Categories
Society

Freedom and Sensitivity: Two Values That Make Our Existence Meaningful

After many days, I am successful at taking out some time to write. We need a whole lot of things to live our lives. We need followers, critics, praise, freedom, trust and many more things to live our life. What will happen if someone starts taking them out from your life one by one?

I am reminded of a question which a friend asked me couple of days ago. She asked, what are the essential things for me to live my life? In other words, what things in my life, if taken away, my life will be meaningless. So, she was essentially asking about the things which make my life meaningful.

When this question came, we were all going together, in my car and I was driving probably in the most crowded area of the city. It took me some time to separate myself away from driving and come up with the answer.

As you have rightly guessed, my answer was freedom and sensitivity.

Freedom and sensitivity are the two things which I think make my existence meaningful.

Freedom and sensitivity

The first part of the answer is quite easy to understand- freedom. Ife begins at freedom and yes, life ends if it is gone. We do not realise this importance of freedom because either we have it most of the times or we are not courageous enough to demand our freedom. Freedom is simply beautiful. It is risky, at times, but the risk is worth taking. When we have freedom, and if we use it properly, there is immense possibility to blossom. Freedom brings a tremendous potential to transform ourselves and others. Freedom gives life possibilities.

What about sensitivity? Why sensitivity is required in our lives? I think, sensitivity gives meaning to the freedom we have. Freedom without sensitivity results in chaos. Freedom and sensitivity together bring order.

I feel that the biggest challenge which we have today is missing order in our society. Everyone is concerned about the missing order in the society. Activists, thinkers, leaders and so many others say that they are working hard to bring order in the society; still, the order has not yet come. Order won’t come so easily. Order comes into existence when there is freedom moderated by the sensitivity.

In our lives, we are concerned very well about freedom, but hardly bother about bringing in that sensitivity in ourselves. This gives rise to one more question- How one becomes sensitive? What leads to that sensitivity?

My experience tells, observing oneself leads to sensitivity. When we observe ourselves, we have a look at everything that is inside us- our emotions, insecurity, anger, frustration and many other things. When one looks at all this turmoil inside and starts separating oneself from it, he starts developing a sensitivity which is not put up. It comes from the understanding which this action of watching brings about.

On a personal level, I think my freedom and my sensitivity make my existence meaningful. What are the two things that make your living meaningful?

Categories
Corporate Philosophy Uncategorized

The Fastest Way of…..(Probably Fooling Yourself!)

The fastest way of learning is not the best way of learning.
The fastest way of driving is not the best way of driving.
The fastest way of teaching is not the best way of teaching.
The fastest way of shaving is not the best way of shaving.

The fastest way of ……….. is not the best way of ……….

I hope you agree. Then why do people look for fastest way of attaining anything or doing something?
Over the period, we have become very smart at identifying needs, coming up with a product or service to fill the gap and market it aggressively. The reason I realized this so gravely is the following Twitter notification which I got today morning:

The Fastest way

Soon after reading this tweet, I acknowledged the human urge or tendency of doing things faster. I do not know, what makes us so time conscious but one thing is for sure- today, we want everything to be done quickly; let it be profits in my new start-up or awakening my Kundalini.
For the sake of it, let us not enter the debate, whether something like Kundalini exists or not. Let us assume that it exists. Come with me a step ahead and believe that it needs to be awakened. I am not bothered about people trying to awaken and raise their Kundalini but I am certainly amused by people who claim they can do it faster. Why do we consider fastest way of awakening Kundalini (or anything for that matter) to be better than the best way of doing that thing?
When a tutor comes up with a super-fast method of teaching a course, he can make more money. When a BPO comes up with a super-fast way of answering complaints over telephone, they are making more money. Similarly, when someone comes up with a fast way of awakening Kundalini, can we assume that he wants to make more money?
When we choose the fastest way, we are going away from the best way. It is quite disheartening to see folks speeding on the fastest ways. Things which are worthy to be made can never be made out of the fastest way. Things which are worth attaining, can never be attained by following the fastest way.
Whenever you think of starting something, always ask yourself this question- ‘Do I want to make something which will make a difference?’
If your answer is yes, you better take the best way, not the fastest way. This is brutal and honest truth- the fastest way is the fastest way of fooling yourself.
Sadly, in our lives, we always choose the fast ways and not the best ways of doing anything.

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Does God Exist?

Categories
Lifestyle

Knowledge, Money, Respect and Fame : Are you sure will make you happy?

Today, I got a sweet surprise when I suddenly met a family friend of us after many years. To be precise, we met after 11 years. I remember this person, often visiting our house, may be once in three months to chat with us. He was a faraway relative of us. I was quite impressed with this fellow even at the young age, mostly because of the way he talked. He was a post- grad of those days, may be only one of our relatives who had dared to go to the States to acquire a masters. As it logically follows, he was one of the most knowledgeable persons I had seen those days. He was also the most professionally successful of our relatives. One could easily make out from his attitude that he wanted to be successful on all the fronts- knowledge, money, recognition and fame.

 

He was quite busy those days consulting newly emerging firms and start-ups. He was advisor to many government departments, laboratories, committees and colleges. As it always happens, money failed to motivate this genius and a thirst for respect and recognition dominated his life. He started devoting more of his time to teaching. And then there was a stage, where he had nothing to do except being at this college, which was one of the best colleges India had in those days.
Within seconds, these old memories flashed in front of my eyes. He looked equally knowledgeable today also. Rather, his looks conveyed a more matured and contemplative personality. He should be somewhere in his seventies now. My minute observation could not miss a thin shade of sadness and emptiness running on his face and his entire being.
“I am so happy to see your snaps with your flute on Facebook” said this fatherly figure to me.

“Thanks, somehow I really enjoy it tremendously. I do not even recognize how the time slips away when I am with my flute.”
“You are very wise to do something like this right at this stage.” And he abruptly stopped the conversation.

“What do you do these days?” I asked him out of curiosity. I was very sure that he must be living the most lavish life. He had knowledge. Though it rarely happened those days, his knowledge was well recognized. He had a little extra of everything- knowledge, recognition, money and respect.

After listening to my question, he laughed out; which was more of an inner cry than a laugh. Somehow I felt very sad looking at the way he laughed.
“My day is almost the same as it was 10-15 years ago”, he said.

“I still go to the college early morning, to see the empty staff room. I sit there, though I have no lectures or lab sessions. I go there, sit there. For some time I take a walk, then again I sit down.”

“I was not lucky enough to realize value of a flute or any other hobby for that matter when I was young. I cannot live without this staff room now” he was speaking.

“Most of my colleagues have passed away, many bed ridden and many enjoying their retired lives. Neither students here nor the staff here know who I am; they look at me as if I am some whimsical, mad and homeless fellow. I indeed must be.”
Somewhere I realized that knowledge, money, respect and fame are too risky things to rely upon and to neglect your passions for. In a practical sense, they are more like utilities than core things to live life for. One should never neglect them, but should also be aware enough to not to get trapped in those chains. These utilities play a very crucial role in our lives but we cannot be happy if we spend our life solely in their pursuit.

On the other hand, I have seen a sculptor in Pune, who enjoyed moderate fame and reputation while at peak of his career. But, very smartly, he moved away beyond these things. This joyous grandpa is in his eighties now, giving away his art and skills to enthusiasts without charging a single rupee.

Both the grandpas above were equally knowledgeable in their fields. At the dawn of their lives, one of them feels that he has walked a wrong way, while other is still enjoying the way- being happy and making others happy.

I guess, what made this difference is quite easy to figure out. Due to challenges associated with the modern lifestyle, for most of the part of our lives, we have to prefer utilities over the core things. The second grandpa very well understood when one should start living for the core and stop madly accumulating heaps of utilities.

More to Read:

Are you leaving a hollow life?

Fearless lives the life

Our life is just a pretension 

Categories
Lifestyle Uncategorized

Are dogs happier than humans?

Ninad Gadre, who used to be a good friend of mine always used to say that dogs look much happier than humans. He somewhere really felt that humans are sinners and that’s why they are humans and the dogs have must have done something really virtuous in their past life and hence they are happier than humans. The reason behind saying so was the calm and relaxed appearance of dogs, which used to be sleeping on the boat club while students running around doing lectures and submissions with their faces much sadder than those of the dogs.  Some authors have written about dogs being better than humans. But no one has taken efforts to find out if dogs are really happier than humans or not.

Are dogs happier than humans?

Though religious scriptures claim that human life  most valuable and most difficult to get, it can be seen that many dogs are living happier than human beings. At the same time, if you look at road side dogs also, they look much silent and satisfied than human beings. This might very well create the illusion that dogs are happier and even more satisfied than human beings.

Just as dogs do, babies also appear to be happier and satisfied than the grown up humans, The curiosity, innocence, calmness and completeness in the eyes of small babies is completely missing in the eyes of grown ups. Grown up human beings are mostly frustrated, angry, annoyed and cursing things around them. So, would it really be better if we were dogs instead of humans? Or, would we have been more happier if god kept us always like a baby? I know many people around who cannot forget their childhood and repent being grown up.

Happiness: Innocence and ignorance

As always, Osho comes to our help to solve this issue. As Osho says, both ignorant and innocent beings are happy. But, this does not mean that one should be ignorant all the time. In our day-to-day life also, we can see that persons, who are ignorant and reckless, are always happier than those who are serious about things. Dogs and babies are happy because they are ignorant- natural ignorance. So, are dogs happier than humans? No. They cannot be. Momentary calmness should not be confused with happiness.

Considering all this, where do we human beings stand? We are somewhere in middle- between ignorance and innocence; struggling to attain permanent happiness.  As Nietzsche also says, we are standing somewhere on a bridge between divinity and devil. I guess, this devil nature is another word for ignorance and divinity being the another word for innocence.

I also remember a very famous statement made by Socrates-

I would rather live as dissatisfied man than living as a satisfied pig.

I guess by saying this, Socrates also wanted to warn human beings that do not be satisfied pigs or in other words, do not be satisfied with happiness which comes out of ignorance. In order to be innocent, first one has to be aware and awareness initially brings dissatisfaction. But, as one tries to understand the things around him, the ignorance gets transformed into innocence which brings the eternal joy, which is not dependant on external situations but something which comes from inside. This joy cannot be taken away from you, as it was with Socrates even when he took the poison and left this world!

 

 

Categories
Lifestyle

Are you living a hollow life?

If reading the very title of this post makes you sad, the answer for you is yes! Well, I keep on thinking over this particular question many times. For me, nothing is worse than living a hollow life. Living a bit harsher life is better, I would say, than living a hollow life.

What I keep on wondering about is, how can you define the term ‘hollow life’? Is there any fixed, concrete definition of this term? Or, is it a very dynamic term, changing as per the age, occupation and types of people around us? In this case, how can we define it for so many different kinds of people?WP_20140329_001

Apart from all this philosophical discussions, how should one find out if he is living a hollow life or not? If yes, how to make it meaningful and full of substance?

How to define ‘Hollow Life’ ?

As I have already said, the term is very dynamic, changing almost person to person. I would also like to clarify that all the points which I am making here, are my personal thoughts, which can be wrong and challenged by the readers. I am open to discuss the same and change my opinion.

In order to define this term, I would chalk down some indicators which indicate that something is going wrong and needs attention.

1. Having no time for yourself

If you cannot spare some time for yourself, there are very high chances that you are living a hollow life. Finding time for yourself does not mean caring too much for oneself. It also does not mean spending time (solely) on superficial transformation- like buying good clothes, working on one’s appearance etc.

When I say spare some time for yourself, I want you to communicate with yourself. How many of us communicate with ourselves? Do we ask ourselves if we like the way we are living life? It is very sad to find that in this well connected world, no one is really connected with himself or herself. We can create substance in our life only when we know what matters for us. Though we have to many things to do, some portion of our time (may be as small as ten minutes) should be kept aside for ourselves.

2. Doing things for someone else

I remember my discussion with a junior student from my college. His first year of engineering was descent and the grades were quite good. In second year, he stopped attending classes and ended up with having 4 backlogs. In our casual discussion, I humbly asked him what was the problem he was facing. I got a very cold reply from him, saying that he never liked engineering. I had another obvious but humble question for him, “Why did you opt for it then?”

Very proudly he said, “Engineers are respected in my town. People in my town treat you very differently if you are an engineer and also, your status gets elevated”

If you are living your life to please people from your town and are not wise enough to think about what you like, you are living a hollow life. We can find so many people around; someone doing MBBS as her mother wants her to be a doctor, someone not marrying the girl he likes as family members will be furious. At the end, people who live their life to fulfill expectations of others end up blaming those people. Instead, why one should not find out what he likes and take the complete responsibility of his own life?

3. Afraid of being alone

Though this does not apply every time, most of the times, it does. If someone is dependent on others- friends, colleagues, family etc. something is wrong. Many of us are afraid of being alone. They need someone to talk to. They even cannot imagine their life without these people. As Osho has often said, there is a difference between loneliness and  being alone. When you are alone, you encounter yourself. You dig within yourself. Most of the times, we are afraid of doing this. Hence, we keep on finding company of people. This may be a very bold statement, but people who live a hollow life will always try to not to be alone. They will keep talking without any purpose for hours, after that they will go for shopping, then a hair cut,  then again a different group, then drinks and over…If this your typical day, something is certainly wrong.

The list is literally unending. But, If someone starts working on these three focus points, he will find out the way ahead for himself. The most important thing is taking out time for oneself. When we spend some time with ourselves, the hollow life comes to an end with happiness and creativity overflowing from it.

Categories
mysticism

The magic of relaxed control

Generally, people look at life in two different ways. They either assume that everything which happens around is for the sake of good, inevitable and cannot be changed or they assume that everything around us can be and needs to be changed. On the occasions of different talks, given to different audiences, I always receive one common question –

What is the correct way of looking at life? Do all the things which happen with us are good? If yes, then should we accept the things which are wrong, not so favourable?

Each one of us has this conflict inside him or her. People either want to change things which are around them or they just give up trying to change the things. While I was in engineering, I had many friends who had surrendered their lives and had stopped taking any efforts. It is very surprising to see these brilliant students sleeping in their rooms- saying that nothing is in our hands. On other hand, we had even a bigger number of students who tried to change everything. One may wonder, what is wrong if someone tries to control things around him? The problem with second group of people is very subtle- they become very insecure when things start going beyond their control. As we all know, very few things are truly under our control and we human beings are unable to control even smallest of the things around us in spite of advancements in technology. So, I always used to wonder, what can be the right attitude? I think, we have to treat the physical world around us and the turbulence inside our minds in different ways.  I have come up with a golden rule-

In case of external affairs, we should always assume that they are happening for something better. In case of internal matters, we should always keep on looking for improvement.

At first sight, this may sound very absurd and impractical. My experience says, this is the best way to sail ahead. As far as outer events are concerned, we should always carry the approach that it is happening for making things better. But, while doing so, we should always have a keen eye matters inside us- our thoughts, our desires, ego and should always try to improve. As far as our mental and emotional status is concerned, we should always have a sense of incompleteness which calls for continuous improvement. The differentiation helps in many ways. First of all, it tells us that not many things are in our hands. It makes us comfortable with this reality. At the same time, it allows us to focus our energy on what’s there in our hands- self improvement. In most of the cases, we keep on wasting our energy thinking about things which are not in our hands and keep on neglecting the things which are under our control. This golden rule helps us to focus our energy on what can be improved by us and keeps us relaxed about things are anyway not in our control.

Categories
osho

Osho : The poor story teller

Many times, you find gems where you expect least to find them. As they say it rightly, diamonds are found in coal mines. In India, a local proverb rightly says that lotuses flower in mud.

Same was my reaction when I found a nice statement in a very artificial and cunning write-up which was a guide to win people. I always laugh on such books and write ups which tell you how to influence and win people. From the very beginning, I do not like to influence people. Anyway, this nice statement I am talking about, reads like follows-

First tell them that you will tell them. Then tell them. Then tell them that you have told them.

This statement, though was made to train people on how to influence others, it created a lot of turmoil inside my heart. This statement throws some light on human consciousness. I have heard Osho pointing out this very fact that people just do not listen. The statement made above will hold true for corporate reasons. As all of us know, we have to tell same things again and again. And hence, it is valid in that context. I can imagine how Osho would have reacted when someone would have told him this proverb. He was telling same things again and again through out his life. He was making same points again and again, to be honest, he made them not just twice or thrice but infinite times. But, we could not realize it from within.

This proverb talks about superficial things- those which fit in your heads when they are hammered twice or thrice. Things which Osho spoke about were so burning that people just neglected them. Many times, Osho himself said that it is very easy to wakeup individuals who are really sleeping; it is very difficult to wake up those who pretend they are sleeping. Through out his life, he was telling people that they were just pretending that they were sleeping.

This is worth giving a thought- why we dont listen to things which are being told? I am not saying ‘why we cant’. The thing is, we dont. Of course, there are many reasons, created by us. One of the most prominent is the cruel fact that we never live our lives in present. We can see thousands of persons roaming around us, in their own hurry, in their own worries. Many of them are well drowned in their thoughts- about future, about worries and ambitions. How many of them are present in the present while something is being told?

Another major factor- many times just listening to something is not enough; it should bring some changes inside. This applies to Osho’s discourses. He told many things which were not just philosophical statements but they expected you to bring some change in your being. As all of us know, very few of us like to do the same.

Yes, we know it very well; hundreds of masters will come, tell things many times, and will go back….Do we wish to change ourselves?

Back to the Osho Section

Other articles in the series-

Osho : ahead of all crackpots 

Osho: do not wake up the slave

Author- Mandar Karanjkar

Categories
osho Uncategorized

Let us talk something substantial!

While having a wonderful discussion with some of the friends, I uttered out a sentence. The sentence was-
” The best way to make people silent is to ask them something substantial “
At that time, I was taken aback. I made the statement very casually but it is a valuable statement. Not only that, it can be used very well while dealing with people who are otherwise difficult to be dealt with
In life, we come across many situations where it becomes absolutely difficult to just stand someone. At all such occasions, this strategy has helped me a lot.
Apart from the strategy, why this is so? Such behavior arises out of following fact, which again holds true for all the people around us-
Man speaks 99% rubbish to avoid speaking 1% truth.
So true this statement is. All of our efforts are to avoid the truth. We celebrate fallacies to avoid truth. I remember someone adkong Osho why he has spoken so much, on different topics. osho says, hunans are always neglecting the truthif it is told plainly. Hence, he has to make ao many stories, anecdotes. Thats why he spoke on so many mystics and their works.
As osho says, if man is open enough, even one word is enough to make him realize the truth.  It is very easy to wake up a person who is really sleeping but same is almost impossible if the person makes a show if sleeping.
Hence, people arebalways found talking nonsense, listening to nonsense. It is very difficult write, speak or even listen and read something which is substantial

Categories
Current Issues Society

Angry humans and a dead dog

Keeping your eyes open helps you a lot. When your eyes are open, you can find solutions everywhere around you. The world is flooded with the solutions. Only thing is, our eyes should be open to perceive them.

Angry humans who are found all around is a big problem which we encounter everywhere. This problem is typically faced by middle class people who are flooded with anger but have no medium to express it. They are most of the times unable to be angry just because of limitations; limitations are infinite- financial, social, and political. Then there is another class of people in India. These people do not deserve the money or power which they have. These people are always throwing their anger on the poor helpless people who belong to middle class. Many times, an otherwise calm and silent person blasts out like a volcano collapsing under the burden of suppressed anger.

In India, you find such angry humans everywhere. They are present almost everywhere- in offices, on streets, inside shops, in colleges. We are flooded with these angry humans. I remember infinite moments when my teachers, parents, colleagues and yes also I were unable to handle this burden of suppressed anger.

Today, I witnessed a heated argument which took place in between one of such angry humans and a typical middle class humble man. The venue for this event was a petrol pump and the reason was delay in filling the petrol. Middle class man tried to argue with the angry fellow, without success. The end of conversation was middle class man silently slipping into his car and driving away and the angry man fuming and shouting.

I went ahead with my schedule and was having a walk after some time on same evening. As a habit, I was thinking about the serious problem of angry humans. I know, there is no other solution than being more meditative and aware and skeptical of self behavior. I also know, very few of us will give this problem due attention, unless they are victim of some serious disease or mental disorder. I was questioning, do we have a right to be talked with respect and dignity by others? Can anyone claim a right of being rude and disrespectful to someone over small or big issues? While going through all this brainstorming over the angry humans, I had walked quite a long and my steps were stopped by half rotten body of a dead dog. Eyes were squeezed and skull distorted. The dog might be a victim of middle class person who was in a hurry to rush to his office to avoid the anger of his boss. All was pulled out of my thoughts.

We are living in a human world where we talk about our dignity and respect, and see; thousands are dying under our cars. I am not talking only about dogs and cats but also about human beings. Here is a link from The Time Magazine which tells how hundreds of workers died like mice in a squeezed box.

Portraits of pain

The number of people dying because of lack of food, number of poor people who are being cheated, exploited is far more than our imagination.

We demand self respect and dignity. Do we spend some time to ensure that no one’s fundamental rights are getting hurt because of us?

For me, everything- the problem of angry humans and also the problem of maintaining self respect and dignity boils down to ego. We raise all the above issues when our ego gets hurt. If it is not, who bothers about an argument on a petrol pump and who has time for a poor dog squeezed under a car?

Categories
Osho on Zen

Osho on Zen – Do not wait for right time

Insights of Osho on Zen are the answers for the common questions which all of us encounter, everyday in our lives. These questions which we encounter, are not necessarily spiritual in nature. They can be related to our day to day life.Insights of Osho on Zen are the answers to all these questions.
One of the common questions which always trouble any seeker is, should he wait for the right time or he should just keep on trying? This question seems like something very easy and not worth giving attention. But, those who walk the way of spirituality, many of them are constantly contemplating on the question mentioned above. Should we keep trying? Or should we wait for the Buddha Nature inside us to manifest itself?

Osho on Zen
Osho on Zen

Many of the Zen monks have mentioned that wait for the right time and the true nature, which is the nature of a Buddha will manifest itself. So, a seeker is confused. Should he continue with his practices? Osho has answered this question in one of his books on Zen. Osho tells us that right time has already come. It is true that Buddha and many more Zen masters have said that the right time will come. Osho says, in this statement, the tricky part is, they are not talking about future but present. So, the right time is coming every moment. Each moment, remember that this is the right time. If we keep on waiting for some right time in the future, we are unnecessarily delaying the manifestation.
Last word of Buddha was Sammasati- The right remembrance. This last word of Buddha is also in resonance with what Osho says. Buddha has also asked to always remember that we are a Buddha. This is quite in tune with commentary of Osho on Zen. Keep remembering- This is the right time. This is the right moment for you. Buddha nature can manifest at this moment.
Whenever I go through any commentary of Osho on Zen, I get some answer. It has never happened that I did not get an answer, this itself shows that every moment is the right moment.

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