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Articles
* [Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming]
* [Goal of Life is God-Realisation|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/messages/goal.htm]
* 2002 Jan 09 : [How To Become A Hacker]
* 2002 Jan 07 : [Miraculous Messages from Water]
* [I suffer immensely from loneliness....] (added 2001 August 12)
* [Moving from anger into sadness...] (added 2001 August 12)
* [Could you say something about forgiveness?] (added 2001 August 12)
* [Goal of Life is God-Realisation|http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/messages/goal.htm]
* [Sadhana Tattva|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/teachings/sadtat.htm]
* [What Makes a House a Home?]
* Oriah Mountain Dreamer - [The Invitation]
# [The Sad Truth of Today|http://www.carnatic.com/kishore/articles/art_0023.html]
* 2001 Dec 27 : [Ten Things Men Can Do to End Sexism and Male Violence Against Women]
* Bruce Mau - [An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth|http://www.brucemaudesign.com/manifesto/print.html]
* [Guy Kawasaki] - [Big Stones|http://www.garage.com/guy/speeches/paloAlto.shtml]
* [Intermittent Aberrations: Can Mature Companies Innovate?|http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue6_3/doheny/index.html]
* [Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming]
* [Vivekananda on Man's True Spiritual Nature|http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/bass/vivekananda.html]
* [many articles|http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/bass/] at Stanley S. Bass's site
* [Disconnecting the emotions from mother's death]
* [Rediff.com Commentary|http://www.rediff.com/news/commtry.htm]
* [Chris Sheridan]'s [Essays|http://www.youknow.com/chris/essays/index.html]
* [Richard P. Gabriel]'s [Essays|http://www.dreamsongs.com/Essays.html]
* [John Renesch] [Aha! Index|http://www.renesch.com/ahaindx.htm]
* [Stephen R. Covey] : [Knowledge Sharing|http://www.franklincovey.com/foryou/articles/] and [Knowledge Expo|http://www.franklincovey.com/ez/library/]
* [Eric S. Raymond]'s [Random Writings|http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/]
[Cameron Barrett] : [Online Community Technologies and Concepts|http://www.camworld.com/essays/communities.html]
[Cesar Brea] : [Beyond "One-to-One": The Power of Purposeful Communities|http://www.arsdigita.com/learning/whitepapers/beyond-one-to-one]
[The 12 Principles of Collaboration|http://www.mongoosetech.com/realcommunities/12prin.html]
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.
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.
Common Names of Lord Ganesha:
Dhoomraketu, Sumukha, Ekadantha, Gajakarnaka, Lambodara, Vignaraja, Ganadhyaksha, Phalachandra, Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vakratunda, Siddhivinayaka, Surpakarna, Heramba, Skandapurvaja, Kapila and Vigneshwara. He is also known by many as Maha-Ganapathi.
* Tat purushaaya vidmahe
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.
The significance of riding on a mouse is the complete conquest over egoism. The holding of the ankusha represents His rulership of the world. It is the emblem of divine Royalty.
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.
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.
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.
   Om shuklambaradharam vishnum
   Om boohu, Om bhuvaha, Oghum suvaha,
   Om mahaha, Om janaha, Oghum satyam, Om tat sa vithurvarenyam,
   Bhargo devasya dhimahi, dheeyo yonah pracho dayathu. Om aphaha,
Take some flowers and rice (akshata) in your hands and chant :
   Om gananaanthva ganapathing havaa mahey,
   Seedha saadanam. Om mahaganapathayey namaha.
Akshata - offer some akshata (rice) and chant.
Pushpam - offer some flowers and chant :
Om sumukhaya namaha
Om ekadantaaya namaha
Om kapilaaya namaha
Om gajakarnakaaya namaha
Om lambodaraaya namaha
Om vikataaya namaha
Om vignaraajaya namaha
Om vinayakaaya namaha
Om dhuma ketavey namaha
Om ganadyakshaaya namaha
Om faalachandraya namaha
Om gajananaaya namaha
Om vakratundaaya namaha
Om shoorpa karnaaya namaha
Om Heyrambaaya namaha
Om skandapoorvajaaya namaha
Om moola prakrutayey namaha
Om kshetra paalaya namaha
Om gurubhyo namaha
Om siddhi vinayaka swaminey namaha
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 :
   Om bhur bhuvasuvaha, tat sa vithur varenyam,
   Satyam tvartena parishinchaami
   Om Pranaaya swaha
   Om Apaanaya swaha
   Om Vyaanaya swaha
   Om Udaanaya swaha
   Om Samaanaya swaha
   Om brahmaney swaha
   Om maha Ganapataye namahe, Kadali phaladhikam nivey dayami
Light the Aarti (camphor) and show it to the Lord accompanied by ringing of the bell and the following mantra.
   Tat purushaya vidmahey vakratundaaya dhimahi.
Source:http://www.vishuji.com/ganpooja.htm
Sandhyavandanam
[http://www.carnatic.com/images/sandhy.png]
2005-05-24 : [vishuji.com: Sandhyavandanam|http://www.vishuji.com/sandhya_vandanam.htm] lists all the steps - very good
Book available from [Sri Thillasthanam Swamy Kainkarya Sabha|http://thillasthanamsabha.freehosting.net/] for Rs 35 (in India) or USD 5 (outside India)
[http://www.carnatic.com/images/gayatrimantra.jpg]
(source : http://www.angelfire.com/me2/sutras/ssrs.html)
Next comes Pranayama, i. e. Control of Prana.
Om Bhuh / Om Bhuvah / Om Suvaha / Om Mahah / Om Janah / Om Tapah / Om Satyam / Om Tat Saviturvarenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi / Dhiyo yo Nah Prachodayat / Om Apo Jyoti-rasomritam Brahma Bhurbhuvassuvarom.
Apohishta mayo bhuvah / ta na oorje dadhatana maheranaya chakshase / yo vah sivatamorasah / Tasya bhajayateha nah / Usateeriya Matarah / Tasma arangamama vah yasya kshayayajinvatha / Apo janayatha cha nah / Om Bhurbhuvos suvah.
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.
Om bhurbhuvassuvah / Tat Saviturvarenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi / dhiyo yo nah prachodayaat //
Pranayamamah // Om bhuh + bhurbhuvassuvarom Arghyam / Om bhurbhuvassuvah + dhiyo yo nah prachodayaat Om bhurbhuvasvah //
Then Pranayama should be done and then the Prayaschittarghya must be poured afterwards uttering, Om bhurbhuvassuvah.
With the two hands touch the breast, close the eyes and deeply meditate on the truth that the Jeevatman and Paramatman are one.
Adityam tarpayami/ Somam tarpayami / Angarakam tarpayami / Budham tarpayami / Brihaspatim tarpayami /Sukram tarpayami /Sanaischaram tarpayami / Rahum tarpayami / Ketum tarpayami
Om bhu + Bhurbhuvassuvarom // (Pranayamah)
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
Om
Tatsaviturvarenyam
Praatah Sandhya, (Aditya), (Saayam Sandhya) Upasthanam karishye // Uttame shikhare Devi bhoomyaam parvata-moordhani /
Mitrasya charshani dhritah sravo devasya saanasim / Satyam Chitrasravastamam//
Mitro janam yaatayati prajaanan Mitro daadhaara Prithivee mutadyaam / Mitrah krishtee - ranimishaabhichashte Satyaaya havyam ghritavadvidhema//
Praachyai Dise Namah // Dakshinaayai Dise Namah / Prateechyai Dise Namah // Udeechyai Dise Namah // Oordhwaaya Namah // Adharaaya Namah // Antarikshaaya Namah Bhoomyai Namah Brahmane Namah // Vishnave Namah // Mrityave Namah
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.
Oudumbaraaya Dadhnaaya Neelaaya parameshtine // Vrikodaraaya Chitraaya Chitragupaaya Vai Namah // Chitraguptaaya Vai Nama Om Nama Iti //
Ritagum Satyam Param Brahma Purusham Krishna-pingalam // Oorddhwaretam Viroopaksham Viswaroopaya Vai Namo Namah // Viswaroopaaya Vai Namo Nama Om Nama Iti //
Satyam -The basis of sight.
Kaayena Vaacha Manasendriyairvaa Budhyaatmana Vaa Prakriteh Swabhaavaat // Karomi Yadyat Sakalam Parasmai Naraayanaayeti samarpayaami //.
* http://members.tripod.com/~sriramanujar/sandhya.html
* http://www.geocities.com/Athens/4240/upanayana.html
RAQ
[http://static.userland.com/images/surprise/questions.gif]
* Q: [What Makes a House a Home?]
* [Meditation], [Mumuksutva] , [Strive] , [Satsangh]
* [Zen] vt. To figure out something by meditation or by a sudden flash of enlightenment. Originally applied to bugs, but occasionally applied to problems of life in general. "How'd you figure out the buffer allocation problem?" "Oh, I zenned it."
* [Practice of Meditation]
* [Mira Art]'s [RAQ|http://surprise.editthispage.com/raqs]
* [Veronica Lynne]'s [Ponderings|http://wannawrite.editthispage.com/questions]
* [Alan Cohen]'s [Frequently Asked Questions|http://www.alancohen.com/html/mostpopularQ&A.html]
Books
abundant health in a toxic world - https://read.amazon.com/?asin=B07DNRH4TP
The Source: ...Power of Happy Thoughts - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0092FW4NK/
18 Books Everyone Will Be Reading in 2018 - https://medium.com/swlh/18-books-everyone-will-be-reading-in-2018-82e017d166f
https://twitter.com/financequant/status/1020424032892727296
[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."
2009 09 24 Thu via http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2009/09/23.html
|<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1430219483/carnaticcom"><img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/1430219483.01.TZZZZZZZ.jpg" border="0" alt="Coders at work" hspace="3" vspace="3"/></a>
|<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0307266303/carnaticcom"><img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0307266303.01.TZZZZZZZ.jpg" border="0" alt="Born to Run" hspace="3" vspace="3"/></a>
|<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007161484/carnaticcom"><img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0007161484.01.TZZZZZZZ.jpg" border="0" alt="Osho : The ABC of Enlightenment" hspace="3" vspace="3"/></a>
|<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/157062318X/carnaticcom"><img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/157062318X.01.TZZZZZZZ.jpg" border="0" alt="Georg Feuerstein : Teachings of Yoga" hspace="3" vspace="3"/></a>
Daniel P. Goleman : [The Meditative Mind: Varieties of Meditative Experience|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0874778336/carnaticcom]
[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]...
[Radha Burnier] : [no other path to go|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/8170592763/carnaticcom]
[Chop Wood, Carry Water|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0874772095/carnaticcom]: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life
!Recommended
Jiddu Krishnamurti : [Think on these things|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060916095/carnaticcom]
|<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060916095/ref=nosim/carnaticcom"><img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0060916095.01.TZZZZZZZ.jpg" border="0" alt="Jiddu Krishnamurti : Think on these things" hspace="3" vspace="3"/></a>
Penelope Trunk : [Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0446578649/ref=nosim/carnaticcom]
|<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0446578649/ref=nosim/carnaticcom"><img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0446578649.01.TZZZZZZZ.jpg" border="0" alt="Penelope Trunk: Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success" hspace="3" vspace="3"/></a>
Scott Berkun : [The Myths of Innovation|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596527055/ref=nosim/carnaticcom]
|<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596527055/ref=nosim/carnaticcom"><img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0596527055.01.TZZZZZZZ.jpg" border="0" alt="Scott Berkun: The Myths of Innovation" hspace="3" vspace="3"/></a>
Scott Berkun : [The Art of Project Management|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596007868/ref=nosim/carnaticcom]
|<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596007868/ref=nosim/carnaticcom"><img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0596007868.01.TZZZZZZZ.jpg" border="0" alt="Scott Berkun: The Art of Project Management" hspace="3" vspace="3"/></a>
[Mortimer Jerome Adler] : "In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (source : [Favorite Books & Reading Quotations|http://quotations.about.com/library/db/bltop_books.htm] )
[Rene Descartes] in [Discourse on the Method] : The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest men of past centuries.
* [Erich Fromm]'s [To Have or To Be]
* [The Science of Reincarnation|http://www.mantra-meditation.com/science-of-reincarnation.html]
* [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)
* [From Science to God] by [Peter Russell]
* [Free Acne Book|http://www.FreeAcneBook.com] titled: "No More Cellulite, No More Acne, No More Overweight" by Wai Genriiu (in PDF format)
* [The Cluetrain Manifesto|http://www.searls.com/cluetrain/index.html]
* [The Meditations|http://classics.mit.edu/Antoninus/meditations.html] - By Marcus Aurelius - Written 167 A.C.E.\
* [Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs|http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book.html]
* [One Minute Wisdom]
* [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])
* [100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century|http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/newsh/items/review-feature/item_6545.html]
* Craig's [BookNotes|http://booknotes.weblogs.com/] : Books, libraries, preservation, digital convergence, music, politics
* [Joel Spolsky] : I really want to hear what people think is the SINGLE best book on "painless software management." - [votes|http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=934]
* [Ed Yourdon]'s [Virtual Book Store|http://www.yourdon.com/books/coolbooks/coolbooks.html]
* [The Atlantic Systems Guild]'s Recommended [Books|http://www.systemsguild.com/GuildSite/Guild/Books.html]
[Kirtan] [Ancient Medicine for Modern Man|http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/1148/k.html]
I would like to hear from you... What is _the_ one book that changed your life ?
[Google-Friends Newsletter for April 2003|http://www.google.com/googlefriends/moreapr03.html#wait] : Based on a real but utterly unscientific sample of books lying open on Googler desks:
* Information Rules: A strategic guide to the network economy (Carl Shapiro)
People-2018-07-31
http://www.randallstross.com/
http://trentwalton.com/2011/09/20/unitasking/
http://theunderstatement.com/
http://swombat.com/2011/10/24/people-processes-tools
[your people|http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2009/09/07/your_people.html] ?
[150 friends|http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/10/the-penalty-for-violating-dunbars-law.html] ?
Apart from Friends & Family, following are people I like to be around... people's [weblog]s and websites !
[Patrick Combs]
[The fast 50|http://www.fastcompany.com/fast50_02/]
[Dr. N H Athreya|http://www.goodnewsindia.com/enthusiasts/enthusiasts_comments.php?id=79_0_6_0_C] : A pioneer advocate of excellence
* [Gurudeva] Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
* [Swami Sivananda] - [Goal of life|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/messages/goal.htm] is God-Realisation
* Sri Sathya [Sai Baba]
* [Patrick Combs]
* [Brahmatirtha das PDA|http://www.iskconworldwide.com/]
* [Mira Art|http://surprise.editthispage.com/] : [The real war takes place in our heads|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/09/23]
* [Deepak Jayaraman]'s [photos|http://www.sulekha.com/photosrchresult.asp?authid=11122&srch=authorsearch]
* [Rebecca Blood] believes that "everyone can choose how they respond - one person can make a difference; each person does make a difference - love can transform hate and indifference - everyone deserves food, a home, education, safety, and a healthy world"
* [Tom Peters|http://www.tompeters.com/] : [slides|http://www.tompeters.com/slides/] ( the (rare) red meat section ! )
* [Computers Pioneers|http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/History/Pioneers/]
* The Computer Museum History Center's [Hall of Fellows|http://www.computerhistory.org/exhibits/hall_of_fellows/]
* 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...
* [Computerworld's Premier 100|http://www.idg.net/ic_784761_4394_1-1681.html] : ...Courageous in a crisis, an inspiration to their staffs and attentive to business goals as well as technology innovation. The Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2002 are the might and muscle of today's corporate IT organizations. They have the weight of a staggering economy and pressing security fears on their shoulders, but they've also got the heart and soul to carry the load. And they have a lot to say about how 2002 will shake out for IT. Meet them and learn from them in our third annual special report...
Quotations
Quotations
Steve Jobs : “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” ( via https://mondaynote.com/apple-at-1trillion-the-missing-theory-6f6e58db4786 )
[Marcel Proust] : Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
[Christopher Wynter] : "what you are looking for, is what you are looking out of, which is what is looking for you." --- " the the true teacher cannot teach you anything...but can only remind you of what, on some level...you already know."
[Voltaire] in [Freedom of Thought] : It rests entirely with you to learn to think. You're born with a mind. You are a bird in the cage of the Inquisition: the Holy Office has clipped your wings, but they can grow back. Whoever doesn't know geometry can learn it; every man can tutor himself: it's shameful to put your soul in the hands of those to whom you'd never trust your money. _Dare to think for yourself._
[Sogyal Rinpoche] : Tomorrow or the next life - which comes first, we never know.
[Swami Sivananda] : The [goal of life|http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/messages/goal.htm] is god realisation.
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] : If a man hasn't discovered something that he would die for, he isn't fit to live
[Janis Joplin] : Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got.
One who pays attention only to knowledge from outside will lose sight of one's own potential.
[Confucius] : By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.
4. Commerce Without Morality
To ask is a moments shame, not to ask, and remain ignorant, is a lifelong shame.
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.
[Henry Miller], Sexus : Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.
[Helen Keller] : I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
[Helen Keller] : I am only one; but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.
[Stephen Palmer] : Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence or fear
* [Roger Ebsen]'s [Quotes|http://www.actualizations.com/quotes/]
* [The QuotesPage|http://www.westegg.com/morgan/quotes.html] of [Steven Morgan Friedman] : "These quotes sum up my views on things"
* http://quotations.about.com/
* [Paul Graham]'s [Quotes|http://www.paulgraham.com/quotes.html]
* [L. Murphy Smith] [Quotations on Ethics|http://acct.tamu.edu/smith/ethics/quotes.htm]
The Invitation
[Articles] > The Invitation
([source|http://www.familymanagement.com/spirit/invitation.html])
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
to remember the limitations of being human.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
from its presence.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
from the inside
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
Could you say something about forgiveness?
[Articles] > Could you say something about forgiveness?
It is one of the most fundamental things to understand. People ordinarily think that forgiveness is for those who are worthy of it, who deserve it. But if somebody deserves, is worthy of forgiveness, it is not much of a forgiveness. You are not doing anything on your part; he deserves it. You are not really being love and compassion. Your forgiveness will be authentic only when even those who don't deserve it receive it.
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."
His companion said, "What can I do? It is a working day; it is not a holiday. I could only get these. All are absolutely useless; even I could not initiate them. Not only that they are not worthy -- they are absolutely UNworthy. But you insisted to bring somebody; nobody else was available."
Everybody has his own flaws, weaknesses; everybody has done things that he never wanted to do. Everybody has gone astray. Nobody can say that he is absolutely pure; everybody is polluted. So when the old man insisted, "Unless you are worthy don't come back to me," nobody argued with him; he was right. First they have to be worthy!
If your meditations bring you to the state of a rain cloud, you will forgive without any judgment out of your abundance, out of your love, out of your compassion.
In fact I would like to make the statement that the man who is unworthy deserves more than the man who is worthy. The man who does not deserve, deserves more, because he is so poor; don't be hard upon him. Life has been hard upon him. He has gone astray; he has suffered because of his wrong doings. Now don't you be hard on him. He needs more love than those who are deserving; he needs more forgiveness than those who are worthy. This should be the only approach of a religious heart.
Your question was raised before Gautam Buddha, because he was going to initiate a murderer into sannyas -- and the murderer was no ordinary murderer. Rudolf Hess is nothing compared to him. His name was Angulimal. Angulimal means a man who wears a garland of human fingers.
He had taken a vow that he would kill one thousand people; from each single person he would take one finger so that he could remember how many he had killed and he will make a garland of all those fingers. In his garland of fingers he had nine hundred and ninety-nine fingers -- only one was missing. And that one was missing because his road was closed; nobody was coming that way. But Gautam Buddha entered that closed road. The king had put guards on the road to prevent people, particularly strangers who didn't know that a dangerous man lived behind the hills. The guards told Gautam Buddha, "That is not the road to be used. You will have to take a little longer route, but it is better to go a little longer than to go into the mouth of death itself. This is the place where Angulimal lives. Even the king has not the guts to go on this road. That man is simply mad.
"His mother used to go to him. She was the only person who used to go, once in a while, to see him, but even she stopped. The last time she went there he told her, `Now only one finger is missing, and just because you happen to be my mother... I want to warn you that if you come another time you will not go back. I need one finger desperately. Up to now I have not killed you because other people were available, but now nobody passes on this road except you. So I want to make you aware that next time if you come it will be your responsibility, not mine.' Since that time his mother has not come."
The guards said to Buddha, "Don't unnecessarily take the risk." And do you know what Buddha said to them? Buddha said, "If I don't go then who will go? Only two things are possible: either I will change him, and I cannot miss this challenge; or I will provide him with one finger so that his desire is fulfilled. Anyway I am going to die one day. Giving my head to Angulimal will be at least of some use; otherwise one day I will die and you will put me on the funeral pyre. I think that it is better to fulfill somebody's desire and give him peace of mind. Either he will kill me or I will kill him, but this encounter is going to happen; you just lead the way."
The people who used to follow Gautam Buddha, his close companions who were always in competition to be closer to him, started slowing down. Soon there were miles between Gautam Buddha and his disciples. They all wanted to see what happened, but they didn't want to be too close.
Angulimal was sitting on his rock watching. He could not believe his eyes. A very beautiful man of such immense charisma was coming towards him. Who could this man be? He had never heard of Gautam Buddha, but even this hard heart of Angulimal started feeling a certain softness towards the man. He was looking so beautiful, coming towards him. It was early morning... a cool breeze, and the sun was rising... and the birds were singing and the flowers had opened; and Buddha was coming closer and closer.
That man said, "I used to think I was mad -- you are simply mad. And you go on moving closer. Then don't say that I killed an innocent man. You look so innocent and so beautiful that I want you to go back. I will find somebody else. I can wait; there is no hurry. If I can manage nine hundred and ninety-nine... it is only a question of one more, but don't force me to kill YOU."
Buddha 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."
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!"
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.
Osho, The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here, chapter 24
What is wrong with being in a hurry?
From some book I remember this sentence: "For the pilgrim to reach his destiny, it's essential to move instantly, but without hurry. It is so urgent that he reaches his destiny, that there is no time to hurry." Could you please comment on this?
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?
Secondly, you say, "From some book I remember this sentence: `For the pilgrim to reach his destiny, it is essential to move instantly...'"
Certainly if you want to come to yourself you should not lose a single moment, because there is always a possibility that death may interfere. But you must have got into trouble because the sentence certainly comes from some great mystic... "but without hurry."
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.
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.
So silently, peacefully, without hurry, without any tension, without any anguish, move into yourself instantly. It is urgent. Unless meditation becomes urgent to you, it will never happen; you will die before it. Put meditation on your laundry list as the most important, urgent...number one.
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.
So I take that statement, whoever has made it, as tremendously significant.
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.
The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here, Number 10
Hindu Temples in Germany
Tip: Use http://www.mapquest.com to get driving directions...
( todo : opening hours, categorise by states... )
* Stuttgart : Ganesh temple in Badcanstatt
* [Nava-Jiyada-Nrsimha-Ksetra|http://www.narasimha.net/ncfestival/welcome-fs.htm], Zielberg 20, 94118 Jandelsbrunn
* 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)
!Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
* 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.
* [Radhadesh] - Septon, ISKCON Radhadesh, Château de Petite Somme, 6940 Septon (Durbuy) / Tel. (086) 322926 / Fax (086) 322929 / E-mail: radhadesh@com.bbt.se - Dutch description at http://www.phantom.yucom.be/durbuy.htm - nice description at http://members.rott.chello.nl/tjemmes/psomme.html - interesting read at http://www.jeremyjosephs.com/markjosephs.htm !!!
* DURGA PUJA WEBSITES - Bremen: http://www.puja-bremen.com - Cologne: http://www.durgapujacologne.de - Stuttgart: http://durgapuja.cjb.net
* [List of Hindu Temples in Europe|http://www.geocities.com/Athens/5180/temple6.html]
* [Germany States|http://www.entry.de/english/]
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
cannot enter the domain of supreme peace.
Mind is compared to a garden. Just as you can cultivate good flowers
conscious mind, then disappear and assume a subtle seed-state in the
form of samskaras or impressions. The samskaras again become vrttis,
superconscious state.
breathing), etc., will enter into meditation as soon as they sit for
meditation. The pure, ripe mind at once burns with the fire of
meditation.
Without the help of meditation you cannot obtain knowledge of the
self. Without its aid you cannot grow into the divine state. Without
it you cannot liberate yourself from the trammels of the mind and
regular meditation.
Self-realisation is the aim of life. The means to it are living an
ethical life and ceaseless meditation. Spiritual duty is far more
Practice of Meditation
[Articles] > Practice of Meditation
([source|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/teachings/meditation.htm])
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.
These are everyday examples of concentration. Attention, concentration, meditation-these are different degrees of the same process. It is fixing the mind on a single object or idea to the exclusion of everything else.
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.
That is concentration. Arjuna's is the power of concentration. Concentration, when developed, becomes meditation.
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:
"There is Sattva in the atmosphere
You are just returning from deep sleep
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.
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.
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 :
Meditate, O my mind, on the Lord Hari,
Ever more beauteous in fresh blossoming love
OM tat sat.
Oh fool ! Give up your thrist to amass wealth, devote your mind to thoughts to the Real. Be content with what comes through actions already performed in the past.
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.
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.
yaavatpavano nivasati dehe
When one is alive, his family members enquire kindly about his welfare. But when the soul departs from the body, even his wife runs away in fear of the corpse.
The childhood is lost by attachment to playfulness. Youth is lost by attachment to woman. Old age passes away by thinking over many past things. But there is hardly anyone who wants to be lost in parabrahman.
tattvaM chintaya tadiha bhraataH .. 8..
Who is your wife ? Who is your son ? Strange is this samsara. Of whom are you ? From where have you come ? Brother, ponder over these truths here.
satsaN^gatve nissN^gatvaM
nirmohatve nishchalatattvaM
nishcalatattve jiivanmuktiH .. 9..
From Satsangh comes non-attachment, from non-attachment comes freedom from delusion, which leads to self-settledness. From self-settledness comes Jeevan Mukti.
GYaate tattve kaH saMsaaraH .. 10..
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.
Oh mad man ! Why this engrossment in thoughts of wealth ? Is there no one to guide you ? There is only one thing in three worlds that can save you from the ocean from samsara. Get into that boat of satsangha quickly. Stanza attributed to Padmapada.
There are many who go with matted locks, many who have clean shaven heads, many whose hairs have been plucked out; some are clothed in saffron, yet others in various colors --- all just for a livelihood. Seeing truth revealed before them, still the foolish ones see it not. Stanza attributed to Totakacharya.
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.
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.
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.
Born again, death again, birth again to stay in the mother's womb ! It is indeed hard to cross this boundless ocean of samsara. Oh Murari ! Redeem me through Thy mercy. Stanza attributed to Nityanatha.
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.
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.
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.
naastitataH sukhaleshaH satyam.h .
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 !
# [at Spirituality, Yoga and Hinduism|http://www.geocities.com/RodeoDrive/1415/bhaja1.html]
# [with raga|http://www.geocities.com/malibutemple/bhajagovind.htm]
Gurudeva
[People] > Gurudeva Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/gurudeva.jpg]
slightly from the South Indian form. He explained that the name Subramuniya
Subramanya). It is formed from subhra meaning, "light; intuition," and muni,
"silent sage." Ya means "restraint; religious meditation." Thus Subramuniya
out from intuition.
1. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, World Hindu Leader, Passes Away at 74,
Source: http://www.gurudeva.dynip.com/~htoday/press_releases/
KAUAI, HAWAII, USA, November 13, 2001: Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, one
of Hinduism's foremost and globally prominent spiritual teachers, a prolific
"Great Union," today at age 74 at his ashram home on the tropical island of
discovered on October 9, soon after he returned from a 30-day pilgrimage to
Hawaii, Washington State and California all concurred that even the most
just a few months to live. The popular Satguru went into seclusion and after
several days of meditation declared he would accept no treatment beyond
practice, called Prayopavesa in Sanskrit scripture, to abstain from
nourishment and take water only from that day on. His doctors endorsed and
exalted event, signalling the completion of his mission on Earth and his
Gods to help mankind. Nearly a hundred devotees from all over the world flew
whom Subramuniyaswami, the successor of Lanka's great guru Yogaswami, is
An outpouring of appreciation came from the local Kauai island residents
developed a fondness and profound appreciation of Subramuniyaswami, whom
you all from the inner planes." Bereaved devotees arriving at the island
tomorrow morning in a meditation crypt behind the sanctum sanctorum of the
ashram's Siva Nataraja temple. His designated successor, Satguru Bodhinatha
As is traditional, the passage of a saint is not accompanied by the Hindu
rituals of mourning. The release from the mortal coils at the time of the
When notified of the Satguru's passing, Sita Ram Goel, one of India's most
said, "By his life and by his teaching, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami has
the Arya Samaj wrote, "Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, our Gurudev, is a
who had gained prominence over the decades for his practical and
clear-minded books replete with explanations of everything Hindu, from the
Hinduism Today, which evolved over 21 years from a simple newsletter to an
authoritative reporting on Hindu events, institutions, personalities, issues
promoted Hinduism in the past 25 years. Among his other honors are being
the chiseled body he had developed in his youth as an accomplished ballet
unpretentious sense of presentation, and when moving about in public was
always impeccably groomed and fashionably dressed. His devotees loved his
classical Eastern and Western dance and in the disciplines of yoga, becoming
fasted and meditated until he burst into enlightenment. Soon after that God
Realization at just 21 years old, he met his satguru, Sage Yogaswami, in
slightly from the South Indian form. He explained that the name Subramuniya
Subramanya). It is formed from subhra meaning, "light; intuition," and muni,
"silent sage." Ya means "restraint; religious meditation." Thus Subramuniya
out from intuition.
Sri Lanka, from which he wrote his first book, "Raja Yoga." This profound
welcomed Hindu swamis coming for the first time to America, including Swami
Chinmayananda, whom he extensively assisted in setting up his Chinmaya
devotees, then the largest group from America ever to come to India. Similar
tours focused on connecting with the Tamil Saivite communities around the
globe, which he nurtured from Kauai.
Hinduism, and established Kauai Aadheenam, a monastery-temple complex in the
from India to the United States and Europe, encouraged by new immigration
themselves cut off from the guidance of Hindu leaders in India.
community. He helped major institutions like the Chinmaya Mission and
Lanka, to whom he spread a message of courage, regenerating pride of
of the country, even the remote tea plantations of central Lanka. Over
was paraded through towns and villages in the ancient way, seldom seen
would walk to each meeting, each temple rite, each lecture. Sometimes these
Siddhantin, A. P. C. Veerabhagu, lead Gurudeva and his 50-plus devotees from
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
During this same journey, he was given awards from all the major spiritual
to the temples from which they had been banned for so long.
government had invited him to revive a languishing Hindu faith. "Please come
Always an accomplished publisher, Subramuniyaswami came in on the ground
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.
Engineers from Apple came to Kauai to marvel at the setup. Apple even sent a
Subramuniyaswami had come by this time to be well-known throughout the world
leaders outside of India who had most dynamically promoted Hinduism in the
income for Hindu swamis, temples and orphanages worldwide and created a
from the printers in Malaysia shortly before his passing.
a path that leads the soul from simple service to worshipful devotion to
God, from the disciplines of meditation and yoga to the direct knowing of
states of being, which are eternally perfect, full of light, love, serenity
and wisdom. He urges all seekers to live a life of ahimsa, nonhurtfulness
From his ashram in Hawaii, Subramuniyaswami continued to follow his own
vows and ten brahmachari, celibate monks in training, come from six
senior-most swami and designated successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami,
the ancient Nandinatha Sampradaya. This lineage is bound by certain common
through all karmas before liberation from rebirth may be obtained. It
recognize caste distinctions in spiritual pursuits and initiate from the
interacted freely with all regardless of social status.
his ability to explain the most complex principles in a uniquely lucid and
until him the English representations of Hinduism were mostly Victorian in
Hindu brotherhood are verily indebted to Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami for
his super compendium of books on Hinduism so carefully compiled, classified,
carefully arranged, edited and published. Today it can be unhesitatingly
American universities for Hindu courses of study and comparative religion
115-year-old Swami Bua of New York recently commented, "These guidelines
for everybody, for every situation -- for men, women, parents, husbands,
tradition has always provided for fasting under strict community regulation
as a means of accelerating one's departure from the body in the case of
terminal illness. Upon hearing his medical prognosis, he meditated upon the
terminally diseased, to choose a righteous release. What wonderful wisdom.
hands of unscrupulous doctors. No lapsing into unconscious coma. No loss of
a quiet, slow, natural exit from the body, coupled with spiritual practices,
with mantras and tantras, with scriptural readings, deep meditation,
support from friends and relations."
metaphysical insights gained through over 50 years of meditation and inner
understanding and transcending the various states of mind and the methods to
origins of mankind on Earth; "Weaver's Wisdom," the best English translation
request from the Hindus of Fiji, he prepared a children's course, Saivite
One book in particular, "How to Become a Hindu," published in 2000,
Become a Better Hindu." The Shankaracharya of Puri, one of Hinduism's
Subramuniyaswami enjoyed promoting his books, and in the course of his
would come, and compensated by bringing dozens of extra copies. At the end
about Hinduism; 4) To protect, preserve and promote the sacred Vedas and the
promote Sanatana Dharma. The magazine is supplemented with a daily e-mailed
periodical and the only one which deals with all denominations of Hinduism
(start at www.himalayanacademy.com). A unique part of his website is "A
lead in the effort to overcome the problem of self-alienation and growing
vision, he commissioned the construction of a large temple to be entirely
carving commenced in 1990 at a work site in Bangalore, India, a ceremony
State, who so loved Gurudeva's vision of a temple carved in India and
desert lands, Gurudeva founded an entire village for the project. Homes were
protect the stone sculptors from the Indian sun. A Malaysian family,
where starting in May, 2001, a team of seven master stone carvers from India
temple; the work is expected to take several more years to complete. At the
time of Gurudeva's passing, they had just completed the floor of the inner
hundreds of man years to complete, is being produced in the same way that
to represent God Siva in His transcendent state.
At the moment when Nepal changed from a monarchy to a democracy in 1990, his
would be held back from this needy nation should Nepal declare itself
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
positive discipline within their local community. For this, he partnered
Hindu communities around the world. This campaign, which is paralleled in
is to stop the war in the home. It is here that hatred begins, that
animosities with those who are different from us are nurtured, that battered
religious community."
passing. He accomplished this both through his publications and through his
other experts, all of whom enthusiastically assisted this great spiritual
had special relations with a number of communities including the Sri Lankan
the authority to clarify and reinterpret scripture and to revise customary
practices of their communities. They also deal with worldly matters and are
called upon to settle disputes in the community, to advise politicians, even
these functions in these various communities.
maintained contact with each of these communities, advised them on how to
last Innersearch travel-study program, he visited many of these communities
in Europe, and celebrated with them their successful adaptation to their new
homes. In Denmark in August of 2001 he laid the foundation stone for an
Amman temple and visited other temple communities in Sweden, Norway, Germany
considered the status and well-being of the Hindu priesthood to be the most
abolishing corporal punishment in the homes and schools, directing his
Gurudeva's swamis are from Malaysia.
prominent attorney, offered this summary of Subramuniyaswami's work in the
elders who were worried about the high rate of conversion from the Hindu
fold. In January, 1982, he spent an entire month there traveling from
dharma, etc., all of which gave us a glimpse of our incomparable heritage,
misconceptions in the Tamil Saivite community. Many of us came to understand
people would come for the weekly homas held at that time. Today the major
in the country. It is now regularly visited by pilgrims from the world over.
"We have had a regular flow of monastics from our headquarters in Hawaii,
well he encouraged the wearing of Hindu dress at home, temples and during
festivals. Several Mauritians have completed a six-month training at our
Tyaganatha, hailing from the same village of Rempart, who is one of the
discipline, the concept of education without violence at home and school and
the only way to completely eradicate violence from our society. Gurudeva
"He will also be remembered for two meetings to promote community harmony.
community. Then in 1995, under the auspices of the municipal Council of Port
and in a largely non-Hindu community, still he found himself performing the
traditional functions of an aadheenam for the local community. He was a key
member of "Vision Kauai," a group of community leaders including
positive future for the island's community. He worked monthly with the mayor
he was invited to speak, and in person. He would from time to time be sought
out for advice by community leaders on the important issues facing the
only remotely aware of his stature in the Hindu world. He was, in fact,
This was recognized in formal ways by the governor of the state, the mayor
from island residents upon his passing was at times as deep and as heartfelt
diligently on their personal spiritual disciplines and to live every moment
wisdom and love, are well-prepared to keep his mission potent and effective.
Equally, his family devotees are pure, one-minded and deeply committed.
These two communities will continue the work together: building the Iraivan
contributing to our local Kauai community, guiding the future of Hinduism
http://www.gurudeva.dynip.com/~htoday/press_releases/
Herbs & Spices
A complete listing of Herbs and Spices
A New World spice from the Jamaican Myrtle tree with a sweet and savory flavor reminiscent of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and a hint of pepper. This spice is also known as Jamaica or Myrtle pepper. This spice works well in pickling spice mixtures and in marinades for fish, poultry and meat. It especially works well with ham, rice, puddings, cakes and pies.
From seeds extracted from a small fragrant, flowering tree grown in the Caribbean, Central and South America. This herb has a gentle flavor and is used most as a coloring agent. It is also known as achiote, bija, roucou or lipstick tree. This spice works well in a variety of dishes including legumes, grains, rice, seafood, meats, stews, chili sauces and spice mixtures.
A tropical American plant with roots that yield edible starch known as Arrowroot Powder. It has been used by American Indians to absorb poison from wounds.
An extremely versatile herb in the mint family, with many types which vary by flavor, color and size. The domestic version, native to India and Iran, has a large leaf with a flavor that greatly enhances tomatoes, pesto and Italian foods of all kinds. Sweet basil has a smaller leaf and has a sweet taste as its name suggests with a more pungent aroma. Sweet basil also works well in Italian foods. Basil also has blends nicely with other herbs and spices such as parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage and saffron.
An herb of the Mediterranean region, it has substantial culinary versatility. Its strong taste works well in soups, with meat and poultry dishes, pasta sauces, fish and is also used to flavor some desserts.
A flavoring that has been in use as far back as the Stone Age. With a tangy flavor similar to dill, it was once popular in English foods and is most used in Austria and Germany, where it is used in breads and pastries. It is also used as a seasoning in potatoes, cabbage, carrots, sausages and rich meats.
A native Indian spice in the ginger family, it has a spicy, sharp and sweet taste with a aroma reminiscent of cinnamon.
A seasoning ground from small, red chili peppers (of the Capsicum frutescens variety). It has been used as a spice in the dishes of many countries and is also used as a table condiment. It's heat and spiciness varies.
Originating in seventeenth century Europe, there are three types: white, green and turnip rooted. Celery seed tastes like celery and is aromatic with a slight bitterness which enhances other flavors. It's best uses are in breads and cooked dishes that are enhanced by a celery-like flavor.
An essential spice in French cuisine, it used like parsley and provides an herbal taste with the slight flavor of anise. Chervil is used much like parsley, but is more delicate. It is most commonly used on fish, egg dishes, salads and as a glaze on vegetables such as carrots.
First cultivated in Mexico and South America 9,000 years ago, chile peppers are members of the Solanaceae plant family, to which tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants belong. All chile peppers fall into genus Capsicum, which includes 20-30 different species. The plant pods are really berries, but are referred to as fruits by horticulturists. When harvested green, pods are considered vegetables, and when harvested red, are referred to as spice. "Heat" comes from Capsaicin, which can be measure in units called Scoville units. For more information on specific chilies, please see (add link to another page/section? on chile).
Made from dried chilies, usually blended with garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, allspice and salt. Color and spiciness varies.
An herb in the onion family, but with a milder, more delicate flavor. It is rich in vitamins A and C and tastes great with eggs, salads, baked potatoes, soups and sauces.
An herb of Southern European as well as Middle/Far Eastern origin, it is one of the most widely used flavorings in many world cuisines. It has a flavor reminiscent of anise and is used a seasoning in stews, soups, curries, vegetables, salads, relishes and tomato based sauces.
Native to Sri Lanka, it comes from the bark of a small evergreen tree. Cinnamon is fragrant with a slightly sweet taste and works well in sweets and also with meats, stews, vegetables and curries. In the United States, cinnamon is the same as cassia.
Of Southeast Asian origin, an unopened flower bud of an evergreen clove tree. It has a sweet, strongly aromatic flavor best used as an accent to baked goods, stews and soups and meats.
A popular herb in the carrot family, its flavor is reminiscent of an orange peel. It is commonly used as a companion to curry and to flavor meat and poultry.
Used in both a seed and leave (known as dill weed) form, it is known for it's distinct flavoring in the cuisines of Germany, Scandinavia and Central and Eastern Europe. It works well with a variety of culinary dishes such as omelets, soups, stuffed grape leaves, potato salad, cucumber, veal, breads, cabbage, meat stews and rice. It is also widely used with herring, salmon and other seafood dishes.
A Mediterranean/West Asian spice with a bitter, maple-like flavor. It is primarily used in Indian cuisine and is also used with curry, as a pickling spice and as imitation maple.
A Northern Indian blend of cumin, coriander, cardamom, black peppercorn, clove, mace, bay leaf and cinnamon.
Of central Asian origin, it is the bulb of a plant in the lily family. It comes in many varieties, most commonly as white, pink and purple skinned cloves, the latter considered to be the best. One of the most versatile and useful flavorings, it is widely used spice in many cuisines, most notably Italian and Mexican.
Ground from a tropical Asian root, it has a rich and warming spicy-sweet flavor and is most commonly used in Asian dishes and in sweets such as cakes, cookies, puddings and sweet breads.
A Mediterranean blend containing oregano, savory, rosemary, thyme and marjoram, use to flavor stews, chicken, kabobs and tomato dishes and pizza.
Most commonly a blend of marjoram, basil, Mediterranean oregano, thyme and rosemary and used, as its name suggests, in a variety of Italian dishes, especially tomato-based sauces.
The fruit of a small evergreen shrub, it is aromatic and spicy with the slight flavor of pine. It is mostly used a spice for meats--in marinades, on roasts and in sausage mixes.
The zest or dried skin of the lemon, which is the most aromatic part of the fruit where the citrus oil is contained.
From an evergreen tree grown on the Spice Island of Moluccas, it is the red, lacy covering of the nutmeg fruit. It has a cinnamon and pepper flavor making it excellent for desserts and sauces.
Mint exists in more than 600 varieties, with a wide range of distinct scents and flavors. In cooking, the two best known mint flavorings are spearmint and peppermint. Spearmint is most widely used in tea and in sauces and jellies that are used to accent lamb and vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. Peppermint has a strong aroma and is most frequently used to flavor candy and desserts.
From the cabbage family, mustard seeds come in a variety of flavors and colors. Mustards made from the brown and black seeds have the strongest flavor. White mustard which bears large, yellow seeds is most commonly used in American mustards. Yellow mustard is more spicy than white and is used to accent sauces, meats, stews and dressings. Colmans mustard is even spicier and is used for pickling and in sauces.
A fruit seed from an evergreen tree grown on one of the Spice Islands, it has a strong cinnamon, nutty flavor used to flavor sweets, fruit dishes, sauces and vegetables.
Native to Asia, there are hundreds of types which vary by size, color and flavor. The flavor is dictated by the climate in which they are grown; the milder the climate, the sweeter the onion. Onions, pungent when raw and sweet in flavor when cooked, are an extremely versatile flavoring and can used to accent nearly any kind of dish.
Taken from the dried skin or zest of the orange which contains the citrus oil, it is the most aromatic part of the fruit.
A wild variety of marjoram, it has a stronger flavor and is native to the Mediterranean region. It most commonly appears in French and Italian cuisines, especially in tomato-based sauces. It is the most recognizable flavor in pizza and is a favored accent in both Greek and Mexican cuisines.
Originating in Southern Mexico, it is a bright red sweet pepper with a vibrant flavor most popularly used in Hungarian foods. It is also known as pimiento or tomato pepper and tastes great with eggs, poultry, stews and vegetables.
Native to Southern Europe, it is grown worldwide in temperate regions. Curly and flat-leaf are the two main types, and both are rich in vitamins and minerals. Flat-leaf parsley is heartier and more flavorful. Curly is milder and is widely used to garnish a large variety of dishes. Parsley goes well in and with sauces, salads, potatoes, omelets and soft cheeses.
The black variety originates from unripe green berries that ferment before drying, which results in strong flavor and aroma. White pepper originates from ripe berries soaked to remove the red skin and are hotter than black pepper with less aroma and flavor. Pepper is used as an accent to a wide variety of dishes. White pepper is best used in dishes requiring a milder pepper flavor such as soups, sauces and eggs.
Peppercorns, from which pepper originates, are also available whole in a variety of colors and flavors. Green peppercorns are milder and fruitier than the berries used to ground white pepper. These corns, used ground and whole, are best used in seafood sauces, egg salads, and cream-based sauces served with meat and poultry. Pink peppercorns are harvested as an almost ripe berry, prior to drying. These corns have a slightly resinous flavor and are mostly used in the visual presentation of food. Tellicherry peppercorns are grown on the Malabar coast of India. They have a clean flavor with an aroma less pungent than black peppercorns. Peppercorns also come in a medley, which is a blend of black, white, green and pink peppercorns.
A chile pepper that when hot is Mexican piquin chile and when milder is Indian tsin tsin. Crushed red pepper is commonly used a table condiment.
A Mediterranean spice with a sweet, pungent flavor and an aromatic needle-like leaf. It is considered to the most excellent herb to use as an accent for poulty and veal. It also works well with stews, sauces and in Italian dishes.
A Spanish spice originating from the stigma of a flowering crocus. It has a pungent taste and is yellow in color. It is most commonly used to flavor bouillabaisse and paella and also accents fish, poultry and breads well.
A Mediterranean spice in the mint family, it has a sweet taste and herbal fragance. It can be used to flavor a variety of foods including pork, veal, stuffing, sausage and tomato sauces.
From a tree in the laurel family native to North America, it is primarily used is as a filé powder consisting of the dried ground leaves of the tree. It's most common use is as a thickening agent in Cajun or Creole gumbo. It is also used in and with soups, fish, shellfish, poultry, highly spiced meat and in savory dishes requiring a thickening agent.
Another Mediterranean spice in the mint family, it has a strong, slightly peppery flavor and is used to flavor legumes, meat, fish (especially trout), sausage, stuffing and tomato sauces.
Also known as Fagara and originating in China, it is not a true pepper but a dried berry of a prickly ash tree. It has a woody aroma with a spicy, tingly taste. It is an essential ingredient in Chinese 5 Spice.
An herb in the mint family of Mediterranean origin, it is aromatic with an herbal flavor. It can be used to improve the flavor of most dishes, especially slow cooked dishes.
A spice in the ginger family, it has a warm, mild aroma with a yellow/gold color. It is most often used in East Indian foods such as chutney and as an accent to legumes, vegetables and meats.
Mantras
[What Is a Mantra and How Does It Work|http://www.sanskritmantra.com/what.htm]
[Om Tat Sat]
[The Power of Mantra Meditation|http://www.mantra-meditation.com/search-for-happiness.html]
http://www.livelongto100years.com/mantras.html
[2do|http://kishore.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$157]
The algebra of infinite justice
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.
The world will probably never know what motivated those particular hijackers who flew planes into those particular American buildings. They were not glory boys. They left no suicide notes, no political messages; no organisation has claimed credit for the attacks. All we know is that their belief in what they were doing outstripped the natural human instinct for survival, or any desire to be remembered. It's almost as though they could not scale down the enormity of their rage to anything smaller than their deeds. And what they did has blown a hole in the world as we knew it. In the absence of information, politicians, political commentators and writers (like myself) will invest the act with their own politics, with their own interpretations. This speculation, this analysis of the political climate in which the attacks took place, can only be a good thing.
But war is looming large. Whatever remains to be said must be said quickly. Before America places itself at the helm of the "international coalition against terror", before it invites (and coerces) countries to actively participate in its almost godlike mission - called Operation Infinite Justice until it was pointed out that this could be seen as an insult to Muslims, who believe that only Allah can mete out infinite justice, and was renamed Operation Enduring Freedom- it would help if some small clarifications are made. For example, Infinite Justice/Enduring Freedom for whom? Is this America's war against terror in America or against terror in general? What exactly is being avenged here? Is it the tragic loss of almost 7,000 lives, the gutting of five million square feet of office space in Manhattan, the destruction of a section of the Pentagon, the loss of several hundreds of thousands of jobs, the bankruptcy of some airline companies and the dip in the New York Stock Exchange? Or is it more than that? In 1996, Madeleine Albright, then the US secretary of state, was asked on national television what she felt about the fact that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US economic sanctions. She replied that it was "a very hard choice", but that, all things considered, "we think the price is worth it". Albright never lost her job for saying this. She continued to travel the world representing the views and aspirations of the US government. More pertinently, the sanctions against Iraq remain in place. Children continue to die.
So here we have it. The equivocating distinction between civilisation and savagery, between the "massacre of innocent people" or, if you like, "a clash of civilisations" and "collateral damage". The sophistry and fastidious algebra of infinite justice. How many dead Iraqis will it take to make the world a better place? How many dead Afghans for every dead American? How many dead women and children for every dead man? How many dead mojahedin for each dead investment banker? As we watch mesmerised, Operation Enduring Freedom unfolds on TV monitors across the world. A coalition of the world's superpowers is closing in on Afghanistan, one of the poorest, most ravaged, war-torn countries in the world, whose ruling Taliban government is sheltering Osama bin Laden, the man being held responsible for the September 11 attacks.
The only thing in Afghanistan that could possibly count as collateral value is its citizenry. (Among them, half a million maimed orphans.There are accounts of hobbling stampedes that occur when artificial limbs are airdropped into remote, inaccessible villages.) Afghanistan's economy is in a shambles. In fact, the problem for an invading army is that Afghanistan has no conventional coordinates or signposts to plot on a military map - no big cities, no highways, no industrial complexes, no water treatment plants. Farms have been turned into mass graves. The countryside is littered with land mines - 10 million is the most recent estimate. The American army would first have to clear the mines and build roads in order to take its soldiers in.
Fearing an attack from America, one million citizens have fled from their homes and arrived at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The UN estimates that there are eight million Afghan citizens who need emergency aid. As supplies run out - food and aid agencies have been asked to leave - the BBC reports that one of the worst humanitarian disasters of recent times has begun to unfold. Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death while they're waiting to be killed.
In America there has been rough talk of "bombing Afghanistan back to the stone age". Someone please break the news that Afghanistan is already there. And if it's any consolation, America played no small part in helping it on its way. The American people may be a little fuzzy about where exactly Afghanistan is (we hear reports that there's a run on maps of the country), but the US government and Afghanistan are old friends.
In 1979, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the CIA and Pakistan's ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) launched the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA. Their purpose was to harness the energy of Afghan resistance to the Soviets and expand it into a holy war, an Islamic jihad, which would turn Muslim countries within the Soviet Union against the communist regime and eventually destabilise it. When it began, it was meant to be the Soviet Union's Vietnam. It turned out to be much more than that. Over the years, through the ISI, the CIA funded and recruited almost 100,000 radical mojahedin from 40 Islamic countries as soldiers for America's proxy war. The rank and file of the mojahedin were unaware that their jihad was actually being fought on behalf of Uncle Sam. (The irony is that America was equally unaware that it was financing a future war against itself.)
In 1989, after being bloodied by 10 years of relentless conflict, the Russians withdrew, leaving behind a civilisation reduced to rubble.
Civil war in Afghanistan raged on. The jihad spread to Chechnya, Kosovo and eventually to Kashmir. The CIA continued to pour in money and military equipment, but the overheads had become immense, and more money was needed. The mojahedin ordered farmers to plant opium as a "revolutionary tax". The ISI set up hundreds of heroin laboratories across Afghanistan. Within two years of the CIA's arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland had become the biggest producer of heroin in the world, and the single biggest source of the heroin on American streets. The annual profits, said to be between $100bn and $200bn, were ploughed back into training and arming militants.
In 1995, the Taliban - then a marginal sect of dangerous, hardline fundamentalists - fought its way to power in Afghanistan. It was funded by the ISI, that old cohort of the CIA, and supported by many political parties in Pakistan. The Taliban unleashed a regime of terror. Its first victims were its own people, particularly women. It closed down girls' schools, dismissed women from government jobs, and enforced sharia laws under which women deemed to be "immoral" are stoned to death, and widows guilty of being adulterous are buried alive. Given the Taliban government's human rights track record, it seems unlikely that it will in any way be intimidated or swerved from its purpose by the prospect of war, or the threat to the lives of its civilians.
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".
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"....)
Strive
The perfection of the realisation of absolute knowledge, supreme
from the round of births and life in eternity is the goal of man.
Till self-realisation is attained, man is subject to the law of karma
and rebirth. Finish your task --- God­realisation in this life
also daily meditation and prayer are necessary for the soul.
O man! Wake up from this slumber of ignorance. Why do you waste your
the pearl of atman. You will be freed from birth and death here and
Remember the goal every moment of this life. Strive incessantly to
meditation and samadhi (self-knowledge).
meditation into joy, bliss, peace and love.
good and do good so that each tomorrow will find you farther than
Be charitable. Be moral. Be humble. Be courageous. Be pure. Meditate.
Become wise. Whoever does anything with enthusiasm, patience and
Seek the company of saints and devotees. Control the mind. Control
Azim Premji's Success Recipe
[source|http://www.rediff.com/money/2001/jul/27wipro.htm]
Wipro chairman Azim H Premji, one of India's most successful entrepreneurs, on Friday prescribed a 10-point recipe for success, based on the very lessons he had learnt during his last 35 years in the organisation.
I am privileged to be with you here today and to share this significant moment of your life.
The convocation marks the culmination of all the endless nights you worked through, all the anxieties you have gone through facing one examination after another and all the preparation you have put in, not only to enter this prestigious institution but also to graduate from it successfully. It is no mean achievement.
And the world is very different from what it was when I was at your age. Never before has the role of technology been so pervasive and so central. The Internet has breached all physical borders and connected the world together like no other force has done before.
All opportunities are accompanied by their own challenges. I thought I would share with you a few of the lessons I have learnt in my own life, while loading the transformation at Wipro, from a small company three and a half decades back into a global corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange. I hope you find them useful.
When I entered Wipro at the age of 21, it was a sudden and unexpected event. I had no warning of what lay ahead of me and I was caught completely unprepared. All I had with me was a dream.
A dream of building a great Organisation. It compensated for my inexperience and I guess, also prevented me from being overwhelmed by the enormity of the task before me.
What I am happy is that we never stopped dreaming. Even when we achieved a position of leadership in every business we operated in India. We now have a dream of becoming one of the top 10 global it service companies.
Many people wonder whether having unrealistic dreams is foolish. My reply to that is dreams by themselves can never be realistic or safe. If they were, they would not be dreams. I do agree that one must have strategies to execute dreams. And, of course, one must slog to transform dreams into reality. But dreams come first.
What saddens me most is to see young, bright people getting completely disillusioned by a few initial setbacks and slowly turning cynical and some of them want to migrate to America in the hope this is the solution.
While success is important, it can become enduring only if it is built on a strong foundation of Values. Define what you stand for as early as possible and do not compromise with it for any reason. Nobody can enjoy the fruits of success if you have to argue with your own conscience.
In Wipro, we defined our Beliefs long before it became a fashion to do so. It not only helped us in becoming more resilient to stand up to crises we faced along the way, but it also helped us in attracting the right kind of people.
All the available knowledge in the world is accelerating at a phenomenal rate. The whole world's codified knowledge base (all documented information in library books and electronic files) doubled every 30 years in the early 20th century.
Remaining on top of what you need to know will become one of the greatest challenges for you.
The natural zest and curiosity for learning is one of the greatest drivers for keeping updated on knowledge. A child's curiosity is insatiable because every new object is a thing of wonder and mystery. The same zest is needed to keep learning new things.
There is a tremendous difference between being good and being excellent in whatever you do. In the world of tomorrow, just being good is not good enough.
One of the greatest advantages of globalisation is that it has brought in completely different standards. Being the best in the country is not enough; one has to be the best in the world. Excellence is a moving target. One has to constantly raise the bar.
In the knowledge-based industries, India has the unique advantage of being a quality leader. just like japan was able to win in the overseas market with its quality leadership in automobile manufacturing, india has been able to do the same in information technology.
At Wipro, we treat quality as the #1 priority. This enabled us not only to become the world's first SEI CMM Level 5 software services company in the world but also a leader in Six Sigma approach to quality in India.
However, even today I am dissatisfied with several things which we are not doing right in the area of customer satisfaction.
Doing something excellently has its own intrinsic joy, which I think is the greatest benefit of Quality.
Self-confidence comes from a positive attitude even in adverse situations. Self-confident people assume responsibility for their mistakes and share credit with their team members.
The challenges ahead are so complex that no individual will be able to face them alone. While most of our education is focused in individual strength, teaming with others is equally important. You cannot fire a missile from a canoe. Unless you build a strong network of people with complimentary skills, you will be restricted by your own limitations.
Globalisation has brought in people of different origin, different upbringing and different cultures together. Ability to become an integral part of a cross-cultural team will be a must for your success.
I have myself found that my job has become enormously more complex over the last two or three years. Along with mutual alertness, physical fitness will also assume a great importance in your life.
Finally, no matter what you decide to do in your life, you must persevere. Keep at it and you will succeed, no matter how hopeless it seems at times. In the last three and half decades, we have gone through many difficult times. But we have found that if we remain true to what we believe in, we can surmount every difficulty that comes in the way.
When she heard daddy say to her tearful mother with whispered desperation, 'Only a miracle can save him now', the child went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jar from its hiding place in the closet.
Clutching the precious jar tightly, she slipped out the back door and made her way six blocks to the local drug Store. She took a quarter from her jar and placed it on the glass counter.
"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my daddy says only a miracle can save him. So how much does a miracle cost?"
"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I can try and get some more. Just tell me how much it costs."
In the shop was a well-dressed customer. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does you brother need?"
"I don't know," she replied with her eyes welling up. "He's really sick and mommy says he needs an operation. But my daddy can't pay for it, so I have brought my savings".
"How much do you have?" asked the man. "One dollar and eleven cents, but I can try and get some more", she answered barely audibly.
That well-dressed man was Dr Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specialising in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long before Andrew was home again and doing well.
"That surgery," her mom whispered, "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?"
For decades we have been waiting for some one who will help us in 'priming the pump' of the economy.
In the millennium of the mind, knowledge-based industries like Information Technology are in a unique position to earn wealth from outside. While earning is important, we must have mechanisms by which we use it for the larger good of our society.
Through the Azim Premji Foundation, we have targeted over the next 12 months to enrol over a million children, who are out of school due to economic or social reasons.
The moment we allow success to build a feeling or arrogance, we become vulnerable to making bad judgements.
The president was not touched. He was shocked. "Madam, we cannot put up a statue for every student of ours who died. This place would look like a cemetery."
"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly, "we don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would give a building to you."
Saraswathi Poojai
Source http://www.vishuji.com/saraswathi.htm (which is not available sometimes !)
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.
Do salutation and contemplate on Lord Vighneswara chanting :-
OM Shuklam bharadharam Vishnum, Shashi Varnam chaturbhujam ! Prasanna Vadanam Dyayethe, Sarva Vighno Upashanth aye !!
Om boohu, Om bhuvaha, Oghum suvaha,
Om mahaha, Om janaha, Oghum satyam,
Om tat sa Vithurvarenyam
Om apaha, Jyothi rasa, amrutham brahma
Bhur bhuvasuvarom
OM Mamopaatha Samashta,
Om shri Maha Ganapataye namaha.
Om shri Gurubhyo namaha
!! OM Shri Saraswathyey namaha !!
kriya maannaam mayaa pooja, gruhaan sura sattamey.
Om shri saraswathyey Namaha ! Aavaahayaami !!
Om shri Saraswathyey Namah ! Aasanam Samarpayaami !!
OM Shri saraswathyey Namah ! Paadhyam samarpayaami !!
OM Shri Saraswathyey Namaha ! Arghyam Samarpayaami !!
OM Shri Saraswathyey Namaha ! Aachamanam Samarpayaami !!
OM Sri Saraswathyey Namaha ! Snaaneeyam Samarpayaami !!
OM Shri Saraswathyey Namaha Shubra Vastram Samarpayaami.
OM Shri Saraswathyey Namaha ! Gandham Samarpayaami !!
OM Shri Saraswathyey Namaha ! Akshathaan Samarpayaami !!
OM Shri Saraswathyey Namaha / Pushpaani Samarpayaami
1 OM Saraswathyey Namaha
2 OM Mahaabhadraayey Namaha
3 OM Mahaamaayaayey Namaha
4 OM Varapradaayey Namaha
5 OM Padmanilayaayey Namaha
6 OM Padmaakshyey Namaha
7 OM Pusthakabhruthey Namaha
8 OM Jnanamudraayey Namaha
9 OM Kamarupaayey Namaha
10 OM Mahaavidhyaayey Namaha
11 OM Mahaapaathaka Naashinyey Namaha
12 OM Vidhyaadhara Supujithaayey Namaha
OM Shri Saraswathyey Namaha !
Om shri Saraswathyey Namaha,
OM bhur bhuvasuvaha, that sa vithur varenyam
Satyam twarthena parishinchami
OM pranaaya swaha
OM Apaanaya swaha
OM Vyaanaya swaha
OM Udaanaaya swaha
OM Samaanaaya swaha
OM Brahmaney swaha
OM shri Saraswathyey Namaha !
Om sri Saraswathyey namaha !
OM sri Saraswathyey Namaha !
Karomi yadhyathu sakalam parasmey
OM thath Sath Brahmaarpana Mastu !!
------------ OM -------------
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.
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?
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.
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.
Meaning comes out of creativity. Religion has to become more poetic, more aesthetic.
And second thing: sometimes it happens that you search for the meaning because you have already concluded. Out of a conclusion you search for it. You have already decided what meaning should be there, or has to be there... and then you don't find it.
What meaning are you looking for? You must be looking for a certain meaning. You will not find it -- because from the very beginning your inquiry is polluted, your inquiry is impure. You have already decided.
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.
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.
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.
"Here's to the happiest moment of my life,
"By Jove, that's ripping," the Englishman thought to himself. "I must remember to use it back home."
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:
"Here's to the happiest moment of my life,
"By Jove," the speaker blurted out, "you will have to excuse me. I forgot the name of the "blooming" woman."
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.
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.
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.
His disciples must have been puzzled: "Has he gone mad? Socrates playing on the flute?" But to me it is very significant. The music could not have been very great, because he had never played. Absolutely amateurish, childish it must have been -- but still something was satisfied, something was bridged. He was no more one-sided. For the first time in his life, maybe, he was spontaneous. For the first time he had done something for which he could not supply any reason. Otherwise, he was a rational man.
It was a holiday, and the Hassidim had gathered to pray and to have a communion -- sat sang -- with the Master.
A man had come with his retarded child. He was a little worried about the child, the boy. He may do something, so he was keeping an eye on the boy. When the prayers were said, the boy asked his father, "I have got a whistle -- can I play on it?"
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.
Meditation
[Interests] > Meditation
[Prayer] is our communication with God
Meditation is communication of God with us
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-11-tuning-brains-benefit-meditation.html
[Osho's Life: Osho explains Meditation|http://www.oshoturk.com/osho-life/05-17-meditaiton.htm] : .....The basic element running through all the methods of meditation is [witnessing].....
[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.
Tishan : Meditation is being happy with yourself for no reason at all.
[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...
[112 Tantra Meditations|http://www.iosho.com/TantraMeditation.html]
[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]
[Peter Russell]'s [Three-Minute Meditation|http://www.peterussell.com/TV/3Min.html]
[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://reluctant-messenger.com/ : [How to Meditate|http://reluctant-messenger.com/meditation.htm]
[wellnessgoods.com :: Meditation|http://www.wellnessgoods.com/meditation.asp]
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.
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.
The reflection that you will find in the other of your own self may be ugly; that is the anxiety. Avoid the mirror. But by avoiding the mirror you are not going to become beautiful. By avoiding the situation you are not going to grow either. The challenge has to be taken.
One has to go into love. That is the first step towards God, and it cannot be bypassed. Those who try to bypass the step of love will never reach God. That is absolutely necessary because you become aware of your totality only when you are provoked by the presence of the other, when your presence is enhanced by the presence of the other, when you are brought out of your narcissistic, closed world under the open sky.
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. "
The truth is that there is no person at all in the world; there is only presence. You are not -- not as an ego, separate from the whole. You are part of the whole. The whole penetrates you, the whole breathes in you, pulsates in you, the whole is your life.
Love gives you the first experience of being in tune with something that is not your ego. Love gives you the first lesson that you can fall into harmony with someone who has never been part of your ego. If you can be in harmony with a woman, if you can be in harmony with a friend, with a man, if you can be in harmony with your child or with your mother, why can't you be in harmony with all human beings? And if to be in harmony with a single person gives such joy, what will be the outcome if you are in harmony with all human beings? And if you can be in harmony with all human beings, why can't you be in harmony with animals and birds and trees? Then one step leads to another.
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.
Hence people are interested in sex, because sex is not risky. It is momentary, you don't get involved. Love is involvement; it is commitment. It is not momentary. Once it takes roots, it can be forever. It can be a lifelong involvement. Love needs intimacy, and only when you are intimate does the other become a mirror. When you meet sexually with a woman or a man, you have not met at all; in fact, you avoided the soul of the other person. You just used the body and escaped, and the other used your body and escaped. You never became intimate enough to reveal each other's original faces.
It is painful, but don't avoid it. If you avoid it you have avoided the greatest opportunity to grow. Go into it, suffer love, because through the suffering comes great ecstasy. Yes, there is agony, but out of the agony, ecstasy is born. Yes, you will have to die as an ego, but if you can die as an ego, you will be born as God, as a Buddha. And love will give you the first tongue-tip-taste of Tao, of Sufism, of Zen. Love will give you the first proof that God is, that life is not meaningless.
Let there be pain, let there be suffering. Go through the dark night, and you will reach to a beautiful sunrise. It is only in the womb of the dark night that the sun evolves. It is only through the dark night that the morning comes.
My whole approach here is that of love. I teach only love and only love and nothing else. You can forget about God; that is just an empty word. You can forget about prayers because they are only rituals imposed by others on you. Love is the natural prayer, not imposed by anybody. You are born with it. Love is the true God -- not the God of theologians, but the God of Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, the God of the Sufis. Love is a tariqa, a method, to kill you as a separate individual and to help you become the infinite. Disappear as a dewdrop and become the ocean, but you will have to pass through the door of love.
And certainly when one starts disappearing like a dewdrop, and one has lived long as a dewdrop, it hurts, because one has been thinking, "I am this, and now this is going. I am dying. " You are not dying, but only an illusion is dying. You have become identified with the illusion, true, but the illusion is still an illusion. And only when the illusion is gone will you be able to see who you are. And that revelation brings you to the ultimate peak of joy, bliss, celebration.
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.
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.
Osho, From Personality to Individuality, chapter 9
Interests
[Meditation], [Charity], [Guru]
[moksha], [RAQ], [Sandhyavandanam], [Yoga], [The most beautiful place in the world], [What is the purpose of life?], [Satsanga], [Vipassana], [Marriage]
* [Meditation], [Mumuksutva] , [Strive] , [Satsangh]
* [Zen] vt. To figure out something by meditation or by a sudden flash of enlightenment. Originally applied to bugs, but occasionally applied to problems of life in general. "How'd you figure out the buffer allocation problem?" "Oh, I zenned it."
![Computers]
![Companies]
Weblog2001November
[CityDesk] is [here|http://joel.editthispage.com/news/fog0000000311.html] ! Congrats !
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]
A [Petition|http://www.PetitionOnline.com/CRYfor93/] : 93rd amendment - Making Education a Fundamental Right in India
(via [PaperQuote]) [Oliver Wendell Holmes] : What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
[Peter Coad] : [Feature Driven Development|http://www.togethersoft.com/services/publications/presentations/fddatjavaone2000_ppt.zip]
[Unified Modeling Language] , [Three Amigos|http://www.jguru.com/faq/view.jsp?EID=929]
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. !
As per [Peter Russell]'s [Age in Days|http://www.peterussell.com/age.html] : I am 10959 days old !
[Gerald M. Weinberg]'s book [The Psychology of Computer Programming]
[Mira Art] : [Not being attached to anything....|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/11/22] : "...All in the world recognise the beautiful as beautiful. Herein lies ugliness..."
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/head_animals.jpg]
[Allen Downey]'s [How to Think Like a Computer Scientist]
[Guido van Rossum]'s [Computer Programming for Everybody]
I have come across [Tom Van Vleck]'s [Software Engineering|http://www.multicians.org/thvv/tvvswe.html] once again after a long time :-)
([via|http://www.livejournal.com/users/msram/day/2001/11/07] [Mahesh Shantaram]) [Carlton Vogt]'s [Ethics Matters|http://www2.infoworld.com/cgi/component/columnarchive.wbs?column=ethics]
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/murugan_palani.jpg]
My answer of the moment :-) [Murugan Bhakti]
[Thomas Paine] in [The Age of Reason] : It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.
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 !
[Charles du Bois] : The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.
[Vikas Kamat]'s [Kamat AnthoBLOGy|http://www.kamat.com/vikas/]
Vikas' [How to Pick a Saree|http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/attire/saree/guide.htm] will be useful to me !
[John Taylor Gatto]'s [writing on the web|http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Gatto.html]
([via|http://owrede.khm.de/2001/11/15] [Oliver Wrede]) [Steve Hooker] : [Radio(Userland) and me|http://steveswar.warblogs.com/radioandme/]
[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."
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/linkandthink.gif]
[http://philip.greenspun.com/photo/pcd0075/dachau-arbeit-56.1.jpg]
The sign of the gate is [Arbeit Macht Frei] (Work Brings Freedom)
[Madhu Menon] : [Conditional philanthropy - it stinks|http://madman.weblogs.com/2001/11/13]
[Joel Spolsky] : It's about time that I updated my crufty old list of recommended books. What books should I have up there? - [Vote for ONE Book|http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=934]
[Jeremy Stangroom] is the on-line editor for [The Philosopher's Magazine|http://www.philosophers.co.uk/]
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...
[HotLinks] is going to charge for their service from 3rd December 2001... If they allow me to maintain 1 URL with multiple categories, I will consider paying for their service... Anyway, they have very nicely allowed me to export the content as a [html file|http://www.carnatic.com/2001/hotlinks.kishorebalakrishnan.2001nov14.htm] - Thanks a lot !
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...
[Viktor Frankl] : Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
[Free Alina Lebedeva|http://www.geocities.com/elsvenjo/FreeAlina.html] : ...This site is in support of Alina Lebedeva from Latvia. Alina is the schoolgirl who gave Prince Charles a slap in the face with  a bunch of flowers in protest over Britain's involvement in the war against Afghanistan. She is provisionally charged with endangering the life of foreign dignitary. If found guilty she could face up to 15 years in prison...
[Ramayan Audio|http://www.ramayanaudio.com/] : ...The Ramayana was meant to be heard!...
Today is yet another [Deepavali] away from India...
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/deepavali_image001.gif] [http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/deepavali_image002.gif]
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/deepavali_image003.gif]
[Satya Viswanathan|http://www.coroflot.com/satyaviswanathan] : [Ho! I went to America|http://www.livejournal.com/users/satyav/day/2001/10/11]
Our Beloved Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami ([Gurudeva])
[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.
[Shoba Narayan] : [Fashionably Devout|http://about.beliefnet.com/frameset.asp?pageLoc=/story/86/story_8692_1.html&boardID=23424]
[e-gineer].com is interesting... --- [Nathan Wallace]
[Joel on Software] sports a [new look|http://new.joelonsoftware.com/news/fog0000000290.html]
[Bill Clinton] : [A struggle for the soul of the 21st century|http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2001/11/10/speech/index.html]
[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]
[Lee Iacocca], [Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam], [JRD Tata], [KJ Yesudas], [Mother Teresa]
[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''
[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...
[Freeman Thomas], head of advanced product design for DaimlerChrysler : "A lot of people in the design business are full of BS. They want to create the facade of an extreme individual. I don't want to be someone who can't be approached."
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]
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/diwali.gif]
[William Damon] coauthor of [Good Work] : "We're getting people to overcome the sense that to have a good career, you've got to compromise or cut
via [Susan A. Kitchens] : [Laid-Off|http://www.oddtodd.com/]
[Vincent Laforet] : [Frontiers of War|http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/19/international/index_JOURNAL01.html]
[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]
[Mira Art|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/11/01] : ...I never liked it, feeling the hypocrisy...
[Chandramouli Mahadevan] is in Germany. Welcome back !
[Stomach Ache]
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...
Relative and Absolute Happiness
([source|http://www.frankcolon.com/happiness.html])
-- Searching for absolute happiness... attend course at [Self Levitation Centre] --
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.
Relative happiness is also based on comparison with others. We may feel this kind of happiness at having a newer or bigger home than the neighbors. But that feeling turns to misery the moment they start making new additions to theirs!
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.
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.
The following is from [Info for newcomers|http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/newcomer.htm]
"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?
from the original Tamil
"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".
Om Namo Bhagavathe Sri Ramanaya
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.
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).
10. How will the mind become quiescent?
When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: 'To whom do they arise?' It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, "To whom has this thought arisen?". The answer that would emerge would be "To me". Thereupon if one inquires "Who am I?", the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense-organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called "inwardness" (antar-mukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as "externalisation" (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the 'I' which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity "I". If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).
Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means. If through other means it is sought to control the mind, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again go forth. Through the control of breath also, the mind will become quiescent; but it will be quiescent only so long as the breath remains controlled, and when the breath resumes the mind also will again start moving and will wander as impelled by residual impressions. The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed, is the nature of the mind. The thought "I" is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent, the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of God, so that the body may be preserved and other people may not be under the impression that it is dead. In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is controlled. Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps breath in the body; and when the body dies the mind takes the breath along with it. Therefore, the exercise of breath-control is only an aid for rendering the mind quiescent (manonigraha); it will not destroy the mind (manonasa).
Like the practice of breath-control. meditation on the forms of God, repetition of mantras, restriction on food, etc., are but aids for rendering the mind quiescent.
Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed. The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-inquiry will become easy. Of all the restrictive rules, that relating to the taking of sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best; by observing this rule, the sattvic quality of mind will increase, and that will be helpful to Self-inquiry.
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.
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.
God and the Guru will only show the way to release; they will not by themselves take the soul to the state of release. In truth, God and the Guru are not different. Just as the prey which has fallen into the jaws of a tiger has no escape, so those who have come within the ambit of the Guru's gracious look will be saved by the Guru and will not get lost; yet, each one should by his own effort pursue the path shown by God or Guru and gain release. One can know oneself only with one's own eye of knowledge, and not with somebody else's. Does he who is Rama require the help of a mirror to know that he is Rama?
21. Is it necessary for one who longs for release to inquire into the nature of categories (tattvas)?
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.
25. What is wisdom-insight (jnana-drsti)?
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?
Desirelessness is wisdom. The two are not different; they are the same. Desirelessness is refraining from turning the mind towards any object. Wisdom means the appearance of no object. In other words, not seeking what is other than the Self is detachment or desirelessness; not leaving the Self is wisdom.
27. What is the difference between inquiry and meditation?
Inquiry consists in retaining the mind in the Self. Meditation consists in thinking that one's self is Brahman, existence-consciousness-bliss.
Steven Morgan Friedman
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Merely talking about something confers importance on it. What I value
meeting. But there are some commonalities among other groups as well.
do such conversation beginnings say about each society?
standard that our first question upon meeting someone for the first
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?
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 East, all the religions preach egolessness. So in the East, everybody is against the ego from the very beginning. Because of this anti-attitude, ego never becomes strong, never comes to a point of integration from where it can be thrown. It is never ripe. So in the East it is very difficult to dissolve the ego, almost impossible.
In the West, the whole Western tradition of religion and psychology propounds, preaches, persuades people, to have strong egos -- because unless you have a strong ego, how can you survive? Life is a struggle; if you are egoless, you will be destroyed. Then who will resist? Who will fight? Who will compete? And life is a continuous competition. Western psychology says: Attain to the ego, be strong in it.
This is going to be a hard task for you, first to attain and then to lose -- because you can lose only something which you possess. If you don't possess it, how can you lose it?
You can be poor only if you are rich. If you are not rich your poverty cannot have that beauty which Jesus goes on preaching: Be poor in spirit. Your poverty cannot have that significance which Gautam Buddha has when he becomes a beggar.
Only a rich man can become poor, because you can lose only that which you have. If you have never been rich, how can you be poor? Your poverty will be just on the surface; it can never be in the spirit. On the surface you will be poor, and deep down you will be hankering after riches. Your spirit will hanker towards riches, it will be an ambition, it will be a constant desire to attain riches. Only on the surface will you be poor. And you may even console yourself by saying that poverty is good.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Socrates is reported to have said: Through your dirty clothes, through the holes in your clothes, I cannot see anything else but the ego. You talk of humility, but that talk comes from a deep centre of the ego.
This will happen, this is how hypocrisy happens. You have the ego, you hide it through the opposite; you become humble on the surface. This surface humbleness cannot deceive anyone. It may deceive you, but it cannot deceive anyone else. From the holes of the dirty dresses, your ego goes on peeping. It is always there. This is a self-deception and nothing more. Nobody else is deceived. This happens if you start throwing the unripe ego.
What I teach will look contradictory, but it is true to life. Contradiction is inherent in life. I teach you to be egoists so that you can become egoless. I teach you to be perfect egoists. Don't hide it, otherwise hypocrisy will be born. And don't struggle with the unripe phenomenon. Let it ripen -- and help it. Bring it to a peak!
Don't be afraid -- there is nothing to be afraid of. This is how you will come to realize the agony of the ego. When it comes to its peak, then you will not need a Buddha or me to tell you that the ego is hell. You will know it, because the peak of the ego will be the peak of your hellish experiences, it will be a nightmare. And then there is no need for anybody to tell you: Drop it! It will be difficult to carry it on.
One reaches to knowledge only through suffering. You cannot throw anything just by logical argument. You can throw something only when it has become so painful that it cannot be carried any further. Your ego has not become that painful yet -- hence you carry it. It is natural! I cannot persuade you to drop it. Even if you feel persuaded, you will hide it -- that's all.
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.
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.
So I don't tell you to come out of your dream before the time has come. No, never do anything before the time. Allow things to grow, allow things to have their time, so that everything happens naturally.
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.
In life everything is necessary. Nothing is unnecessary, nothing can be unnecessary. Whatsoever has happened had to happen. Whatsoever is happening is happening because of certain deep causes. You need it so you can remain in the fallacy. It is just a cocoon that helps you, protects you, helps you to survive. One need not be in the cocoon forever. When you are ready, break the cocoon, come out.
The ego is the shell of the egg, it protects you. But when you are ready, break the shell, come out of the egg. The ego is the shell.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
Marriage
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I need: “emotional stability, critical thought, and friendship.” ... https://medium.com/@krisgage/the-only-3-things-i-need-in-a-partner-602f1bc765f0
* (who said it) Love isn't about finding someone perfect; it's about learning to love an imperfect person perfectly. [comment|http://www.sathanurdam.com/radhika/index.jsp?Menuchoice=blog/2002_06_23_radhika_archive.html#78154241]
* Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, and enkindles the great. — Comte DeBussy-Rabutin
* [Helen Rowland] : When a man spends his time giving his wife criticism and advice instead of compliments, he forgets that it was not his good judgement, but his charming manners, that won her heart.
* [Helen Rowland] : To be happy with a man you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.
* [Qualities of a Successful Marriage|http://marriage.about.com/library/blququalsuc.htm]
* [Twelve Ways to Improve Your Marriage|http://marriage.about.com/library/blquimprmarriage.htm]
* [Four Things that Can Kill a Marriage|http://marriage.about.com/library/blqukillmarriage.htm] : sarcasm , contempt , stonewalling , an unwillingness to meet a spouse's requests
* [A Happy Married Life : A Buddhist Perspective|http://www.angelfire.com/on2/buddhism/MARRIAGE.html]
* [7 key ingredients of a healthy marriage|http://www.foreverwed.com/articles/marriage/1.htm]
* Here are 10 Ways to Light [His|http://www.lightyourfire.com/online/advice/advice_tips_his.htm] / [Her|http://www.lightyourfire.com/online/advice/advice_tips_her.htm] Fire
* [Benjamin Alan] : [In Need of Marital Advice|http://www.benjaminalan.com/archives/000005.html] : .....My current source of bewilderment comes from this question that is frequently posed to me: "How much do you love me?".....
* [Google]'s [Society > Relationships > Marriage|http://directory.google.com/Top/Society/Relationships/Marriage/]
* http://marriage.about.com
The Ten Marks of a Happy Marriage
But first my definition of marriage: it is a covenantal relationship between a man and a woman in an emotional, physical, moral, and spiritual union, exclusively and for life. The husband and wife take each other and forsake all others.
You've heard about some marriages being 'made in heaven'? Marriage is not just an arrangement to clarify inheritance. It has been called a dramatic act in which two strangers come together to redefine themselves.
1. COMMITMENT: Some couples like their wedding service to be traditional, others 'freer'. But three solemn declarations must be there somewhere: I am not married to anyone else; I take you ... to be my lawful wedded wife/husband; forsaking all others I will be lovingly committed to you for life. When I counsel a couple before marriage, we talk about their vows (they usually compose their own). Some young people are wary of commitment, and view marriage as a trap. But you can't have a satisfying marriage relationship without commitment - a commitment of one imperfect person to another imperfect person. Marriage is not simply a 50-50 affair: it's 100 per cent give, both ways!
Commitment is more than to permanence or sexual fidelity. For Christians commitment is not just 'being there year after year in the easy chair'. It is more than a promise not to go away. It ought to include, above all, a commitment to grow, to become the persons God intended us to be. 'Growing' couples set growth goals - to read a good book and discuss it; to go away every year on a retreat; to pray together; do a course together. One couple said in their wedding vows: 'In this marriage I want to grow as a person, I want to help you grow as a person, and I want to see our relationship of love, companionship and support grow deeper, larger and stronger. With the help of God, I commit myself to that.'
2. LOVING ACCEPTANCE: The most fundamental idea in Christianity is about 'grace' - I am loved before I change. God loves me as I am. He doesn't love anyone else more than he loves me, and nothing I can do can increase his love for me. Our society, on the other hand, teaches us that worth is something you earn. At school those with higher grades are more highly esteemed than 'dunces'. In the army those with fewer stripes take orders from those with more. But in God's family the prodigal is valued as highly as the loyal son. So too in marriage. I love my wife before she changes, or whether she changes or not. Nothing is unforgivable. Nothing will stop me loving her: she can count utterly on that. So a good marriage is the union of two good forgivers: it is 'three parts love and seven parts forgiveness'.
3. RESPECT: If acceptance and love are reactions to a 'sinning other' respect is our response to another's God-likeness. The person we are relating to is made in God's image, he or she is like God. So I should treat my spouse with courtesy and dignity even when I don't feel like it. Little habits of helpfulness actually feed respect. It is an honour to serve one who is like God. In Grace Awakening Chuck Swindoll writes: 'When I speak to those who are still single, I frequently address the issue of selfishness. I'll often say, "If you tend toward being selfish; if you're the type who clings to your own rights and has no interest sharing with others, please do the world (and certainly your potential mate) a favour and don't marry!"'[56] ('How good of God to let the Carlyles marry each other, and so make only two people miserable instead of four' wrote Samuel Butler of Thomas and Jane Carlyle.) Our fundamental human need is 'a true deep love of self, a genuine and joyful self-acceptance,' but marriage calls upon us to transcend that need: the partner's needs and pleasures must take equal if not superior status to our own.
4. MATURITY AND RESPONSIBILITY: are necessary for resolving differences, carrying through promises, sharing finances, and for modeling a Christian lifestyle for our children. I take responsibility for resolving personal issues, not 'dumping' them on my partner. I take responsibility for my own 'happiness'. If the motivation for marriage is to 'live happily ever after' we are setting ourselves up for trouble. If you came into the marriage unhappy chances are you'll stay that way. Happiness is a by-product of self-respect, solving problems responsibly, and doing worthwhile, interesting and useful things.
5. INTIMACY: Marriage is 'incarnation'. When God wanted to communicate his love for us he sent Jesus to embody that love. Jesus loved people like God loves us. This truth will appear and re-appear like a refrain throughout this book: God loves us before we deserve to be loved. He loves us even though he knows us intimately. So it is in a good marriage. As we are utterly transparent with one another - we have already promised to love 'for better or for worse' - we learn to 'know' and love the other with their imperfections and faults, not after their removal! But if unsure of your parent's love, you may marry to find a kind of paternal/maternal love from your partner, which complicates the relationship. Here we must be very honest. Most women, I believe, are engaged in a life-long search for a strong nurturing father-figure; most men marry a wife to find a responsive nurturing mother-figure. Now you are allowed to have your own feelings about all this, and to express them: 'feelings are neither right nor wrong'. Figure out which feelings, wishes and thoughts come from within yourself, and which from your partner. Marriage fights are usually more about the past than the present! For example if one's parents were tidy/perfectionistic we'll have to figure out why we are the same or the opposite!
6. CONFLICT RESOLUTION: A survey among 700 marriage counselors found that 'communication breakdown' headed the list of marital problems (followed by loss of shared goals/interests; sexual incompatibility, infidelity, excitement and fun leaving the marriage, money, conflicts about children, alcohol/drug abuse, women's equality issues and the in-laws). Conflict arises because we bring different biographies, needs, interests, values, and lifestyles to our marriage. The trigger for a 'conflictual explosion' may include loss of a job, arrival of a new baby, an illness, moving to a new house, taking an aged parent into the home etc. Marriage breakdowns do not happen because of 'differences'; they happen because a couple can't handle those differences. Relationships do not cause conflict: they bring out whatever incompleteness we have within us anyway. Conflict is a contest of wills, but it ought not to be viewed as a power struggle or as a question of who is right or wrong. Gentle assertiveness is called for: 'speaking the truth in love' and asking about feelings that underlie the difficulty. Discuss with dignity, and sensitivity to the other's needs. 'If pride and prejudice were set aside, most difficulties could be resolved in five minutes.' Resolution may allow one partner or the other to have a 'veto' in certain areas: in our marriage, Jan has veto power in the kitchen, I do with the cars (except for their colour!). But re the issue of my ministry-time away from home, this was resolved in a family conference: I would not be away more than a third of the time; and would forego preaching engagements at least once a month to attend our local church with my wife and family. Some things important to you you'll have to concede - that is, compromise. Jan and I compromise on our leisure: I like competitive sports and swimming but she prefers walking so we walk more than we swim (and we rarely play tennis together!). And don't complain too much: your 'fussing' can be viewed as trivial by the other.
7. MONEY: 'The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of Hosts' (Haggai 2:8). Here Jan and I began our thinking by agreeing that all we own belongs to God anyway. We are 'joint stewards' with him of our home, our savings, our possessions. We happen to believe that a joint bank account is an appropriate token of our togetherness, so we've always had one.
'When money is tight, couples fight'. As an ex-wives' tale put it: 'They won't have incompatibility as long as he has income and she has pattability.' Sometimes one is more of a 'spendthrift' than the other; sometimes the 'bread-winner' is tightfisted about offering money for housekeeping. I believe it is demeaning for one partner to control the finances against the wishes of the other: this is a result of immaturity or insecurity. Some couples may need financial counseling: in your church an accountant or bank manager will be delighted to help. Draw up a plan together. Be willing occasionally to touch up the plan as circumstances change. And decide mutually to live more simply!
8. GENDER ROLES AND SEX: You've heard the song 'Let's Talk About Sex Baby!' Do that (although the subject of commitment should come first). Think with your brains, not just your hormones! Sex is part of God's creation, which he pronounced 'very good' (Genesis 1:31). Sexual relations are more than physical: they are also emotional, spiritual, and moral. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 Paul talks about the willing surrender of husband and wife to each other to create coupleness. There's a lot of help around about a wholesome Christian approach to sex, to guard us against either a lustful hedonism or prudish asceticism. Sex is more than the union of bodies; it is also about roles, so sort them out. With women freer to pursue careers, role-expectations by men of women and women of men are dramatically changing. (Our son Paul, for example, is a 'househusband': our daughter-in-law has a full time remunerated vocation.) What household chores should be done by whom? Expectations are usually connected back to what our parents did - who fixed what, who put out garbage, vacuumed floors, did the cooking, washed the dishes, got up to the sick kids at night, etc. Everything ought to be negotiable on these issues.
9. SPIRITUALITY: God was the first marriage celebrant. He invented marriage. The engagement ring I bought Jan thirty-five years ago had two small diamonds and one larger one to depict the 'Eternal triangle' - one man, one woman, one God. Try to worship together regularly; pray with and for each other. (Yes, those who pray together are much more likely to stay together.) Having a Christian commitment that is both real and similar to each other's is a healthy indicator of future marital harmony. That ought not to preclude each partner relating to God uniquely. However, when one is a committed church-going Christian and the other isn't, there's usually (though not invariably) trouble: talk that out very very carefully before you marry. Some couples have reluctantly called their wedding off when the Christian partner takes seriously the biblical injunction about not being joined with an unbeliever: in my experience only one in eight or nine men will become a Christian after marriage if they weren't before. In a truly Christian marriage the order of priority, always is: God first, spouse second, children third, church/job next. But in a well-ordered and committed life, all these 'loves' enrich one another.
10. HAVE REGULAR MARRIAGE CHECK-UPS: at a marriage enrichment/encounter weekend, or with a counselor. Jan and I are currently talking about our relationship to an experienced counseling couple. The issues include: What are our feelings about each other at the moment - and those close to us? How can we accommodate to each other's differing sexual drives? How much 'quality time' should we have with our grandchildren? With Jan's part-time and my full-time ministries, how do we apportion chores, or share each other's vocations?
The Wooden Bowl
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
"We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor." So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.
For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives.
On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.
I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did. Sometimes they just need a little something to make them smile.
Weblog2001December
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/significant.jpg]
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/]
* [Jakob Nielsen] : [usable information technology|http://www.useit.com/]
* [Dave Winer] : [Scripting News|http://www.scripting.com]
* [Monty Widenius] : [mySQL|http://www.mysql.com/]
* [Aaron Swartz] : who said 'I did it... you can do it too...' and made me realise my dream >>> [World Wide Wisdom|http://www.carnatic.com/www/]
* [Joel Spolsky] : [Painless Software Management|http://www.joelonsoftware.com]
* [Joshua Allen] : [Making a Semantic Web|http://www.netcrucible.com/semantic.html]
* [Mira Art] : [Surprise|http://surprise.editthispage.com]
* [Larry Page] , [Sergey Brin] : [Google|http://www.google.com]
* I list many more people at [Portal] whom I visit virtually and also contribute to who i am...
[http://www.carnatic.com/images/20011229snowdecor.jpg]
Hello [Microsoft]!, please check [Wingdings Om]. Thanks!
[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...
Inspiration for everyone from [Google] : [Never settle for the best]
[Jan Hunt] [Library|http://www.naturalchild.com/jan_hunt/]
[A Conversation|http://www.naturalchild.com/guest/marlene_bumgarner.html] with [John Holt] (Interviewer: Marlene Bumgarner)
[Aaron Swartz] has [a dream|http://swartzfam.com/aaron/school/2001/12/23/]
[Nomic] must be an interesting game !
[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...
[Jim Roepcke] [receives|http://jim.roepcke.com/2001/12/24#item3879] a Canadian Holiday Greeting
It is the no. 1 movie at http://us.imdb.com/top_250_films
For eg., I would not rate this movie more than [Blast from the past] overall !
Ofcourse, I liked the scenic shots in [Lord of the Rings]. But It is not the no. 1 movie I have seen from the imdb list !
[Jason Levine] [:|http://q.queso.com/2001/12/21] ...I have to say that there's a lot more hype than there is movie....
[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 have downloaded [GraphicConverter], [OmniWeb] after reading [Wesley Felter]'s [Colophon|http://wmf.editthispage.com/meta/colophon]
[Mira Art] [:|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/12/22] : ...highways with traffic jams as long as 150 km...
Visit our [portfolio|http://www.photo.net/shared/community-member?user_id=119381] at http://www.photo.net
|<img src="http://www.carnatic.com/images/IMG_0131.JPG" width="512" height="384" border=0 alt="fruits">
We are connecting to the net from today with [dsl flat|http://www.billiger-surfen.de/tarifmodelle.php3?name=T-Online&verbindungsnbz=dsl+flat&gueltigab=2001-08-01&gueltigbis=0000-00-00] :-)
[Year-End Google Zeitgeist|http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html] : Search patterns, trends, and surprises
[Stephen Palmer] : If you happen to be looking for a technical architect, project director or development manager to produce a high quality result, I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending [Jeff De Luca] to you.
[Extreme Programming] and [Feature Driven Development] : [a short comparison|http://www.togethercommunity.com/coad-letter/Coad-Letter-0070.html] : The Bottom Line in the article is the essence : ...It is important to discover what works for you and your organization. The name of the process you use is not important. What is important is the ability to repeatedly deliver frequent, tangible, working results on time, within budget and with agreed function...
[IBM's Test-Tube Quantum Computer Makes History|http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/news/20011219_quantum.shtml] : ...Scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center have performed the world's most complicated quantum-computer calculation to date. They caused a billion-billion custom-designed molecules in a test tube to become a seven-qubit quantum computer that solved a simple version of the mathematical problem at the heart of many of today's data-security cryptographic systems...
[An interview|http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/1756/leelozo.htm] with Mr. [Lee Lozowick]
I started eating vegetarisch [Flammkuchen|http://www.cantate86.de/flammkuchen.htm] at 12:05 today morning !!!
The mission of the [North Carolina Christmas Tree Association|http://www.ncchristmastrees.com/] (NCCTA) is to promote "real" Christmas Trees through marketing and education.
(image source : [Why they make Scents|http://www.ncchristmastrees.com/sents.htm]]
[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.
From: Ani Moller
[Derek Powazek]'s book [Design for Community]
[Margaret Mead] : Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
[Oliver Breidenbach] [:|http://www.fsomm.com/discuss/msgReader$902] The Spiegel figured out how to use numerology to better remember the Euro to DM exchange rate: 1.9 55 83 If you take the sum of the last two pairs it is 10 and 11, respectively. So, the exchange rate is one point nine, ten, eleven...
[Mira Art] [quotes|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/12/16] [Buckminster Fuller] : When I am Working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only of how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
[Why we have a terrorism problem with our airlines|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200112/msg00227.html] : ...the FAA had come down hard on the airport only because 1,000 badges was too many, in that regulations permit that airport to have only 500 unaccounted-for access badges....
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 !
[Ian Strecker] : [Toward a Zero-Defect Culture|http://www.slb.com/ir/news/strecker6_96.html]
[Cameron Barrett] [:|http://www.camworld.com/journal/2001/12/#17] [The Dave Winer Big Ego Awards|http://www.camworld.com/journal/rants/2001/12/17.html]
[Sjoerd Visscher] [:|http://w3future.com/weblog/2001/12/12.html] "I got ADSL!" . I hope to say that soon too :-)
[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?"
[Sharon Holdstock] (is a generic love spreader among others) : [Yoga by Shazzie|http://www.stretchmagazine.com/page.php?content=shazzie&pagetitle=Yoga%20by%20Shazzie] - WOW - see the pictures !
(via [PaperQuote]) [Buddha] : A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden.
[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...
[Jack Welch]'s Vintage : [Straight from the Gut]
I requested [Brent Simmons] to list all the [Mac OS X applications] used by him. [The answer|http://inessential.com/osxapps.html]. Thanks, Brent.
A visit to their [Garden|http://sheila.inessential.com/garden/] maintained by his wife [Sheila Simmons] is refreshing.
[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...
[InnerSelf].com
[S Sandilya] , [Sathyakama Sandilya]
[Google] [unveils huge archive of USENET back to 1981|http://www.google.com/googlegroups/archive_announce_20.html]
[First mention|http://www.google.com/googlegroups/archive_announce_20.html] of [Google] is by [Chris Mitchell]. He doesnot actively maintain [The Searcher's Road Less Travelled|http://home.teleport.com/~lensman/roadless.htm]
But, [Chris Mitchell] has a powerful message on his home page for all of mankind - WOW !
It is all the more an important message when I see news like [U.S. Nearing ABM Treaty Withdrawal|http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/nm/20011211/ts/arms_missile_usa_dc_1.html]
[New York City] [Three Months After|http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/album/newyork/]
[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.
[Siva Vaidhyanathan] : [Software Is Free Speech|http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/09/magazine/09SOFTWARE.html] vs [Software] Is [Free Speech]
[Google] [Interface in Tamil|http://www.google.com/intl/ta/]
[Jim Roepcke] [:|http://jim.roepcke.com/2001/12/09] I've been reading through the [AppleScript] documentation throughout the day today. So far I'm very impressed.
[Derk Richardson] : [Eight Things I Learned|http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2001/12/06/derk.DTL] from [George Harrison]
I 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 did something at work which makes me think of the [Elegant Hack] which is being powered by [movabletype] since some days...
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/powershot_s110-front.gif]
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
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 ?
http://www.patternlanguage.com/ : A . W E B S I T E . D E V O T E D . T O . R E B U I L D I N G . T H E . E A R T H
Sushma always wondered about [Cops get(ting) speeding tickets from cameras|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200112/msg00002.html]
[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]
I bought [National Geographic]'s [100 best pictures|http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/100best/]
[Andrea Frick] has great pictures from her local [Christmas Market|http://andrea.editthispage.com/weihnachtsmarkt2001]
On Saturday, Dinner at [Innsbruck]
Holi
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.
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!
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.
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.
Holi also means “sacrifice”. Burn all the impurities of the mind, such as egoism, vanity and lust, through the fire of devotion and knowledge. Ignite cosmic love, mercy, generosity, selflessness, truthfulness and purity through the fire of Yogic practice. This is the real spirit of Holi. Rise from the mire of stupidity and absurdity and dive deep into the ocean of divinity.
The call of Holi is to always keep ablaze the light of God-love shining in your heart. Inner illumination is the real Holi. The spring season is the manifestation of the Lord, according to the Bhagavad Gita. Holi is said there to be His heart.
Gokulashtami
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.
The Lord appeared when the moon entered the house of Vrishabha at the constellation of the star Rohini, on Wednesday, the 8th day of the second fortnight of the month of Sravana, which corresponds to the month of Bhadrapada Krishnapaksha according to the Barhaspatyamana, in the year of Visvavasu, 5,172 years ago (from 1945), which means 3227 B.C.
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.
Devotion is the only means of attaining Lord Krishna. Bhakti kindles love for the Lord. When love is directed towards Krishna, man is freed from the bondage of the world.
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.
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.
1. During the preceding eight days, Japa of Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya is done intensely.
3. On the birthday itself everyone fasts and spends the whole day in holy communion.
4. Everyone greets others with the holy Mantra, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.
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.
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.
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.
“Experience this truth through the highest superconscious state so that you will not be disturbed even by illusory objects”.
Varalakshmi Viratham
Update on 20060804 - For knowing varusham, kaalam, maasam, thithi, rthou etc. refer to the Vedic Calendar @ http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/panchangam/
* [Informationcorner.com: Varalakshmi Viratham & Procedure|http://www.informationcorner.com/lakshmi.asp]
* [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.
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.
Om mahaadevyai cha vidmahe;
ShreeRamanavami
Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
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.
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.
1. Spiritual seekers do as much Japa as possible. The sacred Mantras Om Sri Ramaya Namah or Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram are chanted.
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
7. From four in the morning to late at night, there is Ram and Ram alone everywhere!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Vow of silence
One Christmas, Brother Thomas had his turn to speak and said, "I love the delightful mashed potatoes we have every year with the Christmas roast!" Then he sat down. Silence ensued for 365 days.
The next Christmas, Brother Michael got his turn, and said, "I think the mashed potatoes are lumpy and I truly despise them!" Once again, silence ensued for 365 days.
Portal
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[Goal] of [Life] is [Self-Realisation]
[Panchakshara]: Aum Namah Sivaya - [Om Tat Sat]
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Pancha Ganapati
http://www.hinduism-today.com/1995/11/1995-11-14.html
Pancha Ganapati, a five-day festival celebrated from December 21 through
25, has become a favorite in homes all over the world. The winter solstice
is created in the main living room of the home. At the center is placed
a large wooden or bronze five-faced statue of Lord Pancha Ganapati. If
this is not available, any large picture or statue of Lord Ganesha
most precious. Ganesha does not want gift-giving to promote Western
commercialism but to further the great Hindu culture. Clearly, killer
offer Hindu art and wisdom, such as verses from the Vedas. Here is how
of Pancha Ganapati in the home. The sadhana of the day now begins. The
workers and customers and to honor employers and employees with gifts
of joy and harmony that comes from music, art, drama and the dance.
Family, relatives and friends gather for satsang to share and enjoy
to bring more cultural refinements into the home. More gifts are placed
tranquility from the great God Himself. His blessings fill the home and
the hearts of everyone within it, inspiring them anew for the coming year.
forward from one generation to the next, setting the patterns for
Happiness
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source : http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/newcomer.htm
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.
[This Happiness Business|http://oblivio.com/road/road0111b.html#x011113]
Wendell Berry
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's marriage failed during courtship as Berry explains on page 54 and 55. His wife, Ruth Beechum, expected and wanted more of a business man instead of the farmer he was. The two, even though they were husband and wife, were strangers to each other. "She remained to him an unknown continent" (58). Beechum spent much of his time in the fields with the land, not with his wife. He could not fail with the land nor disappoint it, and it could not hold any expectations for him. So, he had more of a bond with the land than his wife.
Beechum thought he could restore his happiness through a love affair with Rose McInnis, a young widow. At first it did just that. Nevertheless, "with Rose too he was beginning to feel an incompleteness" (134). He loved McInnis but was married to Ruth Beechum; therefore, it could never lead to anything. Beechum knows the love in his affair with McInnis is dishonorable, whereas the love in his affair with the land is honorable.
Beechum's love for the land can be seen through faithfulness, his death, and his community. He is faithful to the earth, "Promising the return of what has been taken from it" (157). On the other hand, Jack also felt that the land was faithful to him by giving him "exactly what he put into it" (Borries 26). As death is at his door, he sits in a chair in his room, but his last visions are as though he is sitting at the roots of a tree on his farm (Berry 190-192). It is almost like his last request is to be with the wilderness. Moreover, Mat Feltner thought Beechum should have been buried secretly, only known to the ones who loved him best, at the edge of one of his fields so that: "when the last of them who knew its place (Beechum's grave-site) had died, Old Jack's return would be complete. He would be lost to memory there in the field, silently possessed by the earth on which he once established the work of his hands" (Berry 207). Therefore, he grew to love the soil and its natural surroundings greater than all else since his other relationships failed to give him satisfaction.
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.
- - -. "Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer?" What People Are For? North Point Press: San Francisco, 1990.
The Kentucky River. Monterey, Kentucky: Gnoman Press, 1975. A poem.
Sayings and Doings. Lexington, Kentucky: Gnoman Press, 1975. A book of 55 entries.
Home Economics: Fourteen Essays. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1987. A book of 14 nonfiction essays.
* [Mr. Wendell Berry of Kentucky|http://brtom.org/berry.html]
[Articles] : [Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer], [The joy of sales resistance]
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Rules the World
source : http://www.himalayanacademy.com/books/talks/Cradle.html
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.
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.
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."
Walldorf
in Rhine-Neckar-District, the town among the woodlands, was first mentioned in 770, civic rights since 1901. Walldorf calls itself "Astorstadt" after Johann Jakob Astor, born here in 1763 who then emigrated to the U.S.A. and became one of the richest men in the world through fur trade and real estate business. Walldorf is a twin town of Astoria, Oregon, U.S.A. founded by J.J. Astor.
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anger
Aasaanji : Your best teachers in life are your own [fear] & anger. So don’t run from them, learn from them
[Osho] : .....Psychologists say that anger is temporary madness. It is madness in its complete form, only temporary. It lasts a short while and hence you are not aware of it. If it becomes permanent, you will go mad. That which is temporary, can become permanent any time.....
Chinese Proverb : If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will avoid one
When you become angry leave the place immediately. Take a long walk; stay away for a half hour. Repeat the sacred mantra OM SANTI one hundred and eight times. You will find that your anger subsides. Another way is to count from one to thirty - your anger will subside. When anger tries to show itself, observe silence. Never utter a harsh word. Try to nip it off before it emerges from the subconscious mind.
You will have to be alert. It tries to come out so suddenly. But, before anger manifests in the mind, there is agitation in the mind. If you strive to subdue anger, then hatred subsides - but even then there may be slight impatience lingering there. Eschew this slight disturbance also. For a man who is leading a divine life, this is a serious drawback. Irritability is a weakness of the mind. Remove it by practising tolerance, mercy and love. Calmness is a direct means to the realisation of Brahman.
Keep the mind always in balance, in tune. Close the eyes. Dive deep into the divine source. Feel God's presence. Repeat His name and remember Him at all times. You will gain immense spiritual strength. Meditate early in the morning, before you mix with people. Then rise above the thousand and one things which might irritate you in your daily life. Then only you will live in harmony and concord. Then only you will turn out wonderful work.
Man wastes much energy by becoming angry, very often over little things. The whole nervous system is shattered and agitated. If this anger is controlled, by brahmacarya (purity), forbearance, love and vicara (enquiry), a man can move the whole world. Anger manifests so suddenly that it is difficult to check it. The impulses it generates are so powerful that he is swayed by them. Control anger. Control the mind.
there was something wrong with her, she said there was something wrong with
discovery that if you are angry, Mother, there's something wrong with
it. It's not mine. Whether there's something wrong with me or not, I'll
to overcome, because it comes in so many different forms: pouting,
rage. Some people are just angry all the time because they live in the
for example--in a jar each time one becomes angry and then donating that
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
Why? Because we respect the freedom of others. That is why my first
vision is that of FREEDOM. I believe that India got its first vision
freedom that we must protect and nurture and build on. If we are not
military power but also as an economic power. Both must go hand-in-hand.
Sarabhai of the Dept. of space, Professor Satish Dhawan, who succeeded
the project director for India's first satellite launch vehicle, SLV3.
THREE: The Dept. of Atomic Energy and DRDO had this tremendous
FOUR: One day an orthopaedic surgeon from Nizam Institute of Medical
their eyes. From dragging around a three kg. load on their legs, they
sensing satellites. We are the second largest producers of wheat. We are
the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken
that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments,
imported. Do we not realize that self-respect comes with self-reliance?
comeback to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have
status identity. In Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU? YOU
someone else." YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in
papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If
Ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay Mr. Tinaikar had a point to make.
pavements. What do they expect the officers to do? Go down with a broom
bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms. We
the service to the public. When it comes to burning social issues like
those related to women, dowry, girl child and others, we make loud
drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home. Our
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
do what India needs from us. Forward this mail to each Indian for a
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 !: 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.
Brahmamuhurta
4 a.m. in the morning is termed as Brahmamuhurta. Because it is favourable for meditation on God or Brahman, It is called Brahmamuhurta. At this particular hour, the mind is very calm and serene. It is free from worldly thoughts, worries and anxieties. The mind is like a blank sheet of paper and comparatively free from worldly Samskaras. It can be very easily moulded at this time before worldly distractions enter the mind. Further, the atmosphere also is charged with more Sattva at this particular time. There is no bustle and noise outside.
From [Deepavali] : ...Waking up during the Brahmamuhurta (at 4a.m.) is a great blessing from the standpoint of health, ethical discipline, efficiency in work
early in the morning. The sages who instituted this custom must have
[Improving Sleep with Ayurveda|http://ayurvedamed.com/methods/51/]
[Nitya Karma|http://www.urday.com/nitya.htm] : ...A man must get up one and a half hour before Sun Rise. There are many disadvantages of not awaking in that time...
Svara Sadhana
Svara Sadhana, practice of breath, is the revealer of Satya, Brahman and bestower of the Supreme Knowledge and Bliss. Perform calm acts during the flow of Ida and harsh acts during the flow of Pingala. Do acts resulting in the attainment of psychic powers, Yoga, meditation, etc., during the flow of the Sushumna. If the breath rises by Ida (moon) at sunrise and flows throughout the day, and Pingala (sun) rises at sunset and flows throughout the night it confers considerable good results. Let the breath flow through Ida the whole day and through Pingala the whole night. He who practises thus is verily a great Yogi.
The following exercises are for changing the flow from Ida to Pingala. Select any one of the methods that suits you best. For changing the flow from Pingala to Ida, just do the same exercise on the opposite side:
6. There are some who are able to change the flow by will.
The above exercise is intended for general regulation of breath. Many other special exercises for the purification of Nadis and awakening Kundalini will be given in the subsequent chapters. A knowledge more secret than the science of breath, a friend more true than the science of breath, has never been seen or heard of. Friends are brought together by the power of breath. Wealth is obtained with comfort and reputation through the power of breath. The knowledge of the past, present and the future and all other Siddhis are acquired and a man reaches the highest state, by the power of breath.
I want you to practise every day the Svara Sadhana systematically and regularly, that is, to allow the flow of breath through the left nostril throughout the day and through the right nostril throughout the night. This will, doubtless, bestow on you wonderful benefits. Wrong Svara is the cause of a host of ailments. Observance of right Svara as described above leads to health and long life. Verily, verily, I say this unto you, my dear children! Practise this. Practise this from today. Shake off your habitual sloth, indolence and inertia. Leave off your idle talk. Do something practical. Before you begin the practice, pray to Lord Siva, who is the giver of this wonderful science by uttering Om Namah Sivaya and Sri Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles.
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.
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
want, that you are master of your mind. To become master of your mind,
awaken within you a dynamic, indomitable, actinic will. To do this, the
that you do. Become satisfied with everything that you do. To you,
a floor or painting a picture. Your work must satisfy you, and if it
does not satisfy the inner you one hundred percent, you must use your
indomitable willpower and keep striving until it does.
You must become a perfectionist unto yourself, but first decide what
comes as you use your indomitable willpower.
Vision Creates Great Leaders
phase. They are noble leadership, indomitable spirit and
In 1947, at the dawn of freedom, we had the best of leaders in
and they are the results of first vision of the nation commenced
my high school teacher Rev. Iyyadorai Solomon took me to
hear the mid-night freedom speech of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
items appeared. One item was India achieving freedom and
Indomitable spirit
men and women before me not to lose hope and courage.
Success can only come to you by courageous devotion to the
inferiority complex. I think what is needed in India today is the
indomitable spirit were to arise, nothing can hold us from
research programme for the nation. Both Dr Homi Bhabha and
space research station in the equatorial region. These two
was selected by the scientific community for space research
ionospheric research in upper atmosphere apart from study of
Pereira. It was a Saturday when Prof Vikram Sarabhai met the
"There was a chorus of ‘Amen’ from the congregation and the
Launching Station (TERLS) led to the establishment of Vikram
sun-synchronous and meteorology spacecraft, communication
satellite, remote sensing satellite thereby provided fast
communication, weather forecasting and also locate water
flower and blossom will themselves be different and set unique
indomitable spirit and universal mind, young like you are
it from each part of the country, will be very big. This National
Prof S. Chandrasekhar, the famous Astronomy scientist, in his
were no (Indian) scientists of international reputation or
remarkable phenomenon with the need for self-expression,
which became a dominant motive among the young during the
Coming now to the industrial field, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata
Bangalore started by JN Tata, Benares Hindu University by
by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. There were also some Indian
India should become a developed country. This is the second
challenge? To become a developed India, the essential needs
India has to be economically and commercially
terms of size of the economy. Our target should be a
our country worked for two years, deliberated national status of
competence for an integrated action:(1) Agriculture and food
speed up the economic growth. (2) Reliable and quality
the downward growth of population resulting from a unique
experiences, we feel, should be taken and spread in big states
prosperity through better yields in these States will help this
competence. We believe, this area can be used to promote
food, economic and security. A strong partnership among the
R&D, academy, industry and the community as a whole with
the Government departments will be essential to accomplish
nation needs young leaders who can command the change for
knowledge society from now to twenty years. The leaders are
satellite launch vehicle to orbit a satellite or the first IRBM has
to be built and operationalised, are mission statements, which
few times failures have also become products. Technology and
component for success is that the organization creates
commercial houses into establishments of substance and
Life
Goal of Life is [God-Realisation]
[Some Practical Suggestions for Daily Life by H.P.Blavatsky|http://www.theosophical.ca/DailyLife.htm]
http://timharford.com/2018/05/statistics-fast-and-slow/ - A new book by the late Hans Rosling and his family, Factfulness (UK) (US), advocates the merits of understanding the world both through the data and through personal experience — not of news stories or tourist traps, but of the everyday lives being lived all over the world. “Numbers will never tell the full story of what life on Earth is all about,” wrote Rosling, despite being the world’s most famous statistical guru. But the story they do tell matters. In statistics, as elsewhere, hard logic and personal impressions work best when they reinforce and correct each other.
Om Tat Sat
[Mantras] > Om Tat Sat
source : http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1997_5/0076.html
Om is the sound of Om heard in deep meditation. Om is the vibratory
creation. Tat is the light seen in deep meditation. Tat is the Christ
consciousness. Sat is the bliss beyond creation experienced in deep
meditation.
Ruhezeit
Avoid loud noises such as drilling, sawing, hammering, loud music, parties (especially outdoors) Mondays to Saturdays, from 1pm to 3pm and 10pm to 7am, and all day Sundays. Other taboos on Sundays and holidays include mowing the lawn, washing the car and placing bottles in recycling banks. Your neighbours will not hesitate to contact the police if this 'quiet' rule is broken.
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. "
Sacred Thread
http://www.hinduism.co.za/sacred.htm : ...The Sacred Thread is spun by a virgin Brahmana girl and twisted by a Brahmana. The composition of the Sacred Thread is full of symbolism and significance. Its length is ninetysix times as the breadth of the four fingers of a man, which is equal to his height. Each of the four fingers represents one of the four states the soul of a man experiences from time to time, namely, waking, dreaming, dreamless sleep and absolute Brahmanhood (Turiya or the fourth state). The three folds of the cord are also symbolical. They represent the three Gunas (Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas) reality, passion and darkness, out of which the whole universe is evolved. It was done, so that the Sattwaguna or the good quality of reality may predominate in a man, and so he may attain spiritual merits. The three cords remind the wearer that he has to pay off the Three Debts he owes:
The Acharya (teacher), while investing the student with the Sacred Thread repeats an appropriate Mantra, asking for strength, long-life and illumination for the boy, the boy looking, in the meanwhile, towards the sun. A Brahmachari (student) can put on only one set of the Sacred Thread. A householder is given privilege to wear two, one for himself and one for his wife. There are different methods of wearing the Sacred Thread at different occasions. While performing an auspicious ceremony one should be Upaviti, that is, the Sacred Thread should hang from his left shoulder. At the performance of some inauspicious ceremony one should be Prachnaviti, that is, the Sacred Thread should hang from the right shoulder; and at times he is called Niviti when the Sacred Thread is worn round the neck like a garland...
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)...
Tibetan Proverb : A guru is like a fire. If you get too close, you get burned. If you stay too far away, you don't get enough heat. A sensible moderation is recommended.
Michael Murphy in a 'New Age' interview : We do need teachers, and there is such a thing as true authority - a person who really knows something. But the trouble is what they used to call in psychology "the halo-effect": a person's authority is overextended, and you get people going to, say, Einstein for political opinions - or to a guru on every matter. Independent judgement is a fairly rare quality among human beings. Part of being alive and growing and the whole art of living is to refine that independent judgement - to learn a kind of courage to stand up for one's inner voice and to be able to say when the emperor has no clothes.
[Ram Dass] in [Journey of Awakening] : Some people fear becoming involved with a teacher. They fear the possible impurities in the teacher, fear being exploited, used, or entrapped. In truth, we are only ever entrapped by our own desires and clingings. If you want only liberation, then all teachers will be useful vehicles for you. They cannot hurt you at all. If, on the other hand, you want power, a teacher may come along who talks about liberation but subtly attracts you by your desire for power. If you get caught and become a disciple of such a teacher, you may feel angry when this teacher turns out to be on a power trip, not leading you to enlightenment. But remember: at some level inside yourself, you already knew. Your attraction to this teacher was your desire for power. Your anger is nothing more than your anger toward yourself.
[About Gurus and their Teaching|http://www.theorderoftime.com/spiritual/index.html]
[Chinmaya Answers - The Guru|http://www.chyk.net/onlinemagazine/july2003/chinmaya_guru.htm] : ...The relationship between the teacher and the taught is exactly like the relationship of the gardener and the flowers on the bush. The gardener does not create the flowers from the soil and the manure; the flowers must themselves come from the bush. The gardener can only tend its roots, water it, protect it, see that it has the correct amount of sunlight and shade -- all these externals he can provide. But no mere gardener can guarantee the blossom; it can come only from the bush itself...
[HH Shri Gurudev Mahendranath|http://www.carnatic.com/karmasaya/index.php?Dadaji] ([Dadaji]) : In [The Magick Path of Tantra] ...A disciple asked, "Dadaji, is it better to be reborn as a woman or as a man?" Dadaji answered, "It is better not to be reborn at all."...
Param Poojya (His Holiness) Swami Chetanananda Saraswati - He hails from the Siddha lineage of Avadhoot Nityananda and Paramhansa Muktananda of Vajreshwari - http://www.siddha-loka.org : ...DIVINE LIGHT, the indweller of all beings, illuminates the universe. Realizing this truth through the grace of the Sadguru is the goal of human life. The secret of a successful life lies in meditation on the SELF. [Meditation] occurs spontaneously through Shaktipat [Deeksha]. Only a Siddha Guru is capable of giving Shaktipat Deeksha by HIS divine word, touch, glance and thought...
Gurani Anjali - http://www.santosha.com/yoga/cr_1996.html
* Meditations - http://www.santosha.com/dhyana/meditation.html
Gregorian Bivolaru - http://sivasakti.com/grieg/ - http://www.sivasakti.com
The Master welcomed the advances of technology, but was keenly aware of its
limitations.
Courses
Self Realisation, Transformational and [Kundalini] [Meditation] Program at [Self Levitation Centre]
[Thinkers.com free training|http://www.x10thinkers.com/free/]
* http://www.carnatic.com/kishore/archives/000088.php
The University of Hard Knocks
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Michael S. Hart <hart@pobox.com>
(Internet, Bitnet, Compuserve, ATTMAIL or MCImail).
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The School That Completes Our Education
"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
And thus our life, exempt from public haunt,
MORE than a million people have sat in audiences in all parts of
the United States and have listened to "The University of Hard
"Can I get the lecture in book form?" That continuous question from
shake the hand of every person who has sat in my audiences. And I
wish I could tell the lecture committees of America how I
University of Hard Knocks" comes from the press.
SOME PRELIMINARY REMARKS--The lecturer the delivery wagon--The
the "red mud" becomes razor-blades--The world our mirror--The
V. GOING UP--How we become great--We must get inside greatness--
Amusement drunkards--Lure of the city--Strong men from the
Must save the home towns--A school of struggle--New School
VII. THE SALVATION OF A "SUCKER"--You can't get something for
1,000 per cent"--You must earn what you own--Commencement
lived--Singer must live songs--Successful songs written from
but stop--Few go on south--The plague of incompetents--Today our
best day, tomorrow to be better--Birthdays are promotions--I am
south--Overcoming obstacles develops power--Go on south from
principle, not praise--Doing duty for the joy of it--Becoming the
Some Preliminary Remarks
only the delivery wagon. When the delivery wagon comes to your
the goods it brings you. You know some very good goods are
sometimes delivered to you in some very poor delivery wagons.
you some of the multiplication table of life--not mine, not yours
the woodshed to get a bucket of sorghum from that barrel.
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
growing up from the Finite to the Infinite, and that it is done by
our own personal overcoming, and that we never finish it.
bound life? Have you noticed that every statement does not quite
cover it? No statement, no library, can tell all about life. No
We are told that the stomach needs bulk as well as nutriment. It
promote mental digestion like more bulk in the way of pictures and
it. They do not waste the bumps. We get promoted to the next bump.
But if we are "naturally bright," or there is something else the
have just gotten, then that bump must come back and bump us again.
Some of us learn to go forward with a few bumps, but most of us are
was a sentence in my grammar that disgusted me. It was by some
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
And thus our life, exempt from public haunt,
happy that I have begun to learn the lessons from the bumps. I am
But if you will remember some of these things, they will feel like
poultices by and by when the bumps come.
There comes a vivid memory of one of my early Needless Knocks as I
say that. It was back at the time when I was trying to run our home
to suit myself. I sat in the highest chair in the family circle. I
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
in three years that that woman had not meddled into.
I was reaching over to get it, that woman said, "Don't touch that!"
has that woman to meddle into my affairs all the time? I have stood
knew how stubborn and self-willed I was. It came from father's
my mother that a coffee-pot of some kind did not spill upon me, and I
runs on the same plan. The Voice of Wisdom says to each of us,
But we are not compelled to walk in the right path. We are free
born under an unlucky star." You don't know how that comforted me.
when I see that bump coming again I can say, "Excuse me; it hath a
that go upward have to be pushed. Going upward is overcoming.
Look over your community. Note the handful of brave, faithful,
unselfish souls who are carrying the community burdens and pushing
the tomorrow of communities that go upward. Majorities are not
drift and be amused and follow false gods that promise something
for nothing. They must be led--sometimes driven--by minorities.
fill up with disappointment, their vision becomes dulled. They
become anaemic feeding upon the husks.
subject," somebody says, You can? You poor old sinner, you have
"Remember, son, to stay away from the sticky flypaper. That is
flypaper shows me up better than anything at home. What a fine
can't catch us. They were too strict with me back home."
"Really," says Johnny Fly bowing to his comrades also stuck around
flies are around him. He does like the company. They all feel the
another drink and sing, "We won't go home till morning."
Johnny may get home, but he will leave a wing or a leg.
pitied, for he must get some more knocks.
were bumped. Some of you in this audience are just now wondering
some blow came crushing upon you and gave you cruel pain.
heart broken more times than I care to talk about now. Your home
have to have the Needful Knocks to become useful. And so does
You got your lessons, combed your hair, went to Sunday school and
There's red mud around every community that "hain't worth nothin'"
until you move it--send it to college or somewhere.
Not very long after this, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I saw some
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
Some of the pig iron went into another department, a big teakettle,
where it was again roasted, and now it came out a sophomore--steel,
Some of the sophomore steel went up into another grade where it was
roasted yet again and rolled thin into a junior. Some of that went
why did they take me away from my happy hole-in-the-ground? Why do
But after they had given it a diploma--a pricemark telling how much
If a ton of that red mud had become watch-springs or razor-blades,
Illinois, a crippled woman was wheeled into the tent and brought
coming here. I have the feeling that I spoke the words, but you are
They told me this crippled woman was the sweetest-spirited,
cripple into the tent. She was tall and stately. She was
well-gowned. She lived in one of the finest homes in the city. She
buy the frown from her face.
What would you have said? Just on the spur of the moment--I said,
sympathize. They are to become a precious part of our population.
There is no backward step in life. Whatever experiences come to us
We think this is true of the good things that come to us, but we do
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.
Think of what might happen to you today. Your home might burn. We
don't want your home to burn, but somebody's home is burning just
now. A conflagration might sweep your town from the map. Your
name might be tarnished. Bereavement might take from you the one
look out! Some of your friends would say, "I am so sorry for you.
Out of the trenches of the Great War come nations chastened by
we get wisdom, understanding, happiness, strength, success and
greatness. We go up in life. We become educated. Let me bring you
One day the train stopped at a station to take water. Beside the
have reached to the bottom, for he gave me the worst mess of runts
a mass meeting at the bottom.
of my pocket and the little ones would rattle down to the bottom.
You children try that tomorrow. Do not wait thirty years to learn
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
When things find their place, you can shake on till doomsday, but
before, the largest on top and the smallest at the bottom.
beans and some walnuts. You will pardon me for bringing such a
automatically goes the right way. The little ones go down and the
down in the bottom saying, "Help me! Help me! I am so unfortunate
See, the can shakes. Back to the bottom shakes the little bean. And
The can shakes. The little bean again shakes back to the bottom. He
make them big ones come down. Give every one an equal chance."
the same shakes that send the little ones back to the bottom.
of life. That barrel is shaking all the time. Every community is
stores, the schools, the pulpits, the homes--every place where we
lifted up to some big place, or when we want some big person to be
put down to some little place? We are foolishly trying to overturn
artificially boosted up into some place where he rattles.
I hear a good deal about destiny. Some people seem to think destiny
is something like a train and if we do not get to the depot in time
We shake down if we become small; we shake up if we become great.
We Compel Promotion
cannot keep you down. You do not ask for promotion, you compel
promotion. You grow greater, enlarge your dimensions, develop new
with various sizes of objects. When an employee would come into the
raised. As you grow greater you won't need to ask to be promoted.
You will promote yourself."
the Chicago house where a number of young ladies worked. Some of
girl from the country. It was her first office experience, and she
got the bottom job.
she had been put at, she would discover something else that ought
time they had been there. Nothing ever escaped her. She had become
some questions about the machine, which he answered fairly well.
Then I asked him about a machine in the next room. He said, "I
Some of us begin life on the top branches, right in the sunshine of
Some of us begin down in the shade on the bottom branches, and we
do not even get invited. We often become discouraged as we look at
were only up there I might amount to something. But I am too low
But if we let life become routine, we are shaking down. The very
routine or we become unhappy. If we go on doing just the same
and not growing any, pretty soon we become mere machines. We wear
competitors. The minister must be getting larger visions of the
same old schoolroom. The mother must be getting a larger horizon in
her homemaking.
commencement, not an end-ment.
I am sorry for the man, community or institution that spends much
tomorrow. The dead one's is yesterday.
We young people come up into life wanting great places. I would not
look forward to greater and better things tomorrow.
and get it. If we do not have pull enough, get some more pull. Get
some more testimonials.
place, that sized place will generally come seeking us.
We do not become great by getting into a great place, any more than
a boy becomes a man by getting into his father's boots. He is in
We can be a mushroom in a day, with the accent on the "mush." But
we cannot become an oak that way.
the most testimonials generally needs them most to keep him from
rattling. A testimonial so often becomes a crutch.
Many a man writes a testimonial to get rid of somebody. "Well, I
hope it will do him some good. Anyhow, I have gotten him off my
diploma, a degree, a certificate, a license, are but different
Then they become a mirror for his vanity instead of a monitor
a home enterprise--not for the sake of the imported attraction but
for the sake of the home folks who import it.
rejoice, for the kingdom of success is yours.
rattle back, and "the last estate of that man is worse than the
would throw him some money.
Maybe he paid a commission for such a choice beggars' beat.
Did you ever hear that line of conversation? It generally comes
from somebody who rattles where he is.
The fairy books love to tell about some clodhopper suddenly
be at the bottom."
shake down to the bottom.
other people? He wants something for nothing.
would not let us have them. Today we have them. They come to us as
How We Become Great
world's yardsticks or barometers.
We go up from selfishness to unselfishness.
We go up from impurity to purity.
We go up from unhappiness to happiness.
We go up from weakness to strength.
We go up from low ideals to high ideals.
We go up from little vision to greater vision.
We go up from foolishness to wisdom.
We go up from fear to faith.
We go up from ignorance to understanding.
sacrifice, struggle and overcoming. We push out our own skyline. We
We may become very great, very educated, rise very high, and yet
great blacksmith shop. It becomes our throne-room!
Come, let us grow greater. There is a throne for each of us.
the going up from the Finite to the Infinite.
a few scrambling over the heads of the weaker ones. Sometimes they
in the new kingdom they imagined he would establish on earth.
the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom."
We cannot buy a great arm. Our arm must become a great servant, and
thus it becomes great.
We cannot buy a great mind. Our mind must become a great servant,
and thus it becomes great.
Everybody's privilege and duty is to become great. And the joy of
become great. It is a great stairway that leads from where our feet
hundredth step or the thousandth step now. We want to make some
of earth are born; they rush in from the cold lands to the warm
We find our kitchen or workshop or office becoming a new throne
admire what we have accomplished and "point with pride." The
greater our vision, the more we see what is yet to be accomplished.
It was the sweet girl graduate who at commencement wondered how one
treasury. That is not why we give. We give to become great. The
widow had given all--had completely overcome her selfishness and
Becoming great is overcoming our selfishness and fear. He that
advancement of the kingdom of happiness on earth shall find it
upon what we do, whether peeling potatoes or ruling a nation, but
The world says some of us have golden gifts and some have copper
Every work is drudgery when done selfishly. Every work becomes
do not know all the great people who may come and stand upon this
come and stand upon it, if each be doing his work with the same
to make a roster of the great people of a community. You will find
the community heart in the precious handful who believe that the
The great people of the community serve and sacrifice for a better
tomorrow. They are the faithful few who get behind the churches,
the happy ones, happy for the larger vision that comes as they go
sweetest pay comes from doing many things they are not paid for.
They rarely get thanked, for the community does not often think of
thanking them until it comes time to draft the "resolutions of
to find the man the bureau had given as lyceum committeeman there.
I wondered what the grimy-faced man from the shaft, wearing the
strut and pose in the show places. Few of them are "prominent
and you read it in almost every committee doing good things in
He had broken away from Chicago to have a vacation. Many people
think that a vacation means going off somewhere and stretching out
under trees or letting the mind become a blank. But this Chicago
preacher went from one chautauqua town to another, and took his
were doing nothing. In every town he would discover somebody of
say, "I have no chance." "You come to Chicago and I'll give you a
somebody else.
His friends would sometimes worry about him. They would say, "Why
Sometimes they were right about that.
it becomes the fuel to make the steam to accomplish the wonderful
struggling and overcoming--that nation was strong. It was "prepared."
came from the struggle. When the people became materially prosperous
Many homes and communities have reached it.
have become strong men and women thru their struggles, who are
from their children their birthright--their opportunity to become
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
will buy any brand they see--buy the home brand of education, or
home. They are going to force this education into them regularly
do is to buy them some tools, perhaps, and open the gate and say,
the strength we have earned in our arms and the wisdom we have
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 birthright of every child is the opportunity of becoming
from Texas goes thru Mr. Armour's institute of packnology in
goes riding thru on that endless cable from his A-B-C's to his
from department to department until he is canned.
from department to department. They upholstered him, enameled him,
Gussie and Bill Whackem Gussie came back home with his education in
the Conquering Hero Comes."
crape hanging on the office door. Men and women stood weeping in
the community. People forgot all about Bill's lowly origin. They
So when the courts were looking for somebody big enough to take charge
had had Gussie's fine equipment he might have accomplished vastly more.
do that. You cannot get an education from the book and the college
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.
In almost every community are what we sometimes call "hard knocks
machine from a few bits of junk. But send him to Westinghouse and
Get the best tools you can. But remember diplomas, degrees are not
the books, remember, you are having a commencement, not an
just one series of greater commencements.
Go out with your fine equipment from your commencements into the
community in tears, failure and heartache. It is peculiarly a
fine homes and large bank accounts, so often think they can give
somebody does not take me aside and tell me a story just as sad
from that community.
depravity. He seems never to have had a fighting chance to become
a man. He seems to have been robbed of his birthright from the
generals of the Keystone state. He could plat great coal empires
and command armies of men, but he seems to have been pitifully
shaking down the rattlers. Somebody said it is only three
generations from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves.
You boys and girls, God bless you! You live in good homes. Father
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
killing it. He took away from it the very thing it had to have--the
somewhere. Just work that gets us three meals a day and a place to
junkpile, means little. "One day nearer home" for such a worker
One time I put some turkey eggs under the mother hen and waited day
the shells. Some of the little turkeys came out from the shells all
right, but some of them stuck in the shells.
is coming. Shell out!"
Children, you must crack your own shells. You must overcome your
you to know the joy of overcoming and having the angels come and
Happiness is the joy of overcoming. It is the delight of an
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
almost every day of the year--maybe two or three times some
to be "absent from the body and present with the Lord." Thus this
Almost every day as I go along the street to some hall to lecture,
I hear somebody asking, "What are they going to have in the hall
Do you ever get lonely in a city? How few men and women there. A
jam of people, most of them imitations--most of them trying to look
amused every moment, even when they eat, or they will have to be
will arise and go to his father's house of wisdom. But there is no
That is why the crowd is not furnishing the strong men and women.
community, the nation that goes on relaxing without
contracting--without struggling and overcoming--is degenerating.
ago and went to work at the bottom."
He glows as he tells you of some log-cabin home, hillside or
that young person comes to the city and shakes in the barrel among
The cities do not make their own steam. The little minority from
from the country year by year into the national arteries, else
"Hep" and "Pep" for the Home Town
But so many of the home towns of America are sick. Many are dying.
to leave. Somebody says, "The reason so many young people go to
telephones, centralized schools, automobiles and good roads, there
sunshine, air and freedom that the crowded cities cannot have.
from getting together, organizing, overpowering the few guards and
America have one thing in common with the asylum folks--they can't
A lot of struggling churches compete with each other instead of
massing for the common good. And when the churches fight, the devil
So the home towns stagnate and the young people with visions go
opportunity right back in the home town, had the town been awake
We must make the home town the brightest, most attractive, most
promising place for the young people. No home town can afford to
coming back. That is the drain that devitalizes the home towns more
cities, but in the greatness of innumerable home towns.
The slogan today should be, For God and Home and the Home Town!
Dr. Henry Solomon Lehr, founder of the Ohio Northern University at
pride, "Our students come to school; they are not sent."
courses elastic to accommodate them. He saw the need of combining
school into competing groups, so that the student who had no
debating societies to compete with each other. He arranged contests
contestants. Yet each student felt no compulsion. Rather he felt
intercept new students, even to their homes in other states. Each
old student pledged new students in his home country. The military
companies turned the school into a military camp for weeks each
of men and women of uniformly greater achievement.
pupils sat around the philosopher in the groves.
From these schools came the makers and the preservers of the nation.
with a few great centralized state normal schools and state
girls who come out in case-lots from these huge school plants will
that each student come in vital touch with great men. We get life
from life, not from laboratories, and we have life more abundantly
spirit of its teachers are its greatest endowment. And sometimes
when the money endowment comes the spiritual endowment goes in
fatty degeneration. Some schools seem to have been visited by
learning one sentence, "You can't get something for nothing." I
somewhere.
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
them the full complement of strings for their life symphonies.
After all this there comes the commencement, and the violin comes
truth becomes a new blessing. Then the oldest, driest platitude
"deestrick" school and read from McGuffey's celebrated literature,
"You Can't Get Something for Nothing"
get something for nothing." That is, getting it in partial tune. It
drink from a copper kettle. But I have fed him the fingers of this
their own departments. Some people go to the canned fruit
department. Some go to the fancywork department. Some go to the
where it was. I didn't need to be told. I gravitated there. The
I went over to the other side of the fairgrounds and sat down. That
to learn the lesson from the bump. I said, "Next time I shall be
Learn? No! Within a month I was on the street a Saturday night when
and stood up in his buggy. "Let the prominent citizens gather
Immediately all the prominent "suckers" crowded around the buggy.
a cake of this wonderful soap from my hat--any cake you want, gentlemen!"
I had in that drawer the deed to my Oklahoma corner-lots. Those
doubled. They still exist on the blueprint and the Oklahoma
I had in that drawer my deed to my rubber plantation. Did you ever
hear of a rubber plantation in Central America? That was mine.
I used to wonder how I ever could spend my income. I do not wonder now.
retired ministers would come periodically and sell me stock in some
was selling it on his reputation. Favorite dodge of the promoter to
I was also greatly interested in companies where I put in one
banker once said to me, "Why don't you invest in something that
savings into the bottom of the sea.
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
rent my manly bosom as I read that letter from this man who said he
a prominent citizen and have a large influence in your community.
train for St. Louis. I was afraid somebody might beat me there if
I waited till next day. I sat up all night in a day coach to save
money for Tom, the friend of our family. But I see now I need not
sheep-shears ready. Lambie, lambie, lambie, come to St. Louis!
I don't get any sympathy from this crowd. You laugh at me. You
could not learn it at home, back in Ohio. I had to go clear down to
St. Louis to Tom Cleage's bucket-shop and pay him eleven hundred
thirty-third degree in financial suckerdom for only eleven hundred
I have always regarded Tom as one of my great school teachers. I
feel hard toward goldbrick men and "blue sky" venders. I sometimes
sentence, You cannot get something for nothing. Life just begins to
that ad in it, for I have graduated from that class.
floor. I will not grasp it. Come away, it is a coffee-pot!
Today when somebody offers me much more than the legal rate of
O, Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son! Learn it early in life. The
law of compensation is never suspended. You only own what you earn.
You can't get something for nothing. If you do not learn it, you
some of the above experiences. "The audience laughed with you and
community year after year. I wish you could see what I have to see.
out of our community every year into just such wildcat enterprises
Absalom, wake up! This is bargain night for you. I paid eleven
stomach or mind.
Those Commencement Orations
After they "finish" they have a commencement, not an end-ment, as
that life is one infinite succession of commencements and
promotions!
I love to attend commencements. The stage is so beautifully
Number One comes forth and begins:
How embarrassing at a commencement for the fingers not to follow
Applause, especially from relatives.
Sweet Girl Graduate Number 2, generally comes second. S. G. G. No.
a filmy creation caught with something or other.
You get the most beautiful and sublime truths from Emerson's
essays. (How did they ever have commencements before Emerson?) But
up over Alps of difficulty and seeing the Italy of promise and
to the poet Tennyson." Come here, Lord Alfred. So I soldered these
fragments from the books together with my own native genius. I
I committed it all to memory, and then went to a lady who taught
life is expression. But you have to get something to express. Here
and that sermon would not have hesitated.
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
would not have hurt me so much. It has taken some years to learn
So, children, when you prepare your commencement oration, write
about peeling potatoes than about anything else, write about
"Peeling Potatoes," and you are most likely to hear the applause
peal from that part of your audience unrelated to you.
vital impulse. They come out of the author's head. The books that
live must come out of his heart. They are his own life. They come
surging and pulsating from the book of his experience.
The best part of our schooling comes not from the books, but from
We study agriculture from books. That does not make us an
cultivated it, they are singers. All this cultivation and irritation
and irrigation and gargling of the throat are merely symptoms of
They think the song comes from the diaphragm. But it comes from the
The audience politely endured Jessie. That night a woman sang in
all right and you have a better voice than that woman, but you
sing that song, for it is the sob of a broken-hearted woman. Learn
The guest of honor at a dinner in a Chicago club was a woman who is
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
discouraged and down and out. It was in my little back-room, the
only home I had, that I began to write songs. I wrote them for my
The woman was Carrie Jacobs-Bond, who wrote "The Perfect Day,"
The woman who sat there clad in black, with her sweet, expressive
wholesome, uplifting sentiments in Carrie Jacobs-Bond's songs
become wrecks. But I am insisting upon what I see written all
success flows from the fullness of our experience just as the songs
came from the life of Carrie Jacobs-Bond.
He could give you almost any date. He could finish almost any quotation.
His conversation was largely made up of classical quotations.
himself. He could quote a page of John Locke, but somehow the page
understandingly from it.
Note the sweeping, positive statements of the young person.
Note the cautious, specific statements of the person who has lived
Our education is our progress from the sweeping, positive,
wholesale statements we have not proved, to the cautious, specific
statements we have proved.
ones. You have cried yourselves to sleep, some of you, and walked
Never do this many gather but what there are some with aching hearts.
Maybe some of you are naturally bright!
sleep. You are going to walk the floor when you cannot sleep. Some
bumps and the tears, that all these things somehow are necessary to
promote our education.
pitch, where the discords fade from our lives and where the music
divine and harmonies celestial come from the same old strings that
and understanding come into our lives.
day came from all over the township. They were so glad our school
shut my eyes and see it yet. I can see my pupils coming forward to
"Mary's little lamb" come slipping over the stage. I see the
act on the bill to say farewell. It was customary to cry. I wanted
to yell. Tomorrow I would get my money! I had a speech I had been
saying over and over until it would say itself. But somehow when I
friends. I am going away, but I am coming back." I thought to cheer
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
For on the way home I met Deacon K, and he borrowed it all. Deacon K
Deacon K has gone from earth. He has gone to his eternal reward. I
but I paid all the money I got from it--two hundred and forty
from the books, that it takes less wisdom to make money, than it
A lyceum bureau once sent me back to my home town to lecture. I
imagine most lecturers have a hard time lecturing in the home town.
And he has gotten his lecture out of that home town. The heroes and
come to hear him. "Is not this the carpenter's son?" Perhaps this
is why some lecturers and authors are not so popular in the home
"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
time had come when I knew the person who could go on living in any
years before, just before commencement. I had not seen the picture
As commencement day approached, the committee of the class
on the stage back of the oleander commencement night.
The girl who was to become the authoress became the helloess in the
home telephone exchange, and had become absolutely indispensable to
the community. The girl who was to become the poetess became the
stamp-licking department of the home postoffice. The boy who was
Most of them were doing very well even Jim Lambert. Jim had become
a lot of men working for him. The committee that took him out
commencement, would now have to wait in line before a frosted door
Dull boy or girl--you with your eyes tear-dimmed sometimes because
you do not seem to learn like some in your classes can you not get
a bit of cheer from the story of Jim?
Hours pass, and still as I sat in that hotel room I was lost in
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
The only changes had come where God had come into a life to uplift
work as a man. The boy who went to the bottom of things in school
was going to the bottom of things in manhood. Which had helped him
domineering egotist boy became the domineering egotist man.
years afterwards, he was doing time in the state penitentiary for
combed, and said, "If you please," used to hurt me. He was the
teacher's model boy. All the mothers of the community used to say
He'll be President of the United States some day, and you'll be in
jail." But Model Harry sat around all his life being a model. I
believe Mr. Webster defines a model as a small imitation of the
class--our real pretty girl who won the vase in the home paper
happy homemakers of the community.
these years to support a home and care for her family. She had kept
Frank was the boy I had envied. He had everything--a fine home,
I was the janitor of the schoolhouse. Some of my classmates will
carried in the coal. After commencement my career seemed to end and
But the week after commencement I had to go into a printing office,
why some people had all the good things and I had all the hard things.
Twenty-one years afterward as I got off the train in the home town,
a fortune, broke his father's heart, shocked the community, and
Do you remember it? The Jewish boy is torn from his home in
committed. Ben Hur did not get a fair trial. Nobody can get a fair
look across the street and see somebody who lives a happier life.
circus. See Messala, the haughty Roman, and see! Ben Hur from the
There comes the crucial moment in the race. See the man with the
forearms? From the galleys!
by grim necessity, every honest effort is laid up at compound
comes when we need every ounce. Sooner or later our chariot race is
and for the circumstances that compelled it.
There is a place where a little stream leaps out from the lake.
relative to die and bequeath him some water. That is a beautiful
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
orations, especially in high school commencements, entitled, "The
Success is not tomorrow or next year. Success is now. Success is
2. He overcomes his obstacles and develops his power.
river now--the most successful river in the state. But he does not
the Mississippi, river. he would become a stagnant, poisonous pond.
schoolrooms, over the business houses and homes--GO ON SOUTH AND
retire. Even young people as they start south and make some little
knee-pants achievement, some kindergarten touchdown, succumb to
We can protect ourselves fairly well from our enemies, but heaven
deliver us from our fool friends.
The Plague of Incompetents
Civilization is mostly a conspiracy to keep us from going very far south.
The one who keeps on going south defies custom and becomes unorthodox.
become good servants, workmen or artists. The young people get a
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
think that is being a stenographer, when it is merely a symptom of
to do, because they have never gone south far enough to become
Half of our life is spent in getting competents to repair the
botchwork of incompetents.
so far, and tomorrow is going to be better on south.
brings us a larger vision. Infinity, Eternity, Omnipotence,
Omniscience are all on south.
moment for all the years before it. I have their footings at
compound interest! They are dead. This is life.
Yesterday I had a birthday. I looked in the glass and communed with
my features. I saw some gray hairs coming. Hurrah!
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
are the most valuable, for they have the vision and wisdom of many
person in the pulpit, in the schoolroom, in the office, behind the
come to me and tell me how to improve--what to do and what not to
Years ago a bureau representative who booked me told me my lectures
I was so dissatisfied with what little I knew. He told me I could
watched them come and go, come and go. I have heard their fierce
Some people seem to string out to near a hundred years with mighty
few birthdays. Some people spin up to Methuselahs in a few years.
From what I can learn of Methuselah, he never grew past copper-toed
work. She looks younger than many women of half her years. "The
the Odd Fellows' Home near Elkins, where he lived. On the porch of
the home was a row of old men inmates. The senator shook hands with
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
Thomas Alva Edison. He had gotten to St. Paul, and he went on
fifty-four," he would have become the seventeenth mummy on the
time" when he becomes the leader of the Israelite host.
what is this we hear? You going to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land?
what to do. Watch things happen from now on. Children of
They appoint a committee to bury Moses. You cannot do anything in
America without a committee. The committee gets out the invitations
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
The committee begins to weep. "General Moses, you are a very old
committee duly authorized to give you gorgeous burial. The funeral
until he consents. It is bad manners! The committee is so
mortified, for all the invitations are out. It waits.
Moses is eighty-six and the committee 'phones over, "Moses, can you
The committee waits. Moses is ninety and rushed more than ever.
himself. But he makes the committee wait.
He is a hundred. And the committee dies!
So God buried him. The committee was dead. O, friends, this is not
absorbed in our going that we'll fool the "committee."
I never sit down as "company" at a dinner and see some little
children going sadly into the next room to "wait till the second
Mother would stay home from "quart'ly meeting" to get the big
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
was coming for dinner.
I would see mother put on the tallest pile of mashed potatoes you
nearest the fried chicken. The "company" would sit down. I used to
"company" had to come and gobble it up. They would fill the table
me to sit. Father would say, "You go into the next room, my boy,
and wait. There's no room for you at the table."
room and hear the big dinner. Did you ever hear a big dinner when
the next room that heaven would be a place where everybody would
Many a time after that, Elder Berry would come into the room where
boy?" He would come over to the remains of Brother Parlette's boy.
But some day I shall know! I patiently wait for the answer. Every
day brings the answer to something I could not answer yesterday.
Overcoming Obstacles Develops Power
you see the struggle of overcoming the obstacle develops light and
the light and power from the struggle. The great city of St. Louis,
the river, but it took the obstacle and the overcoming to develop
That is exactly what happens when you and I overcome our obstacles.
but it is all latent and does no good until we overcome obstacles
Obstacles are the power stations on our way south!
I hear people saying, "I hope the time may speedily come when I
shall have no more obstacles to overcome!" When that time comes,
Life is going on south, and overcoming the obstacles. Death is
For they are dead from the ears up. They have not thought a new
thought the past month. Sometimes they sit and think, but generally
Usually the deadest loafer is married to the livest woman. Nature
They do not join in to promote the churches and schools and big
squirt some "pep" into them and start them on south.
Go on South From Principle
Here we come to the most wonderful and difficult thing in life. It
for anything outside, but for the happiness that comes from within.
and overcomes. But the valley does not bless the river in return.
few miles below the Twin Cities and see how, by some mysterious
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
for a better community, gets discouraged at times.
We fail to see what we are doing or why we are doing it. Sometimes
we sit down completely discouraged and say, "I'm done. I'm going to
somebody else do it awhile."
your heart. His business is to stop you from going south. His most
You do not go south and overcome your obstacles and bless the
Almost everybody is deceived. We work from mixed motives. We fool
was riding stopped in Louisiana. We had come to a river so great
conquering gloriously. You bear upon your bosom the commerce of
which way to go, and then keep on going south--on and on, overcoming,
getting the lessons of the bumps, the strength from the struggle
And when he comes to the end of his physical banks, he pushes on
When you and I come to our Gulf of Mexico, we must push right on
Perhaps getting the million would completely spoil us. Look at the
If the burden were lifted from most of us we would go to wreck.
speak when he failed and went back to his room in disgrace,
performance, do you think of the years of struggle and overcoming
drinks to his gods. Then must come the Needful and Needless Knocks
that some of us will have to go to jail to do our best work.
to be scourged and fettered to become the Apostle to the Gentiles.
humanity. What throne-rooms are some prisons! And what prisons are
some throne-rooms!
rising from the ashes of defeat?
commencement day with your diplomas in your hands, and when your
that you are saving us from ourselves. But O, how most of us must
upward from Alpine Tavern to the summit. It is three miles long
upon them from higher up. Each day as I look back I see more
fountains of rainbows. Such a sunset from the mountain-side is a
promise of heaven.
Some day my night will come. It will spread over all this valley of
This will be another Commencement Day and Master's Degree. Infinite
happiness now in our work, and not tomorrow for our work.
Dr. J. G. Crabbe, President of the State Teachers College,
ought to be read today and tomorrow and forevermore every
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
The Best is Yet to Come
You Can't Get Something for Nothing
These booklets by Ralph Parlette are short stories adapted from
John C. Carroll, President of the Hyde Park State Bank of Chicago,
own vice president, and they all want another copy to send to some
Respect All Adore One
Competent disciples are never in want of a competent [guru]. Realised
will be benefitted in their company. The number of realised souls may
be less in the present age, when compared with the satya yuga (the
spiritual teachings from one preceptor alone. Drink deeply from one
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
From one doctor you get a prescription. From two doctors you get
consultation. From three doctors you get your own cremation. Even so,
knowledge from all, but adopt the teachings of one master. Then you
Iris Murdoch
[People] > Iris Murdoch ( http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/imurdoch.htm ) [via Sathish|http://sathishr.blogspot.com/2002_12_01_sathishr_archive.html#85831003]
British writer and university lecturer, a prolific and highly professional novelist. Murdoch dealt with everyday ethical or moral issues, sometimes in the light of myths. As a writer Murdoch was a perfectionist, and she did not let editors change her text. Murdoch produced 26 novels in 40 years.
THE BELL (1958) is among Murdoch's most successful novels. It depicts an Anglican religious community in Gloucestershire. The events focus on the replacement bell to be hung in an abbey tower. Finally the difficulties of the task culminate in an effort to move the bell along a causeway to the gates of the nunnery - the bell suddenly falls into the water and sanks without a trace. The story was later televised.
--'Nothing's as good as the real thing,' said Peter. 'It's odd that even a perfect imitation, as soon as you know it's an imitation, gives much less pleasure. I remember Kant says how disappointed your guests are when they discover that the afterdinner nightingale is a small boy posted in the grove.'
--'A case of the natural attractiveness of truth,' said Michael." (from The Bell, 1958)
Guide to Sadhakas
as poison, as vomited food, as dung or urine. They cannot give you
satisfaction. Preserve your virya (vital energy) carefully. Sleep
Take to sankirtan (chanting), satsang (holy company), prayer when the
more than one's expectations. Desires multiply miseries. Develop
Breath
phenomenon of breathing has to be understood.
Every child born is not really alive until he breathes. He has just a few moments
left. If he breathes after the birth, in those few moments life enters. If he does
Those first few moments of life are the most important. The doctors, the parents,
all become concerned when a child is born. Will he breathe? Will he cry and start
The whole has to breathe in him, that's why those few moments are full with
the child, the child becomes alive, otherwise not.
you become aware that the whole is doing everything, you are being possessed by the
whole, breathed by it, you are just a hollow bamboo, a flute, the sound comes from
the whole, the whole life comes from it -- then you live a life of enlightenment.
It is not just air coming and going through your lungs. Yoga says the air is just
Once you discover that God himself is hidden in breath, you have come to know
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
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.
on doing these things, but let your consciousness be aware of the breath coming in,
The God is hidden in the temple of the breath. Suddenly one day you become aware
analyze and come to know how much oxygen is needed, how much hydrogen, how much
breath -- but you missed the innermost real phenomenon.
Tantra
[The Magick Path of Tantra|http://www.shivashakti.com/magick.htm] : ...The spark of Tantra was ignited in India but was exported and burst into flame in other countries. Although Tantra had a firm spiritual basis, it was not so much a religion as a way of life.....Tantra lore maintains that only enlightenment, attained by meditation or breath control, culminating in Self Realisation could end rebirth and bring about reunion of the Spirit with the Supreme Spirit of the Cosmos -the Purusha (Cosmic Spirit).....The Tantrik Nath or Kaula way of life is based on the profound knowledge that men and women are not machines, animals or robots. They are not pawns in a cosmic game nor must they accept the face value of the cards dealt out by the "Dealer". For most, the general program of their lives is a routine they must accept and most of it is easily predictable. Too many people are resigned to this and when some event bursts in their face or shatters the roundabout routine, very few are prepared to manipulate the event or have the thinking ability to control it. As the routine, and life in general, becomes more complicated, the "Think Power" diminishes. They become, more and more, one of the crowd and willing to be carried on the wavecrests of convention and corruption. They become the people who vote in haste and repent at leisure. The future well being and welfare of human society is much in our own hands on both material and spiritual levels.....the Nath Tantriks value the development of the three super-psychic faculties of [insight], [intuition] and [imagination]...
[Georg Feuerstein] : [Tantrism and Neotantrism|http://www.santosha.com/moksha/tantrism1.html]
[What is tantra?|http://www.geocities.com/open_tantra_group/what_is_tantra.htm] : ...Tantra is an ancient "life positive" esoteric path suited to the needs of genuine seekers after esoteric wisdom in the twenty-first century. Currently best known for its advocacy of sacred sexual practices, these are in fact only part of what Tantra is about...
[sivasakti.com - General Introduction to Tantra Yoga|http://sivasakti.com/articles/tantra/introduction-to-tantra-art01.html]
Web Hosting
Recommend Web Hosts!
* What would you recommend ?
[send email|http://www.carnatic.com/contact/]
* Multiple Domains
* Public Recommendations on weblogs/websites - more positives and no or reasonable negatives !
[send email|http://www.carnatic.com/contact/]
# The best is to pay monthly... If you are not satisfied with the host, you can switch
!Recommendation(s)
# http://www.doreo.com - no SSH
# http://www.asmallorange.com - almost perfect if not for some uptime issues! - have personal experience
# 2009 11 29 - VPS Performance Comparison - http://journal.uggedal.com/vps-performance-comparison
# http://www.fsckvps.com
# http://www.slicehost.com
# http://www.webfaction.com - Ned Batchelder ( http://nedbatchelder.com/site/colophon.html ) uses it..
# http://www.totalchoicehosting.com - no SSH, no fantastico
* 2009 nov 01 http://scobleizer.com/2009/10/31/calling-all-web-hosting-companies/
* 2009 oct 15 http://apisnetworks.com/web_hosting_packages ( found via http://www.theangrydrunk.com/2009/10/14/lifehacker-emphasis-on-the-hack/ )
* 2009 03 01 - http://lifehacker.com/5124856/most-popular-reliable-and-affordable-web-hosts
* 2008 11 15 - Updated recommendations
* 2006 12 22 - changed recommendation
* 2005 09 16 - how many web hosts have weblogs - http://weblog.textdrive.com , http://blog.dreamhost.com - dreamhost provides web hosting services to over 140,000 domains ([source|http://blog.dreamhost.com/dreamhost-information/]) and textdrive 3,958 ([source|http://weblog.textdrive.com/article/160/4-servers-5-hours]) - confirm for yourself - Recommendations
* [DreamHost|http://www.dreamhost.com/rewards.cgi?carnaticwm] (disclaimer: I get referral fees - will tell you how much when i get some...)
* [HostingMatters|http://www.hostmatters.com/]
* [TotalChoice Hosting|http://www.totalchoicehosting.com/] - lacks SSH !
* [TextDrive|http://www.textdrive.com/]
* Compare downtimes, features, price and go for it !
* 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
* 2004 November 29 - http://bloghosts.com is closing !!! - Switching to http://totalchoicehosting.com
* 2004 02 18 - http://www.kishore.org is hosted at http://www.bloghosts.com - I recommend http://www.bloghosts.com - I will use the word "highly" after some months...
http://www.totalchoicehosting.com
* http://williambragg.com/wordpress/
* http://www.lisa-jill.com/
* http://www.alittlegroup.com/
* http://www.handmade-invitations.com/
http://www.hostingmatters.com
* http://littlegreenfootballs.com/
* http://www.command-post.org/desk/
* http://www.blogsofwar.com/
* http://www.handfulofsand.com/blog/
* http://wizbangblog.com/
* http://keithdevens.com/weblog/
* http://instapundit.com/
http://www.textdrive.com
* http://maczealots.com/
* http://stupidevilbastard.com - seems to be hosted at http://www.hostingmatters.com
* http://www.cosmopoetica.com/blog/
* http://www.boogenstein.com
* http://photodude.com/
* http://www.addisonhall.com/
* [Movable Type Friendly Web Hosts|http://www.elise.com/mt/archives/000391movable_type_friendly_web_hosts.php]
* [What to Look for in a Web Host|http://channels.lockergnome.com/technobabble/archives/20041110_what_to_look_for_in_a_web_host.phtml]
* 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.....
* Christopher Heng : [Which Web Host Would You Recommend? (FAQ)|http://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/webhosting.shtml] >>> http://www.FutureQuest.net
* [ComputerBob's Guide To Web Hosts|http://www.computerbob.com/guides/guide_web_hosts.php] >>> http://www.fluidhosting.com , http://www.venturesonline.com , http://www.christianwebhost.com
2) http://www.blogomania.com
* [Michael Kelly - mkelley.net moves from Dreamhost to BlogOMania|http://mkelley.net/archive/2003/03/03/1208.php]
3) http://www.dreamhost.com
* http://www.wombatnation.com/ : [I highly recommend dreamhost|http://www.wombatnation.com/blog/archives/2004/01/315_gallery_141.html]
* 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]
* [Michael Kelly - mkelley.net moves from Dreamhost to BlogOMania|http://mkelley.net/archive/2003/03/03/1208.php]
4) http://www.bluevirtual.com
* http://www.shaunc.com/ : [I'd suggest taking a look at bluevirtual.com|http://lists.golum.org/pipermail/golum/2003-November/013445.html]
5) http://www.cornerhost.com
6) http://www.pair.com
* Christopher Heng : [Which Web Host Would You Recommend? (FAQ)|http://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/webhosting.shtml]
* http://www.asmallorange.com/
* http://www.textdrive.com/
* http://www.bloghosts.com - closed for business - realised this on 19-Nov-2004
* http://www.ipowerweb.com
* http://www.insiderhosting.com
* http://www.phpwebhosting.com
* http://www.netnation.com
# http://www.bloghosts.com
* [Michael Kelley is using bloghosts|http://mkelley.net/archive/2003/11/20/2614.php], [Server Go Boom|http://mkelley.net/archive/2003/11/20/2614.php] : .....I will still *highly* recommend them to anyone.....
* [Kalyan Varma|http://kalyanvarma.net/localhost.html] recommends
http://www.pair.com
http://www.liquidweb.com
http://www.hostmagik.com
http://www.aletiahosting.com
http://www.lunarpages.com/
http://www.imhosted.com
http://www.vervehosting.com
* [MetaTalk.metafilter.com:web hosting recommendations (or warnings)?|http://metatalk.metafilter.com/mefi/2064] : dreamhost, pair
* [Movable Type Friendly Web Hosts|http://www.elise.com/webmarketing/archives/000106movable_type_friendly_web_hosts.html]
* [Keith Devens] : [Web hosts|http://keithdevens.com/wiki/Web+hosts]
* [Rick Klau : Web hosting suggestions?|http://www.rklau.com/tins/archives/2003/11/11/web_hosting_suggestions.php] : http://www.imhosted.com http://www.hostingmatters.com/
* [Jerry Lawson's Hosts for Web Sites or Blogs|http://www.netlawblog.com/archives/000184.html] : http://www.lunarpages.com/ http://www.webhost4life.com/
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Robert Blackwill
Unlike Siddhartha, my meditations while preparing
limitations, will not adequately inspire my remarks on
Shortly after my arrival, I took the train from New
“the train soothed and comforted me and stimulated my
planet. I so wished that my mother, Roma from South
Visiting Humayun’s tomb with US Secretary of the
Treasury Paul O’Neill who commented that when it was
omega provide conflicting context. The vale of
rest of my life. Someday, I am going to drive from
come along? Has this possibility never entered your
Siachen. Those men from all over India give new
male singer accompanied by a harmonium in the Golden
ambassadorial reputation may have survived my hip-hop
that you will be comfortable as I continue my extended
there and back in great comfort. A wonderful train.
the sky. On some nights, there must be stars nowhere
Jaisalmer. I am surprised some city in northern Europe
Jaisalmer, close your eyes for a moment and see the
camel caravans coming through this desert town a
in this uncommon land. Let me go on following the map
courage of the Gujaratis as they recover from the
earthquake. Pulsating Mumbai. Speaking with its
effervescent business community is for me like
In these places, my omnipresent security detail from
them — who accompanied me everywhere in India, who
to protect me. Oh, this India that I have come to know
adaptation. Magnificent Mughal miniatures. Like you, I
eye. When freed (from the senses) the wise, on
departing from this world, become immortal.”
and therefore of particular meaning and comfort to me.
cloudy day. Can we move them to the Potomac to give me
Ranthambhore. How could they be more in command? I
home, and have sent them an email with a job offer.
Haven’t yet heard back from those big cats yet, but I
homeland. But on this subject, like so many others,
India has left its dominant and enduring imprint on
devastating fact of terrorism against India. Sitting
week. Month after month. India’s death toll from
I left the United States for India in the summer of
single person — an individual man, woman, child — with
Accomplishments to record. Setbacks to overcome.
abominations. No political cause could justify these
know this from the Ramayana, and many other holy
sometimes takes more time than we would like.
States and India will win it together - because we
a word about India’s religious beliefs. Someone once
challenge from a variety of perspectives for several
these two years to experience, and to profit from,
20050228
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Puthucode
http://captmahesh.editthispage.com/puthucode
A Brief Report on Its History and Present Status
Puthucode is a picturesque village situated in idyllic surroundings in the central part of Kerala. It is located almost on the westernmost boundary of Alatur taluk in Palghat district, and is a border village lying between Palghat and Trichur districts. One of the oldest temples dedicäled to Goddess Bhagawathi, known as Puthucode Bhagawathi is situated in this village. The temple is located at the centre of a habitation of great Vedic Scholars, all around which live people of Hindu society serving the temple. In essence, the temple formed the centre of activity for the whole villagers catering to their spiritual, cultural and social needs. Due to several factors, the temple came under the management of Naduvil Madam Devaswoms and little is known of the period earlier to this. It is believed that in the days past, a Sanyasi by name Manjapotta Swamji camped in Puthucode, and the villagers gifted the temple and properties to him, thus establishing that the temple belonged to the villagers.
Most of the inhabitants in the immediate surroundings of the temple are Brahmins, who live in four Agraharams radiating at right angles from the temple. They were mostly Vedic and Sanskrit scholars. Many families were proficient in other fine arts like Carnatic music, and music instruments. This was the situation in the olden days. A few among them went out and acquired modern education becoming teachers, lawyers and judges. Some took up Government jobs. After this, under the onslaught of the changed times, steady migration of old inhabitants to other parts looking for new avenues of life took place. To day very few descendants of the old inhabitants live in the village.
The temple occupies extensive ground. It is difficult to find a temple in Kerala with such large and wide four-squared construction called “Chuttambalam”. It has been built on the principles of Agamasastra. The daily rituals are held according to traditional Kerala customs. Cherumukku Manaikkal Nambudiris hold the right as its head priest. But the daily poojas are done by immigrant Brahmin. The present day poojas are done by Sri Ka3i who is heir to a tradition left behind by his father and grand-father, who like him were also performing the poojas. The temple opens for worship everyday at 5.30 a.m. and closes at 10 a.m. Again it reopens for evening worship at 4.30 p.m. Closing at 9 p.m. The deity is a Prasannatha Moorthy Swaroopini casting spell on worshippers by her radiant smile and charm. It needs thousand eyes to behold the beauty and splendour of the goddess in full decoration in the evenings. Srinivasa lyer’s deft hands who is an adept in sandal paste decoration called “Chandana charthu” contribute a great deal in this transformation (Now his son Kasi).
The temple is open to all belonging to Hindu society. In the mornings the pundits from village recite Devi Mahatmyam and Sundarakandam for the welfare of all. In the evenings recitation of vedas by the learned takes place and particular mention must be made of Varam recitals in the month of November/December which bring to the fore the great erudition, skill, and knowledge of the participants. The younger generation also assembles in evenings for community recital of Shyamaladandakam and Sahasranamam. The Variyam, Nambisan and Marar families carry out the other chores in the temple.
The lands, both agricultural and poromboke and the forests in and around the village belong to th? temple. Those who own Dewaswom lands are bound by covenants to pay annuity to the temple by way of cash, paddy and oil. According to this practice, the temple has an annual income of 7,000 paras (measures) of paddy annually. The temple is administered by the Naduvil Madom Devaswom who have totally eighteen temples under their control. A manager to look after the day to day work of the temple is appointed for each temple. The manager is responsible to collect annuities from those who keep temple lands, pay wages for staff, maintain temple accounts and property and arrange for celebration of temple festivals.
One of the most important festivals of the temple is Navarathri festival which falls in September/October each year. This festival is celebrated by the joint efforts of the villagers and the Devaswom with great gusto. An air of festivity descends on the village for ten days during this time. It is a custom of this temple that, those who come to worship during these ten days are fed free. The deity is therefore called ‘Annapoorneswari.”
A few prominent citizens who took active steps for getting the Agrasala constructed, paving the “Seeveli Panthi” all round the temple with granite and erecting a copper flag mast are Maniyan Pattali, Ambiseshan Rama Pattar, Gopala Warrior, Manjapra Seshamani Iyer and Mannappadam Swaminatha Vadhyar could be mentioned among many others. Another individual who took active interest both in the village and temple affairs is Sri. P.R. Anantha Narayana Vadhyar, who was respected for his organising ability as much as for his knowledge of the rituals, sastras and the Vedas.
The temple Devaswom has encouraged the daily recitation of Devi Mahatmya, Sundarakanda, Sama and Yajur Vedas and Thula Purana for which appropriate provision has been earmarked for payment of Dakshina to the participants.
A special mention must be made here about the Navarathri festival. The festival begins in the first day after the new moon day in the month of Kanni. After the flag hoisting ceremony in the hours following the sun set, which is attended by all the villagers, they are received with traditional honours by the Devaswom Manager in the Agrasala who requests them to CO-operate in the conduct of the Navarathri celebrations. This is followed by the cutting of vegetables by all those present signifying the start of the preparations for the temple feeding of Bhaktas from the following morning.
* 1 st Vilakku Ottamadom House
* 10th day Arattu Devaswom
It is a feast to the eyes and ears, reminiscent of the Trichur Pooram in a small way. The villages are decorated with buntings and arches. In the evening the whole village is turned in fairly land by coloured electric lighting. The temple is aglow with a million oil lamps around the prakaras. Flower decorations beauty and sanctity to the temple, while the sweet scent pervades the atmosphere. The deity and sanctum sanctorum receive special artistic treatment in the hands of Kasi who turns the Niramala and Niravilakku into something which belongs to Devaloka. The goddess Bhagawathy rediates a special charm and glows like a thousand sun, captivating every one with Her benign smile casting a spell on those who come to worship her. The evening Deeparadhana is a special sight to behold and there is no doubt that the entire atmosphere is transformed into a highly electrifying one. A feeling of intense bhakthi and devotion hithe~rto unknown descends on the devotees giving them a blissful feeling who stand entranced beholding the enchanting form of the deity and pouring out superlatives praising Her many qualities. There is no doubt that the all benevolent Devi responds to their devotion by showering her blessings as can be noticed from the satisfaction and peace descending on the faces of the devotees. After the Deeparadhana, recitation of Shyamaladandaka and Sahasrananla by the younger folks follows. Kelikottu, Thayampaka, Padakam and Chakyar Koothu follow this till late in the night to give mass entertainment. Again at midnight caparisoned elephants are taken out in procession through the village, importance being given to Pandi Melam. Lighted torches called ‘Panthams’ are the lighting media which throw off a reddish radiance. With this that day’s Navarathri festival concludes. The next day’s celebrations start all over again under the charge of the village which is next in the preassigned list.
For feeding of devotees on Navarathri days, several families of the village have bequethed land to the Devaswom in the days gone by. For example the feeding on the 6th day has been traditionally done in the name of “Nanupattar Sadya” whose family has endowed land to the Devaswom for this purpose.
The successive managers of the temple and the trustees appointed by the Naduvilamadam DevaswOm and later by the H.R.E. Board have upheld and encouraged the traditions of the temple. Not only that, they have taken interest to set aside funds for starting new religious activities in the temple, for example when Pakaravur Parameswaran Nambudiri was the manager, orders were passed for assigning 50 measures (para) of paddy annually to Siva temple of the village and a suitable amount was sanctioned for teaching young boys of the village in Sama and Yajur Vedas.
Over the years, many have gifted away to this temple lamps, silver, and gold ornaments. A register is kept enlisting such assets. Justice P.R. Sundara lyer, has gifted gold crown and necklaces. For daily decorations, silver ornaments are used. On special occasions like Navarathri, gold ornaments are specially brought from Bank and the deity is decorated.
The changing times also affected the fortunes of temples all over India but particularly those in Kerala. Puthucode Bhagawathi temple was no exception. After the Government took over Devaswom lands the annuity fixed for the temple was grossly insufficient. Also the income of the temple from the devotees fell because of migration of people from the village. Due to these, the conduct of daily pujas and rituals at the temple were affected and conditions become very precarious to the extent that it had to depend upon the manificenco of the villagers for paddy and oil to conduct daily pujas on a day to day basis.
The difficult times of the temple also affected the fortunes of the villagers. Deprived of the income from lands many villagers became on the verge of starvation and had to emigrate. The younger generation went out taking with them their elders. Thus the village became depleted and the source and sustenance of the temple were affected.
Finding that the allotment of paddy by Devaswom to the temple is not able to meet even one tenth of the minimum required to perform rituals and the oil will not last one hour even on a depleted scale of burning lamps for the poojas the villagers went from house to house and arranged for five measures of rice, quarter kilo oil and twenty five paise for performing daily poojas. Even such individual efforts did not find suitable response from the Devaswom side. As a result of all these developments, SAPCO, Sri Annapoorneswari Pooja Co-ordinators — was established by the villagers in 1982. The immediate aim of SAPCO was resotratjon of the age old traditional daily poojas by collecting funds, which will be outside the Devaswom control. The efforts started by the villagers has gathered momentum and the daily poojas are now being performed without any hitch thanks to the funds collected by SAPCO. Encouraged by the work of SAPCO many villagers came forward to help in understanding renovation and repairs to the temple which were basically required to keep the structure intact was done between 1982—85 and a Kumbhabhishekam was performed in February 1986.
In the year 1992 SAPCO undertook an extensive effort to new the dilapidated structures of the temple at a cost of Rs. 40.00 lakhs. It was also decided to do a Naveekarana Kalasam and Kumbhabhishekam after the completion of the repairs/renovation.
Puthucode - a quite tranquil village situated in Kerala, India is known for the age old ANNAPORNESWARI TEMPLE and SIVA TEMPLEs and its yearly navaratri festivals celebrated year after year with lots of pomp and show.
Puthucode is located in Palghat district, Kerala, India on the Plaghat - Trichur national high way, 35 KM from Palghat and 5 KM off Vadakkancheri.
This site is still under preperation and intentions are to use this site as a common information ground for all Puthucodians settled all over the world and as a common platform to express their opinions.
Intentions are to develop a large address book of email address and other particulars of all Puthucodians and forward any news letters from SAPCO or other temple related festivals once the site is fully established
Any person interested in submitting any material by way of photographs /images/ text/ or any reading material related to puthucode gramam or SIVA - Bhagawati temples may forward same to captmahesh@yahoo.com.
http://captmahesh.editthispage.com/
20050114
complications related to diabetes. Swamiji's mortal remains were
Monastery, home of HPI. He and Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami were
companies, a small hermitage began on the outskirts of the city. Tucked
was dedicated. Commuting to this temple was a demanding task in those
faithful regularly visited. Prayers were answered. Some experienced the
highly-placed spiritual leaders come to him for advice in difficult
casual devotees able to sense Her blessings radiating from him. He has
to various parts of the city by public transport, real estate values in
Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal has a large following of devotees from all
a spiritual leader and healer. This quiet, compassionate, unassuming
savant is an ocean of Divinity, knowledge and wisdom. Being in his
Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal is also an accomplished scholar with exemplary
mastery over the Vedas, Upanishads and the scriptures. A complete
Last year, rains failed in Karnataka. The state was under pressure to
drenched the state.
for the last 28 years. A lot of good things have come to us with the
to Maddur (60 miles from Bangalore) and, en route, I stopped to seek
bus came menacingly from behind me, and there was a major accident. I
from here have become renunciate monks, noted for their training and
dedication. Some have stayed back to serve Kailasa Ashrama, and some
have joined other ashrams. Prominent among these are Jagadguru Sri Sri
subsidiary spiritual centers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states.
drawn to religious life right from his childhood. While in his
Inside, the massive Rajarajeswari Temple complex, with its new Sri
assembly hall, constructed to accommodate thousands during major
festivals and temple celebrations, beckons from just beyond a long bed
monastery complex, adobe shrines to Ganesha and Muniswara stand in a
wide courtyard, a giant, open well nearby. Straight ahead some 50
Devi Hall, a newly-constructed kitchen and dining room sparkle with
flowers. It is in the front room of this unimposing dwelling that the
darshan from a carved wooden chair, with pictures of many saints and
"Kuteeram, " Sri Swamiji is a man of few words. In this room, perhaps
15 by 35 feet, he has met people from all walks of life. He dislikes
indulging in worldly affairs and refuses to comment on matters of
Tiruchi Mahaswamigal patiently shared his wisdom by answering a barrage
during meditation?
as when a person has a bath, he becomes clean. So, also, by worship one
can develop concentration and meditation, whether he is a yogi or not.
cannot be achieved at home, because of domestic distractions. Domestic
oneself, this celebration becomes unique. A temple provides opportunity
strong community feelings.
work will come. If wants are reduced, automatically the earning will be
will reduce their wants and automatically create a cordial atmosphere
customs of the community. The main intention in propagating dharma is
Ashrama have been made heads of institutions of particular communities
are harvesting stem cells from fertilized human eggs and doing
dictates of nature and find happiness there. I am totally against this
Swamiji: From childhood I had listened so much to the saints, I was
left home without thinking about what would be my parents' reaction. A
HT: More and more children are unhesitatingly sending their parents to
old-age homes. What is your opinion?
Rutger Kortenhorst
He is also known as Mrutyunjayah. He is an active member of School of Practical Philosophy and Economic Sciences.
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to spend an hour together looking at the topic ‘Why does my child do Sanskrit in John Scottus?’ My bet is that at the end of the hour you will all have come to the conclusion that your children are indeed fortunate that this extraordinary subject is part of their curriculum.
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.
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.
By studying Sanskrit, other languages can be learnt more easily; this being the language all others borrow from fractionally. The Sanskrit grammar is reflected in part in Irish or Greek, Latin or English. They all have a part of the complete Sanskrit grammar. Some being more developed than others, but always only a part of the Sanskrit grammar, which is complete in itself.
They learn to speak well, starting from Sanskrit, the mother language of all languages. Those who speak well run the world. Barack Obama makes a difference because he can speak well. Mahatma Gandhi could move huge crowds with well-balanced words. Mother Theresa could express herself with simple words which uplift us even now. The language of the great Master Teachers of mankind from times past is all we have got after centuries and millennia, but they make all the difference. We can enter the remarkable mind of Plato through his words. If your daughter or son can express themselves well through conscious language they will be the leaders of the next generation.
Sanskrit has the most comprehensive writings in the world expressed through the Vedas and the Gítá. The Upanishads –translated by William Butler Yeats have given people from all over the world an insight into universal religious feelings for more than one century now. To know these well expressed simple words of wisdom in the original is better than dealing with copies or translations as copies are always inferior to originals. We really need clear knowledge on universal religion in an age faced with remarkable levels of religious bigotry and terrorism arising from poorly understood and half-baked religious ideas.
Vivekananda, a great spiritual leader from India revered by all in the World Religious Conference of 1880 said:
You can put a mass of knowledge into the world, but that will not do it much good. There must come some culture into the blood. We all know in modern times of nations which have masses of knowledge, but what of them? They are like tigers; they are like savages, because culture is not there. Knowledge is only skin-deep, as civilization is, and a little scratch brings out the old savage. Such things happen; this is the danger. Teach the masses in the vernaculars, give them ideas; they will get information, but something more is necessary; give them culture.
Just think for the moment how confusing it is for a child to learn to say ‘rough’ , but ‘dough’. And why does the ‘o’ in ‘woman’ sound like an ‘e’ in ‘women’? How come the ‘ci’ in ‘special’ is different from the ‘ci’ in ‘cinema’? Teachers may well say ‘Just learn it’ as there is no logical explanation, but it only demonstrates to a child that it is all a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. What else does this randomness in the fundamental building-blocks of language teach a child about the world? That it’s just a confusing, random chance-event? How can this give anyone any confidence?
Now go to a language where everything is following rules. Where nothing is left to chance from the humble origin of a letter to the most sophisticated philosophical idea. How will that child meet the world? Surely with confidence, clarity and the ability to express itself?
I have seen myself and others growing in such qualities, because of our contact with Sanskrit. I have just spent a year in India. Though it felt a bit like camping in a tent for a year, it was well worth it. For many years, we taught Sanskrit like zealots i.e. with high levels of enthusiasm and low levels of understanding, to both adults in the School of Philosophy and children in John Scottus School. We did not perhaps inspire a lot of our students and may have put a number of them off the study of Sanskrit. It felt to me like we needed to go to the source. Sanskrit teachers worth their salt need to live with people whose daily means of communication is in Sanskrit. I had already spent three summers near Bangalore doing just that and becoming less of an amateur, but it really needed a more thorough study. So I moved into a traditional gurukulam for the year. This meant living on campus, eating lots of rice and putting up with a few power-cuts and water shortages, but by December 2009, I made up my mind that I would step down as vice-principal of the Senior School and dedicate myself to Sanskrit for the rest of my teaching life. It felt like a promotion to me as quite a few could be vice-principal but right now which other teacher could forge ahead in Sanskrit in Ireland? [Hopefully this will change before I pop off to the next world.] With Sanskrit I’m expecting my mind to improve with age even if my body slows down a little. Sanskrit is often compared to the full-time teacher, who is there for you 24/7 whereas the other languages are more like part-timers. The effects of studying Sanskrit on me have been first and foremost a realistic confidence. Secondly, it meant I had to become more precise and speak weighing my words more carefully. It also taught me to express myself with less waffle and therefore speak more briefly. My power of attention and retention has undoubtedly increased.
Now, let me explain for a few minutes, HOW Sanskrit is taught. To my surprise it is not taught well in most places in India. Pupils have to learn it from when they are around age 9 to 11 and then they give it up, because it is taught so badly! Only a few die-hards stick with it, in time teaching the same old endings endlessly to the next generation. This is partly due to India having adopted a craving to copy the West and their tradition having been systematically rooted out by colonialism.
For learning grammar and the wisdom of the East, I was well-placed in a traditional gurukulam, but for spoken Sanskrit I felt a modern approach was missing.
Then I found a teacher from the International School belonging to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. His name is Narendra. He has developed a novel, inspiring and light method to teach grammar, which doesn’t feel like you do any grammar at all. At the same time it isn’t diluted for beginners so you don’t end up with partial knowledge. I also foolowed a few Sanskrit Conversation camps, which all brought about more familiarity.
Narendra says he owes his method to Sri Aurobindo and his companion ‘the Mother’ who inspired him to come up with the course we now follow in Dublin. This is one of the many things ‘the Mother’ said to inspire him:“Teach logically. Your method should be most natural, efficient and stimulating to the mind. It should carry one forward at a great pace. You need not cling there to any past or present manner of teaching.”
1. Language learning is not for academics as everyone learns to speak a language from an early age before they can read and write and know what an academic is. So why insist in teaching Sanskrit academically?
3. Always go from what is known to what is new.
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.
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.
It can describe all aspects of human life from the most abstract philosophical to the latest scientific discoveries, hinting at further developments.
Sanskrit and computers are a perfect fit. The precision play of Sanskrit with computer tools will awaken the capacity in human beings to utilize their innate higher mental faculty with a momentum that would inevitably transform the mind. In fact, the mere learning of Sanskrit by large numbers of people in itself represents a quantum leap in consciousness, not to mention the rich endowment it will provide in the arena of future communication. NASA, California
I’ll give NASA’s Rick Briggs the last word from me:
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.
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.
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."
It is remarkable that among all the preachers there are so few moral teachers. The prophets are employed in excusing the ways of men. Most reverend seniors, the illuminati of the age, tell me, with a gracious, reminiscent smile, betwixt an aspiration and a shudder, not to be too tender about these things- to lump all that, that is, make a lump of gold of it. The highest advice I have heard on these subjects was grovelling. The burden of it was- It is not worth your while to undertake to reform the world in this particular. Do not ask how your bread is buttered; it will make you sick, if you do- and the like. A man had better starve at once than lose his innocence in the process of getting his bread. If within the sophisticated man there is not an unsophisticated one, then he is but one of the devil's angels. As we grow old, we live more coarsely, we relax a little in our disciplines, and, to some extent, cease to obey our finest instincts. But we should be fastidious to the extreme of sanity, disregarding the gibes of those who are more unfortunate than ourselves.
In our science and philosophy, even, there is commonly no true and absolute account of things. The spirit of sect and bigotry has planted its hoof amid the stars. You have only to discuss the problem, whether the stars are inhabited or not, in order to discover it. Why must we daub the heavens as well as the earth? It was an unfortunate discovery that Dr. Kane was a Mason, and that Sir John Franklin was another. But it was a more cruel suggestion that possibly that was the reason why the former went in search of the latter. There is not a popular magazine in this country that would dare to print a child's thought on important subjects without comment. It must be submitted to the D.D.'s. I would it were the chickadee-dees.
You come from attending the funeral of mankind to attend to a natural phenomenon. A little thought is sexton to all the world.
I hardly know an intellectual man, even, who is so broad and truly liberal that you can think aloud in his society. Most with whom you endeavor to talk soon come to a stand against some institution in which they appear to hold stock- that is, some particular, not universal, way of viewing things. They will continually thrust their own low roof, with its narrow skylight, between you and the sky, when it is the unobstructed heavens you would view. Get out of the way with your cobwebs; wash your windows, I say! In some lyceums they tell me that they have voted to exclude the subject of religion. But how do I know what their religion is, and when I am near to or far from it? I have walked into such an arena and done my best to make a clean breast of what religion I have experienced, and the audience never suspected what I was about. The lecture was as harmless as moonshine to them. Whereas, if I had read to them the biography of the greatest scamps in history, they might have thought that I had written the lives of the deacons of their church. Ordinarily, the inquiry is, Where did you come from? or, Where are you going? That was a more pertinent question which I overheard one of my auditors put to another one- "What does he lecture for?" It made me quake in my shoes.
To speak impartially, the best men that I know are not serene, a world in themselves. For the most part, they dwell in forms, and flatter and study effect only more finely than the rest. We select granite for the underpinning of our houses and barns; we build fences of stone; but we do not ourselves rest on an underpinning of granitic truth, the lowest primitive rock. Our sills are rotten. What stuff is the man made of who is not coexistent in our thought with the purest and subtilest truth? I often accuse my finest acquaintances of an immense frivolity; for, while there are manners and compliments we do not meet, we do not teach one another the lessons of honesty and sincerity that the brutes do, or of steadiness and solidity that the rocks do. The fault is commonly mutual, however; for we do not habitually demand any more of each other.
Just so hollow and ineffectual, for the most part, is our ordinary conversation. Surface meets surface. When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and our fellow is that he has seen the newspaper, or been out to tea, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while.
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.
"I look down from my height on nations,
And they become ashes before me;-
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.
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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