DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?

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cda434014b3bb07e8d7db7d167fa00a2My father taught me a powerful lesson growing up; I watched many a time as he out-intimidated the legion of official and governmental bullies that routinely harass all Indians and make millions of lives miserable. “Do you know who I am” he would roar, and the would-be bully would literally quake with fear and trepidation. And he did this with genuine anger, because this kind of official misbehavior personally offended him. He stood up not just for himself—in his prime, he was a wealthy, powerful, articulate and educated man with immense influence—but for those with lesser resources, and even for the illiterate poor who had no option but to bow down to these horrible apologies for man so that they could get their work done. Since survival was a burning issue for many of these people, and the bullies knew they held the winning card, most often there was no competition.

Recently I was reminded of how the Indian poor in particular are hounded, harassed and cheated when my maid came crying to me to inform me that the local police had extracted a huge bribe from her laborer brother. Her brother had beaten up his wife’s lover and brought her back home after a sensational elopement. I told my maid I would go with her to the Collector’s office and help her to make an official complaint against these men—something I would hate to do since I dislike offices in general, and the men who run them even more; but I felt so awful at the thought of this poor man being bullied and robbed that I felt I had to do my bit. And what did she say? Gave me a shrug and said it wouldn’t work, that everyone was corrupt and all the family could do in such a situation was to suck up this huge crime and carry on. I yelled at her and said it was because of this passive attitude of the voiceless masses that things have gotten to this ghastly state, but of course she did not understand where I was coming from and did not accept my offer. Continue reading

Monday Funnies…

Humor – what would we do without it? In the worst situations, it is laughing about our precarious life as humans that can make us lighten up and fast – thanks for sharing, Chris Graham!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

My thanks to the Tasmanian Devil for these:

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AND REMEMBER:

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Good friends are like stars.
You don’t always see them but you always know they are there
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BLESSED ARE THE CRACKED FOR THEY ARE
THE ONES WHO LET IN THE LIGHT!

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And remember: life is like a roll of toilet paper.
The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

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BLISS JUNKIE

9a98b5caac8b4a9fc6c46747c8fdfc73One result of discovering the amazing teachings of Eastern philosophy was that I began to closely study my own relative nature. Over time I came to the conclusion that it was composed of two almost equal but opposing sides: yes, I was half hedonist and half ascetic. Not surprising since we are enmeshed in a dualistic structure and are inclined to strong likes and dislikes. The stronger the personality, the more intense are these likes and dislikes, so, someone like me, for instance, would seek all sorts of sensory pleasure while suffering from an abysmally low tolerance for pain.

Now a wise human would gravitate to pleasures that are meaningful and that last, but the confused adolescent that I was sought enjoyment in fleeting things that left me dissatisfied and hungry for more. It was only when I heard the phrase: “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” that I woke up with a start and realized that I had been frittering away my precious life in repeating the same old nonsense and foolishly expecting the results to be gratifying. Continue reading

Are You Ready To Retire? Learn From History: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

A tiny percentage of us want to retire only so that we can dive deep into the Self, our immortal and blissful nature…I have seen many who think that this decision is enough for the cosmos to support them, but I agree with the old saw: God helps those who help themselves. It is much easier for most of us (a few are made of steel!) to have no material worries when we begin our inner work, and this means being careful before we leap into retirement….a necessary piece of advice, Harsh! Thanks!

Luthar.com

I recall a discussion with a colleague in late 2007 about retirement. He was preparing to make that transition in a couple of years. Unfortunately, the stock market started to slide when he was about a year away from retirement.

The market crashed on September 29, 2008. The decline continued and, by the end of 2008, Dow was down to 8,776. Naturally this dramatic decline in the market created serious challenges for people who were close to retirement and had most of their pension in stocks.

We have now entered August of 2017. August and September have historically been the worst months for stocks. This year, increasing international tensions and the potential for a serious conflict between U.S. and North Korea will add further uncertainties to the financial markets.

Although no one can predict the future, it is important that businesses educate their employees on the basics of risk management…

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DENIAL IS NOT A RIVER IN EGYPT.

kiri-16gb-sd-card-6025A woman introduced to me by a friend visited me the other day. We had a nice chat and I offered her something to eat. She came into the kitchen as I got her meal ready and hovered over me, eyes wide with anxiety, asking me questions about ingredients, process, et cetera, until I got a little snippy and asked her to sit at the dining table. My irritation was due to the fact that she does this every single time she visits; you see, because she is far from home (California) and misses home-cooked meals, I always offer her something I hope she will enjoy.

Please note that her attitude is not normal: her eyes go wide with strain when the subject of food comes up, and she tells me she cannot eat most things (being veg or vegan is wonderful, but her behavior goes way beyond these humane rules for good living). My own attitude, I said, is to accept what is given to me as long as 1) food is offered from the heart 2) is hygienically prepared and tasty 3) and that it does not violate my principles of general eating. I told her that my favorite breakfast when I leave the house early to walk up the mountain is two dosais with mouth-watering chutney and sambhar, relished at a roadside stall. I don’t watch the cook carefully to monitor everything she does—no, for me, that would be disrespectful to this lovely local woman who wakes up before dawn to do what she does in order to feed her own family. On the contrary, I am genuinely grateful that she is so willing to please me, always giving me a little more of the red chutney, another ladle of hot sambhar, and a big smile. When I tip her extra, her smile grows and her eyes are full of light. Continue reading

Whip of the Wild God – Audiobook released – Free promo-codes available

CLICK TO LISTEN SAMPLE
Audible, the planet’s top audiobook seller, has just accepted my narration of Whip, the first novel in the Moksha Trilogy. Hurray!!! Getting this done was a lengthy and complex operation, especially since I had just had dental surgery and a vital nerve in my mouth was affected, and there is no way on earth that I could have done it without the excellent support of three good friends. Advaita is Not Two!!!

What’s more, ACX has sent me complimentary Audible.com PROMO-CODES to start spreading the word. If you would like a FREE COPY (please respond quickly as there are not that many codes), use the CONTACT option of the blog to let me know. Or, if you have my address, send me an email. You can also contact me via Facebook. FYI, my fave way of communicating is email, since I tend to miss messages on other media. Please be aware that in samsara there is no free lunch, or free anything for that matter! In this case, I would like you to be genuinely interested in hearing me read Whip out loud and get to the job quickly, and then be equally willing to post a great review on Audible.com or Amazon.com. If not, you can buy it later and enjoy it at your own convenience, but now we need those reviews!

These are the instructions ACX sent me which I think you should read before making a decision:

These promotional codes work only on Audible.com.

  1. Go to my book’s page on Audible.com: www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Whip-of-the-Wild-God-A-Novel-of-Tantra-in-Ancient-India-Audiobook/B0747TF61Z
  2. Add the audiobook to your cart.
  3. If you are prompted to sign in, please create a new Audible.com account or log in. Otherwise, proceed by clicking “Do you have a promotional code?” beneath the cover artwork of the audiobook.
  4. Enter the promo code, and click “Apply Code.”
  5. A credit for the audiobook will be added to your account. Click the box next to “1 Credit” and click the “Update” button to apply the credit to the purchase.
  6. After you select “1 Credit” and click “Update” to modify your shopping cart, the price for the audiobook will change to $0.00. You may proceed through the checkout by clicking “Next Step” and “Complete Purchase” on the subsequent page.

Greetings from Arunachala. Shiva the Destroyer in the form of a hill of fire and light, who destroys all that blocks us to realizing our highest spiritual and creative potential even as he leads us to merge with the glorious Self!

The Self Cannot Be Found In Books

“The Self cannot be found in books. You have to find it for yourself in yourself.” Bhagavan Ramana. How true!!! Thanks for sharing, Harsh!

Luthar.com

“You may go on reading any number of books on Vedanta. They can only tell you ‘Realize the Self’. The Self cannot be found in books. You have to find it for yourself in yourself.” Bhagavan Ramana in Gems ~ Chapter 8.

Sri Ramana here states the truth directly and unmistakably. No matter how many books one reads, one cannot gain Self-Realization.

Reading, thinking, and conceptualizing involve mental activity. Yet, it is this mental activity that distracts us and covers up the pure essence of being.

It is the mind itself that has to subside into the Heart and dissolve in it. Upon the merging of the mind in the Heart, the Self, recognition of our true nature is instantaneous. With the mind absent as the intermediary, the wordless Realization is immediate. One recognizes and says that “It has been Me all along. I am the Self.”

This recognition is beyond…

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The Way Sperm Whales Sleep

If I could sleep vertically, I would be most grateful!
Swiss wildlife photographer Franco Banfi and a team of scuba divers were following a pod of sperm whales off the coast of Dominica Island in the Caribbean Sea, when suddenly the large creatures became motionless and fell into vertical slumber. Thanks, Alk3r!

ALK3R

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Swiss wildlife photographer Franco Banfi and a team of scuba divers were following a pod of sperm whales off the coast of Dominica Island in the Caribbean Sea, when suddenly the large creatures became motionless and fell into vertical slumber.

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DID I TELL YOU NOT TO HISS?

8b0491b2a715579b114da4fdb36d7daaThe great sage Ramakrishna told this old tale to his disciples: an angry snake terrified the village boys so greatly that they dared not venture near his territory. One day a yogi was walking through the village when a boy warned him not to venture near the abode of the vicious serpent. The yogi told the boy not to worry, for he knew a mantra that would calm the serpent. He was speaking the truth: when the snake slithered forward to attack him, the yogi intoned the mantra and the snake became still and peaceful. Then the yogi gave the snake another mantra to chant and told him not to trouble the boys but instead to seek a higher peace. The snake obeyed. But when the village boys discovered the snake was now peaceful, they began to torment him. One bully even picked him up and slammed him repeatedly against a sharp rock until he was broken and bleeding, then left him for dead.

Somehow the snake survived. When the yogi returned some months later, he was shocked at his dismal state and demanded an explanation. The snake was surprised—but you told me to be peaceful! he said. So I did, said the sage in exasperation, I asked you not to bite, but did I tell you not to hiss? Continue reading