My trademark features & habits - part 2

... Continued from part 1.

  • Forgives, mostly never forgets!
  • Apologies help, not thanks.
  • Doesn't ignore the person's good qualities, biased by the bad ones.
  • Throws a salute with two fingers, in passing, instead of just exchanging smiles
  • Likes namaskar or hugs better than handshakes
  • When sees a quote on a whiteboard, comments almost always.. mostly pun!
  • Believes in "fast but consistent" than "slow and steady".

Eka-shloki Gita

A couple of days back, Manas and I were exchanging mails about Gita and how they've been interpreted by various great personalities in their own light of beliefs. Gita, as I know, is a scripture valid for all yuga-s, giving the Vedic and/or Vedantic essence as per one's own level of spiritual maturity. Due to this, one's understanding changes and evolves as time passes by and the hidden meaning reveals itself. If you look at it, its like the mega-complex Vedic and Vedantic scriptures have been short-circuited into Gita, while the latter itself is left complex enough to have innumerous levels, each layer being visible to one at a particular level. The beauty of Gita is that there's nothing like wrong understanding, since every stage has its own granularity of correctness!

So, I'm going to express in few words of what I understand by Gita and this is best done by the last shloka, also known as Eka-shloki Gita, meaning Gita in a single verse!

यत्र योगेश्वरो कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धरः। तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिर्धुवा नीतिर्मतर्मम्॥18.78**

yatra yogeshwarah krishNo, yatra partho dhanurdharah
tatra shreervijayo bhootirdhruvaa neetirmatir mama ||18.78||

What this would mean, literally, is: wherever there is an archer like Arjuna and wherever there is the Lord of Yoga, Krishna, there will be prosperity, victory and happiness; such is my conviction.

The meaning to be seen en passant: wherever one makes oneself a devotee like Arjuna, there will be Krishna to guide and take one across all boundaries and liberate.

The entire Gita is actually a dialogue between the soul as Krishna and the mind as Arjuna! The finally understood meaning is thus: when the mind surrenders unto the soul, renouncing everything, the way Arjuna did unto Krishna, the soul merges into brahman and what is known as liberation results.

om shantih shantih shantih

Stay hungry, stay foolish!

Raghav led me to an awesome address by Steve Jobs. My reading of Infinite Loop came back to mind with pleasure. Its been one of the books that I read with fervour, not only because of my biases favouring Apple, but also for the title that said: "Infinite loop, how apple, the world's most insanely great computer company, went insane", for Steve job's insane ego, his inclination towards an Indian guru, how he named the company Apple and many other reasons.

Overall, that big fat book has been worth a read and this article just brought back those days alive. In this address, he's acted himself not making up stuff to impress the Stanford folks. What I particularly find worth mentioning here is his quote "And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life", apart from what I titled this blog entry as.

I'll leave you to read up the address and see what it means!

Killing the memories

I wanted to blog about something else this morning, but forgot what it was about... it was about memories! Well, now you may wonder where do I have memories to kill? Hmmm, these are not the memories that I want to get by, read on.

Why on earth would anyone want to kill the memories? My usual answer to the question would have been: why not? But that doesn't help. What helps is to know that the memory is made up over a long long time, era, lifetime... er, lives, factually. There have been people with past life memories; there's a lady in India who recalls 7 or 8 of her past lives. Well, you're free to call her insane. Democracy, right? :)

But my idea of killing comes from the fact that these memories over a period unknown make up vaasanaas. Thats desire for you. This set of desires is quite individualistic. Its easier to believe a man of strong likes and dislikes, when he says that it comes from his past experience, doesn't it? Similarly, these past experiences over lives build up and they bias one's mind. You feed the human system something and it stores for ever, except that the retrieval is in a different fashion than one may imagine. Given that, unfullfilled desires get carried as if pushed onto a stack to be popped off for a later time (read life). Every now and then, that desire peeks out to see if you're interested at this stage... its like an endless loop. Breaking off from these doesn't result from postponing the desire. It should be well analyzed and the mind needs to justify to itself that the desire is worthless. Most of us tend to throw away things in life. Storing of stuff comes only when something tells ya that its going to come in handy later. Why carry excess baggage? In later years, we find that the stuff needs more analysis, even repeating most done earlier to assess the value! Best way is to throw away the desires. Even before the desire shapes up, memories are born out of experiences of the senses. Of course, later down its a vicious circle. But earlier to the memory commiting something, knock off. That is, do not encourage the senses themselves for memory to hog on. Feed the senses in the stride... in passing... don't lock up for them to mature into memories. Thats how you kill memories, thereby aborting the desires!


One of the experiences that occurred rarely to me, earlier, has come to stay! Once in a blue moon, I used to feel "What the heck is happening? What am I doing here?" eg, while riding a bike, something to the effect that "who's taking me on the bike?" This, in lesser clarity of questions, is happening continuously. I'm feeling lost to the extent that yesterday or even a few hours earlier seem hazy like a dream. Nothing ever happened? I think Papaji's calling; lets get the book at least.

I'm sure all this is a dream now... God, please help me to snap out of this dream, not the feeling.

Quote unquote 4

4. Believe nothing... unless it agrees with your own reasoning and your own common sense --Buddha
My take: And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is bad - need we ask anyone else to tell us that? --Richard M. Pirsig, Zen & The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Minding our own business

I like the idea of caste break-up. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not talking of all that untouchability nonsense or upper/lower caste stuff. Purely looking at the way things were handled in Vedic times, it seemed perfect. Consider it as a flat hierarchy where I do my job, you do yours. We exchange our lot to help each other up. I can't live without you and vice-versa. It is perfect. Ofcourse, we can't relate to all this since times have changed, our minds have, our thinking has. There's no trust, etc. Believe it or not, it used to be good. The categorization is akin to present-day job based on qualification & experience. People who curse the Vedic distinguishing art are hypocrites who deal with their own world in a biased fashion. For example, we don't hire a BA grad as a rocket scientist, do we? The other way is equally true: a well-trained scientist can't write prose and poetry where the other excels!

When such boundaries and clearly defined roles exist, one just needs to move ahead without the need to peek here-and-there or wander endlessly. Even today, the best businesses have flat hierarchies, where they all know a manager or a director is as useless as s/he can be, without our good old workers. Ever heard Us and them by Pink Floyd? You got to watch the video too, then!

Once you start following this basic principle of life, its no longer surviving each other, its living... living for each other. A tightly-coupled bonding. A society thats healthy, one that doesn't compete to outdo each other, but competes to serve each other better. Imagine on the other hand, all becoming teachers tending to teach lessons to others (pun intended), while not imparting knowledge! Everyone thinks these days that the other person is a utility to help you and not the reverse. Gone are the days of accidentally stepping on the other's toe and being sorry. Now its time to use the other person as a ladder to climb on!

Karma: its no one's fault

I write this inspired by Gadima's Paraadhina aahe jagati putra maanavaachaa cast to be sung by Rama for Bharata. The scene is when Rama is visited by Bharat in the former's forest dwelling and begged to return to Ayodhya to assume the Kingship. Rama explains that its no one's fault that he's ended in the forest, giving up the kingdom. Then he goes on to explain how his sanchita karma from previous lives is acting on its own.

Karma has its shares of debates from people who believe in free-will. All said and done, no one from this lot can explain results of some doing. An experiment always succeeds in that it always has some result or the other. But the expected result may not really turn up. Thats where karma comes in. Its nicely explained by an example I read about long back. Assume a big pot with a small opening at its base. Suppose you fill it at random with wheat and rice grains, using smaller pots. Now, decision is yours on whether to fill with rice or wheat. Consider rice as sukarma (good karma) and wheat as vikarma (bad karma). Depending on what was filled, in the same sequence, the opening throws out rice or wheat. Well, the story stops here.

I'd like to bring in more thoughts on this simple, easy-to-understand story. Before that, I'll try to describe the three different types of karma using the same borrowed story. These are sanchita, prarabdha and kriyamana karmas. Sanchita is the collection of all your karmas so far. Thats like the repository holdings in large pot. Prarabdha is the one thats acting in the current life that calculates all that there is in you, to do with you. eg, your body, mind, intelligence, where you're born, surroundings, your thinking, dealings, relatives, friends, enemies, etc. Its like those grains coming out (or have come out) of the small opening of the pot. Lastly, the kriyamana is the new addition one makes this life. Its akin to the additions of wheat/rice to the large pot.

Moving on, the accessibility of wheat and rice depends on lots of factors, that karma decides too! You can't stop by not filling the pot, your target idea being akarma (no karma). You have to keep filling. As long as you fill the pot, rice or wheat will come out. As long as this keeps coming, you've wheat and rice to fill again. You're trapped. :) One has to take births in this seemingly endless cycle of births and deaths as long as some karma exists.

Karma is basically, perfection. There's a way to beat all this. All in good time!

Some puranic thoughts

Ramayan and Mahabharat come to mind when you think of Puranas. Characters untalked much about in these have intrigued me. Even when buying music albums, I've always found that the songs that have become famous among masses due to music videos, catchy tunes, or whatever are not the ones that have interested me. I look for hidden songs that didn't make it big. Thats where the treasure lies. Thats what the group, perhaps, believes in. The run-of-the-mill that filled their wallets were meant to serve only that purpose!

I was just drawing a parallel to these puranas, in terms of my interest. Not in the core teachings, per se; although some core thought might always lie peeking out in these hidden characters. The ones that specifically have made me think are Bharat & Vishwamitra in Ramayan, and Bhishma & Karna in Mahabharat.

Bharat's love for Rama is unparalleled; ofcourse, Lakshman spent his life in Rama's closeness so his love is understood. Lakshman may be considered as a part of Rama, so to say. But Bharat, while being close to Shatrughan, still had an immense love towards Rama. This is something that has been talked of, but is underplayed. His role is quite interesting to me and I'm searching for material that talks of Bharat's ruling (undoubtedly with Rama's blessings) those 14 yrs that Rama was retired to the forests.

Vishwamitra, well known for his anger, was a man of emotions. He would have done anything beyond even the possible to get the needs met. He wouldn't do everything for himself; others troubles worried him more and went all out to help. Trishanku's story stands as proof of Vishwamitra's melting heart. Rama was gifted with a lot of Vishwamitra's earnings from tapasyas, including arsenals.

Bhishma was one of the most important characters who made Mahabharat possible, if I can say that. As Ritesh told me once, Mahabharat starts with Bhishma and ends with him. So very true. His pratijna is well-known. The level of purity and wisdom is comparable to Hanuman himself!

Lastly, I want to talk of the most underestimated person in the Mahabharat works. Thats Karna. He was the biggest daani that was, comparable in some ways to daans made by Harishchandra. Anything that was asked of him, after Surya darshan every morning, was parted with. This is how the biggest war ever, was *humanly* won. I use the word humanly because I'm not counting Krishna's divine powers. If it was to be a battle between Karna and the Pandavas, the former would have won them all over.

Then again, its all His leela.


Quote unquote 0-3

I was gifted a-word-a-day by someone some 7-8 years back. More than learning these words, memory not helping, I started focusing on the quotes that end each day's mail. Having a liking for such, I started collecting them and then thinking all sorts of things on them, forwarding people hand-picked quotes, arguing over these and even making some people believe that I run a list of quotations! :) When I stopped at one point, I received a mail from a friend asking me to restart it.

In the past six odd months, we've had trainees/freshers here who found a whiteboard to scribble daily quotes on. I picked up a habit of commenting on these boards (in hiding)... I haven't spoken to these kids at all! Unfortunately, they're on vacation or something and I'd to find another board where another chap has started QOTD. To no one's surprise, I leave junk on these quotations too.

I can't recall all but now on, I'll register these. With this entry, I'm starting a series of these nonsensical twisting of quotes. This is something that I intended to do since a long time now!

Lets start by ones I can dig back:
0. Good judgement comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.
My take 1: In short, good judgement comes from bad judgement.
My take 2: Over time, you don't make bad judgements anymore; so you're not making good judgements either!

1. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
My take: Use someone else's feet
Rag's take: Use your head, instead! (I like this one better :)

2. Train your mind to what the situation demands.
My take 1: Have an empty mind? :)
My take 2: Free your mind --Morpheus, Matrix

3. A conscience does not prevent sin. It only prevents you from enjoying it.
My take: Conscience and sin are, both, subjective.

My trademark features & habits

Read irritating habits, if you feel like. Move further at your own risk :)

These are some captures from people's opinions, my own feeling, overheard/eavesdropping, mind-reading, etc, over years. In all probability, they'll remain incomplete. (some may sound in third-person)
  • Loner
  • Agreeably self-centred, if not selfish!
  • Extremely lazy, laziness being an understatement. (I don't know better... er, worse words)
  • When left alone, can get indoors on a Friday night and step out on Monday morning!
  • Meticulous in many things while ignoring other matters, conveniently.
  • When meticulous, to me, God lies in the details.
  • Moody, but mood-snapper for others.
  • Earlier: silent praaNi, like a closed book.
  • Now: An open book. Endless talking, not respecting time (one's own or others) when deep within talks. kaalaaya tasmai namah.
  • Later: Hopefully, silent praaNi, but an open book.
  • Short tempered, got over, short tempered again in some things.
  • Momentary living, just for the sake of it.
  • Can get highly emotional for unknown reasons and get carried away to extremes unexplored by many. (Had once taken a week off for exams, got carried away emotionally and didn't give exams... yes, thats me.)
  • Easily forgets being in the bathroom and can end up taking lots of time, even while having a handwash at the basin!
  • Loves insane moods at times.
  • Is factually insane!
  • Toe in the water for all things interesting and doable, conscience approving.
  • Good listener to all sorts of things; having the capacity to bore others more than they believe they can bore me!
  • Played a consultant on zero-experience (past or future) areas with good results! (sounds unbelievable? Trust me, God's blessings :)
  • Believer in being trusted is better than being loved.
  • Only opportunity needed is one of *retirement*, sooner than later.
  • Want to have the last word, be it a pun, at most times. Like MASH's Hawkeye.
  • Can laugh at everything in life, even while being serious at core: laughter's the best medicine; laughter's the shock absorber of life; smile, tomorrow's going to be worse; smile, you've taken life too seriously!
  • Picks up others habits knowingly or unknowingly. When former, imitates others to irritate.
  • Highly intuitive.
  • Doesn't lie, dislikes lying habits in others.
  • No one knows me (thats true of everyone else also, but worth a mention)

Blogging marathon

Today, I've thought of posting many blogs; I've started early this morn and hope to achieve this.

Here are some of the things I plan to blog about today, of course some may end up as drafts if I don't finish. But lets have the ideas out:
  • My trademark (read *irritating*) features & habits
  • Quote unquote (series)
  • Some puranic thoughts
  • Karma: its nobody's fault
  • Minding our own business
  • Yoga-s

I'm dying!

Maybe, strong words, but thats what I think it is. I'm tired of fighting. Its as if I'm waging someone else's war that serves me neither a purpose nor suits my interest. These are classic symptoms of aging, perhaps. More likely is that I'm born in the wrong era. This world is a world of dogs trying to bite off a bigger piece. Its not nice to be stuck in between selfish people. I'm stuck between crossfire, fighting for God knows what, but I'm getting injured!

This may sound like I'm cribbing, but I'm not! Agreed, I used to, but now I'm not. Just leave me on my own; thats all I ask. There was a time when I was career-minded, trying to get my worth. Now, I'm trying to not live up to that image. Someone told me the other day to do some (nonsensical) leadership stuff that I've been doing for donkey's years, but not getting credit. Then, after I gave up the fight for growth, they wanted me to grow. I don't want it. What need does anyone have for me to grow when I myself have lost all interest? Simple, his growth depends on mine too! But no, please. Well, get someone else.

Orange, I love

Did you read me right, or did you read me write? :) Yes, I agree, that sentence was nonsense!

Moving on, I love not the cell service provider Orange, not the fruit Orange... but the color Orange! Biased enough to be pointed out by someone so, realizing it and then agreeing too! I got my blog a new template with a taste of orange thrown in. The earlier template was all orange-on-white kinds, perhaps a tinge loud. The colors are soothing to the eye in the new one. My posted photos look different, but good. Enough prasing my own blog.

Thinking aloud, why do I like this color (not naming it again)? Well, its the color that represents, somewhat, my India, also a religion (read "way of life") I believe in, I breathe, I live, but more importantly its the color of a Sanyasi. Its the color of renunciation. Its the color that is within me. Its the color of all starts, all ends. Its the color I'll hopefully die with!

Ego interview

Holy cow, today's was some interview! Yes, I've been conducting interviews for a position in our group since the past two weeks. We decided to do around 4 per week, and in the past 7-8 people that we had talks with, only 3 were face-to-face, the others being telephonic.

I never thought that I'll have to have such a session, given that I left the idea of calling myself an engineer and assuming that the ego had rested itself. Recent days at work have been *different*, however, with me even wondering whether to study further and get myself some business degree! I thought I'd given up engineering all together and had picked a "none of the above" choice when given to pick options by friends on what I am. Although, business degree is arguably not engineering even for an engineer, it would be quite technical the way I would learn it and anything technical with me will end up being engineering. I don't think I'm making any sense here, am I?

Lets get back to interviews. Fair enough, I lived up to my "Hitler of our times" image that someone tagged me couple of years back while gifting me *Mein Kampf*. I'm not saying that I'm Hitler of your times; or any time, for that matter. I haven't even read Mein Kampf! Did I get back to the interviews, really? No! Okay, I was saying that this person on telecon today started by taking our interview, instead of the other way, and ate off 40 minutes off a 60 minute call we planned. He went into all sort of questions that are generally asked or even most left unanswered at the last hire meeting. This fella went on and on in the first call itself, while a colleague and I went berserk! We got no time to question him till then. I tried to ask him out of his waterfall of enquiries politely, guiding him elsewhere, but he dragged us in again.

I'd made my decision that he's too wary & arrogant, although he did seem intelligent and smart from his resume and talk. He even had Mensa membership. But somewhere down the line, my mind got control over things and in its vengeance, hurled technical stuff across in an effort to corner, trap and ridicule him! So I did. My ego was speaking on my behalf and I came to know that it had him totally under that spell. He tried to move around questions to his benefit, but I didn't let him do that. Somewhere beneath lies an engineer in me that I thought had died, but he was not only alive, he was at his peak, not willing to take things lying. Its a sad state, but I feel that the guy on the other end of the line had an equally good attitude while getting jacked! He took it well. At one point, I told him in these words: "I'm going to tell you why the interview is going this way. You asked us a set of core questions and that tells me that details interest you. So I'm going to ask you core questions too." He was hit badly when he couldn't answer anything and leading himself to utter things such as "I haven't come across this", "Oh! thats an interesting question... I need to try it out", "I haven't gone this deep", "I'm not sure", etc. I felt good, I'm not going to lie about that! I'm equally sure that he hasn't had such a bad interview in his life, yet. My only hope is that, after this day, he's convinced enough to play his ego down and run his arrogance low, henceforth.

Well, I'm glad, we ended the call with the fella saying: "that call was quite insightful". I was thinking: "It better be".

Horrors of war!

I'm done and dusty with M*A*S*H season 8. This one is more serious than the earlier ones. Its not just that the MASH team had matured every season, but the characters themselves had evolved!

There's just too much pain & killing around and although the surgeons in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital seem to be like just any other doctor, they're under more psychological pressure than one can imagine.

I can relate to MASH in more ways than I know. Being brought up in hospital quarters is one, while spending 5 yrs as a biomedical engineer going around lots of hospitals, witnessing the operations, patients in ICU/ICCU, etc, is another. There's also something that tells me that I've lived as a doctor in times of war. There is just not one reason I can think of to be valid enough to kill another living being. Its all so inhuman and so much of unbelievable karma that piggybacks these things! It not only does eat you up in the present life or following ones, I think it affects the country much since the people with like karmic pasts tend to accumulate in nearby geographical areas. So "birds of a feather flock together" is not a present life thing per se. But then again, humans never learn these lessons!

There are no winners in war, only losers.

Geet Ramayan

I'm in love with Geet Ramayan sung by Sudhir Phadke in his mesmerizing, melodious voice thats written by Gadima as a bouquet of 56 songs. I haven't heard anything even close to this. Sudhir Phadke's singing is unmatched and it is, undoubtedly, as if he has taken the avataar of the person he is singing for! The crying songs melt your heart, while the songs that spit fire awaken anger the very same way. You feel as if you're witnessing the real Ramayan happening right in front of you! Its as if Saraswati Herself manifested in Gadima's pen and sang through Phadkeji.

This piece of work can't be compared with any other work on Ramayan and will always stand out. I'm sure that if Valmiki himself were to listen to this, he would have praised it too. This kind of work is rare even given a lifetime and I dare say, never again: na bhuto na bhavishyati! Both Gadima and Phadkeji were blessed people to have achieved this feat; may their souls rest in peace for having left behind a treasure that is priceless.

Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram


When the heart melts, what flows is love
That is the world's trove

Love knows not one direction
And has no source of action

Its the innocence of a child
Like the eyes of the blind

Ego beyond thine and mine
With a resolve such fine

Having no expectation or purpose
It flows as the only corpus

All that there is, is love
And that, my dear, is the world's only trove!

Leaning cup of coffee!

Leaning cup of coffee!
Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

Taken at Tek cafe' with the coffee-filled cup leaning on its ear :) Its blurred; I don't have a good macro in my V3815.

Vidhana Soudha, again

Vidhana Soudha, again
Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

Vidhana Soudha: Capturing the shadows in the afternoon. with Vivitar 3815.

Vidhana Soudha

Vidhana Soudha
Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

Vidhana Soudha: Clicked with Vivitar 3815, in the afternoon.

Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park
Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

I wonder how this looks like with flowing rain water! Clicked with my handy Vivitar 3815.

Patanjali: Father of yoga

Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

This is how a yogi's state should be no matter how the things are around. It not just a facial expression nor the state of mind; its a state of being and becoming!

Hunting high and low

The group Aha! had a song by this title: hunting high and low. This entry, however, has not much to do with the song, though the lyrics would, perhaps, make sense from this angle too, after the blog entry ends.

I think that I hunt high & low. My spiritual yearning goes higher and higher by the day, while this twin personality of the physical world goes lower & lower! They fight with each other trying to snatch their rights, as it is. While the former goes in the search of a guru, the latter tries to convince me that there are things more exciting around me than I care to see. It tries to withhold me from my higher goals and shows the lower goals thats factually an aliasing artifact! The fun doesn't end there. I start with the high hunt but end up with the low, not knowing how the mind's drifted me out! The reverse is also true at times and thats what I would do... if the low hunting is what it takes to reach the high hunting, so be it!

Mind, here I am; hunt me if you can! :)


In my last peak of spirituality, I was always in naamasmaraN or bhajans; this was the time I was reading the Gospel of Ramakrishna and his way of bhakti hit me hard to revive the bhakti maarga that I used to follow earlier. This was a very interesting phase for a great reason: no bad thoughts crossed my mind at all! I was feverish all the while and lived a blissful life. Prior to this phase, my peaks were of good thoughts most of the time with a few lows of bad thoughts.

However, those days have passed by, unfortunately, and I struggle now to go back there. As of today, good thoughts are minimal and only when I listen to bhajans on my drive. Yesterday, another surprise came by when I was listening to Shri Sadguru Gite in Marathi on my way to office. Out of nowhere I uttered, perhaps loudly, "Sridhar Swami". Ah, the next bhajan was on Sridhar Swami!!! I just felt a blissful wave carry me to the peaks again! Thanks to the melodious voice of Suresh Wadkar.

Here are today's bhajans of Suresh Wadkar that almost watered my eyes:

hey maaya, baapa, guru, devaa
majha nitya nirantara thevaa...

sadguruche charaNa kamala dhyaaii re manaa
swaaminche charaNa kamala sevii re manaa...

Thanks for the callback, Sridharaa :)

Saadhaka's traps

Saadhaka is a seeker of spirituality, the truth. He faces a lot of traps on his journey towards the light. Some of these are:

This is where from one starts and keeps on revisiting too. The seeker starts doubting his path. He wonders whether the other ways reach faster. This is the immaturity that one begets due to his own limited efforts. All that he can think of is whether he has progressed; whether things have changed from the past; whether he'll age without any spiritual good!

These are the pitfalls that are the most difficult to come out of. The earlier vAsanAs give rise to these. Sw. Ramakrishna used to say that one who can't control his tendencies towards the opposite sex, must not follow the path of renunciation. Its best that such a person gets married and follows the karma maarga. Others on the path are tested to see if they're still willing to continue. Greatest personalities, such as the sage Vishwamitra, were also tested with the evils of attractions.

The time consuming harm is caused by falling prey to needless emotions. One has to draw a line at getting carried away by emotions and helping others. The latter has no boundaries, but someone else is likely to take undue advantage of the seeker's saintliness. One has a very high risk of giving up the path itself due to the emotional drama created around. Maintaining the balance is very difficult, remind yourself so.

The most difficult to give up is the ego. Maharshi said that the ego stands between the body and you. The ego ties you up to the body. As long as one thinks he's the doer, there's not even an iota of possibility that the ego will leave him alone. There are circumstances that make the seeker angry for no fault of his. This one is best known as a trap meant to harm. Otherwise, once the anger takes over, nothing is left; not even the path.

Thought of traps:
This one is specially created by me. A foolish seeker spends time in recalling the traps and while thinking of traps, he falls into one, gets out and falls into another. This thought of traps itself is a trap. Take the traps in your stride; never think back and assume you're strong enough to avoid these vAsanAs while thinking of them. Give them up. Best solution is to avoid the problem. Facing the problem is not for the seeker; its best handled by the world's managers. Be sure that people will call you a coward for not having *faced* the problem or for running away from it. Ignore nevertheless; walk by the problem, never over them! Let the tests do their job and derive results. You've nothing to do with them.

om tat sat

While crossing, kids...!

Today, while driving to office, I was following a slow car that left quite a lot of space in its front. Obviously, I overtook by going over to the right lane. Just then, I saw two kids about to cross watching their right. I saw it beforehand and did a safe overtake, but it may not always happen so with everyone.

Kids are right in doing what they're taught. The Community Living text books read out: "Look at your right and cross half the road. Watch your left before crossing the second half". But such a time is gone, if at all it ever was! You need to watch out every direction before crossing. Even footpaths are not safe here in Bangalore. Out of traffic jams, bikers find it easy to cruise over footpaths! As a friend puts it, the hurry is as if their wives have run away with someone else!

In my childhood, a friend asked why I look at both the directions before crossing. When I replied "galat aur se koi gaadi lekar aa gayaa toh?", he said "tab uski galti hai". I was sure I was right and closed the topic by saying: "galti kisiki bhi ho, jaan toh meri hi jaayegi na!"

Please... kids, watch out for vehicles, always!