Saturday, December 17, 2011

19- The reason for Life

'God sleeps in the minerals, 
dreams in the flowers, 
awakens in the animals, 
and in man knows that He is awake.
- Paramhansa Yogananda

A child being programmed to
take life seriously..:(
'..The Universe has been created only for time-pass..', my father had said to me with dismissiveness. On my questioning glance,  he clarified that  that this had been said to him by his guru. Hmm.. studying was then just another boring time-pass.. I logically concluded. My mind started to fill with all the other things I could be doing to pass time in this universe.   Thankfully, my mother, realizing the thought process going on in my mind,  scolded me to get back and study..Life is no timepass..its serious work..she reminded me.

Joy in climbing a mountain
My mother's view about the seriousness of life stuck with me till my father passed away. Seeing his body turn to ash made me realise that maybe life is not meant to be taken too seriously. After all, one day, my body also will turn to ash and all the mundane worries of this world will not matter anymore. It was this thought that made me realise that there has to be a purpose why god created the universe in the first place. Surely, God could not be sadistic!

There is a saying that 'when the pupil is ready the guru will appear'. The guru appeared in the form of various books, the most important of which was the book ' Conversation with God'. The book mentioned a story which went like this..

In the beginning, there was just  'one supreme being'. This 'being' was all and everything. There was nobody else. It got bored as there was nobody else with whom it could talk or communicate with. There was no struggle as it got everything it wanted. So the being decided to do something about it. He utilised his sole power of dreaming and dreamt the universe. At first, he divided himself into innumerable things, both animate and inanimate and the drama began.

But there was a problem, no matter how much he divided himself, every part knew that all are the one and the same being. As such, there was no excitement or fear. So the 'being' decided to alter the program of the dream so as to make everybody forget who they are  and also that they are the one and the same being. And as such the universe came into existence and the drama of life started."

Joy in Exploration
The above story amused me initially as it meant that this world is a dream and that I am part of god. But when I thought about it deeply, it began to make sense. If I am part of god, then I should have the power to dream.... which I have. Infact, I create my own universe in my dream and I do not know I am dreaming while I am in the dream. A solid thing in a dream feels like a solid thing. A pain in a dream  feels like a real pain. Talking to a person in a dream feels real.

Infact, research has proved that every living and moving thing be it animals and even  babies are born with an innate power to dream and create their own universe.

Wow.. it was so simple I thought. From this perspective, when I went deep into science , the entire mysteries of science, be it the formation of the universe, the emptiness of atom, the power of thought over matter etc.. began to seem so simple and no mystery at all.

God definitely created this universe for time-pass and enjoyment by having nice and different experiences. This is also implied by the design of the human body which is made for enjoyment and begins to age faster in the presence of stress.

Understanding the reason for life made me a lot less serious.  My dad's guru was is for time pass and enjoyment..I am doing it  by  writing this blog..and you are doing it by reading this blog....:)

( not tell the same to your kid right now..else their studies will go down the drain..)



Ofcourse, the higher purpose of life is to continuously evolve higher and higher and ultimately be one with god. Knowledge of reality is essential. Also, the sages  have said that meditation is the fastest way..control the mind and u control this dream. This is for another blog though..:)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

18 - Steve Jobs: A Dreamer by default

" In Steve's mind, there wasn't the slightest doubt :
 Mac was destined to change the world,
 and it would be the most insanely great product ever".
- John Sculley, 
Ex-CEO of Apple
The man who fired steve jobs
 from Apple

"..This is too amazing!..I wonder why somebody did not think of this before..". I was talking to myself when I first got hold of the Ipod Touch. I got such a delight from using it that I cannot put it in words.   Over the course of the year, I got hooked on to all things apple especially the mac and the ipad. For the first time, I understood what was meant by the term 'user experience'. It was just fantastic!!

Steve's apple finally
changed theworld.
Ofcourse, the man behind  apple's fantastic and industry changing products was no ordinary guy. He was the rock star of the tech world. He was a guy, who at birth, was put up for adoption by his real mother. He went to college only to drop out to purse his interests in calligraphy  and then leave everything behind and come to India to look for enlightenment. He returned later to his home country with a shaven head and in Buddhist clothes. While he admitted that he did not find god, he did however begin to perceive things in a different way. He began to see and desire  beauty in whatever he did. This ofcourse helped him in designing the mac while he was in apple which became a run away hit and was later copied by Microsoft when windows was first made. He was later fired from his own company because of his individualistic way of doing things without taking the company board into consideration. He started another company called Next and another one called Pixar Animation.  Years later, in a remarkable turn of events, apple bought Next and as a result, he got back into apple which was on the brink of financial collapse. Within a decade, apple became one of the most valuable company in the world on the strength of its products which were designed by steve jobs personally.

The most successful
executive almost always
wore his Levi's and black
turtle neck t-shirt
How did he do it? Did he really know that the world is a dream and can be changed by intention and visualisation? Reading about his thoughts and other people's understanding of him,  it seemed to me that he did not know this  but he instinctively followed this approach. He always visualized  that the mac would change the world and never had a doubt about it. He would say to his designers many times that he has visualised a product with an amazing user experience. He would not take 'no' for an answer because he never had a doubt about it. The entire apple engineering team set about turning steve's vision into reality.

Rest in Peace Steve
On October 5, Steve Jobs died. Did he change the world before he died? Some would say that he did, some would say that he did not. But to me, when I see my son ( 4 year old ) doing maths puzzles on the ipad and being excited about it, it becomes obvious  that he did change the world in a very profound way that we as yet, cannot fathom.


Steve Jobs on Wikipedia
The stanford University address ( video)

Monday, July 18, 2011

17 - The Illusion of Being Old.

"Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery:  
He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, 
and he has saved not only his soul but his life."
 ~G.K. Chesterton

'Mind your age..You are 60 now'...the wife told her husband in a stern voice.  The rebuke came because her husband suddenly became very enthusiastic like a kid while  showing me his house with a view of the swimming pool and describing  what joy it is to stand in the balcony and watch people (meaning..women ) swimming. He became silent ( sad perhaps ..) as soon as he was reminded of his age. My initial reaction to it was that of amusement. I smiled thinking that the old man has forgotten to act according to his age. I felt sorry for him.

Now, the above incident just appeared in my mind after reading the popular vedic fable, which goes like this :-  

"A god and a demon went to learn about the Self from a great sage. They studied with him for a long time. At last the sage told them, "You yourselves are the Being you are seeking." Both of them thought that their bodies were the self. 

The nature of the demon was ignorant, clouded; so he never inquired any further, but was perfectly contented with the idea that he was God, that by the Self was meant the body. 

The god had a purer nature. He at first committed the mistake of thinking: I, this body, am Brahman: so keep it strong and in health, and well dressed, and give it all sorts of enjoyments.

But, in a few days, he found out that that could not be the meaning of the sage, their master; there must be something higher. So he came back and said, "Sir, did you teach me that this body was the Self? If so, I see all bodies die; the Self cannot die." The sage smiling  said, "Find it out; thou art That." 

Then the god thought that the vital forces which work the body were what the sage meant. But. after a time, he found that if he ate, these vital forces remained strong, but, if he starved, they became weak. The god then went back to the sage and said, "Sir, do you mean that the vital forces are the Self ?" The sage said, "Find out for yourself; thou art That." 

The god returned home once more, thinking that it was the mind, perhaps, that was the Self. But in a short while he saw that thoughts were so various, now good, again bad; the mind was too changeable to be the Self. He went back to the sage and said, "Sir, I do not think that the mind is the Self; did you mean that?" "No," replied the sage, "thou art That; find out for yourself." 

The god went home, and at last found that he was the Self, beyond all thought, one without birth or death, whom the sword cannot pierce or the fire burn, whom the air cannot dry or the water melt, the beginningless and endless, the immovable, the intangible, the omniscient, the omnipotent Being; that It was neither the body nor the mind, but beyond them all."

I understood the above fable as it resonated with my theory that the world is a dream and that the soul is dreaming this world. As such, the dreamer is unaffected by the dream. It all made sense... But I could not understand as to why the incident about the swimming pool popped in my mind right after reading this fable. I figured that the answer will present itself in due time and as such did not think much about it.

I was right. The answer came while I was browsing a website. My eyes went on a quote mentioned on the website.

"A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; 
on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of 
continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves 
in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention."

After reading the above quote, my conclusion about the swimming pool incident changed. Instead of feeling sorry for him, I thought he must be feeling sorry for me. Perhaps, God was teaching me that Age.. is just a number...:)

Monday, May 2, 2011

XVI- The Magic of Mantra's

All that is comes from the mind; 
It is based on the mind, it is fashioned by the mind"

- The Pali Canon
( A Buddhist Scripture  )

Mantra's are an important
aspect of Buddhism
I remember  my father's Guru saying that mantras have real power behind them. To get any specific result, there are specific mantras for which the pronunciation has to be proper along with a focused mind and intent. Infact, he was adept at Atharva veda, the ancient science of magic and charms, having learnt it from the Himlayan masters. He had even written a book on Atharveda. 

After he passed away, I forgot about his book and his words regarding the power of  mantra's. Moreover, I did not believe that few innocuous  words alone can change an outcome. It did not fit into any science or any logic that I had been made aware of.

Sound creates patterns like above
in water. The new Science
has been named as 'Cymatics'
That was until I  discovered a video on  entitled ' Making sound visible through cymatics. '. It showed that sound vibrations can make matter fall into various design patterns. Wow..this was something which was not expected by me.  My curiosity was aroused.

Wanting to know more, I searched youtube. I  came across a video titled Bringing Matter to life  wherein it was shown that sound vibrations can make matter reorganise into specific patterns mimicking life forms, galaxies etc. The video gave me a rude jolt. This could not be real...I reasoned. How can something as fine as sound vibration have the power to  create patterns mimicking life forms ??

Swami vivekananda
A spiritual Scientist
My question was answered pretty soon soon as I  got hold of another book by Swami Vivekananda.  In the book, Swami Vivekananda reasoned that ultimately, the greatest power is really in the fine and not the coarse. To explain this concept with an example,  I quote from his book..

"..when we see a man lift a heavy weight, we see his muscles swell and all over the body we see signs of exertion.  But it is the thin thread like things, the nerves that bring the power to the muscles. If we cut off these nerves..the muscles will not work at all. These tiny nerves bring the power from something finer still... thought... and so on and on"
As I thought about it, it began to make complete sense..a car  runs because of fuel transferred to the engine through a thin pipe.  Similarly, an electric motor spins because of electricity transferred to it through a thin wire. It quickly struck me that the world being a dream, everything actually comes from the fine and the unknown power of the mind. So it is actually no surprise that the everything which moves in this world ultimately moves from the power of the fine and the unseen. 
Researching further to understand why and how mantra's work, it became clear that the ancients understood that sound can make intentions manifest faster in this dream reality. In a sense, they used mantra's as a tool to unify thought patterns and bring it into alignment with the highest and the best desires.

Wow..It was a new perspective which I had gained..I  realised that all the power is  in the fine and the unseen..  and size alone does not matter...:)

check the video links above..its a must see..unbelievable!!!!
Swami Vivekananda- The Power of the Fine.
The Pali canon
Is sound behind Crop Circles?..A thought provoking article

Sunday, February 20, 2011

XV- The Birthplace of ideas and solutions

" If you cannot find the solution to your problem..sleep on it".
                                                                                                         - An old adage

The intuitive (sub-conscious ) mind is a sacred gift
    and the rational (conscious ) mind is a faithful servant.
 We have created a society that honors the servant 
 and has forgotten the gift."
                                                              - Albert Einstein

It was the year 1994. I had my board exams and as such had to wake early. My mother told me that not to worry and just tell to the pillow ( yes!! ..just before going to sleep )  what time to wake up, and I will. I did not think much about it at the time. I did as was told and was later surprised that my sub-conscious mind did wake me up at the exact time. I had successfully commanded my sub-conscious mind !!

I wondered how and why it worked but did not put my mind on it  as I had a lot of other mundane things  on my  mind those days. But as I researched the subject of the mind, I began to realise the beauty of the sub-conscious mind. I began to realise that it can not only be commanded but can also give us solutions and ideas that we search for.

Indeed, the Industrial revolution was started by the AC motor, the design of which came to Nicole Tesla in a day-dream.  Further, theory of relativity on which modern science is based came to Einstein in a dream. The structure of benzene and carbon also came to Kekule in a dream.

Further, Dr.  Otto Loewi, popularly known as ' The father of Neuroscience' , attributed his nobel price in 1936  for his work on the chemical transmission of nerve impulses in brain, again to a dream. Infact, after analyzing many discoveries, Dr. Loewi noted " Most so called 'intuitive' discoveries are such associations made in the subconscious".

It is not only discoveries that have come to people in dreams but also creativity has struck people in dreams. The song ' Yesterday ' by the Beatles came to Paul McCartney in a dream. He was so amazed by it, he mistakenly thought he must have heard it before somewhere.

Why is the sub-consicous mind so intelligent and our thinking and rational mind so dumb and merely a servant?. With this question, I slept..thinking that I would get an answer in my dreams..:)

well..I waited. some days answer came. I remembered that  I am one of the many persons  who hardly get any dreams while sleeping. My enthusiasm wained and  I forgot the question. However a few days later.. there was a black-out in our area. I held a torch in my hand and had just begun to climb the stairs..that the answer just came to my mind. Our 'conscious or rational mind' acts like a  torch. It can only see and work as far as the light reaches. In other words..its just a very small part of the entire mind. On the other hand, the sub-conscious mind works in the dark. It does not have to deal with limitations of the torch.

I was so  surprised that the solution came to me while I was awake and not in a dream as was the case with all the scientists and artists..but... just then another question struck.... isn't this reality also a  dream???....... :)


P.s- Would love to hear about your dream or comments on this blog. Please add your comment below..would be useful to others for correlating  their own experiences.


BBC article on the creativity of the sub-conscious mind.
Just google  " famous discoveries in dreams. "
A wonderful article on sub-conscious and typing