Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I have been reading The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The author has placed Draupadi in the forefront of the action…her joys, doubts, struggles, triumphs, heartbreaks, achievements…
Presenting some of the excerpts that have touched my heart.

Dhai Ma says to young Draupadi:
…“Love comes like lightening and disappears the same way. If you are lucky it strikes you right…I advise you to forget about love, princess. Pleasure is simpler and duty more important. Learn to be satisfied by them”

Krishna says to Draupadi:
…“A problem becomes a problem only if you believe it to be so, and often others see you as you see yourself”…

…“As for being pawns , ar’nt we all pawns in the hands of Time, the greatest player of them all”…

When Draupadi asked Krishna what kind of palace He thought she should have, Krishna said: “Already you live within a nine-gated palace, the most wondrous structure of all. Understand it well: it will be your salvation or your downfall.”

Draupadi said: “If I am a queen I owe it to my palace.”
Krishna frowned and said: “Don’t be so attached to what is, after all, no more than metal and stone and asura sleight of hand. All things in this world change and pass away—some after many years, some overnight. Appreciate the Palace of Illusions, by all means. But if you identify so deeply with it, you set yourself up for sorrow.”

…Krishna gazed into my eyes. Was it love I saw in his face? If so, it was different in kind from all the loves I knew. Or perhaps the loves I had known had been something different, and this alone was love. It reached past my body, my thoughts, my shaking heart, into some part of me that I hadn’t known existed. My eyes closed of their own accord. I felt myself coming apart like the braided edge of a shawl, the threads reaching everywhere…

…Can’t you ever be serious? I asked mortified.
“It’s difficult,” He (Krishna) said. “There’s so little in life that’s worth it”….

…”They’re saying the gods are angry at Sisupal’s death.”
“Priests like to say such things” Krishna replied. He didn’t seem too concerned about the anger of the gods…

When Draupadi was being disrobed:
…The wind smelled of sandalwood. Krishna sat beside me on a cool stone bench. His glance was bright and tender. “No one can shame you, He said, if you don’t allow it”
It came to me in a wash of amazement, that He was right.
Let them stare at my nakedness I thought. Why should I care? They and not I should be ashamed for shattering the bounds of decency”.
Was that not miracle enough?
Krishna nodded. He took my hands. At His touch I felt my muscles relax, my fists open. He smiled, and I prepared to smile back…

… “A situation in itself is neither happy or unhappy. It’s only your response to it that gives you sorrow. But enough of philosophy, I am hungry…”

Krishna explains to Draupadi about hatred

…Suddenly Krishna reached out and pulled a half burnt stick from the fire. He thrust it at me so that I flinched back.
“What are you doing?” I cried startled and angry.
“Trying to show you something. The stick—it scared you right? It may even have hurt you, if you hadn’t been so quick. But look –in trying to burn you, It’s consuming itself. That’s what happens to a heart---“

Draupadi thinks later:
“I know you want me to drop my hatred, Krishna” I whispered, It’s the one thing you’ve asked me for. But I can’t. Even if I wanted to. I don’t know how anymore”
Outside the hut, the shal trees bent and swayed, their leaves like sighs.

…I knew that the remedy lay not in finding a new flower but in what Krishna had advised me over and over again: Let the past go. Be at ease. Allow the future to arrive at its own pace, unfurling its secrets when it will. I knew I should live the life that teemed around me: this clear air, this newborn sunlight, the simple comfort of the shawl around my shoulders…”

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Radha...Her Love was unconditional and supreme

When do you know when you are in love? or love anyone...the fact is that no two individuals can profess to love each other in exactly the same way and same depth...
Some suggestions:
You are in love when you would rather not live without the other person.
When he or she is the first that springs to mind in happiness and grief
When the other person is a constant companion even in absentia
When sometimes your loved one's happiness takes precedence over yours

Such a loving may or may not last a lifetime, but whatever the span it soaks up your entire being...
Excerpts from 'Are you really in love' Times Life Sept, 27th 2009 by Vinita Dawra Nangia

However I believe that there are various kinds of Love
1) You scratch my back and I shall scratch yours...
2) Romeo Juliet, Heer Ranjha, Sasui Punoo kind of love...where it is believed that they were soul mates or One soul divided in two or twin souls...
...and then we have the Spiritual Love...totally unconditional...We have never seen God...yet a lot of us Love Him...Radha's love for Krishna absolutely unconditional...Meera who sings...Jahaan bithaave ut hi baithoon jo de soyee khaaoon, Meera ke Prabhu Giridhar Naagar, Baar baar bali jaaoon...

Friday, September 25, 2009

For the Group 21 of the month of September, the speaker was Ms Shobha Gehani (in white) Jethmalani...She explained to us how imperative it is to donate our organs. She has a first hand experience in the case of her sister Rani, who had to have a kidney transplant after a liver transplant at a time where such transplants were rare...(Rani leads a full life)
The first transplants that we are familiar with are blood transfusions, cornea transplants...
Some people ask 'If we donate an organ, will be born without it?'
Where is the logic in that question?
I have always heard that whatever you donate returns amply to you...So going by that logic, If we donate an eye maybe we will never need to wear specks in our next life, no?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Anju and Myself at China Garden, Bombay

How wonderful to meet, connect and love!
Years then do not matter...

My lovely serene, flute playing Krishna (gifted to me by my family on my birthday) is also in the picture...
Whenever I feel concerned about something, I look at Krishna playing the flute and think: If the Lord who runs the Universe can feel so serene, with all that He needs to overlook, why should I need to think and worry?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I have always believed that opposites can tick...can is the key on

Dr Harris Shetty, psychiatrist says:
We look for an alter ego who will complete us. At times one looks for what one is not.. So a guy who likes to party may land up with someone sober...

Dr Nirmala s Rao, Mumbai based psychiatrist reccommends: Relationships are about getting our own needs met, often on an unconscious basis. We look for a complement not someone identical, but we may begin to resent it. The key is talking out the difference...
Concludes Dr Rao: "When personalities are similar, couples tend to be happier since issues of daily living become easier to deal with. Personality differences may mean more conflict. Once two people decide to be together, they should be aware of their dissimilarities and learn to cope.
From Bombay Times, Sept 20, 2009, an article by Norbert Rego

Friday, September 18, 2009

Antarchakshu: A unique workshop

In the picture alongside I am clicked with Mr Partho Bhowmick. He is unique in the sense that he teaches the visually challenged how to click photos with a camera!!!
How? I asked him...He explained that the visually challenged have the other senses much sharper than those who can see! I saw a photo where a visually challenged was clicked on the parapet of Marine Drive, cycling, where he was following the sound of the bycicle in front of him...But the visually challenged also take out photos.
Click on:

To experience what the challenged go through...Was made to sit on a Wheelchair and experience the obstacles in the way...They even made me look for a piece of cloth that fell on the floor...pick it up and throw it on a high table. open a lock with one hand, explain with sign language, feel different cloth and idetify whether it is silk, satin, denim, smell and isentify different spices...
Other experiences: With the help of a volunteer walked blindfolded with a stick, Wrote and Signed my name,even hit at a ball with a bat hile trying to hear the ball coming towards me, used a computer, was shown how the visually impaired use a software that talks back to them... also was led to a table with goodies and savoured a samosa and cup cake, blindfolded...must admit that all the time time I was concerned as to how I would climb down the 5 steps that I had climbed up!

Yesterday I had a unique experience.
I was invited to to a workshop called Antarchakshu at St Xaviers College by one of my most inspiring Geeta students Kanchan Pamnani. Though she is visually challenged (Cannot see at all) She is a busy solicitor and managed a photo and mention in a magazine along with eminent women like Sonia Gandhi!

Antarchakshu means: Inner eye and opens your inner eye.
Kanchan in her note addressed to me further added:
... Since you are a friend of mine and a well wisher who wants to be aware I would really like you to attend the programme. It will just take you one hour
I am sure you will have a fun filled 1 hour.

It may have been fun filled but it was laced with making one more sensitive to the plight of the visually challenged!

...Yet it is an inspiring story of coming out winning against odds...Where are we, who can supposedly 'see' in this picture?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some more interesting points that I heard at Swami Nithyananda's Workshop:
On Sanskrit:
Sanskrit words are phonetic.
The Sanskrit words include vibrations/feelings.
eg: A child first learns the M sound hence he calls his mother: Mama, Mummy, Ama Ami...
That is why it is said that even if one does not understand 'Mantras'the vibrations of the Mantras will have a positive effect.

On God's jobs:
God Creates
God sustains
God destroys
God adds Illusion (Maya) to His Creation
God liberates one from Maya and gives Liberation

Only in the last job man's co-operation is required.

I have heard:
There are 3 durlabh (difficult) things to attain
1) Maanas Shareer (A Human body)
2) An interest in Spiritual matters
3)A Spiritual Guide with whom one is able to connect.

The point I am making:
Let us not waste our Life and Time which is so precious...If one cannot give joy, let us not give grief...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yesterday I was invited to attend a Spiritual Workshop by Swami Nithyananda and his disciples. It was an Enlightening experience.
I was introduced to Swamiji. I was told that I could ask him for whatever...I asked: Make my family and loved ones feel fulfilled...Swamiji put tika on my head and said: I will personally look into it...What touched my heart was that he had obviously noticed that I had not asked anything for myself, because he added:..."and I will personally see that you are fulfilled..."
As I came out I realized that I had a bracelet on my arm...I had earlier been eyeing it and thinking of buying it but the counter was too crowded! naturally I was surprized to see it on my arm...I tried to go back but the door had been locked...I asked a volunteer and she said that Swamiji must have put it onto my arm...
I felt spiritually, mentally and materially enriched!
Some points mentioned at the Spiritual Workshop by Swamiji and his disciple:
1) Focus on your thoughts that are continuously bubbling...Just command 'Unclutch' to the thoughts...
2) Whatever you may be seeking in the outside world eg wealth, love, health, are seeking Inner fulfillment...Actually all the fulfillment that you seek in the Outside world is your inner nature!
3) Living Enlightenment is only a Cognitive Shift...
4)Just outward objects cannot lead you to fulfillment...Dont expect too much from outer world achievements...
5)When you start working in the Internal world, the energy that awakens not only brings peace etc...but will also bring all that you were running after in the Outer World!
6) Learn to sit with yourself...connect with your emptiness...Dont always entertain yourself and come wired with the will remind you of what you came to achieve...When you become a seeker all your activities will become meditation. Just seek...That act is intelligent enough to take you towards Enlightenment...

Monday, September 07, 2009

For the Group 21 which was hosted by Ms Indu (Janki G.Vee) and myself Shakun. We invited Ms Mona Patel Shah, the perky lady who stood as an Independant Candidate.
In the picture from left: Myself introducing the Speaker and eminent guests, Ms Shobha Jethmalani Gehani, Ms Mona Patel, and Ms Maya Shahani.

Ms Mona Patel spoke about Global warming and what we as individuals need to do to help Mother Earth to continue to sustain us!

Some points:
The Big Bang..She compared it with what the Bhaagvad says about Creation.
It is more important to Be than to Do: Knowledge Faith and Deep Thought
There is enough for everyone's need not greed.
Mahatma Gandhi

What is Global warming doing to us?
Melting snow caps, the sea level is rising...heat waves in London? Wild fire in Australia and California?...Smog and acidrain...Lung and respiration disorder is on the rise...

Solutions: Recycle...Rain Water harvesting, Solar panels for geysers...Tata and Godrej areworking towards it...

Friday, September 04, 2009

People hold on to pain...past hurts and create a 'pain body'
This hurt body eats our 'joy'
People around with their hurt bodies create pain for others...
But we have a choice.
We can either nurture abuse within us or we can simply shake it off and move on...

Strange thing:
A pain body will try its best to sustain pain. It is a matter of will use logic to protect it....Look at unhappy people...

You can create a 'Bliss' body in fact the 'Bliss Body' is one of the layers that exists in you...In deep sleep, the Bliss body opens up naturally. In the waking state, if one is committed to be happy and learns to look at life as a celebration the bliss centre will be awakened...

But also remember to:
have a balanced diet, do yoga, exercise, do pranayama, breathe deeply, keep your mind calm, have your intellect open and receptive!
Inspired by Swami Sukhabodhananda

Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous said...
delightful words there but one might ask as to how do you shake off the pain - it's easy said and done? - do you shake it off by balanced diet, yoga, breathing and so on??

My reply:
Yes you create a healthy mental body by doing the above...
In the waking state, if one is committed to be happy and learns to look at life as a celebration the bliss centre will be awakened...
How do you commit to be happy? By looking at life as a lesson, by looking at the positive aspects of your life, without denying what it is that makes you unhappy...

Anonymous replied:
yes you do that using all the techniques, it's an effort at first but effortless later on. Ego wants to hold on to all the pain but when u start opening up, you yourself will start dropping the unnecessary baggage because the clarity would dawn in you.

7:11 PM