Shades of grey

Life can never ever be black and white. Your decisions can’t be just right or wrong. There’s always a grey hue. Your principles and environment you have been exposed to are behind your decisions. Next time you criticize anyone’s decision live their life first and then talk about it -which is simply impossible. So better not criticize. No you can’t even imagine being in their shoes and claim your right to being critical!

Feeling blessed and grateful! :)

It is so wonderful to be among relatives. Even better if its a function specially for your parents. Dad’s Bheemaratha shanti (done at the start of 70th year) happened as wonderfully as it could. All the relatives, well wishers and friends are what we are. Our life revolves around them. I’m happiest when I’m with my loved ones. Its true for anyone I believe.

You feel so connected with your family. There’s no bliss or sense of security higher than being part of that big extended family, the family that cares for what you care, folks who understand you inside out, the cousins whom you can rejoice the moment you see them, the elders who are always doting and treat you as a baby for the lifetime, friends who always stand by your side. We can never experience true happiness without this connectedness.

Thanks to all who were able to make it for Bheemaratha Shanti and also to those who were not able to come -I’m sure they would have had a compelling reason for not coming and would have had their heart and soul in the event.

When we met after 17 years

I think I’m obsessed with reconnecting with friends – especially childhood friends. Thanks to the social media and more because of whatsapp. I try my best not to lose a single opportunity to connect face to face with old time friends. The joy of seeing a classmate after 17 full years is the awesomest (stole this word from the character Barney of HIMYM :)) thing to do on earth! One needs to experience it. We started chatting as if we have been seeing daily. I don’t know if even the proverbial started from where we left applies here. It felt like we never stopped to even start again. We were revisiting our classrooms. Talking about other classmates.. giggling about the sweet teen crushes. It never felt like we are meeting after so long!

Ok this was a threesome meet- Lakshmi, Satya and me. Have been speaking to Satya and have also met her a couple of times since a few months now. But Lakshmi as I said earlier met after just 3 years short of two decades. I have always known Lakshmi as a very kind person. There’s something in her which makes anybody under the sun comfortable connecting. Laskhmi had planned her vacation with her two adorable boys to Bangalore to visit her parents. Her parents’ house is quite close to my workplace. Her father who is so concerned and protective about his daughter-literally dropped her at the venue. I really admired him for that! The venue was a food court near my office. Lakshmi arrived and called me. I sprinted down to see her.

We talked about us, about our husbands, about our kids and many more things… After a while Satya joined us. A chirpy girl who is never devoid of enthusiasm. She is a friend who is always there the listen and help. She too lives in Bangalore not very far from my house. My connection with Satya has blossomed in last few weeks… Its nice to have a good friend in the same city. Though we may not meet often, but just the thought that we are reachable is quite comforting.

We kept on chatting over lunch. Don’t remember how the food tasted though! After all we were busy sharing our life stories. And the thought which Lakshmi expresses had a profound reality- You can’t talk the way you talk to school friends with anyone else. With no hesitation you can share anything under the sun. No inhibition, no second thought whether to express or not to express…no pretension.

I’m gearing up to meet one of my BFF this month end and I’m sure our rendezvous  will be as memorable as ever!

Let Go…

What is it that you would want to let go? You may say everything you right now own or have is just yours. where does the need to let go really come. Hold on. Take a peak into yourself. Here we are not talking about your bank balance or the car or the house that is registered in your name and other numerous commodity that you own. Once you take a look inside you would know that letting go these material physical possession is far far easier than letting go what you would find when you closely watch your mind, your thoughts, your emotion.

Yes that’s what you need to let go… unwanted thoughts, emotions that don’t take you anywhere, relationships that drain you out, so called knowledge that is there only to boost your ego. I’m sure everyone will have atleast a few items here…In fact the list will go on and on. As I write I’m myself overwhelmed by the never ending list of what I need to just drop.

But why is there a discomfort to move on? When you cannot possess the thought or emotion in the true sense. Can we really move on or drop a thought? What exactly is a thought? Something that is passing. Is there a way you can really hold on to it. You can’t hold on to the original thought its just the reflection of what already passed your mind. Am I making sense here. You cannot nurture the thought you cannot nurture what has already gone. You can either talk about space or time not both together. So if you say I have this thought it has already passed. Its an illusion that we are holding on to it. So what really you need to let go is the tendency to replay something that has already occurred.

If our true state is being just happy, being in bliss then what meaning does anger, misery, jealousy, or any vice really have. Isn’t that we are in illusion when we say I’m angry? How can you be angry when you are happiness. How can you be disappointed when in the core there’s just happiness and contentment.

So again what emotions are we letting go? It is just this illusion that we need to let go for the happiness to surface. To live king size we have to stop being a beggar- begging for acceptance from others, begging for love and attention from others. How much we depend on relationship to experience this happiness. If this is what it is then how do you let go. Just the realization of this very fact will vanish the need for letting go. The wish that was there has no meaning any more. You feel so relaxed in tune with yourself so light when you know all this is just a façade and the reality is not this. Then what exactly is the reality? Where is the happiness? Go inwards and one day for sure you will find what it is!

Am I right?

More often than not we face situations in life where we have a choice to make. And many a times it might not be clear as to what is right and what is wrong between the options that are open to us. In every act we do we are consiously or unconsiously choosing the way we want our lives to manifest.

Lets see what we term as right and wrong. What determines the criteria we look at to make this decision? Essentially it is the values that we have developed over a period of time. Which starts from what we observe in our family, school, neighbourhood and society at large. Our culture, religion, caste and the place where we belong to are determining factors to the way we think. In other words we are conditioned by our environment.

One point that we see here is that a right for one person can be a wrong for another? For example, we have seen so many cases of honour killing coming to light in recent past. And if you probe these families they will justify their way of thinking. But in bigger cities we find such things to be absurd and inhumane where people operate in the other extreme wherein morality itself is not defined!

So how do we determine what is universally right and what is wrong? The challenge is to go beyond our conditioning and not get skewed by it  and try to evaluate purely by rational thinking. It requires immense awareness to be able to make such decisions. This in most cases will be a tougher call and you may not be able to convince everyone with your reasoning as to why you chose something over another which most of the world would consider as wrong.

The courage lies in still going ahead with what you think is right. The word “think” CANNOT be replaced by “feel”.  Whether we like it or not we are what we are today because of the choices we made in the past. And does it really help if we go back and review some of the key decisions that we made in life ?- May be; may be not.

Come back my wandering mind!!

I have never had such a wandering mind. So much consumed by myself. I thought having a baby makes you selfless! But it is otherwise. Or am I looking at myself closely only now.

Its so easy to get lost in the ocean of emotions. I think the pregnancy and post partum hormonal changes play a havoc on the mind. Need to be watchful otherwise can lose vision any time.

Or is it just to justify the current state of mind. Why can’t I be just be happy in myself. Why can’t I just not be as is. This is the period that I’m having a life transforming experience…. even more transformational than delivering a baby.

And I’m really lucky to remember the right person.. may not be at the right time but definitely before things could get worse. You need the proverbial friend, philosopher, guide to put you on track when  you wander. At every juncture in life the person may be different but the message remains the same. “Look unto yourself.”, “Watch your mind.”, “Watch your emotions.”, “Watch your thoughts.”, “Bring some discipline.”

It just takes a second for that catherizing experience. And your thoughts are transformed for ever. And you start seeing your life more objectively devoid of emotions.

I have been fortunate to enjoy the brilliance of motherhood. That smile on my son’s face is priceless. How much I had wanted a child. But when I look back at any desire in life including a want for a child once fulfilled doesn’t sustain your completeness for long. You crave for something more. What next? What else?

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Rudra Puja with a Swami from AOL ashram

I just wanted to attend Rudra puja because someone from the ashram was coming and was sure it would be a good experience. But honestly I thought anyway Guruji is not coming.. it’s just his disciple and so didn’t expect to transform my bhakti so much…I met one of the co-participants of DSN and she asked who is coming from the ashram.. I fumbled with my mobile and checked the message to get the name of the seer.

It was 4 pm now. People started pouring in… everybody smiling at each other and echos of Jai gurudev everywhere…there was so much joy already in the air…One of the person in the group suggested chanting Om namah shivaya and singing a few bhajans… And all of us started with the chanting and the place was high on energy after a few chants.

Swamiji arrived. We started singing a Guru song to greet him with all respect. There were three more pundits accompanying him. He smiled at the audience. I could feel the joy, devotion and warmth overflowing from him… But my small doubting mind said –he doesn’t look like an Indian…how is he going to perform the puja?

He took his designated place. With so much attention and style he did each action – from adjusting his angavastram to pulling back his tresses to arranging the table for puja.. Breathe taking… But the doubt is still there!

Then the puja began and I was awestruck with the devotion that he did the Guru puja… as if all the Gurus were present there…it filled everyone with reverence. Though I have read about rituals and have heard Sri Sri himself speak about it, when Swamiji spoke about the act of doing puja and meaning of these rituals I was enthralled and was put to the next level of  devotion. My doubts were dropped and peacefully saw him perform the abhisheka. He did it with so much love and bhakti. As suggested by Swamiji I meditated when the chanting was still on. Probably I never had a deeper meditation in my life…

And then it was time for alankaram… So gracefully he would pick each flower and garland and arrange them over the shivling. With so much attention he dressed the idols knowing that it would be dismantled in another few minutes. It was like a mother would dress up her kid for a special day. I felt Guruji’s presence – what bliss…

I got the golden opportunity of touching his pious feet. He blessed me and smiled at me…and I have not stopped smiling ever since! How apt his name is – Swami Purnachaitanya – Complete Conciousness.