Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fighting Bad Habits

Shall you be better able to fight [bad habits]
tomorrow than today? Why add today's mistakes to
yesterday's? You have to turn to God sometime, so isn't
it better to do it now? Just give yourself to Him and say:
"Lord, naughty or good I am Your child. You must take
care of me." If you keep on trying, you will improve.
A saint is a sinner who never gave up.
(Paramahansa Yogananda, `Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda')

Friday, December 10, 2010

Work in Truth - SV

In every attempt there will be one set of people who will applaud, and another who will pick holes. Go on doing your own work, what need have you to reply to any party? "Truth alone triumphs, not falsehood. Through truth alone lies the path of the gods" (Mundaka Upanishad, 3.1.6). Everything will come by degrees.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Be afraid of nothing

Trials will never be lacking in religious life, nor does God want them to be. Since he brings souls there to be proved and purified, like gold, with hammer and the fire (Eccles. 2:5), it is fitting that they encounter trials and temptations from human beings and from devils, and the fire of anguish and affliction….
The religious must undergo these trials and should endeavor to bear them patiently and in conformity to God's will, and not so sustain them that instead of being approved by God in this affliction he be reproved for not having wanted to carry the cross of Christ in patience.
(St. John of the Cross)

I am speaking practical truth to you, practical sense; and giving you a philosophy that will take away all of your consciousness of hurt. Be afraid of nothing. If death comes, all right. What is going to happen, will happen. Refuse to be intimidated by this dream. Affirm: `I will not be frightened by ill health, poverty, and accidents. Bless me, O Lord, that when You put me through trials, I realize their delusive nature and become victorious over them by positive action and by remaining inwardly united to You'…
(Paramahansa Yogananda, `A World in Transition')

Those whom Love draws near are the most severely tried.
(Islam, Attar)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Have Faith

For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
(Christianity, Matthew 17.20)

By faith you shall be free and go beyond the world of death.
(Buddhism, Sutta Nipata 1146)

The true believers are those whose hearts are filled with awe at the
mention of God, and whose faith grows stronger as they listen to His
revelations. They put their trust in their Lord, pray steadfastly, and give in alms of that which We have given them. Such are the true
believers. They shall be exalted and forgiven by their Lord, and a
generous provision shall be made for them.
(Islam, Qur'an)

Sorrow looks down, Worry looks around, but Faith looks up.
(Unknown )

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. Commend all to God, and then lie still and be at rest in God's bosom…Whatever happens, abide steadfast in a determination to cling simply to God, trusting to God's eternal love for you.
(St. Francis de Sales)

Fix your mind inwardly between the eyebrows [as in meditation] on the shoreless lake of peace. Watch the eternal circle of rippling peace around you. The more you watch intently, the more you will feel the wavelets of peace spreading from the eyebrows to the forehead, from the forehead to the heart, and on to every cell in your body. Now the waters of peace are overflowing the banks of your body and inundating the vast territory of your mind. The flood of peace
flows over the boundaries of your mind and moves on in infinite directions
(`Paramahansa Yogananda, Metaphysical Meditations')

Peace…be still…and know…that I am God.
Peace…be still…and know…that I am.
Peace…be still…and Know.
Peace…be still.
(Peace Pilgrim, `Peace Pilgrim')

Overcoming fear and desire

Deliver me, O Jesus,
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the desire of being popular,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being suspected.
(Mother Teresa, `Mother Teresa, A Simple Path')

Some SV thoughts

Who is independent? Not our body, for it depends upon external conditions; nor our mind, because the thoughts of which it is composed are caused. It is our soul that is independent. The Vedas say that the whole world is a mixture of independence and dependence, of freedom and slavery, but through it all shines the soul independent, immortal, pure, perfect, holy.

Interviewer: Swami, what you claim is that all is good?
Vivekananda: By no means. My claim is that all is not--only God is! That makes all the difference.

Teach yourselves, teach everyone his real nature, call uon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Courage to begin

If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed
- David Viscott

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Troubleshooting a rebooting Nokia N95 8GB

Faced a frequently rebooting N95 8GB phone in this week. The error message that was coming was sim card not registered or similar.

Uninstalled extra applications from the phone while in offline mode. Went to the customer care of mobile operator and got a replacement sim card. No problems since the activation of the replaced sim. The old N95 8 GB works like new.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Didama's native place in India's pre-partitioned East Bengal

Our forefathers happen to come from then East Bengal before 1947 partition of India. In my effort to show my maternal grandmother, her fond memories of childhood in Chittagong in 1920s,30s and 40s, I corresponded and got the help of people from US, Canada, India and current Bangladesh sometime in 2007. I got great help from Bangali-Bondhu yahoogroup. Finally I was able to get a few photographs of the place of her childhood. It is called Ranir Dighi in colloquial in Chittagong Bangladesh

The house is one of the houses visible on the east side of Ranir Dighi. However my grandmother(Didama) was unable to pin-point the exact house as lot of things seem to have changed in last 70 years.

My Grandmother - Alo Rani Roy also remembers her classmates in school who had participated in the Chittagong uprising against British.

Lot of thanks are due to my friends Arnab of Canada, Xiaur Rahman of Chittagong and other friends in Bangali-Bondhu yahoogroup.

My grandmother happens to be a spirited lady and quite well-learned for her times. Being part of the times of Chittagong revolution, she is always filled with nationalistic fervour. When she named her younger son Shibaji after the maratha warrior king Shivaji little did my grandmother know how her elder daughter would be living major part of the adult life in Maharashtra.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Essence of Upanishadic Teaching

Essence of Upanishadic Teaching
( From Hindu Dharma by Shri ChandraShekarendra Sarasvati Swamiji of Kanchi)

In the view of modern science the phenomenal world exists in the time space frame. The Upanishads declare that being freed from the time and space factors, we can grasp the ultimate-truth
That is at the source of Cosmos. How to transcend Time and space? Is it possible?

An example can be citied from everyday life. We lap up the newspaper reports of the fighting going on in a distant country, say Iraq. If a dispute or trouble erupts in our home or country like Pakistan, we forget Iraq and turn to Pakistan. The newspapers themselves push reports of Iraq to some corner and highlight developments in Pakistan. But when a quarrel breaks out even nearer, say a quarrel over Tiruttani between Tamils and Telugus Pakistan is forgotten and the boundary quarrel claims all our interest. Now when we come to know about a street brawl in our neighbour hood, we throw aside the newspaper to go out and see for ourselves what the trouble is all about. Again, when we are watching the street fight, a friend or relative comes and tells us that a war is going on in our own home, a fight between wife and the mother. What do we do then? We forget the street brawl and rush home at once.

On an international level Iraq war is perhaps of great importance. But we pass from that to quarrels of decreasing importance. Why? Iraq is far away in space. We are more concerned about what happens nearer us than about far away happenings.

The time factor is similar. How inconsolably we wept when our father died ten years ago. How is it that we do not feel same intensity of grief when we think of his death today? On the day a dear one passes we weep so much but not so much on the following day. Why is it so? Last year we earned a promotion or won a prize in a lottery. We jumped for joy then, didnt we? Why is it that we dont feel the same thrill of joy when we think about it today?

Now let us turn our gaze inward. If we become aware of the battle going on within us, the battle fought by the senses, all other quarrels will become distant affairs like Iraq war. Just as nearness in space is a factor in determining how we are affected by an event, so too is nearness in time. An event occurred far away in space and long ago in time, loses its impact even when we are turned outward and remain conscious of time and space.

So Confidence Arises that we can be totally freed from time and space if We Turn Inward.
When we are asleep we are oblivious of space and time without any effort on our part. But we do not have the awareness of being free from them. We must go to the state in which we sleep without sleeping and are immersed in bliss of Jnana as well as freedom from space and time. In such a case even we receive a stab wound we will not be affected by it. It would be like happening in a remote land like Iraq.

Now let us think about our real goal what is it? Peace and tranquility. Let us consider what we must do for this goal. So if we are to remain detached we must think that what happens close by is happening in a remote place. We must also learn to think that all happy and unhappy incidents of the moment occurred some ten years ago. We must remain in the absolute state of being ourselves.

The essence of Upanishadic message is the burning desire to be free from time and space. All that we need to do is to pray to lord and make an effort to develop the will and capacity to put the happenings of the moment, back in time and distant in space.

The first of the ten major Upanishads, Ishaavaasya Upanishad, says:
Tadejati tannaijati taddoore tadvantike
Tadanatarasya sarvasya tadu sarvasyaasya bahyatah.

It is afar yet it is near. It is indeed within. This statement refers to time and space, and creates the urge in us to be freed from both. The next mantra,

Yastu sarvaani bhootaani aatmanyevaanupashyati
Sarva bhooteshu aatmaanam tato na vijugupsate.

This mantra asks us to see, time, space and all the creatures, in our self itself. Then there will be no cause for hatred, delusion or sorrow. Nothing will affect us. This truth of being free from time and space, this truth of Upanishads, is to be realized within as an experience.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Soul is unbound

That which is bound is nature, not the soul.

-Swami Vivekananda

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Swami Vivekananda - The world is a gymnasium

This world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.

All healthy social changes are the manifestations of the spiritual forces working within, and if these are strong and well adjusted. Society will arrange itself accordingly. Each individual has to work out his own salvation; there is no other way, and so also with nations. It is very easy to point out the defects of institutions, all being more or less imperfect, but he is the real benefactor of humanity who helps the individual to overcome his imperfections under whatever institutions he may live. The individuals being raised, the nation and its institutions are bound to rise.

Men in general lay all the blame of life on their fellowmen, or, failing that, on God, or they conjure up a ghost, and say it is fate. Where is fate, and who is fate? We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. None else has the blame, none has the praise. The wind is blowing; and those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not catch the wind. Is the fault of the wind?

I was once traveling in the Himalayas and the long road stretched before us. We poor monks cannot get anybody to carry us, so we had to make all the way on foot. There was an old man with us. He said, Oh, Sir, how to cross it; I cannot walk any more; my chest will break. I said to him, Look down at your feet. He did so, and I said, "The road that is under your feet is that you have passed and is the same road that you see before you; it will be soon under your feet. The highest things are under your feet, because you are Divine Stars"

The history of world is of six men of faith, six men of deep pure character. We need to have three things: the heart to feel, the brain to conceive, the hand to work. Make yourself a dynamo. Feel, first for the world. Ask yourself, does your mind react in hatred or jealousy? Good works are continually are being undone by the tons of hatred and anger which are being poured out on the world. If you are pure, if you are strong, you, one man, are equal to the whole world.

-Swami Vivekananda

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book Review: The Imaginary Institution of India

One of the fine books on this topic and especially interesting in the analysis of Indian history. There is the very abstract and delicate reasoning throughout the book. The author has followed various historical strands of the composition of India as political idea with an emphasis on the period of colonialism and later. The development of modern Indian nation is looked from a intellectual position with as far objectivity possible when viewed back in time from the present.

The subject is discussed in implicit and sometimes explicit reference to stronger, well-established and well-defined nations. Notably, the conceptual boundary of nation is itself under dynamic change in these times of the global village.

A unique description of the events leading to 1857 uprising and the importance of Gandhi as a political phenomenon in the development of idea of India. The discussion on Gandhi and his original way to bridge the gap between literate and illiterate parts of the population is especially illuminating. The managing of contradictions to forge the Indian national concept by Gandhi is discussed in some detail.

The important feature of the this book is an extensive discussion of the effect of multiple languages and its effects on the India politics and nation-state throughout history. The author also discusses how the successive emergence of Sanskrit to Persian/Urdu and English through history has accompanied the change of stable governments over the Indian sub-continent.

Summarizing the review, this book comes across as a thought provoking and enlightening discussion to broaden our understanding of India. This is also relevant in these times of globalisation with the emergence of India on the world horizon following China as the other similar Asian nation in most dimensions but excluding the immense polyglot nature of Indian nation.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Freeing bad habits

Habits of thought are mental magnets that draw to you certain things, people, and conditions. Weaken a
bad habit by avoiding everything that occasioned it or stimulated it, without concentrating upon it in your
zeal to avoid it. Then divert your mind to some good habit and steadily cultivate it until it becomes a
dependable part of you.
(Paramahansa Yogananda, "The Law of Success")