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Archive for December, 2007

My dearest readers,

My heartiest greetings to all of you for the New Year 2008!

May we all be lead from insensitivity to sensitivity;  self-centredness to other-centredness; ignorance to wisdom!

Here are some sentences from the spiritual guru His Holiness Sri Dalai Lama upon the Paradoxes of Our Times. Even if you have read it elsewhere before , I am sure the words can never go astale.

Here we go ruminating on His words:

We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers

Wider freeways, but narrower view points

We spend more, but we have less

We have bigger houses, but smaller families

More conveniences, but less time

We have more Degrees, but less sense

More knowledge, but less judgement

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values

We have learnt how to make a living, but not how to make life

We have added years to life, but not life to years

We have gone all the way to the moon and back

But have trouble crossing the road to meet the new neighbour

We have conquered outer space, but not the inner space

We know how to clean up air and water, but not our souls

We have learnt to split the atoms but not shed our prejudices

These are times of steep profits and shallow relationships

These are times of world peace, but domestic warfares

These are times of fancier houses, but broken homes

This is the time when there is much in the show window, but nothing in the stock room

A time when technology can bring this letter to you

And a time when you can choose

Either to make a difference ………………. or just hit, delete!

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We are reading yet another suicide bombing that killed the democratic political leader Ms Benazir Bhutto and hundreds of other innocents in Pakistan yesterday. The news item catches world attention and world leaders make an uproar when a world famous, charismatic leader is killed in such an attack. otherwise, hundreds of such news items that appear in news papers everyday very soon become “yesterday’s news” and sadly and conveniently forgotten!

Why do people get ready to kill hundreds of innocent people in such suicidal attacks? How are they trained to psychologically prepare for such blood-sheds? What kind of personality traits do these attackers have? Let us try to analyse.

There have been many psychological studies done on such attackers, who due to some reason, have failed in their missions and are cooling their heels in prisons world over. The studies reveal that these people would join such Terrorist Training Camps at a very young age of 10 to 12 years. The candidates are generally identified by the trainers by their lack of self esteem and self worth due to various traumas undergone in their childhood. Most of them have a dependent personality wherein they lack independent thinking and are very suggestible to any outside influence. Psychologists have also found in them a lag in their emotional and moral development that makes it difficult for these children to discriminate right from the wrong. They are generally insensitive to others emotions. These children find it difficult to develop a solid identity of their own and hence many gaps or cracks are present in their individual identities. The trainers find it easy to fill these gaps with their own pre-meditated extreme ideologies so that the individuals who join these groups find solace in acquiring a group identity and swear by it. As the training proceeds in the form of educating them with new ideologies and ideals, the group members are totally cut off from communicating with the outside world through any kind of medium, so that they start believing in what is being taught without as much questioning the authority. (as you all realize, our thinking expands and many changes occur in our attitudes and outlook to life as we grow getting exposed to the outside world through media)

Since they were opressed socially or economically or educationally or by the dysfunctional families earlier, they would have undergone massive damages to their self worth. The training teaches them that the highest objective of life, “martyrdom” can be achieved by destroying the evil in the world in the name of god and to such people god promises all respect and all kinds of happiness in heaven after this life. This boosts their low self-esteem to a new high! They are even lured by the promise of god that a number of virgins will be at their service when they go to heaven. At the time of recruitment into these camps, they are promised a huge amount of money to their families as a reward for the sacrifice that they are making in the name of religion. Since many are from economically weaker sections, this reward of money to their poor families also motivate them to join the training camps.

The trainees usually keep this information a secret from their families. This secrecy accords them a new ‘power’ over others who had earlier subjugated them in so many ways. Their isolation from the outside world and the strict imposition of extreme ideals make them rigid in their outlook of life and they stubbornly believe that what they are taught to do is the absolute truth! And very soon they get ready to perform what they have been trained to do with a smile on their lips and hope in their hearts that God would truly bless them for their deed! No guilt or no remorse……………………..

Isn’t the psychology behind suicidal attacks terrorisingly fascinating?!

Do we now realize the importance of nurturing a child’s mind with love and security and self-respect so that the child can grow into a responsible adult who can spread the same love and joy to the whole world and vow to eradicate terrorism from the face of the earth?

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Assasinations are always sad. They are cowardly acts. Those who can not confront the strong opponent face to face take such a cowardly route. It is sadder when a beautiful icon of democracy dies a brutal death, stifling out the dreams of so many of her fellow countrymen. I grieve for those young kids who are going to miss a loving, supportive, strong mother that Ms Bhutto was! I grieve for the families of other innocent victims too.

May better sense and peace prevail in that disturbed land!

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This morning i was pained beyond verbal expression on reading a news item in Indian Express, print edition, Bangalore. It seems for this Christmas celebration and holidaying, our Prez Prathibha and 10 of her kith and kin decided to holiday at Andaman & Nicobar island and you know what was the repercussion of her decision?! 60 most precious trees in the most environmentally protected park there were mercilessly cut down just to make a helipad for her jolly landing! Can anything be more environmentally dishonourable act?? And the personal secretary of hers has the cheek to say that he was not aware of how many trees were going to be cut and he has passed the buck to the forest officer of that island.  Is this not a blatant environmental abuse? – just to please our president madam and her party for a mere stay of 2-3 days, how could they order cutting of 60 most precious trees which must have been 200 to 300 year old?? When our prez decides to holiday at a place, is it not her foremost duty to see that the environment of the surroundings are not harmed in anyway by her visit? It is the most atrocious assault that every environmental activist and lover should very strongly protest! We citizens can not keep our eyes and ears shut to such a crime on the environment, that too in such a peace loving and peace spreading place like Andamans.

It is not just this. Just to accommodate her entourage, all advance bookings done by the travellers to these 5-star resorts for Christmas and New year vacation were unceremoniously cancelled, telling all of them that they had to give priority to the VVIPs! Did they not understand the hardship and inconveniences that these travellers and tourists are put into and what an image India would create in the minds of the Foreign tourists!

I understand that hundreds and thousands of trees are being cut down everywhere to make way for civilization. But the cutting down of trees is atleast helping thousands of people to build their homes, industries and somewhere adding to the National Income. Here I am not endorsing it. But atleast people are asked to plant a tree elsewhere in lieu of this act. But cutting down such heritage trees to please our prez and her kith and kin’s fancies is UNPARDONABLE!

I am ashamed at the insensitivity of our Prez!

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Colour pencils

Isn’t that picture lovely!

Colour Colour What Colour

Any Colour

All Colours!

God gives us all a box full of colours – all colours

And asks us to colour our life with any colour

We have the choice!

Black, Grey or Bright Colours?

You pick and colour.

Do not blame God that He made your life dull and grey!

That was your choice!

Even now you can pick from the above box and colour your life!

Merry Christmas & a Happy 2008!

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In all religions we have periods in which people of that faith pray, fast and feel accountable to all their deeds,  and then followed by a festival on which they feast!

Yesterday was Vaikunta Ekadashi according to Hindu calender. Ekadashi is the 11th day of each fortnight in a month when many Hindus observe fast and next day, on the dwadashi day, they have early lunch and feast. Vaikunta Ekadashi is all the more auspicious for praying and getting Lord’s darshan in temples that ensure a ticket to heaven! It is believed that Lord Narayana Himself stands at the gates of heaven (Vaikunta – His abode) and welcomes His devotees!

Today is Bakrid, when all Muslims pray and then feast. They usually observe day long fastings during the Ramzan month, which ends in the festival Id-Ul-Fitr when they all feast.

In christianity also there is a 40 day period called Lent during which people of that faith pray, observe fasting and do lot of charity. This culminates on Easter when they all feast.

This shows us that fasting has a beneficial effect both physiologically, mentally and spiritually. Our health would be fine and the body can detoxify itself becuase of fasting. Mentally also, when we eat less (only on nutritious lighter diets) we will be more alert. Spiritually, “upavaasa”, the kannada word for fasting, means staying close to god. The true significance of fasting is to fast all our sense organs, ie, withdrawing them from worldly pleasures and concentrating on the inner self, thus moving closer to the spirit that connects all the beings of this world.

And once this connectedness is realized during fasting and praying, then it can end with feasting when we can celebrate the brotherhood and sisterhood of all beings. The feasting can then generate positive regard for all beings and peace can prevail.

“Sarve Bhavanthu Sukhinaha”, “Samastha Lokaah Sukhino Bhavanthu” – this is the Hindu Prayer for the well being of all creation.

May God help us all humans to elevate ourselves and realize the connectedness of all beings and may we all feast and enjoy the festive season together!

Bye for four days. I am off on a holiday to Coorg and Mangalore! Love to all of you. Keep reading and posting your comments!

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I keep receiving very good pictures to my email from friends and i also come across very good pics that come along with thought provoking words. I decided to open a new page “View and Review” to post them so that you can view them and send your reviews through the comment box. Since we are not allowed to make new posts in other pages, i have decided to give them numbers like 1,2,3 etc with a title for each one so that you can quote the number and the title  and place the review in the comment box.

Many times it will be difficult to find out the source of these pics as the sender to my email may not know it. Hence I request all of you viewers to send me a link in case it is possible for you to know the source. I will be too glad to mention the link and give them due credit. If the source is not known to me and if I publish those pics in my blog, would it amount to plagiarism? Readers, please enlighten me so that I will not do so. Thanks.

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