Futile Outside-Cleansing Inside

There was this boy who thought he was being pestered by his father when he was asked to chant Bhagavad Gita everyday.

He demanded of his father “What is the point when I don’t understand a word of Samskruth it is in written in”

“Just do as I say, Son” replies the father. “you don’t lose anything anyway by chanting it”

A reluctant but choiceless son begins his Chanting practice everyday. A couple of weeks passes by. Apart from the fluency in chanting, he still doesn’t see any benefits or point in continuing this meaningless exercise.

He decides to rebel and goes back to his father, “It simply is torturous going through the motion with no benefits. Pardon me, with due respects to you, I don’t intend to continue this henceforth”

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Father smiles and asks the boy, “See that basket (Tokri) there. Now use it and get water from river and fill this tank ?

Son see the futility of using this leaky basket but agrees nevertheless, anything to escape chanting Bhagavad Gita by rote. He picks it and goes to the river and fills water and walks towards the tank but water is drained out by the time he reaches there. He decides to do this a bit faster

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No matter how fast he was, he was disappointed that he could not add more than a few drops into the tank, let alone fill it.

With a sense of resignation he goes back to his father and says, “I failed to achieve much but what was the point? When you well knew I could not fill the tank with a leaky basket)

Father smiles and replies, “Son, you really think that yours was a wasted effort? No! Look at the basket now. Your effort cleaned it as is now it is as good as new. Bhagavad Gita chanting seemingly appears pointless to you, but effects would be similar – It cleanses you!”

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During my National High School days, Bhagavad Gita Chanting was an essential part of our compulsory morning School Prayers (Starting with Namaste sate te jagat kaaranaaya… which in itself is an amazing sloka to begin the school day with).

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Though not so enthusiastic at that time, “Compulsory for Attendance marking”  left us with no choice but to be a part of it. Led by either Sri KT Sundara Sampath Kumarachar (KTS) and Sri Alasinga Bhattachar (SAB), two of my Samskrutha teachers who lead the chanting session, I vividly remember once Sri KTS saying, “Lord Sri Krishna intended and offered different levels of knowledge/instructions starting with basic level meant for every seeker and then building on it to take a more serious and observant seeker to Elevated levels” It did not make any sense to me at all. It was more of those naughty, not-so-complimentary nick names for those abbreviations KTS & SAB that was more interesting 😉

I also recall when SAB elucidated what KTS said on another day. Bhagavad Gita has a level for everyone like that milk fed to calf first. After milking the cow it is collected in cans which is more elevated (and deeper). Then it has cream and when churned further it gives out Butter and on slow heating gives out Ghee. Each level of more clarified, deeper and purer essence.

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It is Bhagavad Gita discourse time these days from His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in The Art of Living Ashram. If you ever been here one of these days you would agree that, in HIS inimitable simple style,  He is elevating us to the next level of understanding Bhagavad Gita. Somethings that a few intellectuals with limited knowledge (even with the so called Science which itself has been proved and disproved again and again) would never understand. You want to see how beautiful the world is, with the guidance of  a Master, look through my eyes you will know the truth.

||Jai Gurudev and Jai Sri Krishna||

You can follow Sri Sri Ravishankar on various Social Media here (look for Verified mark for official accounts):

@SriSri (On Twitter)

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PS 🙂

I am on twitter https://twitter.com/surnell and on FB : https://www.facebook.com/SureshEn (Profile) and https://www.facebook.com/surnell (Page)

Is this Anti-Rape bill or Anti-Raped bill?

By Ramesh Sethuraman

Bharath has traditions which are highly regarded and followed as social and personal ethics (Dharma). Our ancestors who built the global dictionary for sex called Kamasutra have also defined dharma for bachelorship (brahmacharya), marriage (vivaahaa) and post-marriage (Karpu).

Starting from Vedas to modern age books from west, everyone accept marriage and sex as two souls coming together and not seeing it as just 2 bodies quenching their thirst. Our ancestors have clearly defined what a legal relationship is and what an illicit one. Based on this, our current laws are also defined to a certain extent. In Bharath a sex before marriage is seen as unethical in the society. Similarly after marriage not being loyal and honest to the partner and having an extra marital affair is also seen as an offence and  socially unethical.

Bharateeyata - Seeing Divinity in Everything
Bharateeyata – Seeing Divinity in Everything

Since independence, many governments have come and gone. They have done a detailed study and have confirmed that the minimum right age for women marriage is 18. (This also complies with the age standards set by several developed nations). This is primarily because the girls at the age of 18 attain the right level of physical, mental and emotional balance before they are ready to carry a child. Similarly a right or rather legal age for a man to get married is set at 21 as the person should have physical and mental strength to support his spouse and family. At the age of 18, a girl or a boy will possibly be at her high school so that she has the right knowledge to legally tackle social challenges. Hence the law has clearly defined the age for a major and a minor citizen.

The Group of Ministers of (GoM) of UPA government has agreed to bring down the age of consensual sex from 18 to 16 as part of the anti-rape bill. Many parents and responsible citizens of our country are seeing this as a move by the UPA govt with malicious intentions of destroying our nation’s tradition (Paramparya), ethics (dharma), integrity, discipline and family value system. There is an urgent need to see beyond what is put up in papers.

Redefining the Baseline - Prescription for increase in Violence against Women
Redefining the Baseline – Prescription for increase in Violence against Women

Although everyone including the minister for Women and Child Development want the age of consensual sex to remain at 18, the UPA GoM is forcibly bringing it down to 16 on the ground that marriages happen at an early age in rural India saying that the bringing down of the age will prevent in criminalization of sex. Unfortunately, the government has failed to create awareness in rural India regarding the ill effects of early age marriage and doing this to justify the failure as success.

Let see first why the age for consensual sex must remain at 18:

  1. Till the age of 18, children are under the custody of parents or legal guardians and they are not entitled for making legal decisions.
  2. Any decisions taken by a minor will be emotionally immature and hence the law considers it as null and void.
  3. As per Indian constitution, the age for legal employment is 18 and below 18 is considered to be child labor and it is a punishable offence.
  4. Today teen pregnancy is a major challenge in the so called developed nations of western world. (There are ample reports available on the public domain).
  5. Kids below 18 years might not engage in sex with proper protection such as condom / contraceptive pills. This might lead to transmission of sexual diseases and may also result in teen pregnancy.  This will lead to increase in abortion rates and may result in death of the girl if not done properly or at the right time.
  6. In the case of consensual sex at 16 years, the responsibility of the pregnancy will not be the kid’s own but the entire family’s (parents or legal guardian)
  7. A girl might have sex at 16 and get pregnant. But she will not be legally eligible for marriage. This might be beneficial for a sex seeking boy but not for the girl or her family who will face trauma due to social issues and might even get forced to commit suicide.
  8. Teen pregnancy will result in fatherless children who will be psychologically affected and it has been proven that many fatherless children engage in crimes. (Reports available in public domains)
  9. If a girl is raped at minor age (assume above 16), the rapist can escape legal battles or win through blackmail or by threatening the girl and her family.
  10. Some families might disown the pregnant girl and the girls might end up committing suicide or may end in the wrong hands of society resulting in growth of prostitution rings and illegal drugs.

Our government is keen on internet censorship to curb voice of public. Similarly they are interested in media censorship and they debate on TV’s like FTV which may contain semi-nude contents which is common for European countries like France. Where as the same government is not worried porn sites which has adults only contents but are freely accessible to children home alone!

If the bill is successfully passed as per new recommendations of GoM, at the end only the Hospitals, drugs companies, Condom companies, etc., will get benefitted. Probably this is part of UPA’s economic reforms agenda for short term. In future, based on similar logic, govt may even try to reduce the age of consensual sex even further which will only be beneficial to wolves with sexual thirst.

Lowering Age for Consensual Sex - An exercise fraught with dangers
Lowering Age for Consensual Sex – An exercise fraught with dangers

Not sure if this is part of the UPA’s employment creation and economic development plan to attract foreign investments by making India a sexual tourism hub and create lot of prostitutes from young citizens who have great potential to build this nation’s future and make it proud in the world stage.

Jai Hind!

(You can follow Sri Ramesh Sethuraman on Twitter here)

The Golden Ring

Returned back from a very brief sojourn to Chennai – sweltering heat and profuse sweating pretty much describes the trip. Someone approached me for my opinion on the course to pursue (this person was at career crossroads) and it set me thinking. Seeking advice is such a serious business of late, since there seem to be no dearth for people who ask for and dish out advices.

Should someone’s opinion about us matter too much to us? Shouldn’t we apply some discrimination in taking advices or opinions and act accordingly? Why live life to someone else’s standards, especially if they don’t qualify to be your counsel in the first place? Let us be wise builders and role models. Take care of yourself, and those you love…today, and every day!

Reminded me of a story that a senior teacher and Disciple of His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar ji Founder of Art of Living (you can follow Him on Twitter here : https://twitter.com/#!/SriSriSpeaks )

Read on….

A school boy went to see his teacher to talk about a problem that was troubling him.

“Everyone says I am good for nothing” he complained. “No one believes that I will ever achieve everything. They think I am stupid and lazy. How can I become a better person? What do I have to do for people to appreciate me?”

Without looking at him, the teacher answered “I am sorry, lad, but at the moment I have problem of my own that is occupying my mind, so I can’t help you” he paused and then continued, “But perhaps if you first help me to solve my own problem I could look at how to help you with yours.”

“Of course, Sir” said the boy. But inside he felt let down and small.

The teacher took a gold ring off his little finger and held it up saying, Take your horse and go to the market. There you must sell this ring for me as I need the money to repay a debt. Obviously you must get the best price you can, but whatever you do, don’t accept less than one gold coin for it. Go, and come back with the money as fast as you can.”

The boy took the ring and left. When he arrived at the market, he started to show it to the stallholders. They seemed very interested and were keen to know how much the young boy wanted for it. But when he started to talk about a gold coin, some of them felt about laughing while others just walked off without a backwards glance.

Only one old man was kind enough to explain to him that a gold coin was too much too much to ask for an old ring. Trying to help the young boy, he offered him a bronze coin for it, and then a silver coin. But following the instructions of his teacher not to let it go for less than one gold coin, the boy refused all offers.

After having approached every stallholder and passer-by in the market without success, feeling extremely downhearted at his failure, he got back on his horse and returned to his teacher. How he wished that he had a gold coin himself that he could use to buy the ring, thus freeing the teacher of debt so that he in turn could help him with his own problem!

He went up to his teacher and said, ”I am sorry, Sir, I have failed to achieve what you asked of me. I could have got two or three silver coins for it, but I believe that we can’t mislead anyone about the value of this ring.”

“What you say is very important” replied the professor with a smile. ”First of all we have to find out the real value of this ring. Get back on your horse and take it to the jeweler. Who else can know its value better than he? But whatever he offers you for it, don’t sell it to him. Come back to me with my ring.”

The boy went and to find the jeweler and held out the ring to him to examine. The jeweler scrutinized it through his magnifying glass, weighed it, and said “Tell your teacher that if he wants to sell it today I can only give him 58 gold coins for it.”

“58 gold coins!” exclaimed the boy.

“Yes. And in a while I might be able to give him 70, but if it’s an urgent sale…”

The boy ran back to his teacher in a state of excitement to relate what had happened.

“Sit down” said the teacher. After having listened to the child’ story, he said, “You are like this band of gold; a unique jewel of immense value?” So saying, he put his ring back on his little finger.

The student then realized, a lot of them who adversely commented on this guy were like a stall holder who aren’t qualified enough to realize his worth. It also was an eye-opener in the sense that he realized the importance of seeking guidance or opinion from the right person – teacher was the jeweler who realized his potential which was that of a gold band.
The point to note, never go for an advise when you are too anxious as some researcher points out as a result of his study. When you are deep in the well, you cannot have a proper perspective of possible solutions to extricate yourselves out of that situation. Approach someone who generally has no stake in the solution but understands you well (but make sure he is the jeweller and not a stall hold

Remember a solution is not necessarily a stress reliever. You would end up with more than one solution as a result of this advises received. Helps to Sleep over it for a while – As the chinese proverb goes – When confused, take a pillow and go to bed.