The most important book that I read this year was titled ‘Krishnamurti For Beginners: An Anthology’, published by Krishnamurti Foundation India. I had purchased this book sometime around 2006 when I was in Ahmedabad, and had already read it once or may be twice. This was my third reading of this book. Krishnamurti rarely fails us and always impresses us by his insight into problems and issues we come across in our everyday lives. After a biographical sketch and an outline of Krishnamurti’s philosophy by Radhika Herzberger, this book presents a collection of Krishnamurti’s writings, diary notes, speeches, dialogues and conversations. He does not belong to any religious sect or philosophical school; instead, he has a direct and straightforward way of looking at things, and through every piece of writing or conversation he encourages you to look at ‘what is’ instead of ‘what should be’. According to him, this conflict between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’ is the root cause of most of the problems.Continue reading
There might be several things which you do not like; however, note that the world does not run according to your preferences, your likes and dislikes. You are not the centre of the universe; so if you want everyone in the world to live as per your likes then it is too much asking. It is not without any reason that God has kept the system administration of the world with Himself, and created you and your account with selected privileges which we call as ‘free-will’. Otherwise, you would agree, given that every individual has a personal preference and wants the whole world to acknowledge and accept it, satisfying everyone is simply not possible. Any attempt to do so would only lead to utter chaos. So let the world be as it is. Of course, there are certain things which are absolutely incorrect and you are completely justified in opposing them, just as there are others which are correct and one must take every trouble to ensure that they happen. Not only that, one should be prepared to make any number of sacrifices to let that happen. Here the choice is not between good and bad — which is a matter of personal taste — rather between correct and incorrect. At the same time, such universally good or bad actions which I have named as correct and incorrect respectively, are quite few and are generally accepted by everyone. On the other hand, for most part, most of the things that you want to happen or not happen are merely a matter of personal taste. Live and let live — that is the formula if you like to call it that way.
Everyone seems to yearn to make the world happy— the leaders, the social workers, the teachers, the youth, the parents, everybody. Nobody has the formula; in fact, nobody even seems to have any idea about what happiness implies, yet such eagerness to spread joy! It is not surprising then that in this eagerness we only end up creating more chaos, those who we try to make happy become more sad, those we wanted to make happy end up becoming more miserable. A lot of effort and pain could have been saved if instead of trying to make others happy — that too without even knowing what it actually means — we ourselves become happy first. When we are happy and full of joy and love, that warmth is spread in our environment and those who come in our contact experience it as such. A blown out match stick cannot ignite a flame, only a burning one can do. If you yourself are sad, how can you bring happiness to others? A warm and beautiful smile on your face has the strength to lift people from depths of depression and dejection, to uplift spirits and give courage to people to move ahead in their lives with vigour and agility. Gloom spreads gloom, happiness spreads happiness. Again, happiness is the characteristic permanent state of a mind at peace with itself; it is not pleasure, which is momentary, transient and is only concerned with its own interests.
Relationships are the mirror through which we look at ourselves. We start with trying to understand our beloved and may be our relationship, however, the farther we advance in our relationship, the more we discover about ourselves. How we relate to the other people in the course of the journey together allows us to understand ourselves. If you say you do not understand the other person, it means you do not understand yourself at all. It is not abstract philosophy, instead a plain simple fact. Conflict in relationships arises from a conflict within oneself. The world appears queer when looked through a broken glass. A twisted perspective results in a biased outlook, even simple sights are turned into complex and complicated scenes.
Emotions are not love. As long as you are in the trap of emotion, understand that you do not love. We have been brainwashed by movies, TV soaps and novels and poetry that emotions are synonymous with love. They are not. Emotions are like waves — they have ebbs and crests, they come and go, one moment when you are with your beloved, you are joyful, the moment he is gone, you become sad, he does not reciprocate your affection, you become upset, he resists, you become offended or angry. Is that love? Love is like a steady flame in still air; it does not waver, it does not flicker. It remains constant in joy and sorrow, difficult and easy times, it only gives but does not ask for anything in return. It is only concerned with spreading happiness, and that is all it knows. Wherever there is love, there is no pain; wherever there is pain, there is no love. With emotions you are concerned with yourself, while with love you think only of your beloved.
In one of my earlier posts i mentioned the importance of maintaining a harmony among different planes of our being — physical, mental and spiritual. In another post I explored various reasons behind the over-occupation with the physical while ignoring the mental plane. My hypothesis is that this preoccupation is due to an eagerness to impress others who are more likely to see our physical plane rather than the mental plane.Continue reading
Our individual self consists of body, mind and soul. However, the focus of nearly all our activities is on the body — taking food, doing exercise, and doing things which bring pleasure to our senses. This is further encouraged by print, electronic and social media through regular columns, advertisements and programmes. On the other hand, few people take interest in mental pursuits like reading books, writing, contemplating, analysing, and having deep, thoughtful and meaningful discussions with companions and colleagues. In our society, mental pursuits are mostly limited to collecting degrees and passing competitive exams. And the third part — the soul — is nearly always ignored. Nobody takes a pause to look into oneself, to connect with one’s own self, to search for the meaning of existence and life. So, in a way we are living life with only one-third of ourselves — the body. But mind and soul also demand our attention. If we have ignored our mind all along, then in moments of crisis, we have no idea what to do, we get restless and even trivial problems throw us into panic. And when the soul is starved, we feel it in the form of emptiness and vacuum inside. It is like a child crying out when it is hungry. Only that person leads a truly successful and happy life who gives equal attention to body, mind and soul.
It is amusing to note that human being who has created such marvels of culture and civilization has also invented several ways to destroy those very marvels. Mostly the human mind, which is credited for our accomplishments, is also blamed for the miseries faced by humanity. In all such debates and discussions, one factor that is often ignored is that mind itself is not the whole being; instead it is just a part of our overall identity. It has its importance, but has its limits also. Hence it should not encroach upon the territory which is not its domain — the fields of love, harmony and beauty. But still we love to think. We choose to think about beauty instead of looking at it, prefer to talk about it instead of understanding and appreciating it.Continue reading
This week I am sharing with you my views on the book City of Nine Gates by Pankaj Rajput. First of all I thank BlogAdda for offering me to review this book. The format of this book is complex so that it cannot be classified into any particular category. It has a story containing brief and frequent episodes of time travel and fantasy. Indian philosophy is the backbone or rather the foundation of this work. In a way, you can say that Rajput has used the narrative to explain the basic concepts of Indian philosophy. Keeping this in mind, note that the narrative itself is of secondary importance here, whereas the philosophy remains the primary objective and highlight of this work. Also note that the success or failure of any published book depends not only on the writer but also on the publisher and editing staff. Continue reading