Parental Compassion-2

The same goes for a parent-child bond as well. “Giving them whatever they want” does not necessarily make one a good parent. Kids want a lot of things. Everyone does. But that doesn’t mean that everything they desire is right for them. I’m not suggesting, even for a moment, that you become a harsh parent. It is, however, important to know where to be firm. If you keep children in touch with reality, it’ll be much easier for them to adjust in the real world when they step out.

Being god-fearing, moral, genuine etc. means you are a good person. If you are successful at work, that means you are a competent worker. If you love and care for your partner it shows you are a good husband or wife. Your competency in any area will bring you corresponding rewards. None of this implies that you are a good parent though. No doubt these factors contribute to the well-being of a family. When it comes to sound parenting, however, there’s certainly more to it than providing your children with whatever they want.

As in the anecdote above, a good parent must know when and where to be firm. To love is not to do whatever they want you to do. That has never made anyone happy in the longer term anyway. Instead, to love is to stand your ground where needed for the betterment of your children. They will express their displeasure and it requires a stone heart to see a sad child, but they’ll thank you later. Once again, I say, you don’t have to be harsh. There’s no need to shout, argue violently, or be mad at them. You can be gentle and still be firm.

Be compassionate, be firm, but do so mindfully. Just remember that no one wants to fail, no one wants to be angry or sad, or a loser. Kids have just as much pressure and stress in their lives as their parents. So go a little easy, but do so mindfully. While growing up, I don’t have even one recollection of my mother ever shouting or getting angry, and yet there were many instances when she was firm. One rule was that our report cards that required a parent’s signature would be signed by our father, for example. At times, like when score in maths or physics was the same as my dog’s age, we whined and complained but mother wouldn’t relent. It was non-negotiable. Father would sign. Eventually, we understood and aligned ourselves to score better.

“I got my report card, Dad,” 14-year-old Johnny said.

He had scored rather poorly and feared a severe reprimand. His father grabbed his specs to read the report card.

“And look what else I found, Dad!” Johnny handed him a soiled paper. “In the attic, I also chanced upon your report card when you were fourteen. We have scored at par!”

“Hmmm…” the father said comparing his own report card with his son’s. “You are absolutely right, Johnny. They almost look identical.”

Johnny beamed triumphantly.

“Therefore, son,” his father said reaching out to his slipper, “it’s only reasonable that I give you what my father gave me.”

No, Johnny didn’t get a candy or an Xbox. And no, this is not an example of parental compassion. Humor aside, the truth is, an unexpected punishment damages the relationship because the quantum of such penalty is always debatable. The terms of non-performance must be negotiated beforehand so both kids and parents know exactly what is expected from each other. It sounds obvious but you’ll be surprised to see how many parents rather than simply and gently stating their expectations start lecturing instead. I call it OLD – Obsessive Lecture Disorder. It has never helped anyone. Generally, more old a parent, more serious the OLD. A while back I wrote, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. In the same vein: old is inevitable but OLD is optional. Be gentle.

If you tackle OLD with mindfulness, understanding and practicing parental compassion, the quality of your relationship will improve immensely. They will grow up to be more fulfilled adults, more together, making our world a better place. Mindful compassion or soft discipline is not enough on its own though. (No one said it was easy.)

Om Namah Shivay

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Attitude Is Everything

I can’t overstate the importance of being able to maintain a positive attitude, but I’m the first one to admit that it’s not easy.

Wait to Worry

I used to worry. A lot. The more I fretted, the more proficient I became at it. Anxiety begets anxiety. I even worried that I worried too much! Ulcers might develop. My health could fail. My finances could deplete to pay the hospital bills.

A comedian once said, “I tried to drown my worries with gin, but my worries are equipped with flotation devices.” While not a drinker, I certainly could identify! My worries could swim, jump and pole vault!

To get some perspective, I visited a well known Dallas businessman, Fred Smith. Fred listened as I poured out my concerns and then said, “Vicki, you need to learn to wait to worry.”

As the words sank in, I asked Fred if he ever spent time fretting. (I was quite certain he wouldn’t admit it if he did. He was pretty full of testosterone–even at age 90.) To my surprise, he confessed that in years gone by he had been a top-notch worrier!

“I decided that I would wait to worry!” he explained. “I decided that I’d wait until I actually had a reason to worry–something that was happening, not just something that might happen–before I worried.”

“When I’m tempted to get alarmed,” he confided, “I tell myself, ‘Fred, you’ve got to wait to worry! Until you know differently, don’t worry.’ And I don’t. Waiting to worry helps me develop the habit of not worrying and that helps me not be tempted to worry.”

Fred possessed a quick mind and a gift for gab. As such, he became a captivating public speaker. “I frequently ask audiences what they were worried about this time last year. I get a lot of laughs,” he said, “because most people can’t remember. Then I ask if they have a current worry–you see nods from everybody. Then I remind them that the average worrier is 92% inefficient–only 8% of what we worry about ever comes true.”

Charles Spurgeon said it best. “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.”

Most of us want to be positive. It’s advantageous to possess a sunny outlook. Doors open to optimists. They make friends, earn respect, close sales, produce loyal clients, and others enjoy and want to be like them. The question is, how can we do that consistently?

Om Namah Shivay

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What according to you is the definition of love?

Q: What according to you is the definition of love?

Guruji: Very simple. That which cannot be defined is love. If you have never experienced love, there is no chance that you will experience it in the future. So there is no definition. You are made up of love my dear. This whole universe is made up of this one thing called love. And all other things are either in its pure form or distorted form.

Anger is love distorted. If you love perfection too much, then you get angry at imperfection. So that is love for perfection. Love for objects is called greed. Love for somebody can become jealousy and possessiveness. All the negativities are off springs of love. Love minus knowledge is all these problems. Love with wisdom becomes bliss.

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How to Get Centred

Shifting the awareness from the experience to the experiencer; since all the experiences are on the circumference and they keep on changing. The experiencer is at the centre. Again and again come back to the experiencer.

If you are frustrated, instead of spending all the time on the experience of frustration, ask Who is frustrated?

Similarly, If you are unhappy, ask Who is unhappy?

If you think you know something, ask Who knows it?

If you think you are enlightened, ask Who is enlightened?

If you think you are ignorant, ask Who is ignorant?

If you think you are poor me, ask Who is poor me?

If you think you are highly devoted, ask Who is devoted?

Shed all your faces and face the I. Then you have truly come to Me!

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The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price.

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Push yourself to reach your goal, and then celebrate!

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Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.

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Set a healthy boundary between your work and personal life.

Om Namah Shivay

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The S’rîmad Devî Bhâgawatam-The First Book-Chapter 5-17

THE FIRST BOOK

Chapter V

On the narrative of Hayagrîva

69-73. Sûta said :– Thus praised by the Vedas with their Angas, with Sâmagânas (the songs from the Sâma Veda), the Nirgunâ Mahes’vari Devî Mahâmâyâ became pleased. Then the auspicious voice came to them from the Heavens, gladdening all, and pleasing to the ears though no form was seen: “O Suras! Do not care anything about it; you are immortal (what fear can you have?) Come to your senses. I am very much pleased by the praise sung by the Vedas. There is no doubt in this. Amongst men, whoever will read this My stotra with devotion, will get all what he desires. Whoever will hear this devotedly, during the three Sandhyas, will lie freed from troubles and become happy. When this stotra has been sung by the Vedas, it is equivalent to the Vedas.

74-75. Does anything take place in this world without any cause? Now hear why Hari’s head was cut off. Once on a time, seeing the beautiful face of His dear wife Laksmî Devî, Hari laughed in presence of Her.

76-82. At this Laksmî Devî came to understand that “He has seen surely something ugly in my face and therefore He laughed; otherwise why my Husband would laugh at seeing me. But what reason can there be as to see ugliness in my face after so long a time. And why shall He laugh without seeing something ugly, without any cause. Or it may be, He has made some other beautiful woman as my co-wife”. Thus arguing variously in her mind, Mahâ Laksmî gradually got angry and Tamo guna slowly possessed Her. Then, by turn of Fate, in order that god’s work might be completed, very fierce Tamas Sakti entered into Her body. She got very angry and slowly said :– “Let Thy head fall off”. Thus, owing to feminine nature and the destiny of Bhagvan, Laksmî cursed without any thought of good or bad, causing Her own suffering. By the Tâmasî S’akti possessing Her, she thought that a co-wife would be more painful than Her widowhood and thus She cursed Him.

83-86. Falsehood, vain boldness, craftiness, stupidity, impatience, over-greediness, impurity, and harshness are the natural qualities of women. Owing to that curse, the head of Vasudeva has fallen into the salt ocean. Now I will

p. 18

fix the head on His body as before. O Sura Sattamas! There is another cause, also, regarding this affair. That will bring you great success. In ancient days a famous Daitya, named Hayagrîva practised severe tapasya on the bank of the Sarasvatî river.

87-92. Abandoning all sorts of enjoyments, with control over his senses and without any food, the Daitya did Japam of the (repeated) one syllabled Mâyâ-Vija-mantra and, meditating the form of the Utmost Sakti of Mine, adorned with all ornaments, practised very terrible austerities for one thousand years. I, too, went to the place of austerities in My Tâmasî form, meditated by the Daitya and appeared before him. There, seated on the lion’s back, feeling compassion for his tapasya I spoke to him :– “O glorious One! O one of good vows! I have come to grant boon to Thee!” Hearing the words of the Devî, the Daitya instantly got up and falling down with devotion at Her feet, circumambulated Her. Looking at My form, his large eyes became cheerful with feelings of love and filled with tears; shedding tears, then, he began to chant hymns to Me.

Om Namah Shivay

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Finish Strong

Amazing Stories of Courage and Inspiration

You may find yourself at the end of the work day with one more thing that needs to get done. Do you leave it? Or do you choose to finish strong and complete the job? You may find yourself exhausted from the day and putting your children to bed. Do you skip their bedtime story or do you finish strong and complete your nightly tradition? At the end of the day, when you climb into bed, regardless of what happened during the day, when you choose to finish strong, you will rest easily knowing that you did everything you could to make the day its best.

Finish Strong – to me, two words that more clearly define a call to action than any other two words in the English language. I challenge you to find two words that more absolutely define a performance objective. The words “finish strong” are pervasively used in our culture, and they are a perfect example of how the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. When you combine “Finish” with “Strong” you create a powerful platform for action. It’s not uncommon for these words to flow from the mouths of athletes as they describe their goal in pre and post event interviews. The media uses these words to describe the performance of everything from the stock market to stock car racing. And lastly, for as long as man has documented history, the spirit of these words has existed.

The words Finish Strong have become a driving force in my life. For more than ten years, they have been my personal mantra for achieving excellence in – life, sport, and business. I have personally embraced the finish strong mindset in all aspects of my life. And, when faced with a challenge or adversity, I remind myself…

Regardless of what came before or of what has yet to come, what matters most right now is how I choose to respond to the challenge before me. Will I lie down or will I fight? The choice is mine and I choose to FINISH STRONG.

From this attitude, I have created a personal level of accountability for everything I do. I don’t always get the result I want. But in the times that I have had to lean on my commitment, I always felt a greater sense of accomplishment and satisfaction knowing that I gave it all I had.

There is not a single person in the world who cannot benefit from adopting the Finish Strong mindset.

Here’s a quote that drives the spirit of Finish Strong home: “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” —Anatole France

Om Namah Shivay

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The S’rîmad Devî Bhâgawatam-The First Book-Chapter 5-16

THE FIRST BOOK

Chapter V

On the narrative of Hayagrîva

62-68. The Vedas all bear testimony how thou alone hast created all this unreal and fleeting universe. O Devî! Thou without any effort and having no desires hast become the cause of this visible world, thyself remaining unchanged. This is a great wonder. We cannot conceive this combination of contrary varieties in one. O Mother! How can we understand thy power, unknown to all the Vedas even, when thou thyself dost not know thy nature! We are bewildered at this. O Mother! It is that thou dost know nothing about the falling off of the Visnu’s head! Or knowingly thou wanted to examine Visnu’s prowess. Is it that Hari incurred any heinous sin. How can that be! Where is sin to thy followers who serve Thee! O Mother! Why art Thou so much indifferent to the Devas! It is a great wonder that the head of Visnu is severed! Really, we are merged in great misfortunes. Thou art clever in removing the sorrows of Thy devotees. Why art Thou delaying in fixing again the head on Visnu’s body.

O Devî! Is it that Thou taking offence on the gods hast cast that on Visnu! or was it that Visnu became proud and to curb that, Thou hast played thus! or is it that the Daityas, having suffered defeat from Visnu went and practised severe tapasya in some beautiful holy place, and have got some boons; and so Visnu’s head has thus fallen off!

Or is it, O Bhagavatî! that Thou wert very eagerly interested to see Visnu’s headless body and therefore Thou hast seen thus! O Prime Force! Is it that Thou art angry on the daughter of the Sindhu (ocean); Laksmî Devî! Else, why hast Thou deprived Her of Her husband? Laksmî is born as a part of Thine; So Thou oughtest to forgive Her offence.

p. 17

Therefore dost Thou gladden Her by giving back Her husband’s life.

The principal Devas, engaged in Thy service, always make their Prânams (bow down) to Thee; O Devî! Beest Thou kind enough and make alive the Deva Visnu, the Lord of all and crossest us across this ocean of sorrows. O Mother! We cannot make out anything whatsoever where Hari’s head has gone. We have no other protectress than Thee who canst give back His life? O Devî! Dost Thou give life to the whole world as the nectar gives life to all the Devas.

Om Namah Shivay

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Time Does Not Stop!- This Too Will Pass!

During the office coffee break a couple of days back I was looking the highway from the 34th Floor of my office and noticed hundreds of cars passing at a high speed every minute.

I pondered that each of these passengers is in different mood right now. Someone belonging to Country-A might be sad because of some tragic incident, someone from country-B is stressed due to his/her financial issues, someone might be happy because his/her mother/spouse is coming to him/her and so on. However, for most of these people the current state will not be the same by tomorrow. The person who is in crisis today may become happy by tomorrow. The one who is happy today might be more delightful and the one who is stuck in a situation today might get out of it by tomorrow.

That means, overall, millions of stories are taking birth on earth each day and millions of stories are dying.

From my 3-5 minutes thought process I learnt a very nice lesson that no matter how bad is the situation, the time will pass. So next time I am in stress, I would visualize the highway and think that I am not alone in this situation. I would think that if millions of people are passing through such stages and recovering why should I take stress on my heart. Just like all those drivers, I must keep driving in the right lane and I shall reach my destination. The definition of right lane might be different for different kind of scenarios but the basic concept is same that when you have issues, you must meet the issues with courage, greet them with wow approach, treat them with wisdom and defeat them with strategy.

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Q: Anyways in everyone’s life there is suffering and there is joy, whether you are good or bad. So why be good?

Guruji: Being bad brings tremendous misery for a long time. Being good allows you to cross over any misery that can come your way with very little effort. So better be good!

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Heart should be soft, intellect should be sharp & mind should be pleasant. Never lose these three.

Om Namah Shivay

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