Happy New Year!

Best wishes for a Happy 2016!!
Wishing everyone a good health, happiness, prosperity and good Karma, though we are still looking for ‘him’!
2015, another year gone by, a part of the past now. Most of it will fade away into distant memories.
Looking ahead, a new year -2016, with new potentials. So, time for some new resolutions, even though most of our new year’s resolutions are about the same as before… not much changes in our wishes and expectations. Except, the time moves on!
The life’s journey is random in nature – beautiful, exciting, surprising, boring, disappointing…. all combined in unpredictable steady moments of time. There are ups, there are downs. But, if you look around, there is always something to live for, to cherish, to enjoy….
So, here is another year, a brand new 2016, full of new possibilities… Explore it, enjoy it !
Life happens, moment-by-moment, day by day, year by year…
So live it! Let us be grateful for another chapter in our lives.
Look around; admire the nature, the surroundings…, admire the goodness of humanity. Be a part of ‘all that is good in the universe’.
But, above all, slow down once in while, take a break. Break the fast pace of the daily grinds and look around every now and then;enjoy the journey! The life, the living, happens in the present!
Happy Journey!
Happy New year!!

TED Talk: East vs. West — the myths that mystify

We often compare our Indian culture, values and traditions with the West. We always look at a culture through the values and the lenses of our own culture, our own definition of values and morality. There is no surprise, that we are often biased in our observations. This bias can be conscious or subconscious, our views are seldom neutral.
In this interesting TED talk, Devdutt Pattanaik takes an eye-opening look at the myths of India and the West. The speaker explains how these two fundamentally different sets of beliefs about God, death and heaven help us consistently misunderstand one another.

The speaker links the the business aspect to our culture and our myths. How we look at our business and operation is through the eyes of our own culture. The best ways to deal with dynamic and diverse markets is through the culture of our customers.
So, what is the ‘right’ or ‘suitable’ way to approach a situation or a business problem? It depends. It depends on the situation and it depends on the ‘eyes’ of the culture and mythology. Continue reading “TED Talk: East vs. West — the myths that mystify”

Steve jobs: An example of a life well lived!

A tribute to Steve Jobs and his quotes- an entrepreneur, an inventor, a thinker in his own words…

“There may be no greater tribute to Steve Jobs’ success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.” ~ Barack Obama

Steve Jobs, in very simple words, changed the way we go about our work, or the way we think. With innovations like iPod, iPhone and iPad, the man has revolutionized our daily lives.

In real life, Steve Jobs was more than an entrepreneur or an inventor or a business leader. He is the true example of living – the way a life should be.

Steve grew up as an adopted child, raised by a lower middle class family in California. He dropped out of of college after first semester….

Steve Jobs was not an isolated computer nerd or a geek. He looked at the world with a keen eye. He was deeply philosophical during his youth and wanted to study and experience spiritualism. His quest for spiritual enlightenment brought him to India in 1974 summer…. Continue reading “Steve jobs: An example of a life well lived!”

Fraility of life – A short term memory

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. ~George Bernard Shaw

The life – precious yet fragile. If we look around, we are constantly reminded of the fact that life is short; it is perishable at any moment. Everyday, everywhere, there is something or someone pointing to this sad truth.

Yes, it is sad, if you think about it; the thoughts about your own demise can easily put you off. May be that is why we rarely think about it – uncertain in time, yet a sure ending of our journey!

There is nothing you can do about this; the life, just like a book, comes with the last chapter. You can delay the inevitable by being careful – eating healthy, staying fit and keeping a positive outlook. You can even try extreme measures – hiding in the basement and never crossing the train track… You can postpone it if you are lucky, but it is the law of nature – you can delay your end but you cannot avoid it.

In spite of the well known path and a steady march towards the end, we are rarely bothered by it. We barely think about it. We see others go, but you never imagine yourself in that coffin. Continue reading “Fraility of life – A short term memory”

Karma and Rebirth – The logical choice

This is a guest post from Vanamali Thotapalli, sharing thoughts and views on Karma, Rebirth and Life

Karma and Rebirth is the only logical choice – no more Hell, thank God! This can be proven by the following examples:

A child continues to misbehave in a store despite the admonitions of his parents. Eventually he breaks a product. Do the parents simply forgive the child? Then the child learns nothing. Or do you give him a beating? Use physical violence against a child? In the olden days this was quite common, but today this action might get you jail time! So, what do present-day parents do? Today we talk to the child, make him see why his actions were wrong, have him apologize to the store owner, and then make him do odd jobs to help pay for the cost of the product. This way the child learns the right lesson, imparted by loving parents using non-violent methods. This is essentially Karma and Rebirth in action! If a Hindu were to commit an error but was unable to correct it before his death, he is given another chance to do so in the next life. He is not going to be physically punished, but he is not going to get away with his error either.

A second example: A driver makes an error on the highway resulting in horrific consequences. He dies; the occupants of the other cars survive but endure terrible injuries. They go through multiple surgeries; some of them lose their life-savings and houses, and are forced to live in home-less shelters. Some religions teach that God forgives everyone, but can one be so callous as to enter heaven knowing that the victims of the accident are suffering? This brings to mind some of the henchmen of Hitler who escaped to countries like Argentina and lived a happy life while their victims were left to deal with the pain and suffering.

What if God gave you a choice? Either go to heaven or be reborn and maybe help the victims of the car accident or others in a similar situation? Which option would you choose? For me, honestly, there is only one option. Karma and Rebirth is the only logical choice. Continue reading “Karma and Rebirth – The logical choice”

O Karma! Where Art Thou?

As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma.~Sri Guru Granth Sahib, The Holi Book of Sikh Religion

Me and my karma often talk to each other. Well actually, I do most of the talking.  And, I hope and wish that my karma listens to my one way communications, at least once in a while!

‘The karma has a mysterious way of responding’, so I was are taught. I have never been able to figure out how it works. Our karma is the result of our actions – good or bad; but when, where and how will you see those results is a not a planned outcome, as far as I can tell from my own experience!

To solve these mysteries of my karma, I have tried some out-of-the-box ideas for a long time. I even once befriended a Punjabi dude with the same name – Karma. However, I found out that my karma had nothing to do with my new friend,  so we have drifted apart since. Now and then, I still get calls from him, some times in the middle of the night, due to time difference between Jalandhar and Chicago. He mostly calls me to ask for more money; “it will ‘clean’ my karma and make it better”, he says. I tried it a few times a while back, but I did not win any lottery; nor did it help me with any other stuff that would prove this ‘karma cleaning’!

Since I came to USA,  I have realized that my overseas karma is no sharper or better than what it was back in India. Everybody used to tell me, “Going to America is a sign of good kismat and good karma”. So, I thought my good karma would follow the glory of my new NRI status. However, I am not-so-happy to report that the whole thing, – this going to America – may be a bit over-hyped. My karma has been quite sluggish, especially during the first few years of my farang experiences. Just like most of the new-comers, I have had my share of overseas hurdles and challenges.. Continue reading “O Karma! Where Art Thou?”

The Karma Concept

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
~ Unknown

‘As you sow, so shall you reap.’
‘The present is nothing but a result of our own past actions.’
‘Our present and future is affected by the cause and effects of our past.’…
All this is karma, the reflection or effects of our own doings from the past. Over time, we are expected to be punished or negated for the bad deeds, and rewarded for the good ones. The concept of Karma is the basis of world equilibrium, a way of balancing the universe. The inequalities are related to the constructive or destructive actions of human beings.

As we all know, a person’s true identity is not based on his words but his actions. In very basic terms, someone with good intentions and clear conscious living a noble life is expected to have good karma. Any incident that adversely affects our life is blamed on bad karma – the result of destructive or ‘bad’ deeds from the past.

Of course, this is simplification, but our karma can be directly related to our conscience.A person with clear conscience always thinks twice before doing something hurtful or bad. He/she often sticks to a positive outlook and prefers ‘right’ actions, instead of the ‘wrong’ ones. The conscience provides us the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. The karma eventually rewards him/her for all the beneficent or ‘right’ actions. On the contrary, someone without a conscience would be more inclined to be selfish and sinful, less thoughtful while taking advantage of a situation with no regard for others’ welfare. Those actions eventually catch up with us, and the karma is bound to punish sooner or later for ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ deeds. Continue reading “The Karma Concept”