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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meditation for peace, tranquility - HT Inner Voice


One human being killing another just because he belongs to a different faith is an indicator of the hollowness within the perpetrators of violence. We all know that no religion would justify such an action. Why then does it happen?
When we are ourselves incomplete, we look for excuses outside.
Anger directed at someone else, if examined closely, is actually anger at one's own inadequacies.
If we were equanimous, negative thoughts and actions would not even rise. How does one then reach such a state?
It is through the practice of meditation.
Intrinsically, it results in the control of the mind; and at the subtle level, peace and tranquility within.
When the body is not exercised, it becomes weak and unhealthy.
Similarly, if the mind and spirit are not serviced regularly, they decay and the rot sets in.
Modern life, with all its pressure, allows us time only to watch television and that too only of the purely entertainment variety.
Consequently, great contributions of our ancestors in developing methods for nurturing our souls hardly reach us. So many different meditative techniques develop to suit varied individual temperaments have been or are in the process of getting lost.
Mostly, we are not even aware of the value of what we are losing. It follows that grossness in the society is growing.
An increasing level of insensitivity towards our fellowmen is reflected in the recent happenings all over the world.
Not a day passes when there are no killings. We are getting restless by the day and the call for peace is lost in the wilderness.
Considering that these are troubled times and there is a need for peace, we must make it a point to spend sometime every morning meditating.
If everyone doses it, the chances of seeing peace and prosperity will grow beyond our imagination. And we will have a beautiful world to live in.
(This is an edited version of an extract from the book `Chintan')
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Face the problems, don't avoid them - HT InnerVoice

Rajendra Bist

There come moments in one's life when one finds going tough because nothing goes well and difficulties disillusion him. And that makes him feel rejected and dejected.
A middle- aged villager toiled all his life to earn his livelihood. Yet he continued to face troubles that disturbed him a lot. He could not even marry for want of money. Sometimes, he had to go without his meals. He became unhappy with life and thought he was the saddest man in the world.
One day, he learnt that a Swami had arrived in the nearby jungle and that he had supernatural powers to cure people like him. He thought that the miseries troubling him would come to an end if he visited the Swami. He visited the Swami and started crying.
When asked why, he told the Swami that each day brought nothing but miseries for him and that there was no end to his deplorable plight. He implored the Swami to take pity on him as "he was the saddest person" in the world. The Swami asked him to pick up a bag lying in front of him and fill it up with pebbles equal to the number of his miseries and asked him to see him the next day with the bag.
The next day, he went to the Swami with the bag.
The Swami asked him to place the bag in the lawn where many similar bags were lying.
After sometime, the Swami asked him to pick up one of the bags which he considered to be lighter than his bag. The Swami explained to him that the weight of the bags (kept by other sad people) was equal to the miseries being faced by them.
The man checked all the bags and found that his own was the lightest. He then understood that there were people who were more miserable in this world and the remedy lied in adjusting with life and be happy. One's motto should be: "face the problems, don't avoid them."
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

God's hidden ways - ht Inner Voice

M.N. Kundu

A group of youngsters was determined to spoil my journey.
I was entrained for a visit to the famous Tarakeshwar shrine in West Bengal. I took a window seat in the train to enjoy the loving flow of morning sun over the green potato fields.

The group took exception to any visit to the deity. "Why should a young man be so superstitious in the age of science? If there is God, can't He see the unbearable suffering of man and do the remedy? If the Almighty has imposed such inequality and injustice in his creation, He does not deserve to be worshipped."

That put me off, but I was in no mood to talk to them or anyone else. I convinced myself that arguments being egocentric invariably end in futility. You can discuss with an intelligent agnostic or a sincere atheist but never with such an unreceptive group. I followed the classic route of escapism.

At the next station, I got off to search for another suitable seat. In the early morning, local trains are not crowded but I had to go far back to get a suitable seat. I was somewhat sad and unmindful.
The outside sceneries became sour due to inner remorse.
Suddenly one heard a crashing sound and the luggages started falling off the bunk following a huge jerk. The train came to a sudden halt.

A terrible accident had taken place. The first three compartments had crashed into another standing goods train. All the passengers in the three compartments were either dead or seriously injured. To my surprise, I found the compartment I left was the worst affected.

I profusely thanked God for saving me in an unexpected way. I also became grateful to the youngsters for their adverse act but for which I would not have lived to write this. Mysterious are the ways of God. But I felt very deeply for those unfortunate youngsters who could not live to get the lesson.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Live in the present - ht Inner Voice

Anuradha Gupta

The way to live life is to live in the present. Albert Einstein was once asked the secret of his success, and his answer was that when he combed his hair, he was only combing his hair and was totally engrossed in it. The essence of the answer underlines the ability of being focused and living and enjoying the present.

There is life, energy, movement and enthusiasm in the present. In the present moment only, we have the privilege to smell the fragrance of a rose, hear the chirping of restless birds going back to their nests, touch the rosy cheeks of a chubby little child, feel the freshness of wet green grass under our feet while enjoying a morning walk in a park, palpate the stillness of a dense forest.

The present is the only reality, where we can actually see and experience the whole play of existence.
But, if we contemplate on our mind, we find either it is brooding upon our past or is busy planning about future, we forget to live our present.

We forget the hard fact that all of us do have a limited life span and sooner or latter death is a reality.
Then why don't we care to find joy in small pleasures life offers? Why are we busy collecting wealth more than required for living a decent life? Why can't we take the same delight in giving and sharing as we get in receiving?
All religions tell us how to live the present happily. The whole concept of the presence of God and offering prayers to him gives us a feeling of security. The Bible tells us to love our neighbours and forgive the wrongdoers. That helps us overcome the feeling of hatred, jealousy and anger and fills our hearts with love.

The Gita too gives us the message to do your best in the present and surrender the rest to the will of God. That spares us from the pangs of all 'ifs' and `buts' and helps us in leading a happy and contented life.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The irony of fate -

Veena Gabriel

I have known this couple since childhood. They were our neighbours. Newly married, their love and closeness was a topic of discussion in our society. Time passed.
From a couple, they graduated to become proud parents of a bonny boy. Every evening the trio used to come to the society park. Their son had started taking baby steps.
Every time the little one faltered, the two pairs of hands shot out to safeguard him.
They also removed every tiny pebble to protect the delicate feet of their son.
When school time came, the father carried the heavy school bag and mother caught hold of the tiny hand, guiding him and protecting him. At noon it was the turn of the mother to carry the school bag. She also carried cold water for her son. It was like the three lived in a magical world of their own.
Time passed, the parents grew older and the son matured into an eligible bachelor. And then came his marriage and the birth of the old couple's first grandson. Every event was celebrated with great fanfare. One could see the grandparents trying to cope with the exuberance of their grandson. Their whole life was concentrated on him.
The wheel of time does not stop for anyone. I was not able to visit my maternal home for a long time, but when I paid that long overdue visit, I saw a very shocking sight. The old lady, nearly bent, could walk, albeit haltingly; but her sole companion was her walking stick, without which she was unable to take even a single step. The old man's condition was more pathetic. He could not walk at all on his own. His companion was a bored teenaged servant whose job was to take him for his evening walk from home to the bench in the nearby park and back home.
The loving pair of hands has got a lifeless stick and an indifferent stranger in exchange for a whole lifetime of selfless service. They didn't deserve this. What a tragic irony!
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Humility gives hope -

Barkha Dhar

At a time when peace and tranquility are bartered for fake emotions and material convergence, humility is our hope for change.
With work and pleasure conflicting 24/7, humility is the gateway to an inner journey. And then who can forget those primary grade lessons like "humbleness is the way to God."
Humility gives ground to fulfillment and an opportunity for one's true intent to branch out. However, our aspirations to compete and succeed have sucked out this vitality. Each day now is like the four seasons that just comes and goes away. Amidst this rush, we hardly have time to connect in and our network is often for the net worth.
It's time to ponder over our deeds. It's time to stop our emotional and spiritual erosion. We need to give time out to ourselves. This sabbatical, a peaceful introspection of our needs and deeds, could lead us back onto the road to humility.
As Swami Vivekananda once said, `be yourself, the greatest religion is to be true to your nature. Have faith in yourselves."
In a similar connotation, one can say humility is the seed of the soul. It lets you hug the `poorest of the poor' and the `deadliest of all'. It is being as `I am'; balanced with emotions that fosters equality, deference for the disabled and homeless, and service for the hospice.
Humility is infectious. It has a magical quality to endear one to all. All great men in history like Mahatama Gandhi were men of great humility. For them, nothing was more important than service to mankind.
They have shown the world that a person with humility can bring in great changes in society.
Humility starts with thoughts pure and serene and by practising the release of emotional energy to feel others' pain.
It is a step higher than sympathy. Such an act requires us to be patient, take time out for others and our conscious will to give back a lost world to those who need it most. We must get positive and be determined to usher in a bright tomorrow.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The day I had a tryst with God -

Monica Singhania

That day I shook hands with God.
On a cold winter morning as I was lying in the operation theatre in a dimly-lit room, I tried to remain neutral. I had realised that negative thoughts did nothing to help the human body.
In fact, medically, such a state of mind is extremely harmful in the sense that the body releases certain hormones which obstruct the process of healing. But it is extremely difficult to remain positive after perpetually difficult exposures in life. So, I adopted the middle path of being neutral. If the present process works, fine; if it doesn't, I shall cross the bridge as and when it comes.
At that point I noticed a team of people near me setting up the structure of the operation process ahead. My mind was absolutely blank for a few seconds then. Just then I saw him enter the OT and speak to the team covering me on all sides. In a few minutes everyone left except him. Just before he was to start his work, he came to me and asked me how I was feeling. I nodded and spontaneously my hand reached out towards him, and he caught it with both his hands. Before I could say anything, he said, "have faith, it would work out fine."
Within those fractions of seconds when we were holding hands with eye contact, the tremendous power of healing exchanged hands.
Those seconds remain immortalised in my subconscious mind, which resulted in a few things changing forever thereafter. In retrospect, I firmly believe that in that one instant my never-ending pain and agony made way for newer happiness, joy and hope. Few people in this world have the ability to irrevocably change the life of others. I just met one such person that morning.
To all those facing adverse and difficult times, I have just one thing to say. Hang on a little more. Help will come your way, even if a little late.
All that you need to do is to be optimistic and determined.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

One with nature -

Tapan Susheel
On a pilgrimage to Badrinath in the Garhwal Himalayas, I once saw an old man in tatters, struggling to squeeze through the milling throng to surge ahead as the doors to the shrine were opened at dawn. On coming face to face with the deity in the sanctum sanctorum, he folded his hands in a sort of thanksgiving, totally oblivious to the difficulties he had faced to reach there.
Muttering a silent prayer, I could see tears roll down his cheeks, and a glow on his face. I cannot fully describe his sense of joy and contentment, but it made me realise the importance of pilgrimage.
Pilgrimages serve an important purpose in our lives, they fulfill a vital need.
For the helpless poor as well as the rudderless rich, they provide a one-stop solution to all their spiritual cravings.
Pilgrimages detoxify your distressed souls. They also play an important role in promoting the prosperity of the community for they support the entire economy of the area around the shrine.
The rich may prefer to go to resorts to unwind, but going by the sheer volume of business they generate, they come nowhere near pilgrim towns. At many pilgrim places, food and stay is either free or highly subsidised. And thanks to bands of volunteers, everything is so well-organised that even first- time visitors feel at home among strangers.
Christians make a beeline to the eternal city of Jerusalem. Former Andhra chief minister Y S Rajashekhar Reddy, who died in a chopper crash recently, had visited Bethlehem, birth place of Jesus Christ, soon after his electoral victory a few months ago. Most Muslims aspire to go on a Haj pilgrimage to Mecca-Medina, at least once in a lifetime. So do Buddhists cherish a trip to Saranth, Bodhgaya or Lumbini, while for Sikhs Amritsar is a must destination. And for Hindus, it can be Mathura, Kashi, Amarnath or KailashMansarovar.
They all get spiritually rejuvenated and get inspiration for getting closer to god and nature. In other words, they come out better human beings.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Habit of obligation, a must for success -

Tapan Susheel

 Once a money lender was approached by a young man for loan. The money lender invited him for lunch so that he could set the deal. He arranged lunch in the courtyard of his house, where his dog and tenant were also present.
The money lender served food to his guest and sat afar in a corner of the courtyard in silence till the young man finished the food. As the lunch got over, the money lender said tersely, "I can't give you loan on any terms as I don't find you a genuine person who can repay my loan."
Baffled on the sudden change of mood of the money lender, the young man said: "What is wrong with me, sir? You have been very sympathetic about me since the first day of our meetings and you invited me today for such a delicious lunch.
Why have you suddenly changed your mind?" The moneylender told him that he didn't have the habit of obligation. On being asked how he reached that conclusion, the money lender said: "See, my dog was present during the lunch and you did not even throw a piece of bread to him while he was surely expecting it from you. If you can't give something to someone from what I gave to you then how I can expect that you will repay my loan?" The fable has a message: that the expression of obligation is a sort of habit, and the habit of obligation is a must for any success as it reflects our basic character. Obligation arises out of a sense of duty.
Through the positive development of habits we can change our destiny.
But one thing is sure here that your destiny will rely on the forms of habits, and the habits of caring, obligation and helping others are those things that make a person so wonderful no matter what faith, religion, status he belongs to.
Aristotle, too, had said somewhat like this centuries ago: "We are what we repeatedly do."
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The journey of life -

P.P. Wangchuk

The journey of life is as good or bad as one makes it to be.
All great persons have said it and proved it. My interest in writing this piece was inspired after reading a book, recently, by an old friend who, long ago, was a fine fellow journalist. A prolific writer, more of a philosophical kind, he used to write lovely essays that most of us would wait for to read.

Ashim Gill, now a fulltime writer, is the author of The philosopher's Stone that "brings to light the great mysteries of philosophy, and is an attempt to "reveal the hidden secrets that have bedeviled philosophers through the ages." It digs into the innermost workings of human soul with the help of Aristotle, Kant, Buddha, Vivekananda and the like.

The first chapter rightly starts with a lovely essay on the journey of life. The author stresses on the basic principle that all that happens during one's journey in life is because of one's karmic fate.
And hence, losses are as important as gains. After all, there has been no person who could gain without loss.

One does not "realise the importance of anything in life till it is snatched away from him..." And one's journey gets more beautiful and enjoyable if it involves a lot of struggle.

As the bard said it so beautifully, to enjoy the warmth inside, one must experience the cold outside. Similarly, in life's journey, happiness can be enjoyed only by a person who has gone through deep sorrow and struggle at every turn. Gill marshals out many such contrasts to make his point clear. "Only he knows life who knows what is death; and only he knows sanity who knows what is madness..."

Only the wise man understands the cycle of life. He rejoices neither pleasure nor is saddened by sorrow. He takes them all in his stride as if they were essential tools in the journey of life. And one who realises this, has realised the truth - happiness in layman's language.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Forgive me, Diana -

Vanita Srivastava

We all crave for love and emotional support from our family members and friends.
What we don't realise is that unselfish love can come from any quarter. We just need to acknowledge the feeling.

Diana, my Labrador, and Aditya, my son, entered my life at almost the same time.
My son was six months old when the beautiful onemonth-old breed walked into my life.

I had never been a pet lover but her innocent eyes stopped me from packing her off.

She grew up in the sprawling district collector's bungalow of my husband with an army of peons to look after her. My son had two servants at his disposal. She had five.

As she grew, her beauty blossomed. But I was never attached to her despite her `leaning' towards me.

She soon grew into her full form. Her carpet-like white hair, her big bony structure and her ferocious bark, all made her into a "beauty queen". I, however, continued to have a `cold' attitude towards her.

She would take her early morning stroll, with a host of dogs following her. I had to keep her away from all those "boyfriends." Once she disappeared in the evening and returned only the next morning. She was in an unusually high spirit.

Months later, she delivered many pups, though none survived. After years of distancing, I finally developed an emotional chord with her when she had to be operated for a tumour. I anxiously waited outside the operation theatre for almost two hours while she was fighting inside for her life.

At 14, she had become old, battling cancer of several vital organs. She couldn't move on her own and had to be lifted. And yet she, she always greeted me when I returned home. She made all the efforts to come near me as I would step out of my car.
Even my son has never greeted me as warmly.

Recently, when I passed by the place where she was laid to rest last year, I felt extremely guilty for not having acknowledged her love.
Sorry, dear Diana.
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The joys we overlook -


Shuchtita Jain

The best thing about childhood is that you are never alone. You are surrounded by so many friends. I remember having too many friends to count when I was young. It never took me more than a few minutes to make friends when I was young but then as I was growing up, I grew apart from my friends. Initially, we all tried to keep contact with each other but eventually other priorities took over.

Recently, I missed the wedding of my best friend who used to always take care of me when we were in school. It pained me later on realising how much I had really "moved on." We progressed in every sphere of our life but forgot the more beautiful and fruitful aspects of life such as spending some time with our parents and family, chatting with a loved one or reconnecting with old friends. We have become too busy to realize our own emptiness.

So one day I picked up an old diary and called up my friends. What I got exceeded my expectation -- joy, surprise and a whole lot of nostalgia. I felt as if I had done the best thing in years.

I never knew a simple phone call to your near and dear ones could give you so much happiness. There are so many simple joys in life that we often overlook. We want success, fame and money at the cost of love, family and happiness.

We sacrifice one in pursuit of another, often convincing ourselves that it is the best we could do instead of trying to find a fine balance between both. We have created a world around us where we can't even trust the people we love. Our relations have become "professional". We calculate everything - even our emotions.

Everyday life offers a million reasons to rejoice that we choose to ignore. Happiness is what one creates for oneself.
And it is possible to have success and happiness together by cherishing the little joys that life offers
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Monday, September 7, 2009

The joy of reading - HT inner voice

Pankaj Kumar

Reading books has a joy of its own. And, as S.
Radhakrishnan said, reading books leads one to not only knowledge but to acquiring wisdom as well. But the joy of reading does not come from acquiring prestigious degrees but by being one with the writer.

After we complete our formal education, we get free from the pressure of examinations and can enjoy reading all the more. In his autobiography, novelist R.K.
Narayan says, "I liked to be free to read what I pleased and not be examined at all."

Books allow us to gain from the wisdom and experience of great people. Reading a book is like being in the good company of a wise person.
He may not be with you, but you are with him.

S. Radhakrishnan said that one may acquire wisdom by studying any subject, but it comes most easily if we study literature, religion and philosophy. The study of religious books particularly makes one become more mature, helpful and kind-hearted.

If we do not have a mentor, books can guide us. Realising this fact, the Sikhs took their holy book, the Granth Sahib, as their religious teacher after the demise of their tenth guru. Religious texts like the Gita, the Ramayana, the Bible or the Koran give us guidance and the inner strength to face difficulties in life.

It's not enough to read and enjoy a good book. We should go a step further and try to be a better human beings by following the good things you have learnt from it. Only then reading makes sense.

As someone rightly and beautifully said, " the heaped up wisdom of the ages lies peacefully buried in a book and it can be yours if you have the will to pick it up.

Who can dispute that a serious reader can't get away from the influence of authors like Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Tagore.

They can bring a sea change in the attitude of the person reading their books.
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Burden of stupidity - HT inner voice

M.N. Kundu

"Two things are infinite in the universe -God almighty and human stupidity," said Albert Einstein. While the first one is shrouded in mystery, human history is full of evidence for the latter one. We can scarcely accept or digest anything new or foreign to our preconceived notions or egocentric beliefs. We have silenced Socrates with deadly poison, crucified Jesus Christ, persecuted Buddhists, and exhibited innumerable other kinds of stupidity.

Once four friends wanted to climb a pyramidal mountain. One of them wanted to scale from the riverside, another liked the jungle route. Yet another preferred the desert area and the last one was adamant on the hilly path. Since there was no unanimity, they started separately on their preferred routes.

But when they actually progressed, they found that the diverse routes were gradually becoming identical and merging. When they reached the top, it was discovered that the differences were there only in the bottom looking equally nice and they gradually disappeared and merged.
Such is the spiritual journey through different creeds. But human stupidity over the same is incorrigible.

Kabir belonged to no religion. He preached mystic communion with the cosmic beloved beyond all established creeds.
But immediately after his death, his Hindu and Muslim disciples started quarrelling over his cremation. The spirit of Kabir was gone and the quarrel was only over the corpse. Amazingly, they found that under the shroud there was no corpse but only a bunch of flowers. Still the eyes of the stupid devotees were not opened.

They divided the flowers to cremate in the Hindu way and Muslim way and till date his grave is being maintained separately.

There is no dearth of such examples of stupidity. Yet we don't learn. Our stupidity has made life on this earth hellish.
To be kindhearted and loving costs one nothing.
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Art of dying - HT inner voice

P.P. Wangchuk

What really happens before, during and after death? To be very honest, none of us would be able to give a definitive answer because we don't know. But Buddhism deals with this issue in a quite serious manner.

Guru Padmasambhava, the 8th century great Buddhist teacher, had first used the word `bardo' which means `intermediate state between death and life.' He divided `bardo' into six stages.
The first one, called the `bardo of life', begins when we are born and it continues until we die.

The second is called the `bardo of dream' experienced between sleep and waking state. The third one is the `bardo of transe', experienced between dualistic consciousness and enlightened awareness. Some people may experience this in a spontaneous experience, but generally only meditators experience it.

The fourth is the `bardo of death.' This commences when the outer and inner signs point to the onset of death, and it continues until complete dissolution of external and internal breath.

The fifth is the `bardo of reality', and it starts after the last internal breath. It is during this period of transition that one sometimes sees a dying person getting into a state of hallucination -- when spontaneous visions and auditory phenomena occur. The last, the `bardo of becoming', determines coming into form once again, depending on one's karma.

You may argue and trash all this .
But there is merit in what Robert Thurman says: "If we are going to use the science of death to develop the art of dying as well, we must realise that all these realms need to be considered just as real in our present lives. Those who have remembered their previous lives have reported this to be the case... And to prevent the horrible and develop the beautiful, we should still take care to see that `out there' is beautiful and not horrible."

So, I always prefer to rename and call the famous `Tibetan book of Dead' as "The art of living is the art of dying".
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nature's bounties - HT inner voice

Girish Bhandari

We walk our way through life as if we were walking on a corridor with no open doors. We develop a tunnel vision and see life as a grind, to be borne as a burden.

I once had to daily walk to my workplace, my mind filled with thoughts not worth a picayune. Then one day something triggered me to be conscious of my surroundings.
My heart missed a beat at the beauty of the countryside. I found I was walking by the side of a small canal, in which I could see a school of fish. I saw lush crops and vegetation all around.

Suddenly a flight of parrots alighted on a mango tree. I suddenly became aware of the green of the parrots and the mango grove, on which they had landed. And then I saw the different shades and sub-shades of green all round.

The green of the sugarcane, the aquatint green of the young mustard plants, the darker distinct green of the spinach plot, the green of the cabbage area, the green of the cauliflower surrounding the snowy crown.

In all I counted 10 different shades of green, and I realised I had not exhausted the infinite variety "which time cannot wither nor custom stale."

It was a humbling experience as well an elevating one.
In my own world of engrossment with the trivia of the crossword puzzle, which I attempted, as I walked to my place of work, I had been blind to the miracles of nature. I felt "altered" as I felt one with nature.

This honed my power of observation. I realised nature held a bag of tricks that would please, educate and elevate, if only we were conscious of our ambience.

Each day was a new experience, as a new facet of nature was revealed. But the true field of observation is our inner-self.

As Marcus Aurelius said, "We seek quiet in the country, at the sea shore, and in the mountains, but true quiet is found within." Why don't we look within?
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mind your tongue - HT inner voice

Manorama Lukose

There is perhaps no man on this planet who does only good things without committing any sin. It is human nature, we all err.
And the tongue is most of the time the culprit.
Although a horse has great strength, it has no understanding; so it must be harnessed with bits and bridle to make him obey according to the will of the rider.

Similarly, the tongue is a small part of human body, but its power and influence for good or bad is amazingly greater than its size. It is like a small lighted match stick which lights big fires.

Every kind of beasts, birds or creature of the sea and earth has been tamed by mankind, but no man can tame the false, deceitful and perverse tongue that works like the piercing of the sword.
It is unruly evil, full of deadly poison. At one end, the tongue blesses the Lord God, and at the other end it curses man who has been made in the image of God. From the same mouth comes blessings as well as curses.

So the tongue should be tamed. We should teach our children to speak gracious words from the very beginning. We must realise harsh and nasty remarks result in problems and create differences and fights.

One must seek to be at peace with others, preferring them to yourself. Discard any attitude or practice that hinders the tongue for speaking kind, merciful and polite words. It is only through a sustained daily effort that one can apply elegant words in life.

The Bible says, " Pleasant words are like a honey comb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones."

So be careful in what you say, measure every word. Do not speak unless it is necessary.

The person who is humble and slow in anger is better than the mighty man of anger.
One who speaks politely and sweetly is loved and appreciated by everybody. Don't you want to be such a person?
(This article is based on the writings of St. James)
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