Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Bugs me About India

India is a great country! There is so much to love about it, and there are so many irritating things about it.  Some might think I have become an American, but I would say, I have a different outlook.

I have been travelling to India every 3-4 years, but this year was different becuase I got to stay in one place for two months; I was working in that one place; and for the first time, I travelled and lived on my own in India. This gave me a different perspective on things than when I travelled earlier with my father. 

Most times I was okay however there were times when I would get completely frustrated by certain situations or people. So these are the things that bugged me and they are not in any particular order....(do remember that my experience is that of north India....although some of it is true all over India)
  1. Garbage: this is always the first thing that I notice.  There is garbage everywhere.  How can Indians bear to live in a trash can? Most homes don't even have a garbage bin (dustbin).  Most places where the large trash collection points are, just stink because the trash never gets picked up.  The stench and sight are unbearable  Every place is littered with trash. No place is sacred.
  2. Traffic rules: or lack thereof.  It seems that knowing driving or the rules for driving are not a requirement to be on the road, only a vehicle and someone to operate it, are needed.  Everyone on the road believes the road is made only for them. (I try not to look at the traffic when I am in the car, but I could not help morbid of me to just keep looking)
  3. Interruptions: no matter who you are talking to and where you are, it was quite normal for a third person to come and start talking to me or the person I was talking to, without any regard to whetherI was having a private conversation, or without any concern for interrupting someone's conversation. Status of the person also does not matter. There is no expectation of privacy anywhere.(Even doctors' offices are not private.  Everyone can hear everyone's conversations.) It got to a point where in some cases I would just get up and leave. What is the point? The person you were talking to obviously is not able to keep up with two conversations! And quite honestly, it is so common that people don't even realize they are doing it...or offending anyone.
  4. Rudeness: there is no politeness in anyone's voice anymore.  Very few people are actually nice to talk to.  It seems to me that most people are trying to just get rid of you so that they can get back to......whatever.
  5. Staring: why do people stare so much in India? Or are they just staring at me? (that would be embarrassing)
  6. Time: no one is on time for anything.  Enough said.
  7. Cell phones: these should be now taught in Anatomy as an appendage to the human body; especially in Indian text books.  No one can breathe without a cell phone.  Indians have not figured out where the "silent" or "off" switch is on their phones; and everyone takes their call no matter where they are or to whom they are talking to. And no one seems to care about this rude behaviour, they just wait for the other person to finish talking.  (Why is this acceptable?)
  8. No personal space: people stand so close in lines and sit so close in buses and other public transportations.  Men and women usually don't sit together in temples or parties; but in these lines and public vehicles no one cares if the poor woman gets crushed between two guys.
  9. No respect: there is a general errosion of respect in the society. People push each other, elbow each other, cut lines, are rude to each other......all for what? who knows? 
As good as India can be, its people are not up to its greatness.  There is so much culture in "Indian Culture" but culture in its people is eroding.

The best expresssion for the lack of etiquettes and culture is what I heard from a comedian, Merill Markoe, "There are so many socially acceptable ways to show a lack of empathy".  So seems we are caring less and less about other people's feelings or how we behave in public.

PS: I am still always ready to go to India!!

And go here to enjoy some fun images of India....(I did not take them :-))

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pragyopnishad Part 5 (1-7)

Chapter 1 – Karm

There are tow things that come to test a man – sankat and glory. Problems test our patience, humanity and courage, while glory tests our humanity, courage, politeness and control. Anyone who passes these two tests is great human being.

With adulthood comes rights.
With rights the responsibilities.
If one is responsible then prizes are there but not then he is punished.

A cleaner has small responsibility whereas the captain of a ship has a lot more. All karm are accounted for even if humans have the freedom to make choices and take decisions. There are two sides for everything in this world; day-night, truth-lie, heaven-hell, greed-charity. Both are powerful and attractive. We have to decide which one to follow. Man also has both raakhas and dev qualities.

Humans should have the foundation of truth and search for the truth.

Chapter 2

Why does man not take the path of truth and God?

Because he does nto want to. If one really wants he can change himself e.g. Valmiki, Kalidas etc. one has to think right as well as do right – just one does not work. Character and thought are two strengths of humans.

Chapter 3 – Yog and Tap

The five qualities that are a must for a great human being:
  1. Hard work
  2. Mit vyayita
  3. Shaalinta
  4. Sehkarita
  5. Sangharsh shilta
Be serious by heart, your work and word.

Discipline and love should be balanced, excess of anything is bad.

Chapter 4 – Soul

Knowledge is supreme. Understand yourself – aatm gyaan. Four things hold a person tightly:

  • Old values
  • Present information/experience
  • Love of close ones
  • Environment
If environment does not change then it is hard to change the point of view. That is one purpose of teerth yatra (pilgrimage), satsang and meeting and reading about great people. Just reading and knowing is not enough one has to live it, implement in their life.

Atma and body have each their purpose. Just like father wants his son to do his will, god also wants that from his creation. Vaisudev kutumbhkam – see yourself in everyone and everyone in you. The whole world is one big family. If you have a good view on life – then you can find good in everything. Love everyone – bhakti generates love in people.

Chapter 5 – Dharm

These days the meaning of dharm has been changed. Dharm has become religion but dharm really is your duty. Dharm is:
  • Truth and intelligence
  • Control and responsibility
  • Maryadapaalan and discipline
  • Saujanya and parakram
  • Sekhaar and parmaarth
Chapter 6 – sarvdharm sambhaav

Two kinds of dharm – religious and duty. But if humans do duty with religion then it is the best dharm.

Chapter 7 – upaasna, saadhna and araadhna

There are many things that come in threes:
  • World: God – Human – Nature
  • God: Bhrama – Vishnu – Mahesh
  • Human Body: Sthool – suksham – kaaran
  • Goals: Satya – chitta – aanand
  • Thathya: Saytam – Shivam – sundaram
  • Worlds (lok): Devlok – Dharti
  • (3 – gun)
Gayatri is also three –



exists in
exists in
exists in
Is Upaasna Is Saadhna Is Araadhna
Is Brahm Is Life Is the

Sit next to God make life changes seva dharm for good of the world
You get strength from this sun, moon, rivers – they all do seva
Once you give, you will see you have more.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pragyopnishad Part 4 – Pilgrimage (4)

Chapter 4 – Teerth (pilgrim places)-Devalay

Purpose of temples and pilgrimage: to evoke shraddha (devotion/faith), knowledge and loyalty.

There is only one god. One who understands god will know this. Each place of worship has a charitable place which is to help with human awakening and believe in religion (dharm dhaarana). They are also supposed to make one able and have bhaavna (emotions).

Just like sun gives its rays to everyone, wind blows to everyone to help them breath etc. humans who are devta like will go out and help people with all good heart and intentions. A sadhu person should do pilgrimage journey as it is good yog as well as aradhna of dev. Only good can come out of it.

Sleeping person is kalyug
One who gives up sleep is dwaapar
One who gets up is treta
One who walks is satyug

Going to pilgrimage used to be a huge event and journey.

Even the people who are not very religious should do pilgrimage because it increases knowledge, experiences, change in behavior and helps to network. It also helps with tourism, business, your realize the greatness of yourself and everyone seems to be part of one family.

One should go with pure heart to pilgrimage – just like a fish does not benefit from Ganga water you will also learn anything. Even criminals get peace when they do pilgrimage. One should try to do some sanskaar during the teerth.

True sant (saint) and good human beings make pilgrimage journey meaningful. If one gets good company of a true sadhu then that is equivalent to pilgrimage, e.g. company of Yudhister and Vidur is like going for pilgrimage.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pragyopnishad Part 4 – Death, Belief and Pragya (5)

Chapter 5 – All about Death

One should think of death as a place of rest rather than end. Think of everyday as a new life and night as new death.

Death is like changing clothes. After death heaven-hell have their own happiness and sadness and punarjanam has its own. In either case one has to deal with their good and bad actions. After human life is devta life. Sometimes humans become nastik because of delay in karmphal, but believe in god and then there is no fear. Just the way people with physical body enjoy happiness/sadness so do sooksham bodes. Our forefathers will benefit from our karm. There was a great explanation of shraadh….

Chapter 6 – Astha-Sankat

Why do cultures fight for religious reasons? It is disgraceful.

Just like you have to wash dirty clothes, clean rooms etc..this way religions also get dirty. Things should be changed because times are different. One should not think old is gold – these things (parampara) should be changed.

Dev sanskriti is like milk – humans bad thinking make it dirty. All sorts of bad habits and rituals have entered religion. There is dirtiness, dissatisfaction, unsafety, disharmony, distrust everywhere. Culture and rituals which were pure have become corrupted. Gangas is pure in Himalyas but becomes salty and dirty by the time it reaches the sea, but then water evaporates and comes back to Himalayas and becomes Ganga again.

Faith is needed to make man devta. In scientific development there was no thought for culture. That is why science has no shraddha. Because of science, faith was lost. One needs spiritual knowledge to get back the faith.

Chapter 7 – Pragya Avtaar

Will the situation change? Or is pralay here?

When situations are like this then change happens itself and situation arises when things start to look bright again. This is because of the avatar.

(description of the 10 avtaars). 10th is supposed to be Kalki. Its main purpose is to change thought – chetna. New thought, beliefs will be established by removing the old ones. The problem now is of whole humanity – not just one person as it was in the earlier times.

Pragya avatar will be shapeless because it is vyaapak. There will be many pragya sons who will bring new thought process to this world.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pragyopnishad Part 4 - Values (3)

Chapter 3 – Values (sanskaar)

Humans can be:
Animals – only live for eating and reproduction
Devils – terrorists and law breakers, greedy
Human – obey law of karm and is lawful
Divine – focus on responsibility rather than their own rights. They do for others as they want for themselves.

The Divine Human – god appears in human form also. Devtaa is representation of nature (prvritti ka pratinidhitva) i.e. does his duties happily, he is happy from within so he does not need any external stimuli. He does not need anything in return.

Humans are all alike but association and environment makes them one or another. Vidya makes a human cultured. Humans are lucky that they can get vidya. Education helps a person in his professional and personal development. So just because a human is educated, does it mean he can reach the dev level? Because sometimes it does not happen. According to dev sanskriti there are 16 types of sanskaars (ceremonies/rites). All these make humans divine – e.g. Puvsan, Naamkarna, Annpraashan, Mundan, Vidyaa-arambh, Diksha, Upnayan, Vivah, Vaanprasth, Janamdin votsav, Wedding anniversary etc…

There are many parv (festivals). Festivals are meant to

1) energize, bind people, make them cultured and create a sense of community.
2) do yagya on an occasion.
3) have a celebration during change of seasons.
4) for entertainment.
5) to celebrate a hero or literary person etc.

All of the above are part of being in a community. There are ten main festivals: basant panchami, shivratri, holi, ramnaumi, gayatri jayanti, gurupoornima, shravani, janmaasthmi, vijayadashmi and diwali.

All these promote energy, good will, happiness, and there is kirtan-bhajan (devotional songs) which promotes good thoughts in humans. Tell each other stories during these festivals teach culture.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pragyopnishad Part 4 – Dev Sanskriti (1 & 2)

Chapter 1 – Dev-sanskriti (divine culture)

The gurukul type school was the best of its kind. Gurukul used to be a family like environment, where the teacher was like the father and the teacher’s wife was like the mother to the students. Kids were taught not only content, but culture, behavior etc.

The teacher’s character also plays a big role. Teachers should become what they want their students to be (in character etc.). Teachers should have the heart of a mother.

Difference between shiksha (knowledge) and vidya (education) is that shiksha is just getting information while vidya teaches us the value of life that helps us live a meaningful life. Shiksha is more for material gains while vidya is for self development. Siksha is outward whereas vidya is inward growth. Both have their place and value in a good life. Man has to try himself to get vidya otherwise it is just knowledge and it is like giving a sword to a monkey. Just like iron has to go through extraction proves to become useful, man has to do the same thing. Without developing from inside life is incomplete.

You cannot grow a mango tree from a babuul (tree with thorns) seed. A farmer looks for the best seed to grow. Parents have to do the same with their kids. If parents have high thinking and good character then in their company children become the same way. Parents are the first teachers. By seven years, kids have a good personality development.

Indian culture and dev sanskriti (divine culture), go hand in hand. This is also the Rishi’s way of life. Dev (divine) is someone who gives while devil is the one who takes. Anyone who has given more and taken less from this world is dev. Devil is greedy while dev is charitable. So man has to try to become more dev-like.

Chapter 2 – Aashram of Life and Cast

Basically there are four castes and four divisions of life.

The Caste

Everyone is born the same, but their karm (actions) decides what kind of classification they get – not the other way round. Castism is not a good system now – it has been misused and should be abolished.

Brahmin class is the voice of society. One has to be this quality by character not birth. (Raavan was bhramin and Ram and Krishna were kshatriya). Bhramin works for the betterment of the society – he can open libraries, schools, training places, child care, women centers and etc. so that people can learn and also participate in seva (service to people). He should stand up against injustice.

The Four Divisions of Life

In the four divisions of life ghrasth aashram is the highest one. In this a person has energy and strength to take care of family and society. In bhramcharya and grahastashram: physical, mental, societal and work are prime during this time. The rest half of the life is for spiritual, emotional, character, good nature and selfless work for others.

Vaanprasth is the most important because a person can support himself by this age and can only give back to the community instead of taking from it. People have no more responsibilities by this time.

Upaasna is necessary for all times in life. You should develop like sandalwood – that itself smells good and makes everything around it smell good too. Upaasna is sitting next to god. If you sit next to god you will try to get more god like qualities.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Inventory of Life - Friends

Friends are some of the most important people in our lives.  I feel sorry for anyone who has not experienced good friendship.  Life is lonely without friends.  I have been blessed with good friends wherever I have lived (and I have lived in many places!)

As we all know, we don’t have a liberty to choose our family, but we do have the liberty to choose our friends. Many times our friends are closer to us than our family. We will tell intimate details of our lives to our friends rather than our family. 

There is a popular sayings about friends: “You have friends for a reason, a season, or a lifetime”. 

We encounter people in our lives who sometimes help us through the darkest of our hours and then dissappear.  They were there for only one reason - to help us. I have felt so many times a sense of loss in meeting such people.  But, I think these souls are never meant to stay in our lives; it could be a debt they are repaying from a previous life or a divine person who appeared to help us.

Some friends are seasonal.  I remember during my Ph.D. days, I could not have had such a good experience without the group of my very close knit friends.  We depended on each other socially, professionally and personally.  Yet now, most of us have moved on in our lives leaving the past as pleasant memories.

My lifetime friends? Well.........there are some and I still have some life to live.

Sometimes we have a variety of friends to fulfill the different aspects of our lives; some to socialize with, some to watch movies with, some so that the kids can socialize etc. Our needs and requirements keep changing as we are growing and so people keep coming in and out of our lives. The ones that "click" - stay, the superficial ones disappear quickly.

Friendships can be so rewarding as well as challenging just like all relationships.  But if a friendship is strong, it will meet all the challenges and keep growing.  A true friend will adjust, tolerate and be there through good and bad times without asking for anything in return (although its never a good idea to have a one sided relationship - one person will get tired of giving all the time.)

Speaking for myself: I have many friends and I care about them all and will help out as much as I can; but only a few of them really care about me - and those are my true friends.  Living alone has its own challenges, so when I become friends with a person, my friendship grows on the basis of respect, dependability and trust.  As time goes on, all other pieces should fit in place.  I know I am not perfect, and I don’t expect my friends to be perfect either, but if certain qualities are not there then I know that the friendship will also be fragile.  There are qualities I will compromise with and some that I will not.

Here are the qualities I think are valuable in a friend.  These work both ways - I myself should also have these qualities to be a good friend.  (These days you don't even have to live in the same city to be good friends.)
  • Dependability - Be there for for each other.  What is the point of a friend if they are not there for you?
  • The ability to listen - Listen to each other so we understand each other.
  • Trust - The ability to confide in each other with complete trust.  I really don’t want them to gossip about me.
  • Honesty - Goes right along with trust.  Lies can destroy any kind of relationship and freindships are held together by invisible bonds. Once broken, that bond is tough to remake. 
  • Non judgemental – accept each other as they are without wanting to change them in a selfish way.
  • Support – Support each other emotionally and physically. In these days of increased communication there is no excuse for being an absentee friend. 
  • Inspirational – Help each other grow; we should be able to learn new things from each other as the friendship develops.
It seems like there are too many qualities needed to be a good friend, but in reality if you really care for someone's friendship you will adjust and be the kind of person your friend needs. Otherwise .... was never meant to be.   If you look carefully these qualities are also that of a good person :-)

There is also another popular quote “You are known by the company you keep”. 

Nothing can be more right than this. You are influenced more by friends than family (peer pressure rules!!).  If you keep good company, that is how you will become. So for your personal self-development you should want to surround yourself with people who can help you go forward in your life, rather than backward. If your friendship is leading to depression, anger or frustration then better look for another friend. These are not the habits one should develop in life.

Our life is given to us to grow into better person. You get your education to learn new things in order to make your life more disciplined, be able to support yourself in this life, and live within the community while fulfilling all your civic duties.  Your friend should inspire you to do all these things.

A very wise Indian, Chanakya said, “One should not have a fool for a friend or wife, both will ultimately lead to sorrow.

One thing I have not mentioned above is gender in friendships. Women have very different friendships than men do. Women tend to view friendships as connecting with each other.  Talks turn into therapy sessions and women will share almost anything and everything with their good friend. Their friendships are emotional and are entirely based on trust and loyalty. Men may not share so much. They are not as communicative and tend not to share personal and intimate part of their life. They tend to shut off whereas women end up talking about stuff to get it out of their system.

One last thing about gender: men and women can never be "just friends" - that is my firm belief. There will always be that physical attraction. And if one or both are married - to other people, then the spouse might get the wrong impression even though its all innocent. There is that occasional "work wife" or "work husband" with whom one can discuss all their "work" related issues which the spouse may not understand. But I think that can get also into the danger zone - simply because men and women cannot be "just friends".

Take this quiz to see if you understand how men and women communicate differently.

In conclusion:
Friendship is a strange relationship: it has no religious boundaries, no educational restrictions, in fact friendship has no restrictions whatsoever. It is a pure relationship between two people who want and do the best for each other all the time. Each friendship is unique, so no two friendships can be alike. Each friend is also different: each different friend satisfies a different need for the one person. Friends can bring out the best in each other. True friendship is rare. So if you find a friend you connect well with – hold on to them!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Inventory of Life

Some days we just have to sit down and take an inventory of what is going on in our life.  What have I accomplished so far?  And was that my goal?  For me my life goal has always been to grow into a better person.  We have this gift of life to make something of it.  We usually lose this opportunity by running after materialistic things and looking for accolades all our life. The accolades are not just the awards at work but also the need to always please people around us so that they like us. (There is a difference between pleasing others for others and pleasing others for ourselves.)

One simple way we can improve our life would be to periodically take an inventory of self and see how much we have grown or changed during our life. We know ourselves the best. (If you don't know your own qualities/characteristics then you have a long journey ahead of you!)  However, if we do know ourselves, then we should take some time to dwell upon our progress: as a person of materialism and spirituality.

Materialistically speaking:
  • Have we acquired new items?
  • Do we keep having the desire to buy things in order to keep up with the times?
  • Do we keep wishing we could get more money just to see our bank balance grow? or more money so we could buy new things? 
  • When we go to work - do we feel like we have some higher purpose to serve? or are we just there to earn money for our family and ourselves? 
  • Do we crave for awards and promotions?
  • And many more things that we can touch and put a price on.....

Spiritually speaking:
  • Have we made anyone happy lately?
  • Have we done anything good for anyone lately?
  • Have we kept up our end of the bargain in a relationship - any relationship: brother, sister, son, wife, friend, etc.?
  • What do we ask from God when (if) we pray? (Be honest now!)

As I have gotten older I have realized that taking inventory is very important in life.  It helps me to filter out the good from the bad and keeps me on track of where I am going. So somedays (like today) I will sit and reflect on what I have done and how I have changed over time.  My goal of improving myself personally has a lot of flexibility since I don't really need to go to a college for this.  If I know what the good qualities are then I can incorporate them in my life myself.

For some people it is important to go to spiritual talks, listen to spiritual songs, do jap, or go to the temple.  For is to look inward in my heart. Which is why this is my favorite bhajan (with a bonus - my favorite actress - Meena Kumari). 

Coming up Next: This big group of people in our life called "friends".

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pragyopnishad Part 3 – Family – Culture and World Family

Chapter 6 – Culture

One should keep improving oneself and create and environment in which good habits are created by themselves. Families should do the some religious activity together daily or frequently. Every home should have a place of worship in the house and should belive in god.

Keep good books in your home library; inspirational and cultural. Just like we clean clothes and utensils, ones hearts should also be cleaned of any bad thoughts towards each other. Good books are for the mind what food is for the body.

The whole family should sit together during puja or katha. Read books that help change your mind about things and also help you learn some good habits and good behavior.

Faith in god keeps emotional, aspirations and actions in control. There is fear of god in doing the wrong thing. One should practice Upaasna (sitting next to God), Saadhna (discipline) and Araadhna (implementing good in life forever).

One should give one part of themselves – either in money or time to community welfare, that is how communities are build and progress occurs. Only those who serve others live a successful life. Give money, food, time or knowledge.

Chapter 7 – World Family

One should not limit themselves to just their families – he will be like frog in the well. He should think about the welfare of his society, country and culture. Teach family members that their work load includes all of the above.

People should have aastikta (believing in God), adhyatmikta (spirituality), dhaarmikta (religiousness) in life in addition to upaasna, saadhna, araadhna. With all of this a person’s thought, character and behavior gets uplifted.

One should think that we are everyone’s and everyone is ours, then only he will get the love and respect of everyone. Whatever is in this world belongs to everyone so learn to take care of it all and share it all. Don’t assume rights on anything. Have a cooperative attitude. Just like you take care of your family – take care of this world. Don’t think just locally – think globally. In the next era, there will be only one type of culture/religion – humanity. There will be just one big family.

Times right now are that of pralay – the world after this will be one world family.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pragyopnishad Part 3 – Family – Elderly

Chapter 5 – Elderly

Elders should have a new life when they are old rather than just waiting to die.  They can be crucial contributing members of society.  To stop living life is in itself death.

This part of life should go in social service especially after having lived and done only for family, it is time to give back now.  Try to collect some goodwill for next life. 

It is advisable to have a few kids and stop having them soon so you can take care of them.  Teach kids about debt to forefathers and fathers – that way in their golden age kids will be able to repay the debt they have gotten from their parents. 

If you have done any wrong in life try to correct it, keep trying to change your behavior to better, change your environment so you can grow.  If you are healthy and able – go to the aashrams and learn about religion and go on teerth yaatra

Expand your family role to other families and community.  Don’t limit yourself. Don’t consider yourself head of the family, only a trustee.  Give advice but don't be disappointed if it is not followed.  Whatever money you have left should be used to uplift community not on your child beccuase he should already be self sufficient. 

Change with the new generation.  Give freedom to the new generation and respect their wishes. Keep yourself happy and love everyone.  Increase your duties but limit your rights and keep decreasing your rights.  Don’t differentiate between family and strangers.  Be disciplined and show control and try to help with good nature whenever you can.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pragyopnishad Part 3 – Family – Child Rearing

Chapter 4 – Child Rearing

Healthy children should be brought into this world – handicap and mentally challenged children are a burden on the society.   Anyone bearing children without taking on the responsibilities will only be hurt and sad and so will their children.

  • You don’t need to have kids to be successful in life. 
  • Healthy parents produce healthy babies – physically and mentally. 
  • Kids will learn from their environment from seeing their parents.
  • Sons and daughters should be treated equally; daughters sometimes better because she is part of two homes. 
  • Pregnant women should take care of what they eat, listen and talk during pregnancy as the unborn kid can be affected by it. 
  • Give kids good education, love but keep a good discipline. Don’t beat or scold kids but do maintain discipline. 
  • Kids should be taken to travel with parents to new places so they can grow to be inquisitive. 
  • Make sure kids keep good company.
  • Kids should be well rounded regarding their surroundings, education and world. 
  • Kids should work at home as members of the family. 
  • Kids are affected less by hot and cold and sickness but more by good and bad behavior. 
  • Don’t get kids married until they are earning.
  • Girls should be educated and self-reliant so that after marriage, if needed, she can work.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pragyopnishad Part 3 – Family - Women

Chapter 3 – Women

A woman’s role in a family is key for the progress of the family. She is the real maker or breaker, man is only the helper in keeping the family. So a woman, in whatever role she is in – daughter, wife, mother or sister should be educated, happy, healthy and cultured. She should be self reliant as early as possible. 

The woman is the heart and life of the family. She is Bhramvidya, shraddha, skakti, purity, art etc. She is murtiman, kaamdhenu, Annapurna, siddhi, riddhi and is everything that can save mankind from all problems.

Whatever effort is put in developing a female will be returned infinity. In a home:
Man is kanisht – woman is varisht
Man is khanij – woman is khadaan

Whatever woman makes man will take out whether it is iron, gold etc. So woman is the mine of elements whereas man is the miner. You cannot grow a farm in the sand, so woman is the soil where a home grows.

Woman is shakti, that is why she is called devi. If you have to make the world a better place then you have to respect women. If a woman is left behind in any society then she is like a raw diamond – valuable but uncut. It is for the benefit of all men to respect and keep the woman happy.

Make a woman self reliant. She should get educated and also get the self confidence to speak her mind when needed. She should not be treated as a slave.

Man should help out women at home. Woman is the future of the new world. They have been suppressed for so long. They need to be healthy, have a balanced mind.

Because of this suppression mankind has not progressed. Men have to help uplift women. Half the population of the world has been suppressed and deemed useless – this should not be the case. Both women and men have to lead and walk together, woman cannot be behind. If woman were bad then Ram and Krishna would not have come near women. Lakshmi, Kali, Durga would not be worshipped.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pragyopnishad Part 3 – Family and Couples

Chapter 1 - Family
Family is like a small country. Society make up is dependent on family makeup.  Family members should each understand their responsibilities to make a good family.  They should care for each other.

Small family size is good otherwise woman’s health is endangered and the man also keeps thinking about earning more money to support all instead of other big ideas.  Children will not be able to grow up well if the family is too large.  One moon is enough for the night.  Lots of stars cannot do what one moon can do for a dark night.

Keep the house clean.  Clothes, people etc should all be clean.

Chapter 2 - Couples
As one is growing up he learns a lot from his society, so when he grows up and has a family he should not forget that debt.  Meaning he should give back to the society.

Marriage should neither be too early nor too late.  People who don’t earn money should not marry. Always look for values and character before marrying the person.  Weddings should be a simple affair not flamboyant.
  • Couples should be one life with two bodies.
  • They should be affectionate, cooperative and respectful of each other.
  • They should trust each other. 
  • Keep mending mistakes and forget the past ones. Don’t be vengeful.
  • They should politely and softly settle any disagreements.
  • Neither should be obstinate or take sides.
  • They should keep themselves in the other person’s shoes when listening to problems so they can be more thoughtful of each other.
  • Don’t get mad if you don’t get your way.
Live a simple life otherwise all the money will go into looking pretty and there will not be enough to live on.

One should not waste too much time on useless friends.  It is waste of time and money.  Chose your friends as the ones who help you grow intellectually.

One can live in a joint family with love and respect.  Because of changing times there is a generation gap.  Just because an elder is telling you to do things does not mean it is always right. Do it only if it is right for the times.