Saturday, March 31, 2012

What is material world?

Humans are often criticized for their attachment to material world. Its considered as some sort of trap where once you get stuck, its difficult to get out. Reason for our spiritual and moral decline is often blamed on our desires and attachments associated with this material world. What is this material world after all? Is it our planet, our surroundings, our possessions, people around us, what is it?

If we assume God as creator of all living beings then this whole earth or universe is its creation, so how it can be a trap or bad thing? If this material world is so bad or its a trap full of so many distractions and evil things then why God sent us here?  For me earth is the best planet in entire universe and we are lucky to be on it, that's why we call it our mother planet/earth. How can mother be a distraction or source of our downfall. We are still trying to find evidence of life on other planets and it’s very much possible that we might find evidence on some of them but still ours will be the most beautiful planet.

Now let’s see why this planet or material world or attachment with it is often criticized in scriptures/religions. This is the place where we are born and live our entire life and during that process we get attached to many things which is quite natural. Most religions believe either there is life after death or there is some other planet or world (which is supposed to be better than ours) where one goes after death (that too if you qualify to go there). It’s also believed that your attachments on this planet hinder your journey to that unknown destination. All religions paint different picture of that promised land (heaven or hell whatever you want to call) and also prescribe different ways to qualify to go there.We use everything available on this planet to fulfill our needs and desires. After serving us so well and honestly his poor material world gets blame for our attachments and miseries.

Aim of religion was to replace all our attachments with only one attachment (that is God or whatever that religion preaching). They see these material attachments as biggest threat to them and want to eliminate their competitors that's the only reason I see they criticize it. People many times use wrong ways to satisfy their desires or greed, but they don't do this only for their material desires there are enough examples of religious extremism, forceful conversions, hatred about non-believers, communal riots, etc. all these are due to human attachment to religion/God in these cases. People think its God's will  to preach their religion and they are serving/pleasing God by doing this. Its even said that “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” How come then only material desires or attachments are blamed/criticized in scriptures but not the religious attachments? May be someone can explain this for me.

These so called distractions and attractions around us are part of life and life is interesting because of them. Running behind them is not the whole purpose of life; everything has its own importance and meaning in life. For example eating is necessary for living but if you only pay attention towards eating and do nothing else, eat as much as you can, then you know what will be the result and it might become cause of all your problems and destruction. Give importance to things as much as they should be given (or deserve) and to know how to do this is living balanced life. Every person is different and different things have different importance to different people.

This planet is our home for rest of our life and we are privileged to have it. Whatever we learn, achieve, discover, create is all from this so called material world. It's source of all our happiness, problems and sorrows (everything which we have). There is perfect world around us which provides us everything we need, it has enough for our need but not for greed. Real material world, its imperfections or attachments or distractions are not out side but they are inside our mind and we need to control that, no point in blaming anyone for that. So called heaven or hell everything is here and we experience it so many times during our life but don't realize it. It's our duty to take care of this planet as generations to come will be living here. We should try to make this place more beautiful than it was before we leave.

Thanks for reading and please share your opinions about this topic.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where/What is God?

It's very complex question, and everyone might have different opinions about it, this is my perspective, you are free to challenge it, question it. Everyone will agree that it's difficult subject to handle and I don't think I can cover it in one post but still I am going to try. 

Its believed that God  is omnipresent (present everywhere), omnipotent (unlimited power), omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness) and eternalIf it's true then why we look for that power in Temples, Mosques, Churches or other places?  

I remember a very interesting story which I want to share here, many thousands of years ago; it was believed that every person on this planet was a God. But humankind abused their powers (as usual), so the Supreme Lord or God decided to take it all away. The problem was where to hide the godhead-the source of our talent, potential, glory and power (our consciousness). The first adviser of Lord said, ‘Why don’t we dig a hole deep in the ground and hide the godhead in there?’ ‘No,’ replied the Lord, ‘eventually someone will dig deep enough and find it.’ The second adviser said. ‘Why not put this power on the top of the highest mountain?’ Again the Lord refused. ‘No, someone will eventually scale that mighty mountain and find it.’ Finally, the third adviser said, ‘How about hiding the godhead at the bottom of the world’s deepest ocean?’ The Lord replied, ‘No, someone will dive down deep into the ocean and discover it.’ They thought about it lot. After some serious thinking they found the solution and decided place this source of extraordinary power, magnificence, and glory inside the heart (or mind) of every man, woman, and child on the planet, because they’ll never think to look there. They were so right. We don’t even try to look inside our self but search all over the world for God. 

Every religion gives different picture or description of God and gives different explanations about its powers and ways to please that power. If you read then you might get an impression that God is some superpower who wants you to praise him/her all the time and behave in certain way to please him/her and if you don't there are dire consequences for that. This description satisfied curiosity of human mind for longtime but doesn't sound very logical in today's era. Why God will be slave loving entity wanting his/her subjects to please him/her? If he/she created the world then how come we are evolving? Was original creation faulty that we are evolving? If human species was born in God created world why we modified it so much that we are staying today in totally man made world? There are many questions like this which pop up in my mind.

I myself thought about it lot, after all what is God? I think Consciousness in us is nothing but God, it's personal thing. This power is part of every living being on this planet and universe. Consciousness is omnipresent like God; whatever we experience our consciousness is there, it’s eternal. Whatever we create is from our consciousness, its source of all our knowledge (omniscient), it lies behind all our understanding, without that we are nothing. We don’t realize this and think that God is some separate entity which is somewhere outside us and try to search for it at different places.

Individual in us want to know God or want to be in God consciousness because we have an illusion that there is individual in us which is separate from our consciousness (this illusion/confusion was created by many theories who describe God differently). Consciousness and God are two names of same thing. Irony is that we search for that power externally in all man made places but not where it truly resides. Even if we consider God as some external entity and assume we are its creations, so God should be vast like ocean (just for the sake of comparison), and we are like waves of that endless ocean, without ocean waves don’t exist. Wave and ocean are different form of same thing, they don't exist without each other, we also don't exist without our consciousness. When we realize our true nature (pure consciousness, not only this body) then we meet our God there and then itself (I call it Self Realization). Waves don’t have to go anywhere to meet ocean, similarly person with pure consciousness don’t have to go anywhere to meet God as he/she is always with God.

There are two types of distances in any relationship one is physical distance and other one is spiritual distance. Often people concentrate only on physical distance as it’s easy to measure and easy to feel, if you hold somebody’s hand then you are physically close to that person but that doesn’t mean you are spiritually connected with each other. At the same time people living thousands of miles from each other can feel that they are with each other but it’s not the physical intimacy which makes them to feel together is the spiritual intimacy. Once you have that spiritual intimacy then all physical boundaries don’t matter. By going to temples and churches or by having idols people are trying to reduce the physical distance with God, but that’s not the case physically we are always close to God as that entity resides within our self, we can realize it only when we realize true nature of our self. So think about how to reduce spiritual distance then you will realize that physical distance doesn't matter anymore.

We worry so much about our future meeting with God and what will happen after death that we waste our life just worrying about it. If we search within our self then only we can find our God otherwise we may wander many places, read many texts, hear people’s opinion about God, its existence, what they think about it, but will never be able to experience it our self.

Thanks for reading and please share your views and questions.

Related Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Are marriages made in heaven?

According to me not at all, marriages are very much decided on earth by humans, we make and break them. Human mind is very unsteady and it tries to run from one place to other so to reduce this instability in long term relationship concept of marriage was introduced. Centuries ago when societies were very conservative, social male-female interaction was very restricted and limited, females were allowed to interact with only males from their own family. This created unique system of ‘arranged marriage’ where everything was decided by elders and real bride- groom had very little say in their own marriage, I think this resulted in belief that to whom you will get married is your destiny (that is not in your hand) that’s why they say marriage are made in heaven (one more blame on God). All the rituals, oaths and celebrations associated with marriage is just to make us realize the importance of that relationship. Like any other relationship marriage requires lot of understanding and adjustment to make it successful. As society progresses (intellectually and materially) concept of marriage also evolved with time.

Marriage is definitely a man made concept and institution there is nothing divine or spiritual about it, its friendship at different level. It’s widely accepted in all societies and cultures so it needs to be respected and preserved as it helps in smooth functioning of society and brings some stability in human relationship and nurtures concept of family. We are not yet successful completely in curbing our animal instincts totally so most of us need these types of intuitions and laws to curb our animal instincts and have harmony in social and personal life. 

Traditionally concept of marriage was to allow development of long term relationship between man and women to create a family. But today marriage is a commitment for a long term and honest relationship between two individuals and whether these individuals should only be man and women can be debated, according to me it can be between any two individuals as long as both are willing to enter and honor the commitment. This is what I believe and there can be different opinions on this and I totally understand it. People are entitled to have their own opinions and express it in democratic manure. If you think logically then you might understand what I meant, technically we can’t say that same sex people can’t get married, why not? If they are willing to enter in ling term relationship and honor their commitment. 

Our society was male dominant for centuries and marriage was also designed heavily to favor males, where all changes (name change, family change, loss of property rights, etc.) were forced on females. As wives there role was restricted to specific duties which were mainly related with household chores. Things are now changing very fast but I think females suffered a lot because of unfairly biased rules where they have to compromise so much just for the sake of long term relationship with man to bring some stability in their life.  

Marriage is also not an institute designed to produce legitimate kids, according to me becoming parent is a special process and it requires different level of maturity and capacity. Everybody who is eligible to get married is not ready or eligible to become parent, so marriage and parenthood are two different things and we should not mix them together. Historically both these things are linked but I think we are mature enough to understand that these two things are separate and have nothing to do with each other.

I would like to end this post with one interesting quote ‘You don’t really need someone to complete you. You only need someone to accept you completely’.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to share your views and comments.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Does Religion Divide or Unite People?

This is very complex and challenging question. What makes us ask this question? Why religion was created? What is its situation today? Is there any need of religion in today’s world? These are very relevant and important questions.

Many centuries ago when we didn't have proper understanding about nature, life- its complexity and many other things. People that time needed some system which can help them to solve these mysteries and religion was born to explain these things. It did the same thing which science does for us today (see my post science and religion). Another important question is if God/truth is one then why we have so many religions in the world? Before beginning of modern era modes of communication were not that well developed, knowledge or information generated was difficult to communicate and transfer, so people living in different regions developed their own way of understanding nature and its functioning. This gave birth to so many religions which we see around us today. They are very different in their approach but all try to explain nature of some super power which they think created and controls this universe. Religion is nothing but a belief system which was created to help people understand mysteries of universe, life and related things, to satisfy our curiosity about uncertainty and unpredictability in life. People who believe in certain set of ideas about creation of universe and its creator associate themselves with certain type of religion.

Now let’s try to understand why every religion claims that their way or method is correct/better than others and is their claim right. Suppose we assume that number 4 is ultimate truth (or God), so someone who discovers 2+2=4 will think he/she found the secret of ultimate truth and that’s the way to go, in a way he/she is right but if he/she thinks (as most of religious groups who believe in their scriptures blindly think) that’s the only way to reach to 4 then they are definitely wrong, 1+3=4, 5-1=4, 10-6=4 and like that there are so many ways to reach that ultimate target and each of them is unique and correct in their own way. By this logic I think that every person is entitled to have his/her own religion. What we do is we stick to one method which we like or feel is correct and say all other methods are wrong. All religions agree that God is one but then again fight on ways to reach or understand it, very strange. This simple example shows that there are many ways to reach same destination.

When I came across different faiths and tried to understand them I didn’t find anything fundamentally different in any of them, rather it amazed me that there are so many ways to teach basically same philosophy and actually it’s an amazing choice human beings have, if you don’t like one particular way just choose another, pretty simple. Either everyone is right or all are wrong, when we understand this then there won’t be any problem in understanding each others faiths and beliefs. The world will be beautiful place with no hatred no fight based on religion, there will be at least one less reason to kill each other. Hinduism is often criticized for its idol worship and having many Gods-demigods, or seeing god in everything (tree, fire, air, stones, etc.). Its written in Vedas that’s creator of universe is a formless, image-less and genderless entity, but if you assume there is a creator (God) then what’s wrong in having some image of God using our imagination and giving it some name. Already we created the religion then what’s wrong in creating God and then why not to have many forms of it. It’s like having vending machine from which one can choose whichever God he/she like and worship it. If they are different forms of same thing then what’s the problem? If you like, nothing wrong in worshiping God as formless entity and also nothing wrong in worshiping it in some form, everyone is entitled to have their own God, it's a personal thing. If we agree all religions lead to the same ultimate truth then why to question others method. In science there are different branches, all try to look for facts, but for eg. chemist doesn't ridicule physicist or try to convert them to chemist because they both know that even though their ways are different they are leading to same destination. If everyone is heading to same destination but just taking different path then is what's the problem? 

Why don’t we humans understand that religion was created to unite us, make us more civilized and tolerant towards each other but we are doing exactly opposite.  Today religion divides more than uniting people, and we have to blame ourselves for this situation not the religion, that's why I asked in the beginning do we need them anymore. We converted religion in exclusive societies, where people believing certain set of principals are welcomed but not others. Let’s stop this division and hatred based on religion and live like civilized humans are supposed to live. Humanity is the only religion everybody is born with now lets practice it also.

Thanks for reading and please share your views and questions on this topic.

Related links for further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_persecution

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Motivation: from where and how to get it.


First of all we need to know why and when we need motivation. Many times we are not happy with our jobs, our relationships and our life in general and that makes us lethargic, dull and we lose interest in almost everything. Fierce competition in every field, our disappointments and failures make this situation more complicated. This situation many times leads to lack of interest, depression and pessimistic attitude towards life.  Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are going through this phase, we suffer, and people around us also suffer because of this. In today’s competitive, fast moving world people don’t have time for each other, they are fighting for their survival. Our needs are limited but desires are huge, unlimited, endless. To get out of this hopeless situation we need some motivation, positive thinking. 

According to me best way to get out of this mess is we should learn to motivate our self without any external help. Everyone can’t afford to attend those motivational speeches, courses or classes, at least I didn’t get chance to attend them. Neighborhood where I spent my first 30 years of life exposed me to almost all colors and situations of life. I consider myself lucky in that aspect, I became very rich in experience. But my problem was I didn’t have anybody to guide me, to motivate me (unless you call your parents heavy expectations about you as motivation). So I searched for it in books, made many friends and it helped me a lot, I got motivation from my friends and books, that’s how I learned to motivate myself. That's why according to me best way to get motivated is to motivate yourself, it’s not that easy but trust me it’s not that difficult also. 

In my research field of drug discovery there is very high failure rate, success rate to get suitable drug candidate is less than 0.5%, it looks quite gloomy situation. But I enjoy my work and cherish all aspects of it; I am not worried about my final destination as I want to enjoy my journey. I believe that there can me many people whose destination might be same but everybody’s journey is unique and special. We worry a lot about results, our targets, achievements and because of that don't enjoy our journey. In my case, I believe that every molecule I am making might be the next big drug to cure that disease and it gives me immense pleasure to make it, and put all the efforts and hard work towards its synthesis. I am not worried about its fate once it’s synthesized because that’s not in my hand. I believe that it may not be possible for everyone to get the best job in the world but it’s in our hand to give best possible effort to whatever job we have. I also try go to gym on fairly regular basis, but I just don’t go to gym for the sake of going or because I am scared of getting fat or having high cholesterol. I go there because I enjoy my work out, I like the environment of gym, see people in action, that spirit, it motivates me, my work out makes me tired but also makes me feel good.

If we look around we can get motivation from small, small things. The problem is that we worry too much about future, failures, fear of competition and so many other things which mess up our mind and consume our energy, so cheer up and be happy because happy people are always motivated...:)
Thanks for reading, please share your comments. 

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Women and Religion


Why all religions and sects are created by Men, why there is no single female who created any major religion or wrote any significant religious text/scripture?

I always get this question and wonder if anyone else thinks about it or not. Why we see most of religious institutes (Temples, Churches, Mosques and many others) headed or controlled only by men? You see any major religion its messenger or creator or even person in charge today is male, WHY? Why are we afraid to give them control?

I personally believe that women are as capable as men in every aspect of life and there is no reason to believe why they couldn't write the scriptures, be messenger of God or create any religion. I think it was social structure of our society (male dominance) which suppressed their abilities and confined them to particular role and denied them their due credit.

It’s my belief that they were involved in discussion and debates when our society was more open and liberal (thousands of years ago). They must have participated when Vedas used to be debated and discussed and contributed their ideas during those times, I believe women must have contributed heavily in those debates and discussions; we just don’t have its record. But slowly as society started getting controlled more by muscle power than brain power they lost their place and that’s when men took over all the leading positions and also got the credit for that work. We twisted religious scriptures and messages, interpreted them as per our need and convenience and forced certain sections of society to live under deprived conditions, even created horrible cast system out of it. I am not talking only about Hinduism or any particular religion here; all religions are guilty of this, religions all over the world created separate cast called women. If we would have allowed it to be dynamic system (original form of religion which nobody practices today) I don’t think this would have happened.

Women were confined to home to perform household duties, produce kids. They were hailed as Mata, Devi and what not but were not allowed to cross boundaries set for them by society (males). Their role was limited to daughter, sister or mother. They were totally dependent on males for their living, safety or even existence. They were oppressed for centuries and slowly got used to it and most of them started believing in their role which was decided by male dominated society. Even in most effluent societies of the world women have to fight for centuries to get their rights, till recently they were even denied basic rights like education and voting.

It’s good to see that now they have realized their true nature and decided to come out of this cage and explore their true potential. They are openly challenging some of the restrictions put on them by age old traditions and I feel happy to see their liberation. By liberation I don’t mean external liberation (clothes, jobs, etc) but they should liberate their mind and soul. I would like to listen to their views about religion which was used by society to suppress them for ages, religion in its original form doesn’t allow any discrimination but as I said we misused it.

Today we have chance to create society without any discrimination and with equal rights to everyone. I think after long time we have reached to this point again and let’s not miss this chance again otherwise humanity will never forgive us.

Thanks for reading and your comments are welcome.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Science and Religion

Do science and religion go together?
For me answer is ‘Yes, very much’ rather they are made for or made from each other. There was no difference between science and religion when humanity started, they were one and same. According to me Vedas are first and oldest science journals or scientific societies formed. They used to get updated, debated and people from all sections of society used to contribute their ideas and views during those debates and discussions.  Humans needed this process of generation of knowledge to explain and understand many things around us which used to confuse people in those times and science does the same thing today. But somehow this was discontinued at some stage for some reason.

Every society or culture from time to time gets benefited by presence of very intelligent personalities who become source of fresh, new ideas and knowledge. Their message acts like fresh air and inspires many people who then become their followers. Some of the groups of these followers decided to make their own exclusive societies (which in many cases get converted in new religions) to preach teachings of their teacher (or guru or messenger) and they converted those teachings into a set of rigid rules, complicated structure of dos and don’ts. I don’t think original person delivering this knowledge even desired to have something like this (religions which we have today). When we declare particular knowledge sacred and ultimate truth then there is no scope for debate. This made science and religion part their ways and they became separate fields. Science is all inclusive in its approach; nothing is sacred or holy there, it can’t be rigid or static, everything can be challenged, it encourages asking questions, performing new experiments, and new theories and keeps on adding new knowledge. 

Knowledge is continuous process and it changes over time as new discoveries are made and it gets updated every moment, every day. Science corrects itself, something which seems to be true today may not be true tomorrow as new technologies come new theories also come. There is nothing wrong or insulting to prove old theories wrong or find some error in them and correct them. Those scientists who discovered those theories still considered as great scientists with phenomenal minds as they could achieve that feat with such a limited technology and resources available that time. Scientists have disagreement all the time but scientists don't kill each other over scientific disagreement but history shows us numerous occasions where people kill each other because of religious differences even though all religions teach love and peace

Followers of all religions closed doors for any new knowledge believing that all knowledge has been already delivered and everything to be said is already said. Eventually they started finding difficult to accept or cope with new knowledge which was pouring (as knowledge is continuous process it won’t stop as long as human race or living beings exist on this planet we will keep on learning new things every day). Religion became separate, sacred entity which then become stationary as nothing was allowed to change (even the wrong assumptions or concepts), nothing was allowed to add (even clearly proven facts). At this point science and religion started confronting each other more than often. Now a days science is used to criticize religion and vice versa, still many prophets or different religious groups try to claim that their religious texts list many scientific facts, but still we don’t see close relationship between these two fields. 

We need to understand that for the welfare of human being science and religion has to go together then only both can perform their duties otherwise this unnecessary confrontation will continue like this. We should be ready to correct many rules or concepts which are outdated in many religions and accept new ideas and move forward, it won’t hurt any religion or reduce its dignity. Whenever people will understand this, this whole debate of science vs religion will become meaningless. 

I firmly believe that if there is anything which can help us to search or understand the concept of God it has to be combination of science and religion. According to me science and religion are not separate but they are one and same.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why Krishna delivered Bhagavad Gita to Arjun not to someone else?


Why Arjun? Why not Yudhisthir or Bhim or Karna or anyone else, there were so many brilliant characters in Mahabharat so why Krishna chose Arjun for delivering one of the important scriptures in human history. I used to get this question in my mind many times while reading about Bhagvad Gita. People believe that because Arjun was like his discipline and he favored or liked him among all pandavas that’s why Krishna delivered Gita to him. I think both of them were very good friends with mutual respect and admiration for each other and it’s not because of their relationship but particular situation during that battle which resulted delivery of Gita to Arjun. Significance of this message is great largely due to that situation.

First thing we should understand that Arjun was very celebrated warrior at that stage, neither war was a new event for him nor killing his enemies, he did that numerous occasions before. After seeing all his loved ones as opponents on the battle field he became weak and got confused. He got in real dilemma on the day of battle and started thinking why is he fighting? Is it worth killing his own relatives for a piece of land? What is he going to achieve after all this? Even if they win the war is that victory worth after so many deaths and destruction? These were all very genuine and relevant questions. Arjun was warrior and his duty was to fight because of his confusion so many doubts and concerns originated in his mind and he started deviating from his true nature. That’s why I think Gita is delivered for people who are searching for answers and Arjun was such a person on that day. We all are like Arjun at some stage of our life. Gita is not for people who are not looking for the answers or who already have their answers. Other characters of Mahabharat standing on that battlefield have already decided their stand. They had their reasons to be there and very well convinced why and for whom and why they were fighting that war, so there was no point in giving them any advise because they didn’t need it and were already on their selected path. Krishna’s advice to them would have fallen on deaf ears. They were pretty convinced about their path and principles that’s why he didn’t try to advice them like he did to Arjun.

We all face similar situations like Arjun in our life, it presents us with situations where it’s tough to choose, where it’s difficult to understand which way to go? What is right and what is wrong (its called dharmasankat)? That’s why it’s been delivered to Arjun and no one else and I think he was the only person who had capability to understand it and grasp it because his doubts were genuine and questions were honest. As I said before its not for people who already have their answers, and believe me there are many people like that, on Kurukshetra battlefield itself except Arjun everybody had their answers with them.

If Gita was supposed to be the guide to teach how to live life then Krishna would have delivered it to Arjun or to whole society well before the battle so that Arjun won’t be in any confusion during the battle, why did he wait till that day to deliver it? According to me Gita makes more sense to you if you are looking for some answers, unless you have any questions Gita won’t appeal to you and would sound like some heavy dose of preaching or any other book. It’s significance increases drastically if you are in dilemma and facing very difficult situation at any stage of life like Arjun. Arjun is not just a person here it’s a stage of mind; it’s a symbol of a person who is really confused at very important juncture of his life, in serious dilemma. It can be me, you or anyone else; we all are Arjun if we are in that stage.

Mahabharat is an amazing story which you can read at any stage of your life and will find something new every time you read it (depending on what stage of life you are reading), but Gita is not like that you have to be seeking answers to understand it that’s why I think normally it’s studied or read separately. We need to find our Krishna to get our Gita and it can come in any form like any book, person or any source from where you get your Gita delivered to you. All these great religious scriptures (For example Bhagavad Gita, Bible, Quran and many others) were delivered for people who are seeking answers, who needed some guidelines, you can find answers for many or all of your questions in them. Arjun can be a single person or entire society and if you have not found your answers yet then keep on searching your Gita may come in any form so be prepared to recognize it and grasp it and use it as your inspiration and guide.
Thanks for reading and please share your comments.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Deool- a must watch Marathi movie


Yesterday I watched Marathi movie ‘Deool’ it means temple in Marathi. It was amazing experience to watch this movie, screenplay, casting, direction and acting all was amazing. All characters are very well defined and are there in a movie for reason; rarely you see such a perfect balance achieved in Marathi movie.

The movie broadly talks about religious faith and its commercialization at the cost of real development. During the movie director very cleverly comments on various contradictions observed in Indian society. It also shows if people decide to take on some task (like in movie temple building) and are really passionate and united for that cause nothing is impossible even in Indian system which is plagued by red tapism and also dirty politics.

Girish Kulkarni’s role as Keshya is just amazing; he has captured all the mannerisms and details of typical village boy character. The movie shows interesting scenario where two people poles apart from each other, pure and innocent devotee Keshya and Anna, person with more scientific approach towards faith and God understand each other very well but rest of the society just doesn’t try to understand both of them. Relationship between these tow characters is very interesting part of movie according to me. Dilip Prabhavalkar’s character (Anna) is interesting as he is not against personal faith or any religion but also cautions people that faith a personal matter and should remain personal and development is necessary for village and not to mix them together. He feels sad when people get carried away because of prosperity which comes to them suddenly because of construction of new temple and its popularity. It also very nicely shows peoples attitude towards popular temples in India. At most of these places everything is just about money and bhakti or devotion takes back. These temples become big commercial power centers and money making machines. It also shows how villagers get rid of real devotee (Keshya) and thinker (Anna) when they don’t find their presence very comfortable for them. These two people are two rare protagonists whom we don’t see around now a days and all villagers make use of them as per their convenience and don’t even think twice before dumping them.

Dialogues of Keshya with his God are very interesting, especially when he talks with God after construction of temple. It also nicely comments on what might happen if we implement women reservation policy without any prior training for women to handle power which they will get because of that policy (see the character of women Sarpanch of village). It nicely shows the effect of globalization (sudden availability of money and technology) on India's small towns and villages. It is an Indian language film to be really proud of. For God’s sake, don’t miss it.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why to write...how this blog started???


Everyone in this world has something to say.  Everybody’s story is unique and interesting. I used to think that lot has been already said or written about this and related subjects, so who will listen to me if I want to tell my views, but I believe that everyone is unique in this world and should share his/her ideas, experiences and views and that’s how world will progress. We need to be open to new views and ideas even if sometimes they sound strange. I saw many people don’t even think about these issues or follow whatever told to them blindly. Even after progressing so much in technological areas and in science we still have very primitive understanding about religion and its role in today’s world. We need more and more people express their views so that we can have healthy debate on ideas and opinions. People will understand that basically all religions teach same thing and if the central idea or ultimate teaching is same then what’s the big deal? All religious books even though they are great guiding texts have limited significance in today’s world. I am not saying to dump them but use them as reference books not as commandments. We are much better civilized society today than thousands of year ago when these books were written; we need to become more tolerant towards each other. Basically we humans generally express only two emotions love and fear; all our actions can be summarized under these two emotions. We need to bring more love in our life so that it can drive fear away from our lives, it’s not that difficult task and good thing about it is that it’s in our hand. So let’s share our views, experiences, opinions and we all can learn something from each other.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Beginning....


This is the new beginning for me; I used to write my diary in regular diaries. I have so many of them stacked here and also in Pune my home town in India. I started writing diary when I was in school and have most of them with me telling some stories at different stages of my life and its always very interesting to go back and read few chapters from your own life. My life has been a very incredible journey so far full of very interesting encounters and experiences.

Since last few months I am reading a lot in the field of mythology. My aim is to understand deeper meaning of life. What is religion? What is God? Why people believe or don’t believe in God? What is moksha? Why different people or sects advise different ways to achieve Moksha? What are incarnations of Vishnu? Why they were necessary? And many, many questions like this, I can’t list all of them but I have many more questions and they keep on popping up in my mind so many times whenever I read particular text or listen to some seminar on mythology or attend any religious gathering. I see people around me and always think why most of people follow certain rituals without understanding logic behind it? (Most of these rituals when introduces did have some sort of reasoning or logic behind it, but rarely people try to understand it and analyze if it’s still valid or reasonable thing to do), why they believe in scriptures blindly without even trying to understand its meaning? Why?? I also wonder why these doubts or questions don’t come up in other people’s mind?…either they know the answer or they are ignorant or they don’t care or they are not capable of thinking like I can…but I am also a normal person like most people around me, born and brought up in very humble atmosphere so why these questions keep on coming to me? My parents didn’t force me for follow any particular belief, they were busy in setting up their life as immigrants in Pune they tried to provide us (me and my two brothers) a decent life to the best of their ability and I am really grateful to them for that. They gave us lot of freedom to choose our careers and also way we want to live. I read many Marathi books during my college and school days may be these books had profound effect on my thinking and behavior, so I consider myself lucky in this aspect.

I am reading and thinking a lot these days and trying to find out answers to these questions myself and I think I am heading somewhere, I am sure I will reach my destination and I am determined to walk until I reach there. This is not a road map or guide or mantra to achieve self-realization instantly, these are my thoughts and you have all the rights to agree or totally disagree with them, debate about them, raise questions or concerns about them to me and be sure that I will try to answer them to best of my ability.

I don't promise to answer everything. I am here merely to help you seek the right questions along with me. The answers lie within us. Wherever I interpret the scriptures or any writing whether I understand their real meaning or not is not my concern, if they help me and you uncover our minds and discover our reality then this effort has served its purpose….Let the discovery begin...lets enjoy this journey together...

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing)