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Tag: amazing simple gita

(Wo)men

One of the books my Guru suggests we should all read is the Kural by Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar. No he’s not a Tamilian and he cannot read Tamil, but there are English translations (C. Rajagopalachari), so nothing to worry. We’ve discussed this book before a few times. It is a series of couplets, ~1300 of them, with amazing practical takeaways for daily life.

A question that comes to some readers is, why is everything written from a man’s perspective? And why does it sound derogatory to women? Like the ‘Life Partner’ chapter is all about duties of a woman – so men go scot-free?. And the children bit talks only about sons, not daughters. Where is the feminism and equality angle?

How should we understand  this? My Guru says whatever lessons are applicable to a man should also be taken to be applicable to women, wherever relevant, using common sense. Also:

  1. The book was written 100s of years ago. So certain aspects may need to be re-read in that context.
  2. We can combine the lessons from his Amazing Simple Gita – marry it with his purports. When it says a woman must be completely devoted to her husband, we absolutely take it to read the other way as well.
  3. Like the Vashishta – Arundhati stars in our galaxy – where they both go around each other, unlike the Sun in our solar system, where the Sun is relatively stationary and other planets orbit around it. Wedded couples too are supposed to be going around each other, not just one being stationary at a time.
  4. There are negative criticisms too in the Kural. But all of those too, are directed towards men only. Like a person who is speaking harshly is referred to as a man not a woman – so in that sense, both good and bad have been treated equally.

There are some absolute gems in the book – totally not worth missing out on, and certainly not because of this gender issue!

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Shock and Awe 5

Time again for another Shock and Awe post.

Quoting below from the free Amazing Simple Gita.

  1. When we want anything, our mind starts getting perturbed. Are we getting it? or Not? Our mind is disturbed and finds no peace.
  2. 4 important points for peace:
    1. Give up all desires that come to your mind.
    2. Also give up all attachments.
    3. Give up “I”…the feeling I did it, I was responsible etc.
    4. Give up ‘mine’. The possessions, the feeling of mine which separates you from ‘all’, i.e. the Lord
  3. A person attains actionlessness not by withdrawing from action, but by renouncing fruits of actions

What simple yet splendid takeaways!

An important point, is that all of the above are at the mind level. In the material physical world, we need to behave with common sense. Also, these are ‘destination’ verses, and not necessarily something we can perfect in just a short time.

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Shock and awe 4

Here’s another shock and awe post. You know the drill by now. So let’s get right into them jaw-droppers.

  1. The soul is permanent, body is not. All our problems belong to the body. You are the soul, not the body. So why worry?
  2. When the child is born, do not worry about how to enrol her in Harvard. Worrying about end results drain you.
  3. Rituals are necessary and serve a lot of purpose. But merely performing them with no understanding of purpose or having the knowledge of Reality, cleanliness of mind doesn’t take place.
  4. World is dukhaalayam and ashaashvatam – sorrowful and impermanent.
  5. An exalted focus on life gives you dedication and cuts off all distractions.

What incredible thoughts for self-improvement!

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Shock and awe 3

You know the shock and awe series well by now. Here are the two previous ones – Link1 and Link2. These are such outstanding learning points that since our jaws hit the floor, it becomes impossible to forget. More than remembering though, what is most important is to apply these learnings. Without further ado, from my Guru’s Amazing Simple Gita, available here for free:

  1. Skill in action lies in the practise of karma yoga. The expertise is in somehow getting connected to the Lord, as much as possible, in all works of the day.
  2. Liberation is possible only when one (householders, saints working in society, anyone forced to act in the this world) practises karma yoga
  3. What is moha / delusion? Being blind to a person’s defects because we are in love with them.
  4. Are you interested in worldly objects? Do you want to enjoy them? Dwelling on those objects starts all problems.

What powerful lines! Time to apply these learnings, to bring out the best versions of ourselves.

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Shock and awe 2

This is a continuation of the Shock and Awe post from a few days ago. The premise is simple. We only learn when we are shocked or surprised by information – either new, or presented in a different manner. Here are some more such outstanding examples from my Guru’s unparalleled Amazing Simple Gita (life-changing free download!).

  1. It is not the CEO that reaches the Lord. Anyone who is unattached to his position, work, reaches.
  2. If your subordinate is promoted, feel good. No need to resign! (Why?, because “be even minded in success and failure. Evenness of mind is only called yoga.”)
  3. A never ending need, curdles into greed – without our knowledge. Hence our misery.
  4. Seek refuge in equipoise of mind. When this is practised, you seek neither fame, nor wealth nor acceptance from others.
  5. If you do not feel lost or dejected, but feel calm, you have become a yogi.

Aren’t these just mind blowing? So practical. What profundity! Now time to put these into action, step by step, as much as possible.

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Shock and awe

We rarely learn or remember anything simply by reading. And certainly don’t learn if we are told we are wrong, or if we just come across the ‘correct answer’. We only learn when we are surprised or shocked by what we read; when our jaw crashes into the floor. We often pick up things to read with plenty of preconceived notions. But if something completely shakes or rattles our understanding, that’s when the maximum absorption happens.

We’ve discussed previously my Guru’s unmatchable not-to-be-missed Amazing Simple Gita purports (free, click to download pdf) and also Thiruvalluvar’s amazing Kural book (also recommended by my Guru). Here below are just a few statements from these that have had this shock-and-awe treatment on my life and learning experience, leaving an everlasting positive imprint.

  1. Spirituality is not unhappiness and crying, long face and sorrow.
  2. Renunciation shows maturity, spiritual adulthood.
  3. Death has to come one day, do not die every day worrying about it.
  4. Dharma is nothing but the absence of evil thoughts.
  5. Truth = that which is not evil = even a lie will be on par with truth if it brings unblemished benefits to all.
  6. If a householder lives a dharmic life, this is better even than hermits, and ranks as God.

Aren’t these just mind blowing? There are so many like these, and we can cover more in future posts if you wish. Do please leave a comment below if you like!

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Branching out

A man paid a princely sum to buy two falcons. These were special falcons, that could fly higher and faster than any other. When he took them back to his mansion and let them loose, one flew high and fast. The other just went and perched itself onto a nearby tree.

The man tried shooing the sitting bird, shouting at it and prancing around but to no avail. The falcon just wouldn’t fly. He called the seller angrily and asked for half his money back, as only one falcon had taken to the air. The seller calmly said “Tomorrow, I will fix the problem.”

The next day, when the man woke up and came out of his house, he saw both falcons flying high and fast. He was ecstatic, but also puzzled. He immediately called the seller, and asked “How did you make the falcon fly?”. The seller replied, “It was easy, I just cut off the branch on which the bird was sitting.”

A look back at each of our lives would suggest the same thing. Maximum growth has always happened when our backs were to the wall, when the chips were down, and when the branch underneath us was ripped away.

Applied differently, Chapter 15 of the Bhagavad Gita (the best and most practical version here for free!) likens the whole world around us to be an inverted tree. We are at the fringes of the branches, having forgotten the roots where we came from. The tree (creation) is impossible to understand, even though we spend a lot of time trying to. The only way out of this tumultuous inexplicable experience of life is to cut the branches (our attachments, desires, ego) and return to the Source.

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