Thursday, March 19, 2015

Feeling Nostalgic

Hi Readers,

Today, I am feeling nostalgic. It happens to all, we miss our childhood days always.

 Last Diwali, got a chance to meet two of my old buddies. I always wanted to meet some more, but in a five days trip, I spend two days on performing puja. All thanks to my friends who managed and dropped in my home. I wish I could get more time. I went to Jajpur again for a special puja, visited Biraja temple, Jama maa sata bhauni temple(also known as sapta matruka temple), Jagannath temple. That day morning, I was literally wishing that Rupa would visit Biraja temple, with her kids, and I get some chance to chit chat. I know I could have called her, informed her or would have requested her to visit temple, but I knew I will be busy and may be I won't get time to talk to her. So, just kept wishing that she comes to temple, and I get to see her coincidentally.

After, the long puja, when we visited Jama maa sata bhauni temple along with Jagannath temple, all my school memories came alive. My school had shifted its base long back, and the old three room building stood abandoned. When I was a child, it appeared quiet big to me, the Jagannath temple looked big enough and the road looked wide. But, now it appears so very tiny to me. I stood their watching me as a small kid playing with friends, running inside temple compound. Memories came alive of all the yoga classes that was held in temple premises. Our sports day on other bank of Baitarani river. Playing, falling doing kattis and mittis with friends. Gone are those very beautiful days of life, where we never worried and just spend our days playfully.

I just wished I would have never grown up, and could enjoy same leisurely time with friends. When I met my friends in Cuttack, I never had imagined that we could. Post marriage, moving to other places, having a new family to handle, it is tough for girls to keep up with friends. We all  become occupied with our own stuff, and specially people like me who live in another city it is hard to manage and get time out to come back and meet with friends. When I met Nisha and Sagarika, our talks started with we all look almost the same, as we were in school. Then we spend time sharing and talking about our batch mates, our school. I know I can meet them again when I visit Cuttack. But,when will I be visiting Cuttack again?

Thanks to social networking sites and Whatsapp, we are in touch, we get to watch pictures of our friends. But, those bonding of childhood is what I really miss today.No mobiles, no internet and we shared so much. I wish again I could go back to school, Nisha and Sandhya would teach me bicycle ride, or we celebrate birthdays and enjoy in park.

Few days back got a message to join in a cricket match with school friends in Cuttack and a party post match. But, as always I am again going to miss this reunion party. I can just watch my friends enjoying in pictures, dancing and having fun. That is what I can do virtually. I wish I had a better choice to make. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Showing Respect not Demanding respect

Hi Readers,

Today, again I am back with one of my previous post on Respect. I had written already why we touch feet of elders in Indian custom. Today, while surfing I came across a beautiful blog, where the blogger had a topic on showing respect. She very well made her points clear that demanding respect by imposing rules is not correct. Well said.

Traditions, customs and the way we socialize evolves everyday. What we perceive as manner and etiquette, might be different for others. It is our way. Whether its touching feet, namaskar or saying "hello" in western culture, all symbolize social etiquette. There is nothing wrong with adapting one form and leaving the other.

However, I feel its more of adapting to western culture that we teach our children not to fold hands and do Namaskar, but greet elders by  saying "hello". Though there is certainly nothing wrong in adapting this form, but why do we have to discard our way of showing respect? I do not feel that we need to prove that we are modern so we have to replace our way of showing respect with western way. Yes, being in IT industry, I respect western people with their customs and values. I do not feel that they should adapt our way, instead I feel comfortable by greeting them with "Hello" and calling them by their first name, however old they are to me. But, yes I really like when my colleague in US says "Sukriya" instead of a thanks. That's awesome is not it. If they can adapt our culture, we can do the same for them.

However, having said that, do we need to change our way in our respective society. The answer is simple NO. Why, because it is unnecessary exaggeration of things. I am not a person who would impose someone to respect me or show me respect. But, yes if a little one comes and happily touches my feet, I am happy and excited enough to bless them. If they want to say me "Hello", I am equally blessing them when I reply them with a "Hello". Respect is something that comes from within for people who earn it. Respect is something which comes through our work.

Here, I want to illustrate one small example from Mahabharata.

One day, Krishna and Arjuna were passing by one village while gossiping, Arjuna asked Krishna, why he thinks Karna is role model for Dana(donations) and not he(Arjuna) himself.

Krishna didn't answer him straight away and thought a little demonstration would be the apt way to make him understand. Wanting to teach him an important lesson, Krishna snapped his fingers and came up with an idea.

Krishna came up with a challenge for both!

The mountains beside the path they were walking on turned into gold. Krishna said “Arjuna, distribute these two mountains of gold among the villagers, but you must donate every last bit of gold”.

Arjuna went into the village, and proclaimed he was going to donate gold to every villager, and asked them to gather near the mountain. The villagers sang his praises and Arjuna walked towards the mountain with a huffed up chest. For two days and two continuous nights Arjuna shoveled gold from the mountain and donated to each villager. The mountains did not diminish in their slightest.
Most villagers came back and stood in queue within minutes. After a while, Arjuna, started feeling exhausted, but not ready to let go of his ego just yet, told Krishna he couldn't go on any longer without rest.

Krishna then called Karna. “You must donate every last bit of this mountain, Karna” he told him. Karna called two villagers. “You see those two mountains?” Karna asked, “those two mountains of gold are yours to do with as you please” he said, and walked away.

Arjuna sat dumbfounded and wondered ‘Why hadn't this thought occurred to him?’.

And here’s the answer (and a great lesson)!
Krishna smiled mischievously and told him “Arjuna, subconsciously, you yourself were attracted to the gold, you regretfully gave it away to each villager, giving them what you thought was a generous amount. Thus the size of your donation to each villager depended only on your imagination. Karna holds no such reservations. Look at him walking away after giving away a fortune, he doesn't expect people to sing his praises, he doesn’t even care if people talk good or bad about him behind his back.

In this context, Karna had earned the respect as Danavir(respect for donations he made). He was not behind people or not demanding to be respected for this. However, people respected him for his deeds, for his helping nature. The same holds true for us. If we demand to be respected for something that we have done, or for our age or any other thing, the demand itself looses our credibility for the same. We need to teach young ones to show respect, but we should not be demanding respect from everyone around us. That will make us look judgmental and silly at times. Instead, our focus has to be on the work we do, our focus should be to do good work and that will generate respect by itself. If we do donations with a heart to get respect in return, that will never come true.

Take for example, Mother Teresa, she came to India, and started helping poor and under privileged. Her focus was on serving others, she never focused on what the person has to say after she cared for them in need. Her work gave her respect, it gave an Nobel prize too. But, that was a by-product of her service to mankind. Had she demanded respect and honor, do you think she would have got this highest honorary award?

So, the gist is show respect but never demand respect in return.


Friday, March 13, 2015

"Prayer and how it helps us"

Hi Readers,

This article is based on the interview of Swamiji(forgot his name), he is follower of Dayananda Saraswati on Prayer. Dayananda saraswati was against Idol worship and he used to relate logically to God.

We often say that its all in Karma, Good Karma will produce good results and vice versa. So, why is Prayer required and what will it do?

Ans - Its true Good Karma produces good results and vice versa. And prayer gives us strength and ability to face and take difficult situation. That means in order to achieve good results, we need to keep doing good work, put in all our sincere and dedicated effort. So, if we are in this process of doing good karma, why we need prayer and if I do not pray how is it going to hamper me? This is a very valid question is not it? If its all in our work, and good Karma, why do we need to pray at all? Prayers gives us strength and ability to take on difficult situation. Its not that Prayer can amend our mistakes, but they can definitely give you that self confidence to take on challenging situation in your life.

Take for example, if a student do not study, but continuously pray to God that "Please God, give me 1st division in my exam." Is he going to achieve this?  No, right. Why? Because, without his effort to study and learn, he can not score high in exam. So, prayers alone cannot overcome all the challenges in life. Our sincere and dedicated effort is required to do so.

But, then why we say prayers are important. Prayers are needed to give us that confidence, mental strength and courage to face challenges. It helps us in sticking to the right path in life and not deviate towards wrong path. So, be it any religion, all preach to pray. All the holy scriptures prescribe to pray from heart. In this process, it is not at all mandatory to stick to any basic rule like wearing a particular kind of cloth, sitting or standing on a kind of posture or have lamps, candle's, incense stick and flower's etc. Then why we do all this? Yes, wearing a neat and clean cloth(particular kind of cloth), taking bath, cleaning the place of prayer, lighting lamps, incense stick and decorating with flower's help our mind to concentrate on a supreme power. It helps us prepare and fix our mind, soul and heart to that supreme power. It also makes us feel positive.

How it makes us positive? Keeping a place tidy, having good fragrance or  aroma, proper decoration with flowers etc add to positive vibes. They make us feel good. Taking shower, dressing properly makes us feel good from within, so we pray to Supreme power more effectively. Our prayers become more effective. This is why, in most of our festivals it is mandatory to first clean your house, decorate it, prepare good food and then place it before the supreme Lord and pray from heart. If we can still keep our focus on Supreme power, it is never restricted to pray while doing any work, be it travelling or doing any household chores.

But, yes we should never confuse that if we are praying we will not face challenges. We will face it, but our prayers will give us strength to be in right path in those tough times. We will come out as winners, if we do good Karma and be positive.


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