Friday, 28 November 2014

About Quadcopters and life

Few days ago, I was walking along the St Kilda beach with my two kids and saw this funky copter. It was pretty cool. Had four wings and is extremely agile and moving quite fast. Of course, my kids are fascinated and we went and had a chat to the gentleman who was manning this little gadget. He was a truly a gentleman and explained me all about this thing called Quad(copter). There are rules and regulations for owning and flying this thing. There are lot of things that you can do with this. He went on explaining. Firstly, it’s not legal to fly this on the beach. It needs to be flown across the water because of obvious reasons like; it might hit someone and hurt them. Then, there is thing about privacy. Because, this can be fitted with a Video camera which can take videos. But, he explained me that unless it is hovering over same place for a minute or two, one cannot actually get clear or detailed view of people, someone sunbathing on the beach. That’s, why, I don’t come here when it is busy - He explained. The Quad's charge allows it to fly for about 20 minutes for a distance of 1 Kilometre, height of about 400 feet (above that is illegal to fly) and he is having a pair of glasses by which he can actually see the Quad. The, if something goes wrong, he loses sight of it, there is a button called Home or return to base and by pressing it, the Quad will come back without any further instructions. It costs about $1200 to get a decent one like this. This is his hobby and he already lost couple of them while flying on the sea.
Interesting - isn't It.? When can I get one? Gopal asked me and told him that he need to be at least 12 yrs to get one like this for him.
A Quadcopter 

A Quadcopter
Shortly afterwards, I reflected on this and thought about this gentleman. How passionate he was talking about his quad, what are things it can you, how he can control it etc. Surely, all of us want to be a creator, maintainer and a Master. In Bhagavad Gita,Chapter 3 Verse 27 there is a nice verse,
At St Kilda Beach
"prakrteh kriyamanani
 gunaih karmani sarvasah
 kartaham iti manyate
TRANSLATION: The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature."
 So in general people think that they are the doer, doing things by their own will. But, actual fact is everyone is conditioned by the three modes goodness, passion and ignorance and depending on the mode that is prominent and dominant, that will dictate a person to act in such a way. Suppose, in a restaurant the waitress spilled coffee on a customer, depending on the mode people might react differently. Once person might say, that’s fine and goes and cleans his cloths. Other who is passionate might raise his voice and shout on the person who spilled the coffee and one who governed by the mode of ignorance might actually get up and bash the other person. Very good, one may say. I am not doing anything, it’s all the 3 modes of nature goodness, passion and ignorance that are making me do things and God is the one who controls everything so ultimately, it’s his fault. But, here is the caveat – you as a tiny spirit soul has some minute independence can actually desire for something to happen and basically whatever that happens to you is due to your desire and past karma that put you in certain situation.
Yes, we can all create and control something in our life. Just like, if you are walking along Swanston Street in Melbourne, you see a person controlling, juggling few balls by tossing them into air, one, two, three, four and catching and tossing one before the other one comes down. Think of the great God, who created this whole universe where he is actually making huge, gigantic balls of planets, stars floating and moving in their orbits with exact precision.
Brahma Samhita 5.35
eko 'py asau racayitum jagad-aṇḍa-koi
yac-chaktir asti jagad-anda-cayā yad-antah
govindam ādi-purusam tam aham bhajāmi

Translation: He is an undifferentiated entity as there is no distinction between potency and the possessor thereof. In His work of creation of millions of worlds, His potency remains inseparable. All the universes exist in Him and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore.
 I think, I will write more about this some other time.. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Helping Your Child to become a better person

This is a superb forward I received. Worth reading every sentence.

Tirukkural written by Tiruvalluvar more than 5000 yrs ago , but not even One Kural of total 1337 have become irrelevant now. It's one of the ancient science on Human behaviour, which has not changed in-spite of environment & technology!  ...


1. If your child lies to you often, it is because you over-react too harshly to their inappropriate behaviour.
2. If your child is not taught to confide in you about their mistakes, you've lost them.
3. If your child had poor self-esteem, it is because you advice them more than you encourage them.
4. If your child does not stand up for themselves, it is because from a young age you have disciplined them regularly in public.
5. If your child takes things that do not belong to them, it is because when you buy them things, you don't let them chose what they want.
6. If your child is cowardly, it is because you help them too quickly.
7. If your child does not respect other people's feelings, it is because instead of speaking to your child, you order and command them.
8. If your child is too quick to anger, it is because you give too much attention to misbehaviour and you give little attention to good behaviour.
9. If your child is excessively jealous, it is because you only congratulate them when they successfully complete something and not when they improve at something even if they don't successfully complete it.
10. If your child intentionally disturbs you, it is because you are not physically affectionate enough.
11. If your child is openly defied, it is because you openly threaten to do something but don't follow through.
12. If your child is secretive, it is because they don't trust that you won't blow things out of proportion.
13. If your child talks back to you, it is because they watch you do it to others and think its normal behaviour.
14. If your child doesn't listen to you but listens to others, it is because you are too quick to make decisions.
15. If your child rebels it is because they know you care more about what others think than what is right or wrong.
Change starts at home. Try a few if not all and see the see change in the relations.

This also made me to do bit of research on net about this and found this further information.
The Thirukural is one of the most valuable literary works in the Tamil language. It is a masterpiece of Tamil literature and is regarded as containing the purest form of human thoughts. Thirukural is a universal bible composed during the last of three Sangam eras. Thirukural was written by a great Tamil poet, Thiruvalluvar, who is believed to have lived sometime between 500-200 BCE. It is a classic of 1330 couplets, structured in 133 chapters in 3 sections.
Arathupaal, Porutpaal and Kaamathupaal.

Arathupaal – This section teaches aram (right conduct), good ethical behavior with conscience and honor.
Porutpaal – This section teaches porul, the right manner of conducting worldly affairs.
Kaamathupaal – This section teaches inbam (love), ultimate intimacy between men and women.
The first section has 38 chapters, the second has 70 chapters, and the third has 25 chapters. Each chapter consists of 10 kural (couplets) each, making a total of 1330 kural in 133 adhigaarams (chapters). Each kural consists of seven words in two lines – four words in first line and three words in the second line.

The first kural that is written is:
"Just as the alphabet ‘A’ is the beginning of all letters,
 so also, God is the beginning for this universe."

Interesting, Isn't it.? I am trying to get a genuine copy of the whole book or three books, if available.

Friday, 7 November 2014

A day trip to Hare Krishna Valley

Hare Krishna Valley is a beautiful 200 acres ISKCON farm located about 120 kms from Melbourne. Recently, I visited the farm along with my family on a special occasion called Go puja or worshiping the Holy cow. It is considered in Hinduism that a Cow is an embodiment of all goodness, its milk is the most nutritious containing all essential Vitamins, Proteins etc.
The farm itself was well maintained by an enthusiastic team of ISKCON devotees and consists of a main temple, kitchen and dining hall and other 3 cottages which can easily accommodate 15-20 people. The farm is located in Bambra, off Deans Marsh Road which is about 15 Kilometers from   Winchelsea. So, it’s about 65 K from Geelong. 
I shall write more about the farm in my next article but for the time being, I am posting some photos for you to see.

Have a good weekend..
Hare Krishna Valley

Cows @ Hare Krishna Valley

Go Puja @ Hare Krishna Valley

Nature @ Hare Krishna Valley

A small pond @ Hare Krishna Valley

A lake @ Hare Krishna Valley

My Kids - The eldest teaching the young one trampoline jumping

Thursday, 6 November 2014

All because of a single strand of hair ?

The other day, I was having lunch with my colleagues and suddenly one of the lunch box slipped and fell on the carpet. My colleague quickly picked up majority of the food back into the lunch box and rest he cleaned with some tissues. He said, "This food did not actually touch the carpet and I will eat it. Hopefully, I don’t get hair in my food". Immediately my other colleague said, Oh, that's bit hard to imagine and now, I don’t feel like having my lunch".
What makes a strand of hair so unwelcome and loathful that just by thought of it, one is not able to eat his lunch? Is it because that hair is no longer connected to or part of the source from where it came from?  Isn't it, the same hair that our song writers in Hindi Bollywood glorify? The hero sees the heroine getting up from her sleep and sings a song something like, “How beautiful is your hair. Your black hair looks like clouds blocking your beautiful moon like face. And, the same hair the moment it is separated from the person becomes so repulsive. Actually, this hair thing is a big issue and a stigma in the society. We all have seen these incidents of going to a nice restaurant and a hair comes in the food that's served, there is big argument and fight so on.
Got this interesting bit from online encyclopedia about the presence of hair in food:-
There is a heavy stigma attached to the presence of hair in food in most societies. There is a risk that it may induce choking and vomiting, and also that it may be contaminated by toxic substances Views differ as to the level of risk it poses to the inadvertent consumer. In most countries, people working in the food industry are required to cover their hair.When people are served food which contains hair in restaurants or cafes, it is usual for them to complain to the staff. Despite this, it is not a valid ground on which to sue the Restaurant in the United States, but in the United Kingdom it breaks the regulations of the UK Food Safety Act 1990, and people can sue over this.
There are a range of possible reasons for the objection to hair in food, ranging from cultural taboos to the simple fact that it is difficult to digest and unpleasant to eat. It may also be interpreted as a sign of more widespread problems with hygiene. The introduction of complete- capture hairnets is believed to have resulted in a decrease in incidents of contamination of this type.
Sometimes protein from human hair is used as a food ingredient, in bread and other such similar products. Such use of human hair in food is forbidden in Islam. Historically, in Judaism, finding hair in food was a sign of bad luck. 
Well, this incident in turn reminded me of a verse from Srimad BhagavadGita 15.7 , where lord Krishna explains to Arjuna that originally, as spirit souls, we are all part and parcel of him. But, the moment we become separate from God by ignoring him we start suffering.
mamaivamso jiva-loke
jiva-bhutah sanatanah
prakrti-sthani karsati
The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.
In this verse the identity of the living being is clearly given. The living entity is the fragmental part and parcel of the Supreme Lord eternally. It is not that he assumes individuality in his conditional life and in his liberated state becomes one with the Supreme Lord. He is eternally fragmented. It is clearly said, sanatanah. According to the Vedic version, the Supreme Lord manifests and expands Himself in innumerable expansions, of which the primary expansions are called visnu-tattva and the secondary expansions are called the living entities. In other words, the visnu-tattva is the personal expansion, and the living entities are separated expansions. By His personal expansion, He is manifested in various forms like Lord Rama, Nrsimhadeva, Visnumurti and all the predominating Deities in the Vaikuntha planets. The separated expansions, the living entities, are eternally servitors. The personal expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the individual identities of the Godhead, are always present. Similarly, the separated expansions of living entities have their identities. As fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, the living entities have also fragmental qualities, of which independence is one. Every living entity has an individual soul, his personal individuality and a minute form of independence. By misuse of that independence, one becomes a conditioned soul, and by proper use of independence he is always liberated. In either case, he is qualitatively eternal, as the Supreme Lord is. In his liberated state he is freed from this material condition, and he is under the engagement of transcendental service unto the Lord; in his conditional life he is dominated by the material modes of nature, and he forgets the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As a result, he has to struggle very hard to maintain his existence in the material world. The living entities, not only the human beings and the cats and dogs, but even the greater controllers of the material world--Brahma, Lord Siva, and even Visnu--are all parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. They are all eternal, not temporary manifestations. The word karsati (struggling or grappling hard) is very significant. The conditioned soul is bound up, as though shackled by iron chains. He is bound up by the false ego, and the mind is the chief agent which is driving him in this material existence. When the mind is in the mode of goodness, his activities are
good; when the mind is in the mode of passion, his activities are troublesome; and when the mind is in the mode of ignorance, he travels in the lower species of life. It is clear, however, in this verse, that the conditioned soul is covered by the material body, with the mind and the
Senses, and when he is liberated this material covering perishes, but his spiritual body manifests its individual capacity. The following information is there in the Madhyandinayana-sruti: sa va esa brahma-nistha idam sariram martyam atisrjya brahmabhisampadya brahmana pasyati
brahmana srnoti brahmanaivedam sarvam anubhavati. It is stated here that when a living entity gives up this material embodiment and enters into the spiritual world, he revives his spiritual body, and in his spiritual body he can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. He can hear and speak to Him face to face, and he can understand the Supreme Personality as He is. In smrti also it is understood that in the spiritual planets everyone lives in bodies featured like the Supreme Personality of Godhead's. As far as bodily construction is concerned, there is no difference between the part and parcel living entities and the expansions of visnu-murti. In other words, at liberation the living entity gets a spiritual body by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The word mamaivamsah (fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord) is also very significant. The fragmental portion of the Supreme Lord is not like some material broken part. We have already understood in the Second Chapter that the spirit cannot be cut into pieces. This fragment is not materially conceived. It is not like matter, which can be cut into pieces and joined together again. That conception is not applicable here because the Sanskrit word sanatana (eternal) is used. The fragmental portion is eternal. It is also stated in the beginning of the Second Chapter that (dehino 'smin yatha) in each and every individual body, the fragmental portion of the Supreme Lord is present. That fragmental portion, when liberated from the bodily entanglement, revives its original spiritual body in the spiritual sky in a spiritual planet and enjoys association with the Supreme Lord. It is, however, understood here that the living entity, being the fragmental part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, is qualitatively one, just as the parts and parcels of gold are also gold.

(Translation and Purport by Srila Pranhupad)