Monday, March 30, 2020

Chapter 1


The Bhagwat Gita would be interpreted in the following manner-

Commentary.
Suggested read.
Suggested mental makeup for the particular exercise.
Relevant information on the chapter.
Exercises and examples.

Chapter 1.

Commentary – This is the introductory chapter and deals with confusion of mind and problem definition about life worries – identifying what troubles us. The life worry (problem) once defined needs a solution. Many of us are in the habit of defining, redefining and repeating the problems we face. By mere repeating the problem one cannot get rid of it. Once the problem is defined the next step is try to solve it. It must be understood that whatever solution one arrives at, a new set of problems emerge. We should be ready to accept those new set of problems emerging out of the solution. We must try to solve the problem with whatever resources we have at our disposal and should reconcile to those problems which are unsurmountable after putting in our best. Identification of problem is important otherwise we start treating daily problems and hardships as life worries. In the chapters to follow the remedy for problems is discussed.

What is a problem? The problem is that which makes us restless, unnerved, worrisome, insecure due to fear of unknown, uncomfortable due to ignorance, sad, an unwelcome or harmful situation. A problem is that which we think needs to be overcome. A problem is a gap between existing state and desired state. Indications of problem getting solved are satisfaction, state of happiness, feeling energetic, feeling comfortable, no worries, sense of security, state of wellbeing. Some reject any kind of solution which alleviate the problem or try to find faults in the solution. They close the path of solution or reconciliation and remain in the ditch called problem.  All of us face problems in life and therefore the requirement of a method to solve the problem.


Suggested Read – No suggestions.

Suggested Mental Makeup for the Particular Exercise – All three types of person may undertake the exercise.

Relevant Information on the Chapter Total number of Shlokas 47. This is the introductory chapter and deals with problem definition. It is based on Brahmavidya Upanishad and Yoga Shastra. Yoga is way, method or practice of attaining higher conscience through mental and physical exercises.

Exercises and Examples –Identify the Life Worries: Death of near ones, ill treatment from near ones, loss of life, natural calamity, crime against family, Loneliness, Depression, Sad feelings, Restlessness, Physical Ailments, Financial problems, Relation/ Relatives oriented problems and all such problems which takes majority of time of the day thinking about it. Identify life worries and daily hardships. Life worries become problem definitions and daily hardships become surmountable difficulties. It is important to identify into life worries/ problems and daily hardships/ difficulties.  Examples of daily difficulties/ hardships - Maid servant not coming, municipality water not coming, a theft, baggage lost are some of the hardships. Complete list cannot be given but the severity level can be understood. Example of problem / life worries - having life threatening ailment in family or individual affected by such ailment is a life worry; losing close relative is a life worry again the list can be exhaustive but severity must be understood.

Identifying the problem some examples:- while distinguishing situations into difficulties and life worries we must identify whether the nature of hardship is temporary or it is permanent. Also the scale of hardships indicates which category it should be counted.

Difficulties/ Hardships
Life Worries
Theft
Death of near ones
Minor ailments
Financial problem engulfing for decades
Irregular servants
Physical ailments which are

Lonliness

Natural calamity

Covid 19

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

START A BETTER LIFE - 8 - RECOGNISE THE MENTAL MAKEUP


The three mental makeups explained are found everywhere in human beings. They are in combination or in rare cases we find a fully developed one type of mental makeup in a person.    

Bliss is experienced for the duration one practices, anyone of the three mental makeups. Practicing the mental makeup is not easy but can be done by exercise. If we practice anyone of the three mental makeups partially then the joy experienced is temporary. If the mental makeup is practiced throughout the life of a person then the person stays in a state of permanent bliss.

Very few of us are born with one of the explained mental makeups and practice it throughout the life. They are born great. All other humans are born with a certain mental makeup which is a combination of the three mental makeups with one dominant amongst others. Mental makeup of a person is influenced in the formative years by environment stimulation, societal interaction, upbringing, experiences gathered, mind, circumstances and health. The mental makeup gets strengthened, become weak or in some cases may get changed to a certain extent.

‘End Result Syndrome’ that is attachment to the outcome often obscures the mental makeup. This results in experiencing joy in bits and pieces. Now one is happy and in next moment one is sad.

Our job is to recognize our mental makeup and build upon it by teaching our mind to be in a stable state. To be in a state of bliss is an art which a practitioner can attain. True teacher makes the student realize his mental makeup and aids him to strengthen it. Therefore, once understood, instead of trying to change the mental makeup our goal should be to strengthen it during our course of living. Such a living ushers in happiness and sense of achievement.........Keep reading....!!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

START A BETTER LIFE - 7 - DEVOTION MINDED


3. Devotion Minded – Persons whose mental makeup is that of indulging in rituals and being devotional utilize their time in practicing rituals. They are religious or in other words have faith in some kind of ideology. These persons like to spend their time in chanting, praying and practicing rituals. There mental makeup is very similar to the service minded where mind is attached to the end outcome they get influenced by end result. Still they are more grounded and anchored (than work minded persons). They are able to absorb shocks arising due to favorable and adverse outcomes to some extent more deftly than the ‘achievers’. As being devotional they tend to outsource all their worries to their ‘chosen’ GOD and lead a worry free life thinking that somebody there is taking their responsibility. As a result they lead more joyful life. Same way when the married daughter comes back to her parents place to spend some time, she feels relieved at her parent’s place. The daughter knows that all house responsibilities are that of her parents. When she comes back to her in law’s house she mentally assumes all the responsibilities and gets burdened under it. The devotional minded persons have the inherent mental protection in that he thinks that GOD does only right things for them and they have to only travel the distance. This makes them stress free as if the devotional person has outsourced all his mental burdens to his GOD. Such persons remain blissful and are seen more contended in life. Many service minded types are also devotional to some extent. Complete path of devotion leads to permanent bliss. Though this is difficult to attain persons have attempted it and have become successful. Deep devotional persons are rare and examples are Sant Tukaram, Sant Eknath, Nath sampraday, Guru Nanak, Saint Kanakdassa, Janabai, Mirabai, Tukdoji Maharaj to name a few. …… Keep reading.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

START A BETTER LIFE - 6 - SERVICE/ WORK MINDED


 2. Service Minded – We have two kinds in this. One refined and other coarse.

(a) Refined are the persons whose mental makeup is that of social service. They utilize their time in practicing conscious social service. Let us call them social service minded. They get engrossed in the social work without expecting any returns from the social work. The result of such kind of service is twofold. Firstly they spend the time effortlessly and secondly as there is no attachment while carrying out the service, they don’t get perturbed by the adverse or favorable outcome arising out of that social service.  Not getting perturbed by the outcome is the key to joy.  In the worldly phrase they are leaders. They dwell in the physical world unattached with any outcomes. Examples are – Chatrapati Shivaji, Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi. Recent examples are Narayan Murty, Azim Premji, Narendra Modi, Bill Gates and other giants.

(b)       Other than social service minded (refined) and rationalists almost all, belong to this class - from the successful entrepreneurs to failed beggars. These get engrossed in self service/ work but they get influenced by the end result. This is the major distinction between Social Service Minded just explained and Self Service / Work Minded, – that social service minded get engrossed in the social work without expecting any returns from the social work. This is the only distinction between social service minded and service minded. The whole perspective changes because of this attribute of social service minded from self service/ work minded persons. Self Service/ work minded persons get perturbed by adverse outcomes and get pleased by favorable outcomes. This attitude lands them in constant worry resulting in unhappiness and grief interspaced by some happy moments. This class is common in the society. Materialistic improvement and modernity of the world is because of them. Thriving of science, commerce and trade is because of them.  Growth of economy is because of them. In the worldly phrase, successful service minded persons are pathfinders and achievers. Failed self service / work minded persons are losers and culprits. Examples are entrepreneurs, salaried persons, artists and persons solely working to make money and win bread for the family. Majority of the society is made up by them. Many times they break down when faced by adverse outcomes or succumb to greed in order to achieve more in very less. They are devoid of any anchoring. They remain devoid of joy. They enjoy few happy moments but they seldom remain happy for long, unless eventually with maturity or with effort or with devotion they refine up from coarse to become social service minded or become rationalists.  

Keep reading ...............................and ..Happy new year 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT (2019)



Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – Those persecuted minority Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists, Jain, Christians, Parsi community on religious grounds in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India till 31st Dec 2014 will be given Indian Citizenship. Pakistan Afghanistan and Bangladesh are Islamic countries. In 2015 Indian Government permitted the refugees to come sans passport. In 2016 the bill was introduced in Loksabha, In Rajya Sabha it was referred to select committee.

North East – to protect the local ethnicity and tribal culture – CAA  shall not be applied to to tribal area of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and the area covered under "The Inner Line" notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.

Why the Act?  - These persecuted were already inside our country staying as refugees in makeshift camps in Delhi and other places. Assam has some 5 lakhs of them. India is the only country for Hindus to get in and get protected if they face religious persecution. Religious persecution happens in these three Islamic countries where the average Hindu percentage has dropped from 20 to less than 04 percent in last 70 yrs. In terms of population the persecuted Hindu population dwindling from 20 % to less than 4 % comes to lakhs who have either migrated, or got killed or got converted forcefully. We welcome them in our country because they don’t have any place to go. They feel India is their natural country. It is in line with our culture of acceptance and to protect who are persecuted on religious lines. Muslims in Islamic countries will not be religiously persecuted ever be in majority.

Why Opposition? – Northeast people feel their tribal ethnicity will be eclipsed by the inflows of these refugees turned citizens. Their concerns have been addressed by keeping many areas out of CAA and introducing Inner Line Permit. At other places the opposition is to milk the word communal, secular create confusion usurp muslim vote bank. Note there are over 800 universities and 38000 educational institutions. The protests are mostly staged and preplanned in Jamia Milia, Jawaharlal and Jadavpur universities and media giving it a color of protest by student community.

Can Anyone Become Indian Citizen?  - Yes anyone can apply for citizenship and as per law will be granted. Recent example of it is Adnan Sami a Pakistani singer. He applied and he is now a citizen of India. 

Tailpiece – For a citizen of India irrespective of his faith, CAA is not applicable and therefore nothing to worry at all. They were they are and they will remain proud citizens of out country. CAA will give citizenship to persecuted persons.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

RELATIVE CIVILITY



In 1975 Sholay was released. There was huge uproar and many resisted viewing the film. The majority of the families said there was violence and children would get affected. There were gory sights of blood bath depicted in the film. Journalists and experts wrote columns after columns about the violence and how it is gory. Many did not allow children to see the film or if taken the violent parts were locally censored by closing their eyes by the parent till the scene is over. The film started with a weak showing but after some days and as months and years passed by picked up on word of mouth and eventually the film turned out to be huge hit and public saw it number of times.  
After 40 yrs this film is considered as a classic and is held by all as a good film. Now almost every household opines that the film narrative was so perfect that the depiction of the cruel dacoit and his atrocities on the villagers is a piece of art. Most importantly the general opinion is that the filming was within the limits of sensibilities. Nowadays family members along with children enjoy viewing Sholay. No need is felt by parents to close the eyes as they no longer think there are any objectionable scenes in the movie.

‘Mirzapur’ a popular web serial is currently talked about by everyone. The story is of a don in Uttar Pradesh. The direction and acting in the web serial is superb. It has a story which has everything in it. It has vulgar scenes, foul language, abuses, pervert relations. All scenes are explicit. It leaves nothing for imagination. The story is such that the relations in the serial are used and abused as per the pervert imaginations. In the name of depicting the reflection of society it is full of foul abuses and pervert actions. Still it claims in the disclaimer that it is not real story.

In art when one idea is staged by the artist it is best put in a subtle way so that admirers’ imagination is challenged. We adults know so many things. That does not mean when a story is told everything should be shown in the name of reality. For example, as a society we all know what marriage is and what comes after wedding. We can celebrate the event in a saner way involving the family enjoying it or we can make the marriage a show of pervert ideas in the name of reality and make it a vulgar show.

We don’t mind viewing series like ‘Mirzapur’ and enjoying it. Our excuse is; it is a realistic story. We don’t mind violent computer animation games where young children kill opponents. Even if we were to mind, we are still vulnerable because there is ample and easy availability of adult and violent material at the click of the mouse or at the touch of the mobile screen without any censorship. Youngsters without sensing the negative purport of such actions get addicted. Youngsters start thinking that it is correct to view and act in the name of freedom of expression and right to freedom.

Gradually our sensibilities are getting numb. It is reflected in the society and manifested in many ways. The threshold of audio visual violence absorption of the society is up. Under the barb of artistic privilege and freedom of expression the art world and audio video world is becoming a stage for depicting pervert ideas as art. Society’s outlook is changing. In earlier times what society used to think as sane, civil and simple has become uncool slow and unpopular. This is the world of instant gratification. Getting fast results, in satisfying the senses, instant, uninhibited and ample has become normal. Doing anything for two minutes popularity is the in thing. Good or bad regardless. The old stories and films are bore because they are slow. What we want is the end result. We are not interested in the process. Earlier, in the literature, the story used to unfold slowly. The reader used to exercise his imagination. Savor the plot. Now, it is always what next. We have the fast forward button with us. Rush up the tele series. Know the end. In relationship we desire to jump to next instead of relishing the present moment. That’s the norm now.

This happens with almost everyone. It is not that some are like this and others are not. More or less whole society’s outlook is shifting towards instant gratification, fast life and increased threshold for tolerance towards violence, perverseness in real and digital life. What was livid, vulgar and violent yesterday is cool, artistic and real today.

This is nothing new! This is generation gap. Each generation is progressive modern. Each generation seeks more empowerment and freedom. Every generation thinks the last generation was dumb. The last generation never knew how to enjoy (to the fullest). The last generation was orthodox. This generation is risk taker. Last generation was cautious. Every generation thinks on the same lines.

Every human spends the time available till his death. Some spend the time by indulging themselves in creative pursuits, some spend time thinking about the evolution, some by social work, some indulge in religious rituals, some for earning money and luxuries, some don’t do anything and wait for the time to pass, but  some indulge in activities which are antisocial and against the nature. When many start indulging in activities which are antisocial and against the nature, the slide starts. What does that indicate? It indicates that collectively most of us are moving towards relative insanity. Like thermodynamics entropy, the chaos is increasing. The morality dips and new thresholds are created. Each threshold pulls the sensibility to a new low. This happens with everyone and no one notices that the society as a whole is slipping down the gradient in morality. It is slow but is an all-round decay. We have to see around to know the subtle signs of this decay. The world around us is not as secure as it was. There are cases of molestation, pedophile aggression, psychopath killings, road rage, gun running, exploitation, drugs, corruption, money laundering. There are cases of decreased tolerance towards everyday problems. There are signs of lack of patience in adults towards everyday situations. The are signs of ever increasing inflated egos. There are instances of family break ups, depression, suicides, rackets, mafia, violence and cruelty.

People today accept piercings, tattoo and torn jeans. Older generation people detest this but the same people accept piercings on nose and ears, tattoo saying it enhances beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the society definition of good changes over a period of time, what was not acceptable yesterday will be acceptable and liked today. What is true for physical manifestation also holds true for mental thinking and morality. As a society what was morally unacceptable yesterday, is acceptable today as morality slips. Not only that, we as a society has the audacity to question those who say that the standards are getting lowered. Those pointing towards lowered standards find themselves accepting the lowered standards after a couple of decades. The unawareness of slide in morality due to relative insanity will bring in uncontrollable irreversible damage resulting in end of mankind. Therefore as a society, we talk but don’t walk the talk about family values, pollution, population control and things which affect nature and us.  

The slide is all over and we don’t even feel that it is happening. The slide is irreversible. It is in thinking, it is in acceptance, it is in tolerance, it is in quality, it is in addiction, it is in sensitivity, it is in senses, it is reflected in our art, reflected in what we admire and how we express. World civility is sliding but still we feel normal and we accept the slide. Without knowing we have started our downward spiral. This is relative civility where we keep seeing world as normal as everyone slides together till we reach the brink.

Tail Piece – Can the slide be arrested? Yes and No. Yes the slide can be arrested, for that a new epoch has to begin. No, the slide cannot be arrested. Not in this era. Is this a pessimist view? No this has to happen. Should we stop our efforts in arresting the slide then? No never. The wheel has to rotate. We are just a cog in the wheel of universe. For the new epoch may either start at the end of this era or the new epoch can suppress this era, if the efforts of arresting the slide are practical and herded well by a charismatic leader or movement. Therefore the efforts to halt the slide at the individual level and societal level should not stop. Who knows, one of us may be the one to trigger a new era. Keep trying. Never stop.

उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत । -कठोपनिषद्


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

START A BETTER LIFE - 5 - RATIONALISTS


There are three personality traits which guide our actions, reaction to the situations and help in forming perceptions. One of the three traits is dominant. The rest two are present in some degree in the individual. As the conscience level increases the dominant personality trait gets sharpened. Knowing the trait helps the individual in making choices and creating comfort zones for self. 

Lets define some personality traits –

  1. Rationalists – Persons guided by reasoning. They use this tool to look at their existence as an event in this vast universe and fill the available time trying to understand who they are, why they are here on this earth and try to relate their existence to the vast universe.

They try to understand by reasoning whether the event of they being alive could be attributed only to a chance chemical reaction out of billions happening at every moment which turned it into a special one giving them the intelligent energy and consciousness together to form a living being or is it that they are part of whole universe somehow interconnected and influencing and getting influenced by each happenings in the universe or whole universe is a manifestation of energy and they are also manifestations of that energy with intelligence added?  They try to understand that energy. They try to understand how the energy is manifested as matter.   When the energy gets united again with the universal energy they lose the form.

To know about the energy and its manifestation is one thing. To get convinced require higher thinking. To act after realization of this is the goal. It is difficult operative part in the life. If it is lived after such realization then the individual is true rationalistic.

By reasoning, these individuals try to live the life as a realized one. Once they understand the energy and get convinced then the manifestation goes and energy remains. Once understood the play of energy, the outlook about life changes, wisdom sets in and the rationalist then become one with the energy.

Thereafter till the person is alive, a rationalist passes his time in remaining one with the energy and other things doesn’t matter to the person, or become too trivial to the person to even register and act.

In the worldly phrase they are realized souls. Others may perceive them as pessimists but typical rationalists remain calm and in a state of constant bliss in a state of steady intellect. They are very rare to find. In fact such people often lead a secluded life. They dwell in meta physical world. They never come to limelight, they are not famous. Society may not even notice their existence and the state which they are in. Therefore no specific examples of such persons can be given. They are thinkers. They may be scientists who dwell into serious research. They may be yogis and sages. Sant Gnyaneshwar, Ramana Maharshi, August Kekule, Albert Einstein, Newton, Stephan Hawkings (although last three are famous for physical world) may come close to be quoted as rationalists. The followers of this way of life may be termed as atheists. They may be termed as agnostics. They are not of any religion. They don’t consider themselves of any religion. Actual atheists are a result of realization of energy states and consciousness and are rare to find.

Most of the worldly atheists are due to ignorance and many as fashion. Many young who declare that they are atheists declare it to gather more attention or to show how modern they are or how progressive they are in thoughts. Being atheist or not being one has no bearing on whether a person is progressive or not. Many declare they are atheists only to be politically correct. Many are part time atheists as per convenience. True followers of rationalism are called as practitioners of Sankhya Yoga. Many of them are recluse. Many of them lead a very normal average life. what makes them different is their outlook towards life. Keep reading ……………………..!!