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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No heaven, no hell

PP Wangchuk

Stephen Hawking, physicist and cosmologist, recently ridiculed the idea (belief) of the existence of what we call heaven, and wrote it was a figment of imagination. It may or may not shatter the belief of most of us that we can rest in heaven peacefully after our journey on this planet comes to an en

But, one thing is sure, it is just a belief, and beliefs are neither correct nor wrong.

Taking the same yardstick, one can happily claim that there can be no place called ‘hell’ as well. Because heaven and hell are like the two sides of the same coin and that one can’t exist without the other.

True, nobody can prove the existence or non-existence of heaven and hell, just as one can’t prove the existence or non-existence of God.

It’s all a matter of faith and conviction for the believers and a matter of “reasoning” for the non-believers.

And none can say with authority that one is right and the other is wrong. One must respect those who believe in the existence of ‘beings’ that may or may not be there; and the latter too must respect the first for their belief in there being nothing beyond what one can see and feel.

My point is if you believe in, say God, then God is there. And, if you don’t believe, then God is not there. That tells us that belief primarily refers to the attitude one has on something. Whenever one takes something to be there, rightly or wrongly, belief is said to have formed. Under ordinary circumstances, most of the things we believe in are quite mundane and are universally accepted as true, even if wrong.

Belief is central to the mind-body functioning. No physical organism can have beliefs without direct and close association with mind. That explains why very young children don’t have beliefs.

Most contemporary philosophers describe belief as a “propositional attitude.” That again tells us that beliefs are nothing but thoughts turned into a more acceptable form of proposition. And hence, one can say beliefs can be justified and acknowledged as knowledge.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Good life code

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Most of the time in our lives, our desires ruin us. But all desires are not bad. In the Bhagwad Geeta, Lord Krishna says, “I am those desires that uphold dharma.” Do not suppress desires, rather, awaken viveka (power to discriminate between truth and untruth) in you. To let go of desires you have

to follow a certain code of conduct. This is the manure by which the rose of love will blossom.
Ahimsa (non-violence): Be non- violent, in your action, heart, speech and thoughts. You may be non-violent in action due to fear of the law. But in the mind when you said, ‘‘I am going to kill them,’’ you have already choked them.

Satya (Truth): Follow the truth and live in the moment. The phrase ‘Be truthful’ means to express the truth your whole life —speak the truth, speak pleasant truth, and speak beneficial truth.

Saucha (Purity): If some rice is mixed with wheat, soap powder and sand, that mixture is impure. But if the same are presented separately, you would say they are all pure. Observing the observer is saucha. It is when your own mind becomes a witness of its own actions and finds a gap between its own senses, and does not mix with any outer objects.

Daya (Compassion): When people engage in some activity or behave in a certain manner, which you don’t like, it triggers anger in you. Just for a moment, have compassion for the way they are. Then a shift happens. Your self expands and laughs at the smallness of events.

Astikya (Faith): You reason for everything that you do and for all your experiences. When reasoning or logic breaks down, you tremble. Faith, reality and truth are beyond logic. If you could reason out all your life and all its experiences, then you have not lived or known life fully.

Every a bud takes its own time to bloom; don’t force it to become a flower. Wait for the time to come, for the total blossoming in you to come.
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