, and when they are gone I'll inherit everything
earn for yourself, is robbing you of your birthright.
insect struggling inside the cocoon. It was trying to get out of
struggle. For it was this struggle of breaking its own way out of
lie down to sleep, then another day of the same grind, then a year
of it and years following until our machine is worn out and on the
of the whip. Such a worker is the horse we used to have hitched to
But getting a vision of life, and working to grow upward to it,
to crack and the little turkeys began to stick their heads out of
the shells. Some of the little turkeys came out from the shells all
right, but some of them stuck in the shells.
hand." So I picked the shells off. "Little turkeys, you will never
Did I help them? I killed them, or stunted them. Not one of the turkeys
was "right" that I helped. They were runts. One of them was a regular
The cards are against him. He must succeed in spite of his "advantages."
character, for the joy of having a larger life. I am pleading with
you to know the joy of overcoming and having the angels come and
instead of by shaking up.
Happiness is the joy of overcoming. It is the delight of an
expanding consciousness. It is the cry of the eagle mounting
upward. It is the proof that we are progressing.
We find happiness in our work, not outside of our work. If we
me into "taking care" of myself. And I got to taking such good care
of myself and watching for symptoms that I became a physical wreck.
a skinny, fretful, nervous wreck into a hearty, happy man. This has
almost every day of the year--maybe two or three times some
day is jam full of play and vacation and good times. The year is
one round of joy, and I ought to pay people for the privilege of
speaking and writing to them instead of them paying me!
If I did not like my work, of course, I would be carrying a
I have never known a case of genuine "overwork." I have never known
of anyone killing himself by working. But I have known of
This is one species of selfishness.
Many Kinds of Drunkards
What a sad, empty lot of rattlers! Look over the bills of the movies,
look over the newsstands and see a picture of the popular mind,
of mental frog-pond and moral slum our boys and girls wade thru!
are a hundred amusement drunkards to one victim of strong drink.
crowd that finds itself back near the caboose, and as the train of
want to start a new party to reform the government.
The Lure of the City
jam of people, most of them imitations--most of them trying to look
like they get more salary. Poor, hungry, doped butterflies of the
will arise and go to his father's house of wisdom. But there is no
over to contracting another set of muscles.
Go to the bank president's office, go to the railroad magnate's
office, go to the great pulpit, to the college chair--go to any
place of great responsibility in a city and ask the one who fills
He glows as he tells you of some log-cabin home, hillside or
the weaklings of the artificial life, he rises above them like the
eagle soars above a lot of chattering sparrows.
the farms controls the majority. The red blood of redemption flows
from the country year by year into the national arteries, else
these cities would drop off the map.
for lack of leaders.
But so many of the home towns of America are sick. Many are dying.
It is the lure of the city--and the lure-lessness of the country.
people in this institution and only a score of guards to keep them
insane. No two of them can agree upon how to get together and how
to break out. So a few of us can hold them."
thinking ever since that about three-fourths of the small towns of
A lot of struggling churches compete with each other instead of
out of a hundred of them will jostle with the straphangers all
Ninety-nine out of a hundred of them might have had a larger
spend its years raising crops of young people for the cities. That
is the worst kind of soil impoverishment--all going out and nothing
America is to be great, not in the greatness of a few crowded
cities, but in the greatness of innumerable home towns.
A School of Struggle
Dr. Henry Solomon Lehr, founder of the Ohio Northern University at
Ada, Ohio, one of Ohio's greatest educators, used to say with
He encouraged his students to be self-supporting, and most of them
courses elastic to accommodate them. He saw the need of combining
the school of books with the school of struggle. He organized his
for the military department. His school was one surging mass of
of men and women of uniformly greater achievement.
I believe the most useful schools today are schools of struggle
schools offering encouragement and facilities for young people to
academies and colleges, each with its handful of students around a
teacher, as in the old days of the lyceum in Athens, when the
From these schools came the makers and the preservers of the nation.
equipment and maintenance. Today we scour the earth for specialists
to sit in the chairs and speak the last word in every department of
O, how the students of the "dark ages" would have rejoiced to see
this day! Many of them never saw a germ!
personal struggle in the cushions of the "frat" house as back on
not be rows of lithographed cans on the shelves of life. I am
hoping they will not be shorn of their individuality, but will have
All this school machinery is only machinery. Back of it must be
spirit of its teachers are its greatest endowment. And sometimes
The Salvation of a "Sucker"
For that sentence utters one of the fundamentals of life that
underlies every field of activity.
string--the little E string. The trouble is so many of these human
go up thru all the departments and institutions necessary to give
them the full complement of strings for their life symphonies.
lot of discord. The violin is to give music.
the violin must go into the great tuning school of life. Here the
vitalized, what you have written in the book of experience.
All of us are Christopher Columbuses, discovering the same new-old
continents of Truth. That is the true happiness of
idea of them. We hear the preacher utter truths and we say with
little feeling, "Yes, that is so." We hear the great truths of life
consciousness. This joy of discovery is the joy of living.
thing. We could read a thousand descriptions of the sun and not
know the sun as in one glimpse of it with our own eyes.
I used to stand in the row of blessed little rascals in the
hands upon hot stoves and coffee-pots, and had to get many kinds of
taking up a collection of sympathy. "Look at my bad luck!" Fool!
get something for nothing." That is, getting it in partial tune. It
longer than a human being. They are so smart you cannot teach them
drink from a copper kettle. But I have fed him the fingers of this
of oxen and had said the words. But I have!
their own departments. Some people go to the canned fruit
department. Some go to the fancywork department. Some go to the
swine department. Everybody goes to his own department. Even the
went--to the "trimming department."
I was in the "trimming department" in five minutes. Nobody told me
barrel always shakes all of one size to one place. You notice
that--in a city all of one size get together.
me out of all I had in about five seconds.
I went over to the other side of the fairgrounds and sat down. That
I am putting these cakes of Wonder Soap in my hat. You see I am
hat. Now who will give me five dollars for the privilege of taking
a cake of this wonderful soap from my hat--any cake you want, gentlemen!"
And right on top of the pile was the cake with the ten wrapped
to lock up. You get the pathos of that--the investments nobody
hear of a rubber plantation in Central America? That was mine.
I had in that drawer my "Everglade" farm. Did you ever hear of the
I had also a bale of mining stock. I had stock in gold mines and
my gold and silver mine stock, I often noticed that it was printed
melon! I have heard that all my life and never got a piece of the rind.
Why go farther? I am not half done confessing. Each bump only
was selling it on his reputation. Favorite dodge of the promoter to
dollar and got back a dollar or two of bonds and a dollar or two of
I pitied his lack of vision. Bankers were such "tightwads." They
had no imagination! Nothing interested me that did not offer fifty
savings into the bottom of the sea.
Then I got a confidential letter from a friend of our family I had
was a friend of our family. "You have been selected because you are
"Because of your tremendous influence you have been selected to go
money for Tom, the friend of our family. But I see now I need not
happened in St. Louis. It is none of your business!
dollars to corner the wheat market of the world. That is all I paid
I have always regarded Tom as one of my great school teachers. I
had made up to that time, for I got the most out of it. I do not
floor. I will not grasp it. Come away, it is a coffee-pot!
Today when somebody offers me much more than the legal rate of
interest I know he is no friend of our family.
If he offers me a hundred per cent. I call for the police!
Today when I get a confidential letter that starts out, "You have
been selected--" I never read farther than the word "selected."
law of compensation is never suspended. You only own what you earn.
have been selected to receive this bunch of blisters because you
The other night in a little town of perhaps a thousand, a banker
took me up into his office after the lecture in which I had related
some of the above experiences. "The audience laughed with you and
pathetic. It was a picture of what is going on in our own little
I wish you could see the thousands of hard-earned dollars that go
out of our community every year into just such wildcat enterprises
as you described. The saddest part of it is that the money nearly
always goes out of the pockets of the people who can least afford
accumulates by sharp practices or by undue profits never owns it.
The owning is in the understanding of values.
I often think if it takes me thirty-four years to begin to learn
one sentence, I see the need of an eternity.
To me that is one of the great arguments for eternal life--how slowly
that life is one infinite succession of commencements and
decorated and the joy of youth is everywhere. There is a row of
geraniums along the front of the stage and a big oleander on the
"We (hands at half-mast and separating) are rowing (business of
propelling aerial boat with two fingers of each hand, head
up over Alps of difficulty and seeing the Italy of promise and
Did you ever hear a young preacher, just captured, just out of a factory?
But I made the mistake I am trying to warn you against. Instead of
of my experience, I went to the books in my father's library. "As
chunk of Shakespeare and nailed it on page five of my sermon. "List
"cry here." This was the spilling-point of the wet climax. I was to
cry on the lefthand side of the page.
I am not sneering at expression. Expression is a noble art. All
I made my mistake. I got a lot of fine gestures. I got an
grandly than ever to a mirror. Every gesture went off the bat
last man out of the church--and I hurried. But they beat me
out--all nine of them. When I went out the door, the old sexton
peal from that part of your audience unrelated to you.
Out of every thousand books published, perhaps nine hundred of them
do not sell enough to pay the cost of printing them. As you study
been lived. Perhaps the books that fail have just as much of truth
vital impulse. They come out of the author's head. The books that
live must come out of his heart. They are his own life. They come
surging and pulsating from the book of his experience.
The best part of our schooling comes not from the books, but from
But the soul of the artist fainted,
And the poet's heart was wrung."
and irrigation and gargling of the throat are merely symptoms of
heart, chaperoned by the diaphragm. You cannot sing a song you have
attended to. She sang that afternoon in the tent, "The Last Rose of
the same tent "The Last Rose of Summer." She had never been to
case of Gussie and Bill Whackem.
cannot sing "The Last Rose of Summer" yet, for you do not know very
much about the first rose of summer. And really, I hope you'll
sing that song, for it is the sob of a broken-hearted woman. Learn
Why do singers try to execute songs beyond the horizon of their
The Success of a Song-Writer
The guest of honor at a dinner in a Chicago club was a woman who is
one of the widely known song-writers of this land. As I had the
"How did you get your songs known? How did you know what kind of
resources. I have had years of struggle. I have been sick and
heart and what the struggles were teaching me. No one is more
asks for more of them."
"Just a Wearyin' for You," "His Lullaby" and many more of those
simple little songs so full of the pathos and philosophy of life
that they tug at your heart and moisten your eyes.
No. Books of theory and harmony and expression only teach us how to
the life of the song.
the University of Hard Knocks. She here became the song philosopher
popular heart. And while we have a continual inundation of popular
My friends, I am not arguing that you and I must drink the dregs of
around me in the affairs of everyday life, that none of us will
ever know real success in any line of human endeavor until that
success flows from the fullness of our experience just as the songs
came from the life of Carrie Jacobs-Bond.
The world is full of theorists, dreamers, uplifters, reformers, who
or trampling upon their fellow men they dream of helping. Their
the anvil of experience.
Many of the most brilliant theorists have been the greatest
anything you could think of was discussed, and perhaps the page. He
His conversation was largely made up of classical quotations.
But he was one of the most helpless men I have ever seen in
himself. He could quote a page of John Locke, but somehow the page
a misfit on earth. He was liable to put the gravy in his coffee
of the things in his memory. Since I have grown up I always think
of that man as an intellectual cold storage plant.
The greatest book is the textbook of the University of Hard Knocks,
the Book of Human Experience the "sermons in stones" and the "books
Note the sweeping, positive statements of the young person.
Note the cautious, specific statements of the person who has lived
Tuning the Strings of Life
of Human Experience. Each has a different fight to make and a
different burden to carry. Each one of us has more trouble than
I know there are chapters of heroism in the lives of you older
ones. You have cried yourselves to sleep, some of you, and walked
A good many of you were bumped today or yesterday, or maybe years
Never do this many gather but what there are some with aching hearts.
your hearts you are asking, "What is this all about? What is that
Maybe some of you are naturally bright!
of you are going to know the keen sorrow of having the one you
You will see all that seems to make life livable lost out of your
These bumps and tragedies and Waterloos draw the strings of the
unworthy go out of our lives and as peace, harmony, happiness, love
Memories of the Price We Pay
That "Last Day of School"
I walked thirteen miles a day, six and a half miles each way, most of
old back-country "last day of school exhibition"? The people that
great baskets of provender and we had a feast. We covered the
school desks with boards, and then covered the boards with piles of
fried chicken, doughnuts and forty kinds of pie.
Then we had a "doings." Everybody did a stunt. We executed a lot of
back of the ears! And into them! So many of them wore collars that
I can see them speaking their "pieces." I can see "The Soldier of
got up before that "last day of school" audience and opened my
mouth, it was a great opening, but nothing came out. It came out of
was "such a good man" and a "pillar of the church." I used to wonder,
"due at corncutting," as a souvenir of my first schoolteaching.
Deacon K has gone from earth. He has gone to his eternal reward. I
of its own household.
And he has gotten his lecture out of that home town. The heroes and
half the night living it over. Time was when I thought anybody who
could live in that hotel was a superior order of being. But the
time had come when I knew the person who could go on living in any
hotel has a superior order of vitality.
a picture of the school in that town that had been taken twenty-one
price was a quarter.
I got a truer perspective of life that night. Did you ever sit
alone with a picture of your classmates taken twenty-one years
A class of brilliant and gifted young people went out to take
charge of the world. They were so glad the world had waited so long
on them. They were so willing to take charge of the world. They
not the one you may be thinking of! No, it was Jim Lambert. He had
As commencement day approached, the committee of the class
appointed for that purpose took Jim back of the schoolhouse and
on the stage back of the oleander commencement night.
goddess at the general delivery window and superintendent of the
stamp-licking department of the home postoffice. The boy who was
wife was speaker of the house.
Most of them were doing very well even Jim Lambert. Jim had become
the head of one of the big manufacturing plants of the South, with
a lot of men working for him. The committee that took him out
They hung a picture of Mr. Lambert in the high school at the last
a bit of cheer from the story of Jim?
the barrel, and now as I called the roll on them, most of them that
Out of that fifty-four, one had gone to a pulpit, one had gone to
almost every note on the keyboard of human possibility had been
struck by the one school of fifty-four.
yet most of them seemed already to have decided their destinies.
that the foolish dreams of success faded before the natural
unfolding of talents, which is the real success. I saw better that
work as a man. The boy who went to the bottom of things in school
was going to the bottom of things in manhood. Which had helped him
to go to the top of things!
Jim Lambert had merely followed the call of talents unseen in him
him! Why was it he could always get the better of me? Well, he went
on trading knives and getting the better of people. Now, twenty-one
smart and bright.
teacher's model boy. All the mothers of the community used to say
to their own reprobate offspring, "Why can't you be like Harry?
He'll be President of the United States some day, and you'll be in
believe Mr. Webster defines a model as a small imitation of the
I have said little about the girls of the school. Fact was, at that
way. But I naturally thought of Clarice, our social pet of the
her. Most of the girls who shone with less social luster became the
happy homemakers of the community.
But as I looked into the face of Jim Lambert in the picture, my
heart warmed at the sight of another great success--a sweet-faced
her grace and sweetness thru it all, and the influence of her
a loving father, plenty of money, opportunity and a great career
the town proud of him.
I was the janitor of the schoolhouse. Some of my classmates will
the careers of Frank and the rest of them seemed to begin. They
were going off to college and going to do so many wonderful things.
But the week after commencement I had to go into a printing office,
Many a time as I plugged at the "case" I would think of Frank and wonder
Twenty-one years afterward as I got off the train in the home town,
I had the story of a tragedy--the tragedy of modern unpreparedness.
It was the story of the boy who had every opportunity, but who had
all the struggle taken out of his life. He never followed his
a fortune, broke his father's heart, shocked the community, and
It revived the memory of the story of Ben Hur.
trial at the hands of this world. That is why the great Judge has
he pulls on the oar. Day after day he writhes under the sting of
the lash. Years of the cruel injustice pass. Ben Hur is the
helpless victim of a mocking fate.
office, or wherever we work we seem so often like slaves bound to
the oar and pulling under the sting of the lash of necessity. Life
seems one futureless round of drudgery. We wonder why. We often
stronger forearms. They are bands of steel that swell in the
forearms of Ben Hur. They swing those flying Arabians into the
mistakes in the bookkeeping. As we pull on the oar, so often lashed
interest in the bank account of strength. Sooner or later the time
galleys of life by pulling on the oar.
That is why I thanked God as I stood at the grave of my classmate.
I thanked God for parents who believed in the gospel of struggle,
I am not an example of success.
But I am a very grateful pupil in the first reader class of The
University of Hard Knocks.
THERE is a little silvery sheet of water in Minnesota called Lake Itasca.
"Ole!" you will exclaim, "the lake is leaking. What is the name of
So even the Father of Waters has to begin as a creek. We are at the
cradle where the baby river leaps forth. We all start about alike.
It wabbles around thru the woods of Minnesota. It doesn't know
to the place where all of us get sooner or later. The place where
Paul came on the road to Damascus. The place of the "heavenly vision."
The little Mississippi starts south. He says to the people,
get out of the county." That is a fact, but he is not trying to get
out of the county. The Mississippi is only trying to go south.
The Mississippi knows nothing about the Gulf of Mexico. He does not
know that he has to go hundreds of miles south. He is only trying
thought! He has water enough to start south, and he does that.
My friends, here is one of the best pictures I can find in nature
of what it seems to me our lives should be. I hear a great many
Value of a Goal in Life." But the direction is vastly more
supplies we will need along the way. All we have to do is to start
we flow. All of us can start! And then go on south!
not at the end of the journey, for there is no end. Success is
It is a divine call--the call of our unfolding talents to be used.
direction he would never have been heard of.
You never meet the Mississippi after he starts south, but what he
As long as people keep on going south, they keep on living. When
That is why I am making it the slogan of my life--GO ON SOUTH AND
education--and religion. And the only business of life.
You and I start well. We go on south a little ways, and then we
retire. Even young people as they start south and make some little
knee-pants achievement, some kindergarten touchdown, succumb to
So many of those young goslings believe that. They quit and get
canned. They think they have gotten to the Gulf of Mexico when they
have not gotten out of the woods of Minnesota. Go on south!
The Plague of Incompetents
But contentment with present achievement is the damnation of the race.
The mass of the human family never go on south far enough to
become good servants, workmen or artists. The young people get a
Nine out of ten stenographers who apply for positions can write a
think that is being a stenographer, when it is merely a symptom of
Nine out of ten workmen cannot be trusted to do what they advertise
efficient. Many a professional man is in the same class.
Half of our life is spent in getting competents to repair the
botchwork of incompetents.
is the opiate that Nature administers to deaden the pains of mediocrity.
Just because our hair gets frosty or begins to rub off in spots, we
We are only children in God's great kindergarten, playing with our
A-B-C's. I do not utter that as a bit of sentiment, but as the
great fundamental of our life. I hope the oldest in years sees that
of your gray hair or baldness. If they get on the inside of the head,
to employ gray-headed men? They have found that so many of them
are the most valuable, for they have the vision and wisdom of many
years and the enthusiasm and "pep" and courage of youth.
years and years on earth and has perhaps gotten gray on the
person in the pulpit, in the schoolroom, in the office, behind the
"Please don't throw it up to me now. I am just as ashamed of it as
the people on the platform who were contented with their offerings,
were not trying to improve them, and were lost in admiration of
From what I can learn of Methuselah, he never grew past copper-toed
The spectacle of Sarah Bernhardt, past seventy, thrilling and
gripping audiences with the fire and brilliancy of youth, is
acting, for she remains the "Divine Sarah" with no crippling of her
work. She looks younger than many women of half her years. "The
ninety-two was working as hard and hopefully as any man of the
the Odd Fellows' Home near Elkins, where he lived. On the porch of
the home was a row of old men inmates. The senator shook hands with
hearty greetings.
the face of seven thousand failures. Today he brings forth a
started south. It took him eighty years to get ready. Moses did not
even get on the back page of the Egyptian newspapers till he was
If Moses had retired at seventy-nine, we'd never have heard of him.
pitching horseshoes up the alley and talking about "ther winter of
Imagine Moses living today amidst the din of the high school
orations on "The Age of the Young Man" and the Ostler idea that you
are going down hill at fifty. Imagine Moses living on "borrowed
time" when he becomes the leader of the Israelite host.
You are liable to drop off any minute. Here is a pair of slippers.
And keep out of the night air. It is so hard on old folks."
what to do. Watch things happen from now on. Children of
I see Moses at eighty starting for the Wilderness so fast Aaron
Thursday. They get ready the resolutions of respect--
to General Moses' private office. It is his busy day. They have to
man. You are eighty-five years old and full of honors. We are the
to hold that funeral until I get this work pushed off so I can
irreverence. It is joyful reverence. It is the message to all of
All the multitudes of the Children of Israel died in the Wilderness.
They were afraid to go on south. Only two of them went on south--
Joshua and Caleb. They put the giants out of business.
So another crop of Americans came into the limelight. If we modern
They say nobody loves them. Which is often a fact. Nobody loves the
They say, "Only a few more days of trouble, only a few more
child and I'm not happy now. Them was the best days of my life
the horrors of childhood could not be hired to live it over again.
I wish I could forget many of my childhood memories. I remember the
I often wonder how I ever lived thru my childhood. I would not take
my chances living it thru again. I am not ungrateful to my parents.
nurture and admiration of the Lord. I am not just sure I quoted
that my heart does not go out to them. I remember when I did that.
"quart'ly meeting day." We always had a big dinner on "quart'ly
Elder Berry always stayed for dinner. He was one of the easiest men
Mother would stay home from "quart'ly meeting" to get the big
at the last donation. We had one of those stretchable tables,
was represented. I didn't know we had so much jelly till "quart'ly
I would see mother put on the tallest pile of mashed potatoes you
wonder why we never could have a big dinner but what a lot of
The hungriest one of that assemblage would have to go in the next
was only one piece of chicken left. It was the neck. O, Lord, spare
to another piece of the chicken?"
boy?" He would come over to the remains of Brother Parlette's boy.
He would often put his hand in benediction upon my head.
you are seeing the best days of your life right now as a child."
The dear old liar! I was seeing the worst days of my life. If there
and today is the best day of all. Go on south!
days. Of course, you can be happy as a child. A boy can be happy
more like mine like a piece of sandpaper. There are chapters of
happiness undreamed of in his philosophy.
A child can be full of happiness and only hold a pint. But
afterwhile the same child will hold a quart.
must hold a barrel! Go on south. Of course, I do not mean
living as long as God lives.
And I have to say that to many questions, "I do not know." I often
They have built a great concrete obstacle clear across the path of
you see the struggle of overcoming the obstacle develops light and
the light and power from the struggle. The great city of St. Louis,
We develop our light and power. We are rivers of light and power,
be developed. So many of us do not understand that. We look
Thank God! You are blessed of Providence. They do not waste the
obstacles. The presence of the obstacles means that there is a lot
of light and power in you to be developed. If you see no obstacles,
The fact that we are not buried is no proof that we are alive. Go
storeboxes. There they are blocking traffic at the postoffice and
the guests stand up. There they are--rows of retired farmers who
They block the wheels of progress and get in the way of the people
trying to go on south. They say of the people trying to do things.
because they "take money outa town." They do not take any of their
squirt some "pep" into them and start them on south.
last glimpse of the book in the running brook.
is the supreme test of character. That is, Why go on south? Not for
The Mississippi does not resign. He does not tell a tale of woe. He
I am not going a step farther south. I am going right back to Lake
alchemy of Nature, the Mississippi has taken over all the poison
made it a part of himself. And he is greater and farther south!
He fattens upon bumps. Kick him, and you push him farther south.
Day by day the Father of Waters goes on south, taking them over and
purifying them and making them a part of himself. Nothing can
along such a heart full of the injuries that other people have done
us, that sometimes we are bank to bank full of poison and a menace
we ought to forget. We need schools of memory, but we need schools
of forgettery, even more.
you help the most often are the least grateful in return?
teacher, the editor, the man in office, the business man, the
father and mother--every one who tries to carry on the work of the
your heart. His business is to stop you from going south. His most
get the sharp edge started into your thought, he is going to drive
valley for praise or blame, for appreciation or lack of it. You do
it to live. You do it to remain a living river and not a stagnant,
for outside thanks instead of inside thanks. They were trying to
streamlet starting southward thru the forests of Minnesota, there
writing the first chapter of this wonderful book in the running brook.
I thank God that I had gone a little farther southward in my own
life. Father of Waters, you have fought a good fight. You are
conquering gloriously. You bear upon your bosom the commerce of
you get in the right channel, saw you learn the lessons of your
And may we read it into our own lives. May we get the vision of
getting the lessons of the bumps, the strength from the struggle
and thus making it a part of ourselves, and thus growing greater.
Where shall we stop going south? At the Gulf of Mexico?
And when he comes to the end of his physical banks, he pushes on
When you and I come to our Gulf of Mexico, we must push right on
south. So we push our physical banks years farther into the gulf.
into the great Gulf of the Beyond, to go on south unfolding thru eternity.
HOW often we say, "I wish I had a million!" Perhaps it is a
O, the problem is not how to get money, but how to get rid of
If the burden were lifted from most of us we would go to wreck.
When you hear the orator speak and you note the ease and power of
his work, do you think of the years of struggle he spent in
preparing? Do you ever think of the times that orator tried to
mortified and broken-hearted? Thru it all there came the
When you hear the musician and note the ease and grace of the
performance, do you think of the years of struggle and overcoming
necessary to produce that finish and grace? That is the story of
the actor, the author and every other one of attainment.
I have builded?" says the Belshazzar of material prosperity as he
they can stand, break their hearts before they can sing, and
that some of us will have to go to jail to do our best work.
Do you remember that Saul of Tarsus would have never been
remembered had he lived the life of luxury planned for him? He had
rising from the ashes of defeat?
Then, children, when you stand in the row of graduates on
O UNIVERSITY OF HARD KNOCKS, we learn to love you more with each
that you are saving us from ourselves. But O, how most of us must
I know no better way to close this lecture than to tell you of a
tho twelve years of my life had dropped out of it, and had been
why I was living. I thought I had nothing more to live for. When a
triangular car that hoists them out of the hungry chasm thirty-five
hundred feet up the side of a granite cliff, to the top of Echo Mountain.
Here they find that Echo Mountain is but a shelf on the side of
Every minute a new thrill, and no two thrills alike. Five miles of
lift. There is a wooden shelf nailed to the side of the perpendicular
rockwall where his life depends upon the honesty of the man who drove
He looks over the edge of the shelf downward, and then turns to the other
side to look at the face of the cliff they are hugging, and discovers
Alpine Tavern. One cannot ride farther upward. This is not the summit,
at the summit of Mount Lowe is to get a picture so wonderful it
feet, more than a mile, into the orange belt of Southern California.
It spreads out below in one great mosaic of turquoise and amber
field-glass sweeps one panoramic picture of a hundred miles or more.
forty miles is the blue stretch of the Pacific Ocean, on westward
the faint outlines of Catalina Islands. The ocean seems so close
And Mount Lowe is but a shelf on the side of the higher Sierras.
This is one of the workshops of the infinite!
was searching for relief. I was heartsick.
down upon clouds. I thought of the cloud that had covered me in the
over me, and there were millions of miles of sunshine above me. I
the clouds of trouble today, BUT THE SUN IS SHINING!
clearly the plan of a human life. The rocks, the curves and the
struggles fit into a divine engineering plan to soften the
steepness of the ascent. The bumps are lifts. The things that seem
know it was one of the greatest blessings of my life. It closed one
Late that day I was clambering down the side of Mount Lowe. Down in
lower and lower until his red lips kissed the cheek of the Pacific.
The glory of the sunset filled sea and sky with flames of gold and
fountains of rainbows. Such a sunset from the mountain-side is a
promise of heaven.
The shadows of sunset widened over the valley. Presently all the
where I stood. I was farther up the mountain. I turned and looked
up to the summit. The beams of the setting sun were yet gilding
Child of humanity, are you in the storm? Go on upward. Are you in
Some day my night will come. It will spread over all this valley of
shall be in the new day of the mountain-top, forever above the night.
I shall find this mountain-top just another shelf on the side of
the Mountain of Infinite Unfolding. I shall have risen perhaps only
the first mile. I shall have millions of miles yet to rise.
entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared
The Big Business of Life
This book proves that the real big business is that of getting our
Dr. J. G. Crabbe, President of the State Teachers College,
"The Big Business of Life is a real joy to read. It is big and
where. It is truly `A Book of Rejoicing'."
"In The Big Business of Life we have the practical philosophy
secret of living to the full. And happiness is to be sought
a smile, and beneath each one is a bit of wisdom it would do us
a world of good to learn. It recalls the saying of the wise man
`A merry heart doeth good like a medicine'."
Many who have read The Big Business of Life
University of Hard Knocks," which, they add, is
The Salvation of a Sucker
chapters in "The University of Hard Knocks."
John C. Carroll, President of the Hyde Park State Bank of Chicago,
bought 1000 copies of the booklet "It's Up to You!" and of it he
friend. I would rather be author of it than president of the bank."
Employers in every line of business are buying quantities of "It's
William Jennings Bryan says of the booklet "Go On South": "It is
one of the great stories of the day."
Charles Grilk of Davenport, says: "My two children and I read the
Instruct us to send one of these booklets to your friends. It will
End of Project Gutenberg etext of "The University of Hard Knocks"
James Michener
The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.
Living Totally
[Articles] > Living Totally
Postponement is a trick of the mind; it keeps you hoping, and meanwhile the opportunity is slipping by. And in the end you will come to the cul-de-sac, death--and there will be no more opportunity left. And this has happened many times in the past.
When Alexander the Great was coming to India, he met one strange man, Diogenes. It was a winter morning, a cool breeze was blowing, and Diogenes was lying on the riverbank, taking a sunbath, naked. He was a beautiful man--when there is a beautiful soul, a beauty arises which is not of this world.
Alexander said, "If I have another chance to come to the earth I will ask God, instead of making me Alexander again, to make me Diogenes."
Diogenes laughed again and he said, "You are mad--because I am resting now, and I have not conquered the world. I don't see the necessity of it. Who has told you that before resting, you have to conquer the world? And I tell you: if you don't rest now, then you never will. Something or other will always remain to be conquered... and time is fleeting. You will die in the middle of your journey--everybody dies in the middle of the journey."
Health related Articles
[Health] related Articles
* [Eating to Live, Not Living to Eat|http://www.champs-of-truth.com/health/diet.htm]
The Law of Being
[DLSMD] > The Law of Being
the law of being and it is the religion of humanity. It is not a
special privilege of the Hindu only.
Righteousness opens the way for God-realisation. The treasure of
dharma is accumulated by plain living and high thinking.
uphold the earth.
There are ten attributes of dharma. They are: patience or courage,
forgiveness, self-restraint, non-stealing, purity, control of the
Dharma assumes the shape of the moral law that differentiates between
dharma - the ethical value of life; artha - the material value; kama
No one can lead a life of adharma (unrighteousness) and be happy.
This is because happiness is the nature of the atman and dharma too
is an expression of the law of the self.
you into the dark abyss of ignorance is sin and that which leads you
heart is virtue. That which gives you peace, joy, satisfaction,
exhilaration, expansion of the heart is virtue and that which brings
Selfish
Gautam Buddha is passing near a village which consists of high caste brahmins only.
route -- so it will be very kind of you if you can wait just two days."
They were shocked, and they could not believe -- what kind of man is this? When they
going to jump and hit the man! Just because of you, I tried to control my
And that is possible only if you are utterly selfish, so that before you start
helping others, you have helped yourself; before you start enlightening other
Whatever you want to spread must be your living experience.
Change
[Articles] / [Words] > Change
http://livingclimatechange.com/
jealousy. And so it is in most religions. These are the sort of
point of view.
However, perhaps from the point of view of a spiritual teacher,
these types of sins can be secondary to habits and ways of living
people who are not living up to the virtues that they are preaching.
But perhaps those people are not suffering from the worst sin of all
from a spiritual point of view which is inertia. If a person is
of view they are hopeless because they are not willing to move. In
an entirely different view of life. We are basing our life on an
we want. From their higher point of view, that is the ultimate sin.
surrender ourselves to that one Spirit that is the Indweller of all
of us.
Therefore, each one of us must constantly examine our lives. Have we
lost interest in a new angle of vision? This is the real test of our
Have another angle of vision. Change now!
None
[Living the religious life of a none : Growing numbers shed organized church for loose spiritual sensibility|http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/12/04/MNG0Q3FQD51.DTL] : .....Kellee Hom was raised in the Roman Catholic Church but never imagined she'd become a religious none.
No, not "nun." That's "none," as in "none of the above."
Hom is among a growing number of Americans who simply answer "none" or "no religion" when pollsters ask them their religious affiliation.
Robert Blackwill
US AMBASSADOR’S EMOTIONAL SIGN-OFF
Unlike Siddhartha, my meditations while preparing
Unfortunately, Brahma and Saraswati, because of my own
follow Krishna’s wise words, “Be thou of even mind.”
persistence of Maya, the ever-present veil of
Delhi to Mumbai to see and feel the land and people of
read out by an official with the deepest voice on the
Visiting Humayun’s tomb with US Secretary of the
erected, those living on my continent had built no
source of the Ganga. Like so much of India, alpha and
omega provide conflicting context. The vale of
this earth. Ladakh’s high plateau with the Buddhist
rest of my life. Someday, I am going to drive from
with a professional local dance group outside on a
offer to join that dance team. I can only conclude
of that evening.
As has been said, the world is divided into two parts
All of Rajasthan entrances me. The noble Rajput
favourite, the medieval walled city of Jaisalmer, land
of the Bhatti princes, born of the moon. Parapets into
wonders of the world. As has been so often the case
courage of the Gujaratis as they recover from the
earthquake. Pulsating Mumbai. Speaking with its
breathing pure oxygen. I cannot get enough of it.
paintings of people who felt all of the emotions that
especially the elements of abiding love.
weapons of mass destruction. Ancient Christianity in
near Mysore where I first heard of the Columbia
Kalpana; the blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture
exquisite culture of Kolkata; the flowers and forests
of Sikkim and the border at Nathula with no shortness
of breath; the Northeast, Kaziranga and the
experienced any of it.
ever so slightly. The form and function of Indian
wish I owned two dozen of the originals. Or one.
the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech
of speech, the breath of breath, and the eye of the
departing from this world, become immortal.”
day in this country. The living symbolic power in this
ancient civilization, the abiding aura, of — the tree.
Of the circle. Of the triangle. Arranged marriages.
The fourteen hundred years of Islam in India. Friday
and therefore of particular meaning and comfort to me.
least when he is in sight of them and it isn’t a
home, and have sent them an email with a job offer.
as the drops strike the parched earth. Like so much of
any of this, the remembrances of the character of the
people of India, which I will take back to America
with me - of countless individuals over these two
anti-terrorist convictions of my President, George W
started to read regularly the Indian press. It was
devastating fact of terrorism against India. Sitting
in my office at Harvard, I began to keep a daily count
of those killed here by terrorists. Three on Monday.
human beings murdered as a systemic instrument of
I left the United States for India in the summer of
Places to go. Things to do. Prayers to offer. All
snuffed out by the killing hand of terror.
murders of innocents. And yet, they go on. But, my
said, “the most sublime purpose of religion is to
challenge from a variety of perspectives for several
these two years to experience, and to profit from,
these profound wellsprings of Indian spirituality.
Vipassana Meditation
http://www.dhamma.org/ : "This is the international home page of the organizations which offer courses in Vipassana Meditation in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin as taught by S.N. Goenka and his assistant teachers."
..... Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art of Living. For those who are not familiar with Vipassana Meditation, an Introduction to Vipassana by Mr. Goenka is available.....
Parenting
Everyone wants to think that they are good parents and that their particular parenting techniques are the most effective. However, you must realize that kids are not just raised by their parents; they are also raised in large part by their environment. Environment includes their neighborhood, school, peers, and media such as television, music, and the Internet. And don't forget that children differ in those things you might call genes. Thus, a parenting strategy that raises Ivy League angels in one family might lead to depressed psychotic sociopaths in another. It's good to listen to the advice of other people who are parents (see Tip #10: More knowledge is always better), but realize that you do not have full control of your children's upbringing. They are at the mercy of their environment - their social context - most of the time. I believe that the most effective parenting strategy is to first realize that parenting is a highly context-sensitive problem and that the context (environment) must be taken into serious consideration during the parenting process. You can't raise your kids in an isolated cave (unless you're a caveman).
http://ben.casnocha.com/2009/09/parenting-line-of-the-day.html
Kennedy tells us that when he was still a child his father once let him know that he had a choice between living "a serious life" and a "non-serious life."
20050114
returned to the ashram in the evening. The schedule of ceremonies has
Mahaswamigal's designated successor and was officially installed as
head of Kailasa Ashrama in ceremonies in early 2004.
Monastery, home of HPI. He and Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami were
His Holiness Trichiswami, one of the foremost spiritual leaders of our
time, was the recipient of the Hindu Rennaissance Award 2003 given by
Hinduism Today honoring him as "Hindu of the Year." In announcing that
award, the following article recounting Swamiji's life story was
published in the October, 2003, issue of Hinduism Today and is
A photo of Mahaswamigal is available
Sri Sri Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal, Trainer and Guide of Monastics and
companies, a small hermitage began on the outskirts of the city. Tucked
away in the quiet, remote suburbs off Mysore Road was Kailasa Ashrama
days. Public transport was sparse. Unmindful of all these hassles, the
Mother beckoning. Word spread about the power of Goddess Rajarajeswari
to honor him with the Hindu Renaissance Award as Hindu of the Year
Swamiji has trained dozens of sannyasins, Hindu monks, who are now in
charge of ashrams of their own, and a large number of priests who serve
situations. He is a living embodiment of the Goddess's grace, with even
inspired devotees in many countries during his tours of North America
abode of Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal. A huge township now surrounds the
to various parts of the city by public transport, real estate values in
Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal has a large following of devotees from all
savant is an ocean of Divinity, knowledge and wisdom. Being in his
portrayal is given in his biography, Life and Work of Sri Sivaratnapuri
on foot) to propitiate the rain Gods. He started his journey after
blessings of Tiruchi Mahaswamigalji. The very next day heavy rains
for the last 28 years. A lot of good things have come to us with the
blessings of Swamiji. On many occasions we have escaped dangers, and we
survived only because of His blessings."
religious training. A steady stream of proficient priests who graduated
Sri Balagangadharanatha Swami of Adi Chunchanagiri Mutt in Belur, Swami
Sivananda Bharati, head of Siddharudanatha Math, and Kumaraswamy, head
of the Thiruchi Swami Math. Kailasa Ashrama, staffed by Swamiji's monks
and administrated by Sri Jayendra Puri Swami, has spawned a number of
near the Devi temple, "By the grace of the Divine Mother and Lord
Swamiji went to Mount Kailash. There, he had a vision of Goddesses
inspiration to start the ashram and temple near Bangalore.
of bright red and yellow flowers where cool shade trees shelter three
elite guest apartments. Just inside the second gate of the twelve-acre
four stories, a pastel pink jewel in the tropical sun. To the right of
quarters stand, partially hidden in the foliage of trees and bright
flowers. It is in the front room of this unimposing dwelling that the
darshan from a carved wooden chair, with pictures of many saints and
Seated on a simple chair in his long-time living quarters known as
"Kuteeram, " Sri Swamiji is a man of few words. In this room, perhaps
15 by 35 feet, he has met people from all walks of life. He dislikes
indulging in worldly affairs and refuses to comment on matters of
current developments. Yet politicians, bureaucrats, professionals and
layman alike have immense faith in him. He is the benign reliever of
of questions posed by Hinduism Today:
cannot be achieved at home, because of domestic distractions. Domestic
are very strong in a temple because of the form, the place and the
poor, who cannot afford it otherwise. They can participate where there
HT: What is Swami's advice for the young people of today?
Swamiji: Work very hard. Earn your living and lead a devoted life. You
person had to stand at the main entrance of the ashram and shout three
discipline and work for a living is most important in life.
HT: We see a breakdown of the family, especially both parents working.
sufficient. The mother aspect of the house can be saved. This will keep
the balance in the family. The root of the problem is materialism.
family understand the value of money and the value of happiness, they
HT: Can Swami say a few words about his work abroad, outside of India?
benefits of having a bath in all the rivers of the world by having a
HT: Please speak to the Hindu world about the importance of an order
of monks in the perpetuation of dharma.
Swamiji: An order of monks has to be according to the traditions and
customs of the community. The main intention in propagating dharma is
to propagate virtuous living. We should consider the individual way of
life. One aspect of dharma to one person may not be applicable to the
other. It has to be coupled with the way of life. Disciples of Kailasa
Ashrama have been made heads of institutions of particular communities
inevitable and not go out of the way to protect this frail body, which
dictates of nature and find happiness there. I am totally against this
research. It is a waste of money and effort. It increases population.
of life. That is why I took sannyas. If I was a grihastha (married
of hot water and cannot hold it any longer, we drop it without worrying
ripe fruit does not think of the tree when it drops down.
Swamiji: In olden days, when the son came of age, the parents would
pilgrimage, handing over responsibility to the son once he came of age.
make a nuisance of themselves. This is one aspect. More important is
good care of their old parents. It's all in the way we inculcate the
Anuradha Choudry
A highly motivated Sanskrit scholar dedicated to understanding the deeper sense of the Vedas and to promoting Sanskrit as a living, modern, spoken language. Thereby seeking to create awareness about Bharat’s rich culture and to help restore a sense of pride about her invaluable heritage.
Anuradha, a former student of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry, has been closely associated with Sanskrit for the past 20 years. After graduating from the Ashram School in 1998, she pursued her passion for Sanskrit through her Masters and her M.Phil degrees. During her Post Graduation, she joined a voluntary organization called [Samskrita Bharati], a world-wide movement dedicated to promoting Sanskrit as a living language, and was trained in a special methodology of Teaching called “Edutainment”, a combination of Education and Entertainment.
Fascinated by the SOUND of this language, she believes in making others experience the joy of its rich vibrant words. She got an opportunity to realize this when she was appointed by:
· UGC (University Grants Commission, Govt. Of India) as Instructor for teaching Spoken Sanskrit in the Pondicherry University.
A person of varied interests, she has also won a scholarship from the University of Geneva to do a course in Human Rights.
Furthermore, she has enriched herself by participating in National and International Conferences on Sanskrit and psychology.
Currently doing her Ph.D to understand the deeper psycho-spiritual content of the Veda with special reference to Sri Aurobindo, she is also a Sanskrit teacher in Auroville, an international township.
Rutger Kortenhorst
He is also known as Mrutyunjayah. He is an active member of School of Practical Philosophy and Economic Sciences.
He took a year off and stayed in 'Aksharam', Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, Aurobindo Ashram etc. to learn Samskritam, Vedanta etc.
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to spend an hour together looking at the topic ‘Why does my child do Sanskrit in John Scottus?’ My bet is that at the end of the hour you will all have come to the conclusion that your children are indeed fortunate that this extraordinary subject is part of their curriculum.
Firstly, let us look at Why Sanskrit for my child? We are the only school in Ireland doing this language, so this will need some explaining. There are another 8 JSS-type schools around the world that have made the same decision to include Sanskrit in their curriculum (they are all off-shoots from the School of Philosophy).
Secondly, how is Sanskrit taught? You may have noticed your son or daughter singing Sanskrit grammar songs in the back of the car just for the fun of it on the way home from school. I’ll spend some time telling you HOW we approach teaching Sanskrit now since my year in India.
But first of all: WHY Sanskrit? To answer that we need to look at the qualities of Sanskrit. Sanskrit stands out above all other languages for its beauty of sound, precision in pronunciation and reliability as well as thoroughness in every aspect of its structure. This is why it has never fundamentally changed unlike all other languages. It has had no need to change being the most perfect language of Mankind.
If we consider Shakespeare’s English, we realize how different and therefore difficult for us his English language was although it is just English from less than 500 years ago. We struggle with the meaning of Shakespeare’s English or that of the King James Bible. Go back a bit further and we don’t have a clue about the English from the time of Chaucer’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ from around 700 AD. We cannot even call this English anymore and now rightly call it Anglo-Saxon. So English hadn’t even been born! All languages keep changing beyond recognition. They change because they are defective. The changes are in fact corruptions. They are born and die after seven or eight hundred years –about the lifetime of a Giant Redwood Tree- because after so much corruption they have no life left in them. Surprisingly there is one language in the world that does not have this short lifespan. Sanskrit is the only exception. It is a never-dying constant. The reason for the constancy in Sanskrit is that it is completely structured and thought out. There is not a word that has been left out in its grammar or etymology, which means every word can be traced back to where it came from originally. This does not mean there is no room for new words either. Just as in English we use older concepts from Greek and Latin to express modern inventions like a television: ‘tele [far] – vision [seeing]’ or ‘compute –er’. Sanskrit in fact specializes in making up compound words from smaller words and parts. The word ‘Sams - krita’ itself means ‘completely – made’.
So what advantages are there to a fundamentally unchanging language? What is advantageous about an unchanging friend, say? Are they reliable? What happens if you look at a text in Sanskrit from thousands of years ago?
The exceptional features of Sanskrit have been recognised for a few centuries all over the world, so you will find universities from many countries having a Sanskrit faculty. Whether you go to Hawai, Cambridge or Harvard and even Trinity College Dublin has a seat for Sanskrit –although it is vacant at present. May be one of your children will in time fill this position again?
Although India has been its custodian, Sanskrit has had universal appeal for centuries. The wisdom carried by this language appeals to the West as we can see from Yoga and Ayurvedic Medicine as well as meditation techniques, and practical philosophies like Buddhism and most of what we use in the School of Philosophy. It supports, expands and enlightens rather than conflicts withlocal traditions and religions.
The precision of Sanskrit stems from the unparalleled detail on how the actual sounds of the alphabet are structured and defined. The sounds have a particular place in the mouth, nose and throat that can be defined and will never change. This is why in Sanskrit the letters are called the ‘Indestructibles’ [aksharáni]. Sanskrit is the only language that has consciously laid out its sounds from first principles. So the five mouth-positions for all Indestructibles [letters] are defined and with a few clearly described mental and physical efforts all are systematically planned: [point out chart]
Soft
Roof of
soft
After this description, what structure can we find in a, b, c, d, e, f , g...? There isn’t any, except perhaps that it starts with ‘a’, and goes downhill from there ...
Then there is the sheer beauty of the Sanskrit script as we learn it today. [Some examples on the board]
You may well say: ‘Fine, but so why should my son or daughter have yet another subject and another script to learn in their already busy school-day?’ In what way will he or she benefit from the study of Sanskrit in 2010 in the Western world?
The qualities of Sanskrit will become the qualities of your child- that is the mind and heart of your child will become beautiful, precise and reliable.
Sanskrit automatically teaches your child and anybody else studying it to pay FINE attention due to its uncanny precision. When the precision is there the experience is, that it feels uplifting. It makes you happy. It is not difficult even for a beginner to experience this. All you have to do is fine-tune your attention and like music you are drawn in and uplifted. This precision of attention serves all subjects, areas and activities of life both while in school and for the rest of life. This will give your child a competitive advantage over any other children. They will be able to attend more fully, easily and naturally. Thus in terms of relationships, work, sport– in fact all aspects of life, they will perform better and gain more satisfaction. Whatever you attend to fully, you excel in and you enjoy more.
By studying Sanskrit, other languages can be learnt more easily; this being the language all others borrow from fractionally. The Sanskrit grammar is reflected in part in Irish or Greek, Latin or English. They all have a part of the complete Sanskrit grammar. Some being more developed than others, but always only a part of the Sanskrit grammar, which is complete in itself.
They learn to speak well, starting from Sanskrit, the mother language of all languages. Those who speak well run the world. Barack Obama makes a difference because he can speak well. Mahatma Gandhi could move huge crowds with well-balanced words. Mother Theresa could express herself with simple words which uplift us even now. The language of the great Master Teachers of mankind from times past is all we have got after centuries and millennia, but they make all the difference. We can enter the remarkable mind of Plato through his words. If your daughter or son can express themselves well through conscious language they will be the leaders of the next generation.
Sanskrit has the most comprehensive writings in the world expressed through the Vedas and the Gítá. The Upanishads –translated by William Butler Yeats have given people from all over the world an insight into universal religious feelings for more than one century now. To know these well expressed simple words of wisdom in the original is better than dealing with copies or translations as copies are always inferior to originals. We really need clear knowledge on universal religion in an age faced with remarkable levels of religious bigotry and terrorism arising from poorly understood and half-baked religious ideas.
Vivekananda, a great spiritual leader from India revered by all in the World Religious Conference of 1880 said:
You can put a mass of knowledge into the world, but that will not do it much good. There must come some culture into the blood. We all know in modern times of nations which have masses of knowledge, but what of them? They are like tigers; they are like savages, because culture is not there. Knowledge is only skin-deep, as civilization is, and a little scratch brings out the old savage. Such things happen; this is the danger. Teach the masses in the vernaculars, give them ideas; they will get information, but something more is necessary; give them culture.
Just think for the moment how confusing it is for a child to learn to say ‘rough’ , but ‘dough’. And why does the ‘o’ in ‘woman’ sound like an ‘e’ in ‘women’? How come the ‘ci’ in ‘special’ is different from the ‘ci’ in ‘cinema’? Teachers may well say ‘Just learn it’ as there is no logical explanation, but it only demonstrates to a child that it is all a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. What else does this randomness in the fundamental building-blocks of language teach a child about the world? That it’s just a confusing, random chance-event? How can this give anyone any confidence?
Now go to a language where everything is following rules. Where nothing is left to chance from the humble origin of a letter to the most sophisticated philosophical idea. How will that child meet the world? Surely with confidence, clarity and the ability to express itself?
I have seen myself and others growing in such qualities, because of our contact with Sanskrit. I have just spent a year in India. Though it felt a bit like camping in a tent for a year, it was well worth it. For many years, we taught Sanskrit like zealots i.e. with high levels of enthusiasm and low levels of understanding, to both adults in the School of Philosophy and children in John Scottus School. We did not perhaps inspire a lot of our students and may have put a number of them off the study of Sanskrit. It felt to me like we needed to go to the source. Sanskrit teachers worth their salt need to live with people whose daily means of communication is in Sanskrit. I had already spent three summers near Bangalore doing just that and becoming less of an amateur, but it really needed a more thorough study. So I moved into a traditional gurukulam for the year. This meant living on campus, eating lots of rice and putting up with a few power-cuts and water shortages, but by December 2009, I made up my mind that I would step down as vice-principal of the Senior School and dedicate myself to Sanskrit for the rest of my teaching life. It felt like a promotion to me as quite a few could be vice-principal but right now which other teacher could forge ahead in Sanskrit in Ireland? [Hopefully this will change before I pop off to the next world.] With Sanskrit I’m expecting my mind to improve with age even if my body slows down a little. Sanskrit is often compared to the full-time teacher, who is there for you 24/7 whereas the other languages are more like part-timers. The effects of studying Sanskrit on me have been first and foremost a realistic confidence. Secondly, it meant I had to become more precise and speak weighing my words more carefully. It also taught me to express myself with less waffle and therefore speak more briefly. My power of attention and retention has undoubtedly increased.
Now, let me explain for a few minutes, HOW Sanskrit is taught. To my surprise it is not taught well in most places in India. Pupils have to learn it from when they are around age 9 to 11 and then they give it up, because it is taught so badly! Only a few die-hards stick with it, in time teaching the same old endings endlessly to the next generation. This is partly due to India having adopted a craving to copy the West and their tradition having been systematically rooted out by colonialism.
For learning grammar and the wisdom of the East, I was well-placed in a traditional gurukulam, but for spoken Sanskrit I felt a modern approach was missing.
Then I found a teacher from the International School belonging to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. His name is Narendra. He has developed a novel, inspiring and light method to teach grammar, which doesn’t feel like you do any grammar at all. At the same time it isn’t diluted for beginners so you don’t end up with partial knowledge. I also foolowed a few Sanskrit Conversation camps, which all brought about more familiarity.
Narendra says he owes his method to Sri Aurobindo and his companion ‘the Mother’ who inspired him to come up with the course we now follow in Dublin. This is one of the many things ‘the Mother’ said to inspire him:“Teach logically. Your method should be most natural, efficient and stimulating to the mind. It should carry one forward at a great pace. You need not cling there to any past or present manner of teaching.”
2. The writing script is not the most fundamental thing to be taught. A language is firstly made of its sounds, words and spoken sentences. [The script we use -though very beautiful- is only a few hundred years old.]
4. Understanding works better than memorisation in this Age. Learning by heart should only take up 10 % of the mental work, rather than the 90 % rote learning in Sanskrit up to the recent present.
5. Don’t teach words and endings in isolation; teach them in the context of a sentence as the sentence is the smallest meaningful unit in language.
8. The course should be finished in two years by an average student according to Narendra. This may be a little optimistic given that we are a little out of the loop not living in India, which is still Sanskrit’s custodian. At present I would say it is going to be a three-year course.
We have started on this course since September and it has certainly put a smile on our pupils’ faces, which makes a pleasant change. I now feel totally confident that we are providing your children with a thorough, structured and enjoyable course. Our students should be well prepared for the International Sanskrit Cambridge exam by the time they finish –age 14/15- at the end of second year. We will also teach them some of the timeless wisdom enshrined in various verses. At present we are teaching them:
“All that lives is full of the Lord. Claim nothing; enjoy! Do not covet His property”- in the original of course.
The future. Let us look at the 500 – year cycle of a Renaissance. The last European Renaissance developed three subjects: Art, Music and Science to shape the world we live in today. It had its beginning in Florence. The great Humanist Marsilio Ficino made Plato available to the masses by translating it from Greek to Latin. We live in exciting times and may well be at the beginning of a new Renaissance. It also will be based on three new subjects: Some say that these will be Economics, Law and Language.
Language has to become more universal now as we can connect with each other globally within seconds. NASA America’s Space Program is actively looking at Sanskrit in relation to I.T. and artificial intelligence.
It can describe all aspects of human life from the most abstract philosophical to the latest scientific discoveries, hinting at further developments.
Sanskrit and computers are a perfect fit. The precision play of Sanskrit with computer tools will awaken the capacity in human beings to utilize their innate higher mental faculty with a momentum that would inevitably transform the mind. In fact, the mere learning of Sanskrit by large numbers of people in itself represents a quantum leap in consciousness, not to mention the rich endowment it will provide in the arena of future communication. NASA, California
After many thousands of years, Sanskrit still lives with a vitality that can breathe life, restore unity and inspire peace on our tired and troubled planet. It is a sacred gift, an opportunity. The future could be very bright.
You may well have a few questions at this stage after which I would like to introduce you to a plant in the audience. A parent turned into a blazing ball of enthusiasm over Sanskrit grammar: John Doran. I would like him to wrap up.
20170226
Marmaduke Pickthall "inimitable symphony, the very sounds of which move men to tears and ectasy"
The work of these people has one thing in common ... it is art in the service of eternity
as Dante enunciated in his letter to Can Grande "to remove those living in this life from the state of misery and to lead them to the state of bliss"
The artist is the servant, not a master; his stumbling block is pride; his path to humility
With every stroke of pen or brush, he must remind himself to do his best to bring to light something better than himself
Now-20180719
The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi via [The importance of deep work and the 30-hour method for learning a new skill|https://azeria-labs.com/the-importance-of-deep-work-the-30-hour-method-for-learning-a-new-skill/]
[Principles] : [struggle] / [pain] / [nonparticipation] / [Professional] / [Empathy] / [Pleasant] / [Kind] / [Curious] / [Focus] / [Status]
# Tim Harford - Judge the value of what you have by what you had to give up to get it - http://timharford.com/2018/05/judge-the-value-of-what-you-have-by-what-you-had-to-give-up-to-get-it/
# Elon Musk on Progress Precision Profit - https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-model-3-production-goal-6000-units-per-week/
# Steve Blakeman - Are you 'weird' if you don't use Social Media? - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-weird-dont-use-social-media-steve-blakeman/ ... One of my closest pals chooses to abstain from all forms of social interaction online. He is smart, funny and gregarious so it isn't like he has nothing interesting to impart. He is also not a technophobe either given that he has worked in the tech industry for his entire career, so he certainly isn't a luddite. He just doesn't feel the need to divulge every aspect of his life with friends and family - he would rather have a chat, face-to-face if possible and if not then via a good old fashioned phone call. And, let's be honest, is there anything wrong with that? ...
[Gurudeva] : Living in the Eternal Now
yourself, "Am I fully aware of myself and what I'm doing right now?"
Once you have gained a little control of awareness in this way, try
not to the simplicity of being. Just sit and be the energy in your
spine and head. Feel the simplicity of this energy in every atom of
exercise of sitting and being is a wonderful way to wash away the past,
of your nerve system, work with yourself to keep the power of awareness
expanded. Regular practice of meditation will bring you intensely into
the eternity of the moment. Practice supersedes philosophy, advice,
psychology and all pacifiers of the intellect. We have to practice to
understanding of the situation. This is the real work of meditation that
is not written much about in books. If you can live in the eternity of
now, your life will be one of peace and fulfillment.
Visualize yourself sitting on top of a mountain. There is no place to
go except inside yourself. If you were to go down the northern side of
you stay where you are, at the pinnacle of consciousness, well balanced
master plan of evolution, so you sit, just watching, sensing the clarity
of your own perfect being, learning to live in spiritual consciousness
every day. That is your heritage on this Earth.
Now-20180725
The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi via [The importance of deep work and the 30-hour method for learning a new skill|https://azeria-labs.com/the-importance-of-deep-work-the-30-hour-method-for-learning-a-new-skill/]
[Principles] : [struggle] / [pain] / [nonparticipation] / [Professional] / [Empathy] / [Pleasant] / [Kind] / [Curious] / [Focus] / [Status]
# Tim Harford - Judge the value of what you have by what you had to give up to get it - http://timharford.com/2018/05/judge-the-value-of-what-you-have-by-what-you-had-to-give-up-to-get-it/
# Elon Musk on Progress Precision Profit - https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-model-3-production-goal-6000-units-per-week/
# Steve Blakeman - Are you 'weird' if you don't use Social Media? - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-weird-dont-use-social-media-steve-blakeman/ ... One of my closest pals chooses to abstain from all forms of social interaction online. He is smart, funny and gregarious so it isn't like he has nothing interesting to impart. He is also not a technophobe either given that he has worked in the tech industry for his entire career, so he certainly isn't a luddite. He just doesn't feel the need to divulge every aspect of his life with friends and family - he would rather have a chat, face-to-face if possible and if not then via a good old fashioned phone call. And, let's be honest, is there anything wrong with that? ...
[Gurudeva] : Living in the Eternal Now
yourself, "Am I fully aware of myself and what I'm doing right now?"
Once you have gained a little control of awareness in this way, try
not to the simplicity of being. Just sit and be the energy in your
spine and head. Feel the simplicity of this energy in every atom of
exercise of sitting and being is a wonderful way to wash away the past,
of your nerve system, work with yourself to keep the power of awareness
expanded. Regular practice of meditation will bring you intensely into
the eternity of the moment. Practice supersedes philosophy, advice,
psychology and all pacifiers of the intellect. We have to practice to
understanding of the situation. This is the real work of meditation that
is not written much about in books. If you can live in the eternity of
now, your life will be one of peace and fulfillment.
Visualize yourself sitting on top of a mountain. There is no place to
go except inside yourself. If you were to go down the northern side of
you stay where you are, at the pinnacle of consciousness, well balanced
master plan of evolution, so you sit, just watching, sensing the clarity
of your own perfect being, learning to live in spiritual consciousness
every day. That is your heritage on this Earth.
2018-08-11
[davidgetoff]
"A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both."
SabotageFoods
Most people can jump-start their weight loss by cutting out all [starch]es, [sugar]s & [alcohol]s while consuming more [protein]s and [fat]s.
[davidgetoff] : https://price-pottenger.org/healthy-living-tips/diet-weight-loss/sabotage-foods
Links-2018-08-15
* Second-hand knowledge of the self gathered from books or gurus can never emancipate a man until its truth is rightly investigated and applied; only direct realisation will do that. Realise yourself, turning the mind inward. - Tripura Rahasya, 18: 89
http://www.geocities.com/kundal/Adi-Nath.html - The Path of the Adi-Nath
2003 04 10 - The [Blumhardts|http://www.Blumhardts.com] : ...We live in a time of intense searching. Few are satisfied with what church and society have served up. We hunger for something more, for a faith with the power to transform ourselves and our world. Johann Christoph Blumhardt and his son Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt influenced a whole generation of Christian thinkers. But their message shatters the walls of conventional Christianity.
* [Osho] Talks : [Timeless Topics|http://www.barnett.sk/software/sos/osho/osho-talks/seltops.htm]
* Sri Sri [Ravi Shankar]'s [Weekly Knowledge] [*|http://www.artofliving-foundation.de/Wissensblaetter/Weekly%20Knowledge.htm]
* [brian douglas skinner]'s [The Gumption Memo] ([*|http://www.gumption.org/1993/memo.htm]) - "...Back in 1992 I unexpectedly inherited $50,000 and decided to use it to help prevent some of the human suffering around the world. So I spent some time studying up on the world's problems and trying to figure out how to fix them..."
LifeWithoutPrinciple
AT A LYCEUM, not long since, I felt that the lecturer had chosen a theme too foreign to himself, and so failed to interest me as much as he might have done. He described things not in or near to his heart, but toward his extremities and superficies. There was, in this sense, no truly central or centralizing thought in the lecture. I would have had him deal with his privatest experience, as the poet does. The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. I am surprised, as well as delighted, when this happens, it is such a rare use he would make of me, as if he were acquainted with the tool. Commonly, if men want anything of me, it is only to know how many acres I make of their land- since I am a surveyor- or, at most, what trivial news I have burdened myself with. They never will go to law for my meat; they prefer the shell. A man once came a considerable distance to ask me to lecture on Slavery; but on conversing with him, I found that he and his clique expected seven eighths of the lecture to be theirs, and only one eighth mine; so I declined. I take it for granted, when I am invited to lecture anywhere- for I have had a little experience in that business- that there is a desire to hear what I think on some subject, though I may be the greatest fool in the country- and not that I should say pleasant things merely, or such as the audience will assent to; and I resolve, accordingly, that I will give them a strong dose of myself. They have sent for me, and engaged to pay for me, and I am determined that they shall have me, though I bore them beyond all precedent.
So now I would say something similar to you, my readers. Since you are my readers, and I have not been much of a traveller, I will not talk about people a thousand miles off, but come as near home as I can. As the time is short, I will leave out all the flattery, and retain all the criticism.
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or seared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.
There is a coarse and boisterous money-making fellow in the outskirts of our town, who is going to build a bank-wall under the hill along the edge of his meadow. The powers have put this into his head to keep him out of mischief, and he wishes me to spend three weeks digging there with him. The result will be that he will perhaps get some more money to board, and leave for his heirs to spend foolishly. If I do this, most will commend me as an industrious and hard-working man; but if I choose to devote myself to certain labors which yield more real profit, though but little money, they may be inclined to look on me as an idler. Nevertheless, as I do not need the police of meaningless labor to regulate me, and do not see anything absolutely praiseworthy in this fellow's undertaking any more than in many an enterprise of our own or foreign governments, however amusing it may be to him or them, I prefer to finish my education at a different school.
If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down!
Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now. For instance: just after sunrise, one summer morning, I noticed one of my neighbors walking beside his team, which was slowly drawing a heavy hewn stone swung under the axle, surrounded by an atmosphere of industry- his day's work begun- his brow commenced to sweat- a reproach to all sluggards and idlers- pausing abreast the shoulders of his oxen, and half turning round with a flourish of his merciful whip, while they gained their length on him. And I thought, Such is the labor which the American Congress exists to protect- honest, manly toil- honest as the day is long- that makes his bread taste sweet, and keeps society sweet- which all men respect and have consecrated; one of the sacred band, doing the needful but irksome drudgery. Indeed, I felt a slight reproach, because I observed this from a window, and was not abroad and stirring about a similar business. The day went by, and at evening I passed the yard of another neighbor, who keeps many servants, and spends much money foolishly, while he adds nothing to the common stock, and there I saw the stone of the morning lying beside a whimsical structure intended to adorn this Lord Timothy Dexter's premises, and the dignity forthwith departed from the teamster's labor, in my eyes. In my opinion, the sun was made to light worthier toil than this. I may add that his employer has since run off, in debt to a good part of the town, and, after passing through Chancery, has settled somewhere else, there to become once more a patron of the arts.
The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have been truly idle or worse. If the laborer gets no more than the wages which his employer pays him, he is cheated, he cheats himself. If you would get money as a writer or lecturer, you must be popular, which is to go down perpendicularly. Those services which the community will most readily pay for, it is most disagreeable to render. You are paid for being something less than a man. The State does not commonly reward a genius any more wisely. Even the poet laureate would rather not have to celebrate the accidents of royalty. He must be bribed with a pipe of wine; and perhaps another poet is called away from his muse to gauge that very pipe. As for my own business, even that kind of surveying which I could do with most satisfaction my employers do not want. They would prefer that I should do my work coarsely and not too well, ay, not well enough. When I observe that there are different ways of surveying, my employer commonly asks which will give him the most land, not which is most correct. I once invented a rule for measuring cord-wood, and tried to introduce it in Boston; but the measurer there told me that the sellers did not wish to have their wood measured correctly- that he was already too accurate for them, and therefore they commonly got their wood measured in Charlestown before crossing the bridge.
The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get "a good job," but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
It is remarkable that there are few men so well employed, so much to their minds, but that a little money or fame would commonly buy them off from their present pursuit. I see advertisements for active young men, as if activity were the whole of a young man's capital. Yet I have been surprised when one has with confidence proposed to me, a grown man, to embark in some enterprise of his, as if I had absolutely nothing to do, my life having been a complete failure hitherto. What a doubtful compliment this to pay me! As if he had met me half-way across the ocean beating up against the wind, but bound nowhere, and proposed to me to go along with him! If I did, what do you think the underwriters would say? No, no! I am not without employment at this stage of the voyage. To tell the truth, I saw an advertisement for able-bodied seamen, when I was a boy, sauntering in my native port, and as soon as I came of age I embarked.
The community has no bribe that will tempt a wise man. You may raise money enough to tunnel a mountain, but you cannot raise money enough to hire a man who is minding his own business. An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not. The inefficient offer their inefficiency to the highest bidder, and are forever expecting to be put into office. One would suppose that they were rarely disappointed.
Perhaps I am more than usually jealous with respect to my freedom. I feel that my connection with and obligation to society are still very slight and transient. Those slight labors which afford me a livelihood, and by which it is allowed that I am to some extent serviceable to my contemporaries, are as yet commonly a pleasure to me, and I am not often reminded that they are a necessity. So far I am successful. But I foresee that if my wants should be much increased, the labor required to supply them would become a drudgery. If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living. All great enterprises are self-supporting. The poet, for instance, must sustain his body by his poetry, as a steam planing-mill feeds its boilers with the shavings it makes. You must get your living by loving. But as it is said of the merchants that ninety-seven in a hundred fail, so the life of men generally, tried by this standard, is a failure, and bankruptcy may be surely prophesied.
Merely to come into the world the heir of a fortune is not to be born, but to be still-born, rather. To be supported by the charity of friends, or a government pension- provided you continue to breathe- by whatever fine synonyms you describe these relations, is to go into the almshouse. On Sundays the poor debtor goes to church to take an account of stock, and finds, of course, that his outgoes have been greater than his income. In the Catholic Church, especially, they go into chancery, make a clean confession, give up all, and think to start again. Thus men will lie on their backs, talking about the fall of man, and never make an effort to get up.
It is remarkable that there is little or nothing to be remembered written on the subject of getting a living; how to make getting a living not merely holiest and honorable, but altogether inviting and glorious; for if getting a living is not so, then living is not. One would think, from looking at literature, that this question had never disturbed a solitary individual's musings. Is it that men are too much disgusted with their experience to speak of it? The lesson of value which money teaches, which the Author of the Universe has taken so much pains to teach us, we are inclined to skip altogether. As for the means of living, it is wonderful how indifferent men of all classes are about it, even reformers, so called- whether they inherit, or earn, or steal it. I think that Society has done nothing for us in this respect, or at least has undone what she has done. Cold and hunger seem more friendly to my nature than those methods which men have adopted and advise to ward them off.
The title wise is, for the most part, falsely applied. How can one be a wise man, if he does not know any better how to live than other men?- if he is only more cunning and intellectually subtle? Does Wisdom work in a tread-mill? or does she teach how to succeed by her example? Is there any such thing as wisdom not applied to life? Is she merely the miller who grinds the finest logic? It is pertinent to ask if Plato got his living in a better way or more successfully than his contemporaries- or did he succumb to the difficulties of life like other men? Did he seem to prevail over some of them merely by indifference, or by assuming grand airs? or find it easier to live, because his aunt remembered him in her will? The ways in which most men get their living, that is, live, are mere makeshifts, and a shirking of the real business of life- chiefly because they do not know, but partly because they do not mean, any better.
The rush to California, for instance, and the attitude, not merely of merchants, but of philosophers and prophets, so called, in relation to it, reflect the greatest disgrace on mankind. That so many are ready to live by luck, and so get the means of commanding the labor of others less lucky, without contributing any value to society! And that is called enterprise! I know of no more startling development of the immorality of trade, and all the common modes of getting a living. The philosophy and poetry and religion of such a mankind are not worth the dust of a puffball. The hog that gets his living by rooting, stirring up the soil so, would be ashamed of such company. If I could command the wealth of all the worlds by lifting my finger, I would not pay such a price for it. Even Mahomet knew that God did not make this world in jest. It makes God to be a moneyed gentleman who scatters a handful of pennies in order to see mankind scramble for them. The world's raffle! A subsistence in the domains of Nature a thing to be raffled for! What a comment, what a satire, on our institutions! The conclusion will be, that mankind will hang itself upon a tree. And have all the precepts in all the Bibles taught men only this? and is the last and most admirable invention of the human race only an improved muck-rake? Is this the ground on which Orientals and Occidentals meet? Did God direct us so to get our living, digging where we never planted- and He would, perchance, reward us with lumps of gold?
God gave the righteous man a certificate entitling him to food and raiment, but the unrighteous man found a facsimile of the same in God's coffers, and appropriated it, and obtained food and raiment like the former. It is one of the most extensive systems of counterfeiting that the world has seen. I did not know that mankind was suffering for want of old. I have seen a little of it. I know that it is very malleable, but not so malleable as wit. A grain of gold gild a great surface, but not so much as a grain of wisdom.
The gold-digger in the ravines of the mountains is as much a gambler as his fellow in the saloons of San Francisco. What difference does it make whether you shake dirt or shake dice? If you win, society is the loser. The gold-digger is the enemy of the honest laborer, whatever checks and compensations there may be. It is not enough to tell me that you worked hard to get your gold. So does the Devil work hard. The way of transgressors may be hard in many respects. The humblest observer who goes to the mines sees and says that gold-digging is of the character of a lottery; the gold thus obtained is not the same same thing with the wages of honest toil. But, practically, he forgets what he has seen, for he has seen only the fact, not the principle, and goes into trade there, that is, buys a ticket in what commonly proves another lottery, where the fact is not so obvious.
After reading Howitt's account of the Australian gold-diggings one evening, I had in my mind's eye, all night, the numerous valleys, with their streams, all cut up with foul pits, from ten to one hundred feet deep, and half a dozen feet across, as close as they can be dug, and partly filled with water- the locality to which men furiously rush to probe for their fortunes- uncertain where they shall break ground- not knowing but the gold is under their camp itself- sometimes digging one hundred and sixty feet before they strike the vein, or then missing it by a foot- turned into demons, and regardless of each others' rights, in their thirst for riches- whole valleys, for thirty miles, suddenly honeycombed by the pits of the miners, so that even hundreds are drowned in them- standing in water, and covered with mud and clay, they work night and day, dying of exposure and disease. Having read this, and partly forgotten it, I was thinking, accidentally, of my own unsatisfactory life, doing as others do; and with that vision of the diggings still before me, I asked myself why I might not be washing some gold daily, though it were only the finest particles- why I might not sink a shaft down to the gold within me, and work that mine. There is a Ballarat, a Bendigo for you- what though it were a sulky-gully? At any rate, I might pursue some path, however solitary and narrow and crooked, in which I could walk with love and reverence. Wherever a man separates from the multitude, and goes his own way in this mood, there indeed is a fork in the road, though ordinary travellers may see only a gap in the paling. His solitary path across lots will turn out the higher way of the two.
Men rush to California and Australia as if the true gold were to be found in that direction; but that is to go to the very opposite extreme to where it lies. They go prospecting farther and farther away from the true lead, and are most unfortunate when they think themselves most successful. Is not our native soil auriferous? Does not a stream from the golden mountains flow through our native valley? and has not this for more than geologic ages been bringing down the shining particles and forming the nuggets for us? Yet, strange to tell, if a digger steal away, prospecting for this true gold, into the unexplored solitudes around us, there is no danger that any will dog his steps, and endeavor to supplant him. He may claim and undermine the whole valley even, both the cultivated and the uncultivated portions, his whole life long in peace, for no one will ever dispute his claim. They will not mind his cradles or his toms. He is not confined to a claim twelve feet square, as at Ballarat, but may mine anywhere, and wash the whole wide world in his tom.
Howitt says of the man who found the great nugget which weighed twenty-eight pounds, at the Bendigo diggings in Australia: "He soon began to drink; got a horse, and rode all about, generally at full gallop, and, when he met people, called out to inquire if they knew who he was, and then kindly informed them that he was 'the bloody wretch that had found the nugget.' At last he rode full speed against a tree, and nearly knocked his brains out." I think, however, there was no danger of that, for he had already knocked his brains out against the nugget. Howitt adds, "He is a hopelessly ruined man." But he is a type of the class. They are all fast men. Hear some of the names of the places where they dig: "Jackass Flat"- "Sheep's-Head Gully"- "Murderer's Bar," etc. Is there no satire in these names? Let them carry their ill-gotten wealth where they will, I am thinking it will still be "Jackass Flat," if not "Murderer's Bar," where they live.
The last resource of our energy has been the robbing of graveyards on the Isthmus of Darien, an enterprise which appears to be but in its infancy; for, according to late accounts, an act has passed its second reading in the legislature of New Granada, regulating this kind of mining; and a correspondent of the "Tribune" writes: "In the dry season, when the weather will permit of the country being properly prospected, no doubt other rich guacas [that is, graveyards] will be found." To emigrants he says: "do not come before December; take the Isthmus route in preference to the Boca del Toro one; bring no useless baggage, and do not cumber yourself with a tent; but a good pair of blankets will be necessary; a pick, shovel, and axe of good material will be almost all that is required": advice which might have been taken from the "Burker's Guide." And he concludes with this line in Italics and small capitals: "If you are doing well at home, STAY THERE," which may fairly be interpreted to mean, "If you are getting a good living by robbing graveyards at home, stay there."
But why go to California for a text? She is the child of New England, bred at her own school and church.
It is remarkable that among all the preachers there are so few moral teachers. The prophets are employed in excusing the ways of men. Most reverend seniors, the illuminati of the age, tell me, with a gracious, reminiscent smile, betwixt an aspiration and a shudder, not to be too tender about these things- to lump all that, that is, make a lump of gold of it. The highest advice I have heard on these subjects was grovelling. The burden of it was- It is not worth your while to undertake to reform the world in this particular. Do not ask how your bread is buttered; it will make you sick, if you do- and the like. A man had better starve at once than lose his innocence in the process of getting his bread. If within the sophisticated man there is not an unsophisticated one, then he is but one of the devil's angels. As we grow old, we live more coarsely, we relax a little in our disciplines, and, to some extent, cease to obey our finest instincts. But we should be fastidious to the extreme of sanity, disregarding the gibes of those who are more unfortunate than ourselves.
In our science and philosophy, even, there is commonly no true and absolute account of things. The spirit of sect and bigotry has planted its hoof amid the stars. You have only to discuss the problem, whether the stars are inhabited or not, in order to discover it. Why must we daub the heavens as well as the earth? It was an unfortunate discovery that Dr. Kane was a Mason, and that Sir John Franklin was another. But it was a more cruel suggestion that possibly that was the reason why the former went in search of the latter. There is not a popular magazine in this country that would dare to print a child's thought on important subjects without comment. It must be submitted to the D.D.'s. I would it were the chickadee-dees.
You come from attending the funeral of mankind to attend to a natural phenomenon. A little thought is sexton to all the world.
I hardly know an intellectual man, even, who is so broad and truly liberal that you can think aloud in his society. Most with whom you endeavor to talk soon come to a stand against some institution in which they appear to hold stock- that is, some particular, not universal, way of viewing things. They will continually thrust their own low roof, with its narrow skylight, between you and the sky, when it is the unobstructed heavens you would view. Get out of the way with your cobwebs; wash your windows, I say! In some lyceums they tell me that they have voted to exclude the subject of religion. But how do I know what their religion is, and when I am near to or far from it? I have walked into such an arena and done my best to make a clean breast of what religion I have experienced, and the audience never suspected what I was about. The lecture was as harmless as moonshine to them. Whereas, if I had read to them the biography of the greatest scamps in history, they might have thought that I had written the lives of the deacons of their church. Ordinarily, the inquiry is, Where did you come from? or, Where are you going? That was a more pertinent question which I overheard one of my auditors put to another one- "What does he lecture for?" It made me quake in my shoes.
To speak impartially, the best men that I know are not serene, a world in themselves. For the most part, they dwell in forms, and flatter and study effect only more finely than the rest. We select granite for the underpinning of our houses and barns; we build fences of stone; but we do not ourselves rest on an underpinning of granitic truth, the lowest primitive rock. Our sills are rotten. What stuff is the man made of who is not coexistent in our thought with the purest and subtilest truth? I often accuse my finest acquaintances of an immense frivolity; for, while there are manners and compliments we do not meet, we do not teach one another the lessons of honesty and sincerity that the brutes do, or of steadiness and solidity that the rocks do. The fault is commonly mutual, however; for we do not habitually demand any more of each other.
That excitement about Kossuth, consider how characteristic, but superficial, it was!- only another kind of politics or dancing. Men were making speeches to him all over the country, but each expressed only the thought, or the want of thought, of the multitude. No man stood on truth. They were merely banded together, as usual one leaning on another, and all together on nothing; as the Hindoos made the world rest on an elephant, the elephant on a tortoise, and the tortoise on a serpent, and had nothing to put under the serpent. For all fruit of that stir we have the Kossuth hat.
Just so hollow and ineffectual, for the most part, is our ordinary conversation. Surface meets surface. When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and our fellow is that he has seen the newspaper, or been out to tea, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while.
I do not know but it is too much to read one newspaper a week. I have tried it recently, and for so long it seems to me that I have not dwelt in my native region. The sun, the clouds, the snow, the trees say not so much to me. You cannot serve two masters. It requires more than a day's devotion to know and to possess the wealth of a day.
We may well be ashamed to tell what things we have read or heard in our day. I did not know why my news should be so trivial- considering what one's dreams and expectations are, why the developments should be so paltry. The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition. You are often tempted to ask why such stress is laid on a particular experience which you have had- that, after twenty-five years, you should meet Hobbins, Registrar of Deeds, again on the sidewalk. Have you not budged an inch, then? Such is the daily news. Its facts appear to float in the atmosphere, insignificant as the sporules of fungi, and impinge on some neglected thallus, or surface of our minds, which affords a basis for them, and hence a parasitic growth. We should wash ourselves clean of such news. Of what consequence, though our planet explode, if there is no character involved in the explosion? In health we have not the least curiosity about such events. We do not live for idle amusement. I would not run round a corner to see the world blow up.
All summer, and far into the autumn, perchance, you unconsciously went by the newspapers and the news, and now you find it was because the morning and the evening were full of news to you. Your walks were full of incidents. You attended, not to the affairs of Europe, but to your own affairs in Massachusetts fields. If you chance to live and move and have your being in that thin stratum in which the events that make the news transpire- thinner than the paper on which it is printed- then these things will fill the world for you; but if you soar above or dive below that plane, you cannot remember nor be reminded of them. Really to see the sun rise or go down every day, so to relate ourselves to a universal fact, would preserve us sane forever. Nations! What are nations? Tartars, and Huns, and Chinamen! Like insects, they swarm. The historian strives in vain to make them memorable. It is for want of a man that there are so many men. It is individuals that populate the world. Any man thinking may say with the Spirit of Lodin-
Pleasant are the great fields of my rest."
Not without a slight shudder at the danger, I often perceive how near I had come to admitting into my mind the details of some trivial affair- the news of the street; and I am astonished to observe how willing men are to lumber their minds with such rubbish- to permit idle rumors and incidents of the most insignificant kind to intrude on ground which should be sacred to thought. Shall the mind be a public arena, where the affairs of the street and the gossip of the tea-table chiefly are discussed? Or shall it be a quarter of heaven itself- an hypaethral temple, consecrated to the service of the gods? I find it so difficult to dispose of the few facts which to me are significant, that I hesitate to burden my attention with those which are insignificant, which only a divine mind could illustrate. Such is, for the most part, the news in newspapers and conversation. It is important to preserve the mind's chastity in this respect. Think of admitting the details of a single case of the criminal court into our thoughts, to stalk profanely through their very sanctum sanctorum for an hour, ay, for many hours! to make a very bar-room of the mind's inmost apartment, as if for so long the dust of the street had occupied us- the very street itself, with all its travel, its bustle, and filth, had passed through our thoughts' shrine! Would it not be an intellectual and moral suicide? When I have been compelled to sit spectator and auditor in a court-room for some hours, and have seen my neighbors, who were not compelled, stealing in from time to time, and tiptoeing about with washed hands and faces, it has appeared to my mind's eye, that, when they took off their hats, their ears suddenly expanded into vast hoppers for sound, between which even their narrow heads were crowded. Like the vanes of windmills, they caught the broad but shallow stream of sound, which, after a few titillating gyrations in their coggy brains, passed out the other side. I wondered if, when they got home, they were as careful to wash their ears as before their hands and faces. It has seemed to me, at such a time, that the auditors and the witnesses, the jury and the counsel, the judge and the criminal at the bar- if I may presume him guilty before he is convicted- were all equally criminal, and a thunderbolt might be expected to descend and consume them all together.
By all kinds of traps and signboards, threatening the extreme penalty of the divine law, exclude such trespassers from the only ground which can be sacred to you. It is so hard to forget what it is worse than useless to remember! If I am to be a thoroughfare, I prefer that it be of the mountain brooks, the Parnassian streams, and not the town sewers. There is inspiration, that gossip which comes to the ear of the attentive mind from the courts of heaven. There is the profane and stale revelation of the bar-room and the police court. The same ear is fitted to receive both communications. Only the character of the hearer determines to which it shall be open, and to which closed. I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality. Our very intellect shall be macadamized, as it were- its foundation broken into fragments for the wheels of travel to roll over; and if you would know what will make the most durable pavement, surpassing rolled stones, spruce blocks, and asphaltum, you have only to look into some of our minds which have been subjected to this treatment so long.
If we have thus desecrated ourselves- as who has not?- the remedy will be by wariness and devotion to reconsecrate ourselves, and make once more a fane of the mind. We should treat our minds, that is, ourselves, as innocent and ingenuous children, whose guardians we are, and be careful what objects and what subjects we thrust on their attention. Read not the Times. Read the Eternities. Conventionalities are at length as had as impurities. Even the facts of science may dust the mind by their dryness, unless they are in a sense effaced each morning, or rather rendered fertile by the dews of fresh and living truth. Knowledge does not come to us by details, but in flashes of light from heaven. Yes, every thought that passes through the mind helps to wear and tear it, and to deepen the ruts, which, as in the streets of Pompeii, evince how much it has been used. How many things there are concerning which we might well deliberate whether we had better know them- had better let their peddling-carts be driven, even at the slowest trot or walk, over that bride of glorious span by which we trust to pass at last from the farthest brink of time to the nearest shore of eternity! Have we no culture, no refinement- but skill only to live coarsely and serve the Devil?- to acquire a little worldly wealth, or fame, or liberty, and make a false show with it, as if we were all husk and shell, with no tender and living kernel to us? Shall our institutions be like those chestnut burs which contain abortive nuts, perfect only to prick the fingers?
America is said to be the arena on which the battle of freedom is to be fought; but surely it cannot be freedom in a merely political sense that is meant. Even if we grant that the American has freed himself from a political tyrant, he is still the slave of an economical and moral tyrant. Now that the republic- the respublica- has been settled, it is time to look after the res-privata- the private state- to see, as the Roman senate charged its consuls, "ne quid res-PRIVATA detrimenti caperet," that the private state receive no detriment.
Do we call this the land of the free? What is it to be free from King George and continue the slaves of King Prejudice? What is it to be born free and not to live free? What is the value of any political freedom, but as a means to moral freedom? Is it a freedom to be slaves, or a freedom to be free, of which we boast? We are a nation of politicians, concerned about the outmost defences only of freedom. It is our children's children who may perchance be really free. We tax ourselves unjustly. There is a part of us which is not represented. It is taxation without representation. We quarter troops, we quarter fools and cattle of all sorts upon ourselves. We quarter our gross bodies on our poor souls, till the former eat up all the latter's substance.
With respect to a true culture and manhood, we are essentially provincial still, not metropolitan- mere Jonathans. We are provincial, because we do not find at home our standards; because we do not worship truth, but the reflection of truth; because we are warped and narrowed by an exclusive devotion to trade and commerce and manufactures and agriculture and the like, which are but means, and not the end.
So is the English Parliament provincial. Mere country bumpkins, they betray themselves, when any more important question arises for them to settle, the Irish question, for instance- the English question why did I not say? Their natures are subdued to what they work in. Their "good breeding" respects only secondary objects. The finest manners in the world are awkwardness and fatuity when contrasted with a finer intelligence. They appear but as the fashions of past days- mere courtliness, knee-buckles and small-clothes, out of date. It is the vice, but not the excellence of manners, that they are continually being deserted by the character; they are cast-off-clothes or shells, claiming the respect which belonged to the living creature. You are presented with the shells instead of the meat, and it is no excuse generally, that, in the case of some fishes, the shells are of more worth than the meat. The man who thrusts his manners upon me does as if he were to insist on introducing me to his cabinet of curiosities, when I wished to see himself. It was not in this sense that the poet Decker called Christ "the first true gentleman that ever breathed." I repeat that in this sense the most splendid court in Christendom is provincial, having authority to consult about Transalpine interests only, and not the affairs of Rome. A praetor or proconsul would suffice to settle the questions which absorb the attention of the English Parliament and the American Congress.
Government and legislation! these I thought were respectable professions. We have heard of heaven-born Numas, Lycurguses, and Solons, in the history of the world, whose names at least may stand for ideal legislators; but think of legislating to regulate the breeding of slaves, or the exportation of tobacco! What have divine legislators to do with the exportation or the importation of tobacco? what humane ones with the breeding of slaves? Suppose you were to submit the question to any son of God- and has He no children in the Nineteenth Century? is it a family which is extinct?- in what condition would you get it again? What shall a State like Virginia say for itself at the last day, in which these have been the principal, the staple productions? What ground is there for patriotism in such a State? I derive my facts from statistical tables which the States themselves have published.
A commerce that whitens every sea in quest of nuts and raisins, and makes slaves of its sailors for this purpose! I saw, the other day, a vessel which had been wrecked, and many lives lost, and her cargo of rags, juniper berries, and bitter almonds were strewn along the shore. It seemed hardly worth the while to tempt the dangers of the sea between Leghorn and New York for the sake of a cargo of juniper berries and bitter almonds. America sending to the Old World for her bitters! Is not the sea-brine, is not shipwreck, bitter enough to make the cup of life go down here? Yet such, to a great extent, is our boasted commerce; and there are those who style themselves statesmen and philosophers who are so blind as to think that progress and civilization depend on precisely this kind of interchange and activity- the activity of flies about a molasses- hogshead. Very well, observes one, if men were oysters. And very well, answer I, if men were mosquitoes.
Lieutenant Herndon, whom our government sent to explore the Amazon, and, it is said, to extend the area of slavery, observed that there was wanting there "an industrious and active population, who know what the comforts of life are, and who have artificial wants to draw out the great resources of the country." But what are the "artificial wants" to be encouraged? Not the love of luxuries, like the tobacco and slaves of, I believe, his native Virginia, nor the ice and granite and other material wealth of our native New England; nor are "the great resources of a country" that fertility or barrenness of soil which produces these. The chief want, in every State that I have been into, was a high and earnest purpose in its inhabitants. This alone draws out "the great resources" of Nature, and at last taxes her beyond her resources; for man naturally dies out of her. When we want culture more than potatoes, and illumination more than sugar-plums, then the great resources of a world are taxed and drawn out, and the result, or staple production, is, not slaves, nor operatives, but men- those rare fruits called heroes, saints, poets, philosophers, and redeemers.
In short, as a snow-drift is formed where there is a lull in the wind, so, one would say, where there is a lull of truth, an institution springs up. But the truth blows right on over it, nevertheless, and at length blows it down.
What is called politics is comparatively something so superficial and inhuman, that practically I have never fairly recognized that it concerns me at all. The newspapers, I perceive, devote some of their columns specially to politics or government without charge; and this, one would say, is all that saves it; but as I love literature and to some extent the truth also, I never read those columns at any rate. I do not wish to blunt my sense of right so much. I have not got to answer for having read a single President's Message. A strange age of the world this, when empires, kingdoms, and republics come a-begging to a private man's door, and utter their complaints at his elbow! I cannot take up a newspaper but I find that some wretched government or other, hard pushed and on its last legs, is interceding with me, the reader, to vote for it- more importunate than an Italian beggar; and if I have a mind to look at its certificate, made, perchance, by some benevolent merchant's clerk, or the skipper that brought it over, for it cannot speak a word of English itself, I shall probably read of the eruption of some Vesuvius, or the overflowing of some Po, true or forged, which brought it into this condition. I do not hesitate, in such a case, to suggest work, or the almshouse; or why not keep its castle in silence, as I do commonly? The poor President, what with preserving his popularity and doing his duty, is completely bewildered. The newspapers are the ruling power. Any other government is reduced to a few marines at Fort Independence. If a man neglects to read the Daily Times, government will go down on its knees to him, for this is the only treason in these days.
Those things which now most engage the attention of men, as politics and the daily routine, are, it is true, vital functions of human society, but should be unconsciously performed, like the corresponding functions of the physical body. They are infrahuman, a kind of vegetation. I sometimes awake to a half-consciousness of them going on about me, as a man may become conscious of some of the processes of digestion in a morbid state, and so have the dyspepsia, as it is called. It is as if a thinker submitted himself to be rasped by the great gizzard of creation. Politics is, as it were, the gizzard of society, full of grit and gravel, and the two political parties are its two opposite halves- sometimes split into quarters, it may be, which grind on each other. Not only individuals, but states, have thus a confirmed dyspepsia, which expresses itself, you can imagine by what sort of eloquence. Thus our life is not altogether a forgetting, but also, alas! to a great extent, a remembering, of that which we should never have been conscious of, certainly not in our waking hours. Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our had dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? I do not make an exorbitant demand, surely.

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