Does the world need more wisdom?

Scene of manIf you spend time watching mainstream broadcasting, there is a possibility that you may experience anxiety, concern, and think that the world is falling apart.

We now live in an age where almost everything is a finger’s touch away. The newspapers, the TV channels, the internet are all filled to the brim with news about revolutions in different parts of the world, dictatorships, mass murders, and clash of personalities and opinions.

I wonder if we are drowning in the constant barrage of information. I am definitely overwhelmed by all this info. What’s legit? What is true? Who do I trust?

But am I the only one who feels this way? I think not.

Agreed that we’re well-versed and more educated than our ancestors and yet, we’re the most anxiety-plagued, depression-ridden individuals today.

I feel that something is missing in this overload of information and that something is wisdom.

Wisdom not only about what you know and see, but also the ability to differentiate and judge which aspects of that information is true, accurate, lasting, and applicable to your life.

Wisdom implies listening. Unfortunately most young people today only want to be heard. They do not have the patience to listen and learn. They don’t realize that you can’t learn with your mouth opening.

The cliché ‘Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future’ is so true. If you had parents who always wanted to see the company you kept, you were very lucky. They knew the importance of being surrounded by wise people – people of integrity who live with passion and meaning.

The past is for learning, not living. Wise people remember and learn from the past. But they never live there. They want to make America great again, but that needs progressive governance, not regressive ideas. This is why the world is desperate for wise people.

We react to political or economic sluggishness with rage at the stupidity of those who lead us. We are unwilling to tolerate that human societies are hugely complex machines. A leader needs to be a visionary not a short sighted greedy politician who has vested interests.

The unhappiness of relationships is quickly attributed to being with the wrong person. The courage and strength to form solid relationships is understanding how to make a relationship work and that requires both parties willing to fight for the relationship.

When we meet a stranger, we do not ask them about their ancestors, their religion, or the place they grew up in. We ask them, first and foremost, what they ‘do’, for it is our work that has, more than anything else, come to be seen as the basis of our individuality.

Our society sadly lacks a powerful, wide reaching and reliable institution for promoting a compassionate perspective on life. Today we inhabit a culture that is more interested in humiliating those whose lives have already gone badly wrong.

High ambitions and romanticism can ruin our chances of maintaining decent, realistic relationships in the world we actually live in.

Nature is perhaps the supreme teacher of the idea of wisdom : a tree sprouts its first buds, it then blossoms into a leaf; then its fruit ripen and fall; the leaves then change colour , wither and are blown away by the wind in autumn , leaving the branches bare, until its spring again. Just understanding the recurrent patterns of nature demonstrates us to appreciate the structure of our own lives.wisdom1

Wisdom happens when you take knowledge and apply it in such a way that it adds meaning and has an impact on your life. Age is another irrelevant factor in life smarts. Some people garner wisdom sooner than others, that’s why they are called old souls, since they are quicker to learn what leads to a better life. You will never meet a wise person who isn’t humble. As you grow in wisdom, you grow in awe, reminding you how little you know. Wise people can see the positive side of a negative situation.

Wisdom must be able to guide and instruct you in areas which are beyond your understanding and capacity. Wisdom must harmonize your life. It will establish the priorities of your life and bring you back into right relationship with yourself and with everyone around you.

Sadly we can gain a lifetime of knowledge, yet never see the wisdom in it. We can be wise, but still miss the deeper meaning.

 What do you think?

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Time to Detox

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Post-festival is a tough time. You’ve indulged in eating and bingeing on all the heavy, fattening, high calorie foods. You’re sleep deprived, your skin lacks sheen, your hair feels like straw and for the best part of a week the healthiest thing you’ve eaten are probably the dry fruits. And now you are dreading to step on that weighing scale which you’ve casually hidden under your bathroom cabinet.

So how about some detox to clear up the toxins from your sluggish system. Detoxification is not only about elimination but also abstaining.

According to Ayurveda, short periods of fasting effectively remove toxins and gas from the body, help shed a little weight, clean the palate and improve mental clarity. Fasting also helps the body “desalt”, and balance the high amounts of salt that we end up eating on a daily basis and more so during festivals.

Returning back to reality after a festival can be a tad depressing. After all those late nights and long days you’re bound to feel pretty wiped. With the prospect of returning to work looming ahead make sure you give your energy levels a kick-start by eating the right kinds of post-festival foods. Keep yourself hydrated by having water, green tea or coconut water and avoiding packaged foods, sugary and baked goods.

Carrots, yogurt, spinach and broccoli keep your immune system bolstered and are packed full of antioxidants. Snack on bananas which are naturally high in sugars and eat regular, small meals to keep up your metabolic rate. Eating foods high in B vitamins and vitamin C, such as tomatoes, sunflower seeds and whole grain bread, help fire you up and power you through to the week.

Some form of physical activity such as gentle walks, a short run or yoga is sure to get your body chugging and start its own detox process.

Don’t forget to look after your skin. After the endless late nights spent with family and friends, a part of your post-festival detox should be to give your skin a rejuvenating pampering to help renew skin cells and improve your complexion.

Picking up a bug after a festival is the last thing you want to contend with. Try to protect yourself against getting sick by eating foods that help to strengthen your immune system.

Follow these easy tips and you are sure to give your body some rest to get back on the health wagon, until the next round of celebrations beginning at the end of the year!

Corporate Wisdom

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According to the Puranas, when Brahma creates the world, the Goddess appears as Saraswati, embodiment of knowledge, serene and aloof, dressed in white, holding a lute and a book, riding a heron.

When Vishnu sustains the world, The Goddess appears as Lakshmi, stunning and alluring, dressed in red, bedecked in jewels, holding a pot that pours out gold and grain, riding an elephant that rises from a lotus lake.

When Shiva destroys the world by shutting his eyes to it, the Goddess becomes Shakti – alternating as the naked and bloodthirsty Kali, who danced on his still body, and as the demure and maternal Gauri, who made him open his eyes with her affection.

Saraswati, Lakshmi and Shakti are the three forms the Goddess. They embody knowledge, wealth, and power.

Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are the three forms of God who create, sustain and destroy.

Now observe carefully. The Goddesses are associated with nouns: knowledge, wealth and power. The Gods are associated with verbs: creating, sustaining, and destroying. 

Knowledge, wealth and power can be created sustained and destroyed

Knowledge, wealth, power provides the capability to create/sustain/destroy.

Action is with the Gods – the result of the action is with the Goddesses who in turn provides more action.
God is the subject; Goddess the object.

Before we jump to gender-based conclusions (“the scriptures are patriarchal and that is why they portray God, hence men, as active and Goddess, hence women, as passive”), note that Gods and Goddesses are embodiments of non-gender based concepts that seek to enlighten, enrich and empower. A leader, whether a man or a woman, is God – the organisation is the Goddess.

The reason why the world/organisation is visualized in female form is because just as women create life inside her body, a world/organisation creates knowledge/wealth/power inside itself.

Man creates life outside his body; therefore man is the best representation for the one who creates, sustains, and destroys the life-giving organisation.

God and Goddess, leader and organisation, cannot exist without the other. Without either, there is neither. He or she can only create, sustain or destroy. What is created sustained or destroyed is knowledge, wealth and power, which in turn offers more opportunities to create sustain and destroy.
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Typically, in the corporate world we assume that a leader exists to create wealth – he is Brahma creating Lakshmi. But a Brahma creating Lakshmi will fail, in the long run, because he is too busy creating to bother with sustenance.

We often find fly-by-night operators in the business world who find validation in making that quick buck. These are the Brahmas of the world, desperate to get rich quick, without thinking about sustainability.

A good leader is a Brahma who creates Saraswati-knowledge. Knowledge manifests as innovation and ideas and inspiration. That is why Saraswati holds not just books and memory beads but also the lute with which she makes music. Knowledge appearing as insight provokes a systematic transformation in people.

A good leader is constantly seeking wisdom, within him and others.

Once Chandragupta Maurya ,the founder of the Maurya Empire,was very hungry. The moment rice was served; he put his hand right in the centre of the pile. His fingers got singed and he withdrew instantly. “Never from the centre child”, said his guru, Chanakya. “Always from the sides where it is cooler.” Chandragupta realised his master was not telling him about rice alone. He was warning him against his planned attack on Pataliputra, the capital city. It was a well guarded fortress.

Better to go from the sides, conquer the surrounding, less formidable territories and gradually move in on the centre of power.

The insight made Chandragupta a great General. He was able to overthrow the Nandas and become ruler of the Magadhan Empire. It was knowledge that made him king of a prosperous king. His hunger for wisdom made knowledge appear before him. By becoming Brahma, he discovered Saraswati and so was able to become Vishnu with Lakshmi manifesting as his crown and kingdom.

It is said that Vishnu keeps Saraswati on his tongue. This makes Lakshmi jealous. She rushes towards him and plants himself in his heart. Vishnu knows that the fickle will leave as soon as Saraswati leaves his tongue. Thus to sustain Lakshmi, he needs Saraswati.

Good leaders know that that to sustain their business, they constantly need to inspire, motivate people and at the same time innovate new products and services that will delight the customer. Lakshmi will come into the company where Saraswati thrives.

Knowledge management systems, databases, research documents, patents are all tangible forms of Saraswati. A good leader focuses on them, rather than on account books. He ensures the Saraswati that is generated within the organisation stays within the organisation. In other words, by being Brahma, who creates Saraswati he remains Vishnu who sustains Lakshmi.

With knowledge and wealth, comes power and arrogance.

It is the belief that one is invincible and capable of doing anything. When this happens, the organization becomes naked and bloodthirsty-provoking the leader to act rashly and indiscriminately, indifferent to all rules of conduct, making him believe that he is above the law. In other words, the organization becomes Kali. A good leader recognizes this rapidly and becomes Shiva. He has to destroy the rising ego and arrogance that blinds good judgment. He shuts his eyes and lies still, allowing the Goddess to dance on him but refusing to respond to her. Only then the Goddess becomes Gauri-dressed in green, she becomes maternal and affectionate, and with gentleness she requests Shiva to open his eyes and become Shankar, the benevolent, boon-bestowing, wise ascetic. Thus a good leader has to be fully sensitive to the corrupting influence of power- and try hard not to succumb to it.

Ultimately to establish a knowledge, wealth and power generating organisation, a leader has to be a teacher, a king and an ascetic all rolled into one.

When the three Gods thrive inside, the three Goddesses will thrive outside.

 

 

*Article Credits: Devdutt Patnaik

 

Diwali – Life as a Celebration

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On this Diwali Let me share with you an article written by Sadhguru*

“Light and darkness are perceptions of our senses. May you know the light beyond senses. Hope you have a cracker of a Diwali” -Sadhguru

“Diwali is celebrated for various cultural reasons, but historically, it is called ‘Naraka Chaturdashi’ because Narakasura, a very cruel king, was killed by Krishna on this day. Therefore, this is a major festival celebrated across India.”

“Evil need not necessarily come in the form of demons. Desperation, depression and frustration can cause much more damage to one’s life than the demons that you have not seen. Diwali is a reminder to slay all that is negative in our life.”

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“The celebration is auspicious in so many different ways.

On this day, it is said that if someone needs money, they pray to Goddess Lakshmi.

If someone wants health, they pray to Goddess Shakti.

If someone wants knowledge, they pray to Goddess Saraswati.

These are dialectical ways of expressing that it will lead to well being.”

“In Indian culture, there was a time when there used to be a festival every day of the year – 365 festivals in a year – because a festival is a tool to bring life to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm.”

“Today, people usually celebrate only around eight or ten festivals annually because of our occupation and other happenings. Unfortunately, festivals nowadays mean you are given holiday at work, and you wake up only at noon. Then you eat a lot and go for a movie or watch television at home. It was not like that earlier. A festival meant the whole town would gather and there would be a big celebration.”

“All these aspects were brought into Indian culture just to keep a man active and enthusiastic in so many ways. The idea behind this was to make our whole life into a celebration.”

If you approach everything in a celebratory way, you learn to be non-serious about life, but absolutely involved.”

“The passage, the secret of life is to see everything with a non-serious eye, but to be absolutely involved – like a game. That is the reason the most profound aspects of life are approached in a celebratory way, so that you don’t miss the point.”

“The idea of Diwali is to bring that aspect of celebration into your life – that is why the fire crackers, to set fire to you a bit!  If you are a damp squib, then you need a cracker from outside every day. Otherwise, it must happen like this within us every day. If we simply sit, our life energy, heart, mind and body must be exploding like a live cracker.Love & Grace”- Sadhguru

*Jaggi Vasudev, popularly known as Sadhguru, is an Indian yogi, mystic and New York Times bestselling author. He founded the Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization which offers Yoga programs around the world and is involved in social outreach, education and environmental initiatives.

 Hoping the goodness of this festive season, dwell within you and stay with you throughout the year. Wishing you a Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year!!

 

 

Music makes everything better.

music_therapy

 

They say music washes away the dust from a weary soul.

Have you ever turned to music to release stress? Whether it was listening to sad songs when you were feeling down or upbeat songs when you were feeling happy, music actually soothes your soul.

We use music for entertainment, expression, celebration, ceremony, leisure, and communication. Whether we are musically inclined or not, it is most likely the one thing that truly connects all humans from all cultures, creeds, and corners of the earth.

We play music at our weddings to celebrate love, and at funerals to say goodbye. We listen when we are bored, and dance to it when we want to have fun. We sing praises and worship our deities with it.

And sometimes, we also use music for healing. Music therapy is a recognized and accepted form of therapy.

Healing with sound dates back as far as ancient Greece.

Apollo was the god of both music and medicine (a strange, but viable combination).

Aesculapius was believed to cure mental disorders with songs.

The philosophers Plato and Aristotle both claimed that music affected the soul and the emotions.

Hippocrates played music for his patients, too.

In biblical times, instruments were used to vanquish evil spirits from human souls. Instances of sound healing therapy are limitless. Yet, it remains misunderstood.

And it has been proven that listening to music makes us more productive and creative; it can relieve tension and, depending on the sort of music, can improve our moods. This is because listening to music floods our brains with dopamine — the happy chemical. It also releases Oxycontin, a natural painkiller and hormone that allow us to bond with and trust people. Music stimulates so many parts of the brain as well as the emotions it can actually lower your blood pressure and heart rate

Music is powerful. It can change our brains, and so it changes our bodies.

Everyone has different taste when it comes to music, whatever is your preference, listen to it more. It can only help and heal you while you face the tough times we all eventually go through.

Humming, singing, chanting as you meditate, saying certain mantras or prayers, or even if you have an instrument you love to play, whenever  you are in need of a boost or a moment of relaxation, use music to your benefit.

Certain tools like singing bowls or wind chimes might be the most magical of all the sound therapy tools. Who of us is not amazed by the sound of them? Wind chimes might simply garden ornaments or decorations to most of us, but they go far back in time to India, China, and even Ancient Rome. Both are said to harmonize and maximize the flow of our “Chi” or life force. Since they require the natural element of air to sound them, they are also said to carry elemental power.

Image result for wind chimes indian

Healing with sound is a vast subject that still requires much research to be fully understood.

Next time you need a “pick me up,” a boost, or even a vent, put your favourite playlist on. You will notice the change in your mood instantly.

But whatever the reason you listen to music, I hope it makes your heart sing.

12 Laws of Karma

Following yesterday’s blog on Karma, today I will share with you the 12 Laws of Karma.

To stop being afraid and to start being empowered in the worlds of karma and reincarnation, here is what you need to know about karmic laws.

The wheel of karma is of the notion that everything in our life takes place due to past actions and that present actions affect future lifetimes.

You can use the laws of karma to create success in your life. It’s all about choices, and it states that as you sow shall you reap, but a hundred times over. Your world is 100% the result of your previous actions, words and thoughts.

  1. The Great Law

Whatever we pour into the universe will come back to us. The simple explanation of the great law is: our thoughts and actions have consequences – good or bad. If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Love & Friendship, then we should BE a Happy, Peaceful, Loving and a True Friend.

  1. The Law of Creation

Life does not HAPPEN by itself. We need to make it happen. The life we see around us was created by our own intentions. And since what we surround ourselves with, becomes part of us, it’s our responsibility to ensure these surroundings are conducive to our desires.

  1. The Law of Humility

Simply put one must accept something in order to change it. Acceptance is a near-universal virtue in many belief systems. What you refuse to accept will continue for you. In focusing on the negative instead of making changes to address the negative, we’re committing to a zero-sum result.

  1. The Law of Growth

When we change ourselves, only then do our lives change. Our own growth is in our hands. It’s not the circumstance, or the people, or the things that will change. ‘ME’ is the only person, I have control over, above any other circumstance. True change only occurs if we make the commitment to change what is in our heart.

  1. The Law of Responsibility

Our lives are of our own doing, nothing else. The mirror we stand before shows us our own true reflection. When there is turbulence in one’s own life, there is often turbulence within us. If we’re to change our life, we must change our mind set & our surroundings. We must take responsibility for what is in our lives.

  1. The Law of Connection

The past, present and future are all connected. Everything in the universe is connected. As such, we must put in the work to change these connections if we desire something different.

  1. The Law of Focus

We cannot think of two different things at the same time. Relating to our spiritual growth, we cannot have both, negative thoughts and actions, and expect to get positive results. We must give our full attention to achieve any desired task.

  1. The Law of Giving and Hospitality

Our behaviour should match our thoughts and actions, demonstrating our selflessness and show our true intentions. Selflessness is a virtue. Without a selfless nature, true spiritual growth is nearly impossible.

  1. The Law of Here and Now

One cannot be in the present time if we are continuously looking backwards. The present is all we have. Looking back regretfully robs oneself of a present opportunity. Old thoughts and patterns of behaviour totally negate the present chance to advance ourselves.

  1. The Law of Change

History will continue to repeat itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path. Conscious commitment to change is the only method of influencing the positive energies to direct it to fruitful outcome.

  1. The Law of Patience and Reward

Nothing of value is created without a patient mind set. Toiling away cannot be avoided through wishful thinking. Our rewards are claimed only through patience and persistence, nothing else.  True lasting joy comes from the knowledge of doing what’s necessary. The reward to come in on its own time.

  1. The law of Significance and Inspiration

The best reward is the one that contributes to the Whole. You get back from something whatever YOU have put into it. You feed love, you will get love, you feed hatred and you are served hatred. Energy and intentions are vital apparatuses that decide the significance of an end-result.

“Karma is the law of cause and effect – an unbreakable law of the cosmos. Your actions create your future. The reason your fate is never sealed is because you have free will. Therefore your future cannot already be written. That would not be fair. Life gives you chances. This is one of them.” – The Tree of Awakening.

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