To be Hindu is Not Communal-1

Hindu disunity has always been the delight of its enemies, and often, it would appear of itself. Our history has been cruel to us, but by and large, our failures and our defeats are directly attributable to the disunity and treachery within ourselves. Start from Alexander’s victory and King Ambhi, to Jaichand and Ghori, Jagat Seth and Clive, Rani Laxmi Bai and the Scindias. The list can go on. And judging from the discourse and debates that abound at ever so many think festivals and think tanks about where our country is heading, we do not seem to be even reflecting upon our historical failures, leave alone learning from them.

It is a fallacy and an error of law to proceed on the assumption; that the use of words Hindutva or Hinduism per se depicts an attitude hostile to all persons practising any religion other than the Hindu religion. And when we speak about “us” in our country, we refer to Hindus 80.5%, Muslims 13.4%, Christians 2.3%, Sikhs 1.9%, Buddhists, Jains and other religions at 0.8%, 0.4% and 0.6% (Census 2011). So whether the contemporary, cultivated brand of neo secularists (mostly those who get fellowships in foreign universities, and believe they iconise themselves by lambasting anything Hindu), like it or not, when we speak of “us”; in India, the statistics are clear. But the moment this fact that the land of India is inhabited by 80% Hindus is articulated in any national discourse as to how the future of our country should proceed, the Goebellesian metaphor branding them as “communal forces” is whipped out. No effective counter is made, and the metaphor becomes stronger. One of the most successful achievements of the decade long UPA government kept the Hindu majority of our country on a complete back foot, putting them on a silent guilt trip of being Hindus, and stripping them of public self esteem, dare they announce to anyone in public that they are Hindus, and that their interest should also be protected. Being a Hindu is something that should remain unstated, because stating it aloud is equivalent of being “communal”, is the unwritten script that the UPA government has been insidiously implanting in our population. And they seem to have succeeded. I am pained to say that a very eminent television personality, winced uncomfortably on a programme when asked what his religion was. He did not answer, more for lack of courage, I believe, rather than any conviction, even though his name not only stated his religion, but also his region. Obviously, this was a result of the fear psychosis that a tag of communalism would get stuck the minute there was a public admission of being a Hindu.

This has been a well orchestrated, concerted strategy of the UPA. Hindus as a group or race, or whatever you might want to call them, that inhabited the land beyond the Sindhu, still carry deep trauma and stigma of their defeat and failure of not being able to defend their homeland from the Muslim invaders who started descending in waves from the Hindukush, and from the sea in Sindh. They were defeated, lost their kingdoms, faced death, destruction and pillage, and finally became subjects of the foreign victors for about 500 years. And it must be remembered that it was not only political, but also religious domination that formed the foundation of Muslim rule in Hindustan. This burden of history is deeply rooted in our collective psyche, reminding us that Hindustan, as the foreign victors called us, was a country of losers. It remains buried and unspoken, even today, in any discourse on the subject. But it is at the back of everyone’s mind, tormenting us, and preventing us from developing really constructive, not just cosmetic relations, with the Muslims who chose to remain in independent India. This is something that Hindus must come to terms with, if they want to decide upon the future direction of our country in a harmonious, inclusive manner. And this can best be done through a frank, mature and responsible discussion of history that cannot be wished away or buried.

Yet, the greatest unsolved puzzle remains: Why did India, unlike other lands where Muslim conquest completely Islamised the conquered peoples, defy Islamisation? There was the intent and brute force of the conquerors, religious cleansing and genocide, conversions, jazya, but everything failed, and the bulk of the population remained unconverted. The 1901 census of undivided India records 194 million Hindus and 29.86 Muslims. There are many theories put forth regarding the jihad fatigue, but none really answers the core question. Obviously something about the medieval jihad strategy failed to click in our country, despite political domination.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

http://www.vedic-astrology.co.in/

Advertisements

Peaceful co-existence

Often we find that we are unable to get on with our parents, or siblings, or spouses. The reason is no one is without the thought of self. No one is without an ego. So there is bound to be friction when people are thrown about in each other’s company for a long time. But what then is the solution? Should one shun one’s relatives, in the desire to avoid friction? How much importance should we give to our independence? The refusal to make even minor adjustments to accommodate one’s own family has led to members of a family not even keeping in touch with each other. Siblings who grew up together, no longer tolerate each other, when they are adults. It is sad when they can hardly bear to be in the company of their extended family for long. But we must learn the art of peaceful co-existence.

Children of the present era use the word ‘self- reliant’ with abandon, thinking that human beings can be dispensed with and that life can go on merrily if one has enough money for creature comforts. But human beings are not dispensable. Nor can they be cast aside once their services are no longer needed. In fact one must realise that one cannot live in isolation, and that it is one’s family that rallies round in times of need.

The need for co-operation and gregariousness has been demonstrated in the animal world. There was a time when there was an unusually cold winter, in a place where there was a colony of porcupines. To keep warm, the porcupines huddled together. Because of the bristles on their bodies, they were injuring each other, but they still kept close to each other for, if they moved away, they would die without the bodily warmth of the other porcupines. So although there was a lot of discomfort, the porcupines stayed close together and survived. Likewise, a family is not without its share of annoyances and irritations and even quarrels. But if we cite this as a reason for moving away from our kith and kin, then we will be left with no one to help us in times of need. We need each other for our very survival. So we must learn to co-exist peacefully with others, so that our life on this earth does not become difficult.

Always be Happy……..

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

http://www.vedic-astrology.co.in/

How to Forgive-2

These two are wise people. Which two? The one who sees his transgression as a transgression, and the one who rightfully pardons another who has confessed his transgression. These two are wise people.

The key phrase is rightful pardon to the one who has confessed his misdeed. There’s no forgiveness without confession. And a conditional or an incomplete confession is not a confession but a vain explanation, a justification, a pretense. For example, if someone apologizes for their mistake but starts to describe why they did a certain action or why it wasn’t entirely a mistake, it means somewhere they still don’t mean to apologize, somewhere they still believe there was some validity behind their transgression. No real forgiveness is possible in such a scenario. As they say, a stiff apology is one more insult. It’s much better and more effective to fully admit and take ownership of our mistake and vow to not repeat it.

Forgiving and letting go are not the same, for, forgiveness is only possible when the other person participates in the process. Imagine two road accidents. In the first case, the offender comes out, says sorry and exchanges the details so you may claim the insurance. In the second case, it’s a hit-and-run. They don’t stop and speed away. When there’s no participation from the other side, you can’t truly forgive or reconcile. You may, at the most, unwillingly accept that you got cheated. Sometimes, you find yourself unable to forgive and then feel bad that your heart’s not big enough. The truth may well be that with your heart of gold you are eagerly waiting and patiently standing with the gift of forgiveness wrapped in compassion, love and care, but the recipient fails to show up.

If you are on the other side of the fence, if you hurt someone or when deep within you believe you treated the other person unjustly, offer them an unconditional and a sincere apology. You’ll feel light and they’ll feel healed. To seek forgiveness is even more profound than wanting to forgive.

What if the other person is no longer in your life? Is there no way to forgive then? Yes there is; one for another time. And, at that time, I would also elaborate for you the difference between forgiving as an act versus forgiveness as an emotion.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

http://www.vedic-astrology.co.in/

What Do Meditation And Sex Have In Common?

Orgasms are a result of sensory stimulation that culminates in climactic bliss. It isn’t difficult to comprehend why many yearn for such a blissful, albeit fleeting, state.
 
The goal of any species is to make more copies of itself. From an evolutionary standpoint, orgasm acts as a motivator, a reward, to reproduce. Why? Because physical union is the only means to “spread the seed” for many species. The desire to experience this unique sensation persuades us to reproduce because sex is the gateway to this euphoria. This is why when we are adolescents and young adults, a stage in our life with highest reproductive success, our minds strategically make this sensory gratification such a high priority.
 
As our reproductive capacity dwindles, so does our instinct to seek out a mate for physical union. While seemingly all animals possess this instinct, there’s something special only humans have; the ability to interpret it, not merely experience it.
 
Now, why is this discussion important to the understanding of our health and well-being? Because understanding the orgasm helps us to understand ourselves. Yes, that is true. Keep reading:
 
The orgasm carries with it the esteemed connotation of absolute pleasure — it’s placed on a pedestal of sexual euphoria. While we like to paint the sensation with graphic undertones of lust, the neurobiology of the climax is far less provocative.
 
At its core, the orgasm is much less about what it makes us feel than what it allows us NOT to feel. With all of the hype surrounding the sensation, we can’t help but wonder: What is it about experiencing an orgasm that keeps us coming back for more?
 
Pleasure is typified by three things:
 
An escape from self-awareness: We are liberated from our burdensome egos. The weight of our constant internal criticism is lifted as our self-observer takes a brief hiatus from incessant doubt.
 
Decreased sense of pain: Relief from pain is an immediate trigger for the sensation of pleasure.
 
Alteration in bodily perception: Our inhibitions are lowered to the point of bliss. This break from self-scrutiny allows us a passing moment in a heavenly utopia.
 
The only other time we are able to feel such emancipating ecstasy is during an experience that is seemingly polar opposite to that of orgasm-inducing intercourse — meditation. “Bliss, both sacred and profane, shares the diminution of self-awareness,” according to a popular study.
 
Meditation allows us to experience the trinity of bliss: decreased self-awareness, lowered inhibition, and elimination of pain. The only difference between orgasmic and meditative states is that while sex leads to the physical union of two individuals, meditative processes, like those practiced by Tibetan Buddhist monks, diminish self-awareness by allowing our mind to focus beyond self-identification and shift our focus to the macro universe. Meditation, like the orgasm, allows us to ignore the disruptions of emotion and focus on the experience at hand. In both cases, we are freed from the burden of self-preoccupation.
 
While the blissful corporal experience resulting from an orgasm has an evolutionary purpose (to make more humanity), the reason behind such a blissful state is due to diminution of self-awareness that can be re-experienced at a mental level by practicing mindful meditation.
 
Meditation allows us to shift our attention from our ego-driven selves to the world around us. Try to make it a habit to remove the distractions of incessant self-critiquing.
 
Sacred or profane, the reason behind such a blissful experience is going beyond the confines of self-identification. Expand your awareness. Take time each day to think about the world around you; take a break from always thinking emotionally about yourself.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

http://www.vedic-astrology.co.in/

How to Forgive-1

Forgiveness is a gift. It’s as much about the recipient as the giver.This is a question I get asked more frequently than any other: how to forgive? Often readers tell me that they have forgiven the other person but they are still hurt. That, thoughts or sight of the other person still triggers emotional pain. That, even though they have forgiven, they are still unable to feel love for the other person. That, the good old times have not returned. I know what you mean.

There’s a common misconception about forgiveness — we often believe that once we forgive someone we’ll immediately start feeling love for them again. It doesn’t work this way. Before we reach the point where we contemplate forgiving the other person, we have already been hurt. Until we recover from the hurt, the harmony and peace can’t be restored. The period of recovery can range from a minute to a lifetime. It depends on the quality of the relationship, our personal strength and the nature of the transgression.

Further, forgiveness must not be confused with reconciliation. They are not the same. When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean you’ve accepted their manner, demeanor, or actions. It simply means that you have decided, out of compassion or care, for the good of the other person or your own, to not let their past actions ruin your peace. The peace you experience upon forgiving someone quickly vanishes if they repeat the mistake or don’t value your kindness. Think of forgiveness as a gift you give to the transgressor. When the other person doesn’t acknowledge it, or devalues it by repeating their actions, they have basically not accepted your gift. Your gift is returned and it’s lying with you again now. You are back to square one — hurt, resentful and perturbed.

True forgiveness is not possible without reconciliation. And, reconciliation is not possible without a confession. Unless the other person confesses his act, you can’t really forgive. When they don’t believe they made a mistake or when they don’t care about what or how you feel, in such circumstances, I’m sorry to tell you, it’s not possible to forgive. A confession and an apology from the other person, with a sense of remorse, are absolutely integral for forgiveness. Yes, it is possible to forgive someone a hundred times, if they come and confess and apologize a hundred times, but it’s not possible to forgive them even once if they don’t seek your pardon. This is where I see the root cause of the problem: you want to forgive and not resent the other person, but, you can’t do so because they won’t admit they wronged you.
Monks, these two are fools. Which two? The one who doesn’t see his transgression as a transgression, and the one who doesn’t rightfully pardon another who has confessed his transgression. These two are fools.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

http://www.vedic-astrology.co.in/

A Moral Dilemma

A Moral Dilemma

Can you lead your life in absolute black or white?

Some questions have no answers, many questions, in fact, have no absolute answers. The other day, a young physician came to the ashram. Let’s call her Anu. She was rather depressed because of the situation at work. Working as a doctor for an autonomous body in the armed forces, Anu was having to dispense fake medicines. Her patients are the defense personnel — the people protecting the country. And, they are being given fake medicines? Perhaps, the downfall of a nation couldn’t be any worse. Anyway, I’m not an umpire of morality or a writer of politics, instead, I wish to take the spiritual view in all this.

“Did you report the matter to your senior?” I said.

“Yes, Swami,” Anu said, “they asked me to not worry. ‘These things happen’, they said. But, my conscience is not allowing me to continue. I’m giving my patients phoney pills and I know they won’t be cured. I want to quit my job but my family wants me to continue since it’s a government job with many perks and benefits, including pension.”

“Don’t just quit,” I said, “blow the whistle. If you quit, the problem will continue.”

“But, I’ve only told you one of the problems,” she said. “They are also taking kickbacks and commissions from pathology labs where patients are often referred for tests. Everyone is corrupt. If I report it to the Commanding Officer, who knows what all may I have to go through? Further, all my doctor friends who are working in other organizations tell me that I’m being pedantic. They tell me I’m oversensitive. It’s a common practice at their workplace too, they say.”

“Taking commissions may just be a malpractice but giving fake medicines is a downright crime. It’s an ethical, a moral, a legal crime. It’s a crime against humanity. Silence is not always golden, Anu. Silence encourages the criminal. If you keep quiet, you become an ancillary to this misdeed.”

“But, even if I report, Swami, they may do something real bad to me who knows, I may even be fired whereas everything will go back to the way it was at their end. Oh, I’m so confused. I wish my family understood my quandary, I would have felt a whole lot better.”

Her dilemma was if anything would change at all even if she blew the whistle, and, if it was worth risking everything? I asked Anu to write down her principles, to write down what she stood for and live accordingly. Her situation is a complicated one, her questions are valid. She has to choose whether she wants to continue with a burden on her conscience hoping one day she won’t feel bad about it anymore, or, expose the wrong and put up with the consequences that could range from a suspension to anything unimaginable. Meanwhile, the innocent patients will continue to suffer.

I don’t believe morality is absolute, but when you violate your own principles, you place on yourself the same burden as an immoral act. You can’t escape from yourself. You can only forgive yourself if you don’t repeat it. I always encourage everyone to write down their principles, their top three principles. It always helps to know what we stand for. Decision making becomes somewhat easier then.

Mulla Nasrudin was the magistrate in a local court. The plaintiffs presented their side of the case and Mulla announced a short recess. Immediately upon his return he gave a judgment in favor of the complainant.

“But, you haven’t even heard our argument!” cried the defense counsel.

“Be quiet,” said Mulla. “I’ve already made up my mind after hearing the plaint. Hearing your plea now will only add to my confusion.”

The truth is, life will confuse you. You will have to make choices, make decisions. You will need to make up your mind. There’s little wisdom in putting it off. The course of history was changed by those who challenged the ‘common practices’, who refused to withstand the oppression, who decided to stand up and not by those who kept quiet. Nothing changes unless we act on it.

A noble life may have its share of stresses and challenges, but it does bestow inner peace and extraordinary strength. There’s no room for depression in it. Everyone has to face difficult situations in life. And there comes a time when you can’t delay a decision any further, when you must pick a side. At that time, if you are confused, find a peaceful spot and write down what matters to you in your life. Thereafter, make a choice that supports your principles and your priorities. Obstacles will become gratifying challenges, and the pursuit will become a fulfilling journey and your life will gain a new meaning then.

When you take up a cause bigger than yourself, the whole Universe summons itself to be by your feet, at your disposal. This is the irrefutable law of Nature.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

http://www.vedic-astrology.co.in/

No attachments

It is said that when Buddha inducted bhikkhunis (Pali term for ordained Buddhist nuns), he was met with considerable resistance, for he had moved away from the norm and offered women an equal place as their male counterparts. Some objected and asked him to reconsider. It was not prudent to have women in such close proximity to Buddha, they argued. Unchained by the petty views of the world, Buddha, however, did what he thought was right. The number of female followers grew rapidly in his sangha and wherever he traveled, many bhikkhunis traveled with him. This did not sit well with a lot of people and rumors spread like thoughts in a restless mind.

During one of his sojourns in a village, a small group of rowdy people hurled abuses at Buddha forcing him to cut short his discourse. They were mad at him for breaking the tradition and all that. They called him names, accused him of impiety and impropriety. Unable to bear the insult, a number of sangha members rose to their feet to confront the offenders.

“Wait!” Buddha forbade the monks raising his hand. “They are behaving like this because they don’t know me.”

He looked at the faces of his spiritual children red with anger and hurt. Buddha let a few moments roll before he said, “But, you do. Therefore, follow the path of ahimsa and sit down.”

Everyone has a whole world of thoughts, emotions, desires (mostly unfulfilled), opinions, ideas and so on in their head. What comes out of anybody’s mouth is simply a glimpse of what’s in their mind. Good and loving words tumble out from a calm and compassionate mind. Gossip and harsh words from a restless and jealous mind. It’s no rocket science. Besides,  everyone is entitled to an opinion about you. Let them.

“Does that mean, Guruji,” someone asked me, “that we just listen to their blabbering? Doesn’t being silent imply that we are not just accepting but encouraging them?”

It’s a good point but I’m not suggesting that you can only choose between silence and anger. When you are dealing with a rumormonger or a criticizer, if you are going to get angry then how are you any better though? Does that kind of behavior suit you? If anything, it’ll only ruin your own peace. As I say, under all circumstances, act in a manner that befits you. It takes patience, resolve, mindfulness and compassion to do that but, it is entirely possible. At any rate, beyond silence and hostility, there’s a third option. A better one. It’s called the Three Filters Test by Socrates.

“I’ve something important to tell you,” an acquaintance of Socrates said to him while he passed through the markets. “It’s about your friend. He—”

“Stop!” Socrates reacted. “Let me run the three filters to ascertain if I want to know it.”

The man looked somewhat confounded as Socrates continued, “First is the filter of truth. Whatever you want to tell me, have you seen or witnessed it firsthand?”

“Umm… I heard it from someone,” the man replied, “but, it is from a trusted source. I’ve observed—”

“Maybe. That does not pass my first test though,” Socrates said cutting him off, “since you don’t know whether it’s true.”

“Second is the filter of goodness. Is that a good statement you want to make about my friend?”

“Not really. That’s the reason I wanted—”

“So, you want to tell me something bad about someone but don’t know if it’s true.”

“The last is the filter of utility,” Socrates added. “Your statement about my friend, will that be useful to me?”

“Probably not, I just wanted to share…”

“Well, if the information is not necessarily true, not good, and of no use,” Socrates concluded, “I don’t want to know it.” With that the Greek philosopher walked away.

This is also my way of dealing with excessive information in the present age. Mindfully, I ask myself before indulging in a conversation: do I want to know it? Will this information fill my mind with good thoughts? Would it matter if I did or didn’t have this piece of information? After all, anyone who knows you or doesn’t know you will have an opinion about you. And, it’s perfectly fine.

What people see is what they want to see. And if they don’t see what they aspire, they’ll create it. That’s the definition of a rumor. That’s how an overactive mind imagines.

Social media has fueled our appetite for gossip. It is counterproductive and unnecessary. We waste a lot of time peeking into others’ lives. One little Nemo in the vast ocean of information. At least, I should not be a contributor on social media.

A disciple asked, “Master, is it okay for a monk to use emails?”

“Yes, son,” the guru quipped, “as long as there are no attachments.”

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

http://www.vedic-astrology.co.in/

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: