A guru and his disciple were going through a forest.
While they were walking on, a sudden growl of a tiger was heard.
The disciple freaked out and out of fear climbed high up a tree,
While the guru found a clearing and sat himself down to continue singing bhajans
The tiger appeared soon after and came around to where the guru was seated,
He sniffed around for a while and went away.
The disciple came down the tree surprised and soon they resumed their journey through the forest.
A few paces after, a fiercer growl, yet again of a tiger was heard.
This time the guru freaked out and out of fear started trembling.
The disciple surprisedly asked him why he was scared now if he wasn't so before?
The guru replied saying that earlier he was immersed in singing god's name and thus was unaffected
But now, he was affected by the company of the disciple.

Such was the story that Morari bapu happened to share yesterday among few other tales. I am sharing it here after a strong personal experience of the effect, that those whose company we keep may have on us.

The beginning of this year had been pretty rough for me; not because of anything else but my failure to nurture the precious connection I had always maintained with Krishna, my lovely friend on earth and all those awesome beings on earth whose pure actions and thoughts inspire feelings of courage, fearlessness, love and hope; in whose presence I am always reminded of the best me that I can be. Instead I had let myself forget and be surrounded and overcome by well-meaning yet petty ignorant thoughts and words and unknowingly grew distant from that infinite source that nourished my spirit. I had lost all sense of direction or worth and having lost my reference, could not distinguish right from wrong and could not listen to that inner voice that always guides us; such was my misery. The turning point definitely came after the inevitable; though I cannot say I'm cent per cent glad for the way it came; I found my Earthly self turning mean and finally my spirit could take no more and let the Universal self shake me up and I exclaimed- This is not who I want to be! For now, all I can be is thankful as that jolt sure woke me up and got me seriously considering a cleansing and here I am.

Satsang literally means "true company", to keep company of the highest truth.
Here, I recall a couplet by Kabir:

संत ना छोड़े संतई, जो कोटिक मिले असंत 
चन्दन भुवंगा बैठिया, तऊ सीतलता न तजंत। 

Saints leave not their saintlihood despite coming across a million wicked rogues,
Just as the sandalwood tree that discards not its coolness despite having snakes coiled around it.

There may be very few saints indeed and I do not claim to be one; but I do believe that we all have kernels of saintliness within us among many other kernels of all other 'nesses'; wickedness too.
And it is up to us to decide what 'ness' we choose to cultivate; and more importantly to assess what 'ness' we are unknowingly cultivating in our ignorance. We all have it in us to make whatever we want of ourselves.
Here I would like to share a very apt set of lines that caught my attention only a few days past:

"You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay?" -- Jim Rohn

Ask yourself these questions, and have the courage to be honest;
Ask yourself the big question, and have the faith in yourself to meliorate.

It is important, to not blame another for our plight because in the end we always do have a choice, or shall I say 'in the beginning' ;-)
Here I'd like to share a favorite couplet from Kabir:

बुरा जो देखन मैं चला, बुरा न मिलिया कोय
जो दिल खोजा आपना, मुझसे बुरा न कोय।

I went out into the world to look for evil, but find none did I;
Then I looked within, and found that there was none more evil than I.

I write this post to above all, share some magical awesomenesses we are surrounded by and emphasize the importance of the effect that the things we feed ourselves each day, each moment have on us- it includes what we see, what we hear, what we read, what we eat, the company we keep- things that we choose or do out of habit or by default just because everyone else is doing it;
It helps to first take an honest look at ourselves: observe what we speak, what we think, how we behave and see how it tallies with how we ourselves wish to be treated, and then assess where it comes from; the output is going to be only as good as the input; but again there are always moments where we go beyond it all and surprise ourselves when we tap into the resourceful realm of the unknown- those rare moments of pure bliss!

I shall end this post with some wise words from the last conversation between Uddhav and Krishna before he left earth. An excerpt from the eleventh chapter of the Bhaagwat:

Uddhava: Krishna, who is powerful?
Krishna: Powerful is not the one who conquers the world, but one who conquers his own nature. It so happens that the conquerors of the world oftentimes become helpless against their own nature.

Uddhava: Who is misery?
Krishna: Misery is a life without satisfaction.

Uddhava: Who is wealthy?
Krishna: Wealthy is one of true character.

In the end, Krishna tells him:
Uddhava, whatever work you do, dedicate it towards me.
Be careful to not envy another; to not compete with another; to not neglect another.
Generally, people tend to envy those who are ahead in wealth, knowledge, status or age:
Respect those who are ahead; envy them not;
Be friendly with those who are similar; compete with them not;
Empathise with those who are behind; neglect them not.
All of this is the royal path of contentment.

He said- "Uddhava, this knowledge that I am sharing with you, impart it to those worthy of it."

Love and kindness,

7th September, 2010

Here today, from another day

Hi Krsna!
I am at this juncture where i feel i have seen everything in life and i am at peace with the world where i have no serious issues with anyone...
Death- I think this is the time for it coz this is the time when the adventures of my age are at an end and i am at the threshold of adulthood where new adventures start with its own load of experiences..
If not now, then i guess death shud come in peace when i turn 100...afetr the adventures of the next level r over...
But i have a dream of doing something about the critical issue where humans are afraid of measly things like marks, passing, rejection..which drives most of them to death...really is so much more than these frivolous things
Education is the root i think which if worked upon cud really bring about change
Government system is another and the more critical one coz that is the place where laws are made, universities are headed, ppl are supervised..that directly or indirectly is the root which needs to be cleansed or uprooted.
the inadequacy of one human being at the top leads to inadequacies one cant imagine at the bottom inadequacies which have driven ppl to death voluntarily or involuntarily
Every human being must have the basic needs to survive only then will he or she get the time to indulge in things deeper which life offers things like art, music, dance, basically creativity expressed by exploration of oneself
today, sadly most of us are in the race to earn a living and not realising that once v have earned enough to sustain our living v can afford to indulge in our true interests but instead v keep goin further n further down the line of earnini more n more so v can afford to have the so called luxuries of life..
For example, if i am wearing clothes off the street today, tomorrow i will get to wear branded clothes
today, if i go to dhabbas for food, tomorrow i can go to 5 n 7 stars
today, if i own a measly phone, tomorrow i can own a blackberry or stuff that apple produces
But in all of this, clothes remain clothes i.e. they cover ur body,food remains food i.e. they fill ur stomach, phone remains phone i.e. u get to keep i  touch wid ur loved ones...
So wot is the big deal???
Is it bout quality??? i think that is an illusion coz not all brands offer that, not all hotels offer that n not all phone companies do so either!
So wot is it that v as a human race are running after and craving for???
It is the respect that v give to the lee coopers n the 5 n 7 stars, the blackberries!!!!\
So, who has taught us to respect them?
Media? Newspapers? Internet? Roadside billboards? yeah n where do these come from? from the brands themselves....
So wot do we learn?
If u hve enough money to advertise yourself n ur stuff n call it the best and the never known before..u can make people like u and respect u!!!
So if a really amazing dhaba which is in a pretty unknown spot is sponsored for advertising itself, it is gonna be the next fashion fad of the year!!!

So wot r we doing here? Aren't we just fooling each other? just creating respect around things that dont really matter so much to life????
V hve a mindset in our society now which revolves around these things which i must say has been created and fed into our system which is creating all the pain, stress of the life as we know it today.
Where does this leave us?

How do we as a society shake this mindset off of its pretensions and create a new one where there is place for things that really matter i.e. love and respect for everyone irrespective of what they own but for who they are....?? 

A Business Plan?

7th August, 2013

I am wondering if it is possible to sell an item at a price that the buyer proposes?

Basically, you make something and when someone comes to you to buy it, you ask them- How much can you afford to give? How much do YOU mark the value of this item as?

Now, this may pose a problem in cases where you are dependent on some basic amount to make that something and you may not earn enough to sustain yourself to make more of whatever it is that you are making.

In that case, you calculate the precise costs in production and mark that as the minimum amount to be paid so as to help sustain the business; and the details can be transparent to the buyer. This way, even if there are any fluctuations in the basic costs, one- it keeps you constantly conscious of what goes into the making (kind of like a ritual for honesty) and two- the buyer can be assured that they don't run the risk of being cheated in any way (Trust) Beyond the minimum amount, it would be upto every individual to decide if they wish to give anything over and above that, depending on how much value they place over that item.

Now for this, it would be very important that the business would be in something that one truly enjoys doing and as long as one is getting to do what one enjoys doing, it shouldn't matter at all whether you get anything over and above the minimum price or not. In a way even that wouldn't matter if your major interest is in the point of this business plan (expressed towards the end) That extra amount would be considered as a bonus; which in fact should compensate for customers that actually cannot afford even the minimum price. The best thing? That bonus could be in any form! Maybe a sponsoring of making a certain more number or even just a lunch or dinner?

Another important thing would be to not display or celebrate or show off how much bonus each buyer gave- it would be a very misleading thing to coax competition among the buyers and one would lose sight of the whole point of this exercise. Each buyer is an individual with their own way of placing value and their own standing which shall in no way be judged or compared. The individual can decide based on the mood or based on how happy the product makes them, based on whether they can afford it or not, based on how much they really really would like to have it, based on how miserly or how thrifty they are etc etc etc, and the best part is that these factors can change consciously, each time they come to buy something.
That, I think is the point of this Business plan. To focus on the Individual.

Personally I would avoid even the minimum cost- it would be more adventurous and open up many more possibilities!
I don't know if it can work or if it is feasible; I know this is a very basic idea with loopholes aplenty- so kindly drop in with your views or further questions or possible scenarios you can imagine and maybe through some brainstorming, it can actually become a workable model to work with? Maybe you can just drop in with angst or wonder -anything that this made you feel or anything that this reminded you of? I don't know.

17th August, 2013

This caught my attention today and I share it here as it expresses succinctly, the core intention of this business plan:

"The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become. That is why I wish to pay fair price for every value. If I have to pay for it or earn it, that makes something of me. If I get it for free, that makes nothing of me." -- Jim Rohn

To let every individual gauge the value and give them the opportunity to make something of themselves.

Thank you Universe for the clarity!