Tag Archives: Chess

NATYA – a simple formula for success

25 Oct

On Vijayadasami day (Oct 22, 2015), considered auspicious for Vidhyarambham (initiation of learning, of all kinds, including performing arts) in Bharat, Swamy was invited to be one of the chief guests for a classical dance event. While Swamy doesn’t have any claim to be associated with dance in any way (he at least actively listens to many kinds of music, including the classical, and even sings & plays percussion instruments, though not formally trained in either), he chose to accept the invite as a mark of respect for the tremendous amount of effort that goes into learning an art or craft (or even sport for that matter, which Swamy has witnessed up-close-and-personal as he’s been part of the quest to raise Jr as a sports – Chess – champion) by all beings involved – the learner (usually an eager child), the learned (the teacher, trainer, coach or Guru, who trains many eager children), the learning enablers (usually parents and a few near & dear) and the learning itself, which is an excruciating, arduous & invariably long process that inevitably consumes a significant part of the childhood. But on any day, Swamy would gladly vote for children spending time learning a performing art, craft or sport, instead of wasting long hours pointlessly in rote learning.

wpid-20151022_181121.jpgThe event Swamy was invited to was a Salangai Puja, to mark the elevation of learners of classical dance from beginner to intermediate level, by letting them wear the salangai on their legs (around the ankle) for the first time, after a few years of learning the basics of classical dance – Bharatanatyam, in this case. The learners will continue to learn for a few more years under the Guru before they can do the Arangetram, i.e., first (typically public) solo performance, announcing to the world that s/he is ready to perform the dance independently anywhere.

SP31Four children – Adhira, Shailaja, Shivadarshini & Srujana – from Siva Natyalaya (the popular dance school of Mrs. Bhuvanadevi Karthikeyan located at Madambakkam, near the famed ancient Shiva temple) were elevated by their Guru to the next level on Vijayadasami & Swamy was one of the chief guests (the other two – Mrs. M.R.Lakshmi & Mrs. Krishnakumari Karthikeyan – were eminent persons from music & dance arenas respectively). This blog post is an excerpt of Swamy’s speech at the salangai puja (not his first public speech but certainly the first at a performing arts or cultural event).

NATYA – a simple formula for success

SP4Swamy’s speech at Siva Natyalaya’s Bharatanatyam Salangai Puja (சலங்கை பூஜை) event in Chennai on 22-Oct-2015 (the speech was in Tamizh தமிழ், which Swamy is quite conversant with, as it happens to be his mother tongue தாய்மொழி)

Namaskaram. After seeing my profession on the invitation (in chaste தமிழ், no less), you must’ve been wondering about what I really do for a living and what relationship do I’ve, if any, with dance!

பிரகாஷ் ராமஸ்வாமி – முழுமை வழிகாட்டி, மனித உள் ஆற்றல் கண்டறிதல் மற்றும் பேணி வளர்த்தல் வல்லுநர் 

SP14I too have wondered the same way about the dance part, as unlike the other two chief guests here – one from the classical music world (learning from none other than the great Semmangudi himself) & the other from the classical dance world (whose grandfather learned from the legendary Balasaraswathi), I’ve nothing to do with dance. Music has been a part of my Life but dance not so much. But as I also write (blogs now, books soon), it’s natural for me to ponder about things and wonder about connections between seemingly unrelated things. When I thought about me & dance, it dawned upon me that there indeed is a powerful connect. And that is Adiyogi (Swamy pointed to the bronze Nataraja statue on the stage that was decked up with flowers for the auspicious occasion).

SP2As someone on the spiritual path for the about 6 years now through Isha yoga, we’re deeply reverential to Adiyogi. Shiva is considered the first yogi in the yogic culture. Incidentally, he also happens to be the Lord of Dance, i.e. Nataraja. His famed dance is the Tandava – in Ananda & Rudra forms – and he’s also known as Thandavakkon in Tamizh because of this. So, now you know the connection between Swamy and dance (the audience chuckle). 

SP9Once that became clear, I’ve thought about what to say in this forum, where eminent persons from music & dance arena are there and children are performing the traditional Bharatanatyam dance beautifully with able guidance from their Guru & the accompanying musicians. Since children are familiar with formulas in many subjects they learn at school such as maths, physics & chemistry, it would be appropriate to give them a simple formula for achieving success in their quest to become eminent classical dancers. And that simple formula is NATYA. Very easy to remember (as the term itself means dance) and hopefully to follow & practice as well.

SP10N is Nada. Nada means sound. The universe that we’re part of is said to have originated from sound –  the primordial sound AUM. Recently, NASA scientists have managed to make the sound of Sun audible and it incredibly sounds as AUM (which isn’t surprising for our ancient culture as the many sages & enlightened beings have figured it out many centuries ago). All Creation is said to be just sound and the creator is also known as Nada Brahma. For dance too, the basis is sound. We’ve seen how beautifully the word Pankajam in a song was depicted as blossoming of lotus by the children. When we hear the word (sound) and see the depiction through gestures or mudras (movement or expression), we can connect with it easily and can comprehend better. 

What’s critical in this relationship is the alignment – between sound and movement in the case of dance. It could be something else for other types of Life pursuits. Alignment with a source, principle, goal or purpose. If your action is in alignment with a purpose, the result will be beautiful and the expreince will be joyful.

SP12A is Agnostic. In these turbulent times of religious intolerance, agnostic is a very sensitive world. But agnostic doesn’t just mean non-believer. It also means someone who is not biased – towards good or bad, like or dislike, progressive or regressive and so on. Shiva is also known as Aghori, someone for whom nothing is ghori or horrible. He accepts everything as it is. The people surrounding him are always depicted as demented beings, but he loves them the same way he would love any other being. He’s as comfortable being in the graveyard smeared in ash, wearing skeletons as he’s in his magnificent Somasundareswara form (worshipped in the famous Madurai Meenakshi temple, in Swamy’s home town). That’s why he symbolises Life the way it is. 

As a learner of dance (or anything for that matter), you shouldn’t be biased towards one or the other. I like this adavu or I don’t like that jathi. This song is more beatiful to perform than that song. I prefer that accompanying person to this one. Your focus should remain just the dance itself (performance or action). And you’ll just accept everything else around it as it is. Nothing is good or bad, no likes or dislikes. Everything just the way it is. That’s being agnostic.

SP21T is Transendence. Loosly translated (as Swamy was speaking in Tamizh – a far deeper, more delightful & meaningful classical language), it is elevating oneself from the present state to a state that’s many levels above or beyond. In the yogic path, it is achieving the state of Samadhi – an eternal state of bliss, which enlightened beings are said to be in, all the time. 

In dance (or any performance or action), Transendence is not just for the dancer (to go from a learner to a spectacular performer) but for the spectators too (going from hmmm to wow). You should reach a level of performance where there’s no stage, no accompanying artists, no spectators, not even the dancer but just the dance. That kind of a dance would bring tears flooding from the eyes of anyone blessed to be present. Tandava certainly would’ve done that to the sages and celestial beings who may’ve witnessed it, as Tandava is the dance of transendence. Both at cosmic and atomic level as creation is also known as the dance of Shiva.

SP28Y is Yearning. Not earning, which unfortunately is the focus of many star performers in any performing art today. Without yearning for something, it’s not possible to achieve the state of transendence. The sages who’ve become enlightened have performed yoga or tapas for many years. The saptarishis have spent not one or two but 84 years in preparing themselves to receive the grace of Adiyogi, who after observing their diligent preparation has become the benevolent Adi Guru (first Guru or Master) as the benevolent Dakshinamurthi to transmit his yogic knowledge to them, several thousands of years ago.

SP23As a dancer (or anyone performing a purposeful action), you must have immense interest and expend tremendous effort to be someone that people line up to see, not because you follow the principles of dance to the T but because being part of your performance lets them transcend to a different level. That’s how you’ll be known as a Balasaraswathi, Rukmini Devi, Padma Subramaniam or Alarmelvalli. In classical music, Bho Shambho belongs to Maharajapuram Santhanam. One can’t think beyond Madurai Mani Iyer when it comes to rendering Ka Vaa Vaa. Suprabatham is synonymous with MS. The same holds true for Kanda Sashti Kavacham and Sulamangalam sisters. Such astonishing levels of achievement is possible for you too, if you truly yearn for it.

SP17A is Absolute. Adiyogi is depicted as either an ascetic in a blissed out state of meditation or ecstatic state of tandava. He’s not partially in either state but absolute in both states. Whenever you perform dance (or any other purposeful action), your intent, focus and intensity has to be absolute. Such a state is not possible if you are performing for others. The performance or action will naturally flow from within and encompass all those who are touched by the performance or action in some way, only when it is absolute. If every moment of our Life is absolute, there’s no other choice for us but to be joyful.

So, that’s the simple formula of NATYA
Nada – action in alignment with a purpose.
Agnostic – accepting Life the way it is, without any kind of bias.
Transendence – elevating oneself & others from the mundane routine to an eternal state of bliss.
Yearning – immense interest and effort to achieve peak performance.
Absolute – intent, focus & intensity to achive transendence.

SP35Nataraja’s (Shiva in the form of Lord of Dance) dance Tandava is said to depict or embody the 5 thatvasSrishti (ஆக்கல் அல்லது படைத்தல்), Sthiti (காத்தல் அல்லது பொறுத்தல்), Samhara (அழித்தல் அல்லது மாற்றல்), Tirobhava (மறைத்தல் அல்லது மாயை விளையாடல்) & Anugraha (அருளல் அல்லது விடுவித்தல்).

It’s easy to see the NATYA formula is directly associated with the 5 Tandava thatvas (தாண்டவ தத்துவம்). But if I start explaining that now, the organisers may open their Netrikkan (third eye), as we’re running out of time. So, let me conclude by requesting you to use the NATYA formula for success in your pursuit of Dance. May Nataraja’s Grace be with you for a purposeful Life of dance overflowing with Joy.

The following is an extension to the speech (not shared at the event due to paucity of time), connecting the dots between NATYA & Tandava.

SP29Nada = Srishti (creation or Shiva as the source of creation) – Life of creation (humans inclusive) in alignment with the creator.
Agnostic = Sthiti (existence or Shiva as the preserver of creation) – Accepting Life the way it is, without any personal bias.
Transendence = Samhara (transformation or Shiva as the transformer of creation) – Elevating oneself (& others in one’s presence) from the mundane routine to an eternal state of bliss
Yearning = Tirobhava (maya or Shiva as the master who plays with the ignorance of his creation) – Having immense interest and willing to expend any amount of effort to know the Truth or purpose of Life.
Absolute = Anugraha (enlightenment or Shiva as the Guru who benevolently enables one to achieve and remain in the state of eternal bliss) – Having absolute clarity of intent/purpose, total focus and burning intensity to achive self-realization.

SP34As there is Nada Yoga (yoga of sound), there is also Natya Yoga (yoga of dance or movement). Dance, when performed as an offering to the ultimate (Shiva as Nataraja) and not as a mere performance, has the potential to let the performer transcend to the state of bliss. Just the way being in the mere presence of a realized being (like Sadhguru) can elevate a seeker to a different state of Life experience (beyond the known physical, limited to the five senses), being present during the perormance of a dancer whose dance is an offering to the Lord of Dance can and will let the participants transcend to a different level of experience – akin to being present during Nataraja’s Tandava itself.

NATYA(Oct-15)May Adiyogi’s grace be with you to immerse yourself in and experience the joyful dance of Life!

@PrakashSwamy

Be Joyful & Spread the Cheer 🙂

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The Witness!

2 Jul

AK_TNEA2015A more than decade long quest – against odds, obviously – crossed a significant milestone this week, when Akash. PC. Iyer, aka Swamy Jr., a professional Chess player of international repute, ranked 2nd in the TNEA sports category overall, secured a seat at the prestigious CEG campus of Anna University.

20150628_140411While heaving a huge sigh of relief, Swamy couldn’t help ponder about the challenging journey itself (which started amidst a number of raised eyebrows and wide open mouths 11 years ago, with only TeamAK – Mr & Mrs Swamy, Jr & Coach SA Krishna – being true believers of this improbable quest, which is all set to continue, with Jr. aiming to become a GrandMaster before he graduates) and the many travellers of varied hue (including dark gray), size (of ego) and shape (of ambition, subversion or submission) who kept joining, trespassing, leaving, misdirecting or helping & guiding along the way. His pondering led him to an interesting destination (at least, an interim one) called UG (coincidental with what Jr. is going to pursue at the university, i.e., UG), where he got astounding insights about why in the enchanting Game of Life, things are the way they were and we still are the way we were!

flowers_15

The conversation between Lord Krishna and Uddhava, known as Uddhava Gita, is quite possibly the most insightful conversation on Life, Karma, Human nature, the need for & purpose of Guru (or Coach, in case of material Life pursuits) and the ultimate Truth, aka Self-realization.

Krishna_UddhavaUddhava was a favorite devotee of Lord Krishna and served him as a charioteer his entire life. Despite being a charioteer’s charioteer (Lord Krishna was Arjuna’s charioteer during the epic Mahabharata war), he never demanded anything and served his Master with utmost faith.

He is no different from millions of humans who slog daily for an employer (individual or organization) with acquired skill, available knowledge and utmost commitment, expecting just to be paid for whatever they do (job or service), and not much more.

After the Mahabharata war, Krishna insisted that Uddhava ask for boons (wishes) that he can grant & fulfill as his Master.

This is akin to a supervisor or boss asking a loyal employee to request for a raise (in pay or grade or both) or release (to pursue one’s own interest – if that’s different from what one does for a living).

uddhava-gitaInstead of asking for boons or wishing for wealth, Uddhava sought to have a conversation with Lord Krishna based on a few questions he had & the Lord readily agreed. The all-seeing, all-knowing & all-being Lord Krishna also declared that this conversation shall be regarded asUddhava Gita“.

This is not too different from a mentoring conversation that helps a Mentee gain information, insight and wisdom from the Mentor.

Here is a part of the conversation between Uddhava and Lord Krishna.

Aside from the not-so-obvious spiritual context, this conversation is assured to offer deep insights into the human psyche, our wayward way of Life full of quirks and incorrigible acts and desolation leading to utter despair in many aspects. Though all the situations in our Life are a result of our own thoughts and actions, we usually neither acknowledge that (which could lead to introspection resulting in possible ways out of the quagmire) nor accept that (which will lead to moving ahead, instead of being stuck in the self-pit(y) forever) and end up blaming every unexpected outcome, that’s far from desired, on others – including, but certainly not limited to, gigantic planets far off from ours!

Lord-Krishna-In-a-Forest-With-Cow-Natural-ImageUddhava: Who is the real friend?

Krishna: A person who stands by his close ones in need, even without being called.

That pretty much means you gotta be around the near and dear, anytime and all the time. Not necessarily being physically present (an instantaneous human assumption – obviously incorrect like any assumption) but available nevertheless. Also, the expectation is for you to stand by, i.e., support them like a rock, come what may. There goes ‘Pride & Prejudice’, thrown out of the umpteenth floor, sea view balcony!

70 Bhagavatha - Uddhava Gita

70 Bhagavatha – Uddhava Gita

Uddhava: Excellent!

For all the years, the Pandavas treated you as their beloved friend, as ‘apathbandhava’. But,
Why did you not stop the gambling game?
Why did you let the Pandavas lose, even as you had every power in your hand to turn that situation and stop this whole war?
What forced you to not act?

Uddhava_Gita2Krishna: The rule of this world is, one who has viveka (true wisdom or awareness) wins the game. In this case Duryodhana had wisdom, so he won the game.

Life’s a game. Unfortunately, like any game we have an opportunity to play, we misunderstand, mishandle and miss the fun in this one too. And like in any game, even the best players can commit the worst mistakes (just in terms of playing). This is exemplified by Dharmaputra’s compulsive gambling (demonstrating a shockingly obvious lack of any kind of wisdom) that led to him losing everything, blindsided to the point where there was nothing else to pledge, and resulting in pawning his (& his 4 brothers’) wife. Considered to be one of the wisest humans (of that time), Yudishtra doesn’t appear to be the smartest (not just at that time). His choice(s) led the Pandavas to a life of misery, suffering and even loss of identity (for the last one year of their life in exile).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Uddhava: was astounded beyond belief and asked,

How is that even possible? Weren’t the Pandavas on the side of Truth? How can Duryodhana be right?
Krishna: Duryodhana was not completely aware of dice game, its tricks and rules. He made a smart call to seek uncle Shakuni’s help to play the game. Now that is viveka.
Yudhishtra, on the other hand, not only did not invite me to the game but also informed his people to not let me know about the game.
The Pandavas even prayed to not seek help and bet everything against the odds.
Had they invited me, and had I played against Shakuni, the game and its outcome would have been entirely different. Perhaps we would not even have fought the war, as you said.

The joy of any game isn’t in winning it (nor is the sorrow in losing it), but in playing it – wholeheartedly, with utmost vigor and absolute involvement. Knowing how to play certainly helps (Dhuryodhana may not have known how to play well, but certainly seems to knew how to win – using uncle Shakuni, who was not just an exponent of the game of dice, but apparently also with a personal agenda to bring both sides down), but how you play it determines the state you’re and will be. And one must be open to seeking and getting as much help as possible to play.

Most top sportspersons have a Coach, who typically is a former professional player him/herself, offering deeper insights and course corrections that may not be obvious to the player. Many top business leaders have a Mentor or Coach to, not because they are incapable or don’t believe in themselves, but because objective insights, guidance and direction from someone else are respected for the value they bring to accelerate their own growth.

Uddhava_Gita4Uddhava: May be. But if they are your devotees, was it not your responsibility to help them in their need and not wait until they request you to do so? Do you really need prayers or an invitation to help your devotees?
Krishna: This entire creation runs on karma.
Everyone has to abide by it and accept what comes out of their acts in this creation.
I don’t act on it.
I am the ‘witness.’
I stay close with my creation all the time and observe. This is the law for the creator.

Most humans relish success and believe it’s self-created. But when things don’t go the way they expect and the prospect of failure taunts them, the blame games and finger pointing starts in a flurry. ‘The launch wasn’t done at an auspicious time’… ‘Didn’t have a capable team’… ‘Partner cheated and led to the failure’… ‘No one’s willing to help’… ‘Been there, done that’… et al. Whether we play the game (which invariably has rules & procedures), we can either be a player, referee, organiser, mediaperson or spectator. Or all of them. While not believing the illusion that we’re actually any of them.

Uddhava_Gita3Uddhava: If you observe, then how can you let all the evil things prevail in this world.

How can people do bad things, how can there be murders, killings, injustice and all the wrong doings that we come across while you are standing right next to it, watching it happen.
Krishna: I am entitled to be the ‘witness’. I am therefore always present.
But in the middle of admiring this creation, people, out of ignorance or attachment, forget my existence before them and start doing things.
In case of Yudhishtra, he knew I was aware of the game, he knew he wasn’t capable of winning the game, he knew it was bad to bet everything in the game, but he still went ahead, without inviting me.

Though I am always present with them as ‘witness’, people forget my presence and act out of delusion. 

This adds to karmic cycle and they are entitled to continue in that cycle.
Should they choose to act differently, realise my existence and notice that I am ever present, their actions shall differ and hence the results will be different as well.

They will then be able to break the karmic cycle and move to self-realisation.

VishwaroopaDarshanFact is, each one of us is just another happening in this vast creation. But because of our inherent stupidity (despite being endowed with a grossly overrated 6th sense), we firmly believe we know things and are better at doing them than anyone else. At some point in our miserable life, our ego becomes so bloated that it won’t let us seek help even when we know clearly that things are about to go horrendously wrong. Yet, we fail to learn from our failures, and simply take the easy way out of blaming them on other factors or people and continue to slide down the self-destructive path. Thinking, imagining, dreaming only about I-me-myself. Non-stop for 24×365. Lifetime after lifetime!

Grace is the way to break out of this tragic trajectory and enjoy the escape into eternal nothingness, which essentially is everything! And a Guru is someone who can engulf one in boundless Grace and enable the sail – not necessarily smooth – towards Oneness or Allness*!

This classic conversation between Krishna & Uddhava eloquently (and needless to say, eminently) captures the big dilemma most of the people suffer, while trying to comprehend the absurdity of existence such as what is creation, creator and the purpose of Life!

AgentSmith1The rut that has set in the lives of humans, by doing the same things the same way forever, is inevitably binding them to the seemingly never ending karmic cycle, lifetime after lifetime. The rut is so deeply engraved in our lifeline, we don’t even know what we do is so repetitive, replete with actions that we’ll laugh at ourselves, if only we had the sense (where is that extra 6th, when one needs it dearly) to understand and accept the pointlessness of all things we think we know (& invariably do), but obviously don’t have a clue about. If and when we realize that, we may just end up exclaiming Holy cow, mo(o)ral of the Life story!

Sadhguru_Quote3Interestingly, a Guru (and even a Coach) also play the role of a Witness (don’t get jittery – there is no comparison with the Lord himself, but just a reference to the role he plays).

Their presence is always there, but they’ll never interfere nor influence the actions taken by the Sishya (disciple) or Coachee (client) directly.

They pretty much know all about Life but would still let the seekers explore & experience Life for themselves, and in the process become a better being, doing things better & living a better Life, joyfully. 

May Grace be with you for a purposeful Life – with less ‘i’ & more ‘why’ & ‘why not’ – overflowing with Joy – not a result of mere wealth or mirth, but of selfless sharing & willful caring!

.

CoachSwamy_Banner5bn@PrakashSwamy
Be Joyful & Spread the Cheer 🙂
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Swamystery in 2014!

31 Dec Realization

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for Swamystery blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,100 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

HMV!

3 Jun

HMV_Logo5HMV stands for “His Master’s Voice“, the iconic music brand with an adorable logo. While this post isn’t about music, it’s certainly about “His Master’s Voice.” Just <Ctrl-H> “His” with “Swamy!

As Jr.’s tournament schedule started immediately after his class X exams (with a short break at the Isha Yoga center thrown in between – Sr. & Jr. attended the Hata Yoga program also together during that :), Swamy thought it would be a good idea to keep him motivated to perform well in his games by sending a daily motivational message. And what better messages than “His Master’s Voice“, i.e., Sadhguru‘s quotes, published in the Isha Yoga daily calendar, to perk Jr.’s spirit up! Of course, Swamy couldn’t help adding his own twist to the daily messages 😉 Don’t be surprised at the recurring theme of joy, for that’s Swamy’s mantra for understanding and living Life the way it is!

HMV_Logo6As ever, the best piece of wisdom came from my better-half. She felt the messages were valuable (she should know as she accompanies Jr. to the tournaments) and wondered why a blog post isn’t yet published with those messages. And so here we are dear reader with “HMV!”, a post beaded together with the timeless wisdom from “His Master’s Voice!”

AK_CommonwealthJust think of any reference to game or tournament (Jr. is a professional Chess player of some repute after all) as referring to the Game of Life, and the messages will be relevant to whatever you do or like. And valuable, needless to say! Let’s start with today’s message first…

Monkay1If we keep thinking about unnecessary things again and again, there is a high possibility that they may actually happen. So, one must handle the mind instrument carefully!

Don’t keep thinking about past games or known opponents again and again. Focus your mind on today’s game and play it the best way you can.

Read “Saying Yes to Know!” to know how to keep thinking about unnecessary things at bay!

Child-creativeFirst understand how to live happily. Then you can think about understanding God!

First play happily and enjoy your game. Then you can think about understanding bigger things like World Champion.

Learn how to “Light up Your Life!” with happiness.

Death is just the end of a chapter. It isn’t the gateway for Moksha (salvation)!

Loss in a game is like a closed chapter. Open a new page to script victory again.

Read “Middle of the Endless Beginning!” to learn more about the inevitable, which incidentally isn’t the end! 

mountain_climbingLet every step you take be for yourself, not against others. Only then, until you reach your summit, your journey will be joyful!

Your summit is becoming the World Champion some day. Make that trek joyful by taking one happy step at a time. Be joyful and enjoy your game today.

Read “Expressway to Excellence!” to know how to reach the pinnacle of what you’ve chosen to and love to do!

Thinking2Instead of getting stuck with the same problem, sometimes not thinking about the problem itself could lead to a solution!

Our problem is always that we’re stuck with the past – last game or tournament for example. Looking ahead to the future, i.e., next game, could be the solution.

Read “What’s your EMM!” to know about the magical moments when the mind goes blank.

BhagavadGitaSpirituality is meant for a person to break his boundaries and attain full potential. Not for just identifying with beliefs or rituals!

Sport is spiritual, if the sportsperson breaks boundaries or limitations to achieve his/her full potential! This is known as Karma Yoga. Be a Karma Yogi and play with joy.

Read “Shambho & the 7th Hill!” to know how Swamy has overcome physical and mental constraints to complete the Shivanga sadhana with his Master’s grace!

MSDhoni_Sixer_WCFinalBrushing teeth, bathing, opening a pen, putting signature… Try doing all of these with focus and you’ll realize a new energy springing within you!

If you play the game with unwavering focus, then you’ll have tremendous amount of energy to go for a decisive result. Focus and enjoy your game.

Read “Be an Ikeator!” to know how anyone can do anything better and enchant customers, readers, viewers, et al.

Those who’re unable to find fulfillment are the ones who try to control others!

Find fulfillment in your game by immersing in it with focus and clarity.

Read “Less is More!” to understand how, well, less is more!

Akash_Bronze_MedalWhen nothing happens, there is nothing called Life for you. When something unexpected happens, that’s called Life!

When you play the game on expected lines like business as usual, it may not be lively at all. Play an unexpected game today and have fun.

Read “Fifty 50!” to know the probability of nothing or something to happen in your Life!

Seesaw1Without knowing the self, it is useless trying to know about the entire world!

Know your strengths first and then use that knowledge in your games, rather than trying hard to know about everyone else’s.

Read “I Write, therefore I am!” to know how Swamy chose to leverage his strength to get loyal readers like you!

The only way to get rid of any habit is to be fully aware of what is happening now!

Be fully aware of each move in the game for a wonderful result.

Read “The Skill Pill!” to know the right pill to get rid of your habits!

Tom&Jerry1If your heart is full of tension and grief, then you can’t create happiness for those around you!

If you are tense and worried during a game, the result may not be a happy one. Be joyful when you play and spread the cheer.

Read “Beat Stress Away with SISA Yoga!” and laugh out loud to be less stressful and more happy.

The human mind is an instrument that needs to be handled skillfully. Without feeding the right thoughts into it, it can’t be operated well!

Indiansweets2Craving for tasty foods is due to our inability to handle the mind. Eat healthy food in small portions to stay healthy and focus on the game. Cheer up champ.

Read all about cravings and control in “Forty+ and the Four Letter Words!” Was it a coincidence that this message appeared on the calendar on the day when Jr. was down with food poisoning? Nope, it was providence!

BuddhaStop boring God by always asking for something. Instead listen to him when you pray. That’s meditation!

Listen within you when you play the game, instead of asking God to help you win a game.

Read “Joy Drops!” to know how deeply prayerful moments can reveal God to you!

Life is waiting for you with its treasures. It could appear as a little smile or big victory!

Every game is waiting for you with knowledge treasures. Play to win with a smile. Be great and victorious today.

Read “Living Life!” to know all about living Life the way it is!

Gayle_stormOnly when people learn how to be peaceful within themselves, world peace can happen!

Be peaceful inside, but play like a Gayle storm outside. (Needless to say, this was sent the day after the biggest Gayle storm hit IPL 2013)!

Read “20 Life Lessons from IPL!“, which shows there’s a positive side to IPL too!

Whatever you call as love, hatred, lust, kindness, they’re all an expression of the same power!

Win, loss, draw are all an outcome from the same player in any game. Channel the power within for desired result. Focus, relax and enjoy the game. Be great today.

Read “Element of Truth!” to comprehend the truth about that omnipresent power! 

Sadhguru_DevotionBeing prayerful is very deep. But when praying is like seeking alms (begging) it is pitiful. Most prayers in the world are like that only!

Don’t pray for result, but pray for inner strength and clarity of mind. Then you won’t be worried about result, but will focus on the game instead. Be prayerful and great today champ.

Read “From Ordinary to Extraordinary!” to know how tapping the inner strength can elevate you to the summit you seek to scale!

kung-fu-panda-2When you’re unhappy, you behave like a horrible person. Whenever you’re happy, you’re a wonderful person!

Be joyful and spread the cheer. That’s the way to be a wonderful champion.

Know all about “A-Z of Life!” and be joyful!

If we think all our problems are because of others, there will be only anger and hatred, which will turn us into despicable people!

Win, loss or draw in a game isn’t because of others, but only because of ourselves. Take charge of yourself and your game for sweet results. Have fun while be(at)ing the best.

Read “No, We Can’t!” to stop thinking about what we can’t and start doing what we can!

Death2Self pity, anxiety, disinterest and sadness are more powerful than demons. These can do the damage that even real monsters can’t!

Don’t have self pity when you lose, don’t be anxious about today’s game, don’t ever lose interest and don’t feel sad about past performance. Be joyful, enjoy your game today and have fun.

Read “Toys R Us!” to understand how we’re mere toys in the hands of such demons and how to overcome them by being playful!

Tortoise_Hare1Showing your power against the weaker ones or those who can’t oppose you is the most despicable act!

Show your power and prowess against all kind of opponents in the game and play to win.

Read “Never & Always!” to know how to say never to oppression and always show compassion!

And as a bonus, here are two more, directly from Swamy – needless to say inspired by His Master’s Voice!

cwc-2011-final-yuvraj-cryingIf you lose a game after playing it hard, that’s fine. If you lose because you’ve lost interest in the game, that’s not fine. Play the game you love hard.

Read “The Difference of 11 & 12 is 13!” to learn 13 ideas to play the Life game hard! 

Yesterday is past. It’s only for reference, not for remembrance. Today is a present and you can aim for greatness. Be great today, Be Joyful and Spread the Cheer 🙂

Read “Present is Past in Future!” to understand and appreciate why the present is a gift!

.

Love + Gratitude = @PrakashSwamy
Be Joyful & Spread the Cheer 🙂
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What’s Your EMM?

27 Aug

My better-half is the real better half of the two halves in many ways. Her energy is boundless, focus is laser sharp, follow-up is fervent, multi-tasking is mindboggling, kindness is unconditional and complete selflessness is spellbinding. When Jr. makes it to the podium as World Champion (he’s a Chess pro) some day, I wouldn’t think twice before pointing the press & media her way as all credit will have to be rightfully hers. I would’ve been somebody in this society, if I had even 1/3rd of her traits. Yet, for all her great qualities, there’s one thing that never failed to perplex me.

There are times when she sits almost still in front of the TV when some stupid (it’s not called Idiot box for nothing) program is running, with a blissful smile on her face. She’s not one of those home makers whose lives are entwined with the whining stories (if there’s any) of never-ending soaps. She doesn’t watch sports irrespective of whether it is the IPL or Olympics (she might if they ever broadcast a Chess championship, which might happen when either they rename the sport as Cricket or the Sun rises in the west)! She isn’t a big movie fan either. We never have to fight for the remote as I’ve a separate home theatre setup (natural for a Hollywood movie & all things HD buff like me), but this one was a real Sherlock case for me & I decided to unravel the mystery (without either the hat or Mr.Watson by my side, of course).

The programs that she watched (or appeared to watch to be accurate) weren’t the same, but fell under 3 categories.

  • Talk (more Shout) shows where family members shamelessly wash dirty linen in the studio – with a generous helping by the host (usually in an ill-fitting suit, with untucked shirt) who usually adds a generous amount of fuel to the fire by pushing them to throw more dirt on each other. These shows are typically concluded by a few self-proclaimed experts (according to the host) who liberally advise all present in studio with their wiser-than-thou views, which may offend not only the mud-slinger participants but also the viewers.
  • Dancing or Singing competitions that torment kids & grownups alike, usually with out-of-circulation starlets or masters with horrendous sense of dress or style as judges. Someone – usually the host / ess – will always howl ‘oooh’ whenever the judges speak. And the dancers – invariably wearing garish make-up and plastic smile – will pretend to wait with bated breath for the expert verdict, delivered using language that’ll drive purists to Seppuku.
  • Comedy scenes from movies, where the comedians really try way too hard to make the viewers laugh. The daily comics in the newspapers do it effortlessly. May be none of these comedians read any comics! Or watched the classics with effervescent Chaplin or evergreen Tom & Jerry. It’s not about the faces or noises, stupid!

Now that the investigator in me has dug up so much vital information, the engineer took over and got down to the task of analyzing the hard facts in front of me and tried putting together the pieces of the puzzle. It was as futile as me trying to solve the Rubic’s cube, which I could at least dismantle and put back together. Ishikawa San and Monsieur De Bono were further taunting me with their wonderful tools to decipher this complex scenario. I also pondered about 5-Why, before deciding to give it a rest, as I have no intention to contest for Clooney’s greypularity, as other than being humans on the wrong side of 40 with, well, grey hair, we don’t have much in common anyway!

The Eureka moment happened on a weekend afternoon (oh, don’t have any wild imagination as there’s no bathtub in my home). It was just another day in paradise (my home, naturally) and I was drying clothes. This is a chore I willingly take upon (a minuscule one compared to the household chores my better-half handles on a daily basis) and do meticulously. After about 15 minutes into drying clothes, it suddenly dawned upon me (despite being a cloudy day) that I was almost thoughtless during that time. My mind was blank. Empty, actually. I ran like a mad man to my woman and asked her if that’s how she felt when watching TV. More like, looking through the idiot box. She just smiled and nodded!

So, there it is. The ‘Empty Mind Moment’ or EMM in Millennialspeak. A still moment that empties pointless thoughts. A clear moment that cleans the clutter in our minds. A draining moment that sucks away the cobwebs that clog our mind. A bare moment that dares us to think different. One that defocuses all deliberations and refreshes the brain to refocus on what’s necessary and important. Every one of us have our EMMs. The idiot box switches on the EMM for my lady love. Drying clothes flutter and awaken my EMM. You too must have one, obviously. So, What’s your EMM?

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