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!

Birthday???

A note to myself on this day:

A birthday wish/greetings???

Another one to remind me that somehow I got born and borne into this world again hopefully not to be a burden to it and not to be born again 🙂

Listening to this song Bohemian Rhapsody by the Queen as i write this… and the lines…”sometimes I wish I have never been born at all…carry on….carry on… doesn’t really matter… doesn’t really matter…”

And the lines…”you’ve caught me in a coma
And I don’t think I wanna
Ever come back to this
World again
Kinda like it in a coma
‘Cause no one’s ever gonna
Oh make me come back to this
World again” from the song Coma by my very own Gods of music…Gun’s N Roses (Pink Floyd comes only second to me compared to these guys in terms of mental/emotional impact as i relate to each of them 🙂 ).

..I mean we are forced to come into this world again and again for some reason… sounds a bit too philosophical right and even bit of crazy? But that’s the fact and that’s the way I am 🙂

And the statement from our very own master Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam who is the force of our reckonings – – “Birthday” the only day in your life…
your mother smiles 🙂 when you cried. 😦 make sure when you leave this place you make people around you cry thinking about your accomplishments and you rejoice in that, while you say that final good bye!

I mean…These are the ideals that should make and shape the way we are during the last hour of our lives!

Of course who can forget that ultimate Stanford memorial lecture given by the great Steve Jobs as he was going through the last motions/emotions of his life!

After all these mentioned fun joy happiness health and luck in the form of birthday wishes, how long they are going to carry us and care for us through in our lives?

No one just needs to think about others evaluation about ourselves as to who we are, for only we know really who we are to a certain extent and not anyone else… and that includes me!!!

Reminds of the great poet and great points raised by Kannadasan’s lines in this regard:

“உன்னை அறிந்தால்…நீ உன்னை அறிந்தால்
உலகத்தில் போராடலாம்
உயர்ந்தாலும் தாழ்ந்தாலும்
தலை வணங்காமல் நீ வாழலாம்

(உன்னை)
மானம் பெரியது என்று வாழும் மனிதர்களை
மான் என்று சொல்வதில்லையா
தன்னை தானும் அறிந்து கொன்டு ஊருக்கும் சொல்பவர்கள்
தலைவர்கள் ஆவதில்லையா

(உன்னை)
பூமியில் நேராக வாழ்பவர் எல்லோரும்
சாமிக்கு நிகர் இல்லையா
பிறர் தேவை அறிந்து கொண்டு
வாரிக்கொடுப்பவர்கள் தெய்வத்தின் பிள்ளை இல்லையா

(உன்னை)
மாபெரும் சபையினில் நீ நடந்தால் – உனக்கு
மாலைகள் விழவேண்டும் – ஒரு
மாசு குறையாத மன்னவன் இவனென்று
போற்றிப் புகழ வேண்டும்

உன்னை அறிந்தால்…நீ உன்னை அறிந்தால்
உலகத்தில் போராடலாம்
உயர்ந்தாலும் தாழ்ந்தாலும்
தலை வணங்காமல் நீ வாழலாம் “

if you know yourself…if your know yourself…
you can fight in this world…
whether you rise up…or whether you fall down…
you can still live with your head held high! …1

Do we call those who live their life with with honour, prestige and dignity as a deer?

(There is a class of deer that will lose its life because of loss of a single hair.)

மயிர்நீப்பின் வாழாக் கவரிமான் அன்னார்
உயிர்நீப்பர் மானம் வரின். (குறள் – 969). –

Those who give up (their) life when (their) honor is at stake are like the spotted deer(kavari maan) which kills itself at the loss of (even one of) its hairs. (Thirukkural – 969).

Those who know themselves and also make other know themselves, do they not become great leaders? …2

Those who live a life of straightforwardness, aren’t they equivalent to God?
Those who give everything they possess, having known the need of others, aren’t they children of God? …3

If you walk in a big assembly, garlands should automatically fall on you!
Everyone should praise you as an “emperor” without faults! …4

if you know yourself…if your know yourself…
you can fight in this world…
whether you rise up…or whether you fall down…
you can still live with your head held high! …5

this post is dedicated to all those who have their birthdays on this day (a fellow blogger, Saania2806 in particular…)

Gratitude

Gratitude is one of the most important virtues to possess among several other good qualities. There are so many subtle things that we often take for granted and forget to acknowledge. We often think we are self-reliant, self-sustained and feel self-confident when everything seems to go good in our life. We tend to ignore so many things, so many people who have worked behind the scenes for us to make things happen in our lives. From our parents, siblings, neighbours, teachers/mentors, well-wishers whom we are in constant touch to the farmers who work in the fields, the weavers who weave clothes, the labourers who builds the house, the maid who cleans the house, the workers who work in the factories to produce goods that make our lives easier, the list is endless. We may pay the price to “procure” their services but it is very insignificant when compared to the labour of love and interest they show in producing these “goods” for us.

That’s why the importance of gratitude has been stressed since time immemorial.

Today I am going to present a couple of stanzas to stress this fact from  Moodhurai (மூதுரை)  penned by the grand old poetess Avvaiyaar (Tamil: ஔவையார்; literally means ‘Respectable Woman’)

and

a couple of couplets from saint poet Thiruvalluvar from his classic Thirukural (திருக்குறள்): which is considered as “உலக பொது மறை” or “The universal scripture” since it covers all the essential aspects of “அறம் பொருள் இன்பம்” or “Virtue, Wealth and Love” necessary to lead a complete life.

Thirukural has been translated into as many as 40 languages by 2014 and is a prime candidate to be nominated as the national book of India, for which a declaration was passed at the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2006 along with Bhagavad Gita.

First let’s consider two stanzas from Moodhurai. These are the first two stanzas from the poem:

நன்றி ஒருவர்க்குச் செய்தக்கால் அந்நன்றி

என்று தருங்கொல்?’ எனவேண்டாம்நின்று

தளரா வளர்தெங்கு தாளுண்ட நீரைத்

தலையாலே தான்தருத லால்.

Which translates to:

“It is really not necessary to expect gratitude for the help rendered to the needy, since it will be automatically expressed in a future period by them when we least expect it, just like a coconut palm that draws water into its roots during its period of growth and automatically delivers it in the form of sweet nourishing coconut water above its trunk in future.”

The second stanza stresses the effects of help rendered to opposite categories of people, good and bad.

நல்லார் ஒருவர்க்குச் செய்த உபகாரம்

கல்மேல் எழுத்துப்போல் காணுமேஅல்லாத

ஈரமிலா நெஞ்சத்தார்க் கீந்த உபகாரம்

நீர் மேல் எழுத்துக்கு நேர்

Which translates to:

“Help rendered to virtuous people in times of need will be remembered by them forever, just like words etched into a stone or a sculpture that is embossed on a stone, that does not fade away in time, but help done to unethical/dishonest people is just like writing something on the surface of the water, it just vanishes as soon as it is written.”

Now, let’s consider a couple of couplets or Kurals from the classic:  Thirukural:

Chapter 11/133: Gratitude – Kural  /Verse: 108/1330

நன்றி மறப்பது நன்றன்று நன்றல்லது

அன்றே மறப்பது நன்று.

Which translates to:

“Help rendered should not be forgotten at any cost, but harm done should be forgiven and forgotten at the very moment.”

Chapter 11/133: Gratitude – Kural /Verse: 110/1330

எந்நன்றி கொன்றார்க்கும் உய்வுண்டாம் உய்வில்லை

செய்ந்நன்றி கொன்ற மகற்கு

Which translates to:

“There is atonement for every vice/sin, but there is no atonement for ingratitude.”

The above statement just nails the concept of gratitude into our head and heart!

I find it also quite important to mention the concept of gratitude ingrained to us by great writers/poets of modern times.

A typical example, i can quote is from a classic Tamil movie, “படிக்காத மேதை” (“Padikkadha medhai” – 1960) which translates to “unlearned intellectual*, , enacted  by another legendary actor of yore, Doctor “Chevalier” Sivaji Ganesan in a song, penned by Kaviyarasu (King of Poets) Kannadasan ( Servient to Lord Shri Krishna) , mentioned by me in one of my earlier posts.

The song goes like this:
ஒரே ஒரு ஊரிலே ஒரே ஒரு ராஜா

ஒரே ஒரு ராஜாவுக்கு ஒரே ஒரு ராணி

ஒரே ஒரு ராணி பெற்றாள் ஒன்பது பிள்ளை

அந்த ஒன்பதிலே ஒன்று கூட உருபடியில்லை

படிச்சிருந்தும் தந்தை தாயை மதிக்க மறந்தான்

ஒருவன் படுக்கையிலே முள்ளைவச்சி பார்த்து மகிழ்ந்தான்

பிடிச்ச முயல் அத்தனைக்கும் மூன்று காலென்றான்

ஒருவன் பெண்டாட்டியின் கால்களுக்கு காவலிருந்தான்…….

பிள்ளை பெற்ற ராஜா ஒரு நாயை வளர்த்தார்

அதை பிள்ளைக்குமேல் கண்களைப்போல் காத்து வளர்த்தார்

உண்மை அன்பு சேவை என்ற மூன்றும் கொடுத்தார்

அதன் உள்ளத்திலே வீடு கட்டி தானும் இருந்தார்

சொந்தம் என்று வந்ததெல்லாம் சொந்தமும் இல்லை

ஒரு துணையில்லாமல் வந்ததெல்லாம் பாரமும் இல்லை

நன்றியுள்ள உயிர்கலெல்லாம் பிள்ளைதானடா

தம்பி நன்றிக்கெட்ட மகனை விட நாய்கள் மேலடா!

Which translates to something like this:
“There was a single kingdom and there was a single king…

There was only a single queen to this single king…

That single queen bore nine sons…

But there was not even a single worthy son among the nine sons…

One forgot to respect his parents, even when learned,

Another made them lie in a bed of thorns and rejoiced,

Another caught a rabbit and insisted it has only three legs, and

Another lied under the feet of his wife and lived like her watchdog (disrespecting his own parents)…

After bringing up his nine sons, the king brought up a dog (meaning, a faithful orphan in this context)

He brought him up and protected him like his eyes , and even better than his own nine sons,

Teaching him truthfulness, love and service,

And built a house for him in his heart, and also dwelled in it…
Conclusion:

Whatever that comes as relations/relationships are not actual relationships,

Whatever that comes without hindrances are not actual burden,

All beings that shows gratitude are like our own sons,

Little Brother, remember, grateful dogs are much better than ingratitude sons!!!”

Time consciousness!

Time plays a vital role in our day to day life. For every activity we undertake, we keep track of time. We even look for certain day and time to undertake auspicious activities. But are we actually conscious of time?

We say…Time and tide waits for no one…There is a time for everything…Everything happens according to one’s time…Even an epoch fades away in oblivion at the large extant of time.

We even sing the song “Time” by Pink Floyd whose theme is Time Consciousness.

(Please check the video for some breath-taking visualization)

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.

You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.

No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

We often realise the need and show gratitude for the timely help done by well-wishers in our times of need, as expressed by the saint poet Thiruvalluvar in his Thirukural:

Chapter 11/133: Gratitude – Verse 2, Kural 102/1330

காலத்தி னாற்செய்த நன்றி சிறிதெனினும்

ஞாலத்தின் மாணப் பெரிது.

Which translates to:

A favour conferred in the time of need, though it be small (in itself), is (in value) much larger than the world.

Being time conscious is what drives a successful person. No matter how much material assets one may possess, the people assets one may possess, without time consciousness, (s)he and the group is doomed to failure in this world of deadlines. Clockwise precision is the norm in this world of cut throat competition.

This is beautifully expressed in the song from an old Tamil Movie titled “Nadodi Mannan” (1958) (The Wanderer King), directed and played the lead role (dual role in fact or double action as we call it!), by the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, IndiaDr.M.G.Ramachandran (MGR).

The song is titled “Thoongathey Thambi Thoongathey” (Awaken, little brother, Awaken), penned by Pattukkottai Kalyanasundaram (April 14, 1930 – October 8, 1959!!!). I mention a relevant portion of the song below:

நல்ல பொழுதையெல்லாம் தூங்கிக் கெடுத்தவர்கள்

நாட்டைக் கெடுத்ததுடன் தானுங்கெட்டார்

சிலர் அல்லும் பகலும் தெருக்கல்லாயிருந்துவிட்டு

அதிர்ஷ்டமில்லையென்று அலட்டிக் கொண்டார்

விழித்துக் கொண்டோரெல்லாம் பிழைத்துக்கொண்டார்

உன்போல் குறட்டை விட்டோரெல்லாம் கோட்டைவிட்டார்!

போர்ப் படைதனில் தூங்கியவன் வெற்றியிழந்தான்!

உயர் பள்ளியில் தூங்கியவன் கல்வியழந்தான்!

கடைதனில் தூங்கியவன் முதல் இழந்தான்!

கொண்ட கடமையில் தூங்கியவன் புகழ் இழந்தான்!

இன்னும் பொறுப்புள்ள மனிதரின் தூக்கத்தினால்

பல பொன்னான வேலையெல்லாம் தூங்குதப்பா!”   

Which translates to:

Those who are not time conscious not only destroy the country, but also destroy themselves,

Those who remain like stones in the street all day and night, blame luck for their misfortune,

Those who are time conscious survived and thrived,

But those who are not, missed the fort!

Not being time conscious in war, one loses victory!

Not being time conscious in studies, one loses education!

Not being time conscious in business, one loses investments!

Not being time conscious in duties, one loses fame!

When people in responsible positions are not time conscious, all the important works necessary for development are getting delayed!!!

Finally I will give an example through the game of Chess that irrespective of material assets, position/status in one’s life, one still tends to lose out due to lack of time consciousness. But if one plays (works) even with limited resources and is time conscious, success is certain!

This final position says it all!

  • White has an enormous material advantage. 25-13. In terms of Chess parlance (Queen-9, Rook-5, Bishop-3, Knight-3 and Pawn-1).
  • White has a tremendous position (status) and likely to finish the opponent in a matter of seconds…

…But the end result is very different, unexpected and caught the White by big surprise!

Yes, losing to Black due to time pressure by just 1 second… the least margin possible!!!

Black played within the limitations and finally won the game but it’s of no surprise because it could sense the opponent succumb to time pressure, while being aware of the situation and playing within the time limits.

This is another example of materialistic people never achieving the real purpose of life because of their futile efforts in just gaining immense “material” , power and position throughout their lives while squandering away all the time and energy in it, not allocating sufficient of them in their  pursuits towards the higher purpose of life! i.e. finding/inquiring the reasons as to: why am I born, what is my purpose in life and what is my final destination?

Walk the Talk

Words from people of high integrity who live the way they talk and talk the way they live are of high ingenuity to people around them. In other words, we must “we must walk the talk/talk the walk” so that we do not become an object of ridicule and condemnation. If a person does not “walk the talk”, no matter how wealthy he may become, no matter how high the status he may attain in society or no matter how much respect he may command at the moment, everything will be blown to dust within the fraction of a second by the will of God or his own accumulated bad karma. There are a lot of examples in our practical life, in history, and in our scriptures that prove this point.

The rewards may seem attractive at first when one get into acquaintance with these sort of people, but when time passes and when one become a victim of their “games”, he will realise his own mistakes for falling into the trap. However, he is still not the victim because he will utilize the opportunity to correct himself by learning from mistakes and evolve into a better, a more mature and a thoughtful person.

On the other hand, the downfall is near for those who act with vindication for one’s own self-interests. They don’t realise their mistakes but the laws of nature is never kind to those who violate it. In other words, It’s like the fire that does not show benevolence when a small kid touches it or a cobra that stings when anyone crosses its path.

Again, stressing the importance of good “company” and bad “company” (we all know the word company has multiple meanings, whichever meaning one takes is apt here 🙂 ), I would like to quote two more stanzas from Moodhurai (மூதுரை) that I was mentioning yesterday.

 The stanzas are exact opposites to each other – one says the benefits gained in association with good company and the other says the harm gained in associating with bad company.

Though it is quite uncertain to predict the company one would be associated with during the course of one’s life, it is important that one understand the signs and take remedial actions accordingly to live a life of peace with moral values.

Here it is:

Stanza 8:

நல்லாரைக் காண்பதுவும் நன்றே; நலம் மிக்க

நல்லார் சொல் கேட்பதுவும் நன்றேநல்லார்

குணங்கள் உரைப்பதுவும் நன்றே

அவரோடு இணங்கி இருப்பதுவும் நன்று

Which translated to

It is always good to meet people of integrity,

It is always good to hear the choicest words spoken by people of integrity,

It is always good to talk about the deeds done by people of integrity,

and it is always good to be associated as friends, with people of integrity.

In this same stanza, the word good has been replaced with bad by the poet in the next stanza to bring out the detrimental effects of association with bad company.

Stanza 9:

தீயாரைக் காண்பதுவும் தீதே; திரு அற்ற

தீயார் சொல் கேட்பதுவும் தீதேதீயார்

குணங்கள் உரைப்பதுவும் தீதே;

அவரோடு இணங்கி இருப்பதுவும் தீது

It is always detrimental to meet people of deceit,

It is always detrimental to hear the sarcastic words spoken by people of deceit,

It is always detrimental to talk about the character of deceitful people,

and it is always detrimental to have them as friends, the people of deceit.

The same aspect is mentioned by saint poet Thiruvalluvar in his couplets known as Thirukural in:

Chapter 51/133: Selection and Confidence Verse 4 or Kural 504/1330:

குணம்நாடிக் குற்றமும் நாடி அவற்றுள்

மிகைநாடி மிக்க கொளல்

Which translates to:

We should consider a person’s good qualities as well as the person’s faults and then judge the person’s character based on which one outweighs the other.

Related Post(s):

1.       True Friends Vs Fair Weather Friends

Subjective Vs Objective Evaluation

In this world familiarity breeds contempt. For example, one who lives on the banks of the Ganges might travel to some other body of water to be purified.” – Srimad Bhagavatham – 10.84.31.

இக்கரைக்கு அக்கரை பச்சை” – Tamil Proverb

  • The grass is always green on the other side (of the fence/bank)” – English equivalent.

The theme of the song – “High Hopes” by the psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd:

…The grass was greener

The light was brighter

The taste was sweeter…

Please check the full lyrics at: Pink Floyd – High Hopes.

All these are just perceptions of how we look at things and not the actual reality.

The American sociologist Charles Coolie substantiates this through the social psychological concept of “Looking-Glass self” which clearly states that our perceptions grows out of the interpersonal interactions and observations as to how the persons in the society project themselves.

We tend to take superficial things projected by others as reality.

The apparent contradictions between an individual’s actual state of mind/position often superimposes with the actual situation leading to a scenario where the individual perceives his position/situation inferior!

There are three aspects involved as to how our perceptions/opinions/judgements are formed towards the society or with any particular individual/group that we interact in general.

  1. Imagining as to how we appear to others.
  2. Imagining the judgment of that appearance.
  3. Develop our self (identity) through the judgments of others.

As we can see, we are living in a world of imagination. This is a subjective evaluation and hence subject to bias.

So what is the correct way to look at things?

We have to look at things around us in a non-dual manner, more objective and in a dispassionate way.

How do we go about this?

Again, another Tamil proverb comes to the forte:

கண்ணால் காண்பதும் பொய்; காதால் கேட்பதும் பொய்; தீர விசாரித்து உணர்வதே மெய் !

which translates to:

“Whatever you see is not the truth; Whatever you hear is also not the truth; Whatever comes out of deep investigation is only the truth!”

Saint Poet Thiruvallur also mentions in his treatise Thirukural: Chapter 43: The Possession of Knowledge, Verse 3:

எப்பொருள் யார்யார்வாய்க் கேட்பினும் அப்பொருள்

மெய்ப்பொருள் காண்ப தறிவு.

Which translates to:

“To discern the truth in everything, by whomsoever spoken, is wisdom.”

Conversation 027 – Money, Lifestyle and Ultimate Purpose

Seeker 1: All driven by money in this world. I am quite frustrated!

Seeker 2: Yes, money addiction causes madness. We should be old enough to realize our priorities for sure.

Seeker 1: I know about you! But what we *sow* currently will give knowledge for the future but action has be taken based on that knowledge.

Seeker 2: Yes, we have to live our life based on that knowledge. It’s God’s gift to provide us that right knowledge and the opportunity to study that. It’s not the people’s fault as to why they are like this. But still they have to reap for what they are doing. Not knowing ethics and moral values cannot be the reason for improper actions. People think they are over smart and so they try to exploit the vulnerable. It is Jada Bharath instruction in Srimad Bhagavatham that comes to mind in this aspect.

Seeker 1: What is that instruction from Jada Bharat?

Seeker 2: “Today you are a king and I am your servant, but tomorrow the position may be changed, and you may be my servant and I your master. These are temporary circumstances created by providence.” – Srimad Bhagavatham 5.10.11 (https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/10/11/)

Seeker 1: This world is for business and greedy people only, not letting normal people to live on their own way. I know it is all temporary. But still there is no justice…

Seeker 2: Yes. But now I have got a different perspective of everything. I too was totally fed-up with everything. I really didn’t know the purpose to live. Except for Krishna and Srimad Bhagavatham which is teaching me to just float away till there is life in this body.

Seeker 1: People change a lot.

Seeker 2: Yes, those whom we thought are genuine are not in reality. Just the self-interests prevail!

Seeker 1: Yes it is difficult to understand when and why people change. Sometimes I feel it’s very difficult to change but sometimes people easily change. I’m not getting the connecting dots.

Seeker 2: Money and business is more important than anything for them!

Seeker 1: Money changes ones character than anything else. Nothing else changes people’s character as much as money. Why? Any perfect scientific answer to this?

Seeker 2: Yes. People are obsessed with materialistic comforts and only money can get it according to them.

Seeker 1: Is there any reason for it as mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatham? There is something beyond that I believe apart from money.

Seeker 2: Definitely. Srimad Bhagavatham is full of being away from materialistic obsessions and how to find peace within oneself understanding the science of God.

Seeker 2: Krishna will give what one honestly deserves and He will also give the opportunity to earn it in a dignified way.

Seeker 1: True

Seeker 2: Just that we should not lose our dignity in front of money minded materialistic people.

Seeker 1: Absolutely true… But this again has been planned by Him?

Seeker 2: Learn to live within our limitations. First starting with the eating habits and stop gratifying our tongue. Rest will automatically follow. Our body just needs one meal a day!

Seeker 1: Interesting. What are the best eating habits? What is the best to eat?

Seeker 2: Only lunch is sufficient. Just normal homemade vegetarian food.

Seeker 1: Are you serious?

Seeker 2: Yes. One should try to avoid eating at hotels as much as possible because food is not prepared in our presence and also they are seldom offered to the Gods.

Seeker 1: Can you explain more? What are the noticeable changes one could observe on doing this?

Seeker 2: Actually you don’t need to eat that much food. The body doesn’t need it. It’s all availability and temptation. Only some vairagya (dispassion / renunciation) and clearly analyzing the impact of certain food stuffs on our thought process can bring about a change in us. Fasting twice a month (Ekadashis) subsisting on only limited fruits also helps.

Some people might think that this is crazy and what is the necessity to put the body under this rigour.

Seeker 2: But the benefits are immense. First, it gives the body to tolerate pain and builds resilience.

Seeker 1: Just having lunch alone will not have health issues?

Seeker 2: Not at all. Even when you get fever, stomach pain etc. the body is able to handle the pain and the illness will go by itself after 2 days. No doctor no medicine! The healing power of the body at work, the ability to tolerate pain is what you gain from the power of Srimad Bhagavatham, food habits and fasting. Krishna and Srimad Bhagavatham is the best doctor. Most doctors are all bookish without any spiritual knowledge except a rare few…

Seeker 2: There is nothing that is not there in Srimad Bhagavatham. Srimad Bhagavatham is not just for the dying person. Krishna makes you know more about the purpose of life even when you are living and when you are in deep sorrow He is the best solace.

Footnote (for substantiation) : Eating in moderation has also been emphasized greatly in Bhagavat Gita and Saint Poet Thiruvalluvar’s Thirukural for uplifting one’s spiritual consciousness:

naty-asnatas ‘tu yogo ‘sti
na caikantam anasnatah
na cati-svapna-silasya
jagrato naiva carjuna

There is no possibility of one’s becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much, or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough. – Regulation of diet and sleep is recommended herein for the yogis. Too much eating means eating more than is required to keep the body and soul together.“ – Bhagavad Gita 6.16 (https://asitis.com/6/16.html) (Chapter 6 – Sankhya Yoga)

செவிக்குண வில்லாத போழ்து சிறிது
வயிற்றுக்கும் ஈயப் படும்

Translation
When ’tis no longer time the listening ear to feed 
With trifling dole of food supply the body’s need.

Explanation
When there is no food for the ear, give a little also to the stomach.

Chapter 42 – Listening, Thirukural No. 412. (http://www.thirukkural.com/2009/01/blog-post_9406.html#412 – Beautiful multiple explanations are given here in the Tamil language : For those who are lucky to read Tamil, the beauty can be much more appreciated than the above plain explanations.

And…Finally, here is something from the scientific community on this subject, the common misconceptions explained:


  1. https://www.quora.com/Why-is-it-unhealthy-to-eat-only-one-big-meal-per-day?no_redirect=1

  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413113005032?via%3Dihub . The below conclusion is from this article:
IF – Intermittent Fasting(One meal a day), PF – Periodic Fasting(Once a week etc.)
AD – Alzheimer’s Disease, PD – Parkinson’s Disease