• Secrets of Holistic Living: Opinion

    by Amit Patel | Apr 28, 2018

    OPINION


    Habit of dividing the outside situation in good and bad - actually divides the inner psychological energy and slowly reduces it. Acceptance multiplies and opinion divides the energy. Opinion lowers down the level of inner psychological energy.

    A human system under the effect of 'Opinion' loses the ability to see the fact, especially subtle facts underlying the events.

    The loss of psychological energy under the effect of opinion makes a man/woman a daydreamer, a wishful thinker, continuously planning (defensively) instead of observing the plans.

    Low energy level of the mind opens the gate of negativity. One tends to become faultfinding, pessimistic and restless.

    Observation becomes weakertrap and weaker and steadiness is lost. All this happens in psychological part of the human system.

    Opinion results in loss of creativity. There is constant bubbling of the mind with attendant loss of inner silence.

    Opinion results in weakening of nervous system leading to fear psychosis. There is excessive clinging to one’s own living.

    Stronger the opinion, weaker the mental faculty. It leads to hypersensitivity or loss of sensitivity.

    Effort to come out of opinion is equivalent to psychological 'Pranayama'. It helps in purifying and controlling the mind.

    Example:

    • A man may be arrogant but charitable with high degree of organizational skill, steadfast determination, able to withstand usual temptations of money. If we judge him by an opinion we will call him bad if he speaks plainly in a way, which we do not like, and overlook or take a marginal note of his good qualities.
    • A politician working under the stress of heavy negative pressures will be judged by his lack of straight forwardness or his acquisition of wealth, which he requires for various purposes to maintain his political career.

    Only if we come out of "Opinion", we will be able to evaluate a man by taking stock of both his negative and positive parameters, without unduly exaggerating his negativities or turning a blind eye towards his positive attributes. Meditation helps to come out of opinion.

    Book excerpt from "Secrets of Holistic Living" by Shri Jayantilal Shah
    Published by:
    Vasant U. Patel, President
    Vitrag Vignan Charitable Research Foundation

  • GOD...From HOLISTIC SCIENCE Perspective

    by Amit Patel | Apr 28, 2018

    “There can only be one doer. If God has made everything then there is nothing for us to do, and if we are the doer then there is nothing for God to do!”

    First of all, what is the dictionary meaning of God?

    1. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, originator, and ruler of the universe; the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
    2. Omniscient means all knowing and omnipotent means all powerful, fully harnessing the inner energy for the welfare of the universe.
    3. A being of super natural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by people, especially a MALE deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.
    4. The sole Supreme Being, eternal, spiritual, and transcendent, who is the Creator and ruler of all and is infinite in all attributes.
    5. Generator, Operator, and Destroyer of the world.

    Holistic Science has revealed the following basic facts regarding our Universe, God, Living beings, Human Life, and Mother Nature:

    1. Universe is jam packed with living beings of all four life forms viz. Humans, plants and creatures, Angels and hell; and from one-sense (only Touch) to five-sense viz. Touch, Taste, Scent, Sight, and Hearing in progression.
    2. Universe and so the Living beings are all fundamentally made up of Six Perpetual Eternals viz. Soul, Matter, Space, Motion, Inertia, and Time.
    3. Matter in association with the living beings is identified as Live Matter, simply to differentiate from the non-living inert physical matter.
    4. Soul is the only divine and spiritual element with its unique attributes of PERCEPTION and KNOWLEDGE. It is identified as the GOD element of Absolute Purity that remains totally separate from all other perpetual elements, in spite of its close association with them within the living form by virtue of its distinctiveness quality.
    5. There are principally only two things in the world. First is Soul as GOD element with its divine activity of Perceiving & Knowing. Secondly, CIRCUMSTANCES comprising of the other five eternals with their activities in connection with the natural living instincts of FOOD, SLEEP, FEAR, and REPRODUCTION.
    6. These basic instinctive activities become unnatural especially in human society under the potent pressure of self-ignorance and resultant egoistic living under the influence of anger, pride, possessiveness, greed, likes, and dislikes, which becomes the very cause of unhappiness, pain, and disharmony among them.
    7. The effects of such unnatural living get direly reflected on the Ecosystem and Mother Nature as a whole and eventually on other living beings also.
    8. Ego thus born out of ignorance, wanders in the four life forms depending upon his Karmic projections. Ego, in the very presence of the Pure Soul-God, could be positive or negative, which in the present time it is mostly negative. However, it is ego that bears the consequences of its positivity through worldly happiness and comforts and the same ego bears the consequences of its negativity through worldly unhappiness and discomforts. As per Holistic Science both happiness and unhappiness are suffering only. It finally transcends into the Perpetual Spiritual Being through the Right Knowledge of Self and understands that he is wholly and solely responsible for himself, which he falsely believed as ‘Doer’ at times by identifying himself as the body-self and as ‘Knower’ at other times, but unknowingly. And now, But with the understanding of Holistic Science, he starts living with total HUMILITY and MINDFULNESS leading to the total elimination of ‘Doer-ship’; thus emerging as Perpetual Pure Soul Divine Being -- God that ONLY PERCEIVES and KNOWS, freeing from REBIRTH forever!”

    Let us now go through some of the very subtle, logical, rational, and thought provoking intelligent arguments of the Holistic Science:

    1. If the world is created by God, then who created God? And then who created God's creator? One can keep going on and on and on... I believe, with this understanding we cannot come to any finality of a precise answer!
    2. Also, when did he create the world? Because the Holistic Revelation in this regards is: “World is perpetual -- without beginning and is endless.”
    3. If God is the doer, then he is like a potter or a cobbler or even a shoe maker, which doesn’t sound right. Also, if he is truly doing everything, then would you ever be responsible for anything? No. We falsely believe ourselves egoistically as ‘doer’ for every good thing and conveniently put the blame on others for the bad things! Egoistically, harnessing the omnipotence of God, Ego creates his own world in which he has to suffer. But the perpetual fact is neither God nor you are the doer. As Holistic Science has revealed: “God is creator by Hindu viewpoint, by Christian viewpoint, by Muslim viewpoint, but not by fact. By fact, it is only ‘The Scientific Circumstantial Evidence/s’ [SCE/s].
    4. Now, does God really exist? Yes, he does exist. Then what is his address? Is it the heavenly abode up in the sky? No. There is nobody living up in the sky, there are celestial bodies – Angels up there. Rather, the Holistic Science Revelation is: “God is in every creature, whether visible or invisible but not in creation -- not in manmade things!”
    5. Look at the ocean, it appears as if the waves get created and they die (subside). However, water remains forever. It is the SCE i.e. nature – coming together of water, sunlight, and heat combination that the pressure is created and the wind blows creating disturbances in the water, which we call them as waves. Now imagine, where is the need for any God in this natural happening?
    6. A piece of iron when fully dipped in seawater never gets rusted, never gets oxidized. However, when left outside in the open air on the seashore it easily gets oxidized and gets rusted. Again, is God needed to do this? Definitely no! It is the coming together of the Scientific Circumstantial Evidences of the iron, seashore, and moist salty air that it gets rusted. This is a very simple pure Natural Science.

    So, there are no miracles in the nature, but it is the science of coming together of specific ‘Causes’—Evidences and their subsequent ‘Effects’ i.e. SCE which makes thing happen; and not doing by any particular Evidence, which most of the time, we conveniently hold it solely responsible! Holistic Science calls this collective coming together of the various causes of people and/or things, which make things. We call them Happening (fruits of the past seeds) -- Circumstances in nature are only ‘Scientific Circumstantial Evidences’!

    Unfortunately, people do not have knowledge of this Natural Science to solve every mystery of happening that surrounds them. This is simply because they are plagued with ignorance -- lack of knowledge i.e. they lack the ‘Science of Circumstances’ which Holistic Science has so gracefully revealed to us.

    For example: Of all the people in the crowd, why did my pocket get picked? Look around! Who is suffering today? Is it the pickpocket or me? One who has lost his money, he is in pain, and today I am suffering and not the pickpocket because I am paying for my past misgivings! While the pickpocket is enjoying his new fortune today, he will be punished by the nature for sure; he will be caught like me in the future. Holistic Revelation for this is, “Sufferer is at fault!”

    In the same way, it is not the mistake of the person who shot the arrow! It is the mistake of the person who got hit by the arrow, who is suffering today. But in the world, socially this is not acceptable. When the person who shot the arrow gets caught and proved guilty then it will be his mistake and would be punished, but now the person who got hit has been caught in the nature, being suffering today.

    So, whose mistake is it? It is of the one who suffers. The primary mistake is that you ignorantly believed you are John or you are Sandy. This wrong belief causes pain and suffering. If this wrong belief is removed through Self-knowledge, the world would be without any faults.

    The aphorism, “Adjust Everywhere”, will take you to the zenith of effectively discharging your worldly duties. No one has got freed or liberated without doing so. One has to resolve the worldly life puzzles in an amicable manner so as to not accumulate new Karmas.

    Where there are differences or clashes, there is no presence of God, and it is not even a sound worldly activity either, then how will it ever be a pious religious activity? So, we must resolve to ‘Avoid Clashes’ for our own peace, happiness and harmony.

    So, God is the divine eternal entity as Pure Soul within all living beings. It remains within us as a mere witness only. And we live as Ego, ‘I am John’ or ‘I am Sandy’ for example. This is irrespective of our religious belief whether I am Hindu, Jain, Christian, Jew, or Muslim. The divine power of Perception and Knowledge of God gets primarily realized and experienced indirectly by us (as John or Sandy) through the 5-senses, which we all have. Our mind gets inspired through the Karmic Causes of the past lives based on the thoughts that sprout and further make us (John or Sandy) do things in connection with the Karmic Suffering we (John or Sandy) have to pass through, which is not possible without the presence of God, our Real Self, who unfortunately we are not aware of. Our body self (John or Sandy) is our Relative Karmic Self making us (John or Sandy) suffer all day and night -- 24X7.

    Karmic connections, in the presence of God – Pure Soul, inspire us and that’s how we end up doing things which eventually makes us suffer as part of our discharging Karmas only, and not otherwise! Discharging Ego makes us suffer, whereas Charging Ego conceives us for the next life through wild ignorant doer-ship projections.

    The Charging Ego continues only until you are Self-realized as God when it stops, and then what remains is Discharging Egoistic activity only. Through Self-realization you come to know yourselves as God – Pure Soul that ‘I am’ when you simply start “Perceiving” and “Knowing” all discharging Karmic effects of Ego (John or Sandy) through SCE i.e. nature.

    Now, in the matter of two to three lives mainly elevated humans or higher form of Angels with a maximum of 15 lives in total and the definite last life of human only, when all Karmic Effects get fully discharged for you to attain perpetual freedom -- Nirvana, emerging and experiencing ourselves as God of absolute Bliss! This is how we all are Divine Spiritual Beings as omniscient, omnipotent, all pervading God of absolute Bliss!!

    Summary

    God as Perpetual Pure Soul Eternal Element, although with its divine qualities of Omniscience, and Omnipotence, is only passively-active; present in every living being. And so unfortunately, it is totally lame without getting personified (which should be the goal of every human).

    Now, as we have already seen above, “Knowledge” is the primary attribute of God as Pure Soul. And Activities is the attribute of the Body-self through Scientific Circumstantial Evidences (SCEs) of Mother Nature, caused by collective egoistic doer-ship projections. Ego in the ignorant state does the representation of God. The divine Knowledge-light of God through the filter of the Ego, indirectly acts as Intellect. The intellect keeps discriminating and protecting Ego by judging others at fault, resulting into self-hurt. Thus, in every human life Ego creates a new mind through ignorant wrong beliefs, resulting in the vicious cycle of rebirth. Absorbed in our Ego, we take credit for every success and conveniently blame others, including God for our failures.

    Now, in spite of all these, in principle, every living being is the TEMPLE of God! But it is only possible in the human form when that individual once Self-realized gradually gets rid of all his weaknesses of anger, pride, possessiveness, greed, likes, and dislikes through self-retrospection and correction; he finally becomes even SUPERIOR to God when the divine qualities of Omniscience and Omnipotence become actively-passive! Through such embodiment of God, this egoless person becomes a universal guide in principle for the entire humankind. This enlightened person’s mind is totally free from discriminating wrong beliefs, intellect is non-existent, and vision is that everyone is innocent still living in the world with total humility like other common humans. This enlightened state was accomplished by Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Mahavira, Lord Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad and many others. They came at different times in different eras, and depending upon the condition of the prevailing human society then and their outlook, these individuals portrayed themselves as “Son of God” or “Messenger of God” or “God Personified” and did the welfare of the human society with the same Holistic Science in their hearts, with the fundamental principle of “Discrimination-free Vision” and “Total Humility”. The proof of their perfect humility is that they earned a respectable place in the hearts of many people. Interestingly, during their time none of them professed any brand of religion, but after their passing away people formed religion around their teachings!! So, what remained are the ritualistic Religions with conflicting beliefs, each trying to prove their perfectness, dominance, and genuineness, claiming their path as the only “WAY OF LIFE!” Now, this is also correct but only when they all have the same principles of Holistic Science in their hearts without any discrimination and bias. With this correct understanding when one builds a Temple, let it be anywhere but without any controversy. A Temple where followers are taught Holistic Science with the belief that true abode of God is our Body, the moving divine Temple. And wherever such a Living Temple goes, he or she will create the same atmosphere of unity, love, and universal brotherhood. Here, we want to recall what the scientist of the millennium, Albert Einstein has said so thoughtfully and precisely: 

    “Science without Religion is lame, Religion without Science is blind.”

    So, inner Perpetual Pure Soul Eternal Element, God with the perfect understanding of the Holistic Science in our hearts, whichever Religion we may profess and follow, we will be able to coexist perfectly as human society of ONE HEART, which is the need of the present chaotic TIME!

    By Deepakanandji Mistry,
    Holistic Inner Science expert and educator on Happy and Harmonious Daily Living

  • Secrets of Holistic Living: Eternal Law of Acceptance

    by Manish Shah | Mar 29, 2018

    "What is nature’s language? What appears to be justice or injustice by worldly viewpoints is all justice in nature’s language. So accept that whatever has happened is just and correct. Even if you are not ready to believe, you will have to accept it after going through agonies."

    This aims at accepting all individuals and situations either with equanimity or gracefully. Any pattern of internal change like meditation, introspection leads to acceptance. In short, acceptance is a technique of internal change to correct external situation like health, business conditions, family problems etc. in a limited way. It is the, opposite of reaction.

    Response to a situation like sickness by way of treatment is well observed practical pattern. Here again change of life habits; diet etc. that forms the internal change is acceptance. So also in case of business loss. Change of strategy by introspection to correct the situation is acceptance. Change of business pattern due to obsolescence is a response, which is the sub-set of acceptance.

    The concept of acceptance is at the center (a middle point of view) of the extreme responses of either non-acceptance or over-acceptance.

    Non-acceptance is the (reactionary) effect of over-acceptance; correction need be first applied to basis of our non-acceptance by understanding its destructive power.

    It is observed that when one does not accept human beings gracefully, whether one likes them or not, the result is loss of wealth and health. This is due to one’s failure in managing well his interpersonal relations.

    Non-acceptance of things like clothes, furniture and way of living is not as dangerous as Non-acceptance of men & situations.

    Non-acceptance of human being is usually in case of partners, government officers, family members, neighbours, servants, members of different regional or religious groups etc. As long as somebody is not accepted and hence avoided, a man or women worse than those whom we have not accepted is put in our path by nature till ultimately we learn to accept the uniqueness of human beings. So is the case with situations.

    It can be learnt by experience as also meaningful observation of different people that non-acceptance usurp lot of energy by way of internal and external friction and thereby reduces the energy level of the human system, may hamper the immunity level and making him open to disease.

    Whenever, we are in difficult situation, by instinct we try to change the situation whereas by acceptance we overcome our own hostility to the situation. That is, we ourselves change and the degree of our change is reflected in a change of situation appearing in our favour.

    If we cannot change our non-acceptance, then we should gracefully accept the result of our non-acceptance to reduce the damage. This is called secondary acceptance.

    Acceptance is a measure of our grace, culture and creativity. It is cultivated by a strong auto-suggestion to accept. It requires a patient effort over a prolonged duration. It puts life into our system. It is a very important way to come out of our misery.

    When practiced under the guidance of a teacher, it transforms human system into serene divinity enabling intense activity with a calm and steady poise. It cleans the memory lanes by removing "HURT" spread all over. It is the receding of ego system represented by its manifestations in the form of arrogance, obstinacy, fear, anxiety and restlessness.

    Acceptance is not helplessness although usually a situation is accepted when there is no other way. It is the calm acceptance of the people who appear to be responsible for uncomfortable situation by meditating on the real cause of our predicament.

    Acceptance is in the ultimate analysis an inward search for the causes. Taken to an extreme, it is blessing all those responsible for our difficulty - an opening of life within and reducing our hostility which over sometime shall be responded by a matching positive feelings from them.

    Acceptance when properly understood and practiced locates a true spiritual centre line, away from all dualities like love and hate, rigidity and looseness, health and sickness, poverty and wealth.

    It is the way to come out of material and spiritual bankruptcy.

    If one over-accepts one-self, ego-principle becomes strong and light goes away. If he does not accept himself and starts reducing himself, he becomes worthless man.

    We always get what we deserve, wife, children, business partners, neighbours, colleagues, profit, loss. Depending upon the extent of hostility and love within us, some are favourable some are unfavourable. One can experience that by accepting unfavourable persons gracefully, their number decreases and life becomes more pleasant.

    Practice of acceptance over a long period leads to inner silence. It is the essence of non-violence and compassion. It is the aim of all meditation practices.

    Of all the non-acceptance, the most powerful one is of death, strong breath currents built by nature at the time of birth creates a strong misbelief in us that we are the body and death of body means our own death. Only slow practice of meditation can take us out of the fear of death. Accepting death gracefully is not to ask for death. It only generates strong life currents within us during our lifetime. There will not be old age.

    Acceptance is also the basis of principle of impermanence (Anitya), which requires experiencing nature of all sensations as arising - passing away and then calls for their graceful acceptance, be them pleasant or unpleasant.

    Book excerpt from "Secrets of Holistic Living" by Shri Jayantilal Shah
    Published by:
    Vasant U. Patel, President
    Vitrag Vignan Charitable Research Foundation

  • Complainer is Guilty

    by Manish Shah | Mar 29, 2018

    We need to learn to adjust at home. If we come home late at night, what would our family members say? “Please try to come home earlier.” Is it not our duty to come home on time? So, ‘Adjustment’ needs to be made over here.

    If the bullock of the cart doesn’t get going, then it gets hit by the rider with a stick having a nail in it! If it keeps walking, then it wouldn’t get hit. Poor dumb animal, whom is it going to complain?!

    On the other hand, if humans get hit, there would be many people who would come to their rescue. But now, why did the bullock got hit? This is because previously he had complained a lot while in the human form and this is the result it is getting back and now it just cannot complain! When he had the power to ‘Adjust’ to do right things, he had complained a lot and now it does not have any power so it has to bear the pain without complaining.

    Now, based on this example we have to learn to do plus - minus. So, decide never to complain. Because if you complain, then there would be every chance to become accused in the eyes of the other person with a counter complain and hence there would be serious paybacks. We do not want to be an accused or an accuser (complainer) either. If someone curses us or does anything (good or even bad) we just ‘accept’ it. Truly there is no legitimate reason to complain. So, beforehand we must ‘Adjust’. Afterall, what is wrong in ‘Adjusting’?

    But if you complain, then you become an accuser, a complainer. Holistic Scientist considers the person who complains, himself is the accused, as ‘guilty or accountable’. Why at all did you have a situation to complain? It is observed that most of the people who complain are themselves guilty in the eyes of the Mother Nature. So, in principle, if someone is guilty, then only he would complain. And still if you complain, you will become the complainer and naturally the other person would accuse you back! So, in the eyes of the other person you would become the accused. So, never complain against anyone.

    Now recall the purpose of learning ‘Multiplication’ and ‘Division’ in our school mathematics class? When you ‘Multiply’, value/things increase, grow, and proliferates. But when you ‘Divide’, value/things decrease, subside and reduces.

    So, if you see anything wrong in the other person, tell your mind that, ‘The person is a good person and you are the one who is actually wrong’.

    In this way, you have changed the ‘Multiplication’ to ‘Division’ and there would be no ‘Remainder’. In the same way, if there is ‘Division’, then do ‘Multiplication’. This is how Holistic Science teaches us to amicably take care of our day to day life circumstances. So, ensure that there is no‘Reminder’ remaining anywhere.

    By thinking that the other person said,‘This and that to me’, is criminal. While walking if you hit a wall, do you ever complain to the wall? No, we tell that it is inert. By the way, what happens to you when you are hit by some humans? Consider the other person as a tree only! Imagine if a cow steps on our foot, do we ever complain?  This is how we have to take it while dealing with others. What is the basis on which Holistic Scientist forgives everyone? He knows that people don’t seem to understand their life’s happenings, which are exactly like hitting the tree but those who understands will immediately realize their mistakes and do ‘Repentance’ (ask for forgiveness).

    So, now think, who would ever come to a person and complain? One who is guilty will only come and complain!

    However, in this difficult era things are such that those who are the judges, they take side with the people from whom they hear first. It is like when the father comes home, and the daughter immediately complains about the brother, the father takes her side and treats the son as culprit even before understanding what really had happened. Why is it that the daughter complained first and not the son? And what the son might have done doesn’t come into picture at all but the father being ‘sensitive’ will simply take side of the daughter. Father would not conclude that since the daughter came first to complain, she is the one who is to be blamed as the guilty party.

    Similarly, people would come and complain to the Holistic Scientist about their home problems. But he would always listen to all and then only make any judgment. So, by making proper judgments, complains would not increase and the complainer who is truly the guilty party would feel that I should be careful in the future about complaining, since I will definitely get caught over here.

    The world is such that “Whatever happens is just and correct!” So, there is no reason to complain at all. It is only the guilty ones who would like to complain, give false manipulated details, and become an ‘arbitrator’! Holistic Scientist would never entertain any complaint from any such ‘arbitrators’. The way mud tells us (silently) that if you put your hands into me, your hands would get dirty and you will have to wash them. We have to learn to take the best care of our self-such that no one becomes an ‘arbitrator’ in our life.

    Some people, all day would keep on doing, ‘mine and yours, mine and yours,’ for everything, which they are not going to take along with them when they die. What are you going to take along with you for the next life? All quarrels and puzzles done with others! Any charity done and of course ego will be going along with you. Anger, pride possessiveness, attachments, aversions, and greed you are going to take along with you. So, be careful.

    We should not see others’ faults otherwise our life will get spoiled. One must keep looking at one’s own faults only. This life is the result of our past Karmas only so why complain at all?

    Saying, “You are like this and you are like that”, itself is a big aversion and a bad karma get created while talking casually sitting at the dinner table. World goes on like this with these kinds of aversions. That is why Holistic Scientist has categorically said to resolve everything amicably and magnanimously so that no karmas are created while others phase out.

    - Translated from article on Complaint from AkramVignan, Feb 2018.

  • HOLISTIC INNER SCIENCE For Happy and Harmonious Daily Living

    by Amit Patel | Feb 26, 2018

    How to live successfully… Whether it is work or family, our success story solely depends upon how well we understand & use the Principles of Nature and i.e. Holistic Inner Science in all of our life’s activities.

    So, let it be work or any of our family RELATIONS, they all are glassware and must be dealt with PERFECT HUMILITY and DISCRIMINATION FREE VISION along with other supporting Positive Vision Tools such as…

    u  In any situation, look around for who has suffered… because SUFFERER IS AT FAULT;

    u  And because, WHATEVER HAPPENED IS JUST, after I suffered, without any ambiguity it is certainly my DESTINY only! Here again, “Nothing comes from nothing!”

    u  So, I must… ADJUST EVERYWHERE and never PROCRASTINATE… i.e. never delay in adjusting or even correcting wherever I have gone wrong;

    u  This will definitely help me… AVOID CLASHES! For my own happiness!

    Further evaluating with… Positive Visions of HOLISTIC SCIENCE… such as, understand… The WORLD IS MY REFLECTION, So, I am dealing with myself only although apparently it looks as if I am dealing with someone else.

    u  HOLISTIC SCIENCE says… DON’T SEE our perceived LAWS as Correct, instead PLEASE SETTLE Amicably and unconditionally;

    u  And be HONEST and SINCERE to my family, my work, my friends, and of course myself because… DISHONESTY IS THE BEST FOOLISHNESS, to reach to the highest level of MORALITY wherein Nature will come to my total rescue and help me experience INNER PEACE, FREEDOM & HAPPINESS as Goal of my LIFE!

    u  What you had given before, you are getting it back. Positive or happiness given before brings positivity and happiness now while negativity or unhappiness given before will bring negativity or unhappiness now.

    Whether I SUCCEED or FAIL … Failure always teaches me lot of lessons! Because…

    Whether I SUCCEED or FAIL … Failure always teaches me lot of lessons! Because…

    I AM WHOLLY AND SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR MY SELF!
    But when I live with this understanding of Holistic Inner Science, I will ultimately SUCCEED whether I am at work or with my family or with my Self!

    This is HOLISTIC INNER SCIENCE!

    Further deeper UNDERSTANDING…

    HOLISTIC INNER SCIENCE, being at the core of every existence, we have seen it doesn’t really differentiate between work and family. It has so precisely revealed principle subtle facts about human life, living and coexistence that all beliefs and differences, which prevailed until today in human society got total clarification with absolute conviction and we are able to UNDERSTAND the exact working of every aspect of our individual and collective existence associated with the LIVE MATTER i.e. Matter in relation with our mind, speech, body, intellect, consciousness, ego and the living Soul and NOT the inert matter.

    HOLISTIC INNER SCIENCE has further given complete account of CIRCUMSTANCES with the ultimate SCIENCE OF HAPPENING, as Cause & Effect Theory or Seed & Fruit Theory or Freewill & Destiny Theory, i.e. beginning, sustenance and end of every HAPPENING, which is by virtue of the origin, use and dissolution of the Cosmic ENERGY associated with and controlling this LIVE MATTER, to what we truly call as NATURE and NOT GOD as Generator, Operator and Destroyer. For example, when someone has worked hard (Positive CAUSE) for his exams, he gets good grades (Positive EFFECTS).

    Here, so wonderfully, Nature is simply bringing everything back to NORMALITY! In fact, what we see around as GROSS ACTIVITY i.e. DESTINY in the Nature today is the mere sustenance and decaying aspect of the very subtle form of the SEED, which was caused (or created through SUBTLE ACTIVITY) Naturally [or unnaturally], conceived previously all because of the HUMAN BRAIN i.e. INTELLECT i.e. his FREEWILL EGO! Everyone is being radically conditioned, mostly negatively these days, and all against Nature out of Self-ignorance. And that is the reason there is so much of chaos all around in the world today.

    Humans have become so mean due to Ego and Greed that although He is an ‘Independent (non-moving) Being’ as Soul – the Perpetual God Entity and ‘Dependent Moving Being’ by virtue of his BODY, as part of The ‘Naturally Moving Whole SYSTEM’ – we call The WORLD or The UNIVERSE, unfortunately, he becomes a miserable MOVER (i.e. a Doer) in it by ‘Be-Coming’ Egoistically out of Self-ignorance, i.e. by identifying him as the SUFFERER and subsequently projecting as a DOER, instead of Being Naturally as Soul, the GOD, who truly he is in God’s realm, as PERCEIVER and KNOWER of everything that is JUST HAPPENING around him of his own mind, speech, body assembly and all others including other life forms, transparently!

    So, in this collectively UNIFIED and singularly ONE WHOLE Universe, of the shape of a standing Human with his hands resting on his waist, with his egoistic, discriminative and divisive attitudes [FEELINGS], he [the Ego and NOT the Soul, it being Blissful by its very Nature with infinite source of power] ends up PROJECTING, taking the Nature’s Power in his hands, thereby extracting power from his very Soul, charging new Karmas, trapping himself in the vicious cycles of ‘Causes and Effects’ of SUFFERING in the 4-Life forms viz. Angel, Human, Plant or Creature, and Hellish Life forms. Here, Human form is the junction point of causing new Karmas in the 4-Life forms and also facing the effects of the previously charged Karmas. Whereas, all the other three life forms are merely meant for suffering the effects of those Karmas caused in the Human form.

    Here, HOLISTIC INNER SCIENCE has given perfect solution to every aspect of our existence, whether it is work, family or self, ultimately helping us learn to deal with total Sincerity and Morality with our own Self and all others we come across. Our Goal of Inner Peace, Freedom and Happiness, effortlessly gets fulfilled by Heartily doing THE FOLLOWING basic ‘3-Prayers’ and the ‘9-Code of Conduct’ as 9-Key Tools for Living Happily …

    1. I don’t want to hurt any living being through my mind, speech and body.
    2. I will give Happiness to everyone I come across with the POSITIVE VISIONS (understanding) of HOLISTIC SCIENCE viz.
      1. World is my reflection, and echo of my doing ONLY.
      2. I am wholly and solely responsible for myself.
      3. Sufferer is at fault!
      4. Adjust Everywhere and Avoid Clashes!
      5. Dishonesty is the best foolishness! So, always be sincere and moral to your spouse, friends, and self for your own happiness.
      6. Don’t see laws, please settle amicably.
      7. Relations are glassware, handle with utmost care.
      8. Soul is the perpetual God residing in every living being then whom will you hurt?
      9. Ego is the center point of everyone’s existence. So, never hurt Ego of any person.
      10. Committing mistakes is a common occurrence. Wisdom is there in correcting them through Retrospection, Acknowledgement, Forgiveness and Resolution that ‘I don’t want hurt any living being through my mind, speech and body’, will keep us safe, pure and perfect all the time.Earnestly, I will remain in search of a Holistic Scientist in whose heart resides the HOLISTIC INNER SCIENCE, and on meeting him, I will immediately come into his total obedience. Following his footsteps, I will experience the same INNER PEACE, FREEDOM and HAPPINESS like him and become a PERFECT INSTRUMENT for the welfare of the world!
    3. Earnestly, I will remain in search of a Holistic Scientist in whose heart resides the HOLISTIC INNER SCIENCE, and on meeting him, I will immediately come into his total obedience. Following his footsteps, I will experience the same INNER PEACE, FREEDOM and HAPPINESS like him and become a PERFECT INSTRUMENT for the welfare of the world!
    9 CODES OF CONDUCT
    Give me that inner strength:

    1. Not to hurt or support anyone hurting even slightly, the ego of any living being.
    2. Not to hurt, neither cause someone to hurt or support someone hurting even to the slightest extent, the foundation or view-point of any religion or faith.
    3. To restrain me from uttering untrue adverse things, from offending or showing disregards (disrespect) to any preacher, monk, nun, or a religious head.
    4. Not to dislike or hate any living being to the slightest extent, neither cause anyone nor support anyone doing so.
    5. To restrain me from speaking, causing someone to speak or supporting someone speaking harsh, hurtful language or language of rivalry to anyone.  Give me inner strength to speak soft, sober, soothing language even if someone speaks harsh, hurtful, egoistic, or biting language.
    6. To restrain me having desires, gestures or thoughts of perverted sensuality or passion towards any gender – male, female or neuter. Give me the supreme strength so as to be free from sensual or passionate attitudes or perversions forever.
    7. To control my excessive temptation towards any relish or taste of food. Give me the strength to take food having balance of all tastes.
    8. To restrain me from uttering untrue adverse things, from offending or showing disregard towards any being – living or dead, in someone’s presence or absence.
    9. For being instrumental in welfare of the world that is common good of mankind as a whole.

    -Deepakanandji Mistry, Holistic Inner Science expert and educator on Happy and Harmonious Daily Living.

  • Innovation Means Relying on Everyone's Creativity

    by Amit Patel | Feb 26, 2018

    Innovation has always been a primary challenge of leadership. Today we live in an era of such rapid change and evolution that leaders must work constantly to develop the capacity for continuous change and frequent adaptation, while ensuring that identity and values remain constant. They must recognize people's innate capacity to adapt and create-to innovate.

    In my own work I am always constantly and happily surprised by how impossible it is to extinguish the human spirit. People who had been given up for dead in their organizations, once conditions change and they feel welcomed back in, find new energy and become great innovators. My questions are, How do we acknowledge that everyone is a potential innovator? How can we evoke the innate human need to innovate?

    The human capacity to invent and create is universal. Ours is a living world of continuous creation and infinite variation. Scientists keep discovering more species; there may be more than 50 million of them on earth, each of whom is the embodiment of an innovation that worked. Yet when we look at our own species, we frequently say we're "resistant to change." Could this possibly be true? Are we the only species-out of 50 million--that digs in its heels and resists? Or perhaps all those other creatures simply went to better training programs on "Innovation for Competitive Advantage."

    Many years ago, Joel Barker popularized the notion of paradigms or worldviews, those beliefs and assumptions through which we see the world and explain its processes. He stated that when something is impossible to achieve with one view of the world, it can be surprisingly easy to accomplish with a new one. I have found this to be delightfully true. Now that I understand people and organizations as living systems, filled with the innovative dynamics characteristic of all life, many intractable problems have become solvable. Perhaps the most powerful example in my own work is how relatively easy it is to create successful organizational change if you start with the assumption that people, like all life, are creative and good at change. Once we stop treating organizations and people as machines, and stop trying to re-engineer them, once we move into the paradigm of living systems, organizational change is not a problem. Using this new worldview, it is possible to create organizations filled with people who are capable of adapting as needed, who are alert to changes in their environment, who are able to innovate strategically. It is possible to work with the innovative potential that exists in all of us, and to engage that potential to solve meaningful problems.

    We are gradually giving up the dominant paradigm of western culture and science for over 300 years-that of the world and humans as machines. Almost all approaches to management, organizational change, and human behavior have been based on mechanistic images. When we applied these mechanical images to us humans, we developed a strangely negative and unfamiliar view of ourselves. We viewed ourselves as passive, unemotional, fragmented, incapable of self-motivation, disinterested in meaningful questions or good work.

    But the 21st century world of complex systems and turbulence is no place for disabling and dispiriting mechanistic thinking. We are confronted daily by events and outcomes that shock us and for which we have no answers. The complexity of modern systems cannot be understood by our old ways of separating problems, or scapegoating individuals, or rearranging the boxes on an org chart. In a complex system, it is impossible to find simple causes that explain our problems, or to know who to blame. A messy tangle of relationships has given rise to these unending crises. To understand this new world of continuous change and intimately connected systems, we need new ways of understanding. Fortunately, life and its living systems offer us great teachings on how to work with a world of continuous change and boundless creativity. And foremost among life's teachings is the recognition that humans possess the capabilities to deal with complexity and interconnection. Human creativity and commitment are our greatest resources.

    For several years, I have been exploring the complexities of modern organizations through the lens of living systems. But rather than question whether organizations are living systems, I've become more confident about stating the following: the people working in the organization are alive, and they respond to the same needs and conditions as any other living system. I personally don't require any deeper level of clarity than this. But I'd also like to note that one of the gifts of understanding living systems is that it soon becomes evident that Life's processes apply both to individuals and systems. The dynamics of life are "scale-independent"-they are useful to explain what we see no matter how small or large the living system.

    The new worldview of organizations as living systems rather than machines offers many principles for leadership. Each of these principles has affected my work in profound ways. Together they allow leaders to accomplish our greatest task -- to create the conditions where human ingenuity can flourish.

    Meaning engages our creativity
    Every change, every burst of creativity, begins with the identification of a problem or opportunity that somebody finds meaningful. As soon as people becomes interested in an issue, their creativity is instantly engaged. If we want people to be innovative, we must discover what is important to them, and we must engage them in meaningful issues. The simplest way to discover what's meaningful is to notice what people talk about and where they spend their energy.

    In my own work with this principle, I've found that I can't learn this just by listening to managers' self-reports, or by taking the word of only a few people. I need to be working alongside a group or individual to learn who they are and what attracts their attention. As we work together and deepen our relationship, I can then discern what issues and behaviors make them sit up and take notice. As we work together, doing real work, meaning always becomes visible. For example, in meetings, what topics generate the most energy, positive or negative? What issues do people keep returning to? What stories do they tell over and over? I can't be outside the process, observing behaviors or collecting data in traditional ways. I've also learned that I notice a great deal more if I am curious rather than certain.

    In any group, I know that I will always hear multiple and diverging interpretations. Because I expect this, I now put ideas, proposals, and issues on the table as experiments to see what's meaningful to people rather than as recommendations for what should be meaningful to them. One of my favorite examples of how easily we can be surprised by what others find meaningful occurred among healthcare professionals who were trying to convince parents of young children to use seatbelts. But these parents were from a traditional, non-Western culture. They did not see the act of securing their child to a seat as protective of the child. They saw it as invoking the wrath of God. Strapping in a child was an invitation to God to cause a car accident.

    I've learned how critical it is to stay open to the different reactions I get, rather than instantly categorizing people as resistors or allies. This is not easy--I have to constantly let go of my assumptions and stereotypes. But when I listen actively for diversity rather than agreement, it's fascinating to notice how many interpretations the different members of a group can give to the same event. I am both astonished and confident that no two people see the world exactly the same.

    Depend on Diversity 
    Life relies on diversity to give it the possibility of adapting to changing conditions. If a system becomes too homogenous, it becomes vulnerable to environmental shifts. If one form is dominant, and that form no longer works in the new environment, the entire system is at risk. Where there is true diversity in an organization, innovative solutions are being created all the time, just because different people do things differently. When the environment changes and demands a new solution, we can count on the fact that somebody has already invented or is already practicing that new solution. Almost always, in a diverse organization, the solution the organization needs is already being practiced somewhere in that system. If, as leaders, we fail to encourage unique and diverse ways of doing things, we destroy the entire system's capacity to adapt. We need people experimenting with many different ways, just in case. And when the environment then demands a change, we need to look deep inside our organizations to find those solutions that have already been prepared for us by our colleagues.

    There is another reason why diversity lies at the heart of an organization's ability to innovate and adapt. Our organizations and societies are now so complex, filled with so many intertwining and diverging interests, personalities, and issues, that nobody can confidently represent anybody else's point of view. Our markets and our organizations behave as "units of one." What this means is that nobody sees the world exactly the same as we do. No matter how hard we try to be understanding of differences, there is no possibility that we can adequately represent anybody else. But there is a simple solution to this dilemma. We can ask people for their unique perspective. We can invite them in to share the world as they see it. We can listen for the differences. And we can trust that together we can create a rich mosaic from all our unique perspectives.

    Involve everybody who cares
    Working with many kinds of organizations over the past several years, I've learned the hard way that building participation is not optional. As leaders, we have no choice but to figure out how to invite in everybody who is going to be affected by change. Those that we fail to invite into the creation process will surely and always show up as resistors and saboteurs. But I haven't become insistent on broad-based participation just to avoid resistance, or to get people to support my efforts. I've learned that I'm not smart enough to design anything for the whole system. None of us these days can know what will work inside the dense networks we call organizations. We can't see what's meaningful to people, or even understand how they get their work done. We have no option but to ask them into the design process.

    I know from experience that most people are very intelligent-they have figured out how to make things work when it seemed impossible, they have invented ways to get around roadblocks and dumb policies, they have created their own networks to support them and help them learn. But rarely is this visible to the organization until and unless we invite people in to participate in solution-creation processes. The complexity and density of organizations require that we engage the whole system so we can harvest the invisible intelligence that exists throughout the organization.

    Fortunately, during the past ten years there has been pioneering work (by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff, Robert Jacobson, Kathy Dannemiller, and many others) on how to engage large numbers of people in designing innovations and changing themselves. Yet even in the presence of strong evidence for how well these processes work, most leaders till hesitate to venture down the participation path. Leaders have had so many bad experiences with participation that describing it as "not optional" seems like a death sentence. But we have to accept two simple truths: we can't force anybody to change. And no two people see the world the same way. We can only engage people in the change process from the beginning and see what's possible. If the issue is meaningful to them, they will become enthusiastic and bright advocates. If we want people's intelligence and support, we must welcome them as co-creators. People only support what they create.

    Diversity is the path to unity
    All change begins with a change in meaning. Yet we each see the world differently. Is it possible to develop a sense of shared meaning without denying our diversity? Are there ways that organizations can developed a shared sense of what's significant without forcing people to accept someone else's viewpoint?

    There is a powerful paradox at work here. If we are willing to listen eagerly for diverse interpretations, we discover that our differing perceptions somehow originate from a unifying center. As we become aware of this unity in diversity, it changes our relationships for the better. We recognize that through our diversity we share a dream, or we share a sense of injustice. Then, magical things happen to our relationships. We open to each other as colleagues. Past hurts and negative histories get left behind. People step forward to work together. We don't hang back, we don't withdraw, we don't wait to be enticed. We actively seek each other out because the problem is important. The meaningfulness of the issue sounds louder than past grievances or difficulties. As we discover something whose importance we share, we want to work together, no matter our differences.

    I've been humbled to see how a group can come together as it recognizes its mutual interests. Working together becomes possible because they have discovered a shared meaning for the work that is strong enough to embrace them all. Held together in this rich center of meaning, people let go of many interpersonal difficulties, and work around traditional hindrances. They know they need each other. They are willing to struggle with relationships and figure out how to make them work because they realize this is the only path to achieving their aspirations.

    People will always surprise us
    Perhaps because of the study of human psychology, perhaps because we're just too busy to get to know each other, we have become a society that labels people in greater and greater detail. We know each other's personality types, leadership styles, syndromes, and neurotic behaviors. We are quick to assign people to a typology and then dismiss them, as if we really knew who they were. If we're trying to get something done in our organization, and things start going badly, we hunt for scapegoats to explain why it's not working. We notice only those who impede our good plans--all those "resistors," those stubborn and scared colleagues who cling to the past. We label ourselves also, but more generously, as "early adopters" or "cultural creatives."

    I was recently given a T-shirt with a wonderful motto on the back: "You can't hate someone whose story you know." But these days, in our crazed haste, we don't have time to get to know each others' stories, to be curious about who a person is, or why she or he is behaving a particular way. Listening to colleagues-their diverse interpretations, their stories, what they find meaningful in their work -- always transforms our relationships. The act of listening to each other always brings us closer. We may not like them or approve of their behavior, but if we listen, we move past the labels. Our "enemy" category shrinks in population. We notice another human being who has a reason for certain actions, who is trying to make some small contribution to our organization or community. The stereotypes that have divided us melt away and we discover that we want to work together. We realize that only by joining together will we be able to create the change we both want to see in the world.

    Rely on Human Goodness
    I know that the only path to creating more innovative workplaces and communities is to depend on one another. We cannot cope, much less create, in this increasingly fast and turbulent world without each other. If we try and do it alone, we will fail.

    There is no substitute for human creativity, human caring, human will. We can be incredibly resourceful, imaginative, and open-hearted. We can do the impossible, learn and change quickly, and extend instant compassion to those who are suffering. And we use these creative and compassionate behaviors frequently. If you look at your daily life, how often do you figure out an answer to a problem, or find a slightly better way of doing something, or extend yourself to someone in need? Very few people go through their days as robots, doing only repetitive tasks, never noticing that anybody else is nearby. Take a moment to look around at your colleagues and neighbors, and you'll see the same behaviors --people trying to be useful, trying to make some small contribution, trying to help someone else.

    We have forgotten what we're capable of, and we let our worst natures rise to the surface. We got into this sorry state partly because, for too long, we've been treating people as machines. We've force people into tiny boxes, called roles and job descriptions. We've told people what to do and how they should behave. We've told them they weren't creative, couldn't contribute, couldn't think.

    After so many years of being bossed around, of working within confining roles, of unending reorganization, reengineering, down-sizing, mergers and power plays, most people are exhausted, cynical, and focused only on self-protection. Who wouldn't be? But it's important to remember that we created these negative and demoralized people. We created them by discounting and denying our best human capacities.

    But people are still willing to come back; they still want to work side by side with us to find solutions, develop innovations, make a difference in the world. We just need to invite them back. We do this by using simple processes that bring us together to talk to one another, listen to one another's stories, reflect together on what we're learning as we do our work. We do this by developing relationships of trust, where we do what we say, where we speak truthfully, where we refuse to act from petty self-interest. These processes and relationships have already been developed by many courageous companies, leaders, and facilitators. Many pioneers have created processes and organizations that depend on human capacity and know how to evoke our very best.

    In my experience, people everywhere want to work together, because daily they are overwhelmed by problems that they can't solve alone. People want to help. People want to contribute. Everyone wants to feel creative and hopeful again.

    As leaders, as neighbors, as colleagues, it is time to turn to one another, to engage in the intentional search for human goodness. In our meetings and deliberations, we can reach out and invite in those we have excluded. We can recognize that no one person or leader has the answer, that we need everybody's creativity to find our way through this strange new world. We can act from the certainty that most people want to care about others, and invite them to step forward with their compassion. We can realize that "You can't hate someone whose story you know."

    We are our only hope for creating a future worth working for. We can't go it alone, we can't get there without each other, and we can't create it without relying anew on our fundamental and precious human goodness.

    - Margaret Wheatley
    ______________________________________________

    Margaret Wheatley is a well-respected writer, speaker, and teacher for how we can accomplish our work, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve in this troubling time. She has written six books: Walk Out Walk On (with Deborah Frieze, 2011); Perseverance (2010); Leadership and the New ScienceTurning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the FutureA Simpler Way (with Myron Rogers); and Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time. Each of her books has been translated into several languages; Leadership and the New Science appears in 18 languages. She is co-founder and President emerita of The Berkana Institute, which works in partnership with a rich diversity of people and communities around the world, especially in the Global South. These communities find their health and resilience by discovering the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment (www.berkana.org). Wheatley received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Change from Harvard University, and a Masters in Media Ecology from New York University. She's been an organizational consultant since 1973, a global citizen since her youth, a professor in two graduate business programs, a prolific writer, and a happy mother and grandmother. She has received numerous awards and honorary doctorates. You may read her complete bio at http://margaretwheatley.com/bio.html, and may download any of her many articles (free) at http://margaretwheatley.com/writing.html

  • Akram Vignan on Be-ing and Living

    by Manish Shah | Jan 28, 2018

    I would like to focus on two key points related to Akram Vignan :  Be-Ing and Living.  They are not separate entities but distinct and have a much deeper meaning than what we take for granted,  Be-Ing again, is not the same as Being  (all forms of life species that we commonly associate with Being))  Be-Ing  is the Internal State of Pure Awareness (Jagruthi) of ones Presence as ‘I” only  in all situations  without my, mine or other.     It is the “I” that precedes everything we perceive in the external world.  Holistic Scientist A. M. Patel put it in  simple terms when he said any number of zeros have no meaning unless preceded by the number “1”.  Our true nature is Be-Ing only.    It is the core within us  which goes by various names Atma, Brahman, Dao, Soul  and yet paradoxically it seems beyond.   Akram Gynan  teaches   us to become more conscious of our true nature  behind the façade of personality and mind-body-speech functions.  It does not dismiss the external  world as an illusion but only separates the Real aspect of our nature which is “Be-Ing” and the Relative aspect the” living” with all its attributes of mind, body and speech functions.  With this  separation,  from my personal experience  I can say life takes a new turn and   there is much more internal peace , harmony and  contentment.

    There are occasions in  everyone’s life of spontaneous awakenings to a feeling of ‘oneness' beyond the myriad forms of life when our mind is totally withdrawn.  Such moments are few and far between and not sustaining but it is that state that we refer to as Be-Ing  where we are momentarily disengaged in any activity.  The trigger might be a spectacular scenery or an illuminating Satsang  or even Fear and the like or for that matter no apparent reason when the mind goes quiet momentarily where we only feel our presence(Turya) . In those special moments of “Be_Ing” we feel more aware of our Presence and fully engaged in the NOW and no longer lost in thoughts or concerns.  It is a self-integrated, holistic state where one ceases to be a self-centered individual and is fully absorbed in the wholeness of Reality.  It is as if a mental wall divides the waking consciousness from our intrinsic state of pure awareness albeit momentarily. The majority of such recorded experiences show that they come unbidden accompanied by the all too familiar expression “I did nothing to make it happen” .It just came upon me.   Here is what Saint Tulsidas says about Be-Ing;

    I am smaller and subtler than an atom.  I am also big as the Sky.

    I have overcome the illusion of a separate body(mind) ego and the self-created world

    I have resolved the differentiation of the Knower, the known and the process of Knowing

    The enlightening lamp of Holistic Self is shining spontaneously within me

    Tuka says “Now I live just to help others!”

    ( Translated from the original Marathi quotation---Courtesy  Dr Vinod Deshmukh, MD, Ph.D.)

    Living  is relating and responding  to the external world . To live life one has to necessarily relate  and  with it comes  challenges .  Once we understand  that life is nothing more than Role playing and is subject to change at any moment we have a better chance of overcoming the challenges and obstacles. Holistic Living  is all about how to live life without intrinsically undergoing any change in our true state of Be-Ing and yet actively engaged in Role playing. Failure on our part to clearly understand our role(s) in any given situation is the root cause of many of our personal problems.  At all times we should strive to avoid the problem of the Role becoming  our personal problem .  Be-Ing  in Living implies  ensuring that our Real intrinsic nature is not in the least affected by the role or roles we play.  This is an amazing fact of life that we can undergo change when we relate without intrinsically undergoing change.  It has been said that all the activities of a wise man is only in the eyes of others and not in his own.  The wise man knows that all activities take place in his Presence (Be-Ing) and he is only a witness and does nothing.    Holistic Living  is living with such a vision and fulfilling our roles in life taking  utmost care to see that no trace of  the role we play remains in us ( opinions, judgement, likes, dislikes, attachment).  At all costs one should avoid conflicts and clashes and see to it that the problem of the role does not become a  personal problem.

    - Dr. Radhe Krishnan, President, HSCRF

  • Understanding the Timeless Principle of 'Sufferer is at Fault' for Inspired and Empowered Living

    by Manish Shah | Jan 28, 2018

    The basic building blocks of holistic inner science consist of intricately understanding our inner and outer worlds. Our inner world is what is going on within our psyche, meaning our mind, intellect, reflective consciousness and ego. And our outer world is how the mind, body, and speech co-exist and interact with everything that is outside that micro-ecosystem of the mind and body. The perpetual challenge is to maintain a healthy balance between our inner and outer worlds. When the heart-center and mind are at odds, inner turmoil results. It becomes extremely difficult to think with clarity, and we lose valuable insights. We must turn our focus inward to purify the heart center through introspection. When the heart-center and mind are in harmony, we can seamlessly maintain a healthy balance between our inner and outer worlds. Our hearts are where timeless wisdom resides, which aids us in making intuitively sound decisions. As a result, we are better able to play the roles that are demanded of us in our outer worlds and maintain joy, peace, and harmony in our inner worlds as well.

    As Buddha so eloquently stated, “Pain is inevitable; suffering is a choice.” By understanding correctly the timeless principle, 'Sufferer is at fault,' we can avoid choosing to suffer but rather to grow in our understanding of ourselves and choose healing, growth, and expansion as human beings. When we take one hundred percent responsibility for our own results in life, we begin to understand the timeless principle of 'Sufferer is at fault'. Our life is the result of the choices we have made. Furthermore, we can choose gratitude over complaining, forgiving over blaming, and optimism over pessimism. We can choose to be kind.  The choice is always our own. It becomes much easier to choose what will elevate our existence when we are one hundred percent accountable to ourselves and others.  A critical aspect of total acceptance of our life is mindfulness. Mindfulness requires us to be present in the moment. When we are present in the moment, one hundred percent acceptance of oneself and others naturally flows as well. Thus, by choosing one hundred percent responsibility, accountability, and acceptance, we begin to practically experience the true benefits of correctly understanding the timeless principle, 'Sufferer is at fault'.

    The timeless principle of 'Sufferer is at fault' is not designed to be used for anyone else but for the betterment of our own lives. When we suffer, we must investigate where we have gone wrong.  We essentially toss out the “blame game” forever. By doing this, we free-up tremendous space and energy within us that was previously jammed with the toxic waste of the blame game. By tossing-out the blame game, our attention turns inward, illuminating our own vices, weaknesses, and mistakes that cause us to suffer. When we become aware of these vices, weaknesses, and mistakes, we can take baby steps towards freeing ourselves from them. As we become empowered more and more from within, our creative energy also expands, helping us to turn adversity in our outer worlds into opportunities for growth and expansion as human beings and humanity. Einstein declared, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As our creativity flows, we find different ways of responding to life's challenges that are healing, empowering, and invigorating rather than destructive and draining to our personal power, strength, and quality of life.

    We all seek freedom from worry, anxiety, and fear in a world that is paralyzed and crippled by them. It is critical that we evaluate and research what is in our realm of personal power.  As we come to terms with and fully understand what is in our power and what is not, we find freedom from worry. Our greatest power is our attitude. We choose whether we are going to be grateful, positive, and kind or bitter, negative, and cruel. We choose how we see things; whether we see a problem or an opportunity, obstacle, challenge, foe, or friend.  It is amazing that things become how we see them. If we see something as a fun challenge, it suddenly becomes a fun challenge. If we see a curse as a blessing, it becomes a blessing. It is up to us to see things with practicality and balanced intellect. Our life essentially becomes what we choose to project from within. If we are truly grateful for all that we have in life, our experience of life will reflect that gratitude back to us. More importantly, we can utilize what is in our realm of personal power to combat anxiety and fear. As we take full responsibility for our lives, our ability to respond will increase dramatically to bring peaceful resolution in all areas of our lives.  When we make a firm decision for healing, peace, and serenity, nature will deliver the necessary instruments to help us. Our firm decision will also help us make choices that will help accelerate healing and transformation. Through our decision to heal over suffer, our worries, anxiety, and fear gradually dissipate as our inner world transforms. Our responses in our outer world will come from the center in a balanced, joyful, and meaningful manner.

    An in-depth understanding and application of 'Sufferer is at fault' will eventually give us a much clearer bird's-eye understanding of the fact that we are separate from our circumstances. Circumstances come and go and, thus, are temporary in nature.  We continue to exist despite changing circumstances. As this becomes more a part of the wisdom of experience in our heart-center, we will begin to keep our focus on ourselves instead of watching what everyone else is doing. With the understanding of our personal power, and with the fact that circumstances and other people's behavior are primarily beyond our personal power, we gradually let go of the desire or need to control anyone or anything.

    It is important to understand what we can do to practice acceptance for mindful, present living. We can make it a point to dedicate time to express gratitude from within for everything that we have in our lives. We can acknowledge everything, from the things we take for granted to the big things. We can actively send positive thoughts, wishes, and energy to those who are suffering or hurting. We can actively draw boundaries for ourselves in order to maintain the integrity of our mental, emotional, physical, social, financial, and spiritual health.  It is not selfish or narcissistic to live according to what is in our highest self-interest. More importantly, we can learn to mind our own business. By understanding and slowly realizing there is no benefit to us or anyone else by holding judgments, forming opinions, or even proving ourselves right in most cases, we not only stop doing it but also free up energy to engage in more empowering and inspiring activities, whether internal or external.

    Through our in-depth understanding and application of 'Sufferer is at fault'; we are making a conscious commitment to cultivate virtues. There are several ways we can actively take steps to cultivate virtues such as journaling; opening out our vices, weaknesses, and fears to trusted guides, friends, and family; and setting aside time for daily self-assessment as a priority in our lives. It is important to set achievable micro-goals so that they are achievable. We also stay focused on integrity and quality rather than end up with shoddy results.

    In summary, it is well worth our time to understand 'Sufferer is at fault' in depth in order to better the quality of our lives. We will discover the treasure chest of virtues within; experience increased growth and expansion in our humanity; and enjoy increased efficiency, joy, and peace along with the sweetness of whole-hearted acceptance. Most importantly, we will make active progress towards the goal of being one hundred percent human.

    - Shaila Mulji, Los Angeles, California, United States

  • Matters that majority of people ignore

    by Amit Patel | Dec 29, 2017

    In the face of easiness, ignorance embosses mortality on us. Endlessly interconnected events accommodate in a single moment, and we can’t see through them while remaining lost in the web. Moments pile up over and over, to make past a history forever while planting seeds for the future fruits and we never realize where the essence of life is. What passes unnoticed, counts to our blindness which is acknowledged upon facing unforeseen collisions that erupt out of the clear sky. Meanwhile, the heap of accumulated ignorance continues digging our grave.

    In various mythologies like Indian, Greek, Roman, etc. the presence of gods is believed in almost everything that can be thought of. Gods act as a powerhouse to let the people be full of strength, owing to their faith by remaining grateful for everything they have, as gratitude brings contentment for the needs by trading off the greed. Anger, pride, attachments, abhorrence and greed act as incubator for ignorance. In order to combat the devilish fruits of ignorance, our civilization has the provision for sacred places and their worship, be it a mosque, temple or church; they are found everywhere around to let our faith listen to his omnipresent silence that effectually weeds out our hazardous vagabonding tendencies.

    Despite of any barriers, our instincts for greed are unstoppable in the inadequacy of faith in the present times. When our acts hit an achievement, we prefer to remain enveloped in a wave of pride to sing the glory of our deeds. On contrary, we keep counting the number of people and evidences while trying to find a backdoor upon meeting a failure. This duality originates from non-acceptance due to our irrational inclinations which scarcely have the fortune of facing the daylight. If not every time, then at least once in a while almost everyone exhibits the symptoms of this disease.

    If we go through the checklist of our pursuits, we would unfailingly find some areas which we strictly refrain from giving an open insight. This is where we define our limitations, which embrace ignorance. Rejections are not harmful, outcomes are not eternal, but our short-sightedness is sometimes determined to make us blind when we can’t feel the thrill of an adventure. Functioning in the survival mode is the most intrinsic nature of human brain; it has caused the evolution of hunters and gatherers to this age of information. While craving for unethical happiness demeans the significance of being a human.

    In the absence of a live absolute master (who can show who you are!), our minds act as magnets to ignorance. Some knowledgeable authoritative people from ancient times upon perceiving this hurdle, they devised the screening rituals and beliefs, whose practice could ensure scaling down the ignorance prevailing in the air. Few of them are still prevalent but majority of them could not synchronize with the pace of time, and are inoperative to be termed as superstitious since they don’t affect ignorance anymore.

    Whatever we see is so limited, it is always a two dimensional picture; however, we never feel any constrain being three dimensional as we have developed an unshakable belief in the existence of the third dimension which remains embedded in our two dimensional view. This is the gap we leave for illusion to surround our minds when we remain obvious for the existence of the third dimension. We never realize that our vision comes with a choice of pursuit i.e. our eyes would never cease from functioning even if we choose to modify or disregard their vision, this opens up the possibility for some more vision beyond. Eyes help us to see yet vision is barely limited to eyes. It is popularly said that: “We see what we want to see”. For circumventing the clouds of ignorance, it takes a holistic vision to visualize the groundbreaking reality.

    Holistic Scientist gave us the keys and principles to art of living for inner happiness which would be beneficial for us to be benevolent, by giving easy examples from his own life and experience which if we imbibe, they will make us a good human. For instance, ‘Adjust Everywhere’ is an unmatched science of understanding for amicable life, which serves us as a wake-up call for rich inner living when we remain immersed in the depths of our transient biases to rescue us from the captivity of our incomplete perceptions. Permanent happiness however, can only be achieved with the knowledge of soul, which can be obtained from the Absolute Master. 

    Firstly, we need to know the purpose of life besides accumulating wealth and providing for the family. Then the goal of our life needs to be established and frequently gauged.

    They say health is wealth. Are we living a healthy life? Are we doing regular exercise? Are we eating the right food? When we eat do we concentrate on food or are we slaved to the numerous electronical gadgets available. Are we letting our stomach know what we are eating and what is to be digested? Are we eating the six tastes food or one or two or three taste food?

    Another wealth is the speech and mind. What have we done to make them sweet and healthy?

    Besides this wealth another part is the spiritual growth. What are we doing for it? How much time do we spend for ourselves in a day to see how our mind, speech and body have been doing? We need to assess our behavior against the Nine Divine Codes of conduct given below.

    The purpose of life is to use mind, speech, and body for the use of others. Research shows that people who help others have less tension and enjoy higher sense of inner satisfaction. Their spirituality increases and is moving near the Pure Soul. They have a sense of gratitude and are not in competition with others.

    This research has science behind it since those who are benevolent and use mind, speech and body for others, meet all their needs and never run short of anything that is needed in living and their life is full of happiness. Religion starts with obliging nature which is real spirituality. When one does something for others, then happiness starts.

    Holistic Inner science has given nine divine codes of conduct that make one fit to be a human and one has to set them as their prayer. The science behind this is that one need to plant seeds for future fruits. These codes of conduct encircle every aspect of our day to day life. These have been rigorously exercised and epitomized by the Holistic Scientist to never let ignorance set in. 

    1st of 9 Priceless Gems/Diamonds for Divine codes of conduct:
    O Supreme Self/O Lord!
    May you bless me with such an infinite inner strength
    as would restrain me from hurting,  causing someone
    to hurt or supporting someone hurting  even slightly the
    ego of any living being.
    May you bless me with such an inner strength in the philosophy
    of relative pluralism (syadvad) in speech, conduct and thinking
    as would restrain me from hurting even slightly, the ego of any living being.

     2nd of 9 Priceless Gems/Diamonds for Divine codes of conduct:
    O Supreme Self/O Lord!
    May you bless me with such infinite inner strength so as not to hurt, nor cause
    someone to hurt, nor support anyone hurting even to the slightest extent,
    the foundation or view-point of any religion or faith.
    Bless me with such an infinite inner strength in the philosophy
    of relative pluralism (syadvad) in speech, conduct and thinking
    as would restrain me from hurting any of religious view-points or beliefs.

    3rd of 9 Priceless Gems/Diamonds for Divine codes of conduct:
    O Supreme Self/O Lord!
    May you bless me with such an infinite inner strength
    as would restrain me from uttering untrue adverse things,
    from offending or showing disregard (disrespect) to any
    preacher, monk, nun or a religious head.

    4th of 9 Priceless Gems/Diamonds for Divine codes of conduct:
    O Supreme Self/O Lord!
    May you bless me with such an infinite inner strength
    as would not make me dislike or hate any living being
    to the slightest extent, nor cause anyone nor
    support anyone doing so.

    5th of 9 Priceless Gems/Diamonds for Divine codes of conduct:
    O Supreme Self/O Lord!
    May you bless me with such an infinite inner strength as
    would restrain me from speaking, causing someone to
    speak or supporting someone speaking harsh, hurtful
    language or language of rivalry to anyone. Give me inner
    strength to speak soft, sober, soothing language even if
    someone is speaking harsh, hurtful, egoistic or biting language.

    6th of 9 Priceless Gems/Diamonds for Divine codes of conduct:
    O Supreme Self/O Lord!
    May you bless me with such an infinite inner strength
    as would restrain me having faults, desires, gestures
    or thoughts of sensuality or passion towards any
    gender - male, female or neuter. Give me the supreme
    strength so as to be free of sensual or passionate
    attitudes or perversions forever.

    7th of 9 Priceless Gems/Diamonds for Divine codes of conduct:
    O Supreme Self/O Lord!
    May you bless me with such an infinite inner strength
    to control my excessive temptation towards any relish
    or taste of food. Give me the strength to take food
    having balance of all tastes.

    8th of 9 Priceless Gems/Diamonds for Divine codes of conduct:
    O Supreme Self/O Lord!
    May you bless me with such an infinite inner strength
    as would restrain me from uttering untrue adverse things,
    from offending or showing disregard towards any
    being - living or dead, in one’s presence or absence.

    9th of 9 Priceless Gems/Diamonds for Divine codes of conduct:
    O Supreme Self/O Lord!
    May you bless me with such an infinite inner strength
    for being instrumental in welfare of the world that is
    common good of mankind as a whole.

    You have to resolve to act according these Divine codes of conduct And pray heartily at least three times a day. This will be the planting of the seeds and hence such behavior would result as fruit or effect.

    Ignorance proves fatal. The essence of life lies in continuously sieving consciousness from every passing moment to positivity and unbiasedness and the lacking consciousness of ours is ignorance, which paints the world in an illusionary belief of “I know it All!” which is the utmost dreadful bug of our mind that actively drains all the knowledge. The only price which could ever guarantee the optimum value of absorbing any learning with maximum ease is the inner belief: “I don’t know anything.”

    Our lacking curiosity for authenticity parts us from it by leaving us on a ground of weeding ignorance, which is seldom recognized as we get into the swirls of momentary contentment. The one who aims for progression can never underrate the inaccuracy of subconscious by calling it as involuntary, because when we look it with a clear-sight, even the smallest change can be tracked and going with it or against it is a superior possibility which should not be overlooked since it is our free will. The Holistic Scientist has said: “The world is the puzzle itself”. Here our degree of aliveness comes as a savior from the encasing ignorance.

    - Kritika Bohre

  • The Purpose of Human Life is Benevolence

    by Amit Patel | Dec 29, 2017

    The purpose of life is to use mind, speech, and body for the use of others. Research shows that people who help others have less tension and enjoy higher sense of inner satisfaction. Their spirituality increases. They have a sense of gratitude and are not in competition with others.

    This research has science behind it. Those  who are benevolent and use mind, speech and body for others have  all their needs met by nature. As a result, their life is full of happiness. Religion starts with obliging nature. When you do something for others, your happiness increases.

    The aim of human life is to break the infinite cycle of birth and death and get free (Moksha). The Holistic Scientist Shree A.M.Patel did that his entire life. He had one aim; anyone who met him must be showered with happiness. He did not worry about his own happiness but always took care of others' problems. He had compassion and that is why he attained self-realization.

    Every human being lives but how much  humanity is part of that life? One gets born, studies, works, marries, has family, and then dies! Is this how one wants to live? What is the ultimate aim of this kind of life? What is the purpose of taking a birth? What do we gain out of it? We have the embodiment of a human; then should we not fulfill our duty as a human being? We should have humanity in us. What does humanity mean? When someone hurts you, or gives you unhappiness or problems, we do not like it. In the same way we should not hurt anyone or cause problems for others. This is the highest form of humanity. One who knows this and acts accordingly, fulfills the promise of humanity.

    Once one has achieved human form, then they can go into any of the four forms; human form, animal/plant form, angel form, and hellish form. This is dependent on what causes one creates. Causes will determine the effect. If we become humane, then we will get the birth as human being. If we become inhuman, then we will get birth as plants or animals. If we do evil acts and then we will get birth in hell. If we live by helping others without any expectation and do good deeds, then we will be born as angels.

    Compiled from Vitrag Vignan of Holistic Scientist Shree A.M. Patel from the article published in Dharmdarshan.

  • Holistic Science Unveils the Treasure of Unprecedented Positivity

    by Amit Patel | Nov 26, 2017

    Nothing but light is genuinely majestic in chasing away the darkness.

    ‘No’ is only competent of introducing blockage, which limits the vision. While ‘Yes’ offers a vision until infinity. At first, both Yes and No come to us as a choice and the one we select, it sets our way in a completely opposite manner than the other. Negativity arises from doubt, which ruins the goodness around.

    The Holistic Scientist says: “The greatest negation of being a human being is to say ‘I cannot do it’, and it is a great loss of human life resulting in gaining lower form of animal life. This is a principle of Nature.”

    We remain unaware of our own potential as long as we choose to be the slaves of ‘No’ and absolutely nothing on Earth could ever change this vision except light. Light is holistic by its very nature and therefore it is capable of eluding the darkness.

    In darkness, even a person with good eyesight can misunderstand an elephant for wall or a pillar or even a rope! This gives us a very crucial insight regarding the converging nature of all darkness.

    Albert Einstein used the phrase “Stubbornly Persistent Illusion” to describe the unescapable nature of time. In a very similar way, darkness aptly fits to be a Stubbornly Persistent Illusion too. What causes one to stay contained within the limitedness of uneasiness?

    In the very first place, every disease (negativity or darkness) originates in the mind, only then it starts to affect, according to the Holistic Scientist. Stepping out of mind remains a myth without the exact principles.

    Science is never a compulsion but pure understanding. Holistic Inner Science shifts the scope of mind from an ‘Untamed Theme Planner’ to a ‘Live Show’, which is peacefully watched by ‘The Knower’. (Now you need not to run out of the kingdom when you are the King; it was the dream you saw as a pauper!)

    The Knower over here is neither a character from any plot nor any concept of imagination, but it is the live science that resides within every living being, which we call as Life. Life is so rare to realize that every creature carries the overloaded burden of one’s deeds.

    It takes a Holistic Scientist to shake-off this erroneous notion of burden by letting one to settle in one’s perpetual nature of Life, in a way that an unprecedented positivity starts its reign. This is the master stroke of the Life within a mortal.

    The Holistic Scientist says: Once the “Knower” is ‘Known’, everything is known and whatever is known for one as a knower, there is nothing that remains to be known. 

    -Kritika Bohre

  • Pursuit of Happiness

    by Manish Shah | Nov 26, 2017

    In this day and age, people wander aimlessly in search for temporary happiness and
    money. Men and women slave for countless hours to acquire wealth. Unfortunately, most of these people will never satisfy their hunger for this temporary happiness. As soon as we upgrade, what do we do? We look towards the next upgrade! When will this ladder of worldly desires end? In reality, this ladder has no end. If money and upgrades are the ultimate goal, this ladder is of infinite height in this world. It is without doubt that wealth is of high significance. Money is not the root of evil, the love for money is

    Pursuit of Business
    Business however is a very puzzling path. In business, one partakes much of stress. Traditional business requires investment. Monetary investment is not the only form of investment an owner must make, the owner has to also submit in full his time, sweat and blood. With investment, the owner also faces the fear of the failure. "What if this business doesn't make it? All investment of money and time will be lost!" Finding reliable people is also crucial to running the traditional business. The wrong people can harm the traditional business within the blink of an eye.

    Pursuit of freedom
    Thus, in order to truly upgrade our lives for once and for all, we must strive for freedom from our worldly thirsts and hungers. Freedom however can only be achieved, when one is completely satisfied and ultimately has no one to answer to. Freedom is a destination of many roads. However, most roads have their length, their curves and hills and their crosses. And so, it can be rather difficult to navigate our path. The ideal path is the shortest and smoothest. This road is none other than being your own boss.

    Pursuit of ideal business: The Life
    Thus, what is the ideal business? First, the ideal business should be based on dreams. Dreams empower us to become infinite. If our mindset is right, our dreams are bound to come true. The speed and capability of the mind is superior to all, losing only to the potential of one's Pure Soul. The ideal business should be one of virtually no risk. No investment of both time and money should be needed. The ideal business should be a business of compounding and high growth. The fastest growth is exponential and so, the success of the ideal business lies within the ease of its multiplication. We should benefit by helping others succeed. Reward will come to those only who do, not for oneself, but do for the betterment of others.

    Pursuit of freedom
    It is only by achieving first this 'Relative' freedom from our worldly desires that we can understand 'Real' freedom. Ultimate happiness lies within these freedoms and can only be obtained when truly being free. The ideal business model of life is in essence the one road suitable for all vehicles. It is simply a matter of defining one's dream, FREEDOM!

    Are we blessed to have found such a 'business'?

    (Translated from edited excerpts from discourse of Holistic Scientist Shree Kanudadaji)                                                                            

  • Give and Take in a World Rapidly Embracing the Americum lifestyle

    by Amit Patel | Oct 23, 2017

    Holistic living may be envisioned as a ‘net zero-impact lifestyle,’ meaning that what wetake from this world should be equal to what we give, during our period of earthly existence. If we are to live harmoniously in this world, we have to be considerate of not only our fellow human beings, but all living things which form part of our environment. In the world of today, one may think it is impossible to follow this principle of anrishamsya1. I certainly cannot say I do. Before the emergence of religion in human society, there was only one way of life or dharma2. It meant living harmoniously with the rest of the world. All humans strive for better living, and each one is entitled to it, but can we do it at the expense of others or the environment? Can we achieve mukti (salvation), by having a better lifestyle and leaving our offsprings’ world in a condition any less than what we enjoy today? All of us strive to leave behind a better existence for our young ones, but are we really doing that? Is there equivalence between ‘what we take and what we give?’ 

    The word Americum used in the title of this article was coined by Tom Burke of the E3G, an organization that works in the public interest to accelerate the global transition to sustainable development. Americum can be described as a unit of energy consumed by an inhabitant of this world with a per capita income of $ 15,000 or more and having a growing penchant for consumerism. The latter word is at the heart of the issue of give and take. How do we figure out how much we take from this world? What are our needs? The basic needs of a human being, primarily in the form of food, range from 2 to 2.5 kcal/day. An average Americum food component amounts to 3.5 to 4 kcal/day. This is very small compared to the total energy consumption, in an Americum lifestyle, which is 216,000 kcal/day3. This energy is used to keep ourselves warm, move from one place to other, produce all the amenities we need in our day to day life like electronics, clothes, entertainment, etc. This is the overall ‘take’ component. What about the ‘give’ component? In this world of distributed workforce, that can be difficult to decipher. In the pre-industrial age, when most humans were farmers, calculating it was a bit easier. A farmer would grow his crop, use animal labor, feed his family as well as the labor force with the food produced, recycle animal manure resulting in a relatively closed-loop, sustainable cycle. Human civilization relied on agriculture from 7000 BC up to the 19th century, when the green revolution and industrial machines started to shift the balance in the cycle. In the last 200 years the balance in every human practice is tilting. Can one quantify this imbalance? Let us look at three basic ‘take’ components: travel, food and electricity use. 

    I travel 40 miles/day by automobile. This is equivalent to generating 36 pounds of trash or waste (in this case, carbon dioxide, which is the gas released into the environment - an invisible trash). It is like throwing a pound of trash every mile one drives, as reported by Tom Friedman in his book ‘Hot, Flat and Crowded’. Are we doing enough through our daily activities, be it via serving a patient, selling a product, producing food, working in a store or industry or generating new technology, to compensate for what we take in as resources? Are we giving back enough to return those 36 pounds of trash to a harmless product? How could one possibly evaluate that? Well, here is some simplification. For compensating 40 miles/day of travel (36 pounds of trash), one would have to contribute to growing 18 pounds of plant matter per day. In other words, one has to generate 0.45 pounds of plant matter (to eliminate 0.9 pounds of trash) for every mile one drives. Am I in some way helping this world to do that? If not, I am causing an imbalance. I am taking more from my child’s environment than what I am giving! I wonder if I do enough to even generate one pound of plant matter per day or compensate in other ways to return the products I generate to usable resources.

    The second component that may be considered is food. The average daily food intake of an Americum lifestyle is 3750 calories. A vegetarian diet requires about ten-fold energy to generate it, while a meat-based diet requires about eighty-fold energy to generate the same amount of calories4. While the energy required for food generation may seem high, it is only one percent of the travel component of an Americum lifestyle.

    The third component is the electricity use. The daily household energy use in an Americum lifestyle is 18 kWh or about 4 kWh per person5. That is equivalent to 3400 kcal per day per person. This generates about 14 pounds of invisible trash per person per day. One would have to generate 7 pounds of plant biomass per day to compensate for the daily electricity used.

    One may argue that one cannot possibly produce 25+ pounds of plant biomass per day and that, it is the job of the government to figure out how to do that. One may also think that paying for fuel may cover that. Unfortunately, it does not.

    A country’s progress is typically indicated by gross domestic product (GDP). However, it does not account for sustainable conditions of growth (i.e. balanced give and take). GDP only takes into account purely monetary exchanges. An alternate index, Green Progress Index (GPI), which uses a broad set of 51 economic, environmental and social indicators, has been proposed.6 While the GDP for US and UK has been increasing over the last 30 years, the GPI has shown a reverse trend.

    In a democratic society, people control the emergence and approval of new laws and legislation. It is understandable that one may not want to spend money out of their own pockets to implement expensive counter measures (e.g. solar, geothermal technologies)but helping the government to promote development of viable solutions is completely in the hands of individual people. Politicians who have tried to do anything about it do not usually receive sufficient support. Going back to the issue of give and take, and one’swillingness to pursue holistic living, one has to find ways to compensate for what one takes from the world. The first thing to do may simply be to understand the imbalance between the give and take components. The problems faced by the human society today are gigantic. Solutions cannot be possibly implemented at an individual level, but the decision-making to do something about it has to be at an individual level.

    As the rest of the world (starting with China and India) embraces the Americum lifestyle, resources are depleting and energy is becoming expensive. The average energy consumption of this earth’s inhabitant is 56,000 kcal per day3, about 20% of the Americum lifestyle. The demand by Chinese and Indians for the Americum lifestyle means a 10-fold increase in world energy demand. Is there any other way, besides balancing our own give and take components, i.e., a holistic living lifestyle, to carve the path for a bright future for our descendents?

    - Abhijeet P. Borole, Ph.D.

     

  • Finding Joy: The Science of Happiness

    by Amit Patel | Oct 23, 2017

    We long to find more joy in our daily pursuits even though life has taught us it’s not so easy. New discoveries in neuroscience offer insight into how we can develop a brighter state of heart and mind.

    The First Step on the path to finding happiness is to open the mind to alternative ways of thinking about life. While much of our focus in the West has been toward comfort and the acquisition of worldly goods, in Eastern countries your status as a human being traditionally comes first. So instead of being greeted by “What are you up to these days?” or “How’s it going with your to-do list?” you may be asked in Muslim countries, “How is your haal?1 When someone inquires about your haal, they are they are literally asking, “How is your heart doing right now, as you take this very breath?” They want to know whether you are feeling happy or sad, or any of a wide range of emotions. And in India you will be greeted by namaste, which translates into “I salute the God in you”–the part of you that represents the divine.

    The Second Step begins by recognizing the importance of our attention. In the chapter on attention from his two-volume work, The Principles of Psychology, William James remarks that the ability to voluntarily bring back a wandering attention again and again is the very root of judgment, character, and will. And in a recent Harvard study by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert, more than two-thousand adults were asked what they were thinking about during their day-to-day activities. It turns out that forty-seven percent of the time their minds were not focused on what they were doing. Even more striking was that they reported feeling less happy when their minds were wandering.2

    Those who have learned how to focus their attention on the present moment are good athletes, good listeners, good thinkers, and good workers at anything they do because this gathering of the attention connects mind, heart and body in a balanced, harmonious state of awareness, of readiness to act or to be present. As Jon Kabat-Zinn has pointed out, “in Asian languages, the word for ‘mind’ and the word for ‘heart’ are the same…You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention.”

    The Third Step on this new path is to uncover our habitual ways of thinking and acting, which often stand in the way of happiness. Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, insists in his book The Power Of Habit that almost all we do is driven by habit. One successful way to study the is through the Alexander Technique, a method of re-educating the body and brain developed in the 1890s by Frederick Matthias Alexander that can relieve stress and chronic pain, improve poor posture and faulty breathing, and help sufferers of neuro-muscular disorders.

    While ferreting out our habits is essential, it’s just as important to avoid self-attack when we notice them, as in “there I go again being bad.” Which leads to the Fourth Step: non-judgmental thinking or non-critical awareness. Neuroscientists tell us why we should give up the habit of criticizing ourselves: Because every experience, every thought, every feeling, and every physical sensation activates thousands of neurons at the same moment, repetition strengthens the connection between them until they form a neural network or ingrained habit. That’s how mental states become neural traits.

    Wendy Suzuki, Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at New York University and author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better, details how our inner critic works against us: “If I remember an incident in which I failed in some way and immediately add the thought that I was stupid or inadequate—in other words, attack myself at the moment I remember the incident—I’m connecting two formerly unrelated mind events and their respective neuronal activity. What’s bad about this is that I’m emphasizing or demonizing my failure out of proportion to its real effect and making that connection, that negative self-attack, part of the memory of the incident. But if I could bring a modicum of reasoning or self-forgiveness to it, acknowledging that I’m human, or forgot, or didn’t know enough, or was unprepared to make the right decision, or whatever is appropriate, over time my new thinking will affect the neural structure of my brain, synapse by synapse.
    While such small automated self-attacks may seem unimportant, Rick Hanson explains in his book Buddha’s Brain that, “Because of all the ways your brain changes its structure, your experience matters beyond its momentary, subjective impact. It makes enduring changes in the physical tissues of your brain, which affect your wellbeing, functioning, and relationships. Based on science, this is a fundamental reason for being kind to yourself, cultivating wholesome experiences, and taking them in.”3

    In Search of Rumi’s Field
    Perhaps Rumi said it best: “Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” We all need to find that field beyond guilt and responsibility, beyond sin and redemption, where there’s rest for the busy mind, always arguing, elaborating, affirming, condemning, criticizing; rest for the anguished heart, seeking meaning in a confused world full of conflicting demands; and rest from the insidious fear that we’ll be caught out because, in spite of all our good intentions, we’re sure to get it wrong again.

    One path to Rumi’s field is to listen to the spaces between the many words we say and hear. Or to attend to the sound of silence itself. This space between doings and achieving is non-invasive. It doesn’t demand action, but provides nourishment. We could call it endless time, where we feel cared for, liberated from the sense that we must perform, get stuff done, realize a potential, serve a cause, help a friend. The fact is, endless time is always there—ready to flood in whenever we have sense enough to lay down our perceived burdens. If I can give up for a moment the problems that seem so important, so immediate, so real, then I will find myself immersed in another order of reality—the world of sound, touch, taste, smell, and unrecognized feelingsThat could be where joy begins.

    And while Endless Time can be like prayer or meditation, casting off the cares of the day for a private moment of quiet in the back room, the funny thing is that this wider space can open just as easily on a crowded subway platform where a mass of humanity hurries to their next thing. I exchange a look with a fellow passenger and feel connected to these rushing lives, as full of joy and fear and investments in relationships as mine. Then the noise recedes and inner quiet floods in from a world beyond time.

    The Power of Choice
    That brings us to the Fifth Step, making good choices. While Rumi’s field may be available to all of us, finding it is a choice we make. Will I stay in my ego-driven, hurry-up world, or will I choose to attend again and yet again to what is going on in myself and in the world, without judgment or condemnation? Can I sometimes allow love for the fractured and suffering humanity around and inside me to enter my busy field of action, as I function between heaven and earth, between extremes?

    Duhigg’s newest book, Smarter Faster Better, throws light on why some people and organizations are more productive than others. In an interview he explains that “Many people feel like they’re not fulfilled and not satisfied because they feel completely overwhelmed by what they’re being asked to get done every single day.” He urges people to push themselves to think differently, making choices about what really matters to them, rather than reacting to the demands around them, and to contemplate more why they do what they do. “You’re not happier because you turn your brain off,” he says. “You’re happier because you encourage yourself to think more deeply about what actually matters.”4

    This brings us to what is perhaps the biggest barrier to happiness, stress, and the Sixth Step: Learning to deal with it. Often under pressure, we tend to hurry, which speeds us away from the present moment
    . Neuroscientists tell us that chronic rushing feeds anxiety and heightens adrenaline levels. Over time, our brains get hooked on the stimulation of activity even as our bodies become addicted to rushing, and our minds switch to autopilot. We begin to see everything on our list as urgent—needing to be accomplished quickly—when only a few tasks have true priority. Speed, speed, speed equals pressure, pressure, pressure.

    To counter our tendency to hurry, Master Alexander Technique teacher Walter Carrington told his students to repeat each time they begin an action: “I have time.” Try it yourself sometime when you’re in a hurry, sending yourself a message to delay action for a nano-second before jumping into the fray. The pause of saying “I have time” summons an alternative mode of the nervous system, inhibiting the temptation to rush forward under the internal command to “Do it now!” When you hold back your first impulse to go into movement by creating a critical pause during which your attention is gathered, you become present to the moment you are living. Then you can choose to respond rather than to react.

    For this we need to cultivate the upper regions of our brain where greater neuroplasticity allows us to change as we learn from experience. (The lower regions have more control over our body and less capacity to change). According to Rick Hanson, the anterior cingulate cortex, which oversees attention, goals, and deliberate regulation of thought and behavior, can bring “neural coherence” to an intention so that it crystallizes, and we have an experience of coming together toward an aim. Our conscious will is then able to influence emotional reactions and be influenced by them—key to the integration of thought and feeling.5

    You might be surprised to what extent you can relieve your stressed-out system with a brief, non-essential walk down the hall, a peek out the window at the outer world, or even a seriously deep sigh that engages you right down to the toes. Do anything to interrupt the deadening bond that glues all your attention to what you’re writing, reading, cooking, chopping, building. Truly, the body possesses wisdom that thought doesn’t understand. We can practice listening to it as we expand into reality. That’s where joy lives, in any present moment.

    Four Keys to Well-being
    Our three main neural functions—regulation, learning, and selection—can be excited or inhibited by strengthening some circuits and weakening others, based on what we value. So, let’s ask again, what do I value? And where is my attention focused most of the time?

    Dr. Richard Davidson is a pioneer in contemplative neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. With the cooperation of the Dalai Lama, he made MRIs of Tibetan monks in such meditative states as visualization, one-pointed concentration, and the generation of compassion. According to Davidson, “the brain can be transformed through engagement with purely mental practices derived from the world’s great religious traditions….the brain, more than any other organ in our body, is the organ built to change in response to experience.” He offers neurological proof that what counts ultimately is not what happens to you, but how you deal with what you’ve been dealt.

    Davidson indicates four keys to well-being, which he says is “a skill…fundamentally no different than learning to play the cello. If one practices the skills of well-being, one will get better at it.“ At the Greater Good Science Center’s Mindfulness & Well-being at Work conference he recently explained how each of these four keys relates to neural circuit activity, in which plasticity or changeability is involved.6

    The First Key is Resilience. As Davidson details it, “Resilience is the rapidity with which we recover from adversity; some people recover slowly and other people recover more quickly. We know that individuals who show a more rapid recovery in certain key neural circuits have higher levels of well-being. They are protected in many ways from the adverse consequences of life’s slings and arrows. Recent research that we’ve conducted in our lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison—not yet published—asked whether these specific brain circuits can be altered by regular practice in simple mindfulness meditation.7 The answer is yes—but you need several thousand hours of practice before you see real change. Unlike the other constituents of well-being, it takes a while to improve your resilience. It’s not something that is going to happen quickly—but this insight can still motivate and inspire us to keep meditating.”

    The Second Key, Outlook,
     “is in many ways the flip-side of the first one,” says Davidson. “I use outlook to refer to the ability to see the positive in others, the ability to savor positive experiences, the ability to see another human being as a human being who has innate basic goodness. Even individuals who suffer from depression show activation in the brain circuit underlying outlook, but in them, it doesn’t last—it’s very transient…research indicates that simple practices of loving kindness8 and compassion meditation9 may alter this circuitry quite quickly, after a very, very modest dose of practice.”

    It’s no surprise that the Third Key is Attention. Davidson refers to the Harvard study mentioned earlier, which asked people what they were doing and whether they were happy doing it. And the Fourth Key is Generosity. When people are generous and altruistic “they actually activate circuits in the brain that are key to fostering well-being,” explains Davidson. “These circuits get activated in a way that is more enduring than the way we respond to other positive incentives, such as winning a game or earning a prize.” He sums up: “Our brains are constantly being shaped wittingly or unwittingly—most of the time unwittingly. Through the intentional shaping of our minds, we can shape our brains in ways that would enable these four fundamental constituents of well-being to be strengthened. In that way, we can take responsibility for our own minds.”

    Finding Balance
    When I’m off balance, life isn’t so good. What’s more, the body is always moving off balance. As four-footed creatures, down near the earth, we were steady, thoughts alert for danger and centered on where the next meal was coming from. Now that we’re upright, sometimes tottering forward or reeling back, we are uncertain in body and stressed in mind about just where and how we are supposed to be. Attention must be paid both to our vehicle and to outside circumstances.

    Happiness is found in equilibrium, whether through connecting thought with the rest of us, or pursuing full-bodied awareness. So we can go at changing our brain top down, with an effort at mindfulness that engages the prefrontal cortex; or in the middle, by creating positive emotions to regulate the limbic system (not so easy); or bottom up, by calming the parasympathetic nervous system with yoga, tai chi, or meditation exercises—an indirect method that is perhaps easier for many people.

    What creates balance? A clear mind to see and even foresee what’s happening, and a body that’s tuned and ready to engage in either action or repose. There’s also a sense of contentment when the heart participates, so, at that point, our three inner worlds come together—mind, heart, and body. If your body or mind seems too foggy or, on the other hand, too over-vigilant, take it as a warning sign of stormy weather. Or maybe you’re just headed in the wrong direction, away from where the winds of your life want to take you. Here’s a pretty foolproof solution when mind or body is off balance and you don’t know what to do or which way to go:

    1. Focus first on your feet on the ground as if they were rooted in the earth. Remind yourself that there are twenty-six bones in each foot, all seeking a right relationship with each other and the ground.

    2. Then, to add more balancing power, imagine a tripod at the bottom each foot, at the center of the heel, on the pad of the big toe, and on the pad of the little toe.

    3. Next, remind yourself that the earth is coming up from below to support you so you can stop holding yourself up. Just let yourself go, tuning into the sensation of the flow of gravity down from your head, through the bones, and into the feet.

    4. Check whether your ankles and knees are still locked and let them go. As you do so, you may notice a slight, somewhat scary movement throughout. It’s a sign that you are now free to move in any direction at an instant’s notice. Alexander Technique teachers call it the “Standing Dance.”

    5. As your thoughts focus on your feet and your physical tension releases downward, you may begin to perceive an equal and opposite flow of energy coming upward, perhaps from the center of each sole—Bubbling Spring in Tai Chi, and Kidney One in acupuncture.

    6. As your mind follows the movement of energy in both directions, down from the head through the bones, up from the earth toward the head, you’ll begin to sense your whole three-dimensional Self, standing there between heaven and earth, like the Taoist ideal of True Man.

    Breathing Into Equilibrium
    The Seventh Step: Breathing more deeply helps us to center ourselves and to boost a flagging immune system. In an article in Uplift magazine, naturopathic doctor Shawna Darou that the secret is to activate the vagus nerve, “which originates in the brain as cranial nerve ten, travels down from the neck and then passes around the digestive system, liver, spleen, pancreas, heart and lungs. This nerve is a major player in the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the ‘rest and digest’ part (opposite to the sympathetic nervous system which is ‘fight or flight.’)”10

    Because your heart rate speeds up a little when you breathe in, and slows down a little when you breathe out, you can test your vagal tone by noticing the difference in your heart rate between inhalation and exhalation. The bigger the difference, the higher the vagal tone, which means your body can relax faster after stress. Higher vagal tone is also associated with better mood, less anxiety, and more resilience. Slow, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breathing is a great way to tone your vagus nerve, says Dr. Darou, adding that it can also be toned through humming, speaking, washing your face with cold water, or meditation.

    Perhaps it’s no surprise that neuroscientists think of meditation as a royal road to happiness. Psychiatrist Norman Doidge tells us in his book The Brain That Changes Itself that “plastic change, caused by our experience, travels deep into the brain and even into our genes, molding them as well.” He adds that “When a gene is turned on, it makes a new protein that alters the structure and function of the cell,” influenced by what we do and what we think.11 And Dr. Dawson Church, in The Genie In Your Genes, says that focusing on positive thoughts, emotions and prayers (which he calls internal epigenetic interventions) can positively affect our health. “Filling our minds with positive images of wellbeing can produce an epigenetic environment that reinforces the healing process,” he affirms, assuring us that, when we meditate, we are “bulking up the portions of our brains that produce happiness.”12 ♦

    1 In Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? Or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh?

    Wandering mind not a happy mind, article in Harvard Gazette, 11/11/2010.

    3 Rick Hanson with Richard Mendius, Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom, New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, CA, 2009, pp. 72-3.

    4 Interview by Kira Newman for the Greater Good Science Center newsletter 4/18/2016 (http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/you_can_be_more_productive_without_sacrificing_happiness).

    Buddha’s Brain, pp. 99-101.

    6 Clips and full-session videos from Mindfulness & Well-Being at Work conference available at http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/gg_live/mindfulness_well_being_at_work.

    7 Breathing meditation, http://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mindful_breathing.

    8 Loving-kindness meditation, Emma Seppala, Science Director of Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education,

    http://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/loving_kindness_meditation.

    9 Compassion meditation, Helen Weng and her colleagues at the Center for Healthy Minds (CHM) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. http://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/compassion_meditation#.

    10 Article by Dr. Shawna Darou in the 11/30/15 issue of Uplift magazine (http://upliftconnect.com).

    11 Norman Doidge, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Penguin, NY, 2007, pp.91 and 220.

    12 Dawson Church, The Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention,  Elite Books, Santa Rosa, CA 2007, pp 67-69.


    This article is syndicated from Parabola Magazine. Parabola is published by The Society for the Study of Myth and Tradition which is a not-for-profit organization devoted to the dissemination and exploration of materials relating to the myths, symbols, rituals, and art of the world’s religious and cultural traditions. Author Patty de Llosa, is also the author of Finding Time For Your Self, The Practice of Presence and Taming Your Inner Tyrant. She is a consulting editor to Parabola, she works as a Life Coach and teaches the Alexander Technique, T'ai Chi, and Taoist mediation in New York City.  

     

  • Why is so hard to change people's minds?

    by Amit Patel | Sep 25, 2017

    Our opinions are often based in emotion and group affiliation, not facts. Here’s how to engage productively when things get heated.

    It’s probably happened more than once: You spend a lot of time trying to convince someone that their opinion on a particular issue is wrong. You take pains to make sure your argument is air-tight. But instead of coming around to your point of view, your conversation partner pushes back, still convinced of her ultimate rightness. “What do you mean poor people need social programs? They have the same opportunities as everyone else!” By the end of your debate, you’re faced with the same stalemate you had at the beginning—and your relationship may be feeling the strain.

    Why is it so hard to convince others to change their minds?

    It’s a question people have puzzled over for millennia, though the past year’s political events have brought it to the fore. The question takes on even more urgency when you believe someone else’s views betray something inherently rotten about their character—or when someone else believes the same about yours.

    While it’s easy to conclude that people’s views are barometers of their moral elevation, the more nuanced truth is that a broad range of factors help explain deeply entrenched beliefs. Certainly, some partisans are focused on policy issues above all else. But for others, the brain’s tendency to stay the course may play a larger role. Psychological research suggests that once our minds are made up on important matters, changing them can be as difficult as stopping a train hurtling at full speed, even when there’s danger straight ahead.

    Fortunately, research also hints at solutions—though you may need to change your mind about some things if you want to put these insights to work!

    Why we resist facts
    Most of us have a strong drive to hold on to pre-existing beliefs and convictions, which keep us anchored in the world. When your stance on controversial issues both cements your group identity and plants you in opposition to perceived enemies, changing it can exact a high personal toll.

    “We are social animals instinctively reliant on our tribe for safety and protection,” says risk perception expert David Ropeik, author of How Risky Is It, Really? “Any disloyalty literally feels dangerous, like the tribe will kick you out. This effect is magnified in people already worried.”

    Defection, in short, feels as terrifying as stepping off a window ledge—and to a certain extent, this fear is justified. When you think and behave in ways that separate you from members of your close community, you’re likely to experience at least some level of exclusion.

    There’s a certain amount of plain old inertia at work, too. Researchers who study how people resolve cognitive dissonance—the uneasy feeling of holding inconsistent beliefs—note that most people would rather deny or downplay new, uncomfortable information than reshape their worldview to accommodate it. From that perspective, it’s less surprising that your friend whose behavior toward women is above reproach is more than willing to support politicians who’ve committed sexual assault.

    Even lukewarm advocates can be resistant to updating their beliefs, since the very act of deciding between alternatives changes the way we evaluate each option.

    One classic study had subjects look at an array of home gadgets and rate their desirability. After they had made a decision about which one to take home as a gift (say, the fluorescent desk light), their opinion of the item they’d chosen tended to rise, while their opinion of left-behind items soured.

    In most situations, viewing your own choice through rose-colored glasses is a sensible way of ensuring you stay happy with your decision. But this outlook also skews your perception, meaning that even when you learn eye-opening new information, you may not feel alarmed enough to reconsider your views.

    The backlash effect
    When doubts do creep in, they can have a paradoxical effect, leading people to dig in their heels even more.

    “The attacks against Trump have taught me something about myself,” one Donald Trump supporter told blogger and entrepreneur Sam Altman. “I have defended him and said things I really didn’t believe or support because I was put in a defensive position.”

    Research bears out the idea that arguers’ outward insistence may be inversely related to their actual conviction. In one Northwestern University study, the less confident people felt in their opinions about hot-button issues (whether animal testing is OK, for instance), the more they labored to convince others of their chosen view.

    “You definitely need to know the other person as a person to want to stay engaged when things get controversial. ”
    -Boting Zhang

    If doubt often prompts people to double down rather than reflect, does that mean it’s futile to start a dialogue with those you disagree with? Typical debates, as you’ve probably discovered, aren’t all that effective—and if you start with the explicit goal of changing someone’s mind, you’re likely to get the opposite result. The reverse is also true: The less you try to force a particular set of views on someone, the freer they’ll feel to reflect honestly on what they think—and maybe even revise their thinking down the line.

    Productive exchange is also more likely when there’s a mutual foundation of respect and friendship. In a project called Between Americans, Seattle-based author and artist Boting Zhang is chronicling the evolution of relationships between Trump supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters over the course of a year. Participants share with each other about more personal topics, but hot-button issues do pop up from time to time—and the strength of the participants’ bond often determines the conversation’s direction.

    “You definitely need to know the other person as a person to want to stay engaged when things get controversial,” Zhang says. In exchanges about fraught topics, she advises starting from the assumption that you won’t change the other person’s views, but she admits that may be easier said than done. “That balance between caring deeply, yet seeking to listen rather than change someone’s mind, is a knife’s-edge balance!”

    How to build bridges
    Like the participants in Zhang’s project, you can strive to understand your conversation partners in ways that go beyond their views on controversial issues.

    Talk to them about their early years, or about the biggest personal challenge they’ve faced. Their answers may give you unexpected insight into why they behave as they do—and perhaps make it easier for you to empathize with them, despite your misgivings about particular views they may hold.

    When touchy topics do arise, try a non-confrontational approach, asking open-ended questions (“How did you feel when you heard about the U.S. pulling out of the Paris climate accords?”) or sharing your own experiences (“Someone groped me at work and no one believed me when I reported it, so having an abuser in a position of power frightens me.”)

    Whether you’re discussing the personal or the political, steer clear of language and behavior that signals contempt. Debaters tend to show contempt for their sparring partners in any number of ways—rolling their eyes, flinging personal insults, and deploying cutting sarcasm (witness these gambits on social media in spades). Psychologist John Gottman has identified this argumentative style as poisonous to close relationships, in part because it conveys a devastating message: “You, your thoughts, and your views are utterly beneath me.”

    Cutting out contempt doesn’t mean tiptoeing around the issues: It’s healthy to lay out exactly how you differ with someone else and express your disappointment, or even devastation, with particular views they hold. The key is to remain in the debate zone rather than crossing the line into not-so-veiled disgust.

    No matter how high-minded your intentions, it can be tempting to turn any dialogue on the issues into a game of one-upmanship.

    But asking questions—and showing a genuine desire to hear and acknowledge the answers—sets a different tone that boosts the odds of a productive resolution, or at least a friendlier stalemate that inspires further thought and discussion. Persuasion that endures isn’t a one-sided sales job, but a fertile exchange—one in which your own thinking may evolve in ways you hadn’t expected.

    This article is syndicated from Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC). Based at UC Berkeley, the GGSC studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Author Elizabeth Svoboda is a writer in San Jose, CA. She is the author of What Makes a Hero?: The Surprising Science of Selflessness. 

    --by Elizabeth Svoboda , syndicated from Greater Good, Sep 08, 2017


  • The three types of body

    by Amit Patel | Sep 25, 2017
    The first type is the physical body that we all know about and which can be seen by all. One take picture of this body part which also experiences the effect of the five senses. Another part of the physical body is the one which cannot be seen which the doctor’s, scientists, see through cells seen in laboratory through a microscope. This part is seen through any instrument inside the physical body. Today we have electron microscope, MRI, CT scan and other instruments which helps us to look inside the physical body whose impressions can be obtained.

    Second body type is the subtle body which some people call energy body or vitality body. This body is the one which keeps the physical body going and is also known as the power house energy.  It aides in the metabolism of the body. This is detected by electrocardiogram, electromyogram, and electroencephalogram which can be seen in graphs also by measuring electro voltages. There are other means to study and one of them is with aura photography. This is the subtle part of the energy body. There are other tools also which the scientists are deeply involved in studying and doing research of the physical and subtle part of the body.

    Indian yogis and rishis studied the energy chakras in the subtle part of the body. They determined that inside the body there are 7 centers in which the energy is concentrated. When there is imbalance in these centers, then problems occur in the body. Initially it was difficulty in understanding them since it was their inner research but now with the aura photography it can easily be understood that here are 7 places of concentration of the energy.

    We believe that the disease that we get are based on some parts getting out of its place or getting germs in the physical body as the doctors inform us and laboratory tests are conducted. Those who understand the subtle part of the body understand that even though we talk about physical body, the problem starts in the imbalance in the energy body and then it will come into the physical body. This has been see in the aura body photographs that tumor occurs in the energy body and then it comes into the physical body. That is the reason that the rishis concentrated on the energy body and harmony of the energy with their inner research.

    People have reached up to this stage of understanding.

    Beyond this the Holistic Scientist says that there is a third part in the physical body know as ‘causal body’. This can only be seen by the Absolutes Thirthankars (Vitrags) and the Holistic Scientist (Gyani Purush). Science has not reached to that point yet.

    The first two body parts are called meta-physical. There are lots of research on going in this area like thinking, effects of thoughts. They have determined that thoughts are physical entity. Other research is on the words. So, there is curiosity as to what all these are and how they really function which is still evading mankind since they cannot reach the causal body. Causal body is the one which can only be seen through the inner light which the Absolutes and Holistic Scientist have.

    The Vitrags explained to us why there are disturbances in the energy body.
    What the subtlest of the subtle molecules we have brought with us are the cause of it which is commonly known as discharge Karmas. The scientists are asking what is the relationship between the subtle and the physical body with the Karmas? The Vitrags say that when there is discharge Karma is ready to give the fruits of the past seeds, the karmas atoms and molecules influences the energy body and the physical body. Karmas are the embodiment of the atoms and molecules in which there is a mechanical or physical energy or non-live live energy vehicle.

    Vitrags have showed to us how the causal body is generated.
    This only happens in the human embodiment where it is an inherent belief that ‘I am’ the name bearer and I am the ‘doer’. This belief can only be changed by a Gyani Purush by making one understand who one is.

    As long as there is a belief that I am the name bearer and the doer, there is a wire connection with the live Soul. In addition to the three bodies, there is another entity which is the Pure Soul and all work is done due to its presence only. As long as that wire connection is there and the two bodies (physical and subtle) which are doing the function of discharge karma then, simultaneously a causal body is being generated. This is based on the wishes (bhave). These wishes that the causal body which is being generated for the move to the next life.

    As long as the causal body is joined with the Pure Soul, it will always get the energy body and till then it has to get another body to discharge which is based on Scientific Circumstantial Evidences.

    If someone wants to be liberated, he or she needs to understand the formation and discharge of the causal body. How one get make a causal body with the wishes or reactions (bhave satta) or even how to stop it. Here is where the science of the Holistic Scientist is applied that as long as I am the name bearer, the effect that means physical body cannot be changed and the subtle body will not be able to change that easily but based on the Bhave Satta one can definitely influence the new causal body. If one gets to know who one is through the grace of a Gyani Purush one will be able to stop the causal body.

    The Holistic Scientist is saying that with our physical and subtle body we are not living in harmony with nature. E.g. We are willing to eat ice cream at mid night. Our system has become unnatural life and living and due to that there is an effect on our body vitality and platform for diseases.

    Other part which the world has not been able to understand is that whatever is going in our inner mechanism (mind, intellect, reflective conscious and ego) and if there is positivity, positive attitudes and harmony, then the disease can be cured and on the other hand if there is negativity, stress and lack of harmony, that is a ground for getting diseases. It is very important to assess what goes in the inner mechanism of ours. If I am harboring negative opinions about others, I am harboring revenge from the past, and the Western world is trying to resolve how to be freed from such thoughts and how to forgive and get fee from the diseases. The subtle science given by the Vitrags and their external benefits we can understand this now. The Holistic Inner Science is totally a positive science which takes care of the old diseases and does not allow formation of the new diseases thru the body, mind and inner mechanism.

    -  Dr. Shaileshanandji, a practitioner and expert of Holistic Inner Science, a visiting faculty at  Holistic Science Charitable Research Foundation

  • A Guide for Modern Parenting

    by Amit Patel | Aug 21, 2017

    Thirukkural  by Tiruvalluvar (a Tamil  poet/writer) was written more than 5,000 yrs ago. It’s one of the ancient science on Human Behavior, which has not changed in spite of modern education  & technology!

    *SOME GOLDEN THOUGHTS OF THIRUKKURAL*

    1. *If your child lies to you often, it is because you over-react too harshly to their inappropriate behavior. *

    2. *If your child is not taught to confide in you about their mistakes, you’ve lost them. *

    3. *If your child had poor self-esteem, it is because you advice them more than you encourage them. *

    4. *If your child does not stand up for themselves, it is because from a young age you have disciplined them regularly in public.*

    5. *If your child takes things that do not belong to them, it is because when you buy them things, you don’t let them chose what they want.*

    6. *If your child is cowardly, it is because you help them too quickly.*

    7. *If your child does not respect other people’s feelings, it is because instead of speaking to your child, you order & command them.*

    8. *If your child is too quick to anger, it is because you give too much attention to misbehaviour & you give little attention to good behaviour.*

    9. *If your child is excessively jealous, it is because you only congratulate them when they successfully complete something & not when they improve at something even if they don’t successfully complete it.*

    10. *If your child intentionally disturbs you, it is because you are not physically affectionate enough.*

    11. *If your child is openly defiant, it is because you openly threaten to do something but don’t follow through.*

    12. *If your child is secretive, it is because they don’t trust that you won’t blow things out of proportion.*

    13. *If your child talks back to you, it is because they watch you do it to others & think its normal behaviour.*

    14. *If your child doesn’t listen to you but listens to others, it is because you are too quick to jump to conclusions.*

    15. *If your child rebels it is because they know you care more about what others think than what is right.*




  • Letter to a Daughter

    by Amit Patel | Aug 21, 2017

    A letter to his daughter from a renowned Hong Kong TV broadcaster and Child Psychologist. The words are actually applicable to all of us, young or old, children or parents. This applies to all sons & daughters too.

    Dear daughter,

    I am writing this to you because of 3 reasons:

    1.Life, fortune and mishaps are unpredictable, nobody knows how long one lives.

    2. I am your father, and if I don't tell you these, no one else will.

    3. Whatever written is my own personal bitter/sweet experiences that perhaps could save you a lot of unnecessary heartaches.

    Remember the following as you go through life:

    Do not bear grudge
    towards those who are not good to you. No one has the responsibility of treating you well, except your mother and I. To those who are good to you, you have to treasure it and be thankful, and ALSO you have to be cautious, because, everyone has a motive for every move. When a person is good to you, it does not mean he really will be good to you. You have to be careful, don't hastily regard him/her as a real friend.

    No one is indispensable
    , nothing is in the world that you must possess. Once you understand this idea, it would be easier for you to go through life when people around you don't want you anymore, or when you lose what you wanted the most.

    Life is short
    . When you waste your life today, tomorrow you would find that life is leaving you. The earlier you treasure your life, the better you enjoy life.

    Love is nothing but a transient feeling
    , and this feeling would fade with time and with one's mood. If your so called loved one leaves you, be patient, time will wash away your aches and sadness.

    Don't over exaggerate the beauty and sweetness of love, and don't over exaggerate the sadness of falling out of love.

    A lot of successful people did not receive a good education, that does not mean that you can be successful by not studying hard! Whatever knowledge you gain is your weapon in life. One can go from rags to riches, but one has to start from some rags!

    I do not expect you to financially support me when I am old,
    neither would I financially support your whole life. My responsibility as a supporter ends when you are grown up. After that, you decide whether you want to travel in a public transport or in your limousine, whether rich or poor.

    You honor your words
    , but don't expect others to be so. You can be good to people, but don't expect people to be good to you. If you don't understand this, you would end up with unnecessary troubles.

    I have bought lotteries for umpteen years, but could never strike any prize. That shows if you want to be rich, you have to work hard! There is no free lunch.

    No matter how much time I have with you, let's treasure the time we have together. We do not know if we would meet again in our next life.

  • Live in Harmony with Nature

    by Manish Shah | Aug 02, 2017

    Atharvaveda contains a beautiful hymn as an invocation to mother earth which teaches us to love and preserve the beautiful, natural environment by living in harmony with nature.

    Our mother Earth is the only planet of the solar system nurturing life. Earth gives us food and nourishes us. Different nations live on this earth, in different parts. But though separated by national boundaries, we are a global family, ‘Vashudhaiv Kutumbakam’. The universe of ours is fundamentally interconnected and inseparable. It is one only, ‘Ekam eva advi-teeyam’. Various modern scientific discoveries today point to a holistic universe where matter, energy and consciousness are interconnected at a deeper and fundamental level. Science today projects more and more the picture of a holistic universe. The microcosm is inseparable from macrocosm, ‘Pinde so brahmande’.

    ‘Adjust Everywhere’ is a very important aphorism of Dada Bhagavan. And our experience bears testimony to this fact that Kaliyug is an age of adjustment. He who adjusts himself to any kind of circumstances succeeds, prospers and survives. Clashes of ego are very common in any field of life. But he who understands by the grace of an enlightened soul that to avoid ego is to be really happy because we are not ego-bags. Dada Bhagavan says, “You are not Chandulal. You are the Pure Soul, permanent, unborn and ever blissful. It is the body that decays and dies.” We usually sympathise with the person whose pocket had been picked, while he was boarding the bus. But Dadaji tells us that he who suffers is not innocent, he has invited this trouble himself. The law is that whenever one is punished, one is at fault. The ‘Vyawasthita Shakti’, (Universal, executrix) is just and fair. Whatever happened is justice. Dadaji very compassionately tells us, ‘Know your Real Self and your intercourse with the world and with yourself will be very happy.’

    Dada Bhagavan enlightens us with his views on the ‘Vyawasthit Shakti’ (Scientific Circumstantial Evidences) : “It's a well-planned, well-governed universe by an impartial, detached executrix that plies the gigantic universe without violating any of her laws. An Almighty Power controls the movements of the universe.”

    Human intellect has no definite answers to fundamental problems of life, like ‘Who am I ?’ ‘Why am I here ?’ We have learnt from the Gita that at times of acute crisis like decline of Dharma and the rise of Adharma, there is a divine intervention in the affairs of man to prevent him from doing irremediable harm to himself. An intellect, however successful, not blessed with inner illumination, is harmful to mankind. If man in his pride and ignorance flouts the laws of nature, he invites troubles for himself because these laws are just, exact and fair.

    Now let us remember our word ‘Par-yavaran’ (Environment) which envelopes us–mankind, birds, animals and all forms of life on the planet within its folds and deeply influences the whole process of its growth, activities and well-being.

    Environment comprises all physical and chemical elements of air, water and land technically known as atmosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere respectively as reflected in the Vedas which contain many ‘mantras’ to purify land, water, air, space and also to protect them from pollution and consequent degradation.

    All religions of the world and their enlightened messengers have always advised man to live in harmony with his inner self and outer nature, surrounding him and not to pollute its environment but keep it clean and healthy for his own survival and that of other species inhabiting the planet earth.

    The great enlightened persons, the seer-scientists have always worked and work for the spiritual well-being of mankind. They have left behind them their wise precepts for the guidance of humanity. Sanctify your tongue, heart and deed and live in harmony with your innerself and the world around you (the outer-self).

    It is with the collaboration of the outer and the inner self of man that we can seek material prosperity and spiritual enlightenment. Dada Bhagavan says, “Know who you really are. You are the Pure Soul, not the body.” Seek the divine within yourself and attain divinity from within. The experience of the divine or the realisation of the ‘Self’ is not possible till such a time a man overcomes the vacillations of the heart, so man should gain spiritual awareness from within. Then peace and tranquillity can be established in home, society and the universe. Our scriptures advise us to eradicate ill-feeling, enmity, jealousy, greed by arousing in man, the sense of love, friendship, unanimity and fellow-feeling.

    We must not forget that the individual and the universal peace are interdependent, the same way as the trees and the human beings. The real happiness of the individual lies in the happiness of the universe as a whole. The individual prosperity lies in the prosperity of the universe.

    Matter is conscious. Matter floats on the surface of an infinite ocean of energy which obviously is an expression of underlying consciousness. “The whole universe is an ocean of matter and you are the name of a little particle and I of another and the sun of another. We know that this matter is continuously changing. What is forming the sun one day, the next day may form the matter of our bodies,” says Swami Vivekananda.

    Just as a wave is inseparably connected with the ocean, one man contains the whole universe. One particle of matter has all the energy of the universe.

    Matter, energy and consciousness are connected together in one inseparable common background which is Sat, Chit and Ananda. The universe of ours is very well-planned, well-nourished, well-ordered, well-loved and well-blessed by a Supreme Power. It is an ever evolving universe.

    Nature is our mother. Man's relation with Nature is as old as the world. Our religious scriptures proclaim that so long as man lives in harmony with nature, he enjoys a happy fulfilling life. Man was very happy when he worshipped mother nature. But once he chose to lead a life devoid of natural environs, his harmony with nature was broken and then he had to face calamities of various magnitudes.

    We hear of environmental degradation and desperation these days. When man lived with nature and worshipped her and loved her as his mother, he was happy. He did not interfere with the forces of nature. She was his real benefactor and life-sustainer. He had neither inclination nor the tools and will to defy the forces of nature. He led a simple, satisfied, contented life.

    But a sudden change in the course of a river, the cutting of forests and loss of green cover, flood, fire and cyclone caused environmental crisis in those days. These are all natural calamities. But otherwise there was harmonious unison of life and environment.

    The ecological relationship among plants, animals and environment must be maintained for smooth functioning and survival of the biosphere, maintenance of atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. In short, the ecological equilibrium must be preserved at any cost, if life on the planet earth is to survive. The problem arises due to disturbed and upset equilibrium of the natural environment either by our own activities or other causes exerting their pressure on the biosphere. The imbalances on the biosphere create structural and functional changes in atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere.

    For the last 200 years, mother earth has been barbarously excavated and her entrails have been dug out ! Industrial revolutions, man's inordinate greed for wealth and lust for power, materialistic approach to life, want of moral and spiritual values, loss of harmony with nature, want of love and sympathy in human relationships, cruel cutting of green trees–earth's loving children and friends of mankind, commercialism, bankruptcy in family life giving place to display of deceptive feelings...

    Man has torn asunder the heart of the earth, plundered her wealth in the form of precious materials like gold, silver, diamonds, oil, coal, yet mother earth gives us food and water which prolong our life.

    Man has built big dams to harness the flowing rivers. But we hear of the tremors of earthquake near dams which cause panic among people. Man has forgotten that it is his duty to return more to society than what he takes from it.

    The rapid advance of technologies has made the situation all the more alarming and the risks involved in the production process are heightening day in and day out. Needless to say that as unimpeded development flowed in unchecked, the ecological imbalances followed out rapidly.

    Voices against this rising ecological imbalance were raised even at the outset of the industrial revolution which had unleashed unbridled tapping of natural resources. But soon it was found that econimical development was not an unmixed blessing. At one end it leads to worldly, material prosperity but at the other end it unleashes the destruction, depletion and disfigurement of natural resources causing environmental crisis. Many animal species are already extinct. Air pollution not only of big cities but even of minor cities has been forcing the government to upgrade fuel quality and run vehicles with compressed natural gas, chemical fertilizers, pesticides are badly affecting the fauna and flora and accumulating harmful chemical substances in food causing dreadful diseases like cancer and carcinogens.

    Millions of gallons of carcinogenic computers seep into the soil and water and poison them. And because of chem-icalised and carcinogenic computers, today 30% of American male are infertile. The excessive use of fertilizers has considerably increased concentration of nitrats in the soil and the food that we consume gets poisonous. It is said that by the time of 2025 AD almost more than 48 countries of the world will be facing acute water shortage. Continuos use of pesticides affects ground water through seepage and our rivers, ponds and streams have become polluted because the concentration is toxic. It is horrifying to note that the level of accumulated DDT in the body tissue of an average Indian is the highest.

    It is a sad fact that our water, air, rain, forest, rare species of birds and animals are threatened with extinction. Developed countries dump their industrial and nuclear waste in and around the developing and under-developed nations causing health hazards on an unprecedented scale.

    The star war project, the global warming, the unchecked inventions of fatal biological weapons, the devices of land mines attack are going on to make human life not only insecure on the globe, but will cause ecological imbalance harmful to human existence. The overtaxed natural resources will make human life ‘nasty, brutish and short.’

    All religions of the world give messages of love, compassion and sympathy for all creatures. We must become sane and develop a new concept of eco-spirituality (not only eco-friendliness). Then this eco-spirituality will cure the cancer of eco-crisis of the present age effectively and positively. To achieve sustainable economy, we have to build a new relationship with the mother earth by slowing down population growth by using our resources most frugally and more efficiently.

    Indian cultural and spiritual heritage is rich enough to strike a balance between developmental activities and environmental equilibrium. Hinduism has preached the gospels of Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram. Ishopanishad says the universe together with its creatures belongs to the Lord.

    No creature is superior to any other and human-beings should not have absolute power over nature. Let no one species encroach over the rights and privileges of other species. One can enjoy the bounties of nature only by giving up greed, avarice, arrogance and exploitation. Indeed the holy Upanishads are the Magna Charta of human rights and obligations. They advise us to desist from our mad search for happiness in the outside world. There is no bliss in finite things, the infinite alone is bliss. And ‘It’ is with us always.

    The materiality of the modern world causing eco-crisis can be conquered only through discarding lust for amassing inordinate wealth and riches, banishing hatred and ugly competition and adopting love and compassion instead, by doing good to others including nature. The Quran reveals that man is a part of nature's web and he has no right to disturb that web. Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism talk of love and compassion for all the creatures and harmony with nature. All religions advocate the healthy preservation of the environment and show concern for the preservation of the human environment. True religion means love and compassion for the universe. Einstein says, ‘True religion is concerned with man's attitude towards nature at large with establishing ideals for the individual and communal life and with mutual human relations. Religion exists in nature and nature sustains human life; both religion and nature should be unescapable parts of human existence. Life is unnavigable without the soul and flag of religion and as life depends on environmental equilibrium, the teachings of religions can be fairly used for developing a concept of eco-spirituality graded by various religious faith of the world. A time has come to define man not by his ability to hurt nature but by his ability to heal the wounds caused to nature by his insatiable greed, avarice and lust for dominion over nature and not by his ability to destroy but by his ability to build nature-friendly universe. The pollution of human mind prejudicial to nature can go only by embedding the eternal precepts of religion; for religion is nothing but a symbolic relationship between man and his environments promising a homogenised and congenial ambience. So, it would be true to say that all technologies should be presumed to be guilty until proved innocent.”

    We all know that two world wars have taken a very heavy toll of human lives. Now, the third world war will be for mineral oil. The fourth will be for potable water; the fifth will be for a breath of oxygen. Our wise men have said that take according to your need and leave the rest for others. Everything belongs to God.

    Now, if humanity has to survive, it has to draw sustenance of spirituality from religion for assuring eco-friendly universe. This will be the noblest tribute to Vyasa, Buddha, Mahavir, Christ, Muhammad, Guru Nanak and Dada Bhagavan who have loudly sung the hymn in praise of inextricable relation between animism, ecological balance and mankind.

    Religion has a great impact on the human psyche, so, it is necessary to draw upon the wisdom of religion to instil in man the importance of ecology.

    Any one who reads the scriptures of the world and listens to the guiding precepts of the enlightened persons, Tirthankars, Rishes, Prophets and sages, learns the perennial wisdim : to love all living creatures, preserve the beauty of the earth by living in harmony with the forces of nature without violating her laws, without polluting the environment and thus disturbing the rhythm of nature.

    All religions of the world unanimously declare that so long as man lived in harmony with nature, he was happy and contented. They warn man that he should not flout the laws of nature. But if he turns a deaf ear to these wise precepts of the enlightened persons, he invites calamities for himself.

    Jainism lays great stress on ‘Ahimsa’ and pleads for compassion towards all living creatures. Jain ecological philosophy concentrates on the Jain principle of ‘Ahimsa’. It means to avoid violence in any form through thought, word or deed to all living creatures.

    Buddhism is a religion of love, understanding and compassion. It too pays great importance to non-violence, to all sentient beings, trees, flowers and birds and animals. It believes in reincarnation and advises man to protect the environment with love, care and alertness.

    Trusteeship of Allah, accountability to Allah and unity of nature are the three concepts of Islam, which form the pillars of environmental ethics of Islam.

    Sikhism declares that God is the only source of birth, life and death of all creatures. He is the basic cause of creation. The bounties of nature draw sustenance from God. He alone is their master; without his ‘Hukum’, nothing exists, changes of develops. So, man should not interfere with the creation of God, so as to destroy nature's beauty and invite displeasure of the Almighty.

    Chritianity preached dualism which separated man from nature. It gave boost to indiscriminate exploitation of nature by man. But it emphasized that to attain a wholesome and prosperous life, one need not do injury to other living creatures nor live an intemperate life.

    Confucianism and Taoism of China talk of co-operative group of efforts so that individual's concerns are sublimated on larger sense of human good. Earlier Chinese philosophers were closer to nature, to farm life and they, therefore, pleaded for the conservation of natural resources.

    Santoism of Japan was very emphatic on preserving natural environment which even to this day finds reflection in the preservations of the natural beauties of the temples.

    So, all these religions advise man to live in harmony with nature. He has to behave eco-friendly, eco-spiritually, for his own survival on the planet earth. Nations of the world must unite like the members of a global family and help the have-nots by eradicating poverty, jealousy, greed and thus help establishing a happy world-order by arousing in them eternal, spiritual values like love and compassion, beauty and peace. This is indeed the sublime environment for mankind.

    -Vishnu Pathak

     

  • Human Excellence

    by Manish Shah | Aug 02, 2017
    Throughout history the spirit of human excellence has been exemplified by men and women from all walks of life.  Excellence is a word that we use in our daily life to express our highest appreciation for any human accomplishment that exceeds our expectation. It is almost, always, associated with a skill, performance, achievement, act of humanism and even for the common things—food, recreation weather that we relish in our daily life.  From a holistic perspective, human excellence goes beyond skills, talents, personal and social preferences.  It is the ability to direct the power of   physical, mental and spiritual energies within us and put it to the best use in everything we do. Excellence is the highest development that a human being can aspire for and seek in his or her lifetime. It represents the harmony of all human energy.   The primary motivating factor for human excellence is an unshakable resolve that nothing is beyond our reach and always do more than what is expected of us under any circumstance and regardless of the outcome.  In the words of Mark Twain “if you think you can, you can, if you think you cannot, you are right.”  

    Life presents us several opportunities to learn from, and to pursue our ambitions and goal(s). Human life is the greatest gift given to us by Mother Nature and how we use it is our gift back to her.   Knowledge and skill alone are not enough to achieve our purpose in life. They should be complemented by faith in our self and conviction that what we are doing has a Divine purpose and is good for us and the world. The external environment and circumstances may differ from person to person but the internal resolve and unshakable faith in our inner potential are the bedrock of human excellence. These two powerful forces working inside us combined with persistence, patience, personal integrity, compassion, benevolence, and humility   ensure the pathway to excellence. We find these traits in the great personalities.  Their motto in life is “not what they should do but what they ought to do” without the least concern for the worldly thralldom.  The Bhagwad Gita describes such a personality as “from whom the world is not agitated and who cannot be agitated by the world”.

    Our human history is full of examples of people of great convictions. Behind every great work we find that there is the tremendous power of conviction.  The world is shaped and moved by men and women of conviction of all types--- political, scientific, social and spiritual. All have wonderful world moving powers. They are indisputable powers no doubt but without the spiritual dimension human excellence is elusive and   an unfinished symphony.   The scope of human excellence and possibilities are not only broad and related to our external wellbeing but also deep.    The spiritual dimension of the human personality brings out the infinite man in the finite man and the immortal man behind the mortal man that is revealed by sensory cognition.  Deep within us lays this hidden strength.  The expression “faith can move mountains” relies on this strength. Swami Vivekananda exemplified in his life that the confluence of the external and internal powers of the human being, the power to act and the power to be, the power to reason and the power to worship constitute true human excellence.   What you are is equally important as what you do.  It is not whom we think we are, nor what others think we are but “what we are” that matters when it comes to excellence.  Once we develop this mind set it is a quality that gets ingrained in our personality and finds expression in every act no matter how small or trivial it may appear on the surface.  Our experience has taught us that even small acts of kindness, courtesies, benevolence gives us the impetus to bring out the best in us.  Very often we hear of common people do extraordinary acts without any desire for return or reward.  Here is an example of excellence for excellence sake:

    A tourist once visited a temple under construction where he saw a sculptor making an icon of God. Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby.  Surprised, he asked the sculptor. “Do you need two statues of the same idol?” “No” said the sculptor without looking up. “We need only one, but the other one got damaged at the last stage.” The gentleman examined the idol and found no apparent damage.  “Where is the damage?” he asked.  “There is a scratch on the nose of the idol.” said the sculptor, still busy with his work.  “Where are you going to install the idol?” was the next question to him. The sculptor replied on a pillar twenty feet high. If the idol is that far, who is going to know there is a scratch on the nose?” the gentleman asked. The sculptor stopped his work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said “I will know it”. The desire to excel is a drive from inside, not outside.  It is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not.  It is not an exceptional act but a habit.  It is caring more than what others think is wise; risking more than other think is safe; dream more than other think is practical; expect more than other think is possible.

    - Dr. Radha Krishnan, President, HSCRF