Archive | September, 2015

The truth about Truth!

25 Sep

The hardest thing about Truth is, 80% – at least – humans will be confused, shocked, disappointed or disillusioned when they experience it.

OMG-KirabWhen you didn’t get that bike with gears for your birthday, it wasn’t because your dad didn’t love you, but he couldn’t afford it, at that time. He still got you a cycle though.

 

When you didn’t score the highest mark in your favourite subject, it wasn’t because the teacher didn’t teach well, but you didn’t reproduce exactly what was taught. The  evaluator doesn’t know or care about your linguistic prowess & has to correct hundreds of answer sheets with similar answers.

OMG-MonkeybWhen you didn’t ace your first job interview, it wasn’t because the interviewer was satan’s incarnation, but you were too cocky about your theoretical knowledge. She could easily pick a better one, who was humbler too.

 

When your couldn’t buy the motorcycle or car of your dreams with your annual bonus, it wasn’t because the vehicle was overpriced, but you had other expenses or debt to be paid off. Your friend bought it without breaking the bank because he had the sense to invest a % of his pay, every month.

 

OMG-A-BranchbWhen you couldn’t marry the love of your Life, it wasn’t because he ditched you for a fairer, richer girl, but you expected him to relocate. He was willing to do that after an year though, since his current project was his ticket to a raise or promotion or both.

When your kid couldn’t get a seat in the marquee school that charges a hefty fee, it wasn’t because the school was communal, but you lived farther & they didn’t have transport. He loved going to the neighbourhood school anyway as he could spend more time having fun with grandparents than sitting in a van full of tired kids.

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When you couldn’t buy that villa you desired, it wasn’t because you couldn’t afford, but because that would’ve hit your plan to get your kid coached professionally in the sport he loved. Your choice to buy an apartment in the neighbourhood where you live paid off big time anyway as the real estate price soared.

When your parents refused to leave your home town to live with you in the big bad city, it wasn’t because they abhorred your family, but because they were comfortable with the idyllic slow-paced Life of the small town where everyone knows everyone else & care to stop by & enquire about wellbeing – including yours. You used to love that place & parents too, while you were growing up!

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Experience of Truth is cathartic. It’s hard to accept, because most of your living is a facade, which, unfortunately, you’ve started liking & enjoying.

Truth even hurts most times because you can’t do anything about it. So, you inevitably end up doing all kinds of drama, pointing fingers at others & blaming them for what’s essentially your doing. In short, you’re stuck in your own maze.

There are three choices when it comes to Truth.

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First is “It’s not my fault!“, i.e. denial & running away.
That’s what you do most of your Life. And you know it sucks.
Second is “So what!”, i.e. defiance & resisting change.
That’s what your ego does to you many times. And you know that hurts.
Third is “Now what!”, i.e. acceptance & taking action.
That’s the way to comprehend the truth about Truth!

Be joyful 😌 & spread the cheer 👌
@PrakashSwamy

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Mystic Nation 1 – The God Conundrum!

18 Sep

ArtistSwamy6Swamy is fully aware of the pitfall of choosing a topic that’s pretty much guaranteed to raise passionate (and possibly violent – going by the recent murders of learned rationalists) reactions from fellow sheep, umm… humans, for the first post in the new seriesMystic Nation” (#MysticNation on social media) on demystifying the great #Bharat culture and encouraging + enabling it’s much needed revival. But having been born and brought up in this colourful milieu that survived not just one or two but many attempts at annihilation, century after century, it’s but natural for Swamy to pick a topic that exemplifies the truly liberal nature of this ancient culture.

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Bharat, aka India isn’t just a country of Gods (and Goddesses, of course – it’s important to be genetically correct in these neo-liberal days when fashionistas, feminists and femme fatales are quite vocal about gender equality – especially on primetime media, while remaining nonchalantly ignorant about daily reports on rape and other dire statistics that imperil their ilk), but a nation where you’ve the liberty to pick and choose a God. Any God, for that matter.

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KamadhenuStarting from the benevolent cow, worshipped as Gomata – mother cow, a benign being that’s quite shaken lately by finding itself suddenly on top of the TRP & trending lists, instead of its humble abode of Goshala – cowshed, because the argumentative Indian who worships the Holy Cow and drinks its milk by the litre everyday also wants to assert his right to butcher and eat her! What can one say, other than Mera Bharat Mahan!

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ArtistSwamy10Where were we… Oh, starting with the holy cow, you’re free to worship any plant (Tulsi – Basil), tree (Vembu – Neem), animal (Hanuman – Lord Monkey, Nandi – Bull), snake (many from Adisesha & Vasuki, and its abode, Putru that’s custom built by, umm… Ants), bird (Garuda – eagle), mountain (Kailash), stone (Saligram or Saalagram), geometric form (Linga – an ellipsoid), hybrid of human & animal (Ganapathy / Ganesha / Vinayaka /Vigneswara… – human form with an elephant head, Narasimhahuman form with a lion head, Hayagreeva – human form with a horse head), eerie looking beings (Kaaval deivam or deities of protection), king (Rama – Lord Ram), cowherd (Lord Krishna), female in a variety of moods wielding dreadful weapons or delightful instruments (Durga, Kali, Saraswathy, Lakshmi & a thousand other Devis – Ammans), beings with non-human features & superhuman abilities (Muruga / Karthikeya / Skandha with 6 heads & 12 arms who, as the General of Devas, extinguished Asuras like Surapadman), part male & female (Ardhanareeswara – talk about gender equality) and last but not the least, an alien being who wouldn’t fit into any kind of definition yet seem to encompass everything, even those beyond human beings’ feeble imagination, surrounded by dreadful looking demented beings (Ganas) and equally at ease in absolute silence or ecstatic dance or absolute annihilation or total bliss (Adiyogi Shiva)… The long list of Gods & Goddesses you can choose to follow and worship in Bharat is limited only by your imagination!

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ArtistSwamy9This idea of anything or anyone as God is certainly incomprehensible for those who grew up in any western civilisation, who from their childhood are brought up on a strict single God diet, eerily similar to some of those they despise and continue to wage war at – the other omnipotent God believers in the middle east, who would erase you from the face of earth without batting an eyelid, if you even dare to talk about their God. And of course, there are those who proclaim with pride their non-belief in a or any God – the atheists. And then there are also the antitheists who will beat any believer up black & blue with their vehement argument because according to them there’s not only no God, but there cannot be any!

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ArtistSwamy1But Bharat being what it was, is & will be, in typical chaotic fashion, one-ups all those binary (only mine, 1 or none, i.e. 0) believers with even more options. First, despite having a plethora of God/desses to choose from, you’re free to remain a non believer too (take that a/ntitheists), with Charvaka being a noteworthy example of this tribe. Second – and this one really takes the cake (modhak or pooran poli is more appropriate, considering today is Vinayaka Chathurti) – you can also learn how to create a God/dess! :O

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ArtistSwamy11Yep, you read that right! This is possibly the only culture with not only an in-depth science of Spirituality but also a practical technology called Consecration (no, not the Mantra-based one done every 12 or 14 years at popular temples with great publicity these days, but the Praana Pratistha process founded by Agastya muni who is considered to be one of the 7 disciples of Adiyogi Shiva, known as the Saptharishis) to create God/desses. That turns the whole Creator (supposedly somewhere way high up) creating the Creation, including us obviously, at will and basically hands over the power of creating the Creator to the Creation itself!

Know more about the science of creation from Sadhguru, a present day yogi, mystic & practitioner, in the references section below.

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… You may take a pause here, long enough to pick your fallen jaw from that Italian marble floor.
ArtistSwamy16As this is only the beginning of a – hopefully & sincerely – blog series (might become a book/s as well, who knows), instead of diving deeper into each and every God/dess mentioned here & then some, let’s look at the idea of God instead. An auspicious starting point would be none other than Ganesha or Vinayaka, Adiyogi Shiva & mother goddess Parvathi’s elder son (there are those who say Ganesha is younger to the younger son Muruga or Karthikeya, considered to be an accomplished Yogi as his illustrious mystic father), who is celebrated & worshipped across this Mystic Nation today – the auspicious day of Vinayaka Chaturthi.
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There are many interpretations of Lord Ganesha, aka Vigneswara, Vinayaka, Ganapathy, Modhakapriya, et al. Devdutt Pattanaik‘s ‘Decoding Ganeshais a good one to start with and can be found in the references section below. In a nutshell, Ganapathy (Lord of Ganas – dreadful looking celestial beings who are always found in the company Adiyogi Shiva) prepares you for the following, if you’re open enough:
ArtistSwamy31. Acceptance – By being depicted as someone who would typically be despised or laughed at in physical form (rotund human form with a pot belly & big elephant head), Ganesha symbolizes acceptance that goes beyond form, shape, hue, et al. Obviously, a valuable example in these troubled times of racial angst and outbursts the world over.
ArtistSwamy182. Equality – The little mouse that’s at Ganesha’s feet depicts even the meek or not-so-equals are accepted as company and taken care of. A useful insight for all supervisors, managers and, ahem, bosses.
3. Physicality – Vinayaka’s form & associated ornaments – snake being one of them, gadgets (axe & ankusa) & delicious food (modhak & pooran poli) depict the material aspects of Life that hold us back from pursuit of Truth, i.e., Who am I? Something worth remembering before you sign the EMI forms for the 2nd house or 4th car.
ArtistSwamy144. Possibility The little mouse (Devdutt enchantingly calls it a ferocious bandicoot) is even depicted as Ganesha’s vehicle – just imagine that! Well, that too is a depiction in typical Bharat style, indicating one must learn to look beyond the obvious. The mouse’s depiction as vehicle of the rotund God possibly depicts size doesn’t matter and nothing is impossible. In fact, Ganesha’s creation (first by Parvathi and then by Adiyogi Shiva – both accomplished Yogis with absolute mastery over all realms & forms) itself is a depiction of the possibilities of creation. An energising thought to ponder before you go back to the BAUHumbug routine job.
ArtistSwamy45. Truth – By nature, humans are tuned to sense the physical form, with their 5 senses (seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting & feeling by touching) and hardly use the 6th sense (thinking) to go beyond the physical realm. Considering Vigneswara is the eradicator of all hurdles, if one learns to see past Ganesha’s form (which itself is many layered and enchanting to know – depicting our desire to know & be with fellow humans, who too are many layered), he depicts none other than the Truth itself, i.e., Aham Brahmasmi or I am Brahman (the source of creation). It won’t be far from truth to say this is the precedent to the long-winding talks about ‘Beyond the obvious’ & ‘Thinking out of the box’ by many modern management & leadership gurus! 
ArtistSwamy7Now that dear reader – the freedom to seek & experience the Truth, going beyond the myriad forms of God/desses (one or many), is the sacred thread that still holds this ancient culture intact, even after many mighty warriors tried to plunder, destroy, rule and annihilate Bharat, over many centuries. In this Mystic Nation, God was never a conundrum, but a potent idea. Not just an enchanting idea about esoteric superhuman beings who looked like humans (because we sketched / crafted them from our limited imagination), but about beings who depict a higher possibility for humans to attain. To transcend the physical limitation and be free… be one with the eternal source of creation.
ArtistSwamy2Not only this Mystic Nation has many God/desses, it also had/s possibly the most number of enlightened beings (the yogis & mystics who have experienced the Truth & attained a state of eternal bliss, transcending the physical) that graced this planet, have devised mechanisms & paths for any and every human being to seek liberation, which was considered the ultimate goal of human existence, not reaching esoteric places like heaven or hell, after death!
ArtistSwamy5aSuch benevolent beings – starting from Adiyogi Shiva himself (celebrated and worshipped as one of the Trimurti, i.e. triumvirate of Gods, along with Vishnu & Brahma), who as Adi Guru Dakshinamurthy transmitted his knowing to Devi first (expounded as the 112 ways to liberation in Vigyan Bhairav Tantra) and then seven disciples known as the Saptharishis on the auspicious Guru Purnima, the pantheon of enlightened beings is long, including but not limited to Lord Muruga (who is said to have left his physical form in a rare standing posture at the Kumaraparvata mountain), Lord Krishna (considered one of the greatest yogis ever to tread this land), Gautama the Buddha (founder of Buddhism who at a point in time is said to have had thousands of enlightened beings as disciples), Rishabha (presumed to be the founder of Jainism), Goraknath, Akkamadevi, Sadasiva Brahmendra, Sri Palani Swami, Sadhguru Sri BrahmaLahiri MahasayaSri Yukteswar Giri, Paramahamsa Yogananda, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Sivananda, Ramana Maharishi, Osho, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta MaharajRamalinga Vallalar and many more.
Sadhguru_Quote3Such beings are still among us – a few well known and many unknown. One such is Swamy’s Master Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, founder of Isha Foundation. And with deep reverence, Swamy submits this first post of his new “Mystic Nation” (#MysticNation) series at the lotus feet of his enlightened Master, whose boundless grace will shine the light on this new path Swamy has chosen to tread, with limited experience but unlimited enthusiasm. Shambho _/\_
… enchantment will flow…
@PrakashSwamy
Note: All sketches & paintings (except Kamadhenu) are Swamy’s own creations – out of imagination or inspired by other skilled artists – drawn during his youth.
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edited_1442284271572References:
Decoding Ganesha – Devdutt Pattanaik

Thou art Homo sapien!

13 Sep

charles-darwinCirca 314 AA*

A member of Homo dumbus tribe stares at a gray aluminium tablet, trying hard to comprehend what that thing is. It was rectangular in shape, measuring about 14.9″ across and had a single dimple at the bottom center. The Homo dumbus holding the tablet appeared to be a female. She turned the tablet upside down and around and tried to wipe it clean with a piece of cloth torn from whatever covered her frail frame. She was obviously curious about the half-bitten apple etched at the rear of that shiny thing and kept pointing it to the other members of the tribe, who, surprisingly, didn’t make any noise!  

Of course the Hodo dumbus had no idea of either the tablet or the fruit. If only she could find a power outlet and manage to switch it on, this is what the tablet she just excavated from what appeared to be a humongous pile of debris full of concrete, wood, metal & wires would have displayed, in 24 MyriadPro…

OMG-MonkeybTHOU SHALL NOT COVET
THOU SHALL NOT PLUNDER 
THOU SHALL NOT KILL
THOU SHALL NOT WASTE
THOU SHALL NOT RULE
THOU SHALL NOT COWER
THOU SHALL NOT STUDY 
THOU SHALL NOT FOLLOW ROUTINE
THOU ART NOT SHEEP, NOR ART THOU SHEEPDOG. 
THOU ART THINKING, CARING, SHARING, SEEKING HOMO SAPIEN!

Homo nalediIn all probability, (re)inventing electricity to power the tablet could potentially take 3 or 4 centuries for the Homo dumbus. Or more… Or never! 

Circa 2015 AD, umm… Now. 

As the world goes gaga over the discovery of Home naledi in South Africa, it’s hard not to look at the irony of Home sapiens, ahem, us humans, supposedly an evolved (yep, past tense intended) species, compared to our many ancestors Neanderthals, Denisovans, Sima people, Homo heidelbergensis, Home erectus & more (including those yet to be discovered).

Over several millennia of evolution from one or more of them, here’s what we’ve managed to do…

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Be curious, explore, farm, share & live together in harmony.

Not a bad start for a unique species that tread a planet teeming with plethora of species in many shapes, size, hue & ability. But then the first slip happened…

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ShifuOogwayLose trust & migrate.
Invent weapons. 
Kill our own species. 
Kill & consume pretty much every other species. 
And then the slip continued… 
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Invent power.
Invade, control, torment, crush, divide & rule our own species. 
Plunder wealth & art, crush culture & craft.
And then the slide started…
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Matrix7Invent religion.
Grow, spread & enforce religion. 
Conquer, convert and rule more land & people.

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Invent education. 
Destroy intelligence, feed nonsense & nurture obedience.
Methodically turn people into sheep.
And then the slide became a spiral…
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Sheep9Invent Government.
Crush intelligence, independence & culture and convert more people to sheep.
Tax the sheep repeatedly so they forget they are intelligent and can think.

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Invent money & economy. 
Plunder, spoil & erode everything nature – above, on & all around.
Dig the only planet we’ve got & suck out everything beneath is surface. 

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Invent Companies / Organisations.
Make people obey & follow routine and believe they are sheep. 
Become greedy to be wealthier & more powerful than everyone known & unknown.
And then it became a never-ending downward spiral…
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Spider18Invent HR, supervisor & manager (the sheepdog).
Transform all thinking Homo sapiens (the sheep) into robots, zombies or one of our ancestors.
Bury sheep deep in moronic routines so they eventually forget to think.
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Invent loans & EMI.
Raise covetousness & greed to an art form.
Trap all sheep in debt for a lifetime.
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Invent entertainment & make sheep believe is art.
Insult art by corrupting creativity using economy.
Feed & grow Ego to be higher than Everest, deeper than oceans and broader than sky.
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Invent governance & management.
Make people follow, praise & worship the elected & elite as their Shepherds. 
And then came the fall…
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Achiever1Invent ways to make more of everything with the sheep, supervised by the sheepdog, making the shepherds more powerful & wealthy, every passing moment. 
Invent performance appraisal & promotion to ensure sheep never become shepherds (the few who manage to get promoted can only become sheepdogs).
Make superficial things like colour, accent, dress & objects the focus of prosperity & superiority. 
Invent marketing & advertising to make the sheep buy more than what they need & remain happily in debt
Invent media to sell more debt to debt ridden sheep by using entertainers as experts.
And then came the mighty final fall…
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Matrix2(re)Invent education as exceptionally profitable business. 
Force curious children to study, study & study some more.
Force studious children to write tests, score marks and be ranked to highlight their inferiority.
Force playful children to compete and entirely lose the enchanting possibilities of childhood.
JabbaHutt2(re)Invent wellness by shifting focus of healthcare from health & care to boundless profit.
Sell food and goods to make sheep unhealthy.
Sell health insurance to make sheep believe they will be helped in time of need.
Sell health products & services to sheep to make them feel healthy.
Sell healthcare services to sheep to fix their health, when they inevitably become unhealthy.
Keep the vicious cycle going to keep the shepherds wealthy.
And then came the end…
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Refugees1Stop caring and staunchly believe ‘Ignorance is Bliss!’
Deify & promote hilarious & obnoxious celebrities as icons & role models to keep sheep in a trance.
Invent shame to tame the intelligent sheep who dare to think & defy the sheepdogs.
Monitor and destroy any attempt to question the shepherds & prevent it from happening again, ever. 
Shun awareness & demonise spirituality to prevent curious sheep from seeking the truth awakening from the stupor.


Tsk… Tsk… Tsk…

Thinking2Sometime in the middle of the 22nd century, the Homo sapiens finally managed to do the predictable and inevitable…

… the annihilation of their own existence!

Out of the mounds of dust and debris of that self-destruction emerged the Homo dumbus – a meek, fickle & insecure species that had no idea about anything and was unsure about everything. In 314 AA*, one of them found that tablet, which might have told them all about their illustrious ancestors… including us…

Thou art Homo sapien!

*AA – Anno Annihili, i.e., After Annihilation.
 
@PrakashSwamy
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Unequally Equal!

8 Sep

Anticipate = Anxiety.

Believe = Disenchantment.

Compete = Despair.

Dare = Roadblock.

Expect = Disappointment.

Fun = Annoyance.

Give = Indifference.

Happy = Jealousy.

Innovate = Demean.

Joke = Hurt.

Know = Suspicion.

Love = Rejection.

Mediate = Mistrust.

New = Resistance.

Objective = Merciless.

Praise = Resentment.

Question = Fear.

Rise = Revolt.

Share = Arrogance.

Trust = Shock.

Unite = Divisive.

Verve = Deflation.

Wow = Whoa.

Xpress = Vague.

Yearn = Discouragement.

Zest = Apathy.

20120625_143222When you try to do or be any of the words on the left, the typical reaction or response from one or more fellow humans will be the ones on right. They are not equal nor are they reciprocative. Which is sad considering all your actions seem to be positive and all the reactions invariably seem negative.

Take a moment and imagine yourself being on the right hand side instead. A fellow human – friend, colleague, family member, partner, boss, shopkeeper, salesperson, service personnel, student, traffic cop, chaiwallah, coachee, crew member…

Would you react that way (words on the right) or be different?

Are both your actions and reactions positive? Always? No matter what, who, when, where or why!

It’s said “What goes around comes around.” Going by that, if you try to “Be joyful & spread the cheer,” even if there’s only a 50-50 chance of it being reciprocated, isn’t it worth if the cheer comes around 😀

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@PrakashSwamy

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