Monday, September 29, 2014

My experiments with meditation: Flame in heart

(part 3)
I started with meditation while I was at high school. The meditation sessions were sporadic and ad-hoc. I do not remember the technique I adopted in my early days.
I remember the meditation details starting from undergraduate days. Some of my engineering seniors became monks of Ramakrishna-order after their graduation. Through them and some books of Advaita publication, I picked up the flame-or-picture-in-heart-technique.
In this technique, one has to imagine the presence of their favorite person or a burning flame in the chest area. All the thoughts should be focused on the flame/person-in-our-heart. In case the thoughts wander around, it needs to be brought back to the flame/person.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My experiments with meditation: Fears

(part 2)
There were fears and nervousness too. There is this fear that a meditation-gone-wrong can seriously impact sanity. There is a myth that Vivekananda died prematurely due to incorrect practice of Raj-yog. However, I have always believed that the returns of meditation is worth risking one's sanity.
On top of that, I now understand that the multiple ways of meditation, that I learnt and practiced, are all variations of same fundamental principle. Hence I am now confident that I do not practice any incorrect version of meditation.
In the subsequent blog-posts, let me walk you through all the forms of meditation I have practiced and the similarity inherent in them all.

(To be continued)

Monday, September 08, 2014

My experiments with meditation: On and off

(part 1)
I have failed to sustain the meditation habit in past. It is interesting to note that I have restarted the practice each time I have quit. Sometimes there were gaps of multiple years. Till now, I cannot say that I have greatly benefitted from meditation.
Ironically, during times of turmoil, I felt that meditation is useless and discontinued. It is ironic as meditation is supposed to support one, precisely during the turbulent times. Somewhere deep inside(let me call it samskar), I do believe that the discontinuity happened because of my lack of practice and not because of some inherent flaw in meditation. Samskar tells me that if I am more regular with meditation, it will indeed support me during times of trouble. Hence I come back to it again and again. It is not all inner-voice and samskar though. There have been periodic articles in magazines extolling the virtues of meditation.
So here I am, back at meditation, possibly seventh time around.

PS: I have assumed samskar and gut-feel to mean the same thing.
(To be continued)

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Stoddard Temple: Plenty of those in India

In Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, Howard Roark constructed the Stoddard Temple. The temple's theme was that god exists within human. Hence Howard designed the temple to keep it 'grounded' yet exalted. The central idol was that of a human (Dominique).
In many Indian temples, the same theme is seen. Rabindranath Tagore captured it brilliantly in his essay titled 'Mandir'. There are temples which have the normal day-to-day human life carved out on the outer walls. The deity resides within this depiction of day-to-day-human-tussle.
This is the kind of god I will like to believe someday. Thanks Tagore. Thanks Ayn Rand.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ice vs Rice bucket challenge

In the Indian context, Ice-bucket-challenge is a fun exercise. ALS is not on our problem radar. Celebrities are using it as fun and we laymen are enjoying the show.
On the contrary, rice-bucket-challenge is disgusting. One needs to make a show of his/her charity. You need one gratified looking 'needy' person and then you need to flash your magnanimity to the world. If I would have been that needy-person, I will go to the end of world before accepting such dignity-trampling-charity.
I am still far from terming charity as a vicious vice. However, ethically speaking, charity is an extremely tricky business.
Ice bucket challenge, although being silly in Indian context, at least does not trample on anybody's dignity.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Capitation-fee, Free-market-competition AND The-Hindu

In The-Hindu, there was an editorial on capitation-fee menace. In the comments section I had a discussion with one reader(Pawan). I am cut-pasting that in this blog post as in The-Hindu, I was having some difficulty posting my entire reply in one comprehensive post. Here goes my reply:

@Pawan. My heartfelt thanks for your reply. Let me share my views on the points you mentioned:
You wrote: Then private colleges should stop hiring fresh pass outs as lecturers and at least provide provide NIT level faculty
My point: Let the private college hire class4-passouts as faculty. The students, as informed customers, will come to know of it and avoid the college. Government may facilitate disclosing the experience level of faculty as a part of accredition criterion.

You wrote: 2. Ask them to provide the facilities for the capitation fees they charge
My point: Let the private college run out of tent in a field, if they wish to. The students as informed customers, will come to know of it and avoid the college. Government may  facilitate disclosing the facilities-standard as a part of accredition criterion.

You wrote: 3. Guarantee 100% placement with at least a salary of 2.5 to 4 lacs so that the money borrowed to pay capitation fees can be repayed
My point: Let the private college not conduct any campus-interview, if they wish. The students as informed customers, will come to know of it and avoid the college. Government may  facilitate disclosing the placement-record as a part of accredition criterion

You wrote: If they can do the above then they should be allowed to make profit or else they have no right to make profits.
My point: The Holy And Sacred Force Of Free Market Competition (THASFOFMC) can solve this problem of capitation-fee excess. In fact, THASFOFMC can solve most of the problems on this planet. There are some situations where THASFOFMC won't apply though.
However, as I see that my earlier post has got N-downvotes. I am sure that I will convince none of them about THASFOFMC. At my personal level, I only make my best attempt to defeat the opposing side politically.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rituparno Ghosh

Rituparno Ghosh movies mean a lot to me. I once captured a part of his lecture on my camera. He is talking about why he made Dosar in black and white.