• Our daily living and its effects on our gross, electric and subtle body

    by Amit Patel | Jan 28, 2017

    Gross Body
    Gross body is that the doctors describe as the body at the cellular or the microscopic level which can be seen and can be photographed.

    Electric Body
    Modern science has proved with solid evidence that the energy body or electrical body that resides inside is of paramount importance for the health of gross body or the outer physical body and the five senses. It has been proved that disease first starts inside in the electrical body or energy body and if there is an imbalance in it, then tumor or other diseases manifest in the outer body. We can understand the importance of this in context of kundalini and chakras (energy centers). If I am angry because someone criticized me, my aura body picture will be different and my functional MRI parameters will show all negative parameters. This indicates my disturbed internal state. Instead, if I forgive the person who criticized me because I believe in universal impartiality and unconditional love, my aura body pictures will be positive and my functional MRI mapping will be positive.

    Subtle Body or Causal Body
    Causal body which is so subtle that only the enlightened ones and the Holistic Scientists can see. The modern science has not yet been able to reach to that subtleness. I am responsible for the formation of the causal body. I am the one who is giving birth to the causal body through my bhaavs (inner intents). This body gets directly linked to the nature and nature gives the result. This is the reason why the world is my own projection.

    The purpose of human life is to build the next life. Therefore, we need to do an introspection to discover the kinds of seeds we are planting for our next life.

    -          Adapted from Dr. Shaileshanandji’s talks on Holistic Science

  • Can money be a source of happiness?

    by Amit Patel | Jan 28, 2017

    Does happiness lie in possession of material things? If that is true, then all the rich people who have abundance of clothes, shoes, cars and multiple home would be happy. In fact, most of them have a lot of “stuff”, but they have an emptiness inside.

    Here Holistic Inner Science says that there is no objection to having things but at the same time, we need to understand that materials things do not bring happiness. This is because happiness is not at the level of mind or ego. True happiness lies at the level of heart. How can we have happiness and fulfillment of heart? If we decide to offer help to someone, we start feeling happy, even before we indulge in the act of helping. The secret is that whatever action of my mind, speech and body is going to make others happy, will make us happy first. It is obliging; it is helping, doing things for others, sharing, caring, which make us really happy. It is not only possessing money but using it for the benefit of others that is going to make us happy.

    It is the correct or incorrect understanding that is responsible for our happiness. If we have the correct understanding (i.e. let us help people, let us try taking care of people and share our wealth), money becomes an important tool to for happiness.  As you can see, money can contribute to happiness but only if it is used with correct understanding.

    -Adapted from Dr. Shaileshanandji’s talks on Holistic Science

     

  • Unique Contributions of Holistic Science

    by Manish Shah | Dec 31, 2016

    Holistic Science, also known as Vitrag Vignan, is a practical inner science. Vitrag Vignan is universally beneficial to anyone irrespective of cast, color, creed, faith, nationality or socio economic status.

    Scientists, scholars and seekers may benefit from the following mention of unique contributions of Vitrag Vignan:

    • ‘Scientific Circumstantial Evidence’ as basis for creation and the governance of the world. (Recently Stephen Hawkins  also expressed a view that  God did not create the universe nor does He run it)
    • Clarity and clear demarcation of fate and free will.
    • Pratisthit Atman or migratory Soul and Pure Soul are two distinct entities. Pratisthit Atman, according to Shree A. M. Patel (Dada Bhagwan) is the foundation of the ongoing world.
    • Science of relative inner self (antahkaran), with four components- mind, reflective consciousness, intellect and ego.
    •  Science of speech and its origin.
    •  Science of pure soul and matter, charge and discharge, cause and effect. 
    • A unique insight that “the world is the puzzle itself” and there are two viewpoints to solve this puzzle, one relative the other real.
    • Relative and real, both exist simultaneously. Real does not negate relative. One can fulfill all relative obligations (family, professional, community) while simultaneously enjoying the real (pure soul).
    Based on the book, Introduction to Holistic Science and Integral living by Dr. Shailesh Mehta.

  • Akram Vignan on Be-ing and Living

    by Manish Shah | Dec 31, 2016

    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

  • Gurus: Primary to the Ultimate Guides (A Holistic Inner science perspective)

    by Amit Patel | Nov 29, 2016

    Guru
    The word 'Guru' which was confined so far to spirituality especially in Hinduism has become so prevalent across the world that it has been accepted in dictionary of English and other foreign languages to mean: spiritual teacher, teacher, tutor, master, sage, counselor, mentor, guiding light etc. In its expanded meaning the word 'guru' is also used to denote an expert, authority, professional master etc.

    True, the term 'Guru' implies all these meanings. The life is complex and always in flux hence everyone needs guidance from the experienced ones at all junctures through the journey of life.

    Mother and Father: The First Guru Duo
    The first Guru is one's Mother. They say a Mother is more than a hundred teachers! Just observe a mother (even a bird-mother), how she nurses and trains her child right from day one. Rather the nursing of a child starts from the conception onward. Recently, I had an occasion to visit a Children University where I was informed that they work for helping the children right from the age of - 09 months i.e. minus nine-months! The fetus starts receiving the impressions and learning right from its inception in the mother’s womb.

    Mother and Father are the first who train us with all caressing towards imparting the basic values, right habits and manners for a humane Life & Living. Truly they are our primary Gurus and it is for this reason that we remain lifelong indebted to them.

    It is said, “The Mother is like a Moon while Father is like a Sun.” A child needs both for his/her overall growth and development. As with a seedling, its nursing right from planting, watering, protecting it from vagaries of environment etc. has a lasting effect on the plant; the nursing in the childhood shapes our mind with righteous knowledge and the resultant behavior through the life to follow in adult years. Since the child grasps much more during its formative years he/she has in front of him/her the parent's life as a model; hence parenting is a highly responsible duty.

    Teachers
    Then comes our Teachers at different levels of formal education who during our school and college years impart the basic and applied Knowledge for a graceful vocation for living our life and making contribution to the society and world.

    Mentors
    After completing formal education when we join a career or vocation, we find that what we read learnt during our formal education is not just sufficient and it is crucial to have the applied skills essential to perform our role as a professional. Here we need a role model as a mentor who can guide us at different stages how to be a successful professional. The modern management science greatly value the concept of mentoring.

    As we grow in our profession we find that the pool of knowledge in the world is incessantly growing and expanding faster, deeper and wider and we need to keep pace with it through continuous learning otherwise we are at a risk of being rendered irrelevant and obsolete. We therefore need successive Guides who may directly in person or indirectly through their writings keep guiding us to sustain our professional excellence matching with contemporary times.

    Quest for Spiritual Guru
    As we grow old and pass through the career advancement phase, a natural urge comes to us to and peep through the secret of the impermanence of life, people, relationships and circumstances surrounding us. A quest begins for knowing true purpose of life and what is our true self. Here again we need an appropriate Guru.

    We find number of gurus claiming to be apt but we need to be discerning and need not take every claimant at their face value. Say, if a Guru himself is stuffed with incorrect knowledge, and he himself mistakes 'south' for 'north', what can be expected from him

    Different kinds of Spiritual Gurus

    Let us try to understand through similes for different kinds of gurus.

    Boat (!) made of Stone:
    Some Gurus seem like a boat made of stone; it is bound to drown along with those riding in the fake hope of sailing this river of turbulent life. Having abandoned their family and belongings to become an ascetic, these Gurus get attached to amassing wealth and other sensual pleasures through attracting by dubious means more and more devotees to develop a kind of a vast empire. You will find a great deal verbosity in them but inquiring deeper, one will find that they do not have congruence in their preaching and their own living.

    It is similar to a tree that gives flowers but bears no fruits. Nowadays, we find such purely theoretical knowledge (adopted from ancient scriptures) multiplying and amplifying everywhere with the help of information technology and social media. One is at dismay while trying to adapt it as such since there is a dearth of applied spiritual knowledge appropriate to contemporary life and living.

    Boat made of Cardboard
    A few of the Gurus are like a boat made of cardboard. They are on path of their development and may sail their own spiritual journey themselves practicing in solo but if they risk taking others on their boat, all the passengers along with the guru too are heading for a risky journey as the loaded boat is capsizing for sure some time during the journey. They of might be sincere in pursuing their goal in solo but may not have attained required competence to impart the enlightenment to others. They lack the experiential knowledge of the nitty-gritty of the spiritual journey till the final destination. 

    Strong Wooden Boat
    Rarely one finds a guru who is like a strong wooden boat which floats itself and also helps others stay afloat while heading for a safe journey towards the penultimate goal of becoming a fully virtuous humane entity in its true meaning and leading a worthy accordingly.

    The Great Guru is the one on seeing whom your Mind, Body and Speech all in confluence have a natural urge to bow unto Him. Great Guru shall impart you the sense of discrimination what is righteous and what is otherwise, in consonance with the revered scriptures and holy books. His own life and dealings are pure, selfless, righteous, simple and transparent. He is not attached to the glitters of sensual pleasures or pursue accumulation of wealth in any form. That one will enable you to decide the true purpose of a meaningful life and inculcate a feeling of friendliness free of vengeance with anybody so that you could become a member of global family. Indeed this is a Virtue what the great Guru bestows upon us!

    An Ultimate Guru
    And seeking still further, we come across an ultimate Guru who has a first-hand experience of his True Self and is competent to impart to us the same experience of enlightenment one on one in person. Just looking at his unique eyes one will find those full of choicest luster of the universe and radiating with love, which even the celestial beings aspire to see.

    Since he has a first-hand experience of enlightenment he need not refer or quote references from scriptures. His own words, life & living are authentic. Having achieved his goal his only compassionate desire is to impart his state of bliss to others. And glanced at Him, there emanates from our soul, a flow of reverence on its own. Rather we, feeling unprecedented sense of bliss in his avowed presence look to him as if we have found our own Self in front of us! Indeed, He can be called a Prime Guru. Albeit, he has in him not left even a trace of feeling of being a Guru; he is always in a state as if not separate from us.

    Having arrived at the final destination, He is the ultimate Guide to our destination of liberation from the ongoing cycles of birth and demise! This is a step by step upward journey of life wherein if coupled with our resolve the Mother Nature helps us progressing further by directing us to a kind of Guru appropriate to our stage in life and spiritual advancement while keeping a sense of discernment amidst the enchantments in the turbulent sea sailing the journey of human life and living.

    -L. D. Patel, former Senior Executive & faculty, Sate Bank of India

  • Maintaining Peace at Home: Some Tips (a Holistic Inner Science perspective)

    by Amit Patel | Nov 29, 2016

    It is up to us to make our home a “Home Sweet Home”. As  Shri Kanudadaji, the Holistic scientist says so affectionately tells us - Winning the home is winning the world!

    Our first home is within ourselves. So, cultivating serenity, peace and harmony
    within is our first priority. Taking introspective time to cultivate peace within is definitely worth the investment in us and our family!

    Peace & relationships with each other are far more critically important than being right. If it comes down to saving a relationship over being right, the logical and practical choice is always the relationship!

    Practicing active listening from the heart center rather than from the intellect helps us to understand what is causing any abnormal behavior and will help us to cultivate compassion, caring and empathy towards our loved ones rather than judgment, agitation or antagonism. The goal is to cultivate true harmony, caring and affection in the home.

    People are far more important than money and things especially in the home. If it comes down to avoiding conflict for the sake of money; let avoiding conflict be always our best choice. Money comes and money goes by its very nature, however, relationships can be extremely difficult to mend once broken. Broken hearts and fractured minds are tremendous liabilities to harmony and peace in the home. It is incredibly dangerous to allow a relationship to break beyond the point of repair.

    Trust takes years to build and can be lost in a matter of minutes. So practicing kind honesty from the heart center is incredibly important in all areas of our lives especially with oneself and our family members.

    Do not be afraid to admit mistakes to smooth-out strained relations in the home. Just simply admitting to our mistake with humility and genuine remorse can really open the channels of communication that were seemingly shut down. The other person will feel in the heart center the genuineness of our intention to connect and relate with them. Their ego will soften and their heart will start to open-up with the safety of unconditional acceptance and openness.

    A positive attitude from within helps lift everyone in the home. Let us actively cultivate a positive attitude of gratitude, giving and humility from within through introspective affirmations and cleansing.

    Make a list of all the virtues of each person in the home environment and remind yourself and them of those virtues when the opportunities arise for empowerment. When we magnify and accentuate the positive traits and qualities of a person, they become stronger and can even serve to diminish or extinguish negativity altogether.

    Validate, honor, respect and uphold the virtues and divinity within each other. It is a domino effect! If we continually validate, honor and respect the virtues and divine in the people around us; they will, in turn, learn to do the same with us and each other.

    Focus on serenity, healing and empowerment from within rather than expectations and standards that lead to conflict, clashes and dissention. Our family members are more likely to be relaxed and empowered when they know they are loved for who they are unconditionally rather than who we want them to be, what they have accomplished or accumulated in material wealth.

    -Shaila Bharat Mulji

  • Sincerity and Morality

    by Amit Patel | Oct 26, 2016

    Morality and sincerity are twin pillars of human religion. If these pillars are preserved, humanity is preserved.

    What is morality? Morality means to use or enjoy things that are lawfully ours and available in normal natural course of our life.  It is immoral to think of possessing things that rightfully belong to someone else. Unlawful wealth and unlawful sensual pleasures fall in this category.

    Sincerity means to deal with others, as one would deal with one’s own self. We do not like to be hurt, bothered or insulted by others. Therefore, we should not inflict pain on others.

    At present, morality and sincerity have dipped very low. It is rare to come across the person who is perfect when it comes to morality and sincerity. To guide us in these times of dipping morality and sincerity, Holistic Scientist Mr. A. M. Patel has given us a wonderful principle.

    "There should be Dharma in commerce but there should be no commerce in Dharma"

    Here Dharma does not mean religious activities or beliefs but a principled way of living. Commerce includes not only financial matters but all activities that involve give and take.

    Whether we are performing the role of a parent, a spouse, a professional or a businessman, we have to live within the boundaries of morality and sincerity. If we do that we have incorporated Dharma in our life. For example, a lawyer should not accept bribes (morality) and should be considerate to his opponents (sincerity).

    Business must have principles of humanity at its center. If all business strategies or actions center around humanity, the world will change for better. On the other hand if all actions are centered around profits, it will lead to chaos.

    Humane living involves living with integrity and according to natural and humanitarian laws. This is way of life fosters peace and love in a world full of chaos.

    -  Dr. Shailesh Mehta, Ophthalmologist, Holistic Science Expert 

  • Is there anything like luck?

    by Amit Patel | Oct 26, 2016

    Dr. Siegel has quoted, “We are in a perpetual state of being created and creating ourselves”.

    The Holistic Scientist, Mr. A.M. Patel has given an aphorism, “You are wholly and solely responsible for yourself”.

    How does luck or being lucky or unlucky relate to the above two quotes?

    Holistic science says that there is a science of cause and effect which affects everything. Our mind, speech and body are all effective. If someone calls me a fool, I may not get sleep at night since I would remember the person and his words. In this case, my mind is effective. Speech is effective as can be seen by the interaction between people. Body is effective based on heat, cold, food, etc. We can see that because there of the causes there are effects, and where there are effects, there are causes and thus it is a perpetual process. There cannot be an effect without a cause and where there is effect, it must have a prior cause. From Dr. Sigel’s quote it can be interpreted that creation is the effect and the cause is the seed. It is also known as Prarabdth (creation) and Purusharth (seed).

    Since soul is perpetual, the birth can be related to all our causes and when the effects of these causes cease, death occurs. In the mean time in the effects as they are unfolding new causes are created for the future which results in another birth. Since we are creator of the causes, the Holistic Scientist says that we are wholly and solely responsible for ourselves and accountability is all ours. Hence we cannot blame others. Here the role of the soul or the pure conscious is defined as seer and knower. So, really speaking luck or lucky or unlucky are figurative words to pacify ego, but actually they are one’s own seeds and one’s own doing. Hence we have to be very careful in planting seeds. We should be planting good seeds so that we get lucky all the time. Input is ours so then we will be stuck with the output when it comes.

    Holistic science says that if we can stop planting seeds then what will be left is only the created part and once that is depleted one gets free and liberated.

    Is this possible? It is said that if there is ardent constant unselfish desire with sincerity and morality, the desire will be fulfilled in due course by Mother Nature.

    If one has a desire for liberation, one can find a person who has achieved this liberated state and give such a knowledge through grace. The person who has attained a state of  total bliss has only one goal in life and that is to impart the same knowledge to others.

    We need to live with constant desire for liberation and in the meantime wish the following:
    I do not want to hurt any living creature to the slightest through my mind, speech and body.
    I do not want to judge or say anything bad about the foundation of any religion.
    I do not want criticize or disrespect any person from whom I learn including religious preachers.
    I do not want to hate or have any adverse feelings for any living being.
     I do not want to speak harsh or hurting language with any living being. I want to speak sober and sweet language.
     I want to have compassion and empathy towards all living beings of all genders and I do not want to have any sensuous feeling for them.
     I do not want to eat any particular food but want to eat a wholesome food.
     I do not want to talk bad, do not want to criticize or disrespect anyone present or absent, living or dead.
     I want to work for the welfare of others in which my welfare is naturally taken care of.

    -Rajnikant Patel, MS ME, Children's book author

  • The Power of Forgiveness at Work

    by Amit Patel | Sep 30, 2016
    If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive. --Mother Theresa

    --by Brooke Deterline, syndicated from Greater Good, Sep 15, 2016

    Over the last two decades, much research has been published about the positive impact of forgiveness, particularly on the forgiver and in relationships. Now, a new study—building on a smaller but growing body of research in the workplace—supports the power of forgiveness to potentially improve well-being and productivity in professional settings.

    Conflict among colleagues is inevitable, and—left unheeded—associated with significant stress, health problems (both mental and physical), and poor productivity.  Researchers set out to explore the role of forgiveness in ameliorating these negative impacts.

    The participants—more than 200 employees working in office jobs in Washington, DC, or manufacturing jobs in the Midwest—responded to questionnaires about their levels of forgiveness, productivity, and well-being.

    The first survey asked respondents to focus on a specific offense, and how they believed it affected them. The second study looked at participants’ general tendency to be forgiving and their general state of mind and work habits over the previous month.

    In both cases, forgiveness was linked to increased productivity, decreased absenteeism (fewer days missing work), and fewer mental and physical health problems, such as sadness and headaches. In the second study, these benefits were partly explained by reductions in interpersonal stress that went along with a forgiving disposition.

    This new research is important to employees and employers alike, as a lack of forgivenessnegatively affects the individuals involved and organizations as a whole. Holding on to negative feelings after a conflict may lead to disengagement at work, a lack of collaboration, and aggressive behavior. Carrying a grudge is also associated with increased stress and a host of negative emotions, including anger, hostility, and vengeful rumination.

    Since many people who have been in conflict need to continue to work together, forgiveness can be an effective coping tool, and a way to repair relationships and restore trust—both of which are key to effective work cultures.

    More evidence of the power of forgiveness
    In 2012, my team at Courageous Leadership LLC worked with employees at Google to build a more courageous culture, including the courage to forgive (one of the keys to healthy ongoing work relationships). We had employees share times when they failed to act on their values at work, to admit they didn’t understand something, or to speak up when they thought they had a better idea. This was designed to remind everyone how easy it is to act outside of our values in stressful situations—to do something that might merit forgiveness.

    Participants then practiced taking courageous action. We had them use the REACH model(developed by Everett L. Worthington, one of the coauthors of the new workplace study) to practice forgiveness by identifying current grudges and work on forgiving (not condoning) the behavior. Participants also remembered and shared when others had forgiven them.

    Our program also showed positive impact. Participants reported a greater understanding of the power of stressful situations to negatively affect behavior. They also reported feeling better and more connected afterward; as one noted: “I had a deepened sense of lightening inside, like letting go of heavy weights. I feel the forgiveness exercise for me was very powerful.” Participants also took more social risks, like offering new ideas, admitting fears or concerns, and asking for or offering help.

    Research shows that this kind of forgiveness can even impact employees who aren’t involved in the conflict. When people see others practicing forgiveness (and other virtuous behaviors) at work, it often fosters positive emotions that can improve decision-making, cognitive functioning, and the quality of relationships.

    How to foster forgiveness at work
    Unresolved stress from interpersonal conflict often dampens our cognitive and compassionate capacities, making it hard to find a way to forgive. Drawing on the implications of their study, the researchers offer individuals and organizations some suggestions to foster forgiveness at work: 


    Model forgiveness at work, particularly if you’re a leader. Leaders’ behavior often has the greatest impact on organizational culture, a kind of contagion effect. Leaders who model forgiveness on a regular basis are cueing similar behavior in others.

    Apologize and attempt to make restitutions. If we don’t take responsibility for our mistakes, distrust grows and the fear of something happening again can be worse than the original incident.

    Rebuild trust by working on a common task, creating new experiences and memories of cooperation.

    Conduct interventions (sometimes best done by third parties) to address conflict and foster forgiveness. Invest in programs to build understanding and teach evidence-based tools for ongoing forgiveness in the workplace.

    There’s an old saying (attributed to everyone from the Buddha to Carrie Fisher) that goes, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” If you’re holding onto a grudge at work, you could be sharing the poison with your colleagues.

    Forgiveness, of course, does not mean we condone or ignore bad behavior. Every workplace should have policies and procedures for dealing quickly with serious transgressions. However, if you do feel ready and the situation warrants it, give forgiveness a try. It could help you, your colleagues, and your workplace.

    This article originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. 

  • How important it is to be responsible

    by Amit Patel | Sep 30, 2016

    “The price of Greatness is responsibility.”
    -Winston Churchill.

    Introduction:
    Almighty has blessed all human beings with a tendency to cope with different challenges appropriately. It is the responsibility that has the ability to move the individuals and nations frontward. Those who equipped themselves with the responsibility factor have contributed a lot for their society and coming generations. Taking responsibly is an oath, which has paved the path for humans to become leaders. Leaders throughout the world mounted up, by taking many responsibilities on their shoulders, so that their nation can develop. Taking responsibility for a nation is like choosing a new path, where many hurdles are faced. And those who confront these hurdles, become the leaders of their nations. 

    Let’s look at the responsibility of few stake holders in the society?

    Responsibility of Leaders/Role Models
    :
    Dhritharashtra had the responsibility of looking after his brother’s children and ensure handing over their due share in the kingdom. However, he became so blind in his love towards his son that he shirked away from his responsibility and became instrumental in the destruction of kaurava’s dynasty. In this regard, let’s look at the instances of two outstanding persons abdicating their responsibility.

    Case of Rajat Gupta: 
    Rajat Gupta was a role model for all aspiring Indians as he rose from being orphaned as a teenager in Kolkata to head organizations like Mckinsey and be on the boards of Goldman sachs and P&G. He was handed out two year prison term and fine of $5 million for passing board from secrets to the now imprisoned hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam. After the said award/judgment, Gupta himself confessed that he lost all his reputation built over a time. This may deter others from, as rightly printed out by Manhattans India born top federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, breaching their corporate duties/responsibilities and leaking board room secrets.

    Case of Lance Armstrong: 
    Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven tours de France titles and banned for life by cycling’s governing body following a report from the US Anti-Doping agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his team. What on epic fall from grace, from a cancer survivor who dominated the world’s most prestigious cycle race to a cheat who was at centre of most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen?

    Armstrong’s astonishing return from life threatening illness to the summit of cycling offered an inspirational story for many of the youngsters to overcome the obstacles in life. In Bhagavad-Gita Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that people follow their leaders. If the, be it Rajat Gupta or Armstrong- people who have to set precedent for youngsters in grooming them in to a dutiful/responsible citizen leading a rightful life, choose to circumvent their process in their quest for name, frame and wealth what sort of impact it will have on society in general and youngsters in particular. They have responsibility to set right examples.

    Responsibility of Business:
    In today’s contemporary society business has a great role to play. Gone are those days when they used to be guided by the dictum “Purpose of business is to make money”. It is refreshing to note that sometime back, Toyota recalled 8700 units of Camry and Corolla Altis sedans in India as part of a massive global recall to inspect faulty power window master switches (PWMS) which could be a potential fire hazard. Business units/organizations have a responsibility towards its employees, customers and society at large. In this regard it’s worth recollecting what Kumara Mangalam Birla once said:

    “A Business is not expected to prosper in a society that doesn’t”.
    American tycoons Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are presently busying them selves with giving away most of their vast fortunes to social and charitable causes. Every billionaire, not to talk of Tata’s, Murthy etc, must learn from Cyrus Poona Walla, CMD Serum Institute and Chairman, Turf Authorities in India, who is providing quality vaccines at very economical price to his fellow citizens.

    What is the use of so much of wealth when it is not used for the development of needy citizens and for human beings? Business has a larger responsibility towards society. This is not what passes these days for ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ .It is much loftier than that. What is good for the country must become good for the enterprise and business must make this rule ‘the lodestar of its conduct’.

    As Swami Vivekananda said, “The life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive”.

    Know Your Responsibilities:
    Prophet Mohammed and Jesus were both uncompromising in their pursuit of social justice and became voices for the oppressed. They both addressed the inequalities that prevailed during their times, speaking out for the disadvantaged and marginalized sections of society. Jesus had endless compassion for the poor and the sick and so did Prophet Mohammed.

    But a question might arise as to why people are to be concerned about growing inequalities?

    Inequalities Do Not Augur well for the Society At Large:

    According to Richard Wilkinson, a British epidemiologist who has spent years researching these effects, which he documents at length in his recent book, The Spirit Level, there are powerful psycho-social effects of inequality. He says. “As status differences grow, we worry more about status insecurity, we get widespread anxiety about self-esteem, and that brings rising rates of mental illness and depression.”Further, in a 2010 study published in Psychological Science, researchers found that people of higher socioeconomic status (SES) were worse at reading other people’s emotions—a skill known as “empathic accuracy,” a basic part of empathy. The study’s primary author, Michael Kraus, now an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, believes these results show how higher social status makes people more self-absorbed.

     “Being compassionate, having empathic accuracy, being trusting and cooperative—these are keys to social connection and, in turn, happiness,” says UC Berkeley postdoctoral researcher Paul K.Piff, whose own research has found that people of higher SES were less willing to share money with a stranger or make charitable donations. Indeed, perhaps the dominant finding to emerge from positive psychology research over the past decade is that our happiness (and health) is largely determined by the quality and quantity of our social connections. Perhaps that’s why “pro-social” behaviors and emotions—compassion, empathy, altruism—have been so strongly linked to happiness. Research by Sonja Lyubomirsky, a leading happiness researcher, has consistently found that people report feeling happier after doing nice things for others. Several neuroscience studies have found that giving to others activates pleasure regions of the brain. Research by psychologists Lara Aknin and Elizabeth Dunn has even suggested that spending money on others makes you happier than spending on yourself.

    The happiest countries are the ones with the most equality, like the nations of Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. These countries also rank among the highest in an index of compassion created by University of Minnesota researcher Ron Anderson. By contrast, countries with more inequality, like the United States and the United Kingdom, have significantly higher rates of health and social problems.Wilkinson’s analysis showed that, mental illness is three times more common in unequal countries; infant mortality rates are also much higher, and life expectancy is significantly lower.

    Care for Others Is the Measure of Greatness:
    Destiny has seen to it that everyone who meets another is given the opportunity to influence and enrich that person. Most times however, being wrapped up in our selfish pursuit of seeking self fulfillment, we lose it. A simple and ordinary meeting with, let’s say, a bus conductor, by giving a smile or a friendly greeting, even though he may not deserve it, not only that person, but other passengers who would come into contact with that conductor, who may have not received a smile from anyone for that day – What a difference it would make. Each is called to be responsible to make life better for the other.

     “Paropakaraya Phalanti Vrikshana,ParopaKaraya Vahanti Nadyaha

    ParopaKaraya Duhanti Gaaha, Paropakarartham Idam Shareeram”

    It is only to benefit others that trees bear fruits, It is only for helping others that rivers flow, It is only to benefit others that cows yields milk, It is only for helping others that you are given a Human Body.So let us do our bit in making a difference to others lives as well, while striving to better our own.

    All great leaders including Dada Bhagwan equipped themselves with strong factor of responsibility, and put their all efforts to facilitate their society. 69 years have passed, since we got freedom from the British, and now are blessed with a state, where we can live independently. In order to have a prosperous society, it is very important to load our selves with a sense of responsibility. Everyone has to contribute to his society positively, and uplift it to the climax. It is not the case that we can’t do, but we just need to step forward to transform it in to a journey. We at present are facing problems from different dimensions; just we all need to equip ourselves with certain responsibilities. Our religion is like a guiding star to all of us, as it is evident from the teachings of Gurus that everyone must try its best to facilitate the society by doing healthy practices. With our collective efforts many societal problems can be eliminated.

    Let me conclude with Bhishma’s advise to Dhritharastra to banish Duryodhana saying

    Tyajedekam kulasyaarthe grammasyaarthe,Kulam tyajet graaman janapedasyaarthe

    Dharmaarthe prithivim tyajet”

    Sacrifice one for the sake of family; Give up a family for the sake of the Nation and even the

    Nation to uphold Dharma.

    SARVE JENA SUKHINO BHAVANTU

    -Dr A Jagan Mohan Reddy


     

  • Life is a gift

    by Amit Patel | Aug 27, 2016

    There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you..

    One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.He asked her,’ Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?'

    The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'

    This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

    Life Is a Gift.Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to ALMIGHTY GOD for a companion.

    Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who died too young.Before you complain about your children -Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep - Think of the people who are living in the streets.

    Before whining about the distance you drive -Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

    But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another - Remember that not one of us is without sin and we all answer to one MAKER.

    And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and thank GOD you're alive
     .

    -Dr A Jagan Mohan Reddy

     

  • This is what happens when our vision is pure

    by Amit Patel | Aug 27, 2016

    We get our information (vision) through our five senses. All this information is combined, processed internally into knowledge (Gyan) and based on this knowledge action takes place.

    When the information from the five senses is pure, our knowledge is pure. Pure means it is impartial.

    Here’s how the pure vision manifests in us.

    With a pure vision we see others as innocent. When we make mistakes, we recognize those. This awareness is the reward that we are seeking all the time.

    If someone is angry with us, we forgive them. Our own anger, pride, attachments, greed, likes and dislikes are diminishing. We behave like human beings – we are humble, speak soft and soothing language and are straight forward in our dealings. Our behavior is such that the entire world accepts it. We intend for the welfare of the world. We see to it that our five senses do not harm others. We realize that our five senses belong to the body and pure soul is only the seer and knower.

    We have heightened awareness so that we do negatively react to situations that we do not like. With this awareness we amicably resolve all situations. We have an unbiased opinion of ourselves. We are very still and calm inwards.

    We give more importance to soul than the body. So our worldly interactions are ideal.

    We know ourselves, are alert and firmly marching towards our goal. We understand that circumstances keep on changing; they are our own reflections and we should not get immersed in them. We understand that future is unknown and so we should live in the present.

    We pray for the happiness and salvation of all living beings. Finally, even though other people live in ignorance, our knowledge should be very clear through understanding of Holistic Inner science principles.

    Extracted from Shree Kaviraj Pad ‘Darshan ma chokhkhu dekhaae’ by Rajnikant Patel, MSME, PMP, Children’s books author. A student of Holistic Inner Science.

  • Life Comes of It - Navajo Justice

    by Amit Patel | Jul 29, 2016

    Link to Original Article: http://www.context.org/iclib/ic38/yazzie/

    Robert Yazzie grew up in a traditional area of the Navajo Nation and attended Oberlin College in Ohio. Following his graduation from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1982, he practiced law in the Navajo Nation courts, acted as a Navajo-English interpreter in US District Court, and served as a consultant to law firms. After seven years as presiding judge of the district court in Window Rock, Arizona, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation in 1992.

    A "vertical" system of justice is one that relies upon hierarchies and power. That is, judges sit at the top presiding over the lawyers, jurors, and all participants in court proceedings. The justice system uses rank, and the coercive power that goes with rank or status, to address conflicts.

    Power is the active element in the process. A decision is dictated from on high by the judge, and that decision is an order or judgment which parties must obey or face a penalty. Parties to a dispute have limited power and control over the process.

    The goal of adversarial law is to punish wrongdoers and teach them a lesson. Adversarial law and adjudication offer only a win-lose solution; it is a zero-sum game. Navajo justice prefers a win-win solution.

    For centuries, the focus of English and American criminal law has been punishment by the "state," with little regard for the rights and needs of victims. They are ignored, and the result is that no real justice is done. There are many victims: family members, relatives, and the community; people who are affected by both the dispute and the decision. Often, the perpetrator is a victim as well, in a climate of lost hope and dependence upon alcohol or other means of escape.

    When outsiders intervene in a dispute, they impose moral codes upon people who have moral codes of their own. The subjects of adjudication have no power, little or no say about the outcome of a case, and their feelings do not matter.

    Within the horizontal justice model, no person is above the other. A graphic model often used by Indians to portray this thought is a circle. In a circle, there is no right or left, no beginning or end. Every point (or person) on the line on a circle looks to the same center as the focus. The circle is the symbol of Navajo justice because it is perfect, unbroken, and a simile of unity and oneness.

    The Navajo word for "law" is 
    beehaz-aanii. It means something fundamental and absolute, something that has existed from the beginning of time. Navajos believe that the Holy People "put it there for us." It’s the source of a healthy, meaningful life. Navajos say that "life comes from beehaz-aanii," because it is the essence of life. The precepts ofbeehaz-aanii are stated in prayers and ceremonies that tell us of hozhooji – "the perfect state."

    Imagine a system of law that permits anyone to say anything they like during the course of a dispute, and no authority figure has to determine what is "true." Think of a system with an end goal of restorative justice, which uses equality and the full participation of disputants in a final decision. If we say of law that "life comes from it," then where there is hurt, there must be healing.

    To the Navajo way of thinking, justice is related to healing because many of the concepts are the same. When a Navajo becomes ill, he or she will consult a medicine man. A Navajo healer examines a patient to determine what is wrong, what caused the illness, and what ceremony matches the illness to cure it. The cure must be related to the cause of the illness, because Navajo healing works through two processes: it drives away or removes the cause of illness and it restores the person to good relations in solidarity with his or her surroundings and self. Patients consult Navajo healers to summon outside healing forces and to marshal what they have inside themselves for healing.

    The term "solidarity" is essential to an understanding of both Navajo healing and justice. The Navajo understanding of "solidarity" is difficult to translate into English, but it carries connotations that help the individual to reconcile self with family, community, nature, and the cosmos – all reality. That feeling of oneness with one’s surroundings, and the reconciliation of the individual with everyone and everything else, is what allows an alternative to vertical justice to work. It rejects the process of convicting a person and throwing the keys away in favor of methods that use solidarity to restore good relations among people. Most importantly, it restores good relations with self.

    The process – which in English we call "peacemaking" – is a system of relationships where there is no need for force, coercion, or control. There are no plaintiffs or defendants; no "good guys" or "bad guys."

    Navajos do not think of equality as treating people as equal 
    before the law; they are equalin the law. Again, our Navajo language points this out in practical terms: When a Navajo is charged with a crime, in the vertical system of justice the judge asks (in English), "Are you guilty or not guilty?" A Navajo cannot respond because there is no precise term for "guilty" in the Navajo language. The word "guilt" implies a moral fault which demands punishment. It is a nonsense word in Navajo law because of the focus on healing, integration with the group, and the end goal of nourishing ongoing relationships with the immediate and extended family, relatives, neighbors, and community.

    To better comprehend Navajo justice we must understand distributive justice. Navajo court decisions place more importance on helping a victim than finding fault. On the other hand, compensating a victim in accordance with the victim’s feelings and the perpetrator’s ability to pay is more important than using a precise measure of damages to compensate for actual losses.

    Another unique aspect of Navajo justice is that the relatives of the one who causes injury are responsible to compensate the one hurt, and the relatives of the injured party are entitled to the benefit of the compensation. Distributive justice is concerned with the well-being of everyone in a community. If I see a hungry person, it does not matter whether I am responsible for the hunger. If someone is injured, it is irrelevant that I did not hurt that person. I have a responsibility, as a Navajo, to treat everyone as if that person was my relative. Everyone is part of a community, and the resources of the community must be shared with all.

    Distributive justice abandons fault and adequate compensation (a fetish of personal injury lawyers) in favor of assuring well-being for everyone. Restoration is more important than punishment. These dynamics are applied in a modern legal institution – the Navajo Peacemaker Court.

    Navajos have experienced the vertical system of justice for the past 100 years – first in the Navajo Court of Indian Offenses (1892-1959), then in the Courts of the Navajo Nation (1959-present). For over a century, Navajos either adapted the imposed system to their own ways or expressed their dissatisfaction with a system that made no sense to them.

    In 1982, the Judicial Conference of the Navajo Nation created the Navajo Peacemaker Court. It is a modern legal institution that uses traditional community dispute resolution in a court based on the vertical justice model. It is a means of reconciling horizontal (or circular) justice to vertical justice by using traditional Navajo legal values. The Navajo Peacemaker Court makes it possible for judges to avoid adjudication and the discontent it causes by referring cases to local communities to be resolved by talking things out.

    The Navajo Peacemaker Court takes advantage of the talents of a 
    naat’aanii. That is a traditional Navajo civil leader who is chosen by the community to be the "peacemaker" for his or her demonstrated abilities – wisdom, integrity, good character, and respect by the community.

    The civil authority of a 
    naat’aanii is not coercive or commanding; it is a leadership role in the truest sense of the word. A peacemaker is a person who thinks well, speaks well, shows a strong reverence for the basic teachings of life, and has respect for himself or herself and others in personal conduct.

    naat’aanii functions as a guide, and views everyone – rich or poor, high or low, educated or not – as an equal. The peacemaker attempts to bring participants to a final decision that everyone agrees to for the benefit of all. A naat’aanii is chosen for knowledge, and knowledge is the power which creates the ability to persuade others. There is a form of distributive justice in the sharing of knowledge by a naat’aanii, because he or she offers it to the disputants so they can use it to achieve consensus.

    Peacemaking is being revived with the goal of nourishing justice in Navajo Nation communities. The reason is obvious: life comes from it. Communities can resolve their own legal problems using resources they already have to make decisions the traditional Navajo way.

    Article reprinted with permission. Originally published in 
    Spring 1994 on page 29 of The Ecology Of Justice (IC#38)Copyright (c)1994, 1997 by Context Institute. Robert Yazzie grew up in a traditional area of the Navajo Nation, studied law, and started his career as a lawyer in Navajo Nation courts. After seven years as presiding judge of the district court in Window Rock, Arizona, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation in 1992. 

     

     


  • Keeping Nothing Between

    by Amit Patel | Jul 29, 2016

    In a restaurant a little girl in the next booth turns to look at you. It is an open look, direct from her – to you. She doesn’t know that strangers are not supposed to connect. She does not put this knowledge between herself and you. There is nothing in between. You look back. Her parents make her sit down and face forward. But then, when they all leave, she turns around at the door, to look again. After all, you and she have met therefore she wouldn’t just leave.

    In first grade the children look at the teacher searchingly, openly, reachingly. They put nothing between. The teacher is concerned with the eight levels of reading ability, and does not look back.

    Do only little children keep nothing between? Or can adults do that too? We can, but for us it is a special case.

    If you came to see me now, I would not look at you like that, nor would I notice if you looked. You would find me in a certain mood in my private struggles. I am also preoccupied with writing this paper. If you suddenly walked in, a third cluster would come: The social set for greeting someone properly. I would respond to you out of that set. Or if you are an old friend, I would respond from the familiar set of the two of us. If you then wanted to relate in some fresh, deep way, it would take me a minute to put our usual set aside, to put my concern about my chapter away, and to roll my mood over so that I am no longer inside it. Then I would be here without putting anything between. But it would be easier to remain behind all that, and depend on my automatic ways.

    If I really want to be with you, I keep nothing in front of me. Of course I know I can fall back on the automatic ways. If need be, I can also defend myself. I have many resources. But I don’t want all that between us.

    If I keep nothing between, you can look into my eyes and find me. You might not look, of course. But if you do, I won’t hide. Then you may see a very insufficient person. But for contact, no special kind of human being is required. This fact makes a thick peacefulness.

    -
    Extract from You and I - The Person in There by Eugene Gendlin. Published with permission from Eugene Gendlin.

  • Everyone is correct from their viewpoint

    by Manish Shah | Jun 27, 2016

    Five men got lost in a vast forest. They tried to find their way out. The first man said, 
    “I will follow my intuition and go left.” 

    The second man said, “I will go right. I have a strong feeling about this.” 

    The third man said, “I think I will walk back the same path we came. This should be 
    the safest option.” 

    The fourth man said: “I think we are on the right track already, so I will keep going 
    straight. I am sure this forest will end and I will find a village or a farm to ask for directions.” 

    The fifth man said, “I don’t know what to do. I think I will climb up this tall tree and take a better look around before I make up my mind.” 

    So the fifth man did that. While he was climbing, the other four men scattered towards their own directions. The fifth man now could see from above what was the shortest way to a village. He thought that the others should not have chosen the paths they did. He was wrong, though. 

    Each man chose his own path and gained a different experience. The man who went left, found a long path but in the end, it led him to the town. The man who went right, had to fight a pack of wolves, but this way he learned how to survive in the forest. 
    The man who went back, met another team of hikers and he made new friends. The man who went straight, found indeed a farm and was hosted by the family for a couple of days before leaving for the village.

    Everyone was enriched in their own unique way by the journey. 

    Some reflections on this story... 
    What if, there are no "right" or "wrong" decisions? 

    Could it be that every decision offers us new experiences, which in turn offers us innumerable further opportunities for growth? 

    It has taken every decision of our life to bring us to where we are right now. In the fullness of the present, are we really in the wrong place? Even if it feels so, can we be sure? 

    What if there are no mistakes? Only opportunities?

    -Dr A Jagan Mohan Reddy

     

  • Faith and Reason

    by Manish Shah | Jun 27, 2016

    We live in a society today where it is acceptable to say that faith in a higher power or religious identity is not important in day- to- day living. A significant number of people either want nothing to do with God, Religion, and Scriptures or question the efficacy of faith.  Personal experience and self-reliance matter most to this group of people.   Faith in the authority of God has been the common theme in all religions and one that has prevailed throughout human history.  It appears to be snapping in the present time and is becoming a matter of concern to modern day religious leaders.  At almost any point in human history, this would have been unacceptable.  The importance of faith and spirituality at both the societal and individual level is not felt and appreciated as much as it was in the past. It is not a desirable trend because the whole purpose of Faith and Spirituality is to be a source of guidance and strength to us during difficult times. It gives us the inner strength to live life with meaning, grace, peace and beauty.

    Religious teachings and beliefs have been overlaid with so much extraneous matter that their spiritual essence has become almost obscured. The deeper meanings within the spiritual traditions are no longer recognized and their transformative powers are not experienced.  Yet, there is still a growing appreciation for the hidden truths and the mysterious power of Nature. A wisdom of the highest order which is beyond the limits of our mental and intellectual capacity.  In this context many of the non-believers of authority behave spiritually even if they skip the label.

    The word Faith, while predominantly associated with religion and spirituality, is not limited to them by any means. Faith also applies to confidence, trust, loyalty, allegiance and self-reliance.    Little do we realize that it is faith that sustains much of life.   Life, as we know, is full of uncertainties – the unknown and the unknowable.  So much of what is happening in our lifetime is beyond our control and it is faith that lights up our human heart like a ray of sunshine day in and day out, knowingly or unknowingly.  Our True or Inner SELF, the deepest core of human personality within us also referred to as SOUL, ATMAN, BEING in the religious scriptures is the one source that we rely upon under adverse circumstances.  The powerhouse within us propels our physical, mental and intellectual faculties. In the absence of faith, we live in “power failure” even though we have this powerhouse within us!

    It has been said that faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the invisible.  In the words of Khalil Gibran “Faith is a knowledge within the heart beyond the reach of proof”.  St Thomas Aquinas observed that “to one who has faith, no explanation is necessary and to one without, no explanation is possible”.  True faith is the narrow path that leads us to the powerhouse within.  By staying connected internally with this positive force, we do not succumb to the negative forces that derail our physical, mental and emotional balance.  A man of true faith is one who has complete trust in his inner Self and stays connected within at all times with the  full understanding that external events are beyond his or her control and are governed by Natural laws.  Faith is more than belief; it is wisdom grounded in understanding that the same Divine power that is manifested in the external world is within us and within our human experience. The secret to unlock the spark of divinity within lies in our firm resolve to experience it in our lifetime. The process is to cultivate the art, to dive deep within from time to time in our busy life. We must catch and feel the silence and tranquility of the Soul which at some time or other in our lifetime we may have experienced. For example during life threatening moments a shift in consciousness takes place naturally within us and we are momentarily cut off from the time bound, mundane consciousness of our individual mind-body-speech personality.  The same experience is also true in moments of joy.  Our response is spontaneous --- free of thinking, free of time and free of problems. Since ancient times, the spiritual masters of all traditions have pointed to this spiritual dimension in the human psyche and its power. They declared that deep within us and beyond our ego dominated existence, the “lowercase” self, there is an oasis of calm and source of strength, our inner Self. It is waiting to be discovered and within everyone’s reach.  Faith is only the starting point.  Realization is the goal.

    Reason is a natural gift endowed only to humans.  It is a way of knowing that depends not on supernatural revelations but upon what the human mind-intellect faculties can discern through their own intrinsic power. Through reason, one can gain knowledge of the external world and the power to discriminate true from false, right from wrong and to avoid erring in our judgement. However, reason has its limitations – it can only rationalize and judge based on what we know and accept as facts from our sensory and mental perceptions.  Beyond the sense and mental perceptions, we can only imagine the other things in the universe albeit without a clear understanding at the level of the mind.  Yet, the desire to know and understand the unknowable keeps us intellectually engaged but indifferent to the other silent power within us, which is ever “willing” to reveal the unknowable. The power to will is faith.  Faith and reason have unique powers and compliment rather than conflict each other.  An anonymous saying goes “True faith can move mountains, but do not be surprised if God hands you a shovel.”

    Many beliefs are accepted without even being understood.  They are accepted on the authority of others—parents, teachers, social and religious groups. Much of it has been ingrained in us and encoded in our minds and to which we have not given any serious thought.  We often assert claims without reasoning simply based on trust.  These beliefs are what Neil Van Leeuwen calls “credences” and notes they have a moral component.  We believe that we should accept them and that others, at least those who are close to us such as family and friends, should accept them as well.  Such credences are not special to religion but also common to political issues, scientific views and other fields.  Accepting them requires a leap of faith—not based on reason but faith in the mundane sense that we trust the people who are testifying to their truth. 

    In the past, it appears that people’s hearts had a larger voice than their heads and consequently faith dominated over reason.  Previous generations had complete trust in the wisdom of the seers and saints of their times. As the ability to discover hidden truths through scientific methods (e.g. observation and experiment, falsifiable hypotheses, relentless questioning of established views) proved to be effective in learning and understanding the underlying structure of the world, people became skeptical of any beliefs or truths that had no scientific reasoning to back them.  Religion has no equivalent record of discovering hidden truths and therefore Reason and Logic were given more importance than Faith. Nowhere has it played out so definitively than in Western Civilization and the Greco-Roman era.  However, what the intellectuals in those times failed to understand is that the problems of life—mortality, grief, fear, insecurity, failure, negativity etc. are not amenable to once-and-for-all solutions based on logic and reasoning. Everyone reasons in their own way when it comes to these internal conflicts. These are internal imbalances where our mind and intellect are ineffective. Absent “feeling”, which is subtle and internal, much of what we understand in the external world through our normal sensory, mental and intellectual perceptions are learned and mentally encoded. They do not include all human experience.   The compulsive thinker who tries to reason and rationalize everything that comes to his mind can never “feel” that underneath all these labels, beliefs, images, opinions and judgments there is a Reality that is pristine and pure which only direct human experience can reveal. The harmony of natural law reveals an intelligence of such high superiority that in comparison all systematic thinking, opinions and beliefs are utterly insignificant reflections. In the words of Marcus Aurelius

    “It is in our power to refrain from opinions about things and not be disturbed in our souls for things in themselves have no natural power to force our judgements”.

    Faith and reason have been a matter of much interest to philosophers, theologians, scientists and people who have a genuine interest and desire to understand the purpose and meaning of life.  The changing face of the world has necessarily changed the importance of religion in our life.  Today we live in a society of scientific and technological advancements in which myths, beliefs and faith in authority have fallen into disrepute.   It is considered unwise to mix Faith and Reason.  Some have argued in favor of reason and that all beliefs should be subjected to rational examination and logic and that we should rely on the intrinsic power of our mind and intellect.  Others have argued in favor of Faith making the case that there is so much that we are incapable of knowing and can be known only by a deliberate attempt to understand the real insights that have been revealed in the religious scriptures. It is in our power to build a faith that speaks to the needs of the modern day. In case of apparent conflict, the domain of knowledge that is in question should be considered and all viewpoints should be accepted as only relative viewpoints rather than true or false.  Reason properly employed, and faith properly understood and practiced should not lead to contradictory or competing claims. Like art, understanding the truths of religion requires a different mode of consciousness quite different from our normal mind set.  It requires a disciplined cultivation of faith and deep reflection on the wisdom and insights of the spiritual teachings.  One of the conditions of enlightenment as we have seen in the life of the spiritual seekers is a willingness to let go of what we think we know in order to appreciate the truths that we never dreamed of.

    - Dr. Radha Krishnan

  • Growing inequalities and the Nature

    by Amit Patel | Jun 03, 2016

    “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

    ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Introduction
    At the time of attaining independence, the country was largely under-developed with its vast resources, agriculture and minerals being unexploited due to lack of proper direction. And planning offered the only way to achieve a rapid and balanced growth keeping the national priorities in mind. The success of such planned development in both agrarian and industrial sector in the USSR played a part in popularizing the concept of planned development. So the state took an active part in economic and social development, as we committed to have a sovereign, socialist, secular & democratic republic.

    The Status
    Johannesburg-based The New World Wealth, a research consultancy that tracks the global wealth sector, in its report titled The W20: The 20 Wealthiest Countries in the World, ranked India 10th among the 20 wealthiest countries in the world in terms of private wealth held by individuals. The value of total individual wealth in India - which includes property, cash, equities and business interests - is pegged at $3,492 billion in 2015. Further, as per the new data released by the IMF in its Asian Regional Economic Outlook, inequality rose in tandem with economic growth in both China and India, the two most successful Asian economies after 1990. This is in sharp contrast to what happened in countries such as South Korea or Taiwan in earlier decades. The multilateral lender has based its analysis on the Gini coefficient, a standard measure used by economists to measure inequality. As per the IMF estimates Gini coefficient for India has gone up from 45 in 1990 to 51 in 2013.

    Is it an Issue?
    Should it be a matter of concern? The answer is definitely yes. Economic inequality can give wealthier people an unacceptable degree of control over the lives of others. And when wealth is unevenly distributed in a society, wealthy people quite often end up controlling many aspects of poorer citizen’s lives. For instance, ownership of a public media outlet, such as a newspaper or TV channel, can give control over how others in the society view themselves and their lives, and how they understand their society. As many of us would agree, workers, as participants in a scheme of cooperation that produces national income, have a claim to a fair share of what they have helped to produce. But what constitutes a fair share?

    One answer is provided by John Rawls’ Difference Principle, according to which inequalities in wealth and income are permissible if and only if these inequalities could not be reduced without worsening the position of those who are worst-off. Whether one agrees with this line of argument or not one thing is fair enough, i.e., “if an economy is producing an increasing level of goods and services then all those who participate in producing these benefits including workers should share in the result”. British epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (2009) found a very strong correlation between income equality and societal well-being. In more unequal societies, people are more out for themselves.

    What Does Nature Say?
    As we all know, nature has no favorites and every plant and every animal has to fend for itself to survive. So that way, there is equality in nature. But it is a fact that, no two plants and no two animals are the same. Each has its own strength and weakness, with exposure to its own set of opportunities and threats. In that sense, there is no equality in nature. Similarly, every human being, like every plant and animal, is unique, with its own set of strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. He/she can imagine a world where everyone, no matter what their strengths and weaknesses, gets access to the same opportunities and protection from the same threats. When the experienced world does not match up to this imagined world, we get upset, demand changes in the world and wish for messiahs/revolution.

    Humans can also imagine themselves as special, better than others, and wish to dominate over others, or be feared or respected by others. This imagination makes one feel privileged and drives people to compete and be successful. This is what prevents people from sharing and to dominate feels good. While we all yearn for equality in public. privately the preference is for inequality, i.e., the desire to dominate another, control others, be feared or respected. When we think of equality we talk of positive discrimination and reservations to create a fairer and just world. From visualization of inequality come concepts like meritocracy and free market and political correctness that gag conversations and allows for only one kind of conversation.

    What Needs to be Done?
    The trickle-down theory stated that economic benefits provided to the rich will help society as a whole, as their extra wealth or income will be invested or spent on the economy, creating jobs, wealth and income for the poor. But the WEF’s study concludes that this simply isn’t happening. A large part of existing inequalities within country results from unequal control over assets. These include natural resources such as land, water, minerals and other fruits of nature, as well as produced productive and financial assets. This increasing concentration of assets needs to be countered by explicit policies to reduce it and spread the access to resources and assets more equally. While considerable controversy surrounds these issues, we should not jump to the conclusion that the treatment for inequality may be worse for growth than the disease itself. Equality enhancing interventions could actually help growth: think of taxes on activities with negative externalities paid mostly by the rich or cash transfers aimed at encouraging better attendance at primary schools in developing countries, as examples.

    Our body is a combination of our mind, flesh and the property and privileges we acquire or inherit. And in the cycle of rebirths, the soul experiences different bodies and eventually realizes that it is temporary and the source of all agony. Wisdom lies in looking beyond the body at the soul, and realizing that the soul within us and within all those around us is the same. When this happens, we work towards helping everyone around us, strong and weak, find opportunities and avoid threats, knowing fully well that we cannot change their destiny, or alter their desire, or make the world an equal place.

    Conclusion
    As rightly said by Walt Whitman, “the greatest country is not that which has the most capitalists, monopolists, immense grabbings, vast fortunes etc., but the land in which there are the most homesteads, freeholds and where no man is made possessor beyond the sane and beautiful necessities.” When we outgrow our desires, we no longer compare and contrast the imagined world with the experienced world. And we don’t crave for a change but simply glide with the change. So let’s do our bit by moving in the right direction.

    Dr A Jagan Mohan Reddy
    Advisor, HSCRF
    and
    Associate Professor (HR) 
    Osmania University Campus,
    Hyderabad

     

  • Reverence through Holistic Science

    by Amit Patel | Jun 03, 2016

    + In order to see the real beauty in each moment "reverence" is the pill whose essence should reside in our minds and hearts.

    + The notion of reverence is full of riches that we now need desperately.

    + Reverence is more than an attitude of mind; when trying to understand the meaning of Reverence, outsiders may assume it as the respect towards the mystery but, Reverence is reflected in that dignified mind which stiffly believes that -- "The sacred is here".

    + Being biased with judgments -- prejudices and -- the saturation of consumerism -- always stay out of the grounds of Reverence, which is essentially supported by humbleness.

    + Holistic Science has its foundations deeply rooted in humbleness and the belief of oneness, which pave the way for Reverence.

    + The belief that --"The sacred is here" remains no more a belief but rather becomes an alchemized truth --"I am sacred" that is strongly reinforced by the Holistic vision of Science, which fixes the right belief of soul (that “I am”) and makes one to "Live the truth".

    + Holistic Scientist is the person living the utmost heights of reverence.

    + Reverence with its entire attributes fully comes into existence with the Holistic Science approach.

    -By youth mahatma: Kritika Bohre, Bhopal 

  • Dialogues with Holistic Scientist on Karma Yoga, Raj Yoga, Gyan Yoga and Bhakti Yoga

    by Amit Patel | May 01, 2016

    Seeker  : Kindly explain about Karma Yoga and Raj Yoga.

    Holstic Scientist : 
    Karma Yoga is to live according to karma. Here, one is not independent, he acts according to the thoughts coming to his mind.

    Seeker  :
    Is it a path to self-realization and liberation ?

    Holstic Scientist : 
    No, it is a path that leads one to the cycles of birth and death in the world, because in karma yoga ones acts are guided by the thoughts occurring in his mind.

    Seeker  :
    What about Raj Yoga?

    Holstic Scientist : 
    In Raj Yoga one lives keeping focus on his goal. One decides a goal for his life. There are basically two kinds of life-goals; whether I want to attain liberation or whether I want to earn credits-auspicious Karmas (punya) for happiness in this world.

    Seeker  :
    Is that a path to liberation ?

    Holstic Scientist :  
    Yes, provided one correctly understands Raj Yoga. In Raj-Yoga one lives independently with a firm and clear goal for his life, whether it is to attain celestial life or to attain liberation. Then, in the course of living, when your mind guides you to do something, you will do it if is conducive to attaining your goal otherwise you will not succumb to it.

    Seeker  :
    This does not seem easy. How can we know if the mind is driving us somewhere else ?

    Holstic Scientist :  
    You come to know since you have clearly decided your goal.

    Seeker  :
    That happens with the help of intellect.

    Holstic Scientist : 
    Yes, you can understand with the help of intellect as you have a soul inside. You gradually attain the experience of the soul….1%, 2%, 5%, 10% ……like that. When you experience suffocation under certain difficult circumstances something shows you ‘do this’, ‘don't do this’. This is the Gyan, what do you call it 

    Seeker  :
    Intuition.

    Holstic Scientist : 
    That vision gradually opens up….10%, 15%, 25%, 50%....It does not become 100% at a time. It is a development that shows you that this is right or this is not right for you; this is not shown by your intellect but by the development of your Self (soul). One does not become a Pure Soul all of a sudden. When you have attained 50-60% development and you meet a living fully enlightened person (Gyani Purush), he helps you to fill the gap and you attain full self-realisation.

    Seeker  :
    What is Bhakti Yoga ? 

    Holstic Scientist : 
    Bhakti (devotion) develops to the extent of development of your Gyan (right knowledge). Both Gyan and Bhakti proceed side by side but first is Gyan- say it is 15%- 25%- 50% ......and that is followed by gradual development of Bhakti to that extent.

    Seeker  :
    Kindly explain with an example.

    Holstic Scientist :          
    You want to go to Airport. You first obtain the knowledge about the route to airport and keeping that in mind you start proceeding towards the airport. Isn't it? Bhakti means to approach closer and closer (to your goal). If you do not know the route and have not planned accordingly, how will you proceed correctly towards your destination ? So, you first need to know whose Bhakti you are doing. People do not understand Bhakti in its true sense.

    Raj Yoga is the planning, the direction about the route towards your goal provided one receives the right knowledge about this from a living fully enlightened person (Gyani Purush).

    Seeker  :
    And what is Gyan Yoga ?

    Holstic Scientist : 
    It is Raj Yoga only with the right knowledge about the route and planning the journey towards the goal of liberation.

    Seeker  :
    I think what our soul shows as right is the correct way. Our own Soul is the Guru ?

    Holstic Scientist : 
    But what is the level of development of your Self. Say, if it is 40% how can it guide for progress towards the development level of say, 50%? You need someone who is ahead of you in the path of development say, 80%- 90%-100%. Do you agree ?

    Seeker : 
    Right, Sir. I am grateful to you for bestowing the right knowledge about Karma Yoga, Raj Yoga, Gyan Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.

     

  • Experience the Happiness, Bliss and Inner Peace through the Science of Pure Real-Self and Relative-Self

    by Amit Patel | May 01, 2016

    The most important internal body organ is ‘ego’. What is ‘ego’ ? What is the function of ‘ego’ ? and where it is located in body.

    ‘Ego’ in its essence is blind. It sees with the eyes of the intellect ! Intellect rules over everything but the ‘ego’ takes all credits and shows off as if it is his power. 

    The location of the gross or material ‘ego’ is at the back, below the waist, where the elders pat the young’s to congratulate them.

    The function of ‘ego’ is to taste the pleasure of being the ‘doer‘, though it may not have done anything and yet it believes that ‘I did it !’ That is ‘ego’.

    Really speaking ego only gets illusion of enjoying or sufferings. Yet, it continuously takes pride or agony of enjoying or suffering as per the prevailing circumstances. Therefore, Holistic Scientist termed ‘ego’ as
    ‘Pratishthit Aatma’.

    If we observe minutely, ‘ego’ is not the real doer
    (karta)-enjoyer (bhokta), because an action takes place when innumerable scientific circumstantial evidences get together simultaneously. Even in the process of enjoying-suffering, it is the external sense organ which enjoys or suffers first of a particular action. Thereafter mind or reflective consciousness enjoys it at subtle level and ego asserts it ‘I enjoyed or suffered’.

    Let us take one simple example of preparing ‘One cup of Tea’. To prepare ‘One Cup of Tea’ one needs ingredients like sugar, milk, tea, masalas, gas stove, match box and tea maker (He/She). On analyzing further it will be revealed that the ingredients too need innumerable scientific circumstances to come into the existence. When all the circumstances are favourable, a tea maker can prepare ‘one cup of tea.’ In such circumstances, if a tea maker says, ‘I prepared it’, a tea seller says ‘I sold it’, and the person who enjoys drinking tea, says ‘I enjoyed it’ is nothing but an ‘ego’.

    Let us take some more examples.

    Do all of us have independent power to defecate or urinate? Holstic Scientist says ‘No’. Nobody has independent power to defecate or urinate. This can be better understood when it gets stuck and has to take medicines for regulating the same.

    Can we attend Satsang or Marriage Reception or other social gatherings as per our wish? The answer is ‘yes’ if the circumstances are favourable elsewhere not. i.e. Good health, transportation especially in foreign countries, if one is doing the job then leave permission and other factors if permits then one can attend the Satsang or Social gathering. In such circumstances, to speak I attended the Satsang or a Social gathering is nothing but ‘egoism’.

    In short, ‘ego’ is not the real ‘doer-enjoyer’. Really speaking the ‘ego’ only gets illusion of ‘enjoying-suffering’ due to ignorance of the ‘Pure-Self’. The pleasure or displeasure comes in the gross form by the external sense organs which are at subtle level of the mind.

    Ego is the false projection of the sense of being the doer and enjoyer-sufferer. Really speaking physical sense organs and subtle sense organs follows their own predicate nature and uttering ‘I did’ is just relative or transient or momentary. Therefore, enjoying-suffering, happiness-misery, peace-restlessness etc., which come across in one’s present life, is by virtue of its worldly existence in the past births, where ego has asserted by uttering ‘I did’. Here ‘I’ being only a circumstantial evidence. Further, that which prompts one to perform a deed is
    Uday-Karma - a happening on the maturity of deeds. If this principle is taken in its right perception, can almost help in attaining liberation !!

    It is ego, asserting itself in the presence of ‘Self’ that does
    ‘Karma’. Therefore, it is ego that makes one bound by karma because egoism entertains it when karma (deed) is being exhausted or discharged at the right time with other evidences aiding the nature.

    In the society, often worries are seen or expressed by the person in day to day life. Why ? Because people think that they have to manage their family, they have to do a job, they are to look after the education of children, they are to take care of the health of themselves as well as of family members and so on. When the same is not accomplished efficiently and effectively, worries are seen or expressed on their face.

    Therefore Holstic Scientist termed ‘Worrying as egoism’, because ‘I do’, ‘I do’, is ignorance.

    The below mentioned example will give a clear idea.

    On birth of a new born, nature provides milk to child’s mother’s for his breast feeding. Isn’t it ? Nature does it at a right time or not ? Is there any need to worry how the infant will get its food ?

    The food we eat, gets easily digested. Who digest it ? Who separates it as a blood and excreta ? These are natural processes. Isn’t it ?

    Once the answers to above questions are revealed, worries will disappear ! Elsewhere if one feels strongly that he/she manages big show, naturally worries will take charge on their heads.

    The world exist because of egoism and also because of this, the soul comes into the bondage of any of the following four forms. (1) Human form, (2) Animal/Plant form,
    (3) Angel form, and (4) Hellish form. Actually speaking, ‘I’ the soul is neither born nor does it die, but it’s the egoism in different form that is born.

    The method to identify ‘ego’ is very simple. If the ego is influenced by the ‘Greed’, ‘Pride’, ‘Infatuation’, ‘Love’ or ‘Lust’  then it is called ‘Greed Blinded’
    (Lobhandh), ‘Pride Blinded’ (Manandh). ‘Infatuation Blinded’ (Mohandh), ‘Love Blinded’ (Premandh) and ‘Lust Blinded’ (Vishayandh) respectively.

    Thus, the world environment is not the cause of misery and bondage but only a fallacy of belief.

    The ‘Enlightened-Being’ says that the first basic wrong belief that ‘I am Dr. J. P. Amin’, is the greatest form of egoism. The whole world exists on this foundation. To solve this puzzle, Holstic Scientist gave two view points to resolve this puzzle. (1) By relative view point I am name bearer and (2) By real view point ‘I am the Pure-Self’.

    Therefore, to think that I am the body (Ego-self) is egoism, Consciousness of Self-identity is ego but to believe that ‘I am the Pure-Self’ after being initiated by an ‘Enlightened-Being’, is not egoism. Therefore, the world is not binding rather the egoism of doer-ship is the cause of bondage.

    To superimpose on to oneself what one is not, is egoism. To get rid of it, one shall strive for a living ‘Enlightened-Being’ who by His divine grace, fractures wrong belief and set a right belief at a time. Once, it is realized that who am I and who am I not ?  remaining worldly activities will be carried out without the ownership of being a doer.

    Elsewhere, one has to face all the consequences if one believes ‘I am the doer’. One who is devoid of ego will never suffer the result of doer ship. It happens as per the Natural Law.

    Egoism mainly exists in the following two forms: Charge Egoism and Discharge Egoism.

    (1) Charge Egoism :
    Sajiva Egoism: It means egoism in the form of doer ship and suffering as detailed out in earlier paragraphs. It becomes the root cause of new bondage of Karma. It is based on ignorance of the ‘Pure-Self’.

    (2) Passive Discharge Egoism
    : Nirjiva Egoism, It means the ego starts performing the remaining worldly duties after the perpetual ‘Pure-Self’ is realized by the divine grace of an ‘Enlightened-Being’ without ownership of being a doer.

    The action or duties that are being performed after initiation does not become the cause of bondage as he/she is now the ‘knower-seer’ of the action or duties being performed.

    One has to be cautious that he/she does not get involved in the activity at such instances. However, due to any reason if one gets involved in the activity and forgets at time that he/she is the ‘knower-seer’, he/she is not the actual doer, then an Enlightened Being has given remedy of
    ‘alochana, pratikraman and pratyakhyan’. By doing heartily, ‘alochana, pratikraman and pratyakhan’, as per dictates of an ‘Enlightened-Being’ one can come back and discharge his/her duties as per the five simple dictates of an ‘Enlightened-Being’. See the Kindness of an ‘Enlightened-Being’ bestowed on the aspirant of true seeker of liberation.

    Holstic Scientist :
    ‘Ego’ and ‘True-Self’ cannot co-exist. A person with ego will never get liberated. In other words without ‘Self-Realization’ ‘ego’ can never die as well as can be humble. Having the humblest ego implies performing worldly affairs with a belief ‘I am humbler than all other living creatures’ in the world, which leads to Ultimate Liberation !

    An ‘Enlightened-Being’ have eradicated all the false, ignorant beliefs and experiences perfect bliss in all the worldly circumstances of life. Had the world been capable of giving sorrow, then it would have given misery to an ‘Enlightened-Being’ also but as He is ‘Knower-Seer’ of the all the happenings, He experiences ‘Perfect Bliss’.