Our star shines in the nether world now

We lost this girl 4 days back.

 

 

 

Exactly 11 years back, we brought Judy home along with Tommy.

 

 

 

 

 

Prostrate cancer took Tommy away from us 5 years back. Both were apples of my mom’s eyes and they were vying for her attention all the time. Mom was devastated after Tommy left but Judy’s presence kept her afloat. It’s kind of weird, but everyone in my family has a mind of his/her own and we never agree on most of the things. My granny was like a radio, there was no point trying to tell or convince her about anything. What is astonishing is, every pet we have had, be it dogs, cats and even a cuckoo bird, all of them imbibed this personality automatically.

Tommy and Judy used to know each and every activity inside the house, especially what mom does. They used to disappear the moment they understood that mom was getting medicines ready for them. They would try to keep their heads away from her sight as much as they can. If they had a chance to bury their heads in the ground they would have. Both of them used to sleep as close to mom as they could at night and Judy used to do periodic patrolling inside the house and around mom to make sure nothing were there to disturb her sleep. There is a reason why dogs get attached to us so much. Tommy and Judy were taken away from their mothers when their mothers were still nursing them. They came home and mom started feeding them so mom became mother to them. There is no love bigger and more envious than the love between a mother and her child. Even in his death bed and in his last moments, he was constantly looking at mom. Ditto with Judy as well. We made sure we were around her all the time so that she wouldn’t miss her family in her last hours.

Love in the animal world is straight and simple. Feed them and take care of them and they will give their complete loyalty in return. Their love is unconditional unlike in the human world. What pets do in our lives is something unique and special. They fill up spaces in our lives left behind by other human beings. Parents, siblings, family members, friends; pets make sure that we do not miss them. How do they do this? By constantly seeking our attention. They know when we are sad and need to be left alone and when we should not be alone. We believe animals are less intelligent than us. Most of our knowledge is built from our education system and what we experience in our society which has been created on the concept of wealth. The knowledge that animals possess is rooted in nature which is why they understand love, empathy and compassion much more than us.

Why does death hurt every living being? It’s just not us; every animal displays remorse at the passing of their loved ones. There are two things that happen when a beloved one passes away. We can no longer communicate with that person and most importantly we can never see each other again. This is what hits us first, especially after the funeral. Before this sinks in, we start missing that person and what hurts the most are the little things. Judy used to constantly move around inside the house and keep shifting her resting places. Her footfalls could be heard most of the time. Now there is a certain deathly silence.

What we need to understand is that our comprehension abilities are limited through our 5 senses. We were created with the knowledge that if we understood the entire process and cycle of life and death, we would become reckless beings and would never respect the rules of the Universe. If I knew when and how I was going to die and what would happen to me after death, I would live my life out without care rather than respect the time I have and everything life has given to me. This is why the entire system of life and death has been restricted to us. But as we approach death, that world opens out to us; especially in cases where people have lived out their lives and are dying of old age. My grandpa had a big wide smile on his face as he took his last breath. Death is release from the agony and miseries of our physical existence. Our souls are chained to our bodies just like we put birds and animals in cages. This is why I despise seeing any animal in chains or inside cages because their sufferings are doubly ignominious.

My dad reminisces about all the pets he has had from his childhood and keeps wondering where they are now. Of all the 7 billion people in the world, why do we know only the people we know? Out of them, very few become our best friends and soul mates. Why did we pick Tommy and Judy out of all the big bunch of babies that were there? It is impossible to believe and accept that all of this is random selection. There has to be some sort of connection that brings two people or a person and an animal together. When I look back at all the friends I have made, none of them seem to be random connections. It just happened with each one of them without any explanations. I thought about one of them yesterday and lo and behold, I see his call on my mobile in the evening. I keep telling dad that his beloved pets are just no longer in the physical form; they are in the form of energy and are everywhere. Our beloved ones become our guardian angels when they go to the spirit world and in the spirit form they will have a lot more influence in protecting us. We will not see them in the same form again. They discarded it when they left. But they will always be with us. I don’t miss any of my beloved ones because I have realized that there is no going away. We are eternally connected through space and time and once we realize and accept this, the boundary between life and death will vanish from our minds. We need to actually look forward to the end of our physical existence so that we could be with our beloved ones again.

Judy, my girl, be at peace wherever you are. We buried your body but your memories will be with us till we go to our own graves. Till we meet again in the spirit world…..

Advertisements

Life hacks to deal with urban stress

I had a very interesting train ride recently. Travelling is boring if we are into reading, listening to music or watching movies during the journey. What makes travel interesting, especially by public transport is the diversity of people who are part of the journey. We can engage in conversations with people and experience their experiences and we can also do non-verbal understanding of people by picking up cues from their behavior.

So there was this girl sitting diagonally opposite to me and she was sitting beside an elderly couple so my initial impression was that she was travelling with them. But that changed quickly when I realized that she was never part of their conversation. They both seemed free spirited and were chatting on animatedly, but this girl was keeping herself away from all of it. She looked very young and it looked odd because young people especially girls get into conversations quickly with such elderly people. When they tried to strike up a conversation with her, she spoke a bit, then took out a book to read and eventually went off to sleep. Years of observing and understanding cues from people told me that something about her was not right. Even the way she was sleeping didn’t feel right. After she woke up, I started talking to the elderly couple and slowly dragged her into the conversation. After they left, I continued the conversation with her. That’s when it all came out.

She is employed in a multinational company and was going on a short vacation to her parents’ home. A bit more soul searching and it turned out that she was stressed from work and was running away. To add to this, she is 23 years old. I was astounded. Stressed at 23? That is an age when we adapt to life in a jiffy even it is on a remote island. We don’t even know what stress is at that age. That’s when I realized there is something different about her. She realized that she is stressed and she decided to do something about it. 99% of people at her age wouldn’t have managed to do both. I have been through all of this and I am well aware of what was bothering her. She is not stressed from work, she is stressed from urban life.

They say to become successful, if you can do something, do it yesterday. This is how the corporate world works and is reflected in every aspect of urban life. In the morning, everyone wants to reach office faster and in the evening, everyone wants to reach home faster. Even travelling by public transport is stressful because everyone in the bus or train is stressed about reaching faster and the effect spreads to everyone. Then there is stress from work, stress about household chores, taking care of kids, the list is endless. Cities have become huge stress engines. Then there is something else going on that we are conveniently choosing to ignore.

Normal working time is 9 hours which can extend to 10 or sometimes longer. What people don’t do is to add their travel time to working hours. The travel time is for going to their work place and back so that time has to be added to their working hours. From the time we wake up in the morning, everything we do is oriented in such way so as to make sure that we start travelling to office at a particular time to reach office when our work time starts. We even wake up at a particular time to accomplish this. Our goal from the time we wake up is to reach office. After we finish work, we get back home, get our household chores done and go to sleep at a particular time, with the objective of waking up in the morning to reach office on time the next day. So what is our agenda for the week? Reach Office. Week after week, month after month, year after year, Reach Office is our agenda for 5 days a week. When life becomes this monotonous and when the stress of life in the city gets to us, who wouldn’t burn out after sometime? People who force themselves to carry this for longer duration are the ones who end up with diseases, especially cardiovascular ones.

The question is, how do we pull ourselves out of this hole that too when the Reach Office agenda is upon us relentlessly? Our focus has been oriented towards the Reach Office agenda through years of following its schedule. Tamper with it. Form a habit of doing some activity we look forward to doing in the morning or evening, before or after office. Going into nature is the best way to beat stress but in the urban world, there is not much nature left to savor. In physical activities, dance is the best or a good game of badminton or table tennis. Dancing releases our good hormones which keeps us happy and confident throughout the day. Nature walk and bird photography is a great way to increase patience and focus which can help us significantly in our professional life. Such activities also help us to reduce stress. Now we have another agenda to focus on so the intensity of focus on the Reach Office agenda gets reduced and that in itself contributes to decrease in stress.

Another idea to reduce stress from this mundane urban life is to go on trips away from the bustle of the cities. But there is a little twist here. Do the planning in the preceding weekend for the trip in the next weekend. Now there is something exciting to look forward to and this excitement would drown out the stress of working and travelling in the city for the entire week. We will be on a countdown and with each passing day we will be preparing for the trip. Our mind is now not focused on the Reach Office agenda but it keeps on working because it has become a mechanical aspect of our lives.

The most important thing to remember here is to not run without a plan. We can only run for so long and so far before we have to return to our regular lives. Running away without doing anything and returning will make life even more arduous and painful and the stress will accumulate even more. So run with a plan. Do whatever your heart desires, expend all the pent up energy, go to the mountains and rivers, the blue and the green colors. They can absorb our negative energies and replenish us with fresh energy.

The worst thing happening to us now is that the urban life we are leading is limiting us from exploring ourselves and pushing our boundaries. Our daily lifecycle is being controlled by money based on time. Long hours in the office chairs exhaust our minds which is slowly culling our other abilities. We are falling sick because we are not listening to voices from within us and we are not giving the rejuvenation our mind and body is desperately asking for. Finally what we need to realize is that we are all going through phases of life. This corporate phase will run its course with time, so will the time to raise our children which runs in parallel. If we exhaust ourselves in this phase of life and do not figure out our abilities and passions, we wouldn’t know what to do with our lives when this phase of life ends and we are out of work and our kids have left us. The older generation is already suffering this fate. Ours will be disenchantment to much higher levels.

There was a malayalam movie released 2 years back called Charlie. There are very interesting and important takeaways from the movie. The female protagonist in the movie called Tessa becomes disenchanted with work and urban life and quits both. When she returns to her ancestral home, she gets hounded for marriage and a life afterwards in the US. She bolts and that’s when she comes across the free spirited Charlie. He keeps delaying having a conversation with her and when his father asks him why he replies that it’s not yet time to meet her. The reason is he wants her to first understand what she is looking for in life and why she is interested in meeting him. Without clarity in our thoughts and actions, our lives become meaningless. I told the girl from the train that she is half Tessa now. Unless she understands herself and stop the urban life from bothering her, she will never find her Charlie. If she runs with a clouded mind, she may not even recognize her Charlie if she comes across him. Hopefully this will motivate her to find herself and figure out her life.

The movie called life

I was out on an evening walk with a friend yesterday when we came across a few parked mini vans. It struck immediately. The filming of a movie was in progress. On the opposite side of the road was a popular actor standing on the pavement and posing for the camera. What was unusual for me was, he was standing still so I initially thought they were taking still photographs, but that was not the case. Then they crossed the road and repeated the same. For the amount of time he stood still for a video shoot required immense patience and perseverance. I am aware of the amount of effort that goes into the making of each movie, be it a short film or a multi-starrer commercial movie, but this was the first time I was experiencing it directly. When I was looking at him, I remembered observing the people who were practicing Tai-Chi in the parks in Shanghai. Someone told me that the more we practice Tai-Chi the slower our body movements should become and it struck me that film making is far more rigorous than what it seems to be.

I have always had a strange allure towards movies from my younger days and I realized the reason only years later. It is about the characters in the movie because I find it very interesting to study and understand people and their behavior. It is said that there are certain number of templates from which we are all created; probably that is why they say there are 8 doppelgangers like each one of us somewhere in the world. But then what is different about us? Personality and behavior, both of which are formed from the circumstances we live in and the experiences we go through. The lives of rich people or beggars on the streets might look the same, but what each one experiences in their daily lives is completely unique. Experiences are what make each one of us uniquely different from the others. This uniqueness is usually what inspires the creation of movies because some of us want to share our own experiences and experiences of others with the world.

Not all genres of movies are made based on human experiences. Some are based on our imagination as well. This has only widened the spectrum of movie making. What we are doing in movies is, we are creating characters that live out their lives on the screen based on how we want them to. This leads me to two questions. 1) Are we being Gods here? 2) Just like how we create characters in movies, what if all of us are characters in a massive multi-lingual movie being scripted by someone and the lives we live are based on how we are being directed? The more I think about this, the more intriguing it becomes. If someone was to make a movie in which all the characters look the same and have similar experiences, wouldn’t it be a boring and disastrous movie? I believe similar is the case with our lives as well, that is why the uniqueness is built into our appearance and our experiences. What makes this thought more interesting is the fact that something in the Universe always resembles something else. The atomic structure at the micro level has the uncanny resemblance to the planetary structure around stars at the macro level so it may not be a coincidence that the movies we make resembles the magnum opus movie called life we are part of and the characters we create are similar to the characters we are.

All of this leads me to the question, is the destiny of each one of us part of that script of life? Doesn’t all of this mean that reel life is an integral part of real life? Only one question perplexes me. If what is in real life comes alive on reel life, will the opposite hold true? Will what we imagine and create in reel life come true in real life? Isn’t this happening already? Our random and obscure imagination about advanced technology, super powers and aliens are all slowly coming true. What is actually happening here? On the infinite canvas called life, aren’t we also contributing towards creating characters which means aren’t each one of us mini Gods?

I am sure everyone who reads this will tell me, the more answers we search for the more questions will arise. Let’s stick to watching movies and enjoying them. Oh well, as is always the case, we will know more when we are ready to know more.

Making the right career choices

There is an ongoing debate in my head about whether life is based on destiny or life unravels based on the choices we make. Well, looks like it is a combination of both. I believe destiny plays its role only based on the choices we make. In the timeline of our lives, there are many milestones, like what we choose to study after high school, the first job we take up, the woman we choose to marry, etc. I do not think these are controlled by destiny. Rather, as we make those decisions, destiny decides how many curves and bumps we have to drive through.

Ancient Indian society was broadly divided into four categories or clans: priest, warrior, trader and the worker. Ancient Indian texts also say everyone is born into the worker category; it is each individual’s deeds that decide which category he and his family will fit into eventually. Cut to today and things haven’t changed much except that the trader and worker classes have burgeoned into lot more sub categories and warrior class has become more sophisticated. One significant change that has happened though is, barrier of entry for people from one class to enter into a profession in another class has eased out considerably. But as the choices and options grow, so does the confusion of choice.

High school is sort of a pivot in everyone’s life in these times. In India, it’s a boiling point. Kids are confused as to where to go after high school and parents, friends, relatives, neighbors, everyone gets involved in the decision making process. In a society where everyone aspires to either be an engineer or a doctor, choosing any other path is considered scary and lowly for the fear of being looked down upon. This has resulted in the rise of an infinite number of management colleges across the country where admission can easily be obtained through influence and money, with the consequence that value of engineering and medical courses have diminished considerably unless done from the premier institutes of the country. The situation has reached a point where parents and kids alike are looking at alternate options, the most likely ones being arts and commerce. Both lead to their own areas of professional job markets but then there is another choice waiting to be made at the end of bachelor’s degree: enter the public or private sector. Entering both sectors most probably require further education, either master’s degree or taking up professional courses/programs.

So what are the best options? I believe every one of us is born with innate talents, be it in arts or sports or in some other field. Nurture these natural talents along with formal education. It helps in making decisions on those milestone points. Further, formal education provides one source of income. Inherent talents provide an additional source of income and also a good reason to break away and relax from the rigors of our primary source of income. Skilled people, be it in arts, music or be it blacksmiths, tailors, farmers, etc., will always be in demand. I have come to realize that we suffer only when we start depending solely on our formal education and jobs as our only source of income which becomes a single point of failure. We give the control of our lives to the corporate sector and the decisions on how to lead our lives ahead no longer remain with us. Having a secondary or even multiple sources of income as fallback have become critical in these times.

Now how do kids who are just out of high school going to comprehend all of this or think through this on their own? In India they mostly don’t that’s where the ecosystem of people around them comes into the picture. I was one of those kids who knew what I wanted to study further and why but 90% kids may not be having any targets before them. When people come together to make this decision for the kids, ideas and choices fly all over the place, but it should be taken care that choices should be evaluated only based on the interests and abilities of the kids and not on what the people’s aspirations about the kids are. There is a popular saying that kids are butterflies and butterflies cannot lift stones. So thrusting something on a kid and expecting him/her to excel in it is only going to keep the kid inside the pressure cooker and ultimately destroy his/her self-confidence. Helping kids take decisions on their milestones should be complemented by listening to Pink Floyd’s “Another brick in the wall”. They say “leave ’em kids alone” and they have been spot on.

An objective look at God, Universe and creation

More than enough has been said and written and everyone is trying to find out the truth about our origins and about the history of our planet and the Universe. This is all leading to one point, the creator of the cosmos and everything in it. I have been baffled by this all along because it is extremely weird why we would want to know about that entity or whatever is out there and how would that knowledge make any difference to our lives, but it is getting clearer for me now. I am starting to believe that we have been looking at the wrong things and asking the wrong questions all along.

 

Fundamental to all of this is our flawed assumption that whoever created us also created the Universe. Ancient Indian texts, largely ignored as a collection of mythical fantasies are actually a lot more than that. They say we were created by someone called Manu and ancient Sumerian texts say we were created by someone called Anu.  Coincidence? But is it mentioned anywhere that Manu/Anu created the Universe or our planet? No. I believe we are looking at the word creation from all the wrong perspectives. Do we have the ability to create? Yes, we procreate so we are able to create our own beings and we are also creating other living beings now. We also have the ability to create non-living things and we have filled this planet with them. So if we have the ability to create so much, what about the abilities of the entity that created us? What if we find this entity and then come to know that this entity is also searching for the one that created it?

 

When it comes to creation, I have never come across anyone asking one question. We all know atoms are the building blocks of everything in the Universe. Question is, where do atoms come from and how do they get created? Ancient texts say all of us have an element of God in us and in scientific terms, this is nothing other than atoms. So when we make a car or a TV, it is basically atoms manipulating atoms, correct? Similarly, someone manipulated atoms and created us. This means creation has been delegated across the Universe. According to Indian texts, the Universe is created at the dawn of a Brahma day and destroyed at the end of the day. The span of a Brahma day/night is about 311 trillion earth years. During the period of Brahma night, there is nothing or there is absolute void. So does this mean no atoms exist in that state? If this is true, then during dawn, one of the below two things are happening to kick start the creation of the Universe:

 

  1. Atoms are being released from somewhere or by someone and the source is also created from atoms.

 

  1. Atoms are getting created from some other fundamental cosmic particles.

 

In both cases, this is just plain manipulation of atoms. So the question we should be asking here is, how can atoms manipulate atoms or what is it that enables atoms to manipulate one another?

 

What is our purpose for the search of God or our creator? We were created by someone or something whose powers and abilities were beyond what we could fathom and we ended up worshipping it, just like we were worshipping everything in nature in our early days when we did not understand nature. We have always needed someone beyond our comprehension to look up to for us to keep believing that this entity will solve our problems when we cannot. The question here is why can’t we make our lives better ourselves when all it should really take is to change the vibrations of the atoms in and around us?

 

Trying to understand the Universe and its creation is like peeling an onion. By the time we reach the core of the onion, our eyes will become so watery that we will not be able to see anything. We know about 2, 3 and more dimensions so how many dimensions might exist? My grandma used to say there are 2 x 7 = 14 worlds. Did she mean dimensions or Universes? What did she mean when she said 2 x 7? Do dimensions exist within the realm of a Universe or outside of it? Does our Universe have 14 dimensions? In which Universe or dimension do we exist now? Is it possible to travel from one dimension or Universe to another? When we die do our souls travel into another dimension or to another Universe? All of this is always going to be beyond our realm of understanding.

 

Creation, destruction and recreation of the Universe can be substantiated from the fact that this process is mirrored across the Universe. Everything in the Universe has a start date and an end date which is life and death for us. If the Universe can be recreated, so can we be reborn which proves reincarnation of our souls. At the lowest level, we can simply say atoms are being reused. This is where it gets interesting. Why does everything that happens in the Universe happen? Why do stars disintegrate? Why are black holes formed? Why do planets collide? Why are we born? Why do we experience all that we experience in our life time? Is it that the information from everything that is happening in the Universe is being recorded and stored which can be used for the further evolution of this Universe or even for the creation of other Universes? There is something called Akashic records which has been mentioned by many as a repository of knowledge of the Universe that exists in another dimension. The fundamental question here is why, why all of this happening. The objective of any investigation is to find the motive and that is exactly we need to find here as well. If we find out the why, everything else will fall in place.

 

If we start looking for answers to these questions, we will have no time left to quarrel and squabble with one another because from the perspective of the Universe and creation, the life we live now will not make any sense. Though we are all made from atoms we are all unique in our own ways. This is true for the animal world as well. Similarly, what we experience in our lives is also unique. This is the real beauty of creation and the most intriguing aspect of the Universe. Once I realized this, whatever is happening in our world, be it with politics, murders, rapes and everything else has stopped affecting my mind. The Universe is learning and evolving and it is gathering information from every possible means. No God is coming to save people from getting murdered and raped. It is for us to decide what information do we want to pass on to the Universe and lead our lives accordingly.

 

Finally, when someone says God, think atoms.

 

 

My shot at decoding destiny

Probably the two words I have heard more than any other in my life are destiny and fate. I don’t know if the concept of destiny is localized to the Indian subcontinent and to people who are descendants of ancient civilizations. When I was in Europe, I heard no one speak about destiny. It was as if such a thing did not even exist in their world. The context in which the word is used is in itself ironic. When we succeed in achieving something, it is because of our hard work and when we don’t it gets attributed to destiny. Well, first of all, working hard will only take us from point A to point B in life because when we invest ourselves completely into something, we must have usually decided what we want and how to get there. For me, working smart is what reveals to me what is out there other than point B. So when we fail in getting or doing something, there might be many reasons for it. Maybe we did not do the appropriate things when they were supposed to be done, we were blinded by someone’s perception and so on. Then what must be destiny?
This question has vexed me for the longest time primarily because I am simply not able to accept that everything in my life has been decided in advance. It makes me feel like I am a preprogrammed robot. Then how do we explain emotions and unique experiences we go through? When the entire cosmos can be defined and explained using numbers and probability, why are they not applicable to our lives as well? What if we are presented with choices continuously in our lives and what we choose defines our life ahead as well as the lives of other people? Let me substantiate this with an example from my life. When my grandfather retired from his job in India, he was given an offer to work from London for 2 years. It was the early 1970s and it was a very easy time to relocate. He chose not to. Fast forward to 2010 and there was an opportunity for me to get a transfer to my company’s office in the UK but I couldn’t go because company was not ready to apply for my work visa. My point here is, life could have been so different for the entire family if he had chosen to go. He went back to where he was born and had struggled for a long time, struggled again in his old age and passed away with a lot of regret. I have never seen anything preordained here. It was the choices he made that defined his life and is probably defining my life now.
But then there is a mystery here. The unique personalities we all have. This is where it gets tricky. Our soul is pure energy which powers our entire body. At the moment we are conceived in our mother’s womb, we cannot be defined in any way which can be equated with our interpretation of God. As we grow in our mother’s womb, we start becoming aware of the world outside the womb through her feelings and emotions. Our personality development starts from that point. We lose the purity of our souls when we are enveloped with all the social constraints of the world. Here is where the conflict is. Our bodies are supposed to be reflections of our pure souls but they end up becoming representations of our personalities that are defined by our evolution through our experiences. So death is detaching our personality from our soul and reverting the soul to it’s pure form again. So when we speak about reincarnation, it should be the rebirth of our personality.
No matter if we are aware of this or not, we are all learning from our experiences and everything that we learn is what is causing our personalities to evolve. Is destiny something that defines what a personality has to experience to move from point A to point B in it’s journey? Maybe the soul is the engine that powers the personality’s journey and our body is just a mode of transportation for the personality. Probably this is why we get connected to some people so well and sometimes so quickly. Our personalities must be crossing paths in our travel through time.
So where does all of this leave us with destiny? Blissfully resting the accountability of our actions and choices on something that we cannot even define has probably made our species so dangerous. Aren’t we using destiny as the fall guy for all our wrongdoings? Aren’t we using destiny as a license to not make the right choices? A woman gets raped because she was destined for it? Someone gets killed by a suicide bomber or in road rage because it was his destiny? Unbelievable. Does whatever we experience and go through as a result of the wrong decisions we take add value to us? Is there a higher power that is judging us on our actions and choices? Again, hard for me accept. This looks more to me like extremely complicated and intricate mathematics at play. Then did someone create all of it? Maybe yes, but did that entity define our destiny? Definitely no. It just has to be one of the outcomes of what we call as creation.

Corporate wisdom from death

A neighbour, in his late 40s passed away today morning. He fell sick a few days back and was in the ICU for the past couple of days. But we had noticed that he was under a lot of stress for the past month or so and now it seems he knew this was coming his way. Death always brings in a cloud of melancholy and pensiveness over the grieving family and the people around them. From the moment we are born, death is a part of each one of us. To put it simply, the only companion who is with us from the first breath we take to the last is death. I cannot comprehend why there is so much fear, apprehension, sorrow and remorse over something that is inevitable to each one of us. All of this throws a very intriguing comparison with the corporate world we are part of.

Ancient Indian texts say Brahma is the creator of the Universe and all celestial bodies in the Universe. Manu is the creator of life in the Universe. Woah…so it means Brahma is the Founder and Chairman and Manu is the CEO. Then there are entities who can control wind, fire, sun, water and all other natural elements. All of them must be managers then. Have they written down essentially about a freaking enterprise at the cosmic level? No need to be surprised. How our brain is wired looks similar to how the cosmos with the all the celestial bodies have been created. The structure of an atom resembles how planetary bodies move around their stars. So even the hierarchy and structure we follow in the companies might be a reflection of how the Universe has been created. Then there is the concept of reincarnation. For some this may be the first life or the first job and for others, each life may be like each job in the corporate journey. But then there is a stark difference in the way we perceive life in the world and life in the corporate world. When a child is born, we get overjoyed and are in full celebratory mode and when someone dies we drown ourselves in sorrow. In the corporate world, we step into every new job with eagerness but with plenty of apprehension as well. We keep our guards up till we start feeling comfortable in our job, with our colleagues and with the corporate culture and work environment. When we quit a job and move on, we give parties and treats to our friends and colleagues. I believe this is how we should approach life as well. But why don’t we? Because if we see start of life with apprehension, we wouldn’t want to have children and humanity will cease to exist. We cannot celebrate death because we still do not know what happens to us after death and we never may. The fear of the unknown and the fact that we will never see our loved ones again is what brings in all the sorrow and pain. If reincarnation is true, we will simply step into a new life just like we step into a new job and if the concept of moksha is true, we will escape the cycle of life and death. No more jobs to take up in the cosmic cycle. What next is the next level of unknown.

What is our take away from all of this? All of us are here for a reason, just like we are hired by companies for particular roles. Understand our responsibilities, fulfill them and live our lives to the fullest. Just like we agree to disagree and work together, we should learn to agree to disagree and live our lives together. Just like all companies have their business objectives which gets fulfilled by hiring us, the cosmos may also have it’s own objectives by putting us in the cycle of life and death. We have been endowed with the five senses and to savour the beauty of life and the vibrant nature that nourishes and sustains us. We just need to learn to appreciate life in general the way we appreciate life in the corporate world. Just like we learn new things in our job and become comfortable with time, the more we understand nature, the more we learn about life, the more we comprehend about our life and our purpose and the less uncertain we will become about death. My first encounter with death was when I was 10, when I lost my grandpa, the man who taught me that it is possible to love someone wholeheartedly with no expectations. I realized then that everyone including myself will meet death some day. For a 10 year old, the knowledge was too overwhelming and it took a while for my mind to become stable. What I also learned was that everything we do should be with full passion be it in our jobs or be it in our relationships, so that when we leave our jobs or when people in our lives pass away or move on from us, we can keep going forward without having to tow a baggage of regrets with us. I have had to give up on salary increments, promotions and an international assignment, but giving my time to my grandma during her final years was paramount to me than anything else. When she did pass away eventually, I did not have any regrets.

Just like we are connected to our bosses, colleagues and friends on social networks, we may also be connected to everyone at the cosmic level. There is this concept of jeevatma and paramatma according to ancient Indian texts. Jeevatma is the energy that fuels our body and paramatma is something that is part of the creator in us. It has been found recently that a part of our DNA consists of an extraterrestrial code that will stay unchanged throughout the lifespan of the Universe. Is this what paramatma means? A code that is activated from the time we are conceived and is actively communicating with a single entity or source of supreme energy? If all of us are connected to that entity, then it means we are all connected to one another in the cosmos. Maybe we meet some people because we have met them in our past lives just like we come across old colleagues in new companies. We meet new people to learn more and to gather more experiences.

I have never feared death because I know it is something I have no control over. As long as I am learning from my experiences and focused on the present moment, my future will only become better. I know that I cannot keep everyone around me equally happy at the same time, so the easy thing to do is to find my own happiness and make those people a part of my life who are happy with the way I am. As long as I am not hurting anyone intentionally and living life the way I want to, I know I am doing just fine. There was a time when my life had become completely monotonous because I was focused only on my professional life and my personal side was in tatters. It has taken me time, effort and pain to find the real me, but it has been well worth the trouble. Life in a way is imprisonment because the society and circumstances restricts us from exploring ourselves and finding our true abilities. Death is release from this imprisonment. We take up a new role to learn more, take up more responsibilities, expand our capabilities and challenge ourselves. We need to apply the same concept to life as well. Live in harmony with nature, find our happiness and live life to the fullest and death may take us to a better afterlife.

The science of mythology

Mythical sagas abound in our society. Heroes with supernatural powers, villains who were giants, the ones who descended from the sky, mystery weapons of mass destruction, the list is endless. I grew up listening to stories narrated by my granny from ancient Indian texts and my dad making fun of her. For the longest time, I thought they were mere imaginations of people’s minds and they were stories woven to showcase what good and bad are, how to differentiate them and choose the life we want to lead. Society conditions us in many different ways to make us confine our thoughts and actions within it’s ambit of rules and I thought these stories were merely to enforce those rules upon us. The incidents in the stories were supposed to have happened thousands and even millions of years ago and mainstream science which we have learnt doesn’t have a knowledge bank which stretches that far back so we were taught to perceive them as mythical stories. But when I came to my senses after doing a lot of reading, one thing became abundantly apparent to me. No one can imagine and write up anything so descriptively especially when many aspects are defined so vividly. People have come across things in the past that were beyond their comprehension so they have explained in the way they could depict with their limited knowledge. Then it struck me. “Astra” means weapon and Brahma Astra can mean a weapon that can even destroy what Brahma the Creator had created. It might have been an incredibly powerful weapon made from really advanced technology which people could not comprehend so they must have depicted those weapons as bows and arrows. Or were they depicted as bows and arrows purposefully and left that way for people in the future to interpret it correctly when we become technologically advanced enough?

So what is mythology? For me, its an amalgamation of truth and fiction. When stories are passed on, we have the natural inclination to spice it up in our own ways to make them interesting for the audience we are passing on to. So over a period of thousands of years, truth and fiction could have merged and separating them would be impossible for us. So if we were advanced beings in the past or there were beings so advanced from us, what happened? Everything in nature follows a cycle. What goes up has to come down and we are also part of the cycle. When we as a civilization can prosper and reach where we are today, why is it difficult to wrap our brains around the fact that civilizations like ours or even advanced than ours could have existed in the distant past? Question is, where is the proof? Its slowly coming out, like a remains of a nuclear power plant that has been unearthed in Africa that was carbon dated to millions of years back. Mainstream science will not accept any of this because with the existing knowledge about humanity and our origins, these findings can never be explained.

It is amazing how Indian mythology is portrayed with such brilliance and vibrance in the Puranas and Itihasas. Puranas speak about the Gods and Itihasas such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata speak about humans. I have always wondered why the Sun, Wind, Fire, Rain, Thunder and everything else are being spoken about in terms of Gods. It may be that there were entities who had the ability to control these elements. We are on the way to mastering how to control weather now and this could prove the powers those entities had. It is also understood and accepted now that the moon and other planets exert great influence on our lives and on our planet as it has mentioned in Indian astrology. So there may have been entities who could control the influence of these bodies on us as well and maybe this is why there are temples in India where these heavenly bodies are worshipped as deities. How Lord Ganesha’s head was severed and then replaced with an elephant’s head might be a reference to a successful head transplant procedure. The descriptions of Vimanas are still not fully understood in the present day. Every story about these Gods may have a scientific explanation associated with it which we are yet to comprehend, probably because our knowledge of science and technology may have to be much more advanced. Lord Rama from the Ramayana is called as “aajaanabaahu” which means someone with giant hands. He was supposed to have hands that extended down below his knees. Now that we have started finding skeletons of giants measuring 10 and 12 feet in height, we need to wonder what beings used to exist in our distant past.

What has been mentioned in ancient Indian texts about life, death, afterlife and reincarnation is mind boggling. All ancient civilizations agree to the fact that we were created in the mirror image of our Creator. Maybe that’s why we represent all Gods in human form. Anyways, what is intriguing is the concept of Jeevatma and Paramatma. Jeevatma is the soul or the energy source that keeps us alive and Paramatma is the essence of our Creator in us. It has come to light recently that our DNA is encoded with an ancient extraterrestrial code which remains unchanged through the time span of the Universe. Could this be what Paramatma means? Does this also mean some DNA in us is activated as soon as we are conceived and is in constant communication with our Creator? I have always tried to understand what it means by Gods incarnating in human form on earth. It may be as simple as humans born with more DNA from the Creator. Will this explain Lord Rama and Lord Krishna as incarnations of Lord Vishnu?

So what happened to the ancient civilizations? Some ancient tribes believe that our planet has been destroyed completely 3 times before and the 4th is on the way. This would coincide with the concept of Yugas or Ages according to ancient Indian texts. We are in the 4th age or Kali Yuga. Now that the ancient city of Dwarka has been discovered under the sea, the pieces are slowly coming together. I have always wondered about how the time of dinosaurs came into existence until they explained how in the movie Godzilla, the creature is born from nuclear tests done under the ocean. Did a nuclear holocaust or something of that scale caused mutation of animals and created those giant creatures? Its really amazing that science and technology can not only show us the way to our future, but can also shed light into our past and help us understand where we are coming from. If our past has been so glorious, then we are in a state of deep amnesia. Understanding that we are in amnesia is the first step. Only then we can find our way to reclaim our past and our glory. In the meantime, I will keep looking at every scientific breakthrough to see if that would explain anything mentioned in ancient Indian texts. Interesting times ahead for me.

PS – I am an avid reader of online magazines like Earth We Are One (EWAO), Universe Explorers, Spirit Science, etc and I get a great deal of information from them.

Changes and transformations – a view from the top

The world we know is in a state of metamorphosis. The once sleepy little town I belong to is now fast becoming a city, but what is strange is, for all these years we have seen only summer and rain, but now, we are increasingly experiencing bouts of cold. Closer to the equator, closer to ocean, high humidity and cold? Climate change? One immediate pointer is towards pollution caused by human misdeeds. But its not just the climate that is changing. Our planet is in itself changing and I believe we are playing our part in it. Our lives started changing from the time of the Industrial Revolution and the 20th century was the time when we saw our greatest inventions come forth, be it electricity, TV or computers. But we are not just growing. We are also evolving. The awareness about what is wrong with our social structure, the processed food we are eating, natural remedies, sedentary lifestyle, misinterpretations about God and religion, rejection of divisive politics, everything is coming into the limelight now. Human consciousness in itself is evolving.

I got to know someone recently who surprisingly thinks a lot like me. I will call her S. She is walking out of an affluent job role in a corporate media company to pursue her passion for music. The message that she is conveying to the world is that she doesn’t want her soul to be caged in a materialistic world that knows only to be self centered. She told me something today that surprised me. She said she wants to touch people’s lives with music. These are definite proofs that there are people among us whose consciousness is evolving.

I am quite sure the world must be knowing about what is happening in India with regards to beef ban and how a section of people hell bent on fomenting trouble with religious fundamentalism is creating furore over beef ban. The other day, a team mate who happens to be a Muslim and I were talking about it and laughing away. He was saying that beef in India basically means buffalo meat. No one goes to a meat shop and asks specifically for cow meat. If cow meat is available, then thats because butchers are supplying it, by killing cows and selling it as beef. So if the self styled army of cow savers have a problem, they should go catch the butchers rather than lynching people who are eating beef without even checking if it is cow meat or not. When we were discussing all of this, I suddenly realised that he is like a younger brother to me and if any Hindu fundamentalists come after him, they will get to him only over my dead body. So essentially, there is compassion, tolerance and awakening of human consciousness at the individual levels. So at the collective level, what is wrong with us?

We have kept ourselves divided over a million reasons, like race, religion, caste, skin colour, the list keeps going. We used to have those differences in the past, but with growing education and greater awareness about the world, isn’t it high time we kicked away these divides? Why are we not able to stay together as one species? Maybe because the survival of our species is not paramount to us anymore. What would unite us though? An invasion of our planet by an alien species from outer space can, in true “Independence Day” movie style. But then, why is that not happening? No living species outside of our planet?

Today I read an article about how scientists have found an organism that can live without water. I wasn’t surprised. I am quite unhappy with our ridiculous assumption that life can thrive only with water and oxygen and how every investigation of planets in the outer space is based on this assumption. Before looking for alien life we should answer a couple of simple questions first: What if intelligent alien species have already found us but they are not able to visit us because they cannot survive where there is water and oxygen? Our planet itself was in a completely different state millions of years ago and maybe it was possible for giants to live on earth then and not anymore. Second question is, where did life on Earth come from? Surely, it did not evolve on it’s own here. Out in the infinite vastness of the Universe, only one planet that cannot even be represented by a visible dot harbours life. A ridiculous fantasy at best. So are we also alien species or mutants or both? Men In Black meets X-Men?

What if alien species are not able to visit us or we are not able to find or visit them because that’s how the Universe has been designed? Indigenous species of life has to evolve in different conditions, similar to our own, more benign or more harsh than our planet so that diversity can be maintained. It may not be in the interest of the Universe about we coming in contact with alien beings randomly because our species might get destroyed through wars and/or cross breeding. Maybe the Universe itself is evolving and this is how it has been designed to evolve. This is why I believe space exploration is tricky and dangerous for us because we have no idea how the design of the Universe works.

I am quite sure mathematics can explain everything, but if we indeed knew it all, we would become equal to Brahma, the creator or rather the mathematician who has created the design of the Universe. My belief that the Universe in itself needs equal doses of positive and negative energy to keep it balanced is growing now. That is why I am seeing violence in the name of cow meat and someone wanting to touch people’s lives with music happening simultaneously. There is constant shifting and realignment of the Universe going on, some subtle and some in our full view and all of it may require positive and negative energy in equal measure. Maybe it is the changes and transformations of the Universe that is getting reflected as trials and tribulations in our lives. Maybe we need to understand ancient wisdom like astrology deeply and interpret it from a deeper consciousness level. Anyways, as long as there are people like S, there is hope, that the balance of energy is being maintained. If that is by design of the Universe itself, wouldn’t it make her special or like we say isn’t she God’s gift?

A good life to ponder over

The untimely death of someone very close to me due to alcohol abuse sent a few alarm bells ringing inside my head. Indulgence is a word that has become so synonymous with humanity, it should probably be added as the eighth sin. We have lost our balance of everything, be it with Mother Nature or with our lives itself. That’s why people are becoming obese and aneroxic, porn and drug addicts, we are just wildly swinging into one extremity or the other. It is just amazing to observe how skewed people’s lives are now and the random things we tend to do. What about finding the balance and living a good life?

Question is, what is a good life and who decides it? A good life is just like pure black and pure white. Doesn’t exist. Everything exists in shades of grey. Similarly, a good life can have different meanings for everyone. People say, what’s the point anyways, we will all die and go some day. So better live life as we want. Perfectly fine. But when we say that, we forget one crucial aspect. There is very little we have control over in our own lives. Mother Nature has her own rules, our body works in its own mysterious ways, society has its diktats and when we consider all the constraints that are upon us, the question is not who we are but what are we. What I find ironic is, we talk about goals and achievements, fortune and fame and in our mad rush for glory, we choose to stay oblivious of all the constraints that hold us back. That is why one stroke of death leaves us all in silence and numbness because nothing about us and what did and achieved matters anymore. All our fame and glory stays within the realm of humanity and only humans remember us that too for a while. Life moves on whether we are alive or dead. We talk about afterlife, heaven and hell, but we do not know what lies beyond the realm we live in. What really matters and what I believe in is something else.

Energy. The whole Universe is enveloped in fields of energy and we are bound by it as well. This is the fact we have to be acutely aware of because we interact with the energy field around it through our thoughts and actions and changes it. When we interact with people, its our energies that are truly interacting but we never think about it that is why we may be passing on our negative vibrations to the energy of other people. This is how negativity spreads. I never understood the purpose of astrology and horoscope until I realized the importance of energy in our lives. Astrology, in reality, checks the energy fields of two people and tries to understand what happens when these energy fields interact closely. That is why some predictions talk about death to one of the partners or problems with the child born out of the union. When we are with friends and pets, our energies interact positively and create positive energy which creates the feel good factor because the positive energy stays with us for some time. Same is the case when we are stuck in a bad situation, when we quarrel with and abuse people and indulge in violence. Wrong influence of our thoughts and actions on our energy fields and their subsequent interactions with other energy fields lead to the creation of negative energy which propels us to make more mistakes. That is how a silly argument can turn quickly into a nasty brawl. Road rage is a prime example of this. A large amount of negative energy gets built up in no time that’s how situations go out of hand, people pick up guns and starts shooting at each other following heated arguments.

The influence of our actions on the energy around us is not limited to our personal lives. Our professional lives are equally or more stressful. I have observed in surprise and awe how we strive to create tense situations, get into arguments, put our ego in front of disagreements and make it personal, the list goes on. Try standing aside and watching the negative energy building up. Sometimes I have felt that I am getting paid for contributing towards creating and maintaining a negative work environment and for accepting to live with increasing negative energy. A jolly good person is not considered a good leader because corporate rules mandate that he/she should be sober, serious and without emotion. Phew….we are working with our fellow beings not animals or aliens. To start with, I believe we can create a lot of positive energy simply by asking team members to “work with us” rather the usual usage of “work for us” or “work under us”.

Life, in all it’s miserable worst, can still show us our way ahead. I was in my late teens when life brought me down with a debilitating back pain. For years, I lived in bitterness for having to live with this curse. Then exercises slowly started making me feel better. As years went by the truth dawned on me. I have to exercise every day now, not just for my back but I also have to make sure that my waistline does not increase as it will increase the stress on my back. Result? I have to watch what I eat so I quit meat, reduced fatty, oily and spicy food, I have sugar and salt in control, I go for walks and I do all required exercises to keep my body toned. I have to constantly monitor my BMI and make sure my weight is always in proportion to my height. Most people might find this a tough life to live, for me, living a healthy life has become an addiction. Even when I am out on trips, I make sure to wake up early enough to do my workouts. What I thought was a curse and a liability is turning out to be a blessing in disguise. Developing the ability to extract positive energy from negative situations is the best way to make ourselves mentally stronger.

Fortunately, the world is slowly moving into a higher state of consciousness and there is increasing awareness about our body, our planet and the Universe. We are starting to reject contemporary methods of treatment and returning to the age old natural remedies. For example, I have a potent combination of ginger-pepper-turmeric-lime juice in black tea to treat any stomach ailments including food poisoning and the results have always amazed me. More importantly, there is greater awareness of our inherent ability to heal ourselves naturally and to understand this, we have to first understand and accept the fact that the life we are leading is tampering with our health. But what I believe is the key to living a good life is to have a balanced state of mind and that is our tallest challenge.

I have first hand experience of what can happen when the flow of energy in our body is corrected. After 5 acupuncture sessions, I was feeling unbelievably energized. But it is not enough that we have positive energy within us. It is also equally important that the energy around us is also positive. Letting go is the best way to keep positive energy around us. When we think of letting go, that’s when we think of what we are holding back in our lives. True love for someone should only mean that the other person should always be happy no matter if that person is with us or not. We should let go off the anger and let it not affect our ego when we have disagreements at work. We should only have ambitions about what we can work and achieve and we should identify and let go of unrealistic desires. It is always safer to hear, see and feel more and speak less. Last but least of all, we should be strong enough to be who are and not who the society wants us to be. We may not end up having many friends and society may treat us as outcasts, but what we end up having ultimately with us is all we will need. All of these wont make us clones of Buddha, but will definitely make us wiser and give us greater control over own lives. Finally this one picture which I came across says it all. How I wish I had seen this a few years back. It may have helped me save a precious life.

a496492f-3b1f-4aec-a24d-01c65920f7e5-medium