Monday, October 01, 2012

Give me Everything ..

Rupam dehi jayam dehi yasho dehi dvisho jahiGrant us  beauty , Grant us victory, Grant us welfare, remove all hostility.

Dehi saubhagyam arogyam dehi mein paramam sukham
Give us auspiciousness , health and ultimate never ending happiness .

-Devi Mahatmya.

I have been chanting this mantra as a regular part of shodoshopchari Puja (the 16 fold offerings) for years. However this year during Ganesh puja, this mantra brought in a new awareness in my heart .This Mantra kind of started ringing and echoing for the whole day and it just doesn't stop even after Mangal Murti  has left for his divine abode.

How much do we ask from the Lord.?

Are we into devotion ? or a business of devotion ?

"Oh lord we offer you this small Puja and some Modaks and give us almost everything under the sun .

Make me handsome , give me wealth , give me sons ( Not one , many :-) :-) ), make me victorious , give me health ."

On the one hand we say that the lord is all powerful and all knowledgeable . If we really mean what we say  then he knows whats best for us on the path of self evolution until we achieve the ultimate goal of life .How then we urge him again and again with so many wishes some of which we clearly do not deserve.

I feel we should realize that there is a divine powerful mechanism driven very intelligently by the Lord in which he puts us through very trying situations , to mold us, purify us so as to make us eligible to receive him

How then our desires emanating from our limited selfish wisdom ,are  more valid than his all pervading , omnipotent and omnipresent chit shakti that has very different plans for us  ?

We need to yield to his wish , submit to his demands and intelligently think about the situations that he places us in .We need to take very seriously , the messages that he is giving us again and again . Every day , every second he sends hundreds of signals within and without . He wants us to dwell on them . Introspect and grow . Embrace his dictates ..and surrender to him ..

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A prayer at Basilique Sacré-Coeur..Paris

A recent visit to this beautiful shrine, refreshed my reflections on one of the most sublime phenomenon that can occur to human beings ......"A Prayer".

What is a Prayer after all? the words of a modern man with scientific acumen, trying hard to preserve his faith, it is an effort to build positive energy in our psyche. A more conservative explaination would be an ardent effort on the part of a devotee to ask for the help , support and guidance from the all mighty.

The need of a prayer . It's psychology . The miracles ...that have happened with prayers and some disaapointing stories of life long devotees about prayers do not interest me much ...I love to savour my food more than just fill my belly and thats the reason I feel we must learn to enjoy this very process of uplifting ourselves by an incredibly unique gift provided only to sapiens.

I had collected some of the best prayers ever said ( or sung enriches prayers) and I still remember how much I had enjoyed trying each of those prayers every day to fill up my week . As we were travelling to the shrine I had a small discussion with my esteemed friend Avadhut, who happened to provide me with an interesting observation. A truely spiritual person would always agree that a church is a better place to pray rather than a temple considering the ambience and silence thats is so essential to effect communion with the almighty .

Avadhut observed that the christians have the focus in prayers that we lack and the Muslims have the dedication and committement to prayers . If we could combine the depth in the hindu spirituality with the two, a prayer could elevate us to unimaginable heights .

Wise people differentiate between a prayer with a worldly intent .....and a prayer without any intent . The former is called SAKAM and the latter NISHKAM . Obviously latter being much superior to the former . A doctor friend of mine had once surpised me and awakened me from my deep pseudo spiritual slumber by asking a brilliant question ....Ram talk of God ....but Do you need god ?? or you love god ?...This question unsettles me even now when I think of it ...

As long as we need God we keep asking from him worldly favours and we say ....we are praying ....Nothing wrong in it ...except for the fact that we are in the same form of business that we engage with other mortals ever love for the Lord takes the form of unconditional liking for him out of amazement for his omnipresent ,omnipotent nature , irrespective of our present situation pleasant or unpleasant ...inadvertantly my friend had stepped on to a very softspot in my heart that needed some ironing .

Our IT team spent some time in the church praying .....For a group that usually amuses itself in subjects.... not so profound ....this was a moment worth remembering .

Our quieter moments spent in prayer at the Sacred heart flashed back a beautiful prayer composed by Tembe swami maharaj

"Oh Lord if you would ever get pleased with me and grant me a favour ... please do thus ....

and I shall ask for nothing more ....

Lord let me remember you always and at all times

Make me sing your glories....

Make me always act in a detached fashion in this world

Tranform my mind thus Oh Lord .....

All my organs of perception and action and my mind is in your hands alone...

Therefore Oh Lord let my mind glued to your Lotus feet ...

In the path to reach you of the good people ... the awareness of what is good and bad are the two eyes .....

Please grant me these two Oh lord that I always remain surrendered to you ....

Some people say ...Lord is a like a mother to us ....and if he knows everything ...he knows whats best for us and he will provide us with whats best for us at any particular stage in our life ..What we conceive as unpleasant is actually his infinite grace upon us to form and mould us into a state which will make us best suited to receive his complete realisation ...

And hence it is said that ....the way a child would cry for its mother with whatever special name it uses ....may it be Ma.....or Aaiiii all that we need to do is to cry for the Lord with his name ...ust his name ....

As we were returning ...My mind was filled with rather serene and conclusive thoughts about may have been an after effect of the prayer at sacred heart or a satiating Lunch at Tajmahal restaurent.

The best prayer perhaps is a moment of silence infront of the lord ....followed by a loving glance at our beloved ......or a mute smile ....or a tear trickling down our cheek......telling him lucky we are have him in our lives .....

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Words like nectar…..

Human communication has never ceased to interest me. If we closely observe two people talking to each other..talking with or talking at each other .., we realize that it’s not the voices or non verbal signals that are sent across, but a deeper expression of personal selves that is taking place .Words are merely instruments to actualize the feelings of inner self that get communicated.

Everyone is very tender and delicate from within .Each one has a need to be cared for; comforted and valued .The world would have been a much better place had we valued the tenderness, the delicacy and vulnerabilities of the people that we are talking to. There is no limit to the joy that we can gain when we provide the warmth and comfort to the ailing heart and donate a smile to someone’s face.

This brings me to the famous commentary of Geeta by Saint Dnyneshwar .. One of the verses that really strikes my heart, is

Be true ..soft and mild
Be sparing and graceful
Let you words be like waves of divine nectar…..

This verse encapsulates all the principles of good person to person communication.

Is it possible to bring this into practice? …in this real, hard professional world where one has to be very aggressive to get things done? Is it possible to be free, frank and open and yet not expose yourself to the risk of being used and taken for granted? All these questions at times perplex me. Present day professional life demands us to be much more tactful and calculated in speech . Even if you are a person of values you have to adopt a soft manipulative strategy, that you believe will bring better good in the times of come and worth momentarily breaching the timeless principle of integrity of speech.

However a long standing practice of making things happen does have ramifications which we lose sight of…

First of all, no matter how glib and sweet one is at the art of talking …. Human heart has this unique ability to feel the truth more than hear it … and sooner or later your partner in communication does come to know the truth underlying the tactical communication. This leads to trust problems which further spoil relations. That’s the reason, it’s known that many upfront people tend to build long term relations as they tend to create trust and confidence in people by talking themselves out though they may sound intimidating.

Being upfront may put your listener in a slightly uncomfortable stage to begin with but in the long run it makes them feel that you really would like to say things on the face and they don’t need to worry about what games you might play at their back.

A little bit of care and concern with a loving tone in speech while being upfront would really be a winning combination of communication.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Catch them before they escape

They were packing their bags. A wave of sadness had pervaded my entire house .And though I am particularly troubled by departure moments even of a fairly less acquainted person , I was closely observing the way they were moving around. I was feeling so sad that even my the tears could not find a vent .This couple who had spent their whole life for their only son, who were truly the cause of what he is and where he is, were leaving again back home.

My parents had come to stay with me for 3 weeks and they were now leaving. On the one hand Aii and Baba were feeling sad that they are leaving their beloved son and on the other, they were not comfortable staying in Mumbai where materialism ,money, crowd and noise were the prime disturbances.

I remember the moments when they were planning to come to Mumbai to see me. It was all so exciting, that my parents are going to come to stay with us .Three weeks had passed like three seconds and it was time for them to go back .This took me to a new level of thinking .We brood over the past, plan so much about the future but we miss the chance to catch the present. For those three weeks, when they were with me, there were many such moments which I could have enjoyed more intensely if I was mentally present with them. Giving one's hundred percent at every moment seems to be the real challenge of life and the only instrument to happiness.

I remember a camp of Chinmaya Yuva Kendra that I had attended a couple of years back in which one of the speakers had asked the participants to concentrate as much as they can on the present. "BE AWARE!!! Don’t let the moments flow. Every sound, every word that you hear, every sight that you see, should sink inside you" he had said . "Absorb all that happens around you, completely inside your self. This will help you in all the spheres of life. At work you will get more efficient, at home you will enjoy the moments with your family more and at study you’ll have accelerated pace of learning."

Being completely in the present is an extension of the power of concentration. The power of concentration is available to us when ever we need it. But in this case, a constant sense of awareness of the present (a higher type of concentration) becomes a way of life. All the great leaders, spiritual masters and top managers have this unique gift, that enables them to store and process huge amount of information.

Coming back to where we started, the biggest advantage of living this way is, it annihilates all the sense of repentance and guilt of not putting in our best .I remember a proverb that has always inspired me …” if you don’t put in your best you lose the thrill of bring fully alive “Put in your best as in giving your 100% attention.

This works miraculously in family relations as 100% attention is what is most needed by most of our near and dear ones and if you are 100% attentive it becomes much easier to identity with the people around you, understand them and give them all that they want . This accentuates the joy of giving, even more.

If only I had tried to catch those moments with my parents, I would not be repenting today that I wasted another good opportunity to understand them, love them and give them as much as a son can.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Objects in rear view mirror may appear closer than they are…….

I remember this song by meat loaf. I used to listen to it very often during my Engineering days. Meatloaf for one, used to intrigue me quite a lot. I never understood why a person chooses to dress, act and sing in a manner that makes him look so unusual? Why some of these western singers are so fond of looking weird? In search of elegant artistic expression that I was, I never found answers to these questions though I did find some depth and meaning in the songs of meatloaf as time passed. It was not about the songs, it was about the new references that I had found for myself, that these songs had become meaningful for me.

This song was about the visit of Meatloaf to his native place where he remembers of a terrible plane crash that had occurred in his childhood .The rear view mirror of his car shows him objects at the back. But he is much intensely associated with them and they seem closer to his heart. The soul he says is a car and life, a high way.

It’s a strange tryst with time that we must keep traveling, lose our grips with the past, even the immediate present which soon melts into the past and rush in a mad frenzy into the unknown future. Some times evening thinking about it can drive one crazy. This is a seemingly absurd state of flux that we find ourselves in. We are in search of stability which is never there to be attained.

When I visit Goa, I live through the rear view mirror experience. Memories gush forth like the waves of sea which is as new as it was for ages. Everything is just the same, the people, the town, the houses and restaurants. The only difference is that I seem to have slipped away from this world and entered into a whole new world of Hi –Tech industry and glitz and glamour of corporate culture. This will also pass like the wheel of time that keeps turning.

Where than, should the guidance and security of soul come from? Where should one search for quenching the thirst of heart.

It’s generally recommended not to stretch any example beyond a limit, but the analogy of car and road is indeed logically perfect to provide solutions to this perplexing problem and directions to soul search.

The road is never ending and the destination may never be in view to reach. No matter how much we talk of goals, targets and mission statements they are merely milestones in an unending journey of the soul to the Lord. When does one reach there and how? are questions best unanswered. Goals as I have always believed are worth pursuing but some of the factors in their achievement are unknown and un-conducive.

But the milestones are not any less pleasant. They remind us of the beautiful present that we pass through every moment and which slips out of our comprehension and feel, like beach sand through our fists.

The never ending road presents us with glorious sites to watch, enjoy and cherish as we travel. They may seem momentary and temporal but they are relatively true for the moment and are capable of giving us profound happiness and joy. We need to find a context in them and dwell in them with our whole hearts. As they say it’s not the destination it’s the journey that’s important.

Sadly the whole world seems to be too much engrossed either in the rear view or anxious in the wind shield to find out how the road ahead will be. Very few, peep outside the window and watch the beautiful flowers with diverse colors and hues smiling at us. The mountains looking at us with composure, Rivers singing for us, Birds chirping as if announcing our arrival. The divinity hidden in all these is lost out of our sights .Their availability and abundance is perhaps the cause of their neglect.

If only we can concentrate on the present moment, we will gain this beautiful gift of enjoying life in its truest form…. the present. The objects in rear view mirror and their closeness is in fact our failure to achieve this simple feat in the past.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Back to Blogging....on the other side of river .....of life..

After how many months? may be an year?.....but I am back....inspiration from another blogger across seven seas and I am back to blogging business.The wheels of change have rotated too fast in the past year.....this time all the changes were pleasant.Or have I learnt to take things positively? I don't know.I have given away the Gazzetted Officer's Job. Morale is rocketing . SAP certification.....My God I don't believe I did it. mySAP solution consultant...sounds good....But .The journey hereonwards will be on a totally different path . It will be much different as compared to the previous one. There are dangers lurking on every step and an open and frank person like me can fall into them so easily . I will have to be cautious and careful as I proceed ahead . I am sharply aware of the fact that the coming days will bring with them lots of hardships , yet there will be days full of learning . What ever I may feel I know that a new period of opportunities has been ushered in my life . Lets wait and see what happenes......

Monday, May 16, 2005

Poetry , night and day.

Will my words ever express my feelings fully?
Will the silent pain of my love ever knock on your heart?
Will you let me flow these palms full of flowers on yourself?
Knew that love is God, and I sought it night and day.

Creativity and poetry in full flow these days. I don’t know how this happened. I remember an experience when I wrote my first poetry and how I felt about it. It was nothing that I did. I was just an instrument and the creator was someone else. The result was a divine experience of supreme bliss as the lines were being given out one after another. I wrote two poetries in past few days. Love seems to be the theme, which is getting expressed more and more.

Today, I went to Ponda to meet Dr Sarjyotishi. The discussion was satisfactory and I am happy, I have made yet another high profile contact. Seems like, if it clicks it can give me a real push. Maintenance management term work is still to be done and like always it will be a huge load in the end. How can I conquer my habit of procrastination?

After so many days of waiting I finally got the precious song that I was looking out for. As I was returning from Ponda I listened to it at least 12 times. I should send this song to all my poet friends and make them appreciate the poetry of khyaam.