(April 9/10, 2016, No. 15/2016)
Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday @mgwarrier.blogspot.in
Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to mgwarrier@gmail.com
Opening remarks: My Page

Questions are all I have
Who am I and why am I to start
And as I seek my purpose here
Questions are all I have

Questions are all I have
Why am I what I am
Am I what I can be
My search seems endless

What is right and what is wrong
Is there a right and is there a wrong
Is everything a matter of perspective
And varies with the glasses you wear

What is love and what is hate
Is there love and of a selfless kind
Isn't everyone and every action selfish
Is there any act of the selfless kind

What is rich and what is poor
Is it the money or the happiness
But What is happiness itself
And Does it change from rich to poor

Questions are all I have
Who am I and why am I to start
And as I seek my purpose here
Questions are all I have !
Kiran is my son, presently working with DuPont. His wife Smitha works for a bank and their son Govind(Yes, you are right, one of the two from my family who inspired me to publish my book) is in Class VII. But for an initiative called ‘Pyramid Poems’ by C R L Narasimhan of The Hindu, Kiran would not have sent this poem to me. Kiran’s poem took me back to late 1980’s “My Page” days when Kiran used to get once or twice a week covers containing quotes and clippings from what I read. He was doing his Engineering degree in a private Engineering College in Islampur (secular name of the place was ‘Eashwarpur’!).
If you are able to frame right questions, right answers will evolve. A common sense inference, the legislators and policy makers also should take note of.
My father used to write his name in Malayalam and sign ‘Shri’ in Malayalam. One ‘Shri’ was enough those days to announce one is ‘Shreemaan’…Now you need minimum three!
Last month, my friend Cherian enquired whether I have started receiving royalty for my book (He too has published a book). Without directly answering the question (as usual), I went round and round…I said:
“Out of 50 free copies promised by the publisher, with whom I had shared the cost of publication, I received 40. I gave 38 copies free and a friend sent me a cheque for Rs250 for the copy he received. I am left with one copy. When he spoke to me last, my publisher informed me that less than 50 copies had been sold, by then (This includes four bought by Smitha. Thank you Smitha!). I have enough resources to buy back the balance unsold copies and distribute them free to my friends who won’t mind reading it, if thrust on them free! But, I have taken a diversion.” When I knew that Cherian was not listening, I told that I have entrusted my ‘profile’  photograph and some cash to someone to publish it at the appropriate time with an appeal: “No condolences, please. Those who love this soul, do buy a copy of his book from amazon.in”
Recent responses
April 8, 2016
Elders’ savings
This refers to ‘An unkind cut for senior citizens’ (The Hindu Business Line, April 8). As brought out in the article, there is an urgent need to have a re-look at the approach of GOI to small savings major portion of which form part of retirement savings of self-employed people and senior citizens. It is unfortunate that different pressure groups argue for reducing rate of return on savings from different angles and GOI succumb to such pressures without weighing the impact on social security cover for which savers invest in most of the long term savings instruments like PPF and various savings options offered under National Savings Schemes. The combined corpus under such schemes constitute less than 10 per cent of the deposits with banks.
Beyond tax savings, investors under these schemes look at their stable nature in regard to security of investments and regular assured returns. Considering their role in providing financial security for elders and acting as a source of liquidity when earnings fluctuate in the present uncertain employment market, there is a strong case for ensuring a rate of return on such investments, higher than that available on bank deposits. The recent SBI research report suggestion to consider  differential (higher) rates for savings in the accounts of elders and in age-groups above 45 years is worth looking at. Another group which may deserve differential treatment may be those who are not investing in these instruments for income tax benefit (their income being low and therefore not taxable).
A related issue is professionalism in management of funds flowing into governments’ kitty which now come from captive sources like LIC, EPFO, banks(SLR deposits), National Savings Schemes and PPF. As these funds are used by government and no investment risk prevalent in money with the banking system is to be factored in, it is natural that savers expect a higher rate of return on investment in such financial instruments. Any thought of relating interest rates on investments in such instruments with bank interests is irrational and therefore unacceptable.
If GOI still remain adamant on their present stance, the social security cost later, because of reduced savings by present savers and migration of savers to risk-prone financial instruments for immediate higher return, will be unbearably high.
M G Warrier, Mumbai

April 6, 2016
Professor Rajan
Apropos MC Govardhana Rangan’s piece “When Governor Rajan Wore the Teacher’s Hat” (Economic Times, The Skeptic, April 6), this endorses the trust Prime Minister Modi expressed in Rajan’s skills to communicate effectively, when the PM graced the occasion of RBI’s celebrations when the central bank crossed the 80 years milestone. PM referred to the regular presentations Dr Rajan made before PM with supporting slides.
We need more Rajans who do the kind of homework Dr Rajan does and do not care what would happen to their ‘personal files’, if they speak out what they think appropriate in a given situation. One wishes Rajan’s following response to “The Economic Survey said RBI should use its capital to recapitalise banks…” was quoted full in the article:
Whoever wrote that piece does not understand monetary policy and monetary balance sheets as well as they should. There is an equity position that the RBI has. Think of this as government assets in RBI. The government's liabilities are its debt. What is being suggested is that we actually monetise this amount. If we have X number of crores by which we can monetise our assets, if we give half of that to the government, the residual value of it is always spent on buying government bonds. What we are saying is, given those constraints, any money given extra to the government will reduce our ability to buying government bonds directly and will have absolutely no effect on the public sector borrowing requirements. The government will have to find some other place to sell its assets. It is not a free asset to be given. We are saying 'treat it as a government asset'. It's not going to impact your borrowing requirement.”

Soundarya Lahari – Shloka #27: Shridevi! May all our actions be your worship!

Supreme Mother and Great Goddess:  Shridevi Lalita Maha Tripura Sundari
Japo jalpah shilpam sakalam api mudra-virachana
Gatih pradakshinya-kramanam ashanadya-ahuti-vidhih |
Pranamah samveshah sukham akhilam atmarpana-drisha
Saparya-paryayastava bhavatu yan me vilasitam ||
– Soundarya Lahari 26
Benefits: Realization of the Self, the Ultimate Truth.
Meaning: May my:
– prattle be your prayer,
– forms of my body in my manual work be holy gestures(mudras) 
of your worship,
– loitering be clock-wise revolution(pradakshina) around you,
– eating be offering of holy oblations in your worship,
– lying down be prostrations to thee,
– attending to all other comforts be a dedication of my entire Self to thee.
(Finally,) May all the actions of mine be your worship!
Insights: Splendid! Superb!! (You may add your adjectives here!)
1.       .Worship of deities to connect to the Universal Self  is of two kinds: external andinternal.
External worship involves praying the Universal Self with attributes, i.e.  in the form of idol of deities such as Lord Ganesh, Shridevi, Lord Vishnu and others. External items like flowers, fruits,  and others are used for this kind of worship. It also involves prayers, gestures(mudras), pradakshina, oblations and prostrations as defined by the tradition.
In the internal worship, we meditate on the attribute-less Universal Self(a.k.aBrahaman) which is infinite, eternal, omnipresent and omnipotent power. We use our own body, mind and actions as means to connect to the Absolute. So, in this shloka, this highest form of internal worship of the Ultimate Reality Shridevi is described very elegantly.
2.      According to this verse, all our natural everyday actions should be offered to Shridevi with feelings and devotion as though we are performing prayers, gestures etc. of the external worship.  In other words, we need to feel with devotion that: our talking as a prayer, many body poses we assume in the whole day as gestures, moving around as pradakshina and so on. What a great way to pray and surrender to Shridevi!
3.      Esoteric Meaning: The message of this shloka is crystal clear: we need to pray Shridevi by surrendering ourselves to Her. We need to not only submit ourselves to Her, but all our actions too!  This shloka upholds the purport of desire-less Karma Yoga and the command of Lord Shrikrishna in Bhagavadgita:
Swakarmana tam abhyarchya siddhim vindati manavah | – Gita 18.46
Means: Human beings achieve their liberation by worshiping That Univeral Self  by their actions.
In this shloka, we worship Shridevi who is same as the Universal Self, by surrendering ourselves 
and all our actions. This is the highest form of worship one can do.
4.      Words of Beauty: Here are the group of words that provide a nice rhythm, melody and tone: Japoja-lpa,shi-lpa; su-kham,a-khilam; sa-parya, parya-ya; st-ava, bh-avatu. Relish and enjoy!
Om Namah Shivaya ||
– Kalidas



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