Sunday, August 21, 2016

Devi Prasadam

Devi you have blessed us
Born in Mind and graced us

I had felt your presence among us
In Ashram's Devi Puja had tears welled

We carry you as hope now
You are Shakti, you already rule us

Liberate me, make me deservent
Of having borne you, as nimitham

As Durga bless benevolence
You grace and your powers
As Kali help me win over
The ignorance that veils us

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Who is a Bharat Ratna and When

Let's keep the legal / constitutional / defined definitions aside.

For the common man, a Bharat Ratna is a Role Model.
And we don't award, this is Bharat Ratna for Music, or Bharat Ratna for Science. We award Bharat Ratna to the Citizen. In the sense, the person must have been exemplary in one field, but still should have been a model citizen.
And this applies to the awards from Padmashri onwards too.

This is why Sanjay Dutt or Salman Khan should and would never get it.
There was a huge ask for Saif Ali Khan to return his Padmashri when he manhandled someone in a restaurant, whatever be the context.

And hence there was the sagacity in those giving out the awards to give it out at the later part of such an achiever's life. Or even posthumously, which perhaps was taking things a bit far.
But the thought behind it always was to hold out to the world and future generations of what a Model Indian should be like.

Let's consider the tarnish to the award done by giving it to Sachin Tendulkar for example:
The very fact that the definition of comes in-scope of getting the award was changed to accommodate him, makes it all look fishy. But I'm not against the change in definition itself.

My point of view is only to ask if he was a model citizen apart from being the God of Batting.
Hmmm, well, he's only 43. There is a long life ahead of him. Too soon to say! And that's my only concern.
Consider this article (link), written before he got the award. It's not as if Sachin had been a model citizen prior to the award even. Why then had the highest national honour to be given by our most judicious then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but for an opportunistic eye on getting some positive points for himself and his party after a scandal-led disastrous governance.

And now consider his current "performance" in the Rajya Sabha (News Link). Going by the twist in definition, of including "performance", wouldn't having given him a Bharat Ratna now look to have been done hastily?

And if a cricketer, why not the people from the Armed Forces, or the Police Forces, what about them?
Their "performance" and their sacrifices are what keeps the country standing.
Why are they confined to Gallantry awards. Indeed, they are our true Role Models.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Path to bliss: first choose happiness

Yes there is, a beautiful bliss
A bliss that's mind you, beyond happiness and grief

But to reach that bliss, first choose happiness
Get a glimpse to see, if you have the readiness

Not all can hold on, to that smile in adversity
Not every eye can peer through, the reasons with magnanimity

But try you must, it's lifetimes of cobwebs
Won't be easy but someday, get in touch with your best

The amazing Ramanujam and the power of intuition

The Ramanujam Fellowship was in the news recently for being the reason why Indian-educated scientists were coming back, leaving behind lucrative careers in the west (News Link).
While this is in itself great news for the country, and a topic to write on about by itself, the subject of this article is something different.

This article reminded me about a movie on the mathematician Ramanujam that I'd seen a few months ago (IMDB Link: The Man Who Knew Infinity). I'd been wanting to write about this great mathematician since then.

I'd read about Ramanujam growing up, as many other high-school children would have. And the Ramanujam Number 1729 (Wikipedia Link). And how numbers were such friends to this true definition of a genius. I'd already read with interest on how it seemed Goddess Namagiri (Wikipedia Link) of Namakkal in Tamil Nadu used to cause intuitions on the solutions, the equations to difficult problems. Answers Ramanujam would arrive at without going through the labour of steps arriving at them. I'd also read about how Prof Hardy was instrumental in recognizing Ramanujam's talent and getting him to England to collaborate with him. I'd also read how Ramanujam passed away at an early age and what at loss to Mathematics this was.

But the movie truly revealed many other aspects of Ramanujam's personal life and hardships which were not known to me, growing up in the era where the Internet's "networks" were just being formed. It was a great movie, who revealed his human side. It was an honest movie. How Ramanujam once even attempted suicide. How despite his professor's commitments and patience with his unscientific talent, was more interested in just going back to the place where his work wouldn't have found its due purpose.

The point I want to highlight in this article is not even this. What I want to point out is that the movie should be watched, to observe and appreciate how the power of intuition is a much greater aspect that the power of reason. At times, or I dare say most times after we've learnt to "hear" it as well as Ramanujam had, we should listen to the voice of intuition than what reason would suggest. Intuition comes from the harmony of Conscience and your God's or Inner Self's grace. It would have to be in harmony with the way things must be. If reason be the pure basis of action, then VIKI from the "I, Robot" film is far from wrong.

While scientific temper and the rigor is needed, it should in my view be a parallel thread. There is a whole world of limitations that we have to leap past, if we have progress faster. And this is not just in science, but all aspects. If one were listening to their inner voice than the brain-washing, the conditioning that happens at various levels, be it societal or marketing, the human life would be move faster towards its core purpose of fulfillment, of freedom.

Intuition is how the Vedas came to us, how the ancient Rishis made the major leaps in astronomy, medicine and philosophy. Somewhere in time, we regressed, so much that today those are just looked up with wonder, or worse, mixed up with superstition. In either case, it's not helping us.

Just as Ayurveda and Yoga are now getting new-found acceptance in the past few decades, the time has come to appreciate and accept Intuition too. To listen to those in tune with the voices in respective areas, be it Ramanujam in Maths or RD Burman in Music. Free them from the rigor to just do this (the reason why Ramanujam was getting disillusioned in England). Let's make investments on this promise from Intuition (although it sounds preposterous today) and get past mental barriers and narrow view to things. A lot of that's lost from the past will start making sense, and we can take them to stretches farther than we can today imagine.

Let's get in touch with our Inner Voice.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Whom to be First Thankful to

Should I be first thankful to the parents who got me birth
Or myself for having deserved this birth

Should I first thank the merciful lord
For giving my redemption a chance
Or the teachers who made me realise
The reasons for my birth that this is why

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The economically poor: The culture torch bearers

You look out of the window, at the poor construction worker family. With thatched makeshift huts, their home at the street side. And watch closely, at what they eat, what they wear.
When I say poor, I mean economically lower, but not beggars. I mean the ones who toil, but still just make ends meet. The ones who never even had the equal opportunity to get ahead in life.
Look closely at them, and you see the model of the true Indian. And again, I don't mean to say this from the economic perspective, but from the cultural perspective. You give the woman a choice, but still she'd prefer her Saree over any other dress. She'll still cook the chapati than buy a bread. The fast-ageing father will take his children to temple, more than any other affluent family visits.
And you think to realize, God's world is strange, but it can't be unfair. When Jesus said, The meek will inherit the kingdom of heaven, there was a meaning to it. These so-called poor, are really more content than us. They are the ones who'd certainly attain bliss, for they are right at the cusp. Of course but, they are not the target audience of the globe-trotting, true Jnani gurus.
Yes, if you ask them of their future, they'd worry too. But don't we too, despite all our pay cheques and bank balances too?
They don't have the time to idle, their work keeps them engaged and happy. They don't have the money to get pulled into consumerist marketing, the junk food, the idle brain's food - the TV or the games.
Their kids, we only have to ensure they get a good education, because the true teachings, of the Vedanta are within their family's day-to-day living. If they only get the opportunity to study, they can guide us, and the country too.

Why are teachers paid less

Why in any nation are teachers paid less
Why their sacrifice earns such disrespect

Is really market economy the answer to all
How can a by-quarter world view be best for all

A seed once sown, takes months to bear fruit
A human generation, two decades to gain trust

Those who nurture and protect
Should be heralded the best
Must become the guiding policy
For a nation's interest

There was that beautiful bliss

It felt like a walk in a forest
With sun rays passing through as arrows
It felt like standing on sandy beaches
With gusty winds blowing on
I know not how to describe it best
It felt like a holiday afternoon
With feet on sofa, and reading a book

But no, that doesn't, even tell it best
I guess it was just beyond
Just beyond any pleasure felt

Bliss is what we all pursue
But bliss is all, we really are
It's just the illusion, the covering of karma
Else bliss is where, we all came from