Monday Musing…

In line with the Shastras we must reduce our office timing as we grow old and have more experience – 1 hour less for every 5 years worked. The rest of our time should be spent in self study, meditation, mentoring. Execution must give way to vision and for that you can’t be sitting in front of your laptop keying numbers for 10 hours a day.

In fact someone with 20 years of experience should not need to come to office for more than 4 hours a day.

A hard working CEO should actually be fired 🙂

जब तेरी समन्दर आँखों में



ये धूप किनारा शाम ढले
मिलते हैं दोंनो वक्त जहाँ

जो रात न दिन, जो आज न कल
पल भर में अमर, पल भर में धुंआँ

इस धूप किनारे, पल दो पल
होठों की लपक, बाँहों की खनक
ये मेल हमारा झूठ न सच
क्यों रार करें, क्यों दोष धरें
किस कारण झूठी बात करें

जब तेरी समन्दर आँखों में
इस शाम का सूरज डूबेगा
सुख सोयेंगे घर-दर वाले
और राही अपनी राह लेगा …..

~ फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़

Time Pass

It was a lazy sunday morning and I was a bit free from the daily routine of the week days.My son Anant who had taken his own sweet time to get up was now lounging on the bean bag playing with his Nintendo DS. In a casual tone I admonished him ” your exams are starting monday and here you are wasting time.” Without bothering to turn back he replied” I am not wasting time I am doing time pass”  I said “what do you mean?” He said ” Papa if I am not doing anything then I am wasting time but if I am playing then I am doing time pass”

I thought to myself – Anu( my wife) must have been reading Emmanuel Kant when this guy was in the womb. My fatherly instincts took over so I snatched the Video game and asked Anant to leave immediately and be seen with his books.He looked at me as a philosopher will at some ignorant fool but I put up a brave face nonetheless.

The video game was now in my hands so I started fiddling with it. It was a game called plants and Zombies wherein the target was to save the house with the help of plants who had special powers to destroy the Zombies who kept barging in from one end trying to reach the other end unless stopped by the plant. The catch was that all Zombies were not the same and so were the plants.Some were more stronger than the others and some had special characterstics so they could b destroyed only with the special features that only some of the plants had. I thought I will give it a try…..

After playing for about half an hour I realized that the game was not as simple as it seemed to be. The moment you reached to the next higher level the frequency and speed of the Zombies increased making it almost impossible for at least someone like me to check their misadventure. I could barely reach the level 2 but was quite pleased with my performance until I exited the game to see that the top performers led by Anant Kumar were all at least above the Level 5, a feat I could perhaps never achieve!!

I put the game aside and started thinking about the original quote by the Guru (Anant). Perhaps the not so obvious meaning in his morning discourse had to be decoded to understand the true depth of the statement. The difference between wasting time and passing time solicited closer scrutiny. Wasting time as per Anant was when you are doing absolutely nothing and passing time was when you were doing something which had no material value but was done solely for the purpose of self gratification  or you may even say for the sole purpose of Soul entertainment. Now here’s where the catch lay….my education in Vedanta and subsequent studies on meditative techniques defined meditation as the state of ‘nothingness’ or ‘Shunyta’ where the mind is absolutely free from any agitations – a thoughtless, speechless, non sensory condition in which you felt one with the silence and nothingness of the universe to realize that you are the part of the same whole and therefore limitless and free.

But on the contrary when you look at the interplay of the Jeev and the Atman as prescribed in the same Vedantic texts the Jeev is supposed to have been separated from the Atman and due to its ignorance cannot realize its true nature which is sat chit anand i.e all pervading,all knowing and ever blissful. The creation of the world for Gods happiness or playfulness is also explained  with the help of above phenomenon. It is said that the God created the whole Universe and everything within it for his own happiness as there is nothing else which could have forced him upon this endeavour , after all he doesn’t have annual appraisals !

So if we look at God creating the entire Universe and everything in it for the sole purpose of soul entertainment which is nothing but time pass then Anant’s time pass theory is well justified.  But if we consider man’s not doing anything an act of meditation leading to self realization then there is probably more value in wasting time than in passing time.

Now if I take the same argument to Anant I know what his answer would be – do you consider God to be superior or Man to be superior. I would say God Of course ! and he will therefore win the argument saying that since he was indulging in a ‘godly act’ of time pass and I had committed a serious error of judgement by breaking his concentration. To which my only humanly response could be that wasting time which qualifies as meditation is the right thing to do for us Jeev’s to meet with the Atman but then Anant might lose the argument but stop doing anything.

The above put me to a larger question of human existence – if we do something for the purpose of pleasing the spirit do we come closer to being God or if we strive towards non action in thought and deed do justify the purpose of our being.

Whatever might be the answer I don’t see the place for work in any of the two positions. And I think this is one thing that Anant will completely agree with me…..



The world eluded me …

भागती फिरती थी दुनिया जब तलब करते थे हम

जब से नफरत हो गयी ये बेक़रार आने को है              

I chased the world and it eluded me

I renounced and it’s after me now

Connecting the dots of my life sometimes I have come across situations where the above quote ( my grandpa’s legacy) has helped me explain things to myself.I don’t know if it has something to do with Murphy’s law but once you decide that I don’t care the world around you starts realigning itself to lure you in.When you have risen above a subject it represents itself in a more interesting manner, the scene unfolds and transforms itself into something exciting,people who were strangers give you a warmer smile and your bank accounts starts to swell when you have opted for a simple life.

I appear therefore I am says Maya

I am blinded and I can’t see says me.

In the perpetual fight between the illusion of Maya and the reality of existence Maya wins invariably.I have wondered why ?Perhaps because we are limited by our senses which filter the information before passing it on to the intellect which is in turn burdened by years of conditioning habituated to respond in the same old way.

To get the right picture I will have to step out of the frame.Train my senses for a more direct perception so it feeds the intellect with data that is not colored or blurred by sensory malfunction.As this happens the awareness levels will go up and I will be able to sift between right and wrong not necessarily in a worldly way but in more spiritual sense.

Its a long journey but I have taken the first steps.I am experimenting with the above idea and the more it proves to be correct the stronger is my conviction to change myself and not the world around me.

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Born in Persia in the 11th century Omar Khayyam was better known as an astronomer and a mathematician than as a poet. Being a master of Algebra,Geometry,Astronomy and Physics he revised the Persian calendar for  Sultan Malik Shah and named it the Jalali Calendar.

While mathematics was his occupation his heart’s wanderings took him to the realm of verse where his free spirit wondered in the company of wine. Before he passed away in 1123 AD he had composed an enormous body of work in the form of Rubais peculiar of their rhyme and striking content. While most of the ideas were self contained they were unified by a central philosophy of enjoying life while it lasted.

The Rubaiyat was unknown to the western world for the next 600 years,till Edward FitzGerald published a translation around 1860.

There have been many translations since but the one by Fitzgerald is still the most popular.

I am presenting here a few of his rubais that I like more than the others :

Tis all a chequered board of Nights and Days   khayamportraitsm1

Where destiny with men of pieces plays

Hither and thither moves,and mates and slays,

And one by one back in the closet Lays

The moving finger writes and having writ,

Moves on : Nor all thy piety nor wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,

Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.

And that inverted bowl we call the sky,

whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,

Lift not thy hands to it for help – for it

Rolls impotently on ….as thou or I.

With Earth’s first clay they did the last man’s knead,

And then of the last harvest sowed the seed.

Yea,the first morning of creation wrote,

What the Last dawn of  reckoning shall read.

Me thinks this Wheel at which we gape and stare,
Is Chinese lantern  – like we buy at fair;
The lamp is Sun and paper shade the world,
And we the pictures whirling unaware. .

The Skies rotate, I cannot guess the cause;
And all I feel is grief, which in me gnaws;
Surveying all my life, I find myself
The same unknowing dunce that once I was!