Friday, September 30, 2011

Meditation - steps

To concentrate effectively, establish your attention on a form that gives you joy. Sit in the padmasana (lotus) posture and fix your eyes on the tip of your nose. In the beginning, practice meditation for a minute; then for three minutes. A few days later try for six minutes and after some time, for as long as nine minutes. Thus the concentration has to be strengthened gradually, without undue hurry. Slowly the mind can be held for even half an hour; this discipline must be developed steadily. With practice, the mind will get fixed and the power of concentration will increase. To attain concentration and acquire one-pointedness, you must undergo exertion to some extent. You must fasten your mind on the Lord and keep off all other thoughts from the mental plane. By such exercise done constantly, your vision will be firmly fixed on the Lord residing in your heart . That is, verily, the goal, the full fruition of meditation.
- Dhyana Vahini, Ch 13: “Developing One-pointedness”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Good Vs God

28 Sept

Read the quote from  SATHYA SAI's thought for the day as

'When the people become GOD, the world will become Good'

Having watched & read quite extensively recently, I did not realise the slip of the tongue ! The quote actually said, 'when the people become good, the world will become good'

I felt happy I read a 'God' and I am sure that is the level of 'goodness' Swami expects. Else, we are unfair to Him.

Good day.... God-day to all!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Social Network

FB users using more time on it than the total of next four, acc to a report !! North worth it, folks ! Pls let us not be slaves of social network !

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Food - still a weakness

Some random thoughts -  these personal stories got more readership among friends in the past!

'Forced bachelorhood', again... with additional responsibility of a (wonderful, loving) dog. Has help to take care of hamster & fish-tanks, thankfully.

But a deep desire to move more inwards, SSpiritually. Reading a wonderful SSpiritual travelogue... struggling to find sufficient time for meditation, reading and surely exercise.

I am managing time better... at least getting up on time, very early. Perhaps, can do better, surely... being part of Live SSpiritually! Afterall it is a journey...

Got into the kitchen. Tried all the usual stuff, including dosa, dal , noodles, veg curries, et al ! Surprisingly, nothing seemed to be working out, as earlier. Have I lost my edge in cooking ? I do have a reputation for my culinary skills.

I felt bad for the quality of output... I just shared a quote from a friend, “I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”…. Leonardo Da Vinci

Same friend forwarded a collection of Palakkad-Tam-Brahm recipes too :) Being a converted veggie, my taste is a lot closer to that !

If poor quality of output was not sufficient, the sheer inability to come out with consistent quality, was getting into nerves, to say the least.

Eating out was never an option, neither healthy nor spiritual !

I have found a temperory solution - outsourced ! Something we are famous ( infamous !?) for !!

Baba says 'food is mere medicine for hunger'. But how obsessed we are with food !
Majority of world population can not afford two, basic meals/day! :(

This extra-importance to food is one of the basic weaknesses to be overcome, to move ahead... to move inward.... to live SSpiritually ( to live by the ideals of Sai)

Friday, September 16, 2011

E addiction

Heard a parent make complaint of a son, who wastes too much time... on-line. The curious part was the parent was no teenager, has two children ! I did not comment, as I always wonder if I am an E-addict too !? I presume I have lot of control on time spent (not always 'wasted' !) Indeed, technology (mobile/internet/TV) can truly be the curse of our generation if we don't avoid 'E-addiction'

In this era of technology it is becoming increasingly difficult to lead a peaceful life; people are falling victim to various physical and mental ailments. Many people in the cities which are on the front line of civilization, have lost the delight of natural sleep. They experience only artificial sleep induced by tablets. Due to such excessive use of medication, heart and blood pressure problems are on the rise. People are becoming unhealthy wrecks who are lost in fear and anxiety. Drugs and pills are produced in millions, but the general health has not improved. In fact new varieties of illnesses have emerged and are developing fast. Only a few intelligent people have realized the efficacy of yoga and other spiritual practices. This they have confirmed through their own experience. 
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Vahini, Ch 22: ”Eternal Truths”.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Flaming Marigolds

As I joined hundreds of Indians travelling back to gulf, after the Ramadan/Summer/Eid holidays, I did not travel by Jet Airways. That was because there was no direct flight. I avoided Air India also. As I arrived ‘on-time’ and was going from airport to home, my friend said ‘couple of Air India flights were running late, that day’. He said as though there was nothing new about it – it would have been ‘news’ if the flights were ‘on-time’.

Of course, that is the only reason why I have not travelled by Air India at all! Quite unpatriotic? I feel very guilty about it, frankly. But I am shocked to note AI is now considered as “never-on-time”. I know couple of friends manage their travel plans taking in to account the usual delays! Airlines operate with highest checks & balances, up to six-sigma levels. But why can’t AI get the schedule on time? If the team at AI resolve to work passionately to take off on time, their clientele would double or triple. What they are losing are the customers who travel more often, hence the importance of punctuality.

My boarding card was on an AI stationery! On the reverse of the card was a very colourful picture of ‘Flaming marigolds… ‘normally used in all auspicious  ceremonies in India’. So beautiful! As it protrudes out of the spiritual-travelogue I am currently reading, I wonder, ‘if only AI was more punctual’! That would have been truly royal-Maharaja style… and very SSpiritual !

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Why do we pray ?

Saw this in Business World, 1 Aug 11 ( pg 49) :
'we pray for ourselves at best for our family. But not for the society or the country. Collective good is not a thought that occurs to us. In a priority of things, 'I' comes before collective good'

this is a discussion some of us had before, several times - why do we pray ?

  • for ourselves ?
  • for our families?
  • for someone who is sick or needs help to succeed in any endeavour? Or just needs 'help' !
  • Or Just Pray, as God knows what we want ? Rather leave it to Him to decide, what we want...?
I am for the 3rd option. That way we are closer to 'total surrender'.  
If at all we want to 'ask', pray 'SAMASTHA LOKA: SUKHINO BHAVANTHU'

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Random Notes From Puttaparthi - July 11

A short trip ‘home’ and now returning to Karma bhoomi... As the flight was about to land, I checked time. Flight was on time…

While at Kochi, a friend looked curiously at my watch & asked, 'you did not pick up a new watch?' He was surprised when I told him that was a gift from Baba. He was taken aback when I told 'it was created'!

Another friend was 'clean-bowled' when I shared the story behind my ring- Baba had 'replaced an old ring by a merely blowing air in to it' ! The world calls it a miracle. Baba used to say, 'it was mere visiting card'. Yes, for the recipient, it was a unique experience of His love, grace & protection. For records, my marriage-ring does not fit me anymore, but this ring materialized six years prior to my wedding (1994), still fits!! Though affordability is not an issue, nothing else can come near these precious, precious gifts. While these are most valuable possessions, I have rarely spent on such fancy luxuries. That is how He helps in my efforts to practice 'Ceiling on Desires', 9th of His 9 Point Code of Conduct. That is my humble effort to Live SSpiritually !

I was told the media had reported first about treasure unearthed from Yajur Mandir. But the world will have no clue what it means to go through the process of being a witness to creation from mid-air 

A short trip 'home', Prashanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi ! My fourth this year. Each of the trips has been totally different.

In January, Bhagwan Baba blessed me profusely, through His Sudarshan (acknowledging presence or my 'existence'!),  Sparshan ( when He blessed with Padanamaskar) and Sambhashan (when He spoke to me!). It was just blissful! I have always wondered 'why me?'! He has confirmed it was not past karma or sadhana, but just His Grace, I just read recently.

From the blissful-zenith in January,  it was veritable sorrowful-nadir in April.

After April 24, life was never going to be same again for me, and for so many others. Just got to pull together and move on. After all, owe it to Baba.

In May I was back for my son's admission to Sai school at Puttaparthi. He always wanted to be a Sai Student, like his father. His mother wanted only that route ahead, for our only child, even if it meant separation-pangs. I was very sad he would miss the joy of Baba's Physical presence. But I think he  will have the opportunity to connect with the Master at a higher level, straightaway.

For generations to come, as mankind understand the Sai-Phenomenon in its grandeur, one of Baba's lasting contribution to humanity will be His concept of education, or EDUCARE. His concept of selfless love, service, spiritual upliftment, etc., will surely be very big. But the I feel His Mission will unfold through His EDUCARE program. 

At Kulwant hall, the stage where Baba used to sit giving Darshan, had the temporary Maha Samadhi, covered with flowers. How lucky the flowers were, I thought. As hundreds of devotees marched past with folded hands & weeping heart, several times my vision went blur, due to the tears swelling much we all missed Bhagwan...

Again, I was back, in July-end. This time to join alumni from N America. Unlike other universities, our alumni get-togethers are very different.

Living away from India, not addicted to TV ( esp current affairs), is at times beneficial. The negativity reported by press on Sri Sathya Sai Trust has been most shocking. Most of it with minimal research or even basic enquiry. How media gets stuck in the frenzy for TRP !! The media forgot a big section of their readers & viewers belonged to the categories of devotees, beneficiaries of the service projects, well-wishers, etc. For the members of org & devotees, they were going through the saddest moments in their lives. The media will move on to the next big story and forget about all their earlier reports. Of course, no anger towards the media. I pity them. By reporting untruth, they were not doing their jobs right, in the true spirit of Karma yoga.  Also, they were accumulating some bad Karmas. My sincere prayers are with them.

Way back in 1980's, out of sheer ignorance, ego, misplaced sense of intelligence, as a teenager I had criticized Baba. But I was fortunate to get a chance to experience Divinity. Life has since been a beautiful journey since then. It can not get any better than just trying to live by His ideals and make Him the fulcrum of my existence.

From Puttaparthy, we proceeded to Kerala, before returning to my karma-bhhomi,  in Middle East.  Guruvayoor seemed a very logical stop-over.  This temple of Krishna came up immediately after Krishna-Avtaar.

Of course, the other famous temple in Kerala is in news… thanks to the treasure unearthed in Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple in TVM. As a fellow-alumni mentioned at Parthi, ‘the Lord has left so much wealth within our hearts… we should try to discover those treasures ‘

As the flight touched down, we (wife & me) were joining  son (& my mom) in counting number of days for next trip home, Puttaparthy. But till then, and beyond, His message to the world is more relevant. we have a responsibility to live by His ideals.

'I asked Gods for all things in life, SAI gave me life so that I could enjoy all things'