The Making of a Sarvodaya Yogi

Blog update

Posted by Gopal on September 12, 2014


Hi friends,

A small but exceptionally important improvement in “3. Practise brahmacharya (celibacy) at mental level also by using these means.” of 12-point brahmacharya formula has been made today by adding the recommendation of doing Jnana Bandha technique for 10 min or more if doing it for few rounds do not cleanly remove lustful thoughts. Complete details are as follows:

  1. Do few rounds of “Jnana Bandha technique“. If few rounds do not help and lustful thoughts return, set a timer of 10 min or more and keep doing Jnana Bandha technique during this duration – this will definitely fix the problem of sticky (strong) sexual thought at least for a considerable length of time (like a couple of hours) – even if sexual thought comes during this period, it will be mild enough to be removed with just a few rounds of “Jnana Bandha” technique. This will transform the excess energy of lust into intellectual energy by pulling up the nerve currents up the spine towards brain centres, thus giving us more mental powers of thinking, concentration and memory. This is definitely one of the most effective techniques for dealing instantly with strong bouts of lust. So, this is one of our top recommendations for dealing with lustful thoughts. The best thing about this technique is it does not distract one away from one’s immediate work and even in the worst case, in my personal experience so far, doing it for 10 min or more definitely fixes the problem. Based on my experiencs so far, I have a gut feeling that this technique may be that “ultimate genius” technique for maintaining mental celibacy (removing lustful thoughts) that I have seeking so earnestly for such a long time without any success so far, but I can confirm this only after applying it for 1 more year (definitely by the end of 2015). If it turns out to be the case (as I am eagerly hoping), I can happily declare 12-point formula as a “genius class” brahmacharya formula for all brahmacharya aspirants as finding the ultimate genius technique for maintaining mental celibacy is the only missing link in 12-point formula so far. By 2015, we will know the actual position.

Since I aim for lifelong celibacy, it is very natural that I am trying to make celibacy practice as easy and simple as possible. Only a fool will try to practise a principle for whole life without making it as easy and simple as possible and I am no fool. That explains my all-out studies, analysis and innovative experimentation on celibacy practice. I am glad that I am finally seeing some light at the end of a dark, long tunnel. Nothing gives more satisfaction to a spiritual aspirant than climbing up “Mount Lifelong Celibacy” in an easy enough manner because this is the only real challenge of spirituality – rest all like non-attachment, egolessness, etc. get naturally developed after celibacy is mastered. And then the joy of helping others practise celibacy is an altogether big “High” as then my efforts have multiple fruits (and not just fruits for myself). I believe that celibacy practice can be made easy enough through more intelligent understanding and experimentation and I am onto this Mission – 12-point formula is a faithful documentation of my achievements so far in this Mission.

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Socio-political issues | 2 Comments »

“Legs up the wall” asana

Posted by Gopal on February 15, 2014


Dear friends,

Here is the description of “Legs up the wall” asana or posture.

TECHNIQUE

Above picture (courtesy: http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2011/07/06/mama-yoga-legs-up-the-wall-pose/) explains it well.

Even small babies can easily do it as can be seen in above picture.

PRECAUTION

  1. This asana should not be performed by people suffering from high blood pressure, serious heart conditions, back conditions such as sciatica and slipped disc, or soon after abdominal surgery. If there is any doubt, please consult a competent therapist.

BENEFITS

  1. The nervous system gets a signal to slow down and there is relaxation of body and mind because upper part of body (heart, lungs and brain) repose in rest in horizontal position.
    1. The primary reason I use this asana is to recover successfully on days when my sleep quality is quite bad and hence, there is a mild headache or lack of freshness. On such days, doing meditation in sitting position is not relaxing at all and doing meditation in fully lying position (savasana) may induce sleep and occasionally even extra sleep related migraines, disrupting whole day’s productivity. But, doing meditation in this particular asana ensures that I get relaxation induced by this asana and meditation without falling asleep and hence, getting victim of migraine. Falling asleep in this asana is not possible because of alertness created by the intensely felt pressure caused by the wall on contact area of legs.
    2. The other use of this asana is when you feel tired at any point of time in a day and want to take a rest without any risk of untimely sleep, then you can do this asana for few minutes.
    3. When one gets a bit tired of doing this asana after say 10-15 minutes, one can bring down the legs with knees bent and feet still over wall while keeping the upper body in lying position (Similar to below picture) and then after 5 minutes or so in this posture, again go back to “Legs up the wall” asana. Thus, one can finish even 30 min meditation in these two postures when the mind is not fresh or feeling some mild headache due to poor sleep or any other reason. After doing so, the freshness comes back and headache disappears and one can work quite fine throughout the day.
  2. This asana strengthens the abdominal muscles and massages the organs.
  3. It strengthens the digestive system, lower back, pelvic and perineal muscles and helps correct prolapse.
  4. Blood drains out of tired feet and legs. Thus, it helps release sore legs after long run and heavy workout.
  5. It relieves swollen ankles and varicose veins.
  6. It relieves mild headaches or lack of freshness.

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Study skills and celibacy during bachelor life, Time-management skill, Yoga & other spirituality related things | 2 Comments »

Inverted asanas

Posted by Gopal on February 14, 2014


Dear friends,

This article will explain in details about inverted asanas. It is divided into below parts:

What are inverted asanas?
Precautions for inverted asanas
General benefits
Sirshasana
Sarvangasana

What are inverted asanas?
As the name indicates, the inverted asanas are asanas in which body is inverted from its normal position such that lower part of the body is up and upper part of the body is down. I aim to describe 2 chief inverted asanas in this article, namely, Sirshasana and Sarvangasana with details on their benefits.

If you can do only one, do Sirshasana. Otherwise you can do both as Sarvangasana does provide a couple of physical health benefits (explained later) not directly provided by Sirshasana. I am using direct because indirect benefits to all systems are provided by Sirshasana also because it acts upon entire endocrine system and provides fresh blood to all muscle groups of the body.

Fat people or people whose neck muscles are weak may find it difficult to do Sirshasana and hence, can do Sarvangasana till they get physically fit for doing Sirshasana.

Precautions for inverted asanas

  1. Health precautions:
    1. These asanas should not be practiced by people suffering from heart conditions, high blood pressure or back conditions, especially slipped disc, arteriosclerosis, glaucoma, cervical spondylosis, eye problems, headache, diarrhoea, hernia, an active ear infection or any disease of the brain or any illnesses which make the blood impure.
    2. Also, these asanas should not be practised during pregnancy or menstruation.
    3. People recovering from operations or the infirm or the old may not be able to practise these asanas because these asanas require certain physical fitness.
  2. Time of practice: These asanas should be preferably practised on an empty stomach – better to do so after having bath and just before breakfast so that the nose is not blocked particularly for doing Sirshasana in which one cannot do inhalation through nose if it is blocked (one may inhale from mouth in the worst case, but still better to do after having bath). If that is not possible, then do it after at least 3 hours since last meal.
  3. Equipment: Always practise these asanas on a folded blanket, hard mattress or yoga mat thick enough to protect the vertebrae of the neck and back of the head. Never practise on a soft mattress, spring bed or cushions.
  4. Rest: Always follow inverted poses with shavasana (lying on bed on the back). Rest until the breath and heartbeat are completely normal. 1 min is usually sufficient for this.
  5. Duration: One should try it first as long as one feels comfortable and using a timer (every mobile phone has one) find out the duration. Let us say it is x min. From x min, gradually over a period of few months, one should increase the duration finally to 5-10 minutes a day through increment of 10-15 sec every week (30 or 60 sec increment is not comfortable at all for inverted asanas and hence, try only small 10-15 sec increment). More than 10 minutes a day is not needed in my personal opinion: rather the extremely important thing is to practise it daily for gaining the most.

General benefits

General benefits of inverted asanas are (described in the book “Asana Pranayam Mudra Bandha” by Swami Satyananda):

  1. Inverted asanas reverse the action of gravity on the body; instead of everything being pulled towards the feet, the orientation shifts towards the head. Similarly, on the emotional and psychic levels, inverted asanas change the normal patterns, throwing a new light on old patterns of behavior and being.
  2. Generally, these practices are refreshing and revitalizing. They improve health, reduce anxiety and stress, and increase self-confidence.
  3. They also increase mental power, concentration and the capacity to sustain large workloads without strain.
  4. Inverted asanas encourage blood to flow to the brain, nourishing the neurons and flushing out toxins.
  5. Blood and lymph, accumulated in the lower limbs, pelvis and abdomen, are drained back to the heart, then circulated to the lungs, purified and re-circulated to all parts of the body. This process nourishes the cells of the whole human organism.
  6. The enriched blood flow to brain also allows the pituitary gland to operate more efficiently, tuning the entire endocrine system. This has a positive effect on the metabolic processes and even on ways of thinking.
  7. While the body is in an inverted asana, the breath becomes slow and deep, maximizing the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, and generally encouraging correct respiration. In addition, the abdominal organs: the liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys and pancreas, receive a powerful massage, helping them to perform their functions more efficiently.
  8. One of the most significant benefits of inverted asanas is they open Sushumna Nadi and raise the vital energy up the spine. Thus, they sublimate sexual energy into spiritual energy and makes brahmacharya practice much easier than it is otherwise as any brahmacharya aspirant who practices an inverted asana daily will vouchsafe.
  9. Improves blood circulation to eyes, ears and scalp, thereby improving their functioning and stemming hair loss or graying.

Sirshasana

Sirshasana 001

Sirshasana 002

Sirshasana 003

Sirshasana 004

The technique is explained in the picture above. The final posture is the state of Sirshasana. It can be done with the help of a wall also – the benefits will stay the same.

TECHNIQUE

  1. Sit on your knees before a fourfold blanket spread on the floor.
  2. Interlock your fingers making the palms of your hand to assume the form of a cup. Adjust the little fingers so that both palms may rest evenly on the blanket.
  3. Place the hands on the blanket, the little fingers touching the blanket. The line joining the elbows would be the base of the triangle now formed by the position of the hands on the blanket.
  4. The space between the elbows should be within the width of your chest.
  5. Next, place the crown of your head on the blanket so that the back of the crown touches the cupped palms.
  6. Raise the knees from the ground and keep the toes on the floor. Secure the position of your head, and bring the toes and thighs nearer to the body. Draw the knees close to the body and slowly raise the toes of the two legs simultaneously just off the floor and try to balance for a few seconds.
  7. When the balance becomes steady and the spine erect, straighten the knees and stretch both the legs up slowly bringing the whole body to a straight line with the head down and the feet high up.
  8. Do slow, deep breathing through the nose while in this posture. Retain the posture as long as you can without any discomfort.
  9. Slowly bring down the body and without raising the head, put yourself in lying position and stay in it for 1 min so that the blood flow which was up the brain in Sirshasana becomes normal. Thereafter, get up.
  10. After some days of practice, when you feel ease and comfort, try to concentrate on the crown of your head with normal breathing.

PRECAUTIONS

Following additional precautions apart from those covered in “Precautions for inverted asanas” section above should also be followed for performing Sirshasana:

  1. Sirshasana should not be practised by people with neck problems, headache or migraine, high blood pressure, heart disease, thrombosis, arteriosclerosis, chronic catarrh, chronic constipation, kidney problems, impure blood, severe near-sightedness, weak blood vessels in the eye, conjunctivitis, chronic glaucoma, inflammation of the ears or any form of blood haemorrhage in the head.
  2. It should not be practised during pregnancy or menstruation.

BENEFITS

Apart from benefits described in “General benefits” section above for all inverted asanas, Sirshasana has following specific benefits:

  1. This asana is very powerful for awakening sahasrar chakra (crown centre – the highest centre of consciousness) and therefore it is considered the greatest of all asanas (“The king of Asanas”). It is a special help for brahmacharya aspirants as it opens up Sushumna channel (the central channel in the vital body) and pulls up vital energy from lower centres to the highest centre of sahasrar.
  2. Regular and correct practice also ensures proper and sound development of the body and mind. The power of concentration, memory and will is increased. The thought-power also increases and thereby thoughts become more clear. It is thus a blessing for brain-workers.
  3. This Asana is specially beneficial to people suffering from loss of sleep, memory and vitality. It revitalizes the entire body and mind. Proper and correct practice of this Asana provides abundant energy and alertness.
  4. It relieves anxiety and other psychological disturbances which form the root cause of many disorders such as asthma, hay fever, diabetes and menopausal imbalance.
  5. It also helps to rectify many forms of nervous and glandular disorders, especially those related to the reproduction system.
  6. This asana reverses the effect of gravity on the body. Strain on the back is thus alleviated and the reversed flow of blood in the legs and visceral regions aids tissue regeneration.
  7. The weight of the abdominal organs on the diaphragm encourages deep exhalation so that larger amounts of carbon dioxide are removed from the lungs.
  8. The pituitary and pineal glands in the brain get proper blood supply and this ensures promotion of good health, growth and vitality.
  9. The lungs build up power to resist variations in climatic conditions, and makes one free from colds, coughs, tonsillitis, foul breath, palpitations, etc.
  10. It regulates the body temperature, removes constipation and tones up the blood content.

Sarvangasana

Sarvangasana

TECHNIQUE

  1. Spread a thick blanket on the floor. Lie flat on your back with legs stretched out, heels and knees together and the hands close to the sides of the body, palms facing the floor. Slowly inhale and simultaneously raise the legs without bending the knees. Slowly lift the trunk and support it at the back (in the middle of the spine) with your hands, bent at the elbows.
  2. Keep the spine vertical i.e., perpendicular to the floor. The back of the shoulders, neck and the back of the crown of the head should touch the floor, and the chin kept pressed tightly against the chest.
  3. When you get the spine vertical and establish balance in the posture, slowly stretch the legs with the toes pointing up. Keep the legs, the back and the spine in a straight line, vertical, in a relaxed position, with normal breathing.
  4. Concentrate on the throat where fresh blood is flowing abundantly which promotes the secretion of the thyroid and para-thyroid glands. This is most important.
  5. Exhale slowly, lower the legs without jerks and release the position of the hands. One should not lift the head from the ground while lowering the legs to its original position. Slowly bring down the body and without raising the head, put yourself in lying position and stay in it for 1 min so that the blood flow which was up the brain in Sarvangasana becomes normal. Thereafter, get up.
  6. The duration for this posture may vary from 5-10 minutes for daily practice.

PRECAUTIONS

Following additional precautions apart from those covered in “Precautions for inverted asanas” section above should also be followed for performing Sarvangasana:

  1. This asana should not be practised by people suffering from enlarged thyroid, liver or spleen, cervical spondylitis, slipped disc, high blood pressure or other heart ailments, weak blood vessels in the eyes, thrombosis or impure blood.
  2. It should be avoided during menstruation and advanced stages of pregnancy.

BENEFITS

Apart from benefits described in “General benefits” section above for all inverted asanas, Sarvangasana has following specific benefits:

  1. By pressing the chest against the chin, this asana stimulates the thyroid gland.
  2. It generally balances the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems.
  3. It also tranquilizes the mind, relieves mental and emotional stress, and helps clear psychological disturbances, boosting the immune system.
  4. Its influence on the parathyroid glands ensures normal development and regeneration of the bones.
  5. Abdominal breathing is induced, improving the exchange of air in the body, relieving stress and massing the abdominal organs.
  6. It releases the normal gravitational pressure from the anal muscles, relieving haemorrhoids.
  7. It tones the legs, abdomen and reproductive organs, draining stagnant blood and fluid, and increasing circulation to these areas.
  8. Flexibility of the neck vertebrae is improved and the nerves passing through the neck to the brain are toned. Circulation is increased in this area generally, revitalizing the ears, eyes and tonsils.

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Brahmacharya, Study skills and celibacy during bachelor life, Yoga & other spirituality related things | 2 Comments »

Jnana Bandha technique

Posted by Gopal on February 14, 2014


Hello friends,

Mental celibacy is one of the biggest challenges for every spiritual aspirant and, in general, for anyone aiming to achieve good concentration power. Having spent so much of my thinking faculty on celibacy challenge, I have done a lot of experimentation on various techniques for mental celibacy.

I am describing my latest and most effective “Plan A” technique for mental celibacy in this article. I have a hope that this technique will prove to be the ultimate genius technique for maintaining mental celibacy – I will know how far this hope is valid by 2015. “Plan B” technique is only one: 20-30 min “Nadi Shodhana Basic” once or more and “Plan C” technique is only one: “give up next 1 or more meals” technique as explained in “(3) Practise brahmacharya (celibacy) at mental level also by using these means.” of legendary 12-point brahmacharya formula.

TECHNIQUE

The name of technique is “Jnana Bandha” (Jnana means knowledge and Bandha means bonding –  the technique means bonding one’s energies together in a focused manner for acquiring knowledge.)

In this technique, whenever any lustful thought cause disruption, do the following:

  1. Say once, “Focus Focus Focus” mentally and simultaneously inhale fully and hold yourself in the state of internal breath-retention. Staying in the state of internal breath-retention as long as possible, focus on your work/studies. To add to the effect of this technique try to make your entire body as still/motionless as possible while using this technique because making the body still/motionless also helps making the mind still/thoughtless.
  2. Whenever you feel like exhaling, exhale fully.
  3. This is one round of this technique. Repeat more rounds – in subsequent rounds, there is no need to say “Focus Focus Focus” unless mind has got distracted again – just practise internal breath-retention as long as possible and keep focussing on your work/studies. Using 4-5 rounds will suffice most of the time. If it does not, set a timer of 10 min or more and keep doing Jnana Bandha technique during this duration – this will definitely fix the problem of sticky (strong) sexual thought at least for a considerable length of time (like a couple of hours) – even if sexual thought comes during this period, it will be mild enough to be removed with just a few rounds of “Jnana Bandha” technique. On the same day, sometimes we may need to apply this technique of Jnana Bandha for 10 min or more duration 2-3 times, but that is not an issue as this technique does not take any time away from our actual work.

NOTES

  1. The main advantage of internal breath-retention is that the mental activity becomes less intense in the state of breath-retention thereby reducing at once the intensity of lustful thoughts and making it easier to bring the mind back to original work/studies. Also internal breath-retention can be done for a longer time. External breath-retention as used in traditional “Great lock exercise (also known as Maha Bandha in yoga)” makes one feel out of breath soon and one cannot do any work/studies in the state of external breath-retention. But, in Jnana Bandha, since one does internal breath-retention, one can do many rounds and still focus on the work/studies while doing this technique. Hence, this technique is surely superior to “Maha Bandha” as a mental celibacy technique.
  2. The best advantage is you are able to get back to your work/studies in the least possible time even while dealing with power passions like lust. So, it is great for time-saving and optimum concentration during work/studies.
  3. This technique is also in tune with the strategy used by great scientist Newton for mental celibacy. The physicist who established the three laws of motion, Newton, put a stop to any and all sexual activity throughout his 84 years. One of history’s greatest thinkers did give some insight into his sex life (or lack thereof) in a message to philosopher John Locke, according to Newton biographer James Gleick. “The way to chastity is not to struggle with incontinent thoughts but to avert the thoughts by some ploy, or by reading, or by meditating on other things,” Gleick quotes Newton.
  4. This should always and always be used for dealing successfully with lustful thoughts whole life as long as your lungs and heart are healthy – this is its main purpose. Since internal breath-retention does take some application of will and human will has its own limit of exertion, I would recommend targeting only distraction due to lust by this technique rather than using it for every type of distraction. For other types of distraction, just use “Focus Focus Focus” part without any internal (or external) breath-retention. But, you can use Jnana Bandha for 5 min before beginning your morning meditation to improve its quality as a good quality meditation in the morning itself is a great help for celibacy practice throughout the day.
  5. In the last 1-1.5 hours before sleep, internal breath-retention needs to be avoided as by increasing the energy level in mind, it will make it difficult to fall asleep. So, in that last 1-1.5 hours before sleep, one can replace internal breath-retention in this technique by external breath-retention. This will make the technique less effective in the sense that one cannot think well during the state of external breath-retention nor external breath-retention can be sustained as long as internal breath-retention. So, the technique becomes diluted. But, in all rest hours of the day, always use the original technique.

PRECAUTION

  1. People suffering from cervical spondylosis, high intracranial pressure, vertigo, high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid all internal or external breath-retention techniques. So, this technique is unfortunately not for them.

Thanks,

Gopal

ps: Please let me know what mental celibacy technique you found most effective for yourself. Being an atheist and hardcore rationalist, bhakti-based techniques cannot work for me. All celibacy techniques tried and incorporated by me in legendary 12-point brahmacharya formula do not require any faith in any entity.

Posted in Brahmacharya, Breathing Exercises, Study skills and celibacy during bachelor life, Time-management skill, Yoga & other spirituality related things | 7 Comments »

The ungratefulness problem

Posted by Gopal on January 23, 2014


Dear friends,

Many times we are told that we owe something to society. But, many of us get duped when we try to do good to others. I have shared my understanding on this “Ungratefulness problem” in this article. If interested, you may read and share your own understanding on this serious issue.

The ungratefulness problem” is experienced by many sensitive people in their lives. This means you do good to someone and that person instead of showing gratitude for whatever good you did to him/her (1) turns against you and do harm to you emotionally or materially or (2) never tries to do anything for you in your needy situation even when he/she is capable.

When I was a teenager, my mother used to say many times, “People are very ungrateful.” That time I used to find her assertion most ridiculous due to my inexperience with the world. Years later I read a quote by Lord Buddha, “Kind and grateful people are rare.” and I was shocked beyond expression because this was the first really harsh quote of Buddha that I had read in life by that time. All other quotes of Lord Buddha were very sweet-worded and positive. Still, I could not accept it even a bit. But, I eventually had to accept this to some extent once I got some very, very nasty experiences which, in short, is described below:

I met a lady during my 6th semester during B. Tech at IIT Kanpur who was weeping while talking to someone. Overcome with great empathy, I asked her, “Why are you weeping?” She replied, “I had married Prof. A of IIT Kanpur and I had a child with him and he left us. (This was just a false story she used to cheat me and other students at IIT Kanpur.) Now, I have a tumour problem and I have no one to help me treat it. I may die one day due to lack of treatment.” I promised her that I will find a way to get her treated. She took lots of my time in 7th and 8th semesters and I used to be liberal in giving her time because I felt that she was suffering from depression and wanted to vent out a bit to someone. Meanwhile I was trying to figure out a way to get her tumour treated. I finally managed to do so in 8th semester at IIT Kanpur. Under my initiative, IIT Kanpur students raised Rs. 1.2 lakh for her treatment and we got her treated. Some of us even stayed at SGPGI hospital, Lucknow during her treatment. Long story cut short – “I went to USA after finishing B. Tech for higher education and she told me when I was in USA that her treatment was not successful and that she will need more injections. First she did not show bills for injections but later showed fake bills and even sent a mail from an IIT Kanpur Professor confirming me that she had indeed spent money on her treatment.” She ended up cheating me total Rs. 15 lakhs in name of her fake treatment and her household expenses.

Her two sons also helped her cheat me. I spend additional Rs. 8 lakhs on both her sons’ education for IIT-JEE coaching at Kota. Both proved to be insincere students despite having good scores in Class X board exam and could not crack any engineering entrance exam. Both sons actively cheated me. One of his sons saw me helping her family since he was just 11 and still when he was 16 and was sent by me to Kota, he cheated me money repeatedly in many ways (like taking Rs. 12k per month for his expenses whereas, as I learnt later, Rs. 6k per month was enough in Kota for a student). So, even a pre-teenager did not learn any virtue from me.

The whole family was supposedly devotees of Sai Baba and Gayatri Pariwar. I did everything for them that was possible for a person to do and I ended up getting cheated Rs. 23 lakhs without getting any good result.

I also helped one relative with lakhs of rupees, but he also broke my trust by indulging in some serious cheating like sitting in place of his brother in a competitive examination. Though he repents for his mistake now, yet it was not fair to me as I believe in putting society above self and family which his wrong deed completely violated.

And all this cheating was done to me when I was emotionally the purest and the most selfless person – I was so much devoid of personal desires that I was not willing to even marry that time in order to serve the society. They all knew these things and yet cheated me. Even my teaching them mindfulness meditation of Buddhism, Self-Enquiry meditation of Sri Raman Maharshi and other yoga techniques did not change them even a bit.

Just today, I read this quote in “Jnana Yoga” book by Swami Vivekananda:

I want to do work, I want to do good to a human being; and it is ninety to one (i.e., out of those whom one does good, 90 turn out to be ungrateful for every single person who turns out to be grateful) that that human being whom I have helped will prove ungrateful and go against me; and the result to me is pain. Such things deter mankind from working; and it spoils a good portion of the work and energy of mankind, this fear of pain and misery.

Reading above quote motivated me to share my experience and insight on “The ungratefulness problem” in this article. Karma Yoga’s solution is quite simple (quoting from above book):

Karma-Yoga teaches us how to work for work’s sake, unattached, without caring who is helped, and what for. The Karma-Yogi works because it is his nature, because he feels that it is good for him to do so, and he has no object beyond that. His position in this world is that of a giver, and he never cares to receive anything. He knows that he is giving, and does not ask for anything in return and, therefore, he eludes the grasp of misery. The grasp of pain, whenever it comes, is the result of the reaction of “attachment”.

Despite Karma Yoga principle of working without expectation of result, I think it is very natural for any intelligent person to aspire for optimization of one’s efforts. If I know that person A is insensitive (and hence will turn out to be ungrateful) and person B is sensitive and truly good-hearted, I will obviously find it better to do good to person B rather than person A. So, the principle 1 to deal with “The ungratefulness problem”:

Principle 1. The help should indeed be given to only the deserving.

Since it becomes very difficult to know who is the deserving, hence, in general,

Principle 2. It is a good idea to avoid spending more than a very small (not more than 10%) percentage of time, energy, money and other resources till the first 3 decades of one’s life (till the age of 30) on doing good to others because during this period, humans are very sentimental and immature and hence are prone to emotional blackmail and exploitation and also because the first 3 decades of our live constitute the foundation upon which the whole life is built and hence, must not be weakened by dissipation and emotional, foolish idealism.

Principle 3. It is a good idea to do good to someone with the charity of knowledge rather than the charity of money and other material resources. This is because in comparison to the charity of money and other material resources, the charity of knowledge is more useful and lasting, requires less involvement and does less damage to the giver even when not used properly by the recipient. This is also because it is better to teach people to grow apples rather than give them apples. In one of the letters to his Gurubhai (brother disciple) Swami Brahmananda, Swami Vivekananda writes: “I see very well that my policy is wrong, and yours is correct, regarding helping others; that is to say, if you help with money too much at a time, people instead of feeling grateful remark on the contrary that they have got a simpleton to bank upon. I always lost sight of the demoralising influence of charity on the receiver.” A great lesson indeed for us!

Principle 4. It is a good idea to do good to someone under the framework of full transparency and adequate accountability and without exposing oneself to emotional blackmail and manipulation one should stop the help the moment full transparency or adequate accountability is not shown by the recipient.

Principle 5. It is a good idea to do good to someone with feedback from multiple sources on a continuous basis. This ensures that the giver knows whether he is getting emotionally blackmailed or duped by the recipient by taking feedback from others who can give an objective, independent view of the situation and the recipient’s character.

Also, even if we accept that individuals, more often than not, turn out to be ungrateful, we have to accept that enough good work is getting done by individuals and organizations with great support from individuals. How is that possible? The explanation, in my humble opinion, lies below:

Principle 6. One should always prefer doing good to society on group basis rather than on one-on-one basis. This is because group psychology works differently from individual psychology: every individual wants to maintain a good image before his/her group even if he/she may have a very defective character. If I do good to 91 individuals on one-on-one basis, 90 will turn against me in most ungrateful manner and only 1 will stay grateful. But, if I do good to 91 individuals on collective basis (all together), the group of 91 will most likely stay grateful towards me and help me in my social and political work because even the worst type person wants to maintain a positive image in his/her group. That probably explains why people like Anna Hazare got so much support and respect from his villagers eventually and how people like Gandhiji, Subhas Chandra Bose and other social and political activists were able to do so much good to humanity.

If some people show ungratefulness, should we never render personal help? No. We should, but

Principle 7. One should do good to others on individual basis also but only after an intelligent analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the persons being helped by a team of people (and not just alone) and only to the extent that any ungratefulness does not hurt one’s bigger plans for social and political work beyond the completely manageable extent.

The significance of principle 7 is many times the needy people can be helped only on individual basis and not doing such help just because of the possibility of “the ungratefulness problem” will be quite inhuman and selfish.

What if one actually experiences “the ungratefulness problem” despite taking all intelligent steps to avoid or mitigate it or due to an erroneous faith leading to subsequent betrayal?

Principle 8. Even in face of ungratefulness, one should still believe that the vast majority of humans want to be good people, but many fail because of weak minds and deserve compassionate forgiveness rather than hatred and hence, despite ungratefulness shown by some people, one should consider the ungrateful people as teachers, learn the lessons they taught for ever and continue practising intelligent compassion with one’s zeal and faith in humanity fully intact.

Are there other principles or insights involved in managing “The ungratefulness problem”? If yes, please share with me and my readers in comment section below.

I will end this article with a heart-warming instance of gratefulness and honest character :).

In 2013, my maid said to me one day, “I am going to my village to get my daughter married and will need to spend Rs. 50k to Rs. 1 lakh for this purpose and will be taking loans from people for this. Please give me some loan. I will get my daughter married and then come back after 4-5 months and then return loan to you.” I, being too short on money these days, wanted to give her a loan of Rs. 5k, but even that much money was not present with me that time and hence, I could give her only Rs. 1k loan. Though I was feeling quite frustrated that I could not give her more, she was quite glad with even Rs. 1k loan and went away.

But, she did not return even after 6 months. And I started thinking that she will never return and just fooled me. I said to even my room-partner, “Even she cheated me. If she would have just said that she cannot return the money, I would have gladly accepted and yet would have given her the money for her daughter’s marriage? Why do people cheat? Sigh!” What was hurting me was not the loss of money, but the betrayal of trust.

After 9 months’ gap, one day someone knocked on my door and when I opened her, I found my maid there and became extremely elated because I knew that she did not cheat me and had come to return money. My faith in the principle of helping others restored, I told her not to worry about returning the money. But, I asked, “I thought, you will not come back and have cheated me. Would you have come back if the money would have been tens of thousands or lakhs of rupees?” She replied, “I do not believe in cheating anyone. I would have come back even if it would have been lakhs or crores of rupees. Why would I cheat anyone? This is a big sin which I can never do with anyone.”

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Socio-political issues | 7 Comments »

The greatest shortcoming of our great saints/”spiritual leaders”

Posted by Gopal on December 9, 2013


Is that “they always showed first-class good will, but also third-class ability for practical thinking and execution”. There are only few exceptions like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda, Guru Govind Singh, etc. to this general trend of our spiritual leaders. Let me cite some instances of such third-class ability for practical thinking and execution (my apologies if anyone gets hurt – as long as my language is civil, I am within my ethical and legal bounds to express my opinions).

  1. Swami Vivekananda
    1. Suggested his Ramakrishna Mission members to “follow the line of the least resistance” and “avoid politics completely for ever” with the reasoning that then Mission work will last for the longest time (as if longevity of organization rather than its actual contribution is the real virtue). So, RK Mission became just a charitable organization despite all his good will for changing the face of India through his Mission. His RK Mission did not contribute to any social or political reform, not even on something innocuous and inhuman like bondage labour problem in rural Bengal.  Truth is India needed RK Mission for pressing social and political reforms, but they stuck to their line of charitable work in spite of so many problems in India.
    2. Believed and preached that only people who become monks will be able to do their best to humanity. (What about J. R. D. Tata, Bill Gates, so many married scientists and engineers etc. then – who invented polio vaccine to save children from crippling handicaps – an RK Mission monk???) Such extremist views degrade and demoralize those who perpetuate the human race and do so much good to humanity. The contribution of good-hearted married people is billion times more than that of good-hearted monks if we count all the blessings that democracy, mass education and various researches of science and technology brought to humanity.
    3. More resources should be spent on the less capable than the more capable sections. One of his quotes was along this line: a person of less intellectual abilities should be given better teachers than a person of more intellectual abilities. So, as per him, the best teachers should be given to the least capable persons. This type of socialistic vision is a total disaster because only to some extent, egalitarianism can be followed in intellectual and spiritual planes – beyond that, individuals constitute a clear-cut pyramidical hierarchy on these planes which can never be leveled down as people are born with different levels of talents in different dimensions of life.
    4. Preached but did not give practical knowledge on yoga and brahmacharya which could be spread to the masses and thus, all his exhortation to spread yoga and brahmacharya from door to door remained just on paper.
    5. I am so dissatisfied with the implications and impracticality of his teachings on social and political dimensions that I consider him now a role-model only on personal development aspects as explained in this article.
    6. Still, his good will was so strong that despite above impracticalities, he influenced so many non-RK Mission good-hearted people who did many good social and political reforms in India. But, unless we realize the practical shortcomings of our great spiritual leaders, we will get only miseries while trying to go good to humanity. So, I have included his shortcomings as well here.
  2. Ramakrishna Paramahansa
    1. Wept by seeing the poor during a pilgrimage and relented to move ahead only when his rich accompanier fed and clothed the poor. What next? Nothing, the story was over with this.
    2. Why did he not think deeply on how India had so much poverty? More than 2 crores of people died in India due to famines under British misrule in his own lifetime. But, all his compassion did not lead to finding the root cause of British misrule and he was the person who berated the “rajasic” nature of politics and politicians so much before his disciples that even his brilliant disciple, Swami Vivekananda, could not avoid berating politics while talking about compassion to the poor. What a great intellectual self-contradiction and paradox shown by him and his disciple, Swami Vivekananda. And since, RK Mission did not do a single thing to solve the political angle of poverty in last 110+ years of its existence, we cannot claim that Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Swami Vivekananda berated politics for the time-being because the time was not ripe. Also, from the anti-politics language that Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Swami Vivekananda used, it is fully clear that they berated politics ideologically which means for ever and not for the time-being.
  3. Swami Sivananda
    1. Supported the fully impractical advice of Gandhiji that parents should use lifelong celibacy as the only family planning method after 1-2 kids and all contraceptives should be banned in India because they give us licenses to avoid celibacy and thus weaken us morally and spiritually. The truth is: lifelong celibacy after having 1-2 kids is not possible for a majority of people and if Indian Government would have followed the fully impractical advice of ban on contraceptives, then our population would have been at least 3 billion rather than 1 billion. Thanks heavens! There was no ban on contraceptives in India.
    2. He clearly says, 6 hours (from 10 pm to 4 am or so) is enough for every adult. The fact is different adults need different sleep hours from 6 to 8 and I have myself seen more productive people in 7-8 range than 6-7 range of sleep hours. Our sages do not follow scientific approach of gathering lots of random data and then arriving at the conclusion as done in every scientific study of worth – they inevitably indulge in illicit generalizations and give many impractical advices to others.
  4. Osho
    1. I need not mention many things about him, but here I will mention one thing. He derided modern psychiatry as useless by citing maximum suicide rate among the psychiatrists. This is using a piece of information without going into deeper reasons like done in a truly scientific approach. Truth is that the suicide rate among psychiatrists is high only because they do self-medication or ignore their emotional problems before it is too late (like many of us do at times) instead of going to some other psychiatrist when facing serious emotional problems – this is just a professional blindspot which psychiatrists and other physicians need to overcome and does not in any way take away anything from the importance of psychiatric medicines in dealing with serious emotional problems in emergency situations. But, when you learn a fragment of information and make a doctrine out of that without doing proper studies, you end up with unscientific and misguiding conclusions. This is a problem with not just Osho, but, in my humble opinion, with many influential saints of India in present as well as past.
  5. Overall failings
    1. No real thinking on high degree of political accountability. Ravan, Kansa, Duryodhana, etc. so many kings proved that due to lack of political accountability, monarchy can bring ruin to millions and for decades. Even if we consider them mythological stories, still they clearly point toward the shortcomings of monarchy. This is the failure of our Rishis and Munis in my opinion. Have we ever heard our great Lord Buddha doing anything on this issue – he could have influenced a couple of his king disciples to abolish monarchy? No, he did nothing like this despite all talks of compassion and despite all the mass crimes that concentration of power with no accountability produces in monarchy and dictatorial regimes. It is a pity that we became a democratic country after the British rule and not earlier.
    2. No real thinking on roots of poverty despite all the talks of kindness. Otherwise, some economic and financial reforms would have been introduced by our spiritual leaders for sure.
    3. No real thinking on roots of crime despite all the talks of kindness. Otherwise, some administrative reforms would have been introduced by our spiritual leaders for sure.
    4. ….
    5. No real thinking on anything except how to get personal liberation.

Conclusion

  1. So, it is clear that barring few exceptions, our saints have done no real thinking on anything except how to get personal liberation. They took the lopsided view that the experience of world depends on our mind and by transcending our mind, we will transcend the miseries of the world. The reality is that transcending the mind and hence the world is beyond the reach of the majority as it requires lifelong celibacy practice from early 30s onward or earlier. They should have given some thought on practical realities of this world also that for a majority who are not so enlightened, the experience of world depends on our mind as well as how the world is structured and that by changing the structure of the world in its numerous dimensions like politics, economics, education, etc., the true compassion can be shown on humanity by making them have happier experience of the world.
  2. So, basically, our saints failed in making bridge between their own enlightened spiritual state and the practical realities of this world and most unintelligently ignored many practical realities of this world while trying to ease human sufferings.
  3. But, why did this happen?
  4. Because as per the law of karma, you achieve more perfection through more practice and you lose more perfection through less practice. Meditation and yoga require very little hard thinking. Practice of thoughtless awareness or prolonged concentration on an object or idea as done in meditation does not require exercise of one’s thinking faculty and hence, cannot make any one so intelligent that one will become a great thinker on every aspect of life. We, Indians, never understood this and believed that if our saints are silent on political, social and economic reforms, this means such reforms are not meaningful and important for humanity.
  5. Even a brahma-jnani (enlightened saint) can teach us about only one thing which is how to attain brahma-jnana and not about the needed political, social and economic reforms. But, historically we put our enlightened sages on such high pedestal that we lost our own discernment and ability for independent and deep thinking on our political, social and economic problems just because our enlightened sages did not bother to do independent and deep thinking on them. So, if the leader (saint) is to be blamed, the followers (the rest people) are also to be blamed. We should not do foolishness like this again:
    1. If Buddha is fine with walking whole life, we thought, there is no need then to bother about speeding up travel time by going beyond ancient bullock-cart technology.
    2. If no saint of Punjab is bothering about building “Great Indian Wall” in North-Western India to stop foreign invasion (like the Chinese did in their country), we thought, there is no need then for this wall to stop foreign invasion.
    3. If Ramakrishna Paramahansa is happy by just making his rich accompaniment feeding and clothing the poor, we thought, there is no need then to look into the political roots of such massive poverty in India.
    4. If Swami Vivekananda is berating politics (under obvious and unfortunate influence of his Guru who used to berate politics whole life) as inferior, then politics is really inferior and we need not bother about politics.
    5. If our Rishis are fine with monarchy, we thought, there is no need for alternative political system with more political accountability.
    6. All such things were instances of our foolishness only. A really intelligent Prime Minister of a democratic country will never hire someone like Buddha as Transport Minister, someone like Ramakrishna Paramahansa as “Poverty Alleviation Minister” (despite his immense compassion), someone like Swami Sivananda as “Family Planning Minister”, someone like Swami Vivekananda as “Panchayati Raj Minister” (as politics is inferior as per Swami Vivekananda and Panchayats are political institutions) and so on so forth.
  6. Final conclusion. If we are or want to become really intelligent, we must never accept anything blindly a saint says about political, social or economic problems with great faith as, in a majority of cases, it is not the domain in which the saint has done enough sustained studies and thinking to be a good enough thinker and hence, cannot be expected to be authoritative and correct despite any illusions that the saint or his/her followers may like to harbor – because “those who do not learn from the history are doomed to repeat it like we, foolish Indians, have repeated till 19th century.” But we did not repeat such mistakes that much in 20th century. So, India of 2000 AD is million times better than India of 1900 AD and if we completely eliminate the habit of getting blindly influenced by our saints’ attitudes and thinking on political, social and economic dimensions of our national life and do fresh, independent thinking ourselves, basing such thinking on universal spiritual values preached by all spiritual saints and traditions to the extent it is practically effective in face of (often more harsh than honeyed) ground realities, India of 2100 AD will be a trillion times better than the India of 2000 AD.

Thanks,

Gopal

ps: Mar 20, 2014 update -

These days one thought keeps coming to mind almost every day: ‘The people who blindly believe in saints will always get a very rude shock from this world. “Virtue is its own reward. Only good comes out of the good. A person with intense spirit of service and renunciation can induce goodness in others. The end of justice must be served at all costs. Social interests should always come before personal and family desires. So on and so forth.” These assertions of saints used to be my guiding posts in pre-teens, teens and 20s even though I got many warnings from common man about their untruth but which I totally rejected as utterances of people who lack high inner purity and social consciousness.

But, I realized that at least in the short span of my life till now, the warnings from common man turned out to be true and whatever I ended up learning and emulating from the teachings of the saints turned out to be false.

I have reached the rock bottom of my ideological journey. I will have to reinvent my life and social consciousness. What I mind is not failures and disappointments despite one’s best efforts, but foolishness and blindness. I think, I became more foolish and blind about the world’s realities due to naive faith in the teachings of saints. The saints who knew the absolute and universal truth of Supreme Reality turned out to be so ignorant about the relative and partial truths of this world.

But, as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. My next phase of life will surely see me coming up with the highest level of will, tenacity and practicality. I will prove that the good, the just and the true can and will triumph in this world eventually.

Posted in Socio-political issues | 30 Comments »

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!

Posted by Gopal on November 9, 2013


Dear friends,

There are times when you face the most serious ideological crisis of “to be or not to be”, a crisis which makes all the convictions and ideals for which you pledged your life to be so topsy-turvy as to sound an unachievable utopia and with that you feel your life has lost its vitality and purpose, perhaps never to gain them back again. Amidst such crisis, sometimes a blazing inspiration comes from the soul which can be perhaps expressed well only in the form of a poem. Here is my expression in the form of below poem as a result of facing such a crisis in my own life for over last 2 years:

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Amidsts the fallen comrades and forsaken hopes.
Cross this bottomless abyss upon conviction’s ropes.
Let ground beneath shake, but may thy soul be firm!
Thy dreams may seem too far, yet, O dreamer, affirm!
Has ever a calm sea made a greatly skillful sailor?
So, even when hit hardest, let thy resolve stay stellar!

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
The toughest only survives the toughest ordeal!
The bravest only fulfills humanity’s greatest weal!
When the wind is smooth, anyone can sustain hope!
Amidst tempests in voyage, only true heroes cope!
Even when thy hopes fade and thy dreams discolour!
Till the last, stay a hero and honor them with valour! (“them” here refers to dreams which have become less attractive due to fading hopes)

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Victories may be praised by the crowd, but defeats are also great.
When like Socrates, the defeated stoically challenge tyranny’s fate.
The resolute smith’s unyielding hammer strikes finally its ultimate blow.
Cracking the hard rock in hot sun, though sweet success may seem slow.
Like the resplendent palace, the last blow may have earned the crown.
Seldom praised is unseen foundation, which but only failed blows own.

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Too hard though obstacles seem, let mighty be thy resolve!
Know that with dogged courage, they always do dissolve!
In splendid light of success in life, so easily everyone smiles!
But, really great is the soul, smiling even at grim fate’s wiles.
As he sees light of duty within even in completely dark night!
What cruel destiny can bring to him then any pain or fright?

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Disappointments bring despair, yet brave hearts resist!
Even under gloomy sky, let thy soul steadily persist!
Blazing fire is the test for the gold that all adore and adorn.
But, the test for heroes is steady faith even with hopes torn.
One more blow, one more resolve and yet again one more stride.
Such fiery ardour till the last is the soil that grows humanity’s pride.

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Brave one! Recall thy pledge made to fiendish past! (pledge of “never again” to fiendish past)
Die in the battle, but let thy covenant with future last! (covenant with future – to change the past for ever)
A daring great soldier are thou, for a daring great cause!
Quit life but never the cause, albeit thou may take pause!
Sacrificing lower self fully, even gallant heroes at times dread.
Yet without melting, towards jewellery can gold forge ahead?

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Petty desires of life – stained, transient and fleeting.
Even the magnificent fame is fading and retreating.
O noble one! Thy dream, thy ideal lies beyond these straws.
To the pristine purity of love, unwaveringly thy life draws.
Whilst myriad thorns jab thy dream now, yet they shall never last.
Nobility wins even in defeats, so forever shall triumph thy love vast.

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Brave one! Summon all thy will and again reckon thy spirit!
Make the valiant dash and show valour that heroes inherit.
What fear for thou! Thunderbolt is thy will, astounding thy grit.
Before thy stout heart, all gusts and gales of life have to submit.
Lion’s roar in thy radiant heart shall set aflame all trials and travails.
So, stir thy mighty soul and halt not till thy exalted cause prevails.

(Written at New Delhi during 8th Nov, 2013: 11:15 pm to 9th Nov, 2013: 3:15 am)

Thanks,

Gopal

ps: It took 4 hours to express my inspiration – sigh! Blame it on my poor English vocabulary. I had to use Chambers Thesaurus (to find equivalent words) and online rhyme sites like http://rhymebrain.com and http://wikirhymer.com to write the poem. Yet, I must admit that very strong inspiration does not last long and hence, once I felt strongly inspired, I started writing the poem and ended it only after finishing it up. It was like releasing my pent up emotions after 2 year long “trial of fire”. Feeling relieved, relaxed and happy now. Hope, the poem seems inspiring and well-written to all readers. Feel free to offer your comments (and point any spelling errors :)).

Posted in Socio-political issues | 2 Comments »

Humans need to become super-geeks.

Posted by Gopal on May 9, 2013


Hi friends,

Being from Computer Science background, I have been learning and exploring the cutting edge Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for last 10 years. I do believe that ICT is the biggest game-changer technology in the history of humanity so far. It can bring and has already brought mind-blowing changes in every arena of human life. I need not cite examples as they are aplenty, web-browsing and email being the most obvious ones.

I think, in India we are still low on scale while using ICT. If you ask me the ideal plan of action for making ourselves and our family super-geek, I will list the following:

  1. Have a computer tablet in your family which the kid can use starting from his/her 0th birthday :-), that is, just from his/her first day on Earth – well, his/her mother can use it for him/her various – good videos, pictures, audios to relax and let him/her learn things.
  2. Gift him/her a smartphone once he/she is 13 – smartphone can help the kid get a good sleep using sleep cycle alarm app (see my previous article for details), has many good games for memory improvement, relaxation, time management and so on so forth, all of which will help improve the productivity of the kid. Since mobile emits radio waves whose potential health hazards are not fully understood, it will be better to wait till the kid turns 13 before he/she gets the smartphone. Even in teenage, the kid should use speaker or earphone to talk rather than keeping the mobile closer to ears to minimize any potential health hazards. After teenage, so many precautions will not be needed as brain is largely well-developed by then and hence radio waves’ potential harm is significantly less. Before teenage, the kid can be given a tablet which will have all apps of smartphone also as these apps are written for both tablets and smartphones.
  3. Once the kid can type well on your laptop/desktop with his/her little fingers (probably by the age of 5-6), give him/her his/her own laptop.
  4. Help the kid learn various computer applications like office applications, browser, email, etc. with time as he/she grows.
  5. Help the kid learn at least 4 computer science courses whenever he/she shows readiness (be it before the age of 10 or 14 or later):
    1. C++ programming language – the master programming language. If one knows it, one will find learning any programming language much easier and smoother.
    2. Algorithm and data structure
    3. Computer Networking
    4. Artificial Intelligence

    All these courses are available on internet in video format from top-tier colleges of the world. These courses should be offered in every high school to the interested person on optional basis and should be made compulsory in every bachelor degree program (though the schools and colleges may make them non-graded courses to ease out the stress of students), be it a bachelor degree in humanities, commerce, medicine or any stream of science and engineering. Students should be encouraged to take up advanced courses of computer science in high schools and colleges based on their interests. And of course, parents should help their kids learn these courses as soon as the kids show the aptitude to learn them.

  6. I think, above 5 steps will give the basic foundation to kids in ICT and then depending on personal interest and aptitude, the kids can fly out in the infinite sky of ICT as much as he/she wants. There have been cases of doctors in USA writing out software for medical application and then selling it to Microsoft. Computer programming (all 4 courses listed above make you a smart computer programmer) surely should be learnt by everyone irrespective of eventual career goals if we want to be super-geeks in true sense.
  7. Also of course, not only kids, but every human being of all ages should have his/her own smartphone as well as a laptop and learn computer programming by doing above 4 courses.
  8. And lastly this extremely important point. Use various internet filter software/apps like Safe Eyes, Funamo, K9, etc. (search and try out more software/apps before using anyone) on all smartphones, tablets and laptops. Apart from ensuring internet filtering, one can also set up the use of smartphones, tablets and laptops allowed only during fixed time or for fixed duration every day using these software/apps. This will then allow only proper and productive use of internet and these gadgets.

Using ICT technology in all facets of our personal and collective life, let us become super-geeks and have super-geeky families, organizations, society and human race. This will spur lots of positive and creative energies in the world, for sure.

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Socio-political issues | 5 Comments »

Use sleep-cycle based alarm to daily wake up feeling fully fresh.

Posted by Gopal on May 9, 2013


Hi friends,

Very recently, fed up with failure of all the ideas that I could come up in life so far to ensure waking up daily feeling fully fresh, I remembered about sleep-cycle article that I read on internet few years ago. The research says that if you wake up from deep sleep due to alarm, you will surely feel tired and foggy irrespective of how long you slept. This does make sense because moving abruptly from deep sleep to wakefulness is not acceptable to body-mind complex as nature abhors abruptness. The problem is deeper because during every 1.5 hrs or so (exact timing changes with person to person) while sleeping, we experience one full sleep cycle consisting of very light, light and deep sleep and this cycle keeps on repeating throughout our sleep. So, even if we have slept 8 hrs, we might be still in deep sleep stage when the alarm wakes up.

But, I never found such an alarm which can use sleep cycle tracking and wake me up during light phase of sleep on amazon.com while searching last few years. As I had just bought an android smartphone few weeks ago, naturally I thought whether there is an app on “Android Play Store” to do this. And I found not just one but 3-4 apps there. The basic idea of these apps is that your smartphone has an accelerometer sensor which can register any motion (including jerks). So, if you use “sleep-cycle based app” on your smartphone by keeping it under your pillow or even nearby on the mattress, it will register all motions that your body movements during sleep produce. Since during deep sleep, body movements are quite less and as the sleep gets lighter, body movements also become more, your app knows when you are in deep sleep and when in light sleep. And it wakes up during the lightest part of the sleep within the “wake up” window you set. Like you may set, wake up during 3 am to 3:30 am if you sleep at 9 pm. So, it will choose the lightest sleep stage in 3 am to 3:30 am range to wake you up and you will feel so light and fresh not just one day but every day of life. By the way, this type of app is also available on iPhone – in fact, it first appeared on iPhone (Steve Jobs was the ultimate pioneer for sure – :-)) and got developed on android later. You may search on internet whether this app is present on Microsoft’s smartphone – if not, do not buy it :-) as waking up fresh every day is the most important productivity technique that one needs whole life. Smartphones have the option of airplane or flight mode enabling which during sleep will ensure no signal transmission and reception, eliminating any possible health hazards of electromagnetic signals emitted by smartphones in normal mode.

Well, do not think that smartphone is called smartphone for nothing. They have amazing apps for everything to improve your productivity from helping you sleep well to track your goals, notify you of various important events and awesome time-management apps for both daily as well as long-term time-management (I myself am happily using “Time Recording” android app for time-management purpose – you can find such apps on iPhone also). You just have to search app stores of iPhone, Android (and I hope, Microsoft’s) for these apps, try a bunch of them to figure out which one is the best for you and then buy them (in case they are not free – generally, the cost is not more than 1-2 dollars which is small enough if you really feel the need of app for improving your productivity).

I do believe now that every person should have a smartphone and not the dumb phone – internet distraction on smartphone can also be controlled by great apps (for example, I use funamo app on my smartphone for internet distraction control). So, smartphone can only add to your life – it is all sweetness :-). So, if you do not have a smartphone yet, go and buy one for yourself and your kids (if any).

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Socio-political issues | 6 Comments »

The need to revive Rishi tradition (brahmacharya in married life)

Posted by Gopal on February 2, 2013


Hi friends,

My blog has a very good content on brahmacharya and yoga (even on student life – though brahmacharya articles are most popular). Brahmacharya practice has become very difficult these days due to bombardment of our mind 24×7 since a small age with all kinds of male-female consciousness promoting visuals through various forms of electronic media and internet. In my own experience, I find even spiritual people getting bewildered at whether it is really possible to practise full celibacy in current times – of course, materialistic people are completely gone as far as celibacy is concerned.

But, I do not blame them because they were not guided properly by anyone. Thanks to my brahmacharya system which I fondly call “Mind-blowing, cutting-edge, state-of-the-art 12-point formula” I have now developed a satisfactory grip on this celibacy challenge in my own life. I feel that I have really given cutting-edge guidance on my blog and anyone who is fully sincere will definitely find satisfactory success after following this 12-point formula.

Inspired by Moses’ 10 commandments, I keep on making small-small improvements to my 12-point formula to make it the perfect formula for all brahmacharya aspirants so that it can also continue guiding the spiritual segment of humanity for next few thousand years at least :) – modesty of aspirations is definitely not my quality – hehehe.

My biggest wish is to see brahmachari families like those of Vedic Rishis rather than monks and my spiritual writings will always be towards that end. I am definitely not a fan of monastic system after having seen how little monks have contributed to India’s freedom struggle and numerous social and political challenges of post-Independence India and other parts of the world. By not having families, most spiritual people tend to lose interest and/or practical approach towards society and of course, spiritual quality of society also goes down when spiritual people do not beget children –  exceptions to this arise only when one is very, very big-hearted and socially conscious like Swami Vivekananda himself was, but which most monks are not. I am confident that spiritual couples will be able to maintain lifelong celibacy through 100% sincere application of 12-point formula from 29-30 (or at worst 32-33) onward.  As per my knowledge and understanding of the science of yoga, a very accurate 8-point formula :) to produce intellectual and spiritually evolved offsprings is as follows:

  1. Ideally both spouses should practise celibacy for at least 1 year continuously for having 1 child (for next child, again at least 1 year celibacy) – this can be done only by spiritually high level people. But, even spiritual beginners should practise at least 1 month celibacy practice before conceiving the child.
  2. The child should be conceived in a positive frame of mind and at a good moment. Though astrology can provide very good moments for conception, it is not 100% accurate science nor we have very reliable astrologers. But, one moment is always good as per yoga and that is brahmamuhurta period (4 am to 5 am can be considered the right brahmamuhurta period). So, it is best to conceive the child between 4 am to 5 am.
  3. The conception day should be planned based on biological phase of wife as males are always in a position to procreate.
  4. If possible, one can move to a peaceful place also for this purpose. Though it is not an absolute necessity because early morning period between 4 am to 5 am is always peaceful in any part of the world.
  5. The day before conception day should be spent in juice-fasting (or liquid diets barring milk as milk’s digestion takes a long time) so that mind feels more and more peaceful and saturated with sattva. The whole day should be spent in meditation and reading/watching good things related to qualities you want in your child. One should also “write and read aloud auto-suggestions” repeatedly for 10-15 min throughout whole day regarding qualities one wants in the child. (Writing involves touch and vision and reading aloud involves hearing and vision – so, all 3 most powerful senses, touch, vision and hearing are involved in this auto-suggestion technique making it very effective.) Auto-suggestion must have one common, extremely meaningful part: “May my kid inherit all good qualities of mine and my spouse, but none of our bad qualities” plus some additional qualities based on what kind of soul one wants to attract. For example, a spiritual and politically conscious geek like me may desire a kid with additional good qualities: “(1) Spiritual level of Swami Vivekananda, (1) Mathematical intelligence and 230+ IQ level of Terence Tao, (3) Business skill of Bill Gates, (4) Self-sacrificing spirit of Guru Govind Singh and (5) Political skill of Mahatma Gandhi”. So, in such a case, reading/watching good things and auto-suggestions will also focus on these 5 good qualities. But, if someone is a cricket fan, then he can desire 3 additional qualities like: “(1) Batting skill of Sachin Tendulkar, (2) Fielding skill of Jonty Rhodes, and (3) Bowling skill of Glenn Mcgrath”. And so on, so forth for other qualities of arts, dance, music, acting, sports, etc. In fact, the process of auto-suggestion regarding the child should be carried out for 10-15 min over few weeks/months also before the conception day for even better results and mother should carry out this process of auto-suggestion throughout pregnancy period to have a good impact on the child.
  6. On conception day, the couples should wake up between 3 am to 3:30 am (or even before) and have morning ablutions finished (living on juice and soup previous day helps in finishing ablutions in early morning itself even without prior habit) – this will make them feel very fresh. Then, they should meditate for at least 30 min. Then, they should have fruits or fruit-juices or vegetable soups to feel energised (no other food just after fasting is recommended). Then, they should “write and read aloud repeatedly” for 10-15 min auto-suggestions regarding qualities they want in their child (which must include the common, extremely meaningful part: “May my kid inherit all good qualities of myself and my spouse, but none of our bad qualities“) and watch few min videos/pictures also of those persons who have these qualities. Then, in this frame of mind, they should conceive the child – throughout the process, they should talk or think or watch pictures/videos about these qualities. Due to many other reasons, missionary position is less passionate and more respectful and is also most suitable for conception and hence, should be used for procreational sex. Also, since males are visually very excitable and since in procreational sex (sex for producing progeny) one needs to have the least trace of passion or pleasure sense (zero passion in procreational sex is not possible because sex is rajasic by its very nature, but the feeling of passion or pleasure sense in mind should be kept to a minimum during procreational sex using all possible methods), it will be better to perform the process in the least needed light in the bedroom (one may close off eyes to deal with any uncomfort due to less light like one does during meditation) and for both parents to keep talking aloud or thinking about the desired qualities in the kid as explained above till the very moment of conception and even for few more minutes after conception.
  7. During pregnancy, both spouses should practise celibacy. This is easy for wife as during pregnancy their sensual desires automatically subside. But, males are often disastrous when it comes to celibacy practice even during such phase – they should keep themselves away from wife during pregnancy at all costs if they find it difficult to maintain celibacy. Good diet, peaceful mind and daily auto-suggestions as suggested above and reading/watching good things related to qualities desired in kids should be carried out by the wife throughout pregnancy period as that will shape up the personality of the child along positive direction.
  8. Lastly, when the child arrives, consider him/her as a gift and not your possession. Remember, there are 4 types of parenting: (1) Give neither love nor guidance to kids – negligent parenting, (2) Give love but not guidance – indulgent parenting, (3) Give guidance but not love – authoritarian parenting, and (4) Give both love and guidance – good parenting. First 3 types of parenting always produce disastrous results. Only the 4th type of parenting is right. So, give both love and guidance to your child which means give maximum possible freedom to your kids to evolve their life in a unique and creative way as per their inclination and taste.

Coming back to the reason behind my pro-marriage stance, the change has happened only in last 2 years after gaining some hard experiences in life because before that I was believing under infatuating influence of Swami Vivekananda that a band of monks will change this world :) – now it has become a band of brahmacharis (they may be monks or brahmachari householders) will change this world. (I consider brahmacharya to be so challenging in present times that I believe a substantial number of brahmacharya aspirants in the world will definitely use much or whole of 12-point formula to tide over the challenge of lifelong celibacy).  I believe that if anyone decides to become a monk, he/she can justify that decision only and only through active participation in at least one more creative dimension of life, be it like Science (Newton was also a bachelor and celibate), Technology, Academia, Industry, Arts & Music, Politics, etc.

I know I have strong convictions and aspirations – one is free to happily disagree with some of these and I am also free to happily plod on for my convictions and aspirations. Cheers.

I also have to add that I believe that first sex should be procreational in marriage for those who are practising celibacy before marriage. Explanation is given below.

  1. First sex in married life of a spiritual couple should be for procreational purpose (child). There are many strong reasons for this:
    • Couple who have been practicing celibacy for many years before marriage will bring forth one or more (in case of twins, etc.) very powerful souls (intellectually as well as spiritually very powerful) if they break celibacy of many years before marriage for procreation rather than recreation.
    • The very idea of breaking celibacy of many years for small, fleeting pleasure of recreational sex is revolting and terrifying to any spiritual person and as long as this idea is the only idea of marriage, no spiritual person will try to get married even if he/she has very high social consciousness.
    • But, spiritual persons with very high social consciousness will not mind breaking celibacy of many years for bringing very powerful souls because then there will be very big result of maintaining celibacy for many years before marriage in the form of a powerful soul as one’s child.
    • Also, well-begun is half-done. Marital life of a spiritual couple should begin at the most refined level of physical love, which is physical love for producing kids. Physical love for fleeting pleasure is very gross in spiritual sense and not something with which a spiritual couple should consummate their marriage.
    • The couple can get engaged after finding each other as mutually suitable for being life-partners and wait for marriage till both are ready emotionally, intellectually and financially for becoming parents.
    • Having a kid in the beginning of married life will further purify the minds of the spiritual couple. In contrast, keeping first few years free from kids for exclusive recreational sex will degrade the mind of even otherwise spiritual people and may even destroy their spirituality beyond repair. But, with a kid in the very beginning of married life, their mind will know a higher level of love from very beginning and their spiritual qualities will stay intact.
    • This will also set tone for having 2nd kid also after practising celibacy for 1 year or more.
    • It is wrong to expect that just because someone is advanced in spirituality, he/she will have no desire for recreational sex – even Swami Brahmananda, the brother disciple of Swami Vivekananda and whom Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa called his spiritual son, went into married life for fulfilling desire for recreational sex as per Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa himself but being spiritually advanced, got over that very soon and after having a kid, practised lifelong celibacy. This desire is the strongest desire of mind. Keeping this desire under command through lifelong celibacy from the age of 32-33 or earlier is the biggest and in fact the only real challenge of spirituality (rest all spiritual principles like non-attachment, transcendence of self, etc. are fully realized only after one succeeds fully in celibacy principle). Only in the 2nd highest stage of spirituality when kundalini reaches Ajna Chakra and this Chakra becomes fully active (one stays aware 24 x 7 – some awareness remains even during deep sleep unlike in case of normal persons, who lose all awareness during deep sleep), one transcends male-female duality and become a natural brahmachari or celibate. But, a spiritual couple should ensure first sex in married life as a procreational sex and 2nd kid also after celibacy by both for 1 year or more along with celibacy during pregnancy periods. If the desire is strong, they can have recreational sex for few months or years (the lesser the better) in married life just to know experientially (and not just intellectually which is many times not enough for many to gain full understanding and conviction) the spiritually petty circle of “gather vital energy and throw it away for momentary, fleeting pleasurable sensations and repeat ad nauseam destroying all chances for realization of permanent spiritual bliss through lifelong celibacy”. Eventually, the spiritual couple should go for lifelong celibacy together from 32-33 or earlier after having two priceless kids with them as their vital contribution to the society who needs further nurturing and training in a mature family life of the spiritual couple to become ultimate gems eventually for the society.
  2. Despite all our spiritual greatness, Indian civilization has fared very badly in other arenas of human life and I can put that to one and one reason alone – inability to integrate 4 purusharthas or domains of life (kama or sense pleasure, artha or wealth, dharma or righteousness and moksha or spiritual realization) – only a person who has reached the level of moksha to a great extent (pure spirituality) can integrate all 4, one who has reached till dharma can integrate first 3 and integrating the first 2 is in any case too average and commonplace to give any boost to any civilization – many civilizations got completely destroyed despite having greatness in kama and artha like Roman Empire as they could not reach the higher level. Due to lack of integration of the 4 domains of life, we could not achieve greatness in other arenas, but at least our civilization is surviving because of spiritual power. But, this is merely surviving and not thriving and we cannot become world leaders by merely surviving – we must thrive as a nation and civilization. Hence, as a rule or principle, I support “householder yogis” (those who live like Sannyasis after having kids) over sannyas now as better for humanity and India – of course, principle meant only for spiritually evolved people who are 1 in a million – rest will be normal householders. (understanding developed just in last 2 years – before that, I was ideologically opposite :))

I will call such spiritual couple, Sarvodaya Yogis/Rishis :). If I had age with me, I would have set an example myself through such marriage, but I am no longer in 20s and hence, will have to leave this task of creating “Sarvodaya Yogi/Rishi” tradition for younger people. I will probably be a Sarvodaya Sannyasin and combine spirituality with politics in my life as my mega contribution to Indian society and civilization.

Thanks,

Gopal

 

Posted in Socio-political issues | 18 Comments »

 
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