• http://www.amazon.com/The-Thomases-Road-Realization-ebook/dp/B009BATQUA/

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Light Within

I heard a story in church a few months ago that answered some very crucial questions I had been having.  Today I am in the frame of mind to share them.

Can we be available to everybody? Is being available and ready to help someone be a wrong decision in the larger scheme of things? Sometimes do we have to refuse and become bad to be in fact right in a larger scheme?

Here's the story that will help us compare our situation and take a stance.

Many years ago in a little village on a rocky seacoast, there was a lighthouse. A new lighthouse keeper was once appointed from that village. He was a good man whom all the villagers loved and often sought help from as he never said 'No" to any request. He was given a limited amount of oil every month, enough to light the lamp to full flame for a month.

It so happened one month that a relative who lived nearby dropped in one night and said his son had an exam and the lights were out..could he spare him some oil
The man wanted to help his relative and gave him some oil
Soon one after another followed with one genuine need or other and the kind keeper didnt feel it right to deny them help..

But by the month end there was little oil to run the light to full flame. The light was dim.
One fateful night three ships crashed on that rocky beach and thousands of lives were lost.

Such an event had never happened since the lighthouse had been constructed.
When the keeper was questioned by the authorities he admitted that the flame was low as he had given some oil to needy neighbours
"You were given just one Job, to keep the light burning of your lighthouse, you can never compromise your job to light a few people's lamps.
In keeping a few lamps aflame for few hours you compromised the lives of thousands of people"

The lightkeeper realised his great folly but too late

The moral of the story is that we have to know what our job really is. Some decisions call us to deny our help and availability to a few but it might in fact be for a relatively better and more enduring good, that which is our real calling. Our first and foremost responsibility is to the light within us. If any circumstance makes our flame, our good light any lesser, we make life hell for those dependent on our light. 

Somehow this story helped me become sure of some decisions of my life and I hope it would help others too.
Keep your lights burning

Thursday, February 21, 2013

CAREFUL!!...about that 'weak spot'

I recently cut my finger very badly on a glass.... following which I would hit my finger again and again at the same spot. I am sure u have noticed this in your life too….The weak spot is under attack. I became very alert. Initially, I thought I was just getting more aware when I might be hitting that spot in my finger often otherwise as well. But I noticed it would get hit in very unpredictable and out of the ordinary ways
Why does that happen? The weak spot has to be protected with extra care, as there do seem to be some powers that seek for it.

'Elimination  of the weak or the unfit' theory?  There does seem to be some energies that work on eliminating the unfit.  The weak deer of the pack is left behind and is caught. The shark is said to be able to smell even a drop of blood in the ocean and come for it. Some how the weak spot does seem to have a vibe that brings to it the powers that attack on it and eliminate it. It is a blind power. But it can be surmounted. When the inner strength rises to the challenge, it can indeed subdue these forces.

Nobody can ride your back unless it is bent. You might say you weren’t weak and yet you were dominated upon. Think carefully, you might not have noticed that weakness. Sometimes one's goodness can become a weakness…rather one's  naiveness.  Have u noticed how the manipulative  people don’t even trust the cleanest of person and how the good man trusts even the wilest one? It is trust that can be cheated not the mistrust.  This can be said of an individual, it can be said about a nation.  India as a country is weak because of its tolerance and easy going attitude towards many things and it gets hit again and again by terror forces.

One has to learn to see objectively and not see others as we see ourselves.  Innocence and naiveness is not always a virtue, one has to learn to be wise as a serpent even when innocent as a dove. One needs to learn toughness, hardness and decisiveness. When the eliminating energies begin to revolve around you, use it to bring out the insurmountable power within you that is above all powers. Become more, and rise above your weakness. Then you would be fit enough to survive.

It is said that one's past life sins are responsible for the tragedies of the current life. I don’t believe that because Abel was the son of the first man Adam and he was murdered by his brother Cain out of jealousy. His was obviously a first birth and his past life sins can definitely not be responsible! I had been looking up the regression session readings of some people. A farmer’s earlier birth had been of a chemistry professor. A poor girl's earlier birth had been of a preacher in church…It is not always a progression to a better birth!!?? A sage in one mythological story was born in the next birth as a deer because he had got attached to a deer during his final years in the forest!!

It may not be just about desire and attachment though. Maybe the life of a chemistry teacher failed to teach somethings that the life of a farmer could? To get a clear idea of anything we need to see life from different perspectives, we need to see life through different kinds of eyes. Death can only kill the body . Just as in a play, there is no real loss but lessons gained are there, buried in the spirit that needs to be tapped into and opened to reach our own fullness gained from a complete view. Each life may show us a different aspect of a bigger truth; such as 'a different part of the elephant' but if we stay blind we will not see the tail to be a part of something bigger.

With each episode in life, we are meant to open our eyes..wider.... and connect the links to get the whole picture. With each attack on us, we are meant to recognise our weak spots and are supposed to eliminate it one by one till we are unconquerable.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

'Saying- A place to say it...

Are these mountains or mole hills?
"Each man is cause for his own misery" is what Vipassana teaches. WAIT A MINUTE before interpreting this statement! It  is explained further with example as follows- A person speaks harshly to you. His anger was a projection of his own suffering. You feel hurt by it. Your hurt feelings are your own reaction and so each person is creating, generating his own unique brand of suffering. Indeed a person's feelings of hate, anger, hurt are all generated by his own body. He can control it and give himself a different reaction, by understanding, by confidence, by clarity and if an action is required take action- a pro-action not a reaction.

So in that context“One cant clap with one hand” is definitely a statement guilty of being used in wrong places. The saying has a context and cannot be used everywhere. Where as per what vipassana teaches, we are all guilty of clapping with one hand, or in other words we are always slapping ourselves!

Taali ek haat se nahi bajti (One cant clap with one hand) is a saying we hear often. It is one saying which has often irritated me by its thoughtless usage. I am irritable, I get irritated with stupidity. If I am angered by a person using this saying and I slap him; would he say he was as much responsible for my having slapped him? After all no issue arises from one party? But really wasn't my anger my own problem. He was just using a saying what he felt was right, which I felt was out of context! I have a right to my feelings, my irritation, my anger, but in my anger I am not allowed to sin. 

Recently the above saying was used by a spiritual guru for a horrifying abuse case. In one's own lust aroused with or without provocation, one is not allowed to hurt or kill another. Lust is an individual's own problem, just as anger, as greed- the three gates to hell.  

A same girl walking the street may be ignored by one guy, admired by another and assaulted by a third. The girl completely dressed or semi naked does not make the difference. What makes the difference is how cultured the guy is. In fact it has been observed by women, that completely clad girls are evaluated by many guys as being “not confident” and weak and may be more prone to be 'taken for a ride' rather than their ‘confident’ boldly dressed sisters. Also it is a fact that many guys are more attracted to or aroused by completely clad women (in fact like those in burqa) because of the ‘mystery’ factor. Each man is provoked by different things and each man reacts to provocation in different ways. Even to the same 'provocation' every man reacts in different ways, (or may not find it to be provocation at all!). All issues arise in our selves. As Buddha implied-Someone may be trying to give you something BUT it is up to you to take it or not.

We find ways of coping with our issues or our faults. Self reflecting people analyse themselves, realize their faults and change for the better. People with evasive attitudes and pride find someone to blame and think that removing or harassing them will heal their own pain or issue. Hitler coped with his issues of inferiority, rejection, failure etc by blaming. His attitude was his fault. Punishing the Jews for what arises in him was his weakness. Rather than dealing with his inferiority etc in a mature way by self analysis he targeted his hate and issues onto a group of people. Would punishing and eliminating the Jews remove the miseries his own body, his mind was generating? Nothing can be blamed on provocation. Our action reaction or pro-action may have causes but nothing can justify an ill deed done on another; at best we can express our view or advice.

The truth is I LOVE sayings, quotes, some are my very favourite and I use then often but I understand that to each saying there is not just a place, a context…but also maturity.  But yes I err sometimes too. I tell my eight year old daughter  'Baal ki khaal mat nikalo' (Don’t try to skin a hair). She asks me what it means and I tell her that it means 'don’t try to find issues where there are none.' Once as I was making ‘paranthas’ (cooked dough) in the kitchen I told my five year old son (related to some issue at the moment)- ‘Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill’ He is too young to understand as much English and he thought it was some abuse so he reflexively abused me back saying 'muli ka paratha YOU'.(Which means -'It's not me, rather you are a radish parantha') Mountain, molehill, muli…indeed they sound similar! 

Sayings are good and useful to explain something briefly and are like unforgettable tablets that can be preserved by the hearer; but they have to be used at a right place, context, and maturity or it would be more harmful than any good. 

By the by I am sure you agree that I was advising my kids as every mother should?  Neither of them understood it at first, but one tried to find out what I meant and another, the 'younger' one got agitated and reacted to assumptions. 

And another thing before I wind up; please try to recognize the baffaloes and bulls before you advice, as it might not only be futile but also could be dangerous for you. I am not trying to discourage or scare you, but you know..there are these SAYINGS...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Promise Has Two Ends

I was reading someone's post today, expressing gratitude to her husband for being beside her not just in her best but at her worst too,and being with her all through...

Considering what we usually read in the papers about marriages, this was a refreshing read; but again not all couples are happy and may end up getting separated. Are they wrong in the eyes of God? I have held different opinions over time on this topic and currently it so happened that in our daily family prayer time we have been reading the old testament and it is revealing to me new and surprising lessons every day. One particular lesson I have shared in an earlier post (titled- In Love and in War) and now I intend to share another lesson I learnt. 

The lesson is- A Promise has Two Ends. If one end of the promise is not kept, by rights the other end of the promise is made null. It can be withdrawn! This is what I gathered from the story of Solomon. God promised David,  Solomon's father that if he and his descendants obeyed God then the family line would rule for ever. Solomon showed a promising spark when he prayed to God for wisdom, and so God blessed him not only with wisdom but also wealth.  But with time he turned  disobedient. He began to get obsessed with gaining more and more riches at the expense of his subjects. He made the subjects unhappy in his rule by making them work for him without pay and charging excessive tax. Solomon didn't keep the promise to obey God.  By rights the whole kingdom could have been taken away but  still God’s love being greater, his promise to David was held good but only in name. Ten of the twelve tribes of the kingdom were taken away from under the rule of Solomon's descendants! 

There are two ends to every relation. A plant wilts without water; animals move in search of food. No living thing stays in a place which provides nothing for its survival, health and happiness.

Trees that don’t bear fruit are cut by the farmer however many years he might have tended it. A bird abandons the nest on a branch if the branch is shaken incessantly. That is a rule of nature; it is not promises, it is usefulness and responsiveness that survives. Even God can't help those who wont help themselves then how can a mere mortal stick to non responsive relationships? 

Gods mercies and grace falls on the person who shows promise, a spark; but stays on the one who obeys him. The blessings stay on the one who uses those blessings to convert the spark in him/her to a fire in the service of God. There is the story where the servant who invests all the talents given by the Master doubles it , and receives as reward from the Master 'all of the talents from the servant who did nothing with his share'. A grateful heart is essential to recognize all the blessings in one's life in the form of family, friends, health or wealth and not wait for their loss to recognize it. By not being grateful and aware towards God's blessings a person unwittingly pushes those blessings away. 

There is something I have always believed in -"A man is as good as his word, his promise" but I also believe today -"A promise does not a stand without the other end held good"

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