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To die or not to die

As I sit in front of my  laptop trying to think what I can write about Suicide prevention, there are a number of thoughts which cross my mind. We hear things like ‘quitting life is cowardice, living is being brave’ etc but who knows what is going through a person’s mind/life when he/she tries to commit suicide. Maybe he could not carry on, maybe it was hard to carry on.

When I look back there have been numerous times when I have felt like ending my life, so much that I started feeling that maybe I have suicidal tendencies. But then the major point which helped me is everything was not destined  to be the way I wanted it  to be. Life always has some other plans.

Second, it is not always necessary to win. someone has to lose to appreciate those who have won.

Third, if you have suicidal tendencies. please take help. Confide in your friends, go visit a psychiatrist.

Fourth; We teach children to win, to come first. Teach them also to take life with a pinch of salt. Being competitive is good but being over zealous of winning is not.

Fifth: You may think that your condition is worse but you forget that your condition may have been more worse.

Sixth: Nothing comes easy in this world. the only difference is some struggle more, some less.

I have a simple LSD formula which may help anyone:

Laugh; It does not matter if it is a PJ, laugh. You will see when you laugh even the mountains of despair seem trivial. If you simply cannot laugh, go and join a laughter club.

Share: Share with friends, parents, family. Share what you can with family and if you cannot then share with friends. In this big, bad world there will be definitely someone who will listen to you. And if you are a believer then go and share with God. Don’t laugh you will see how windows are opened and doors are unlocked. I believe that spirituality gives you the confidence and tranquility needed for tough situations.

Discover; Discover moments. Discover opportunities, discover self. You will be amazed at your own resources. When the outside world fails, discover your inner strengths.

I may seem patronizing. You may say, ‘Huh, what does she know of failure. Sitting and typing away is so easy’ but believe me, my dear, I have seen it too. Most of us do. Everyone does not get what he/ she envisaged.

Trivia: It is said that a soul will be hanging upside down on a branch of a tamarind tree in pitraloka. It’s condition will be so horrendous that it will cry out, ‘Please someone give me a body, let me go to bhuloka‘. And if it is lucky a set of parents will decide to give it a body. That is why it is said, “pitro devo bhava’. They are ‘deva’ to have rescued you from such a fate. So when one decides to end life for any reason, think of their position, their trauma. And think of yourself, this time you may not be lucky enough to be hanging on that tamarind tree, your fate may be worse.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day2013_wspd_banner_english

7 favorite shlokas

It has been some three years or so since I have started reading Bhagvad Gita. No, I don’t claim that I have read it in-depth, yet. Because every time I read something again, I discover something new. And every time it fills me with energy anew. Here are the seven shlokas which I like the most. The first number is the chapter number and the digits which follow after the decimal indicates the shloka in the chapter. So here goes:

Bhagavad Gita: Krishna and Arjuna in the midst of the two armies.

9.26 patram puspam phalam toyamyo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam asnami prayatatmanah

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.

Now that gives me a lot of confidence. The fact that the Lord wants just devotion from me, makes my faith stronger.

8.5 anta-kale ca mam eva smaran muktva kalevaram
yah prayati sa mad-bhavam yati nasty atra samsayah

And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

This for me is quite inspiring. The fact that I can come out of this birth death loop fills me with joy.

 

2.13 dehino ‘smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati

As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.

The fact that death is inevitable has been so beautifully expressed here and the truth that body is just like a garment which has to be thrown after its term is over.

12.17 yo na hrsyati na dvesti na socati na kanksati
subhasubha-parityagi bhaktiman yah sa me priyah

One who neither grasps pleasure or grief, who neither laments nor desires, and who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things, is very dear to Me.

We live in moments. If things move as per our plans/desires, it fills us with joy, if not we grieve but the point is nothing lasts forever. One who remembers that in any situation is indeed a balanced person.

9.22 ananyas cintayanto mam ye janah paryupasate
tesam nityabhiyuktanam yoga-ksemam vahamy aham

But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form–to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.

There are days when limitations shackle me and suddenly everything falls in place like a jigsaw puzzle being completed on its own. Those times I remember this shloka

4.34 tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsina

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.

It is my belief a good teacher can make a student great. Yes parents teach too but it is a teacher with whom a student understands better. The other point worth noting in this shloka is ‘submissive inquiry’. Only humility can help us in getting answers.

18.66 sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.

And this is my absolute favorite. The fact that HE will take care fills me with immense joy. Here dharma does not just mean religion it means whatever you are involved with, whatever profession you are in, it does not matter. Just be connected with ME.

So which are your favorites?

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I am taking part in Write tribe’s 7 day challenge 1st to 7th September 2013

WTFestivalofWords

* Picture and translation courtesy asitis.com

7 Days

Fridays I jump up from the bed with a happy song. It is a holiday and a special day wherein the body follows the heart.

Saturday is a weary day. The activities of the previous day have battered self. So slow I move, all at a leisurely pace. A saving grace that the others have to go to school and work and so I have some time for myself.

Sundays are the days to clean. Arrange everything that is scattered everywhere. Sundays are also days to prepare.

Mondays are hurry-burry days. Days of us women meeting up and then discussing on the Bhagvad Gita. And then later it is some talking on mundane and food.

Tuesdays we meet up to honor the Guru. Read some scriptures one amongst many.

Wednesdays are the day for planning. Preparing for children’s class the next day. Some new game, a play, oh there is so much you can do in a way.

Thursday is the day of anticipation, The weekend is about to begin. Clean and keep everything shiny for the fun in the evening and next day.

So how are your 7 days?

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* We have our weekly ‘off’ on Fridays here.

I am taking part in the seven day blogging challenge at Write tribe 1st to 7th September 2013WTFestivalofWords

7 traits that I love about children

‘You always make me do as you say… as if I have no in,,,in,, duality.’, he said.

I looked the other way.

The better half corrected, ‘Individuality’

‘That is what I said’, he replied with all his wisdom and went off to wipe his face.

The wise one looked at me and said, ‘See how he copies your words’.

‘That is how kids learn new words’, I said defiantly.

The boy returned to the dinner table, we both changed the topic and in minutes he forgot what he was angry about.

That is what I love about childhood. The ability to forgive and forget. Unlike we adults who hold on to grudges and leave no opportunity to show our superiority, children forget easily. Well most of the times.

And the innocence…..

The ability to believe that everything will be fine. As one grows older cynicism sets in,  A feeling that ‘i know it all’, ‘It is not that simple’

The ability to ask/demand.  ‘I need this, I need that and then the dedication to see that the wish is fulfilled, If only I worked with that much of dedication…….Nor am I able to ask anything from anybody.

The faith on parents. It makes life so simple. If you have a doubt, go  to your mother. If something is broken go to  your father. And the firm faith that they can fix up anything. I doubt if  I will ever have that much faith on anybody.

The ability to laugh, unbridled, a laugh straight from the heart.

Yes, these are the 7 things that I love about childhood and children

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I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words from 1st to 7th September 2013.

Write Tribe

Regressive??

Frankly I did not know the meaning of the word Regressive. The meaning given in Oxford Dictionary is ‘moving backwards’. If by using the word regressive we mean that we are going back in time, going back to the Vedic times. Then wow what joy.

If you are one of those who have lifted their eyebrows and mumbled a ‘huh’, then let me proceed to make it easier for you.

In the vedic times there were varnas and there were ashramas.

Varnas; Brahmanas ( imparting knowledge), Kshatriyas (protection), Vaishyas (traders) and Shudras (helping everyone). And no the varna system was not passed on i.e. it was not hereditary. A Brahman’s son could become a shudra. As Krishna says in the Bhagvad Gita ‘catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah’. The four divisions were based on a person’s guna and karma.

Ashramas – Every person from his birth to death went through four stages – Brahmacharya (student) stage, Grhastha (householder),  Vannprastha (gradual ‘dis’ attachment for family life), Sannyasa (quest of spirituality). If a brahmachari felt that he was not fit for family life and he would rather go in for spiritual quest, he was allowed to migrate directly to the Sannyasa stage.

Now you may ask where does a woman figure in this picture.

Women were at the center of this whole social structure.

The very first thing a girl was taught was to milk the cows. ( Du huti- milking of cows; that is how the English word daughter was coined). You may smirk and say see girls were made to do such silly and menial stuff. But then remember those days farming was pivotal and so was tending of cows. Each house had at least two cows. Milk and it by products were never bought. Neither did people buy vegetables, it was tended at home.

Girls were taught yes. No they were not sent to gurukul but taught at home. And their subjects were more comprehensive than what we learn today. (FYI Sita was a sociologist, Satyabhama had learned military warfare).

BUT the prime job of a woman was to look after her home. A home she ruled with iron hands and a job in which no man dare interfere..

Yes she covered herself fully Why?? Because in Vedic times a person’s aim of life was spiritual quest. You may say what is the relation of dress and spiritual quest. Well I leave it for your discretion with just a hint. How many of you go to a religious place in tight-fitting/ short clothes. Don’t most of us go traditional when we go to the temple/ gurdwara etc ??

The roles of a man were divided finely. A man looked at outside chores. A woman was the queen of the inside world. There was no trespassing.

The grhasthas had the responsibilities of looking at all the other three varnas and it were the women who saw that the society ran smoothly. Women saw to it that all had enough to eat, enough to wear and a place to sleep.

So if women had this much freedom in a regressive society. Pray tell me what is progressive.

But then if regressive really means going back in time then I do not mind being regressive.

 

Safety, what is that?

In an age where in parents have to work to sustain the family

kids stay indoors; for no one takes them out to play.

Standing, nose pressed to window grills

they watch the world pass by.

 

Some where else kids do play

in the belief that all is fine.

Parents do watch out for them

every now and then.

 

And some where a lurker moves

a lurker who has abandoned his moralities,

and let its demoniac qualities surface

and drowned all its goodness.

 

The lurker moves

and eyes the one at home

and the one out

And all peace is gone.

 

Safety, what is that?

Of ‘kali kaal’

A is not my friend anymore’, my son said after his return from school. ‘Hmmm’, I said. It is common. He has a new best friend every day and sometimes twice in a day.

I have still ‘kept’ my friends from school, college, etc. But not colleagues. Why I often wonder. Maybe it is because it is superficial when you are working, you just befriend somebody. And then being of the ’emotional’ types, I prefer keeping everyone at arm’s length lest I am hurt by anyone.

But increasingly I have distanced myself even from the ones with whom I was close to. Why you may ask. Well people change. So I may not like someone’s partying/ smoking/ drinking, in short their style of living and they may not like my spiritual side.

‘Amma, you are not listening,’ screams my son. “yes tell me’, I say and refocus.

‘Amma’, I lost my red color pencil and teacher asked to use that only. At that time N quietly lend me his red pencil and…………. And so he is now my best friend’, he declared.

If only things were as simple with us adults.

Relationships, friendships change with time, doesn’t it?

When my grandmother first heard of  the word ‘divorce’ she screamed,’ what more will I see in this ‘kali kaal’, she screamed. Well I can vouch she saw ‘nothing’.

If she saw the morals of today, the corruption etc , she would have died before her death.

This is the month of Kartik also known as the Damodar month. A month in which we visit house,s singing praises of the Lord after which we offer a ghee lamp aarthi to Him. These visits are not impromptu but booked in advance. Very often we get royal welcome in simple circumstances and indifference in royal homes. ‘Kali kaal’, indeed. I am not questioning spiritual preferences but basic courtesies. But then maybe I am asking too much.

 

* kali kaal-the age of kali or conflict

Musings galore…

I am in limbo. Sometimes I wonder has the world changed or is it me.

What is development all about? Is developing meant to be highrise towers, shopping malls or is it about evolving as a human?

I may not be able to do justice to the medley of thoughts that I am undergoing right now but at least let me try to do put in words what the mind conjures.

Not so long ago, friendships were precious. Guests were treated like royalty. Means were limited but your objectives were not. You survived on limited clothing, which meant you also knew to mend a tear. Simple lives, simple needs.

 

Now there are a plethora of options. You can opt to wear a sari, jeans, skirt. you decide whether you want to cook in or lunch out.  Options, options…….

I like the fact that I do not have to sweat out the whole day in the kitchen. I have my mixer, microwave, and all the other gadgets to make life easy for me. I love  that I have the luxury to choose air travel. I love it that my opinion is counted upon even though I belong to the’ inferior’ sex.

Fut still something hurts………

Something has changed.

The fact that a simple necessity of life-water is so very precious now.

Faith is much more scarce now. No I am not talking of just  religion or spirituality. Faith in humanity, faith that even in so much of negativity goodness will thrive…..that is missing now

Selfishness is in abundance. Its more of I, me, myself.  where are we heading I sit and muse.

And then it hits me that all things change. When I see outside and see the buildings; I should not expect that people will remain the  same. People change, expectations change, lifestyles change. Its change that is constant.

Somewhere I too have changed. I have abandoned hopes of a lucrative career for a ‘homely’ life, a life dedicated to my beliefs, so how can I expect that everything around me will remain the same?

 

Tidbits

The year 2009 had been a tough year for me. It was a year when I was searching for myself amidst numerous issues.  At that moment there was a contest in a weekly local newspaper on Valentines Day and my entry was selected and published too. Wasn’t much actually, just some lines but it inspired me enough to revive my writing. My identity crisis was such that I hoped to search myself through my writings and thus Searching Self was born.

Events so happened that by 2010 I was very sure what I wanted and took necessary steps towards it. Yes, blogging does help to discover oneself. 🙂

A lot has been happening lately. I am trying to juggle between housework, keeping up with the kid, study and trying to take baby steps towards devotional service.  The first step I took was with teaching children. And I tell you it’s not an easy task. Adults forget mistakes, kids don’t but then children forgive easily, adults do not. It’s a journey which requires one to be a student first and then a teacher. Altogether it is a task which I have found to be very enjoyable because:

  • it is not a formal task
  • I can improvise looking at the mood of the children
  • most importantly  it’s only an hour in a week 😀

The interaction is wonderful. Children have such an open mind, there are ifs and buts but they absorb information like a sponge and they are always so eager. So one week can be just sit and hear, another can be a workshop or a skit, there are so many ways to learn.

 

Some tidbits;

LION

We are discussing about how Prahlad’s devotion had been disturbed by Hiranyakasipu and how Narasimha came to protect Prahlad. I was explaining the word Narasimha. Nara means man and Simha means lion when a small boy exclaims, ‘Mataji, lion is the king of the jungle’. And we all burst out laughing. 😛

MASK

We were rehearsing for Narasimha Chaturdasi. One day prior to the show the person enacting Narasimha wore the mask to be comfortable with it. After sometime we noticed that Prahlad is missing. The boy had been so afraid of the mask that he had hid behind the cupboards.

SECRETARY

Whenever I am supposed to take a class, my son stands by me, to supply th necessary papers, crayon, sketch penetc. He make sure that everyone sits and listens.

BYE-BYE

One of the girls proceeded to India for her studies. A girl of 8 or so, she was our star. If we forgot a word in any story or prayer we could just ask her and she would oblige. And so on her last day here one of the matajis asked her, ‘P will you remember us?’ And she truthfully replied, ‘I am not sure Mataji, because I will have so many new friends, so much to study, so many Maharaj to hear…. so I don’t know whether I will remember you or not.’ 😛

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I will be off-blogosphere for the next weeks so please excuse me if I am not able to comment on your posts.

Au revoir

Answer me, please

I am scared of questions particularly the ‘why’ ones like

Why is it morning in the morning and night in the night?

Why you (me) don’t drive?

Why c in cat is spelled like k?

Why am I not in the picture when you put the ‘mala’ on Dad?

Etcs….I hope you got the gist. But then who will answer my questions? You, of course. 😀

  1. Where do Sonia and Priyanka get their saris from? Please do tell me this, I need to get a couple of those
  2. Why is there such inflation in India even though there are three  very well-educated people? (M.M.S, P.C., P.M.)
  3. Why is the prince of Congress still unmarried?
  4. Why are we so concerned about celebrities? Aren’t they humans too?
  5. Why are the selectors of Indian Idol so very rude?
  6. And Can someone explain to me the meaning of this ad. Were the makers of this ad confused or am I that stupid?
    Thought the second option is right I think, please enlighten me.