Preparation for Kids’ higher education and Purpose in Life

I am writing this post on behalf of all parents who wants their kids to come up in life and to “adjust” themselves with the present society for what it is now.

This is only from my personal experiences and viewpoints and since everyone has their own hard and fast rules based on their own position/status in society, culture, occupation etc. there are likely to be variations in approach.

I sincerely respect it and so you could take this post ONLY as a guideline according to the situation you are in and I strongly request you to customize it according to the needs and current abilities of your kid(s).

I have my first kid who is about 16.5 years and currently in the first year at the senior secondary and I would say he is quite intelligent (I could say this because he recently got more than 80% in 10th (Secondary level) examinations that enabled him to secure the first group (PCMC – Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Computer Science in a reputed school).

But of late, we could notice lot of distractions, change in attitude, treatment of people in general (rebel) etc. probably due to the effects of the “teenage syndrome.”

Our thoughts were further accentuated when this was confirmed by all the teachers from his school who take his subjects during our scheduled meetings with them.

We were thinking hard as to what we could do to help him since we know his present nature is not inborn but is acquired due to peer groups, change in physical and mental composition due to the bodily changes that he is undergoing in this stage of his life etc.

He did realise things are going out of control for reasons unknown to him but couldn’t control it and so we decided to enable him to chalk out his own approach by asking to answer these 5 basic questions honestly and to the best of his abilities:

  1. Prepare your own timetable that you want to follow in your weekdays.
  2. Prepare another timetable that you want to follow in your weekends/holidays.
  3. What are your strengths / strong points?
  4. What are your weak points?
  5. What will be your steps to counteract your weak points?

We were really glad that he took up this exercise quite seriously and were really happy with the answers that he had to come up:

Weekly Schedule Weekends/Holiday Schedule Summary
Time Activity Time Activity Weekdays
05:00 Wake up from bed 06:00 Wake up from bed Sleep – 6.5 hrs
05:15 Morning studies 06:30 Bath + Morning Prayers School – 8.5 hrs
6.15 Bath + Morning Prayers 07:30 Breakfast Study – 5 hrs
07:00 Breakfast 08:00 Morning studies Play – 1.25 hrs
07:15 Start to School 10:00 Play Others – 2.75 hrs
15:45 Back from School 11:30 Lunch + Leisure  
16:00 Homework 12:30 Afternoon Studies  
17:00 Evening Prayers 14:00 Leisure  
17:30 Play 15:00 Evening Study Weekends
18:45 Rest 17:00 Evening Prayers Sleep – 7 hrs
19:00 Evening Study 17:30 Play Study – 9 hrs
20:30 Dinner 19:00 Leisure Play – 3 hrs
21:00 Night study 19:30 Evening Study Others – 5 hrs
22:30 Hit the bed 20:30 Dinner  
    21:00 Night Study  
    23:00 Hit the bed  
         
What are your strengths/strong points?
Getting marks without studying? VR>How much marks? Is it enough? Are you satisfied?
Reading on mobile without straining eyes. VR>Causes long term damage.
Understands everything once told. VR>I was told you get easily distracted and so you need to be told the same thing 3 or 4 times to get to you ☹
What are your weak points?
Getting easily distracted.
Disrespectful towards elders.
Lazy.
Not on time.
Arrogant.
What will be your steps to counteract your weak points?
Distractions – doing morning and evening prayers properly for gaining concentration and focus.
Disrespectful towards elders – Listening before speaking, counting 1 to 10 before reacting.
Lazy – Develop will power, Adhering to the timetable properly.
Not on time – Adhering to the timetable properly.
Arrogant – Respecting elders.

I prescribed the following guidelines based on his answers:

Steps for Learning

  • You have prepared your schedule based on your thoughts and your capabilities. So, it is your conscious duty to adhere to it at any cost for your benefit. No one will remind you to follow your schedule from now on…
  • Make sure you involve your activities with full focus on whatever activities that you have specified as per your schedule and not to undertake or deviate yourself in any other activity other than the specified activity during that period.
  • Make sure you go through your prescribed textbooks first, then your class notes thoroughly. If things are too concise or difficult to understand, note that particular sub-chapter/sub-heading in your notebook, refer to the supplementary textbooks. Note down the name of that book and the corresponding chapters n page numbers and link it to the corresponding chapter/sub-chapter/section in your prescribed textbook.
  • Prepare notes and critical points as you study from these textbooks/notes and not leave everything to the brain/mind to remember the subjects by casual reading. Make sure you spend minimum of the last 5-10 minutes of your study schedule to revise what you have learnt during that session.
  • Khan Academy/Any other Online material etc. will be allowed only after if you read these text books, class notes and the corresponding supplementary books and show us that you have a good knowledge and understanding of the subjects. You may use online learning ONLY for reference and reinforcement purposes and not for actual study without reading your text books/note books/supplementary books first.
  • You are to consciously track your hours spent on each activity according to what is mentioned as per your schedule and the actual time spent in your notebook on day to day basis to keep track of deviations and to make remedial measures. This is a MUST activity before going to bed at night every day.

Other General Guidelines:

  1. Talk only when you are asked or required to talk. Do not interfere when others are talking that do not have any direct impact on you. Do not raise your voice too much when you talk.
  2. Amma (Your mother) is making sure you are getting proper, nutritious and tasty food all the time. So, you do not have to give too much importance to keep on asking what you want for now. We know what to give you, what you want and when you want.
  3. Stop arguing with senior people, particularly with your parents. This is for your good only!
  4. You are to be an example for people around you (mainly your younger brothers and sister). So, you have to be that way so that they will not think of you negative any time.
  5. Spend enough time to read books and watch videos that give positive influence and inspires.

I am sure you can incorporate all these things in your daily schedule, since the guidelines are not that strenuous to follow if you bring it into your habit and think that is for your well-being only!

All the best!!!

P.S: As parents, we can do only as much as that is based on the best of our capabilities, situation and resources according to our predicaments etc. When we can’t expect what is in store for us even for our own future, it would be futile to impose our expectations on our kids. Nature chalks out its own course for everyone and as parents, we can only be facilitators to bring our kid(s) up with some values that they would imbibe in life so they could utilize it to carve out a path for themselves, for better or for worse! And that depends on how we live our own lives…

Conversation 057 – Being interviewed by a reporter from a Spiritual Magazine

I must say that this conversation happened only because of the divine will of Lord Lakshmi Narayana in this temple that I visit almost every day. Otherwise, there could be no other reason!

This conversation took place on 04-July-2019 but I am able to make the full transcript only now.

There is this reporter of a prominent spiritual magazine in Tamil language (name asked to be kept in anonymity), who happened to see me and recognize me. He happened to visit the temple that day. He stopped me right on the road and wanted to converse with me. The conversation (Tamil translated to English) goes like this:

Seeker 1(Reporter)

Seeker 2(Rajini (myself))

Seeker 1: I am a reporter from this magazine in Tamil. We focus mainly on spiritual subjects. I have been a regular follower of your blog and I see that you are nearing 150 posts, that is really a big achievement!

Seeker 2: Thank you very much. I am very glad that you are regularly checking on my blog posts.

Seeker 1: It is my pleasure. I note that you have good knowledge on scriptures, particularly Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatham, Thirukural etc.

Seeker 2: 😊 Please don’t say that. I am only a learner…

Seeker 1: I find that you have written a lot and covered a lot of topics in depth. I want you to summarise based on all that you have written on the present attitude of people in general and what could be done about it.

Seeker 2: 😊we are standing on the road and do you want to talk about it right here?

Seeker 1: I am really sorry. I respect the value of time and so we cannot afford to go to my office to have discussion at this point of time.

Seeker 2: That’s really very nice of you! Okay, then we shall go to this isolated kind of annexure to this temple. I call it the ant-hill Lord Lakshmi Narayanan 😊. I am usually here most of the time because this is solitary and peaceful for prayers. No one ever comes here inside 😊

Seeker 1: Sure.

Seeker 1: I am recording what you are saying for my interpretations. I hope this is fine with you. I would share the recording with you after sometime. I think the recording is likely to be interspersed with lot of traffic noise because of our location, but I think that doesn’t matter.

Seeker 2: Sure. But One thing I want to tell you. This is the place where I meditate regularly. So, I might get into a sort of trance at some point of time as I watch Lord Lakshmi Naarayanaa and speak on the answer😊 and say anything as ordained that time, you may note some subtle changes in my voice etc., but I would sincerely request you to take note of the validity of whatever I say and use it for the benefit of everyone.

Seeker 1: Sure, I will.

Seeker 2: Before I answer on what you have asked, I dedicate whatever that I had to say, advertently or inadvertently to Goddess Saraswathi because She is the source of all knowledge, She is the object of all knowledge and also She is the destination of all knowledge. I also seek the blessings of the source of everything, Lord Naarayanaa and His eternal consort Goddess Mahalakshmi.

Seeker 2: <<Goddess Saraswathi Invocation>>

Seeker 2: Here it goes…

Seeker 2: People, why you are running around here and there all the time? Where do you actually want to go from here? What big things are you doing in this world that is of really of any significance or benefit to anyone or anything? What???

Seeker 2: Same running around all the time…same sleeping…same waking up…same eating…same work…day in and day out…

Seeker 2: When is this all going to end?… Is this work that you are doing giving any satisfaction to you? you are doing the same thing again and again as if you have become mentally retarded…

Seeker 2: Is this giving happiness? What sorts of happiness? Where is this all leading to?

Seeker 2: At the end of ONE day, we all have to leave this place., by being disciplined. Doing good…learning good things. do you want to find a way of reaching the abode of Lord Vishnu…or…

Seeker 2: By being too materialistic like…I have to buy this house…I am to earn this much…I have to buy that car…I have to buy this…I have to buy that…I have to buy luxuries for my family and well-wishers…

Seeker 2: Eat this…eat that…eat whatever I feel like that satisfies my palate…

Seeker 2: You have this…I have that. I will show off my possessions to people around me but that only gain you jealousy and envy…

Seeker 2: What is going to come to you finally? Are these “possessions” of yours really yours??? What is really going to come to with you at the end?

Seeker 2: How you have lived…How has been your life…Has anyone really benefited from your gestures that transformed them, that made you live in their heart forever like a guardian angel? He introduces you to his friends and well-wishers…saying…”I have been with this person…What I am now is because of him”…Have you made anyone tell like this about you? Then what has been the purpose of your life? What is going to happen after you are no longer there? What are the people going to talk about you then?

Seeker 2: Goats, cows, pigs etc. eat well…sleep well…procreate well…know how to defend…are you being born as a human being only to do this in a much more sophisticated manner?

Seeker 2: Do you know how you have evolved into a human being? These mundane things what you are doing now are being done by you in all your life forms since ages…

Seeker 2: You have been provided intelligence…right? right? Doing these same things, then what is the use of acquiring this human birth after crossing all these life forms…

Seeker 2: Wealth, Work??? Can you do it honest in this world? Everything is disguised cheating…. that causes heart-burns for so many people and you are also not satisfied as well…

Seeker 2: This is Karmic influence…you have to face it…Will it go? What is going to happen after THAT day…Is atma (soul) like a stone etc. that is made from 5 material elements to also disappear??? atma is life particle…atma is eternal…and that keeps transmigrating…

Seeker 2: The Supreme Lord thinks this way…Atma ,  you moved away from Me…you wanted an identity…to dominate material nature… “thinking” I know how to live on my own…the material nature is mine and is for mine…this body is mine…this is my wife…my kid…my house…my nation…my earth…

Seeker 2: Krishna asks…What is yours???? For how long?  What did you bring in when you came into this world? From previous births…t is just continuing from there. What else you had? Understand that..your being is now like a dog…just for the sake of living a livelihood and seeking petty pleasures, you didn’t seek to learn good things…forget what is needed. Forget your own self…

Seeker 2: Forgot that the atma is in your body…you forget even that…you get attached to false conceptions and feelings that this is my body…she is my wife and so on.. The body that is made of 5 elements. What is going to happen. How will atma go out on this body on THE day…it can only go through the nine holes (two holes in the western side…mouth..nostrils, eyes and ears). If you don’t realise yourself before the time of your death…

Seeker 2: Why being born again as to do what you have been doing before? What are the things that has come to you as of now, at this point, that were with you since the time of your birth? everything is changing…what is staying the same from birth to death? Its only the atma that is dwelling in your body that stays unchanged throughout…

Seeker 2: How did the atma acquire this very body? Have you ever thought about it? It had been in various bodies earlier. Even now this atma could have been in any body…be it in a coconut tree, snake, demon etc. but what made it chose this very body of yours to stay? Won’t you think about it?

Seeker 2: For this sake only, God has provided intelligence to “human beings”…but what are you using it for? watching some junk stupid movies and third-rated soaps…indulge in all sorts of habits, useless idle talks, gossip and pomp…eating all sorts of obnoxious stuff and spend time in cooking them and discussing about them as well… ☹

Seeker 2: Without even realising what the gunas of the food that you eat are the ones that drives your thought process, character, your intelligence and your way of life…you spin like a wheel running around…

Seeker 2: Everything starts from what you eat…food constituents are split into 2 parts…one part for energy to drive all physical activities. The remaining part? What it does do you know. You think eating this will build muscles, that will improve eyesight etc. But for how long..50yrs+???..wont the aging process take over?

Seeker 2: Skin starts to lose its lustre…eyesight fades…ear doesn’t hear properly…whatever you have been eating so far…Will you be able to eat them for life. Your doctor says eat without salt…reduce fats…reduce sugars…having eaten all obnoxious foodstuffs so far to satisfy your tongue…and thinking only food is life…you ask yourself how you will be able to stop it suddenly?…then you start to think…why should I live…are you living just for eating?

Seeker 2: In olden days rishis, munis, gyanis have told…written Ramayana.Mahabharata…puranas etc. and for Tamils, the Tamil Veda…Thirukural…leaving these things…what you guys are reading…how to influence others. How to be successful in business…these are required…no doubt…but this is not all…

Seeker 2: What is required for good living? You people leave this…what is good…what is bad…how to live…how not to live…not thinking like that…hear from junk and degenerated people with all sorts of vices and bad habits…if you don’t know anything…even if some idiots says something it becomes Vedanta to you. Are these things not worth thinking about?

Seeker 2: ..or for the remaining part of your life. Do you want to do the same thing…running around here and there without any use…expecting flattery for whatever you do…What are you having for lunch…Shall we go to this hotel…How is this cinema…How is this TV serial? How much this guy score in that match…  What is this all going to lead to? Think! if you think what I am saying is good for you. start with books…

Seeker 2: for example. Start with Thirukural. If you don’t know Tamil. Do you know that Thirukural has been translated into at least 80-90 languages worldwide…you don’t have to do anything like learning all the 1330 couplets…just take any from the first 500..you may even take it some random page…there is something in everything there for life…you just need to take your preferred language and just READ.

Seeker 2: You complain…I lost my job…I fought with wife…i don’t know how to reconcile…my kid is not obeying me…my kid is not studying…my kid is roaming around…if we are  disciplined…why the kid will not be obedient or wayward? we are not obedient ourselves…but worry about our kid…what will happen to him. How will he study…how will he succeed…?

Seeker 2: Already God has carved a path for everyone based on our past karma and what we do in this life…so what will we do. We don’t even know what is in store for tomorrow. Then why think about your kid so much ???…he will do…he will study. If kids are undisciplined…so are we…!

Seeker 2: We leave our parents alone in their old age either in “homes” or get themselves solitary confined in their own home…your family…your wife and kids live in a different place…you live in a different place…your parents sweated out and shed blood for you to bring you up…you forget what they did for you…

Seeker 2: You say…they are old…I can’t even take care of my kid. You listen to your wife for all her idiosyncrasies. If her family come to your house you buy everything for them and make them happy. I am just saying what is happening you have to judge it yourself…

Seeker 2: I don’t even bother whether this happen or doesn’t happen with you…you see everything that is happening around you but if you agree to this or not…it’s just your discretion…

Seeker 2: I don’t have anything to gain or lose…that you guys listen to me for this long I treat this as a blessing and some sort of an achievement…I am just telling what I think and also many are my own personal experiences that I I am talking about…

Seeker 2: At the present state of world affairs, if you think even 10% – 15% of what I said as truth or fact or if it makes some sense to you…I think that would be a big happiness to me…

Seeker 2: …or I would have to take this like this…you people tend to watch at least 3 or 4 TV serials daily that are total time wasters anyways…and there is only negative takeaway from them…I would think this like that…that’s all…people cannot change themselves and would always want to remain like status quo…it is their destiny…

Seeker 2: Thank you very much for the opportunity to share my thoughts. I hope all will be good to everyone…understand people…life and its importance…

Seeker 2: Hare Krishna!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdixUGwe-JTwc093Q9sAQCwUzmTNUksp

(The above audio is my voice is in my mother tongue, Tamil Language)

The below conversation is after the recording and before parting our ways…

Seeker 1: Phew…that was too much…really a pleasure to be able to listen to you…looks like you covered the basic principles of Gita and Bhagavatham in just around 20 minutes.

Seeker 2: 😊 there is a lot to talk…I just didn’t want to divert from your question too much.

Seeker1: Yes, you were very much to the point…very subtle but thought-provoking…

Seeker 2: It’s just my longing that people lead a more basic and disciplined life and get contented with what they have. Pretty hopeful this will happen at least to those who are inclined for it.

Seeker 1: Yes! You are right. I have to thank you again for suggesting this make-shift arrangement for this “interview” 😊

Seeker 2: It’s my pleasure!

Seeker 1: நன்றி! மீண்டும் சந்திப்போம்! (Thank you! We will meet again!)

Seeker 2: Thank you very much!

Conversation 056 – Trying to be a preceptor in a mundane world

The context of this conversation is based on a hypothetical  situation in corporate world (not hypothetical anymore (LOL) because this world is pretty much ruled by 99% category at this point of time☹), where a senior personnel (Mr.Y) is laid off abruptly and he is conversing with another colleague (now ex-colleague) who is also his good friend (Mr.X).

Mr.X: This post that you shared: Data warehousing and its architecture is really useful. Thank you very much. Sure, I am going through this right now. The blog post Mental Maturity that you shared is also equally good 😊

Mr.Y: Thank you very much 😊. The need of the hour is to tolerate with mentally deficient people.

Mr.X: Yes, by showing empathy!

Mr. Y: Yes, I no longer need it at this point but you need to ☹ I have already fallen down and not much to fall further…

Mr.X: Yes, I can understand. I am thinking of this only day in and day out.

Mr.Y: And you have to come out of the situation quickly for your mental health!

Mr.X: Fair enough. I have to study day in and day out to get out. otherwise they will eat me for sure ☹

Mr. Y:  Yes, it’s quite tough nowadays since the market is also not that good… you got to push through some good contacts. You got to think on those lines also!

Mr.X: ☹I will try.

Mr. Y: But still some effort to try through direct means as well is also useful, or whatever since that is still better than sitting idle in this sinking ship.

Mr.X: Yes, I totally agree.

Mr. Y: I don’t think they can stand long in the industry with this kind of attitude to everyone though. I am saying it to you because I know about you fairly well.

Mr.X: Correct, I can understand.

Mr. Y: Because I see the trend is getting worse over the years as I am watching on this attitude towards the employees. When the company is quite small, they tend to treat the employees fairly well. But when the company has grown exponentially, they want the employees to become their slaves by imposing arbitrary policies!

Mr.X: Yes! The trend has definitely changed over the years and it is changing for really worse for the employees.

Mr.X: Did you get any talks with some other organisations on your next employment?

Mr. Y: I have been doing it all the time but nothing is fruitful so far.

Mr. Y: It’s better for you to think they have made you resign and your notice period has already started and try for a job in this attitude. That’s my sincere advice if it all you really realise the gravity of the situation. And the career is already getting into a drain every day you stay there anyway!

Mr.X: Yes, this is pretty much happening ☹.

Mr. Y: So please think like this because you know they can do anything and you can do nothing about it. And you only will regret later because Its back to square one for you whatever be it.

Mr.X: Yes.

Mr. Y: I am not ringing any alarm bells because you very much know the reality in this very place. You can’t afford to lose out and sit like me naively trusting everyone under the sun ☹

Mr.X: 😊

Mr.Y: I trust people so much and every time I have seen them only let me down and I don’t learn any lessons any time because I think I am trustworthy and expect the same to get reciprocated, but unfortunately luck has not favoured me for not even a single instance so far.

Mr.X: I can understand what all you are going through. I can see it clearly.

Mr. Y: So, it is better to learn lessons from others and rather than face it yourself and then learn from it. When the sufferer comes and explains the predicaments to you sincerely, you got to take it whole-heartedly because “The sufferer only knows the suffering of the suffered.” ☹

Mr.X: Yes

Mr. Y: That’s why I am patiently talking to you.

Mr.X: This is very true.

Mr. Y: I am old and mature enough to handle it but I don’t think the youth of today can. At least the majority can’t bear it for sure.

Mr.X: yes, this is correct.

Mr. Y: What you can think of this in these situations when kids are at the peak of their education, a big home mortgage is on and the family expenses to handle and someone called “employer” to whom to put your heart and soul abruptly says, it’s all over this very moment???

Mr.X: hmm!!!

Mr. Y: You saw this reality that happened right in front of you to a person very well known to you right?

Mr.X: Yes, I was in shock. I told you. I had a lot going in my head at that moment.

Mr. Y: If this doesn’t ring alarm bells what else will?

Mr.X: Yes, Correct. this is something beyond comparison and was a shocker to me.

Mr. Y: No one can change anyone in this world because it is in their nature to remain as to whomever they are, since this attitude has been inherited from over countless lifetimes and also the upbringing in this present lifetime and also the nature of this age☹

Mr.X: Yes!

Mr. Y: You are because what you are and you are longing to be virtuous. Demons only long to be demons, because everything is in the corresponding nature. So, there is nothing much one can do about this and simply learn this truth to further better ourselves in the midst of the tortures from them.

Mr.X: Yes, I fully agree.

Mr. Y: These are the lessons no one will teach you but we have to learn yourself through introspection and learn to get mature through it by life experiences. And getting better and better with every such torturous experiences, so much so, that there will come a point when you will not feel anything as a torture but only as a blessing to better yourself further 🙂 . If one reaches this level he will come to a stage when he will be able to transform at least one person in an otherwise no one is “transferable world”, that would really be the biggest achievement in one’s life because it’s really not easy to lift another soul and absolutely nothing even comes closer to that ever.

Mr. Y: Really!

Mr. Y: That too if that is done without any expectations or rewards, no harm can even come closer to that person whatsoever.

Mr.X: Fair enough.

Mr. Y: That is the summary conclusion of Karma yoga in Bhagavad Gita – Working without expectation of rewards to attain perfection. So, please that got to be fair enough 🙂

Mr.X: Yes, I agree.

Mr. Y: I don’t want anything in life. Because nothing is permanent. I only want to sustain my near and dear as long as I am there. Our actions and its results are only permanent imprints of ourselves.

Mr.X: Yes.

Mr. Y: I don’t know if I am really going deep into philosophy and not even sure whether you are inclined into these subject matters. But I know you as a sincere person, these things definitely appeal to you. Otherwise you will not come to me because hardly anyone come to me on anything. I am a 100% loner though I get along well with everyone superficially and always try to keep them in good humour. And I am always willing to share whatever I can, but everyone feels superior according to themselves and so they don’t find the need to know anything from others!

Mr.X: I can relate to things what is happening and what is going on. So, I am just preparing myself for any eventuality.

Mr. Y: Yes, wishing you the very best!

Mr.X: Thanks, I will prepare myself otherwise this world will swallow me! You have always been open and ready to help anyone at anytime as much as i have seen 😊

Mr. Y: 😊 I have to step out…  We will surely continue and stay in touch wherever we are. Do let me know…I am always available for any assistance any time you want…

Mr.X: Thank you again so much. All the very best to you too!

Mr. Y: Thank you very much!

Conclusion: Mr. Y is still looking for that elusive job opportunity as I am publishing this post. He is in a burnout state as of now ☹ inside but doesn’t know how to show it outside, probably because he has been mentally drained all through his life… 😊

This too shall pass…

Trying to be a preceptor in a mundane world!

There are lot of predicaments for a person aspiring to be a sincere preceptor in this mundane world at the present moment because of the highly unfavourable circumstances and the rampous opposition by unscrupulous elements who do not want to change the status quo, just to hold their sway for their own selfish ends.

This post attempts to reflect on the challenges and solutions for a sincere preceptor in this modern world, attempting to uplift the thought process of the youth in particular at this moment or any thinking person in general for their betterment.

The purpose is to not to get carried over to the 99% majority and living in that state for the rest of the life.

The influence of the malaise’s introduced due to this present iron age of Kali that has infiltrated and ingrained into every system, that makes human beings entangled in all sorts of vices, causing deterioration and threatening their very own existence.

Surely no one is to be blamed for this, because all of us have been inheriting these qualities gradually over the 5000+ years through disciplic succession for generations through our parentage (LOL).

This has started to happen as soon as the disappearance of Lord Shri Krishna from this world after performing his pastimes.

Though Lord Shri Krishna has given us lots of transcendental literatures like Bhagavad Gita, Uddhava Gita through Srimad Bhagavatham etc. and also several others through His realised devotees and also through his very incarnation(s) itself as He lived His way of life to teach us how to actually live and not just exist just like living beings that lacks developed intelligence and consciousness.

But we are not realising the importance of these transcendental literatures and continue to live a life of zero purpose!

So many preceptors have come and gone since then and hardly an infinitesimal has picked up and grasped a miniscule of these thoughts – the less than 1% of the aspirers apply these teachings to their very life and also influence the people around them.

It is a clear fact that we have to change ourselves through our own efforts and none whatsoever can have any influence on this.

That is why this is called science of self-development, understanding of the self, science of self-realisation etc., because external influences can play only that much part

  • as to kindle an introspection within ourselves to look out for the reasons of our sufferings,
  • to seek that knowledge, that enable us to realise the reality of the actual situation,
  • to strongly believe that we are living in an illusion,
  • to understand that we are living in just a world of sugar coated bitter pills with adverse side effects,
  • to observe and learn from the solutions that are already offered by this very material nature, though the same material nature acts as a deluding effect for those with poor fund of knowledge.

It’s like extracting out the thorn through another thorn though both are of the same nature, by understanding the discriminating nature of the same substance at different situations.

The following examples are worth to look and ponder for our own self-development:

  • The blooming lotus surviving in filth, whose leaves never get tainted or touched by even a single drop of water though being in a muddy pool, illustrating how to live detached in this world of multiple distractions that inhibit the process of self-realisation.
  • The swan that separates the water from the milk, illustrating the necessity to discriminate between knowledge and ignorance/nescience/illusion to attain a higher purpose.
  • The tortoise that hides and withdraws into its shell immediately and completely under threatening situations and waits for a favourable situation, illustrating the aspect of proactiveness, control of senses, when to act/when not to act, when to react/when not to react and how to apply the knowledge to make any situation favourable.
  • The deer that gets lured to the sweet sounds of the hunter and gets caught in the net / a frog that croaks only to be easily detected by the snake to become its prey, illustrating how the sense of sound (hear/produce) can lead to one’s own downfall if one does not have the knowledge to discriminate between its good and bad effects.
  • The python that waits for its prey for days without any movement and gets satisfied with whatever that comes its way, illustrating full faith in nature/God for satisfying our basic needs and as human beings use the provided intelligence to work towards a higher purpose.
  • The snake that gets into the residence of others residences like caves and ant hills without the necessity to construct one for its own, illustrating the aspect of living in a simple uncomplicated residence and lead a simple life to utilise time and energy for other productive purposes.
  • The Koel bird that lays its eggs on the crow’s nest, illustrating the full faith in nature/God that even to protect its own progeny we need not actually endure that much undue pain because we are helpless in the laws of nature/God for its unpredictable nature and that the nature itself protects its helpless children.
  • The chameleon that changes its colour to adapt to the surroundings, illustrating the importance of adapting to any adverse situation using one’s own intelligence and foresight.
  • The male elephant that gets lured to the sight of the she-elephant to get into a trap set by the hunter, illustrating how getting attracted too much to the sense of sight and how too much attraction towards the opposite sex can lead to one’s own devastation.
  • The camel that relishes the taste of its own blood when eating its food in the midst of thorns, illustrating our very self that undergoes unsurmountable pain, just for a little sense pleasures “gained” by being acted upon and getting associated with the three modes of material nature – goodness, passion and ignorance.
  • The jack-ass that struggles through the day carrying huge burden for its master only to get beaten all the time, all for a small bunch of grass, that it could very well get on his own, grazing the pasturing grounds, illustrating the lack of inclination towards spiritual knowledge which is real knowledge and acting in utter foolishness similar to the ones who gets lured by the imperfect material knowledge that only causes to get entangled into material existence because this knowledge is meant only for gratifying the senses and not for any other higher purpose!
  • The jack-ass gets repeatedly kicked by a she-ass when it requests for courtship, illustrating the tendency for males to get excessively attracted to females and getting dominated by them, just for getting little sensual pleasures, enduring ridicule, chastisement and being hen-pecked and finally getting gratified after being mortified (the puranjana saga in Srimad Bhagavatham is a great example of this). The concept of being hen-pecked and its impact on the process of self-realisation will be detailed in a later post.
  • The ants and the bees cooperating in their activities with a marked sense of division of labour and self-sufficiency, illustrating living beings with insignificant brain size and insignificant brain mass can explain us a lot as to how to create and live in a organised society of perfect harmony – how the concept of Varnashrama System – the intellectual class, the military class, the mercantile class and the labour class working in unison through division of labour can be self-sufficient to achieve their intended purpose through Karma Yoga or acting selflessly without any expectation of reward to achieve a higher purpose.

The examples are just numerous to be mentioned and a lot of lessons could be learnt from them for our betterment by taking them as our preceptors or spiritual masters.

Our standard of living would not have been this pathetic now had we taken a leaf out of their book just by taking even one or two examples and apply it in our lives!

Still the attempts needs to be carried out for those 1% aspirers and by those 1% aspirers, it’s just because of them the world still exists despite its huge discrepancies and deficiencies.

It is a strong belief in our scriptures that even a single person has the potential to transform the future of this entire world for good.

In scriptures, the incarnations of Lord Maha Vishnu/Lord Shri Krishna are mentioned as Tri-Yuga.

In other words, the Lord incarnates as His personal form only in the first three yugas viz., Satya, Treta and Dwapara.

In Kali Yuga, He does not appear in His personal form because of its contaminated nature and appears only as a covered incarnation in the form of a devotee like Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu etc. and the propagation of devotional service through Sankirtana yoga or chanting of the holy name of the Lord because modes to realise the absolute truth suitable in other Yugas are just not suitable for the age of Kali because of its inherent nature.

Thus, sincere devotional service, applied with the knowledge of transcendental scriptures to teach the love of God is the only means to awaken the people in slumber in material existence in this age of darkness.

Thank you very much and best wishes for reading this entire post to the full…

Special acknowledgments with gratitude and references to the beautiful description of The Puranjana Saga by Hints to the Ancient Wisdom:

  1. Myth or a Symbol? – Story of Puranjana – Part 1
  2. Myth or a Symbol? – Story of Puranjana – Part 2

The one percent majority!

The one percent majority…

You defy authority!

You are not in the herd mentality,

You are of the lion category!

You are enigmatic,

But also, pragmatic.

You are a person of one thousand words,

But you never speak one unnecessary word.

You don’t strike anybody with vengeance,

You believe this is a world of transience.

You don’t belong to the category of mundane,

You don’t succumb to the follies of mundaners.

You respect every living being,

Even including the antagonist and mischief mongrel living dead beings.

You believe this world gives equal opportunities to everyone,

Even though those “everyone” only satisfies “everyone” in the category of “everyone”!

You live for everyone’s well-being,

Even though those “everyone” lives for their own well-being.

You want to remain in a life of the one percent category,

Though everyone around you cannot go beyond the ninety nine percent category.

Ninety nine percent do not want to know the reason for their existence,

One percent can’t make them understand the reason no matter what!

Ninety nine percent spend time their life for naught,

One percent knows what is to be sought.

Ninety nine percent are indulgent,

One percent are diligent, vigilant and valiant!

Ninety nine percent are slave of the senses,

One percent are master of the senses.

Ninety nine percent are any way my way and only my way mentality,

One percent are my way different way and for everyone’s way mentality.

Ninety nine percent seeks excuses in every situation,

One percent sees opportunity even in an adversity.

Ninety nine percent does one hundred things but only one thing may be sensible,

One percent does only one thing but that is one hundred times beneficial to everyone.

Ninety nine percent are self-centred and selfish,

One percent are self-conscious and believe in the self.

Ninety nine percent are in the herd mentality,

One percent are in the lone warrior mentality.

Ninety nine percent do not go beyond the status quo,

One percent changes the status quo.

Ninety nine percent acts grossly,

One percent acts subtly.

Ninety nine percent cannot understand the one percent at all,

One percent understand everything about the mentality of ninety nine percent!

Ninety nine percent are pretenders,

One percent are masters!

Ninety nine percent are grossly materialistic,

One percent are very realistic!

Ninety nine percent live for the momentary satisfaction that results in only material advancement and sense satisfaction,

One percent utilises every moment as a means of progress towards spiritual advancement and self-realisation.

One percent sustains the ninety nine percent,

Ninety nine percent try to consume the one percent!

…so ninety nine percent is the actual minority,

One percent is the real majority!

Corollaries of:

  1. The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” – Bhagavad Gita – 15.7
  2. The endeavouring transcendentalist, who is situated in self-realization, can see all this clearly. But those who are not situated in self-realization cannot see what is taking place, though they may try to.” – Bhagavad Gita – 15.11
  3. Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.” – Bhagavad Gita 7.15
  4. An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.” – Bhagavad Gita 5.22
  5. Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, have many subject matters for hearing in human society, O Emperor. The lifetime of such an envious householder is passed at night either in sleeping or in sex indulgence, and in the daytime either in making money or maintaining family members” – Srimad Bhagavatham 2.1.23.
  6. Lazy human beings with paltry intelligence and a short duration of life pass the night sleeping and the day performing activities that are for naught” – Srimad Bhagavatham – 1.16.9.

Mental Maturity

On this day of Guru Poornima let’s attempt to develop those exemplary qualities that the Gurus in the days of yore taught and lived that way and also wanted us to earnestly develop those qualities’:

  1. Instead of fault-finding with others and trying to rectify them, identifying our own faults and finding remedy to that.
  2. Accepting everyone (and everything) as they are (even if we find faults by our own bench-marking).
  3. Understanding other’s opinion and thoughts by thinking in their angle by stepping into their shoes and not coming to hasty conclusions based on our own thought processes and experiences.
  4. Learning to discard whatever that needs to be discarded.
  5. Learning not to expect anything from others.
  6. Accomplish whatever tasks we do with a peace of mind with no expectation of reward.
  7. Leaving the habit of not proving our intelligence to others.
  8. Leaving the habit of expecting others to accept whatever we do and to accept whatever be our opinions during talks, discussions, debates etc.
  9. Leaving the habit of comparing ourselves with others.
  10. Trying and learning to keep the mind calm under all circumstances.
  11. Trying to understand the difference between our basic needs/wants to what we need to actually accomplish in our life (Simple living, High thinking).
  12. Coming to an understanding that being in real happiness doesn’t have to be related to our materialistic accomplishments and materialistic position in life.

Since we are human beings (by classification of species in animal kingdom 😊) and in the mode of passion, it’s quite unreasonable to be expected to be adhere to all the above 12 guidelines.

The demigods, qualified by the superexcellent quality of the mode of goodness, are situated in the heavenly planets, whereas the human beings, because of their nature in the mode of passion, live on the earth in company with their subordinates.” – Srimad Bhagavatham 3.6.28.

All ordinary transactions and dealings became polluted with cheating, even between friends. And in familial affairs, there was always misunderstanding between fathers, mothers and sons, between well-wishers, and between brothers. Even between husband and wife there was always strain and quarrel. A conditioned living being is endowed with four principles of malpractice, namely errors, insanity, inability and cheating. These are signs of imperfection, and out of the four the propensity to cheat others is most prominent. And this cheating practice is there in the conditioned souls because the conditioned souls are primarily in the material world imbued with an unnatural desire to lord it over the material world. ” – Srimad Bhagavatham 1.14.4 + Purport.

If we sincerely attempt to choose 7 or 8 favourites from the above guidelines and try to imbibe it, our life will become simple, peaceful and we will be in a state of mental equilibrium under all circumstances.

Mundane!

Inspired by the grand old lady of Tamil poetry Avvaiyaar (Tamil: ஔவையார்; literally means ‘Respectable Woman’) and her classic   treatise Moodhurai (மூதுரை) , where the opposite characteristics are beautifully poetically expressed in two consecutive stanzas, I am writing this post on similar lines to my earlier post titled Unknown and this post is titled Mundane!

The intention to depict opposites is because everything is relative and hence opposites are inevitable in this world and may be taken relative to one’s position based on the observer and the observed, perceiver and the perceived.

For example, a person fallen on the ground will not have to fall down further because he is already fallen! but a person standing on the ground or a person sitting at an elevated position can experience a fall 😊.

The purpose of this post is to depict the dual states of being in knowledge and being in ignorance.

Ignorance is not bliss in all circumstances!

Fire causes a burn to a little child irrespective of whether the child knows the characteristics of the fire or not.

Water drowns a person irrespective of whether the person is aware of this fact or not because that has got to do with the chemical composition and physical properties of the person and the water and it will act according to it.

Poison acts on the person irrespective of whether the person knows its side effects or not and whether he has consumed it voluntarily or not.

Medicine acts on the person irrespective of whether the person has the knowledge of its potency or not and whether it is has the propensity or cure or whether it causes adverse side effects.

It is the nature of substances to act according to its composition and properties.

Humans are no exception in this regard, having constituted of five gross material elements in various proportions, each having its own properties and the three subtle elements mind, intelligence and false ego governed by the combination of three modes of material nature – goodness, passion and ignorance.

Thus we (mind) are helplessly acting because of the functions of these gross and subtle elements in material creation.

It is to understand this fact that we mundane, needs to transcend beyond the modes of material nature. We are not mundane in the real sense because we have a mind and an intelligence that can discriminate but since everything is governed by the modes of material nature in this material universe and we are also part and parcel of it, we are in the cycle.

Akrura during his mission to Hastinapura emphasises this fact to King Dhritharashtra through this beautiful advice:

In this world no one has any permanent relationship with anyone else, O King. We cannot stay forever even with our own body, what to speak of our wife, children and the rest. Every creature is born alone and dies alone, and alone one experiences the just rewards of his good and evil deeds.” – Srimad Bhagavatham – 10.49.2021.

The accumulation of our good and evil deeds since time immemorial and also the deeds in our present life determines the ever-transforming combination of the three mode of material nature that is responsible for the unique mental composition of each one of us and that drives our way of life in the present and the next destination after death! It’s only by the endeavour to being in the mode of goodness and by finally transcending even this material mode of goodness to a transcendental mode of goodness or Suddha-Sattva, there is an escape from this material existence.

Before going to the aspects of mundane, first, due respects to the grand old lady of Tamil poetry Avvaiyaar as to how she brings in the pair of opposite nature of people in this world:

 “நல்லாரைக் காண்பதுவும் நன்றே; நலம் மிக்க

நல்லார் சொல் கேட்பதுவும் நன்றே – நல்லார்

குணங்கள் உரைப்பதுவும் நன்றே

அவரோடு இணங்கி இருப்பதுவும் நன்று– Stanza 8 – Moodhurai

This translates to:

“It is beneficial to see people of good character,

It is beneficial to listen to their words,

It is beneficial to talk about their lives and

It is beneficial to have them as friends.”

The opposite has been written with such a minimalistic effort and choice of words and can be noticed just by visually observing the arrangements of alphabets between the two stanzas, even without knowing the language! This is reflected even in the translation!

தீயாரைக் காண்பதுவும் தீதே; திரு அற்ற

தீயார் சொல் கேட்பதுவும் தீதே – தீயார்

குணங்கள் உரைப்பதுவும் தீதே;

அவரோடு இணங்கி இருப்பதுவும் தீது.”Stanza 9

This translates to:

“It is harmful to see the wicked,

It is harmful to listen to their words,

It is harmful to talk about their character and

It is harmful to have them as friends.”

https://wiki2.org/en/Moothurai

Coming to the mundane:

Mundane are the ways of the mundane

Mundane is being in bondage

Mundane is the incomplete

Mundane is the one that is easily known

Mundane is the Jivatma (due to its externally looking nature and perceiving through imperfect senses)

Mundane is the activated (by the Paramaathma, Antaryaama, Indwelling or Supersoul)

Mundane is the eternal servant (either to senses (during material existence) or to the supreme lord (after liberation))

Mundane cannot realise that unknown

Mundane speculates using the imperfect knowledge of material sciences

Mundane cannot attain the unknown

Mundane drives itself using the material senses

Mundane identifies with the body

Mundane identifies with the senses

Mundane identifies with the mind

Mundane identifies with the intellect

Mundane identifies with the intelligence

Mundane identifies with the ego

Mundane is being in a state of forgetting the original identity

Mundane is being bound by feelings and actions

Mundane is being materialistic

Mundane is being in a tendency to dominate material nature

Mundane is being in a state of inequilibrium

Mundane is being bound by the modes of material nature

Mundane is being superficial

Mundane is being predictable to circumstances and situations

Mundane is being known

Mundane is being slave of the senses

Mundane is being in the concept of “I” and “Mine”

Mundane is being conditioned

Mundane is being in a bodily state of existence

Mundane is being in a state of lamentation due to failed desires

Mundane is being afraid of death

Mundane is being considering oneself as a “doer”

Mundane is being in a sense of proprietorship

Mundane is being in a state of sense gratification

Mundane is being in a state of forgetfulness

Mundane is being in illusion

But…

Mundane is to be overcome

Mundane is to become self-realized

Mundane is to realise the pangs of four-fold misery – birth, death, old age and disease

Mundane is to attain the Unknown

Mundane is to realise it is only spiritual knowledge that is factual and eternal, all else is temporary and nescience

Mundane is to realise the tricks of speculators, jugglers and pseudo-mystics and not to fall into their trap

Mundane is to listen to the inner voice by shutting out the external noises

Mundane is to engage in solitary pursuits to purify body mind and intellect

Mundane is to thoroughly understand the transient nature of material existence

Mundane is to slowly get detested detached from this transient world through knowledge of revealed spiritual literatures from a spiritual master (alive or not alive taking the master by heart)

Mundane is to learn to tolerate bodily and mental pain inflicted through the three sources 1. Adhyatmik 2. Adhibhautik 3. Adhidaivik. (miseries inflicted by the body and mind itself, those inflicted by other living entities, and natural disturbances)

Mundane is to realise the futility of senseless exploitation of mother nature and learn to live in harmony with all the living entities

Mundane is to reject man-Gods or man-made Gods and understand that there is a supreme controller who is the source of everything

Mundane is to learn to surrender to that supreme

Mundane is to totally understand the helplessness in the hands of material nature and the illusory energy of the Lord

Mundane is to learn to activate the intellect to our pursuits towards the absolute truth through devotional service

Mundane is to acknowledge the indwelling that is doing its designated duty and functions in a subtle manner

Mundane is to acknowledge that it is the indwelling that activates the consciousness to awaken ourselves from sleep

Mundane is to acknowledge that it is the indwelling that activates our vital organs to perform its functions

Mundane is to acknowledge that it is the indwelling that controls the fire of digestion that digests four types of food stuff – Bhagavad Gita 15.14

Mundane is to acknowledge that it is the indwelling that activates the five prana

Mundane is to acknowledge the indwelling is unknown…no one knows how it does these activities for our survival in the material world

Mundane needs to understand that the process of self-realization can only start from inward to outward.

Mundane needs to understand the futility of material existence and want to give it up.

Mundane needs to understand whether to transcend from this mundane existence to a transcendental state is self-discretion…

To summarise, a mundane should realise that human life is a misery at every step, confronted with dangers due to the propensity of the soul to lord it over material nature through the deluding power of false ego, injecting the concepts of I and mine, having lured by the unsurmountable illusory potential of Maya (at least in theory) to get entangled perpetually through the attractions of opposite sex, progeny and wealth remaining in the trap of material existence, the way out of this trap is self-realization through knowledge and surrender through devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

Related Post:

  1. Unknown