Last Year in Perspective

Dear readers,

Happy New Year and compliments of the season. May this New Year bring you the very best in your endeavors and May the grace of the Lord be with you all.

Upon entering this year (2017) I had published a blog on New Year resolutions and I made the following promise to all of you, let us see how well I fared.

This year my commitment to you all is to provide you with as much clarity and information on various topics by giving deeper insights into them. There are a few plans put in place to see this through and as the year goes by they will naturally unfold. Finally, before saying a few words on our topic today, I would like to urge you all to please share this blog space with others, why? We are all morally bound to share whatever helps us with others so that they can also benefit. The content I provide here is not for just a selected few, it is for everyone and the only way everyone can get it, is if we try to put it out there more. So please do encourage friends and family to read, share and subscribe. By subscribing you don’t miss any of the action and interesting stuff. I mean why would you want to miss any new post?

In the best of my ability I have made available one new blog every week, unfailingly. In the space of 21 months we have grown from 0 unique visitors to 2,155 unique visitors, and a total of 93 distinct and inspiring blogs. This has been possible much because of your continued support and feedback. I look forward to more and a better 2018.

At the beginning of the year I had published an article on New Year resolution and how they affect our lives, how to follow through with them etc. Today however, I won’t be doing another New Year resolution blog, rather I want us to take a good look at the year that just ended. Now I know many of you might be thinking, “Well last year wasn’t fair to me in many different areas, so why should I waste my time revising it?” The simple reason is; sometimes in order to be focused on where we are headed it is necessary to remember where we are coming from.

We begin to slip on most of our New Year resolutions not just because we lack resolve, determination or the discipline to follow through, but because we often times forget too soon why we made those resolutions in the first place. This year I made a couple of resolutions, some personal and others general. In other to give better clarity on why we should take time to look back at the just ended year, I will share one of my resolutions for the past year. Often times we make resolutions at the beginning of the Year, that are vague, like “this year I will lose weight”. In as much as this is a positive resolution, if our resolutions are not specific, we may lack the impetus to push it through. I had a rocky time last year in terms of my personal relationships and this had a boomerang effect on my eating, as I sort to nullify my pain by eating a “little” extra. It wasn’t long before I began to notice the extra weight kicking in real fast, I was closing in on 190 pounds. For a guy my height I needed to lose at least 40 pounds of that, if I was going to stay close to the “light”.

When the year started I had made a resolution to keep fit and work out, I exercise regularly however when my relationship hit stormy waters, my resolution to work out also sank. One day looking at myself in the mirror and seeing all the extra weight I said this is not who I am. The weight had to go. Now pain became a motivation instead of a distraction, I cut back on my eating, changed my diet and increased my work out to a daily program. In the space of 6 months, I lost roughly 20 pounds. Today I weigh in at 168-170 pounds and even though I have about 20 more pounds to shed, I can say I have come a long way and the result is not just physically obvious but internally satisfying. Was it easy? Not at all. Did I miss my old eating habit? Initially I did, not any more. How did I overcome the urge to binge on food? By looking back at my old pics with the excess weight and telling myself this is not who I want to be, and by having a mental picture of the shape and form I want to achieve.

In other to make our resolutions work, we need to have a clear picture of what we are striving for, and also have a clear picture of what we are giving up. When this two are in balance, then we can be sure to go through the year with little backslides in our resolutions. Last year (2017) taught me a lot of lessons, and if there is one thing that is certain in 2018, I shall be stepping in with these lessons as my compass and added experience. Just like any other year, I won some of my personal battles and I also lost some. At the end of the day I am at peace with myself knowing that I gave the year my best, I tried to improve myself as much I could in all areas of my life and above all I loved unconditionally. As I lay my head to rest each night, I know that my words and activities are not a source of pain or disturbance to other living beings, be they human or lower in specie.

I am grateful for being able to publish my book, you can grab a copy here (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/753002), I am grateful for all those who have helped me in one way or the other last year, I am grateful for the community I live in, and I am grateful for the gift of life to see yet another year. May this New Year bring us all the good things we desire. Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

 

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Compatibility in Relationships 2

Dear readers,

I’ll like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I pray that this season brings you all good tidings and joy. For those of you who are Christians, I pray that you find time to go deeper into the mood of this season and daily endeavor to be more Christ like.

There is no gain saying that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he came to teach the message of the Supreme Lord; his Father. To as many who follow his teachings dutifully and lovingly, the inner meanings of the Bible are revealed to them. Being Christ like is more of a daily endeavor than a weekly Sunday to Sunday activity. The more our dear Christian brothers inculcate the true mood of the selflessness of Jesus Christ, the more loving Christians we shall have the world over.  I implore you all to try to extend a hand of fellowship and kindness this festive period and avoid been distracted by the constant need to indulge in consumerism.

Last week I commenced a topic on relationships and compatibility, today I will be doing a sequel to it. For those of you who missed it, please click here to have an idea on the subject matter before coming back to read this part. In my previous blog I enumerated the 8 factors that are critical in Vedic Astrology when a long term relationship is to be considered between intending couples. As a recap, these factors are; 1. Natural refinement (Varna), 2. Natural liking between the two individuals (Vashya), 3. Positions and degrees of the constellations (Dina), 4. Intimate physical compatibility and sex (Yoni), 5. Mental compatibility (Grahamaitri), 6.Temperamental compatibility (Gana), 7. Destiny i.e. Wealth, Longevity etc. (Rashi), and 8. Influence of health on couple and future children (Nadi).

In the part 1 of this series, I gave some explanation on the first 4 factors, and today I shall try to discuss the remaining 4 factors. Without further ado, criteria five is the mental compatibility of the intending couples. If couples feel a strong physical attraction but find it difficult to connect mentally then it is only a matter of time before the relationship begins to hit rocks. Such a relationship can be described as sailing troubled waters, no matter how strong the physical attraction may be. This criteria scores 5 points, thus the ideal score will be 5 out of 5, which means the couple can connect very well on a mental level. A zero out of five means there is no connection mentally and this can be very disturbing, in other words for there to be a good compromise they should at least score 2.5 out of the required 5 points. The higher the better. Should they score below average on this criteria then the intending couple have to be careful not to find fault with each other especially when it comes to strategizing, decision making, planning, and other areas that require mental choices, as these are areas they will experience a huge difference.

The sixth criteria is Temperamental compatibility. This criteria scores a solid 6 points and the ideal will be to have 6 out of 6. A compromise will be 3 out of 6 and low will be any score below 3. This criteria deals with the temperament of each of the intending partners. It is basically divided into three parts, the Dev gana, Manushya gana and Rakshasa gana. For those who are not familiar with Sanskrit terminology, in simple language it means, Celestial temperament, Human Temperament, and Demoniac temperament. A suitable match for example will be if each partner is from the same gana that is say Dev gana and Dev gana. A person from Dev gana can have a suitable match with someone from Manushya gana but not with someone from the Rakshasa gana. When couples have very opposing temperaments then quarrels, and fights are almost inevitable and it is only a matter of time before they split ways.

Due to the large points awarded to this criteria it is usually difficult to ignore it, save and except if there is a balance in another criteria on their chart. The seventh criteria is Destiny and this has to do with longevity of the intending couple, wealth, etc. Just like others, this criteria also awards scores for high compatibility. It has a total of 7 points and the average will be to score at least 3.5 to have a good compromise between the intending couple. A score lower than 3.5 means there is incompatibility and a remedy should be sought after. If the couple have low scores in other key areas then the charts have to be analyzed in detail. Scoring lower than the average of 3.5 in this criteria means there will be issues in areas such as longevity of both partners, issues with having kids, unhappiness and dissatisfaction just to mention a few. In modern times many people take this system of Vedic astrology for granted and I can tell you quite frankly from personal experience, that the results can be devastating if ignored.
If the overall score of the match is 15 or less out of 36 then the fault of the seventh criteria is highlighted, if the score is above 20 then the positive effects are highlighted.

Last but not least is the eight criteria is the influence of health on the intending couple and possibly their kids. There are generally three divisions of the Nadi criteria, and the best match is to avoid someone who has the same Nadi as one’s self. Marrying someone with the same Nadi can lead to health issues of the partners, having children who are weak or sickly, trouble marriage life, decrease in affection between the couple, just to mention a few.

In a situation where the Man and woman have the same zodiac moon sign, then the fault which arises from incompatibility of their 8th criteria (influence of health), can be ignored. Family life is an aspect of human existence where many of us will spend practically half of our lives, thus it is pertinent that we are very careful when making this big decision. One wrong move can leave us impacted for life. I hope this helps someone out there. No doubt this is just a tip of the ice berg and in order to take full advantage of this knowledge one has to take the time to make a proper chart before committing to a relationship.

Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

Compatibility in Relationships 1

Dear Readers,

I hope you all are faring well. I am glad to be able to share with you all yet another interesting topic this week. Today I shall be speaking on a topic that many of us have had some encounter with, either directly or indirectly; compatibility in relationships.

One major factor that plays a huge role in determining how we choose our life partners is how compatible we are with them. This naturally brings us to the topic of Astrology and Numerology. The study and mastery of Astrology and Numerology could be a lifelong pursuit and as such we find that in our present day and time, we have few people who really have a mastery of these sciences. One thing we can all agree to is that, whenever we have to get into a relationship we all try to get some information to see how compatible we are with our to-be partners.

One way we do this is by consulting Astrology to see how compatible we are. In Vedic astrology, we have 8 parameters used in determining compatibility. They are as follows: 1. Natural refinement (Varna), 2. Natural liking between the two individuals (Vashya), 3. Positions and degrees of the constellations (Dina), 4. Intimate physical compatibility and sex (Yoni), 5. Mental compatibility (Grahamaitri), 6.Temperamental compatibility (Gana), 7. Destiny i.e. Wealth, Longevity etc. (Rashi), and 8. Influence of health on couple and future children (Nadi).  I must crave your indulgence with the translations of the 8 aforementioned criteria, as it is somewhat difficult to get the exact Sanskrit to English words and meaning.  Each criteria scores points and the points increase in order of their appearance. The first criteria is 1 point and it increases to 8 points on the last criteria. In as much as I do not want to overwhelm you with the technical details it is also beneficial to have a little background information on the various aspects before I begin to elaborate on them.

The “ideal” or perfect couple will be those who have a perfect score of 36 (summation of all points), I do not know if such people exist however in my own experience I am yet to see such a match. A minimum of at least 18 points is necessary for couples to live and work together, although they would have to compromise and put in a lot of work. Needless to say, the higher the point score, the more chances of the marriage been successful. This is not an excuse to act capriciously just because one has a high compatibility score. Every marriage needs attention, love, sacrifice, etc. and irrespective of the score these factors should be incorporated into the marriage.

The first criteria which is the Family Background and class, carries 1 point. It deals with the nature and spiritual refinement of the family where each partner was born. As one can notice, this is not very important, should there be an incompatibility, and it is just 1 point. If compatible, it is desirable.  If there is an incompatibility, it means the partners should be ready to compromise on the behavior of each other, which they may have acquired due to been born in a certain family background. Next is the Natural affection or liking between the two persons who are trying to establish a relationship. This criteria carries 2 points. So the score could be full 2 points which is most desirable or just 1 out of 2, or zero. Should the score be zero, then each partner should try to work on their appeal to each other, like keeping their body fit and attractive.

The third criteria is the synchronization of their constellations which generally translates into daily dealings and happiness together. If they score full 3 points then it is most desirable, if they score less or nothing then each partner should try to spend more time with the other to make up for differences. The fourth criteria is Intimate Physical compatibility and sex. There is no gain saying that this is one factor that has put a lot of marriages and union to the test and eventually ended many. If the score is 4 out of 4 then it is most desirable. Should the score be less than 2 out of 4 then there will be issues with sexual satisfaction, and even issues with conceiving or having children. Sometimes as spiritual practitioners we tend to ignore this factor, because we feel that by been incompatible on this level then automatically one would make advancement spiritually. This is a huge misconception. If both partners are not on the same page when it comes to sexual satisfaction, then they end up living a life that doesn’t really express their real nature or level of advancement.

Even though one may argue that the essence of marriage life for serious spiritual practitioners is to willingly give up sex life by constant detachment, if this detachment is not commensurate with our level of spiritual advancement, there will be problems, anger, unfulfilled desires, frustration, cheating, infidelity and worse case broken marriages. Another interesting factor is when one partner is on a different level of sexual renunciation from the other. If one partner has less inclination towards intimacy and sex while the other is more inclined, this imbalance could also cause friction between the partners. Often times, one partner will always be less satisfied, and if not addressed there could be a downwards spiral from there. In other to be able to conceive and have children the sexual compatibility should also be at least 2 out of 4, otherwise bearing kids becomes an issue too. This criteria cannot be overemphasized and unless the relationship is one that is platonic or of business nature, the intending couple should make sure they score well on this criteria.
We often see the opposite in our spiritual society, where for fear of being ridiculed or for fear of been seen as “fallen” people our intending couples tend to shy away from discussing this part of their relationship. Without harping too long on this subject, I feel that intending couples should discuss this criteria with as much seriousness as they discuss finance.

I’ll have to pause here for this week’s blog and next week I shall elaborate on the other four criteria in the Vedic compatibility system. Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

Surrender

Dear Readers,

I hope you all are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all once again yet another interesting blog this week. My blog today is a rather reflective one and I hope we all can draw some insight from it as I share.

I had a rather long weekend as I was really trying to be on top of things I had to do and things I needed to do. Needless to say, I like to get things organized mentally so I can physically roll into the execution with less hassle. In the midst of this process the computer that I was using at the moment decided to give up on me. I spent almost 8 hours on Saturday and even more hours on Sunday trying to see if I could salvage the situation. I also had an acquaintance who is Tech savvy try to assist me, it just ended up wasting his time too.

I needed to do something quick. In the process of trying to fix the Computer I lost almost everything I had on it. I downloaded a recovery app, to see if I could recover things from the hard drive only for the app to ask me for payment after “recovering” items I couldn’t even identify. I couldn’t tell if it was just a scam to get me to pay or if it was genuinely retrieving info. Feeling tired and frustrated, I felt why not try another app, and another app, until I finally got one that retrieved some lost files. I decided to rest my case and see if something else could be done to save the situation. Time was already lost and that could never be gotten back.

While we were trying to see how best to “save” the computer, we were getting obviously tired, frustrated, and losing more time. I had loads of things to do, that weren’t getting done, all in a bid to save money. You may wonder how? I felt instead of buying a new computer why not use this one (which obviously is not in a good state). Now I am losing time, rest, and productivity, so what did I get out of all of this?

I always try to see what lessons can be learnt from any situation that I am in. Instead of ranting to everyone about how tough my life has become, I try to see if I can simplify things myself, especially if it is a complication that I have created. Then it hit me crystal clear. My experience over the weekend is exactly how we are in the material world. The modes of material nature are constantly defeating us in our attempt to lord over it. Instead of seeing that it is a futile effort, we keep thinking maybe if I do this and that it would get better. Just like I was thinking maybe if I try this app or that app, or this fix technique etc. The real solution is right before us; which is to surrender to the one who is in charge of the material existence.

My computer can be used as an allegory to explain the situation in this material world. The more we try to fix it, the more we get entangled in it and lose time and energy. Unlike my computer scenario, where I lost some hours, in life we lose years of our existence and by the time we realize that we have been fighting a lost battle, old age has already kicked in. Now old age is not a bad thing in itself because if we had utilized the years prior diligently then we have nothing to worry about. Where old age becomes an issue is when we know deep down ourselves that we haven’t really given time and attention to cultivating higher consciousness in our prime time, and as such in our old age we find ourselves deficit of the required knowledge and experience, to go through the onslaught of material nature. So likewise in the allegory been used, because I didn’t take the necessary steps to get a working computer on time, now in a later time (which can be compared to old age), I find myself wanting and in serious need to get things done in such a small time frame or window opportunity.

We see this every time with people who feel, spiritual life is meant for old people and refuse to pay attention to or give their attention to matters that relate to the soul or self-realization. Then as they grow older they suddenly see that all that they thought was real and cool, isn’t as it seems anymore and that the most important thing they could have invested in or given real attention; the soul, has been neglected and then they panic in response. The usual reaction is to suddenly try to catch up for all the “lost time” but then the body is no longer as strong, the mind is there, family is not as supportive etc. Just like the adage says “a stitch in time saves nine”; in our spiritual lives a step in the right direction, on time saves us 9 lifetimes.

We can start now, and surrender to the process, or procrastinate and come back 9 lifetimes or more to fix it. Of course we all know that everyone will surrender according to their level of realization and the Supreme Lord will definitely reciprocate accordingly and he has promised, the clarion call however is to avoid the late entry.  I have now seen that sometimes even if we think surrendering is expensive (just like I thought getting a good working computer was expensive), surrendering to a working process saves us a lot more in the long run. Ultimately we find out that it is cheaper, to actually pay the price now than try to find some “simpler and cheaper route”.

Surrender is necessary to advance and we all have to in one way or another.

Till next week do follow for more.

 

Vulnerability

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all today yet another exciting blog. I hope you all are faring well.

Before we delve into today’s topic, I’ll like to say Thank you to all my readers and those who have supported my blog by regularly reading, subscribing, sharing or even the thumbs up. At the moment we have reached a significant milestone of 2021 unique visitors to my blog, in the space of 21 months. That is approximately 96 visitors a month. Of course the desire is to reach out to more people and we are not there yet, nevertheless I am grateful for all your support and encouragement.

When I first started blogging, the inner desire was to create for myself a medium to express my thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences on a platform where I could receive feedback, and share views. Over the last 20 months, I can say that has evolved into creating a platform whereby I can share insights, realizations and also speak on various subjects from a deeper perspective albeit Metaphysical. I have learnt a lot and the learning process isn’t over. One of the toughest part of writing is that you put yourself in a vulnerable position, one that allows for people to criticize, judge or even form opinions about who you are just by reading from you.

A true writer knows this is inevitable and in the unavoidable discharge of his writing duty, he takes the criticism and praise all with a pinch of salt. So in my blog today I want to willingly put myself in a more vulnerable position. One thing we fear the most is being vulnerable, hence we put up walls and defenses. This is not to say we don’t have valid reasons to be scared or overly defensive, nevertheless even the most powerful people we can think of, had their moments of being vulnerable. So what is it that you are most afraid of? What is it that makes you vulnerable?

As a kid I used to be scared of the dark and anytime I had to walk through a dark corridor to turn on the lights I’ll run a full dash to the switch. One day, I think it was my mum if I remember correctly, who told me “the reason why you are afraid is because you think you are alone and someone might get you. You never have to run when you walk with me or someone else, so next time you have to go turn on the light, just walk close to the wall and feel your way along the wall. This way you won’t feel like you are waking through a large ‘vacuum’.” The next time I was asked to go turn on the lights I remembered what she had told me earlier and I walked close to the wall, slowly sliding my hands by the wall till I got to the switch and even though there was some element of fear, it was a lot better and with time I was able to walk through the dark corridor with absolutely no fear.

Now that might be easy, however as an adult my mum wasn’t with me every time and I had to face most of my vulnerability alone. Sometimes in order to trust someone we have to be vulnerable to them, sometimes in order to love someone we have to be vulnerable to them, sometimes in order to succeed we have to be vulnerable, sometimes in order for peace to thrive, we have to be vulnerable not because we cannot be strong but because we know that there is strength in willingly accepting such a position. It is easy to love, admire, respect, worship and follow someone who is strong but not many people can extend these emotions easily and readily to someone they see as vulnerable. Vulnerability is often greeted with two types of reactions; disregard and exploitation.

There are people who thrive on the vulnerability of others so much so that they are constantly searching for anyone who is in such a state to prey on. They feed off weakness just like the Dementors in Harry Potter. The Dementors in this novel series are described as Soulless creatures that deprive humans of happiness and Intelligence. They do so by feeding off your fear or by presenting themselves as that which you dread the most. Interestingly the antidote to a Dementor is to make a joke out of it by casting a spell of ridicule. Similarly whenever we encounter people who feed off the vulnerability of others the antidote is to protect our “intelligence and stay happy”. When the Intelligence is lost, it becomes difficult to focus the mind even on the simplest joyful activities.

When someone is vulnerable people avoid him/her seeing that state as pitiful and not wanting to associate with the person. They feel that by associating with a person who is vulnerable they might as well become vulnerable. There are those on the other hand who greet vulnerability with exploitation and see it as a means to feel better about their own life. When a person who is vulnerable extends to them a hand seeking for help, they respond by finding a way to take advantage of that individual by exploiting them. By taking advantage of such a person they have no intention to help him/her out of her vulnerable side.

After hearing all of this someone might ask, so why would I want to be vulnerable to anyone? Well the answer is diverse however one way to see it is that one can learn to trust on a deeper level when he knows that he/she is vulnerable to another person. A good example is two lovers, who are vulnerable to each other. Despite the fact that they both know each other’s vulnerability, they never try to use it against one another. Someone who knows your vulnerability and still takes care of you and protects you instead of taking advantage of you, is a special soul. By being willingly vulnerable to people we get to know who they really are.

Hoping this meets you well.

Do like, share, and follow for more.

PS; Photo credit not mine

 

Post-Thanksgiving

Dear readers,

Happy belated holidays, and I hope you all are faring well. Thanksgiving this year fell on a day that I wasn’t scheduled to post a blog, so I just decided to let it go and post one afterwards. I must say it was a good decision, as now I can actually look at the day in retrospect and say something deeper.

In as much as I don’t want to make this post a political one, I feel it is rather important that we acknowledge the fact that Thanksgiving day originated from the massacre of native Americans by the invaders and the next day was set aside as a day to give “thanks” for the victory of the natives who were killed. I personally do not know if it is right to celebrate such a day but I guess it is not my place to say how or what days a country should keep as holidays. In that light I shall focus on what I have to say. Nevertheless I felt I chip that in there.

On Thanksgiving Day, my day started off pretty much like any other day until it was time for the Lunch feast. For those of you who know me personally, I am a Vegetarian so no Turkey or any animal was killed for lunch. We had a violence free feast cooked with love and devotion by some wonderful volunteers. There was Pumpkin pie, Spaghetti, corn and cream, Rice, Soya barbecue, Chutney, Strawberry shake, Non Alcoholic grape wine, just to mention a few of the preps. I couldn’t resist the entire ensemble and definitely ate to my satisfaction. However later that evening I was invited to a more personal family gathering, where we were about 10 -12 in attendance. During this Thanksgiving evening get together each person was asked to  share something they were grateful for and I also did. I shall try to re-share most of what I said even if I can’t remember verbatim all of it.

I hope it inspire someone to also be grateful for what they have in life.

“I am grateful for the gift of life, good health, sound mind and intelligence. I am grateful for a healthy and whole body and the ability to make choices. I am grateful for my Parents as I am a product of their love and care. If anyone sees any wonderful trait in me, it means my parents did a good job raising me up. If you notice any flaws, it is probably because I am still working on all they have thought me and haven’t mastered it all yet. I am grateful for being born as a Vaishnava and I feel privileged and not cocky in any way.

I am grateful for my Spiritual Mentors who have accepted me as their disciple, whatever good fortune I have they have created by their mercy. I am grateful for the amount of education I have been given access, both informal and formal, because even by western standards it is quite at par with most of my peers in developed nations. I am grateful for being part of such a lovely community and I am also grateful for been given the chance to be part of it. I am grateful for all those who I work with for tolerating me, teaching me indirectly or directly as every day I learn something in one way or the other.

I am grateful for all the relationships I have had and all those who have crossed my path or walk through my life. I have had my share of good, bad and ugly relationships still I am most grateful. Even for those relationships that were seemingly unsuccessful I am most grateful because from them I learnt how to be a better me, and to know exactly what I didn’t want in my life. I must say I am a product of all my experiences; past, present and those yet to come.

I am grateful for being part of such a wonderful way of life, which to me is more than just a religion. Vaishnavism is our innate nature and practicing is way of life and not just doctrines. I am grateful for having the extremely rare privilege of worshipping the lord in his self-manifested form as Salagram and I pray that by each passing day I become better in my service to them. I am grateful to my dear friend who gave me my first Sila, I will be eternally grateful to you. I am grateful for travel experience having been practically 3/4th across the globe without being a Billionaire. I am grateful for all those who I have met in one country or another for I have imbibed something from all of you and as such made myself a better human being. To me the perfect human being is an amalgamation of all humans, and as such if I can imbibe good qualities from all over the world then I can pride myself as a global citizen.

I am grateful for those things that the Lord is doing in my life that I have no idea of, I am grateful for those things I am yet to see and I am grateful for his grace in my life. I am grateful for the little things I take for granted and I ask the Lord to forgive me when I nag unconsciously being ungrateful for all that he has done. I am grateful for all those who have helped me in one way or another in my life, I didn’t get here all by myself, I had help. I really appreciate. I am also grateful to also those who said No to me when I needed their help, for by rejecting me you taught me to be strong and independent. Your refusal to help me, made me look for other ways to become a better person.

I am grateful for everything.”

I hope this simple gratitude of mine in the spirit of being grateful on thanksgiving inspires us to be grateful. Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

You have False Ego 2

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be able to share with you again this week yet another exciting blog. I am really glad to have this unique opportunity to discuss deep topics on such a platform. On that note I’ll say once again that I am even more excited to countdown the release date of my new book, due for the 3rd of November.

I had an amazing weekend at a Kirtan (congregational chanting and singing of the Holy name of God) festival, in an amazing Eco village in Pennsylvania. Every now and then it is good to have one’s spiritual batteries charged up. The entire singing and dancing went on for about 14hours, and in that time frame the only thing that mattered was how to full immerse myself in the chant. For that time frame, no one cared if you looked a certain way, spoke a certain way, and dressed a certain way etc. all that mattered was how much you were contributing in the glorification of the holy name. In brief it was amazing.

This week I’ll continue from where we left off last time and try to give real life scenarios of how the false ego can be misconstrued. Have you ever been told that you have false ego? Funny yet interesting question. I’ll share with you all a real life experience.

Once I was engaged in doing some service, when a devotee approached me and started to share with me what he described as “his honest opinion of me”. I appreciated his genuine effort to come to me in person instead of saying things behind me and I patiently heard all he had to say. I tried to answer any question he had about my personality and tried to alleviate his doubts on those things he didn’t understand about me. However I noticed his intention wasn’t to dialogue but to start a verbal confrontation. In the course of his “speech” he said something which I felt was funny but he thought was rather an attack. He told me “You know, I think you have false ego.” For those not conversant with the lingo, this phrase is a “polite” way of telling someone I think you are proud, in the Gaudiya circle.

I laughed so hard and what he thought was an insult to me became an embarrassment for him. I replied “did you just know?” He was shocked. The usual response would have been a defense or a retort. He looked at me eyes wide open. I smiled and said again “I know I have false ego”. Now he was really confused and asked what do you mean? At this point it is interesting to note that, he was now asking me a question about a statement he just made. Had I responded the way he was expecting by retorting or defending myself, the whole discussion would have degenerated into something messy.  Now seeing he was in a more receptive mood, rather confused now than hostile, I asked him “you don’t know the meaning of what you just said?” He replied saying he did but he didn’t expect that answer.

I then proceeded to explain certain facts about the statement that he had just made. “First and foremost I know I have false ego, which If you define that by saying I identify with my body, you are absolutely right. If I didn’t have any false go, I wouldn’t be here in the material world with a material body. The mere fact that I am here in this world subjected to the threefold miseries and the dualities of a material body means I indeed have false ego. It means my misidentification of the body as the self has put me in such a situation. “

Seeing that this was rather too philosophical for him to grasp and probably not what he meant I then went on to address the second probable meaning. “If you however want to say that I am proud and have used the polite phrase of saying I have false ego, then you are also right. I have no difficulty admitting this, if you see this fault in me. Anyhow I am in a nice process of cleansing theses faults and if I take proper advantage of the process I should be able to get rid of them soon.” Let’s just say that was the last time he ever spoke to me again.

One interesting thing about people trying to label others as been proud or egocentric is that often times it is a subtle reflection of their true self. More so, the phrase “you have false ego” could be used as a means to shut people off, especially when there seems to be a subtle attack on our shortcomings. Sometimes when we ask people a genuine question that seems to challenge their belief system or that brings out their shortcomings, then this phrase is used as an indirect way to dissuade us from inquiring further and making it look as if we are the ones who have an issue. The phrase could also be an indirect way of telling people not to have mind of their own and not to think for themselves.

The whole idea of self-realization is not to become “woke” on a metaphysical level but to also become awakened even on the physical platform. For if the awakening doesn’t start from the physical to the metaphysical then sometimes it could be sentimental. So for all spiritual practitioners who are on the journey of self-realization, do not despair. Sometimes we are put to test in many ways just to see if our resolve to become enlightened is real or just a farce. As we strive for perfection in our endeavors let us try to remember that before we can become self-realized souls, we have to indeed become human beings first, complete with all good qualities of love, compassion, truthful, peacefulness etc. Only after imbibing these qualities in full can we aspire to become more.

Till next week do read, share and follow for more.

Talents as an offering to the Supreme Lord

Dear readers,

I feel so happy to be here sharing this with you all today, the last 48 hours has been blissful because we just had an entire day of singing, chanting and dancing. No distractions just the Holy name. I can only hope you all are as blissful as I am. A brief reminder to everyone, my book is gradually approaching its final stages and soon it would be ready for publishing. Do keep an eye for it.

I try to keep my blogs realistic and today my blog is related to the 24hr Kirtan festival we just had. I shall speak on this with regards to talents and unique abilities. Some of us are blessed with various talents and abilities and in one way or another these abilities can make us or mar us. Whenever I watch a talent show and see how people display very unique set of talents and everyone is in awe and wonder, I begin to reflect. If an ordinary human being, who is conditioned by birth, disease, old age and death can do all these wonderful feats, imagine how much more the Supreme Lord can do. Imagine how much talent and ability the Supreme Lord possesses, and even after endowing each and every one of us with such unique Talents, he still has unlimited talents himself.

In my numerous attendance to Kirtan and holy name festivals, I have heard a lot of devotees sing and I have always had a great appreciation for any devotee who actually sing for the pleasure of the Lord and is not about showmanship. One may wonder but how can we tell if someone is singing genuinely for the pleasure of the Lord. I’ll say this should be a topic for another day, however a brief response will be “the taste of the pudding is in eating”. When one sings solely for the pleasure of the Lord, immediately all those who are gathered there can feel that energy and most importantly; everyone listening is drawn to sing with such pure intention, at least for that moment. The sign of a person chanting or signing Suddha Nama or the pure name is that they make others want to sign the pure name too. Sometimes devotees in their kindness will make remarks like “Oh you sing very nicely”. I try never to take such remarks to heart because I always tell myself no matter how good it sounds, it is nothing compared to what the gopis sing every day for the Lord. This keeps my ego in check.

However as if to help me further check my ego, during the 24 hour kirtan there was a young Lady (I would love to mention her name here to give her credit however I don’t have such permission and would not want to violate her privacy) who sang and practically got everyone mesmerized in the hall. The externals such as harmony, melody, and rhythm were all present, but there was more. In my own opinion there was this undertone of a desperate call out to the Lord. In fact it is said that one should chant like an infant calling out to the mother. I could hear this pure unadulterated call out that was just to please the Lord. Why did this stand out so much?

Usually people attend kirtan festivals with the hope of hearing some “famous” Kirtankari sing, and the presence of these “famous” Kirtankaris could affect the attendance if care is not taken. Now for once, here was kirtan by a not so “famous” kirtankari, which was really exceptional. I kept saying to myself

Lord please give me a drop of this unique talent and ability that I may be able to sing for you and make others sing too.”

Often times the natural tendency for most people is to become jealous and defensive and even try to minimize others who have exceptional talents and abilities. This doesn’t help and would never help. If you cannot celebrate the talents of other people then don’t expect people to celebrate your talents too. Especially in a devotee circle, we have to be very careful not to become envious of people who are unique and gifted. We should encourage them to do more and pray that the Lord sees their service, then and only then can we make progress. If on the other hand we try to minimize, criticize, fault find or even sabotage someone who has a very unique talent that we do not have then we are headed straight for doom. We cannot progress this way. We should remember that we are servants of the Lord and the only competition we have is in pleasing the Lord, nothing else. Srimati Radharani is described as the topmost Gopi non different from the Supreme Lord Himself, and there is no one dearer to Him than she is. However it is described that her is mood is that she is willing to give up her position for anyone who can serve the Lord better than she does. We all know there is no one take up that position yet she is willing to step aside.
This should be our mindset, if someone can serve the Lord better, then let me help him or her to do so. It is in this mood that we can succeed and advance seriously. Second point is, we should remember that no matter how good our talent is, it is nothing in front of the Lord and we are actually privileged to be able to serve the Lord in whatever capacity that we are doing now. There are millions of goddesses of fortune and millions of manjaris serving the lord daily, all with unique abilities and talents. Humility is the keyword, and for me this was Humility check 101.

Last but not least is to remember that talent which is not employed in the Lord’s service is like a jewel on the head of a python; it is useless decoration. Whatever the lord gives us, we should try to offer it back to him, and then he gives us more and then we offer again and then he gives even more and the reciprocation continues. Till next week do remain blessed, read, share and follow for more.

Who we are vs who we want to be

Dear Readers,

Welcome to another exciting week of inspirational discussions on various metaphysical topics. Before delving into our topic for this week, I’ll like to once again remind you all of my upcoming book on Juvenile Delinquency. In a short while I’ll make available a link where you can have a preview and together we can make the publication a reality, and you can have early orders. Stay tuned.

The topic at hand today is one that each and every one of us has an internal ordeal about, and often times many people get confused or carried away by the delicate nature of this tussle. There is always the dilemma of how to strike a balance between the person we are and the person we want or would like to become, whether in our spiritual quest, Education, Finance etc. I’ll like to pay a little more attention as how this concept affects the spiritual practitioner. For those who are gaudiya vaisnava’s we may classify ourselves externally as Celibate (brahmacaris), Householder (grhasthas), Retirees (vanaprasthas) and Renunciates (sanyasis). In the social ladder we may be Teachers, Administrators, Merchants or Labourers. Externally it is easy to identify with one or more of these classifications however internally there is always the thoughts that bug us; “are we really ideal grhasthas? Are we doing our dharma as we should?” etc.

Once in Europe I was asked a rather delicate question by a Lady who had a friend who was in some dilemma concerning marriage and intimacy. Her friend was in a relationship and her partner was quite open and honest about his preference when it came to intimacy. He had made it clear from the onset that he wasn’t on the platform of having an intercourse just for procreation yet, and it would take him some time to get there.

Read: He would like to have intimate moments with her regularly when they were married as opposed to just when they wanted to have kids.

She on the other hand was not so interested in having regular intercourse and felt she could very bring it down to just for the sole purpose of having kids. Now her question was whether she could proceed or not with the relationship. I made it clear that I wasn’t in anyway asking her to quit or stay put however there were certain facts that we couldn’t ignore. One is they both had a very diverse approach to sexual intimacy and this may put a strain on the relationship. Second is that if they were to neglect this difference and try to “force” their way through with the relationship then sooner or later one of them would feel either neglected or feel ashamed of their “level of desire”.

The beautiful twist in this incident is that sometimes many of us are like the lady in question except that we actually put up an image of the “person” we are trying to become and forget about who we really are. If we fail to acknowledge our real state and try to artificially promote ourselves to a level that we are not actually on, then we will definitely encounter issues, setbacks, internal turmoil’s and eventually frustration. The ability to accept who we are is called Sincerity, and until we embrace real sincerity, progress is difficult. In our spiritual practices, many of us would like to sleep less like the Gosvamis of Vrndavan, Eat little like them, read more like they did and minimize our sensory demands and impulses especially that of the genitals to the barest minimum. This is whom we want to be.

The reality is that we actually sleep a lot more than we probably should, we eat a lot more than our bodies can take, and we have huge difficulty controlling our genitals. In fact one of the biggest problems we face as Humans is the urge of the genitals; How to manage them. This is who we are.

If we artificially start acting like the Gosvamis and deny ourselves of our real level of advancement and try to present ourselves as the versions of ourselves that we would love to become rather than who we really are, then we may confuse people, deceive ourselves, and create a lot of internal disturbances for our already troubled minds. I’ll personally love to chant 1 lakh (100,000) of God’s names every day, this is whom I’ll like to be, reality is I am not there yet so what would be the ideal thing to do? Create a system that I am my own police (that I do self-check, with little or no external influence) and gradually work myself up to 100,000 names a day.  Pretending that I chant that much or making a show as if I chant that much, or trying to act as if I chant that much wouldn’t help me or anyone who believes that I do. This is where most of us struggle.

In the quest to become the person we would like to be, we deny ourselves the gradual growth which is very essential to our solid development and then put ourselves in difficulty when we can no longer keep up the image. This principle applies to any other area we are trying to work on. Now some people may ask “isn’t it actually beneficial if we start acting as the person we want to become rather than acting as we are now, which may not be the best version of ourselves?”

It is true that putting ourselves in the mood of whom we want to become we can gradually get to that platform, however the key word is; aspiring to be rather than acting as. If I want to be someone who has total control on his mantra medition or japa, the process is to gradually yet constantly work myself to that point rather than “act” as if I already did have that control. If we are sincere enough to look at ourselves in the mirror and say “Hey dear me, listen up, it is nice that you want to be this very exalted person, however if we want to really get to that position we have to go about this in a manner that is consistent and diligent. We have to move up at a pace that doesn’t throw us off course, and most importantly we are doing it for our own good and not to impress anyone.” When we adopt this mindset, we can immediately see that the internal noise “quiets down”.

Thank you for your continued support, till next week do read, share and follow for more.

Causeless Mercy

Dear readers,

Thank you for joining me here again this week for yet another interesting topic. I hope you all are faring well. Before I delve into this week’s topic, I’ll like to inform you all about a few projects I have been working on.

I am excited to announce to you all that there are a couple of books I am yet to release and hopefully by the special grace of God they should be ready soon, however prior to this I’ll like you all to kindly follow this blog closely as the big reveal day is fast approaching. One of my book is on a global situation we face and how we can tackle this issue using ancient wisdom while the other on traditional vaisnava philosophy. There is a lot more coming after these initial two. When they are finally released I’ll be giving free copies to those who follow my blog space. Then I shall upload links to where they can be gotten online.

This is but a sneak peek and with time I’ll reveal more!

Today I’ll like us to deliberate on a word that we often come across in many religious circles, and that is “Mercy”. When used in connection with the Supreme Lord it is usually used to describe a special kind of consideration given to us as adepts or worshippers by the Lord, which we usually do not merit. That is to say the mercy the Lord shows us in various circumstances, is not born from our righteousness, intelligence, austerity, prayers etc. Rather it is as a result of the Lord being kind and showering his grace upon us. Usually the question arises, what do we have to do to deserve this “causeless mercy”?

Truth be told we do not have to do “anything” in particular to deserve the causeless mercy, because as it states it is without cause. If we got it as a result of something that we did, then it won’t be causeless. On the other hand sometimes, some adepts use this as an excuse to act capriciously, be lackadaisical, and then say the Lord will shed his causeless mercy anyway, so why should they bother to put in any effort.

I’ll share a short story to explain the concept of causeless mercy. Even though it is a physical example and in no way translates directly into how the Supreme Lord operates, it will give an idea nonetheless. In my third year at the University while taking my Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Production Engineering, I had an exam I took on engineering design. This course was so dreaded that the Dean himself taught it. The day of the exam came and the Dean walks in with the Question papers and starts to hand them to us. It was 15 objective questions; that is multiple choice questions, where we were to select the right answer from about 4 options, A.B.C.D.  Time allotted was 3 hours. Yes, 3 good hours. I know some of you might feel this is just too much of an exaggeration but trust me I kid you not. As soon as he was done handing them out, he smiled and said “you may start, best of luck”, and He walked out. Now many lecturers would stay in the hall to make sure students don’t ask one another or try to cheat, but he knew what he had set and confidently walked away.

One hour into the exam the hall was dead silent even though there was no one to supervise us, everyone was in total confusion. We had no clue what to write or even choose. Now there was a trap, because he knew that out of frustration some students might just select any of the multiple choices and probably get the right answers from such gamble, he gave each and every one of us an blank A4 paper stapled to our answer booklet where we were to show workings of how we arrived at our answers. These questions by the way, involved calculations. Two hours later the hall is still dead silent and he walks in smiling. He asks us “how is the exam going?”  There was barely an audible answer from a hall packed full with students. You could see many students had their sheets blank and we had just one more hour to go and 15 questions unsolved. What made this course really special was that it was a core course and it had a very high credit hour. Which means scoring low on it would affect your GPA (grade point average). So we had to pass it. Now he begins to walk around the hall and he noticed that many students were stuck. Even those of us who were considered “smart” had a hard time doing much. There was a boy we all saw a whiz kid and even he was having troubles that day.

At the end of the semester the results come back and you guessed right; it was really poor. Now this is where I’ll like us to focus on. The Dean had noticed the overall poor performance and had given a whooping bonus of 10 marks each to everyone. It was over 100 and we needed at least 40 to pass. We had a quiz earlier that semester that was for 10 marks too. So the score from the quiz plus the exams made the total of 100. Even after adding 10 marks to everyone’s score many students still failed. This act by the Dean was an act of “causeless mercy”. We didn’t do anything to deserve it. Now for those who scored at least 20 before he added the bonus 10 marks, they automatically made the cut if they had at least 10 also in the quiz. Those who were lax and felt the bonus could save them, and didn’t put in the extra effort, they failed. I know you all must be wondering “did I pass?” Yes I did. Narrowly too. My total score was 55, which means I scored 35 in the exam, 10 in the quiz and the 10 bonus came to my rescue. Now if for some reason the bonus wasn’t there I still would scale through with at least 45 marks.

The lesson here is that, in as much as we may pray and depend on the Lord to show us his “causeless mercy” in our spiritual quest, we also have to try to merit it by putting in some extra effort. The story of Mother Yasoda trying to bind Krsna also explains this. Only after seeing the many futile attempts and her will to also engage the neighbours (by asking them for ropes) in the act of binding Krsna, does he allow her to bind him. The Supreme Lord will shed his mercy however we must be ready, willing and worthy to get it.

Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.