Drop The Hate

What can really block your progress is hatred, says Guruji, while discussing the essence of the Upanishads

The meaning of upanishad means sitting close: the individual mind getting close to the universal mind, the finite getting close to the infinite, the limited trying to access the unlimited, the known reaching out to the unknown. These are dialogues between the master and disciple that happened thousands of years back. In a literal sense, the student would sit close to the teacher, who is an embodiment of wisdom, and learn — getting close to that wisdom step by step.

The Upanishads begin with the Shanti Mantra — Prayer for Peace. Only when there is peace can people come close to each other. When there is mistrust and doubt, then although you sit next to each other, your minds are apart. When our understanding, thinking, and feelings are apart, then no communication or exchange can happen. So, the first requirement is peace. There are three types of peace; one is physical peace — when the environment is peaceful. Second is peace at the level of your thoughts and emotions. And the third is inner peace. At the beginning of every upanishad is a prayer for peace that says, “Let the divine protect us both, let us develop our ability together. Let us be effulgent, brilliant. Let us not hate each other.” What can really block your progress is hatred.

There is a story about the Buddha that the first thing that he would ask any new disciple is not to hate, but to forgive and be compassionate to everyone. Once a gentleman came to the Buddha’s congregation and said, “I can give anything you ask, I can give my whole life to the world, but I cannot love these two people that I know; I hate them.” The Buddha simply smiled and said, “I don’t want you to love the whole world but can you be compassionate only to these two people?”

Whoever you hate becomes a big block in your mind. Often you start hating people whom you love very much. You fall in love and fall out of love with the person, because your love is all about getting something from them. And the moment you stop getting that, you start hating them. That is why people start killing people whom they love so much, because the pain of suffering and hatred overtakes love. So, there is no way you can get close to the divine as hatred is the stumbling block.

Why would the master say, ‘let us not hate anybody’? Because a student cannot understand that there is a state where hatred doesn’t exist. Someone who has been in a desert all the time cannot understand what an igloo in the North Pole is. Hatred begins right from where we are. We don’t love ourselves, and, in some way, we start hating ourselves and then we start hating everybody else. So the upanishad tells us to drop the hate because hatred is spoiling and killing you. Someone can come and kindle hatred in you; and while they are happy and enjoying themselves, you suffer.

Cultivating, nurturing, and justifying hatred within oneself is utter foolishness. When there is hatred in the mind, you don’t see things the way they are. You justify your stand, your anger and your feelings. There may be peace externally, you may be in a very quiet state but if your mind is boiling with hatred there is no true peace. Unless you have a spiritual path to walk on, the soul is restless. Have the confidence that says, “I am on the right train, and the train is going to take me to my destination.” There is no point being on the train and running from coach to coach with your luggage. You are not going to reach any faster. This sort of inner restlessness kills one. That is why the teacher says, “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti — let there be peace.”

 

Om Namah Shivay

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You Can Live Every Day of Your Life beatifully with the right Attitude

The law of inertia holds that a body at rest tends to remain at rest, and a body in motion tends to remain in motion, at the same speed and in the same direction, unless acted upon by an outside force.

With one major difference, that law applies very well to the pattern of our lives.

People who are successful tend to remain successful.

People who are happy tend to remain happy.

People who are respected tend to remain respected.

People who reach their goals tend to go on reaching their goals.

So what’s the major difference?

In physics, inertia is controlled by outside forces; but the real changes in the directions of our lives come from inside us. As William James said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a person can alter his life by altering his attitude of mind.”

You can live every day of your life. You can be alive to the tips of your fingers. You can accomplish virtually any worthwhile goal you set for yourself.

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All fear is about survival and when you know that you are going to survive these incidences or these moments, fear will vanish. Looking back at your own moments and experiences gives you strength. This is where looking back helps.

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Why is Spirituality Essential (Part 2)

See, anything you do in life, it is all directed towards being happy. Why do you even do some service to somebody? It is because it gives some happiness to you. When you serve someone it gives you joy. So anything we do in our life is directed towards happiness, and greater happiness, and greater happiness. That’s how the mind goes. And the greatest happiness is reposing in the being. It is when you feel that everyone is a part of you and you are a part of everyone.

So to be successful in life you need values, you need integrity, you need a vision, you need energy, and you need dynamism. And spirituality is the one thing that gives it all of you.

If you are healthy, you can see better, you can eat better, you can speak better , you can hear better and you can run better. All this depends on just one thing. Similarly that which enriches your spirit is so essential to enrich all other aspects of life.

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Acceptance of a little bit of imperfection on the periphery, allows you to be more patient, more calm and ensures that you at least maintain the inner perfection.

Om Namah Shivay

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Jennifer Doudna: We can now edit our DNA. But let’s do it wisely-3

Genome engineering is actually not new, it’s been in development since the 1970s. We’ve had technologies for sequencing DNA, for copying DNA, and even for manipulating DNA. And these technologies were very promising, but the problem was that they were either inefficient, or they were difficult enough to use that most scientists had not adopted them for use in their own laboratories, or certainly for many clinical applications. So, the opportunity to take a technology like CRISPR and utilize it has appeal, because of its relative simplicity. We can think of older genome engineering technologies as similar to having to rewire your computer each time you want to run a new piece of software, whereas the CRISPR technology is like software for the genome, we can program it easily, using these little bits of RNA.

So once a double-stranded break is made in DNA, we can induce repair, and thereby potentially achieve astounding things, like being able to correct mutations that cause sickle cell anemia or cause Huntington’s Disease. I actually think that the first applications of the CRISPR technology are going to happen in the blood, where it’s relatively easier to deliver this tool into cells, compared to solid tissues.

Right now, a lot of the work that’s going on applies to animal models of human disease, such as mice.The technology is being used to make very precise changes that allow us to study the way that these changes in the cell’s DNA affect either a tissue or, in this case, an entire organism.

Now in this example, the CRISPR technology was used to disrupt a gene by making a tiny change in the DNA in a gene that is responsible for the black coat color of these mice. Imagine that these white mice differ from their pigmented litter-mates by just a tiny change at one gene in the entire genome, and they’re otherwise completely normal. And when we sequence the DNA from these animals, we find that the change in the DNA has occurred at exactly the place where we induced it, using the CRISPR technology.

Additional experiments are going on in other animals that are useful for creating models for human disease, such as monkeys. And here we find that we can use these systems to test the application of this technology in particular tissues, for example, figuring out how to deliver the CRISPR tool into cells. We also want to understand better how to control the way that DNA is repaired after it’s cut, and also to figure out how to control and limit any kind of off-target, or unintended effects of using the technology.

Om Namah Shivay

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E.O. Wilson: My wish: Build the Encyclopedia of Life-3

So the question is: what are they all doing? The fact is, we don’t know. We are living on a planet with a lot of activities, with reference to our living environment, done by faith and guess alone. Our lives depend upon these creatures. To take an example close to home: there are over 500 species of bacteria now known — friendly bacteria — living symbiotically in your mouth and throat probably necessary to your health for holding off pathogenic bacteria.

And that may be just the beginning! The viruses, those quasi-organisms among which are the prophages, the gene weavers that promote the continued evolution in the lives of the bacteria, are a virtually unknown frontier of modern biology, a world unto themselves. What constitutes a viral species is still unresolved, although they’re obviously of enormous importance to us. But this much we can say: the variety of genes on the planet in viruses exceeds, or is likely to exceed, that in all of the rest of life combined. Nowadays, in addressing microbial biodiversity, scientists are like explorers in a rowboat launched onto the Pacific Ocean.

But that is changing rapidly with the aid of new genomic technology. Already it is possible to sequence the entire genetic code of a bacterium in under four hours. Soon we will be in a position to go forth in the field with sequencers on our backs — to hunt bacteria in tiny crevices of the habitat’s surface in the way you go watching for birds with binoculars. What will we find as we map the living world, as, finally, we get this underway seriously? As we move past the relatively gigantic mammals, birds, frogs and plants to the more elusive insects and other small invertebrates and then beyond to the countless millions of organisms in the invisible living world enveloped and living within humanity? Already what were thought to be bacteria for generations have been found to compose, instead, two great domains of microorganisms: true bacteria and one-celled organisms the archaea, which are closer than other bacteria to the eukaryota, the group that we belong to.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Butterfly Effect

        

How Your Life Matters  “You have within you the power to change the world.” –Andy Andrews In 1963, Edward Lorenz presented a hypothesis to the New York Academy of Science. His theory stated simply, was that: A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air—eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet. Lorenz and his ideas were literally laughed out of the conference. What he had proposed was ridiculous. It was preposterous. But it was fascinating! Therefore, because of the idea’s charm and intrigue, the so-called “butterfly effect” became a staple of science fiction, remaining for decades a combination of myth and legend spread only by comic books and bad movies. So imagine the scientific community’s shock and surprise when, more than thirty years after the possibility was introduced, physics professors working from colleges and universities worldwide came to the conclusion that the butterfly effect was authentic, accurate, and viable. Soon after, it was accorded the status of a “law.” Now known as The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions, this principle has proven to be a force encompassing more than mere butterfly wings.                       

I can count on one hand the times in my life when I heard a story and could not stop thinking about it! The Butterfly Effect story was one of those times. In a word, it’s AMAZING! Imagine what could happen in our lives, our relationships, or our businesses if we were able to put away our self doubts and fears, and MAKE JUST ONE MOVE that could dramatically affect how we live today. Our hope for our families, our places of worship, our businesses, our nation and world is an incredible life of permanent purpose that can be achieved when at last we understand: Every move we make and action we take, matters not just for us, but for all of us…and for all time.       

Om Namah Shivay

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E.O. Wilson: My wish: Build the Encyclopedia of Life-2

In the last 30 years, thanks to explorations in remote parts of the world and advances in technology, biologists have, for example, added a full one-third of the known frog and other amphibian species, to bring the current total to 5,400, and more continue to pour in. Two new kinds of whales have been discovered, along with two new antelopes, dozens of monkey species and a new kind of elephant — and even a distinct kind of gorilla. At the extreme opposite end of the size scale, the class of marine bacteria, the Prochlorococci — that will be on the final exam — although discovered only in 1988, are now recognized as likely the most abundant organisms on Earth, and moreover, responsible for a large part of the photosynthesis that occurs in the ocean. These bacteria were not uncovered sooner because they are also among the smallest of all Earth’s organisms — so minute that they cannot be seen with conventional optical microscopy. Yet life in the sea may depend on these tiny creatures.

These examples are just the first glimpse of our ignorance of life on this planet. Consider the fungi — including mushrooms, rusts, molds and many disease-causing organisms. 60,000 species are known to science, but more than 1.5 million have been estimated to exist. Consider the nematode roundworm, the most abundant of all animals. Four out of five animals on Earth are nematode worms — if all solid materials except nematode worms were to be eliminated, you could still see the ghostly outline of most of it in nematode worms. About 16,000 species of nematode worms have been discovered and diagnosed by scientists; there could be hundreds of thousands of them, even millions, still unknown. This vast domain of hidden biodiversity is increased still further by the dark matter of the biological world of bacteria, which within just the last several years still were known from only about 6,000 species of bacteria worldwide. But that number of bacteria species can be found in one gram of soil, just a little handful of soil, in the 10 billion bacteria that would be there. It’s been estimated that a single ton of soil — fertile soil — contains approximately four million species of bacteria, all unknown.

Om Namah Shivay

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Jennifer Doudna: We can now edit our DNA. But let’s do it wisely-2

A big mouthful — you can see why we use the acronym CRISPR. It’s a mechanism that allows cells to record, over time, the viruses they have been exposed to. And importantly, those bits of DNA are passed on to the cells’ progeny, so cells are protected from viruses not only in one generation, but over many generations of cells. This allows the cells to keep a record of infection, and as my colleague, Blake Wiedenheft, likes to say, the CRISPR locus is effectively a genetic vaccination card in cells. Once those bits of DNA have been inserted into the bacterial chromosome, the cell then makes a little copy of a molecule called RNA, which is orange in this picture, that is an exact replicate of the viral DNA. RNA is a chemical cousin of DNA, and it allows interaction with DNA molecules that have a matching sequence.

So those little bits of RNA from the CRISPR locus associate — they bind — to protein called Cas9, which is white in the picture, and form a complex that functions like a sentinel in the cell. It searches through all of the DNA in the cell, to find sites that match the sequences in the bound RNAs. And when those sites are found — as you can see here, the blue molecule is DNA — this complex associates with that DNA and allows the Cas9 cleaver to cut up the viral DNA. It makes a very precise break. So we can think of the Cas9 RNA sentinel complex like a pair of scissors that can cut DNA — it makes a double-stranded break in the DNA helix. And importantly, this complex is programmable, so it can be programmed to recognize particular DNA sequences, and make a break in the DNA at that site.

As I’m going to tell you now, we recognized that that activity could be harnessed for genome engineering, to allow cells to make a very precise change to the DNA at the site where this break was introduced. That’s sort of analogous to the way that we use a word-processing program to fix a typo in a document.

The reason we envisioned using the CRISPR system for genome engineering is because cells have the ability to detect broken DNA and repair it. So when a plant or an animal cell detects a double-stranded break in its DNA, it can fix that break, either by pasting together the ends of the broken DNA with a little, tiny change in the sequence of that position, or it can repair the break by integrating a new piece of DNA at the site of the cut. So if we have a way to introduce double-stranded breaks into DNA at precise places, we can trigger cells to repair those breaks, by either the disruption or incorporation of new genetic information. So if we were able to program the CRISPR technology to make a break in DNA at the position at or near a mutation causing cystic fibrosis, for example, we could trigger cells to repair that mutation.

Om Namah Shivay

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