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Month: April 2023


There are 1000s of videos today on just about any subject. Spirituality included.

So much so that it’s become a money making business for many.

There are 1000s of paths and suggestions and methods and variations and even Gurus.

What is right?

And more importantly, what is right for you and me?

Because one size never fits all.

A live Guru is ideal, and if you found one, you are blessed. That’s the best way to be able to implement what is given in our time-tested scriptures. Without implementation, no amount of reading or watching videos helps.

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Kshetra and kshetrajna

In chapter 13 of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna brings up two terms to define Creation.

He says there’s the Kshetra, the material world. And the Kshetrajna, us.

This seems easy enough. We know this distinction already. The material world around us is insentient, and so indeed that must be Kshetra. And we are alive and kicking, so we must be Kshetrajna. So what’s the big deal here?

The big deal is, that Kshetra includes not just the material world according to Krishna, but also our body and mind! So the physical and mental aspects of ourselves is also part of this relative insentience – even though maya makes us feel otherwise.

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Short span

Was watching a short clip by a physicist known as Brian Cox. He was answering a question about people wanting more.

What did he say?

That we are all formed from dead stars. These disintegrated stars and planetary bodies, somehow came together and created the earth and all the life on it as we know it today.

And all this over billions and billions of years. So much so that it’s just been such a short span of time that we humans have been able to come about and observe such awesomeness. In the future,, we too and everything around us will become those dead stars again.

So we have this amazing short span of a 100 years or so where we each are able to get a peek into Creation itself.

So what more could/should we ever want?!

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So much money

Came across a gentleman recently who owns a 6 bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

Who lives in it? Not him. Because he lives in another country, as an employee, still running the rat race.

So is it empty? No no, his wife lives in it. Away from her husband. And also a 1 hour commute away from her workplace!

And their 3 kids?

All spread out, in different parts of the country.

So much money, they’ve got as much as their generation and the next could ever use.

And yet, there are sacrifices to be made. That’s just a common theme of life. Best to be happy with what we have than be envious of what thy neighbor does!

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Punchnama – part 2 of 2

While it’s easy to say we need to relax and breathe when the punches flow fast and thick, is there something we can keep in mind to make the process easier?


One, is to practise getting many punches. Keep putting out our best work, and be shameless in seeking feedback, no matter how bad or good.

Two, is to keep moving. Not to evade the punches, but to grow from them. To use the message for improvement, while ignoring the messenger and their mode of delivery.

Three, is to always remember that our work is what we do, and not who we are. If we take things too personally, that’s a setup waiting for disaster. As Keynes said, in the long run, we’re all dead. So no tension!

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Punchnama – part 1 of 2

How do we take punches? Not literal ones. Just the ones where we get negative feedback.

Even though we’ve done our very best, there are things outside our control. Our intent might have been perfect, but sometimes stuff does hit the fan.

Can we do anything about it now? If the answer is no, then it might be a good idea to just relax and take a chill pill.

If you are someone who is creative and imaginative, then it’s likely you are going to conjure up some wild images of the worst that could happen.

As they say, fear is just imagination taking a wrong turn.

It’s okay to get bad criticism. Or negative reviews. It’s not the end of the world. The world honestly couldn’t care less. If we didn’t care much either, we’d bounce back in no time.

But is this all there is to it? More tomorrow!

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Pay up

Many years ago, I was stuck in a bit of a mess.

I had to literally pay to get myself out of it.

This despite me not having done anything wrong.

“Then why should I be the one paying up?”, I thought, irritably.

My Guru said, “You may not have done anything wrong today, but you either did or didn’t do something in the past which could have prevented you from being in this position in the first place. So take responsibility and pay up. Especially if this payment will get you out of your current predicament, what is there to think about?”

Such sage advice, from a sage no less.

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Success is yours!

Success in life is plenty about “who you know”.

Everyone knows this, and most people hence try to keep knocking on as many doors as possible, hoping someone will suddenly notice them and give them a pot of gold.

Nope, not how the real world works, according to a book on success that I had the chance to flip through at a bookstore.

“Who you know” comes from “who you are” and “what you have to offer”.

“Who we are” is a function of our values and ethics.

“What we have to offer” is a function of the work we do.

If we work on these two aspects, then everything else, success included, will follow.

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There are many ways to be disciplined.

You can do things every year. Every minute, every hour. Every week, every month.

But none of these are as good as a single day.

The sun rises and sets with a rhythm. It’s observable, and we humans “get it”.

If success is in our crosshairs, all we need to do, is to keep building our body of work, day after day after day, and before you know it, years will have gone by, with all that work having turned to gold.

But is it easy?

As the comedian Russell Brand says, “One day at a time. It sounds so simple. It actually is simple but it isn’t easy: it requires incredible support and fastidious structuring. “

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How to eliminate fear?

If there is one thing that catches us by the throat on a daily or hourly basis, it is fear.

What do we fear? Losing our loved ones. Losing our money. Losing our position and reputation. Failing at something we believe is critical for our future. Inability to deliver on what was promised. Worrying about what superiors might say. Being rejected or abandoned by someone we care about. Fearing for our own safety or the safety of our loved ones. Fear of the unknown or uncertainty about the future. Fear of public speaking or performing in front of others. Fear of being judged or criticized by others. Fear of change or of leaving our comfort zone. Fear of not being good enough or feeling inadequate. So many more as well.

What is the solution for this?

Simple. Deities. There are apparently 330 million deities in Hinduism, probably more, it is unlikely anyone is keeping count.

But if we can learn to place all our problems and worries at the feet of a deity the very instant the worry strikes us, we will realize that we become very peaceful. Why? Because the deity will help us resolve the problem. We are anyway doing our 100%. The deity will add even more. Then what is there to worry about?

That’s how we go from Forget Everything And Run to Face Everything And Rise!

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To a great degree

There are some people who think that education and degrees are everything.

Education and degrees do matter, but context matters more.

If you are stranded in a desert with no water, or stuck in a hostage situation, or some other life threatening emergency, survival often depends on resourcefulness, not on academic credentials.

A great many people remain depressed because their circumstances did not permit them to study enough. Several others are depressed because they studied a lot, but their day jobs do not allow them their freedom of expression.

For many creative pursuits, for entrepreneurship, for forging solid relationships with others, it is empathy and emotional intelligence that is critical. Formal degrees and education may provide some stepping stones, but beyond that, it is all individual passion and grit.

The best work truly comes when done in service (seva) for the sake of a greater purpose and greater good. Those who do not understand this, will keep looking for degrees and credentials.

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Perfection is…

Just for today, just for now, let us forget every problem we have. And simply focus on living in the present. This very moment. Nothing else. End of blog post, and start of bliss!

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Rhyme or reason

Sleep is the foundation of our health,

But fear can steal our peaceful wealth.

Karma says what we do comes back,

Good deeds create the right sleep track.

Meditation, gratitude, and cheer,

These positive habits help us steer.

Toward an optimistic, happy mind,

Where fears and worries are left behind.

So let’s cultivate good karma each day,

And let our fears and anxieties sway.

For with positive habits, thoughts, and rhyme,

We’ll sleep better and feel sublime.

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Tools for success

When it comes to most people and their work, the thought process is that the more sophisticated their tools, the better they would be able to do their jobs.

It’s probably true to some extent. Like some high tech imaging devices would surely help the medical fraternity and/or the astromoer fraternity and so on.

Tools like our mobile phones with Google-ji in it have replaced many many tasks that we previously had to do manually.

But still, there is beauty in watching someone work their art, especially with limited tools. A world class guitarist can produce mesermizing music from his guitar even if one string is broken, but for a newbie guitar player, even the world’s costliest guitar will be of limited value.

A doctor I went to see recently had the smallest practice room, a stethoscope, a torch, and a magnifying glass – that’s it! But the serpentine queue outside his clinic told me a story no different from the world class guitarist.

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Granted for life – part 2 of 2

What else do we take for granted?

Good health, because only when we get sick, do we realize how important it is to have a healthy body.

We may not always be conscious of the peace and security that we enjoy in our daily lives, but when there is a threat of violence or instability, we become acutely aware of their importance.

We have become so reliant on the internet for communication, entertainment, and work that we may not realize how much we depend on it until we lose connectivity.

Time too, because it is a precious commodity that we may not fully appreciate until we run out of it or feel rushed.

Other things include the presence of a Guru and a satsang in our lives. Lucky are we to be having these.

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Granted for life – part 1 of 2

Know what’s common between electricity, clean air, and good health?

We tend to take them for granted until they’re no longer available.

In our daily lives, there are many things that we don’t appreciate until they’re gone.

It’s only when we’re faced with the absence of these things that we realize how important they really are.

We rarely think about the quality of the air we breathe until we encounter smog or pollution.

We often assume that clean water will always be available to us, but many people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water.

Continued tomorrow…

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Evil eye

There’s loads of people in India that believe in the concept of evil eye.

There’s many people in other countries too that believe in it.

Most other people, especially youngsters though ridicule such beliefs, terming them nothing more than superstitions.

Which is true?

It’s hard to say. And it is impossible to change how others perceive us. Even if we work our backsides off for achieving something, others will see only the success, and not the blood-sweat-tears that went into it. This breeds jealousy and hatred and in turn evil eyes.

So what to do? A wise self-realized soul once told me that chanting Hanuman Chalisa is more than enough to thwart and ward off all the evil eyes in the world. What more can one ask for?!

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How many will remember us once we are no more?

Maybe a few close ones, and that too for a very short period of time.

Life soon goes on.

People find ways to cope, and over 99% of the people in your life wouldn’t even think about you anymore.

All the stress and anxiety you put yourself through in order to please these same others…. Poof!

It will help to think of all this the next time we stress about something. Who are we really living for?

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Matter of

  • Golden hair turns white.
  • Brown hair turns white.
  • Black hair turns white.
  • Red hair turns white
  • White skin turns wrinkly.
  • Brown skin turns wrinkly.
  • Black skin turns wrinkly.
  • Pale skin turns wrinkly.

It’s all just a matter of time. Physical body doesn’t matter. That’s all that matters.

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Sales is super hard, but super important. Every action of ours done in public is nothing but sales in a way. Every word we utter is sales – of ourselves. We are the product.

But even for sales as a profession, it is a great teacher.

In my job, when I need to sell something, I’m selling that something which I did not create. I also do not control it or it’s creator.

In a room with potential buyers, I need to extol the virtues of not just the product, but of its creator too. Imagine if my ego were to get in the way – no chance of closing the sale then. All focus on the product and it’s inventor only. Who thought sales would double up as a good practice ground for spirituality!

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Assumed reality

Here are some questions, both relating to the same fact. Which one is true in your view?

1. “Why is my manager so damn demanding?” versus “Why am I not courageous enough to express myself and my boundaries?”

2. “Why is my peer / colleague not trustworthy?” versus “Why am I not being collaborative enough?”

3. “Why is my friend / family member not driven enough?” versus “Why have I not been able to inspire my friends and family?”

4. “Why do my children not listen to me anymore?” versus “Why am I unable to understand my children’s needs anymore?”

Two sets of questions, with the target (aka blame) of one being external, while the other probes the self!

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Fata poster

There’s a lovely analogy that is common in the satsang I am fortunate to attend.

The analogy is that of a Hindi movie title called “Fata poster nikla hero”.

Imagine a large movie poster being held upright by someone. And another person is torpedoing into the poster headlong. He crashes through the center of the poster and it appears like he has come out of it. Who comes out of posters usually? The hero of the movie of course! And hence, “fata poster nikla hero”.

But that’s the analogy you ask?

Just like the hero in this torn poster is no hero at all, the same way, in our own self-centered narcissistic lives, we too are no heroes. Arjuna thinks he is going to fight the battle of Kurukshetra, initially eager to vanquish the wrong-doers and elicit revenge. But Lord Krishna reminds him that He has already slayed all those who have sinned.

Big lesson for everyone who worries about the results of the future. Don’t worry, the Real Hero has already taken care of everything!

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World’s happiest!

There have been these World’s Happiest Nations rankings that have been doing the rounds for many years. I’ve always wondered what those were about, but never got to the bottom of them.

It did seem odd, that some countries which ranked at the top (ie the happiest), were also those that had high suicide rates and harsh winters with many months of no sunlight.

Some other countries which didn’t seem to be that bad ended up being ranked abysmally.

What gives? Apparently the ranks are decided based on very small sample sizes (like 2000 respondents for a population in the hundreds of millions or more) and also factors that are counterintuitive. Like aspiration. The question asks if you are aspirational – on a scale of 1 to 10 – if your goal is 10, then where are you today? If the answer is 1, then you are deemed unhappy. But as we know from the Gita, aspirations and happiness can indeed go hand in hand!

A nice analysis on these rankings here – a great read!

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Don’t look up…

…because there’s a comet about to obliterate the earth.

One that is 9 kilometers wide, and is easily a mass extinction event.

Nobody will survive.

The calculations are perfect.

Top scientists have accorded a 100% chance of this happening. Yes, you read that right, 100%, not 99, not 99.9, but 100%!

Okay okay, I admit, if this seems like it is taken straight out of a Hollywood movie, then that it because it almost is. The name of the movie is, you guessed it, “Don’t look up”, and it is supremely entertaining.

And you know why? Because it is so realistic! The world is literally about to end, but all anyone cares about are themselves, their properties, their money, their own goals and ambitions, their power and influence, and on and on. Is this only on-screen, or does it remind you of off-screen behavior as well??! ????

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“Love bombing”

Haven’t come across this term until just reading it in the paper now. To “bomb” someone or smother them with so much love that they will completely forget their ill-intent.

Apparently this is being used by a supermarket chain in the UK. They had been seeing a rise in theft and shoplifting from their stores.

How did they combat this? By training their staff to be extra polite, extra helpful and extra caring towards every single customer that walks in.

Apparently it works, and it makes shoplifters think twice before squrrelling things out the store!

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Quit or Grit? – part 2 of 2

While we know we should not quit, it is important to identify where all our efforts need to be put in first.

There are many things we chase after – money, status, promotion, bonus, relationships, properties and what not.

We cannot get eveything. But we can perhaps get what we want if we choose wisely and work with full focus.

This choosing, implicitly involves “quitting” some things. Which is great.

But my Guru says that all of these need to be quit. Not necessarily physically, but mentally. All the attachments to the material world need to be quit. It takes an insane amount of grit to do that. More than the grit required to succeed in any material discipline.

So, from a spiritual point of view, it’s really not a question of Grit versus Quit. It’s always Grit and Quit.

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Quit or grit? – part 1 of 2

This is the question posed to us in a very interesting book called Quit, by Annie Duke.

We’ve been told since forever, that we just shouldn’t give up. Perseverance is the key to success. Quitting is for losers. If you give up, the world has no place for you. And on and on, there’s so many of these messages and quotes and what not – we’ve all been at the receiving end of many of such.

But Annie is one of the best poker players in the world, and she knows a thing or two about quitting. If you’ve played poker, you know that no matter how much luck you have on your side, you can’t keep winning every single game.

She summarizes beautifully:

Success does not lie in sticking to things. It lies in picking the right thing to stick to and quitting the rest.

But where does spirituality fit in to this? Find out here tomorrow!

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Don’t wait for…

Was reading an interview by Satya Nadella, the current CEO of Microsoft.

The question he was asked was whether early in in his career after joining Microsoft, did he think he would make CEO some day?

Mr Nadella’s answer was awesome, because he said he never even once thought about becoming CEO, as he was focused purely on excelling in his current (at the time) work.

Here’s his killer advice in his own words:

Don't wait for your next job to do your best work. 

We can even remove the words “for your next job” from the above sentence, and it would be great advice for anything and everything we do in life!

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Problem Solver

You know who the biggest problem solver is? It’s neither you nor me.

But you know who the biggest problem generator is? It’s both you and me. And also all the other 8 billion folks on our planet.

Every morning when we wake up, we get up with a hundred thousand problems. What to do for this and that, what to eat and drink, what to wear and who to speak to and who to get work done from… and on and on and these are only the easy ones. There’s a million things on how work will unfold and how relationships will progress and how events will play out. Never ending it would seem, our problems.

The funny part is, that what we think we understand of our world, is probably 0.000000000001% of what is truly happening around us.

As my Guru often reminds us, we barely can keep up with our own work. If we entrust everything else to the Lord, then He will take care. He is not the biggest problem solver because he tackles all problems, but because he even prevents them from happening in the first place!

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Parental advisory

Everyone wants advice on good parenting. Because it’s become infinitely harder to raise kids these days.

My cousin who’d visited me recently was explaining how his kids (aged 10 and 5) are just in their own world, no different from their other kid-friends.

The way they talk, what they focus on, the fact that at least the city-breds already have everything they could ever need etc.

Sadhguru’s advice on raising kids is sage.

Firstly he says, don’t “raise” kids, because raising them is like raising cattle. All you’ll get is a flock! We need to instead “cultivate” them, and then step back and watch.

He also says, that raising a child is a 20-year project if done well.

If done badly, it’s a lifelong project!

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