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WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT ?

He who knows others is clever; he who knows himself  is enlightened.

                                                                                                - Lao-tse

Life should not be seen only from the prism of suffering.

No doubt that suffering would give you heavy pain, but it also gives valuable lessons to make life robust in terms of actions and  endeavours. In fact, seeing the sufferings of people pushed the Buddha to the path of enlightenment.

Many people wrongly connote that enlightenment is simply denying all the worldly pleasures and lead a hermit's life in the forest. This concept is totally ridiculous. Enlightenment is a possibility field to know the mechanics of life beyond physical realm and  find your connection with the Creator.

The essence of enlightenment is respecting life in whatever form it is. When you become sensitive to everything around you, it means you are perfectly in tune with the symphony of the universe.

Once you   know your position in the universe, you feel so humbled of your tininess. Astro-physicist Joel Primack, a pre-eminent cosmologist who pioneered the Double Dark Theory opines that about 70 % of the universe is dark energy, 25 % is Dark matter. There are 4 % of invisible atoms and interstellar space. Helium and Hydrogen is 0.5 %.  The stars and planets form less than 0.1 % of the Universe which includes, humans.

Enlightenment happens in personal space and more so, it is a subjective experience. All the life situations should be seen in the larger frame so that you get a better understanding of  slice due to you. Excessive wavering for the things which are not due to you is totally unwise. America’s famous talk-show host Oprah Winfrey suggests  to write ‘Gratitude Journal’ daily so that you can count your daily blessings to lead a serene life.

One major road block in the path of enlightenment is our mindless comparison with others in material comforts of life. We are so obsessed with comparison mania that is the root cause of all sufferings. The solution lies with  a sense of gratitude which comes  just by watching those who are  in more agony.  In fact enlightenment is not a transferable energy/product   which we obtain from the market. It is a natural state which is well within you and it could be reached only by ' Self Search'.

MY MISSION : KNOWLEDGE MISSION


In India, English still rules as the most vibrant and viable communication vehicle. There is no dispute in saying that the English is still the mainstay language for our educational and communication needs.

The language has a special charm in Southern and North-Eastern parts of India. Though, I was grown up with my mother tongue Telugu as a medium of instruction up to class 10, my father injected an irresistible charm in me to hone my English speaking and writing skills at the age of 6 or 7. Though English was not taught properly in my school days, it was my dad who had ignited an unflagging spirit and taught me to hone my language skills. Till I entered into my first year of graduation, I was not good enough at writing or speaking in English. Though I had taken English medium in my Intermediate (11th & 12th class) those two years had not helped much to hone my language skills. My father being a qualified stenographer but chose a different profession, used to cherish the career of stenographer which prompted me to learn stenography. So it was in 1988, I started my arduous journey of learning stenography and simultaneously started reading English newspaper - The Hindu daily. As suggested by my father, I used to underline the difficult words in the editorial page and refer dictionary to improve my word power on daily basis. My father used to suggest me to write a passage on any topic on my own to improve my craft. When I followed his word, the desire to excel in English reached to an unfathomable level and I dreamt of writing articles to newspapers/ magazines as a freelancer. An attempt was made by that time to write a letter to the editor of one prominent English newspaper regarding my opinion on certain political issue of that time. When I sent that letter, it was amazing that my piece of comments were published and my joy found no bounds.


The passing of stenography in the second year of my graduation was very much a smooth sail as I put my body and soul on it. By the time I entered into third year of B.Com, one day I was asked by my mother to bring sugar from a nearby provision store. Instead of purchasing sugar, my attention dragged to a nearby second-hand book/old newspaper vendor who stacked and kept a bundle of old English books. When I went near and saw, I was perplexed to see the priceless collection of Vivekananda literature, all published by Ramakrishna Mission. There was hardly any choice and I made up my mind to take the old books with my sugar money. Perhaps, I could not take home sugar, but the sweetness of those books is still lingering in my mind.

When the books were brought home, a recurring dream of Swami Vivekananda for some days put me in quandary to choose between my academic subjects and Vivekananda literature. I could not know what exactly happened to me. A sway of spirituality overpowered me and I find a new delight in Indian philosophy with particular reference to Vivekananda literature. It further drove me to find some other books of Vivekananda in the local Triveni Publishers where I got Vivekandan's famous Chicago lecture book. That electrifying lecture tremendously increased my courage levels. Mine, otherwise a shy guy who always feared to speak in English started talking in English as my friends of that time told me that I used to take long lectures on spirituality. Those books which I purchased occupied a proud place as a first collection in my personal library, started way back in 1989. I had been very kind that my parents did not yell at me for diverting the sugar money for books. Instead, they encouraged me to nurture my reading habit. Afterwards, my father used to give some money on the first of every month and I used to purchase a book or two, thereby I slowly built my treasure trove. Though I almost neglected my studies in preference to Vivekananda literature, I had not felt hard to cope up with exam pressure ,and in fact I excelled in my third year B.Com exams with more than 80 %.

After a little over 2 years struggle in private jobs, Heaven smiled upon me as I was selected as stenographer in a govt. organization. Though it seemed some sort of divine intervention of getting a government job so early at 22, I forecast that I must have to sail in troubled waters ahead. Like I predicted, a major accident dislocated my father's thigh joint and that incident crippled not only our financial well-being but had also taken away my sheen for competing Civil Services Exam. Though, the dream of Civil Services could not materialize, the charm for English did not diminish. I slowly improved my word power by reading newspapers and other english magazines.

There were so many mental challenges, mind wars and personal struggles which made my journey so daunting. In my late 40s I realized that blogging is a better way to express myself that would chisel my craft to perfection. To make the story short, I built my own website with a custom domain called ‘Knoweb’

‘Knoweb’ is an acronym for Knowledge Web . It is driven by a single point agenda of empowering the people with right kind of information. It is a pure Knowledge Mission!

FAILURE IS SPRING BOARD TO SUCCESS


Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Success is a journey and not a destination. In fact, there is no straight jacket formula for success. Though somebody may inspire you, but to succeed you must tread your own path.

Abraham Lincoln is a bundle of failures before he ascended the presidency of the United States :

- Lost job, 1832
- Defeated for legislature, 1832
- Failed in business, 1833
- Sweetheart (Ann Rutledge) died, 1835
- Had nervous breakdown, 1836
- Defeated for Speaker, 1838
- Defeated for nomination for Congress, 1843
- Lost re-nomination, 1848
- Rejected for Land Officer, 1849
- Defeated for Senate, 1854
- Defeated for nomination for Vice-President, 1856
- Again defeated for Senate, 1858
- Elected President, 1860


To embrace success, there is no requirement of formal education or you need not born with a silver spoon in mouth. What you need is a burning zeal to excel in your area of interest. In fact those who learn from their experience are on a much better footing.

Tony Robbins, America's most admired Personality Development guru says that "Success is truly the result of good judgment; good judgement is the result of experience; and experience is often the result of bad judgement. "

Most people wrongly connote success with wealth or material possessions. But in the course of journey, money could be one of the byproducts, but not the end product. Andrew Carnegie, the 19th Century American Steel magnate says that "The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else which he is entitled. " He further adds that " The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world will take off its hat to those who put in more than 50 % of their capacity and the world will stand on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.

In fact, success can be attained in any branch of labour. Andrew Carnegie started his life as a factory worker but rose to the pinnacle of success. He says that "your thoughts are your capital".

Success means aim for the highest. Late Steve Jobs, the iconic Apple Inc. CEO is a college dropout, but reached to the top of the ladder of success by creating the world's most valued company.

Jobs whose iPhone and iPad created flutters says that "Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. "

Napoleon Hill who wrote "The Law of Success” in 1928 revolutionized the concepts of creating wealth, self-improvement and achieving goals. He spent 20 years by interviewing over 100 most successful people in America and found the following 15 characteristic traits for Success:-

1. Golden Rule : Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
2. Tolerance.
3. Profiting by failure.
4. Cooperation
5. Concentration
6. Accurate thinking
7. Pleasing personality
8. Habit of doing more than Paid For
9. Self Control
10. Enthusiasm
11. Imagination
12. Initiative & Leadership
13. Habit of saving
14. Self Confidence
15. Definite Chief Aim

So the subtle lesson is: Material goals are not the end of the road, beyond which there is something richer which Abraham Maslow termed as "Self Actualization". So everybody must strive to reach to that arena and be closer to Reality.

DEATH IS THE END OF MELODRAMA OF LIFE !!

 

The trauma of my aunt’s tragic death  is still hunting me.  It is beyond words to narrate how she fell into a valley while she was going on a horse to reach  the famous Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhund, India. The manner of death really shocked me and threw me out of gear for some weeks.   The incident had taken me to a new level of wisdom about uncertainty of life.  


Deepak Chopra says that the Prince of Death is just behind you all the time and the only difference is method of execution and length of reprieve.

We see many people who are perturbed to amass wealth in the name of security. To grab the world of possessions they stop enjoying life of present moment and hanker for accumulating wealth.


One great person sagely advises  that " live the life everyday as if it is your last day". In such a living,  you reap the benefits of distilled wisdom of enlightened masters. You need not frighten much about death when it is an inescapable event of life.   Sky is the only limit for human endeavour.  All great personalities who lived on this planet have taught this great lesson.

Steve Jobs, the iconic CEO of Apple Computers who died due to pancreatic cancer is so pragmatic in his ideology. “In his famous 2005 Stanford University speech, he says that :

 

“ When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

On death, jobs says that “ remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.

He further says that “no one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

About life, Jobs says that “your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”  

So don’t fear death which you can't escape and do to unleash your potential !