Saturday, August 9, 2014

Listen to Your Heart !!

It was the beginning of summer. I was boarding Udyan Express at Gulbarga railway station. My destination was Bangalore. As I boarded the train, I saw that the second-class reserved compartment was jam-packed with people. I sat down and was pushed to the corner of the berth. Though it was meant for three people, there were already six of us sitting on it...
The ticket collector came in and started checking people's tickets and reservations.
Suddenly, he looked in my direction and asked, 'What about your ticket?'
'I have already shown my ticket to you,' I said.
'Not you, madam, the girl hiding below your berth. Hey, come out, where is your ticket?'
I realized that someone was sitting below my berth. When the collector yelled at her, the girl came out of hiding.
She was thin, dark, scared and looked like she had been crying profusely. She must have been about thirteen or fourteen years old.She had uncombed hair and was dressed in a torn skirt and blouse. She was trembling and folded both her hands.. The collector started forcibly pulling her out from the compartment. Suddenly, I had a strange feeling. I stood up and called out to the collector. 'Sir, I will pay for her ticket,' I said.
Then he looked at me and said, 'Madam, if you give her ten rupees, she will be much happier with that than with the ticket.'
I did not listen to him. I told the collector to give me a ticket to the last destination, Bangalore, so that the girl could get down wherever she wanted.
Slowly, she started talking. She told me that her name was Chitra. She lived in a village near Bidar. Her father was a coolie and she had lost her mother at birth. Her father had remarried and had two sons with her stepmother. But a few months ago, her father had died. Her stepmother started beating her often and did not give her food. She was tired of that life. She did not have anybody to support her so she left home in search of something better.
By this time, the train had reached Bangalore. I said goodbye to Chitra and got down from the train. My driver came and picked up my bags. I felt someone watching me. When I turned back, Chitra was standing there and looking at me with sad eyes. But there was nothing more that I could do. I had paid her ticket out of compassion but I had never thought that she was going to be my responsibility!...
I told her to get into my car. My driver looked at the girl curiously. I told him to take us to my friend Ram's place. Ram ran separate shelter homes for boys and girls. We at the Infosys Foundation supported him financially. I thought Chitra could stay there for some time and we could talk about her future after I came back from my tours.
I was not sure if Chitra would even be there. But to my surprise, I saw Chitra looking much happier than before. Ram suggested that Chitra could go to a high school nearby. I immediately agreed and said that I would sponsor her expenses as long as she continued to study. I left the shelter knowing that Chitra had found a home and a new direction in her life.
I got busier and my visits to the shelter reduced to once a year. But I always enquired about Chitra's well-being over the phone. I knew that she was studying well and that her progress was good.. I offered to sponsor her college studies if she wanted to continue studying. But she said, 'No, Akka. I have talked to my friends and made up my mind. I would like to do my diploma in computer science so that I can immediately get a job after three years.' She wanted to become economically independent as soon as possible.. Chitra obtained her diploma with flying colours. She also got a job in a software company as an assistant testing engineer. When she got her first salary, she came to my office with a sari and a box of sweets.
One day, when I was in Delhi, I got a call from Chitra. She was very happy. 'Akka, my company is sending me to USA! I wanted to meet you and take your blessings but you are not here in Bangalore.'.
Years passed. Occasionally, I received an e-mail from Chitra. She was doing very well in her career. She was posted across several cities in USA and was enjoying life. I silently prayed that she should always be happy wherever she was.
Years later, I was invited to deliver a lecture in San Francisco for Kannada Koota, an organization where families who speak Kannada meet and organize events. The lecture was in a convention hall of a hotel and I decided to stay at the same hotel. After the lecture, I was planning to leave for the airport. When I checked out of the hotel room and went to the reception counter to pay the bill, the receptionist said, 'Ma'am, you don't need to pay us anything. The lady over there has already settled your bill. She must know you pretty well.' I turned around and found Chitra there.

She was standing with a young white man and wore a beautiful sari. She was looking very pretty with short hair. Her dark eyes were beaming with happiness and pride. As soon as she saw me, she gave me a brilliant smile, hugged me and touched my feet. I was overwhelmed with joy and did not know what to say. I was very happy to see the way things had turned out for Chitra. But I came back to my original question. 'Chitra, why did you pay my hotel bill? That is not right.' suddenly sobbing, she hugged me and said, 'Because you paid for my ticket from Bombay(Mumbai) to Bangalore!'

By Sudha Murthy
WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?

I don’t know, and I don’t think that anybody else knows either.
Philosophy is a useless passion. I am using Jean-Paul Sartre’s words, he says ’Man is a useless
passion.’ I say man is NOT a useless passion but philosophy is.

You ask me, ’What is philosophy?’
Nobody has ever defined it. It has remained vague. Not that definitions have not been given to it,
millions of definitions have been given; but THE definition is still missing. Each philosopher gives a
definition, and others contradict it. It is a game, enjoying the gymnastics of logic, it is logic-chopping.
It is like chess – a very intellectual game, very absorbing – but there is no conclusion in it; it is nonconclusive.
The game continues from generation to generation. Slowly slowly, out of this game two
things have arisen: one is science, the other is religion. Science is objective, religion is subjective.
Science is experimental, religion is experiential. Philosophy is neither. It is just hanging in a limbo
between the two. And slowly slowly it is disappearing because that which is objective is being taken
by science every day, and that which is subjective has already been taken by religion. Nothing is
left for philosophy. So now modern philosophy only goes on thinking about language – language
analysis.

The philosophers are asking the most absurd questions because they have lost all the meaningful
questions. Either those questions have been covered by science or by religion. Philosophy is
becoming more and more empty. They cannot find even their own questions now, so either they
take questions from science and they think about them, or they take questions from religion and
they think about them. Their questions are borrowed. Philosophy is a dying phenomenon. It will
not be a surprise that one day you suddenly come to know that philosophy has died. It is on its
deathbed. And you can go to any university and you can see philosophy on its deathbed.
But why have you asked the question? That is more relevant, more important to think about.

I am not teaching philosophy here. What I am saying has nothing to do with philosophy, it is
absolutely experimental and experiential. My effort is to create a scientific religion – the psychology
of the Buddhas. So I am giving you experiments and I am giving you possibilities to experience
something that you have not experienced yet. This is a lab, a workshop. We are bent upon doing
something. I mean business here! Philosophy is not the concern at all. I am very anti-philosophic
and I avoid philosophy because it is playing with shadows, thoughts, speculation. And you can go
on playing infinitely, AD INFINITUM, AD NAUSEAM; there is no end to it. One word creates another
word, one theory creates another theory, and you can go on and on and on. In five thousand years
much philosophy has existed in the world, and to no purpose at all.
But there are people who have the philosophic attitude. And if you are one of them, please drop it;
otherwise you and your energy will be lost in a desert.
I will tell you about the four stages of philosophy in four stories.

The first stage of philosophy, the first story:
One of my favourite stories is that of a boy and girl in New England where sleigh riding is popular
during the cold winters. While riding one Sunday afternoon, bundled up in their blankets, the girl
snuggled up to the boy and said, ’Johnny, I’m cold.’
Johnny looked over to her and said, ’I’m cold, too, Jane. Why not tuck in the blankets?’
So Jane pulled the blankets closer, but pretty soon she moved even closer to Johnny and said, ’My
hands are still cold.’
He didn’t pay much attention to her and soon she nudged him with her elbow and said, ’Johnny, did
you hear me? My hands are cold... and besides nobody loves me.’
This time he looked over to her and said, ’Jane, remember that God loves you, and you can always
sit on your hands to keep them warm.’
This is the first stage of being philosophic.

The second stage, the second story:
A study group of philosophers had been meeting for years to study the Talmud. One member of the
group had a pernicious habit of sipping a little brandy during the meeting. One night he drank just a
little more than usual and became quite tipsy. His companions decided to teach him a lesson. While
he was in his drunken stupor, they carried him off to the cemetery and laid him prone among the
tombstones.
After a while the philosopher woke up. He looked about him, frightened and aghast. Then he started
to reason, ’Am I alive? Or am I dead? If I’m alive, what could I be doing here in the graveyard on top
of the graves? And if I’m dead, then why do I feel that I must go to the bathroom immediately?’
This is the second stage of philosophy.

And the third stage, the third story:
Professor Steinberg had been having his lunch in the same Lower East Side restaurant for twenty
years. Every day he left his office at noon, went to the restaurant and ordered a bowl of chicken
soup – never a change.
But one day the professor called the waiter back after receiving his soup.
’Yes, professor?’ enquired the waiter. ’Waiter, please taste the soup.’
’What do you mean, taste the soup? For twenty years you’ve been eating the same chicken soup
here, every day, yes? Has it ever been any different?’
The professor ignored the waiter’s comments. ’Please, taste this soup,’ he repeated.
’Professor, what’s the matter with you? I know what the chicken soup tastes like.’
’Taste the soup,’ the professor demanded.
’All right, all right, I’ll taste. Where’s the spoon?’
’Aha!’ cried the professor.
This is the third stage.

And the fourth stage, the fourth story:
A woman went to a philosophic psychologist for treatment of her delusion that she was covered with
feathers. After a few sessions the philosopher said to her, ’I feel that we have gotten to the root of
this problem through our discussions and analysis, and it is now behind us. What do you think, Mrs
Smith?’
’Oh,’ said Mrs Smith, ’I think we have had some wonderful sessions and I do feel that the problem
has been taken care of. But,’ she added, ’the only thing that bothers me now is what I’m going to do
with these feathers.’
She raised her hand to her shoulders and began to brush, and the psychologist, the philosopher,
suddenly jumped back.
’Now, hold on just a minute, Mrs Smith, don’t brush those feathers onto me.’
This is the fourth stage.
Slowly slowly, philosophy becomes a kind of madness. It leads you into neurosis because philosophy
is a mind phenomenon. Science has taken the body, religion has taken the soul, only the mind is
left for philosophy. And mind is potential madness. If you go on too much into the mind, you will be
moving slowly slowly towards madness. It is very rare to find a philosopher who is sane. And vice
versa is also true: it is very rare to find a madman who is not a philosopher.


I am not teaching philosophy here, because I am teaching no-mind. And if you become a no-mind
all philosophy disappears: Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, Buddhist – all philosophies disappear;
Hegelian, Kantian, Russellian – all philosophies disappear. If the mind disappears, where can the
philosophy exist? where can it grow? Mind is the breeding ground of philosophy.
Let the mind disappear. And the beauty is: when there is no mind and nobody to philosophize and
nothing to philosophize about, one comes to know. Philosophy is the blind man’s effort. It is said:
Philosophy is a blind man in a dark room on a dark night, searching for a black cat which is not
there...

From The Secret of Secrets, Osho

Friday, March 21, 2014

You Are Just Like Everyone Else

"Tattoo inside your eyelids this reminder:

'you are the messenger, not the message. You are just like everyone else.' "
This was the advice given by a charismatic Zen teacher to a class of Zen teachers-in-training.


"What do you mean?" they asked her.


"I'll begin with a story about a besieged town that was surrounded by enemies who would slaughter all the inhabitants if help didn't arrive. Just when things looked hopeless, a messenger slipped through enemy lines with the message that the army of the Shogun would attack in the morning and drive off the
invaders.


"The townspeople were so enraptured with this news that they treated the messenger like a hero. And after the Shogun's army left, they elected the messenger mayor. Though a pleasant fellow, the messenger turned out to be a thoroughly inept leader and was soon sent away in disgrace.


"The lesson here is never confuse the message--which is the precious gift of Buddha--with the messenger. You are only a messenger.
"When you stun an audience with the wisdom of a lecture, when your students cede to you the molding of their minds, when you are treated as someone special, focus on the message inside your eyelids:


You are the messenger, not the message.
You are just like everyone else."



Friday, August 9, 2013

The Fear of Being Found a Fraud

Over the past few months, I have become a fan of Zen Habits. The recent post by Leo stimulated me to introspect. I resonated with the thinking and hence sharing this with you.
If you like this post by him, resonate with the ideas, I recommend that you become a regular visitor of his blog: Zen Habits

The Fear of Being Found a Fraud
 
My friend Brian asked me yesterday what my biggest fear might be, and the first fear that came out of my mouth was: “The fear that people will discover I’m a fraud.”
The truth is, this fear isn’t something I think about a lot, but it’s often present in the background of my mind, unnoticed but working its dark magic on me. Lots of fears work this way, and until we say them aloud, they have a power over us. Once we say them out loud, really bring them out in the light of day, and give them some thought, we take away their power.
How might I be found a fraud? Lots of ways:
  • Because I blog about habits, and mindfulness, and simplicity and minimalism, people have certain ideas about who I am. This picture in people’s heads isn’t true, of course, because the reality is never the same as the fantasy. What if you find out I’m not what you think I am?
  • People might think I’m amazing at forming habits, and while it’s true I’ve found some pretty good success over the years, much of the time I still struggle, and still fail. Habits aren’t just a skill you learn and then all of a sudden, you can flip a switch for any habit you want to create. You have to constantly remotivate yourself, constantly check your urges to quit, constantly analyze what’s working and how to overcome the obstacles that come up. Each habit is different, and yet they’re all the same in this way.
  • I put myself forward as a minimalist, but I’m not nearly as extreme a minimalist as others. I’m OK with that, because for me minimalism is a philosophy, not a competition. It’s a check against the urges and consumerist tendencies of our modern consumerist lives. So yes, I might have less than the average person, but I still buy stuff regularly, and I worry people will judge me for that.
  • I’m a fairly successful blogger by most standards, and so people might think I have it all figured out. I don’t. I’m still figuring things out. I still have nervousness, with every post, that I’ll be judged and thought stupid. This has gotten less true as I’ve come to know my audience and trust that you’re a very positive, supportive group, but honestly it still happens. For example, someone attacked me on Twitter a couple days ago for my post on a Healthful Vegan Diet. Apparently, I don’t know anything! And I accept this as true.
  • I’m a husband and father of six, and I do my best, but while others might see my family life and think I’m an amazing dad and husband, the truth is I don’t always know what I’m doing, I get mad at my kids, I fight with my wife on a regular basis, I fail often. I do my best, but I fall short all the time.
This comes down to one thing: my imagining of the expectations others might have of me, and my fear that I won’t meet those expectations.
And the honest truth is, I won’t meet those expectations.
So here’s what I do.
I realize that I can’t meet the fantasies of others.
I try to be honest, and not just present a fa├žade. This post is an attempt to do that, as was my failure post. If others have a fantasy of me, perhaps I can make that fantasy more like reality.
I try to be myself, which is really the best I can do. If I’m authentic, I can’t be a fraud, because I’m just being who I am. Of course, I’m always trying to figure out who that self is, and the self is constantly changing, so it’s an interesting endeavor.
I realize I’m still learning, am never “perfect”, and will always be learning. That’s all I can hope for.
I ask myself, “What would happen if the fear came true?” And the truth is, even if I were found to be a fraud by everyone I know and many I don’t, I would be OK. My life would go on. I might need to find another job, but I think I’d be OK sweeping floors or chopping vegetables (both activities I enjoy, btw).
I smile, and give thanks that I’ve been given the chance to write, to share, to connect, to help in some small way. That’s an amazing gift, and I won’t let the scared little child in me ruin it with its complaints.
So thank you, my friends. I’m happy to be here.

Posted: 08 Aug 2013 07:36 AM PDT
 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jacob Barnett, 14-Year-Old With Asperger's Syndrome, May Be Smarter Than Einstein

When Jacob Barnett was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism. Doctors told his parents that the boy would likely never talk or read and would probably be forever unable to independently manage basic daily activities like tying his shoe laces.
But they were sorely, extraordinarily mistaken.
Today, Barnett -- now 14 -- is a Master's student, on his way to earning a PhD in quantum physics. According to the BBC, the teen, who boasts an IQ of 170, has already been tipped to one day win the Nobel Prize.
Since enrolling at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) at the age of 10, Barnett has flourished -- astounding his professors, peers and family with his spectacular intelligence.
The teen tutors other college students in subjects like calculus and is a published scientific researcher, with an IQ that is believed to be higher than that of Albert Einstein. In fact, according to a 2011 TIME report, Barnett, who frequently tops his college classes, has asserted that he may one day disprove Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
Outside of his rigorous university commitments, Barnett, who has Asperger's Syndrome, is also an entrepreneur and aspiring author.
The teen, who, with his family, runs a charity called Jacob's Place for kids on the spectrum, has used his story to raise awareness and dispel myths about autism.

"I'm not supposed to be here at all," he said last year during a TEDx Teen speech about "forgetting what you know" in New York City. "You know, I was told that I wouldn't talk. There's probably a therapist watching who is freaking out right now."

Though he makes it all look so easy, his mother, Kristine Barnett, says that he has to work hard on a daily basis to handle his autism.
"He overcomes it every day. There are things he knows about himself that he regulates everyday," his mother told the Indianapolis Star last month.
In April, Kristine Barnett's memoir about her family's experience with autism, "The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius," was released. A movie deal is said to be in the works.
"I hope it really inspires children to actually be doing something," Barnett told the Star of his mom's book and potential film. "[I hope it] encourages them to do what they like doing. I just hope it is inspirational."
----- from www.huffingtonpost.com
My Experience of treating some Autism patients with Homeopathy
I have been treating some patients of Autism with Homeopathy.  And what is observed and what is possible is the following in nutshell.
It is possible to 

  • Bring about moderation in sensitivity disturbances
  • Improve hyperactivity and hence enhances the attention span of a child.
  • Help in controlling emotional disturbances 
  • Promote the growth processes and intellectual faculties

    Homoeopathy Acts as immuno modulators and promotes the general RESISTANCE POWER of the system
  • Help in managing underlying neurological, genetic, metabolic problems
     
  • DO NOT HAVE any adverse or depressing neuro-physiological side effects.    

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Failure is NOT a possiblity


Like most other countries, Japan was hit badly by the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 1938, Soichiro Honda was still in school, when he started a little workshop, developing the concept of the piston ring.

    His plan was to sell the idea to Toyota. He labored night and day, even slept in the workshop, always believing he could perfect his design and produce a worthy product. He was married by now, and pawned his wife's jewelry for working capital.
    Finally, came the day he completed his piston ring and was able to take a working sample to Toyota, only to be told that the rings did not meet their standards! Soichiro went back to school and suffered ridicule when the engineers laughed at his design.
    He refused to give up. Rather than focus on his failure, he continued working towards his goal. Then, after two more years of struggle and redesign, he won a contract with Toyota.
    By now, the Japanese government was gearing up for war! With the contract in hand, Soichiro Honda needed to build a factory to supply Toyota, but building materials were in short supply. Still he would not quit! He invented a new concrete-making process that enabled him to build the factory.
    With the factory now built, he was ready for production, but the factory was bombed twice and steel became unavailable, too. Was this the end of the road for Honda? No!
    He started collecting surplus gasoline cans discarded by US fighters – "Gifts from President Truman," he called them, which became the new raw materials for his rebuilt manufacturing process. Finally, an earthquake destroyed the factory.
    After the war, an extreme gasoline shortage forced people to walk or use bicycles. Honda built a tiny engine and attached it to his bicycle. His neighbors wanted one, and although he tried, materials could not be found and he was unable to supply the demand.
    Was he ready to give up now? No! Soichiro Honda wrote to 18,000 bicycles shop owners and, in an inspiring letter, asked them to help him revitalize Japan. 5,000 responded and advanced him what little money they could to build his tiny bicycle engines. Unfortunately, the first models were too bulky to work well, so he continued to develop and adapt, until finally, the small engine 'The Super Cub' became a reality and was a success. With success in Japan, Honda began exporting his bicycle engines to Europe and America.
    End of story? No! In the 1970s there was another gas shortage, this time in America and automotive fashion turned to small cars. Honda was quick to pick up on the trend. Experts now in small engine design, the company started making tiny cars, smaller than anyone had seen before, and rode another wave of success.
    Today, Honda Corporation employs over 100,000 people in the USA and Japan, and is one of the world's largest automobile companies. Honda succeeded because one man made a truly committed decision, acted upon it, and made adjustments on a continuous basis. Failure was simply not considered a possibility.



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Have a Lucky Day !! And Work for It !!!


Why do some people have all the luck while others never get the breaks they deserve?

Why are some people always in the right place at the right time, while others consistently experience ill fortune? Research over the years reveal that although these people have almost no insight into the causes of their luck, their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for much of their good and bad fortune. Take the case of seemingly chance opportunities. Lucky people consistently encounter such opportunities, whereas unlucky people do not.

A simple experiment to discover whether this was due to differences in their ability to spot such opportunities... Both lucky and unlucky people were given a newspaper, and asked to look through it and tell how many photographs were inside.A large message was secretly placed halfway through the newspaper saying: 'Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $50'.

This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more than two inches high. It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it.

Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people, and this anxiety disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected.
As a result, they miss opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and miss other types of jobs.

Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for. The research eventually revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

Another research on a group of volunteers to spend a month carrying out exercises designed to help them think and behave like a lucky person... Dramatic results! These exercises helped them spot chance opportunities, listen to their intuition, expect to be lucky, and be more resilient to bad luck. One month later, the volunteers returned and described what had happened. The results were dramatic: 80 per cent of people were now happier, more satisfied with their lives and, perhaps most important of all, luckier.

The lucky people had become even luckier and the unlucky had become lucky. Finally, the elusive 'luck factor' was found. Here are four top tips for becoming lucky:

1) Listen to your gut instincts ^ they are normally right.
2) Be open to new experiences and breaking your normal routine.
3) Spend a few moments each day remembering things that went well.
4) Visualise yourself being lucky before an important meeting or telephone call.

Have a Lucky day and work for it.
The happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems, but those who learn to live with things that are less than perfect.

The author of `The Luck Factor'-- "RICHARD WISEMAN" teaches at the University of Hertfordshire.
(Reproduced here from "The Times of India".)