Quotable quotes from Appa
In Sandyavandana a most important mantra is:
/Asavadityo Brahma /
With the two hands touch the chest, close the eyes and deeply meditate on the truth that the 'Jeevatman' -Soul and 'Paramatman' - the Absolute Atman or Supreme Soul, are one.
„If God can be with us who can be against us?“
„;The reward for hard work is more work“
„If you are destined to be a Dog only in your next birth, don't bark now“
„If you play the role of Ravanna, then you must abduct Sita“
„There is one only way to do anything in life - the excellent way“
„Give until it hurts“
„Be a daredevil“
„Every man gets the wife that he deserves. Every woman gets the mother-in-law that she deserves“
„Three things are lost for ever if you let someone borrow them: Books, money and women“
„Have a hundred eyes and ears always“
„The average Malayali will work as hard as any one, but he will expect seven days wages for it.“
„Even an ant is ambitious...it only moves forward“
„Always roar like a Lion..“
„Be a Yamaghataki and Yamaghataki“
„Be cruelly kind to your children instead of being kindly cruel...“
„A lawyer must always advise his client to do the right things the right way or know that wrong things are sometimes done in the right way, the right things the wrong way and the wrong things the wrong way..“
„Always err on the safe side...“
„Astrology has an element of science ... but all astrologers are frauds!“
„Touch nothing that you cannot adorn“
„This Computer adorns home like an expensive toy!“
„My memory is better than any super-computer, it cannot be replaced“.
„One Keralite equals two Indians, Two Keralites equal one trade union
and three Keralites equal two trade unions“
„A Malayali is most productive and efficient only when he starts his own enterprise“.
„Collecting fees from certain clients should be sometimes like a painless surgery“.
„The left should not know what the right is doing when donating“.
„If you wake me up in my sleep want me to define - what is a contract? I will state it without a mistake.
Acceptance to an offer is like a matchstick to a stack of gunfire“
„You must always have intellectual integrity whilst presenting a case in court, have a cool temperament, never offend the Bench and have a pedantic approach to a case and the underlying law“.
„In a society where money is the only valid tender, emotions and relationships are saleable and purchaseable commodities. Do not, therefore, wonder as worse is awaiting mankind“
„Yes, Government can be the catalyst, but you still need the opportunist who grabs the idea and implements it successfully“.
„Meaningful inter-action on a continuing basis should take place between the academia and Industry, so that they become complimentary in national development and dynamic creativity“
„Indian citizens lack elementary yet logical awareness about waste and its dimensions“..
„As long as what you say is honest, either as fact or as judgment, you should express it without fear or favour. Truth is always bitter, when spoken it becomes remedial“.
OnAsking Women to emulate Sita
"Before asking women to emulate Sita, men should set an example by emulaing Rama, themselves. Otherwise it is male-chauvinistic suggestion, which no woman will accept".
Is Indian Tricolour anymore relevant ?
“What mattered to people then - transparency everywhere, goodness in everyone, sharing sorrow and joy and total love of and dedication to the Motherland. None of these prevails to-day”
Vaishnava jana to…
“Gandhiji's prayer meetings in the evenings, everyday and whereever he was, included this as the main item. He would be meditating with closed eyes when this was sung in chorus by his followers on the stage. I have seen him do this in Palni, in 1944.”
On Moral Education
“Unless moral values are inculcated into the minds of students we cannot rear a generation of responsible citizens. It is all right to talk of secularism in education, but we seem to be paying a heavy price for ignoring moral education in our study curriculum.”
Teachers, Then & Now
“Teachers, then, were TEACHERS, NOT BUMS WHO MAKE BUMS. One of my teachers once told us " Roar like a lion, do not bray like an ass". I owe much of my success in life to my teachers and, of course, my father.”
“Very few get to realise their dreams. It needs hard work, concentration and robust common-sense, above all deservedness as established by past karmas in several lives.”
Religion Belongs to the Kitchen!
“I have been saying this for long that, as people become literate, they will subordinate religion to the kitchen, where it belongs. They would clamour more for food and less for religious routine. This change has come about near totally amongst Hindus, substantially among the Christians, and is beginning to bite Islam. It should take another two or three decades to percolate.”
Kerala 9-year-old drives Ferrari, creating furore
“India will have to tackle this menace of errant boys and their irresponsible parents, once they are through the Rape chapter !”
Indian Education is Useless
“Clearly, the line of demarcation is between those "who know" and those "who do not". If some are happy with the present system of education, so be it.”
“It is truly a rapid deterioration of teaching/learning standards and absence of regulatory mechanism that we are a country of spolt brats!”
Modi, Nehru and the falling rupee
I remember the good old days. A Gold sovereign weighing 8 Grams was available for Rs.16 to Rs.18. This is now around Rs.21,000 ! The American Dollar was available for Rs.3.50. When I went on my first foreign trip in 1961, I got Dollars at Rs. 4.25 ! In 1966 it was around Rs.7.50 and then came a devaluation of the rupee and the Dollar cost around Rs.13/-. The Economic Advisors of those times should own up mthe blame, also the political masters who listened to them.
On BL article “India’s Never Had It So Bad”
Appa said: “What the Editors exorcised, the readers have said very emphatically. They do not know the pulse of the readers”.
Whose Rupee is it anyway?
“if we stop any more birth of children, postpone weddings by a couple of years, encourage the farmers of Maharashtra and Karnataka, Andhra, give instant death to the corrupt politicians and rapist urbanites, every rupee can match the dollar !”
“What the hell is that handsome Prince from Gwalior waiting for. He should jettison Sonia's apron-strings and venture out. He is PM material, if properly trained”.
Quintessence of Upanishadic wisdom
Marginal notes from my book-readings
I have been an above-average reader of books , mostly relating to mythology and philosophy. In the course of such reading, on several occasions and contexts, I had felt like making marginal notes based on my understanding of what I was reading.
When I look at these, in retrospect, I am surprised at what I wrote, especially the content and the quality.
I believe this might interest others who are inclined towards mythology and philosophy. Therefore, I thought of collecting them and including them in my Website.
I enter a caveat to my readers, they might or might not agree with my comments. They should look at these only as the views of a painstaking reader.
No originality is claimed.
- Love can only grow, never fade.
- All pairs of opposites are built into each other. Sleep into activity, happiness into unhappiness, feast into fast, friendship into animosity, love into hatred. These are integral to each other.
- 'Being' is an involuntary event; 'becoming' epitomises our effort.
- The product of materialistic philosophy is a fool's paradise.
- Being an "utter fool"or being an "all-knowing one" are both equally happy. It is those who are in between that go through worldly sufferings.
- Sri Rama and Sri Krishna were Avatars of God, with infinite energy and powers. Yet, they did not solve all the problems of the then society. They did what they could, then and there, every day. So should we, here and now.
- Past is "tense", future is "tense", present is a "gift".
- Past is history, future is mystery, present is a 'present' from God.
- Recognising God is like recognising a close friend or ally. This is done by seeing him closely, or listening to him or by witnessing his actions. For instance, we recognise a friend at a great distance by his body-language, looks or dress, or even by voice, when we cannot see him. Sometimes, we do this even by his signature or tell-tale marks. All this is possible only if one closely watches or hears or is impressed by the other. The same is the case in God-realisation or God-recognition. Watch him, listen to him, note his body language or speech or even his signature. A Prahlada or a Bhishma could do it. A Hiranyakasipu or even a Dharmaputra or Arjuna couldn't.
- No one can take humanity to Heaven, but everyone can help to ensure that it does not fall into hell.
- Recognising God presents no difficulty. Even atheists and scientists who are in a denial mode, agree that there is more than elements in everything. They are searching for the "God Particle", or dispose of dead bodies from which "life-force" has disappeared.
The difficulty starts when we try to identify or denominate God as 'this' or 'that'. Confusion, conflicts, animosity and fear are the result which express as "terrorism" or class/communal conflicts, holy-wars etc., under the label of religion.
The solution is to get back to basics and stop with recognition of God, as an end in itself. This is the deep message of the Upanishads.
- REALITY is ONE. The many cannot be real. It is only expressive variations. Science demystifies both variations In colour and sound. These variations are caused by frequency variations of the source material. VIBJYOR decimates into the three primary colours, and these again into a single light source with variation possibilities. Similarly, in sound, the base note or primary note (Adhaara sruti) is SAA and the six other notes are its expression in various frequencies. In numbers, only the number 'One' is real. The other numbers are results of additions to this, e.g. 1 plus 1 is 2' 2plus 1 is 3 etc.
- The flowers never proclaim that they have honey. The bees that need flock to them. So are Bhaktas seeking Baghavatham.
- Darkness does not show anything, but can itself be seen.
- Sequence of Avatars signify the development of living species from the water-borne to the perfect man.
- Our lives constituting pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, good and bad are all products of our mind's reaction. These are not products of the events themselves, but created in the mind. Being happy or unhappy is, therefore, our own making.
- Human tendency is to grasp only the visible. The body is visible, the Atman inside is not.
- We are all children of God. We may say anything about Him, praise or criticise, He won't take offence. He only asks to be spoken about.
- Bhakti is thinking, saying, doing everything in the name of God, and in dedication to him, totally.
- If you take the first steps towards God, He comes forward ten steps towards us. Let Him into your life, you will see the change.
- When you wish to clean a mirror or any surface, you are only trying to remove the dirt accumulated thereon, and cleanliness is the product. Likewise, if you a desire a clear, clean mind, remove all dirt from therein. No more, no less.
- Ramayana is the psalm of living; and Bhagavatha, of dying (in style).
- Being Pandava charioteer was Krishna's excuse to be with them in calamity.
- Do not fear the World; also, do not frighten it.
- The "year" is certainly longer than the "hour". But, its the latter that settles man's future and record. 'Do it now' is the message for all.
- Parikshit had to die on the specific seventh day after the cursing. We could die on any one of the seven days, even to-day. Therefore, our need for Bhagavatha as a solace is far greater than that of Parikshit.
- The Lord grants us either the riches etc. of this world or, lordship of Heaven or even a non-return sojourn with Him, depending on what one asks.
- Any attempt to identify 'Brahman', by metes and bounds or quantifying it or dissecting is much like the 'salt doll' attempting to dip into the Ocen for a similar purpose. It will dissolve and disappear, cannot ever report any findings.
- We are all library books. Borrowed by one or another, always in circulation, returning to base for brief periods. The borrower is transitory and keeps varying.
- 'Vaikunta' (heaven) cannot be described, since no one returns from there to do it. All descriptions, therefore, are hypothetical and imaginary.
- Brahma asked questions of himself and found answers, we don't.
- The body is the apparel worn by the Atman. Like we change from one apparel to another to suit occasions, the Atman chooses bodies depending on merits.
- The entire Cosmos (samsara) exists between 'aham' (I) and 'asmi'(am).
- Sankaracharya considers 'maya' as illusion, while Ramanuja considers it as special effect in creation by Brahman.
- Hoping for a 'good life' without efforts is like expecting to win a lottery prize without buying a ticket.
- Life is an inter-play of opposites. Our task is to steer clear of them, to keep our course.
- Nature has a flowering process and programme for everything in it. Everything is ever in nature. There is no escape. Realisation of this and conformity to it is the only duty of everything. A parrot cannot behave like a frog, it will be pulled up by nature. All this and other likely transgressions are programmed by nature itself.
- There can be no denial of an unknown concept. One can deny only what is known and exists. Therefore, one who does not know God cannot deny it, and one who does will not.
- If Brahman is action-free, why creation? If he is undifferentiated, why variations in creation? When he is free from 'Gunas', why use Gunas for creation? These are, briefly, the questions that baffle the average person. Sage Vidura asked Sage Maitreya these very questions in Skanda 3 of Sreemad Bhagavatham.
- A child plays on the sea-shore or with toys for its own pleasure; it creates, it destroys. So does Brahman do with creation etc.
- Brahman is the 'kaarana' (cause) and each individual is a 'karya' (effect). It's creation-infrastructure is faultless and self-engineered.
- Bhakti is an end in itself, equivalent in all respects to Moksha and the highest level of tranquility, peace and bliss.
- 'Samsaara' is like a flood-stream. It carries along anything. If one desires to save himself, he should realise what is happening to himself, and try to cut across the flow, to reach the bank. What is needed is hope, faith and effort.
- How often have you talked to yourself? Try it; you will be amazed, amused. Also, listen to yourself, while talking; it will be a rewarding experience.
- Time envelops everything in the Cosmos.
- "Marriage" can be a word, representing a ritual, an obligation or part of a mutual sacrifice. It can also be a 'sentence' for life. It all depends on oneself.
- Life is like a water-spiral. You get in by sequence of events; to get out, you need external help or should master the art of doing so.
- No one argues about the truth of one's own existence or of the outside world. All arguments and variations are about the relationship between the two, and how it came about. This is what Religion is about.
- Everything in nature has a body-language that is unique. Understanding and interpreting it is 'knowledge'. Not understanding or misunderstanding it is 'ignorance' or 'avidyaa'. When cultivated properly, body-language becomes 'Culture'.
- Man has no limitation of space or time or of uninterrupted joy. The limitations or sorrow felt by him are unreal. This realisation is 'moksha' (liberation) and is a product of deep meditation.
- Real knowledge is the understanding of the 'self', the 'life-force' and 'prakriti' or cosmos of elements.
- Can you see or touch 'Oxygen', or 'Hydrogen'? No, but when they combine in a proportion, you can see them as water, also touch it. Still further, when water freezes, it gets colour, shape etc. so is the realisation of Brahman. In a disjointed form, it is 'Nature'. When combined and permuted appropriately, it displays several qualities, and looks varied. So, get to the root, and you will understand the truth.
- It is wrong to say that one cannot see, hear or touch God. One can, because, whatever one sees or hears or touches is God. The trouble is, we do not realise it, we are obstinate to say that God cannot be realised.
- 'Fear' in any person arises when he fails to reckon 'Godliness' in himself.
- 'Upakara' (help) is better than 'Upadesa' (advice). Lecturing to a blind man about sun-rays is Upadesa. Helping him to regain sight is Upakara.
- 'Sadhus' are like books of reference. They clear doubts. They share experiences and knowledge without reservation.
- 'Gurus' do not confer knowledge. They remove ignorance.
- 'Bhakti' (devotion) is like fire. It extinguishes all desires; it's end-product is 'purity'.
- By all means, enjoy or suffer the pleasures and pains of life, but do not get attached to these; move on and on.
- Each one of us is 'knowledge incarnate'. There is nothing to learn, but only to unlearn, that leads to self-realisation. 'Prakriti' (nature) is the shroud that needs to be removed. Prakriti need not be destroyed, it only needs to be checked and kept under control. This is done by practice of slow detachment.
- 'Bhakti' is of the mind alone. The other limbs only help to make it a symphony orchestra.
- Knowledge is like a clock. It only indicates time. Bhakti is the technology for application of time.
- When asked to meet someone at the airport -whom we have not seen earlier - we are given broad hints of the identification marks, such as height, colour or other distinction marks. So do the sages and the mythological literature provide us the marks of God, to help us identify him.
- You cannot look at (realise) the SUN directly, but can realise It through its reflection in water. In the same way, the easiest way to realise Brahman is to look at its reflection in the universe of matter.
- When Sun is reflected in water, we can see it. We find it heating water, but it is not affected in any way by the quality of the water, such as coldness, unsteadiness etc.So is Brahman, who is reflected in us, unaffected by our qualities. It is a one-way street.
- Water in its original state is absolutely pure ( e.g. Rain water ). It becomes impure when it comes into contact with air or space or earth. So is the Mind, which is purity itself, in it's original state.
- A pure mind can behold Brahman, which is itself and not external to it. It is to achieve the required level of purity that a lot of drill and discipline is prescribed. Neither gold nor diamond exhibit their "unsullied" purity, except when they are through a process of melting, cutting and polishing.
- The Universe (phenomenal world) is a mixed bag, an alloy, of various properties, positive and negative. One has to take it as a whole, not pick and choose, at will.
- Like a rose is interpreted differently, by different sense organs, so is Brahman interpreted as many and varied.
- The Universe is physical, it is not all; beyond is the meta-physical. Each one has to realise it, separately.
- A magnet has a range within which it attracts metal. Getting into its range needs effort from within or without. So is Bhakti. It takes one to inside God's range, from where he is possessed by God and led forward.
- Conjoined twins need no different names, but only one. The moment they are separated, they become different and need separate names, identity etc.
- Assume for a moment that our umbilical chords were not cut, soon after birth, and that it was possible to continue to have it for life. What would mankind look like? It would be a behemoth of several faces, heads, hundreds of eyes, hands, legs, mouths etc. and, if you feed the mother, all other branches get nourishment. There would be both sexes in the configuration, it will be nameless or have only one name and identity. This is the Virat-purusha, who encompasses all bodies. What created diversities and differences is the cutting of the umbilical chord. Similarly, Brahman is the source of all life, and we are the end of the chain for the time being. The perception will change depending on whether you look at the top or at the bottom of the chain.
- Nature has built 'instant pleasure' into many of its products, but only in a very few are built 'eternal pleasure'.
- Age is a constraint only for understanding Nature. Understanding God is a holistic experience, neither age nor education matters.
- 'Food' is the fuel for traversing the Universe (Jagath). If you are stay put in meditation, there is no need for it.
- Bhakti needs ambience to develop. One can find it in forest, or even at home. It depends on one's level of development. Temples are also likely locations.
- Talk to yourself as often as you can; ask yourself questions. You will be amazed at the results. This was what the Rishis did, and benefitted themselves and others.
- Similarly, listen to yourself, it's amazing experience. God is inside you, he listens to you and, sometimes talks back to you. The entire experience is exhilarating.
- 'Dharma' is absolute, quite independent of persons, place or time. It admits of no variation, whatsoever. In this sense, all the rules and laws of Science is Dharma. The universe functions on the foundation of this Dharma.
- 'Indra' is seen from mythological literature to be the most despicable among the Gods, with all frailties of the human mind. He is there, because of earned merits, and for a tenure.
- Evaluate your time-management skills, occasionally. You will be surprised by the findings, and benefit spiritually.
- While Sri Rama exhibits the rigid norms of life, Sri Krishna shows its flexibility, a soft side, and removes from our minds any complex of sin or guilt. He commends an attitudinal change.
- Everything in the Universe is in a state of flux, which makes changes. Everything has a cash-credit account, and is answerable to the maker, Brahman.
- God is not overwhelmed when you accept Him, nor dejected when you deride Him. He is pleased that, somehow, you recall Him.
- Devotion is not founded on knowledge or any other norm. It stands on itself. It begins and ends in itself. It is for its own sake. It stays one in course.
- It is not the body that has a soul. It is the soul that has a body. The soul keeps changing bodies to suit its Karma exhaustion.
- 'Friendship' is founded on 'commonality', rather than 'mutuality'. The latter is delicately balanced, while the former is firmly founded.
- Are you 'living', or 'dead'? If you are carried away by others, you are dead. If you are in control of yourself, you are living.
- You continue to live because of others. Why can't you then live for others too!
- Control of body leads to control of mind, and this to control of life.
- Any fool can live in style. Only a handful can die in style. It needs concentration and effort.
- The idols of Gods that we worship are abridged editions of Reality. They are intended to provoke further enquiry that leads to Reality itself.
- Accountability is the tool for perfection. Make your body accountable to YOURSELF, every day, every moment.It translates as discipline.
- Every drop of water, wherever it is in the Universe, must ultimately reach the ocean, sometime, somehow. How and when are speculative details. So are our lives, which must ultimately merge in Brahman from where it started journey.
- The human mind is steeped in emotions, while the intellect is steeped in logic.
- Time has no real 'zero point'. It is eternal. So are our births and deaths. It is a cyclical event. Our past karmas form a treasure-house. Until it is emptied fully, there is no escape from the cycle.
- All pairs of opposites are built into each other. Sleep into activity, happiness into unhappiness, feast into fast, friendship into animosity, love into hatred. These are integral to each other.
- Vedas illustrate the many (aspects) that appear to be different. Vedanta discovers the unity in all of them, called Brahman. Brahman alone is real; everything else is its external appearance.
- The body serves as instrument of action for the Atman. On death, the Atman carries with it the 'vasanas' (inclinations) and effects of all actions into the next body it will take.
- If you remember God, you can afford to forget everything else. If you forget God, it is no use remembering everything else.
- God is inside everything, everywhere, every one. We have piled upon Him heaps and more heaps of garbage, so are unable to find Him, or even recognise his presence. A thorough and systematic cleansing operation will make Him visible. It is this cleansing that we do through Bhajans, social services etc.
- Celibacy is an end-product of the mind's spiritual churning. It is not impulsive.
- Life is like a wet soap on hand. It needs to be handled with care, or else, it will slip and with it, the holder can also slip.
- The scriptures teach not only the do's, but also the don'ts. Both aspects are illustrated by stories.
- In a state of nature, the Atman is pure knowledge - pragnanam - but when it takes a body, it has actions, which in turn cause reactions.
- Every part of your body is 'your body'. By the same token, every part or aspect of the Universe is 'the Universe'. That is Brahman and that is why the Upanishads proclaim TAT TWAM ASI and AHAM BRAHMAASMI (that thou art and I am Brahman).
- Discrimination is what distinguishes man from animal. Therefore, think about whatever you think, say or do.
- Dharuka and Prahlada are not freaks, but products of several prior lives, when positive attitudes prevailed in them.
- Karma and re-birth are two sides of the same coin; one begets the other. To escape, one has to burn the fruits of Karma in the fire of knowledge.
- Every drop of water in the ocean is permeated by salt.So does Brahman permeate everything in the Universe.
- The difference between 'fear' and 'fearlessness' is the recognition of Brahman as permeating the Universe, every aspect of it.
- 'Dhyana' (meditation) is fire. 'Yoga' is the oven. 'Karmas' are the seeds.
- All fundamental truths are constituents of Brahman. The origin, sustenance and dissolution of the Universe are all founded on such truths. The Upanishads speak of only these truths, and not their expressions, as conceived by us.
- Looking for "sameness" in everyone, every thing, everywhere, all times is being " spiritual". Looking for dissimilarity is being materialistic.
- Man's only choice is between the all-pervasive, all-inclusive Brahman and 'Samsara', the phenomenal world of opposites and diversities.
- Brahman is the ultimate source, origin, foundation, sub-stratum of the Universe and everything therein. Western Science is searching for this for decades, without finding it. They have chosen to label it, unknowingly but rightly as the "God particle"!
- The stage-actor "makes up" for the show. When it is over, he takes it off. So is the body. The show is the partial extinguishment of past karmas.
- The body is inert, unresponsive; atman is eternal, unchanging. When they are united, there is life. Atman has emotions and feelings only so long as it clings to the body.
- Pleasure and pain are produced by 'awareness', which is why the sea or the earth has no complaint like us, human beings.
- The Atman is like a prisoner in jail. It looks forward to release from the prison of the body. The jail term is the consequence of past actions, in earlier lives.
- 'Good conduct in jail' earns one remission of sentence. Similarly, 'being good', earns one remission in life's turmoils.
- 'Life without Dharma' is akin to a river without water.
- Most relationships in the world are founded on 'perception' and 'reality'. A mother, a father, a husband or wife have some kind of perception about the son/daughter, wife and husband. But the reality about others is ver different from the perception. All contradictions between perception and reality express themselves as 'misunderstandings'.
- 'Santana Dharma' (eternal values) is that set of rules, laws etc. that hold the Universe together, and in order, even when there are no living beings therein. All else, is 'Lowkika Dharma' (phenomenal values). The latter can vary from time to time, place to place or person to person.
- YOU and God are one; if you are only thinking of yourself, and no third entity of any kind, you need no God. If you think only of God, then you disappear altogether. So, it is either God or you, not both.
- All living beings think, communicate and act. The difference is between those that know what they think, communicate or act, and those that do not.
- Sense of shame and approbation arise from the recognition of 'another'.
- While Krishna's presence took away the clothes of Gopikas, chanting His name by Draupati sent her miles and miles of clothes.
- The Lord's name is a help-line. It redeems one from a crisis, and puts him on positive track. Thereafter, the individual has to work his way up. It is no licence for the habitual sinner.
- Do not live in the 'past' or in the 'future'. Live here, to-day, in the 'present', realising that it is a gift and need not be tense.
- The Vedas provide the means to happiness and pleasure in 'life' or for eternal joy in the 'life beyond'. It is like a river, flowing either way.
- The ' Universe' is a big, big dream, and the Atman is the Seer. When he realises this, he is awake in the real sense (redeemed) and identifies Brahman as himself.
- 'Spirituality' is the ability and willingness to change and reform oneself even from a state of condemnation.
- Boons are conferred on devotees, during severe 'tapas' (meditation) by the Lord, not as a matter of discretion, but as an inevitable benefit of the 'tapas' itself. Therefore, neither Brahma nor Siva can be faulted for granting boons to several of the Rakshasas like Ravana, Hiranyakasipu, Padmasura etc.
- For a competent swimmer, depth of water is no problem. He can swim across. So is life in 'samsara' (phenomenal universe) for the devotee. He sails across, unmindful of anything, and safely reaches the other shore.
- Dharmaputra could not locate even a single bad person in the entire kingdom, nor could Duryodhana locate a single good person. It is all in the difference in perception.
- God is always everywhere. He is above to bless you, below to hold you, beside to support, behind to encourage, and before to defend you. To be able to see Him, you need to befriend Him. That is why a Prahlada could see Him everywhere, while a Hiranyakasipu challenged His existence itself, and found Him nowhere. The Lord is one's best friend but, if he keeps no contact, direct or indirect, or even hear or speak about Him, how can he recognise God, even if He chose to appear before him.
- 'Vaanaprastha' (the third stage in life where one retires into the woods) is a heterogenous stage, incorporating all the other 'ashramas' (stages like Brahmacharya, Garhasthya and Sanyasa) . It is none of these three, yet it is an aggregate of all these. Detachment and living close to Nature are the hall-marks of this stage.
- Listen to Sri Krishna intensely; but try to live as Sri Rama did.
- This body is not an end-product. It is a 'work-in-progress', and given for the achievement of a grand purpose. If your thoughts, words and actions are conducive to this purpose, you achieve your goal of emancipation from the chain of births and deaths. If not, you are condemned to receive yet another body, and struggle again in the world of make-believe, to be re-cycled.
- What 'is' cannot be denied; what 'is not' needs no denial. Atheists, please note.
- 'Brahman' by itself, is not amenable to any definition, identification or description. It is 'awareness' itself; the source of all else. All prayers and scriptures, all written or spoken words or illustrations are only attempts to grasp some kind of idea of it. It is more self-satisfying than illuminating.
- All meditation is about 'talking to oneself', in privacy and with determination. It results in the only answer to all questions, that of 'Unity'.
- The Lord denied 'amruta' to the Asuras (demons) to save mankind from their tortures.
- Change is the signature of the Universe. Braman is its cause, yet beyond it. It is eternal, changeless.
- One cycle of the four Yugas (krita, treta,dwapara and Kali) is equivalent to 43,70,000 human years. One thousand such cycles constitute one day of Brahma, the God-Creator. A similar cycle constitutes his night. Together, they constitute His one day. 365 such days constitute His one year. And, He has 100 such years to live! It adds up to 31,10,40,00,00,00,000 human years. Another Brahma then takes charge.
- The recent discovery of the "Higg's boson" proves that there is an energy field all around us, that gives mass to the fundamental particles that make up our Universe. The Upanishads have been proclaiming this very truth, since eternity!
- 'Devotion' is the rail on which 'Bhakti' travels.
- All meditation is about talking to oneself. This is the only way to discover the truth, in Science, as in Philosophy.
- Nothing is ours, not even ourselves. All thoughts of belonging are 'Maya' (illusion) or delusion of the mind.
- The existence of the Universe is cyclical. It is created, sustained, dissolved, again created etc. This cycle continues 'ad infinitum' and defies 'time'.
- All thoughts, words and actions arise only in a Dwaita (dual) state, where there is 'another'.
- 'Bhakti' is being 'oneself', being with oneself, and being in oneself. It has external ostentations like, singing, dancing etc.
- 'Sneha' (comraderie) and Bhakti (devotion) are two sides of the same emotion. When an elder expresses it to a junior, it is sneha and when the junior expresses it to a senior it is Bhakti.
- The eyes weep and shed tears, not only when it is hurt, but also when any other part or any other close relative or friend is hurt. Why can't we try to be like the eye towards others?
- At the 'spiritual' level, Dharma is absolute and fundamental. At the phenomenal level, it is inter-active and social.
- 'Death' and 'Salvation' are both the same event. However, the baggage of 'karma' and it's effects distinguish the two. If you carry a baggage, you are doomed to be born again; if you are baggage-free, you attain 'birth less salvation'.
- Putana offered poison to Krishna. He accepted it and gave her salvation. The Lord accepts any dedicated gift offered to him. See the Bhagavad Gita where he tells Arjuna:
PATRAM PUSHPAM PHALAM THOYAM YO ME BHAKTYA PRAYACHHATI THADAHAM BHAKTYUPAHRITHAM ASNAMI PRAYATHATHMANAHA.
- When the clouds are white, it has very little moisture content. When dark, it is overwhelmed by moisture. Krishna's dark colour indicates a rich inside content.
- While watching an I-Max movie, we soon become part of the movie itself. So is our participation in life. When light appears, it is realised that we never moved from our seats, and everything was a make-believe.
- Krishna employed the flute to prove a point. That, one breath of air from his lungs would result in the many notes when heard. That one Brahman became the many Atmans.
- The Lord has no 'physical' interest in you; the bond, if any, is only 'emotional'. Therefore, your intentions are important, not what you do. A Vidura, a Sabari, a Jatayu, the Rishi-wives all knew this. Not a Ravana, Duryodhana or even the Rishis, themselves.
- The mother's love for her children is not built on any expectation of gratitude or reward, not even love for her. That is why 'mother' is unique. So is God, and the two are identical.
- Krishna shatters the blind faith that the Gods provide us with everything, and we only have to acknowledge and thank them. He canvasses the view that environmental love and concern is more important.
- Man is a 'bundle of desires'. Exuberance or frustration is the result. Both complicate his personality and keeps him away from the realisation of his true nature.
- 'Gopi' (damsels of Brindaban) is not a female body; it is the feminine heart. Man thinks and acts by his head, woman by her heart.
- Being 'fortunate' is to be able to arrange one's life positively, by efforts. The very fortunate change Society itself!
- 'Devotion' denotes dedication, not demands.
- To be 'gjani' (knower of Reality) is good, but not enough to attain the Lord. That needs Bhakti, pure and simple. Udhava was a gjani, so Krishna sent him to the best school for Bhakti i.e. Brindaban to learn from the Gopikas. For a contrast, the same Krishna grants Gjnana to his devotee Arjuna, through the Bhagavad Gita.
- Devotion is sacred and superior to Gjnana, which is only knowledge of the object of devotion.
- Instead of giving spiritual knowledge to the Gopikas, for which he came from Mathura, Udhava got drowned in their Bhakti, and prayed that, if he should be born again, it should be as a 'Vraja Gopikas' (maid in Brindabana).
- Gopikas had forsaken everything other than Krishna. Udhava's was an effort to turn their minds away from Krishna also. This failed, and he himself got converted!
- Sri Rama's youth was not very significant, but his adulthood was. Much of Krishna's youth was very significant and impressive.
- Arjuna asked of Krishna very few questions in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna, however, makes it an excuse to flood him with answers to these, and several other related questions, just like a cow yielding more milk than needed by its calf. Such is his love for his devotees.
- Almost all of us claim to know God; how many of us does He know?
- Even Gods are victims to the three Gunas (Satwa, Rajas and Thamas) and that is why, they indulge in pranks like us, sometimes.
- 'Transparency' is the foundation of husband-wife relationship.
- Even in jest, humour has to be honest, fair and dignified.
- Your name or dress or jewels or other possessions are relevant only so long as they give you pleasure. By themselves, these items have no intrinsic value or pleasure. It is the association of the two that gives rise to pleasure. So is our equation with God. We are there, because He is pleased.
- Material possessions and relationships deceive you into believing that these will be with you for ever. You are lulled into death, while they deceive you and look for their next victim.
- 'Fear' is the mirror reflection of 'desire'. The one creates the other.
- By all means, seek material wealth and relations, but remember they are transient, and not for ever.
- Happiness can be real only if it transcends time, place and person. It has to be 'universal'.
- Looking for God outside of you is a wasteful effort. Look for Him inside of you. You will find him there, any time, any day, always!
- The body is a manifestation of Brahman. It is like a toy, given by the mother to the child. As long as it plays safe with it, it is not taken away. The moment the child misuses it, the mother takes it away. God, like the mother, who is 'cruelly-kind', deprives the child of the body, in the interests of the child.
- God is like a 'mirror-image'. Just as you cannot decorate or dress or put anything on the mirror alone, you cannot 'value-add' Him. If you do all this on yourself, and stand before Him, He responds equally just like the mirror reflecting your image.
- Rama signifies the ONE WITHOUT A SECOND, while Krishna symbolises the 'cosmetic man', which is a product of Maya (delusion).
- God says: 'Love me, hate me, only do not ignore Me'.
- All our knowledge of the Universe and impressions are based on our perceptions originating from and through our senses. Awareness of God is beyond the senses.
- Once you are Krishna's friend, you need no identity of any kind. Hence, no name of Kuchela or Sudhama is mentioned even in the Bhagavata. He is introduced by Vyasa only as Krishna's friend.
- 'Realising Atman' is thinking out of the box. You realise who you really are.
- Gold jewellery does not refer to 'gold' and 'jewellery'. It indicates gold manifesting as jewellery, or the latter as the former.
- Science is that answers eternal questions , at all places, in every one's mind and at all times. The Upanishads just do that.
- Words can only connote type, quality or functions of anything. 'Brahman' has none of these attributes, hence is not amenable to words. Even the Vedas or Upanishads only indicate, not define Brahman. They declare loudly: ANIRVACHANEEYAM BRAHMA meaning BRAHMAN CANNOT BE DEFINED.
- Vedas do not talk of what you already know or can know from elsewhere, nor your inferences. It only talks of those beyond these.
- The Vedas do not talk of Brahman in the abstract or which no one has beheld. People amongst us, in times of yore and even now, confront it, and then reveal it to us. Like someone who visits a foreign country and describes it for us.
- Inferences are like understanding the existence of a cause, while seeking an effect. This is why the Brahma Sutras say: SAASTRA YONITWAT meaning: Brahman is omniscient, being the source of the scriptures.
- When the rivers reach the Ocean, there is no question of their return back. The Srutis say: NA PUNAR AAVARTHATHE meaning THERE IS NO RETURN FOR THE REALISED SOUL (into the phenomenal world). So are we, when we attain to Brahman.
- Fire is not affected in any way by whatever it burns, so is Brahman, the Ultimate.
- The difference between Brahman and each self is only 'awareness'. Lack of it keeps one in Samsara (phenomenal world) being aware in Brahman. This 'lack' is almost like that of a lost child yearning for its mother.
- The combination of Atman with a body is 'birth'; their separation is 'death'.
- Brahman has no 'then and there', 'here or there'. It is the same. It was there at creation, as it will be at Prahlada. It knows no change.
- It is the same being that is a child, a youth, husband, father, uncle, nephew, grand-father etc. the relationship changes , not the fundamental person.
- The sky is for ever, the clouds keep moving and changing.
- 'Karma' (rituals etc.) is what is prescribed by the scriptures. 'Akarma' is what are prohibited and 'Vikarma' is the performance of such acts.
- The body is like a rented house. It has to be maintained well, and rents have to be paid promptly, also tenant cannot claim ownership thereof.
- 'Being' is being in a body; 'becoming' is totally independent of body.
- Devotion is not the same as 'allocation of time'. It is total involvement in whatever one does. Allocation of time for God is not Bhakti. Krishna identifies it as 'devotion to duty'.
- Bhakti is a kind of overwhelming madness about God. It is tantamount to the output of a mad man or a child. They are all involved deeply in whatever they say or do. It has neither reason, nor purpose.
- 'Asceticism' is not running away from the world. It is about reconciling the conflicts of life itself.
- 'Creation' is change from the 'subtle' to the 'gross', and 'dissolution' is the reverse of it.
- It is the soul that has a body, consistent with past actions, and not the other way, as most people in the World believe and say. In this sense, it is wrong to say, when any person is dead: 'May his soul rest in peace'.
- The Atman takes a body to enjoy/suffer the results of earlier actions. And the body is meant for further actions. The cycle gets repeated, and this is the riddle of life.
- 'Pancha-paatra' symbolises five separate vessels for worship, I.e. Aachamaneeya, Argya, Paadya, Snaana and Paaneeya. In our rituals, we use one combined vessel for all these.
- The Sun is the greatest model for all mankind to follow. He enjoys no vacation, has no expectations from any one, and has absolutely no discrimination of any kind whatsoever.
- There is nothing like 'destruction' in the Universe. There is only 'change' of shape or state. The misunderstanding is the result of 'Avidyaa' (Nescience).
- Rest assured, You never die!
ALL THE FOREGOING NOTES WERE MADE WHILE READING