Saturday, May 07, 2011


You and I are not WE. But, ONE.

Oh, yeah! we all know that at the core we are all one. So, we should treat each other as  we treat ourselves. When we are nice to others, we are much nicer to ourselves. We should try to see ourselves in others and others in ourselves.

Sounds very good. But, when that annoying person says something or does something, why does our blood boil? More importantly how can we really understand that we are all one at the very core?

Vedanta has  excellent metaphors to show the unity of all living beings.

Moon reflects in all water bodies.

Moon reflects in a beautiful swimming pool in a royal bungalow in the best part of the town.

Same moon also reflects in the dirty sewage pool in a slum.

Is there any difference in the moon?

Is the moon in the beautiful swimming pool any different than the moon in the dirty pool in the slum?

Of course, we are going to enjoy looking at the moon's reflection in the beautiful pool than it the dirty pool in the slum. That's all is external and is bound to change. In one stroke of luck, the beautiful house may burn down and take the pool with it. At the same time, the slum may be transformed into a beautiful location. That's possible.

That's what is all about so called good and bad people. When we see the reflection of the moon in a nice swimming pool, we feel happy and call that reflection a good one. When we see the reflection of the same moon in a dirty pool in a slum, we call that as the bad person.

Here moon refers to 'atman' which is one and the same. Pool is the body in which it is reflected.

So, focus on the moon and not on where it is being reflected.


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"Do not judge a book by its cover."

So goes the saying.

Wisdom is - we should defer our judgement long enough so that we do not misjudge a  person or a thing. Read the book and then may be develop a judgement. Many times appearances can be very deceiving.

We are also worried about people judging us. We know that everybody judges a book by its cover. So, we try to make the cover as attractive as possible. We dress up very well. We groom ourselves well. We fret about our bodies and its lack of perfection and so on and on. All because we are not sure if our cover is good enough.

Of course, there is nothing wrong about making ourselves look and feel at our best. Regardless of subjective opinion on anyone's bodily appearance, anybody can look at their best and also feel at their best with little investment of time and effort. Keep yourself as healthy as possible. Take care of your appearance to level you can afford to. Spend a little time in grooming yourself. Voila! you look and feel good. No doubt it all. Nothing wrong in it.

But, still we will be worried about people judging us by over cover (i.e. our appearance and mannerisms).

So, let's think about a minute. If there is a book lying open on a table, what do you think a person who walks to the table going to do? Is he going to judge the book by its appearance? Or do you think the person is most likely to pick it up, glance through it and may be even scan through a page or two?

Which is more likely? I bet the person is going to pick up the book and glance through it.

I think nobody is going to judge an open book as they judge a closed book. Closed book has the cover that draws attention. That attention is going to judge the book by its cover.

On the other hand, open book does not have that liability of cover. It's open. At worst, it gets neutral judgement or at best it gets judged little later with little deliberate effort and thought.

So, how about if we start making ourselves like open books?

Does that reduce our worry about being judged based on our cover?

May be to some extent.

Living a life that is akin to an open book is the best policy. That way people can read you and judge you for what's in the book than its cover.

Living an open life does not mean you have to wash all your dirty laundry in the public or  have to fess upto all your itty bitty details. Most of them are inconsequential or have a very limited shelf life.

Bigger thing is being you own self all the time. Not acting like someone that you really are not. Being totally comfortable in your own skin.

Ask yourself. How often you identify phonies? Very often. As soon as you find somebody acting artificially, you can easily find that out. At least most of the time. That is very repulsive.

So, just be thyself and enjoy. Let people read you if they are interested. If not, they can judge you by cover or inner cover or dust jacket or whatever. Why do we care?


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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Dream, Life. Real, Unreal.

"Dream is as real as life while we are asleep. Life is as unreal as dream while we are awake."

First sentence of the quote did sink in pretty easily.

Second part, pretty hard.

However, once you get the grips on the first part of the quote, it starts making sense.

Don't dreams seem really REAL?

Don't we wake up totally freaked out from nightmares? Don't experiences in  dreams seem real?

But, when we get up after sleeping, we brush all that aside.

How's so-called life different than a dream? Is it that we are unable to distinguish one dream from the other? Vedantists says so because we are clouded. According to them, what we see and feel as reality is dream as well.

That's why may be they say there are 3 normal states - awake, sleeping and dreaming. They have been very right about differentiating dreaming and sleeping because actual sleep is dreamless sleep. That's when we really relax.

Beyond these normal three states, they called fourth state as 'turiya'. Literally means fourth. 'Turiya' is super consciousness state. Samadhi or whatever.

Even if we leave all this aside, we can all appreciate a good nights sleep.

Simple measure to get a good nights sleep. Sleep little less than you really feel like. This helps getting into deep sleep as soon as you hit the bed Get enough exercise. Relax. Eat early in the evening. Do not stimulate senses overly. Do not expose yourself to excitable media. Go to sleep thinking about whatever makes you happy. Preferably reciting the name of your favorite deity. But, these days many are averse to simple things like repeating 'rama nama'. So, imagining yourself to be enjoying the blue waters of caribbean is an alternative.

Night after night when we get good sleep, especially long hours of dreamless sleep, you will see the difference in your overall health immediately. You will discover new insights, productivity in whatever you do increases by many folds. You will just be much happier. Just the opposite of how you feel after crappy night's sleep.

Good luck to sleep well and dreaming less.


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