Tag Archives: God

On a treasure hunt of Self

Yes….I Know it now….The power of my being resides in myself.    There is nowhere else to go.  I and I alone can access it.   For years I believed that the keys to this treasure were somewhere far, in some distant exotic land and inaccessible unless one crosses the towering mountain cliffs and battles the devilish seas.   Now I know the journey is simpler, maybe there is no journey at all.   And the treasure awaits me.

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So what is this treasure?  Why is still hidden?  And where are the keys? 

An ancient saying goes that God was often heckled by Man and his incessant requests.   Then God approached a wise Saint and wanted to know if there was someplace he could hide and be away from these constant demands.   Apparently wherever God went, Man would chase him and find him.  The saint advised God to take refuge in Man’s own heart.   That is one place he will never search for God!!

Aaah, so this treasure called Self or God is just there. In your heart and my heart…And so beautifully concealed that even with eyes wide open we just fail to notice.  And if and when we do, we might just dismiss is as irrational exalted state.   And then once again the doors shut and we wonder what next.

compass

Just like for any treasure hunt, Man has been looking for the clues to this treasure.  Many have found it, and some have come very close.  It is time millions find it too.   But unlike the treasures for which the kings explored lands, this one is endless and limitless.   This treasure is something everyone can have and yet it will grow.   So what are the clues?

First of all just know that it is just there waiting for you.   Recognize that.  And you are that treasure.  So it is not removed from you.  It is part of you and you are part of it.    And all that you require is to remember this!!  So simple!!   Yet the myriad schemes the mind will come up with will take you away from this.  That’s the fake treasure called Maya.   Remembrance of the real treasure was always there, and yet the wily mind made it sound unreal.

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Sage Ashtavakra told King Janaka in the Ashtawakra Gita –

muktabhimani mukto hi

baddho baddhabhimany api .

“You are what you think.”

If you think you are bound you are bound.

If you think you are free you are free.

The biggest fallacy is that the treasure is bound.  It is not.   Even the layers are illusionary.  The master sword of awareness of the supreme consciousness is all it takes to reach to this treasure.  The highest knowledge is the knowledge of the self.  And that is the treasure.

Jesus, Buddha and other enlightened Masters have shown the way to this treasure.

4 keys

Bhagwad Gita describes the four keys or ways to this treasure.   Gyan Marga,  Bhakti Marga,  Karma Marga and  Yoga Marga.   All Margas lead to the ultimate treasure of Kaivalya, freedom.  You can start anywhere and you are guaranteed this treasure.   Amazing isn’t it.    Where do you want to start?

By Vikas Bhatia 

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Inside every successful leader there is a child at play

Every leader would like to believe that he or she is exercising power that has been rightfully earned, in order to get work done for the best results. In the process though, there is an inherent tug-of-war at play between positional power and pressure to deliver better than before. The collateral damage of this clash is often borne by colleagues, peers, subordinates and sometimes, unfortunately, even family!

When the going is tough and the need of the hour is to step away from the beaten-path to make game-changing moves, most leaders are often found wanting. The ability to take calculated risks and back innovative ideas pretty much separates the great leaders from the rest. Somehow, these leaders seem to possess the curiosity, passion and the ability to demonstrate equanimity under all circumstances. They are also able to identify game-changing opportunities despite being involved in fire-fighting or overseeing mundane tasks. For them, there are no issues to be sorted, only opportunities to be sought and tapped. They are honest enough to state the obvious however bitter it may be and quick to applaud initiative and that gives them the clarity of thought needed to make quick, inclusive decisions. Their teams willingly back them since there is no second-guessing or sycophancy needed to perform and be recognized.

The million-rupee question is how are they able to do what they do? The answer may lie in an old Vedic dictum that prophesizes that a man can discover GOD within when he allows the child in him to thrive. Essentially, what the sages were trying to tell us is that being child-like at all times is the ultimate measure of evolution, however paradoxical that may sound. The famous English poet William Wordsworth also echoed this thought. But we’ll keep that for later. For now, we will see how this is true for business leaders as well.

So, what are those five child-like characteristics that a good leader should nurture and demonstrate, day in and day out?

1)     Be innocent: Yes, you read that right. However difficult it is for us adults to believe in the value of this trait, it is perhaps the most powerful among the lot that a child possesses.

innocent child

As a leader of a team or teams, one must be innocent in thought, words and actions. This is the foundation of trust. It doesn’t mean being naïve or gullible. Rather, it is a quality that defines authenticity and clarity. Communication is then a free-way without barriers and that opens up tremendous possibilities. Followers willingly speak their mind knowing fully well that their leader is genuine, non-judgmental and unbiased. Ideas begin to flow out easily, collaboration is a given and hence breakthrough business results happen!

2)     Be curious: Remember when you were a child and everything that happened around you was new and magical? In hindsight, we’re quick to dismiss that as ‘child-like curiosity’ but that is in fact an unmatched asset every good leader should possess.

curious child

You are then able to continuously and unwaveringly look for opportunities subconsciously. As a leader, you look for talent that is waiting to blossom, you listen to all, you see everything with delight and full involvement. It becomes a happy habit to seek, accept and celebrate ideas from anyone, whatever their position or role. Finding game-changing ideas is then an inherent talent and there is never a dearth of information or solutions when needed. What happens as a result? There is never a lack of motivation or passion and achieving results is a piece of cake!

3)     Be stubborn: Throwing tantrums and not letting up till they’ve got what they wanted is but a natural thing for children. They are masters at the game and seem to find newer ways each time! More importantly, they seem to possess an inexhaustible reserve of stubbornness no matter how big or small the need. This is what driven leaders also possess in abundance.

stubborn child

But being stubborn does not in any way mean being unfair and demanding to the point of being overbearing. The stubborn child is able to extract what it wants by being persuasive, friendly, lovable and convincing. As a leader, if you are able back your instinct/ gut-call, to fix your mind on a goal and go after it like a stubborn child, you will discover that the team will come around to supporting and collaborating with you to achieve it. 

4)      Be forgiving: Remember those silly fights with mates that never lasted more than a few seconds? Remember how easy it was to swear never to speak again and get back to noisy banter, fun and laughter? Well, if you are a leader, you must be forgiving by nature. You might have set very high standards for yourself and hence reached where you have but that should not make you demanding and unforgiving towards subordinates and colleagues. It could also be that your role demands superior standards but that should not mean failure or mistakes are unacceptable.

forgiving child

After all, we’re all humans and we’re bound to falter now and then, right? If you can forgive easily and caringly, your Emotional Intelligence comes through in such a way that peers, colleagues and subordinates begin to trust and love you. More significantly, the idea-ramans in the team will never hesitate to share their latest idea or suggestion which could prove game-changing!

5)     Be playful: Yes. Let the child in you play at work. Never take yourself, your role/ designation or what you do, too seriously! Remember the mischievous child, always ready to play a prank or two, never hesitating to diffuse an angry moment with monkey-faces? Well, that child is needed all the more, every time you climb the corporate ladder towards greater leadership.

playful child

The playful leader enjoys every little event, celebrates those inconsequential successes and applauds merrily. More importantly for the organization, this leader handles so-called pressure situations with an unaffected gaiety that is infectious! Playful leaders manage to convert work into play for everyone in the team and that transforms organizational culture like nothing else can!

Did you find resonance with these traits? Do you still have doubts about actually practicing these in real life? Well, all you have to do is observe closely the shenanigans of children at home and if possible, participate in their fun! William Wordsworth suggested that ‘The child is the father of man’ in his famous poem ‘The Rainbow’ and indeed there is so much to learn from children that Leaders would do well to take their little ones more seriously, don’t you agree? You never know – the next BIG idea might just come from your child’s silly game or innocuous comment! Better still would be for you, the leader, to rediscover, nurture and unleash the child in you to lead the way… So go ahead! Be child-like and play!

By Nandakishore Padmanabhan

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Creating the GOD Company

There is divinity in every enterprise, Big and Small. I will go so far as saying there is GOD in every enterprise! Did you just raise an eyebrow? Let me explain. Spiritually speaking, if GOD is in each one of us and we’re but HIS manifestation, shouldn’t there be a more powerful version of HIM in a collective enterprise that has energies working together for a greater purpose (or at least trying to!)?

God-adam

If the infinite supreme that we refer to as GOD is all-pervading and all-inclusive, then by the very nature of HIS being, enterprises of all sizes are necessary and deserve to co-exist within HIM and as manifestations of HIM. There is a natural, self-regulatory balance that is achieved because of this. It is then safe to deduce that the measure of the enterprise’s success and how long it lasts is then defined by how much or less of HIM is in the fabric of their being.

BVM

Metaphorically speaking, therefore, every sustain-ably successful enterprise has three gears working together, endlessly, without friction, feeding into each other’s ceaseless motion forward: Generators, Operators and Destroyers, GODs for the acronym-lovers. Why do we need them and how do we go about surrounding ourselves with these manifestations of the ‘holy trinity’ in good measure? That is the name of this game called life or business or both, since one is the other, right?

Generators: These persons are the natural creators/ ideators/ initiators. This is their Swadharma – their natural wont, inclination, their destiny if you will!

brahma

These are the Brahma manifestations that come up with ideas, create the concepts, identify opportunities, fathom projects/ products etc. that pretty much define the collective enterprise. They are the architects not burdened by logic or reason whose minds can see endless possibilities, the very engines of change and initiative. They give life to the collective. BUT, they are not almighty by themselves.

In expending all their energies on the aspect of Generation, they unconsciously seek out others who can maintain, nurture, preserve, incubate, monitor, moderate etc. in order that their creations do not die. They NEED Operators to complete their task and in a sense complete them! The irony, of course, is that Generators more often than not, despise Operators!

hands of god

Think about it – Generators are free-thinkers who despise rules, hate micro-management, are annoyed by processes and deplore routine. In effect, they despise the very character of their bête-noire Operators and yet cannot thrive without them! Is this a problem? Nope – it is in fact a God-sent opportunity! Read on…

Operators: They are the nurturers/ protectors/ guides/ mentors/ managers/ leaders et al. This is their Swadharma. They are the Vishnu manifestations that nurture ideas, give shape to concepts, execute and ensure project completion.

Vishnu

They are the ‘Managers’, if you please, who can appreciate the brilliance of creativity and yet excel in working with logic and reason.  Their minds are focused on ensuring prosperity and abundance, while being pragmatic and fair, without getting swayed. In effect, they nurture the life of the collective and balance change with continuity. BUT, they are not Almighty by themselves either…

While they use their energies on this aspect of Operation, they consciously seek out others who can finish, close out, stop, and destroy etc. in order that the created leave the stage after their lifespan, to make way for the new. They NEED Destroyers to complete their task and in a sense complete them!

blackhole

As irony goes, they too despise their Yang-halves, the Destroyers! After all, if one is naturally inclined to preserve and nurture, one will therefore hate the disrupters, naysayers, the critics, the tough-task-masters, the finishers if you will. Yet, they cannot thrive without these chaps! And therein lies our other God-sent opportunity…

Destroyers: These are the disrupters, critics/ doubters/ the skeptics/ the tough-call-takers/ the closure-specialists/ the devil’s advocates if you please. It is their Swadharma.

Shiva

They are the Shiva manifestations who know when it is time to pull the plug, kill an idea, stop a project, phase-out a product, ease out a resource, disrupt an entrenched process etc. They are unaffected by the creative genius behind a creation or the perseverance that nurtured it. They are neither driven by emotion nor by logic. They are the change-agents who decisively influence the course of the collective’s journey. BUT, they are not Almighty by themselves.

While exhausting their energies on this aspect of Destruction, they actually seek out Generators in order that creation can start again.

bigbang

They NEED Generators to complete their task and complete the trinity, even though they hate their ilk! It makes sense doesn’t it? By nature, if they are adept at disrupting, they must abhor the ideators, the creators, the dreamers who made those things in the first place!

OK. Point made and well-taken I hope. Now imagine the perfect collective enterprise that has somehow managed the perfect mix of Generators, Operators and Destroyers, who are working with and seemingly against each other, in a symbiotic manner. They could have managed to achieve this by having an eco-space that encourages each of these manifestations to blossom individually as well as collectively.

Questions

How could this have happened? In HR parlance, we can hazard to guess that their ‘self-defined KRAs’ demanded that Generators actually seek out and bring Operators who can nurture their creativity, into the Collective. Similarly, Operators are expected to find and bring in Destroyers who can put out their outdated projects and disrupt the cruise-mode. Finally, the Destroyers are mandated to hunt for Generators who can create anew post their disruptive actions.

Net-net, there is a self-sufficient eco-system that looks after itself and its talent needs! They are all leaders in their own right, working autonomously yet collaboratively as stakeholders. This three-way yin-yang, if you can imagine it, is naturally self-balancing, fair, self-feeding and sustainable, destined for equitable success, don’t you think?

3yinyang

Can you visualize its in-built, self-check mechanisms because of the very opposing natures of the three forces that drive it, like conjoined levers or gears, a smooth, flowing three-petaled Yin-Yang?

And then there is the aspect of balancing the G-O-D that is within us! It is safe to say that all three qualities Generator/ Operator/ Destroyer are in some measure inside each one of us. The challenge is to nurture and allow these manifestations to express themselves at the right time and in collaborative response to the expressions from our colleagues. That will also mean an inherent respect for the G-O-D in the other person and awareness at all times. It is possible isn’t it?

mysterious

Now do you believe you can help create a GOD company within your existing set-up or even outside of it when you start your next entrepreneurial venture? Well, what are you waiting for my dear fellow manifestation? Godspeed!

By Nandakishore Padmanabhan (with inputs from Vikas Bhatia & Aanchal Sethi)

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Humble Leadership – the Power of One before the Zero

I remember attending my daughter’s annual drama performance, which was very unique in the sense all the students of the school from the first standard to the tenth standard, were performing and they had spent months practicing for it. It was at a mammoth level with 1000 students performing in their colourful costumes on a larger than life stage with spectacular lighting and heart soothing music.

The show ended and the principal came on stage to thank everybody involved in making the event a success. At the end, it was time to thank the director who we knew had put in a lot of sweat and tears to coordinate with 1000 participants and present a soul stirring performance. The principal called out his name ‘Allan’ and while his name was being called out thousand of students and parents were cheering in anticipation to see him on stage; but he was nowhere in sight. He knew the job was well done and he did not want to bask in the glory of the evening and take away anything from the children who had so beautifully performed.

It has been 5 years since the drama was performed and the memory of this event still holds on to my mind of a person who took the position of insignificance while doing such a great act. Recently, when India lifted the coveted cricket world cup trophy, the captain of the team M S Dhoni allowed his team members to take centre stage while he stood on the sidelines, even though he played a crucial knock in the finals and hit the final six over midoff to seal India’s victory in the world cup finals.

In both the instances, the two people took a humble position and there are people in the business community who term this as ‘humble leadership’. Jim Collins, the author of two much-quoted works, ‘How the Mighty Fall (2009) and Good to Great (2001) has linked the performance of great companies to Level 5 leaders, who practice two distinct qualities, namely genuine personal humility and intense professional will.

The Level 5 leader is always looking outside the window to see who deserves the credit for the job well done. This kind of humble leadership attracts people and brings out the best in them as their contribution is recognized as meaningful and significant. It is not easy to practice humility as pointed by social commentator Santosh Desai who believes that such acts require supreme self-confidence and wisdom.

Radhanath Swami who has studied the wisdom literature of the world and says “A true leader practices humility and humility really means honesty. Humility is about simply being truthful. What do we have to brag about? If God does not make the sun rise, what will you do? Did you create your brain? Did you create your eyes to see? Did you create your heart to beat? Did you create your arms to act? 

As they say in British parlance, do not be proud of borrowed looms. Whatever we have is not ours. We are merely instruments of a power beyond ourselves and to recognize and access that supreme power is real humility. Imagine the power of the Lord with you! It is like adding a one to all the zeroes, suddenly the value changes.

Our vedic scriptures prescribe a simple method of adding this One to our life by establishing a relationship with the Supreme One and any relationship requires good understanding and communication.

Prayer is a powerful means of communication with the Supreme Lord and the most effective prayer in the day and age is the chanting of the Holy names of the Supreme Lord. The chanting of the Holy names will cleanse our heart of all the impurities and will bring us to our natural state of being a humble servant and this will inspire people around us to become humble leaders leading to a more cooperative and loving society.

By Deepak Bharwani

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The 3 laws of E-motion

By Vikas Bhatia

  • First law: The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force.
  • Second law: The acceleration of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force F and inversely proportional to the mass m, i.e., F = ma.
  • Third law: The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear.
  •  The three laws of motion were first compiled by Sir    Isaac Newton in his work Philosophiæ Naturalis   Principia Mathematica, first published on July 5,  1687. Newton used them to explain and investigate  the motion of many physical objects and systemsth century,  the laws of classical mechanics were the ones through which we understood the world we see.3 laws of E-motion!!First Law:  Emotions continue to be in a state of flux unless acted upon by an external stimulus called AwarenessSecond Law:  The intensity of the Emotion E is directly proportional to the importance given to the situation, divided by the level of Awareness,   the value of Awareness ranging from 1 to infinite.

    In short, Ei =  S/A  where  S  is the degree of Significance and A is the level of AwarenessThird Law:   Every emotion (positive or negative) released or expressed (consciously or unconsciously) will trigger an equal and opposite response from the universe.First Law of E-motion:  

    Emotions continue to be in a state of flux unless acted upon by an external stimulus called AwarenessThe unavailability of sunlight for prolonged periods has been found to lead to depression in many people.  The multitude of events and environmental changes creates an ever changing landscape of emotions.  The rate of change in the external environment can lead to a frustrating emotional flux.  While the positive cycle of change is always welcomed, the negative cycle is often difficult to control and is very damaging for some individuals.   The key to restore balance and to make sure we are not dragged in a whirl pool of negative set of emotions is Awareness.   Awareness is a state of disassociation, a state of witnessing oneself.   The state of Awareness calms down the turbulent sea of emotions welling up in our being.  Spiritual practices like meditation lead to an increase in awareness.    Many scriptures and spiritual Masters have spoken about this Awareness.  A state of Awareness is like being Awake, and the emotional turbulences nothing but a dream.  This state of Awareness can also be described as a state of Vairagya – or Dispassion from the internal emotional response.  Hence the first law postulates that our awakening – a sense of Higher Awareness leads to the arrest of the constant flux in our emotions.The Second Law of E-motion:

    The intensity of the Emotion E is directly proportional to the significance given to the situation, divided by the level of Awareness,   the value of Awareness ranging from 1 to infinite.In short, Ei =  S/A  where  S  is the degree of Significance and A is the level of AwarenessAwareness as described in the first law is also responsible for mellowing down the level of our response.  The emotional response itself is inevitable, the intensity experienced then is a consequence of the significance we have for the external stimulus and moderated by the level of Awareness.Shama.  Awareness does not reduce the significance we put on that event, it just helps us cope with it better.  Awareness can also be linked to Viveka –  the faculty of discernment which helps distinguish between the permanent and transient, between good and bad.The Third Law of E-motion:

    Every emotion (positive or negative) released or expressed (consciously or unconsciously) will trigger an equal and opposite response from the universe.

    Unlike the physical world where the action produces an immediate response, why does the emotional response meander through time and space?  We do not know fully understand the fabric of the consciousness, the space through which the emotional world works, but it does seem to have the mechanics of the response built in.   At the pinnacle of awareness, the field of consciousness is completely neutral, and all actions and their responses dissolve.   In some sense this is the annihilation of the positive and negative forces which creates the drama in human mind.Brahman, in absence of duality, these laws do not have relevance.  In total Awareness, I am that!

    Aham Bramhasmi

    Aum Tat Sat 

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    God and the WWW

    God and the World Wide Web

    By: Vikas Bhatia

    Through the ages, humans have attempted in several ways to portray God. God has been represented in mythical figures, or sometimes as an abstract concept of the Supreme Consciousness. The representation of the self or ‘Atman’ has been even more abstract. In the Kathopanishad, it says ‘The Self being subtler than the subtle is not to be obtained by argument – Many are not even able to hear of the Self. Many even when they hear of Him, do not comprehend.’ So confusion persists in many minds about ‘what is the Self (Atman) and what is God (Parmataman)? What is the relationship between the Self and God? We are told that God exists within us and God exists everywhere. So what really is God?

    The self on the similar lines is the very core of our being, and yet it is said to be universal and in its purest form is nothing but cosmic consciousness. The Self and God in many ways are indistinguishable and yet the human mind associates the Self as a small part residing in our bodies and God as a bigger, universal entity. This duality itself is illusionary, and leads us to believe that God is something beyond a common mind.

    The relationship of the Self and God can be beautifully illustrated through the modern day example of the World Wide Web – or the Internet. The Internet was created for communication between the various labs of the US Defense but has evolved into a far broader and a universal utility. Internet can be broadly defined as collection of hundreds of millions of computer plugged into each other. This wide network has no real boundaries, no start and no end. It is has no fixed shape and continuously evolves. It does not even exist unless you plug into it. And the computers connecting to the Internet are part of the Internet and yet that is not the whole Internet, and the Internet would not be complete without these connecting computers. The same could be said about the human consciousness(The Self) and God.

    When this human consciousness unites or connects to the Divine Consciousness, it then becomes part of God. God then is a part of the self and the Self itself is a manifestation of God. Thus the individual self and God become one in this divine unity. God can thus be represented as the universal web of consciousness. This vast consciousness spans everything in this universe. The Mandukyopanishad says ‘All this whatsoever is seen here, there and everywhere, is Brahman. This Atman, the very self is Brahman, the absolute reality.’ This connection between the Self and God though may seem to be external is in fact very internal.

    We also have a God for various aspects of nature and life. We have gods/goddesses for education, money, health, rains, forest and so on. All these are part of this divine web. They are the various web servers from which you get all kind of blessings. It is the same web, just different parts or manifestations. Each manifestation is dependent on which blessings you want!!

    Connecting to the Internet requires some kind of connection be it a dial-up type or that of broadband kind. Connecting to this divine web also requires to have a connection facility – this could be through prayers, meditation (Sadhana) or Seva. Through these activities, one realizes the power of the divine web. When truly connected to this web, one does not distinguish the difference between the self and the rest. The self is the whole, as the universe and the universe does not exist without the self. The quality and speed of connection increases as one engages more in these activities. The level of experience enhances and the self becomes inseparable from this web.

    The role of a Guru in this context is akin to that of an ISP (Internet Service Provider). He is the gateway to this divine web. He brings you the power and the experience of the web to you. He is the troubleshooter if you experience any difficulties in the connection. Having realized and part of this divine web, he makes your journey enjoyable.

    The World Wide Web is expanding and so is this divine web of consciousness. It is infinite, ever growing and from which everything springs and ends. There are no national boundaries, no religious boundaries in this divine web. It is formless and all encompassing.

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    The 3 P’s

    By Vikas Bhatia

    The 3 P’s which drive the entire world of politics, business and societies are power, profit and pleasure. The 3 P’s have been the fundamental forces which have shaped the world we live in, right from the days of Ramayana, Mahabharata, Jesus Christ or that followed by the rise of Roman empire, the conquest of the British empire, the industrial era, and the global economy as we see it now. The challenges we face whether it be that of global warming, the oil crisis, the rising inequality, the economic recession have the indelible imprint of these 3 P’s. So profound are these and so deeply embedded that we possibly cannot imagine. Trying to remove them is possibly as inconceivable as removing the DNA from our bodies.

    Can we then ever expect Peace, Purity and Pluralism to be around, the counter or the spiritual P’s. It would appear that what we are wanting is that these forces to balance the overwhelming and destructive power of the three P’s of power, profit and pleasures. It is apparent that the positive P’s often make their presence felt only after the devastation created by those forces has left the individual or the society completely paralyzed. Revolutions are often brought about once the destruction is near complete…this battle of Ying and Yang forces is as eternal as the universe and this drama often witnessed at the sub atomic level as well as the cosmic level. Galaxies often eat up other galaxies, black holes gulp down everything around them. Such is the power of monster black holes swallowing matter, if Hitler ever knew about them would have felt utterly defenseless.

    The world problems as we have seen are also created by these powerful P’s. The Mayaa created by the 3P’s are so blinding, that individuals and societies at large mostly overlook the Frankenstein in making. So what is then the solution to the ills the world faces? Can we ever look at Utopia? The answer is yes and no…If the fundamental forces are embedded as it appears, we will continue to oscillate between periods of turmoil and then relative peace. It is the constant churn which has been documented in the Vedas, through the movement of time through the Yugas.

    Essentially, one of the forces of profit, power and pleasures have found strength alternatively or collectively by the changing mindset of the society. The roman society became decadent with pleasure after the conquest to establish the Empire. The British too got caught up with profits after the power was established. It is when the excess are committed on any of the three dimensions, a revolution brews. In the current Kal Yug, the worst of the four Yugs, the forces profit, power and pleasure have been very dominating. So caught up is the current generation in pursuing profits or being in power and all this with pleasures and comfort of the world, that if continued unchecked will lead to total destruction as we have seen in the past. Can this be avoided?

    At some point the seed of purity, peace and pluralism needs to be sown, watered and nurtured. That is the balancing P’s, or the spiritual forces which are also embedded, though they remain dormant unless awakened. That awakening is the dance of Siva, the God of Transformation, happening both at the individual and collective level. We are often awakened rudely and suddenly by the events around us or by an enlightened Master, the nurturer of these three spiritual P’s. While the material P’s will always be around, we can be released from the stranglehold of their malefic effects, if the spiritual P’s are brought to the fore. Often the awakening or the revolution at the individual level happens towards the mid life of the individual when the plans as set out by the individual fail to materialize or due to events which create a significant emotional turmoil. At the collective level, the strengthening of the spiritual P’s is a much more complex process. It requires an inspired individual who takes collective responsibility for the society or group in concern, identifies with the cause of the negative effects of the materialistic P’s and strives to generate a collective will to counter the effect through spiritual P’s. Gandhi was one such example. India’s freedom movement was achieved through the pluralistic efforts and peaceful movement against the British rule. The role of spiritual leaders like that of Sri Sri Ravishankar, founder of Art of Living is immense in bringing this balance, or awakening of the spiritual P’s. Such leaders through their personal quest, wisdom and dedication to the cause, work towards restoring this balance.

    The individual also needs to invoke the awakening, if he wishes to experience the beauty of life. There is possibly no escape to the dreadful P’s, but the quality of life can be significantly enhanced by inculcating the spiritual P’s, through a conscious and determined effort, or either through a revolution, sometimes violent.

    Is the dance of Shiva, the lord of transformation, going to create a Tandav in us?

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