Sunday, December 09, 2012

Inspired by København

Writing after a long gap...but I was inspired to write again thanks to my short visit to Copenhagen, Denmark - supposedly #9 in the list of Top 10 cities to live in the world as of now.

This was my first visit to a European country and I must say it was remarkably different from my previous US experience. For one, I found that the people here lead a very, very, very disciplined life. Also majority of the people here are very, very tall...! The other main aspect was that people here are very friendly and social as well which was very refreshing to see. I also happened to visit a rural area of Denmark, where they have a concept of community living where even today several families live together in one big place and support themselves by contributing all of their income earned to the community. These families also religiously practice organic farming and their belief in being 'environmentally-wise' is the common thread that binds them together. Very inspiring indeed.

Majority of the people here are very active and I could see a lot of people biking on the streets even though the outside temperature was hovering around 3 and 5 degree Celsius. I got to know that most people prefer to bike because:
1. The cost of buying a car is expensive and
2. People are environment conscious.

Also I didn't notice as many elevators in different apartment complexes and people mostly use the stairs. So I think these reasons could partly explain why it was difficult for me to find even one obese person out of at least 20-30 people! Also most of the people here hit the gym on a regular basis.

Also, as already mentioned almost all people here are really eco-friendly and that reflects in all of their everyday routine. I was really amazed to see how a whole nation can be so sensible and disciplined about their lifestyle habits including diet and exercise. And don't get me wrong, just because they are concerned about our environment doesn't mean they are technologically behind. No Sir! They have adopted modern technology in most of the areas but still stick to some of the older technologies in some areas like the heating systems in their apartments which seemed to be a bit archaic. It seemed like they still want to stick with some of it just for the sake of good ol' memories or maybe just because it is a more greener option!

One of the reasons that I felt personally why the people of Denmark are so conscious of all their habits is probably because each and everyone one of them realize that they have one nation which is a gift for them and they can't at any cost afford to 'pollute' it with human 'footprints'. I just wish people of all countries were as smart as the people of Denmark and learn to treasure their nations and not waste away the precious resources of their country and be more environment friendly. My sincere Hats-Off to the the Danish!

Now, time for me to go get my gym more delay on this one :-)

Friday, September 07, 2012

Suraj Chand Sitare lyrics...

Lyrics of another one of my favorite Sahaj bhajan...

Suraj Chand Sitare sab teri hi srushti hai Ma - 2

Teri rachna har maanav ko Sahaji bana do Adi Maa - 1

Suraj Chand Sitare sab teri hi srushti hai Ma - 1

Teri hi srushti hai Ma - 2

Kaliyuga ki maya moha se raksha hamari karna Ma - 2

Binati tumse hai Ma hamari charno mein apni rakhna - 1

Charno mein apni rakhna - 2

Agar bhatak jaaye jo kabhi bhi raaha dikha na humko Ma - 2

Humme bhar do prem ki shakthi gehra hamaarey dil mein Ma - 1

Gehra hamarey dil mein Ma - 2

Aashirvaad karo hum sabko Sahaja Yog badaye Ma - 2

Saari duniya sahaji bankar aaye tumhari sharan mein Ma - 1

Aaye tumhari sharan mein Ma - 1

Suraj Chand Sitare sab teri hi srushti hai Ma - 1

Teri rachna har maanav ko Sahaji bana do Adi Maa - 1

Suraj Chand Sitare sab teri hi srushti hai Ma - 1

Teri hi srushti hai Ma - 3

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

31 years of amnesia...

Yes, this post is about my own amnesia which I have suffered for the past 31 years. This amnesia relates to a very crucial part of my life...about my existence itself!

I can finally say that I found myself, the reason why I am here, why I was created...finally I have overcome my amnesia to see the light of truth. This is not a theory but a real experience which I had a couple of weeks back. The truth was all of a sudden standing in front of me, crystal clear without any doubts, any questions, any second-guesses.

The truth that I discovered was that, I am God's child. Yes, not an earth shattering discovery, but a very basic truth that all of us already know...but it is something which I experienced one fine day. How many of us realize this truth, believe this truth, understand this truth? I did and after this experience, life for me has changed in more ways than one. Now I realize that it is not me doing things but that I am being gently guided by a beautiful divine power. So all my actions are now 'surrendered' and not 'planned'. Now my desires are not many, but just one - 'To be in constant connection with the divine, every living moment of my life'. Now, the purpose of my life, is not achieve one, two and three from my list and become this and that, but to just remain as God's own child forever. Now I know for sure that my prayers are not just empty one-sided conversations but they are being listened to by someone sitting up there.

I can see that life has come a full circle for me at this point in time. In brief, for the first few years of my life, I was very much connected to the divine albeit without my knowledge and was hence a happy child. It was like this for the first 12 years of my life, I think most children are connected between this age range. Then the downfall started, the pangs of teenage years started and along with it came all the ambitions, frustrations, challenges, shortcomings which really took me down. But all this happened mainly because that the memory that I was God's child was completely erased from my being. Hence I went down in a spiral for the next 10 years and once again it was a spiral (a 3 1/2 coil spiral to be precise) which stopped this downward descent. I discovered Sahaja Yoga at 22 which helped me reverse my downward descent. But for me to completely remember who I was, took me another 10 years. But in all these years I was an unwavering seeker, I never gave up because I knew that something was wrong with the way things are, something was missing, something had to be improved upon. I was aware of the shortcoming of human endeavors and how they manage to get messed up at some point or the other all from personal experiences. I was aware that if we try to control our fate, then it would backfire at us at some point in time. So, I received answers to all my questions that day and there was no doubts, no questions, nothing more to be asked in my mind. I successfully overcame my amnesia and sincerely request the divine to let me enjoy this state for the rest of my life on earth!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Nirmal Rachna...

A Hindi poem about my beloved Guru Shri Mataji...

Maa, jab aap apni singhaasan pey viraajey
Ye dharthi ke sakal ansh tab mahek mahek utjaaye
Ganesha ka aagaman sab mein tab hojaaye

Maa, jab aap piroye pyaar key naazuk dhaagey
Ye brahmaand mein uthe shuddh iccha ke angaarey
Brahmaji tab honge jaagey

Maa, jab aap chakhlo apne bhaktho ke haathon se ek nivaala
Is dharthi par chaa jaaye harey rang ki maala
Lakshmi tab hamare jeevan mein padhaarey 

Maa, jab aapke dil mein pyaar aaye kisi jeev pe
Ye vishw ke ghanghor andherey rahenge doori pe
Durga ki shakthi ka ek jhonkha bas jaaye dil mein

Maa, jab app gaaye madhur sa ek swar
Is bhoomi ka har jeev bas jaaye viraat par
Krishna ki leela ho jaaye bhaktho mein tatpar

Maa, jab aap jhaankhen humaare aankhon ki geharaayiyon mein
Sakal jeev ke paap mitjaaye is kiran mein
Phir se Yesu ka punaruthaan ho is bhoomandal mein

Maa, jahaan aap chaley sang sang bahathi hai chaitanya ki lehre
Ye pruthvi ke jeevo ka hojaaye uthaan is shakthi ke sahaarey
Shivji ke tatw se ho poora Yog hamaare

Dhanya ho Maa, dhanya ho Maa, dhanya ho Maa

Jai Shri Mataji!

How my conversation with God changed...

...over the span of a 30 minutes early morning meditation (around 4:00 am to be precise) crossed 3 stages...just like that :-)

Stage 1: God, people in Chennai and rest of Tamil Nadu desperately need rain. It is already June and still no sign of any rainfall. The heat is killing. Please God, please help us!

This was the request stage.

Stage 2: God, you already know about what I am requesting. I am not telling you something that you do not know about. You also know how people are suffering due to this heat. I know we mortals are responsible for things like Global warming and we are guilty of being self-centered and all that. But please forgive us for all our mistakes and give us the much needed showers at the earliest (again a request-cum-command of sorts!) and help your suffering children.

This was the realization stage.

Stage 3: God, you know what we need best. You know the precise timing of when you will be sending us the rain. You are the ultimate authority. We are all your children, so I surrender this issue to you and request you to give everybody the patience and strength to bear this terrible heat.

This was the surrender stage...

After that, absolute peace and meditation in silence!

The most miraculous coincidence was that I came across the below story the next day after my above experience...

Mam Baihaqi has stated on the authority of Hadhrat Ali (ra) who stated: "Once, I was present with the Prophet (peace be upon him). At that time, I had fallen so much sick that I prayed to Allah Almighty to grant me death if I am destined to die so that I may get relief from the sickness, otherwise, I may be restored to normal health from the sickness if I have to live for sometime. I, also, prayed for being granted patience if this sickness is a test for me from Allah Almighty." Hearing that, the Prophet beat Ali with his foot and observed: "Oh Ali! repeat what you were saying." Ali (ra) repeated his prayer. Then the Prophet prayed to Allah Almighty: "O Allah! Heal him from the sickness." Ali (ra) stated that he became healthy the same day and the pain never appeared again.

Source: From the book "The Miracles of the Prophet Muhammad" by Shaikh Ahmed Saeed Dehalvi.

This story goes to show that we really do not have to ask God of anything...he knows what we need and will definitely take care of it, given that we are in connection with him..! At the same time it doesn't mean that we shouldn't pray, we should and that is the only way our channel to God will be maintained. But nowadays it seems people are more busy 'predicting' if the monsoon will arrive or not arrive or how much will arrive. So people, I think it is time to put aside the predicting and do some praying instead and witness God's power.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Majestic Silence...

We had been to Munnar (Kerala) a couple of weeks ago and boy, I must say this - Kerala - God's own country! The breathtaking sceneries out there just filled our heart with silent joy. There are no words to express the scintillating beauty of the place, so majestic, so serene, so mystical, so superlatives-transcending. Now I know the real reason behind why people used to escape to hilly / mountainous places for achieving their spirtual enlightenment. It seems like God really took his time in sketching this marvellous place on his drawing board and I bet he must have been in a really glorious mood.

Look hard and maybe you can see a dignified elephant...

There is just no end to the wondrous marvel of God's creation that enraptures you here. Here you can see the beauty of a misty mountain, just tilt your head a bit and you can catch a glimpse of a serenading waterfall, just around the corner you see a forest full of cardomom plantations and you just turn around a little bit more to see endless vast stretches of tea plantations...Wow! Come see the blue in the grass...a very apt statement that applies to Munnar. It is just endless, glorious views of God's creation which can satiate your inner spiritual being and make you feel connected with the greater power. Here you feel the presence of our creator; anyone can become a saint in this place.

Bountiful Tea plantations

When we entered Kerala border we were immediately welcomed with an elephant trio happily trotting away in the wild followed by a couple of really naughty monkeys who had a gala time jumping on our van. We also stayed at a resort which was just amazing in terms of hospitality and delicious food. I believe the owners of the resort were so besotted by Munnar when they first visited here that they decided to make it their home. I can believe that story without any iota of doubt. We also saw a field right in the middle of the valley with boys playing cricket...that's right...amidst all the hills. They were one lucky bunch of boys!

A beautiful waterfall amidst the lush green hills

When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

View from our resort room

We had been there for just two 'very short' days and we had to get back. My heart was very heavy the day we were starting back from Munnar and I hoped and prayed that we would come back soon albeit with the intention of staying longer.

Matupetty Dam - A breathtaking view

All photos courtesy my dear husband.

Monday, May 28, 2012

My first best friend...

I recently watched the animated movie 'Bolt' and was inspired to write this...about my first best friend.

I first met her when I was in my 4th grade and she was just over a month old. I christened her 'Ruby' (I think my Mom suggested to me that time, since the previous 2 dogs they owned were called Rover and Rosy). She had big round brown eyes, a shiny nose, perky ears, light brown colored hair covered her petite body and she had a very inviting, curled up tail. Yes, she was my first best friend for pet pom Ruby.

She was all I used to think about at that time. I used to feed her, bathe her, play with her, take her for walks and do a whole lot of fun stuff with her. She was to be my best friend for years to come until I completed my engineering...yes, she was a part of my life for 14 long years. I am using this space to reminisce about a few good moments we had together...

I celebrated her 'birthday' for the first 2 years after she came into my life with all festivities, cake, chocolates, dog biscuits, some 'privileged' guests and all the shebang. The cake and chocolates were anyways mostly meant for me since she didn't seem to be too interested in it...!!! Although the dog biscuits were her main cup of tea.

I used to take her for long walks in the evening and she used to sometimes prance off and go and eat some freshly laid cowdung off the road. Yes, ewwww!!!! That was her idea of dessert I suppose...

Many of the evenings during my summer holidays were spent removing ticks from her body and burning them since my Mom used to tell me that if there were not burnt they would come back 'alive' again. I am not sure if that's really true...

She used to have this uncanny ability to greet me whenever I got back home from school by wagging her tail and yelping at the top of her voice. Seeing her enthusiasm would make me forget all the day's fatigue and make me active once again.

When I used to feel sad and cry for some reason or the other she would be there at my side silently without making any sound. She would also sometimes lick the tears off my face. It may seem gross to a third person but at that moment I knew that I had my best friend right beside me.

This will be a very loooonnnnggg post if I list out all the mischief's we would be upto all the time especially during the summer holidays...she was always my official 'partner in crime' :-)

During winter, I would dress her up in a sweater and take her for walks...which would make her THE center of attention on the road...coming to think of it, she was just like my child. I used to stay up most of the night when she used to fall sick just to make sure that she was doing fine. I used to also save up some of my pocket money to buy her favorite dog biscuits.

Once, I came very close to losing her when a few street dogs mercilessly bit her in the middle of the night. I had my first semester engineering exams coming up in a couple of weeks and this happened. I stayed up a few nights nursing her and had to apply medicines on her thrice a day. God's grace, she came back to me. :-) but after that incident her health was not as stable as before...

She came along with me all along and she passed away the day I left for the US, the first time. My parents didn't inform me about it until after a couple of days. But it was one lonely moment for me. Anyways, if you have kids, please let them have a pet since they will learn to be more responsible, more caring, will share more and overall will become sensitive and kind humans. What with the current generation of kids not getting to mingle and play with other kids, having a pet can make all the difference in their lives...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My sister Dolly...

This post is about a person whom I loved as a child and who was very special; my elder sister Usha whom we lovingly called 'Dolly' which actually later became 'Daally' in daily usage. Just like her name, she was like the first gentle rays of the morning sun. Unfortunately, she passed away in 1988 in a mishap when I was in my 3rd grade. To this day, I still regret that I didn't get to spend as much time with her as I should have. These are the memories of a 7 year old...

I was very young to remember everything about her but there a few things about her which are still fresh in my mind to this day. She was very good at writing absolutely beautiful and unique doodles of exquisite women faces. I used to admire them so much and also had saved some of them for quite a number of years. I tried mimicking her sketches myself but couldn't get it as good as her. The features of the women in her sketches would be Oh-so-delicate, just like my sister. She was one of the softest and gentlest person you could find. Also given the fact that she was almost 21 years older to me (yes, I know, I know!) she was more like a second Mother to me. I know of her more as a mother than a sister since I was so young. Maybe if she was around now I could have had a heart-to-heart sister chat with her and could have understood better of who she was as a person and what her deepest desires were.

She used to be just a little over 5 feet but she had loooong, thick, jet black hair which went all the way and below her waist. She was a very simple lady with very simple desires. While leaving for office she used to dress in a very simple manner but still she managed to look very pretty and elegant. I remember she used to always wear a violet colored, single stranded crystal beads necklace which I used to love. I used to think that the necklace represented my sister in many ways, as it was simple and short but at the same time unique, elegant and gently radiant just like my sister's personality.

She used to help me with my homework everyday evening and teach me Maths. Her handwriting was round and beautiful just like pearls. I remember spending hours together just admiring her handwriting. The same cannot be said about my handwriting though... :-) I also remember that I had a batty problem at school in LKG. I somehow couldn't bring myself to write the small letter 'f', weird isn't it! My teacher was very impatient with me since I used to always make a mistake. But Dolly corrected my mistake in a jiffy by patiently teaching me the right technique. I used to feel that with her as my teacher I could master anything very easily.

Back then itself she had done a course in COBOL programming and she used to tell me that she was good at it. She used to really enjoy her computer classes. I used to peek into her notes, just to admire her handwriting though. My Mother also used to tell me that she was very good at her studies but she was painfully shy. She had very few friends and one Kalpana was her best friend since childhood with whom she shared all her secrets. She also loved to eat raw rice while it was being cleaned. My mother used to berate her saying that it would rain during her wedding if she ate too much of raw rice and true to her words it did rain cats and dogs on her wedding night.

This brings me to her wedding day. I was literally everywhere. I was so excited with the happenings. The main episode that I remember was her reception during which my sis was looking soooooo gorgeous, just like the women in her doodles. She was so beautiful that evening that I just couldn't keep my eyes off her. That is the day I realized that my sister was a beautiful person not only on the inside but on the outside as well! I also cried so much that night after she left. I was mainly worried about who would help me with my homework going forward!!! I also remember that I cried even more on the day she left us which was just 3 months after her wedding but that is something I do not want to remember.

When I come to think of it today, I am literally opposite to her in nature as well as physical appearance. She was short while I am quite tall, she had a perfectly round face while I have an oval face, she had thick long hair while I have messy curly hair, she had big beautiful eyes while I have medium eyes, she was gentle as a lamb while I was quite tomboyish, and we had so many years separating us hmmm....but nevertheless the face remains that we were sisters :-)

Daally, these are some tattered memories I have of you. I just wish I got to know more of you but nevertheless I am happy that I did know a warm and sweet person like you atleast to some extent.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Divine plans and actions - Part 2

This post is continuation of my previous post of the same title...

As a child and even to this day, I respect deities from all religions. As I was schooled in a Christian institution, I was used to praying to Lord Jesus Christ in the church of our school compound. Also, for a few years I used to celebrate Christmas at home with a self-made Christmas tree, Crib, Star and the works. I used to always listen to the evening prayers which echoed from the mosque near my house. They used to supply me with my daily dose of the divine. As a kid when I used to visit the temple, I used to always ask for something but later I used to go to the temple and just sit in meditation. I came to realize that God is everywhere and he knows what I want. I don't have to explicitly tell him anything, so my temple time was just my quiet time with God.

I also used to 'dislike' human beings as a kid since I always felt that we are capable of only giving love on a conditional basis. I used to love animals for the selfless love that they showered on us without expecting anything in return. In that sense, I always felt that animals were spiritually superior to us. But as my world expanded, I did meet a few people who changed this perspective of mine for good. I have also come to realize that if you are a spiritually mature person you can give much more love to the world and change it in your own small but significant way.

In my 7th grade, I had a dream of Shirdi Sai Baba who came and protected me from some horrible goon. He then told me that I will one day find my true calling which I eventually did.

There was magic in the divine power which I used to always feel. On Ganesh Chathurthi, my joy used to know no bounds. I used to make all efforts to decorate my house to welcome home our little Ganesha moorthi (statue). Now after my spiritual realization, I realize the important role that Shri Ganesha plays in our spiritual upliftment. Also I used to adore him since he was an elephant-headed God. I used to just love animals. I used to always have one recurrent dream since my LKG days and that was to construct a massive hospital for animals where they could get free treatment. This was the dream I had day in and day out and animals both tame and wild used to visit my hospital for their treatment. I religiously watched Maneka Gandhi's 'Heads and Tales' show and was a vegetarian for almost 9 years! I sure hope to get my animal charity stuff rolling sometime in the near future but that I will keep reserved for another post.

I was very artistically expressive, whenever time permitted that is. I used to sketch drawings of the different deities, compose poems about Nature and the purpose of our life on Earth. I used to be quite a shy child but I was a God-fearing individual. I used to always be implicitly aware of the dharmas that keep us grounded as human beings and used to never cross my limits. But I think once I got into college and got into the rigmarole of studying, studying and more studying somewhere this divine connection got weakened a bit and I lost track of my spiritual quest. But as they say, in our darkest hour do we find the greatest light, I think I again got back on track of my spiritual quest through Sahaja Yoga and the rest as they say is history!!!

Divine plans and actions - Part 1...

My life 'changed' from all perspectives the day I started to meditate. It is now 9 years since I started my spiritual journey...but it is only now that I am beginning to understand so many things at a somewhat deeper spiritual level. I guess each one of us learns and graduates at their own pace.

When I reflect back, February 2003 was the day I got my spiritual realization. The day I got my realization is still etched very clearly in my mind and I still cherish Feb 9th as a very important date. But, as I am growing in my spiritual ascent, I realize now that this day was just one of the many events which occurred in my life which served as 'spiritual markers' to the beginning of my spiritual life. I always knew that I was a special child and now I have to come to fully realize the reason behind it. My Mother Shri Mataji was there even back then to guide me gently through my life.

I would like to use this post to reminisce some of those events which held significance from a spiritual perspective. As a kid, I used to always go to the terrace of my house and look at the moon and stars and ask them, what is my purpose. This is something which I did on a regular basis, since back then something inside me told me that life is not very shallow and holds much more deeper meaning than what I was seeing with my open eyes. I used to believe that somebody up there was listening to my questions and that I would one day get the answers to my question.

As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts Punyakoti, I was in 3rd standard but the poem touched me so deeply that it is difficult to describe in words. It is the first time I realized that I was such a sensitive person. When I watch movies even to this day I always like to watch ones which have some moral or higher meaning attached to them. As a child, Moral Science class used to be my favorite!

This post seems to be growing in length, hence let me split it into 2 parts to make reading comfy...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Salute to my Mother-

in-law (this part is inconsequential anyways :-)). Yes, I would like to dedicate this post to my Mom-in-law (whom I lovingly call Maami) because she is one helluva woman! I guess this is not something very common for a daughter-in-law to do but I think anybody in my place would have done the same. She is one unique woman and no, she is not very highly educated nor is she a hi-flying city-dweller.

She is a simple woman from one of the remotest village in Tamil Nadu but her qualities would put even a city lady to shame. I must say, she is the epitome of the Indian Woman. It is women like her who still weave love into India's fabric to this day. She has nerves of steel - rugged on the outside and soft as butter on the inside. She is not the one to be worried about her looks but she worries all the time about how well-groomed her children look. She makes sure that all the people in her family have had a satisfied meal before she even touches a morsel of food herself. She sacrifices like it is nobody's business. I am not sure if my words would do enough justice to her shining character but I am making an attempt.

From what I know of her, I must say she is one gutsy woman. She is totally and unconditionally selfless when it comes to herself but when it comes to her children she is the most selfish person, just like a Mother hen who protects her chickens... :-) She would smile and bear anything for their happiness. She would sleep on the bare floor but she would make sure that her children are sleeping on a silk-cushioned mattress. The most highest qualities of a Mother, she possesses.

Today's woman spends more time on her outer beauty but forget to nurture their inner qualities but we have to remember that outer beauty will wilt away very soon, it is our unique qualities as women which will shine through over time. I know this is beginning to sound like one of those forwards where all the ideal qualities of a woman are described, but I know of no other way of describing her and I am not even sure where I should start describing her.

She remembers all the little dialogues, all the little incidents, all the glances of her children and her relatives from years ago and relates them like it happened just a couple of hours ago. She does exaggerate a bit when it comes to her children but which Mother doesn't!

She has a steely resolve and when she wants to get something done nothing can stop her from it. You know life is not very easy in the villages and she isn't deterred by anything, be it the blistering Tamil Nadu summer afternoons, the highly musical mosquitoes, the nasty bug, the missing helping-hand, her painful backache or the occasional snake in the bush. The task has to get done and that's it and waking up at 4 am in the morning is just another normal daily routine for her.

She cares for her cows and goats like they were born of her and they respond to her in the same way. Rain or blazing Sun she makes sure that they are well-fed and well-watered. She can understand their calls better than anyone else and she nurtures them most with her love.

Love, is the main ingredient which makes her world go around and that is the only language she knows well. Love for her children, her relatives, her animals, her plants, her neighbors everybody who comes in contact with her. She believes in just giving, giving and more giving. She just keeps giving like the Goddess Lakshmi, there is just no end to her giving. I am not sure of what I can ever give her because I have no time to pause and think since I am so busy just taking from her, so much love she has to offer everyone! She hides her tears from her children so that they do not feel her pain and ends up hiding it from herself too...! She just loves unconditionally and doesn't expect back anything in return.

Her qualities have permeated into her children too and I am lucky to be married to one of her children. So, I have come to realize that the best way to make your children loving is to be loving yourself as children learn by imitation and the Mother is the first person they mimic. But being loving doesn't just come naturally to everyone. But if there is one woman like her in every home, there is no doubt that India would retain its long lost glory and be the shining beacon of hope and love to the whole world again.

All I want to say is that I am Oh-so-lucky to be her DIL atleast and if I can even manage to be 10% of what she is during my lifetime then my birth as a woman would be truly fulfilled. A most respectful salute to Mother India too who produces women of such awesome character. Also hope more DILs have such beautiful things to say about their MILs. Amen!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Why we shout in anger???

Came across this gem of an article on Facebook :-)

A Hindu saint who was visiting river Ganges to take bath found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples smiled and asked.

'Why do people shout in anger shout at each other?'

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, 'Because we lose our calm, we shout.'

'But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.' asked the saint

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.
Finally the saint explained, .

'When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other but talk softly, Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small...'

The saint continued, 'When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.'

He looked at his disciples and said.

'So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, Do not say words that distance each other more, Or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will no longer be able to hear each other.'

The hymn prophet Muhammad's uncle wrote in praise of Lord Shiva...

Just came across this one...talks about India's greatness. Let us Indians realize this and be deeply indebted to Mother India and not abuse her. We are just so lucky to be born here and probably it is a result of our previous punyas...

Prophet Muhammad's uncle Umar-bin-e-Hassham (also known as Abu Hakam or Abu Jahl) was a renowned poet whose famous Arabic poem in praise of Lord Shiva, included in Sair-ul-Okul and cited on a column in the (fire worship pavilion in the rear garden of the) Lakshmi Narayan Temple in New Delhi, runs as under:

Kafavomal fikra min ulumin Tab asayru
Kaluwan amataul Hawa was Tajakhru - 1
We Tajakhayroba udan Kalalwade-e liboawa
Walukayanay jatally, hay Yauma Tab asayru - 2
Wa Abalolha ajabu armeeman MAHADEVA
Manojail ilamuddin minhum wa sayattaru - 3
Wa Sahabi Kay-yam feema-Kamil MINDAY Yauman
Wa Yakulum no latabahan foeennak Tawjjaru - 4
Massayaray akhalakan hasanan Kullahum
Najumum aja- at Summa gabul HINDU - 5

The man who may spend his life in sin and irreligion or waste it in lechery and wrath - 1
If at least he relent and return to righteousness can he be saved? - 2
If but once he worship Mahadeva with a pure heart, he will attain the ultimate in spirituality - 3
Oh Lord (Shiva) exchange my entire life for but a day's sojourn in India where one attains salvation - 4
But one pilgrimage there secures for one all merit and company of the truly great - 5

Source: Sair-ul-Okul, P. 235

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Parameshwari Bhagawati Nirmala...

Lyrics of another of my favorite Sahaja bhajan...

Parameshwari Bhagawati Nirmala...(2)
Hame teri mamta ka aashray mila...(2)

Hai upkaar teraa milaa ye basera...(2)
Huyaa hai jeevan mein phir naya savera...

Hame teri mamta ka aashray mila...

Nahin besahara nahin deen ab hum.... (2)
Hum hii shakti roopa toh karunaa bhi hai hum...

Ye dhi hai maanavta aanchal mein humarey...

Parameshwari Bhagawati Nirmala...(2)
Hame teri mamta ka aashray mila...(2)

Ye gulshan humara, basera ye pyaara... (2)
Yahin se shuru nava jeevan hamara...

Vishwa Nirmala prem aashram ye nyaara...

Parameshwari Bhagawati Nirmala...(2)
Hame teri mamta ka aashray mila...(2)

Jukhe sheesh tere charan mein Ma Nirmal... (2)
Tumhe dekh hum ko tumhi ka ho pratipal...

Chaley us nagar par jahan naam tera...

Parameshwari Bhagawati Nirmala...(2)
Hame teri mamta ka aashray mila...(2)

Hame teri mamta ka aashray mila...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

He is growing up...

This is a short post inspired by my three year old son's 'all-grown-up' words...

Last week a Mommy squirrel left two of her baby squirrels in our attic and for some reason never returned...

The baby squirrels kept crying for food and I found that really tiny baby squirrels need to be given only milk (a complicated mixture of 4 - 5 different kinds of milk powder and other stuff) and nothing else. :-( So they finally passed away yesterday.

When I told my son that the baby squirrels have died and so the Mommy squirrel and me are sad, his response left me in tears. He said, 'Mommy, I will not die and leave you'. I was totally taken aback, but after composing myself, I told him that nothing will ever happen to him since he is under the perfect protection of the Divine to which he said, 'The squirrel baby didn't pray to the Divine that is why they died'. I told him that the squirrel babies were too little to pray to God but somehow they were destined to go back to God. He said that he would always do 'shaami' so that he can be with Mommy :-)

I am not sure if all children have this level of maturity at three years of age. Probably the children of this generation are very much grown-up in comparison to their physical age. Whatever it is, his responses left me speechless and looking for a kerchief...

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Found my Pillar of strength...

during my flight fraught with peril...yes, this is another post about my son :-)

I was reminded yesterday about our f(p)light from US to India in 2010 and decided to dedicate this post to that episode. It was quite an episode given the fact that everything which could even remotely go wrong went wrong during that journey. A list of our experience is listed below..phee...reading this I think you will feel happy that all your journeys in life until now have been sooooo, heavenly and hope it will always be so too!

TWWW (Things Which Went Wrong) # 1 - We had excess weight in almost all of our baggage's hence we had to pay a hefty fine...

TWWW # 2 - We missed our first connecting flight thanks to the delay caused in paying the fine amount. Luckily we didn't miss the International flight. Thank God!

TWWW # 3 - A brand new expensive thermos flask we had bought, slipped and broke into a million pieces at the airport waiting gate!

TWWW # 4 - The amount of hand baggage we were carrying was ....well indescribable!!!

TWWW # 5 - We didn't miss the first International flight but missed the second one due to TWWW # 1 :-( (we do end up paying for our past karmas one time or the other - that's a given!!!)

TWWW # 6 - Thanks to a well-meaning air hostess who took pity on our excess-hand-baggage situation, we inadvertently lost a cabin baggage which had all our important documents like college degree certificates, laptops, jewelry :-| (realized that sometimes good intentions don't always translate to good results!)

TWWW # 7 - Above all we had hardly slept for three whole days before our journey what with all the packing and cleaning of our rental apartment!

The only icing on this melting cake was that we didn't get stranded in Frankfurt airport else we would have been caught up in the Volcanic Ash incident and couldn't have reached India for atleast a week!!!

You must be wondering by now how this post is related to my son. Given the above facts you can imagine the state my husband and I must have been in. But oblivious to all the things happening around him my son was the 'coolest' guy one could ever find. He was so well-behaved, so cute, so 'non-troubling' that just looking at him made us realize that it is possible to maintain our cool even in the most trying of situations. He slept when he had to, he ate when he had to, he was so laid-back and was the most well-behaved gentleman around given the fact that he was just two days short of turning One year :-) I think he knew inherently that Mommy and Daddy were facing some sort of crisis and that he shouldn't add to their misery, he somehow just knew it! He was really a reflection of the divine power and somehow we looked up to him to handle the situation and also managed to come out of this sticky situation and landed safely in India and even found our lost baggage intact, albeit a couple of weeks later!

All's well that ends well. Thank you God for giving us your reflection in innocent but all-knowing children!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My encounter with Mr. Hanumana...

This was an incident which occurred yesterday when I took my son to the small zoo here at Guindy. As my son was hungry, I gave him a small bun and asked him to eat it. He refused and gave it back to me and I kept it back within the bag along with the rest of the bun packet.

But unknowing to us there was a Mr. Hanumana (read monkey) watching us closely from a distance! As soon as I kept the bun packet back into the bag the monkey approached us and snatched the bag from my hand like it belonged to him or her (I am not sure!). My son burst into tears and wanted his bun back right then...anyways!

This is what monkeys generally do when we innocently tempt them with goodies in our hand. But what made me write this post was the brazen 'fearlessness' which I noticed in the eyes of the monkey. It was just so raw...I was trying to shoo it away and it didn't seem to bother about anything. Looking at its eyes which were so fear-free and direct made me retreat. This is when I thought fearlessness...what an amazing quality to have and your eyes are the best window to express them. Maybe back then, while the Britishers ruled us, I think it is this kind of fearlessness that they saw in our freedom fighters eyes which made them squinch and leave. The fearlessness in somebody's eyes can instill the feeling of fear in somebody else...can we manage to be fearless in all circumstances or only in the pursuit of things that we must have, does fearlessness come from being ignorant or from the belief that we can face anything that may come I know why Lord Hanuman is associated with fearlessness...Jai Shri Ram bakth Hanuman!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How honest are we...?

I am like a sponge, I tend to absorb the goodness of others or the positive vibes around me...this post is dedicated to one of my friend whom I met during my management course. She inspired me to write this blog by her honesty...! When we say 'honest' immediately we think about someone who is prompt at returning his debt, not lying and so on.

But when we look at it at another level, there are so many layers to Honesty which I feel is such a glorious quality. It can be expressed in so many myriad ways that at the first look of it 'honesty' may not seem the right word to be used in the context. But when we look deeper at the heart of it, we can see that it is indeed honesty.

Coming to my friend, I was inspired by how she prepared for our exams we had recently. She basically prepares from all angles - studied the text book, referred the net, referred the questions papers, referred to notes (though they were not of very high quality ;-)), referred to friends' to get any related info - basically leave no stone or should I say 'source of info' unturned! How I wish I had prepared like this during my engineering days! Anyways, so she makes sure that the understanding she has about the subject is complete from all aspects and that there is not a single gap left. I feel that the kind of efforts she puts in is just a reflection of her honesty. She wants to get good marks, no doubt but first and foremost she wants to be honest to herself about her knowledge of the subject and she makes sure that she is by putting in all possible efforts. Did I forget to mention, that she is part-time working Mom with two kids! She is not doing it just for the sake of doing it which I feel is a very important aspect of a honest being. Also I think preparing like this will help us remember everything better and clearly which will ensure that we will never forget the essence of what we have learnt. This is very essential in today's competitive world since the more we learn and the more we retain the more we grow in all aspects. I just wish I had met her much earlier probably during my school days but then again, I am not sure that back then I would have been able to absorb all this!

But on similar lines, what with me being drawn more on the spiritual side and all that nowadays ;-), I was thinking about how 'honest' we are in seeking God, our creator. When we can put in so much efforts for our worldly pursuits then how much efforts do you think we should put in to seek out the Divine, who is all powerful, all pervading, all knowing? Are we going to the temple/church/mosque just for the sake of it or to really feel and experience God? For an exam the results of our preparation will directly reflect in the results, but how will we know the results of the success we had in our pursuit of God, how and where will that reflect? Just an open question to everyone...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Imagine a world...

...where it is just another dump yard with all its fertility lost and we humans are living on some hi-tech space ship thousands of miles above the earth. Sounds familiar, isn't it...? It is the common theme in most sci-fi, techno-babble movies where people are living like zombies and actually just 'existing' scared of each other and moving around in super-fast mini space-ships hardly interacting with each other...! hmmm....would you like to be a part of this world...? Yes, it is probably true that all of us tend to imagine tomorrow's world to be like this what with the rapid advancement in technology and the equally rapid deterioration of human values and ethics. So there is not doubt that this is what we will get as an end result....

But why can't our brains imagine something different...a world with probably some technology in it but also a host of other positive things like saintly, collective and loving people! Too hard to imagine...right? But let's just give it a try...

Probably it will be fast-rewind rather than fast forward but let us imagine a world where each one of us shines with love, each one of us is ready to help the other with no fear or ulterior motive in our minds, each one of us respects the other as one respects the self, a world where there is no disease, no pain, no crimes, no hospitals, no medicines, no chemicals, no pollution, no politics,...Imagine each one of us being so righteous, so fearless, so honest, so sincere, so sweet, hmmm, feels so good just thinking about brain is probably not even capable of doing justice in describing how great this kind of a world would be...probably many of you reading this may feel that it may be too much of 'sweet' to digest but while we can imagine the opposite then why not this? The truth is we find it easy to imagine a human created world but fail to see a world where God has taken over in the complete sense and human beings exist with the complete knowledge and understanding of the Divine presence. So the human being at this stage becomes a beautiful musical instrument with God's divine essence flowing within them and it becomes an indisputable fact unlike the case today. Just think, will you still be mediocre when you sense the presence of a great illuminating light within you, obviously not.

Is it so difficult for us turn back time and bring back all that was or is even now considered 'ideal and good'? Is it so difficult to change ourselves to be that...? Probably it is for us, but it may not be for our future generations to come. I am sure that they will come with a unique realization that they are God's chosen children and that they should respect all of creation. I am hoping that this golden age comes upon us sooner than's to positive hopes!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A rational versus spiritual mind...

This post is inspired by a story I heard in one of the talks of my Guru Shri Mataji...

This story talks about how two different people who are both equally pious understand God....

Once upon a time there was a very pious man who set out to meet God.

On the way, he came across a man who was relaxing, doing nothing much and singing devotional songs of God. The man asked him to tell God that his food and other basic amenities were coming to and end and that they need to be refilled...

Then he came across another man who was engaged in doing all sorts of complex yogic postures and asanas. This person told him to ask God as to when he would appear before him and give him Darshan.

The first person walked away thinking about how contrasting the requests of both the men he met were. Once he reached the abode of God and had a Darshan of him to his heart's content he related the request of the two people he had met on his way. God was immediately concerned about the first person's request and said that he would make sure that he would get all the needful immediately. Also he said that the second man was still not ready to get his Darshan. This puzzled the man since by the looks of it both men seemed to be very pious and devoted to God. Hence he didn't understand the bias in God's reaction towards them. But he remained quiet and kept his doubts to himself.

But God being God, read his mind and asked him to relate a story when he meets the two gentlemen on his way back. The man agreed and listening to the story left the kingdom of God. One reaching the man performing Yogic poses he narrated the story which God had told him to which he cried in disbelief saying, 'You fool, how can it be ever be possible? It doesn't look like you met God at all, you are just cooking up a fancy story to befool me.'

Bewildered by his reaction to the story, the man moved on and when he came across the man singing bhajans he was a bit hesitant to narrate the story but still went ahead and did it. To this the man started singing the praise of God even louder and said aloud that only God can do this, only God can do this...!

This made the man understand the bias in God's reaction towards them. Before I forget to mention the story God had told him was 'I saw God make a camel walk through the eye of a small needle!'

Friday, January 27, 2012

Operation UnPlug - Two!

This post is second in the line of the 'Operation UnPlug' posts and is dedicated to MittiCool... :-) a innovative line of products by Mr Manshukbhai Prajapati of Wankaner (Gujarat state, India). I have already decided to order a few of the MittiCool's products...

This post deserves to be part of my 'Operation UnPlug' series of posts since it is about being eco-friendly and at the same time being natural...Mr. M Prajapati has had the forethought and vision to utilize clay which is one of the basic elements of nature and come up with such innovative products like Water filters, Non-stick tavas, Cookers and even...yes, you are reading right Refrigerators!!! When I first read about him in an article I really wished that I should have got these ideas too :-) but I think it is better that somebody has these ideas and is already implementing them.

If each of put our earnest efforts no matter how small they maybe in trying to leave less of our footprint on Mother Earth...then I think it will go a long way in helping to sustain all that we cherish as valuable...Amen!

A humble prayer to my Guru Shri Mataji...

The inspiration for this prayer occurred to me during my morning 4 am meditation last week...this prayer is a humble request to my Guru Shri Mataji to make our meditation process deeper and that much more spiritual...

Shri Mataji let us through this meditative process become one with you...let us not have any duality the end of this session...I humbly request you to take away all the things which will prevent this from happening during this session...

Let me realize that you are my number one priority...that my number one problem is how to be connected with you everyday and every second of my life...that you are bigger than everything else in my me ignore everything else and help me direct my complete attention on you as you are my number one are and should always remain number one on my list...

Please make me humble enough to realize that 'I' am nothing...everything in this world...even the tiniest of tiny blade of grass obeys your command...and that I have been designed to do just the me become ready in all possible ways to understand this simple truth and be able to accept this fact whole and me thrash our ego and superego and keep it where is deserves to be, outside of me...let my brain be filled with just the humble recognition of the fact that you are our Mother and that this birth of ours has been most fortunate enough to realize this atleast to some extent...

Help me become like a small infant enjoying the bliss of complete security in her mother's me become like a small child playing and getting tangled in the folds of the Sari of her mother...let me play like that in the folds of your sari of beautiful vibrations...let me not have a care in this world...just like innocent children...and just like children let me have no doubt and no fear in the fact that all our needs, all our desires will be satisfied by you Mother...and that my first and foremost desire and immediate action should be to come completely under the shade of your security...

Make my brain smart enough to realize the divine flow of your love...let my brain realize that I am just like the sunflower and that my complete attention should be on my Sun that is Shri attention should just follow you and only you...nothing else matters...

My attention should be bathed in the light of the knowledge that Shri Mataji is the most important entity for attention should be humbled by the knowledge of my Guru Shri brain should become intelligent enough to understand the complexity of this magnificent creation of my Mother which is just to display her love for us...let me enjoy each and every aspect of nature with this awareness in my mind...all my actions should be executed in a way that Shri Mataji would have executed it before my every action let me remember that she is my Mother and she does let me just allow her to do things in her own way...and let me just watch the sheer magic of her grand execution and be humbled by it...

Let me become like a hollow enable her to play the music of Divine love through us...Shri Mataji, I humbly request you that...let every chakra..not only every chakra, ever pore, every cell of my body say your name...let no physical, mental, emotional ailment prevent any cell of my body from putting its attention on your name...because your name is is the most powerful mantra in the whole universe...let all the cells in my body just recite your Divine name, let each cell become drenched in the light of your attention...let me just become one with you...let there be no I or me...only you...only you...only you Shri Mataji!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mattu Pongal - a first hand experience... :-)

I had often seen pictures of nicely decorated cows and bulls on TV or in print during Mattu Pongal. But this year I got to experience it first hand in my spouse's native village.

Enjoy the pics... :-)

The cows were given a nice bath early in the morning. But the actual Puja is performed only in the evening after the sun sets. The cows and bulls are ornately decorated with Mango leaves, Color papers, Sindoor and even balloons. This day is all about thanking the animal species for their help rendered to humans in helping them get a bountiful harvest...

A popular legend says that once Lord Shiva asked his bull Basava to go down to earth to convey an important message to the mortals; they should take an oil massage and bath daily and eat just once a month. Basava just probably misinterpreted or forgot exactly what was to be said; he announced to the mortals on earth that they should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. We all know the wrath of Lord Shiva; he cursed his favorite bull and banished him to earth to live a life to plough the fields to produce food for all and draw heavy carts carrying this food for sale and consumption.

I personally feel that all of us should continue to perform the various festivals / rituals in order to preserve the essence of our culture and also to showcase it to our children. Also this day should be dedicated to all our animal friends and not just cattle as our planet is so beautiful due to the presence of all them. I think our tradition has a lot of small expressions of respect to nature and towards each other...all these will add to our values...okay I dont want to go in the preaching mode once more...hope all of you had a great Pongal :-)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Our children...

How we bring up our kids plays a major role in how we shape them as good and caring citizens of this world. I admit I am not the best parent in the world but I do hold some views especially after observing a lot of my friend's kids. There are many facets to bringing up a child, I agree...but I feel the first and foremost thing is that we have to teach them values, values like learning to care, learning to respect, learning to accept. I am not going to lecture about good parenting here but just want to throw light on a few aspects..

Nowadays kids are always in a hurry...hurry to be somewhere, hurry to do something, hurry to get up and get going. Kids today spend hours together on Facebook and other social networks but when it comes to serving a guest who comes home or speak two kind words to the granny who lives next door they are absolutely clueless. I had written a blog about how people behave in their online versus real lives earlier which is kinda related to this post...

Today parent's have no time for their kids - parent's may be fluent in two different languages but the only language they communicate with their kids is in English, parents think spending quality time is taking kids to the mall / theme parks, parents think their job is done if they send their kids to 'good' schools - they assume the schools will teach them all that they need to know about life!

Parents often forget how important their role is and that kids mirror them first and foremost (Yatha Raja - Thatha Praja), so how they behave with others, how they treat others matter the most. If all of the parent's interactions are happening online and if the parent's hardly have any visitor's home then it becomes very difficult for the child to pick up on important social skills.

Today's kids are pampered with all kinds of lavishness but nobody seems to be bothered to teach them about reality. The parents today are going about their jobs like a horse with its blinkers on and the same is happening with children. This kind of upbringing only leads to self-centeredness which is really really dangerous in today's society. Today's kids want to come up in life no matter what, they are hardly aware of the trials and tribulations their parents are facing and even if they are they don't care. They want to grow up faster in life losing touch with reality, losing touch with the people who brought them up and cared for them. They want to stand tall in society forgetting that it is not possible without being strongly rooted to their base. Today most of the problems faced by western society is due to the failure of the family system and that is where we Indians are in a better position but we need to work on this to get better and prevent our values from being eroded.

So I think it is high time that all of us pledge, pledge to do a better job in bringing up our kids, pledge to teach them to be sensitive to the pain and suffering of others (not in a sarcastic fashion), pledge to teach them about nature and her myriad beauties, pledge to teach them on how to interact with their relatives / neighbors (maybe learning a thing or two ourselves in the process), pledge to be kind even to strangers, pledge to teach them not to be superficial beings but grounded in reality, pledge to teach them to really adjust and live collectively with others, pledge to teach them to respect other beings human (especially women) or animal, pledge to make them sensitive enough to choose a profession which is a service to all of mankind and nature, pledge to teach them to learn responsibility early on by letting them have a pet / care for plants, pledge to teach them to share with others and be unselfish, pledge to teach them atleast one regional language that we are fluent in, pledge, pledge to teach more about our values and heritage, pledge to make them relish the taste of real Indian food and not let them become slaves of Pizza and Fries, pledge to teach them that competing and getting ahead of the pack is not everything in life, pledge to teach them that science and technology is not the be all and end all, pledge to really spend 'quality time' with them and not just push expensive toys up their throat, pledge to teach them to learn to help someone in need, pledge to teach them that having a big heart is more important than having a big bank account, pledge to make them interesting and not dry people, pledge to teach them that the journey is always more exciting than the destination, pledge to teach them to pause and smell the roses on the way!!! Hopefully the world tomorrow will be much better than today.... :-)