Sunday, February 28, 2010

Be Happy – Let us celebrate Holi as An occasion for forgiveness

Forgiveness is the release of all hope for a better past. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. It is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offence, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offence or debt'.

The concept and benefits of forgiveness have been explored in religious thought, the social sciences and medicine. Forgiveness may be considered simply in terms of the person who forgives including forgiving themselves, in terms of the person forgiven and/or in terms of the relationship between the forgiver and the person forgiven. In some contexts, forgiveness may be granted without any expectation of restorative justice, and without any response on the part of the offender (for example, one may forgive a person who is incommunicado or dead). In practical terms, it may be necessary for the offender to offer some form of acknowledgment, apology, and/or restitution, or even just ask for forgiveness, in order for the wronged person to believe himself able to forgive.

Most world religions include teachings on the nature of forgiveness, and many of these teachings provide an underlying basis for many varying modern day traditions and practices of forgiveness. Some religious doctrines or philosophies place greater emphasis on the need for humans to find some sort of divine forgiveness for their own shortcomings, others place greater emphasis on the need for humans to practice forgiveness of one another, yet others make little or no distinction between human and/or divine forgiveness.

Holi, a national festival of all the Indians is an occasion when we color ourselves to suit the change in nature we observe during these days. Though there are spiritual and religious approaches to celebrate this festival, one more message can be inherited, which is the most important when we see that there is reducing impact of caste, color and creed world over on the society in Barack Obama taking over the Presidency of US, when we see that every one of us has caliber to grow up once there is conducive atmosphere or opportunity provided to the incumbent beyond the classification on the basis of caste, color and creed.

Holi be called as Ho li, a break-up of the word in Hindi language, that means whatever the wrongs have been committed knowingly or unknowingly must be forgiven and a fresh chapter must be started to rebuild the cordial terms with each other. Hindus apply chandan or gulal on the forehead of other one and hug to bring the enemy near to their hearts as if that person is close to heart. We may follow up this factor to enjoy the life more peacefully. It is message to bring about the equality amongst the subjects because after coloring each other, none is able to mark distinctively who is poor or rich, who is black or white or who is lower or superior.

Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves. We must not forget that the practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.

Be Happy – Let us celebrate Holi as An occasion for forgiveness

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Be Happy – Enlightenment Can Happen At Any Moment

The word 'enlightenment' can be used to refer to many different ideas. In a secular or a non-Buddhist context the word is often used meaning full comprehension of a situation, or having gained spiritual insight. In Buddhism, enlightenment refers to a unique experience which wholly transforms the enlightened individual from their previous condition in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth or reincarnation. Siddhartha Gautama who is also known as the Buddha, is said to have achieved enlightenment. In Hinduism the word moksha, that means liberation of soul from the cycle of birth, death and reincarnation, is similar to enlightenment and Nirvana.

In Western culture, Enlightenment broadly means wisdom or understanding enabling clarity of perception. However, the English word covers two concepts which can be quite distinct: religious or spiritual enlightenment. Spiritual Enlightenment and Spiritual Awakening is the primary goal of almost all spiritual practices, traditions and religions and for any spiritual seeker. There are many names for this awakened state of Consciousness depending on what culture and tradition we belong to. This can cause confusion, since those who claim intellectual enlightenment often reject spiritual concepts altogether. In religious use, enlightenment is most closely associated with South and East Asian religious experience. The concept does also have parallels in the Abrahamic religions, in the Kabbalah tradition in Judaism, in Christian mysticism, and in the Sufi tradition of Islam.

In secular use, the concept refers mainly to the European intellectual movement known as the Age of Enlightenment, also called the Age of Reason referring to philosophical developments related to scientific rationality in the 17th and 18th centuries. In his famous 1784 essay “What Is Enlightenment?”, Immanuel Kant defines Enlightenment as the man's release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is the incapacity to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. Such tutelage is self-imposed if its cause is not lack of intelligence, but rather a lack of determination and courage to use one's intelligence without being guided by another.

Enlightenment can come in an instant or it may take many life cycles. The shortest distance between two points is in a straight line and so the fastest way to achieve enlightenment is to know that you are already enlightened. Few of us will be able to do that on demand because we all have lifetimes of experiences and circumstances that say we can’t do it. So we have to wrestle with all our memories and the wisdom of others that we have adopted to get to a place where we can accept our new awareness.

Changing a lifestyle can be met with great difficulty and struggle or wild abandonment and joy. It is simply another trip or a course along a different path that has an alternative purpose. It is not going to be any easier or more difficult than the one that you already chose and pending on how you think of it. Because there will be a profound change in you and your lifestyle you will lose people along the way, including friends and family. For one thing as you move along your new path you will learn a different language and as you start to master this language your friends and family will not be so easy to communicate with them, not they with you.

Along with having difficulties communicating with each other, you will not be able to relate to each other just as a grade one student will not be able to relate to another in grade 12 except on the most basic levels. As you empty your mind of old business and memory, new concepts and awareness will replace them and become your new truth. You will travel lighter and pay little notice of others that are around you, they will call you crazy or weird and as your awareness increases you will eventually move to a state of transformation.

One transforms when one has raised his/her vibration level so high that they virtually disappear and enter another realm of awareness. You will become invisible to all in the old realm. If your feet are firmly planted in the physical world and this is where you are strongly focused, transformation may take several lifetimes. Death is a human or physical concept and in truth you do not have to leave your physical body behind.

The first step in the thousand mile journey is to make a choice or decision for enlightenment. With this choice comes the eventual transformation that will take you out of this physical realm and into another. With this level of awareness comes rejection of all physical things and people. The truth is we are all headed there anyways. Those that have a higher level of enlightenment or awareness simply move faster and with anticipation lacking any fear what is to come. It is the tendency for all things to move back to its source, it is a natural law of cause and effect or Karma. There is a Buddhist teaching that says if you want to put new tea in your cup you must make sure you have an empty cup. In preparing for this new enlightenment you must let go of old belief systems and thoughts. You must clear your mind to make way for new concepts and ideas. Enlightenment won’t come when your mind is busy with old thoughts. Neither will it come while you try to analyze it, acceptance is the key to enlightenment.

There are many who say that they want enlightenment but few will receive it. The pull of physical world is strong, and addictive. For those that have found great meaning in the earth experience they will find it hard to let go. A man rich in materialistic properties cannot get into heaven, for when you are attached you are not going anywhere.

In preparing for enlightenment you must be prepared to leave all things behind. It is the natural tendency for all to move to the next level of awareness and to better themselves. Leaving this world and moving into the next realm comes enlightenment and physical death. There are few that have gone the first way and most people tend to get there slowly and through many lifetimes experiencing physical life again and again. Once you have grasped the idea that lie is an occurrence that you are in control of, and you grow to understand that you are not in school to learn anything, you will begin to look farther ahead to greater awareness with the knowledge that the spirit is eternal and cannot be destroyed.

Enlightenment should never course of experiences that you have absolute control of. Enlightenment can come in an instant or it may take many life cycles but always it about freedom of choice and unconditional love. You must have patience and willingness to give up your affection to your materialistic possessions. You must conceive enlightenment as lotus flower which has its roots in the mud,and grows up through the deep water. It rises to the surface and blooms into perfect purity and beauty in the sunlight .It symbolizes the mind unfolding to perfect joy and wisdom.

Be Happy – Enlightenment Can Happen At Any Moment.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Be Happy - Celebrate Holi Lovingly.

Holi - the festival of colors - is undoubtedly the most fun-filled and boisterous of Hindu festival. It's an occasion that brings in unadulterated joy and mirth, fun and play, music and dance, and, of course, lots of bright colors!

Holi, also called the Festival of Colours, is a popular Hindu festival observed in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and countries with large Hindu populations, such as Surinam, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, UK, USA, Mauritius, and Fiji. In West Bengal of India and Bangladesh it is known as Dolyatra (Doul Jatra) or Basanta-Utsav ("spring festival"). The most celebrated Holi is that of the Braj region, in locations connected to the god Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana. These places have become tourist destinations during the festive season of Holi, which lasts here to up to sixteen days.

The main day, Holi, also known as Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people throwing colored powder and colored water at each other. Bonfires are lit the day before, also known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion. Holika Dahan is referred to as Kama Dahanam in Andhra Pradesh.

Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna, (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in the later part of February or March. This Year, Holika Dahan is on February 28 and next day on 1st March, Holi (Dhulandi) would be celebrated.

The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. Thus, the playful throwing of natural coloured powders has a medicinal significance: the colours are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors.

A special drink called thandai is prepared (commonly made of almonds, pistachious,rose petals etc), sometimes containing bhang (Cannabis indica). For wet colours, traditional flowers of Palash are boiled and soaked in water over night to produced yellow colored water, which also had medicinal properties. Unfortunately the commercial aspect of celebration has led to an increase in the use of synthetic colors which, in some cases, may be toxic.

Rangapanchami occurs a few days later on a Panchami (fifth day of the full moon), marking the end of festivities involving colors.

Holi is one of the major festival of India and is the most vibrant of all. The joys of Holi knows no bound. The festival is celebrated across the four corners of India or rather across the globe. The festival is filled with so much fun and frolic that the very mention of the word 'Holi' draws smile and enthusiasm amongst the people. Holi also celebrates the arrival of Spring, a season of joy and hope.

Temples are beautifully decorated at the time of Holi. Idol of Radha is placed on swings and devotees turn the swings singing devotional Holi songs. Now-a-days small plays are organized reflecting the spirit of the festival.

Happy Days Are Here Again!

With winter neatly tucked up in the attic, it's time to come out of our cocoons and enjoy this spring festival. Every year it is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March and glorifies good harvest and fertility of the land. It is also time for spring harvest. The new crop refills the stores in every household and perhaps such abundance accounts for the riotous merriment during Holi. This also explains the other names of this celebration - 'Vasant Mahotsava' and 'Kama Mahotsava'.

Don't Mind, It's Holi!

During Holi, practices, which at other times could be offensive, are allowed. Squirting colored water on passers-by, dunking friends in mud pool amidst teasing and laughter, getting intoxicated on bhaang and reveling with companions is perfectly acceptable. In fact, on the days of Holi, you can get away with almost anything by saying, "Don't mind, it's Holi!" (Hindi = Bura na mano, Holi hai.)

The Festive License!

Women, especially, enjoy the freedom of relaxed rules and sometimes join in the merriment rather aggressively. There is also much vulgar behavior connected with phallic themes. It is a time when pollution is not important, a time for license and obscenity in place of the usual societal and caste restrictions. In a way, Holi is a means for the people to ventilate their 'latent heat' and experience strange physical relaxations.

Why is Holi celebrated?

Now, we should get serious too. We should know why Holi is celebrated.
It is said that Hiranyakashipu who was the king of demons, was granted a boon by Brahma, making it almost impossible for him to be killed. The boon was due to his long penance, after which he had demanded that he must not be killed during day or night; inside the home or outside, not on earth or on sky; neither by a man nor an animal; neither by any weapon. Consequently, he grew arrogant, and attacked the Heavens and the Earth. He demanded that people worshipping and praying to him only, none else.

Despite this, Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. In spite of several threats from his father, Prahlada continued offering prayers to Lord Vishnu. He was poisoned but the poison turned to nectar in his mouth. He was ordered to be trampled by elephants yet remained unharmed. He was put in a room with hungry, poisonous snakes and survived. All of Hiranyakashipu's attempts to kill his son failed. Finally, he ordered young Prahlada to sit on a pyre in the lap of his sister, Holika, who had been blessed that she would not be killed by any burning fire. Prahlada readily accepted his father's orders, and prayed to Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as Holika, was burnt to death, while Prahlada survived unharmed. The burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi.

When Hiranyakashipu’s anger exceeded the limits, Lord Vishnu came in the form of a Narasimha (who is half-man and half-lion) and killed him at dusk (which was neither day nor night), on the steps of the porch of his house (which was neither inside the house nor outside) by restraining him on his lap (which is neither in the sky nor on the earth) and mauling him with his claws instead of using any weapon.

In another story, it is said that in Vrindavan and Mathura, where Lord Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna). Lord Krishna is believed to have popularized the festival by playing pranks on the gopis here. Krishna is believed to have complained to his mother about the contrast between his dark skin complexion and Radha's fair skin complexion. Krishna's mother decided to apply colour to Radha's face. The celebrations officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love.

There is alternate story detailing the origin of Holi. This story is about Kamadeva, a god of love. Kama's body was destroyed when he shot his weapon at Shiva in order to disrupt his meditation and help Parvati to marry Shiva. Shiva then opened his third eye, the gaze of which was so powerful that Kama's body was reduced to ashes. For the sake of Kama's wife Rati, Shiva restored him, but only as a mental image, representing the true emotional and spiritual state of love rather than physical lust. The Holi bonfire is believed to be celebrated in commemoration of this event.

Holi is a festival of radiance (Teja) in the universe. During this festival, different waves of radiance traverse the universe, thereby creating various colors that nourish and complement the function of respective elements in the atmosphere.

Rituals of Holi

Earliest textual references regarding celebration of Holi have been found the 7th century Sanskrit drama, Ratnavali . Holi has certainly perennial rituals attached to it, the first is smearing of coloured powder on each other, and throwing water, coloured and scented using pichkaris, shaped like giant syringes or squirt guns. Though the festival really begins many days in advance, with 'Holi Milan' or Baithaks, musical soirees, where song related to the festival, and the epic love story of Radha Krishna are sung; specially type of folk songs, known as “Hori” are sung as well. Some classical ones like Aaj biraj mein Holi re rasiya, have been present in the folklore for many generations.

Holika Dahan: The Holi bonfire

The main emphasis of the festival is on the burning of the holy fire or Holika. The origin of the traditional lighting of Holi is attributed by some to the burning of demonesses like Holika, Holaka and Putana who represent evil. Traditionally a bonfire on the day of Holi, marks the symbolic annihilation of a demoness Holika. Earlier, some effigy was also put in the fire. But in course of time, the fire is considered to be representative of the victory over Holika. However, in few areas of the Braj region, effigies are still seen on street corners and public squares, piled on top of an assemblage wood. This set to fire after ritualistic worship, and people make pradakshina of the bonfire. The next day this victory is celebrated as the day of Dulhendi. In some practices particularly in the UK, coconuts are thrown into the fire and then pulled out. The burnt husk of the coconut represents Holika who died in the pyre. The white inside represents Prahlad, who was still alive and unaffected by the pyre.


People walk down their neighbors to celebrate Holi by exchanging colours and spraying colored water on one another. A popular activity is the throwing of water balloons at one another,. Also a lot of people mix 'bhang' in their drinks and food, as also done during Shivaratri. It is believed that the combination of different colors played at this festival take all the sorrow away and make life itself more colorful. Principal ingredients of celebration are Abeer and Gulal, in all possible colors. Next comes squirting of colored water using pichkaris. Colored water is prepared using Tesu flowers, which are first gathered from the trees, dried in the sun, and then ground up, and later mixed with water to produce orange-yellow colored water.

This day is considered to be the happiest and colorful day of the year promoting the brotherhood among the people. This is known as "Holi Milan" in which people visit every house and sing holi song and express their gratitude by applying colored powder (Abeer). Intoxicating bhang is consumed with a variety of mouth watering delicacies such as pakoras and thandai to enhance the mood of the festival. Holi is also considered as the end of the year as it occurs on the last day of last Hindu calendar month Phalgun. People also kickoff for the next year planning with new year Hindu calendar (Panchang) at the evening of Holi.

Dol-Purnima (Rang Panchami), the festival of colour is celebrated with great festivity and joy. On this day, people come out wearing pure white clothes and gather together in a common place where they play it with gay abandon.

In Nepal, Holi is regarded as one of the greatest festivals, as a national festival and almost everyone celebrates it regardless of their religion, e. g., even Muslims celebrate it. Christians may also join in, although since Holi falls during Lent, many would not join in the festivities. The day of Holi is also a national holiday in Nepal.

In Punjab Sikhs celebrate a similar festival known as Hola Mohalla. It is played on grand scale. In fact, the Holi celebration at Anandpur Sahib is famous all around India. Even people from abroad go to Punjab to celebrate Holi in northern style.

Barsana is the place to be at the time of Holi. Here the famous Lath mar Holi is played in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple. Thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women beat up men with sticks as those on the sidelines become hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. The Holi songs of Braj mandal are sung in pure Braj Bhasha.
Holi played at Barsana is unique in the sense that here women chase men away with sticks. Males also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite the attention of women. Women then go on the offensive and use long staves called lathis to beat men folk who protect themselves with shields. In Mathura, the birth place of Lord Krishna, and in Vrindavan this day is celebrated with special puja and the traditional custom of worshipping Lord Krishna, here the festival last for sixteen days.

In Bengal, we observe the Holi in a different way. On the Dol Purnima day in the early morning, the students dress up in saffron-coloured clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments like ektara, dubri, veena, etc. Holi is known by the name of 'Dol Jatra', 'Dol Purnima' or the 'Swing Festival'. The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the idols of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken round the main streets of the city or the village. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. All this while men keep spraying colored water and colored powder, abir, at them. The head of the family, observes fast and prays to Lord Krishna and Agnidev. After all the traditional rituals are over, he smears Krishna's idol with gulal and offers "bhog" to both Krishna and Agnidev. In Shantiniketan, holi has a special musical flavour. Traditional dishes include malpoa, kheer sandesh, basanti sandesh(of saffron),saffron milk, payash,etc.

The people of Orissa celebrate Holi in a similar manner but here the idols of Jagannath, the deity of the Jagannath Temple of Puri, replace the idols of Krishna and Radha.

In Goa, Holi is a part of Goan or Konkani spring festival known as Śigmo. One of the most prominent festivals of the Konkani community in Goa,and the Konkani diaspora in the state of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala. Śigmo is also known as Śiśirotsava lasts for about a month, the color festival or Holi is a part of entire spring festival celebrations.

In Western India, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, a pot of buttermilk is hung high on the streets and young boys try to reach it and break it by making human pyramids while the girls try to stop them by throwing colored water on them to commemorate the pranks of Krishna and cowherd boys to steal butter and 'gopis' trying to stop them. At this time the men soaked with colours go out in large procession to mock alert people of the Krishna who might come to steal butter in their homes. The boy who finally manages to break the pot is crowned the Holi King of the Year for that community.

In Maharashtra, Holi is mainly associated with the burning of Holika. Holi Paurnima is also celebrated as Shimga. A week before the festival, youngsters go around the locality, collecting firewood and money. On the day of Holi, the firewood is arranged in a huge pile at a clearing in the locality. In the evening, the fire is lit. Every household makes an offering of sweets and a complete meal to the fire god. Puran Poli is the main delicacy and children shout " Holi re Holi puranachi poli ". Shimga is associated with the elimination of all evil. Fun of playing with colours traditionally takes place on the day of Rangapanchami unlike North India where it is done on the second day itself.

Manipur in northeastern part of India celebrates Holi for six days. Introduced in the eighteenth century with Vaishnavism, it soon merged with the centuries-old festival of Yaosang. Traditionally, the festival commences with the burning of a thatched hut of hay and twigs. Young children go from house to house to collect money as gifts on the first 2 days. The youths at night perform a group folk dance called 'thaabal chongba' on the full moon night of Phalgun along with folk songs and rhythmic beats of the indigenous drum. However, this moonlight party now has modern bands and fluorescent lamps. In Krishna temples, devotees sing devotional songs, perform dances and play with 'gulal' wearing traditional white and yellow turbans. On the last day of the festival, large processions are taken out to the main Krishna temple near Imphal where several cultural programs are organized.

In South India, in Mattancherry area of Kochi, there are 22 different communities living together in harmony. Moreover, the Gaud Sarawat Brahmins (GSB) who speak Konkani also celebrate Holi in Cherlai area of West Kochi. They locally call it as Ukkuli in Konkani or Manjal Kuli in Malayalam. It is held around the majestic Konkani temple called Gosripuram Thirumala temple. Holi is also celebrated at some colleges in south.

In Karnataka, Holi is celebrated with much fervor. Schools and colleges declare holiday that day and in Bangalore 2009 some MNC's like Tata Consultancy Services and Cognizant Technology Solutions had declared holiday for Holi.Children, Adults alike play Holi. There is also a tradition followed in rural Karnataka, where children collect money and wood for weeks prior to Holi, and on Kamadhanam all the wood is put together and lighted.

What is remarkably same across the country is the spirit of Holi. Fun, frolic, boisterousness to the extent of buffoonery marks this festival of colors. What more can be expected- when the people get a social sanction to get intoxicated on the bhang, open not just their hearts' out but also their lungs. And viola, nobody is expected to take offence too, as the norm of the day is, 'Bura na mano Holi hai'

Let’s celebrate Holi with everyone, irrespective the caste, colour and creed – it is the most important message of this great festival that we must forget our past enmities and hug each other with love.

Be Happy – Celebrate Holi. .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Be Happy – Identify The Worth Of Life

God has granted us a beautiful life to enjoy it fully. A human being has some superiority over other creations by Him. Other species have more or less three jobs – Eating, Sleeping and procreating. But we are different due to the fact that we do have brain to think about the others. We must think beyond. How and what should be the ideal pursuit in our life – pleasure, work, wealth or knowledge? A simple answer is there. That is “None”. What should you do after eating, sleeping and procreating?
About three thousand years ago, a Jewish king named Solomon aired his opinion on the subject. As he put it, he wished to know what was worth-while for men to do during their lives. Solomon was an interesting character, and he had a lot going for him. He was intelligent. Indeed, this sage-king still has the reputation of being the wisest man who ever lived.

He also had the means to do practically anything he wanted to do. In his old age, Solomon found time to reflect on his lifelong experiences. And he passed his thoughts down in writing. He starts off by enumerating that everything in life is meaningless. He mentioned, “I know, because I have seen it all. You name it, I’ve done it. I not only did it, but I did it in a big time, kingly fashion. I denied myself nothing, nothing at all. But looking back on it now, I can tell you none of it amounted to a hill of beans.”

He questioned, “What do you think is worthwhile in life? Is it the pursuit of pleasure? I had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines. I had music from men and women singers; all the wine I could drink; and a place full of to get in my good graces.”

He mentioned, “Sure, it is enjoyable up to a point. But when you get everything you want whenever you want it, you quickly discover how meaningless pleasure really is. Here is what I’ve learned: Whenever you seek pleasure, pleasure eludes you. The only way you may find pleasure is by seeking something else first. It could be nothing more than paying someone a hand with a unpleasant task.”

“The idea is that when you least expect it, happiness suddenly bubbles up like a well inside of you. You don’t find pleasure; pleasure finds you. Pursuing pleasure is like chasing after the wind.”

“If not pleasure, then what do you wish for? Is it wealth? Do you think you should dedicate your life to the pursuit of wealth? I had hundreds of houses, vineyards, gardens, parks, fruit tress, reservoirs watering groves of trees, slaves, more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem, horses and chariots, and more silver and gold than anyone can imagine. I had all. But if money and things could buy happiness, then, I would have been the most happy man that ever lived. But I am not happy at all in those terms.”

“But what did I discover? Just this: Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. A rich man doesn’t even sleep well at night. He’s too worried about this money. Money has its uses, but don’t lose perspective. We were born naked, and when we die, we’re going to take with us just what we brought into this world. Whatever we acquire will be left to someone who had not worked for it.”

“If neither pleasure nor wealth are worthwhile pursuits, how about the scholarly pursuits of knowledge give pleasure of life? Oh yes, I spent a great deal of time in study. I learned everything I could about every subject under the sun. That’s how I got my reputation for wisdom. It didn’t fall out of a tree, you know. What did I find out? Only this: The more you learn, the more you discover there is to know. Even the brightest of us are ignorant of many things. Certainly, wisdom is better than foolishness, but please remember, in a few years, both the wise man and the fool wind up in the grave. Before long both are forgotten.”

So, pleasure, wealth, and knowledge all have limited value. What’s left? Would you enjoy in work? “Yes, I worked. I built houses, planted vineyards, gardens, parks, fruit trees, and groves of trees. I delighted in my work. That was my reward. But it remains till I am able to work. The day this body gets weak as warranted by nature, the work would appear to be tiring and I would not be feeling happy again. Moreover, the achievements of our hard labor would be giving merely a temporary ‘feel-good-about-it’ sort of thing. In the long run, all of our toil is useless. Whatever you make, you can’t take with you. And in due course, whatever we create will be torn down or destroyed and soon forgotten. However, I do not say that we should not work. We must continue to work on something as it is required for proper functioning of our body-machine.”

So, the wise man threw a wet blanket over most of the things people devote themselves to today. Then what should we do? How should we spend our time on earth? The answer is simple: “A man can do nothing better than to eat, drink and find satisfaction in work. Enjoy life with the one you love. Be happy and do well as long as you live. Whatever you do, do it with all the might because you never know when life might end.

“While we are young, enjoy life as much as possible. But don’t forget, God will judge everything we do. The years slip by quickly. Infants turn into youths, youths into adults, adults into middle age, and middle age into old age. It doesn’t take long at all as the time passing does not remind you every time that you are getting old and older and one day, you will pass away. All too soon, the troubles and afflictions of age sap the strength and weaken the mind. Then death calls your number and body returns to the ground from where it came, and soul returns to God who gave it.”

Solomon concludes his advice with this warning: “God will bring every deed into judgment including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked.” If you really wish to have pleasure of life, you must do good for yourself and for those people who are around you, without making them aware that you are doing something good for them – you may not disclose your identity. When they get to know themselves that you did a good job for them without any consideration, their thankfulness will give you heavenly pleasure of life.

Has Solomon’s 3,000-years old advice stood the test of time? Some things have changed. Primarily, we have more gadgets these days than they had back in his time. But our basic choices remain the same. We can dedicate our lives to pleasure, or work. Then again when we reflect on the brevity of life, the certainty of death, and the promise of judgment, we might decide Solomon knew what he was talking about.

But what do you feel about God judging the good and wicked? The moral law certainly implies that God cares about us, what we do with our lives, and the choices we make. Also our longing for justice, often frustrated in this life, leads us to believe, we will get whatever we are due in the world to come. Our sojourn can best be described as a sort of boot camp or school of hard knocks.

We are here to learn. Learn what? Learn that pleasure, money; possessions, knowledge, and work all have only limited value. None of these pursuits should be the focal point of our lives.
Our primary task is to develop character, that is, a certain type of character. Earth, we discover, is nothing more than a large training centre for character. Those who graduate have learned their lessons on: fair play, unselfishness, humility, courage, faithfulness, honesty, truthfulness, and treating others with respect. They enjoy real happiness once they exercise the qualities they learn to practice.

Be happy – lead your life virtuously and identify its worth with good deeds always.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Be Happy - Have No More Worries

If we go through the list of emotions a human being may have during his life time, we find that worry has been place at last. For example, we can name our emotions like acedia, affection, ambivalence, anger, angst, annoyance, anticipation, anxiety, apathy, awe, boredom, calmness, compassion, compression, confusion, contempt, contentment, Courage,Curiosity, Depression Desire, Disappointment, Disgust, Doubt, Ecstasy, Embarrassment, Empathy, Emptiness, Enthusiasm, Envy, Epiphany, Euphoria, Fanaticism, Fear, Frustration, Gratification, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Hatred, Homesickness, Hope, Hostility, Humiliation, Hysteria, Inspiration, Interest, Jealousy, Kindness, Loneliness, Love, Lust, Melancholia, Nostalgia, Optimism, Panic, Patience, Passion, Pessimism, Pity, Pride, Rage, Regret, Remorse, Repentance, Resentment, Righteous indignation, Sadness, Self-pity, Shame, Shyness, Suffering, Surprise, Suspicion, Sympathy, Wonder and Worry. But worry is the most injurious to the health. It bewilders your thinking, blurs your vision and makes you of negative approach. Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow to keep you more attached unnecessarily.

To worry about something means the state of engaging in chains of thoughts and images of a negative and an uncontrollable nature in which mental attempts are made to avoid anticipated potential threats. As an emotion it is experienced as anxiety or concerned about a real or imagined issue, usually focused upon personal issues such as health or finances or broader ones such as environmental pollution and social or technological change. Most people experience short-lived periods of worry in their lives without incident; indeed, a moderate amount of worrying may even have positive effects, if it prompts people to take precautions (e.g., fastening their seat belt or buying fire insurance) or avoid risky behaviors like cliff diving. Excessive worry is the main component of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. We must drag our thoughts away from our troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way we can manage it – we shall have less restlessness. Constant worrying is a learned condition which can be unlearned with a few quick but very effective techniques.

The habit of worrying is a difficult thing to stop. We worry as children and then as teenagers until worry forms a habit which we carry on through out our life till we have perfected the art. If you don’t have that worried look on your face, then you are termed as irresponsible, childish and non-ambitious. There are a few psychological gimmicks to undo this horrible habit.

Negating Joys

We often believe that happiness must be earned and this possible only by enduring unpleasantness. But how do you know if you’ve endured enough unpleasantness to deserve happiness? Another unspoken game rule: responsible adults can never endure enough unpleasantness to truly deserve happiness. Laid on top of the first neurosis is the idea that spending money will make you happy. Worrying is the easiest and most popular way to negate happiness. It never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joySo we never stop working, we never stop spending money, we’re never really happy. We must understand that today is the tomorrow we had worried about yesterday.

The Condition Serves A Purpose

You won’t stop worrying if you think it serves you, so it’s a good idea to distinguish the fight-or-flight response from worry. By making this distinction, you’re less likely to overrate the value of worrying. The fight-or-flight response (FOF) is useful on rare occasions of real danger. Worrying is never useful. It handicaps and diminishes us. The more it triggers the FOF with imagined threats, the more it prevents clear thinking.

Setting Straight Mental Furniture

There’s useful gimmick to help stop worrying. You simply cultivate the habit of postponing worrying. Your mind becomes reconditioned to not dwell on worries in the present. The trick is that whenever you feel plagued by a worrying thought, note it down on a piece of sheet or paper which is set aside for the purpose – you can then forget about it, knowing that you plan to worry later. If you can't sleep due to some worry, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.

Trial And Error

What follows is slightly more esoteric than above. Feel free to ignore. Strange as it may seem, you want what you worry about. Or at least that’s what you inadvertently tell your brain when you worry. On one level, your brain can’t process “negatives”. If you tell it: “don’t think about crashing the car”, it can’t help being” attracted” to the thought/ image of crashing. Consciously, worrying is about preventing/resisting/ avoiding the situation.

For relatively “minor” worry problems, you can use psychological gimmicks to “con” your brain into letting go of the worry – the worry postponement techniques described above are a good starting point towards happiness. For peace of mind, you must give up the petty jobs and resign as general manager of the universe. You will have much spare time to relax.

The Lost Battle

Worrying is never useful. It worries and diminishes us and prevents clear thinking. People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them. If you feel that something has gone beyond your control, you must give up your worries relating thereto immediately. But you should not give your efforts in mid-way. Continue to work on them but with lesser attention as you have other important jobs too.

If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you'll die a number of times. A hundred times of load of worry will not pay an ounce of debt. For a peaceful life, never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time. Some people bear three - all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have.

Be Happy – Have No More Worries.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Be Happy – Beautify Your Inner

We are well aware that God created each one of us in his own light, without any specific discretion to anyone specially. He does not allot a particular caste and creed to someone. We are His children and are regarded equal in His kingdom. Then, why on earth have we classified ourselves according to skin tones, degrees of fairness or in more explicit language, why have we created ‘color-ism”?

If we deeply study the inhabitants of different parts of the earth, we would find that we have many skin colors, ranging from fair to dark and everything in between. For most of us it’s natural to consider light skin to be more beautiful than dark skin. Beauty has become equivalent to fair complexion. Evidence of this comes from numerous beauty products used to achieve lighter skin.This fairness creams are one of the best selling facial creams in the world.

Each day one is greeted by media with innumerable commercials of creams, gels, face-packs, toner, cleaner, moisturizer and endless such products all claiming to make one ‘fair or more fair’ in a short period meaning more beautiful or handsome, sometimes even in the blink of an eye! Well, personally, I am doubtful about their ‘instant fairness’ effect but I am sure that celebrities endorsing these products are making really big amount out of it. The models seem to have ‘acquired beauty’ endorsing these products only. The league of these fair ladies is now joined by male superstars too. Film Stars lying in the bath tub or walking across streets endorsing “men’s fairness” cream seems too hilariously innovative for a commercial. Actors and actresses around the world almost always are shown to have light skin, they do use lots of makeup to make themselves look lighter.

Today, even beauty contests have lost their true meaning. In the past, they were conducted to honor beauty, to acknowledge God’s beautiful creations on Earth. But today they end up creating artificial role models of youngsters or giving many of them inferiority complex about themselves.

Today, matrimonial ads too enlighten us with various degrees of the word ‘fair’ Priorities of groom’s parents seem to have changed largely. ‘Very very fair’ brides are automatically supposed to be better life partners over other necessary qualities. We seem to have forgotten what true beauty is all about. Margaret Hunger ford had once famously said “True Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”.

You know! Success, happiness, health, wealth, fame or relationships are not affected by our skin tone. Rather, the kind of person we are determines our fate. Being a beautiful person from within is what matters and is truly valuable. One who is beautiful and ‘fair’ (read pure) from inside has an aura of goodness and radiates love and warmth. History has witnessed the success of many great personalities who weren’t pearl while from outside but were true gems from inside. Each one of us is equally beautiful if we are beautiful at heart. Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing you favor him/her with. Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful quality of a human being.

Beauty is not skin deep. Being a beautiful person from within is what matters and is truly valuable. We should cultivate noble qualities. Martin Luther King, Jr. says , “Whatever career you may choose for yourself - doctor, lawyer, teacher - let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it. Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights. Make it a central part of your life. It will make you a better doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher. It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can. It will give you that rare sense of nobility that can only spring from love and selflessly helping your fellow man. Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights.

You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.” You will become beautiful, you will become handsome. Beauty of your character will come out itself and the people will admire you. We must forget the colour-ism and evaluate the person in terms of his beauty coming out characteristically.

Be Happy – Beautify Your Inner first.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Be Happy - Nurture Democracy

There are many systems of governance. We find authoritarian governments following aristocracy, corporatism, despotism, diarchy, dictatorship (as military dictatorship, Stratocracy, enlightened absolutism), Kleptocracy, monarchy (as absolute monarchy, constitutional monarchy, despotism, Duchy or Grand Duchy, Elective monarchy, Hereditary monarchy, Popular monarchy, Principality, self-proclaimed monarchy),Pplutocracy or Timocracy, Police state, Theocracy, Tyranny and Videocracy. Sometime we witness Anarchy too having Ochlocracy or Tribalism. Anarchism may have the forms of Anarchist communism, Libertarian socialism, Libertarian municipalism, Anarcho-syndicalism, Green anarchism, Isocracy, Local Government or Minarchism.

In the form of democracy which we consider to be the Rule of the many, can be graded to follow Consociationalism, Deliberative democracy, Democratic socialism, Direct democracy, Participatory democracy, Representative democracy, Parliamentary system (like Consensus government or Westminster system), Polyarchy, Presidential system and Semi-presidential system. Under this system of governance, we do have Republicanism (in shape of Constitutional republic or Parliamentary republic) and Totalitarian democracy too. Different political systems recognize sovereignty, and the autonomy of regions within the state in the shapes like Sovereignty located exclusively at the center (Empire or Unitary state). Some favor Sovereignty located at the center and in peripheral areas like Federation and Federal republic or Confederation. Diverging degrees of sovereignty can evolve Asymmetrical federalism, Federacy, Associated state or Devolved state too.

If we consider the forms of governments in terms of political franchise, we find Autocracy - rule by one, Oligarchy - rule by minority, Democracy - rule by majority, Republic - rule by law and Anarchism - rule by no one. Some countries are Full presidential republics, and some other are Parliamentary republics with the role of the president and prime minister combined, Semi-presidential republics, Parliamentary republics, Parliamentary constitutional monarchies in which the monarch does not personally exercise power, Parliamentary constitutional monarchies in which the monarch personally exercises power (often alongside a weak parliament), Absolute monarchies, Single-party republics, having Military dictatorships or they are or Communist states. Some carry on the governments on the basis of a particular religion.

Under Democracy, we mean government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected representatives under a free electoral system. It is the best form of government through which everyone has voice to put forth. It the state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges, political or social equality; as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people has with respect to their political power.

In democracy, the people have civil liberties, and political rights. Individuals, who feel that democratic system is the best government, value equality, accountability, and freedom in their personal life too and these qualities are the essential ingredients of a civilized society. Nations that have multiparty political systems meet the needs of the public better through the means of political equality, a higher standard of living, and civil liberties.

In democratic systems the public decides what economic and social policies work best for them. Democracy originated in ancient Athens. Besides the fact that only men could vote ancient Athens exhibited a model direct democracy. On every issue, each voter was able to freely vote. The Athenians choose from two main political parties, and no one person had any more power than another person. Decision making and decision enforcing were the duties of every citizen. Democracy is a logical concept. Since the public has to abide by the policies made by the government, they should be able to help make those decisions. The United States of America and India are the marvelous examples of the democracies since their inception. The system of government ensures that no branch of government (executive, legislative, or judicial) has more power than another branch. Each voter votes to elect his representative from the political party that has a platform most similar to his or her views. The Supreme Court judges are not elected, but appointed in order to keep their interests pure. Most laws that are made in democratic systems reflect the views of the public. In democracy, any member of any House can introduce a piece of legislation. This illustrates how all members are equal and are given the right to represent the people from their state. The bill is printed and prepared so that all members of the government can understand the details of it.

People also have the right to speak out against the government and dissent freely. Civil liberties are guaranteed to the people in the constitution, and no legislation will be passed that violates any citizens’ civil liberties. If people feel their civil liberties have been violated within the constitutional jurisdiction, they can take the case to various courts, to make a fair ruling to compel the government to make the correction. The individuals who believe that other systems are more efficient and beneficial than democracies, have never experienced life in such a system, or have never been a victim of the elite. Other systems do not meet the needs of the public adequately, result in a lower standard of living than democracies, and often result in violence. For a new policy to be implemented in a democracy, thousands of people do not have to die. This is because for the most part in democracies the policies that exist are the will of the people. Democratic systems have been very successful in India, US, Canada, Sweden, and other countries. The freedom of choice is ultimately important, and since the public makes the industry in nations, they will choose what is best for the nation.

As on date, we consider democracy to be superior to any other method of governance. We have achieved much in democracy but we have many more miles to go. We agree that in course of time, this system too has developed certain demerits like corruption, favoritism to the vote-bank, red-tappism, opportunism, nepotism, non-delivery of proper public services etc. The election campaigns have become so costly that a competent person can not stand as candidate if he does not have enormous sources of funds. Money is being applied shamelessly in the media, advertisements and getting paid-editorials to favor an individual party or person. Where does such money come from? The business of politics and elections is a big business with most of the money coming in from the dubious sources. Criminals in politics are a corollary. Most of the political parties which play a major role do not have democratic system in their inner self.

For up-keeping democratic values, we need to improve the public discourse to understand the varied interests of all the sections of the society having diversity in terms of their individual economic, social and religious matters. We must avoid suppression of the minority by the majority which an election can legitimize. A democratic country must ensure that democracy must prevail at grass roots also to have true representations in all walks of life. It should develop the skills of the management of the resources and their proper deployment to the needy beyond the consideration of vote bank.

When for proper distribution of the results, responsibility and power are devolved in democratic set-up, people on the ground must be trained to have skills and tools to manage their affairs. They must not be made dependent on the remote experts who usually do the experiments without coming closer to the realities. If there is found some imbalance in the results, the temptation is to take away their rights and impose central control and democratically elected governments are thrown away as followed in the private sector. It is therefore imperative that the people must be trained to manage their affairs qualitatively without excessive dependence on the government resources.

In democratic countries, the people must decide themselves what they need, how they can achieve by exploring the resources available and how they can add on genuinely. They must learn how to gain the reasonable share of their efforts without illegally depriving others. They must understand the importance of the national properties and how they must be managed for optimal use to the benefits of all the subjects without any discrimination. They must learn to respect civic rights and follow their own duties towards their nation. If we organize necessary infrastructure on the smallest level of the community for creating awareness of their rights, duties and proper management of the resources, we can ensure that the proper management of the affairs by the people, of the people and for the people will become the true definition of the democracy, which the people actually desire.

Be Happy – Nurture Democracy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Be Happy - Lose Your Extra Weight

Extra weight is generally defined as having more body fat than is optimally healthy. Having extra weight is a common condition, especially where food supplies are plentiful and lifestyles are sedentary. As much as 64% of the United States adult population is considered either overweight or obese, and this percentage has increased over the last four decades.

Extra weight has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults being either overweight or obese. Increases have been observed across all age groups. A healthy body requires a minimum amount of fat for the proper functioning of the hormonal, reproductive, and immune systems, as thermal insulation, as shock absorption for sensitive areas, and as energy for future use. But the accumulation of too much storage fat can impair movement and flexibility, and can alter the appearance of the body.

There are many ways out to lose your extra weight. Some people take the shelter of medicines. Some go for dieting. A few others have been seen to undertake vigorous exercises or jogging. Many go to gyms etc. But it has been seen that regular exercise can not only reduce your extra weight but can keep you away from this illness (I will say, it is an illness).

You are never too unfit, too young or too old to begin proper exercise program. Regardless of your age, gender or role in life, shape or size everyone can benefit from regular physical activity. Getting moving is a challenge because today physical activity plays a very small role in our daily lives as there are fewer jobs that require physical exertion. We have become a society who is reliant on technology and machines rather than physical strength to perform our work and to get around.

In addition, we have become mainly observers with more people (including children) spending their leisure time into those activities which usually doesn’t involve physical activity. Consequently, statistics show that overweight and obesity, along with the problems that come with it (high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, etc.), is on the rise.

Today, there is a growing emphasis on looking good, feeling good, staying as young as possible and living longer. It has been well proven that one of the keys to achieving these ideals is fitness and exercise. But if you spend your days at a sedentary job and pass your evenings watching television, it may require some determination and commitment to make regular activity a part of your daily routine.

To achieve a higher level of fitness, strength, health and wellness requires a sustained, commitment to regular exercise. Without this commitment, other priorities take over and consume our time. It is way too easy to put our exercise program on hold when something else comes up.

Sometimes this is unavoidable but when you find yourself putting your program on hold for months (until it gets warmer) or even years (when the kids are in school), then you are waiting too long. If not now, when will you really be less busy - next year?

A commitment to regular physical activity is a commitment to yourself and those you care about and that care about you. The difference between people who do reach their health and fitness goals and ones who do not is that successful people are willing to do the things that are necessary to reach those goals.

Firstly, you need to identify the habits and beliefs that are holding you back from accomplishing your goal. It is therefore important to identify these habits in order to plan a realistic strategy to eradicate the old habits and create new ones. It is not necessary to pressure yourself to be perfect, all we should look for is improvement and we all have to start somewhere. So start where you are.

Even changing the way you think is a positive step towards new health and fitness goals. Demand a little bit more of yourself with each passing day. Work at making it a habit to think only positive things, work at making it a habit to reach your goals. Creating new habits, new plans, and new beliefs is what will get you to your goals.

Once you become aware of the power you really have, overcoming obstacles will be easier. After a few successes, your confidence will grow and it will be even easier to reach further towards your health and fitness goals.

Just remember that in any area of life you can have excuses or experiences, reasons or results. Your mind is a powerful thing so use it positively and allow it to help you develop self discipline. Make your exercise time a priority; schedule it into your diary like any other appointment and don't let anyone or anything get in the way.

You will be rewarded with loads of energy, new found strength and a vibrancy that only fit people seem to have. You will also find you have an inner sense of well being deep inside you that confirms you are doing all you can to look after yourself. When I ask the members of two gyms about their weight concerns, I make a point of asking each of them what they consider to be their greatest health challenge.

In other words, what is the main thing that holds them back from achieving a more satisfactory level of health? I recommend that if you are serious about improving your own health then you too should ask this same question. Why? Simply because it is hard to reach a destination when you have not properly identified the route you are going to take to get there - and identifying any obstacles that are likely to get in your way is the very first task you need to accomplish.

Let me give you an idea of the kind of thing I am talking about. Eating plays a huge role in our lives, and both what we eat, and how often we do it, can be the deciding factor in whether or not we are going to be able to reach our body weight goals, both in the near future and for years to come.

If you were to take a serious look at the kinds of foods you are eating today, then you may identify this aspect of your health plan as one of the more shaky components. You cannot build on a foundation of sand, and your dietary habits are to the maintenance of your continued health, as the ground beneath your home is to the preservation of a roof over your head - you must ensure that you are working from a solid foundation.

No matter what your current concerns with your health and well being, by taking a hard look at
where you are now, and identifying the obstacles to your immediate progress, you will dramatically improve your odds of success, both in the near future and in the years to come if you firmly determine to do so.

Be Happy – Lose Your Extra Weight.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Be Happy – Do Love Unconditionally

In our life, we usually make a series of perceptions and responses to the external world. It depends upon our vision and understanding of life within our own value system. The noblest vision of life is one by which we see the one indestructible reality in all beings irrespective of their names, qualities, and characteristics. However, the world viewed through our senses appears totally different; no two objects are identical. It is the mediocre vision by which we see all things and beings as different from each other. When your attention is focused on differences and numerous dissimilarities are detected, it moulds your attitude towards other religions, cultures and countries in a negative way. A vision of oneness brings about integration and a vision of differences creates more and more divisions.

We see it happening all the time in our families and with people. It begins gradually as a simple difference of opinion between husband and wife, two friends or two communities. Two brothers clash for a greater share in the property forgetting that they belong to the same family. Once the vision of oneness is lost, differences are perceived which create conflicts generating more and more likes and dislikes. Such a person neither lives in peace and joy nor does he allow others to do so.

A vested or self-centric vision is a low kind of vision in which the person gets fanatically and exclusively attached to just one or some things, persons, experiences or ideologies. This little finite attachment is taken for the ‘whole’. Some people are crazy and greedy over money, while others are fanatical about power or pleasures in life. When people give exclusive importance to just one of the many things of this world, even though they appear to be successful in that particular field, their total life is miserable because everything else is neglected. A person with this vision can never live in peace and happiness.

The life of a person with a noble vision is predominated by just one emotion; the emotion of pure love. However, most people neither know what love is nor understand the meaning of it. Love is a very different thing. Just take the example of our body. Even though you may see the many parts in the body, you must have the vision – “In all these parts there is one Truth, that is yourself. You are present everywhere in all of them.” Therefore, you have equal love for every part of the body. There is no favouritism. You will never say, “I will only look after my head when it is unwell, but if something happens to my foot, that’s not my problem!”

A vision of oneness is a readiness to serve all and it creates an attitude of forgiveness. When we hate some one, we actually hate ourselves, because that someone else is really not different from us. All bodies are made of five elements, hence the material cause of all is the same. At the same time, there is the same life force that enlivens me as others. Where is the difference? Therefore, who is hurting whom? Difference lies only in thinking that it is me and that is yours. If you give a piece of your bread to some hungry person, what will happen? Your own need can be met with to some extent whereas the piece you gave to some hungry person would give some satisfaction to him. In result, he/she would stand indebted and perhaps, at some point of time, you may also get the same treatment in hour of your need.

If we just imagine the state of a person whose heart is filled with love, compassion, forgiveness and kindness, we will find him to be totally happy and free. His unconditional love to other one will never make him worry about the return for the love he has for other ones. Similarly, you can too do the same. For this, you may select some needy on merit basis. Once you help him without expecting any return from him, you will find the peace of mind easily. Kindly don’t make an entry of transaction into your accounts book for the help you are providing in this way.

Be Happy – do love unconditionally to everyone.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Be Happy – Have The Mirror Effect In Your Life

A mirror is an object with at least one polished and therefore reflective surface. We commonly use it for personal grooming. Why so? Before we go to the world, we wish to ensure that we are perfect and if any shortcoming is still there, we try to make up and if not able to do so in time, we make up our mind how to cover up the shortcoming. Mostly we arrange self empowerment to meet the gap.

People, whose personalities and actions tend to push us the most towards the wall, are generally our greatest teachers. These individuals serve as our mirrors and teach us what needs to be revealed about ourselves. Seeing what we don't like in others, helps us look deeper inside ourselves for similar traits and challenges that need healing, balancing, or changing.

When someone is first asked to understand that an irritating person is merely offering him a mirror image of himself, he will strongly resist this idea. Rather, he will argue that he is not the angry, violent, depressed, guilt-ridden, critical, or complainer person that his mirror/teacher is reflecting. The problem lies with the other person, right? Wrong, not even by a long shot. It would be convenient if we could always place the blame on the other person, but this is not always so easy. First ask yourself "If the problem truly is the other fellow's and not my own then why does being around that person affect me so negatively?"

We must put ourselves in front of our mirrors which may reflect:

1. Our Shortcomings

Because character flaws, weaknesses, etc. are more easily seen in others than in ourselves our mirrors help us to be able to see our short comings more clearly.

2. Magnified Pictures

Mirroring is often used to magnify to enhance getting our attention. What we see is enhanced to look larger than actual size. So, we won't overlook the message, making sure we get the big picture. For example: Although you are not even close to being the overbearing critical type of character that your mirror is reflecting, seeing this behaviour in your mirror will help you see how your nit-picking habits are not serving you.

3. Repressed Emotions

Our mirrors will often reflect emotions that we have comfortably repressed over time. Seeing someone else display unleashed similar emotions may very well touch on our stuffed feelings to help bring them to the surface for balancing/healing.
4. Relationship Mirrors

Our family, friends, and co-workers don't recognize the mirroring roles they are acting out for us at a conscious level. Nonetheless, it is no coincidence that we are conjoined within our family units and our relationships to learn from one another. Our family members (parents, children, siblings) often play major roles of mirroring for us. This is because it is more difficult for us to run and hide from them. Besides, avoiding our mirrors is non-productive because, sooner or later, a bigger mirror will appear to present, perhaps in a different way, exactly what you are trying to avoid.

5. Repeating Mirror Reflections

Ultimately, by avoiding a particular person, we hope that our lives will be less stressful, but it doesn't necessarily work out that way. Why do you suppose some people tend to attract partners with similar issues (alcoholics, abusers, cheaters, etc.) repeatedly? If we succeed at getting away from a person without learning what we need to know from the relationship we can expect to meet up with another person who will very soon reflect the same image upon us. Now a second opportunity will surface for us to take inventory of our issues. And if not then, a third, and so forth until we get the big picture and begin the process of change/acceptance.

6. Shifting Our Perspectives

When we are confronted with a personality that we find bothersome or uncomfortable to be around it can be a challenge to comprehend that it is offering us a grand opportunity to learn about ourselves. By shifting our perspectives and attempting to understand what our teachers are showing us in their mirror reflections we can begin to take baby steps toward accepting or healing those wounded and fragmented parts within ourselves. As we learn what we need to do and adjust our lives accordingly, our mirrors will change. People will come and go from our lives, as we will always attract new mirror images for us to look at as we progress.

7. Serving as Mirrors for Others

We also serve as mirrors for others without consciously realizing it. We are both students and teachers in this life. Knowing this will make you wonder what types of lessons you are offering others by your actions each day. But that is the flip side of the mirroring concept. For now you may try to focus on your own reflections and what the people in your current circumstances are trying to teach you.

8. Arranging Self-Empowerment

Like all universal truths, self-empowerment can be understood at many levels, and peeled endlessly like a cosmic onion, Self-empowerment is usually linked with a claiming of your creator-hood – a state of being wherein you realise that you shape your reality, moment-to-moment, through your recurring thoughts and feelings. At deeper levels we understand that this power of manifestation only a by-product, much like producing alcohol while manufacturing sugar.

True self-empowerment lies deeper, in the acknowledgement that you life plans, what you may perhaps call destiny, are wilfully chosen by you for your highest goal and growth towards certain experience or learning, towards expansion of self and disempowerment of the limiting aspects within that self. No matter how challenging these may appear, it is by your true free will that you choose you so-called destiny. Self-empowerment means self-responsibility. Where you comprehend that everything outside of you, which you view as you life or world, is but a reflection of the inner you; there is nothing in your exterior that is not in your interior; you are the cause and the outer is only its effect.

Self-empowerment leads to the profound understanding that there is no other than you. at first you go through a sense of consternation because there is no one to blame – no person, event or thing, neither fate, nor God that you can hold responsible for your life events, because everything comes back full circle to you. It soon dawns on you that if you are wholly responsible for creating your life then you are empowered to enhance it, too. You are not hostage to situations, people, and things outside your self; the point of power is within you and in the now. Blame, judgment, non-forgiveness, fluctuations between feeling the aggressor or victim all start to recede rapidly as you begin to view self as the source of everything outside you. This brings us to another layer of that cosmic onion and the realisation that self-empowerment is claiming your creatorhood yes, but at tripartite levels – your personal realities (relationships, careers), the environment (country, political, educational systems), and your world.

The concept of mirrors asks you to view your life and world as your reflection. If you are joyous and loving it will reflect that; if you are filled with doubt and anger it is what you will see in the mirror. Just as you cannot manipulate the reflection in the mirror, you cannot change your world from the outside. This helps you reinforce that all patterns and recurring situations need to be addressed within; otherwise the future is only a mishmash of the past.

The creator within you is in your belief system; because it is through your recurring thoughts and feelings and focus that you manifest physical life. You live in what is called a vibrating universe and everything you see and don’t see is energy vibrating at different frequencies. Visualize that the field of pure energy surrounding you is your raw material with your beliefs impinging on it; and as critical mass is reached these beliefs become the physical tangibles you call your life or world.

Claim you creator-hood. Take responsibility for you life and world. Know that you create moment-to-moment through your feelings, at tripartite levels, and that there is no one other than you. your life and world is your mirror.

Be Happy – Have The Mirror Effect In Your Life.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Be Happy – Welcome Changes in Your Life

If we deeply study our economic activities, we would find that they can be divided into four parts and all of us belong to one or more categories definitely. The four parts can be named as Employees’ Section, Self Employed persons’ Section, Businessmen’s section and investors’ section. The recent recession had shocked, more or less, every one of us. But there is some recovery and we hope that with the lessons given by this recession, we would grow up stronger. And that possibility is possible only if we accept the changes in our life more willingly.

Some time, such changes seem to us intimidating like during our school days, we found our first day. Since schooling was for our betterment, we adjusted ourselves in the new environment. Such issues might have surfaced when some of us had to shift to the colleges for higher education. Once again, there had been changes and we had to adjust ourselves. In a new place or country, we do not find the dishes of our choice easily. We have to relish with what is available and after some time, we try to dig out if those dishes which were favourite in our native town are available somewhere in the new country. We do it to get ourselves adjusted.

Up to the year 2008, we all were happy with our fat salary packets, if some of us are employees. In 2009, our salary packets faced some deductions or some of us faced retrenchment, restructuring of salaries or redeployment – we had to accept them. The year 2008 was rewarding, 2009 had been rather challenging and this year 2010, we feel, should be promising and optimistic.

There is a change. Changes are for our betterment, we may welcome them with positive note. It is a pleasant process although most of us may like to remain in our comfort zone. If we do not change, if we do not wish to learn the lessons what the year 2009 gave opportunity to go through, we may again be put to more embarrassing conditions. If we take into the last decade, there was a good progress achieved in almost every area of functioning – the employees got good progress, fancy designations and huge incentives. But last year, the employers resorted to make quick fixes and took some more strong measures like lay offs, pay revisions, rationalization and cost cuts.

With the world economy reviving, we can take some cool sigh but as employees, we must forget the mentality of entitlements as the employers now wish more output every time – the emotional attachment has reduced itself when there is stiff competition and some realistic approach is required to be adopted. As employers, we must remember that we must care for the interests of the employees to ensure that our infrastructure is used to the maximum extent. If you team up with good and sincere employees, your profits are bound to go up.

Keeping the juniors appraised positively by sharing the real challenges the organization faces in the work environment, providing them with the motivation to ride the tough wave and equipping them with the tools to deal with the rough weather are a few tasks which must be looked into by the all seniors in every set up. This would build up fighting spirit and may lead to present an accountability process at each point for healthy conclusion for the achievement of the aims of the teams. For that you may have to undergo some changes in your attitude – accept it. The change would always be in betterment of our interests.

It is normal human practice that we do not accept the changes very smoothly – we would prefer to remain in our comfort zone. If anyhow we do accept, we would like to know how the change may bring better results for us. How would they affect our remuneration, work schedules, amenities, training patterns, reporting stations etc.? They must be addressed to well. But sometime, some changes do not serve individual interests but they bring about more prosperity to the organization as a whole which can be shared by all members. We can look upon the changes through this angel too.

We can make an introspection of ourselves to adopt a change. First, what kind of man are we? Do we resist every change? Or do we examine effect of every change before putting out our comments? Are we open to accept the changes being implemented gradually? Or can we take drastic action to reverse if we find that some process is harmful to be carried out further? It is true that different people react differently to a single change whether that is concerned with automation, change of plant, process, location or methods of working/reporting etc.. As team spirit, we have to reconcile with each and every member of the team. To succeed, we must understand that it is imperative to know why the change is required, when it is required and how that change is expected to bring about the result expected. What results may we expect if such changes are effected immediately or gradually? We should like to be sensitive and realistic to the situation, to ensure sustainability and delivery of the results without any resistance from all corners. We may think, think and think over repeatedly before arriving at some decision. And if some decision is arrived at, we must support it with all the hearts and souls’ support.

Now, there is a need to sharpen our knowledge, our existing skills for diversification and/or additions and ready to accept extra work loads horizontally and vertically. The end results would bring about the prosperity more, which has been snatched by the year 2009. Since change is inevitable and there is no way we can escape. We should welcome it. After all, it is the permanent feature of our life.

Be Happy – Welcome Changes in Your Life

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Be Happy – Prepare Yourself To Face, Even The Unforeseen.

The Half Yearly examination session was over. The class of students gathered again for the preparation of the next session. The teacher came in and started to ask the experience of the students with the examination just over. “So children”, began the teacher. “How was the English paper?” Almost in unison the children replied, “Difficult master. Some questions were not even in the syllabus, like unseen”. The teacher smiled. He closed the books for the day to give them a life lesson.

It happens in our real life too when we come across some incidents we had never thought of. Such real-life situations begin to gather larger proportions as we grow older. We are completely perplexed when we have to face situations as they seem to be ‘out of syllabus’. How many situations can we foresee as a surety or occurrence? We must not hesitate to learn anything at any stage.

When a child is born, parents make all kinds of plans in terms of his schooling, education, marriage and happy settlement. Some parents even go as far as planning his/her career. However, in this euphoria of meticulous planning of seeming certainties ahead, we forget that the life of ours and that of the child we are grooming up, has a limited span of time. It is the vital truth which tends to get lost: preparation for death.

Death, the universal fact for all the mortal things including ourselves and those who are very much dear to us, is a mystery to most of us. While we are uncertain as to how and when it will come, we are certain that it will. All things compounded die to change form. The question is: are we prepared for the event? There are two options before us. First, we choose not to think about it. Second, we try and understand the prospect and when it does eventually come we reduce our suffering of facing the upheavals of emotions that come with it, for as long as the process lasts. Either way we cannot overcome the surety of the event.

There is transition and impermanence all around us. In death is creation of new life as in nature old leaves fall to give rise to new shoots. In cosmic happenings stars are collapsing every second to give rise to the new. Our own body sees constant death of cells that give way to new ones. What we perhaps fear most about death is fear of the unknown. Perhaps, no friends, family, known faces would be there, we would be alone in a foreign land. Also, what we are afraid of is the ignorance about who we really are, essentially because we live in a make-believe understanding of ourselves.

How we eventually die, and what form we assume is the result of many factors, our accumulated karma or deeds, our genuine remorse and practices in overcoming our bad karma, the intensity of intention, action and culmination of every karma, good and bad, the state of our mind of life and death. This is determined by conditioning the mind, calming it, observing closely the actual process of thoughts arising in the mind. And the responsibility we attach to dealing with each one of them. Being ever watchful of our emotions, and not merely religious rites, norms and practices, will determine how we actually live our life and how we will eventually die and be reborn like flowers.

Having explained this, the teacher said to the students: “If we are mindful of this, we would be in a position to score well in our final examination. We must always be ready to face anything which we may come across whether we have already contemplated about that or not in advance. Similarly, death and the process of it is never out of syllabus”. The students smiled and understood the essence of the lesson.

Be Happy - Prepare Yourself To Face, Even The Unforeseen.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Be Happy – Review Yourself

In course of time, you can achieve a lot if you work sincerely to accomplish your realistic dreams - a lot, not fully due to some unavoidable circumstances coming up in mid-way. At that time when you are about to finish your work and see that you are able to get to the destination as smoothly you had perceived, you need to carry on self-analysis. You need to see yourself in a mirror - you can find out where you made a mistake or where you need further improvement. It is your self-assessment. It changes the life system.

Here, an old story is worth mention. A man constructed a splendid house. Friends who came were delighted. The rooms on the ground floor were large and well-decorated. They saw the first floor, the second floor and the third floor also. They observed that the upper floor rooms were simpler. Friends asked, “Where do you reside?” He replied, “I like to live on the third floor and my servants live on the ground floor.” They were astonished, “what a strange situation, the master resides in simple rooms and servants live in well-furnished rooms!” The owner clarified that there was a time when his own mother was also a servant. His mother had to eke out a living as a house help. He knew therefore that servants, after having to work hard all day, deserved at least some comfort.

What are the hurdles that vitiate the simplicity and dignity of life ruthlessly? Contemplation of hurdles will pave the way to change our lifestyle. Deception is a hurdle. In that state, solutions will not be workable. Problems will follow and continue. Faith begets faith and deception generates deception. In cunningness, first of all man assumes others to be wicked. He will talk sweetly in front of others and backbite later. Deception is the biggest encumbrance to attaining liberation.

The second hurdle is desire. To have desire is natural but to have endless desires is not. Today’s economist declares that when we feel content our development will stop. Ultimately development also has to be categorically defined and limited. A single man perpetuates development till he economically and geographically makes an empire for himself. This cannot be termed as development. This will be tantamount to an injustice, atrocity, exploitation and cruelty towards humanity. Development ought to be in the correct perspective.

Is development spreading out, extending to the whole cosmos? If a man is gentle, virtuous, and does everything virtuously and ethically then even if he is not doing well monetarily, it is fine. On the other hand, if someone makes a huge pile of money by fraudulent means, it spells disaster. When a man is thin, he looks handsome and graceful. When his body becomes obese, then his future is not good. Doctors agree that if one is thin and lean then he will live comfortably and have longevity.

The membership of the Mayo Club, USA, is restricted to only those who have attained a hundred years of age. A person from that club observed that so far all club members happen to be thin and lean. A thin man can move, sit and stand comfortably. Sometimes fat is not favourable to good health. The gist of development is not only expansion but also limited growth.

Today we are unable to find solutions because the interpretation of development by economists is causing difficulties. Yesterday a man said, “You said in the discourse that there has to be some limitation or boundary, then how can development take place?” if somebody really puts himself behind in the race to let achieve, then he will be the most fortunate man in the world. Where are such lucky people? Where is such sacrificing capacity? Everybody is running, without knowing where this competitive race will terminate.

In the field of self-development, we can be limitless but there we have clearly limited ourselves. When the outlook becomes false, limitless desires crop up. A peaceful and tension-free life is threatened by three encumbrances, namely, false outlook, limitless desires and deception.

For a true life, we must give up false outlook, limitless desires and deception for our own interests. We must carry on review of ourselves as to where we stand. If we do introspection, we would surely give up the bad intentions and become happy, truly.