All posts by garima_2078

God on sale- Any takers–err–buyers?





Why is God on sale and why is there not a great deal of discount? Shouldn’t God be available for free just like sunlight and air? The third vital ingredient of life, water, is already sold. There have been several debates about it, both from the non-believers and the believers. The non-believers have a reason now to question more about if there really is any God because if there is then it could not be sold. People shrug at spirituality being sold and gaining momentum. They do not understand how suddenly God has become hot as a commodity.

Well I would ask a question- What is not on sale these days. You name it and there exists a complete web of barter system today. Even in love and relationships. The present world thrives on advertising. The most beautiful products remain anonymous just because of the lack of it. So how can God hide in caves and still be known to this world? God wants to be delivered but how? I would say God is not on sale by choice, it is more by need that God has to be delivered in a way to this world of consumers and sellers. Can I speak to you in Mandarin or French if all that you understand is English? It is something like that.

Then second thing is, why? Well how many people in present world would feed the God-Men if they all came begging at your doors? Is there any respect or reverence for the so called messengers of God? I think they would be shooed away as soon as they come with a bowl in their hands.

Now if God- Men were to be free from world and worldly desires and they were to live in forests, eating fruits and wearing animal skins, they still need to come out to the world and convey the message. If they do so, the cruel fast pacing world would just crush them without ever noticing the saffron, white or the long beard. If they go door to door begging for food just because they have renounced the world, they would only be thrashed, forget about people listening to them. Can they sit in the middle of a busy market or a mall and people would even notice them unless they have a show around, which leads me to the advertising strategies.

So how do they reach us? There has to be a system built for advertising God in today’s busy world. But who wants God— for the poor, a piece of bread and a shabby shelter is God, for the average, smoothly running everyday life without much of a pain is God, for a rich person, nothing is unavailable, they can buy any number of God and God-men if they get bored with the life’s luxuries, for the people craving for more and looking for justice and rebelling against un-fair system, et al.., the God is just a hopeless last resort, when all of their protests fail or natural calamities and sudden disasters show them their dwarfism.

Now there is a sect of people who want God very desperately and the major chunk of them are the ones who want magic. Everything else they have created by technology, money, science, procreation. They look up to God and religion as having some magical powers. Hence many God-men have displayed fireworks from time to time to lure such minds. The other sect is the desperate people, frustrated people, bored people and sometimes people with genuine queries. The least number is formed by people with genuine queries. But still the bored, frustrated and failed people are evolving to the greater questions. They start with looking for something better and freely available like sunlight and then fumble on their path once they see that God, also is like any other business of the world- advertised and commercialized yet elusive.

Then people start blaming the God-Men. But I do not see that it is their fault at all. May be some of them are using your need of magic to create money, but to be able to survive and deliver what ever they know, in the present days competitive world, they have to make what you call money and gain some credibility, which unfortunately no body has time to build for anyone purely based on their intentions because there is a lot of judgment going on, lot of information flow and wrong logic working. So, having a standard, having a huge playground, having a good brand, having an organic set up is something that is seen as credibility of anything or anyone—an individual, a corporation or a business of any kind.

So, what do we do? We have to realize that even when the best way the concept of “there is something beyond”(God or whatever you name it) can be delivered is by furious advertising and money making business, no matter how much money the rich can spend and the middle class can fret about, God actually cannot be bought. There is no such thing as magic. No touch of a healing can ever touch you if you are not ready for it. No amount of money spending and money making can buy you faith. Once you have faith, you will know that no amount of attending yoga classes, seminars and buying yogic-retreat packages can help you beyond that point. It finally boils down to your faith, your one-pointed focus, your willingness to shun the fascinating, advertisements, miracle-hunting mindset, self-pity, arrogance, the normal, the easy, the convenient. One has to take full responsibility and practice discipline. At the end of the day, wanting to know God, living God and reaching beyond takes more commitment, more responsibility, more character, more faith, more hard work and more sacrifice of the mundane than anything else in the world and the path is full of challenges.

If you are coming to God, thinking life is difficult: initially it will soothe your nerves to know that there is something beyond; to know that you can spend some money and time. But after that, reaching your goal of realization or even living God is a long journey to yourself and it would only uncover your own layers of conditioning, it will be your effort and will, your willingness and attitude. From that point on, you can’t make the horse drink the water. Hence the question becomes- What does God mean to you- Is it your fashion statement, magic potion, quick-fix, or sincere quest? Spirituality is there to provide you strength to deliver the God that you and each one of us bear. Sincerity, focus and discipline are the means to it. Love, dispassion and compassion in heart, freedom in mind and discipline and dynamism in action are of utmost importance. In the world full of noise, God needs to be heard with patience and endurance. Do you have this much patience to try to listen to that “Silence”, also knowing that it might take millions of years for you to be able to do so. Money can buy you some knowledge- both conceptual and practical but then there is a separate barter system. God cannot be a cheap commodity after all. That is why it has remained elusive and profound. Sincere devotion and committed responsibility only can show you the path.

Suppose God as a concept was delivered free I wonder if any of us would have listened. Even when the closest person to God is you yourself—how often can you hear him, feel him, or live him? Free stuff is the least important stuff and no one is bothered about it even if it were God. So what else could have been God’s way to enter our market-driven lives than through vendors? God for sure is on sale but there is more deception because just like sunlight God is available all the time, just like air and also water (the non-commodity resources like rain, and floods). Your mind, ego, etc will come in the way and your conditioning as a commodity yourself would be a major hurdle. Your need to conform and your fear of unknown, your unwillingness to take risks or total responsibility, your attachment to the world of advertisements and magic would take a toll in your sincerity towards God even after you have spent all your wealth trying to buy God. Yes God is on sale, but it is not a fair deal- buy it or not.

Ruts- Turn them into Rhythms!





I had tried all the tried and tested versions of rut busters lately, sadly to no effect. One day it would go but the next day it was again there like a wrecking monster of my life. The thing that amuses me is there actually are good ruts and bad ruts and mind sticks very persistently to the bad ones. I could never form a good rut or may be having a rut never appeared good to me. Any rut after all is bad. Balance is very important here – Not letting anything become a rut, even a positive thing, because the moment it becomes one, it becomes boring, one can’t tolerate it. So how do we do it, where is that magical formula that one can take for a week and be done or a wonder course of about two days that works as a quick fix or for that matter even these blog posts that would supposedly help one out? Here are a few tips: Disclaimer: Use at your own risk, Satisfaction not guaranteed–

1. Recognize the rut and look for its deeper meaning. For example, if you are in the habit of getting up late in the morning and starting your day late, see if it is some element of work that stops you from looking forward to your day and hence the rut.

2. Curing the symptoms won’t work for long and rut would always come back. Roots have to be shaken. How?? Going for a movie, going shopping, doing something totally new or different would give you a little nudge but rut won’t budge. Look for the deeper conflicts within yourself that make you stick to something that actually you don’t like or is not serving you well- Meditation and breathing exercises help in energizing the mind opening it to the vast awareness.

3. Accepting the rut: After recognizing the rut and looking deeper, accept it. If you would resist, it might persist. May be a rut is needed as a temporary phase in your life. Do not panic, do not give up, do not surrender. Keep working on it. Rely on the fact that once you have done enough of something, once you are totally shaken by extreme boredom, you won’t sit quiet, you would fight it out. So, let it expand, not literally, but in your mind. Believe that change is the only thing constant and even the most persistent things have to change in time. Your control is merely an illusion. Don’t go crazy with trying different rut busters everyday. Just be patient and kind with yourself in dealing with them.

4.This tip works in almost one hundred percent of the cases: Set a deadline or some kind of commitment with another person, company, group, place that would help you getting out of this rut and will push you towards something that you never could have finished otherwise. Talk about it to people. Let them know that you are going to be there, let them be the people you cannot let down in any case.

5. Sometimes rule#4 doesn’t’ work, which usually means that the Rut disorder is not only chronic but also severe. On such occasions, pray to the almighty for the extra will power, strength and motivation. Look back at times when you have had fought greater battles with ease. Get support of your loved ones.

6. Doing something to get joy or getting somewhere either puts people off when they don’t really get there even after handwork. They stop trying. Sometimes when it works, they start believing that they have formulated some law. So that now when they follow this exact protocol and they know this would happen. With this mindset they make a hypothesis, then it turns into a philosophy and they strictly follow it because they fear if they try any other way, it might not work. This becomes a positive rut, if it keeps serving them well; inflexible attitude and narrow mindedness, if they become too possessive about it overlooking hundreds of other possible ways. Worse happens when one day all of a sudden they become prisoners of it, and remain so, even when it doesn’t work for them anymore. So, what is the final solution–doing things knowing that you are joy, doing things spontaneously and balancing it well with day to day responsibilities, competitions, deadlines is important. I have seen that I can’t do something I don’t like. In past I had done those things out of compulsion or because it was need of the hour but not anymore. May be rut is a way of telling you to cut loose those ends that don’t serve you well. In that case listen to it and select what works.

7. Final point: While adding the final point I changed the title from Ruts-The worst Nightmares to Ruts-turn them into rhythms. The difference between a rut and a rhythm is intricate balance. Balance leads to harmony. Everything that exists in nature follows a pattern, a cycle. But it has a rhythm. It is because of harmonious existence of one thing with the other that such a pattern is so beautiful and we never get bored of it. Spring comes after the winter and then comes summer followed by the fall. Everything around us and within us changes with it acclimatizing and we live in harmony with our environment. If there were only a season, then no one would have liked it. Watch for harmony in your life. How much in balance with all the aspects of your existence you are? Focusing on it would lead to sweet surrender yet affirmative active life and there won’t be rut, there would just be a rhythm.

People change and so their likes and dislikes too change. You live one life at a time. There is no point wasting such a beautiful journey which is all about diverse experiences, waiting in a single color painted four walled apartment. Only if you live with faith on God, yourself and the world, only if you feel that you are love and joy yourself and life is not to be taken too seriously, would patterns disappear. All of the knowledge and human support and practices need to be combined together and utilized for the same.

 

 

 

Strictly Spiritual!

This post is meant for astute followers of any spiritual discipline or teacher. They can be devotees, volunteers and teachers or all and any combinations of the three. Many things have been said and done before, but this probably is the most important, not for anyone else but for your own. Many times while on spiritual path, we tend to deviate from the ideal, from the real towards ego and illusion. I am sure it happens with all the teachers and even with great saints. I have seen a few examples of this kind where people do not practice what they preach. We feel this separation from the other so much that our definitions on the same topic change while dealing with other people. We do not feel the pain, sadness or happiness of the other in the same way that we feel our own, so there is a discrimination that mind always makes. This leads us to go bizzare from time to time. This post is strictly spiritual in the sense, that for people who feel they are strictly spiritual and great followers of some guru, must always remember that their actions reflect on their Guru’s credibility. If they do not keep themselves in check from time to time, ultimately, for no reason, their revered Guru will lose credibility. While behaving with others: disciples, devotees, volunteers, own family members and neighbours, think before you act and think what your Guru would have done in the present situation and then act. This will save you from mistakes and keep you on path.

And then I found love!

The last post was somewhat sad. But there is a bright  side to it. When I have prayed for unconditional love, I have often found it in the oddest of places. That is the beauty of unconditionality. You can put your love here on some thing or a person, and you might end up receiving it from totally unrelated and different source. Love is like a Frisbee that keeps traveling from one to the other and you do not know from which direction it would come back to you. Loving and giving unconditionally anyway is in your hands like the frisbee. Be prepared to get pleasantly surprised from time to time and always count your blessings.

I am extremely fortunate to have known that love from my mom, that what we call as unconditional love. Then I met wonderful souls who expressed unconditional love and support. A few of them were intenters and many others from my yoga groups. Really the sources varied greatly and I never passed my fris bee to them but they returned it back to me from time to time.

This is the most you get here provided you keep giving and keep loving it.

 

Dear God Help Me Love Unconditionally!

Who has put conditions on us? Is it not nature, that has done the job. We are born selfish. As kids we are given what we want mostly, though not all kids have that luxury, but as grown ups we have to beg, borrow or steal what we want. It is no longer completely a honest give and/or take. Nature and survival instincts have made us so. Still, when we grow on spiritual plane, we feel the inner void that no amount of begging, borrowing and stealing can fill. We look for love, knowingly or unknowingly. The sad part comes when we know that no love that exists in this world’s relationship is unconditional. Parent’s love for kids sometimes reaches that epitome but no other relationship is totally unconditional. If you help someone who needs your help, after some time, that same person might start taking advantage of the provided help. The worst part is, they also do not know when they start doing that. If you are extremely warm and nice, people sometimes mistake it as your weakness. They just start behaving rude. Again, the sad part is, they are not even aware of their own behaviour and reaction patters. If you look at the dynamics of any relationships in this world, you would find it is so superficial. The problem comes when we take that outer diversity and illusion as the real identity. We are not even aware of what we are doing. Sometimes, when you help someone who doesnt deserve your help, even then the same happens. They start thinking of you as some kind of a looser. The same happens with love. Most people love at least one person with all their heart in their life time, but many a times, they are considered total loosers because they are not just genuinely in love but also expressing it to a great extent. So even when we all want to fill that emotional and spiritual void with love, we cannot do it because natural instincts, patterns, structure of the world and its processes, keep us from becoming a giving person, an unconditional lover. In such times when I see the world’s relationships always looking up for more love and calculating the profit, I feel so helpless. The only thing that remains and can help in those times is to pray to God and ask for help "Dear God Help Me Love Unconditionally"

 

A table for one








The last thing that I learnt enjoying about being single was to eat alone, all by myself, especially the dinners. Having said that, I also have indicated how bothersome can it be or how impossible it might sound to EAT OUT ALONE.

In your home’s privacy, in front of the TV, computer or talking to someone on the phone, eating becomes just a mechanical act and before you realize you had a meal, you are done eating. Your hunger can inspire you to cook or order at home but what can motivate someone to go out and treat themselves to their favorite restaurant in the city? Only if one is tired of cooking, bored of the same kind of food, or even feeling very hungry and not having enough time to cook, one might consider it as the last most dreaded option.

The thing that now motivates me to eat out alone is eating alone at home . I can see people eating at nearby tables and it feels like a community. Have you ever noticed, how a table for one sounds? It sounds pretty normal but many times when ever I have done that, I have gotten a corner table or a very small table facing the restrooms or in some not-so-good looking place. Is there any chance of great view from the window? No way! At a restaurant in Boston, the waiter looked at me in a very awkward way and it was pretty evident from his gestures that he was not happy serving me. The second day, same place, same guy looked very happy to see me when I visited with my brother. Third day, the same place, I visited alone, and he made the same face again but this time in addition to it, he also asked me as to where my friend was today. I told him that both I and my brother were visiting the place for different durations and I liked the food they serve ,so I picked their restaurant for all my meals. That somehow made him happy and he packed extra lunch for me for take out.

There is one contrasting example though. There is a fabulous vegetarian south Indian restaurant with a difference in Toronto, where I had a wonderful experience. I have never felt so much welcomed eating out alone at any other restaurant. I was free to choose any available table. I picked the best table. Then the waiter who served me very kindly took my order. While I was waiting, marveling at how sacred the whole place looked with idols of Indian gods, water fountains, and the white interiors, he arrived with two books;  a poetry and a story book. This gesture touched me a lot. Given that I was the only one by myself there, this counts as much as giving someone a company. The books were good and the food too was delicious. It was not just the meal but the ambience and the hospitality that was so singles friendly. I look forward to visiting more places like that all around the world.

I have always liked challenging myself. The journey from a person who would avoid eating alone or eating out alone to a person exploring different places is a full of mixed experiences. There was a brief period of bewilderment as where ever I went I felt a subtle discrimination. But that is when I started exploring more and I thought, one shall never generalize their opinions because the world is full of surprises.

 

 

Friends are Friends even when they leave!

This morning a colleague commented at the flower vase on my office desk and this is what she said “The flowers looked fresh from at a distance, but looking closer; I see they are not real. But they look beautiful!”

Those flowers were given to me by someone close with whom my friendship has faded recently. We make friends for all kinds of reasons. A friend never judges you and always is there in the time of need. So, most of the times you end up making very close friends during challenging periods of your life. Whatever is the reason of your friendship, it always allows you to grow in a certain way. Sometimes you grow apart. The situations that initially brought you together change and make you go in different directions. When you are close to a person, you also start noticing their flaws. Sometimes you talk about it but at other times you just ignore them, or harbor grudges or not-so-nice feelings. Eventually, one day you are left with nothing in common to talk about. All you do is saying Hi, exactly as you did in the beginning, except that now there is also no curiosity about that person, which adds to your not hanging out together anymore. They say that "The best of friends must part." This has recently happened with me. I was wondering if my friend only pretended to be real as those flowers and I was naïve initially to consider her good, like those flowers that appeared fresh from a distance. But looking at the good times we had and what we did for each other in crucial times, I think this friendship still is beautiful, like those fake flowers in the vase. Someone truly said “Friends are friends even when they leave.”

 

Use your gifts!

I am not so new to facebook but definitely new to farmville or the virtual farming that they play there. I have hard time understanding why people play such games and how could someone enjoy virtual farming. I have had my garden last summers. I know the pains and gains of the hobby but keeping it real helps, really. Nevertheless, I used to accept the gifts like apple tree, apricot tree, goat,  pig, chicken etc that people who are active used to send to me. Well after a few days of doing so while I was still accepting all the gifts, there came a message. It was "You have exceeded the limit of accepting gifts, use your accepted gifts before you can accept more".  Well defintely, the idea of playing virtual farming might be a dumb thing for me but this message brought me back to knowledge. They say, when your eyes are open everything you read becomes knowledge/insight/love or God whatever you call it. So I realized that how true it is. We all are born with some gifts in the form of family, qualities etc. If we do not use them in this life time they disappear. We get more gifts as we grow, but if we do not use those, they disappear as well. If you are not using your talents they get wasted. If you are using a gift, many more come to you. It works like law of attraction. Only the wealthy get richer day by day. So like attracts like. If you are sad, you attract sad situations and people around. If you are happy, your surroundings automatically become lighter. So facebook, and farming, even when you do not actively believe in virtual anything, let alone farming, can give you insights.

I got mine. I decided to use my gifts and accept more and more that nature and time offers. Are you using your gifts well? Have you even accepted that you have a few gifts that you are born with or that you earned while growing up?

Are you beautiful?

Beauty is skin deep they say. Are you beautiful? It depends, some might say. Well, do you feel beautiful? It is a choice. Beauty is an attitude that comes only when you feel you are beautiful. Then every single cell of your body puts it in front and every other gesture becomes beautiful. It is like confidence. You cannot show confidence until you are confident. Beauty is not seen but felt. But then why is there a bias in terms of how we define beauty, at least to a certain extent? Why is that the obviously beautiful people externally have the attitude of beauty. May be because they know they are beautiful and thus they can flaunt it. I have seen many beautiful people who do not feel beautiful and thus appear no more beautiful and some very average looking people who feel they are beautiful and thus can express it well. Do you feel beautiful? How does that feel? What are your different ways of feeling beautiful?

 

The difference

When there is bondage already, why create more!

 

a goldfish in the tank
a goldfish in the river
a parrot in the cage
a parrot on the trees
a cat semi resident
a cat in the wild
a dog in the car
a dog on the street
a reptile in the house
a reptile in the jungle
a person’s soul in a relationship to the world
a soul in a relationship with itself

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