Expressions

My prose writings

Ampersand and Shree in Telugu

Mirror image of Amersand is a character in alphabet of Telugu – a south Indian language!

and1             shree

 

Good news

  • Corrupt politicians
  • Violence
  • Sex
  • Deceipt
  • Negative news

Are you fed up of all such nonsense in print media?

Then visit this site that is dedicated to spreading positive matters about India.

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click on this picture

As an example enjoy this one about ‘Gir’, Gujarat

Forest guards carrying wooden sticks patrol the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Sasan

આ ચિત્ર પર ક્લિક કરો..

Walk Across the United States

ON FOOT ! 

Edward

 

drvruhq

  • Edward Mjelde

  • North County San Diego, California
  • Age – 26 years
  • 2-Years
  •  5,000-Mile
  • From –  Cape Henlopen, Delaware
  • To – Home , San Diego, California

 

Read the story of determination, endurance and perseverance …

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Click this pic

 

 

Duryodhan

      I intend to get up early in the morning at 6 o’clock. Alarm rings, I switch it off. “Tomorrow I will surely get up in time.’ That tomorrow never comes.

      My BP is high. Doctor has told me to stop fatty and sweet food. The dinner dish is served, full of such tantalizing food. I can’t resist the temptation. ‘Tomorrow I will resist’. That tomorrow never comes.

     I became angry with a friend. In fact fault was mine. ‘Tomorrow I will beg him to forgive.’ That tomorrow never comes.

    A contractor came to office today, and gave me a large sum as bribe. ‘Accepting bribe is immoral. I will not do so henceforth.’ That day never comes.

    I go to Sunday for religious discourse. Gita sermon is very good. It penetrates my heart and mind. But I forget it when I come home.

    A ‘Duryodhan’ resides hidden within me. I know him well. But I cannot assassinate him. But I intend to become Arjuna of Gita tomorrow. That tomorrow never comes.

Original in Gujarati

For the benefit of Non – Hindu readers…

Duryodhan and Arjuna  are the villain and hero of Hindu epic ‘Mahabharat’

Life

 – very true and thought provoking

CourtesyShri Vinod Patel – on Facebook

In 1923, nine of the wealthiest people in the world met at Chicago’s Edge Water Beach Hotel.

Their combined wealth, it is estimated, exceeded the wealth of the Government of the United States at that time. These men certainly knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth. Attending the meeting were the following men:

1. The president of the largest steel company,

2. The president of the largest utility company,

3. The president of the largest gas company,

4. The president of the New York Stock Exchange,

5. The president of the Bank of International Settlements,

6. The greatest wheat speculator,

7. The greatest bear on Wall Street,

8. The head of the World’s greatest monopoly &

9. A member of President Harding’s cabinet.

That’s a pretty impressive line-up of people by anyone’s yardstick.

Yet, 25 years later, where were those nine industrial giants?

Let’s examine what happened to them 25 years later.

1. The President of the then largest steel company (Bethlehem Steel Corp), Charles M Schwab, lived on borrowed capital for five years before he died bankrupt.

2. The President of the then largest gas company, Howard Hubson, went insane.

3. One of the greatest commodity traders (Wheat Speculator), Arthur Cutten, died insolvent.

4. The then President of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, was sent to jail.

5. The member of the US President’s Cabinet (the member of President Harding’s cabinet), Albert Fall, was pardoned from jail just to be able to go home and die in peace.

6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, Jesse Livermore committed suicide.

7. The President of the then world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Krueger, committed suicide.

8. The President of the Bank of International Settlement, Leon Fraser, committed Suicide.

9. The president of the largest utility company, Samuel Insull, died penniless.

What they forgot was how to “make” life while they got busy making money!

Money in itself is not evil; it provides food for the hungry,medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy. Money is only a medium of exchange.

We need two kinds of education:

a) One that teaches us how to make a living,

and

B-) One that teaches us how to live.

There are many of us who are so engrossed in our professional life that we neglect our family, health and social responsibilities.

If asked why we do this, we would reply that “We are doing it for our family”.

Yet, our kids are sleeping when we leave home. They are sleeping when we come back home!! Twenty years later, we’ll turn back, and they’ll all be gone, to pursue their own dreams and their own lives.

Without water, a ship cannot move. The ship needs water, but if the water gets into the ship, the ship will face existential problems. What was once a means of living for the ship will now become a means of destruction.

Similarly we live in a time where earning is a necessity but let not the earning enter our hearts, for what was once a means of living will surely become a means of destruction for us as well.

So take a moment and ask yourself, “Has the water entered my ship?”
I hope not!

Hope the above story will drive all of us in a better direction in 2016.

”Alone I can ‘Say’ but
together we can ‘talk’.

‘Alone I can ‘Enjoy’ but
together we can
‘Celebrate’.

‘Alone I can ‘Smile’ but
together we can ‘Laugh’.

That’s the BEAUTY of
Human Relations.

We are nothing without
each other

Becoming Free; chapter- 8 ; Living in present

Read all chapters here

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To become free means – to live in present.

        The entire gamut of our existence is selfishness. It is perhaps a platonic dream; an ideal; a dormant desire that it transforms into incessant love and compassion. But the fact remains that we have never truly loved our own self! Our concern for self continues to roam between past and future. But real life is lived only in this moment. The stream of life synchronises with ever flowing stream of moments. Past is a stagnant, stinking, stale poodle; and future is a mirage that can never be reached. Life is the clearly visible mountain stream that can be seen, watched, listened.

      But what does it mean to ‘Live in present’?

    Our fixed way of being is to brood over the nightmares of the past or reveries of wishful thinking and  fears for the unknown future – anxieties and constant wanderings  to reach the mirages. The throbbing flow of life is in this moment; in every breath that we breathe. Each and every action that we take happens in this moment only- not outside of it.

     We live for millions of moments in our life time. But how many are really filled with joy and liveliness? Very few indeed. If we achieve something; we feel that joy and liveliness for a short time. But the next moment  worries start whether that ‘something’ will remain with us or go away.Or we see our friend or neighbor to possess something more precious than ours; and our joy and liveliness wither away. Most of our joys are momentary only. This is our fixed way of being; our non erasable destiny.

      Or is there another way?

     Yes, there is.

    What we are going to gain or lose in life depend on a myriad of factors. Perhaps we do not have any effective control over them. But our happiness does depend on our attitude towards them.

     We may accept this fact and decide that we will change our attitude and start living with joy , whatever be the circumstances. But is it possible or is it just theoretical? We may think that it could be the way only if we become hermits, renouncing the normal life that we are used to.

    We may accept the undeniable fact that we are not be able to live always with a change in attitude. But isn’t possible that we steal away a few moments and try to live that way only for those moments? How about allocating a few moments just for our rudimentary being?

      Such a free moment with self imbibed discipline is the starting point of ‘Living in present’ .With a determined intention and an effort that is never postponed; we can engage ourselves into a seclusion with our self , at least for those moments. In those moments; we make a determination that we will not have any urge for economic, social, political, or relation related gain.

     We commit ourselves for those few moments daily and for each and every day that-

  • I am nothing.
  • I have nothing.
  • I want nothing.

      If we are prepared to adopt this disceline and this experiment and gain real experience to see what happens; we may go through the next chapters of this series of articles.

       And…. Just do not read them. Start implementing with earnestness and firm commitment. Imbibe that discipline with conscious and affectionate efforts.

       Writer of these articles wishes you success.

Becoming Free; chapter- 7 ; love

Read all chapters here

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“I am nothing;
I have nothing;
I want nothing.”

     It is very easy to say this. But is it necessary to mention, how difficult it is to implement it?

    It is like changing the direction of our lives. It is unnatural. The basis of life and the instinct of life is utter selfishness. So how such an attitude can take place?

     An imagination about this basic selfishness of life may be read here. ( GRASS)

    At first glance, it would surely appear that it is impossible to think of ‘being nothing’. It is this self centeredness that has caused tremendous progress in human life. Is it to be pushed back to the stone age way? Should we leave all the comforts and luxuries that we are so used to in modern life?

     No. That is never going to happen; e.g. this facility of internet and blogging is a modern tool; and these thoughts propagate only because these tools are available!

    But it is an undeniable fact that the self centeredness goes on expanding in an uncontrolled way alongwith this progress.The rat race to go higher up in the social pyramid, goes on eroding incessantly the values of social co-existence and cooperation. The world has become a big village; but the distance between close individuals goes on widening. This moral downfall is evidenced by wide spread  violence, corruption, the rock bottom level of sensitiveness, the gap between rich and poor, moral degradation, and stress and acute diddatisfaction in the life of a common man.

      A state of having ‘no expectations’ and this volacano of unsatiable expectations – how could these two opposites be related? Each one of us wails at the distinct impossibility of coming out of this dilemma of life.

     This effort of ‘becoming free’ is to quech this burning volcano. This process is not going to happen overnight. It is a reverie that ‘such a quenching’ could be the way of human lives. But the process can definitely start by kindling a candle within us. Without expecting that each one of the human race will get transformed overnight; we can start the process within us. And even that is not going to happen overnight – just by reading such lucid narratives!

     We have to make conscious efforts in that direction – constant, incessant, conscious efforts – and with love. It is surely very difficult. But let me tell you, on the basis of a few experiences in my life that each one of us has a seed dormant within us for such an awakening. We surely have that capability.

     We have to start with ourself getting whole and empty. And write it on the opposite wall that, that emptiness will soon get filled with joy and peace.

      We may argue that the state of affairs can change so; if the direction changes. If we want to go to North, we have to face north; and to south, if we want to go south! But do we have any capability ; any tool within us for this change OR we are wedeed with helplessness and despair only?

   The superamental power of life that has given this instinct of urge to live, expectations and the desire for pursuit of happiness has also given us a great gift too ; which is –

LOVE

   We have understood LOVE only as sexual attraction between a male and a faemale; built in our anatomy. We have made the tremendous power of LOVE – so limited in that extremely narrow understanding. Life can exist only if love for life exists. So many of our activities arise out of the domain of love. ‘I like this.’; ‘I love that.’ – these utterings are the external manifestations of that quality of love lying deep within our being. All new creations ( including the basis birth of human foetus) is a product of love. New inventions, new paths of way of life, new art object, new poem – all these originate from the domain of love. There are no factories to manufecture them!

    So, if we want to get rid of that ‘Rat Race’; we have to learn the art of nurturing that seed, dormant within us, right from the moment of starting of our existence.  We have to bring back in our lives the playfulness of the child that we were. We have to reorient the cart of our lives from the dead ruts of the way of life- we are so used to – into the highway of love.

   Everyday we have to spare a few moments for nurturing this change within us. Then only new saplings will sprout from that dormant seed. Slowly we have to aspire for a day when the whole of our life is green and fresh with the new foliage – based on that love.

   We have been advised umpteen no. of times to get rid of likes and dislikes. But we have forgotten the fact that – they have been recommended in context of fruits of our efforts – never for the activities that we do. We do need to like positive and welfare oriented activities and dislike negative and destructive activities! We DO need and aspiration to attain a state of ‘No expectations’!

      We started this narrative with the saying-

When one becomes free by changing one’s attitude
The TIME becomes ones helper.

      The poet who wrote this has written this beautiful saying too –

The traveller on the path of love does not crave for results.
He sacrifices his life in pursuit of love but does not deter back his steps.

-‘Rajani’ Palanpuri

     This love to devote whole life for the cause of love is the first step in the ladder of the process of becoming free – love for every moment of life being lived.

     Whatever we do; we start doing with an acute sense of love. We may get result or we may not get; but every moment is spent; every action is done with that love of life. Like a lover mad in his love; like an intoxicated drunkard enjoying every sip of his elixir; whether someone appreciates or not; whether we get any banefit of the effort or not- we go on doing all the cores of our lives. We may set goals for the course of our life activities; but we rejoice every step that we take; every cobblestone of our path; every shoot of grass that comes in our way. Even if a thorn comes in the away; we accept it as a test that consolidates our unshakable faith in Love for the path.

     Constant dissatisfaction; constant like; constant aspiration, constant expectation, constant quest, constant madness… in love for life.

      And write down on the opposite wall – ‘ Only a mad man is truly FREE.’

We have now become mad
in love to live in this moment
– and we have become free!

 

Becoming Free; chapter- 6 ; Change in expectations

Read all chapters here

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     We thought over instincts of mind. Now we proceed further in our study to be free.

   Expectations are at the root of all our woes; and life without expectations is practically impossible.What a pitiable situation? How unbearable a prison? What deep helplessness?

     Very few would have been devoid of helplessness. If someone is known to be a saint, who has renounced all expectations from life; he /she would be having a new goal – ‘Let me do something; so that my brethren become free of the bondage of desires.’ That is why Jesus was crucified; and Gandhiji was shot dead. Thus expectations, even in their ameliorated state would persist.

     We also saw that the root of expectations is- ‘desire to live’. But a bye product of the desire to live is ‘To get what is missing in life; pursuit of happiness.’ This is the primary goal of life; the fundamental expectation from life. The quest for happiness generates new desires and that imaginary phantom of happiness gets shifted further away from us.

    A child thinks that; “I do not have a toy; and my friend has it. So I too want to have it in my possession.” A student desires to get first rank in the examination. A young man or woman yearns to have sensual pleasure that will ignite a fire in every cell of his/her body. A popper just looks for two square meals to keep body and soul together. A millionaire has ambition to become a billionaire. A king wants to become a supreme emperor over greater territory. A saint yearns to become a prophet.

      Achieving, procuring, more… more… and more… The moment that desire is fulfilled -that thirst is quenched – something again seems missing and again the dreams for achieving and procuring more pop up.

     New quest; new expectations; new struggles; new woes… the same closed loop that keeps us running for the whole life. Myriads of poems have been written on those mirages of life and will go on being written.

    We may also note and never forget that dissatisfaction over current state of affairs is needed for development, progress and reconstruction. Mentality of – ‘All is perfect.’ –  will definitely result in stagnation. We may also conclude that’This is life.’ Very true!

     But a common experience of all is that the race for development and achievements generates stress. The fire of dissatisfaction does generate new vistas of advancement but it does not pacify. Something is always missing despite having everything! One at the tip of pyramid aims at new horizons to conquer. A preacher who preaches to renounce everything aims at adding a few more to his lot of disciples!

     None is at rest. There is a void that never fills. ‘I want this; I want that.’

     But the way out is very simple too. Till the quest for ‘That’ is there; there is a void. The sense of – ‘This is it.’ – puts a stop to the restlessness. We may continue to run in quest of new; but there is a possibility of getting joy in each and every step that we set forth in our journey.

     Our life may be full of roses OR wild flowers or even thorns; nobody stops up in making an Ikebana out of them. If we learn the art of making that Ikebana, we can put a stop to our woes. If we get joy in every step of our lives, we have lived. Otherwise there is not much of difference between us and a corpse.

   The art of making an Ikebana out of available materials is the ‘art of living’. That is the way to be free. Then we can fly free in the sky and go ahead wherever we want to reach. It is transformation of our expectations –

  • Not a pursuit for happiness; but a quest for joy.
  • Joy gives rise to Chaitanya – throbbing life
  • The experience of life throbbing in every cell of our being gives us access to Truth- the truth of life in this moment.
  • The realization of truth leads us to experience of oneness with our basic being

      As we start listening to this inner voice; the cobwebs of darkness, ignorance and deep slumber start getting dilapidated. Instead of running behind imaginary mirages, we start feeling the soothing coolness of the spring of life within us. Nothing would change practically and yet everything would be seen in new light.

    Goals will remain; as also planning to attain them. The steps and struggles will also continue- as will expectations. But the expectations get a rudimentary transformation. The ever persistent quest will still be there. Only the direction changes- outward to inward. We start desiring to distribute the joy; sharing it with all. We may not become saints ; but start living a kindly life.

  A well known Gujarati poet has said-

“It may be death or life; there is one common helplessness. The funeral procession goes ahead on support of shoulders of those carrying it. Life too proceeds further on support of others.’

– ‘Mariz’

   This sense of helplessness is the transformation of our present predicament. We start acknowledging the support we get from so many sources and start extending similar one to those whom we can.

    I’, ‘My’, ‘Me’ – that eternal dialog takes a total turnaround. The sense that ‘Our whole life – from birth to death- has been dependant on others’ – germinates a deep sense of gratefulness. Our panorama of action and activities go on getting dedicated for service to others; instead of merely for the self. The whole life becomes a Yagna. (Holy fire of sacrifice). Goals, planning, strivings – all for the benefit of all around me;  nothing for myself.

An ever persistent echoing and resounding voice …

I am nothing;
I have nothing;
I want nothing.

     ( That ‘I’ is NOT our so called identities or masks –but our true being – what we are at core.)

‘I want this, and I want that’gets replaced by a desire to share and serve.

Gujarati Alphabet

Courtesy – Mrs. Hiral Shah

‘CLICK’ on the picture to open the file

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Becoming Free; chapter- 5 ; Instincts of mind (Dream and Spark)

Read all chapters here

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Dream

     Lacking gives rise to dreams. Dreaming for a new possibility is quite distinct from normal thought process. We may even say that ‘A man who has no dreams is not human.’ Dreams arise out of thoughts or may be in a totally different direction. A man rolling in poverty dreams of living in a palace. A palatial house dweller dreams of becoming an emperor. A devotee dreams of being one with the divine while in meditation. It definitely is a product of desires, expectations, ambitions; but it includes vistas beyond them too.

     It is a yearning to achieve something unseen or not thought of, inexperienced, unattained. Many dreams have no base at all. They make one roam in totally different lands or situations. They make him envision totally strange matters.

  A scientist yearns to find an unexplained secret of nature OR attaining a new level of consciousness and meditation in the internal journey of a devotee. It is the yearning of ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ to fly higher and faster.

Spark

      When thoughts have stopped; when the sense of lacking has encompassed the psyche; when all dreams and infatuation for all desires are shattered; at such a moment of abyss, one experiences opening of an unknown gate in a secret corner of the dark tunnels, by the grace of some superamental power. I have given it a name of ‘Spark’. Mohandas Gandhi was thrown out of the train compartment in South Africa and a spark of awakening made him a Mahatma out of a barrister. This is like an electrical spark or a small speck of fire; that initiates a conflagration.It happensd on its own without any effort or prior indication. It can occur in the life of a great man like Gandhi or in a very very ordinary person.

 Such an awakaening does not take shape from any thought. It comes out the sphere of lacking and dream. It sprouts without any seed. It is like opening of a door in a blank wall. Many have experienced such a sudden, unthouht, undreamt opening like a flower blossoming in their lives.

    Everything remaining same, and no new possibility or opportunity showing to open up; everything appears to have changed at such a moment. Far away from imaginations and dreams, in the depths of uncertainties, in the dark abyss – a new ray of light springs forth. A new highway opens up. For such a spark no parameter or the fundamental animal instincts or other three instincts of human mind are responsible. Such a awakening pops up on its own. But a dormant seed does exist, on its own; deep inside all layers of human consciousness. It can pop up anytime. It is as if human mind is programmed for such a possibility!

   Such a spark unveils the hidden truth to a scientist; who might have been unsuccessful in all his efforts and experiments, and could not hope for any ray of hope of finding the solution. A man bried deep in suffering and depression sits up and strats running- rejuvenated by a new fervor of hope and zeal. We may call such a spark descent of Divine grace. It can never arise out of efforts or thoughts or dreams. It generates on its own. Whether there was any apparent seed or not; such a spark totally transforms a person from a weakling, semi developed infant into a ‘Sir Issac Newton’

  Thinking that ‘Jesus or Mohommed or  Buddha was enlightened by such a spark.’; all start craving and struggling for opening of a door in their lives. They start doing yogic and religious practices. They start searching and serving Gurus. But such a spark can not arise out of any apparent effort. Such a possibility may not be having any trace in one’s being; but it does pop uplike an uninvited guest! We may not call it a normal instinct or tendency of human mind; but it does incarnate.

  Of course possibilities of such a spark occurring is definitely more in a scientist or a spiritual devotee. But lives very common people like Rabia, Mira or Joan of Ark have also demonstrated such awakenings.

———————-

  Such a spark may spread like a conflagration in the life of an individual and spread like wild fire in the community. It may give rise to a paradigm shift in the social psyche. Such a spark may also extinguish in a few moments too. But such sparks are surely a dimension in human lives.

  Perhaps such a chain reaction of thought, lacking, dream and spark of awakening may have given rise to evolution of  a human mind from  a savage ape.

  And… it may also happen that an unknown enlightenment may protrude in the psyche of human race snoring in the slumber of ignorance and darkness of carnal thought processes. It may happen that a new, super human race may evolve. If at all such an evolution takes place, the human existence may witness a new, unthought off, unimagined, undreamt dimension to human consciousness. Human consciousness may enter a new paradigm.

     ‘Becoming Free’ is an effort to dream of such an occurance of awakening and enlightenment in an individual, in local communities as also in the entire human race.

    Perhaps a spark may occur somewhere and the door to highest peaks of consciousness may open up all of sudden.