Zero = Infinity    *****    If you can enjoy sadness, then nothing can stop you from being happy always    *****    Love is the flow of positive energy from one soul to another   *****    An atheist can realise God more easily than the staunchest theist
April 20, 2008

Reality of truths.

Truth is subjective, and Reality is objective.

Many persons are confused. They are in search of an objective truth. They will never get it. Truth is unique to each person, and is dependent on one's perspective. Just as a mountain climber sees different scenes at different heights. Everything he sees is the truth, at that particular level. If you understand this well, then you would realize that all perspectives and opinions are valid, because all of them represent the truth. This is a Reality, because, this is born out of a realization of the fundamental nature of the way things are. This has no dependence on the person's perspective, because, this is not a perspective at all, but a realization. And anyone whose mind has opened up to this understanding, will gain this realization. It therefore is not person-specific, and hence, is "objective". It is objective, because, it is independent of the subject.

An implication of this is that when a person says "you are wrong", it suggests that he hasn't understood the reality of truths. Nobody is wrong in stating his/her opinion, unless he/she is untruthful while doing so. Opinions can be incomplete, but not untrue. A person who believes in the existence of a non-existent objective truth looks for truth outside. Such a person will claim any opinion that doesn't tally with his own as "wrong". He is often immature in dealing with different opinions he may get from others. In worst cases, he may become a fanatic of his own world view, expecting others to accept it implicitly. Such faulty understanding of the nature of truth is one of the chief causes of discord between people in different situations - home, office, religion and spirituality.

Most intellectuals will agree to what is written above, but they often do not understand that achieving a perfect understanding of the difference between Truth and Reality requires a great deal of maturity. Their knowledge is merely theoretical or hearsay, and not experiential. Thus, they too fall victims to the very vice they vehemently condemn. We can see many such persons in the literary world.

A person who understands the reality of truth not only knows how to distinguish between Truth and Reality, but is also tolerant and accommodating of all truths. He is compassionate towards those whose opinions are different or less complete than his own. Such a person will often encounter people with incomplete opinions, because of the fact that he would have most probably crossed those phases himself. He is willing to supplement and improve the other person's perspective, and thus make the opinion more complete. At the same time, he is also willing to change his opinion whenever he encounters a better opinion or perspective than his own.
January 31, 2008

The Desire to Die

Long ago, a friend of mine had gifted me a book, which lay idle for months in my office cupboard. I had had no inclination to read it, and when I eventually felt like, work pressure left me with no time to even see if that book was still there. Everything changed today, and it has eventually led to this post.

The very first page of the very first chapter talks about one of the most interesting experiences of life - a desire to die. It might sound strange to many, but I could relate to the author's experience, because, I have felt it many times before as well. It's a feeling arising out of the realization of the complete meaninglessness of what we see, perceive and understand as life or living. It comes along with a profound sensitivity to one's own insignificance in this universe, because of which, one realizes that it simply matters not if the plug was pulled out of one's life. It comes when you no longer want to live the kind of miserable life you have been living all along. And it comes, when you start hating your own existence and, when you are deeply depressed with everything.

These thoughts of wishing to die is very painful. It matters not who you are, but it is painful. But at the same time, it is immensely beautiful, because, as I have found on many occasions, it opens the door to a higher state of peace and bliss. Most people never go through this pain. Many who do, often react to it in a negative way, and start contemplating what they shouldn't. But hang on... and you would then see the beauty of this pain. Every time after I have felt this pain, I have felt much cleaner on the inner side. It brings with it a great lightness of mind, resulting in greater peace and calm. This desire to die, actually causes a part of one's own imagined self, or identity to die, and in its place, comes into existence a void with no sense of identity. And as we die slowly inside, and more and more of our inside is filled with a void, the greater we experience bliss inside. And it is for this reason, that the desire to die is an interesting experience.

As I have already said, few are really fortunate to experience it. And fewer are those who understand its significance.

P.S: The book I talked about was Echart Tolle's The Power of Now
October 30, 2007

Blinded by Egoism

Last night, I was waiting my turn to get my bike's tank filled with fuel, with a 1000 rupee note in my hand to hand over to the clerk there. Another biker behind me asked me if I needed change, for which I said, "It's ok, they (the bunk) will have enough change", with a smile to acknowledge his consideration.

And it took me a minute to understand something... that he needed the 1000 rupee note. It's not important to know why he needed it, but it is important that he needed it. More important is that we are so obsessed with just our own needs and requirements that others' needs or requirements never crosses our minds. It never occurred to me that he offered change, because he wanted that note!
October 08, 2007

Living life KING SIZE

I have come across many persons who have expressed through orkut their wish to live life KING SIZE (or QUEEN SIZE. Henceforth, the mention of one implies that the other is included). Since I have never had any such wish, I can’t exactly understand what they mean by this. Or perhaps, the converse is true. Whatever. The basic point is that I don’t understand what on earth this means, especially because there are so few kings around, and I am sure, none of these people have seen any of the kings.

Since I don’t know what this means, the next best thing I could do is to make a guess as to what this means. Looking at the orkut profiles of all these people, the common trait I seem to find is that they all want to enjoy life to the fullest, and have the greatest fun throughout. So, I suppose, that’s what living life KING SIZE means. To live happily, joyously, have fun, no matter how nastily life treats them. Quite a good attitude towards life, I would say. For that, all of them deserve a pat on their back.

Some of the features that make the life KING SIZE all involve quite a bit of strain on one’s purse. They go out with friends to CCD, movies, beach, go all over the place, do paragliding, bungee jump, speed through the main road on their bikes, party all night, etc. I don’t mean to say that everyone does all these, but all of them do some of these, and obviously, some other activities which are not mentioned here. Now, the focus should not be on the specifics of these activities, but the common factors in these activities. All of them, as I have said earlier, require the expenditure of money. Also, all of them give some kind of a pleasure, or thrill in one’s life. This is undoubtedly living life like a king. Kings obviously are rich, and indulge themselves in a variety of pleasure-oriented activities.

The flip side to this is that such people also seem to have an air of arrogance around them, and for no reason. This is just my suspicion, and obviously, there is no hard fact to support it. Again, a king is bound to have some arrogance. So, even that’s fine.

But, these things raise two questions. Is a KING SIZE life possible only for the rich? Is it something to do with one’s fate which determines whether you are born with a silver spoon or wooden spoon in your mouth? Can a poor man not live such a life? This is the first question. I will come to the second question later.

According to me, a poor man can live a kingly life too. It only depends on his attitude. A king enjoys surplus of everything. If a poor man, with little money, can manage his resources such that he can create a bit of surplus, he is most certainly living like a king. Given the high inflations in the economy, this may not be possible. However, if he can mend his life in such a way that there is peace, love and happiness in his home, with his family, in his relationships, then, he is also having a surplus of these intangible, but most invaluable assets. But the problem is that, as I see, most poor people are tremendously bogged down by the material poverty which affects their state of mind as well. As a result, they remain deep in misery, without having any clue of how to change things around. The only way they see of living the life of a king is to earn a lot of money.

However, this is not true. No doubt one needs a minimum amount of money to live in this world. But, our happiness is in no way a function of the sum total of all our material assets. If life is lived on spiritual principles, it can be made joyous. One can enjoy a surplus of almost everything. The modern society seems to have neglected the spiritual principles about which many ancient texts in India have spoken. When we bring in spirituality into our life, irrespective of what one has or doesn’t have, and irrespective of what one does or doesn’t do. You don’t need to go around the world in a balloon, nor do all sorts of things to your body in the name of fashion, and yet, life can be filled with happiness. Hence, you can live KING SIZE even if you are poor, and can’t afford expensive tours to the exotic locales of the world.

The second question, of which I said I would deal with later, is this. Is a KING SIZE life all about doing what you want, saying what you want, going where you want, being the way you want, all for your joy, and pleasure? Is it all about meeting one’s own selfish interest?

Remember, the primary duty of a king is to take care of his people. We all expect our politicians to be honest, sincere and sacrificing. We expect them to work for the people, to protect them, and to aid in the improvement of the lives of people. Also, note that the great kings of yore are the ones who demonstrated exemplary qualities by which their kingdoms and empires grew, and flourished. History tells us that such kings had razor sharp intellect with which they put in place an excellent administration. Most of their time was spent in thinking, planning, and executing great deeds. As the popular saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Every king who was instrumental in establishing a great empire lived a great public life in which we see sacrifice, courage, and a grand vision. No doubt, all of them also did this so that their names became immortal in history. It was in one way a selfish motive. But, that selfishness was all-encompassing. Thereby, their deeds led to greatness.

Also, note that all great empires have fallen because the job of ruling the empire fell into wrong hands. Some of the descendents of such great kings almost invariably demonstrated qualities of frivolousness, purposelessness, indulgence in material pleasures, extravagance etc. All of them simply squandered the wealth of the treasury, leaving the dependents (citizens) of the country impoverished. All these kings led a life where the sole purpose was to enjoy the smaller pleasures, and have fun all the time.

Such a comparison between great kings and useless kings is valid in the context of this essay, because we are talking about living a KING SIZE life. There is an obvious lesson to be learnt from history. The question one must ask oneself is whether one wants to live like a good king or a bad king. I guess, such a thought process with oneself can determine if one’s life has a meaning and purpose or not. One hopefully understands that life becomes truly KING SIZE if it is lived in simplicity, with a purpose that benefits many others.

Disclaimer: This is purely based on my presumptions and assumptions. I realize all of this need not be valid. So, excuse me if there are any aberrations from facts.
March 21, 2007

Is God an abstraction or a reality?

Abstraction v Reality.

Numbers are abstraction. Mathematics is an abstract subject. Why? Because they have no existence that can be experienced through any of the senses (all 5 + 1 senses). They are all concepts built by the human mind, to understand, describe and interpret his surroundings. No matter what we do, there is no way we can sense the presence of a number like 1, 2, or 3.

However, an object like chair has an existence in reality, because we can touch it.

So, that's the difference between abstraction and reality. We can sense reality (by some means), but abstraction cannot be sensed.

Is God an abstraction or a reality?

It is an abstraction till it becomes a reality. That is why we say "God realisation". "God realisation" therefore means to make "God real" (Realisation is to be understood as "to make real" and not as "to understand"). Hence, God which is just an abstract concept in all our minds should become something which we can feel and sense. That is the meaning of "God realisation".

Hence, God is not something that can be realised through the intellect, but to be experienced through some kind of a sense. This is because, the intellect can deal only with abstract ideas and concepts. But to perceive the presence of something, one needs some sensing “device”. It is well established that the 5 known senses cannot perceive this "God". Whatever this abstraction called God is, to realise it (to feel it), we need a different kind of a sense. One may call it the 6th sense. To my own understanding, there are higher senses than the 6th sense, like 7th, 8th and beyond. Most of this is unknown to us. God can be realised only through these higher order senses.

As a child, we all are injected with the idea of “God”, which remains an abstraction. Unless we make efforts to make it a living reality, it will continue to remain an abstraction. Life is the opportunity to convert God from an abstraction to reality. Different methods have been discovered over the years, time and again to assist man in achieving this conversion.

Consequences of God being an abstraction:

When God is an abstraction, it becomes a subject to be understood similar to physics, chemistry and mathematics. You study the subject. How? By reading books. The more you read, the more you understand (the subject of God). One would therefore read a lot of texts like the Vedas, Upanishads, Geetha etc. to deepen one’s understanding of God. Thus has arisen the subject called Philosophy, which is taught in universities.

Just as in algebra we use variables like x, y, z, God becomes a variable in the hands of man to describe and interpret the world, in his own way. Since it is a variable, it can take any form and shape. So, each one gives his own definition of God to suit his own understanding of the universe. It is more of a force-fit definition of God, than a fundamental understanding of God. Hence, it would tend to be inaccurate.

Since each one force-fits a definition for God, we are at war with those whose conceptualisation of God is different from our conceptualization of God. Tarka, vada is the result of it. In this is generated a great deal of fanaticism, leading to animosity and violence.

It also happens that there is a deep truth which eludes us; that all the texts which we study are knowledge that descended upon saintly persons. Those saints, by adopting certain means, achieved a state where through their higher order senses, were able to perceive greater truths, including God. All these texts are mere documentation of such events, and their teachings. By reading/listening to those teachings, we develop our own understanding of what they say. But it can never match what they actually mean simply because they “see” something as they speak, while we “don’t see” that same thing as we hear. If you go to a tribal and talk to him about a computer, he will have his own idea of the computer, which in most probability is not accurate. But if you show him a computer, he will have a more accurate understanding of what a computer is.

This results in a great deal of misunderstanding, and confusion. We read so many things from so many places, and some of them apparently contradicting. But we fail to realise that all this confusion is a result of our inability to “see” THAT, by seeing which, those seers spoke.

We will say God is omnipresent (because that’s what we have studied in all texts), that He is present in all living and non-living things, but we are not in a position see Him anywhere. We will say God is Omnipotent, but we can’t understand why we are so helpless in so many situations. We will continue to repeat what is said in the texts we have read, like parrots, without having the least bit of understanding of what we are saying.

Most importantly, by adopting an intellectual approach, one can never know what God is, or understand Him. Just as we can never know or understand Mahatma Gandhi as well as those people who lived with him can, no matter how many biographies of Gandhi we may read, we will also never be able to know or understand God as well as those saints who have “seen” God, by merely reading all these texts. It doesn’t matter how many texts we read. We cannot understand because we have “not seen”, and “not been with God”, unlike those saints.

(A warning: If you are disagreeing, it is probably because you are currently having God as an abstraction. Because, so far, I have not described God, but by reading what has been written till now, it could be that you have developed your own idea of what my idea of God is, which could possibly not be the same as yours.)

P.S: At this stage, I became too sleepy to continue. Hence, the thought flow just stopped.

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November 08, 2006

Personal God.

An extract from a mail:

The idea of a personal god is of utmost importance in spirituality. One can never have any benefits by worshiping a thousand gods. There is only one God and hence, for each one of us, there should be only one God, who should be our own. This God can be any personality from the past, like Lord Krishna, or Shirdi Baba, or any living personality, as is with my case - My Master. The essence of God can be obtained only through the personal God, and pure love for that God. Through pure love, the God gets internalized in our hearts, and through that, we obtain the tatwa of God. Hence, these personalities are carriers of the essence of God, same way like capsules are carriers of the medicine. We take in the capsules, and the capsule itself dissolves later to release the medicine into the system. Similarly, through pure love, we internalize these personalities, who are subsequently dissolved in us to release the essence of God into us. It will not be possible to develop pure love towards more than one entity, and hence, we must have one and only one personal God. What eventually happens, after we get the essence of God is that we gain the capacity to love everything purely. But till then, we should focus only on one entity.

In today's world, the best is to have a living personality whom we can accept as our God/Master. I am fortunate in that aspect, and it is my wish many more are fortunate in a similar way. But if it is not possible to get one such living personality, developing more love towards Lord Krishna is recommended.

One thing is to know that we need to develop love towards these personalities. Another thing is to know how to do it. It is here that we stumble. Great souls are those who are able to cultivate this love automatically. But we ordinary people need to make some effort. Just because it is so, we should not lose our heart and think that it is not meant for us. Great souls are great in the current birth because they too underwent such struggles in their earlier births. It is just that in this birth we are going through what they went through earlier.
August 24, 2006

Why 'Nishkama Karma'?

This post is just to keep the blog alive. I saw a post on the Bhagavad Gita community on orkut, which made me make a long post as a reply. This blog is just a copy paste of both the original post, and my reply:

Hi all,
The geeta from what I have read says that the true disciple of the lord (the sanyasin or the yogin), he does the work which he is ought to do without seeking its fruit. It further goes on to say, that the yogin should do his work without any attachment, nor with any involvement or passion. Now, my question is what is the true meaning of these lines? How is it possible to succeed in the current world if you do not show any attachment or liking towards the work you do. I have always held the belief that to attain happiness, u should like the work that you are doing. It seems contradictory??

First of all, the BG is not a guide to become successful in the materialitic way of life. It is for becoming successful in a spiritual way of life, which is inclusive of the material aspects of life, (not exclusive, quite contrary to what most people think). So, if you want to become successful in this world in the materialistic sense alone, then pick up a book of Shiv Khera, Dale Carnegie, etc. But if you want overall spiritual success, then pick up the BG.

Non-attachment to work does not mean that the work quality has to drop. It will drop if you are not a yogi, but the quality will be much better if you are a yogi. Why?

Yogi is one in whom the "yoga" has taken place. Yoga of what? Yoga means union. So, it is the union of the Atman and the Parmatman. In other words, the energy of the Almighty works in a yogi. Therefore, this energy, which is very powerful, can work at a very high level of efficiency. And since it is this energy of the Divine which works in him, he DOES NOT need to be passionate or interested in his work, and yet, he can work. He becomes capable of doing anything without getting bored, tired or stressed. In fact, interests, likes and dislikes become meaningless to such a person.

But in the case of ordinary people, where we do not have that Divine Energy in us, we need to be 'interested' in our work, we need to have a 'passion', and we need an incentive called the 'fruit', without which we won't work. We are incapable of working without all these, which itself shows that we are like dead donkeys.

BG is a guide to attain the state of the yogi from our current state. And if we have to attain that state, we need to practice being in that state of mind. Which is why we have to practice 'Nishkama Karma'.
August 07, 2006

4 months for a broadband!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Would you believe it? Strange, but true.

When I went to apply for a BSNL broadband a few days back, I was told that it would take them 4 months to get the connection in place. Apparently, they have shortage of equipment. In a time when most private services offer the connection within a week, 4 months is as good as eternity. The only reason for people to go for BSNL is that the connection is good, and the rates are the lowest in the country. But, can they not provide connections fast?

Crap.
July 31, 2006

Hi again

I know I haven't blogged for a long time, and so I have decided to post something here, which seems so dead. As it is there is no work for anyone of us in the office today, and so, here I am, blogging.

The last post I made was on June 24th, and since then, a lot have changed. People would say that my life has changed, but I wouldn't. My life is just the same. Except that more parts of it have become uncovered.

June 3oth was the last night I spent in my room at IIT. I took the morning Shatabdi to Bangalore on 1st July to have a one-and-a-half day long vacation. On 3rd July, I reported to my office, and since then, my life has moved into a new phase - that of a working professional who pays tax to the government, and cribs about how the money he pays as tax fills the coffers of all politicians.

I work at Modelytics, and the office is at Richmond Road. On most days I have traveled by bus. Unlike popular misconception, I find traveling by bus extremely comfortable. The crowd in the BMTC buses is quite manageable, and one often gets enough space to breathe, and not smell the armpits of those around. Further, it takes me just 1.15 hrs in the morning and less than an hour in the evening to make my trip. Considering the traffic on Bangalore roads, a bus is the best option if I have no other place to visit during the day. Perhaps, if the government opened up transport sector to private operators, people would then be able to take buses to office, which would greatly reduce the number of vehicles on these roads. Anyway, let me not digress into Bangalore's infrastructure. There is so much I have thought about it, and so much I keep thinking about it, that it is best I don't start off on it. So, I leave it there.

Work for me is fun. Got to learn SAS, and a lot of techniques on excel. Yes.. our old friend MS-excel. A lot of graph plotting needs to be done in excel, and most of my time has been spent on this. Not to forget Powerpoint too. Got some good experience in the last one month on making slides. Apart from these valuable experience, there has been some introduction to all business and finance jargon. Thank God, not much of management jargon.

Sometimes, when I think of the work I do, and its relevance in the overall scheme of things, I feel like laughing. I can't make head or tail of anything. It is all so funny. Everyone and everything is running around in a mad frenzy for absolutely nothing. And the ones who run the most, the fastest, and make the largest number of circular trips are the men in the field of finance and business. Looks like I will be one of them soon.

Meanwhile, days passed, and towards end of the month, made a trip to Chennai for the Convocation. We went by car, and it was a thouroughly enjoyable trip. IIT finally placed a kick on my rear end and said "Here you go.. don't come back again", and I gleefully replied "As if I want to". With two degrees now, the world officially has added one more adjective to this entity called Ramasubramanian - a graduate. And the world congratulates me. While I accept every congratulation with a smile on my lips, I wonder why they are congratulating me. I cannot understand that at all. For the record, there are about 28000 men and women who have passed out of IITM alone. I haven't done anything great, have I? Anyway, that's the way of the world. It congratulates for no reason, cries for no reason, idolises for no reason, and condemns for no reason. All part of a giant drama in life.

Just as the convocation hulla-bulla quitened down, the first salary hulla-bulla began. People started congratulating me for this now. Again I wonder. Why?? Everyone who gets a job will eventually get a salary. Anything strange in it? I don't see any. But people see it as a reason to celebrate. Wonder if it is an excuse for them to buy sweets and eat. We are so funny. Even to eat sweets, we seem to need some reason, some occasion. We can't just go walk into a confectionary and eat sweets whenever we want, because if we eat them for no reasons, then we add too much calories to our body, and it is a health hazard. But if there are enough occasions and reasons to celebrate, then eating the same sweets aren't a health hazard.

Anyway, with the first salary, an electric rice cooker has been bought for my grandmother who had expressed her desire for the same to be bought from my first salary long back. There is a big shopping list I have in front of me. Got to buy gifts for all TD & H. Shirts/trousers/veshtis/shoes/watches are some of the popular options. God knows what all I would have to buy. Anyway, since this is the only first salary, all this is ok. God has always given me enough. So, let them have it.

Oh, I forgot one thing. I managed to get a learner's license to drive a geared vehicle and a car. This happened after years of mom's pestering combined by necessity to have a license. Am planning to buy a bike, most probably a Honda Unicorn. Some formalities are delaying its arrival. May be by 10th August, I will have one. You might be wondering why I am planning to buy a bike. That's because there are times when I feel like going somewhere else too. So, a bike would be useful then. I am planning to use the bike to come to office only on some days. On other days, it will be bus as usual.

What else... yeah.. this morning I registered with the gym near my house for fitness training/weight reduction/body building. Starting off from tomorrow. Lets see how much of the embarrassing flab can I throw off in the coming days.

There is a lot more... but I am beginning to feel guilty of wasting my office hours for blogging. So, will stop now, and get back to reading some documents.
June 23, 2006

Reality bites.

Reality bites because we ignore it all the time, and it gets irritated with us for ignoring it, and so to remind us that it exists, it bites us.

But we get bitten, nurse the pain of the bite, and get back to ignoring reality

June 06, 2006

Married for 30 years...

This is a conversation between me and someone else (called P), on YM. Found it interesting, and here it is, without any edits.

Me: are u alone at home?
Me: or is uncle back?
P: My, my. I am too old to take such hours. No S is here with me. She is enjoying her summer hols. Uncle is coming back on 13th June. His holiday (and mine) is over!
Me: oh i see
Me: idu enna kadai? (what is this?) if his hols are over.. so are urs?
P: Onnukku puriaddu. Kalyanam ayee 30 varusham anakku puriyum. (you won't understand.. you will if you are married for 30 years)
Me: adu seri (true)
Me: inda matter uncle ku theriyumo? (does uncle know this?)
Me: aana (but)
Me: avarum ide maari sollitu iruppar (he too will be saying the same thing)
Me: hahahaha
P: The secret of a successful marriage - separate vacations. I had a gala time - no routine, I ate any darn thing at any time. I hate to say this to a young boy, but husbands can be a lot of work.
Me: young men will probably become better husbands to their wives if older women share their miseries
Me: and mothers usually don't do that
Me: of course
Me: young people today are much better in grasping things
P: That little corner of the heart waiting for him has begun count down and is waiting for his return.
Me: wow.. is that not sweet?
P: It is a kind of relationship that is hard to understand. Have you seen couples that fight all the time but never ever considered separating?
Me: i haven't.. but i can imagine..
Me: they love to be with each other
Me: because they can never fight like that with anyone else
Me: they will surely miss those fights
P: The love to bark at each other.
Me: it is interesting to see that love can express itself in weird ways
P: So you can come on 13th and see the war of the worlds.
May 23, 2006

Reserved thoughts

There are times when one feels (I suppose others too feel that way at times) that they are witnessing a phenomenon of great historical significance. In our minds, events that happen in our lives over days and months together represent a pattern, that one realises that a few years later, these events will be considered a turning point in history leaving a significant impact on events that were to follow. The current hot subject on reservations and the government's hardening stance makes me feel just like that. As though I can see what the future will be a century from now.

No one can predict the future. But it is said "history repeats itself". The Jews were persecuted and driven out, and today, they have no place in their original homeland. A similar fate awaits a section of the society in this place which till now with pride I called India. But when I see the systematic persecution of a community, and the hate campaign that goes on against that community, it breaks my heart. It makes me wonder with deep sense of anguish whether there ever would come a day when men would be men.

Reservations is not about bringing the backward to the front. It is not about meritocracy. It is not about quality. It is not about making India a superpower. All these are false reasons given to justify and rationalise the deep hate that the majority have for a minority of the society. It is a matter of wonder that people in the minority have not been put into gas chambers, considering that such a practice was adopted in a part of the globe just about half a century ago.

I am tired. I give up. Screw this rotten world. Let them go to hell. I am off.. from here to a place where no such nasty thing exists. I want to love everyone, and to be loved by all. And in that lies my salvation.
April 22, 2006

Pirates of Saraswathi.

April 01, 2006

Sunscreen - by Baz Luhrmann

A song that I came across, and I liked it. Have been wanting to post this since long, but remembered it only today. Here you go:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97
Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you

Sing

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

(Brother and sister together we'll make it through
Someday your spirit will take you and guide you there

I know you've been hurting, and I know I've been waiting to be there for you.
And I'll be there, just tell me now, whenever I can.

Everybody's free.)

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

(Brother and sister together we'll make it through
Someday your spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you've been hurting, and I know I've been waiting to be there for you.
And I'll be there, just tell me now, whenever I can.

Everybody's free.)
March 19, 2006

Humility

Humility is a state of the mind. It is not an attitude.

When we know a little, we know we know, and we think we know a lot. But, as we know more and more, we know that we don't know that much more. This leads to a stage where, when we know a lot, we know that we really don't know. We then know that we are totally ignorant, and ignorance is all over us. Ignorance stands before our eyes like a giant in front of our eyes, dwarfing the knowledge we have gained. Perhaps, true education is when the knowledge that we are hopelessly and helplessly ignorant arises in our mind.

In that state, arises the condition of humility.

Humility is also a natural result of actions performed for the sake of the action, and not as a means to achieve an end, for when actions are performed for actions' sake, the end result is of no relevance to the doer.
February 28, 2006

Am I capable of taking criticisms?

This is something that struck me today, as I was sitting with two guys and discussing somethings, in which there were instances of me being guilty of not being responsible enough. Somewhere deep inside it probably made me uncomfortable, for my mood slowly shifted. I became morose.

It was then that I began to wonder. I have rarely faced criticisms. There could be two reasons for this. 1. I am so good that people don't find anything to criticize in me. 2. There are things for which I can be criticized (I mean genuine constructive criticisms), but I am not being criticized by people for some reason. I am more inclined to assume that it is the latter case. Why? Because there is no room for complacency.

So, if this is the case, what could be the reason for people not criticizing me? Perhaps, it is because they know that I am not open to criticisms. Perhaps, in the past, when someone criticized me, for my own good, I have not taken it in the right spirit. And hence, they have come to the conclusion that no matter what is told to me, I wouldn't listen, and hence it is futile trying to make me see. This need not be the only reason. It also could be because they don't care to criticize me, because I am not so important to them. Honestly, I wouldn't be worried if it is the second reason. What if it were the first reason? It means that I probably need to be careful the next time someone criticizes me. I need to be alert so that that thing which people refer to as ego doesn't jump up to defend itself. I need to be careful enough to keep that fellow tied down, so that the criticism is openly received.

Something else caught my attention as I was thinking about this. I have noticed that I do not criticize people that much.. or so I think. Is it because somewhere deep inside I do not want to be criticized? Is it because somewhere in the subconscious mind, I feel that being criticized is too hurting, and hence, I do not want to inflict this pain on others? It could be. I am not sure.

Whatever may be the case, the answer for this question is not going to come immediately. It will take some time. If it is true that I am not open enough to be criticized, I hope I develop that capability.
February 18, 2006

Freeing the Mind

Human beings have constantly sought freedom. Generally, people seek deliverance from pain and suffering. Therefore, they seek refuge in a religion, or some philosophy. In their pursuit to be relieved from depressing thoughts, they fill up their minds with thoughts that are 'liberating'. But, they find it hard to see that they have just changed the interiors of the cell in which they have been imprisoned, made it more beautiful and pleasing, to give them a false sense of freedom.

But true freedom is when the mind has been freed of all thoughts. The only way I see that happening is when the mind is brought to a natural state of silence. Meditation therefore becomes extremely important.
January 30, 2006

Best blonde joke ever...

Hey guys.. check this out... this is the best blonde joke ever. Nothing to beat it.
January 25, 2006

I have been placed

The wait was over finally on Tuesday 24th Jan 2006. On Monday, the shortlist came out, and I was happy to see my name in it. First time my name was there on a short list. Heartening to see. We were told that there would be a test, and so, my evening was spent in trying to scrape of the rust in my brain.

The morning of 24th started with the company guys making a presentation, followed by a test. The test was an average type, and was simply a test of who can do mental arithmetic faster. I gave up after the test. Was not satisfied. Yet, when the list of candidates to be interviewed came out at around 1.45 p.m., I knew that I hadn't screwed it up as I thought. My interview was to be at 3.30 p.m. So, I went back to the hostel, took a bath, took printouts of my CV, and was present at the venue by 3.00 p.m., to realise that they were running 30 minutes behind schedule.

And so, as expected, at 4 I was called in. A brief introduction, followed by one of them having a glance at the my resume, and making appreciative comments on my past performance (no comments made on current academic performance though). Quickly, I was given a business problem to solve, a pen and a paper to use. For about a minute I jotted down a few points, and began. As I started putting fart (or fundaes, depends...), he began to respond positively, trying to cross question me, and slowly, I began coming up with ideas. They then asked me my career plans, and why I wanted to join them. As I was answering that last question, the HR female (wasn't hot as the HR female of Nvidia who were parallely interviewing) extended her hand saying "Nice meeting you Ram". Time to leave now.

I was disappointed with the interview. Time flew so fast, that I felt I was there for hardly 10 minutes. But I must have been there for anything between 15 and 20 minutes. Still, I wanted to have a more grilling interview. Looked very easy. Chal... now nothing to do, except walk to the nearest coffee shop.

At about 7.20, I receive a call from Octa, (who was also interviewed, but screwed himself up by landing late) to tell me the good news of my selection. So, that was it.

My future now lies at Modelytics, Bangalore.
January 21, 2006

Events.. as they are happening...

I am now getting into a critical stage in life... last semester in IIT... and hence, slowly nearing the end of a phase of life... and as the end is approaching closer, there is a hope that the end will be glorious, and the transition into the next phase is good.

Placements began over a month ago, and about one-third of all registered students are placed, while yours truly continues to be jobless (not to be understood the way it should not be). About two-thirds of my batch-mates are placed, which is good news. But the fact that I have not made it to a single short-list so far is raising a few doubts. But it is a strong positive spirit and hope that keeps me brush away some thoughts, and continue to be hopeful of being placed as soon as possible.

An early placement is always a good thing, and the more it gets delayed, it is possible that it affects my project. Just today I had my mid-term evaluation. Though I have done some work so far, my goals are high, and to accomplish them, I need to work really really hard. Knowing how I have been in the last five years, it is a tough ask. But I need to pull up my socks and work hard for just another two months or so. And getting placed at the earliest will really be helpful.

While these are the state of affairs, I wish to share here a few things that I am battling with within myself. It is something I discovered a few days ago when I heard the news of someone getting placed. While I was genuinely happy for him, at one corner of the mind, the thought of not having been placed crept up. So, I asked myself if I really felt happy for him, or was just pretending to be happy for him, and congratulate him as a mere formality. While I have resolved this conflict, it was interesting for me to observe these, and I wondered why it should be so...

While on one side, the people who are still not placed are unable to congratulate and feel happy whole-heartedly for those who get placed, the ones who get placed soon lose their ability to feel for those who haven't. I am not blaming them, but it is just something that is happening, and I just am observing this happening all around. I have seen how there is callousness in their words.. or is it really that they are callous, or the ones who are not placed yet see it that way? All perceptions.. the guy who is still jobless sees something wrong in the attitude of those who are, even if their attitude is alright..

But one thing.. I am beginning to understand how some of my friends who got placed really late last year went through, and partly now I understand why they did what they did. Some things.. u know.. u have to go through to have an idea of what it is.

This makes me wonder... in our hostels we spend four or five years together.. and still, no one really knows what is happening to another guy.. each one has his own room, and each one lives in his own world.. a lot of camaraderie seems to be there.. but when it comes to really crucial things, no one shares anything with another.. you know, on hostel nights, and farewell days, people get so senti about each other.. I wonder.. how can people can get senti despite living like this, in loneliness... perhaps when I think of it, it seems people will get senti only then.. for, in that case, they really have nothing to positive to take with them from their association with each other.. people tend to get senti for all the superficial things.. and exaggerate their feelings to convince themselves that they feel something genuine.. well.. am just hypothesising, and doing some loud thinking..

Well.. that's it from me now.. catch you all later..
January 11, 2006

Relationships - The illusion

A few experiences in the recent past have opened my eyes to see what relationships truely are. And I see them to be mere illusions. They simply are not real. Hence they deserve no special attention. This particular view is quite opposite to what most people probably may hold. However, this is what I see it to be.

To understand relationships, on which we spend so much time and energy, I have classified them into three different types.

1. Non-exclusive or All-inclusive relationships: This is the kind of relationship that each entity has with every other entity in the universe. It is based on the premise that everything in the universe is inter-related, and hence there is a relationship between any two entities in the universe. Now, this is a kind of relationship which is of no concern to anyone, because by the "all=none" principle, there is nothing special about any particular relationship. Therefore, it is unimportant for any entity to think of its relationship with any other entity. These relationships will always exist, no matter what happens. In any case, in normal daily language, we do not associate such a meaning to the word 'relationship'. Therefore, though this kind of relationship is real, it is not necessary for me to discuss this further.

2. Exclusive relationships: As the name itself suggests, these relationships are possible with only some entities in the rest of the universe, and the other entities are excluded. It is this type of relationship that is of concern to us, because, by the word 'relationship' we invariably mean this. We are concerned only with this kind of relationships. Under this, there are two types:

  • Exclusive-natural: These are those relationships we have, that have its origin in our birth. The fact that we are born as humans implies there is a father, and a mother. We may have a brother or a sister, who shares one/both of our parents. All the siblings of our parents are our relatives, and we have some kind of a relationship with them.
  • Exclusive-unnatural: Under this category comes friendships, love, and all our social contacts.

It is obvious to everyone that all these relationships would cease to exist the moment one of the persons dies. That itself renders all these relationships as illusionary. But unfortunately, when any kind of intimacy develops in any of these relationships, it begins to appear real. When we get emotionally involved, there seems to be a strong force which makes us believe that we have some kind of feelings for that person, and that the feeling is going to be lasting. Under that state of mind, we often tell ourselves, and the other person how important he or she is to us, and how much we love them, so on and so forth. But we fail to realise then that we are simply lying to ourself. We fail to realise that these relationships are simple creations of our mind, and that they therefore do not exist anywhere other than in our minds. A few simple observations would make us realise why it is so.

Firstly, was it not possible for us to live without them before they came into our lives? Will it not be possible for us to get on with our lives without them? Further, if at all something terribly goes wrong in the relationship, due to which we break-up, what happened to all those feelings? Does it not mean that every nice sweet word that was uttered when everything was alright is a plain lie? Most importantly, every relationship of this kind has its own limitations, due to which there is always a point where it can break, and it will break.

All this has led me to conclude this about relationships: Relationships are like the sand castles we build on the beach. They amuse us when we build them. But it takes only one large wave for it to be destroyed, leaving only the ruins, while we stand and watch in despair.

I will end by quoting a verse from the Bhajagovindam:

का ते कान्ता कस्ते पुत्रः
सम्सारः अयमतीव िविचत्रः |
कस्य त्वम् कः कुत आयातः
तत्त्वम् िचन्तय तिदह भ्रातः ||


Meaning: Who indeed is your beloved and who indeed is your son? Strange indeed are these family bonds; who belongs to you and to whom you belong? whence did you come, Oh brother! Reflect on the truth of it all.
January 08, 2006

Mata, Pita, Guru, Deva

In traditional Indian way of life, from birth till death, the mother, father, Guru, and God play different roles. The mother takes care of the initial growth of the child. The child's growth is her responsibility. A stage comes when the responsibility is handed over to the father. There ceases her control over the child, and has literally nothing to do with the child anymore. Henceforth, it is the responsibility of the father to aid in the mental growth of the child. The father is now both father and mother. This he does by providing for the elementary education of the child. The person learns all the temporal knowledge. Next comes the Guru. The father's duty is over once he hands over his child to the Guru. For one who has been passed to the Guru, the Guru then becomes father, mother and Guru. Guru is responsible for the atman, the soul. The spiritual evolution of the disciple is his responsibility. The Guru now takes care of all material needs of the disciple as well. He becomes everything for the disciple. This continues till the time the disciple gets spirital enlightenment. At this stage, the Guru introduces the disciple to God, who is nothing but the very essence of the Guru himself, or the Guru-tatwa. After this, the person is now under the responsibility of the tatwa, which takes care of him, forever. This Guru-tatwa is now the father, mother, Guru, as well as itself, sitting in the heart of the person, and guiding him, taking care of him, every moment.

Thus, we see a few things: 1. Clear demarcation of responsibilities, 2. How one introduces the person to another who can take care of further development of the individual. The mother introduces the father once her role is over; the father introduces the Guru once his role is over; and the Guru introduces the God, or Guru-tatwa once his role is also over.

In all this, the cooperation of the individual is a must for his own development. If the child refuses to eat, he cannot physically grow. If he refuses to study, he gets no education. If he refuses to obey what his Guru says, there is no spiritual evolution. Co-operation in the form of obedience is of greatest importance. In this sense, our growth is in our own hands. Unless we offer our co-operation in the form of obedience, we cannot grow. It is for us to realise that the one who is responsible for our growth knows what is good for us, and what is not, and therefore, what they say is in the best of our interests. Such a faith makes it easy for us to co-operate and make use of them as much as possible for our growth.
December 10, 2005

Tribute to M.S.

maitrIm bhajata, akhila hrit jaitrIm |
Atmavad Eva parAnn api pashyata |
yudhham tyajata, spardhAm tyajata |
tyajata parEShu akrama-AkramaNam ||

jananI prithivI kAma-dukhArtE |
janako dEvah sakala dayALuh |
'dAmyata, datta, dayadhvam' janatA |
shrEyO bhUyAt sakala janAnAm ||
shrEyO bhUyAt sakala janAnAm ||
shrEyO bhUyAt sakala janAnAm ||

Click here to listen to M.S.Subbulakshmi singing the above song.
November 12, 2005

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Joy to Despair

A new born baby
Helpless, beautiful
Overflowing love
Pure joy.

A small child
Innocence personified
Adoration and envy
Happiness.

A young boy
Playful and mishievous
Uncontrollable
Restlessness

A young man
Mature and responsible
Rules laid, expectations grown
Hurt and despair.

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