Monthly Archives: July 2012

Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue is not due to overwork — we do not work nearly so hard as our ancestors did — but rather due to a scattering of our forces.

Ours is not a “focused” age. Countless influences pull us in conflicting directions. We find ourselves trying to do a hundred things hastily, rather than one thing at a time carefully and well.

We measure achievement by numbers rather than by excellence. A result is the exhaustion one finds written on the faces of so many in our bustling cities, where strangers pass one another with never a smile or even a glance of greeting.

Fatigue is also a direct result of a loss of interest. Our energy supply depends not primarily upon food and other external causes, but our capacity for smiles, for enthusiasm. People lead “one-horsepower lives” when they forget how to smile, when they over-complicate their daily routine, and clutter their minds with the debris of useless desires and preoccupations.

The person who can simplify his life and marshal his energies to do a few things well, instead of scattering his forces restlessly, will find that he has more than enough strength for whatever he has to do.

Be willing in everything you do, for willingness begets energy. My guru Paramhansa Yogananda used to say, “The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy.” Read the rest of this entry

Swami Venkatesananda on Consciousness

SWAMI VENKATESANANDA explains the concept of pure consciousness in his commentary on the YOGA VASISHTA

Shiva spoke thus: Consciousness thinks falsely ‘I am happy’. Just as one who is not dead wails aloud ‘Alas, I am dead’, because of perverse understanding, even so consciousness falsely imagines it is miserable and limited. Such imagination is irrational and unfounded. Due to the false assumption of ego sense, consciousness thinks that the world appearance is indeed real. It is the mind alone that is the root cause of experiencing the world as if it were real; but it cannot be truly considered such a cause since
there can be no mind other than pure consciousness. Once you realise that the perceiving mind itself is unreal, it becomes clear that the perceived world is unreal, too.

Even as there is no oil in a rock, in pure consciousness the diversity of sight, seer and scene, or of doer, act and action of knower, knowledge and known does not exist. Similarly, the distinction between ‘i’, and ‘you’ is imaginary. The distinction between the one and the many is verbal. All these do not exist at all even as darkness does not exist in the sun. Opposites like substantially and insubstantiality, void and nonvoid are mere concepts. On enquiry, all these disappear and only unmodified pure consciousness remains.

Significance Of Self-effort
Consciousness does not truly undergo any modification nor does it become impure. The impurity itself is imaginary; imagination is the impurity. When this is realised, the imagination is abandoned and impurity ceases. However, even in those who have realised this, the impurity arises unless the imagination is firmly rejected. By self-effort, this imagination can be easily rejected: if one can drop a piece of straw, one can with equal ease also drop the three worlds! What is it that cannot be achieved by one’s self- effort? Read the rest of this entry

Bribery Culture of India

Indians are Hobbesian (Culture of self interest) ???
Corruption in India is a cultural aspect. Indians seem to think nothing peculiar about corruption. It is everywhere. Indians tolerate corrupt individuals rather than correct them. No race can be congenitally corrupt. But can a race be corrupted by its culture? To know why Indians are corrupt, look at their patterns and practices .
 
1) Religion is transactional in India. Indians give God cash and anticipate an out-of-turn reward. Such a plea acknowledges that favours are needed for the undeserving. In the world outside the temple walls, such a transaction is named- ‘ Dakshina’ (bribe). A wealthy Indian gives not cash to temples, but gold crowns and such baubles. His gifts can not feed the poor. His pay-off is for God. He thinks it will be wasted if it goes to a needy man. In June 2009, The Hindu published a report of Karnataka minister  G. Janardhan Reddy gifting a crown of gold and diamonds worth Rs 45 crore to Tirupati. India’s temples collect so much that they don’t know what to do with it. Billions are gathering dust in temple vaults. When Europeans came to India they built schools. 
When Indians go to Europe & USA, they build temples. Indians believe that if God accepts money for his favours, then nothing is wrong in doing the same thing. This is why Indians are so easily corruptible. Indian culture accommodates such transactions morally. There is no real stigma. An utterly corrupt JayaLalita can make a comeback, just unthinkable in the West.  
 
2) Indian moral ambiguity towards corruption is visible in its history. Indian history tells of the capture of cities and kingdoms after guards were paid off to open the gates, and commanders paid off to surrender. This is unique to India. Indians’ corrupt nature has meant limited warfare on the subcontinent. It is striking how little Indians have actually fought compared to ancient Greece and modern Europe. The Turks’ battles with Nadir Shah were vicious and fought to the finish. In India fighting wasn’t needed, bribing was enough to see off armies. Any invader willing to spend cash could brush aside India’s kings, no matter how many tens of thousands soldiers were  in their infantry. Little resistance was given by the Indians at the “Battle” of Plassey. Clive paid off Mir Jaffar and all of Bengal folded to an army of 3,000. There was always a financial exchange to taking Indian forts. Golconda was captured in 1687 after the secret back door was left open. Mughals vanquished Marathas and Rajputs with nothing but bribes. The Raja of Srinagar gave up Dara Shikoh’s son Sulaiman to Aurangzeb after receiving a bribe. There are many cases where Indians participated on a large scale in treason due to bribery. Question is: Why Indians have a transactional culture while other ‘civilized’ nations don’t?     Read the rest of this entry
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