Wednesday, March 14, 2018

When my daughter made me Cry

While visiting my mother's home town Kotkapura in Punjab - this morning I read a 
short Hindi story written by Nidhi Oberoi in a local Hindi paper 'Madhurima' 
which really touched me deeply and thought of sharing it.
The following is my version in English based on Nidhi Oberoi's story: 
                                       "My daughter made me cry"

One day, my grown up daughter suddenly asked me:
"Papa, have I ever made you cry?"  
I said yes.
She was surprised – "When? How?"
"When you were about one year old. One day, you were crawling on the floor.  
I placed some coins, a pen and a toy at a little distance from you and sat down on the other side. 
I wanted to see which object you will choose. Your choice would have indicated what you will 
value more in your life. "
"How"? She asked.
"Choice of book or pen would have indicated that you would value education in your future life 
choosing coins would mean wealth, and toys would mean entertainment and joy."
"And what did I choose?" she asked enthusiastically.
"You stared at everything for a moment – crawled towards them and looked at everything again
Then suddenly you pushed them aside and crawled through those objects and came straight 
towards me – grabbed my hand and sat in my lap with a big smile on your face.
Suddenly, at that moment I realized that I had given you only three objects to choose from - a coin, 
a pen and a toy - but you were looking at four things. The fourth choice in your mind was me – 
and you chose me over everything else.
Tears started to flow out of my eyes and I could not stop crying".

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)

When my daughter made me Cry

While visiting my mother's home town Kotkapura in Punjab -  this morning  I read a  short Hindi story written by Nidhi Oberoi  in a...