Friday, June 30, 2017

Look Inside for the Solution

Look inside for the solution rather than outside.

Whenever you feel hurt or angry – Ask yourself:
“Whose Business” am I in?

There are only three kinds of business in the world: 
Mine, yours (or theirs), and Nature’s (or God’s).

Whose business is it if an earthquake or tsunami happens? 
- Nature's or God's.
Whose business is it if your neighbor has an ugly lawn? 
- Your neighbor's.
Whose business is it if you are angry at your neighbor because he has an ugly lawn? 
- Yours.

When facing any unpleasant situation, ask yourself: “Whose Business” am I in?
Make a habit of Counting - how many times you are mentally in someone else's business? 

When you give uninvited advice or offer your opinion about something - aloud or silently- 
ask yourself: 
"Am I in my business or theirs?  

Thursday, June 29, 2017

ਵਹੰਦਾ ਵਗਦਾ ਪਾਣੀ

ਵਹੰਦਾ ਵਗਦਾ ਪਾਣੀ ਤੱਕ  ਕੇ ਦਿਲ ਮੇਰਾ ਵਗ ਟੁਰਿਆ
ਡਾਢਾ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਸ੍ਵਛ ਤੇ ਸੋਹਨਾ, ਦਿਲ ਉਸ ਅੰਦਰ ਖੁਰਿਆ 
ਏਪਰ ਡਾਢੀ ਚੀਖ ਸੀ ਉਠੀ, ਜਾਂ ਪਥਰਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਵੱਜਾ 
ਠੇਡੇ ਠੁਡੇ  ਖਾ ਕੇ ਆਖਰ ਪਿਛਾਂ ਘਰ ਨੂੰ ਮੁੜਿਆ 
                               "ਭਾਈ ਵੀਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ" 

​ਕਵੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਹਿਰਦਾ ਬੜਾ ਕੋਮਲ ਅਤੇ ਸੰਵੇਦਨ ਸ਼ੀਲ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ ​| ਓਹ ਛੋਟੀ ਛੋਟੀ ਘਟਨਾਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਬੜੀ ਗਹਿਰਾਈ ਨਾਲ ਵੇਖਦੇ ਅਤੇ ਵਿਚਾਰਦੇ ਹਨ | 

​ਪਹਾੜਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਛੋਟੇ ਛੋਟੇ ਨਾਲੇ ਵੀ ਬੜੀ ਤੇਜੀ ਨਾਲ ਵਗਦੇ ਹਨ ​ਅਤੇ ਛੋਟੇ ਵੱਡੇ ਪੱਥਰਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਚੱਟਾਨਾਂ ਵਿਚੋਂ ਵੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਰਸਤਾ ਬਣਾ ਲੈਂਦੇ ਹਨ ਤੇ ਤੇਜੀ ਨਾਲ ਪਹਾੜਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਥੱਲੇ, ਮੈਦਾਨਾਂ ਵੱਲ ਦੌੜੇ ਚਲੇ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ।  
​ਇਸੇ ਤਰਾਂ ​ਨਵੇਂ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਵਿਚ ​ਵੀ ​ਨਵੇਂ ਝਰਨੇਆਂ ਵਾਂਗੂ ਤੇਜ ਰਵਾਨੀ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ, ਬਹੁਤਾ ਜੋਸ਼ ਤੇ ਚਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਏ, ਬਹਿਸ ਮੁਬਾਹਸਾ ਵੀ ਜਿਆਦਾ ਕਰਦੇ ਨੇ​| 
ਜੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਗੱਲ ਨਾ ਮੰਨੀ ਜਾਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਵਿਚ ਵੀ ਆ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਨੇ | 
ਅਜੇਹੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਜੇਕਰ ਕਿਧਰੇ ਠੋਕਰ ਲੱਗ ਜਾਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਪਿਛੇ ਵੀ ਮੁੜ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਨੇ ​ .......
​ਪਰ ਜਿਓਂ ਜਿਓਂ  ਸਮਝ ਵਧਦੀ ਹੈ, ​ਸਿਮਰਨ​ ਵਧਦਾ ਹੈ ਤਾਂ ਆਤਮਿਕ ਸ਼ਕਤੀ ਵੀ ਵਧਦੀ ਹੈ | ਧੀਰਜ ਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ, ਅਤੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖ ਲੋਕ ​ਬਹਿਸ ਮੁਬਾਹਿਸਾ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਥਾਂ ਤੇ ਸਹਿਜ ਅਵਸਥਾ ਵਿਚ ਹੀ ਆਪਣੀ ਗੱਲ ਦੱਸ ਕੇ ਸ਼ਾਂਤ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ | ਜੇਕਰ ਕੋਈ ਠੋਕਰ ਲੱਗ ਵੀ ਜਾਵੇ, ਕੋਈ ਦੁਖ 
ਜਾਂ ਮੁਸੀਬਤ ਵੀ ਆ ਜਾਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਵੀ ਸ਼ਾਂਤ ਅਵਸਥਾ ਵਿਚ ਰਹਿ ਕੇ ਆਪਣਾ ਰਸਤਾ ਬਣਾ ਲੈਂਦੇ ਹਨ | ਘਬਰਾਂਦੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਹਨ ਤੇ ਨਾ ਹੀ ਪਿਛੇ ਮੁੜਨ ਦਾ 
ਜਤਨ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ | 
ਸੰਸਾਰਿਕ ਰਸਤੇਆਂ ਵਾਂਗੁ ਹੀ ਅਧਿਆਤਮਿਕਤਾ ਦੇ ਰਸਤੇਆਂ ਵਿਚ ਵੀ ਕਈ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਆਉਂਦਿਆਂ ਹਨ।  
ਜੇਕਰ  ਗੁਰਮੁਖ ​ਲੋਕਾਂ ​​ਦੇ ​ਰਸਤੇ ਵਿਚ ​ਵੀ ​ਕੋਈ ਵੱਡੀ ਰੁਕਾਵਟ ਆ ਜਾਵੇ​, ਤਾਂ ​ਉਹ ​ਵੀ​ - ਪਹਾੜਾਂ 'ਚ  ਵਗਦੇ ਪਾਣੀ ਵਾਂਗ  ਰੁਕਦੇ ਨਹੀਂ - ਬਲਕਿ ​
ਸਹਿਜ ਭਾਵ ਨਾਲ ​ਆਪਣਾ ਰਸਤਾ ਕੱਢ ਲੈਂਦੇ ਹਨ ਅਤੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਨਿਸ਼ਾਨੇ ਵੱਲ ਵਧਦੇ ਚਲੇ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ । 


A Press reporter asked a company owner: 

"How do you Motivate your Employees to be so Punctual"?

He smiled & replied:

"It's simple; I have 30 employees & 28 Free Parking spaces 

The other two are 'Paid Parking'!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

कभी मैं तू हो जाता हूँ Kabhi main Tu Ho Jata hoon

कभी कभी मैं याद में तेरी यूँ खो जाता हूँ 
मैं नहीं रहता हूँ तब - बस तू हो जाता हूँ ​

Kabhi kabhi main yaad me teri yoon kho J​a​ata Hoon
Main Nahi​n​ Rehta​ hun tab - bus​ Tu Ho J​a​ata Hoon

Monday, June 26, 2017

Get your facts first

Get your facts first - 
Then you can distort them as you please.
                                                   "Mark Twain"


The ability to enjoy one's own company is one of the greatest gifts life has to offer. 
Learning to turn my thoughts away from all my responsibilities at the day's end and 
take my mind into a state of peace and benevolence enables me to carry greater and 
greater loads without feeling the burden. 
When my inner landscape is full of beautiful thoughts, everything I do is a pleasure. 
Gently, I calm down chaotic situations and offer solace to troubled mind.
                                                   (Writer: Unknown) 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Let Go of Ego

Everyone says ‘Get Rid of Ego’ –
In every Satsang, every sermon, and in every Holy book we hear or find statements such as:
“Ego is the biggest hindrance in Spirituality and attaining Moksha” – 
“Ego is the only wall between us and God” 
or “Get rid of ego if you want to achieve true Happiness” etc. 
But what is Ego? 
Ego is not just having a big head or when someone tries to show off. It’s present in any kind of ‘Attachment’- regardless of how small or big it is.
There is a subtle Ego present the moment we think “This is mine or That is mine!".
The Gyana teaches us that nothing is 'mine' or 'yours' - we are all trustees.
Where there is attachment, there is 'Fear' - fear of losing what we have or not being able to get what we want.

                     "Where there is ego, there is attachment.
                      Where there is attachment there is fear –
                     and where there is fear there cannot be (true) love
                     and where there is no (true-selfless) love there is misery.
                     This is why there is so much unhappiness in the world" (and in our lives) 
                                                                  (Quote from the web)

This is why all saints and sages, present and past Gurus - all Scriptures - Bhagavad Gita and others emphasize upon getting rid of ‘Ego’ through ‘detachment’.
By detaching from everything - we can banish ego. 
If there is no ego then there will be no fear.
When there is no fear, only then we can experience the true - selfless love and true happiness, which is the true nature of our ‘Self’.

अपनी नज़र ख़राब न कर / Apni Nazar Kharaab Na Kar

तू  औरों  के ऐब  देख  कर - बेनक़ाब  न  कर 
ख़ुदा हिसाब कर लेगा - तू उनका हिसाब न कर 
मत देख  बुरी नज़र से  मुझे - ऐ देखने वाले 
मैं लाख बुरा सही - तू अपनी नज़र ख़राब न कर 

Tu auron ke aaib dekh kar - benaqaab na kar
Khuda hisaab kar lega - Tu unka hissab na kar
Mat dekh buri nazar se Mujhe - ae dekhne wale
Main laakh bura sahi -Tu apni nazar kharaab na kar

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Person Giving Advice May Not Be Perfect

Gyana is Realization

Once the Gyana is properly understood, once the Truth (God) is realized, one understands that everything we see and feel thru the senses, is ' Maya ': ever changing and delusional - that everything except All-pervading Nirankar (God) is perishable.
All emotions; Joy and sorrow, Happiness and suffering, ego and attachments are creations of the mind and may be perceived in any way we want.  
After achieving the Gyana, one starts to look at everything in a different perspective. He sees everything – not as a separate, exclusive and isolated piece, but as a part of the whole. Similarly, he does not see any incidence as unique and complete by itself. He understands that every action has its cause and effect, therefore he can accept the outcome rationally and willingly - without cursing (or praising) the ‘destiny’ or considering it as random acts of God. Once we understand that every action has its consequence -  that we are responsible for everything we do – our actions will become thoughtful - because, when we do good for others, as a rule, it is bound to bring back good for us. 
Gyana is not merely a Mantra or ritual – it is understanding, realization and action as well.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

तुलसी दास के राम - सगुण या निर्गुण ?

ऊपरी सतह से देखने के कारण अधिकाँश लोग तुलसी दास को दशरथ पुत्र राम, अर्थात सगुण राम के उपाशक मान लेते हैं. कई बुद्धिजीवि विचारक भी तुलसी दास की विचारधारा को गुरु कबीर, गुरु नानक और गुरु रविदास इत्यादि की निर्गुण विचारधारा से अलग मानते हैं हालांकि तुलसीदास के गुरु 'श्री नरहरि ' भी निराकार एवं निर्गुण विचारधारा के ही संत थे 
स्वयं तुलसी दास ने भी 'राम चरित मानस' में कई स्थानों पर राम और निर्गुण ब्रह्म में कोई भेद न होने की बात कही है :
"अगुनहिं सगुनहिं नहिं किछु भेदा - गावत मुनि पुराण बुधि बेदा " 
'जो गुण रहित- सकल गुण कैसे - जल हिम उपल बिलग नहीं जैसे"

हिंदी साहित्यक पत्रिका 'भारत - दर्शन ' के अनुसार भी तुलसी दास के राम यथार्थ में निर्गुण ब्रह्म ही हैं 
                       'Excerpts from Bharat-Darshan Magazine'
किए चरित पावन परम प्राकृत नर अनूरूप।।
जथा अनेक वेष धरि नृत्य करइ नट कोइ ।
सोइ सोइ भाव दिखावअइ आपनु होइ न सोइ ।।  
                                           ( राम चरित मानस )

तुलसीदास की मान्यता है कि निर्गुण ब्रह्म 'राम' भक्त के प्रेम के कारण मनुष्य शरीर धारण कर लौकिक पुरुष के अनूरूप विभिन्न भावों का प्रदर्शन करते हैं। नाटक में एक नट अर्थात् अभिनेता अनेक पात्रों का अभिनय करते हुए उनके अनुरूप वेषभूषा पहन लेता है तथा अनेक पात्रों अर्थात् चरितों का अभिनय करता है। जिस प्रकार वह नट, नाटक में अनेक पात्रों के अनुरूप वेष धारण करने तथा उनका अभिनय करने से वही पात्र नहीं हो जाता - नट ही रहता है उसी प्रकार रामचरितमानस में भगवान राम ने लौकिक मनुष्य के अनुरूप जो विविध लीलाएँ की हैं उससे भगवान राम तत्वत: वही नहीं हो जाते,  राम तत्वत: निर्गुण ब्रह्म ही हैं। तुलसीदास ने इसे और स्पष्ट करते हुए कहा है कि उनकी इस लीला के रहस्य को बुदि्धहीन लोग नहीं समझ पाते तथा मोहमुग्ध होकर लीला रूप को ही वास्तविक समझ लेते हैं। आवश्यकता तुलसीदास के अनुरूप राम के वास्तविक एवं तात्त्विक रूप को आत्मसात् करने की है ।
                                               'भारत -दर्शन से साभार'

एक अंदर भी है - Ek Andar Bhi Hai

सफर कितने ही हैं बाहर मगर है एक अंदर भी 
मंज़िलें  - कई हैं बाहर , मगर है एक अंदर भी
न इतना भाग ऐ बन्दे - कि दम ही निकल जाये 
बड़े भगवान हैं बाहर - मगर है एक अंदर भी     
                  "डॉक्टर जगदीश  सचदेवा "
                             (मिशिगन , यू एस ऐ )

Safar kitanay hi hain baahar magar hai ek andar bhi 
Manzilen - kayi hain baahar,  magar hai ek andar bhi 
Na itnaa bhaag ae banday - ki dam hee nikal jaaye 
Baday Bhagvaan hain baahar magar hai ek andar bhi 
                  By: "Doctor Jagdish Sachdeva"
                                             Michigan USA 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

God is Friend of Silence

We need to find God 
But he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. 
God is the friend of silence. 
See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence 
See the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence
We need silence to be able to touch souls.
                               'Mother Teresa'

Monday, June 19, 2017

Solitude Or Massive Congregations ?

Some people believe that Truth can only be realized thru solitude and some others prefer massive congregations.
Is one better than the other? 
They both have their advantages and disadvantages. 
Solitude is good. But an overly isolated, reclusive life can lead to unhappiness and delusion. 
In the same way, massive congregations and relationships are good. But too much social interaction can also lead to conflicts, and differences among the members and may even end in separations or splits in the groups.

I remember reading somewhere that Lord Buddha said - just like there are variations in the nature, so are the variations in life. Just like the nature repeats the different cycles of seasons, so should be the life of the Buddhas, the enlightened ones.
It is said that Lord Buddha used to follow certain patterns. He used to stay in solitude for a couple of months. Then he would start preaching small groups of Bhikhus (monks) and disciples. After few weeks of teaching at his place, he would start traveling to address bigger crowds. After few months of traveling and addressing massive congregations, he would again go in solitude for few months*.
Baba Hardev Singh ji used to say that mobile phones are good, but sometimes - or at some places - they lose signal. Therefore, having a land-line also is quite important. Similarly - he would add - "focused meditation or Sumiran in moments of solitude is also very important".   
We can get benefit in both the situations – in Solitude and in crowds – as long as we know how to keep a balance and not to get distracted from the objective of achieving the goal.
   ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

*Some Spiritual organizations still follow the same principle. Their monks travel to different places for two months to preach small and large audiences. Then they come back and stay at the Ashram or at their residence for next two months and spend time in reading Scriptures and focus on their own meditation. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

कहु नानक सुन रे मना

भय काहू को देत नहीं - नहिं भय मानत आन 
कहु नानक सुन रे मना - ज्ञानी ताहिं बखान 

हरख सोग जाके नहीं  -  वैरी मीत  समान

कहु नानक सुन रे मना - मुक्त ताहिं तै जान 

जहिं माया ममता तजी सब ते भयो उदास 

कहु नानक सुन रे मना तेहिं घट ब्रह्म निवास 

जहिं बिखया सगली तजी - जीओ  पेख बैराग 

कहु नानक सुन रे मना - ते नर माथे भाग

जहिं  प्राणी  हउमै  तजी  कर्ता  राम  पछाण 

कहु नानक मोह मुक्त नर एह मन साची मान  

भय नासन दुरमत हरन कल महिं हरि को नाम

निसदिन जो नानक भजे सकल होहिं तहिं काम 

नाम-धन या नाम और धन

आज का मानव नाम-धन को छोड़ कर नाम और धन के  पीछे  भाग रहा है
निरंकरी मिशन में भी युग पुरुष पूज्यनीय बाबा अवतार सिंह जी महाराज के समय
धर्म ग्रंथों के अध्यन, जिज्ञासा और फिर खोज के बाद ज्ञान मिलता था - जिसका मूल्य 
समझ कर दिल से समर्पण और भक्ति की जाती थी
आज के समय में बिना अध्यन और बिना खोज किए आसानी से ज्ञान मिल जाता है 
इसलिए ज्यादातर भक्ति दिमाग से हो रही है और जब दिमाग से भक्ति होती है तो 
तर्क बीच में आ जाता है और श्रद्धा कम हो जाती है

                                      ' गुरुप्रकाश चुघ ' (गाँधी नगर )

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Paths Are Made By walking. -- Not Flying

Travelers - there is no path - Paths are made by walking

A Graduation Speech given by Nipun Mehta on May 14, 2012 at the University of Pennsylvania

"Offbeat Graduation Speech Gets Standing Ovation:
Back in 2005, six months into our marriage, my wife and I decided to “step it up” ourselves and go on a walking pilgrimage.  At the peak of our efforts with Service Space, we wondered if we had the capacity to put aside our worldly success and seek higher truths.  Have you ever  thought of something and then just known that it had to happen? It was one of those things.  So we sold all our major belongings, and bought a one-way ticket to India.  Our plan was to head to Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram, since he had always been an inspiration to us, and then walk South.  Between the two of us, we budgeted a dollar a day, mostly for incidentals -- which meant that for our survival we had to depend utterly on the kindness of strangers.  We ate whatever food was offered and slept wherever place was offered.  

Now, I do have to say, such ideas come with a warning: do not try this at home, because your partner might not exactly welcome this kind of honeymoon. :-)

For us, this walk was a pilgrimage -- and our goal was simply to be in a space larger than our egos, and to allow that compassion to guide us in unscripted acts of service along the way.  Stripped entirely of our comfort zone and accustomed identities, could we still “keep it real”?  That was our challenge.
We ended up walking 1000 kilometers over three months. In that period, we encountered the very best and the very worst of human nature -- not just in others, but also within ourselves.

Soon after we ended the pilgrimage, my uncle casually popped the million dollar question at the dinner table: "So, Nipun, what did you learn from this walk?"  I didn't know where to begin.  But quite spontaneously, an acronym -- W-A-L-K -- came to mind, which encompassed the key lessons we had learned, and continue to relearn, even to this day.  As you start the next phase of your journey, I want to share those nuggets with the hope that it might illuminate your path in some small way too.

The W in WALK stands for Witness.  

When you walk, you quite literally see more.  Your field of vision is nearly 180 degrees, compared to 40 degrees when you’re traveling at 62 mph.  Higher speeds smudge our peripheral vision, whereas walking actually broadens your canvas and dramatically shifts the objects of your attention.  For instance, on our pilgrimage, we would notice the sunrise every day, and how, at sunset, the birds would congregate for a little party of their own.  Instead of adding Facebook friends online, we were actually making friends in person, often over a cup of hot “chai”.   Life around us came alive in a new way.  
A walking pace is the speed of community.  Where high speeds facilitate separation, a slower pace gifts us an opportunity to commune.   
As we traversed rural India at the speed of a couple of miles per hour, it became clear how much we could learn simply by bearing witness to the villagers' way of life.   Their entire mental model is different -- the multiplication of wants is replaced by the basic fulfillment of human needs. When you are no longer preoccupied with asking for more and more stuff; then you just take what is given and give what is taken.  Life is simple again.  A farmer explained it to us this way: "You cannot make the clouds rain more, you cannot make the sun shine less.  They are just nature's gifts -- take it or leave it."  
  When the things around you are seen as gifts, they are no longer a means to an end; they are the means and the end.  And thus, a cow-herder will tend to his animals with the compassion of a father, a village woman will wait 3 hours for a delayed bus without a trace of anger, a child will spend countless hours fascinated by stars in the galaxy, and finding his place in the vast cosmos.
So, with today's modernized tools at your ready disposal, don’t let yourself zoom obliviously from point A to point B on the highways of life; try walking the backroads of the world, where you will witness a profoundly inextricable connection with all living things. 

 The A in WALK stands for Accept.
When walking in this way, you place yourself in the palm of the universe, and face its realities head on. We walked at the peak of summer, in merciless temperatures hovering above 120 degrees.  Sometimes we were hungry, exhausted and even frustrated. Our bodies ached for just that extra drink of water, a few more moments in the shade, or just that little spark of human kindness. Many times, we received that extra bit, and our hearts would overflow with gratitude.  But sometimes we were abruptly refused, and we had to cultivate the capacity to accept the gifts hidden in even the most challenging of moments.
The L in WALK stands for Love 

The more we learned from nature, and built a kind of inner resilience to external circumstances, the more we fell into our natural state -- which was to be loving.  In our dominant paradigm, Hollywood has insidiously co-opted the word, but the love I’m talking about here is the kind of love that only knows one thing -- to give with no strings attached.  Purely.  Selflessly. 

Most of us believe that to give, we first need to have something to give.  The trouble with that is, that when we are taking stock of what we have, we almost always make accounting errors.  Oscar Wilde once quipped, “Now-a-days, people know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.”  We have forgotten how to value things without a price tag.  Hence, when we get to our most abundant gifts -- like attention, insight, compassion -- we confuse their worth because they’re, well, priceless.  

On our walking pilgrimage, we noticed that those who had the least were most readily equipped to honor the priceless.  In urban cities, the people we encountered began with an unspoken wariness: “Why are you doing this?  What do you want from me?”   In the countryside, on the other hand, villagers almost always met us with an open-hearted curiosity launching straight in with: “Hey buddy, you don’t look local.  What’s your story?”  

In the villages, your worth wasn’t assessed by your business card, professional network or your salary. That innate simplicity allowed them to love life and cherish all its connections.  
 Extremely poor villagers, who couldn’t even afford their own meals, would often borrow food from their neighbors to feed us.  When we tried to refuse, they would simply explain: “To us, the guest is God.  This is our offering to the divine in you that connects us to each other.”  Now, how could one refuse that?  Street vendors often gifted us vegetables; in a very touching moment, an armless fruit-seller once insisted on giving us a slice of watermelon.  Everyone, no matter how old, would be overjoyed to give us directions, even when they weren’t fully sure of them. :)  And I still remember the woman who generously gave us water when we were extremely thirsty -- only to later discover that she had to walk 10 kilometers at 4AM to get that one bucket of water. These people knew how to give, not because they had a lot, but because they knew how to love life.  They didn’t need any credit or assurance that you would ever return to pay them back.  Rather, they just trusted in the pay-it-forward circle of giving.

When you come alive in this way, you'll realize that true generosity doesn’t start when you have something to give, but rather when there’s nothing in you that’s trying to take.  So, I hope that you will make all your precious moments an expression of loving life.

And lastly, the K in WALK stands for Know Thyself 

Sages have long informed us that when we serve others unconditionally, we shift from the me-to-the-we and connect more deeply with the other.  That matrix of inter-connections allows for a profound quality of mental quietude.  Like a still lake undisturbed by waves or ripples, we are then able to see clearly into who we are and how we can live in deep harmony with the environment around us.

When one foot walks, the other rests.  Doing and being have to be in balance. 

Our rational mind wants to rightfully ensure progress, but our intuitive mind also needs space for the emergent, unknown and unplanned to arise.   Doing is certainly important, but when we aren't aware of our internal ecosystem, we get so vested in our plans and actions, that we don't notice the buildup of mental residue.  Over time, that unconscious internal noise starts polluting our motivations, our ethics and our spirit.  And so, it is critical to still the mind. A melody, after all, can only be created with the silence in between the notes. 
As we walked -- witnessed, accepted, loved -- our vision of the world indeed grew clearer.  That clarity, paradoxically enough, blurred our previous distinctions between me versus we, inner transformation versus external impact, and selfishness versus selflessness. They were inextricably connected. When a poor farmer gave me a tomato as a parting gift, with tears rolling down his eyes, was I receiving or giving?  When sat for hours in silent meditation, was the benefit solely mine or would it ripple out into the world?  When I lifted the haystack off an old man's head and carried it for a kilometer, was I serving him or serving myself?

Which is to say, don't just go through life -- grow through life. It will be easy and tempting for you to arrive at reflexive answers -- but make it a point, instead, to acknowledge mystery and welcome rich questions ... questions that nudge you towards a greater understanding of this world and your place in it.

That’s W-A-L-K.  And today, at this momentous milestone of your life, you came in walking and you will go out walking.   As you walk on into a world that is increasingly aiming to move beyond the speed of thought, I hope you will each remember the importance of traveling at the speed of thoughtfulness. I hope that you will take time to witness our magnificent interconnections. That you will accept the beautiful gifts of life even when they aren’t pretty, that you will practice loving selflessly and strive to know your deepest nature. 

I want to close with a story about my great grandfather.  He was a man of little wealth who still managed to give every single day of his life.  Each morning, he had a ritual of going on a walk -- and as he walked, he diligently fed the ant hills along his path with small pinches of wheat flour.  Now that is an act of micro generosity so small that it might seem utterly negligible, in the grand scheme of the universe.  How does it matter?  It matters in that it changed him inside.  And my great grandfather's goodness shaped the worldview of my grandparents who in turn influenced that of their children -- my parents.   Today those ants and the ant hills are gone, but my great grandpa’s spirit is very much embedded in all my actions and their future ripples. It is precisely these small, often invisible, acts of inner transformation that mold the stuff of our being, and bend the arc of our shared destiny. 

May you be blessed. Change yourself -- change the world

                   By: Nipun Mehta 
                      (From The Web)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Are You Too Small to Make a Difference?

If you think you are too small to make a difference - 
Try sleeping with a mosquito.
                             ~ Dalai Lama ~

We can still Change

Though our past does have something to do with what we are today
but it cannot dictate who we can be in the future. 
No matter where we have been, and no matter what we might have done in the past, 
we have the power to change. 
We have a God-given gift of free will and determination that can help us bring the change 
to become the person we want to be. 
As an individual and as an organization as well - we have the power to improve ourselves 
to become someone better than we were yesterday. 
                                                'Rajan Sachdeva'

Thursday, June 15, 2017

'What and Who' We Are

DNA makes us ​'​what​'​ we are.
Our thinking, learning and circumstances make us ​'​who​'​ we are.

What we are, never changes​. ​
Who we are … never stops changing.

Consider DNA as 'destiny' - that we are born with.
We may not be able to change the way we look, our features or color of the skin. 
That is what we are.

But whether we are going to be happy or sad, good or bad, kind or cruel - is in our power. 
We have the power to change 'who we are’ and ‘who we will be' with our thoughts and 
actions; the 'Karma'.
So, instead of worrying about ‘what’ we are, we should focus on - ‘who’ we want to be.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Definition of God

Definition of God by St. Anselm

 “That ... than which nothing greater can be conceived.” 


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Factors - That Destroy Humanity

Mahatma Gandhi was once asked:
what are the factors that destroy humanity? 

He replied: 
Politics without principle, 
Pleasure without commitment, 
Wealth without work, 
Wisdom without character, 
Business without morality, 
Science without humanity 
and Prayer without charity.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Is it Wrong To Ask Questions ?

No. It is not wrong to ask questions. 
The fact that you are asking questions shows that you want to know - that you may have understood it to some degree and are trying now to understand more deeply. It could also mean that you understand it in a different way and now want to explore it from the other people's point of view.
It means you are not a blind follower.
It means that you are using the faculty of 'thinking, examining and analyzing' – a precious gift from God; a faculty that is available only to humans.
No other creature has this ability. Only humans can question and try to find the answers.
Why would God give this 'gift’ – the ability to ‘think, examine and analyze' to us if He did not want us to use it?

However, there is another side. It depends on what kind of questions we ask - how we ask them and why. Are we asking questions to satisfy a genuine quest for knowledge or just for the sake of argument - or to bring some one down? 
Great minds ask great questions.  Many people consider Arjuna a lesser Bhakta (Devotee) because he kept asking questions. As a matter of fact, we should be grateful to Arjuna for asking such intelligent questions. If he had not asked those questions to Lord Krishna, then there would have been no 'Bhagavad Geeta' today.  It is indeed because of Arjuna that the world has received such a great gift in the form of ‘Gita’ - a great scripture that has changed the lives of countless number of people all over the world. It is the description on the subjects of Aatma and Parmaatma; the soul and God - and the importance of Gyana, Karma, and Bhakti - and how to achieve Moksha etc. explained so clearly and vividly, so eloquently in this Holy book that many Hindus like myself were able to properly understand the Gyana received from our Satguru and accept it whole heartedly.
It was possible only because Arjuna had asked some valid and intelligent questions from his Guru. 

Most Upanishads and some parts of the Guru Granth Sahib are also written in the form of questions and answers. 
One of the most important and fundamental questions about the life was asked and answered by the Guru in the Japuji Sahib:
                   "किव सचिआरा होइयै - किव कूड़ै तुटै पाल "
                  "Kiv Sachiaara Hoyiae, Kiv Koodhai tute paal"
(How can we become truthful, break the veil of ‘unreal’ and live a life of 'truthfulness'?)

And the Guru replied:
                      "हुकम रजाई चलणा नानक लिखिआ नाल "
                     "Hukam Rajaayi Chalnaa Nanak Likheaa Naal"

(Nanak says live your life with the flow of the ‘Highest Order’)
.... by accepting everything and surrendering.

How would have we gotten such a simple and profound answer to this complex question
if no one had asked it?

                             ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

गाँव के दो भाई

एक बहुत पुरानी कथा है । किसी गांव में दो भाई रहते थे । दोनों मिल कर सांझी खेती करते थे ।
बडे की शादी हो गई थी । उसके दो बच्चे भी थे । लेकिन छोटा भाई अभी कुंवारा था । 

एक बार जब उनके खेत में गेहूं की फसल पककर तैयार हो गई तो दोनों ने मिलकर फसल काटी और गेहूं तैयार किया। इसके बाद दोनों 
ने आधा-आधा गेहूं बांट लिया। अब उन्हें ढोकर घर ले जाना बचा था । रात हो गई थी, इसलिए यह काम अगले दिन ही हो पाता। दोनों ने 
रात में फसल की रखवाली के लिए खलिहान पर ही रुकना उचित समझा । 
दोनों को भूख भी लगी थी। लेकिन अगर दोनों एकसाथ चले जाएँ तो गेहूँ के चोरी हो जाने का डर था। इसलिए उन्हों ने बारी-बारी से  घर 
जाने का फ़ैसला किया । पहले बड़ा भाई खाना खाने घर चला गया । छोटा भाई खलिहान पर ही रुक गया । बड़े भाई के जाने के बाद वह 
सोचने लगा - भैया की शादी हो गई है, उनका परिवार है, बच्चे हैं, इसलिए उन्हें ज्यादा अनाज की जरूरत होगी। यह सोचकर उसने 
अपने ढेर से दो टोकरी गेहूं निकालकर बड़े भाई के ढेर में मिला दिया । 
थोड़ी देर में बड़ा भाई खाना खाकर लौट आया तो छोटा भाई खाना खाने घर चला गया । 
बड़ा भाई सोचने लगा - मेरा तो परिवार है, बच्चे हैं, वे मेरा ध्यान रख सकते हैं । लेकिन मेरा छोटा भाई तो एकदम अकेला है, इसे तो देखने 
वाला कोई नहीं है । इसे मुझसे ज्यादा गेहूं की जरूरत पड़ सकती है । ये सोच कर उसने अपने ढेर से दो टोकरी गेहूं उठा कर छोटे भाई के 
गेहूं के ढेर में मिला दिया!

इस तरह दोनों के गेहूं की कुल मात्रा में तो कोई कमी नहीं आई। 
लेकिन हाँ  -  दोनों के आपसी प्रेम और भाईचारे में थोड़ी और वृद्धि जरूर हो गई ।

Sunday, June 11, 2017

We Have Two 'Selfs’

We all have two 'Selfs’..........
Lower-Self and the Higher-Self.

At the Lower Self level, we tend to believe that we are .....
What we look like
What we have or have not
What we have achieved
What others think of us
What we think of ourselves

In other words, we see ourselves on the basis of our appearance, possessions, achievements and perceptions. However, we know that none of these can define our true identity. 
The True or Higher self is beyond the body and mind; hidden behind the five sheaths of the physical structure, and thought processes. 
The Lower self is formed on the foundation of temporary appearance, possessions, and false perceptions which are the sources of Ego. This part of our Self is always eager to gain more, possess more and achieve more - to become ‘something’ or ‘someone’, and to be recognized. Therefore, it’s always restless and unhappy. 
On the other hand, the constitution of the Higher Self is pure Bliss.  
The more we identify ourselves with the ‘higher-Self’, more content and happy we shall become. 
Just as the flowers vanish when the fruits appear - similarly, when the Higher- Self (Divine) grows, 
the lower-self (ego) vanishes.

                                      ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Addicted to Praise ?

Mirza Ghalib said:
                       फिर शौक़ कर रहा है ख़रीदार की तलब 
                      अर्ज़े  मताए अक़्लो दिलो जां  किए  हुए 

               Phir shauq kar raha hai kharidaar ki talab
               Arze mataaye aql-o-dil-o jaan kiye huye 

Every artist - painter, poet, singer, musician or magician is always looking for a 'buyer'; an admirer - 
someone to understand and appreciate his or her art work. 
Not only the artists, it applies to all of us. 
We all want to be liked, valued and appreciated. 
This is part of the human nature. There's no doubt that we feel encouraged and become more motivated 
by praise - especially from those who matter to us in some way. But it's also easy to become addicted 
to praise. 
Enjoying and feeling encouraged by praise is one thing but becoming addicted to praise and constantly expecting it, is another and harmful - as it will boost our ego and become hindrance to the spiritual growth. 
Therefore, savor compliments without needing them. 
Enjoy performing well - even if no one notices. Give your best without expecting validation.
As we mature spiritually there is less need to have our self-respect boosted by praise and special attention 
from others. As our thought processes become more compassionate and less self-centered or self-obsessed, 
we feel increasingly satisfied with ourselves and our lives - and feel no need to draw attention to our 
successes or complain about our problems.

                                                   'Rajan Sachdeva'

Friday, June 9, 2017

Trying To Control 'Reality'

We always try to control the 'reality' - whatever is happening with and around us.  
We are convinced that ' what is' or 'what has happened' has something to do with me.
Most of the times, we look at the 'happenings' in two different ways.

1.  It is the way it is because I did something to make it happen this way. 
     Had I 'Not done that', the reality would have been different. 

2. It is the way it is because I did NOT do something to change it, to make it happen differently. 
    Had I done 'something', the reality would have been different. 

   The first scenario has a sense of 'ego'.
   The second has a sense of  'guilt'.
               (Actually- in both the scenarios, if the outcome is good and favorable, it boosts our ego, 
               and if the outcome turns out to be bad or ‘not so good’  then it gives us a sense of guilt.)   

But how do we really know that 'with or without our actions' the things would have been different? 
We will never know, would we ?
We can not go back and see if our 'doing or not doing' would change anything. 

When we start questioning reality, we either become egotistic or experience stress and frustration. 

Does that mean we should not do anything? 

No. It means perform your actions diligently and conscientiously, and accept whatever the outcome is. 
That is what Lord Krishna meant when he said:
               " Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kadachinah
                  Ma Karma Phal Hetur Bhurma tey Sangostva Akarmani " 
                                                                     (Bhagvad Gita 2 : 47)

" You have the right to perform your actions, but the fruits of the actions are not in your control.
  Never consider yourself to be the cause of the result of your actions, 
  nor you should be attached to the thought of Not doing your duty."        (Bhagvad Gita 2:47 )

So, stop arguing with or questioning the 'Reality'. 
It is what it is. 
Just keep performing the action to the best of your ability and....
             हुकम रजाई चलना नानक लिखया नाल 
"Hukam Razaayi chalna, Nanak likheya naal" (Japuji Sahib)

Go with the flow of the "Highest Order".

This is the way to attain the peace and bliss. 

                              'Rajan Sachdeva'

Know Well

Know well what leads you forward
and what holds you back
and choose the path that leads to wisdom.
                                   'Lord Buddha'

हम दुआ लिखते रहे - Hum Duaa Likhtay Rahay

हम दुआ लिखते रहे - वो दग़ा पढ़ते रहे  एक नुक़्ते ने महरम से मुजरिम कर दिया  Hum duaa likhtay rahay - vo daghaa padhtay rahay Ek nuqtay nay...