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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Who wants a perfect world?

Well, Everyone. We all want a perfect house, a perfect wife/husband, a perfect country, a perfect car, a perfect customer, a perfect service, a perfect life... We romanticise everything to its perfectness. we have a definition of a perfect neighbour, and if our neighbour doesn't fit the bill, we say we have a bad neighbour. We have a definition of perfectness for everything and our expectations in life have soared to such high levels we have set impossible levels for our family, friends and society to meet these standards. One of the reason for this is our growing affluence. The more affluent we are, the more higher the standards we set for ourselves and others. The more perfection we aspire in ourselves and others,the more disappointed we are going to be. 
Is life ever going to be perfect?
Well, I cannot but be the bearer of bad news. Life is never going to be perfect. All what I have ever read, been taught, experienced, have only tried to convey that life will only be imperfect. In the myriad characters of our mythologies, we see everyone has a folly and isn't perfect. In our lessons of the lives of great Inventors and discoverers, they have never been perfect, neither have their inventions and discoveries,l which, time and again have been improved upon and theories revisited with even drastically opposite views and conjectures. Even in my life, I cannot but see imperfections in all, including me. Follies, shortcomings, immaturities, misbeliefs, misunderstandings, flaws in character, like selfishness, jealousy, hatred, unwarranted bias, naivety, greed, etc., all I have ever seen is imperfections.
But there are only two things that will ever be perfect in everyone's life. It will be their father and mother. Isn't that something that we see so common amongst the myriad of shades of imperfections in this world, that everyone sees their parents as being perfect, being their source of strength, being their pillar of support, being their heroes, being their guiding light? Isn't it so singular? Why is it that everyone is able to see only their parents to be perfect, but not able to see anyone else or any other thing to be perfect? 
If we can analyse this, we can be more happy. I am not going to analyse this for you. You are better qualified for it.
Believe me, our parents know we are not perfect children, yet they choose to love us unconditionally. Isn't that the simple solution. Unconditional love. 
Can we work unconditionally for our client. can you help your friend unconditionally. Can you serve a customer unconditionally. Can we reconcile with things we have bought with our hard earned money to be perfect for the time and opportunity. Can we try and be more unconditional. Can we be more content. Can we be more humble.
The problem today is, we have even started romanticising unconditional love. We have started setting standards for our parents to meet. Isn't that a sad day.

Monday, October 22, 2012

CHANGE to ADAPT

We always find a way of doing everyday things. We establish routines. We dictate order of things, set times for doing certain things etc. In this ever changing world - not changing the way you do things is a strategy that is sure to fail. CHANGE. Not that it should be erratic by design, but systems should accommodate deviations. Generally, when more deviations are there are in our lives then it is usually termed as being unpredictable. I call it ADAPTing. Missing a mid afternoon tea or something will not spoil my day in any manner...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Destiny, Prayer & Money

Recently, there was a posting on a facebook group,
If every thing is decided by destiny then why is so much time effort and money spent on prayers?

My reply...
Are we confusing destiny and control? I mean to say, if there is something called destiny then there is no control of our lives and if we can control our life then there is no destiny. Hmmmmm... What are you seeking? Control? Ask and you shall get?..... In my experience... if you really seek answers for these kind of questions, you have stop thinking from a 'human' point of view and think globally about all life. For eg. What is the destiny of a Mango Seed? Just because we are the only sentient being that is able to communicate thoughts doesn't mean we are the only beings. Whatever rules apply to us should apply to all beings...
Also an interesting fact is that, whenever you petition to a court of law, it usually starts with, "I pray". Therefore probably the true meaning of the word 'pray' is to 'petition'. When 'pray' is religious - directed towards the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient 'God' - it too is a 'petition' to grant us his 'grace'. But, just as a judge need not answer all prayers in favour of the petitioner, so too all our 'prayers' to God need not be answered in our favour.
On the third aspect of the question, money spent, well... Generally, all money spent towards all 'religious' activities are deemed as 'charity'. Charity, to me, is when we say 'this is no longer mine'. That I do not need 'this' any longer. Just look at the way all religious prayers are held... one cannot pay for a 'pooja/homam/velvi' for another. It can be done only by oneself. It is always done with money one has earned. So whenever that person says, 'this is no longer mine', it elevates him to a more பற்றட்ட நிலை.Philosophically, we came to this world with no money and shall leave it with none - what we do in-between with the money is generally irrelevant. Whenever money is spent... it is re-distribution. As long as that happens, i would encourage more prayers.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Responsibility

Responsibility is a Huge word. I realise some of its importance as I see it encompasses a whole gamut of other characters we all should possess.
Responsibility implies duty, discipline, care, focus, among many other qualities. To act responsibly  implies that we act with reason, intelligence, love, dedication, loyalty, selflessness, nobleness, accountability, reliability, and many moral 'abilities'.
I can only imagine the depth of the word and even a thesaurus is at loss for finding equivalents.
Responsibility can probably be categorised towards 1. Oneself 2. One's Family 3. To His Occupation 4. To his Community and 5. To God. Meaning anything and everything we do, we have to do responsibly.
Responsibility is in the mind and acceptance of the extent of the responsibility one takes up lies within one's comprehension or one's capabilities, strengths & the size of his circle of love. A person who loves himself becomes knowledgeable, he who loves his family becomes respected, he who loves his Occupation becomes talented,  who loves his community becomes a leader, He who loves God becomes an enlightened soul.
Responsibility sometimes is taken willingly and sometimes thrust on someone. While some responsibility towards all of the above is always implicit, others are taken by choice. The more a person acts with selfless responsibility, more respect he/she earns. This is the self-centric view about Responsibility.
Everyone of us has a tendency to 'FIX' Responsibility on others. It is the fulfillment of these said and unsaid responsibilities that elevates respect and love towards that person.
Also that we tend to 'fix' responsibility on others of every aspect, event and incident that happens around us. The 'fixing' may be rational or emotional, and many times we tend to fix it wrongly. When answering the question,"Who is responsible for all (or each of) the problems in my life?" We generally 'fix' responsibilities irrationally. Or we 'fix' it on 'God'. Yes, God is responsible. But Where is God? God is within me. Then it necessarily follows that I am responsible for the problems in my life.
The more we learn to say 'I am responsible' the more we are likely to change and become a better person. While I have to caution that this might lead to a 'Guilt' Feeling, we have to overcome that with ways and means that should suit oneself.
To me, the goal to is to be 'Responsible' every moment of my life. God Help Me!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guru

Shri Gurubhyo Namaha
Innumerable Books - both prose & poetry have been written about the greatness of a Guru, by describing their nature, character, greatness, intellect, abilities, spirituality, practices and such attributes.


THE NEED
Saint Thyagaraja, the great music composer, says, " Guru Lekha Etuvanti Kuniki Theliyaka Podhu." Meaning that, "Without a Guru not even an iota of knowledge can be gained."  So, if we are to improve in any way, we should seek knowledge, we should seek a Guru who will teach us, we should submit ourselves to him, surrender to him, observe him, learn from him (both explicit and implicit teachings), submit ourselves to his tests, exhibit our understanding of his teachings (to which he may explain or correct us - as the case may be) and surrender to him totally. Moreover, throughout our life, we have to constantly seek his audience to guide us. As the proverb 'Learning never ends' says, it is a lifelong association we should seek. 


OSHO in answering to who is a Spiritual Master? Says, Just by being near a Guru, you become more and more aware of yourself. If you submit yourself as a real disciple - and by being a disciple, I mean being open to the presence of the master. You may be sitting before a mirror with closed eyes - then the mirror cannot show you anything. The mirror is a mirror because it does not do anything on its own. But if you are in front of the mirror with open eyes, then the mirror can show you what you want to see about yourself. Such is the presence of a Guru.


In the presence of the our Guru; Knowledge flourishes (Gyana raksha); Sorrow diminishes (Dukha kshaya); Joy wells up without any reason (Sukha aavirbhava); Abundance dawns (Samriddhi); All talents manifest (Sarva samvardhan). What more do we want...


Once my uncle said, "I have not found a Guru who is worthy enough to teach me." I am of the exact opposite view. Who are we to test the qualities of a Guru. Most of us have little or no idea on what makes a Guru. The little we know actually misguides us. Saying, 'There is no guru worthy of me' is like saying there is not a single school to teach me. Schools are abound everywhere. But we do not seek admission, nor apply for scholarship. It is the student (the disciple in this case) that makes the difference. If you are a good disciple, you will find 'teachings' everywhere.


Coming to think of it, all a Guru does is to teach you to be a disciple (or student) and in that state of humility and submission to the fact that, "I want to Learn", itself helps you learn from all around.
   
Here is what Kulanarva Tantra says..."The disciple's only essential practice is to surrender himself to his guru." 


CHARACTER of a GURU
I wish to state only that, we should not see who is saying what. Rather see the thought or advice or philosophy separate from the person who said it and accept it on its merits. It is said, ரிஷி மூலம் நதி மூலம் பார்க்க கூடாது. Meaning, a river may run through many countries / districts and many a sewage / dirty stream may mix with it. If you seek to see if the river is pure by going through its entire course, you are bound to see the dirt and pollution that is part of the river. So will you find some character flow in a Teacher if you dig deep enough into his life. But what should matter is at the point of drinking the water, taste it, if it is sweet and does no harm - drink it - do not worry about the origins of the river. Similarly look at the advice a Teacher tells you, and take it as it is. 

But I also have to say that a Guru is one who practices before he preaches, so look at his present practices (if at all you have to look to judge) rather than past actions before discarding an advice because it has been said by someone with a dubious past. Take the instance of Valmiki, a robber and hunter by nature. Are we to discard the entire Valmiki Ramayana because it was written by Valmiki? 

PHILOSOPHIES & PRACTICES of GURUS
Each Guru advocates, a particular philosophy that they hold and teach to their disciples. Sometimes there is a conflict of ideas when we see the teachings of two Gurus and we somehow start saying one philosophy is more sound than the other. What do we know, that we think we are able to stand in judgement of these Gurus. 


On the other hand, even in Pedagogy (Teaching Methods for children) it is well known fact that childrens' learning can be classified into, Visual, Auditory & Kinesthetic (tactile) learning. While some children need to see the teachings, some just need to listen, while others need to touch and feel and do to learn. Similarly, as each Disciple is different and hence, a Guru takes an individual approach to each disciple. 
I could go on, but would like to stop with a quote from Kabir...


Sab Dharti Kagaz Karoon
Lekhan Ban Raye...
Sath Samundra Ki Mas Karuoon
Guru Gun Likha Na jaye...


"Even if the whole earth is transformed into paper with all the bigtrees made into pens and if the entire water in the seven oceans aretransformed into writing ink, even then the glories of the Guru cannot be written. So much is the greatness of the Guru."


Jai Guru

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Bharathi

தேடிச் சோறுநிதந் தின்று - பல
சின்னஞ் சிறுகதைகள் பேசி - மனம்
வாடித் துன்பமிக உழன்று - பிறர்
வாடப் பலசெயல்கள் செய்து - நரை
கூடிக் கிழப்பருவ மெய்தி - கொடுங்
கூற்றுக் கிரையெனப்பின் மாயும் - பல
வேடிக்கை மனிதரைப் போலே - நான்
வீழ்வே னென்று நினைத் தாயோ?நின்னைச் சிலவரங்கள் கேட்பேன் - அவை
நேரே இன்றெனக்குத் தருவாய் - என்றன்
முன்னைத் தீயவினைப் பயன்கள் - இன்னும்
மூளா தழிந்திடுதல் வேண்டும் - இனி
என்னைப் புதியவுயி ராக்கி - எனக்
கேதுங் கவலையறச் செய்து - மதி
தன்னை மிகத்தெளிவு செய்து - என்றும்
சந்தோஷங் கொண்டிருக்கச் செய்வாய்...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Walking your life

If one has to successfully complete his life’s destiny, he has to learn to walk. Walk through the path of life. Walk across mountains, and all hurdles that life throws at us. Walk with care and walk with a steady and unwavering confidence. Learning to walk on ground is easy. But learning to walk in life is the real goal for every human being born on this Karma Bhoomi.

It is here that a real Guru plays his role. He teaches you to walk in Life. But even when we are grown as adults and we know to walk and even run on ground, in the “Walking our Life” are like a new born baby. Who cannot get from one place to another without the help of another person. To my knowledge, our Guru Plays this role to the perfection. He takes us on his shoulder. Bearing our full weight and carrying us to a point of safety. While carrying us, he ensured that he bore the brunt of the treachery of the land he was traversing. All the way describing to us how he is crossing that portion of life. While he was traversing slippery ground he proceeded with caution, while crossing hot desert sands, he proceeds with balance. While crossing thorny lands, he crosses it deligently, even getting pricked by the thorn. When he was pricked, he stopped and removed the thorn and then proceeded to carry us. He did this out of love. He did this out of his enthusiasm in helping us learn to walk in life. He carries us as if we were a child hoping we will learn someday.

We out of our ignorance and lackadaisical attitude towards learning, forget that we are forever in the process of learning and our Guru has taken the efforts to teach us. We forget he even leads by example. Showing us how to walk – rather than just tell us, he shows us. But we fail to learn. We bask in the comfort of being able to traverse difficult terrain. We forget that we have to learn when we are taught and think naively that he will carry us forever. We forget that the purpose is to teach us and not just carry us. We were supposed to learn and we fail him.

After carrying us for some distance and teaching us to walk, all he expects of us is to start walking bit by bit. Atleast tell him, “Swamiji, let me walk – leaning on to you” and he will be glad to guide us while bearing most of our weight, but with a little bit of effort from us. From there after some time, he expects us to tell him, “Swamiji, let me walk – holding your hand” and he will be glad to guide us while leading us through the path of life. After some more time, he expects us to tell him, “Swamiji - let me walk besides you” and he will be glad to keep you company and guide you by words. After a while, he expects us to tell, “Swamiji, let me walk my life, but do come to my aid when I call you” and he will be around to ensure that you don’t falter. To be guided by his thoughts. That is what is expected of us. To learn while he teaches us to walk in life.

But as we are, we refuse to learn to walk and instead, look up to him to carry us through our life. Which is neither right, nor possible. No person can carry you for life. No one else can walk for you in your life. You have to walk it. You have to traverse through the difficult walk of life. We can receive support, either physically or by words or by thoughts, but we, have to walk our life.

W have to understand, how many people can he carry physically? Only by guiding us by words and by his thoughts, can he help more people. Let us not burden him by relying on his physical help, but help him help us better, but relying on his words and thoughts.

Jai Ma.