Thursday, October 23, 2014

On Life and Liberation



Some of the most highly revered spiritual personalities such as Buddha and Jesus have recommended in their teachings that it is better for humans to work for their liberation and eternal salvation rather than focus much on transient and temporary worldly gains such as wealth, power and fame. However they have made no bones about the fact that the journey is a long one and there are only a very small number of humans who reach that goal in any given lifetime. Why is it then that they recommend striving for that goal for all humans? Failing in that goal, would they also not miss worldly gains? This has been explained further in spiritual texts that it is not so; that when one works for liberation one has a greater chance even for worldly peace and joy in that journey.

A mark of great evolved souls is that they feel the pain of others just as much as their own pain. They feel a deep sense of compassion for all life. Gautama Buddha was so moved with the pain of other humans and even animals as a Prince that he renounced his kingdom and went into the wilderness in search of answers. After years of meditation his answer was that it is precisely the desires/attachment to worldly pleasures/things and gains that are at the root of suffering and birth into human lives in which suffering is unavoidable. He therefore recommended that it is best to work for salvation and eternal bliss instead, in order to escape all suffering.

Life has both good and bad, joy and sorrow and all these are subject to change with time. Life is a journey through time experiencing these. Even the good in life produces pain and sorrow when it goes away some day. When one is deeply attached to worldly gain, one would have a tendency to make ethical and even legal violations of a criminal nature. Such violations themselves may bring about a quicker end to all the hard earned gains as compared to their end by a natural flow of events. In the previous post, the situation of a friend from college, a class mate was described, who reached the highest possible attainment in the world in terms of fame, reputation, wealth and power but suddenly a legal violation he had made was brought to light. He is now in prison and his wealth is being taken away.Whenever a human gets overly attached to a thing of this world yet perceives it is also a heavy burden, it is worth considering that nothing of this world is permanent. it will go sooner or late in any case when the dust shall return to the dust as it was and the soul that dwells within to whence it came from.

The saints do not recommend that Humans should stop enjoying worldly peace, joy and beauty when granted by life and the Universe. What they recommend is to continue with their journey with a far greater adherence to principles of goodness - love, truth and simplicity in comparison to a worldly goal. The worldly gains that one deserves, because of one's work that come as a by product of doing one’s duty honestly and sincerely are indeed longer lasting and more joyous. At the same time, when a worldly attainment or comfort comes to an end one is able to bear the loss with greater equanimity, knowing fully well that it is just one tough patch in a journey to a place of eternal bliss.

While all this may be too formidable for many to comprehend fully what may be accepted more easily and intuitively is that all are children of the Universe, a Universe that stands on the principles of love. If they trust in that love and live by doing the right thing, the Universe shall do the right thing by them and much more as any loving parent would for a child. The hard times may be viewed as educational episodes Perhaps the Lord is harder on those He loves most from time to time, just as a teacher is on a student who has great potential while perhaps not bothering as much about those headed for failure. When the friend just described who is a person of spiritual inclinations by and large despite some errors he made, mentioned after his two year prison sentence that life is a journey, his wife remarked that she wants out of that journey, as reported in the media. It is precisely what the saints advocated, showing how to end that journey by reaching the destination.

The Lord is both a parent and a teacher.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tragic Homelessness and Solutions



 
 "Some countries that fail to provide a bed under a roof for homeless persons is not because of lack of resources; it is more likely because of a selfish heart devoid of compassion and humanity. In addition, if they prohibit feeding the homeless hungry, they may be creatures of the universe of whom even evil beings would probably be ashamed of"

While some homelessness has existed in the world from the beginning of time, two things are different in the modern era. Modern law and regulations tend to make it more persistent then it ever was in human history. In older times, with few regulations, a homeless person could gradually build up a shack on a vacant piece of land and even find land for some farming. Such land hardly exists in the modern era. The second even more distressing aspect is that it is happening in the richest countries of the world. If the unemployed son of a poor man becomes homeless it is not a surprise but when the son of one of the richest men in the world has to be homeless it is indeed tragic. The logic may be scaled up to citizens of countries. According to a recent report in Newsweek, linked towards the end of this post,

One out of every 30 children in the U.S. experienced homelessness last year. That makes nearly 2.5 million children who, in 2013, lived in shelters, on the streets, in cars, on campgrounds or doubled up with other families in tight quarters, often moving from one temporary solution to another, according to “America’s Youngest Outcasts,” a report published Monday by the the National Center on Family Homelessness at the American Institutes for Research.
For more details of homelessness see
http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/families.html

Most tragic is the condition of those who having been knocked to the street once due to unexpected adversity become so traumatized as to become incapable of recovering without help. In the present age of nations with large debts, a currency not tied to anything solid as gold, stressed banks, financial crisis, high divorce rates, huge legal and medical costs and rising inequalities (see here) such an unexpected adversity can really fall on anyone, God forbid, even those who regard themselves as secure now. Therefore it is wise to show compassion for such distressed homeless persons rather than thinking of them as criminals and vermin as some unfortunately tend to. 

Paradoxically the problem occurs more readily in richer countries because low cost housing options are fewer and the rich have forgotten how to create a hut with just mud, thatch and bare hands, and because regulations are too tight for a shanty town to come up. While most persons in rich countries would consider it below human dignity to live in a mud and thatch dwelling or a shanty town, it must be realized that living in a public park on the street, especially on cold freezing nights is infinitely more tragic and undignified for a human. Even rats and insects manage to create a roof over their heads  for periods of rest, safety and to house their young ones.

Some early humans dug out pits in the grounds to create a dwelling while others found shelter in caves or constructed homes out of mud rubble, shrubs and thatch. A modern human too without a home might do that but modern regulations made by other humans prevent it. Therefore, it is incumbent on those who so insist and regulate so to provide the very minimum of a shared shelter for those without a home or place to live, a roof over a head to save one from rain, snow, heat and cold.. 

On the other hand, it is not also wise to go to the other extreme and start providing free homes to the homeless because then many would tend to take advantage of the freebie and not strive to create their own, thus becoming a burden on society as a whole. Moreover, providing a shelter creates easy means to clear the streets of beggars, nuisance and increased crime risks for all.

What are the solutions? The solution is obviously not to make such people go away, or starving them slowly to death by stopping their food as some local administrations tend to do. Where should they go? They cannot jump in to the ocean, can they?

The solution is also not allotting any vacant homes to them. They shall not have any means to feed themselves or maintain themselves independently. Many may have become unfit to do so.  The obvious and only solution is to provide supervised shelters. However in order to ensure that these are feasible and not misused, much thought has to be given to the issue. An economical, wise and easy shelter solution called the HISA is described in detail in another post in this blog with a link in this article.
 
HISA shelters (here) endeavor to meet the following requirements

  1. While ensuring that the shelters do not violate human dignity by providing a comfortable bed, roof and some regulated space for storage of private goods, full privacy is denied so that a person is not tempted to make a permanent home out of it.
  2. The design has been optimized from an engineering point of view so as to be the most economical and therefore affordable one
  3. The centers are regulated in a manner so that those who are children are provided education, those who are aged are provided greater comfort but the able bodied are encouraged to return to part or full time work with an income sharing mechanism and to eventually leave the center when sharing is not attractive and is instead sufficient to acquire their own private lodgings. Even the aged may be made to share their pensions and any assets they may have made to go to the center upon their demise by law rather than children who may have neglected them.

Once shelters are provided they help to clear streets of nuisance, even crime that homeless persons may get compelled into while catering to humanitarian needs of fellow humans in distress. The integrated nature of HISA centers provide a more natural environment for rehabilitation while permitting governments to consolidate their welfare budgets in a single place thus leading to savings by a sharing of facilities and services.

Get full details on design and management of HISA centers at the following link

someitemshave.blogspot.in/2013/01/designing-shelters-for-homeless_13.html



Quick Relief

Although it may appear that setting up any new system of shelters may take time, it need not be so if there is a will to provide fast relief. The residential part of HISA centers are modular army like barracks that can be constructed bit by bit at a fast pace, once the land is reserved. Constructing a few modules at a time also has the advantages that some of the labor for construction may be provided by some of the residents themselves on an income sharing basis as proposed for HISA centers. An even quicker settlement is possible by housing some of the earliest settlers in refugee like tents on the same land assigned for a HISA Center even before construction begins. Usually there is reluctance to house homeless persons in refugee type tents because no city or country wants a permanent tent colony. However, if there is a planned replacement of these with HISA barracks there should be none such.





Do also read this report:
http://www.newsweek.com/child-homelessness-us-reaches-historic-high-report-says-285052


Song of the Homeless Child


Sweet homeless child,
You break our hearts so,
You are just as sweet,
As our very own
We know you did not ask
to be brought to our world
to be thrown on the street so
Did no one care for you
Were they so cruel to you
Will someone pick you now
Do not let your tears flow
You are sweet as our very own
Hunger shall be there no more
and a roof over your head
It shall be there once more

 HISA Centers and their design is described here:

The efforts of the author to contribute towards greening the world and fight against distress and  hunger amongst the poor of the world, especially children, are continuing as evident from very many posts of this and associated blogs of the author.  He feels the pain of it deeply. To those who do not and are indifferent to the plight of the distressed it may be pointed out that in this world events beyond control can change things suddenly. It is always a good idea to keep the heart human and compassionate. One never knows when one would need that compassion badly and desperately from others since one may get out of life only what one puts into it. More of the author's philosophy on life can be found in the posts of this blog or his book - The Babaji Affair- found easily by a Google search.
 

Homeless images before modification from:



This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Peace is the Bottom Line



 
A new headline was added to this blog mentioning – If you are looking for peace you are likely to find it in some of the posts of this blog. That was a conclusion based on seven years of experience with this blog. The various posts are on many assorted topics crucial to life and a visitor would have to browse or search through them to reach the ones that appeal to him or her. Peace really is a prerequisite to happiness and everything else worthwhile besides. When one has peace, a little some thing may produce happiness and when one lacks it, nothing will. Those who help promote peace in their interaction with other humans and the world, bring peace into their own lives through the eternal principle of reflection of deeds while surely making themselves more pleasing in the eyes of the Universe or the Lord in case they believe someone far mightier than them can govern this infinite universe. Persons like me believe in One considering we can not even make a single cell of our body or any other life form from the near infinite number of cells that make up all life, and it is indeed delightful to believe as described in very many posts of this blog..


This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Dream about Stealing



While listing the various means human beings use to evolve, Patanjali the father of yoga mentioned the knowledge gained from dreams as one of them. The subject of dreams is indeed a vast one and it is hardly possible to go into much of it here. A bit about them has been mentioned in earlier posts. Just two things may be mentioned though, when dreams are mostly traumatic and stressful, it implies that much emotional stress is stored up within the recesses of one’s personality. Time and dreams help to resolve these so that dreams become sweet and gentle most times as they should be. Leading a simple loving life,  in secluded green surroundings hastens this process and that is something that mystics have done from time immemorial to cleanse their souls of unnecessary burdens. However, leading a hectic life of greed, anger and stress will increase the problem.  For most humans, it appears to be a good idea to reflect on their dreams, or whatever part of it they remember soon after waking up to assist this process of resolution. It is something I have done from an early age.

In his treatise on yoga, Patanjali mentions that to even begin evolving as a human it is necessary as the very first preliminary steps to give up things like violence and stealing. These are left over of our animal past. A monkey would not think twice about stealing a banana from your hand when hungry but a human is supposed not to steal i.e. take something that belongs to someone else without their permission or knowledge. A Human may only take from what belongs to no other humans or what is earned by them or given to them willingly by someone else.

However, while it is easy to moralize and be ethical when one is not faced with an opportunity, temptation and need, the real test comes when one is faced with all of these. Some such consideration and fear must have been locked up somewhere in the recesses of my sub-conscious mind too because they unfolded in a dream yesterday. Our hidden fears appear in dreams in order to help us overcome them such as finding oneself paralyzed or frozen at a time when activity is urgently required, is a common dream.

In a dream last night I found that I had access to a temple cellar for some engineering work. Temple cellars are commonly used to store temple treasures and in this temple there was a direct chute from the surface through which donors could throw in their donations to land up in the cellar. While I was there alone, a fresh and therefore unaccounted donation of a large sum of money suddenly poured in. Because I was in need in the dream, I secretly picked up some and put it in my pocket. However soon after I was disturbed by the act and put it back.

This dream woke me up and disturbed me. Although I am firmly against stealing perhaps that tendency or the fear of that tendency still remains in the depths of my being. However, the dream has a teaching too, to fight any such remaining tendency because I remember as a child of having stolen a few toys once and a newspaper another time. At that time it was an adventure and immaturity but such a tendency must not continue as one grows up.

An evolved human does not steal not because he might get caught and punished for it but because of more basic reasons. Whatever we acquire in life is because of the doings of the world or universe around us and hardly because of our own doings although most humans think otherwise because of their ego. It is the Universe that grants us whatever we have and it is the Universe that takes it away too. If one steals, even though no one may know about it, the Universe does know and then one can hardly expect the Universe to be generous or kind to a person who does that. Once a human evolves to a basic threshold, he simply does not take what belongs to someone else, whatever be the temptation, knowing fully well that it is thing not done and it is something that will produce pain and harm in the long run aside from depriving one of the generosity of Nature.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Healthy Proteins for Vegetarians, Vegan and Lovegan



Sushil Kumar (wrestling Champion), the strongest man in the world has been a vegetarian all his life

 
During my student days in Canada, influenced by eastern philosophies, a friend became a vegetarian. He had developed the notion that being a vegetarian meant not eating, meat, fish and eggs and eating vegetables instead. It goes without saying that he became weaker by the months until explained to him, that vegetables is something both meat eaters and vegetarians have to eat for good health and if he has stopped meat he must replace that with other protein matter not just more of vegetables. This friend studied the matter and took to beans until he began to phart like a cow and then I had to intervene again to explain to him that beans cause flatulence and will not help him to acquire a robust health although he might survive in an insipid and unpleasant sort of a way. He has since learned of the right and healthy way to become a vegetarian.

Some of the strongest, healthiest and longest lived people come from regions like Haryana in India and Ikaria in Greece and they are either pure vegetarians or almost vegetarian but they know what to eat to be healthy and flatulence free. The world champion wrestler belongs to Harayana and is regarded as the strongest man in the world by some. He has been a pure vegetarian all his life not even consuming eggs. He does have plenty of milk products though and almonds, lentil beans, yoghurt, farm fresh vegetables and unleavened whole wheat flat bread often cooked on a wood stove. During a wrestling match it was suspected he had bitten the ear of an opponent and when he was asked about it he replied jokingly that how could he, he was a vegetarian.

Some of the foods are listed here in the order of their usefulness for a lovegan diet. The following vegetarian foods include eggs and milk products that is a part of lovegan diet but not a vegan one. The vegans can choose items permitted by their philosophy. Vegetarians are of two kinds some that eat eggs regarding it as a surplus animal product like milk and others who do not eat eggs saying that they may be fertilized and be a part of life.

  1. Eggs: Eggs are the healthiest, economical and most convenient delicious food but because of their powerful contents it is best not to exceed two a day. It is safest to stick to just one a day, most days. Hard boil them, scramble or make an omelet or have them as a part of a cake.

  1. Milk products: The best are yoghurt and Paneer - an unprocessed non-melting cheese - that can be used in an array of delicious recipes. It is prepared easily at home by adding a few spoons of vinegar to boiling milk and straining out the solid paneer. Some of the liquid that is left can be used to add to soups, stews and bread but if too much is left, some may have to be discarded unfortunately. Some butter or clarified butter for cooking is also a near must for robust health for vegetarians.

  1. Chick Peas: These are delicious and full of good health but will cause flatulence unless processed properly. Soak them overnight and then boil and soften them in a pressure cooker with lots of water and a little salt until tender, about half an hour. Cool, and strain. The flatulence will go out with the water and you may then use the cooked chick peas as a replacement for meat in a lot of recipes. They are delicious if cooked properly. Throwing in a finger of ginger while boiling will help further.

  1. Mung Bean Sprouts: Once you learn how to prepare them at home, they are great for a noodle dish, veggie burgers or just stir fried lightly with onions and tomatoes.

  1. White button Mushrooms

  1. Red lentils: These are great as a soup with sandwich or with steamed rice. Use of Tomatoes while cooking them adds greatly to taste.

  1. Preparations from Besan – Black Bengal gram flour ( black chick peas) – You would have to learn the recipes though to make use of this handy and delicious vegetarian protein food. Dried Pea flour is at times used as a replacement for Besan. it is similar but does not have all the health promoting properties of Bengal Gram.

  1. Tofu / Tempeh

  1. Black eyed Beans (lobia) Pre-process as chick peas above to remove flatulence. However, despite that they may cause flatulence for some. If they do, skip these.

  1. Some seeds such as hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein. Hemp seeds can be mixed with flour for  protein rich bread, about two table spoons per cup of flour. More widely available is almonds, coconuts and other nuts such as roasted peanuts or roasted black Bengal gram; this has been mentioned last not because it is the least but because it is a health supplement taken aside from the meals. However they are a part of many recipes too, especially deserts. They brighten most any desert and add great nutrition and protein to it.Check out this great recipe of Mother's Bounty Chutney that will help vegans and vegetarians to make up any deficiency caused by not eating meat http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2013/10/good-health-fighting-alzheimers-disease.html  


Mixed Red Lentil and Split Moong, ready for cooking


There are a lot of other types of beans and lentils but most are heavy on flatulence except washed split and dried Mung beans but they were not included in the list because good quality washed and split mung beans are not available widely around the world. However in places that they are available, they may form an important part of a vegetarian diet. So now you have an extensive list to choose from. Provided you learn the right recipes you can have delicious meals every day and be just as healthy as those from Ikaria or Haryana and far healthier than meat eaters. It goes without saying that bread, rice and fresh vegetables must accompany these meals for carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals that a human body needs. However the obese should cut down on carbohydrates but not the others. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and goose foot weed are the healthiest while lettuce and celery leaves are great as a part of the salad.  Do ensure that there is some raw fruit or salad in meals at least once a day for the live enzymes a body needs.


An average human who consumes an egg a day,  five or six days a week, five to ten almonds ( more would harm just as as too many eggs do) or a quarter of a coconut (it can be ground up in a chutney or sauce), a cup of yoghurt and just a small portion of another item from the list here should be well off as regards the protein content of diet. Consume yoghurt at or before lunch only and avoid in the evening according to ancient experience from the Himalayan region or alternatively have a glass of hot milk at night. Aside from proteins carbohydrates are required, best in bread or rice;  some vegetable - some leafy, some raw and some cooked in a good fat or oil such as butter, olive oil or coconut oil with a spoonful or two of natural sweetener such as jaggery or honey or even a sweet fruit to indulge, an apple or banana a day would make up for many nutrients and enzymes one may miss due to lack of vegetables and salad. One should then be well off as regards diet in the opinion of this author and need nothing more than pure water, fresh air, sunshine, green surroundings, exercise, cleanliness, loving thoughts and a lack of greed for excellent health, to the best possible potential that the genetic structure that the Lord gave one at birth permits. It is possible to bring down these requirements with meditation and mindful breathing because man does not live by bread alone but that is mostly for mystics and not ordinary humans.

The List here is not exhaustive but merely drawn from the author's experience in travels around the world. Wishing that you enjoy a great life full of love for all life.  Mother earth has filled the planet with a great variety of foods for your enjoyment and nourishment. Cherish her gifts. One need not cause violence just to live and be healthy.

Enjoy with steamed rice and a clear herbal sauce
Caution: If you have been a regular meat, chicken or fish eater, giving up on all of it suddenly is likely to lead to weakness because we are all creatures of our habits. It is better to spread out the change over a few years cutting down the number of days gradually with meat as you discover new alternatives, until you are down to once a week or so. If you have been a meat or fish eater until the age of fifty or sixty, your body may now have developed so that it unable to produce all that it requires for good health without meat or fish but once a week should be sufficient to make up for it. This is akin to those of Ikaria who are some of the longest lived and most disease free group of humans on earth and who mostly consume meat or fish only four or five times in a month.  While the precise chemistry of each human is unique and different and is something every individual must explore on their own as regards food, it is not a good idea to be a fanatic in this area. While traveling, visiting or say on a thanks giving dinner with turkey, one need not hold back from it unless one has been a vegetarian since childhood. Do note that is is impossible to eliminate violence completely in procurement of food, one may only eliminate whatever is unnecessary. When we contribute some good for the world besides ourselves we tend to compensate for harm done.

Read about the Ikarians here:
http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2013/01/vegetarian-food-for-good-health-ikaria.html 

UPDATE: A new study now proves conclusively that vegetarian food is healthier than non-vegetarian one. See: http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2015/12/its-official-vegetarians-lead-healthier.html


Image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saut%C3%A9ed_Tempeh_cropped.jpg

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Compost Heap in the Garden



A Compost Heap in a corner of the Garden
If one lives in a home with even a small garden, a lot of leaves, clippings, dried out flower beds, cut grass etc. collects. Some people just discard it with difficulty, others collect it and burn it but that is such a callous waste and also harmful to the environment. It is really beyond common sense and logical thinking as to why people do it. It is very easy to collect it in some corner of the garden or home and it does not look ugly if you care not to add kitchen waste to it, or if you do to take care to hide it under other stuff of the pile. In a year’s time it converts into wonderful organic compost that may be returned to the garden. That is exactly what we do and the photo shows our compost heap under a tree in the south-east corner of the home.

If you would like to do the same, then find a spot for it in the garden, dig about a foot or two of some ground at that place and start dumping your leaves and cutting there. One may dig deeper but then removing the compost later with a spade will be hard work best avoided. After a while a pile will build up. In dry months when you water the garden sprinkle the top of this pile with a little water too. Once every year, pull off some of the top layer and you shall find nice dark compost under it. Remove all the compost to a side and then refill with the top layer you had removed. If you have the time you may wish to sift through the compost to remove sticks and stuff and return it to the pile. We barbecue or cook on a open fire too for some very delicious dishes at times with some dried wood from our trees, and then discard the ashes into the same heap. Bits of coal get in but can be sifted out later. 

Now this compost can be used over the next few months for adding to flower pots, vegetable or flower patches or sprinkling over the lawn. Farmers must do the same on a larger scale. They just have to dig a wider and deeper hole. If they keep cows and have bio waste from that, it too may be added to the lot.



UPDATE September 15 ,2016

Earlier this year we had pulled out a lot of overgrown creepers in the garden. They all went to the compost heap. Today while sifting through the heap we separated the thick stems that had not composted and pushed back the rest into the heap to continue composting for another few months as shown in photo.
 


Friday, October 3, 2014

Of Men and Mystics – of Peace and Happiness




Photo of the Himalayan foothills near Haidakhan and superimposed text by author


This note should have been entitled women and mystics but you know how the human mind is, it would have jumped to sexual connotations and that is not what this note is about although it does have a bit of that too. It goes without saying that it is nice sexual experiences very many humans look for soon as they have had nice food and when they are done with all that, they go about the world looking for fame, wealth, important positions in society and so on.

It is pursuits such as these that drives much in the world. When these interests are in control, society runs reasonably well; when any such drive becomes excessive and when it involves ethical violations, for example when a few usurp most of the wealth of the world while others starve or worse, suffer homelessness, then we have an upheaval and people may rise to chop the head off a queen as they did in France or to have a communist revolution as they did in Russia or a revolution against communism as they in Russia, or a revolution against democracy in jingo land and then a revolution against military rule that follows in Jingo land, because soon after, the new leaders get on to the same game and build two nice mansions by the sea and another with taps of gold, a shit pot studded with jewels, a sauna and a swimming pool while their private bar stocks every kind of wine on the planet. One should think that such leaders at least would be the happy ones in society, but wonder of wonder the leader suffers from excruciating pain of piles and a fistula, a hernia and a couple of medical stunts and stents in his heart.

Down to ordinary humans like you and me, we look for the same sort of stuff, albeit with a little more realism so that we do not have to end with that excruciating pain in a rear or a central part of our anatomies. One could classify all the wants of humans in five categories

The first is health and freedom from pain. Some times the condition may be minor such as a mild diabetes or hypertension that can be managed with a small dose of a pill from the pharmacy, a dosage that steadily increases with the years undoubtedly because human cells are adaptable and learn to adapt to foreign chemicals just as bacteria adapt to antibiotics with time, a steadily increasing dose that drives us to the grave sooner or later if we are lucky and if we are unlucky it could leave us with a stroke and a painful bedsore in the care home where a nurse will come and pump you with Valium so that she may enjoy her coffee and cinnamon bun peacefully in the cafeteria while complaining to a friend about how her husband has begun to pick his nose at the dining table lately while his trouser stinks from incontinence.  Many humans are luckier in that they do not need that daily pill or are sensible enough to go for a walk instead. Even here though they will eventually suffer from stiffness, decreased mobility, obesity and a host of other things with age so that life is not what it could have been otherwise.

The second thing that is important to humans is how their basic needs are met, of pure air to breathe, clean water to drink, nice healthy food to eat and a nice comfortable place to live in pleasant green surroundings and not just two or three cells of a beehive in something called a high rise block where many modern humans live, where the people upstairs have  a dance party over your couch, bed and nut; the couple next door likes to indulge in something primitive to the beat of  loud thumping music that goes thumph. thumph, thumph. and the view from your window is a  crowded street below and another high rise across the street from where drifts up air laced with nitrous emissions, aerosols and the rest.

The third thing of importance to humans is their human relationships beginning with those they live with and going on to those they work and deal with on a daily basis and extending up to the wider human society in which a few may strive for fame. The fortunate ones have nice human relationships but because the human mind is a changeable thing that pretty wife may soon start nagging or turn up her nose in bed while the sweet child who showed so much promise earlier in some cases becomes obese or takes to drugs and tells you to buzz of if you suggest otherwise.

The fourth thing for humans is their daily routine, the things that they have to do daily just to get on with their lives, for example having to drive an hour through a road rage filled path to work either way and then to put up with the most boring work and nauseating boss that they just have to put up with a pretend smile akin to the grimace of a severely constipated person in distress, because they have to pay bills and the mortgage every month.

The fifth thing for humans is finally to deal with themselves and the fact that they may have to deal with anger, frustrations, fear, depression etc. which the heady drink of whiskey seems to ease for some for a few hours in the evening only to wake one up suddenly in the middle of the night to bring it all back with greater force. Episodes of entertainment in life serve a similar diversionary purpose from time to time, helping to take the mind away for brief periods from what bores or troubles in life.

Within these five broad areas, a human strives to find his peace and happiness and has succeeded in varying degrees from the beginning of time. It is for improvements in these five areas that humans attempt to collect hoards of money but most who do manage to earn a pile get so busy in hanging on to it or striving for more that they do not get to use it for these improvements before stepping into their graves but instead add to their worries in preserving it before the grave frees them most rudely and suddenly from those worries and cares.

However, despite the dismal picture painted so far an immense amount of happiness is possible in life and many attain to it by inculcating values of love, truth and simplicity in their lives; cultivating contentedness by making the most of what they have or can be acquired with relative ease; and by choosing green areas to live in if possible in preference to concrete ones, so that they can enjoy the joy nature and mother earth, unblocked and unfettered by layers of concrete and man-made constructions, provides at all times to all her children, humans being some of the most dearly loved ones.
and the mystics

However, from amongst the lot of humans on our planet there have been a few who have refused to play the game and preferred to step out. If they are of a spiritual kind and that spirituality is apparent they may be called mystics by others. Such mystics bring down their wants, needs and close human relationships of a personal kind to a minimum or at least down to what matters most. The reference here is to the sort of relationships humans maintain within society but on another plane their relationships are wider and embraces all life of which they feel they are a part.  The tendency of mystics is to regard all of mankind as one large human family and all life as one large family of the Almighty.

They do not give up on pure air, water, green surroundings and sunshine but may choose lodging in the wilderness or a monastery or perhaps even find a quiet green corner in a city. In the modern world it is difficult for most humans to recognize them because fraudsters don the disguise of mystics to entrap victims and real mystics move about in ordinary attire to avoid attention. They stick to a simple diet that is healthy and pure but not expensive and does not need caviar, saffron, Swiss cheese and truffles. Wholesome organic food is the cheapest of foods, the purest form of it is what the forests and nature yields for free. The expensive organic kind in the market is like the shrewd or novice business person in a mystic's robe out to indulge or exploit the naive rich while disregarding the salt of the earth - the common person and the poor. It is one of the ways in which the genuineness of some modern mystics can be discovered i.e. by checking if their clients are the rich or the poor. Genuine mystics serve the poor and the needy but the pretender works on the rich albeit in a holy garb surrounded by spiritual stuff to enhance the act.

It may be pointed out that there is nothing wrong in engaging in a business that caters primarily to the rich. They are the best section of society to do business with. The problem arises when the business is cloaked in a spiritual garb, because spirituality is about disinterested service and not about business. It is evil, like cloaking the use of violence in a spiritual garb, because spirituality is about love, not violence.

They do not purchase tea or coffee but the flowers and herbs of the forest offers them a variety of drinks, a different one for each season, sweetened with the honey from the bees that the bees gladly offer to them in return for protection and care, love and compassion they provide, the same love and compassion they provide to all other life in the forest.. The popularity of a single herb like tea amongst a wide section of humanity is like the popularity of a single religion, political philosophy or a single operating system on your computer - the result of clever business marketing practices.

They have no one to impress so they need only that extra robe of common cotton and not a tuxedo, a black suit and a tie. Since their needs are down to  a minimum they do not have to make that painful daily commute to their job but just go for a walk by the river instead to hear the music of the gurgling brook, tweeting birds and the dance of the butterflies or more to keep themselves occupied they may briefly tend to their vegetable patch, fruit trees and a couple of pet cows or more to keep disciples busy if they have some. Mystics tend to attract disciples as flowers attract the bees, and unless they take steps to prevent that, mystics can easily end up with a crowd of dedicated followers. Whether a mystic encourages that or not depends upon the task they may be engaged in in any particular phase of their practice, for these differ with each, some require isolation and others require engagement.

Mystics who have a little land for their use besides forests rarely if ever grow things like wheat, rice or barley. That is the job of farmers and they can easily get some in return for some of their surplus milk, fruits and nuts - apples, jack fruit, almonds and chestnuts; but they do love to grow fruits, flowers and vegetables, for their relationship is with Mother earth, Father Universe or the Lord and they do not have to put up with any human nagging when they return to their simple hut set amidst the wild flowers, trees and the sweet loving song of birds they feed every now and then, because they live sans human company with the angels and the Lord, at a distance from disciples if any. When they step out of their abodes the birds come and hop around them with a thank you and a tweet while a cow lifts it head for a loud moohello and in some cases the tigers or lions from the forest too drop in to rub their manes against his legs because he has rescued a few from a pit when they were cubs and fed them milk with a spoon or a bottle. Since their life is simple and disciplined they sleep well and are at peace to enjoy good health but god-forbid if they get into some deep pain or trouble they quickly exit to the other even nicer hut, without fear or hesitation,  that the Lord their savior has reserved for them.

But few from amongst men shall become mystics for the allure of what the world offers is extremely attractive and difficult to overcome. The world shall go on and there will be enough to grind their butts out to keep the few mystics amongst them fed in return for wise words and solace that they offer from time to time when the going gets a bit too tough to handle it all just by themselves or with the help of that shrewd old lady who understands the workings of the scheming world like the back of her hand and the tickle between her legs. Both kinds need each other and therefore both shall continue to exist as long as the planet does. it is the existence of opposites that makes creation possible.

The most well known and perhaps the most saintly of mystics i.e. those very close to the Universal consciousness amongst humans have been Jesus and Buddha, but there have been thousands of others who fall between the level of ordinary humans and saints, each with their own unique style and a few perhaps just as saintly as the leaders but perhaps not as widely known i.e. not as widely and vigorously propagated or marketed by followers charged with love, business zeal or a vested agenda.

LOL! laugh about it all because just as greed, passion and anger are the three gates to hell, laughter is a small side gate to heaven.





Image above  about Buddha was shared on facebook from https://www.facebook.com/TMmeditation?ref=stream


The book ‘The Babaji Affair’  by the author available with most leading online retailers contains stories of some Himalayan mystics, their lives, thoughts, doings and adventures while describing how they interact with the rest of humanity. The book contains stories of mystics that illustrate how these mystics may change the travails and agonies of ordinary humans into exhilarating joy and beauty with utmost ease. For within their austere, at times naked frames they hold a drop of the power of the Infinite Universal Consciousness that creates the universe merely with a wish or a smile.