Dinesh and Bawa

Dinesh and Bawa


Monday, June 30, 2008

Comments working again :)


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How Important is it to Meditate?

How important is meditation, spirituality?

There is an ancient story from the Shiva Puranas: Shiva marries Shakti the daughter of Daksha Prajapati. For some reasons Daksha starts to dislike Shiva, and when he arranges a big difficult, elaborate Yagya and celebration, doesn't invite Shiva and Shakti to particiapte. Shakti sees many devas and devis decked up and smiling, going for the yagya and asks them about their destination and when told about it, is completely surprized she and Shiva were not invited...

After arguing with Shiva about going to the party, she has her way and bejeweled and smiling leaves for her fathers abode... Her father is not happy to see her at all, and insults her and her husband Shiva in front of the entire assembly. Shakti is outraged and immolates herself screaming that she will be born again to wed Shiva, but this time from a father who she can be proud of...

When Shiva hears that his beloved wife is no more, He comes to the scene along with all his ganas and wreaks havoc... the way only Shiva can! It ends with chopping off and spectacular destruction of the head of Daksha Prajapati and a premature ending of the Yagya...

All the gathered assembly then bows down in abject fear and prays to Lord Shiva for mercy and compassion and somehow to make the Yagya complete. Shiva (in his characteristic way) chops off the head of a goat and attaches that to the body of Daksha Prajapati and brings him back to life so that the Yagya can be completed. The Yagya is completed... All praise the glory of Lord Shiva...

That's a nice story, but it contains a beautiful secret: Daksha Prajapati is the one who is most skillful, the most adept... and that's required to rule and be the King. Now when there is skill, Shakti (power) will actually even manifest, but will not stay long without the deep, blissful, meditative Shiva tatwa (essence of Shiva)...

Shiva then comes along and chops off the head of Daksha, symbolizing the annihilation of ego and replaces it with a goat's head. And here the symbolizing is really superb: Shiva is conveying that the most elaborate, difficult Yagya... which requires so much skill and such adeptness can be done even by a goat!... When the presence of Shiva is manifest!!

Guruji added similarly having all the skill in life, all the success, whatever you wish will still make you feel hollow, incomplete unless you also have with all that spirituality and meditation.

He had once said: " You loose the right to eat if you have not done your meditation for that day!!" (Agar Dhyan nahi kiya, to tumhe khana khane ka koi hak nahi hai!)

Without the essence of Shiva, Life is like a huge elaborate wedding without the bride and the groom... You got everything, the flowers, the music, the dancers, the fragrances, the poojaris, the witnesses, the food, the laughter, the tears, the noise, the confusion, the gifts, the jewelry... everything needed for the perfect wedding... but with the bride and groom missing, there would be no point...

Laugh, Sing, Dance, Meditate... (Remember to do Seva as well!:))

Jai Gurudeva!

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Friday, June 27, 2008


Usually there are about 8-10 comments waiting for us every morning...
If dinesh has written then about 20 :)

today there were 59!!!

Thanks for writing in... we loved all of them!!!

Next post here on Monday morning... Only thing to tell all of you today is that the first time ever, Guruji did the Friday Morning Pooja in public in the Yagyashala, with over 3000 people attending it...

Of course it was fantastic!!

Jai Gurudeva!

PS Adv course on July 16th... reporting 15th... do come :)
PPS Dinesh is writing something and even i am not allowed to read it yet :) i think its about the Adv course...  

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Comments... and some News

Hi everyone...
Just to let all of you know that we absolutely LOVE reading all your comments!
If you enjoy what we are writing (and we know you do!), PLEASE leave comments... Just as you guys wait for our posts in the morning, we can't wait to read all the things you have written about what we have written :)

Keep them coming...

The YES!+ TTC is going full swing... Guruji spent some time with everyone yesterday night, and we were all thrilled! Also He spent a lot of time with all the YES!+ teachers, almost 2 hours, and all we did was FUN!

He also told us a few things about what to do for the rest of this year, and next year, but i am not going to tell you about that... get that news from your YES!+ teachers when they return back from the Ashram...

July 16th is another YES!+ Adv course (YES!++) at the lovely Bangalore Ashram... In the last course we had to say no to 150+ people, coz there was not enough room :(...
and we really hated doing that... PLEASE do register for it ASAP if you are going to come (and you should!)...

See you soon!

Jai Gurudeva!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Douglas Adams

While studying for the 12th standard exams at a friends house, i came across a book with a very strange name: So Long, and thanks for all the fish...
of course i had to read it... I think i laughed almost without a break, from the first sentence to the last! Douglas Adams (who wrote it) had become my new hero! :)

He died some years ago... and so, there won't be any books from him anymore, and the planet is a sadder place without him... but if anyone would like to read something uproariously funny, set in a crazy sci-fi universe not too different that our own, well actually it is a bit different, earth gets destroyed in the first few pages... then they should not look any further than the absolutely fantastic Hitch hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a trilogy in 5 parts!

It starts thus:

In the beginning the universe was created, this was widely regarded as a very bad move!

Here are some more gems:

As he rounded the corner, the first thing that hit his eyes was a coffin. The next four hundred and ninety nine things that hit his eyes were also coffins!

"you are dumb"
"no, i am not!"
"yes you are!"
"am not"
"well, i will prove to you that you are dumb... think of a number"
"ok, i did..."
"So, tell me..."
"wrong! see i told you, you were dumb!"

The above is a conversation between a depressed robot and a mattress (don't ask!)

The qui'xbsgzxs from the star qely'ghtus have fifty arms and so are the only race in the entire galaxy who managed to invent the aeresol deodarant before the wheel!

This ship is powered by the improbability drive. You choose a destination and feed it into the ship's computer, since it is extremely improbable that the ship can go there, it will!

There is a page which lists the thoughts of a whale which has suddenly materialized a few kilometers above the earth's surface as it comes crashing down onto the planet which i think was perhaps one of the funniest pages i have had the pleasure to read! :)

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a book compiled for the intrepid galactic adventurer. Description of Earth in the guide: Mostly Harmless


There is a lot more, but i will leave that for you to discover. He also wrote the Dirk gently and his holistic detective agency series of books which deal with Dirk Gently the detective and of course his Holistic Detective Agency

Starship Titanic was perhaps the only book that i didn't throughly enjoy...

He also wrote a superb book called last Chance to See. It's a very funny book, dealing with the very serious problem of environment degradation and the extinction of species of flora and fauna on our beautiful planet...

The Last Salmon of Doubt is an incomplete book. He died before he could finish it. For the sake of completeness of your collection, get it :) It has a few superb moments!

Finally, when you read these books you will get to know the answer to the Ultimate question about Life, the Universe and Everything!!  

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Crystal Clear

If you put any light near a crystal, it takes on the colour of the light, but as soon as you remove the light, the crystal becomes absolutely clear immediately!

Your mind should be like a crystal... When doing anything, do it a 100%, get totally involved in it, but as soon as you are done, your mind should bounce back into its state of purity, not having any impressions at all from the stuff that you did. This is achievable only thru Meditation.

So Spirituality is not running away from things, it is getting utterly involved, yet staying totally detached (like a swan in water, it's always in water, yet have you ever seen a wet swan?) and maintaining an unshakable serenity all through life. As you grow older, meditation will keep the sharpness of your mind... You can not do much about your body, that will age... but meditation and spirituality will keep your mind fresh... People who don't meditate as they grow older, usually grow cynical and bitter. And they tend to keep repeating things... meditation prevents this, and keeps your mind Crystal Clear!  

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Knowledge for a Monday Morning

Guruji traditionally talks in Kannada (the local language of Bangalore, Karnataka) on Sunday evenings. He really wants to preserve the culture and traditions of Karnataka, so He says at least on Sunday evenings when there are a lot of people from Bangalore city in the Satsang, He would speak Kannada...

So, it's Kannada on Sunday evenings, much to the dismay of all non Kannada speaking people present, who usually can't understand a word of what He says... which feels even worse when the entire (kannada speaking) audience roars with laughter... There is always a good natured hullabaloo from all non Kannadigas every Sunday evening imploring Guruji to speak in a language they understand :)

Yesterday evening was no exception, the Vishalakshi Mantap was packed to capacity, people almost sitting and standing on each other, and when Guruji took the mike to speak, requests to talk in their particular language were shouted out to Guruji, who just played with the mike and smiled... there was the whishawhisha of whispered conversation going on... when Guruji suddenly said:


Still some people continued with some small whispers... and others in the audience started making the Shhhhhhhhh... sound to hush them up... in a few seconds there was silence.

Guruji then said, see in all languages and cultures around the world, when someone says Shhhhhhhh... people go quiet. Shhhhhhhhhhhh... (He drew it out long) means be silent, be quiet...

A hush, a palpable silence in the air.

And when you really like something you say "waah...!" , wow!... The universal way of appreciating something is waah! In all cultures, languages and traditions around the world, when you like something you say "Waah!"

And so, when you are silent hushed, and you love it, then you have found that quiet corner in yourself... you have experienced Shhhhhhhh...waah!!! The essence of Shiva, who is quiet, meditative and blissful!

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... waaahhh!

Om Namah Shivaya!

Jai Gurudeva!!

ps reread the above post and make the Shhhh... sound and the waah! sound aloud every time you see them. You will love the effect!

pps Monday mornings are special in the Ashram, a tradition followed in Ashrams in India for thousands of years is observed, where the enchanting Rudra Pooja is chanted... Click here for my first experience of the Rudra Pooja...  

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Saturday, June 21, 2008


Q: Guruji, i can't smile, coz i have not achieved anything worthwhile in life. Please help...

A: You have come here, that is enough :) Don't wait to achieve something to smile... Smile first, then maybe you will achieve something...

Be like a small baby. What has a baby achieved? It is so completely dependent, yet it smiles doesn't it?!  

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Idol Worship

There was a request to Guruji to talk on Idol Worship... As usual i don't remember verbatim what He said, it was all in Hindi, here it is freely translated:

This is not an explanation for a gyani (One who dabbles in Knowledge), it's for a premi (a lover)

We require some name and form to anchor our mind to. When we do Pooja to an idol, the starting mantras mean something like, Oh my God, who is within me, come on out here into this idol, so i can play with you! and then we do the Pooja, mimicking God: He has provided us with food, so we offer some rice (as if it's ours to offer, What belongs to God, we simply give to God), and we offer flowers, etc...

Then just as He is doing our aarti with the sun and the moon, we light a small lamp and do His aarti... Pooja means that which is born out of fullness of the heart (Poo ja = jo Poornata se Janam leta hai woh) it's done with deep gratitude and a sense of mischief... and when we have finished, the mantras say, ok, now that i have finished playing with you, come back within me...

Its very difficult for our minds to even begin to comprehend the immensity and vastness that is the (formless) God... so we create a name and a form, and can get some relationship, some anchor and then we worship that...

When the Guru Granth Saheb is printed in the printing press, it is just printed paper... But when it is installed in the home or the Gurudwara, then it becomes Sacred and Holy... It is the consecration of the book that makes it the Guru, and that is through our feelings for it... It's just a book, until we ourselves through our feelings make it the Guru, and venerate it.

(I have to add my own thing here: Pooja when done the right way, gives incomparable deep meditative bliss, to experience just come to the Bangalore Ashram any monday morning at 7:00 am... AND you do get really, really nice food to eat afterward as well! :))

In the days of yore, there were no mobiles or internet, and it was very difficult for a lover to communicate with his beloved... So, whatever had to be said was simply said to a photo... Now, that photo was not the beloved, was it? just a representation of the beloved...

Similarly, we do Pooja to the Idol... as a representation of God!  

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rest and Activity

Q: I heard a beautiful knowledge sheet of Gurudev on Activity & Rest being read during the long kriya at Ananda Mai Bhavan yesterday.

I can't recollect verbatim... But one sentence said, "... Wise are the ones who finds Rest in Activity & Activity in Rest. While it appeals to my silly small mind/intellect about Rest in Activity (doing it with sense of purpose-not with hurry, feverishness, being in the present moment, giving your 100% etc.,), what is not clear to me is about "Activity in Rest"?

How is it possible to have Activity in Rest while the purpose of Rest is to do nothing & relax?

Please help me with your thoughts.

A: Purpose of rest is to rest...

Not to do nothing!

For example I find playing the piano (which is doing something) really restful and relaxing!

Got it?

Jai Gurudeva!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I absolutely love this dal, it goes well with some other cooked veggie on the side and maybe some fried cutlets. But is practically perfect by itself! It tastes even better the next day when all the spices and masalas have got an even better chance to seep into the dals.

You will need:

5 generous handfuls of black masoor dal
1 handful of Tuvar (usual yellow) dal
7 medium to big tomatoes chopped
1 big or 2 medium potatoes washed well and chopped chunkily, don't remove the peels
2-3 cloves of garlic, mashed or finely chopped
10-12 curry leaves
2-3 teaspoons of Garam Masala and Dhania Jeera Powder (this needs to be adjusted to your taste and the potency of the masalas you are using)
1/4th teaspoon of Haldi powder (haldi can overpower all other masalas, so be careful with this)
a small bunch of spinach finely chopped
a small bunch of coriander finely chopped
salt to taste
ghee for cooking
freshly squeezed lemon juice while serving

Wash and soak the dals for at least an hour, overnight is best
Put them in a cooker, add 2 chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of ghee, salt and haldi. Water should be added to cover the entire mixture to the height of about 2 inches above the mixture. Also add in the chopped potatoes. Pressure cook until tender which is usually 3 whistles + simmer for 10ish minutes after that.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat up 3 generous tablespoons of ghee, add garlic and brown it, add curry leaves and let them crackle and pop. Now add all the masalas and cook well, stirring now and then over a medium flame. Add the spinach and the rest of the tomatoes and completely cook.

Wait until the pressure cooker has cooled down enough to open, then add the mixture in the saucepan to the cooker, and return to flame... cook on high flame for about 5-10 minutes stirring now and then to see to it that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the cooker.
Then simmer on low flame for 5-7 minutes, the longer the better.

Garnish with the coriander and serve hot with rotis or bread. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the dal just before eating it...

You can stir in a dollop of fresh cream, or add more ghee if you wish to make it richer. You can also cook the whole thing in very little oil if you are counting calories. I would just do some extra Suryanamaskars and/or go for a longer walk :)  

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Firefox Download Day

Firefox is the browser i use...

Today is the release of Firefox 3... go download it, if you have not done so already (it's free)... the good folks who made it are going for a world record for maximum downloads in a day!

You could be a small part of making History with Firefox!

Firefox is an open source project, means thousands of people work to make it happen, and they all do it for free... and they have managed to come up with a product which is absolutely stunning quality!

We should support them in their bid for the world record... and in the bargain get a fantastic browser too!

Download it from here

Jai Gurudeva!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Satsangs in June

Satsangs have been out in the open, in the Amphitheatre with the glorious backdrop of the Vishalaskhi Mantap, and that too in the month of June, while the monsoon is just starting to set in!

Amazingly and so very coincidentally(?!), it some how never rains between 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm :)

One of the students complained that his mind runs when he sits for studies. Guruji said that as long as the mind runs in any one subject, its ok. But if it runs in all the subjects then you need to do something very quickly.

Make your studies interesting. He also gave some cute tips on how to make stories to remember various things and have fun doing it.

(edit: I remember in 10th Std, we had to remember the various compositions of metals, the one that sticks still is: Cozy Bra meaning Brass is a combination of Copper and Zinc :))

Another one hated his teachers… so Guruji said thats very good, quickly pass and go to the next class:), if you like your teachers, then you will want to keep staying in the same class :) :)

To the question on many thoughts in the mind. He said that when someone's mind is preoccupied with lot many things, there is no life in the eyes and we miss out on what the divine is bestowing on us. Have you seen the eyes of small children or pets?! They are so full of life.

Thak gaya hai dimag soch soch ke (thinking and thinking all the time, our mind is drained out and fatigued). When thoughts take over us, then feelings go to the background. But when we come more and more into feeling, then the thoughts minimize.

He also talked about the laws of body and mind. Body requires effort and mind is effortlessness. 3 things to live life by. Akinchan – I am nothing. Achah – without desire. Apraytna – without effort.

Feeling that I am nothing, nobody. But Guruji smiled and added a timely caution not to say the same in an interview or when a ticket checker in a train asks you for a ticket, "I am nobody, I am nothing, why do I need to buy a ticket!".

He said 'Vyavahar me vedant nahi hona chahiye' (in societal interactions or worldly matter, you should not wrongly use philosophy of oneness). He gave another example of 2 people were traveling in a bus after a Vedanta discourse. One of them felt someone's hand going into his trouser pocket. It turned out to be the other person's hand and when caught he said, "all along you have heard knowledge talks, 'we are all one', what's the big deal, your pocket, my pocket, your money, my money". His wise friend replied, "In that case, I think I need to turn myself over to the police:)!

What if someone responds to your love with deceit ('chall')? 'Lat ke liye lat, phat ke liye phat'. Guruji said that you need to respond with yukti (skill) in love. But if you continue to love unconditionally, in course of time that person will also start feeling the pinch …

There were about 40 top researchers from the country who have been studying the great knowledge base of this land and how advanced in various fields India was in ancient times. Guruji talked at length about how this whole wealth of wisdom was systematically destroyed under the British rule by Macaulay. The researchers, each a academic giant in his/her own field, were here under Guruji's guidance to do a combined effort together so that they can leverage each other's work and get this knowledge across to India and the rest of the world.

Guruji is nowadays continuing further to what he has already commented on the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. I won't write anything from that here, wait for the tapes to come out and listen to them yourselves!!

The knowledge is flowing deep and delicious ('rasmaya')!

PS: as usual since i have edited this post, it says its from me, actually dinesh wrote it...


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Monday, June 16, 2008

... and then...

...We railwayed back to the ashram and what an eventful last few days we had here!

The whole of India is talking about the agitation of the Gujjar community against the Rajasthan Government. Since being proactive happens to be Guruji’s mantra, he visited Bayana where the first round of talks were going to happen between the two parties and mediated between them.

When he reached the place, there were the top brass of BJP and the Rajasthan Government welcoming him and about 50,000 Gujjars on the railway tracks. His presence itself diffused the tension so palpably. This was commented by one of the reporters, not by a devotee. His talk alleviated the animosity and brought much needed solace. Also, they have been protesting from quite a few days and that place was pretty dirty with food in leaves strewn around along with a stink. I was told that as Guruji walked in, there was a strong gush of wind and all the leaves were blown away along with the stench where Guruji was supposed to stand and talk. It’s amazing how nature also loves and supports someone who walks in love and talks in love. The mediation was pretty successful and the talks moved on to the next level on a very positive note.

Then the newspaper headlines in Karnataka state were kidnapped by the farmers agitation- farmers fighting for fertilizers. Guruji held a press conference and called various experts from around India, many working through our Sri Sri Institute of Agriculture and inspired farmers to adopt non-chemical methods of farming. Guruji said how it was so ironical that farmers are fighting for fertilizers... this was like fighting for poison!!

Using natural methods will give much more yield within a years time onwards as was amply demonstrated by the experts country-wide. Guruji then send a agriculturists team to North Karnataka which was the epicenter of the agitation to continue the transformation happening elsewhere through our youth leaders.

Then the Chattisgarh Chief Minister came to ashram especially to meet Guruji and was thoroughly impressed by the work of our volunteers in his state which is infested with Naxalite violence (sponsored by Communists).

Time and again we have seen that, peace and a deep experience of love seems to take hold over whoever follows him in thoughts, words or action.

Satsangs were packed with sparkling knowledge and the amphitheatre filled with rainy wafted scents and cool caressing breeze. More than 2000 people floating in the bliss of the advance course.

For snippets of Knowledge from the Satsangs, come back here tomorrow!! :)

PS: This post is by Dinesh, i just edited it, so it says i wrote it :)  

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Chennai Story

If you search for synonyms for 'hot' in the word doc, you really should come across ‘chennai’ somewhere in the list, i would place it right under magma and just above scorching. Before long you may hear a conversation like… How’s that girl? WoW! She’s so Chennai!!!

The rest of the universe feels really pleasant once you have lived 5 days in Chennai. Bawa believes, that people should be paid to live in that city. Alas! we happen to be volunteers… But then, we got paid in love and lots of yummy dosas.

A close to a 1000 young people with dreams in their eyes and excitement in their hearts (all pumped in by our team of hot volunteers) turned up for the Utsav. We had fabulous sessions… Sincere questions pulled out Bawa-answers which sizzled the atmosphere with laughter and deep insights. Before we started the Utsav, I requested Bawa if he can manage some rains when we were in Chennai. Bawa replied negatively saying its Utsav out in the open. So I persisted, “Cant we have 5 min at least on the last day”. He dismissively uttered, “ok ok”. I totally forgot about our conversation until it rained for exactly 5 min on the last day and everybody danced wild at yoga-time on the grounds.

People have reported that organizing an Utsav empowers you with people skills or soft skills more than a 2 year MBA degree. Also the stories people share are worth compiling into a best selling book (at least jot down your own tales if you have been part of the Utsav team).

One guy Anil who is a kick boxer had an innovative way of enrolling people. 3 of those he had enrolled confessed on Utsav that they lost to him in grueling duet. His motto seemed to be ‘bash them up and bring them in’. Once Anil while driving on his two wheeler was hit hard by a bus from behind, propelling him down over the railings of the bridge he was going on. Others driving behind were scared to look down at the definite death. But as they looked down they saw Anil waving at them from the truck full of hay which was (coincidentally!) moving under the bridge. Wow! Shooting a scene like that would require at least 10 retakes in a movie. But when the divine is directing, perfection becomes the order of the day.

We played football early mornings. Day one saw the rest-of-the-universe losing 3-2 against the Chennai supercheats (I mean supercats) on the beach. In hindi there is a phrase ‘Naach ne jaane, aangan tedha’ (if you can’t dance, blame the crooked ground). And we did that. We said that the beach sand was uneven, so the next day we went to the university grounds. And we beat the hot ones 2-0. (I was ashamed to reveal the score, ‘cos we had decided on doing 20-love (agreed that’s a lot of love, but Guruji encourages us to dream big).

Had it not been for Amanda who we loaned to play on their side, we would have definitely achieved all that love. The last 2 days, everyone revolted against me and slept in…

We had a Rudra Pooja Monday morning, a lovely Mathemagic session with Bawa and then a delightful romp with Indie (Indiana Jones) at the movies… When I read Bawa’s review on it, I wanted to go and see the movie again. He writes with such passion, precision and perfection. He is so pCool! (adds to the alliteration and complements the pHot).

We railwayed back to the ashram and what an eventful last few days we had here!

To know what happened, come back to this space tomorrow...

PS: This post is by Dinesh, i just edited it, so it says that i wrote it...  

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Car Problems

Found in a magazine (walter answers questions every week from distressed people):

Dear Walter,

I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't gone more than a mile down the road when my engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt.

I walked back home to get my husband's help. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in the bedroom with a neighbor lady . I am 32, my husband is 34 and we have been married for twelve years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that he'd been having an affair for the past six months. I told him to stop or I would leave him.

He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. I don't feel I can get through to him anymore.

Can you please help?


Mrs... Lisa

Dear Lisa,

A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the jubilee clips holding the vacuum pipes onto the inlet manifold. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber.

I hope this helps.


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Friday, June 13, 2008

QnA - 11

Q: I have done Basic Course, Advance Course & DSN. However, I am too lazy to practice Kriya. I have got myself into a rotten state. I have a very good job, family, house. You name it and have all the worldly pleasures. However, I have one problem. I have become addicted to drinking. Just before I reach my home, I go to the bar and have a 4 pegs of whiskey every evening. Every morning I get up, I decide that I will not drink today, but end up drinking again.

Please help me.

A: You need to do the basic course, advance course and DSN again. And this time round, actually implement the Knowledge points into your life. The only cure for laziness is to stop being lazy, and how to do that? Well, Start to do some stuff on your to do list Now. Stop reading and do your Kriya now and then come back...
There is hope for you, coz at least you have accepted that you are in a “rotten” state... Only you can do anything about it... Please for your sake, get up and do it!

Q: I am staying away from home for almost a year now (I work away from home), Somehow i donno really how? I have developed a crave for sexual desires. I feel like sleeping with every beautiful women that passes by. This has now increased even more (After i had 2 one night stands with some Russian women, i dont even remember their names). Now, consequenses of these are i am attending more beach parties, pick up a drink in hand (to pretend that you are cool) and etc.., I go for long kriya and meditation sessions, I decide that I will not do all these things... now, this feeling lasts only for one day.... the beast in me unleashes himself the next day...!!!!

I really donno what to do..!! please help..!!

A: Remember AIDS? Your one night stand may become a last night stand... And to take a drink in your hand to pretend you are cool is just being cowardly... If you have to goto a party, why not stand your ground and say you DONT drink! Anyone who doesn't find that cool, is not worth hanging out with in the first place...
Physical activity (gyming, jogging, swimming, etc), Creative work, dancing to satvic music and cold water baths will help you overcome your craving for sex...

Q: I have become a full time vegetarian about 2 weeks back after I came to know that I was causing to the rape of my earth.
but my problem is that after becoming veg I don't seem to even be able to eat outside food even though the food is usually a bit more spicy, I am facing this problem not only in small restaurants but also in the five star restaurants(where the food is mostly bland). Can you help me out? Why is this happening? I am a great foodie, I will always remain a veggie from now on but I somewhat can't stop eating out.
by the way where are the 101 reasons to go veg on your blog disappeared?!!

A: Most restaurants and good hotels have separate kitchens even for people who are veg... Where do you stay? :) And if you are really a foodie, why not start cooking? :) I have put so many recipes on the blog to get you started :) and the reasons to go veg are very much there on the blog in the archives... Use the search or simply click here

Q: I am in a dilemma...There are times when i want to instinctively do things but my analytical mind jumps in and starts analyzing. So, there is more thinking than actually implementing. Being more specific...like wanting to dance when u feel like and not doing it because of what people may think...being even more specfic :- I have been placed in a firm and have a months time after exams before I start work, I want to ask for an extension because I want to go on a Himalayan trek for 15 days and want to do seva in the ashram for 15 days and spend time with my grandparents....but my analytical mind is holding me back!!!! can I trust my instincts ?If I could I would have sent this mail two days early!!!

A: Yup trust your instincts... And please dance and sing and laugh and cry... when you want to... Life is too short to bother about what other people may think...

Q:Why it is that almost all the Gods in the Hindu Religion have two or more wives and the goddesses have been given less importance. Sita was abandoned just because a dhobi had an objection, why was the same question not raised to check Ram's purity.

Women are not allowed into some temples just because they are considered impure for a period of 4 days every month when they get there periods (E.g Sabrimala temple restricts entry to women within the age group of 10 to 60.)

Other practices like the Sati (though reduced), women wearing white saree after the husband's death and women not allowed to sit cross legged in front of men are some of the things which disturb me.

All these things sometimes makes me feel that the scriptures where written with bias or are wrongly interpreted.

Bau how am I supposed to take these things, Ignoring does not work for me in these cases.

A: There are many reasons why some things are the way they are... For example, during periods a woman’s energy is very low... And in a place of worship, the energy is (supposed to be) extremely high... So when someone with very low energy goes there, it can be quite upsetting... So as a precaution, women are advised not to goto temples,etc when they have their periods...

I personally have always felt that in the entire Ramayana, that dhobhi was the main villian and I really have absolutely no idea why Ram had to forsake Sita because of what that dhobhi said... “Don’t be a football of other’s opinions” should have crossed Ram’s mind then...

Sati was started during the time of the small Kings... They were forever fighting battles and women of the losing King (who was usually dead) were raped, mutilated and then killed. To save themselves this dreadful inevitable fate awaiting them, women chose to kill themselves when their husbands (Kings) have died... To continue such a practice today is a crime! And any one who actually does it or supports it has not understood history and spirituality!

I don’t know about the white saree... All I do know is Guruji always tells widows to wear colour...

Finally the sitting cross legged in front of men, everyone sits cross legged for meditation... So that should not be a problem :)

You are absolutely right when you say that a lot of times scriptures are wrongly interpreted by the so called religious leaders and many times by politicians too... that is why a Satguru is of such paramount importance... and we are all so blessed and lucky to have Guruji!

There are a lot of traditions that have firm scientific basis, and are really good to follow, and quite a few that are outdated and simply not applicable... Wisdom is to know which is which...

Q: Yesterday as I was reading the news paper i came across a article that had tears in my eyes. It was the devastating earth quake that hit china, what I saw was dead people being transported in scooters to the morgue? also the hooch which killed lots of people...
What I am not able to understand his why i had tears
I don't even know who the people were...or I do Know Him?
It always happens if certain events are portrayed that way in my life
Please Answer bawa

You are connected with everyone... And everyone is connected with you. Its natural to feel what you did. In fact I would say, its unnatural NOT to feel it.

Pray for them, do whatever you can to help and then move ahead...

Q: I am 26Yr old IT professional. I have never lived to myself so far in life. Through out my life I have always thought so much even on the useless tiniest things and haven't converted them to actions. So I have started living in my thoughts only.. good or bad. I have never felt comfortable in that situation and

I could feel some part of my mind working detached from myself which is painful every moment. I don't remember if I have lived my life freely even as a child anytime.

Due to this I have developed some incurable skin diseases(According to allopathic doctors) which causes problems public ally and ultimately putting more stress.

My mental state is very negative , doubt every thing in my life.

I luckily got to AOL basic course 9 months back and felt great. Following the kriya almost regularly. Recently done my YES+ course with Ramnik bhaya. It feels great some times but I reach back the same state. Still my self says to keep on doing kriya and be with GuruJi even I have lots of doubts in everything.

Not sure what I am expecting from you in this message but there is a hope that things would be fine. Hope I am on the right track?

I am coming to you for Yes++ advance starting Jun 18.

A: You are on the right track... Keep moving!
Remember the intellect always doubts the positive...

Sadhana, Seva and Satsang is the best formula to get out of sticky situations in life... and not get into them in the first place as well! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Door Bell

Q: Gurudev, can it happen that the door bell rings and when I open the door, I see You standing in front of me?

A: Yes of course it can. You see me in everyone and it will happen!!

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Blog Future

Here is what i envision for the blog:

First a really cool header, all you people who know photoshop can help me out with that one... it should have Sounds Interesting... and a brief description and some nice colours (i abhor black) and graphics

The way i am thinking graphically is to change the header and backgrounds during the day and night so day is brighter and more colourful, night is little darker and sleeker... Also to have some sort of change for seasons and some festivals (holi, Navratri, Ganesh festival, New Year... to name a few)... so anyone who can do these designs please do send them in, i would love to be able to incorporate some or all into the blog... will definitely give credit to whoever's design was finally chosen...

I would like links on the top of the page for Home, Knowledge, Stories, Recipes, Reviews, Jokes etc... we could have more or less categories there

Also there will be intense debate installed on the blog so we could comment easily to posts... later, would be nice to have a few controversial topics being openly discussed :)

Many people have started their own blogs and i would like to create a link list as well of people who regularly blog and whose blogs are interesting to read... please leave the links to your blogs as comments to this post... We could even start a top 10 or 100 of the blogs created by all of us :)

Also will install a rating system, so everyone could vote on how much they liked a particular post... and will see if that's possible for commenting as well...

Please comment on this post and tell me your ideas of what we could have here... do remember, that this is an intimate niche on the www for people who love us and whom we love, to share stuff with each other and keep in touch with each other...

As usual if you want to write to me personally, khurshed@gmail.com
and if you want to bug dinesh: dinesh.ghodke@gmail.com

Jai Gurudeva!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Indie is Back!!!

Indie is back!

Only now he is called Dr. Henry Jones the second... Harrison Ford has aged but he is the better for it, like a finely aged wine he sparkles on the screen, setting it alight with his presence! The Hat and the Whip are still very much there... The hat gets rescued many times from very sticky situations :)

It’s 1957 and there are no Germans, this time around, there are however, the Russians along with the mass hysteria against communism that was at it’s peak in the US at that time. The Russians of course are far more evil that the Germans coz they want to play with the minds... exploring the paranormal for their benefit... but they are equally, if not more ruthless and die in much more interesting ways than the Germans ever did :)

It’s so much fun to watch an action movie with the quiet assurance that nothing is going to happen to the main characters as they swashbuckle through absolutely stunning motorcycle chases, jeep chases, truck chases... fight with poison dart wielding primitive tribes in the amazon, escape from killer ants(!), survive a nuclear explosion(!!) all in absolutely spectacular locales and fall over 3 (!!!) waterfalls among other things :) :)

Dealing with ancient Mayan lore deep in the amazon and dabbling with alien invasions, this movie is an absolutely delightful romp and a complete must see in a theater... Indie, his old girl friend, and a young man who loves bikes and is NOT afraid of snakes make up the winsome trio fighting an entire army of reds and winning and walking away into to a very satisfying sunset (figuratively)...

The sound track is orchestral, loud and rousing - John Williams at his very best and an audiophiles delight... and perfectly complements all the locales and sequences in the movie...

This is one movie i am going to definitely watch at least 2 more times... and maybe, just maybe there will be a few sequels as well... Steven Spielberg and George Lucas should really stick to this kind of movie making... They do a superb public service!!

Do yourself a favour and go watch it with some people you love!

Oh yes, i forgot to mention, there is this crystal skull in it as well :)  

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Spicy Dry Soya Chunks

Please read the entire recipe before starting...

1 Packet of Soya Chunks, boiled and squeezed dry

A handful (or more depending on how much you like them)of frozen peas, just soaked in water for a few minutes

In a large saucepan, heat up 3-4 tablespoons of ghee (be generous, the chunks will absorb everything). Once the ghee is hot, add mustard seeds (rai) and fresh curry leaves (8-10) and see them crackle and pop. Then add a tablespoon of garam masala, dhania jeera powder, a pinch of hing, a dash of turmeric powder and salt to taste. Cook the masalas throughly taking care that they don't burn. You could also add some butter here.

Now add the soya chunks and stir them in properly, so that the masala completely coats them, cook for a few minutes. Reduce heat and cook for some more time, the masalas have to completely seep into the chunks.

Finally add the green peas and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. the peas should remain bright green.

Garnish with finely chopped coriander (and coarsely chopped tomatoes), squeeze some lemon juice on it and serve hot with rotis.

You can do many variations on this: Add some ginger and/or garlic (first) to the masalas for a completely different taste, saute some carrot slivers and add along with (or instead of) the peas for a nice orange look. Adding mushrooms would taste divine here. Just before serving, add some dahi and cook for a bit, add a lot of tomatoes (or tomato puree) for a nice gravy (add the green peas after the gravy is cooked so they remain nice and green)... let your imagination guide you :)  

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Monday, June 9, 2008


I successfully installed my first system update for the year 2008 – the art of living advance course.
Cant tell you how much I was looking forward to the silence and the Hollow-and-Empties and Guruji’s talks and the satsangs...
I realized that just as Part one has 475 tag – 4 sources of energy, 7 levels of existence and 5 knowledge points. Part II has its own 475 – 4 pillars of knowledge, 7 chakras and 5Ss of Sadhana, Seva, Silence, Satsang and Smile…
For solidified Silence, I realized that a must-have during advance courses is a cap (a cool hat in case of Bawa) and a worn out pair of slippers (I didn’t have to go all out to find one, ‘cos JD lent me his).
The cap, when you tilt it down a little, blocks people’s faces out and helps keep the silence in. 'Cos I realized that if you see a person’s face, with it comes the judgments, a host of cravings and aversions and out goes the silence for a toss…. Besides thankfully there is not much judgments I can make about people’s footwear… (of course a cap wont be much help for any girl; who can usually tell a person’s history, geography, biology and psychology from what a person wraps around his sole).
Talking of footwear, the more terrible its condition, the less your mind gets attached to it – out there scorching in the sun or waiting to be a victim of someone else’s belongingness. Moreover, the lesser attachments you carry around during the course (handbag, mobile, mats and cushions (in America they call it a nest)), the easier to send the mind (like the email) across in space.
It was a great feeling to notice my mind slipping into silence so easily this time. I became aware that the knowledge also hits one so much deeper in silence. Silently watching the mind was truly entertainment unlimited. The myriad of sensations - heat and cold, pain and relief, heavy and light, all changing with time and place. A few days ago Guruji mentioned how the mind and heart are considered as flowers and the soul as the sutra (thread). In a garland, the thread is invisible and keeps the flowers together. Actually mind and heart in knowledge and awareness is like a flower and the same in ignorance is a thorn. With awareness, the false falls away and the true stands up. It was fun to be aware of experiencing anger turn to compassion (seeing some of the participants talking away to glory as if they were on a picnic), observing fear turn to surrender (of falling down the Vishalakshi step during dancing), watching minor irritation and hatred turn to reinforced commitment for more initiative (seeing the litter of plastic while cleaning around Sumeru) and above all watching the beauty of the trees and the flowers and the birds and the skies, in fact feeling the beauty of the whole of nature seeping into every cell of the body, becoming joy and love and awareness and bliss… all of which propelled me into wonder as so how this little body of 5 feet something pack such infinite bliss!
Going with the ancient tradition, I would not shave during the course, in fact not even look at myself in the mirror. Though this time I did sneak a few peeks at myself and smiled. Silence meant no one exists other than you and the Guru and so I was pretty conscious moment to moment to feel absolutely happy and high so that the Guru would enjoy my company.
Seva-wise, few days I chose my second favorite seva - garbage collection (the first being gardening) because of which we had earned the title earlier, Cool Clean Men. The day I shirked full-on seva, sadhana would play hard-to-get with me, leaving me sleepy and drowsy.
Given the colorful distractions (people-wise) in our Satsangs, I challenged myself one day to only look at Guruji and nowhere else while singing. The effect was phenomenal and blissful. And the same day Guruji talked about ‘Ek tattvabhayasa’, studying only one thing 100% for Yoga (Union) to take place.
Food wise, we were very well taken care of by Gauri and Shilpa. Sleep-wise I have never experienced such huge amount of dreams in my entire life. When I would wake up after a few hours, I would be intrigued and would wonder whether I slept for a few years, to see the quantity of dreams I saw; in some I dreamed about sleeping and in some I even dreamed about dreaming. God only knows which sanskaras (impressions) were being released. The meditations mercifully compensated for the lost rest.
All in all, what does one gain from an advance course… Its not what you get, but its what you lose and let go… which is pretty monumental and fundamental! You only come out looking forward to taking on the world and how soon can you come back for a second helping of the advance course. Truly it’s a supreme delight and a sublime pleasure!

PS This PS from Bawa: Dinesh managed to schedule his post for the 6th of september instead of the 9th of June... happens :)  

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Technological Advances


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Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Flower and the String

Accuracy warning: Freely translated from hindi to english, from whatever i can remember :)

The West Bengal Adv course people have come to the Ashram, and the Orissa Adv course people have not yet left :)... A few frayed tempers, lots of walking up and down, no bed, no place to keep luggage, etc later everyone got together for Satsang... Just looking at Guruji yesterday night was enough to soothe away all the issues and everyone sang and danced with Grace and utter devotion. It was quite magical and the energy in VM was peaking, and i could feel waves of bliss rolling over myself and everyone there...

And i thought, Guruji wont speak much tonight... but i was wrong!

What are you? A flower or the string? The string binds the flowers together makes them into a garland, but without the flowers, what good is the string, and without the string, its not possible to have a garland... a flower is there just for some time, a string stays for ever...

While we pondered, what we were... He continued saying you are both! When you see yourself as an individual jiva full of Knowledge, you are the flower, a fully blossomed consiousness... and when you see yourself as the universal consciousness, you are the string! and then He mischievously added, and if there is no Knowledge in the jiva, you become a thorn :)

In an earlier Satsang, He had talked about Hanuman... When Hanuman was asked What is it like to be Hanuman, He had replied, When i am this body, then i am just Ram's servant (das), and when i look with the Knowledge, then i see myself as part of Ram, and when i see myself as the Soul, then i see there is no difference between Me and Ram and everything and everyone else!

So in the body, do Seva, with Knowledge see yourself as part of the Guru, and when you meditate, then know yourself to be no different from the universal consciousness!

Staying at the Ashram, being in Satsang everyday, so many things get resolved, so much Knowledge and love... Like dinesh likes to say, its not about what you learned, it more about what you unlearn and drop...

Guruji concluded the Satsang saying on the Ashram there is only one Rule:
You can come here with all the troubles and worries that you may have, but you are not allowed to take any back!!!  

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Programmer and Management

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”

“You must be a programmer,” said the balloonist.

“I am,” replied the woman, “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”

The woman below responded, “You must be in Management.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”  

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Guruji's tips on food

Here is an almost direct transcript of what Guruji said in a recent visit to coimbatore...

Guruji : How many of you have body pains early in the morning, raise
your hand ?

(There was about 25% of the crowd raising their hands)

Guruji : You know why? We eat the crops that are cultivated by using chemical fertilizers. This causes a lot of diseases in our body. Do you understand? We don't detoxify the body. To get good yield we use artificial chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Because of these fertilizers, soil turns toxic and the produce from the soil in turn becomes toxic and our body gets toxic substances as we eat them which cause disease and pain.

How many have hip, joint, back pains and different kinds of headaches. I don't want you to tell me the number of head aches that you have at home!!! If we have to get rid of all these pains and diseases, we have to go back to our traditional method of farming. We have to do natural farming, Zero budget farming low-cost, more yield, better health. So we have to take this as a revolution to the farmers. (edit: Buy and eat organic produce!!)

You know the white sugar is termed as white poison in western countries. As it stops the nutrients from being absorbed by the body. The children who consume a lot of sugar are mostly lean because of lack of nutrition. If you stop giving them sugar, they will start getting healthier. We eat a lot of sugar and reduce our body growth as well. So
instead of white sugar you should start consuming cane sugar (edit: jaggery is great if cane sugar is not available) which is in turn good for the body. It helps the liver as it has minerals.

The only difference that you may notice is that gulab jamuns would look much darker and jalebis would be of a different color!!! It does not matter.

Similarly we need to learn breathing practices to keep our body healthy and
earn meditation to get peace of mind and these things are very much
essential for life. We should have knowledge and awareness on meditation,
breathing practices and food.

After 30 -32 years everyone should take 3 Triphala tablets at night. (edit: I take 1 almost everyday, if not feeling too good in stomach, take 2-3) It
sets right all the three doshas, vata, pitha and kapha in the body. . It eliminates toxins from the body. Even if there is a problem with the food, Triphala clears the stomach and helps in good elimination the next morning. It also maximizes anti- oxidization in the body. All of you should take "Triphala" and you can see the effect in your body within 5 to 7 days.

Devavati is a good cure for amebiosis and other diseases caused by change in food and water. It is harmless and everyone must carry Devavati with them wherever they go. It replaces antibiotics like Flagyl and others. Two to three "Deva Vati" can cure almost every minor and many major ailments.

In India , what ever we prepare we add turmeric in it. You know why? Because of its anti-oxidant properties and it has medicinal value. In 1980, we called upon scientists for a conference in Delhi . When asked about the use of turmeric, they said it is just a color pigment without any value. Today the foreigners say turmeric is an antioxidant and it can give immunization against Cancer and we still do not understand its real value.

In Tamil Nadu we add turmeric in the pickles, especially the lemon pickles. Turmeric means Goddess Devi. She is incarnation of lemon, turmeric, and neem. All the three plants are considered sacred in our country and they all give good energy to our body.

If we grow lemon and tulsi in each and every house we can have good health in our country.

You know in our country there is a shortfall in the production of pulses. We are importing nearly 40% of the pulses and if this continues we will not have sufficient food In the future. So we have to plant pulses in our home gardens and our women can do it.

My Grandmother was in Papanasam even at the age of 92 years she used to do
things for herself and she had a good system of eating. Like, eating Agathi Keerai , on every "Dwadesi" day ( The day after Ekadesi Fasting (edit: Fast on at least a few Ekadashis every year, Ekadashi is the 11th day of the waxing moon)) and she used to take two kinds of vegetables . She had laid rules for herself and hence had a lot of energy. In the next generation the energy level came down and now in our generation it is getting lower.

One more interesting thing you should know is our Idly is considered to be one of the most nutritious food in the World. Because it contains carbohydrates, proteins,
enzymes, fats, amino acids and fiber. Idly is said to be a complete food... that's nice to know dont you think so?

Every one should consume ghee (edit: in moderation). Ghee helps the body to absorb nutrients.

If I start talking on food I can go on for hours together...

and He stopped :)

Jai Gurudev


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Rajeev Bharadwaj, a friend of mine introduced me to science fiction. It was an arena of books that i had never read before, and very soon i was devouring Sci-fi at an alarming rate :)

Isaac Asmiov's Foundation series is perhaps the best introduction to this genre... The series was writtnenover a span of 40 years by the author! The enigmatic Hari Seldon and the branch of mathematics called psychohistory is the basis of the entire series of books and all that can be asked in great fiction is there... an absolutely believable setting of a galactic empire on the verge of collapse, one man actually fighting to hurry the collapse which he predicts will take 30,000 years into just a 1000 years, and all the mystery and suspense about how the Seldon plan (based on the foundation of psychohistory, which i will leave you to read about) will work.

Asimov has also written the Robot series and is actually credited with coining the word Robot. And the 3 laws of Robotics. Again a series of brilliant books about how robots become more and more human, until there is little to differentiate between man and machine...

He was a prolific writer and write on many, many diverse subjects... from the bible to the big bang theory and lamost everything in between! I especially enjoyed his short stories :)

The other author who i think about in hushed terms is Arthur C. Clarke... his novels are lyrical, with surreal beauty and superb plots. There were two of his books, Childhood's End and the Fountains of Paradise which i absolutely loved... His Rama series which deal with an encounter with a mysterious alien space ship is also nice, though i didn't find the endings of the series satisfying... He does have a habit of killing off his characters at the most inopportune times. His other very famous books are the 2001: Space odyssey series which almost, almost managed to mimic what happened with earth's fledgling space program... you should read the books and then read up on the things that actually happened... i thnk only the monolith on the far side of the moon was not there :)... ofcourse you have no idea what i am talking about... read the books and you will know! :)

Dune is also a fantastic series set on a desert planet. So vividly written, it made me sweat and feel hot just reading it.

The Star Wars original trilogy is perhaps the BEST Sci-fi movies ever made... if you have not watched them, PLEASE do yourself a favour and buy them on DVD and watch them on as big a screen as possible with the volume turned on HIGH!

Before they went onto the gory german nazi movies, steven spielberg and George lucas gave us some really really nice feel good, happy ending sci-fi movies: ET, Star Wars, batteries not included, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones... According to me, all worth owning on high quality DVD and watching once every 2-3 years :), maybe sometime i will write a review for all of them :),

Just for the record, i really didn't like the story of darth vader which was told in episodes I, II and III, which were actually made years after episodes IV, V and VI... its kind of complicated :)

As much as i loved Sci-fi, i love fantasy even more... but that's for another post, some other day...  

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hanging Curds

For some reason, i had never done this, thinking it to be some exotic, difficult thing to do :)

Here are photos:

You put a hanky (a muslin cloth is recommended, a hanky works just fine) on a vessel, and plonk the curds into it

Then tie up the ends of the hanky and hang it...

Goto Bed (meaning let it hang for at least 12 hours)

The next morning, when you take it down and open it here is what you will see...

The same thing put in a nice bowl:

Its now ready to make Tzatziki or
use as a spread on toasted bread or you could also add some rosemary to it with some olive oil or you could do a fresh basil and garlic tadka in opilve oil to it or... the list is endless! Enjoy! :)  

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The fax

This happened in Rishikesh, almost 14 years ago.

Late one night, Guruji called me and gave me a slip of paper with a number on it. He told me that i should fax (emails were non existent then!) to this number a message saying that Guruji cannot make it to the function. This was one of the first things Guruji had ever told me to do.

I immediately went to the telephone booth to do it, and found that it was closed, and that they could do it only in the morning. So, i went to bed. The next morning, the slip of paper and the precious number on it had disappeared.


I searched and searched, retraced my steps from the phone booth, but no paper. In Rishikesh that time, from my room, you could clearly see Guruji's room. I started to look out furtively and avoid Him... and succeeded for the entire day. I hoped He would forget about it. You have NO idea the kind of mental turmoil i was having.

Then it was Satsang time. I sat at the very end of the hall, hiding behind some fat women.

Bhajans started, He glided in. For once i did all i could to hide and not get noticed...

He did His customary hmmmmm... looked straight in my direction and said, bawa have you done the fax yet? In a full satsang hall!!! I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me... everyone turned around and looked for me... i stammered, i lost the slip of paper Guruji... there was a collective gasp from the audience... He said, lost it? Oh I dont have the number, and we have to send the fax by tomorrow. How did you loose it?! Find it and do the fax by tomorrow!

All this is happening in front of 500+ people!

omygodomygodomygodomygod.... thats all i thought of during Satsang.

After Satsang, i ran to my room and started to methodically search for that $%^## slip of paper. It had simply vanished from the earth. I searched everywhere. Even on top of the fan blades. Then i searched again, and somewhere fell asleep... woke up early morning with a start and searched yet again, and again... i was exhausted... deep gloom... darkness all around in the middle of the afternoon...

Then i just sat down and prayed. I told Guruji (in my head), that i had really really done all i possibly could to find that paper, but i had failed. I really needed His help and His forgiveness...

and no, what happened is not what you think would happen... i didn't miraculously find the paper.

But Guruji called me to His room. He asked me again, did you do the fax? I said with a very heavy heart that i couldn't find the paper. He just smiled and hugged me and said
don't worry, that person just called up now, and I talked to him and told him I cant come... Do you want a sweet?

What relief!! What joy!!! The sun was shining again, the birds were singing and the roses were blooming...

An important lesson learned: Running away from Guruji is never a solution, He can be quite brutal! :). Help will be given and forgiveness is assured, but ONLY when you surrender... and that happens only when you give your 100%... and failing or succeeding is not the point... just giving your 100% and praying.

Jai Gurudeva!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Help and an Announcement

Ok people... the time has come :)

This blog will be undergoing some MAJOR cosmetic changes and is going to look pretty awful for some time, coz its me who is doing the changes and i am learning HTML as i make them :)

if any of you want to volunteer and help out, it will be much appreciated... the others, once i have finished making the changes, will heartily congratulate me for them ok?! :)

After this much needed upgrade to how it looks, i promise i wont tinker with the look and feel for an appreciable length of time! :)

If anyone knows HTML(which like i said before i am learning), flash or java (which i am NOT going to learn) and want to help me PLEASE contact at khurshed@gmail.com  

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Don't be Nervous

You could hear this from outside a closed door in a hospital:

"...Its ok... don't worry, its really a minor operation, NOTHING can possibly go wrong... you will be in and out in a few minutes, don't be nervous, why are you worried..."

A man, clearly the patient comes rushing out, slams the door and locks it and starts to run away... When asked why he was running away when there was no need to worry, he looked furtively about and said:

What you heard... that was the nurse talking to the doctor!!!!!!  

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday Mornings

I love Monday mornings at the Ashram especially. I have always loved monday mornings at the Ashram, but somewhere down the line the reason changed... Let me explain:

In the earlier years, a lot of us would be sharing a room, sometimes 12-16 of us would be on an Adv course to share a dorm, and there would be only 2 toilets and bathrooms. To make it in time for the early morning Yoga, which though i didn't like much, i always saw to it that i attended, i would have to get up really early and join the battle for the bathroom :)... a little later, once i had become good friends with Umesh, he would invite me to stay in his room along with 2-3 other people and we would be 4 people in a small ashram room, and again only one bathroom (+ loo) combined between all of us, so now, it was no longer a battle, just a minor skirmish every morning... :)

Except that is, for Mondays... On Mondays in the mornings, there is Rudra Pooja. I never went for Poojas. I thought that it was one of those things that Guruji had to do... you know, that stuff you have to do if you are enlightened :)... I didn't really care at all for any sort of rituals, and more importantly there was no Yoga on Monday mornings and i didn't go for Pooja and everyone else including Umesh did... When i woke up at a leisurely (for the ashram) 7 am, i would have the bathroom all to myself with no one banging the door to hurry up... and i would have a long shower, shampoo my hair 2 times and really savour being King of the Loo :)
... yup, Monday mornings at the ashram were sheer bliss :)

Now one fateful Monday morning, after i had shaved and showered, put on clean ironed clothes, i decided to take a walk to where the Pooja was happening and see if i could catch Guruji as He walked back to His Kutir... and i did... and He looks me up and says ohhhh... good morning!! how was the pooja today morning? i very proudly told Him that i never went for Pooja, it was the only day i got the bathroom to myself :)... He laughed and said, you must attend Pooja, you will love it... and walked away... my heart sank like a stone!! Pooja on Monday mornings??!! oh no!!

A week just flew by and it was Sunday night... Umesh reminded me that i had to come for Pooja the next morning (i think he was just jealous that i had so much time in the loo :)), and with a sinking feeling, i went to sleep... woke up the next morning way earlier than was the norm for Mondays, halfheartedly joined the fray at the bathroom and then went for Pooja...

A shining, smiling Guruji entered the meditation hall, the chanting started, I was sitting fairly near the stage and could smell the fragrances of the incenses and flowers, and as i closed my eyes, i went into a rapturous state i had never experienced before... it was like 10 Sudarshan Kriyas and 5 Adv courses all rolled into one... It was fantastic! I loved it!! After a completely blissful hour or 2 hours i dont know how long... everyone started singing Shiva Bhajans, and i surfaced from some unknown depth and joined in... If Guruji was shining earlier, He was resplendent now and on His face there was something indescribable, a joy, a splendour... all too soon the singing was over, and some final chanting was done and Guruji stood up and with a very very mischievous smile walked directly to me and asked me... so how was your first Pooja? I had almost no words... i blabbered something incoherent, He squeezed my hand and whispered in my ear, I told you, you will love it!... and glided away...

After that magical monday morning, i made it a point that whenever i visited Ashram, even if it was just 5 days or so, a monday would be included in the trip... And now that i live on the Ashram, i really look forward to Monday mornings (and fridays too, thats the day of the Devi Pooja but thats another story...)

Pooja means "jo Poornata se Janam leta hai woh" (That which is born out of fullness of the heart)... When you sit and thank the Divine for all the Blessings that have been bestowed on you... What a fantastic way to start the week! Like i said, i LOVE Monday mornings!!! :)  

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