Monday, October 15, 2012

A penny for your thoughts!

Any good post should have the capacity to provoke thought - shake the reader from his complacency and border on the outrageous. Great philosopher, poets, writers have this capacity to stun us from our stupor and shock their readers; most of them were zealous and paranoid about their views, thoughts and works. Safe conventional posts or quoting some second hand wisdom and advice from scriptures is for preachers’ clergy, teachers and proselyters – who do not have any original thoughts and do not want to step out of their comfort zones- and all their posts are as dull as dishwater. Out of the box thinking and posts, presents ideas and thoughts that seemingly suspend conventional wisdom and understanding, sometimes turning it topsy turvy,it is an in your face good or bad advice from life’s bitter experience. However whenever I post a creative or outrageous thought – I am labelled as a cultural and religious provocateur, mainly since I do not follow the path or dogmas of millions of believers. Added to that the fact that I am an atheist, a non conformist and a rebel makes me an easy target to be labeled as a fake, infidel, denigrator of faiths and an abnormal person. Often these philistines with a religious disposition sit on judgement on my thoughts and posts. My thoughts are worth more than the miserable pennies they drop in the charity boxes.

Men Are Not the Only Problems.

What is the border between the essence of men and women? It is permeable and blurred because it is built on thick layers of confabulation, misunderstandings and distorted facts. A difficult woman is difficult because, rather than being unconventional, she tries to explore her life by attempting to ask too many questions: While freedom and compassion are part of her life, she cannot be understood without allowing her thoughts to flow through the relationship. Women are afraid because they have been semi –slaves for centuries. Women are like a work in progress an unfinished work of art and intrigue- the archetype of jealousy, the embodiment of frailty. Women have from time immemorial been the daughters of mother earth. They are afraid to assert their vivid, unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of their feminine mystique. Though they desire men, they have an initial fear of intimacy, fear of being vulnerable, infidelity and being used as a sex toys. They are always running away from a deeper part of themselves and repression from men. Men are unfeminine aggressive and revel in wanting multiple partners, fast cars, techno gadgets - whereas the woman feels the desire to totally surrender, and give all of herself and her love when she embraces her man. Yet every woman has a mysterious allure, as evidenced by the numerous attractive males that fawn on women. She expects everyone not only to understand and respect her views, but to honor all her unspoken as well as spoken wishes. The purity of her soul, her wisdom, and the amount of love she holds within herself makes her vulnerable. Men do not care about her heart’s feelings, yearnings or her sincere passionate desires for her mate. Though she is pleasing to the eye, personable and easy to love, men have always condemned them to stay whimpering at the back doors of their life. The more a woman respects herself, the more radiant and attractive she will be for men. The more she loves her own self, the more she will be able to tolerate dissonance. The more forgiving and compassionate she is, the more men will flock to her. Gothic lore states that men and women are two locked caskets, of which each contains the key to the other. It is the feminine principle that consciously holds together the web of life and the interconnectedness of all existence. –Vinay-

Much Ado about Nothing.

As john Cage once said” I have nothing to say and I am saying it. Luis Borges also stated about Shakespeare’s Everything and Nothing, there was no one in him, once the last verse had been declaimed and the last man withdrawn from stage, unreality returns. Being entirely silent, offers clear proof that nothing is ever simply nothing, and we opt to remain silent. The mistake is to think silence does not require attention- but it does, saying nothing is the borderlands of silence. Just look at nature, if we could only imitate the way it operates, Silent changing patterns of cloud shadows and reflected sunlight on the sea. It thrills us and has a calming effect. As we contemplate the utter tedium and sometimes futility of our lives, we find that ours is a hostile relationship with the world at large. Words which are totally desolating evade us, like a waking shadow . Silence cannot be talked about; it is the core idea of innocence- which aims at returning the world weary visitor to a life of innocence. This can be achieved by the power of nostalgic silence, shorn of any bitterness. The trick is to convert (in silence ) regret for an unloved life, to go on living till you realize the labour of love that does not stand as idealistic – but alters when it finds alteration, or the compromises we end up making, to keep the relationship flowing. Syllables are drowned along with thoughts, - what if in mournful euphoria, we have slaughtered time. Sounds of Silence-

The Grim Reaper -Guest or Pest.

! No one can escape the gaping jaws of Thanatos, everyone must be conscious of the inevitable certainty of their own demise. The grim reaper has visited us all at some point of time, taking away a friend, relative or close family member. Everyone is helpless and some fascinated by the concept of death. People attend funerals out of curiosity, some come to stare at the dead person go back and forget the event, going about their daily life as if nothing has happened. For those, whom it is an unexpected loss, grieve and isolate themselves, some do not know to cope and withdraw from everyone and world at large. Some don’t grieve in public but are hurting inside ,it is difficult to understand their pain and sorrow and frustration. What can we do, except offer our heartfelt condolences? When we are talking about issues of life and death, or talking to people who have lost some one dear, - we really cannot sense how that person lived with the people he loved. We try to acknowledge the grievers pain, we empathize, we offer our shoulder to cry, our clumsy platitudes. But at some point we itch to move on to our lives, and leave the mourner to his own anguish. Not out of callousness, but out of the knowledge that in the end- grief is a lonely and entirely a personal place. We hope those who mourn will pull away from the unruly currents of mourning and rejoin the crowd. Nothing we say really matters, because we know grief’s dark allure. In grief we sound the depths of our love- in that regard, it’s a private privilege. Society has no place there. -vinay-

Those Who Live by His Word Shall Die by the Sword.

Blasphemy is a victimless crime they say, but paradoxically thousands of innocent people are killed in the violent terrorist attacks in the aftermath of religious cartoons or films. The victims of their heinous and depraved attacks are innocent victims. Afghanistan Dar E’ Salaam, Tehran, Beirut, Islamabad, Nairobi, Amsterdam, Syria, Iran, Lebanon and now Libya, the list of endless. Religious zealots are hard wired for war, but are so insensitive that they even violate the military rule that forbids the killing of someone who is hors de combat or "outside the fight."Fanatic believers pride themselves on their faith and rigor and impose the ultimate sanctions on those who deride their faith. Their beliefs are driven by the sheer number of followers in their own state or lands. They all steadfastly claim theirs is the only true faith, but pretend that it is uncontaminated by bias, judgement or intolerance to other religions. The two most powerful religions slug it out for market share, each one following their own process, rituals and beliefs. Yet, most organized religious dread scientific discoveries, like the Higgs “God particle” that debunks the theory of a supreme creator. What is the conscious motive of these men who claim peace & love as their doctrines but go out and kill with sickening regularity? Will you go about killing people if they spit in your garden.? Is it insecurity, indoctrinated insanity or a deeper frustration because they are not allowed to question their faith? Or is it an innate desire to throw off the shackles, but since they can’t resort to their own free will and thinking, that they end up as martyrs for a depraved cause. There are no answers, is it the “Jam sessions” intended to indoctrinate them with a malignant brain cancer – that accounts for their violent actions. Why this disorder is prevalent with only believers and not Agnostics & atheists who use their free will and hold themselves accountable for their actions, originating from their conscious minds. Would non believers, if they traded places with these fanatical believers stoop to the same levels of depravity and commit these heinous acts of terrorism. Neuro - scientist cum philosopher Sam Harris raises a caveat & thinks so.-Vinay-

To Being or not a Being! (A philosophical conundrum)

In recent years, some powerful existential thinkers like Martin Buber, a Jewish theologian and Paul Tillich have stated that in our world of observation and science – being finite does not certain God. The paradox about proving the existence of God is that God is said to be a “necessary being”, necessity is legitimately used with the stipulated definitions of symbols only. Any existing think can be contingent only and of anything existing, we can always imagine it to be otherwise, than what it is and even possibility of it not existing at all. If God exists, then he can also be imagined not existing at any time. If he is necessary, then he is not a being and if is a being, then he is not necessary. To say that God is a necessary being is as contradictory as the idea of a square circle. There are several arguments offered for the existence of God, ontological, cosmological and teleological. The ontological argument is that existence is the very essence (Ontos) of the idea of God. Its argument is a priori, since from the mere analysis we are deducting existence. This holds that the world is contingent; implying what is necessary and the idea are of if necessary implies existence. As Plato stated “Doubt implies the knowledge of truth that it is, or exists. -Religious philosophy- MLBD-

Love Burns the Flesh of life.

The definition of Love is highly subjective and continues to evolve transcendentally over centuries. The old sages were wrong, when they said, “everything changes, but the human heart”. A lover’s longing for his beloved is at the core of every sonnet, ballad and love poems. These could be taken as eulogizing, the lovers enchantment with their beloved. As Rumi stated “you cannot reach the heavens by prayer, only from the heart can you touch the sky”. You cannot attain liberation through bargaining, offerings or trade. Sometimes we get misery in return for our love, and we are disappointed as we always expect love in return.Even if it is anguish it still comes to torment our hearts, like love it keeps on coming bank only to disappear again. Love is like the dewdrop teetering on the edge of the precipice – before the free fall into the abyss, of a boring and doomed marriage on the rocks. Romance is also ephemeral and cannot last forever. Yet nothing can beat the high of being in love. Both the sacred and the profane have the same effect on our lives. Like the prosaic and the farcical. Love is a funny tapestry, you cannot describe the passion that overcomes you, nor can you define it. The intensity of the desire may or may not have the elements of physical longing – but the love in it, can always transcend longing into the spiritual realm. I endorse what rain King Henderson stated “whatever gains I ever made in life were always due to love and nothing else.” All the women I loved have given a deep meaning to my life. I cannot think of myself detached from them – or apart from their influence. My own growth was stimulating and enlightening because of these liaisons – and the sense of exhilaration, which verged hesitantly on the erotic, was divine. –Vinay-

The Wages of Sin is Affluence.

If the wages of sin are death, then how come the all the sinners and corrupt live to a ripe old age with wealth and power? The wages of being good are debt; as most of our earnings are taxed, rest in EMI’s and mortgages, with nothing left you die of penury! But those who equate happiness with material success, wealth and possessions know the value of vice that has - recapitulated their life’s chaotic richness, and enabled them to build empires, which will not collapse under the weight of their sins. In the big bad world of corporate America and elsewhere green bills, manipulative tycoons, corrupt politicians & bureaucrats- sin all the way to the bank, wooing profits and mergers. Wealth gives meaning and purpose to their lives.Virtue is really the greatest evil for the ordinary citizen, while the super rich meditate on vice, ill gotten wealth and hypocrisy. For those who put sin and hypocrisy as the first of their virtues, their success is enhanced. Boom or bust they still keep knocking golf balls into mechanical gizmos. In today’s world of political, religious and cultural hypocrisy vice is piled on vice - recycling sins for their own ends and success a word shrouded in its swampy suck of self- indulgence. Wealth is hoarded in their Swiss bank accounts, while the poor are prowling through the cities to make both ends meet.Yet the lies, deceit and deception are streaming through the wires- but the earth is still going around the sun. It is an unbalanced balance sheet, the super rich above the law, the poor and homeless dying of starvation and penury. The principles of happiness are linked to the principles of vice, it depends on the magnitude of sin, the bigger the scam, the wealthier they become. For the wealthy the wages of sin are yachts, luxury villas expensive cars and strategic trips to Las Vegas and Honolulu. The virtuous toil on earth while the rich zoom where the air is thin and rarefied and eagles fly, getting their shoes shined and sipping wine and champagne while coasting in their executive jets. Billionaires do not need religion or morality, only the poor do. Even a warty toad like rich guy will have blondes and brunettes flocking to kiss his ass till he turns into a prince. -Vinay-

The Rage and Slaughter of Innocents.

The spate of terror, violence and destruction that has been unleashed in the name of religion is unprecedented, - the mortars, bullets are flying furiously – police are prowling through the burning cities, lies, blasphemy is streaming from the loudspeakers inciting the mobs, to burn and kill. There are always darker perceptions, interpretations unleashing negative emotions- fear, hatred, intolerance; the source is always religious rivalry that exists between different faiths. The self incitation of a mob is the dynamo that drives a powerful force of rioting, headlong into a gallop to violent destinations which no one can predict. As Hazlitt stated, on the pleasures of hatred- is like an opening for insects, the aspirate alliteration, mimicking the scuttle, as like a horde of locusts the mob decimates life and property, at once ominous and pathetic. What extreme cruelty man can inflict on a fellow man and life is so dehumanizing. The innocent victims like spiders crawling along the matted bloody earth, run in harried, heedless haste, hobbling awkwardly to escape- they stop when a giant shadow of death looms before them, at a loss whether to retreat or surrender, mediating the huge evil foe- called religion. Orwell succinctly describes this in Marrakech. As the corpses piled up and went past – the crowd like flies, left the charred, acrid burning bodies in a cloud of joyous dust, and rushed to a another place. And they say blasphemy is a victimless crime, then who are these innocent victims, doomed to perish from wasting disease call hatred. Their only crime espousing a different religion- Vinay_

Destiny’s Children.

Karma is simply the law of causality – it is valid in the material domain as well as in the psychological domain. David Schwerin succinctly explains that the law of Karma parallels the law of cause and effect. “Every cause has an effect, every effect has its cause, every act has its consequences. We mistakenly assume that certain things are inevitable- because of this upside world view- we see cause as the effect. Viewing death as an unknown inevitable fact we conclude that fear of death stems from this unknown state. In reality this fear of death is an effect of the belief (the cause) that change leads to an unfamiliar state- which because it is unknown, must be negative and fearsome. Confusion arises when Karma theory is associated with rebirth. Rebirth is a concept or model which has great consoling effect on individuals as well as society. Because of the body mind association, we are always limiting the concept of soul. The Katha Upanishads (2.18.19) emphatically declare that the atman (soul) has neither birth or death. So there is no question of rebirth. – It is supreme consciousness that transcend time, space matter and causality. A seeker of truth must seek knowledge first before he attains mukti (liberalization). Demystifying Vedanta.

Delete Sorrow from Your Memory.

Personal grief and post traumatic stress can be devastating and life will always seem unfair to those affected. After loss people live many narratives of anxiety and make choices within them; not being aware that these decisions made based on grief throw off the balance in their life. Now neuro- scientists Thomas Agren and team have discovered that newly formed emotional memory can be deleted from the human brain. When a person grieves for the loss of a loved one or has a traumatic experience – a long lasting memory is created in the brain by a process called consolidation. When we remember some sorrow the memory becomes unstable and is then restablilised by a consolidation process. In short we are not remembering what originally happened, but what we rememb ered the last time when it happened. By disrupting the reconsolidation process the memory is rendered neutral and no longer incites sorrow or anxiety. Dramatic changes to the normal patterns occur when the mental pathway is disrupted. The amygdala in the temporal lobe which stores these fearful memories is erased. Though this may sound path breaking the paradox is that this technique was available with our ancient Rishis. Sage Patanjali’s technique (Sutra: II, 33) asks us to cultivate contrary thoughts when our minds are affected with patterns of deep sorrow and intense privation- by rejecting sorrow only to accept happiness. The concept involves exposure to activities that bring joy and pleasure to neutralize reconsolidation of fearful memories. He exhorts us to indulge in the thrill and exhilaration that resides in true and genuine serious enjoyment of worldly pleasures. This raises our spirits to overcome the scars, hurts and past deprivations. In short it blocks the pathway and affects the context of our sorrowful memories. A sort of cleansing of the crisis of the soul. – Vinay- Psychology Uppasa University & Sutras of Patanjali.


It is difficult to blame the western worlds who for ages have been fed a fare of a medieval India and the orient by Imperialistic English authors. Most of them depicted India as a vast, rotting sepulcher- a charnel house dominated by conniving British exploiters- in league with demented and perfidious rajas and maharajas. Most travel writers Machen etc states Miller paints a devastating portrait of Asia. Diseases like dysentery, malaria are shown to be flourishing in India. And from disease to poverty, and from poverty to superstition and from there to snake charmers, degradation, despair, hopelessness and pollution. None of them elaborate about the architecture, the music, the spiritual learning, the religions, the philosophies, the beautiful physiognomies, the grace and delicacy of the women, their colorful garments- the pungent odors of the street, the tinkling of temple bells, the great gongs, the gorgeous, landscapes the riot of flowers, the incessant processions, the clash of tongues, races or sun kissed beaches. The early emigrants to US had to endure many hardships, first to reach America, then struggling to keep body and soul together- while finishing their studies. Some renounce everything to return home and devote themselves to the advancement of their people. Most westerners find this hard to believe, let alone emulate them. Many Indians who endured the early miseries and humiliations inflicted on them got the opportunity to live the American dream in its entirety – but found the rich, splendorous life of money, clothes and cars empty. In passing some mention the esoteric teaching of Upanishads, Vedas and associated words like prakirti, Sudra, nirvana, chela, guru, the idols, stupas, Hanuman and Siva which suffice to put westerns under a trance or spell. But the accent is on fermentation, pollution amidst death and corruption. Would people colonizing other countries evolve some creed for themselves? It’s a moot point because people would not be primitives, whose initial deities are nature based or pagan, being far more evolved and matured multiple faiths always flourished in secular India. They gave it all up to return home, to their villages and simple folks where they respect the elderly, listen to the prayers of the devout, the admonitions of parents and gurus, the music of the streets. They gave up the riches but in their hearts there was happiness, gentleness, humility, truthfulness and integrity. No foreigner can extirpate them from the soil which they nourish. SCENE: Somewhere in 2007/8 Ironically decades later there is a role reversal, the IT, software Czars doctors, engineers and other young professionals who have made millions from high salaries and stock options- entrepreneurs who have become multi millionaires by building businesses in the knowledge sector. Now you will find young Hindu boys lolling on soft cushions, wearing diamond rings dancing at night clubs, driving expensive cars and seducing young western virgins is now a norm and not an aberration . Recession in US and the west has caused an economic slowdown, and all the luxury brands- Bentley, Porsche, Bugatti, Breguet, Canali, Chopard, Gucci, Harley Davidson, Mont Blanc Hermes, Rolex etc are all racing, making a beeline into India and China opening up showrooms and estimate that the current $3 Billion market will grow exponentially to touch $30 billion soon. I think it’s time we rewrote the travel brochures of the east

Kung Fu: Fanda. Enter the Dragon.

Once upon a time – around 6th century AD- there was an Indian Buddhist monk called Bodhidharma, who was given to a peripatetic life. And then one fine day he landed in a Chinese temple by the name of Shaolin. There he found the monks rather weak and unfit. So he devised a regimen of exercise which became the basis of what later came to be called Kung fu. It is actually a generic term for Chinese martial arts and there are various schools and styles. Among the major techniques are the ones based on animals: dragon, tiger, leopard, snake and crane. Kung Fu movements are circular in nature, with one movement flowing into the other. This gives it a rather graceful air, and some of the moves are reminiscent of the ancient martial arts called” Kalaripayettu practiced in Malaba r. Karate: Some time in the early ‘80s, small- town kids were yelling “kiyaah” and throwing their limbs at weird angles. Not only that. Dojos were springing up at every corner, tailors were busy stitching gis and pimply adolescents were tightening their obis. All thanks to a film called Enter the Dragon. Karate originated in the Japanese island of Okinawa sometime during the 14th century. Its origins lie in the mixing of the indigenous fighting system known as “te” with Chinese martial arts brought to the island by immigrants from Fujian province. Karate movements are more linear and crisp with clear stop and go movements. There is bias toward striking, punching and kicking. While the weapons are similar, a Karateka dresses (gi) is different: a kimono- like top and loose pants and a belt (obi). Karetekas do not wear shoes while practicing.What Bruce lee showcased in his films was neither Kung Fu nor Karate but Jeet Kune do. According to Lee it is a “style without a style”. “The art of fighting without fighting”. -Yusuf Begg.

Cupid’s Broken Arrow!

The wedding was a spectacular event, it was the perfect marriage made in heaven showered with divine benediction. The vision of the poster couple was glorified in the minds of all those who attended the function. A perfect couple with stainless beauty and aspirations of a happy married life. With the passage of time within the camera frame the wedding photo has lost its vitality and seems frozen in time. The vibrant colors have faded and the differences which earlier like shades of grey had merged into a continuum, now spread like a dark ink. The amorphously merged pink veneer of love peels, with the apparent effects of time, not a cause by itself – talk of luck and fortune. The wedding garments are musty and tattered to be cast aside. An optical illusion is shattered as individuality and ego asserts itself in this relationship that was supposed to be a form of permanent co-existence. A closer look reveals the cracks and the nuances separating each other with a coarseness that highlights the darkness and heartaches fighting for attention. The portrait shows a pixilated view, focusing on the smaller distorted issues that have created unhappiness and frustration. Continuous togetherness over time highlights these imperfections of love, blurring the incongruousness of the bond. Marriage is a necessary evil in society a rite of passage and marriage is also the Holy Grail for every woman. T he very love that brought them close and upfront throws up the warts and aberrations of life and becomes a source of misery and bitterness. Perceptions change the trials, struggles and failure are encountered as love wanes. Marriage may be sacred but there is no implied warranty in the vows and divorce is a big taboo in deeply traditional societies. I walked away from the home of the couple, who some years earlier had given up happy bachelorhood, decided to walk down the aisle to don the finery of wedded life. Life is a funny tapestry. –Vina

Say it with Grace.

A picture of a young Sikh girl Balpreet Kaur with facial hair was ported in the “funny section of a social media site. Everyone uses social media to make insensitive joker about communities and religion. The response of this young girl was commendable far from biting back with sarcasm she replied with divine grace. She explained about her faith which believes in the sacredness of the body and the importance of looking beyond body and vituals where only though would leave a lasting legacy. She even went so far as to apologize for causing confusion and appreciated all negative and positive comments. The person who posted the picture apologized by saying his action was rude and ignorant. By not reacting with hate, but with empathy- by not attaching the perpetrator or reacting with violence, she cemented a presumptive divide. An episode that could have spiraled into bitterness and rage became one of reconciliation and understanding. Instead of two wrongs making a right she offended an alternative mode of engagement to a perceived insult. In religion especially trivial opinion is often viewed as a threat and believers respond with savage ferocity spewing re- circulated venom at each other. By recognizing the legitimacy of the other sides’ right to hold an opinion, it is possible to defuse issues which escalate into violence and destruction. Beneath the delicate charm of grace lurks the steely power of peace.

Mother Tongue.

Literature, philosophy and science today are our tools for understanding the world which is developing tremendously. However, culture remains a saving grace, particularly in Europe and parts of the world. English, Sinhalese and Malayalam, the three languages of my childhood. My mother would begin a sentence in one language and without noticing finish it in another. I also learnt Tamil,Marathi Gujarati and Bahasa Indonesia later. I had no mother tongue, which, contrary to conventional wisdom, is not uncommon. In Sweden, you have Finnish as well as Swedish; in Malaysia, people speak three languages. The idea of a ‘mother tongue’ is a highly romantic and nationalist one, not practical even in a country like India where there is a babel of mother tongues. My multilingualism enabled me to reach out to the world and to feel at home everywhere. Every language is an open window on the world. This is in contrast to the grim attachment to roots advocated by some people who perpetuate the sons of the soil theory. Trees have roots- I have legs, I travel the world and am not a frog in a well, and believe me, that is a huge advantage.-Vinay-

Shoot the Messenger of Peace.

Through centuries all prophets including Mohammed have been insulted, mocked and rejected. Before all of Mecca embraced Islam, many desert Arabs were rude to the prophet. When Mohammed invited the people of Taif to Islam they rejected, ridiculed and hurled stones and abuses at him. Though his followers wanted to take revenge against them the prophet advised them to exercise restraint, tolerance and return their rudeness with kindness. Mohammed was a passionate defender of the oppressed, the poor, slaves and women. He sacrificed his entire wealth, personal comfort in the pursuit of social justice. The Medina document establishing the first Islamic state was based on trust and mutual respect for all faiths and sects, who had social and financial interactions with each other. The Jews, Christians, Pagans and Muslims were signatories to this charter as equal citizens without being assimilated into one religion, language or culture. All this has been torn asunder as religious cynicism stains everything with the crimson gore of violence and intolerance. Negative portrayal of Islam has resulted in a lack of appreciation of its history, culture, love and veneration. A sardonic world view captures fear, loathing and hatred exposing the dark underbelly of religious fanaticism. Terror is chaotic possessed by an evil spirit, it spews a lethal venom, whose neurotoxicity amongst fanatics spreads as they ruthlessly chase the agenda of intolerance - in a shadowy half land between belief and bigotry. This fatal lack of compassion, mercy and love by illiterate mullahs, priests and bigots is evident as they exhort the faithful with the war cry of an eye for an eye. It is an unrepentantly cynical commentary on the Muslims, who modeled their entire life around their prophet and his foundations of peace, compassion, and mercy, in the hope of change as promised to them. The tenets misinterpreted become edicts - built on the ethos of fear which feeds a repressive regime. This is the grave danger that curtails or abrogates the freedom of mankind.

In Awe of life.

Philosopher Kierkegaard defined awe “as a state of existential fear and trembling”. However today because of rapidly advancing technology we have all lost our sense of awe. As a child I was always awe-struck with lighting thunder, the rains, waves in the ocean and mountains. Even magic shows, visit to a zoo and the circus would leave me awe-stricken for hours on end. Just what is this elusive emotion, and how can we nurture it in today’s technology driven world, where nothing seems to amaze or intrigue us anymore. Even in the world of arts, letters, poetry, literature and transcendental pursuit’s, people pay scant attention and are no longer amazed. Most of us have lost our capacity for this acutely profound emotion - the paucity of time does not permit us to stand and stare in awe of something. Yet we struggle with loneliness in our lives despite, the I phone, face book, Gmail and internet which are supposed to enhance our interconnectedness. The results can be seen in the increasing violence and dysfunctional families. Our consumption behavior has changed and it is also related to ethics, we don’t mind shopping for thousands of dollars, replacing, gizmos for the latest models yet ignore the misery on the face of the beggar and his plaintive cry for help, a material bulimia has set in our life. The loss of awe has a direct connection to this predicament. The experience of awe increases our sense of time and our own mortality, which in turn will enhance our sense of well being and lead us to act more generously with the world. Awe raises our awareness levels; we begin to see the images through the eyes of our soul. The sounds we hear, the smell, taste, touch and thoughts transcend to a higher realm.Our perception of life changes and despite our fears and worries we make choices to alleviate suffering and bring joy. As Vanna Bonta says “a heart needs only its own voice to do what is right”. As for me I am always in awe of life.….. Vinay

The Philosopher’s Tome.

Most of us try to imbibe wisdom by trying to decode the knowledge we feel is hidden in the words, verses or scholarly tomes of holy books, verses of sages, poets and philosophers. We try to learn about life by trying to decipher the messages of these works and this setting becomes a theater of the absurd. Real wisdom lies in decoding the instinct deep within our own hearts and knowing how to deconstruct these thoughts or follow it in trying to live this intuitive knowledge. We must distill our thoughts into similar phrases and as they unfold as a stream of consciousness from our fragile intellects collect it to make our own story or tome. Just like the verses of a poet a deeper narrative lurks between the lines of our life wrung from the past history. This will sharpen our senses as we realize there is exquisite sensuality, extreme sadness and explosive intrigue in our own lives and love. The charming incidental anecdotes in our own lives are something to embrace, entertaining and sometimes painfully poignant with a lesson like a self described teacher. Some philosophers liken this to a stream which can seep into our veins and opens like a flower into an aquifer. This latent spiritual guide within our inner self has been our blind spot in youth. As we mature it becomes intrinsic to life with its own particular wisdom. Following others wisdom is like a blue light which will make you miss the sense of where you are going or want to go. Your heart has its reasons and the poets written words or sayings has its seasons…. –Vinay-

Sexual Mythology.

Even the most enlightened post- sealed section of society stereotypes women and their sexuality. The attitude is that women are romantic and men are horny. The myth that men prefer sex more than women is bounced around our world view. Even some psychiatrists believe that women, after years of marriage begin to be disinterested in sex and lie back thinking of domestic issues, while men are up to it. The biggest misconception is that women seek an emotional connection through sex while men want only sex. Amanda Robb a therapist busts these myths based on a path breaking study. According to her the desire for sexual frequency, emotional connection and low libido is interchangeable between both sexes. The real issue is that when woman admit that they like sex – the misogynists are quick to label her as a slut or nymphomaniac. Even society views it as something naughty, problematic and shocking.So women who love sex are profiled as fancy-free and footloose. Sex is a normal important and fundamental part of any romantic relationship, and is the fun and joy of life. Treating sex as a chore for the married woman is ridiculous. Intimacy issues may arise in a marriage and loosing interest in sex points to a deeper malaise. So one must investigate and find out the root cause of what impacts the libido and treat the issue which is impacting the desire for sex.Sex is not a conjugal responsibility in a marriage or relationship but an intimate experience shared between two partners.

Temporal Garuda Tales.

Garuda, the eagle, was enjoying the song of a sparrow atop Mount Kailas, when he saw Yama the god of death (grim reaper), also looking at the bird. But Yama was frowning. Maybe he did not like the song. Fearing for the welfare of the little bird, Garuda, with compassion in his heart, decided to take the bird away from Yama’s line of sight. Garuda took the bird in the palm of his hand and flew to a forest far away beyond seven mountains and seven rivers. There, he left the sparrow on a tree full of succulent fruits. When he returned to Mount Kailas, he found Yama smiling. Yama explained, my account books are balanced. I saw a sparrow here singing a song. It is supposed to die today but not here. It is supposed to die in a forest far away beyond seven mountains and seven rivers, eaten by a python that lives under a tree full of succulent fruits. This has happened, thanks to you the eagle. Garuda realized that what he thought was an act of kindness turned out to be an act of cruelty for the sparrow. So when death narrates a story you have to listen, as death is synonymous with time, the destroyer of worlds. Robert Oppenheimer- while watching the mushrooms cloud of the atom bomb recalled this verse in a reminiscent re-incarnation. Death as time is equally dead. Religious mythological stories can easily be used to delude and manipulate mankind in the garb of motivation, there is no truth out there only myths in the scriptures. Sometimes our failures work in our favor by creating new opportunities. So we must embrace life and enjoy it as long as it lasts. Recretated- -Extracts from Garuda Tales stated by D Pattanaik and Vitthal Nadkarni-

Spirituality is the Mother of Innovation.

Steve jobs traveled to Indian when he was young and poor, he was hitchhiking his way and had no money. Yet this trip was an eye opener and he imbibed the fundamental wisdom of the east. As a young hippie struggling to find meaning in his life it was a sort of tipping point if ever there was one. He learnt that money was not important as the observed the very poor in Indian who seemed to be very happy and were as inspiring as the rich people. He learnt not to be driven by money; he also learnt the value of intuition and was awe- inspired by the spiritual beauty of India. He became a believer of the eastern spiritual way and it defined the way he was for the rest of his life. Steve was inspired by the frugal life in the hinterlands and people despite lacking material comforts fiercely hanging on to their dignity. The magical quality of Vedic life in India surprised him and he went on mine this Mother lode of spiritual experiences. For the stoic Steve Jobs this place encouraged his ideal state of mind, and a strange tranquility descended on his troubled mind. In later life he once again achieved this tranquility within the chaos of disruptive innovation – not by chasing after enjoyable success, but by cultivating a kind of calm indifference towards all opposition and criticism. By defying his detractors, not shunning them – but examining their view point’s closely he was able to understand the reality. He did not exist in isolation was meticulous and gave us a product that has become part of our modern eco-system and made him a larger icon than any rock star or Hollywood actor. –Vinay- (with inputs excerpted from his biography

Nostalgia's of a Bald Eagle!

In some of my writing I have invoked the landscapes of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) my foster homeland lost to the historical vagaries – now recoverable only in a dream. I was seduced by the beauty of that emerald island. In my youth I used to lose myself amongst its azure blue oceans, windswept beaches, lakes and cloud hidden mountain of Nuwara Eliya. What brought us back to India was the engagement with the anguish and uncertainty of this serene world during the LTTE civil war. My writings reflected the yearnings of my soul as the exile crossing wastelands in his quest for anchorage. The solitary pilgrim following an elusive falling star, or like a magician conjuring up new geographies of the forests and streams in India, in defiance of the brutality of my circumstances. I was ready to commit myself to an uncertain future to sustain the myth, and figured by writing romantic evocations of these alternate worlds- I could t ransfigure my experience , restore a lost dimension of awareness, with my peers who were out of touch, due to my everyday life in India. Not necessarily an escapist, but trying to address the human condition in a manner that dramatized the vulnerability and resilience of the individual. The rivers of the both India and Ceylon and the Blue Mountains bestowed an “auratic” charm and radiance, that liberated them from the regime of time. Over the years I developed and deepened those childhood images within the sub-continent that opened up vistas of reverie and a meditative silence. The childhood images grew more muted and austere, responding to the history of loss, by evoking memories as the ultimate home of the homeless. Now mature with a philosophers mind and a vagabond’s heart, I believe that life should constantly be replenished by encounters with the broader currents of different societies and cultures. The world is a reservoir of past and present images, to be enjoyed for its beauty, nostalgia, surprise and revelations. Its is a living theatre of impulses, event and emotions, whose outcome must be imbibed and enjoyed, in all its complex polyphony.

Pity that Piety Discourages Sex in the City.

Why is sex a problem? Sex is important in our lives – but society has covered it with a mantle so it takes on the form of a burden of problems like vice, or corruption of the soul. The word sex is either taboo, or surrounded with negative connotations. Religions in order to project a puritanical image have declared sex as an unholy act except during procreation. Modern culture propagates that sex is for pleasure and Eastern Tantric philosophy states that – through sex you can transcend into the spiritual realm. However the mainstream organized religions refuses to budge from their stand and insists that sex is only for procreation between husband and wife. A catholic person I know even stopped having sex because his wife did not agree to contraception. The basic sexual act is in itself an animal act – in humans it produces momentary bliss, followed often by depression or frustration. How can creation be propagated by an unholy act? Why was it created in the first place – very few people in the in the world would not have had a sexual experience in their lives. Not just the act but even thinking, talking, or discussing sex is draped in a veil of shame by religion and society. A suppressed heart can never enjoy love, sex or life. Real chastity comes out of love and not rules or commandments. So instead of curbing natural love and urges, you must liberate it from its anchorage of ignorance. The desires of the body in contrast by religion are strictly regulated, lest they distract from the main task of worship. The desire for liberation itself is a desire – and even the Bible exhorts us to “eat, drink and be merry” enjoying the sensual pleasures of life. It’s high time that religions, cultures and society get rid of that extra layer of false shame and ignorance for- things that evolution has created and constructed, to be part of our anatomy. In Tantric philosophy the sexual act is sacrosanct, and organized, as you control your Prana, mind during orgasm or awakening. If you can prolong this bliss by 5 minutes more with the same intensity, you would be lost in transcendence – pure bliss or a state of Samadhi, where you would never leave your sadhana. In this way the mind and prana are brought together in a spiritual interaction. These are states of consciousness in the physical being – longing, being in love dependency and sensual pleasure.-Vinay

The Second Coming.

Doris Lessing wrote that “women of any sense should know better, after all these centuries, not to interrupt men when they start telling them how they feel about sex”. Most women do not discuss, what they feel or experience with the men they love. The reality is that feminine sexual excitement can reach an intensity at its peak that is unknown to man. Male sexual excitement is keen but localized, and – except at the moment of orgasm – it leaves a man quite in possession of himself. Women on the contrary, really loses her mind, when the heat and excitement of bodies pour through love; for many this effect marks the definite and voluptuous moment of the love affair – but it also has a magical and fearsome quality. As the she Wolf Naomi claims – that slightly wild, slightly inexplicable moment – when the wind, grass, and the animals all seemed to be intertwined with ourselves and part of the universe, in that moment of pure bliss. It is the kind of moments that have over the years, contributed to a vague imperceptible sense – that while our hearts are undoubtedly in the right place our minds are erotically dancing, full of a starry burst of explosions. If we are not permitted to express our sensual desires or address them for liberation, then by simple extension we are being refused both power and control over our desires. If carnal love is treated as a deviance by society, which tries to prevent our natural sexual cravings –mainly because it is not accepted by the prevailing culture and moral standards, it is a crying shame. In which case all of us must be labelled as billions of perverts, clutching our Bibles of sexual contexts in shame, or the sexual desires should be treated as normal as enjoying a 5 course meal. Punish sex for what it is, or, love sex for what it is.!! –Vinay-

The Myth of the Matter. Do fairy tales and mythology still have appeal? For most of us in the western world, our first experience of our culture’s classic stories—Snow White, Cinderella, —Bible come through images that we learn about our culture’s foundational stories. Jack Zipes, the dean of academic fairy-tale studies traces the origin of storytelling back to a primal past: “the fairy tale was first a simple, imaginative oral tale containing magical and miraculous elements and was related to the belief systems, values, rites, and experiences of pagan peoples. The fairy tale evolved from unknown origins into a gigantic cultural juggernaut, and survives by digesting every new medium, from print to films to the internet. The reason they survive to this day, Zipes suggests, is because the classic fairy tales — mythology and holy books, are perfect examples of “memetic” engineering. Drawing on the notion of the meme coined by Richard Dawkins, Zipes imagines the elements of fairy tales competing for mental space over generations of cultural evolution, until only the fittest and cleverly marketed books survived. And what makes a tale “fit” is that it has the power “to determine and influence social practices,” beliefs, faith and to shape the way human beings live together. If “fairy tales and holy books came to be contested and marked as holy, relevant, and real,” he writes, it is because they gave voice to the powerless—children, women, the poor and the hopeless. What draws believers is a certain piety about the act of the story itself. So much of the appeal of these stories, in a preliterate, premodern culture, must have been simply in their demonstration of the power of words to defy the laws of nature. In the Harry Potter stories, the formula of the fairy tale is inverted: magic, like miracles performed in the holy books, becomes an accessory to what is essentially a parable about growing up, which may be why the Potter books appeal to older readers as well. Philosophy is born when this kind of storytelling begins to acknowledge that the world never does grant our wishes or prayers, and that the stubbornness of things is ultimately more satisfying to hear about than their mutability. Never ending Myths –Adam Kirsch.

The Myth of the Matter. Do fairy tales and mythology still have appeal? For most of us in the western world, our first experience of our culture’s classic stories—Snow White, Cinderella, —Bible come through images that we learn about our culture’s foundational stories. Jack Zipes, the dean of academic fairy-tale studies traces the origin of storytelling back to a primal past: “the fairy tale was first a simple, imaginative oral tale containing magical and miraculous elements and was related to the belief systems, values, rites, and experiences of pagan peoples. The fairy tale evolved from unknown origins into a gigantic cultural juggernaut, and survives by digesting every new medium, from print to films to the internet. The reason they survive to this day, Zipes suggests, is because the classic fairy tales — mythology and holy books, are perfect examples of “memetic” engineering. Drawing on the notion of the meme coined by Richard Dawkins, Zipes imagines the elements of fairy tales competing for mental space over generations of cultural evolution, until only the fittest and cleverly marketed books survived. And what makes a tale “fit” is that it has the power “to determine and influence social practices,” beliefs, faith and to shape the way human beings live together. If “fairy tales and holy books came to be contested and marked as holy, relevant, and real,” he writes, it is because they gave voice to the powerless—children, women, the poor and the hopeless. What draws believers is a certain piety about the act of the story itself. So much of the appeal of these stories, in a preliterate, premodern culture, must have been simply in their demonstration of the power of words to defy the laws of nature. In the Harry Potter stories, the formula of the fairy tale is inverted: magic, like miracles performed in the holy books, becomes an accessory to what is essentially a parable about growing up, which may be why the Potter books appeal to older readers as well. Philosophy is born when this kind of storytelling begins to acknowledge that the world never does grant our wishes or prayers, and that the stubbornness of things is ultimately more satisfying to hear about than their mutability. Never ending Myths –Adam Kirsch.

Marry in Haste and watch Love Dissolve into Waste.

You are a circular reasoned and I am a cynic, but you are worse. Marriage kills love, do me a favour, look around at all the loving happy couples, count them, see how many you come across, how many once you get past the Duke and Duchess, its slim pickings aint it.? Pat kiss the girl, caress her, stick it right up in her, but for chrisssake do me a favour and wait for a year, why kill your talent. You will sap yourself with worry and probably die with a hard on – in the streets other women will tantalize you, and your conscience will wrestle till you choke. If a year elapses and the urge remains then go ahead- hang yourself, is a year too much to ask? Things come and go, you are going to stick plugs in either end of life- let it flow, wait and accept: learn to pull the hand away, don’t clutch- What is marriage, a prissy form of greed, a terrible disgusting ambitiousness. Take the shape, the world gives you

Fragments of after life.

All of us are endowed with a spiritual power, a power which resides in our subconscious mind. There is nothing occult in it; we don’t recognize it as over the years we have renounced our connection with it, a power to which our past has a claim. The power that inverts knowledge here is of a spiritual order, emphatically not a divine or epistemological one. It is the subconscious, hidden time of inner experience and anthropological existence. Problem arises out of our fragmented identities, we don’t comprehend that we are not isolated entities. We are made up of cells and form part of the Universe. Like the waves in the ocean which rise and fall, which are manifest forms. Similarly spirituality is the manifestation of higher intelligence. It is like an afterlife that is already embedded within this life, something which in one sense is already there, but in another sense produced in the unknowable, behind our present’s back. This is the complexity, of temporal experience and form, which we must unravel. How the past, future are interconnected with the present. A recomposition of phenomena, in time, with the bits and pieces detaching themselves and accumulating anew in new configurations. This is where the Jivanmuktas (self realized souls), who have accomplished inner freedom- roam like the free birds, chirping and flying in the blue skies combining learning with a wise unpretentious ethical sensibility. This does not mean they have no responsibilities, but they are free from desires and attachments& thereby no fear. They understand the visible world has no substance, so they consider nothing as acceptable nor reject-able.

Dreams are made of wispy stuff like this.

Beautiful dreamer wake unto me, Starlight and sunshine are waiting for thee… Everybody is looking for something… Sometimes we awaken involuntarily and then want to fall back into that condition of bliss in which our dreams had cocooned us. But it is not easy to cling to our dreams. Dreams provide us the ability to see two worlds at once, one quotidian the other mystical. We are all creatures of perpetual ambivalence and conflict – our personal problems have deep roots and we desperately seek a connection between our private experience and our dreams. Undisclosed desires like formal imperatives are struck deep in our psyche, as we dream these abstract longings are apprehended through juxtapositions of desperate melting images. The aura of the dream remains and we linger voluptuously – hoping that the remaining tangible threads will turn into reality. The images melt and merge towards the inchoate magma; some blurred thread of remembrances keeps it alive. The dim and velvety outline like a palpable sentient continuum – is the essence of the soul. The dreamer seeks vainly to find form and shape to fit the ethereal essence – grasping the crumbs of the images while awakening. The dream melts like a dripping candle and like a spirit tottering on the mystic threshold vanishes – forever. It is a way for us while constructing our realities to assure our fragile selves that dreams like myths in life really does have meaning and stakes. -Vinay-

Lost in Translation.

The Upanishads/Vedas are the world’s oldest composite literature on a wide variety of subjects like, religion, sciences, humanities and spirituality. It is an independent body of knowledge- the works needs to be separately mastered, explored before you can come to an explanation. It is a philosophical, aesthetic and artistic way of communications appealing and attracting both the quotidian and mystical world. One cannot understand the distilled wisdom of the Upanishads by reading it like the holy books. In order to realize the subtle truths you will have to focus your mind inwardly, introspecting on the current state of yourself and your being. The Spiritual principle embodied in there Vedas are extremely deep almost as if embedded in code and is not mere semantics- hence the inferences are unlimited for those who have sharpened the senses. You have to find the connection between your worldly personal experience and your reading of the words to understand the meaning. That is why even the novel Siddharta by Herman Hesse describing the spiritual journey of discovery did not connect with many – the film also fell short as it is difficult to capture spirituality even on celluloid. In its language you can encounter the entire universe, and become aware of all creation and understand existence, the vowels are the spirit and consonants the body and requires vivid imagination to birth the wisdom. The supreme or ultimate truth lies hidden deep within its pages and is invisible to the lay reader. Philosophically it can be understood only by someone who has a sagacious and sharp intellect. Unlike the holy books there are no commandments or ethical suggestions, it does not give you answers, neither can you be guided or directed to a state of comprehension by a sage or priest. It will only reveal its essence to your mirror the mental image of its existence. That is why it cannot be reflected on all minds. You have to reach a state of mental suspension where all senses are centralized to a single point. -Vinay-

Fighting for our Gods.

Two decades after the fatwa was issued Salman Rushdie states” It is very, very easy not to be offended by a cartoon, book or movie. Just close your eyes don’t watch it or shut the book”. Offensive cartoons or literature means putting one set of ideology or beliefs in a bad light or portraying it in derogatory terms. Eighty percent of the people are followers of some sort of faith/ religion or beliefs - the rest 20% constitute, atheists, agnostics, mystics and rational thinkers, who stand for irreverence, for a more egalitarian society that embraces change and rational thinking. These are the individuals who with their transformation try to organize the forces of love and compassion. Religion is a large commune, nation state sometimes divided by the latitudes and longitudes of geography. The primacy of a “sacred truth” is transmitted by mullahs and priests to this vast distinct flock, whose very sustenance is fueled by their religious larder of myths and legends, with the built in promise of subversion. The process of offensive literature is less atomic than contextual - Blasphemy is not a matter of ideology or meaning but of attuning oneself to the beliefs systems of other religions- their rituals, myths, commandments and context of scriptures. Mullahs’ priests and charlatans don the garb of a tiger to exhort their flock of sheep to tear apart like dogs those who cast aspersions on their faith. The movie itself is a crude imagery, a writhing tangle of celluloid, grabbing the fanatic’s belief as it masticates a senseless plot. Books/ cartoons lance these believers’ heart till they rent the air with a piercing scream of “Blasphemy” as they are inadequate to responding intelligibly to such silly provocations. William Empson coined the term” argufying”- a form of argument by false ascetics speaking with a devious tongue in defiance against the freedom of art and literature. Religions and their leaders profess that they are here to solve the world’s problem and spread peace and love on earth. But every time art/ literature gets inextricable entangled with religious ideology, this philistinism propagates and incites a tide of kitsch which unleashes terror and violence, not love and peace.As Gandhi stated” Intolerance is the worst form of violence” and any religion that encourages it - is devoid of divinity. If man has to fight for god, then the gods must be really impotent.

“Don’t Bug Me,Hug Me”

This bumper sticker maker eminent sense according to the take by spiritual columnist Vithal C.Nadkarni who states that the Indian saint Mata Amritanandmayi also known as the “ hugging sanyaasini” has embraced a mind boggling 32 million people in 30 years. Osho knew this fundamental concept and used the technique very effectively in his commune. His group therapy was based on free love, after a dance its hugging round. Everyone receives a welcome shower of love- wherein everyone gives and receives a big warm heartfelt hug and chant the mantra “be the master or mistress of your life’ to each other. The group gently embraces each other lovingly for some time, in a sort of active group meditation- a sort of spiritual foreplay. Sanyaasini groups are offered the opportunity to lose inhibition, before the actual labor of love starts. However some puritan groups have labeled it a sex cult because he advocated free love to groups - who performed bouts of generous loving with each other. However Paul Zak the neurologist who carries the moniker Dr.Love has focused on the feel good factor of the chemical Oxytocin popularly known as the female reproductive hormone whose levels induce feeling of love. Zak states this hormone level increases with loving intimate physical contact, as seen during sexual reproduction, child birth, stimulation of the nipples and breast feeding. This hormone is associated with Venus and called the love hormone, since a kiss or a hug can spark a reciprocal surge of this chemical. Mercifully this justifies my earlier post, that even though Men are from Mars and women are from Venus the impact of an embrace can give rise to a bout of love making on earth. As the sanyaasini Mata Amritanandji says “If you touch and embrace people- you can touch the world.

Play Misty (Mystic) for me.

A true mystic is one who belongs to no one and nothing belongs to him, Gods do not exist as all these gods are the creation of man. He is not an atheist, for him the spiritual spark is within him in his journey of self discovery- to explore the most basic of our sensual experiences. No temple, no mosque, no church, no god, yet there is an element of selfishness as the path to self realization is a lonely one. The past no longer exists for him, whether it is family, parents or friends. You don’t actually have to withdraw from life to be detached from it. Though there may be a glimmer of emotions stirring within his heart, he does not steal the memory from the past; it goes with the wind and is a thing of the past. A presence now relegated to a beautiful silence, feel the pangs and move on. No one can solve your problems but yourself, so be detached from what you do with composure and integrity. Letting go does not mean giving up, it implies accepting reality and being in the present moment. When you perceive reality, you will give deliberately give up the angel of fortune to the demon, which will possess you, with warmth and sensuousness. Live with what you have, or whatever situation, enjoy it, no time for remorse or regrets. If you learn to accept life as it is, it will be fine; one is not troubled with questions and need not seek answers. The mystic engages with the transcendent quality of space, time in relation to human history. Imagination is the ability to see the invisible with the eyes of the soul. In some ways, the relation between and fantasy is similar to the relation between wisdom and knowledge. The truth is very simple and your imagination is the process to reach a subtle level of reality, a transposition of the senses. The message becomes confused and complicated because religious beliefs are always institutionalized arid and dehumanized, and like any fantasy it is the act of elaborating things which do not exist. The mystic has simple answers to the most complex questions. They may exist in our conditioned mind if not we could not produce them in the natural order of the visible or invisible plane. If you explore your inner self, you discover that there are far more dimensions than those that manifest themselves in the physical world. The Universe cannot be understood it can only be accepted or rejected. -Vinay-

Get a New Life!

As Romain Rolland stated” If there is one place on the face of earth, where all the dreams of living men have found a spiritual home from the very earliest days - when man began the dream of existence it is India”. I don’t have a Phd in philosophy nor do I subsist on Red Bull or Sushi - but I would go to any lengths to protect my wine, women, alcohol and marijuana addiction. Yet at times I think that nothing else has the worshipped purity of this feeling. I would rather die from pleasure than renounce all these delight or convalesce in a hospital because my liver is not on talking terms with me. I must defend this enormity of desperate sensuous tenderness, which like the world is my birth right. I too have shed many avatars in this life- student, lover and parent- discarding one body after another, since all of them were misfits in this world. Now with the sunrise I want a new opportunity by offering a clean slate to record my life… and legacy. Alcohol and opium are the closest things to Nirvana. It leaves no impression on the soul – somewhat like bliss or happiness, which likewise passes in a vague state through memory and leaves no trace. It is neither wise nor good to start a new life with too much thought…. If you lack freedom, you cannot give it to others. People experience a causeless fear and an undefined guilt, which they cannot explain or get rid of, because of their unanswered questions. –Vinay-

We are all Dreamers!

As John Lennon sang- “You may say I’m a dreamer, But I am not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one” The blind poet Homer has served as a metaphor for the ability to catch sight of things beyond mere appearance and worth making into a poem. Dreams are the genesis of our reality and versions of our youth. The desire to freeze the image of a lover in a dream like sequence, capturing nuances of vitality and vivaciousness in time. We cherish these beautiful visions in our hearts hoping one day to realize it. Dreams help us to find a connection between our personal experiences and flight of fancy. It helps us to hide the aberrations of reality which cause so much bitterness in life. Dreams are hermetic thick clouds with mystical truths stuck deep in our nature and reality becomes a blend of perfection and imperfection. In this perception we cherish a beautiful vision, an undisclosed intent, gathered from the air, the inner eye perceiving the unconquered flame of our desires.-Vinay-

Religion: Who Needs It.?

The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader and Richard Dawkins an evolutionary biologist and atheist. Both of them agree that Religion is an unnecessary evil and the world would be a better place without it. Religion may be divine, but it lacks spirituality and ethics. They state that we should mix spirituality and ethics and find a replacement for religion. All the existing organized religions tend to manifest conflict, violence, intolerance and unhappiness with their rigid holy concepts. David Barash a professor of psychology states, that our minds have a stubborn fondness for simple sounding explanations that may be false, but true enough for the believer. That is why faith thrives in some place and why religion is vestigial in countries like Denmark and Sweden. For the first time in human history, there are now hundreds of millions of unbelievers in all the developed countries. Robert Brault also echoes similar sentiments when he states man is the only creature who enjoys the consolation of believing in religion, salvation, absolution,heaven, and after life. All other living things enjoy the consolation of not worrying about it.

Once upon a time.

Whenever I see a FB post I fondly remember another era because they expressed a side to us that is forgotten now. A brief period when we had time for friends and family and fierce individuality was frowned upon. A reflection of my youth which I cannot see in the mirror anymore. I was successful with women not because of my six pack abs, but I could resonate with them as individuals and not as the opposite gender, peering deeply into their souls, so that we became the universe and nothing else apart from us existed. We understand each other desire as opposed to the prosaic concerns of normal men. I could light a fire with my words and the romance would deepen the intimacy between us, women liked my poetic masculinity as opposed to the brawny muscle types. There was no insecurity as I always gave them space to mingle with anyone as I never tried to own them. Each one of those women gave a deep meaning to my life- which excluded vulnerability but presented the relationship with a form of thoughtfulness rather than possessiveness or jealousy. As time left us, our youthfulness became atrophied with a thicker maturity that pulled the rug from under our feet, as we struggled with issues like career, love, loss, expectations and survival, the deeper issues that played a pivoted role in our everyday life. The freshness of youth that combined attractiveness has given way to a healthy skepticism as adulthood set in and we are doomed to lead the rest of our lives in wanton amnesia. Like the image in the rear view mirror, I watch my halcyon heydays recede through the rear window till it becomes a distant speck in my consciousness. Memory overflows as sentiments washes over the fading sepia tinted images.

Dark Night.

The dark night of the soul sounds threatening and is an experience to be avoided. To one engaged in the dark night, the suffering seems unending. Yet many seekers would encourage the dark night experience, if they knew what it truly was. The genuine seeker has gone through many significant phases as they progress toward higher consciousness. The dark night occurs after considerable advancement along this path. It is a rite of passage for those who do not seek just a relationship but immersion or unity with the higher consciousness. In the dark night you may feel profoundly alone- completely disconnected with the energy of the source. A dark night is a very difficult time, being caught between the old way of life and new possibilities, your sense of alienation will intensify. You enter dark night in earnest, when you feel completely strained. The dark night is a very private matter, often one’s outer demeanor is calm while the turbulence and vibrational shift arising from the inner suffering floats just below the surface. You become profoundly aware of the suffering of humanity- the transition point is reached & shift in consciousness occurs. A spiritual presence enters your inner sanctum: softy and gently your mind is filled with a bright light. Your heart is permeated with peace which flours outward through your body. Your ego dissolves and a higher sense of awaking open within you. The dark night has passed, let your heart open- we are dream in the heart of the Universe.- Heal thyself.

Soul of Spirituality.

Spirituality is the manifestation of higher intelligence. Greed, selfishness, love hate and competitiveness are part of our evolution and lie at the core of human existence. It is a world view with a penchant for the abstract tinged with mysticism, and you create your own world. The major source of inspiration for this inner world is from your own experience of the rhythms of the outer world. While observing the interactions of humanity and nature, a powerful inner voice guides your actions and reactions, this is the essence of spirituality. Compassion becomes part of our nature when we reach the higher realms of spirituality. Disappointments and success are themes that have a soft focus in our sterile lives. Spirituality enables us to explore our sensitivity; it has a personal spiritual horizon of fusion. It precludes nothing- everything that belongs to man’s culture, tradition and emotions are appropriated and integrated within the inner self. The underlying essence of spirituality is to draw our attention to the sublime intention, rather than delineating the relationship with the physical form of reality. There is no complicated philosophy or religious love, where when you dig deeper you will find that it is the loss of love and the loneliness of betrayal that causes the deepest misery. In spirituality we cultivate compassion and communicate with loving kindness to everything in the Universe. The assumptions guide the realms of spirit. You observe life like looking through the window of your soul which then transforms our lives through deep contemplation which become the compelling influence that guides our thoughts to action. It forms the core values of the existence with the universe and everything that exists

The Gorilla’s Bride.

Many romantic novels portray the plight of plain Jane in their stories dealing with the difficulties facing those who seek an honest successful marriage in an intrinsically hypocritical society. The lonely woman, waiting for the tall dark stranger to appear in her life – the eternal virgin waiting for true love to come by ……. and at the last minute like a stranded hitchhiker searching for a lift on the desolate highway of spinster hood. Advancing age sexually and politically scandalized, finally making up her mind to take the socially suicidal step of marrying anyone – throws herself at the mercy of some uncouth boorish man. The fragments of hope she has shored up rub against the ruins of her dreams – while he gropes for the normally employed parts of her body. The trappings are all there - wheels of a town car the suburban house, the occasional barbecue parties fumbling at the faucet, to prevent her tears. Underneath it all there she lies, trapped like a fox – while he is pumping her in and pumping her out, this Gorilla’s bride so to speak. She clings to the fragments hoping they will lead her to wholeness once again – a heap of broken images. If only she could make a wish … make a wish …… vinay


When we were kids we would holler at each other “go to Timbuktu” thinking is was a far away fictional place at the end of the world. BAMAKO, Mali – Isolated for centuries by the harsh desert that surrounds it, Timbuktu now finds itself even more cut off from the rest of the world. Rebels supported by Al-Qaida who captured the city in northern Mali in April have imposed a form of hard-edged Islamic rule, prompting many residents to flee in fear and changing the face of what had been a tolerant and easygoing destination that drew tourists from around the world. Women are now forced to wear all face-covering veils. Music is banned from the radio. Cigarettes are snatched from the mouths of pedestrians. And the look of the ancient mud-brick town is changing. A centuries-old monument, the shrine of a 15th century saint, has been defaced; bars have been demolished; and black flags have been hung around town to honor Ansar Dine, or defenders of the Faith, the radical Islamist movement that emerged from the desert and turned life upside down. “There is no liberty,” said Abdoulaye a tailor who fled Timbuktu as the Islamist were circulating with guns. All of Mali size of France have wrested the Tauregs and under Ansar Dine are promoting and enforcing the Taliban brand of Islamic law of Shariah. Women are living in terrible fear in this sinister situation as these fundamentalist want to put a veil on everything. Restrictions range from the petty to the serious. Followers defaced the ear of a woman for wearing a short skirt and flogged men who drunk alcohol. “When you accept that there is Islam, you have to accept that there; if Shariah obliges us to cover women, we are obliged to apply it, “adding, “we have not chosen you as judge.” Timbuktu has taken on the air of a ghost town. The traditional evening gathering of young men who drink tea and chat on doorstep have disappeared – -