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Your search for Meditation
You: An unseen, unspoken force
 Suchismita Sahu  
 25 February 2018  

It wont be wrong if I say that 2017 was a time period, in which I explored myself with many such qualities which were hindering my self-exploration since my birth. On particular rough days, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days, so far is 100% and that’s pretty good. I welcomed a new morning by forgiving everyone, who were the cause of my all these days. Inner peace began, the moment I chose not to allow another event or person or the complete world to control my emotion. When I realized this, I started accepting some of my qualities such as stubbornness, emotional, introvert and caring in a positive way, because of which I had suffered my life in a negative way. I stopped explaining myself, when I realized people only understand from their level of perception. So, I was able to completely come out from the ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ attitude. Me, Myself and My writings… that’s all got at the end.I thank to everyone who were my co-passengers of this journey, my toastmaster family, my Trifecta family, my office colleagues and at last but not the least, my own family, my tiny fishes, flower plants and my cute pug…A special thank goes to you who taught me about meditation and encouraged me to follow my passion. Though some of your words were pinching me like the prickles of a cactus, but I tried to go to the depth of those and took a challenge to make you realize next time that the time has come for you to throw one more prickle word towards me. Thanks for all the comments which were coming from an unspoken and unseen energy, pushing me to climb another step up of the ladder of my life,.Going to start a new year with again some unexpected, unwanted and not much encouraging circumstances. Again, let’s see, how the year 2018 is becoming one more milestone in my self-exploration.

Lessons Learnt in 10 years of Digital (2007-2017)
 DrAmit Nagpal  
 7 March 2018  

I began my digital journey in 2007 and recently completed ten years in the virtual world. Recently I reflected upon the most critical lessons I had learned in ten years of the virtual world.On Branding & Reputation1) Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.2) Brands are built by a pride of association with like-minded people and role models.3) Your story is your brand.4) Your network is who you know and your reputation is who knows you. On Content & Creativity5) What comes straight from the heart touches straight at the heart.6) People believe it when others appreciate you. Your content is taken seriously when it is shared by others7) Content is king, engagement is queen, passion is princess and technology is a prince.8) Content is king, conversion is the prime minister, and we live in a democracy.9) Creativity leads to deeper insights. Insights lead to even deeper creativity. On Personal Growth10) Selfishness is our default setting but we are empowered to change the settings. 11) Nothing succeeds like passion inspired success. Dig out your deep passion. 12) Collaboration happens when you shift to "You, We, Us" mode.13) A great self-image is a starting point for a great journey.14) The destination is a mirage. The journey is the Nirvana. 15) Branding is just the journey. Bonding is the destination.16) Tell yourself the right stories. Beliefs are stories we tell ourselves.17) Find magic partners and spread the magic. There is magic in unconditional love. 18) Learn once and earn forever does not work anymore. Today you need to unlearn, learn and relearn.19) Meditation is just living in the moment. 20) Social media is a glasshouse. You can't fake it for long.On Storytelling & Inspiration21) You can't heal yourself without telling your story. 22) Empathy first, authentic story later.23) Your stories must move people .....into action, smiles or tears. 24) Words carry energy. Energy carries magic.25) The deeper the love you put, the higher the inspiration you draw. 

Book Review : A Stoic's Diary
 Swapna Peri  
 24 March 2018  

What is Stoicism?Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy developed around 300 B.C. as a modification of Cynicism which teaches the development of self-control and courage by fighting destructive emotions. It is not just a set of beliefs but a way of life with practice and including the logic mostly. Soliloquy and a kind of meditation aimed at training one's attention to remain in the present moment is the main characteristic. No wonder it’s not more popular. No wonder the Stoic sage, in Western culture, has never obtained the popularity of the Zen master. Even though Stoicism is far more accessible, not only does it lack the exotic mystique of Eastern practice; it’s also regarded as a philosophy of merely breaking even while remaining determinedly impassive. What this attitude ignores is the promise proffered by Stoicism of lasting transcendence and imperturbable tranquility.It ignores gratitude, too. This is part of the tranquility, because it’s what makes the tranquility possible. Stoicism is, as much as anything, a philosophy of gratitude – and a gratitude, moreover, rugged enough to endure anything.About the book:The title of the book ' A Stoic's Diary '  is very  attention capturing and new. The book cover is very subtle and doesn't talk much about the book. The art of Stoicism is briefly yet illustratively and practically is explained in the book. The concept of mind maps and looking at a problem in different dimensions is observed as the main concept in the book. Self awareness, self help, will power and perseverance are explained in a beautiful manner. One of its kind of a book in the field of Stoicism. Kudos to the author.

Interview With Revathi Raj Iyer
 Ayushi A Nair  
 21 June 2018  

Revathi Raj Iyer is a freelance writer, book reviewer, company director, service volunteer and yoga/fitness enthusiast. Professionally qualified as Company Secretary (India & New Zealand) with legal background, she has worked in the corporate field for over a decade. Bombay is her hometown and Baroda her abode after marriage. When she moved to Fiji Islands, she bid adieu to a rewarding career with a multinational to become a full time mum and pursue her twin passions, yoga and writing. She worked as lecturer of Laws at the University of Fiji. Living between NZ and Fiji, she pursued writing and yoga training and continues her passion after moving to India. She lives in Ahmedabad, India and has completed her next book which is a collection of short stories. Her dream is to write books for children.A couple of easy questions to begin with…First off,  What inspired you to write “My Friendship with Yoga”?Physical activity was dominant in my life right from an early age, as a trained classical dancer, which continued until my late twenties. Thereafter it took a back seat, when I became engrossed with my career together with being hands-on mum to a lovely little daughter alongside other demands that needed my attention. However, things changed when we moved to Fiji Islands, and I got back into fitness with intense aerobics and strength training. As destiny would have it, a disciple of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar was deputed to Fiji to introduce this ancient tradition to the people of Fiji. Yoga was at my door step and I embraced it with heartfelt love. I started writing my yoga journal. One fine day, I decided to give a formal structure to my jottings to reach out to a wider audience. As I wrote the book I had no idea of the publishing process, but I was focussed on my goal. “My Friendship with Yoga” thus took shape and was launched on the 10th January, 2017 at the New Delhi World Book Fair. Thanks to Lifi Publications for making this happen!How do you see writing, as a hobby or a passion?I find writing very therapeutic and it also makes me happy. It is passion that drives me to enter that lonely space, which I beautify with words, plot and characters to create a story.Is yoga a way of life or a way to exercise and meditateYoga and meditation are a way of life for a holistic and healthy lifestyle. It is not instant therapy or about perfecting the postures. It is much more than that.  One has to go through a process of learning – patiently and persistently; and observe the changes it brings about in oneself.Please tell us some more about your debut novel?“My Friendship with Yoga” is about my progression from learning under an instructor to achieving confidence in self-practice and sharing my varied experiences with readers. I have presented the complicated aspects of yoga in a lucid style with practical hints so as to cater book lovers of all age groups and skill levels. The book is divided into three parts:Narrative which combines the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of yoga, wherein a selection of topics along with interesting anecdotes have been coveredThe 2nd Part has more than 80 postures with steps to attain these, guidelines, tips, techniques and benefits; keeping in mind yoga enthusiasts, beginners as well as those who have been practising yoga.The 3rd Part consists of the much desired weekly practice schedule written sequentially with clear instructions to enhance one’s practice.What has yoga done for you as a person?Yoga has helped me to deal with a given situation in a pragmatic and dispassionate manner. It has enabled me to let go of the past and negative emotions, be more positive and result-oriented and direct my energies towards my creative pursuit and other commitments. Yoga has certainly helped in making me acknowledge and appreciate the choices I have made so far, and offered me a healthier and more content lifestyle.What sort of research did you do to write this book?I have been reading books on yoga, but “My Friendship with Yoga,” is the outcome of my entire learning process, from the disciple of BKS Iyengar and instructors from the West. My effort was to present the complicated aspects of yoga in simple language that would appeal to readers of all age groups and skill levels. Yoga is not about perfection as different bodies react in a certain way to a certain posture. To that end, my thought process kept evolving during the entire course of my writing. I made several drafts until I was fully satisfied that I had done justice to my work. For each and every asana which has been illustrated in the book, I consciously performed them and wrote down the steps. Every single breath, every movement, position, the sequence had to be accurate.How did you come up with the title of the book “My Friendship with yoga”?It came straight from the heart; in fact I did not falter or ponder over the title. I began writing this book with its title in place. The title was a reminder to simplify yoga and it guided me in writing a user and reader friendly book, which has been appreciated by the reviewers and readers. Fortunately, my publishers were also happy with the title and did not suggest any changes.Besides writing, what else do you do in your free time?Besides writing and reading books; I practice yoga, support my publisher in the promotion of my book, review books for Muse India, handle professional commitment as Director of a company, travel and spend time with my family. I love to bake and cook, and feel delighted when the outcome exceeds my expectations Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?I don’t recall the title of the first book, but I started off with the Enid Blyton series, followed by Agatha Christie.Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?My mum read a lot and I would accompany her to the local lending library. She was not pushy but I gradually picked up the habit and enjoyed those evening walks to the library after school, with my best friend. She will get nostalgic when she reads this!What are your top three favorite books of all time?It is hard to pick just 3, as I have so many favorites. Hmmm….. The Little Prince, Kite Runner, Reluctant Fundamentalist, Namesake…As a new author, what is your favorite part of the writing/ publishing process? Least favorite.My favorite part is the writing itself and working hand-in-glove with the publishers; the book launch being the icing on the cake. My least favorite part is to face rejections without knowing the reason for it, after waiting for months to hear from publishers.What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?To understand the pure essence and simplicity of yoga, without feeling intimidated or inadequateAs mentioned in the book, “Yoga is not about perfection. It is a very enjoyable bonding with our body and mind that teaches us to be resilient and patient.”I would like you to share something about yourself with the readers. Something that does not go in the about the author section something that is the real you?I dream a lot and wish that all my dreams came true, hahaha…And finally, A message for aspiring writers?“Rejections are a part of the whole process of being ultimately accepted and acknowledged, as a writer. Please do not give up, no matter what, and pursue your passion, despite the road blocks. Think of the book lovers and connect with them. Write for them and the passion will always be with you.”Thank you. It was really a privilege interviewing you. Hope you enjoyed the interview. Links to buy the book- Amazon.in Amazon.com FlipkartWrite to her at chirminey@gmail.com

Interview With Revathi Raj Iyer
 Ayushi A Nair  
 21 June 2018  

Revathi Raj Iyer is a freelance writer, book reviewer, company director, service volunteer and yoga/fitness enthusiast. Professionally qualified as Company Secretary (India & New Zealand) with legal background, she has worked in the corporate field for over a decade. Bombay is her hometown and Baroda her abode after marriage. When she moved to Fiji Islands, she bid adieu to a rewarding career with a multinational to become a full time mum and pursue her twin passions, yoga and writing. She worked as lecturer of Laws at the University of Fiji. Living between NZ and Fiji, she pursued writing and yoga training and continues her passion after moving to India. She lives in Ahmedabad, India and has completed her next book which is a collection of short stories. Her dream is to write books for children.A couple of easy questions to begin with…First off,  What inspired you to write “My Friendship with Yoga”?Physical activity was dominant in my life right from an early age, as a trained classical dancer, which continued until my late twenties. Thereafter it took a back seat, when I became engrossed with my career together with being hands-on mum to a lovely little daughter alongside other demands that needed my attention. However, things changed when we moved to Fiji Islands, and I got back into fitness with intense aerobics and strength training. As destiny would have it, a disciple of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar was deputed to Fiji to introduce this ancient tradition to the people of Fiji. Yoga was at my door step and I embraced it with heartfelt love. I started writing my yoga journal. One fine day, I decided to give a formal structure to my jottings to reach out to a wider audience. As I wrote the book I had no idea of the publishing process, but I was focussed on my goal. “My Friendship with Yoga” thus took shape and was launched on the 10th January, 2017 at the New Delhi World Book Fair. Thanks to Lifi Publications for making this happen!How do you see writing, as a hobby or a passion?I find writing very therapeutic and it also makes me happy. It is passion that drives me to enter that lonely space, which I beautify with words, plot and characters to create a story.Is yoga a way of life or a way to exercise and meditateYoga and meditation are a way of life for a holistic and healthy lifestyle. It is not instant therapy or about perfecting the postures. It is much more than that.  One has to go through a process of learning – patiently and persistently; and observe the changes it brings about in oneself.Please tell us some more about your debut novel?“My Friendship with Yoga” is about my progression from learning under an instructor to achieving confidence in self-practice and sharing my varied experiences with readers. I have presented the complicated aspects of yoga in a lucid style with practical hints so as to cater book lovers of all age groups and skill levels. The book is divided into three parts:Narrative which combines the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of yoga, wherein a selection of topics along with interesting anecdotes have been coveredThe 2nd Part has more than 80 postures with steps to attain these, guidelines, tips, techniques and benefits; keeping in mind yoga enthusiasts, beginners as well as those who have been practising yoga.The 3rd Part consists of the much desired weekly practice schedule written sequentially with clear instructions to enhance one’s practice.What has yoga done for you as a person?Yoga has helped me to deal with a given situation in a pragmatic and dispassionate manner. It has enabled me to let go of the past and negative emotions, be more positive and result-oriented and direct my energies towards my creative pursuit and other commitments. Yoga has certainly helped in making me acknowledge and appreciate the choices I have made so far, and offered me a healthier and more content lifestyle.What sort of research did you do to write this book?I have been reading books on yoga, but “My Friendship with Yoga,” is the outcome of my entire learning process, from the disciple of BKS Iyengar and instructors from the West. My effort was to present the complicated aspects of yoga in simple language that would appeal to readers of all age groups and skill levels. Yoga is not about perfection as different bodies react in a certain way to a certain posture. To that end, my thought process kept evolving during the entire course of my writing. I made several drafts until I was fully satisfied that I had done justice to my work. For each and every asana which has been illustrated in the book, I consciously performed them and wrote down the steps. Every single breath, every movement, position, the sequence had to be accurate.How did you come up with the title of the book “My Friendship with yoga”?It came straight from the heart; in fact I did not falter or ponder over the title. I began writing this book with its title in place. The title was a reminder to simplify yoga and it guided me in writing a user and reader friendly book, which has been appreciated by the reviewers and readers. Fortunately, my publishers were also happy with the title and did not suggest any changes.Besides writing, what else do you do in your free time?Besides writing and reading books; I practice yoga, support my publisher in the promotion of my book, review books for Muse India, handle professional commitment as Director of a company, travel and spend time with my family. I love to bake and cook, and feel delighted when the outcome exceeds my expectations Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?I don’t recall the title of the first book, but I started off with the Enid Blyton series, followed by Agatha Christie.Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?My mum read a lot and I would accompany her to the local lending library. She was not pushy but I gradually picked up the habit and enjoyed those evening walks to the library after school, with my best friend. She will get nostalgic when she reads this!What are your top three favorite books of all time?It is hard to pick just 3, as I have so many favorites. Hmmm….. The Little Prince, Kite Runner, Reluctant Fundamentalist, Namesake…As a new author, what is your favorite part of the writing/ publishing process? Least favorite.My favorite part is the writing itself and working hand-in-glove with the publishers; the book launch being the icing on the cake. My least favorite part is to face rejections without knowing the reason for it, after waiting for months to hear from publishers.What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?To understand the pure essence and simplicity of yoga, without feeling intimidated or inadequateAs mentioned in the book, “Yoga is not about perfection. It is a very enjoyable bonding with our body and mind that teaches us to be resilient and patient.”I would like you to share something about yourself with the readers. Something that does not go in the about the author section something that is the real you?I dream a lot and wish that all my dreams came true, hahaha…And finally, A message for aspiring writers?“Rejections are a part of the whole process of being ultimately accepted and acknowledged, as a writer. Please do not give up, no matter what, and pursue your passion, despite the road blocks. Think of the book lovers and connect with them. Write for them and the passion will always be with you.”Thank you. It was really a privilege interviewing you. Hope you enjoyed the interview. Links to buy the book- Amazon.in Amazon.com FlipkartWrite to her at chirminey@gmail.com

Glorious The Moon
 Dhwani Shah  
 14 February 2019  

Glorious the moon . . .therefore our thanksdark cloudsCome to rest our necks.When our focus shift from thoughts to self, we are grateful to everything around us. Our mind becomes silent and at rest.Life is a story we weave together from the thoughts, feelings, and emotions we experience each moment. Yet we live the majority of our life in the memories of our past and the expectations of the future. Rarely do we live in the purity of the present.In meditation we disrupt the unconscious progression of thoughts and emotions by focusing on a new object of attention, whether that is our breath or empty screen on third eye.Meditation is one of the best ways to loosen the grip of sticky emotions and connect to our true self, which isn’t limited, angry, or fearful, but is infinite, pure consciousness. Meditation brings us home to the peace of present-moment awareness and gives us an experience of profound relaxation that dissolves fatigue and long-standing stresses and – as countless studies have shown – promotes both physical and emotional healing. The benefits of meditation include:• lowered blood pressure and hypertension• slower heart rate• decreases cholesterol levels• reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline• more efficient oxygen use by the body• increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA• improved immune functionBeyond these significant health benefits, the greatest gift of meditation is the sense of calm and inner peace it brings into our daily life. When we meditate, we go beyond the mind’s noisy chatter into an entirely different place: the silence of a mind that is not imprisoned by the past or the future.

Under Cherry-Trees
 Dhwani Shah  
 21 February 2019  
Art

Under cherry-treessoup, the salad,fish and all . . .Seasoned with petalsVariety of food is like mind and petals represents consciousness.Remember well that you don't have one mind; you have multi-minds.Mind is a flux: river like, flowing, changing. Consciousness is eternal, one. It is not different in the morning and different in the evening. It is not different when you are born and different when you die. It is one and the same, eternal. Mind is a flux. A child has a childish mind, an old man has an old mind; but a child or an old man have the same consciousness, which is neither childish nor old. It cannot be.Mind moves in time and consciousness lives in timelessness. They are not one. But we are identified with the mind. We go on saying, insisting, 'My mind. I think this way. This is my thought. This is my ideology.' Because of this identification with the mind, you miss that which you really are.Dissolve these links with the mind. Remember that your minds are not your own. They have been given to you by others: your parents, your society, your university. They have been given to you. Throw them away. Remain with the simple consciousness that you are ¯ pure consciousness, innocent. This is how one moves from the mind to meditation. This is how one moves away from society, from the without to the within. This is how one moves from the man-made world, the maya, to the universal truth, the existence.

How is Trekking Beneficial to Your Mind and Soul?
 Manmohan Singh  
 6 May 2019  

Much like yoga,Trekking is an exercise that brings you together the body and the mind And makes your spirits shine, With the nurturing and the taming of your mind, You better the feelings that are food for your soul.Like yoga; in its process and exercise, trekking has a lot to do with breath-work and breath-control leading to mind control. The process of trekking then, further goes on to healing and fixing the energy loopholes of your being.The exercise of trekking is getting popular everywhere in the world. India and Nepal, the areas that are close to the Himalayas are in the spotlight because wisdom comes down from the great Himalayas to these lands. There are a plenty of trekking destination in India, and even more difficult trekking destinations in Nepal. The Annapurna base camp trek in Khandruk, Nepal is a doable and yet difficult trek that I recommend people to participate in.I will go as far as to say that trekking is a meditation and that’s because as widely it is believed that meditation requires one to be still and calm and composed; that may not be the entirety of meditation. Meditation is a practice that we do to activate our minds that has been either focusing on certain things too much, or been too relaxed or out of focus in its functioning.Meditation is essentially a practice that makes your concentration power more and more flexible and stronger. By explanation, concentration is the power of being able to contract and expand your consciousness and hold it for as long as required.Our consciousness gets out of practice and things start to get monotonous. When we go for trekking, the mind is expected to achieve great levels of concentration because it demands the holding capacity of your concentration, which, if not present, will kill you on your trek. That’s why people who have a good hold of their concentration can take up more and more difficult treks. Hence trekking is a form of moving meditation. It can be justified that trekking is essentially yoga in consistent movement and a faster method of unraveling and opening up. If you trek for a living, your body will find itself in a perpetual state of movement, and the mind at rest and in control at all times.Trekking demands for you to be mentally present at all times, or else your reality will be altered very easily and you may lose consciousness, which is why you may find trekkers walking silently in concentration. So what happens when we calm our minds and trek silently? We make our minds more and more alert so that it helps channelize all the energy in the body to be utilized by the physical activity!When your mind is calm and focused and your body is in movement, you become the humblest version of yourself at that moment because you are focusing on the bare necessities to keep you alive and walking ahead. And when humans get what they need and not what they greed, people are humbler and in greater harmony with themselves and each other. It will not be surprising to say that people, who trek as a lifestyle choice, live longer and live life in its full essence because all they have to do is walk away and find another strange place to find comfort in. What happens when you are trekking is that you are meditating with each step, your mind is calm, your body is in movement and your spirits are enriched versions which is how things are supposed to be in life, where people are only caring for their necessities and not for their greed.But the city life has introduced a lot of greed and in times when we exist in satisfaction, we may encounter moments of greed which leads our body and soul in the direction to achieve that greed that we inculcated in us. What we are doing while trekking is focusing on the bare necessities of life.With trekking you will go the natural way, and the natural way always leads to more satisfaction than running madly after something that you don’t even need. The “time” that you buy, is the “age” you have bought for yourself to live.Trekking does have tremendous scope for spiritual growth as well. Wisdom comes with the patience that we are willing to give to the things that are necessary for us, after we have bought all that time from meditating in movement. We are free to spend it on what may be an essential knowledge to pass down to your next generation. Whatever knowledge that people gain from spending time on gaining it, internalizes in our body and down to our genes...So you decide what information and knowledge you want to pass on to the coming generation. Trekking is extremely beneficial for your mind body and soul because when you are on a trek, you are feeding your entire being with all the goodness it needs internally and externally’ with every step you take, the problems you face on this journey are different from not meeting a project deadline…. You see, you’re more worried about collecting enough firewood to grant yourselves a heart-warming bon-fire when you want to take rest.

Top 10 things to do in Uttarakhand
 Sakshi Kaushik  
 6 May 2019  
Art

Uttarakhand is a jewel for travelers with a plethora of activities and fun things to do which will create everlasting vacation memories. That’s what travelling is all about. Here in Devbhoomi you will be able to experience a wide ranging set of fun activities from pilgrimages, yoga and meditation to trekking, camping and other adventure sports activities. You will never get bored once you are in this charming hill station of India. Planning a visit? Here are the top 15 things to do in Uttarakhand:Mountain bikingGoing cycling on the hilly terrain amidst some of the most thriving natural beauty is one of the best ways of exploring the real beauty of Uttarakhand. This is also a great way of discovering the culture, traditions and the humble lifestyle of the people on the hills while paddling your way through the mountain routes. Some paths that you can take for cycling include – the border of Corbett national park passing through kaladhungi which will bring you in close contact to the raw beauty of nature; terai jungle is another option where you can also witness the beauty of the scenic himalayas surrounding you; bhowali and khairna are other options tat you can choose to undertake. No matter where you go on your cycle it will be an exhilarating experience. 2. Skiing Skiing is another one of the most unique sport that you can experience here on the hills. During the winter snowfall season the entire the undulating terrain of Auli gets covered in snow. These hills are then utilized as a skiing location where people go to indulge in skiing activities. Thisis also one of the most popular winter vacation destination. During the summer season these hills blossoms to life with lush greenery and is used for camping purposes as bugyals. No matter when you want to visit Auli you will be having a great time there. 3. Chardham yatraUttarakhand is called devbhoomi for a reason. The entire state is steep historical and religious significance dating back to the era of gods. The sacred twin towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh along with being the birthplace of the holy Ganga river makes it even more important. It is also the abode of the holy char dham sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri which is visited by lakhs of devotees from all across the world to attain moksha. Visiting these char dham sites will not only be a holy time but will fill you with a great sense of spirituality which will be unmatched to anywhere else. 4. CampingCamping is one of the most sought after activities in Uttarachal region. What’s better than experiencing the beauty of nature than sleeping under the star lit sky and some deep peace. There are several rules and regulations regarding camping in the bugyals but it is all worth it. No matter which season you decide to go camping on the hills you will still have a lot of options to choose from, Shivpuri, dhanaulti, roopkund, dayarabugyal etc. it is also one of the finest ways of being a part of the serenity that the hills have to offer. The best part is that you can do this alone or with a group that organizes camping tours for Uttarakhand. 5. Visit to Valley of flowersSituated in the district of Chamoli is one of the most fascinating UNESCO world heritage site of valley of flowers. Ever since its discovery this charming place dotted with innumerable exotic flowers and plants has attracted tourists and travelers from all over the world to witness its charm. Your visit to Uttaranchal remains incomplete without your visit to this heaven on earth. Open for a couple of months this place displays a magnanimous collection of various plants species which only adds to the beauty. 6. Yoga Indulging in a rejuvenating yoga activity amongst the peaceful solitude of nature and by the softly flowing river is a great way of experiencing the true spirit of Uttarakhand. The state has been associated with being one of the most proactive destinations for yoga activities ever since the ancient era. Currently there are numerous places that have developed as the ideal place for yoga like – Rishikesh, Almora, Dehradun, Nainital, Haridwar etc. you will be surprised to see the number of foreigners who visit this place for Yoga. 7. Paragliding We all know the beauty of Uttarakhand is unmatched but with paragliding you will be able to witness this raw nature from a different perspective. Sail through the Himalayan airways and get the bird’s eye view of the lush greenery below and the snow capped mountain peaks around it. There will be trained experts who will take you on this thrilling adventure journey in the sky. Some of the most well known destinations for paragliding are – Ranikhet, Mukteshwar, Bhimtal, Pithoragarh. 8. TrekkingWalk your way through the undulating terrain of the hills and through the lush forest cover which will allow you to have one of most exciting times here. There are innumerable trekking trails for everyone interested in trekking from Beginners to experts. There is something for everyone looking to explore the hills in the most primeval forms. Get ready to witness some of the most breathtaking views of the Himalayas by going on the following trails – Gaumukh tapovan, Roopkund, Kedartal, Kuari paas, Pindari glacier, Auden col and so much more. 9. Tea estate tour Did you know that Uttarakhand is one of the places that produce some of the richest and finest qualities of tea in India. A visit to the famous Kausani tea estate will allow you to explore the soothing climate while sipping on some deliciously flavoured tea collection. Located on an elevation of 1800 metres above sea level this lush green cover is one of the most peaceful, serene and soothing destinations if you are looking to indulge in a unique holiday experience in Uttarakhand.10. Rafting Riding the Himalayan waters is a huge crowd puller for people looking to have a different and an adventurous experience during their vacation. River rafting will allow you to ride some of the most exciting rapids ranging from grade 1 to grade 4. Devbhoomi is a place that is well known all over india for its rafting activities especially in Shipuri near Rishikesh. People can choose for rafting on the various different tributaries of ganga like on alaknanda, Bhagirathi, tons etc. 

Bhagavad Gita Verse 1.1
 Dhwani Shah  
 20 May 2019  

Greed - In Gita Verse 1.1 Dhṛtarāṣṭra said: O Sañjaya, after my sons and sons of Pāṇḍu assembled in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukṣetra, desiring to fight, what did they do?By asking this question Dhṛtarāṣṭras reveals his eagerness. Foremost if we understand our eagerness we can see that we are eager when we feel scarcity, lack, fear etc. In that moment we are in a hurry to grab any opportunity that comes in front of us out of out greed and from here our downfall begins.Nothing happens overnight. Existence is very compassionate. Irrespective of our greed he gives us many hints not to fall prey to our greed. But we are so much consumed with greed we overlook the subtle hints and don’t pay any attention to them. And these subtle hints we call obstacles. We become more restless when any obstacle comes in the path of our greed.Greed is a bottomless pit like a quagmire which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the wants without satiation.Just to understand the nature of greed is enough. You need not do anything else to get rid of it; the very understanding will clarify the whole mess.Man is full or complete if he is in tune with the universe; if he is not in tune with the universe then he is empty, utterly empty. And out of that emptiness comes greed. Greed desires possession or accumulation: by money, by property, by furniture, by friends, by lovers – anything, because one cannot live as emptiness. It is horrifying, it is a ghost life. If you are empty and there is nothing inside you, it is impossible to live.To have the feeling that you have much inside you, there are only two ways: either you get in tune with the universe.... Then you are filled with the whole, with all the flowers and with all the stars. They are within you just as they are outside you. That is real fulfillment. But if you don’t do that, and millions of people are not doing that, then the easiest way is to fill it with any material things.Greed simply means you are feeling a deep emptiness and you want to fill it with anything possible; it doesn’t matter what it is. And once you understand it, then you have nothing to do with greed. You have something to do with your coming into communion with the whole, so the inner emptiness disappears. And with it, all greed disappears. That does not mean that you start living naked; that simply means you do not live just to accumulate things. Whenever you need something you can have it.Greed is not a desire at all. So you need not do anything about greed. You have to understand the emptiness that you are trying to fill, and ask the question, “Why am I empty? The whole existence is so full, why am I empty? Perhaps I have lost track; I am no longer moving in the same direction, I am no longer existential. That is the cause of my emptiness.So be existential.Let go, and move closer to existence in silence and peace, in meditation.And one day you will see you are so full – overfull, overflowing – of joy, of blissfulness, of benediction. You have so much of it that you can give it to the whole world and yet it will not be exhausted.That day, for the first time you will not feel any greed – for money, for food, for things, for anything. You will live naturally, and whatever is needed you will find it. And you will live, not with a constant greed that cannot be fulfilled, a wound that cannot be healed.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 1.5
 Dhwani Shah  
 24 May 2019  

Be Patient - In Gita Verse 1.5 There are also great heroic, powerful fighters like Dhṛṣṭaketu, Cekitāna, Kāśirāja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Śaibya.Duryodhana did not want to look into the possibility of winning the war. It was out of arrogance he tried to insult Dronacharya his teacher and commander of army and also demoralise his own army.Falling down and not focusing on what we have is very easy but to focus on what we have and holding ourselves by dropping our judgement is required to become aware. This is the reason why in all religions patience has been given a lot of importance. Pause and hold yourselves before taking any action. When you hold for a moment there is a drawback/hurdle we may fall to take any action which is Inaction. We fail to even use our Buddhi or intellect. We don’t want to take responsibility of our thinking and take any action, which is always un-chartered. Fear of failure and unknown will also not allow you to take any action.Duryodhana did not have any patience to look into the present situation and see the possibilities available, analyse his strengths and weaknesses. He was trembling with fear as Pāṇḍvas were strategically planning for the war and not on its outcome . The Pāṇḍvas were minutely monitoring the available resources, their strong and weak areas and how to effectively fill any shortcomings. The strategic planning was their strength.They were also concerned with the outcome of the war but they had the courage to behold the present moment and the available resources. They spent every minute on how to effectively use their limited resources. For them what they had was more important and how to manage it was their top priority. Karma is always in the present moment. Our present moment’s karma will give birth to the next coming moment.It is natural to be impatient. Tremendous understanding and awareness is needed not to be impatient, because impatience is not going to help; on the contrary, it is one of the greatest hindrances. You have to understand impatience as your enemy. You want the vast and the mysterious to open its doors, without much effort on your part. It is not possible. There are a thousand and one doors, and only one is right; you will have to knock on all the wrong doors to find the right one. Either in scientific research, or in spiritual seeking, patience is of paramount importance.Edison who invented the first electric bulb had worked on it for three years. All his colleagues and his disciples gradually left. They were impatient, they wanted it to happen immediately, and they could not believe in the patience of Edison.Every day, Edison would come fresh, young, excited, and they would tell him, “We have experimented in so many ways, and we have failed in every experiment. Why not change the subject? We should work on something else.”Edison would say, “Who told you that we have been failures? Each failure brings us nearer to success because there must be only a limited number of doors. We knock on one door, and it is not the right door - but it is not a failure. One door, a wrong door, is eliminated; success is closer. We knock on another door; it is not the right door. But we are even closer to success - two doors are eliminated. Soon we'll be knocking on the right door.But the patience that he had is part of an intelligent and a genuine seeker. After three years, in the middle of the night, he knocked on the right door. For the first time, the human eyes..He was alone, all his colleagues had left; he was tired, utterly exhausted, and thinking himself almost mad. He was alone when he discovered the electric bulb. It had taken three years. Day and night he had been thinking only of one thing - How to approach this? And when the room was lighted up with electricity, he was sitting there in utter wonder. He was the first man to see something which had never existed before. He could not take his eyes off the electric bulb.It was getting late, and finally his wife shouted from the other room, “Put that stupid light off!” She was not aware that it was electricity. She said “Come back, and go to sleep.”He said, “It is not the stupid light that you are acquainted with; it is what my three years of patience has created. You should come here and see!”Patience is the greatest religious quality.The disciple who can wait will find all his questions answered at the right moment. But waiting is a great quality: it is deep patience, it is great trust. The mind cannot wait, it is always in a hurry. It knows nothing about patience; hence it goes on piling question upon question without getting the answer.Sabr comes from sabr: it means infinite patience. Those who are in search will need infinite patience. Patience is the greatest religious quality; if you have patience nothing else is needed. Patience is enough, enough unto itself. Patience means hope, trust, and without any hurry, without any impatience. Impatience simply shows that you are not trustful. Impatience simply shows that you want to impose yourself upon the will of God, that you want it right now. You don’t want him to work on his own. Impatience means, “My will is greater than your will.” Patience means, “I surrender my will to your will. Let yours be my will, so whenever I am ripe, whenever — if it takes an eternity it is okay — I will trust, I will hope. I will not lose my heart, I will not be disheartened.”All meditation is waiting. All prayer is infinite patience.Both Pandavas and Kauravas were fighting the war. Duryodhana was impatient he wanted everything according to his will. While Pandavas were patient they were also fighting the war to win. But totally focused on the action needed and totally focused on their action. When you are focused in the present moment you will act from patience. When your focus is in the future and not ready to focus in the present moment act, but on your desire for something you will be impatient.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 1.6
 Dhwani Shah  
 25 May 2019  

Patience Is Very Active - In Gita Verse 1.6 There are the mighty Yudhāmanyu, the very powerful Uttamaujā, the son of Subhadrā and the sons of Draupadī. All these warriors are great chariot fighters.Duryodhana was so impatience that in his anxiety to win the war, he was not knowing what he was speaking. He says that the very powerful Uttamaujā, the son of Subhadrā and the sons of Draupadī, it means his and his brothers sons are not worthy, not powerful. Even though Pandavas sons were taken care and brought up by others as they lost their empire in gambling, and were in exile. Whereas Kauravas themselves had brought up their children. By saying this he conveyed that he and his brothers had failed as parents in bring up their children.When we are in the grip of desire, anxiety and anger religions says don’t do anything in that moment of anger - wait.Haste is one of the greatest diseases of present day, because it has made many things impossible which could have happened with a little patience.On your part great patience is needed, and a trust that the whole existence is in support of all those who are trying to grow spiritually. It is not you who are trying to grow spiritually; it is the existence which through you, is trying to reach its pinnacle.Patience is very alert, patience is very active, patience is very expectant. If you are waiting for somebody — a friend is to call on you — you may be sitting just by the door, but you are very attentive, alert. Any noise on the road, any car passing by, and immediately you start looking: maybe your has friend come? The wind on your doors , and suddenly you are alert: maybe he has knocked…. Dead leaves in the garden moving hither and thither, and you come out of your home; maybe he has come…. Patience is as active as that. It is a waiting. It is not dull, it is very radiant. It is not unconscious; it is not like a stupor. It is like a flame burning bright. One waits. One can wait infinitely, but one waits, expectant, active, alert, watchful.People are in a hurry, and religion is such a tree that it needs patience. It needs infinite patience. It needs no-hurry. If you are in a hurry, you will miss what religion is. Religion is not somewhere in temple or as followers. Religion is where you are. In this moment.If you are in a hurry, if you are in haste, you will never know the taste of its existence.Impatience also shows that you are not trusting your dreams, you are not trusting your totality of longing. Patience simply means: I will wait, whatever time it takes for the spring to come — but I will not wait patiently; I will wait with a heart throbbing, desiring, waiting… each moment, day in, day out. Waiting for the ship is a very total action on your part — because the action is total, your trust is total.One cannot predict when it will come. Only one thing can be said emphatically that if you are impatient it will not come. The more impatient you are for it, the less is the possibility, and if you are patient, it is bound to come. The more patient you are, the closer it is. If your patience is absolute, then it can happen right this very moment. But everything depends on patience. Patience is prayer and patience is trust and patience is love.Pandavas patience had courage to hold the present moment and the given resources. It was active, alive, in gratitude. Even the soldier of their army were ready to be participant in the war. While Duryodhana’s impatience was dead - why dead - as his disrespectful action was not allowing anyone to take any action. Before the war could start he had already lost the war. As his whole army were dead through inaction before the war had even started. His army was not a participant in the war. To achieve our goal we need our supporting team to participate.Recollect the moment when we don’t allow ourselves or the people around us to use the available resources, the whole environment becomes tense. Suddenly we feel everything is dead.Patience is nothing but a fragrance of trust. The night is dark but one trusts that the dawn is coming. Each passing moment the day is coming closer and closer. Maybe the night is actually becoming darker. In fact it becomes darker before the dawn comes, so the actual may not be helpful to the possible. The actual may be saying, ‘What are you doing? What are you waiting for? The night is getting darker than ever before. The dawn must be going further away and the distance is growing greater. This is simple logic: the night is getting darker so the dawn cannot be very close. You are losing track! There is no point in waiting any more.Your mind is constant!y hijacking you from the present moment — either into the past or into the future, but it never allows you to be in the now, to be here. By infinite patience is meant that “I trust, I am not worried. I am not rushing for tomorrow. I will rest in this moment. I will allow this moment its totality. I will explore this moment with my totality.” Then immediately, within a split second something wells up within you, something overwhelms you: a kind of music, a kind of melody, a feeling of well-being, as if everything is as it should be, you are at home, nothing is needed, all is perfect.That feeling is bliss — that everything else as it is, is right; it is absolutely okay, it cannot be better. That feeling is bliss, but that feeling is possible only when you relax, are patient, unhurried. And that’s what meditation is all about. Spirituality is nothing but a style of life, of living moment to moment, without hankering for the future… just living the present so totally that the mind has no time, no space, to go anywhere else… so absorbed, so utterly involved, drunk, with the present.Bliss is something that comes to you from the beyond — not created by you but only received. One has to learn how to wait for it; one has to learn the art of waiting. Patience, infinite patience, is needed.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 1.8
 Dhwani Shah  
 27 May 2019  

Mental Laziness - In Gita Verse 1.8 There are personalities like you, Bhīṣma, Karṇa, Kṛpa, Aśvatthāmā, Vikarṇa and the son of Somadatta called Bhūriśravā, who are always victorious in battle.Duryodhana recollects all the names of the victorious and brave men in his army who were always victorious. Now in this war what was different; leadership had changed. Earlier Bhīṣma was leading the war. This time Duryodhana was leading the war.In my blog, Bhagavad Gita Verse 1.2, I had written about Parrikar, a farmer’s son changed his approach for selling the watermelons, and the quality of watermelons in 5-6 years has gone down to such an extent that to bring that quality back it needed 200 years. When leadership and approach changes everything changes. The victorious personalities will become useless.Duryodhana was the initiator of the war. Even though Dronacharya is commander of army, he was not permitted to give any suggestions of what he had viewed. Only Duryodhana's will was supreme. He gave Dronacharya responsibility but no freedom. Dronacharya wasn’t permitted to make any observations nor suggest any innovative plan in arranging the army to win the war. Being the Chief of army Dronacharya was confused, how to see and assess the present situation, how to convey his  observations and his plan of action. He was plagued with his vulnerable position.Whereas Pandavas had clarity from the beginning. They had decided to seek Krishna‘s advice in their entire planning for the war. It was very clear for Pandavas that if Krishna decided that war is inevitable only then they would fight. Even though all the brothers wanted their Indraprastha which they had lost in the great gamble. Duryodhana had vouched to return it after the exile. But Duryodhana had refused to give back their Indraprastha after the exile when they requested Krishna to go to Hastinapur as ‘Shanti Dut’ on their behalf. Duryodhana refused to return the kingdom Indraprastha. Krishna was confident  that Duryodhana would agree to give at least five villages instead of Indraprastha to avoid the war, Pandavas would willing oblige to this decision. This is called trust.Whereas Duryodhana's action speaks of humiliating his army chief and not having any trust in him. Not even asking his views and suggestions for the arrangement made by Pandavas. Dronacharya was forbidden to take any decision as commander of army. In this way he had killed Dronacharya before he was actually killed in the war.People like Duryodhana are mentally lazy. Person who is not ready to think and take the actions, is mentally lazy.God has given you the power to control your mind and to be free from pain and sorrow. Laziness in body and mind must be driven away before you can enter the kingdom of God. It is better to be a success in the eyes of the world than to be lazy, but you will never attain true happiness unless you combine worldly success with spiritual success through daily inner communion with the Lord.Resurrect Your Mind from Mental Laziness:The key to happiness, power, and health lies within your mind. Mental laziness and lack of initiative and perseverance are the greatest enemies of success in any field of activity. A mentally lazy person grunts and moans, and considers it a terrible expenditure of energy if he must take time to think, plan, or create. He is unwilling to initiate creative or self-emancipating thinking. We can understand physical idleness, when it is sometimes necessary for relaxation from overwork, but we cannot excuse the mentally lazy person.To pass life’s tests, you will need to develop elasticity of the mind. Tests are not meant to crush you. They come through the natural law of progress, to help you develop your mental powers, and to advance from lower to higher levels of willingness, effort, and creativity. Most people give up and fail, but in order to succeed you must learn to persevere in your effort towards your goal.If you are suffering materially, do not add more injury to yourself by mentally accepting defeat. Even if you have no job, for your own good, you have no right to be depressed. If you sit in your home moaning and sobbing, you are paralyzing your mind with sorrow instead of keeping it busy with the kind of creative thinking which alone can show you a way out of your difficulties.Never allow your mind to entertain human thoughts of limitation and you will see your life change for the better. If you allow such thoughts to take hold you have already lost half the battle. Throw all such thoughts out of your mind and affirm with deep conviction that whatever has been done, and is currently posing challenges in your life, can be undone. Every new effort after a failure must be well planned and charged with increasing intensity of attention.Your Will Must Be Guided By Subjectivity:When Jesus said, “Let Thy will be done,” what did he mean? Many people misinterpret the real meaning of Jesus’ statement and preach a dangerous doctrine of not using the will.Jesus meant that when you attune your will with God’s will, which is guided by your subjectivity, you are then using divine will. But you can not know what divine will is until you have developed your own will to its fullest potential. Only by using your own will power rightly can you contact God’s will. By deep concentration and receptivity in meditation, you can establish that divine contact.The power of a strong will, guided by your subjectivity, is unlimited. To its possessor nothing is impossible. The will is the weapon by which you can vanquish all failure. You must, however, make constant use of it; then it will serve you faithfully and always be sharp and keen edged. Do not will and act first, but contact God first and harness your will and activity to the right goal.Pandavas also had will and Duryodhana also had will. What was the difference. Pandavas had will along with courage to start with their limited resources. While Duryodhana did not have the courage to look at resources he had. Whenever you start your act from your resources immediately you connect through your subjectivity to the divine will.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 1.31
 Dhwani Shah  
 16 June 2019  

Action And Activity - In Gita Verse 1.31 I do not see how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in this battle, nor can I, my dear Kṛṣṇa, desire any subsequent victory, kingdom or happiness.Slowly Arjuna becomes more unconscious. He has now started seeing this war as victory and defeat. Nothing is wrong in evaluating anything. But stuck in it he is forgetting his assignment of the Universe.Whatever act we do, definitely must evaluate but with respect to our assignment of the Universe. With respect to our assignment we need to think with logical mind, and direct the logical mind.Mind is a perfect means to keep you independent, to keep you alert. It is a good fighter. So when there is need to fight, when there is need to stand up for your liberty, use the mind; subjectivity will not be of any use. But the context is totally different, and that man is conscious who can use his capacities in their right context and does not get mixed up. Eyes are for seeing ― you cannot hear through them. And ears are for hearing ― you cannot see with them. So use them whenever their need is, and don't let them come in each other's way.Use this quality to fight, to become more conscious and liberation from unconsciousness. Subjectivity knows no way to fight.Mind is a beautiful instrument. It has to be sharpened, but remember its limitations. It should remain a servant to our subjectivity. The moment it becomes the master, the subjectivity simply dies. In slavery, the subjectivity cannot exist.So there is no contradiction in what I have said ― just two different contexts. And your consciousness is different from both, so a conscious person can use his subjectivity when needed and can use his mind when needed, can put both to silence when he wants to be absolutely in a state of nirvana, where neither the mind is needed nor the subjectivity. When he wants simply to be himself, both are not needed.If you are the master of your instruments, there is no problem. If you have a flute and I ask you, 'Can you stop playing on it for a few moments ― I want to talk to you,' and you say, 'I cannot do it; the flute won't stop,' what will we think about you? You are insane. The flute won't stop? So you are not playing the flute, the flute is playing you. When you want to stop the mind, just say, 'Stop' ― it has to stop. If it moves even a little bit, that means something has to be done urgently. This is dangerous: the servant is trying to be the master. The servant should be a servant, and the master should be the master. And beyond both is your being which is neither servant nor master... which simply is. That 'isness' is the goal of all meditations.Also we need to understand the difference between Action and Activity:Action comes out of energy, out of delight. Activity is businesslike. Action is poetry. Activity creates a bondage because it is result oriented: you are doing it not for its own sake, you are doing it for some goal. There is a motive, and then there is frustration. Out of a hundred cases, ninety-nine times you will not achieve the goal, so ninety-nine times you will be in misery, frustration. You did not enjoy the activity itself, you were waiting for the result. Now the result has come, and ninety-nine times out of a hundred there is frustration. And don’t hope for the remaining one percent, because when you achieve the goal, there is frustration also. The goal is achieved, but suddenly you realize that all the dreams you have been dreaming about the goal are not fulfilled.Activity means there is a goal; activity is only a means to that end. Action means that the means and the end are together in it. That’s the difference between action and activity.Arjuna was in his unconsciousness moving from his subjective world to objective world. To understand more precisely he is moving from action to activity. He is gripped in fear of unknown. In that fear even if he will win the war he is now not sure what to do with his victory as his words, happy, shows clearly that there will be no one with whom he can celebrate his victory. Now he is looking at the war as an object to exhibit his victory but not as an assignment of the Universe.When universe gives us the assignment it’s very clear indication that what we need to do with the end result. Victory will also become assignment and not celebration to exhibit our strength.In my blog Bhagavad Gita Verse 1.13, I wrote that even victory is resource. It means whatever is the end result it’s a new assignment for us.When we are unconscious towards ourselves, like Arjuna knowing well what is our assignment we miss our responsibility towards Existence. At this time turn towards God not for asking to fulfill our desire but to help us to bring ourselves back in our consciousness, our subjectivity.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 1.46
 Dhwani Shah  
 27 June 2019  

Be Total - In Gita Verse 1.46 Sañjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.Sanjaya told Dhritarashtra, Arjuna by saying all regarding his unconsciousness, keeping aside his bow and arrow sat in his chariot with fully grief.Persons like Arjuna when knowing that right now he is totally unconsciousness as part of army and also as an individual who is fighting this war will be representing universe, It's good to keep aside the weapon and come back to consciousness rather than to start the war in unconsciousness.His grief was mentioned as overwhelmed, means, total, overflowing. When we are total in anything, it allows us to drop. Like fruits when they are ripped they drop on their own. Similarly when we are total, even our unconsciousness will drop. There is an intricate relationship between an act and the end result. We always want to have a perfect result for whatever we do, without losing ourselves in the act. Is such an act possible? To understand the fine difference, it is important to examine ‘perfection’ and ‘totality’. Although for many people, perfection is the ultimate goal, it is nothing less than illusion or myth; something which is nonexistent. We are attracted by the very idea of perfection, not realising that it is like a disease which is dangerous and destructive. If not for our obsession with perfection, our action could open the door to a beautiful spiritual journey.Whatever you do, just pour your heart in it, do it with totality. The Bhagavad Gita says that karma is enjoyable if the heart is involved in it. Then there is no karma and kerta; both melt and become one. That is totality. Perfection is myth, while totality is reality.Perfection is a goal somewhere in the future while totality is an experience this very moment, in which your act is transformed into meditation and a beautiful prayer descends in your heart. In fact, there is no future reference or goal for totality; only a routine life style albeit soaked in spiritual fragrance.If you do any work or any act with your whole heart, then you are total, then you are walking on the same path which Kabir and Ravidas chose.The whole idea is to ‘be total’ in everything that you are doing. It doesn’t matter what you do, whether you are making clothes like Kabir or shoes like Ravidas, or cooking food or working on a new design for most advanced spacecraft, or cleaning the floor. The job is immaterial. The focus is that doing is with totality, which is the only way to transform the act into meditation and to transform the doing into a beautiful prayer.To be total in your work is a totally different thing. To be total in your work is not addiction, it is a kind of meditation. When you are totally in your work, your work has a possibility of perfection, you will have a joy arising out of a perfect work.If you can be perfect and total in work, you can be total in no-work — just sitting silently, totally silent. You know how to be total. You can close your eyes and you can be totally in. You know the secret of being total.So to be total in work is helpful in meditation. The workaholic cannot meditate, he cannot sit silently even for a few minutes. He will fidget, he will change his position, he will do something or other — look into this pocket or that pocket, and he knows that there is nothing in those pockets. He will take out his glasses, clean them, put them away, and he knows they are clean.Arjuna practiced totality throughout his life. So in this moment of unconsciousness he was total and realised that it's better to put my arms aside and regain my consciousness before the start of the war.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.2
 Dhwani Shah  
 29 June 2019  

Wake Up - In Gita Verse 2.2 The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the value of life. They lead not to higher planets but to infamy.Krishna starts from where Arjuna is. How come these impurities come upon you - by saying impurities he mentions regarding his unconsciousness. As because of his unconsciousness there is thin layer, smoke screen, has created between your objectivity and subjectivity. With this smoke screen from your objective world you are not able to find your subjectivity.Remember one thing when we want to speak or convey a message through any communication route, start from where others are. Never start from where you are. We need to create a bridge between us and others to convey our message. For that one of the important thing is start from where others are. This is called Compassionate Communication.It’s a big challenge for Krishna, first he has to open Arjuna and awaken him from his unconsciousness and Arjuna right now could only hear. He will not be able to listen. He is deep in his unconsciousness. Where only voice of compassion can be heard.Only compassion is therapeutic, because all that is ill in man is because of lack of love. All that is wrong with man is somewhere associated with love. He has not been able to love, or he has not been able to receive love. He has not been able to share his being. That’s the misery. That creates all sorts of complexes inside.When you are unconscious towards yourself and your subjectivity, at that time you are disconnected with your own love.Those wounds inside can surface in many ways: they can become physical illness, they can become mental illness – but deep down man suffers from lack of love. Just as food is needed for the body, love is needed for the soul. The body cannot survive without food, and the soul cannot survive without love. In fact, without love the soul is never born – there is no question of its survival.Recollect the moment of Aguliman he was totally unconscious, suffering from mental illness, compassionate communication by Buddha brought him to his consciousness.That’s why compassion is therapeutic. What is compassion? Compassion is the purest form of love. Sex is the lowest form of love, compassion the highest form of love. In sex the contact is basically physical; in compassion the contact is basically spiritual. In love, compassion and sex are both mixed, the physical and the spiritual are both mixed. Love is midway between sex and compassion.You can also call compassion prayerfulness. You can also call compassion meditation. The highest form of energy is compassion. The word compassion is beautiful: half of it is passion – somehow passion has become so refined that it is no more like passion. It has become compassion.In compassion, you simply give. In love, you are thankful because the other has given something to you. In compassion, you are thankful because the other has taken something from you; you are thankful because the other has not rejected you. You had come with energy to give, you had come with many flowers to share, and the other allowed you, the other was receptive. You are thankful because the other was receptive.Another way to understand compassion is giving. In my Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.1, I wrote that in all the conditions universe only gives. He doesn’t judge us, he just gives.Krishna with all the compassion started communication with Arjuna from where he is. He is not pointing his finger towards Arjuna and saying you are unconscious, what he says is an indication to wake him up from his unconsciousness. Just a wake up call. He reminds him who he is and this unconsciousness doesn’t fit you and it will not connect you with your subjectivity.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.4
 Dhwani Shah  
 1 July 2019  

Imagination - In Gita Verse 2.4 Arjuna said: O killer of enemies, O killer of Madhu, how can I counterattack with arrows in battle men like Bhīṣma and Droṇa, who are worthy of my worship?This verse can be understood by story of Totapuri and Ramakrishna.Ramakrishna was a great devotee, and the path of devotion is full of imagination. Mind has the capacity to hypnotize itself and can see the object of imagination as standing before it.You should pay attention to the fact that no Mohammedan or Christian ever experiences Krishna, no Hindu ever experiences Jesus. They all see what they imagine, what they believe in, what is their hypothesis.If you continuously go on insisting on a certain hypothetical concept of God, one day you will see that hypothesis becoming a reality.Ramakrishna was a devotee of the Mother Goddess of Calcutta. An enlightened man, Totapuri, was just passing by. He looked at Ramakrishna and he felt great compassion for the poor fellow. He told Ramakrishna: "You think that you have experienced the Mother Goddess."Ramakrishna said: "See, I have talked with her, and not one day, but every day." He was an honest man, and what he was saying was absolutely true.Totapuri laughed and he said: "Listen, that Mother Goddess is nothing but pure imagination. Unless you drop that you will never become enlightened. So sit down. I will remain here for three or four days, just for you. I have to help you in somehow dropping the Mother Goddess."Now that was a very difficult matter. Ramakrishna had loved the Mother Goddess his entire life, danced before her. And he was not a traditional fellow; he was very untraditional, very loving, very innocent — so much so that twice the trustees of the temple in which he used to worship, where he was the priest, had to call him saying: "This is strange what you are doing...."First he would taste the food that was to be offered to the goddess, and then he would offer it. Now this is absolutely wrong according to the Hindu tradition. First you should offer it to the god and then you can distribute it, you can eat it.But Ramakrishna said: "My mother always used to taste it first and then she would give it to me. I don't care about anybody, I know what the reason was. The reason was whether it is worth giving. Is the taste right? Is the sweetness not too much or too little? I cannot offer it without tasting it first."He used to fight with the Mother Goddess. Nobody could understand what was happening. He would lock the temple for three or four days and would tell the Mother Goddess: "Remain inside the temple, because you are not doing anything for your devotees. So many people come and they ask you and their prayers are not answered. I am the priest here; it is my duty to take care. Now remain locked up. After three or four days I will see you again."The trustees said: "You are here as the salaried priest. Your work is to worship every day."He said: "That is not the question. The question is that the Mother Goddess has to listen to me. When she listens I prepare such good food for her and bring so many roses and so many flowers. When she is really listening to the prayers I dance the whole day. But when she is not listening, becomes adamant, then I am also a man of some dignity...."Totapuri said to Ramakrishna: "You sit in silence. You don't have any other ropes that I can see, just this one rope. So when you see the Mother Goddess arising in your imagination, just take the sword and cut the mother in two pieces. They will fall, and with them will fall the last barrier."Ramakrishna said: "From where am I going to get the sword?"Totapuri said: "From where have you got this Mother Goddess? — From the same place. It is your imagination. That is also your imagination; only imagination is needed to cut it."It took three days, because he would go into meditation and the Mother Goddess would be standing there, and he would forget all about Totapuri. He would forget all about the sword, and tears would start flowing from his eyes, and Totapuri would shake him saying: "What are you doing?"Ramakrishna said: "What to do? — Because once I see her, she is so beautiful.... Don't force me to cut her."Totapuri said: "Listen, I can see even from the outside: your face immediately changes when you see the mother. I have brought a piece of glass, and the moment I see that you are seeing the mother — because your tears start flowing, your face becomes so beautiful — I will make a cut just on your third eye center with the glass. I have to do this because tomorrow I leave. I cannot waste any more time. This is the last chance: either you do it or I am finished with you."And Totapuri said: "When I cut your forehead and blood starts flowing, don't hesitate, just take the sword and cut the mother."Ramakrishna cut the mother and he remained silent for six days. Totapuri remained for six days, and when Ramakrishna opened his eyes he thanked Totapuri and said: "If you had not come, I would have lived my whole life with the hallucination. My last barrier has fallen away."Ramakrishna became enlightened after he had cut the last barrier. But even the followers of Ramakrishna don't mention this incident, because this incident makes the whole effort of worshipping futile. If you have to finally cut it, why start it in the beginning?Like Totapuri Krishna is also doing similar work. Bringing Arjuna out from his imagination and unconsciousness.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.5
 Dhwani Shah  
 2 July 2019  

Dignity - In Gita Verse 2.5 It would be better to live in this world by begging than to live at the cost of the lives of great souls who are my teachers. Even though desiring worldly gain, they are superiors. If they are killed, everything we enjoy will be tainted with blood.This word of Arjuna clearly come from mental laziness. He did not want to think. What I meant by, he did not want to think is - from the objective world one needs to return to the subjective world, which is connected to universe, after the observation of the fact without any judgement, then with connection with universe, which has higher intelligence, in which everything is included from love, one needs to think. That thinking has compassion for self and for others.Buddha also thinks and we too think , then what is the difference. Difference is from where we think. When you think from objective world it is bound to be judgemental, with opinion, etc. But when you return from objective world connected with your subjectivity then your thinking has universal wisdom and compassion in it. When Buddha thinks he didn’t have any agenda and expectations from his thinking. Yes he had a goal, but not an agenda.First thing, never resist the thinking but direction of the thinking needs to be changed. If you change the direction your thinking will become incapable of making you unconscious. With your thinking we become unconscious because our thinking is from objective world without returning to subjective world and connecting with the universe, in the process we follow the thinking. When we connect ourselves with our subjectivity and then think then it is universal thinking and thinking will follow us.What is the difference between thinking from objective world and thinking from subjective world:When thinking is from objective world - it is carrying with it all the emotions, attachments, judgements, opinion etc.When thinking is from subjective world - it is carrying detachments, compassion, self-dignity, etc.Self-Dignity is very humble, very simple, very innocent; it belongs to the trees. When they blossom in spring, you just look and watch their pride, their dignity. Just watch when a peacock is dancing. Those psychedelic colors, and the beautiful dance ... do you think there is any ego? But there is certainly dignity.Dignity is a totally different phenomenon, it is self-respect. Ego is domination over others. Dignity is just standing on your own feet, independent , freedom; it is not domination over others. The moment you start thinking of dominating, you are falling into the trap of the ego. And God is the greatest ego because he created everything, he dominates everything. He is present everywhere, he is all-powerful. And his reflection in the priests ... The pope claims that he is infallible. Now this is ego.A man of dignity, a man of self-respect will not say such things. Certainly he will walk straight with his head raised in dignity. He will not walk like a slave, surrendered, subdued. He will walk like a lion and roar like a lion. But that is your intrinsic energy, your intrinsic power.The power that depends on others creates the ego. The power that comes from within your own sources of life creates dignity. Meditation brings tremendous dignity, a great grace, but not even a shadow of ego is found in it.If you are capable of murdering God, you will certainly be capable of murdering his image in you. In fact, the moment God is no longer there, you will suddenly be surprised. Where has the ego gone? If the moon is not there, the reflection in the lake of the moon will disappear.Egos are reflections of one moon in different ponds, in different lakes, in different oceans, in different rivers - millions of reflections. But just remove the moon and all the reflections are removed. You don't have to remove every reflection. It will take millennia to remove all those reflections. And in fact, if the moon remains, you cannot remove the reflections.Once God is removed, you will simply find your ego is gone. It was the shadow, the reflection of God. And then you will find a totally new phenomenon, a dignity which is not a domination over others, which is not superiority over others. It is simply the joy that existence loves you, that existence creates you, that existence needs you, that you are not accidental. This gives you dignity, this gives you honor, and it is not dependent on others. It comes from your own innermost experience of your being.The moment you find yourself existential, that you belong to the whole cosmos, and the whole cosmos belongs to you, there arises a tremendous splendor in your being - Himalayan peaks of consciousness, Pacific depths of consciousness. That brings you the lion's roar.You realize for the first time you are not a slave.You realize for the first time you are not a created creature.You realize for the first time that existence is your home, you are not an outsider, and existence is nourishing you every moment.There must be a certain purpose, a certain destiny that existence is seeking through you to reach, a certain height of consciousness, a certain height of love, a certain height of compassion, understanding, wisdom, enlightenment. Existence is trying in every possible way to create a buddha in your very innermost being. The moment you are a buddha, there is dignity without any superiority.There is dignity in a rose flower. Do you think it has any power over anybody? It is so delicate, so vulnerable, but it has tremendous dignity. When it is dancing in the sun, in the rain, in the wind, it knows existence has created in him one of the most beautiful things.Dignity arises out of meditation.For Arjuna his words were coming from the objective world and not from subjective world. He is unconscious of self. He has lost his dignity. As soon as we become unconscious towards the self we lose our dignity.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.9
 Dhwani Shah  
 6 July 2019  

Momentum - In Gita Verse 2.9 Sañjaya said: Having spoken thus, Arjuna, chastiser of enemies, told Kṛṣṇa, “Govinda, I shall not fight,” and fell silent.This is not only with Arjuna but every one of us is facing this situation. When ever we are stuck into the objective world we become unconscious regarding our present moments act. We want to give up our act for the sake of others. As Arjuna saw the objective world and relationship with them in the objective world he got stuck and wanted to give up his assignment of the universe.Take any incident in your life and recollect how many times you have give up your goal not because of your incompetence but to give respect to the others.I shall narrate one incident in Gore Gopal’s life. When he graduated as an engineer and suddenly decided to take sanyas, there was lot of resistance from his family and friends. But without resisting anyone he didn't give up what he felt and moved towards his goal. Today not only is he happy but with his success everyone who were resisting are also happy and have become his followers.Generally what we do when family and friends have some reservation we give up our goal because at that moment we are not able to balance within ourselves. In the process whole of our life we are carrying certain pain in ourselves.The most difficult thing, the almost impossible thing for the mind, is to remain in the middle, to remain balanced. And to move from one thing to its opposite is the easiest. To move from one polarity to another is the nature of the mind.It is difficult for the mind to come to the right diet, difficult for the mind to stay in the middle. It is just like a clock's pendulum. The pendulum goes to the right, then it moves to the left, then again to the right, and again to the left; the clock's working depends on this movement.If the pendulum stays in the middle, the clock stops. And when the pendulum moves to the right, you think it is only going to the right, but at the same time it is gathering momentum to go to the left. The more it moves to the right, the more energy it gathers to move to the left, and vice versa.Thinking means momentum. The mind starts arranging for the opposite. When you love a person you are gathering momentum to hate him. That's why only friends can become enemies. You cannot suddenly become an enemy unless you have first become a friend.Logic is superficial, life goes deeper, and in life all opposites are joined together, they exist together. Remember this, because then meditation becomes balancing.Buddha taught eight disciplines, and with each discipline he used the word right. He said: Right effort, because it is very easy to move from action to inaction, from waking to sleep, but to remain in the middle is difficult.When you are standing in the middle you are not gathering any momentum. And this is the beauty of it - a man who is not gathering any momentum to move anywhere, can be at ease with himself, can be at home.When Arjuna after saying “Govinda, I shall not fight,” he become silent. This indicates that he is now unable to think, he has agreed to others. It’s not silence or surrender it’s going from one side of the pendulum to other side of pendulum. He became silent because he is creating momentum to go to the other side. Means going from others to himself, without being self alert.In my blog Bhagavad Gita Verse 1.21-22, I wrote - Arjuna when he wanted to look at both the parties and see their preparedness he was self-alert. He was in the middle. He didn’t say to Krishna that I want to see only opposite side. He was in the middle. He wanted to see his party also.Arjuna as soon as he became unconscious towards self he went and got stuck to one side. Now creating the momentum to move to the other side. As he knew that if he wouldn’t fight the war he will be carrying this guilt for the rest of his life.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.12
 Dhwani Shah  
 9 July 2019  

Eternal - In Gita Verse 2.12 Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.I will explain this verse with what Einstein told - “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”Krishna had told during the Mahabharat war, and in our scripture it is mentioned also. We are eternal. Science is now saying the same thing.Only this eternal awareness can be the true home, nothing else, because everything else is a flux. And we go on clinging to the changing; then we create misery, because it changes and we want it not to change. We are asking for the impossible, and because the impossible cannot happen we fall into misery again and again.Life Is Not Short Life Is Eternal:Life is eternal, so there is no question of any hurry. By hurrying you can only miss. In existence do you see any hurry? Seasons come in their time, flowers come in their time, trees are not running to grow fast because life is short. It seems as if the whole existence is aware of the eternity of life.We have been here always, and we will be here always - of course not in the same form, and not in the same body. Life goes on evolving, reaching to higher stages. But there is no end anywhere, and there has been no beginning anywhere either. You exist between a beginningless life and an endless life. You are always in the middle of two eternities on both sides.We are stuck in the objective world and not coming back to our subjectivity, in middle of two eternities, has created idea of one life. The objective world is only mirroring us. Which is not real, but we get stuck in our reflection which will be vanished as soon as we are away from the mirror.Our being stuck in the objective world created a condition of one life. The Christian idea, the Jewish idea, the Mohammedan idea - which are all rooted in the Jewish conception that there is only one life - has given the West a tremendous madness for speed. Everything has to be done in such a hurry that you cannot enjoy doing it, and you cannot do it in its entire perfection. You somehow manage to do it and rush to another thing.The Western man has been living under a very wrong conception: It has created so much tension in people's minds that they can never be at ease anywhere; they are always on the go, and they are always worried that one never knows when the end is coming. Before the end they want to do everything. But the result is just the opposite; they cannot even manage to do a few things gracefully, beautifully, perfectly.Their life is so much overshadowed by death that they cannot live joyously. Everything that brings joy seems to be a wastage of time. They cannot just sit silently for an hour, because their mind is saying to them, "Why are you wasting the hour? You could have done this, you could have done that."It is because of this conception of one life that the idea of meditation never arose in the West. Meditation needs a very relaxed mind, with no hurry, with no worry, with nowhere to go... just enjoying moment to moment, whatever comes.In the East, meditation was bound to be discovered, just because of the idea of life's eternity - you can relax. You can relax without any fear, you can enjoy and play your flute, you can dance and sing your song, you can enjoy the sunrise and the sunset. You can enjoy your whole life. Not only that, you can enjoy even dying, because death too is a great experience, perhaps the greatest experience in life. It is a crescendo.The East is relaxed. First, it does not give death any importance; it is just a change of form. Second, because it is so relaxed, you become aware of your inner riches, which will be going with you - even beyond life. Death cannot take them away.Death can take everything that is outside you and, if you have not grown your inner being, naturally there will be fear that you cannot save anything from death; it will take everything that you have. But if you have grown your inner being, if you have found peace, blissfulness, silence, joy, which are not dependent on anything outside, if you have found your garden of being and seen the flowers of your own consciousness, the question of fearing death does not arise at all.Even if now we understand through science or with the scriptures it is coming to the same point i.e. ETERNITY. The Western mind people, means who can doubt can take science as base and the Eastern mind people means who can trust can take the Indian Scriptures as base.What Krishna says in this verse will become your experience and reality. You will immediately in that relaxation will be connected with your subjectivity.Krishna’s whole effort is not to advice Arjuna but to re-connect Arjuna with his subjectivity, which is Eternal.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.14
 Dhwani Shah  
 11 July 2019  

Non-Doer - In Gita Verse 2.14 O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.In this verse Krishna says that just allow everything to pass, definitely when winter is there we feel cold and in summer we feel hot but don’t get disturbed by it, allow it to pass through you everything, without any resistance. In winter we need to wear woolen and in summer we need to wear cotton, then wear it, but if you resist the winter by not wearing woolens you create trouble for yourself. In the summer if you continue to wear woolen then also you will create trouble for yourself. As season changes in total acceptance if you change your clothes you will not create any trouble or disturbance.On the contrary you will be able to focus on your present moments act and assignment.Recollect incidence in your life if you are thirsty and don’t drink water then how emotionally you get disturbed and in this disturbance you will not be able to focus on what you need to do or act in that moment.Misery arises because we don't allow change to happen. We cling, we want things to be static. If you love a woman you want her tomorrow too, the same way as she is yours today. That´s how misery arises. Nobody can be certain about the next moment – what to say about tomorrow?Religion says: That which is, allow it to happen. All that you can do is: Please don’t disturb, just allow it to happen. Remain alert and passive and then there is no need to come to me – I will come to you. Many times I have already reached you – whenever you were silent. So this is not a theory; many of you even know it from experience, but you interpret this also.Don’t interpret. When you feel the presence, allow it to happen. If you allow it to happen, it will materialize more and more. It is possible and your questions will be answered. Be more meditative and then you are nearer to universe. Once you are totally meditative you are universe. Then there is no difference.One more thing is : the more you meditate, the less there will be to be asked. Questions will drop, because questions belong to a non-meditative state of mind. They arise in a non-meditative state more and more. One question is answered, ten more arise out of the answer. Mind is a great question-creating force. It goes on creating questions. You give the answer and the mind jumps on it, tears it down, and creates ten more questions. When you are meditative, less and less questions will be there.This will look paradoxical to you, but it is true.When there are questions there will be no answers; when there is no question the answer is there. The answer comes only when you are not questioning. Non-questioning will happen to you through meditation.Don’t think that there are as many answers as there are questions. No, there is only one answer. Questions are millions, the answer is one. Diseases are millions, medicine is one. Only one – and all is solved. But that one cannot happen to you because you don’t allow it to happen. You are so afraid of allowing anything to happen.This has to be learned. This is the only discipline – losing your fear, dropping your fear, and allowing things to happen. The river is flowing; don’t push it! There is no need, it is flowing by itself. You just wait on the bank and let it flow. If you are courageous enough, then drop yourself in the river and flow with it. Don’t swim, because swimming means fighting – just float.When religion says allow it to happen and become passive simply means that be natural. If you are thirsty drink water, if you are hungry eat, if you are sleepy sleep, don’t hinder , allow. This is passive act, non-doer.Krishna tells Arjuna don’t resist your assignment of universe, Fight Without Enmity. Be Non-Doer.