Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Astrology...Curse or cure

I have always had an interest in Astronomy.But whenever I mention it to any Indian,99.9% of them think its astrology that I am talking about.I feel any person who seriously thinks Astrology can save their lives ,should go and take a appointment from the nearest shrink available.Its like a never ending battle with superstitions.Now vastu shastra,feng shui and loads of other channels are present to save our lives from misery.In a country like India where people dont have small huts to stay happy..there are millions of people paying loads of rupees to have good flow of energy in their comfortable homes.A mind unlit by reason cannot be saved by anyone.It will lead you to destruction like slow poison.

Words from Vivekananda taken from
"Man the maker of his destiny"

There is an old story of an astrologer who came to a King and said. "You are going to die in six months." The King was frightened out of his wits and was almost about to die then and there from fear. But his minister was a cleaver man, and this man told the king see that they were fools. The king would not believe him. So the minister saw no other way to make the king se that they were fools, but to invite the astrologer to the palace again. There he asked him if his calculations were correct. The astrologer said that there could be not a mistake, but to satisfy him he went through the whole of the calculations again and then said that they perfectly correct,. The king's face became livid. The minister said to the astrologer, "And when do you think you will die?". " In twelve years", was the reply. The minister quickly drew his sword and separated the astrologer's head from the body and said to the king. "Do you see this liar? He is dead

I think the Greeks first took astrology to India and took from the Hindus the science of astronomy and carried it back with them to Europe. Because in India you will find old altars, made according to a certain geometrical plan, and certain things had to be done when the stars were in when certain positions, therefore I think the Greeks gave the Hindus astrology, and the Hindus gave them astronomy.

In London, a young man used to come to me and ask me, "What will become of me next year?" I asked him why he asked me so." I have lost all my money and have become very, very poor". Money is the only God of many beings. Weak men, when they lose everything and feel themselves weak, try all sorts of uncanny methods of making money, and come to astrology and all these things. " It is the coward and the fool who says, "This is fate'" - so says the Sanskrit proverb. But it is the strong man who stands up and says, "I will make my fate." It is people who are getting old who talk of fate. Young men generally do not come to astrology. We may be under planetary influence, but it should not matter much to us. Buddha says, "Those that get a living by calculations of the stars by such art and other lying tricks are to be avoid"; and he ought to know, because he was the greatest Hindu ever born. Let stars come, what harm is there? If a star disturbs my life, it would not be worth a cent. You will find that astrology and all these mystical things are becoming prominent in our minds, we should see a physician, take good food and rest.

If you can get an explanation of phenomena from within its nature, it is nonsense to look for an explanation from outside. If the world explains itself, it is nonsense to go outside for an explanation. Have you found any phenomenon in the life of a man that you have ever seen which cannot be explained by the power of the man himself? So what is the use of going to the stars or anything else in the world? My own Karma is sufficient explanation of my present state. So in the case of Jesus himself. We know that his father was only a carpenter. We need not go to anybody else to find an explanation of his own power. He was the outcome of his own past, all of which was a preparation for that Jesus. Buddha goes back and back to animal bodies and tells us how he ultimately became Buddha. So what is the use of going to stars for explanation? They may have a little influence; but it is our duty to ignore them rather than hearken to them and make ourselves nervous. This I lay down as the first essential in all I teach: anything that brings spiritual, mental, or physical weakness, touch it not with the toes of your feet.

Indian Ancient Literature and View of Women Part 1

I have always wondered why women in all cultures were subjugated so a lesser role.How did the world end up being a male dominated place.If you have to understand the present we have to dig up the facts of the past.I dont say its a male propaganda to wipe out the female race out of the planet.But then again history points us to that direction.
Caution:If there are any deviations in the post presented below...Please let me know...Historical accuracy is much appreciated.Male chauvinists ..stay away!!!

Most of the ancient Indian books have so much hatred for woman.Women were shown in such a bad light.
What is the use of being a spiritual motherland ??
What is the use of having literary gaints?

Untruthfulness,rashness,guile,studpidity,avarice,uncleaniness and cruelty are woman's seven natural flaws of a woman.
The wife with offensive face should be given up.
Source Chankaya Niti Sastra

Day and night women must be kept in dependence by the males (of) their (families), and, if they attach themselves to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one’s control.

Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.

Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.

laws of Manu

In the pre-Sankara period, Hinduism was a religion filled with foolish rituals.It was more a tribal land with Vedas stil existant but never considered seriously by common lay man/woman.(even now that is the case)
Buddha brought a welcome change to India and propagated giving women equal status as men.Buddha was not opposed to the vedas,but he was opposed to foolish rituals.Common example of that would be ..
Women were able to light the funeral pyre..In Hinduism only males get to do it.Buddha did not allow females to become nuns.He was worried about the safety of the nuns..as in those days forests were ruled by dacoits.But history tells us that Buddha did agree to let women become nuns after some persuasion from his mother and wife.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Religion is not a good word to define our preferences .What we eat, how we behave, how we react or to believe in a higher power or not , can never be defined by religion alone. We as humans have diverse interests and our behavior is shaped due to our attitudes and affinities. May be the whole approach to isolate us into one religion is very irrational. I liked what Dalai Lama's view on religion is he compares different religions to a table with different varieties of food. When a person wants to eat he/she takes little of different varieties and in the quantity he/she likes.
Instead of providing a space in applications/forms, where you should enter a particular religion.. there should be more space provided to write a paragraph on your basic beliefs. That gives a more general insight into the person .If the person whole heartedly believes in one single religion ..then he/she can write down the name of the single religion. By doing this we can reduce the different barriers we create starting from how we identify ourselves.

I love reading about other religions. even ancient/ tribal religions included. Most of the religions have a foundation set out by another religion. All the religious fanatics don’t read history and have no interest in archeology. If they could dig little bit into the past centuries they will know why the world is shaped up this way. I feel any belief system which says that the other belief system is inferior or superior is going to end up in forming into a cult society. All religions are assimilation of the practices of the native people. When we discriminate the minor sects present in a religion we are contradicting the principles which built the religion in the first place. The problem of caste system which is present in Indian system is in itself a contradiction. Most of the people understand and interpret caste in their own limitations. But I am confident that caste system was not formed to discriminate but it was a effective tool for finding out the occupation of a person. But it gets used for the wrong purpose and again a system is used to make life miserable instead of simplifying things.
Religion went a whole circle of uplifting a person and improving the society but it caused lot of destruction also. Now the place of religion is taken by science.

Friday, February 22, 2008

English Un - Learned

from a forwarded mail

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as 'Euro-English'.

In the first year, 's' will replace the soft 'c'. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard 'c' will be dropped in favour of 'k'. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome 'ph' will be replaced with 'f'. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent 'e' in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as
replasing 'th' with 'z' and 'w' with 'v'.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary 'o' kan be dropd from vords kontaining 'ou' and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Meditation and Contradiction

Life is always full of contradictions.Nations build weapons to maintain peace.The other day when I visited Vipasanna meditation center (www.dhamma.org) in Georgia,I witnessed a contradiction of ideals.

Buddha gave his first discourse on Vipasanna meditation in a deer park.The deer is used as a symbol of initiation (of disciples)and the wheel of dharma was made to roll from that day.The property which lies beside the meditation centre is a hunting ground.In the western culture hunting is an essential sport.During the hunting season everything that moves is killed(No exaggeration here)
On one side there are people who try to save insects and not harm them.Then on the other side of the fence there are people who kill for fun.

Our maturity lies in accepting the various contradictions which rise up in our lives.By ignoring one side and supporting the other turns us into a (ideal) fanatic.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Knowledge is power

There are lots of questions which as individuals we need to answer.There is so much knowledge in the world that it may take several lifetimes to even comprehend the enormity of it.I feel knowledge ..any knowledge is not power.Depending upon our own affinities knowledge about specific activities/ things becomes a powerful weapon to take out ignorance.
We have to be selective even about the knowledge we acquire.Filling more crap in our minds makes life more complicated.We need knowledge so that we can live like sane creatures and also be able to fulfill our duties as a responsible human beings
One example is the English language...
Do we really need to know so many words?
Why cant the world be a happy place with limited vocabulary.I have a allergy towards all those people who show-off their enormous vocabulary.Every day new words are added.To the future word-smiths ,words are beautiful creations like music.But to a ignoramus like me, its just waste of digital bits and paper space :)
If Shakespeare could be contended with a limited vocabulary of 4000 words..I guess the new generation should not be burdened with enormous dictionaries.When learning happens without any expectations ...we become truly learned.Most of the time in common conversations, people only use slang for everyday conversation.Then in the professional atmosphere the language is polished with some neat words obtained from some online dictionary.This divergence in our own speech,thoughts and behavior is our need to create a personality.I feel spirituality/religion should give people the strength to express what they are...what they really are

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The story of Stuff

The story of stuff


American consumerism has been defined so well by this video.India's economy is improving so well.Now that American products are reaching Indian soil and there are more tie ups with American companies I feel the American economic rules will start hitting Indian soil.
Traditional Indian small scale industries may be destroyed by foolish exported economic rules.
This video was very interesting because of the environmental concerns.
Personally I was trying to imagine all the stuff I had accumulated in the past 2 years.I really dont need so much stuff but I have collected it.So may be aware consumerism is required so that we cause less harm to ourselves and environment.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

We make our own memories

Our own attitudes decide what our perception is.Then when we store it as a memory, we color it with our own biases.When we meet a new person(most of the time)we make a preconceived notion of how they are.Everyday events are seen through our own limited knowledge.When we are young, any event which would have shocked us,may not be that scary now.But sometimes we shade it with nightmares and then it is going to be scary even in our adult life.So the problem is we may never know what really happened.All our memories are our creations.
Each memory causes a emotion.We should question the deep rooted cause for our suffering or happiness which is obtained from our memories.I am not saying that release from suffering only happens when there is a absence of a past/memory.The solution lies in our understanding of our own emotions.When we are able to look back at our misery and say to ourselves that its inevitable and then question the reason...then we are on a path to understanding.