Monthly Archives: October 2016

Man Is Unique…On Grounds Of Compassion

uthanga

It was one of those times when the sishya (disciple) felt free to air his doubts.

‘Guruji, if god created man why has man not inherited traits of god just as I’ve taken after my father? Why is he not like god? God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient…while man is not…’

‘Let me tell you a short story. Hope you’ll find your answer.’

“  

One evening there was this man, a poor beggar, going about the streets of Kashi. Perhaps someone who came in search of peace and enlightenment and did not wish to return – Kashi, a city with a hoary past, did that to many.

As he footed the affluent section of the city where the rich merchants trading in silk resided, seeking food, doors were slammed on his face with a look of annoyance.

On the streets housing the workmen and artisans, and also those engaged in religious activities serving the steady inflow of pilgrims – here too he drew a blank.

Now with nowhere else to go, he headed towards the ghats of the river Ganges.

On the way past a garbage dump there was an old leper with visibly advanced affliction readying his dinner spread. Whatever he had managed to collect as alms, he made equal portions for his dog and himself. Just when he was on his first morsel of food, the leper froze seeing the haggard face.

The leper beckoned him to his side: ‘Stranger, come here. Have this – you look bad. Well, it’s not much…might help in refreshing yourself a little.’

The man took a little bit from the outstretched misshapen hand.

‘Know me?’

The leper shrugged: ’How does it matter who you’re? First eat and then talk.’

‘Do you know who I’m?’ the voice was raised a notch.

A certain firmness perceived in the voice made him look up. Was he from the local constabulary in mufti sent to evict him?

Taking a while, ‘You must be Vishwanatha.’ (the presiding deity in Kashi who, it was believed, took rounds of the city from time to time)

He gasped: ‘What makes you say that?’

‘Who else would readily take food without a hint of aversion from a disfigured discard?’

‘It’ll be a sin to deprive you of your food, my friend. Pray, do not worry about me. I’ll find mine.’

The man walked away quietly without looking back.

‘Have you got your answer now?’

‘Yes, Guruji. Seeing his compassion, the leper likened the man to god. So it must be compassion that man has inherited from his creator.’

‘Let me finish – there’s a little more to the story:’

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When he woke up next morning the leper realized he was right about Vishwanatha (Lord Shiva); mercifully, he was cured.’

‘Now what do you make of it?’

‘mmm’

‘My guru provided me an added perspective: God when he is god is just and severe – he lets the laws of Karma prevail remorselessly, to each according to his deeds. His compassion shows only when he manifests as human or, most likely, when he works through one. Could we then say compassion is a trait unique to man?’

It set the sishya thinking.

The guru smiled – he had done his job for the day.

 

End

Seeded from: Heard on MegaTV in a patti-manram program reported by TR Sathya at facebook.com/tr.sathya.3

Antidotes To Post-Retirement Blues: Two Views

 

Ray Mitchell sends out a daily post, available here, that I look forward to  – it’s a delightful collection of clean and simple humor interspersed with quotes and with a short preface of an observation or a tip from him on life, leaning more on how our advanced years may be spent engagingly and enjoyably.

His wisdom in a recent post:

“…

It is hard for me to believe that I retired the first time more than twenty five years ago. I retired for the last time fifteen years ago. As most of us who have retired have learned the walking away from colleagues leaves a void as we are no longer spending time with our workplace friends. As time goes by old friends move away and others pass on.

In truth I have learned that the worst disease accompanying old age is loneliness. I have benefited from the fact that my hobby of collecting new friends has made my later years some of the happiest of my life.

I think I have shared with you before that we must refill the chairs occupied by our friends when they leave for if we don’t the day may come when they are all empty and we are alone.

Here are thoughts taken from a lecture by Robert Waldinger, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School on why we need to continue to make friends:

…”

A couple of days ago, chatting with my cousin – a Phd in high-voltage engineering with long years in R & D in industry and in academics – feeling a bit low, I was bemoaning an overwhelming feeling in these post-retirement years of not actively contributing in any sphere of activity, never mind the reasons (health, etc.).

The way I was seeing it – he assured me it was no different with him.  But the companionship and presence he was providing to his spouse and family, he thought, was a very significant and satisfying contribution from him that was not possible during employment. Very well articulated, it did seem so to me.

Both Ray’s and my cousin’s views/tips make good sense -they are simple and seem perfectly adoptable in one’s life; and it has worked for them.

Well, let me see what I do with it.

End   

 

PS: My thanks to Dr. S R. Kannan for his interesting perspective..

 

A Tale From A Mango Tree (A Drabble)

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The Sanyasi and his shishya were passing through under the Mango Tree.

That’s when a small stone fell barely missing the Sanyasi’s head.  No damage done.

The shishya looked around and saw a scrawny looking man poised to have another go at a raw mango on the Tree.

‘Hey, pause for a couple of minutes, we’ll be gone. See, you almost hurt my Guruji with the stone.’

The man was unapologetic: ‘Do you guys know what it is to go without food? You appear well-fed. Move away. Else you might get hurt properly this time.’

Turning to the Sanyasi, the sishya mumbled: ‘What insolence…uncouth fellow…Let’s go from here, Guruji. No point in talking to him.’

The Sanyasi agreed with his assessment: ‘You’re right, we should go. An empty stomach never feeds on reason…give me a moment.’

Calling the man to his side the Sanyasi turned to his sishya: ‘Please present him the fruits we are carrying. That should ease his hunger until he finds his next meal.’

Disapproval writ on his face, the shishya did his Guru’s bidding.

The man grabbed the bag like it was his and walked off without even looking at them. No gesture or word of gratitude for them.

The Sanyasi calmly picked up the stone, held it to his eyes like it was something scared and stowed it in his habit.

As they continued their sancharam, he shared his thoughts with the puzzled sishya more as a self-reflection:

‘This stone is a great reminder to me. A sanyasi’s dharma is not to save food for the next meal – even fruits. Even otherwise, look at it this way: To a fellow throwing stones at it, if a tree can give away its fruits, shouldn’t we…mind you the one stone wasn’t thrown at me nor did it as much as graze me.’

The Mango Tree smiled.

End

 

 

 

Source: Inspired by a strip in Dina Thanthi

Serpent Ring And The Magic of Acceptance

mira prabhu

Kiri 16GB sd card 5294I met a wild looking sadhu on the way up to Skand Ashram many moons ago, and noticed that he wore incredible jewelry, all in the shape of serpents, and fashioned of copper and gold.

He told me a jeweler in a town far away had made it for him. I asked if he could make me a ring, and he agreed. I gave him an advance and the ring came as promised—a golden serpent coiled like the kundalini with a small ruby for an eye.

I have grown to love this ring for it represents my passion for the serpent fire (Kundalini)—which is nothing less than the energy of primal mind that fuels the process of enlightenment. Nothing but this fiery energy can halt the power of my chaotic mind, and I use a kundalini practice as a base for Atma-Vichara, Self-Investigation or the Direct Path, as taught by Ramana Maharshi.

Anyway, my friend James recently…

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