Saturday, January 19, 2008

Education - Action

The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. - Herbert Spencer

Knowledge is not power. Knowledge applied is power. Knowledge is what you know. Skill is what you can do. Action is the transformer what converts knowledge to skill. If we look at successful people, we will find most them are very action oriented. We can also see many successful people never give up. They are always trying to run. If the can't run, they try walking. If they can't walk, they try to crawl. Whatever they never give up. They are constantly trying. Action establishes a continuous feedback loop.They try something. It works or it does not work. Either way, we get feedback if what we are trying works or not. We can change accordingly. 'Karma Yoga' essentially teaches the same thing. Keep trying. If it does not work first time. OK. Gather yourself up and try it some other day. Do not give up. One danger with accumulation of more and more knowledge is lack of action as we start off with a diffidence thinking if something works on not. This does not mean that we should give up trying after acquiring knowledge. We should use knowledge to eliminate such actions which others have already proved do not work. Knowledge and action in imbalance result in waste of knowledge.


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M2Mags - follow up

A few days back I wrote about M2Mags (see below). Finally got the rebate after sending one final e-mail in which I told them I would approach BBB or other consumer protection agencies. I do not know what worked, they finally sent the rebate of $10. This is after 4 months of going back and forth. Many weeks of total silence. These companies and their rebates simply suck. As I said before, I can understand companies holding back money to help their operations. But, if you do not have any intention of paying in reasonable time, why promise in the first place???


Beware of M2Mags Rebate

You may come across an offer to subscribe to free magazines or get a $10 rebate when you shop online. You may want to consider, getting the mags instead of $10 rebate. When it comes cash rebate, this company M2Mags sucks big time. I have tried contacting them so many times after duly completing all the paperwork and they have never sent any rebate. Once I got an e-mail from someone who said she would look into it and then from there it seems to have gone into a black hole. In the past when I came across such magazine rebates (from some other company), I went for magazines and been getting the magazines without any problem. No wonder cash and kind are not the same.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

8 point program

Sri Eknath Easwaran ( introduced a very simple program called 8 point program to find peace in this mad world. His 8 point program draws best points common to all spiritual disciplines and puts into simple 8 points which if followed with sustaining enthusiasm and regularity is sure to improve your well being. I can say that with personal experience after having followed it for more than 5 years now. I do not call myself the die-hard follower or extremely diligent follower of this program. Even with mediocre practice of this program, benefits I have received from this program immense. Generally improved outlook towards life, resilience to face day-to-day challenges, increased peace level are some of the biggest gains.

What are 8 points.

1) Meditation

2) Spiritual reading

3) Putting other's first (or putting the interest of other people before yours own)

4) One pointed attention

5) Slowing down

6) Spiritual companionship

7) Training the senses

8) Repetition of the mantra

Whether you are spiritual aspirant or someone who is wholly centered on improving your own well being, this program gives you a great start.

I came across this program and one point - spiritual reading- got me hooked. I have been a voracious reader all along. Prior to coming across this program I was reading a lot anyway. However, most of my reading back then was what I today call junk. Good amount of reading pertained to my education. That was not all that bad. Other category of reading related to reading all sorts of sensational news in print or on the Internet. When I started reading wonderful books from Sri Eknath Easwaran, my time started getting spent well. I have read most of his books. Many books over and over again. The wisdom which is present in enormous amounts has trickled little by little in me. How wonderful.

There are some points in 8 points I have not practiced much. But they are all important. It is very important to make sure that we follow this program without ignoring any points. Even if it is not possible to follow all points of 8 points equally well, we can not afford to ignore any of them all together. We should try to follow each of them as well as possible.

When this world is full of many bogus program aimed at well being, this 8 point program is so refreshing. It is deceivingly simple at the outset and it is easy for us to suspect if it really packs the punch. We can only verify for ourselves.


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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda

Pramahamsa Yogananda was an Indian sage. Probably one of the earliest sages from India to start his movement in the US. Details about him and his organization can be found at his web site -

This book is written by him. Unlike many other spiritual books, this really traces his transformation from an ordinary man to one of the most renowned yogis of recent times.

They say yogis do not become. They are made from common men who receive divine grace as determined by God. Some receive in one life time and many others after several life times.

The book is full of breath taking experiences that Yogananda underwent during the transformation. More breath taking are the experiences that Yogananda's teachers and their teachers underwent. Yogananda does a great job of trying his best to explain mystical experiences using the body of scientific knowledge that he was familiar with drawing from quantum mechanics to modern space theory.

Another highlight of the book is a set of rare photographs which show Yogananda's visit to famous people such as Gandhi etc.

This is a highly inspiring book. Easy to read. Very honest narration. Good read for anyone regardless of whether they are on spiritual pursuit or otherwise. It can serve as a good navigator to go through this life's journey.


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Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Came across this wonderful quote while listening to one of Dale Carnegie's audio books.

"You get ulcers not from what you eat. But, from what is eating you."

It is true to some extent that 'hurry, worry, curry' cause heartburn and when not taken care of result in ulcers. Although hurry and curry may contribute to ulcers, chances are worry is the main culprit. Worry is what eating us and it is bound to cause all sorts of problems.

There is no easy route to overcome worry. Some lucky people are pre-disposed with tendency to worry less. God bless them. They should be thankful to God. We can probably observe such people and learn a lesson or two and understand why these people worry so little.

One thing probably we notice is that they are even keeled in the sense that they are ok if things go their way or other way. Most of the worry is when we are hell bent on getting what we think we want. We do not know many times that what we desperately want is not really good for you. We do not understand this because we do not see the full picture. But, God sees it and gives us only those things which are good for us. So, developing some sort of detachment from our likes and dislikes may go a long way in reducing worry. Of course, this does not mean that we take fatalistic attitude. We just stop worrying about the outcome. We do our job and leave the result to God. Easier said than done. However, coming to this understanding and accepting it will go a long way before we can train ourselves to detach from results.

Secondly thing we may notice in people who worry less is their ability to always absorb themselves in something they truly enjoy. It may be their work or a hobby or keeping themselves busy with family. When we do not have time to think about ourselves, our wants, our likes and dislikes, we naturally tend to worry less. We can probably spend the whole day keeping ourselves busy. What about the night? Worries swarm as soon as head hits the pillow. If we are not fully tired from days work, worries tire us down before we get into  sound sleep. One thing that can help is to read something inspirational before we go to bed. Slow reading naturally induces sleep as long as what we are reading is not a sensational novel. When we start feeling sleepy, it is time to make sure that sleep does not go away when worries hit us back again. That's why it may be useful to turn on some soothing music as soon as you keep your book aside and turn off the lights. Soothing music at a very low volume is sure to put you to good nights sleep. There are many music CDs that you can find which are specifically developed for this purpose.

Let's wish each other all the good luck in overcoming the worry. If we can do that, little bit of curry and hurry can harm us any more.


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Happy new year 2008

Happy new year to all. Best wishes for a prosperous and healthy future in 2008.

Thanks to many of you who took time to leave comments or e-mail me. It's been very heartening to know that some of you benefited from my random ramblings. Thanks for such notes. Keep them coming either via comments or via e-mail at

Once again wishing everybody a very happy new year. May all your wishes come true.


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