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Sant Gadge Baba ‘Swachata Abhiyan’

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Gadge maharaj or gadge baba was a saintly social reformer. His vision for the villages continues to be a source of inspiration for many political parties. He was born on February 23, 1876.  Tomorrow i.e.
December 20th happens to be his ‘barsi’. He died on this day in 1956.
What was unique with this saintly reformer? He motivated people to stop animal sacrifice as a part of religious rituals. He campaigned against alcohol and drug abuse. However, the most important facet of his reforms was his ‘swachta abhiyan’. He would travel from village to village and encourage them to maintain cleanliness. His influential ways won him a large following.

What is more important is that he inspired villagers to follow “do it yourself mode”. In this, the villagers would not look for outside help- financial or otherwise. They would collect the resources and keep the village clean themselves.

The Government of India has announced National award for sanitation and water in his honour. The …

Duty First!

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Chapter 3 of the Bhagwad Gita is about ‘Karamyoga.’

The Discourse deals with the importance of keeping oneself engaged in an activity related to one’s duty. If further explains that no one can ever remain idle. You may not engaged in physical activity, but you can never make your mind stand still. The mind will always be engaged in some kind of activity even when you are sleeping. You may not be aware of this. But the mind never sleeps. Through out this chapter, in fact throughout the great wisdom book, it is emphasized that everyone must keep on performing their duty.



The western thoughts lay a lot of stress in the process of visualization. Some people may call it dreaming in the day. The best selling book ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne particularly stresses that you can achieve anything in life, if you repeatedly visualize the achievement. There lies the rub. You may be confused what is better? Which school of thought is more suitable? In fact, when Rhonda or any other …

Hare and the Tortoise!

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The Hare and The Tortoise

Long ago when I was young and in school, I read a story, of the Hare and the Tortoise. They ran a race.



We all know that the Hare rightly thought that the he was fast. But he was wrong in thinking that he could take his victory for granted. He fell asleep during the race. The Tortoise overtook him and won.


Later on, the Management Gurus made some additions to the story.

Having lost the race, the Hare does some contemplation. He is unhappy that in spite of the fact that he is a fast runner, because of his casual behavior he lost the race. Now he decided that true to his speed, he must win the race and gain back the lost self-esteem.

So he went to the Tortoise. He said “Lets have another race”. The Tortoise agreed. And they had another race. This time the Hare, did not take it casually. He did not sleep on the way and won the race by a handsome margin.

The Tortoise was sad. At the same time he felt that since his speed is slow, it was just natural …

Who Drives your Life?

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You might say that the subject is a misnomer. Since it is your life, you only drive it. However, it is not always so. You continue to do certain things by force of your habit. And your habits are formed over a long period of time. Now, consider these questions. Do you always do what you want to? Even when you have possibility to choose, do you always make a choice as per your liking? If not. Why not?
Most of us take decisions because of our considerations towards various other people. A husband may not like to do something, may not like to go to expensive places for eating out, may not like to spend too much money on fashionable clothes, and yet he does so because his wife likes these things. So, in this case, wife is the driver of husband’s life.

Conversely a wife may not like to do certain things but she has to because of the wishes of her husband. This is so in most of the house-holds in Indian villages and is also true among many families in urban India.
Let’s take…

The Great Sufi Singer Reshma

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Reshma was born in Bikaner, India in 1947. Later her family shifted to Pakistan. She belonged to a Gypsy  family. They keep on moving from one place to another doing odd jobs and entertaining themselves with folk music and dance.

Reshma was spotted for her talent by Pakistani Television producer when she was 12 years old. He organized her appearance from television and performance from Radio. Instantly she became very popular.

As most Folks singers are, the forte of Reshma lies in her depth of her voice. Unlike others she was very articulate listening to her songs one can really discover the spirituality of the #Sufi singers.
One of her songs was used by RajKapoor "Ankhyon ko rehne de ankhyon ke aas pass” she became so popular in India that she was invited to perform in Mumbai. Her perform one accolades her real popularity in India viewed with the song “Lambi Judai” which the famous filmmaker Subhas Ghai made her sing for his film Hero.

http://www.youtube.com/watch…

Great Loss to Lovers of Soulful Music

During the past few days two great singers of this sub-continent have passed away. Manna Dey the great Indian singer passed away in Banglore and great sufi singer Reshma who was born in India too passed away in Pakistan.

A humble tribute to Manna Dey 

Manna Dey, who had a very long stint of singing film songs and non film songs was perhaps the most versatile singer of the Indian film industry.  Listening to his songs, I feel that the recognition and respect due to him was not aptly granted.  Among the modern Indian singers Manna Dey’s was second only to Mohammad Raffi. But he was not given as many songs as some of his contemporary singers.
When Manna Dey came to sing his first song – ‘Upar Gagan Vishal’, he was only 18 years old. The producer of the movie asked the music director how can this young lad sing a song so replete with lofty meaning. The music director was confident of Manna’s ability and convinced the producer. The song became one of the greatest hit of that …

Loyalty

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Mark Twain Mark Twain was a unique American writer. One cannot find another writer who could laugh at the stark realities of life and who could succinctly identify the irony so very dominant in our lives.
He once said, “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ”
It is ironic that the man who has evolved so much, who is civilized and educated over the centuries when compared to a dog miserably falls short of the quality of loyalty, which is so clearly visible in the pet animal.
But, in the fast changing world concepts change. The big question is that for leading a happy, progressive life which are the principles that transcend the limits of time and space. What are the principles that we must stick to even today? What are the principles that need to be discarded or modified?
Thus, our story of the dog and the man brings us to the core question about ‘loyalty’ and its importance t…

Symptoms of Malefic Effects of Shani Dev

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Shani Yantra

Today, I shall talk to you about what are the indications, according to our scriptures, when malefic influence of Shani Dev appears. How does it affect you and your life? The same are briefly stated as below:
You are leading your life in a normal way. You face usual difficult and you also achieve accomplishment to your hard work and in application of mind. But suddenly you fight some strength negative thoughts of confusion keep on troubling you. You start getting angry with your near and near once often with little or no reason.  Unnecessarily you start arguing on small issues which does not happen to be your normal nature. In some circumstances you need to become alert these comprise symbol Shani Dev malefic influence. In a family, the lady of the house shows similar symptoms and you are unable to understand what has gone wrong. Why this sudden change? The lady is not to be blamed. Again, this is another symptom of ‘Shani Disha’. Whether it is man or a lady, …

Shani Dev in His Chariot

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In Hindu tradition, Lord Shani is considered as chief of all planets. He is considered extremely hostile and full of anger. Those who believe in astrology are afraid of ‘Shani Saad Sati’ or seven and a half years of malefic influence of Shani Dev.

Once Mata Laxmi ( Godess of Wealth) asked Shani Dev, “I grant fortune and wealth to my devotees. But you destroy it. More than wealth you destroy the ‘Peace of Mind’ of the human beings. They are mortally afraid of you. Why do you do that?”

Lord Shani respectfully answered,’ Mateshwari ( Mother), I have been appointed as the ‘Chief Justice’ of Humanity. Just as Yama grants ‘Death’ to human beings, I grant justice to these individuals according to their ‘Karma’ (wrong doings or good deeds). The lord Almighty Bhagwan Shankar has given me the task of evaluating the good and bad deeds of human beings and grant them reward or punishment according to what they deserve. Therefore, I humbly submit to you Mata Laxmi that it is only th…

How do you manage your Time?

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Time Management I had written a poem on time some time back. I repeat some of the lines of the poems to my students to find the message deserving careful consideration. The same lines are repeated:
Value of time is often little known:
For time’s inherent wealth scanty respect is shown.
Any other possession if you happen to lose
you can hope to get it back If you choose.
Wealth of time will never return
Simple lesson though many of us don’t ever learn.
Every moment of time you must use
to achieve anything, you may choose.
In the changing environment I think Time and its proper use have become critical. Fat salaries for corporate CEO’s require harsher targets for the team to achieve. Undoubtedly, this creates great pressure on him. He tends to lose the simple joys of life like quiet reflection in the morning besides yoga or exercise, spending quality time with his family and pursuing at least one hobby seriously that he loves the most.
The good thing for the CEO is that today h…

Ganesh Chaturthi

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Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with festivities lasting ten to twelve days every year. The occasion for the celebration of the birth of Lord Ganesh, son of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

Ganesh symbolizes intelligence and application of mind. There are many incidents in Lord Ganesha’s life which symbolize his sharp wit and presence of mind. Among them the most famous of them is his competition with his elder brother Karthikeya.

As the story goes Lord Shiva called both his sons and told them that whomsoever circles the world three times will be given the prize of a magical Mango which was presented to him by Sage Narad. Ganesha realized that his vehicle the mouse, would be of no match against the swift flying peacock of his elder brother. He thought for a moment, smiled and took three circles of his parents. When they asked him why they were circling him, he replied that they were his world, and taking three circles of them was equivalent to circling the world three times. Lor…

Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai

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I have a Dream! - Martin Luther King

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In the history of American politics,the 28th August was a memorable day. It was on 28th August 1963 that Martin Luther king delivered his famous speech – “I have a Dream.” It was a great speech that will be remembered by all progressive societies for many decades. Not only did it motivate the black American to rise and demand their citizenship, but it is also regarded as one of the greatest speeches ever written and delivered to very large audience with unmatched enthusiasm and great alacrity.

The contribution of Martin Luther king for securing equal rights for African Americans is greater than anyone else. But for him it would have been impossible for Barrack Obama to become the 44th president of the most powerful nation on the earth.

The greatness of a leader is seen and recognized from the high degree of passion with which he/she is devoted to the cause. That becomes the force which is difficult to be faced and fought with by the opponents. Great leaders with great pa…

Religion - A Uniting Force!

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What is religion? If the devil and the angel are both residing in one’s mind – why is religion so necessary? The devil is strong and grows at an immense pace. But the angel is initially weak and needs constant support of the individual concerned. Religion is a set of rules which one follows to tame the devil, and to nurture the angel.
T.S. Elliot Each religion teaches the same. There could be a difference in methodology. There could be a differences in some of the rituals. There could be differences in the ways in which each religion is taught; but the objective is the same. The common objective therefore, should be a uniting force. So said the playwright, poet and thinker – T.S. Elliot. “Religion must be a uniting force, but unfortunately some selfish, self-styled religious leaders connive it to divide humanity.
Swami Vivekanand Swami Vivekanand delineated the same idea in his famous speech at the world Parliament of Religions in Chicago. The same is reproduced below:

It…

The Nobel Laureate

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The recent interview of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and its report in the media has created a huge controversy. As most of us know by now that Amaratya Sen is reported to have said that he is not in favor of Mr. Modi as Prime Minister. Further, he gave his reason that as C.M. he allegedly failed to protect the minority community in the state of Gujarat.



Mr. Sen’s eminence in the field of economics is undoubtedly of a high order. Whether his theories have hold any relevance for our Country is all together another question. Most of us are also aware that he does not live in India and has definitely not in Gujarat. If that is the case one wonders about the basis of his comments on the condition of minorities in that state. Does he base his opinion on media reports? Or on feedback provided by the ruling Congress? And has he tried to make any kind of assessment by actually visiting the state?

Of course, there is no doubt that Rajya Sabha member Chandan Mitra should not have …

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

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Our Cultural Heritage!

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Today is Shayani Ekadashi also known as Ashadhi Ekadashi


It is believed that Vishnu falls asleep in Ksheersagar - cosmic ocean of milk - on Sheshanāga, the cosmic serpent. Thus the day is also called Dev-Shayani Ekadashi (lit. "god-sleeping eleventh") or Hari-shayani Ekadashi (lit. "Vishnu-sleeping eleventh") or Shayana Ekadashi. Vishnu finally awakens from his slumber four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi - eleventh day of bright fortnight in the Hindu month Kartik (October–November). This period is known as Chaturmas (lit. "four months") and coincides with the rainy season. Thus, Shayani Ekadashi is the beginning of Chaturmas. Devotees start observing the Chaturmas vrata (vow) to please Vishnu on this day.


A fast is observed on Shayani Ekadashi. The fast demands abstainance from all grains, beans, cereals, certain vegetables like onions and certain spices.
This day, a huge yatra or religious procession of pilgrims known as Pandharpur Ashadi …

Bad films, Apt response?

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