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Sunday, July 15, 2012

முப்பதின் முனைப்பும் நாற்பதின் நோக்கமும்

இந்த முப்பதுக்கும், நாற்பது வயதுக்கும் நடுவிலே இருக்கும் வாழ்க்கை மிகவும் சுவாரஸ்யமானது. இருபதில் இருக்கும் துடிப்பும், இளமையின் தூண்டுதலும், வாழ்க்கையில் பெரிதாக சாதிக்கவேண்டும் என்ற எண்ணமும், முப்பதை தாண்டி தொடர்கிறது. உடல் சற்றே தளர்ந்தாலும், மனது விட்டுக்கொடுப்பதில்லை. முனைப்பு முப்பதுகளின் முகப்பாகிறது. நாற்பது வாழ்க்கையின் வெற்றி, தோல்விகளை ஓரளவு அனுபவித்த பின்பு ஒரிரு அடையக்கூடிய லட்சியங்களை நோக்கமாக கொள்கிறது. நாற்பதில் விவேகம் துளிர்க்கிறது. ஆனால், இந்த முப்பதுக்கும், நாற்பதிற்கும் நடுவிலே இருக்கும் பத்தாண்டுகள் மிகவும், மனதளவிலே, ஒரு பெறும் நெடும் பயணமாக தோன்றுகின்றது. கலயாணமானவர்களுக்கு, குடும்ப முன்னேற்றமும், கல்யாணமாகாதவருக்கு வாழ்க்கைப்பாதைப் பற்றிய சிந்தனையும் தீவிரப்படுகின்றது. வாழ்க்கையை இலெசாக எடுத்துக்கொள்வதா அல்லது சீரியசாக எடுத்துக்கொள்வதா என்ற முடிவு எடுக்க மனது குழப்பம் கொள்கின்றது. கனவுகளின் தரிசனம் மறைந்து, நிஜங்களின் நிதர்சனம் நிகழும்போது வாழ்க்கை பாடம் கற்றுக்கொள்கிறது. அந்தப்பாடமே, மீதி இருக்கும் வாழ்க்கைக்கதைக்கான கருவை சுமக்கின்றது. உன் வாழ்க்கை உந்தன் கையில் என்பது உண்மையா என முப்பது புலப்படுத்துகின்றதா, அல்லது நாற்பது உரைக்குமா என்பதை காலம்தான் கூறவேண்டும்.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Variety of Religious Experiences I'm having

Twenty years ago, I would've never imagined or appreciated a different way of thinking of, praying to God. Raised as a devout South Indian Iyer, God for me was invoked through mantras and felt as a profound feeling arising from the sheer power of vibrations, the great-problem solver of our life problems. You have a problem, rush to Him and there He is ready with an answer to help you. Years have gone by, and so too the variety of my experiments and experiences with religion !!

God would've expected me to recite the Holy Gayathri Mantra in my puja room, or near a riverbank, or in a temple. Indeed it must've been a sweet surprise to both of us (God and Me :-) ) when I got a chance to recite it right the sanctum sanctorum inside the famous Sultanahmet (The Blue Mosque)  in Istanbul, Turkey!

And this year 2010, here in US, I've seen God more in Church than in temples. As a volunteer and sometimes Usher in the FPC, I've had chances to follow the Christian way of worship, prayers of silence, self-confession, proclamation of love and peace with friends - a unique way indeed to feel God. I also had chance to participate in MahaRudram and Lalitha Sahasranamarchanai in Flushing Ganesha temple, first ever in my life which I missed while all these years in India. God (ok..let me be honest..my favourite Goddess Lalithambika)..She is giving me all these glorious experiences to appreciate Her Creation, Her World of maya, the lessons She wants me to learn, the Happiness/Sorrow She wants me to experience to finally, one day, break away from the cycle of birth and death on earth and try living the life of an astral being on different parts of this vast Universe.She makes me play, love, hope, enjoy peace, be joyful and spread it with whomsoever I may come in touch with. Such is Her magic and such is Her love for me!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Five states of Human mind

After observing the great vastness of the mind, spiritualists have identified that there are five states of mind: conscious, subconscious, subsubconscious, subsuperconscious and superconscious.

The first state is the conscious mind, in which we perform our daily routines. When awareness is in the conscious mind, we are externalized. This means we take our direction mainly from memory of past experiences, from other people, from newspapers, magazines, radio, television or our emotions. The average man is aware in the conscious mind from the time he awakens in the morning until he falls asleep at night. That's what makes him average. Only when he becomes mystically inclined does he become consciously aware of some of the other four states.

The second state is the subconscious mind, the grand storehouse and computer of man. It faithfully registers all thoughts and feelings that pass through the conscious state, whether correct or incorrect, whether positive or negative. It registers them and acts or reacts accordingly.

The subsubconscious, the third state of mind, is a conglomeration of various actions and reactions that we have experienced in daily life. It is a subtle state composed of two or more vibrations of experience which mingle and form a third vibration. We have an experience. We react to it. Later we have a similar experience. We react to that. These two reactions merge in the subsubconscious, causing a hybrid reaction that lives with us many, many years.

The fourth state is the subsuperconscious mind. Deep, refined and powerful, it filters intuitive flashes from the superconscious mind through the subconscious gridwork. There are times when you want very much to find a clear answer from within yourself. However, being aware in the conscious mind predominantly, awareness is cut off from direct contact with the superconscious. So, you begin to ask questions of yourself. These questions are registered in the subconscious. The subconscious, like a well-programmed computer, begins to search for the right answer from the superconscious mind. Then, all of a sudden, you know the answer from the inside out. Finding solutions through insight or intuition is one of the functions of the subsuperconscious. It also is the source of all true creativity, inspiration, understanding and perfect timing in daily events.

The superconscious is the fifth state of the mind. Within it is one world within another world and yet another. All mystical phenomena and deep religious experiences come from the superconscious. It is the mind of light, beautiful and vast. When one is superconsciously alive, he feels joyously alive throughout the totality of his being--physically, emotionally and mentally--for new energies are working through his nerve system. This state of the mind is available to everyone to be aware in. The superconscious is the mind of bliss. It is vast, pure intelligence. The subsuperconscious mind is that aspect of the superconscious functioning through established subconscious patterns.

As we learn to identify these states, one from another, we also become more sensitive, like the artist who learns to observe depth, color and dimension within a beautiful painting. His sense of enjoyment is far superior to that of the average man who simply sees the painting as a nice picture, having no appreciation of the intricacies of color, depth, movement and technique.

Courtesy: Excerpted from the book 'Merging with Siva'

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ideals of marriage - a lesson from 'Living with Siva'

The Ideals Of Marriage

Marriage is an institution, a business, a spiritual partnership, a furtherance of humanity and a contract--a three-level contract involving body, mind and emotion. Marriage is a necessary commitment not only for the continuation of the human race but also for the furtherance of each individual soul's spiritual unfoldment. The interaction on all levels between the couple, and later their children, molds the good, bad and confused karmas into new dimensions. Saivite marriages involve not only the bride and groom but also their parents, their priest, guru, astrologer, relatives on both sides and the entire community. The feeling of responsibility to the community is ever present. The community's feeling of responsibility to make each of its marriages work out well is also always present.

Why are Saivite marriages different from other kinds of marriages? It is because of the ever-abiding belief in the ever-present oneness of God Siva within each one. God Siva is within you, and you are within God Siva. God Siva is the Life of our lives. This and more the Saivite saints sang. To forget that Siva is within the wife, to forget that Siva is within the husband is to forget Saivism itself. This basic Saivite belief lays the psychological foundation for the husband to see the wife as a Goddess and the wife to see the husband as a God. All other behavior comes out of this belief. Belief creates attitudes, and attitudes create actions.

The knowing that each one has come into life to work out certain karmas they brought with them in this birth, and that karmas are generally worked out through other people, gives a challenge and a goal--to resolve these karmas and receive the reward of mukti, freedom from rebirth. Because of this belief, this understanding, the husband and wife blend their energies more constructively. Their attitudes are naturally more generous, forgiving and understanding, their actions and interactions more harmonious and mutually supportive. A woman gives her prana, spiritual energy, to her husband, making him strong. Children give their prana to their parents, because to them the parents are Siva-Shakti, the first guru. The wife, always attending to her husband's needs, sets the pattern for the children. By focusing her energies within her family, she builds up a great spiritual vibration in the home. In fulfilling his purusha dharma, the husband gives his prana, love and loyalty to his family, and he benefits the community through his service. He never, ever raises his voice in the home; nor does he show anger in any way. He is the model for the entire family. When his sons come of age, they join their pranas with his, and as a result, the family, the community and the country flourish.

Believing in reincarnation, the parents know that their relatives--and they themselves--will be born back into their family again and again to work out their unfinished karmas. A Saivite home is a karmic factory, a recycling of souls, a mill that grinds exceedingly fine the seed karmas of this and past lives.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Midnight Run - A run for service (6-August-2010)

This is my second run for the Midnight mission. It was a little different as summer has set in US. Accordingly, we mad a change in the food. clothing and free drink relief we were offering to the homeless in New York city.

This time I rode along with a passionate volunteer, a preaching minister of christian religion, a former retired teacher. Though years could touch her age, it couldn't seem to have dampened her spirit. It was enlightening to hear her experiences while driving and sharing my own perspectives in return until we reached NY city.

We went to the same places we went last time, but the expectations were different. New homeless and no familiar faces. We distributed the relief and finally by 12.35 we started. She rode me through the Times Square and I realised that the Times Square is never desolate in any hour - lively, kicking and buzzling with crowd always.

I reached home by 1.15 the next day and had a peaceful and satisfied sleep coming from the good work done hours before :-)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Writing.. for hope..for yourself and a fellowman

Volunteering. I can't fathom how much variety of experience this hobby of mine is going to give me this lifetime. An experience of a kind and first-ever for me - I wrote letters. You may ask me - are you kidding? Writing a letter. We all write letters (more of emails now) every day. Sheets and sheets of paper, pages and pages of email.. So what's special :-)

The special thing here is to write to someone, somewhere whom you may never meet or never see face-to-face. Now that's interesting isn't it.. And what if say that they are for prisoners!

Today I was taken to the Scarborough Church by my friend Barbara ( a friend in FPC, Ossining) to write letters to people who are serving their sentences in the prisons of USA. These people whose life took a turn for ever when they committed some crime/illegal act violating a serious law either in consciousness and cold-bloodedness or just in a fit of rage, passion, ignorance and clouded thinking - crimes that can chill you - killing innocent women, children, old men and other people, robbery, drug wars etc. - the big world of devilish crime.... and yet..you can't fail to realize that they are fellow human beings who are supported by the same mother earth, breathe the same oxygen from the air, drink the same water to sustain blood ..the difference only in where you are, and having freedom - Freedom of living your way ..we all take for granted more often.

Writing letters - to people who've not been visited by any family member, loved one or friend for years, denied permanent parole, 23 hrs a day locked in confinement behind steel walls, who may have all but forgotten what it means to see another face, face-to-face with love, speak a word, express a thought...these again we take for granted !!

Barbara and her senior lady friend explained to me the purpose. how your letter with a sincere intention to help can bring relief and peace to the person who receives it, the happiness the person may feel on thinking that someone out there in the world considered important to write for him, though they never have any relation whatsoever. We held hands in prayer asking God to help us with the Spirit to give us words of hope, love and understanding to be written in the letter to make that person feel better and realise that the world still awaits him/her and can feel loved.

I wrote to a person Jelio (name changed to protect identity), who was doing good, allowed permission to work and earn in another block of the prison...but after having found a weapon in the room by the jailors ..had been detained in 23 hr locked confinement until further assessment. The despair he poured out in his letter, not knowing who did it or how it came into his room and the sheer frustration of being wronged when things were going all fine ( the same feeling he once gave to another person when he participated in an armed robbery!!). I'm reminded of the eternal law..what you sow ..so you reap..what you give out..comes to you in return.. but yet i felt compassionate enough to cheer him up. He said he has turned to reading bible and more hours of prayers and with tears (he had never cried during his days of crime), tears of sorrow and repentence. I wrote giving him encouragement to start speaking to God and listen for answers in the quietness of heart, which I did when I lost my parents.

Another letter to Stevens(name changed to protect identity), seems to be well-read, a son of a pastor with a strong religious background, never appreciated religion then, entered into crime and now in prison. After reading bible and interacting through several letters with the ministry of church, he now feels why he doesn't have the 'fire for jesus' like devoted christians have and feeling frustrated being unable to sustain faith being in prison for the last 15 years, not allowed for parole. I gave him the example of how every river has to chart its own course to reach the ocean but its sure to reach. His path of faith may be different than a devout christian outside prison, but he too will reach the same God through Jesus, like every human being will do one day.

I wrote a lot, cited words of hope, examples flowing through me from the Spirit of God. I realised, obviously, I would never have written such inspiration all by myself and it moved my heart and thoughts.

I felt happy today that my handwriting was good, my english was good enough and all that I read, heard, listened and learnt from people and things around helped me create letters of hope for these persons god made me interact with through paper and pen. And now I eagerly await if they'll read them and respond to me, giving me a chance to reform myself in return and feel blessed!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Castaway Movie - touched my heart

In the last weekend (5-6 June 2010), I got the DVD of the movie Castaway from Ossining Library. This is the first movie CD I ever got from here. Though there is huge collection of movies, so far I'd only taken books, but this visit, something moved me to atleast select one for a try...and boy sure I made a nice choice :-)

Castaway didn't seemed like yet another Hollywood movie. To me it seemed a perfect combination of a nice script, fine actor, excellent film-making team- right from movie locale till the words of every dialogue, this movie is one of a kind. Never miss this movie if you've a chance to see.

I was really moved by all characters - including dearest Wilson and the island. Tom Hanks gives his undoubtedly best performance - a fine actor of our times.

The storyline is not only one of survival when lost in an unknown island cut-off from the world but also one of clearing our views/biases and bring out the real perspective of what we can learn from life - from each moment we live on taking it for granted and the value of relationships over mundane successes in life - through career or business.

I've now started looking back to browse through English movies rather than just reading books and I thank this movie for making this change.

Next time when someone talks to me about movies, sure, I'll recommend this one and I'll feel glad that I did it :-)