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Friday, October 30, 2009

The spirit of quest - Inner Voice

Lalit Mohan

When Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj, breathed his last on Oct 30, 1883, with him may also have died the last Arya Samajist.

The seed of the Hindu reform movement of the 19th century was planted when on a Shivratri night a young boy, Mool Shanker, as he was known then, saw a mouse scampering up and down a Shiva idol, helping himself to the food offerings. This made him question the idea of an omnipotent God living within the idol.

Arya Samaj, which spread all over north India, had two principal thrusts: it challenged the veracity of orthodox religious beliefs and practices, and it pushed for social reform.

The latter crusade helped push legislation against the caste system, child marriage, priesthood and a host of other evils, and for women's rights.
The vast network of educational institutions set up by Arya Samaj is a continuation of the campaign started by the saint.

However, the other aspect, which is to question prevailing religious beliefs and practices, has been abandoned. The Swami had the intelligence and courage to do so. But his followers have given up the quest.
And this even though the essence of the Gayatri Mantra, the principal prayer of all Arya Samajists, is: let the cosmic light illumine our intellect. The light can shine through only if the mind is open.

If they are true to the spirit of his teachings, then they should question the Swami's thoughts. The saint believed that the Vedas were the source of all knowledge and found in them all that he needed to condemn the Hindu religious customs of his times.

But are the Vedas and Upanishads infallible? Should members of the Arya Samaj not critically evaluate what is written in them? Even these texts, despite their attempt at systematically analyzing the universe, start with certain assumptions.

To the extent that no follower of his has taken the Swami's spiritual quest forward in terms of questioning the tenets of the faith bequeathed to them, Dayanand Saraswati can be called the last Arya Samajist.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

A saintly woman - Inner Voice

V. N. Chhibber

Her serene picture in RK Mission temples is one of simplicity personified. Her love for humanity had no circumference. There were no barriers of colour, creed, culture, language or learning.
Her strength lay in fortitude and freedom. We are talking of Sarada Devi.

She was unlettered and had no child of her own, yet she had an innate potential that made her the `mother of all'. Her main instruction was: "don't find fault with others."

Sri Ramakrishna realised that Sarada Devi was a lady of immense capabilities with an indomitable spirit to work for the good of humankind. She wished to serve ailing humanity on the strength of her matriarchal power. He described her as Saraswati the goddess of learning. Her instruction was based on her spiritual strength.

Her attitude was always positive. She was aware that the general tendency of humans was to be negative.
The value of a thing cannot be gauged by its price. It is the love and devotion with which a thing is offered that really counts.

What a child learns owing to mother care is of tremendous value later in life. The mother-instinct is a crucial factor in the child's proper upbringing. A child's faith in the mother is whole and exclusive.

Sister Nivedita saw Sarada Devi as "Sri Ramakrishna's last word as to the ideal of Indian womanhood. Nivedita considered her as the bridge between an old order and the beginning of a new. "In her, one sees the wisdom and sweetness to which the simplest of women may attain. And yet, to myself the stateliness of her courtesy and her great open mind are almost as wonderful as her sainthood."

She felt, under the guise of protection, we have suppressed women. We have exploited about half of India's population. Women are endowed with certain rare traits that men can never acquire.

The more the scale of women's empowerment, the better for the nation. Sri Vivekananda observed that society is like a bird; it cannot fly if one of its wings is clipped.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The eternal truth - Inner Voice

Mahamati Prannath says that the term kayamat (resurrection) means awakening of the self from this dreamy existence of the cosmic illusion.

The human body is the grave from which the sleeping soul within has to rise above the body-consciousness and wake up to the true reality of the Absolute. The awakening of the soul from this slumbering mortal coil of ignorance is the day of kayamat. The Lord dwells in every heart to judge the actions of the soul and embrace her the day she awakens to her true self.

Skeptics trend to dismiss all such things written in the Bible, the Quran, and the Puran as figments of imagination. However, according to Mahamati, they all contain the esoteric meaning and hints about the events that take place at the time of the soul's awakening. It is high time that we understand their true significance and restore the scriptural language to its esoteric ken.

Man is what he is conscious of. Man's grade of evolution depends upon the pitch he has attained. A person standing upon the earth cannot enjoy the purity of the air over the top of the mountain. In order to enjoy it, he must be there. There is such a great wide gulf between the evolution of one soul and that of another. One who is conscious of his earthy origin is an earthly man; one who is conscious of his heavenly origin is a divine man.

Kayamat is such an awakening and it can never occur in one whose consciousness has cut off its permanent moorings with its earthly existence. As the soul is connected with everything in the universe, the individual resurrection is a universal resurrection. After Christ had risen from the dead, he had said, "He that believed shall be saved." The dead are those who have not realised their immortality; he rises who realises his immortality.

(Edited extracts from the book Mahamati Prannath - the Supreme Wisdom by Dr. B.P. Bajpai)
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

The magic of smile - HT Inner Voice

Vijay Joshi

What a wonderful thing is `smile'; it loosens the mental knots. One who receives it becomes wealthy, but the one who spreads it does not become poor. - Anonymous Smile is a God's gift to us.
It costs nothing, but leaves a positive impression on the other person. We all avoid short-tempered, irritating persons and always look forward for friendship with smiling and jolly ones. Smiling is also an art. Smiling with a natural look and unbiased intentions impresses others, whereas smiling for show-off could be termed as hypocrisy.
A small smile can do wonders for you as well as others.

Somebody asked a rose, "You are surrounded by such sharp and long thorns and still keep smiling, while I am bestowed with all pleasures in life but still remain worried and desperate. Can you tell me the secret of ever smiling posture so that I can also enjoy life?" The king of flowers smiled and said, "God has blessed me with three things - beauty, fragrance and juice. I never consider these things as mine and distribute them to the world without thinking of any returns. While doing this, I do not feel proud, neither do I die for name or popularity. My belief in the Almighty is firm and that is the secret of my happiness."

A poisoned mind can never present a pristine smile. First you have to purify your mind and thoughts.
The art of smiling will not only make you more affable but will also purify your inner self. An impatient and irritable person cannot create the image cast by a person who thinks well and then speaks softly with a natural smile.
Your smile can help you create an infinite friends circle and well-wishers.

That is why laughing therapy has assumed so much importance. It has been widely accepted as an art of keeping your mind and body healthy. Smiling is the way to go in life. You are not spending anything but achieving the impossible.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The philosophy of Hindu rituals - HT Inner Voice

Deepam Chatterjee

It is believed Hindus have 330 million gods and goddesses. This is yet another way of describing that gods and goddesses are states of nature, and of the mind.

Idol worship has great religious and philosophical significance among Hindus. All Hindu deities are themselves symbols of the abstract Absoloute, and point to a particular aspect of the Brahman. The ultimate reality is beyond the senses, beyond the known field of illusion.

The Sanskrit word Pooja (Puj), means to worship, to honour, and to welcome. It also means the act that is born out of fullness (Pu = fullness + uja = the act of being born.) Hindu worship encompasses a broad range of activities, including even dance and drama. It involves moortis (images), mantras (prayers) and yantras (diagrams of the universe). Central to the Hindu worship is the image, or icon, which can be worshipped either at home or in a temple.

Hindu religious rites are classified into three categories: Nitya, Naimittika and Kaamya.
Nitya rituals are performed daily and consist of offerings made at the home shrine.

Naimittika rituals are important but occur only at certain times during the year, such as celebrations of festi vals, thanksgiving and so on.

Kaamya are rituals which are `optional' but highly - desirable. Pilgrimage is one - such.
l Pilgrimage is an important s aspect of Hinduism. It is an - undertaking to `see and be - seen' by the deity. Popular pil- grimage places are rivers, - temples, mountains and other sacred sites, where the gods may have appeared or become manifest.

Worship of gods consists of a range of ritual offerings and t prayers typically performed either daily or on special days before the image of the deity, - which may be in the form of a , likeness or a symbol of the - sacred presence.
- In more developed forms, `pooja' consists of a series of - ritual stages, beginning with personal purification and invo , cation of the deity, followed by - offerings.
e (Edited extracts from the : book `The Timeless Faith, A . Dialogue with Hinduism', by Deepam Chatterjee)
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Monday, October 19, 2009

A saintly glimpse - HT inner voice

M.N. Kundu

Sometime ago, I found a photo of Shirdi Sai Baba near South Block in New Delhi. I picked it up and kept in my pocket, thinking it be a significant omen. Such a thing had never happened to me before. I thought Sai Baba might have taken some pity on me.

These led me to reading books on Sai Baba, which were full of miracles confirming super human healing and remedial powers of the saint. I was in search of some spiritual solution to the enigma of life and all-pervading suffering. But I was not spiritually inspired by reading.

And then in the World Book Fair recently, I found a glossy hard cover on Sai Baba. My eyes got stuck to the following words inside, "I do miracles to the deserving people so that their faith in the supreme power is awakened thereby and they become anchored in the Divine for deeper meaning of life." As if the lines were written as an answer to my question. I purchased the copy to find some more wonders awaiting me.

While reading I found 16 pages of the book were missing. The publisher did not promise immediate replacement. I could, however, contact the writer, a Principal of a reputed public school in Delhi on phone. She was profusely apologetic and promised me a fresh copy.

In addition, from her, I got the opportunity to know about many incredible miracles, how she was attracted to Sai Baba, being saved after a fatal accident, how she refused to write the book due to paucity of time; and subsequently an unavoidable medical leave enabled her to write etc.

During our first trip to Sai temple at Lodhi Road in New Delhi, we found no place for parking. Suddenly a beggarlike man in white clothes showed us a place. My wife took out a two- rupee coin to give it to him, but he was nowhere there. No one had seen him too! We remembered that Sai Baba sought two symbolic coins: reverence and forbearance and nothing else.
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Union with God - HT Inner Voice

Harleen Kaur

We all have a basic need to be loved. If we don't get it, we feel sad and hurt. To love and to receive love is the food for our body that helps us grow well in a wholesome manner.

But what is more important is to transcend form personal love to spiritual love. From spiritual point of view, love is defined as selfexpansion.

Divine love (Bhakti) expands and enlarges itself.
There is no selfish expectation here.

It is perhaps beyond our understanding but within our experience. It is beyond our material self but within the reach of the self that is divine, and we all are part of that divine.

This love for the divine fills our inner being to the extent that we become consciously one with the universe, with the Divine, which is Truth, Light, Peace and Bliss.

The Guru Granth Sahib says that only with the grace of the supreme God can we be blessed with pure love and devotion. Devotion or Bhakti is intensity in love and this devotion is also a blessing to the few who believe, have faith and realise that all that is, is Him. He is the one who floods this world with the nectar of pure divine love.
Bhakti is a sacred, higher emotion with sublime sentiments that unites the devotee with the Lord.

Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore too had expressed similar sentiments. God loves us out of His infinite bounty, and His heart's door is always open.
Swami Sivananda says: "Bhakti softens the heart and removes jealousy, hatred, lust, anger, egoism, pride and arrogance. It infuses joy, divine ecstasy, bliss, peace and knowledge."

Once you become a part of God, grief and sorrow, pleasure and pain stop bothering you. The union with the Almighty is the ultimate law of being. The highest truth is Absoluteness and the soul rises above through different states of consciousness until it attains Absolute Perfection when it becomes identical with God.

And this is the culmination of all aspiration and love.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Light up the self - HT inner voice

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Diwali is celebrated with lights everywhere to mark the end of darkness. Lights are lit, not just to decorate homes, but also to symbolise the light of the self. When the self awakens, then knowledge lights up and dispels the darkness within. Thus, good wins over evil and we celebrate Diwali.

We worship Goddess Lakshmi during Diwali and associate it with material wealth. This is just one of the seven types of wealth. The second is health. Having a lot of money but many diseases is no wealth. The third is when someone has little money but possesses the wealth of courage. The fourth is friendliness. Having different skills and talent is the fifth wealth. The sixth is dignity. Memory, the seventh, is the awareness of the source.

The best way for Diwali puja is to be happy and grateful. We search for the Divine everywhere except within us.
The process of worship is to lead us from the external world to within. What is Varalakshmi Puja? It is whatever you honour. Vara means gift. Honour and feel gratitude for all that the Divine has bestowed upon you.

Offer your limitations, not just money. Begin afresh with an act of kindness, a moment of reflection. The first mantra to be recited before any prayer should be - let my ears hear good things, let my eyes see good things, let me speak good words and let us all be on the Divine path.

Drop the past and move forward with enthusiasm, knowing that life is eternal.
The nature of spirit is celebration. When sanctity, prayer and service are attached to it, celebration becomes complete. Culture your consciousness to expand from `What about me?' to `What can I contribute?' Invoke the wealth of knowledge. When this element is awakened, misery in life disappears. Light the lamp of love and knowledge in your heart and spread it all over.

(Sri Sri Ravi Shankar writes every other week exclusively for HT)
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cycle of rebirth - HT Cycle of rebirth

P. P. Wangchuk

For the Dalai Lama, as Tenzin Gyatso, reincarnation means deliberately taking birth in order to succeed in what was started in a previous life.

Quoting Shantideva, the Indian Buddhist master who composed the Buddhist classic 'Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life', the Dalai Lama says: "As long as space remains, as long as suffering of sentient beings remain, I will remain in order to serve, in order to work for them."

He says he gets from these words inner strength, hope, and a defined purpose of his being.

But he quickly adds that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is a different matter.
A time may come when the institution of the Dalai Lama may no longer be beneficial and there would be no reason for it to continue.

"As far as my own rebirth is concerned, until Buddhahood is reached, I firmly believe my rebirth is always there. Even after Buddhahood, I will continue to be there in different manifestations. I am quite sure I will take rebirth. In what place, in what form, or with what name, I don't know."

About his past life, the Dalai Lama says it's difficult to recall anything at this stage. But when he was a small boy of two or three years, his mother and close friends noticed that he could remember certain things about his past life.

He says this kind of recalling past life's memories is not very unusual. He gives several instances of such cases.

And it is not just among Buddhists. The Dalai Lama recounts his studies regarding three such cases relating to Hindu kids, one in Palampur in Himachal, another in Ambala in Haryana and the third to another place (not mentioned).

He had sent his team to investigate the first two cases, but studied the third case on his own.

(This write-up is based on the dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Rajiv Mehrotra, in the book, 'The Dalai Lama on Happiness, Life, Living and Much More')
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Your future lies in your thoughts - HT inner voice

Bhushan Kachru

Do we realise that our evolution began with a thought?
Success or failure, love or hate, war or peace, reading or writing all started with a thought.

The landing of man on moon and the 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai were an outcome of thought. Rarely are we sensitive to power of thought that can kill and inflict deep emotional hurt.

Thought is a primary energy and a magnetic force. It is an infectious expression of our creation or destruction and has the power to heal our body and mind. Our dreams are a reflection of our thoughts.

We begin life journey with a clean slate to write down our own karmas. But as we grow, we tend to close our lives to this inherent reality and get waylaid. Often we pollute our thoughts for small gains, revenges and greed in life.
Consciously or subconsciously, we direct inwardly thoughts (between 150 and 300 words per minute)leading to our perception, emotions, choices, and reactions.

If we realise this, then we can make significant changes in life. When thoughts change, we change our vision, inner dynamics, and choices.

Recently I met a monk sitting on the banks of the Ganga in Varanasi watching silently the rising sun. "In each breath, I try to control and purify my thoughts and attempt at cleansing my subconscious mind to experience ineffable bliss.

Every thought is a seed we plant. Positive seeds in time start reaping miracles and make our dreams come true.
The most effective way of creating new images calls for changing the way we represent our thoughts. Look at the sea. It accepts both clean and muddy water, and yet maintains its serenity.

Mindful meditation helps witness how thoughts and memories arise from the depths of our mind, and then subside into it.

During meditation, observe your thoughts unbiasedly, allow these to come and go without attaching ourselves.
This helps gain control over thought process. The way to control the mind and emotions is, therefore, through thoughts.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Zen is the way for a richer life - HT inner voice

Sanjeev Dheer

Is Zen a religion, meditation technique or some cult? Once a novice asked a Zen master, "Master, what is the first principle of Zen?" The master remained silent. The disciple repeated his question. The master replied with some hesitation, "If I were to explain the first principle of Zen, it would become the second principle. " Yes, indeed Zen can't be explained in words. It is the art of living. One has to live in Zen to experience Zen. It is the ultimate reach of human consciousness.

Zen was born in India, grew up and matured in China, but blossomed and flowered out in Japan.

Zen was born out of the tenets of Mahayana Buddhism, where in it is known as "dhyan", an act of meditation, contemplation, introspection. The original source dates back to the age of Gautam Buddha, who, at a gathering, started gazing at a lotus flower, was completely silent and gained a special insight.

One of the core practices of Zen is sitting in Zen meditation posture, which is known as "Zazen". Zen meditation techniques emphasise on mind watching and focusing on breath. Pay attention to your inhalation.

And while inhaling think and feel about your body, try to relax each and every part of your body, starting with facial muscles, shoulders, down to throat, to the abdomen, thighs, legs and feet.

When you breathe in, think of joy and calm. Retain your breath for some time and breath out. While exhaling, feel each and every part of your body getting relaxed and all your tensions getting absorbed and evacuated into the cosmic energy outside.

While inhaling, count four, retain with count two and exhale out, with counting of four. Repeat this moderation of exercise, by increasing your time length in the second and the third week of practice. Enjoy the bliss and tranquility seeping into our body with stillness of your mind. Zen is a quest, a missing link between your outer world and the inner self. It's a way of life one should cultivate for a richer and better life.
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JOY OF GIVING - Dr. Lakshmi Jain

Dr. Lakshmi Jain

One evening,when I was a child,I was playing in the park with a gas balloon. Suddenly, I turned around to see that a poor girl was looking at it with longing eyes. I felt her need was greater than mine as I could play with many other things which the poor girl could never dream of. I smilingly gave the balloon to her. I noticed an instant flash of gleam in her eyes and her face glowed with a smile.That was my reward! I felt I could never be happier otherwise.Service rendered in a spirit of joy is pleasure unmatched. Our motto should not be to help others out of pity,but to help and serve them in a holistic spirit and certainly not in a manner which is lacking in reverence.That would be service of God in man. In the Bhagwad Gita also, Lord Krishna enjoins upon His devotees, "I dwell in all beings.Serve Me in them with respect and devotion."
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Good life, bad life - HT inner voice

P.P. Wangchuk

Is there a need to remind you that what you do has a direct effect? That could be either good or bad. Even when one happens to do something bad unintentionally, the effect is there, though not as bad as it would have been otherwise. Buddhism describes this as karmic action (cause and effect).
Karmic action involves mainly three factors: the intention that motivates one's action, the effect the doer will experience as a result of his action, and the effect others will experience.
The end result -- good or bad -- depends on the intention of the doer. If the intention is good, backed up with love and compassion and it helps those against whom the action is directed, then the action is called good action.
If the action has some negative elements like hatred, selfishness etc., and the persons against whom it is directed experience undesirable and hurting effects, then it is called bad action.
And yet, there maybe occasions when the action may appear good as well as bad.
This can normally happen when one acts with the best of intentions, but the result could be a hurting one and it may not be desirable either for the doer or the recipient.
At times, it is also possible that an action with bad intention may produce seemingly positive results. A blessing in disguise, as they say. It is here that the law of karmic action seems to be coming in conflict with the result.
Actually it is not like that. It is all because of our misjudgment of the results. Our preconceived ideas are to be blamed for this.
The results, found to be bad, may not be the outcome of the karmic action one has in mind.
The two could be entirely unrelated. One does not know for which bad action one is suffering from.
That is why a truly karmic person does the best he can as per the moral percepts, and forgets about the outcome.
He knows very well that no action with good intention will fail him in the long run.
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A spirited life - HT InnerVoice

M.R. Dua

There are moments in one's life when one feels incapacitated to achieve one's cherished goal.
The possibility is that such failures may lead one into negative thinking. During such moments, one would do well to remember that no one in this world is born with qualities that keep one always in high spirit.
And, as someone had said, low self- esteem in life is like driving with the hand-brake on.

There is always a hope for those who are low-esteem victims. It could happen because of various reasons. But there is definite scope and steps to reconstruct one's wounded self-esteem. Extra emphasis on self-strengths and less on visible weaknesses is one sure way to come out of a low.

Interpersonal interaction with friends, spouse, co-workers, relatives, could also work as excellent therapy.

One can endeavour to develop and nurture high selfesteem promptly in one's budding years by a balanced sense of self-worth, namely, by furnishing equal space for work, intimate relationships, lovability, and social networking.

Rediscovering one's romantic moments offers yet another unfailing support in buoying up one's stooping spirits.

Yet another way is to recognise and identify the deficient areas of one's personality.
Perhaps it could be one's impatient nature to tackle tough situations at one's workplace, with friends, relations or in public dealings. Learn to handle such contingencies tactfully, thoughtfully and cleverly.

And keep in mind that those whom you envy today could have been once in your spot.

Any way, one must realise the truth that one can't be blessed with everything in life.
One has to do the best with what one is gifted with, and be happy. One must learn to make the optimum use of one's talents.

That alone would help one out of one's problems. Most of the great men in history were mere ordinary human beings, or even failures, initially. They earned name and fame because of their grit and determination to succeed against all kinds of odds.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Working for oneness is sure way to bliss - HT InnerVoice


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The entire universe and our body are made up of five elements -- air, water, fire, earth and ether. The elements provide us with all our needs and it depends on our understanding and use of them; to honour, respect and take utmost care of our planet --and this will be our greatest offering to God and the universe.

We pray to the earth as mother earth, but it has been exploited by mixing poisonous fertilisers in the land, which is affecting and injuring our health. There could also be many dangers in genetically modified food.
There is an urgent need to turn to organic farming.

We have a tradition of honouring rivers -- the water element. Today, no river is fit for drinking. We are pouring so much industrial waste, sewage and garbage into the rivers. The rivers don't want you to offer flowers or fruits. This is not the way to worship.
Worship means honouring, and dumping waste into the rivers is no honour.

The fire element symbolises knowledge. It also symbolises desire. From the fire of desire, the element gets transformed into the fire of knowledge. And that is the whole aim or purpose of life.
Then there is the air element. We need to have clean energy. We have to sustain this beautiful creation.

The space element is abstract. You cannot catch space. When you save your mind from negativity, you fill space with joy, fun, confidence and coherence. If we speak negatively about all mistakes, then there is nowhere on earth you can really survive. When we try to see perfection in others, then we forget to see our own imperfection.

Human life should have humility like water, and patience like the earth. Be pure like fire which purifies everything. Serve like air, which does service to everyone but stays unseen. Space is like the soul which is omnipresent. Have a feeling of oneness with all, which leads to the God within us. (His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will be writing exclusively for HT every other week)
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Looking for answers in a world beyond - HT Inner Voice

Rock Furtado

Celebrities have the luxury of living in abundance. When asked to explain their good fortune, many say they do not know why good things are happening to them! Many in fact look up to heaven while accepting their good fortune. We are used to seeing people like Sachin Tendulkar looking up at the sky whenever they achieve an extraordinary feat.
Most film stars, who have made it big, attribute their benevolence to a Higher Being, God or elders' blessings. Many in fact believe that without help from the other side, they could have hardly achieved what they achieved.
But this is noticeable only in truly successful people.
They are God-fearing, have control over their ego and are humble in their own way.
There are also examples of celebrities who have bitten the dust because their super-sized egos have been their undoing.
All this begs the question -- is there another world in our world? A world that is very much alive, kicking and able to propel or drop those it thinks need to learn lessons during this lifetime? Much of what is happening, does it have a predestined objective?.
Do N.R Narayana Murthy, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates know something that others are still trying to comprehend? Do they have an agenda, which will somehow accelerate the process of giving rather than taking? Is there a realisation that financial success, beyond a point, is not everything?
Is soul searching and wellbeing of mankind the mantra when you've made it?
Is the other world that seems to exist here somehow exercising its authority on earthlings to move from being acquisitive to a giver, in a planned manner, for the greater good.
The pattern never changes.
Some people do really well and just when the rest of the world stares jealously, they start giving it all away.
There is no doubt they have reached a stage of realisation that life is nothing until one gives back one's bounties as a thanksgiving.
They know that sharing their bounties with the needy gives a greater meaning to life.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

A godly wonder - HT Inner Voice

Lalit Mohan


True to Albert Einstein's words, Mahatma Gandhi, born 140 years ago, keeps us all wondering. Einstein, on the day of Gandhi's death, had said: "The future generations will wonder if the kind of him ever lived in flesh and blood." A generation that shared space with him on this planet for a while is still around. But we have already started wondering ! We wonder how a frail man, with truth and non-violence as his only weapons, could overwhelm the mightiest empire on earth. We wonder how the leader of a mass movement could call his country-wide crusade off at its height, all because of an isolated incident of violence.
We wonder how just one man could bring peace to an entire province through sheer moral force, a task that an army division grappled with on the other side of the country. We wonder how a man threatened time and again by fanatics could spurn protective security. We wonder how he would have reacted to today's leaders' obsession for gun-totting security forces around them.
We wonder how, in a country where every politician is promoting his or her kith and kin in every sphere of life, ould a man reject his own on's entitlement to a schol rship because he, the father, was in some way connected with the organisation that warded it.
We wonder how a man who was dealing with issues of his oric import could take a break from vital talks to ttend to a sick goat. We wonder how a deeply religious man avoided visiting temples nd, instead, sought his God n the hearts and hovels of the owntrodden all around.
We wonder how a simple nd frail man could refuse to e overawed by the pomp and plendour of a powerful mpire and visit its king clad n nothing but his loin cloth nd khadi wrap. We wonder ow a leader venerated by milions never concealed his faults nd follies and was always eady to laugh at himself.
No wonder, the world today its up to salute him on his 40th birthday.
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