The Realm of God

A middle class woman, Leela, who was agnostic for most of her life was surprised by the “miracle” that happened in the life of her friend Reema, a religious person. Reema was suffering from advanced throat cancer and got cured from her disease. Doctors, who have informed Reema’s son that her cancer metastasized and beyond cure, were shocked seeing she get cured miraculously.  It was the talk of the town and her congregation.  Reema, told everyone how she sat the whole night in prayer and she was healthy next morning.  Lily could not understand how this could happen.  Seeing this firsthand, Lily, became a believer.  She started visiting the congregation regularly and was reading the scriptures every night before going to bed.

She was feeling very happy to have made this choice. One day during fall,  Lily fell sick.  She was very tired but still told her prayers.  Lily did not go to the doctors as she should normally do.  Second day she became more sick. “God will cure it”  she said to herself and was expecting a miracle.  Third day was even worse, she was running a temperature of 102 deg F. “God will lower the temperature”. On the fourth day, Leela could not get up from her bed “God will give me strength to walk”. On the fifth day, Leela gave up and went to the doctor with the help of Reema. Doctor gave antibiotics for the flu and suggested complete rest.  She got cured but all this while she was thinking – “why did God not sure me? Did I not pray enough?”

The next time Leela went to the congregation, she confronted the priest. ” Why did God not cure me from Flu same as Reema’s cancer? I too prayed the whole night. I have been a good believer.” Priest was taken aback by this sudden challenge. He gained his senses back and told her in  a soft voice “Reema’s cancer is internal, so God cured it. Flu is caused by bacteria and virus. Its outside God’s realm. Bacteria and virus do not believe in the same God as us”!

Sadhguru: “Everything in Life is a Miracle”.
https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/blog/article/real-life-true-miracle-greatest-stories

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Is your milk 100% pure?

In a small town in East Tennessee, there are two main family owned businesses, Joy Milk and Happy Milk, selling milk in a small Tennessee town.  They fought bitterly among each other for the market share. You see bill boards of these two companies across the town.  Joy Milk would show a a beautiful cow laughing  – ” Milk from a joyful Cow – Tasty and full of Joy”.  Happy Milk would say – “Milk from Happy Cow – Whippy and Happy”.

They were looking for new ways to sell more milk.  Joy milk started new campaign saying – ” Milk from grass fed cows”. This causes confusion among the consumers – what are they fed before? what are others feeding – chicken? With this Joy milk sales increased by 10% in a week.

Marketing team at Happy milk is on the hook now. Lot of pressure on them to come up with counter campaign. After a week they launched a new ad – “Our milk has always been from grass fed cows, it pure too.” Sales of Happy milk increased.

The campaign war became more intense as the bosses got restless.  Joy Milk brought about a new campaign – “Start your day with a glass of  Joy Milk- 100% pure!”

Now this has got to the limit! Can something be called pure if it is not 100% what it is expected to be?  Can something which is 50% called pure? Before the percentage business got into advertisement, if something is pure – its implicit to be 100% pure. Not anymore. Its pure only if it is explicitly stated as 100%! When I was small, milk was mainly sold by individuals either owners of a few cows and buffaloes or middlemen. Milk was mixed with water by most. You have to choose between the sellers based on who mixes less and offers cheap!

Both Joy and Happy milk companies have reached to 100% purity in their ads and could not push anymore.  The wise managements knew they could not go with 110%, 200% as it would only lead to larger banners!  After being quite for a few days, Happy milk came up with new campaign – ” 100% pure, rBST free milk!  Now they got into hormone business! To counter this Joy milk released a new ad – “100% pure milk from hormone free, healthy cows”.  This war became more interesting than the actual milk! Many thought this would be the end of it since they covered grass feed, purity, hormones.

Happy milk hired  a costly ad agency from New York. Until now, tussle was local, its going national now.  Within a few days a new colorful ad showed up on the billboards early in the morning before the cows were ready for milking. It showed a smiling cow with Bose headphones saying “Milk from cows listening to best country music – pride of Nashville!”
Joy hired a reputed Ad guru from California. They released  a new ad – “Our cows watch best shows and walk a mile daily” showing a cow before a rock concert with a fitbit attached to the ear!

A local journalist, who was following these ads closely investigated into the source of their milk and published an article in reputed local newspaper – Both Happy and Joy Milk source their milk from same dairy farm – ‘White Gold Farms’ in rural Tennessee.

God vs Sentinelese Tribe

John Allen Chau,  with an  intention to take word of God to North Sentinelese island, home to Sentinelese who, often violently, reject any contact with the outside world, and are among the last uncontacted people to remain virtually untouched by modern civilization. He was killed by an arrow possibly on Nov 17. John broke the rules by bribing the fishermen to take him to the island which is off-limits to outside people by Indian law.

His death raises a few questions in me.  After all, John was not seeking any adventure. He was spreading God’s word but God has deserted him.  Does this mean God was not on the side of John? Did God switch sides for this time?  Or did God lose to godless Sentinelese? Or the God’s words that John carried were truely not God’s words.

This creation of God is so diverse and it is foolish to think people with diverse cultures, beliefs, appearances, customs are not his creation. Every human being on this planet share the same earth, water, air. They are born and dead as all creatures.

The experience of life by an individual is inside him/her and very personal.  The  Sun, Moon, Earth, water and Sky are same for everyone but we experience them through your senses. Similarly, God may be one for all,  but the experience of God, interaction with God are very personal. We may call him with same name as others or with a different name, we have a shape for him/her or is formless, our method of invoking God is same as others or different but God is very personal.  Striving to reach God is individual. No one can take you there, except you. You can take help of an experienced person but you have to make the journey.

The first step to God is respecting other’s choice of path to God. Our path may be the shortest, but may not suit others. They may want to take a longer, less risky path.  If we are in harmony with everyone and everything around us, that is first step to Heaven!

May John’s soul rest in Peace!

Love Love Love and Love again!

Love Love Love and Love again!
This is the subject that is never out of vogue in Indian movies. The times have changed, from sending messages through birds to tweeting but Love remains. This is one human emotion that has guaranteed returns for producers, whether its combination of rich boy- poor girl or poor girl – rich boy,  good for nothing boy-calm girl and now boy-boy, girl-girl.

How do the male and female lead fall in love?  Boy sees this most beautiful girl in the whole world and suddenly realizes he is a man! Till that point the boy remains a stone unmoved to any other woman and this girl appears out of nowhere and Sun rises for the boy.  He sends signals through his sly smile, send messages through her friends, send letters, sings song. The female lead remains unmoved by this unrelenting attention.

Then one day she sees a benevolent act of our hero, and she falls for him! It could be as simple as donating a Rupee to a beggar, helping an old man cross a busy road, stopping his bike for children to pass by! The young people who look for ways to woo a girl miss this simple point – following a traffic rule may help you get a girl!  If benevolence does not work then she gets to see the hero’s masculinity through beating bad guys.  These so called bad guys need to be given Oscars for their acting. Its very difficult to act being beaten while they could have easily overpowered the hero with single hand.

We might have seen many instances in real life where a not so good looking guy gets a very beautiful girl.  Everyone asks how. Without pondering much we just brush it aside saying “Love is blind”. In Bollywood movies, a girl falls for silly reasons – beating bad buys, helping  friend’s love, helping her father!, singing and pestering her in public! Every time I see such movies, I wish young boys do not take girls for granted.

Most of these movies end by the time they overcome all the rich-poor, caste, regional obstacles. Not many dare to show what happens after they get married!  After the initial sparks are replaced by little skirmishes, much more love (patience) is needed between them to stay together!

One of my college teachers (with a broken heart) has given us a lesson on love! Never he stayed for length of class except that day.  He said there is no scientific basis for Love.  You cannot prove love! May be, he is still grappling with why his love interest rejected him.  Love between two young individuals is as natural as a plant’s tendency to blossom. Feeling love is natural but we expect that a particular person feel the same about you. Without approaching the boy/girl, talking to them, you expect them to feel your love! If that does not happen, you curse everyone, everything. Even a sunflower bends towards Sun for more light so do something or look somewhere else.  But youngsters should never take  the extreme step of harming themselves or the other person.  Relax and look at all the married people, I am pretty sure your anger dies down! Do not think you will be different, keeping two people together needs much more than love.  If love alone keeps people together, then there would be no divorces. All those vows of “staying together until death makes us apart”  will evaporate if you do not open up your life to accommodate the other person.

We have seen many instances where physical and emotional togetherness do not last long and people suffer the separation. While women demand more attention, men turn wayward. In India, there are no vows in a marriage, its an energy process where energies of the two individuals are matched to function as one.  While this has watered down to minimal rituals,  its expected that this process be repeated every year.  This does not happen anymore. It could be the reason why marriage is bliss for only an year for many!

Sadhguru says: “The English expression, “Falling in love,” is significant because no one rises in love or climbs in love. You fall in love, because something of who you are has to go. If not the whole of you, at least a part of you should collapse. Only then there is a love affair. You are willing to destroy a bit of yourself for the sake of the other. It essentially means someone else has become far more important than yourself”

If we think “Love is a quality but not a transaction”, then there is no suffering, no heart break, just love, love, love and love again….

https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/the-meaning-of-true-love-love-beyond-words

The Greek Party

A boy named Greece was invited to a party. He was a simple boy and was excited about going to the party hosted by EU.
He naively asked, “Do I have bring any presents?”.
“No, you just come and enjoy”, replied Germany

The boy was welcomed to a grand opening. There was so much food, different varieties of cakes – chocolate, vanilla, French, German.  “Can I have everything, Do I have to pay anything?” asked the boy.
“Yes, what you can have is unlimited, its free” replied France.
Greece had eaten enough for a week, he was so happy. He wished there was a party once every week.EU said, “Its pleasure having you here, you can come daily”,
“Daily!!”, the boy was dumbstruck.
He went to the party daily, he stopped cooking at home and sold his cookware, Spent his money in buying rich German cars, French jets, Korean TVs.

Life was a dream until one day, he was not allowed into the party.
“The party was free for only a week, You need to pay for rest of the parties.”, said IMF, the party organizer.
“But the invitation did not say anything. See, its here, written in Greek” bemoaned the boy.
IMF showed the little note at the corner, *CONDITIONS APPLY.
“Its not written in Greek!”
“You could have asked or found a translator” quipped EU.
“You cannot do this, I forgot how to cook, I do not have equipment to cook, I will go hungry.”
“You got a week to pay off your arrears, or you will be expelled”

If Greece does not meet Tuesday night deadline, it will be the first developed nation to default on debt payment.
The Free Trade agreements, to boost the flow of goods more freely are faulty and exploitative.  The goods are just moving in one direction and some nations are losing their work force, industries. Greek yoghurt is famous but I won’t be surprised if they do not make it in Greece anymore, they may be just importing from behind the Alps!


source:Telegraph.co.uk

The so called Free Trade Agreements(FTAs) have destroyed corn farming in Mexico (Mexico receives corn, it send drugs back!), shut many industries in eastern Europe,  FTAs are beautiful thing if they do not destroy the local industries and agriculture. They have to complimentary to existing livelihood.

The free money that is available world over to boost the economies around the world is destroying some. You will lose money in switzerland, if you invest in bonds, as there is enough free cash!
There is no limit to the money we can print, but there are limits to resources available. you cannot print water, oil, air!

ISIS, new global terrorist organization, has taken a leaf from globalization. They have  diverse fighters sourced from the banks of all world rivers. Britishers need not go and die in Tunisia if ISIS had stuck to its territory in Syria. Instead they are forging Free Terror Agreements ( FTAs) with different regions of the world. The way, the world has one factory in CHINA, ISIS(now you cannot blame it to be communist) wants to be the world’s Terror factory!

Greece has recognized that the party has come to an end the hard way. And now ISIS has to recognize that they cannot get weapons from its patrons forever, the Greek Party will come to an end one day, and also the world too should know it…..

Capitalism or Communism – What Works Best?

Once upon a time, but not in distant past, there was a small village in the middle of dense forest. A river flowed through the village. River flowed from east. No one cared to know where the river was coming from as it flowed all round the river. Some said its source is in the mountains and it springs out the hair of Lord Shiva. Some said it springs out of a crater made by the Sword of a demon. No one cared to explore as they had plenty of fresh water to drink and water their fields.

The village had 300 families but the old man living under the tree said village was a single family like a tree with 300 branches with leaves and he was the oldest leaf ready to wither. Others do not think so. they say ” That leaf does not wither even in winter. – very stubborn leaf!” He told people all kinds of stories from the past and they all thought they were true as no one else is old enough to verify.

The village was self-sufficient in all ways. They grew their own food, made their own clothes, had a school with a school teacher who also doubled up as village doctor. They recycled their waste and made manure for the fields.

EXTRA MAN
Everything was going well until one day they find that there is an extra person in the village who does not have anything to do. There were no fields left where he can work. There was no other place he can lend a hand. The village council calls everyone for a meeting. The old man asked “How did this happen?” He was very worried but what happens to the village. He told the village council that, ” when similar thing happened 100 years ago, one of the elders went into the forest so as to not disturb the balance of the village. No one listened to him.

The Village Council created a resolution “This is a very serious situation which we never faced in our life time. We cannot have a non contributing member in our village, this will disturb the balance. We have two proposals
1. Everyone to contribute a share of their food and other essentials for the extra man.
2. Cut down part of the sacred forest to create an additional land to till.”

COMMUNISM or CAPITALISM
The village council was undecided and called for a referendum. This was the first time, the village had voting. The old man wanted to third choice added to the referendum – voluntarily allowing any one villager to decide if they wish to live in the forest. But the council was adamant. The village had to choose between Communism and Capitalism!

Voting day arrived and lot of the villagers are still confused what to choose and uncertain of the consequences. Voting finished and the results were out.

It was a tie with each getting 50% vote. The villagers got emotional about their choice and villagers were divided into two groups. One fine day there was a big fight between the two groups and many were injured. The women tried to stop it but to no avail. The village got divided into two with river being the border. Common resources were shared, relatives separated, friendships broken..

Seeing all these, the extra person went into the forest but the damage was done and here to stay.

WHAT WORKS BEST?
If we have enough food and space, the settlements are self-governing. They need protection from external elements.
If number of humans increase or their basic needs increase and there are limited resources to be shared, there arises the need for some system. With the system, there comes rules and responsibilities. The system to be successful needs full support of every member. Any kind of system works as long as it is fair and transparent.
The more the disparity between Demand and supply of material, emotional and other needs, more pressure on the system. There is no system that is perfectly suited for this as some section of the society will be unsatisfied and vulnerable for interpretation.

Source: ww.landryamps.com

Source: ww.landryamps.com

We have experienced what an imbalance can do in Germany before World War II. Did Herr Fuehrer Hitler brain wash people into embracing Nazism? He merely channelized the angst brewing in the people due to sky rocketing prices and food shortages. And many of us have experience through movies what horrible things Hitler made his followers do and what price the world had to pay for one man’s foolishness.

Arab Spring is another perfect example of an over strained society with either increasing needs of the people or growing population. It’s not the growing awareness or education or the internet that was the main cause but the growing unrest (numbers or needs) that was channelized into an uprising. But what they got after the uprising did not fulfill their needs. The terrorist organizations, the world over, are channeling this unrest into creating more. Now ISIS is mobilizing the disenchanted population of the whole world into committing atrocities against their fellow humans!

China, though successful in arresting rapid population growth, could not cap the growing needs of the people. Its economic growth is remarkable. USA, the largest consumer of goods and resources of the world, is a perfect example of the success of Capitalism in generating wealth and prosperity, but needs of the people keep growing and it’s not environmentally sustainable. The growth is limited by the availability of resources, climate change. The climate change deniers will refuse to acknowledge until the water wets their pants.

It’s hard to decrease our numbers rapidly but for turning this world into more peaceful, sustainable and environment friendly, human consciousness has to grow and they should become aware of needs of the planet to keep supporting life. That sounds so utopian but we cannot wait until nature takes corrective action!

If Socialism, Capitalism, Communism were born because of people’s longing for a better society, If Buddhism,  Confucianism, Zoroastrianism were born because of spiritual longing in us, If Terrorism, Maoism is born out of radical thoughts, Its time for PRAGMATISM and HUMAN-ISM.

And an update on the warring villages – The dam they constructed upstream to cater to their growing needs was breached during a flood and both the villages were wiped out and along with it, their differences too….

Valentine Horror

The day of love turned into a blood bath in Florida school, 17 young lives lost and 14 injured in what seems to be a irrational act of a  mentally ill, former student of the same school. While many of are busy buying flowers and gifts for the loved ones, many families lost their kids to this senseless act.

We as a society failed these 17 young lives. They did not die a glorious death in a war fighting for their country. They did not die of any illness.  They died because we failed them.

People in power should keep aside their differences and come together a balanced legislation which addresses easy access to assault weapons. More attention towards the mental health of teenagers along with their academic excellence should be given in educational institutions and also at home.

These kind of incidents could not be stopped just by addressing mental health issues or gun availability alone. The Las Vegas shooter never showed any signs of mental health issues. This is much larger than that. They cannot be just categorized into one class.

As a society in pursuit of happiness, its time we stopped and took stock of what we are after and what we really achieved. Easy access to everything made us more restless but not happy. Our lives are an expression of innate desire of wanting more-more money, more wealth, big house, more beauty, more friends, more audience.  When do we say, that’s enough? If we are looking for happiness through outside world-Never.  If ever we see ourselves in the people around us, creatures and in the whole creation, though we may have nothing, we will have everything. This cannot be done through teachings but only if we experience it! We are in constant give and take relationship with trees around us through the breathing mechanism. We just have to experience that oneness.

Lets come together and work towards well being of this whole creation and that should start with individual transformation.

 

Brexit

British citizens have voted to exit EU with a small margin. EU members are showing signs of protectionism. With such Free Trade agreements, what we see on the surface is the people’s movement. What British people saw was Romanians coming and taking jobs in Britain and health benefits. What they do not see is British companies selling goods in other countries without tax, investing in other countries without many hassles.

May be the youngsters/urban population understand the dynamics of staying in EU and feel necessary to stay in EU for better job prospect and voted to STAY IN.
Will have to see in what direction other countries are heading. Immediate ones are Scotland planning for another referendum to stay within UK and the US elections.

Its time all the major powers revisit the Free Trade Agreements and consider the social and economic concerns/requirements of its people and those of the counterpart rather than just the interests of the business corporations. Its time Human well being is one the key drivers of business leadership.

Update Dec 2018: Since UK announced exit from EU,  the divorce has not been easy as expected.  They did not consider much about the children (free trade,  EU citizens working in UK and vice versa, Ireland borders).  Theresa May is trying to sell the deal to UK lawmakers who want a better deal!  Since UK wants to leave,  EU is in no mood to budge and be bullied. Think twice, no thrice, before marriage!

 

MahaShivarathri – The day I looked out of the well…

This day seven years ago I received a phone call from my friend, Bharath and it was close to midnight. Luckily I was awake and on my way home from second shift.
“Switch on the TV and watch Aastha Channel”
A devotional channel in the night? I asked “Whyy?”
“Its Mahashivarathri and there is live music and its great” quipped my friend.
I switched the TV on and here was some anonymous drummers performing live.
I was just drawn in and there is no looking back.

It was the day(night) I looked out of the well and was really beautiful…
I owe it to my friend for remembering me and giving me a call while he was in the midst of such an energetic space.

From then on, yoga has been part of my life and I wait eagerly for MahaShivarathri – The night of nameless ecstasies
This year its on Feb 24th 2017. A night-long Celebration happens at Isha Yoga center Coimbatore with Discourses by Sadhguru, Powerful Meditations and some great music to keep you awake. The live web-stream can be watched at
http://mahashivarathri.org/live/ or on TV.

to know about the significance of Mahashivarathri click the link below
http://mahashivarathri.org/significance-mahashivarathri/