Welcome. If you are looking for solutions to improve the modern world or just peace and happiness , search through the posts of this blog, you are likely to find words and thoughts that guide you to it

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Suffering, Solace and Yoga

While there is peace and happiness for some in the world some of the time, there is also deep suffering for others elsewhere from time to time. Most everyone encounters pain and suffering some time or the other in life, one also suffers when a loved one is in distress and when one becomes sensitive one is also touched by the suffering of others in far away places. There are humans suffering because of wars, homelessness, hunger, disease, corrupt or brutal governments and much else at this very moment and some are little children less than the age of five, an age of innocence, an age when a child deserves to experience only love and joy of play, in no way responsible for the suffering that has been thrust upon them by the world they happen to be born in.

Perhaps the only solace for an adult in pain is to realize that everything of this world is transient and that no suffering lasts forever, even life does not. The time will pass and when one believes in reincarnation one has the solace of new lives in new circumstances. However that is not sufficient for one in the middle of it. One needs a plan of action for here and now.

This is where ancient saints come to one’s aid. The Father of Yoga, Patanjali says that one may escape all distress by doing three things. The first is Tap a Sanskrit word that says that one must continue to do the right thing and whatever is ones duty with equanimity even if it seems difficult. It is the duty of every human to do whatever is possible for his or her well being and also for those one loves and for children and other vulnerable persons in whatever reasonable way one can, even by praying for them if nothing else seems feasible to do.

The second thing recommended for humans is Swadhyaya another Sanskrit word that means to study oneself and life continuously and try to remove one’s weaknesses. If the very self is weak then it can neither help itself nor anyone else.

The third and most important thing saints recommend is trust and love of the Almighty. His power is infinite and there is nothing impossible for Him if He so ordains. It is within His powers to vanquish the mightiest of difficulties if they deserve to be vanquished with the utmost of ease, for He is the power behind the universe.Just as we let those we love and believe love us decide for us at times even in crucial personal matters,

The love of the Almighty who is infinitely loving to all of his creation and the surrender to His will, permits Him to decide for us and guide us, even through our inner selves and thought processes, based on His infinite wisdom, for our welfare. On their own, because of their free will, limited wisdom, ego,  useless desires and fears that cloud knowledge, humans err frequently and become a cause of their own suffering.

Alas, when times are comfortable for humans, they tend to forget Him, even deny Him, although all remember Him in times of need. It is because of this the ancient Saint Kabir exhorted that it is wise not to forget the Lord even when times are good because if one did then bad times are unlikely to come.

Get inspiration from the lady in the picture who is all alert as she waits for a train at a platform to escape to a new hope even as she nurses her child in the hope that he too shall make it through the journey because her breasts have gone dry because she and all of her family as seen in the picture has had hardly anything to eat for months, due to a prolonged drought in her village and no help from afar or those who govern from their comfortable and well provided mansions and palaces. Even the cows and goats have passed away because there is no grass and even water to drink has become scarce. Her love for the Lord has now guided her and strengthened her to seek a place of solace and the determination to follow that guidance for herself and all of her much dejected and desperate family who have all but given up the will and strength to live.None however have any more tears to shed now. They dried up long ago even as the rivers and wells in their village dried up. The long trek to this distant railway station had been especially difficult in this state, and as one member or the other fell down by exhaustion she kissed and goaded them awake, while burying a two year old daughter by the wayside because she refused to breathe any longer despite repeated kisses. There was not a wild flower anywhere to adorn the grave, nor a tear left to shed in dried out eye sockets so the woman took of her blouse, her last one, to adorn and cover the grave. A grandmother of the children  too frail to make the journey had stayed behind, and it was partly from fear of leaving her alone the family had not left sooner. Now they wait for the train that may carry them to a land where the grass is green and where there is water to drink, and the son now too weak even to stand up now says he shall return soon with a bag of wheat, a pouch of roasted chick peas and another of salt for grandma. May the Almighty speed relief.

While an adult may follow the three part practice described in this note named as Kriya Yoga by Patanjali, what do children know about it? It becomes incumbent on parents as well as every other adult to do whatever they can to make the lives of children better. It is only then that our own Almighty Father or Mother would perhaps more readily come to our aid for sure, because we are His children.

Epilogue:  The story of the frail family included here is from long ago but things like that are happening in different countries right now. It seems a ninety year old man who had been feeding the hungry homeless in Florida has been jailed for such an abominable act by those who regulate such things. The morning newspaper today informed that the body of a dead two year old boy had been found in a garbage bin in Ajmer, India and that an inquiry indicated he had died from starvation.  No ninety year old or younger has been arrested for the act. (Times of India, Page 4, Jan 30, 2015, Jaipur Edition)
But perhaps there is a happy ending to the woman of our story if one went by the new photo. Her children are now in school and with the guidance of the Almighty, she has instructed her children to refuse the free midday meal at their urban government run school, designed to alleviate hunger and malnutrition amongst the poor, because some of the children fall sick from it from time to time and some even died of rat poison that got mixed up in it. She stays by the rail line in wait for her husband to return after a visit to grandma and because it provides  chairs for study. There is plenty of water now to even wash her hair and a new blouse and if her husband finds work again on return she shall even get shoes for the kids. Hers can wait. She knows nothing about Patanjali and has not read his three part yoga. She lives it. May the love of the Lord live forever long in her heart and add prosperity to her life with every passing day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Color of President Obama’s Tie

A Color for President Obama's tie

President Obama has been on an inspiring and delightful visit to India for the last three days. As this blogger watched his numerous appearances on TV it was noticed that the color of his tie was a shade of blue every time. The first lady by his side wore very many floral printed dresses looking extremely elegant and pretty. The thought then occurred to this blogger to fine tune this shade of blue tie for him. A small book on dress colors called the CAANS System suggests fortunate dress colors for different persons based on some astrological and numerological principles. Although this author does not fully understands how but on a heuristic basis it appears to work well for many famous as well as ordinary persons. There are some earlier posts in this blog based on that. For men the latest edition of the book suggests two colors for upper garments especially ties worn on white shirts under blue or black jackets. The colors are defined by RGB values. The methodology applied to President Obama resulted in two shades for the tie, one green with RGB values 125, 200, 150 and the second blue with RGB values 125, 200, 250. The shade of blue is slightly different from the shade he was wearing on his visit. It is as shown. it is a gift from this blogger for his wonderful visit to India.

The CAANS system applies to both men and women and the most fortunate dress colors for The First lady Michelle Obama as determined by this system are as below

Dress Colors for First Lady Michelle Obama by CAANS System of dress colors

Monday, January 26, 2015

Prophecy and Spirituality

Space and Time are aspects of the Almighty
The great thing about twitter is that if you are following some of the leading news and media, one gets to hear any important news or trends before it comes on TV and other places in print or online. From time to time, some news comes that this blog had already mentioned in advance in this blog, much in advance and at such times it is pointed out by me as a reply in twitter while quoting the link.

For example yesterday, a tweet mentioned that Australia is likely to be most affected by climate changes. That was something stated four years ago in this blog in Feb 2011 in a post on saline conditions. Some days earlier Oxfam had reported that about one percent of the wealthy persons own about 99 percent of wealth and that too had been mentioned much earlier in an older post in this blog (on back to nature).

There are other things that this blog has mentioned in advance, for example the day of birth of Prince George and that it would be a boy and more recently that he would have a sister around April 21, 2015 ( yet to happen) and her name would be Victoria, one of her names because royalty has many names. It was also mentioned in advance that Prince George would be a bonny baby, of a healthy weight at birth; Princess Victoria on the other hand shall be a tiny and sweet bundle of joy.

It was also explained in some earlier posts how this blog ends up stating things in advance. The simple answer is that a major component of this blog is linked to spirituality and an element of prophecy has always followed spirituality like a shadow follows a man. There is a perfectly valid spiritual explanation for it that would be too long to discuss here, but one thing may be answered that such prophecies apply only for significant events. As regards minor day to day events, no prophecy may apply since individual free will and choice may alter them.

Having said that, not all prophetic visions are pleasant, one major one in this blog has been of a predicted apocalypse in the period soon after 2025 and before 2050. Hope mankind undertakes major reforms before that and it proves to be just one big fallacy. However in case that has worried someone, the same prophecy did also mention that it would not apply to those who can reform at the individual level too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Planting a tree on International Yoga Day

International Yoga day

At the behest of the inspiring new Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi ji, June Twenty first has been declared as the International day of Yoga by the United Nations. Having initiated the idea, it is perhaps incumbent on India to contribute ideas as to how this day may be celebrated.

Today morning an email arrived in my inbox from a government agency that maintains contact with citizens at large to contribute ideas for the day that would be communicated to the PM. I enthusiastically responded sending three ideas. The first was a bit of art work carrying the caption – Vasudev Kutambakam – a phrase coined by ancient yogis who declared that all life is one family, indeed as modern genetic science has verified; humans, animals, plants and bacteria are born of a common gene pool and share many genes. The ultimate goal of yoga to move out of our limited personal desires and unite with those of All.  The art work was developed using the base template as a photo of the Himalayas with the early morning sun rising over it sent to me by a student – Naman Kothari and partner in a campaign and activity we undertook towards alleviating hunger and malnutrition.

The second idea was to try and create a composition of an anthem for the day in multiple major languages of United Nations containing the words of the previous phrase.

The third idea was to begin the day with planting a tree. One might ask what yoga has got to do with a tree. Let me explain. In an earlier post in this blog on Sun Inspired Yoga it was described how valuable it was to develop gratefulness to the Universe that gives all life with the Sun as its visible part. While it is good to exercise and meditate in the early morning sun for brief periods of fifteen to thirty minutes, longer hours of meditation the part of yoga for advanced yogis that follows physical exercises must be carried out in shade and if one can in the open because as Khalil Gibran recorded in the Prophet,

“The Breath of life is in the sun and the hand of life is in the breeze”

Through history, certain trees have been ascertained as beneficial for meditative activity and reflection if one sits under them and three trees, also described in detail in this blog earlier are – The Oak, Banyan,  and Neem. While the first grows in colder parts of the planet, the others grow well in warmer areas. Therefore planting these trees in an open common ground is a great  move aside from the fact that a greatly depleted mother earth needs more trees. However just in case one cannot locate saplings of these trees one can also substitute with a food producing tree which too is a great need of modern times with a huge population on earth.