Monthly Archives: May 2015

He takes care

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I read this quote yesterday and it filled me up with joy. Each day is such a miracle isn’t it. We are almost in a ‘death’ like situation when we sleep at night and we awake to sunshine. I live in a place which is a modern miracle. I mean looking at the hi tech buildings here who can imagine that once upon a time it was a desert and camels moved about freely. Yes it is a man-made place but who gave the intelligence to create this wonder

I see my boy who once meowed like a kitten and today is an independent boy. How did that transformation come about?

The trees which flower, the trees which give fruits, how do they do so?

The soul which moves my body. From where did it come?

And sometimes when I look at myself and wonder……

Very few people who are around me know that I am visually impaired. I am not blind but I have restricted vision. I move about, I am independent. Many ask me why I don’t drive because I want to do so many things and it is better to be mobile. I just smile and say that I will never get a license.

I remember going to a ophthalmologist because I was having recurring headaches. He was mortified after checking me and in fact I had to counsel him. Vision only in the upper quadrants of the right eye and in upper right quadrant in the left is not a bright proposition is it?

Many of my friends have started wearing spectacles and the other day I was wondering what I will do when my vision deteriorates for wearing specs is not an option for me at all. In fact specs are more of a hindrance because my right eye looks at extreme lefts and my left my extreme rights. And it made me very upset. The future for people like me can be quite daunting. But then I remembered this

Mukam karoti vacalam

Pangum langhayte girim

yat-krpa tam aham vande

parmananda madhavam

The Supreme Personality of Godhead-Madhava has the form of sac-cid-anandavigraha — transcendental bliss, knowledge and eternity. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him, who turns the dumb into eloquent speakers and enables the lame to cross mountains. Such is the mercy of the Lord. (Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 17.80)

And I became sober again.

He puts the soul in the womb. He gives consciousness, He makes us walk, He gives intelligence, He guides us, He supports us, Why then I have to worry. He has taken care of me for so long, he will look after me in the future too.

I may have lost my vision but what is more important is that I don’t lose my ‘vision’.

That the Lord is my savior and me his faithful follower. …..

Rest He will take care.

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Distractions ……and me

At a time when there are so many distractions, it is difficult to stay in track. I see many students- bright eager to learn and yet getting lost in facebook and instagram and what not. Same with people like me. There is so much to read, so much can be done and yet….. The Television beckons. Sleep engulfs. Social media calls. Laziness drowns. That is the nature of maya who is ever ready to pull us into a bottomless pit. Bottomless yes. Because enjoyments, pleasures of this world neither have a start or an end. Neither do they really give an everlasting happiness. Have you recently bought a mobile, a TV or a laptop. You buy the latest and within a few days you come to know that what you have bought is now outdated. Something new has come up. Same with the pleasures of this world. They give instant pleasure and almost immediately pain. Pain because within moments the pleasure vanishes. Everything is momentary here; for a short time.

mam upetya punar janma duhkhalayam asasvatam napnuvanti mahatmanah samsiddhim paramam gatah

TRANSLATION

After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection. As you see in this shloka (Bhagvad Gita  Chapter 8 Shloka 15) Krishna says this world is full of miseries. You may think miseries?? I have the best of everything, then how is this world miserable. Reason is this world can just ive temporary happiness. Your new mobile, your new home gives you happiness for a short time till the time something else catches your fancy.  But the thing is you never know what the next moment holds. One may have an accident, become bankrupt or even die. Of course you may win a contract or may get a promotion but then everything comes at a price. It may just mean new responsibilities, new tensions. But then I digress. Sometimes even after having the knowledge, maya beckons, mind succumbs and this body slips into sleep; forgetting everything. So, …….I have miles to go before I sleep…..And yet I sleep

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Some theories broken

Amita heard the bells in the pooja room accompanied with the streams of Vishnu Sahasranaam on the music player. She grimaced and pulled the quilt high above her head and slept. ‘When will this drama stop’, she thought to herself.

Her parents Mrs. and Mr. Shastry had always been very devout. But from the  time her father had retired, more so. As soon as she could, she had moved out of home. She worked for a publishing company as a sub editor and she enjoyed her job. But her mission for this visit was important. She had to tell her parents that she had found her soul mate.

****************

Late night when she finally went to her bed, the events of the day flashed before her eyes. She had mustered enough courage to tell her mother about her choice. Her mother was surprised but calm. She in turn told to her husband i.e Amita’s father. Her father was shocked. He told just one line. “and this is the reward  we get for giving you independence”. But her mother calmed him down. She asked, ‘Are you  really sure that he is the one for you’. She said yes. And then things just ran ahead. Her parents had contacted Varad who in turn contacted his parents. And now they were supposed to come down for a talk.

****************

Fifteen years had passed since then. She and Varad had got married according to a Vedic ceremony. She had wanted a court wedding. ‘Cheap and best’, she had said. But her parents had put their foot down. ‘In a vedic ceremony you take your oath for better or worse taking agni (fire) as a sakshi (witness). And that is the best witness than we signing some useless paper,’ her father had said.

Fifteen years of living together and so many times they had been ready to call it quits. But every time, they had gone back and worked on their marriage. Fifteen years and a lovely daughter. A daughter who was as headstrong as she was. But strangely she possessed some qualities of her grandmother. ‘Genes I suppose’, Amita thought.

Fifteen years and her own publishing company. ‘Not bad at all’, she thought. But then she often thought that she had missed the growing up years of her daughter. She and Varad rarely spoke except over phone calls. All these years her mother in law took care of Aparna; her daughter and the home but then suddenly she had a heart attack and expired.

She was finding it difficult. To run a household, a publishing company and of course handling a teenage daughter was tough. And on Varad’s suggestion, she had asked her mother if it was possible for her to come and live with them. Her father had expired some years before and her mother lived alone. Her mother had not agreed at first. Her routine, her home was precious to her. But then Varad had promised her that her routine will not be objected to. And for Aparna’s sake, she had agreed, But Amita was tense. In all these years she and her mother had moved far. Amma’s habits still irked her. ‘I suppose the morning calm will be broken now with the loud vocals of MS’, she thought.

******

It was more than a month since amma had arrived. And strangely the house was calmer now. No chaos, no friction. Aparna was happier and strangely there were no ‘morning sounds’.  Amita could not resist herself and went to her mother’s room. Only to find that the Suprabhatam was kept at a low volume and her mother busy with her morning pooja.

She signalled Amita to sit down. She joined her once her rituals were over. ‘Why amma, why did you keep the volume so low’, Amita asked.

‘Because you don’t like it’, amma replied.

‘But then back home you kept it on high’, said Amita

‘But then that was MY home, this is yours’, amma said.

Amita felt ashamed. ‘No Amma, this is your home too.

Amma just grinned.

For the first time Amita noticed how easily amma adjusted to any circumstance. She thought of herself, what a rebel she had been. And yet amma had been patient. Chiding her, guiding her but never losing patience. And she though of her own conduct with her daughter. But then Aparna was a brat, worse than she had been.

‘Why the worried look’, her mother asked.

For the first time in her life Amita decided to confide in her mother. ‘Aparna amma….she lives in her own world of friends and illusion. She doesn’t ever speak to me freely nor…….’

‘Have you ever tried speaking to her Amu’, amma asked, ‘What I have seen is that you don’t ever have time for either her or Varad, For that matter even your relationship with Varad is superficial. I must admit that though I never liked Varad at first but he has proved to be a better person’

‘You didn’t like him but you agreed upon my marrying him’, protested Amita

‘You would have married him even if I had said no’, Amma said simply. ‘You have always been a confused person Amu, all your decisions have been because you wanted to rebel and nothing else’.

‘What do you mean?’, shrieked Amita

‘You dropped out of science stream becausee your appa wanted you to do it. You got into publishing be cause you could be out of the house for a long stretch. You married Varad because you wanted to show that you could make your own decisions….I could go on and on but lets leave it like that’.

‘So you mean to say that I do not have any good points’, said Amita

‘Did I say so? No, I didn’t. You are good in so many ways like you are charitable, if you make a decision; you stick to it,  and so on’.

‘The problem between you and Aparna is that you never spend any time with each other. And she behaves in such a manner just to attract your attention’, said Amma

‘Amma, I don’t have time to attend to her brattish behavior’, said Amita

‘You have to decide then, what is more important. Your important ‘jobs’ or your family and relationships’, said Amma

‘Why is it that a woman has to take such decisions and not a man’, shrieked Amita

‘Let us not bring gender issues now Amita. Point is that Varad is doing everything to give a stable home to Apu but she needs a mother’, said Amma, I would not have brought all this up because you have always made it clear to me that your life is none of my business but then a young life is at stake and I have to protect her’.

‘And frankly Amita stop being selfish now. Think about others too. Or you will be left alone. Don’t think Varad will be patient forever. If he decides to leave you, imagine how lonely you would be’, said Amma

Amita got the shock of her life. Amma meanwhile got busy with her morning rituals.

Days passed. Amita tried to bridge the gap but now Varad and Aparna were so unused to her that they did not know how to reciprocate. Amma gently guided them saying every one should get a second chance.  Apu was calmer, the lines on Varads face reduced.

 

Amita came to ammas room one day, sat with her watching her doing the pooja. A strange peace descended on her.

‘Amu, you wanted to speak’, asked amma

‘Yes amma. Amma the conversation which we had last month, why had you not spoken to me like that earlier. Maybe I would not have to struggle so much now.’

‘Ammu everything has a time and place. IF I had spoken to you earlier, would you have listened to me?

Amma had a point, Amita nodded.

‘And ammu we cannot change anybody if he or she is not willing. Even the Lord does not interfere if you are not ready to take his help. Remember Draupadi and her disrobing. The Lord could have stopped  Draupadi from going into the assembly but he didn’t. Only when she raised her hands and cried out for him that he rescued her’

‘Amma how are you so patient and tolerant’, asked Amita

Amma gave a toothy grin. I never was patient Amu until I started to follow the Lords dictate. It’s very easy to follow then to lead Amu. And everything is given in the Gita, you just have to follow what is given’, said she

‘Give me an example’, asked Amita

‘Well in the second chapter of the Gita text 14, the Lord says:

matra-sparsas tu kaunteya
sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah
agamapayino ‘nityas
tams titiksasva bharata

TRANSLATION

O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.

So you see once you accept the fact that ups and downs are normal in life, you become calm and accept life as it comes, amma said with a grin.

Amita that day could understand that her mother was not just a blind follower of rituals but her understanding of the science of spirituality was much vast, much more than what she could ever aspire for.

 

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Sakha-my friend

My friend was upset and I asked her why. Where upon she told me how a common friend had hurt her. But isn’t that common. Each and every person hurts us at one or the other time. Needless to say, we too have been the offenders many a times. It is not that we deliberately try to hurt anyone but it is just that our perceptions are different. The way we act to situations or think in situations may be unlike others. In the process we may hurt others. And it is just possible that others may not understand others or others understand us. And this happens in all relationships and not just friendships.

Aren’t their times when you feel that your spouse is the greatest boon that you have received in life and the very next moment you may feel like throttling him.

Same with parents. Parents may have your best interest in mind but many times they may fail to understand you.

So what do we do? Be morose that this world is a dull place where no body understands anybody??

The trick is to be friendly with all and yet be aloof. because all friendships serve some means. Very few have genuine caring.

The only true friend is the Lord. He is one who will give you everything and yet not interfere in your life. He is the one who really UNDERSTANDS.

In the Bhagvad Gita Chapter 9 text 18 the Lord says

gatir bharta prabhuh saksi
nivasah saranam suhrt
prabhavah pralayah sthanam
nidhanam bijam avyayam

TRANSLATION

I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.

So when the creator himself says that he is the best friend; what else one needs.

Srimad Bhagvatam says that a human has four defects:

  • imperfect senses
  • propensity to cheat
  • commits mistakes and
  • is illusioned
  • So you see these defects are inherent in us. So how can we hope to be everlasting friends to others. When we ourselves are not perfect how can we be perfect friends.

Krishna on the other hand is perfect. None of the above defects exist in him and so he is dependable. But the issue is are we ready to depend on Him?

 

 

 

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