Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Diabetes, a silent killer

Diabetes, a silent killer 

Diabetes is not a disease but a gift of a Rajrog, to the people who are living comfortable but not healthy life. Silently, it damages organs like eyes, kidney, even causing heart attack or stroke without showing any visible warning outside. A diabetic person won't get pain or early warning of heart attack, therefore, it is called silent killer.

My neighbour in Sector 8, Gandhinagar, Bharat Patel  (52Y) went alone to the Ahmedabad Railway Station Ahmedabad in the winter cold morning, at 6.30 AM on 15 January 2017, to pick his daughter in law up from the railway station, who was coming from Pune (his Son is working as an engineer in Pune). He was not feeling cold, therefore didn't wear sweater or jacket. He drove the car, reached at the station, climbed up the stair and reached at the platform where the train arrived, received her daughter in law, converse with her, hold the light weight troller bag, walked upto the stairs, waited for a minute so that the passengers rush get reduced, and just took a first step on the stair, and that very moment, he collapsed and died by heart attack on the spot in a second. He is survived by his wife and two sons. 

He was suffering from hereditary problems of high cholesterol, high BP, and diabetes. His life style was regular: early to bed and early to rise, regularity in meals, punctual in his daily walk of 5 miles everyday, regular in taking medicines. Vegetarian, he was fond of kathiavadi food, as the family belong to Junagadh. Unemployed he, was a Hanuman Bhakta, an active member of Sundarkand Path team in Gandhinagar, he was doing all preparation for the path for the team regularly. He used to visit hospital to serve biscuits to the patients. He used to go to the cremation place to serve cereals to the birds and animals. Kabar (myna) and a Crow couple were fond of his ganthia and the monkeys were regular visitors of his house at regular intervals. Very good person by heart to others, he used to become angry on his wife when he pass through emotional attacks around full moon days. Heart controls our emotions, and therefore, when heart is in problem, the emotional bursts happen. It further damage the left ventricle. The wiring and electricity of the heart get disturbed and suddenly gets off one day.

After angioplasty of one of our colleagues when another was admitted for heart care, I telephoned the doctor to know about his health problem. He explained that cholesterol, BP and diabetes together are the reasons for more blockages in the heart, therefore he will be operated for a bypass surgery. When I inquired that why stents couldn't serve the purpose, what did he say? When one incident of law & order happen, you can control it easily, but when the whole city is under violence, what will you do? Diabetes for a long is one of the major reasons for blockages of not one or two blood vessels but make many blood vessels narrowed and rigid with plaques. And till you approach, the heart care centre, the damage has already been done, because diabetes is a silent killer. 

Life is a light and Death is a Darkness. God knows when the spark extinguish. Diabetes is a disease, not easy to control. The medical treatment contributes to manifest side effects. It is interesting to note that the way subordinates stop taking our commands beyond a limit, the cells of body stop taking glucose from the blood due to miscommunication of messages between and within cells. Apart from the hereditary reason; nature of individual, stress and living environment cause diabetes. Spouse is a life partner, but difference of opinion with the spouse can generate stress, increase secretions of adrenaline gland, make the vessels rigid that brings diseases in the body. Many of our diseases are generated by brain that damage the heart which is the source of life line for the brain itself. Therefore, change nature, accept the people and situations as they are, do care for health, be regular in health check ups, stay fit and  healthy to play a long inning of life. Avoid sweets but be sweet in nature. Body is a machine, if maintained well, can drive for a long. 

After dinner rest a while, after supper walk a mile. 

Shubham Bhavatu Kalyanam.

22 February 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happiness Index of Singapore

Happiness Index of Singapore 

A team of 38 officers of middle management level (Director rank, equalised with Joint Secretary grade in India) lead by the 51 years old Director of Water Supply, are on 5 days visit to India as part of their 3.5 weeks in service training under Government Leadership Programme (GLP). They are spending 2.5 days in Ahmedabad and 2.5 days in Banglore. That includes some spots visit and interaction with Government and private officials. 

Singapore is a sovereign city State with a tropical climate and 5.6 million multicultural population, famous for its growth model. It's a global commerce, finance and transport hub. Its standings include: the most "technology-ready" nation (WEF), top International-meetings city (UIA), city with "best investment potential" (BERI), second-most competitive country, third-largest foreign exchange market, third-largest financial centre, third-largest oil refining and trading centre, and the second-busiest container port. The country has also been identified as a tax haven. It is ranked 11th internationally and first in Asia on the UN HDI. It is ranked highly in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety, and housing. 

It was developed as trading post by British East India Company, therefore it carries the same legacy of British administration like India, but better known for its global trades, development models in urban development, service deliveries, good governance and tourism. It became independent from British rule in 1963 and became sovereign nation from Malaysia in 1965. It is served by approximately 300 officers like IAS in India, working in various departments. They have unique promotion policy, not based on seniority but based on performance appraisals. A batch may induct in service together but each of the officer is judged by his reporting and reviewing authority very carefully during the first five years of his/her service and based on the assessment of his/her strengths, they decide the career growth of the individual officer that upto what rank he/she should be grown at what age in the administration. The smarter and efficient guys grow up faster, therefore there is very keen competition amongst officers in performing their duties. 

The Country after achieving heights in growth index, now worry about their negative growth rate. Therefore, they study the global trends, reexamine Singapore's operating model to find out new opportunities to take the country forward in future economy. They worry about their population shrink as the youths marry in their 30s. 38% of the population is on PR and foreign nations. It is ranked high in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety, and housing, but does not fare well on happiness index. Income inequality is high, therefore each adult compare himself with the neighbour, with the peer, and are on run after money. Some of them are addict of alcohol, drugs and casinos.  Cases of family violences are increasing as the tolerance level of partners going down. In stress or depression many get sleep after drinking alcohol. After reaching to the height, the chase for no.1 is creating more stress over their life. The cost of living is going up and the expectations for searching for further growth opportunities is making them restless. Earning income is their religion, therefore they are  far away from the questions: who am I? What is the purpose of life? From where the happiness comes in? 

During the interactive dinner meeting, some of them were very curious to know about Indian philosophy and our way of life. They confessed that they don't have a system of teaching either through parents or educational institutes or religion that penetrate the thoughts of philosophy and good virtues of life like the Indian system does. They were surprised with the policy of 100% prohibition in the State of Gujarat. When they saw the women and girls walking on roads after 10.30 pm, they realised, how peaceful the State is. They are highly impressed with the peace loving nature of the people. They realised that vegetarianism and non alcoholic life bring more joy and happiness in family and social life than a chase after money, alcohol and casinos. However, we have to learn many lessons from Singapore on health care, education, good governance, urban planning and slum rehabilitation, tourism promotion and financial city development. 

The Consule General of Singapore to India Mr. Ajit Singh was right in saying that there should be a regular practice of officers delegations visit to both the countries every year to learn from each other and to exchange the best practices and knowledge including Indian philosophy.

14 February 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dhuna the Holy Fire

Dhuna the Holy Fire

Sadhu life in India is unique, carry many mysteries with it. Have you seen Sadhus sitting on ground with a dhuna of holy fire in front of him. It is a place surrounded by some curious people in search of God and by some in search of chilam (pipe) to have a phunk (smoke) of Ganja (marijuana-cannabis). Sadhus smoke it for better concentration during meditation and getting pleasure effect of bliss. Some people (3.5% of global population) use is used as medicine for relaxation, euphoria and increase in appetite in short run but with a loss of memory, cognition problem and schizophrenia in long run. 

But why does the Sadhu sit in front of a dhuna, the fire? Why do they smear ashes on their bodies? As general logic, one may presume that they live in caves or forest or away from human population, therefore, fire is a safety wall for them from wild animals, snakes and insects. As they live nude, the cover of ashes over their body gives them protection from the insect bites, and may be relief from atmospheric changes.

Why do the Sadhu seats in front of a dhuna, the fire? I asked Raja Babu, a Sadhu sitting in front of the dhuna with smearing ashes on his body.

God is One. HE is creator as Brahma, sustainer as Narayan and destroyer of evils as Shiva. When we pray God, we offer his fruits, food, etc, of our liking. Whatever we offer, it comes back as it is, as the idol won't eat it. We enjoy is as prasad as it is made as per our liking. But when we offer the things to fire, what happens? Nothing return. All turn into ashes. Fire is the mouth of God, he was explaining. Look at this dhuna. It has wood of mango, pomegranate and drumsticks trees. When they had life, they were green, giving fruits. Now they become wood and after burning into the fire, they all will become ash. Ash carry no identity of mango, pomegranate or drumstick. All are the same, the ash. Won't return. 

Now you may ask, why the Sadhu smears ashes on the body? It means, the Sadhu has lost his identity of name, race, ego, etc, everything. He becomes like ash, merged into the Bindu (Atma) that is in the Sindhu (Parmatma). There is no run for anything. Just resting in the cosmic power. Till the body is alive, he will pass through life of a human and then the body will be offered to fire to turn it into the ash. He is free from all bondages. 

Ash for many is Aish-O-Aaram, the luxury and comfort of life and Ash for many may be Aishwarya, the wealth and property or the female, the Mohini, death for demons and life for devas.

It is advised in Hinduism that whatever has been cooked, offer to fire first and then consume. Direct eating is bhoga and after offering it is prasada. It is advised in many religions that whatever we earn, we shall share the 10% of it for the charity and welfare of the society. When everything is going to be ashes, then why to carry attachments. Do enjoy, do consume the righteous (bhunjitha) but with detachment (tena tyakten) that everything in the universe is the manifestation of God (ishavasya idam sarvam, yatkincham jagatyam jagat) and none is the owner (ma gridhh kashya swiddhanam)

ॐ ईशा वास्यमिदँ सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत् ।
तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्यस्विद्धनम् ।। १ ।।

"If all the Upanishads and all the other Scriptures happened all of a sudden to be reduced to ashes, and if only the first verse in the Ishopanishad were left in the memory of the Hindus, Hinduism would live forever" -- Mahatma Gandhi

At the end, all turn into Ashes. Let us offer the light of our life to the holy fire (the dhuna of existence), in bringing more lights in the life of others. Alakh Niranjan.

 शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ॥

7 February 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

Public servants are the luckiest people

Public Servants are the luckiest people 

Democracy is the governance model of the present world and we the public servants are the luckiest people of this model, in service of the society. We are the luckiest not because we have powers, job security, salary security, retirement benefits, etc; but because we have been given opportunity to serve the people, to serve the creatures on Mother Earth. 

The Supreme Power of the existence GOD is everywhere, present in all forms all around. He is an omniscience (having infinite knowledge), omnipotence (having unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere) and omnibenebolece (having perfect goodness). As Brahma, he is creator; as Narayana Vishnu, he is sustainer and as Shiva he is destroyer of the evils. He is the creator and the sustainer of the universe, present in everywhere, in all jeevas all time.

The life on Earth has been classified in four groups: the Jarayuj (born from the placenta: mammals, humans, animals); the Andaj (born from eggs: birds, fishes, amphibians); the Swedaj (born from the sweat/biotic material: insects, bacteria, microscopic creatures) and the Udbij: comes up from land: trees and plants). And the Almighty God is present in all of them as life force. Jarayuj human is considered the highest form of life on Earth and we, the public servants are in the service of humans. The forest and veterinary officials are in the service of the animals, birds, trees and plants. As God is present in all, therefore, we are in service of the God.

Service to the people is considered the shudra karma, but in public service, it is the best karma. Have you seen the pleasure on the face of a doctor while saving the life of a patient? Have you seen a light of happiness on the face of a hungry man after eating a meal received from your hand? Have you noticed the inner joy you feel while serving the society? When you resolve the grievance of a citizen, have you seen the joyous light on his face? When you give away the house to a poor, have you seen the light of satisfaction on faces of the family? When you give reward to someone's work, have you seen the light of happiness on his/her face? That light is the light of God.

We are the luckiest because we have been selected to serve the people. For achieving Sadhya (goal), the Sadhan (mean) is needed. The bird may have knowledge of flying but if loses its one wing, it can't fly. We had a goal of life in our mind to serve the society. Public service has given us opportunity with means of government to achieve our goal.

God lives within each one of us, but when an individual feels happy, a blissful light comes on his face. That is the light of God, the aura of God, the proof of his presence in the creature. When we help someone, when we serve someone, when we satisfy someone; the light of God's come on his face and when he/she gives blessings in that form, become the blessings of God. We are the gainer. These blessings are our real income, our credit points, our earnings. It is our duty to bring more and more light of joy and satisfaction on the faces of the humans, the creatures. 

But, beware. The way blessing has power the curse also carry power. That means, when we give pain, displeasure, hardships, harassment, the negativity to the people; we receive curses, that brings our light down, the God's within us become unhappy. We become loser. 

In the theory of Karma, a fly can become the Sun. Human is a creature that carry freedom to go upward or to go downwards. Let us all fly high with the wings of government in the service of the humanity, in the service of God and brings more and more lights of God on all the faces living on Mother Earth.

6 February 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

What is Maya?

What is Maya?

"The Vedas cannot show you Brahman, you are That already.  - Adi Shankaracharya on 4th Vyas Sutra

Maya is a Sanskrit word. Ma means 'not' and Ya means 'that'; that is not (but appears as real). Maya is our moha (delusion), a substance necessary for the play. Or Ma means mother and Ya means her spread, can explain the creation through Prakriti, mother, the feminine energy. She comes as Mohini in each one's life. Almighty Brahman (I) created the Bhuvan (world), Bhoga (objects of enjoyment), Tanu (body) with Karanas (organs) to play Maya (lila).

Maya has many meanings: illusion, unreal, magic, a dream, a bubble, a rainbow, power, wealth, creation, temporary world, changing, mithya, etc. In fact, Maya is not illusion but the ignorance, the creator of illusion.

We see the universe around, the galaxies, the stars, the planets, five elements, creatures, etc, the play of the consciousness, looking real, then how could one says that this is Maya, the illusion, the unreal? Maya doesn't mean non existence. The existence exists but it is changing. It is not seen or perceived the same by each individual. It is neither true nor untrue therefore called "mithya". It appears as an illusion, something different than what it is.

We play maya within maya on earth. The act of magician, cinema, TV, internet, politics, etc, are examples of maya within maya. What presented is different than what they are. We all follow maya in our day to day life, use untruth to gain or hide something. We know that free air given by God is more essential for our life than the diamond. Still we chase diamond and sacrifice life.

Gandhi said 'Truth is God' and truth should be the very breath of our life. The path of truth is the path of God. But it is not easy to walk on the path of truth. હરિનો મારગ છે શૂરાનો, નહી કાયરનું કામ જો ને. Buddha, Jesus and Gandhi can say that their life is their message of truth. But many of us will fail in the test. All carry the inner voice (that differentiate the right and wrong) but only some hear and few follow. All our fights of human world is because of our Asat acharan, walking on the path of untruth. We walk Asat but propagate it as Sat. And that is Maya, creating illusion of truth. If all walk on the path of Sat(truth), the peace will be achieved on mother earth. All our run after Maya will stop and all will have happy healthy and eternal life forever.

Sat has three qualities: Sat, Chit and Anand; truth, knowledge and bliss. Asat has three qualities: asat, avidhya, dukham. Untruth, ignorance and unhappiness. The path of Asat is a path of darkness, path of death, path of slavery and the the path of Sat is a path of light, path of immortality and path of freedom. We are Atman, therefore our core desires are for light, freedom and immortality. Tamaso ma jyortirgamaya. But to achieve the Sat path, we follow the Asat path of maya. And at the end lose the life of light in darkness. Neither get maya nor God fully. દુવિધા મે દેનો ગયે, ના માયા મીલી ના રામ. The duality cycle of birth and rebirth continues. For freedom and liberation one must seek true insights and correct knowledge of the principles behind the hidden magic.

Yoga Vasishta explains: Just as when the dirt is removed, the real substance manifest; when the darkness of the night is dispelled, the objects that were shrouded by the darkness are clearly seen; similarly when ignorance (maya) is dispelled, truth is realized. In darkness (ignorance) the rope is perceived as snake, the pole is perceived as ghost. Sky appears blue but it has no colour if we understand the reasons consciously. Maya disappears only with the light of knowledge when we are able to experience things without the division of the seer and the seen. It is awakening. Not the daily event of morning awakening from the bed, but the spiritual awakening.

In Truth of realisation, nothing exists except infinite and eternal God. There the illusion of finite things as separate from God vanishes, and with it vanishes the Maya, the creator of this illusion. -Meher Baba

All live in that Maya-illusion, bound by limitations, unable to identify as Atman, not realise the freedom of true identity. The dream is real in the state of dreaming but comes to an end when we wake up. Let us break the dream created by Maya (ignorance) and see the real, the truth, the Brahman.

સર્વમ બ્રહ્મમયમ્  સર્વમ બ્રહ્મમયમ્ ।।

Om shanti shanti shanti:

2 February 2017
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