What does ‘watching oneself’ mean?
When i say watch yourself, then i’m talking not about your body, your senses, your thoughts, your emotions, nor about your imaginations but i’m talking about that being, which is layer after layer hidden within.
So, body is the most external layer, then the senses, the mind, conscious, subconscious, unconscious – behind that is the intellect, and then you. When i say watch yourself, i’m asking you to peel all these layers and move within. For this you need deeper understanding and wisdom and viveka, gyana – wisdom and knowledge.
What is willpower?
See, for now you do not have any willpower and whatever will you have, is part of the mind, which is already weak. Whatever decision you make, you are unable to fructify your desired goal. At the moment, when you say ‘we’, then this ‘we’ is inclusive of your mind, intellect and consciousness and as such if your mind is not being well trained and if you do not have a higher intellect then it is pretty clear that you will not have higher power to make decisions and to follow them.
So how to strengthen willpower?
Understanding and wisdom. Wisdom makes you strong, it makes you clear and with wisdom, the choices you make, you will stick with those. See, your ego is pretty big and whenever this ego makes a decision, it sticks with that and if you do not have the right wisdom and intellect, then you will not have the right kind of ego with you. If you do not have the ‘shuddha ahankara’, the pure ego, then you cannot have the ‘shuddha sankalpa’ and then no good things happen in your life. You are unable to go beyond the mind because you are struggling through the mind, to transcend the mind, that wouldn’t happen. It is just like, if someone holds his shoelaces, and still wants to stand straight, how would you do that? Either you let go of your shoelaces, or you let go of your desire to stand straight. You can’t do two things together. Similarly, the mind which is struggling to transcend the mind, how will it transcend the mind?
But how? It’s not easy to still the mind.
Yes, mind is the biggest enemy but it can also be your best friend. The Master guides you how to train your mind so that it becomes your friend. Ignorance, there are dark shadows; child gets scared of all these dark shadows and begins to think that there are ghosts in the room. But the mother brings the light and the ghosts disappear. Child doesn’t have to struggle; with light, all ghosts go away. Similarly, the Guru works like a mother, brings the light of knowledge that helps you overcome ghosts of lust, greed, prejudice and hatred. With light of knowledge we get a clear insight, and we come to know how this mind is to be used and then you become your own master. Right now, mind is the master, not you! You are just a slave of the mind – mind says get angry, you are angry; mind says be lustful, you fall in lust; mind says go and be in the rat race, and you are part of the rat race.
Men and women have always been at each other’s necks for time immemorial. What is it that makes us so complicated? Why don’t men cry? Why do women get jealous? The answers have a psychological side to it..
The male-female war
It’s a common question. Why men don’t cry? The question goes into the same category of questions like; Why women get jealous? Why men can’t commit? Why women can’t stop talking? Oh well, we have our differences and it’s the psychology one has to delve into to realize some very interesting facts about men and women. In reality, we are very simple people with very complicated emotions. And hence, we’ve been at each others necks forever.
Men and women have a set of emotions they are “expected” to deliver. Women are weepy, emotional, sentimental and cry all the time. Men are intense, angry, stubborn, possesive and moody. A nagging woman is quite common but a man drowning his sorrows in tears.. a rarity. There is a copious amount of male ego involved here. Psycholgists say that “Emotions live in the background of a man’s life and the foreground of a woman’s”. Food for thought? It has always been said that women are more in touch with their emotions and that actually is true.
However, that does not mean that men aren’t capable of expressing. In fact, in a study of married couples, husbands proved to as tuned to their spouse’s stress levels and were also capable of offering support. Psychologist, Kiran Nair says that the connection between the left brain and the right is much greater in women. “The left brain holds logic and the right holds all your emotions. Women are capable of shifting between the 2 sides. Men aren’t so much,” says Kiran. An interesting insight into the never ending battle between men and women, is Khushwant Singh’s Women, Sex, Love and Lust.
If you’re looking for a debate on love, lust, women and the many nuances of the very same then this is a book you will love reading. Throw in a generous amount of K Singh’s humour and wit and you get a book that’s worth picking up. Singh skillfully analyzes the fine dividing line between obscenity, pornography and erotica, describing sex from Chaturbhani and his ideas on what the composite Indian woman is. Another book is, Men are from mars and Women are from Venus. The book gives us some insights about the do’s and don’ts in a relationship. In general, men and women have their ideas about a relationship quite mixed up. It’s not about sacrifice. But rather, it’s about understanding. “You never listen to me”… “You never spend time with me” are women’s favourite dialogues and “I don’t want to talk about it”… “can we change the topic?” are among a men’s favourites.
Our best advice, accept them as they are. We all have our quirks, but you don’t give up on someone you love. (As mushy as that sounds, its true)
As the tributes pour in for the star cast that departed this world in 2011 — dictators, revolutionaries, actors, and the remarkable Vaclav Havel — men and women who impacted the world, commentary after commentary focuses on the recurring theme of the year that was — the multitude of Davids tilting against Goliathic states in the Middle East.
The uncommon Arab spring, sparked by an act born not out anger but futility — Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi’s self- immolation in December 2010 — led to the unthinkable — the Middle East’s motley collection of Velvet Revolutions. As in the Europe of 1989, when thirty years of communism crumbled in the face of a people who had had enough of crushing poverty and false sloganeering, so too in 2011 for the Arabs when rulers of authoritarian police states like Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria, Bahrain, Libya and other Gulf monarchies were either tossed out, are on sufferance, or living on borrowed time.
Kings, sheiks, emirs, and their oligarchs stopped in their tracks. The rumbling among the Damascenes today is being laid at the door of the US by Assad’s mentors in Tehran. There’s probably some truth to the charge that the US is hoping to engineer another Libya under the cover of plausible deniability. (Pakistan has perfected the art, why not the Great Satan?).
But it’s what rivals do. They cut the earth from under the feet of the man who sits at the top of the food chain. Gnaw away from the inside until the system collapses from the inside. And strengthen and arm opponents until the chief’s position becomes untenable.
Which brings one to the central question as the UPA scrambles to hold on to what little dignity it can, in the frenzied blood-letting in the media — while Tunis has its Bouazizi, and Egypt, Syria and Bahrain its faceless bloggers (I mean, look at the speed with which images of the girl in the blue bra being beaten by police were uploaded) and Sana’a, its vocal Tawakkul, who do we have? Where’s our girl in the blue bra, being beaten black and yes, blue? Baba Ramdev?
Before we give Anna Hazare credit for this markedly more vociferous India that we now see all around us, I have one other question — does anyone know who the whistle-blower was, the man, woman, child, who put the Radia tapes out there in the public domain and unpeeled the 3G can of worms for all of us to see?
And shouldn’t that person be the unsung hero/heroine of our times, the metaphor for the Indian upheaval that Bouazizi has become for the unseasonal Arab Spring?
Surely, it was that one single act (cowardice, bravery or sheer pettiness is for history to decide) that created the climate of change, directed the anger of the common man at a plutocracy that brazenly manipulated the system to its benefit?
3G. The Adarsh scam. The Commonwealth Games. It’s the anger that the oh-so superior Team Anna now feeds off. To its advantage, no doubt. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the outing of the scamsters and the jailing of corrupt ministers in the Union Cabinet predate Anna?
And through the sixty-seven years that we have been a nation, Indians – barring the aberration of the Emergency — as a people have never been stopped from coming out on the streets to protest what they see as wrong. Or march to change black laws.
Status quo changes in the unlikeliest of ways. There’s Burma, where an iconic Aung San Suu Kyi is quietly and without fanfare easing back into the political scene after years of house arrest, with the tacit blessings of the junta. Then there’s Pakistan, where the military continues to manipulate its countrymen, playing one politician off against another, and reinforcing the impression among the gullible that the army would do a far better job of governing the country than corrupt politicians, and is best at keeping the big bad wolf — India — from its door. Change is a long way away. As for India, it’s strong electoral credentials have withstood every challenge to the polity, with every deluded authoritarian humbled in the people’s court.
In virtually lawless UP, where the law bends to the will of the ruling class, come February and one will see whether Mayawati’s brand of politics will carry her through. It’s make or break for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s UPA, whose hand at the helm has been not as steady as it was when he was the whiz kid in Narasimha Rao’s government. He knows the middle class only heave to your way of thinking, if it has money in it’s pocket. And then some. Share markets tumbling cuts into the spending power of the upwardly mobile. A vote bank that the UPA has completely disregarded. It’s the food bill that they have plugged, and a minority quota that is aimed at winning over the poor and the marginalized.
Lokpal, shokpal, Lokayukta, whatever. Let’s put this into context. The brouhaha over the Bellary mine barons has put exactly two men in jail. What about the rest?
India’s Velvet Revolution gave power to the powerless a good sixty years ago. What’s happening today is the aftermath of a revolution when a messy democracy sees an educated middle class trying to reclaim the political space it had vacated once Independence had been won. This is what political parties post-Independence do. They no longer fight for your rights. They fight for theirs.
The unseemly spat between Karnataka chief minister Sadananda Gowda and the man whose shoes he stepped into, has all the hallmarks of a political group that is fighting for survival in a nation that has suddenly become aware of corruption.
The BJP may not know how to treat its political stars — sidelining B.S. Yeddyurappa, just as they did the once powerful Uma Bharti who, too little, too late, has been rehabilitated for the UP battle —but it doesn’t want the tainted BSY anywhere near it when it goes back to the polls. But in the Anna-charged atmosphere, it may find that while they are seen as the unwitting beneficiary of the Anna campaign today, when push comes to shove it will be Anna and other members of his self-righteous team who will walk away with the spoils.
So, is Anna (reportedly ill, will he go ahead with this fast?) to paraphrase Vaclav Havel, the voice of the voiceless, the hope of the hopeless, the man who wants to give power to the powerless? Is he the Bouazzizi of our times? Or the canniest politician, who knows exactly what buttons to push? Should Manmohan Singh, Lal Krishna Advani look, listen and learn.
There was no dearth of disasters globally this year – the planet was witness to some of the most harrowing mishaps and natural disasters, leading to seemingly unprecedented loss of life and leaving behind insurmountable damage in their wake. It seemed as though Mother Nature’s fury knew no bounds.
February saw her unleash her wrath on New Zealand where a devastating earthquake shook Christchurch. (As you read this, news is coming in that Christchurch has been rattled by another quake of 5.8 magnitude.) The subsequent flooding that caused mudslides in Brazil took scores of lives. Japan had to bear the heaviest brunt with the March 2011 tsunami, though true to their spirit, they’re bouncing back the best they can. Unfortunately, the extent of damage of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster is still uncertain.
Natural disasters continued unabated all through the year, with severe cases of floods in various parts of the world – Thailand, Cambodia, Bihar, Orissa, Pakistan, Dublin, Australia to name some (click links for videos). If floods were not enough, there was the ghastly earthquake in Sikkim. Then there was Hurricane Irene, first in the annual hurricane season in the US.
Being no stranger to loss of life and damage to property, India had to grapple with uncertainty again this year with two terrorist attacks in Mumbai and Delhi, eerie in their twin what-can’t-kill-them-makes-them-tough resilience. Still recovering from the Park Street fire accident of 2010, Kolkata had to encounter a second fire tragedy in recent times with the AMRI Hospital disaster.
A recent study has found out that 2011 could well be the costliest year where natural disasters are concerned. But in spite of the horrors of 2011, the earth having to witness disasters, man-made or natural, is nothing new. Here’s a look at ten highly destructive ecological disasters in recent years, some of them still ongoing: