Archive for February, 2011

A lesson in secularism

What do you want to be?

This question is relevant even after we supposedly “grow up”, have our respective careers and a dozen labels like “husband, wife, manager, peon, mother, single, gay, rich, eligible” etc. stuck on us. We always want to ‘become’ something. That indirectly means that whatever we are right now is inadequate. The funny thing is that, the person whom we idolize or whom we want to be like in turn wants to be like someone else!
So where does this really stop?
Is this merely a part of our social conditioning?
At least it seems so.
Though we must remind ourselves that by consistently being dissatisfied with what we are presently and wanting to be bigger, better, richer, fitter THAN now, we may be pushing our dream farther from us. These are the kind of imagined ‘qualifications’ that we expect ourselves to achieve in order to become our ‘future us’.
The world is increasingly becoming aware of spirituality by way of questioning a lot of concepts in mind. My Guru, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar always says that the quality of our life depends on the state of our mind. For example, if one is extremely stressed/tensed(owing to job-loss, death, financial trouble etc.), then would a person be able to enjoy their favourite Pizza or that movie? And on the other hand, if the mind is totally stress-free, enjoying even a cup of tea on the roadside is charming! Which brings us to a classic question: “Does happiness then lie in the object or in within our own mind?”
Therefore the truth is that for being truly happy, we don’t need objects. We are all capable of feeling happy without these external crutches. There is no basic qualification or ‘minimum criterion’ required to feel abundant and happy.
From my own life I can tell you one thing for sure; we don’t need to become anything for receiving love and happiness. I have found true love in one of the most unexpected ways. But for that I had to “allow” myself to feel complete just the way I am. I admit it took a fair bit of work to undo all the conditioning that has been crammed in our brains from years. And to receive all this unconditional love and affection from many people, I didn’t have to achieve anything to show them how capable and worthy I was! No, that’s not the right way of going about things.
As far as careers and money matters are concerned, I shall write a separate post about it soon 🙂 I have some views that I could share- wrong or right, only time will tell!

But till then, please remember that you are perfect and beautiful and totally eligible to receive all the abundance and goodness that life has to offer. This is not your workplace where we would need to impress the boss first to get that promotion! We will be promoted in life, the moment we are ready to receive!
Take care and relaxxxxx!

It’s not about money, honey!

“Why does Art of Living charge money for courses?” “If Baba Ramdev can teach it for free, why can’t Art of Living?” …and other such expressions need to be given a very satisfying answer.

For one, I am very grateful to my Guru, H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, for teaching us to respect and revere all Gurus…in fact everybody- whether Guru or not. So, there’s no one-up-manship involved in desperate insecurity to prove whose Guru is the better one! It’s so ridiculous. In fact Guruji himself cites ample examples of Lord Buddha and Jesus Christ in most of his talks!

What Baba Ramdev does is absolutely brilliant too. But there CAN be two ways of approaching the same summit. When Nature herself is full of variety why shouldn’t Gurus be two or more of a kind? There’s place for everyone and everything. And I personally have always thought that to prove the greatness of one’s self, one doesn’t need to demonize the other. Art of Living is largely misunderstood and there’s nothing that can be done about it- unless of course the prejudices are set aside.

I think it’s an amazing thing that Art of Living charges a donation because that enables it to provide courses(and much more-it’s not “mere breathing”) for FREE where it’s really needed; prisons are one such example. But as one would know, volunteers go there and teach and they need to have some kind of money in hand to do some really basic stuff. To organize medical camps, for example or to build temporary shelters in some affected areas or to travel in remote areas to teach pranayama- everything needs money. And if people like you and I can spend it as Dakshina, why not? By us paying the donation someone completely unrelated in perhaps some tiny village in Tamilnadu might get to go to school! One such example, right under our nose is the Dharavi School. Please check out the outstanding work that happens there: Many students over there are the first ones to ever go to school! And NOTHING is charged for their education, mid-day meals, uniforms, books, stationery etc.

In fact, I think it’s superb that not only is Art of Living a spiritual organization but it is also mighty efficient 🙂 I am a proud and grateful Art of Living Volunteer…what about YOU?

Beyond Me

Beyond Me from frank huguenard on Vimeo.

Yeah. Bad news.

I have always been a musician and also a composer. Now, let me tell you, composing something takes a lot of varied things. Yes, one of them could be knowledge of music. But it takes at least a degree of experience of a variety of experiences ranging from heart break to loose motions and everything in between.

I have had both heart breaks AND loose motions many times but I never thought of myself as an intense person. Until now. Till this truly extra-ordinary love-story dropped by. And stayed.

My concept of intensity was equated with Shahrukh Khan from DDLJ

In fact now I realize that somewhere deep down, I wanted a story that was like this film. Strife, struggle, falling in love with someone who was engaged/half married, unreasonable parents, villains, trains, supportive friends, crying and bawling, love and longing, eloping etc. The only thing I didn’t want was someone like Kajol. Seriously 😐

So, I have got most of the things that I had asked for including eloping. The only things left out are these:

  1. The girl’s father saying, “Ja Simran ja. Jeele apni zindagi…” *sniff sniff*
  2. The red Mandolin (Ok, I am joking. Really! Seriously joking!)
  3. A happy ending

And I just thought that the code-word for the love of my life, the apple of my longing eyes would be “Simran” 🙂

We’ll meet Simran very soon…