Warrier's Collage 04082020 : Immortality
Warrier's Collage 04082020 : Immortality Some responses have been cut short by Collage for brevity and/or for other reasons. Apologies. M G Warrier A Interaction 1) K R Krishnakumar, Thiruvananthapuram "Thanks. I enjoyed today’s treat, especially the discourse on Atharvaveda by Smt. Vathsala Jayaraman." (I also enjoy her presentations. She is an active associate of the Collage with you-Warrier) 2) V N Kelkatha "Purusha Sukta: Chinmay Shivam has delivered four talks on Purusha Sukta. These are available on m.youtube.com I listened to the four lectures. Swami Swatmanand has made it simpler to the listeners. For information please. VN Kelkar " 3) R Jayakumar, Mumbai "Today's Collage gave me a mild shock when I started going through it. First was your idea of including a Jesus Prayer (Serenity Prayer) to begin the Collage. Second was putting my name at the beginning of your address as Today's subject. I didn't find any reason or backing for this. Third, Mr K Ramasubramanian Sir has unintentionally used the word Calvary in his response. If you are away Calvary is the location (Mount) where Jesus was crucified on the cross. All these must be some coincidence. I also refer to Mr E T Rajendran Sir's sharing of his experience as a teaching professional. I fully agree with him that teaching is not an easy job and it needs much hard work. Unfortunately many teachers think and behave as if teaching is an easy job. But the fact is, in that case it becomes a hard work for the parents to teach their children at home. I remember teaching all my three children after returning from office until they reached X th class. This might have been one of the reasons why I preferred to be a clerk for a long time, to get less responsibilities in the office. Rajendran Sir writes that in the ZTC to teach DAD practical work he went to DAD for two days to familiarise himself with the practical work in DAD which helped him to make his lecture more interesting to the trainees. I didn't get many opportunities to deliver professional lectures, for which I am also totally unfit. But once I employed practical work to teach some children. We were conducting a Summer Camp for children. I was assigned the topic Care of Environment, for half a day to explain to the children. I had to first learn about it myself. I told the children to make collage posters by collecting cuttings of news items on environment and different photos/pictures of polluted areas. Instead of giving a lecture to them I arranged to take them (about 30 children) for half a day study tour by bus to see the polluted Mithi River which passes through BKC. They realised how the river is made dirty by the people by throwing waste materials into the river and how the river has become useless for man and marine life. I showed them RBI buildings in BKC where I was working at that time and halted for tea and snacks in the nearby open restaurant. It is nostalgic to remember all those days. Regards R Jayakumar" (I'm trying to make Collage independent. I'll only support it's continued survival. In some form) B Current Affairs 1) Book Review by Usha Thorat https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/books/a-theory-of-fiscal-dominance-in-india/article32254323.ece/amp/ Collage had covered a series of interviews given to the media by Dr Viral Acharya. Here Ms Usha Thorat reviews the book and gives suggestions for the policy makers to consider. 2) Ownership of banks https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/privatisation-of-banks-is-a-great-idea-and-will-remain-so-868557.html This link is given here not for the content or greatness of the article. This is how people put together articles in a hurry to meet deadlines. Write down the headline first. Then Google search for some celibrity quotes. Pick up some old books (contents of which were already three years old when the book was published!), say a prayer and copy a couple of sentences. Recast the "masala" into an article! (Disclaimer : I have used this trick 3 or 4 times during the last 15 years, successfully-Warrier) 3) FAME from RBI A forwarded message received from Kiran Warrier is copied below : "This book (FAME) is published by RBI for Financial Awareness. It's for readers to understand everything about finance from Banking, Loans, Inflation, Investing, Mis-selling etc. Usually all these concepts are not taught in schools and so people make many financial mistakes in life which have long term effects on there wealth and health. I would request you all to read and especially forward it to your kids so they become financially prudent at early age." The following link to RBI website may be accessed, to know more : https://www.rbi.org.in/FinancialEducation/fame.aspx C Immortality 1) Don't want to age? There's hope! https://www.readersdigest.co.uk/inspire/life/could-immortality-be-on-the-horizon For ages science has been wasting precious time and resources to keep this hope live. 2) Doctor speaks : Let's face the reality https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/live-well-die-well/article32248955.ece A neurosurgeon gives a balanced view about a practical attitude to the inevitable event which accompanies us all through life. 3) Dr YSP Thorat on Dr Vaidyanathan* https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PzNAt2fCgzqODttmBQYtYg8n6BGqngGN/view?usp=drivesdk Please listen carefully. Missing a sentence or two in between will confuse you. *In case of problem with link please get the Audio via WhatsApp (message your name followed by YSP to 8291709479) D Quotes 1) Ravindranatha Tagore Omnipresence of God Geethanjali 11. 'Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads! Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with all doors shut? Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee! He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the path-maker is breaking stones. He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust. Put off thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil! Deliverance? Where is this deliverance to be found? Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation; he is bound with us all for ever. Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense! What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained? Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow." 2) Adi Shankaracharya Quotes from Acharya received from S Venugopalan by group email: "*What is maturity? - by Adi Shankara* 1. Maturity is *when you stop trying to change others, ...instead focus on changing yourself.* 2. Maturity is when you *accept people as they are.* 3. Maturity is when you *understand everyone is right in their own perspective.* 4. Maturity is when you *learn to "let go".* 5. Maturity is when you are able to *drop "expectations" from a relationship and give for the sake of giving.* 6. Maturity is when you *understand whatever you do, you do for your own peace.* 7. Maturity is when you *stop proving to the world, how intelligent you are.* 8. Maturity is when you *don't seek approval from others.* 9. Maturity is when you *stop comparing with others.* 10. Maturity is when you *are at peace with yourself.* 11. Maturity is when you *are able to differentiate between "need" and "want" and are able to let go of your wants.* *& last but most meaningful !* 12. You gain Maturity when you *stop attaching "happiness" to material things !! *Wishing all a happy matured life. 😊*" E Nostalgia Virtual World Vs Spiritual World Vathsala Jayaraman Yes, there is excessive use of technology. It leads to decrease in face to face conversations, reducing people's communicative and creative skills, leading to social isolation and other health problems. In fact it is a rehearsal for living in corona world, where social distancing is the core virtue. Decades back, when we were children, the old and young would gather in the open space in front of the house or in the Prakarams of temple and had a great time. There would be unbelievable bonhomie. There was no TV, no phone and we all depended on each other for our fun and frolicking time. Luxuries started arriving-radio, transistor, phone, TV, computer and now the cell phone. Today people talk more with unknown and unseen faces across the globe than with local kith and kin. What a massive change and transformation! Some 20 years back I never even imagined that I would be posting messages to our forums. There is a saying: "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." Along came computers and the internet, and now: "We have two eyes and ten fingers .- not even ten fingers- one finger will do. Many advise you to come out, speak to people and develop friendship. Result? It may result in endless complaints, arguments all of which culminate in a headache. Safer then to escape into the virtual world where one can choose one's friends, discuss stuff with people who don't complain back and ignore the trolls. At least one has one's peace of mind. Come to think of it, there is very little difference between social life in the 'real' world and the virtual, except for the distance. Good, bad and indifference exist everywhere. Mainly human beings are the same in either 'world'. Virtual world suits us better as we don't even have to make efforts to get off our couches, bathe or dress! We can hide our true selves and project a likable persona to the world, we can say what we like hiding behind a pseudo-persona! Isn't this freedom? Today with smaller families and fewer really close friends, one has to get on with the people around or be isolated. Trying to get along with inimical individuals around us could be quite an arduous job leading to spikes in BP. At such times, it is a tremendous relief to have books or the virtual world to turn to. Unfortunately, everyone seems to be intent on having the last word in arguments/discussions these days. When we meet in person, voices get raised, discussions blow up into heated waves of arguments. If this is online, one can shut off the person or block him. The virtual world seems to be a a great relief from the unpleasantness of real life. As far as hiding our true selves is concerned, it could work both ways. Some of us feel more comfortable being our real selves in the virtual world with strangers unknown rather than with people around with us who try to be judgemental all the time, or try to find mistakes ever. Or there could be people hiding their true identities in order to deceive others.A No wonder Web and Mobile platforms attract us like a magnet. Yes, we are into a real web when we are in, we neither see the beginning nor the end. Nowadays, our moves are planned to be around WiFi. We can't eliminate the positive side of web/mobile. Everything and anything we are able to look up to learn instantaneously. My grand nephew conducts his entire research by looking up through web rather than visiting a library. Last year my daughter-in-law was here (Chennai) for a month leaving the children with my son in US. My grandson conveyed through phone : "Amma, Appa is preparing varieties of lunch/dinner items for us-thanks to the recipes available through internet. You can take your own time to return to US." My son said, "I am driven by methods and processes. I should say that I have learnt the science of cooking rather than the art of cooking.." When I told my son that he seems to be transforming into a spiritually oriented person more than what he was in India 20 years back, pat came the reply "Of course,yes. I should thank the virtual world. During my walking schedule I am listening to one hour lecture on Gita, Upanishad, Advaitha, Brahma Sutras etc. What a way to become healthy, knowledgeable, at the same time to have some spiritual thinking, which is the high need of the hour!" Thanks to the Electronic Media and the palm-held gadget. "Instead of endlessly grudging and complaining about the negatives, we can look to the positive sides and reap the benefits" replied my son. Vathsala Jayaraman" V T Panchapagesan, Chennai responds : " World is not bad but we make it bad. We have : Gross Body & Subtle Body Gross Intellect and Subtle Intellect. Technology has become a necessity. To be used with discrimination in a meaningful and realistic manner. If it is misused, then we discriminate it which becomes a social evil. Then Nature takes over it in a subtle way which becomes detrimental to our living. Be Well, V. T. Panchapagesan" E Faith Stories Around places of worship across time and geographies and systems of beliefs, to reinforce faith, stories, anecdotes, folklore were spread through word of mouth and later through print and electronic media. In these stories, facts and fiction remain intermingled, like in "My Story" ("Ente Katha" in Malayalam. There's a story behind this story also!) by Kamala Das (Yes, Madhavikkutty, wife of ExRBite Madhava Das). Let's not transfer the responsibility of irresponsible behavior by arrogant/proud individual to any God (if there are several Gods). Stories are stories. Here are some episodes from Guruvayur, brought to us by V Babusenan : "Guruvayoorappan was pleased with Melputhur for his literary work 'Narayaneeyam' as a result of which he was cured of his rheumatism. But there was one problem with him, a rather serious problem. Mathematically put, his arrogance was directly proportionate to his poetic prowess and scholarship.The Lord knew this and, on a couple of occasions, punished him with bouts of rheumatic pain. The first such occasion was : Poonthanam, who was staying in the Guruvayoor temple premises, was mostly illiterate in Sanskrit. But he was a bhakta of a higher order and Guruvayoor was Sree Vaikunta for him. I may venture to say that, had rheumatism not vexed him, Melputhur wouldn't have troubled himself to stay in Guruvayoor but would have remained in his illam in Thirunavai, pursuing vigorously Sangamagrama school of mathematics. One day, Poonthanam very respectfully approached Melputhur and told him: "Sir, I have scribbled something like a long poem which, if you don't approve of, I will not show the outside world." "Is it in Sanskrit?" "No, Sir. It is in Malayalam." "Then don't waste my time. Show it to someone else." The curt manner in which he disposed of him deeply hurt Poonthanam. There is a way of saying things. If he was not well-versed in literary Malayalam, he could have said: "Look here, Mr.Poonthanam, I agree, I know Sanskrit fairly well, but I can only talk Malayalam. Please show it to someone else who can suggest some improvements, if necessary." Guruvayoorappan didn't like Melputhur's behavior. That night Poonthanam could not sleep. The insult was throbbing in his mind. Melputhur too couldn't sleep. His rheumatism returned with added fury. In the wee hours of the night Guruvayoorappan appeared in his dream and said: "I prefer Poonthanam's bhakti to your vibhakti(scholarship). Seek his pardon for hurting his feelings." What Melputhur did not even care to look at turned out to be one of the classics in Malayalam literature. It's name is 'Jnana Pana'-worldly wisdom condensed in a vernacular tune called pana. Four famous lines of it, when roughly translated, read thus: "In two or four days we see Someone being taken along In a palanquin That is your doing, my Lord! In a day or two, we see the King Take the begging bowl in his hand That too is your doing, my Lord!" Jnana Pana is in the simplest of Malayalam, pregnant with meaning and resplendent with Krishnabhakti. The other occasion was when Melputhur was returning to Guruvayoor from his illam in Thirunavai. On the way it threatened to rain heavily. He took shelter in a woodcutter's hut. The woodcutter received him reverentially, made arrangements for his bath and evening Pooja. Melputhur cooked food with the rice and pot provided by him. He was given the only room to sleep, but being in totally alien circumstances, he could not sleep. Melputhur heard his humble host, the woodcutter, praying : "Padmanabho maraprabhu, Padmanabho maraprabhu.." That was utter nonsense. He wanted to correct him. On the next morning, before taking leave ,he said: "What you were chanting last night was from Vishnu sahasranamam. You may not be knowing that. But the point is, you are chanting it wrongly. You should chant 'Padmanabho Amaraprabhu ' for He is the Lord of Amaras, that is, Devas. With the satisfaction of correcting a bhakta, he bade farewell. The poor woodcutter understood only one thing: He was praying God in the wrong manner and retribution would certainly be waiting for him. He cried the whole day for forgiveness. In Guruvayoor, the Poonthanam episode repeated that night. Melputhur was writhing in pain. When the pain eased a little and he closed his eyes, the Lord appeared and said: "Look here , Melputhur, when a Bhakta prays, I take the bhakti and not the grammar in it. And, what was there to correct in the woodcutter's prayer? Don't you know that I am the Lord of the tree(Mara) also? What stupidity! Go and seek his pardon" E Responses 1) Dr Kamala Unni, Bangalore Karma and Karma Yogam : Attitude towards Karma and Karmaphala* Five factors that has to be taken into consideration while performing karma are Adhiṣtānam or substratum Brahman, the kartha [the jīva], karanam the third factor [meaning the instruments which are mind senses and body], ceṣta, the power is the next factor and, lastly Daivam. Firstly, karma is divided from the standpoint of instruments - mānasam karma, vāchikam karma and kāyikam karma. Karma can also be classified from the standpoint of gunas of Maya namely sāttwikam karma, rājasam karma and tamasam karma. Yet another way in which karma can be divided is according to the sastras. They are vihitam karma or niyatam karma, naimittika karma, sakāma karma, niṣiddha karma and prāyaśccittam karma. The ways and means [or the sādhanas] to convert karma into karma yoga is to do proper karmas and have the proper attitude. What is proper karma or proper action? Those karmas which are beneficial to the doer as well as beneficial to the others, are the proper karmas. In other words, all selfless actions are proper karmas. Panchamahāyajnas or nishkāma karmas, rituals where it benefits the society [yajna, dāna, tapas] are all proper karmas. Here, we are going to see what is the proper attitude. What do we mean by proper attitude? When we talk about proper attitude, there are two ways to look at this. One is our attitude while doing karma and, the second, is the attitude while receiving the results, the fruits of action. Attitude while doing karma is the attitude of surrender; and while receiving the results, it is the attitude of acceptance. What is the attitude of surrender? Whenever we perform karma, we do it with an attitude (attitude meaning the bhāvam) that it my offering to the Lord. I am offering all my karmas to the Lord; this is the attitude of surrender. buddhi. One should be able to say, ‘yadyad karoti tathatakhilam sambho tavaarādhanam’, or 'visnor tavaarādhanam', meaning, whatever I do is my offering to you, O Shiva or Vishnu. This is the proper attitude while doing karmas. What are the things needed for that? Firstly, drop the doer-ship. Drop the notion that I am the doer. Secondly, drop all the attachments, all the eshanas [putreshana, vitteshana, lokeshana]. Eshana means attachments; putreshana means all the attachments to children and family; vitteshana means attachment to wealth and lokeshana means attachment to the material things of the world. The third thing is do the work as worship. These are the things which are necessary for complete surrender; in other words, this is called the attitude of surrender. Now what are the benefits of this attitude of surrender? The greatest benefit is that we will not experience boredom. Usually when we repeat actions, we become bored. When we do actions with an attitude of surrender, it energises you. The second benefit is sincerity. Most of us take up our work in a half-hearted way. Here we will not do half-hearted work because it is an offering to God. When it is an offer to the Lord, it has to be the best. The next benefit is that we choose the best karmas possible. When we offer a thing to the Lord, we always choose Bhagavān’s favourite things. In the same way, choose all the best karmas which makes Bhagavān happy. That is do karmas without any expectation of its results. The fourth benefit is that we need not worry about its consequences. What we offer does not matter; how we offer it is what matters. So here the attitude of shraddha and bhakti are very important. With this attitude of surrender, we do all our actions without getting tired, with sincerity, choosing the best karma and with an attitude of devotion and shraddha. Now we will take up the proper attitude while receiving the results of action or the karma phalam. That is what is called the prasādha buddhi. Prasādha buddhi is taking the results of our action as neiveydhyam from Bhagavān. What is neiveydhyam? It is prasādam from Bhagavān. In the world I act as kartha and I constantly reap the results of action as bhokta. I am kartha and bhokta simultaneously. As a bhokta, or a receiver of karma phala, I protest, I resist, thinking, ‘Why am I getting all these miseries, these sorrows, this dhukam?’ I do so much japa, so much puja; still how come I suffer in this way? Here alone the attitude becomes important, the proper attitude while receiving karma phalam. Here one should understand that whatever I get is whatever I deserve; and whatever I required at this stage of life. This is called implicit surrender to the justice and the will of the Lord. The Lord in not partial; what I am getting is the result of my own past actions. No one else is responsible for that. I am only responsible for my present state. This total acceptance without resistance is the proper attitude. Here the greatest advantage is the tranquillity of the mind. Resistance is sorrow; resistance is fear; resistance is depression. When the resistance is dropped, the mind becomes tranquil. The mind gets purified. How can we achieve this? It is only possible by accepting everything as prasādha from the Lord. Usually when we receive prasādham we never categorise the prasādam as good or bad. Only when we categorise as good or bad, we lose the tranquillity of mind. A true devotee never categorises. In the same way, if one could receive the results of our own actions with love and devotion [meaning without resistance] that is prasāddha buddhi. This is the proper attitude while accepting the results of our actions. In a nutshell, karma yoga is understanding that I have right only in doing karmas and no right in the results of action. This can be achieved by doing proper action like doing panchamahāyajnas and sattwika karmas and do all proper actions with the proper attitude. The attitude while doing karma is with the attitude of Iswarārpanam and while receiving the results, keep the attitude of prasāddha buddhi." *Excerpted from the article received as a forward from Dr T V Surendran, Mananthavady. 2) S Nallasivan, Hyderabad " It is easily said than done and preach to raise to the occasion and be resourceful enough to coping with uncertainty in troubled time. Now everybody talks about the Pandemic and counsel you not to succumb to knee jerk response/reaction and to brave it as it is, after all, a Virus we have been used to all the time in all our life. Should one fight his enemy, the strength and weaknesses should be explored before venturing out. We had failed to keep ourselves in readiness when it bared its fangs as early as the last day of January. Mk We remained cozy and comfortable and sincerely believed that it was their funeral when in another couple of months would find ourselves in a quagmire that Funeral literally became a challenge of unmanageable proportion with daily tally of deaths recorded in thousands. How foolish or ignorant we are drawing comparison with other nations and take refuge under the comfort of low% of death? We consoled and comforted ourselves that if not in 18 days like in Kurukshetra in 21 days vanquish Covid 19 . Alas it is more than four months and the Virus has spread its black wings far and wide encompassing the whole nation leaving us clueless, helpless and hapless. One thing we have to give it to the Covid 19 that it is all pervasive omnipresent and omnipotent. It makes no distinction and differentiation between the Prince and the Pauper, Star and Super Star, Minister and the men and women sleeping on empty stomach on roadside only the starlit sky over their head. *** Though many fear death, at least some brave it and welcome it with equanimity. Do you believe that the world has remained the same as before the era of B.C (Before Covid) One feared when somebody encountered you with a face Mask on; but it is a whole new world that we fear those who approached without a mask. A simple sneeze made one a pariah an untouchable and even the intimate family members are unnerved and end up with apprehension and anxiety. Even those suffering from Hansen's disease do not earn the aversion the COVID 19 Positive patients are suffering these days. Myths have become reality and reality have become myths. Yesterday's approved cure/panacea today strangely turned poison. *** The Governments pronounce and short of shouting over the roof top that the afflicted patients would be welcome at the Specialty Wards with assured symptomatic treatment with free board food and lodge. But the media and those who suffer convey another story that even the Hospitals have become inhospitable and patients suffer the worst humiliation, depression and distress and cruelty at its worst neglect and those fortunate few who won the lottery of a bed owed to intense lung distress reached the bed too late. *** I apprehend that coping with uncertainty in troubled times as an easy reads good. S.Nallasivan"