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Monday, February 20, 2012

All things are His

Girish Bhandari, Hindustan Times

A symbolic story goes that there was a master potter. His works were unique.  And  he  thought  that  he was superior to God himself so far as craftsmanship went. He challenged God to appear and compete with him. God  appeared  and the great craftsman asked him to produce his masterpiece. God  took  a  lump of clay and made a figure that was crude but was unmistakably human. The  craftsman  laughed. “That is what you call a masterpiece,” he asked derisively.

“Now  look at what I can make.” The craftsman took a piece of clay and just  as  he  was to handle it, God asked him to stop. “First bring your own clay  and  then  make  your  masterpiece.” The craftsman replied, “But this is my clay. I bought it the other day.”

“You  bought  it  but did not make it. First make and then work on it.” The  craftsman  started  pondering.  He realised that he had made nothing in the form  of resources during his entire life. In fact, no man ever had. People make  use of resources available in nature and do not realise that they are using what God has given them.  He  prostrated.  He  realised  that  his  gift as a master potter was also God-given.

Newton was a religious man. He believed his ability was the result of  His  infinite  grace.  He  was so humble that he compared himself to a “boy  playing  on  the  sea shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a  smoother pebble or a prettier sea shell, while the great ocean of truth lay  all undiscovered before me.” The same thought was echoed by Einstein too.

Alexander  the  Great realised the greatness of God and His creations  when  life  was  flowing  out of him. He ordered, the legend goes, that his  body  be  carried with his empty palms shown to the public. He had realised  that,  in spite of “conquering” half the then known world, he had conquered  nothing. He was as empty handed in death as when he was born!
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The holistic healer

P P Wangchuk, Hindustan Times

If you are not up-to-date with Brandon Bays, you are not being good to yourself. You are not only ignoring your health but ruining your happiness too.

Brandon is supposed to be the latest goddess of 'holistic healing'. True, holistic healing is not a new phenomenon but of late, with new and incurable diseases that have baffled the medical and the scientific fraternity, one sees a greater stress on the “other and godly aspects” of healing.
The New Age guru of holistic healing is in the country, criss-crossing metro cities.

Hers is a fascinating story, almost a fairy tale. It was in 1992, when she was just 41, that Brandon was diagnosed with a football-sized malignant tumour in her stomach. But that didn't bother her at all. She had her own way of curing it; and despite medical advice, she refused to go in for surgery. She wanted to get herself cured her own way, the natural and the godly way. That led her to a rigorous regimen of daily mind-and-body treatment practice. And hurrah, the football-like tumour disappeared within six-and-a-half weeks. The core point of her 'treatment' is that true healing must happen at the cellular level itself. The basic steps needed for this are to detoxify yourself through diet and regular exercises; and forcing your pent-up emotions and feelings out.

Brandon believes the tumour in her stomach was a manifestation of all the ills that were ‘churning’ within her body and mind. And hence, the antidote had to be the reverse process, with the dedication of a warrior.

Brandon says, “I am basically a practitioner of mind-body healing, and what I have developed over the last 17 years could be termed as emotional and cellular healing. It is a journey that leads to awakening about emotional and spiritual freedom.

The point to be kept in mind is you can be your own master; and your mind and body are powerful enough to take care of you if guided properly. You could be your own friend or foe. The choice is yours.
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Incidental happiness

Neela Sood, Hindustan Times

This incident is of the period when I was in a job, long ago. One of my colleagues, a Sikh gentleman, was denied promotion despite his being very hardworking, sincere and, in my opinion, the most deserving of all. 
Visibly glum and shattered, one morning, when he was sharing his agony with me, he received a call and all of a sudden his face lit up with joy and euphoria. After he had concluded his call, he looked exulted and exclaimed, “Madam, I thank God very much. I am very fortunate. One very good family has conveyed their okay to my proposal for my daughter’s marriage with their highly eligible son.” Having said this, he went out. After some time he was back with a packet of sweets and was distributing to all staff members with happiness radiating from his face.

When he came to me with sweets, I said jokingly, “Sardarji, is it not strange that only an hour ago you were shattered after having been denied a promotion; and now despite no change in that status, you are mad with euphoria.” His reply was “Madam, why should I think of that when God has given me  another reason to be happy, after all my promotion is not above the happiness of my family and daughter. That promotion wouldn’t have given me even half the joy what I have now.”

When the Sardarji left, I went into a thinking mode for quite sometime. For everyone, life is like this only; problems and bad news are in plenty and everywhere; but wisdom lies in taking note of small incidents of joy that too could bring happiness and touch our lives every now and then. Why not enjoy these moments of joy to douse the fire of sorrows.  This very approach will make us happy and this world will appear to be a better place to live in.

One should never choose to live by taking note of bad incidents only and then remain stuck to them. Real wisdom lies in learning to choose between the two.
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Spectacle of love

SS Hans, Hindustan Times

Recently, a Gurgaon park witnessed a strange spectacle. A baby, monkey strayed from his family, came hopping from nowhere. Scared of the chasing dogs, the monkey  used to climb up a tree. This went on for a few days until the dogs left their pursuit in sheer frustration. One of the dogs, however, kept up his pursuit. He was seen looking ‘passively’, with his tail wagging (a sign of love) towards the monkey sitting on the tree. I was their constant and keen observer. The dog with his proverbial smelling power smelt and realised that the monkey was in dire need of love and had made this park his very abode.

The dog released his 'Aura' (Force of love) towards the baby monkey on the tree. It caught the forceful 'Aura', came down the tree and sat beside the dog. It was a moment of revelation. Their comradeship began like between two humans. One day, we saw the monkey scratching the back of the dog and then the dog taking his turn. And they were always seen playing and frolicking.

The dog, used to his life with the baby monkey, would wait eagerly in the morning for the monkey to appear. And they had a good time for quite a long time. Then one day came the anticlimax. The monkey suddenly disappeared. The dog waited anxiously but all in vain. He became depressed and crestfallen.

One day, as I was walking in the park, I saw the dog lying in a pit near the pathway with closed eyes. As I passed near him, he sensed my presence and hardly opened his eyes and said to me, as if, with meek and half-opened eyes, "You very well know how much I loved the baby monkey. I wish him good luck wherever he is. Yet, I want him to come back and sit on my back and scratch it softly or even harshly, as he used to do earlier."

The dog comes to our home quite often. And I try to share his sadness by means that I know .
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Your God, my God

PP Wangchuk, Hindustan Times

We have come a long way since Charles Darwin shocked and shook the world with his evolutionary theory. God's creation of the universe belief was thrown up as a topic of heated discussion among the intellectuals. And the concept of God, hitherto formally an unchallenged belief, was put to test and debate.

Since then many books have come out on the subject, basically all based on the Darwin theory. The latest to ride the bandwagon is Georges Van Vrekhem, with his Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God. Vrekhem has Darwin as his central figure.

Evolution takes place because of the need to adjust to one's ever-changing surroundings; and in the process of survival of the fittest, the winners come out into a new category of species.

More living beings are born everyday than nature and natural resources are capable of taking care of. And that leads to an 'innovation' tactic on the part of living beings to stay alive. This happens in the process of evolution, acquiring new traits and abilities, popularly now known as the theory of natural selection as propounded by Alfred Wallace.

If Vrekhem has been able to put together various arguments and counterarguments, he has also done a good job in taking into view the latest theories on human genome, critical debates on God and religion and anthropic principles.

His own stand on religion and God comes out clear out of his unquestioned acceptance of Sri Aurobindo who is firmly ingrained in his mind and soul. And he does not seem to have any moral quarrel or qualm with those who do not believe in gods and goddesses.

If your God is unknown and unseen and yet a reality, how does it matter to others? It is a highly personal issue; and you better learn to rest in peace with the rest of the nonbelievers.

Meanwhile, let us think a while as to where the evolutionary process will lead us. Is it that we are going to be reduced to pigmies so that the earth can accommodate the booming population?
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Seize the moment

Divya Kapoor, Hindustan Times

Life never gives a second chance for anything whether it's about mourning over ruins or gratitude for something good done by someone. Life just knocks at the door once; either you act upon it or let it go forever. 
I remember there have been several times when I wanted to apologise but I didn't because of my stupid arrogance. There have been times when I wanted to show gratitude; again I didn't, delaying it for some other time. And I forgot the godly wisdom: my child, live this moment and relish the day.

But now I have realised the value of doing the right thing at the right moment. I have been able to give direction to all my thoughts. I am thankful for even the minutest happening in my life, and show gratitude to whatever someone does for me. If it's my mistake, then it's my sincere apology, for sure.

We always have the tendency of leaving things for the future even if they are confessions to your loved ones. Why don't people confess when the time is right and they are definite about their feelings, whether it's feeling of love, happiness or apology. We are here for this moment and we are sure just about this moment.

Life gives us many signals showing that the time is right and we may proceed in our task but we are so busy thinking about our future or the next moment that we don't respect this very moment. We ruin the time given and then when the time is gone, we mourn.

One must learn to respect this moment, live it fully and cash it because this moment wouldn't be coming again. Respect time and you will earn respect from the world. There is a saying, "Past is history, future is mystery and this moment is a gift and that's why it's called present."

Embrace the present given by life with joy and happiness, so that the essence of gift is doubled by our acceptance, not ignored by our apprehensive nature. One has to be sensitive to all this, and it is a long learning process.
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The Yoko Ono booster

P P Wangchuk, Hindustan Times

The Yoko Ono exhibition, now on in the national Capital, captures the very essence and beauty of women and their power. Aptly titled, the feisty artist's 'Our Beautiful Daughters' symbolises women as the reservoir of all the beauty and qualities that one can think of. With the power of creation, women are 'goddesses' in normal human beings. They have the strength and substance that men can't hope to have. And, as poet and  rights activist Maya Angelou describes them, they are like the bird that does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

Yoko has a feel-at home kind of feeling in India. The 'protest artist', as she describes herself, has made it a point that she is not bogged down by her critics after the death of her husband, singer and  song writer John Lennon. She became a 'greater sore point' for her critics as she took on her critics head on.

Indian women are celebrating Yoko's success because her aspirations and works are nothing but their own aspirations and goals. She is an instrument for their emancipation from what she calls "a world of male priorities".

As an artist and musician, Yoko Ono has been able to challenge and break the stereotypes that bogged down women all over the world. Indian women acknowledge this and they feel she is their 'saviour'.

And, unlike the western people who have called her "the evil witch of the east (Japan), she is in complete harmony with Indian women. She represents the kind of woman, in the words of Martina Navratilova, who sets no limits because she knows no limits.

And my love for quoting this quote of another rights activist, Lucretia Mott,  never fades, "The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of woman, the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source."

Indeed, Yoko Ono has been able to fight and bring in consciousness among the public that women be given their rights.
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