Thursday, May 27, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The 18 classes we attended were to make us aware of ‘another’ way to think and act. Many of the things she said made so much sense and were very simple to understand. We had been too muddled up in mundane activities and thoughts, which did not leave us with time to think differently. One thing she said struck me more than the others. It was about choices. She said that all of us are in the position of a child in a huge toy shop. Imagine the child is asked to choose one toy from the large selection given to him. Think of his plight. She says that we spend each moment of our life just like this child in the toy shop – trying to make choices. This consumes all of our time and resources. Finally, after the choice is made when the child returns home, he starts wishing that he had bought something else. The excitement of the new toy fades away quickly. The whole set of classes were based on such simple stories and analogies that pointed to the ‘truth’ from many different angles. Until about the 15th or 16th class, not once had she mentioned of ‘concepts’ like God or Soul or anything difficult to assimilate for neophytes.
Sometime in April she told us that she is going back to India to attend a three year course at Swami ji’s ashram. She said that she is extremely lucky to have Swami ji himself teach, which he had not been doing for some time now.
Before leaving for India, Ganga ji gave us recordings of her classes of the next text she would have taught us if she had continued in Edinburgh. I was listening to one of her recordings last morning. She was speaking of Karma Phala (fruits of our Karma). She said that just like how the Indian Railways transport fruits with a large ‘PERISHABLE’ sticker on the boxes, so must these ‘fruits’ of our Karma be perishable. She said that that is exactly the reason why Karma Phala is called so. The fruits of our Karma do not last forever.
This thought resonated very deeply with what my friend had said a few days earlier. We might be surprised by the little flashes of brilliance emanating from the ones around us. Many a time, if we ‘see’ them, they can be valuable teachers.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Think you are in this situation. You are a part of a larger community and you have been entrusted a task, which only you can accomplish. It all sounds good so far. Imagine now that the task that you have been assigned is one that is unpopular within your community. And undertaking it might put you in the wrong book of all those who love you. What’s more? Your conscience says that you need to work on the job at hand. What would you do?
This is the same quandary Hashmathulla (Paresh Rawal), a Muslim mechanic in UP, is in, in the movie Road to Sangam. He is a well respected man, living in a predominantly Muslim locality in
I am not an expert in the technicalities of film making and cannot comment on such aspects. But I must say that I was shown an
The cast, lead by Paresh Rawal, Om Puri and Pawan Malhotra, had drawn me to watch the movie in the first place. And they made sure that the time I spent watching it was completely worthwhile. It is only then I did a quick search for reviews of the film on the internet. Except for a review in the Hindustan Times (and a few blogs), I did not find any mention of the movie by the major media houses. This made me think about the media frenzy involved with another recent ‘big-budget’ movie, again with a Muslim protagonist - My Name is Khan. I had loved the message of that movie too – There are two kinds of people in the world. One of them was good. And the other bad. Good people do good things and bad people bad. This is the way a mother explains her religion to an autistic child. On the whole both the movies have a message that we need to carry, though they have done it differently. But I must say that Road to Sangam, largely ignored by the media, scores much above the commercial ‘entertainer’ My Name is Khan. It is a story of simple people and the simplicity of the movie carries it even further ahead.
I would like to sign off this post by this link to a beautifully sung song, with a wonderful message and with words that would make us take some time off and think.
Do we blame religion for all the trouble we attribute to it or do we blame ourselves?