Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Every year melts;
Every year manifests.

Every year bestows memory;
Every year begets hope.
Like the flowing river,
Like the blossoming flower,
Entering the unknown 2008,
And me, without a resolution.
On second thought,
Who cares?
Just Celebrate!

I have read, " A candle looses nothing if it is used to light another one"

Friday, December 28, 2007

The world we are

It pains! It hurts! And it is disgusting, when we hear of a bomb blast or assassination or shootout. An assassination in the name of some ideology, 20 people killed apart from the target and the suicide bomber.

Where are we heading to? From civilization to barbarianism?

From democracy to terrorism?

What do you call this ideology that divides people, that disseminates hatred, that curbs you off the very right to live?

Is that ideal?
Definitely Not

Where is love?

Where is humanity?
In then developed nations

Where are the values?
In the books

Have we lost everything?
We have lost our senses

Then, why do we boast ourselves as civilized?
To satiate ego

Are we not morons, destroying this planet earth making it a hell for the people and the generations to come?
Yes. We are!

Is there a solution?

Do we know it?

What is it?

What else can be the cure for so much hatred? There is a need for the world to be obsessed in love, the universal love. We love our family and call relationship as love; we love our society and call interdependency as love, we love our country and call patriotism as love; We apply the gold plating of love on everything and call them as love. Is the love for your country love? Is it not patriotism? Is it not an extension of your ego till the boundaries of your country? Is the love for your religion and hatred for another religion love? Is it not fanaticism or bigotry or intolerance? We fail to extend love beyond these boundaries. When I say, love, it is the universal love – extending our self-love beyond our family, beyond our society, beyond our belief, beyond our country, beyond this mother earth, beyond this universe and beyond all dualities. Believe me, when we limit our love, it will endanger us. It’s not that love is dangerous. It is because, we are too narrow minded to contain it and it turns into a tool and gets misdirected towards achieving some mundane goal like sex, money, power, territory etc. When you love, you love for love’s sake. What else could be the reason?

Swami Vivekananda depicts this beautifully as “Sufficient unto him is the ideal of love, and is it not self-evident that this universe is but a manifestation of this love? What is it that makes atoms unite with atoms, molecules with molecules, and causes planets to fly towards each other? What is it that attracts man to man, man to woman, woman to man, and animals to animals, drawing the whole universe, as it were, towards one centre? It is what is called love. Its manifestation is from the lowest atom to the highest being: omnipotent, all-pervading, is this love. What manifests itself as attraction in the sentient and the insentient, in the particular and in the universal, is the love of God. It is the one motive power that is in the universe. Under the impetus of that love, Christ gives his life for humanity, Buddha even for an animal, the mother for the child, the husband for the wife. It is under the impetus of the same love that men are ready to give up their lives for their country, and strange to say, under the impetus of the same love, the thief steals, the murderer murders. Even in these cases, the spirit is the same, but the manifestation is different. This is the one motive power in the universe. The thief has love for gold; the love is there, but it is misdirected. So, in all crimes, as well as in all virtuous actions, behind stands that eternal love”.

Earth is deserted; deprived of love, compassion, passion, values and all that is divine. Why do we still cling on to the law of survival of the fittest, when every life that is born into this world has a right to live, not just exist? A change is needed. Change is not the right word. Change is from the known to the known and human mind is crooked enough to define the change to suite its selfish motives. A mutation is required. From the known to something supreme and divine.

May be we should take call these politicians to a nursery school and make them kneel on the floor and teach them how to laugh, celebrate, be egoless, be humane, be compassionate, be sensible and not to fight and not to be stupid!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Sister Attracta

It was a pleasant surprise in the morning to see a mail from my friend Mark Antrobus @ Govinda in Kodaikanal wishing me Merry Christmas with a message, “Here's a picture of Santa in case you thought he does not exist.”

Santa seen in the picture is Mark Celebrating Christmas with his friends in Kodaikanal.

What a way to celebrate!

Thanks Mark!

Then, I happen to read a post by Mystic Rose on the eve of Christmas and was engrossed in the gist of her post. While, I thought of extending her post, I remembered the saintly Sister Attracta of St. Theresa convent, Kodaikanal. Sister Attracta was in in-charge of the dispensary in the convent where my dad did his primary schooling and where I studied for a brief period of 6 months. She had a motherly love for my dad and it flowed through the generation too. After I went to the plains for studies, I made it a point to visit her at least once a year. By then, she was very old, but still was actively dispensing all here duties as the “Hospital Sister”. That’s how we used to call her. The moment I see her, her face will light up with a big smile saying “My dear son, you have come!” followed by a big hug and a kiss on the forehead. Whenever I take leave, she would load me with a pack of First-Aid kits for my use in the hostel. One day after reaching the hospital, I realized it was the prayer hour and was about to leave. Suddenly, I heard her and it was followed by the usual smile, hug and the kiss. I told her, “Sister, it should be your prayer hour. I will wait her as long as you are back from your prayer”. She said, “Who said I attend the prayers? I never go there. God has destined me to serve in the hospital and this is my prayer and in severing the patients that I serve Him. What if a patient waits when I am in the prayers? Will it fulfill my duties? Will God forgive me for being non-attentive? My son, the greatest prayer I offer to God is to imitate him and follow his steps.” I understood some of what she said, but forget all about it for a while. Though she is no more, I still feel the warmth of her embrace and the kiss.

During my stay in Belur Math in 2002, I found that “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas A Kempis is one of the books that inspired Swami Vivekananda. I was able to relate the title of the book to the words of Sister Attracta and was desperately searching for the book. Finally, in 2004 that I got hold of the book, at least a century old hardbound one, from Fatima College Library, Madurai and lent it for a while through a friend.

It has become one of the favorite books too and still read a chapter or two when in a state of indecisiveness. The book starts like, “HE WHO follows Me, walks not in darkness,". The essence is to Imitate Jesus Christ and not to just follow some religious practices, dogmas and doctrines. Solitude and meditation, he says, helps you acquire the spirit and quotes that "As often as I have been among men, I have returned less a man."

The book is freely available on-line - The Imitation of Christ

We have lost the essence of every celebration and Christmas is not spared too. Celebrations have become synonymous with fire crackers, wine bottles, chocolates, discotheques, rejoicing in groups and of course the mass prayers.

It is the time to Imitate Christ, Follow his footsteps and beget Him in us!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Flowering within

The flower blooms and the fragrance spreads on the winds in all directions, to be carried to the very ends of earth. But the crux here is the blooming of the flower. The flower is limited but not the fragrance. The flower has limitations. It is rooted somewhere in the earth. But the fragrance is not tied up. It simply moves, rides on the winds; it has no moorings in the earth.

The flowering happens within. It has roots. It happens and exists within. The flowering happens and the compassion spreads. The flower will die sooner or later - it is part of earth and the dust will return unto dust - but the fragrance that has been released will remain forever and forever!