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Forever Happy Now! Posts

So intuitive – part 2 of 2

In Vedic/Hindu spirituality, intuition is known as the directly perceiving faculty of the soul, and it is a powerful tool that allows us to know the truth about everything without relying on sensory experience or reason.

According to Paramhansa Yogananda, the highest form of intuition – true intuition – is developed through regular meditation and practice. Here’s some guidelines for how to do this:

Meditating regularly every morning and before going to bed at night. Sitting quietly and feeling a calm peace.

After meditating, sitting still for a long time, enjoying inner peace.

Meditating until the breath becomes calm. Then concentrating simultaneously at the point between the eyebrows and the heart, and asking God to direct our intuition so that we know what to do.

It is said, that when our intuition is fully developed, we will stand firm in our knowledge and convictions, no matter what challenges may arise. By developing our intuition through meditation, we can come closer to the divine and experience a deeper connection to the world around us.

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So intuitive – part 1 of 2

Have you ever had a feeling about something that turned out to be true, even though you couldn’t explain why? That’s your intuition speaking! In Vedic/Hindu spirituality, intuition is known as the directly perceiving faculty of the soul, and it is a powerful tool that allows us to know the truth about everything without relying on sensory experience or reason.

According to Paramhansa Yogananda, there are three stages of intuition awakening:

Crude intuition: This is the initial stage of intuition awakening. It often appears as a calm, haunting feeling that occasionally turns out to be true. However, this type of intuition can be clouded by distorted reasoning and emotional feelings.

Semi-developed intuition: This type of intuition comes from frequent exercise and using pure reason and calm feeling. It is important because it allows us to distinguish true intuition from false impulses, leading to better decision-making.

True intuition: This is the highest form of intuition, which comes from the soul. It is developed through regular meditation and practice. When our intuition is fully developed, we will stand firm in our knowledge and convictions, no matter what challenges may arise.

That’s the definition anyway. No personal experience to opine on, but concluded tomorrow!

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Doing the right thing

Everyone wants to do the right thing. But nobody knows what’s right. Because everyone’s definition of right is different. At least in life.

But what if ‘right’ is pre-defined. Would it help in doing the right thing? It should, in theory, right (pun unintended)?

Let’s take investing as an example. How does one make money from investing? Simple, buy low, sell high. Couldn’t be an easier formula.

But then why isn’t everyone around us rich?

Because while the formula is ‘right’, we aren’t. When the price is 10, isn’t that nice and low? It’s low, but what if it goes to 9 or 8 tomorrow? Or 5? Wow, wouldn’t I like to invest 50% cheaper? And so the buy never happens. Similar story for the “sell high”, as our minds conjure up utopian futures that seem all too obvious to get.

So, is it easy to do the right thing, even if it’s pre-defined?

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There are auspicious times for everything in Hinduism.

Every God or Deity has a specific time or day of the week to get the best results.

There are auspicious foods as well. Modak for Ganesha for instance.

Specific clothes. Like black for Shani.

Specific food fasts to appease specific Gods.

It might appear that this is all for these Gods. Because God likes it this way, and this way only.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. God doesn’t care about when and where we offer something to Him. He only cares about whether we are connected to Him, preferably always. By extension, all times then automatically become auspicious.

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Multi trillionaires

As of today, there’s no world’s rich person’s list that has a trillionaire in it. But revisit this blog post in a few decades, and surely someone will feature.

For me personally? I think a milion dollars is more than enough.

But those with a million? They want a few million.

Those who are multi millionaires? They want a billion.

The billionaires? They want to be multi-billionaires.

And the multi-billionaires? They want to get into the world’s richest list.

And those on this list already? They want to get to the top of the list.

And those on top of the list? They want to ensure they remain there on top.

How much money you reckon is enough?

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All good

When things don’t go well, we want and expect it to get over asap.

But when everything is going great guns in life, we feel we are entitled to our success, and in denial of its temporary nature.

If something goes badly, we may say it’s not our fault.

But would we attribute our success also to something outside our control?

If the source of failure can be outsourced, then why not the same treatment for success?

Both success and failure are nothing but meaningless labels in the cyclicality that is life.

The only thing we control is our own reaction to these external eventualities. If we choose to give up control of that also, then only peace remains.

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100% successful

Yes, you know who that is? Who’s 100% successful?

Why, it’s you of course!

If you’re reading this, it means that you have succeeded against all odds, all failures, all problems, and have still made it to today.

You are 100% successful at not having been defeated by your worst days.

Isn’t that such an optimistic thought?

What can you not achieve in the future, with such an untouchable inimitable success rate behind you?

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Slow coach

It’s absolutely irritating when you want to get to some place quickly, but there’s a guy on the road driving incredibly slowly in front. The pace of traffic on the sides is such that you don’t get even a chance to swerve onto another lane and zoom past the slowpoke.

While I’d wonder why people would go so slow ever, I got a taste of my own medicine recently, and boy was it an eye opener!

A relative had just had a surgery done, and it was my duty to drive said person back from the hospital to the home. Roads where I live are bad, to put it mildly, and so I was asked to drive not more than 20 kilometers per hour at best.

Any rough bumps meant my relative who had just got a number of stitches post-surgery would feel insufferable pain. It was my turn to be the slow coach on the road, as angry drivers-by honked their anger to me, no matter whether my hazard light was on or not. Oh what a lovely lesson in empathy it was for me!

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Tech seers

Technology is just wonderful. It’s made us solve problems that we previously couldn’t even fathom overcoming.

So tech is cool this way.

But some tech is also scary. It’s making us closer and closer to goldfish. No, not the color of the iPhone case, but our attention span.

Apparently our attention span is now lesser than that of a goldfish, some 8 seconds or less. If you’ve read this far, then congratulations, you do not belong in an aquarium!

But as if phones aren’t distracting enough, people now look to their smartwatches first! Mid-conversation yesterday, a friend looked at his watch, realized he got a message, so then took out his phone to read it in full.

It’s not like I was hurt, because he didn’t interrupt me while I was speaking… He interrupted himself because he was the one who was talking in the first place!

Apparently Google Glass was going to be a cool thing, where’d you’d get all notifications and inputs in your glasses itself. And then they decided to shelve the project. Good they did that perhaps. We may then go from attention span of a goldfish, to what? An amoeba?

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Clarity of thought

Does the ability to think clearly come with more knowledge and learning?

It might certainly seem logical. The more we know, the better information we will have for making decisions.

But apparently it’s not so easy. Learning and knowledge often brings ego, which can act as a barrier to clear thinking.

What is important is objectivity. The example of a baby in the arms of an old wrinkly skinned man is a case in point. The baby snuggles with the man no matter the color or quality of his skin, or his age, or his smell or anything else for that matter. All it cares about, is the love the man showers onto the baby, and the baby simply reciprocates. Zero prejudice.

Our past experiences and prejudices often color our thinking. So instead of responding to the reality of a situation, we end up responding to the prejudices and preconceptions instead.

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What’s bad is good for…

…none other than beloved Lord Shiva.

Shiva, as mentioned by Sadhguru of Isha Foundation in many of his talks, means “that which is not”.

We are always running after “that which is”…money, fame, relationships… But Shiva doesn’t need any of these.

He happily accepts the ashes from burnt dead bodies. How many of us can?

Everybody loves the full moon in all its beauty, but Shiva has the crooked crescent on his matted hair.

Few like slimy, creepy, crawly snakes, but Shiva adores them. Swami Chinmayananda once likened the snake to the ego – it is full of poison, from it emerges hatred, jealousy, fear and anxiety. It is always frightened and ever ready to attack. But Lord Shiva? Oh, he’s tamed the ego, and wrapped it around his neck!

And if he opens his third eye, all ego is decimated.

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Guru’s grace

There are millions of people who are God fearing.

Many many more who are God loving.

So many of them are immersed in singing His glories.

Whether through bhajans or temple visits.

Ananya bhakti is supreme, without a doubt.

But my Guru says that having true Knowledge from the scriptures is paramount.

Otherwise we will simply be looking to God to fulfil more and more of our desires within this Maya clad world.

There will be no opportunity to break out of it. Hence scriptures, satsang and Guru, are irreplaceable and mandatory.

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Believe the height? Or hype?

What do you think the ideal height of a basketballer should be? What about the height of a pro basketballer? And what of one who plays for the world famous all star Harlem Globetrotters? 7 feet? Or 6 and a half feet? Or at least 6 feet right?

Maybe you’ve never heard of Mani Love then. His height? Wait for it…

4 feet, 5 inches.

Think I’m kidding? Please watch a few YouTube videos of his. Like maybe this one.

It’s insane what he can do. Some of his moves, no 7-footer can ever pull off.

But if we were limited to 4 feet 5, would we have the belief in ourselves to achieve what he has?

What other self-imposed limitations are impeding us today?

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Calm waters

Ever seen some of those insane NatGeo or similar deep-ocean documentaries? The dark blue waters and the total silence… it’s almost eerie.

But there’s actually a crazy amount of action going on there. So many fish and amphibians and crustaceans and other creatures are alive and buzzing.

And then imagine the torrential amounts of water that flows into the ocean, every day, every hour, every minute, every second. From rivers, from melting ice, from rain, and other sources too perhaps.

But through all this commotion, the deep ocean is always calm and placid. Exactly like how we would be, once we’ve attained that Blissful State. Once the Brahman has been experienced, none of the piddly matters of today will ever affect that deep calm ocean.

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Happy painting

If you had to draw happiness, what would it look like?

A lot of money? Happy people everywhere? An island paradise with clear blue waters? Lounging by the beach? No more office or work, ever?

This is what it looks like according to an interesting forward I got from WA University (yes, you know which one!). Apparently this was drawn by Turkish artist Abidin Dino. He drew a picture of a whole family. All cramped up on a broken bed, under a leaky roof in a shabby room. Still with a smile on each member’s face!

I can’t see any money or tropical beaches here. Well worth pondering over, for me.

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Much fanfare has been made and much more has been written about Yuval Harari’s book called Sapiens. This post isn’t about that book at all. I wish it could be, but I haven’t read it.

This post is simply about the word itself. Sapiens.

I’ve always read “homo-sapiens” in so many places and never thought about it much. What does it mean? Oh it means human beings. That’s what we learned in school, and that’s what I remember. End of story.

Until I accidentally highlighted the word on my Kindle last night. The Kindle has a nifty feature where a highlighted word is immediately and automatically defined using the in-built dictionary.

And it threw up the meaning of the word sapien. “Wise”, it said. Wow. Wise. We have named ourselves wise. We are wise, at times. But mostly we are angry, cranky, greedy, jealous, scared, anxious… the list is endless.

We should live up to our biological name better.

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Wealth transfer

Family office advisors and wealth managers around the world are seeing an incredible boom in their businesses. Why? Because more and more rich and well to do families are setting up their inheritance and wealth transfer processes.

They want the transfer to be as smooth as possible, and rightly so. It is estimated that the boomer generation is currently transferring $68 trillion dollars of wealth to their spouses and children. What an incredibly large number. Insane almost.

But you know what happens when people who haven’t worked hard to earn money end up with ridiculously large sums of inheritance money? Surely you do.

Here’s a nice quote I came across:

“Parents are good at preparing the money for the person, they are often less good at preparing the person for the money.”

Jess McGawley
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It’s a holi-holi-day!

Came across a super WhatsApp forward today – on Holi-day. The Indian festival of colors, and where a huge bonfire is lit.

Step out of home in the morning for a walk, and there’s a zero chance that you can come back without having some color splashed on your face, or clothes!

But what is all this color and the fire for?

The color put on one another helps us forget our differences. Once colored, everyone is the same.

The fire or bonfire, isn’t to burn material things, but rather to burn our ego and feelings of I, me, mine.

So profound, isn’t it?

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Arguably the greatest and most famous scientist of all time is Albert Einstein. Many of the pseudo-intellectuals of today would look at him in awe and conclude that science trumps spirituality and that logic and intellect reign supreme.

But here are some words by Einstein himself, from his essay titled “What I believe”:

"To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling, is at the centre of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only I belong in the ranks of devoutly religious men."

Clearly, the man behind e=mc2 was onto something…

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Everyone wants something. The world indeed does run on incentives only. In the very funny and niche TV series called Clarkson’s Farm, Jeremy Clarkson, the famous ex-host of Top Gear runs into some trouble with the local villagers.

As an aside, when they said “villagers” on the show, I thought of villages like those in India. But boy were those villages in the UK so modern and citylike. No skyscrapers, but everything looked so nice! Anyway, back to the point. Jeremy ran into trouble because the villagers didn’t like the fact that him farming and selling his produce and recording all this into a TV show was bringing too much traffic and noise to the otherwise quiet village.

So he decides to setup a meeting with the village community. Everyone brings up some issue or the other. Jeremy patiently replies to each one, saying he will try his best. But the clincher? Someone asked for a VIP pass to his farm-to-fork restaurant, and a special discount for the villagers. Everyone chimed in. And when Jeremy said “yes of course”, everything was sorted out instantly – meeting over! It’s all about “what’s in it for me?” ????

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