Sunday, August 13, 2017

Buddha, Ganesha and the Jungle - Some Interesting Pictures

Found these pictures painted by someone on a wall.

It was actually a single wall painting but the pictures have been clicked and captured as five different pictures.

The painting on the wall was really artistic and fantastic!

The pictures obviously tell a story of sorts, Story of the Buddha, Ganesha and the Jungle.

These make for some very interesting pictures.

Haridwar, Har Ki Pauri - Some Photographs

Here are some photographs from a recent family trip to Haridwar and Dehradun.

These capture some of the religous sites of Hindus, tourist spots and landscape that is so very unique to this part of India.

In fact, Haridwar actually means the gateway to God.

Haridwar = Hari + DwarHari is a Hindi word that means God and Dwar is a Hindi word that means Door or Gate.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

How To Remain Spiritual And More Importantly Sane While Driving On Indian Roads? Heck, Is That Even Possible?

Driving on Indian Roads is tough, very tough!

Tough in every manner one can think of - physical, mental and even spiritual.

As per the so-called Gurus and Swamis, we need to attain spiritual enlightenment.

And going further, as they would add, we don't necessarily need to renounce the worldly affairs but live through the worldly affairs steadily applying the spiritual principles.

Come to think of it - how can one remain spiritual while driving on Indian roads?

Or, more importantly, how can one remain sane in such a tough situation as driving on Indian roads?

Heck, is that even possible?

Tough question, indeed!

Let us talk about the experience of driving on Indian roads - some experience it is.

In case you are still wondering what kind of experience that is, go and ask someone who has had that "nothing short of divine" experience.

Better, travel to India and get the first-hand "nothing short of divine" experience.

Whether your spirit gets enlightened or not you will surely have some experience!

What magic and miracles happen when you are driving on Indian roads?

Left and right may not mean much

Depending upon your mood and the temptation of taking a shorter route, left can become right and right can become left. It is hard to guess what is right and what is left. 

Or rather what is right and what is not right. So at the end, one might conclude that right is not right but left and left is not left but right. 

This realization of oneness is nothing but deeply spiritual!

Red lights at traffic junctions are mostly for ornamental purpose

Red, amber and green doesn't always mean stop, look and go.

You either just don't look at colour of the traffic light and merrily drive on or choose to read the colour based on your innate sense of whether you will get through, alive.

In any case, you are neither this mind nor this body. So what if you loose you body in a bloody accident.

The real you, which is pure consciousness, can, of course, never die, so why waste precious time at red lights.

This realization of the permanent consciousness manifesting itself through your temporary physical body is nothing but deeply spiritual!

Right and left turn indicators waste battery power and eventually fuel

Why waste fuel? Why not help the environment albeit in a very small way?

Also, it is fun to keep those following you in a dramatic suspense about your next move? That helps people awaken their sixth sense too.

This realization of the need for everyone to awaken their sixth sense is nothing but deeply spiritual!

Vehicle type and slow lane and fast lane are good concepts but not to be followed

You can ignore that and drive whatever vehicle you want to and where ever on the road you want to.

So it is perfectly fine for you to drive a bi-cycle or a tri-cycle or a bullock-cart or a tractor or a truck or a two-wheeler or a car or even a bulldozer.

Freedom guaranteed by democracy makes this easy. 

After all, everyone seeks the same, one supreme being but the paths may be varied and of each one's own choosing. 

This realization that all paths lead to the same source of supreme power is nothing but deeply spiritual!

Roads are not in good condition and at times do not have well-defined contours

The general condition of roads is pathetic, to say it very nicely. Hence it is critical to figure out how much of the road can actually be used.

The extreme lanes of public roads are generally not meant for use. They are either in a dilapidated and broken state and/or used for parking and/or used by the shopkeepers as their private display area.

The other part of the road may as well be in a dilapidated and broken state with potholes the size of craters and/or uneven road surface and/or may have huge or ungainly speed breakers.

On top of that, there may be sudden, sharp cuts and U-turns and/or entry points into and/or exits from main roads. You need to be road-smart to figure out these sudden changes.

You are required to navigate the pathetic roads and the mad traffic with madder drivers like a true Karmayogi.

If you want to reach your destination you need to fight, and drive.

This realization that one has to continue with actions to keep on moving on and to accept the real nature of life which is like driving, with the traffic, the vehicles and the drivers, is nothing but deeply spiritual!

So can one remain spiritual while driving on Indian roads?

Yes, one certainly can.

So how can one remain sane in such a tough situation as driving on Indian roads?

Very simple, by becoming spiritual.

Or maybe not. Who knows?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

You Can be Dead in a Second, at any Second

Have you ever thought about this?

You can be dead in a second, at any second.

Sounds scary but it is true.

As true as you are at this moment, as you are reading this.

The fact is life is fragile and transient.

At times, you may get this feeling that you are going to be there forever.

Never believe that. That's a complete lie.

The fundamental truth underlying life is just one - death.

Everything else is a lie.

In Hindu philosophy, Upanishads come at the very end of the Vedas. In fact, Upanishads are referred to as Vedanta also.

Vedanta literally means the end of Vedas or figuratively speaking, the last word or the final/conclusive essence of the Vedas.

Similarly death comes at the very end of life.

That way, death means the final/conclusive essence of life!

You can be dead at this very month. Or may be not.

You can be dead the very next moment. Or may be not.

You can be dead by next day. Or may be not.

You can be dead by next week. Or may be not.

You can be dead by next month. Or may be not.

You can be dead by next year. Or may be not.

You can be dead in next 10 years. Or may be not.

You can be dead in next 100 years. Or may be not.

You can be dead in next 1000 years. But for sure!

So even if you live long, remember the following:

It would be next to impossible for you to live beyond 100 years of age and simply impossible for you to live beyond 1000 years of age.

So should you worry that you will drop dead one day?

No, absolutely not.

Clarity in respect of death being the end-point of life is not only a physical reality but also has enormous psychological value should one choose to derive it.

Death is not something you should be scared of.

It rather is something you should always be ready to embrace.

It is always useful to know the end-game.

And what is the end-game?

You can be dead in a second, at any second.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Why the Question "What is the Purpose of Life?" is Fundamentally a Flawed Question?

"What is the purpose of life"?

Before we proceed further, it is absolutely important to take note of the following:
  • Who would ask this question? It has to be a human being who is mentally fit but it cannot be an animal or even a human being who is not mentally fit per se
  • When would someone ask this question? Typically, when the person is going through a tough phase in her life. This question will usually not get asked by a person when everything in her life is going well (secure job, high income, loving spouse and family, great health)
  • Why would someone ask this question? This question would be asked when one looks at one's own life not as an actor but as an observer, standing far apart. It's like the "real you" asking this question to the "physiological and psychological you" (at this juncture, it is important to see the "three you" in the "apparently one you")
In light of the above, it is easy to see why the question "what is the purpose of life"? is fundamentally a flawed question.

Why the heck should life have a purpose? Think of an animal. Does it ever ask "what is the purpose of life"?


It just lives life without worrying about its purpose. That is just very fine.

Purpose is not really essential to live life. And without a purpose one won't die instantly.

Any animal is born at a finite point in time and space and comes into "being". It then lives for a finite period of time. And it eventually dies at some finite point in time and consequently stops "being".

Purpose or no purpose, the cycle of birth-living-death will happen as it should.

Human beings ask the question "what is the purpose of life"? because they think they are either a reflection of the supreme being or the supreme being itself.

So they better have a purpose.

What if there is no supreme being?

Or even if there is one, he is not interested in the worldly affairs?

Or even if he is interested, he doesn't known a certain human being exists?

Or even if he knows a certain human being exists, he doesn't care whether that person has a purpose in life or not?

Or even if he cares about the purpose of that person, he doesn't agree with that purpose?

How would he let the person know the purpose is not alright and there should be a different purpose.

It is even not known whether the supreme being is actually a she and not a he or maybe something different from either he or she.

Why do we pull purpose into this situation. Why the question "what is the purpose of life"? assumes so much of significance.

The reason could be very simple.

Since the  "apparently one you" asking this question is actually the "three you - the "real you" and the "physiological and psychological you", human being tend to assume that they are somehow more important than the other living creatures.

A man or a woman has the right to ask the question "what is the purpose of life"? but not a dog, cat or a mouse. Why is that so?

Have you ever seen a dog attending a philosophical discourse and ask such a question "what is the purpose of life"?. 

Human beings control the planet and decide what the purpose of a dog should be.

The purpose of a dog can be serving as a pet to a person, getting used for some kind of experiment, working with police for bomb detection, or even getting served as part of some dish on the plate!

But the above purpose is actually super-imposed on the dog and the dog may not agree to have the above as the purpose of its life.

The dog doesn't get a choice unfortunately.

The point is, a dog can live life without a purpose or with a super-imposed purpose that it may not necessarily agree to given a choice.

It may be born as a street dog and die as one without wondering about and worrying about "what is the purpose of life"?

Human beings think they are not a dog and hence they should have a purpose.

This thought runs against the basic philosophy of desire-less action so well narrated in the Bhagvad Gita.

If you live life with fruit of your actions as the purpose of the action and your life as well there will always be issues. 

The Vedanta philosophy dwells upon the "apparently one you" and the "three you - the "real you" and the "physiological and psychological you" in a very insightful and profound manner.

As per the dualistic school of thought (Dwaita), the "apparently one you" is supposed to be a reflection of the "supreme being" (Brahman).

And as per the non-dualistic school of thought (Adwaita), the "apparently one you" is the "supreme being" (Brahman) itself!

Living is about being and nothing beyond that. 

You are there because you exist. Things are there for you because you exist. And you exist because you are there.

Being there is all there is to it. Having a purpose is not anyway impacting or getting impacted by being there.

Life is simply about existence. If there is no existence, there is no life. If there is existence, there ought to be life.

So life doesn't need to have a purpose. It is all complete in itself.

And that is why the question "what is the purpose of life"? is fundamentally a flawed one.

The question that is more pertinent to be asked is actually this:

"Why not to bother about purpose of life and how to just be as you live life before your drop dead?"

The purpose of life is to just be!

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