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Nonviolence and us
[Articles] > Nonviolence and Us
by Arun Gandhi ( source http://www.cbu.edu/Gandhi/html/nonviolence___us.html )
This article appeared as one of two articles on the grimmest of workplace phenomena: homicide in Business Horizons/ March-April 1995.  The full extent of this problem appears subject to some debate, but no one who reads the newspapers or listen to CNN Headlines News escape the conclusion that violence is spilling over from the streets onto the job.  Thus, it seems quite appropriate - doubly so, in view of a forthcoming issue featuring an article from A.T. Kearney's research sizing up India as the "New Asian Tiger" - that we examine the following reflection by Mr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Modern society is plagued by violence - at home, at work, in the streets, in schools.  In fact anywhere there is, unfortunately, the distinct likelihood of violence breaking out.  So much violence is an indication of our deteriorating human relationships, as well as the stress under which we live and work.
Many of us enjoy living in the "fast lane" because that, we are told, is the road to success.  So we allow our minds to street us at phenomenal speed, oblivious of the danger of crashing.  When we live on the edge day after day we become like taut rubber bands - either we break or we bounce back.  And in either case, the consequence is that we damage or destroy human relationships.  What we must learn now is how to rebuild those relationships and lessen the stress so we can create an atmosphere of harmony around us.
We need a qualitative change in our behavior, a concerned attempt to slow down and put people and profit on the same pedestal so we can ultimately reduce violence.
In a pell mell world of profits and the pursuit of success, we must not forget to care about one another. Note that I emphasize the reduction of violence.  The creation of utopian state of absolute harmony is presently beyond human capacity.  The philosophy of nonviolence, as practiced by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, is based on the assumption "we are not governed by logic and, therefore, some violence may be necessary in our lives.  However, if we are progressing towards civilization we should be able to reduce violence to the bare minimum."
In the world so obsessed with materialism, one must wonder what "civilization" really means.  Are we civilized because we possess all the riches of the world?  Are we civilized because we have the best of book education?  Are we civilized because we have progressed scientifically and have the capacity to send people to the moon?  In our concept of civilization, human relations, it seems, do not fit the equation.
American society is, reputedly, build on rugged individualism, which was fine when pioneers came to conquer the land.  But once settled, a society cannot thrive on such individualism.  A nation is as cohesive as its society and the society is as cohesive as the family.  If every member of a family thought only about himself or herself, the "family" would be more like a collection of people grappling for material survival under the same roof.  There would be no love, no cooperation.  When understanding wears thin, relationships begin to fray, and before we know it the fabric we call "family" disintegrates.  The effect of this domestic disaster is reflected today in our workplace and in society.
Stong relationships can be built only if we shift the focus from the self to the several and begin thinking about others around us. It means sacrificing individualism so that we can give and get strength from each other.
When Gandhi said materialism and morality have an inverse relationship, he did not mean morality only in sexual sense.  He meant it also in the ethical sense.  in our pursuit of material goods and capital gains, we are often prepared to use "any means possible," throwing principles, ethics, and morality overboard.  In other words, we often unhesitantingly indulge in commerce without morality and profits without principles.
In our headlong pursuit of the ideal life, people seem to matter the least[list in the source - what is correct?] - sometimes even our own people.  This sets the stage for much of the violence we experience in our daily lives.  Violence, we must understand, is not always physical.  We practice a great deal of passive violence: greed, selfishness, thoughtlessness, prejudice, bigotry, exploitation, suppression, oppression, hate, anger, and so on.  Building a "family tree" of violence, such as the one shown in the Figure, with passive and physical as the two offspring, is a revealing exercise.  This chart should adorn a wall at home so that all family members could participate in researching each act of passive violence committed.  This is an effective way of recognizing our weaknesses and searching for ways to turn them into strengths.
Passive violence causes anger and anger leads to physical violence.  The lack of physical violence in our homes or neighborhoods should not necessarily be construed as peace and harmony.  The underlying passive violence simmers like a cauldron waiting to erupt into physical violence - which erupts because we are not taught how to deal with the anger generated by the passive violence.  We are repeatedly told, "Get it out of your system," but we are seldom, if ever, shown how to do this effectively.
Using the analogy of electricity, Gandhi, my grandfather, taught me about anger when I was 13 years old.  He said that anger can be as deadly as electricity if we abuse it, or just as useful if treated with respect and intelligence.  He suggested that I keep an "anger journal" into which I should pour my anger without inhibition, then read it periodically to find ways of improving.  A life that is not periodically examined, after all, is a life not worth living.  Gandhi said that the cardinal principles of my life should be: Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.  This helped me find ways to deal with my anger positively.  The journal also provided me with a written record of my emotions so that weeks, months, or even years later I could study the changes that did or did not take place in me.  It taught me how to become selfless and think about others while thinking about myself.
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."
Arun Gandhi is the founder and director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee.
Ganesha Chaturthi
Lord Ganesha is the elephant-headed God. He is worshipped first in any prayers. His Names are repeated first before any auspicious work is begun, before any kind of worship is begun. He is the Lord of power and wisdom. He is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and the elder brother of Skanda or Kartikeya. He is the energy of Lord Shiva and so He is called the son of Shankar and Umadevi. By worshipping Lord Ganesha mothers hope to earn for their sons the sterling virtues of Ganesha.
His birth and how He came to have the head of an elephant:
Once upon a time, the Goddess Gauri (consort of Lord Shiva), while bathing, created Ganesha as a pure white being out of the mud of Her Body and placed Him at the entrance of the house. She told Him not to allow anyone to enter while she went inside for a bath. Lord Shiva Himself was returning home quite thirsty and was stopped by Ganesha at the gate. Shiva became angry and cut off Ganesha’s head as He thought Ganesha was an outsider.
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.
Without the Grace of Sri Ganesha and His help nothing whatsoever can be achieved. No action can be undertaken without His support, Grace or blessing.
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 Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom and bliss. He is the Lord of Brahmacharins. He is foremost amongst the celibates. He has as his vehicle a small mouse. He is the presiding Deity of the Muladhara Chakra, the psychic centre in the body in which the Kundalini Shakti resides.
Ganesha is the first God. Riding on a mouse, one of nature’s smallest creatures and having the head of an elephant, the biggest of all animals, denotes that Ganesha is the creator of all creatures. Elephants are very wise animals; this indicates that Lord Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom. It also denotes the process of evolution—the mouse gradually evolves into an elephant and finally becomes a man. This is why Ganesha has a human body, an elephant’s head and a mouse as His vehicle. This is the symbolic philosophy of His form.
The Vaishnavas also worship Lord Ganesha. They have given Him the name of Tumbikkai Alwar which means the divinity with the proboscis (the elephant’s trunk). Lord Ganesha’s two powers are the Kundalini and the Vallabha or power of love.
He is very fond of sweet pudding or balls of rice flour with a sweet core. On one of His birthdays He was going around house to house accepting the offerings of sweet puddings. Having eaten a good number of these, He set out moving on His mouse at night. Suddenly the mouse stumbled—it had seen a snake and became frightened—with the result that Ganesha fell down. His stomach burst open and all the sweet puddings came out. But Ganesha stuffed them back into His stomach and, catching hold of the snake, tied it around His belly.
Seeing all this, the moon in the sky had a hearty laugh. This unseemly behaviour of the moon annoyed Him immensely and so he pulled out one of His tusks and hurled it against the moon, and cursed that no one should look at the moon on the Ganesh Chaturthi day. If anyone does, he will surely earn a bad name, censure or ill-repute. However, if by mistake someone does happen to look at the moon on this day, then the only way he can be freed from the curse is by repeating or listening to the story of how Lord Krishna cleared His character regarding the Syamantaka jewel. This story is quoted in the Srimad Bhagavatam.
Once Ganesha & His brother Lord Subramanya had a dispute. The matter was referred to Lord Shiva for final decision. Shiva decided that whoever would make a tour of the whole world and come back first to the starting point had the right to be the elder. Subramanya flew off at once on his vehicle, the peacock, to make a circuit of the world. But the wise Ganesha went, in loving worshipfulness, around His divine parents and asked for the prize of His victory.
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!
Visit this page for more information : http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/
Place the Ganesh idol or Photo frame facing the East or West. But not facing the South. Apply sandal paste and kumkum on the forehead, palms and feet and then garland with flowers.
Guru dhyanam : With folded hand chant :
Pour a spoonful of water on your palms, wipe them and say :
Take some flowers and rice (akshata) in your hands and chant :
Aavahanam (Invoking the God) - Place left palm on the centre of the chest and with                                                  the right palm touch the feet of the idol (or frame)                                                  simultaneously and chant the mantra :
Paadhyam and snaanam : Offer one spoon of water into a plate or bowl after                                        chanting each line of following mantra :-
Vastram, Upavitham and Aabharanam - After chanting each mantra, offer akshata                                                            (rice) with flowers or tulsi leaf:
Chandanam - Apply sandalpaste on the forehead of the idol (or photoframe) and chant
   Divya Parimalla gandhaan-dharayaame
Kumkum - Apply kumkum on top of the sandal paste and chant :
Akshata - offer some akshata (rice) and chant.
Pushpam - offer some flowers 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 :
Om faalachandraya namaha
Om skandapoorvajaaya namaha
Prarthana : With folded hands chant :
Dhoop : Light two agarbattis and show it to the Lord accompanied by the ringing of the             bell and chat.
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 drops and drop thru the palm on your right side near prasadam chanting:
Now, make gesture of offering prasadam to the Lord, chanting :
Then put Tulsi leaves or flowers at the feet of the Lord after chanting :
Light the Aarti (camphor) and show it to the Lord accompanied by ringing of the bell and the following mantra.
Take 2 spoonful of water in your right palm and let it drop in the plate in front and say :
   Thanno dantih pracho dayat. Karpoora niraanjanam sandarisha yaami.
With folded hands pray.
Prostrate before the Lord and exit.
Religion
[Swami Sivananda] : ESSENCE OF RELIGIONS: While conversing with some of his disciples, the
Master drew an analogy between the various limbs of the body and the
different religious beliefs and cults prevalent in the world.
the body and feels that he includes the legs, hands, stomach, etc., so
Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Advaita, Dvaita, Vishisht Advaita, and the
essence is only one--the religion of truth and love. We should embrace
no fights and quarrels among religious sects."
* [Sandhyavandanam]
* http://www.skandagurunatha.org/
* [Spiritual Calendar|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/religions/calendar.htm]
[Rabbi Hillel] was asked to provide the essence of the [Torah] and he said "That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary."
"Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
Then you will win favour and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him
and he will make your paths straight..."
and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.'
All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments. "
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Sandhyavandanam
[Religion] > Sandhyavandanam
[http://www.carnatic.com/images/sandhy.png]
Sandhyaa Heenah Asuchir Nityam Anarhaha Sarva Karamsu |
One who does not perform Nitya Karma Anushtanam like Sandhyavandanam is always impure and unfit for performing any other rites. Whatever other rites he may perform, he will not obtain the fruit thereof.
2005-05-24 : [vishuji.com: Sandhyavandanam|http://www.vishuji.com/sandhya_vandanam.htm] lists all the steps - very good
2002 August 19 : [Karmas and Diseases|http://www.dlshq.org/download/karmadisease.htm] : A twice-born who casts away his thread, does not keep tuft, and does not perform Sandhya-Vandana gets impotence and fits of insanity.
2002 June 27 : Dr. [Mathukumalli Vidyasagar] is quite particular in doing sandhyavandanam twice a day
Achamanam, that is, sipping of the water with the above mantras, one sipping for each mantra, will remove all the ills of the body-and mind. This is called Namatrayividya or the worship with the three names, which will cure all diseases, physical and mental. There is a well-known sloka to the effect that the medicine constituting the repetition of the three names of the Lord Achyuta, Ananta and Govinda will certainly cure all diseases.
The forefinger and the middle finger should be bent and by the thumb and second finger, the nose must be touched, on either side, the right nostril should be closed and air must be taken slowly by the left nostril and then that should be closed and after a time the air slowly sent out by the right nostril. The inhaling is called Puraka, the retaining Kumbhaka and the exhaling Rechaka. The proportion of time of these three viz. Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka should be in the ratio 1: 3: 2.
With the second finger of the right hand write the letter Om on Water and uttering the word Sri kesavaya namah touch the centre of the brows with that very finger.
With the first seven mantras sprinkle water on the head with the second finger. Reciting the eighth Mantra touch ,the feet with the second finger. Reciting the ninth mantra sprinkle water again on the head. Then repeating the mantra - Om Bhurbhuvassuvah make a circuit of your head.
With this mantra, before sunrise take water filling both hands and pour thrice to the East. At noon, you must stand facing north and pour water twice. At night before sunset in a sitting posture, the thumb should be apart when offering the arghya.
Then Pranayama should be done and then the Prayaschittarghya must be poured afterwards uttering, Om bhurbhuvassuvah.
!!6) AIKYANUSANDHAANAM
With the two hands touch the breast, close the eyes and deeply meditate on the truth that the Jeevatman and Paramatman are one.
!!8) SANDHYA-VANDANA JAPAARAMBHAH
Mamopatta - samasta - duritakshayadwara Sriparameswara preetyartham Pratah Sandhya - Gayatri – Mahamantra-japam karishye/
Aayatwityanuvakasya Vamadeva Rishih / Anushtup Chhandah/ Gayatri Devata/
Aayaatu Varada Devi Aksharam Brahmasammitam/ Gayatri Chhandasam Mataridam Brahma Juhaswa Nah/ Ojosi Sahosi Balamasi Bhrajosi Devanam Dhama Namasi viswamasi viswayuh sarvamasi sarvayu-rabhibhoorom Gayatri mavahayami Savitrimavahayami
Reciting this mantra, the Gayatri Devi should, be thought of as manifesting in the lotus of the heart. With the sign of invocation, the hands should be turned inwards in front of the heart.
Savitriya Rishirvishivamitrah / Nichrudgayatri Chhandah/ Savita Devata //.
Nichrugayatri Chhandah –The Nichrud Gayatri is the metre.
Savita Devata - And Sun is the deity.
Praatah Sandhya, (Aditya), (Saayam Sandhya) Upasthanam karishye // Uttame shikhare Devi bhoomyaam parvata-moordhani /
After japam fold your hands and stand facing the East; then worship the Paramatma inside the Solar Orb with the following mantra: -
Sandhyaayai namah / Saavitryai namah / Gaayatryai namah / Saraswatyai namah / Sarvaabhyo Devataabhyo namo namah //
After Japam the mantras Sandyaayai namah etc. should be uttered folding the hands beginning with the quarter, which one faces at the time of the japam. Finally looking to that very quarter Sarvaabhyo Devataabhyo namah and kamokaarsh- eenmanyurakaarsheennamo namah should be uttered with folded hands.
!!14) DIGDEVATA VANDANAM
Beginning from the quarter facing which the japa was done, the four quarters are saluted as well as the upper side and lower side and the middle portion and the Gods or the quarters, and afterwards the earth and the three Gods Brahma, Vishnu and, Siva.
!!15) YAMA VANDANAM
Facing the north and standing with folded hands this mantra should be uttered.
Krishna Pingalam -The dark Lord Krishna and the red Shiva united as Harihar
!!17) SURYANARAYANA VANDANAM
Namah Savitre Jagadeka Chakshushe Jagat-prasooti-sthiti-naasa-hetave, trayee mayaaya trigunaatma-dhaarine Virinchi Naamayana-Sankaratmane, Dhyeyah Sadaa Savitrumandalamadhyavartee Naarayanah Sarasijaasana-Samnivishlah //
* http://members.tripod.com/~sriramanujar/sandhya.html
* http://www.hindubooks.org/sandhyavandanam/
* http://www.geocities.com/Athens/4240/upanayana.html
* Sandhyavandanam
* Sandhyavandhanam
* Sandyavandhanam
* Sandyavandanam
* Sandyavandana
* Sandhyavandana
Books
“I believe that we should read only those books that wound and stab us. If a book we are reading does not rouse us with a blow to the head, then why read it? A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”--Franz Kafka
[kapilguptamd] : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EP72AO2/ and https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HQJFL9/ and [Direct Truth]
[http://static.userland.com/images/kishore/2candles.gif]
"To read well, that is to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise," Henry David Thoreau writes in Walden. "A written word is choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself."
[Andrew Cohen] : [Who Am I? and How Shall I Live?|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1883929245/carnaticcom] : ...The heart of the spiritual life ultimately consists of two fundamental experiences: [meditation] and [contemplation]...
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.
* [The Path: One Man's Quest on the Only Path There Is|http://www.crystalclarity.com/kriyananda/Table/table.html] by J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda)
* [Autobiography of a Yogi] by [Paramhansa Yogananda]
* [Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs|http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book.html]
* [I Am That|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0893860220/carnaticcom], [Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0893860336/carnaticcom] (via [Nisargadatta|http://users.pandora.be/ananda/ngdt.htm])
* [Ed Iglehart]'s [Readinglist and Inspirations|http://www.tipiglen.dircon.co.uk/readinglist.html]
* [Ian Alexander]'s [Reviews of Books on Requirements, Systems, and Software Engineering|http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~iany/reviews/reviews.htm]
Health
Aggregate Nutrient Density Index - http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/healthstartshere/andi.php
http://summertomato.com/30-ways-to-slow-and-prevent-aging/
[Mahatma Gandhi] : Drink your Food and Chew your Drink !
  1000 A.D. - That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer
* 2002 July 02 : [Swami Sivananda]'s [Way to Radiant Health|http://www.dlsmd.org/sdr/02-sdr%20feb/0210.htm]
* [Nuts] and Seeds
* Gandhi : Drink your Food and Chew your Drink !
* [ChetDay|http://www.chetday.com/]'s Health and Beyond is a great site
* [Dr Keki Sidhwa|http://members.rotfl.com/sidhwa/]'s The Quintessence of Natural Living for health and happiness
* [Dr. Stanley S. Bass|http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/bass/] - many articles - superior nutrition and superior health
* Louise L. Hay : "My basic philosophy on food is: If it grows, eat it; if it does not grow, don't eat it. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains grow. Twinkies and Coca-Cola do not grow"
* [Chris Sheridan]'s [Nutrition|http://www.youknow.com/chris/body/nutrition.html]
* [Living and Raw Foods] : The largest community on the internet for living and raw food information
* [Beyond Vegetarianism|http://www.beyondveg.com/] : Reports from veterans of vegetarian and raw-food diets, veganism, fruitarianism, and instinctive eating, plus new science from paleolithic diet research and clinical nutrition.
* [Living Nutrition|http://www.livingnutrition.com] is the world's only periodical dedicated to teaching health seekers how to eat their natural diet of alive raw fruits and vegetables and build everlasting superb health in this modern, stress-filled world.
* [Sunfood.NET|http://www.sunfood.net] is dedicated to the promotion of the raw food vegan way of life. You will find articles regarding raw foodism, vegetarianism, living foods, and other aspects of natural living.
* [Soil and Health Library] - Health begins in the soil; Healing begins with hygiene; Liberty begins with freedom
* [Karmas and Diseases|http://www.thedivinelifesociety.org/download/karmadisease.htm]
!Quotations and Proverbs
* Louise L. Hay: "My basic philosophy on food is: If it grows, eat it; if it does not grow, don't eat it. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains grow. Twinkies and Coca-Cola do not grow".
* Drugs do what they claim to do. They get rid of pain and suppress disease...but they do not cure.
* [Plato] [Charmides] : As you ought not to attempt to cure the eyes without the head, or the head without the body, so neither ought you to attempt to cure the body without the soul; and this... is the reason why the cure of many diseases is unknown to the physicians of Greece (Hellas), because they are ignorant of the whole, which ought to be studied also; for the part can never be well unless the whole is well.
How to set and Achieve Goals
[Articles] > 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.
* 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.
* Decide what you should be accomplishing and then stick to your knitting. Do not attempt to be or do all things for all people.
* Dreams and wishes are not goals until they are written as specific end results on paper.
* Written specific goals provide direction and focus to your activities. They become a road map to follow.
* It has been said that the amount of information available to us is now doubling in less than 30 months. We must learn to focus on only what is truly important to our self and our job.
* 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.
* Create a time line or matrix chart on which you display your goals visually and the dates when you will have them accomplished.
* Continually look for ways to integrate or blend personal and professional goals.
* 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.
* Clear cut, understandable and realistic objectives leading to the goal help to maintain the sense of realism and the hope of attainment of the goal.
* 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.
Questions to Ask Yourself, Regularly
# What is the lesson here? There's a second step that is needed to reinforce the insight gained by asking the first question. In order to really benefit, we have to actually seek out the lesson, demonstrate that we really want to hear, and be willing to follow the often-subtle guidance that comes.
# Have I been here before? Often our most pressing issues are thinly disguised versions of problems we've failed to solve in the past. Different names and faces maybe, but the same underneath, destined not to go away until we meet and resolve them once and for all. If your answer to this question is, yes, then maybe it's time to get to the bottom of the issue and solve it!
We pay a price for every negative thought we entertain, and it's measured in decreased energy, heightened depression, reduced immune function, and sometimes serious illness. Although you may believe otherwise, we have to reach the place where anger, frustration, worry, and criticism have no place in our experience. Until we do, we are losing energy, diluting our focus, and rendering ourselves vulnerable.
One of the most difficult tasks of this life consists in letting go-of our attachments, of ego, of our need to be right, and ultimately, of this life. You cannot fly unless you are willing to relinquish your firm footing on earth; flying requires that sort of faith, and commitment. The surprising thing is that, when we really let go, we begin to grow.
Every moment you spend regretting the past or worrying about the future is a moment of the present, lost. Yes, we need to complete the past, wind up our unfinished business, and be attentive to trends that portend of future events, but we can take action only in the present. So, that's where your full attention needs to be, and staying in the present is a full time job.
* What do I need to do now?
To act or not to act, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to take action against a sea of troubles and so by doing, prolong them, or to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous inaction and so gain clarity. (Shakespeare would sue for what I've done to Hamlet's timeless prose) Put the question differently: is there a NEED for action now? Often, we act because we're afraid that, if we don't, things will get worse. The truth is that deliberate inaction is action, and it is often a way to allow a cloudy situation to become clear.
True or false?: It's important to be in control of your life. Control can be a big issue for some people, especially if they feel they don't have it. So, granted, it's perfectly reasonable to want to feel in control. Letting go of the past, staying in the present, and taking action (including no action) are all ways to develop a sense that you are in control. But, let me suggest that there is a step beyond control. It is to recognize that, ultimately, you are NOT in control-that you are always subject to a higher authority. Paradoxically, this recognition and your acknowledgement of it can free you from the need to always be IN control.
Have you noticed how some people have a need to involve others in their problems? If it's your boss, your significant other, or your child, it's normal to conclude that your have to do something. But, that something doesn't mean becoming part of the problem! Your responsibility, in this case, is to maintain a level of detachment that will enable you to see the situation clearly, and this clarity pertains not only to the solution, but to the extent that you should be involved in the problem in the first place.
Do you know when you're at peace with something? Chances are, it's when you can look at an issue, person, or problem and feel no charge, no subtle or sudden surge of emotion. But peace is something more. It's about balance, an inner certainty that you are untouched by it, him, or her. The peace-check is a key element in gaining closure, in ascertaining that the situation is complete.
Onam
Onam is a traditional festival of Kerala. It reminds every Keralite on those days of plenty, equality, and honesty when King Mahabali ruled the Kingdom of Kerala.
The legend says there was a war between the Devas (saintly people) and the Asuras (wicked people). The Asuras won the war. This had upset Aditi, mother of Devas, and so she approached Lord Mahavishnu for help. Lord Mahavishnu promised her that he would slay the Asura King, Mahabali, to regain power. So to do this he had to disguise himself as 'Vamanan', a brahim boy. He knew that  Mahabali was a generous and honest man and would fulfill anyones wishes, so he asked the King for three steps of land. The wish was granted. Vamanan covered the whole land with his two steps and then he came back to the King asking him where can he place the third step, since there wasn't anymore land left. So the King, whose honour was at stake, offered his head as the third step. Vamanan pushed Mahabali deep down into the earth. Lord Mahavishnu was so pleased with the noble King that he in turn granted him a wish. The wish that the King asked for was, to visit his kingdom and people on a particular day once a year. This day is known as Onam and falls in the month of August or September according to the moon calender, which works on the basis of stars.
As a symbolic gesture to welcome ' King Mahabali' a flower carpet is laid in front of every house. The head of the family distributes new cloths to all the family members and their dependants. A sumptious meal on plantain leaf and the traditional sweet dish of Kerala 'Payasam' etc are served in every house.
The children are thrilled at the new swing tied between trees and many traditional games they play during this season. Music, traditional dances, boat races and carnivals also enrich the festival.
Many people including foreigners visit Kerala during the season and the Government of Kerala has decalred this period as a Tourisum Week. Elaborate programmes are organised in the capital city, Thiruvananthapuram..
Anant Chaturdashi
Sushila and Kaundinya
There was a Brahmin named Sumant. From his wife Diksha he had a daughter named Sushila. After the death of Diksha Sumant married Karkash, who began to give a lot of trouble to Sushila. Sushila married Kaundinya, and both decided to leave the house to avoid the harassment of the step-mother. On the way they stopped near a river. Kaundinya went to take bath, and Sushila joined a group of women who were performing worship. They told Sushila that they were worshipping "Anant". "What kind of worship is this?" Sushila asked.
They told her that it was Anant's vow. Then they explained to her the importance of that vow. Some fried "Gharga" (made of flour) and "anarase" (special food) are prepared. Half of them have to be given to the Brahmins. A hooded snake (cobra) made of "darbha" (sacred grass) is put in a bamboo basket. Then the snake ("shesh") is worshipped with scented flowers, oil lamp and incense sticks. Food is offered to the snake and a silk string is kept before the god, and tied to the wrist. This string is called "anant", it has 14 knots, and is coloured with "Kunkum". Women tie the "anant" on their left hand and men on their right. The purpose of this vow is to obtain divinity and wealth, and is kept for 14 years.
After listening to this explanation Sushila decided to take the Anant vow. From that day she and her husband Kaundinya began to prosper and became very rich.
One day Kaundinya, noticed the Anant string on Sushila's left hand. When he heard the story of the Anant vow, he was displeased and maintained that they had become rich, not because of any power of Anant, but because of the wisdom he had acquired by his own efforts. A heated argument followed, and at the end Kaundinya took the Anant string from Sushila's hand and threw it into the fire.
After this all sorts of calamities happened in their life, and finally they were reduced to extreme poverty. Kaundinya understood that it was the punishment for having dishonoured "Anant", and decided that he would undergo rigorous penance until God Himself appeared to him.
Kaundinya went into the forest. There he saw a tree full of mangoes, but no one was eating the mangoes. The entire tree was attacked by worms. He asked the tree if he had seen Anant, but got a negative reply. Then Kaundinya saw a cow with her calf, then a bull standing on a field of grass without eating the grass. Then he saw two big lakes joined to each other with their waters mixing with one another. Further he saw a donkey and an elephant. To every one Kaundinya asked about Anant, but no one had even heard this name. Then he became desperate and prepared a rope to hang himself.
Then suddenly an old venerable brahmin appeared before him. He removed the rope from Kaundinya's neck and led him into a cave. At first it was very dark. But then a bright light appeared and they reached a big palace. A great assembly of men and women had gathered. The old brahmin went straight towards the throne. Then Kaundinya could no longer see the brahmin, but only Vishnu instead. Kaundinya realized that Vishnu himself had come to save him, and that Vishnu was Anant, the Eternal One. He confessed his sin in failing to recognize the Eternal in the string on Sushila's hand.
Anant promised Kaundinya that if he made the 14-year-vow, he would be free from all his sins, and would obtain wealth, children and happiness. Then Anant disclosed the meaning of what Kaundinya had seen during the search. Anant explained that the mango tree was a brahmin, who in a previous life had acquired plenty of knowledge, but had not communicated it to anyone. The cow was the earth, which at the beginning had eaten all the seeds of plants. The bull was religion itself. Now he was standing on a field of green grass. The two Lakes were two sisters who loved each other very much, but all their alms were spent on each other only. The donkey was cruelty and anger. Finally the elephant Kaundinya's pride. 
Navaratri
Navaratri is a festival that lasts nine days and nine nights. The word Navaratri actually means nine (Nava) nights (ratri). This is celebrated in different styles throughout India. Navaratri occurs during the first 9 days of the bright half of the month of Aashwayuja in the Indian calendar. The most significant part of Navaratri is the setting up an odd number of steps (usually 7, 9, or 11), and the placement of different idols of Gods on them. This setup is called a Golu. Generally, when people come to a person's house to see their Golu, they are given prasad (the offering given to God that day), kumkum (red powder), and a small bag of gifts usually containing a mirror, a comb, a small box of kumkum, and fruits. These are only given to girls and married women. This is chiefly a woman's festival.
Navaratri is the worship of the three divine goddesses, Saraswati (Goddess of learning and speech), Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity), and Durga (Goddess of strength and courage). It is also said to be the battle that occurred between Goddess Chaamundeshwari and the asura (demon), Mahishaasura. The battle lasted 9 days and 9 nights. Finally, on the tenth day, Goddess Chaamundeshwari killed Mahishaasura. This day is known as Vijayadasami. Vijayadasami means the 10th day of victory.
Navaratri and Vijayadasami are celebrated with sweets and snack items; one of each are made on each of the ten days. One snack food, chundal, is made on all of the ten days
SALUTATIONS to the Divine Mother, Durga, who exists in all beings in the form of intelligence, mercy, beauty, who is the consort of Lord Shiva, who creates, sustains and destroys the universe.
This festival is observed twice a year, once in the month of Chaitra and then in Aswayuja. It lasts for nine days in honour of the nine manifestations of Durga. During Navaratri (the word literally means "nine nights") devotees of Durga observe a fast. Brahmins are fed and prayers are offered for the protection of health and property.
The beginning of summer and the beginning of winter are two very important junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother.
The Durga Puja is celebrated in various parts of India in different styles. But the one basic aim of this celebration is to propitiate Shakti, the Goddess in Her aspect as Power, to bestow upon man all wealth, auspiciousness, prosperity, knowledge (both sacred and secular), and all other potent powers.
Durga Puja or Navaratri commences on the first and ends on the tenth day of the bright half of Aswayuja (September-October). It is held in commemoration of the victory of Durga over Mahishasura, the buffalo-headed demon. In Bengal Her image is worshipped for nine days and then cast into water. The tenth day is called Vijaya Dasami or Dussera (the "tenth day"). Processions with Her image are taken out along the streets of villages and cities.
The mother of Durga (that is, the wife of the King of the Himalayas) longed to see her daughter. Durga was permitted by Lord Shiva to visit her beloved mother only for nine days in the year. The festival of Durga Puja marks this brief visit and ends with the Vijaya Dasami day, when Goddess Durga leaves for Her return to Mount Kailas. This is the view of some devotees.
In Bengal, Durga Puja is a great festival. All who live away from home return during the Puja days. Mothers reunite with their sons and daughters, and wives with their husbands.The woman of Bengal welcomes the Goddess with a mother's love and sends away the image on the last day, with every ceremony associated with a daughter's departure to her husband's home and with motherly tears in her eyes. This signifies the parting of Durga from Her beloved mother.
Devi fought with Bhandasura and his forces for nine days and nine nights. This Bhandasura had a wonderful birth and life. When Lord Shiva burnt Cupid with the fire of His "third eye", Sri Ganesha playfully moulded a figure out of the ashes, and the Lord breathed life into it! This was the terrible demon Bhandasura. He engaged himself in great penance and on account of it obtained a boon from Lord Shiva. With the help of that boon, he began harassing the worlds. The Divine Mother fought with him for nine nights (the demons have extraordinary strength during the night), and killed him on the evening of the tenth day, known as the Vijaya Dasami. The learning of any science is begun on this highly auspicious day. It was on this day that Arjuna worshipped Devi, before starting the battle against the Kauravas on the field of Kurukshetra.
Need more Info... Visit http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/religions/navaratri.htm
Osho
Osho has spoken on virtually every topic of concern to modern man. He answers questions submitted to him, or comments on the teachings of other mystics and religious traditions. All these talks have been recorded and many are available as books, audiobooks, or on videotape.
"So always remember, whatsoever I say to you, you can take it in two ways. You can simply take it on my authority, "Because I say so, it must be true" -- then you will suffer, then you will not grow. Whatsoever I say, listen to it, try to understand it, implement it in your life, see how it works, and then come to your own conclusions. They may be the same, they may not be. They can never be exactly the same because you have a different personality, a unique being. Whatsoever I am saying is my own. It is bound to be in deep ways rooted in me. You may come to similar conclusions, but they cannot be exactly the same. So my conclusions should not be made your conclusions. You should try to understand me, you should try to learn, but you should not collect knowledge from me, you should not collect conclusions from me. Then your mindbody will grow."
* [One Hundred Tales For Ten Thousand Buddhas] by Ma Dharm Jyoti
* Discourses and manz more at [oz.sannyas.net | http://oz.sannyas.net/ ]
Science, Religion and the Big Bang Theory
[People] > [Osho] > 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."
The basic them of the article was that science and religion have been brought close together by the "big bang" theory of creation in which the universe is supposed to have come into being through a vast fireball explosion, fifteen or twenty billion years ago.
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?
But there was no Buddha in the West where science was growing. And people like Galileo and Copernicus and Kepler were tortured in every possible way because organized religion, the church, became very much afraid: what they were saying was going against their scriptures.
The scientists were saying that the sun does not go around the earth -- and The Bible says it does. The scientists were saying the earth goes around the sun...now, if The Bible can be wrong in one thing, then why not in others? That was the problem, that was the fear.
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."
Slowly slowly science has possessed the whole territory of the objective world. Then the natural tendency of mind...science started claiming that which could not be claimed by it. Science created the same fallacy as organized religion, which was saying: "About the objective world also, we are right." They were not. They are right about the subjective world; about the interiormost being of existence they are right. But they are not right about the circumference of it, that is not their dimension. But they were claiming that they are right about both.
The same started happening with physicists, chemists and other scientists. In the beginning of this century, science became very arrogant -- the same type of arrogance, just the authority shifted from the priests to the scientists. The scientists started saying: "There is no God and there is no soul and there is no consciousness, and all that is rubbish."
This type of arrogance has always remained with man. We have not yet learned anything. This is again the same game being played. When science became very arrogant, naturally religion became defensive. It was losing, it became defensive. So anything that is discovered by science religion tries to appropriate. It tries somehow to make it fit with itself, because the only possibility for it to survive now is if it proves itself to be scientific.
Now the whole thing is just vice-versa. Now if religion wants to exist in the world, it has continuously to look up to science. Whatsoever science discovers, religion immediately jumps upon and tries to prove: "This is what we have been saying all along."
This "big bang" theory has nothing to do with the religious attitude and the religious theory of creation. In the big bang theory there is no God, it is all an accident; it is not creation, remember, because there is no creator in it.
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."
And one more thing: this big bang theory is not totally accepted, there are many other theories.
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.
And still I say the world was never created, there was no beginning.
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.
Hence I say there has never been any beginning and there will never be any end. Maybe a beginning, maybe many beginnings and maybe many ends, but never the first and never the last. We are always in the middle. Existence is not a creation but a creativity. It is not that it begins one day and ends one day. It goes on and on; it is an ongoing process.
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?"
Certainly the person would answer: "It is not going to help. Who created the world doesn't matter. It will not help my enlightenment and it will not make me more meditative."
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."
My approach is also the same: these are all irrelevant questions. And because of these irrelevant questions there has been so much controversy down the ages and thousands of people have wasted their lives discussing who created the world, when exactly, what was the date -- and so on, and so forth.
Mind -- Friend or Foe?
...And I am not saying that when you are reborn as a no-mind you cannot use the mind. The mind has its limited uses. Use it. When you are working in your office, I am not telling you to be a no-mind. When you are working in your shop or in the factory, I am not saying to be a no-mind. I am saying be perfectly a mind. Use the mind but don't carry it continuously, twenty-four hours, day in and day out, with yourself. Don't go on dragging it. Use it as you use a chair. You don't go on carrying your chair
The mind is a beautiful instrument if you know how to be a no-mind too.
You say: "Please say something about mind and action in witnessing." In witnessing, mind remains only as a biocomputer, a mechanism, but separate from you; you are no longer identified with it. When you want any memory you can use the mind just as you can put on your tape recorder. Mind is really a tape recorder. But it is not continuously on, not twenty-four hours on. When needed, the witness, the man of meditation, the man of awareness, is capable of putting the mind on or off. He puts it on when there is some need....
When you are witnessing, the mind remains, but not constantly working. Your identity is broken. You are the watcher; the mind is the watched. It is a beautiful mechanism, one of the most beautiful mechanisms that nature has given to you. So you can use it when needed for factual memory -- for phone numbers, for addresses, for names, for faces.... It is a good tool, but that's all it is. It need not sit upon you continuously twenty-four hours a day. Even while you are sleeping, it is sitting on your chest torturing you, giving you nightmares. All kinds of relevant and irrelevant thoughts
go on and on.
A person can use his mind when working on matter; then logic is a great instrument. And the same person can put aside the mind when he moves into his meditation chamber and moves into the no-mind. Because mind is not you -- it is just an instrument just like my hand, just like my legs. If I want to walk I use my legs, if I don't want to walk I don't use my legs. Exactly in the same way you can use the mind logically if you are trying to know about matter. It is perfectly right, it fits there. And when you are moving inwards, put it aside. Now legs are not needed; thinking is not needed. Now you need a deep silent state of no-thought.
And this can happen in one person. And when I say it, I say it from my own experience. I have been doing both. When it is needed, I can become as logical as any Greek. When it is not needed, I can become as absurd, illogical as any Hindu. So when I say it I mean it, and it is not a hypothesis. I have experienced It that way. The mind can be used and can be put aside. It is an instrument, a very beautiful instrument; no need to be so obsessed with it. No need to be so fixed, fixated with it. Then it becomes a disease. Just think of a man who wants to sit but cannot sit because he says, "I have legs -- how can I sit?" Or, think of a man who wants to keep quiet and silent and cannot keep quiet and silent because he says, "I have a mind." It is the same.
One should become so capable that even the closest instrument of mind can be put aside and can be put off. It can be done, it has been done, but it has not been done on a great scale. But more and more it will be done. This is what I am trying to do here with you.
I have heard you say that knowledge is useless.
No, I have not said that. Knowledge is very useful -- wisdom is useless! Knowledge is needed in the marketplace, in business, in politics. Everywhere knowledge is needed -- in technology, in science -- everywhere knowledge is needed. Knowledge is very useful, utilitarian; wisdom is absolutely useless, but that's its beauty. It is not a commodity, you cannot use it in any way; you cannot sell it, you cannot purchase it. It does not belong to the utilitarian world; it is a flowering....
Remember, the outside world is the world of utility; the inside world is the world of significance, not of utility. The outside world has a totally different dimension -- there it is needed. You need bread, you need butter, you need a house, you need medicine, you need clothes, shelter; you need thousands of things. But the inner world is simply of luxury; it is not a need, it is a joy. It is a sheer rejoicing.
The Roots of Obesity
A young man had come to darshan two weeks ago saying that he was overeating. Osho suggested he chew his food more carefully, at least forty times for each mouthful, and that he spend a certain time each day having food fantasies. He reports to Osho: I have chewed the food very slowly, and at first I was very sad, but now that has gone and I think that food is not so much the problem.
Very good. If you chew well, food is never a problem, because the body is really satisfied. When you don't chew and you go on stuffing your body, it is not nourished, so it goes on demanding more and more -- and you go on stuffing. Don't use your body like a bag; it isn't a bag -- respect it.
Chewing is possible only in the mouth. There are no teeth in the stomach, so once you have swallowed, the food can never be chewed again. So it is an unnecessary burden on the stomach, and by and by it becomes a problem. People who don't eat well eat much. People who eat well, with deep respect, never eat more than is needed. Then the body functions perfectly, and it immediately gives you an indication that now you are full and there is no need to eat any more.
When you chew well, the time process is prolonged. The same food you were eating in one hour now will take four hours because each bite has to be chewed forty times. Nobody can give that much time -- that's why you became sad. Eating for three, four hours, one will just feel fed up with the whole thing!
And one more thing is involved in it. When you go on throwing things inside yourself it is a sort of aggression, a violence. Teeth are the most violent part of your body, and part of the animal heritage. When animals are aggressive they will bite. They only have teeth and nails, so it is with these that they do violence. That has remained with man too, because man comes from animals. So whenever you are chewing a lot, much violence will be satisfied. A good chewer will become less violent because through the exercise of the teeth, violence is released. A person who goes on stuffing, without chewing, will become violent. So you became sad.
Remember that anger is one phase of violence, the active phase; and sadness is another phase, inactive, passive. Have you watched? Anger can immediately become sadness, and sadness can immediately become anger -- they are not very far away. So when you were throwing things inside, the anger was there, violence was there. Now you are chewing, the violence and the anger relax and sadness will settle. But if you continue, by and by the sadness will disappear and you will feel really fulfilled and happy. So continue.
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.
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.
A great old master, worshiped by millions of people, refused to initiate anyone into disciplehood. His whole life, consistently, he was asked by kings, he was asked by very rich people, he was asked by great ascetics, saints, to be initiated as his disciples, and he went on refusing. He would always say, "Unless I find a man who deserves it, unless I find a man who is worthy of it... I am not going to initiate any Tom, Dick, Harry."
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."
People became tired, frustrated. They loved the man, the man had immense qualities, but they could not understand his very stubborn attitude -- no kindness, no compassion.
But one morning the old man woke up his companion, who himself had become old, and said to him, "Run immediately down the hills to the marketplace and tell everybody that whoever wants to be initiated must come soon, because this evening as the sun sets I am going to die."
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 companion of the old man was at a loss, but there was no time to argue. He ran down the hill, reached the marketplace and shouted all over the village, "Anybody who wants to become a disciple, the old man is ready now."
People could not believe it. But out of curiosity a few thought, "There is no harm at least to see what is going on." The man had refused his whole life, and on the last day of his life suddenly such a great change. Somebody's wife had died and he was feeling very lonely, so he thought, "It is good. If he is going to initiate everybody, no question of worthiness..." Somebody was released from jail just the night before; he thought, "Nobody is going to give me employment; this is a good chance to become a saint."
All kinds of strange people went to the cave of the old man, and his companion was feeling so embarrassed at the kind of people he had brought: one is a criminal, one's wife is dead, that's why he thinks, "It is better... now, what else to do?" Somebody has gone bankrupt and was thinking to commit suicide; now he thinks that this is better than suicide.
A few had come just out of curiosity. They had no other work; they were playing jazz and they thought, "We can play jazz tomorrow, but today there is no harm, let us see what this initiation is. Anyway, that man is going to die by the evening so we will be free to remain disciples or not. We can play jazz tomorrow -- there is no harm."
The companion of the old man was feeling very embarrassed, "How will I present this strange lot when that old man has refused kings, saints, sages, who have come with deep earnestness to be initiated? And now he is going to initiate this gang!" He was even feeling ashamed, but he entered and asked, "Should I call the people? -- eleven have come."
The old man said, "Call them quickly, because it is already afternoon. You took so much time and you could fetch just eleven people?"
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."
On the last day, he said to those eleven disciples, "I bless you and initiate you. It doesn't matter whether you are worthy or not, but for the first time I am worthy. And if I am really worthy, just my presence is going to purify you. My worthiness of being a master is going to make you a worthy disciple. Now I don't have to depend on your worthiness. My worthiness is enough.
"I am just like a rain cloud; I will shower all over the place -- on the mountains, on the streets, on the houses, in the farms, in the gardens. I will shower everywhere, because I am too burdened with my rainwater. It does not matter whether the garden deserves... I don't even make any distinction between the garden and the rocks. I will simply shower out of my abundance."
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.
Angulimal was sitting on his rock watching. He could not believe his eyes. A very beautiful man of such immense charisma was coming towards him. Who could this man be? He had never heard of Gautam Buddha, but even this hard heart of Angulimal started feeling a certain softness towards the man. He was looking so beautiful, coming towards him. It was early morning... a cool breeze, and the sun was rising... and the birds were singing and the flowers had opened; and Buddha was coming closer and closer.
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?"
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."
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."
Buddha came very close, and Angulimal's hands were trembling. The man was so beautiful, so innocent, so childlike. He had already fallen in love. He had killed so many people... He had never felt this weakness; he had never known what love is. For the first time he was full of love. So there was a contradiction: the hand was holding the sword to kill the person, and his heart was saying, "Put the sword back in the sheath."
Buddha said, "I am ready, but why is your hand shaking? -- you are such a great warrior, even kings are afraid of you, and I am just a poor beggar. Except the begging bowl, I don't have anything. You can kill me, and I will feel immensely satisfied that at least my death fulfills somebody's desire; my life has been useful, my death has also been useful. But before you cut my head I have a small desire, and Ithink you will grant me a small desire before killing me."
Buddha said, "I want you just to cut from the tree a branch which is full of flowers. I will never see these flowers again; I want to see those flowers closely, feel their fragrance and their beauty in this morning sun, their glory."
So Angulimal cut with his sword a whole branch full of flowers. And before he could give it to Buddha, Buddha said, "This was only half the desire; the other half is, please put the branch back on the tree."
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?"
A moment of silence and a moment of transformation... the sword fell down from his hands. Angulimal fell down at the feet of Gautam Buddha, and he said, "I don't know who you are, but whoever you are, take me to the same space in which you are; initiate me."
By that time the followers of Gautam Buddha had come closer and closer. Seeing that now Gautam Buddha was standing in front of Angulimal, there was no problem, no fear, although he needed only one finger. They were all around and when he fell at Buddha's feet they immediately came close. Somebody raised the question, "Don't initiate this man, he is a murderer. And he is not an ordinary murderer; he has murdered nine hundred and ninety-nine people, all innocent, all strangers. They have not done any wrong to him. He had not even seen them before!"
Buddha said again, "If I don't initiate him, who will initiate him? And I love the man, I love his courage. And I can see tremendous possibility in him: a single man fighting against the whole world. I want this kind of people, who can stand against the whole world. Up to now he was standing against the world with a sword; now he will stand against the world with a consciousness which is far sharper than any sword. I told you that murder was going to happen, but it was not certain who was going to be murdered -- either I was going to be murdered, or Angulimal. Now you can see Angulimal is murdered. And who I am to judge?"
The question is not whether anybody is worthy or not. The question is whether you have the consciousness, the abundance of love -- then forgiveness will come out of it spontaneously. It is not a calculation, it is not arithmetic.
Life is love, and living a life of love is the only religious life, the only life of prayer, peace, the only life of gratitude, grandeur, splendor.
What is jealousy and why does it hurt so much?
[Articles] > 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.
A bunch of chickens were in the yard when a football flew over the fence and landed in their midst. A rooster waddled over, studied it, then said, "I'm not complaining, girls, but look at the work they are turning out next door."
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....
Everybody is jealous of everybody else. And out of jealousy we create such hell, and out of jealousy we become very mean.
"And Larsen's?"
If everybody is in misery, it feels good; if everybody is losing, it feels good. If everybody is happy and succeeding, it tastes very bitter.
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."
So everybody gathered his own sufferings into bags, and they reached the temple, and they were looking very happy; the day has come, their prayer has been heard. And this man also rushed to the temple.
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 most surprising thing was this: that this man who had been praying always, rushed towards his bag before anybody else could choose it! But he was in for a surprise, because everybody rushed to his own bag, and everybody was happy to choose it again. What was the matter? For the first time, everybody had seen others' miseries, others' sufferings -- their bags were as big, or even bigger!
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.
What is wrong with being in a hurry?
And it should be simple to you, because that's what I'm saying in many, many ways.
First...the situation is every moment urgent for the simple reason that you cannot rely on the next moment; whether it will come or not is not in your hands. So every moment we are living in urgency. If you want to do something, do it now and here, because how can you postpone it?
Move instantly because it is urgent, but without hurry, because in hurry you are not together, in hurry you are always late, in hurry you forget the essentials, in hurry you need time. Just to be in a hurry you will require time--and there is no time. This moment is all and all, and the situation is urgent.
You have been born without your agreement, without a contract, even without your permission; that was not in your hands. You will die without any advance information, without fixing a date and time--that is not in your hands. Once dead you cannot complain; and not yet born you are nowhere. To whom should existence ask, "Do you want to be born or not?"
So what you have really got in your hands, solid and real, is only this moment, in which you can act intelligently or stupidly; in other words, in which you can act as a meditator or as a mediocre....
But the statement is really beautiful. You got into a puzzle because you cannot think what kind of madness this is. First you say it is urgent, and urgency creates hurry; then you deny that there should be hurry, but the question is so urgent that you should start instantly. You got puzzled into the words. I will tell you how one can get puzzled into beautiful words.
Two men met at a bar and struck up a conversation. After a while one of them said, "You think you have family problems? Listen to my situation. A few years ago I met a young widow with a grown-up daughter and we got married. Later, my father married my stepdaughter. That made my stepdaughter my stepmother, and my father became my stepson. Also, my wife became the mother-in-law of her father-in-law.
"Then the daughter of my wife, my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half brother because he was my father's son, but he was also the son of my wife's daughter, which made him my wife's grandson. That made me the grandfather of my half brother.
"This was nothing until my wife and I had a son. Now the sister of my son, my mother-in-law, is also my grandmother. This makes my father the brother-in-law of my child, whose stepsister is my father's wife.
"I am my stepmother's brother-in-law; my wife is her own child's aunt, my son is my father's nephew and I am my own grandfather. And you think you have family problems?"
The statement is very clear: the situation is urgent because you have no guarantee for the next second. You have to start instantly because you cannot postpone--the future is not insured--and yet you cannot be in a hurry because hurry takes time.
But meditation in your life is just at the very end of your laundry list--and the laundry list goes on becoming bigger and bigger. And before you finish your laundry list, you are finished, so the time for meditation never comes.
Don't try to understand the sentence; I have cut it into pieces clearly for you, so you are not confused.
There is no time for hurry, there is no time for worry; in a single moment what can you do? Only one thing: you can settle within yourself. That will be the great transformation of your being. And certainly it is the most urgent thing--which we have been trying to postpone as long as possible.
Zen
If you've wandered here wanting to know what Zen is, then more than likely you will come away disappointed. This is a question that is easily asked but not easily answered. A Hindu story tells of a fish who asked of another fish: "I have always heard about the sea, but what is it? Where is it?" The other fish replied: "You live, move and have your being in the sea. The sea is within you and without you, and you are made of sea, and you will end in sea. The sea surrounds you as your own being." The only true answer is the one that you find for yourself.
Hindu Temples in Germany
Do you know more temples or more info about the following temples in Germany/Europe, please send email - Thanks.
* [Nava-Jiyada-Nrsimha-Ksetra|http://www.narasimha.net/ncfestival/welcome-fs.htm], Zielberg 20, 94118 Jandelsbrunn
!Brandenburg
* Vinayagar Temple - INTZESTRASSE 26, FRANKFURT, HESSEN, 60314 - open daily from 6pm to 7pm (update on 2006-03-05: used to be 6 to 7 PM - think it is just 6pm to 7pm and not 6am to 7pm - please visit and confirm)
* Hamm - Sri Sithivinayagar Tempel Hamm e.V., Ferdinand Poggel Str. 25, 59065(/7 ?) Hamm. Phone: 02381-162686 - Open 9am-8pm - Archanai : 10-12am, 6-8pm - Poojai: 10am, 6pm - Uthsavam: 13 June 2002 - On June 10-12, 1994, sixteen Sri Lankan Sivacharyas performed the elaborate kumbhabishekam rituals to install Lord Ganesha in the recently completed Siddhi Vinayaga temple in Hamm, Germany. Devotees attending reported a powerful presence of Ganesha, saying that it was as if they were at the Kumbalavalai temple in Jaffna, A gift from Kauai Aadheenam was a three-foot tall, 1,100-pound Siddhi Vinayaga murthi-so far the largest Ganesha murthi in Europe-exquisitly carved in Mahabalipuram, South India. It arrived in Hamburg Harbor on March 1st and was ceremoniously paraded to Hamm. In appreciation, the devotees brought their Satguru, Subramuniyaswami, from Hawaii to attend the temple consecration as the guest of honor. - The temple is within an old metal-working warehouse of 2,500 sq. feet. It was designed as a small replica of the famed Nallur temple, near Jaffna. Also housed in the temple are shrines to Lord Muruga, Durga, Siva-Parvati, Bhairava and the navagraha. This temple is the newest of ten Hindu temples in Germany.
* Hamm - Sri Kamadchi Ambal Temple Siegenbeckstr.04, 59071 Hamm-Uentrop, - http://www.kamadchi-ampal.de/ Tel.: +49 2388 302223 Fax.+49 2388 302224 - Opening Hours : 08.00 to 13.00 & 17.00 to 20.00 - On May 13-25, 1994, another temple in Hamm, the Sri Kamadchi Ambal temple, held its yearly 10-day festival, complete with a parade through the streets of Hamm. According to Jnana Deepam, a Tamil newspaper printed in Germany, 7,000 devotees participated. Though the organizers started without a parade permit, the understanding Hamm police force quickly redirected traffic from the parade route.
!Rhineland-Palatinate
!Saarland
* HINDU TEMPLE (Afghan-hindu) - Afghanische Hindu Gemeinde e. V. - http://people.freenet.de/happyindia/mandir.htm
* [List of Hindu Temples in Europe|http://www.geocities.com/Athens/5180/temple6.html]
Movies
http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/
Firefox : America's ace pilot penetrates Russian security and races against time to steal the Firefox, the world's most devastating aircraft - a futuristic MiG-31 that flies at six times the speed of sound and is armed with weapons triggered by pilot brain waves. A spectacular thousand-mile dogfight climaxes the thriller directed by star Clint Eastwood
[Now and Then]
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.
So the anger is natural, but useless. To be angry does not help your parents and it harms you.
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.
Animals are not creating anything, they are simply producing carbon copies. And now science has come to a point where they have discovered that carbon copies can really be produced! It is a very dangerous idea. If we make banks -- and sooner or later we are going to make them; once an idea is there it is going to become a reality. And scientifically it is proved that it is one hundred percent possible...there is no problem.
We can have banks in the hospitals for both the male sperms and female eggs. And we can create exactly the same two sperms and exactly the same two eggs, so two children are born which are exactly the same. One child will be released into the world; the other will grow in a fridge, unconscious, but all his parts will be exactly the same as the other person. And if the first person is in an accident and loses a leg or loses a kidney, or has to be operated on, there is no problem: his carbon copy is waiting in the hospital. From the carbon copy a kidney can be taken out -- he is growing exactly at the same rate, he is just unconscious -- and it will be exactly the same as the kidney that has been lost. It can be replaced.
That carbon copy will always be available for replacing any parts -- even the brain. You can fall into a coma or you can even have a heart attack.... Your brain can remain alive even after a heart attack for at least four minutes -- but not more than that. If during these four minutes an identical brain is inserted, an identical heart is inserted, you will never feel that anything has changed or anything has happened to you. Perhaps you fell asleep and now you are awake. You will never know that your brain has been changed, that your heart has been changed.
This idea of having carbon copies seems to be a great advancement in medical science in a way, but it is dangerous -- dangerous in the sense that man becomes a machine with replaceable parts, just like any machine. When something goes wrong you replace the part. And if every part can be replaced then man will be falling farther and farther away from spiritual growth, because he will start thinking of himself as just a machine. That's what half of the world, the communist world, thinks -- that man is a machine.
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.
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."
And he said, "It works."
And I asked, "People have not found it out?"
He said, "Nobody has said anything about it to me, and I have been using these three lectures my whole life. Wherever I go -- to the temples, colleges, and universities where I talk -- I ask, `How many minutes? Ten, twenty, thirty?' Whatever they want, my lecture is ready. And I have repeated the same lecture so many times that now I don't feel nervous. I can repeat the lecture without thinking at all!"
Now do you think listening to such a man is going to transform you? -- or anybody? But every Christian missionary is doing that.
One of the most famous, world-renowned Christian missionaries was Stanley Jones. He was very friendly with me but he became very angry and then the friendship was broken. He was an old man, a friend of Mahatma Gandhi, and Mahatma Gandhi respected him very much. He used to come to the city where I was living and he stayed in the house of one of my friends. He had printed cards -- ten cards or twenty cards for his whole lecture -- and he would put the cards on the table. He would start lecturing, and he would go on changing the cards.
He became very angry with me because I mixed up his cards! So he was saying something and it was not on the card. He almost had a nervous breakdown. He looked at all the cards and it was not there. That card I had taken out. And he said, "Today I am not feeling well. I am feeling sick, so I will not be speaking."
And he asked the host, "Who has done this?"
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?"
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.
Consequences of Anger
by [Swami Sivananda]
Now, have you realised the disastrous consequences of anger? Do not be victims of anger. Control it by love, mercy, sympathy, vicara (enquiry) and consideration for others. Even slight annoyance, or irritability, affects the mind and the astral body.
Aspirants should not allow these vrttis (thought-waves) to manifest in the mind-lake, as they may burst out as big waves of anger at any moment, if you are careless or weak. There should not be the least disturbance in the mind-lake it should be perfectly calm and serene. Then only you will find meditation possible.
It is difficult to control anger. Anger is a manifestation of sakti (energy). At first, try to reduce its force. and its frequency of duration. Endeavour to attenuate or thin out this formidable modification of the mind.
Do not allow this modification to assume the form of a big wave on the surface of the conscious mind. Nip it in the bud when it is in the form of irritability. Divert the mind. Entertain divine thoughts. Do vigorous japa (repetition of God's name) and kirtan (chanting). Repeat some prayers or slokas (verses) from the scriptures.
Develop the opposite, divine qualities. Develop patience, love, forgiveness - anger will die by itself, gradually. Blessed are those high-souled people who can control their anger by pure, strong will and intellect.
Mumuksutva
Mumuksutva is intense desire for liberation or deliverance from the wheel of birth and death with its concomitant evils of old age, disease, delusion and sorrow. If one is equipped with the previous three qualifications, viz., viveka (wisdom), vairagya (dispassion) and sad sampat (six virtues), mumuksutva will come by itself.
The mind moves towards the source of its own accord, because it has lost its hold now on external objects. It has no resting place in this objective universe. Purification of the mind and mental discipline form the rock-bottom foundation of yoga. When this is effected, the longing for liberation dawns by itself. Mumuksutva must be of a burning type. If burning mumuksutva is coupled with burning vairagya, self-realisation will come within the twinkling of an eye. Generally the vast majority of people have got a dull type of vairagya and mumuksutva. So they do not succeed in their attempts. If one finds that he has not got burning mumuksutva, he must practise the other three sadhanas (practices) vigorously till he acquires intense longing for attaining salvation or immortality. That aspirant who is endowed with these four qualifications should hear the srutis (scriptures) from a Brahma Nista guru (preceptor who is established in Brahman), and then reflect and meditate on the inner self. He will soon get self­realisation.
The aspirant should practise all the four means to a maximum degree. Proficiency in one sadhana alone will not make you perfect. There is a definite significance in the sequence of the four sadhanas. That aspirant who is in possession of the four means is a blessed divinity on the surface of this earth. He is Brahman himself. He must be adored and worshipped. My silent salutations unto such exalted souls!
Open yourself fully to the divine influence. Develop a burning desire for the attainment of God-realisation and burning dispassion (vairagya) for worldly enjoyments. Abandon all worries. Abandon all worldly ambitions and mundane desires. Soar high in the realm of higher spiritual knowledge. Show your moral courage and spiritual strength now, O Ram!
HEARTICULTURE
by [Swami Sivananda]
worry, delusion, pride, lust, attachment, likes and dislikes, it
and fruits in a garden, by ploughing and manuring the land, by
removing the weeds and thorns, and by watering the plants and trees -
greed, delusion, pride, etc.), and watering it with divine thoughts.
Weeds and thorns grow in the rainy season and then disappear in
summer. But their seeds remain underneath the ground and as soon as
there is a shower, the seeds germinate and sprout. Even so, the
conscious mind, then disappear and assume a subtle seed-state in the
the seeds for birth and death, if you want to enter the
Without the help of meditation you cannot obtain knowledge of the
it you cannot liberate yourself from the trammels of the mind and
ethical life and ceaseless meditation. Spiritual duty is far more
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.
[Mira|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/09/23] : The real war takes place in our heads ( within us ) - The inner battle is the biggest battle each of us has to fight. It is a continuous fight against thoughts, fears, wrong ideas, desires, anger..... in order to recognize truth and to find out why we are here, who we really are, where we really want to go....Only when all these obstacles and temptations are overcome we can be free and enjoy our own being fully. What is true for the single person is also true for mankind.
[We] went to [Radhadesh] Belgium and back !
(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] ?
[We] met someone who was interested in wandering... [Wanderungen im Gebiet des Val Chironico|http://www.monti-doro.ch/gite.htm]
Practice of Meditation
([source|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/teachings/meditation.htm])
A mother calls her teenage daughter to go and have lunch, but there is no response. The call is repeated twice, thrice; still there is no response. The girl just does not hear, though her ears are very much open. Nor is she deaf. What could be the reason, then, for her not hearing? Her mind is immersed in a Sherlock Holmes or a Harold Robbins; her eyes are glued to the lines; her face is buried in the book.
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.
In his book, "Concentration and Meditation", holy Master Sivananda presents a most beautiful scene to illustrate what is meant by concentration. In this, Dronacharya tests the power of concentration of his students, the Pandavas. A basin of water is placed on the ground. Above, a clay bird is kept rotating. The archer hat to hit the bird by looking at its reflection in the water.
Yudhishthira: "O Acharya (teacher), I see the bird to be aimed at, the tree on which it is sitting and yourself also."
Bhima: "I see the bird, the tree, yourself, Nakula, Sahadeva, the tables and chairs, etc."
Drona: "Now then, Arjuna, what do you see?"
Yoga is an exact science. Asanas and Pranayama (Yoga postures and breathing exercises) perfect the body. Service and charity expand the heart. Prayer, Japa (repetition of the Lord’s Name), Kirtan (singing devotional songs) and other devotional practices purify the mind and make it more subtle. The aspirant is now fully equipped for the last lap of the journey. It is the toughest part of the pilgrimage to God. It is full of darkness and the aspirant has to pierce this darkness with his purified mind. The purified mind is the most dependable weapon in the armoury of the spiritual aspirant.
The purified mind must be made to concentrate. Concentration is mental focussing. The mind can be focussed on a concrete object or an abstract idea. For a novice, concentration becomes easy if the object of concentration is concrete. Also, the beginner should choose a pleasing object on which to concentrate. Only thus can he prevent the mind from wandering away from the object of concentration. To start with, concentration can be practised on the flame of a candle, the tick-tick sound of a clock, the star in the sky, the picture of OM or the picture of one's lshta Devata (personal God). This should be followed by concentration on a suitable spiritual centre within the body. The Sadhak may concentrate with closed eyes on the space between is the eyebrows or on the tip of the nose. There is nothing which cannot be achieved by concentration.
Concentration should be followed by meditation. Meditation is nothing but protracted or sustained concentration. A scientist has to concentrate on a problem, on a given subject, on a riddle, to bring out the answer, to solve it. He has to think, think and think. Then only the answer flashes forth. Likewise, meditation is intense concentration, concerted concentration on the problem of life, on the problem of the inexplicable triad of God, man and the universe. While concentration becomes essential even to solve small problems in science, what to speak of the problem of life which has baffled humanity since time immemorial? The Sadhak (aspirant) who wants God must meditate, meditate and meditate.
Meditation can be practised on any image of the Lord. This is concrete meditation. After some practice, the aspirant will be able to visualise the form of the image even with closed eyes. Meditation can also be practised on abstract ideas and on various Vedantic formulae such as "I am Eternity", "I am Infinity" and so on.
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.
While meditating on a particular object or idea, various extraneous thoughts will try to enter the mind of the aspirant and interfere with his meditation. The aspirant should ignore these extraneous thoughts, be indifferent to them and repeatedly try to concentrate on the object of his meditation. Gradually, the frequency of interruption will be reduced and a time will come when meditation will give uninterrupted peace and bliss.
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".
Meditation confers peace and strength. Sivananda affirms that half an hour's meditation is sufficient to enable the aspirant to smilingly pass through a whole week's life in this world of problems and misery.
Meditation must be regular. Whenever the Sattvic (a state of calmness and purity) mood manifests and divine thought-currents begin to flow, the aspirant must sit down for meditation. Brahmamuhurtha (period between 4 am and 6 am), says the Master, is the ideal time for meditation. Why? He gives the answer:
And the world is asleep.
You can then easily convince the mind
Only Yogis, Jnanis (wise man) and sages are awake at this time.
It is not possible to meditate the whole day. Without variety, the mind, especially of a beginner, will get tired . It is necessary to guard against this possibility. It is important that the aspirant should be protected from the monotony of one-sided spiritual practice leading to reaction and a return to worldly activity with a vengeance. The beauty of divine life lies in the fact that the seriousness of meditation is tempered with the joy of Kirtan, the happiness and strength of service, the peace of Japa and the understanding of Svadhyaya (reading of scriptures).
In the books of Yoga, the great Rishis (sages) distinguish between Bahiranga Sadhana and Antaranga Sadhana. Bahiranga Sadhana is outer Yoga or spiritual practices designed to perfect the outer instruments of body and Prana (vital- energy). These are the ethical practices and the Yogasana and Pranayama exercises. Once the body is perfected and the Nadis or astral tubes are purified through Pranayama practices, the spiritual seeker attains fitness to start the inner Yoga or Antaranga Sadhana. This includes Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana-sense abstraction, concentration and meditation. The senses and the mind must be withdrawn from the sense objects and the mind must be focussed on the God within. This is inner Yoga. The outer Yoga practices are to prepare the aspirant to gain fitness to practise this inner Yoga.
Where the necessary preparation is inadequate or wanting, meditation cannot succeed. Simply sitting cross-legged and closing the eyes, thinking the same worldly thoughts and building castles in the air, or falling into a semi- sleep is not meditation. A person who wants to meditate must be free from disease and desire, from cares and worries. He must be free from love and hatred, and from like and dislike. He must be soaked in Vairagya (dispassion). He must be able to sit firmly for hours together in the same posture. His breathing must be slow and even. His stomach must be free from constipation, free from gas and very light. when these conditions are not satisfied, meditation will remain just a pipe dream.
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.
The secret of spirituality lies in realising one's essential nature. It is not becoming something outside of oneself. It is not as if man and God are separate and that man should go to a God who is external to him and merge in that God. No. God is already there, everywhere, Within us and outside of us. The body and the mind in which man is encased are mere illusions of an ignorant mind. God only is. All else is not. All else is only appearance. This appearance is made possible by the functioning of the mind. Meditation and enquiry enable the aspirant to feel, to realise that he is, after all, Brahman and not a bundle of body and mind. When divine wisdom dawns, the Sadhak realises his innermost Being. And being is Brahman.
Man himself is God and the entirety of Sadhana (spiritual practices) is meant to enable man to realise his God-nature, to realise that the God he has been searching for is his own Self. Initially, Yoga Sadhana purifies the mind. Later on, the seeker uses this purified mind, to concentrate and meditate on the God within; and at the deepest point of meditation, the purified mind melts in the God within and is itself lost there, destroyed there. And only God remains. Being remains. God-consciousness remains. A telling analogy given in the Yoga texts is the dry twig used in kindling a fire, where the twig itself is ultimately consumed in the fire. The purified mind is like this twig. It helps to kindle the fire of God-consciousness within, and in the process, is itself destroyed in that fire. In Samadhi (superconscious state), the mind melts in Brahman as camphor melts in fire. The separate identity of the individual soul vanishes. Only Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence- Consciousness-Bliss Absolute) prevails.
Bhaja Govindam
Adhi Shankaracharya wrote a number of vedantic works for imparting knowledge of the self and the universal spirit. He also composed a number of hymns to foster Bhakthi in the hearts of men. One of these hymns is the famous Bhaja govindaM. The way of devotion, is not different from the way of knowledge or gnyana. When intelligence matures and lodges securely in the mind, it becomes wisdom. When wisdom is integrated with life and issues out in action, it becomes bhakthi. Knowledge, when it becomes fully mature is bhakthi. If it doesnot get transformed into bhakthi, such knowledge is [useless tinsel|http://www.carnatic.com/kishore/life/]. To believe that gnyana and bhakthi, knowledge and devotion are different from each other, is ignorance. If Sri Adi Shankara himself who drank the ocean of gnyana as easily as one sip water from the palm of one's hand, sang in his later years, hymns to develop devotion, it is enough to show that gnyana and bhakthi are one and the same. Sri Shankara has packed into the Bhaja govindaM song: the substance of all vedanta, and set the oneness of gnyana and bhakthi to melodious music.
Bhaja govindaM is one of the minor compositions of the spiritual gaint, Adi SHANKARA. It is classified as a Prakarana grantha, a primer to the major works. Though sung as a bhajan, it contains the essence of vedanta and awakens the man to think, "Why am I here in this life ? Why am I amassing wealth, family, but have no peace ? What is the Truth ? What is the purpose of life ?" Man is thus awakened and gets set on a path to the inner road back to God.
The background of Bhaja GovindaM is worth examining. During Shankara's stay in Kashi, he noticed a very old man engaged in the early hours studying the rules of sanskrit by Panini. Shankara was touched with pity seeing the plight of the old man spending his years at a mere intellectual accomplishment while he would be better off praying and spending time to control his mind. Shankara understood that the majority of the world was also engaged in mere intellectual, sense pleasures and not in the divine contemplation. Seeing this, he burst forth with the verses of Bhaja govindaM.
In 31 (some cite 33) verses, he, like no other, explains our fallacies, our wrong outlook for life, and dispells our ignorance and delusions. Thus bhaja govindaM was originally known as Moha Mudgara, the remover of delusions.
Shankara explains, nay chides, us for spending our time in useless trivia like amassing wealth, lusting after (wo)men and requests us to discriminate and cultivate the knowledge to learn the difference between the real and the unreal. To emphasize that all knowledge other than Self-Knowledge is useless, Shankara makes the man realize how foolish he is in his conduct and behavior by these verses, and shows him the purpose of our worldly existence, which is to seek Govinda and attain Him.
Bhaja govindaM is divided into dvaadasa manjarika stotram and chaturdasa manjarika stotram. At the end of composing the first stanza, it is said that Shankara burst forth with the next 12 stanzas of bhaja govindam. Thus stanzas 1-12 are called dvaadas manjarika stotram. Inspired by the extempore recital by Shankara, each of his 14 disciples composed a verse and the 14 verse compendium is called chaturdasa manjarika stotram. Shankara added the finishing touches by adding five of his own stanzas at the last bring the total to 31. This edition shows 33 verses, though the last 2 are not given in all versions.
Bhaja govindaM has been set to musical tones and sung as prayer songs by children. It is divided into dvaadashapaJNjarikaa and charpaTapaJNjarikaa for this purpose. The former is a set of verses (verses 1,2,5,11,18,20,21,23,27,29,31) while the rest of the verses form charpaTapaJNjarikaa.
Anyone who listens to the music of Bhaja govindaM is attracted to it. However, the significance of the text goes much deeper and contains a well defined philosophy of attaining salvation. Shankara words here seem to be quite piercing and seem to lack his softness and tenderness often found in his other texts. The reason is that this was an extempore recital to an old man. His words can be compared to a knife of a doctor. The doctor's knife cruely removes the tumor with much pain, but removing the tumor ultimately restores good health in the patient. So is Shankara's words, which pierce and point out our ignorance. It is a knife into the heart of worldliness, and by removing this tumor of ignorance, we can attain everlasting bliss with the grace of Govinda.
May the acharayaa guide us from ignorance to truth and help us remember the song of Swami Vivekananda at all times :
The stainless One, Pure spirit through and through.
with mind serene and eyes made radiant
In Him who is pure knowledge and pure bliss.
Do not get drowned in delusion by going wild with passions and lust by seeing a woman's navel and chest. These are nothing but a modification of flesh. Do not fail to remember this again and again in your mind.
The life of a man is as uncertain as rain drops trembling on a lotus leaf. Know that the whole world remains a prey to disease, ego and grief.
So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, see the affection all those around him show. But no one at home cares to even have a word with him when his body totters due to old age.
What good is lust when youth has fled ? What use is a lake which has no water ? Where are the relatives when wealth is gone ? Where is samsara when the Truth is known ?
Do not boast of wealth, friends, and youth. Each one of these are destroyed within a minute. Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya and attain the timeless Truth.
Daylight and darkness, dusk and dawn, winter and springtime come and go. Time plays and life ebbs away. But the storm of desire never leaves.
This bouquet of twelve verses was imparted to a grammarian by the all-knowing Shankara, adored as the bhagavadpada.
vR^iddho yaati gR^ihiitvaa daNDaM
Strength has left the old man's body; his head has become bald, his gums toothless and leaning on crutches. Even then the attachment is strong and he clings firmly to fruitless desires. Stanza attributed to Hastamalaka.
Behold there lies the man who sits warming up his body with the fire in fromt and the sun at the back; at night he curls up the body to keep out of the cold; he eats his beggar's food from the bowl of his hand and sleeps beneath the tree. Still in his heart, he is a wretched puppet at the hands of passions. Stanza attributed to Subodha.
One may go to gangasagar, observe fasts, and give away riches in charity ! Yet, devoid of jnana, nothing can give mukthi even at the end of a hundred births. Stanza attributed to Sureshwaracharya.
Take your residence in a temple or below a tree, wear the deerskin for the dress, and sleep with mother earth as your bed. Give up all attachments and renounce all comforts. Blessed with such vairagya, could any fail to be content ? Stanza attributed to Nityananda.
nandati nandati nandatyeva .. 19..
One may take delight in yoga or bhoga, may have attachment or detachment. But only he whose mind steadily delights in Brahman enjoys bliss, no one else. Stanza attributed to Anandagiri.
Let a man read but a little from giitaa, drink just a drop of water from the ganges, worship murari (govinda) just once. He then will have no altercation with Yama. Stanza attributed to dR^iDhabhakta.
There is no shortage of clothing for a monk so long as there are rags cast off the road. Freed from vice and virtue, onward he wanders. One who lives in communion with God enjoys bliss, pure and uncontaminated, like a child and as someone intoxicated. Stanza attributed to Nityanatha.
Who are you ? Who am I ? From where do I come ? Who is my mother, who is my father ? Ponder thus, look at everything as essenceless and give up the world as an idle dream. Stanza attributed to surendra.
In me, in you and in everything, none but the same Vishnu dwells. Your anger and impatience is meaningless. If you wish to attain the status of Vishnu soon, have samabhava always. Stanza attributed to medhaatithira.
shatrau mitre putre bandhau
maa kuru yatnaM vigrahasandhau .
Do not waste your efforts to win the love of or to fight against friend and foe, children and relatives. See yourself in everyone and give up all feelings of duality completely. Stanza attributed to medhaatithira.
Give up lust, anger, infatuation, and greed. Ponder over your real nature. Fools are they who are blind to the Self. Cast into hell they suffer there endlessly. Stanza attributed to bharativamsha.
Regularly recite from the Gita, meditate on Vishnu [thro' Vishnu sahasranama] in your heart, and chant His thousand glories. Take delight to be with the noble and the holy. Distribute your wealth in charity to the poor and the needy. Stanza attributed to sumatira.
Regulate the pranas, remain unaffected by external influences and discriminate between the real and the fleeting. Chant the holy name of God and silence the turbulent mind. Perform these with care, with extreme care.
Oh devotee of the lotus feet of the Guru ! May thou be soon free from Samsara. Through disciplined senses and controlled mind, thou shalt come to experience the Indwelling Lord of your heart !
Thus was a silly grammarian lost in rules cleansed of his narrow vision and shown the Light by Shankara's apostles.
# [at Spirituality, Yoga and Hinduism|http://www.geocities.com/RodeoDrive/1415/bhaja1.html]
Gurudeva
Subramanya). It is formed from subhra meaning, "light; intuition," and muni,
of Hinduism's foremost and globally prominent spiritual teachers, a prolific
author and publisher of Hinduism Today magazine, attained Maha Samadhi,
"Great Union," today at age 74 at his ashram home on the tropical island of
battery of tests revealed the cancer and that it had metastasized to other
parts of his body. Three medical teams of radiologists and oncologists in
Hawaii, Washington State and California all concurred that even the most
aggressive treatment regimens would prove ineffective, and estimated he had
just a few months to live. The popular Satguru went into seclusion and after
nourishment and take water only from that day on. His doctors endorsed and
October 16. Immediately temples, ashrams and devotees around the world began
Europe, India, Malaysia, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. In the Hindu
tradition, a saint's passing is considered an extremely auspicious and
exalted event, signalling the completion of his mission on Earth and his
return to the great inner heaven worlds whence he was sent by God and the
to the remote island of Kauai to be nearby during the passage. The
An outpouring of appreciation came from the local Kauai island residents
developed a fondness and profound appreciation of Subramuniyaswami, whom
they called "Gurudeva," the affectionate title he was most known by. They
valued his spiritual presence and his generously given guidance and advice
on local island matters.
you all from the inner planes." Bereaved devotees arriving at the island
ashram heard the same message, and by the time of the Great Departure, a
profound peace had descended upon the ashram and all connected with it.
known as Kauai Aadheenam.
gratitude for his life and not sorrow for his passage.
influential Hindu writers and thinkers, wrote, "He has done great work for
Hinduism, and the recent reawakening of the Hindu mind carries his stamp."
Ma Yoga Shakti, renowned teacher and Hinduism Today's Hindu of the Year for
enthusiasm and whole-heartedness." Sri Shivarudra Balayogi Maharaj of India
said, "By his life and by his teaching, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami has
affectionate hug and his very kind words."
who had gained prominence over the decades for his practical and
most basic beliefs and daily practices to the loftiest refined philosophy
and yoga techniques. He was equally famous as founder and publisher of
and controversies around the world. Among his innovative projects are the
creation of Iraivan Temple on Kauai, the first all-stone, hand-carved
Endowment to perpetually fund worthy Hindu institutions and his
participation in numerous international conferences on religion, peace and
Religions held in Chicago, and receiving the U Thant Peace Award while
attending the Millennium Peace Summit of World Religious and Spiritual
previously given to the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope
John Paul and Mother Teresa. On August 25, 2000, he addressed 1,200
Subramuniyaswami was a study in elegance, grace and radiant spirituality.
would be astounded by his strength and grace of movement. He had a keen yet
unpretentious sense of presentation, and when moving about in public was
always impeccably groomed and fashionably dressed. His devotees loved his
Subramuniyaswami as born on January 5, 1927, in Oakland, California, and
grew up near Lake Tahoe. He was orphaned by age 11 and raised by a family
classical Eastern and Western dance and in the disciplines of yoga, becoming
drawn to a spiritual life, he renounced his career at its height and sailed
to India and Sri Lanka in 1947, on the first ship to sail to India following
World War II. There he intensified his spiritual training under renowned
fasted and meditated until he burst into enlightenment. Soon after that God
Subramuniya, and initiated him into the holy orders of sannyasa, or
renunciate monasticism. Yogaswami then ordained the young mystic into his
America! Now go 'round the world and roar like a lion. You will build
palaces (e.g., temples) and feed thousands." While still in Sri Lanka,
Buddhist elders and founded Saiva Siddhanta Church, the world's first Hindu
church, now active in many nations, and the Sri Subramuniya Ashram in the
Subramanya). It is formed from subhra meaning, "light; intuition," and muni,
deep contemplation and developed the spiritual techniques imparted to him in
Himalayan Academy, now with thousands of students, and opened America's
initiated his first monastic disciples and opened centers in Reno and
Virginia City, Nevada, and other areas of California. During this time he
Chinmayananda, whom he extensively assisted in setting up his Chinmaya
most outstanding of these programs was his 1969 pilgrimage to India with 65
devotees, then the largest group from America ever to come to India. Similar
spiritual journeys took him and hundreds of devotees to dozens of nations,
where he would typically meet with political and spiritual leaders, master
craftsmen, Zen and Hindu abbots and yogis. In recent years his Innersearch
In the 1970s he brought his followers and organization entirely into
Hinduism, and established Kauai Aadheenam, a monastery-temple complex in the
founded the San Marga Iraivan Temple, and in 1979 he began publishing his
Virginia City, Nevada, and produced tens of thousands of his books and
from India to the United States and Europe, encouraged by new immigration
build temples and perpetuate Hinduism in their new countries. Often he would
difficulties, and counseled them on how to integrate with the local American
community. He helped major institutions like the Chinmaya Mission and
Sringeri Peetham to put roots down in America, and lent his monks and legal
influence in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Canada, England, Germany,
Denmark, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and elsewhere.
renaissance tours, meeting hundreds of thousands of Hindus in India and Sri
in their heritage and to cling to their faith despite efforts of other
religions to make inroads and converts. During that Innersearch, Gurudeva
was paraded through towns and villages in the ancient way, seldom seen
today. White hand-woven cloth was laid before him to form a path on which he
chanting and offering flower petals beneath his long-striding feet. In
Tuticorin, deep in the south of India, city elder and staunch Saiva
Siddhantin, A. P. C. Veerabhagu, lead Gurudeva and his 50-plus devotees from
the West through the streets in a marvelous procession of chariots and
horse-drawn carriages that could have happened a thousand years ago.
Hundreds of thousands of Saivites turned out that morning to welcome the
sage from America, and he was led for miles through the city streets with
hundreds of women with baskets full of flowers standing on the tops of each
the first in hundreds of years and marked the return of the sacred dancers
floor with desktop publishing, adopting the Apple computer in 1985, then in
its infancy, and instructing his monks to create a state-of-the-art system.
monastics. He enjoyed the technology and proficiently used it for his work.
scriptures, books, pamphlets, art, lessons and later through CDs and the
Subramuniyaswami had come by this time to be well-known throughout the world
as an articulate, insightful and forceful exponent of the Hindu faith. In
the late 1980s and the 1990s, in historic gatherings of spiritual and
at the seminal Global Forum of Political and Spiritual Leaders‹at Oxford in
1988, Moscow in 1990, and Brazil in 1992. In 1986, the World Religious
income for Hindu swamis, temples and orphanages worldwide and created a
God, from the disciplines of meditation and yoga to the direct knowing of
for quieting the external mind and revealing to aspirants their deeper
and wisdom. He urges all seekers to live a life of ahimsa, nonhurtfulness
towards nature, people and creatures, an ethic which includes vegetarianism.
to "know thy Self by thyself" and thus "see God Siva everywhere."
His Monastic Order and the Future
Foundational to all of his work is the Kauai Aadheenam and its resident
vows and ten brahmachari, celibate monks in training, come from six
countries and include both men born into the Hindu religion and those who
converted or adopted Hinduism, Asians and Westerners. Made strong by decades
of Subramuniyaswami's strict and hands-on personal guidance, all of his work
will be carried forward and flourish in the future under the guidance of his
senior-most swami and designated successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami,
the ancient Nandinatha Sampradaya. This lineage is bound by certain common
elements of philosophy including a belief in both the transcendent and
immanent nature of God, the value of temple worship and the need to work
including reincarnation, karma and dharma, vegetarianism, noninjury toward
all beings, the importance of the yamas and niyamas, the need for purity and
personal encounter with the Divine, gained through the several yogas and
through penance, pilgrimage and daily worship. Natha gurus refuse to
recognize caste distinctions in spiritual pursuits and initiate from the
Nandinatha lineage are often known as "market-place swamis," for they have
historically lived among the people, rather than in remote areas, and
Throughout his life, Subramuniyaswami sought to establish, stabilize and
his ability to explain the most complex principles in a uniquely lucid and
style or academic and awkward. Swami Chidananda Saraswati, President of the
carefully arranged, edited and published. Today it can be unhesitatingly
His trilogy, "Dancing with Siva," "Living with Siva" and "Merging with Siva"
are popular around the world for their easy readability, and are used in
American universities for Hindu courses of study and comparative religion
classes. "Dancing with Siva" is a modern Hindu catechism and resource book
in question and answer format on the basics of Hinduism. Central to "Living
with Siva" are his lengthy explanations of the traditional restraints and
observances of Hinduism and his 365 guidelines for Hindu living, of which
for everybody, for every situation -- for men, women, parents, husbands,
path ahead and considering the severity of his condition decided to fast to
spiritual progress. The seers did not want unrelenting pain and hopelessness
a reasonable way, especially for the pain-riddled, disabled elderly and the
hands of unscrupulous doctors. No lapsing into unconscious coma. No loss of
dignity. No unbearable anguish. And no sudden or impulsive decision‹instead,
with mantras and tantras, with scriptural readings, deep meditation,
reflection and listening to favorite religious songs, with joyous release,
with all affairs settled, with full self-awareness and with recognition and
support from friends and relations."
Subramuniyaswami's speciality. It is a summation of his yogic and
metaphysical insights gained through over 50 years of meditation and inner
practices. This master work, which is a kind of handbook for seekers of
light and serious aspirants wishing to follow the path toward illumination
and spiritual liberation, covers a wide range of subjects including karma,
understanding and transcending the various states of mind and the methods to
as well as dozens of pamphlets, posters and handouts. In response to a
Hindu Religion, now taught to thousands of children around the world.
encapsulated one entire aspect of Subramuniyaswami's mission: clear and
He insisted that his devotees be boldly and proudly Hindus, and if they were
enter the Hindu fold, and also to the younger generation of Hindus." The
Subramuniyaswami enjoyed promoting his books, and in the course of his
local book stores such as Borders and Barnes and Noble. These were always
wonderfully entertaining and informal events which allowed people genuinely
famed guru. The store would turn into a temporary temple as devotees and
would come, and compensated by bringing dozens of extra copies. At the end
sects and lineages; 2) To inform and inspire Hindus worldwide and people
interested in Hinduism; 3) To dispel myths, illusions and misinformation
about Hinduism; 4) To protect, preserve and promote the sacred Vedas and the
Hindu religion; 5) To nurture and monitor the ongoing spiritual Hindu
renaissance; 6) To publish a resource for Hindu leaders and educators who
periodical and the only one which deals with all denominations of Hinduism
and all countries in which Hindus live. With a studied aversion to politics,
the magazine has successfully kept Hindus and non-Hindus alike appraised of
a wide range of issues, people and institutions. Its website, along with
that for Subramuniyaswami's teachings and a section for general Hindu
questions sent in by e-mail were posted in both audio and transcriptions.
Ma Yoga Shakti, renowned teacher and Hinduism Today's Hindu of the Year for
of Hinduism with great zeal, faith, enthusiasm and whole-heartedness." Sri
and beautiful international magazine. Gurudeva has energized, inspired and
faith." Ram Swarup, perhaps India's most outstanding Hindu thinker, wrote,
lead in the effort to overcome the problem of self-alienation and growing
The Iraivan Temple, now under construction at Kauai Aadheenam, was conceived
the Aadheenam land in 1975. To permanently capture the power of this great
made of hand-carved granite. The land was prepared for fifteen years, money
raised, and India's greatest living architect, V. Ganapathi Sthapati, was
hired to design the edifice in the thousand-year-old Chola style. The actual
blessed by the presence of Sri Sri Sri Trichyswami and Sri Sri Sri
State, who so loved Gurudeva's vision of a temple carved in India and
erected in America that they gave him 11 acres of land and supported every
desert lands, Gurudeva founded an entire village for the project. Homes were
erected for the 75 carvers and their families, wells were dug, kitchens
devotees of Gurudeva, Jiva Rajasankara, with his wife and sons, were brought
stones which are quarried, carved and trial-fitted, then shipped to Kauai
Hemisphere, and one for which Subramuniyaswami has insisted upon the most
careful craftsmanship. He directed the carvers to do everything by hand, and
the time-consuming and expensive project, he said no, telling them that by
hands-only craft to one more generation. The entire temple, which is taking
great carvers like Michelangelo and Rubin did their masterpieces, with a
simple hammer and an array of chisels. Enshrined in the temple will be a
Subramuniyaswami actively opposed deceptive and coercive proselytization
methods by other religions in India and other parts of the world. He put his
concerns directly before leaders of other faiths in public forums and in
conferences and demanded standards be established for "ethical conversion."
punishment in the homes and schools of Hindus. He immediately began a
campaign to "Stop the War in the Home" (see source for this talk at end) and
circumstances, and instructed them to begin teaching nonviolent methods of
children. She visited him on Kauai and together they worked out programs in
with dozens of schools in India now forbidding corporal punishment, and
thousands of Hindu parents reconsidering their own methods of child rearing.
World Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations in August, 2000,
passing. He accomplished this both through his publications and through his
personal teaching. Relying upon his own intuition and profound mystical
powers, he clarified and purified all of the Saivite teachings of his
inner experience. His staff researched thousands of topics and consulted
regularly with hundreds of scholars, linguists, historians, theologians and
Hinduism, but rather encouraged each to be true to their own traditions and
encouraging all shared beliefs and practices, rather than emphasizing areas
him and counted him a friend and ally. There has never been a guru so
Tamils, the Saivites of Mauritius, Malaysia and Fiji and his fellow
In South India, these theological centers, known as aadheenams, perform many
functions. They found and manage temples, hold endowment investments and
land, train swamis and priests, maintain libraries, support pundits,
arbitrate theological issues, give spiritual counseling and teach. They have
the authority to clarify and reinterpret scripture and to revise customary
practices of their communities. They also deal with worldly matters and are
By far his greatest efforts and most focused energy went toward the 2.5
addressing hundreds of thousands of Tamils. After 1983, Tamil refugees
poured out of Sri Lanka and made their way to Canada, America, Germany,
England, Australia and dozens of other countries. He founded the first
and sending it to the war-torn region of Jaffna. He established and
adjust to their circumstances and to remain staunch Saivite Hindus. In his
in Europe, and celebrated with them their successful adaptation to their new
Amman temple and visited other temple communities in Sweden, Norway, Germany
and the UK.
Saivite temple priests. Most especially he encouraged and defended the
aadheenams. He helped restore the dignity of this priesthood and encouraged
started to treat their priests with respect, pay them decent wages and
temples, which a few have done in Canada and Europe. He has always
considered the status and well-being of the Hindu priesthood to be the most
accurate measure of the well-being of Hinduism in general, and his successor
and monks will continue to champion the cause of Hindu priests around the
swamis, and then again in January, 1981, traveling with 33 devotees for an
Innersearch program which included India and Sri Lanka. Over the next few
schools. These classes and the widespread distribution of Hinduism Today
country disseminated clear Hindu teachings to the youth and instilled a
abolishing corporal punishment in the homes and schools, directing his
parenting and to change school policies regarding corporal punishment of
Manon Mardemootoo, a long-standing devotee of Subramuniyaswami and a
island nation of Mauritius:
village to village with one of his swamis. Then Gurudeva sent a
island. He conveyed Subramuniyaswami's teachings on the three worlds, the
story of our soul, our great God and Gods, the pillars of Hinduism, karma,
the greatness of Hinduism and the oneness of mankind. He removed
misconceptions in the Tamil Saivite community. Many of us came to understand
the printing of a local edition of Hinduism Today in 1986 on the island and
part of this land has been dedicated to a spiritual park, a present of
Subramuniyaswami to the people of Mauritius and the only one of its nature
in the country. It is now regularly visited by pilgrims from the world over.
Mandapam, with its nine-foot tall Pancha Mukha Ganapati. As well, equally
and Lord Siva, in the form of Dakshinamurthi, the silent teacher, also grace
Kauai Aadheenam, to the monastery. They created the Spiritual Park and held
retreats and seminars for thousands of youth around the island.
Subramuniyaswami advised his family members to use ayurvedic medicine and
adopt a healthy diet, including raw sugar, brown rice and brown bread. As
well he encouraged the wearing of Hindu dress at home, temples and during
discipline, the concept of education without violence at home and school and
will be remembered for the sense of discipline in spiritual life and
excellence at work which he instilled among his members and the need to
pursue daily sadhanas for spiritual progress and peaceful living in the
members, to take these teachings into the public and make it a living
reality. Subramuniyaswami succeeded in creating a sense of self-respect and
The first was with Hindu leaders to strengthen the ties within the Hindu
community. Then in 1995, under the auspices of the municipal Council of Port
Louis, he met with religious leaders of all faiths to strengthen the bonds
of friendship, respect and harmony among the people of Mauritius. Today, in
England, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Trinidad, Guyana, Canada, New
Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Singapore, and many more countries. Indeed, there
and in a largely non-Hindu community, still he found himself performing the
politicians, business people and spiritual individuals wanting to create a
positive future for the island's community. He worked monthly with the mayor
superintendent of schools, business and agricultural leaders, to bring a
unity to the ethnically diverse island of 55,000 and to offer his vision for
forward on local TV and radio programs, at Rotary Club breakfasts to which
he was invited to speak, and in person. He would from time to time be sought
island. Hundreds of residents, well-to-do and not so well-to-do alike,
counted him as their easily approachable friend and counselor, remaining
Kauai's most renowned citizen, the only one with an extensive global impact.
and county council. Indeed, the outpouring of gratitude and appreciation
from island residents upon his passing was at times as deep and as heartfelt
devotees worldwide to carry his work and institutions forward with
diligently on their personal spiritual disciplines and to live every moment
in harmony and love for all peoples. His monks, forged in the fires of his
wisdom and love, are well-prepared to keep his mission potent and effective.
Equally, his family devotees are pure, one-minded and deeply committed.
children their Saivite Hindu religion, preserving traditional culture and
art, protecting Hindu priests and the indigenous faiths of the world,
around the globe and working to reduce violence, child-beating and spouse
Website for extensive further information and high-resolution photos
Is life really meaningless?
Life is not meaningful in this first sense. And it is good that life is not meaningful in that sense, because then life becomes only a means to reach to the faraway goal, the faraway star. Then life loses its autonomous beauty. It is just a way; the real thing is tomorrow.
Meaning has another category too: intrinsic. Life is tremendously meaningful in the second sense. Then meaning is not separate, somewhere else; then meaning is in the very living itself.
You don't ask, has love any meaning? You know love is itself meaningful, it is not a means to some end. You do not ask if the beauty of a rose is meaningful. The beauty itself is enough; it does not lead anywhere, it contains its meaning within itself.
In existence everything that is really valuable is always intrinsically meaningful. And life is equivalent to existence. Life has meaning. If you just change the word "life" into "living," you will be able to understand more easily. Living has meaning -- each moment -- because living is not something dead like "life." The word "life" is dead -- all nouns are dead. But the language is created by dead people.
Some day the new man is going to create a language which consists only of verbs, because that will be authentic to existence. In existence there is no noun. Have you seen "life"? Have you met "life" anywhere? All that you meet, experience, is living.
Sipping a cup of tea, going for a morning walk, doing your work -- all these small activities make up your living. And each part, each moment of living, is meaningful. You just have to be there; otherwise, who is going to experience the meaning?
People go on drinking tea, but they never are there; their minds are wandering all over the world. People are making love, but they are not there. It is a very strange world that we have created. In one bedroom there are at least four people. Already the bedrooms are so small, too difficult for two people; and in the bed there are four people, or even more. These two people who are making love are not there: the man is thinking of some Hollywood actress, the woman is thinking of Muhammad Ali. So there are four people. Who is making love to whom? These two people are simply going through the gestures of love -- they are not present -- mechanical gestures of love. And then they ask, "Is there any meaning in life?"
WHEN I WAS A STUDENT, my principal in the high school was continuously troubled by my absence from the school. My family was troubled. I would start going to school, but never reach there. Life was so much, and so many things were happening on the way... and the school was almost one mile away from the house.
The principal called me one day and said, "You are almost always absent."
I said, "I am always present wherever I am. To be absent is not my style of life. And what can I do? -- this one mile between the school and my house.... A magician was doing his tricks on the street, and I became present there. It was far more interesting than your teachers, and I learned more than I could have learned here -- because whatever your teacher is saying I can read in the book, but I will never meet that magician again. And he did such beautiful tricks that when he was finished I followed him to his tent outside the city.
"Life is a bigger school than your school. And I am, each moment, present wherever I am. To be absent is not my style of life, so you please take your words back."
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?"
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.
The trouble is that once Amer ica goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place.
What we're witnessing here is the spectacle of the world's most powerful country reaching reflexively, angrily, for an old instinct to fight a new kind of war. Suddenly, when it comes to defending itself, America's streamlined warships, cruise missiles and F-16 jets look like obsolete, lumbering things. As deterrence, its arsenal of nuclear bombs is no longer worth its weight in scrap. Box-cutters, penknives, and cold anger are the weapons with which the wars of the new century will be waged. Anger is the lock pick. It slips through customs unnoticed. Doesn't show up in baggage checks.
Who is America fighting? On September 20, the FBI said that it had doubts about the identities of some of the hijackers. On the same day President George Bush said, "We know exactly who these people are and which governments are supporting them." It sounds as though the president knows something that the FBI and the American public don't.
In his September 20 address to the US Congress, President Bush called the enemies of America "enemies of freedom". "Americans are asking, 'Why do they hate us?' " he said. "They hate our freedoms - our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other." People are being asked to make two leaps of faith here. First, to assume that The Enemy is who the US government says it is, even though it has no substantial evidence to support that claim. And second, to assume that The Enemy's motives are what the US government says they are, and there's nothing to support that either.
For strategic, military and economic reasons, it is vital for the US government to persuade its public that their commitment to freedom and democracy and the American Way of Life is under attack. In the current atmosphere of grief, outrage and anger, it's an easy notion to peddle. However, if that were true, it's reasonable to wonder why the symbols of America's economic and military dominance - the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon - were chosen as the targets of the attacks. Why not the Statue of Liberty? Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government's record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things - to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)? It must be hard for ordinary Americans, so recently bereaved, to look up at the world with their eyes full of tears and encounter what might appear to them to be indifference. It isn't indifference. It's just augury. An absence of surprise. The tired wisdom of knowing that what goes around eventually comes around. American people ought to know that it is not them but their government's policies that are so hated. They can't possibly doubt that they themselves, their extraordinary musicians, their writers, their actors, their spectacular sportsmen and their cinema, are universally welcomed. All of us have been moved by the courage and grace shown by firefighters, rescue workers and ordinary office staff in the days since the attacks.
America's grief at what happened has been immense and immensely public. It would be grotesque to expect it to calibrate or modulate its anguish. However, it will be a pity if, instead of using this as an opportunity to try to understand why September 11 happened, Americans use it as an opportunity to usurp the whole world's sorrow to mourn and avenge only their own. Because then it falls to the rest of us to ask the hard questions and say the harsh things. And for our pains, for our bad timing, we will be disliked, ignored and perhaps eventually silenced.
The world will probably never know what motivated those particular hijackers who flew planes into those particular American buildings. They were not glory boys. They left no suicide notes, no political messages; no organisation has claimed credit for the attacks. All we know is that their belief in what they were doing outstripped the natural human instinct for survival, or any desire to be remembered. It's almost as though they could not scale down the enormity of their rage to anything smaller than their deeds. And what they did has blown a hole in the world as we knew it. In the absence of information, politicians, political commentators and writers (like myself) will invest the act with their own politics, with their own interpretations. This speculation, this analysis of the political climate in which the attacks took place, can only be a good thing.
But war is looming large. Whatever remains to be said must be said quickly. Before America places itself at the helm of the "international coalition against terror", before it invites (and coerces) countries to actively participate in its almost godlike mission - called Operation Infinite Justice until it was pointed out that this could be seen as an insult to Muslims, who believe that only Allah can mete out infinite justice, and was renamed Operation Enduring Freedom- it would help if some small clarifications are made. For example, Infinite Justice/Enduring Freedom for whom? Is this America's war against terror in America or against terror in general? What exactly is being avenged here? Is it the tragic loss of almost 7,000 lives, the gutting of five million square feet of office space in Manhattan, the destruction of a section of the Pentagon, the loss of several hundreds of thousands of jobs, the bankruptcy of some airline companies and the dip in the New York Stock Exchange? Or is it more than that? In 1996, Madeleine Albright, then the US secretary of state, was asked on national television what she felt about the fact that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US economic sanctions. She replied that it was "a very hard choice", but that, all things considered, "we think the price is worth it". Albright never lost her job for saying this. She continued to travel the world representing the views and aspirations of the US government. More pertinently, the sanctions against Iraq remain in place. Children continue to die.
So here we have it. The equivocating distinction between civilisation and savagery, between the "massacre of innocent people" or, if you like, "a clash of civilisations" and "collateral damage". The sophistry and fastidious algebra of infinite justice. How many dead Iraqis will it take to make the world a better place? How many dead Afghans for every dead American? How many dead women and children for every dead man? How many dead mojahedin for each dead investment banker? As we watch mesmerised, Operation Enduring Freedom unfolds on TV monitors across the world. A coalition of the world's superpowers is closing in on Afghanistan, one of the poorest, most ravaged, war-torn countries in the world, whose ruling Taliban government is sheltering Osama bin Laden, the man being held responsible for the September 11 attacks.
The only thing in Afghanistan that could possibly count as collateral value is its citizenry. (Among them, half a million maimed orphans.There are accounts of hobbling stampedes that occur when artificial limbs are airdropped into remote, inaccessible villages.) Afghanistan's economy is in a shambles. In fact, the problem for an invading army is that Afghanistan has no conventional coordinates or signposts to plot on a military map - no big cities, no highways, no industrial complexes, no water treatment plants. Farms have been turned into mass graves. The countryside is littered with land mines - 10 million is the most recent estimate. The American army would first have to clear the mines and build roads in order to take its soldiers in.
Fearing an attack from America, one million citizens have fled from their homes and arrived at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The UN estimates that there are eight million Afghan citizens who need emergency aid. As supplies run out - food and aid agencies have been asked to leave - the BBC reports that one of the worst humanitarian disasters of recent times has begun to unfold. Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death while they're waiting to be killed.
In America there has been rough talk of "bombing Afghanistan back to the stone age". Someone please break the news that Afghanistan is already there. And if it's any consolation, America played no small part in helping it on its way. The American people may be a little fuzzy about where exactly Afghanistan is (we hear reports that there's a run on maps of the country), but the US government and Afghanistan are old friends.
In 1979, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the CIA and Pakistan's ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) launched the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA. Their purpose was to harness the energy of Afghan resistance to the Soviets and expand it into a holy war, an Islamic jihad, which would turn Muslim countries within the Soviet Union against the communist regime and eventually destabilise it. When it began, it was meant to be the Soviet Union's Vietnam. It turned out to be much more than that. Over the years, through the ISI, the CIA funded and recruited almost 100,000 radical mojahedin from 40 Islamic countries as soldiers for America's proxy war. The rank and file of the mojahedin were unaware that their jihad was actually being fought on behalf of Uncle Sam. (The irony is that America was equally unaware that it was financing a future war against itself.)
Civil war in Afghanistan raged on. The jihad spread to Chechnya, Kosovo and eventually to Kashmir. The CIA continued to pour in money and military equipment, but the overheads had become immense, and more money was needed. The mojahedin ordered farmers to plant opium as a "revolutionary tax". The ISI set up hundreds of heroin laboratories across Afghanistan. Within two years of the CIA's arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland had become the biggest producer of heroin in the world, and the single biggest source of the heroin on American streets. The annual profits, said to be between $100bn and $200bn, were ploughed back into training and arming militants.
In 1995, the Taliban - then a marginal sect of dangerous, hardline fundamentalists - fought its way to power in Afghanistan. It was funded by the ISI, that old cohort of the CIA, and supported by many political parties in Pakistan. The Taliban unleashed a regime of terror. Its first victims were its own people, particularly women. It closed down girls' schools, dismissed women from government jobs, and enforced sharia laws under which women deemed to be "immoral" are stoned to death, and widows guilty of being adulterous are buried alive. Given the Taliban government's human rights track record, it seems unlikely that it will in any way be intimidated or swerved from its purpose by the prospect of war, or the threat to the lives of its civilians.
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.
The desolate landscape of Afghanistan was the burial ground of Soviet communism and the springboard of a unipolar world dominated by America. It made the space for neocapitalism and corporate globalisation, again dominated by America. And now Afghanistan is poised to become the graveyard for the unlikely soldiers who fought and won this war for America.
And what of America's trusted ally? Pakistan too has suffered enormously. The US government has not been shy of supporting military dictators who have blocked the idea of democracy from taking root in the country. Before the CIA arrived, there was a small rural market for opium in Pakistan. Between 1979 and 1985, the number of heroin addicts grew from zero to one-and-a-half million. Even before September 11, there were three million Afghan refugees living in tented camps along the border. Pakistan's economy is crumbling. Sectarian violence, globalisation's structural adjustment programmes and drug lords are tearing the country to pieces. Set up to fight the Soviets, the terrorist training centres and madrasahs, sown like dragon's teeth across the country, produced fundamentalists with tremendous popular appeal within Pakistan itself. The Taliban, which the Pakistan government has sup ported, funded and propped up for years, has material and strategic alliances with Pakistan's own political parties.
Now the US government is asking (asking?) Pakistan to garotte the pet it has hand-reared in its backyard for so many years. President Musharraf, having pledged his support to the US, could well find he has something resembling civil war on his hands.
India, thanks in part to its geography, and in part to the vision of its former leaders, has so far been fortunate enough to be left out of this Great Game. Had it been drawn in, it's more than likely that our democracy, such as it is, would not have survived. Today, as some of us watch in horror, the Indian government is furiously gyrating its hips, begging the US to set up its base in India rather than Pakistan. Having had this ringside view of Pakistan's sordid fate, it isn't just odd, it's unthinkable, that India should want to do this. Any third world country with a fragile economy and a complex social base should know by now that to invite a superpower such as America in (whether it says it's staying or just passing through) would be like inviting a brick to drop through your windscreen.
Operation Enduring Freedom is ostensibly being fought to uphold the American Way of Life. It'll probably end up undermining it completely. It will spawn more anger and more terror across the world. For ordinary people in America, it will mean lives lived in a climate of sickening uncertainty: will my child be safe in school? Will there be nerve gas in the subway? A bomb in the cinema hall? Will my love come home tonight? There have been warnings about the possibility of biological warfare - smallpox, bubonic plague, anthrax - the deadly payload of innocuous crop-duster aircraft. Being picked off a few at a time may end up being worse than being annihilated all at once by a nuclear bomb.
The US government, and no doubt governments all over the world, will use the climate of war as an excuse to curtail civil liberties, deny free speech, lay off workers, harass ethnic and religious minorities, cut back on public spending and divert huge amounts of money to the defence industry. To what purpose? President Bush can no more "rid the world of evil-doers" than he can stock it with saints. It's absurd for the US government to even toy with the notion that it can stamp out terrorism with more violence and oppression. Terrorism is the symptom, not the disease. Terrorism has no country. It's transnational, as global an enterprise as Coke or Pepsi or Nike. At the first sign of trouble, terrorists can pull up stakes and move their "factories" from country to country in search of a better deal. Just like the multi-nationals.
Terrorism as a phenomenon may never go away. But if it is to be contained, the first step is for America to at least acknowledge that it shares the planet with other nations, with other human beings who, even if they are not on TV, have loves and griefs and stories and songs and sorrows and, for heaven's sake, rights. Instead, when Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, was asked what he would call a victory in America's new war, he said that if he could convince the world that Americans must be allowed to continue with their way of life, he would consider it a victory.
The September 11 attacks were a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong. The message may have been written by Bin Laden (who knows?) and delivered by his couriers, but it could well have been signed by the ghosts of the victims of America's old wars. The millions killed in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, the 17,500 killed when Israel - backed by the US - invaded Lebanon in 1982, the 200,000 Iraqis killed in Operation Desert Storm, the thousands of Palestinians who have died fighting Israel's occupation of the West Bank. And the millions who died, in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Panama, at the hands of all the terrorists, dictators and genocidists whom the American government supported, trained, bankrolled and supplied with arms. And this is far from being a comprehensive list.
For a country involved in so much warfare and conflict, the American people have been extremely fortunate. The strikes on September 11 were only the second on American soil in over a century. The first was Pearl Harbour. The reprisal for this took a long route, but ended with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This time the world waits with bated breath for the horrors to come.
Someone recently said that if Osama bin Laden didn't exist, America would have had to invent him. But, in a way, America did invent him. He was among the jihadis who moved to Afghanistan in 1979 when the CIA commenced its operations there. Bin Laden has the distinction of being created by the CIA and wanted by the FBI. In the course of a fortnight he has been promoted from suspect to prime suspect and then, despite the lack of any real evidence, straight up the charts to being "wanted dead or alive".
From all accounts, it will be impossible to produce evidence (of the sort that would stand scrutiny in a court of law) to link Bin Laden to the September 11 attacks. So far, it appears that the most incriminating piece of evidence against him is the fact that he has not condemned them.
From what is known about the location of Bin Laden and the living conditions in which he operates, it's entirely possible that he did not personally plan and carry out the attacks - that he is the inspirational figure, "the CEO of the holding company". The Taliban's response to US demands for the extradition of Bin Laden has been uncharacteristically reasonable: produce the evidence, then we'll hand him over. President Bush's response is that the demand is "non-negotiable".
(While talks are on for the extradition of CEOs - can India put in a side request for the extradition of Warren Anderson of the US? He was the chairman of Union Carbide, responsible for the Bhopal gas leak that killed 16,000 people in 1984. We have collated the necessary evidence. It's all in the files. Could we have him, please?)
But who is Osama bin Laden really? Let me rephrase that. What is Osama bin Laden? He's America's family secret. He is the American president's dark doppelgänger. The savage twin of all that purports to be beautiful and civilised. He has been sculpted from the spare rib of a world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly stated policy of "full-spectrum dominance", its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. Its marauding multinationals who are taking over the air we breathe, the ground we stand on, the water we drink, the thoughts we think. Now that the family secret has been spilled, the twins are blurring into one another and gradually becoming interchangeable. Their guns, bombs, money and drugs have been going around in the loop for a while. (The Stinger missiles that will greet US helicopters were supplied by the CIA. The heroin used by America's drug addicts comes from Afghanistan. The Bush administration recently gave Afghanistan a $43m subsidy for a "war on drugs"....)
Now Bush and Bin Laden have even begun to borrow each other's rhetoric. Each refers to the other as "the head of the snake". Both invoke God and use the loose millenarian currency of good and evil as their terms of reference. Both are engaged in unequivocal political crimes. Both are dangerously armed - one with the nuclear arsenal of the obscenely powerful, the other with the incandescent, destructive power of the utterly hopeless. The fireball and the ice pick. The bludgeon and the axe. The important thing to keep in mind is that neither is an acceptable alternative to the other.
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."
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."
His saying that the only thing in the world to trust is money comes out of a long experience of life, of getting cheated again and again by the people he trusted -- and he thought they loved him but they were all around him for the 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.
Man has come of age, and God has become meaningless. The hypothesis has lost its grip.
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.
It does not mean that a man who is centered in his aloneness, complete in himself, cannot make friends -- in fact only he can make friends, because now it is no longer a need, it is just sharing. He has so much; he can share.
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?
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.
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...
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.
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.
There is no door; there is only darkness, there is only absence. And the more they fight, the more they find failure, the more they become dejected, pessimistic ... and ultimately they start finding that life has no meaning, that it is simply torture. But their mistake is they entered from the wrong 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.
Why so much conflict between the different religions?
The world seems to be getting more and more crazy from day to day. nobody knows what is going on and everything is upside down and confused. this is what is told in the newspapers. is it real? and if so, is there any intrinsic balance in life which is keeping everything stable?
The world is the same; it has always been the same -- upside down, crazy, insane. In fact, only one thing new has happened in the world, and that is the awareness that we are crazy, that we are upside down, that something is basically wrong with us. And this is a great blessing -- this awareness. Of course it is only a beginning, just the abc of a long process, just a seed, but immensely pregnant. The world was never so aware of its insane ways as it is today. It has always been the same. In three thousand years man has fought five thousand wars.
And all these religions were promising the people, "If you die in a religious war, your heaven is absolutely certain. Killing in war is not sin; being killed in war is a great virtue." This is sheer stupidity! But ten thousand years of conditioning has seeped deep into the blood, into the bones, in the very marrow of humanity. Each religion, each country, each race was claiming, "We are the chosen people of God. We are the highest; everyone is lower than us." This is insanity, and everybody has suffered because of it.
Jews have suffered immensely for one single folly that they committed: the idea that "We are the chosen people of God." Once you have the idea that you are the chosen people of God, then you cannot be forgiven by others because they are also the chosen people of God, and how to decide it? No argument can be conclusive, and nobody knows where God is hiding so you cannot ask him either; he cannot be brought in the court to be a witness. Then only the sword is going to decide. Whosoever is mighty is going to be right. Might has been right. Jews really suffered for centuries, but the suffering has not changed them. In fact it has strengthened the idea that they are the chosen people of God.
The same people who tell them, "You are the chosen people," also tell them that the chosen people have to go through many tests, many fires to prove their mettle. I have heard about an old rabbi -- he must have been a very sane man -- praying to God. He was praying for years and years and never asking for anything -- and you know, prayer is a kind of nagging: you go on nagging God every day, morning, afternoon, evening, night, five times every day. God must be getting tired, utterly bored....
And the rabbi was not asking for anything; otherwise there was a way out. If he had been asking for something it would have been given and the rabbi would have been told, "Get lost!" But he was not asking for anything, just praying. Finally God asked him, "Why do you go on torturing me? What do you want?" And the old rabbi said, "Just one thing. Is it not time for you to choose some other people? Please, make some other people your chosen people. We have suffered enough!"
But this is not only so with the Christians, Jews, Mohammedans and Hindus; it is exactly the same with all the people that have existed up to now. The racial ego, the religious ego, the spiritual ego is far more dangerous than the individual ego, because the individual ego is gross. You can see it -- everybody can see it, it is so visible on the surface. But when the ego becomes racial -- "Hinduism is great" -- you don't think you are claiming anything for yourself. Indirectly you are claiming, "I am great because I am a Hindu, and Hinduism is great." This is an indirect way, a subtle, cunning way: "I am great because I am a Japanese, because Japanese are the direct descendants of the sun God"; or, "I am a Chinese and the Chinese are the most civilized people, the most cultured."
When the Westerners reached China for the first time, looking at the Chinese, they laughed. They looked more like caricatures; cartoons rather than men -- just four or five hairs sticking out of your face and that's your whole beard! What kind of people are these? The first Europeans wrote in their diaries, "It seems we have discovered the missing link between the monkeys and man." And what were the Chinese writing in their journals?
Even the emperor of China was very much interested in seeing the Europeans because he had heard many stories about them. They were invited to his court, not because he respected the Europeans, but just to see what kind of people these were. Never before...! And he could not contain his laughter; he started laughing when he saw the Europeans. The Europeans were very much embarrassed: "Why is he laughing?" They were told, "That is his way of appreciating. He always laughs, enjoys; that is his way of welcoming the guests." But the reality was that he could not believe that these are human beings!
He asked his people, "Have you brought them from African jungles? They look like monkeys!" That's how the ego functions: the other is always reduced to the lowest possible; and compared to the other, one raises oneself higher. You say, "The world seems to be getting more and more crazy from day to day." That is not right; it has always been so.
Only one thing new is happening, and that is a blessing, not a curse at all. For the first time in the whole history of humanity, a few people are becoming aware that the way we have existed up to now is somehow wrong; something basically is missing in our very foundation.
There is something which does not allow us to grow into sane human beings. In our very conditioning are the seeds of insanity. Every child is born sane, and then, slowly slowly, we civilize him -- we call it the process of civilization. We prepare him to become part of the great culture, the great church, the great state to which we belong.
Our whole politics is stupid, and then he becomes stupid. Our whole education is ugly. Our politics means nothing but ambition, naked ambition -- ambition for power. And only the lowest kind of people become interested in power. Only the people who are suffering from a deep inferiority complex become politicians. They want to prove that they are not inferior; they want to prove it to others, they want to prove to themselves that they are not inferior, they are superior.
But what is the need to prove it if you are superior? The superior man does not try to prove anything, he is so at ease with his superiority. That's what Lao Tzu says: The superior man is not even conscious of his superiority; there is no need at all. It is only the ill person who starts thinking of health; the healthy person never thinks about health. The healthy person is not self-conscious about his health; only the sick, only the ill. The beautiful person, the really beautiful person is not self-conscious about his or her beauty. It is only the ugly person who is constantly worried and making every effort to prove that it is not so.
Adolf Hitler was mad, but nobody in Germany dared to say it. Many felt that he was mad, but the moment he was defeated and committed suicide, many people started writing that they had always felt it. Even his own physicians who had never dared to tell the person himself -- at least they were supposed to say the truth, they were the physicians -- they had not said that he was sick, badly sick, and not only physiologically but psychologically too.
He suffered from many nightmares, he was constantly afraid of being killed. He was obsessed with the idea that he was going to be killed, so much so that he never got married. He got married only when he had decided to commit suicide, just three hours before. To avoid having a woman in the same room, he never got married -- because who knows, the woman may be a spy, an enemy, and while he is asleep she may kill him, poison him.
He never trusted even the woman he pretended to love. He had no friends, because to be friendly with someone means to trust, and he was so doubtful. The politicians are insane, the priests are insane too....
Humanity has always been insane. It has always remained upside down and confused, because you have been brought up on lies. But one thing good is happening today: at least a few intelligent young people are becoming aware that our whole past has been wrong and it needs a radical change. "We need a discontinuity from our past. We want to start afresh, we need to start afresh. The whole past has been an experiment in utter futility!"
Once we accept the truth as it is, man can become sane. Man is born sane; we drive him crazy. Once we accept that there are no nations and no races, man will become very calm and quiet. All this continuous violence and aggression will disappear. If we accept man's body, its sexuality, naturally, then all kinds of stupidities preached in the name of religion will evaporate.
Ninety-nine percent of psychological diseases exist because of man's sexual repression. We have to make man free of his past. That's my whole work here: to help you to get rid of the past. Whatsoever the society has done to you has to be undone. Your consciousness has to be cleaned, emptied so that you can become like a pure mirror reflecting reality. To be able to reflect reality is to know God. God is just another name for reality: that which is. And a man is really sane when he knows the truth.
We have to change this whole earth into a tremendous festival, and it is possible because man brings all that is needed to transform this earth into a paradise.
I often panic, and worry that I might go mad....
[Articles] > 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.
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 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.
Now it is mind-boggling.
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 cannot exist with duality, and 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.
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!"
"But," I said, "there is only a screen and nothing else. Nobody is killed, there is no tragedy happening -- just a projection of a film, just pictures moving on the screen. And people laugh, and people weep, and for three hours they are almost lost. They become part of the movie, they become identified with some character..."
My father said to me, "If you are raising questions about people's reactions then you cannot enjoy the film."
My grandfather had an old barber who was an opium addict. For something which was possible to do in five minutes he would take two hours, and he would talk continuously. But they were old friends from their childhood. I can still see my grandfather sitting in the chair of the old barber... And he was a lovely talker. These opium addicts have a certain quality, a beauty of talking, telling stories about themselves, what is happening day-to-day; it is true.
My grandfather would simply be saying, "Yes, right, that's great..."
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."
This man was dangerous! But my grandfather used to say, "He is dangerous but he is lovely and I have become so much identified with him that I cannot conceive that if he dies before me I will be able to go to another barber's shop. I cannot conceive... for my whole life he has been my barber. The identity has become so deep that I may stop shaving my beard, but I cannot change my barber."
But fortunately my grandfather died before the opium-addict barber.
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.
Saraswathi Poojai
Shri Saraswathi is the Goddess of learning, who is divine knowledge personified. The sound of Her celestial veena awakens the notes of the sublime utterances of the sacred monosyllable, "OM". She bestows the knowledge of the supreme, mystic sound, clarity of thought and nobility of ideas as represented by Her pure dazzling white clothes, with the hands holding the veena and books seated on the white lotus.
We worship Goddess Saraswathi to gain knowledge, dispassion, devotion and prosperity.
First light the oil lamp. Apply sandalwood paste and kumkum on the forehead, palms and feet of the Goddess and then garland with flowers. Also apply on the books and musical instruments. Sit with folded legs on a small mat facing the Goddess.
Do salutation and contemplate on Lord Vighneswara chanting :-
   Yaa veena vara danda manditakara
   Devai sadaa vanditha
Touch your chest with left palm, touch also the feet of the goddess with right palm and chant :
Gandha lepanam :-
Apply sandalpaste and kumkum on the forehead,
and feet of the Goddess chanting :-
OM Shri Saraswathyey Namaha ! Gandham Samarpayaami !!
Offer flower / garland to the Goddess chanting :-
ringing the bell with the left hand, chant :
Satyam twarthena parishinchami
Take 2 spoonful on your right palm, and drop it
Then offer Tulsi leaves or flowers at the feet of the Goddess after chanting :
Light up the camphor, show it to the Goddess, also ringing the bell with the left hand, chant :-
Na thathra suryo bhaathi, Na chandra taarakam
With folded hand pray and offer flowers & tulsi
While standing, turn round in a clockwise manner at the
Then prostrate to the Goddess
Sit on the mat and pray :
Pour down a spoonful of water through the finger tips and chant :
Conversation of William Knott and Mr Watt.
[Jokes] > Conversation of William Knott and Mr Watt.
Conversation of William Knott and Mr Watt.
A long pause, and then from Watt, "Is this
So you know my name.
Good. So now, what is yours?
How the hell do I know? I am asking you!
Look I have been very patient and I have told
you my name and you
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?
See, you know my name!
Then why do you keep asking Watt is your name?
But you already know it!
See, and you know mine!
NOW THEY ARE AT A POINT WHERE BOTH THINK THE
OTHER KNOWS THEIR
NAME, BUT THEY THEMSELVES DON'T KNOW THE
Ok I won't argue any more. Do you know my
Well, there you go, now we know each other's
Oh, okay. At least the names are clear now
NOW THEY BOTH THINK THEY KNOW EACH OTHER'S
What is the meaning of Life?
Life in itself has no meaning. Life is an opportunity to create meaning. Meaning has not to be discovered: it has to be created. You will find meaning only if you create it. It is not lying there somewhere behind the bushes, so you can go and you search a little bit and find it. It is not there like a rock that you will find. It is a poetry to be composed, it is a song to be sung, it is a dance to be danced.
Millions of people are living meaningless lives because of this utterly stupid idea that meaning has to be discovered. As if it is already there. All that you need is to just pull the curtain, and behold! meaning is here. It is not like that.
So remember: Buddha finds the meaning because he creates it. I found it because I created it. God is not a thing but a creation. And only those who create find. And it is good that meaning is not lying there somewhere, otherwise one person would have discovered it -- then what would be the need for everybody else to discover it?
Can't you see the difference between religious meaning and scientific meaning? Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity; now, do you have to discover it again and again? You will be foolish if you discover it again and again. What is the point? One man has done it; he has given you the map. It may have taken years for him, but for you to understand it will take hours. You can go to the university and learn.
Buddha also discovered something, Zarathustra also discovered something, but it is not like Albert Einstein's discovery. It is not there that you have just to follow Zarathustra and his map and you will find it. You will never find it. You will have to become a Zarathustra. See the difference!
To understand the theory of relativity, you need not become an Albert Einstein, no. You have to be just of average intelligence, that's all. If you are not too much retarded, you will understand it.
But to understand the meaning of Zarathustra, you will have to become a Zarathustra -- less than that won't do. You will have to create it again. And each individual has to give birth to God, to meaning, to truth; each man has to become pregnant with it and pass through the pains of birth. Each one has to carry it in one's womb, feed it by one's own blood, and only then does one discover.
Now, you ask me: Why can't I see any meaning in life?
You must be waiting passively for the meaning to come... it will never come. This has been the idea of the past religions, that the meaning is already there. It is not! Freedom is there to create it, energy is there to create it. The field is there to sow the seeds and reap the crop. All is there -- but the meaning has to be created. That's why to create it is such a joy, such an adventure, such an ecstasy.
So the first thing: religion has to be creative. Up to now, religion has remained very passive, almost impotent. You don't expect a religious person to be creative. You just expect him to fast, sit in a cave, get up early in the morning, chant mantras... and this kind of stupid thing. And you are perfectly satisfied! What is he doing? And you praise him because he goes on long fasts. Maybe he is a masochist; maybe he enjoys torturing himself. He sits there when it is icy cold, naked, and you appreciate him. But what is the point, what is the value in it? All the animals of the world are naked in the icy cold -- they are not saints. Or when it is hot, he sits in the hot sun, and you appreciate him. You say, "Look! here is a great ascetic." But what is he doing? What is his contribution to the world? What beauty has he added to the world? Has he changed the world a little bit? Has he made it a little more sweet, more fragrant? No, you don't ask that.
Now, I tell you, this has to be asked: Praise a man because he has created a song. Praise a man because he has created a beautiful sculpture. Praise a man because he plays such a beautiful flute. Let these be religious qualities from now onwards. Praise a man because he is such a lover -- love is religion. Praise a man: because of him the world is becoming more graceful.
Forget all these stupid things! -- fasting and just sitting in a cave, torturing oneself or lying down on a bed of nails. Praise a man because he has cultivated beautiful roses. The world is more colorful because of him. And then you will find meaning.
And second thing: sometimes it happens that you search for the meaning because you have already concluded. Out of a conclusion you search for it. You have already decided what meaning should be there, or has to be there... and then you don't find it.
For example, if a man comes into my garden and thinks if he can find a diamond there then this garden is beautiful, and he cannot find the diamond, so he says there is no meaning in the garden.... And there are so many beautiful flowers, and so many birds singing, and so many colors, and the wind blowing through the pines, and the moss on the rocks. But he cannot see any meaning because he has a certain idea: he has to find the diamond, a Kohinoor -- only then will there be meaning.
He is missing meaning because of his idea. Let your inquiry be pure. Don't move with any fixed idea. Go naked and nude. Go open and empty. And you will find not only one meaning -- you will find a thousand and one meanings. Then each thing will become meaningful. Just a colored stone shining in the rays of the sun... or a dewdrop creating a small rainbow around itself... or just a small flower dancing in the wind.... What meaning are you searching for?
Don't start with a conclusion, otherwise you have started wrongly from the very beginning. Go without a conclusion! That's what I mean when I say again and again: Go without knowledge if you want to find truth. The knowledgeable person never finds it. His knowledge is a barrier.
The night after the show, they came to visit him and asked him eagerly what he thought of the show.
"Ash," he answered, "it was simply nonsense. When she was willing, he wasn't willing. And when he was willing, she wasn't willing. And when they both were willing, down came the curtain!"
Now, if you have a fixed idea, then you are only looking for it, only looking for it.... And because of this narrowness of the mind, all that is available is missed.
Meaning has to be created. And meaning has to be searched for without any conclusions. If you can drop your knowledge, life will suddenly take on color, it will become psychedelic. But you are continuously carrying the load of your scriptures, books, theories, doctrines, philosophies... you are lost in all that. And everything has become mixed, hotchpotch. And you cannot even remember what is what.
Your mind is a mess. Clean it! Make it a blank. The empty mind is the best mind. And those who have been telling you that the empty mind is the Devil's workshop are the Devil's agents. The empty mind is closer to God than anything. The empty mind is not the Devil's workshop. The Devil cannot do without thoughts.
So many thoughts in the mind, mixed up; nothing seems to be clear; you have heard so many things from so many sources -- your mind is a monster. And you are trying to remember, and you have been told to remember: Don't forget! And, naturally, the burden is so much that you cannot remember. Many things you have forgotten. Many things you have imagined and added on your own.
An Englishman visiting America attended a banquet and heard the Master of Ceremonies give the following toast:
Some weeks later when he returned to England, he attended a church luncheon and was asked to give a toast. In thunderous tones he addressed the crowded room:
That is happening. You remember this -- Plato has said this. And you remember that -- Lao Tzu has said that. And you remember what Jesus has said, and what Mohammed has said... and you remember many things. And they have all got mixed up. And you have not said a single thing on your own. Unless you say something on your own, you will miss the meaning.
Drop the knowledge and become more creative. Remember, knowledge is gathered -- you need not be creative about it; you have only to be receptive. And that's what man has become: man is reduced to being a spectator. He reads the newspapers, he reads the Bible and the Koran and the Gita; he goes to the movie, sits there and sees the movie; he goes to the football match, or sits before his TV, listens to the radio... and so on and so forth. Twenty-four hours a day he is just in a kind of inactivity, a spectator. Others are doing things, and he is simply watching. You will not find meaning by watching.
You can see a thousand and one lovers making love and you will not know what love is -- you will not know that orgasmic abandonment by watching. You will have to become a participant. Meaning comes through participation. Participate in life! Participate as deeply, as totally, as possible. Risk all for participation. If you want to know what dance is, don't go and see a dancer -- learn dancing, be a dancer. If you want to know anything, participate! That is the true and the right way, the authentic way, to know a thing. And there will be great meaning in your life. And not only one-dimensional -- multi-dimensional meanings. You will be showered by meanings.
And life has to be multi-dimensional, then only is there meaning. Never make life one-dimensional. That too is a problem.
Somebody becomes an engineer, and then he thinks all is finished. He becomes identified with being an engineer. Then his whole life he is just an engineer. And there were millions of things available. But he moves only on one track, becomes bored. Is fed up. Is tired, wearied. Goes on dragging. Waits only for death. What meaning can there be?
Have more interests in life. Don't be always a businessman. Sometimes play too. Don't be just a doctor or an engineer, or a headmaster, or a professor -- be as many things as possible! Play cards, play the violin, sing a song, be an amateur photographer, a poet.... Find as many things as possible in life, and then you will have richness. And meaning is a by-product of richness.
Socrates, while awaiting death in prison, was haunted by a dream that kept urging him, "Socrates, make music!" The old man felt he had always served art with his philosophizing. But now, spurred on by that mysterious voice, he turned fables into verse, indited a hymn to Apollo, and played the flute.
In the face of death, philosophy and music briefly went hand in hand, and Socrates was as blissful as never before.
He had never played on the flute. Something inside him persisted, "Socrates, make music!" Just in the face of death! It looked so ridiculous. And he had never played, he had never made music. A part of his being had remained suffocated. Yes, even a man like Socrates, had remained one-dimensional. The denied part insisted, "Enough of logic -- a little music will be good, will bring balance. Enough of argumentation -- play on the flute." And the voice was so persistent that he had to yield to it.
It was a holiday, and the Hassidim had gathered to pray and to have a communion -- sat sang -- with the Master.
The father said, "Absolutely no -- where is your whistle," because he was afraid. He may not even listen to his "no." He showed the whistle and the father kept his hand on his pocket, the boy's pocket. Then there was dancing, and the father forgot and he also started dancing. And Hassids are dancers, joyous people -- the cream of Judaism, the very essence of Judaism is with them, with those mad people.
When everybody was praying to God and dancing, suddenly the boy could not resist any more. He took out his whistle and blew on it. Everybody was shocked! But Baal Shem came, hugged the boy, and said, "Our prayers are heard. Without this whistle, all was futile -- because this was the only spontaneous thing here. All else was ritual."
Don't allow your life to become just a dead ritual. Let there be moments, unexplainable. Let there be a few things which are mysterious, for which you cannot supply any reason. Let there be a few doings for which people will think you are a little crazy. A man who is a hundred percent sane is dead. A little bit of craziness by the side is always a great joy. Go on doing a few crazy things too. And then meaning will be posible.
Moving from anger into sadness...
Osho, I can feel myself moving from anger into sadness. I don't know whether I should try and get the anger out or just let it explode inside.
Anger and sadness are both the same. Sadness is passive anger and anger is active sadness. Because sadness comes easy, anger seems to be difficult. because you are too much in tune with the passive.
In all our emotions the basic polarity continues -- of man and woman, yin and yang, the male and the female. Anger is male, sadness is female. So if you are in tune with sadness, it is difficult to shift to anger, but I would like you to shift. Just exploding it within won't help much because again you are seeking some way of being passive. No. Bring it out, act it out. Even if it looks nonsense, then too. Be a buffoon in your own eyes, but bring it out.
If you can float between anger and sadness, both become similarly easy. You will have a transcendence and then you will be able to watch. You can stand behind the screen and watch these games, and then you can go beyond both. But first you have to be moving easily between these two. otherwise you tend to be sad and when one is heavy, transcendence is difficult.
Remember, when two energies, opposite energies, are exactly alike, fifty-fifty, then it is very easy to get out of them, because they are fighting and cancelling each other and you are not in anybody's grip. Your sadness and your anger are fifty-fifty, equal energies, so they cancel each other. Suddenly you have freedom and you can slip out. But if sadness is seventy percent and anger thirty percent, then it is very difficult. Thirty percent anger in contrast with seventy percent sadness means forty percent sadness will still be there and it will not be possible; you will not be capable of easily slipping out. That forty percent will hang over you.
So this is one of the basic laws of inner energies -- to always let the opposite polarities come to an equal status, and then you are able to slip out of them. It is as if two persons are fighting and you can escape. They are so engaged with themselves that you need not worry, and you can escape. Don't bring the mind in. Just make it an exercise.
You can make it an everyday exercise; forget about waiting for it to come. Every day you have to be angry -- that will be easier. So jump, jog. scream, and bring it. Once you can bring it for no reason at all, you will be very happy because now you have a freedom. Otherwise even anger is dominated by situations. You are not a master of it. If you cannot bring it, how can you drop it?
Gurdjieff used to teach his disciples never to start by dropping anything. First start by bringing it in, because only a person who can create anger on demand can be capable of dropping it on demand -- simple mathematics. So Gurdjieff would tell his disciples to first learn how to be angry. Everybody would be sitting and suddenly he would ay, "Number One, stand up and be angry!" It looks so absurd.
But if you can bring it.... And it is always available, just by the comer, you just have to pull it in. It comes easily when anybody provides an excuse. Somebody insults you -- it is there. So why wait for the insult? Why be dominated by the other? Why can't you bring it yourself? Bring it yourself!
In the beginning it looks a little awkward, strange, unbelievable, because you have always believed in the theory that it is somebody else whose insult has created the anger. That's not true. Anger has always been there; somebody has just given an excuse for it to come up. You can give yourself an excuse. Imagine a situation in which you would have been angry, and become angry. Talk to the wall and say things, and soon the wall will be talking to you. Just go completely crazy. You have to bring anger and sadness to a similar status, where they are exactly proportionate to each other. They will cancel each other out and you can slip away.
Gurdjieff used to call this "the way of the sly man" -- to bring inner energies to such a conflict that they are engaged together cancelling each other, and you have the opportunity to escape. Try it, mm?
Why do you contradict yourself?
Osho, I know that you love contradictions. A lot of it I can accept now as two sides of one coin. But today after lecture some questions still arose. On the one side you say the good and the bad are two sides of the same coin and both have to be and the one can't be without the other. On the other side you want to create a better world with your sannyasins. On the one side you tell us not to think in terms of the future. On the other side you are talking about the coming third world war. On the one side you tell us not to wish anything. On the other side it seems you want to avoid the third world war. On the one side you say things are okay as they are, there is no goal, nothing to achieve, to change. On the other side: what are you doing here? What are we doing here? I can feel there is an answer, but I can't point it out. Can you?
It is not that I love contradictions: life is contradictory. Existence itself is possible only through contradictions. It is the mind that has been trained in Aristotelian logic that becomes disturbed because of contradictions. The Aristotelian logic gives you a linear mind, a one-dimensional mind. It says: A can only be A and can never be B, and B can only be B and can never be A, and for two thousand years our minds have been conditioned by this logic.
This logic never had any sway over the mystics, and now even scientists are escaping from the Aristotelian prison. If you want to be true to life you cannot be a follower of Aristotle; to be true to life you will have to say things as they are. If you want to be true to Aristotle then you will have to repress a few things of life, deny, at least avoid, not look at them, choose only what fits with your logic.
The whole world has existed up to now according to one-dimensional logic -- and existence is multi-dimensional, it is rooted in contradictions. In fact, to call it a contradiction is again to use a word from Aristotle.
Existence is a mystery. Mathematics is incapable of understanding it; mind is utterly impotent in understanding it, because mind knows only one way. The Aristotelian way is the mind's way. And anybody who knows life knows that Aristotle has been a calamity, the greatest that has ever existed in the world. And he is the father of modern philosophy, the father of modern science! But there are revolts against him. Mystics have always been revolting, now physicists are revolting.
According to Aristotle there is no mystery: everything is explainable in logical terms -- that is his fundamental tenet. And my fundamental tenet is: nothing is explainable in terms of logic. If you try to explain life in terms of logic you destroy life.
It is as if to explain the beauty of a rose you take the rose to the chemist to dissect it, to analyze it, and to find out where the beauty is. The chemist is capable of analyzing the rose, but he will find only chemicals, not beauty. Beauty will evaporate. Beauty was in the paradox of the rose. It should not be according to logic -- hence logic is very blind.
You say: I know that you love contradictions.
It is not so that I love contradictions. What can I do? Contradictions are there! If I have to be true to the totality of existence I have to love them, otherwise something will have to be denied. And the moment you deny something you miss something immensely valuable, and the denial will never allow you to know the whole. And only the whole is true; the parts are only parts. They have some meaning only in the context of the whole; in themselves they are meaningless.
That's why science has created great meaninglessness in the world. It was bound to happen; it is a by-product of scientific methodology. Science tries to explain everything cleanly, with no vagueness; it wants to reduce everything to clear-cut categories. And it has succeeded, but in its success man and his spirit has failed.
The success of science is rooted in Aristotle, but man's failure -- the failure of his joy, the failure of his love, the failure of his capacity to sing, dance and celebrate -- is also rooted in Aristotle. But there are clear-cut signs of revolt, particularly within these last thirty, forty years -- many great scientists have revolted against Aristotle. The first one to revolt was Albert Einstein.
Aristotle is very absolutistic: A is absolutely A and never B, man is absolutely man and never a woman. He believes in the absolutes, and Einstein brought the idea of relativity. He said absolutes don't exist; there are only relative things. A man is relatively more a man than a woman and a woman is relatively more a woman than a man, but the question is not one of absolute distinction -- they overlap. And you may be a man in the morning and you may not be a man by the evening; you may be a woman in the evening and you may not be a woman by the morning. You are not one-sided, you have many sides.
Have you not seen a woman in anger? Then she is more masculine than any male. And have you not seen a man when he is in love? -- his tenderness, his feminineness. He is more feminine than any woman can ever be. When a woman is in anger, enraged, her whole denied part starts functioning, and the denied part is very vital and alive because it has never been used.
A man went into a hospital to purchase a brain; because his own was not functioning well he wanted to replace it. The surgeon took him around; there were many brains available. He showed him the brain of a scientist, the price only a hundred rupees; the brain of a great, famous, well-known mathematician, and the price only two hundred rupees; and the brain of a great general, and the price only three hundred rupees -- so on and so forth. And then he came to the brain of a great political leader, and the price- was ten thousand rupees!
The surgeon said, "Please don't misunderstand us. It is not that the politician has a greater brain than the scientist or the general or the mathematician or the poet, but this is a brain which has never been used. It is brand new, hence the price!"
Whatsoever is not used and denied in you remains very vital. Hence a woman enraged is far more dangerous than a man; and if you have been in relationship with a woman you know it perfectly well -- she can drive you crazy! because that is the denied part, the unused part. When it is used it has vitality, newness. And when a man is tender, loving, he is more tender and loving than a woman. He can be more womanly because that is his denied part.
Carl Gustav Jung accepted that man is bi-sexual: no man is simply man and no woman is simply woman. Man has a woman part, a very intrinsic part, and woman has a man inside her, very intrinsic. Now this is a totally different world: old categories lose meaning, old absolutes disappear.
And then came the theory of uncertainty -- because up to now science was aware only of the superficial world of matter. It has not penetrated into the mysteries of matter as mystics have done in the inner world; they have penetrated into the mysteries of consciousness. And when they penetrated the mysteries of consciousness they became aware that it is not Aristotelian at all. Sometimes A is A and sometimes A is B; and not only that -- that sometimes A is B -- there are times when A is both A and not A simultaneously.
Mahavira said that; his philosophy is known as saptabhangi -- sevenfold. He must have appeared a very strange man. You asked one question and he would always answer your one question with seven answers, because his philosophy was sevenfold. He said, "I have come to see the seven aspects of the inner world." You asked him, "Does God exist?" and he would say, "First: perhaps he exists. Second: perhaps he does not. Third: perhaps he exists and yet does not exist. And fourth: perhaps he neither exists nor does not exist." And so on and so forth. He would give you seven answers. You would leave him more confused than you had come. That's why he could not influence many people. His religion remained one of the smallest although it had the potential of becoming one of the greatest religions of the world.
But now the days of Mahavira are coming: Albert Einstein has made the way for it. As the physicist entered deeper into the mysteries of matter he was very much puzzled -- Aristotle works no more, helps no more. On the contrary, if you remain hung up with Aristotle you have to deny a few things which you cannot deny -- they are there!
For example: matter does not exist at the deepest level of matter; matter is only apparent, it is maya. Shankara said it thousands of years ago: it is illusion. By "illusion" he does not mean that it does not exist; by "illusion" he simply means it appears to exist -- something else exists. Don't be deceived by the appearance. And the scientist found himself entering more into the world of Shankara than into the world of Aristotle. Matter disappears, there is only energy -- energy moving so fast that you cannot see its movement and it gives you the idea of solid matter.
Nothing is solid, everything is liquid. And when there is nothing solid, what meaning can the word "liquid" have? Then a new problem arises: if there is nothing solid, what do you mean by "liquid?" Liquidity had meaning only in reference to solidity; the moment solidity disappears, liquidity disappears...and you are dumb, in awe.
Only energy is, and the ways of energy are very paradoxical, very mystic. One particle of energy jumps from its place to another place; it is continuously lumping. It is taking quantum leaps. The term "quantum leap" comes from quanta. "Quanta" means the ultimate particle of energy, and "quantum leap" means a very different leap from what you understand by the word "leap."
When the ultimate particle of energy jumps from place A to B the phenomenon is very mysterious: it simply disappears from A and appears at B and you cannot find it anywhere in between. You come from your place to me; you will be found in between. How can you just jump from your place to my place? Even if you jump, you will have to pass through. Even if you take the fastest plane, still you will be in between. But the ultimate particle of matter simply disappears from one place and appears at another place and you cannot find it in between at all. Now what to make out of it? It should not be so, but it is so.
First scientists figured, "We must be missing it -- maybe we don't have sophisticated enough instruments. How can it be?" The old Aristotle was haunting them: "It must be somewhere in between." But now we have more sophisticated instruments -- it simply disappears. It becomes unmanifest in one place and becomes manifest again in another place. What happens in between nothing can be known about, because it becomes unmanifest; it simply disappears from existence. It moves into a totally different dimension which is not known at all and may never be known at all, because it is the unknowable.
And it was thought always, according to Aristotle and Euclid, that a point can never be a line. It was found by the physicists that the point can be both together: it can be a particle and a wave, it can be a point and a line. Euclidean geometry used to say -- you must have read it at school -- that two parallel lines never meet. Now there is something like non-Euclidean geometry which says they meet. What to make out of it? Euclidean geometry says you can draw a straight line: a straight line is the shortest distance between two points -- a well-known definition, every schoolboy knows about it. But non-Euclidean geometry has come with great force and is changing the whole course of scientific thinking.
Non-Euclidean geometry says you cannot draw a straight line at all; it is impossible to draw a straight line. Why? -- because you are sitting on an earth which is round. So whatsoever you draw, it appears straight because you don't know that you are sitting on a round globe. Go on drawing the line, go on drawing the line, and soon you will see that it becomes a circle, because it will cover the whole earth. And a straight line cannot be a part of a circle, obviously; if it is a part of a circle it is not straight. No straight line can create a circle, but every straight line that you know, if drawn to its ultimate, will become part of a circle. Then it is an are, not a straight line.
And the whole universe is circular. The whole universe, all the movement, is circular; everything is a circle. Straight lines are not possible; they are imaginary lines.
Mystics have always talked in paradoxes; now physicists are talking in paradoxes. And the reason is the same: mystics entered reality through their being and came across the mystery; physicists are coming across the same reality from another door -- the outward door.
Osho, Be Still And Know, Chapter 7
Understanding the Lessons of September 11
[Articles] > Understanding the Lessons of September 11
by Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Muniji)
blatantly, so callously, so mercilessly struck at so many thousands of
Prasaar Yatra, travelling first to the Caribbean, then to USA and Canada,
then to UK and then to Europe, spreading the messages of peace, unity and
this yatra, we heard the shattering news. Times like this and acts like
these almost render us speechless with sadness. It is only after the sand
has settled back on the beach after the storm, that we can bend down and
engage in these unforgivable acts of terrorism, intimidation and violence
Only peace is holy. That which is holy is peaceful, loving, pious and
your sister or your brother and claim you did it for your mother or father's
are using God's name in order to justify their own evil, violence and
our own egos, our own jealousies and grudges.
then look at what we can learn, what reassurance we can gain from this
individually as people as well as help us grow as nations and as a world?
Western as superior, as inherently "safe." If you give someone a gift and
pride, comfort and security. It is every parent's dream to send their
children "to America," and it is every child's dream to go. It is not only
and superiority about everything Western.
security and invincibility. There is a sense -- taught since childhood --
material prosperity, but also personal comfort and safety. And, I am not
condemning this feeling. I, personally, love America and love Americans for
their great openness, great honesty, eagerness and steadfastness on the path
to God. And, in many ways, this feeling of security regarding the country is
not misplaced. The West achieves standards of excellence which are
unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. The education and professional
education, is invincible and invulnerable. It is only by the grace of God
allowing us to breathe and our hearts to beat. It is only by the grace of
God that our legs move when we think "move" and that our ears can process
the sounds we hear. It is only by His grace that the thousands and thousands
of blood vessels in our body, continue to carry blood safely to and from the
true protector. No insurance policy could have protected those thousands of
that tragic moment came it was only a matter of them and God. It is only our
Divine Insurance Policy who truly renders us safe and protected. Thus, let
us turn back to Him and realize that we are simply in His hands and that it
is only by His will and His grace that we continue to exist and to
The tragedy struck the top CEOs as quickly and mercilessly as
it struck the mail deliverers and window washers. It struck those living in
the posh suburbs of Long Island as ruthlessly as it struck those sharing
achievements for what they can really give us -- comfort, ease and the
our hearts and our lives to Him, regardless of our profession, that we are
truly safe and truly secure, not just our bodies, but our souls.
the big issue is whether America should go to war, whether and how we should
peaceful future, action done after great thought and deliberation. I pray
violence perpetrated against New York and Washington, as well as the
innumerable acts of terrorism throughout history, are acts of ignorance and
color, religion and nationality. These are all veils of ignorance, veils of
and beneath banners of religion, nationality, color or creed. The solution
can only come by breaking these borders, by breaking these boundaries and by
healthy;" then we will fall into the same well of despair as those who
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?
gifts, to come together as sister and brother, to forgive and forget our
grievances and our grudges, and to join hands together in rebuilding the
towers. But let these new towers be not only towers of trade and towers of
peace, and that those who are shattered, broken and bereaved by this tragedy
may find solace and serenity. Lastly, we pray for those who have committed
this atrocious act and for all those who have plans or desires to commit a
similar act -- we pray that God may bestow wisdom and compassion upon them,
so that they can see the folly of their ways and transform themselves. We
all the animals, all the plants and peace for every being in the universe.
Meditation
[Swami Sivananda] in [Goal of Life is God-Realisation|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/messages/goal.htm] : ...There is no Knowledge without Meditation. The aspirant churns his own soul. Truth becomes manifest...Why do you read many books? It is of no use. The great book is within your heart. Open the pages of this inexhaustible book, the source of all knowledge...
J. Krishnamurti : Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end.
[Meditations By Gurani Anjali|http://www.santosha.com/dhyana/] : These essays are transcriptions of meditations given by Gurani Anjali at Yoga Anand Ashram
[Jorn Barger] in [An Internet way of self-knowledge|http://www.robotwisdom.com/weblogs/selfknowledge.html] : ...I think real meditation is about detecting self-deception...
[Joe Loffredo] : [Some Thoughts on Meditation|http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Cyprus/5927/meditate.htm]
[Why Meditate?|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/messages/whymed.htm]
[How to Meditate|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/messages/howmed.htm]
[The Art of Meditation|http://ts-adyar.org/magazine/the_theosophist/February_03/meditation.htm] : ...I have often wished we could see the astral and mental creatures we send out into the world. But it is perhaps merciful that we do not, for the sense of our responsibility might crush us...
http://www.ananda.org/meditation/
Why is love so painful?
Love is painful because it creates the way for bliss. Love is painful because it transforms; love is mutation. Each transformation is going to be painful because the old has to be left for the new. The old is familiar, secure, safe, the new is absolutely unknown. You will be moving in an uncharted ocean. You cannot use your mind with the new; with the old, the mind is skillful. The mind can function only with the old; with the new, the mind is utterly useless.
Hence, fear arises, and leaving the old, comfortable, safe world, the world of convenience, pain arises. It is the same pain that the child feels when he comes out of the womb of the mother. It is the same pain that the bird feels when he comes out of the egg. It is the same pain that the bird will feel when he will try for the first time to be on the wing.
The fear of the unknown, and the security of the known, the insecurity of the unknown, the unpredictability of the unknown, makes one very much frightened.
And because the transformation is going to be from the self towards a state of no-self, agony is very deep. But you Cannot have ecstasy without going through agony. If the gold wants to be purified, it has to pass through fire.
It is because of the pain of love, millions of people live a loveless life. They too suffer, and their suffering is futile. To suffer in love is not to suffer in vain. To suffer in love is creative; it takes you to higher levels of consciousness. To suffer without love is utterly a waste; it leads you nowhere, it keeps you moving in the same vicious circle.
The man who is without love is narcissistic, he is closed. He knows only himself. And how much can he know himself if he has not known the other, because only the other can function as a mirror? You will never know yourself without knowing the other. Love is very fundamental for self-knowledge too. The person who has not known the other in deep love, in intense passion, in utter ecstasy, will not be able to know who he is, because he will not have the mirror to see his own reflection.
Relationship is a mirror, and the purer the love is, the higher the love is, the better the mirror, the cleaner the mirror. But the higher love needs that you should be open. The higher love needs you to be vulnerable. You have to drop your armor; that is painful. You have not to be constantly on guard. You have to drop the calculating mind. You have to risk. You have to live dangerously. The other can hurt you; that is the fear in being vulnerable. The other can reject you; that is the fear in being in love.
One has to go into love. That is the first step towards God, and it cannot be bypassed. Those who try to bypass the step of love will never reach God. That is absolutely necessary because you become aware of your totality only when you are provoked by the presence of the other, when your presence is enhanced by the presence of the other, when you are brought out of your narcissistic, closed world under the open sky.
And to drop the ego is very painful because we have been taught to cultivate the ego. We think the ego is our only treasure. We have been protecting it, we have been decorating it, we have been continuously polishing it, and when love knocks on the door, all that is needed to fall in love is to put aside the ego; certainly it is painful. It is your whole life's work, it is all that you have created -- this ugly ego, this idea that "I am separate from existence. "
Love gives you the first experience of being in tune with something that is not your ego. Love gives you the first lesson that you can fall into harmony with someone who has never been part of your ego. If you can be in harmony with a woman, if you can be in harmony with a friend, with a man, if you can be in harmony with your child or with your mother, why can't you be in harmony with all human beings? And if to be in harmony with a single person gives such joy, what will be the outcome if you are in harmony with all human beings? And if you can be in harmony with all human beings, why can't you be in harmony with animals and birds and trees? Then one step leads to another.
And then there are problems, problems which are meaningless. There are problems which are creative because they lead you to higher awareness. There are problems which lead you nowhere; they simply keep you tethered, they simply keep you in your old mess.
Love creates problems. You can avoid those problems by avoiding love. But those are very essential problems! They have to be faced, encountered; they have to be lived and gone through and gone beyond. And to go beyond, the way is through. Love is the only real thing worth doing. All else is secondary. If it helps love, it is good. All else is just a means, love is the end. So whatsoever the pain, go into love.
If you don't go into love, as many people have decided, then you are stuck with yourself. Then your life is not a pilgrimage, then your life is not a river going to the ocean; your life is a stagnant pool, dirty, and soon there will be nothing but dirt and mud. To keep clean, one needs to keep flowing. A river remains clean because it goes on flowing. Flow is the process of remaining continuously virgin.
A lover remains a virgin. All lovers are virgin. The people who don't love cannot remain virgin; they become dormant, stagnant; they start stinking sooner or later -- and sooner than later -- because they have nowhere to go. Their life is dead.
That's where modern man finds himself, and because of this, all kinds of neuroses, all kinds of madnesses, have become rampant. Psychological illness has taken epidemic proportions. It is no more that a few individuals are psychologically ill; the reality is the whole earth has become a madhouse. The whole of humanity is suffering from a kind of neurosis.
And that neurosis is coming from your narcissistic stagnancy. Everyone is stuck with one's own illusion of having a separate self; then people go mad. And this madness is meaningless, unproductive, uncreative. Or people start committing suicide. Those suicides are also unproductive, uncreative.
You may not commit suicide by taking poison or jumping from a cliff or by shooting yourself, but you can commit a suicide which is a very slow process, and that's what happens. Very few people commit suicide suddenly. Others have decided for a slow suicide; gradually, slowly, slowly they die. But almost, the tendency to be suicidal has become universal.
This is no way to live, and the reason, the fundamental reason, is we have forgotten the language of love. We are no more courageous enough to go into that adventure called love.
Hence people are interested in sex, because sex is not risky. It is momentary, you don't get involved. Love is involvement; it is commitment. It is not momentary. Once it takes roots, it can be forever. It can be a lifelong involvement. Love needs intimacy, and only when you are intimate does the other become a mirror. When you meet sexually with a woman or a man, you have not met at all; in fact, you avoided the soul of the other person. You just used the body and escaped, and the other used your body and escaped. You never became intimate enough to reveal each other's original faces.
It is painful, but don't avoid it. If you avoid it you have avoided the greatest opportunity to grow. Go into it, suffer love, because through the suffering comes great ecstasy. Yes, there is agony, but out of the agony, ecstasy is born. Yes, you will have to die as an ego, but if you can die as an ego, you will be born as God, as a Buddha. And love will give you the first tongue-tip-taste of Tao, of Sufism, of Zen. Love will give you the first proof that God is, that life is not meaningless.
The people who say life is meaningless are the people who have not known love. All that they are saying is that their life has missed love.
Let there be pain, let there be suffering. Go through the dark night, and you will reach to a beautiful sunrise. It is only in the womb of the dark night that the sun evolves. It is only through the dark night that the morning comes.
My whole approach here is that of love. I teach only love and only love and nothing else. You can forget about God; that is just an empty word. You can forget about prayers because they are only rituals imposed by others on you. Love is the natural prayer, not imposed by anybody. You are born with it. Love is the true God -- not the God of theologians, but the God of Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, the God of the Sufis. Love is a tariqa, a method, to kill you as a separate individual and to help you become the infinite. Disappear as a dewdrop and become the ocean, but you will have to pass through the door of love.
And certainly when one starts disappearing like a dewdrop, and one has lived long as a dewdrop, it hurts, because one has been thinking, "I am this, and now this is going. I am dying. " You are not dying, but only an illusion is dying. You have become identified with the illusion, true, but the illusion is still an illusion. And only when the illusion is gone will you be able to see who you are. And that revelation brings you to the ultimate peak of joy, bliss, celebration.
Is there a law of karma?
I have very little to say about it -- but it will still take two and a half hours! The law of karma, in the first place, is not a law. That word gives it an aroma as if it is something scientific, like the law of gravitation. It is merely a hope, not a law at all. It has been hoped for centuries that if you do good you will attain to good results. It is a human hope in existence which is absolutely neutral.
If you look at nature, there are laws -- the whole of science is nothing but discovery of those laws -- but science has not come even close to detecting anything like the law of karma. Yes, it is certain that any action is going to bring certain reactions, but the law of karma is hoping for much more. If you simply say any action is bound to produce some reactions, it is possible to have scientific support for it. But man is hoping for much more. He is asking that a good action inevitably brings a good consequence with it, and the same with a bad action.
Now, there are many things implied in this. First, What is good? Each society defines good according to itself. What is good to a Jew is not good to a Jaina; what is good to a Christian is not good to a Confucian. Not only that, what is good in one culture is bad in another culture. A law has to be universal. For example, if you heat water to one hundred degrees centigrade, it will evaporate -- in Tibet, in Russia, in America, even in Oregon. In Oregon it will be a little puzzled, but all the same at one hundred degrees water will evaporate. Certainly the law of karma is neither a scientific law nor part of any legal system.
Then what kind of law is it? It is a hope. A man wandering in immense darkness, groping his way, clings to anything that gives a little hope, a little light -- because what you observe in life itself is something totally different from the law of karma. A man who is a well-known criminal may succeed and become the president, the prime minister; or vice versa: he was not a criminal before, but when he becomes the president or prime minister of a country he becomes a criminal... So in life this strange situation happens: bad people reach good positions, become respectable or honored, not only in their time but throughout history. It is full of their names. In history, Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, Kanad, Gautam, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu -- people like these you will not find even in the footnotes. And Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadirshah, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler -- they make up the major portion of history. In fact, we have to write the whole of history again because all these people have to be completely erased. Even the memory of them should not be carried on, because even their memory may have evil effects on people.
A better humanity will not give these names even a place in the footnotes; there is no need. They were nightmares; it is better they are completely forgotten so they don't follow you like shadows. And we have to discover people who have lived on this earth and made it in every way beautiful; shared their joy, their dance, their music, shared their ecstasies -- but lived anonymously. People have completely forgotten even their names. To me, certainly each action has its result, but not somewhere far away in a future life. The action and the result are continuous, they are part of one process. Do you think sowing the seed and reaping the crop are separate? It is one process. What begins in sowing the seed, grows, and one day the one seed has become thousands of seeds. That's what you call your crop. It is the same seed which has exploded into thousands of seeds. No death is intervening, no afterlife is needed; it is a continuum.
So the one thing to be remembered is: in my vision of life, yes, every action is bound to have some consequences, but they will not be somewhere else, you will have them here and now. Most probably you will get them almost simultaneously. When you are kind to someone, don't you feel a certain joy? A certain peace? A certain meaningfulness? Don't you feel that you are contented with what you have done? There is a kind of deep satisfaction. Have you ever felt that contentment when you are angry, when you are boiling with anger, when you hurt somebody, when you are mad with rage? Have you ever felt a peace, a silence descending in you? No, it is impossible. You will certainly feel something, but it will be a sadness that you again acted like a fool, that again you have done the same stupid thing that you decided again and again not to do. You will feel a tremendous unworthiness in yourself. You will feel that you are not a man but a machine, because you don't respond, you react. A man may have done something, and you reacted. That man had the key in his hands, and you just danced according to his desire; he had power over you. When somebody abuses you and you start fighting, what does it mean? It means that you don't have any capacity not to react.
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]
[Philip Greenspun Answers|http://slashdot.org/interviews/00/04/27/107235.shtml] talks of life, ArsDigita, fame, Oracle, photography, and that sort of thing in response to the fascinating questions
http://philip.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000taw&topic_id=22&topic=Ask%20Philip
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.
really doesn't matter and in any case there is a Java version of ACS if
what was used to implement the site and doesn't have any reason to
But if your source of persistence is an RDBMS and what you're building
I have very few complaints with my life right now, I must admit. Retirement
My hands are pretty well tied through May since I'm teaching 6.171 at MIT. To
Even if I didn't have the MIT and the Orange commitments, I would definitely
companies looking for innovation? Or do you check out microsoft.com and
ibm.com and then go home for an evening of relaxation? This is a very
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.
in the runways of New England.
Weblog2001November
[Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance]
[Buddha] : Monks and scholars must not accept my words out of respect,
(via [PaperQuote]) [Ralph Waldo Emerson] : Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting.
Both Goals are accomplished very well... I installed Fink and later installed [Lynx]... Many websites look funny via Lynx
(via [Gleanings]) [The emergent new order|http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2001/11/28/emergence/index.html] : Feed magazine founder [Steven Johnson] explains how self-organizing systems are made to order for ants, cities, software and terrorists.
[Romy and Lisa]'s [Quotes and Poems|http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/7454/quotes.html]
(via [PaperQuote]) [Oliver Wendell Holmes] : What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
[Jutta Degener]'s Objective : To do spectacular and impossible things.
We went to [Salzburg] for the weekend. We will go again in Spring, Summer or Autumn and we have learnt some valuable lessons about Winter, Snow etc. !
[The Cathedral and the Bazaar] : ...Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch...
[FranklinCovey] : [FranklinCovey Articles] [FranklinCovey Knowledge Expo]
Today is [Sri Skanda Sashti] - [Kanta Shasti Vratam|http://murugan.org/research/senthilwerl2.htm]
After reading [Andre Durand]'s [Global Consciousness 1.0|http://discuss.andredurand.com/stories/storyReader$187], I have an idea about combining this thought with [Quaker]ism... Why not we implement a system where members can raise 1 issue per day and only 1 a day, Every other member can post their opinion after careful thought and it would be possible to edit the opinion only a few times within the next 1/2 hour ! and That's it ! - I will try to refine it !
([via|http://doc.weblogs.com/2001/11/19#andBlogsNeedClay] [Doc Searls]) November 23rd is [Buy Nothing Day] , [Clay Shirky] needs a blog !
([via|http://owrede.khm.de/2001/11/15] [Oliver Wrede]) [Steve Hooker] : [Radio(Userland) and me|http://steveswar.warblogs.com/radioandme/]
A hypocrite is a person who professes beliefs and opinions that they do not hold
[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."
[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.
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/linkandthink.gif]
Later we went to Munich and waited in the [Marienplatz|http://www.muenchen-tourist.de/deutsch/stadtinformationen/plaetze/marienplatz.htm] for the [Glockenspiel im Rathausturm|http://www.muenchen-tourist.de/englisch/stadtinformationen/plaetze/muenchen-stadtinformationen-sehenswuerdigkeiten-plaetze_e_m.htm]. But, in winter, it only happens once a day at 11AM !
[Tim Pozar] : One of my main "themes" in life is to give tools to the world that help them express their ideas. I have this rather utopian idea that if everyone has the tools to exchange ideas then the world will be a better place.
Author Unknown : To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.
Susan Dempsey (responsible for providing users with continued quality service from [HotLinks]) : ...Sadly, all good things must come to an end and this version will be subscription only...
I sent an email to [Jonathan Abrams] several months ago and he prompty responded by stating that 'the request will be forwarded to Development' - Let us see...
[George Orwell] : [Politics and the English Language]
On the island of Kauai .
[Mira Art] [quotes|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/11/08] Mark Twain : Always do right. That will gratify some of the people, and astonish the rest.
[Ken Coar] is a Sanagendamgagwedweinini ! --- click on the name to know the meaning :-)
[This Diwali has lost its sparkle|http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=2125046482] : ...Sampoorna Kohli, weaving his way through the small lanes of the Central Market in Lajpat Nagar, sums it up succinctly: "There is uncertainty for everyone. Nobody is feeling particularly festive what with jobs on the line and businesses doing badly. The light has already gone out of this Diwali."...
[Eric Margolis] : [ANTHRAX AND ABDUL HAQ: WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND|http://www.bigeye.com/foreignc.htm]
[Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi] : [50 Divine Thoughts]
[We] and [Chandramouli Mahadevan] went to [Linderhof] today
[http://static.userland.com/weblogsCom/images/86400weblogscom/flower002.gif]
[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...
[Alwin Hawkins] : [New tag line|http://www.vfth.com/2001/11/10] and the cornerstone of a new ethic for me. : ''Work, Don't Whine''
[Doug Baron]: "I'm part of the Userland team now."
[Joel Snyder] ( commenting on an article about Bin Laden's family members leaving the USA : ...This whole article is offensive and the worst sort of journalistic sensationalism...
Fast Company's [Who's Fast 2002|http://www.fastcompany.com/online/52/wf_intro.html] : ...Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Our fourth-annual Who's Fast issue arrives at a time when our feelings about work, life, business, and purpose need thoughtful recalibration...
[Doc Searls] is [Diggin'|http://doc.weblogs.com/2001/11/09#digginDurand] [Andre Durand]
[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'
[Chandramouli Mahadevan] is in Germany. Welcome back !
I hurt myself yesterday while playing badminton... Nothing Serious... But I am thinking about [Relative and Absolute Happiness] and about people who are handicapped
[Two unpublished letters|http://www.vedantaofboston.org/Vivekananda/newSVLetters.asp] of [Swami Vivekananda]
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...
Intuition
* 2001 November 01 : "Curiousity and Intention are the only requirements" states [Sharon Franquemont] in [You already know what to do]
* the immediate knowing or learning of something without the conscious use of reasoning; instantaneous apperception
* direct knowledge
* Walter Russell : Intuition is the language of light through which men and God "intercommunicate"
* Spinoza : Intuition is the superior way of knowing ultimate truth without the use of prior knowledge or reason
* To separate authentic intuition from projections and wishful thinking
Obstacles to Happiness
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
Later we'll talk about fear of disease and death, but ordinarily you're
businessman, fifty-five years old, is sipping beer at a bar somewhere and
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
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
become famous. Our society and culture drill that into our heads day and
was worthless. They're frightened and confused, they are puppets like the
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
identifying with them. They come and go.
When you really understand this, no criticism can affect you. No flattery
failure. It is none of these labels. These things come and go. These
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
happiness. You say to the awakened person, "Why are you happy?" and the
children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and
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
Do you know where these things come from? From
Relative and Absolute Happiness
[Articles] > 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 challenges we face in life can be compared to a tall mountain, rising before a mountain climber. For someone who has not trained properly, whose muscles and reflexes are weak and slow, every inch of the climb will be filled with terror and pain.
The exact same climb, however, will be a thrilling journey for one who is prepared, whose legs and arms have been strengthened by constant training. With each step forward and up, beautiful new views will come into sight.
My teacher used to talk about two kinds of happiness-©˜ relative and absolute©˜ happiness. Relative happiness is happiness that depends on things outside ourselves: friends, and family, surroundings, the size of our home or family income. This is what we feel when a desire is fulfilled, or something we have longed for is obtained. While the happiness such things bring us is certainly real, the fact is that none of this lasts for ever. Things change. People change. This kind of happiness shatters easily when external conditions alter.
Absolute happiness, on the other hand, is something we must find within. It means establishing a state of life in which we are never defeated by trials and where just being alive is a source of great joy. This persists no matter what we might be lacking, or what might happen around us. A deep sense of joy is something which can only exist in the innermost reaches of our life, and which cannot be destroyed by any external forces. It©ˆs eternal and inexhaustible.
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.
What we should compare is not ourselves against others. We should compare who we are today against who we were yesterday, who we are today against who we will be tomorrow. While this may seem simple and obvious, true happiness is found in a life of constant advancement. And the same worries that could have made us miserable can actually be a source of growth when we approach them with courage and wisdom.
One friend whose dramatic life proved this was Natalia Saltz, who founded the first children©ˆs theater in Moscow. In the 1930©ˆs, she and her husband were marked by the Soviet Union©ˆs secret police. Even though they were guilty of no crime, her husband was arrested and executed and she was sent to a prison camp in the frozen depths of Siberia. After she recovered from the initial shock, she started looking at her situation, not with despair, but for opportunity.
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.
Such a person lives every day with a broad and embracing spirit.
Such a person can savor life©ˆs depths while creating meaning and value that will last for eternity.
"It is a fact that everyone in the world is seeking happiness, often unconsciously (whatever their concept of it is) - some may deny it, citing other pursuits instead, but no-one actively pursues misery, except in the mistaken belief that it is happiness. That the pursuit of this ideal is often unrecognised by those seeking it, must be accepted by us - it is nevertheless a fact - and happiness is given many names, satisfaction, excitement, thrill, good times etc. Its pursuit can take on the guise of drug and alcohol abuse, sexual pursuit, greed, lust for power, high ambition, steady employment, a family, good exam results etc."
Who am i?
"Who am I?" is the title given to a set of questions and answers bearing on Self-enquiry. The questions were put to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi by one Sri M. Sivaprakasam Pillai about the year 1902. Sri Pillai, a graduate in Philosophy, was at the time employed in the Revenue Department of the South Arcot Collectorate. During his visit to Tiruvannamalai in 1902 on official work, he went to Virupaksha Cave on Arunachala Hill and met the Master there. He sought from him spiritual guidance, and solicited answers to questions relating to Self-enquiry. As Bhagavan was not talking then, not because of any vow he had taken, but because he did not have the inclination to talk, he answered the questions put to him by gestures, and when these were not understood, by writing. As recollected and recorded by Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai, there were fourteen questions with answers to them given by Bhagavan. This record was first published by Sri Pillai in 1923, along with a couple of poems composed by himself relating how Bhagavan's grace operated in his case by dispelling his doubts and by saving him from a crisis in life. 'Who am I?' has been published several times subsequently. We find thirty questions and answers in some editions and twenty-eight in others. There is also another published version in which the questions are not given, and the teachings are rearranged in the form of an essay. The extant English translation is of this essay. The present rendering is of the text in the form of twenty-eight questions and answers.
Along with Vicharasangraham (Self-Enquiry), Nan Yar (Who am I?) constitutes the first set of instructions in the Master's own words. These two are the only prosepieces among Bhagavan's Works. They clearly set forth the central teaching that the direct path to liberation is Self-enquiry. The particular mode in which the enquiry is to be made is lucidly set forth in Nan Yar. The mind consists of thoughts. The 'I' thought is the first to arise in the mind. When the enquiry ' Who am I?' is persistently pursued, all other thoughts get destroyed, and finally the 'I' thought itself vanishes leaving the supreme non-dual Self alone. The false identification of the Self with the phenomena of non-self such as the body and mind thus ends, and there is illumination, Sakshatkara. The process of enquiry of course, is not an easy one. As one enquires 'Who am I?', other thoughts will arise; but as these arise, one should not yield to them by following them , on the contrary, one should ask 'To whom do they arise ?' In order to do this, one has to be extremely vigilant. Through constant enquiry one should make the mind stay in its source, without allowing it to wander away and get lost in the mazes of thought created by itself. All other disciplines such as breath-control and meditation on the forms of God should be regarded as auxiliary practices. They are useful in so far as they help the mind to become quiescent and one-pointed.
For the mind that has gained skill in concentration, Self-enquiry becomes comparatively easy. It is by ceaseless enquiry that the thoughts are destroyed and the Self realized - the plenary Reality in which there is not even the 'I' thought, the experience which is referred to as "Silence".
As all living beings desire to be happy always, without misery, as in the case of everyone there is observed supreme love for one's self, and as happiness alone is the cause for love, in order to gain that happiness which is one's nature and which is experienced in the state of deep sleep where there is no mind, one should know one's self. For that, the path of knowledge, the inquiry of the form "Who am I?", is the principal means.
The gross body which is composed of the seven humours (dhatus), I am not; the five cognitive sense organs, viz. the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell, which apprehend their respective objects, viz. sound, touch, colour, taste, and odour, I am not; the five cognitive sense-organs, viz. the organs of speech, locomotion, grasping, excretion, and procreation, which have as their respective functions speaking, moving, grasping, excreting, and enjoying, I am not; the five vital airs, prana, etc., which perform respectively the five functions of in-breathing, etc., I am not; even the mind which thinks, I am not; the nescience too, which is endowed only with the residual impressions of objects, and in which there are no objects and no functioning's, I am not.
2. If I am none of these, then who am I?
The seer and the object seen are like the rope and the snake. Just as the knowledge of the rope which is the substrate will not arise unless the false knowledge of the illusory serpent goes, so the realization of the Self which is the substrate will not be gained unless the belief that the world is real is removed.
When the mind, which is the cause of all cognition's and of all actions, becomes quiescent, the world will disappear.
What is called 'mind' is a wondrous power residing in the Self. It causes all thoughts to arise. Apart from thoughts, there is no such thing as mind. Therefore, thought is the nature of mind. Apart from thoughts, there is no independent entity called the world. In deep sleep there are no thoughts, and there is no world. In the states of waking and dream, there are thoughts, and there is a world also. Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and again withdraws it into itself, likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself. When the mind comes out of the Self, the world appears. Therefore, when the world appears (to be real), the Self does not appear; and when the Self appears (shines) the world does not appear. When one persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self (as the residue). What is referred to as the Self is the Atman. The mind always exists only in dependence on something gross; it cannot stay alone. It is the mind that is called the subtle body or the soul (jiva).
9. What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of the mind?
That which rises as 'I' in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought 'I' rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind's origin. Even if one thinks constantly 'I' 'I', one will be led to that place. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the 'I' thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronouns appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.
By the inquiry 'Who am I?'. The thought 'who am I?' will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise Self-realization.
When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: 'To whom do they arise?' It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, "To whom has this thought arisen?". The answer that would emerge would be "To me". Thereupon if one inquires "Who am I?", the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense-organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called "inwardness" (antar-mukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as "externalisation" (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the 'I' which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity "I". If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).
Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means. If through other means it is sought to control the mind, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again go forth. Through the control of breath also, the mind will become quiescent; but it will be quiescent only so long as the breath remains controlled, and when the breath resumes the mind also will again start moving and will wander as impelled by residual impressions. The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed, is the nature of the mind. The thought "I" is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent, the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of God, so that the body may be preserved and other people may not be under the impression that it is dead. In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is controlled. Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps breath in the body; and when the body dies the mind takes the breath along with it. Therefore, the exercise of breath-control is only an aid for rendering the mind quiescent (manonigraha); it will not destroy the mind (manonasa).
Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed. The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-inquiry will become easy. Of all the restrictive rules, that relating to the taking of sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best; by observing this rule, the sattvic quality of mind will increase, and that will be helpful to Self-inquiry.
As the meditation on the Self rises higher and higher, the thoughts will get destroyed.
14. Is it possible for the residual impressions of objects that come from beginningless time, as it were, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self?
Without yielding to the doubt "Is it possible, or not?", one should persistently hold on to the meditation on the Self. Even if one be a great sinner, one should not worry and weep "O! I am a sinner, how can I be saved?"; one should completely renounce the thought "I am a sinner"; and concentrate keenly on meditation on the Self; then, one would surely succeed. There are not two minds - one good and the other evil; the mind is only one. It is the residual impressions that are of two kinds - auspicious and inauspicious. When the mind is under the influence of auspicious impressions it is called good; and when it is under the influence of inauspicious impressions it is regarded as evil.
The mind should not be allowed to wander towards worldly objects and what concerns other people. However bad other people may be, one should bear no hatred for them. Both desire and hatred should be eschewed. All that one gives to others one gives to one's self. If this truth is understood who will not give to others? When one's self arises all arises; when one's self becomes quiescent all becomes quiescent. To the extent we behave with humility, to that extent there will result good. If the mind is rendered quiescent, one may live anywhere.
As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry "Who am I?" is required. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through inquiry. If one resorts to contemplation of the Self unintermittently, until the Self is gained, that alone would do. As long as there are enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands.
What exists in truth is the Self alone. The world, the individual soul, and God are appearances in it. like silver in mother-of-pearl, these three appear at the same time, and disappear at the same time. The Self is that where there is absolutely no "I" thought. That is called "Silence". The Self itself is the world; the Self itself is "I"; the Self itself is God; all is Siva, the Self.
Without desire, resolve, or effort, the sun rises; and in its mere presence, the sun-stone emits fire, the lotus blooms, water evaporates; people perform their various functions and then rest. Just as in the presence of the magnet the needle moves, it is by virtue of the mere presence of God that the souls governed by the three (cosmic) functions or the fivefold divine activity perform their actions and then rest, in accordance with their respective karmas. God has no resolve; no karma attaches itself to Him. That is like worldly actions not affecting the sun, or like the merits and demerits of the other four elements not affecting all pervading space.
He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent devotee. Giving one's self up to God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other than that of the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them. Since the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and how not? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting on it why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease?
As thoughts arise, destroying them utterly without any residue in the very place of their origin is non-attachment. Just as the pearl-diver ties a stone to his waist, sinks to the bottom of the sea and there takes the pearls, so each one of us should be endowed with non-attachment, dive within oneself and obtain the Self-Pearl.
20. Is it not possible for God and the Guru to effect the release of a soul?
God and the Guru will only show the way to release; they will not by themselves take the soul to the state of release. In truth, God and the Guru are not different. Just as the prey which has fallen into the jaws of a tiger has no escape, so those who have come within the ambit of the Guru's gracious look will be saved by the Guru and will not get lost; yet, each one should by his own effort pursue the path shown by God or Guru and gain release. One can know oneself only with one's own eye of knowledge, and not with somebody else's. Does he who is Rama require the help of a mirror to know that he is Rama?
Just as one who wants to throw away garbage has no need to analyse it and see what it is, so one who wants to know the Self has no need to count the number of categories or inquire into their characteristics; what he has to do is to reject altogether the categories that hide the Self. The world should be considered like a dream.
22. Is there no difference between waking and dream?
Waking is long and a dream short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings seem real while awake. so do those in a dream while dreaming. In dream the mind takes on another body. In both waking and dream states thoughts. names and forms occur simultaneously.
All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent; therefore their conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent; once this has been understood there is no need for endless reading. In order to quieten the mind one has only to inquire within oneself what one's Self is; how could this search be done in books? One should know one's Self with one's own eye of wisdom. The Self is within the five sheaths; but books are outside them. Since the Self has to be inquired into by discarding the five sheaths, it is futile to search for it in books. There will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned.
Happiness is the very nature of the Self; happiness and the Self are not different. There is no happiness in any object of the world. We imagine through our ignorance that we derive happiness from objects. When the mind goes out, it experiences misery. In truth, when its desires are fulfilled, it returns to its own place and enjoys the happiness that is the Self. Similarly, in the states of sleep, samadhi and fainting, and when the object desired is obtained or the object disliked is removed, the mind becomes inward-turned, and enjoys pure Self-Happiness. Thus the mind moves without rest alternately going out of the Self and returning to it. Under the tree the shade is pleasant; out in the open the heat is scorching. A person who has been going about in the sun feels cool when he reaches the shade. Someone who keeps on going from the shade into the sun and then back into the shade is a fool. A wise man stays permanently in the shade. Similarly, the mind of the one who knows the truth does not leave Brahman. The mind of the ignorant, on the contrary, revolves in the world, feeling miserable, and for a little time returns to Brahman to experience happiness. In fact, what is called the world is only thought. When the world disappears, i.e. when there is no thought, the mind experiences happiness; and when the world appears, it goes through misery.
Remaining quiet is what is called wisdom-insight. To remain quiet is to resolve the mind in the Self. Telepathy, knowing past, present and future happenings and clairvoyance do not constitute wisdom-insight.
26. What is the relation between desirelessness and wisdom?
27. What is the difference between inquiry and meditation?
Inquiring into the nature of one's self that is in bondage, and realising one's true nature is release.
The Invisible Future: The Seamless Integration of Technology into Everyday Life
>maintaining, and understanding computers, network, applications and digital
>all technical, research, and leadership principles and practices needed to
>in framing and answering important questions, and for training in standard
>continuing education, and to speak out on public policy issues affecting
> "But the reality of what users, students, and professionals find
>complex and confusing systems, crash-prone systems, software without
>intervendor finger-pointing, disregard for privacy, and even poorly
>managed, investment-squandering dot-com companies. Businesspeople find it
>difficult to find qualified IT workers and then keep them current with a
>fast-changing body of knowledge. Students find IT curricula that focus more
>on programming than on systems, on theory more than experimentation, and on
>learning or career advancement and a cacophony of conflicting voices from
>organize themselves more effectively in order to address the problems and
Teacher & Students
TEACHER: George, go to the map and find North America.
TEACHER: Correct. Now, class, who discovered America?
TOMMY: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground then
honesty vs practical
his axe fell into the river. When he began crying, God appeared and
God went down into the water and reappeared with a golden axe.
God again went down and came up with a silver axe. "Is this your
God went down again and came up with an iron axe. "Is this your
God was pleased with the man's honesty and gave him all the three axes.
crying, God appeared and asked him, "Why are you crying?"
God went down into the water and came up with Jennifer Lopez. "Is
God was furious,"YOOOOOU CHEEEEAT!! Now I am going to curse you......"
misunderstanding.
Jones. If I also say "No" to her, you will finally come up with my wife and I
will say "Yes". Then you will give all the three to me. I am a poor man. I
whodunnit
We all know(probably) that Lord Rama had to break the
He arrives at a small school and walks into an 8th
standard classroom.The teacher greets him.
students.He asks a boy to stand up and asks him this
The inspector is astonished and approaches the class
teacher and tells him about the small conversation
and decent chap,he'd never break anything,I know him."
Now the inspector approaches the principal of the
school to report about the student and the teacher.
for the students.If she says the kid is decent,then he
education minister and reports the matter to which the
Steven Morgan Friedman
I subscribe to his [Random Thoughts|http://www.westegg.com/rt/] : ...It is the forum that I use to share insights, information, and interpretations with interesting people from around the world...
what I do--how I spend my time and other resources. I may declare my
Rolls-Royce, then maybe I'm deceiving myself. We are, in other words,
profession, ideology, and countless factors. Take the subset of what
they ask, 'How much does he know?' In New York, 'How much is he worth?'
standard that our first question upon meeting someone for the first
and
IT jokes
side of a deserted road. Suddenly a brand new Porsche screeches to a
sunglasses,TAG-Heuer wrist-watch, and a Pierre Cardin tie gets out and
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."
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..
Now can I have my dog back?"
Only a Ripe Fruit Falls
Question: Beloved Osho, I feel that through developing an attitude of endurance towards difficulties, I have become resigned to much of life. This resignation feels like a weight pushing against my effort to become more alive in meditation. Does this mean that I have suppressed my ego, and that I must find it again before I can really lose it?
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.
But in the West it is very easy to dissolve the ego. So whenever a Western seeker reaches to an understanding that ego is the problem, he can easily dissolve it, more easily than any Eastern seeker.
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?
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.
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.
What happened when he stepped down from his throne? He stepped down from his ego. Thrones are nothing but symbols, symbols of the ego, of power, prestige, status. He stepped down and then egolessness happened.
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.
He came to visit Socrates, and he started talking about egolessness. But Socrates' penetrating eyes must have come to realize that this man was not an egoless man. The way he was talking about humility was very egoistic.
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.
Ego is a survival measure. If a child is born without the ego, he will die. He cannot survive, it is impossible, because if he feels hunger he will not feel: I am hungry. He will feel there is hunger, but not related to him. The moment hunger is felt, the child feels: I am hungry, he starts crying and making efforts to be fed. The child grows through the growth of his ego.
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.
Jakob Boehme has said that the whole world is filled with centers, every atom is a center, and there is no circumference -- centers everywhere and circumference nowhere.
These two are the possibilities. Both mean the same; only the wording is different and contradictory. But first become 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.
The same happens with all types of fallacies. Ego is the greatest dream. It has its beauty, its agony. It has its ecstasy, its agony. It has its heavens and hells, both are there. Dreams sometimes are beautiful and sometimes nightmares, but both are dreams.
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.
But wait. Hurry will not be of much help; haste will not help -- it may hinder. Allow time, and don't condemn it, because who will condemn it?
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....
They may not be after the things of this world, they are after the things of that world, but this or that, both are worlds. And they may be even more greedy, because they say these temporary things, momentary things of this world, consist of momentary pleasures -- and they want eternal pleasures. Their greed is supreme. They cannot be satisfied by momentary pleasures. They want eternal pleasures. Unless something is eternal they are not gratified. Their greed is deep, their greed is absolute and greed belongs to the ego. Greed is the hunger of the ego.
So it happens sometimes that saints are more egoistic than sinners, and then they are far away from the divine. And sometimes sinners can attain to the god more easily than those so-called saints, because ego is the barrier.
This has been my experience that sinners can drop their egos more easily than saints, because sinners have never been against the ego. They have been feeding it, they have been enjoying it, they have lived with it totally. And saints have always been fighting the ego, so they never allowed it to become ripe.
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.
Mind is logical and life is dialectical. Mind moves in a simple line, and life moves always jumping from one pole to another, from one thing to the very opposite.
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.
Almost every day it happens: somebody comes to be initiated into sannyas, and then his mind starts functioning and he says to me: Wearing orange will make me more egoistic, because then I will feel that I am somebody different, distinct -- I am a sannyasin, one who has renounced. So wearing orange will make me more egoistic he says, and I say to him: Become! Become egoistic, but consciously.
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.
I have heard, a man in an orange robe entered the Vrindavan juice bar, barged up to the front of the line, and demanded tea and cake. He paid with a hundred-rupee note and complained about the cost and the long lineup. After choosing the biggest piece of cake and the biggest cup, he took over an old lady's seat and proceeded to gobble the food. A bystander, puzzled by his behavior, asked the meaning of it.
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."
He said, "Now it is too much. Just the other day I was at the racetrack. Somebody's change had fallen, so I was picking it up, and there comes a blind, or mad or drunk guy, and he saddles me as if I am a horse."
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.
Myrobalan
[Practical Lessons In Yoga|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/download/practical.htm]
...Another health-giving stuff is myrobalan of the yellow variety which can be chewed now and then. In the Vagbhata it is represented as even superior to a nourishing mother. It takes care of the body better than a mother does. A mother gets annoyed with her child sometimes, but myrobalan always keeps an even temperament and is cheerful and enthusiastic in attending to the well-being of human beings. It preserves semen and stops all nocturnal emissions...
Weblog2001December
From [Never settle for the best] : ...Give the proper [tools] to a group of [people] who like to make a difference, and they will...
Apart from family and friends, I would like to thank the following people for sharing their thoughts/life and making available usable/useful/enjoyable tools on the web.
* [Philip Greenspun] : [Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing|http://www.arsdigita.com/books/panda/]
* [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/]
* I list many more people at [Portal] whom I visit virtually and also contribute to who i am...
Snow has beautifully decorated our balcony :-)
[http://www.carnatic.com/images/20011229snowdecor.jpg]
[Christopher Ryan] [turns two|http://shanson.editthispage.com/2001/12/27]. We have met him in Amsterdam and have a few pictures. He was cute!
[Peter Koestenbaum] in [After Shock|http://www.fastcompany.com/online/54/aftershock.html] : ...We must resolve to work with greatness and never forget to do so again. Every workday is a concert, a Nobel-prize ceremony, or an Olympic victory...
[Larry Page] and [Sergey Brin] are co-founders of [Google]
[Jutta Degener] operates [HalfBakery] and [Matt Webb] [InterConnected]
[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. :-)
[Rheinmuenster|http://www.rheinmuenster.de/] : The people of Greffern have always operated a ferry service between their town and Drusenheim on the left bank of the river: a pontoon bridge was erected in 1875, followed by the motor ferry "Drusus", which has been providing a free ferry service since 1977.
We saw [Lord of the Rings] yesterday night and at the end, a boy sitting in front of us kept shouting "Was Was Was..." several times ! and I had a similar reaction in my head !
I have an idea: When users rate anything... show them a list of similar objects (with the ratings by them) they have rated already and this will hopefully give them the correct perspective
[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."
I want to understand [Swaraj] ( http://meadev.nic.in/Gandhi/swaraj.htm )
[Year-End Google Zeitgeist|http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html] : Search patterns, trends, and surprises
[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...
[An interview|http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/1756/leelozo.htm] with Mr. [Lee Lozowick]
[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."...
Beginning, mean, and end to all things,—God.
The mission of the [North Carolina Christmas Tree Association|http://www.ncchristmastrees.com/] (NCCTA) is to promote "real" Christmas Trees through marketing and education.
[James Allen]'s [As A Man Thinketh] is partly responsible for the creation of the entire personal development industry. Most contemporary PD authors and teachers credit this little book for providing foundation to their principles.
[Ben Brown] and [Ani Moller] are on a three week road trip and will send [super brief updates|http://benbrown.com/is/driving/] using his Nokia's e-mail capabilities.
[Albert Einstein] : A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
[Oliver Breidenbach] [:|http://www.fsomm.com/discuss/msgReader$902] The Spiegel figured out how to use numerology to better remember the Euro to DM exchange rate: 1.9 55 83 If you take the sum of the last two pairs it is 10 and 11, respectively. So, the exchange rate is one point nine, ten, eleven...
[Mira Art] [quotes|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/12/16] [Buckminster Fuller] : When I am Working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only of how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
I have read somewhere that the Western World follow a 'parts per million' culture while the Japanese follow the 'zero defect' culture... and that this is the fundamental difference !
[Aristotle] in [Nicomachean Ethics] : The man who gets angry at the right things and with the right people, and in the right way and at the right time and for the right length of time, is commended.
[Jason Levine] : [Stanford University Interview|http://www.broaderminds.com/Profiles/Stanford_university/reviews/987553538431.html] : "More important than the workload at Stanford, I find, is the ‘humbling factor’. Basically, if you can gain admission to a school like Stanford, I have no doubt that you can work at the level set by the professors. The problem is more egotistical: can you handle meeting people just as and possibly more intelligent than yourself?"
[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...
[Saravanan Natarajan] has sent me some (10 !) CDs with Osho's speeches and I have started listening to "Osho about Creativity" and most of the speech is available on the web too...
[Osho] : [CREATIVITY: Unleashing the Forces Within] : ...Creativity means loving whatsoever you do -- enjoying, celebrating it! Maybe nobody comes to know about it -- who is going to praise you for cleaning the floor? History will not take any account of it; newspapers will not publish your name and picture -- but that is irrelevant. You enjoyed it. The value is intrinsic...
[S Sandilya] , [Sathyakama Sandilya]
[Mortimer Jerome Adler] : The purpose of a liberal education is not to learn how to earn a living, but to learn how to live and enjoy life, especially when not working
[Dave Winer] [on|http://davenet.userland.com/2001/12/10/daveWinerOnASegway] a [Segway]
[Jean-Paul Sartre] : The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
[Isaiah Berlin] (in [The Hedgehog and the Fox]): There exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision...and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory...The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes.
[Albert Einstein] : If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
I received an email response from [Richard P. Gabriel] regarding a spelling mistake on his site and another from [John Patrick] for a similar issue. Nice!
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 was looking for a [Digital Camera] and the winner is [Digital IXUS]. We bought it at [New York Camera] yesterday in person. [Christian Kwyas] is a great sales man. It was (will be) a memorable shopping experience. However Christian should be thankful to [Jeff Keller]'s very useful reviews at [Digital Camera Resource Page]
Coming from India, I am thinking of tasty [Korma] and Lord Vishnu's [Kurma] Avatar
[Dave Winer] [:|http://scriptingnews.userland.com/backissues/2001/12/06#l86b0989154cbfbef88f0a30f41b96187] Bug reports should have three parts. 1. Here's what I did. 2. This is what I expected to happen. 3. This is what actually happened. For extra credit, if it's a public Web app, provide a URL. It also couldn't hurt to say what version of the software you're using, what OS, and other things that might make your installation different from others.
[Peter Longo] is [Pratt & Whitney|http://www.pratt-whitney.com/]'s CIO. Pratt & Whitney is a leader in the design, manufacture and support of engines for commercial, military and general aviation aircraft, and space propulsion systems
Found [The End of the World] at his page... which made me goto [RAQ] and found [The Meaning of Life] :-)
[Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict - A Primer|http://www.merip.org/palestine-israel_primer/intro-pal-isr-primer.html]
I want to buy a [Digital Camera]. [Canon PowerShot A20|http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/a20-review/index.html] is on the top of my list... [Jeff Keller] states ...As always, I recommend a trip to your local camera store to try out the /camera/ and its competitors before you buy!... Do you have any recommendations ?
"For his([Christopher Alexander]) Ph. D. Thesis, later published as the book [Notes on the Synthesis of Form], he was awarded the first Gold Medal for Research by the American Institute of Architects."
[John Patrick] is IBM's Internet Guru and his new book is [Net Attitude]
via [PaperQuote] [Andre Gide] : It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
[Christopher Alexander]'s [ideas on office furniture and interiors]
[George Harrison] [dies|http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/music/newsid_1492000/1492446.stm]. [Craig Jensen] is [Sad and heart broken|http://booknotes.weblogs.com/2001/11/30]. [All Things Must Pass]
[Andrea Frick] has great pictures from her local [Christmas Market|http://andrea.editthispage.com/weihnachtsmarkt2001]
Skandha Sashti
[Festivals] > Skandha Sashti
([Source|http://http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/aims.htm])
PROSTRATIONS and humble salutations to Lord Subramanya, the Supreme Being, who is the ruler of this universe, who is the indweller of our hearts, who is the second son of Lord Siva, who is the beloved of Valli and Deivayanai, who bestows boons easily on His devotees, who is the embodiment of power, wisdom, love and bliss.
The mighty demon, Tarakasura, had been oppressing the celestials very much. He drove them out from heaven. All the gods then went to Brahma to appeal for help.
Indra, the chief of the gods, thereupon requested Cupid to go with his wife, Rati, and his companion Vasanta (the season of spring), to Mount Kailas, the abode of Siva. Cupid carried out the instruction at once, for it was already springtime. Standing behind a tree, Cupid shot his arrow of passion towards Siva, whilst Parvati was placing some flowers in His hands. The moment their hands met, Siva experienced a distracting feeling. He wondered what it was that disturbed His Yoga. He looked around and saw Cupid crouching behind the tree.
The Lord opened His “third eye”, the inner eye of intuition, and Cupid was burnt to ashes by the fire that emanated from it. That is why the God of Love is also called Ananga, which means “bodiless”.
After burning Cupid, the Lord ascertained by His Yogic vision that the birth of Lord Subramanya was absolutely necessary to destroy the powerful Taraka. Siva’s seed was thrown into the fire which, unable to retain it, threw it into the Ganges, which in turn threw it into a reed forest. This is where Lord Subramanya was born; hence, He is called Saravanabhava—“born in a reed-forest”. He became the leader of the celestial hosts and the destroyer of Taraka as Brahma had ordained.
Lord Subramanya is an incarnation of Lord Siva. All incarnations are manifestations of the one Supreme Lord. Lord Subramanya and Lord Krishna are one.
Lord Krishna says in the Gita: “....of army generals, I am Skanda”.
The Lord manifests Himself from time to time in various names and forms, for the sake of establishing righteousness and subduing the wicked.
Lord Subramanya is a ray born of the Consciousness of Lord Siva. Valli and Deivayanai are His two wives. They represent the power of action and the power of knowledge respectively. He is the easily accessible Godhead in this dark age of ignorance and godlessness. In this He is no different from Hanuman. He gives material and spiritual prosperity and success in every undertaking of His devotees, even if they show a little devotion to Him. He is worshipped with great devotion in South India. Lord Subramanya’s other names are Guha, Muruga, Kumaresa, Kartikeya, Shanmukha, and Velayudhan.
In His picture, Lord Subramanya holds a spear in His hand, just as Lord Shiva holds the trident. This is an emblem of power. It indicates that He is the Ruler of the universe. His vehicle is the peacock. He rides on it. This signifies that He has conquered pride, egoism and vanity. There is a cobra under His feet, which indicates that He is absolutely fearless, immortal and wise. Valli is on His one side, Deivayanai on the other. Sometimes He stands alone with His spear. In this pose He is known as Velayudhan; this is His Nirguna aspect, which is free from the illusory power of Nature.
The six heads represent the six rays or attributes, namely, wisdom, dispassion, strength, fame, wealth and divine powers. They indicate that He is the source of the four Vedas, the Vedangas and the six schools of philosophy. They also indicate His control over the five organs of knowledge as well as the mind. They denote that He is the Supreme Being with thousands of heads and hands. That His head in turned in all directions signifies He is all-pervading. They indicate that He can multiply and assume forms at His will.
There are big temples of Lord Subramanya at Tiruchendur, in Udipi, Palani Hills, in Ceylon and Tiruparankundrum. The Lord spent His childhood days in Tiruchendur and took Mahasamadhi at Kathirgamam. If anyone goes to Kathirgamam with faith, devotion and piety, and stay in the temple there for two or three days, the Lord Himself grants His vision to the devotee. The devotee is filled with rich spiritual experiences. A big festival is held in the temple every year on Skanda Sashti. Thousands of people visit the place. “Mountains” of camphor are burnt on this occasion.
Skanda Sashti falls in November. It is the day on which Lord Subramanya defeated the demon Taraka. Great festivals are held on this day with great pomp and grandeur. Devotees also do Bhajan and Kirtan on a grand scale. Thousands are fed sumptuously. Many incurable diseases are cured if one visits Palani and worships the Lord there. In South India, the Lord Subramanya’s Lilas are dramatized on the stage.
In addition to the Skanda Sashti, devotees of Lord Subramanya observe weekly and monthly days in His honour. Every Friday, or the Kartigai Nakshatram day every month, or the sixth day of the bright fortnight,—all these are sacred days for His devotees. The sixth day of the month of Tulam (October-November) is the most auspicious of them all. This is the Skanda Sashti day.
In many places the festival commences six days prior to the Sashti itself and concludes on the day of the Sashti. During these days, devotees recite various inspiring hymns and read stories connected with Lord Subramanya. They worship the Lord and take Kavadi (see below). They go on pilgrimage to the various Subramanya shrines.
The famous Nakkerar has composed the Tirumurukatrupadai in His praise. He who studies this famous work daily with devotion and faith, gets certain success in life as well as peace and prosperity. The Tiruppugal is another well-known book in Tamil, which contains the inspiring devotional songs of Arunagirinathar in praise of Lord Subramanya. The Kavadichindu songs are also in praise of the Lord. The Skanda Sashti Kavacham is another famous hymn in praise of Lord Subramanya and is sung particularly on festive occasions.
http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/religions/skanda.htm
Notes on the Synthesis of Form
by [Christopher Alexander]
This is one of the most seminal books written about the design process. Alexander creates a carefully reasoned case for why design as we know it doesn't really exist and how we should re-examine the process. He is a professor of architecture at Berkeley and his opinions have made him somewhat of a pariah in the scholarly world of architecture. His thesis is that good design only comes about by discarding bad design and then doing it over. This is empirically correct but anathema to the establishment. Amusingly, the findings in the book are rejected by none other than the author himself in the preface to the second edition, but I suggest we just attribute that to artistic pique and ignore it. On page 88, Alexander presents a very interesting diagram. He doesn't name it, but I call it a "unified image" because it combines in one image what he terms the "formal description" and the "functional description". It poses a theoretical design ideal because the single image conveys not only how it works, but what it is. His definitions of the self-conscious and the un-self-conscious design processes are remarkably insightfully delineated. You will never think of design in the same way after you read them. The book is dense and wanders into the weeds near the end, but it contains some of the most provocative prose and durable analogies about crafting design solutions ever written. As an indication of its influence, it is also cited by three of the other authors in this bibliography: Heckel, Norman, and DeMarco & Lister. The latter say "[it] is considered a holy book by designers of all kinds." Unfortunately, Notes is now out of print, but absolutely worth a trip to the library or the used book store. Alexander describes a physical model consisting of programmed lightbulbs to get across the concept of interacting systems and how they disturb each other. I have long imagined that some energetic soul should translate Alexander's design into a program. It would be a fun teaching tool.
Pongal
http://www.chennaionline.com/pongal/ is very useful to know everything about Pongal.
To many people, especially the Tamilians, Makara Shankranti ushers in the New Year. The corn that is newly-harvested is cooked for the first time on that day. Joyous festivities mark the celebration in every home. Servants, farmers and the poor are fed and clothed and given presents of money. On the next day, the cow, which is regarded as the symbol of the Holy Mother, is worshipped. Then there is the feeding of birds and animals.
([Source|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/religions/makara_siva.htm])
SALUTATIONS and adorations to the Supreme Lord, the primordial power that divided the year into the four seasons. Salutations to Surya, the Sun-God, who on this great day embarks on his northward journey.
To many people, especially the Tamilians, Makara Shankranti ushers in the New Year. The corn that is newly-harvested is cooked for the first time on that day. Joyous festivities mark the celebration in every home. Servants, farmers and the poor are fed and clothed and given presents of money. On the next day, the cow, which is regarded as the symbol of the Holy Mother, is worshipped. Then there is the feeding of birds and animals.
In this manner the devotee’s heart expands slowly during the course of the celebrations, first embracing with its long arms of love the entire household and neighbours, then the servants and the poor, then the cow, and then all other living creatures. Without even being aware of it, one develops the heart and expands it to such proportions that the whole universe finds a place in it.
As Shankranti is also the beginning of the month, Brahmins offer oblations to departed ancestors. Thus, all the great sacrifices enjoined upon man find their due place in this grand celebration. The worship of the Cosmic Form of the Lord is so well introduced into this, that every man and woman in India is delightfully led to partake of it without even being aware of it.
To the spiritual aspirants this day has a special significance. The six-month period during which the sun travels northwards is highly favourable to them in their march towards the goal of life. It is as though they are flowing easily with the current towards the Lord. Paramahamsa Sannyasins roam about freely during this period, dispelling gloom from the hearts of all. The Devas and Rishis rejoice at the advent of the new season, and readily come to the aid of the aspirant.
The great Bhishma, the grandfather of the Pandavas, was fatally wounded during the war of the Mahabharata, waited on his deathbed of nails for the onset of this season before finally departing from the earth-plane. Let us on this great day pay our homage to him and strive to become men of firm resolve ourselves!
As already mentioned, this is the Pongal festival in South India. It is closely connected with agriculture. To the agriculturalist, it is a day of triumph. He would have by then brought home the fruits of his patient toil. Symbolically, the first harvest is offered to the Almighty—and that is Pongal. To toil was his task, his duty, but the fruit is now offered to Him—that is the spirit of Karma Yoga.
The master is not allowed to grab all the harvest for himself either. Pongal is the festival during which the landlord distributes food, clothes and money among the labourers who work for him. What a noble act!—It is an ideal you should constantly keep before you, not only ceremoniously on the Pongal day, but at all times.
Be charitable. Be generous. Treat your servants as your bosom-friends and brother workers. This is the keynote of the Pongal festival. You will then earn their loyalty and enduring love.
The day prior to the Makara Shankranti is called the Bhogi festival. On this day, old, worn-out and dirty things are discarded and burnt. Homes are cleaned and white-washed. Even the roads are swept clean and lovely designs are drawn with rice-flour. These practices have their own significance from the point of view of health. But, here I remind you that it will not do to attend to these external things alone. Cleaning the mind of its old dirty habits of thought and feeling is more urgently needed. Burn them up, with a wise and firm resolve to tread the path of truth, love and purity from this holy day onwards. This is the significance of Pongal in the life of the spiritual aspirant.
If you do this, then the Makara Shankranti has a special significance for you. The sun, symbolising wisdom, divine knowledge and spiritual light, which receded from you when you revelled in the darkness of ignorance, delusion and sensuality, now joyously turns on its northward course and moves towards you to shed its light and warmth in greater abundance, and to infuse into you more life and energy.
In fact, the sun itself symbolises all that the Pongal festival stands for. The message of the sun is the message of light, the message of unity, of impartiality, of true selflessness, of the perfection of the elements of Karma Yoga. The sun shines on all equally. It is the true benefactor of all beings. Without the sun, life would perish on earth. It is extremely regular and punctual in its duties, and never claims a reward or craves for recognition. If you imbibe these virtues of the sun, what doubt is there that you will shine with equal divine lustre!
He who dwells in the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose body the sun is, and by whose power the sun shines—He is the Supreme Self, the Indweller, the immortal Essence. Tat Twam Asi—“That thou art”. Realise this and be free here and now on this holy Pongal or Makara Shankranti day. This is my humble Pongal prayer to you all.
On the Shankranti day, sweets, puddings and sweet rice are prepared in every home, especially in South India. The pot in which the rice is cooked is beautifully adorned with tumeric leaves and roots, the symbols of auspiciousness. The cooking is done by the women of the household with great faith and devotion, feeling from the bottom of their hearts that it is an offering unto the Lord. When the milk in which the rice is being cooked boils over, the ladies and the children assemble round the pot and shout “Pongalo Pongal!” with great joy and devotion. Special prayers are offered in temples and houses. Then the people of the household gather together and partake of the offerings in an atmosphere of love and festivity.
The farmer is lovingly greeted by the landlord and is given presents of grain, clothes and money.
On the next day, the herds of cows are adorned beautifully, fed and worshipped. In some villages the youth demonstrate their valour by taking “the bull by the horn” (and often win their brides thereby!). It is a great day for the cattle.
On the same day, young girls prepare various special dishes—sweet rice, sour rice, rice with coconut—and take them to the bank of a river or tank. They lay some leaves on the ground and place on them balls of the various preparations for the fish, birds, and other creatures. It is an extremely colourful ceremony. The crows come down in large numbers and partake of the food. All the time a valuable lesson is driven into our minds—“Share what you have with all”. The crow will call others before beginning to eat.
When you celebrate the Shankranti or Pongal in this manner, your sense of value changes. You begin to understand that your real wealth is the goodwill and friendship of your relatives, friends, neighbours and servants; that your wealth is the land on which your food grows, the cattle which help you in agriculture, and the cow which gives you milk. You begin to have greater love and respect for them and for all living beings—the crows, the fish and all other creatures.
In Maharashtra and in North India, spiritual aspirants attach much importance to Makara Shankranti. It is the season chosen by the Guru for bestowing his Grace on the disciple. In the South, too, it should be noted that it was about this time that Mahadeva favoured several of the Rishis by blessing them with His beatific vision.
How to kill a Lion
Newton's method.(third law): Let the lion to kill you, then obviously the lion will die itself
Rajnikanth method : Keep warning the lion that u may come and attack anytime. The lion will live in fear and die soon in fear.
Kamal method : Go near the lion and cry like anything....lion will die of sorrow !
Manirathnam method : Make sure the lion does not get sun light. Keep murmering something in its ears.the lion will be highly irritated and commit suicide.
Balachandar Method : send a lioness into the forest. our lion and lioness will fall in love with each other.Now send another lioness into the forest, followed by a lion.First lion loves the third lioness and and the second lion loves the 4th lioness, but 4th lioness loves both lions.Now send another lioness in to the forest. u dont understand.(just like paarthaale paravasam)right... ok....read it after 15 yrs, then also u won't!
The Masquerade Of Charity
even make it as blunt and extreme as possible, at least to begin
The first one is very obvious, but the second one is hid, very hidden, and
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
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
to win souls for eternal life. And you see that as the whole thrust and
retreat. I will say this much now to complicate it even more. "I was
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
have known." Isn't that interesting? But YOU know. You know the inner
left hand had no idea what my right hand was doing." You know, a good is
as the great Sufi would say, "A saint is one until he or she knows it."
giving, isn't that eternal life right here and now?" I wouldn't know. I
call pleasure, pleasure, and nothing more. For the time being, at least
until we get into religion later on. But I want you to understand
it from hurting others? And what about the man who got into a truck full
of dynamite and drove into the American camp in Beirut? How about
you're awake and what you do is done through you. Your deed in that case
terrorists. You can have a man go on a thirty-day retreat and come out all
saint. I don't mean to slander Francis Xavier, who probably was a great
saint, but he was a difficult man to live with. You know he was a lousy
dismiss men from our Society and they'd appeal to Ignatius, who would say,
"Come to Rome and we'll talk about it." And Ignatius surreptitiously got
are we to judge, we don't know.
Suppose you happen to live in Phoenix and you feed over five hundred
to give you a bad feeling? But sometimes it does. And that is because
FEELING. And they call THAT charity. They act out of guilt. That isn't
love. But, thank God, you do things for people and it's
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
same, except now it's in the pleasure of pleasing others. Then you've got
sacrifices but you're grumbling. Ha! How little you know of yourself if
I'd be a millionaire by now. You know how it goes. "Could I meet you
tonight, Father?" "Yes, come on in!" I don't want to meet him and I hate
him? I don't have the guts to say no. "Come on in," and I'm thinking, "Oh
It doesn't give me a good feeling to meet with him and it doesn't give me a
good feeling to say no to him, so I choose the lesser of the two evils and
and I'll be able to take my smile off, but I start the session with him:
"How are you?" "Wonderful," he says, and he goes on and on about how he
loves that workshop, and I'm thinking, "Oh God, when is he going to come to
the point?" Finally he comes to the point, and I metaphorically slam him
against the wall and say, "Well, any fool could solve that kind of
problem," and I send him out. "Whew! Got rid of him," I say. And the next
morning at breakfast (because I'm feeling I was so rude) I go up to him and
say, "How's life?" And he answers, "Pretty good." And he adds, "You know,
people. We love to hurt people, especially some people. We love it. And
they'll talk against us and we don't like that!
Rabbi Hillel
One of his most famous sayings, recorded in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers, a tractate of the Mishnah), is "If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?"
Karthigai
([Source|http://http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/aims.htm])
Once Lord Shiva assumed the form of a hill at Tiruvannamalai in South India. Here He quelled the pride of Brahma and Vishnu who were quarelling as to their relative greatness. One day, when Lord Shiva was in meditation, Parvati left Him and went to the hill of Arunachala. There She performed penance. She was the guest of the sage Gautama. It was during Her penance here that Mahishasura was killed by Durga hidden by Parvati. Parvati saw Shiva as Arunachalesvara. She was taken back by the Lord to His side, and made His Ardhangini once more, that is, She occupied half of the body of the Lord.
When the light on the top of the Tiruvannamalai Hill is unveiled on the Kartigai Deepam day, people see the big light and worship it. They recite again and again in a loud voice “Harohara”. The esoteric meaning is that he who sees the light of lights that is burning eternally in the chambers of his heart through constant meditation attains immortality. The light on the Arunachala brings the message to you that the Self or Lord Shiva is self-effulgent, He is the light of lights.
On the Kartigai Deepam day in South India, people make bonfires in front of temples in the evening. It is said that Lord Shiva burnt the chariots of several demons who were torturing sages and celestials. This bonfire symbolises this legend.
People place rows of earthen lamps in front of their houses on the evening of Kartigai Deepam and worship the Lord. They also light a variety of fireworks.
Annihilate the three impurities, namely, egoism, selfish action and delusion. Burn the mind, senses and the desires in the fire of knowledge of the Self or Shiva-Jnanam. Attain full illumination and behold the light of lights, which illumines the mind, intellect, sun, moon, stars, lightning and the fire. This is real Kartigai Deepam.
May the light of lights illumine you all! May Lord Shiva bless you with more light! May you merge in this supreme light and attain the eternal abode of bliss and immortality!
Holi
([Source|http://http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/aims.htm])
IN DAYS of yore, there were communities of cannibals in India. They caused much havoc. They threatened the lives of many innocent people. One of them was Holika or Putana. She took immense delight in devouring children. Sri Krishna destroyed her and thus saved the little children. Even today, the effigy or figure of Holika is burnt in the fire. In South India, the clay figure of Cupid is burnt. This is the origin of the great festival of 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.
Another legend has it that once upon a time an old woman’s grandchild was to be sacrificed to a female demon named Holika. A Sadhu advised that abuse and foul language would subdue Holika. The old woman collected many children and made them abuse Holika in foul language. The demon fell dead on the ground. The children then made a bonfire of her remains.
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.
This same scene is enacted every year to remind people that those who love God shall be saved, and they that torture the devotee of God shall be reduced to ashes. When Holika was burnt, people abused her and sang the glories of the Lord and of His great devotee, Prahlad. In imitation of that, people even today use abusive language, but unfortunately forget to sing the praises of the Lord and His devotee!
In North India, people play joyfully with coloured water. The uncle sprinkles coloured water on his nephew. The niece applies coloured powder on her aunt’s face. Brothers and sisters and cousins play with one another.
Huge bundles of wood are gathered and burnt at night, and everywhere one hears shouts of “Holi-ho! Holi-ho!” People stand in the streets and sprinkle coloured water on any man who passes by, be he a rich man or an officer. There is no restriction on this day. It is like the April Fool’s Day of the Europeans. People compose and sing special Holi songs.
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.
On the last day of Holi, people take a little fire from this bonfire to their homes. They believe that their homes will be rendered pure, and their bodies free from disease.
Nowadays, people are found indulging in all sorts of vices in the name of the Holi festival. Some drink intoxicating liquor like toddy and fall unconscious on the roads. They indulge in obscene speech as a result of drinking. They lose respect for their elders and masters. They waste their money in drink and dice-play. These evils should be totally eradicated.
Festivals like Holi have their own spiritual value. Apart from the various amusements, they create faith in God if properly observed. Hindu festivals always have a spiritual significance. They wean man away from sensual pleasures and take him gradually to the spiritual path and divine communion. People perform havan and offer the new grains that are harvested to the gods before using them.
There should be worship of God, religious gatherings and Kirtan of the Lord’s Names on such occasions, not merely the sprinkling of coloured water and lighting of bonfires. These functions are to be considered most sacred and spent in devotional prayers, visiting holy places, bathing in sacred waters, and Satsang with great souls. Abundant charity should be done to the poor. Then only can Holi be said to have been properly celebrated. The devotees of the Lord should remember the delightful pastimes of the Lord on such happy occasions.
All great Hindu festivals have religious, social and hygienic elements in them. Holi is no exception. Every season has a festival of its own. Holi is the great spring festival of India. Being an agricultural country, India’s two big festivals come during the harvest time when the barns and granaries of our farmers are full and they have reason to enjoy the fruits of their hard labour. The harvest season is a festive season all over the world.
Man wants relaxation and change after hard work. He needs to be cheered when he is depressed on account of work and anxieties. Festivals like Holi supply him with the real food and tonic to restore his cheer and peace of mind.
The religious element in the Holi festival consists of worship of Krishna. In some places it is also called the Dol Yatra. The word dol literally means “a swing”. An image of Sri Krishna as a babe is placed in a little swing-cradle and decorated with flowers and painted with coloured powders. The pure, innocent frolics of little Krishna with the merry milkmaids (Gopis) of Brindavan are commemorated. Devotees chant the Name of Krishna and sing Holi-songs relating to the frolics of little Krishna with the Gopis.
The social element during Holi is the uniting or “embracing” of the great and the small, of the rich and the poor. It is also the uniting of equals. The festival teaches us to “let the dead bury the dead”. We should forget the outgoing year’s ill-feelings and begin the new year with feelings of love, sympathy, co-operation and equality with all. We should try to feel this oneness or unity with the Self also.
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.
Gokulashtami
([Source|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/religions/krishna_jan.htm])
Temples are decorated for the occasion. Kirtans are sung, bells are rung, the conch is blown, and Sanskrit hymns are recited in praise of Lord Krishna. At Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, special spiritual gatherings are organised at this time. Pilgrims from all over India attend these festive gatherings.
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.
There is no true science except devotion to Lord Krishna. That man is wealthy indeed who loves Radha and Krishna. There is no sorrow other than lack of devotion to Krishna. He is the foremost of the emancipated who loves Krishna. There is no right course, except the society of Sri Krishna’s devotees. The Name, virtues and Lilas (divine pastimes) of Krishna are the chief things to be remembered. The Lotus Feet of Radha and Krishna are the chief objects of meditation.
Sri Krishna is the ocean of bliss. His soul-stirring Lilas, which are the wonder of wonders, are its waves. The honeyed music of His flute attracts the minds of His devotees from all three regions. His unequalled and unsurpassed wealth of beauty amazes the animate and the inanimate beings. He adorns His friends with His incomparable love.
His palms bear the signs of a lotus and discus, the right sole of His feet of a flag, lotus, thunderbolt, an iron goad, barley seed, and the Swastika. His left sole has the rainbow, triangle, water-pot, crescent, sky, fish, and a cow’s footprint. His Form is composed of condensed universal consciousness and bliss. His Body pervades the entire cosmos.
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.
His enchanting form with flute in hand is worshipped in myriads of homes in India. It is a form to which is poured out devotion and supreme love from the hearts of countless devotees not only in India but also in the West. Millions of spiritual seekers worship Him and repeat His Mantra, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.
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.
Krishna has played various roles during His stay in the world. He was Arjuna’s charioteer. He was an excellent statesman. He was a master musician; he gave lessons even to Narada in the art of playing the veena. The music of His flute thrilled the hearts of the Gopis and everyone else. He was a cowherd in Brindavan and Gokul. He exhibited miraculous powers even as a child. He killed many demons. He revealed His Comic Form to His mother, Yasoda. He performed the Rasa Lila, the secret of which can only be understood by devotees like Narada, Gauranga, Radha and the Gopis. He taught the supreme Truth of Yoga, Bhakti and Vedanta to Arjuna and Uddhava. He had mastered every one of the sixty-four fine arts. For all these reasons He is regarded as a full and complete manifestation of God.
Incarnations of God appear for special reasons under special circumstances. Whenever there is much unrighteousness, whenever confusion and disorder set in on account of unrighteousness and baffle the well-ordered progress of mankind, whenever the balance of human society is upset by selfish, ruthless and cruel beings, whenever irreligion and unrighteousness prevail, whenever the foundations of social organisations are undermined, the great Incarnation of God appears in order to re-establish righteousness and to restore peace.
An Incarnation is the descent of God for the ascent of man. A ray from the Cosmic Being in His potential state of manifestation descends on earth with mighty powers to keep up the harmony of the universe. The work done by the Incarnation of God and His teachings produce a benign influence on human beings and help them in their upward divine unfoldment and Self-realisation.
The Incarnation comes to reveal the divine nature of man and makes him rise above the petty materialistic life of passion and egoism.
The greatest manifestations are called Incarnations proper. Rishis, Munis, prophets, sons of God and messengers of God are minor manifestations.
The Incarnations usually come with their particular or favourite groups or companions. Lord Rama came with Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. Lord Krishna came with Balarama, Devas and Rishis. Sanaka came with Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata. Some, like Sri Shankara and Ramanuja, come as teachers and spiritual leaders. Some, like Chaitanya, are born to instill devotion in the hearts of people and turn their minds towards God. The Incarnations proper, like Krishna, come only when there is widespread catastrophe in the world.
On the holy Krishna Janmashtami, the ladies in South India decorate their houses beautifully, ready to welcome the Lord. They prepare various sweetmeats and offer them to the Lord. Butter was Krishna’s favourite, and this is also offered. From the doorway to the inner meditation room of the house the floor is marked with a child’s footprints, using some flour mixed with water. This creates the feeling in them that the Lord’s own Feet have made the mark. They treat the day as one of very great rejoicing. There is recitation of the Bhagavatam, singing and praying everywhere.
The Janmashtami is celebrated at the Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, with the following programme of intense spiritual activity:
3. On the birthday itself everyone fasts and spends the whole day in holy communion.
5. A grand havan is performed on that day.
6. There is continuous Satsang from 4a.m. early in the morning till night. Yogis, Sannyasins and learned men discourse upon the glorious life and teachings of the Lord.
7. From sunset people assemble in the elaborately decorated temple and sing the Lord’s Names and glories.
8. Many hymns and portions of the Bhagavatam, especially the Gopika Geetam, are recited.
9. Towards midnight, there is a grand worship of Lord Krishna. The Lord is bathed with milk while His Name is chanted 108 times.
10. This worship concludes with offerings of flowers, waving of lights (Arati), and reading of that portion of the Bhagavatam which deals with the birth of Krishna. This synchronises with midnight, the hour of the Lord’s birth, at which time the murti of the Lord is rocked in a beautifully decorated cradle. After this item, all the assembled devotees partake of the holy prasad or sacrament, and then retire, filled with the Grace and blessings of Lord 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.
2. “Understand that to be Maya or illusion which is devoid of any purpose, which is not to be found in the Self and which is unreal like light and darkness.
3. “As the primary elements are amalgamated, with one another and also separate from one another at the same time, so I pervade the whole universe and am also separate from it.
4. “The aspirant should, by the method of positive and negative, know that thing which exists always and everywhere.
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!
Varalakshmi Viratham
Update on 20060804 - For knowing varusham, kaalam, maasam, thithi, rthou etc. refer to the Vedic Calendar @ http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/panchangam/
* [indiataster.com: Varalakshmi Viratham detailed procedure and recipes|http://www.indiatastes.com/festivals/varalakshmi/festival.shtml]
LORD SHIVA describes the glory of this Vrata in the Skanda Purana. It is performed by a woman whose husband is still living. Maha Lakshmi is the abode of all auspiciousness and prosperity. This worship of Maha Lakshmi is done to obtain good progeny, and for the health and long life of the husband.
The Vrata is observed on the Friday immediately preceding the full moon day of the month of Sravan (August-September). After a purificatory bath, the lady should put on a clean, fresh cloth and make a mandala with the drawing of a lotus upon it. A kalasha filled with rice and topped with fresh mango leaves, a coconut and cloth are placed on the mandala and Lakshmi is invoked therein. Fresh grains are used in the worship as they convey the idea of growth and prosperity.
After the worship of the kalasha, follows the worship of Ganesha, then the worship of the raksha or the sacred thread. Now the main worship of Vara Lakshmi begins and the raksha is worshipped a second time. It is then tied to the right hand of the lady. After the worship various auspicious articles are given as charity to some deserving lady whose husband is alive. This lady is also fed with dainties.
Lakshmi not only bestows wealth and all sorts of material prosperity, but also imparts divine wisdom to all Her devotees. She is Vidya Shakti. She introduces Her devotees to Her Lord. She recommends them to Her Lord for their salvation.
She is the power of Lord Narayana who is also known as Lord Vishnu or Lord Hari. Narayana is God’s aspect of preservation. He is an embodiment of Shuddha Sattwa. Lakshmi is His causal body. She is Maya, the illusory power of Nature. She deludes the whole world by Her veiling power and projects it through Her projecting power. She Herself as Vidya-Lakshmi enlightens the spiritual aspirant. Beauty, grace, a picturesque scenery or charming landscape, modesty, love, prosperity, music, the five elements and their combinations, the internal organs, mind, Prana, intellect—all these are Her manifestations.
Without Lakshmi even Sannyasins cannot do propaganda or preaching work or run their institutions. They are in fact more in need of Lakshmi than the householders because they have to do great dynamic work for human weal. Sri Shankara worshipped Devi, Lakshmi and Saraswathi for success in his work. All great prophets and divine messengers who have done great spiritual work in the past were devotees of Mother Lakshmi, Devi and Saraswathi.
ShreeRamanavami
([Source|http://http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/aims.htm])
SALUTATIONS to Lord Rama, an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who is measureless, who is of the nature of pure Consciousness and bliss, who is the consort of Sita, Master of Sri Hanuman, and the Lord of the three worlds, who took His birth at His own will in order to establish righteousness, destroy the wicked and protect His devotees.
Rama was the Lord Hari Himself, incarnate on earth for the destruction of Ravana. He was well accomplished, beautiful and endowed with royal marks. His glory and prowess were unlimited. He was peerless on earth. He was free from malice. He was gentle. He was the protector of all His people. He always addressed them in gentle words. He never used any harsh words even when somebody provoked Him. He held sway over the whole world.
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.
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.
Ramnavmi is one of the most important festivals of the Vaishnava sect of the Hindus. However, even those who adore Lord Shiva celebrate the occasion. Some observe a strict fast on the day. Temples are decorated and the image of Lord Rama is richly adorned. The holy Ramayana is read in the temples. At Ayodhya, the birthplace of Sri Rama, a big fair is held on this day.
In South India the Sri Ramnavmi Utsavam is celebrated for nine days with great fervour and devotion. Those talented in the art of story-telling narrate the thrilling episodes of the Ramayana. The Kirtanists chant the holy Name of Rama and celebrate the wedding of Rama with Sita on this great day. It is an extremely colourful ceremony, highly inspiring and instructive, too.
At the Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, Ramnavmi is celebrated for nine days as follows:
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”.
4. Those who have adopted Lord Rama as their favourite Deity observe a fast, taking only milk and fruit for all the nine days. Some fast only on the Ramnavmi day itself
5. On the final or Ramnavmi day, there is a grand worship of Lord Rama in the gorgeously decorated temple. All the Vedic rituals including Laksharchana are performed.
7. From four in the morning to late at night, there is Ram and Ram alone everywhere!
8. Leaflets, booklets and books relating to Lord Rama are distributed.
9. Special meetings are held in the evening at which discourses on the life and teachings of the Lord are delivered.
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 prince of the Ikshvaku race. He was virtuous and of manly strength. He was the Lord of the mind and the senses. Brave and valiant, He was yet gentle and modest. He was a sage in counsel, kind and sweet in speech, and most courteous and handsome in appearance. He was the master of all the divine weapons, and a great warrior. Ever devoted to the good and prosperity of His kingdom and His subjects, He was a defender of the weak and the protector of the righteous. Endowed with numerous wondrous powers of the mind, He was well versed in all sciences—in military science as well as the science of the Self.
Deep and unfathomed like the ocean, firm and steadfast like the Himalayan mountains, valiant like Lord Vishnu, He was the joy of Kaushalya. Though fierce like fire on the battlefield, He was calm like the cool breeze of the Mandara Hills, patient like Mother Earth, bounteous like the god of wealth and righteous like the lord of justice himself. In the pains and the griefs of His people, His heart swiftly sympathised with the sufferers. In the festive scenes which held them in joy, He like a father, shared their joys. By His honour and heroism, as well as by His gentleness and love for His subjects, He greatly endeared Himself to the hearts of His people. Such a great person was the Lord Rama!
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.
The noblest lesson embodied in the Ramayana is the supreme importance of righteousness in the life of every human being. Righteousness is the spiritual spark of life. Cultivation of righteousness is the process of unfoldment of the latent divinity in man. The glorious incarnation of the Supreme Being in the form of Lord Rama has exemplified the path of righteousness. Let mankind follow His footsteps and practise the ideals cherished by Him, for it is only thus that there can be everlasting peace, prosperity and welfare in this world.
None but the righteous can be truly happy. None but he who has the correct sense of duty and the will for its implementation can be said to live worthily. One must be imbued with a definite conviction about the supremacy of moral principles, ethical values and spiritual ideals. These ought to guide one’s day-to-day actions and serve as powerful means for the culture of the human personality. That is the purpose of life. That is the way to Self-realisation. That is the message and the mission of Lord Rama’s fife on earth.
To a devotee, Sri Rama is not simply a good and a great person, but God Himself. Rama was the son of King Dasaratha of Ayodhya, but He is also the divine omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient God. The destruction of the ten-headed Ravana signifies the annihilation of the mind or the ten senses. Worship of Lord Rama is worship of the all-pervading Godhead Himself. Read the prayers offered by Mandothari and Brahma in the Yuddha Kanda of the Ramayana. They refer to Rama as the one Creator of the universe, the God of all, the Ruler of the universe.
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.
Without first developing devotion to Rama who is the Self, who lives in the hearts of all beings, who is all bliss and who is peerless, how can man cross the ocean of worldly life which has sorrow, pain and misery for its waves?
Do thou therefore worship Lord Rama who is Vishnu and the consort of Sita who is Lakshmi. Abandon all foolishness and enmity. Take to the service of Lord Rama.
The Lord is extremely fond of those who have surrendered themselves to Him. He has given this promise in the Ramayana: “To anyone who once takes shelter under Me and solicits ‘I am Thine’, I bestow fearlessness from all beings. This is My vow”.
Even a great sinner who is full of evil qualities and who is fond of other people’s wealth, is freed from all kinds of faults that pertain to worldly life if only he remembers the Lord always. He attains purity and goes to the supreme abode of the Lord.
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.
Lord Shiva tells His consort Parvati: “This Ram-Nam is equal to the Lord’s thousand Names, or repetition of the Mantra a thousand times”.
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.
One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride.
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."
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.
"Well, how much is a plain dish of icecream?" he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.
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.
Love like you've never been hurt and
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.
Wise Old Man
A wise old gentleman retired and purchased a modest home near a junior high school. He spent the first few weeks of his retirement in peace and contentment. Then a new school year began. The very next afternoon three young boys, full of youthful, after-school enthusiasm, came down his street, beating merrily on every trash can they encountered. The crashing percussion continued day after day, until finally the wise old man decided it was time to take some action.
The next afternoon, he walked out to meet the young percussionists as they banged their way down the street. Stopping them, he said, "You kids are a lot of fun. I like to see you express your exuberance like that. In fact, I used to do the same thing when I was your age. Will you do me a favor? I'll give you each a dollar if you'll promise to come around every day and do your thing."
The kids were elated and continued to do a bang-up job on the trashcans.
After a few days, the old-timer greeted the kids again, but this time he had a sad smile on his face. "This recession's really putting a big dent in my income," he told them. "From now on, I'll only be able to pay you 50 cents to beat on the cans."
The noisemakers were obviously displeased, but they accepted his offer and continued their afternoon ruckus. A few days later, the wily retiree approached them again as they drummed their way down the street.
"A freakin' quarter?" the drum leader exclaimed. "If you think we're going to waste our time, beating these cans around for a quarter, you're nuts! No way, dude. We quit!" And the old man enjoyed peace and serenity for the rest of his days.
JeffDeLuca
For four years I had the privilege of working for Jeff De Luca. From 1995 to 1997 I was a development team lead on a large C++ project where Jeff was the development manager. Then from 1997 to 1999 I was the development manager on a large Java project in Singapore where Jeff was the project manager and chief architect. On this second project I watched Jeff's drive and ability transform the project from disaster to success.
Jeff combines formidable leadership skills with outstanding technical knowledge, experience and insight. Jeff impressed me from the very first few meetings I had with him. Unlike many other 'impressive' talkers in the industry, I was still as impressed by Jeff four years later. Time and time again I watched Jeff take ownership of a difficult problem and innovate and strategise to produce a solution.
Jeff is passionate about quality and offended by mediocrity. He aggressively champions best industry practises such as formal design and code inspections. Yet he, as aggressively, condemns unnecessary process bureaucracy. Building on his early training and experience at IBM's top laboratories in the USA, extensive reading and collaboration with one of the industry's leading OO analyst/designers, Jeff implemented an innovative, efficient, low overhead, iterative development process for the singapore project. This process has been a considerable factor in the success of a project where a complex and poorly understood problem domain caused requirements to change too frequently.
Jeff firmly believes that good people using good processes produce great results. He invested considerable time and effort into recruiting and training a team of highly talented developers for the project. Jeff also challenges the status quo and convention when he believes it to be of benefit to the project. To put it in a nutshell, Jeff inspires and motivates others to achieve
better and better results.
Jeff is based in Melbourne, Australia, runs Nebulon Pty Ltd, married to Michelle and has two children Matthew and Catherine.
Pancha Ganapati
has always been a festive time of year in all countries, religions and
of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed lord of culture and the arts.
of the sun's southward movement and the beginning of its movement north.
gift-giving and celebration.
as a new beginning and mending of all past mistakes, a festive shrine
different color: golden yellow on December 21, then royal blue, ruby red,
emerald green and finally brilliant orange. These are the colors of His
Each day a tray of sweets, fruits and incense is offered to Lord
Ganapati, often prepared and presented by the children. Chants, songs
and bhajans are sung in His praise. After puja, the abundant, diverse
sweets are shared by one and all as prasada. Each day gifts are given
be within the means of each family. Handmade presents are by far the
offer Hindu art and wisdom, such as verses from the Vedas. Here is how
Ganapati is to create a vibration of love and harmony among immediate
family members. The day begins early, and the entire family works together
to design and decorate the shrine with traditional symbols, rangoli,
lamps and more. Then a grand puja is performed invoking the spirit
of Pancha Ganapati in the home. The sadhana of the day now begins. The
misdeeds performed, insults given, mental pain and injuries caused and
suffered. When forgiveness is offered to all by one and all, they speak of
each other's good qualities and resolve that in the days ahead they will
remember the futility of trying to change others and the practicality of
are then exchanged and placed unopened before Pancha Ganapati. As family
December 22, blue: Day two is devoted to creating a vibration of love and
harmony among neighbors, relatives and close friends and presenting them
with heartfelt. The sadhana of the day is to offer apologies and clear
up any misunderstandings that exist. Relatives and friends in far-off
and tensions released. Gifts received are placed unopened before Pancha
of love and harmony among business associates, the casual merchant and
workers and customers and to honor employers and employees with gifts
and appreciation. The sadhana today is the settling of all debts and
of joy and harmony that comes from music, art, drama and the dance.
Family, relatives and friends gather for satsang to share and enjoy
their artistic gifts. Then all sit together before Ganesha, Patron of
Arts and Guardian of Culture, discussing Hindu Dharma and making plans
forth love and harmony within all three worlds. Because of sadhanas well
performed during the first four days, the family is now more open and
aware of Ganesha's grace, and their love for Him is now overflowing. On
this day the entire family experiences an outpouring of love and
tranquility from the great God Himself. His blessings fill the home and
We can clearly see that religion and tradition are interlocked in the
annals of time back many thousands of years, and how tradition moves
humanity. Every time-honored tradition loyally serves mankind, and by
Terrorism
* The first factor is frustration and desperation to achieve a goal. When people are desperate to achieve some goal and are unable to do it, the desperation brings up violence in them.
* The second factor is belief in a non-verifiable concept of merit and heaven: if I die fighting for God, then I will go to heaven, because God wants this act to happen. Who knows? No one can verify these statements.
* Fourth is ignoring human values in order to achieve a goal, and
"I would say we need to be compassionate toward the terrorists. They are completely mistaken—they are mistaken as to their religious teachings, they have a mistaken idea of freedom, and they are mistaken in what they want to achieve in life because they are inflicting suffering on others and also on themselves. So they need compassion, they need understanding.
Directing hatred and anger towards terrorists will not change or improve them. We need to bring transformation in them. For this we need patience, endurance, and compassion."
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."
Over the weekend, I spent lot of time learning Radio UserLand 8.0 >>> 0100563 >>> http://www.carnatic.com/kishore/ru/
[Mattu Pongal] : "...According to a legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Basava, to go to the earth and ask the mortals to have an oil massage and bath every day and to eat once a month. Inadvertently, Basava announced that everyone should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. - - - This mistake enraged Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to live on the earth forever. He would have to plough the fields and help people produce more food. Thus the association of this day with cattle. - - - A festival called [Jallikattu] is held in [Madurai], Tiruchirapalli and Tanjavur on this day..."
[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..."
[Great Virtues of the Dhamma] : "...Amongst the many virtues of the Dhamma, there are six salient characteristics mentioned in the most authoritative texts. Svakkhato Bhagavata Dhammo, Sanditthiko, Akaliko, Ehipassiko, Opanayiko and Paccattam Veditabbo Vinnuhi..."
[Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn] : "If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere [insidious]ly committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart."
[Wendell Berry] : [The joy of sales resistance] : ...We live in a time when technologies and ideas (often the same thing) are adopted in response not to need but to advertising, salesmanship, and fashion...
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..."
have to get started (9) launch the damn editor and (10) write code
nonstop until I don't realize that it's already 7:30 pm. - - - - - Somewhere between step 8 and step 9 there seems to be a bug,
[John VanDyk] [:|http://iowa.weblogger.com/2002/01/04] "The writings of [Wendell Berry] seem to be popping up with astonishing frequency of late."
[Ed Iglehart]'s [Reading List and Inspirations|http://www.tipiglen.dircon.co.uk/readinglist.html]
[Voltaire] in [Freedom of Thought] : It rests entirely with you to learn to think. You're born with a mind. You are a bird in the cage of the Inquisition: the Holy Office has clipped your wings, but they can grow back. Whoever doesn't know geometry can learn it; every man can tutor himself: it's shameful to put your soul in the hands of those to whom you'd never trust your money. _Dare to think for yourself._
[John Stuart Mill] (in [On Liberty]): If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
[Russell Lipton] [:|http://static.userland.com/userLandDiscussArchive/msg018410.html] "...There is an inherent degree of [serendipity] in Web-learning that routes around this kind of thing..."
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."
The [Literature, Arts, & Medicine Database] is an annotated bibliography of prose, poetry, film, video and art which is being developed as a dynamic, accessible, comprehensive resource in MEDICAL HUMANITIES, for use in health/pre-health and liberal arts settings.
[Henry Miller] : Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.
People are searching for interesting phrases at [Google] like [a way of life that does not consist of taking away from someone else|http://www.google.com/search?q=a+way+of+life+that+does+not+consist+of+taking+away+from+someone+else] and the first hit is [Quotations|http://kishore.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$5] at my ex-weblog :-)
[Mark Kraft] is a [geeth|http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=insomnia] and states "I left a $125,000 a year job to become the "All things business" manager of LiveJournal, which means I oversee a ton of things regarding the strategy, design, and viability of the LiveJournal community / open source project. It's more than just business, especially to me. [Dulce et decorum est]..."
[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 !
[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."
[Vikas Kamat] [:|http://www.kamat.com/vikas/blog.php?date=1/1/2002] [Bathing and Personal Hygiene in Ancient India|http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/ancient/bathing/index.htm]
[Mira Art] [:|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2002/01/01] ...I rather wish all of us the energy and the desire to create luck, to make it happen.....by understanding one's role in this life...
[Veronica Lynne]'s [WannaWrite?|http://wannawrite.editthispage.com/] is "A Place for Poetry, Prose and Ponderings"
[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!
[Vikas Kamat] explains [Feedback], [quotes|http://www.kamat.com/vikas/blog.php?date=12/27/2001] [Mahatma Gandhi] : "To make peace with evil in order to avoid conflict, is cowardice."
[Cameron Barrett] : Do yourself a favor and telnet to this address: towel.blinkenlights.nl
Principles
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. : Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.
To ask is a moments shame, not to ask, and remain ignorant, is a lifelong shame.
[Michel de Montaigne] : There is no man so good, who, were he to submit all his thoughts and actions to the laws, would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.
[Swami Sivananda] : "Even a little victory in the inner battle with your mind and senses will develop your will-power and give you more assurance and courage.
But do not be swayed by success. Be humble and grateful."
* [Socrates] : If you know that you don't know, that is a great beginning. Then it is possible for you to know.
Thyoar : Have no destination, and you will not get lost.
[John Stuart Mill] (in [On Liberty]): If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
Happiness
"Happiness is when you want nothing, and you want to give. Where the wanting and desires end, and the sharing begins, happiness is exactly there. Memory is not happiness. When you are happy, you forget everything. It is when happiness is gone that you dwell in its memory. In the world, people are either dreaming of happiness or remembering happiness. That is either being in the past or the future. But happiness is that which is in the present."
via http://zedshaw.com/ => http://www.thewaytohappiness.org : ..The Way to Happiness Foundation International was established in 1984 with the mission of reversing the moral decay in society by restoring trust and honesty in the world through the publication and widespread distribution of The Way to Happiness. Today the book is published in 90 languages..
[Stephen Knapp] : [The Key to Real Happiness|http://www.stephen-knapp.com/key_to_real_happiness.htm] : ...Available Soon or read it now online. This book is actually a guide to one of the prime purposes of life. Naturally everyone wants to be happy. Why else do we keep living and working? Now you can find greater levels of happiness and fulfillment. Using this knowledge from the East, you can get clear advice on the path for reaching an independent and uninterrupted feeling of well-being. This information is sure to open your eyes to higher possibilities. It can awaken you to the natural joy that always exists within your higher Self...
Happiness and the world
It is a fact that everyone in the world is seeking happiness, often unconsciously (whatever their concept of it is) - some may deny it, citing other pursuits instead, but no-one actively pursues misery, except in the mistaken belief that it is happiness. That the pursuit of this ideal is often unrecognised by those seeking it, must be accepted by us - it is nevertheless a fact - and happiness is given many names, satisfaction, excitement, thrill, good times etc. Its pursuit can take on the guise of drug and alcohol abuse, sexual pursuit, greed, lust for power, high ambition, steady employment, a family, good exam results etc. The list is in fact endless, but none of them lead to real abiding happiness, because no sooner is one objective fulfilled than another raises its head to spoil the fragment of happiness obtained. So what is the solution and how do we find this real and abiding happiness ? The clues are there for everyone to see, both in the world and within yourself, but most people miss them.
To test the above requires only a few moments of clear introspection. It is the mind which conjures up daydreams and we then take part in them, acting out in our mind-world the scenes we expect to take place in the material world, imagining all sorts of bliss arising from the fulfilment of our illusions. Soon we become convinced by the illusion and set out to give some concrete form to the dream. It might be a new car, a washing machine, a holiday in the sun, a new partner, money, anything in fact. But what is the real truth - most of the time our dreams are only dreams, coming to nothing but increased frustration. On the rare ocassions that they become a concrete fact, we find not our expected result of endless bliss, but a short period of exultation as the desire dies in the achievment of the object. For a short time we have a quiet mind and in that quiet we find happiness. It is not the object that generates happiness, because if it was, then happiness would continue as long as the object remained. We all know that such is not true and the more we get, the more we want and the less peace we have. This is common to all.
Now and Then
[Movies] > Now and Then
Knowledge
Knowledge
[Osho] : .....Knowledge has its uses, it is not absolutely useless. But if you are going inwards it becomes more and more useless, and the deeper you go, the more useless it is. If you are going outwards, the farther you go out into the world, the more useful it becomes. The world respects the knowledgeable person.....
[The Best Part of Knowledge]
[Sébastien Paquet] : [Personal knowledge publishing and its uses in research|http://radio.weblogs.com/0110772/stories/2002/10/03/personalKnowledgePublishingAndItsUsesInResearch.html]
[The Search for Happiness|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/messages/searchappy.htm]
: In philosophical circles, questions were raised: How does knowledge arise in the individual? Who manufactures knowledge? You cannot say that you have created your knowledge, because in order to create knowledge within yourself, you must be already possessing that knowledge. An ignorant person cannot have the seed of this knowledge. If you are not the source of the knowledge, who created this knowledge? Has it come from outside? It does not appear that it has come from you, because to manifest knowledge from your own self, you must have already, within yourself, the potential of that knowledge. If that is already there, then you need not seek knowledge at all.
The great Dattatreya Maharshi says in the very first verse of the Avadhuta Gita: isvaranugrahad-eva pumsam advaita-vasana; mahadbhaya-paritranat vipranam upajayate: The knowledge that frees you from the fear of life, the threat of death, does not arise by a slipshod effort on the part of any person. A miraculous occurrence in the very operation of the cosmos takes place, the pros and cons of which process we cannot know,-just as we cannot know how we are born into this world.
Words
and protested; he said, "I don't agree that words have all that much effect
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,
lapse; I'm sorry." The man finally calmed down. Then the guru said, "It
took just a few words to get a whole tempest going within you; and it took
[Osho] : 'PHILOSOPHY is a disease, and not an ordinary one either. It’s not a common cold. It is cancer- Cancer of the soul. Once a person is lost in the jungle of philosophy he becomes more and more entangled in words, concepts, abstractions and there is no end to it. One can go on and on for lives together.'
[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...
([source|http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/m_path/1964_1/editorial.htm]) ...It is related (and the story is no less significant whether historically true or not) that after attaining Enlightenment the Buddha's first impulse was to abide in the effulgence of Bliss without turning back to convey the incommunicable to mankind. Then he reflected: "Some there are who are clear-sighted and do not need my teaching, and some whose eyes are clouded with dust who will not heed it though given, but between these two there are also some with but little dust in their eyes, who can be helped to see; and for the sake of these I will go back among mankind and teach" It is for those with little dust in their eyes that this journal is intended...
"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."
As I understand it, I am being paid only for my work in arranging the words; my property is that arrangement. The thoughts in this book, on the contrary, are not mine. They came freely to me, and I give them freely away. I have no "intellectual property," and I think that all claimants to such property are thieves.
I think we are in a circle as all people are ....And we are not able
"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)."
# Avoid shipping metaphors. You and what you make are nobody's "content."
# 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.
There are two kinds of people: those who want to go work for a company to make it successful, and those who want to go work for a successful company. ( my deduction ! after reading [Jamie Zawinski|http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/]'s [resignation and postmortem|http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/nomo.html]
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
The farmer, poet, novelist, essayist, and teacher, Wendell Berry, is a lover of the land. His appreciation and love for the land is expressed in both his life and works.
Berry was born at New Castle, Kentucky, in 1934. He grew up in this Henry County locale among "the cycle of the tobacco growing, cultivation, and marketing, so the romance of Kentucky's green gold is a living part of him" (Browning 191). In 1956, Berry graduated form the University of Kentucky with a B.A. degree in English and received his M.A. degree there a year later. During the summer of 1956, Berry studied at Indiana University School of Letters. From 1957 to 1959, he taught at Georgetown College. Later, under a creative writing fellowship, he went to the creative writing Center at Stanford University and taught creative writing for a year. While at Stanford, he wrote his first novel, Nathan Coulter.
In 1963, he taught at New York University. When Berry was offered and accepted a teaching position in the English Department at the University of Kentucky, the Berry's came home to Henry County in Kentucky. He lives on a 125 acre farm where his family has lived since the early 1800's. According to Bryan Wooley, "Berry is the fifth generation of his father's family and the sixth of his mother's to farm in Henry County, in the neighborhood of Port Royal" (8). Although his wife, formerly Tanya Amyx, lived in the city all her life, she and her husband raised their two children, Mary Dee and Pryor (Den) Clifford, on the farm. In the article "Wendell Berry, A Kentucky Writer Tries to Strengthen the Ties Between Man and the Land," Wooley discusses Berry's farm life. Berry did not initially intend to live on this farm but intended to use it as a vacation place. Instead the Berry's renovated the house and moved in around July 4, 1965. "It is a real farm, not a writer-professor's country estate. Its chores include milking cows and currying horses, and mucking out stalls and mending fences and mowing hay and all other time-consuming sometimes back-breaking, labor that family agriculture requires" (10).
Most of his farm was previously neglected, but Berry is fascinated with making this abused land productive. Oddly, he does not have a modern toilet; instead he has a clean white privy in the backyard. The wastes deposited there are made into compost. Tractors are not used to plow his fields, either. Berry uses a team of draft horses in replace of "Exhaust-stinking, engine-roaring, gasoline-guzzling tractors" (11). Berry feels he is doing his part by not harming the environment any further.
Another technology he does not convenience himself with is a computer, which Berry explains in his essay "Why I Am Not Going To Buy a Computer?" He writes his works and then his wife revises and types then on a manual typewriter. Berry gives three main reasons for not buying a computer: (1) He would hate to think that his work could not be done without a direct dependence on strip-mined coal. (2) He does not want to replace the close bond between him and his wife with an expensive unnecessary piece of equipment. (3) He does not want to "fool himself" by owning a computer, a tool that itself does not make his writing any better than the writing he does with a pencil. His first reason is in regard with his awareness of the land being striped to produce the electricity to run the computer. For the same reason, he writes in the daytime without electric lighting (179-171). By not participating in the "rape of nature," he shows his concern for the environment.
In Berry's novel, The Memory of Old Jack, this same appreciation for the earth is portrayed through the main character, Jack Beechum. Within this novel, the love for the land can be seen as a means of fulfillment. Although other prominent relationships are evident in Beechum's life, the most important relationship that he has is that with the soil and land.
Beechum remembers going though "a tormented marriage,... a jaded relationship with a hired black hand, and a tender love affair with a young widow... Through it all, Beechum is sustained by his farm, the paramount love and labor of his life" (Borries 26).
Beechum's marriage failed during courtship as Berry explains on page 54 and 55. His wife, Ruth Beechum, expected and wanted more of a business man instead of the farmer he was. The two, even though they were husband and wife, were strangers to each other. "She remained to him an unknown continent" (58). Beechum spent much of his time in the fields with the land, not with his wife. He could not fail with the land nor disappoint it, and it could not hold any expectations for him. So, he had more of a bond with the land than his wife.
Beechum and Will Wells, his Black hired hand, were originally like brothers, working on and caring for the land together. However, they grew weary in their relationship with the roles they fell into. Wells "was a man laboring for no more than his existence," while Beechum had "an increasing resentment of his dependence and a jealous remembering of the days when he had worked alone...when in his solitary work he had been so free" (81). Beechum had a greater need for the land than his hired hand.
Beechum 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.
Another of Berry's works that displays a true love for his homeland is his poem "East Kentucky, 1967" included in his collection entitled Openings. The poem invites two questions concerning the environment. The first six lines challenge the awareness of what industrialization has done to the land. The waste produced by machines in the air and streams are at the expense of the lives all of the earth encompasses. The last six lines challenge the awareness of the future of our children. The next generation holds no hope for the reason they are "helpless." Since the children can only witness what we have shown them in this industrial period, they cannot "vision" and are "blind" to the land when it is beautiful and plentiful.
Wendell Berry expresses in his own life and in his works, a fondness, a love for the land and community. In my opinion and understanding, he wants us to realize our modernization is damaging the earth. It is killing the environment. Berry is not trying to tell us to "Save the World." The difference we make does not have to be large scale but local, individually taking part in preventing further damage. Berry explains in an interview with Bluegrass, "I think that changing yourself by doing the best work you can is of major importance" (27). In other words, if we worry about the part we can do locally, instead of thinking that we cannot do it all, then together we can make a noticeable difference.
Berry, Wendell. "East Kentucky, 1967." Openings. Harcourt, Brace, and World: New York, 1968.
- - -. the Memory of Old Jack. Harcourt, Brace, and World: New York, 1974.
Wooley, Bryan. "Wendell Berry, A Kentucky Writer Tries to Strengthen the Ties Between Man and the Land." Courier-Journal & Times. 8-13.
Farming: A Handbook. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973. A book of 55 poems.
Sayings and Doings. Lexington, Kentucky: Gnoman Press, 1975. A book of 55 entries.
Three Memorial Poems. Berkeley, California: Sand Dollar Press, 1977. A book of 3 poems.
The Gift of Good Land: Further essays Cultural and Agricultural. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981. A book of 22 nonfiction essays.
Standing by Words. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1983. A book of 7 nonfiction essays.
An Eastward Look. Berkely, california: Sand dollar Press, 1984. A poem.
* 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.
As I understand it, I am being paid only for my work in arranging the words; my property is that arrangement. The thoughts in this book, on the contrary, are not mine. They came freely to me, and I give them freely away. I have no "intellectual property," and I think that all claimants to such property are thieves."
Greg Franklin
"What I can do best and what I think is most worthwhile is teaching the players how to think. I teach them how to listen to themselves and be honest, so they can become independent and go as far as their talent can take them, which is usually farther than they've gone at the time that they come to me. The main direction is teaching them not how you play, but why. Why do you want to be a musician?"
Napster and Ego
For example, why is Napster a compelling piece of software? It looks like an el-blando Win32 app on the outside, all GDI boxes and rectangles, with boring repaint code to make sure it looks right. Its communication protocols are, as we now know, homegrown hacks at best. But its personality, instilled by [Shawn Fanning], is perfect for its purpose. Consider the pastiche.
* You click the list box entry, then a plain old Win32 button, and the song downloads to your hard disk.
Instant memory flood, and an instant statement of politics: As fast as you can remember 'em, you can get 'em. Only one guy had the vision (and ego) to put the classic principle of instant gratification through music into a piece of software. Software so easy to use, even college students could figure it out!
So to produce compelling software, you have got to steer a course between bureaucracy and geekocracy. Steer it towards the New World, where the people are.
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Rules the World
[Articles] > The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Rules the World
An Inspired Talk delivered by [Gurudeva] Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami on his 54th Jayanti, on January 5, 1980, at the Kadavul Hindu Temple in Hawaii, enjoining the modern Hindu woman to not forsake her dharma but protect the home and nurture the family as her gift of love to the next generation. Hmmm! It seems not to have gone out of date much.
Anbe Sivamayam Satyame Parasivam! Tonight we are going to talk about a vast subject, one that is important to every Hindu family: stri dharma, the dharma of the Hindu wife and mother. In Sanskrit stri means "woman." Dharma is a rich word which encompasses many meanings: the path to God Siva, piety, goodness, duty, obligation and more. Stri dharma is the woman's natural path, while purusha dharma, we can say, is the man's.
There is much controversy about the role of the woman in society these days. In the West, a strong women's liberation movement has been at work for many years, and now there has arisen an equally vigorous opposition which defends traditional values. The so-called struggle for women's liberation has affected women the world over--in India, Iran, Europe, Japan and elsewhere. In North America, I began a campaign informally called the Hindu women's liberation movement. It is not what you might expect. Its purpose is to liberate our Hindu women from the liberators, to save them from worldliness and to allow them to fulfill their natural dharma as mother and wife. For a religious woman, being liberated starts with resigning from her job and coming home. Once she is home, she is liberated and liberated and liberated. Working in the world keeps her in the outer dimensions of consciousness, while being at home allows her to live in the depth of her being. I have seen this work many times. There are so many distractions and influences in the world today that divert women away from being a wife and mother. In the West a woman is a wife first and a mother second, but in the East her duties as a mother are foremost. She is trained from early childhood in the arts of homemaking, trained by her mother who was trained in exactly the same way by her mother, and so on right down through history. It's an old pattern.
The Hindu woman is looked upon as most precious. Two thousand years ago Saint Tiruvalluvar observed: "What does a man lack if his wife is worthy? And what does he possess if she is lacking worth?" There is more respect in the East for women and for their role in society. Here in the West, the woman is not fully appreciated. Her contribution is underrated and misunderstood. In fact, this is one of the reasons she seeks fulfillment and recognition in other spheres, because Western society has become oblivious of her unique and vital role. Abused by neglect and disregard, she seeks other avenues where she may be appreciated, recognized and rewarded.
Don't forget that in the East the ties of the extended family are very close. Women live in a community, surrounded by younger and older women, often living in the same house. They enjoy a rewarding life which includes helping the younger ones and being helped by those who are more mature. Several generations work together in sharing the joys as well as the burdens of household culture. It is different in the West. Women here usually do not have the advantages of close association with other family members. Naturally, they become a little lonely, especially if they do not have a religious community of friends. They get lonely and want to get out in the world and enjoy life a little. This is another reason women leave the home. It is very unfortunate.
In the East there is a better balance of the masculine and feminine forces. In the West the masculine is too strong, too dominant. The feminine energies need to be allowed greater expression. But that does not mean women should start doing what men do. No. That only confuses the forces more. A better balance must be found. In the East the woman is protected. She is like a precious gem. You don't leave it unattended. You protect it. You guard it well because you don't wish to lose it. Hindu women are guarded well. They are not allowed to become worldly. They are not exposed to the looks and thoughts of a base public, nor must they surrender their modesty to contend with business affairs. She can be perfectly feminine, expressing her natural qualities of gentleness, intuitiveness, love and modesty. The home and family are the entire focus of a Hindu woman's life.
Many of you here tonight are too young to know that this was also the pattern in the West until about seventy-five years ago. Before World War I, women were very strict in the West. It was that war and the one that followed that broke down the ancient roles of men and women. The men were taken away from industry by the army, and women were forced out of the home into the factories and businesses so that production could continue. Earlier they had been protected, seldom seen unaccompanied in public. Throughout history, women had been the caretakers of the home and the defenders of virtue. They valued their purity, their chastity, and were virgins when they married. Many people don't know that the old values were followed most strictly up until 1915 or so. Then the two world wars broke up the family and disturbed the balance between men and women. For the first time, women were seen alone in public. For the first time, they left the home and competed with men for their jobs.
I speak often of the change humanity is going through in moving out of the agricultural era and into the technological age. This change has affected the dharma of the woman and the dharma of the man in an interesting way. During the tens of thousands of years of the agricultural age, families lived and labored mostly on farms or in craft guilds. The entire family worked on the farm. The men all worked in the fields; the women and children worked in the home. Children were a great asset. More children meant more help, a bigger farm. There were many chores that a young boy or girl could do. When harvest time came, everyone joined in. It was a one team, and everyone contributed. When the crop was sold, that was the income for a combined effort from all members--men, women and even children. In a very real sense, everyone was earning the money, everyone was economically important.
In the technological era, only the man of the house earns the family income. Everyone else spends it. The husband goes to work in a factory or large company office while his wife and children stay at home. There is not much they can do to help him during the day with his work. His work and his wife's are not as closely related as in the old days. He is the provider, the producer now; she and the children are consumers. Because the children cannot help much, they have become more of an economic liability than an asset. This, coupled with the population problems on the Earth, devalues the economic importance of the woman's traditional role as wife and mother. Whereas raising children and taking care of the farmhouse used to be a woman's direct and vital contribution toward the family's livelihood and even the survival of the human race, today it is not. Whereas they used to be partners in a family farm business, today he does all the earning and she feels like a dependent. The answer is not to have women join their men in the factories and corporations. The answer is to bring traditional religious values into the technological era, to find a new balance of karma that allows for the fulfillment of both the man's and the woman's dharma.
When young couples marry, I help them write down their vows to one another. He must promise to support her, to protect her, to give her a full and rewarding life. She must promise to care for him, to manage the home, to maintain the home shrine and to raise fine children. I ask them each to respect the other's realm, to never mentally criticize the other and to make religion the central focus of their life together. I ask the young bride to stay in the home, to be a little shy of involvement in the world.
A mother's place is within the home and not out in the world working. When she is in the home all day, she brings love and security to the children, sensitivity and stability to the husband. By raising her children, she changes the course of history. How does she do that? She raises strong children, good and intelligent children. They will grow up to be the great men and women in the community, the leaders of the nation. They will be the farmers, artists, businessmen, the teachers, the doctors, the lawyers, the architects, the presidents and, most importantly, the spiritual leaders. They will be the mothers, the homemakers and child-raisers, scientists and inventors, pioneers and poets, artists and sculptors and creators in all dimensions of life. It is such men and women who change the course of human history. This is the great power held by the mother and by no one else: to properly mold the mind and character of her children. And she trains her daughters to do the same by example and gentle guidance.
Of course, she also holds the opposite power, expressed through neglect, to allow her children to grow up on their own, on the streets where they will learn a base life. Such children will as surely change society and human history, but negatively. They will be the common men and women, or fall into mental and emotional abysses, there to express man's instinctive nature and become the exemplars of violence and lust, of dependence and crime. The very direction of humankind is right there in the early years, to be turned toward a great potential through love and attentiveness or allowed to decay through neglect. The mother is the child's first guru, and she alone can shape the mind in those impressionable years. So, you can all see the truth in the old saying: "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."
Take the case of a mother who is at home every day, morning and night, attending to her children. As she rocks the cradle, her love and energy radiate out to the infant who then feels a natural peacefulness and security. She has time for the child, time to sing sweet lullabies and console when the tears come, time to teach about people, about the world, about the little things in growing up, time to cuddle for no reason except to express her love. On the other hand, the working mother has no time to do extra things. When the infant cries, she may, out of her own frustrations of the day, become impatient and scold him, demanding that he keep quiet. "I told you to be quiet!" she shouts. The infant doesn't even understand English yet. You can imagine this helpless child's feelings as he receives an emotional blast of anger and frustration directed toward his gentle form. Where is he to turn? He cannot find refuge even in his mother's arms. What will the next generation be like if all the children are raised under such circumstances? Will it be strong and self-assured? Will it radiate kindness to others, never having had kindness given to it? Will it be patient and understanding? No. It is a proven fact that most of the people in prison were neglected or beaten as children. It is also a proven fact that nearly all parents who mistreat their children were themselves mistreated by their parents. Unless mothers care for and love their children, society will inherit an entire generation of frustrated adults who were once frustrated children. These will later be the people who rule the world. Then what happens? They in turn raise their children in the same manner, for that is the only example of parenthood they have. They will think that neglect is natural, that children can get along on their own from an early age or be raised by a governess or nurse or at a day-care center. It's a circle: a childhood of neglect produces a bitter adult life; a childhood of love and trust produces a loving and happy adult life.
We learn so many important things from the mother. This learning is not just from the things she explains to us, but from the way she lives her life. If she is patient, we learn patience. If she is angry and unhappy, then we learn to be angry and unhappy. How wonderful it is for a mother to be in the home and give her children the great gifts of life by her example. She can teach them so many things, bring them into profound understandings about the world around them and offer them basic values and points of view that will sustain them throughout their life. Her gift of love is directly to the child, but indirectly it is a gift to all of humanity, isn't it? A child does not learn much from the father until he is older, perhaps eight or nine, or ten years of age.
Let me tell you a sad story. We have a book in our library which describes a plan, made by the Christians, to destroy Hinduism in Sri Lanka and India. One of their major tactics is to get the Hindu women out of the homes and working in the world. They knew that the spiritual force within the home is created by the unworldly woman. They knew that a secure woman makes for a secure home and family, a secure husband and a secure religion. They knew that the Hindu woman is the key to the perpetuation of Hinduism as long as she is in the home. If the woman is in the home, if she is happy and content and the children are nurtured and raised properly, then the astral beings around the home will be devonic, friendly and beneficial. But if she is out of the home and the husband is out of the home, the protective force-field around the home disintegrates, allowing all kinds of astral asuric beings to enter. Such a neglected home becomes inhabited by base, asuric beings on the lower astral plane. You cannot see these beings, but they are there, and you can sense their presence. Things just don't feel right in a home inhabited by negative forces. You have the desire to leave such a home as soon as you enter it. The children absorb these vibrations, these feelings. Children are open and psychically sensitive to such influences, with little means of self-protection. They will become disturbed, and no one will know the reason why. They will be crying and even screaming. They will be constantly disobedient. Why should they become disobedient? There is no positive, protective force field of religion established by the mother. This leaves the inner force field vulnerable to negative and confusing forces of all kinds, especially in modern, overpopulated cities where destructive psychic influences are so strong. These negative vibrations are penetrating the inner atmosphere of the home, and the children are psychic enough to pick them up and suffer.
Religion begins in the home under the mother's influence and instruction. The mother goes to the temple to get strong. That is the reason Hindus live near a temple. They go to the temple to gain the strength from the shakti of the Deity, and they return to the home where they maintain a similar vibration in which to raise the next generation to be staunch and wonderful citizens of the world, to bring peace on Earth, to keep peace on Earth. There is an ancient Tamil proverb which says one should not live in a city which has no temple.
If a child is screaming in its cradle, and the baby sitter is yelling at him and couldn't care less about his feelings, and the mother is out working, that child is not a candidate for peace on Earth. That child is going to keep things confused, as they are today. So, it's all in the hands of the mother; it's not in the hands of the father. Religion and the future of society lie solely in the hands of the mother. It is in the hands of the father to allow or not to allow the mother to be under another man's mind out in the world.
Just as the two world wars took women out of the home, so did another recent change affect mankind. When the automobile came, people forgot about breeding. The automobile did one terrible thing: it made people forget how to breed and how to take care of one another. When people had horses, horses were a part of the family. People had to care for their horses and in the process learned to care for one another. People also had to breed their horses, and in that process learned about the value of intelligent breeding. In those days, you often heard of the "well-bred" person. You don't hear of the well-bred person anymore. People no longer consider that humans, too, are involved in the natural process of breeding. They have become forgetful of these important laws, and this has led to lack of discipline, to bodies indiscriminately creating more bodies. Who is living in them nobody quite knows. That's what we, as a society, forgot when the automobile replaced the horse. When you had a horse, you had to feed it, you had to train it, curry it, stable it and breed it. In breeding it, you had to choose a stud for your mare or find a suitable mare for your stallion. The qualities on both sides were closely observed, and the combination of genetics consciously planned. It was, therefore, natural for people in those days to seek proper mates for their children, and the results were the vital, creative and industrious children of the children. As a civilization, we are slowly forgetting such things, being more careless about our children's future, about their lives and minds.
Television has not helped the matter. In fact, it has virtually stopped the proper education of the child in those communities where it is watched for hours each day. Instead of developing a curiosity by adventuring for hours through a forest or climbing a tree, instead of discovering the wonders of nature and art and music, instead of becoming involved in sports and hobbies, children are mentally carried along by television stories through positive and negative states of mind. They become uncreative, inactive, never learning to use their own minds. Not all television is negative. Some of it can be quite educational; but hours and hours each day of passive absorption are not good for the child's mental and emotional development. Children need to be active, to involve themselves in a wide variety of experiences. If the mother is there, she can intelligently guide their television, being careful that they do not get in the habit of watching it for hours on end, and watching that bold sex, violence and other bad influences are not a daily experience. When the program is over, she can send them out to play. Of course, if she is gone, they will watch anything and everything. For the young, television is one of the most senseless pastimes there is, carrying the mind further and further away from the true Self. I think you will all agree that our values, the values found in the holy Vedas, Tirukural and other sacred scriptures are not found on television. Instead, TV gives our children a brutal and unbalanced view of life which distorts in their minds how life really is. These are very serious questions. It is the mother who protects her children from negative influences, guiding their young minds into positive channels of expression.
Take the case of a farmer who raises livestock, who milks cows and goats. He works hard. He gets up early and takes care of his animals. He cannot succeed if he is also working part-time in the grocery store downtown. He just can't do it. Those animals need attention. There is no sensible man who would run a farm, with cows and goats and chickens, and not be there to take care of them, because those animals need a lot of help. He stays there and takes care of his business. He is a farmer and that is his duty, and he knows it.
Well, what's more important than the child? He needs 24-hour-a-day care. He is learning to walk, to speak, to think. He falls down and needs consoling. He catches the flu and needs to be nursed back to health. It is the mother's duty to provide that care. No one else is going to do it for her. No one else can do it for her. She brought that child into the world, and she must prepare that child for a positive and rewarding life. If the farmer neglects his animals, he creates a karma. The animals suffer. The farm suffers. The community suffers when the farm fails, and the man himself suffers. There is a grave karma, too, for the woman who neglects her stri dharma, who goes out into the world and does not nurture the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of her children. She knows this within herself, but she may be influenced by ill-advised people, or by a mass movement that tells her that she has only one life to live and that she cannot find fulfillment in the home but must express herself, venture out, seek her own path, her own fortune. You have all heard these ideas. I tell you that they are wrong. They spell the disillusionment of the mother who heeds them, then the disintegration of the family that is sacrificed by her absence. Finally, they result in her own unhappiness as she despairs at the loss suffered by her family and herself.
From the point of view of the Second World, or astral plane, the home is the family temple, and the wife and mother is in charge of that spiritual environment. Man can come into that sanctum sanctorum but should not bring the world into it. He will naturally find a refuge in the home if she is doing her duty. He will be able to regain his peace of mind there, renew himself for the next day in the stressful situations that the world is full of. In this technological age a man needs this refuge. He needs that inner balance in his life. When he enters that sanctuary and she is in her soul body and the child is in its soul body, then he becomes consciously conscious in his soul body. He leaves the conscious mind, which is a limited, external state of mind and not a balanced state of mind. He enters the intuitive mind. He gets immediate and intuitive answers to his worldly problems. How can he not be successful in his purusha dharma in the outside world when he has the backing of a good wife? She is naturally perceptive, naturally intuitive. She balances out his intellect, softens the impact of the forces which dash against his nervous system from morning to night. Encouragement and love naturally radiate out from her as she fulfills stri dharma. Without these balancing elements in his life, a man becomes too externalized, too instinctive and sometimes brutal.
If a woman is working, she cannot provide this balance. She has to start thinking and acting like a man. She has to become a little harder, create a protective shell around her emotions. Then the home loses its balance of the masculine and the feminine forces. Take for example the situation in which the wife rushes home from work fifteen minutes before the husband. She's upset. The children come over from grandmother's house or she tells the baby sitter to go home. She scurries to prepare something before he comes home, then rushes to get herself looking halfway decent. Emotionally upset, she tries to calm herself, tries to relax and regain her composure. Her astral body is upset. The children's astral bodies are upset. The husband enters this agitated environment--upset by being in the world anyway--and he becomes more disturbed. He was looking forward to a quiet evening. He feels neglected, disappointed, and that leads him to become distraught, even angry. No wonder he beats his wife and abuses his child. He's mad. He gets more and more disturbed until there is nothing left to do but walk out. It's a totally impossible situation. Furthermore, it's not going to get better but exceedingly worse.
The situation I have just described is one of the main reasons that marriages today have become less stable, that so many married couples--sixty to seventy percent, I'm told--are experiencing difficulties and breaking up. People never get married with the intent of breaking up. Never. The forces do it. You put two magnets together one way and they attract one another. Turn one around, and they repel each other. The same force that brought the people together, when it is not handled right, makes them pull apart and hate each other. They can't see eye to eye. Then to make up, they go out to dinner to talk it over--in another frustrating asuric situation, as far out in the world as they can get--to try to make up. When that doesn't help, they come home, still frustrated. If they went to the nearby temple and worshiped the Deity together, that would help. They would return home in a different state of mind, and discover that their vibration had changed. Why does it help to go to the temple? Because the Deity is in the temple. The Deity is there to adjust the forces of the inner nerve system, to actually change the forces of mind and emotion.
In the home the mother is likened to the Shakti Deity. She is the power of the home. None other. So she has to be there. She has to be treated right. She has to be given the things she needs. It is the man's duty to provide for her and for the children. The husband should provide her with all the fine things, with a good house which she then makes into a home, with gold and jewels and clothes, gold hanging down until her ears hurt, more bracelets, more things to keep her in the home so she is feeling secure and happy. In return she provides a refuge, a serene corner of the world where he can escape from the pressures of daily life, where he can regain his inner perspective, perform his spiritual sadhana and meditations then enjoy his family. Thus, she brings happiness and peace of mind to the family, to the community and to the world.
This working together of the home and the temple brings up the culture and the religion within the family. The family goes to the temple; the temple blesses the family's next project. The mother returns home. She keeps an oil lamp burning in the shrine room on the altar. It's a beautiful thing. All this happens because her astral body is not fretted by the stresses and strains of a worldly life, not polluted by the lustful thoughts of other men directed to her. She is not living in the emotional astral body. She is living in her peaceful soul body of love, fulfilling her dharma and radiating the soulful presence called sannidhya. She was born to be a woman, and that's how a woman should behave.
If she does not do her dharmic duty--this means the duty of birth--then she accrues bad karma. Every time she leaves the home to go out to work, she is making kukarma. Yes, she is. That negative karma will reflect on her astral body and on her husband's astral body and on the astral bodies of their children, causing them to become insecure.
The Christian-Judaic-Islamic idea of a one life, that "you have to get everything out of this life because when you're gone, you're gone, so grab all the gusto that you can out of life" has given the modern Western woman the idea that she is not getting what she should, by being a woman, and therefore the world looks doubly attractive because she is just passing through and will never come back and doesn't want to miss anything. So, living a man's life is very, very attractive. She doesn't want to stay home all the time and not see anything, not meet anybody, go through the boredom of raising a family, taking care of the children. She wants to be out with life, functioning in a man's world because she is told that she is missing something. Therefore, you can understand her desire to get out and work, start seeing and experiencing life and mixing with people, meeting new people. The Hindu woman does not look at life like that. The Hindu woman knows that she was born in a woman's body--this soul has taken an incarnation for a time in a woman's body--to perform a dharma, to perform a duty for the evolution of the soul. The duty is to be a mother to her children, wife to her husband, to strengthen the home and the family, which are the linchpin of society. She knows that the rewards are greater for her in the home. She knows that all she is missing is a man's strenuous work and responsibility, that her stri dharma is equally as great as a man's purusha dharma, even though they are quite different by nature. Because she knows these things, she fulfills her dharma joyously.
Now, a woman may wonder, "If I don't work, how are we going to pay the bills?" The real reason that most women work is economic. The economy of the world is becoming more and more difficult, and the first answer to money problems, especially in the West, where the family unit is not too strong these days, is to have the woman go to work. This is an unhappy solution. The sacrifices are greater than the rewards. It is a false economy. Many times I have told young wives to stay home with their children. They worry. Their husbands worry. But with the wife at home, working to strengthen her husband, he soon becomes confident, creative, energetic. He is reinspired and always finds a way to make things work.
As long as the mother is home, everything is fine. There is security. Without this security, a family begins to disintegrate. Just think how insecure a child is without its mother. When the mother is there, security reigns in the home. As long as the mother is home doing whatever she naturally does as a mother--she doesn't even have to read a book about how to do it--the husband has to support the home. He feels bound to support the home.
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."
Heaven & Hell
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the
dying, and that the dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road
sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the
arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate
He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw man at a
"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right
up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a
inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand
pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long
drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was
standing by the tree waiting for them.
"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope.
know what, and don't know how, you forward jokes."
And to let you know that: you are still remembered, you are still important,
just a joke, but that I have thought of you today and wanted to send you a
Growing together as a couple
We all know that it is not easy to keep the sweetness of the initial relationship alive when demands from work and family keep mounting on us. Our daily lives can become a routine of work and we wonder where is the sweetness that we first experienced? It is worth checking from time to time if we are growing together or growing apart.
Here are some steps we can take to bring the sweetness back and grow together.
Was it music, dance, movie or books that you enjoyed sharing with each other when you first met? Revive your interest and enthusiasm with whatever you enjoyed in the beginning. Make a date with each other to go see a movie or read a good book together.
In our daily lives it is necessary to share the workload and the financial responsibilities. However, watch out for pettiness or meanness entering your relationship. If you are upset about something, then voice your concerns without loosing the human decency. Always keep your relationship with each other above a certain level of respect and love.
Respect each other’s work and ideas
Once our relationship is established, it is easy to brand a person and predict what he or she will do or say in most matters. Yet, give your spouse a listening ear about his or her ideas. Show respect and interest in what is dear to him or her. Often it is easy to brush aside what your partner may have to say since you feel like you already know it, yet give him or her a chance.
Strengthen your partner’s weaknesses
One of the biggest problems of a close relationship is that the other person knows your weakest points. Do not ever take advantage of your partner’s weakness. Instead strengthen that weakness with what you have to offer. Remember that you two form a team that can face the world so if you are united, you can compensate for each other’s weaknesses. If not, the others can exploit both of your weaknesses.
Often, children figure out a split in their parent’s relationship and take advantage of the split. Even if you disagree with your partner about any discipline issue, let your children know that whatever you decide will be the result of both of your inputs.
At every anniversary, keep checking to see if you are growing together – what interests you and how you have grown in last few years. Make amends in the areas where you think you may have missed some opportunities for growth. You can use your favorite activities as your barometer to see how you are growing. Have you created any new interest recently? Have you learnt to appreciate new kind of music?
Daily routine robs you of the sense of wonder and sweetness that once formed core of your relationship. Break the routine to see the tenderness in each other. Enjoy the moment for what it is. Being conscious of little wonders in life can help you see the beauty in everyday life and in each other.
Three visions for India
from all over the world have come and invaded us, captured our lands,
conquered our minds. From Alexander onwards. The Greeks, the Turks, the
came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this
We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their
culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on them.
freedom that we must protect and nurture and build on. If we are not
reliant and self-assured. Isn't this incorrect?
I have a THIRD vision. India must stand up to the world. Because I
believe that unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect
military power but also as an economic power. Both must go hand-in-hand.
him and Dr. Brahm Prakash, father of nuclear material. I was lucky to
have worked with all three of them closely and consider this the great
TWO: After my ISRO years, I joined DRDO and got a chance to be the part
THREE: The Dept. of Atomic Energy and DRDO had this tremendous
partnership in the recent nuclear tests, on May 11 and 13. This was the
tests and proving to the world that India can make it, that we are no
as an Indian. The fact that we have now developed for Agni a re-entry
Sciences visited my laboratory. He lifted the material and found it so
light that he took me to his hospital and showed me his patients. There
were these little girls and boys with heavy metallic callipers weighing
and took them to the orthopaedic centre. The children didn't believe
could now move around! Their parents had tears in their eyes. That was
acknowledge them. Why?
achievements but our media is only obsessed in the bad news and failures
and disasters.
I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli Newspaper. It was
the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken
desert land into an orchid and a granary. It was this inspiring picture
"I want to live in a developed India." For her, you and I will have to
Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes, then read; otherwise, choice
the airline is the worst in the world, and mails never reach their
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?
him a face - YOURS. YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your
(equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU
650) a month to, "see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to
Washington and then tell the traffic cop, "Jaanta hai sala main kaun
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
than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand. Why
talking of the same YOU. YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign
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
droppings all over the place," he said. "And then the same people turn
around to criticize and blame the authorities for inefficiency and dirty
choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility. We sit
back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything
paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to provide clean
want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and
opportunity. This applies even to the staff who is known not to pass on
those related to women, dowry, girl child and others, we make loud
drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home. Our
the system? & work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand. Or
we leave the country and run away. Like lazy cowards hounded by our
fears we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system.
When New York becomes insecure we run to England. When England
the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the
Indian government. Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country.
a great deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too....I am
Indians..... "ASK WHAT WE CAN DO FOR INDIA AND DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE
TO MAKE INDIA WHAT AMERICA AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES ARE TODAY" Let's
We Live By choice, Not by Chance.
impose duties and responsibilities upon yourself and you are the ultimate
Self-management revolves around controlling the mind and the intellect." The
management guru from Mumbai is renowned for conducting The Power of Self
management seminars in the United States, Europe, Australia and India. Swami
direct it properly, then you may make a wrong decision. Everyone's mind is
pressured by desire and expectations in the world." "Pave your way in life
through individual reflection and understanding. by such continuous
said the swami who spoke about higher values of peace and prosperity. He
to one's basic nature. "If you do, you will then become mentally agitated
and as a result your productivity will fail. You will not progress in life
and build stress upon yourself. Unresolved, stress can lead to ill health,
high blood pressure, heart disease and many other chronic problems."
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 !: Nobody will ever understand the harm that has been done to thy social, religious and cultural fabric by nearly ten centuries of bloody Muslim invasions. Muslim invaders looted thy country, they killed thy men, raped thy women, razed thy temples, broke thy statues and enslaved thy children. This onslaught was so intense, so bloody, so terrifying -- remember Hindu Kush - India - that it has left a permanent scar on thy psyche: thy sons and daughters have become - as Mahatma Gandhi aptly said -- cowards; they shy away from confrontation, panic easily, stay indoors at the least sign of trouble, lack total civic sense and let Indiaâs New Barbarians still defy and defile thee.
Poor India: The British made sure they fashioned a class of Indians who were brown in skin, but white in their thoughts. They were made up to dress British, eat British, think British and even dream British in their sleep. Today their descendants, the journalists of the English press, are thy worse enemies. They dress Western, eat Western, think Western and even dream Western in their sleep. What matters to them is not what might utter Indiaâs sages, avatars, gurus, wise men and yogis, who dress Indian, eat Indian, think Indian and even dream Indian, but what the western media, or Amnesty International will think about India. They are not interested at all by what the Bhagavad Gita, probably the worldâs most revelatory, most comprehensive, most relevant sacred book has to say, or how Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Indiaâs 21st century avatar, could help. No, they would rather turn to Gustave Thoreau, Marx or Jean-Paul Sartre, people who have even lost relevance in he West, for a solution to thy immense problems.
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 ! Not only thy own journalists always run thee down, but most of the western press ignores thee, when it is not debasing thee: "a train full of Hindu 'extremistsâ was burnt", said an Agence France Presse dispatch dated Saturday 2d March, which went around the world. Full of Hindu "extremists" ? Do they mean to say that the forty innocent women and children who were burnt were "extremists" ? No self-respecting Government should allow such bias in foreign reporting: in China these press outfits would be immediately thrown out. But the worse is that this piece was probably written by an Indian stringer - and a Hindu at that - who wants to prove to his or her White Masters, that she is Whiter than the White, more Secular than the Secular. Oh, poor India.
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.
Poor India ! If we allow this to unfold, then the unrest and killings which have been happening for the last 15 years in Kashmir, will spread to many parts of India, wherever there are important Muslim communities and the dream of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood will forever vanish. Arise again ï India, in this hour of need. Let thy sons and daughters prove again to the world that they are the worthy sons of one of the most ancient and greatest civilisation, which has still so much to give to the world.
Yoga
Then all samsara (cycle of birth and death) comes to an end.
http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/yoga.htm : Although many people think this term refers to union between body and mind or body, mind and spirit, the traditional acceptance is union between the Jivatman and Paramatman that is between one's individual consciousness and the Universal Consciousness.
[sivananda.org - Twelve Basic Postures|http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/exercise.htm]
[Hatha Yoga Pradipika] : ...Yoga perishes by these six: overeating, overexertion, talking too much, performing needless austerities, socializing, and restlessness...Yoga succeeds by these six: enthusiasm, openness, courage, knowledge of the truth, determination, and solitude...
Willpower
The five stages of our journey are: attention, concentration, meditation, contemplation and Self Realization. Consciousness is the path. Awareness is the traveler. Willpower is the fuel. It does not take time.
This is why you were born. The one and only reason why you are existing
then penetrate deeper and deeper, touch into the Self, become a knower of
the Self, Satchidananda, and then deeper still into nirvikalpa samadhi,
path--moksha, freedom from rebirth, and vishvagrasa, merging with
you must realize that understanding is fifty percent of control of the
mind, and you have to work at it as an accountant would work to balance
To know yourself is why you are on Earth. You were born to realize the
the Self God, and the only way to experience Self Realization is to
steps are: first, find out what and where the willpower is. Everyone
a floor or painting a picture. Your work must satisfy you, and if it
indomitable willpower and keep striving until it does.
your standard for perfection is. You must control the quality of your
work. Take on no responsibility that you cannot handle. By doing this,
you will find that you have much more control over the physical body and
body and the emotions of the instinctive area of the mind. Demonstration
The Pencil Maker
The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. "There are 5 things you need to know," he told the pencil, "Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.
"One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand.
"And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition you must continue to write."
The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in his heart.
But now the pencil lay on the dark wood table, feeling insignificant and rather sad.
Beside him on the desk was a colourful tin can, filled with every kind of beautiful pen to be had. There were silver fountain pens and a neon felt tip marker. There was also a classy ballpoint whom everyone called Parker.
Now the world was at war and their owner was a Soldier who was tasked to bring peace to the land.
"What we need is a map," the Soldier had said, at the desk across from his Officer the other night. "If someone can fly me over the city unseen, I can draw a map from the sky. The map will tell you where to go and how to win, and soon we'll put an end to this fight."
The Officer had agreed and now the Soldier would fly, but first he discussed with his wife. "I'll need something to draw with, something dependable... Something that won't fail me mid-flight."
The Soldier looked at his dark wood desk, and observed all the pens in the can. He studied each one, their bodies all shimmering, and he weighed them all in his hand.
"This one won't work," he said of a pen, "the ink might blot on the map. This one needs to be refilled every few hours, and this one will dry out without a cap."
He looked at each one and always found something wrong, or anticipated problems if he used it in the sky. "I need something that would work whatever the conditions, and I need it soon my dear wife."
"Then take this pencil." his wife finally said, handing him the frail and battered yellow thing. "It will write no matter what, it will write on a plane - it's the best writing tool you can bring."
The Soldier smiled, kept the pencil in his pocket, and took it with him on the plane. He finished the map and the map helped bring them peace... and the pencil has never been the same.
The pencil was now nothing more than a stub; what was left of his lead was now broken. His eraser was gone, his wood frame had split, and some time ago his metal ring had been stolen.
Now he stood before the Pencil Maker, and waited for him to say those 5 words.
Karma Yogi
Karma yoga removes the impurities of the mind and prepares it for the reception of divine light, divine grace and divine knowledge. Service of humanity is service of God. Work always elevates when it is done in the right spirit, without attachment and egoism.
Karma yoga expands the heart, breaks all the barriers that stand in the way of realising the ultimate unity and takes you to the door of intuition. It helps you to develop divine virtues such as mercy, tolerance, kindness, cosmic love, patience, self-restraint, etc. It destroys jealousy, hatred, malice and the idea of superiority. Karma yoga is the yoga of selfless action, without the idea of agency and without expectation of fruits. Work is worship of the Lord. There is indescribable joy in the practice of karma yoga.
A karma yogi should be absolutely free from greed, lust, anger and egoism. Only then can he do real and useful service. A karma yogi should have an amiable, loving nature. He should have perfect adaptability, tolerance, sympathy, cosmic love and mercy. He should be able to adjust himself to the ways and habits of others.
A karma yogi should have an all-embracing and all-inclusive heart. He should have equal-vision. He should have a cool and balanced mind. He should rejoice in the welfare of others. He should have all his senses under control. He should lead a very simple life.
A karma yogi should bear insult, disrespect, dishonour, censure, infamy, disgrace, harsh words, heat and cold and the pains of disease. He should have great power of endurance. He should have absolute faith in himself, in God, in the scriptures and In the words of his guru. Such a man is a good karma yogi and reaches the goal quickly.
The man who serves the world, really serves himself. This is an important point. When you serve a man, when you serve your country, always think that the Lord has given you a rare opportunity to improve. Correct and mould yourself by service. Be grateful to that man who has given you a chance to serve him.
Vision Creates Great Leaders
XLRI, Jamshedpur, My greetings to all the graduating students and
professors and teachers who shaped them to have qualities of leadership
to take up various missions and tasks of the nation. I was thinking
crime". In the knowledge era, successful people will always
excellence in intellect that demands three unique traits or
qualities, experienced during education phase and also career
phase. They are noble leadership, indomitable spirit and
science, in technology, in history, in politics and in industry
and they are the results of first vision of the nation commenced
hear the mid-night freedom speech of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
We were all thrilled when Panditji spoke that the mission was
items appeared. One item was India achieving freedom and
Panditji’s speech. The other news item and the most important
Mahatma Gandhiji walking barefoot in Naokali, removing the
Mahatma Gandhi has to be the first to unfurl the national flag
Red Fort, instead he was at Naokali. Mahatma Gandhi was an
embodiment of nobility, elevated thinking and concern for
men and women before me not to lose hope and courage.
bridge of science and society. Friends, I request all who are
transforms into thoughts and thoughts result into actions.
Universal Mind birth of space science and technology in a
ago. As you all know, Prof Vikram Sarabhai is the visionary of
space programme in the country. He is well known for his
research programme for the nation. Both Dr Homi Bhabha and
as it was near the equatorial region and was ideally suited for
Thumba, the locality had series of villages and thousands of
ancient church, St Mary Magdalene Church, Pallithura and a
and bureaucrats to get the place for the work of space science
place. He was asked to see the Bishop of Trivandrum, at that
Bishop. The Bishop smiled and asked him to meet him the
me who wants our church and the place I live for the work of
reasoning. In one way, science and spiritualism seek the
"There was a chorus of ‘Amen’ from the congregation and the
Pereira, the Bishop of Trivandrum, took the noble decision to
winding machine for FRP product and the Bishop’s house was
Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and multiple space centres
and scientific leaders, all converge towards giving reverence to
the human life. New church and new schools were established
in record time. Of course the birth of TERLS and then VSSC
gave the country the capability of design, development and
produce world class huge rocket system and subsequently,
sun-synchronous and meteorology spacecraft, communication
communication, weather forecasting and also locate water
there, but those who are responsible for creation and make the
flower and blossom will themselves be different and set unique
of this nation, on integration of minds and universal sense.
indomitable spirit and universal mind, young like you are
independence and the emergence of great minds. As the
Gandhi, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Abul Kalam Azad,
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Veer Savarkar. The list, if we take
and technologists. Though there was no full-fledged effort at
industries and education, we have seen world class scientific,
industrial and educational leaders generated during the
Prof S. Chandrasekhar, the famous Astronomy scientist, in his
biography "Chandra" by Shri Kameshwar Wali says, "I mean it
standing. Between 1920 and 1925, we had suddenly five or six
internationally well-known men. (He means, JC Bose, CV
Raman, Meghanath Saha, Srinivasan Ramanujam and Prof
Chandrasekhar himself). I myself have associated this
Coming now to the industrial field, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata
Ray brought up chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, and Aligarh Muslim University
Maharajas who started and nurtured universities like the one in
Baroda. There are many examples in both industrial and
have been to show the urge to build the Nation and
India has to be economically and commercially
GDP growth of 9-11% annually and that the people
and food, healthcare, infrastructure and strategic industries.
various branches of national development and generated 35
for the nation and the well being of our people. "Technology" is
agro food processing, food and agriculture, healthcare, electric
sciences and bio-technology, strategic industries and
materials and processing. There is a tremendous link between
competence for an integrated action:(1) Agriculture and food
and agricultural production. Other areas of agriculture and agro
food processing would bring prosperity to rural people and
speed up the economic growth. (2) Reliable and quality
electric power for all parts of the country. (3) Education and
education and healthcare are inter related. For example,
Kerala with education and better healthcare can bring down
the population growth and provide improvements in quality of
about Andhra Pradesh also have different facets. These
experiences, we feel, should be taken and spread in big states
like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Beginning of agricultural
education in remote areas and also to create national wealth.
growth in nuclear technology, space technology and defence
These five areas are closely inter-related and lead to national,
food, economic and security. A strong partnership among the
R&D, academy, industry and the community as a whole with
resources and we have human power in abundance. Then
nation needs young leaders who can command the change for
knowledge society from now to twenty years. The leaders are
build the team for the organization and give the inspiring
they are not afraid of risks. I have seen and worked with
creators of vision and missions. The vision ignites particularly
I have worked with ISRO and DRDO for two decades each.
leaders ignite multiple minds and mission takes shape. Then
to be built and operationalised, are mission statements, which
few times failures have also become products. Technology and
Organization works and nation with a mission will advance
will not see the high illiteracy, poverty and social
resource on the earth, under the earth and above the earth. My
best wishes to you all for transforming industrial and
commercial houses into establishments of substance and
Ken Wilber
From [HeartSpace: What's New? Spiritual Essays, Poems, travels, etc.|http://www.heartspace.org/misc/new.html] : "Ken Wilber: I think any time you have a state that offers liberation from life's suffering, it's relevant. I don't think anybody would want to forgo a capacity for great liberation, including somebody in the modern world. The difficulty, of course, is how then do you bring that into the everyday world in a way that has some sort of relevance. I think that's where the general notion of the bodhisattva tends to make a great deal of sense,. Which is namely, you, after thoroughly realizing the formless state of nirvana, bring that realization to bear on every form that arises. The impulse that accompanies that is something known as compassion. So the driving force becomes, "I have been fortunate enough to find some kind of liberation, freedom, fullness in my own being. How can I communicate that to others in a way that benefits them?"
It's not very different than somebody came along to you and gave you a billion dollars. Most people's initial impulse is, "I'm going to share that with some other people that need it." It's the same thing if you get a really profound awakening experience. It's not, "Oh, I'm going to get away from the world," it's "Oh, somebody gave me a billion dollars. I'm going to go out and share it." And that's generally what happens with people who have that kind of realization. They are moved, in a very very profound way, to share the wealth. And that's what happens. "
Smoking
[Swami Sivananda] on Giving up Smoking: As there were no letters to attend to today, it being a Sunday, the Master spent some time in the evening in going and
returning from the inspection and had reached the road adjacent to his
room, a passer-by, who was known to the Master, complained that he was
some pepper or a piece of ginger; the tendency will then go away."
Sanskrit
[Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide|http://www.kriya.org/magazine/sanskrit.htm] : The Sanskrit language numbers 50 letters: 15 vowels, 25 consonants, 4 semi-vowels, 3 sibilants, 1 aspirate, and 2 compounds.
[Christmas Then and Christmas Now|http://www.blavatsky.net/blavatsky/arts/ChristmasThenAndChristmasNow.htm] : ...as neither the modern Hindu devotee understands a word of the Sanskrit, nor the modern Parsi one syllable of the Zend, so for the average Roman Catholic the Latin is no better than Hieroglyphics. The result is that all the three--Brahmanical High Priest, Zoroastrian Mobed, and Roman Catholic Pontiff, are allowed unlimited opportunities for evolving new religious dogmas out of the depths of their own fancy, for the benefit of their respective churches...
1948, and since then it is still seized with the very first letter of the
Veda and Balambhatti -- an 18th century work. Besides the vast period, it
has to give the origin, evolution, history and supportive citations of a
particular word. "Sanskrit is full of compounds and there is no room for
Leo Tolstoy
Remember then: there is only one time that is important - Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!
[Books] : [Walk in the Light and Twenty-Three Tales]
Walk in the Light and Twenty-Three Tales
[Books] > Walk in the Light and Twenty-Three Tales
Remember then: there is only one time that is important - [Now]! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!
What is your goal in this life?
Is your goal to sit and wallow in the
you have to do that you haven't done, things that you will do, and
to do as yet and things you thought you would like to do but decided
and it keeps you nicely confused.
A confused mind creates the form to which you give a name, and you become
and years until all of a sudden you drop dead and give up the physical
body. Then what happens? What happens to this mind that is so concerned
make up your personality, when you lay down your physical body and die,
should always be ready, especially nowadays when the opportunities are
to know all those things about you. Somebody once said, "Well, Gurudeva
just knows everything about me." What good does that do? It's up to you
and find the answers to.
Giving
Why can't you spiritually unfold until you learn to give and give and
give and give until it hurts? Because that hurt is your block. Many
people give and they give generously, up to the point where they feel,
I can give," or "I will give more when I can," or "I enjoy giving and I
used to give a lot, but I can't give so much right now." These are the
little blocks that come up within man's nature and undermine man's nature
and bind him down to the depths of the negative areas of the subconscious
mind. And then he can't progress. Why can't he progress? Because he can't
have devotion unless giving unfolds as his light. Now, the man who has
going through circumstances which do not permit him, then what does he
himself. He gives what he can, and he gives more than he can. And when
and he calculates his giving, because he has to give in proportion to
something else. And by giving in proportion to something else, he is
creating his future limitation. He is saying "I am just this big, and I
as time goes by it will shrink. And it will shrink until you don't know
it. Your friends will notice, but you won't. It will shrink and shrink
and shrink. And that is one of the things your friends won't tell you,
that your consciousness has shrunk, and that you are not the same as
something to give; he gives what he has. He knows that he is not the
gift, that he is not the giver at all, and when something comes his way,
he gives of it freely. He is a vehicle for giving, and finally he is so
full of abundance in consciousness that he knows he is not the giver,
and he fulfills bhakti yoga in his life. If you give and give freely
and spontaneously, you feel good about it, and if you do it again,
you feel even better about it. But if you give and give selfishly, you
feel bad about it, and if you continue to do so, you'll feel worse. If
you give and give spontaneously, you will awaken your inner nature,
and spiritual power will flow through you, and you will merge with God
within you. But if you give, and give selfishly, by hanging onto your
of karma. Give freely, and your gift will come back to you often doubled
soon after the gift is given. Then this opens the door for another gift
when and where, and soon you will find yourself giving every minute of
Guru
the word "guru" consisting of the aksharas "gu" and "ru" stands for a teacher - one who dispels darkness (ignorance) of the the mind (person). "gu" means darkness and "ru" means the act of removal.
[Kularnava Tantra] : At the root of dhyana is the form of the guru. At the root of puja are the feet of the guru. At the root of mantra is the word of the guru, and at the root of all liberation is the grace of the guru.
[Gurudeva] : The satguru is like the sun. He is just there, radiating this very pure energy like the sun evaporates water.... It is hte seeker who opens himself to the great accumulated power of [darshan] which the guru inherited from his guru and his guru's guru, as well as the natural darshan he unfolded from within himself through his evolution and practices of [sadhana] and [tapas].
[The Tantrik Guru|http://www.shivashakti.com/guru.htm] : ...Because the guru gives mantra to a disciple and because she or he embodies the spirit and life of that mantra in an unbroken lineage to the Rishi who first perceived it, she or he is held in the utmost regard in the tantrik tradition.....This tradition of the "crazy" guru is embedded deep in the lore of the tantriks and the Nathas and has its value in shaking the conditioning of someone who aspires to be a Kaula, the tradition avers. For similar reasons, some elements of the tantrik tradition in India, such as worship in cremation grounds, the consumption of pig flesh and some sexual practices, were intended to rattle orthodox tendencies in tantrik pupils. (For a full exploration of this topic, see Holy Madness by Georg Feuerstein, Arkana 1992)...
Michael Murphy in a 'New Age' interview : We do need teachers, and there is such a thing as true authority - a person who really knows something. But the trouble is what they used to call in psychology "the halo-effect": a person's authority is overextended, and you get people going to, say, Einstein for political opinions - or to a guru on every matter. Independent judgement is a fairly rare quality among human beings. Part of being alive and growing and the whole art of living is to refine that independent judgement - to learn a kind of courage to stand up for one's inner voice and to be able to say when the emperor has no clothes.
[Ram Dass] in [Journey of Awakening] : Some people fear becoming involved with a teacher. They fear the possible impurities in the teacher, fear being exploited, used, or entrapped. In truth, we are only ever entrapped by our own desires and clingings. If you want only liberation, then all teachers will be useful vehicles for you. They cannot hurt you at all. If, on the other hand, you want power, a teacher may come along who talks about liberation but subtly attracts you by your desire for power. If you get caught and become a disciple of such a teacher, you may feel angry when this teacher turns out to be on a power trip, not leading you to enlightenment. But remember: at some level inside yourself, you already knew. Your attraction to this teacher was your desire for power. Your anger is nothing more than your anger toward yourself.
[About Gurus and their Teaching|http://www.theorderoftime.com/spiritual/index.html]
[Chinmaya Answers - The Guru|http://www.chyk.net/onlinemagazine/july2003/chinmaya_guru.htm] : ...The relationship between the teacher and the taught is exactly like the relationship of the gardener and the flowers on the bush. The gardener does not create the flowers from the soil and the manure; the flowers must themselves come from the bush. The gardener can only tend its roots, water it, protect it, see that it has the correct amount of sunlight and shade -- all these externals he can provide. But no mere gardener can guarantee the blossom; it can come only from the bush itself...
[Swami Sivananda]
Bhagawan Nityananda - http://www.siddhayoga.org/guru-siddha-yoga.html
* Swami Muktananda
* Gurumayi Chidvilasananda
Param Poojya (His Holiness) Swami Chetanananda Saraswati - He hails from the Siddha lineage of Avadhoot Nityananda and Paramhansa Muktananda of Vajreshwari - http://www.siddha-loka.org : ...DIVINE LIGHT, the indweller of all beings, illuminates the universe. Realizing this truth through the grace of the Sadguru is the goal of human life. The secret of a successful life lies in meditation on the SELF. [Meditation] occurs spontaneously through Shaktipat [Deeksha]. Only a Siddha Guru is capable of giving Shaktipat Deeksha by HIS divine word, touch, glance and thought...
"And what, pray, would that be?" said the industrialist.
persons. Nowadays people seem concerned mostly with the perfectioning of
Conquer The World Within
SIVANANDA DAILY READING FOR 13 NOVEMBER
He who has controlled his mind is really happy and free. Physical
surging emotions and impulses, if you are under the grip of moods and
are like a rudderless boat. You are tossed about hither and thither
five minutes and weep for five hours. What can wife, son, friends,
money, fame and power do for you when you are under the sway of the
discipline and self-imposed restrictions will eventually eradicate
all desires, thoughts, impulses, cravings and passions. Only then and
not until then can you expect to be free from the thraldom of the
You should have patience, adamantine will and undaunted persistence.
Then only can you succeed in yoga. He who wants something new every
now and then is quite unfit for yoga. You should stick to one place,
one spiritual preceptor, one method of yoga and one institution. That
NR Narayana Murthy
[The spartan wealth creator|http://www.business-standard.com/special/billion/year2000/prof3.htm]
[NEEDED, A VALUE SYSTEM WHERE PEOPLE ACCEPT MODEST SACRIFICES FOR COMMON GOOD - Western Values And Eastern Challenges|http://lakshmir.blogspot.com/2002_11_03_lakshmir_archive.html#84236029]
2003 05 29 - A friend forwarded the following - Please send any authentication information !
LOVE YOUR JOB, BUT NEVER FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR COMPANY BCOZ U NEVER KNOW WHEN COMPANY STOPS
I know people who work 12 hours a day, six days a week,
hours are only temporary. Other people I know have put these hours for
years. I don't know if they are working all these hours, but I do know they
working long hours over the long term is harmful to the person and to the
mistakes requires their time as well as the time and energy of others. I have
leave the office. First and foremost is to set the example and go home
#) Wake up, eat a good breakfast, and go to work.
#) Work hard and smart for eight or nine hours.
#) Eat well and sleep well.
This is called recreating. Doing steps 1, 3, 4, and 5
Working regular hours and recreating daily are simple concepts. They are hard for some of us because that requires personal change. They are possible
long the visit, and no matter what time of day it was. He would fight off
however, he was over tired and would scream through half the night with
nightmares. He, my wife, and I, all paid the price for his fear of missing out.
The University of Hard Knocks
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"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his
God, and he shall be my son"--Revelation 21:7.
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
And thus our life, exempt from public haunt,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything."
the United States and have listened to "The University of Hard
institutes, club gatherings, conventions and before various other
shake the hand of every person who has sat in my audiences. And I
lectures into book form, "Big Business" and "Pockets and Paradises"
are now in preparation as this, the third edition of "The
requires effort--Prodigals must be bumped--The fly and the sticky
fly-paper--"Removed" and "knocked out"
us--Our sorrows and disappointments--How the piano was made--How
never down and out
ones shake up and the little ones shake down--The barrel of life
and bad luck--The girl who went up--The man who went down--The
fatal rattle--We must get ready to get--Testimonials and press
first step at hand--All can be greatest--Where to find great
children--The story of "Gussie" and "Bill Whackem"--Schools and
nothing--The fiddle and the tuning--How we know things--Trimmed at
experience--Theory and practice--Tuning the strings of life
keeps on going south and growing greater--We generally start well,
LADIES and Gentlemen:
the goods it brings you. You know some very good goods are
wagon--how much it squeaks and wheezes and rattles and wabbles. Do
not pay much attention to the wrappings and strings. Get inside to
Every audience has a different temperature, and that makes a
Some warm September day I would pull the plug from the barrel and
squirt. It would come out slowly and reluctantly, so that I would
have to wait a long while to get a little sorghum. And on some real
Here is a great mass of words and sentences and pictures to express
growing up from the Finite to the Infinite, and that it is done by
our own personal overcoming, and that we never finish it.
and struggle up to a higher vision.
promote mental digestion like more bulk in the way of pictures and
hypocrisy and human frailty are the Outside that must be chipped
have just gotten, then that bump must come back and bump us again.
"naturally bright" and have to be pulverized.
There are two kinds of people--wise people and fools. The fools are
The university colors are black and blue.
When I was thirteen I knew a great deal more than I do now. There
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
And thus our life, exempt from public haunt,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything."
no running brooks. They'd get wet. And that sermons in stones! They
get preachers to preach sermons, and they build houses out of
preaching and every running brook the unfolding of a book.
Perhaps you are "naturally bright" and feel sorry for Shakespeare.
I was not interested when father and mother told me these things.
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
and two always makes four, and "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall
poultices by and by when the bumps come.
As we get bumped and battered on life's pathway, we discover we get
two kinds of bumps--bumps that we need and bumps that we do not
Bumps that we bump into and bumps that bump into us.
two colleges--The College of Needless Knocks and The College of
was three years old and ready to graduate.
That day they had the little joy and sunshine of the family in his
Then I discovered a woman beside me, my mother. She was the most
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
this petticoat tyranny three years, and it is time to stop it!
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
applebutter on me--and coal oil and white-of-an-egg and starch and
over and rub it on the little joy and sunshine of the family, who
You see, my mother's way was to tell me and then let me do as I
pleased. She told me not to get the coffee-pot and then let me get
it, knowing that it would burn me. She would say, "Don't." Then she
would go on with her knitting and let me do as I pleased.
Mother would say, "Don't fall in the well." I could go and jump in
the well after that and she would not look at me. I do not argue
the most kind and effective way to rear one stubborn boy I know of.
The neighbors and the ladies' aid society often said my mother was
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
knew how stubborn and self-willed I was. It came from father's
notice upon me, and then let me go ahead and get my coffee-pot.
That was the quickest and kindest way to teach me.
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
And thru the bumps we learn that The College of Needless Knocks
wiser and happier." The tongues in the trees, the books in the
running brooks and the sermons in the stones all repeat it.
easier and more attractive. It is so easy to go downward. We slide
And going down the wrong path, we get bumped harder and harder
born under an unlucky star." You don't know how that comforted me.
It wasn't my fault--all my bumps and coffee-pots! I was just
unlucky and it had to be.
How I had to be bumped to learn better! Now when I get bumped I try
to learn the lesson of the bump and find the right path, so that
familiar look," and dodge it.
"pussyfooted" it along so carefully. He bumped his hand against a
seat. Then he did what every blind man does, he lifted his hand
higher and didn't bump any more seats.
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'!"
And so with our own lives. Real living is conscious effort to go
Look over your community. Note the handful of brave, faithful,
unselfish souls who are carrying the community burdens and pushing
upward. Note the multitude making little or no effort, and even
drift and be amused and follow false gods that promise something
of goodness into the mystery of the great unknown world beyond and
in that unknown realm we fondly imagine is happiness.
"I can do wrong and not get bumped. I have no feelings upon the
know how badly you are hurt.
How the old devil works day and night to keep people amused and
and the dazzle going so they will not see they are bumping
where your poor dear father was lost." And Johnny Fly remembers for
place to skate. Just see how close I can fly over it and not get
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
lands in the stickiness. "Well, well, how nice this is on the feet,
so soft and soothing!"
First he puts one foot down and pulls it out. That is a lot of fun.
feet down in the stickiness. It is harder to pull them out. Then he
puts three down and puts down a few more trying to pull them out.
him, "really, boys, you'll have to excuse me now. Good-bye!" But he
doesn't pull loose. He feels tired and he sits down in the sticky
another drink and sing, "We won't go home till morning."
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.
heart broken more times than I care to talk about now. Your home
never known anyone who had not had more trouble than anyone else.
In other words, we are raw material. You know what raw material
and valuable.
have to have the Needful Knocks to become useful. And so does
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
most of these knocks--who have faced the great crises of life and
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
You got your lessons, combed your hair, went to Sunday school and
man into the woods with an ax, and he looked for the best trees
And how unjust it was! He kept on hitting you. "The operation was
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.
bumped here. All the beauty, harmony and value were bumped into you.
Duluth, Minnesota, and came to a hole in the ground. It was a big
of this same red mud. It had been moved over the Great Lakes and
limestone, charcoal and other textbooks. Then they corked it up and
Then they pulled the plug out of the bottom of the college and held
promotion exercises. The red mud squirted out into the sand. It was
not red mud now, because it had been roasted. It was a freshman--
where it was again roasted, and now it came out a sophomore--steel,
roasted yet again and rolled thin into a junior. Some of that went
on up and up, at every step getting more pounding and roasting and
they pound me and break my heart? I have been good and faithful. O,
it in glass cases. Many people admired it and said, "Isn't that
fine work!" They paid much money for it now. They paid the most
the price had gone up into thousands of dollars.
My friends, you and I are the raw material, the green trees, the
a larger life. The diamond and the chunk of soft coal are exactly the
Illinois, a crippled woman was wheeled into the tent and brought
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
kind and loving and brave."
cripple into the tent. She was tall and stately. She was
daughter and nobody interested in me? Why is my daughter happy and
why am I not happy? My daughter is always happy and she hasn't a
I discover when I am unhappy and selfish and people don't use me
precious lessons of patience, sympathy, love, faith and courage.
The world needs them more than libraries and foundations.
lean years we put it in our hearts. Material and spiritual
prosperity do not often travel hand-in-hand. When we become
this Babylon that I have builded?" And about that time there comes
some handwriting on the wall and a bump to save us.
now. A conflagration might sweep your town from the map. Your
You would never know how many real friends you have until then. But
You are down and out." Do not believe that you are down and out,
you are down and out. He wants you to sympathize with yourself. You
are never down and out!
other public disaster brings sympathy, bravery, brotherhood and
sacrifice and purged of their dross.
NOW as we learn the lessons of the Needless and the Needful Knocks,
we get wisdom, understanding, happiness, strength, success and
was one barrel full of big, red, fat apples. I rushed over and got
way, I looked in the sack and discovered there was not a big, red,
big, red, fat apples on the top, and the groceryman, not desiring
and windfalls I ever saw in one sack. The things I said about the
Then I calmed down. Did the groceryman do that on purpose? Does
the groceryman ever put the big apples on top and the little
Man of sorrows, you have been slandered. It never occurred to me
big ones on top and the little ones down underneath. He does not
pushes the big ones up and the little ones down.
and smooth that things do not shake on the road to town. But back
was the poetry of motion! The wagon "hit the high spots." And as I
of my pocket and the little ones would rattle down to the bottom.
that the big ones shake up and the little ones shake down. Put some
big ones and some little things of about the same density in a box
or other container and shake them. You will see the larger things
shake upward and the smaller shake downward. You will see every
shakes a little higher, and a little smaller one a little lower.
Mix them up again and shake. Watch them all shake back as they were
before, the largest on top and the smallest at the bottom.
half-filled with small white beans and a few walnuts.
Let us try that right on the platform. Here is a glass jar and
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
forget it, and I do not want these young people to live thirty
and the big walnuts shake up. Not one bean asks, "Which way do I
automatically goes the right way. The little ones go down and the
Note that I mix them all up and then shake. Note that they arrange
and low down. I never had no chance like them big ones up there.
See, the can shakes. Back to the bottom shakes the little bean. And
I hear him say, "King's ex! I slipped. Try that again and I'll
is too small to stay up. He cannot stand prosperity.
Then I hear Little Bean say, "Well, if I cannot get to the top, you
Bean!" And you see I put them down.
But I shake the can, and the big ones go right back to the top with
Equality of position demands quality of size. Let the little one
grow bigger and he will shake up. Let the big one grow smaller and
way to the market place of the future. It is a corduroy road and
speckled apples, green apples, and dried apples. A bad boy on the
front row shouted the other night, "And rotten apples!"
The same law that shakes the little ones down and the big ones up
barrel of life. It is sending small people down and great people
And do you not see that we are very foolish when we want to be
ready for places before we can get them and keep them.
is something like a train and if we do not get to the depot in time
our train of destiny will run off and leave us, and we will have no
Kings and Queens of Destiny
you and I are not helpless victims of blind fate. We are not
creatures of chance. We have it in our hands to decide our destiny
And when we have reached the place our size determines, we stay
we wish to go down, we must grow smaller and we shall shake down.
If we wish to go up, we must grow greater, and we shall shake up.
the places you fit. And when you are in your places--in stores,
If you want a greater place, you simply grow greater and they
and you shake up to a greater place.
office and say, "Isn't it about time I was getting a raise?" I
"Good Luck" and "Bad Luck"
people shake up and the unlucky people shake down. That is, the
lucky people grow great and the unlucky people shrivel and rattle.
shook down and the big ones shook up. The bump that was bad luck to
both good luck and bad luck.
girl from the country. It was her first office experience, and she
The other girls poked fun at her and played jokes upon her because
made many blunders. But it is now recalled that she never made the
And she never "got done." When she had finished her work, the work
to be done, and she would go right on working, contrary to the
confidence that it was the rankest favoritism ever known. "There
The other day in a paper-mill I was standing beside a long machine
Then I asked him about a machine in the next room. He said, "I
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.
who didn't know. "Is he a human being?"
gone up and down. You may have noticed two brothers start with the
same chance, and presently notice that one is going up and the
popular favor, and get our names in the blue-book at the start.
Some of us begin down in the shade on the bottom branches, and we
the top-branchers, and we say, "O, if I only had his chance! If I
And afterwhile we are all in the barrel of life, shaken and bumped
Now life is mainly routine. You and I and everybody must go on
doing pretty much the same things over and over. Every day we
be learning new things and discovering new joys in our daily
our eyes glued to precedents--just turning round and round in our places
and not growing any, pretty soon we become mere machines. We wear
smaller. The joy and juice go out of our lives. We shrivel and rattle.
The success, joy and glory of life are in learning, growing, going
forward and upward. That is the only way to hold our place.
We only live as we grow and learn. When anybody stays in the same
place year after year and fills it, he does not rattle.
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
The greater and wiser the man, the more anxious he is to be told.
time pointing backward with pride and talking about "in my day!"
For it is mostly rattle. The live one's "my day" is today and
look forward to greater and better things tomorrow.
and get it. If we do not have pull enough, get some more pull. Get
joke, for we would rattle. And when we have grown as great as the
hands." I heard a Chicago superintendent say to his foreman, "Give
him a testimonial and fire him!"
Now testimonials and press-notices very often serve useful ends. In
Then they become a mirror for his vanity instead of a monitor
Most testimonials and press-notices are frank flatteries. They
magnify the good points and say little as possible about the bad
ones. I look back over my lyceum life and see that I hindered my
me. Whenever I heard an adverse criticism, I would go and read a
I am the greatest ever, and should he return, no hall would be able
And my vanity bump would again rise.
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
in the land. They spring up, fail, wail, disappear, only to be
rattle back, and "the last estate of that man is worse than the
derrick. We must feed the hungry and clothe the naked, but that is
wants you to license him and professionalize him as a beggar.
When Peter and John went up to the temple they found the lame
thru the gate and see him. He would say, "Help me!" "Poor man,"
they would reply, "you are in a bad fix. Here is help," and they
And so every day that beggar got to be more of a beggar. The public
"helped" him to be poorer in spirit, more helpless and a more
"helping" to the Jerusalem Beggars' Union and carried his card.
But Peter really helped him. "Silver and gold have I none; but such
up and walk."
I used to work on the "section" and get a dollar and fifteen cents
to see how little I could do and look like I was working. I was the
pumping a handcar. I was naturally bright. I used to say "If the
rich wasn't getting richer and the poor poorer, I'd be president of a
I am so glad now that I did not get to be president of the bank.
the hand-car job is just as honorable as the bank job, but as I was
lands upon the throne.
down, so the little ones will be on the top and the big ones will
the big ones would shake right up to it and the little ones would
The little man has the chance now, just as fast as he grows. You
do not get the coffee-pot until we are ready to handle it.
Today you and I have things we couldn't have yesterday. We just
naturally today, and we see it is because we have grown ready for
them, and the barrel has shaken us up to them.
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
today all we can stand today. More would wreck us. More would start
And this blessed old barrel of life is just waiting and anxious to
We go up from ignorance to understanding.
sacrifice, struggle and overcoming. We push out our own skyline. We
rise above our own obstacles. We learn to see, hear, hold and
understand.
We may become very great, very educated, rise very high, and yet
great lands, great titles, great applause, great fame, and
the inside, and wails, "All is vanity. I find no pleasure in them.
and "Forging to the Front." Too often they are the sordid story of
and cornering all the swill!
the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom."
The Master looked with love and pity upon their unpreparedness.
"Are ye able to drink of the cup?" Then he gave the only definition
of greatness that can ever stand: "Whosoever will be great among
you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among
inside--developing ability to minister and to serve.
We cannot buy a great arm. Our arm must become a great servant, and
and thus it becomes great.
The First Step at Hand
Everybody's privilege and duty is to become great. And the joy of
it is that the first step is always nearest at hand. We do not have
are now upward for an infinite number of steps.
We must take the first step now. Most of us want to take the
hundredth step or the thousandth step now. We want to make some
spectacular stride of a thousand steps at one leap. That is why we
workshop or our office and take the first step, solve the problem
nearest at hand. We must make our old work luminous with a new
devotion. We must battle up over every inch. And as fast as we
solve and dissolve the difficulties and turn our burdens into
of earth are born; they rush in from the cold lands to the warm
upward currents. And so as our problems disappear and our life
admire what we have accomplished and "point with pride." The
world a new science who looked back over it and said, "I seem to
the treasury, and then to the rich men who had cast in much more.
widow had given all--had completely overcome her selfishness and
Becoming great is overcoming our selfishness and fear. He that
great and glorified.
our might what our hands find to do. Quit worrying about what you
And as you are faithful over a few things you go up to be ruler
The world says some of us have golden gifts and some have copper
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
come and stand upon it, if each be doing his work with the same
love, faithfulness and capability.
We have to look farther than the "Who's Who" and Dun and Bradstreet
the community heart in the precious handful who believe that the
The great people of the community serve and sacrifice for a better
the schools, the lyceum and chautauqua, and all the other movements
the tickets and had done all the managing. He was superintendent of
bread-and-butter job.
strut and pose in the show places. Few of them are "prominent
Chicago on Sundays to thousands. He writes books and runs a college
and you read it in almost every committee doing good things in
think that a vacation means going off somewhere and stretching out
preacher went from one chautauqua town to another, and took his
vacation going up and down the streets. He dug into the local
history of each place, and before dinner he knew more about the
the humdrum travel map into a wonderland. He scolded lazy towns and
say, "I have no chance." "You come to Chicago and I'll give you a
once ask the price of land, nor where there was a good investment
hasn't strength enough left to lecture and do his own work."
But he that saveth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his
life in loving service finds it returning to him great and
great--makes his preaching, his college and his books great.
This Chicago man gives his life into the service of humanity, and
things he does. Let him stop and "take care of himself," and his
If he had begun life by "taking care of himself" and "looking out
and writing it all down in the contract, most likely Dr. Frank W.
Give It Now
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
to get it now."
strength was not in the size of their armies and in the vastness
of their population and wealth, but in the strength and ideals
As long as the nation was young and growing--as long as the people were
struggling and overcoming--that nation was strong. It was "prepared."
and surrendered to ease and indulgence, they became fat, stall-fed weaklings.
Then they fell a prey to younger, hardier peoples.
Many homes and communities have reached it.
All over America are fathers and mothers who have struggled and
have become strong men and women thru their struggles, who are
Then, forgetful of how they became strong, they plan to take away
strong and "prepared"--thru struggle and service and overcoming.
grateful that he was jolted from his life-preserver and cruelly
They think they can buy an education--buy wisdom, strength and
understanding, and give it to them C. O. D! They seem to think they
will buy any brand they see--buy the home brand of education, or
else send off to New York or Paris or to "Sears Roebuck," and get
Father and mother cannot buy their children education. All they can
do is to buy them some tools, perhaps, and open the gate and say,
A father and mother might as well say, "We will buy our children
the strength we have earned in our arms and the wisdom we have
well expect Moses to give them his spiritual understanding acquired
great, dirty mill and a lot of little dirty houses around the mill.
The hands lived in the little dirty houses and worked six days of
nothing. He had become rich and honored. Every man in the mill
He began to buy it. He began to polish and sandpaper Gussie from
the minute the child could sit up in the cradle and notice things.
He sent him to the astrologer, the phrenologer and all other
land. The fault was not with the university, not with Gussie, who
was bright and capable.
The fault was with the little old man, who was so wise and great
about everything else, and so foolish about his own boy. In the
Gussie had no chance to serve. Everything was handed to him on a
Chicago. Did you ever go over into Packingtown and see a steer
You remember, then, that after he matriculates--after he gets the
grand bump, said steer does not have to do another thing. His
education is all arranged for in advance and he merely rides thru
and receives it. There is a row of professors with their sleeves
rolled up who give him the degrees. So as Mr. T. Steer of Panhandle
done and the paint was dry. He was a thing of beauty.
Gussie and Bill Whackem Gussie came back home with his education in
the first time in its history. The hands marched down to the depot,
and when the young lord alighted, the factory band played, "See,
crape hanging on the office door. Men and women stood weeping in
fill so great a place. In two years and seven months the mill was
years and seven months by the boy who had all the "advantages."
as tho it never could open. But it did open, and when it opened it
got to looking up to him to start and run things.
It was Hon. William Whackem who put the wreckage together and made
the wheels go round, and finally got the hungry town back to work.
But now I see that Bill went up in spite of his handicaps. If he
The book and the college suffer at the hands of their friends. They
say to the book and the college, "Give us an education." They cannot
do that. You cannot get an education from the book and the college
The book and the college show you the way, give you instruction and
with these instruments and tools.
tools and no experience in using them. Bill was the man with the
poor, homemade, crude tools, but with the energy, vision and
For education is getting wisdom, understanding, strength,
greatness, physically, mentally and morally. I believe I know some
they have served and overcome and developed great lives with the
poor, crude tools at their command.
They realized how they have been handicapped by their poor mental tools.
That is why they say, "All my life I have been handicapped by lack of
machine from a few bits of junk. But send him to Westinghouse and
see how much more he will achieve with the same genius and with
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.
The story of Gussie and Bill Whackem is being written in every
community in tears, failure and heartache. It is peculiarly a
These fathers and mothers who toil and save, who get great farms,
fine homes and large bank accounts, so often think they can give
life and put them into them.
They do all this and the children rattle. They have had no chance
A man heard me telling the story of Gussie and Bill Whackem, and he
his boy was not there to hear it. But that good, deluded father now
somebody does not take me aside and tell me a story just as sad
For years poor Harry Thaw was front-paged on the newspapers and
court and detention expenses was one of the greatest business
and command armies of men, but he seems to have been pitifully
It is the educated, the rich and the worldly wise who blunder most in
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
thinking, "I won't have to turn my hand over. Papa and mamma will
take care of me, and when they are gone I'll inherit everything
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
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
I have read somewhere about a man who found a cocoon and put it in
the envelope. It seemed in trouble and needed help. He opened the
envelope with a knife and set the struggling insect free. But out
and under-developed wings. He learned that helping the insect was
that envelope that was needed to reduce its body and develop its
somewhere. Just work that gets us three meals a day and a place to
lie down to sleep, then another day of the same grind, then a year
of it and years following until our machine is worn out and on the
the sorghum mill. Round and round that horse went, seeing nothing,
his ears. Such work deadens and stupefies. The masses work about
right--such work is a necessary evil, and they make it such. They
But getting a vision of life, and working to grow upward to it,
that is the work that brings the joy and the greatness.
When we are growing and letting our faculties develop, we will love
One time I put some turkey eggs under the mother hen and waited day
by day for them to hatch. And sure enough, one day the eggs began
to crack and the little turkeys began to stick their heads out of
hand." So I picked the shells off. "Little turkeys, you will never
know how fortunate you are. Ordinary turkeys do not have these
advantages. Ordinary turkeys do not get shelled by hand."
you to know the joy of overcoming and having the angels come and
expanding consciousness. It is the cry of the eagle mounting
work that fits your talents, and stop watching the clock and
me into "taking care" of myself. And I got to taking such good care
of myself and watching for symptoms that I became a physical wreck.
found my job in my work, not away from it, and the work refreshed
me and rejuvenated me. Now I do two men's work, and have grown from
been a great surprise to my friends and a great disappointment to
the undertaker. I am an editor in the daytime and a lecturer at
I edit all day and take a vacation lecturing at night. I lecture
days--and then take a vacation by editing and writing. Thus every
day is jam full of play and vacation and good times. The year is
one round of joy, and I ought to pay people for the privilege of
speaking and writing to them instead of them paying me!
terrible burden and would speedily collapse.
You see, I have no time nowadays to break down. I have no time to
think and grunt and worry about my body. And like Paul I am happy
to be "absent from the body and present with the Lord." Thus this
old body behaves just beautifully and wags along like the tail
I have never known a case of genuine "overwork." I have never known
of anyone killing himself by working. But I have known of
work into play and duty into privilege.
amusement-mad. Vacations, Coca Cola and moviemania!
look over the newsstands and see a picture of the popular mind,
of mental frog-pond and moral slum our boys and girls wade thru!
And all just as hard to cure.
rattleboxes and "sugar-tits."
to the nation. The crowd that drifts and lives for amusement is the
crowd that finds itself back near the caboose, and as the train of
Do you ever get lonely in a city? How few men and women there. A
bright lights,--hopers, suckers and straphangers! Down the great
The Prodigal Son came to himself afterwhile and thought upon his
ways. Then he arose and went to his father's house. Whenever one
will arise and go to his father's house of wisdom. But there is no
hope for the person who will not stop and think. And the devil
works day and night shifts keeping the crowd moving on.
That is why the crowd is not furnishing the strong men and women.
We must have amusement and relaxation. Study your muscles. First
they contract, then they relax. But the muscle that goes on
continually relaxing is degenerating. And the individual, the
contracting--without struggling and overcoming--is degenerating.
your real relaxation, vacation and amusement, are merely changing
place of great responsibility in a city and ask the one who fills
born in Poseyville, Indiana, and I came to this city forty years
ago and went to work at the bottom."
Give us steam heat and push-buttons. There is no virtue in a
struggle and service that makes for strength and greatness. And as
that young person comes to the city and shakes in the barrel among
"Hep" and "Pep" for the Home Town
It is the lure of the city--and the lure-lessness of the country.
telephones, centralized schools, automobiles and good roads, there
sunshine, air and freedom that the crowded cities cannot have.
Weston, West Virginia, "You say you have nearly two thousand insane
people in this institution and only a score of guards to keep them
from getting together, organizing, overpowering the few guards and
"Many people say that. But they don't understand. If these people
insane. No two of them can agree upon how to get together and how
up into little antagonistic social, business and even religious
factions and neutralize each other's efforts.
massing for the common good. And when the churches fight, the devil
stays neutral and furnishes the munitions for both sides.
So the home towns stagnate and the young people with visions go
and united and inviting.
is the worst kind of soil impoverishment--all going out and nothing
The slogan today should be, For God and Home and the Home Town!
He encouraged his students to be self-supporting, and most of them
were working their way thru school. He made the school calendar and
He pitted class against class. He organized great literary and
literary societies vied with each other in their programs and in
of men and women of uniformly greater achievement.
schools offering encouragement and facilities for young people to
work their way thru and to act upon their own initiative.
The old "deestrick" school is passing, and with it the small
academies and colleges, each with its handful of students around a
teacher, as in the old days of the lyceum in Athens, when the
From these schools came the makers and the preservers of the nation.
with a few great centralized state normal schools and state
equipment and maintenance. Today we scour the earth for specialists
to sit in the chairs and speak the last word in every department of
assimilation today as then. Knowing and growing demand the same
I am anxiously awaiting the results. I am hoping that the boys and
it stimulated and unfettered. I am anxious that they be not
equipment demanded to serve the present age. But I am more anxious
from life, not from laboratories, and we have life more abundantly
A school is vastly more than machinery, methods, microscopes and millions.
endowment, when the fact is that its struggle for existence and the
spirit of its teachers are its greatest endowment. And sometimes
Can we keep men before millions, and keep our ideals untainted by
You and I are very much interested in the answer.
The Fiddle and the Tuning
What is knowing?
I have had the feeling ever since that you and I come into this
world like the fiddle comes from the factory. We have a body and a
primary schools and up thru the grammar grades, and get the first
school and go fiddling thru life on this one string!
We must show these little fiddles they must go back into school and
go up thru all the departments and institutions necessary to give
After all this there comes the commencement, and the violin comes
forth with the E, A, D and G strings all in place. Educated now?
Why is a violin? To wear strings? Gussie got that far and gave a
and college can do is to give the strings--the tools. After that
pegs are turned and the strings are put in tune. The music is the
knowing. Learning is tuning.
You do not know what you have memorized, you know what you have
know!"
Reading and Knowing
life--discovering Truth. We read things in a book and have a hazy
idea of them. We hear the preacher utter truths and we say with
over and over and we are not excited. Truth never excites--it is
see it with our own eyes. Then there is a thrill. Then the old
truth becomes a new blessing. Then the oldest, driest platitude
crystallizes into a flashing jewel to delight and enrich our
There is such a difference between reading a thing and knowing a
thing. We could read a thousand descriptions of the sun and not
know the sun as in one glimpse of it with our own eyes.
I used to stand in the row of blessed little rascals in the
"deestrick" school and read from McGuffey's celebrated literature,
hands upon hot stoves and coffee-pots, and had to get many kinds of
Then I had to go around showing the blisters, boring my friends and
the audience knew how little I know, you wouldn't stay.
farm at ten dollars a month and "washed, mended and found." You see
me here on this platform in my graceful and cultured manner, and
hand many a time. You might not think that I had ever driven a yoke
of oxen and had said the words. But I have!
know he was a gentleman because he said he was a gentleman. He had
were three little shells in a row, and there was a little pea under
under the end shell and bet me money it was under the end shell.
And he seemed like a real nice old gentleman, and maybe he had a
I went over to the other side of the fairgrounds and sat down. That
was all I had to do now--just go, sit down. I couldn't see the
mermaid now or get into the grandstand.
I said the thing every fool does say when he gets bumped and fails
and stood up in his buggy. "Let the prominent citizens gather
diseases humanity is heir to. Now just to introduce and advertise,
wrapping a ten-dollar bill around one cake and throwing it into the
hat. Now who will give me five dollars for the privilege of taking
And right on top of the pile was the cake with the ten wrapped
work) in his hands and grab that bill cake. But the bill
horse and also disappeared. I never knew where he went.
I grew older and people began to notice that I was naturally bright
and therefore good picking. They began to let me in on the ground
seemed like I would always slide on thru and land in the cellar.
wanted to steal. And whenever I would get unduly inflated I would
open that drawer and "view the remains."
doubled. They still exist on the blueprint and the Oklahoma
between an oil proposition and an oil well! The learning has been
I used to wonder how I ever could spend my income. I do not wonder now.
I had also a bale of mining stock. I had stock in gold mines and
silver mines. Nobody knows how much mining stock I have owned.
Nobody could know while I kept that drawer shut. As I looked over
my gold and silver mine stock, I often noticed that it was printed
they wanted it to harmonize with me! And I would realize I had so
I could smell them. Only one more assessment, then we will cut the
melon! I have heard that all my life and never got a piece of the rind.
retired ministers would come periodically and sell me stock in some
buy because I knew the minister was honest and believed in it. He
dollar and got back a dollar or two of bonds and a dollar or two of
stock. That was doubling and trebling my money over night. An old
will pay you five or six per cent. and get it?"
or a hundred per cent.--then. Give me the five per cent. now!
Then I got a confidential letter from a friend of our family I had
never met. His name was Thomas A. Cleage, and he was in the Rialto
Were you ever selected? If you were, then you know the thrill that
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
in with us in the inner circle and get a thousand per cent.
money for Tom, the friend of our family. But I see now I need not
St. Louis to Tom Cleage's bucket-shop and pay him eleven hundred
I think it must have been a pool, for I know I fell in and got
feel hard toward goldbrick men and "blue sky" venders. I sometimes
cannot tell him anything, because he is naturally bright and knows
It is worth eleven hundred dollars every day to know that one
get juicy when you know it. Today when I open a newspaper and see
a big ad, "Grasp a Fortune Now!" I will not do it! I stop my
I will not grasp a fortune now. Try me, I dare you! Bring a
fortune right up on this platform and put it down there on the
interest I know he is no friend of our family.
selected to receive a thousand per cent. dividends," it means you
look like the biggest sucker on the local landscape.
The other night in a little town of perhaps a thousand, a banker
some of the above experiences. "The audience laughed with you and
I wish you could see the thousands of hard-earned dollars that go
hundred dollars to tell you this one thing, and you get it for a
The owning is in the understanding of values.
have earned and stored in your life, not merely in your pocket,
I learn, and how much there is to learn. It will take an eternity!
that life is one infinite succession of commencements and
decorated and the joy of youth is everywhere. There is a row of
geraniums along the front of the stage and a big oleander on the
know how it hurts. It is the first time they have worn it.
Then they make their orations. Every time I hear their orations I
Number One comes forth and begins:
sweeps downward and the fingers remain up in the air. So by all
2 stands at the same leadpencil mark on the floor, resplendent in
"We (hands at half-mast and separating) are rowing (business of
propelling aerial boat with two fingers of each hand, head
inclined). We are not drifting (hands slide downward)."
You get the most beautiful and sublime truths from Emerson's
that is not knowing them. You cannot know them until you have lived
them. It is a grand thing to say, "Beyond the Alps lieth Italy,"
but you can never really say that until you know it by struggling
up over Alps of difficulty and seeing the Italy of promise and
victory beyond. It is fine to say, "We are rowing and not
mine. I had a call. At least, I thought I had a call. I think now I
was "short-circuited." The "brethren" waited upon me and told me I had
They gave me six weeks in which to load the gospel gun and get
the poet Shakespeare has so beautifully said," and then I took a
chunk of Shakespeare and nailed it on page five of my sermon. "List
worked that sermon up into the most beautiful splurges and spasms.
I bedecked it with metaphors and semaphores. I filled it with
climaxes, both wet and dry. I had a fine wet climax on page
cry on the lefthand side of the page.
I committed it all to memory, and then went to a lady who taught
You know about gestures--these things you make with your arms in
express-wagon and got no load for it. So it rattled. I got a
a mirror for six weeks, day by day, and said the sermon to the
and that sermon would not have hesitated.
Then came the grand day. The boy wonder stood forth and before his
large and enthusiastic concourse delivered that maiden sermon more
grandly than ever to a mirror. Every gesture went off the bat
Then I did another fine thing, I sat down. I wish now I had done
that earlier. I wish now I had sat down before I got up. I was the
last man out of the church--and I hurried. But they beat me
you don't know nothin' yet."
man meant I did not know my own sermon.
about what you know best, what you have lived. If you know more
"Peeling Potatoes," and you are most likely to hear the applause
Out of every thousand books published, perhaps nine hundred of them
in them and they may even be better written, yet they lack the
surging and pulsating from the book of his experience.
agriculturist. We must take a hoe and go out and agricult. That is
the knowing in the doing.
And the poet's heart was wrung."
So many young people think because they have a good voice and they have
cultivated it, they are singers. All this cultivation and irritation
and irrigation and gargling of the throat are merely symptoms of
beautiful voice, and she has been away to "Ber-leen" to have it
sweetest little trills and tendrils, with the smile exactly like
her teacher had taught her. Jessie exhibited all the machinery and
tremendous feeling it demands. The audience went wild. It was a
case of Gussie and Bill Whackem.
All this was gall and wormwood to Jessie. "Child," I said to her,
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
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
Isn't it great to have friends and a fine home and money?" she
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
resources. I have had years of struggle. I have been sick and
discouraged and down and out. It was in my little back-room, the
heart and what the struggles were teaching me. No one is more
surprised and grateful that the world seems to love my songs and
"Just a Wearyin' for You," "His Lullaby" and many more of those
simple little songs so full of the pathos and philosophy of life
that they tug at your heart and moisten your eyes.
Anybody could write those songs--just a few simple words and notes.
No. Books of theory and harmony and expression only teach us how to
write the words and where to place the notes. These are not the
had never struggled with discouragement, sickness, poverty and
popular heart. And while we have a continual inundation of popular
songs that are trashy and voice the tawdriest human impulses, yet
Theory and Practice
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
looking upward, and half the time their feet are in the flower-beds
There are a thousand who can tell you what is the matter with
I used to have respect amounting to reverence for great readers and
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 was a remarkable man--a great reader and with a memory that
retained it all. That man could recite chapters and volumes.
practical life. He seemed to be unable to think and reason for
and the gasoline in the fire. He seemed never to have digested any
the Book of Human Experience the "sermons in stones" and the "books
understandingly from it.
of Human Experience. Each has a different fight to make and a
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
ago, and the wound has not healed. You think it never will heal.
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
because this is a polite and attentive neighborhood. But down in
man talking about? I haven't had these things and I'm not going to
of you are going to know the keen sorrow of having the one you
And you are going to learn the wonderful lesson thru the years, the
bumps and the tears, that all these things somehow are necessary to
These bumps and hard knocks do not break the fiddle--they turn the pegs.
These bumps and tragedies and Waterloos draw the strings of the
soul tighter and tighter, nearer and nearer to God's great concert
pitch, where the discords fade from our lives and where the music
divine and harmonies celestial come from the same old strings that
had been sending forth the noise and discord.
Thus we know that our education is progressing, as the evil and
unworthy go out of our lives and as peace, harmony, happiness, love
and understanding come into our lives.
WHAT a price we pay for what we know! I laugh as I look
backward--and weep and rejoice.
evident that I could have handled a pretty good-sized spoon. But
several miles into the country those old reaper days and gathered
head and said, "You are the best boy to work, I ever saw." Then the
cheerful old miser put a nickel in my blistered hand. That nickel
looked bigger than any money I have since handled.
handle it, hence the tale that follows.
I was sixteen years old and a school teacher. Sweet sixteen--which
There is hope for green things. I was so tall and awkward then--I
My second, Make, em recite. That is, fill 'em up and then empty 'em.
My third and most important rule was, Get your money!
I walked thirteen miles a day, six and a half miles each way, most of
With the small fry I used a small paddle to win their confidence and
arouse their enthusiasm for an education. With the pupils larger and
more muscular than their teacher I used love and moral suasion.
great baskets of provender and we had a feast. We covered the
school desks with boards, and then covered the boards with piles of
fried chicken, doughnuts and forty kinds of pie.
Then we had a "doings." Everybody did a stunt. We executed a lot of
shut my eyes and see it yet. I can see my pupils coming forward to
speak their "pieces." I hardly knew them and they hardly knew me,
back of the ears! And into them! So many of them wore collars that
and he had a lingering end as we executed him. I can see "The boy
now that if Patrick Henry had been present, he would have said,
saying over and over until it would say itself. But somehow when I
got up before that "last day of school" audience and opened my
And my pupils wept as their dear teacher said farewell. Parents
was going home with head high and aircastles even higher. But I
never got home with the money. Talk about the fool and his money
and you get very personal.
For on the way home I met Deacon K, and he borrowed it all. Deacon K
was "such a good man" and a "pillar of the church." I used to wonder,
scarcely know whether to look up or down as I say that. He never
I was paid thousands in experience for that first schoolteaching,
but I paid all the money I got from it--two hundred and forty
does to intelligently handle it afterwards. Incidentally I learned
Their schoolmates and playmates are apt to be down there in the
front rows with their families, and maybe all the old scores have
And he has gotten his lecture out of that home town. The heroes and
is why some lecturers and authors are not so popular in the home
I went back to the same hall to speak, and stood upon the same platform
when in impassioned and well modulated tones I had exclaimed,
"Greece is gone and Rome is no more, but fe-e-e-e-ear not,
Then I went back to the little hotel and sat up alone in my room
these twenty-one years, for I could not then afford to buy one. The
A class of brilliant and gifted young people went out to take
were going to be presidents and senators and authors and
authoresses and scientists and scientist-esses and geniuses and
genius-esses and things like that.
no brilliant career in view. He was dull and seemed to lack
appointed for that purpose took Jim back of the schoolhouse and
on the stage back of the oleander commencement night.
home telephone exchange, and had become absolutely indispensable to
goddess at the general delivery window and superintendent of the
going to Confess was raising the best corn in the county, and his
commencement, would now have to wait in line before a frosted door
cards, and the watchdog who guards the door would tell them, "Cut
alumni meeting. They hung it on the wall near where the oleander
Hours pass, and still as I sat in that hotel room I was lost in
that school picture and the twenty-one years. There were fifty-four
the barrel, and now as I called the roll on them, most of them that
I expected to go up had shaken down and some that I expected to
Congress and one had gone to the penitentiary. Some had gone to
brilliant success and some had gone down to sad failure. Some had
found happiness and some had found unhappiness. It seemed as tho
it, or where Mammon had entered to pull it down. And I saw better
The boy who traded knives with me and beat me--how I used to envy
on trading knives and getting the better of people. Now, twenty-one
forgery. He was now called a bad man, when twenty-one years ago
smart and bright.
combed, and said, "If you please," used to hurt me. He was the
He'll be President of the United States some day, and you'll be in
who had the hustle and the energy, who occasionally needed
bumping--and who got it--who really grew.
spotlight, primping and flirting. She outshone all the rest. But it
seemed like she was all out-shine and no in-shine. She mistook
these years to support a home and care for her family. She had kept
her grace and sweetness thru it all, and the influence of her
a loving father, plenty of money, opportunity and a great career
awaiting him. And he was bright and lovable and talented.
Everybody said Frank would make his mark in the world and make
never know how their thoughtless jeers and jokes wounded the
sensitive, shabby boy who swept the floors, built the fires and
carried in the coal. After commencement my career seemed to end and
the careers of Frank and the rest of them seemed to begin. They
were going off to college and going to do so many wonderful things.
roll up my sleeves and go to work in the "devil's corner" to earn
Many a time as I plugged at the "case" I would think of Frank and wonder
why some people had all the good things and I had all the hard things.
at a grave and read on the headstone, "Frank."
a fortune, broke his father's heart, shocked the community, and
finally ended his wasted life with a bullet fired by his own hand.
disgrace. He is haled into court and tried for a crime he never
trial at the hands of this world. That is why the great Judge has
Then they condemn him. They lead him away to the galleys. They
chain him to the bench and to the oar. There follow the days and
That seems to be your life and my life. In the kitchen or the
the oar and pulling under the sting of the lash of necessity. Life
look across the street and see somebody who lives a happier life.
they, too, pull on the oar and feel the lash. Most likely they are
looking back at us and envying us. For while we envy others, others
But look at the chariot race in Antioch. See the thousands in the
circus. See Messala, the haughty Roman, and see! Ben Hur from the
dash these twin thunderbolts. The thousands hold their breath. "Who
stronger forearms. They are bands of steel that swell in the
Sooner or later you and I are to learn that Providence makes no
on--when we win the victory, strike the deciding blow, stand while
those around us fall--and it is won with the forearms earned in the
and for the circumstances that compelled it.
It wabbles around thru the woods of Minnesota. It doesn't know
It keeps wabbling around, never giving up and quitting, and it gets
want to grow? Then you will have to go south."
The Mississippi knows nothing about the Gulf of Mexico. He does not
know that he has to go hundreds of miles south. He is only trying
relative to die and bequeath him some water. That is a beautiful
thought! He has water enough to start south, and he does that.
He goes a foot south, then another foot south. He goes a mile
south. He picks up a little stream and he has some more water. He
goes on south. He picks up another stream and grows some more. Day
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.
and we will find the resources all along the way. We will grow as
we flow. All of us can start! And then go on south!
Success is not tomorrow or next year. Success is now. Success is
every day in flowing and growing. The Mississippi is a success in
You and I sooner or later hear the call, "Go on south." If we
haven't heard it, let us keep our ear to the receiver and live a
1. He keeps on going on south and growing greater.
2. He overcomes his obstacles and develops his power.
Go On South and Grow Greater
is going on south and growing greater. You never meet him but what
The Mississippi gets to St. Paul and Minneapolis. He is a great
river now--the most successful river in the state. But he does not
retire upon his laurels. He goes on south and grows greater. He
goes on south to St. Louis. He is a wonderful river now. But he
does not stop. He goes on south and grows greater.
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
the Mississippi. If he should stop and stagnate, he would not be
they stop and stagnate, they die.
That is why I am making it the slogan of my life--GO ON SOUTH AND
GROW GREATER! I hope I can make you remember that and say it over
schoolrooms, over the business houses and homes--GO ON SOUTH AND
GROW GREATER. For this is life, and there is no other. This is
education--and religion. And the only business of life.
You and I start well. We go on south a little ways, and then we
retire. Even young people as they start south and make some little
So many of those young goslings believe that. They quit and get
one victory. Success goes to the head and defeat goes to "de feet."
The one who keeps on going south defies custom and becomes unorthodox.
smattering and squeeze into the bottom position and never go on
south to efficiency and promotion. They wonder why their genius is
few shorthand characters and irritate a typewriter keyboard. They
capitalization and punctuation. Their eyes are on the clock, their
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
Strickland Gillilan, America's great poet-humorist, say, "Egotism
We say, "I've seen my best days." And the undertaker goes and
so far, and tomorrow is going to be better on south.
understand. Just beginning to know about life."
Birthdays and Headmarks
Yesterday I had a birthday. I looked in the glass and communed with
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.
worry. Do you know why corporations sometimes say they do not want
have quit going on south and have gotten gray on the inside--or bald.
These same corporations send out Pinkertons and pay any price for
gray-headed men--gray on the outside and green on the inside. They
are the most valuable, for they have the vision and wisdom of many
years and the enthusiasm and "pep" and courage of youth.
years and years on earth and has perhaps gotten gray on the
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
I ought to know more about it by this time. But when anybody says,
"Please don't throw it up to me now. I am just as ashamed of it as
you are. I am trying to do better now."
come to me and tell me how to improve--what to do and what not to
the "limit." I shiver as I think what I was saying then. I want to
were not trying to improve them, and were lost in admiration of
watched them come and go, come and go. I have heard their fierce
invectives against the bureaus and ungrateful audiences that were
boots. He just hibernated and "chawed on."
Bernhardt, Davis and Edison
The spectacle of Sarah Bernhardt, past seventy, thrilling and
gripping audiences with the fire and brilliancy of youth, is
Senator Henry Gassaway Davis, West Virginia's Grand Old Man, at
ninety-two was working as hard and hopefully as any man of the
multitudes in his employ. He was an ardent Odd Fellow, and one day
the home was a row of old men inmates. The senator shook hands with
these men and one by one they rose from the bench to return his
the senator and said, "Senator, you'll have to excuse me from
"Senator, I'm old in body and old in spirit. I'm past sixty."
screeched and stuttered. You would not have it in your barn today
Thomas Alva Edison. He had gotten to St. Paul, and he went on
south. A million people would have stopped there and said, "I have
other day, and she wrote me that the great inventor showed her one
invention. "I made over seven thousand experiments and failed
"I know more than seven thousand ways now that won't work."
the face of seven thousand failures. Today he brings forth a
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,
What a difference between "ed" and "ing"! The difference between
death and life. Are you "ed-ing" or "ing-ing"?
pitching horseshoes up the alley and talking about "ther winter of
orations on "The Age of the Young Man" and the Ostler idea that you
I would see his scandalized friends gather around him. "Moses! Moses!
what is this we hear? You going to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land?
And keep out of the night air. It is so hard on old folks."
what to do. Watch things happen from now on. Children of
can hardly keep up. Moses is eighty-five and busier and more
and makes all the arrangements for a gorgeous funeral next
Then I see the committee waiting on Moses. That is what a committee
does--it "waits" on something or other. And this committee goes up
stand in line and wait their turn. When they get up to Moses' desk,
man. You are eighty-five years old and full of honors. We are the
Moses is eighty-six and the committee 'phones over, "Moses, can you
attend next Thursday?" And Moses says, "No, boys, you'll just have
The committee waits. Moses is ninety and rushed more than ever.
He is doing ten men's work and his friends all say he is killing
Moses is ninety-five and burning the candle at both ends.
He is a hundred. And the committee dies!
Moses goes right on shouting, "Onward!" He is a hundred and ten. He
is a hundred and twenty. Even then I read, "His eye was not dim,
nor his natural force abated." He had not time to stop and abate.
us, Go on south to the greater things, and get so enthused and
Joshua and Caleb. They put the giants out of business.
and the dodo.
not time to look back and see how anybody uses him.
tribulations, and I'll be in that bright and happy land." What will
child and I'm not happy now. Them was the best days of my life
sorry for a child. Hurry up and go on south. It is better on south.
palmy days. And the palm!
I had advantages. I was born in a parsonage and was reared in the
nurture and admiration of the Lord. I am not just sure I quoted
that correctly, but I know I was reared in a parsonage. About all
I inherited was a Godly example and a large appetite. That was
I never sit down as "company" at a dinner and see some little
and mother would stretch it clear across the room and put on two
long table and view the "promised land." I would see her set on the
jelly. We had so much jelly--red jelly, and white jelly, and blue
was represented. I didn't know we had so much jelly till "quart'ly
ever saw. She would make a hollow in the top and fill it with
butter. I would see the butter melt and run down the sides, and I
And then Elder Berry would sit down at the table, at the end
"company" had to come and gobble it up. They would fill the table
and father would sit down in the last seat. There was no place for
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
the neck! And I would hear them say, "Elder Berry, may we help you
And Elder Berry would take the neck!
He would often put his hand in benediction upon my head.
He would say, "My boy, I want you to have a good time now." Now!
When all the chicken was gone and he had taken the neck! "My boy,
you are seeing the best days of your life right now as a child."
and today is the best day of all. Go on south!
more like mine like a piece of sandpaper. There are chapters of
A child can be full of happiness and only hold a pint. But
I think I hold a gallon now. And I see people in the audience who
Afterwhile this old world gets too small for us and we go on south
So we cannot grow old. Our life never stops. It goes on and on
Material things will grow old. This stage will grow old and stop.
This hall will grow old and stop. This house we live in will grow
old and stop. This flesh and blood house we live in will grow old
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
today it is such a relief to look people in the face and say,
"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?
the river. It is many feet high, and many, many feet long. The
obstacle and sweeps over it on south.
Over the great power dam at Keokuk sweeps the Mississippi. And then
you see the struggle of overcoming the obstacle develops light and
power to vitalize the valley. A hundred towns and cities radiate
the light and power from the struggle. The great city of St. Louis,
get the light and the power. The light and the power were latent in
the river, but it took the obstacle and the overcoming to develop
it and make it useful.
That is exactly what happens when you and I overcome our obstacles.
We develop our light and power. We are rivers of light and power,
but it is all latent and does no good until we overcome obstacles
And where the most obstacles are, there you find the most power to
be developed. So many of us do not understand that. We look
southward and we see the obstacles in the road. "I am so
of light and power in you to be developed. If you see no obstacles,
Life is going on south, and overcoming the obstacles. Death is
along the street in almost any town and see the dead ones. There
they are decorating the hitching-racks and festooning the
storeboxes. There they are blocking traffic at the postoffice and
depot. There they are in the hotel warming the chairs and making
the guests stand up. There they are--rows of retired farmers who
have quit work and moved to town to block improvements and die. But
thought the past month. Sometimes they sit and think, but generally
They block the wheels of progress and get in the way of the people
They do not join in to promote the churches and schools and big
brother movements. They growl at the lyceum courses and chautauquas,
money "outa town." Ringling and Barnum & Bailey get theirs.
squirt some "pep" into them and start them on south.
Here we come to the most wonderful and difficult thing in life. It
and overcomes. But the valley does not bless the river in return.
defile him. The Mississippi makes St. Paul and Minneapolis about
few miles below the Twin Cities and see how, by some mysterious
and the defilement, he has purified it and clarified it, and has
made it a part of himself. And he is greater and farther south!
He fattens upon bumps. Kick him, and you push him farther south.
"Hand him a lemon," and he makes lemonade.
wide and three inches deep; the peevish, destructive Kaw, and all
the Red, the black and the blue floods--all these pour into the
Day by day the Father of Waters goes on south, taking them over and
purifying them and making them a part of himself. Nothing can
becomes, he goes a few miles on south and he is all pure again.
become poisoned by bitter memories and bitter regrets. We carry
us, that sometimes we are bank to bank full of poison and a menace
Oh, forget it! Drop it all. Purify your life and go on south all
sweet again. We forget what we ought to remember and remember what
As you go on south and bless your valley, do you notice the valley
wait. I know, for I have waited!
father and mother--every one who tries to carry on the work of the
church, the school, the lyceum and chautauqua, the work that makes
we sit down completely discouraged and say, "I'm done. I'm going to
successful tool is discouragement, which is a wedge, and if he can
You do not go south and overcome your obstacles and bless the
it to live. You do it to remain a living river and not a stagnant,
so many disappointed and disgruntled people in the world. They worked
O, how easy it is to say these things, and how hard it is to do them!
the boat crossing a river more than a mile wide. Standing upon the
ferry-boat, I could look down into the lordly river and then far
many nations. I know why. I saw you born, saw your struggles, saw
knocks, and saw that you never stopped going southward.
And may we read it into our own lives. May we get the vision of
which way to go, and then keep on going south--on and on, overcoming,
and thus making it a part of ourselves, and thus growing greater.
The Mississippi knows nothing about the gulf. He goes on south
until he reaches the gulf. Then he pushes right on into the gulf as
And when he comes to the end of his physical banks, he pushes on
south into the gulf, and goes on south round and round the globe.
When you and I come to our Gulf of Mexico, we must push right on
And when physical banks fail, we go on south beyond this mere husk,
lazy, selfish and unhappy. Perhaps we would go around giving it to
other people to make them lazy, selfish and unhappy.
wild cat and then look at the tabby cat. The wild cat supports
itself and the tabby cat has its million. So the tabby cat has to
When you hear the orator speak and you note the ease and power of
speak when he failed and went back to his room in disgrace,
mortified and broken-hearted? Thru it all there came the
discipline, experience and grim resolve that made him succeed.
When you hear the musician and note the ease and grace of the
performance, do you think of the years of struggle and overcoming
necessary to produce that finish and grace? That is the story of
the actor, the author and every other one of attainment.
conquering races are those that struggle with both heat and cold?
The tropics are the geographical Gussielands.
Crop failures and business stringencies are not calamities, but
drinks to his gods. Then must come the Needful and Needless Knocks
handwriting upon the wall to save him.
they can stand, break their hearts before they can sing, and
to be scourged and fettered to become the Apostle to the Gentiles.
humanity. What throne-rooms are some prisons! And what prisons are
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!"
I know no better way to close this lecture than to tell you of a
tho twelve years of my life had dropped out of it, and had been
Every minute a new thrill, and no two thrills alike. Five miles of
winding and squirming, twisting and ducking, dodging and summersaulting.
There are places where the tourist wants to grasp his seat and
He looks over the edge of the shelf downward, and then turns to the other
side to look at the face of the cliff they are hugging, and discovers
The car is five thousand feet high where it stops on that last shelf,
and rises eleven hundred feet.
To go up that last eleven hundred feet and stand upon the flat rock
It spreads out below in one great mosaic of turquoise and amber
and emerald, where the miles seem like inches, and where his
Just below is Pasadena and Los Angeles. To the westward perhaps
the faint outlines of Catalina Islands. The ocean seems so close
distances. You throw the pebble and it falls upon your toes!
And Mount Lowe is but a shelf on the side of the higher Sierras.
The granite mountains rise higher to the northward, and to the east
rises "Old Baldy," twelve thousand feet high and snow eternally
alone I stood upon the flat rock at the summit and looked down into
the swimming distances. I did not know why I had struggled up into
valley below, and dully watched the clouds spread wider and blacker.
over me, and there were millions of miles of sunshine above me. I
matter how black and sunless today, when I have struggled on up the
mountain path, I have gotten above the clouds and found the sun
forever shining and God forever in His heavens.
clearly the plan of a human life. The rocks, the curves and the
see how I could live past that bump. The years have passed and I now
know it was one of the greatest blessings of my life. It closed one
the valley below me I saw shadows. Then I looked over into the
southwest and I could see the sun going down. I could see him sink
lower and lower until his red lips kissed the cheek of the Pacific.
The glory of the sunset filled sea and sky with flames of gold and
where I stood. I was farther up the mountain. I turned and looked
For the peace and the light are always above the storm and the
night, and always in our reach.
I am going on upward. Take my hand and let us go together. Mount Lowe
night, as I am learning to climb and look down upon the storms. I
This will be another Commencement Day and Master's Degree. Infinite
Rejoice and Go Upward!
happiness now in our work, and not tomorrow for our work.
ought to buy them by the gross and send them to their friends."
"The Big Business of Life is a real joy to read. It is big and
ought to be read today and tomorrow and forevermore every
that it is everyone's business to abolish work and turn this
mortals take their work too seriously, and that to them it is a
joyless, cheerless thing? To be able to find happiness, and to
secret of living to the full. And happiness is to be sought
within, and not among the things that lie at our feet. The
book before us is wholesome and vivacious. It provokes many
a smile, and beneath each one is a bit of wisdom it would do us
bought 1000 copies of the booklet "It's Up to You!" and of it he
says. "Parlette's Beans and Nuts is just as good as the Message to
Garcia and will be handed around just us much. I have handed the book
to business men, to young fellows, bond salesmen and such, to our
own vice president, and they all want another copy to send to some
Charles Grilk of Davenport, says: "My two children and I read the
Mississippi River story together and we were thoroly delighted."
Living Totally
Alexander the Great meets Diogenes
Those who say, "We are waiting for an opportunity," are being deceptive, and they are not deceiving anybody but themselves. The opportunity is not going to come tomorrow. It has already arrived, it has always been here. It was here even when you were not here.
Existence is an opportunity; to be is the opportunity. Don't say, "Tomorrow I will meditate, tomorrow I will love, tomorrow I will have a dancing relationship with existence." Why tomorrow? Tomorrow never comes. Why not now? Why postpone?
Postponement is a trick of the mind; it keeps you hoping, and meanwhile the opportunity is slipping by. And in the end you will come to the cul-de-sac, death--and there will be no more opportunity left. And this has happened many times in the past.
You are not new here, you have been born and you have died many, many times. And each time the mind has played the same trick, and you have not yet learned anything.
When Alexander the Great was coming to India, he met one strange man, Diogenes. It was a winter morning, a cool breeze was blowing, and Diogenes was lying on the riverbank, taking a sunbath, naked. He was a beautiful man--when there is a beautiful soul, a beauty arises which is not of this world.
He had nothing, not even a begging-bowl, because one day when he was going toward the river with his begging bowl to get some water to drink, he saw a dog rushing to the river. The dog jumped in the river and drank--Diogenes laughed and he said, "This dog has taught me a lesson. If he can live without a begging bowl, then why can't I?" He threw the begging-bowl, he also jumped like the dog in the river and drank. Since then he had had nothing.
Alexander had never seen such a graceful man, such utter beauty, something from the unknown.... He was in awe and he said, "Sir..." He had never said "Sir" to anybody in his life. He said, "Sir, I am immensely impressed by your being, and I would like to do something for you. Is there something that I can do for you?
Diogenes said, "Just stand to the side because you are blocking the sun--that's all. Nothing else do I need."
Alexander said, "If I have another chance to come to the earth I will ask God, instead of making me Alexander again, to make me Diogenes."
Diogenes laughed and he said, "Who is preventing you right now? You can become a Diogenes. Where are you going? For months I have seen armies moving and moving--where are you going? and for what?"
Alexander said, I am going to India to conquer the whole world."
"And then what are you going to do?" Diogenes asked.
And Alexander said, "Then I will rest."
Diogenes laughed again and he said, "You are mad--because I am resting now, and I have not conquered the world. I don't see the necessity of it. Who has told you that before resting, you have to conquer the world? And I tell you: if you don't rest now, then you never will. Something or other will always remain to be conquered... and time is fleeting. You will die in the middle of your journey--everybody dies in the middle of the journey."
And Alexander died in the middle. When he was moving back from India, he died on the way. And that day he remembered Diogenes. Only Diogenes was in his mind--he could never rest in his life, and that man rested.
Respect All Adore One
by [Swami Sivananda]
recognise them. Only a few persons, who are pure and embodiments of
all virtuous qualities, can understand realised souls, and they only
Let each man take the path according to his capacity, understanding
and temperament. His true guru will meet him along that path.
Do not dig shallow pits here and there for obtaining water, for the
pits will dry up soon. Dig a very deep pit in one place and
man. Sit at his feet for some years. It is useless to wander from one
and follow the instructions of many persons, you will become quite
bewildered and be in a dilemma.
if you have many gurus, you will be bewildered and be at a loss to
know what to do. One guru will tell you: "Do this." Another
the other." You will be quite puzzled. Stick to one guru and
knowledge from all, but adopt the teachings of one master. Then you
The guru and the scriptures can show you the path and remove your
doubts. Direct experience or direct intuitive knowledge is left for
guru carefully. Only then will you deserve his blessings which can do
Vedas
[Vedic way to healthy living|http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2002/09/02/stories/2002090200120300.htm] : ...But isn't it necessary that one understand the meaning of the Vedas that is being recited, was the unanimous question from the gathering. To this, Sri Tatwamasi Dixit said, "Well, the very meaning of the Vedas is knowledge, and they transcend religion and beliefs. It is not necessary that one understand the language in which it is recited. One can benefit from it through three levels — vibratory level that is the structured patterns or just the sound are said to have a great impact on the body; next, by understanding the meaning of the verses; and the third, by perceiving the emotions or feelings in the verses. Basically, if one develops a faith that these words have some power and meaning, then that belief itself will have a positive effect on them."...
Innovation
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. Hire slow learners of the organizational code. Specifically, hire people with a special kind of stupidity or stubbornness -- who avoid, ignore, or reject how things are "supposed to be done around here." Surround those slow learners with fast learners who understand how to promote their creative 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.
Inertia
CHANGE NOW!
Swami Atmaswarupananda
In the Gita, Lord Krishna warns us that lust, anger and greed are
the gateways to hell. And in his Universal Prayer, Gurudev prays
that we may be freed from egoism, lust, greed, hatred, anger and
jealousy. And so it is in most religions. These are the sort of
these types of sins can be secondary to habits and ways of living
progressive enterprise can stand almost anything in a person except
are and no longer being willing to improve and advance.
against the well-known sins, yet surrounding them they tolerate
willing to change then there is always hope, but if they are self-
then even if their normal sins are at a minimum, from a higher point
Our spiritual teachers, gurus, and the scriptures are calling us to
identity with a body and mind; our only concern is that we get what
level, if inertia has set in, then we can dream as much as we want
willing to change, and that is what all the scriptures and all our
Have another angle of vision. Change now!
Graham Hancock
civilization of Mesopotamia in present-day Iraq and definitely existed
before the Harappan civilization in India and Pakistan. He has been
city any time between 17,000 and 7,000 years ago, the date of the last Ice
man's migration. The populations Mr. Wells and Mr. Pitchappan (see previous
article) mapped settled on India's East Coast 50,000 to 35,000 years ago and
civilization." Hancock's theory is strengthened by findings of India's
The region, archaeologists say, has been built over and over again through
the ages and some of its past is now being revealed. Mr. Glenn Milne, a
Saint
delusion, greed, hatred and deceit. A sage realises his unity, his
spiritual oneness with others. He sees their suffering and out of
compassion, devotion and love, he stays on the earth plane - to serve
and to suffer for all creatures - until they become purified and
crooked by nature, and whose heart is always softened by tender
and forgiving.
and duplicity. He regards earthly riches as poison. A saint is
forbearing. He has a generous heart and possesses great fortitude and
discrimination. A saint is free from egoism and selfishness - he is
teachings are adapted to suit the requirements of his time and area
and serene, who does not covet anything, and who is the friend of all
Brahman as 'this' or 'that', or for the disciple to understand how it
himself, through his own jnana (intuition) and with the aid of the
acarya (preceptor) and an understanding of the true significance of
without the help of a guru and spiritual book. Should all three
self-knowledge) and a true disciple, then it is certain that the seat
Secret of Living
and that is dis-ease, or no-ease. This means it is the struggle of
The first and foremost aid is fasting. Digestion of food is one of
function and is made to digest the food!
Food does not maintain life. Life eats the food and produces the
energy necessary for its digestion and elimination. That is all. Life
lives by itself. Food is necessary only for life to build and repair
green leafy vegetables and milk, nourishes the body and helps life.
to carry the food to the stomach, since such food is not demanded by
this God within and only then offer Him some food. But nowadays
indescribable in its nature, even as God Himself is. To know this one
200303
[Prasna-Upanishad|http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/upan/up11.htm] : ...1. Sukesas Bharadvaga, and Saivya Satyakama, and Sauryayanin Gargya, and Kausalya Asvalayana, and Bhargava Vaidarbhi, and Kabandhin Katyayana, these were devoted to Brahman, firm in Brahman, seeking for the Highest Brahman. They thought that the venerable Pippalada could tell them all that, and they therefore took fuel in their hands (like pupils), and approached him.
2. That Rishi said to them: 'Stay here a year longer, with penance, abstinence, and faith; then you may ask questions according to your pleasure, and if we know them, we shall tell you all.'
Breath
The breath is the most important thing. With it life starts and with it life ends.
all become concerned when a child is born. Will he breathe? Will he cry and start
does not know how to breathe, nobody has taught him. This is going to be his first
Let me repeat it: This is going to be his first and the most significant act --
The child can remain dead. Then nothing can be done. The child cannot do anything,
This first breath is taken by the whole. And if the first breath is taken by the
whole then everything else which depends on breathing cannot be your act. If you
think you are breathing then you have taken a very wrong step. And because of this
and all that follows will not be your activity; all that is going to happen after
You can think that you are doing all those things -- then you live in ignorance. If
the whole, the whole life comes from it -- then you live a life of enlightenment.
This is the only difference between ignorance and enlightenment.
One step in error, that: "I have done it!" -- and the whole journey goes wrong. One
which he flows, moves, lives!" -- then you live a totally different life, a life of
light and bliss.
If life starts with breath, and death also, and everything is between these two,
then yoga, Tao, tantra, and all sciences of inner alchemy, cannot neglect breathing.
It is not just air coming and going through your lungs. Yoga says the air is just
and so on, and, two: the spirit of breathing, made up of vitality, God himself.
It is like your body is there, and you, your consciousness, is hidden deep down in
the non-visible you. And the same is the case with every breath. The breath itself
Once you discover that God himself is hidden in breath, you have come to know
yourself. That's why there is so much insistence and so much search in yoga, Tao and
tantra about breathing. If you simply go on breathing and thinking that this is just
air coming in and going out you will never be able to penetrate the mystery of it.
And you will remain completely oblivious of yourself. Then you will remain rooted in
the body. You will never be able to know that which goes beyond the body, that which
has to expand life to infinity in each breath.
anapana-sati yoga: the yoga, the science, of incoming and outgoing breath; and
and watch so meditatively that anything that is hidden in the breath does not remain
hidden but becomes revealed, you will come to know all.
Buddha said to his monks: "Sitting, walking, standing, whatsoever you are doing, go
you don't have the awareness which can reveal the innermost core of it. Then you can
analyze and come to know how much oxygen is needed, how much hydrogen, how much
nitrogen, how much carbon dioxide, and you can go on playing with the body of the
Hindu Temples in Singapore
# [Sri Mariamman Temple|http://www.heb.gov.sg/smt/main.html] .....is the oldest and most important of Singapore's Hindu religious buildings..... 244 South Bridge Road Singapore 058793. Tel 62234064 - Opening Hrs: 7am-12noon, 6pm-9pm - Email: heb_smt at pacific.net.sg
# [Sree Changi Ramar Temple|http://www.changiramartemple.com/], 51 Changi Village Road, Singapore 509908. Tel: 65431463. Email: sriramar@pacific.net.sg - opening hours : 7:00 am to 12:00 noon and 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
# Sri Thendayuthapani Temple - 15 Tank Road, Singapore 238065 - Tel: 7379393 ; Fax: 7350804 - http://www.sttemple.com/
[Sri Krishna Mandir Singapore|http://www.krsnamandir.org.sg/]
# 2005-07-31 - Is there any Singapore map with stars denoting the temples ? It will be easy for people to know what temples are close by...
Selfish
to condemn him, to abuse him. He stands there listening to their abuse, their
allegations, their lies. Even Ananda -- who has been with him all these years --
himself; otherwise he would have killed one or two people then and there.
Gautam Buddha said to them, "You see that the sun is going to set soon, and we have
time to listen to you again. And in two days, I will be returning along the same
One man from the crowd said, "You don't seem to be disturbed at all. And we are not
"In the village just before this village, people came with sweets and fruits. And we
said, `We eat only once a day, and we have taken our food, so it would be very kind
they did with those sweets and those fruits?"
it, you are just talking into the air. Just go home and say all these things to each
other; enjoy. And I will be coming again after two days, so be ready."
They were shocked, and they could not believe -- what kind of man is this? When they
moved on, Ananda said to Buddha, "This is too much. There were moments when I was
going to jump and hit the man! Just because of you, I tried to control my
Buddha said -- and remember it -- he said: "What those people were saying has not
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
And that is possible only if you are utterly selfish, so that before you start
Tilak
[The Magick Path of Tantra] : ...One of the unique features of India is the Tilak, the red mark used to denote that one belongs to the Hindu community. Although it is used by all women it is used by men also. Its ancient origin is amusing. In the long distant past, when a girl had her first monthly period she became an adult and the parents wanted to get her married as soon as possible. Propaganda was used in various forms to let the local bachelors know that it was now time to speak up and pop the question. This method was not favoured among the young girls and most were shy and embarrassed by a man going around the town beating a drum and shouting "Gulub is having a bloody time". Prayers to Vishwakarma solved the problem. Taking a rest from constructing large galaxies, suns and planets, he found time to visit India. At constructing a better situation he proved ideal. He promulgated a new rule that when the girls had their first Luna blood, the mother should put her finger in the right place and then use the blood to mark a spot or streak between the eyes on the forehead. Thus marked, the girls were proud to walk round the town and no words need be spoken...
Teachings of Yoga
...Arjuna typifies the spiritual seeker who, until he has received illuminating instruction from a qualified teacher, walks through life in ignorance, causing himself and others much needless suffering...All of us have a Krishna and an Arjuna component in our nature. We are both Self (or Spirit) and self (or ego-bound personality)...The mind is the alchemical mercury that must be transmuted into pure gold. It is also the cauldron in which this process of transformation occurs...The quotations in this volume were chosen for their inspirational power...Listening(shravana) to the disclosures of sages and saints is one of the time-honored practices of seeks after the Truth. Any time we pay attention to anything, we participate in it on the subtle levels. Therefore it matters greatly where we place our attention. The sages long ago recommended that the next best thing to immersing oneself in the Truth directly through profound meditation and ecstasy is to hear it from the mouth of one who knows and then to ponder it with one's native reasoning ability...
* Self-Knowledge
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* 2005 01 23 sun - Since today... i will use http://www.hostmatters.com for http://www.kishore.org - so far so good - if one doesnot need much bandwidth and also hosts multiple domains... then http://www.hostmatters.com is probably a better choice ! - you get shell access and fantastico too - http://www.totalchoicehosting.com is very good too - http://www.textdrive.com doesnot have cpanel and it is probably only required if you are going to need ruby, ruby on rails etc. My recommendation: http://www.hostmatters.com or http://www.totalchoicehosting.com
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* http://www.handfulofsand.com/blog/
* Christopher Heng : [Web Hosting Issues (thesitewizard.com)|http://www.thesitewizard.com/webhosting/] : .....Every webmaster has to deal with a web host (unless of course you're hosting your own site). This section deals with web hosting issues like choosing a good web host, moving your site from host to host, dealing with web hosts, handling free web hosts, reviews of web hosts, etc.....
* http://www.whatdoiknow.org : [I'd recommend them to any looking to switch or launch a website for the first time|http://www.whatdoiknow.org/about.shtml]
* http://www.mirabilis.ca : [Moveable Type and Dreamhost: .....I no longer recommend Dreamhost.....|http://www.mirabilis.ca/archives/000151.html]
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Change
Mahatma Gandhi: You must be the change you wish to see in the world
CHANGE NOW!
Swami Atmaswarupananda
In the Gita, Lord Krishna warns us that lust, anger and greed are
the gateways to hell. And in his Universal Prayer, Gurudev prays
that we may be freed from egoism, lust, greed, hatred, anger and
jealousy. And so it is in most religions. These are the sort of
these types of sins can be secondary to habits and ways of living
progressive enterprise can stand almost anything in a person except
are and no longer being willing to improve and advance.
against the well-known sins, yet surrounding them they tolerate
willing to change then there is always hope, but if they are self-
then even if their normal sins are at a minimum, from a higher point
Our spiritual teachers, gurus, and the scriptures are calling us to
identity with a body and mind; our only concern is that we get what
level, if inertia has set in, then we can dream as much as we want
willing to change, and that is what all the scriptures and all our
Have another angle of vision. Change now!
Khajuraho
[Osho] : .....The first time I went to Khajuraho I went just because my grandmother was nagging me to go, but since then I have been there hundreds of times. There is no other place in the world that I have been to so many times. The reason is simple: you cannot exhaust the experience. It is inexhaustible. The more you know, the more you want to know. Each detail of the Khajuraho temples is a mystery. It must have taken hundreds of years and thousands of artists to create each temple. And I have never come across anything other than Khajuraho that can be said to be perfect, not even the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal has its flaws, but Khajuraho has none. Moreover, Taj Mahal is just beautiful architecture; Khajuraho is the whole philosophy and psychology of the New Man.....
Robert Blackwill
Unfortunately, Brahma and Saraswati, because of my own
this occasion with regard to my spiritual and
time at Brahma’s temple in Pushkar. And, despite my
Notwithstanding my many inadequacies and the
the great storyteller, and because I am soon leaving
Delhi to Mumbai to see and feel the land and people of
India. You must understand that I love to ride the
“the train soothed and comforted me and stimulated my
Back to travelling in India. Uttar Pradesh and
Uttaranchal - the heat, the dust, and the glacial
source of the Ganga. Like so much of India, alpha and
the last two months. I will now treasure that for the
lawn on a balmy evening in Chandigarh. My
curiosity. After my extremely energetic and, I
television and be in touch. Have no doubt. I am always
arranged meals and bedding for all assembled here so
- those who have seen the Taj Mahal, and those who
there and back in great comfort. A wonderful train.
legacy. Jaipur. Udaipur. Jodhpur. And perhaps my
favourite, the medieval walled city of Jaisalmer, land
the sky. On some nights, there must be stars nowhere
sure and take your sunglasses along when you go there
— to deal with the starry nights. Standing in
Jaisalmer, close your eyes for a moment and see the
thousand years ago, which I now realise by India’s
civilizational standards is only yesterday - a fellow
I needed more than two lifetimes there and elsewhere
in this uncommon land. Let me go on following the map
and the train tracks. Inspired by the endurance and
expressionism in New York in the 1940’s and 50’s
(Pollack, Kline and the rest). What a special treat.
Exploring the Ajanta and Ellora caves and their wall
Andhra Pradesh with its path-breaking e-governance,
and food hotter than hot. Don’t let anybody tell you
differently; those Andhra peppers are without doubt
tragedy and stayed up all night writing my poem for
Kalpana; the blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture
exquisite culture of Kolkata; the flowers and forests
of Sikkim and the border at Nathula with no shortness
of breath; the Northeast, Kaziranga and the
Brahmaputra. What a country this is. And I have hardly
kept me safe, and who were ready to give their lives
to protect me. Oh, this India that I have come to know
ever so slightly. The form and function of Indian
architecture with its creation, assimilation and
India’s innumerable and distinctive dances, beginning
with the classical. The Vedas and the Upanishads.
of speech, the breath of breath, and the eye of the
first principles, and see in action many times every
and therefore of particular meaning and comfort to me.
least when he is in sight of them and it isn’t a
more balance and perspective? I would not be the only
Ranthambhore. How could they be more in command? I
home, and have sent them an email with a job offer.
happens by God’s grace. The singular smell and sound
India for me, absolutely unforgettable. And more than
and protected me - who were generous to me beyond
Wera and me no matter how many times I was
Bush — and on the September 11 attacks on the American
homeland. But on this subject, like so many others,
India has left its dominant and enduring imprint on
then that for the first time I encountered the
terrorism mounted as the snow fell and melted in
Cambridge, and that New England winter turned to
spring. And I became more and more angry. Innocent
Terror against India that rose and fell with the
keeping had reached hundreds. And, for me, these were
not abstract and antiseptic numbers in a newspaper
our babies, and our friends. Each had laughs to laugh.
snuffed out by the killing hand of terror.
murders of innocents. And yet, they go on. But, my
and against yours will not continue indefinitely. We
know this from the Ramayana, and many other holy
We will win the war on terrorism, and the United
States and India will win it together - because we
represent good, and terrorists are evil incarnate. God
teach how to know God.” India has been working on that
these two years to experience, and to profit from,
personal musings. And, thank you India for every
Swami Omkarananda
[People] > Swami Omkarananda
Swami Omkarananda is the founder of [Chidbhavananda Ashram] in Theni, Tamil Nadu. His admirable articulation and profound knowledge in scriptures make his lectures enlivening.
In the current lecture series (Ethics Life from Thirukkural - Lecture Series in Tamil - 07.09.2004(Tuesday) to 12.09.2004(Sunday) - 07:30pm - PGP Kalyana Mandapam (Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple) Serangoon Road), Swamiji will continue to establish the validity of Thirukkural concepts even in this 21st century.
Farming
* The 50 best things to eat in the world, and where to eat them - http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/sep/13/best-foods-in-the-world - 17. Best place to drink: Tomato juice - Happy Girl Kitchen, California
Farm from the Madding Crowd - http://sewcot854.blogspot.com/ : ..Originally from the UK, I came to Japan almost 10 years ago as a teacher for a large eikaiwa (English language conversation school). I now run my own small school and work with my wife and her family on their vegetable farm. I still haven't returned to the UK (not even for a holiday) and probably never will. Oh well, it's as good a place as any to live and die. And there's lots of rice..
http://www.knollorganics.com/ - http://www.knollorganics.com/philosophy.htm - On the Eat Now- Pay Later plan we can buy food at an "economical" price now. But how economical is it- really? How economical will it be to clean up our polluted environment? Who will pay for it? How economical will it be to treat the cancers and health-related problems that are the by-products of our present food production system? Who will pay for that? We can kid ourselves by saying that's what we have insurance for, but who pays for the insurance coverage? And who pays for the fieldworker who has no insurance coverage? We pay. It may be now -it may be later, but we must pay. So the question then becomes, for what do we wish to pay? Do we wish to pay more now and spend our dollars for prevention or do we wish to pay more later and spend our dollars for cure? The choice is ours. We must remember: things of value are not attained cheaply or easily.
Rutger Kortenhorst
He is also known as Mrutyunjayah. He is an active member of School of Practical Philosophy and Economic Sciences.
He took a year off and stayed in 'Aksharam', Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, Aurobindo Ashram etc. to learn Samskritam, Vedanta etc.
He had also attended 'samvaadshaalaa' and shikshka-prashikshana-vargah.
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to spend an hour together looking at the topic ‘Why does my child do Sanskrit in John Scottus?’ My bet is that at the end of the hour you will all have come to the conclusion that your children are indeed fortunate that this extraordinary subject is part of their curriculum.
Firstly, let us look at Why Sanskrit for my child? We are the only school in Ireland doing this language, so this will need some explaining. There are another 8 JSS-type schools around the world that have made the same decision to include Sanskrit in their curriculum (they are all off-shoots from the School of Philosophy).
Secondly, how is Sanskrit taught? You may have noticed your son or daughter singing Sanskrit grammar songs in the back of the car just for the fun of it on the way home from school. I’ll spend some time telling you HOW we approach teaching Sanskrit now since my year in India.
But first of all: WHY Sanskrit? To answer that we need to look at the qualities of Sanskrit. Sanskrit stands out above all other languages for its beauty of sound, precision in pronunciation and reliability as well as thoroughness in every aspect of its structure. This is why it has never fundamentally changed unlike all other languages. It has had no need to change being the most perfect language of Mankind.
If we consider Shakespeare’s English, we realize how different and therefore difficult for us his English language was although it is just English from less than 500 years ago. We struggle with the meaning of Shakespeare’s English or that of the King James Bible. Go back a bit further and we don’t have a clue about the English from the time of Chaucer’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ from around 700 AD. We cannot even call this English anymore and now rightly call it Anglo-Saxon. So English hadn’t even been born! All languages keep changing beyond recognition. They change because they are defective. The changes are in fact corruptions. They are born and die after seven or eight hundred years –about the lifetime of a Giant Redwood Tree- because after so much corruption they have no life left in them. Surprisingly there is one language in the world that does not have this short lifespan. Sanskrit is the only exception. It is a never-dying constant. The reason for the constancy in Sanskrit is that it is completely structured and thought out. There is not a word that has been left out in its grammar or etymology, which means every word can be traced back to where it came from originally. This does not mean there is no room for new words either. Just as in English we use older concepts from Greek and Latin to express modern inventions like a television: ‘tele [far] – vision [seeing]’ or ‘compute –er’. Sanskrit in fact specializes in making up compound words from smaller words and parts. The word ‘Sams - krita’ itself means ‘completely – made’.
So what advantages are there to a fundamentally unchanging language? What is advantageous about an unchanging friend, say? Are they reliable? What happens if you look at a text in Sanskrit from thousands of years ago?
The exceptional features of Sanskrit have been recognised for a few centuries all over the world, so you will find universities from many countries having a Sanskrit faculty. Whether you go to Hawai, Cambridge or Harvard and even Trinity College Dublin has a seat for Sanskrit –although it is vacant at present. May be one of your children will in time fill this position again?
Although India has been its custodian, Sanskrit has had universal appeal for centuries. The wisdom carried by this language appeals to the West as we can see from Yoga and Ayurvedic Medicine as well as meditation techniques, and practical philosophies like Buddhism and most of what we use in the School of Philosophy. It supports, expands and enlightens rather than conflicts withlocal traditions and religions.
The precision of Sanskrit stems from the unparalleled detail on how the actual sounds of the alphabet are structured and defined. The sounds have a particular place in the mouth, nose and throat that can be defined and will never change. This is why in Sanskrit the letters are called the ‘Indestructibles’ [aksharáni]. Sanskrit is the only language that has consciously laid out its sounds from first principles. So the five mouth-positions for all Indestructibles [letters] are defined and with a few clearly described mental and physical efforts all are systematically planned: [point out chart]
After this description, what structure can we find in a, b, c, d, e, f , g...? There isn’t any, except perhaps that it starts with ‘a’, and goes downhill from there ...
Then there is the sheer beauty of the Sanskrit script as we learn it today. [Some examples on the board]
You may well say: ‘Fine, but so why should my son or daughter have yet another subject and another script to learn in their already busy school-day?’ In what way will he or she benefit from the study of Sanskrit in 2010 in the Western world?
The qualities of Sanskrit will become the qualities of your child- that is the mind and heart of your child will become beautiful, precise and reliable.
Sanskrit automatically teaches your child and anybody else studying it to pay FINE attention due to its uncanny precision. When the precision is there the experience is, that it feels uplifting. It makes you happy. It is not difficult even for a beginner to experience this. All you have to do is fine-tune your attention and like music you are drawn in and uplifted. This precision of attention serves all subjects, areas and activities of life both while in school and for the rest of life. This will give your child a competitive advantage over any other children. They will be able to attend more fully, easily and naturally. Thus in terms of relationships, work, sport– in fact all aspects of life, they will perform better and gain more satisfaction. Whatever you attend to fully, you excel in and you enjoy more.
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.
Vivekananda, a great spiritual leader from India revered by all in the World Religious Conference of 1880 said:
You can put a mass of knowledge into the world, but that will not do it much good. There must come some culture into the blood. We all know in modern times of nations which have masses of knowledge, but what of them? They are like tigers; they are like savages, because culture is not there. Knowledge is only skin-deep, as civilization is, and a little scratch brings out the old savage. Such things happen; this is the danger. Teach the masses in the vernaculars, give them ideas; they will get information, but something more is necessary; give them culture.
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.
Just think for the moment how confusing it is for a child to learn to say ‘rough’ , but ‘dough’. And why does the ‘o’ in ‘woman’ sound like an ‘e’ in ‘women’? How come the ‘ci’ in ‘special’ is different from the ‘ci’ in ‘cinema’? Teachers may well say ‘Just learn it’ as there is no logical explanation, but it only demonstrates to a child that it is all a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. What else does this randomness in the fundamental building-blocks of language teach a child about the world? That it’s just a confusing, random chance-event? How can this give anyone any confidence?
Now go to a language where everything is following rules. Where nothing is left to chance from the humble origin of a letter to the most sophisticated philosophical idea. How will that child meet the world? Surely with confidence, clarity and the ability to express itself?
I have seen myself and others growing in such qualities, because of our contact with Sanskrit. I have just spent a year in India. Though it felt a bit like camping in a tent for a year, it was well worth it. For many years, we taught Sanskrit like zealots i.e. with high levels of enthusiasm and low levels of understanding, to both adults in the School of Philosophy and children in John Scottus School. We did not perhaps inspire a lot of our students and may have put a number of them off the study of Sanskrit. It felt to me like we needed to go to the source. Sanskrit teachers worth their salt need to live with people whose daily means of communication is in Sanskrit. I had already spent three summers near Bangalore doing just that and becoming less of an amateur, but it really needed a more thorough study. So I moved into a traditional gurukulam for the year. This meant living on campus, eating lots of rice and putting up with a few power-cuts and water shortages, but by December 2009, I made up my mind that I would step down as vice-principal of the Senior School and dedicate myself to Sanskrit for the rest of my teaching life. It felt like a promotion to me as quite a few could be vice-principal but right now which other teacher could forge ahead in Sanskrit in Ireland? [Hopefully this will change before I pop off to the next world.] With Sanskrit I’m expecting my mind to improve with age even if my body slows down a little. Sanskrit is often compared to the full-time teacher, who is there for you 24/7 whereas the other languages are more like part-timers. The effects of studying Sanskrit on me have been first and foremost a realistic confidence. Secondly, it meant I had to become more precise and speak weighing my words more carefully. It also taught me to express myself with less waffle and therefore speak more briefly. My power of attention and retention has undoubtedly increased.
Now, let me explain for a few minutes, HOW Sanskrit is taught. To my surprise it is not taught well in most places in India. Pupils have to learn it from when they are around age 9 to 11 and then they give it up, because it is taught so badly! Only a few die-hards stick with it, in time teaching the same old endings endlessly to the next generation. This is partly due to India having adopted a craving to copy the West and their tradition having been systematically rooted out by colonialism.
For learning grammar and the wisdom of the East, I was well-placed in a traditional gurukulam, but for spoken Sanskrit I felt a modern approach was missing.
Then I found a teacher from the International School belonging to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. His name is Narendra. He has developed a novel, inspiring and light method to teach grammar, which doesn’t feel like you do any grammar at all. At the same time it isn’t diluted for beginners so you don’t end up with partial knowledge. I also foolowed a few Sanskrit Conversation camps, which all brought about more familiarity.
Narendra says he owes his method to Sri Aurobindo and his companion ‘the Mother’ who inspired him to come up with the course we now follow in Dublin. This is one of the many things ‘the Mother’ said to inspire him:“Teach logically. Your method should be most natural, efficient and stimulating to the mind. It should carry one forward at a great pace. You need not cling there to any past or present manner of teaching.”
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?
2. The writing script is not the most fundamental thing to be taught. A language is firstly made of its sounds, words and spoken sentences. [The script we use -though very beautiful- is only a few hundred years old.]
3. Always go from what is known to what is new.
4. Understanding works better than memorisation in this Age. Learning by heart should only take up 10 % of the mental work, rather than the 90 % rote learning in Sanskrit up to the recent present.
5. Don’t teach words and endings in isolation; teach them in the context of a sentence as the sentence is the smallest meaningful unit in language.
7. Do not teach grammatical terms. Just as we don’t need to know about the carburettor, when we learn to drive a car.
9. Language learning must be playful. Use drama, song, computer games and other tricks to make learning enjoyable.
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:
The future. Let us look at the 500 – year cycle of a Renaissance. The last European Renaissance developed three subjects: Art, Music and Science to shape the world we live in today. It had its beginning in Florence. The great Humanist Marsilio Ficino made Plato available to the masses by translating it from Greek to Latin. We live in exciting times and may well be at the beginning of a new Renaissance. It also will be based on three new subjects: Some say that these will be Economics, Law and Language.
Language has to become more universal now as we can connect with each other globally within seconds. NASA America’s Space Program is actively looking at Sanskrit in relation to I.T. and artificial intelligence.
Sri Aurobindo said…at once majestic and sweet and flexible, strong and clearly-formed and full and vibrant and subtle…
It makes your mind bright, sharp and clear.
It makes you feel peaceful and happy.
It cleans and loosens your tongue so you can pronounce any language easily.
It gives you access to a vast and liberating literature.
Sanskrit and computers are a perfect fit. The precision play of Sanskrit with computer tools will awaken the capacity in human beings to utilize their innate higher mental faculty with a momentum that would inevitably transform the mind. In fact, the mere learning of Sanskrit by large numbers of people in itself represents a quantum leap in consciousness, not to mention the rich endowment it will provide in the arena of future communication. NASA, California
After many thousands of years, Sanskrit still lives with a vitality that can breathe life, restore unity and inspire peace on our tired and troubled planet. It is a sacred gift, an opportunity. The future could be very bright.
One thing is certain; Sanskrit will only become the planetary language when it is taught in a way which is exiting and enjoyable. Furthermore it must address individual learning inhibitions with clarity and compassion in a setting which encourages everyone to step forth, take risks, make mistakes and learn.
facebook
Technically, he is right of course. A “use case” is defined as having three parts: “actors,” “system,” and “goals.” In this case, all three requirements are satisfied. The actor is a Facebook user. The system is Facebook Live. The goal is public suicide. Ah, yes, a “use case.”
The solution, then, is for Facebook to change its mindset. Until now, even Facebook’s positive steps—like taking down posts inciting violence, or temporarily banning the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones—have come not as the result of soul-searching, but of intense public pressure and PR fallout. Facebook only does the right thing when it’s forced to. Instead, it needs to be willing to sacrifice the goal of total connectedness and growth when this goal has a human cost; to create a decision-making process that requires Facebook leaders to check their instinctive technological optimism against the realities of human life.
20180419
Progress, Precision and Profit
First, congratulations are in order! We have now completed our third full week of producing over 2000 Model 3 vehicles. The first week was 2020, the second was 2070 and we just completed 2250 last week, along with 2000 Model S/X vehicles.
This is more than double Tesla’s weekly production rate last year and an amazing feat in the face of many challenges! It is extremely rare for an automotive company to grow the production rate by over 100% from one year to the next. Moreover, there has simultaneously been a significant improvement in quality and build accuracy, which is reflected in positive owner feedback.
Starting today at Giga and tomorrow at Fremont, we will be stopping for three to five days to do a comprehensive set of upgrades. This should set us up for Model 3 production of 3000 to 4000 per week next month.
Another set of upgrades starting in late May should be enough to unlock production capacity of 6000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of June. Please note that all areas of Tesla and our suppliers will be required to demonstrate a Model 3 capacity of ~6000/week by building 850 sets of car parts in 24 hours no later than June 30th.
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.
The reason that the burst-build target rate is 6000 and not 5000 per week in June is that we cannot have a number with no margin for error across thousands of internally and externally produced parts and processes, amplified by a complex global logistics chain. Actual production will move as fast as the least lucky and least well-executed part of the entire Tesla production/supply chain system.
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.
Our car needs to be designed and built with such accuracy and precision that, if an owner measures dimensions, panel gaps and flushness, and their measurements don’t match the Model 3 specs, it just means that their measuring tape is wrong.
Some parts suppliers will be unwilling or unable to achieve this level of precision. I understand that this will be considered an unreasonable request by some. That’s ok, there are lots of other car companies with much lower standards. They just can’t work with Tesla.
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.
Going forward, we will be far more rigorous about expenditures. I have asked the Tesla finance team to comb through every expense worldwide, no matter how small, and cut everything that doesn’t have a strong value justification.
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.
There is a very wide range of contractor performance, from excellent to worse than a drunken sloth. All contracting companies should consider the coming week to be a final opportunity to demonstrate excellence. Any that fail to meet the Tesla standard of excellence will have their contracts ended on Monday.
– 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.
– 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.
– Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the “chain of command”. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.
– A major source of issues is poor communication between depts. The way to solve this is allow free flow of information between all levels. If, in order to get something done between depts, an individual contributor has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talks to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone doing the actual work, then super dumb things will happen. It must be ok for people to talk directly and just make the right thing happen.
– 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.
Thanks for being such a kickass team and accomplishing miracles every day. It matters. We are burning the midnight oil to burn the midnight oil.
Rich Hickey
A wide variety of experiences might lead to well-roundedness, but not to greatness, nor even goodness. By constantly switching from one thing to another you are always reaching above your comfort zone, yes, but doing so by resetting your skill and knowledge level to zero.
Knowledge
Experience the ins and outs of various platforms
Enhance your understanding of the building blocks that we use as writers
These are largely the activities of beginners and students, not practitioners nor masters (or, in the case of teaching/publishing, people who should already be practitioners/masters). N.B. I am not questioning the many benefits of broadening or learning activities, just the premise that they lead to any sort of mastery.
Musicians get better by practice and tackling harder and harder pieces, not by switching instruments or genres, nor by learning more and varied easy pieces. Ditto almost every other specialty inhabited by experts or masters.
One can become a great developer in any general purpose language, in any domain, on any platform. And, most notably for the purposes of this discussion, such a developer can carry that greatness across a change in any of them. What skills then are so universally useful and transportable in software development? Two are:
the ability to acquire knowledge, and the ability to solve problems.
How does one get better at acquiring knowledge and solving problems? Not by acquiring a lot of superficial knowledge nor solving a lot of trivial problems (a la your 'achievements'), but by acquiring ever deeper knowledge and solving ever harder problems.
You should take heed your phrase 'leveling up'. You don't level up by switching games all the time, but by sticking with one long enough to gain advanced skills. And, you need to be careful to recognize the actual game involved. Programming mastery has little to do with languages, paradigms, platforms, building blocks, open source, conferences etc. These things change all the time and are not fundamental. Knowledge acquisition skills allow you to grok them as needed. I'd take a developer (or even non-developer!) with deep knowledge acquisition and problem solving skills over a programmer with a smorgasbord of shallow experiences any day.
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 — and do it better than everyone else.
Actually, I have a different suggestion: train with a friend for the USA Biology Olympiad, score highly in the first two rounds of exams, and qualify for the national training camp and then the national team.
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.
As a warning, I found when writing this that a lot of examples of sources of power I used or wanted to use would strike a lot of people as weird, but it would take a lot of space to justify them. This is inevitable in retrospect: if it’s considered normal, it’s no longer a source of power. I also noticed while writing this that a lot of my examples focus around high school or college. I think that’s largely because life tends to diverge afterwards, and the examples become much more niche.
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 — in particular AdMob, acquired by Google for $750 million, and Flurry, whose software runs in over 100,000 apps — 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
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 — 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.
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 — 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 — 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.”
As we’ve seen, while sources of power with intrinsic value may merely descend from insight to platitude over time, the externally-valued have a shelf life. Perhaps the big warning from this is for those wishing to help others be successful, especially parents. As Paul Graham wrote, parents are like generals always fighting the last war. I remember seeing a teenager on CollegeConfidential complaining that their parents wanted them to stay home all summer and study for the SAT. Perhaps that would be a rational choice in their home countries, where college admissions were and still are based on grueling exams. Yet here the most advanced standardized math test for college admissions is the Math SAT Subject Test, where it’s possible to miss 7/50 questions and still get a perfect score. Meanwhile, my own mother had occasional aspirations of being a “white tiger,” and would often cajole me during my hacking sessions to “stop playing Java” and go study for the SAT.
This realization — that all these secrets and sources of power I’ve spent so much effort finding might backfire when I try to pass them on — 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.
And, of course, that’s assuming college admissions are still worth obsessing over.
Thanks to Jonathan Paulson, Amy Quispe, Jessica Su, and Nancy Hua for comments on earlier drafts of this post.
Decision
When you put off decisions, they become big — and painful.
Here’s how I think it really works: You’ll make a million decisions, and each will shape your life and other people’s lives in ways you’ll barely know. You will have surprising successes and surprising failures. You’ll give yourself too much credit for both. Then you’ll die.
Now-20180719
[Words] / [Interests] > Now
You ought to know a lot to know how little you know
The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi via [The importance of deep work and the 30-hour method for learning a new skill|https://azeria-labs.com/the-importance-of-deep-work-the-30-hour-method-for-learning-a-new-skill/]
# Steve Blakeman - Are you 'weird' if you don't use Social Media? - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-weird-dont-use-social-media-steve-blakeman/ ... One of my closest pals chooses to abstain from all forms of social interaction online. He is smart, funny and gregarious so it isn't like he has nothing interesting to impart. He is also not a technophobe either given that he has worked in the tech industry for his entire career, so he certainly isn't a luddite. He just doesn't feel the need to divulge every aspect of his life with friends and family - he would rather have a chat, face-to-face if possible and if not then via a good old fashioned phone call. And, let's be honest, is there anything wrong with that? ...
http://fullbit.ca/learning-web-development-stand-out/
[Gurudeva] : Living in the Eternal Now
To begin to work toward establishing yourself in the eternal now, first
limit time and space by not thinking about or discussing events that
yourself, "Am I fully aware of myself and what I'm doing right now?"
to sit quietly each day and just be. Don't think. Don't plan. Don't
remember. Just sit and be in the now. That's not as simple as it sounds,
for we are accustomed to novelty and constant activity in the mind and
not to the simplicity of being. Just sit and be the energy in your
spine and head. Feel the simplicity of this energy in every atom of
yesterdays and to create the tomorrows. Now is the only time. This simple
exercise of sitting and being is a wonderful way to wash away the past,
expanded. Regular practice of meditation will bring you intensely into
psychology and all pacifiers of the intellect. We have to practice to
keep awareness here and now. If you find yourself disturbed, sit down
and consciously quiet the forces in yourself. Don't get up until you have
completely quieted your mind and emotions through regulating the breath,
through looking out at a peaceful landscape, through seeking and finding
understanding of the situation. This is the real work of meditation that
now, your life will be one of peace and fulfillment.
the mountain, you would be going into the future and its ramifications,
would be going into the past and its similar recorded ramifications. So,
between past and future. Everything is in its rightful place in the
Now-20180725
[Now] > Now-20180725
[Words] / [Interests] > Now
[Now-20180719]
You ought to know a lot to know how little you know
The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi via [The importance of deep work and the 30-hour method for learning a new skill|https://azeria-labs.com/the-importance-of-deep-work-the-30-hour-method-for-learning-a-new-skill/]
# Steve Blakeman - Are you 'weird' if you don't use Social Media? - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-weird-dont-use-social-media-steve-blakeman/ ... One of my closest pals chooses to abstain from all forms of social interaction online. He is smart, funny and gregarious so it isn't like he has nothing interesting to impart. He is also not a technophobe either given that he has worked in the tech industry for his entire career, so he certainly isn't a luddite. He just doesn't feel the need to divulge every aspect of his life with friends and family - he would rather have a chat, face-to-face if possible and if not then via a good old fashioned phone call. And, let's be honest, is there anything wrong with that? ...
http://fullbit.ca/learning-web-development-stand-out/
[Gurudeva] : Living in the Eternal Now
To begin to work toward establishing yourself in the eternal now, first
limit time and space by not thinking about or discussing events that
yourself, "Am I fully aware of myself and what I'm doing right now?"
to sit quietly each day and just be. Don't think. Don't plan. Don't
remember. Just sit and be in the now. That's not as simple as it sounds,
for we are accustomed to novelty and constant activity in the mind and
not to the simplicity of being. Just sit and be the energy in your
spine and head. Feel the simplicity of this energy in every atom of
yesterdays and to create the tomorrows. Now is the only time. This simple
exercise of sitting and being is a wonderful way to wash away the past,
expanded. Regular practice of meditation will bring you intensely into
psychology and all pacifiers of the intellect. We have to practice to
keep awareness here and now. If you find yourself disturbed, sit down
and consciously quiet the forces in yourself. Don't get up until you have
completely quieted your mind and emotions through regulating the breath,
through looking out at a peaceful landscape, through seeking and finding
understanding of the situation. This is the real work of meditation that
now, your life will be one of peace and fulfillment.
the mountain, you would be going into the future and its ramifications,
would be going into the past and its similar recorded ramifications. So,
between past and future. Everything is in its rightful place in the
2018-09-09
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi7a7qBnnln/ ... jordinwiklundI’ve hesitated to share what’s happening in our lives because it isn’t "typical pretty". But just like I felt a prompting to share in February 2017 about losing our sweet baby, Colton, I feel prompted again to set my pride aside, to be open and real.
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 ☺️ 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.
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or seared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.
There is a coarse and boisterous money-making fellow in the outskirts of our town, who is going to build a bank-wall under the hill along the edge of his meadow. The powers have put this into his head to keep him out of mischief, and he wishes me to spend three weeks digging there with him. The result will be that he will perhaps get some more money to board, and leave for his heirs to spend foolishly. If I do this, most will commend me as an industrious and hard-working man; but if I choose to devote myself to certain labors which yield more real profit, though but little money, they may be inclined to look on me as an idler. Nevertheless, as I do not need the police of meaningless labor to regulate me, and do not see anything absolutely praiseworthy in this fellow's undertaking any more than in many an enterprise of our own or foreign governments, however amusing it may be to him or them, I prefer to finish my education at a different school.
If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down!
Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now. For instance: just after sunrise, one summer morning, I noticed one of my neighbors walking beside his team, which was slowly drawing a heavy hewn stone swung under the axle, surrounded by an atmosphere of industry- his day's work begun- his brow commenced to sweat- a reproach to all sluggards and idlers- pausing abreast the shoulders of his oxen, and half turning round with a flourish of his merciful whip, while they gained their length on him. And I thought, Such is the labor which the American Congress exists to protect- honest, manly toil- honest as the day is long- that makes his bread taste sweet, and keeps society sweet- which all men respect and have consecrated; one of the sacred band, doing the needful but irksome drudgery. Indeed, I felt a slight reproach, because I observed this from a window, and was not abroad and stirring about a similar business. The day went by, and at evening I passed the yard of another neighbor, who keeps many servants, and spends much money foolishly, while he adds nothing to the common stock, and there I saw the stone of the morning lying beside a whimsical structure intended to adorn this Lord Timothy Dexter's premises, and the dignity forthwith departed from the teamster's labor, in my eyes. In my opinion, the sun was made to light worthier toil than this. I may add that his employer has since run off, in debt to a good part of the town, and, after passing through Chancery, has settled somewhere else, there to become once more a patron of the arts.
The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have been truly idle or worse. If the laborer gets no more than the wages which his employer pays him, he is cheated, he cheats himself. If you would get money as a writer or lecturer, you must be popular, which is to go down perpendicularly. Those services which the community will most readily pay for, it is most disagreeable to render. You are paid for being something less than a man. The State does not commonly reward a genius any more wisely. Even the poet laureate would rather not have to celebrate the accidents of royalty. He must be bribed with a pipe of wine; and perhaps another poet is called away from his muse to gauge that very pipe. As for my own business, even that kind of surveying which I could do with most satisfaction my employers do not want. They would prefer that I should do my work coarsely and not too well, ay, not well enough. When I observe that there are different ways of surveying, my employer commonly asks which will give him the most land, not which is most correct. I once invented a rule for measuring cord-wood, and tried to introduce it in Boston; but the measurer there told me that the sellers did not wish to have their wood measured correctly- that he was already too accurate for them, and therefore they commonly got their wood measured in Charlestown before crossing the bridge.
The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get "a good job," but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
It is remarkable that there are few men so well employed, so much to their minds, but that a little money or fame would commonly buy them off from their present pursuit. I see advertisements for active young men, as if activity were the whole of a young man's capital. Yet I have been surprised when one has with confidence proposed to me, a grown man, to embark in some enterprise of his, as if I had absolutely nothing to do, my life having been a complete failure hitherto. What a doubtful compliment this to pay me! As if he had met me half-way across the ocean beating up against the wind, but bound nowhere, and proposed to me to go along with him! If I did, what do you think the underwriters would say? No, no! I am not without employment at this stage of the voyage. To tell the truth, I saw an advertisement for able-bodied seamen, when I was a boy, sauntering in my native port, and as soon as I came of age I embarked.
The community has no bribe that will tempt a wise man. You may raise money enough to tunnel a mountain, but you cannot raise money enough to hire a man who is minding his own business. An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not. The inefficient offer their inefficiency to the highest bidder, and are forever expecting to be put into office. One would suppose that they were rarely disappointed.
Perhaps I am more than usually jealous with respect to my freedom. I feel that my connection with and obligation to society are still very slight and transient. Those slight labors which afford me a livelihood, and by which it is allowed that I am to some extent serviceable to my contemporaries, are as yet commonly a pleasure to me, and I am not often reminded that they are a necessity. So far I am successful. But I foresee that if my wants should be much increased, the labor required to supply them would become a drudgery. If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living. All great enterprises are self-supporting. The poet, for instance, must sustain his body by his poetry, as a steam planing-mill feeds its boilers with the shavings it makes. You must get your living by loving. But as it is said of the merchants that ninety-seven in a hundred fail, so the life of men generally, tried by this standard, is a failure, and bankruptcy may be surely prophesied.
Merely to come into the world the heir of a fortune is not to be born, but to be still-born, rather. To be supported by the charity of friends, or a government pension- provided you continue to breathe- by whatever fine synonyms you describe these relations, is to go into the almshouse. On Sundays the poor debtor goes to church to take an account of stock, and finds, of course, that his outgoes have been greater than his income. In the Catholic Church, especially, they go into chancery, make a clean confession, give up all, and think to start again. Thus men will lie on their backs, talking about the fall of man, and never make an effort to get up.
As for the comparative demand which men make on life, it is an important difference between two, that the one is satisfied with a level success, that his marks can all be hit by point-blank shots, but the other, however low and unsuccessful his life may be, constantly elevates his aim, though at a very slight angle to the horizon. I should much rather be the last man- though, as the Orientals say, "Greatness doth not approach him who is forever looking down; and all those who are looking high are growing poor."
It is remarkable that there is little or nothing to be remembered written on the subject of getting a living; how to make getting a living not merely holiest and honorable, but altogether inviting and glorious; for if getting a living is not so, then living is not. One would think, from looking at literature, that this question had never disturbed a solitary individual's musings. Is it that men are too much disgusted with their experience to speak of it? The lesson of value which money teaches, which the Author of the Universe has taken so much pains to teach us, we are inclined to skip altogether. As for the means of living, it is wonderful how indifferent men of all classes are about it, even reformers, so called- whether they inherit, or earn, or steal it. I think that Society has done nothing for us in this respect, or at least has undone what she has done. Cold and hunger seem more friendly to my nature than those methods which men have adopted and advise to ward them off.
The title wise is, for the most part, falsely applied. How can one be a wise man, if he does not know any better how to live than other men?- if he is only more cunning and intellectually subtle? Does Wisdom work in a tread-mill? or does she teach how to succeed by her example? Is there any such thing as wisdom not applied to life? Is she merely the miller who grinds the finest logic? It is pertinent to ask if Plato got his living in a better way or more successfully than his contemporaries- or did he succumb to the difficulties of life like other men? Did he seem to prevail over some of them merely by indifference, or by assuming grand airs? or find it easier to live, because his aunt remembered him in her will? The ways in which most men get their living, that is, live, are mere makeshifts, and a shirking of the real business of life- chiefly because they do not know, but partly because they do not mean, any better.
The rush to California, for instance, and the attitude, not merely of merchants, but of philosophers and prophets, so called, in relation to it, reflect the greatest disgrace on mankind. That so many are ready to live by luck, and so get the means of commanding the labor of others less lucky, without contributing any value to society! And that is called enterprise! I know of no more startling development of the immorality of trade, and all the common modes of getting a living. The philosophy and poetry and religion of such a mankind are not worth the dust of a puffball. The hog that gets his living by rooting, stirring up the soil so, would be ashamed of such company. If I could command the wealth of all the worlds by lifting my finger, I would not pay such a price for it. Even Mahomet knew that God did not make this world in jest. It makes God to be a moneyed gentleman who scatters a handful of pennies in order to see mankind scramble for them. The world's raffle! A subsistence in the domains of Nature a thing to be raffled for! What a comment, what a satire, on our institutions! The conclusion will be, that mankind will hang itself upon a tree. And have all the precepts in all the Bibles taught men only this? and is the last and most admirable invention of the human race only an improved muck-rake? Is this the ground on which Orientals and Occidentals meet? Did God direct us so to get our living, digging where we never planted- and He would, perchance, reward us with lumps of gold?
God gave the righteous man a certificate entitling him to food and raiment, but the unrighteous man found a facsimile of the same in God's coffers, and appropriated it, and obtained food and raiment like the former. It is one of the most extensive systems of counterfeiting that the world has seen. I did not know that mankind was suffering for want of old. I have seen a little of it. I know that it is very malleable, but not so malleable as wit. A grain of gold gild a great surface, but not so much as a grain of wisdom.
The gold-digger in the ravines of the mountains is as much a gambler as his fellow in the saloons of San Francisco. What difference does it make whether you shake dirt or shake dice? If you win, society is the loser. The gold-digger is the enemy of the honest laborer, whatever checks and compensations there may be. It is not enough to tell me that you worked hard to get your gold. So does the Devil work hard. The way of transgressors may be hard in many respects. The humblest observer who goes to the mines sees and says that gold-digging is of the character of a lottery; the gold thus obtained is not the same same thing with the wages of honest toil. But, practically, he forgets what he has seen, for he has seen only the fact, not the principle, and goes into trade there, that is, buys a ticket in what commonly proves another lottery, where the fact is not so obvious.
After reading Howitt's account of the Australian gold-diggings one evening, I had in my mind's eye, all night, the numerous valleys, with their streams, all cut up with foul pits, from ten to one hundred feet deep, and half a dozen feet across, as close as they can be dug, and partly filled with water- the locality to which men furiously rush to probe for their fortunes- uncertain where they shall break ground- not knowing but the gold is under their camp itself- sometimes digging one hundred and sixty feet before they strike the vein, or then missing it by a foot- turned into demons, and regardless of each others' rights, in their thirst for riches- whole valleys, for thirty miles, suddenly honeycombed by the pits of the miners, so that even hundreds are drowned in them- standing in water, and covered with mud and clay, they work night and day, dying of exposure and disease. Having read this, and partly forgotten it, I was thinking, accidentally, of my own unsatisfactory life, doing as others do; and with that vision of the diggings still before me, I asked myself why I might not be washing some gold daily, though it were only the finest particles- why I might not sink a shaft down to the gold within me, and work that mine. There is a Ballarat, a Bendigo for you- what though it were a sulky-gully? At any rate, I might pursue some path, however solitary and narrow and crooked, in which I could walk with love and reverence. Wherever a man separates from the multitude, and goes his own way in this mood, there indeed is a fork in the road, though ordinary travellers may see only a gap in the paling. His solitary path across lots will turn out the higher way of the two.
Men rush to California and Australia as if the true gold were to be found in that direction; but that is to go to the very opposite extreme to where it lies. They go prospecting farther and farther away from the true lead, and are most unfortunate when they think themselves most successful. Is not our native soil auriferous? Does not a stream from the golden mountains flow through our native valley? and has not this for more than geologic ages been bringing down the shining particles and forming the nuggets for us? Yet, strange to tell, if a digger steal away, prospecting for this true gold, into the unexplored solitudes around us, there is no danger that any will dog his steps, and endeavor to supplant him. He may claim and undermine the whole valley even, both the cultivated and the uncultivated portions, his whole life long in peace, for no one will ever dispute his claim. They will not mind his cradles or his toms. He is not confined to a claim twelve feet square, as at Ballarat, but may mine anywhere, and wash the whole wide world in his tom.
Howitt says of the man who found the great nugget which weighed twenty-eight pounds, at the Bendigo diggings in Australia: "He soon began to drink; got a horse, and rode all about, generally at full gallop, and, when he met people, called out to inquire if they knew who he was, and then kindly informed them that he was 'the bloody wretch that had found the nugget.' At last he rode full speed against a tree, and nearly knocked his brains out." I think, however, there was no danger of that, for he had already knocked his brains out against the nugget. Howitt adds, "He is a hopelessly ruined man." But he is a type of the class. They are all fast men. Hear some of the names of the places where they dig: "Jackass Flat"- "Sheep's-Head Gully"- "Murderer's Bar," etc. Is there no satire in these names? Let them carry their ill-gotten wealth where they will, I am thinking it will still be "Jackass Flat," if not "Murderer's Bar," where they live.
The last resource of our energy has been the robbing of graveyards on the Isthmus of Darien, an enterprise which appears to be but in its infancy; for, according to late accounts, an act has passed its second reading in the legislature of New Granada, regulating this kind of mining; and a correspondent of the "Tribune" writes: "In the dry season, when the weather will permit of the country being properly prospected, no doubt other rich guacas [that is, graveyards] will be found." To emigrants he says: "do not come before December; take the Isthmus route in preference to the Boca del Toro one; bring no useless baggage, and do not cumber yourself with a tent; but a good pair of blankets will be necessary; a pick, shovel, and axe of good material will be almost all that is required": advice which might have been taken from the "Burker's Guide." And he concludes with this line in Italics and small capitals: "If you are doing well at home, STAY THERE," which may fairly be interpreted to mean, "If you are getting a good living by robbing graveyards at home, stay there."
But why go to California for a text? She is the child of New England, bred at her own school and church.
It is remarkable that among all the preachers there are so few moral teachers. The prophets are employed in excusing the ways of men. Most reverend seniors, the illuminati of the age, tell me, with a gracious, reminiscent smile, betwixt an aspiration and a shudder, not to be too tender about these things- to lump all that, that is, make a lump of gold of it. The highest advice I have heard on these subjects was grovelling. The burden of it was- It is not worth your while to undertake to reform the world in this particular. Do not ask how your bread is buttered; it will make you sick, if you do- and the like. A man had better starve at once than lose his innocence in the process of getting his bread. If within the sophisticated man there is not an unsophisticated one, then he is but one of the devil's angels. As we grow old, we live more coarsely, we relax a little in our disciplines, and, to some extent, cease to obey our finest instincts. But we should be fastidious to the extreme of sanity, disregarding the gibes of those who are more unfortunate than ourselves.
In our science and philosophy, even, there is commonly no true and absolute account of things. The spirit of sect and bigotry has planted its hoof amid the stars. You have only to discuss the problem, whether the stars are inhabited or not, in order to discover it. Why must we daub the heavens as well as the earth? It was an unfortunate discovery that Dr. Kane was a Mason, and that Sir John Franklin was another. But it was a more cruel suggestion that possibly that was the reason why the former went in search of the latter. There is not a popular magazine in this country that would dare to print a child's thought on important subjects without comment. It must be submitted to the D.D.'s. I would it were the chickadee-dees.
I hardly know an intellectual man, even, who is so broad and truly liberal that you can think aloud in his society. Most with whom you endeavor to talk soon come to a stand against some institution in which they appear to hold stock- that is, some particular, not universal, way of viewing things. They will continually thrust their own low roof, with its narrow skylight, between you and the sky, when it is the unobstructed heavens you would view. Get out of the way with your cobwebs; wash your windows, I say! In some lyceums they tell me that they have voted to exclude the subject of religion. But how do I know what their religion is, and when I am near to or far from it? I have walked into such an arena and done my best to make a clean breast of what religion I have experienced, and the audience never suspected what I was about. The lecture was as harmless as moonshine to them. Whereas, if I had read to them the biography of the greatest scamps in history, they might have thought that I had written the lives of the deacons of their church. Ordinarily, the inquiry is, Where did you come from? or, Where are you going? That was a more pertinent question which I overheard one of my auditors put to another one- "What does he lecture for?" It made me quake in my shoes.
To speak impartially, the best men that I know are not serene, a world in themselves. For the most part, they dwell in forms, and flatter and study effect only more finely than the rest. We select granite for the underpinning of our houses and barns; we build fences of stone; but we do not ourselves rest on an underpinning of granitic truth, the lowest primitive rock. Our sills are rotten. What stuff is the man made of who is not coexistent in our thought with the purest and subtilest truth? I often accuse my finest acquaintances of an immense frivolity; for, while there are manners and compliments we do not meet, we do not teach one another the lessons of honesty and sincerity that the brutes do, or of steadiness and solidity that the rocks do. The fault is commonly mutual, however; for we do not habitually demand any more of each other.
That excitement about Kossuth, consider how characteristic, but superficial, it was!- only another kind of politics or dancing. Men were making speeches to him all over the country, but each expressed only the thought, or the want of thought, of the multitude. No man stood on truth. They were merely banded together, as usual one leaning on another, and all together on nothing; as the Hindoos made the world rest on an elephant, the elephant on a tortoise, and the tortoise on a serpent, and had nothing to put under the serpent. For all fruit of that stir we have the Kossuth hat.
Just so hollow and ineffectual, for the most part, is our ordinary conversation. Surface meets surface. When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and our fellow is that he has seen the newspaper, or been out to tea, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while.
I do not know but it is too much to read one newspaper a week. I have tried it recently, and for so long it seems to me that I have not dwelt in my native region. The sun, the clouds, the snow, the trees say not so much to me. You cannot serve two masters. It requires more than a day's devotion to know and to possess the wealth of a day.
We may well be ashamed to tell what things we have read or heard in our day. I did not know why my news should be so trivial- considering what one's dreams and expectations are, why the developments should be so paltry. The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition. You are often tempted to ask why such stress is laid on a particular experience which you have had- that, after twenty-five years, you should meet Hobbins, Registrar of Deeds, again on the sidewalk. Have you not budged an inch, then? Such is the daily news. Its facts appear to float in the atmosphere, insignificant as the sporules of fungi, and impinge on some neglected thallus, or surface of our minds, which affords a basis for them, and hence a parasitic growth. We should wash ourselves clean of such news. Of what consequence, though our planet explode, if there is no character involved in the explosion? In health we have not the least curiosity about such events. We do not live for idle amusement. I would not run round a corner to see the world blow up.
All summer, and far into the autumn, perchance, you unconsciously went by the newspapers and the news, and now you find it was because the morning and the evening were full of news to you. Your walks were full of incidents. You attended, not to the affairs of Europe, but to your own affairs in Massachusetts fields. If you chance to live and move and have your being in that thin stratum in which the events that make the news transpire- thinner than the paper on which it is printed- then these things will fill the world for you; but if you soar above or dive below that plane, you cannot remember nor be reminded of them. Really to see the sun rise or go down every day, so to relate ourselves to a universal fact, would preserve us sane forever. Nations! What are nations? Tartars, and Huns, and Chinamen! Like insects, they swarm. The historian strives in vain to make them memorable. It is for want of a man that there are so many men. It is individuals that populate the world. Any man thinking may say with the Spirit of Lodin-
And they become ashes before me;-
Pray, let us live without being drawn by dogs, Esquimaux-fashion, tearing over hill and dale, and biting each other's ears.
Not without a slight shudder at the danger, I often perceive how near I had come to admitting into my mind the details of some trivial affair- the news of the street; and I am astonished to observe how willing men are to lumber their minds with such rubbish- to permit idle rumors and incidents of the most insignificant kind to intrude on ground which should be sacred to thought. Shall the mind be a public arena, where the affairs of the street and the gossip of the tea-table chiefly are discussed? Or shall it be a quarter of heaven itself- an hypaethral temple, consecrated to the service of the gods? I find it so difficult to dispose of the few facts which to me are significant, that I hesitate to burden my attention with those which are insignificant, which only a divine mind could illustrate. Such is, for the most part, the news in newspapers and conversation. It is important to preserve the mind's chastity in this respect. Think of admitting the details of a single case of the criminal court into our thoughts, to stalk profanely through their very sanctum sanctorum for an hour, ay, for many hours! to make a very bar-room of the mind's inmost apartment, as if for so long the dust of the street had occupied us- the very street itself, with all its travel, its bustle, and filth, had passed through our thoughts' shrine! Would it not be an intellectual and moral suicide? When I have been compelled to sit spectator and auditor in a court-room for some hours, and have seen my neighbors, who were not compelled, stealing in from time to time, and tiptoeing about with washed hands and faces, it has appeared to my mind's eye, that, when they took off their hats, their ears suddenly expanded into vast hoppers for sound, between which even their narrow heads were crowded. Like the vanes of windmills, they caught the broad but shallow stream of sound, which, after a few titillating gyrations in their coggy brains, passed out the other side. I wondered if, when they got home, they were as careful to wash their ears as before their hands and faces. It has seemed to me, at such a time, that the auditors and the witnesses, the jury and the counsel, the judge and the criminal at the bar- if I may presume him guilty before he is convicted- were all equally criminal, and a thunderbolt might be expected to descend and consume them all together.
By all kinds of traps and signboards, threatening the extreme penalty of the divine law, exclude such trespassers from the only ground which can be sacred to you. It is so hard to forget what it is worse than useless to remember! If I am to be a thoroughfare, I prefer that it be of the mountain brooks, the Parnassian streams, and not the town sewers. There is inspiration, that gossip which comes to the ear of the attentive mind from the courts of heaven. There is the profane and stale revelation of the bar-room and the police court. The same ear is fitted to receive both communications. Only the character of the hearer determines to which it shall be open, and to which closed. I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality. Our very intellect shall be macadamized, as it were- its foundation broken into fragments for the wheels of travel to roll over; and if you would know what will make the most durable pavement, surpassing rolled stones, spruce blocks, and asphaltum, you have only to look into some of our minds which have been subjected to this treatment so long.
If we have thus desecrated ourselves- as who has not?- the remedy will be by wariness and devotion to reconsecrate ourselves, and make once more a fane of the mind. We should treat our minds, that is, ourselves, as innocent and ingenuous children, whose guardians we are, and be careful what objects and what subjects we thrust on their attention. Read not the Times. Read the Eternities. Conventionalities are at length as had as impurities. Even the facts of science may dust the mind by their dryness, unless they are in a sense effaced each morning, or rather rendered fertile by the dews of fresh and living truth. Knowledge does not come to us by details, but in flashes of light from heaven. Yes, every thought that passes through the mind helps to wear and tear it, and to deepen the ruts, which, as in the streets of Pompeii, evince how much it has been used. How many things there are concerning which we might well deliberate whether we had better know them- had better let their peddling-carts be driven, even at the slowest trot or walk, over that bride of glorious span by which we trust to pass at last from the farthest brink of time to the nearest shore of eternity! Have we no culture, no refinement- but skill only to live coarsely and serve the Devil?- to acquire a little worldly wealth, or fame, or liberty, and make a false show with it, as if we were all husk and shell, with no tender and living kernel to us? Shall our institutions be like those chestnut burs which contain abortive nuts, perfect only to prick the fingers?
America is said to be the arena on which the battle of freedom is to be fought; but surely it cannot be freedom in a merely political sense that is meant. Even if we grant that the American has freed himself from a political tyrant, he is still the slave of an economical and moral tyrant. Now that the republic- the respublica- has been settled, it is time to look after the res-privata- the private state- to see, as the Roman senate charged its consuls, "ne quid res-PRIVATA detrimenti caperet," that the private state receive no detriment.
Do we call this the land of the free? What is it to be free from King George and continue the slaves of King Prejudice? What is it to be born free and not to live free? What is the value of any political freedom, but as a means to moral freedom? Is it a freedom to be slaves, or a freedom to be free, of which we boast? We are a nation of politicians, concerned about the outmost defences only of freedom. It is our children's children who may perchance be really free. We tax ourselves unjustly. There is a part of us which is not represented. It is taxation without representation. We quarter troops, we quarter fools and cattle of all sorts upon ourselves. We quarter our gross bodies on our poor souls, till the former eat up all the latter's substance.
With respect to a true culture and manhood, we are essentially provincial still, not metropolitan- mere Jonathans. We are provincial, because we do not find at home our standards; because we do not worship truth, but the reflection of truth; because we are warped and narrowed by an exclusive devotion to trade and commerce and manufactures and agriculture and the like, which are but means, and not the end.
So is the English Parliament provincial. Mere country bumpkins, they betray themselves, when any more important question arises for them to settle, the Irish question, for instance- the English question why did I not say? Their natures are subdued to what they work in. Their "good breeding" respects only secondary objects. The finest manners in the world are awkwardness and fatuity when contrasted with a finer intelligence. They appear but as the fashions of past days- mere courtliness, knee-buckles and small-clothes, out of date. It is the vice, but not the excellence of manners, that they are continually being deserted by the character; they are cast-off-clothes or shells, claiming the respect which belonged to the living creature. You are presented with the shells instead of the meat, and it is no excuse generally, that, in the case of some fishes, the shells are of more worth than the meat. The man who thrusts his manners upon me does as if he were to insist on introducing me to his cabinet of curiosities, when I wished to see himself. It was not in this sense that the poet Decker called Christ "the first true gentleman that ever breathed." I repeat that in this sense the most splendid court in Christendom is provincial, having authority to consult about Transalpine interests only, and not the affairs of Rome. A praetor or proconsul would suffice to settle the questions which absorb the attention of the English Parliament and the American Congress.
Government and legislation! these I thought were respectable professions. We have heard of heaven-born Numas, Lycurguses, and Solons, in the history of the world, whose names at least may stand for ideal legislators; but think of legislating to regulate the breeding of slaves, or the exportation of tobacco! What have divine legislators to do with the exportation or the importation of tobacco? what humane ones with the breeding of slaves? Suppose you were to submit the question to any son of God- and has He no children in the Nineteenth Century? is it a family which is extinct?- in what condition would you get it again? What shall a State like Virginia say for itself at the last day, in which these have been the principal, the staple productions? What ground is there for patriotism in such a State? I derive my facts from statistical tables which the States themselves have published.
A commerce that whitens every sea in quest of nuts and raisins, and makes slaves of its sailors for this purpose! I saw, the other day, a vessel which had been wrecked, and many lives lost, and her cargo of rags, juniper berries, and bitter almonds were strewn along the shore. It seemed hardly worth the while to tempt the dangers of the sea between Leghorn and New York for the sake of a cargo of juniper berries and bitter almonds. America sending to the Old World for her bitters! Is not the sea-brine, is not shipwreck, bitter enough to make the cup of life go down here? Yet such, to a great extent, is our boasted commerce; and there are those who style themselves statesmen and philosophers who are so blind as to think that progress and civilization depend on precisely this kind of interchange and activity- the activity of flies about a molasses- hogshead. Very well, observes one, if men were oysters. And very well, answer I, if men were mosquitoes.
Lieutenant Herndon, whom our government sent to explore the Amazon, and, it is said, to extend the area of slavery, observed that there was wanting there "an industrious and active population, who know what the comforts of life are, and who have artificial wants to draw out the great resources of the country." But what are the "artificial wants" to be encouraged? Not the love of luxuries, like the tobacco and slaves of, I believe, his native Virginia, nor the ice and granite and other material wealth of our native New England; nor are "the great resources of a country" that fertility or barrenness of soil which produces these. The chief want, in every State that I have been into, was a high and earnest purpose in its inhabitants. This alone draws out "the great resources" of Nature, and at last taxes her beyond her resources; for man naturally dies out of her. When we want culture more than potatoes, and illumination more than sugar-plums, then the great resources of a world are taxed and drawn out, and the result, or staple production, is, not slaves, nor operatives, but men- those rare fruits called heroes, saints, poets, philosophers, and redeemers.
In short, as a snow-drift is formed where there is a lull in the wind, so, one would say, where there is a lull of truth, an institution springs up. But the truth blows right on over it, nevertheless, and at length blows it down.
What is called politics is comparatively something so superficial and inhuman, that practically I have never fairly recognized that it concerns me at all. The newspapers, I perceive, devote some of their columns specially to politics or government without charge; and this, one would say, is all that saves it; but as I love literature and to some extent the truth also, I never read those columns at any rate. I do not wish to blunt my sense of right so much. I have not got to answer for having read a single President's Message. A strange age of the world this, when empires, kingdoms, and republics come a-begging to a private man's door, and utter their complaints at his elbow! I cannot take up a newspaper but I find that some wretched government or other, hard pushed and on its last legs, is interceding with me, the reader, to vote for it- more importunate than an Italian beggar; and if I have a mind to look at its certificate, made, perchance, by some benevolent merchant's clerk, or the skipper that brought it over, for it cannot speak a word of English itself, I shall probably read of the eruption of some Vesuvius, or the overflowing of some Po, true or forged, which brought it into this condition. I do not hesitate, in such a case, to suggest work, or the almshouse; or why not keep its castle in silence, as I do commonly? The poor President, what with preserving his popularity and doing his duty, is completely bewildered. The newspapers are the ruling power. Any other government is reduced to a few marines at Fort Independence. If a man neglects to read the Daily Times, government will go down on its knees to him, for this is the only treason in these days.
Those things which now most engage the attention of men, as politics and the daily routine, are, it is true, vital functions of human society, but should be unconsciously performed, like the corresponding functions of the physical body. They are infrahuman, a kind of vegetation. I sometimes awake to a half-consciousness of them going on about me, as a man may become conscious of some of the processes of digestion in a morbid state, and so have the dyspepsia, as it is called. It is as if a thinker submitted himself to be rasped by the great gizzard of creation. Politics is, as it were, the gizzard of society, full of grit and gravel, and the two political parties are its two opposite halves- sometimes split into quarters, it may be, which grind on each other. Not only individuals, but states, have thus a confirmed dyspepsia, which expresses itself, you can imagine by what sort of eloquence. Thus our life is not altogether a forgetting, but also, alas! to a great extent, a remembering, of that which we should never have been conscious of, certainly not in our waking hours. Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our had dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? I do not make an exorbitant demand, surely.

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