Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Road Already Taken

Sometimes the things we do for the first time are already done by others.Some have experimented with various outcome of the path and suffered.Some quit very early on the path.What stops us from taking the experiences of others and learning from them.The first big hurdle towards that would be ,to lose out on the inventive capacity which we may pour into the action.Secondly it has to do with our ego.Unless we do it,our way,it just does not seem right.I have a million mistakes in my life which I would have avoided,provided I took other experiences into account.Not that I face deep regret at this.I don't repent at the missed chances either.

When I fall, I remember what I did wrong.
When I just blindly listen to others, I don't understand what is it which makes everything right.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Status of Women /Rig Veda

The NEED for equality is not a western import ,but it is fundamental concept of the greatness of Ancient Indian Civilization...
This post shows the high status of women in Vedic Period(Rig Veda Timeline)
The following are the verses..which prove the above mentioned facts..

All the info has been taken from this blog

 "A girl also should be brought up and educated with great effort and care" (Mahanirvana Tantra).
The girls were entitled to Upanayana (to receive sacred thread) and to the privilege   of studying Vedas; just as the boys. Women performed religious rites after completing their education under a Guru. They were entitled to offer sacrifices to gods. The son was not absolutely necessary for this purpose.
According to Shrauta and Grihya Sutras, women chanted mantras along with their husbands while performing rituals

 Rig Veda talks of the seven steps and vows based on mutual respect, taken during marriage

A friend thou shall be, having paced these seven steps with me. Nay, having paced the seven steps, we have become friends. May I retain thy friendship, and never part from thy friendship. Let us unite together: let us propose together. Loving each other and ever radiant in each other’s company, meaning well towards each other, sharing together all enjoyments and pleasures, let us join our thoughts.
(Source: Taittiriya Ekagnikanda, I iii, 14. ; Sastri, 1918.)
 The idea of equality is expressed in the Rig Veda:

"The home has, verily, its foundation in the wife”,” The wife and husband, being the equal halves of one substance, are equal in every respect; therefore both should join and take equal parts in all work, religious and secular." (Rig Veda 5, 61. 8)
Rig veda has no mention of child marriage and Sati(WIDOW burning)

Widow RE-Marraige:

Rik (x.18.8) blesses a woman at her second marriage, with progeny and prosperity in this life time::Go up, O woman, to the world of living; you stand by this one who is deceased; come! to him who grasps your hand, your second spouse (didhisu) ,you have now entered into the relation of wife to husband.
In Rig VEDA (X.18.9) the new husband while taking the widow as his wife says to her: let us launch a new life of valor and strength begetting male children overcoming all enemies who may assail us.

ATHARA VEDA(XVIII.3.4) blesses the widow to have a happy life with present husband ::O ye inviolable one ! (the widow) tread  the path of wise in front of thee and choose this man (another suitor) as thy husband. Joyfully receive him and may the two of you mount the world of happiness

To name a few of those  significant women rishis/SCHOLARS/AUTHORS OF RIG VEDA   who figure in the Rig Veda Samhitā:  Goshā Kakshivati, Lopamudra, Romasha,Sarama Devasuni , Yami Vaivasvathi , Rathir Bharadwaja  , Apala, Paulomi and others. Needlessto say they were held in high esteem  for their work to be included in the important religious text of the era. 
According to the author all the defilements in the Indian culture after the glorious vedic period was as a response to invasions from various other countries like Greece..(Alexander),Persia..Our civilization went into dark ages and so our society slowly degraded and we can see the effects even now..

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Collective Guilt

The guilt trap exists at every moment of our lives.Other than this common variety of personal infliction there is also a greater societal victimization and guilt.This occurs at a collective level where the environment seems to influence us.We are programmed to believe these concepts when we were young.We carry it into our adulthood and slowly it starts playing havoc in our lives.

Being a Indian woman,,,I do carry the burden of proving myself in a male dominated world. I do feel that I do need to measure to colonial standards of life.Even though Britishers are long gone,we still live in the culture where everything imported is termed as better than our simple indigenous life.Only after I moved out of India, I could get to the bottom of these belief systems.Everyone of us carry the burden of nationality,race and gender.I call it as a burden because our minds always get polluted by some propaganda .We may be for it /or against it (in terms of the propaganda)

Everyone has a say in how our society shapes up.So the propaganda plan is great.But it fails most of the time as they aim for the ideal case which cannot be even achieved by a "Utopian" society.There is a constant guilt which creeps up in our minds when we don't reach the ideal state as told by the activists.We feel we are not doing enough.We feel we are cheating ourselves and the whole world by not measuring up to the ideal.But as history would point out,every generation had its own regrets.There will be void in each of us which cannot be filled by any societal achievement.No one else can fill that void for us.The guilt will be ever present and the sooner we accept our guilt and learn to deal with it,the better we would be.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Self Control (Speech)

Lot of the functions in our body are on auto pilot and we don’t even realize it.Most of our bodily functions like digestion and regulating body temperature happen on their own.We don’t have to instruct the body to do so.It is like a well oiled machine reacting to different stresses of life.Discipline can be related strongly to controlling the senses.But trying to voluntarily control our senses seem as a tough task.But they have lot of benefits.Gandhi had used lot of these techniques to achieve his goal of trying to find the truth.Other than spiritual benefits there are other potential gains from controlling the senses.

Controlling our speech has enormous positive results in our lives.
Think before you talk – I wish I could follow that in my life.I blurt out “yes” when I want to say “no”.I say things which I regret
laterAlso, there are issues of  being “too nice” which makes us say things which we don’t mean.When our self worth is dependent on others, we try to please others in many ways.Helping and pleasing are two totally different aspects of charity.Help does not give rise to greed, pride and guilt.Pleasing others gives rise to pride when our ego gets a boost.Also there is enormous guilt of not living up to our standards we set.Once others know that we are working so hard to gain acceptance from them,they start making unreal demands.We wont have the courage to say “no”.Instead we slip into more guilt and they get what they want.

Some ways which I think will help me deal with such situations :

1. Being more assertive about my wants.

2.  To say the truth under most circumstances no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel.

3.  To talk only when necessary and avoid doing small talk which involves gossip/rumors.The rule is to solve problems not create new ones.Trying not to “bitch” about othes unnecessarily but to  talk about others so that new lessons can be learnt from the mistakes they made.

4.  Before I blame others, I look at myself to see if I have made the same mistakes in the past.This exercise actually reduces the amount of anger and hate I develop for the person.

5.  To confront the person and let them know off their behavior in a non threatening way and find positive ways to heal myself.

6.  If the above options don’t work,then the last option would be to be silent and let it pass.Or schedule a time to discuss the issues later.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Skill Set

Thanissaro Bhikku in his discourses writes about how we can strengthen our meditation by becoming skillful in other aspects of our life.According to him if we had excellent skills in other fields,we can pull that perfection into our meditation practice.I do know that cultivating patience,tolerance,kindness and good will towards other begins does rub on our meditation practice.Meditation is done with the help of the mind.So the same mind is used when we perform other actions too.If our mind is skilled when it does everyday actions then I am sure it reflects on the meditation too.Osho once in his discourse wrote about how some monks every month donate one object in their room.They try to renounce and try to live by with few possessions.Thansirro Bhikku and Osho hit the same point ...when they say that the outside environment can reflect back into ourselves.May be cleaning the room may help get rid of the clutter in our minds