Spiritual Scientists

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I have often wondered about one thing – why does a Yogi/Guru/Pandit/Brahman spend a life of detachment and why does that person, specially in the case of Yogis, not worry at all about how they will feed themselves and how, if they choose to take up a family, will their family be fed and taken care of. After all, the Yogi may not need food or clothing but the family must be taken care of; that is the way of the middle path…

While pondering about this today, I realised something – all the scientists of yore: those who devoted their lives to finding solutions to problems related to humanity such as disease, food shortage, physics and electricity and the wonders of space were also not concerned about their own well-being but were obviously family men, as that was the norm of the previous millenium. Then how were they able to ensure that their family be well taken care of and how were they able to secure a source of income for those dependent on them? The answer seems fairly obvious – they were creating or discovering material means of ease or solutions to widespread problems which provided them a marketable good which became their source of income. Then I began comparing these scientists and the spiritual individuals which I think about. Of course, the thought came almost instantly!

Are these spiritual guides not scientists too? Are they not researching a powerful part of Nature the ramifications of which affect every individual on the planet? Are they not using the powers they gain while they continue their research to provide us with a kind of important service(palmistry/jyotishi/rituals and ceremonies/peace of mind by Yoga, Dhyan, Bhakti, Seva)? Then do not these “Spiritual Scientist” deserve monetary compensation for the lives they lead so that their worldly affairs be in order and they be better able to concentrate on spiritual matter?

I believe that they are worthy of that compensation and as is obvious, I am not alone. Today, spiritual gurus and pandits/Yogis have a larger than life following and grandeur which beats that of erstwhile Kings. Of course, this is all because people belive that the person charged with the responsibility of guiding their troubled lives towards salvation be not in any sort of material discomfort.

But what is the mark of a true scientist?

  1. Is it humbleness? Definitely the ranks of western scientists who fought over claims of discoveries and trashed each other’s research as baseless prove that humility is not high on the list of qualities.
  2. Then is it applicability of research? Einstein is well-known for his E=MC^2 despite no normal person really understanding what that even implies and even spirituality is not an exact science which defines the results it will derive before beginning the work.
  3. Perhaps it is popularity of their research and a keen following by the common man? Galileo will be squirming in his tomb if that is suggested. That true scientist was held in heresy for his views that the Earth might just be revolving around the Sun after all!

Finally, one must believe that there must be some way to distinguish  a true scientist from a fake one and there-in lies the answer, specially in the case of spirituality. A Spiritual Scientist’s biggest proof of being true to the profession is that people have faith in that person and the abilities that the person gains while striving to research into the realms of Metaphysics.

That, perhaps, is the truest test of a Spiritual Scientist!

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A Lesson Learnt

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I am aware that it has been many months since I have Blogged and obviously a lot has been going on in that much time(shifting to Infosys, Mysore; completion of Infy training; posting to Bangalore; getting a project). But there are certain moments in life which often take precedence over many a months of work. One such event occurred on a flight from Bangalore to Delhi on 23rd April 2010 when I was coming home to Chandigarh for a quite holiday with my family. I had been pondering upon the question as to whether truly making phone calls from within an aircraft can cause a disturbance in their communications or was it just a hoax created by airlines who wanted people to use the onboard phone lines which they provide at a premium to their users. I had concluded that the second was more plausible as airlines have always had a dearth of money and need all that extra revenue they can get.

Obviously, the person sitting next to me disagreed with my thoughts and as the plane prepared for take off and I pushed ‘Send’ on my mobile to send the last message before I went into roaming, he requested me calmly to switch off the mobile. I, being my haughty self, told him that I, being an electronics engineer knew better than him and could saw with confidence that since mobiles and airline communications worked at different frequencies, there was no way possible that my mobile could affect the flight in any way. I had noted the tone in which he had requested me to switch off my cellphone- it was calm but stern and it felt that he had done this exercise many times earlier too. Thus it seemed fit for me to snub him in such a way. But upon hearing me say my qualifications, he took greater interest in my argument and asked me to expain my side of the debate.

Here I knew I had two choices- spend the flight fighting with this fellow about how much I knew about Communications(or how little, after all, what quality is left in today’s engineering courses!) OR accept that he knows more than me and ask for his knowledge. Lucky for me, i chose the latter, as this Radio Engineer knew more about our current debate than I could have ever imagined. 

He explained that it is not the calls or the smss which bothers the airlines much but instead, the small ElectroMagneticPulse(EMP) generated by our mobiles which can disrupt the electronics circuits onboard. This is a very small chance with the new and advanced circuits coming into use nowadays but as always, in terms of space and air travel, it’s much better to be safe than really sorry. He further commented that in his time the biggest fight was against EMP and the biggest contest was to be able to transmit voice across the globe at less than 10 Watt power. 

Ah! It was good to finally hear this explanation from someone who was confident and direct about the facts instead of just saying that it’s part of the rules and at the end of the flight I thanked him, Ashwat Dharampuri, Managing Director of W. Diamant India Ltd, a unit of Winterstone, an international diamond tool manufacturing company and walked off the flight content that I had learnt something new simply by opening my mouth and showing my ego to someone who I knew would educate me instead of cursing me.

Indeed, miracles do happen!

Pure Brilliance…

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Rarely do we come across something so special that it feels like telling the world about it… Dinner proved such an epiphany for me… I saw on the TV, in between the incredulous serials which line up on the Indian Television nowadays, a set of Ads for the Bajaj Discover DTSI bike which felt like just the right thing!

Now I’m not a big fan of the bike, being a Pulsar guy myself, but the adverts had a sense which I connected to. Both ads I saw were about discovering destinations in India which usually we are unaware of. While the first one claimed that nearby Ladakh, in Kashmir, there stands a place where the bike doesn’t need fuel to drive, on account of the presence of a Magnetic Hill near the road, the second claimed that you don’t really need to go out of country to be out of country, since there are places where the cultures and traditions of the people are so different that any Indian would feel out-of-place, all within 100 kilometers of very well known and often visited places, exactly the mileage of a Bajaj Discover with 1 Litre of petrol. These ads showed not just the brilliance of the creator but also the Vision with which Bajaj is leading us to discover India, our beloved. I stared in amazement as the ads touched a deep cord in my mind about going to the farthest ends of India to discover ourselves. Sitting in Shillong, I am preparing to goto Mysore while having come from Chandigarh, not a very common route every Indian takes and thus not something everyone can connect to… Yet I am sure that these ads will excite every Indian about the many things we still don’t know about our India.

My only regret is that I could not find a suitable video of the advertisements on the Net so as to link to them… As soon as they appear, I’ll have them linked here so that people who don’t usually see their India can marvel at it’s wonders…

Logging out,

Nitin Khanna–

And But: The Negativity Syndrome

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A positive thought by a dear friend of mine was recently posted on FaceBook… It was indeed, a beautiful thought about the amazing power of Love to disregard any fallacies or blemishes in the nature or character of the person you love deeply. That is because it is true that when you become completely vulnerable to a person, expose yourself completely and let Love fill up all the vacancy in your heart, a few flaws will not stop you from loving ever more. You can see that prime example in our parents. Most of them are from an arranged marriage, an institution where you never know what narrow mindedness or insecurities lie at the back of your partners head and from the time where our parents come, the dictionaries did not hold the word divorce. Does this mean that they are not happy and always fighting?? Not at all. That is the beauty of their alliance. They accepted the other person with open arms and an open heart, truly showing their broadmindedness and believed in their lawfully wedded partner, giving them a chance to love deeply and strongly. These only, later on become the qualities of a good parent, loving their child enough to overlook the small errors they make yet being responsible enough to set them on the right path.

But what does this mean for the present generation? What does the above discussion tell us about how much do we truly love? I discovered the answer while trying to comment about the beauty and validity of the thought posted by my friend. I wanted to start by saying that I agreed with her and so I started with a “True…” This is where it struck me. My mind is so attuned to thinking in the negative that the only word which could have followed in my line of thought was a ‘But’.But is that the right word?? Masters of Group Discussion often tell us that the polite way of making a point during a GD is to say, “Indeed” or  “I agree” or “True” and then append your thought after that, because you acknowledge the previous person’s contribution and yet go on to make your point clear. The sum total of that comes out to be, “True, And…” However, my thoughts were coming to be “True, But…”

Indeed, that is a dilemma, wanting to say Yes but ending up saying No. I sat there,thinking for a minute about what I wanted to say but not quite able to form a decision, left dumbfounded by the fact that my thoughts were negative even in the glaring face of positivity and happiness. I worried about what could be inferred from this discovery and what it meant for my counterparts all over the world. Does it mean that we are doomed to become extremely negative faced with extreme environmental conditions both natural and psychological? Does it mean that there is a limit after which everything the mind sees it believes there to be a downside to? Does it mean that the years of violence both in games and in the News, of competitive nature in sports and studies alike, of believing in the amount of harm of Allopathic medicine and the impotence of Alternative ones and of studying the great World Wars yet starting new ones, has left Man dumb towards the beauty and magic of Nature, solemn to the glory of Man and a polar opposite to the Positivity of Hope, the essence of Humanity? If it has, then there is no knowing when this fragile mind will crumble under a set of beliefs which would sicken any psychiatrist. Because the true Question here is whether you will add an “And” or a “But”. Because that will tell us what we are thinking and how we are reacting to Life. Because that will tell us whether there is Hope.

After a lot of thought, I simply typed in the following words… “True… and beautiful!”

The Memory Remains (from Guest Author Anurag Saxena )

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It is meant to be a memorial for the nation’s war dead but seems to be more of a monument to India’s slothful bureaucracy. The army has wanted a memorial inscribed with the names of nearly 50,000 soldiers killed in four major wars since Independence. The British-built India Gate has the names of fallen soldiers from the two World Wars who served in a colonial army. Free India’s National War Memorial proposal has been through various various ministerial hoops for a decade now. The first objection was that the memorial would block the view of India Gate. The Ministry of Defense responded by saying that the memorial would have the martyrs’ names inscribed on marble slabs in the ground below eye-level. Now the Ministry of Urban Development has reservations on the project due to “certain statutory clearances and availability of land”. Never a shortage of feeble excuses when it comes to honouring India’s war dead. – India Today (August 17, 2009)

India Gate

The Akshardham temple in Delhi is magnificent. Maybe opulent is a better word. 356 ft (109 m) long, 316 ft (96 m) wide and 141 ft (43 m). high, covering an area of 86,342 sq ft (8,021.4 m2), it provides a breathtaking view of religion through the ages. It is a monument of worship. Worship of money, that is. Magnificent sculptures, fountains etc show how money can buy everything. This can be expected in a country where books like White Tiger are criticized for depicting the truth.

Akshardham

It is inexplicable how we can manage to spend millions on temples and other places of worship and yet turn a blind eye to the millions who live below the poverty line. The Indian Army wants a memorial for their heroes. Frankly, God for me is that unknown soldier who patrols the border, making sure his countrymen can sleep peacefully and asking for nothing in return. Why doesn’t he deserve a memorial? Just ask yourself, if you are in the middle of a war, who would you rather have by your side? A beautiful idol of your God or a trained soldier with plenty of ammunition? Doesn’t that unknown soldier deserve better?

The Bystanders

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Ever noticed that whenever in a Movie, there’s a scene in some Public place, the focus is never on the public but on the Actors?? Then what are the other people doing in that scene? Why are they there? What is their purpose and what is their reason?

Lets leave the film industry aside. Have you ever thought what it would be like to have that talent or that Father or that Level of Power in Society or that much Money?? Of course you have, we all have! We all have at some point in Life thought what it would be like to have that much money and social standing. How much easier Life would be if we were that Rich and Famous Person who is always partying or giving interviews about their Fabulous Life and how other people treat them with so much respect and always give them preferential treatment! How much fun would it be if we have already achieved what we wish to achieve and are simply sitting back and reaping the rewards.

Often, during College and even School, I used to imagine how Easy my Life would be if I were that Professional who has already achieved that Position and is just working now. How much I despised the process of going to school and how much I longed to exchange it for the process of getting up early every morning in order to go to Work! It was the satisfaction of having a boring, procedural Life which gave me comfort! It was this comfort which made me hate my Learning years, because those years were important only for growing up, not actually doing anything constructive on the work front.

I had read nearly all major interesting Management stories before Class 10th, including Shiv Khera, Who Moved My Cheese?, I Moved Your Cheese and even Murphy’s Law (Where Something Can Go Wrong, It Will !!!) !!!

All of these made me think about all the kinds of new ideas and methods I could implement once I got to that managerial position! And yet, I was not the least bit interested in going for an MBA!

Ok, enough about the reasons for this post, lets move on. So we’ve understood that all the popular stories are about the people at the centre and that Life will always take you through the boring phases before giving you the reward. So what does this teach us?? That those Bystanders have a Life of their own, a Story of their own in which they are the Heroes and They hold the central plot. In their Lives, We are the Bystanders!

Do not be a Bystander in your Own Life, take up the reins and Pull the Horse of Destiny in the Direction YOU want it to go! There is no better satisfaction that to reap the rewards only after going through the Most Boring Parts, because those parts make you realize how valuable that reward is and makes you Enjoy it! There’s no sense in skipping to the most gripping part without dragging yourself through the long, useless explanation!

You are already THAT Person! Just start being Them and see to it that the aspirations you have now are what you are holding 10 years down the line. Because That’s what makes you That person!

Your Move

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I have left Chandigarh. The City where I was born and lived for 8 years. I was born in Chandigarh and at the age of 1, I moved out of it, on a Vanwaas of 13 years, moving from one end of the country to another, visiting, living in and growing up with every corner of the Indian Nation. After these 13 years I was back to where I had started, in Chandigarh. I settles there to complete my education, from Class 10th till the end of my Engineering degree. I spent the last 7 years in Chandigarh, growing up with it, although Chandigarh refused to grow with me, opting instead to be the Old Man watching the Young flourish in it’s care, willing to satisfy my curiosity yet keeping me well protected within it’s wings.

If Open Skies were the limit, Humans would have gone everywhere

If Open Skies were the limit, Humans would have gone everywhere

I lived the past 7 years without much remorse, without much pain and even less regret. I did things every foolish teenager does, speeding with life, gambling away good fortune yet keeping a distance from responsibility. I angered many, enchanted a few and made a lot of friends, out of which only a select few will stay on with me in my life, guiding my path with small, unnoticeable inputs. But most importantly, I lived the past 7 years without a plan, with a care for tomorrow and without ever really thinking which moves will I need to make to ensure one end or another to my reckless ideas which came and went with the Monsoons. I did not plan and I did not foresee. I just moved with the flow. When it came to choosing my stream in Class 11th, I went where convention took me, into the Sciences, that too without Medical. Further, when time came to select My Engineering stream and College, I stuck to Chandigarh although I had gotten Patiala first. I took Electronics because I thought Computer Science to be too easy and not enough of a Challenge. Besides that, when recently someone asked me why I had joined Electronics and what my favorite subject was, I had no answer.

There isnt a road we havent travelled. The Question is, where do you want to go?

There isn't a road we haven't travelled. The Question is, where do you want to go?

Now, I am at a point in my Life where the next few months have been charted out by Infosys. Yet, Life has many twists and turns. I can never forget Chandigarh, who’s sights and smells are embedded in my mind, imprinted on my soul and have affected my thinking like nothing else has ever before. Still, I move on, in search of the next adventure. I have not, for myself, planned out the next 7 years of my life, although I have a brief outline in my mind. There is a Tomorrow, blurred and fuzzy, but very Real and perhaps, very interesting. All I say to my Life is that in moving out of Chandigarh, I took a big step, a giant leap of Faith, moving away from my comforts to a new beginning, which will spawn a new end as Destiny will command. All I say to my Life is that I have chosen carefully, what to do in my turn, my only message to it now is,

Life,

it’s,

Your Move.

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