Total Pageviews

Monday, December 26, 2011

MEDITATION


I learnt Transcendental Meditation(TM) through the institute of Guruji Mahesh Yogi. Then I learnt Simplified Kundalini Yoga (SKY) taught by Guruji Vedathri Maharishi. All these I did 25 years ago. I have read the topics on meditation written by Swami Vivekananda, Swami Jugi Vasudev and also browsed through some chapters by Pathanchali Maharishi, Osho and also J. Krishnamoorthy.



You may ask me why I am not satisfied with the first technique TM. Transcendental Meditation bring inner peace by focusing the mind initially on a mantra then reaching a state of no thoughts. This they say will be blissful happiness. I was not convinced because to escape from the real world and to stay away did not convince me.


In SKY the mind is focused on the tip of the spinal cord called the Mooladhara Chakra and the energy dormant there is raised to the fore head. One could feel a mild pressure between the eye brows and observing this will calm down ones mind. A calm mind is capable of concentration. However, it is only the beginning. The ultimate is to be able to reach the state of awareness.


Even without following these routes one may practice observing the mind. The mind can be made to calm down by chanting OM as slowly as possible. Then once you touch your inner self, you know how to be aware of the emotions all the time. One need not control emotions but should be only aware of them. Acting then becomes the choice. This state is more comfortable.


This means that one does not need any technique to meditate. If you can focus your mind and become aware of the self and the emotions, life is so simple and enjoyable. Happiness can only be in action and not in running away from life and its multitude.


From time to time we can find some popular teachers who device a technique. He or she devices it to look unique. They promise special experiences. When you calmly observe your mind, after it becomes free of the thoughts concerning you, there will be some other thoughts and you will see places and people whom you would not have seen before. This experience is addicting. The techniques devised by the teacher of meditation can take one to this kind of experience.


The question is why one needs these kind of experiences. These experiences are endless and people like it. So there are many teachers teaching such techniques.


As far as I am concerned, if one can be aware of their self all the time and live in the present completely, the experience of life will be most full filling.


Yoga as defined in Indian philosophy consists of eight stages 1.Ethics with respect to others,2.Ethics with respect to one self and proper food 3.Adequate exercises to keep all parts of the body fit 4.Knowledge about breathing techniques and effect of breathing on mind 5. Capacity to focus the mind 6. Capacity to hold the mind on the focal point(Focused performance included) 7. Introspection of the mind 8. To be in touch with ones self without thoughts to recoup mental energy.


You may see that stages 5,6,7 and 8 constitutes meditation. On stages1,2 and 3 the culture, habits , social values , environment and the company one keeps have pronounced influence. To rejoice living, one should follow all the eight stages and not stage 7 or 8 alone.


The process is natural and simple. If any technique is resorted to, it might lead to hallucination as result of the procedure followed.


Let us understand the simplicity of meditation and make optimum use of it  to enrich the process of living.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Finding the right person to lead your team.



All organisations big and small are confronted with the task of finding a suitable person as a team leader. The requirement could be in any level. Each organisation might be having a set of criteria for selecting a suitable person. The following criteria appears to be most vital since experience says that the collapse of a team is because of serious mistakes in any one of these considerations.




The qualities that are required.

The person should have good understanding of the four aspects viz. importance of social values, the importance of money ,the importance of enjoyment and the value of human life. A person who does not understand social values may irritate his subordinates by not recognising their social obligations. Money is a scarce resource and using it effectively by itself will set a good culture. An understanding of the need for optimum pleasure, indulgence and enjoyment is a must. An understanding of the value of human life is very important so that at any level the safety precautions required is not neglected. The empathy in case somebody is ill or wounded will boost moral in the team.

The family back ground is also very important especially for higher administrative positions. The psychological values set during childhood determines how much one is careful in making decisions. This cannot be compensated by any training.

The person might have had the best education. But the knowledge what is required for the particular job may not be adequate. So he must have the attitude to learn what he has missed and master the knowledge required for the job.

With respect to attitude there will be positive mental attitude and negative mental attitude. Both should be considered critically and the choice is to be made. Negative attitude like dominating attitude is some times required for some positions which requires a commanding posture.So depending on the job requirement suitablity of attitude is to be decided.

In spite of exercising meticulous care in selecting a person, some times the person might behave differently. If such behaviour is noticed during the probationary period, the candidate may have to be rejected because all these selection criteria supersede the actual behaviour. A probation period and critical observation of the behaviour during this period is mandatory.

Under what criteria a candidate may have to be rejected.


Candidates who are very poor and also do not have any friends and relatives should not be chosen for leadership positions.

Some candidates might be poor but because of their good attitude, they will have many friends and helping relatives. They would have achieved many things because of the support from the friends and relatives. Since they have support of people and a good track record for inter personnel relationship they should not be rejected.

Some might be rich but will have very few friends and relatives. In spite of their rich back ground because of their poor interpersonal skills they stand to be rejected.

If for some reason, a selection is made on recommendation or favouritism, or because of liking for that individual, in spite of poor knowledge and skills required for the position, lot of perpetual complications can arise that will turn stupid and unmanageable.

We can see the downfall of many family businesses and even some empires due to this single reason of succession of an incompetent person.

If due to urgency or some other reason if a team lead is selected without knowing his back ground, qualification and all other aforesaid criteria, the entire organisation including the next generations will suffer. This is the typical phenomenon in politics in many countries.

This situation arises in many business also if suddenly some thing happens to the top leader and he or she is not able to come to work.

If a selection results in choosing an incompetent person, he can be accommodated in some other suitable area rather than allowing to continue in the position initially placed.

The incompetency should not be concluded based on some doubts. Doubting a person who has been selected after due consideration will give endless troubles similar to selecting a person without above critical considerations. Incompetency should be concluded based on the approaches and the results that have followed.

The team leader should be selected with due consideration of the above aspects and should be left to himself with adequate independence to prove his ability.
**************************

Friday, March 25, 2011

VALUE ADDED RELATIONSHIP

I enjoyed this conversation between my mom and my nephew at his home. The boy is about 4 years old. My mom told him that she was leaving with me to my home.

The little guy readily accepted with only one condition that my dad (his grandpa) should not leave with her.

My mom asked, why that he allowed her to go, when he is not allowing his grandpa?

The little guy gave an astonishing reply that grandpa takes him to school every day and fixes his toys and bicycle. His mother takes care of him and his dad brings money, dress and things he needs. Grandma neither gives him anything, does not do any work for him but only causes him hindrance for watching his favorite TV channels.

He seemed to explain what value added relationship means. From childhood we learn to expect many things from others and respect only those who can provide us with what we expect.

I like to test the effect of smile many times,may be as a hobby. When ever I go to a shop I take care to look directly in to the eyes of the sales man or shop keeper and smile. Mostly I am welcomed with a smile and the person reciprocates a better commitment to get me what ever I want. Next stage in the shopping game is to give a business or convey, due to what reason I am not buying anything. Perhaps no seller likes to listen to the reason that the product is costly. It is better I say that I am looking for a cheaper product and leave a wish that one day I will buy the product that was offered. The relationship has starts with a smile but the value addition has to be in the form of business.

As a member of service clubs we help the needy and look forward to a gesture of gratitude at least. Frankly, there doesn't seems to be some thing called unconditional but people love to talk about unconditional love, gift and so on.

Sometimes people believe that it is their right to get what they want from some one close. Many children demand unreasonably from their parents because they get what ever they want when they demand and they simply become habituated to this. Parents also believe that it is their duty to give their children what ever they want. This sets in a very bad habit in children. There always is a duty that accompanies every right. Receiving is never unconditional. Later on when parents demand unreasonably from their children, children get irritated.

When the easiest way to start relationship is to extend smiles, favours and gifts, the easiest way to lose relationship is to frown, command, demand and expect more and more.

However the commercial world around us will always teach us to have high expectations, make big demands. They might spread the idea that the best way to express love is to gift gold, platinum and diamond jewels.

The commercial unethical smartness is to target children and women who can be easily taught to expect more, compare and made to feel inferior always. The perpetual demands from wife and children can definitely spoil the family relationship because the man involved is put under psychological pressure and rejection that he would try to come out through some way or other.

The man becomes alcoholic or workaholic to escape the uncomfortable feelings at home.

Both of these escape routes are advantageous to business and government. The taxes and duties are extremely high on alcoholic beverages. There need not be expensive ads for alcohol. The sales target for alcohol is always met easily just ensuring steady surplus availability. So this culture in amply fueled to spread fast like a forest fire and it is spreading fast. Alcohol has entered in to many family functions and one can see faces with hangover in every function. Alcoholic relationship is definitely stinky.

You can watch cricket or mega serials and some times even comedy tracks and add value to the ads on television. You can get convinced that in modern days relationship is very fragile and get in to the forum to discuss about some sort of unconditional relationship. Electronics can connect people and disconnect people and TV does the latter.

I have experimented and found it very wise to pack off the television whenever there is a family function. When the broad band internet connectivity advances and is offered at the rate of cable or dish television, the television will have a natural death and relationship, business, education and politics will improve greatly.

Let us be smart enough to understand that the present form government and present structure of consumer business will always work against our relationship.

True relationship is there in adding the values of companionship, fellowship and friendship by talking to each other, offering suggestions and helping at times of need and not in demanding all these things. Let us allot quality time to family, relatives and friends. In our words and deeds let us encourage, appreciate and help to rectify faults and mistakes instead of being sarcastic, and fault finding.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

HUMAN AND THE GOD


Only human kind bother about the God or any other living being also think about its creator?


We have no means to find this out.


What should have given the thought of God to human?


Is it fear that is responsible for human to create their own Gods?


We don't have the answer to these questions but we have come to a stage to talk about God, to talk about worshiping, and to talk about realising the God. Religion thrives on creating a fear about God. People are conditioned to submit to the authority of religion.

To have been born in India has given me an opportunity to know more about various religions. Beyond the religion, the sages have searched out side and within themselves to find what and where God is. The true realisation of God as many spiritualists concluded is the realisation of every thing as manifestations of God.

Lord Sri Krishna in Baghavat Geetha says that earth, water, fire(energy),Atmosphere,space, mind, knowledge and the soul are the eight of His manifestations. God is thus explained to be the Almighty. Human beings are provided with a rational mind that can understand many mechanisms and is capable of creating things. The analytical ability of the rational mind has given rise to the search of God.

Religion has some how inculcated in us the habit of perpetual demanding. They have commecialised a phenomenon where one can demand and will be rewarded. Religion insists that one should be afraid of God. Religion wants the individuals to obey its rules and to serve their God. Religion defines what God likes and what God dislikes. They have so many success stories interpreted favourable to the commercialisation. So the highest monetary income is made by the religious places that you can find in all religion.

In spite of all these tricks some could realise the God in the eight manifestations.

Why at all some one like me, interested in training people in soft skills, talk about God. Because in the name of God people are habituated to perceive their emotions as evil things. If the emotions are only a part of mind, then it is only Gods manifestations. So emotions can not be evil. Skill to manage our emotions is a very vital aspect of soft skills training.

The emotions that we could perceive are fear, anger,lust, depression and desire. We have basic physical and psychological needs that get transformed in to emotions. So all these emotions can be perceived as tools to satisfy the basic needs.

Why should we accept if some one says that the tool is evil? Will you accept that a knife is an evil thing when it is so useful in kitchen, office and in some manufacturing process. We have to learn to use the tools properly.

Say, you want to catch the train and you have just adequate time to proceed to the railway station. The anxiety which is another form of fear makes you alert and focus all your attention towards the single act of proceeding faster. Is this not a necessity?

The lust in you makes you walk that extra mile to give the best to your sweet heart.Does that not sound good?

The anger gives you sufficient power to fight and protect your selves. Without anger, will you not loose your life as a vegetable?

The depression avoids the conflict between action and no action and puts you to rest for some times. Is the rest not needed to compose oneself from a personal loss?

Since emotions drain much of our energy and there is the effect of inertia, we should learn how to control them, shift them and come out of them when we have to act.

So, in short, non of the emotion is evil. Our act might be evil when we act in a selfish way but never the emotions.

Let us not condemn emotions and feel guilty of having emotions. The guilt can be rationalised and we can come out of this mood. We can live all emotions and augment the pleasure and reduce the pain. The ability to love and form relationship will help in this direction. The synergy we get out of our relationship will give us the skill to handle emotions favourably.

Let us realise the God within us in all the eight manifestations and in all others around us. Realising God so is very simple. Let us get out of the slavery of religion and just use religion only as a club activity to meet people and get connected to start a relationship.

Remember that in a relationship we have to give is first and then take the synergy later. If we demand any thing from a relationship we will soon loose that relationship. This is true for any close relationship. The relationship referred here is the true relationship in the mind.



Sunday, February 13, 2011

WHAT WE DID NOT FIND IN OUR ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS.


There always is a hue and cry that our education system requires complete change. But every one who raises this issue is just unhappy with few aspects of a great process. They might have developed dissatisfaction with respect to technical knowledge or the language skills or the mathematical acumen or some times the knowledge about current events, geography and history as being taught in the educational institutions.These things may be useful for making money.

When I chose to write on what we missed to learn, I am not concerned about any of these subjects. These things are required to satisfy the society's needs. One should satisfy himself first to satisfy the society. Since satisfaction itself is a myth and highly temporary, the very nature of satisfaction should be understood to make peace with our own self.

At least in the world around me, the schools and colleges do not teach any thing on understanding the self. Some portions of great verses like Thirukkural are taught like forcing a gulp of castor oil to small children.(In earlier days little children will be fed with few drops of castor oil to avoid constipation.) So what is forced as castor oil is not retained in the mind. Some of the values and concepts which need to be lived upon are to be learnt with passion and thorough understanding so that they might be applied and practiced to become the way of life.

In the recent past, the news that 100+ pilgrims were killed during their pilgrimage in stampede because of heavy crowd, another news that a middle aged man I know committed suicide and a middle aged doctor died of heart attack disturbed me. The fellow who committed suicide is a graduate. The doctor's death could even be considered natural but the suicide and stampede cases I feel is the result of the failure to learn the most essential aspect of self knowledge. In the suicide case, alcohol was the resort he chose to keep himself calm. Apparently it gave him some peace at the cost of addiction and loss of intelligence to be of any value to others. When people become burden to others they will be looked down upon and may be hated by their close relatives and many friends. The psychological rejection experienced leads to suicidal attempts.

The sad part is that all the years of education in institutions have not given any insight into life and death. Death, the end of ones life is mostly unpleasant for the individuals around the person who dies. In fact most of us are afraid of death. That is because death comes suddenly to many. For some who are suffering from chronic ailments death could be a welcome relief. But for most, death carries great amount of sorrow. All of us have expectations, goals and duties to be accomplished in the future. When the death strikes, everything comes to an end.

The experience of an individual, the expertise, the attachments, the feeling of security produced by the individual, the good deeds others use to receive, the materialistic comforts, the status, the recognition, the power over others, the encouragement provided by the individual, the inspiration, the leadership, the entertainment, the joy, the pleasure, the companionship every thing is lost at once when death comes.

When we live we should make the best out of life. The culture does not provide adequate knowledge about life. One may even get confused if we watch the trend of the culture. Mostly the culture is dictated by mighty and rich. It is like an induced epidemic.

Religion instead of teaching values in life mostly is concerned about rituals and getting more and more followers. Almost all religions teach people to place perpetual demands to god and strike some kind of deal with the God created by them. Least time is devoted to offer inputs to people to understand self and spirituality.

Households are under the grip of two or three electronic boxes viz, the mobile phone, the computer and the television. When the computer can provide great amount of knowledge, people may very easily get lost in the amount of information and what is required is hard to be located unless helped by ones own attitude or some guide. Television is absolutely dangerous and equals alcohol in many aspects like addiction, loss of intelligence and learning wrong behaviour and habits. When the damage done by alcohol is visible television does the damage invisibly.

Since education is handled by schools and colleges, parents are left with minimum opportunity to teach their children. Children are overburdened and are forced to spend time at home for academic activities. Parents do not spend quality time with children. Learning of life skills is grossly neglected though it is the most essential part of education.

There has to be conscious efforts to learn life skills . The first step is to become aware of what is missing and start devoting time with family members and discuss about various experiences. One should also learn to restrict the three boxes.

With better understanding of self, your perspective of your world changes. You can be smart, enlightened, radiant and loveable.

Once you have learnt about yourself, you can be free from the evil influences of the media, religion, culture and trends.

You will get perfectly interfaced to the social systems that you have accepted and you can see great results.

(In United Smart Soft Skills we make sincere attempts to offer initial guidance required to fall into the groove of realising self. Once you are in the groove, then learning is a pleasure. )


















Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dangerous dreams.

When I wrote greatly about the power of dreams I ended up the previous blog post suggesting to dream to lead, to give and to help. Then the dreams will not be selfish but will be for the common cause. Comforts in life can be acquired by giving and need not be through cheating, swindling or through atrocious activities.


Political power, bureaucratic power,money power and even positional advantage can make people arrogant and when they act from that plane, the common man or people below do not have any means to object the behaviour. This is what we are witnessing all over the world. In places where the government is formed by better leaders and when people are prepared to fight collectively for their rights, the standard of living, the roads and other infrastructure and also the government administration is very good and the nation becomes a super power.

Dream of a common man to live in better environment can quickly see him out of the troubled surroundings. This means if our younger generation understands the power of dreams and when they loose faith in their surroundings to achieve their dreams, they migrate out. This migration is worse for the home land.

In many families also, because of selfish dreams of the narrow minded members, others might get exploited. However when the exploited ones start dreaming to escape out of the situation, their dreams come true. Escaping out of a difficult situation is not the end but only a beginning. But the exploited take this for the end and peacefully start resting after they are out of the difficulties.

Dream is like Midas touch. So we may have to be careful and exercise caution to mix love and consideration. Any achievement should be the residue of the good things after sharing the major portion with the society.

In most of the commercial ventures, the net profit will be between 5% to 30% of the turnover. Even if there is greater profit, the government takes a comfortable portion by way of income tax. So the surplus that is left in the venture is only the residue.

When the commercial venture is inconsiderate and when people become greedy, the profit can go very high and except the owners, the other stake holders of the venture viz. employees, suppliers, customers, service providers and who ever is directly or indirectly involved will suffer a lot.

Man kind has had many set backs and there has been loss of millions and millions of lives due to selfish dreams of people like Hitler, Alexander and even Ashoka. All called themselves great warriors but they were only greedy dictators and ruthless warriors. In his later age Ashoka started following Buddhism and did lot of good things to the people. Fortunately, disease killed Alexander and his own ego made Hitler kill himself at fairly early ages. The self centered dreams are not only dangerous but all the achievements go waste.

It requires a greater will power to dream out of difficult situation. The strong dream is epidemic in nature and will take root in others also. When people start believing in your dreams they join together and provide synergy which can help to achieve much greater results than even what you could dream.


Some people set very greedy goals, start exploiting the masses and disturb the peace. Even now it has not come to an end. Earlier it was killing but now it is commercial exploitation. The media spreads filth and is getting established. This is absolutely to the advantage of the rulers. In developed countries most people are aware of this and not addicted to media. But in under developed countries because of a strong culture that discourages dreams, media exploits the masses.

Religious leaders are greedy to have followers and teach people to be stress free. Dream will definitely give stress so that one will act. The stress is to be understood and it gets relieved when the performance starts. Dreams that are going to revolutionize the way we live should not be suppressed. If there is no stress we will be like plants. As animals, our creator has made us to have stress, passion and emotion.

Let us understand dreams and channelize our efforts in the direction of development.


Let us quickly opt out of massive exploitations.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dreams,Goals and Targets.

Dream is a term talked very much these days. The word has found a place in the corporate world and whether people understand it or not, using this has become a fashion. The recent popularity of this term may be due to the fact that our Past President Dr. APJ.Abdul Kalam used this to motivate young people.


It is very true that once you have a strong dream, every thing around you will align to make you realise your dream. I can quote many instances in my own life to support this. The trouble is how to have a strong dream. It appears that ones dream very much depends on his basic attitude. If by virtue of your attitude, you are comfortable the way you are, reading a book like 'The Magic of Thinking Big ' will not move you even a little to form your own dream. To read the book itself you need to have an attitude.

All of us are born in environments that are never our choices. We are born with certain facilities and certain commitments. However the dream can just enter your inner being by some means. Just seeing a car can set your dream to own a car and travel by it. People who are highly creative are blessed with habit of dreaming and only people who can dream can become good leaders.

There are many leaders in government and corporate world of business. Most of them will be working towards goals set by their ultimate leaders. It just requires a high level of obedience and commitment. Their achievements are not their dreams but dreams of some one else. Many times in achieving the goals they experience stress and this reflects in loss of health also.

But if the goals set by others can be converted in to dreams of their own, then working towards the dream will be less strenuous. Work becomes an enjoyable activity. We may have to understand the terms target,goal and dream appropriately.

Target is some specific thing that should be hit. Let us consider that you are practicing shooting with a gun and you have an object in your front to hit. The 'target' means the object to be shot. The goal is to acquire the skill of hitting similar targets. The dream is to feel the repeated achievements of hitting the targets again and again.

Even before the practice starts, dream should start and then the goal is achieved and the target is hit. Mostly the dreams with respect to materialistic achievements and skill related achievements can come true. Dreams involving another individual will come true partially or may not come true at all.

This is the reason why many marriages are failures. The dream of the man and the women in many circumstances will not be the same. The husband may like to live in country side where as the wife's choice could be to live in a metropolitan town. The dreams must be parallel or simply one should dream and the other should take the life partner's dream.

Children are in most disadvantageous position because they are pestered by the parents' or teachers' dreams. Aggressive parents and teachers set very high targets to the kids and their mind, not able to accept the target will get weary and children become total failures. I saw a video clip on my face book added by one of my friends. A young boy obviously denied education,working in a tea stall brings a few glasses of tea for delivery at a nearby apartment. The boy thinking that the door of the apartment opens inwards pushes it hard and even try dashing on it. Suddenly the school going kid from the apartment returns home and he effortlessly opens the door that opens outwards. Then he points out to the sign board on the door that reads 'PULL' to the uneducated boy. The short film ends with the caption 'EDUCATION OPENS THE DOOR'.

Here I prefer that the caption should be 'EDUCATION IMPROVES VISION'. The educated kid had to act based on his vision and he opened the door. People are lead to believe that education can do every thing. Education is only a tool and attitude defines and portray a dream. A man with education may be denied many things he demands but a man with a dream will not be denied because what ever is required including optimum and relevant education for achieving the dream will be acquired by him. Some times too much of education without a dream or goal will prevent one from dreaming.

There is an ancient story of a father having only one sweet mango wanting to give it to his sons. The mango is a special one, for if one eats it he will become enlightened. The condition is that it should not be cut and shared and only one person should take it. He decides to announce a competition taking his wife in to confidence. Of his two sons who ever goes round the world and completes first will be presented the fruit. The younger boy is energetic and he owns a peacock that can fly him to any where he wants. With confidence of owning the peacock he sets out to go round the earth. The elder boy is a smart one. He considers the competition critically and finds out that his world is only his parents. His brother has misunderstood the word 'world' and taken a meaning as 'earth' and has proceeded in a wrong way. The elder one gets the fruit just by going round his parents in less than a minute.

Here we can consider the peacock as education. More than education intelligence is required to correctly interpret the meaning of the word 'world'. The intelligence can be induced by strong dream. The dream keeps one alert, intelligent and ready to act appropriately in every situation.

So any thing we want to achieve we should start dreaming the situations of living, having achieved what we wanted. The technique has worked for me all these years and it is going to take, not only me but all the dreamers like me through the pleasant journey.

If you have not set your dreams, you will be exploited by others. So set your dreams and don't exploit others but help them giving what they want in return to their services towards your dreams.

Dream to lead
Dream to give
Dream to help and
you shall
Get your followers,
Have enough  to give and
Blessed with full of energy to help.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Celebrating Silver Jubilee Wedding Anniversary

Celebrating wedding anniversary has gained prominence in our place only recently. The age old custom is to celebrate the 60th birth day and 80th birth day of men as wedding anniversaries. The celebration is usually arranged by the children of the couple and the children get ceremonious blessings. It is also considered as a time to recollect the past memories and express a feeling of gratitude by the children to their parents for all the unconditional love showered upon them till the event.


Religious rituals are performed and mostly the mantras uttered are in Sanskrit. Some Dravidian Saivait pray the God, reciting Tamil poems in a chorus and take the blessings of the couple.

However 25th wedding Anniversary is not a traditional function.

Jan 17,2011 happens to be the 25th wedding anniversary for me and I wanted that to be celebrated as a small soft skills session. The challenge in my mind was that I should not speak in front of my sons, relatives,neighbours, friends and my staff members but still should give insight into the marital life.

Luckily I am a member of Lions Clubs International and Y's Men International. People have to learn from these organizations how to conduct business meetings with very high level of emotional connect among the participants. The participation in these clubs are with family. So in one of the board meetings my wife and I proposed that we will host lunch or dinner for the January 2011 General Body Lions meeting.

There was a bright idea in my mind to request the President Lion A.Mohan and board members of our Club Lions club of Tirunagar Town to accommodate a special speech on 'Marital Life' in the General Body Meeting on our wedding day. The board members of the club approved the request. Every Lions club meeting should have a chief Guest who will speak about a specific subject for a duration of 20 to 25 min.

Our club is blessed with great orators and Lion Dr.P.Natanagurunathan was invited to speak on the subject. The meeting was a Lions meeting and all the Y's Men of my another association Y's Men's club of Madurai Majestic were invited as guests. One of the internationally prominent Past District Governor Lion NAK Gopalakrishna Raja being a member of our club was on stage to bless us. Ysm Dr.A.Sashikumar, Past District Governor of Y's Men International was a dignitary on the dais.

The meeting started at 11.30 AM and after the regular business session, senior Lion members felicitated us. Lion NAK Goplakrishna Raja kept his speech short observing the tradition of Lions giving extra minutes for the chief guest Lion Dr.P. Natanagurunathan.

Lion Dr.Natanagurunathan gave a captivating speech describing the divinity of the marital life. He beautifully explained that if the duties with respect to the families of both husband's side and wife's side is discharged with commitment, there is a fulfillment that keeps the couple happy.

He stated that our scriptures define four stages in social life of an individual. First being the Brahmacharyam followed by Gruhastham, Vanaprastham and Sanyasam. The Gruhastham is the marital life with great amount of responsibilities. Vanaprastham is also in the same structure of the Gruhastham but the responsibilities will be taken over by the grown up children. Sanyasm is optional for those who want to renounce the family life in search of truth and God.

One becomes fully eligible for Sanyasam only after competely discharging the responsibilities in the earlier stages. Marriage is the blissful arrangement to give fullness to existence as human. The speaker in a flawless fluent regional language Tamil, related the events in my life to explain Gruhastham. The speech was enlightening for the unmarried and younger couples. The elders could take a mental tour of their past to feel happy about their own achievements. The message was very clear stressing the importance of Gruhastham and Vanaprastham which forms the marital life.

Then it was my eldest son's turn to talk about his experience in the family. His speech was also very much liked by the audience. He quoted many instances of encouragement and freedom given to him. He could beautifully relate many of his achievements to the timely support from both parents.

I had nothing to speak except to thank every one. My wish has been fulfilled by all who addressed before me. The meeting served as a short workshop on marital life.

Men and women are born as dependents. They grow up and become independent. The independence is soon realized to be difficult and they choose to become interdependent in the arrangement called marriage. Basically men and women have different emotional make up. They learn to accommodate each other and support each other in marital life. Children are the happiest when the marital arrangement is undisturbed. So both men and women learn what unconditional love is. Children normally do not listen to all the advices of the parents when they become adolescents but never fail to pick up the good things.

Celebrations should be designed to reinforce values. Our humble attempt to reinforce the values of the marital life appears to have done this effectively.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

SURVIVAL OF THE SMARTEST

Let me start this post with a question, 'What smart means?'
Smart could mean clever and very alert. One who is successful financially with adequate time at his/her disposal can be considered very smart.

The real challenge is that society takes all steps to prepare us to be less smart and to the advantage of the administrators and capitalists, but we may have to get psychologically reconditioned to become smart. You are first put in school and taught lot of things which you may not require in the whole of your life. Still there is no way to learn how to read and write and know some fundamental science and mathematics. By the time one is in class 8, what ever is required to be smart has been covered in the academic curriculum but because of the torturous learning process the students gain far less insight. Three or four years are subsequently wasted preparing for some qualifying examinations. Then one is supposed to study a degree to get a job. Thus the society delays your smart moves towards your dreams. For that matter, you will not even be allowed to dream. You will repeatedly be directed to study and get high scores. Then your skill lies in finding a suitable job for what you have studied and the grades you have scored.


You have to work for the societies dreams. The business men and politicians are ever smarter. They have learnt to be smarter by their own efforts. They have mass media under their control and orchestrate the life style and culture. Liquor is used to their advantage and a common man cannot understand all these things. In India even a cultural phenomenon like monogamy is used to the advantage of people at the top.

There is a popular film song in Tamil that starts quoting a dialogue between the snake in the neck of Lord Shiva (Hindu God) and an eagle. The eagle is supposed to carry Lord Shiva adoring the snack in his neck. The snake is imagined to enquire the eagle ' How is life?' and the eagle replies ' If every one is in their respective places every thing is fine'. The snake is the smartest species depicted here. The snake if found on the land by the eagle, then it is an easy prey for the eagle.

So occupying the position of the snake is the greatest smartness and maintaining the position is the special soft skill required to survive. Becoming a politician or a business man or a bureaucrat is a very smart move that requires all together a very strong will power.

Being smart requires a high degree of manipulation. All trivial works will have to be delegated and the positional advantage should be used at all times in making money, spending least time for making money. Identifying a way to do this is the trick of the game.

If one is sentimental and empathetic there will be conflict in the mind to resolve and act smartly. The ruthless smart move is explained in Mahabharatha. In the war front, when the warrior Karna is working to free the wheels of his chariots, Sree Krishna directs Arjuna to shoot the arrow on Karna. Here the position of Karna, being by the side of atrocious Dhuriyodhana is not favourable to the well being of the society and the smart move is justified. The rules of the war is grossly violated but the result is worth the violation.

If you are very happy in your present position and smart enough to save your position you will find this article absolutely useless. The cream of Vedas as contained in Bhagavath Geetha has been passed on to disciples from the Sun God to Manu and then to Ikshvagu. Then there was an interruption. People started feeling happy in their own positions. The cream of the smart knowledge was forgotten because it was of no use.

After sometimes, things started going wrong at the top but people were so adapted to rules and sentiments that they could not act smartly and bring an end to the atrocity. So to a capable person Arjuna, at an appropriate time when he was facing conflict between rules, sentiments and well being of the society, Bagavath Geetha was retold by Lord Sree Krishna. The time had come to learn the rules of being smart.

It appears history is getting repeated and if we assume that we are one of the capable person, we may have to learn to be smart and bring the economy under our control.

In the days to come smartest will survive and they are the fittest.

One can hear the wake up call for all Arjunas

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Performance

Recently a story was circulated on the email. Somebody wanted to write a motivational piece to build the confidence of the readers. The story has been written with two characters, the God and a person who meets Him with the grievance that God is partial to bless very few with ability to achieve great things. God convinces that all are created with will to try any thing but only society imposes the conviction in every one of us that things cannot be done so easily.

The will of every one is to try to perform. But doubtfulness in the minds is brought about by others. Normally people tell someone attempting a new venture based on their own conviction that success is difficult.

Society talks of hard work. The successful people are taught to say that hard work brought them success. I personally have many successes and if you ask me, I will sincerely say that the reason for success is not hard work but work with involvement. When I scored cent percent marks in examinations I recall that I never was focused on the mark but was focused in writing answers accurately.

The focus on perfection and joy of working step by step has brought all successes. When we are involved in the work, the results can be any thing. Desired result is just a goal and trying again and again is not hard work but a joy. When we are totally involved, we don't even perceive certain bodily inconveniences. We just ignore hunger, sleep and bodily discomfort. The attitude is to learn or to achieve.

In learning, the first step is always clumsy. A certain amount of repetitions is required by the time we learn a skill. To achieve proficiency the activity should become involuntary. We will be able to try new techniques and sometimes completely redesign the method the more we do a thing over and over again.

Society looks for the result. Society always compares what you have achieved with what others have. If your achievement is anything less than others', society never recognizes. Society wants competition. But competitions never produce masterpieces. I don't think Shakespeare competed with anybody. So is Bill Gates or any of the recent tycoons. There is huge amount of money involved in making people compete. The ego is amply fueled. But society wants to see people fail. Then only others can involve and give advices. Easy money is there in speculation. So when there is competition, one can expect only manipulations and not real good performance.

There used to be a story about a tooth paste company increasing its sales by increasing the diameter of the mouth of the tooth paste tube. It is a case of clear manipulation receiving ample appreciation.

So, to achieve great results one need to be involved in the process without even a slight distracting thought about the result. The joy of performing and achieving proficiency is much more than the results.

To perform one needs to be enthusiastic, involved in the work and enjoy every process of the work.

Many an occasion we have responsibilities to do some work without our liking. At such times, if one can accepts the work and learn to enjoy the process, mind get relieved from the stress of inner turmoil. The results of such works will also be great.


Present moment living, involving in the job at hand and enjoying the process itself is the highest form of bliss which can bring immense peace. Try and you will concur with my views. Don't comment from what you already know. Experience the bliss.

You can see a highly creative being in you and you will start loving you.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Secret of Masterpieces.

Thinking is an automatic process and is similar to a stream of water. Under the influence of emotions the stream becomes faster or even turbulent. The attitude and its extension as emotion determine the speed of the stream of thinking. The attitude can either be positive or negative. The negative attitude gives rise to anger, fear, jealousy, lust and anxiety. Lust can transform into anger, fear and anxiety. These emotions will result in destruction. Laziness is a negative attitude which will result in self destruction. Love is the positive mental attitude.


Every human being has all above said attitudes and the emotions associated with each of them. It is impossible not to have negative attitude. But it is possible to decide our course of action based on love. Love for the environment, the fellow human being and the other living things around. Love is usually unconditional and the action born out of love focuses on giving and adding value to the relationship.


The good thing is that, even when the negative emotions occupy one’s mind, it is possible to observe the flow of thinking and one can become aware of the negative thoughts. Then consciously by focusing on activities like intense observation of things around and involving oneself in creative works, the mind can be freed from negative emotions.


Creative thinking can arise out of calmness. It is like a clear steady stream.


Generally the emotions are triggered by external stimulus or by the past experience of an individual. When the emotions are triggered, it is possible to sit quietly and watch the thought process. Chanting the pranav manthra that is the natural sound of resonance 'OM' and watching its vibration eases the nerves and a calmness is induced. Care has to be taken not to indulge in this calmness for long. After achieving a momentary calmness one should try to become aware of the disturbance and understand its nature. A little bit of philosophical knowledge will help better understanding. Once the nature is understood we may start diverting the thoughts by involving in some activities. Physical activities relieve the stress much faster. This is required to release the mind from  inertia. Just chanting of OM or concentrating on an object does not complete meditation. Without becoming aware of the nature of disturbance and without understanding  the reason for the stress, if the mind is repeatedly trained to escape, then the mind becomes very dull. Stopping the thoughts can never be the solution though it is also a state in which people can spend hours and hours and call themselves to be blissfully happy. All the medical equipments will indicate favourable parameters when some one is monitored in such slumber. People are convinced to believe that this is the ultimate. Inaction is never the way of living for any living being. Inaction has amply been discouraged in Bagavat Geeta.

However, positive stress is essential for most of the creative activities. The individual cannot lead a team without positive stress because leadership itself is a passionate activity. So only by understanding we can allow the positive stress and calm down the negative stress.


Awareness of the thinking at every instant is what is required to channelize the stream of thinking in a desired route.


By practicing awareness the thinking can become calm. By acting from a calm and focused mind set, any activity can be performed with great concentration and the results of such activity will be marvelous. Masterpieces are born out of such focused actions.