Friday, January 27, 2006

My Three Friends

I have some remarkable friends, but would like to tell you about two of them.

One of them lost her husband when she was in her early 30s. She was then cheated of what was due to her by her in-laws. She brought up her children single-handedly. Today she lives alone and wonders why people are confused as to why she seems content.

My other friend lost her only son in an accident. She lost her husband a few years later. She kept herself busy with the very many artistic things she used to make. She even ventured into learning how to use a Computer, even though she is in her 60s. Today, she calls me to inform me that she has had serious problems with her eyes and hence has had surgery done. She was as cheerful as ever, wondering why people think that she should be unhappy!

Both my friends asked me whether I thought that they were 'abnormal' I assured them that they were more than 'normal' It is just that it is not 'normal' to be 'normal'. I don't remember any time during my life when I have not had something to worry about...and yet I don't remember anytime when I have not been content. I suppose the trick is to focus on what you have, rather than on what you do not.

What do you think?

My Friend Esther

Year: 1957/8

Ether and myself were school classmates in 1957 in the Dominicas in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain).

In the above photograph from left to right: Myself, Esther’s sister Clara and Esther.

We lost contact for nearly 35 or 40 yrs.

Esther visited Tenerife, got my address and wrote me a short note.

We corresponded briefly…later we exchanged email ids…

11 years ago, we met for 2 days in Barcelona and had a great time.

This time decided to meet again in Barcelona, on my way to Bombay from Tenerife.

Spent 4 days in her home. It was great! We got along, shared joys and grief moments of our lives, giggled like school girls over meals. She looked after me like…well a true friend.

I discussed the ‘Karma theory’ with her and expressed the opinion that we must have been close during our last life…

Scroll down to see the 2 grandmother after so many ups and downs of life!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I have been to Vaishno Devi…and it was an awesome experience…

While I was in Barcelona (Dec 2005) I had the good luck of visiting Montserrat.

Allow me to share my experience with you!

The mountain looks like, well what can I say? See the photograph yourself.

What is Montserrat?

Is it a mountain…A church…a monastery…?

For me it was beautiful experience!

Hinduism believes in the power of Mother…so does Christianity and many other faiths!

What I find fascinating is that a lot of Mother temple and churches are in the mountains…I am sure that it means something…maybe ‘Mother’ sits Highest or that She is the Feminine Principle of Our Creator…

Who is Mother God?

Sylvia Browne writes:

… In some of my earlier books, I addressed the existence of a female God, but did not offer information on Her functions. How far can She go? What does She look like? Why and when can we call on Her, and what are Her guidelines?

… From the beginning of recorded history, the Mother God or Goddess has played a major part not only in creation, but also as the great interceptor. In fact, She takes on many different roles and appears to us in many different ways.

Elizabeth A. Johnson, SCJ, is a Distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University and the author of numerous books. In “A Theological Case for God-She” (Commonweal Magazine, January 29, 1993), she states that the scriptures abound with female imagery of the Deity. She adds that there’s no reason we can’t use this imagery ourselves when we think about God. Johnson describes some of Azna’s (Mother's)various roles and appearances, citing the following scriptural evidence:
She is the giver of life who pervades the cosmos like a mother bird hovering over the primordial chaos (Genesis 1:2). She shelters those in difficulty under Her wings (Psalm 17:8) and bears up the enslaved on Her great wings toward freedom (Exodus 19:4). Like a mother, She knits new life together in the womb (Psalm 139:13); like a midwife, She works deftly to bring about the new creation (Psalm 22:9–10); like a washerwoman, She scrubs away bloody stains of sin (Psalm 51:7). These and other such symbols invoke the exuberant, life-giving power of women.
Names for the Mother God
Just as God the Father is known by many names—Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, God, Om, Father, and a few more—names for the Mother God number in the hundreds, depending on the culture, the country, or the need people have for Her at any given time.
She has more names than God the Father. She is known as the love goddess, the killer goddess, the retribution goddess, the protection goddess, and the fertility giver. She is known as Mary and as Ajysyt, the Mother Goddess of the Yakuts of Siberia who records every new birth in a golden book and brings our souls to Earth for birth. She is also called Pinga, the benevolent Inuit goddess who protects all living creatures. In Lithuania, she is Ausrine, the goddess of dawn. In Babylonia, she was Ereshkigal, the goddess of the underworld. As an aside, Mother God was known by the ancient Israelites as Asherah and was considered by many to be the bride of Yahweh. Isn’t it amazing what time does to history, or vice versa?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Swami Rama

A while ago I was honored by the stay in my home of Pandit Rajmani Tingunait, the disciple and successor of Swami Rama, author of the book ‘Living with Himalayan Masters’.

I learned from the above book about a language called ‘Sandhya Bhaasha’. It is similar to Sanskrit. Its every word flows, full of meaning from its root sound and it can be used only for discussion of spiritual matters and contains no vocabulary for business affairs of the world.

Swami Rama informs us that in the Himalayas there are sages who just like a

python remain in a dormant, meditative state for a long time.

This state is called ‘Ajaagar Vritti’

Another very interesting piece of information, that I learned from the above book is why people touch sages’ feet.

Reason: A saint surrenders his life at at the lotus feet of the Lord. The sages’ face is therefore with the Lord. Only his feet are here, so people bow to the feet. The book informs, that the above is a Persian belief.

The books that I have read, penned by my honored guest, Pandit Rajmani Tingunait, are equally enlightening.

‘From Death to Birth’ is an attempt to understand Karma and Reincarnation with a key to the Scriptures.

I also read ‘Tantra Unveiled’. The word ‘Tantra’ is intimidating. ‘Many believe it to be connected with magic, witchcraft and influencing the mind of others’. But Panditji has unveiled its mystery, by explaining that the ‘literal meaning of Tantra is to weave, to expand, to spread’ Its message is, that worldly pleasures need not be denied while in quest of the Spiritual Life.

Tantra teaches that ‘everything is sacred, nothing is profane’.

Tantra is a ‘Shakti Sadhana’ It believes that without access to our ‘Shakti’ (Energy), ‘true spiritual illumination is not possible. Awakening and using shakti is the goal of Tantra.

Sadly, however, if ‘the scientific aspect of tantra falls into the hands of charlatans, it is inevitably misused, giving tantra a bad name…’

Fascinating reading.

Pandit Tingunait is a non-assuming man despite his immense knowledge.

To know more about my spiritual guest, you could visit:

There were a few other pressing situations demanding my time and attention during the stay of my august friends. I decided to put into practice ‘living in the moment’ ie doing what needs to be done this moment, to the best of my capacity, hoping that the next moment would take care of itself.

And you know what? It did.

All my situations worked out.

I learned that you may have been hearing words of wisdom all your life, but they start meaning something to you, only after you remember to put them into practice.

And then, later during the month, I went sailing.

I have travelled on ships and boats.

But I have never sailed.

It was a thrilling experience.

I have read that tension, worry are caused by too much ‘future’

One must therefore remain in the present.

So I watched the Ocean, swayed with the waves and ‘lived’ each moment!

You must try it sometime.

It is exhilarating!

Friday, January 20, 2006

14th of January (A Festival)

The Sindhis refer to 'Makar sankranti' as "Utraan". Though the dates of all Hindu Festivals always vary every year, 'Utraan' always falls upon the 14th of January. The Word 'Makara' corresponds with the Zodiac sign 'Capricorn', and during 'Makar Sankranti' the Sun enters the 'Makara Raasi' i.e. the Zodiac sign of Capricorn. 'Uttar' means 'North'. during this time, the Northward Revolution of the Sun begins. Hence Sindhis call it 'Uttraan'.

Because the direction of the wind changes, it is traditional to fly kites on this day. Flying kites is symbolic of Spiritualism. You remain on the ground, while the kite in your hand soars towards the Heavens. During this time, one uses 'Til' or Sesame seeds in a variety of ways, the most popular being the distribution of 'Til laddus', which Sindhis call 'Bhorindas'. It is cold during this time,and sesame seeds have a warmth giving quality, According to Ayurveda, The intake of sesame seeds facilitate smooth Spiritual Practice.

'Utraan' is considered an auspicious time. Bhishma, the hero of the Mahabharata had the boon that he could choose the time of his death. Even though he lay on a bed of arrows, he chose to die after Utraan.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I had gone to Chandigad (Punjab) for a wedding.

As we drove from Delhi to Chandigad, we passed by a sign, which led to Kurukshetra.

I was thrilled! The reason being that I had wished to visit the place since a very long time! But I suppose, I was not destined to do so earlier.

I believe in ‘Bulaava’ which means that one cannot visit Spiritual places, until the Deity calls one.

You could say that, that, is true of any kind of travel.

You may be right…and then you may be wrong!

My experience: An Indian friend who came (all the way from Australia) with us, refused to budge from, where we had tea. He just would not enter the pilgrimage places!

I asked him for a good reason. He had none!

Anyway, on my way back from Chandigad to Delhi and Bombay, I set foot in Kurukshetra, the Birthplace of the Holy Geeta and the land where the great War of Mahabharata was fought!

The Vaman Puraan tells us that Lord Brahma created Man and the Universe in Kurukshetra, where a huge water body called the Brahma Sarovar lies.

It is believed that a dip in these holy waters, on the days of an Eclipse and Amaavasya (Moonless night) will absolve one of sins committed.

Legend says that the Sannihit Sarovar (1 Km away from Brahma Sarovar) was filled with holy water that flowed from Brahma’s navel.

I visited the Bheeshma Kund Baan Ganga.

I felt blessed when I stood on the grounds of Jyotisar, the birthplace of the Bhagvad Geeta, the spot where the Lord of Lords sang His Divine Song.

The guide explained to me, that that spot is the center point from where the 2 mighty armies,stood, ready to fight.

This was the crowning glory of my Spiritual Travel. Krishna is my Ishta Devta.

I have visited Mathura, the jail in which He was born. I have walked the gardens of Vrindaavan, where everyone fell under the spell of His magic flute. I have walked the road to Barsaana, where RadhaRani spent her childhood! I have been in Dwarka, where Krishna reigned as King. I have set foot on the place where Krishna renounced His body (This place is near Somnath Temple called Prayaas Kshetra, if I remember right)

And now I was in Kurukshetra! Vow! Could not believe my luck!

I gazed upon the image of Lord Krishna and Arjuna immortalized in marble. I stood under the banyan tree believed to be an off-shoot of the original one.

I decided to spend a few moments there, and I stepped on to a small water body.

I just went down one step, and I slipped…I slipped again and I lay on my side, on the step under barely 6 ins of water, fully drenched! People rushed towards me. I was not at all hurt! I was just laughing at the will of the Lord! It was like Krishna was telling me: “Do you think I am going to let you go from here, unaffected?”

Touched I was! And blessed!

Later, I visited the Sri Krishna Museum. Quite nice, really. With objects that celebrate the theme of Lord Krishna!

One of the highlights in Kurukshetra is the Panorama Project.

It is a cylindrical structure.

It has a 34ft high depiction of the Mahabharata battlefield. The battle comes alive with special acoustic effects.

Oh! It was beautiful!

What? The Experience of having stepped back into time.

And forward, also! Now everytime I read the Geeta, I see Him a little clearer!



Sunday, January 08, 2006


A forwarded email message that I received has adhered to my mind.

It stated that ‘not forgiving’ was like carrying a sack of potatoes, wherever one went. The potatoes rot and stink, but one goes on with the horrible task.

How terrible!

But we all do it!


Because one holds on to emotions of self pity and resentment.

Also one gets identified with the unhappy feelings of emotional wounds inflicted in the past. And that is not all, one keeps the process alive by compulsive thinking.

The irony is, that if one lets go of these negative feelings, one lets go of grief.

If grief leaves, a torrent of Life energy floods, and there, emotional, spiritual and physical disease cannot enter.

Easier said than done.

Arjuna told Krishna just that. That it was not easy to follow the Spiritual Truths (that Krishna taught) which lead to Enlightenment and Freedom.

Krishna answered that what is difficult, can be attained with practice and perseverance.

Sometimes one needs to forgive oneself.

Some circumstances, from the past make one feel unworthy and not deserving of forgiveness.


I read somewhere sometime back that one needs to forgive others, oneself and Life for all that one has endured. Only then will true freedom be achieved.

‘Not forgiving’ is self inflicted suffering. How much longer does one need to bear it?

Say YES to whatever ‘IS’ now and let go of the past!

I got another email message which taught, that when someone hurts you:

“write it down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness get in charge of
erasing it away, and when something great happens, engrave it
in the stone of the memory of the heart, where no wind can erase it"

If one believes people who behaved in a certain way and hurt us in the process, had a choice over their actions; also believe that one has the choice not to be unhappy over it.

If one can create ones misery, one must believe that one can also create ones joy.

OK I can hear you saying that “I can forgive, but I cannot forget.”

I believe that hurt is like a physical wound. You can medicate it, keep it clean, and covered. Nature and Time will cure it. If you scratch the wound, it will get re-infected and will take longer to heal.

Sincerely, Shacune


Monday, January 02, 2006


Last night I watched some TV.
I heard about some rape incidents, and I also read and saw some violent news around the world.

My heart ached!

My way of healing, is through my pen or rather, my keyboard.

We have all experienced irksome neighbors in our building or neighborhood.

Today, the world has become a neighborhood.

I have learned that when we have to live together we all have to make an effort, to co-exist amicably, for our own sake.

The Pope has said: If you wish to be brothers, let the arms fall from your hands.

One cannot love while holding offensive arms.

I had once asked a hindu spiritual scholar why, animal sacrifice was sanctioned amongst religious practices. He explained to me, that there is a brute element which exists in man. It lies dormant amongst the best of us. It becomes evident and transforms into inhuman behavior when the circumstances ignite it. An animal sacrifice is a symbolic practice to kill the beast within. Another reason for the sacrifice is that the act of killing the animal satisfies the brute instinct which lives in man.

It is I suppose, somewhat worse than hitting a punching bag when angry.

I do not know whether you will agree with the above theory, but I have always wondered how people how enjoy a bull fight. Obviously there must be some truth to the above supposition.

Now, I am not condoning cruelty to animals.

Gandhiji has said: “No doubt religion has to answer for some of the most terrible crimes in history. But that is the fault not of religion but of the ungovernable brute in man.”

I am informed that the Qu’ran 42:43 states: ‘And verily whosoever shows patience and forgives, that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah.’

And last, but not least, the UNESCO constitution declares that ‘Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.’

Oh! before I forget: The method to combat the brute in man is simple. One just has to firmly say ‘NO’ to it.

Think about this.