What attracts Westerners towards Hinduism

A lot of westerners are drawn towards the Vedic Dharma and have found an inner peace in them. Their number continues to increase for the good of all and then naturally, the question arises – Why? What is attracting them towards Hinduism as its most commonly and erroneously being called or the Sanatana Dharma?  What makes them leave their most comfortable and advanced countries and come to India for a search within? What are the possible reasons for them to think that this Vedic way of life is what they’ve been looking for? This article reviews some of the important factors on the same and emphasizes the Vedas as the supreme yardstick of reference. This article also hopes that the citizens of India continue to look upon Westerners, who are looking at our glory and thereby realize our own greatness.


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Not just charity, Satsang begins from home too!

We pour out ideas and expressions during brainstorming. A proven fact is that the collective minds when focusing on one idea arrives at a more deeper understanding and an effective solution. But this buzzword “brainstorming” had an evolved form in the earlier days. It is called Satsang, where Sat meaning ‘good or noble’ and sang means ‘union or gathering’. The wonderful part is, it began from every household.
 
How it was then
* Earlier days, the sons and daughters talk to the elders about how their day was.
* The talking resulted in exhausting their stress.
* Supporting words from elders wiped off their pressure and re-energized them for the next day.
* Through open discussion, they came up with new perspective.
* The experience and wisdom of the elders helped the younger one to better equip themselves.
* The grand children look forward to start off a remarkable journey in the imaginary world, pouring out of the stories from their grandparents. The stories had moral value, courage, determination, perseverance, everything carved in beautifully. 
 
 
How it is now
* Everyone is transfixed to television. Work is adjusted based on the timelines of teleserials.
* There is no regular, healthy discussion in families.
* The kids have their choice of programs too or they are glued to their PCs.
 
Like Charlie Chaplin the Great said “we made aero planes and radios to come closer, but we got confined inside them”.
 
Child glued to TV

 

The outcome
* We feel exhausted
* Dangerous – the kids feel alone, less appreciated, throwing more tantrums and becoming passive watchers of tv, learning all sorts of things unwanted to their age
* They eat whenever they watch tv and it becomes vice versa!
* Obesity in children, wearing glasses at a tender age is on a alarming rise – an interesting perspective here is that they seldom get to watch things that are far away, like those beautiful tall trees, landscape, greenery etc. that we enjoyed during our childhood.
* other medical issues for both boys and girls
 
Eating and watching TV, they are inter-linked
 
 
Have you seen how healthy an American kid is, when compared to ours (well, don’t take the example from the above picture). The physical activity has become almost nil, posing a great threat to our society. We care for our Tigers, why are we quietly watching the tigers of our home becoming a weaksheep?
 
What can be done
Any issue ought thave its solution, only if we are determined to find one. Whenever you get some free time, as a family – please consider the following:
 
  • discuss about your dreams
  • talk to your parents and elders on how their day was
  • let the children showcase their talents for the family to appreciate
  • the laws of science is universal. Just like how one cannot see clearly in a water that’s stirred up, the  mind needs settling down too.
  • when things seem like chaotic, lean back and breathe deeply for a few minutes, just focus on breathing if you can, if dozed off, its good too for a powerful nap
  • most importantly, put the television to sleep. You will do this if you feel the importance of the people around you than those models who keep crying after getting paid handsomely. Doesn’t it occur how foolish it is to pay money through our nose for the electricity, cable connection to watch them cry?
  • don’t get carried away by the commercials with white-blazer scientists showcasing their packed “ours is the only solution for your problem” product. Try natural methods instead. Do you still believe that these commercialists know more than what the Mother Nature knows about you?
  • statistics shows us that people who are happy spend very less time watching television. Instead they choose to read, talk to loved ones, and pursue their dreams, yes, age no bar.
Remember. Only you can help yourself and we have a responsibility to provide a better future for our younger generation. Act now!
Image courtesy:

Multi-tasking, the wrongly conceived and most abused word

 
If there is one word that is wrongly misinterpreted and abused in work-life, it is the term multi-tasking.
 
Having been appreciated by the team on being good at multi tasking, I think back now and reflect. Is multi-tasking a polished word for being distracted?
 
To say upfront, doing too many things at the same time is NOT multi-tasking.
 
There were time when the job description had this word, almost in every openings. It reads like the following:
 
  • ability to multi-task
  • excellent multi-tasking capabilities
  • to be able to get multiple things done at once
 
…and so on. It use to be so funny reading those descriptions.
 
Thankfully, the jobs section almost got rid of this word nowadays as people started realizing the true meaning of it.
 
If you want to be truly productive, then focus on the task at hand and just that.
 
The following points could help being productive and less distracted.
 
* Having a precisetime to start and stop things.
 
Multitasking Clock
 
 
* I was surprised to see one of my colleagues who marked his objective and goal settings for the coming year with the following point: “come and go on time”. Do we need to say more?
 
* Switch off your gadgets when attending meetings and trainings. Gone is the time when people wondered at the person who kept sending texts and checking emails during meeting or training hours. They are now perceived either as a show off or the one who is not so efficient. Switch them off and ye shall realize that the world won’t turn apart.
 
* Focus on one task at a given point of time and just that, nothing else.
 
What is true multi-tasking then?
 
There isn’t any I am afraid. Like the computer makes you feel that it processes multiple requests at the same time, but only one thing gets executed at a given point of time. Likewise, focus on the task at hand. 
 
Example from The MahaBharata
 
Dronacharya asked the Kuru princes on what they see, pointing to the wooden bird target kept amidst the branches. Everyone said they saw everything, the tree,branches, leaves, the other princes around them, even including Dronacharya, in addition to the target. The only exception being Arjuna. He saw only the bird, no, not the bird, but only the neck of the bird which Dronacharya asked to aim. This is a perfect example for focus and concentration but I found it apt for focusing on one thing at a time too.
 
Focus on the task at hand. You will know that you are able to accomplish much more in a shorter span of time than running here and there doing small bit of everything and having done nothing as a whole.
 
Questions to the reader:
 
I am sure you must be adapting some techniques that you find useful and time saving. Why don’t you share them here for the benefit of us all?

Sanatana Dharma & Information Technology

I happened to meet an interesting person who is a specialist in the domain of IT. From the many different topics we discussed, an interesting one about Hinduism came out. He began to relate Hinduism with terminologies commonly used in Information Technology. The interesting talk that we had is gladly being presented here. For those who feel the terms to be Greek and Latin, please check the end of this article for an amateur’s definitions about them. You can read this article first and later re-read it with those derivations and appreciate how well it matches :). Enjoy!
 
I had this thought about Hinduism, although might sound funny at first, its matching terminology with that we have in IT. It is so wonderful how they conceived such great thoughts so long ago and formulated a system (Dharma) which can be both the oldest and the newest, all at the same time.
 
Sounds interesting.
 
Yeah, see here, we talk about Fault Tolerance a lot. I think Hinduism has built in Fault-Tolerance. By saying this, I don’t literally mean that the system (Hinduism) has failures as in IT term which means that it continues to run even when some part of the system fails. But how it continues to run even when it is faced acute threat from external sources, I meant.
   
 
As you may know, Hinduism faced times where in its people were threatened to be killed or forcibly got converted if they wish to live. Even then, it survived through the constant appearance of preceptors who rise from time to time and by those honest common-men and women who incessantly followed through however little in number, which is phenomenal.
 
Hmm!
 
It has RAID built-in, which means its ideals and philosophies are distributed across various means (levels) which can be recovered even if its lost.
(eg) have you read Siddha’s songs that deliver deeper meaning when looked deeper yet providing simple truths and analogies from the surface? If you read it plainly, it does not seem to contain anything in depth, but if you know the inner meaning, it leaves you awestruck. 
 
 
Another example is the rangoli’s that we put in front of our houses. They are remarkable symbols of energy, as said by one of my Reiki master.
 
Built in backup. The Vedas are a perfect example. They are NOT books, they were NOT written, but were perceived and realized by sages. They say that one who is good at this science can actually listen to the vedic verses even now, which are in the ether (cloud computing! – available in the cloud, at all times – hey, don’t make fun of me, but I find this whole thing very interesting). It was Sage Vishwamithra who said that the universe is reverberating with the sound OM and it is said that one can hear it during their advancement in meditation.
 
No, no! Please go on, I find it interesting too.
 
Extensive support – here too, we get exceptional support from various sources, Parents to be the foremost, followed closely by the Guru, and with such a massive awakening of Hindus initiated by greatest men like Adi Shankaracharya, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, our Saint of Kanchi (Paramacharya), Sri Ramana, The Buddha,  (..and he goes on naming the great souls of India which will require another long endless post so I present just a few of their names here). What marvelous souls are they? They came in for the salvation of the poor and they lived only for that. They provided support to the downtrodden masses like anything. I sometimes feel very primitive and tiny before the compassion and knowledge they all had! (he keeps his head down, in deep thinking…and in a while…) – Hmm..!
 
These souls put forth greatest truths in such simple terms and they marvelously have interwoven them in our day to day practices. Have you ever wondered why we show camphor to our Gods?
 
Yeah sort of, but I would love to hear it from you.
 
(smiles) You too are a perfect IT guy, who says ‘I don’t know’ in polished terms. The camphor represents our ego. When we burn it, we get to see our soul. This is why they show arathi in temples to the Murthy, who is dark (like the soul is behind the dark veil) to tell us ‘burn thy ego to witness thy self’
 
 
 Image Courtesy – Flickr
 
Whoa, that’s a wonderful thought. I use to think why these people burn camphor making the whole place stained black etc. Hmm…I feel I am so primitive now!
 
It is scalable, meaning it has place for everything, everyone and continues to grow more. Great thinker, philosopher, saint, blind-folded follower of rituals, superstitious (their superstitions are derived out of the ignorance but not from the system), everyone has their place here. More scientific revelations are paving more clarity to the followers accelerating growth. Have you checked SSRF and IISH? They come up with excellent articles on meditation, chanting and they urge you to study the Sanatana Dharma, question it and understand it, so as to follow through, thoroughly.
 
 
 
Based on requirements (individuals who question everything can follow the Gnana Yoga, ones who are devoted can follow Bhakti yoga and the likewise), one can choose the path that suits them. Sanatana Dharma does not expect the same coat to be fit in every Tom Dick and Harry. We are different and so is our perception, style and level of maturity. Fascinating too is that even the atheists do have a part. They are the ones who follow the stronger ‘Nethi Bhava’, which is negating the non-real by saying ‘not this, not this’ till they find the absolute truth. This falls under the broader category of Gnana Yoga, yoga of discrimination.
 
To sum up, I would say, Sanatana Dharma (aka Hinduism as it is commonly misinterpreted) is the perfect, state-of-the-art, Open Source  system ever. If we think of copyrighting the whole lot of truths laid down by Sanatana Dharma, its unimaginable since the very foundation of our human evolution, like Indus Valley Civilization and the Vedic period, seems to have erupted from this! The truth is laid down before you. You are free to test it, question it and validate it, and realize yourself. Sometimes it is modified by people to suit their comfort also (a not-so-great part however). By open source, I just mean the extensive source of knowledge is available to rich and poor alike. This is a system that seems to have benefited the poor more than the rich. I think India as a whole must start its Open Source methodology to solve its current problems.
 
This is a marvelous analogy. Thank you for sharing it with me. It was wonderful listening to you about it.
 
I am not sure if you’re thinking ‘this guy’s system (pointing his head), must have crashed’ but I enjoyed chatting with you too! 🙂
 
 
Terminologies and their IT derivations:
Fault Tolerance – the design which enables a system to continue operation, even at a possibly reduced level, rather than failing completely when some part of the system fails.
 
RAID – Redundant Array of Independent (as opposed to inexpensive, which is matching too) Disks. It is a storage technology that combines multiple disk drive components into a logical unit. Data is distributed across the drives in one of several ways called “RAID levels”, depending on what level of redundancy and performance (via parallel communication) is required.
 
Backup – It simply means to have a safe copy of your data that you find important. It is usually stored elsewhere, like in an external hard disks, internet (SkyDrive from Microsoft) and the likewise.
 
Scalable – how well a system enables addition or growth, like adding more hardware to an existing setup.
 
Open Source – is a philosophy or pragmatic methodology that promotes free redistribution and access to an end product’s design and implementation details, the product is free to be used (like free food)