~ Reflections of my inner self ~

Archive for June, 2010

Looking for the right answers

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When we reflect and look back, we may ask some candid questions like “is there such a thing called an ideal life? and if so, how does one attain it?”. If destiny is in our hands how does one logically explain the events that happen in our lives?

The path we have travelled is evidence enough to show that destiny is not in one’s hand. It would seem that some super power was (and is) orchestrating each and every event in our lives. If you try to analyze and quantify how much of what happened was within your control then we can possibly see it clearly.

Many of our attempts and actions to change the course of things may not come through the way we would have wanted. We surrender and accept the presence of a higher power, unseen but existing. We accept that delay is not denial and patiently wait for the right time to come. Till this, we can at best accept the fact that a life of human birth is given to us to live a life of peace, compassion and a strong willingness to support and help the needy (human, animal and plant life).

When change happens we also see and realize that it makes an amazing, fantastic difference to our lives. The resultant satisfaction is immense and unimaginable. These things also happen at the least expected moments. What resulted ultimately may be beyond logic or rational thinking. Is it all then a matter of destiny? Answers to such questions can come when we search within ourselves. Peace and salvation can be our creation. Yoga and meditation help achieve these with single minded devotion and pursuit.

If material prosperity is considered as the only yardstick for happiness, then at some stage we will realize money alone does not provide all the answers. Whilst money and wealth are a necessity to support us and our family, the real satisfaction of having money comes only in the right earning and giving. We need to instill a quality to give a proportion of the earnings back to the pillars which supported you to achieve it. We are also duty bound to give back a portion back to the society which helped you to earn it. We then graduate to the next stage.

We need to accept the fact that there is a soul in every living form and all our offers of help and support should be extended with love and humility. We will then realize the true meaning and significance of charity. We then become thankful to the Almighty who has bestowed us with the ability and means to support the needy. Under these circumstances, de-linking all material achievements from happiness do not seem realistic or correct.

Going to pilgrimage and travelling to different places of worship, shrines and sacred locations does give one joy. We enjoy meeting, learning and knowing from several enlightened souls. Vibrant chanting of bajans can give us a freedom feeling and a sense of joy. We live and enjoy the moment and enjoy reflecting on it later.

There is nothing called total peace or salvation. It is a state of mind. It is said that in an average human mind over 50,000 thoughts and emotions come and go each day. Just let them be, do not engage them, especially the disturbing negative ones. Never recognise or get difficult with them. They will go just as they came. Look at the mind like an ocean, and the rise and fall of waves as the thoughts and emotions of the mind. The ocean is not disturbed by them. Similarly our mind can slip away from the thought faster than you have realised its departure. We take trouble to keep in shape with exercise and visits to the gym, spending considerable time and money so why not consider some time for the wellness of our minds too? An approach to tone both body and mind will be in everyone’s interest. Dedicate all the goodness that accrue from this to your dear and near ones, your teacher, your elderly and those to which you are indebted to in your life.

Peace, love and joy can be your creation to become part of you, for you and for others around you.

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June 1st, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Posted in General, Indian Culture

Building your confidence

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Confidence comes with knowledge. Confidence does not mean being rash and aggressive. It means being able to deal with situations and to be able to talk to people in a polite, assertive way. The following are some of the suggested tips to boost your confidence:

  • Confidence begets confidence, meaning if you speak with confidence it instills confidence in people around you.
  • If you are afraid to speak in public, practice in front of a mirror, learn a speech by heart and speak on every opportunity that comes your way
  • Maybe some people will laugh at you initially but just continue, learn from your mistakes; soon you will become a confident speaker.
  • Be comfortable with who you are and develop skills that you admire in other people. It could be an ability to organise events, the ability to write or to make people laugh. It is a rare gift.
  • Remember the confident picture you see in people has been cultivated with care and definitely with hard work.
  • Do not associate with people who pull you down. There are many such sorts who are ready to stop you and hinder your progress.
  • We are surrounded by people with aptitude and attitude both. People who are ready to give you suggestions are ready to advise you too. The wise saying about free advice is to pass it on.
  • You must heed wisdom, to people who are close to you and people who love you and care for you.
  • Remember the saying “fools rush where angels fear to tread”, which means taking a step impulsively can be dangerous. Be confident but not fool hardy.
  • Believe in yourself and in what you do. This will definitely lead you to success. When you are confident it will show in your words, expressions and mannerisms.
  • When you start on a chosen path, you will have hundreds of people following you. Confidence is also humbling.
  • Work on it and enjoy the difference, you have to experience it to believe it.

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June 1st, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Words of wisdom

Ayyappa Worship: A sustaining faith

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Every year, millions of devotees proceed on a yatra (pilgrimage) to Sabari Hills in Kerala during the months of November to January to worship Ayyappa.They practice a rigorous self cleansing program for 41 Days prior to the trip which is normally undertaken as group under the guidance of a senior member aptly called Guruswamy. A devotee takes a vow and prays either in a temple or at home to honor this commitment wearing the prescribed dress and mala (garland), going through both the mental and physical preparations during this period. It is a very special journey. The route is taken by walking through five hills for 4-5 days before reaching the base camp in the foot hills of Pamba. One climbs another 11 kilometres to reach the temple. The devotee then offers the Irumudi (offerings he has carried in a special bag) to the Lord whilst chanting his name Swamiyee Saranam Ayyappa (Prostrations to Swami Ayyappa).

During the preparatory phase all such devotees are called Ayyappas. A daily routine involves prayers both morning and evening, a visit to a temple close by, chanting of the sarana slogam and attending to group Bhajans (prayers) conducted in devotee houses in the neighborhood. The rules of vegetarian food, no smoking or alcohol, abstinence from sex, simple lifestyle, acceptance of your fellow human beings as equal and treating every living form of Gods with love and care are strictly followed. During such a self imposed programme one can feel genuine fellow feeling and empathy which is one of the greatest effects of the programme. A devotee attends to his other routines, such as his office work, as usual.

Ayyappa accepts all equally and expects all devotees to adhere to this belief. There is no difference or differentiation between people and therefore his temple accepts all. The special seasons are during Makara Jyothi and Makaravilakku, seasons in December and January. The temple is also kept open for a week every month. The lord is known by many names: Dharmasastha, Sabari Girisha, Sathgurunath, Manikanda. His yoga asana chinmudra posture confirms his protection, care and concern for all living beings in the universe. He is known to protect and come to the rescue of his devotees. During the yatra he is worshipped in five temples located at Achankovil, Aariyan Kavu, Kulathu Puzza, Khandamali and Sabarimalai.

The holy 18 steps leading to the temple is a great experience. His holy darsan remains in the mind of the devotee for a long time wanting and urging him to take another trip during the next season, so strong and powerful is the effect. This faith and belief helps in driving away negative thoughts and brings in positive vibrations to the betterment of all.

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June 1st, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Hinduism

A few tips for computer users

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When working on computers for a long time, many of us may experience dizziness, headaches and strained eyes. We can also get shoulder aches, stiff joints and pain in the neck when we work on computers for 6-8 hours a day, 5 days a week, as in the case of IT professionals.

These signs should be recognised early. Precautions and preventive measures should be taken to counteract these problems. They will not cost you anything besides a few minutes of your time, but if you ignore the warnings of the body the chances of developing serious health problems are far greater later on. So the old adage that prevention is better than cure is really valid here.

A few healthy tips:

  • Since long hours are spent in air-conditioned rooms we tend to get dehydrated. We tend to forget how needed it is to drink when the environment is cold. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks are no substitute for water. On the contrary, they are dehydrating and can put strain on the kidneys.
  • Every 30 to 40 minutes take a walk around the office, so the back and eyes get some rest and the legs some circulation.
  • Try to look at natural greenery outside the window or at something blue. Green and blue are soothing colors and will cool your eyes. Blink as often as you can.
  • Make a cup out of your palm and cover your eyes
  • Splash your eyes with cold water when you get up or when you feel the strain. With this simple step you can avoid irritation, redness and allergies.
  • If you are using spectacles, wash them at least once a day

Some exercises:

  • Lift your shoulders and keep them up for 10 seconds, then bring them down for 10 seconds.
  • Throw your head back for 10 seconds and bring it back up for 10 seconds.
  • Bring your head sideways to the count of five and back straight to the count of five
  • Rotate your shoulders 5 times clockwise and anti clockwise 5 times. You can do this with your wrists too.
  • Periodically straighten your back for 10 seconds and relax it for 10 seconds.

These exercises encourage circulation in the joints and can remove stiffness and pain.

Written by admin

June 1st, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Posted in General, Health