May good things happen to us in the coming New Year. Those who believe in a new resolution, New Year is just the excuse to form new habits and change for the better. Here is a selection of some New Year messages, from some great Indians, that are zara hatke and could add some oomph to our resolutions.
Category Archives: Wisdom
India is a not just a country …to put it mildly India is a mind-boggling planet. There is so much diversity in India – be it the geography, people, lifestyles, languages, customs, politics and even religion etc. For centuries, India’s forte has been her ‘spirituality and religion’ and that too is so diverse. The Indian sphere of God is so different that it appears quite baffling to the modern mind. Naturally therefore, one asks ‘How come you guys have so many Gods’ etc. But the explanations are not hard to find these days.
The Indian spiritual traditions are replete with dialogues, Q&As and rhetoric on truth. Even in the great epic Mahabharata we find many accounts of reasoning and inquiry where application of dharma is discussed. The Yaksha Prashna in the Mahabharata is one such section where we find a famous Q&A (question and answer) session between Yama the Lord of death and the wise King Yudhistir. In this Q&A we find 123 pointed questions by Lord Yama in a rapid fire style to which the righteous Yudhistir answers in a crisp and insightful way covering many aspects of applied DHARMA.
Though scientific discoveries like the Higg’s Boson aka ‘God particle’ are an honest attempt to know the origin of universe, there have been other attempts and approaches to know the truth. If “India is like a historic father of the Higg’s Boson project” according to Paolo Giubellino the spokesperson of CERN, the search for the absolute truth had a wiser ancestor in ancient India. It is already known to scholars that the inquiry into truth has been a favourite subject for ‘Truth’-seekers in India for thousands of years. But ‘Truth’ according to them wasn’t about any particle of God in the realm of cause-and-effect, but a discovery. Where does the ancient Indian discovery trail take us?
If you are from India, you are more likely to know at least one story from the Panchatantra. We know that the Panchatantra has some great short stories, but to classify this 2300 year old collection as a story book for little children could be a bit hasty. A careful look at it beyond the narrative tells us a different story. A critical view at the Panchatantra brings to light a creative way of life coaching using a practical and fun way, that too for all age groups.
India’s national motto ‘Satyameva Jayate’ has now entered our lounge rooms…thanks to Amir Khan’s TV show. This TV show is a story of how a movie-star can create mass awareness on social issues – that too using a famous Vedic statement ‘Satyameva Jayate’ as the title of the show. However the original ‘Satyameva Jayate’ declaration was not coined as a social aphorism. It is much more than that. Exploring the real source and scope of this antiquated affirmation could be more meaningful and enlightening than its use for social sloganeering.
2nd Oct is birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who will always be remembered for his practice of rejecting violent means to achieve justice. While all freedom fighters were at war with the Angrez, Gandhi in particular championed a form of resistance against brutality and oppression in a unique way. This subtle style of resistance practiced by Gandhi was based on an ideal that was already an integral part of Indian ethos. While Gandhi’s birthday has now been adopted by the United Nations as the International Day of Non-Violence, here is a look through the rear-view mirror at one of the key principles behind his ideology.
The Baba Ramdev episode has thrown up a key question — should sanyasis be involved in social activism instead of leading a quiet monastic life? It would seem that sanyasis cannot be a social leader since they are not supposed to own any worldly belongings or be attached to the material world. After all, a sanyasi is ‘one who has renounced material life, isn’t it? But with Baba Ramdev’s social activism, is Sanyasa also about making a difference in the society?
Wisdom makes the difference between success and failure. Though there is enough wisdom available in this world, there always seems to be a shortage of wisdom at crucial times. Subhaashitaas or wise sayings in Sanskrit have offered us one minute wisdom since ancient times but due to our modern education, we have completely overlooked them. Moreover we have been looking for wisdom only in contemporary books and magazines.
The ultimate questions that inspire India are in India’s wisdom traditions. The wisdom traditions spring from the ‘Upanishads’ which are found in the end portion of the Vedas. The ‘Upanishads’ have such fascinating and stimulating questions that they have inspired the East for more than 5000 years. What were those intriguing questions of the ancient Indian minds that make India a land of perennial philosophy?
Hinduism can be sometimes confusing to one who sees a religion to preach one God, one Prophet and adherence to one sanctioned path of worship. Though Hinduism is broadly categorized as a religion, it is diverse, multi-faceted and consists of several paths, sects and denominations. Is there a central theme to Hinduism? What is at the real heart of Hinduism? What is Hinduism’s real philosophical foundation?