Saturday, February 24, 2018

Life is not a straight journey

Life is not always like a straight journey on a smooth and clear paved road covered with roses. Sometimes it’s a bumpy road with lots of ups and downs. Sometimes it may move smoothly and sometimes we may even hit some speed-breakers. Every turn and diversion along the way is not always predictable.

Sometimes we must get hurt in order to grow, we must fail in order to know, and sometimes our vision clears only after our eyes are washed away with tears.

But one thing is for sure, that the life always keeps moving forward. 
It neither stops nor does it move backwards; until the final stop called death. 
Even death is not the final stop either. 
All religions and most people believe in some kind of after life - either on this earth or in the heaven.  

Giving up the effort to reach the goal would be the biggest obstacle. If we keep moving forward with hope and courage, we can remove all hurdles and obstacles and clear the path ahead of us. We could even take a slight diversion to reach to the destination - as long as we don't get distracted and lose the vision.  
Keeping an eye on the goal and keep moving forward is the key.

“Seek and ye shall find” 
“Knock and the door shall be opened unto you” (Mathew 7:7)           
"Agaahan koo hi trangh- pichhe pher na modhada". ( Gurbani )       
  (Keep moving forward - Do not turn backward)
                      ‘Rajan Sachdeva’ 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Self Appraisal

A little boy went to a telephone booth which was next to the cash counter inside a store and dialed a number.
The store-owner, who was standing by,​observed and listened to the conversation.

Boy: “Ma’am, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?
Lady: (at the other end of the phone line) “I already have someone to cut my lawn.”
Boy: “Ma’am, I will cut your lawn for half the price than the person who cuts your lawn now.”
Lady: I’m very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting my lawn.
Boy: (with more perseverance) “Ma’am, I’ll even sweep the floor of your house for free.
Lady: No, thank you. I am very happy with my current service.

With a smile on his face, the little boy ended the call.  
The store-owner, who was listening to the conversation, walked over to the boy and said, “Son, I like your attitude. I like your positive spirit and persuasiveness. I would like to offer you a job.”
Boy: “No thanks.
Store Owner: But you were really pleading to get the job.
Boy: No Sir, I was just checking my performance at the job I already have.
    I am the one who is working for that lady I was talking to!” 

                        * This is called self-appraisal*

This story reminds me of some of the great kings in the old Indian history, who occasionally used to go in public areas disguised as ordinary people to see if the common people of their kingdom were happy and satisfied under their rule. They would meet especially with poor farmers and laborers to learn how as a ruler they could help improve their situation. Often, they would send their trusted ministers and advisers to do the same, who would bring an honest report back to the king.
These great kings, were not just the rulers. They genuinely tried to fulfill their responsibility of improving the lives of their subjects and general conditions of their kingdom. 

The purpose of the power is to fulfill certain responsibilities.
Great are the people who, after achieving power, do not forget their responsibilities. 
Give your best and the world will respect you.

Monday, February 19, 2018

प्रोफेसर और नाविक

एक विद्वान प्रोफेसर साहिब एक नौका में  यात्रा कर रहे थे।
उन्होंने सोचा कि समय बिताने  के लिए क्यों न नाविक के साथ कुछ वार्तालाप किया जाए ?
ऐसा सोच कर उन्हों ने नाविक से पूछा "क्या तुमने कभी खगोल विज्ञान का अध्ययन किया है ?" 
नाविक  ने उत्तर दिया, "नहीं साहिब "
"फिर तो तुमने अपने जीवन का एक चौथाई हिस्सा व्यर्थ गंवा दिया। नक्षत्रों को पढ़ने से, 
उनकी दिशा को देखते हुए  एक कुशल कप्तान पूरे विश्व में एक जहाज को नेविगेट कर सकता है"
कुछ मिनट बाद प्रोफेसर ने फिर पूछा:
"क्या आपने कभी मौसम विज्ञान का अध्ययन किया है?"
"नहीं, जनाब ।" नाविक ने उत्तर दिया 
प्रोफेसर ने कहा, "तब तो तुमने अपना आधा जीवन ही व्यर्थ गंवा दिया "
"हवा को व्यवस्थित रूप से बादबान में संचालित करने से एक कुशल नाविक अपनी नाव की गति बढ़ा सकता है।"
थोड़ी देर के बाद प्रोफेसर ने फिर पूछा :
"क्या आपने कभी सागर विज्ञान का अध्ययन किया है?"
नाविक : "नहीं सर, मुझे इसके बारे में कोई ज्ञान नहीं है।"
प्रोफेसर: "आह! अगर तुमने इसका भी ज्ञान प्राप्त नहीं किया तो तुमने अपनी तिहाई ज़िंदगी को बर्बाद कर लिया 
जो लोग महासागर की धाराओं के बारे में जानते हैं, वो आसानी से समंदर में भोजन ढूंढ सकते हैं "
"महोदय! क्या मै आपसे एक प्रश्न कर सकता हूँ ? नाविक ने कहा
"क्या आप को 'तरनौलोजी' का ज्ञान है?
"वो क्या होती है? मैंने इसके बारे में कभी सुना भी नहीं" प्रोफेसर ने कहा।
नाविक - " तरनौलोजी - यानी तैरने की कला"
"नहीं भाई -  मैंने कभी तैरना नहीं सीखा"  प्रोफेसर ने जवाब दिया।
"प्रोफेसर साहिब ! उस स्थिति में आपने तो अपना पूरा जीवन ही बर्बाद कर लिया है
क्योंकि नाव डूब रही है और मैं तो यहां से तैर कर किनारे पर जा रहा हूँ।
 अब आप अपने प्राण स्वयं संभालिये "
 यह कह कर नाविक छलांग लगा कर पानी में कूद गया।

अपने स्वयं के नियमों और मानदण्डों के आधार पर कभी भी दूसरों की परीक्षा या मूल्यांकन न करें
और न ही अपने हिसाब से उनके बारे में कोई विचारधारा बनाएं
हो सकता है कि जो कुछ वो जानते हों - उसका ज्ञान आपके पास न हो
                           "राजन सचदेवा"

Professor and the Boatman

A learned professor was traveling on a ferryboat. 
He decided to strike a conversation with the boatman:
"Have you ever studied astronomy?" asked the professor.
"I can't say that I have," answered the boatman.
"Then you have wasted a quarter of your life. By reading the constellations, 
a skilled captain can navigate a ship around the entire globe."
A few minutes later the professor asked, 
"Have you ever studied meteorology (weather forecasting)?"
"No, I have not." Answered the boatman.
"Well, then, you have wasted half of your life," the professor said. 
"Methodically capturing the wind can propel a sailing ship at astounding speeds."
After a little while the professor inquired again, 
"Have you ever studied oceanography?"
Boatman: "No sir. I have not."
Professor: "Ah! You have wasted almost three quarters of your life. 
You know awareness of the ocean’s currents helped many ancient peoples 
find food and shelter."
 “Sir! Can I ask you one question? The boatman said
"Have you ever studied ‘Swimology? 
“what is that? Never heard of it.” The professor said.
Boatman: “Swimology – the art of swimming” 
“No, I have never learned how to swim.” The professor replied.
“Well, My dear sir! In that case you have wasted your whole life. 
Because the boat is sinking and I am going to swim out of here. 
You are on your own now.” Saying this, the boatman jumped out of the boat. 

Moral: Never judge others with your own standards. 
             They might know somethings that you may not. 
                                               “Rajan Sachdeva”

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Appreciation and Criticism are equally problematic

While talking about the qualities of a Gyaani-Bhakta, Lord Krishna says:
                        समः शत्रौ च मित्रे च तथा मानापमानयोः 
                        शीतोष्ण सुखदुःखेषु समः सङ्गविवर्जितः  
                                                  भगवद गीता 12 /18 
             "Samah shatrau ch mitray ch tathaa maan-apmaanyoh
               Sheetoshna sukh-dukheshu samah sang-vivarjatah"
                                                        Bhagavad Geeta 12/18
He, who is same to foe and friend, and also in honor and dishonor, 
who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment. 

The same sentiments are echoed in the Gurubani by the ninth Guru:
                       सुख दुःख दोनों सम कर जानै, और मान अपमाना 
                        हरख सोग ते रहै अतीता तिनि जग ततु पछाना 
             "Sukh dukh dono sam kar jaanai, aur maan apamaanaa
              Harkh sog tay rahai ateeta,tini jag tat pachhanaa"
                                                                    (SGGS page 219)
(One who knows that pain and pleasure are both the same, and honor and dishonor as well
Who remains detached from joy and sorrow, realizes the true essence in the world.) 

Why all Holy Scriptures advise us to stay from the above mentioned sentiments?
Let's try to understand these human emotions separately and how they play important role in our lives - especially for the seekers of spirituality. 
First: let's take the sentiments of Maan and Apamaan - mentioned in the above phrases from both scriptures; the Bhagavad Geeta and the Gurubani. 
Seemingly meek and the mildest of all the above, the sentiments of Maan and Apamaan; Respect and disrespect- appreciation and criticism – honor and dishonor - approval and disapproval or admiration and condemnation are equally - or perhaps more problematic, and can affect the Gyanis; the wise ones as well. 
Favors, praises, approvals, admiration and honors lift us up - while criticism, disapproval, disgrace and condemnation knock us down. 
In fact, either one of these sentiments depends on the opinions of others. If we depend on the approval and disapproval of others then our happiness and sadness would also depend on others. 
When our state of mind is affected by other's admiration or criticism then we lose our equilibrium.
It causes us to depart from our center. 
                              'Rajan Sachdeva'
                                          'To be continued'

Saturday, February 17, 2018

In the Empty Space

Collect thirty spokes on a single hub.
In the empty space the usefulness lies.

Form a bowl from lumps of clay.
In the empty space the usefulness lies.

Frame your house with walls and doors.
In the empty space the usefulness lies.

So: Advantage comes from what is there 
Usefulness comes from ​- ​what is not.
                    ' Tao'    (From Unknown Source)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mind and Body are Deeply Connected

Mind and body are deeply connected to each other. 
If one becomes weak or sick, the other also gets affected by it. Both have to be healthy and in harmony to enjoy a happy and comfortable life. A too old or a sick person sitting behind the steering wheel of a brand new high-power racing car with a turbo engine may not be able to handle it properly. He would still be slow. 
Similarly, a young energetic and enthusiastic driver cannot do much with a low power old and broken car. In both cases, there will be frustration. 
If the mind is frustrated, depressed and full of anger and hatred, then the body will also get affected and become sick. 
And when the body is weak and sick, and experiencing a lot of pain, the mind also cannot be at peace. It also becomes restless and may not be able to think straight. 
A happy and content mind in a strong and healthy body equals a happy and peaceful life.  
It would be an ideal situation if we have the mind and body in perfect shape and harmony all the time. But we all know that the life is not like a straight, smooth and perfectly paved, clear road. We all go through so many ups and downs in life; physically and mentally. We all face so many different situations every day. As humans, we are bound to get affected by them and according to the situation, we experience happiness and sadness. At one moment, we become overly jealous and anxious, while frustrated, angry and depressed at another. When we lose the equilibrium; when the balance is disturbed, we become restless and the life becomes ‘unhappy’.

What are we supposed to do? 
In many cases, we may not have much control over the body. We may come in contact with some virus and become sick. The body may become weak or get damaged because of some serious illness or accident. These and many other circumstances are beyond our control. But with practice, we can have control over the mind. If the mind is stable and does not lose its equilibrium, it can help the body to handle the pain and gain strength. It may even be able to heal some physical ailments. 
Baba Avtar Singh ji used to say:   
“Just like a strong horse can pull an old and broken cart even through the mud - a strong mind can also pull through an old and weak body even in adverse circumstances*”

                          ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

* जैसे एक तगड़ा घोड़ा इक पुरानी और टूटी फूटी गाड़ी को कीचड़ में से भी किसी तरह खींच कर ले ही जाता है उसी तरह एक शांत - ध्यान और सुमिरन में जुड़ा हुआ मन भी अपनी ताक़त से एक पुराने और कमज़ोर शरीर को संभाले रख सकता है " (बाबा अवतार सिंह जी)

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