Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Missing Goat

I got this interesting forward from one of my friends. While the accuracy, place and time of the incident cannot be verified, the story has some interesting points to ponder, think about and valid take home points.
Mr and Mrs Goat with Family

It all started one lazy Sunday afternoon in a small town near Toronto in Canada.  Two school-going friends had a crazy idea.  They rounded up three goats from the neighbourhood and painted the number 1, 2 and 4 on their sides.  That night they let the goats loose inside their school building. The next morning, when the authorities entered the school, they could smell something was wrong.  They soon saw goat droppings on the stairs and near the entrance and realized that some goats had entered the building.  A search was immediately launched and very soon, the three goats were found.  But the authorities were worried, where was goat No. 3?  They spent the rest of the day looking for goat No.3. There was panic and frustration. The school declared a holiday for the students.  The teachers, helpers and the canteen boy were all busy looking for the goat No. 3, which, of course, was never found.   Simply because it did not exist.

We are all like those folks in the school – we may have our own goats, but are obviously looking for the elusive, missing, non-existent goat No.3.  So instead of making the most of what we have and focusing on our strengths, we worry about the missing piece – our shortcomings. Our mind is so programmed to see the things to completion, a continuity and a carry forwardness. If this is denied then the program gets messed up. An absence of something is always larger than presence of something.

Do the best you can with what you have and be grateful for what you get. Success and happiness will come your way. (Depending on your Karma, you get both Happiness and distress over the course of time.)
There is a nice verse from Srimad Bhagavatham,
sukham aindriyakam daityā
deha-yogena dehinām
sarvatra labhyate daivād
yathā dukham ayatnata
Translation: Prahlāda Mahārāja continued: My dear friends born of demoniac families, the happiness perceived with reference to the sense objects by contact with the body can be obtained in any form of life, according to one’s past fruitive activities. Such happiness is automatically obtained without endeavor, just as we obtain distress. (Srimad Bhagavatham Canto 7. Chapter 6.Verse 3)

By the way, Stop worrying about goat No.3.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Parachuting and Types of Learners

Parachuting with a Coach

What is the use of holding leaves when your hands are already burnt. This is an old telugu saying which means, some of the mistakes we commit in life are irrevocable or can’t be turned around and you have to live with them. For example, someone decided to jump off the plane, I mean Parachuting. So it’s a thrill that some people want to experience it. So there are steps and training provided so make sure that the parachute opens in time and one lands safely. Here, one makes a choice to jump and expects all these things to happen as per normal and have exciting time. So one makes a conscious choice to jump, jumps off and follows the steps for safe landing. Very rarely, the parachute doesn’t open and people had injuries, died etc.. very rarely. Anyway, once you jump and you are in the air being pulled by the earth’s gravitational force, you have to do what you need to do.You can’t say that, look all this looks risky, I am not going ahead with this and want to go back to the plane. Sorry, it’s too late. So in life also, we get these things and that’s how we all learn our lessons in different ways.Srila Prabhupad gave this classification of people based on their learning.Got this from Wiki "Despite the perception of danger, fatalities are rare. About 21 skydivers are confirmed killed each year in the US, roughly one death for every 150,000 jumps (about 0.0007%).In the US and in most of the western world skydivers are required to carry two parachutes. The reserve parachute must be periodically inspected and re-packed..."
Reminds me of a joke from a movie I saw long time ago. A comedians car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and that guy asks for a lift.When, the protagonist of the movie stops to give him lift. This guy locks his car, takes the Wires off from the Battery, puts a padlock to the bonnet, goes back again, opens the Bonnet and smashes the engine with a huge stone and then sits in the car.The Hero asks him, what is that you are carrying ? He says, its an umbrella.Then, what about the one in the Bag. He replies it's a raincoat, incase I loose the umbrella.Well, a bit extreme comedy.
It is said that there are four types of people,
1. The First Class one - is the one who hears from others like someone elder to him, from the Saintly persons, Holy scriptures and learns and understands what is right or wrong.
2. Second Class - is the one who doesn't learn by just hearing but, they like to see others and then follow.
3. The third Class one - is someone who doesn't understand by hearing or seeing but, wants to personally experience and then learns his lessons.
4. The Fourth Class - Of Course are the ones who does not learn either by hearing, seeing or even by personal experience.
I know, it hard and not practical to be always the 1st Class but, let's at least try for the 2nd or 3rd class or a mixture of all and hopefully never the 4th Class.
The photo you see is that of one of my good friend who did this parachuting few years ago.I asked him, if he would do it again.He said never because, though it wonderful and adventurous is, there is an element of risk which is not really required. I thought, I agreed with him. In Bhagavatam, it is said that this human form of life, body is very precious and special because, although it is temporary, with this body one can enquire about the Atma Tattva, the nature of Soul, God, Absolute Truth etc. It’s good to have some fun and adventure but, not worth taking unnecessary risks - is what I think also. More ever it is said in Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam that our thoughts, desires and actions decides or creates, the body we are going to get in our next life. So if someone is addicted to flying in the air etc. next life they may get the body of a bird. King Bharata was contemplating on his pet deer and he had to take on the body of a deer in his next life.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Lincoln Square Park and Taking Time for Relaxation and Introspection

Lincoln Square Park, Carlton - Melbourne

This is where I go during the lunch break at work. It’s a small area called Lincoln Square Park, situated off Swanston Street in the City of Melbourne between Queensberry and Grattan Streets, Carlton. The location is close to Melbourne's CBD, University of Melbourne and right in front of my work place. I like this place because of the beautiful and majestic trees in the Park. I simply go there to sit down and do my mantra meditation. Sometimes, I simply sit and hear to the birds sounds, see leaves and fruits of the trees. It’s also interesting to see number of people who come here to relax. They normally come here with a take away, have their lunch. What I noticed is that even while having lunch, people are talking on their Mobile. Infect, before they start eating they call someone and finish their lunch while still  conversing. Otherwise, people are busy watching Facebook or WhatsApp. I know a friend who told me that as soon as he goes home, he starts the TV so that he doesn’t feel lonely. While it is good to be social and chatty, what is happening is people are losing their ability to think, plan or introspect. They are afraid to be alone, to be silent and feel uneasy to face the realities of life. To add to this, today's life is so hectic and busy, people rarely get a chance to think deeply about themselves or the world.
Wikipedia says "Introspection is the examination of one's own conscious thoughts and feelings. In psychology the process of introspection relies exclusively on observation of one's mental state, while in a spiritual context it may refer to the examination of one's soul”. So how many people do this.? Very few. And, the result is constant tussle of emotions like, hankering and lamentation, attachment and renunciation, comparing oneself with others,criticize.What I feel is that, it is important for everyone to take time out in silence, close to nature which means even the simple act of sitting under a tree or watching some birds which can be done in anywhere in a city or countryside.
I would like to call Introspection as looking inside. Focusing your attention to your internal world, talking to your mind, finding out what your real intentions are. Is it really needed or required.? How does it matter, what is inside, as long as you are happy, enjoying life, talking to friends ?.

This reminds me a quote "“When you squeeze an orange, you'll always get orange juice to come out. What comes out is what's inside. The same logic applies to you: when someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, or says something unflattering or critical, and out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, tension, depression, or anxiety, that is what's inside. If love and joy are what you want to give and receive, change your life by changing what's inside.” 
                                                                                                                                     ― Wayne W. Dyer."
“Speech is silver, but Silence is Golden proverbial saying, meaning that discretion can be more valuable than the most eloquent words”.
Again in Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10. Verse 38 line 3 -  Lord Krishna Says the following “maunam caivasmi guhyanam - Of secret things I am silence.Srila Prabhupada further says in his Purport to the verse "Among the confidential activities of hearing, thinking and meditating, silence is most important because by silence one can make progress very quickly".