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Nonviolence and us
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.
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.
Violence, anywhere, in any form, is reprehensible - especially at home and in the workplace, because this means we are committing violence against people we are expected to love, honor, and respect.  If we do not hesitate to violate the people closet to, why would we hesitate to harm those we don't know?  Salvation lies in changing the self before we attempt to change the society.  To quote my grandfather: "We must be the change we wish to see."
Ganesha Chaturthi
When Gauri came to know of this she was sorely grieved. To console her grief, Shiva ordered His servants to cut off and bring to Him the head of any creature that might be sleeping with its head facing north. The servants went on their mission and found only an elephant in that position. The sacrifice was thus made and the elephant’s head was brought before Shiva. The Lord then joined the elephant’s head onto the body of Ganesha.
Dhoomraketu, Sumukha, Ekadantha, Gajakarnaka, Lambodara, Vignaraja, Ganadhyaksha, Phalachandra, Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vakratunda, Siddhivinayaka, Surpakarna, Heramba, Skandapurvaja, Kapila and Vigneshwara. He is also known by many as Maha-Ganapathi.
Lord Shiva said, “Beloved and wise Ganesha! But how can I give you the prize; you did not go around the world?”
Thus the dispute was settled in favour of Lord Ganesha, who was thereafter acknowledged as the elder of the two brothers. Mother Parvati also gave Him a fruit as a prize for this victory.
On the Ganesh Chaturthi day, meditate on the stories connected with Lord Ganesha early in the morning, during the Brahmamuhurta period. Then, after taking a bath, go to the temple and do the prayers of Lord Ganesha. Offer Him some coconut and sweet pudding. Pray with faith and devotion that He may remove all the obstacles that you experience on the spiritual path. Worship Him at home, too. You can get the assistance of a pundit. Have an image of Lord Ganesha in your house. Feel His Presence in it.
Take fresh spiritual resolves and pray to Lord Ganesha for inner spiritual strength to attain success in all your undertakings.
May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your spiritual path! May He bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation!
Ring the bell as you chant the following mantra :
Pour a spoonful of water on your palms, wipe them and say :
Take some flowers and rice (akshata) in your hands and chant :
Now you have invoked Lord Ganesh for the Pooja, and you are ready for the Pushpaanjali and naamavali (praising the Lord by his different names) After each of the following mantra offer a flower :
Deepam: (Optional) If you have lit a small accompanying lamp, show it to the Lord               accompanied by ringing of bell. If not, just continue with agarbathi and say :
Naivedyam : Keep the prasadam (coconut fruits, kheer etc.) in a plate before the                    Lord, put Tulsi leaves on it close your eyes and chant the mantra offering                    mentally the naivedyam to the Lord.
Take 2 spoonful of water on your right palm, drip the water drops around the prasadam chanting :
Take 2 drops and drop thru the palm on your right side near prasadam chanting:
Take 2 spoonful of water in your right palm and let it drop in the plate in front and say :
How to set and Achieve Goals
*When it comes to setting goals, start off with what's important to you in life. Take out a sheet of paper. Sit quietly, and on that sheet of paper, brainstorm what you want to accomplish between now and the end of your life.
* Second step-use another sheet of paper, and this time consider yourself and your personal goals for the next 12 month period. Some key areas in which you might set personal goals include: family, personal growth, financial, health, social, career, hobbies, spiritual, and recreation. Write down the things that you plan to accomplish or achieve or attain during this one-year period?
* Now, as a third step, go back and compare the two goal lists you have made. Make sure that the items on your short-term list will, as you attain them, be helping you attain your long-term or lifetime goals. It is important that what you are doing short term is taking you in the right direction toward your lifetime goals. Please rewrite your short term goals now if you need to.
* As a next step, looking at the goals that are on your list at this time, if there are any that you are not willing to pay the price for, go ahead and cross them out, leaving only those items you are willing to cause to happen in your life. This does not necessarily mean you have the money or the other resources for attaining the goal right now. However, when you do have it, would you spend it on or trade it for the goals you have on your list?
* Now, on still another sheet of paper, create the job goals that are important to you during this upcoming 12-month period. Identify what outcomes you wish to attain or achieve during this one-year period in your specific area of responsibility and authority.
* Some key areas in which you might consider writing job goals, if you did not already, include: quality, quantity, cost control, cost improvement, equipment, procedures, training, sales, financial, and personnel.
* As a next step, look for the blending between your job or work goals and your personal goals. Anywhere you notice that you are attaining a goal on the job while at the same time you are attaining a personal goal, note this relationship: it is in these areas you will be most highly motivated.
* For each of the three lists that you have just created, take an additional sheet of paper and list the activities that you must do to attain the most important goal that you have on each of your lists.
* Now on another piece of paper titled "Things To-Do List" identify from the activities you just listed, the ones that you must do tomorrow to move you toward your most important goal.
* Rewrite your goals in these categories at least every three months.
* Recognize how focusing on what you do want, what you do intend to accomplish, also defines what you choose not to do in your life.
* Daily rewrite your list of "Things To-Do" after first reviewing your desired goals.
* Success is defined as "the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal." If you are doing the things that are moving you toward the attainment of your goal, then you are "successful" even if you are not there yet.
* It is not the achieving of a goal that is so important, it is what you become in the process.
* Set goals with your family also. Help children learn this process early in life.
* Decide what you should be accomplishing and then stick to your knitting. Do not attempt to be or do all things for all people.
* Written specific goals provide direction and focus to your activities. They become a road map to follow.
* Being busy with activities does not pay, only results do. As in baseball you only get points for getting to the goal of home plate. Just making it to the bases does not count.
* Be sure the goals and activities that you are working for are yours and that you really want and desire to achieve them. The commitment is vital to your success in achieving them.
* When you have a goal that is exciting to you, the life energy flows through you. You are excited about accomplishing it because it is personally meaningful.
* Create a time line or matrix chart on which you display your goals visually and the dates when you will have them accomplished.
* Setting a goal, that you believe is unattainable will result in frustration. To be challenging and motivating, goals must be perceived as realistic and attainable.
* Set goals carefully for you will attain them. This also means if you set none, you will attain that.
* Establish measurement criteria to monitor progressive movement toward your goal. Then you will experience progress.
* Set goals that you will be proud to have achieved, then sense your having completed them. * Have a vision that you know is unquestionably right and you will be internally driven to achieve that vision.
* A goal is "reasonable" when you can see the entire process needed to get to its attainment.
* Develop an emotional reason why you should attain your goal.
Looking Back: 14 Years of Tips
It's a good first principle. And now that it is time for me to yield this space, I thought to compress into the allotted 1,200 words other nuggets I have derived from 613 weeks — I did take vacations — of sometimes furious research. So here goes.
When you walk out into a foreign city, one where English is not the first language, snag a business card or a brochure from the desk of your hotel. It will save you from the terrors Jean Simmons suffered in "So Long at the Fair," when her hotel room apparently disappeared.
Taxes can destroy bargain rates. A car rented for $179.99 a week in Minneapolis will run $245.10 by the time the taxes and fees are piled on. A hotel room in New York City advertised at, say $129, will cost a somewhat less reasonable $148 a night after the taxes of 13.25 percent plus $2 are added. This could be a particularly unwelcome surprise. Ask about taxes when you call.
Don't let gloaters spoil your trip when they boast about the better exchange rate they got for their lire. Yes, keep your eye on the fees at places with names like KashPoynte. But even if you pay too much once, don't agonize over $2 wasted on a $500 exchange. Honor is not at stake.
Don't pack anything you cannot bear to part with. I still remember seeing a gold charm bracelet at the Unclaimed Baggage store in Scottsboro, Ala. "I bet they cried when they lost that one," the clerk said.
Most travelers have to discover this for themselves, but perhaps one or two people can be spared the embarrassment: that string over the shower in the European hotel is not the light cord. It's an emergency bell. If you pull it, people will be along when you least want them.
If you are going to anything other than a tropical spot, pack gloves: hands can get cold on the most unexpected dates. And mittens are warmer than gloves, if less chic.
Take a map. Even if you've driven the route a hundred times, accidents and detours may dispatch you to Terra Incognita.
When flying for weddings, graduations and other unalterable major dates, go a day in advance. You can probably recover the day of used-up vacation, but not the event.
When checking a suitcase, put a card inside with your name, destination hotel and phone number.
Carrying extra film is a good idea. Carrying extra camera batteries is a great idea. Shopping for an obscure size or special film where you do not speak the language is hard.
If you didn't notice on checking in, you can tell it's an economy hotel by the thinness of the towels.
Check your passport expiration date now, not the day before you leave. If yours expires in the next few months, renew now by mail rather than play the costly game of beat the deadline later. Most photo developing shops now take proper passport pictures.
Get the name of the person who takes your hotel or tour reservation. If the computer system digests badly, that name will uphold your credibility and may even help another employee trace your record.
There is no more free lunch, but the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers does send a directory of English-speaking doctors overseas who agree to limit their fees for office and hotel calls. Write to the organization at 417 Center Street, Lewiston, N.Y. 14092, call (716) 754-4883, or see www.iamat.org. No surprise, the organization lives by contributions, and you will be asked.
What's a double room in another country? It may have one wide bed or two narrow ones. If it matters to you, ask. Similarly, a British hotel room described as having a private bath may indeed have a bath but not a toilet. Ask.
Carry two credit cards separately when you travel. If one is stolen, and the account is frozen, you have another way to feed and house yourself.
The little note pad with the name and phone number of the hotel in Florence is meant to be taken with you. I have a rack of hotel note pads more treasured than objects from lost arks. When these are given to friends who ask for a recommendation, the hotel will recoup its investment many times over.
Don't pack more than you can carry up two flights of stairs.
Arrive at a hotel with some singles in your pocket; save yourself from groping and embarrassment.
Computer systems get knocked out: At hotels, at airports, at car rental counters and even in the stock exchange and A.T.M. networks. Carry a few extra dollars; do not rely utterly on electronic lifelines. And if you have a faxed confirmation sheet, it may get you into a hotel room while the reservation system is brought back up.
It is a dark topic, but children who take airplane trips alone often experience many more difficulties than airlines, parents, safety advocates and airport managers want to acknowledge. Parents should do whatever is humanly possible to avoid sending a child alone by plane before the child is old enough to ride alone on public transportation in a city. Some children are ready at 14; some are still uncertain at 16.
Airline pillows do not get fresh cases after each flight. They may not even get fresh cases each day. If this bothers you, take your own pillow or case.
Your bank may sock you with a fee of as much as $5 for getting cash from your account through an A.T.M. abroad, but those machines installed at overseas banks do not hit you for the annoying $1.50 or $2 you pay at home for using another bank's machine.
Hotels in the United States are required to provide a card by the room phone stating the telephone charges. If it's not there, ask the front desk for one before you hook up your computer.
Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming
Note: [I|Kishore Balakrishnan] didnot write it ! If you know who wrote it... please email to kishore at carnatic dot com - Thanks ! - [Chandramouli Mahadevan] forwarded it to me
Dan MacNeil <dan at lctc dot org> : ...the term "egoless programming" was created in [The Psychology Of Computer Programming]... - Can anyone let me know if these commandments are from that book !
1. Understand and accept that you will make mistakes. The point is to find mistakes early, before they make it into production. Fortunately, except for the few of us developing rocket guidance software at [JPL|http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/], mistakes are rarely fatal in our industry. We aren't surgeons; we can learn, laugh, and move on.
2. You are not your code. Remember, the entire point of a review is to find problems and problems will be found. Don't take it personally when a problem is uncovered.
3. No matter how much karate you know, someone else will always know more. This fact kept the Samurai from indiscriminately attacking people in Imperial Japan. In our less violent times, the individual who knows more can teach you some new moves if you ask. There will always be people who know more than you. Seek and accept input from others, even when you think it's not needed.
5. Treat people who know less than you with respect, deference, and patience. Nontechnical people who deal with developers on a regular basis almost universally hold the opinion that we are prima donnas at best and crybabies at worst. Becoming angry only reinforces this perception and teaches people to avoid asking questions. This can only harm your work in the long run.
6. The only constant in the world is change. Be open to it and accept it with a smile. Look at each change to your requirements, platform, or tool as a new challenge, not as some serious inconvenience to be fought.
7. The only true authority stems from knowledge, not from position. Knowledge engenders authority, and authority engenders respect so if you want respect in an egoless environment, cultivate knowledge.
8. Fight for what you believe but gracefully accept defeat. Understand that sometimes your ideas will be overruled. Even if you do turn out to be right, don't take revenge or say, "I told you so" more than a few times at most, and don't make your dearly departed idea a martyr or rallying cry.
10. Critique code instead of people be kind to the coder, not to the code. As much as possible, make all of your comments positive and oriented to improving the code. Relate comments to local standards, program specs, increased performance, etc.
Disconnecting the emotions from mother's death
The death of a mother you loved can be the cause of a long period of depression. Knowing that death comes to us all doesn't help. The emotions come out of the subconscious, a non-reasoning mind. In this exercise I give you two concepts, which you must accept for this to work.
One is that mother is gone... a chapter that has ended in your book of life.
Second is that if your mother loved you, she wouldn't want you mourning over her death for a prolonged period, if at all. She would want you to go on with your life and be a happy, healthy person, wouldn't she? Now often people lay guilt on themselves, saying "I should have gone to see her more, I should have gotten her a better doctor, I wish I had or hadn't done this or that." But all that is water over the dam. It makes no difference now. What has happened is final, and your feeling guilty isn't helping your mother a bit and most likely has a bad effect on those you love who are still around you. For the benefit of yourself and those you love, you MUST disconnect the guilt. This exercise will help you do that because it says "It will disconnect you from all the emotional upsets you experienced involving your mother."
Now you must understand that this makes sense. You can't change the past. But you can change your reaction to the past. Do you want your kids and friends moping over your death when it's your time to go? I doubt it. Give YOUR mother the same consideration. The good memories and feelings will remain after this exercise, but the upset feelings will be gone. When you think of mother in the future only good feelings will come--how fortunate you were to have had a good mother. A lot of people didn't.
What makes this exercise work is that another person has to say it to you, and in the right way. You can believe what I wrote above, but it still needs the disconnect ceremony I've recorded to be effective.
You can always repeat the exercise at a later time, like a day or two or week or more. Soon after a death I have found this necessary. Do it until only pleasant feelings remain.
The sound is not very good, especially on computer speakers. It is because audio has been condensed for short download time and no special media program. It will sound better if you get some cheap hi-fi earphones and plug them in to the back of your computer where you have the speaker plugged in.
Science, Religion and the Big Bang Theory
You said the other day that no one is interested any more in questions like "Who created the universe?" But a recent edition of Time magazine devoted considerable space to an article entitled "In the Beginning: God and Science."
What is wrong with the hypothesis that the universe was created, that it had a beginning? And why do you assert that it did not? Is it not a step in the right direction when science and religion agree?
Subhuti, the first thing to remember is, for three hundred years religion has been losing its territory continuously. First, religion tried to destroy science. It was unable to do it -- because you cannot destroy truth, and science was truer, as far as the objective world is concerned, than religion. In fact religion has no authority to say anything about the objective world.
When you are ill you go to the physician, you don't go to the poet. The poet has no authority; he may be a great poet but that is irrelevant when you are ill. He may be a great poet, but when something goes wrong in your bathroom you don't call him, you call a plumber. The plumber may not be a poet at all, but the plumber is relevant there. You don't call Albert Einstein -- he may be a great physicist, but what does he know about plumbing?
He must have been a man of great humor. He said: "Yes, if it offends you, I declare that whatsoever I have said is wrong -- that the earth does not go around the sun, but the sun goes around the earth."
Everybody looked happy, and then Galileo said: "But sir, nothing will change by my statement. The earth will still go round and round the sun -- my statement makes no difference! If you are offended by my statement I can take it back, I can refute it. If you want me to write another treatise, I can write that too. But nothing will change by that. Who cares about my statement? Neither the sun nor the earth."
But religion is very defensive, continuously searching for anything to cling to. The big bang theory says that in a sudden explosion, in a great flash of light, the world was created. Jump on it; you can always find some way, some logical way. You can say: "Yes, this is right, this is what we have been saying all along. God in the beginning said: 'Let there be light' -- and now the theory says there was a great explosion, the world was suddenly created."
These are all guesses; they are not proved yet, nothing is proved. In fact I don't think that it can ever be proved how the world came into existence. It is impossible, because nobody was there to witness it, you cannot find an eyewitness, so all that they can do will be just guesswork.
And it happened fifteen or twenty billion years ago. You cannot even be certain whether Krishna ever existed or not, just five thousand years ago. You cannot be certain even about Jesus, whether he was really an historical person or is just a myth -- and he was only two thousand years ago. Do you think you can be certain about something that happened twenty billion years ago? All guesses.
Why do I say that there was no beginning? Subhuti, it is so simple. Even if you believe in the big bang theory, there must have been something that exploded. Do you think nothing exploded? If there was something, x, y, z, -- any name, I am not much interested in such nonsense things, x, y, z, whatsoever it was that exploded -- if something was there before the explosion then the explosion is not the beginning. It may be a beginning but it is not the beginning.
And when I say there has never been any beginning, I mean the beginning. Something was always there -- whether it exploded or whether it grew slowly, in one day or in six days or in one single moment, doesn't matter. There must have been something before it, because only something can come out of something. Even if you say there was nothing, and it came out of nothing, then your nothing is full of something, it is not really nothing.
That's why, Subhuti, I say that all these guesses are useless and there is no need for them and they serve no purpose. This was Buddha's approach too. Whenever somebody would ask a question like: "Who created the world?" -- whether the world was ever created or is uncreated -- Buddha would answer by other questions. He would ask: "If who created the world is decided, is it going to help your enlightenment? Is it going to help you become more silent, more meditative, more aware?"
Then Buddha said: "Then why bother about all this? Think of things which can help you to become more meditative, think of things which can help you become free of all the ego-clinging, think of things which can ultimately lead you into the state of samadhi."
Could you say something about forgiveness?
[Articles] > Could you say something about forgiveness?
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.
I can forgive the whole world for the simple reason that my forgiveness is absolute; it is nonjudgmental. I will tell you a small Tibetan story which will make the point absolutely clear to you.
He had a small young boy who used to cook food for him, wash his clothes, fetch vegetables from the market. The boy himself had become slowly, slowly old and for his whole life he had been listening to the old man, who had lived almost one hundred years, and without exception the denial: nobody is worthy! "I will die," he said, "without initiating anyone, but I will not initiate anyone who is nondeserving."
His companion said, "But what about worthiness? I don't know who is worthy and who is not worthy. Who have I to bring?"
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 old man said, "Call them quickly, because it is already afternoon. You took so much time and you could fetch just eleven people?"
His companion said, "What can I do? It is a working day; it is not a holiday. I could only get these. All are absolutely useless; even I could not initiate them. Not only that they are not worthy -- they are absolutely UNworthy. But you insisted to bring somebody; nobody else was available."
The old man said, "There is no problem. Just bring them in." And he initiated them all. Even they were shocked. And they said to the old man, "This is strange behavior. All your life you have insisted that one has to deserve to be a disciple. What happened to your principle?"
The old man laughed. He said, "That was not a principle, that was only to hide my own unworthiness. I was not yet in the position to be a master. And I cannot cheat anyone, I cannot deceive anyone; hence I have taken shelter behind a judgmental attitude, that unless you are worthy, you will not get initiation."
Everybody has his own flaws, weaknesses; everybody has done things that he never wanted to do. Everybody has gone astray. Nobody can say that he is absolutely pure; everybody is polluted. So when the old man insisted, "Unless you are worthy don't come back to me," nobody argued with him; he was right. First they have to be worthy!
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.
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.
"His mother used to go to him. She was the only person who used to go, once in a while, to see him, but even she stopped. The last time she went there he told her, `Now only one finger is missing, and just because you happen to be my mother... I want to warn you that if you come another time you will not go back. I need one finger desperately. Up to now I have not killed you because other people were available, but now nobody passes on this road except you. So I want to make you aware that next time if you come it will be your responsibility, not mine.' Since that time his mother has not come."
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.
Finally Angulimal, with his naked sword in his hand, shouted, "Stop!" Gautam Buddha was just a few feet away, and Angulimal said, "Don't take another step because then the responsibility will not be mine. Perhaps you don't know who I am!"
Buddha said, "Do you know who you are?"
Angulimal said, "This is not the point. Neither is it the place nor the time to discuss such things. Your life is in danger!"
Buddha said, "I think otherwise -- your life is in danger."
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 said, "You are absolutely blind. You can't see a simple thing: I am not moving towards you, you are moving towards me."
Angulimal said, "This is sheer craziness! Anybody can see that you are moving and I am standing on my rock. I have not moved a single inch."
Buddha said, "Nonsense! The truth is, since the day I became enlightened I have not moved a single inch. I am centered, utterly centered, no movement. And your mind is continuously moving round and round in circles... and you have the guts to tell to me to stop. You stop! I have stopped long ago."
Angulimal said, "It seems you are impossible, you are incurable. You are bound to be killed. I will feel sorry, but what can I do? I have never seen such a mad man."
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."
Angulimal said, "What do you want?"
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."
Angulimal said, "I was thinking from the very beginning that you are crazy. Now this is the craziest desire. How can I put this branch back?"
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."
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.
What is jealousy and why does it hurt so much?
Jealousy is comparison. And we have been taught to compare, we have been conditioned to compare, always compare. Somebody else has a better house, somebody else has a more beautiful body, somebody else has more money, somebody else has a more charismatic personality. Compare, go on comparing yourself with everybody else you pass by, and great jealousy will be the outcome; it is the by-product of the conditioning for comparison.
Otherwise, if you drop comparing, jealousy disappears. Then you simply know you are you, and you are nobody else, and there is no need. It is good that you don't compare yourself with trees, otherwise you will start feeling very jealous: why are you not green? And why has God been so hard on you -- and no flowers? It is better that you don't compare with birds, with rivers, with mountains; otherwise you will suffer. You only compare with human beings, because you have been conditioned to compare only with human beings; you don't compare with peacocks and with parrots. Otherwise, your jealousy would be more and more: you would be so burdened by jealousy that you would not be able to live at all.
Comparison is a very foolish attitude, because each person is unique and incomparable. Once this understanding settles in you, jealousy disappears. Each is unique and incomparable. You are just yourself: nobody has ever been like you, and nobody will ever be like you. And you need not be like anybody else, either.
Next door great things are happening: the grass is greener, the roses are rosier. Everybody seems to be so happy -- except yourself. You are continuously comparing. And the same is the case with the others, they are comparing too. Maybe they think the grass in your lawn is greener -- it always looks greener from the distance -- that you have a more beautiful wife.... You are tired, you cannot believe why you allowed yourself to be trapped by this woman, you don't know how to get rid of her -- and the neighbor may be jealous of you, that you have such a beautiful wife! And you may be jealous of him....
An elderly farmer was moodily regarding the ravages of the flood. "Hiram!" yelled a neighbor, "your pigs were all washed down the creek."
But why does the idea of the other enter in your head in the first place? Again let me remind you: because you have not allowed your own juices to flow; you have not allowed your own blissfulness to grow, you have not allowed your own being to bloom. Hence you feel empty inside, and you look at each and everybody's outside because only the outside can be seen.
You know your inside, and you know the others' outside: that creates jealousy. They know your outside, and they know their inside: that creates jealousy. Nobody else knows your inside. There you know you are nothing, worthless. And the others on the outside look so smiling. Their smiles may be phony, but how can you know that they are phony? Maybe their hearts are also smiling. You know your smile is phony, because your heart is not smiling at all, it may be crying and weeping.
You know your interiority, and only you know it, nobody else. And you know everybody's exterior, and their exterior people have made beautiful. Exteriors are showpieces and they are very deceptive.
A man was very much burdened by his suffering. He used to pray every day to God, "Why me? Everybody seems to be so happy, why am only I in such suffering?" One day, out of great desperation, he prayed to God, "You can give me anybody else's suffering and I am ready to accept it. But take mine, I cannot bear it any more."
That night he had a beautiful dream -- beautiful and very revealing. He had a dream that night that God appeared in the sky and he said to everybody, "Bring all your sufferings into the temple." Everybody was tired of his suffering -- in fact everybody has prayed some time or other, "I am ready to accept anybody else's suffering, but take mine away; this is too much, it is unbearable."
And then God said, "Put your bags by the walls." All the bags were put by the walls, and then God declared: "Now you can choose. Anybody can take any bag."
And the second problem was, one had become accustomed to one's own sufferings. Now to choose somebody else's -- who knows what kind of sufferings will be inside the bag? Why bother? At least you are familiar with your own sufferings, and you have become accustomed to them, and they are tolerable. For so many years you have tolerated them -- why choose the unknown?
And everybody went home happy. Nothing had changed, they were bringing the same suffering back, but everybody was happy and smiling and joyous that he could get his own bag back.
In the morning he prayed to God and he said, "Thank you for the dream; I will never ask again. Whatsoever you have given me is good for me, must be good for me; that's why you have given it to me."
Because of jealousy you are in constant suffering; you become mean to others. And because of jealousy you start becoming phony, because you start pretending. You start pretending things that you don't have, you start pretending things which you can't have, which are not natural to you. You become more and more artificial. Imitating others, competing with others, what else can you do? If somebody has something and you don't have it, and you don't have a natural possibility of having it, the only way is to have some cheap substitute for it.
I hear that Jim and Nancy Smith had a great time in Europe this summer. It's so great when a couple finally gets a chance to really live it up. They went everywhere and did everything. Paris, Rome... you name it, they saw it and they did it.
But it was so embarrassing coming back home and going through customs. You know how custom officers pry into all your personal belongings. They opened up a bag and took out three wigs, silk underwear, perfume, hair coloring...really embarrassing. And that was just Jim's bag!
Just look inside your bag and you will find so many artificial, phony, pseudo things -- for what? Why can't you be natural and spontaneous? -- because of jealousy.
The jealous man lives in hell. Drop comparing and jealousy disappears, meanness disappears, phoniness disappears. But you can drop it only if you start growing your inner treasures; there is no other way.
Grow up, become a more and more authentic individual. Love yourself and respect yourself the way God has made you, and then immediately the doors of heaven open for you. They were always open, you had simply not looked at them.
I feel so much anger towards my mother....
I am having a very hard time with my mother. I feel so much anger towards her. Can you please talk about the relationship between children and parents?
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.
Every parent is trying to bring a beautiful child into the world, but looking at the world it seems it is an orphanage. There has been no parent at all. In fact if it were an orphanage, it would have been far better, because you would at least have been yourself -- no parents to interfere with you.
So the anger is natural, but useless. To be angry does not help your parents and it harms you.
Gautam Buddha is reported to have made a very strange statement: In your anger you punish yourself for somebody else's fault. It looks very strange the first time you come across the statement that in anger you punish yourself for somebody else's fault.
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.
You should feel fortunate that you have a master with you to explain what has been happening between parents and children -- the complex upbringing, good intentions, bad results, where everybody is trying to do the best and the world goes on becoming worse and worse.
Your parents were not so fortunate to have a master -- and you are being angry at them. You should feel kind, compassionate, loving. Whatever they did was unconscious. They could not have done otherwise. All that they knew they have tried on you. They were miserable, and they have created another miserable human being in the world.
They had no clarity about why they were miserable. You have the clarity to understand why one becomes miserable. And once you understand how misery is created, you can avoid causing the same in somebody else.
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.
It has been taken for granted that by giving birth you know how to become a mother and how to become a father. Yes, as far as giving birth to a child... it is a biological act, you don't have to be psychologically trained for it. Animals are doing perfectly well, birds are doing perfectly well, trees are doing perfectly well. But giving birth to a child biologically is one thing and to be a mother or to be a father is totally different. It needs great education because you are creating a human being.
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.
You are fortunate that you can understand the situation your parents were in. They have not done anything specifically to you; they would have done the same to any child that was born to them. They were programmed for that. They were helpless. And to be angry against helpless people is simply not right. It is unjust, unfair, and moreover it is harmful to you.
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.
So put your energy into transforming yourself. That will help you, that will help your parents. Perhaps it may create a chain reaction. Your parents may have other children, they may have friends, and it will go on and on.
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?"
I said, "This is a very difficult question. Until I am finished with my life, I will not know."
He said, "I have only three: one is for ten minutes, one is for twenty minutes, one is for thirty minutes, depending on the occasion. Sometimes in a conference you have only ten minutes. I have a ready-made, ten minute lecture. If they give me twenty minutes, I have a twenty minute lecture. If they give me thirty minutes, I have a thirty minute one. More than that is not possible, because nobody is interested in listening too much. People want a short cut."
I said, "That's great. You have found a really great idea."
Now do you think listening to such a man is going to transform you? -- or anybody? But every Christian missionary is doing that.
The host said, "Your friend."
Stanley Jones was very angry. He said, "Are you my friend or my enemy? You destroyed my whole lecture!"
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?"
He had written many books. I have gone through those books: he writes well, beautifully, but it is all stolen. Nothing is his own. Nothing is his own experience. Unless something is your own experience it is not going to impress anybody.
So feel blissful. Here you have a chance to get totally transformed. And help your poor parents, because they did not have such a chance; feel sorry for them.
2001September
[Wesley Felter|http://wmf.editthispage.com/2001/09/26] : If you bought $1,000 worth of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49. If you bought $1,000 worth of Budweiser (the beer, not the stock) one year ago, drank all the beer and traded in the cans for the nickel deposit, you would have $79.
(via [Jim|http://jim.roepcke.com/2001/09/14#item2739]) [Dave|http://scriptingnews.userland.com/backissues/2001/09/13] : ...People don't sacrifice themselves for no reason. Let's find out what it is. And if we did something wrong (no doubt we did) let's apologize, ask for forgiveness, and then ask how we can do better. It's clear now that when we screw up we're going to feel it...
Do you know [what really happened|http://www.whatreallyhappened.com] ?
Practice of Meditation
In the dilapidated building of an elementary school, the class is on. The teacher explains something and then asks the children, "Did it enter?". There is an instant response from the backmost bench: "Only the tail has not entered yet!". The earnest voice belongs to a boy who has been all along intently watching the struggle of a rat to wriggle out of the class room through a hole in the wall. It has managed to squeeze in its body, but its tail is still not gone in. Perhaps the hole is blocked.
Drona: "O Yudhishthira, what do you see?"
Yudhishthira: "O Acharya (teacher), I see the bird to be aimed at, the tree on which it is sitting and yourself also."
Drona: "What do you see, Bhima?"
Bhima: "I see the bird, the tree, yourself, Nakula, Sahadeva, the tables and chairs, etc."
Drona: "What do you see, Nakula?"
Nakula: "I see the bird, the tree, yourself, Arjuna, Bhima, the garden, the streamlet, etc."
Drona: "What do you see, Sahadeva?"
Sahadeva: "I see the bird to be aimed at, yourself, Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishthira, the horses, carriages, all the onlookers, several cows, etc."
Drona: "Now then, Arjuna, what do you see?"
Reading of profound scriptural texts like the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras (revealed texts of the Hindus) requires intense concentration. Such reading itself is a mild form of meditation. It should be followed by contemplation on what was read. Repeated meditation on a single idea will bring out a wealth of knowledge on that idea.
Meditation is digging deep into the mine of truth and wisdom. Swamiji asks the Sadhak to meditate and bring put his own Gita and Upanishads. Says the Master: "There is no knowledge without meditation. An aspirant churns his own soul. Truth becomes manifest".
Have not yet started flowing in your mind.
You are just returning from deep sleep
When you enjoyed bliss without objects;
You can then easily convince the mind
You will be greatly benefited by their thought currents.
While meditation in itself constitutes. a very powerful attack on ignorance, Swami Sivananda suggests that the spiritual aspirant should practise Vichar also. Vichar is enquiry into the real nature of things. Vichara results in Viveka or discrimination between the real and the unreal. It helps the aspirant to sift the true from the false. Swamiji asserts that without cogitation, Truth cannot be known or realised. Vichara sharpens the intellect and leads to the discernment of the Truth that lies behind the phenomenal universe.
How should the aspirant reflect? The Master shows the way: "Who am I? What is Brahman (God)? What is this Samsara (process of worldly life)? What is the goal of life? How to attain the goal? How to attain freedom from births and deaths? What is the Svarupa of Moksha (Essential nature of liberation)? Whence? Where? Whither? Thus should the aspirant of liberation ever enquire, seeking to achieve the purpose of life". The justification for this method of Vichara or enquiry is contained in the saying, "As you think, so you become". By constant reflection on the Reality behind the appearances, the seeker attains oneness with the Reality and becomes that Reality itself.
Enquiry opens the aspirant's eyes to new vistas of knowledge. It leads him steadily to Truth. For instance, if the aspirant starts the "Who am I?" enquiry, he will soon find that he cannot equate himself with any one of his sense organs like the nose, the eyes or the ears, because even without one or more of these, he can live and life can pulsate in his veins. So, he is not the body. Nor is he the mind, because even during the unconscious and the deep sleep states, when the mind ceases to function, he exists and his heart throbs. Then, what is this 'I' in everybody? Swami Sivananda declares that the real 'I' is none, else than Brahman or the Atman who is the motive force behind all existence. It is He who thinks through the mind, sees through the eyes, eats through the mouth, hears through the ears and so on He is the Witnessing Consciousness who dwells in all beings. When a person gets up from deep sleep and says, "I enjoyed a sound dreamless sleep", it is this Witnessing Consciousness which remembers the fact that the body and the mind rested in sound sleep. It cannot be otherwise. The mind which was virtually dead during the deep sleep state could . not itself have consciously enjoyed a sound slumber and remembered it. The enjoyer is the Atman. Swamiji repeatedly advises the spiritual seeker to identify himself with this Atman which is his real Self and not with his perishable body. Constant identification with the Atman or the Witnessing Consciousness in oneself is a shortcut to spiritual success. The aspirant who adopts this technique will soon rise above body consciousness.
Gurudeva
they called "Gurudeva," the affectionate title he was most known by. They
them, "Don't be sad, soon I will be with you 24 hours a day, working with
you all from the inner planes." Bereaved devotees arriving at the island
known as Kauai Aadheenam.
the chiseled body he had developed in his youth as an accomplished ballet
renunciate monasticism. Yogaswami then ordained the young mystic into his
America! Now go 'round the world and roar like a lion. You will build
Subramuniyaswami had come by this time to be well-known throughout the world
God, from the disciplines of meditation and yoga to the direct knowing of
to "know thy Self by thyself" and thus "see God Siva everywhere."
Nandinatha lineage are often known as "market-place swamis," for they have
spiritual progress. The seers did not want unrelenting pain and hopelessness
reflection and listening to favorite religious songs, with joyous release,
enter the Hindu fold, and also to the younger generation of Hindus." The
great carvers like Michelangelo and Rubin did their masterpieces, with a
In South India, these theological centers, known as aadheenams, perform many
young men born in the priest families to follow in the profession of their
turn, for example, by sending young Sivachariya priests to train his monks
country disseminated clear Hindu teachings to the youth and instilled a
classes all over the country. In 1986 the first Hindu youth camps in
organizations to also hold youth camps. More recently, he's advocated
retreats and seminars for thousands of youth around the island.
Is life really meaningless?
MEANING CAN BE understood in two ways. There is meaning that is somewhere far away, you have to reach to it. It is extrinsic.
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?
You go on losing every moment by your absence.
The principal called me one day and said, "You are almost always absent."
I said, "That's where you are wrong."
He said, "What do you mean?"
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.
"He asked me, 'Son, why are you following me?' I said, 'You are getting old. Don't you want your tricks to live on even when you are gone?' He said, 'That seems to be meaningful! -- you can come in. Many people have asked me to teach them the tricks, but not in this way.' So I have been with the magician.
"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, "In that case I will have to see your father."
I said, "You can see anybody you like, but remember that my father knows me perfectly well. Just let me be informed when you are coming so I can also be present there. You both will be absent -- because my father is continuously busy with his business, and you are busy with who is absent, who is present. At least let somebody into that meeting who is present!" I told him, "Be honest and sincere and tell me: Are you present right now?"
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.
Life is today! Tomorrow is death. So when you come across death, it is a great shock that life has gone by and you have not been able to find any meaning in it. And now there is no tomorrow left, and you are accustomed to search for meaning in the tomorrows. But you have been told about, taught about, prepared for, tomorrows.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After all that has happened, can there be anything more ironic than Russia and America joining hands to re-destroy Afghanistan? The question is, can you destroy destruction? Dropping more bombs on Afghanistan will only shuffle the rubble, scramble some old graves and disturb the dead.
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.
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 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".
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.
Azim Premji's Success Recipe
You should dare to dream,
define what you stand for,
never lose your zest and curiosity,
take care of yourself,
and finally never let success go to your head
"You should dare to dream, define what you stand for, never lose your zest and curiosity, always strive for excellence, build self confidence, learn to work in teams, take care of yourself, preserve, have a broader social vision and finally never let success go to your head," Premji said.
I am privileged to be with you here today and to share this significant moment of your life.
The convocation marks the culmination of all the endless nights you worked through, all the anxieties you have gone through facing one examination after another and all the preparation you have put in, not only to enter this prestigious institution but also to graduate from it successfully. It is no mean achievement.
Only a handful of the most talented people in the world have shared this success with you. Let me just say that I am very proud of each and every one of you.
I am a little wary about giving you advice- because advice is one thing young people all over the world do not like receiving. I cannot fault you for that.
The world does look very different when it is seen with your eyes. You are filled with enthusiasm and are straining at the leash to get on with life.
And the world is very different from what it was when I was at your age. Never before has the role of technology been so pervasive and so central. The Internet has breached all physical borders and connected the world together like no other force has done before.
For the first time, opportunities for creating wealth in India are at par with the best in world. There is no need for you to sacrifice the joy of remaining in your own country any more.
All opportunities are accompanied by their own challenges. I thought I would share with you a few of the lessons I have learnt in my own life, while loading the transformation at Wipro, from a small company three and a half decades back into a global corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange. I hope you find them useful.
What saddens me most is to see young, bright people getting completely disillusioned by a few initial setbacks and slowly turning cynical and some of them want to migrate to America in the hope this is the solution.
* Lesson # 2: Define what you stand for
While success is important, it can become enduring only if it is built on a strong foundation of Values. Define what you stand for as early as possible and do not compromise with it for any reason. Nobody can enjoy the fruits of success if you have to argue with your own conscience.
But remember that values are meaningful only if you practice them. People may listen to what you say but they will believe what you do. Values are a matter of trust. They must be reflected in each one of your actions. Trust takes a long time to build but can be lost quickly by just one inconsistent act.
* Lesson #3: Never lose your zest and curiosity
All the available knowledge in the world is accelerating at a phenomenal rate. The whole world's codified knowledge base (all documented information in library books and electronic files) doubled every 30 years in the early 20th century.
By the 1970s, the world's knowledge base doubled every seven years. Information researchers predict that by the year 2010, the world's codified knowledge will double every 11 hours.
Remaining on top of what you need to know will become one of the greatest challenges for you.
The natural zest and curiosity for learning is one of the greatest drivers for keeping updated on knowledge. A child's curiosity is insatiable because every new object is a thing of wonder and mystery. The same zest is needed to keep learning new things.
There is a tremendous difference between being good and being excellent in whatever you do. In the world of tomorrow, just being good is not good enough.
In the knowledge-based industries, India has the unique advantage of being a quality leader. just like japan was able to win in the overseas market with its quality leadership in automobile manufacturing, india has been able to do the same in information technology.
Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
The challenges ahead are so complex that no individual will be able to face them alone. While most of our education is focused in individual strength, teaming with others is equally important. You cannot fire a missile from a canoe. Unless you build a strong network of people with complimentary skills, you will be restricted by your own limitations.
Globalisation has brought in people of different origin, different upbringing and different cultures together. Ability to become an integral part of a cross-cultural team will be a must for your success.
* Lesson # 7 Take care of yourself
The stress that a young person faces today while beginning his or her career is the same as the last generation faced at the time of retirement.
I have myself found that my job has become enormously more complex over the last two or three years. Along with mutual alertness, physical fitness will also assume a great importance in your life.
You must develop your own mechanism for dealing with stress. I have found that a daily jog for me, goes a long way in releasing the pressure and building up energy. You will need lots of energy to deal with the challenges.
Unless you take care of yourself there is no way you can take care of others.
Finally, no matter what you decide to do in your life, you must persevere. Keep at it and you will succeed, no matter how hopeless it seems at times. In the last three and half decades, we have gone through many difficult times. But we have found that if we remain true to what we believe in, we can surmount every difficulty that comes in the way.
"And what do you want?" asked the pharmacist. "It's for my little brother," the girl answered back. "He's really, really sick and I want to buy a miracle."
"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.
In the shop was a well-dressed customer. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does you brother need?"
"I don't know," she replied with her eyes welling up. "He's really sick and mommy says he needs an operation. But my daddy can't pay for it, so I have brought my savings".
"How much do you have?" asked the man. "One dollar and eleven cents, but I can try and get some more", she answered barely audibly.
He took her money in one hand and held her hand with the other. He said, "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."
In the millennium of the mind, knowledge-based industries like Information Technology are in a unique position to earn wealth from outside. While earning is important, we must have mechanisms by which we use it for the larger good of our society.
I personally believe that the greatest gift one can give to others is the gift of education. We who have been so fortunate to receive this gift know how valuable it is.
* Lesson # 10: Never let success go to your head
The secretary ignored them for hours hoping they will go away. But they did not. Finally, the secretary decided to disturb the president, hoping they will go way quickly once they meet him.
"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly, "we don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would give a building to you."
"A building?" exclaimed the president, looking at their worn out clothes. "Do you have any idea how much a building costs? Our buildings cost close to ten million dollars!"
I wish you every success in your career and your future life.
I suffer immensely from loneliness....
The darkness of loneliness cannot be fought directly. It is something essential for everyone to understand, that there are a few fundamental things which cannot be changed. This is one of the fundamentals: you cannot fight with darkness directly, with loneliness directly, with the fear of isolation directly. The reason is that all these things do not exist; they are simply absences of something, just as darkness is the absence of light.
Now what do you do when you want the room not to be dark? You don't do anything directly with darkness -- or do you? You cannot push it out. There is no possible way to make any arrangement so that the darkness disappears. You have to do something with the light. Now that changes the whole situation; and that's what I call one of the essentials, fundamentals. You don't even touch the darkness; you don't think about it. There is no point; it does not exist, it is simply an absence.
So just bring in light and you will not find darkness at all, because it was the absence of light, simply the absence of light -- not something material, with its own being, not something that exists. But simply because light was not there, you got a false feeling of the existence of darkness.
You can go on fighting with this darkness your whole life and you will not succeed, but just a small candle is enough to dispel it. You have to work for the light because it is positive, existential; it exists on it own. And once light comes, anything that was its absence automatically disappears.
You don't know your aloneness. You have not experienced your aloneness and its beauty, its tremendous power, its strength. Loneliness and aloneness in the dictionaries are synonymous, but existence does not follow your dictionaries. And nobody has yet tried to make an existential dictionary which will not be contradictory to existence.
Because you don't know your aloneness, there is fear. You feel lonely so you want to cling to something, to somebody, to some relationship, just to keep the illusion that you are not lonely. But you know you are -- hence the pain. On the one hand you are clinging to something which is not for real, which is just a temporary arrangement -- a relationship, a friendship.
And while you are in the relationship you can create a little illusion to forget your loneliness. But this is the problem: although you can forget for a moment your loneliness, just the next moment you suddenly become aware that the relationship or the friendship is nothing permanent. Yesterday you did not know this man or this woman, you were strangers. Today you are friends -- who knows about tomorrow? Tomorrow you may be strangers again -- hence the pain.
The illusion gives a certain solace, but it cannot create the reality so that all fear disappears. It represses the fear, so on the surface you feel good -- at least you try to feel good. You pretend to feel good to yourself: how wonderful is the relationship, how wonderful is the man or the woman. But behind the illusion -- and the illusion is so thin that you can see behind it -- there is pain in the heart, because the heart knows perfectly well that tomorrow things may not be the same... and they are not the same.
Your whole life's experience supports that things go on changing. Nothing remains stable; you cannot cling to anything in a changing world. You wanted to make your friendship something permanent but your wanting is against the law of change, and that law is not going to make exceptions. It simply goes on doing its own thing. It will change -- everything.
Perhaps in the long run you will understand one day that it was good that it did not listen to you, that existence did not bother about you and just went on doing whatever it wanted to do... not according to your desire.
It may take a little time for you to understand. You want this friend to be your friend forever, but tomorrow he turns into an enemy. Or simply -- "You get lost!" and he is no longer with you. Somebody else fills the gap who is a far superior being. Then suddenly you realize it was good that the other one got lost; otherwise you would have been stuck with him. But still the lesson never goes so deep that you stop asking for permanence.
You will start asking for permanence with this man, with this woman: now this should not change. You have not really learned the lesson that change is simply the very fabric of life. You have to understand it and go with it. Don't create illusions; they are not going to help. And everybody is creating illusions of different kinds.
I used to know one man who said, "I trust only money. I trust nobody else."
I said, "You are making a very significant statement."
He said, "Everybody changes. You cannot rely on anybody. And as you get older, only your money is yours. Nobody cares -- not even your son, not even your wife. If you have money they all care, they all respect you, because you have money. If you don't have money you become a beggar."
"But," I told him, "at the moment of death money is not going to be with you. You can have an illusion that at least money is with you, but as your breathing stops, money is no longer with you. You have earned something but it will be left on this side; you cannot carry it beyond death. You will fall into a deep loneliness which you have been hiding behind the facade of money."
There are people who are after power, but the reason is the same: when they are in power so many people are with them, millions of people are under their domination. They are not alone. They are great political and religious leaders. But power changes. One day you have it, another day it is gone, and suddenly the whole illusion disappears. You are lonely as nobody else is, because others are accustomed to being lonely. You are not accustomed... your loneliness hurts you more.
Society has tried to make arrangements so you can forget loneliness. Arranged marriages are just an effort so that you know your wife is with you. All religions resist divorce for the simple reason that if divorce is allowed then the basic purpose marriage was invented for is destroyed. The basic purpose was to give you a companion, a lifelong companion.
But even though a wife will be with you or a husband will be with you for your whole life, that does not mean that love remains the same. In fact, rather than giving you a companion, they give you a burden to carry. You were lonely, already in trouble, and now you have to carry another person who is lonely. And in this life there is no hope, because once love disappears you both are lonely, and both have to tolerate each other. Now it is not a question of being enchanted by each other; at the most you can patiently tolerate each other. Your loneliness has not been changed by the social strategy of marriage.
Religions have tried to make you a member of an organized body of religion so you are always in a crowd. You know that there are six hundred million Catholics; you are not alone, six hundred million Catholics are with you. Jesus Christ is your savior. God is with you. Alone you may have been wrong -- doubt may have arisen -- but six hundred million people cannot be wrong. A little support... but even that is gone because there are millions who are not Catholics. There are the people who crucified Jesus. There are people who don't believe in God -- and their number is not less than Catholics, it is more than Catholics. And there are other religions with different concepts.
It is difficult for an intelligent person not to doubt. You may have millions of people following a certain belief system, but still you cannot be certain that they are with you, that you are not lonely.
God was a device, but all devices have failed. It was a device... when nothing is there, at least God is with you. He is always everywhere with you. In the dark night of the soul, he is with you -- don't be worried.
It was good for a childish humanity to be deceived by this concept, but you cannot be deceived by this concept. This God who is always everywhere -- you don't see him, you can't talk to him, you can't touch him. You don't have any evidence for his existence -- except your desire that he should be there. But your desire is not a proof of anything.
What I am trying to say is that every effort that has been directed towards avoiding loneliness has failed, and will fail, because it is against the fundamentals of life. What is needed is not something in which you can forget your loneliness. What is needed is that you become aware of your aloneness, which is a reality. And it is so beautiful to experience it, to feel it, because it is your freedom from the crowd, from the other. It is your freedom from the fear of being lonely.
Just the word "lonely" immediately reminds you that it is like a wound: something is needed to fill it. There is a gap and it hurts: something needs to be filled in. The very word "aloneness" does not have the same sense of a wound, of a gap which has to be filled. Aloneness simply means completeness. You are whole; there is no need of anybody else to complete you.
So try to find your innermost center, where you are always alone, have always been alone. In life, in death -- wherever you are you will be alone. But it is so full -- it is not empty, it is so full and so complete and so overflowing with all the juices of life, with all the beauties and benedictions of existence, that once you have tasted aloneness the pain in the heart will disappear. Instead, a new rhythm of tremendous sweetness, peace, joy, bliss, will be there.
Friendship can be of two types. One is a friendship in which you are a beggar -- you need something from the other to help your loneliness -- and the other is also a beggar; he wants the same from you. And naturally two beggars cannot help each other. Soon they will see that their begging from a beggar has doubled or multiplied the need. Instead of one beggar, now there are two. And if, unfortunately, they have children, then there are a whole company of beggars who are asking -- and nobody has anything to give.
So everybody is frustrated and angry, and everybody feels he is being cheated, deceived. And in fact nobody is cheating and nobody is deceiving, because what have you got?
The other kind of friendship, the other kind of love, has a totally different quality. It is not of need, it is out of having so much that you want to share. A new kind of joy has come into your being -- that of sharing, which you were not ever aware of before. You have always been begging.
When you share, there is no question of clinging. You flow with existence, you flow with life's change, because it doesn't matter with whom you share. It can be the same person tomorrow -- the same person for your whole life -- or it can be different persons. It is not a contract, it is not a marriage; it is simply out of your fullness that you want to give. So whosoever happens to be near you, you give it. And giving is such a joy.
Begging is such a misery. Even if you get something through begging, you will remain miserable. It hurts. It hurts your pride, it hurts your integrity. But sharing makes you more centered, more integrated, more proud, but not more egoistic -- more proud that existence has been compassionate to you. It is not ego; it is a totally different phenomenon... a recognition that existence has allowed you something for which millions of people are trying, but at the wrong door. You happen to be at the right door.
You are proud of your blissfulness and all that existence has given to you. Fear disappears, darkness disappears, the pain disappears, the desire for the other disappears.
You can love a person, and if the person loves somebody else there will not be any jealousy, because you loved out of so much joy. It was not a clinging. You were not holding the other person in prison. You were not worried that the other person may slip out of your hands, that somebody else may start having a love affair...
When you are sharing your joy, you don't create a prison for anybody. You simply give. You don't even expect gratitude or thankfulness because you are not giving to get anything, not even gratitude. You are giving because you are so full you have to give.
So if anybody is thankful, you are thankful to the person who has accepted your love, who has accepted your gift. He has unburdened you, he allowed you to shower on him. And the more you share, the more you give, the more you have. So it does not make you a miser, it does not create a new fear that "I may lose it." In fact the more you lose it, the more fresh waters are flowing in from springs you have not been aware of before.
So I will not tell you to do anything about your loneliness.
Look for your aloneness.
Forget loneliness, forget darkness, forget pain. These are just the absence of aloneness. The experience of aloneness will dispel them instantly. And the method is the same: just watch your mind, be aware. Become more and more conscious, so finally you are only conscious of yourself. That is the point where you become aware of aloneness.
You will be surprised that different religions have given different names to the ultimate state of realization. The three religions born outside of India don't have any name for it because they never went far in the search for oneself. They remained childish, immature, clinging to a God, clinging to prayer, clinging to a savior. You can see what I mean: they are always dependent -- somebody else is to save them. They are not mature. Judaism, Christianity, Islam -- they are not mature at all and perhaps that is the reason they have influenced the greatest majority in the world, because most of the people in the world are immature. They have a certain affinity.
But the three religions in India have three names for this ultimate state. And I remembered this because of the word aloneness. Jainism has chosen kaivalya, aloneness, as the ultimate state of being. Just as Buddhism chose nirvana, no-selfness, and Hinduism chose moksha, freedom, Jainism chose absolute aloneness. All three words are beautiful. They are three different aspects of the same reality. You can call it liberation, freedom; you can call it aloneness; you can call it selflessness, nothingness -- just different indicators towards that ultimate experience for which no name is sufficient.
But always look to see if anything that you are facing as a problem is a negative thing or a positive thing. If it is a negative thing then don't fight with it; don't bother about it at all. Just look for the positive of it, and you will be at the right door.
So before you face a problem, just look at the problem: is it an absence of something? And all your problems are the absence of something. And once you have found what they are the absence of, then go after the positive. And the moment you find the positive, the light -- the darkness is finished.
I often panic, and worry that I might go mad....
The basic thing to be understood is that you are not the mind -- neither the bright one nor the dark one. If you get identified with the beautiful part, then it is impossible to disidentify yourself from the ugly part; they are two sides of the same coin. You can have it whole, or you can throw it away whole, but you cannot divide it.
And the whole anxiety of man is that he wants to choose that which looks beautiful, bright; he wants to choose all the silver linings, leaving the dark cloud behind. But he does not know that silver linings cannot exist without the dark cloud. The dark cloud is the background, absolutely necessary for silver linings to show.
Choosing is creating trouble for yourself.
Being choiceless means: the mind is there and it has a dark side and it has a bright side -- so what? What has it to do with you? Why should you be worried about it?
The moment you are not choosing, all worry disappears. A great acceptance arises, that this is how the mind has to be, this is the nature of the mind -- and it is not your problem, because you are not the mind. If you were the mind, there would have been no problem at all. Then who would choose and who would think of transcending? And who would try to accept and understand acceptance?
You are separate, totally separate.
You are only a witness and nothing else.
But you are being an observer who gets identified with anything that he finds pleasant -- and forgets that the unpleasant is coming just behind it as a shadow. You are not troubled by the pleasant side -- you rejoice in it. The trouble comes when the polar opposite asserts -- then you are torn apart.
But you started the whole trouble. Falling from being just a witness, you became identified. The biblical story of the fall is just a fiction. But this is the real fall -- the fall from being a witness into getting identified with something and losing your witnessing.
Just try once in a while: Let the mind be whatever it is. Remember, you are not it. And you are going to have a great surprise. As you are less identified, the mind starts becoming less powerful, because its power comes from your identification; it sucks your blood. But when you start standing aloof and away, the mind starts shrinking.
The day you are completely unidentified with the mind, even for a single moment, there is the revelation: mind simply dies; it is no longer there. Where it was so full, where it was so continuous -- day in, day out, waking, sleeping, it was there -- suddenly it is not there. You look all around and it is emptiness, it is nothingness.
And with the mind disappears the self. Then there is only a certain quality of awareness, with no "I" in it. At the most you can call it something similar to "am-ness," but not "I-ness." To be even more exact, it is "is-ness" because even in am-ness some shadow of the "I" is still there. The moment you know its is-ness, it has become universal.
With the disappearance of the mind disappears the self. And so many things disappear which were so important to you, so troublesome to you. You were trying to solve them and they were becoming more and more complicated; everything was a problem, an anxiety, and there seemed to be no way out.
I remind you of the story The Goose is Out. It is concerned with the mind and your is-ness.
The master tells the disciple to meditate on a koan: A small goose is put into a bottle, fed and nourished. The goose goes on becoming bigger and bigger and bigger, and fills the whole bottle. Now it is too big; it cannot come out of the bottle's mouth -- the mouth is too small. And the koan is that you have to bring the goose out without destroying the bottle, without killing the goose.
What can you do? The goose is too big; you cannot take it out unless you break the bottle, but that is not allowed. Or you can bring it out by killing it; then you don't care whether it comes out alive or dead. That is not allowed either.
Day in, day out, the disciple meditates, finds no way, thinks this way and that way -- but in fact there is no way. Tired, utterly exhausted, a sudden revelation... suddenly he understands that the master cannot be interested in the bottle and the goose; they must represent something else. The bottle is the mind, you are the goose... and with witnessing, it is possible. Without being in the mind, you can become identified with it so much that you start feeling you are in it!
He runs to the master to say that the goose is out. And the master says, "You have understood it. Now keep it out. It has never been in."
If you go on struggling with the goose and the bottle, there is no way for you to solve it. It is the realization that, "It must represent something else; otherwise the master cannot give it to me. And what can it be?" -- because the whole function between the master and the disciple, the whole business is about the mind and awareness.
Awareness is the goose which is not in the bottle of the mind. But you are believing that it is in it and asking everyone how to get it out. And there are idiots who will help you, with techniques, to get out of it. I call them idiots because they have not understood the thing at all.
Mind is just a procession of thoughts passing in front of you on the screen of the brain. You are an observer. But you start getting identified with beautiful things -- those are bribes. And once you get caught in the beautiful things you are also caught in the ugly things, because mind cannot exist without duality.
Awareness is non-dual, and mind is dual. So just watch. I don't teach you any solutions. I teach you the solution: Just get back a little and watch. Create a distance between you and your mind.
Whether it is good, beautiful, delicious, something that you would like to enjoy closely, or it is ugly -- remain as far away as possible. Look at it just the way you look at a film. But people get identified even with films.
I have seen, when I was young... I have not seen any movie for a long time. But I have seen people weeping, tears coming down -- and nothing is happening! It is good that in a movie house it is dark; it saves them from feeling embarrassed. I used to ask my father, "Did you see? The fellow by your side was crying!"
My father said to me, "If you are raising questions about people's reactions then you cannot enjoy the film."
I said to him one day, "About everything you go on saying, `Yes, right, it is great.' Sometimes he is talking nonsense, simply irrelevant."
He said, "What do you want? That man is an opium addict..."
In India razor blades are not used; things almost like six-inch long knives are used as razor blades. "Now what do you want me to say? -- with that man who has a knife, a sharp knife in his hand, just on my throat. To say no to him... he will kill me! And he knows it. He sometimes tells me, `You never say no. You always say yes, you always say great.' And I have told him, `You should understand that you are always under the influence of opium. It is impossible to talk with you, to discuss with you or to disagree with you. You have a knife on my throat, and you want me to say no to something?'"
I said, "Then why don't you change from this man? There are so many other barbers, and this man takes two hours for a five-minute job. Sometimes he takes half your beard and then he says, `I am coming back, you sit.' And he is gone for an hour, because he gets involved in a discussion with somebody and forgets completely that a customer is sitting in his chair. Then he comes and says, `My God, so you are still sitting here?'"
And my grandfather would say, "What can I do? I cannot go home with half the beard shaved. You just complete it. Where have you been?"
The barber would say, "I got in such a good argument with somebody that I completely forgot about you. It is good that that man had to go; otherwise you would have been sitting here the whole day. And sometimes I don't even close the shop at night. I simply go home, just forget to close, and once in a while a customer is still sitting in the chair and I am sleeping. Somebody has to say to him, `Now you can go; that man will not be seen again before tomorrow morning. He is fast asleep in his home. He has forgotten to close his shop and he has forgotten about you.'"
And if you were angry... Sometimes new people got into his shop, and became angry. He would say, "Calm down. At the most you need not pay me. I have cut only half of the beard; you can just go. I don't want to argue. You need not pay me; I don't ask even half payment."
But nobody can leave his chair with half the beard shaved -- or half the head shaved! You ask him just to shave the beard and he starts shaving your head, and by the time you notice, he has already done the job. So he asks you, "Now what do you want? -- because almost one-fourth of the work is done. If you want to keep it this way I can leave it; otherwise I can finish it. But I will not charge for it because if you say that you never wanted it to be cut, then it is my fault and I should take the punishment. I will not charge you."
You get identified with anything. People get identified with persons and then they create misery for themselves. They get identified with things, then they get miserable if that thing is missing.
Identification is the root cause of your misery. And every identification is identification with the mind.
And soon you will be able to see that there is no problem at all -- the goose is out. You don't have to break the bottle, you don't have to kill the goose either.
The real meaning of peace
did not look peaceful at all.
Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second
picture. Do you know why?
midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the
Author Unknown
Wishing you a great peace - and many opportunities to share it with
Conversation of William Knott and Mr Watt.
"What is your name, please?"
"That's what I asked you. What's your name?"
"That's what I told you. Watt's my name."
"Please tell me your name."
Huh? What do you mean why not?
Yeah! Why won't you tell me your name?
But I told you my name!
"But didn't you say you will not?
So you know my name.
Good. So now, what is yours?
Watt. Yours?
Your name!
How the hell do I know? I am asking you!
you my name and you
even told me yours yet.
You have been patient, what about me? I have
told you my name so many
and it is you who have not told me yours yet.
See, you even know my name!
Then why do you keep saying of course Knott?
What is your name?
See, you know my name!
Then why do you keep asking Watt is your name?
To find out your name!
But you already know it!
See, and you know mine!
OTHER KNOWS THEIR
NAME, BUT THEY THEMSELVES DON'T KNOW THE
Listen, listen, wait; if I asked you what your
your
Your name!
So why didn't you say it before?
I told you so many times!
You never said Wright before
Of course I did.
Ok I won't argue any more. Do you know my
Well, there you go, now we know each other's
NOW THEY BOTH THINK THEY KNOW EACH OTHER'S
Understanding the Lessons of September 11
in God's name -- kill His children, His creation? Could you possibly kill
your sister or your brother and claim you did it for your mother or father's
sake? Or that you did it in order to win your parents' appreciation? This
Western as superior, as inherently "safe." If you give someone a gift and
say it's "from America," their eyes will widen with anticipation. If you
tell someone that a particular object you own is "from America," that
benefit to advanced degrees or good jobs. I always advise my youth to study
lesson in this tragedy: life is so short. We don't know when or how our end
prosperity, we never know when they can come crashing down. Therefore, why
Who knows if this moment will be our last?
Philip Greenspun
His advise (best so far in my opinion): Work on something that excites you enough to want to work 24x7. Become an expert on data model + page flow. Build some great systems by yourself and put them on your resume ("I built X" rather than "I built a piece of X as part of a huge team"). Take periodic long trips to exotic countries and learn from people (sometimes your own country is after all the most exotic). --- For more... visit [Ask Philip Forum|http://philip.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a?topic_id=22]
The fact that Doug got this built in 3 months using Tcl pages doesn't prove that Tcl is as good as Lisp, of course. What it does prove is that when you're using an RDBMS the most important engineering steps are data model development and page flow design. The code for an individual page is merely glue to merge the results of an SQL query with an HTML template. Tcl is adequately powerful and it doesn't get in the way as Java or C might, which means that there isn't much productivity benefit to be gained by switching to even the mythical ideal computer language.
The fact that you focus on Tcl means that you've missed the whole point
you
But if your source of persistence is an RDBMS and what you're building
is a Web service, writing your glue code in Eiffel isn't going to make a huge
Even if I didn't have the MIT and the Orange commitments, I would definitely
Think about yourself. Do you spend time surfing the Web sites of tiny
companies looking for innovation? Or do you check out microsoft.com and
research. Research means attacking problems that you don't know how to solve.
Thus you're building your skills (just as in flight training -- and by the way,
solutions. There are some problems that I know how to solve. But I also
taught lots of MIT students and colleagues at ArsDigita everything that I know.
Weblog2001November
[Ralph Waldo Emerson] : Always do what you are afraid to do !
Fun Facts about [Happy Birthday to You|http://www.ibiblio.org/team/fun/birthday/]
[Wayne Dyer] : Have you really lived 10,000 or more days,
or have you lived one day 10,000 or more times?
[Mother Teresa] : The minute you begin to do what you want to do, it's really a different kind of life.
[FranklinCovey] : [FranklinCovey Articles] [FranklinCovey Knowledge Expo]
[Ralph Waldo Emerson] : "Shall I tell you the secret of the true scholar? It is this: Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him."
[Mother] : Always remember to love thy mother, because you only have one mother in your lifetime... I would replace mother with parents...
[Stephen Hawking] in [A Brief History of Time] : As we shall see, the concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the universe. This was first pointed out by St. Augustine. When asked: What did God do before he created the universe? Augustine didn't reply: He was preparing Hell for people who asked such questions. Instead, he said that time was a property of the universe that God created, and that time did not exist before the beginning of the universe.
Author Unknown : To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.
[Shoba Narayan] : [Fashionably Devout|http://about.beliefnet.com/frameset.asp?pageLoc=/story/86/story_8692_1.html&boardID=23424]
[Ken Coar] is a Sanagendamgagwedweinini ! --- click on the name to know the meaning :-)
[Richard Fritzson] [reacts|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200111/msg00189.html] to article [Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200111/msg00183.html] by starting 'This is a pretty outrageous headline for this story.'
[Swami Sivananda] : From [ABANDON BODY-CONSCIOUSNESS|http://www.dlsmd.org/sdr/11-sdr%20nov/1109.htm] : ...This body which is full of impurities, urine, pus and faecal matter etc., is perishable. It is like froth or bubble or mirage. It is despised by its enemies. It remains like a useless log of wood on the ground when prana (life) leaves it. It is the cause of pain and suffering. It is your enemy. You should treat this body with contempt, as dung. Why should you cling to it and worship it with scents, powders and flowers? Do not be silly and foolish in adorning it with fine silks and ornaments. It is dire ignorance only...
[William Damon] coauthor of [Good Work] : "We're getting people to overcome the sense that to have a good career, you've got to compromise or cut
corners, that you've got to go along to get along. We
[via|http://jim.roepcke.com/2001/10/31#item3142] [Jim Roepcke] : [Seth Dillingham] : [Knowledge Management, Meta Data, and the Organization|http://www.truerwords.net/1241]
Try this : add [mama_pendse] to your Yahoo Messenger and send message 'help'
In [You already know what to do] : ...In the early nineteenth century, when writer [Samuel Taylor Coleridge] awoke with the "distinct recollection of the whole" of "Kubla Khan", he demonstrated the effectiveness of intuition... When business man [Jagdish Parikh] speaks of creating a "synthesis...beyond selfishness and selflessness, beyond collectiveness and competitiveness, to a cooperativeness based on selfness," he is calling on intuition...
Obstacles to Happiness
coming could be the most important minutes in your lives. If you could
grasp this, you'd hit upon the secret of awakening. You would be happy
forever. You would never be unhappy again. Nothing would have the power
to hurt you again. I mean that, nothing. It's like when you throw black
paint in the air, the air remains uncontaminated. You never color the air
black. No matter what happens to you, you remain uncontaminated. You
way and that way, letting events or other people tell you how to feel. So
you proceed to feel it and you call it being vulnerable. Ha! I call it
being a puppet. So you want to be a puppet? Press a button and you're
down; do you like that? But if you refuse to identify with any of those
labels, most of your worries cease.
Later we'll talk about fear of disease and death, but ordinarily you're
worried about what's going to happen to your career. A small-time
newspaper. Do you call that making it? One is president of the
main preoccupation of society is to keep society sick! And the sooner you
they're crazy. You became president of the lunatic asylum and you're proud of it even though it means nothing. Being president of a corporation has
nothing to do with being a success in life. You're a success in life when
you wake up! Then you don't have to apologize to anyone, you don't have to explain anything to anyone, you don't give a damn what anybody thinks about you or what anybody says about you. You have no worries; you're
rest. Look at them strutting across the stage. Look how upset they get if they have a stain on their shirt. Do you call that a success? Look at how frightened they are at the prospect they might not be reelected. Do you
are constantly tense and anxious. Do you call that human? And do you know why that happens? Only one reason: They identified with some label. They
Did you hear about the lawyer who was presented with a plumber's bill? He
said to the plumber, "Hey, you're charging me two hundred dollars an
didn't make that kind of money when I was a lawyer either!" You could be a plumber or a lawyer or a business man or a priest, but that does not affect the essential "I." It doesn't affect you. If I change my profession
tomorrow, it's just like changing my clothes. I am untouched. Are you
your clothes? Are you your name? Are you your profession? Stop
When you really understand this, no criticism can affect you. No flattery
or praise can affect you either. When someone says, "You're a great guy,"
your conditioning. These things depend on the mood of the person who
happens to be talking to you right now. It has nothing to do with
childish -- a great big ass. So when you say, "You're an ass," I've known
it for years! The conditioned self -- what did you expect? I've known it
for years. Why do you identify with him? Silly! That isn't "I," that's
Do you want to be happy? Uninterrupted happiness is uncaused. True
happiness is uncaused. You cannot make me happy. You are not my
happiness. You say to the awakened person, "Why are you happy?" and the
contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don't have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does
anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what
you already have? Then why don't you experience it? Because you've got to drop something. You've got to drop illusions. You don't have to add
anything in order to be happy; you've got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It's only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings.
Do you know where these things come from? From
Relative and Absolute Happiness
You will never find happiness if you don't challenge your weakness and change yourself from within.
True happiness is to be found within, in the state of our hearts. It does not exist on the far side of some distant mountains. It is within you, yourself. However, as much you try, you can never run away from yourself. And if you are weak, suffering will follow you wherever you go. You will never find happiness if you don©ˆt challenge your weakness and change yourself from within. Happiness is to be found in the dynamism and energy of your own life as you struggle to overcome one obstacle after another. This is why I believe that a person who is active and free from fear is truly happy.
The kind of sasfaction is to be found in consistent and repeated effort, so that we can say: ©¯Today, again, I did my very best. Today, again, I have no regrets. Today, again, I won.©˜ The accumulated result of such efforts is a life of great victory.
She realized that many of her fellow prisoners had special skills and talents. She began organizing a ©¯university©˜, encouraging the prisoners to share their knowledge. ©¯You. You are a scientist. Teach us about science. You are an artist. Talk to us about art.©˜ In this way, the boredom and terror of the prison camp were transformed into the joy of learning and teaching. Eventually, she even made use of her own unique talents to organize a theater group.
She survived the five year prison sentence, and dedicated the rest of her long life to creating children©ˆs theater. When we met for the first time in Moscow in 1981, she was already in her 80©ˆs. She was as radiant and buoyant as a young girl. Her smile was the smile of someone who has triumphed over the hardships of life.
If you have read thus far... you might be interested in Ramana Maharishi too...
IT jokes
asks the shepherd, "If I can tell you how many sheep you have, will you givemeone of them?" The shepherd looks at the young man, then looks at the large flock of grazing sheep and replies, "Okay."
The young man parks the car, connects his laptop to the mobile-fax,
enters a NASA Webster, scans the ground using hisGPS, opens a database and 60 Excel tables filled with logarithms and pivot tables, then prints out a 150-page report on his high-tech mini-printer. He turns to the shepherd and says, "You have exactly 1,586 sheep here."
The shepherd answers, "That's correct, you can have your sheep." The young man takes an animal and puts it in the back of his
Porsche. The shepherd looks at him and asks, "If I guess your profession, will you return my animal to me?"
The young man answers, "Yes, why not?" The shepherd says, "You are an IT consultant. "How did you know?" Asks the young man.
"Very simple," answers the shepherd. "First, you came here without being called. Second, you charged me a fee to tell me something I already knew,and third, you don't understand anything about my business..
Only a Ripe Fruit Falls
Osho: One of the greatest problems...it will appear very paradoxical, but this is true: before you can lose your ego, you must attain it. Only a ripe fruit falls to the ground.
Ripeness is all. An unripe ego cannot be thrown, cannot be destroyed. And if you struggle with an unripe ego to destroy and dissolve it, the whole effort is going to be a failure. Rather than destroying it, you will find it more strengthened in new subtle ways.
This is something basic to be understood: the ego must come to a peak, it must be strong, it must have attained an integrity -- only then can you dissolve it. A weak ego cannot be dissolved. And this becomes a problem.
In the West, the whole Western tradition of religion and psychology propounds, preaches, persuades people, to have strong egos -- because unless you have a strong ego, how can you survive? Life is a struggle; if you are egoless, you will be destroyed. Then who will resist? Who will fight? Who will compete? And life is a continuous competition. Western psychology says: Attain to the ego, be strong in it.
This is going to be a hard task for you, first to attain and then to lose -- because you can lose only something which you possess. If you don't possess it, how can you lose it?
You can be poor only if you are rich. If you are not rich your poverty cannot have that beauty which Jesus goes on preaching: Be poor in spirit. Your poverty cannot have that significance which Gautam Buddha has when he becomes a beggar.
Only a rich man can become poor, because you can lose only that which you have. If you have never been rich, how can you be poor? Your poverty will be just on the surface; it can never be in the spirit. On the surface you will be poor, and deep down you will be hankering after riches. Your spirit will hanker towards riches, it will be an ambition, it will be a constant desire to attain riches. Only on the surface will you be poor. And you may even console yourself by saying that poverty is good.
But you cannot be poor -- only a rich man, a really rich man, can be poor. Just to have riches is not enough to be really rich. You may still be poor. If the ambition is still there, you are poor.
What you have is not the point. If you have enough then the desire disappears. When you have enough riches, the desire disappears. Disappearance of the desire is the criterion of enoughness. Then you are rich -- you can drop it, you can become poor, you can become a beggar like Buddha. And then your poverty is rich; then your poverty has a kingdom of its own.
And the same happens with everything. Upanishads or Lao Tzu or Jesus or Buddha -- they all teach that knowledge is useless. Just getting more and more knowledgeable is not much help. Not only is it not much help, it can become a barrier.
Knowledge is not needed, but that doesn't mean you should remain ignorant. Your ignorance will not be real. When you have gathered enough knowledge and you throw it, then ignorance is attained. Then you really become ignorant -- like Socrates who can say: I know only one thing, that I don't know anything.
This knowledge, or this ignorance -- you can call it whatever you like -- is totally different, the quality is different, the dimension has changed.
If you are simply ignorant because you never attained to any knowledge, your ignorance cannot be wise, it cannot be wisdom -- it is simply absence of knowledge. And the hankering will be inside: How to gain more knowledge? How to gain more information?
When you know too much -- you have known the scriptures, you have known the past, the tradition, you have known all that can be known -- then suddenly you become aware of the futility of it all, suddenly you become aware that this is not knowledge. This is borrowed! This is not your own existential experience, this is not what you have come to know. Others may have known it, you have simply gathered it. Your gathering is mechanical. It has not arisen out of you, it is not a growth. It is just rubbish gathered from other doors, borrowed, dead.
Remember, knowing is alive only when you know, when it is your immediate, direct experience. But when you know from others it is just memory, not knowledge. Memory is dead.
When you gather much -- the riches of knowledge, scriptures, all around you, libraries condensed in your mind, and suddenly you become aware that you are just carrying the burden of others, nothing belongs to you, you have not known -- then you can drop it, you can drop all this knowledge. In that dropping a new type of ignorance arises within you. This ignorance is not the ignorance of the ignorant, this is how a wise man is, how wisdom is.
Only a wise man can say: I don't know. But in saying: I don't know, he is not hankering after knowledge, he is simply stating a fact. And when you can say with your total heart: I don't know, in that very moment your eyes become open, the doors of knowing are open. In that very moment when you can say with your totality; I don't know, you have become capable of knowledge.
This ignorance is beautiful, but it is attained through knowledge. It is poverty attained through richness. And the same happens with ego -- you can lose it if you have it.
When Buddha comes down from his throne, becomes a beggar...what is the necessity for Buddha? He was a king, enthroned, at the peak of his ego -- why this extreme, moving down from his palace to the streets, becoming a beggar? But Buddha has a beauty in his begging. The earth has never known such a beautiful beggar, such a rich beggar, such a kingly beggar, such an emperor.
This egolessness is not humbleness; this egolessness is not humility. You may find many humble people, but under their humility, subtle egos are functioning.
It is said that once Diogenes came to visit Socrates. He lived like a beggar; he always wore dirty clothes with many patches and holes. Even if you presented him with a new dress, he would not use it -- first he would make it dirty, old, torn, and then he would use it.
Socrates is reported to have said: Through your dirty clothes, through the holes in your clothes, I cannot see anything else but the ego. You talk of humility, but that talk comes from a deep centre of the ego.
This will happen, this is how hypocrisy happens. You have the ego, you hide it through the opposite; you become humble on the surface. This surface humbleness cannot deceive anyone. It may deceive you, but it cannot deceive anyone else. From the holes of the dirty dresses, your ego goes on peeping. It is always there. This is a self-deception and nothing more. Nobody else is deceived. This happens if you start throwing the unripe ego.
What I teach will look contradictory, but it is true to life. Contradiction is inherent in life. I teach you to be egoists so that you can become egoless. I teach you to be perfect egoists. Don't hide it, otherwise hypocrisy will be born. And don't struggle with the unripe phenomenon. Let it ripen -- and help it. Bring it to a peak!
Don't be afraid -- there is nothing to be afraid of. This is how you will come to realize the agony of the ego. When it comes to its peak, then you will not need a Buddha or me to tell you that the ego is hell. You will know it, because the peak of the ego will be the peak of your hellish experiences, it will be a nightmare. And then there is no need for anybody to tell you: Drop it! It will be difficult to carry it on.
One reaches to knowledge only through suffering. You cannot throw anything just by logical argument. You can throw something only when it has become so painful that it cannot be carried any further. Your ego has not become that painful yet -- hence you carry it. It is natural! I cannot persuade you to drop it. Even if you feel persuaded, you will hide it -- that's all.
Nothing unripe can be thrown. Unripe fruit clings to the tree and the tree clings to the unripe fruit. If you force it to separate, a wound is left behind. That scar will continue, the wound will always remain green and you will always feel hurt.
Remember, everything has a time to grow, to be ripe, to fall down into the earth and dissolve. Your ego also has a time. It needs maturity.
So don't be afraid of being egoists. You ARE, otherwise you would have disappeared long ago. This is the mechanism of life: you have to be egoists, you have to fight your way, you have to fight with so many millions of desires around you, you have to struggle, you have to survive.
So to me, ego is part of natural growth. But that doesn't mean that you have to remain with it forever. It is a natural growth, and then there is a second step when it has to be dropped. That too is natural. But the second step can be taken only when the first has come to its crescendo, its climax, when the first has reached its peak. So I teach both -- I teach egoness and I teach egolessness.
First be egoists, perfect egoists, absolute egoists, as if the whole of existence exists for you and you are the center; all the stars revolve around you and the sun rises for you; everything exists for you, just to help you to be here. Be the center, and don't be afraid, because if you are afraid then you will never be ripe. Accept it! It is part of growth. Enjoy it and bring it to a peak.
When it comes to a peak, suddenly you will become aware that you are not the center. This has been a fallacy, this has been a childish attitude. But you were a child, so nothing is wrong in it. Now you have become mature, and now you see that you are not the center.
Really, when you see that you are not the center, you also see there is NO center in existence or everywhere is the center. Either there is no center and existence exists as a totality, a wholeness without any center as a control point or every single atom is a center.
It is like this: you are in a dream; if the dream comes to a peak, it will be broken. Always it happens -- whenever a dream comes to a climax, it is broken. And what is the climax of a dream? The climax of a dream is the feeling that this is real. You feel this is real, not a dream, and you go on and on and on and on to a higher peak and the dream becomes ALMOST real. It can never become real; it becomes almost real. It comes so close to reality that now you cannot go further, because one step more and the dream will become real -- and it cannot become real because it is a dream! When it comes so close to reality, sleep is broken, the dream is shattered, you are fully awake.
So I don't tell you to come out of your dream before the time has come. No, never do anything before the time. Allow things to grow, allow things to have their time, so that everything happens naturally.
Ego will drop. It can drop of its own accord also. If you simply allow it to grow and help it to grow, there will be NO need to drop it.
This is very deep. If YOU drop it, ego has remained inside. WHO will drop it? If you think YOU will drop it, YOU are the ego -- so whatsoever you drop will not be the real thing. The real thing will be preserved and you will have thrown something else.
You cannot make yourself egoless. Who will do it? It happens, it is not a doing. You grow into ego and a point comes when the whole thing becomes so hellish that the dream is broken. Suddenly you see the goose is out -- it has never been in the bottle.
You have never been an ego. It was just a dream around you. A necessary dream, I say, so I don't condemn it, a necessary part of growth.
In life everything is necessary. Nothing is unnecessary, nothing can be unnecessary. Whatsoever has happened had to happen. Whatsoever is happening is happening because of certain deep causes. You need it so you can remain in the fallacy. It is just a cocoon that helps you, protects you, helps you to survive. One need not be in the cocoon forever. When you are ready, break the cocoon, come out.
The ego is the shell of the egg, it protects you. But when you are ready, break the shell, come out of the egg. The ego is the shell.
Go to the so-called saints -- they talk of humbleness, humility -- and look into their eyes: you will not find such refined egos anywhere else. Now their egos have taken the garb of religion, Yoga, sainthood, but the ego is there. They may not be collecting riches, they may be collecting followers; the coins have changed and they go on counting how many followers....
So this is my attitude: ego HAS to be dropped, but it may take a long waiting; and you can drop it only if you cultivate it.
This is the arduousness of the whole phenomenon, because the mind says: If we have to drop it, then why cultivate it? The mind says: When we have to destroy it, then why create it? If you listen to the mind you will be in trouble. Mind is always logical and life is always illogical, so they never meet.
This is simple logic, ordinary mathematics, that if you are to destroy this house, then why build it? Why this whole trouble? Why this effort and waste of time and energy? The house is not there, so why build it and then destroy it?
The house is not the point really -- YOU are the point. Building the house, you will change, and then destroying the house you will change completely, you will not be the same -- because creating the house, the whole process of it, will prove a growth to you. Then, when the house is ready, you pull it down. That will be a mutation.
Life is dialectical. Create, and then life says: Destroy. Be born, and then life says: Die! Attain, and then life says: Lose! Be rich, and then life says: Become poor! Be a peak, an Everest of the ego, and then become an abyss of egolessness. Then you have known both -- the illusory and the real, the maya and the Brahma.
Ego is a disease if you are unconscious about it, if you hide it in the unconscious. Ego is a game if you are conscious about it. You can enjoy it. You can play it. Be conscious, mindful, and play the game! A game is not bad, but when you forget that it is a game and become too serious, then problems arise.
If somebody says: I am not going to follow this rule, then you cannot play the game. You play cards, then you follow rules. And you never say: These rules are just arbitrary, artificial, why can't we change them? You can change them, but then the game will be difficult. And if every individual follows his own rules, then the game is impossible. Life is possible! You can play as you like because life never believes in rules -- it is beyond rules. But games have rules.
Remember: wherever you see rules, know immediately this is a game. This is the criterion: wherever you see rules, immediately know this is a game, because games exist through rules.
So if I say: "Wear orange, have the mala" -- this is a game, obviously. Play it as well as you can and don't be serious about it -- otherwise you miss the point.
Be egoists -- perfect, cultivated, refined. Go on working on your ego and make it a beautiful statue, because before you give it back to the god, it must be something worth giving, it must be a present.
There is more possibility to misunderstand me than to understand me. And in misunderstanding, you will find much solace, much consolation.
Just the other day, Mulla Nasrudin came to me, and he said, "Enough is enough -- I cannot trust you anymore."
I said, "What happened, Nasrudin? You have been such a long-obedient disciple to me."
So I said, "Why didn't you stand up?"
He said, "But you have said accept everything, so I said Osho says accept totally. So I accept it and I try to see now what happens -- and the madman jumps on me."
I was also intrigued; I said, "Then what did you do?"
He said, "What can I do? I have to run -- and I come third in the race! Now this is too much! I cannot trust you anymore!"
There is every possibility to misunderstand me and there is every possibility to find rationalizations. This is how the mind goes on being foolish, the mind goes on playing around, fooling around. It always finds ways to protect itself. If I say drop the ego, you say okay, and you try to drop it; and then the ego becomes your humbleness and you start moving around with your nose up, looking at everybody as if everybody is condemned to hell. And you have that look of "holier than thou" and "I am the most humble man around here." If I say the ego has to become big, only then it bursts, then you say, "Okay. That's what we have been always trying. Now you are also supporting it -- so far so good."
When are you going to understand me? When you listen to me, always remember, your mind is there to corrupt it. Unless you are very, very watchful, your mind will pollute it. And mind is so cunning, it can always find a way out. And it is so clever, it can always make rationalizations look like reasons.
The Ten Marks of a Happy Marriage
You've heard about some marriages being 'made in heaven'? Marriage is not just an arrangement to clarify inheritance. It has been called a dramatic act in which two strangers come together to redefine themselves.
1. COMMITMENT: Some couples like their wedding service to be traditional, others 'freer'. But three solemn declarations must be there somewhere: I am not married to anyone else; I take you ... to be my lawful wedded wife/husband; forsaking all others I will be lovingly committed to you for life. When I counsel a couple before marriage, we talk about their vows (they usually compose their own). Some young people are wary of commitment, and view marriage as a trap. But you can't have a satisfying marriage relationship without commitment - a commitment of one imperfect person to another imperfect person. Marriage is not simply a 50-50 affair: it's 100 per cent give, both ways!
Commitment is more than to permanence or sexual fidelity. For Christians commitment is not just 'being there year after year in the easy chair'. It is more than a promise not to go away. It ought to include, above all, a commitment to grow, to become the persons God intended us to be. 'Growing' couples set growth goals - to read a good book and discuss it; to go away every year on a retreat; to pray together; do a course together. One couple said in their wedding vows: 'In this marriage I want to grow as a person, I want to help you grow as a person, and I want to see our relationship of love, companionship and support grow deeper, larger and stronger. With the help of God, I commit myself to that.'
2. LOVING ACCEPTANCE: The most fundamental idea in Christianity is about 'grace' - I am loved before I change. God loves me as I am. He doesn't love anyone else more than he loves me, and nothing I can do can increase his love for me. Our society, on the other hand, teaches us that worth is something you earn. At school those with higher grades are more highly esteemed than 'dunces'. In the army those with fewer stripes take orders from those with more. But in God's family the prodigal is valued as highly as the loyal son. So too in marriage. I love my wife before she changes, or whether she changes or not. Nothing is unforgivable. Nothing will stop me loving her: she can count utterly on that. So a good marriage is the union of two good forgivers: it is 'three parts love and seven parts forgiveness'.
3. RESPECT: If acceptance and love are reactions to a 'sinning other' respect is our response to another's God-likeness. The person we are relating to is made in God's image, he or she is like God. So I should treat my spouse with courtesy and dignity even when I don't feel like it. Little habits of helpfulness actually feed respect. It is an honour to serve one who is like God. In Grace Awakening Chuck Swindoll writes: 'When I speak to those who are still single, I frequently address the issue of selfishness. I'll often say, "If you tend toward being selfish; if you're the type who clings to your own rights and has no interest sharing with others, please do the world (and certainly your potential mate) a favour and don't marry!"'[56] ('How good of God to let the Carlyles marry each other, and so make only two people miserable instead of four' wrote Samuel Butler of Thomas and Jane Carlyle.) Our fundamental human need is 'a true deep love of self, a genuine and joyful self-acceptance,' but marriage calls upon us to transcend that need: the partner's needs and pleasures must take equal if not superior status to our own.
4. MATURITY AND RESPONSIBILITY: are necessary for resolving differences, carrying through promises, sharing finances, and for modeling a Christian lifestyle for our children. I take responsibility for resolving personal issues, not 'dumping' them on my partner. I take responsibility for my own 'happiness'. If the motivation for marriage is to 'live happily ever after' we are setting ourselves up for trouble. If you came into the marriage unhappy chances are you'll stay that way. Happiness is a by-product of self-respect, solving problems responsibly, and doing worthwhile, interesting and useful things.
5. INTIMACY: Marriage is 'incarnation'. When God wanted to communicate his love for us he sent Jesus to embody that love. Jesus loved people like God loves us. This truth will appear and re-appear like a refrain throughout this book: God loves us before we deserve to be loved. He loves us even though he knows us intimately. So it is in a good marriage. As we are utterly transparent with one another - we have already promised to love 'for better or for worse' - we learn to 'know' and love the other with their imperfections and faults, not after their removal! But if unsure of your parent's love, you may marry to find a kind of paternal/maternal love from your partner, which complicates the relationship. Here we must be very honest. Most women, I believe, are engaged in a life-long search for a strong nurturing father-figure; most men marry a wife to find a responsive nurturing mother-figure. Now you are allowed to have your own feelings about all this, and to express them: 'feelings are neither right nor wrong'. Figure out which feelings, wishes and thoughts come from within yourself, and which from your partner. Marriage fights are usually more about the past than the present! For example if one's parents were tidy/perfectionistic we'll have to figure out why we are the same or the opposite!
6. CONFLICT RESOLUTION: A survey among 700 marriage counselors found that 'communication breakdown' headed the list of marital problems (followed by loss of shared goals/interests; sexual incompatibility, infidelity, excitement and fun leaving the marriage, money, conflicts about children, alcohol/drug abuse, women's equality issues and the in-laws). Conflict arises because we bring different biographies, needs, interests, values, and lifestyles to our marriage. The trigger for a 'conflictual explosion' may include loss of a job, arrival of a new baby, an illness, moving to a new house, taking an aged parent into the home etc. Marriage breakdowns do not happen because of 'differences'; they happen because a couple can't handle those differences. Relationships do not cause conflict: they bring out whatever incompleteness we have within us anyway. Conflict is a contest of wills, but it ought not to be viewed as a power struggle or as a question of who is right or wrong. Gentle assertiveness is called for: 'speaking the truth in love' and asking about feelings that underlie the difficulty. Discuss with dignity, and sensitivity to the other's needs. 'If pride and prejudice were set aside, most difficulties could be resolved in five minutes.' Resolution may allow one partner or the other to have a 'veto' in certain areas: in our marriage, Jan has veto power in the kitchen, I do with the cars (except for their colour!). But re the issue of my ministry-time away from home, this was resolved in a family conference: I would not be away more than a third of the time; and would forego preaching engagements at least once a month to attend our local church with my wife and family. Some things important to you you'll have to concede - that is, compromise. Jan and I compromise on our leisure: I like competitive sports and swimming but she prefers walking so we walk more than we swim (and we rarely play tennis together!). And don't complain too much: your 'fussing' can be viewed as trivial by the other.
'When money is tight, couples fight'. As an ex-wives' tale put it: 'They won't have incompatibility as long as he has income and she has pattability.' Sometimes one is more of a 'spendthrift' than the other; sometimes the 'bread-winner' is tightfisted about offering money for housekeeping. I believe it is demeaning for one partner to control the finances against the wishes of the other: this is a result of immaturity or insecurity. Some couples may need financial counseling: in your church an accountant or bank manager will be delighted to help. Draw up a plan together. Be willing occasionally to touch up the plan as circumstances change. And decide mutually to live more simply!
8. GENDER ROLES AND SEX: You've heard the song 'Let's Talk About Sex Baby!' Do that (although the subject of commitment should come first). Think with your brains, not just your hormones! Sex is part of God's creation, which he pronounced 'very good' (Genesis 1:31). Sexual relations are more than physical: they are also emotional, spiritual, and moral. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 Paul talks about the willing surrender of husband and wife to each other to create coupleness. There's a lot of help around about a wholesome Christian approach to sex, to guard us against either a lustful hedonism or prudish asceticism. Sex is more than the union of bodies; it is also about roles, so sort them out. With women freer to pursue careers, role-expectations by men of women and women of men are dramatically changing. (Our son Paul, for example, is a 'househusband': our daughter-in-law has a full time remunerated vocation.) What household chores should be done by whom? Expectations are usually connected back to what our parents did - who fixed what, who put out garbage, vacuumed floors, did the cooking, washed the dishes, got up to the sick kids at night, etc. Everything ought to be negotiable on these issues.
9. SPIRITUALITY: God was the first marriage celebrant. He invented marriage. The engagement ring I bought Jan thirty-five years ago had two small diamonds and one larger one to depict the 'Eternal triangle' - one man, one woman, one God. Try to worship together regularly; pray with and for each other. (Yes, those who pray together are much more likely to stay together.) Having a Christian commitment that is both real and similar to each other's is a healthy indicator of future marital harmony. That ought not to preclude each partner relating to God uniquely. However, when one is a committed church-going Christian and the other isn't, there's usually (though not invariably) trouble: talk that out very very carefully before you marry. Some couples have reluctantly called their wedding off when the Christian partner takes seriously the biblical injunction about not being joined with an unbeliever: in my experience only one in eight or nine men will become a Christian after marriage if they weren't before. In a truly Christian marriage the order of priority, always is: God first, spouse second, children third, church/job next. But in a well-ordered and committed life, all these 'loves' enrich one another.
Weblog2001December
[Albert Einstein] : There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
* [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/]
If you want to lose weight, [goto India|http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1668000/1668872.stm] :-)
[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...
It has been a while since realised that I am not in this world _only_ to gain more knowledge, wealth etc. :-)
[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."
[Stephen Palmer] : If you happen to be looking for a technical architect, project director or development manager to produce a high quality result, I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending [Jeff De Luca] to you.
[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...
[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."...
[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.
[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?"
[Lawrence Lee] pointed to a [new feature|http://ftp3.userland.com/ftpTest/Lawrence/2001/12/11.html] in [Google] and I came across a minor problem ! I did send feedback to Google...
[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...
(via [PaperQuote]) [John Muir] : Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
I want the following feature in MS Outlook or any email client for that matter: When I send an email, the tool should prompt me... you have sent a similar email to this person and didnot get a reply ! dont bother !!!
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 ?
[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.
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 ?
via [PaperQuote] [Andre Gide] : It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
The Masquerade Of Charity
altruism. You say that it is very difficult to accept that there may be
times when you are not honest to goodness really trying to be loving or
great. But maybe we're not all that great after all. You protest when I
You, madam, you say that, in your case, you live alone, and go to the
rectory and give several hours of your time. But you also admit you're
really doing it for a selfish reason -your need to be needed -- -and you
also know you need to be needed in a way that makes you feel like you're
contributing to the world a little bit. But you also claim that, because
they also need you to do this, it's a two-way street.
You're almost enlightened! We've got to learn from you. That's
And you, sir, you point out that the gospel of Jesus is ultimately a gospel
blest of my Father, when I was hungry, you gave me to eat," and so on. You
say that perfectly confirms what I've said. When we look at Jesus, you
to win souls for eternal life. And you see that as the whole thrust and
All right. But see, you are cheating a bit because you brought religion
hungry, and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink,"
and what do they reply? "When? When did we do it? We didn't know it."
says, "I was hungry and you gave me to eat," and the people on the right
side say, "That's right, Lord, we KNOW." "I wasn't talking to you," the
king tells them. "It doesn't follow the script; you're not SUPPOSED to
have known." Isn't that interesting? But YOU know. You know the inner
pleasure you have while doing acts of charity. Aha!!! That's right! It's
the opposite of someone who says, "What's so great about what I did? I did
left hand had no idea what my right hand was doing." You know, a good is
never so good as when you have no awareness that you're doing good. You
are never so good as when you have no consciousness that you're good. Or
as the great Sufi would say, "A saint is one until he or she knows it."
Some of you object to this. You say, "Isn't the pleasure I receive in
giving, isn't that eternal life right here and now?" I wouldn't know. I
until we get into religion later on. But I want you to understand
All right, you ask, what about the soldier who falls on a grenade to keep
so. He did it deliberately. He was terrible, wasn't he? But he wouldn't
think so, I assure you. He thought he was going to heaven. That's
right. Just like your soldier falling on the grenade.
you're awake and what you do is done through you. Your deed in that case
when YOU do it, I'm searching for the selfishness. Even if it is only
didn't do this. I'd never be able to live with the thought if I ran
away." But remember, I'm not excluding the other kind of act. I didn't
child, you say. But how come she's not saving the neighbor's child? It's
listen to me properly. I didn't say ALL of them, but I wouldn't exclude
the possibility. Lots of communists get brainwashed (you're ready to
terrorists. You can have a man go on a thirty-day retreat and come out all
saint, but he was a difficult man to live with. You know he was a lousy
intolerance. You need to be pretty intolerant to achieve what he
are we to judge, we don't know.
ordinarily everything we do is in our self-interest. Everything. When you
you're doing something for the love of anybody, it is in your
Suppose you happen to live in Phoenix and you feed over five hundred
children a day. That gives you a good feeling? Well, would you expect it
to give you a bad feeling? But sometimes it does. And that is because
love. But, thank God, you do things for people and it's
pleasurable. Wonderful! You're a healthy individual because you're
take pride in that. Don't think you're a great person. You're a very
ordinary person, but you've got refined tastes. Your taste is good, not
the quality of your spirituality. When you were a child, you liked
Coca-Cola; now you've grown older and you appreciate chilled beer on a hot
day. You've got better tastes now. When you were a child, you loved
chocolates; now you're older, you enjoy a symphony, you enjoy a
poem. You've got better tastes. But you're getting your pleasure all the
same, except now it's in the pleasure of pleasing others. Then you've got
the third type, which is the worst: when you do something good so that you
won't get a bad feeling. It doesn't give you a good feeling to do it; it
gives you a bad feeling to do it. You hate it. You're making loving
sacrifices but you're grumbling. Ha! How little you know of yourself if
you think you don't do things this way.
If I had a dollar for every time I did things that gave me a bad feeling,
I'd be a millionaire by now. You know how it goes. "Could I meet you
"How are you?" "Wonderful," he says, and he goes on and on about how he
say, "How's life?" And he answers, "Pretty good." And he adds, "You know,
what you said to me last night was a real help. Can I meet you today,
That's the worst kind of charity, when you're doing something so you won't
get a bad feeling. You don't have the guts to say you want to be left
alone. You want people to think you're a good priest! When you say, "I
don't like hurting people," I say, "Come off it! I don't believe you." I
Holi
It begins about ten days before the full moon of the month Phalgun (February-March), but is usually only observed for the last three or four days, terminating with the full moon. This is the spring festival of the Hindus. In the spring season all the trees are filled with sweet-smelling flowers. They all proclaim the glory and everlasting beauty of God. They inspire you with hope, joy and a new life, and stir you on to find out the creator and the Indweller, who is hiding Himself in these forms.
Holi is known by the name of Kamadahana in South India, the day on which Cupid was burnt by Lord Siva.
Connected to this legend of the demon Holika is Bhakta Prahlad’s devotion to Lord Narayana, and his subsequent escape from death at the hands of Holika. Prahlad’s father, Hiranyakashipu, punished him in a variety of ways to change his devotional mind and make him worldly-minded. He failed in his attempts. At last he ordered his sister, Holika, who had a boon to remain unburnt even in fire, to take Prahlad on her lap and enter into the blazing flames. Holika did so. She vanished, but Prahlad remained untouched and laughing. He was not affected by the fire on account of the Grace of Lord Narayana.
On the festival day, people clean their homes, remove all dirty articles from around the house and burn them. Disease-breeding bacteria are thereby destroyed. The sanitary condition of the locality is improved. During the festival, boys dance about in the streets. People play practical jokes with passers-by. A bonfire is lit towards the conclusion of the festival. Games representing the frolics of the young Krishna take place joyously around a fire.
Holi also means “sacrifice”. Burn all the impurities of the mind, such as egoism, vanity and lust, through the fire of devotion and knowledge. Ignite cosmic love, mercy, generosity, selflessness, truthfulness and purity through the fire of Yogic practice. This is the real spirit of Holi. Rise from the mire of stupidity and absurdity and dive deep into the ocean of divinity.
The call of Holi is to always keep ablaze the light of God-love shining in your heart. Inner illumination is the real Holi. The spring season is the manifestation of the Lord, according to the Bhagavad Gita. Holi is said there to be His heart.
Gokulashtami
Study the Bhagavatam and the Pancharatras, which are equal to the Upanishads. You will know all about the glory of Lord Krishna, His Lilas and superhuman deeds. The eighth Avatara, Krishna, who has become the Beloved of India and the world at large, had a threefold objective: to destroy the wicked demons, to play the leading role in the great war fought on the battlefield of Kurukshetra (where he delivered His wonderful message of the Gita) and to become the centre of a marvellous development of the Bhakti schools of India.
Though Lord Krishna appeared in a human body, He had a divine body not composed of the five elements. He did not take any birth here in the usual sense of the term. He did not die. He appeared and disappeared through His Yoga Maya as He has declared in the Gita. This is a secret, known only to His devotees, Yogis and sages.
Lord Krishna was great in knowledge, great in emotion, great in action, all at once. The scriptures have not recorded any life more full, more intense, more sublime and grander than the life of Sri Krishna.
If you cannot read the whole of the Srimad Bhagavatam during these days, at least you should recite the following four most important verses from the book. The leading two verses and the closing verse are the prologue and the epilogue respectively:
“Hear from Me the most secret knowledge coupled with the essential experience and its component parts.
“May you realise by My Grace, the knowledge of Myself and what form, qualities and actions I am endowed with.
4. “The aspirant should, by the method of positive and negative, know that thing which exists always and everywhere.
“Experience this truth through the highest superconscious state so that you will not be disturbed even by illusory objects”.
There is another beautiful verse in the Bhagavatam which you can recite daily: “In days of yore, the Lord, born of Devaki, brought up in the house of Yasoda, killed the wicked Putana of illusive form and lifted the Govardhana hill, killed Kamsa and the sons of the Kuru race, and protected the sons of Kunti. Thus is recited the essence of the ancient Bhagavat Purana consisting of the nectarine stories of the deeds of Lord Krishna”.
May the blessings of Lord Krishna and Sri Radha be upon you all!
ShreeRamanavami
I call this the anti-gossip tonic. When you find that you are wasting your time in gossip, repeat His Name several times. You can make up for the time lost, and the mind will be slowly weaned away from the habit of gossiping.
Sri Rama is also a wish-fulfilling tree. He will bestow upon you whatever you want! Just read what Lord Shiva further says:
On the auspicious Ramnavmi day take a firm resolve that you will repeat Ram-Nam with every breath and that you will endeavour to lead a righteous life.
Those who cannot recite the entire epic may read this single verse which contains in a nutshell the story of the Ramayana: “Formerly, Sri Rama went to the forests, where Rishis did penance, and killed the illusive deer. Sita was carried away and Jatayu was killed. Rama met Sugriva, killed Vali and crossed the ocean. The city of Lanka was burnt by Hanuman. The demons, Ravana and Kumbhakarna, were then killed. Thus is recited the holy Ramayana”.
O beloved seekers! time is fleeting. Know the value of time. Time is most precious. Utilise every second profitably. Do not procrastinate. Abandon all idle gossiping. Forget the past. Live every moment of your life for the realisation of the divine ideal and goal. Unfold your latent faculties. Grow, evolve and become a superhuman or a dynamic Yogi. Struggle hard and reach the goal of life.
May you all attain the final beatitude of life through intense devotion towards Lord Rama! May you live immersed in the ecstasy of divine love! May Sri Rama who is as effulgent as a million suns and who is adored by the gods and devotees, protect you all! May the blessings of Lord Rama be upon you all!
Let Sri Rama be your ideal. Ideals are remembered and adored for the purpose of adopting them in your own life. The Ramnavmi celebration or the Vasanta Navaratri every year is an opportune period for us to saturate ourselves with the spirit of Lord Rama. We love and adore our ideals because we express thereby our yearning to unite with them. In our worship of God it is implied that we should be virtuous, good and perfect even as God is. Hence the wise instruction: “One should become divine in order to be able to worship God”. One cannot be a real worshipper of Lord Rama unless one makes an honest attempt to grow in the virtues that the Lord represents. On the other hand, worship of Lord Rama is itself the surest means to develop such virtues.
One who approaches Sri Rama with love and worshipfulness becomes large-hearted, pure in spirit, good-natured and dispassionate in thought, word and deed. A true devotee of Lord Rama is His representative, with His power and His knowledge.
Lord Rama was the best of men with a sterling character. He was the very image of love. He was an ideal son, an ideal brother, an ideal husband, an ideal friend and an ideal king. He can be taken to embody all the highest ideals of man. He led the ideal life of a householder to teach the tenets of righteousness to humanity. He ruled His people so well that it came to be known as Ram-Rajya, which meant the rule of righteousness, the rule which bestows happiness and prosperity on all.
Devotion to God is not a simple emotion. It is the result of intense dispassion and purity of heart and attitude. You should strive your utmost to possess the good qualities that are extolled in the Ramayana and exemplified in the life of Lord Rama. Otherwise, emotion may rise up in you temporarily to a kind of ecstasy, but you will not experience divine consciousness thereby. Devotion is a fruit which ripens gradually through the processes of self-restraint and virtue. Without intense dispassion there can be no real Sadhana for Self-realisation. Only after detachment from the world of things, is it possible to attain the Supreme Godhead. Remember this.
Devotion has absolutely nothing to do with age, caste, creed, position or sex. Generally, the worldly-minded people say: “We will practise meditation and devotion when we retire from service.” This is a serious mistake. How can you do serious Sadhana after squeezing out all your energy in working? How will you be able to practise the strict Yogic discipline in your old age? Is there any certainty in life? No, the spiritual seeds of discipline and devotion must be sown in you while you are young, while your heart is tender and untainted. Then only will it strike a deep root, blossom forth and bear fruit when you become old and retire. Only then can you bravely face the god of death and meet him with a smile!
I shall tell you the means of attaining the final release from the great cycle of births and deaths. Devotion to Lord Rama is a great purifier of the heart. From devotion arises knowledge. From knowledge comes the realisation of the pure Self. Knowing this perfectly, one goes to the Supreme Abode and merges in the Supreme Self.
The Name of Lord Rama is the greatest purifier of the heart. It wipes away all one’s sins. Not only this, but it wipes away the sinful tendencies as well. The Name is sweeter than the sweetest of objects. It is the haven of peace. It is the very life of pure souls. It is the purifier of all purifying agencies. It quenches the consuming fire of worldly desires. It awakens the knowledge of God. It bathes the aspirant in the, ocean of divine bliss. Glory to Sri Rama and His Name!
O Devotee! recite His Name, sing His glory and serve His Lotus Feet. Enthrone in your heart Lord Rama of dark hue, whose image is reflected in the heart of Lord Shiva. Blessed is the pious soul who uninterruptedly drinks the nectar of Sri Rama’s Name which has been churned out of the ocean of the Vedas, which removes the impurities of the Kali Yuga or the iron age, which lives constantly on the lips of Lord Shiva, which is a sovereign remedy or unfailing specific to cure the disease of worldly existence and which is the life of Mother Sita.
Ram-Nam burns ignorance, passion and sin. With or without knowledge, correctly or incorrectly, when the word “Rama” is pronounced it showers a rain of good upon the devotee. Sri Rama is Brahman who takes one across the ocean of worldly existence. Rama is one in across whom the Yogis sport, that is, the Self within.
Hanuman Jayanti
He is the living embodiment of Ram-Nam. He was an ideal selfless worker, a true Karma Yogi who worked desirelessly and dynamically. He was a great devotee and an exceptional Brahmachari or celibate. He served Sri Rama with pure love and devotion, without expecting any fruit in return. He lived to serve Sri Rama. He was humble, brave and wise. He possessed all the divine virtues. He did what others could not do—crossing the ocean simply by uttering Ram-Nam, burning the city of Lanka, and bringing the sanjeevini herb and restoring Lakshmana to life again. He brought Sri Rama and Lakshmana from the nether world after killing Ahiravana.
He had devotion, knowledge, spirit of selfless service, power of celibacy, and desirelessness. He never boasted of his bravery and intelligence.
Lord Rama Himself said to Sri Hanuman, “I am greatly indebted to you, O mighty hero! You did marvellous, superhuman deeds. You do not want anything in return. Sugriva has his kingdom restored to him. Angada has been made the crown prince. Vibhishana has become king of Lanka. But you have not asked for anything at any time. You threw away the precious garland of pearls given to you by Sita. How can I repay My debt of gratitude to you? I will always remain deeply indebted to you. I give you the boon of everlasting life. All will honour and worship you like Myself. Your murti will be placed at the door of My temple and you will be worshipped and honoured first. Whenever My stories are recited or glories sung, your glory will be sung before Mine. You will be able to do anything, even that which I will not be able to!”
Thus did Lord Rama praise Hanuman when the latter returned to Him after finding Sita in Lanka. Hanuman was not a bit elated. He fell in prostration at the holy feet of Lord Rama.
Lord Rama asked him, “O mighty hero, how did you cross the ocean?”
Again the Lord asked, “How did you burn Lanka? How did you save yourself?”
On this holy day worship Sri Hanuman. Fast on this day. Read the Hanuman Chalisa. Spend the whole day in the Japa of Ram-Nam. Sri Hanuman will be highly pleased and will bless you with success in all your undertakings.
Four Great Lessons
During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before classended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'." "I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to Safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him.
Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill onthe table and walked away. The boy finished the icecream, paid the cashier andleft. When the waitress came back, she beganto cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.
In ancient times, a King had aboulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.The peasant learned what many of us never understand.
"Work like you don't need the money,
Love like you've never been hurt and
Dance like you do when nobody's watching."
It's true we don't know what we've got until we lose it, But, It's also true that we don't know what we've been missing until we have it.
Weblog2002January
[Dave Winer] [:|http://scriptingnews.userland.com/backissues/2002/01/14#philosophy] "No locked trunks. Use Radio 8 because it's the best choice. Your choice."
[Pongal] festival is celebrated on 14th this year. This is the day on which the sun begins to move northwards (also called Makara Shankranti). For 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.
[Jallikattu] : "...Also known as "Yeru Thazhuvudal" (Yeru - bull; thazhuvudal - literally, to hug), it was more the way girls chose their suitors. The chivalrous youth who could contain a charging bull was much preferred by the ladies to one who couldn't..."
[Rebecca Blood] [:|http://www.rebeccablood.net/archive/2002/01.html#07e] "I think you may be interested in [viviculture]: it is weblog as an exercise in mindfulness. Kurt's statement of principles especially resonates with me."
[Richard Bolles] : [How to Mend Your Parachute]
[John Dingell] (after he was [forced to strip!|http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-congressman-searched0108jan08.story]) "I asked Norman to check to see if they treated me like they do everybody else," Dingell said. "I just wanted to be sure that what they did was necessary, that I got the same treatment, no better or no worse, than anyone else."
In [Wendell Berry]'s [Community|http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Crisis/Jan2000/Community.html] : "...[Gary Snyder] said the right thing: Stop somewhere, just stop. Finally, this thing we are calling mobility keeps people from learning their lessons. They keep moving away from the problems they’ve caused. Their idea is that you can completely mess up somewhere and then go somewhere else, or you can completely succeed somewhere and go somewhere else. In either case you don’t know what the effects are. Sometimes people cause worse effects by their success than they do by their failure. To go back to the metaphor of marriage. What marriage does is say to you to stay and find out. It doesn’t say what you are going to find out. When you think this is it, we are at a complete dead end here, the marriage says to you: Wait, stay, and find out. Always you find out more..."
[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._
[Karl-Erik Sveiby] [:|http://www.businessworldindia.com/archive/200306/Strategy2.htm] "You don't need to interview me. Simply read the [Upanishads]. They knew all about it long before I did"
I tell [Sushma] often. If you donot understand something/anything... Goto [Google] and understand !
[Cyber Essays] is "your one-stop source for free, high-quality term papers, essays, and reports on all subjects."
[Craig Jensen] [:|http://booknotes.weblogs.com/2001/12/22] "With the tumultous state the world is in I feel uncomfortable, even guilty, being in any kind of festive or celebratory mood. And, in fact, I'm not festive. Nor am I filled with hope from any kind of religious faith. I'm mostly depressed. - - - But I realize that the sphere within which I have the most influence is my family. The most important people to me are my wife, son and daughter and then my extended family. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews. All the quirks and dysfunctionalty set aside, this is the circle where I can find unbounded love and acceptance. It is the place where I can return that love, equally unbounded, without fear of reprisal or rejection. I am lucky. Truly so. I intend to immerse myself in my good fortune. In my own little circle I will enjoy peace and love and joy. - - - My hope and wish is that you will find yourselves enjoying the same. Be safe and well."
[Alan Kay] is enraptured by the potential impact that computing technology can have on the world. He is especially interested in education and hopes that this new technology will create, what he calls, a "skeptical man." He likens the personal computer to the present day book and believes that if everyone had access to a computer, people would be more prone to play "what-if" games with information. He says that "the [information] retrieval systems of the future are not going to retrieve facts but points of view. The weakness of databases is that they let you retrieve facts, while the strength of our culture over the past several hundred years has been our ability to take on multiple points of view. It should be possible for every kid everywhere to test what he or she is being told either against arguments of others or by appeal to computer simulation. The question is: will society nurture that potential or suppress it?"
[Novell] in [Why They Lie] : ...Every time we raise the bar, you-know-who stoops to a new level....
Nature doesnot know that I drive a super car and my neighbour a 'super O super' car. It covers both with the necessary amount of snow to make our lives interesting. Thanks for the lesson !
To [Dave Winer]: Wishing you lot more [flow|http://radio.weblogs.com/0001184/2002/01/01.html] in the years to come. Where are the list of all your articles like [When to give away the technology] :-)
To [People] I have come across on the web: I would love to spend my days reading all that you write... But there is not enough time in my days to do that after time invested in occupations to make [Money] flow to my bank account! So I setup a [Portal]
[Stan Krute] [:|http://radio.weblogs.com/0001184/2002/01/01.html] "Dave knows Flow. The Power of Flow. The Beauty of Flow. The Goodness of Flow. The Win-Win-Win-Win-Win of Flow. You flow my way, I flow your way, ya give flow, ya get flow, others see this and join in on the fun, pretty soon, we're all surfing a happy big flowin' wave of our own communitarian making."
[Ponderings|http://wannawrite.editthispage.com/questions] : ...Why is it when you are driving at night looking for an address, you instinctively (at least I have) turn down the radio?...
[The Secret Subversive Purpose|http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/aboutclwg.html] of [Children's Literature Web Guide]: ...If my cunning plan works, you will find yourself tempted away from the Internet, and back to the books themselves! Please remember that the Internet is not the most comprehensive source of information about children's books. Books and Libraries cover the field far better than I can ever hope to. - - - The Internet is a tremendous resource, but it will never compete with a Children's Librarian with a purposeful gleam in the eye!
[Six Ways to Reduce Advertising in Your Life]
[Cameron Barrett] : Do yourself a favor and telnet to this address: towel.blinkenlights.nl
Words
on us." The guru said, "Sit down, you son of a bitch." The man went livid
with rage and said, "You call yourself an enlightened person, a guru, a
master, but you ought to be ashamed of yourself." The guru then said,
"Pardon me, sir, I was carried away. I really beg your pardon; that was a
took just a few words to get a whole tempest going within you; and it took
just a few words to calm you down, didn't it?" Words, words, words, words,
[Osho] [in|http://www.ofpain.com/workinProg/afewwords/new_l_i_f_e_12.html] [The Book of Secrets] : ...Jean-Paul Sartre wrote an autobiography. He called it Words. The name is very meaningful. It is the autobiography of every man-words and words and words. You are filled with words, and this process of words continues the whole day, even in the mind. When you are sleeping, you are still filled with words, thoughts. The mind is just an accumulation of words, and everyone is too much obsessed with the mind. That is why self-knowledge becomes more and more impossible. The self is beyond the words, or beyond the words, or behind the words, or below the words, or above the words, but never in the words. You exist not in the mind, but just below the mind, behind the mind, above the mind-never in the mind. You are focused in the mind, but you are not there...
Pearls
([source|http://radio.weblogs.com/0101915/2002/01/21.html#a8]) ...Perhaps the reason we in America feel less impacted by the suffering of folks in other countries is the same reason we are heartbroken by deaths in our own family but barely acknowledge the passing away of the old man down the street -- regardless of the fact that old man may have a loving family that is devastated by the loss. It only hurts when it is your own hand that is cut off. The preciousness of life is universal. Unfortunately, so is the callousness of man. - - - - - The God I know has no nationality...
"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."
we blame others (parents, spouse, children, society...) - - - If you have confidence in doing something new in life... go for it....when
you get an intuition to do it...
"With the tumultous state the world is in I feel uncomfortable, even guilty, being in any kind of festive or celebratory mood. And, in fact, I'm not festive. Nor am I filled with hope from any kind of religious faith. I'm mostly depressed. - - - But I realize that the sphere within which I have the most influence is my family. The most important people to me are my wife, son and daughter and then my extended family. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews. All the quirks and dysfunctionalty set aside, this is the circle where I can find unbounded love and acceptance. It is the place where I can return that love, equally unbounded, without fear of reprisal or rejection. I am lucky. Truly so. I intend to immerse myself in my good fortune. In my own little circle I will enjoy peace and love and joy. - - - My hope and wish is that you will find yourselves enjoying the same. Be safe and well."
"I might seem like a crazy storm chaser, but what I did was really a matter of necessity, at least to me. It was what I wanted to do with my life, really. - - - As it was, LiveJournal was expanding to the point where I couldn't really manage it without having LJ eat into my "day job" to an unacceptable degree. It's not as if I jumped in blindly - I had already helped LJ open source itself and expand to over 250K users before I left my job. I also put aside enough money to survive for quite awhile, though I have greatly cut back on expenses. That is an important aspect, really... you have to start businesses based on a lot of work, and it is your investment of work that pays off. You need to be willing to put in the work and keep your expenses painfully low until revenue starts coming in. Entirely too many businesses forget this, and that is why there are lots of dead dotcoms out there. - - - Ultimately, it isn't about money anyways, and money is an overused reason for going into business. If you are in it just for the money, you probably won't have the enthusiasm and drive to really succeed. Most people don't need a ton of money to survive, and those who do get a taste for money often find themselves the most in debt. Better to be able to simplify your life and concentrate on your interests and goals rather than become a slave to money, doing things you would rather not in pursuit of the elusive buck. If you are concentrating on providing a really good service and on developing good relationships with your customers, then you won't go too far wrong. - - - It's kind of like Google. They never have had to advertise their service, but they are a hugely popular search engine which doesn't have to advertise their service - their users do it for them. Those are the kind of services that everyone should be interested in starting - addictively good services. LiveJournal still has a way to go, but we're not too bad for the price..."
"Work on something that excites you enough to want to work 24x7. Become an expert on data model + page flow. Build some great systems by yourself and put them on your resume ("I built X" rather than "I built a piece of X as part of a huge team"). Take periodic long trips to exotic countries and learn from people (sometimes your own country is after all the most exotic)."
![Doc Searls]' [Advice to young people seeking IT careers|http://doc.weblogs.com/stories/storyReader$465]
I was asked for some advice to pass along to a class of graduating young people. It wasn't bad for something I pulled out of my butt, so I thought I'd post it somewhere before it got lost in the outbox.
# Avoid shipping metaphors. You and what you make are nobody's "content."
# Avoid industrial metaphors. You are not a "product" of anything, including your education.
# The only career paths that go anywhere are the ones you blaze for yourself.
# Publish your passions. Publish a weblog on *anything* you care about. Make that your daily diary and keep it up. Answer every email response. Respond to other people's 'blogs. Your path will be blazed by buzz.
Also remember what Skoop Nisker says: If you don't like the news, go make some of your own.
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.
Somebody is sex-obsessed. In a country like India, where for centuries sex has been repressed, that has become almost a universal characteristic; everybody is obsessed with sex. Somebody is obsessed with anger, and somebody else is obsessed with greed. You have to watch which is your basic obsession.
Wendell Berry
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).
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 thought he could restore his happiness through a love affair with Rose McInnis, a young widow. At first it did just that. Nevertheless, "with Rose too he was beginning to feel an incompleteness" (134). He loved McInnis but was married to Ruth Beechum; therefore, it could never lead to anything. Beechum knows the love in his affair with McInnis is dishonorable, whereas the love in his affair with the land is honorable.
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.
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.
* 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.
Did you know
[Words] > Did you know
http://pbskids.org/did_you_know/
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Rules the World
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Three visions for India
and took them to the orthopaedic centre. The children didn't believe
acknowledge them. Why?
"I want to live in a developed India." For her, you and I will have to
build this developed India. You must proclaim. India is not a
Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes, then read; otherwise, choice
is yours. YOU say that our government is inefficient. YOU say that our
laws are too old. YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the
garbage. YOU say that the phones don't work, the railways are a joke,
destination. YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is
the absolute pits. YOU say, say and say. What do YOU do about it?
Take a person on his way to Singapore. Give him a name - YOURS. Give
him a face - YOURS. YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your
International best. In singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the
roads or eat in the stores. YOU are as proud of their Underground Links
as they are. You pay $5 (approx. Rs. 60) to drive through Orchard Road
(equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU
comeback to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have
over stayed in a restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your
status identity. In Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU? YOU
wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan, in Dubai. YOU would not
dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah. YOU would not dare
someone else." YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in
hoon (Do you know who I am?). I am so and so's son. Take your two bucks
and get lost." YOU wouldn't chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other
don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo? Why don't YOU use
talking of the same YOU. YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign
system in other countries but cannot in your own. You who will throw
papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If
you can be an involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country why
cannot you be the same here in India. Once in an interview, the famous
opportunity. This applies even to the staff who is known not to pass on
Oh, Poor India!
Poor India ! Every time it looks as if thy head is coming above water, that at last your are accorded some breathing space, after having suffered so much for centuries at the hands of bloody invasions, pernicious colonisers, or secular enemies from within, you are plunged back into darkness, by some unexpected twist of fate, some unheralded, unnecessary, perverse, unfair setback, such as the Sabamarti Express killings.
Poor India ! At Independence you were robbed of one fifth of your territory, courtesy her Majestyâs Service; in 1962, the ever smiling, but treacherous Chinese, humiliated you and stole another chunk of thy blessed land, thanks to Nehruâs blind hindi-chinni-bhai-bhai policy; finally, the Pakistanis, who lost all the wars they initiated against you, understood that proxy conflicts were the cheapest, safest (and most cowardly) way to hurt you. And indeed, your soldiers were bled in Punjab, and they are bled today in Kashmir and the North-East, while the world looks the other way and Amnesty International even praises the perpetrators .
Poor India ! Thy journalists are indeed thy worst enemies: they have proved it again after the Sabamarti episode. Here you have fifty eight innocent people, thirty of them being women and children, who are savagely murdered in the most horrific manner, only because they are Hindus. They have killed nobody, whatever the rightfulness or wrongfulness of their cause, they have burnt nobody; they have insulted nobody. And yet, the whole grisly episode was turned against them: instead of being victims of the most horrendous premeditated murder, thy journalists made them responsible for their own deaths. Why ? Because they were "fanatics ", who want to build a temple dedicated to the most cherished of Hindu Gods, Ram, on a site which has been held sacred by Hindus for three thousand years ? What a terrible crime ! But Spanish Christians retook the Mosques which had been built by the invading Moors and reconverted them into churches. Turks too grabbed the beautiful Byzantine basilicas in Istanbul, erstwhile Constantinople and made them into mosques - and nobody today finds anything to say. But look how the Indian Media also keeps throwing the blame on the VHP which is "forcing" the temple issue and "provoking" Muslims. Then, when the rioting started and Hindu anger at the terrible manner in which their brothers and sisters were killed, was directed at Muslims, it became "communal rioting"; and of course, people like M.J. Akbar put the entire blame on Hindu "fundamentalism". Yet, it is the Hindus who have always been the target of Muslim killings, whether it is in Kashmir, Bangladesh, or Pakistan. But when they dare to hit back, they are labelled as "fanatics", forgetting that India has been a land of refuge for centuries, thanks to Hindu tolerance.
Poor India ! When a Graham Staines is burnt alive, all of Indiaâs English press goes overboard in condemning his killers, but when 58 Graham Staines are murdered, they keep silent. Why ? Whatâs wrong with Indian journalists ? This is plain common sense, logic, the most basic of human intelligence: people who kill in the name of God, can be called fundamentalists; people who ram planes full of innocent people on buildings full of other innocent people, should be called terrorists. But why should people who want to peacefully build a temple be also called fundamentalists ? Even those Hindus who brought down the Babri Masjid, after millions of temples were razed by Muslim invaders, did not kill a single soul in the process, whether it was right or wrong to do it . Yet, Islamâs vengeance, which planted bombs in the heart of Bombay, with the help of the ISI and the tacit backing of Saudi Arabia, and killed hundreds of innocent people, was acceptable to Indiaâs "secular" journalists and was also labelled as "communal rioting". Today, Star Newsâ anti-Hindu and pro-Muslim bias is so gross, that it should be laughed at. Unfortunately, it does damage by confusing Indiaâs middle and upper middle class, who are unsure of their moorings and on top of that, it gives India such a bad image in the eyes of the world.
Poor India ! Do thy Oxford-speaking, pipe-smoking, Scotch-drinking journalists understand that post 11th September and December 13th, there has been a shift in the Pakistani strategy vis a vis India. After the intense American pressure to give-up terrorism, they have resorted to triggering a communal war here: the Godhra killings were the first such example of this new strategy, as reports speak of Pakistani illegals leading the mob (as well as Congress Muslim local leaders). Foreign funds for the Islamic cause in South Asia have also dried-up, as the United States has frozen many accounts, and part of the new scheme is to generate local funds in India via the madrasas, by creating a feeling of insecurity amongst the Muslim minority and then say: "look what happened to us in Ahmedabad, we need funds to protect ourselves". Do Indian journalists know that madrasas in UP get 33 crores from the government per year and in Bengal 135 ? If they do, they make sure it is never publicized.
Vision Creates Great Leaders
important occasion when you will be entering into professional
phase of life. I would like to tell the young, "low aim is the
crime". In the knowledge era, successful people will always
qualities, let me take you on the journey of transforming India
in 1857. One incident I would like to narrate to you, which
fascinated me when I was a young boy. On 15th August 1947,
age of 82, while addressing young graduates. The message is
still reverberating in my mind: "I would like to tell the young
Success can only come to you by courageous devotion to the
task lying in front of you. I can assert without fear of
That was a great saying to the young. You would see the
responsible for the young, all who are creators of the young,
ago. As you all know, Prof Vikram Sarabhai is the visionary of
space programme in the country. He is well known for his
research. It did not move further because the nature of the
indomitable spirit and universal mind, young like you are
internationally well-known men. (He means, JC Bose, CV
which became a dominant motive among the young during the
nation needs young leaders who can command the change for
knowledge society from now to twenty years. The leaders are
the young mind.
best wishes to you all for transforming industrial and
Enlightenment
Once there was a well known philosopher and scholar who devoted himself to the study of Zen for many years. On the day that he finally attained enlightenment, he took all of his [books] out into the yard, and burned them all.
# When you fall asleep, you never fall asleep totally. There is a part of you that never falls asleep. If so, score 1 point. If when you fall asleep you become completely asleep and your consciousness disappears until you wake up or dream, score 0.
# Go out in the street. If all you see is sleeping people, moving mechanically, and dreaming while they walk, and this happens permanently, score 1. If you only see normal people, going about their business, score 0.
# Follow your breath for 2 hours. If you did this effortlessly, without missing one breath, score 1 point, you probably are enlightened. If you are not enlightened, you are about to be, so don't despair. If you missed it even for 1 second, score 0
The University of Hard Knocks
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cripple taught by the bumps--Every bump brings a blessing--You are
notices--You cannot uplift people with derrick--No laws can
VII. THE SALVATION OF A "SUCKER"--You can't get something for
nothing--The fiddle and the tuning--How we know things--Trimmed at
1,000 per cent"--You must earn what you own--Commencement
only the delivery wagon. When the delivery wagon comes to your
you are not much interested in how it looks; you are interested in
the goods it brings you. You know some very good goods are
sometimes delivered to you in some very poor delivery wagons.
you some of the multiplication table of life--not mine, not yours
of this audience. You can have all you want of it, but to get it to
running freely, you will have to warm up.
Did You Bring a Bucket?
No matter how the sorghum runs, you have to have a bucket to get
greatest stream. With no bucket you can get nothing at Niagara.
Have you noticed that no sentence, nor a million sentences, can
bound life? Have you noticed that every statement does not quite
success rule can alone solve the problem. You must average it all
If you get the feeling that the first personal pronoun is being
overworked, I remind you that this is more a confession than a
lecture. You cannot confess without referring to the confesser.
I like you because I am like you.
I believe in you because I believe in myself. We are all one
family. I believe in your Inside, not in your Outside, whoever you
are, whatever you are, wherever you are.
I hope you are getting your Hard Knocks.
I care little about your glorious or inglorious past. I care little
about your present. I care much about your future for that is to
see more of the Angel in you.
Children, I fear you will not be greatly interested in what is to follow.
Perhaps you are "naturally bright" and feel sorry for Shakespeare.
young, and now two and two made seven, because we lived so much faster.
It is so hard to tell young people anything. They know better. So
But if you will remember some of these things, they will feel like
meddlesome woman I had ever known. I had not tried to do one thing
And that day when I wanted the coffee-pot--I did want it. Nobody
knows
I stopped it. I got the coffee-pot. I know I got the coffee-pot. I
got it unanimously. I know when I got it and I also know where I
You see, my mother's way was to tell me and then let me do as I
it, knowing that it would burn me. She would say, "Don't." Then she
the most kind and effective way to rear one stubborn boy I know of.
cruel with that angel child. But the neighbors did not know what
kind of an insect mother was trying to raise. Mother did know. She
I learned very quickly that if I did not hear mother, and heed, a
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
"Child of humanity, do right, walk in the right path. You will be
She said, "It hain't your fault. You wasn't born right. You was
born under an unlucky star." You don't know how that comforted me.
get off the train. Did you ever study the walk of a blind man? He
seat. Then he did what every blind man does, he lifted his hand
higher and didn't bump any more seats.
are you going to learn to see as well as that blind man? He learns
his lesson with one bump, and you have to go bumping into the same
things day after day and wonder why you have so much `bad luck'!"
Are You Going Up or Down?
If you are making no effort in your life, if you are moving in the
line of least resistance, depend upon it you are going downward.
Look over your community. Note the handful of brave, faithful,
of goodness into the mystery of the great unknown world beyond and
in that unknown realm we fondly imagine is happiness.
subject," somebody says, You can? You poor old sinner, you have
bumped your conscience numb. That is why you have no feelings on
the subject. You have pounded your soul into a jelly. You don't
know how badly you are hurt.
Did you ever watch a fly get his Needless Knocks on the sticky
where your poor dear father was lost." And Johnny Fly remembers for
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
flies are naturally bright and have so many more advantages. You
You see Johnny fly back and forth and have the time of his
naturally bright young life. Afterwhile, tho, he stubs his toe and
him, "really, boys, you'll have to excuse me now. Good-bye!" But he
flypaper. It is a fine place to stick around. All his young set of
You were bumped yesterday or years ago. Maybe the wound has not yet
healed. Maybe you think it never will heal. You wondered why you
were bumped. Some of you in this audience are just now wondering
You were doing right--doing just the best you knew how--and yet
some blow came crushing upon you and gave you cruel pain.
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
was darkened, your plans were wrecked, you thought you had nothing
I am like you. I have had more trouble than anybody else. I have
never known anyone who had not had more trouble than anyone else.
In other words, we are raw material. You know what raw material
I should like to know every person in this audience. But the ones
I should most appreciate knowing are the ones who have known the
see you. You are so shiny, beautiful, valuable and full of music,
Do you know how you got upon this stage, Mr. Piano? You were bumped
here. This is no reflection upon the janitor. You became a piano by
I can see you back in your callow beginnings, when you were just a
tree--a tall, green tree. You were green! Only green things grow.
Did you get the meaning of that, children? I hope you are green.
There you stood in the forest, a perfectly good, green young tree.
You got your lessons, combed your hair, went to Sunday school and
were the best young tree you could be.
That is why you were bumped--because you were good! There came a
there to bump. He bumped you--hit you with the ax! How it hurt you!
And how unjust it was! He kept on hitting you. "The operation was
just terrible." Finally you fell, crushed, broken, bleeding.
It is a very sad story. They took you all bumped and bleeding to
the sawmill and they bumped and ripped you more. They cut you in
pieces and hammered you day by day.
They did not bump the little, crooked, dissipated, cigaret-stunted
But shake, Mr. Piano. That is why you are on this stage. You were
bumped here. All the beauty, harmony and value were bumped into you.
until you move it--send it to college or somewhere.
When it was done roasting they stopped. Have you noticed that they
why did they take me away from my happy hole-in-the-ground? Why do
My friends, you and I are the raw material, the green trees, the
Afterwards I went to her. "Little lady, I want to thank you for
coming here. I have the feeling that I spoke the words, but you are
What a smile she gave me! "Yes, I know about the hard knocks," she
that I know sitting in this chair. I have learned to be patient and
What would you have said? Just on the spur of the moment--I said,
you are not happy is that you haven't been bumped enough."
Think of what might happen to you today. Your home might burn. We
don't want your home to burn, but somebody's home is burning just
now. A conflagration might sweep your town from the map. Your
business might wreck. Your fortune might be swept away. Your good
name might be tarnished. Bereavement might take from you the one
you love most.
You would never know how many real friends you have until then. But
look out! Some of your friends would say, "I am so sorry for you.
You are down and out." Do not believe that you are down and out,
for it is not true. The old enemy of humanity wants you to believe
you are down and out. He wants you to sympathize with yourself. You
The truth is, another chapter of your real education has been
opened. Will you read the lesson of the Needful Knocks?
greatness. We go up in life. We become educated. Let me bring you
Then I calmed down. Did the groceryman do that on purpose? Does
Do you? Is there a groceryman in the audience?
Man of sorrows, you have been slandered. It never occurred to me
You laugh? You don't believe that? Maybe your roads are so good
in the Black Swamp of Ohio we had corduroy roads. Did you ever see
I saw that for thirty years before I saw it. Did you ever notice
how long you have to see most things before you see them? I saw
You children try that tomorrow. Do not wait thirty years to learn
or other container and shake them. You will see the larger things
shake upward and the smaller shake downward. You will see every
When things find their place, you can shake on till doomsday, but
you cannot change the place of one of the objects.
inside of it you see two sizes of objects--a lot of little white
beans and some walnuts. You will pardon me for bringing such a
simple and crude apparatus before you in a lecture, but I ask your
than thru the ear. I want to make this so vivid that you will never
forget it, and I do not want these young people to live thirty
This is a canned lecture. Let the can talk to you awhile.
You note as I shake the jar the little beans quickly settle down
I say, "Yes, you little bean, I'll help you." So I lift him up to
Then I hear Little Bean say, "Well, if I cannot get to the top, you
So I say, "Yes, sir, Little Bean. Here, you big ones on top, get
down. You Big Nuts get right down there on a level with Little
Bean!" And you see I put them down.
And do you not see that we are very foolish when we want to be
you and I are not helpless victims of blind fate. We are not
So you young people should keep in mind that you will shake into
the places you fit. And when you are in your places--in stores,
shops, offices or elsewhere, if you want to hold your place you
If you want a greater place, you simply grow greater and they
cannot keep you down. You do not ask for promotion, you compel
promotion. You grow greater, enlarge your dimensions, develop new
capabilities, do more than you are paid to do--overfill your place,
and you shake up to a greater place.
would say, "Go shake the jar, Charlie. That is the way you get
raised. As you grow greater you won't need to ask to be promoted.
You will promote yourself."
So everywhere you look you see the barrel sorting people according
to size. Every business concern can tell you stories like that of
the Chicago house where a number of young ladies worked. Some of
Do you remember that green things grow?
rules of the union! Without being told, mind you. She had that rare
The barrel did the rest. Today she is giving orders to all of them,
The other girls feel hurt about it. They will tell you in
confidence that it was the rankest favoritism ever known. "There
don't know nothing about it, boss, I don't work in there."
I asked him about another process, and he replied, "I don't know
pulpmill. He replied, "No, I don't know nothing about that,
neither. I don't work in there." And he did not betray the least
desire to know anything about anything.
"How long have you worked here?"
Going out of the building, I asked the foreman, "Do you see that
who didn't know. "Is he a human being?"
The foreman's face clouded. "I hate to talk to you about that man.
gone up and down. You may have noticed two brothers start with the
of that tree did you grow?" But they often inquire, "Are you big
Now life is mainly routine. You and I and everybody must go on
journals labeled "Finishing Schools," and "A Place to Finish Your
Child." I know the schools generally mean all right, but I fear the
I am sorry for the one who says, "I know all there is to know about
that. You can't tell me anything about that." He is generally
ready to get along without him. That noise you hear is the
We young people come up into life wanting great places. I would not
give much for a young person (or any other person) who does not
It is dangerous to overboost people, for the higher you boost them
Alas! How often I have learned that when I did return the hall that
When you get to the place where you can stand aside and "see
yourself go by"--when you can keep still and see every fibre of you
and your work mercilessly dissected, shake hands with yourself and
rejoice, for the kingdom of success is yours.
You cannot uplift a beggar by giving him alms. You are using the
not helping them, that is propping them. The beggar who asks you to
wants you to license him and professionalize him as a beggar.
You can only help a man to help himself. Help him to grow. You
they would reply, "you are in a bad fix. Here is help," and they
a day. I rattled there. I did not earn my dollar fifteen. I tried
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.
The little man has the chance now, just as fast as he grows. You
cannot fix the barrel. You can only fix the people inside the
Have you ever noticed that the man who is not willing to fix
O, I am so glad I did not get the things I wanted at the time I
Today you and I have things we couldn't have yesterday. We just
Today you and I want things beyond our reach. O, how we want them!
Do you not see that "cruel fate" is our own smallness and
and "Forging to the Front." Too often they are the sordid story of
you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among
you, let him be your servant."
our might what our hands find to do. Quit worrying about what you
cannot get to do. Rejoice in doing the things you can get to do.
And as you are faithful over a few things you go up to be ruler
I do not know who fitted the boards into the floor I stand upon. I
do not know all the great people who may come and stand upon this
floor. But I do know that the one who made the floor--and the one
to make a roster of the great people of a community. You will find
clubmen." You rarely find their names in the society page. They
and you read it in almost every committee doing good things in
praised enterprising ones. He stopped young fellows on the streets.
"What are you going to do in life?" Perhaps the young man would
say, "I have no chance." "You come to Chicago and I'll give you a
his vacation. He was busy about other people's business. He did not
glorious. This man's preaching did not make him great. His college
did not make him great. His books did not make him great. These are
Gunsaulus often says, "You are planning and saving and telling
yourself that afterwhile you are going to give great things and do
great things. Give it now! Give your dollar now, rather than your
thousands afterwhile. You need to give it now, and the world needs
As long as the nation was young and growing--as long as the people were
Then they fell a prey to younger, hardier peoples.
"I hain't got no book l'arnin' like the rest of you." He was the
Chicago. Did you ever go over into Packingtown and see a steer
You remember, then, that after he matriculates--after he gets the
and when the young lord alighted, the factory band played, "See,
as tho it never could open. But it did open, and when it opened it
do that. You cannot get an education from the book and the college
any more than you can get to New York by reading a travelers' guide.
You cannot get physical education by reading a book on gymnastics.
The book and the college show you the way, give you instruction and
furnish you finer working tools. But the real education is the
journey you make, the strength you develop, the service you perform
greatness, physically, mentally and morally. I believe I know some
The young person with electrical genius will make an electrical
Get the best tools you can. But remember diplomas, degrees are not
an education, they are merely preparations. When you are thru with
the books, remember, you are having a commencement, not an
end-ment. You will discover with the passing years that life is
Go out with your fine equipment from your commencements into the
school of service and write your education in the only book you
ever can know--the book of your experience.
That is what you know--what the courts will take as evidence when
they put you upon the witness stand.
gibbeted in the pulpits as the shocking example of youthful
this nation produces. Steam heat is a fine thing, but do you notice
You boys and girls, God bless you! You live in good homes. Father
and mother love you and give you everything you need. You get to
No, you are unfixed. You are a candidate for trouble. You are going
to rattle. Father and mother can be great and you can be a peanut.
You must solve your own problems and carry your own loads to have
a strong mind and back. Anybody who does for you regularly what you
can do for yourself--anybody who gives you regularly what you can
earn for yourself, is robbing you of your birthright.
Father and mother can put money in your pocket, ideas in your head
and food in your stomach, but you cannot own it save as you digest
it--put it into your life.
"Little turkeys, I'll have to help you. I'll have to shell you by
hand." So I picked the shells off. "Little turkeys, you will never
know how fortunate you are. Ordinary turkeys do not have these
Did I help them? I killed them, or stunted them. Not one of the turkeys
Children, you must crack your own shells. You must overcome your
own obstacles to develop your own powers.
I am pleading for you to get a great arm, a great mind, a great
you to know the joy of overcoming and having the angels come and
minister to you.
Children, I am pleading with you to find happiness. All the world
work that fits your talents, and stop watching the clock and
If I did not like my work, of course, I would be carrying a
You see, I have no time nowadays to break down. I have no time to
I have never known a case of genuine "overwork." I have never known
of anyone killing himself by working. But I have known of
To work at the things you love, or for those you love, is to turn
Do you ever get lonely in a city? How few men and women there. A
We must have amusement and relaxation. Study your muscles. First
The more you study your muscles, the more you learn that while one
muscle is relaxing another is contracting. So you must learn that
your real relaxation, vacation and amusement, are merely changing
the place, "Were you born in this city?"
He glows as he tells you of some log-cabin home, hillside or
strength is most in evidence. There the young person gets the
that young person comes to the city and shakes in the barrel among
The town the young people leave is the town the young people ought
to leave. Somebody says, "The reason so many young people go to
Weston, West Virginia, "You say you have nearly two thousand insane
in. Aren't you in danger? What is to hinder these insane people
So the home towns stagnate and the young people with visions go
promising place for the young people. No home town can afford to
spend its years raising crops of young people for the cities. That
schools offering encouragement and facilities for young people to
assimilation today as then. Knowing and growing demand the same
You and I are very much interested in the answer.
learning one sentence, "You can't get something for nothing." I
What is knowing?
I have had the feeling ever since that you and I come into this
knowing. Learning is tuning.
You do not know what you have memorized, you know what you have
vitalized, what you have written in the book of experience.
know!"
Reading and Knowing
There is such a difference between reading a thing and knowing a
know the sun as in one glimpse of it with our own eyes.
I did not learn it. I wish I had learned by reading it that if I
This is not a lecture. It is a confession! It seems to me if you in
the audience knew how little I know, you wouldn't stay.
"You Can't Get Something for Nothing"
Yes, I was thirty-four years learning that one sentence. "You can't
longer than a human being. They are so smart you cannot teach them
the farm. You might not think I had ever been a "hired man" on the
farm at ten dollars a month and "washed, mended and found." You see
you might not believe that I had ever trained an orphan calf to
hand many a time. You might not think that I had ever driven a yoke
you may remember that at the county fair all the people sort out to
"suckers"! Did you ever notice where they go? That is where I
where it was. I didn't need to be told. I gravitated there. The
barrel always shakes all of one size to one place. You notice
know he was a gentleman because he said he was a gentleman. He had
You see, this was not gambling, this was a sure thing. (It was!)
But I needn't have felt bad. I did not rob father. Father cleaned
Sadly I thought it all over, but I did not get the right answer.
I am putting these cakes of Wonder Soap in my hat. You see I am
a cake of this wonderful soap from my hat--any cake you want, gentlemen!"
floor. Did anybody ever let you in on the ground floor? I never
kept my investments in it. I mean, the investments I did not have
to lock up. You get the pathos of that--the investments nobody
lots were going to double next week. But they did not double I
I had in that drawer my deed to my rubber plantation. Did you ever
I had in that drawer my "Everglade" farm. Did you ever hear of the
silver mines. Nobody knows how much mining stock I have owned.
Nobody could know while I kept that drawer shut. As I looked over
banker once said to me, "Why don't you invest in something that
will pay you five or six per cent. and get it?"
had no imagination! Nothing interested me that did not offer fifty
"You have been selected."
Were you ever selected? If you were, then you know the thrill that
was a friend of our family. "You have been selected because you are
a prominent citizen and have a large influence in your community.
You are a natural leader and everybody looks up to you."
He knew me! He was the only man who did know me. So I took the
"Because of your tremendous influence you have been selected to go
Did you get that? I hope you did. I did not! But I took a night
I don't get any sympathy from this crowd. You laugh at me. You
respect not my feelings. I am not going to tell you a thing that
happened in St. Louis. It is none of your business!
I think it must have been a pool, for I know I fell in and got
feel that we should endow them. How else can we save a sucker? You
cannot tell him anything, because he is naturally bright and knows
better. You simply have to trim him till he bleeds.
It is worth eleven hundred dollars every day to know that one
sentence, You cannot get something for nothing. Life just begins to
get juicy when you know it. Today when I open a newspaper and see
I will not grasp a fortune now. Try me, I dare you! Bring a
interest I know he is no friend of our family.
Today when I get a confidential letter that starts out, "You have
just as quick as you can. I was selected!
law of compensation is never suspended. You only own what you earn.
You can't get something for nothing. If you do not learn it, you
will have to be "selected." There is no other way for you, because
you are naturally bright. When you get a letter, "You have been
selected to receive a thousand per cent. dividends," it means you
have been selected to receive this bunch of blisters because you
some of the above experiences. "The audience laughed with you and
community year after year. I wish you could see what I have to see.
I wish you could see the thousands of hard-earned dollars that go
as you described. The saddest part of it is that the money nearly
Absalom, wake up! This is bargain night for you. I paid eleven
hundred dollars to tell you this one thing, and you get it for a
Even the young person who has large fortune given him does not own
This is true physically, mentally, morally. You only own what you
have earned and stored in your life, not merely in your pocket,
The young person says, "By next June I shall have finished my
decorated and the joy of youth is everywhere. There is a row of
know how it hurts. It is the first time they have worn it.
like them better, because every year I am getting younger. Damsel
Children, we are not laughing at you. We are laughing at ourselves.
truths that you have memorized, but not vitalized.
You get the most beautiful and sublime truths from Emerson's
essays. (How did they ever have commencements before Emerson?) But
that is not knowing them. You cannot know them until you have lived
but you can never really say that until you know it by struggling
but you cannot really say that until you have pulled on the oar.
Did you ever hear a young preacher, just captured, just out of a factory?
Did you ever hear him preach his "maiden sermon"? I wish you had heard
But I made the mistake I am trying to warn you against. Instead of
expression, to get it expressed. You have to get it expressed.
You know about gestures--these things you make with your arms in
the air as you speak. You can notice it on me yet.
life is expression. But you have to get something to express. Here
Then I did another fine thing, I sat down. I wish now I had done
bad, bub, I've heerd worse than that. You're all right, bub, but
you don't know nothin' yet."
man meant I did not know my own sermon.
So, children, when you prepare your commencement oration, write
about what you know best, what you have lived. If you know more
"Peeling Potatoes," and you are most likely to hear the applause
peal from that part of your audience unrelated to you.
do not sell enough to pay the cost of printing them. As you study
the books that do live, you note that they are the books that have
the knowing in the doing.
You Must Live Your Song
So many young people think because they have a good voice and they have
heart, chaperoned by the diaphragm. You cannot sing a song you have
Berlin, but she had lived that song. She didn't dress the notes
half so beautifully as Jessie did, but she sang it with the
"this is the best singing lesson you have ever had. Your study is
all right and you have a better voice than that woman, but you
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
never know the ache and disappointment you must know before you can
to sing the songs you have lived."
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
meal a day and didn't know where the next meal was coming from. I
know what it is to be left alone in the world upon my own
"Just a Wearyin' for You," "His Lullaby" and many more of those
that they tug at your heart and moisten your eyes.
My friends, I am not arguing that you and I must drink the dregs of
ever know real success in any line of human endeavor until that
There are a thousand who can tell you what is the matter with
things to one person who can give you a practical way to fix them.
book men. I used to know a man who could tell in what book almost
anything you could think of was discussed, and perhaps the page. He
He could give you almost any date. He could finish almost any quotation.
didn't supply the one sentence needed for the occasion. The man was
Note the sweeping, positive statements of the young person.
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
the floor when you could not sleep. You have learned that "beyond
A good many of you were bumped today or yesterday, or maybe years
ago, and the wound has not healed. You think it never will heal.
You came here thinking that perhaps you would forget your trouble
for a little while. I know there are people in this audience in pain.
And you young people here with lives like June mornings, are not
much interested in this lecture. You are polite and attentive
your hearts you are asking, "What is this all about? What is that
Maybe some of you are naturally bright!
You are going to be bumped. You are going to cry yourselves to
sleep. You are going to walk the floor when you cannot sleep. Some
of you are going to know the keen sorrow of having the one you
trust most betray you. Maybe, betray you with a kiss. You will go
through your Gethsemane. You will see your dearest plans wrecked.
You will see all that seems to make life livable lost out of your
horizon. You will say, "God, let me die. I have nothing more
For all lives have about the same elements. Your life is going to
And you are going to learn the wonderful lesson thru the years, the
Thus we know that our education is progressing, as the evil and
WHAT a price we pay for what we know! I laugh as I look
Do you remember the first money you ever earned? I do. I walked
head and said, "You are the best boy to work, I ever saw." Then the
My third and most important rule was, Get your money!
We ended the school with an "exhibition." Did you ever attend the
Then we had a "doings." Everybody did a stunt. We executed a lot of
Next day I drew my money. I had it all in one joyous wad--$240. I
and you get very personal.
tho, why he didn't take a pillow to church. I took his note for $240,
scarcely know whether to look up or down as I say that. He never
for I will sa-a-a-a-ave you!" or words to that effect.
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
not the one you may be thinking of! No, it was Jim Lambert. He had
Dull boy or girl--you with your eyes tear-dimmed sometimes because
you do not seem to learn like some in your classes can you not get
young people in that picture. They had been shaken these years in
when he did the same things on a smaller scale they called him
The "perfectly lovely" boy who didn't mix with the other boys, who
didn't whisper, who never got into trouble, who always had his hair
combed, and said, "If you please," used to hurt me. He was the
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
age I didn't pay much attention to them. I regarded them as in the
popularity for success. The boys voted for her, but did not marry
never know how their thoughtless jeers and jokes wounded the
How easy it is to see as you look backward. But how hard it is to
see when you look forward.
Do you remember it? The Jewish boy is torn from his home in
committed. Ben Hur did not get a fair trial. Nobody can get a fair
said, judge not, for you have not the full evidence in the case. I
That seems to be your life and my life. In the kitchen or the
Sooner or later you and I are to learn that Providence makes no
"Ole!" you will exclaim, "the lake is leaking. What is the name of
It wabbles around thru the woods of Minnesota. It doesn't know
It is the place where gravity says, "Little Mississippi, do you
want to grow? Then you will have to go south."
"Why, Mississippi, you are foolish. You hain't got water enough to
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
important than the goal. Find the way your life should go, and then
go and keep on going and you'll reach a thousand goals.
You and I sooner or later hear the call, "Go on south." If we
You never meet the Mississippi after he starts south, but what he
is going on south and growing greater. You never meet him but what
Everywhere you meet him he is going on south and growing greater.
Do you know why the Mississippi goes on south? To continue to be
GROW GREATER! I hope I can make you remember that and say it over
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
them. "I must congratulate you upon your success. You have arrived."
So many of those young goslings believe that. They quit and get
become good servants, workmen or artists. The young people get a
No matter how well equipped you are, you are never safe in your job
if you are contented to do today just what you did yesterday.
Contented to think today what you thought yesterday.
You must go on south to be safe.
I used to know a violinist who would say, "If I were not a genius,
fellow did not know how poor a fiddler he really was. Well did
understand. Just beginning to know about life."
eternal youth. It is the one who stops who "ages rapidly." Each day
You know what gray hairs are? Did you ever get a headmark in school?
You children cheer up. Your black hair and auburn hair and the other
first reader hair will pass and you'll get promoted as you go on south.
of your gray hair or baldness. If they get on the inside of the head,
worry. Do you know why corporations sometimes say they do not want
years and the enthusiasm and "pep" and courage of youth.
outside, but has kept young and fresh on the inside. Put that
ticket-window or on the bench--or under the hod--and you find the
lecture a good while. I am almost ashamed to tell you how long, for
I ought to know more about it by this time. But when anybody says,
"I heard you lecture twenty years ago over at----" I stop him.
you are. I am trying to do better now."
what they were doing, did not stay long on the platform. I have
The more birthdays we have, the nearer we approach eternal youth!
gripping audiences with the fire and brilliancy of youth, is
work. She looks younger than many women of half her years. "The
The last man on the bench did not rise. He helplessly looked up at
the senator and said, "Senator, you'll have to excuse me from
getting up. I'm too old. When you get as old as I am, you'll not
"That's all right. But, my man, how old are you?"
you were born."
The senator at ninety-two was younger than the man "past sixty,"
You would laugh at it today. It had a tinfoil cylinder, it
screeched and stuttered. You would not have it in your barn today
to play to your ford!
who did not believe that Mr. Edison had succeeded. His name was
on south. A young lady succeeded in getting into his laboratory the
"I know more than seven thousand ways now that won't work."
to this platform and ask him, "Have you succeeded?" he would say
what he has said to reporters and what he said to the young lady,
death and life. Are you "ed-ing" or "ing-ing"?
started south. It took him eighty years to get ready. Moses did not
orations on "The Age of the Young Man" and the Ostler idea that you
what is this we hear? You going to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land?
Why, Moses, you are an old man. Why don't you act like an old man?
You are liable to drop off any minute. Here is a pair of slippers.
They appoint a committee to bury Moses. You cannot do anything in
The committee begins to weep. "General Moses, you are a very old
man. You are eighty-five years old and full of honors. We are the
committee duly authorized to give you gorgeous burial. The funeral
They cannot bury Moses. He cannot attend. You cannot bury anybody
who is too busy to attend his own funeral! You cannot bury anybody
Moses is eighty-six and the committee 'phones over, "Moses, can you
attend next Thursday?" And Moses says, "No, boys, you'll just have
Wake up! Your clock has run down. Anybody who wants to be a child
that correctly, but I know I was reared in a parsonage. About all
that my heart does not go out to them. I remember when I did that.
was represented. I didn't know we had so much jelly till "quart'ly
meeting" day. I would watch the jelly tremble. Did you ever see
I would see mother put on the tallest pile of mashed potatoes you
me to sit. Father would say, "You go into the next room, my boy,
and wait. There's no room for you at the table."
room and hear the big dinner. Did you ever hear a big dinner when
you felt like the Mammoth Cave? I used to think as I would sit in
the neck! And I would hear them say, "Elder Berry, may we help you
I was starving. He would say, "Brother Parlette, is this your
He would say, "My boy, I want you to have a good time now." Now!
you are seeing the best days of your life right now as a child."
Seeing your best days as a child? No! You are seeing your worst
days. Of course, you can be happy as a child. A boy can be happy
and stop. This lecture even will grow old--and stop! But you and I
will never grow old, for God cannot grow old. You and I will go on
I am not worried today over what I do not know. I used to be
worried. I used to say, "I have not time to answer you now!" But
"I do not know."
And I have to say that to many questions, "I do not know." I often
think if people in an audience only knew how little I know, they
But some day I shall know! I patiently wait for the answer. Every
It will take an eternity to know an infinity!
way. You and I find obstacles along our way south. What shall we do?
Go to Keokuk, Iowa, for your answer.
you see the struggle of overcoming the obstacle develops light and
That is exactly what happens when you and I overcome our obstacles.
And where the most obstacles are, there you find the most power to
Thank God! You are blessed of Providence. They do not waste the
of light and power in you to be developed. If you see no obstacles,
you are confessing to blindness.
ring up the hearse, for you will be a "dead one."
He says, "Thank you. Every little helps, send it all along." Go a
He fattens upon bumps. Kick him, and you push him farther south.
Oh, forget it! Drop it all. Purify your life and go on south all
As you go on south and bless your valley, do you notice the valley
does not bless you very much? Have you sadly noted that the people
you help the most often are the least grateful in return?
receipt for your goodness; you will need a poultice every time you
wait. I know, for I have waited!
Stop! You are not saying that. The evil one is whispering that into
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
You do not go south and overcome your obstacles and bless the
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,
YOU ARE SAVING YOURSELF BY SAVING OTHERS. GO ON SOUTH!
life. Father of Waters, you have fought a good fight. You are
conquering gloriously. You bear upon your bosom the commerce of
many nations. I know why. I saw you born, saw your struggles, saw
you get in the right channel, saw you learn the lessons of your
knocks, and saw that you never stopped going southward.
The Mississippi knows nothing about the gulf. He goes on south
When you and I come to our Gulf of Mexico, we must push right on
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
When you hear the musician and note the ease and grace of the
performance, do you think of the years of struggle and overcoming
Do you note that the tropics, the countries with the balmiest
climates, produce the weakest peoples? Do you note that the
Do you note that people grow more in lean years than in fat years?
You have to shoot many men's eyes out before they can see. You have
Do you remember that they had to lock John Bunyan in Bedford jail
Do you remember that one musician became deaf before he wrote music
the world will always hear? Do you remember that one author became
Do you remember that Saul of Tarsus would have never been
Do you not see all around you that success is ever the phoenix
Then, children, when you stand in the row of graduates on
commencement day with your diplomas in your hands, and when your
relatives and friends say, "Success to you!" I shall take your hand
and say, "Defeat to you! And struggles to you! And bumps to you!"
For that is the only way to say, "Success to you!"
O UNIVERSITY OF HARD KNOCKS, we learn to love you more with each
passing year. We learn that you are cruel only to be kind. We learn
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
Were you ever bumped so hard you were numb? I was numb. I wondered
distances. You throw the pebble and it falls upon your toes!
the swimming distances. I did not know why I had struggled up into
Today I look back to the bump that sent me up Mount Lowe. I did not
know it was one of the greatest blessings of my life. It closed one
Child of humanity, are you in the storm? Go on upward. Are you in
It's Up To You!
Are You Shaking Up or Rattling Down?
You Can't Get Something for Nothing
bought 1000 copies of the booklet "It's Up to You!" and of it he
to business men, to young fellows, bond salesmen and such, to our
Up to You!" for their workers.
Instruct us to send one of these booklets to your friends. It will
delight them more than any small present you can make.
Quark
Did a Piece of "Quark Matter" Go Right Through the Earth?
This form of matter -- known as "strange quark matter" -- is so dense that a ton-sized nugget would be about the size of a red blood cell.
Here's a news item that will give you
Iris Murdoch
British writer and university lecturer, a prolific and highly professional novelist. Murdoch dealt with everyday ethical or moral issues, sometimes in the light of myths. As a writer Murdoch was a perfectionist, and she did not let editors change her text. Murdoch produced 26 novels in 40 years.
--'Nothing's as good as the real thing,' said Peter. 'It's odd that even a perfect imitation, as soon as you know it's an imitation, gives much less pleasure. I remember Kant says how disappointed your guests are when they discover that the afterdinner nightingale is a small boy posted in the grove.'
Innovation
[Jeremy Zawodny]'s [tips for helping your employees to stay clear of innovation|http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/000444.html#000444]
If you want to fill your company with great ideas, fill it with great people. And that, according to Stanford professor Robert Sutton, means welcoming weird people. Here are 5 1/2 ways to do it.
If you want to fill your company with great ideas, fill it with great people. And that, according to Stanford professor Robert Sutton, means welcoming weird people. Here are 5 1/2 ways to do it.
Weird Idea #1 1/2. Hire people who make you uncomfortable -- even those whom you dislike. Once you've hired people who prompt discomfort, take extra care to listen to their ideas.
Weird Idea #2. Hire people whom you ( probably ) don't need. Interview and occasionally hire interesting or strange people with skills that your company doesn't need at the moment -- and might never need. Then ask them how they can help you. You might be surprised.
Weird Idea #3. Use job interviews to get new ideas, not just to screen candidates. Job interviews are a weak way to select employees. Still, there is a little-known benefit: They provide the opportunity to learn something new. Give job candidates problems that you can't solve. Listen as much as you can. Talk as little as you can.
Weird Idea #4. Encourage people to ignore superiors and peers. Hire defiant outsiders. Rather than teaching newcomers about company history or procedure, have the newcomers teach the old-timers how to think and act. Encourage people to drive you crazy by doing what they think is right rather than what they are told.
Weird Idea #5. Find happy people, and let them fight. If you want innovation, you need upbeat people who know the right way to battle. Avoid conflict during the earliest stages of the creative process, but encourage people to fight over ideas in the intermediate stages.
Selfish
Gautam Buddha said to them, "You see that the sun is going to set soon, and we have
to reach the other village before the sun sets. If you have not finished all that
you wanted to say to me, I will make a point that when I return I set aside enough
time to listen to you again. And in two days, I will be returning along the same
route -- so it will be very kind of you if you can wait just two days."
One man from the crowd said, "You don't seem to be disturbed at all. And we are not
just saying things to you -- we are abusing you, insulting you."
Gautam Buddha said, "You have come a little late. If you had come ten years before,
you would not have gone back alive. I am also a warrior. There would have been
bloodshed here; not a single man in this crowd would have gone back alive. But you
if you would take these things back with you. We are grateful.' What do you think
they did with those sweets and those fruits?"
Buddha said, "You are intelligent. Do the same: whatever you have brought, I don't
accept; take it back. Because unless I accept your insult, you cannot insult me; it
is a two-way affair. It is your mouth, you can say anything -- but unless I accept
it, you are just talking into the air. Just go home and say all these things to each
going to jump and hit the man! Just because of you, I tried to control my
What you are saying hurts me. You have been with me for so many years, and yet you
are not aware enough to know what to take and what not to take? Can't you
I want you not to become missionaries, I want you to become messages.
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
people, you are enlightened yourself.
Whatever you want to spread must be your living experience.
Singlish
Britons : I'm sorry, Sir, but we don't seem to have the sweater you
want in your size, but if you give me a moment, I can call the other
outlets for you.
Britons : Hello, this is Mr Bean. Did anyone page for me a few
Britons : Excuse me, I'd like to get by. Would you please make way?
Britons : Hey, put your wallet away, this drink is on me.
Britons : Excuse me, but do you think it would be possible for me to
Britons : If you would excuse me for a moment, I have to go to the
Britons : Please make yourself right at home.
Britons : I don't recall you giving me the money.
Britons : I'd prefer not to do that, if you don't mind.
Britons : What do you propose we do now that the movie's sold out &
Britons : Err. Tom, I have to stop you there. I understand where
you're coming from, but I really have to disagree with what you
S'poreans: Talk cock lah you!
Britons : Excuse me, but could you please lower your voice, I'm trying
When asking someone if he/she knows you...
Britons : Excuse me, but I noticed you staring at me for some time.
Do I know you?
Robert Blackwill
ambassador to India. Today, I shall share with you
He might have added, including at your Round Tables at
India. You must understand that I love to ride the
there to see her boy, Bobby Dean, on that splendid
structure higher than twenty feet. So you see, we
Americans fell behind you Indians very early on in the
come along? Has this possibility never entered your
As I speak with you today, perhaps they will see me on
about you? As you can hear, I could go on along these
lines for several months. But don’t you worry. I have
that you will be comfortable as I continue my extended
sure and take your sunglasses along when you go there
Jaisalmer, close your eyes for a moment and see the
and food hotter than hot. Don’t let anybody tell you
to protect me. Oh, this India that I have come to know
adaptation. Magnificent Mughal miniatures. Like you, I
and against yours will not continue indefinitely. We
know this from the Ramayana, and many other holy
teach how to know God.” India has been working on that
Thank you, my friends, for listening to these, my
personal musings. And, thank you India for every
Puthucode
Puthucode is a picturesque village situated in idyllic surroundings in the central part of Kerala. It is located almost on the westernmost boundary of Alatur taluk in Palghat district, and is a border village lying between Palghat and Trichur districts. One of the oldest temples dedicäled to Goddess Bhagawathi, known as Puthucode Bhagawathi is situated in this village. The temple is located at the centre of a habitation of great Vedic Scholars, all around which live people of Hindu society serving the temple. In essence, the temple formed the centre of activity for the whole villagers catering to their spiritual, cultural and social needs. Due to several factors, the temple came under the management of Naduvil Madam Devaswoms and little is known of the period earlier to this. It is believed that in the days past, a Sanyasi by name Manjapotta Swamji camped in Puthucode, and the villagers gifted the temple and properties to him, thus establishing that the temple belonged to the villagers.
The temple is open to all belonging to Hindu society. In the mornings the pundits from village recite Devi Mahatmyam and Sundarakandam for the welfare of all. In the evenings recitation of vedas by the learned takes place and particular mention must be made of Varam recitals in the month of November/December which bring to the fore the great erudition, skill, and knowledge of the participants. The younger generation also assembles in evenings for community recital of Shyamaladandakam and Sahasranamam. The Variyam, Nambisan and Marar families carry out the other chores in the temple.
A few prominent citizens who took active steps for getting the Agrasala constructed, paving the “Seeveli Panthi” all round the temple with granite and erecting a copper flag mast are Maniyan Pattali, Ambiseshan Rama Pattar, Gopala Warrior, Manjapra Seshamani Iyer and Mannappadam Swaminatha Vadhyar could be mentioned among many others. Another individual who took active interest both in the village and temple affairs is Sri. P.R. Anantha Narayana Vadhyar, who was respected for his organising ability as much as for his knowledge of the rituals, sastras and the Vedas.
It is a feast to the eyes and ears, reminiscent of the Trichur Pooram in a small way. The villages are decorated with buntings and arches. In the evening the whole village is turned in fairly land by coloured electric lighting. The temple is aglow with a million oil lamps around the prakaras. Flower decorations beauty and sanctity to the temple, while the sweet scent pervades the atmosphere. The deity and sanctum sanctorum receive special artistic treatment in the hands of Kasi who turns the Niramala and Niravilakku into something which belongs to Devaloka. The goddess Bhagawathy rediates a special charm and glows like a thousand sun, captivating every one with Her benign smile casting a spell on those who come to worship her. The evening Deeparadhana is a special sight to behold and there is no doubt that the entire atmosphere is transformed into a highly electrifying one. A feeling of intense bhakthi and devotion hithe~rto unknown descends on the devotees giving them a blissful feeling who stand entranced beholding the enchanting form of the deity and pouring out superlatives praising Her many qualities. There is no doubt that the all benevolent Devi responds to their devotion by showering her blessings as can be noticed from the satisfaction and peace descending on the faces of the devotees. After the Deeparadhana, recitation of Shyamaladandaka and Sahasrananla by the younger folks follows. Kelikottu, Thayampaka, Padakam and Chakyar Koothu follow this till late in the night to give mass entertainment. Again at midnight caparisoned elephants are taken out in procession through the village, importance being given to Pandi Melam. Lighted torches called ‘Panthams’ are the lighting media which throw off a reddish radiance. With this that day’s Navarathri festival concludes. The next day’s celebrations start all over again under the charge of the village which is next in the preassigned list.
The successive managers of the temple and the trustees appointed by the Naduvilamadam DevaswOm and later by the H.R.E. Board have upheld and encouraged the traditions of the temple. Not only that, they have taken interest to set aside funds for starting new religious activities in the temple, for example when Pakaravur Parameswaran Nambudiri was the manager, orders were passed for assigning 50 measures (para) of paddy annually to Siva temple of the village and a suitable amount was sanctioned for teaching young boys of the village in Sama and Yajur Vedas.
The difficult times of the temple also affected the fortunes of the villagers. Deprived of the income from lands many villagers became on the verge of starvation and had to emigrate. The younger generation went out taking with them their elders. Thus the village became depleted and the source and sustenance of the temple were affected.
Finding that the allotment of paddy by Devaswom to the temple is not able to meet even one tenth of the minimum required to perform rituals and the oil will not last one hour even on a depleted scale of burning lamps for the poojas the villagers went from house to house and arranged for five measures of rice, quarter kilo oil and twenty five paise for performing daily poojas. Even such individual efforts did not find suitable response from the Devaswom side. As a result of all these developments, SAPCO, Sri Annapoorneswari Pooja Co-ordinators — was established by the villagers in 1982. The immediate aim of SAPCO was resotratjon of the age old traditional daily poojas by collecting funds, which will be outside the Devaswom control. The efforts started by the villagers has gathered momentum and the daily poojas are now being performed without any hitch thanks to the funds collected by SAPCO. Encouraged by the work of SAPCO many villagers came forward to help in understanding renovation and repairs to the temple which were basically required to keep the structure intact was done between 1982—85 and a Kumbhabhishekam was performed in February 1986.
Puthucode - a quite tranquil village situated in Kerala, India is known for the age old ANNAPORNESWARI TEMPLE and SIVA TEMPLEs and its yearly navaratri festivals celebrated year after year with lots of pomp and show.
20050114
Mahaswamigal, popularly known as Tiruchi Swami. Hinduism Today is proud
over the country and abroad. He is well known throughout South India as
savant is an ocean of Divinity, knowledge and wisdom. Being in his
Subramanya, a glorious son will be born to you. He will be a teacher
and benefactor for all mankind." Born in 1929, young Palaniswami was
within these gardens, Sanskrit pundits meet every day with youthful
Seated on a simple chair in his long-time living quarters known as
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
Is Swami concerned about this trend? What do you tell couples who say
HT: What motivated you towards sannyas? As an only child, how did
your
parents react to your decision?
old-age homes. What is your opinion?
send their parents away in old age. There are so many youngsters taking
Believe
Do not believe because you read it in a book,
Do not believe because you saw it on television,
Do not believe because your best friend believes it,
Do not believe because you've heard it many times before,
Do not believe because you are told you must,
Do not believe because others expect you to,
Do not believe because it gets you accepted
Do not believe because it will make your parents happy,
Do not believe because it will get you noticed,
Do not believe because you want to believe,
Do not believe because you can't afford not to,
Do not believe because it helps you cope,
Do not believe because you'd go mad if you didn't,
Do not believe because you must believe something
Do not believe because your eyes tell you it is so,
Do not believe because it is your own experience,
Do not believe because you know it is true,
Do not believe any of this, Believe only that you are,
Rutger Kortenhorst
He is also known as Mrutyunjayah. He is an active member of School of Practical Philosophy and Economic Sciences.
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.
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.
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?
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.
What Sanskrit teaches us that there is a language that is ordered, following laws unfailingly and as they are applied your child gets uplifted, not only when they grow up, but as they are saying it! This means they get an unusual but precise, definite and clear insight into language while they are enjoying themselves.
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.
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.
Sanskrit can help your child to express universal, harmonious and simple truths better. As a result you will really have done your duty as a parent and the world will reap the benefits in a more humane, harmonious and united society. Sanskrit can do this as it is the only language that is based in knowledge all the way. Nothing is left to chance.
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.
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.”
1. Language learning is not for academics as everyone learns to speak a language from an early age before they can read and write and know what an academic is. So why insist in teaching Sanskrit academically?
3. Always go from what is known to what is new.
7. Do not teach grammatical terms. Just as we don’t need to know about the carburettor, when we learn to drive a car.
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:
It makes your mind bright, sharp and clear.
It makes you feel peaceful and happy.
It makes you feel BIG.
It cleans and loosens your tongue so you can pronounce any language easily.
It gives you access to a vast and liberating literature.
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.
20180419
Any Tesla department or supplier that is unable to do this will need to have a very good explanation why not, along with a plan for fixing the problem and present that to me directly. If anyone needs help achieving this, please let me know as soon as possible. We are going to find a way or make a way to get there.
As part of the drive towards 6k, all Model 3 production at Fremont will move to 24/7operations. This means that we will be adding another shift to general assembly, body and paint. Please refer anyone you know who you think meets the Tesla bar for talent, drive and trust. Between Fremont and Giga, Tesla will be adding about 400 people per week for several weeks.
A fair criticism leveled at Tesla by outside critics is that you’re not a real company unless you generate a profit, meaning simply that revenue exceeds costs. It didn’t make sense to do that until reaching economies of scale, but now we are there.
All capital or other expenditures above a million dollars, or where a set of related expenses may accumulate to a million dollars over the next 12 months, should be considered on hold until explicitly approved by me. If you are the manager responsible, please make sure you have a detailed, first principles understanding of the supplier quote, including every line item of parts & labor, before we meet.
I have been disappointed to discover how many contractor companies are interwoven throughout Tesla. Often, it is like a Russian nesting doll of contractor, subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, etc. before you finally find someone doing actual work. This means a lot of middle-managers adding cost but not doing anything obviously useful. Also, many contracts are essentially open time & materials, not fixed price and duration, which creates an incentive to turn molehills into mountains, as they never want to end the money train.
– Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short.
– Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.
– Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.
– In general, always pick common sense as your guide. If following a “company rule” is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change.
If there is something you think should be done to make Tesla execute better or allow you to look forward to coming to work more (same thing in the long term), please send a note to [redacted]
Power
You’re in high school, trying to get into a good college. You know what you must do: do well in classes, score highly on the SAT, and be active in extracurriculars&#8202;—&#8202;and do it better than everyone else.
Only a handful of people can follow that strategy. But anyone who could play the standard high-school achievement game and have a good shot at getting into MIT or Stanford could instead play the Olympiad game and have a great one. The USABO is disproportionately high-utility compared to how competitive it is. It comes with a free trip to a national training camp where you receive intense training in biology and bond with a few dozen other top high-schoolers. There are vast swaths of America, including lots of high schoolers studying hard for the SAT, who have never heard of USABO. And yet there are communities where training for Olympiads is such a well-known option that it barely counts as a strategy.
My friend who did this and got into all her colleges didn’t do so by playing the standard high school game better than her competitors, but by stumbling into a different game entirely. In doing so, she could do things the others couldn’t. I think this a fairly common pattern: a lot of what’s involved in making it to the top of anything is not being better at things than other people, but outright being able to do things they can’t. In business, they call it a “competitive advantage.” Peter Thiel calls it a “secret”. For personal life, I like to call it a “source of power.”
The “other people can’t” is the big part. As a source of power percolates into society, it loses its power as an advantage, although whether you should stop doing it depends on whether its value is external or innate. As an example of the former, 200,000 people compete in the American math Olympiad qualifier rounds each year, so training for the math Olympiad is not such a good move for most people. It’s prestigious, but only in proportion to how competitive it is. In economic terms, the free lunch has been eaten. Meanwhile, when Benjamin Franklin was working in London, saving up to open his own print shop, he found it easier than most to be frugal due to his insight that strong beer does not grant physical strength. They nicknamed him the “water American.” Nowadays, his insight is common knowledge, but that doesn’t make it less effective. Instead, it becomes the new bar.
How can you learn about new opportunities before other people suck them dry? How can you find ways of being better before they become background knowledge? While CEOs often spend much of their time looking for a leg up on the competition, I think there’s enough sources of power and few enough people looking for them that simply trying is enough. In fact, sources of power are sufficiently exploitable that there are many algorithms for finding them with high success probability.
Often, they’re hidden in plain sight, waiting for anyone to read. For a basic example, right now a degree in computer science is a ticket to a decent life. Right now, the meta-skill of “study things that are valuable and will be in demand” is sufficiently uncommon that you can raise your expected earnings (or, dare I say, life outcome) significantly just by following it. Look at the distribution of college majors if you’re not sure. I think the same further applies to specializing in hot-but-difficult subfields like natural language processing or security. Right now, CMU’s Plaid Parliament of Pwning is winning tens of thousands of dollars from application security competitions every year, while only a handful of other American universities have a team at all. More broadly, this idea also applies to entering STEM in general.
This is basically staying ahead of the demand curve. When it comes to personal skills, demand is slow to propagate, and you can gain a lot simply by being faster. Since knowing that you can raise your earnings by becoming a programmer or moving to North Dakota doesn’t cause everyone to instantly become a programmer or move to North Dakota, it will remain exploitable for anyone who wants for quite some time.
It’s interesting to think about trying to be even more ahead of the demand curve by making a big bet and training in what will be hot. This involves predicting the future. But, in life as in stocks, the winner is often not someone who knows what will happen, but someone who figured out slightly more than everyone else. And, for predicting the future, not many are trying. Along these lines, I was surprised when I learned that several prominent companies in the mobile space&#8202;—&#8202;in particular AdMob, acquired by Google for $750 million, and Flurry, whose software runs in over 100,000 apps&#8202;—&#8202;were actually founded in 2005 or 2006, before the iPhone’s announcement ushered in the modern mobile era. I think a lot of people knew the mobile revolution was coming, although perhaps not that it would be so fast. The people bold enough to actually act on that prediction were in a very good spot when it happened. I’m hoping to do something similar for program analysis.
From Who You Know to What You Know
A lot of the above could perhaps be summarized to find ways to be effective. The interesting part is how people find sources of power. One way is to invent it yourself, whether by finding a loophole, noticing a trend, or doing science. While there are a few places where it’s clear that investigating it may result in disproportionately better capabilities, this can run out of steam pretty fast. It may be possible to gain vitality by eating better, but the reward curve of doing nutrition research probably more resembles climbing the corporate ladder. Most often, the way to find a source of power is to hear of it from other people.
I think it’s a pretty simple effect. People with similar interests like to cluster, but people who also really care about improving will cluster further. They might be able to invent one or two sources of power on their own, but then they share it with the people around them&#8202;—&#8202;who also have a secret or two. The effect compounds, with the benefits from sharing ideas dwarfing the loss of exclusivity. Just as IBM found their above-average testers becamedozens of times better when grouped together, what you get are communities that collectively have and share the best ways of doing things. So the way to get good at something is to simply find the right community and join it.
So, for example, you’ve probably heard weight-loss advice from everyone from talk show hosts to your neighbor. This suggests that you can do better by talking to bodybuilders, who can control exactly which day they’ll hit their goal.
In 9th grade, I attended a local programming contest. I spent a morning running floppy disks to the judges, and left with a full belly and $500&#8202;—&#8202;I had won by a sizable margin. I immediately went home and Googled for more high school programming contests. I found a pen-and-paper competition in which you answer multiple-choice questions about the BASIC programming language.
For another example, it’s well-known that to get stronger you need to push your muscles to their limits&#8202;—&#8202;and specifically their strength limits, rather than their endurance limits. There are vast swaths of the Internet where everyone understands what implications this has for training, with plenty shouting it at the top of their lungs. But if you look around for advice on “how to get fit,” you’re perhaps more likely to find advice to do lots of crunches, or warnings that weights might make you look like a steroid junkie. One journalist described crossing this gap as “I somehow bumbled my way into a parallel universe of American fitness, one in which men know exactly how to get strong.”
This realization&#8202;—&#8202;that all these secrets and sources of power I’ve spent so much effort finding might backfire when I try to pass them on&#8202;—&#8202;is what scares me. I imagine becoming a parent telling my children to train for Olympiads, not knowing that that’s become advice about as good as spending a summer studying for the SAT.
I think the defense is to recognize the phenomenon but go a meta-level up. Why are people at the top of one field often very good at another? Is it merely grit and intelligence? Just as there’s a meta-skill of finding sources of power, I think there’s a skill of finding and recognizing the people with the genuine secrets, versus the posers and people out to get your money. I believe there’s a way to recognize genuine competence that transcends fields (related concept). That’s a topic in and of its own.
So, find your sources of power, but pass on the meta-skill of finding them. To get your children into college, help them find the new secrets.
2018-09-09
It’s really not that complicated or that long of a story, but after having our most profitable year since starting our business 10 years ago, all work just stopped for us. Very very few bookings, jobs, anything that provided any kind of income, ceased to exist. (Quick backstory, everything about our business has felt miraculous from the beginning. We didn't know how or why it kept working after year 1, but it did, & we saw God moving in it.) For the last 6 months we’ve been pinching pennies, and Curtis has been hustling as we try to listen to God’s direction and wait for him to reveal his plan. Well, we’re still waiting. And in this waiting, we’ve completely run out of money.
I’m sure many of you are immediately thinking of ways that we could make money &#9786;&#65039; based on Curtis’ skill set. Trust me when I say, we have been over every option we could think of as we saw this day approaching. Processing, brainstorming, & praying. I believe that our journey in this is only just beginning and it felt inauthentic to post anything seemingly perfect as we are wading through this fog every minute of every day. Our life is SO NOT PERFECT. But what I’m trying to cling to right now is that OUR GOD IS. I’m praying that we will have the courage to open our clenched fists & release what has been & what is, so that we can fully experience all that he has planned for us. It hurts right now though. Believe me, the last few days have been filled with many tears.
So, if you’re struggling, know that I am too. I’m struggling to wrap my brain around our potential next steps. It hurts, it’s ridiculously humbling, & I’m scared out of my mind. But in my weakness God is strong. And I will try to remind myself to BEHOLD his light & love for me & my family in all of this, praying that he’ll bring me peace & joy I can’t possibly muster on my own. And I pray the same thing for you today as well. You are not alone. And neither am I ...
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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-
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?
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.
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.
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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