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Nonviolence and us
This article appeared as one of two articles on the grimmest of workplace phenomena: homicide in Business Horizons/ March-April 1995.  The full extent of this problem appears subject to some debate, but no one who reads the newspapers or listen to CNN Headlines News escape the conclusion that violence is spilling over from the streets onto the job.  Thus, it seems quite appropriate - doubly so, in view of a forthcoming issue featuring an article from A.T. Kearney's research sizing up India as the "New Asian Tiger" - that we examine the following reflection by Mr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Modern society is plagued by violence - at home, at work, in the streets, in schools.  In fact anywhere there is, unfortunately, the distinct likelihood of violence breaking out.  So much violence is an indication of our deteriorating human relationships, as well as the stress under which we live and work.
Many of us enjoy living in the "fast lane" because that, we are told, is the road to success.  So we allow our minds to street us at phenomenal speed, oblivious of the danger of crashing.  When we live on the edge day after day we become like taut rubber bands - either we break or we bounce back.  And in either case, the consequence is that we damage or destroy human relationships.  What we must learn now is how to rebuild those relationships and lessen the stress so we can create an atmosphere of harmony around us.
We need a qualitative change in our behavior, a concerned attempt to slow down and put people and profit on the same pedestal so we can ultimately reduce violence.
In a pell mell world of profits and the pursuit of success, we must not forget to care about one another. Note that I emphasize the reduction of violence.  The creation of utopian state of absolute harmony is presently beyond human capacity.  The philosophy of nonviolence, as practiced by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, is based on the assumption "we are not governed by logic and, therefore, some violence may be necessary in our lives.  However, if we are progressing towards civilization we should be able to reduce violence to the bare minimum."
In the world so obsessed with materialism, one must wonder what "civilization" really means.  Are we civilized because we possess all the riches of the world?  Are we civilized because we have the best of book education?  Are we civilized because we have progressed scientifically and have the capacity to send people to the moon?  In our concept of civilization, human relations, it seems, do not fit the equation.
American society is, reputedly, build on rugged individualism, which was fine when pioneers came to conquer the land.  But once settled, a society cannot thrive on such individualism.  A nation is as cohesive as its society and the society is as cohesive as the family.  If every member of a family thought only about himself or herself, the "family" would be more like a collection of people grappling for material survival under the same roof.  There would be no love, no cooperation.  When understanding wears thin, relationships begin to fray, and before we know it the fabric we call "family" disintegrates.  The effect of this domestic disaster is reflected today in our workplace and in society.
Stong relationships can be built only if we shift the focus from the self to the several and begin thinking about others around us. It means sacrificing individualism so that we can give and get strength from each other.
When Gandhi said materialism and morality have an inverse relationship, he did not mean morality only in sexual sense.  He meant it also in the ethical sense.  in our pursuit of material goods and capital gains, we are often prepared to use "any means possible," throwing principles, ethics, and morality overboard.  In other words, we often unhesitantingly indulge in commerce without morality and profits without principles.
In our headlong pursuit of the ideal life, people seem to matter the least[list in the source - what is correct?] - sometimes even our own people.  This sets the stage for much of the violence we experience in our daily lives.  Violence, we must understand, is not always physical.  We practice a great deal of passive violence: greed, selfishness, thoughtlessness, prejudice, bigotry, exploitation, suppression, oppression, hate, anger, and so on.  Building a "family tree" of violence, such as the one shown in the Figure, with passive and physical as the two offspring, is a revealing exercise.  This chart should adorn a wall at home so that all family members could participate in researching each act of passive violence committed.  This is an effective way of recognizing our weaknesses and searching for ways to turn them into strengths.
Passive violence causes anger and anger leads to physical violence.  The lack of physical violence in our homes or neighborhoods should not necessarily be construed as peace and harmony.  The underlying passive violence simmers like a cauldron waiting to erupt into physical violence - which erupts because we are not taught how to deal with the anger generated by the passive violence.  We are repeatedly told, "Get it out of your system," but we are seldom, if ever, shown how to do this effectively.
Using the analogy of electricity, Gandhi, my grandfather, taught me about anger when I was 13 years old.  He said that anger can be as deadly as electricity if we abuse it, or just as useful if treated with respect and intelligence.  He suggested that I keep an "anger journal" into which I should pour my anger without inhibition, then read it periodically to find ways of improving.  A life that is not periodically examined, after all, is a life not worth living.  Gandhi said that the cardinal principles of my life should be: Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.  This helped me find ways to deal with my anger positively.  The journal also provided me with a written record of my emotions so that weeks, months, or even years later I could study the changes that did or did not take place in me.  It taught me how to become selfless and think about others while thinking about myself.
Violence, anywhere, in any form, is reprehensible - especially at home and in the workplace, because this means we are committing violence against people we are expected to love, honor, and respect.  If we do not hesitate to violate the people closet to, why would we hesitate to harm those we don't know?  Salvation lies in changing the self before we attempt to change the society.  To quote my grandfather: "We must be the change we wish to see."
Arun Gandhi is the founder and director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee.
RAQ
* Q: [Why were we born?]
* What do you need to be happy? When do you want to be happy?
* Q: [What] do you want, really ?
* Q: What are we supposed to do?
* Q: Are we supposed to do anything?
* Q: How to live ?
* Q: How to find peace?
* [Victor Stones] : [Who Are You?|http://www.fourstones.net/mail02.html]
* [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."
* [Questions to Ask Yourself, Regularly]
Books
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abundant health in a toxic world - https://read.amazon.com/?asin=B07DNRH4TP
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The Source: ...Power of Happy Thoughts - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0092FW4NK/
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“I believe that we should read only those books that wound and stab us. If a book we are reading does not rouse us with a blow to the head, then why read it? A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”--Franz Kafka
"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."
|<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>
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[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
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[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] )
Once there was a well known philosopher and scholar who devoted himself to the study of Zen for many years. On the day that he finally attained [enlightenment], he took all of his books out into the yard, and burned them all.
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* [Erich Fromm]'s [To Have or To Be]
* [Autobiography of a Yogi] by [Paramhansa Yogananda]
* [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.\
|<td width="50%" valign=top bgcolor="#CCF6F6">
* [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]
* [Ian Alexander]'s [Reviews of Books on Requirements, Systems, and Software Engineering|http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~iany/reviews/reviews.htm]
* [Web Nerd Bookshelf]
[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 ?
* Information Rules: A strategic guide to the network economy (Carl Shapiro)
* Readings in Information Retrieval (Karen Sparck Jones, editor)
* What to Expect When You're Expecting (Arlene Eisenberg, et al.)
Stoicism
[Interest] > Stoicism
Basically, Epictetus tells you to continually divide your moment-to-moment concerns into two bins: the things you can control, and the things you can’t. Whenever you feel any sort of anger, desire or aversion, you look at the situation in terms of those two bins.
You quickly notice that the first bin is much, much smaller, and fortunately, it’s the one you’re responsible for. Essentially, it amounts to your actions and choices. The second bin is enormous, and it is the responsibility of the gods.
One way to think of it it is that the Stoic is making a practice out of shrinking the sphere of concern down to roughly the same size as the sphere of influence, where it finally becomes manageable.
For Epictetus, the only thing we can totally control, and therefore the only thing we should ever worry about, is our own judgment about what is good. If we desire money, health, sex, or reputation, we will inevitably be unhappy. If we genuinely wish to avoid poverty, sickness, loneliness, and obscurity, we will live in constant anxiety and frustration.
Of course, fear and desire are unavoidable. Everyone feels those flashes of dread or anticipation. Being a Stoic means interrogating those flashes: asking whether they apply to things outside your control and, if they do, being “ready with the reaction ‘Then it’s none of my concern.’ ”
Epictetus also won me over with his tone, which was that of an enraged athletics coach. If you want to become a Stoic, he said, “you will dislocate your wrist, sprain your ankle, swallow quantities of sand,” and you will still suffer losses and humiliations. And yet, for you, every setback is an advantage, an opportunity for learning and glory. When a difficulty comes your way, you should feel proud and excited, like “a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck.” In other words, think of every unreasonable asshole you have to deal with as part of God’s attempt to “turn you into Olympic-class material.” This is a very powerful trick.
“Starting with things of little value—a bit of spilled oil, a little stolen wine—repeat to yourself: ‘For such a small price, I buy tranquillity.’ ”
If you practice Stoic philosophy long enough, Epictetus says, you stop being mistaken about what’s good even in your dreams. &#9830;
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/12/19/how-to-be-a-stoic
Weblog
Weblog
[weblog - a whatis definition|http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci213547,00.html] : .....A weblog (sometimes shortened to blog or written as "web log" or "Weblog") is a Web site of personal or non-commercial origin that uses a dated log format that is updated on a daily or very frequent basis with new information about a particular subject or range of subjects. The information can be written by the site owner, gleaned from other Web sites or other sources, or contributed by users.....
|<option value=w>Weblogs</option>
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* [Weblog2002January]
* [Weblog2001December]
* [Weblog2001November]
* [2001October]
* [Why I Weblog]
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2004 June 27: [How to write a better weblog|http://diveintomark.org/archives/2002/04/24/how_to_write_a_better_weblog] : .....Forget HTML, CSS, RSS, XML, OPML, Google boxes, and auto-linkbacks. Want a better weblog? Read Strunk and White’s [The Elements of Style].....
2004 June 27: [10 Tips on Writing the Living Web|http://alistapart.com/articles/writeliving], [How to Write a Better Weblog|http://alistapart.com/articles/writebetter/]
2004 Mar 28 - Ronald Tanglao : [How Blogs Work in 7 Easy Pieces|http://www.streamlinewebco.com/blog/_archives/2004/3/23/28903.html]
2004 Feb 23 : [Why I Hate Personal Weblogs|http://mama.indstate.edu/users/bones/WhyIHateWebLogs.html]
2003 Nov 01 : Diego Doval : [an introduction to weblogs|http://www.dynamicobjects.com/d2r/archives/002399.html]
2003 Oct 21 : Jay Rosen : [Ten Things Conservative About the Weblog Form in Journalism|http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2003/10/17/conserv_ten.html]
2003 Oct 04 : [Andrew Grumet] : [Deep Thinking about Weblogs|http://grumet.net/writing/web/deep-thinking-about-weblogs.html]
2003 June 18 : [Dave Winer] : [What makes a weblog a weblog?|http://davenet.userland.com/2003/06/18/whatMakesAWeblogAWeblog]
2003 June 17 : [Sam Ruby] : [Anatomy of a Well Formed Log Entry|http://www.intertwingly.net/blog/1472.html]
2003 April 13 - [Towards Structured Blogging|http://radio.weblogs.com/0110772/stories/2003/03/13/towardsStructuredBlogging.html]
2003 Feb 14 - [Some things to keep in mind|http://www.fourstones.net/blog/2001_07_01_blogarchives.html#4737482]
2003 Jan 14 - Oliver Willis : [Why I Blog|http://www.pbs.org/wnet/mediamatters/303/blog/willis.html]
2003 Jan 04 - MSNBC [Weblog Central|http://www.msnbc.com/news/809307.asp]
2002 Dec 31 Wei-Meng Lee : [Understanding Weblogs|http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/javascript/2002/12/30/weblog_intro.html]
dt? Cameron Barrett : [Anatomy of a weblog|http://www.camworld.com/journal/rants/99/01/26.html], [More about Weblogs|http://www.camworld.com/journal/rants/99/01/26.html]
dt? Dave Winer : [The History of Weblogs|http://newhome.weblogs.com/historyOfWeblogs]
dt? Rebecca Blood : [Weblogs: a history and perspective|http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html]
dt? Jorn Barger : [Weblog resources FAQ|http://www.robotwisdom.com/weblogs/] : ...A weblog (sometimes called a blog or a newspage or a filter) is a webpage where a weblogger (sometimes called a blogger, or a pre-surfer) 'logs' all the other webpages she finds interesting...
|<center>The impossible is often the untried<br><br>Brave Buffalo, Brule Sioux Nation (1985) : ...The Earth People (indigenous natives) never wrote anything down, had no written language. They knew that if they wrote anything down it would be disastrous. If you write something down you don't have to remember it. And mind goes off into unconsciousness. It becomes negative, or unconscious force... </center>
* [Kishore Balakrishnan's Thoughts|http://kishore.weblogger.com/]
* [Kishore Balakrishnan's Live Journal|http://kishore.livejournal.com/]
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Looking Back: 14 Years of Tips
WHEN Paul Grimes, the originator of the Practical Traveler column, turned it over to me 14 years ago, he said the most important task was to read the fine print on everything — tickets, insurance fliers, tour brochures, guarantees. In the big type, he said, everyone fibs. Typical is the "nine night" tour that the small type clearly shows includes one night in an airline seat.
It's a good first principle. And now that it is time for me to yield this space, I thought to compress into the allotted 1,200 words other nuggets I have derived from 613 weeks — I did take vacations — of sometimes furious research. So here goes.
The term "direct flight" is nonsense. It's a nonstop flight or it is not. I have been shifted to other airlines as well as other planes on trips labeled direct flights.
When you walk out into a foreign city, one where English is not the first language, snag a business card or a brochure from the desk of your hotel. It will save you from the terrors Jean Simmons suffered in "So Long at the Fair," when her hotel room apparently disappeared.
Taxes can destroy bargain rates. A car rented for $179.99 a week in Minneapolis will run $245.10 by the time the taxes and fees are piled on. A hotel room in New York City advertised at, say $129, will cost a somewhat less reasonable $148 a night after the taxes of 13.25 percent plus $2 are added. This could be a particularly unwelcome surprise. Ask about taxes when you call.
Don't let gloaters spoil your trip when they boast about the better exchange rate they got for their lire. Yes, keep your eye on the fees at places with names like KashPoynte. But even if you pay too much once, don't agonize over $2 wasted on a $500 exchange. Honor is not at stake.
Don't pack anything you cannot bear to part with. I still remember seeing a gold charm bracelet at the Unclaimed Baggage store in Scottsboro, Ala. "I bet they cried when they lost that one," the clerk said.
Most travelers have to discover this for themselves, but perhaps one or two people can be spared the embarrassment: that string over the shower in the European hotel is not the light cord. It's an emergency bell. If you pull it, people will be along when you least want them.
If you are going to anything other than a tropical spot, pack gloves: hands can get cold on the most unexpected dates. And mittens are warmer than gloves, if less chic.
Take a map. Even if you've driven the route a hundred times, accidents and detours may dispatch you to Terra Incognita.
When flying for weddings, graduations and other unalterable major dates, go a day in advance. You can probably recover the day of used-up vacation, but not the event.
If you didn't notice on checking in, you can tell it's an economy hotel by the thinness of the towels.
Check your passport expiration date now, not the day before you leave. If yours expires in the next few months, renew now by mail rather than play the costly game of beat the deadline later. Most photo developing shops now take proper passport pictures.
Get the name of the person who takes your hotel or tour reservation. If the computer system digests badly, that name will uphold your credibility and may even help another employee trace your record.
There is no more free lunch, but the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers does send a directory of English-speaking doctors overseas who agree to limit their fees for office and hotel calls. Write to the organization at 417 Center Street, Lewiston, N.Y. 14092, call (716) 754-4883, or see www.iamat.org. No surprise, the organization lives by contributions, and you will be asked.
What's a double room in another country? It may have one wide bed or two narrow ones. If it matters to you, ask. Similarly, a British hotel room described as having a private bath may indeed have a bath but not a toilet. Ask.
What to Take — and Leave
Carry two credit cards separately when you travel. If one is stolen, and the account is frozen, you have another way to feed and house yourself.
In an airport crisis, blowing up at the gate agent will not help. It can hurt. On an occasion of awful weather at La Guardia some years ago, the man in line in front of me lost it and called the gate agent an obscene word. She told him to step aside before she called the police. He became more objectionable. I told her that if she needed a witness, I would be available. Most of us who stuck it out got on the flight, when there finally was one. He was not aboard, and may have been in detention.
The little note pad with the name and phone number of the hotel in Florence is meant to be taken with you. I have a rack of hotel note pads more treasured than objects from lost arks. When these are given to friends who ask for a recommendation, the hotel will recoup its investment many times over.
Computer systems get knocked out: At hotels, at airports, at car rental counters and even in the stock exchange and A.T.M. networks. Carry a few extra dollars; do not rely utterly on electronic lifelines. And if you have a faxed confirmation sheet, it may get you into a hotel room while the reservation system is brought back up.
It is a dark topic, but children who take airplane trips alone often experience many more difficulties than airlines, parents, safety advocates and airport managers want to acknowledge. Parents should do whatever is humanly possible to avoid sending a child alone by plane before the child is old enough to ride alone on public transportation in a city. Some children are ready at 14; some are still uncertain at 16.
Hotels in the United States are required to provide a card by the room phone stating the telephone charges. If it's not there, ask the front desk for one before you hook up your computer.
A journalism teacher from The Daily News admonished our class at Columbia University many years ago, in colorful language, to let it enter our heads once in a great while that we might be wrong. That's a good thought for coping while traveling.
Science, Religion and the Big Bang Theory
You said the other day that no one is interested any more in questions like "Who created the universe?" But a recent edition of Time magazine devoted considerable space to an article entitled "In the Beginning: God and Science."
The basic them of the article was that science and religion have been brought close together by the "big bang" theory of creation in which the universe is supposed to have come into being through a vast fireball explosion, fifteen or twenty billion years ago.
Time says that this sounds very much like the story which the old testament has been telling all along, namely that the universe began in a single flashing act of creation.
Subhuti, the first thing to remember is, for three hundred years religion has been losing its territory continuously. First, religion tried to destroy science. It was unable to do it -- because you cannot destroy truth, and science was truer, as far as the objective world is concerned, than religion. In fact religion has no authority to say anything about the objective world.
When you are ill you go to the physician, you don't go to the poet. The poet has no authority; he may be a great poet but that is irrelevant when you are ill. He may be a great poet, but when something goes wrong in your bathroom you don't call him, you call a plumber. The plumber may not be a poet at all, but the plumber is relevant there. You don't call Albert Einstein -- he may be a great physicist, but what does he know about plumbing?
Religion was proving to be utterly wrong. It was wrong about the objective world. Once science started investigating the objective, organized religion was very much afraid. If there had been a Jesus he would not have been afraid, he would simply have said: "About the objective, listen to science." If a Buddha was there he would have said: "Listen to science."
But there was no Buddha in the West where science was growing. And people like Galileo and Copernicus and Kepler were tortured in every possible way because organized religion, the church, became very much afraid: what they were saying was going against their scriptures.
The scientists were saying that the sun does not go around the earth -- and The Bible says it does. The scientists were saying the earth goes around the sun...now, if The Bible can be wrong in one thing, then why not in others? That was the problem, that was the fear.
The person who said that the earth goes around the sun was called to the court by the Vatican. Galileo had to appear, in his old age -- he was more than seventy, ill, on his deathbed, but he was forced to come to the court to declare there that whatsoever he had said is wrong.
Everybody looked happy, and then Galileo said: "But sir, nothing will change by my statement. The earth will still go round and round the sun -- my statement makes no difference! If you are offended by my statement I can take it back, I can refute it. If you want me to write another treatise, I can write that too. But nothing will change by that. Who cares about my statement? Neither the sun nor the earth."
Organized religion tried to kill science -- they could not, because truth cannot be killed.
Slowly slowly science has possessed the whole territory of the objective world. Then the natural tendency of mind...science started claiming that which could not be claimed by it. Science created the same fallacy as organized religion, which was saying: "About the objective world also, we are right." They were not. They are right about the subjective world; about the interiormost being of existence they are right. But they are not right about the circumference of it, that is not their dimension. But they were claiming that they are right about both.
The same started happening with physicists, chemists and other scientists. In the beginning of this century, science became very arrogant -- the same type of arrogance, just the authority shifted from the priests to the scientists. The scientists started saying: "There is no God and there is no soul and there is no consciousness, and all that is rubbish."
This type of arrogance has always remained with man. We have not yet learned anything. This is again the same game being played. When science became very arrogant, naturally religion became defensive. It was losing, it became defensive. So anything that is discovered by science religion tries to appropriate. It tries somehow to make it fit with itself, because the only possibility for it to survive now is if it proves itself to be scientific.
In the beginning it was just the opposite. If a scientist was to survive, the only way was to prove that whatsoever he has found is according to the scriptures, that it proves the scriptures, that it is not against.
Now the whole thing is just vice-versa. Now if religion wants to exist in the world, it has continuously to look up to science. Whatsoever science discovers, religion immediately jumps upon and tries to prove: "This is what we have been saying all along."
This "big bang" theory has nothing to do with the religious attitude and the religious theory of creation. In the big bang theory there is no God, it is all an accident; it is not creation, remember, because there is no creator in it.
But religion is very defensive, continuously searching for anything to cling to. The big bang theory says that in a sudden explosion, in a great flash of light, the world was created. Jump on it; you can always find some way, some logical way. You can say: "Yes, this is right, this is what we have been saying all along. God in the beginning said: 'Let there be light' -- and now the theory says there was a great explosion, the world was suddenly created."
And one more thing: this big bang theory is not totally accepted, there are many other theories.
These are all guesses; they are not proved yet, nothing is proved. In fact I don't think that it can ever be proved how the world came into existence. It is impossible, because nobody was there to witness it, you cannot find an eyewitness, so all that they can do will be just guesswork.
And it happened fifteen or twenty billion years ago. You cannot even be certain whether Krishna ever existed or not, just five thousand years ago. You cannot be certain even about Jesus, whether he was really an historical person or is just a myth -- and he was only two thousand years ago. Do you think you can be certain about something that happened twenty billion years ago? All guesses.
Hence I say there has never been any beginning and there will never be any end. Maybe a beginning, maybe many beginnings and maybe many ends, but never the first and never the last. We are always in the middle. Existence is not a creation but a creativity. It is not that it begins one day and ends one day. It goes on and on; it is an ongoing process.
That's why, Subhuti, I say that all these guesses are useless and there is no need for them and they serve no purpose. This was Buddha's approach too. Whenever somebody would ask a question like: "Who created the world?" -- whether the world was ever created or is uncreated -- Buddha would answer by other questions. He would ask: "If who created the world is decided, is it going to help your enlightenment? Is it going to help you become more silent, more meditative, more aware?"
Certainly the person would answer: "It is not going to help. Who created the world doesn't matter. It will not help my enlightenment and it will not make me more meditative."
Then Buddha said: "Then why bother about all this? Think of things which can help you to become more meditative, think of things which can help you become free of all the ego-clinging, think of things which can ultimately lead you into the state of samadhi."
My approach is also the same: these are all irrelevant questions. And because of these irrelevant questions there has been so much controversy down the ages and thousands of people have wasted their lives discussing who created the world, when exactly, what was the date -- and so on, and so forth.
I think these people were neurotics. I don't think them healthy, normal, sane people. Who cares? For what? It does not matter at all, it is immaterial.
The Invitation
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for the adventure of being alive.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
I want to know if you can sit with pain
without moving to hide it
I want to know if you can be with joy
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
I want to know if you can live with failure
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
I want to know what sustains you
I want to know if you can be alone
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.
But I cannot agree with you. It does not matter what Rudolf Hess has done, what he is saying. What matters is that you are capable of forgiving even him. That will raise your consciousness to the ultimate heights. If you cannot forgive Rudolf Hess you will remain just an ordinary human being, with all kinds of judgments of worthiness, of unworthiness. But basically you cannot forgive him because your forgiveness is not big enough.
I can forgive the whole world for the simple reason that my forgiveness is absolute; it is nonjudgmental. I will tell you a small Tibetan story which will make the point absolutely clear to you.
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."
But one morning the old man woke up his companion, who himself had become old, and said to him, "Run immediately down the hills to the marketplace and tell everybody that whoever wants to be initiated must come soon, because this evening as the sun sets I am going to die."
His companion said, "But what about worthiness? I don't know who is worthy and who is not worthy. Who have I to bring?"
The old man said, "Don't worry at all. It was only a device, because I myself was not worthy to initiate anyone, but it was against my dignity to say so. So I chose the other way round. I was saying, `Unless I find somebody worthy enough, deserving enough, I am not going to initiate.' The truth is, I was not worthy to be a master. Now I am, but the time is very short. Only this morning as the sun was rising, my own consciousness has also risen to the ultimate peak. Now I am ready. Now it does not matter who is worthy and who is unworthy. What matters now is that I am worthy. Just go and fetch anybody! Just go and make the whole village aware that this is the last day of my life, and anybody who wants to be initiated should come immediately. Bring as many people as you can."
The companion of the old man was at a loss, but there was no time to argue. He ran down the hill, reached the marketplace and shouted all over the village, "Anybody who wants to become a disciple, the old man is ready now."
People could not believe it. But out of curiosity a few thought, "There is no harm at least to see what is going on." The man had refused his whole life, and on the last day of his life suddenly such a great change. Somebody's wife had died and he was feeling very lonely, so he thought, "It is good. If he is going to initiate everybody, no question of worthiness..." Somebody was released from jail just the night before; he thought, "Nobody is going to give me employment; this is a good chance to become a saint."
All kinds of strange people went to the cave of the old man, and his companion was feeling so embarrassed at the kind of people he had brought: one is a criminal, one's wife is dead, that's why he thinks, "It is better... now, what else to do?" Somebody has gone bankrupt and was thinking to commit suicide; now he thinks that this is better than suicide.
A few had come just out of curiosity. They had no other work; they were playing jazz and they thought, "We can play jazz tomorrow, but today there is no harm, let us see what this initiation is. Anyway, that man is going to die by the evening so we will be free to remain disciples or not. We can play jazz tomorrow -- there is no harm."
The companion of the old man was feeling very embarrassed, "How will I present this strange lot when that old man has refused kings, saints, sages, who have come with deep earnestness to be initiated? And now he is going to initiate this gang!" He was even feeling ashamed, but he entered and asked, "Should I call the people? -- eleven have come."
The old man said, "Call them quickly, because it is already afternoon. You took so much time and you could fetch just eleven people?"
His companion said, "What can I do? It is a working day; it is not a holiday. I could only get these. All are absolutely useless; even I could not initiate them. Not only that they are not worthy -- they are absolutely UNworthy. But you insisted to bring somebody; nobody else was available."
The old man said, "There is no problem. Just bring them in." And he initiated them all. Even they were shocked. And they said to the old man, "This is strange behavior. All your life you have insisted that one has to deserve to be a disciple. What happened to your principle?"
The old man laughed. He said, "That was not a principle, that was only to hide my own unworthiness. I was not yet in the position to be a master. And I cannot cheat anyone, I cannot deceive anyone; hence I have taken shelter behind a judgmental attitude, that unless you are worthy, you will not get initiation."
Everybody has his own flaws, weaknesses; everybody has done things that he never wanted to do. Everybody has gone astray. Nobody can say that he is absolutely pure; everybody is polluted. So when the old man insisted, "Unless you are worthy don't come back to me," nobody argued with him; he was right. First they have to be worthy!
On the last day, he said to those eleven disciples, "I bless you and initiate you. It doesn't matter whether you are worthy or not, but for the first time I am worthy. And if I am really worthy, just my presence is going to purify you. My worthiness of being a master is going to make you a worthy disciple. Now I don't have to depend on your worthiness. My worthiness is enough.
"I am just like a rain cloud; I will shower all over the place -- on the mountains, on the streets, on the houses, in the farms, in the gardens. I will shower everywhere, because I am too burdened with my rainwater. It does not matter whether the garden deserves... I don't even make any distinction between the garden and the rocks. I will simply shower out of my abundance."
If your meditations bring you to the state of a rain cloud, you will forgive without any judgment out of your abundance, out of your love, out of your compassion.
In fact I would like to make the statement that the man who is unworthy deserves more than the man who is worthy. The man who does not deserve, deserves more, because he is so poor; don't be hard upon him. Life has been hard upon him. He has gone astray; he has suffered because of his wrong doings. Now don't you be hard on him. He needs more love than those who are deserving; he needs more forgiveness than those who are worthy. This should be the only approach of a religious heart.
Your question was raised before Gautam Buddha, because he was going to initiate a murderer into sannyas -- and the murderer was no ordinary murderer. Rudolf Hess is nothing compared to him. His name was Angulimal. Angulimal means a man who wears a garland of human fingers.
He had taken a vow that he would kill one thousand people; from each single person he would take one finger so that he could remember how many he had killed and he will make a garland of all those fingers. In his garland of fingers he had nine hundred and ninety-nine fingers -- only one was missing. And that one was missing because his road was closed; nobody was coming that way. But Gautam Buddha entered that closed road. The king had put guards on the road to prevent people, particularly strangers who didn't know that a dangerous man lived behind the hills. The guards told Gautam Buddha, "That is not the road to be used. You will have to take a little longer route, but it is better to go a little longer than to go into the mouth of death itself. This is the place where Angulimal lives. Even the king has not the guts to go on this road. That man is simply mad.
"His mother used to go to him. She was the only person who used to go, once in a while, to see him, but even she stopped. The last time she went there he told her, `Now only one finger is missing, and just because you happen to be my mother... I want to warn you that if you come another time you will not go back. I need one finger desperately. Up to now I have not killed you because other people were available, but now nobody passes on this road except you. So I want to make you aware that next time if you come it will be your responsibility, not mine.' Since that time his mother has not come."
The guards said to Buddha, "Don't unnecessarily take the risk." And do you know what Buddha said to them? Buddha said, "If I don't go then who will go? Only two things are possible: either I will change him, and I cannot miss this challenge; or I will provide him with one finger so that his desire is fulfilled. Anyway I am going to die one day. Giving my head to Angulimal will be at least of some use; otherwise one day I will die and you will put me on the funeral pyre. I think that it is better to fulfill somebody's desire and give him peace of mind. Either he will kill me or I will kill him, but this encounter is going to happen; you just lead the way."
The people who used to follow Gautam Buddha, his close companions who were always in competition to be closer to him, started slowing down. Soon there were miles between Gautam Buddha and his disciples. They all wanted to see what happened, but they didn't want to be too close.
Angulimal was sitting on his rock watching. He could not believe his eyes. A very beautiful man of such immense charisma was coming towards him. Who could this man be? He had never heard of Gautam Buddha, but even this hard heart of Angulimal started feeling a certain softness towards the man. He was looking so beautiful, coming towards him. It was early morning... a cool breeze, and the sun was rising... and the birds were singing and the flowers had opened; and Buddha was coming closer and closer.
Finally Angulimal, with his naked sword in his hand, shouted, "Stop!" Gautam Buddha was just a few feet away, and Angulimal said, "Don't take another step because then the responsibility will not be mine. Perhaps you don't know who I am!"
Angulimal said, "This is not the point. Neither is it the place nor the time to discuss such things. Your life is in danger!"
That man said, "I used to think I was mad -- you are simply mad. And you go on moving closer. Then don't say that I killed an innocent man. You look so innocent and so beautiful that I want you to go back. I will find somebody else. I can wait; there is no hurry. If I can manage nine hundred and ninety-nine... it is only a question of one more, but don't force me to kill YOU."
Buddha said, "You are absolutely blind. You can't see a simple thing: I am not moving towards you, you are moving towards me."
Buddha said, "Nonsense! The truth is, since the day I became enlightened I have not moved a single inch. I am centered, utterly centered, no movement. And your mind is continuously moving round and round in circles... and you have the guts to tell to me to stop. You stop! I have stopped long ago."
Angulimal said, "It seems you are impossible, you are incurable. You are bound to be killed. I will feel sorry, but what can I do? I have never seen such a mad man."
Buddha came very close, and Angulimal's hands were trembling. The man was so beautiful, so innocent, so childlike. He had already fallen in love. He had killed so many people... He had never felt this weakness; he had never known what love is. For the first time he was full of love. So there was a contradiction: the hand was holding the sword to kill the person, and his heart was saying, "Put the sword back in the sheath."
Before death even the hardest enemy is willing to fulfill any desire.
Angulimal said, "What do you want?"
Buddha said, "I want you just to cut from the tree a branch which is full of flowers. I will never see these flowers again; I want to see those flowers closely, feel their fragrance and their beauty in this morning sun, their glory."
So Angulimal cut with his sword a whole branch full of flowers. And before he could give it to Buddha, Buddha said, "This was only half the desire; the other half is, please put the branch back on the tree."
Buddha said, "If you cannot create, you have no right to destroy. If you cannot give life, you don't have the right to give death to any living thing."
A moment of silence and a moment of transformation... the sword fell down from his hands. Angulimal fell down at the feet of Gautam Buddha, and he said, "I don't know who you are, but whoever you are, take me to the same space in which you are; initiate me."
By that time the followers of Gautam Buddha had come closer and closer. Seeing that now Gautam Buddha was standing in front of Angulimal, there was no problem, no fear, although he needed only one finger. They were all around and when he fell at Buddha's feet they immediately came close. Somebody raised the question, "Don't initiate this man, he is a murderer. And he is not an ordinary murderer; he has murdered nine hundred and ninety-nine people, all innocent, all strangers. They have not done any wrong to him. He had not even seen them before!"
Buddha said again, "If I don't initiate him, who will initiate him? And I love the man, I love his courage. And I can see tremendous possibility in him: a single man fighting against the whole world. I want this kind of people, who can stand against the whole world. Up to now he was standing against the world with a sword; now he will stand against the world with a consciousness which is far sharper than any sword. I told you that murder was going to happen, but it was not certain who was going to be murdered -- either I was going to be murdered, or Angulimal. Now you can see Angulimal is murdered. And who I am to judge?"
Osho, The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here, chapter 24
Zen
If you've wandered here wanting to know what Zen is, then more than likely you will come away disappointed. This is a question that is easily asked but not easily answered. A Hindu story tells of a fish who asked of another fish: "I have always heard about the sea, but what is it? Where is it?" The other fish replied: "You live, move and have your being in the sea. The sea is within you and without you, and you are made of sea, and you will end in sea. The sea surrounds you as your own being." The only true answer is the one that you find for yourself.
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."
[Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors|http://www.rider.edu/users/suler/zenstory/zenstory.html]
I feel so much anger towards my mother....
[Articles] > I feel so much anger towards my mother....
I am having a very hard time with my mother. I feel so much anger towards her. Can you please talk about the relationship between children and parents?
Below is Osho's reply to a similar question:
Every child would be angry if he understood what the poor parents have been doing to him unknowingly, unconsciously. All their efforts are for the good of the child. Their intentions are good but their consciousness is nil. And good intentions in the hands of unconscious people are dangerous; they cannot bring about the result they are intending. They may create just the opposite.
Every parent is trying to bring a beautiful child into the world, but looking at the world it seems it is an orphanage. There has been no parent at all. In fact if it were an orphanage, it would have been far better, because you would at least have been yourself -- no parents to interfere with you.
So the anger is natural, but useless. To be angry does not help your parents and it harms you.
Gautam Buddha is reported to have made a very strange statement: In your anger you punish yourself for somebody else's fault. It looks very strange the first time you come across the statement that in anger you punish yourself for somebody else's fault.
Your parents have done something twenty years back, thirty years back, and you are angry now. Your anger is not going to help anyone; it is simply going to create more wounds in you. And being near me, close to me.... I am trying to explain to you the whole mechanism of how children are being brought up, you should become more understanding that whatever has happened had to happen. Your parents were conditioned by their parents. You cannot find out who was really responsible to begin with. It has been passed from generation to generation.
Your parents are doing exactly what has been done to them. They have been victims. You will feel compassion for them and you will feel joyous that you are not going to repeat the same thing in your life. If you decide to have children you will feel joyous that you are going to break the vicious circle, that you are going to jump out of the line that goes back to the very beginning and continues up to you, that you can become the dead end. You will not do it to your children or to any other person's children.
You should feel fortunate that you have a master with you to explain what has been happening between parents and children -- the complex upbringing, good intentions, bad results, where everybody is trying to do the best and the world goes on becoming worse and worse.
Your parents were not so fortunate to have a master -- and you are being angry at them. You should feel kind, compassionate, loving. Whatever they did was unconscious. They could not have done otherwise. All that they knew they have tried on you. They were miserable, and they have created another miserable human being in the world.
They had no clarity about why they were miserable. You have the clarity to understand why one becomes miserable. And once you understand how misery is created, you can avoid causing the same in somebody else.
But feel for your parents. They worked hard; they did everything that they could, but they had no idea how psychology functions. Instead of being taught how to become a mother or how to become a father, they were being taught how to become a Christian, how to become a Marxist, how to become a tailor, how to become a plumber, how to become a philosopher -- all these things are good and needed, but the basic thing is missing. If they are going to produce children, then their most significant teaching should be how to become a mother, how to become a father.
It has been taken for granted that by giving birth you know how to become a mother and how to become a father. Yes, as far as giving birth to a child... it is a biological act, you don't have to be psychologically trained for it. Animals are doing perfectly well, birds are doing perfectly well, trees are doing perfectly well. But giving birth to a child biologically is one thing and to be a mother or to be a father is totally different. It needs great education because you are creating a human being.
Animals are not creating anything, they are simply producing carbon copies. And now science has come to a point where they have discovered that carbon copies can really be produced! It is a very dangerous idea. If we make banks -- and sooner or later we are going to make them; once an idea is there it is going to become a reality. And scientifically it is proved that it is one hundred percent possible...there is no problem.
We can have banks in the hospitals for both the male sperms and female eggs. And we can create exactly the same two sperms and exactly the same two eggs, so two children are born which are exactly the same. One child will be released into the world; the other will grow in a fridge, unconscious, but all his parts will be exactly the same as the other person. And if the first person is in an accident and loses a leg or loses a kidney, or has to be operated on, there is no problem: his carbon copy is waiting in the hospital. From the carbon copy a kidney can be taken out -- he is growing exactly at the same rate, he is just unconscious -- and it will be exactly the same as the kidney that has been lost. It can be replaced.
That carbon copy will always be available for replacing any parts -- even the brain. You can fall into a coma or you can even have a heart attack.... Your brain can remain alive even after a heart attack for at least four minutes -- but not more than that. If during these four minutes an identical brain is inserted, an identical heart is inserted, you will never feel that anything has changed or anything has happened to you. Perhaps you fell asleep and now you are awake. You will never know that your brain has been changed, that your heart has been changed.
This idea of having carbon copies seems to be a great advancement in medical science in a way, but it is dangerous -- dangerous in the sense that man becomes a machine with replaceable parts, just like any machine. When something goes wrong you replace the part. And if every part can be replaced then man will be falling farther and farther away from spiritual growth, because he will start thinking of himself as just a machine. That's what half of the world, the communist world, thinks -- that man is a machine.
You are fortunate that you can understand the situation your parents were in. They have not done anything specifically to you; they would have done the same to any child that was born to them. They were programmed for that. They were helpless. And to be angry against helpless people is simply not right. It is unjust, unfair, and moreover it is harmful to you.
If your parents cannot understand me, you should not be worried about it. The whole world cannot understand me. Your parents are normal people; they just follow the crowd, which is safer. You have fallen out of the crowd. You have chosen a risky and dangerous path. If they don't want to go into a dangerous lifestyle, it is their choice; that should not be a cause for your anger.
In fact you can help them by really becoming the individual that I am talking about: more conscious, more alert, more loving. Seeing you can only change them. Seeing you so radically changed can only make them think twice, that perhaps they are wrong. There is no other way. You cannot intellectually convince them. Intellectually they can argue, and argument never changes anybody. The only thing that changes people is the charisma, the magnetism, the magic, of your individuality. Then whatever you touch becomes golden.
So rather than wasting your time and energy in being angry and fighting against the past which no longer exists, put your whole energy into becoming the magic of your individuality. So when your parents see you they cannot remain untouched by the new qualities that you have grown, qualities which are automatically impressive: your freshness, your understanding, your unconditional lovingness, your kindness even in a situation where anger would have been more appropriate.
Only these things can be the real arguments. You need not say a word. Your eyes, your face, your actions, your behavior, your response, will make the change in them. They will start inquiring about what has happened to you, how it has happened to you -- because everybody wants these qualities. These are the real riches. Nobody is so rich that he can afford not to have the things that I am telling you.
So put your energy into transforming yourself. That will help you, that will help your parents. Perhaps it may create a chain reaction. Your parents may have other children, they may have friends, and it will go on and on.
It is just like you are sitting on the bank of a silent lake and you throw a small pebble into the lake. The pebble is so small that it creates a small circle at first, but circle after circle...and they go on spreading to the far ends, as far as the lake can take them. And it was only a small pebble.
We are living in a certain kind of new sphere, a new psychological lake, in which whatever you do creates certain vibrations around you. It touches people, reaches to unknown sources.
Just create a small ripple of right individuality and it will reach to many people -- and certainly to those who are most closely related to you. They will see it first, and they will understand with great awe. They will not believe their eyes because all that they know of religion is the Sunday church, where nothing happens. They have been going every Sunday their whole lives, and they come back home just the same.
In the name of religion they know only the Bible or the Koran or the Gita and they have been reading it and nothing happens, because they don't know one thing -- that you are a living being and a book is dead. And the man in the church who is delivering a sermon is just a professional. He has prepared the sermon from the books, and he goes on repeating the same sermons. Nobody listens, so nobody catches him. He is repeating the same sermon that he delivered two months before. Nobody listened that time, and nobody is listening this time. And you know that that sermon cannot change you because that sermon has not changed the preacher himself. He is just as mundane as you are -- perhaps more. I used to know a Jaina monk who was a very simple man, almost a simpleton. He asked me, "How many lectures do you have?"
He said, "I have only three: one is for ten minutes, one is for twenty minutes, one is for thirty minutes, depending on the occasion. Sometimes in a conference you have only ten minutes. I have a ready-made, ten minute lecture. If they give me twenty minutes, I have a twenty minute lecture. If they give me thirty minutes, I have a thirty minute one. More than that is not possible, because nobody is interested in listening too much. People want a short cut."
He said, "Nobody has said anything about it to me, and I have been using these three lectures my whole life. Wherever I go -- to the temples, colleges, and universities where I talk -- I ask, `How many minutes? Ten, twenty, thirty?' Whatever they want, my lecture is ready. And I have repeated the same lecture so many times that now I don't feel nervous. I can repeat the lecture without thinking at all!"
Now do you think listening to such a man is going to transform you? -- or anybody? But every Christian missionary is doing that.
One of the most famous, world-renowned Christian missionaries was Stanley Jones. He was very friendly with me but he became very angry and then the friendship was broken. He was an old man, a friend of Mahatma Gandhi, and Mahatma Gandhi respected him very much. He used to come to the city where I was living and he stayed in the house of one of my friends. He had printed cards -- ten cards or twenty cards for his whole lecture -- and he would put the cards on the table. He would start lecturing, and he would go on changing the cards.
He became very angry with me because I mixed up his cards! So he was saying something and it was not on the card. He almost had a nervous breakdown. He looked at all the cards and it was not there. That card I had taken out. And he said, "Today I am not feeling well. I am feeling sick, so I will not be speaking."
I said, "Once in a while you should speak from your heart, not from these cards. I have looked in your suitcase, and you have almost fifty sets of these cards, so you can go on repeating these speeches. And do you think this is going to help anybody? -- these dead cards that you have repeated your whole life? And today just because one card was missing and the numbers were mixed up, you lost your temper, you lost your integrity. You were almost in a state of madness. And what do you think people thought who had come to listen to you?"
He had written many books. I have gone through those books: he writes well, beautifully, but it is all stolen. Nothing is his own. Nothing is his own experience. Unless something is your own experience it is not going to impress anybody.
So feel blissful. Here you have a chance to get totally transformed. And help your poor parents, because they did not have such a chance; feel sorry for them.
Heidelberg
Kiran: I need to know more on Heidelberg, heard that, itz a nice place to visit. Can u tell me, what so special about that place, so that I can plan a visit to that place.
[We] live in Leimen St.Ilgen, above 10 kms from Heidelberg. We go there atleast once a week. We want to write why it's special for residents & tourists.
* Walk up to the castle on the mountain
* http://home.cwru.edu/~mas73/placestogo.html
* http://www.virtualtourist.com/.41281/1082/?s=P&
[Germany Wunderbar|http://www.germany-tourism.de/] is the best starting point for Germany Tourist information...
Lahor Tandoori Restaurant - Schnell-Restaurant - Neugasse 21 - 69117 Heidelberg - Tel (06221) 43 47 50 - Oeffnungszeiten - Montag to Sonntag von 11.00 - 23.00 Uhr
HEARTICULTURE
You must have a pure mind if you want to realise the self. Unless the
Mind is compared to a garden. Just as you can cultivate good flowers
removing the weeds and thorns, and by watering the plants and trees -
so too you can cultivate the flower of devotion in the garden of your
Weeds and thorns grow in the rainy season and then disappear in
there is a shower, the seeds germinate and sprout. Even so, the
If you want to keep the garden clean you will have to remove not only
the weeds but also the seeds that lie underneath the ground, which
will eventually germinate otherwise. Even so, you have to destroy not
the seeds for birth and death, if you want to enter the
breathing), etc., will enter into meditation as soon as they sit for
self. Without its aid you cannot grow into the divine state. Without
Self-realisation is the aim of life. The means to it are living an
important than worldly duty. Live to seek God. Live to serve
Practice of Meditation
A baby's eyes are riveted on a flower or a butterfly. It keeps looking at the object with unwinking eyes, eyes full of wonder, for minutes together.
A mother calls her teenage daughter to go and have lunch, but there is no response. The call is repeated twice, thrice; still there is no response. The girl just does not hear, though her ears are very much open. Nor is she deaf. What could be the reason, then, for her not hearing? Her mind is immersed in a Sherlock Holmes or a Harold Robbins; her eyes are glued to the lines; her face is buried in the book.
In the dilapidated building of an elementary school, the class is on. The teacher explains something and then asks the children, "Did it enter?". There is an instant response from the backmost bench: "Only the tail has not entered yet!". The earnest voice belongs to a boy who has been all along intently watching the struggle of a rat to wriggle out of the class room through a hole in the wall. It has managed to squeeze in its body, but its tail is still not gone in. Perhaps the hole is blocked.
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.
Yudhishthira: "O Acharya (teacher), I see the bird to be aimed at, the tree on which it is sitting and yourself also."
Sahadeva: "I see the bird to be aimed at, yourself, Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishthira, the horses, carriages, all the onlookers, several cows, etc."
Arjuna: "O Revered Guru! I see nothing but the bird to be aimed at."
That is concentration. Arjuna's is the power of concentration. Concentration, when developed, becomes meditation.
Yoga is an exact science. Asanas and Pranayama (Yoga postures and breathing exercises) perfect the body. Service and charity expand the heart. Prayer, Japa (repetition of the Lord’s Name), Kirtan (singing devotional songs) and other devotional practices purify the mind and make it more subtle. The aspirant is now fully equipped for the last lap of the journey. It is the toughest part of the pilgrimage to God. It is full of darkness and the aspirant has to pierce this darkness with his purified mind. The purified mind is the most dependable weapon in the armoury of the spiritual aspirant.
The purified mind must be made to concentrate. Concentration is mental focussing. The mind can be focussed on a concrete object or an abstract idea. For a novice, concentration becomes easy if the object of concentration is concrete. Also, the beginner should choose a pleasing object on which to concentrate. Only thus can he prevent the mind from wandering away from the object of concentration. To start with, concentration can be practised on the flame of a candle, the tick-tick sound of a clock, the star in the sky, the picture of OM or the picture of one's lshta Devata (personal God). This should be followed by concentration on a suitable spiritual centre within the body. The Sadhak may concentrate with closed eyes on the space between is the eyebrows or on the tip of the nose. There is nothing which cannot be achieved by concentration.
Concentration should be followed by meditation. Meditation is nothing but protracted or sustained concentration. A scientist has to concentrate on a problem, on a given subject, on a riddle, to bring out the answer, to solve it. He has to think, think and think. Then only the answer flashes forth. Likewise, meditation is intense concentration, concerted concentration on the problem of life, on the problem of the inexplicable triad of God, man and the universe. While concentration becomes essential even to solve small problems in science, what to speak of the problem of life which has baffled humanity since time immemorial? The Sadhak (aspirant) who wants God must meditate, meditate and meditate.
Meditation can be practised on any image of the Lord. This is concrete meditation. After some practice, the aspirant will be able to visualise the form of the image even with closed eyes. Meditation can also be practised on abstract ideas and on various Vedantic formulae such as "I am Eternity", "I am Infinity" and so on.
Reading of profound scriptural texts like the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras (revealed texts of the Hindus) requires intense concentration. Such reading itself is a mild form of meditation. It should be followed by contemplation on what was read. Repeated meditation on a single idea will bring out a wealth of knowledge on that idea.
While meditating on a particular object or idea, various extraneous thoughts will try to enter the mind of the aspirant and interfere with his meditation. The aspirant should ignore these extraneous thoughts, be indifferent to them and repeatedly try to concentrate on the object of his meditation. Gradually, the frequency of interruption will be reduced and a time will come when meditation will give uninterrupted peace and bliss.
Meditation is digging deep into the mine of truth and wisdom. Swamiji asks the Sadhak to meditate and bring put his own Gita and Upanishads. Says the Master: "There is no knowledge without meditation. An aspirant churns his own soul. Truth becomes manifest".
Meditation confers peace and strength. Sivananda affirms that half an hour's meditation is sufficient to enable the aspirant to smilingly pass through a whole week's life in this world of problems and misery.
Meditation must be regular. Whenever the Sattvic (a state of calmness and purity) mood manifests and divine thought-currents begin to flow, the aspirant must sit down for meditation. Brahmamuhurtha (period between 4 am and 6 am), says the Master, is the ideal time for meditation. Why? He gives the answer:
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.
Shankara explains, nay chides, us for spending our time in useless trivia like amassing wealth, lusting after (wo)men and requests us to discriminate and cultivate the knowledge to learn the difference between the real and the unreal. To emphasize that all knowledge other than Self-Knowledge is useless, Shankara makes the man realize how foolish he is in his conduct and behavior by these verses, and shows him the purpose of our worldly existence, which is to seek Govinda and attain Him.
Bhaja govindaM is divided into dvaadasa manjarika stotram and chaturdasa manjarika stotram. At the end of composing the first stanza, it is said that Shankara burst forth with the next 12 stanzas of bhaja govindam. Thus stanzas 1-12 are called dvaadas manjarika stotram. Inspired by the extempore recital by Shankara, each of his 14 disciples composed a verse and the 14 verse compendium is called chaturdasa manjarika stotram. Shankara added the finishing touches by adding five of his own stanzas at the last bring the total to 31. This edition shows 33 verses, though the last 2 are not given in all versions.
Bhaja govindaM has been set to musical tones and sung as prayer songs by children. It is divided into dvaadashapaJNjarikaa and charpaTapaJNjarikaa for this purpose. The former is a set of verses (verses 1,2,5,11,18,20,21,23,27,29,31) while the rest of the verses form charpaTapaJNjarikaa.
Anyone who listens to the music of Bhaja govindaM is attracted to it. However, the significance of the text goes much deeper and contains a well defined philosophy of attaining salvation. Shankara words here seem to be quite piercing and seem to lack his softness and tenderness often found in his other texts. The reason is that this was an extempore recital to an old man. His words can be compared to a knife of a doctor. The doctor's knife cruely removes the tumor with much pain, but removing the tumor ultimately restores good health in the patient. So is Shankara's words, which pierce and point out our ignorance. It is a knife into the heart of worldliness, and by removing this tumor of ignorance, we can attain everlasting bliss with the grace of Govinda.
May the acharayaa guide us from ignorance to truth and help us remember the song of Swami Vivekananda at all times :
How dear is He to all His devotees !
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.
The life of a man is as uncertain as rain drops trembling on a lotus leaf. Know that the whole world remains a prey to disease, ego and grief.
yaavadvittopaarjana saktaH
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.
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.
From Satsangh comes non-attachment, from non-attachment comes freedom from delusion, which leads to self-settledness. From self-settledness comes Jeevan Mukti.
What good is lust when youth has fled ? What use is a lake which has no water ? Where are the relatives when wealth is gone ? Where is samsara when the Truth is known ?
Do not boast of wealth, friends, and youth. Each one of these are destroyed within a minute. Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya and attain the timeless Truth.
Daylight and darkness, dusk and dawn, winter and springtime come and go. Time plays and life ebbs away. But the storm of desire never leaves.
kathito vaiyaakaraNasyaishhaH .
This bouquet of twelve verses was imparted to a grammarian by the all-knowing Shankara, adored as the bhagavadpada.
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.
One may go to gangasagar, observe fasts, and give away riches in charity ! Yet, devoid of jnana, nothing can give mukthi even at the end of a hundred births. Stanza attributed to Sureshwaracharya.
Take your residence in a temple or below a tree, wear the deerskin for the dress, and sleep with mother earth as your bed. Give up all attachments and renounce all comforts. Blessed with such vairagya, could any fail to be content ? Stanza attributed to Nityananda.
yogarato vaabhogaratovaa
saN^garato vaa saN^gaviihinaH .
One may take delight in yoga or bhoga, may have attachment or detachment. But only he whose mind steadily delights in Brahman enjoys bliss, no one else. Stanza attributed to Anandagiri.
Let a man read but a little from giitaa, drink just a drop of water from the ganges, worship murari (govinda) just once. He then will have no altercation with Yama. Stanza attributed to dR^iDhabhakta.
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.
yogii yoganiyojita chitto
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.
Give up lust, anger, infatuation, and greed. Ponder over your real nature. Fools are they who are blind to the Self. Cast into hell they suffer there endlessly. Stanza attributed to bharativamsha.
Regularly recite from the Gita, meditate on Vishnu [thro' Vishnu sahasranama] in your heart, and chant His thousand glories. Take delight to be with the noble and the holy. Distribute your wealth in charity to the poor and the needy. Stanza attributed to sumatira.
He who yields to lust for pleasure leaves his body a prey to disease. Though death brings an end to everything, man does not gives up the sinful path.
Wealth is not welfare, truly there is no joy in it. Reflect thus at all times. A rich man fears even his own son. This is the way of wealth everywhere.
Regulate the pranas, remain unaffected by external influences and discriminate between the real and the fleeting. Chant the holy name of God and silence the turbulent mind. Perform these with care, with extreme care.
Oh devotee of the lotus feet of the Guru ! May thou be soon free from Samsara. Through disciplined senses and controlled mind, thou shalt come to experience the Indwelling Lord of your heart !
Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, Oh fool ! Other than chanting the Lord's names, there is no other way to cross the life's ocean.
Gurudeva
Source: http://www.gurudeva.dynip.com/~htoday/press_releases/
author and publisher of Hinduism Today magazine, attained Maha Samadhi,
"Great Union," today at age 74 at his ashram home on the tropical island of
discovered on October 9, soon after he returned from a 30-day pilgrimage to
battery of tests revealed the cancer and that it had metastasized to other
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
palliative measures. He also made the decision to follow the Indian yogic
practice, called Prayopavesa in Sanskrit scripture, to abstain from
nourishment and take water only from that day on. His doctors endorsed and
News of his impending passage was first released to the Hindu world on
October 16. Immediately temples, ashrams and devotees around the world began
the "Mrityunjaya Yajna," a worship ceremony traditionally offered prior to
return to the great inner heaven worlds whence he was sent by God and the
Gods to help mankind. Nearly a hundred devotees from all over the world flew
to the remote island of Kauai to be nearby during the passage. The
tomorrow morning in a meditation crypt behind the sanctum sanctorum of the
saint's choosing is regarded as an auspicious event, one to be met with
Ma Yoga Shakti, renowned teacher and Hinduism Today's Hindu of the Year for
enlightened soul of the West -- a Hanuman of today, a reincarnation of Siva
helped make Hinduism an even greater gift to humanity." Swami Agnivesh of
most basic beliefs and daily practices to the loftiest refined philosophy
Hinduism Today, which evolved over 21 years from a simple newsletter to an
creation of Iraivan Temple on Kauai, the first all-stone, hand-carved
granite Agamic temple ever built in the West, the founding of Hindu Heritage
Endowment to perpetually fund worthy Hindu institutions and his
previously given to the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope
immediately conscious that a saint was present. Total strangers who had no
idea who he was would approach him with reverence, anxious to meet this
would be astounded by his strength and grace of movement. He had a keen yet
if they could get anything for him, he replied, "Well, yes, a new body."
with deep connections to India. In his teenage years he was trained in
classical Eastern and Western dance and in the disciplines of yoga, becoming
drawn to a spiritual life, he renounced his career at its height and sailed
to India and Sri Lanka in 1947, on the first ship to sail to India following
fasted and meditated until he burst into enlightenment. Soon after that God
Subramuniya, and initiated him into the holy orders of sannyasa, or
renunciate monasticism. Yogaswami then ordained the young mystic into his
Gurudeva introduced the nation to the circular saw, worked with leading
township of Alaveddy, just north of Jaffna.
Gurudeva returned to America in 1950 where he went into a reclusive phase of
deep contemplation and developed the spiritual techniques imparted to him in
masterpiece remains the core of his teachings. Yogaswami had told him not to
first Hindu temple, on Sacramento Street in San Francisco. In 1960 he
welcomed Hindu swamis coming for the first time to America, including Swami
"Innersearch" travel-study programs, which he conducted periodically to
most outstanding of these programs was his 1969 pilgrimage to India with 65
devotees, then the largest group from America ever to come to India. Similar
spiritual journeys took him and hundreds of devotees to dozens of nations,
tours focused on connecting with the Tamil Saivite communities around the
In the 1970s he brought his followers and organization entirely into
famed Hinduism Today magazine. He developed a large printing facility in
It was during this decade that large numbers of Hindus began to emigrate
from India to the United States and Europe, encouraged by new immigration
Subramuniyaswami sought to fill the gap by inspiring dozens of groups to
the start of any project, with instructions to immediately begin His
worship. He made himself available to the founders when they encountered
difficulties, and counseled them on how to integrate with the local American
Sringeri Peetham to put roots down in America, and lent his monks and legal
staff to the Hindu cause. In many cases, he would assign one of his own
devotees to work closely with the temple until it was firmly established.
Thus were dozens of temples built under his direct guidance or indirect
renaissance tours, meeting hundreds of thousands of Hindus in India and Sri
Lanka, to whom he spread a message of courage, regenerating pride of
monastics, visiting hundreds of villages, giving powerful talks in all parts
300,000 Hindus came to his discourses, which called for Hindus to have pride
in their heritage and to cling to their faith despite efforts of other
religions to make inroads and converts. During that Innersearch, Gurudeva
was paraded through towns and villages in the ancient way, seldom seen
today. White hand-woven cloth was laid before him to form a path on which he
would walk to each meeting, each temple rite, each lecture. Sometimes these
chanting and offering flower petals beneath his long-striding feet. In
the West through the streets in a marvelous procession of chariots and
Hundreds of thousands of Saivites turned out that morning to welcome the
hundreds of women with baskets full of flowers standing on the tops of each
building raining tons of flowers on the great guru below who had given
India's greatest Bharata Natyam dancer, Kumari Swarnamukhi, to dance in the
to the temples from which they had been banned for so long.
government had invited him to revive a languishing Hindu faith. "Please come
to our country," wrote one Mauritian at the time, "but do not just feed us
rice. Teach us how to grow rice. Teach us our ancient heritage."
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
team of documentary filmmakers to the monastery to show their employees the
world's foremost Hindu websites.
Subramuniyaswami had come by this time to be well-known throughout the world
the late 1980s and the 1990s, in historic gatherings of spiritual and
parliamentary leaders, he represented Hinduism to discuss mankind's future
was in 1994 that he founded Hindu Heritage Endowment to provide permanent
Subramuniyaswami taught the traditional Saivite Hindu path to enlightenment,
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
Divinity within. His insights into the nature of consciousness provide a key
for quieting the external mind and revealing to aspirants their deeper
and wisdom. He urges all seekers to live a life of ahimsa, nonhurtfulness
towards nature, people and creatures, an ethic which includes vegetarianism.
From his ashram in Hawaii, Subramuniyaswami continued to follow his own
guru's instruction to bring Saivism to the Western world by teaching others
to "know thy Self by thyself" and thus "see God Siva everywhere."
Foundational to all of his work is the Kauai Aadheenam and its resident
countries and include both men born into the Hindu religion and those who
converted or adopted Hinduism, Asians and Westerners. Made strong by decades
immanent nature of God, the value of temple worship and the need to work
including reincarnation, karma and dharma, vegetarianism, noninjury toward
through penance, pilgrimage and daily worship. Natha gurus refuse to
lowest to the highest, according to spiritual worthiness. Swamis of the
historically lived among the people, rather than in remote areas, and
Throughout his life, Subramuniyaswami sought to establish, stabilize and
his ability to explain the most complex principles in a uniquely lucid and
until him the English representations of Hinduism were mostly Victorian in
Hindu brotherhood are verily indebted to Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami for
carefully arranged, edited and published. Today it can be unhesitatingly
in question and answer format on the basics of Hinduism. Central to "Living
our day, one of which came into play at the end of his own life. Hindu
path ahead and considering the severity of his condition decided to fast to
Living with Siva: "To leave the body in the right frame of mind, in the
right consciousness, through the highest possible chakra, is a key to
spiritual progress. The seers did not want unrelenting pain and hopelessness
to be the only possibilities facing a soul whose body was failing, whose
terminally diseased, to choose a righteous release. What wonderful wisdom.
systems. No loss of the family wealth for prolonged health care or into the
hands of unscrupulous doctors. No lapsing into unconscious coma. No loss of
reflection and listening to favorite religious songs, with joyous release,
light and serious aspirants wishing to follow the path toward illumination
understanding and transcending the various states of mind and the methods to
In addition to the trilogy, Subramuniyaswami produced "Loving Ganesha," a
origins of mankind on Earth; "Weaver's Wisdom," the best English translation
an administrative manual on his organization which has served to guide other
Hindu organizations in their efforts to transplant Hinduism on Western soil;
as well as dozens of pamphlets, posters and handouts. In response to a
Hindu Religion, now taught to thousands of children around the world.
One book in particular, "How to Become a Hindu," published in 2000,
he was adverse to hiding or minimizing the Hindu origins of his teachings.
He insisted that his devotees be boldly and proudly Hindus, and if they were
not born into the faith, that they sincerely convert to Hinduism if they
wanted to follow him, including legally changing their name to a Hindu name.
The book was well received in India, where people referred to it as "How to
foremost leaders, said it "will provide immense help to those who wish to
enter the Hindu fold, and also to the younger generation of Hindus." The
travels for other events he would take time out to have book signings at
local book stores such as Borders and Barnes and Noble. These were always
wonderfully entertaining and informal events which allowed people genuinely
famed guru. The store would turn into a temporary temple as devotees and
readers piled flowers at Gurudeva's feet. His helpers quickly learned that
bookstores rarely stocked enough books for the relatively large numbers who
of the evening, Subramuniyaswami would joke with the store's staff, "Well,
Subramuniyaswami founded Hinduism Today magazine in 1979 to fulfill six
purposes: 1) To foster Hindu solidarity as a unity in diversity among all
sects and lineages; 2) To inform and inspire Hindus worldwide and people
interested in Hinduism; 3) To dispel myths, illusions and misinformation
about Hinduism; 4) To protect, preserve and promote the sacred Vedas and the
Hindu religion; 5) To nurture and monitor the ongoing spiritual Hindu
renaissance; 6) To publish a resource for Hindu leaders and educators who
and all countries in which Hindus live. With a studied aversion to politics,
a wide range of issues, people and institutions. Its website, along with
(start at www.himalayanacademy.com). A unique part of his website is "A
Daily Chronicle of Kauai's Hindu Monstery," at which his answers to
questions sent in by e-mail were posted in both audio and transcriptions.
Ma Yoga Shakti, renowned teacher and Hinduism Today's Hindu of the Year for
2000, said, "We are very proud of Hinduism Today. For more than three
decades, Subramuniyaswami, a highly enlightened soul of the West -- a
Hanuman of today, a reincarnation of Siva Himself -- has watered the roots
Chinmoy, famed for his peace efforts worldwide, said, "a uniquely powerful
united Hindus throughout the world with his dynamic approach to an ancient
"Hinduism Today presents Hinduism's new global face. It takes a strategic
lead in the effort to overcome the problem of self-alienation and growing
shortly after Subramuniyaswami had a powerful vision of God Siva walking on
the Aadheenam land in 1975. To permanently capture the power of this great
vision, he commissioned the construction of a large temple to be entirely
hired to design the edifice in the thousand-year-old Chola style. The actual
desert lands, Gurudeva founded an entire village for the project. Homes were
erected for the 75 carvers and their families, wells were dug, kitchens
assembled, blacksmith facilities were built along with enormous sheds to
protect the stone sculptors from the Indian sun. A Malaysian family,
devotees of Gurudeva, Jiva Rajasankara, with his wife and sons, were brought
to Bangalore to supervise the workers. The family oversees even today the
stones which are quarried, carved and trial-fitted, then shipped to Kauai
where starting in May, 2001, a team of seven master stone carvers from India
arrived to begin assembly. They are presently on the sixth course of the
temple; the work is expected to take several more years to complete. At the
sanctum. This is the first all-stone temple ever built in the Western
careful craftsmanship. He directed the carvers to do everything by hand, and
even when efficiency experts urged him to permit hydraulic tools to speed up
having it done in the old way we would be passing along the ancient,
hands-only craft to one more generation. The entire temple, which is taking
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
influence was instrumental in countering veiled threats to foreign aid that
campaign to "Stop the War in the Home" (see source for this talk at end) and
to change the policies of schools. He directed his own followers in many
nations to stop hitting or abusing, even verbally, their children under any
circumstances, and instructed them to begin teaching nonviolent methods of
children. She visited him on Kauai and together they worked out programs in
When he addressed the 1,200 delegates to the Millennium Peace Summit of
he said in part, "To stop the wars in the world, our best long-term solution
is to stop the war in the home. It is here that hatred begins, that
children learn to solve their problems with violence. This is true of every
throughout his life to create "pure Saivites," as he said shortly before his
powers, he clarified and purified all of the Saivite teachings of his
inner experience. His staff researched thousands of topics and consulted
regularly with hundreds of scholars, linguists, historians, theologians and
Hinduism, but rather encouraged each to be true to their own traditions and
philosophy. For decades he worked to create a Hindu solidarity by
hundreds were either visited by him in their ashrams or found their way to
In addition to his work within the global Hinduism, Subramuniyaswami also
the authority to clarify and reinterpret scripture and to revise customary
called upon to settle disputes in the community, to advise politicians, even
to help arrange marriages. Subramuniyaswami was called upon to perform all
By far his greatest efforts and most focused energy went toward the 2.5
the country in 1983. Just prior to its onset he toured the country,
poured out of Sri Lanka and made their way to Canada, America, Germany,
Refugee Relief Fund for Sri Lankans in 1985, collecting money in the West
and sending it to the war-torn region of Jaffna. He established and
maintained contact with each of these communities, advised them on how to
adjust to their circumstances and to remain staunch Saivite Hindus. In his
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
Sivacharya priests of South India, who are traditionally attached to the
aadheenams. He helped restore the dignity of this priesthood and encouraged
young men born in the priest families to follow in the profession of their
fathers instead of opting for higher-paying but totally secular jobs. He
started to treat their priests with respect, pay them decent wages and
provide proper living facilities. He encouraged priests to start their own
considered the status and well-being of the Hindu priesthood to be the most
accurate measure of the well-being of Hinduism in general, and his successor
and monks will continue to champion the cause of Hindu priests around the
turn, for example, by sending young Sivachariya priests to train his monks
in temple worship, a training heretofore never imparted to anyone outside
years, Hindus attracted to Subramuniyaswami's teachings started the
schools. These classes and the widespread distribution of Hinduism Today
country disseminated clear Hindu teachings to the youth and instilled a
pride in Hindu religion as a result. He sent one of his monastics to teach
Malaysia were conducted by his devotees, which inspired all the other Hindu
organizations to also hold youth camps. More recently, he's advocated
devotees to teach classes for other Hindu parents in nonviolent means of
parenting and to change school policies regarding corporal punishment of
new life into Hinduism for the Hindus of Malaysia." Today three of
Manon Mardemootoo, a long-standing devotee of Subramuniyaswami and a
prominent attorney, offered this summary of Subramuniyaswami's work in the
"Subramuniyaswami came to Mauritius in the 1980s at the request of Hindu
elders who were worried about the high rate of conversion from the Hindu
village to village with one of his swamis. Then Gurudeva sent a
story of our soul, our great God and Gods, the pillars of Hinduism, karma,
misconceptions in the Tamil Saivite community. Many of us came to understand
was Ganesha Chaturti a purely Maurati festival, but rather both were major
the printing of a local edition of Hinduism Today in 1986 on the island and
people would come for the weekly homas held at that time. Today the major
part of this land has been dedicated to a spiritual park, a present of
Subramuniyaswami to the people of Mauritius and the only one of its nature
Mandapam, with its nine-foot tall Pancha Mukha Ganapati. As well, equally
"We have had a regular flow of monastics from our headquarters in Hawaii,
Kauai Aadheenam, to the monastery. They created the Spiritual Park and held
Subramuniyaswami advised his family members to use ayurvedic medicine and
well he encouraged the wearing of Hindu dress at home, temples and during
headquarters in Kauai, where we presently have a Mauritian monk, Sadhaka
the only way to completely eradicate violence from our society. Gurudeva
excellence at work which he instilled among his members and the need to
members, to take these teachings into the public and make it a living
"He will also be remembered for two meetings to promote community harmony.
The first was with Hindu leaders to strengthen the ties within the Hindu
Louis, he met with religious leaders of all faiths to strengthen the bonds
of friendship, respect and harmony among the people of Mauritius. Today, in
politicians, business people and spiritual individuals wanting to create a
superintendent of schools, business and agricultural leaders, to bring a
unity to the ethnically diverse island of 55,000 and to offer his vision for
forward on local TV and radio programs, at Rotary Club breakfasts to which
he was invited to speak, and in person. He would from time to time be sought
island. Hundreds of residents, well-to-do and not so well-to-do alike,
devotees worldwide to carry his work and institutions forward with
unstinting vigor, to keep one another strong on the spiritual path, to work
diligently on their personal spiritual disciplines and to live every moment
wisdom and love, are well-prepared to keep his mission potent and effective.
These two communities will continue the work together: building the Iraivan
contributing to our local Kauai community, guiding the future of Hinduism
around the globe and working to reduce violence, child-beating and spouse
Website for extensive further information and high-resolution photos
http://www.gurudeva.dynip.com/~htoday/press_releases/
Is life really meaningless?
MEANING CAN BE understood in two ways. There is meaning that is somewhere far away, you have to reach to it. It is extrinsic.
Life is not meaningful in this first sense. And it is good that life is not meaningful in that sense, because then life becomes only a means to reach to the faraway goal, the faraway star. Then life loses its autonomous beauty. It is just a way; the real thing is tomorrow.
Meaning has another category too: intrinsic. Life is tremendously meaningful in the second sense. Then meaning is not separate, somewhere else; then meaning is in the very living itself.
You don't ask, has love any meaning? You know love is itself meaningful, it is not a means to some end. You do not ask if the beauty of a rose is meaningful. The beauty itself is enough; it does not lead anywhere, it contains its meaning within itself.
In existence everything that is really valuable is always intrinsically meaningful. And life is equivalent to existence. Life has meaning. If you just change the word "life" into "living," you will be able to understand more easily. Living has meaning -- each moment -- because living is not something dead like "life." The word "life" is dead -- all nouns are dead. But the language is created by dead people.
Some day the new man is going to create a language which consists only of verbs, because that will be authentic to existence. In existence there is no noun. Have you seen "life"? Have you met "life" anywhere? All that you meet, experience, is living.
Sipping a cup of tea, going for a morning walk, doing your work -- all these small activities make up your living. And each part, each moment of living, is meaningful. You just have to be there; otherwise, who is going to experience the meaning?
People go on drinking tea, but they never are there; their minds are wandering all over the world. People are making love, but they are not there. It is a very strange world that we have created. In one bedroom there are at least four people. Already the bedrooms are so small, too difficult for two people; and in the bed there are four people, or even more. These two people who are making love are not there: the man is thinking of some Hollywood actress, the woman is thinking of Muhammad Ali. So there are four people. Who is making love to whom? These two people are simply going through the gestures of love -- they are not present -- mechanical gestures of love. And then they ask, "Is there any meaning in life?"
WHEN I WAS A STUDENT, my principal in the high school was continuously troubled by my absence from the school. My family was troubled. I would start going to school, but never reach there. Life was so much, and so many things were happening on the way... and the school was almost one mile away from the house.
I said, "I am always present wherever I am. To be absent is not my style of life. And what can I do? -- this one mile between the school and my house.... A magician was doing his tricks on the street, and I became present there. It was far more interesting than your teachers, and I learned more than I could have learned here -- because whatever your teacher is saying I can read in the book, but I will never meet that magician again. And he did such beautiful tricks that when he was finished I followed him to his tent outside the city.
"He asked me, 'Son, why are you following me?' I said, 'You are getting old. Don't you want your tricks to live on even when you are gone?' He said, 'That seems to be meaningful! -- you can come in. Many people have asked me to teach them the tricks, but not in this way.' So I have been with the magician.
"Life is a bigger school than your school. And I am, each moment, present wherever I am. To be absent is not my style of life, so you please take your words back."
He said, "In that case I will have to see your father."
I said, "You can see anybody you like, but remember that my father knows me perfectly well. Just let me be informed when you are coming so I can also be present there. You both will be absent -- because my father is continuously busy with his business, and you are busy with who is absent, who is present. At least let somebody into that meeting who is present!" I told him, "Be honest and sincere and tell me: Are you present right now?"
I said, "You need not be worried, I know where she is. That's the beauty of being present everywhere! I have seen her just by the side of the tent of the magician. Now what do you say: Was it more worthwhile my coming to the class, or finding your lost buffalo? You can go and catch hold of her."
People are not there where they seem to be. This is why they go on missing the meaning of life. Just remain present to any small act you are doing. It does not matter -- you don't have to do great acts, become a world conqueror, go to the moon, or stand on top of Everest; it does not matter what you do.
But don't seek it somewhere else -- in a church, in a temple, in a holy book. You will not find it. Even if you come across God -- who, by the way, does not exist -- but even if you come across God, you will not be present. You may be thinking of your buffalo. It is good that God is not there; otherwise, he would be so embarrassed by all these saints of all the religions, because none of them is present to the moment. They are living a life somewhere else in the tomorrows -- and today goes on slipping by, and the tomorrow never comes. Finally comes death, not tomorrow.
Life is today! Tomorrow is death. So when you come across death, it is a great shock that life has gone by and you have not been able to find any meaning in it. And now there is no tomorrow left, and you are accustomed to search for meaning in the tomorrows. But you have been told about, taught about, prepared for, tomorrows.
If you understand me... I want you always to be present wherever you are. It does not matter where you are; just be totally present, and every small act, by your presence, will become lighted up, and you will know that your whole life becomes just a caravan of lights. That's the meaning. Death comes and goes, but the caravan continues.
From Bondage to Freedom,Chapter 40
The algebra of infinite justice
As the US prepares to wage a new kind of war, Arundhati Roy challenges the instinct for vengance
In the aftermath of the unconscionable September 11 suicide attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre, an American newscaster said: "Good and evil rarely manifest themselves as clearly as they did last Tuesday. People who we don't know massacred people who we do. And they did so with contemptuous glee." Then he broke down and wept.
Here's the rub: America is at war against people it doesn't know, because they don't appear much on TV. Before it has properly identified or even begun to comprehend the nature of its enemy, the US government has, in a rush of publicity and embarrassing rhetoric, cobbled together an "international coalition against terror", mobilised its army, its air force, its navy and its media, and committed them to battle.
The trouble is that once Amer ica goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place.
What we're witnessing here is the spectacle of the world's most powerful country reaching reflexively, angrily, for an old instinct to fight a new kind of war. Suddenly, when it comes to defending itself, America's streamlined warships, cruise missiles and F-16 jets look like obsolete, lumbering things. As deterrence, its arsenal of nuclear bombs is no longer worth its weight in scrap. Box-cutters, penknives, and cold anger are the weapons with which the wars of the new century will be waged. Anger is the lock pick. It slips through customs unnoticed. Doesn't show up in baggage checks.
Who is America fighting? On September 20, the FBI said that it had doubts about the identities of some of the hijackers. On the same day President George Bush said, "We know exactly who these people are and which governments are supporting them." It sounds as though the president knows something that the FBI and the American public don't.
In his September 20 address to the US Congress, President Bush called the enemies of America "enemies of freedom". "Americans are asking, 'Why do they hate us?' " he said. "They hate our freedoms - our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other." People are being asked to make two leaps of faith here. First, to assume that The Enemy is who the US government says it is, even though it has no substantial evidence to support that claim. And second, to assume that The Enemy's motives are what the US government says they are, and there's nothing to support that either.
For strategic, military and economic reasons, it is vital for the US government to persuade its public that their commitment to freedom and democracy and the American Way of Life is under attack. In the current atmosphere of grief, outrage and anger, it's an easy notion to peddle. However, if that were true, it's reasonable to wonder why the symbols of America's economic and military dominance - the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon - were chosen as the targets of the attacks. Why not the Statue of Liberty? Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government's record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things - to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)? It must be hard for ordinary Americans, so recently bereaved, to look up at the world with their eyes full of tears and encounter what might appear to them to be indifference. It isn't indifference. It's just augury. An absence of surprise. The tired wisdom of knowing that what goes around eventually comes around. American people ought to know that it is not them but their government's policies that are so hated. They can't possibly doubt that they themselves, their extraordinary musicians, their writers, their actors, their spectacular sportsmen and their cinema, are universally welcomed. All of us have been moved by the courage and grace shown by firefighters, rescue workers and ordinary office staff in the days since the attacks.
America's grief at what happened has been immense and immensely public. It would be grotesque to expect it to calibrate or modulate its anguish. However, it will be a pity if, instead of using this as an opportunity to try to understand why September 11 happened, Americans use it as an opportunity to usurp the whole world's sorrow to mourn and avenge only their own. Because then it falls to the rest of us to ask the hard questions and say the harsh things. And for our pains, for our bad timing, we will be disliked, ignored and perhaps eventually silenced.
The world will probably never know what motivated those particular hijackers who flew planes into those particular American buildings. They were not glory boys. They left no suicide notes, no political messages; no organisation has claimed credit for the attacks. All we know is that their belief in what they were doing outstripped the natural human instinct for survival, or any desire to be remembered. It's almost as though they could not scale down the enormity of their rage to anything smaller than their deeds. And what they did has blown a hole in the world as we knew it. In the absence of information, politicians, political commentators and writers (like myself) will invest the act with their own politics, with their own interpretations. This speculation, this analysis of the political climate in which the attacks took place, can only be a good thing.
But war is looming large. Whatever remains to be said must be said quickly. Before America places itself at the helm of the "international coalition against terror", before it invites (and coerces) countries to actively participate in its almost godlike mission - called Operation Infinite Justice until it was pointed out that this could be seen as an insult to Muslims, who believe that only Allah can mete out infinite justice, and was renamed Operation Enduring Freedom- it would help if some small clarifications are made. For example, Infinite Justice/Enduring Freedom for whom? Is this America's war against terror in America or against terror in general? What exactly is being avenged here? Is it the tragic loss of almost 7,000 lives, the gutting of five million square feet of office space in Manhattan, the destruction of a section of the Pentagon, the loss of several hundreds of thousands of jobs, the bankruptcy of some airline companies and the dip in the New York Stock Exchange? Or is it more than that? In 1996, Madeleine Albright, then the US secretary of state, was asked on national television what she felt about the fact that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US economic sanctions. She replied that it was "a very hard choice", but that, all things considered, "we think the price is worth it". Albright never lost her job for saying this. She continued to travel the world representing the views and aspirations of the US government. More pertinently, the sanctions against Iraq remain in place. Children continue to die.
So here we have it. The equivocating distinction between civilisation and savagery, between the "massacre of innocent people" or, if you like, "a clash of civilisations" and "collateral damage". The sophistry and fastidious algebra of infinite justice. How many dead Iraqis will it take to make the world a better place? How many dead Afghans for every dead American? How many dead women and children for every dead man? How many dead mojahedin for each dead investment banker? As we watch mesmerised, Operation Enduring Freedom unfolds on TV monitors across the world. A coalition of the world's superpowers is closing in on Afghanistan, one of the poorest, most ravaged, war-torn countries in the world, whose ruling Taliban government is sheltering Osama bin Laden, the man being held responsible for the September 11 attacks.
The only thing in Afghanistan that could possibly count as collateral value is its citizenry. (Among them, half a million maimed orphans.There are accounts of hobbling stampedes that occur when artificial limbs are airdropped into remote, inaccessible villages.) Afghanistan's economy is in a shambles. In fact, the problem for an invading army is that Afghanistan has no conventional coordinates or signposts to plot on a military map - no big cities, no highways, no industrial complexes, no water treatment plants. Farms have been turned into mass graves. The countryside is littered with land mines - 10 million is the most recent estimate. The American army would first have to clear the mines and build roads in order to take its soldiers in.
Fearing an attack from America, one million citizens have fled from their homes and arrived at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The UN estimates that there are eight million Afghan citizens who need emergency aid. As supplies run out - food and aid agencies have been asked to leave - the BBC reports that one of the worst humanitarian disasters of recent times has begun to unfold. Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death while they're waiting to be killed.
In America there has been rough talk of "bombing Afghanistan back to the stone age". Someone please break the news that Afghanistan is already there. And if it's any consolation, America played no small part in helping it on its way. The American people may be a little fuzzy about where exactly Afghanistan is (we hear reports that there's a run on maps of the country), but the US government and Afghanistan are old friends.
In 1979, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the CIA and Pakistan's ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) launched the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA. Their purpose was to harness the energy of Afghan resistance to the Soviets and expand it into a holy war, an Islamic jihad, which would turn Muslim countries within the Soviet Union against the communist regime and eventually destabilise it. When it began, it was meant to be the Soviet Union's Vietnam. It turned out to be much more than that. Over the years, through the ISI, the CIA funded and recruited almost 100,000 radical mojahedin from 40 Islamic countries as soldiers for America's proxy war. The rank and file of the mojahedin were unaware that their jihad was actually being fought on behalf of Uncle Sam. (The irony is that America was equally unaware that it was financing a future war against itself.)
In 1989, after being bloodied by 10 years of relentless conflict, the Russians withdrew, leaving behind a civilisation reduced to rubble.
Civil war in Afghanistan raged on. The jihad spread to Chechnya, Kosovo and eventually to Kashmir. The CIA continued to pour in money and military equipment, but the overheads had become immense, and more money was needed. The mojahedin ordered farmers to plant opium as a "revolutionary tax". The ISI set up hundreds of heroin laboratories across Afghanistan. Within two years of the CIA's arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland had become the biggest producer of heroin in the world, and the single biggest source of the heroin on American streets. The annual profits, said to be between $100bn and $200bn, were ploughed back into training and arming militants.
In 1995, the Taliban - then a marginal sect of dangerous, hardline fundamentalists - fought its way to power in Afghanistan. It was funded by the ISI, that old cohort of the CIA, and supported by many political parties in Pakistan. The Taliban unleashed a regime of terror. Its first victims were its own people, particularly women. It closed down girls' schools, dismissed women from government jobs, and enforced sharia laws under which women deemed to be "immoral" are stoned to death, and widows guilty of being adulterous are buried alive. Given the Taliban government's human rights track record, it seems unlikely that it will in any way be intimidated or swerved from its purpose by the prospect of war, or the threat to the lives of its civilians.
After all that has happened, can there be anything more ironic than Russia and America joining hands to re-destroy Afghanistan? The question is, can you destroy destruction? Dropping more bombs on Afghanistan will only shuffle the rubble, scramble some old graves and disturb the dead.
The desolate landscape of Afghanistan was the burial ground of Soviet communism and the springboard of a unipolar world dominated by America. It made the space for neocapitalism and corporate globalisation, again dominated by America. And now Afghanistan is poised to become the graveyard for the unlikely soldiers who fought and won this war for America.
And what of America's trusted ally? Pakistan too has suffered enormously. The US government has not been shy of supporting military dictators who have blocked the idea of democracy from taking root in the country. Before the CIA arrived, there was a small rural market for opium in Pakistan. Between 1979 and 1985, the number of heroin addicts grew from zero to one-and-a-half million. Even before September 11, there were three million Afghan refugees living in tented camps along the border. Pakistan's economy is crumbling. Sectarian violence, globalisation's structural adjustment programmes and drug lords are tearing the country to pieces. Set up to fight the Soviets, the terrorist training centres and madrasahs, sown like dragon's teeth across the country, produced fundamentalists with tremendous popular appeal within Pakistan itself. The Taliban, which the Pakistan government has sup ported, funded and propped up for years, has material and strategic alliances with Pakistan's own political parties.
Now the US government is asking (asking?) Pakistan to garotte the pet it has hand-reared in its backyard for so many years. President Musharraf, having pledged his support to the US, could well find he has something resembling civil war on his hands.
India, thanks in part to its geography, and in part to the vision of its former leaders, has so far been fortunate enough to be left out of this Great Game. Had it been drawn in, it's more than likely that our democracy, such as it is, would not have survived. Today, as some of us watch in horror, the Indian government is furiously gyrating its hips, begging the US to set up its base in India rather than Pakistan. Having had this ringside view of Pakistan's sordid fate, it isn't just odd, it's unthinkable, that India should want to do this. Any third world country with a fragile economy and a complex social base should know by now that to invite a superpower such as America in (whether it says it's staying or just passing through) would be like inviting a brick to drop through your windscreen.
Operation Enduring Freedom is ostensibly being fought to uphold the American Way of Life. It'll probably end up undermining it completely. It will spawn more anger and more terror across the world. For ordinary people in America, it will mean lives lived in a climate of sickening uncertainty: will my child be safe in school? Will there be nerve gas in the subway? A bomb in the cinema hall? Will my love come home tonight? There have been warnings about the possibility of biological warfare - smallpox, bubonic plague, anthrax - the deadly payload of innocuous crop-duster aircraft. Being picked off a few at a time may end up being worse than being annihilated all at once by a nuclear bomb.
The US government, and no doubt governments all over the world, will use the climate of war as an excuse to curtail civil liberties, deny free speech, lay off workers, harass ethnic and religious minorities, cut back on public spending and divert huge amounts of money to the defence industry. To what purpose? President Bush can no more "rid the world of evil-doers" than he can stock it with saints. It's absurd for the US government to even toy with the notion that it can stamp out terrorism with more violence and oppression. Terrorism is the symptom, not the disease. Terrorism has no country. It's transnational, as global an enterprise as Coke or Pepsi or Nike. At the first sign of trouble, terrorists can pull up stakes and move their "factories" from country to country in search of a better deal. Just like the multi-nationals.
Terrorism as a phenomenon may never go away. But if it is to be contained, the first step is for America to at least acknowledge that it shares the planet with other nations, with other human beings who, even if they are not on TV, have loves and griefs and stories and songs and sorrows and, for heaven's sake, rights. Instead, when Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, was asked what he would call a victory in America's new war, he said that if he could convince the world that Americans must be allowed to continue with their way of life, he would consider it a victory.
The September 11 attacks were a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong. The message may have been written by Bin Laden (who knows?) and delivered by his couriers, but it could well have been signed by the ghosts of the victims of America's old wars. The millions killed in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, the 17,500 killed when Israel - backed by the US - invaded Lebanon in 1982, the 200,000 Iraqis killed in Operation Desert Storm, the thousands of Palestinians who have died fighting Israel's occupation of the West Bank. And the millions who died, in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Panama, at the hands of all the terrorists, dictators and genocidists whom the American government supported, trained, bankrolled and supplied with arms. And this is far from being a comprehensive list.
For a country involved in so much warfare and conflict, the American people have been extremely fortunate. The strikes on September 11 were only the second on American soil in over a century. The first was Pearl Harbour. The reprisal for this took a long route, but ended with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This time the world waits with bated breath for the horrors to come.
Someone recently said that if Osama bin Laden didn't exist, America would have had to invent him. But, in a way, America did invent him. He was among the jihadis who moved to Afghanistan in 1979 when the CIA commenced its operations there. Bin Laden has the distinction of being created by the CIA and wanted by the FBI. In the course of a fortnight he has been promoted from suspect to prime suspect and then, despite the lack of any real evidence, straight up the charts to being "wanted dead or alive".
From all accounts, it will be impossible to produce evidence (of the sort that would stand scrutiny in a court of law) to link Bin Laden to the September 11 attacks. So far, it appears that the most incriminating piece of evidence against him is the fact that he has not condemned them.
From what is known about the location of Bin Laden and the living conditions in which he operates, it's entirely possible that he did not personally plan and carry out the attacks - that he is the inspirational figure, "the CEO of the holding company". The Taliban's response to US demands for the extradition of Bin Laden has been uncharacteristically reasonable: produce the evidence, then we'll hand him over. President Bush's response is that the demand is "non-negotiable".
(While talks are on for the extradition of CEOs - can India put in a side request for the extradition of Warren Anderson of the US? He was the chairman of Union Carbide, responsible for the Bhopal gas leak that killed 16,000 people in 1984. We have collated the necessary evidence. It's all in the files. Could we have him, please?)
But who is Osama bin Laden really? Let me rephrase that. What is Osama bin Laden? He's America's family secret. He is the American president's dark doppelgänger. The savage twin of all that purports to be beautiful and civilised. He has been sculpted from the spare rib of a world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly stated policy of "full-spectrum dominance", its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. Its marauding multinationals who are taking over the air we breathe, the ground we stand on, the water we drink, the thoughts we think. Now that the family secret has been spilled, the twins are blurring into one another and gradually becoming interchangeable. Their guns, bombs, money and drugs have been going around in the loop for a while. (The Stinger missiles that will greet US helicopters were supplied by the CIA. The heroin used by America's drug addicts comes from Afghanistan. The Bush administration recently gave Afghanistan a $43m subsidy for a "war on drugs"....)
Now Bush and Bin Laden have even begun to borrow each other's rhetoric. Each refers to the other as "the head of the snake". Both invoke God and use the loose millenarian currency of good and evil as their terms of reference. Both are engaged in unequivocal political crimes. Both are dangerously armed - one with the nuclear arsenal of the obscenely powerful, the other with the incandescent, destructive power of the utterly hopeless. The fireball and the ice pick. The bludgeon and the axe. The important thing to keep in mind is that neither is an acceptable alternative to the other.
President Bush's ultimatum to the people of the world - "If you're not with us, you're against us" - is a piece of presumptuous arrogance. It's not a choice that people want to, need to, or should have to make.
Azim Premji's Success Recipe
You should dare to dream,
learn to work in teams,
and finally never let success go to your head
"You should dare to dream, define what you stand for, never lose your zest and curiosity, always strive for excellence, build self confidence, learn to work in teams, take care of yourself, preserve, have a broader social vision and finally never let success go to your head," Premji said.
The Wipro chairman was delivering the convocation address at the 38 the convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
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.
The world does look very different when it is seen with your eyes. You are filled with enthusiasm and are straining at the leash to get on with life.
And the world is very different from what it was when I was at your age. Never before has the role of technology been so pervasive and so central. The Internet has breached all physical borders and connected the world together like no other force has done before.
For the first time, opportunities for creating wealth in India are at par with the best in world. There is no need for you to sacrifice the joy of remaining in your own country any more.
All opportunities are accompanied by their own challenges. I thought I would share with you a few of the lessons I have learnt in my own life, while loading the transformation at Wipro, from a small company three and a half decades back into a global corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange. I hope you find them useful.
* Lesson # 1: Dare to dream
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.
It requires courage to keep dreaming. And that is when dreams are most needed- not when everything is going right, but when just about everything is going wrong.
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.
Eventually, we realised that our values made eminent business sense. Values help in clarifying what everyone should do or not do in any business situation. It saves enormous time and effort because each issue does not have to be individually debated at length.
But remember that values are meaningful only if you practice them. People may listen to what you say but they will believe what you do. Values are a matter of trust. They must be reflected in each one of your actions. Trust takes a long time to build but can be lost quickly by just one inconsistent act.
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.
I personally spend at least ten hours every week on reading. If I do not do that, I find myself quickly outdated.
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.
They are able to distinguish between what is in their control and what is not. They do not waste their energies on events that are outside their control and hence they can take setbacks in their stride.
* Lesson # 6: Learn to work in teams
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.
The stress that a young person faces today while beginning his or her career is the same as the last generation faced at the time of retirement.
You must develop your own mechanism for dealing with stress. I have found that a daily jog for me, goes a long way in releasing the pressure and building up energy. You will need lots of energy to deal with the challenges.
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.
I remember reading this very touching story on perseverance.
An eight-year-old child heard her parents talking about her little brother. All she knew was that he was very sick and they had no money left. They were moving to a smaller house because they could not afford to stay in the present house after paying the doctor's bills. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and there was no one to loan them the money.
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.
"And what do you want?" asked the pharmacist. "It's for my little brother," the girl answered back. "He's really, really sick and I want to buy a miracle."
"We don't sell miracles here, child. I'm sorry," the pharmacist said, smiling sadly at the little girl.
"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.
"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents -- the exact price of a miracle for little brothers."
He took her money in one hand and held her hand with the other. He said, "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."
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.
For decades we have been waiting for some one who will help us in 'priming the pump' of the economy.
The government was the logical choice for doing it, but it was strapped for resources. Other countries were willing to give us loans and aids but there was a limit to this.
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.
I personally believe that the greatest gift one can give to others is the gift of education. We who have been so fortunate to receive this gift know how valuable it is.
* Lesson # 10: Never let success go to your head
No matter what we achieve, it is important to remember that we owe this success to many factors and people outside us. This will not only help us in keeping our sense of modesty and humility intact but also help us to retain our sense of proportion and balance.
The moment we allow success to build a feeling or arrogance, we become vulnerable to making bad judgements.
Let me illustrate this with another story:
A lady in faded dress and her husband, dressed in a threadbare suit, walked in without an appointment into the office of the president of the most prestigious educational institution in America.
"We will wait," said the couple quietly.
The secretary ignored them for hours hoping they will go away. But they did not. Finally, the secretary decided to disturb the president, hoping they will go way quickly once they meet him.
The president took one look at the faded dresses and glared sternly at them. The lady said, "Our son studied here and he was very happy. A year ago, he was killed in an accident. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial for him on the campus."
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."
"A building?" exclaimed the president, looking at their worn out clothes. "Do you have any idea how much a building costs? Our buildings cost close to ten million dollars!"
The lady looked at her husband. "If that is what it costs to start a university, why don't we start our own?" Her husband nodded.
Mr and Mrs Leland Stanford walked away, travelling to Palo Alto, California, where they established the university as a memorial to their son, bearing their name - the Stanford University.
The story goes that this is how Stanford University began.
I often panic, and worry that I might go mad....
The basic thing to be understood is that you are not the mind -- neither the bright one nor the dark one. If you get identified with the beautiful part, then it is impossible to disidentify yourself from the ugly part; they are two sides of the same coin. You can have it whole, or you can throw it away whole, but you cannot divide it.
And the whole anxiety of man is that he wants to choose that which looks beautiful, bright; he wants to choose all the silver linings, leaving the dark cloud behind. But he does not know that silver linings cannot exist without the dark cloud. The dark cloud is the background, absolutely necessary for silver linings to show.
Being choiceless means: the mind is there and it has a dark side and it has a bright side -- so what? What has it to do with you? Why should you be worried about it?
The moment you are not choosing, all worry disappears. A great acceptance arises, that this is how the mind has to be, this is the nature of the mind -- and it is not your problem, because you are not the mind. If you were the mind, there would have been no problem at all. Then who would choose and who would think of transcending? And who would try to accept and understand acceptance?
You are separate, totally separate.
But you are being an observer who gets identified with anything that he finds pleasant -- and forgets that the unpleasant is coming just behind it as a shadow. You are not troubled by the pleasant side -- you rejoice in it. The trouble comes when the polar opposite asserts -- then you are torn apart.
But you started the whole trouble. Falling from being just a witness, you became identified. The biblical story of the fall is just a fiction. But this is the real fall -- the fall from being a witness into getting identified with something and losing your witnessing.
Just try once in a while: Let the mind be whatever it is. Remember, you are not it. And you are going to have a great surprise. As you are less identified, the mind starts becoming less powerful, because its power comes from your identification; it sucks your blood. But when you start standing aloof and away, the mind starts shrinking.
And with the mind disappears the self. Then there is only a certain quality of awareness, with no "I" in it. At the most you can call it something similar to "am-ness," but not "I-ness." To be even more exact, it is "is-ness" because even in am-ness some shadow of the "I" is still there. The moment you know its is-ness, it has become universal.
With the disappearance of the mind disappears the self. And so many things disappear which were so important to you, so troublesome to you. You were trying to solve them and they were becoming more and more complicated; everything was a problem, an anxiety, and there seemed to be no way out.
I remind you of the story The Goose is Out. It is concerned with the mind and your is-ness.
The master tells the disciple to meditate on a koan: A small goose is put into a bottle, fed and nourished. The goose goes on becoming bigger and bigger and bigger, and fills the whole bottle. Now it is too big; it cannot come out of the bottle's mouth -- the mouth is too small. And the koan is that you have to bring the goose out without destroying the bottle, without killing the goose.
What can you do? The goose is too big; you cannot take it out unless you break the bottle, but that is not allowed. Or you can bring it out by killing it; then you don't care whether it comes out alive or dead. That is not allowed either.
He runs to the master to say that the goose is out. And the master says, "You have understood it. Now keep it out. It has never been in."
If you go on struggling with the goose and the bottle, there is no way for you to solve it. It is the realization that, "It must represent something else; otherwise the master cannot give it to me. And what can it be?" -- because the whole function between the master and the disciple, the whole business is about the mind and awareness.
Awareness is the goose which is not in the bottle of the mind. But you are believing that it is in it and asking everyone how to get it out. And there are idiots who will help you, with techniques, to get out of it. I call them idiots because they have not understood the thing at all.
Awareness is non-dual, and mind is dual. So just watch. I don't teach you any solutions. I teach you the solution: Just get back a little and watch. Create a distance between you and your mind.
Whether it is good, beautiful, delicious, something that you would like to enjoy closely, or it is ugly -- remain as far away as possible. Look at it just the way you look at a film. But people get identified even with films.
I have seen, when I was young... I have not seen any movie for a long time. But I have seen people weeping, tears coming down -- and nothing is happening! It is good that in a movie house it is dark; it saves them from feeling embarrassed. I used to ask my father, "Did you see? The fellow by your side was crying!"
"But," I said, "there is only a screen and nothing else. Nobody is killed, there is no tragedy happening -- just a projection of a film, just pictures moving on the screen. And people laugh, and people weep, and for three hours they are almost lost. They become part of the movie, they become identified with some character..."
My father said to me, "If you are raising questions about people's reactions then you cannot enjoy the film."
I said, "I can enjoy the film, but I don't want to cry; I don't see any enjoyment in it. I can see it as a film, but I don't want to become a part of it. These people are all becoming a part of it."
My grandfather had an old barber who was an opium addict. For something which was possible to do in five minutes he would take two hours, and he would talk continuously. But they were old friends from their childhood. I can still see my grandfather sitting in the chair of the old barber... And he was a lovely talker. These opium addicts have a certain quality, a beauty of talking, telling stories about themselves, what is happening day-to-day; it is true.
I said to him one day, "About everything you go on saying, `Yes, right, it is great.' Sometimes he is talking nonsense, simply irrelevant."
He said, "What do you want? That man is an opium addict..."
In India razor blades are not used; things almost like six-inch long knives are used as razor blades. "Now what do you want me to say? -- with that man who has a knife, a sharp knife in his hand, just on my throat. To say no to him... he will kill me! And he knows it. He sometimes tells me, `You never say no. You always say yes, you always say great.' And I have told him, `You should understand that you are always under the influence of opium. It is impossible to talk with you, to discuss with you or to disagree with you. You have a knife on my throat, and you want me to say no to something?'"
I said, "Then why don't you change from this man? There are so many other barbers, and this man takes two hours for a five-minute job. Sometimes he takes half your beard and then he says, `I am coming back, you sit.' And he is gone for an hour, because he gets involved in a discussion with somebody and forgets completely that a customer is sitting in his chair. Then he comes and says, `My God, so you are still sitting here?'"
The barber would say, "I got in such a good argument with somebody that I completely forgot about you. It is good that that man had to go; otherwise you would have been sitting here the whole day. And sometimes I don't even close the shop at night. I simply go home, just forget to close, and once in a while a customer is still sitting in the chair and I am sleeping. Somebody has to say to him, `Now you can go; that man will not be seen again before tomorrow morning. He is fast asleep in his home. He has forgotten to close his shop and he has forgotten about you.'"
And if you were angry... Sometimes new people got into his shop, and became angry. He would say, "Calm down. At the most you need not pay me. I have cut only half of the beard; you can just go. I don't want to argue. You need not pay me; I don't ask even half payment."
But nobody can leave his chair with half the beard shaved -- or half the head shaved! You ask him just to shave the beard and he starts shaving your head, and by the time you notice, he has already done the job. So he asks you, "Now what do you want? -- because almost one-fourth of the work is done. If you want to keep it this way I can leave it; otherwise I can finish it. But I will not charge for it because if you say that you never wanted it to be cut, then it is my fault and I should take the punishment. I will not charge you."
This man was dangerous! But my grandfather used to say, "He is dangerous but he is lovely and I have become so much identified with him that I cannot conceive that if he dies before me I will be able to go to another barber's shop. I cannot conceive... for my whole life he has been my barber. The identity has become so deep that I may stop shaving my beard, but I cannot change my barber."
And soon you will be able to see that there is no problem at all -- the goose is out. You don't have to break the bottle, you don't have to kill the goose either.
What is the meaning of Life?
Life in itself has no meaning. Life is an opportunity to create meaning. Meaning has not to be discovered: it has to be created. You will find meaning only if you create it. It is not lying there somewhere behind the bushes, so you can go and you search a little bit and find it. It is not there like a rock that you will find. It is a poetry to be composed, it is a song to be sung, it is a dance to be danced.
Millions of people are living meaningless lives because of this utterly stupid idea that meaning has to be discovered. As if it is already there. All that you need is to just pull the curtain, and behold! meaning is here. It is not like that.
So remember: Buddha finds the meaning because he creates it. I found it because I created it. God is not a thing but a creation. And only those who create find. And it is good that meaning is not lying there somewhere, otherwise one person would have discovered it -- then what would be the need for everybody else to discover it?
Can't you see the difference between religious meaning and scientific meaning? Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity; now, do you have to discover it again and again? You will be foolish if you discover it again and again. What is the point? One man has done it; he has given you the map. It may have taken years for him, but for you to understand it will take hours. You can go to the university and learn.
Buddha also discovered something, Zarathustra also discovered something, but it is not like Albert Einstein's discovery. It is not there that you have just to follow Zarathustra and his map and you will find it. You will never find it. You will have to become a Zarathustra. See the difference!
To understand the theory of relativity, you need not become an Albert Einstein, no. You have to be just of average intelligence, that's all. If you are not too much retarded, you will understand it.
But to understand the meaning of Zarathustra, you will have to become a Zarathustra -- less than that won't do. You will have to create it again. And each individual has to give birth to God, to meaning, to truth; each man has to become pregnant with it and pass through the pains of birth. Each one has to carry it in one's womb, feed it by one's own blood, and only then does one discover.
You must be waiting passively for the meaning to come... it will never come. This has been the idea of the past religions, that the meaning is already there. It is not! Freedom is there to create it, energy is there to create it. The field is there to sow the seeds and reap the crop. All is there -- but the meaning has to be created. That's why to create it is such a joy, such an adventure, such an ecstasy.
So the first thing: religion has to be creative. Up to now, religion has remained very passive, almost impotent. You don't expect a religious person to be creative. You just expect him to fast, sit in a cave, get up early in the morning, chant mantras... and this kind of stupid thing. And you are perfectly satisfied! What is he doing? And you praise him because he goes on long fasts. Maybe he is a masochist; maybe he enjoys torturing himself. He sits there when it is icy cold, naked, and you appreciate him. But what is the point, what is the value in it? All the animals of the world are naked in the icy cold -- they are not saints. Or when it is hot, he sits in the hot sun, and you appreciate him. You say, "Look! here is a great ascetic." But what is he doing? What is his contribution to the world? What beauty has he added to the world? Has he changed the world a little bit? Has he made it a little more sweet, more fragrant? No, you don't ask that.
Now, I tell you, this has to be asked: Praise a man because he has created a song. Praise a man because he has created a beautiful sculpture. Praise a man because he plays such a beautiful flute. Let these be religious qualities from now onwards. Praise a man because he is such a lover -- love is religion. Praise a man: because of him the world is becoming more graceful.
Forget all these stupid things! -- fasting and just sitting in a cave, torturing oneself or lying down on a bed of nails. Praise a man because he has cultivated beautiful roses. The world is more colorful because of him. And then you will find meaning.
Meaning comes out of creativity. Religion has to become more poetic, more aesthetic.
And second thing: sometimes it happens that you search for the meaning because you have already concluded. Out of a conclusion you search for it. You have already decided what meaning should be there, or has to be there... and then you don't find it.
The inquiry has to be pure. What do I mean when I say the inquiry has to be pure? It should be without any conclusion. It should not have any a priori in it.
For example, if a man comes into my garden and thinks if he can find a diamond there then this garden is beautiful, and he cannot find the diamond, so he says there is no meaning in the garden.... And there are so many beautiful flowers, and so many birds singing, and so many colors, and the wind blowing through the pines, and the moss on the rocks. But he cannot see any meaning because he has a certain idea: he has to find the diamond, a Kohinoor -- only then will there be meaning.
He is missing meaning because of his idea. Let your inquiry be pure. Don't move with any fixed idea. Go naked and nude. Go open and empty. And you will find not only one meaning -- you will find a thousand and one meanings. Then each thing will become meaningful. Just a colored stone shining in the rays of the sun... or a dewdrop creating a small rainbow around itself... or just a small flower dancing in the wind.... What meaning are you searching for?
Don't start with a conclusion, otherwise you have started wrongly from the very beginning. Go without a conclusion! That's what I mean when I say again and again: Go without knowledge if you want to find truth. The knowledgeable person never finds it. His knowledge is a barrier.
Goldstein had never been to a show in the legitimate theater. For his birthday, his children decided to give him a present of a ticket for the Jewish theater.
The night after the show, they came to visit him and asked him eagerly what he thought of the show.
"Ash," he answered, "it was simply nonsense. When she was willing, he wasn't willing. And when he was willing, she wasn't willing. And when they both were willing, down came the curtain!"
Meaning has to be created. And meaning has to be searched for without any conclusions. If you can drop your knowledge, life will suddenly take on color, it will become psychedelic. But you are continuously carrying the load of your scriptures, books, theories, doctrines, philosophies... you are lost in all that. And everything has become mixed, hotchpotch. And you cannot even remember what is what.
Your mind is a mess. Clean it! Make it a blank. The empty mind is the best mind. And those who have been telling you that the empty mind is the Devil's workshop are the Devil's agents. The empty mind is closer to God than anything. The empty mind is not the Devil's workshop. The Devil cannot do without thoughts.
With emptiness the Devil cannot do anything at all. He has no way Into emptiness.
So many thoughts in the mind, mixed up; nothing seems to be clear; you have heard so many things from so many sources -- your mind is a monster. And you are trying to remember, and you have been told to remember: Don't forget! And, naturally, the burden is so much that you cannot remember. Many things you have forgotten. Many things you have imagined and added on your own.
An Englishman visiting America attended a banquet and heard the Master of Ceremonies give the following toast:
"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,
After a long pause the crowd began to grow restless, glaring at the speaker indignantly. The speaker's friend sitting next to him whispered, "You had better explain yourself quickly."
"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.
And life has to be multi-dimensional, then only is there meaning. Never make life one-dimensional. That too is a problem.
Somebody becomes an engineer, and then he thinks all is finished. He becomes identified with being an engineer. Then his whole life he is just an engineer. And there were millions of things available. But he moves only on one track, becomes bored. Is fed up. Is tired, wearied. Goes on dragging. Waits only for death. What meaning can there be?
Have more interests in life. Don't be always a businessman. Sometimes play too. Don't be just a doctor or an engineer, or a headmaster, or a professor -- be as many things as possible! Play cards, play the violin, sing a song, be an amateur photographer, a poet.... Find as many things as possible in life, and then you will have richness. And meaning is a by-product of richness.
I have heard a very meaningful story about Socrates:
Socrates, while awaiting death in prison, was haunted by a dream that kept urging him, "Socrates, make music!" The old man felt he had always served art with his philosophizing. But now, spurred on by that mysterious voice, he turned fables into verse, indited a hymn to Apollo, and played the flute.
In the face of death, philosophy and music briefly went hand in hand, and Socrates was as blissful as never before.
He had never played on the flute. Something inside him persisted, "Socrates, make music!" Just in the face of death! It looked so ridiculous. And he had never played, he had never made music. A part of his being had remained suffocated. Yes, even a man like Socrates, had remained one-dimensional. The denied part insisted, "Enough of logic -- a little music will be good, will bring balance. Enough of argumentation -- play on the flute." And the voice was so persistent that he had to yield to it.
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.
Just the other night I was reading a story about the great Hassidic mystic, Baal Shem:
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?"
The father said, "Absolutely no -- where is your whistle," because he was afraid. He may not even listen to his "no." He showed the whistle and the father kept his hand on his pocket, the boy's pocket. Then there was dancing, and the father forgot and he also started dancing. And Hassids are dancers, joyous people -- the cream of Judaism, the very essence of Judaism is with them, with those mad people.
When everybody was praying to God and dancing, suddenly the boy could not resist any more. He took out his whistle and blew on it. Everybody was shocked! But Baal Shem came, hugged the boy, and said, "Our prayers are heard. Without this whistle, all was futile -- because this was the only spontaneous thing here. All else was ritual."
Don't allow your life to become just a dead ritual. Let there be moments, unexplainable. Let there be a few things which are mysterious, for which you cannot supply any reason. Let there be a few doings for which people will think you are a little crazy. A man who is a hundred percent sane is dead. A little bit of craziness by the side is always a great joy. Go on doing a few crazy things too. And then meaning will be posible.
Why do you contradict yourself?
Osho, I know that you love contradictions. A lot of it I can accept now as two sides of one coin. But today after lecture some questions still arose. On the one side you say the good and the bad are two sides of the same coin and both have to be and the one can't be without the other. On the other side you want to create a better world with your sannyasins. On the one side you tell us not to think in terms of the future. On the other side you are talking about the coming third world war. On the one side you tell us not to wish anything. On the other side it seems you want to avoid the third world war. On the one side you say things are okay as they are, there is no goal, nothing to achieve, to change. On the other side: what are you doing here? What are we doing here? I can feel there is an answer, but I can't point it out. Can you?
It is not that I love contradictions: life is contradictory. Existence itself is possible only through contradictions. It is the mind that has been trained in Aristotelian logic that becomes disturbed because of contradictions. The Aristotelian logic gives you a linear mind, a one-dimensional mind. It says: A can only be A and can never be B, and B can only be B and can never be A, and for two thousand years our minds have been conditioned by this logic.
This logic never had any sway over the mystics, and now even scientists are escaping from the Aristotelian prison. If you want to be true to life you cannot be a follower of Aristotle; to be true to life you will have to say things as they are. If you want to be true to Aristotle then you will have to repress a few things of life, deny, at least avoid, not look at them, choose only what fits with your logic.
The whole world has existed up to now according to one-dimensional logic -- and existence is multi-dimensional, it is rooted in contradictions. In fact, to call it a contradiction is again to use a word from Aristotle.
The mystics use the word "paradox," not "contradiction." In the very word "contradiction" there is condemnation: something is wrong, something has to be put right. But a paradox is a totally different phenomenon: nothing has to be put right. A paradox is a mystery, elusive, inexplicable.
Existence is a mystery. Mathematics is incapable of understanding it; mind is utterly impotent in understanding it, because mind knows only one way. The Aristotelian way is the mind's way. And anybody who knows life knows that Aristotle has been a calamity, the greatest that has ever existed in the world. And he is the father of modern philosophy, the father of modern science! But there are revolts against him. Mystics have always been revolting, now physicists are revolting.
According to Aristotle there is no mystery: everything is explainable in logical terms -- that is his fundamental tenet. And my fundamental tenet is: nothing is explainable in terms of logic. If you try to explain life in terms of logic you destroy life.
It is as if to explain the beauty of a rose you take the rose to the chemist to dissect it, to analyze it, and to find out where the beauty is. The chemist is capable of analyzing the rose, but he will find only chemicals, not beauty. Beauty will evaporate. Beauty was in the paradox of the rose. It should not be according to logic -- hence logic is very blind.
Your problem, Suresh, is that you suffer from Aristotelitis. It is one of the most deep-rooted diseases.
It is not so that I love contradictions. What can I do? Contradictions are there! If I have to be true to the totality of existence I have to love them, otherwise something will have to be denied. And the moment you deny something you miss something immensely valuable, and the denial will never allow you to know the whole. And only the whole is true; the parts are only parts. They have some meaning only in the context of the whole; in themselves they are meaningless.
That's why science has created great meaninglessness in the world. It was bound to happen; it is a by-product of scientific methodology. Science tries to explain everything cleanly, with no vagueness; it wants to reduce everything to clear-cut categories. And it has succeeded, but in its success man and his spirit has failed.
The success of science is rooted in Aristotle, but man's failure -- the failure of his joy, the failure of his love, the failure of his capacity to sing, dance and celebrate -- is also rooted in Aristotle. But there are clear-cut signs of revolt, particularly within these last thirty, forty years -- many great scientists have revolted against Aristotle. The first one to revolt was Albert Einstein.
Aristotle is very absolutistic: A is absolutely A and never B, man is absolutely man and never a woman. He believes in the absolutes, and Einstein brought the idea of relativity. He said absolutes don't exist; there are only relative things. A man is relatively more a man than a woman and a woman is relatively more a woman than a man, but the question is not one of absolute distinction -- they overlap. And you may be a man in the morning and you may not be a man by the evening; you may be a woman in the evening and you may not be a woman by the morning. You are not one-sided, you have many sides.
Have you not seen a woman in anger? Then she is more masculine than any male. And have you not seen a man when he is in love? -- his tenderness, his feminineness. He is more feminine than any woman can ever be. When a woman is in anger, enraged, her whole denied part starts functioning, and the denied part is very vital and alive because it has never been used.
I have heard a future story:
A man went into a hospital to purchase a brain; because his own was not functioning well he wanted to replace it. The surgeon took him around; there were many brains available. He showed him the brain of a scientist, the price only a hundred rupees; the brain of a great, famous, well-known mathematician, and the price only two hundred rupees; and the brain of a great general, and the price only three hundred rupees -- so on and so forth. And then he came to the brain of a great political leader, and the price- was ten thousand rupees!
The customer was a little puzzled. He said, "What do you mean? Do you mean that the politician has a greater brain than a great, Nobel prize-winning scientist?"
Whatsoever is not used and denied in you remains very vital. Hence a woman enraged is far more dangerous than a man; and if you have been in relationship with a woman you know it perfectly well -- she can drive you crazy! because that is the denied part, the unused part. When it is used it has vitality, newness. And when a man is tender, loving, he is more tender and loving than a woman. He can be more womanly because that is his denied part.
Carl Gustav Jung accepted that man is bi-sexual: no man is simply man and no woman is simply woman. Man has a woman part, a very intrinsic part, and woman has a man inside her, very intrinsic. Now this is a totally different world: old categories lose meaning, old absolutes disappear.
And then came the theory of uncertainty -- because up to now science was aware only of the superficial world of matter. It has not penetrated into the mysteries of matter as mystics have done in the inner world; they have penetrated into the mysteries of consciousness. And when they penetrated the mysteries of consciousness they became aware that it is not Aristotelian at all. Sometimes A is A and sometimes A is B; and not only that -- that sometimes A is B -- there are times when A is both A and not A simultaneously.
Mahavira said that; his philosophy is known as saptabhangi -- sevenfold. He must have appeared a very strange man. You asked one question and he would always answer your one question with seven answers, because his philosophy was sevenfold. He said, "I have come to see the seven aspects of the inner world." You asked him, "Does God exist?" and he would say, "First: perhaps he exists. Second: perhaps he does not. Third: perhaps he exists and yet does not exist. And fourth: perhaps he neither exists nor does not exist." And so on and so forth. He would give you seven answers. You would leave him more confused than you had come. That's why he could not influence many people. His religion remained one of the smallest although it had the potential of becoming one of the greatest religions of the world.
But now the days of Mahavira are coming: Albert Einstein has made the way for it. As the physicist entered deeper into the mysteries of matter he was very much puzzled -- Aristotle works no more, helps no more. On the contrary, if you remain hung up with Aristotle you have to deny a few things which you cannot deny -- they are there!
For example: matter does not exist at the deepest level of matter; matter is only apparent, it is maya. Shankara said it thousands of years ago: it is illusion. By "illusion" he does not mean that it does not exist; by "illusion" he simply means it appears to exist -- something else exists. Don't be deceived by the appearance. And the scientist found himself entering more into the world of Shankara than into the world of Aristotle. Matter disappears, there is only energy -- energy moving so fast that you cannot see its movement and it gives you the idea of solid matter.
Nothing is solid, everything is liquid. And when there is nothing solid, what meaning can the word "liquid" have? Then a new problem arises: if there is nothing solid, what do you mean by "liquid?" Liquidity had meaning only in reference to solidity; the moment solidity disappears, liquidity disappears...and you are dumb, in awe.
Only energy is, and the ways of energy are very paradoxical, very mystic. One particle of energy jumps from its place to another place; it is continuously lumping. It is taking quantum leaps. The term "quantum leap" comes from quanta. "Quanta" means the ultimate particle of energy, and "quantum leap" means a very different leap from what you understand by the word "leap."
When the ultimate particle of energy jumps from place A to B the phenomenon is very mysterious: it simply disappears from A and appears at B and you cannot find it anywhere in between. You come from your place to me; you will be found in between. How can you just jump from your place to my place? Even if you jump, you will have to pass through. Even if you take the fastest plane, still you will be in between. But the ultimate particle of matter simply disappears from one place and appears at another place and you cannot find it in between at all. Now what to make out of it? It should not be so, but it is so.
First scientists figured, "We must be missing it -- maybe we don't have sophisticated enough instruments. How can it be?" The old Aristotle was haunting them: "It must be somewhere in between." But now we have more sophisticated instruments -- it simply disappears. It becomes unmanifest in one place and becomes manifest again in another place. What happens in between nothing can be known about, because it becomes unmanifest; it simply disappears from existence. It moves into a totally different dimension which is not known at all and may never be known at all, because it is the unknowable.
And it was thought always, according to Aristotle and Euclid, that a point can never be a line. It was found by the physicists that the point can be both together: it can be a particle and a wave, it can be a point and a line. Euclidean geometry used to say -- you must have read it at school -- that two parallel lines never meet. Now there is something like non-Euclidean geometry which says they meet. What to make out of it? Euclidean geometry says you can draw a straight line: a straight line is the shortest distance between two points -- a well-known definition, every schoolboy knows about it. But non-Euclidean geometry has come with great force and is changing the whole course of scientific thinking.
Non-Euclidean geometry says you cannot draw a straight line at all; it is impossible to draw a straight line. Why? -- because you are sitting on an earth which is round. So whatsoever you draw, it appears straight because you don't know that you are sitting on a round globe. Go on drawing the line, go on drawing the line, and soon you will see that it becomes a circle, because it will cover the whole earth. And a straight line cannot be a part of a circle, obviously; if it is a part of a circle it is not straight. No straight line can create a circle, but every straight line that you know, if drawn to its ultimate, will become part of a circle. Then it is an are, not a straight line.
Dave Winer
2005-01-29 - [How to unsubscribe from Scripting News Email|http://www.carnatic.com/kishore/blog/2005/01/29/how-to-unsubscribe-from-scripting-news-email/]
Thousands ( or maybe millions ) of people receive Dave's [Scripting News|http://www.scripting.com/]letter via email daily and [Kishore Balakrishnan] is one of them... Lots of links on my [Weblog] are via this newsletter...
Open Request to Dave :-) Please make it easier for me to link to the [permanent link|http://scriptingnews.userland.com/backissues/2001/10/23] by sending it in the email. Thanks.
2003 04 08 - [Speech and weblogs|http://davenet.userland.com/2003/04/08/speechAndWeblogs] : ...the only reason anyone would want to create things is to make money. If you have any other motive they think you're an idiot, and tell you so...
* [Programmers] have a very precise understanding of truth. You can't lie to a compiler. Try it sometime. Garbage in, garbage out. Booleans, the ones and zeros, trues and falses, make up the world programmers live in. That's all there is! I think programming is deep, it teaches us about the non-cyber universe we live in. There's something spiritual about computers, and I want to understand it.
Money
Is money's worth by how hard it is to earn or what it could buy? and naval : It’s how free it makes you feel.
how to get rich ... https://twitter.com/naval/status/1002103360646823936
[Money|http://thoughts.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$77] is a special promise...In the simplest of markets you give something useful to the other person and you get something useful for yourself...
and as your Friend I want to
Seriously... read http://www.livejournal.com/users/kishore/day/2002/01/02 , [The Soul of Money|http://members.aol.com/thesoulhaven/money.htm] , http://www.bruderhof.com/us/Articles/Money.htm
http://www.tribeofheart.org/money.htm : "The longest line in the world is the line between the pocketbook and the heart."
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.
It is because of the pain of love, millions of people live a loveless life. They too suffer, and their suffering is futile. To suffer in love is not to suffer in vain. To suffer in love is creative; it takes you to higher levels of consciousness. To suffer without love is utterly a waste; it leads you nowhere, it keeps you moving in the same vicious circle.
The man who is without love is narcissistic, he is closed. He knows only himself. And how much can he know himself if he has not known the other, because only the other can function as a mirror? You will never know yourself without knowing the other. Love is very fundamental for self-knowledge too. The person who has not known the other in deep love, in intense passion, in utter ecstasy, will not be able to know who he is, because he will not have the mirror to see his own reflection.
Relationship is a mirror, and the purer the love is, the higher the love is, the better the mirror, the cleaner the mirror. But the higher love needs that you should be open. The higher love needs you to be vulnerable. You have to drop your armor; that is painful. You have not to be constantly on guard. You have to drop the calculating mind. You have to risk. You have to live dangerously. The other can hurt you; that is the fear in being vulnerable. The other can reject you; that is the fear in being in love.
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.
Love is an open sky. To be in love is to be on the wing. But certainly, the unbounded sky creates fear.
And to drop the ego is very painful because we have been taught to cultivate the ego. We think the ego is our only treasure. We have been protecting it, we have been decorating it, we have been continuously polishing it, and when love knocks on the door, all that is needed to fall in love is to put aside the ego; certainly it is painful. It is your whole life's work, it is all that you have created -- this ugly ego, this idea that "I am separate from existence. "
Love gives you the first experience of being in tune with something that is not your ego. Love gives you the first lesson that you can fall into harmony with someone who has never been part of your ego. If you can be in harmony with a woman, if you can be in harmony with a friend, with a man, if you can be in harmony with your child or with your mother, why can't you be in harmony with all human beings? And if to be in harmony with a single person gives such joy, what will be the outcome if you are in harmony with all human beings? And if you can be in harmony with all human beings, why can't you be in harmony with animals and birds and trees? Then one step leads to another.
Love is a ladder. It starts with one person, it ends with the totality. Love is the beginning, God is the end. To be afraid of love, to be afraid of the growing pains of love, is to remain enclosed in a dark cell.
And then there are problems, problems which are meaningless. There are problems which are creative because they lead you to higher awareness. There are problems which lead you nowhere; they simply keep you tethered, they simply keep you in your old mess.
Love creates problems. You can avoid those problems by avoiding love. But those are very essential problems! They have to be faced, encountered; they have to be lived and gone through and gone beyond. And to go beyond, the way is through. Love is the only real thing worth doing. All else is secondary. If it helps love, it is good. All else is just a means, love is the end. So whatsoever the pain, go into love.
If you don't go into love, as many people have decided, then you are stuck with yourself. Then your life is not a pilgrimage, then your life is not a river going to the ocean; your life is a stagnant pool, dirty, and soon there will be nothing but dirt and mud. To keep clean, one needs to keep flowing. A river remains clean because it goes on flowing. Flow is the process of remaining continuously virgin.
A lover remains a virgin. All lovers are virgin. The people who don't love cannot remain virgin; they become dormant, stagnant; they start stinking sooner or later -- and sooner than later -- because they have nowhere to go. Their life is dead.
You may not commit suicide by taking poison or jumping from a cliff or by shooting yourself, but you can commit a suicide which is a very slow process, and that's what happens. Very few people commit suicide suddenly. Others have decided for a slow suicide; gradually, slowly, slowly they die. But almost, the tendency to be suicidal has become universal.
This is no way to live, and the reason, the fundamental reason, is we have forgotten the language of love. We are no more courageous enough to go into that adventure called love.
Hence people are interested in sex, because sex is not risky. It is momentary, you don't get involved. Love is involvement; it is commitment. It is not momentary. Once it takes roots, it can be forever. It can be a lifelong involvement. Love needs intimacy, and only when you are intimate does the other become a mirror. When you meet sexually with a woman or a man, you have not met at all; in fact, you avoided the soul of the other person. You just used the body and escaped, and the other used your body and escaped. You never became intimate enough to reveal each other's original faces.
It is painful, but don't avoid it. If you avoid it you have avoided the greatest opportunity to grow. Go into it, suffer love, because through the suffering comes great ecstasy. Yes, there is agony, but out of the agony, ecstasy is born. Yes, you will have to die as an ego, but if you can die as an ego, you will be born as God, as a Buddha. And love will give you the first tongue-tip-taste of Tao, of Sufism, of Zen. Love will give you the first proof that God is, that life is not meaningless.
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.
procrastination
Use the STING method to stop procrastinating.
PROCRASTINATION: TEN WAYS TO "DO IT NOW"
We've all been plagued by procrastination at one time or another. For some, it's a chronic problem. Others find that it hits only some areas of their lives. The net results, though, are usually the same - wasted time, missed opportunities, poor performance, self-deprecation, or increased stress.
We all seem to do fine with things we want to do or enjoy doing for fun. But, when we perceive tasks as difficult, inconvenient, or scary, we may shift into our procrastination mode. We have very clever ways of fooling ourselves. See how many of the following excuses hit home for you:
I'll wait until I'm in the mood to do it.
It's OK to celebrate ... besides, I'll start my diet (sobriety) tomorrow.
There's plenty of time to get it done.
Why does the boss give us so much to do? It's not fair.
It's too hard to talk about. I don't know where to begin.
I work better under pressure so I don't need to do it right now.
I've got too many other things to do first.
Once exposed, these self-defeating statements don't sound so convincing. But, when we privately tell ourselves these excuses, they seem quite believable. Don't be fooled by how innocent they sound. They get us to postpone important tasks and duties.
Procrastination is a bad habit. Like other habits, there are two general causes. The first is the "crooked thinking" we employ to justify our behavior. The second source is our behavioral patterns.
A closer look at our crooked thinking reveals three major issues in delaying tactics - perfectionism, inadequacy, and discomfort. Those who believe they must turn in the most exemplary report may wait until all available resources have been reviewed or endlessly rewrite draft after draft. Worry over producing the perfect project prevents them from finishing on time. Feelings of inadequacy can also cause delays. Those who "know for a fact" that they are incompetent often believe they will fail and will avoid the unpleasantness of having their skills put to the test. Fear of discomfort is another way of putting a stop to what needs to be done. Yet, the more we delay, the worse the discomforting problem (like a toothache) becomes.
Our behavioral patterns are the second cause. Getting started on an unpleasant or difficult task may seem impossible. Procrastination is likened to the physics concept of inertia - a mass at rest tends to stay at rest. Greater forces are required to start change than to sustain change. Another way of viewing it is that avoiding tasks reinforces procrastination which makes it harder to get things going. A person may be stuck, too, not by the lack of desire, but by not knowing what to do. Here are some things to break the habit. Remember, don't just read them, do them!
1. Rational Self-Talk. Those old excuses really don't hold up to rational inspection. The "two-column technique" will help. Write down all your excuses on one side of a piece of paper. Start challenging the faulty reasoning behind each of the excuses. Write down your realistic thoughts on the opposite side of each excuse. Here are two examples of excuses and realistic thoughts.
EXCUSE: I'm not in the mood right now. REALISTIC THOUGHT: Mood doesn't do my work, actions do. If I wait for the right mood, I may never get it done. EXCUSE::I'm just lazy. REALISTIC THOUGHT: Labeling myself as lazy only brings me down. My work is really separate from who I am as a person. Getting started is the key to finishing.
2. Positive Self-Statements. Incorporate a list of self-motivating statements into your repertoire of thoughts. Consider ...
doing what I have to do right now."
3. Don't Catastrophe. Jumping to the conclusion that you will fail or that you are no good at something will only create a wall of fear that will stop you cold. Recognize that your negative predictions are not facts. Focus on the present and what positive steps you can take toward reaching your goals.
4. Design Clear Goals. Think about what you want and what needs to be done. Be specific. If it's getting that work project completed by the deadline, figure out a time table with realistic goals at each step. Keep your sights within reason. Having goals too big can scare you away from starting.
5. Set Priorities. Write down all the things that need to be done in order of their importance. The greater the importance or urgency, the higher their priority. Put "messing around" (distractions) in its proper place - last! Start at the top of the list and work your way down.
6. Partialize the Tasks. Big projects feel overwhelming. Break them down into the smallest and most manageable subparts. You'll get more done if you can do it piece by piece. For example, make an outline for a written report before you start composing or do a small portion of the chores rather than all at once. Partializing works especially well with the unpleasant jobs. Most of us can handle duties we dislike as long as they're for a short time and in small increments.
7. Get Organized. Have all your materials ready before you begin a task. Use a daily schedule and have it with you all the time. List the tasks of the day or week realistically. Check off the tasks when you have completed them.
8. Take a Stand. Commit yourself to doing the task. Write yourself a "contract" and sign it. Better still, tell a friend, partner, or supervisor about your plans.
9. Use Prompts. Write reminders to yourself and put them in conspicuous places like on the TV, refrigerator, bathroom mirror, front door, and car dashboard. The more we remember, the greater the likelihood we'll follow through with our plans.
10. Reward Yourself. Self-reinforcement has a powerful effect on developing a "do it now" attitude. Celebrate, pat yourself on the back, smile, and let yourself enjoy the completion of even the smallest of tasks. Don't minimize your accomplishments. Remember, you're already that much closer to finishing those things that need to be done. Go ahead, get started ... NOW!
2do
http://scripting.com/stories/2012/02/21/iLoveAsGoodAsItGets.html
[100 things to do before you die. . .|http://brass612.tripod.com/cgi-bin/things.html]
[Tom Butler-Bowdon]
http://radio.weblogs.com/0110772/2003/02/13.html : ...(via Carnatic, one quite unusual site)...
osho_flowering at yahoogroups.com
James Michener : The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.
What is truth but to live for an idea ( http://www.webcom.com/kierke/bio/backgr.html )
..."What I really need is to come to terms with myself about what I am to do, not about what I am to know, except insomuch as knowledge must precede every act. It is a matter of understanding my destiny, of seeing what the Divinity actually wants me to do; what counts is to find a truth, which is true for me, to find that idea for which I will live and die."...
Weblog2001November
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[Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance]
[Fink] wants to bring more Unix software to Mac OS X. Goal number one is porting software to Mac OS X. Goal number two is making the results available to casual users.
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.
(via [PaperQuote]) [Oliver Wendell Holmes] : What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
[Ralph Waldo Emerson] : Always do what you are afraid to do !
Fun Facts about [Happy Birthday to You|http://www.ibiblio.org/team/fun/birthday/]
[Jutta Degener]'s Objective : To do spectacular and impossible things.
[How to Design Programs]
[Peter Coad] : [Feature Driven Development|http://www.togethersoft.com/services/publications/presentations/fddatjavaone2000_ppt.zip]
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. !
We stayed at Pension [Bloberger Hof]
[Wayne Dyer] : Have you really lived 10,000 or more days,
or have you lived one day 10,000 or more times?
[Gerald M. Weinberg]'s book [The Psychology of Computer Programming]
[Mother Teresa] : The minute you begin to do what you want to do, it's really a different kind of life.
[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..."
Today is [Buy Nothing Day]
[Allen Downey]'s [How to Think Like a Computer Scientist]
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]
Today is [Sri Skanda Sashti] - [Kanta Shasti Vratam|http://murugan.org/research/senthilwerl2.htm]
[Patrick David Harrigan] seems to be the lead maintainer of [Murugan Bhakti] - Great Work
A Question : IF it was only possible to browse 1 site in the future... What would it be ?
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 !
[Amy Wohl] has a weblog
([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' [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/]
[Mother] : Always remember to love thy mother, because you only have one mother in your lifetime... I would replace mother with parents...
[Stephen Hawking] in [A Brief History of Time] : As we shall see, the concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the universe. This was first pointed out by St. Augustine. When asked: What did God do before he created the universe? Augustine didn't reply: He was preparing Hell for people who asked such questions. Instead, he said that time was a property of the universe that God created, and that time did not exist before the beginning of the universe.
[Lagaan] seems to be a must see movie...
We went to [Dachau] today to visit the [Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site].
[http://philip.greenspun.com/photo/pcd0075/dachau-arbeit-56.1.jpg]
Later we went to Munich and waited in the [Marienplatz|http://www.muenchen-tourist.de/deutsch/stadtinformationen/plaetze/marienplatz.htm] for the [Glockenspiel im Rathausturm|http://www.muenchen-tourist.de/englisch/stadtinformationen/plaetze/muenchen-stadtinformationen-sehenswuerdigkeiten-plaetze_e_m.htm]. But, in winter, it only happens once a day at 11AM !
Dinner at [Sausalitos|http://www.sausalitos.de/niederlassungen/muenchen_tal.shtml] Im Tal, [Munich]
[Madhu Menon] : [Conditional philanthropy - it stinks|http://madman.weblogs.com/2001/11/13]
[Jeremy Stangroom] is the on-line editor for [The Philosopher's Magazine|http://www.philosophers.co.uk/]
[Tim Pozar] : One of my main "themes" in life is to give tools to the world that help them express their ideas. I have this rather utopian idea that if everyone has the tools to exchange ideas then the world will be a better place.
Author Unknown : To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.
[Kalpana Mohan] : I live in a place where a million dollars is loose change for most people. I live in a place where people lease Mercs while they await their Porsches. It's a place where every minuscule movement of the NASDAQ rumbles into a seismological event. A place where deals are made - to be broken when options vest...
[Peter J. Denning]'s new book is [The Invisible Future: The Seamless Integration of Technology into Everyday Life]
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...
[How to Prepare an Effective Resume]
[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...
[Satya Viswanathan|http://www.coroflot.com/satyaviswanathan] : [Ho! I went to America|http://www.livejournal.com/users/satyav/day/2001/10/11]
[George Orwell] : [Politics and the English Language]
[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]
[Ken Coar] is a Sanagendamgagwedweinini ! --- click on the name to know the meaning :-)
[Peter Hilton]'s [links|http://hilton.org.uk/links.phtml]
[Bill Clinton] : [A struggle for the soul of the 21st century|http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2001/11/10/speech/index.html]
[Richard Fritzson] [reacts|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200111/msg00189.html] to article [Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200111/msg00183.html] by starting 'This is a pretty outrageous headline for this story.'
[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."...
[We] and [Chandramouli Mahadevan] went to [Linderhof] today
[http://static.userland.com/weblogsCom/images/86400weblogscom/flower002.gif]
[Swami Sivananda] : From [ABANDON BODY-CONSCIOUSNESS|http://www.dlsmd.org/sdr/11-sdr%20nov/1109.htm] : ...This body which is full of impurities, urine, pus and faecal matter etc., is perishable. It is like froth or bubble or mirage. It is despised by its enemies. It remains like a useless log of wood on the ground when prana (life) leaves it. It is the cause of pain and suffering. It is your enemy. You should treat this body with contempt, as dung. Why should you cling to it and worship it with scents, powders and flowers? Do not be silly and foolish in adorning it with fine silks and ornaments. It is dire ignorance only...
[Alwin Hawkins] : [New tag line|http://www.vfth.com/2001/11/10] and the cornerstone of a new ethic for me. : ''Work, Don't Whine''
[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."
[Doc Searls] is [Diggin'|http://doc.weblogs.com/2001/11/09#digginDurand] [Andre Durand]
[Weblogs]
I have started collecting [Cool Tools]
[William Damon] coauthor of [Good Work] : "We're getting people to overcome the sense that to have a good career, you've got to compromise or cut
corners, that you've got to go along to get along. We
via [Susan A. Kitchens] : [Laid-Off|http://www.oddtodd.com/]
Try this : add [mama_pendse] to your Yahoo Messenger and send message 'help'
[Mentors]
[Chandramouli Mahadevan] is in Germany. Welcome back !
I hurt myself yesterday while playing badminton... Nothing Serious... But I am thinking about [Relative and Absolute Happiness] and about people who are handicapped
[Two unpublished letters|http://www.vedantaofboston.org/Vivekananda/newSVLetters.asp] of [Swami Vivekananda]
[Obstacles to Happiness]
[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...
[2001October] : Previous < < < [Weblog2001November] > > > Next : [Weblog2001December]
Obstacles to Happiness
[Articles] > Obstacles to Happiness
What I'm about to say will sound a bit pompous, but it's true. What is
coming could be the most important minutes in your lives. If you could
forever. You would never be unhappy again. Nothing would have the power
to hurt you again. I mean that, nothing. It's like when you throw black
black. No matter what happens to you, you remain uncontaminated. You
way and that way, letting events or other people tell you how to feel. So
you proceed to feel it and you call it being vulnerable. Ha! I call it
being a puppet. So you want to be a puppet? Press a button and you're
down; do you like that? But if you refuse to identify with any of those
Later we'll talk about fear of disease and death, but ordinarily you're
worried about what's going to happen to your career. A small-time
he's saying, "Well, look at my classmates, they've really made it." The
Who determines what it means to be a success? This stupid society! The
main preoccupation of society is to keep society sick! And the sooner you
nothing to do with being a success in life. Having a lot of money has
nothing to do with being a success in life. You're a success in life when
you wake up! Then you don't have to apologize to anyone, you don't have to explain anything to anyone, you don't give a damn what anybody thinks about you or what anybody says about you. You have no worries; you're
famous or having a great reputation has absolutely nothing to do with
happiness or success. Nothing! It is totally irrelevant. All he's really worried about is what his children will think about him, what the neighbors will think about him, what his wife will think about him. He should have
become famous. Our society and culture drill that into our heads day and
said to the plumber, "Hey, you're charging me two hundred dollars an
tomorrow, it's just like changing my clothes. I am untouched. Are you
your clothes? Are you your name? Are you your profession? Stop
happens to be talking to you right now. It has nothing to do with
Do you want to be happy? Uninterrupted happiness is uncaused. True
happiness. You say to the awakened person, "Why are you happy?" and the
children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and
contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don't have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does
anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what
you already have? Then why don't you experience it? Because you've got to drop something. You've got to drop illusions. You don't have to add
anything in order to be happy; you've got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It's only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings.
Who am i?
"Who am I?" is the title given to a set of questions and answers bearing on Self-enquiry. The questions were put to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi by one Sri M. Sivaprakasam Pillai about the year 1902. Sri Pillai, a graduate in Philosophy, was at the time employed in the Revenue Department of the South Arcot Collectorate. During his visit to Tiruvannamalai in 1902 on official work, he went to Virupaksha Cave on Arunachala Hill and met the Master there. He sought from him spiritual guidance, and solicited answers to questions relating to Self-enquiry. As Bhagavan was not talking then, not because of any vow he had taken, but because he did not have the inclination to talk, he answered the questions put to him by gestures, and when these were not understood, by writing. As recollected and recorded by Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai, there were fourteen questions with answers to them given by Bhagavan. This record was first published by Sri Pillai in 1923, along with a couple of poems composed by himself relating how Bhagavan's grace operated in his case by dispelling his doubts and by saving him from a crisis in life. 'Who am I?' has been published several times subsequently. We find thirty questions and answers in some editions and twenty-eight in others. There is also another published version in which the questions are not given, and the teachings are rearranged in the form of an essay. The extant English translation is of this essay. The present rendering is of the text in the form of twenty-eight questions and answers.
Along with Vicharasangraham (Self-Enquiry), Nan Yar (Who am I?) constitutes the first set of instructions in the Master's own words. These two are the only prosepieces among Bhagavan's Works. They clearly set forth the central teaching that the direct path to liberation is Self-enquiry. The particular mode in which the enquiry is to be made is lucidly set forth in Nan Yar. The mind consists of thoughts. The 'I' thought is the first to arise in the mind. When the enquiry ' Who am I?' is persistently pursued, all other thoughts get destroyed, and finally the 'I' thought itself vanishes leaving the supreme non-dual Self alone. The false identification of the Self with the phenomena of non-self such as the body and mind thus ends, and there is illumination, Sakshatkara. The process of enquiry of course, is not an easy one. As one enquires 'Who am I?', other thoughts will arise; but as these arise, one should not yield to them by following them , on the contrary, one should ask 'To whom do they arise ?' In order to do this, one has to be extremely vigilant. Through constant enquiry one should make the mind stay in its source, without allowing it to wander away and get lost in the mazes of thought created by itself. All other disciplines such as breath-control and meditation on the forms of God should be regarded as auxiliary practices. They are useful in so far as they help the mind to become quiescent and one-pointed.
For the mind that has gained skill in concentration, Self-enquiry becomes comparatively easy. It is by ceaseless enquiry that the thoughts are destroyed and the Self realized - the plenary Reality in which there is not even the 'I' thought, the experience which is referred to as "Silence".
As all living beings desire to be happy always, without misery, as in the case of everyone there is observed supreme love for one's self, and as happiness alone is the cause for love, in order to gain that happiness which is one's nature and which is experienced in the state of deep sleep where there is no mind, one should know one's self. For that, the path of knowledge, the inquiry of the form "Who am I?", is the principal means.
The gross body which is composed of the seven humours (dhatus), I am not; the five cognitive sense organs, viz. the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell, which apprehend their respective objects, viz. sound, touch, colour, taste, and odour, I am not; the five cognitive sense-organs, viz. the organs of speech, locomotion, grasping, excretion, and procreation, which have as their respective functions speaking, moving, grasping, excreting, and enjoying, I am not; the five vital airs, prana, etc., which perform respectively the five functions of in-breathing, etc., I am not; even the mind which thinks, I am not; the nescience too, which is endowed only with the residual impressions of objects, and in which there are no objects and no functioning's, I am not.
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).
That which rises as 'I' in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought 'I' rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind's origin. Even if one thinks constantly 'I' 'I', one will be led to that place. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the 'I' thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronouns appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.
11. What is the means for constantly holding on to the thought 'Who am I?'
When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: 'To whom do they arise?' It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, "To whom has this thought arisen?". The answer that would emerge would be "To me". Thereupon if one inquires "Who am I?", the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense-organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called "inwardness" (antar-mukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as "externalisation" (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the 'I' which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity "I". If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).
Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means. If through other means it is sought to control the mind, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again go forth. Through the control of breath also, the mind will become quiescent; but it will be quiescent only so long as the breath remains controlled, and when the breath resumes the mind also will again start moving and will wander as impelled by residual impressions. The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed, is the nature of the mind. The thought "I" is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent, the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of God, so that the body may be preserved and other people may not be under the impression that it is dead. In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is controlled. Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps breath in the body; and when the body dies the mind takes the breath along with it. Therefore, the exercise of breath-control is only an aid for rendering the mind quiescent (manonigraha); it will not destroy the mind (manonasa).
Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed. The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-inquiry will become easy. Of all the restrictive rules, that relating to the taking of sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best; by observing this rule, the sattvic quality of mind will increase, and that will be helpful to Self-inquiry.
13. The residual impressions (thoughts) of objects appear wending like the waves of an ocean. When will all of them get destroyed?
14. Is it possible for the residual impressions of objects that come from beginningless time, as it were, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self?
Without yielding to the doubt "Is it possible, or not?", one should persistently hold on to the meditation on the Self. Even if one be a great sinner, one should not worry and weep "O! I am a sinner, how can I be saved?"; one should completely renounce the thought "I am a sinner"; and concentrate keenly on meditation on the Self; then, one would surely succeed. There are not two minds - one good and the other evil; the mind is only one. It is the residual impressions that are of two kinds - auspicious and inauspicious. When the mind is under the influence of auspicious impressions it is called good; and when it is under the influence of inauspicious impressions it is regarded as evil.
The mind should not be allowed to wander towards worldly objects and what concerns other people. However bad other people may be, one should bear no hatred for them. Both desire and hatred should be eschewed. All that one gives to others one gives to one's self. If this truth is understood who will not give to others? When one's self arises all arises; when one's self becomes quiescent all becomes quiescent. To the extent we behave with humility, to that extent there will result good. If the mind is rendered quiescent, one may live anywhere.
As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry "Who am I?" is required. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through inquiry. If one resorts to contemplation of the Self unintermittently, until the Self is gained, that alone would do. As long as there are enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands.
Without desire, resolve, or effort, the sun rises; and in its mere presence, the sun-stone emits fire, the lotus blooms, water evaporates; people perform their various functions and then rest. Just as in the presence of the magnet the needle moves, it is by virtue of the mere presence of God that the souls governed by the three (cosmic) functions or the fivefold divine activity perform their actions and then rest, in accordance with their respective karmas. God has no resolve; no karma attaches itself to Him. That is like worldly actions not affecting the sun, or like the merits and demerits of the other four elements not affecting all pervading space.
He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent devotee. Giving one's self up to God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other than that of the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them. Since the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and how not? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting on it why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease?
As thoughts arise, destroying them utterly without any residue in the very place of their origin is non-attachment. Just as the pearl-diver ties a stone to his waist, sinks to the bottom of the sea and there takes the pearls, so each one of us should be endowed with non-attachment, dive within oneself and obtain the Self-Pearl.
20. Is it not possible for God and the Guru to effect the release of a soul?
God and the Guru will only show the way to release; they will not by themselves take the soul to the state of release. In truth, God and the Guru are not different. Just as the prey which has fallen into the jaws of a tiger has no escape, so those who have come within the ambit of the Guru's gracious look will be saved by the Guru and will not get lost; yet, each one should by his own effort pursue the path shown by God or Guru and gain release. One can know oneself only with one's own eye of knowledge, and not with somebody else's. Does he who is Rama require the help of a mirror to know that he is Rama?
21. Is it necessary for one who longs for release to inquire into the nature of categories (tattvas)?
Just as one who wants to throw away garbage has no need to analyse it and see what it is, so one who wants to know the Self has no need to count the number of categories or inquire into their characteristics; what he has to do is to reject altogether the categories that hide the Self. The world should be considered like a dream.
22. Is there no difference between waking and dream?
All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent; therefore their conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent; once this has been understood there is no need for endless reading. In order to quieten the mind one has only to inquire within oneself what one's Self is; how could this search be done in books? One should know one's Self with one's own eye of wisdom. The Self is within the five sheaths; but books are outside them. Since the Self has to be inquired into by discarding the five sheaths, it is futile to search for it in books. There will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned.
Happiness is the very nature of the Self; happiness and the Self are not different. There is no happiness in any object of the world. We imagine through our ignorance that we derive happiness from objects. When the mind goes out, it experiences misery. In truth, when its desires are fulfilled, it returns to its own place and enjoys the happiness that is the Self. Similarly, in the states of sleep, samadhi and fainting, and when the object desired is obtained or the object disliked is removed, the mind becomes inward-turned, and enjoys pure Self-Happiness. Thus the mind moves without rest alternately going out of the Self and returning to it. Under the tree the shade is pleasant; out in the open the heat is scorching. A person who has been going about in the sun feels cool when he reaches the shade. Someone who keeps on going from the shade into the sun and then back into the shade is a fool. A wise man stays permanently in the shade. Similarly, the mind of the one who knows the truth does not leave Brahman. The mind of the ignorant, on the contrary, revolves in the world, feeling miserable, and for a little time returns to Brahman to experience happiness. In fact, what is called the world is only thought. When the world disappears, i.e. when there is no thought, the mind experiences happiness; and when the world appears, it goes through misery.
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?
Inquiring into the nature of one's self that is in bondage, and realising one's true nature is release.
Aajonus Vonderplanitz
http://www.primaldiet.com/ has info about his book [We want to live]
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?
Osho: One of the greatest problems...it will appear very paradoxical, but this is true: before you can lose your ego, you must attain it. Only a ripe fruit falls to the ground.
Ripeness is all. An unripe ego cannot be thrown, cannot be destroyed. And if you struggle with an unripe ego to destroy and dissolve it, the whole effort is going to be a failure. Rather than destroying it, you will find it more strengthened in new subtle ways.
This is something basic to be understood: the ego must come to a peak, it must be strong, it must have attained an integrity -- only then can you dissolve it. A weak ego cannot be dissolved. And this becomes a problem.
In the 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.
But in the West it is very easy to dissolve the ego. So whenever a Western seeker reaches to an understanding that ego is the problem, he can easily dissolve it, more easily than any Eastern seeker.
This is the paradox: in the West ego is taught; in the East egolessness is taught. But in the West it is easy to dissolve the ego; in the East it is very difficult.
This is going to be a hard task for you, first to attain and then to lose -- because you can lose only something which you possess. If you don't possess it, how can you lose it?
Only a rich man can become poor, because you can lose only that which you have. If you have never been rich, how can you be poor? Your poverty will be just on the surface; it can never be in the spirit. On the surface you will be poor, and deep down you will be hankering after riches. Your spirit will hanker towards riches, it will be an ambition, it will be a constant desire to attain riches. Only on the surface will you be poor. And you may even console yourself by saying that poverty is good.
But you cannot be poor -- only a rich man, a really rich man, can be poor. Just to have riches is not enough to be really rich. You may still be poor. If the ambition is still there, you are poor.
This knowledge, or this ignorance -- you can call it whatever you like -- is totally different, the quality is different, the dimension has changed.
If you are simply ignorant because you never attained to any knowledge, your ignorance cannot be wise, it cannot be wisdom -- it is simply absence of knowledge. And the hankering will be inside: How to gain more knowledge? How to gain more information?
When you know too much -- you have known the scriptures, you have known the past, the tradition, you have known all that can be known -- then suddenly you become aware of the futility of it all, suddenly you become aware that this is not knowledge. This is borrowed! This is not your own existential experience, this is not what you have come to know. Others may have known it, you have simply gathered it. Your gathering is mechanical. It has not arisen out of you, it is not a growth. It is just rubbish gathered from other doors, borrowed, dead.
Remember, knowing is alive only when you know, when it is your immediate, direct experience. But when you know from others it is just memory, not knowledge. Memory is dead.
When you gather much -- the riches of knowledge, scriptures, all around you, libraries condensed in your mind, and suddenly you become aware that you are just carrying the burden of others, nothing belongs to you, you have not known -- then you can drop it, you can drop all this knowledge. In that dropping a new type of ignorance arises within you. This ignorance is not the ignorance of the ignorant, this is how a wise man is, how wisdom is.
Only a wise man can say: I don't know. But in saying: I don't know, he is not hankering after knowledge, he is simply stating a fact. And when you can say with your total heart: I don't know, in that very moment your eyes become open, the doors of knowing are open. In that very moment when you can say with your totality; I don't know, you have become capable of knowledge.
When Buddha comes down from his throne, becomes a beggar...what is the necessity for Buddha? He was a king, enthroned, at the peak of his ego -- why this extreme, moving down from his palace to the streets, becoming a beggar? But Buddha has a beauty in his begging. The earth has never known such a beautiful beggar, such a rich beggar, such a kingly beggar, such an emperor.
What happened when he stepped down from his throne? He stepped down from his ego. Thrones are nothing but symbols, symbols of the ego, of power, prestige, status. He stepped down and then egolessness happened.
It is said that once Diogenes came to visit Socrates. He lived like a beggar; he always wore dirty clothes with many patches and holes. Even if you presented him with a new dress, he would not use it -- first he would make it dirty, old, torn, and then he would use it.
He came to visit Socrates, and he started talking about egolessness. But Socrates' penetrating eyes must have come to realize that this man was not an egoless man. The way he was talking about humility was very egoistic.
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.
What I teach will look contradictory, but it is true to life. Contradiction is inherent in life. I teach you to be egoists so that you can become egoless. I teach you to be perfect egoists. Don't hide it, otherwise hypocrisy will be born. And don't struggle with the unripe phenomenon. Let it ripen -- and help it. Bring it to a peak!
Don't be afraid -- there is nothing to be afraid of. This is how you will come to realize the agony of the ego. When it comes to its peak, then you will not need a Buddha or me to tell you that the ego is hell. You will know it, because the peak of the ego will be the peak of your hellish experiences, it will be a nightmare. And then there is no need for anybody to tell you: Drop it! It will be difficult to carry it on.
One reaches to knowledge only through suffering. You cannot throw anything just by logical argument. You can throw something only when it has become so painful that it cannot be carried any further. Your ego has not become that painful yet -- hence you carry it. It is natural! I cannot persuade you to drop it. Even if you feel persuaded, you will hide it -- that's all.
Nothing unripe can be thrown. Unripe fruit clings to the tree and the tree clings to the unripe fruit. If you force it to separate, a wound is left behind. That scar will continue, the wound will always remain green and you will always feel hurt.
Remember, everything has a time to grow, to be ripe, to fall down into the earth and dissolve. Your ego also has a time. It needs maturity.
So don't be afraid of being egoists. You ARE, otherwise you would have disappeared long ago. This is the mechanism of life: you have to be egoists, you have to fight your way, you have to fight with so many millions of desires around you, you have to struggle, you have to survive.
Ego is a survival measure. If a child is born without the ego, he will die. He cannot survive, it is impossible, because if he feels hunger he will not feel: I am hungry. He will feel there is hunger, but not related to him. The moment hunger is felt, the child feels: I am hungry, he starts crying and making efforts to be fed. The child grows through the growth of his ego.
So to me, ego is part of natural growth. But that doesn't mean that you have to remain with it forever. It is a natural growth, and then there is a second step when it has to be dropped. That too is natural. But the second step can be taken only when the first has come to its crescendo, its climax, when the first has reached its peak. So I teach both -- I teach egoness and I teach egolessness.
First be egoists, perfect egoists, absolute egoists, as if the whole of existence exists for you and you are the center; all the stars revolve around you and the sun rises for you; everything exists for you, just to help you to be here. Be the center, and don't be afraid, because if you are afraid then you will never be ripe. Accept it! It is part of growth. Enjoy it and bring it to a peak.
When it comes to a peak, suddenly you will become aware that you are not the center. This has been a fallacy, this has been a childish attitude. But you were a child, so nothing is wrong in it. Now you have become mature, and now you see that you are not the center.
Really, when you see that you are not the center, you also see there is NO center in existence or everywhere is the center. Either there is no center and existence exists as a totality, a wholeness without any center as a control point or every single atom is a center.
Jakob Boehme has said that the whole world is filled with centers, every atom is a center, and there is no circumference -- centers everywhere and circumference nowhere.
These two are the possibilities. Both mean the same; only the wording is different and contradictory. But first become a center.
It is like this: you are in a dream; if the dream comes to a peak, it will be broken. Always it happens -- whenever a dream comes to a climax, it is broken. And what is the climax of a dream? The climax of a dream is the feeling that this is real. You feel this is real, not a dream, and you go on and on and on and on to a higher peak and the dream becomes ALMOST real. It can never become real; it becomes almost real. It comes so close to reality that now you cannot go further, because one step more and the dream will become real -- and it cannot become real because it is a dream! When it comes so close to reality, sleep is broken, the dream is shattered, you are fully awake.
So I don't tell you to come out of your dream before the time has come. No, never do anything before the time. Allow things to grow, allow things to have their time, so that everything happens naturally.
Ego will drop. It can drop of its own accord also. If you simply allow it to grow and help it to grow, there will be NO need to drop it.
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.
Go to the so-called saints -- they talk of humbleness, humility -- and look into their eyes: you will not find such refined egos anywhere else. Now their egos have taken the garb of religion, Yoga, sainthood, but the ego is there. They may not be collecting riches, they may be collecting followers; the coins have changed and they go on counting how many followers....
They may not be after the things of this world, they are after the things of that world, but this or that, both are worlds. And they may be even more greedy, because they say these temporary things, momentary things of this world, consist of momentary pleasures -- and they want eternal pleasures. Their greed is supreme. They cannot be satisfied by momentary pleasures. They want eternal pleasures. Unless something is eternal they are not gratified. Their greed is deep, their greed is absolute and greed belongs to the ego. Greed is the hunger of the ego.
So it happens sometimes that saints are more egoistic than sinners, and then they are far away from the divine. And sometimes sinners can attain to the god more easily than those so-called saints, because ego is the barrier.
This has been my experience that sinners can drop their egos more easily than saints, because sinners have never been against the ego. They have been feeding it, they have been enjoying it, they have lived with it totally. And saints have always been fighting the ego, so they never allowed it to become ripe.
So this is my attitude: ego HAS to be dropped, but it may take a long waiting; and you can drop it only if you cultivate it.
This is the arduousness of the whole phenomenon, because the mind says: If we have to drop it, then why cultivate it? The mind says: When we have to destroy it, then why create it? If you listen to the mind you will be in trouble. Mind is always logical and life is always illogical, so they never meet.
This is simple logic, ordinary mathematics, that if you are to destroy this house, then why build it? Why this whole trouble? Why this effort and waste of time and energy? The house is not there, so why build it and then destroy it?
The house is not the point really -- YOU are the point. Building the house, you will change, and then destroying the house you will change completely, you will not be the same -- because creating the house, the whole process of it, will prove a growth to you. Then, when the house is ready, you pull it down. That will be a mutation.
Mind is logical and life is dialectical. Mind moves in a simple line, and life moves always jumping from one pole to another, from one thing to the very opposite.
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.
So if I say: "Wear orange, have the mala" -- this is a game, obviously. Play it as well as you can and don't be serious about it -- otherwise you miss the point.
Be egoists -- perfect, cultivated, refined. Go on working on your ego and make it a beautiful statue, because before you give it back to the god, it must be something worth giving, it must be a present.
I have heard, a man in an orange robe entered the Vrindavan juice bar, barged up to the front of the line, and demanded tea and cake. He paid with a hundred-rupee note and complained about the cost and the long lineup. After choosing the biggest piece of cake and the biggest cup, he took over an old lady's seat and proceeded to gobble the food. A bystander, puzzled by his behavior, asked the meaning of it.
There is more possibility to misunderstand me than to understand me. And in misunderstanding, you will find much solace, much consolation.
Just the other day, Mulla Nasrudin came to me, and he said, "Enough is enough -- I cannot trust you anymore."
I said, "What happened, Nasrudin? You have been such a long-obedient disciple to me."
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, "But you have said accept everything, so I said Osho says accept totally. So I accept it and I try to see now what happens -- and the madman jumps on me."
He said, "What can I do? I have to run -- and I come third in the race! Now this is too much! I cannot trust you anymore!"
There is every possibility to misunderstand me and there is every possibility to find rationalizations. This is how the mind goes on being foolish, the mind goes on playing around, fooling around. It always finds ways to protect itself. If I say drop the ego, you say okay, and you try to drop it; and then the ego becomes your humbleness and you start moving around with your nose up, looking at everybody as if everybody is condemned to hell. And you have that look of "holier than thou" and "I am the most humble man around here." If I say the ego has to become big, only then it bursts, then you say, "Okay. That's what we have been always trying. Now you are also supporting it -- so far so good."
When are you going to understand me? When you listen to me, always remember, your mind is there to corrupt it. Unless you are very, very watchful, your mind will pollute it. And mind is so cunning, it can always find a way out. And it is so clever, it can always make rationalizations look like reasons.
The Ten Marks of a Happy Marriage
Marriage is beautiful, fulfilling and difficult. After 35 years and three months of marriage, and 11,000 hours of pastoral counseling, I have learned twenty things about good and bad marriages. (Ten myths about marriage will follow in another post).
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?
Weblog2001December
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[Albert Einstein] : There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
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.
* [Tim Berners-Lee] : [World Wide Web|http://www.w3.org/]
* [Philip Greenspun] : [Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing|http://www.arsdigita.com/books/panda/]
* [Aaron Swartz] : who said 'I did it... you can do it too...' and made me realise my dream >>> [World Wide Wisdom|http://www.carnatic.com/www/]
* [Joshua Allen] : [Making a Semantic Web|http://www.netcrucible.com/semantic.html]
* I list many more people at [Portal] whom I visit virtually and also contribute to who i am...
[Weblog2001November] : Previous < < < [Weblog2001December] > > > Next : [Weblog2002January]
[MSN Messenger] was very useful. We were able to speak to very close friends for a long time.
If you want to lose weight, [goto India|http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1668000/1668872.stm] :-)
[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...
[Top 10 Technologies for 2002]
[A Conversation|http://www.naturalchild.com/guest/marlene_bumgarner.html] with [John Holt] (Interviewer: Marlene Bumgarner)
[Jutta Degener] operates [HalfBakery] and [Matt Webb] [InterConnected]
[Anton Skorucak]'s [Holiday Wish]
[Jeremiah Rogers] [:|http://radio.weblogs.com/0001189/2001/12/21.html#a35] ...I'm only 16, so I still have (estimate here) 70-75 years ideally left until I'm outta commission. Think of how much more knowledge I can gain in that time...
It has been a while since realised that I am not in this world _only_ to gain more knowledge, wealth etc. :-)
The Rhine ferry " Drusus " connects Germany with France. We were on this today
[Rheinmuenster|http://www.rheinmuenster.de/] : The people of Greffern have always operated a ferry service between their town and Drusenheim on the left bank of the river: a pontoon bridge was erected in 1875, followed by the motor ferry "Drusus", which has been providing a free ferry service since 1977.
We saw [Lord of the Rings] yesterday night and at the end, a boy sitting in front of us kept shouting "Was Was Was..." several times ! and I had a similar reaction in my head !
It is the no. 1 movie at http://us.imdb.com/top_250_films
[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 want to understand [Swaraj] ( http://meadev.nic.in/Gandhi/swaraj.htm )
We were in [Colmar] yesterday
Happy Holidays to [Dave Winer], [Netizen]s et al
I have downloaded [GraphicConverter], [OmniWeb] after reading [Wesley Felter]'s [Colophon|http://wmf.editthispage.com/meta/colophon]
Visit our [portfolio|http://www.photo.net/shared/community-member?user_id=119381] at http://www.photo.net
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] :-)
I received [Drive10] today. The interface could be better... It could tell us more about what is doing behind the scenes...
(via PaperQuote) [Martin Farquhar Tupper] : Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.
[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...
[LinkBaton] is interesting...
[IBM's Test-Tube Quantum Computer Makes History|http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/news/20011219_quantum.shtml] : ...Scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center have performed the world's most complicated quantum-computer calculation to date. They caused a billion-billion custom-designed molecules in a test tube to become a seven-qubit quantum computer that solved a simple version of the mathematical problem at the heart of many of today's data-security cryptographic systems...
I started eating vegetarisch [Flammkuchen|http://www.cantate86.de/flammkuchen.htm] at 12:05 today morning !!!
[Russell H. Conwell]'s speech [Acres of Diamonds] concludes ...If you forget everything I have said to you, do not forget this, because it contains more in two lines than all I have said. Bailey says: "He most lives who thinks most, who feels the noblest, and who acts the best."...
[Philip James Bailey] : We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Life’s but a means unto an end; that end
Beginning, mean, and end to all things,—God.
The mission of the [North Carolina Christmas Tree Association|http://www.ncchristmastrees.com/] (NCCTA) is to promote "real" Christmas Trees through marketing and education.
[James Allen]'s [As A Man Thinketh] is partly responsible for the creation of the entire personal development industry. Most contemporary PD authors and teachers credit this little book for providing foundation to their principles.
[Ben Brown] and [Ani Moller] are on a three week road trip and will send [super brief updates|http://benbrown.com/is/driving/] using his Nokia's e-mail capabilities.
[Albert Einstein] : A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
[Oliver Breidenbach] [:|http://www.fsomm.com/discuss/msgReader$902] The Spiegel figured out how to use numerology to better remember the Euro to DM exchange rate: 1.9 55 83 If you take the sum of the last two pairs it is 10 and 11, respectively. So, the exchange rate is one point nine, ten, eleven...
[Mira Art] [quotes|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/12/16] [Buckminster Fuller] : When I am Working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only of how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
[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]
[Pegasos|http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/] is a literature related resource site
[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...
(via [PaperQuote]) [John Muir] : Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
[Google] [unveils huge archive of USENET back to 1981|http://www.google.com/googlegroups/archive_announce_20.html]
But, [Chris Mitchell] has a powerful message on his home page for all of mankind - WOW !
[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
[Jean-Paul Sartre] : The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
[Isaiah Berlin] (in [The Hedgehog and the Fox]): There exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision...and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory...The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes.
[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.
I am also tweaking the [Image Capture] in [AppleScript]
[Albert Einstein] : If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
[William James] : As the brain changes are continuous, so do all these consciousnesses melt into each other like dissolving views. Properly they are but one protracted consciousness, one unbroken stream.
I want the following feature in MS Outlook or any email client for that matter: When I send an email, the tool should prompt me... you have sent a similar email to this person and didnot get a reply ! dont bother !!!
I did something at work which makes me think of the [Elegant Hack] which is being powered by [movabletype] since some days...
Can you put [the fragrance of the rose] into words ?
I was looking for a [Digital Camera] and the winner is [Digital IXUS]. We bought it at [New York Camera] yesterday in person. [Christian Kwyas] is a great sales man. It was (will be) a memorable shopping experience. However Christian should be thankful to [Jeff Keller]'s very useful reviews at [Digital Camera Resource Page]
We already like the camera very very much
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/powershot_s110-front.gif]
[Dave Winer] [:|http://scriptingnews.userland.com/backissues/2001/12/06#l86b0989154cbfbef88f0a30f41b96187] Bug reports should have three parts. 1. Here's what I did. 2. This is what I expected to happen. 3. This is what actually happened. For extra credit, if it's a public Web app, provide a URL. It also couldn't hurt to say what version of the software you're using, what OS, and other things that might make your installation different from others.
[Office XP Error Reporting May Send Sensitive Documents to Microsoft|http://www.ciac.org/ciac/bulletins/m-005.shtml]
[16 Ways to Be a Smarter Teacher]
[Benjamin Kuipers] has [a possible solution|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200112/msg00061.html] to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Found [The End of the World] at his page... which made me goto [RAQ] and found [The Meaning of Life] :-)
I want to buy a [Digital Camera]. [Canon PowerShot A20|http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/a20-review/index.html] is on the top of my list... [Jeff Keller] states ...As always, I recommend a trip to your local camera store to try out the /camera/ and its competitors before you buy!... Do you have any recommendations ?
"For his([Christopher Alexander]) Ph. D. Thesis, later published as the book [Notes on the Synthesis of Form], he was awarded the first Gold Medal for Research by the American Institute of Architects."
via [PaperQuote] [Andre Gide] : It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
[CoolCam] is coolware as well as shareware :-)
Our [QuickCam] order was fulfilled yesterday... Checkout our [Webcam]
[Christopher Alexander]'s [ideas on office furniture and interiors]
[Lightweight Languages Workshop|http://ll1.mit.edu/]
[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]
We were at [Weihnachtsmarkt Mannheim|http://www.weihnachtsmarkt-mannheim.de/] yesterday
[Weihnachtsmarkt] lists all !
[Andrea Frick] has great pictures from her local [Christmas Market|http://andrea.editthispage.com/weihnachtsmarkt2001]
[Weblog2001November] : Previous < < < [Weblog2001December] > > > Next : [Weblog2002January]
The Masquerade Of Charity
altruism. You say that it is very difficult to accept that there may be
times when you are not honest to goodness really trying to be loving or
even make it as blunt and extreme as possible, at least to begin
I give myself the pleasure of pleasing myself That's what we generally
for that reason more dangerous, because we get to feel that we're really
great. But maybe we're not all that great after all. You protest when I
You, madam, you say that, in your case, you live alone, and go to the
rectory and give several hours of your time. But you also admit you're
really doing it for a selfish reason -your need to be needed -- -and you
also know you need to be needed in a way that makes you feel like you're
contributing to the world a little bit. But you also claim that, because
they also need you to do this, it's a two-way street.
You're almost enlightened! We've got to learn from you. That's
right. I go out to help, I give something, I get something. That's
of self-interest. We achieve eternal life by our acts of charity. "Come
blest of my Father, when I was hungry, you gave me to eat," and so on. You
say that perfectly confirms what I've said. When we look at Jesus, you
say, we see that his acts of charity were acts of ultimate self-interest,
to win souls for eternal life. And you see that as the whole thrust and
into this. It's legitimate. It's valid. But how would it be if I deal
with the gospels, with the Bible, with Jesus, toward the END of this
retreat. I will say this much now to complicate it even more. "I was
hungry, and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink,"
and what do they reply? "When? When did we do it? We didn't know it."
They were unconscious! I sometimes have a horrid fantasy where the king
says, "I was hungry and you gave me to eat," and the people on the right
side say, "That's right, Lord, we KNOW." "I wasn't talking to you," the
king tells them. "It doesn't follow the script; you're not SUPPOSED to
Some of you object to this. You say, "Isn't the pleasure I receive in
until we get into religion later on. But I want you to understand
All right, you ask, what about the soldier who falls on a grenade to keep
it from hurting others? And what about the man who got into a truck full
of dynamite and drove into the American camp in Beirut? How about
think so, I assure you. He thought he was going to heaven. That's
I'm trying to get at a picture of an action where there is not self, where
becomes a happening. "Let it be done to me." I'm not excluding that. But
"I'll be remembered as a great hero," or "I'd never be able to live if I
didn't do this. I'd never be able to live with the thought if I ran
is. We'll have to explore that. A mother saving a child--saving HER
listen to me properly. I didn't say ALL of them, but I wouldn't exclude
the possibility. Lots of communists get brainwashed (you're ready to
believe that). They're so brainwashed they're ready to die. I sometimes
say to myself that the process that we use for making, for example, a St.
saint. I don't mean to slander Francis Xavier, who probably was a great
saint, but he was a difficult man to live with. You know he was a lousy
superior, he really was! Do a historical investigation. Ignatius always
had to step in to undo the harm that this good man was doing by his
intolerance. You need to be pretty intolerant to achieve what he
wayside. Some critics of Francis Xavier claim exactly that. He used to
dismiss men from our Society and they'd appeal to Ignatius, who would say,
"Come to Rome and we'll talk about it." And Ignatius surreptitiously got
are we to judge, we don't know.
ordinarily everything we do is in our self-interest. Everything. When you
self-interest. I'll have to explain that.
Suppose you happen to live in Phoenix and you feed over five hundred
children a day. That gives you a good feeling? Well, would you expect it
to give you a bad feeling? But sometimes it does. And that is because
there are some people who do things so that they won't HAVE TO HAVE A BAD
were two types of selfishness; maybe I should have said three. First, when
the quality of your spirituality. When you were a child, you liked
day. You've got better tastes now. When you were a child, you loved
won't get a bad feeling. It doesn't give you a good feeling to do it; it
gives you a bad feeling to do it. You hate it. You're making loving
tonight, Father?" "Yes, come on in!" I don't want to meet him and I hate
meeting him. I want to watch that TV show tonight, but how do I say no to
him? I don't have the guts to say no. "Come on in," and I'm thinking, "Oh
God, I've got to put up with this pain."
It doesn't give me a good feeling to meet with him and it doesn't give me a
good feeling to say no to him, so I choose the lesser of the two evils and
I say, "O.K., come on in." I'm going to be happy when this thing is over
and I'll be able to take my smile off, but I start the session with him:
loves that workshop, and I'm thinking, "Oh God, when is he going to come to
the point?" Finally he comes to the point, and I metaphorically slam him
against the wall and say, "Well, any fool could solve that kind of
morning at breakfast (because I'm feeling I was so rude) I go up to him and
say, "How's life?" And he answers, "Pretty good." And he adds, "You know,
what you said to me last night was a real help. Can I meet you today,
get a bad feeling. You don't have the guts to say you want to be left
alone. You want people to think you're a good priest! When you say, "I
people. We love to hurt people, especially some people. We love it. And
when someone else is doing the hurting we rejoice in it. But we don't want
to do the hurting ourselves because we'll get hurt! Ah, there it is. If we
they'll talk against us and we don't like that!
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.
It begins about ten days before the full moon of the month Phalgun (February-March), but is usually only observed for the last three or four days, terminating with the full moon. This is the spring festival of the Hindus. In the spring season all the trees are filled with sweet-smelling flowers. They all proclaim the glory and everlasting beauty of God. They inspire you with hope, joy and a new life, and stir you on to find out the creator and the Indweller, who is hiding Himself in these forms.
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!
On the festival day, people clean their homes, remove all dirty articles from around the house and burn them. Disease-breeding bacteria are thereby destroyed. The sanitary condition of the locality is improved. During the festival, boys dance about in the streets. People play practical jokes with passers-by. A bonfire is lit towards the conclusion of the festival. Games representing the frolics of the young Krishna take place joyously around a fire.
On the last day of Holi, people take a little fire from this bonfire to their homes. They believe that their homes will be rendered pure, and their bodies free from disease.
Nowadays, people are found indulging in all sorts of vices in the name of the Holi festival. Some drink intoxicating liquor like toddy and fall unconscious on the roads. They indulge in obscene speech as a result of drinking. They lose respect for their elders and masters. They waste their money in drink and dice-play. These evils should be totally eradicated.
Festivals like Holi have their own spiritual value. Apart from the various amusements, they create faith in God if properly observed. Hindu festivals always have a spiritual significance. They wean man away from sensual pleasures and take him gradually to the spiritual path and divine communion. People perform havan and offer the new grains that are harvested to the gods before using them.
There should be worship of God, religious gatherings and Kirtan of the Lord’s Names on such occasions, not merely the sprinkling of coloured water and lighting of bonfires. These functions are to be considered most sacred and spent in devotional prayers, visiting holy places, bathing in sacred waters, and Satsang with great souls. Abundant charity should be done to the poor. Then only can Holi be said to have been properly celebrated. The devotees of the Lord should remember the delightful pastimes of the Lord on such happy occasions.
All great Hindu festivals have religious, social and hygienic elements in them. Holi is no exception. Every season has a festival of its own. Holi is the great spring festival of India. Being an agricultural country, India’s two big festivals come during the harvest time when the barns and granaries of our farmers are full and they have reason to enjoy the fruits of their hard labour. The harvest season is a festive season all over the world.
Man wants relaxation and change after hard work. He needs to be cheered when he is depressed on account of work and anxieties. Festivals like Holi supply him with the real food and tonic to restore his cheer and peace of mind.
The religious element in the Holi festival consists of worship of Krishna. In some places it is also called the Dol Yatra. The word dol literally means “a swing”. An image of Sri Krishna as a babe is placed in a little swing-cradle and decorated with flowers and painted with coloured powders. The pure, innocent frolics of little Krishna with the merry milkmaids (Gopis) of Brindavan are commemorated. Devotees chant the Name of Krishna and sing Holi-songs relating to the frolics of little Krishna with the Gopis.
The social element during Holi is the uniting or “embracing” of the great and the small, of the rich and the poor. It is also the uniting of equals. The festival teaches us to “let the dead bury the dead”. We should forget the outgoing year’s ill-feelings and begin the new year with feelings of love, sympathy, co-operation and equality with all. We should try to feel this oneness or unity with the Self also.
Holi also means “sacrifice”. Burn all the impurities of the mind, such as egoism, vanity and lust, through the fire of devotion and knowledge. Ignite cosmic love, mercy, generosity, selflessness, truthfulness and purity through the fire of Yogic practice. This is the real spirit of Holi. Rise from the mire of stupidity and absurdity and dive deep into the ocean of divinity.
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.
ShreeRamanavami
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.
Sri Rama is also a wish-fulfilling tree. He will bestow upon you whatever you want! Just read what Lord Shiva further says:
“The seat of all good things, the destroyer of all impurities of this age of darkness, purer than purity itself, the food for the journey of aspirants on the path to salvation, their only resting place, the very life-breath of virtuous men, is the Divine Name of Sri Rama. So say the sages”.
On the auspicious Ramnavmi day take a firm resolve that you will repeat Ram-Nam with every breath and that you will endeavour to lead a righteous life.
Ramnavmi is one of the most important festivals of the Vaishnava sect of the Hindus. However, even those who adore Lord Shiva celebrate the occasion. Some observe a strict fast on the day. Temples are decorated and the image of Lord Rama is richly adorned. The holy Ramayana is read in the temples. At Ayodhya, the birthplace of Sri Rama, a big fair is held on this day.
In South India the Sri Ramnavmi Utsavam is celebrated for nine days with great fervour and devotion. Those talented in the art of story-telling narrate the thrilling episodes of the Ramayana. The Kirtanists chant the holy Name of Rama and celebrate the wedding of Rama with Sita on this great day. It is an extremely colourful ceremony, highly inspiring and instructive, too.
Those who cannot recite the entire epic may read this single verse which contains in a nutshell the story of the Ramayana: “Formerly, Sri Rama went to the forests, where Rishis did penance, and killed the illusive deer. Sita was carried away and Jatayu was killed. Rama met Sugriva, killed Vali and crossed the ocean. The city of Lanka was burnt by Hanuman. The demons, Ravana and Kumbhakarna, were then killed. Thus is recited the holy Ramayana”.
7. From four in the morning to late at night, there is Ram and Ram alone everywhere!
8. Leaflets, booklets and books relating to Lord Rama are distributed.
9. Special meetings are held in the evening at which discourses on the life and teachings of the Lord are delivered.
10. Earnest seekers take resolves to accelerate their spiritual progress.
O beloved seekers! time is fleeting. Know the value of time. Time is most precious. Utilise every second profitably. Do not procrastinate. Abandon all idle gossiping. Forget the past. Live every moment of your life for the realisation of the divine ideal and goal. Unfold your latent faculties. Grow, evolve and become a superhuman or a dynamic Yogi. Struggle hard and reach the goal of life.
May you all attain the final beatitude of life through intense devotion towards Lord Rama! May you live immersed in the ecstasy of divine love! May Sri Rama who is as effulgent as a million suns and who is adored by the gods and devotees, protect you all! May the blessings of Lord Rama be upon you all!
Let Sri Rama be your ideal. Ideals are remembered and adored for the purpose of adopting them in your own life. The Ramnavmi celebration or the Vasanta Navaratri every year is an opportune period for us to saturate ourselves with the spirit of Lord Rama. We love and adore our ideals because we express thereby our yearning to unite with them. In our worship of God it is implied that we should be virtuous, good and perfect even as God is. Hence the wise instruction: “One should become divine in order to be able to worship God”. One cannot be a real worshipper of Lord Rama unless one makes an honest attempt to grow in the virtues that the Lord represents. On the other hand, worship of Lord Rama is itself the surest means to develop such virtues.
One who approaches Sri Rama with love and worshipfulness becomes large-hearted, pure in spirit, good-natured and dispassionate in thought, word and deed. A true devotee of Lord Rama is His representative, with His power and His knowledge.
Lord Rama was the prince of the Ikshvaku race. He was virtuous and of manly strength. He was the Lord of the mind and the senses. Brave and valiant, He was yet gentle and modest. He was a sage in counsel, kind and sweet in speech, and most courteous and handsome in appearance. He was the master of all the divine weapons, and a great warrior. Ever devoted to the good and prosperity of His kingdom and His subjects, He was a defender of the weak and the protector of the righteous. Endowed with numerous wondrous powers of the mind, He was well versed in all sciences—in military science as well as the science of the Self.
Deep and unfathomed like the ocean, firm and steadfast like the Himalayan mountains, valiant like Lord Vishnu, He was the joy of Kaushalya. Though fierce like fire on the battlefield, He was calm like the cool breeze of the Mandara Hills, patient like Mother Earth, bounteous like the god of wealth and righteous like the lord of justice himself. In the pains and the griefs of His people, His heart swiftly sympathised with the sufferers. In the festive scenes which held them in joy, He like a father, shared their joys. By His honour and heroism, as well as by His gentleness and love for His subjects, He greatly endeared Himself to the hearts of His people. Such a great person was the Lord Rama!
Lord Rama was the best of men with a sterling character. He was the very image of love. He was an ideal son, an ideal brother, an ideal husband, an ideal friend and an ideal king. He can be taken to embody all the highest ideals of man. He led the ideal life of a householder to teach the tenets of righteousness to humanity. He ruled His people so well that it came to be known as Ram-Rajya, which meant the rule of righteousness, the rule which bestows happiness and prosperity on all.
The noblest lesson embodied in the Ramayana is the supreme importance of righteousness in the life of every human being. Righteousness is the spiritual spark of life. Cultivation of righteousness is the process of unfoldment of the latent divinity in man. The glorious incarnation of the Supreme Being in the form of Lord Rama has exemplified the path of righteousness. Let mankind follow His footsteps and practise the ideals cherished by Him, for it is only thus that there can be everlasting peace, prosperity and welfare in this world.
None but the righteous can be truly happy. None but he who has the correct sense of duty and the will for its implementation can be said to live worthily. One must be imbued with a definite conviction about the supremacy of moral principles, ethical values and spiritual ideals. These ought to guide one’s day-to-day actions and serve as powerful means for the culture of the human personality. That is the purpose of life. That is the way to Self-realisation. That is the message and the mission of Lord Rama’s fife on earth.
To a devotee, Sri Rama is not simply a good and a great person, but God Himself. Rama was the son of King Dasaratha of Ayodhya, but He is also the divine omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient God. The destruction of the ten-headed Ravana signifies the annihilation of the mind or the ten senses. Worship of Lord Rama is worship of the all-pervading Godhead Himself. Read the prayers offered by Mandothari and Brahma in the Yuddha Kanda of the Ramayana. They refer to Rama as the one Creator of the universe, the God of all, the Ruler of the universe.
Devotion to God is not a simple emotion. It is the result of intense dispassion and purity of heart and attitude. You should strive your utmost to possess the good qualities that are extolled in the Ramayana and exemplified in the life of Lord Rama. Otherwise, emotion may rise up in you temporarily to a kind of ecstasy, but you will not experience divine consciousness thereby. Devotion is a fruit which ripens gradually through the processes of self-restraint and virtue. Without intense dispassion there can be no real Sadhana for Self-realisation. Only after detachment from the world of things, is it possible to attain the Supreme Godhead. Remember this.
Devotion has absolutely nothing to do with age, caste, creed, position or sex. Generally, the worldly-minded people say: “We will practise meditation and devotion when we retire from service.” This is a serious mistake. How can you do serious Sadhana after squeezing out all your energy in working? How will you be able to practise the strict Yogic discipline in your old age? Is there any certainty in life? No, the spiritual seeds of discipline and devotion must be sown in you while you are young, while your heart is tender and untainted. Then only will it strike a deep root, blossom forth and bear fruit when you become old and retire. Only then can you bravely face the god of death and meet him with a smile!
I shall tell you the means of attaining the final release from the great cycle of births and deaths. Devotion to Lord Rama is a great purifier of the heart. From devotion arises knowledge. From knowledge comes the realisation of the pure Self. Knowing this perfectly, one goes to the Supreme Abode and merges in the Supreme Self.
Without first developing devotion to Rama who is the Self, who lives in the hearts of all beings, who is all bliss and who is peerless, how can man cross the ocean of worldly life which has sorrow, pain and misery for its waves?
Do thou therefore worship Lord Rama who is Vishnu and the consort of Sita who is Lakshmi. Abandon all foolishness and enmity. Take to the service of Lord Rama.
The Lord is extremely fond of those who have surrendered themselves to Him. He has given this promise in the Ramayana: “To anyone who once takes shelter under Me and solicits ‘I am Thine’, I bestow fearlessness from all beings. This is My vow”.
Even a great sinner who is full of evil qualities and who is fond of other people’s wealth, is freed from all kinds of faults that pertain to worldly life if only he remembers the Lord always. He attains purity and goes to the supreme abode of the Lord.
The Name of Lord Rama is the greatest purifier of the heart. It wipes away all one’s sins. Not only this, but it wipes away the sinful tendencies as well. The Name is sweeter than the sweetest of objects. It is the haven of peace. It is the very life of pure souls. It is the purifier of all purifying agencies. It quenches the consuming fire of worldly desires. It awakens the knowledge of God. It bathes the aspirant in the, ocean of divine bliss. Glory to Sri Rama and His Name!
O Devotee! recite His Name, sing His glory and serve His Lotus Feet. Enthrone in your heart Lord Rama of dark hue, whose image is reflected in the heart of Lord Shiva. Blessed is the pious soul who uninterruptedly drinks the nectar of Sri Rama’s Name which has been churned out of the ocean of the Vedas, which removes the impurities of the Kali Yuga or the iron age, which lives constantly on the lips of Lord Shiva, which is a sovereign remedy or unfailing specific to cure the disease of worldly existence and which is the life of Mother Sita.
Ram-Nam burns ignorance, passion and sin. With or without knowledge, correctly or incorrectly, when the word “Rama” is pronounced it showers a rain of good upon the devotee. Sri Rama is Brahman who takes one across the ocean of worldly existence. Rama is one in across whom the Yogis sport, that is, the Self within.
Lord Shiva tells His consort Parvati: “This Ram-Nam is equal to the Lord’s thousand Names, or repetition of the Mantra a thousand times”.
Hanuman Jayanti
MEANING: “We bow to Maruti, Sri Hanuman, who stands with his palms folded above his forehead, with a torrent of tears flowing down his eyes wherever the Names of Lord Rama are sung”.
SRI HANUMAN is worshipped all over India—either alone or together with Sri Rama. Every temple of Sri Rama has the murti or idol of Sri Hanuman. Hanuman is the Avatara of Lord Shiva. He was born of the Wind-God and Anjani Devi. His other names are Pavanasuta, Marutsuta, Pavankumar, Bajrangabali and Mahavira.
He is the living embodiment of Ram-Nam. He was an ideal selfless worker, a true Karma Yogi who worked desirelessly and dynamically. He was a great devotee and an exceptional Brahmachari or celibate. He served Sri Rama with pure love and devotion, without expecting any fruit in return. He lived to serve Sri Rama. He was humble, brave and wise. He possessed all the divine virtues. He did what others could not do—crossing the ocean simply by uttering Ram-Nam, burning the city of Lanka, and bringing the sanjeevini herb and restoring Lakshmana to life again. He brought Sri Rama and Lakshmana from the nether world after killing Ahiravana.
He had devotion, knowledge, spirit of selfless service, power of celibacy, and desirelessness. He never boasted of his bravery and intelligence.
He said to Ravana, “I am a humble messenger of Sri Rama. I have come here to serve Rama, to do His work. By the command of Lord Rama, I have come here. I am fearless by the Grace of Lord Rama. I am not afraid of death. I welcome it if it comes while serving Lord Rama.”
Mark here how humble Hanuman was! How very devoted he was to Lord Rama! He never said, “I am the brave Hanuman. I can do anything and everything.”
Lord Rama Himself said to Sri Hanuman, “I am greatly indebted to you, O mighty hero! You did marvellous, superhuman deeds. You do not want anything in return. Sugriva has his kingdom restored to him. Angada has been made the crown prince. Vibhishana has become king of Lanka. But you have not asked for anything at any time. You threw away the precious garland of pearls given to you by Sita. How can I repay My debt of gratitude to you? I will always remain deeply indebted to you. I give you the boon of everlasting life. All will honour and worship you like Myself. Your murti will be placed at the door of My temple and you will be worshipped and honoured first. Whenever My stories are recited or glories sung, your glory will be sung before Mine. You will be able to do anything, even that which I will not be able to!”
Thus did Lord Rama praise Hanuman when the latter returned to Him after finding Sita in Lanka. Hanuman was not a bit elated. He fell in prostration at the holy feet of Lord Rama.
Hanuman humbly replied, “By the power and glory of Thy Name, my Lord.”
There are many who want wealth in return for their services. Some do not want wealth, but they cannot resist name and fame. Others do not want any of these, but they want approbation. Still others want nothing, but they boast of their deeds. Hanuman was above all these. That is why he is recognised as an ideal Karma Yogi and an unsurpassed adept in Bhakti. His life is full of object lessons. Everyone should try his best to follow the noble example of Hanuman.
Glory to Hanuman! Glory to his Lord, Sri Rama!
Index20011224
|<td width="50%" valign=top bgcolor="#FFFFDD">
* is Wealth. Take care!
* [Tom Robbins] : To travel is to live. To live is to travel.
![Photos]
|<td width="50%" valign=top bgcolor="#CCF6F6">
![Weblog]
* If you want to know what Sushma and Kishore are upto these days :-)
![Tools]
![Autos]
* Knowledge is Power
* Tomorrow or the next life - which comes first, we never know.
![Motto]
![todo]
(picture source : [FranklinCovey] and quote was "Today you'll face thousands of choices. When you know exactly what you want to achieve, the decisions are simple.")
Weblog2002January
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[To Those With Little Dust]
Over the weekend, I spent lot of time learning Radio UserLand 8.0 >>> 0100563 >>> http://www.carnatic.com/kishore/ru/
I am a [Wendell Berry] fan :-)
[Hilda Charlton]
[Pongal] festival is celebrated on 14th this year. This is the day on which the sun begins to move northwards (also called Makara Shankranti). For Tamilians, Makara Shankranti ushers in the New Year. The corn that is newly-harvested is cooked for the first time on that day. Joyous festivities mark the celebration in every home.
[Mattu Pongal] : "...According to a legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Basava, to go to the earth and ask the mortals to have an oil massage and bath every day and to eat once a month. Inadvertently, Basava announced that everyone should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. - - - This mistake enraged Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to live on the earth forever. He would have to plough the fields and help people produce more food. Thus the association of this day with cattle. - - - A festival called [Jallikattu] is held in [Madurai], Tiruchirapalli and Tanjavur on this day..."
[Jallikattu] : "...Also known as "Yeru Thazhuvudal" (Yeru - bull; thazhuvudal - literally, to hug), it was more the way girls chose their suitors. The chivalrous youth who could contain a charging bull was much preferred by the ladies to one who couldn't..."
[Great Virtues of the Dhamma] : "...Amongst the many virtues of the Dhamma, there are six salient characteristics mentioned in the most authoritative texts. Svakkhato Bhagavata Dhammo, Sanditthiko, Akaliko, Ehipassiko, Opanayiko and Paccattam Veditabbo Vinnuhi..."
[Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn] : "If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere [insidious]ly committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart."
From an story by [Anthony de Mello] : "[Holiness] today is a [name] without a
[Lawrence Lee] [:|http://radio.weblogs.com/0001013/2002/01/03.html] "The [Digital Identity Weblog|http://weblog.digital-identity.info/] is a [must-read]."
[We] will play [badminton] again tomorrow morning... I look forward to it!
[Rebecca Blood] [:|http://www.rebeccablood.net/archive/2002/01.html#07e] "I think you may be interested in [viviculture]: it is weblog as an exercise in mindfulness. Kurt's statement of principles especially resonates with me."
[Kevin Kelly] : [The Web Runs on Love, Not Greed]
[Richard Bolles] : [How to Mend Your Parachute]
[Wendell Berry] about [Hypertext]
[Field Observations] : ...The [Amish], for instance, have succeeded simply by asking one question of any proposed innovation, namely: "What will this do to our community?"...
[Wendell Berry] : [The joy of sales resistance] : ...We live in a time when technologies and ideas (often the same thing) are adopted in response not to need but to advertising, salesmanship, and fashion...
[John Dingell] (after he was [forced to strip!|http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-congressman-searched0108jan08.story]) "I asked Norman to check to see if they treated me like they do everybody else," Dingell said. "I just wanted to be sure that what they did was necessary, that I got the same treatment, no better or no worse, than anyone else."
[Field Observations]: An Interview with [Wendell Berry]
In [Wendell Berry]'s [Community|http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Crisis/Jan2000/Community.html] : "...[Gary Snyder] said the right thing: Stop somewhere, just stop. Finally, this thing we are calling mobility keeps people from learning their lessons. They keep moving away from the problems they’ve caused. Their idea is that you can completely mess up somewhere and then go somewhere else, or you can completely succeed somewhere and go somewhere else. In either case you don’t know what the effects are. Sometimes people cause worse effects by their success than they do by their failure. To go back to the metaphor of marriage. What marriage does is say to you to stay and find out. It doesn’t say what you are going to find out. When you think this is it, we are at a complete dead end here, the marriage says to you: Wait, stay, and find out. Always you find out more..."
[Umberto Eco] : I don't even have an email address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages.
[Masaru Emoto]'s [The Message from Water]
[Joel Spolsky] [:|http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000339.html] "Sometimes I just can't get anything done......Many of my days go like this: (1) get into work (2) check email, read the web, etc. (3) decide that I might as well have lunch
before getting to work (4) get back from lunch (5) check email,
read the web, etc. (6) finally decide that I've got to get started
(7) check email, read the web, etc. (8) decide again that I really
have to get started (9) launch the damn editor and (10) write code
nonstop until I don't realize that it's already 7:30 pm. - - - - - Somewhere between step 8 and step 9 there seems to be a bug,
[John VanDyk] [:|http://iowa.weblogger.com/2002/01/04] "The writings of [Wendell Berry] seem to be popping up with astonishing frequency of late."
Wendell Berry has written [Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer]
I have started a [Why I Weblog] based on [Brad L. Graham]'s article...
[Voltaire] in [Freedom of Thought] : It rests entirely with you to learn to think. You're born with a mind. You are a bird in the cage of the Inquisition: the Holy Office has clipped your wings, but they can grow back. Whoever doesn't know geometry can learn it; every man can tutor himself: it's shameful to put your soul in the hands of those to whom you'd never trust your money. _Dare to think for yourself._
[John Stuart Mill] (in [On Liberty]): If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
[Karl-Erik Sveiby] [:|http://www.businessworldindia.com/archive/200306/Strategy2.htm] "You don't need to interview me. Simply read the [Upanishads]. They knew all about it long before I did"
[Sarvottam] [:|http://www.livejournal.com/users/sarvottam/day/2002/01/04] [Good News India]
[Russell Lipton] [:|http://static.userland.com/userLandDiscussArchive/msg018410.html] "...There is an inherent degree of [serendipity] in Web-learning that routes around this kind of thing..."
I tell [Sushma] often. If you donot understand something/anything... Goto [Google] and understand !
[Cyber Essays] is "your one-stop source for free, high-quality term papers, essays, and reports on all subjects."
I have started collecting [pearls] from the web !
[Craig Jensen] [:|http://booknotes.weblogs.com/2001/12/22] "With the tumultous state the world is in I feel uncomfortable, even guilty, being in any kind of festive or celebratory mood. And, in fact, I'm not festive. Nor am I filled with hope from any kind of religious faith. I'm mostly depressed. - - - But I realize that the sphere within which I have the most influence is my family. The most important people to me are my wife, son and daughter and then my extended family. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews. All the quirks and dysfunctionalty set aside, this is the circle where I can find unbounded love and acceptance. It is the place where I can return that love, equally unbounded, without fear of reprisal or rejection. I am lucky. Truly so. I intend to immerse myself in my good fortune. In my own little circle I will enjoy peace and love and joy. - - - My hope and wish is that you will find yourselves enjoying the same. Be safe and well."
[Henry Miller] : Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.
People are searching for interesting phrases at [Google] like [a way of life that does not consist of taking away from someone else|http://www.google.com/search?q=a+way+of+life+that+does+not+consist+of+taking+away+from+someone+else] and the first hit is [Quotations|http://kishore.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$5] at my ex-weblog :-)
[Mark Kraft] is a [geeth|http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=insomnia] and states "I left a $125,000 a year job to become the "All things business" manager of LiveJournal, which means I oversee a ton of things regarding the strategy, design, and viability of the LiveJournal community / open source project. It's more than just business, especially to me. [Dulce et decorum est]..."
[Brent Simmons] has [many ideas|http://inessential.com/2002/01/02.html] for [Apple]. One of them "[Mac OS X] for x86" is something I would like too :-)
[Marcel Proust] : Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
[Howard Rheingold]'s [Tools for Thought] is an exercise in retrospective futurism
[Alan Kay] is enraptured by the potential impact that computing technology can have on the world. He is especially interested in education and hopes that this new technology will create, what he calls, a "skeptical man." He likens the personal computer to the present day book and believes that if everyone had access to a computer, people would be more prone to play "what-if" games with information. He says that "the [information] retrieval systems of the future are not going to retrieve facts but points of view. The weakness of databases is that they let you retrieve facts, while the strength of our culture over the past several hundred years has been our ability to take on multiple points of view. It should be possible for every kid everywhere to test what he or she is being told either against arguments of others or by appeal to computer simulation. The question is: will society nurture that potential or suppress it?"
[Novell] in [Why They Lie] : ...Every time we raise the bar, you-know-who stoops to a new level....
Contribution to [Companies] are welcome !
In Germany, [Fourth phase of ecological tax reform started on January 1, 2002 |http://eng.bundesregierung.de/top/dokumente/Artikel/ix_66146.htm?template=single&id=66146_4317&script=1&ixepf=_66146_4317]
A Warm Welcome to [Henry James Gallagher]
[Java Outline Editor] works!
Nature doesnot know that I drive a super car and my neighbour a 'super O super' car. It covers both with the necessary amount of snow to make our lives interesting. Thanks for the lesson !
To [Dave Winer]: Wishing you lot more [flow|http://radio.weblogs.com/0001184/2002/01/01.html] in the years to come. Where are the list of all your articles like [When to give away the technology] :-)
[Cameron Barrett] [:|http://www.camworld.com/journal/2002/01/#01] "Must...not...break...New...Year's...resolution... Must...not...read...certain...Web...sites.... Must...stay...away...."
In the movie [Blast from the Past], Dad advises son to stay away from adult book stores by stating 'It is full of poisonous Gas' - Why do I recall this after the reading Cameron's words ?
To [People] I have come across on the web: I would love to spend my days reading all that you write... But there is not enough time in my days to do that after time invested in occupations to make [Money] flow to my bank account! So I setup a [Portal]
[Dave Winer] : [The Web is generous]
[Stan Krute] [:|http://radio.weblogs.com/0001184/2002/01/01.html] "Dave knows Flow. The Power of Flow. The Beauty of Flow. The Goodness of Flow. The Win-Win-Win-Win-Win of Flow. You flow my way, I flow your way, ya give flow, ya get flow, others see this and join in on the fun, pretty soon, we're all surfing a happy big flowin' wave of our own communitarian making."
[Mira Art] [:|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2002/01/01] ...I rather wish all of us the energy and the desire to create luck, to make it happen.....by understanding one's role in this life...
My ex-weblog [Kishore Balakrishnan's Psychic RAM|http://kishore.editthispage.com/] has attracted [Synergy]'s [favorable attention|http://synergy.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$11]. Nice :-)
[Tourist Guy|http://www.touristguy.com/] :-)
[The Secret Subversive Purpose|http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/aboutclwg.html] of [Children's Literature Web Guide]: ...If my cunning plan works, you will find yourself tempted away from the Internet, and back to the books themselves! Please remember that the Internet is not the most comprehensive source of information about children's books. Books and Libraries cover the field far better than I can ever hope to. - - - The Internet is a tremendous resource, but it will never compete with a Children's Librarian with a purposeful gleam in the eye!
[Mira Art] : [Water=Life=Alive=Divine|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/12/30]
[Six Ways to Reduce Advertising in Your Life]
[Vikas Kamat] explains [Feedback], [quotes|http://www.kamat.com/vikas/blog.php?date=12/27/2001] [Mahatma Gandhi] : "To make peace with evil in order to avoid conflict, is cowardice."
[Mahesh Shantaram] [:|http://www.livejournal.com/users/msram/day/2001/12/10] ...We want to achieve all our goals. We want to make all our dreams comes true......Where's the money?...
[Cameron Barrett] : Do yourself a favor and telnet to this address: towel.blinkenlights.nl
[The seven wonders of the web|http://www.guardian.co.uk/internetnews/story/0,7369,624964,00.html] - Go! see all of them!
Previous >>> [Weblog2001December]
We want to live
[Books] > We want to live
Pearls
([source|http://radio.weblogs.com/0101915/2002/01/21.html#a8]) ...Perhaps the reason we in America feel less impacted by the suffering of folks in other countries is the same reason we are heartbroken by deaths in our own family but barely acknowledge the passing away of the old man down the street -- regardless of the fact that old man may have a loving family that is devastated by the loss. It only hurts when it is your own hand that is cut off. The preciousness of life is universal. Unfortunately, so is the callousness of man. - - - - - The God I know has no nationality...
([source|http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/m_path/1964_1/editorial.htm]) ...It is related (and the story is no less significant whether historically true or not) that after attaining Enlightenment the Buddha's first impulse was to abide in the effulgence of Bliss without turning back to convey the incommunicable to mankind. Then he reflected: "Some there are who are clear-sighted and do not need my teaching, and some whose eyes are clouded with dust who will not heed it though given, but between these two there are also some with but little dust in their eyes, who can be helped to see; and for the sake of these I will go back among mankind and teach" It is for those with little dust in their eyes that this journal is intended...
![Christopher Wynter]
![Wendell Berry]
As I understand it, I am being paid only for my work in arranging the words; my property is that arrangement. The thoughts in this book, on the contrary, are not mine. They came freely to me, and I give them freely away. I have no "intellectual property," and I think that all claimants to such property are thieves.
I think we are in a circle as all people are ....And we are not able
(say dare) to come out of the circle & do what ever we wish to do & for that
we blame others (parents, spouse, children, society...) - - - If you have confidence in doing something new in life... go for it....when
you get an intuition to do it...
![Craig Jensen] [:|http://booknotes.weblogs.com/2001/12/22]
"With the tumultous state the world is in I feel uncomfortable, even guilty, being in any kind of festive or celebratory mood. And, in fact, I'm not festive. Nor am I filled with hope from any kind of religious faith. I'm mostly depressed. - - - But I realize that the sphere within which I have the most influence is my family. The most important people to me are my wife, son and daughter and then my extended family. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews. All the quirks and dysfunctionalty set aside, this is the circle where I can find unbounded love and acceptance. It is the place where I can return that love, equally unbounded, without fear of reprisal or rejection. I am lucky. Truly so. I intend to immerse myself in my good fortune. In my own little circle I will enjoy peace and love and joy. - - - My hope and wish is that you will find yourselves enjoying the same. Be safe and well."
![Mark Kraft] [:|http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?itemid=18453726&thread=24530953#t24530953]
"I might seem like a crazy storm chaser, but what I did was really a matter of necessity, at least to me. It was what I wanted to do with my life, really. - - - As it was, LiveJournal was expanding to the point where I couldn't really manage it without having LJ eat into my "day job" to an unacceptable degree. It's not as if I jumped in blindly - I had already helped LJ open source itself and expand to over 250K users before I left my job. I also put aside enough money to survive for quite awhile, though I have greatly cut back on expenses. That is an important aspect, really... you have to start businesses based on a lot of work, and it is your investment of work that pays off. You need to be willing to put in the work and keep your expenses painfully low until revenue starts coming in. Entirely too many businesses forget this, and that is why there are lots of dead dotcoms out there. - - - Ultimately, it isn't about money anyways, and money is an overused reason for going into business. If you are in it just for the money, you probably won't have the enthusiasm and drive to really succeed. Most people don't need a ton of money to survive, and those who do get a taste for money often find themselves the most in debt. Better to be able to simplify your life and concentrate on your interests and goals rather than become a slave to money, doing things you would rather not in pursuit of the elusive buck. If you are concentrating on providing a really good service and on developing good relationships with your customers, then you won't go too far wrong. - - - It's kind of like Google. They never have had to advertise their service, but they are a hugely popular search engine which doesn't have to advertise their service - their users do it for them. Those are the kind of services that everyone should be interested in starting - addictively good services. LiveJournal still has a way to go, but we're not too bad for the price..."
"Work on something that excites you enough to want to work 24x7. Become an expert on data model + page flow. Build some great systems by yourself and put them on your resume ("I built X" rather than "I built a piece of X as part of a huge team"). Take periodic long trips to exotic countries and learn from people (sometimes your own country is after all the most exotic)."
![Doc Searls]' [Advice to young people seeking IT careers|http://doc.weblogs.com/stories/storyReader$465]
I was asked for some advice to pass along to a class of graduating young people. It wasn't bad for something I pulled out of my butt, so I thought I'd post it somewhere before it got lost in the outbox.
# Neither a borrower nor a spender be.
# Companies have souls. DNA. Basic natures. What was a company's first business? Guess what? It still is. Even if the founder is a dead white guy on the wall of the lobby, the company's going to keep doing whatever that guy was all about. Make the most of it or get out.
# Look at what "Information Technology" really means. "Information" derives from inform, which derives from the verb *to form*. So: to inform somebody is to form them. Therefore, we are all authors of each other. Information is how we make up other people's minds.
# Publish your passions. Publish a weblog on *anything* you care about. Make that your daily diary and keep it up. Answer every email response. Respond to other people's 'blogs. Your path will be blazed by buzz.
There are two kinds of people: those who want to go work for a company to make it successful, and those who want to go work for a successful company. ( my deduction ! after reading [Jamie Zawinski|http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/]'s [resignation and postmortem|http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/nomo.html]
used to [say to his disciples|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askosh71.htm] -- the first thing, the very very first thing, "Find out what your greatest characteristic is, your greatest undoing, your central characteristic of unconsciousness." Each one's is different.
Somebody is sex-obsessed. In a country like India, where for centuries sex has been repressed, that has become almost a universal characteristic; everybody is obsessed with sex. Somebody is obsessed with anger, and somebody else is obsessed with greed. You have to watch which is your basic obsession.
Wendell Berry
[People] > Wendell Berry
(since the above page is only available in [Google]'s cache... I(a Wendell Berry Fan) have copied below)
The farmer, poet, novelist, essayist, and teacher, Wendell Berry, is a lover of the land. His appreciation and love for the land is expressed in both his life and works.
Berry was born at New Castle, Kentucky, in 1934. He grew up in this Henry County locale among "the cycle of the tobacco growing, cultivation, and marketing, so the romance of Kentucky's green gold is a living part of him" (Browning 191). In 1956, Berry graduated form the University of Kentucky with a B.A. degree in English and received his M.A. degree there a year later. During the summer of 1956, Berry studied at Indiana University School of Letters. From 1957 to 1959, he taught at Georgetown College. Later, under a creative writing fellowship, he went to the creative writing Center at Stanford University and taught creative writing for a year. While at Stanford, he wrote his first novel, Nathan Coulter.
In 1963, he taught at New York University. When Berry was offered and accepted a teaching position in the English Department at the University of Kentucky, the Berry's came home to Henry County in Kentucky. He lives on a 125 acre farm where his family has lived since the early 1800's. According to Bryan Wooley, "Berry is the fifth generation of his father's family and the sixth of his mother's to farm in Henry County, in the neighborhood of Port Royal" (8). Although his wife, formerly Tanya Amyx, lived in the city all her life, she and her husband raised their two children, Mary Dee and Pryor (Den) Clifford, on the farm. In the article "Wendell Berry, A Kentucky Writer Tries to Strengthen the Ties Between Man and the Land," Wooley discusses Berry's farm life. Berry did not initially intend to live on this farm but intended to use it as a vacation place. Instead the Berry's renovated the house and moved in around July 4, 1965. "It is a real farm, not a writer-professor's country estate. Its chores include milking cows and currying horses, and mucking out stalls and mending fences and mowing hay and all other time-consuming sometimes back-breaking, labor that family agriculture requires" (10).
Most of his farm was previously neglected, but Berry is fascinated with making this abused land productive. Oddly, he does not have a modern toilet; instead he has a clean white privy in the backyard. The wastes deposited there are made into compost. Tractors are not used to plow his fields, either. Berry uses a team of draft horses in replace of "Exhaust-stinking, engine-roaring, gasoline-guzzling tractors" (11). Berry feels he is doing his part by not harming the environment any further.
Another technology he does not convenience himself with is a computer, which Berry explains in his essay "Why I Am Not Going To Buy a Computer?" He writes his works and then his wife revises and types then on a manual typewriter. Berry gives three main reasons for not buying a computer: (1) He would hate to think that his work could not be done without a direct dependence on strip-mined coal. (2) He does not want to replace the close bond between him and his wife with an expensive unnecessary piece of equipment. (3) He does not want to "fool himself" by owning a computer, a tool that itself does not make his writing any better than the writing he does with a pencil. His first reason is in regard with his awareness of the land being striped to produce the electricity to run the computer. For the same reason, he writes in the daytime without electric lighting (179-171). By not participating in the "rape of nature," he shows his concern for the environment.
Beechum remembers going though "a tormented marriage,... a jaded relationship with a hired black hand, and a tender love affair with a young widow... Through it all, Beechum is sustained by his farm, the paramount love and labor of his life" (Borries 26).
Beechum's marriage failed during courtship as Berry explains on page 54 and 55. His wife, Ruth Beechum, expected and wanted more of a business man instead of the farmer he was. The two, even though they were husband and wife, were strangers to each other. "She remained to him an unknown continent" (58). Beechum spent much of his time in the fields with the land, not with his wife. He could not fail with the land nor disappoint it, and it could not hold any expectations for him. So, he had more of a bond with the land than his wife.
Beechum and Will Wells, his Black hired hand, were originally like brothers, working on and caring for the land together. However, they grew weary in their relationship with the roles they fell into. Wells "was a man laboring for no more than his existence," while Beechum had "an increasing resentment of his dependence and a jealous remembering of the days when he had worked alone...when in his solitary work he had been so free" (81). Beechum had a greater need for the land than his hired hand.
Beechum thought he could restore his happiness through a love affair with Rose McInnis, a young widow. At first it did just that. Nevertheless, "with Rose too he was beginning to feel an incompleteness" (134). He loved McInnis but was married to Ruth Beechum; therefore, it could never lead to anything. Beechum knows the love in his affair with McInnis is dishonorable, whereas the love in his affair with the land is honorable.
Beechum's love for the land can be seen through faithfulness, his death, and his community. He is faithful to the earth, "Promising the return of what has been taken from it" (157). On the other hand, Jack also felt that the land was faithful to him by giving him "exactly what he put into it" (Borries 26). As death is at his door, he sits in a chair in his room, but his last visions are as though he is sitting at the roots of a tree on his farm (Berry 190-192). It is almost like his last request is to be with the wilderness. Moreover, Mat Feltner thought Beechum should have been buried secretly, only known to the ones who loved him best, at the edge of one of his fields so that: "when the last of them who knew its place (Beechum's grave-site) had died, Old Jack's return would be complete. He would be lost to memory there in the field, silently possessed by the earth on which he once established the work of his hands" (Berry 207). Therefore, he grew to love the soil and its natural surroundings greater than all else since his other relationships failed to give him satisfaction.
Another of Berry's works that displays a true love for his homeland is his poem "East Kentucky, 1967" included in his collection entitled Openings. The poem invites two questions concerning the environment. The first six lines challenge the awareness of what industrialization has done to the land. The waste produced by machines in the air and streams are at the expense of the lives all of the earth encompasses. The last six lines challenge the awareness of the future of our children. The next generation holds no hope for the reason they are "helpless." Since the children can only witness what we have shown them in this industrial period, they cannot "vision" and are "blind" to the land when it is beautiful and plentiful.
Wendell Berry expresses in his own life and in his works, a fondness, a love for the land and community. In my opinion and understanding, he wants us to realize our modernization is damaging the earth. It is killing the environment. Berry is not trying to tell us to "Save the World." The difference we make does not have to be large scale but local, individually taking part in preventing further damage. Berry explains in an interview with Bluegrass, "I think that changing yourself by doing the best work you can is of major importance" (27). In other words, if we worry about the part we can do locally, instead of thinking that we cannot do it all, then together we can make a noticeable difference.
Berry, Wendell. "East Kentucky, 1967." Openings. Harcourt, Brace, and World: New York, 1968.
- - -. "Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer?" What People Are For? North Point Press: San Francisco, 1990.
Borries, Philip. "Retired Kentucky Farmer Recalls Days He Spent Tilling the Earth." Lexington Herald Leader. 10 Mar 1974: 26.
Wooley, Bryan. "Wendell Berry, A Kentucky Writer Tries to Strengthen the Ties Between Man and the Land." Courier-Journal & Times. 8-13.
A Wendell Berry Bibliography
Nathan Coulter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1960. A book of fiction.
A Place on Earth. Boston: Harcourt, Brace, 1967. A book of fiction.
The Rise. Lexington, Kentucky: Grave Press, 1968. A book of nonfiction.
The Hidden Wound. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970. A book of nonfiction.
Sayings and Doings. Lexington, Kentucky: Gnoman Press, 1975. A book of 55 entries.
To What Listens. Crete, Nebraska: The Best Cellar Press, 1975. A poem.
The Wild Birds: Six Stories of the Port William Membership. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1986. A book of 6 fiction stories.
* source : http://www.tipiglen.dircon.co.uk/wendellberrybooks.htm - "I do have an interest in this book, which is for sale. (If you have bought it, dear reader, I thank you. If you have borrowed it, I honor your frugality. If you have stolen it, may it add to your confusion.) Most of the sale price pays the publisher for paper, ink, and other materials, for editorial advice, copyediting, design, advertising (I hope), and marketing. I get between 10 and 15 percent (depending on sales) for arranging the words on the pages.
As I understand it, I am being paid only for my work in arranging the words; my property is that arrangement. The thoughts in this book, on the contrary, are not mine. They came freely to me, and I give them freely away. I have no "intellectual property," and I think that all claimants to such property are thieves."
* [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
An Inspired Talk delivered by [Gurudeva] Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami on his 54th Jayanti, on January 5, 1980, at the Kadavul Hindu Temple in Hawaii, enjoining the modern Hindu woman to not forsake her dharma but protect the home and nurture the family as her gift of love to the next generation. Hmmm! It seems not to have gone out of date much.
Anbe Sivamayam Satyame Parasivam! Tonight we are going to talk about a vast subject, one that is important to every Hindu family: stri dharma, the dharma of the Hindu wife and mother. In Sanskrit stri means "woman." Dharma is a rich word which encompasses many meanings: the path to God Siva, piety, goodness, duty, obligation and more. Stri dharma is the woman's natural path, while purusha dharma, we can say, is the man's.
There is much controversy about the role of the woman in society these days. In the West, a strong women's liberation movement has been at work for many years, and now there has arisen an equally vigorous opposition which defends traditional values. The so-called struggle for women's liberation has affected women the world over--in India, Iran, Europe, Japan and elsewhere. In North America, I began a campaign informally called the Hindu women's liberation movement. It is not what you might expect. Its purpose is to liberate our Hindu women from the liberators, to save them from worldliness and to allow them to fulfill their natural dharma as mother and wife. For a religious woman, being liberated starts with resigning from her job and coming home. Once she is home, she is liberated and liberated and liberated. Working in the world keeps her in the outer dimensions of consciousness, while being at home allows her to live in the depth of her being. I have seen this work many times. There are so many distractions and influences in the world today that divert women away from being a wife and mother. In the West a woman is a wife first and a mother second, but in the East her duties as a mother are foremost. She is trained from early childhood in the arts of homemaking, trained by her mother who was trained in exactly the same way by her mother, and so on right down through history. It's an old pattern.
The Hindu woman is looked upon as most precious. Two thousand years ago Saint Tiruvalluvar observed: "What does a man lack if his wife is worthy? And what does he possess if she is lacking worth?" There is more respect in the East for women and for their role in society. Here in the West, the woman is not fully appreciated. Her contribution is underrated and misunderstood. In fact, this is one of the reasons she seeks fulfillment and recognition in other spheres, because Western society has become oblivious of her unique and vital role. Abused by neglect and disregard, she seeks other avenues where she may be appreciated, recognized and rewarded.
Don't forget that in the East the ties of the extended family are very close. Women live in a community, surrounded by younger and older women, often living in the same house. They enjoy a rewarding life which includes helping the younger ones and being helped by those who are more mature. Several generations work together in sharing the joys as well as the burdens of household culture. It is different in the West. Women here usually do not have the advantages of close association with other family members. Naturally, they become a little lonely, especially if they do not have a religious community of friends. They get lonely and want to get out in the world and enjoy life a little. This is another reason women leave the home. It is very unfortunate.
In the East there is a better balance of the masculine and feminine forces. In the West the masculine is too strong, too dominant. The feminine energies need to be allowed greater expression. But that does not mean women should start doing what men do. No. That only confuses the forces more. A better balance must be found. In the East the woman is protected. She is like a precious gem. You don't leave it unattended. You protect it. You guard it well because you don't wish to lose it. Hindu women are guarded well. They are not allowed to become worldly. They are not exposed to the looks and thoughts of a base public, nor must they surrender their modesty to contend with business affairs. She can be perfectly feminine, expressing her natural qualities of gentleness, intuitiveness, love and modesty. The home and family are the entire focus of a Hindu woman's life.
Many of you here tonight are too young to know that this was also the pattern in the West until about seventy-five years ago. Before World War I, women were very strict in the West. It was that war and the one that followed that broke down the ancient roles of men and women. The men were taken away from industry by the army, and women were forced out of the home into the factories and businesses so that production could continue. Earlier they had been protected, seldom seen unaccompanied in public. Throughout history, women had been the caretakers of the home and the defenders of virtue. They valued their purity, their chastity, and were virgins when they married. Many people don't know that the old values were followed most strictly up until 1915 or so. Then the two world wars broke up the family and disturbed the balance between men and women. For the first time, women were seen alone in public. For the first time, they left the home and competed with men for their jobs.
I speak often of the change humanity is going through in moving out of the agricultural era and into the technological age. This change has affected the dharma of the woman and the dharma of the man in an interesting way. During the tens of thousands of years of the agricultural age, families lived and labored mostly on farms or in craft guilds. The entire family worked on the farm. The men all worked in the fields; the women and children worked in the home. Children were a great asset. More children meant more help, a bigger farm. There were many chores that a young boy or girl could do. When harvest time came, everyone joined in. It was a one team, and everyone contributed. When the crop was sold, that was the income for a combined effort from all members--men, women and even children. In a very real sense, everyone was earning the money, everyone was economically important.
In the technological era, only the man of the house earns the family income. Everyone else spends it. The husband goes to work in a factory or large company office while his wife and children stay at home. There is not much they can do to help him during the day with his work. His work and his wife's are not as closely related as in the old days. He is the provider, the producer now; she and the children are consumers. Because the children cannot help much, they have become more of an economic liability than an asset. This, coupled with the population problems on the Earth, devalues the economic importance of the woman's traditional role as wife and mother. Whereas raising children and taking care of the farmhouse used to be a woman's direct and vital contribution toward the family's livelihood and even the survival of the human race, today it is not. Whereas they used to be partners in a family farm business, today he does all the earning and she feels like a dependent. The answer is not to have women join their men in the factories and corporations. The answer is to bring traditional religious values into the technological era, to find a new balance of karma that allows for the fulfillment of both the man's and the woman's dharma.
When young couples marry, I help them write down their vows to one another. He must promise to support her, to protect her, to give her a full and rewarding life. She must promise to care for him, to manage the home, to maintain the home shrine and to raise fine children. I ask them each to respect the other's realm, to never mentally criticize the other and to make religion the central focus of their life together. I ask the young bride to stay in the home, to be a little shy of involvement in the world.
A mother's place is within the home and not out in the world working. When she is in the home all day, she brings love and security to the children, sensitivity and stability to the husband. By raising her children, she changes the course of history. How does she do that? She raises strong children, good and intelligent children. They will grow up to be the great men and women in the community, the leaders of the nation. They will be the farmers, artists, businessmen, the teachers, the doctors, the lawyers, the architects, the presidents and, most importantly, the spiritual leaders. They will be the mothers, the homemakers and child-raisers, scientists and inventors, pioneers and poets, artists and sculptors and creators in all dimensions of life. It is such men and women who change the course of human history. This is the great power held by the mother and by no one else: to properly mold the mind and character of her children. And she trains her daughters to do the same by example and gentle guidance.
Of course, she also holds the opposite power, expressed through neglect, to allow her children to grow up on their own, on the streets where they will learn a base life. Such children will as surely change society and human history, but negatively. They will be the common men and women, or fall into mental and emotional abysses, there to express man's instinctive nature and become the exemplars of violence and lust, of dependence and crime. The very direction of humankind is right there in the early years, to be turned toward a great potential through love and attentiveness or allowed to decay through neglect. The mother is the child's first guru, and she alone can shape the mind in those impressionable years. So, you can all see the truth in the old saying: "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."
Take the case of a mother who is at home every day, morning and night, attending to her children. As she rocks the cradle, her love and energy radiate out to the infant who then feels a natural peacefulness and security. She has time for the child, time to sing sweet lullabies and console when the tears come, time to teach about people, about the world, about the little things in growing up, time to cuddle for no reason except to express her love. On the other hand, the working mother has no time to do extra things. When the infant cries, she may, out of her own frustrations of the day, become impatient and scold him, demanding that he keep quiet. "I told you to be quiet!" she shouts. The infant doesn't even understand English yet. You can imagine this helpless child's feelings as he receives an emotional blast of anger and frustration directed toward his gentle form. Where is he to turn? He cannot find refuge even in his mother's arms. What will the next generation be like if all the children are raised under such circumstances? Will it be strong and self-assured? Will it radiate kindness to others, never having had kindness given to it? Will it be patient and understanding? No. It is a proven fact that most of the people in prison were neglected or beaten as children. It is also a proven fact that nearly all parents who mistreat their children were themselves mistreated by their parents. Unless mothers care for and love their children, society will inherit an entire generation of frustrated adults who were once frustrated children. These will later be the people who rule the world. Then what happens? They in turn raise their children in the same manner, for that is the only example of parenthood they have. They will think that neglect is natural, that children can get along on their own from an early age or be raised by a governess or nurse or at a day-care center. It's a circle: a childhood of neglect produces a bitter adult life; a childhood of love and trust produces a loving and happy adult life.
We learn so many important things from the mother. This learning is not just from the things she explains to us, but from the way she lives her life. If she is patient, we learn patience. If she is angry and unhappy, then we learn to be angry and unhappy. How wonderful it is for a mother to be in the home and give her children the great gifts of life by her example. She can teach them so many things, bring them into profound understandings about the world around them and offer them basic values and points of view that will sustain them throughout their life. Her gift of love is directly to the child, but indirectly it is a gift to all of humanity, isn't it? A child does not learn much from the father until he is older, perhaps eight or nine, or ten years of age.
Let me tell you a sad story. We have a book in our library which describes a plan, made by the Christians, to destroy Hinduism in Sri Lanka and India. One of their major tactics is to get the Hindu women out of the homes and working in the world. They knew that the spiritual force within the home is created by the unworldly woman. They knew that a secure woman makes for a secure home and family, a secure husband and a secure religion. They knew that the Hindu woman is the key to the perpetuation of Hinduism as long as she is in the home. If the woman is in the home, if she is happy and content and the children are nurtured and raised properly, then the astral beings around the home will be devonic, friendly and beneficial. But if she is out of the home and the husband is out of the home, the protective force-field around the home disintegrates, allowing all kinds of astral asuric beings to enter. Such a neglected home becomes inhabited by base, asuric beings on the lower astral plane. You cannot see these beings, but they are there, and you can sense their presence. Things just don't feel right in a home inhabited by negative forces. You have the desire to leave such a home as soon as you enter it. The children absorb these vibrations, these feelings. Children are open and psychically sensitive to such influences, with little means of self-protection. They will become disturbed, and no one will know the reason why. They will be crying and even screaming. They will be constantly disobedient. Why should they become disobedient? There is no positive, protective force field of religion established by the mother. This leaves the inner force field vulnerable to negative and confusing forces of all kinds, especially in modern, overpopulated cities where destructive psychic influences are so strong. These negative vibrations are penetrating the inner atmosphere of the home, and the children are psychic enough to pick them up and suffer.
Religion begins in the home under the mother's influence and instruction. The mother goes to the temple to get strong. That is the reason Hindus live near a temple. They go to the temple to gain the strength from the shakti of the Deity, and they return to the home where they maintain a similar vibration in which to raise the next generation to be staunch and wonderful citizens of the world, to bring peace on Earth, to keep peace on Earth. There is an ancient Tamil proverb which says one should not live in a city which has no temple.
If a child is screaming in its cradle, and the baby sitter is yelling at him and couldn't care less about his feelings, and the mother is out working, that child is not a candidate for peace on Earth. That child is going to keep things confused, as they are today. So, it's all in the hands of the mother; it's not in the hands of the father. Religion and the future of society lie solely in the hands of the mother. It is in the hands of the father to allow or not to allow the mother to be under another man's mind out in the world.
Just as the two world wars took women out of the home, so did another recent change affect mankind. When the automobile came, people forgot about breeding. The automobile did one terrible thing: it made people forget how to breed and how to take care of one another. When people had horses, horses were a part of the family. People had to care for their horses and in the process learned to care for one another. People also had to breed their horses, and in that process learned about the value of intelligent breeding. In those days, you often heard of the "well-bred" person. You don't hear of the well-bred person anymore. People no longer consider that humans, too, are involved in the natural process of breeding. They have become forgetful of these important laws, and this has led to lack of discipline, to bodies indiscriminately creating more bodies. Who is living in them nobody quite knows. That's what we, as a society, forgot when the automobile replaced the horse. When you had a horse, you had to feed it, you had to train it, curry it, stable it and breed it. In breeding it, you had to choose a stud for your mare or find a suitable mare for your stallion. The qualities on both sides were closely observed, and the combination of genetics consciously planned. It was, therefore, natural for people in those days to seek proper mates for their children, and the results were the vital, creative and industrious children of the children. As a civilization, we are slowly forgetting such things, being more careless about our children's future, about their lives and minds.
Television has not helped the matter. In fact, it has virtually stopped the proper education of the child in those communities where it is watched for hours each day. Instead of developing a curiosity by adventuring for hours through a forest or climbing a tree, instead of discovering the wonders of nature and art and music, instead of becoming involved in sports and hobbies, children are mentally carried along by television stories through positive and negative states of mind. They become uncreative, inactive, never learning to use their own minds. Not all television is negative. Some of it can be quite educational; but hours and hours each day of passive absorption are not good for the child's mental and emotional development. Children need to be active, to involve themselves in a wide variety of experiences. If the mother is there, she can intelligently guide their television, being careful that they do not get in the habit of watching it for hours on end, and watching that bold sex, violence and other bad influences are not a daily experience. When the program is over, she can send them out to play. Of course, if she is gone, they will watch anything and everything. For the young, television is one of the most senseless pastimes there is, carrying the mind further and further away from the true Self. I think you will all agree that our values, the values found in the holy Vedas, Tirukural and other sacred scriptures are not found on television. Instead, TV gives our children a brutal and unbalanced view of life which distorts in their minds how life really is. These are very serious questions. It is the mother who protects her children from negative influences, guiding their young minds into positive channels of expression.
Take the case of a farmer who raises livestock, who milks cows and goats. He works hard. He gets up early and takes care of his animals. He cannot succeed if he is also working part-time in the grocery store downtown. He just can't do it. Those animals need attention. There is no sensible man who would run a farm, with cows and goats and chickens, and not be there to take care of them, because those animals need a lot of help. He stays there and takes care of his business. He is a farmer and that is his duty, and he knows it.
Well, what's more important than the child? He needs 24-hour-a-day care. He is learning to walk, to speak, to think. He falls down and needs consoling. He catches the flu and needs to be nursed back to health. It is the mother's duty to provide that care. No one else is going to do it for her. No one else can do it for her. She brought that child into the world, and she must prepare that child for a positive and rewarding life. If the farmer neglects his animals, he creates a karma. The animals suffer. The farm suffers. The community suffers when the farm fails, and the man himself suffers. There is a grave karma, too, for the woman who neglects her stri dharma, who goes out into the world and does not nurture the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of her children. She knows this within herself, but she may be influenced by ill-advised people, or by a mass movement that tells her that she has only one life to live and that she cannot find fulfillment in the home but must express herself, venture out, seek her own path, her own fortune. You have all heard these ideas. I tell you that they are wrong. They spell the disillusionment of the mother who heeds them, then the disintegration of the family that is sacrificed by her absence. Finally, they result in her own unhappiness as she despairs at the loss suffered by her family and herself.
From the point of view of the Second World, or astral plane, the home is the family temple, and the wife and mother is in charge of that spiritual environment. Man can come into that sanctum sanctorum but should not bring the world into it. He will naturally find a refuge in the home if she is doing her duty. He will be able to regain his peace of mind there, renew himself for the next day in the stressful situations that the world is full of. In this technological age a man needs this refuge. He needs that inner balance in his life. When he enters that sanctuary and she is in her soul body and the child is in its soul body, then he becomes consciously conscious in his soul body. He leaves the conscious mind, which is a limited, external state of mind and not a balanced state of mind. He enters the intuitive mind. He gets immediate and intuitive answers to his worldly problems. How can he not be successful in his purusha dharma in the outside world when he has the backing of a good wife? She is naturally perceptive, naturally intuitive. She balances out his intellect, softens the impact of the forces which dash against his nervous system from morning to night. Encouragement and love naturally radiate out from her as she fulfills stri dharma. Without these balancing elements in his life, a man becomes too externalized, too instinctive and sometimes brutal.
If a woman is working, she cannot provide this balance. She has to start thinking and acting like a man. She has to become a little harder, create a protective shell around her emotions. Then the home loses its balance of the masculine and the feminine forces. Take for example the situation in which the wife rushes home from work fifteen minutes before the husband. She's upset. The children come over from grandmother's house or she tells the baby sitter to go home. She scurries to prepare something before he comes home, then rushes to get herself looking halfway decent. Emotionally upset, she tries to calm herself, tries to relax and regain her composure. Her astral body is upset. The children's astral bodies are upset. The husband enters this agitated environment--upset by being in the world anyway--and he becomes more disturbed. He was looking forward to a quiet evening. He feels neglected, disappointed, and that leads him to become distraught, even angry. No wonder he beats his wife and abuses his child. He's mad. He gets more and more disturbed until there is nothing left to do but walk out. It's a totally impossible situation. Furthermore, it's not going to get better but exceedingly worse.
The situation I have just described is one of the main reasons that marriages today have become less stable, that so many married couples--sixty to seventy percent, I'm told--are experiencing difficulties and breaking up. People never get married with the intent of breaking up. Never. The forces do it. You put two magnets together one way and they attract one another. Turn one around, and they repel each other. The same force that brought the people together, when it is not handled right, makes them pull apart and hate each other. They can't see eye to eye. Then to make up, they go out to dinner to talk it over--in another frustrating asuric situation, as far out in the world as they can get--to try to make up. When that doesn't help, they come home, still frustrated. If they went to the nearby temple and worshiped the Deity together, that would help. They would return home in a different state of mind, and discover that their vibration had changed. Why does it help to go to the temple? Because the Deity is in the temple. The Deity is there to adjust the forces of the inner nerve system, to actually change the forces of mind and emotion.
In the home the mother is likened to the Shakti Deity. She is the power of the home. None other. So she has to be there. She has to be treated right. She has to be given the things she needs. It is the man's duty to provide for her and for the children. The husband should provide her with all the fine things, with a good house which she then makes into a home, with gold and jewels and clothes, gold hanging down until her ears hurt, more bracelets, more things to keep her in the home so she is feeling secure and happy. In return she provides a refuge, a serene corner of the world where he can escape from the pressures of daily life, where he can regain his inner perspective, perform his spiritual sadhana and meditations then enjoy his family. Thus, she brings happiness and peace of mind to the family, to the community and to the world.
This working together of the home and the temple brings up the culture and the religion within the family. The family goes to the temple; the temple blesses the family's next project. The mother returns home. She keeps an oil lamp burning in the shrine room on the altar. It's a beautiful thing. All this happens because her astral body is not fretted by the stresses and strains of a worldly life, not polluted by the lustful thoughts of other men directed to her. She is not living in the emotional astral body. She is living in her peaceful soul body of love, fulfilling her dharma and radiating the soulful presence called sannidhya. She was born to be a woman, and that's how a woman should behave.
If she does not do her dharmic duty--this means the duty of birth--then she accrues bad karma. Every time she leaves the home to go out to work, she is making kukarma. Yes, she is. That negative karma will reflect on her astral body and on her husband's astral body and on the astral bodies of their children, causing them to become insecure.
The Christian-Judaic-Islamic idea of a one life, that "you have to get everything out of this life because when you're gone, you're gone, so grab all the gusto that you can out of life" has given the modern Western woman the idea that she is not getting what she should, by being a woman, and therefore the world looks doubly attractive because she is just passing through and will never come back and doesn't want to miss anything. So, living a man's life is very, very attractive. She doesn't want to stay home all the time and not see anything, not meet anybody, go through the boredom of raising a family, taking care of the children. She wants to be out with life, functioning in a man's world because she is told that she is missing something. Therefore, you can understand her desire to get out and work, start seeing and experiencing life and mixing with people, meeting new people. The Hindu woman does not look at life like that. The Hindu woman knows that she was born in a woman's body--this soul has taken an incarnation for a time in a woman's body--to perform a dharma, to perform a duty for the evolution of the soul. The duty is to be a mother to her children, wife to her husband, to strengthen the home and the family, which are the linchpin of society. She knows that the rewards are greater for her in the home. She knows that all she is missing is a man's strenuous work and responsibility, that her stri dharma is equally as great as a man's purusha dharma, even though they are quite different by nature. Because she knows these things, she fulfills her dharma joyously.
Now, a woman may wonder, "If I don't work, how are we going to pay the bills?" The real reason that most women work is economic. The economy of the world is becoming more and more difficult, and the first answer to money problems, especially in the West, where the family unit is not too strong these days, is to have the woman go to work. This is an unhappy solution. The sacrifices are greater than the rewards. It is a false economy. Many times I have told young wives to stay home with their children. They worry. Their husbands worry. But with the wife at home, working to strengthen her husband, he soon becomes confident, creative, energetic. He is reinspired and always finds a way to make things work.
As long as the mother is home, everything is fine. There is security. Without this security, a family begins to disintegrate. Just think how insecure a child is without its mother. When the mother is there, security reigns in the home. As long as the mother is home doing whatever she naturally does as a mother--she doesn't even have to read a book about how to do it--the husband has to support the home. He feels bound to support the home.
Of course, religion must be the basis of the home to make it all work. When women leave the home to work in the world, they sacrifice the depth of their religion; their religious life then simply becomes a social affair. This is true of both Eastern and Western religions. As long as the mother is home, the celestial devas are there, hovering in and around the home. How many of you were raised with your mother staying at home? Well, then you know what I mean. Now, what if she wasn't at home when you were a child? You came home and mother wasn't there. You had to fix your own snack in an empty house. You didn't feel much cared for. You were alone in an empty house, perhaps frightened, and you went around seeing if someone was hiding in the closet. You didn't feel that motherly, protective feeling. When mother finally does come home, she has other things on her mind. She is tired. She has worked hard, and now she has to work even more. She is not thinking about the little helpless kid who can't take care of himself or herself. She may get home and think to herself, "I just can't forget about that good-looking man I met at the office. I even see him in my dreams. I have a husband and I shouldn't be thinking about such things, but" And on and on and on. Arguments begin to happen for the first time in the home. What do you do? You worry for awhile. You cry a little. As soon as you can, you start fending for yourself. You work out ways to take care of yourself or even to get away from the unhappy situation as soon as you can. You end up out on your own in the world at a young age, before you are mature enough to cope with it.
The Hindu woman knows that she is born in a woman's body to perform a woman's dharma, to perform her duty and not to emulate the men. The duty is to be a mother to her children and a wife to her husband, whom she looks to as her lord. She performs that duty willingly as does the man perform his duty which arises out of being born in a man's body. The Hindu woman is trained to perform her stri dharma from the time she is a little girl. She finds ways to express her natural creativity within the home itself. She may write poetry or become an artist. Perhaps she has a special talent for sewing or embroidery or gardening or music. She can learn to loom cloth and make the family's clothing. If needed, she can use her skills to supplement the family income without leaving the home. There are so many ways for a Hindu wife and mother to fully use her creative energies, including being creative enough to never let her life become boring. It is her special blessing that she is free to pursue her religion fully, to study the scriptures, to sing bhajana and keep her own spiritual life strong inside.
Then there is the situation in which the wife is working for her husband in the home. This is not ideal, but it is far better than having her out, away from her husband, under another man's mind. At least the family is working together toward a single goal, and the mother is there to care for the child and answer questions. Of course, if working in the home does not allow for closeness of mother and children, then it is to be avoided--if, for instance, the work is so demanding that the mother is never free to play with the young ones or is so pressured by her other duties that she becomes tense and upset. Otherwise, it is a positive situation. From the child's point of view, mother is home. She is there to answer questions, to make a dosai or say "Go make yourself a nice dosai."
Three visions for India
"I have three visions for India. In 3000 years of our history people
came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this
to any other nation.
We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their
culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on them.
Why? Because we respect the freedom of others. That is why my first
of this in 1857, when we started the war of independence. It is this
freedom that we must protect and nurture and build on. If we are not
My second vision for India is DEVELOPMENT. For fifty years we have
been a developing nation. It is time we see ourselves as a developed
nation. We are among top 5 nations of the world in terms of GDP. We
falling. Our achievements are being globally recognized today. Yet we
lack the self-confidence to see ourselves as a Developed nation, self-
I have a THIRD vision. India must stand up to the world. Because I
believe that unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect
us. Only strength respects strength. We must be strong not only as a
military power but also as an economic power. Both must go hand-in-hand.
My good fortune was to have worked with three great minds. Dr. Vikram
him and Dr. Brahm Prakash, father of nuclear material. I was lucky to
I see four milestones in my career:
ONE: Twenty years I spent in ISRO. I was given the opportunity to be
the project director for India's first satellite launch vehicle, SLV3.
TWO: After my ISRO years, I joined DRDO and got a chance to be the part
THREE: The Dept. of Atomic Energy and DRDO had this tremendous
tests and proving to the world that India can make it, that we are no
as an Indian. The fact that we have now developed for Agni a re-entry
structures, for which we have developed this new material. A Very light
Sciences visited my laboratory. He lifted the material and found it so
light that he took me to his hospital and showed me his patients. There
were these little girls and boys with heavy metallic callipers weighing
over three Kg. each, dragging their feet around. He said to me: "Please
In three weeks, we made this Floor reaction Orthosis 300-gram callipers
and took them to the orthopaedic centre. The children didn't believe
Why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed
to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great
nation. We have so many mazing success stories, but we refuse to
We are the first in milk production. We are number one in Remote
sensing satellites. We are the second largest producers of wheat. We are
Look at Dr. Sudarshan, he has transferred the tribal village into a
desert land into an orchid and a granary. It was this inspiring picture
that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments,
deaths, were inside in he newspaper, buried among other news. In India
we only read about death, sickness, errorism, crime.
Why are we so NEGATIVE? Another question: Why are we, as a nation so
obsessed with foreign things? We want foreign TVs, we want foreign
shirts. We want foreign technology. Why this obsession with everything
imported. Do we not realize that self-respect comes with self-reliance?
me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life is: She replied:
"I want to live in a developed India." For her, you and I will have to
laws are too old. YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the
destination. YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is
Take a person on his way to Singapore. Give him a name - YOURS. Give
roads or eat in the stores. YOU are as proud of their Underground Links
as they are. You pay $5 (approx. Rs. 60) to drive through Orchard Road
(equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU
comeback to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have
wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan, in Dubai. YOU would not
dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah. YOU would not dare
to buy an employee of the telephone exchange in London at 10 pounds (Rs.
650) a month to, "see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to
someone else." YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in
Washington and then tell the traffic cop, "Jaanta hai sala main kaun
don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo? Why don't YOU use
examination jockeys or buy fake certificates in Boston? We are still
talking of the same YOU. YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign
papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If
Ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay Mr. Tinaikar had a point to make.
"Rich people's dogs are walked on the streets to leave their affluent
around to criticize and blame the authorities for inefficiency and dirty
pavements. What do they expect the officers to do? Go down with a broom
every time their dog feels the pressure in his bowels? In America every
dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job. Same in Japan.
Will the Indian citizen do that here?" He's right. We go to the polls to
choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility. We sit
back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything
for us whilst our contribution is totally negative. We expect the
government to clean up but we are not going to stop chucking garbage all
over the place nor are we going to stop to pick an up a stray piece of
paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to provide clean
bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms. We
want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and
toiletries but we are not going to stop pilfering at the least
opportunity. This applies even to the staff who is known not to pass on
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
excuse? "It's the whole system, which has to change, how will it matter
if I alone forego my sons' rights to a dowry." So who's going to change
the system? & work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand. Or
we leave the country and run away. Like lazy cowards hounded by our
fears we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system.
When New York becomes insecure we run to England. When England
experiences unemployment, we take the next light out to the Gulf. When
the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the
Indian government. Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country.
Nobody thinks of feeding the system. Our conscience is mortgaged to
a great deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too....I am
echoing John F. Kennedy's words to his fellow Americans to relate to
Indians..... "ASK WHAT WE CAN DO FOR INDIA AND DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE
TO MAKE INDIA WHAT AMERICA AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES ARE TODAY" Let's
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 ! At Independence you were robbed of one fifth of your territory, courtesy her Majestyâs Service; in 1962, the ever smiling, but treacherous Chinese, humiliated you and stole another chunk of thy blessed land, thanks to Nehruâs blind hindi-chinni-bhai-bhai policy; finally, the Pakistanis, who lost all the wars they initiated against you, understood that proxy conflicts were the cheapest, safest (and most cowardly) way to hurt you. And indeed, your soldiers were bled in Punjab, and they are bled today in Kashmir and the North-East, while the world looks the other way and Amnesty International even praises the perpetrators .
Poor India !: Nobody will ever understand the harm that has been done to thy social, religious and cultural fabric by nearly ten centuries of bloody Muslim invasions. Muslim invaders looted thy country, they killed thy men, raped thy women, razed thy temples, broke thy statues and enslaved thy children. This onslaught was so intense, so bloody, so terrifying -- remember Hindu Kush - India - that it has left a permanent scar on thy psyche: thy sons and daughters have become - as Mahatma Gandhi aptly said -- cowards; they shy away from confrontation, panic easily, stay indoors at the least sign of trouble, lack total civic sense and let Indiaâs New Barbarians still defy and defile thee.
Poor India: The British made sure they fashioned a class of Indians who were brown in skin, but white in their thoughts. They were made up to dress British, eat British, think British and even dream British in their sleep. Today their descendants, the journalists of the English press, are thy worse enemies. They dress Western, eat Western, think Western and even dream Western in their sleep. What matters to them is not what might utter Indiaâs sages, avatars, gurus, wise men and yogis, who dress Indian, eat Indian, think Indian and even dream Indian, but what the western media, or Amnesty International will think about India. They are not interested at all by what the Bhagavad Gita, probably the worldâs most revelatory, most comprehensive, most relevant sacred book has to say, or how Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Indiaâs 21st century avatar, could help. No, they would rather turn to Gustave Thoreau, Marx or Jean-Paul Sartre, people who have even lost relevance in he West, for a solution to thy immense problems.
Poor India ! Thy journalists are indeed thy worst enemies: they have proved it again after the Sabamarti episode. Here you have fifty eight innocent people, thirty of them being women and children, who are savagely murdered in the most horrific manner, only because they are Hindus. They have killed nobody, whatever the rightfulness or wrongfulness of their cause, they have burnt nobody; they have insulted nobody. And yet, the whole grisly episode was turned against them: instead of being victims of the most horrendous premeditated murder, thy journalists made them responsible for their own deaths. Why ? Because they were "fanatics ", who want to build a temple dedicated to the most cherished of Hindu Gods, Ram, on a site which has been held sacred by Hindus for three thousand years ? What a terrible crime ! But Spanish Christians retook the Mosques which had been built by the invading Moors and reconverted them into churches. Turks too grabbed the beautiful Byzantine basilicas in Istanbul, erstwhile Constantinople and made them into mosques - and nobody today finds anything to say. But look how the Indian Media also keeps throwing the blame on the VHP which is "forcing" the temple issue and "provoking" Muslims. Then, when the rioting started and Hindu anger at the terrible manner in which their brothers and sisters were killed, was directed at Muslims, it became "communal rioting"; and of course, people like M.J. Akbar put the entire blame on Hindu "fundamentalism". Yet, it is the Hindus who have always been the target of Muslim killings, whether it is in Kashmir, Bangladesh, or Pakistan. But when they dare to hit back, they are labelled as "fanatics", forgetting that India has been a land of refuge for centuries, thanks to Hindu tolerance.
Poor India ! When a Graham Staines is burnt alive, all of Indiaâs English press goes overboard in condemning his killers, but when 58 Graham Staines are murdered, they keep silent. Why ? Whatâs wrong with Indian journalists ? This is plain common sense, logic, the most basic of human intelligence: people who kill in the name of God, can be called fundamentalists; people who ram planes full of innocent people on buildings full of other innocent people, should be called terrorists. But why should people who want to peacefully build a temple be also called fundamentalists ? Even those Hindus who brought down the Babri Masjid, after millions of temples were razed by Muslim invaders, did not kill a single soul in the process, whether it was right or wrong to do it . Yet, Islamâs vengeance, which planted bombs in the heart of Bombay, with the help of the ISI and the tacit backing of Saudi Arabia, and killed hundreds of innocent people, was acceptable to Indiaâs "secular" journalists and was also labelled as "communal rioting". Today, Star Newsâ anti-Hindu and pro-Muslim bias is so gross, that it should be laughed at. Unfortunately, it does damage by confusing Indiaâs middle and upper middle class, who are unsure of their moorings and on top of that, it gives India such a bad image in the eyes of the world.
Poor India ! Not only thy own journalists always run thee down, but most of the western press ignores thee, when it is not debasing thee: "a train full of Hindu 'extremistsâ was burnt", said an Agence France Presse dispatch dated Saturday 2d March, which went around the world. Full of Hindu "extremists" ? Do they mean to say that the forty innocent women and children who were burnt were "extremists" ? No self-respecting Government should allow such bias in foreign reporting: in China these press outfits would be immediately thrown out. But the worse is that this piece was probably written by an Indian stringer - and a Hindu at that - who wants to prove to his or her White Masters, that she is Whiter than the White, more Secular than the Secular. Oh, poor India.
Poor India ! Do thy Oxford-speaking, pipe-smoking, Scotch-drinking journalists understand that post 11th September and December 13th, there has been a shift in the Pakistani strategy vis a vis India. After the intense American pressure to give-up terrorism, they have resorted to triggering a communal war here: the Godhra killings were the first such example of this new strategy, as reports speak of Pakistani illegals leading the mob (as well as Congress Muslim local leaders). Foreign funds for the Islamic cause in South Asia have also dried-up, as the United States has frozen many accounts, and part of the new scheme is to generate local funds in India via the madrasas, by creating a feeling of insecurity amongst the Muslim minority and then say: "look what happened to us in Ahmedabad, we need funds to protect ourselves". Do Indian journalists know that madrasas in UP get 33 crores from the government per year and in Bengal 135 ? If they do, they make sure it is never publicized.
Poor India ! If we allow this to unfold, then the unrest and killings which have been happening for the last 15 years in Kashmir, will spread to many parts of India, wherever there are important Muslim communities and the dream of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood will forever vanish. Arise again ď 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.
Vision Creates Great Leaders
I am indeed delighted to participate in the 46th annual convocation of
XLRI, Jamshedpur, My greetings to all the graduating students and
professors and teachers who shaped them to have qualities of leadership
to take up various missions and tasks of the nation. I was thinking
important occasion when you will be entering into professional
phase of life. I would like to tell the young, "low aim is the
into a developed country.
In 1947, at the dawn of freedom, we had the best of leaders in
science, in technology, in history, in politics and in industry
in 1857. One incident I would like to narrate to you, which
my high school teacher Rev. Iyyadorai Solomon took me to
We were all thrilled when Panditji spoke that the mission was
Mahatma Gandhi has to be the first to unfurl the national flag
In this environment, I would like to quote Sir CV Raman, at the
still reverberating in my mind: "I would like to tell the young
men and women before me not to lose hope and courage.
Success can only come to you by courageous devotion to the
contradiction that the quality of the Indian mind is equal to the
quality of any Teutonic, Nordic or Anglo-Saxon mind. What we
lack is perhaps courage, what we lack is perhaps driving force
which takes one anywhere. We have, I think, developed an
inferiority complex. I think what is needed in India today is the
destruction of that defeatist spirit. We need a spirit of victory, a
spirit that will carry us to our rightful place under the sun, a
spirit which will recognize that we, as inheritors of a proud
civilization, are entitled to a rightful place on this planet. If that
indomitable spirit were to arise, nothing can hold us from
That was a great saying to the young. You would see the
responsible for the young, all who are creators of the young,
for their children's’ growth, allow them to dream. Dream
transforms into thoughts and thoughts result into actions.
I would like to recall an incident, which happened four decades
space programme in the country. He is well known for his
cosmic ray research area that led to evolving the space
Prof Vikram Sarabhai were looking for a site to establish
space research station in the equatorial region. These two
as it was near the equatorial region and was ideally suited for
fishermen folk were living in that area. It also had a beautiful
and bureaucrats to get the place for the work of space science
place. He was asked to see the Bishop of Trivandrum, at that
Bishop. The Bishop smiled and asked him to meet him the
next day, i.e. Sunday. In the morning Service, the Bishop told
me who wants our church and the place I live for the work of
children, can we give the God’s abode for a scientific mission?
whole church reverberated. Subsequently, the big event took
Pereira, the Bishop of Trivandrum, took the noble decision to
Pallithura, Thumba. That was the church where we had our
our scientists’ place. Later, the Thumba Equatorial Rocket
Launching Station (TERLS) led to the establishment of Vikram
and scientific leaders, all converge towards giving reverence to
the human life. New church and new schools were established
communication, weather forecasting and also locate water
resources for the country. Today, among us, Prof Vikram
flower and blossom will themselves be different and set unique
The seeding for the national independence took place around
1857 or even before. I see the relationship between the urge for
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Veer Savarkar. The list, if we take
the British ruled governmental level to bring up Indian science,
industries and education, we have seen world class scientific,
were no (Indian) scientists of international reputation or
standing. Between 1920 and 1925, we had suddenly five or six
internationally well-known men. (He means, JC Bose, CV
national movement. It was a part of the national movement to
sciences, in the arts, particularly in science, we could show
the West in their own realm that we were equal to them. "
Coming now to the industrial field, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata
rulers were not favorably disposed to the idea. Acharya PC
Likewise, in the pre-independent period we see the birth of
by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. There were also some Indian
have been to show the urge to build the Nation and
demonstrate to the world that "India can do it".
vision for the nation. How we can prepare ourselves to this
challenge? To become a developed India, the essential needs
India has to be economically and commercially
powerful, at least to be one of the six top nations in
below poverty line to be reduced to 10%.
near self-reliance in defence needs of weapon,
equipment with no umbilical attached to any outside
Technology Vision 2020 is a pathway to realize this cherished
technology packages in the core sectors such as agriculture
documents detailing the steps to be taken for creating wealth
for the nation and the well being of our people. "Technology" is
power, civil aviation, waterways, engineering industries, life
materials and processing. There is a tremendous link between
Five mega projects to transform the nation to a developed
We have identified five areas where India has a core
processing – we have to put a target of 360 million tons of food
food processing would bring prosperity to rural people and
electric power for all parts of the country. (3) Education and
Healthcare – we have seen, based on the experience,
life of the people. Similarly, in Tamil Nadu also we have seen
experiences, we feel, should be taken and spread in big states
competence. We believe, this area can be used to promote
education in remote areas and also to create national wealth.
(5)Strategic sectors – This area, fortunately, witnessed the
These five areas are closely inter-related and lead to national,
the Government departments will be essential to accomplish
For building the developed India, what are needed? We have
resources and we have human power in abundance. Then
transformation of India into a developed nation embedded with
knowledge society from now to twenty years. The leaders are
the creators of new organizations of excellence. Quality
leaders are like magnets who will attract the best of persons to
creators of vision and missions. The vision ignites particularly
satellite launch vehicle to orbit a satellite or the first IRBM has
to be built and operationalised, are mission statements, which
have transformed into system products many a time. But, a
management were the driving forces. Also, one very important
towards prosperity.
the song of prosperous India if we sweat in this decade.
Today, the Indian mind has to get ignited by our second vision
for the nation. The ignited human mind is the most powerful
best wishes to you all for transforming industrial and
commercial houses into establishments of substance and
pain
what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to [struggle] for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.
God. They will mould you into a divine being. Welcome them.
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.
Question: In my view, the guru is one who awakens me to truth, to reality. What is wrong in my taking to such a guru? [Jiddu Krishnamurti]'s [Answer|http://www.katinkahesselink.net/kr/k_psy3.html#guru]
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.
[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...
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[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
The Master welcomed the advances of technology, but was keenly aware of its
To his disciples he later said, "The aim of life is the flowering of
Soren Kierkegaard
[Kierkegaard on the Internet|http://www.webcom.com/kierke/] - a website devoted to the Danish philosopher Sřren Kierkegaard (1813-1855).
via [Background|http://www.webcom.com/kierke/bio/backgr.html] : ..."What I really need is to come to terms with myself about what I am to do, not about what I am to know, except insomuch as knowledge must precede every act. It is a matter of understanding my destiny, of seeing what the Divinity actually wants me to do; what counts is to find a truth, which is true for me, to find that idea for which I will live and die."...
When a memorial stone was erected on Gilbjerg Head at Gilleleje in 1935 to commemorate the centenary of the intellectual emergence of the young Kierkegaard, these words from his notebook were inscribed on the stone: "What is truth but to live for an idea."
NR Narayana Murthy
[The spartan wealth creator|http://www.business-standard.com/special/billion/year2000/prof3.htm]
[NEEDED, A VALUE SYSTEM WHERE PEOPLE ACCEPT MODEST SACRIFICES FOR COMMON GOOD - Western Values And Eastern Challenges|http://lakshmir.blogspot.com/2002_11_03_lakshmir_archive.html#84236029]
Extract of Mr. Narayana Murthy's Speech during Mentor Session:
LOVE YOUR JOB, BUT NEVER FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR COMPANY BCOZ U NEVER KNOW WHEN COMPANY STOPS
I know people who work 12 hours a day, six days a week,
are addicted to the workplace. Whatever the reason for putting in overtime,
working long hours over the long term is harmful to the person and to the
There are things managers can do to change this for
mistakes requires their time as well as the time and energy of others. I have
seen people work Tuesday through Friday to correct mistakes made after 5
much better when people work together instead of avoiding one another.
As Managers, there are things we can do to help people
leave the office. First and foremost is to set the example and go home
e-mails with a time-stamp of 2 AM, Sunday. Second is to encourage people to put
some balance in their lives. For instance, here is a guideline I find
#) Wake up, eat a good breakfast, and go to work.
#) Eat well and sleep well.
since we all have the power to choose to do them. In considering the issue
of overtime, I am reminded of my oldest son. When he was a toddler, if
people were visiting the apartment, he would not fall asleep no matter how
sleep until the visitors left. It was as if he was afraid that he would miss
something. Once our visitors' left, he would go to sleep. By this time,
however, he was over tired and would scream through half the night with
Perhaps some people put in such long hours because they don't want to miss
will never stop happening. That is life!! Things happen 24 hours a day.
Allowing for little rest is not ultimately practical. So, take a nap. Things will happen while you're asleep, but you will have the energy to catch up when you wake.
Movielink
"Thank you for your interest in Movielink. We want you to take part in the powerful Internet movie rental experience that Movielink delivers, but it is presently unavailable to users outside of the United States."
The University of Hard Knocks
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"Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
Finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks
Sermons in stones, and good in everything."
the United States and have listened to "The University of Hard
Knocks." It has been delivered to date more than twenty-five
of many deliveries.
"What is written here is not the way I would write it, were I
lecture took this unconscious colloquial form before audiences. An
bringing the audiences of America together. For lecture audiences
are not drawn together, they are pushed together."
public, has encouraged the publishers to put more of Mr. Parlette's
lectures into book form, "Big Business" and "Pockets and Paradises"
SOME PRELIMINARY REMARKS--The lecturer the delivery wagon--The
sorghum barrel--Audience must have place to put lecture--Why so
bumps--Description of University--"Sweet are the uses of
II. THE COLLEGE OF NEEDLESS KNOCKS, the bumps that we bump
into--Getting the coffee-pot--Teaching a wilful child--Bumps make
us "stop, look, listen"--Blind man learns with one bump--Going up
III. THE COLLEGE OF NEEDFUL KNOCKS, the bumps that bump into
IV. "SHAKE THE BARREL"--How we decide our destinies--Why the big
sorting people--How we hold our places, go down, go up--Good luck
and bad luck--The girl who went up--The man who went down--The
fatal rattle--We must get ready to get--Testimonials and press
equalize--Help people to help themselves--We cannot get things till
we get ready for them
V. GOING UP--How we become great--We must get inside greatness--
There is no top--We make ourselves great by service--the
first step at hand--All can be greatest--Where to find great
children--The story of "Gussie" and "Bill Whackem"--Schools and
books only give better tools for service--"Hard knocks" graduates--
Children must have struggle to get strength--Not packhorse work--
Helping the turkeys killed them--the happiness of work we love--
Must save the home towns--A school of struggle--New School
nothing--The fiddle and the tuning--How we know things--Trimmed at
the shell game--My "fool drawer"--Getting "selected to receive
orations--My maiden sermon--The books that live have been
lived--Singer must live songs--Successful songs written from
VIII. LOOKING BACKWARD--Memories of the price we pay--My first
keeps on going south and growing greater--We generally start well,
but stop--Few go on south--The plague of incompetents--Today our
best day, tomorrow to be better--Birthdays are promotions--I am
eighty--Too busy to bury--Sympathy for the "sob squad"--Child sees
south--Overcoming obstacles develops power--Go on south from
X. GOING UP LIFE'S MOUNTAIN--The defeats that are victories--
Climbing Mount Lowe--Getting above the clouds into the sunshine--
Each day we rise to larger vision--Getting above the night into
I do not want to be seen in this lecture. I want to be heard. I am
only the delivery wagon. When the delivery wagon comes to your
sometimes delivered to you in some very poor delivery wagons.
So in this lecture, please do not pay any attention to the delivery
not pay much attention to the wrappings and strings. Get inside to
Really, I believe the goods are good. I believe I am to recite to
When I was a boy we had a barrel of sorghum in the woodshed. When
mother wanted to make ginger-bread or cookies, she would send me to
the woodshed to get a bucket of sorghum from that barrel.
the sorghum would fairly squirt into my bucket. Later in the fall
have to wait a long while to get a little sorghum. And on some real
I have brought a barrel of sorghum to this audience. The name of
of this audience. You can have all you want of it, but to get it to
running freely, you will have to warm up.
No matter how the sorghum runs, you have to have a bucket to get
size of the bucket he brings to get it in. A big bucket can get
Here is a great mass of words and sentences and pictures to express
growing up from the Finite to the Infinite, and that it is done by
our own personal overcoming, and that we never finish it.
and struggle up to a higher vision.
We are told that the stomach needs bulk as well as nutriment. It
form. So abstract truths in their lowest terms do not always
discussions of these truths. Here is bulk as well as nutriment.
lecture. You cannot confess without referring to the confesser.
To Everybody in My Audience
I believe in you because I believe in myself. We are all one
about your present. I care much about your future for that is to
Every bump is a lesson. If we learn the lesson with one bump, we do
not get that bump again. We do not need it. We have traveled past
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
matter with us, so that we do not learn the lesson of the bump we
Some of us learn to go forward with a few bumps, but most of us are
"naturally bright" and have to be pulverized.
our lives in the A-B-C's of getting started.
We matriculate in the cradle.
We never graduate. When we stop learning we are due for another
"Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a priceless jewel in its head;
Finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything."
"Tongues in trees," I thought. "Trees can't talk! That man is
no running brooks. They'd get wet. And that sermons in stones! They
get preachers to preach sermons, and they build houses out of
stones."
But I am happy today that I have traveled a little farther. I am
happy that I have begun to learn the lessons from the bumps. I am
happy that I am learning the sweet tho painful lessons of the
University of Adversity. I am happy that I am beginning to listen.
For as I learn to listen, I hear every tree speaking, every stone
Children, I fear you will not be greatly interested in what is to follow.
I was not interested when father and mother told me these things.
I knew they meant all right, but the world had moved since they were
young, and now two and two made seven, because we lived so much faster.
It is so hard to tell young people anything. They know better. So
they have to get bumped just where we got bumped, to learn that two
and two always makes four, and "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall
As we get bumped and battered on life's pathway, we discover we get
two kinds of bumps--bumps that we need and bumps that we do not
Bumps that we bump into and bumps that bump into us.
We discover, in other words, that The University of Hard Knocks has
We attend both colleges.
The Bumps That We Bump Into
NEARLY all the bumps we get are Needless Knocks.
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
was three years old and ready to graduate.
coffee-pot in my business. I reached over to get the coffee-pot.
meddlesome woman I had ever known. I had not tried to do one thing
in three years that that woman had not meddled into.
And that day when I wanted the coffee-pot--I did want it. Nobody
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
this petticoat tyranny three years, and it is time to stop it!
I stopped it. I got the coffee-pot. I know I got the coffee-pot. I
There were weeks after that when I was upholstered. They put
You see, my mother's way was to tell me and then let me do as I
pleased. She told me not to get the coffee-pot and then let me get
Why don't mothers knit today?
Mother would say, "Don't fall in the well." I could go and jump in
the well after that and she would not look at me. I do not argue
that this is the way to raise children, but I insist that this was
the most kind and effective way to rear one stubborn boy I know of.
kind of an insect mother was trying to raise. Mother did know. She
Mother knew that to argue with me was to flatter me. Tell me, serve
That was the quickest and kindest way to teach me.
inflicter. Father attended to that in the laboratory behind the
"Stop, Look, Listen"
And thru the bumps we learn that The College of Needless Knocks
runs on the same plan. The Voice of Wisdom says to each of us,
wiser and happier." The tongues in the trees, the books in the
running brooks and the sermons in the stones all repeat it.
But we are not compelled to walk in the right path. We are free
We get off the right path. We go down forbidden paths. They seem
easier and more attractive. It is so easy to go downward. We slide
downward, but we have to make effort to go upward.
upward has to be pushed.
And going down the wrong path, we get bumped harder and harder
until we listen.
We are lucky if we learn the lesson with one bump. We are unlucky
when we get bumped twice in the same place, for it means we are
When we are bumped, we should "stop, look, listen." "Safety first!"
One time I paid a seeress two dollars to look into my honest palm.
unlucky and it had to be.
How I had to be bumped to learn better! Now when I get bumped I try
to learn the lesson of the bump and find the right path, so that
The other day I watched a blind man go down the aisle of the car to
I looked down my nose. "Ralph Parlette," I said to myself, "when
are you going to learn to see as well as that blind man? He learns
his lesson with one bump, and you have to go bumping into the same
that go upward have to be pushed. Going upward is overcoming.
And so with our own lives. Real living is conscious effort to go
upward to larger life.
the tomorrow of communities that go upward. Majorities are not
willing to make the effort to rule themselves. They are content to
People are like sheep. The shepherd can lead them to heaven--or to
Human life is the story of the Prodigal Son. We look over the fence
of goodness into the mystery of the great unknown world beyond and
in that unknown realm we fondly imagine is happiness.
How they must be bumped to think upon their ways. Every time we do
wrong we get a Needless Knock. Every time! We may not always get
bumped on the outside, but we always get bumped on the inside. A
the subject. You have pounded your soul into a jelly. You don't
How the old devil works day and night to keep people amused and
The last thing Mamma Fly said as Johnny went off to the city was,
"Remember, son, to stay away from the sticky flypaper. That is
set go over to the flypaper, he goes over, too. He gazes down at
place to skate. Just see how close I can fly over it and not get
right, of course, but she isn't up-to-date. We young set of modern
can't catch us. They were too strict with me back home."
naturally bright young life. Afterwhile, tho, he stubs his toe and
lands in the stickiness. "Well, well, how nice this is on the feet,
feet down in the stickiness. It is harder to pull them out. Then he
puts three down and puts down a few more trying to pull them out.
"Really," says Johnny Fly bowing to his comrades also stuck around
him, "really, boys, you'll have to excuse me now. Good-bye!" But he
flypaper. It is a fine place to stick around. All his young set of
another drink and sing, "We won't go home till morning."
Most of them stay. They just settle down into the stickiness
The man who goes to jail ought to congratulate himself if he is
guilty. It is the man who does not get discovered who is to be
The world loves to write resolutions of respect. How often we
write, "Whereas, it has pleased an all-wise Providence to remove,"
when we might reasonably ask whether the victim was "removed" or
There is a good deal of suicide charged up to Providence.
The Bumps That Bump Into Us
BUT occasionally all of us get bumps that we do not bump into. They
bump into us. They are the guideboard knocks that point us to the
You were bumped yesterday or years ago. Maybe the wound has not yet
were bumped. Some of you in this audience are just now wondering
You were doing right--doing just the best you knew how--and yet
heart broken more times than I care to talk about now. Your home
was darkened, your plans were wrecked, you thought you had nothing
more to live for.
But I am discovering that life only gets good after we have been
We all must learn, if we have not already learned, that these blows
are lessons in The College of Needful Knocks. They point upward to
a higher path than we have been traveling.
In other words, we are raw material. You know what raw material
is--material that needs more Needful Knocks to make it more useful
The clothing we wear, the food we eat, the house we live in, all
have to have the Needful Knocks to become useful. And so does
I should like to know every person in this audience. But the ones
that these lives are the gold tried in the fire.
See the piano on this stage? Good evening, Mr. Piano. I am glad to
Do you know how you got upon this stage, Mr. Piano? You were bumped
here. This is no reflection upon the janitor. You became a piano by
I can see you back in your callow beginnings, when you were just a
tree--a tall, green tree. You were green! Only green things grow.
There you stood in the forest, a perfectly good, green young tree.
You got your lessons, combed your hair, went to Sunday school and
were the best young tree you could be.
That is why you were bumped--because you were good! There came a
man into the woods with an ax, and he looked for the best trees
there to bump. He bumped you--hit you with the ax! How it hurt you!
It is a very sad story. They took you all bumped and bleeding to
trees. They were not worth bumping.
But shake, Mr. Piano. That is why you are on this stage. You were
bumped here. All the beauty, harmony and value were bumped into you.
Duluth, Minnesota, and came to a hole in the ground. It was a big
hole--about a half-mile of hole. There were steam-shovels at work
until you move it--send it to college or somewhere.
the rails to what they call a blast furnace, the technological name
I watched this red mud matriculate into a great hopper with
limestone, charcoal and other textbooks. Then they corked it up and
school began. They roasted it. It is a great thing to be roasted.
When it was done roasting they stopped. Have you noticed that they
always stop when anything is done roasting? If we are yet getting
roasted, perhaps we are not done!
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,
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
it had been roasted--they took it proudly all over the world,
If a ton of that red mud had become watch-springs or razor-blades,
the price had gone up into thousands of dollars.
red mud. The Needful Knocks are necessary to make us serviceable.
Every bump is raising our price. Every bump is disclosing a path to
same material, say the chemists. But the diamond has gone to The College
One evening when I was trying to lecture in a chautauqua tent in
Illinois, a crippled woman was wheeled into the tent and brought
right down to the foot of the platform. The subject was The
Afterwards I went to her. "Little lady, I want to thank you for
that I know sitting in this chair. I have learned to be patient and
They told me this crippled woman was the sweetest-spirited,
best-loved person in the town.
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
had everything that money could buy. But her money seemed unable to
single thing to make her happy. I am not happy. I have not been
"Madam, I don't want to be unkind, but I really think the reason
When I see a long row of cots in a hospital or sanitarium, I want
to congratulate the patients lying there. They are learning the
sympathize. They are to become a precious part of our population.
There is no backward step in life. Whatever experiences come to us
are truly new chapters of our education if we are willing to learn
We think this is true of the good things that come to us, but we do
not want to think so of the bad things. Yet we grow more in lean
years than in fat years. In fat years we put it in our pockets. In
lean years we put it in our hearts. Material and spiritual
prosperity do not often travel hand-in-hand. When we become
materially very prosperous, so many of us begin to say, "Is not
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
business might wreck. Your fortune might be swept away. Your good
for it is not true. The old enemy of humanity wants you to believe
you are down and out. He wants you to sympathize with yourself. You
There is a silver lining to every hard knocks cloud.
How We Decide Our Destinies
NOW as we learn the lessons of the Needless and the Needful Knocks,
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
big, red, fat apples on the top, and the groceryman, not desiring
to spoil his sign, had reached down under the top layer. He must
have reached to the bottom, for he gave me the worst mess of runts
the groceryman ever put the big apples on top and the little
Man of sorrows, you have been slandered. It never occurred to me
big ones on top and the little ones down underneath. He does not
need to do it. It does itself. It is the shaking of the barrel that
Shake to Their Places
and smooth that things do not shake on the road to town. But back
in the Black Swamp of Ohio we had corduroy roads. Did you ever see
hauled a wagon-bed full of apples to the cider-mill over a corduroy
try to get to the top. The little, runty apples would try to hold
a mass meeting at the bottom.
how long you have to see most things before you see them? I saw
that when I played marbles. The big marbles would shake to the top
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
thing shake to the place its size determines. A little larger one
shakes a little higher, and a little smaller one a little lower.
Mix them up again and shake. Watch them all shake back as they were
before, the largest on top and the smallest at the bottom.
forbearance. I am discovering that we can hear faster thru the eye
than thru the ear. I want to make this so vivid that you will never
forget it, and I do not want these young people to live thirty
If there are sermons in stones, there must be lectures in cans.
This is a canned lecture. Let the can talk to you awhile.
automatically goes the right way. The little ones go down and the
themselves just as they were before.
down in the bottom saying, "Help me! Help me! I am so unfortunate
I say, "Yes, you little bean, I'll help you." So I lift him up to
the top. See! I have boosted him. I have uplifted him.
See, the can shakes. Back to the bottom shakes the little bean. And
stay on top." So I put him back again on top.
The can shakes. The little bean again shakes back to the bottom. He
is too small to stay up. He cannot stand prosperity.
Then I hear Little Bean say, "Well, if I cannot get to the top, you
So I say, "Yes, sir, Little Bean. Here, you big ones on top, get
But I shake the can, and the big ones go right back to the top with
the same shakes that send the little ones back to the bottom.
There is only one way for those objects to change their place in
O, fellow apples! We are all apples in the barrel of life on the
way to the market place of the future. It is a corduroy road and
stores, the schools, the pulpits, the homes--every place where we
live or work is shaking. Life is a constant survival of the
in that can is shaking every person to the place he fits in the
And do you not see that we are very foolish when we want to be
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
We shake right back to the places our size determines. We must get
ready for places before we can get them and keep them.
The very worst thing that can happen to anybody is to be
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
our train of destiny will run off and leave us, and we will have no
If we are small we shall have a small destiny. If we are great we
shall have a great destiny. We cannot dodge our destiny.
you and I are not helpless victims of blind fate. We are not
creatures of chance. We have it in our hands to decide our destiny
as we grow or refuse to grow.
We shake down if we become small; we shake up if we become great.
And when we have reached the place our size determines, we stay
there so long as we stay that size.
If we wish to change our place, we must first change our size. If
we wish to go down, we must grow smaller and we shall shake down.
If we wish to go up, we must grow greater, and we shall shake up.
In order to hold his place he must hold his size. He must fill the
he rattles. Nature abhors a rattler. He shakes down to a smaller place.
In order to stay the same size he must grow enough each day to supply
the loss by evaporation. Evaporation is going steadily on in lives
as well as in liquids. If we are not growing any, we are rattling.
We Compel Promotion
So you young people should keep in mind that you will shake into
the places you fit. And when you are in your places--in stores,
shops, offices or elsewhere, if you want to hold your place you
must keep growing enough to keep it tightly filled.
If you want a greater place, you simply grow greater and they
capabilities, do more than you are paid to do--overfill your place,
and you shake up to a greater place.
I believe if I were so fortunate or unfortunate as to have a number
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.
shook down and the big ones shook up. The bump that was bad luck to
the little ones was good luck to the big ones. The same bump was
to size. Every business concern can tell you stories like that of
got the bottom job.
"Is not she the limit?" they oft spake one to another. She was. She
same blunder twice. She learned the lesson with one helping to the
to be done, and she would go right on working, contrary to the
rules of the union! Without being told, mind you. She had that rare
wait--to be told what to do next.
The barrel did the rest. Today she is giving orders to all of them,
was nothing fair about it. Jennie ought to have been made
some questions about the machine, which he answered fairly well.
desire to know anything about anything.
"About twelve years."
man over there at the supercalendered machine?" pointing to the man
The foreman's face clouded. "I hate to talk to you about that man.
He is one of the kindest-hearted men we ever had in the works, but
we've got to let him go. We're afraid he'll break the machine. He
isn't interested, does not learn, doesn't try to learn."
So he had begun to rattle. Nobody can stay where he rattles. It is
So books could be filled with just such stories of how people have
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
the top-branchers, and we say, "O, if I only had his chance! If I
were only up there I might amount to something. But I am too low
We can grow. Everybody can grow.
And afterwhile we are all in the barrel of life, shaken and bumped
enough to fill this place?"
doing pretty much the same things over and over. Every day we
appear to have about the same round of duties.
But if we let life become routine, we are shaking down. The very
routine of life must every day flash a new attractiveness. We must
routine or we become unhappy. If we go on doing just the same
our eyes glued to precedents--just turning round and round in our places
and not growing any, pretty soon we become mere machines. We wear
smaller. The joy and juice go out of our lives. We shrivel and rattle.
forward and upward. That is the only way to hold our place.
The farmer must be learning new things about farming to hold his
growing into a greater, wiser merchant to hold his place among his
competitors. The minister must be getting larger visions of the
ministry as he goes back into the same old pulpit to keep on
We only live as we grow and learn. When anybody stays in the same
journals labeled "Finishing Schools," and "A Place to Finish Your
them. We never finish while we live. A school finishing is a
I am sorry for the one who says, "I know all there is to know about
The greater and wiser the man, the more anxious he is to be told.
ready to get along without him. That noise you hear is the
For it is mostly rattle. The live one's "my day" is today and
tomorrow. The dead one's is yesterday.
We Must Get Ready to Get
We young people come up into life wanting great places. I would not
want a great place. I would not give much for anybody who does not
look forward to greater and better things tomorrow.
We often think the way to get a great place is just to go after it
and get it. If we do not have pull enough, get some more pull. Get
We think if we could only get into a great place we would be great.
But unless we have grown as great as the place we would be a great
joke, for we would rattle. And when we have grown as great as the
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 must get ready for things before we get them.
Moses was eighty years getting ready to do forty years work. The
Master was thirty years getting ready to do three years work. So
many of us expect to get ready in "four easy lessons by mail."
We can be a pumpkin in one summer, with the accent on the "punk."
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
Many a man writes a testimonial to get rid of somebody. "Well, I
hands." I heard a Chicago superintendent say to his foreman, "Give
It is dangerous to overboost people, for the higher you boost them
to introduce a stranger. A letter of introduction is useful. A
The danger is that the hero of them may get to leaning upon them.
Then they become a mirror for his vanity instead of a monitor
progress by reading my press-notices instead of listening to the
to contain the crowd."
was filled before was entirely too big for the audience! The
editors of America--God bless them! They are always trying to boost
We must read people, not press-notices.
When you get to the place where you can stand aside and "see
in the land. They spring up, fail, wail, disappear, only to be
having the barrel do the uplifting, they try to do it with a
derrick. We must feed the hungry and clothe the naked, but that is
not helping them, that is propping them. The beggar who asks you to
help him does not want to be helped. He wants to be propped. He
wants you to license him and professionalize him as a beggar.
You can only help a man to help himself. Help him to grow. You
cannot help many people, for there are not many people willing to
be helped on the inside. Not many willing to grow up.
When Peter and John went up to the temple they found the lame
And so every day that beggar got to be more of a beggar. The public
"helped" him to be poorer in spirit, more helpless and a more
"helping" to the Jerusalem Beggars' Union and carried his card.
I used to say, "Nobody uses me right. Nobody gives me a chance."
times a day. We need oculists, not opportunities.
I used to work on the "section" and get a dollar and fifteen cents
to see how little I could do and look like I was working. I was the
I used to wonder as I passed Bill Barlow's bank on the way down to
pumping a handcar. I was naturally bright. I used to say "If the
I am so glad now that I did not get to be president of the bank.
They are glad, too! I would have rattled down in about fifteen
minutes, down to the peanut row, for I was only a peanut. Remember,
The fairy books love to tell about some clodhopper suddenly
enchanted up into a king. But life's good fairies see to it that
the clodhopper is enchanted into readiness for kingship before he
The only way to rule others is to learn to rule ourself.
I used to say, "Just wait till I get to Congress." I think they are
to be the same size. Yes, I'll pass laws to turn the barrel upside
down, so the little ones will be on the top and the big ones will
be at the bottom."
But I had not seen that it wouldn't matter which end was the top,
the big ones would shake right up to it and the little ones would
shake down to the bottom.
Have you ever noticed that the man who is not willing to fix
himself, is the one who wants to get the most laws passed to fix
other people? He wants something for nothing.
O, I am so glad I did not get the things I wanted at the time I
wanted them! They would have been coffee-pots. Thank goodness, we
do not get the coffee-pot until we are ready to handle it.
Today you and I have things we couldn't have yesterday. We just
wanted them yesterday. O, how we wanted them! But a cruel fate
would not let us have them. Today we have them. They come to us as
naturally today, and we see it is because we have grown ready for
them, and the barrel has shaken us up to them.
Today you and I want things beyond our reach. O, how we want them!
unreadiness? As we grow greater we have greater things. We have
today all we can stand today. More would wreck us. More would start
us to rattling.
And this blessed old barrel of life is just waiting and anxious to
How We Become Great
WE go up as we grow great. That is, we go up as we grow up. But so
many are trying to grow great on the outside without growing great
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.
We go up by our own personal efforts. We go up by our own service,
sacrifice, struggle and overcoming. We push out our own skyline. We
rise above our own obstacles. We learn to see, hear, hold and
We may become very great, very educated, rise very high, and yet
not leave our kitchen or blacksmith shop. We take the kitchen or
blacksmith shop right up with us! We make it a great kitchen or
"Getting to the Top"
"Getting to the top" is the world's pet delusion. There is no top.
No matter how high we rise, we discover infinite distances above.
The higher we rise, the better we see that life on this planet is
the going up from the Finite to the Infinite.
The world says that to get greatness means to get great things. So
I weary of the world's pink-sheet extras about "Getting to the Top"
and "Forging to the Front." Too often they are the sordid story of
a few scrambling over the heads of the weaker ones. Sometimes they
are the story of one pig crowding the other pigs out of the trough
Christ Jesus was a great Teacher. His mission was to educate
There came to him those two disciples who wanted to "get to the
top." Those two sons of Zebedee wanted to have the greatest places
were half so busy preparing for greatness. They even had their
"Are ye able to drink of the cup?" Then he gave the only definition
That is we cannot be "born great," nor "have greatness thrust upon"
us. We must "achieve greatness" by developing it on the
inside--developing ability to minister and to serve.
We cannot buy a great arm. Our arm must become a great servant, and
We cannot buy a great mind. Our mind must become a great servant,
We cannot buy a great character. It is earned in great moral
Everybody's privilege and duty is to become great. And the joy of
it is that the first step is always nearest at hand. We do not have
to go off to New York or Chicago or go chasing around the world to
We must take the first step now. Most of us want to take the
hundredth step or the thousandth step now. We want to make some
spectacular stride of a thousand steps at one leap. That is why we
fall so hard when we miss our step.
We must go right back to our old place--into our kitchen or our
nearest at hand. We must make our old work luminous with a new
devotion. We must battle up over every inch. And as fast as we
solve and dissolve the difficulties and turn our burdens into
blessings, we find love, the universal solvent, shining out of our
lives. We find our spiritual influences going upward. So the winds
of earth are born; they rush in from the cold lands to the warm
currents set upward, the world is drawn toward us with its
We find our kitchen or workshop or office becoming a new throne
of power. We find the world around us rising up to call us blessed.
As we grow greater our troubles grow smaller, for we see them thru
greater eyes. We rise above them.
As we grow greater our opportunities grow greater. That is, we
begin to see them. They are around us all the time, but we must get
greater eyes to see them.
Generally speaking, the smaller our vision of our work, the more we
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
small head could contain it all. It was Newton after giving the
world a new science who looked back over it and said, "I seem to
The great Teacher pointed to the widow who cast her two mites into
the treasury, and then to the rich men who had cast in much more.
have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she
Master cared little what the footings of the money were in the
treasury. That is not why we give. We give to become great. The
fear of want.
Our greatness therefore does not depend upon how much we give or
upon what we do, whether peeling potatoes or ruling a nation, but
upon the percentage of our output to our resources. Upon doing with
our might what our hands find to do. Quit worrying about what you
cannot get to do. Rejoice in doing the things you can get to do.
And as you are faithful over a few things you go up to be ruler
gifts. But when we cast them all into the treasury of right
service, there is an alchemy that transmutes every gift into gold.
I do not know who fitted the boards into the floor I stand upon. I
who sweeps it--is just as great as anybody in the world who may
We have to look farther than the "Who's Who" and Dun and Bradstreet
to make a roster of the great people of a community. You will find
tomorrow. They are the faithful few who get behind the churches,
They are the ones who are "always trying to run things." They are
sweetest pay comes from doing many things they are not paid for.
thanking them until it comes time to draft the "resolutions of
I had to go to the mouth of a coal-mine in a little Illinois town,
to find the man the bureau had given as lyceum committeeman there.
I wondered what the grimy-faced man from the shaft, wearing the
miner's lamp in his cap, could possibly have to do with the lyceum
course. But I learned that he had all to do with it. He had sold
the Sunday school. He was the storm-center of every altruistic
effort in the town--the greatest man there, because the most
The great people are so busy serving that they have little time to
attend to such things.
Chicago on Sundays to thousands. He writes books and runs a college
uplift movements that his name gets into the papers about every day,
He had broken away from Chicago to have a vacation. Many people
preacher went from one chautauqua town to another, and took his
vacation going up and down the streets. He dug into the local
history of each place, and before dinner he knew more about the
went to see people who were doing things. He went to see people who
were doing nothing. In every town he would discover somebody of
unusual attainment. He made every town an unusual town. He turned
the humdrum travel map into a wonderland. He scolded lazy towns and
praised enterprising ones. He stopped young fellows on the streets.
"What are you going to do in life?" Perhaps the young man would
say, "I have no chance." "You come to Chicago and I'll give you a
for himself, but every day he was trying to make an investment in
doesn't the doctor take care of himself, instead of taking care of
everybody else? He wears himself out for other people until he
hasn't strength enough left to lecture and do his own work."
Sometimes they were right about that.
life in loving service finds it returning to him great and
This Chicago man gives his life into the service of humanity, and
it becomes the fuel to make the steam to accomplish the wonderful
things he does. Let him stop and "take care of himself," and his
career would stop.
for number one," stipulating in advance every cent he was to get
yourself that afterwhile you are going to give great things and do
thousands afterwhile. You need to give it now, and the world needs
to get it now."
Preparing Children to Live
for life. All other kinds of "preparedness" fade into
insignificance before this. The history of nations shows that their
of their population and wealth, but in the strength and ideals
As long as the nation was young and growing--as long as the people were
But when the struggle stopped, the strength waned, for the strength
and surrendered to ease and indulgence, they became fat, stall-fed weaklings.
Then they fell a prey to younger, hardier peoples.
saying, "Our children shall have better chances than we had. We are
living for our children. We are going to give them the best
Then, forgetful of how they became strong, they plan to take away
from their children their birthright--their opportunity to become
forced to sink or swim. Thus he learned to swim.
"We are going to give our children the best education our money can buy."
understanding, and give it to them C. O. D! They seem to think they
else send off to New York or Paris or to "Sears Roebuck," and get
maybe they will have a private pipeline of education laid to their
home. They are going to force this education into them regularly
until they get them full of education. They are going to get them
Toll the bell! There's going to be a "blow out." Those inflated
children are going to have to run on "flat tires."
do is to buy them some tools, perhaps, and open the gate and say,
A father and mother might as well say, "We will buy our children
the strength we have earned in our arms and the wisdom we have
acquired in a life of struggle." As well expect the athlete to give
As well expect the musician to give them the technic he has
acquired in years of practice. As well expect the scholar to give
them the ability to think he has developed in years of study. As
well expect Moses to give them his spiritual understanding acquired
The Story of "Gussie"
There was a factory town back East. Not a pretty town, but just a
The hands lived in the little dirty houses and worked six days of
the week in the big mill.
There was a little, old man who went about that mill, often saying,
The little old man often said, "I'm going to give that boy the best
He began to buy it. He began to polish and sandpaper Gussie from
He sent him to the astrologer, the phrenologer and all other
"ologers" they had around there. When Gussie was old enough to
export, he sent the boy to one of the greatest universities in the
Gussie had no chance to serve. Everything was handed to him on a
silver platter. Gussie went thru that university about like a steer
Chicago. Did you ever go over into Packingtown and see a steer
grand bump, said steer does not have to do another thing. His
goes riding thru on that endless cable from his A-B-C's to his
eternal cold storage, each professor hits him a dab. He rides along
from department to department until he is canned.
They "canned" Gussie. He had a man hired to study for him. He rode
from department to department. They upholstered him, enameled him,
the baggage-car. It was checked. The mill shut down on a week day,
the first time in its history. The hands marched down to the depot,
and when the young lord alighted, the factory band played, "See,
A few years later the mill shut down again on a week day. There was
crape hanging on the office door. Men and women stood weeping in
Poor little peanut! He rattled. He had never grown great enough to
So the mill was shut down the third time on a week day. It looked
had a new kind of boss. If I were to give the new boss a
day. But he seemed to fatten on bumps. Every time he was bumped he
would swell up. How fast he grew! He became the most useful man in
got to looking up to him to start and run things.
So when the courts were looking for somebody big enough to take charge
of the wrecked mill, they simply had to appoint Hon. William Whackem.
It was Hon. William Whackem who put the wreckage together and made
the wheels go round, and finally got the hungry town back to work.
Colleges Give Us Tools
fool of Gussie. They said Bill succeeded so well because he never
went to one of "them highbrow schools." I am sorry to say I thought
But now I see that Bill went up in spite of his handicaps. If he
say to the book and the college, "Give us an education." They cannot
any more than you can get to New York by reading a travelers' guide.
furnish you finer working tools. But the real education is the
with these instruments and tools.
tools and no experience in using them. Bill was the man with the
poor, homemade, crude tools, but with the energy, vision and
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
graduates"--people who have never been to college nor have studied
many or any books. Yet they are educated to the degree they have
acquired these elements of greatness in their lives.
They realized how they have been handicapped by their poor mental tools.
proper preparation. Don't make my mistake, children, go to school."
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
Go out with your fine equipment from your commencements into the
The story of Gussie and Bill Whackem is being written in every
tragedy of our American civilization today.
These fathers and mothers who toil and save, who get great farms,
greatness to their children--they can make great places for them in
life and put them into them.
to grow great enough for the places. The child gets the blame for
A man heard me telling the story of Gussie and Bill Whackem, and he
went out of my audience very indignant. He said he was very glad
his boy was not there to hear it. But that good, deluded father now
has his head bowed in shame over the career of his spoiled son.
somebody does not take me aside and tell me a story just as sad
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
But Nature's eliminating process is kind to the race in the barrel
generations from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves.
You boys and girls, God bless you! You live in good homes. Father
and mother love you and give you everything you need. You get to
thinking, "I won't have to turn my hand over. Papa and mamma will
to rattle. Father and mother can be great and you can be a peanut.
You must solve your own problems and carry your own loads to have
and food in your stomach, but you cannot own it save as you digest
it--put it into your life.
insect struggling inside the cocoon. It was trying to get out of
killing it. He took away from it the very thing it had to have--the
that envelope that was needed to reduce its body and develop its
somewhere. Just work that gets us three meals a day and a place to
lie down to sleep, then another day of the same grind, then a year
Such a worker is like the packhorse who goes forward to keep ahead
of the whip. Such a worker is the horse we used to have hitched to
the sorghum mill. Round and round that horse went, seeing nothing,
hearing nothing, his head down, without ambition enough to prick up
But getting a vision of life, and working to grow upward to it,
When we are growing and letting our faculties develop, we will love
enables us to travel upward.
by day for them to hatch. And sure enough, one day the eggs began
to crack and the little turkeys began to stick their heads out of
But they stuck to the shells.
"Little turkeys, I'll have to help you. I'll have to shell you by
was "right" that I helped. They were runts. One of them was a regular
Harry Thaw turkey. They had too many silk socks. Too many "advantages."
own obstacles to develop your own powers.
I am pleading for you to get a great arm, a great mind, a great
you to know the joy of overcoming and having the angels come and
minister to you.
Children, I am pleading with you to find happiness. All the world
upward. It is the proof that we are progressing.
We find happiness in our work, not outside of our work. If we
cannot find happiness in our work, we have the wrong job. Find the
work that fits your talents, and stop watching the clock and
Loving friends used to warn me against "breaking down." They scared
me into "taking care" of myself. And I got to taking such good care
of myself and watching for symptoms that I became a physical wreck.
I saved myself by getting busier. I plunged into work I love. I
a skinny, fretful, nervous wreck into a hearty, happy man. This has
been a great surprise to my friends and a great disappointment to
the undertaker. I am an editor in the daytime and a lecturer at
one round of joy, and I ought to pay people for the privilege of
speaking and writing to them instead of them paying me!
You see, I have no time nowadays to break down. I have no time to
to be "absent from the body and present with the Lord." Thus this
To worry is to doubt God.
To work at the things you love, or for those you love, is to turn
work into play and duty into privilege.
When we love our work, it is not work, it is life.
The world is trying to find happiness in being amused. The world is
for these places keep just what the people want to buy. What a lot
There are ten literary drunkards to one alcoholic drunkard. There
are a hundred amusement drunkards to one victim of strong drink.
And all just as hard to cure.
We have to have amusement, but if we fill our lives with nothing
but amusement, we never grow. We go thru our lives babies with new
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
tonight?"
"Going to have a lecture."
The speaker is perfectly honest. He has no place to put a lecture.
at what underlies his remark. He does not want to think. He wants
to follow his nose around. Other people generally lead his nose.
The man who will not make the effort to think is the great menace
to the nation. The crowd that drifts and lives for amusement is the
want to start a new party to reform the government.
jam of people, most of them imitations--most of them trying to look
white way they go chasing amusement to find happiness. They must be
amused every moment, even when they eat, or they will have to be
alone with their empty lives.
The Prodigal Son came to himself afterwhile and thought upon his
ways. Then he arose and went to his father's house. Whenever one
will stop chasing amusements long enough to think upon his ways, he
will arise and go to his father's house of wisdom. But there is no
hope for the person who will not stop and think. And the devil
We must have amusement and relaxation. Study your muscles. First
over to contracting another set of muscles.
Go to the bank president's office, go to the railroad magnate's
office, go to the great pulpit, to the college chair--go to any
the place, "Were you born in this city?"
The reply is almost a monotony. "I born in this city? No, I was
born in Poseyville, Indiana, and I came to this city forty years
ago and went to work at the bottom."
Give us steam heat and push-buttons. There is no virtue in a
that young person comes to the city and shakes in the barrel among
the weaklings of the artificial life, he rises above them like the
from the country year by year into the national arteries, else
If it were not for Poseyville, Indiana, Chicago would disappear.
If it were not for Poseyville, New York would disintegrate
"Hep" and "Pep" for the Home Town
But so many of the home towns of America are sick. Many are dying.
The town the young people leave is the town the young people ought
to leave. Somebody says, "The reason so many young people go to
hell is because they have no other place to go."
What is the matter with the small town? Do not blame it all upon
the city mail order house. With rural delivery, daily papers,
telephones, centralized schools, automobiles and good roads, there
are no more delightful places in the world to live than in the
country or in the small town. They have the city advantages plus
Weston, West Virginia, "You say you have nearly two thousand insane
people in this institution and only a score of guards to keep them
in. Aren't you in danger? What is to hinder these insane people
from getting together, organizing, overpowering the few guards and
could get together they wouldn't be in this asylum. They are
insane. No two of them can agree upon how to get together and how
to break out. So a few of us can hold them."
It would be almost unkind to carry this further, but I have been
thinking ever since that about three-fourths of the small towns of
get together. They cannot organize for the public good. They break
up into little antagonistic social, business and even religious
So the home towns stagnate and the young people with visions go
away to the cities where opportunity seems to beckon. Ninety-nine
their lives, mere wheels turning round in a huge machine.
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
America is to be great, not in the greatness of a few crowded
cities, but in the greatness of innumerable home towns.
The slogan today should be, For God and Home and the Home Town!
Ada, Ohio, one of Ohio's greatest educators, used to say with
pride, "Our students come to school; they are not sent."
He encouraged his students to be self-supporting, and most of them
were working their way thru school. He made the school calendar and
courses elastic to accommodate them. He saw the need of combining
school into competing groups, so that the student who had no
struggle in his life would at least have to struggle with the
debating societies to compete with each other. He arranged contests
that he was initiating an individual or class effort to win. The
getting new members, going every term to unbelievable efforts to
win over the others. They would go miles out on the trains to
intercept new students, even to their homes in other states. Each
companies turned the school into a military camp for weeks each
Those students went out into the world trained to struggle. I do
I believe the most useful schools today are schools of struggle
schools offering encouragement and facilities for young people to
work their way thru and to act upon their own initiative.
We are trying a new educational experiment today.
Today we are building wonderful public schools with equally
wonderful equipment. Today we are replacing the many small colleges
universities. We are spending millions upon them in laboratories,
equipment and maintenance. Today we scour the earth for specialists
to sit in the chairs and speak the last word in every department of
O, how the students of the "dark ages" would have rejoiced to see
But each student has the same definite effort to make in
assimilation today as then. Knowing and growing demand the same
equipment demanded to serve the present age. But I am more anxious
that each student come in vital touch with great men. We get life
from life, not from laboratories, and we have life more abundantly
as our lives touch greater lives.
Many a small school struggling to live thinks that all it needs is
fatty degeneration. Some schools seem to have been visited by
Can we keep men before millions, and keep our ideals untainted by
You and I are very much interested in the answer.
HOW long it takes to learn things! I think I was thirty-four years
One day a manufacturer took me thru his factory where he makes
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
neck. That is about all there is either to us or to the fiddle. We
are empty. We have no strings. We have no bow--yet!
When the human fiddles are about six years old they go into the
fiddles think they are an orchestra right away. They want to quit
We must show these little fiddles they must go back into school and
go up thru all the departments and institutions necessary to give
Why is a violin? To wear strings? Gussie got that far and gave a
lot of discord. The violin is to give music.
So there is much yet to do after getting the strings. All the book
and college can do is to give the strings--the tools. After that
the violin must go into the great tuning school of life. Here the
All of us are Christopher Columbuses, discovering the same new-old
life--discovering Truth. We read things in a book and have a hazy
idea of them. We hear the preacher utter truths and we say with
little feeling, "Yes, that is so." We hear the great truths of life
over and over and we are not excited. Truth never excites--it is
falsehood that excites--until we discover it in our lives. Until we
crystallizes into a flashing jewel to delight and enrich our
There is such a difference between reading a thing and knowing a
thing. We could read a thousand descriptions of the sun and not
I used to stand in the row of blessed little rascals in the
play with the fire I will get my fingers burned. I had to slap my
hands upon hot stoves and coffee-pots, and had to get many kinds of
blisters in order to learn it.
Then I had to go around showing the blisters, boring my friends and
This is not a lecture. It is a confession! It seems to me if you in
took me so long because I was naturally bright. It takes that kind
with a few bumps. They have to be pulverized.
That sentence takes me back to the days when I was a "hired man" on
you might not believe that I had ever trained an orphan calf to
you may remember that at the county fair all the people sort out to
their own departments. Some people go to the canned fruit
department. Some go to the fancywork department. Some go to the
swine department. Everybody goes to his own department. Even the
went--to the "trimming department."
I was in the "trimming department" in five minutes. Nobody told me
where it was. I didn't need to be told. I gravitated there. The
barrel always shakes all of one size to one place. You notice
that--in a city all of one size get together.
Right at the entrance to the "local Midway" I met a gentleman. I
became too sultry he would move to greener pastures. On that table
were three little shells in a row, and there was a little pea under
I had saved up my money for weeks to attend the fair. I bet it all
family to keep. But I would teach him a lesson not to "monkey" with
I went over to the other side of the fairgrounds and sat down. That
was all I had to do now--just go, sit down. I couldn't see the
mermaid now or get into the grandstand.
Sadly I thought it all over, but I did not get the right answer.
to learn the lesson from the bump. I said, "Next time I shall be
another gentleman drove into town. He stopped on the public square
and stood up in his buggy. "Let the prominent citizens gather
around me, for I am going to give away dollars."
diseases humanity is heir to. Now just to introduce and advertise,
wrapping a ten-dollar bill around one cake and throwing it into the
a cake of this wonderful soap from my hat--any cake you want, gentlemen!"
And right on top of the pile was the cake with the ten wrapped
around it! I jumped over the rest to shove my five (two weeks' farm
disappeared. I never knew where it went. The man whipped up his
horse and also disappeared. I never knew where he went.
My "Fool Drawer"
I grew older and people began to notice that I was naturally bright
and therefore good picking. They began to let me in on the ground
I used to have a drawer in my desk I called my "fool drawer." I
to lock up. You get the pathos of that--the investments nobody
wanted to steal. And whenever I would get unduly inflated I would
open that drawer and "view the remains."
I had in that drawer the deed to my Oklahoma corner-lots. Those
lots were going to double next week. But they did not double I
I had in that drawer my deed to my rubber plantation. Did you ever
between an oil proposition and an oil well! The learning has been
I used to wonder how I ever could spend my income. I do not wonder now.
I had in that drawer my "Everglade" farm. Did you ever hear of the
"Everglades"? I have an alligator ranch there. It is below the
I had also a bale of mining stock. I had stock in gold mines and
silver mines. Nobody knows how much mining stock I have owned.
Nobody could know while I kept that drawer shut. As I looked over
my gold and silver mine stock, I often noticed that it was printed
in green. I used to wonder why they printed it in green--wonder if
they wanted it to harmonize with me! And I would realize I had so
much to live for--the dividends. I have been so near the dividends
I could smell them. Only one more assessment, then we will cut the
retired ministers would come periodically and sell me stock in some
was selling it on his reputation. Favorite dodge of the promoter to
get the ministers to sell his shares.
stock. That was doubling and trebling my money over night. An old
banker once said to me, "Why don't you invest in something that
I pitied his lack of vision. Bankers were such "tightwads." They
savings into the bottom of the sea.
never met. His name was Thomas A. Cleage, and he was in the Rialto
Were you ever selected? If you were, then you know the thrill that
You are a natural leader and everybody looks up to you."
He knew me! He was the only man who did know me. So I took the
"Because of your tremendous influence you have been selected to go
Did you get that? I hope you did. I did not! But I took a night
I 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!
respect not my feelings. I am not going to tell you a thing that
O, I am so glad I went to St. Louis. Being naturally bright, I
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
dollars to corner the wheat market of the world. That is all I paid
That bump set me to thinking. My fever began to reduce. I got the
I have always regarded Tom as one of my great school teachers. I
had made up to that time, for I got the most out of it. I do not
feel hard toward goldbrick men and "blue sky" venders. I sometimes
feel that we should endow them. How else can we save a sucker? You
better. You simply have to trim him till he bleeds.
It is worth eleven hundred dollars every day to know that one
sentence, You cannot get something for nothing. Life just begins to
get juicy when you know it. Today when I open a newspaper and see
a big ad, "Grasp a Fortune Now!" I will not do it! I stop my
subscription to that paper. I simply will not take a paper with
Today when somebody offers me much more than the legal rate of
Today when I get a confidential letter that starts out, "You have
will have to be "selected." There is no other way for you, because
selected to receive a thousand per cent. dividends," it means you
have been selected to receive this bunch of blisters because you
The other night in a little town of perhaps a thousand, a banker
took me up into his office after the lecture in which I had related
thought it very funny," said he. "I couldn't laugh. It was too
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
to lose it."
hundred dollars to tell you this one thing, and you get it for a
it. We only own what we have rendered definite service to bound.
have earned and stored in your life, not merely in your pocket,
stomach or mind.
I often think if it takes me thirty-four years to begin to learn
To me that is one of the great arguments for eternal life--how slowly
I learn, and how much there is to learn. It will take an eternity!
they think. This is not to sneer, but to cheer. Isn't it glorious
I love to attend commencements. The stage is so beautifully
"Beyond the Alps (sweep arms forward to the left, left arm leading)
How embarrassing at a commencement for the fingers not to follow
the wrist! It is always a shock to the audience when the wrist
sweeps downward and the fingers remain up in the air. So by all
Sweet Girl Graduate Number 2, generally comes second. S. G. G. No.
"We (hands at half-mast and separating) are rowing (business of
inclined). We are not drifting (hands slide downward)."
Children, we are not laughing at you. We are laughing at ourselves.
We are laughing the happy laugh at how we have learned these great
that is not knowing them. You cannot know them until you have lived
them. It is a grand thing to say, "Beyond the Alps lieth Italy,"
victory beyond. It is fine to say, "We are rowing and not
Did you ever hear a young preacher, just captured, just out of a factory?
was "short-circuited." The "brethren" waited upon me and told me I had
They gave me six weeks in which to load the gospel gun and get
ready for my try-out. I certainly loaded it to the muzzle.
But I made the mistake I am trying to warn you against. Instead of
going to the one book where I might have gotten a sermon--the book
of my experience, I went to the books in my father's library. "As
the poet Shakespeare has so beautifully said," and then I took a
to the poet Tennyson." Come here, Lord Alfred. So I soldered these
fragments from the books together with my own native genius. I
worked that sermon up into the most beautiful splurges and spasms.
climaxes, both wet and dry. I had a fine wet climax on page
"cry here." This was the spilling-point of the wet climax. I was to
I committed it all to memory, and then went to a lady who taught
expression, to get it expressed. You have to get it expressed.
I got the most beautiful gestures nailed into almost every page.
life is expression. But you have to get something to express. Here
necktie, but failed to get any man to hang it upon. I got up before
a mirror for six weeks, day by day, and said the sermon to the
glass. It got so it would run itself. I could have gone to sleep
Then came the grand day. The boy wonder stood forth and before his
large and enthusiastic concourse delivered that maiden sermon more
grandly than ever to a mirror. Every gesture went off the bat
according to the blueprint. I cried on page fourteen! I never knew
out--all nine of them. When I went out the door, the old sexton
said as he jiggled the key in the door to hurry me, "Don't feel
I cried all the way to town. If he had plunged a dagger into me he
would not have hurt me so much. It has taken some years to learn
No sermon ever had greater truth, but I had not lived it. The old
about what you know best, what you have lived. If you know more
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.
do not sell enough to pay the cost of printing them. As you study
the books that do live, you note that they are the books that have
been lived. Perhaps the books that fail have just as much of truth
live must come out of his heart. They are his own life. They come
We study agriculture from books. That does not make us an
agriculturist. We must take a hoe and go out and agricult. That is
You Must Live Your Song
and irrigation and gargling of the throat are merely symptoms of
not lived.
beautiful voice, and she has been away to "Ber-leen" to have it
attended to. She sang that afternoon in the tent, "The Last Rose of
Summer." She sang it with every note so well placed, with the
sweetest little trills and tendrils, with the smile exactly like
notes. She might as well have sung, "Pop, Goes the Weasel."
the same tent "The Last Rose of Summer." She had never been to
Berlin, but she had lived that song. She didn't dress the notes
tremendous feeling it demands. The audience went wild. It was a
All this was gall and wormwood to Jessie. "Child," I said to her,
to sing the songs you have lived."
Why do singers try to execute songs beyond the horizon of their
lives? That is why they "execute" them.
good fortune to be sitting at table with her I wanted to ask her,
songs the people want to sing?"
found the answer to every question. "Isn't it good to be here?
Isn't it great to have friends and a fine home and money?" she
said. "I have had such a struggle in my life. I have lived on one
know what it is to be left alone in the world upon my own
only home I had, that I began to write songs. I wrote them for my
heart and what the struggles were teaching me. No one is more
surprised and grateful that the world seems to love my songs and
"Just a Wearyin' for You," "His Lullaby" and many more of those
No. Books of theory and harmony and expression only teach us how to
write the words and where to place the notes. These are not the
song, but only the skeleton into which our own life must breathe
The woman who sat there clad in black, with her sweet, expressive
face crowned with silvery hair, had learned to write her songs in
she is today. Her defeats were her victories. If Carrie Jacobs-Bond
loneliness, she never would have been able to write the songs that
appeal to the multitudes who have the same battles.
popular heart. And while we have a continual inundation of popular
it is a tribute to the good elements in humanity that the
continue to hold their popularity.
defeat, or that our lives must fill up with poverty or sorrow, or
have worthy visions but are not able to translate them into
looking upward, and half the time their feet are in the flower-beds
ideas must be forged into usefulness available for this day upon
things to one person who can give you a practical way to fix them.
I used to have respect amounting to reverence for great readers and
book men. I used to know a man who could tell in what book almost
practical life. He seemed to be unable to think and reason for
a misfit on earth. He was liable to put the gravy in his coffee
and the gasoline in the fire. He seemed never to have digested any
of that man as an intellectual cold storage plant.
the Book of Human Experience the "sermons in stones" and the "books
in running brooks." Most fortunate is he who has learned to read
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.
Many audiences are gathered into this one audience. Each person
of Human Experience. Each has a different fight to make and a
different burden to carry. Each one of us has more trouble than
I know there are chapters of heroism in the lives of you older
ones. You have cried yourselves to sleep, some of you, and walked
A good many of you were bumped today or yesterday, or maybe years
And you young people here with lives like June mornings, are not
man talking about? I haven't had these things and I'm not going to
You are going to be bumped. You are going to cry yourselves to
sleep. You are going to walk the floor when you cannot sleep. Some
of you are going to know the keen sorrow of having the one you
You will see all that seems to make life livable lost out of your
to live for."
For all lives have about the same elements. Your life is going to
be about like other lives.
And you are going to learn the wonderful lesson thru the years, the
bumps and the tears, that all these things somehow are necessary to
soul tighter and tighter, nearer and nearer to God's great concert
pitch, where the discords fade from our lives and where the music
Thus we know that our education is progressing, as the evil and
unworthy go out of our lives and as peace, harmony, happiness, love
and understanding come into our lives.
Memories of the Price We Pay
WHAT a price we pay for what we know! I laugh as I look
backward--and weep and rejoice.
father being a country preacher, we had tin spoons. We never had to
tie a red string around our spoons when we loaned them for the
ladies' aid society oyster supper. We always got our spoons back.
several miles into the country those old reaper days and gathered
head and said, "You are the best boy to work, I ever saw." Then the
Yet I was years learning it is much easier to make money than to
I was sixteen years old and a school teacher. Sweet sixteen--which
several dollars the lowest bidder. They said out that way, "Anybody
the time, to save money. I think I had all teaching methods in use.
With the small fry I used a small paddle to win their confidence and
We ended the school with an "exhibition." Did you ever attend the
day came from all over the township. They were so glad our school
was closing they all turned out to make it a success. They brought
great baskets of provender and we had a feast. We covered the
Then we had a "doings." Everybody did a stunt. We executed a lot of
to literature in District No. 1, Jackson Township, that day. I can
shut my eyes and see it yet. I can see my pupils coming forward to
for we were "dressed up." Many a head showed father had mowed it
back of the ears! And into them! So many of them wore collars that
the Legion lay dying in Algiers." We had him die again that day,
and he had a lingering end as we executed him. I can see "The boy
stood on the burning deck, whence all but he had fled." I can see
tow-headed patriot in "Give me liberty or give me death." I feel
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
And my pupils wept as their dear teacher said farewell. Parents
wept. It was a teary time. I only said, "Weep not for me, dear
friends. I am going away, but I am coming back." I thought to cheer
them up, but they wept the more.
For on the way home I met Deacon K, and he borrowed it all. Deacon K
was "such a good man" and a "pillar of the church." I used to wonder,
tho, why he didn't take a pillow to church. I took his note for $240,
"due at corncutting," as we termed that annual fall-time paying up
Deacon K has gone from earth. He has gone to his eternal reward. I
scarcely know whether to look up or down as I say that. He never
thirteen-mile-a-day dollars to learn one thing I could not learn
from the books, that it takes less wisdom to make money, than it
does to intelligently handle it afterwards. Incidentally I learned
it may be safer to do business with a first-class sinner than with
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.
Their schoolmates and playmates are apt to be down there in the
And he has gotten his lecture out of that home town. The heroes and
villains live there within striking distance. Perhaps they have
come to hear him. "Is not this the carpenter's son?" Perhaps this
town until several generations pass.
I went back to the same hall to speak, and stood upon the same platform
where twenty-one years before I had stood to deliver my graduating oration,
when in impassioned and well modulated tones I had exclaimed,
for I will sa-a-a-a-ave you!" or words to that effect.
Then I went back to the little hotel and sat up alone in my room
could live in that hotel was a superior order of being. But the
a picture of the school in that town that had been taken twenty-one
these twenty-one years, for I could not then afford to buy one. The
alone with a picture of your classmates taken twenty-one years
A class of brilliant and gifted young people went out to take
charge of the world. They were so glad the world had waited so long
on them. They were so willing to take charge of the world. They
were going to be presidents and senators and authors and
no brilliant career in view. He was dull and seemed to lack
intellect. He was "conditioned" into the senior class. We all felt
appointed for that purpose took Jim back of the schoolhouse and
broke the news to him that they were going to let him graduate, but
they were not going to let him speak, because he couldn't make a
speech that would do credit to such a brilliant class. They hid Jim
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
goddess at the general delivery window and superintendent of the
stamp-licking department of the home postoffice. The boy who was
going to Confess was raising the best corn in the county, and his
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
behind the schoolhouse to inform him he could not speak at
commencement, would now have to wait in line before a frosted door
marked, "Mr. Lambert, Private." They would have to send up their
it short, he's busy!" before they could break any news to him
today.
stood that night.
you do not seem to learn like some in your classes can you not get
a bit of cheer from the story of Jim?
that school picture and the twenty-one years. There were fifty-four
I expected to go up had shaken down and some that I expected to
Out of that fifty-four, one had gone to a pulpit, one had gone 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
yet most of them seemed already to have decided their destinies.
The twenty-one years that followed had not changed their courses.
The only changes had come where God had come into a life to uplift
it, or where Mammon had entered to pull it down. And I saw better
"the boy is father to the man."
work as a man. The boy who went to the bottom of things in school
was going to the bottom of things in manhood. Which had helped him
to go to the top of things!
Jim Lambert had merely followed the call of talents unseen in him
twenty-one years before.
The boy who traded knives with me and beat me--how I used to envy
him! Why was it he could always get the better of me? Well, he went
on trading knives and getting the better of people. Now, twenty-one
forgery. He was now called a bad man, when twenty-one years ago
didn't whisper, who never got into trouble, who always had his hair
combed, and said, "If you please," used to hurt me. He was the
teacher's model boy. All the mothers of the community used to say
to their own reprobate offspring, "Why can't you be like Harry?
believe Mr. Webster defines a model as a small imitation of the
because he hadn't the energy to be anything else. It was the boys
age I didn't pay much attention to them. I regarded them as in the
beauty contest. Clarice went right on remaining in the social
seemed like she was all out-shine and no in-shine. She mistook
But as I looked into the face of Jim Lambert in the picture, my
heart warmed at the sight of another great success--a sweet-faced
these years to support a home and care for her family. She had kept
her grace and sweetness thru it all, and the influence of her
the town proud of him.
I was the janitor of the schoolhouse. Some of my classmates will
sensitive, shabby boy who swept the floors, built the fires and
carried in the coal. After commencement my career seemed to end and
the careers of Frank and the rest of them seemed to begin. They
were going off to college and going to do so many wonderful things.
But the week after commencement I had to go into a printing office,
roll up my sleeves and go to work in the "devil's corner" to earn
my daily bread. Seemed like it took so much bread!
How easy it is to see as you look backward. But how hard it is to
Twenty-one years afterward as I got off the train in the home town,
I asked, "Where is he?" We went out to the cemetery, where I stood
at a grave and read on the headstone, "Frank."
I had the story of a tragedy--the tragedy of modern unpreparedness.
It was the story of the boy who had every opportunity, but who had
all the struggle taken out of his life. He never followed his
It revived the memory of the story of Ben Hur.
Do you remember it? The Jewish boy is torn from his home in
disgrace. He is haled into court and tried for a crime he never
Then they condemn him. They lead him away to the galleys. They
chain him to the bench and to the oar. There follow the days and
That seems to be your life and my life. In the kitchen or the
office, or wherever we work we seem so often like slaves bound to
seems one futureless round of drudgery. We wonder why. We often
look across the street and see somebody who lives a happier life.
That one is chained to no oar. See what a fine time they all have.
Why must we pull on the oar?
How blind we are! We can only see our own oar. We cannot see that
they, too, pull on the oar and feel the lash. Most likely they are
looking back at us and envying us. For while we envy others, others
stronger forearms. They are bands of steel that swell in the
forearms of Ben Hur. They swing those flying Arabians into the
Sooner or later you and I are to learn that Providence makes no
mistakes in the bookkeeping. As we pull on the oar, so often lashed
comes when we need every ounce. Sooner or later our chariot race is
on--when we win the victory, strike the deciding blow, stand while
That is why I thanked God as I stood at the grave of my classmate.
So even the Father of Waters has to begin as a creek. We are at the
cradle where the baby river leaps forth. We all start about alike.
to the place where all of us get sooner or later. The place where
Paul came on the road to Damascus. The place of the "heavenly vision."
want to grow? Then you will have to go south."
The little Mississippi starts south. He says to the people,
"Why, Mississippi, you are foolish. You hain't got water enough to
get out of the county." That is a fact, but he is not trying to get
out of the county. The Mississippi is only trying to go south.
know that he has to go hundreds of miles south. He is only trying
to go south. He has not much water, but he does not wait for a
relative to die and bequeath him some water. That is a beautiful
thought! He has water enough to start south, and he does that.
of what it seems to me our lives should be. I hear a great many
We do not have to figure out how far we have to go, nor how many
supplies we will need along the way. All we have to do is to start
and we will find the resources all along the way. We will grow as
we flow. All of us can start! And then go on south!
Success is not tomorrow or next year. Success is now. Success is
Minnesota as well as on south.
You and I sooner or later hear the call, "Go on south." If we
haven't heard it, let us keep our ear to the receiver and live a
more natural life, so that we can hear the call. We are all called.
It is a divine call--the call of our unfolding talents to be used.
2. He overcomes his obstacles and develops his power.
The Mississippi gets to St. Paul and Minneapolis. He is a great
goes on south to St. Louis. He is a wonderful river now. But he
does not stop. He goes on south and grows greater.
Do you know why the Mississippi goes on south? To continue to be
the Mississippi. If he should stop and stagnate, he would not be
they stop and stagnate, they die.
You and I start well. We go on south a little ways, and then we
knee-pants achievement, some kindergarten touchdown, succumb to
their press notices. Their friends crowd around them to congratulate
canned. They think they have gotten to the Gulf of Mexico when they
We can protect ourselves fairly well from our enemies, but heaven
deliver us from our fool friends.
Success is so hard to endure. We can endure ten defeats better than
one victory. Success goes to the head and defeat goes to "de feet."
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.
The mass of the human family never go on south far enough to
smattering and squeeze into the bottom position and never go on
south to efficiency and promotion. They wonder why their genius is
think that is being a stenographer, when it is merely a symptom of
Nine out of ten workmen cannot be trusted to do what they advertise
to do, because they have never gone south far enough to become
Half of our life is spent in getting competents to repair the
No matter how well equipped you are, you are never safe in your job
if you are contented to do today just what you did yesterday.
Contented to think today what you thought yesterday.
You must go on south to be safe.
I used to know a violinist who would say, "If I were not a genius,
I could not play so well with such little practice." The poor
fellow did not know how poor a fiddler he really was. Well did
is the opiate that Nature administers to deaden the pains of mediocrity.
Just because our hair gets frosty or begins to rub off in spots, we
are so prone to say, "I am aging rapidly." It pays to advertise. We
We say, "I've seen my best days." And the undertaker goes and
Go on south! We have not seen our best days. This is the best day
so far, and tomorrow is going to be better on south.
We are only children in God's great kindergarten, playing with our
best. I hope he says, "I am just beginning. Just beginning to
understand. Just beginning to know about life."
We are not going on south to old age, we are going on south to
eternal youth. It is the one who stops who "ages rapidly." Each day
We have left nothing behind but the husks. I would not trade this
Gray hairs are silver headmarks in our education as we go on south.
worry. Do you know why corporations sometimes say they do not want
to employ gray-headed men? They have found that so many of them
These same corporations send out Pinkertons and pay any price for
The most wonderful person in the world is the one who has lived
whole world going to that person for direction, advice, vision,
I am happy today as I look back over my life. I have been trying to
lecture a good while. I am almost ashamed to tell you how long, for
I ought to know more about it by this time. But when anybody says,
"I heard you lecture twenty years ago over at----" I stop him.
"Please don't throw it up to me now. I am just as ashamed of it as
you are. I am trying to do better now."
O, I want to forget all the past, save its lessons. I am just
beginning to live. If anybody wants to be my best friend, let him
come to me and tell me how to improve--what to do and what not to
do. Tell me how to give a better lecture.
Years ago a bureau representative who booked me told me my lectures
were good enough. I told him I wanted to get better lectures, for
I was so dissatisfied with what little I knew. He told me I could
never get any better. I had reached my limit. Those lectures were
the "limit." I shiver as I think what I was saying then. I want to
the people on the platform who were contented with their offerings,
were not trying to improve them, and were lost in admiration of
what they were doing, did not stay long on the platform. I have
invectives against the bureaus and ungrateful audiences that were
Birthdays are not annual affairs. Birthdays are the days when we
have a new birth. The days when we go on south to larger visions.
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
boots. He just hibernated and "chawed on."
The more birthdays we have, the nearer we approach eternal youth!
years are nothing to me."
Senator Henry Gassaway Davis, West Virginia's Grand Old Man, at
at ninety-two--just a short time before his passing--he went out to
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
getting up. I'm too old. When you get as old as I am, you'll not
"Senator, I'm old in body and old in spirit. I'm past sixty."
"My boy," laughed Senator Davis, "I was an Odd Fellow before
you were born."
The senator at ninety-two was younger than the man "past sixty,"
Mr. Edison invented into the meeting at Lakeside, Ohio. The people
You would laugh at it today. It had a tinfoil cylinder, it
screeched and stuttered. You would not have it in your barn today
to play to your ford!
Thomas Alva Edison. He had gotten to St. Paul, and he went on
south. A million people would have stopped there and said, "I have
Mr. Edison has said that his genius is mainly his ability to keep
on south. A young lady succeeded in getting into his laboratory the
other day, and she wrote me that the great inventor showed her one
the face of seven thousand failures. Today he brings forth a
diamond-pointed phonograph. I am sure if we could bring Mr. Edison
to this platform and ask him, "Have you succeeded?" he would say
what he has said to reporters and what he said to the young lady,
me how much there is yet to do."
What a difference between "ed" and "ing"! The difference between
started south. It took him eighty years to get ready. Moses did not
eighty. He went on south into the extra editions after that!
If Moses had retired at seventy-nine, we'd never have heard of him.
If Moses had retired to a checkerboard in the grocery store or to
Imagine Moses living today amidst the din of the high school
are going down hill at fifty. Imagine Moses living on "borrowed
what is this we hear? You going to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land?
You are liable to drop off any minute. Here is a pair of slippers.
I think I would hear Moses say, "No, no, I am just beginning to see
what to do. Watch things happen from now on. Children of
"Well, he ought to be dead, for he is old enough."
They appoint a committee to bury Moses. You cannot do anything in
to General Moses' private office. It is his busy day. They have to
stand in line and wait their turn. When they get up to Moses' desk,
The committee begins to weep. "General Moses, you are a very old
man. You are eighty-five years old and full of honors. We are the
committee duly authorized to give you gorgeous burial. The funeral
is to be next Thursday. Kindly die."
who is too busy to attend his own funeral! You cannot bury anybody
to hold that funeral until I get this work pushed off so I can
attend it. I haven't even time to think about getting old."
is a hundred and twenty. Even then I read, "His eye was not dim,
nor his natural force abated." He had not time to stop and abate.
irreverence. It is joyful reverence. It is the message to all of
us, Go on south to the greater things, and get so enthused and
absorbed in our going that we'll fool the "committee."
They were afraid to go on south. Only two of them went on south--
The Indians once owned America. But they failed to go on south.
So another crop of Americans came into the limelight. If we modern
Americans do not go on south we will join the Indians, the auk
live on "borrowed time."
They generally discover the world is "going to the dogs." They cry
on my shoulder, no matter how good clothes I wear.
not time to look back and see how anybody uses him.
They say, "I wish I were a child again. I was happy when I was a
Wake up! Your clock has run down. Anybody who wants to be a child
the horrors of childhood could not be hired to live it over again.
I often wonder how I ever lived thru my childhood. I would not take
my chances living it thru again. I am not ungrateful to my parents.
about all there was to inherit. I cannot remember when I was not
hungry. I used to go around feeling like the Mammoth Cave, never
children going sadly into the next room to "wait till the second
that my heart does not go out to them. I remember when I did that.
"quart'ly meeting day." We always had a big dinner on "quart'ly
Berry, but being "presiding elder," we called him Elder Berry.
to get to stay for dinner I ever saw.
Mother would stay home from "quart'ly meeting" to get the big
at the last donation. We had one of those stretchable tables,
jelly. We had so much jelly--red jelly, and white jelly, and blue
had it we had it on that table. All the jelly that ever "jelled"
was represented. I didn't know we had so much jelly till "quart'ly
jelly tremble? I used to think it ought to tremble, for Elder Berry
I would see mother put on the tallest pile of mashed potatoes you
ever saw. She would make a hollow in the top and fill it with
would say, "Hurry, mother, it is going to spill!" O, how I wanted
to spill it! I could hardly hold out faithful.
nearest the fried chicken. The "company" would sit down. I used to
wonder why we never could have a big dinner but what a lot of
"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,
The hungriest one of that assemblage would have to go in the next
you felt like the Mammoth Cave? I used to think as I would sit in
the neck! And I would hear them say, "Elder Berry, may we help you
to another piece of the chicken?"
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.
He would say, "My boy, I want you to have a good time now." Now!
and today is the best day of all. Go on south!
circumference. But every year we go south increases our capacity
for joy. Our life is one continual unfolding as we go south.
Afterwhile this old world gets too small for us and we go on south
into a larger one.
So we cannot grow old. Our life never stops. It goes on and on
forever. Anything that does not stop cannot grow old or have age.
Material things will grow old. This stage will grow old and stop.
This hall will grow old and stop. This house we live in will grow
old and stop. This flesh and blood house we live in will grow old
and stop. This lecture even will grow old--and stop! But you and I
living as long as God lives.
I am not worried today over what I do not know. I used to be
worried. I used to say, "I have not time to answer you now!" But
today it is such a relief to look people in the face and say,
And I have to say that to many questions, "I do not know." I often
would not stay to hear me.
But some day I shall know! I patiently wait for the answer. Every
day brings the answer to something I could not answer yesterday.
It will take an eternity to know an infinity!
What a wonderful happiness to go on south to it!
Overcoming Obstacles Develops Power
way. You and I find obstacles along our way south. What shall we do?
Go to Keokuk, Iowa, for your answer.
obstacle and sweeps over it on south.
Over the great power dam at Keokuk sweeps the Mississippi. And then
power to vitalize the valley. A hundred towns and cities radiate
the light and power from the struggle. The great city of St. Louis,
many miles away, throbs with the victory.
So that is why they spent the millions to build the obstacle--to
get the light and the power. The light and the power were latent in
the river, but it took the obstacle and the overcoming to develop
We develop our light and power. We are rivers of light and power,
but it is all latent and does no good until we overcome obstacles
as we go on south.
Obstacles are the power stations on our way south!
And where the most obstacles are, there you find the most power to
be developed. So many of us do not understand that. We look
southward and we see the obstacles in the road. "I am so
of light and power in you to be developed. If you see no obstacles,
you are confessing to blindness.
shall have no more obstacles to overcome!" When that time comes,
The fact that we are not buried is no proof that we are alive. Go
along the street in almost any town and see the dead ones. There
they are decorating the hitching-racks and festooning the
storeboxes. There they are blocking traffic at the postoffice and
have quit work and moved to town to block improvements and die. But
Usually the deadest loafer is married to the livest woman. Nature
tries to maintain an equilibrium.
trying to go on south. They say of the people trying to do things.
"Aw, he's always tryin' to run things."
They do not join in to promote the churches and schools and big
because they "take money outa town." They do not take any of their
money "outa town." Ringling and Barnum & Bailey get theirs.
I do not smile as I refer to the dead. I weep. I wish I could
squirt some "pep" into them and start them on south.
But all this lecture has been discussing this, so I hurry on to the
Here we come to the most wonderful and difficult thing in life. It
its foul, muddy, poisonous streams back upon the Mississippi to
all the prosperity they have, gives them power to turn their mills.
benefactor.
does not say, "I am not appreciated. My genius is not understood.
I am not going a step farther south. I am going right back to Lake
Itasca." No, he does not even go to live with his father-in-law.
Civilization conspires to defeat the Mississippi. Chicago's
those streams that unite to form the treacherous, sinful,
irresponsible lower Missouri; the big, muddy Ohio, the Arkansas,
the Red, the black and the blue floods--all these pour into the
Wonderful the book in the running brook! We let our life stream
become poisoned by bitter memories and bitter regrets. We carry
us, that sometimes we are bank to bank full of poison and a menace
to those around us. We say, "I can forgive, but I cannot forget."
sweet again. We forget what we ought to remember and remember what
we ought to forget. We need schools of memory, but we need schools
Don't wait to be thanked. Hurry on to avoid the kick! Do good to
others because that is the way to be happy, but do not wait for a
We get so discouraged. We say, "I have gone far enough south."
There is nobody who does not have that to meet. The preacher, the
teacher, the editor, the man in office, the business man, the
father and mother--every one who tries to carry on the work of the
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
Stop! You are not saying that. The evil one is whispering that into
your heart. His business is to stop you from going south. His most
successful tool is discouragement, which is a wedge, and if he can
get the sharp edge started into your thought, he is going to drive
it to live. You do it to remain a living river and not a stagnant,
Almost everybody is deceived. We work from mixed motives. We fool
ourselves that we are working to do good, when as we do the good,
if we are not praised or thanked for it, if people do not present
us a medal or resolutions, we want to quit. That is why there are
for outside thanks instead of inside thanks. They were trying to
O, how easy it is to say these things, and how hard it is to do them!
was riding stopped in Louisiana. We had come to a river so great
science has not yet been able to put a bridge across it.
ferry-boat, I could look down into the lordly river and then far
north perhaps fifteen hundred miles to the little struggling
knocks, and saw that you never stopped going southward.
And may we read it into our own lives. May we get the vision of
which way to go, and then keep on going south--on and on, overcoming,
Where shall we stop going south? At the Gulf of Mexico?
until he reaches the gulf. Then he pushes right on into the gulf as
many miles right out into the gulf.
And when he comes to the end of his physical banks, he pushes on
south into the gulf, and goes on south round and round the globe.
When you and I come to our Gulf of Mexico, we must push right on
south. So we push our physical banks years farther into the gulf.
And when physical banks fail, we go on south beyond this mere husk,
into the great Gulf of the Beyond, to go on south unfolding thru eternity.
WE NEVER STOP GOING SOUTH.
The Defeats that are Victories
HOW often we say, "I wish I had a million!" Perhaps it is a
blessing that we have not the million. Perhaps it would make us
lazy, selfish and unhappy. Perhaps we would go around giving it to
other people to make them lazy, selfish and unhappy.
O, the problem is not how to get money, but how to get rid of
money with the least injury to the race!
itself and the tabby cat has its million. So the tabby cat has to
be doctored by specialists.
If the burden were lifted from most of us we would go to wreck.
When you hear the orator speak and you note the ease and power of
preparing? Do you ever think of the times that orator tried to
speak when he failed and went back to his room in disgrace,
necessary to produce that finish and grace? That is the story of
the actor, the author and every other one of attainment.
climates, produce the weakest peoples? Do you note that the
blessings in disguise. People go to the devil with full pockets;
they turn to God when hunger hits them. "Is not this Babylon that
drinks to his gods. Then must come the Needful and Needless Knocks
handwriting upon the wall to save him.
You have to shoot many men's eyes out before they can see. You have
to crack their heads before they can think, knock them down before
Do you remember that they had to lock John Bunyan in Bedford jail
that some of us will have to go to jail to do our best work.
remembered had he lived the life of luxury planned for him? He had
to be blinded before he could see the way to real success. He had
to be scourged and fettered to become the Apostle to the Gentiles.
He, too, had to be sent to prison to write his immortal messages to
relatives and friends say, "Success to you!" I shall take your hand
and say, "Defeat to you! And struggles to you! And bumps to you!"
For that is the only way to say, "Success to you!"
O UNIVERSITY OF HARD KNOCKS, we learn to love you more with each
passing year. We learn that you are cruel only to be kind. We learn
be bumped to see this!
I know no better way to close this lecture than to tell you of a
tho twelve years of my life had dropped out of it, and had been
Were you ever bumped so hard you were numb? I was numb. I wondered
why I was living. I thought I had nothing more to live for. When a
dog is wounded he crawls away alone to lick his wounds. I felt like
the wounded dog. I wanted to crawl away to lick my wounds.
That is why I climbed Mount Lowe that day. I wanted to get alone.
It is a wonderful experience to climb Mount Lowe. The tourists go
up half a mile into Rubio Canyon, to the engineering miracle, the
hundred feet up the side of a granite cliff, to the top of Echo Mountain.
Mount Lowe. Here they take an electric car that winds five miles on
towards the sky. There is hardly a straight rail in the track.
There are places where the tourist wants to grasp his seat and
lift. There is a wooden shelf nailed to the side of the perpendicular
He looks over the edge of the shelf downward, and then turns to the other
side to look at the face of the cliff they are hugging, and discovers
there is no place to resign!
The car is five thousand feet high where it stops on that last shelf,
upward from Alpine Tavern to the summit. It is three miles long
To go up that last eleven hundred feet and stand upon the flat rock
at the summit of Mount Lowe is to get a picture so wonderful it
lived. On a pure, clear day one looks down this sixty-one hundred
feet, more than a mile, into the orange belt of Southern California.
field-glass sweeps one panoramic picture of a hundred miles or more.
Just below is Pasadena and Los Angeles. To the westward perhaps
forty miles is the blue stretch of the Pacific Ocean, on westward
one could throw a pebble over into it. How a mountain does reduce
distances. You throw the pebble and it falls upon your toes!
And Mount Lowe is but a shelf on the side of the higher Sierras.
The granite mountains rise higher to the northward, and to the east
rises "Old Baldy," twelve thousand feet high and snow eternally
All alone I scrambled up that three-mile trail to the summit. All
alone I stood upon the flat rock at the summit and looked down into
the swimming distances. I did not know why I had struggled up into
over me, and there were millions of miles of sunshine above me. I
A great light seemed to break over my stormswept soul. I am under
the clouds of trouble today, BUT THE SUN IS SHINING!
I must go on up the mountain to see it.
The years have been passing, the stormclouds have many times hidden
matter how black and sunless today, when I have struggled on up the
struggles fit into a divine engineering plan to soften the
so important down in the smudgy, stormswept valley, seem so
unimportant as we go higher up the mountain to more important
Today I look back to the bump that sent me up Mount Lowe. I did not
see how I could live past that bump. The years have passed and I now
gate, but it opened another gate to a better pathway up the mountain.
Late that day I was clambering down the side of Mount Lowe. Down in
the valley below me I saw shadows. Then I looked over into the
southwest and I could see the sun going down. I could see him sink
lower and lower until his red lips kissed the cheek of the Pacific.
people were saying, "The sun doesn't shine." But it was not night
where I stood. I was farther up the mountain. I turned and looked
up to the summit. The beams of the setting sun were yet gilding
Mount Lowe's summit. It was night down in the valley, but it was
day on the mountain top!
Child of humanity, are you in the storm? Go on upward. Are you in
For the peace and the light are always above the storm and the
I am going on upward. Take my hand and let us go together. Mount Lowe
showed the way that dark day. There I heard the "sermons in stones."
material things where the storms have raged.
But I shall be on the mountain top. I shall look down upon the
night, as I am learning to climb and look down upon the storms. I
shall be in the new day of the mountain-top, forever above the night.
I shall find this mountain-top just another shelf on the side of
the first mile. I shall have millions of miles yet to rise.
entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared
We are not growing old. We are going up to Eternal Life.
Turning work Into Play
happiness now in our work, and not tomorrow for our work.
ought to buy them by the gross and send them to their friends."
"The Big Business of Life is a real joy to read. It is big and
ought to be read today and tomorrow and forevermore every
"In The Big Business of Life we have the practical philosophy
that it is everyone's business to abolish work and turn this
world into a playground. Who will not confess that many
mortals take their work too seriously, and that to them it is a
joyless, cheerless thing? To be able to find happiness, and to
find it when we are bending to our duties is to possess the
secret of living to the full. And happiness is to be sought
a world of good to learn. It recalls the saying of the wise man
mighty hard to beat.
It's Up To You!
The Best is Yet to Come
These booklets by Ralph Parlette are short stories adapted from
bought 1000 copies of the booklet "It's Up to You!" and of it he
says. "Parlette's Beans and Nuts is just as good as the Message to
to business men, to young fellows, bond salesmen and such, to our
own vice president, and they all want another copy to send to some
Up to You!" for their workers.
one of the great stories of the day."
Mississippi River story together and we were thoroly delighted."
Instruct us to send one of these booklets to your friends. It will
Inertia
the gateways to hell. And in his Universal Prayer, Gurudev prays
that we may be freed from egoism, lust, greed, hatred, anger and
things that we consider to be our worst enemies from a spiritual
However, perhaps from the point of view of a spiritual teacher,
these types of sins can be secondary to habits and ways of living
that we don't consider to be a problem. As an analogy, a
their desire to find a comfort level. The one thing that is most
difficult to fight is inertia—people being satisfied where they
are and no longer being willing to improve and advance.
against the well-known sins, yet surrounding them they tolerate
people who are not living up to the virtues that they are preaching.
willing to change then there is always hope, but if they are self-
of view they are hopeless because they are not willing to move. In
Our spiritual teachers, gurus, and the scriptures are calling us to
an entirely different view of life. We are basing our life on an
identity with a body and mind; our only concern is that we get what
we want. From their higher point of view, that is the ultimate sin.
The thing that counts is that we be flexible enough to move, that we
surrender ourselves to that one Spirit that is the Indweller of all
Therefore, each one of us must constantly examine our lives. Have we
found a comfort level? Are we no longer willing to change? Have we
spiritual life. As long as we are willing to move, anything is
possible. All goals are possible. If we have reached a comfort
level, if inertia has set in, then we can dream as much as we want
about spiritual progress, but it is not likely to happen. We must be
willing to change, and that is what all the scriptures and all our
gurus are calling us to. That has always been their central message.
Ten ways to enhance your family dinnertime
[Health] > Ten ways to enhance your family dinnertime
In the harried lifestyle we live, one of the first casualties can be dinnertime.Everyone is busy, the schedules are different, the TV is on and the phone is ringing. So many nights' dinners are eaten on the run, or in front of the TV screen.
But we forget the high price in terms of health and happiness that is being paidwhen dinners are undermined. Besides, a lot can be gained when dinner times are treated as special times. Treat your dinnertime as a sacred time for you and yourfamily and you will see the rewards right away.
Besides the obvious advantage of offering a prayer before we eat, it also gives a couple of minutes to quiet down before we begin. In Ayurveda it has been said that it is not only what you eat, but also when you eat, what kind of emotional status you are in when you eat, and whom you eat with helps us digest our food better. So by doing a small prayer will help you calm down and see dinner as what it really is - a ritual.
2. Offer the food to the deity of your choice
This is similar to the point made earlier. Offering your food to the family deity can bring a sense of sacredness to your meals. In Hindu philosophy, food (anna)holds a sacred place. Treating food that is going to nourish you, with respect makes sense. This is especially important for young children to learn in times when their choice seems to rule on the dinner table.
Another obvious yet rarely practiced habit is to turn off the TV while eating dinner. If your household is one such household, practice it for a week and see how much difference it makes. You will find that every one is paying attention to what they are eating. Even the dinnertime talk seems to take better shape when the environment is quiet. Tell everyone that dinner is a special time and you insist that it should be treated as such.
While this should be something natural, we learn to eat at any odd time. One way to accomplish this is to make sure that at least one or two hours before dinner there is no snacking. This can be slightly difficult to adhere to if your children are very little, or if they are used to eating snack at anytime or if you come home from work late and the dinner is a few hours away but if you can make this possible, you reap good results.
Another small ritual but a good habit nonetheless. Every one should only go to the dinner table after washing their hands. Washing your hands not only help you in getting rid of the germs and bacteria but also puts you in the clean mood to enjoy the food you are about to have.
6. Place fresh flowers or light candles on the table whenever possible
Often flowers from your own garden can do the job. They do not have to be very expensive or special but a small bunch of flowers make the environment much nicer to eat in. If flowers are not practical, light a candle.Think about it. All day we work so that we can have a nice meal at the end of the day and a healthy body through out our lives. So make that meal a special thing that you do at the end of the day.
It has been said that by offering your food to someone before you consume it, you are contributing to the world around you. So if you have a pet, make it a routine to feed him first.
Sitting down to eat makes your meals special. It also helps if you are trying to lose weight. Treating your food with respect will make you more aware of how much you eat and when.
9. Decide a dinner topic ahead of time
This works very well if your family consists of young, school-going children. Pre-assign dinner topics such as current events every Monday, new science invention every Tuesday and have everyone say something about the topic. Be careful not to turn this into a one-sided lecture. There is so much learning that happens through these topics. Be creative about these topics: music, science, politics, family, health, and food.... the list can be endless.
Although this is obvious and has been covered in the points above, I wanted to bring special attention to this. For one, this happens more often than not. It should be a ground rule in any family that whoever has prepared this food has put a lot of time, energy and love into the food. Criticizing the food is like insulting someone who has gone out of his or her way to make this food for your consumption.
Selfish
to condemn him, to abuse him. He stands there listening to their abuse, their
feels angry. Because they were born into a royal family: they were warriors, their
whole training was to fight. But because Gautam Buddha is present, he controls
Gautam Buddha said to them, "You see that the sun is going to set soon, and we have
to reach the other village before the sun sets. If you have not finished all that
you wanted to say to me, I will make a point that when I return I set aside enough
time to listen to you again. And in two days, I will be returning along the same
One man from the crowd said, "You don't seem to be disturbed at all. And we are not
just saying things to you -- we are abusing you, insulting you."
you would not have gone back alive. I am also a warrior. There would have been
bloodshed here; not a single man in this crowd would have gone back alive. But you
"In the village just before this village, people came with sweets and fruits. And we
said, `We eat only once a day, and we have taken our food, so it would be very kind
if you would take these things back with you. We are grateful.' What do you think
they did with those sweets and those fruits?"
it, you are just talking into the air. Just go home and say all these things to each
They were shocked, and they could not believe -- what kind of man is this? When they
moved on, Ananda said to Buddha, "This is too much. There were moments when I was
going to jump and hit the man! Just because of you, I tried to control my
Buddha said -- and remember it -- he said: "What those people were saying has not
are not aware enough to know what to take and what not to take? Can't you
I want you not to become missionaries, I want you to become messages.
Whatever you want to spread must be your living experience.
Change
Mahatma Gandhi: You must be the change you wish to see in the world
the gateways to hell. And in his Universal Prayer, Gurudev prays
that we may be freed from egoism, lust, greed, hatred, anger and
things that we consider to be our worst enemies from a spiritual
However, perhaps from the point of view of a spiritual teacher,
these types of sins can be secondary to habits and ways of living
that we don't consider to be a problem. As an analogy, a
their desire to find a comfort level. The one thing that is most
difficult to fight is inertia-people being satisfied where they
are and no longer being willing to improve and advance.
against the well-known sins, yet surrounding them they tolerate
people who are not living up to the virtues that they are preaching.
willing to change then there is always hope, but if they are self-
of view they are hopeless because they are not willing to move. In
Our spiritual teachers, gurus, and the scriptures are calling us to
an entirely different view of life. We are basing our life on an
identity with a body and mind; our only concern is that we get what
we want. From their higher point of view, that is the ultimate sin.
The thing that counts is that we be flexible enough to move, that we
surrender ourselves to that one Spirit that is the Indweller of all
Therefore, each one of us must constantly examine our lives. Have we
found a comfort level? Are we no longer willing to change? Have we
spiritual life. As long as we are willing to move, anything is
possible. All goals are possible. If we have reached a comfort
level, if inertia has set in, then we can dream as much as we want
about spiritual progress, but it is not likely to happen. We must be
willing to change, and that is what all the scriptures and all our
gurus are calling us to. That has always been their central message.
Robert Blackwill
What India Means To Me
ambassador to India. Today, I shall share with you
this address have not produced total Enlightenment.
this occasion with regard to my spiritual and
intellectual advancement. I clearly need to spend more
continuing contemplations, I am not always able to
illusion, please permit me to proceed since India is
the great storyteller, and because I am soon leaving
Shortly after my arrival, I took the train from New
Delhi to Mumbai to see and feel the land and people of
India. You must understand that I love to ride the
imagination. It...provided access to my past by
in Delhi before we begin. Learning about the seven
cities. Presenting my credentials to President
there to see her boy, Bobby Dean, on that splendid
I was astonished to find myself there. She would not
Visiting Humayun’s tomb with US Secretary of the
structure higher than twenty feet. So you see, we
architectural sweepstakes. It seems doubtful that we
Back to travelling in India. Uttar Pradesh and
Kashmir, yearning to be again a normal place. Dal
told me, was as close to heaven as one could get on
rest of my life. Someday, I am going to drive from
Manali to Leh, listening to jazz all the way. Want to
Think about it. I recall speaking to jawans on the
meaning to the word tough. Listening enraptured to a
Temple. Gyrating frenetically in a borrowed red turban
performance, but barely. However, here is a real
offer to join that dance team. I can only conclude
to locate the mysterious long legged whirling dervish
As I speak with you today, perhaps they will see me on
television and be in touch. Have no doubt. I am always
ready to dance, fast or slow. It liberates me. How
tour.
As has been said, the world is divided into two parts
have not. I am proud to be in the first, still too
of the Bhatti princes, born of the moon. Parapets into
else above the planet because they all seem to be over
to deal with the starry nights. Standing in
camel caravans coming through this desert town a
on the street might have said to me, “yes, they came
during my stay in India, I had only two hours to look.
we currently carry around with us, including
weapons of mass destruction. Ancient Christianity in
exquisite culture of Kolkata; the flowers and forests
kept me safe, and who were ready to give their lives
to protect me. Oh, this India that I have come to know
day in this country. The living symbolic power in this
better fiction today than these folks? Mesmerising
and therefore of particular meaning and comfort to me.
cloudy day. Can we move them to the Potomac to give me
one in Washington who would be grateful. Fabulous
my relatives back on the mid-West farms. Holi.
Kashmiri carpets. Weavers everywhere capturing India’s
The Monsoon that rains life into India. Surely this
people of India, which I will take back to America
and protected me - who were generous to me beyond
imagination. I could not repay their kindnesses to
Wera and me no matter how many times I was
in India, I want to deal briefly with another subject.
views against terrorism. In these feelings, to a
started to read regularly the Indian press. It was
in my office at Harvard, I began to keep a daily count
Seven on Tuesday. Fourteen on Wednesday. Five on
Thursday. Two on Friday. Day after day. Week after
week. Month after month. India’s death toll from
Cambridge, and that New England winter turned to
keeping had reached hundreds. And, for me, these were
story. Each death, I forced myself to remember, was a
Just like us, they each had a life to lead. These are
our babies, and our friends. Each had laughs to laugh.
Tears to shed. Loves to love. Meals to eat.
Accomplishments to record. Setbacks to overcome.
Places to go. Things to do. Prayers to offer. All
and against yours will not continue indefinitely. We
sometimes takes more time than we would like.
We will win the war on terrorism, and the United
States and India will win it together - because we
said, “the most sublime purpose of religion is to
teach how to know God.” India has been working on that
these two years to experience, and to profit from,
these profound wellsprings of Indian spirituality.
I will return to India. How could it be otherwise?
Thank you, my friends, for listening to these, my
20050114
complications related to diabetes. Swamiji's mortal remains were
returned to the ashram in the evening. The schedule of ceremonies has
Monastery, home of HPI. He and Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami were
Hinduism Today honoring him as "Hindu of the Year." In announcing that
award, the following article recounting Swamiji's life story was
published in the October, 2003, issue of Hinduism Today and is
A photo of Mahaswamigal is available
was dedicated. Commuting to this temple was a demanding task in those
faithful regularly visited. Prayers were answered. Some experienced the
Mother beckoning. Word spread about the power of Goddess Rajarajeswari
Mahaswamigal, popularly known as Tiruchi Swami. Hinduism Today is proud
to honor him with the Hindu Renaissance Award as Hindu of the Year
highly-placed spiritual leaders come to him for advice in difficult
casual devotees able to sense Her blessings radiating from him. He has
inspired devotees in many countries during his tours of North America
abode of Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal. A huge township now surrounds the
temple--it is even named Sri Rajarajeshwari Nagar. Well connected today
to various parts of the city by public transport, real estate values in
the township have skyrocketed.
over the country and abroad. He is well known throughout South India as
presence brings peace and serenity to the mind. He infuses confidence.
Last year, rains failed in Karnataka. The state was under pressure to
release reservoir water to its neighbor and there was political unrest.
on foot) to propitiate the rain Gods. He started his journey after
One ashram devotee, a jeweler, told me, "I've been visiting the ashram
for the last 28 years. A lot of good things have come to us with the
blessings of Swamiji. On many occasions we have escaped dangers, and we
to Maddur (60 miles from Bangalore) and, en route, I stopped to seek
Swamiji's blessings. He warned me to drive carefully. Within an hour, a
dedication. Some have stayed back to serve Kailasa Ashrama, and some
Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal was destined to be a monk. While traveling in
Kanya Kumari in South India, his parents were informed by a stranger
Subramanya, a glorious son will be born to you. He will be a teacher
and benefactor for all mankind." Born in 1929, young Palaniswami was
drawn to religious life right from his childhood. While in his
twenties, he traveled to Nepal and was initiated as Jagadguru Sri
Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal was ordained by his guru, Shivapuri Baba, to
return to India, propagate dharma and build a temple. Before returning,
Swamiji went to Mount Kailash. There, he had a vision of Goddesses
Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati, who told him, "Proceed south and
inspiration to start the ashram and temple near Bangalore.
A devotee approaching Kailasa Ashrama passes through two towering,
Yantra Shrine, spans a full six city blocks. To the left, a three-story
assembly hall, constructed to accommodate thousands during major
of bright red and yellow flowers where cool shade trees shelter three
elite guest apartments. Just inside the second gate of the twelve-acre
monastery complex, adobe shrines to Ganesha and Muniswara stand in a
wide courtyard, a giant, open well nearby. Straight ahead some 50
yards, the impressive Devi Hall, the main monastery building, towers up
four stories, a pastel pink jewel in the tropical sun. To the right of
fresh paint. To the left, Trichyswami's ever-so-simple personal
flowers. It is in the front room of this unimposing dwelling that the
swami greets guests, who sit on the cool stone floor as he gives
students in a dormitory-style pathasala.
indulging in worldly affairs and refuses to comment on matters of
their troubles. Every morning, if his health permits, Swamiji tours the
Tiruchi Mahaswamigal patiently shared his wisdom by answering a barrage
of questions posed by Hinduism Today:
HT: Why should we go to temples?
congregational get-together. At a temple, inspiration is more, and
celebration. One has to celebrate life and not lead a mechanical life.
is no discrimination between the rich and the poor. A temple provides
HT: What is Swami's advice for the young people of today?
can see it in the ashram, everyone has to work. In earlier days, one
person had to stand at the main entrance of the ashram and shout three
times, "There is no place for lazy people in Kailash Ashram." Total
HT: We see a breakdown of the family, especially both parents working.
they cannot live on the husband's salary alone?
Swamiji: If we go on increasing our wants, money will be necessary. The
more money is necessary, the feeling that another person will have to
work will come. If wants are reduced, automatically the earning will be
Swamiji: Reducing wants. Collectively, when all the people in the
will reduce their wants and automatically create a cordial atmosphere
anywhere. A person should be free to choose his own path." As far as
HT: Please speak to the Hindu world about the importance of an order
Swamiji: An order of monks has to be according to the traditions and
customs of the community. The main intention in propagating dharma is
to propagate virtuous living. We should consider the individual way of
life. One aspect of dharma to one person may not be applicable to the
other. It has to be coupled with the way of life. Disciples of Kailasa
experiments to develop medical cures. What are the moral implications?
so also is old age, disease and death. We have to accept what is
inevitable and not go out of the way to protect this frail body, which
is definitely perishable. We have to allow it to go according to the
dictates of nature and find happiness there. I am totally against this
We will do great service to nature in allowing it to maintain the
HT: What motivated you towards sannyas? As an only child, how did
parents react to your decision?
Swamiji: From childhood I had listened so much to the saints, I was
convinced that loka seva, service to humanity, is the greatest purpose
of life. That is why I took sannyas. If I was a grihastha (married
person), I may not have been able to do this. When we are holding a pot
of hot water and cannot hold it any longer, we drop it without worrying
what happens to the pot. The fingers have to be protected. Similarly, I
HT: More and more children are unhesitatingly sending their parents to
hand over the responsibilities and go to the forest--vanaprastha
ashrama. As recently as fifty years ago, too, people went away on
pilgrimage, handing over responsibility to the son once he came of age.
However, today parents do neither. Even when the son is old enough to
how we bring up our children. Children with good upbringing will never
good care of their old parents. It's all in the way we inculcate the
davewiner
http://scripting.com/2000/10/07.html ... Kishore Balakrishnan has an idea that we should all graph our mentor lists. I'm flattered that he includes me as one of his mentors, along with Jakob Nielsen. But it would be interesting to see who we all look up to. ...
http://scripting.com/2000/06.html#whatIsSoap ... On the SOAP weblog, Kishore Balakrishnan asks a fairly obvious question that has not yet been answered.
I think I can do it, in 28 words, not 25. (Note this is derived from the answer to the question on the XML-RPC website.)
"SOAP is a specification and a set of implementations that allow software running on disparate operating systems, running in different environments to make procedure calls over the Internet." ...
http://scripting.com/2000/12/02.html : .. (To Kishore, who wants Timeless Weblogs, this is how they work. Surely we can automate some or all of the work, but first, before doing that, I have to do it by hand, to understand the problem, and see where the opportunities to automate really help rather than hinder the process.) ..
http://scripting.com/2001/05/27.html .. Yesterday and today I did more marathon brainstorms with Adam Curry, and met Oliver Wrede, Kishore and Sjoerd and talked with Peter, and saw Andre and Andrea, and had great talks with Evan Williams. ..
Now-20180719
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. If you want to be remembered, help someone along.
You ought to know a lot to know how little you know
The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi via [The importance of deep work and the 30-hour method for learning a new skill|https://azeria-labs.com/the-importance-of-deep-work-the-30-hour-method-for-learning-a-new-skill/]
Etc : [anger] / [fear] / [trust] / [Money] / [Wealth] / [Freedom]
# Tim Harford - Judge the value of what you have by what you had to give up to get it - http://timharford.com/2018/05/judge-the-value-of-what-you-have-by-what-you-had-to-give-up-to-get-it/
# Frank Chimero - A modest guide to productivity - https://frankchimero.com/blog/2018/productivity-guide/
# Elon Musk on Progress Precision Profit - https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-model-3-production-goal-6000-units-per-week/
# Steve Blakeman - Are you 'weird' if you don't use Social Media? - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-weird-dont-use-social-media-steve-blakeman/ ... One of my closest pals chooses to abstain from all forms of social interaction online. He is smart, funny and gregarious so it isn't like he has nothing interesting to impart. He is also not a technophobe either given that he has worked in the tech industry for his entire career, so he certainly isn't a luddite. He just doesn't feel the need to divulge every aspect of his life with friends and family - he would rather have a chat, face-to-face if possible and if not then via a good old fashioned phone call. And, let's be honest, is there anything wrong with that? ...
http://fullbit.ca/learning-web-development-stand-out/
To begin to work toward establishing yourself in the eternal now, first
to sit quietly each day and just be. Don't think. Don't plan. Don't
for we are accustomed to novelty and constant activity in the mind and
not to the simplicity of being. Just sit and be the energy in your
spine and head. Feel the simplicity of this energy in every atom of
or tomorrow. They don't exist, except in your ability to reconstruct the
yesterdays and to create the tomorrows. Now is the only time. This simple
exercise of sitting and being is a wonderful way to wash away the past,
but it requires a little discipline. You have to discipline every fiber
of your nerve system, work with yourself to keep the power of awareness
expanded. Regular practice of meditation will bring you intensely into
psychology and all pacifiers of the intellect. We have to practice to
is not written much about in books. If you can live in the eternity of
Visualize yourself sitting on top of a mountain. There is no place to
go except inside yourself. If you were to go down the northern side of
the mountain, you would be going into the future and its ramifications,
which are only conceptual. If you were to go down the southern side, you
would be going into the past and its similar recorded ramifications. So,
you stay where you are, at the pinnacle of consciousness, well balanced
between past and future. Everything is in its rightful place in the
of your own perfect being, learning to live in spiritual consciousness
Now-20180725
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. If you want to be remembered, help someone along.
You ought to know a lot to know how little you know
The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi via [The importance of deep work and the 30-hour method for learning a new skill|https://azeria-labs.com/the-importance-of-deep-work-the-30-hour-method-for-learning-a-new-skill/]
Etc : [anger] / [fear] / [trust] / [Money] / [Wealth] / [Freedom]
# Tim Harford - Judge the value of what you have by what you had to give up to get it - http://timharford.com/2018/05/judge-the-value-of-what-you-have-by-what-you-had-to-give-up-to-get-it/
# Frank Chimero - A modest guide to productivity - https://frankchimero.com/blog/2018/productivity-guide/
# Elon Musk on Progress Precision Profit - https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-model-3-production-goal-6000-units-per-week/
# Steve Blakeman - Are you 'weird' if you don't use Social Media? - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-weird-dont-use-social-media-steve-blakeman/ ... One of my closest pals chooses to abstain from all forms of social interaction online. He is smart, funny and gregarious so it isn't like he has nothing interesting to impart. He is also not a technophobe either given that he has worked in the tech industry for his entire career, so he certainly isn't a luddite. He just doesn't feel the need to divulge every aspect of his life with friends and family - he would rather have a chat, face-to-face if possible and if not then via a good old fashioned phone call. And, let's be honest, is there anything wrong with that? ...
http://fullbit.ca/learning-web-development-stand-out/
To begin to work toward establishing yourself in the eternal now, first
to sit quietly each day and just be. Don't think. Don't plan. Don't
for we are accustomed to novelty and constant activity in the mind and
not to the simplicity of being. Just sit and be the energy in your
spine and head. Feel the simplicity of this energy in every atom of
or tomorrow. They don't exist, except in your ability to reconstruct the
yesterdays and to create the tomorrows. Now is the only time. This simple
exercise of sitting and being is a wonderful way to wash away the past,
but it requires a little discipline. You have to discipline every fiber
of your nerve system, work with yourself to keep the power of awareness
expanded. Regular practice of meditation will bring you intensely into
psychology and all pacifiers of the intellect. We have to practice to
is not written much about in books. If you can live in the eternity of
Visualize yourself sitting on top of a mountain. There is no place to
go except inside yourself. If you were to go down the northern side of
the mountain, you would be going into the future and its ramifications,
which are only conceptual. If you were to go down the southern side, you
would be going into the past and its similar recorded ramifications. So,
you stay where you are, at the pinnacle of consciousness, well balanced
between past and future. Everything is in its rightful place in the
of your own perfect being, learning to live in spiritual consciousness
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.
Let us consider the way in which we spend our lives.
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or seared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.
There is a coarse and boisterous money-making fellow in the outskirts of our town, who is going to build a bank-wall under the hill along the edge of his meadow. The powers have put this into his head to keep him out of mischief, and he wishes me to spend three weeks digging there with him. The result will be that he will perhaps get some more money to board, and leave for his heirs to spend foolishly. If I do this, most will commend me as an industrious and hard-working man; but if I choose to devote myself to certain labors which yield more real profit, though but little money, they may be inclined to look on me as an idler. Nevertheless, as I do not need the police of meaningless labor to regulate me, and do not see anything absolutely praiseworthy in this fellow's undertaking any more than in many an enterprise of our own or foreign governments, however amusing it may be to him or them, I prefer to finish my education at a different school.
If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down!
Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now. For instance: just after sunrise, one summer morning, I noticed one of my neighbors walking beside his team, which was slowly drawing a heavy hewn stone swung under the axle, surrounded by an atmosphere of industry- his day's work begun- his brow commenced to sweat- a reproach to all sluggards and idlers- pausing abreast the shoulders of his oxen, and half turning round with a flourish of his merciful whip, while they gained their length on him. And I thought, Such is the labor which the American Congress exists to protect- honest, manly toil- honest as the day is long- that makes his bread taste sweet, and keeps society sweet- which all men respect and have consecrated; one of the sacred band, doing the needful but irksome drudgery. Indeed, I felt a slight reproach, because I observed this from a window, and was not abroad and stirring about a similar business. The day went by, and at evening I passed the yard of another neighbor, who keeps many servants, and spends much money foolishly, while he adds nothing to the common stock, and there I saw the stone of the morning lying beside a whimsical structure intended to adorn this Lord Timothy Dexter's premises, and the dignity forthwith departed from the teamster's labor, in my eyes. In my opinion, the sun was made to light worthier toil than this. I may add that his employer has since run off, in debt to a good part of the town, and, after passing through Chancery, has settled somewhere else, there to become once more a patron of the arts.
The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have been truly idle or worse. If the laborer gets no more than the wages which his employer pays him, he is cheated, he cheats himself. If you would get money as a writer or lecturer, you must be popular, which is to go down perpendicularly. Those services which the community will most readily pay for, it is most disagreeable to render. You are paid for being something less than a man. The State does not commonly reward a genius any more wisely. Even the poet laureate would rather not have to celebrate the accidents of royalty. He must be bribed with a pipe of wine; and perhaps another poet is called away from his muse to gauge that very pipe. As for my own business, even that kind of surveying which I could do with most satisfaction my employers do not want. They would prefer that I should do my work coarsely and not too well, ay, not well enough. When I observe that there are different ways of surveying, my employer commonly asks which will give him the most land, not which is most correct. I once invented a rule for measuring cord-wood, and tried to introduce it in Boston; but the measurer there told me that the sellers did not wish to have their wood measured correctly- that he was already too accurate for them, and therefore they commonly got their wood measured in Charlestown before crossing the bridge.
The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get "a good job," but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
It is remarkable that there are few men so well employed, so much to their minds, but that a little money or fame would commonly buy them off from their present pursuit. I see advertisements for active young men, as if activity were the whole of a young man's capital. Yet I have been surprised when one has with confidence proposed to me, a grown man, to embark in some enterprise of his, as if I had absolutely nothing to do, my life having been a complete failure hitherto. What a doubtful compliment this to pay me! As if he had met me half-way across the ocean beating up against the wind, but bound nowhere, and proposed to me to go along with him! If I did, what do you think the underwriters would say? No, no! I am not without employment at this stage of the voyage. To tell the truth, I saw an advertisement for able-bodied seamen, when I was a boy, sauntering in my native port, and as soon as I came of age I embarked.
The community has no bribe that will tempt a wise man. You may raise money enough to tunnel a mountain, but you cannot raise money enough to hire a man who is minding his own business. An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not. The inefficient offer their inefficiency to the highest bidder, and are forever expecting to be put into office. One would suppose that they were rarely disappointed.
Perhaps I am more than usually jealous with respect to my freedom. I feel that my connection with and obligation to society are still very slight and transient. Those slight labors which afford me a livelihood, and by which it is allowed that I am to some extent serviceable to my contemporaries, are as yet commonly a pleasure to me, and I am not often reminded that they are a necessity. So far I am successful. But I foresee that if my wants should be much increased, the labor required to supply them would become a drudgery. If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living. All great enterprises are self-supporting. The poet, for instance, must sustain his body by his poetry, as a steam planing-mill feeds its boilers with the shavings it makes. You must get your living by loving. But as it is said of the merchants that ninety-seven in a hundred fail, so the life of men generally, tried by this standard, is a failure, and bankruptcy may be surely prophesied.
Merely to come into the world the heir of a fortune is not to be born, but to be still-born, rather. To be supported by the charity of friends, or a government pension- provided you continue to breathe- by whatever fine synonyms you describe these relations, is to go into the almshouse. On Sundays the poor debtor goes to church to take an account of stock, and finds, of course, that his outgoes have been greater than his income. In the Catholic Church, especially, they go into chancery, make a clean confession, give up all, and think to start again. Thus men will lie on their backs, talking about the fall of man, and never make an effort to get up.
As for the comparative demand which men make on life, it is an important difference between two, that the one is satisfied with a level success, that his marks can all be hit by point-blank shots, but the other, however low and unsuccessful his life may be, constantly elevates his aim, though at a very slight angle to the horizon. I should much rather be the last man- though, as the Orientals say, "Greatness doth not approach him who is forever looking down; and all those who are looking high are growing poor."
It is remarkable that there is little or nothing to be remembered written on the subject of getting a living; how to make getting a living not merely holiest and honorable, but altogether inviting and glorious; for if getting a living is not so, then living is not. One would think, from looking at literature, that this question had never disturbed a solitary individual's musings. Is it that men are too much disgusted with their experience to speak of it? The lesson of value which money teaches, which the Author of the Universe has taken so much pains to teach us, we are inclined to skip altogether. As for the means of living, it is wonderful how indifferent men of all classes are about it, even reformers, so called- whether they inherit, or earn, or steal it. I think that Society has done nothing for us in this respect, or at least has undone what she has done. Cold and hunger seem more friendly to my nature than those methods which men have adopted and advise to ward them off.
The title wise is, for the most part, falsely applied. How can one be a wise man, if he does not know any better how to live than other men?- if he is only more cunning and intellectually subtle? Does Wisdom work in a tread-mill? or does she teach how to succeed by her example? Is there any such thing as wisdom not applied to life? Is she merely the miller who grinds the finest logic? It is pertinent to ask if Plato got his living in a better way or more successfully than his contemporaries- or did he succumb to the difficulties of life like other men? Did he seem to prevail over some of them merely by indifference, or by assuming grand airs? or find it easier to live, because his aunt remembered him in her will? The ways in which most men get their living, that is, live, are mere makeshifts, and a shirking of the real business of life- chiefly because they do not know, but partly because they do not mean, any better.
The rush to California, for instance, and the attitude, not merely of merchants, but of philosophers and prophets, so called, in relation to it, reflect the greatest disgrace on mankind. That so many are ready to live by luck, and so get the means of commanding the labor of others less lucky, without contributing any value to society! And that is called enterprise! I know of no more startling development of the immorality of trade, and all the common modes of getting a living. The philosophy and poetry and religion of such a mankind are not worth the dust of a puffball. The hog that gets his living by rooting, stirring up the soil so, would be ashamed of such company. If I could command the wealth of all the worlds by lifting my finger, I would not pay such a price for it. Even Mahomet knew that God did not make this world in jest. It makes God to be a moneyed gentleman who scatters a handful of pennies in order to see mankind scramble for them. The world's raffle! A subsistence in the domains of Nature a thing to be raffled for! What a comment, what a satire, on our institutions! The conclusion will be, that mankind will hang itself upon a tree. And have all the precepts in all the Bibles taught men only this? and is the last and most admirable invention of the human race only an improved muck-rake? Is this the ground on which Orientals and Occidentals meet? Did God direct us so to get our living, digging where we never planted- and He would, perchance, reward us with lumps of gold?
God gave the righteous man a certificate entitling him to food and raiment, but the unrighteous man found a facsimile of the same in God's coffers, and appropriated it, and obtained food and raiment like the former. It is one of the most extensive systems of counterfeiting that the world has seen. I did not know that mankind was suffering for want of old. I have seen a little of it. I know that it is very malleable, but not so malleable as wit. A grain of gold gild a great surface, but not so much as a grain of wisdom.
The gold-digger in the ravines of the mountains is as much a gambler as his fellow in the saloons of San Francisco. What difference does it make whether you shake dirt or shake dice? If you win, society is the loser. The gold-digger is the enemy of the honest laborer, whatever checks and compensations there may be. It is not enough to tell me that you worked hard to get your gold. So does the Devil work hard. The way of transgressors may be hard in many respects. The humblest observer who goes to the mines sees and says that gold-digging is of the character of a lottery; the gold thus obtained is not the same same thing with the wages of honest toil. But, practically, he forgets what he has seen, for he has seen only the fact, not the principle, and goes into trade there, that is, buys a ticket in what commonly proves another lottery, where the fact is not so obvious.
After reading Howitt's account of the Australian gold-diggings one evening, I had in my mind's eye, all night, the numerous valleys, with their streams, all cut up with foul pits, from ten to one hundred feet deep, and half a dozen feet across, as close as they can be dug, and partly filled with water- the locality to which men furiously rush to probe for their fortunes- uncertain where they shall break ground- not knowing but the gold is under their camp itself- sometimes digging one hundred and sixty feet before they strike the vein, or then missing it by a foot- turned into demons, and regardless of each others' rights, in their thirst for riches- whole valleys, for thirty miles, suddenly honeycombed by the pits of the miners, so that even hundreds are drowned in them- standing in water, and covered with mud and clay, they work night and day, dying of exposure and disease. Having read this, and partly forgotten it, I was thinking, accidentally, of my own unsatisfactory life, doing as others do; and with that vision of the diggings still before me, I asked myself why I might not be washing some gold daily, though it were only the finest particles- why I might not sink a shaft down to the gold within me, and work that mine. There is a Ballarat, a Bendigo for you- what though it were a sulky-gully? At any rate, I might pursue some path, however solitary and narrow and crooked, in which I could walk with love and reverence. Wherever a man separates from the multitude, and goes his own way in this mood, there indeed is a fork in the road, though ordinary travellers may see only a gap in the paling. His solitary path across lots will turn out the higher way of the two.
Men rush to California and Australia as if the true gold were to be found in that direction; but that is to go to the very opposite extreme to where it lies. They go prospecting farther and farther away from the true lead, and are most unfortunate when they think themselves most successful. Is not our native soil auriferous? Does not a stream from the golden mountains flow through our native valley? and has not this for more than geologic ages been bringing down the shining particles and forming the nuggets for us? Yet, strange to tell, if a digger steal away, prospecting for this true gold, into the unexplored solitudes around us, there is no danger that any will dog his steps, and endeavor to supplant him. He may claim and undermine the whole valley even, both the cultivated and the uncultivated portions, his whole life long in peace, for no one will ever dispute his claim. They will not mind his cradles or his toms. He is not confined to a claim twelve feet square, as at Ballarat, but may mine anywhere, and wash the whole wide world in his tom.
Howitt says of the man who found the great nugget which weighed twenty-eight pounds, at the Bendigo diggings in Australia: "He soon began to drink; got a horse, and rode all about, generally at full gallop, and, when he met people, called out to inquire if they knew who he was, and then kindly informed them that he was 'the bloody wretch that had found the nugget.' At last he rode full speed against a tree, and nearly knocked his brains out." I think, however, there was no danger of that, for he had already knocked his brains out against the nugget. Howitt adds, "He is a hopelessly ruined man." But he is a type of the class. They are all fast men. Hear some of the names of the places where they dig: "Jackass Flat"- "Sheep's-Head Gully"- "Murderer's Bar," etc. Is there no satire in these names? Let them carry their ill-gotten wealth where they will, I am thinking it will still be "Jackass Flat," if not "Murderer's Bar," where they live.
The last resource of our energy has been the robbing of graveyards on the Isthmus of Darien, an enterprise which appears to be but in its infancy; for, according to late accounts, an act has passed its second reading in the legislature of New Granada, regulating this kind of mining; and a correspondent of the "Tribune" writes: "In the dry season, when the weather will permit of the country being properly prospected, no doubt other rich guacas [that is, graveyards] will be found." To emigrants he says: "do not come before December; take the Isthmus route in preference to the Boca del Toro one; bring no useless baggage, and do not cumber yourself with a tent; but a good pair of blankets will be necessary; a pick, shovel, and axe of good material will be almost all that is required": advice which might have been taken from the "Burker's Guide." And he concludes with this line in Italics and small capitals: "If you are doing well at home, STAY THERE," which may fairly be interpreted to mean, "If you are getting a good living by robbing graveyards at home, stay there."
But why go to California for a text? She is the child of New England, bred at her own school and church.
It is remarkable that among all the preachers there are so few moral teachers. The prophets are employed in excusing the ways of men. Most reverend seniors, the illuminati of the age, tell me, with a gracious, reminiscent smile, betwixt an aspiration and a shudder, not to be too tender about these things- to lump all that, that is, make a lump of gold of it. The highest advice I have heard on these subjects was grovelling. The burden of it was- It is not worth your while to undertake to reform the world in this particular. Do not ask how your bread is buttered; it will make you sick, if you do- and the like. A man had better starve at once than lose his innocence in the process of getting his bread. If within the sophisticated man there is not an unsophisticated one, then he is but one of the devil's angels. As we grow old, we live more coarsely, we relax a little in our disciplines, and, to some extent, cease to obey our finest instincts. But we should be fastidious to the extreme of sanity, disregarding the gibes of those who are more unfortunate than ourselves.
In our science and philosophy, even, there is commonly no true and absolute account of things. The spirit of sect and bigotry has planted its hoof amid the stars. You have only to discuss the problem, whether the stars are inhabited or not, in order to discover it. Why must we daub the heavens as well as the earth? It was an unfortunate discovery that Dr. Kane was a Mason, and that Sir John Franklin was another. But it was a more cruel suggestion that possibly that was the reason why the former went in search of the latter. There is not a popular magazine in this country that would dare to print a child's thought on important subjects without comment. It must be submitted to the D.D.'s. I would it were the chickadee-dees.
You come from attending the funeral of mankind to attend to a natural phenomenon. A little thought is sexton to all the world.
I hardly know an intellectual man, even, who is so broad and truly liberal that you can think aloud in his society. Most with whom you endeavor to talk soon come to a stand against some institution in which they appear to hold stock- that is, some particular, not universal, way of viewing things. They will continually thrust their own low roof, with its narrow skylight, between you and the sky, when it is the unobstructed heavens you would view. Get out of the way with your cobwebs; wash your windows, I say! In some lyceums they tell me that they have voted to exclude the subject of religion. But how do I know what their religion is, and when I am near to or far from it? I have walked into such an arena and done my best to make a clean breast of what religion I have experienced, and the audience never suspected what I was about. The lecture was as harmless as moonshine to them. Whereas, if I had read to them the biography of the greatest scamps in history, they might have thought that I had written the lives of the deacons of their church. Ordinarily, the inquiry is, Where did you come from? or, Where are you going? That was a more pertinent question which I overheard one of my auditors put to another one- "What does he lecture for?" It made me quake in my shoes.
To speak impartially, the best men that I know are not serene, a world in themselves. For the most part, they dwell in forms, and flatter and study effect only more finely than the rest. We select granite for the underpinning of our houses and barns; we build fences of stone; but we do not ourselves rest on an underpinning of granitic truth, the lowest primitive rock. Our sills are rotten. What stuff is the man made of who is not coexistent in our thought with the purest and subtilest truth? I often accuse my finest acquaintances of an immense frivolity; for, while there are manners and compliments we do not meet, we do not teach one another the lessons of honesty and sincerity that the brutes do, or of steadiness and solidity that the rocks do. The fault is commonly mutual, however; for we do not habitually demand any more of each other.
That excitement about Kossuth, consider how characteristic, but superficial, it was!- only another kind of politics or dancing. Men were making speeches to him all over the country, but each expressed only the thought, or the want of thought, of the multitude. No man stood on truth. They were merely banded together, as usual one leaning on another, and all together on nothing; as the Hindoos made the world rest on an elephant, the elephant on a tortoise, and the tortoise on a serpent, and had nothing to put under the serpent. For all fruit of that stir we have the Kossuth hat.
Just so hollow and ineffectual, for the most part, is our ordinary conversation. Surface meets surface. When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and our fellow is that he has seen the newspaper, or been out to tea, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while.
I do not know but it is too much to read one newspaper a week. I have tried it recently, and for so long it seems to me that I have not dwelt in my native region. The sun, the clouds, the snow, the trees say not so much to me. You cannot serve two masters. It requires more than a day's devotion to know and to possess the wealth of a day.
We may well be ashamed to tell what things we have read or heard in our day. I did not know why my news should be so trivial- considering what one's dreams and expectations are, why the developments should be so paltry. The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition. You are often tempted to ask why such stress is laid on a particular experience which you have had- that, after twenty-five years, you should meet Hobbins, Registrar of Deeds, again on the sidewalk. Have you not budged an inch, then? Such is the daily news. Its facts appear to float in the atmosphere, insignificant as the sporules of fungi, and impinge on some neglected thallus, or surface of our minds, which affords a basis for them, and hence a parasitic growth. We should wash ourselves clean of such news. Of what consequence, though our planet explode, if there is no character involved in the explosion? In health we have not the least curiosity about such events. We do not live for idle amusement. I would not run round a corner to see the world blow up.
All summer, and far into the autumn, perchance, you unconsciously went by the newspapers and the news, and now you find it was because the morning and the evening were full of news to you. Your walks were full of incidents. You attended, not to the affairs of Europe, but to your own affairs in Massachusetts fields. If you chance to live and move and have your being in that thin stratum in which the events that make the news transpire- thinner than the paper on which it is printed- then these things will fill the world for you; but if you soar above or dive below that plane, you cannot remember nor be reminded of them. Really to see the sun rise or go down every day, so to relate ourselves to a universal fact, would preserve us sane forever. Nations! What are nations? Tartars, and Huns, and Chinamen! Like insects, they swarm. The historian strives in vain to make them memorable. It is for want of a man that there are so many men. It is individuals that populate the world. Any man thinking may say with the Spirit of Lodin-
Calm is my dwelling in the clouds;
Pray, let us live without being drawn by dogs, Esquimaux-fashion, tearing over hill and dale, and biting each other's ears.
Not without a slight shudder at the danger, I often perceive how near I had come to admitting into my mind the details of some trivial affair- the news of the street; and I am astonished to observe how willing men are to lumber their minds with such rubbish- to permit idle rumors and incidents of the most insignificant kind to intrude on ground which should be sacred to thought. Shall the mind be a public arena, where the affairs of the street and the gossip of the tea-table chiefly are discussed? Or shall it be a quarter of heaven itself- an hypaethral temple, consecrated to the service of the gods? I find it so difficult to dispose of the few facts which to me are significant, that I hesitate to burden my attention with those which are insignificant, which only a divine mind could illustrate. Such is, for the most part, the news in newspapers and conversation. It is important to preserve the mind's chastity in this respect. Think of admitting the details of a single case of the criminal court into our thoughts, to stalk profanely through their very sanctum sanctorum for an hour, ay, for many hours! to make a very bar-room of the mind's inmost apartment, as if for so long the dust of the street had occupied us- the very street itself, with all its travel, its bustle, and filth, had passed through our thoughts' shrine! Would it not be an intellectual and moral suicide? When I have been compelled to sit spectator and auditor in a court-room for some hours, and have seen my neighbors, who were not compelled, stealing in from time to time, and tiptoeing about with washed hands and faces, it has appeared to my mind's eye, that, when they took off their hats, their ears suddenly expanded into vast hoppers for sound, between which even their narrow heads were crowded. Like the vanes of windmills, they caught the broad but shallow stream of sound, which, after a few titillating gyrations in their coggy brains, passed out the other side. I wondered if, when they got home, they were as careful to wash their ears as before their hands and faces. It has seemed to me, at such a time, that the auditors and the witnesses, the jury and the counsel, the judge and the criminal at the bar- if I may presume him guilty before he is convicted- were all equally criminal, and a thunderbolt might be expected to descend and consume them all together.
By all kinds of traps and signboards, threatening the extreme penalty of the divine law, exclude such trespassers from the only ground which can be sacred to you. It is so hard to forget what it is worse than useless to remember! If I am to be a thoroughfare, I prefer that it be of the mountain brooks, the Parnassian streams, and not the town sewers. There is inspiration, that gossip which comes to the ear of the attentive mind from the courts of heaven. There is the profane and stale revelation of the bar-room and the police court. The same ear is fitted to receive both communications. Only the character of the hearer determines to which it shall be open, and to which closed. I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality. Our very intellect shall be macadamized, as it were- its foundation broken into fragments for the wheels of travel to roll over; and if you would know what will make the most durable pavement, surpassing rolled stones, spruce blocks, and asphaltum, you have only to look into some of our minds which have been subjected to this treatment so long.
If we have thus desecrated ourselves- as who has not?- the remedy will be by wariness and devotion to reconsecrate ourselves, and make once more a fane of the mind. We should treat our minds, that is, ourselves, as innocent and ingenuous children, whose guardians we are, and be careful what objects and what subjects we thrust on their attention. Read not the Times. Read the Eternities. Conventionalities are at length as had as impurities. Even the facts of science may dust the mind by their dryness, unless they are in a sense effaced each morning, or rather rendered fertile by the dews of fresh and living truth. Knowledge does not come to us by details, but in flashes of light from heaven. Yes, every thought that passes through the mind helps to wear and tear it, and to deepen the ruts, which, as in the streets of Pompeii, evince how much it has been used. How many things there are concerning which we might well deliberate whether we had better know them- had better let their peddling-carts be driven, even at the slowest trot or walk, over that bride of glorious span by which we trust to pass at last from the farthest brink of time to the nearest shore of eternity! Have we no culture, no refinement- but skill only to live coarsely and serve the Devil?- to acquire a little worldly wealth, or fame, or liberty, and make a false show with it, as if we were all husk and shell, with no tender and living kernel to us? Shall our institutions be like those chestnut burs which contain abortive nuts, perfect only to prick the fingers?
America is said to be the arena on which the battle of freedom is to be fought; but surely it cannot be freedom in a merely political sense that is meant. Even if we grant that the American has freed himself from a political tyrant, he is still the slave of an economical and moral tyrant. Now that the republic- the respublica- has been settled, it is time to look after the res-privata- the private state- to see, as the Roman senate charged its consuls, "ne quid res-PRIVATA detrimenti caperet," that the private state receive no detriment.
Do we call this the land of the free? What is it to be free from King George and continue the slaves of King Prejudice? What is it to be born free and not to live free? What is the value of any political freedom, but as a means to moral freedom? Is it a freedom to be slaves, or a freedom to be free, of which we boast? We are a nation of politicians, concerned about the outmost defences only of freedom. It is our children's children who may perchance be really free. We tax ourselves unjustly. There is a part of us which is not represented. It is taxation without representation. We quarter troops, we quarter fools and cattle of all sorts upon ourselves. We quarter our gross bodies on our poor souls, till the former eat up all the latter's substance.
With respect to a true culture and manhood, we are essentially provincial still, not metropolitan- mere Jonathans. We are provincial, because we do not find at home our standards; because we do not worship truth, but the reflection of truth; because we are warped and narrowed by an exclusive devotion to trade and commerce and manufactures and agriculture and the like, which are but means, and not the end.
So is the English Parliament provincial. Mere country bumpkins, they betray themselves, when any more important question arises for them to settle, the Irish question, for instance- the English question why did I not say? Their natures are subdued to what they work in. Their "good breeding" respects only secondary objects. The finest manners in the world are awkwardness and fatuity when contrasted with a finer intelligence. They appear but as the fashions of past days- mere courtliness, knee-buckles and small-clothes, out of date. It is the vice, but not the excellence of manners, that they are continually being deserted by the character; they are cast-off-clothes or shells, claiming the respect which belonged to the living creature. You are presented with the shells instead of the meat, and it is no excuse generally, that, in the case of some fishes, the shells are of more worth than the meat. The man who thrusts his manners upon me does as if he were to insist on introducing me to his cabinet of curiosities, when I wished to see himself. It was not in this sense that the poet Decker called Christ "the first true gentleman that ever breathed." I repeat that in this sense the most splendid court in Christendom is provincial, having authority to consult about Transalpine interests only, and not the affairs of Rome. A praetor or proconsul would suffice to settle the questions which absorb the attention of the English Parliament and the American Congress.
Government and legislation! these I thought were respectable professions. We have heard of heaven-born Numas, Lycurguses, and Solons, in the history of the world, whose names at least may stand for ideal legislators; but think of legislating to regulate the breeding of slaves, or the exportation of tobacco! What have divine legislators to do with the exportation or the importation of tobacco? what humane ones with the breeding of slaves? Suppose you were to submit the question to any son of God- and has He no children in the Nineteenth Century? is it a family which is extinct?- in what condition would you get it again? What shall a State like Virginia say for itself at the last day, in which these have been the principal, the staple productions? What ground is there for patriotism in such a State? I derive my facts from statistical tables which the States themselves have published.
A commerce that whitens every sea in quest of nuts and raisins, and makes slaves of its sailors for this purpose! I saw, the other day, a vessel which had been wrecked, and many lives lost, and her cargo of rags, juniper berries, and bitter almonds were strewn along the shore. It seemed hardly worth the while to tempt the dangers of the sea between Leghorn and New York for the sake of a cargo of juniper berries and bitter almonds. America sending to the Old World for her bitters! Is not the sea-brine, is not shipwreck, bitter enough to make the cup of life go down here? Yet such, to a great extent, is our boasted commerce; and there are those who style themselves statesmen and philosophers who are so blind as to think that progress and civilization depend on precisely this kind of interchange and activity- the activity of flies about a molasses- hogshead. Very well, observes one, if men were oysters. And very well, answer I, if men were mosquitoes.
Lieutenant Herndon, whom our government sent to explore the Amazon, and, it is said, to extend the area of slavery, observed that there was wanting there "an industrious and active population, who know what the comforts of life are, and who have artificial wants to draw out the great resources of the country." But what are the "artificial wants" to be encouraged? Not the love of luxuries, like the tobacco and slaves of, I believe, his native Virginia, nor the ice and granite and other material wealth of our native New England; nor are "the great resources of a country" that fertility or barrenness of soil which produces these. The chief want, in every State that I have been into, was a high and earnest purpose in its inhabitants. This alone draws out "the great resources" of Nature, and at last taxes her beyond her resources; for man naturally dies out of her. When we want culture more than potatoes, and illumination more than sugar-plums, then the great resources of a world are taxed and drawn out, and the result, or staple production, is, not slaves, nor operatives, but men- those rare fruits called heroes, saints, poets, philosophers, and redeemers.
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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