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Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

Time eats up the world!

How true the Upanishadic statement is! Well, I do not have to certify it as the Truth. I am only happy that the Truth of the statement has dawned upon me! I am humbled by the statement. We all have to live this day as if Tomorrow does not exist for us. And if Today were the last day of my life, what do I need to do? ………………………. for the realisation of the Ultimate Truth! ………… well, I do not do anything, I do not seek anything, I just dis-cover by shedding all false identities 🙂

Then why am I wasting my time here blogging??? What am I gaining out of this activity?? – other than the fact that it is nurturing my Ego day by day as I see an increase in the number of hits that my Blog receives…………………. and inflating my Ego by basking in all the appreciation that I receive for the posts that I write!……………. it is all ‘me’ and ‘mine’ that increases the restlessness of mind……………… what post to write next? what reply to give to comments? what rejoinders to write?…………………. all reinforcing the “I”………………

No, this is not what I want. There are more important things to realise having born as a human being. More interesting Knowledge to achieve, realise from within, for which I need to devote my Time. I can not while away my time in the illusion that I am the saviour of everybody by providing information about Psychology and Philosophy ……………….. that is my foolishness, my ajnaana……………………..

Dears, I love you all. But I can not get entrapped in this attachment. I need to wriggle out of this. I shall keep in touch with you all whenever I have something interesting to share……………………. but I need to go now, go deep down into myself, clear all garbage, drop all identities, find HIM, find my true self, realise that state of ‘Egolessness’ and get established there…………………….

With lots and lots of LOVE to ALL of YOU !

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February 14th is an exciting day for young and old lovers alike. It can be a day of celebration of love. Love of all hues and colours, with all its grandness and simplicity. It gives me great pleasure to greet you all on the occasion of Valentine’s Day and say that I Love You All very much!

The word ‘Love’ has various connotations to it. As many connotations as the number of people who think about it and contemplate upon its meaning! The mother’s love to her children, the love between siblings, love and affection between spouses, the love between a Guru and a Shishya, love for God, the love among friends, the love we have for our pets, the love of the country, the love for a noble cause dear to us and so many others and then the most prevalent meaning as understood by ordinary mortals, the love between a young girl and a boy that has been celebrated through out human civilization in various forms of art and literature.

This love between a couple – a boy and a girl, a man and a woman, between two people of the same gender, as it is coming out of the closet more and more these days, generally have three faces to it. The intimacy, passion and the commitment. The generation and sustanance of love between two people depends on the amount of these three ingredients in different proportions.

First of all it is the physical attraction that brings two people close together. This attraction is triggered by the proximity of the two people. Perhaps they live in the same neighbourhood or study in the same class/college or work in the same company or may travel together to workplace. (It need not always be the physical proximity. It can even be the frequent proximity over an electronic medium like this, where the physical attraction exists only in imagination! 🙂 ) This proximity helps develop  aquaintence that may lead to excahnge of ideas and opinions. When the similarities in ideas and ideals become known, the attraction may grow stronger. They can come closer to each other  emotionally too and sparks fly, making the relationship a passionate one! But sometimes it is mere physical attraction that leads to passion and it may or may not last long. It may be just infatuation and may die down soon.

The emotional closeness leads to intimacy wherein the two individuals are ready to care and share. They may develop concern for each other’s wellbeing that leads to lot of sharing of personal information. This intimacy can lead to passion when the two may desire sexual intimacies. But their love may not feel complete until they feel committed to each other in this relationship. It is this commitment that takes them to the marriage altar.

Out of these three ingredients of intimacy, passion and commitment, passion may not last very long. After few years into relationship, it is bound to wane. It continues its existence, but not on the top of the list. Without a burning passion also, two people can remain good friends. It is the intimacy that keeps them close. Lot of sharing and caring continue to happen that keep them together. They show concern for each other and help the other resolve so many issues. In certain cases love can just be a platonic relationship (without hint of sexual desire between the two) being good friends and being there for each other in case of any crisis.  Coming back to what we were discussing, some times, the intimacy may slowly decline in relationships because of so many factors, like, getting too involved in their own careers, excessive indulgence in undesirable habits like drinking and gambling or even extra marital relationships.  People then slowly drift apart emotionally. They may even go in for a legal separation. But in some cases the commitment that they have made to each other can still bind them together, in the common interest of others who are depending on them.

Now a days we see lot of passion between a couple in the initial stages of friendship, which they may mistakenly believe as love. During the passionate moments they would have revealed their intimate matters to each other. But when passion dies and no commitment binding them, they can break apart leading to the emotional devastation of both.

It is this set of passionate couple that may go overboard celebrating Valentine’s day in all its elation. They shower expensive gifts to each other, dine at the most upmarket restaurant, promising everlasting love to each other. But without the commitment, it just can not last long. Many would be nursing a commitment phobia! How long can they go on like this? One of the partners is bound to seek the commitment in this relationship and the other partner feels that it is time to quit!

These days there are many ‘no-strings-attached’ casual relationships that both young girls and boys are ready to carry on. But it can have very serious repercussions, both on physical and mental health. They can not tread this path ignoring all the warning signs well written on the wall. Somewhere they need feel responsible for themselves and also the other person involved and wake up from this foolish stupor.

Marriage requires commitment. It can have the other two -passion and intimacy also in equal measures. To continue the commitment ’till death do us part’, lot of adjustments and compromises are needed. Subtle sacrifices are done. Love and trust are the strong pillars that keep the couple together. One needs to work on it like in any other relationship. No body can take the partner for granted. Mutual respect need to be accorded, space given to each other and yet feel totally connected. Valentine’s day or no valentine’s day, the intimate emotional bond can continue to get strengthened over the years……………….

All the above mentioned love are limited, conditional. If conditions are not fulfilled, then love disappears. But there can also be a love of a different kind that is limitless and unconditional! It is beyond bodily love or commitmental love. This love is in all our hearts. It is a gift that comes with creation. We are not aware of it. When we are ready to give that love unconditionally to others, the spring of love can overflow. It can touch every heart that comes in contact with that flow. This love is beyond gender, race or religion. It is the ultimate love that can soak everybody and is therepeutic to all. It can be panacea for all illnesses. It is spiritual. You just have to look within and unleash it. It can spread everywhere and pervade the whole universe. More you are ready to give, more it gets replenished. That is the Truth, the auspicious and the beautiful – Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram!

And it is this Love that I am giving all of you on this Valentine’s Day. I have no expectations of reciprocation from the other end.  I simply give becoz I have it in abundance! And I love giving 🙂

Love you all!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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As a psychological counsellor, I have come across many adoptive parents and adopted children seeking counselling for various emotional issues. And somewhere deep down in my heart I used to wonder if I had counselled them effectively or not. Some times it becomes very difficult to transport myself into the minds of my clients and experience their pain as my own. Somewhere the pangs of inadequecy bother when the issue at hand is totally strange and unrelated to anything that I may have heard or read or experienced! But I take heart in the fact that our connections to other hearts go beyond words and experiences, beyond this temporal world. It becomes a direct connection to my clients heart as I have the firm conviction that we are all bound by the same spirit!

Adoption is one such sensitive issue that many people do not know much about, which makes it harder to deal with any situation that may involve adoption. You may meet your sister or a cousin, who suddenly declares that she intends to adopt a child soon and bring it home and you fumble for words without knowing how to react. Or as a School Teacher, you may come across a child who is sobbing uncontrollably because her friends have just then infromed her that her parents are not her own and that she was ‘brought home’ by them from somewhere! and the teacher finds it very hard to console the child.

I thought this would be a very nice platform for me to spread awareness about psychological issues related to adoption. Hope you are with me. And I welcome feedback, comments, information and even corrections or additions to what I write here. 

We can say that adoption is a legal process of expanding the family by bringing in a child that is not your own. It is also a process through which a child is separated by its Biological parents and goes into a family where it is looked after with all privileges. It is something similar to the grafting of a plant from one place to the other and the new location makes the plant its own and nurtures it well.

We all need to understand that first of all adoption is a a triangular shared loss and shared faith experienced by the three parties involved in it. It is a loss for the biological parents (or birth parents) of giving away their child, loss for the adoptive parents of not being able to bear their own biological child (for whatever reason – by choice or by force of circumstances) and loss for the child of birth parents. And it is with all hope and faith that the birth parents give up the child that somebody would be more deserving and caring than themselves to bring up the child, hope and faith of the adoptive parents that they now have a child to shower all their love upon and hope and faith of the child itself that it would now be taken care of with all love and security in a new home. And each one of them needs to be acknowledged of their loss first and then the gain. Unless the loss is acknowledged by the persons involved and accepted by them and suitably counselled, the process of adoption may face some turbulance now and then. Hence it becomes imperative on part of counsellors to see that the acknowledgement of their initial losses is  done suitably and the parties involved become ready to share further issues.

When should the Parent inform the child about its adoption status? This is a very tricky, important issue that goes wrong many a times. Parents wait for the ‘right age’ to inform the child and when they feel the right age has come, they suddenly are caught by the fear, “what if the child rejects them now?” and they keep postponing this ‘revealing’ endlessly, by which time the damage gets done by a third-party-informant! when the child comes to know about its status of adoption, it is a big devastation to the child to realize that the parents whom it trusted all these years are not its own and that they have betrayed its trust! Quite often the parents themselves get shocked to know that somebody else has made the revelation and that it has damaged the trust between them irreparably! The child at that stage may or may not be well equipped with language to express its shocked emotions. Unable to air their confused emotions, many adopted children manifest number of disturbed behaviour, like, bed wetting, preferring isolation from family and friends, throwing temper tantrums, aggressing upon other children, refusing to go to school, beginning to lie, decline in their academic performance etc.

…………………… to be continued

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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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People have a variety of fears. Some fear darkness, some fear animals, some others fear loss of face, some people fear death of self or death of loved ones and other so many. Some even have irrational, inexplicable fears of such high intensity that can upset the quality of their everyday life. Such intense, irrational fears are called phobia.

Behavioural psychologists believe that fear is a learnt behaviour and hence can be unlearnt. But biological psychologists are now saying that fear is neurologically based. It is hardwired in our brain at birth! There are neurons (nerve cells) in the brain that are found to be ‘fear receptors’. These neurons when excited produce certain chemicals (neuro transmitters) that create fear in our minds. Researchers say that there are certain innate fears in animals’ minds about their predators that make them escape from the site whenever they sense the presence of an enemy nearby. Recently in a laboratory experiment, psychologists have found out that if these particular ‘fear receptor cells’ are deactivated through genetic modification, the animal no more fears  its predator. They genetically modified these cells in rats that made them become fearless of cats and they could move about freely even when they sensed a cat nearby!

If these experiments can be successfully conducted in other animals too and the results duplicated, it will not be long before a similar fearlessness induced in humans too through genetic modification!

But more than we fear all the external enemies, is it not our internal enemies that we are to be more worried about? – the “ari shadvarga” of “kaama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, maatsarya”? It requires soul-modification through spirituality than genetic modification of science to rid ourselves of all these internal foes! 🙂

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The above article is based on an article i read in Times of India, today.

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“There is only a thin dividing line between the attitude of escapism and acceptance”

it made me wonder how so many of us take the easy route of saying that something is “my karma and hence I have to bear it”, instead of putting sincere effort to alleviate the difficult situation! Whenever we feel lazy to put in the “purusha prayatna” or our sincere effort, we simply attribute the negative outcome to our fate and keep quiet! And there is always a big debate going on about the supremacy of “Fate over Free Will”.

Here I am reminded of the words full of wisdom from our Poojya Swamiji Sri Sri Chandrashekhara Bharathi, the 34th Pontiff of Sringeri Shankaramutt, Sringeri. He once said that Fate is nothing but the outcome of the free will that we ourselves had once exercised earlier. Hence to overcome the Fate, we just have to exercise our free will once again now with an intensified force. He gives a beautiful analogy of our trying to pull out a hard hit nail from the wall. When the nail does not come out inspite of our trying repeatedly, we just drop our effort saying that it is my fate and accept the failure. Instead of giving up our effort, if only I can remember that it was I who had driven the nail inside the wall with many a hard hits, then I will realize that it now requires from me much more intensified effort to pull the nail out of the wall. I am bound to succeed!
In Viveka Choodamani, Sri Shankaracharya says (in samskrutha language – i do not want to ‘sanskritize’) “Mana Eeva Kaaranah Manushyaanaam Bandha Mokshayoh”. It is our mind which either makes us bound or makes us free. I have realized the truth of this sentence all the more now that I am in the profession of Psychological Counselling. Most of the problems that our clients come up with are self-created or self-nurtured! But we seldom realize the truth of it, because we find it so easy to shift the blame on someone else for all our problems. Once we shift the blame, we falsely believe that it is somebody else’s responsibility to solve it and hence shirk from the responsibility of setting the problem right! And as counsellors, it falls upon us to help them develop an insight into their problems thus helping them to discover a new perspective to the whole issue. And once acceptance dawns we find it so much easier to pave the way to resolve the issue.

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the above had appeared as part of another post in RK’s blog some time ago. i am posting it again for the sake of my new blog readers.

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your identity?

Adi Sankara in his ‘Viveka Choodamani’ says that “the body should be shunned as one would a disgusting object”, reminded me of a funny observation that I had made recently. In Malleshwaram, there is a Sringeri Shankaramutt where we were taught the tenets of advaita philosophy that constantly used to remind us, “you are not your body”, “you are not your mind” and so on. And as we used to finish our classes and used to come out of the compound, we used to encounter a jarring display board of a body fitness and beautifying clinic right opposite the mutt that used to entice people by telling them “you are your body. Beautify it. Make an appointment today”!

and now here we are, promoting the thought “You are your BLOG”!

am i my blog? or am i the consciousness that is illuminating the thoughts to be filled in this blog?? the spirit or the consciousness that is binding all of us bloggers in this community??? the all pervading, universal Truth or the “Aatma”????

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