Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The15 Laws of Life by Swami Vivekananda

I came across this interesting article on the net just today.
I wonder how many of we the bemused sould actually follow or agree with it...
Well as for me I quite agree to most of the things of not all...
The ones highlighted in RED are the ones that I completely agree to...

1. Love Is The Law Of Life: All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore, love for love's sake, because it is law of life, just as you breathe to live.

2. It's Your Outlook That Matters:
It is our own mental attitude, which makes the world what it is for us. Our thoughts make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light.

3. Life is Beautiful:
First, believe in this world - that there is meaning behind everything. Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful. If you see something evil, think that you do not understand it in the right light. Throw the burden on yourselves!

4. It's The Way You Feel: Feel like Christ and you will be a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Buddha. It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God.

5. Set Yourself Free: The moment I have realised God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.

6. Don't Play The Blame Game:
Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.

7. Help Others: If money helps a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.

8. Uphold Your Ideals:
Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.

9. Listen To Your Soul: You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.

10. Be Yourself:
The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!

11. Nothing Is Impossible: Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin - to say that you are weak, or others are weak.
12. You Have The Power:
All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.

13. Learn Everyday:
The goal of mankind is knowledge... now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What we say a man 'knows', should, in strict psychological language, be what he 'discovers' or 'unveils'; what man 'learns' is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge.

14. Be Truthful:
Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.

15. Think Different:
All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Sky is the Limit

Came across this article in the Times of India...It made an interesting reading .. it was written by Vivek Paul ... and its not my compilation..(the pic on LHS is mine though!!)

Philosophers have long held that happiness is the ultimate goal of existence. Aristotle called it the "summum bonum" — the "chief good" — in that while we desire other goods such as money or power because we believe that they will make us happy, we want happiness for its own sake. So do material goods really lead you to happiness?

According to brain scientists, there is actually a specific area in the brain that sets expectations of material gain, and as material goals are achieved, it resets expectation levels. This means that you could be unhappy despite being wealthy, if your expectations were higher, and happy in penury if you exceeded expectations. MRI brain scans coupled with behavioural game theory experiments show that the human brain has a "fairness" switch. Even if you get a lot, if you think it was an inequitable split, you are unhappy, and as long as the split is fair, you can be quite happy even with little. One part of the physical brain recognises gain, and another, loss, so these two emotions are processed differently. This means a small series of gains can make you happier than a pattern of alternating gains and losses, even if the net gain was the same. It is a separate part of the brain that processes short-term gain versus long-term value and again, there is asymmetry: Long-term value is an acquired taste; for many, it is not a strong happiness signal. Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, enumerated a need hierarchy with material needs at the bottom and self-actualisation at the top.
Material gains offer happiness up to the point that ensures survival and provides some social status. After that comes security, an ability to feel sure that you can defend what is yours. After that comes a desire to love and be loved, to belong to a community or group that is greater than oneself. Many stop here and lead happy lives. Others keep climbing to the next level of self-esteem, and finally self-actualisation. What is this elusive self-actualisation? It comes from recognising that you are exercising 100% of your mental and physical facilities in your own unique way, towards a goal that is greater than the needs of your own self. Psychotherapist Viktor Frankl said if you could find an individual's purpose, you can find his happiness. We are all born with a unique bundle of aptitudes. Purpose has two elements — a uniqueness that relates to why an individual uniquely is suited to do something and integration, or the way that uniqueness either harmonises or helps others or a greater group. Research has indicated that most people move from an emphasis on integration (for example, in childhood) to uniqueness (in adolescence) about 10 times in their lifetime. The need for a purpose arose around the same time as the emergence of self-reflective consciousness, which is believed to have followed the evolution of the bicameral (two-lobed) brain. This consciousness is the ability to examine the mind as if from the outside, as an objective reality.
This purpose also came to be tied to the soul; the soul manifests connection to a greater entity and the home of those energies that go beyond those needed for our own personal comfort and well-being. In fact, the word magnanimous comes from the Latin ‘magnus' or great and ‘animus' or soul — the exact equivalent of mahatma. Yet another road to happiness was found by the Hungarian psychologist, Csikszentmihalyi, through what he calls 'flow'. Flow is happiness through action that creates the exhilarating sensation of being alive. Mountaineers experience it when climbing, fishermen after a fighting catch, cricketers during a long turn at the crease and mothers when tending to a child. His research indicated that flow comes with clear goals: Hit a century, climb that mountain, when feedback is immediate. Flow occurs when difficulty and ability are both high and roughly equal. Concentration deepens. Action and awareness merge into a seamless wave of energy. There is detachment. The term ecstasy in Greek means literally 'to stand to the side'. In flow, the present alone matters. You are in absolute control. Sense of time is altered. Minutes can feel like hours or seconds. In flow, there is a loss of ego, as if awareness of one's personhood is temporarily suspended. When a climber reaches the top, there is a unity between the mountain and the self, not the sense of a competition won. So here then is the road to happiness: Working hard at something you enjoy that challenges your abilities, can give you happiness everyday as you experience flow, the material results of which can satisfy the fundamental layers of your needs. If that task can also have a greater purpose, you are on the path of self-actualisation, opening the doors to lasting happiness.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Joy : Something or someone that provides pleasure; a source of happiness.

Happiness to what one would say??The happiness of the soul that every one is constantly seeking for.There cannot be a greater happiness than the happiness of the soul. And in such conditions no matter how much pain the body or the mind is in goes unnoticed by the pleased soul. Such is the power of the happiness of the soul that all sorrows are forgotten. Smiles galore the individual. This is exactly what happened in the past couple of days.

Having got a holiday on Wednesday on account of Ganesh Chaturthi.. it was our turn to say Ganapati Bappa Mourya!!! and have a good time..! So we did just that on Tuesday .. Played cricket... (not a very good thing to mention in public circles though... with the current performance of our star-studded Indian Cricket team...)

Scenario 1:The batsman was me.. last ball .. runs required six. Pace bowler to send the ball hurling towards me... I try to strike...swinged the bat..a swing that IF connected properly would have indeed send the tennis ball flying high ... But I missed...My team Lost.

Cut to Scenario 2:Fielders on the boundaries... The batsman requires four runs of the last ball to win the match ...I stood there gasping for breath after the ball chase of the previous shot...had saved the boundary on that ocassion... Seemed the batsman understood my situation ... Picked me to play his shot... a well lofted shot over the covers... could i take the catch ...? i ran to my left ... with pain in my knees from the previous dive... as the ball approached me .. I could make out that I could reach it if i gave a dive... The gamble however was whether I go for the catch or let the batsman be content for a single... I decided that was going to be the former...I dived without looking at the condition of the ground beneath...Missed it...!! ball races across the boundary...Damn it...! Hurt myself...Another match lost!!

What pleased my soul was playing cricket after such a long time. The great time that I had was just an evidence of the happiness that the soul was experiencing. I was simply so happy that evening ...that the constant smile on my face could send people thinking ... Whats up with this guy??? Was roaming the streets singings songs loud enough that you could hear it in the peak traffic conditions of Airport road as well!!

What followed after that was the pain...with almost each muscle in my rather slightly overweight body crying to me for attention...But here I was.. it somehow felt like Sweet pain ... and i kinda enjoyed it...
Spend the entire holiday the next day celebrating Ganesh Puja in the bed...with a lot of ahhs and ooohs.. and ouchsss...and reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons..
In the evening went and spent some time with Ganesh and Shiv ji in the Kemp Fort temple...Pure bliss...

What a nice way to experience Joy!!!Happiness to the sould indeed...!

Monday, September 05, 2005

In Search of the truth...

Its been a long time since I last wrote something and there has been so many things that have happened in this time gap.
There has been excitement... there has been introspection.. there has been sorrow...and there has been joy...
I have been reading a lot ... Fiction and Non Fiction ... Spirituality ...books on India...
Almost finished with the "Conversations with God" part a copy of "Being Indian" and also "Jesus Lived in India"...and to follow that is "Celebrating Silence "
In the mean time the constant fight in the mind continues...The fight between the design mind and the non design mind.. one trying to outpower the other at all times... and am trying to look for answers from somewhere else...

As said the human is composed of the three main things : The body; the mond and the soul...The mind is an amazing thing with answers to almost all things that the world desires...and questions...But what do you do when the mind is in a turmoil.. in a whirlpool of emotions...constantly figuring out what is right for the soul...??
In such conditions.. you listen to what the soul says... The soul is the base and it is the ultimate thing... it is "THE THING" ...
Doing what the mind says and the body likes is happiness...Doing what the soul likes is happiness with satisfaction...
Having read a few articles by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the papers (Indian Express: Sunday edition), Times of India; in books Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch, God loves Fun by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and also some teachings of Swami Vivekanand... I somehow feel that they all are trying to convey the same TRUTH. It somehow all boils down to the same thing...

I have felt this thing ... and also find exactly the same words appearing in front of me...(in fact in two different books i was zapped at the paragraphs also being same...!!); just that the sources are different... and the frame in which they speak are ofcourse different...
I believe that the need is there to look beyond... and see the things that are unseen...
There has been questions that has been popping up in my head..questions on Love, Power, Desire, Sex, Passion, Joy, Sorrow...
The mind is always travelling.. and travelling fast.. and one cannot stop it from doing that ...
the questions will come... and surely the answers will arrive sooner or later ... That I am sure that I will ultimately land up finding the Truth...
Have recently started reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons... going on fine... again another novel about the church and Christianity...! Just taking a break from spirituality and religious books.. not very likely though...