Saturday, August 30, 2008

Man and Woman.

The Ramayana very beautifully explains the divine relationship between man and woman and how the two complementing each other give meaning to life.

Rama and Sita, or man and woman are the two eternal entities involved in creation. Rama is Purusha, or the man, the masculine entity. He represents the conscious being, the soul and upholder of the universe.

Sita, or the woman is Prakriti or nature, that embodies the manifest reality of birth and death and is responsible for earthly existence. She is what gives form and identity to all. She is the cradle of time and space that nurtures and holds all things together.
He is the spirit while She is the nature. Together they constitute the universe. They validate each other's existence and delight in each other's company.

Rama is said to be the soul of the universe, while Sita is the soul of the individual. Ravana who separated them was the ego. Hanuman who united them was devotion. All things put together give life fullness and completeness.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

He had the Attitude!

This is a great Sufi parable:

A king wanted to appoint a prime minister. Four great thinkers of the country were called. They were put into a room and told that the door was going to be locked and that the lock was not an ordinary lock, but a mathematical puzzle. "Unless you solve the puzzle, you will not be able to open the door. If you solve the puzzle, you will be able to open the lock and come out."

The king went out and closed the door. Three of the four thinkers got down to work, immediately. They had brought paper and some guide books, and they started working really seriously. There were a few numbers written on the lock. They observed the numbers and noted them down. Then, they started working out the problem.

The fourth thinker simply sat in a corner. The three others thought he was mad. "What is he doing?" He was sitting there with his eyes shut. After a few minutes, he stood up, went to the door, pushed the door and it opened! And he went out...
The other scholars were still busy scratching their heads to solve the problem. They didn't even realize what had just happened. They were too preoccupied to see that the fourth person was already out.

Finally, the king came in with the fourth man. Addressing the three thinkers, he said, "Stop! The examination is over. I have chosen my prime minister. This is the man." They were jolted out of their stupor. They couldn't believe their eyes. They said, "How could this happen? He wasn't doing anything. He just sat in the corner. How could he solve it?"

And the man replied calmly, "There was no problem. I sat there, and the first thing, the basic thing, was to know whether the door was locked or not. I simply meditated silently. I just gathered my consciousness together. I became completely quiet and pondered over where to begin. The first thing an intelligent person always asks is whether there is really a problem or not. If there is a problem, it can be solved; if there is no problem there's nothing to be solved! And if you start solving, you will go into infinite regress. So I went just to check whether the door was really closed, and found that it wasn't."

The king said: "Yes, that was the trick. There was no lock at all. The door was left open. I was waiting for the man who would ask the first real question. You accepted the puzzle and you started solving it; that was where you missed the point. You could not have solved it even if you had worked on it for your entire life. This man knows how to be aware in a situation. He asked the right first question."

Moral of the story:

A lot of life's little troubles that bother you can be resolved by a change in your attitude.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some very interesting quotes for those who are passionate about traveling. May inspire others who are not.

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.
- Miriam Beard

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Traveling there was really boring so I headed for the ditch. It was a rough ride but I met more interesting people there.
- Neil Young

The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
- Henry David Thoreau

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
- Emerson

The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for.
- Louis L'Amour

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
-George Moore

And this my best:

I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've traveled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won't fall down.
- Mitch Hedberg

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sudoku and the game of life!

The game of Sudoku has many similarities to the game of life. The game has a grid and boxes in which a few numbers are already in place. In life too, we start with a given set of situations and then work them up.

In Sudoku we need to follow a set of rules to build up the grid, filling each row, column and box with numbers ranging from one to nine. Similarly we need to follow rules to build up the grid of life filling each moment, utilizing the resources at hand and maintaining harmony with the different aspects of the world around without hurting anyone. Things will work up the best only if we respect every relationship and every situation, as we respect every number in Sudoku.

Like eliminating the numbers that do not fit in a box, we need to eliminate our faults and work up sometimes through trial and error.

Solving a few puzzles inflates the ego and we crave for more. Similarly in life our ego motivates us to face new challenges and we keep striving for more. Some puzzles are extremely difficult and may take hours. Achieving desired results in life may take years.

We cannot get attached to a particular number and make it fit somehow, we need to let go of the attachments and work according to the suitability of the circumstances.

Like in Sudoku, life presents complexities. Patience, faith and continuous efforts is the key to both. We can excel in the game of life through practice and experience, learning from mistakes and developing new skills.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Waiting on God

Why God answers some prayers while denies others? Sometimes God answers before we call, but then there are also occasions when God seems to stand afar and delays calls. Sometimes we have to wait on God.

There are times when we have to go through a lot of struggle, nothing seems to be going the way we want, all plans going astray. These are the times I like to call 'Bad times' and I believe everyone has a share of those. We are sad and lonely, success is beyond the reach and faith is dwindling. These are the times we need to wait on God.

Waiting on God means living a life of desire towards Him, depending on Him and keeping our faith alive. It is such times that bring us a step closer to our own being and to God. We wait on Him more on such rainy days when we are seeking shelter and the waiting prevents dampening of our spirit. It is amazing how in spite of all the troubles we face we still are able to keep the head high and are not ready to give up. We keep going and do not realize when the darkness gives way to light and there comes what I call the 'Good times'. The prayers are finally answered.

This is an eternal cycle that keeps us motivated and helps us remember the small but important things, like being humble and being good to our fellow beings. It is the bad times that make us happier and humbler during the good times. When our affairs prosper and we are possessed of success and plenty, looking back makes us thank God and thank all those who helped us in our struggle. This circle of time makes us feel at home with Him and our own never say die spirit. This is the true victory.

All prayers are answered, but in a way and in a time when they need to be answered!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lesson from the Gita

The great scripture Bhagvada Gita very beautifully explains the essence of life and spirit.

The battlefield of the legendary war Mahabharatha embodies the world which is truly a battleground for a moral struggle. In our hearts every day and hour we fight battles. Like Arjuna, the great warrior we face decisive issues in everyday life. In this great battle, Lord Krishna is Arjuna's charioteer. While Arjuna is fighting the battle, Lord Krishna is guiding him. The chariot stands for the psychophysical vehicle that embodies our own mental and physical being. The steeds are the senses, the reins their controls, and the charioteer, the guide, is the spirit or the real self. Krishna, the charioteer is the spirit in us. When the spirit takes control of the senses, it shows the correct path and helps us identify right from wrong. It helps us take the right decisions and motivates our actions towards achieving what we desire.

If we believe in the spirit, we can overcome all challenges and emerge winner in the battle of life. Victory is certain if the spirit guides us. This is the significance of the Gita in our life today.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Birthday Prayer

This is a Birthday Prayer that dates back to my childhood days. Dedicating this to a very special friend whose birthday happens to be today....

Thank you, God, for giving me another year of life.
Thank you for all the people who remembered me today
by sending cards, and letters, gifts and good wishes.
Thank you for all the experience of this past year;
for times of success which will always be happy memories,
for times of failure which reminded me of my own weakness
and of my need for you,
for times of joy when the sun was shining,
for times of sadness which drove me to you.
Forgive me for the hours I wasted,
for the chances I failed to take,
for the opportunities I missed this past year.
Help me in the days ahead to make this the best year yet,
and through it to bring good credit to myself,
happiness and pride to my loved ones,
and joy to you.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fear of the unknown

When we are born, we cradle comfortably in the trusting arms of our mother. Then mother induces us to walk. We walk a few steps, then are afraid, lose the balance, and fall. Mother holds our little fingers in her own magical hands, endures our so many falls, helps us rise again as she drives us into the unknown world.

The unknown world out there is fearsome. As mother gently pushes us to walk on our own, she protects us till we right ourselves and then leaves us free. This is very similar to our relationship with God and the way we live life.

Throughout our life we are thrust into the unknown as we face new challenges, wake up to new horizons and constantly endure the circle of change. We tend to cling to the familiar but most of the times change becomes inevitable and we have to believe in the larger scheme of life and the universe. As we are pushed into the unknown world, we feel threatened, alone and fearful, but God like the mother protects us from all sides. When we feel we will have a free fall, God, whether through family, friends or kind strangers, covers us and protects us till we are able to right ourselves again.

We may flounder but God's protective hand bears us and enables us to walk. Thus although we may feel we can no longer handle the uncertainty, we need to have the trust that we will be able to overcome what we need to and with this trust we will be able to walk into the uncharted with a confident gait.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Welcoming Spring!

The advent of a new season is always so exciting. Whether it is our constant desire for change or the freshness that a new season brings we are always happy to bid adieu to the winter and welcome spring, swim happily into the summer as spring leaves us, say goodbye to summer as autumn approaches and are ready for the quietness of the winter as nature comes a full circle yet again.

The arrival of the spring brings a new freshness to everything around. New leaves fluttering on the tips of longing branches, flowers blooming into a romantic orgy of beauty and desire and the whole atmosphere is filled with fragrance and colors. We cherish the sunlight and the lengthening of the days. It is the season of the cherry blossom and the beginning of a new harvest.
Early morning chirping of the birds, the warmth in the weather and the evening breeze is what makes spring so special. The streams and rivers swell as the snow melts and the trees gush with their new wealth.

While summer brings along with it the excitement of water sports and beach picnics, autumn gives a treat to the eyes with the colors of the fall, and winters mark a quieter and relaxed end of the year when snow sports give a boost to adrenalin levels.
But of all the wonders that nature presents, I like the spring the most and basking in the spring sun fills me with new energy. I feel a step closer to the nature and I feel bright and cheerful. It is also the time for some new exploration as we make plans for the coming summer months.

Extending a warm welcome to spring...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Friends are forever!

There's a miracle called Friendship.
It heals all the sorrows and brings all the joys.
It dwells in the heart.
We don't know how it did start
But we know the cheer it always brings
Like a sweet melody in the ears it rings
Friends are precious indeed
They make us smile and are there when we need
They listen, give advice, even chide
In their hearts all our secrets they can hide.
They give, they take
but never count the things they did for our sake.
They make us laugh
But also make us cry when they leave
But however far they go, they are close
They are the most precious gift
For us that God chose!

Friday, February 29, 2008

What's your boggart?

There is an old saying: What you most wish for and what you most fear will both come true!

I have observed very so often and most people would have that when we want something desperately sooner or later we achieve it. Same holds true the other way round. Sometimes we do not want something equally desperately. This desperation gives those things a lot of energy that helps them manifest in our lives.

Sometimes the things we most dread are the ones we will have to face eventually. There is a very interesting story in Harry Potter that introduces something called a 'Boggart'. A boggart is a magical creature and a mischievous one. It hides in small, dark, enclosed places, such as closets, under beds, its natural size being quite small. The intriguing twist is that when anyone looks at it, it changes shape to become whatever that person fears most. It reads a person's greatest fear and manifests itself as the fear. So otherwise small it seems to become huge when given any importance.

Now how to make the boggart disappear. Transform the image of your greatest fear into something else, something funny and amusing pointing a wand at the boggart and saying "Riddikulus". Boggarts are weakened by laughter.

Moral of the story: If we face our fears with dread they become even greater. But if we face them with confidence and spirit eventually we can get rid of them.

So what is your boggart and how will you use your spell?

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I really like this song from album Kandisa by Indian Ocean about 'Leaving home'.

We all leave home one day either for higher studies or for job or looking out for a life of our own. We leave the comfort of the home and move out. And then, one day we wish to return. But we can never go back to the same. Because home has changed and in many ways so have we. Siblings are married, the favorite tree we used to climb on for plucking guavas has been cut, sunlight is less now with new buildings coming up in the neighborhood. The old scooter has been sold. Many favorite neighborhood friends have moved out. The crazy posters in our room no longer stand smiling at us and the walls reflect the forbearance of time.

But in many other ways home still remains the same, it is still the good old home where you find all the peace after traveling the mad world around. The snugness of the home welcomes us and gives the well needed comfort after a long tiring journey. We can still talk nonsense with our siblings and shower them with sweet nothings or have more serious family discussions around the coffee table. The freshness of the air surrounds us and relieves us of all stress. Everything starts looking new from this point onwards. Such is the longing of the home. We need to come back again and again how many times ever we may leave it. We have changed but are still the same, needy of affection and seeking the golden past. We are nostalgic!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Potion of Luck

Being a Harry Potter fan, I am inspired by his stories and sometimes can relate to the incidents he goes through in his life. I was frantically looking for a job when I was reading a Harry Potter book when a particular incident inspired me a lot that I would like to narrate.

This boy is the captain of his Quidditch (a wizard sport) team and has a very important match against the rival team. It is extremely important for them to win the match to enter the finals. Now the goal keeper in the team, Harry's best friend Ron, is not very good at the sport and is particularly not confident of his skills. He gets nervous during the game and has made the team lose matches in the past. Right after the breakfast the match starts and they are both nervous about it. Harry has a brilliant idea. Well, going back a little, this boy once won a luck potion called 'Felix Felicis' by scoring full marks in a 'Potions' test. If anyone drinks few drops of this potion, he gets really lucky for the next 12 hours. But it is not very advisable to have this potion very too often as it may lead to an addiction. And it is especially not a good idea to win a match by foul play. But sometimes the desperation to win overpowers all reason. So he puts a few drops in Ron's juice and he is ready to get lucky for the course of the match. As luck would have it, everything turned out to his favor, all his moves turned to be masterstrokes, his opponents did mistakes to his favor and they emerged winners. Now Hermione who is particulary idealistic was not happy with this as she thought they had cheated. She was extremely crossed with both her friends. To appease her, Harry had to admit the truth that he had faked putting felix felicis in Ron's drink. He had only put water. This only gave Ron the confidence and just by thinking about his good luck his luck actually favored him that day.

So is there a lesson learned here?

'Looking For Good Luck Creates It'.

I actually tried it when I was going for interviews, I would imagine drinking the 'Felix Felicis'. This not only gave me confidence but I really felt I have Lady Luck shining over me. And believe me it helped.

When we acknowledge luck, and look for more, we create a certain frame of mind. It helps us take advantage of opportunities we might otherwise not recognize.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Significance of Hanuman

More than being a deity revered in the Hindu religion, Hanuman is a concept. Conceptually, Hanuman is the mind, Rama is the soul. It is the surrender of mind to soul, matter to spirit. Hanuman is power personified. The Hanuman in us is fearlessness and doing what comes naturally to us.

Hanuman overcame difficulties with courage, patience and spirit. In time of danger he exhibited courage and presence of mind. He was unselfish, steady and firm in his actions. He would not submit to failure. All his actions were offerings to Rama. Through dedication towards his work, he attained identity with Rama, as the river attains identity with the sea.

We should try to keep God ever in our mind as the pacesetter in whatever work we are doing. This is the highest form of worship. Simply offering one act of genuine work attracts the grace of God.

This is the significance of Hanuman and his relevance in our lives today.

Live Life King Size!

I have come across this phrase very often and have been pondering over it. We all dream about living like a king. But what does that mean? Does living like a king mean living in a luxurious house, having loads of money, having all the power in the world? With most of us having little money in our pockets, a small apartment to live in, several liabilities and responsibilities, facing the nitty gritties of everyday life, we surely cannot live like a king.

Thinking about it last night, I had a strange feeling. I thought are we not the king of our own lives. It is we who determine what we do, where we go, what we eat, where we live. We develop our own lifestyle, we choose our own friends, switch jobs whenever we want to, choose to be vegetarians or not, marry the person whom we select, pursue hobbies we are interested in. Yes, we can drive our life as and where we want to, but only if we 'want' to. We as individuals are responsible for our own self and can lead a life we have imagined making the best use of whatever we have. We can exercise our power in our own little world.

Living life to the fullest with whatever resources we have, and Living life on our own terms.

I think that is what living like a king means!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Why Worry?

Sometimes I worry a lot, to the extent of churning my mind inside out and getting stressed. But is there really a need to worry so much. A great person has said that God is managing affairs and he doesn't need any advice from us. With God in charge everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about? I know there are many people who do not believe so much in God. They, I would say, need not worry as well because they have handled all their problems in the past with great dignity and will continue to do so in the future as well. So what is there to worry about?

I wish I could heed the above advice and stop worrying over petty things. At least I can try, we all can.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Importance of being calm

In the mad rush of the world today, we are either too restless while performing the daily tasks or too possessed with worries about how we will accomplish the tasks. Most of the times our actions are either restless or slow. But hey, we need to hold off a bit. If we keep our calm and maintain a level of concentration, we will be able to perform all duties with correct speed. The art is to be able to act slowly or speedily without losing the inner peace. This is the true action, the one that does not let us lose our balance. If we our calm, our senses remain identified with the environment and we notice things which a restless person would miss.

A calm person is always at peace with others, always happy, always calm.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Do you dare to dream?

I am a dreamy sort of a person. I dream a lot (in fact spend most of my time doing that) and strongly believe in the power of my dreams. And I am not alone in holding this belief..

Walt Disney's
take on the power of dreams,

Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by the man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C's. They are curiosity, confidence, courage and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence.

When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way. Implicitly and unquestionably. All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

This is what Henry David Thoreau has to say,

I have learned at least by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.

So, now do you believe in the power of your dreams...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Battle of heart and Mind

The Universe divided
As the Heart and Mind collided,

With the people left unguided

For so many troubled years.

In a cloud of doubts and fears,

Their world was torn asunder into hollow Hemispheres.

Some fought themselves, some fought each other.

Most just followed one another,

Lost and aimless like their brothers,
For their hearts were so unclear,
And the truth could not appear.
Their spirits were divided into blinded Hemispheres.

Some who did not fight
Brought tales of old to light.
My Rocinante' sailed by night
On her final flight.

To the heart of Cygnus' fearsome force
We set our course.
Spiralled through that timeless space
To this immortal place.

Artist: Rush
Album: Hemispheres
Year: 1978
Title: Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres

Stepping into the world of blogging...

This is a new journey I am beginning today, with the idea of interacting with the world out there, after all the web is the best place today to travel..

For all those who are wondering why I named my blog as 'The Third Hemisphere', a few of my thoughts on this,

the whole world is divided into two halves (hemispheres), two halves of the terrestrial globe, two halves of a sphere, two halves of the brain. The idea of a third hemisphere looks appealing to me, a hemisphere which is yet unknown and I wish to explore that now.

In the posts that follow, my friends you will see some spiritual, some philosophical stuff and some just varied thoughts, let's see if I can make this space a useful and interesting one. I will try my best.