Archive for February, 2010

Life’s paradox

February 20, 2010

Objects of desire are different for different people. Be whatever, they are hard to accomplish. However, in my experience, life does reward those who strive hard for it.

What I have also experienced, interestingly, these objects of desire hurts either way. It hurts if you get it and it hurts If don’t.

Second part is clear but the first is not, right? That is, mind gets fond of it, and retaining that experience becomes important. It is harder. For instance, a good food appeals to the palette but the taste last only for a short moment. Mind gets fond of it, and desires to have more of it. When you have more and more of it, it leads to indulgence. Problems related to that hits you hard in the form of obesity and related problems. Hard money that you earn is then spent for better health.

Why am I talking about it? It is an interesting personal experience that prompted, and what I believe a reflection of natural phenomenon. I had been working from the comforts of my home for many years by now, and I felt pretty much comfortable.

My well-wishers used to caution me but I never realized, or rather I just let it happen.

What changed is my new year resolution. What provoked me was being diagnosed as diabetic; partly due to my unique work habits, and partly due to my own laziness. I had put on a lot of weights, and I was waiting for that to happen.

Well, finally, I decided to forgo my comforts of working from home. I travel a distance of more than 20 kilo meters in public transport, and I walk at every opportunity; well, that is a different me now.

What I felt makes me comfortable did not, and going about the same in a hard way is making me

Happiness within

February 13, 2010

Long back, I was working in Delhi in my twenties. I went to Khajuraho with my friends.

Going by what we had heard of, we expect it be an exotic experience.We were disappointed on reaching to find a village, very similar to villages we came from. There is a lot for historians and other subject matter experts but hardly anything for youth from a city like Delhi

What we soon realized is that we have two choices. We can mess up a holiday regretting or adjust ourselves to the situation and enjoy. Obviously, we did the latter and experience is still fresh in my memories even after two decades.

Message that I took from that experience is, happiness is state of mind; it is within. One can mess up life blaming others and environment or enjoy life as it is and have fun. I choose the latter always and life has been good to me so far

Early impressions

February 13, 2010

I am now almost into 18th chapter but that does not mean that I have fully absorbed the message. It would take many rounds of reading and reflections before I can claim to have got the message reasonably well.

Same goes for Bhagavat Gita. Though I have read many times, I have stopped after first few chapters partly because I felt discussions rambling beyond the actual intent and partly because I read it for peace of mind rather than knowledge pursuit; halo of ‘holiness’ around it has blocked the philosopher in mind. Incidentally, that is also the reason to pick up Ashtavakra Gita this time, rather than Bhagavat Gita, so that my quest can go unhindered

Another irritant while reading these two are noises of interpretations. Though I studied Sanskrit for more than 10 years, those are long back. My knowledge of Sanskrit at this point is rudimentary. It helps me to understand if something is wrong but not enough to find what is right. Problem with Sanskrit literature like Ashtavakra Gita and Bhagavat Gita are their meaning and its analysis are typically presented mixing up both. It takes time to remove what is translators/interpretations perceptions and what is actual message

Based on my reading of Bhagavat Gita and Ashtavakra Gita, my early impressions as a philosopher are:
1. Essential message in both are the same. Do not be misled by illusions, perceptions, emotions. You are real, and not your perceptions. It is very easy being an escapist, attributing outside; but real strength, real happiness, real solution is within; not in materials or people outside. Living by this conviction, and action based on these convictions, is key
2. This message is drawn on a broader canvas in Bhagavat Gita, accommodating multiple paradigms in philosophy while in Ashtavakra Gita message is blunt.
3. Bhagavat Gita appeals to wider audience making it easier for many to follow, eventually taking towards same message. It requires an enlightened soul to take the right message from Ashtavakra Gita. It is is like, some may get it while others may get simply lost especially since message from Ashtavakra Gita raise some fundamental questions that demand answer. Those answers need to be found by self, within self
4. Being more accommodative, Bhagavat Gita provides more scope for initial misinterpretations. Well, these misinterpretations do vanish on sustained reading and reflections. It is very much like message from Ramayana is idealistic and simple while message from Mahabharata can be appealing to many but potentially misleading initially

In harmony with self, and the world

February 6, 2010

Moments of tranquility is experience when one is in harmony with self and with the world. My first experience with experiencing tranquility was with Transcendental Meditation; an experience beyond happiness. It was an experience beyond constraints of space and time, and existence of me as a person.

Going forward, I had similar experiences each time I was deeply involved some work; reading, listening to music, talking, …. work that I feel like doing rather than; not some work imposed on me. When you do something which you feel like doing, it is not pain, it does not hurt. It hurts when there are expectations are attached.

Think of a work that you would do if you have nothing left in this world, no reason to even exist but you still exist. Think of a work that you would do if you have everything that you can think of. Think of a work that you would do in state of absolute happiness or utter despair. You do that work, not because it gives me money, power, position; not even the satisfaction of having done something. Think of a work that you would do even if it makes no difference either to you, or to the world.

World may be real, or an illusion; I don’t care. What I do may pay me or hurt me; I don’t care. I do it because I feel like doing it. I do as best as I can. State of mind when I work like that is no different from the state that I reach with meditations. It is state where I am neither happy nor sad. It is a state of pure existence, absolute tranquility; a state in which I am in complete harmony with myself, and with the world