Friday, September 18, 2009

Monsoon Magic.

It was 31st August, I was walking toward my home, deeply lost in my thoughts, when I saw two men in the corner of a farm. “The clouds are here” said one farmer to another. Both of them looked toward the sky, one of them drew a fistful of mud from the ground below, raised his fist high above his head and released the mud. Both curiously studied the shape created by the falling mud, “it will start raining in 20 minutes” the second farmer said to the 1st. They smiled triumphantly, looked toward the ground and said a silent prayer of gratitude.

I always thought that prayers are said looking toward the sky, this deviation made me very curious. Acknowledging my presence and curiosity, the older one said “We all look toward the sky and believe that beyond all those beautiful clouds lies an all powerful intelligence that guides our lives and determines our fate. But why do we, especially the city bred people, prefer to believe in something that far away? Why not look at something that’s right before our eyes, the very manifestation of the miracle?”

Saying this, the wise old farmer walked away, and I was left wondering …“Why not look at something right before our eyes… what was he exactly referring to…?”

I recalled having read the Gaia Theory which postulates that the Earth is a self directing, self regulating living organism. I also recalled that a lot of Pagan societies are known to have worshipped the Earth as the Goddess of Life & Fertility. The Earth was revered as the Mother, a living throbbing deity who attracted all good things to her children – Rain, Water, Sun, Soil and life – a Miracle. Similarly, the Upanishads also place the Earth on the pedestal of a Goddess. It is remarked that time is a horizontal concept, and that all that has happened and will happen – has already occurred. The passage of time stands for nothing but our movement through the space. This movement is regulated and controlled by the Earth (more on this in the next article J). It is remarked that the Earth, like a true mother, guides her children through the cosmic soup called the universe.

“Mother Earth”, I mused even as it started to rain. I took out my umbrella (which in itself was a manifestation of a miracle that I had remembered to carry it!! J) … “Our mother bears us in her womb for 9 months…. There is another Mother – Mother Earth. Who never lets us out of her womb… she uses gravitation to keep all her children close to her warm heart. We were connected to our mother through our navel; we are connected to this mother through our feet. She gives energy to the very people walking right across her body, and gets them to sleep on her lap when they need rest. She attracts all good things to her children; she conspires with the universal intelligence to create the illusion of time lending meaning and substance to our life…”

“There is, beyond those big heavy clouds, the all powerful God. But, down here we are in physical contact with a magical reality… Earth, the manifestation of the Holy Mother…” . I become conscious of the sublime and silent presence of the Mother below my feet, and get overwhelmed… Looking down toward the Mother, I throw my umbrella away, close my eyes and bask in the warmth of the cold rain…

* Inspired, inter alia, by one of Paulo Coelho's books.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Left or Right...

“Should I take a left or a right”? I wondered, having gotten myself lost for the n’th time in Pune City. It had started to rain, I needed to decide quickly. That was when a thought came to mind,

“What determines our decisions?” - All our decisions are governed ‘Thought’ (which may manifest itself in from of Rationality or emotion etc.) Our thoughts define us.

“But where do the thoughts come from?” - Science doesnt have an answer yet; Spirituality says that thoughts mainly come from the karmic conditioning – they come from the God.

Coming back, both Left and Right would lead me to different places, different possibilities and perhaps, different outcomes – different destinies.

This, now, brings me to a more fundamental question. “Is destiny Fixed and Pre-determined?” (There is a difference between the two!!) - I admit to being a firm believer in Destiny being Pre determined (otherwise how do we explain the ‘de-ja-vu’ dreams that we keep having from time to time).

So now the question remains “Is destiny Fixed”? The fact that I am free to take a left or a right, and the possibility of a unique outcome in each instance, leads me to believe that destiny is not fixed. A Fixed destiny, further, seems to be repugnant to the Laws of the Universe as it renders important virtues like hard work, nobility, philanthropy meaningless. (If destiny is fixed and non changeable there is no incentive to work hard, stay away from bad habits, help people etc.). Also, a fixed destiny would bore the hell out of the God!! J

So, Destiny isn’t fixed but it’s predetermined. This means that there already exist two unique worlds: one in which I have taken a left, and the other in which I taken a right!! J Worlds with their own unique outcomes and unique ( but predetermined) destinies!! Quantum Physicists call this phenomenon as ‘Alternative Universes’, i.e the Universes that exist parallely with each other. Thus, every decision that we take, creates an alternative universe.

The Bhagwat Gita says that the God is the Sum total of the all the stuff comprising the Universe. On juxtaposing this wisdom with the theory of Alternative universes, it becomes clear God is the Sum total of all the alternative universes…Decisions of ours lead to alternative universes. The alternative universes define the God.

All this leads to a startling conclusion…. God defines us through thought, we define God through Action…. J “Whoa!!” I exclaim, still unsure whether to take a left or to take a right…

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Need For Speed!

It’s a Saturday morning; I am taking an early morning casual stroll towards the Agriculture college ground.
I notice a BMW speed past me at the speed of nuts! "Gosh", I say to myself," what a car! What speed"...
The word ‘Speed’ triggers off a thought process…”Speed is the hallmark of scientific progress - almost all the innovations in Science are intended to achieve or increase the "speed" of some or other thing ( Think about this).”

As I enter the Garden a revelation dawns upon me “ as civilizations grow more n more mature the lifestyle tends to become more n more pacey. The Bombay life is a case in the point”….. I start wondering why….
The sweet fragrance of the flowers has me spell bound, even as I start getting the answer …“ The physical world is the manifestation of the mental world. The fastest entity known is “thought”, speed of thought is greater than any speed that one can think of, much faster than the speed of even the light…. The physical world is inherently inclined to catch up with the speed of mental world ( ie the speed of thought). It is this ‘Need for Speed’ , of the physical world, that causes advanced civilizations to be much faster – in terms of anything – than the primitive ones. "

” Its this inclination of the physical world ( i.e the tendency to gain speed ), that has kept driving, and will always keep driving the pace of lives. The more advanced the civilization gets the more pacey it will become. This necessarily means that, a time will come when the BMW, that had majestically sped past me, wont , relatively, be as fast as it is right now. Science will keep throwing up innovations that will keep feeding into the physical worlds ‘Need for Speed’.”

I approach a juice vendor ( Tapri types), and order an ‘all mix fruit juice’, even as my thoughts continue their aimless journey.. “ Light is the fastest entity in the physical world… Will there be a time when science reaches a stage so advanced that will be able to travel faster than light?....” My juice arrives, I take the 1st sip… its delicious… n so is this thought… “ a no. of physists have argued that if 1 can travel faster than light one will be able to travel back in time… So this, necessarily means that a world where one can travel faster than light would be a world where there would be no difference between the past, the present and the future… no dichotomy between the physical and mental worlds…that would be the world of spirit… the world of God himself….the salvation of the Earth…”

Even as I finish my juice, a handsome Enfield Bike speeds past me… I smile to myself and walk away. :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Irony Of Recession

I met with an accident recently, on the Holi day…  Certain individuals were, merrily, playing away with Engine oil right in the middle of one of the busiest roads in Pune. The slight drizzle completed the lethal combo; an accident prone spot was, thereby, created.

My bike slipped, I fell to my left. Got a couple of bruises on my left knee , shoulder  and elbow. Not too much of damage – strangely…Dozens of other people also slipped; the sight would have been hilarious, had I myself not been one of the victims. J ( How I envy the awestruck spectators who were trying hard to suppress their laughter !!)


As I tried to gather myself, I heard a gentleman, a fellow victim, murmur abuses in the general direction of  “ the lack of civic sense amongst “gaonthi” ( country side) people, the inability of infrastructure to measure up to the  demands of  our huge population” blah blah blah…


I had engine oil all over my body-  on my shirt, my pants, my helmet – “Yuks –what a mess”, I thought. As I picked my bike up and resumed by journey home, I noticed that neither I nor my bike  had suffered any significant damage ( I mean Injury that would be sufficient for me to get a leave the next day!! J)… strange I thought, I had slipped pretty bad, my bike had got thrown a good 15 meters away from  me…. “How come I am not hurt?” I asked myself… It was then that it occurred to me that “The oil that had caused me to fall, saved me from the injury…. It acted as an insulator for my skin, and avoided friction with the ground…. “Gosh” I thought “ Life, they say, isn’t without a sense of Irony…”


My thoughts then shifted to the guy who had fallen beside me…” India’s biggest problem… too many people, too high a population…. Too many un-sophisticated rural people… rural people… no access to the world, people still happy living in “self supporting” village. Rural population… makes it impossible for the country to take off, get developed….”


I reached home… my newspaper told me that the Indian Economy is still the 2nd fastest growing in the world ( the suspicions of falling growth notwithstanding)… My news paper also told me that US , despite all the illustrious bail outs attempts, will record a negative growth;  that most of the developed countries, especially European, are tottering under the recessionary pressure – that Countries, let alone banks, are on verge of bankruptcy. I wondered how My country is doing much better than its “developed counter parts”… It was then that it struck me that:


1.      The huge population, the so called “No.1 problem of the country”, ensures that the demand ( especially for basic goods) never falls below a bare minimum ( which, again ,because of the sheer size of the population, would be significant);


2.      That the fact that exports are an  insignificant contributor to the GNP, thus a reduction in overseas demand , from a central perspective, doesn’t affect India, as much as it would affect a country like Japan or a UK;


3.      That most of the population lives in Villages ( about 65% );Most of the Villages are “self sustaining”; Making it difficult for Mr. Recession to create a similar  impact, on India, as he has done in developed countries;



Huge population… self supporting, disconnected villages… the factors that supposedly would never allow the nation to get developed, the biggest stumbling blocks in the development path are , now, the ones arresting the fall, insulating the Economy against the pains of recession. This is the irony of recession, a new food for thought that has forced me to think “  is the big population good or bad”… waqt waqt ki baat hai. Life, they say, isn’t without a sense of irony. J