Sunday, April 13, 2014

Effects of the moving mind are all in front of us. Even a minutest factor could make a massive movement of unthinkable consequences. An interesting observation; it is so when the factor is seen in isolation. When the same factor is seen in its big picture in which everything else also seen, what happens then?

Casual social interactions,  a breeding ground for the mind's movement. Social norms and routines, which are done just as a matter of fact without looking at the damages it does, strengthen the mind and greatly contribute in its movement routine.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The evening was turning blue, as it always did; the air itself became blue, and the white houses lost their brilliance in that delicate colour. The blue of the sea seemed to spill over and cover the land, and the mountains above were also a transparent blue. It was an enchanted scene, and there was immense silence. Though there were a few noises of the evening, they were within this silence, they were part of the silence, as we were too. This silence was making everything new, washing away the centuries of squalor and pain from the heart of things; one's eyes were cleansed, and the mind was of that silence. A donkey brayed; the echoes filled the valley, and the silence accepted them. The end of the day was the death of all yesterdays, and in this death there was a rebirth, without the sadness of the past. Life was new in the immensity of silence. - K

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Life, its ways & the decisive moments

What is life? What is its meaning? Is there some significance to life or it is full of just accidental happenings?  Is it fine to question the way life is lived? We are all living it in certain way because that’s the way society is going about it. We live in a certain state of mind (proactive presence of the self); does that state of mind determine our entire life, all aspects of it? By chance, if there is a fundamental flaw in the way life is lived, how do we find that? Can we question the very state of mind? Before looking at these, let us look at the facts about us.

One fact is, 'I' am nothing but bundle of thoughts, the memory stored as data. Two, I don't realize 'I' am so.  Third, the data, the ‘I’, has split itself in to observer and observed and that is how it avoids detection, making itself invisible and survives, as the ‘I’ hides behind the observer. Fourth, through analysis, the observer ensures survival for itself for years and years. Fifth, the observer works for immortality through whatever it does, through painting, singing, good workmanship, building empires and good acts; ending this observer is touching the very root of fear. Sixth, observer, instead of the total being, seeing these is futile: that is again continuity of the data field. Seventh, the bundle of thoughts, in its drive to win, is doing all the damages. What is meant here is if I, not the ‘I’, not the observer, if I, the total being, don’t see these, that is again continuity of the thought-form. It means analyzing instead of seeing. Analysing brings in the ‘I’ which further splits in to analyser and analysed. Seeing is total-being seeing the thought-form in existence, as it operates, instead of feeling defensive about realizing the presence of thought. Otherwise, it causes immense damages. This could be seen only in the present, at every moment the thought-form comes in to play.

The Data Field has winning posts, peaks, winners and losers. This word game is our living. In reality, the movement is of perfection, order and rhythm. Instead of touched by that movement of order and perfection, we are opting for disorder by playing this toy game.

These are the facts about us. Let us explore further and see how it is so…

When it comes to the state of mind, there are thinking state and absence of thinking state. The thinking state creates a thinker also. Data gets accumulated in the brain and at some stage, we start identifying ourselves with this data. As more and more we see only the data being respected, valued and recognised, we ourselves may have restricted us only as the data. Then, as the data is used only during the thinking state, it appears that we have restricted our state of presence to thinking state mostly and taken ourselves only as the thinker. What a tragedy? Within this data field, this thinker divides itself from the rest of the data; treating itself as real person in the process. So, in a relationship, one data-form relates to another data-form.

As we see us only as data, every other aspect of us is neglected. Our other state of presence and whatever goes with it gets neglected. Silence, peace, simple physical presence, relating to other physical beings, physical work, necessity to work, any creative skill which would have got exhibited in the other state, physical well-being, hygiene, healthy life, healthy environment, responsibility, peaceful attitude, care, respect for everything around, order, coexistence and love, all these are neglected.

Not only we are ignorant of our true potential but restricting ourselves immensely in data-form, and we could relate all the havoc happening in the world to this state of presence of ours. The abstract state of presence resulted in and equates with massacres of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Rwanda, Godhra and Naroda Patiyas. We’ll see how?

Life is lived in many ways. Whether living in luxury or barest minimum, we live in the midst of beauty, wonder, creation, destruction, violence, exploitation, mass-extermination, mass-rape and burning of women and children. This violence is perpetrated collectively and individually. This could touch us also. Sectarian and racial violence, in which common people are perpetrators and victims (read ‘who is the common man’ in my blog:, could happen in any locality, any time. If one is a victim, how is (s)he going to respond is a big question. Looking at this possibility and helpless scenario, if we ask why we are in this situation, naturally we look at the way we are living for an answer. We present, feel and act in and as data. Basically and fundamentally, we are not data-forms, but the abstract presence has taken over, rather than the absence of it, as we believe and live a life of data. Every moment, this life of data is renewed as the data-field comes in to play at that moment  Do we need to question this or why bother, just continue to live as it is?

We could do that, but there is a trouble to that. That disengagement could make us one of the common people who are perpetrators and victims in mass sectarian violence which could erupt in a flash anywhere, anytime. That disengagement could make a child victim of mass-rape. That disengagement should have made that dying-skinny child potential prey for that waiting eagle. That disengagement should have made the concentration camp possible, the delhi-bus rape possible and the millions killed in Rwanda possible. That disengagement may be separating and limiting us from what we are. Is it not shame to live in data-field and play out a toy game in the name of living? How do we realize this?

If we are not conditioned to irretrievable level and willing to be open and allow space for profound questions, then we could quite obviously sense the thinking state and could also see how active it is. Data is getting acquired all the time. If it is seen as it is acquired, that is its end. Otherwise, database, the self, is kept alive through the constant feeding of data. If the supply line is cut off, then the database withers away.

The decisive moments fill our life all the time, all day many a time. Possibility for absence of data-form present itself almost all the time. But, it works in such a way, we are 'self' always. Each time, we take the wrong turn. (may be because, we fail to recognize that the data-field split itself as observer ‘I’ and observed and the observer 'I', the data-form, is present all the time, as our state of presence is restricted mostly to the field of data; we may abruptly move away from selfless state also, as we are used to be present in data-form almost always). All those periods, we could take the right turn, but always we take the wrong turn, all the time we have the chance to lose the self, but we ended up strengthening the self; all because of our state of presence in data-form.

Data acquisition has various characteristics.  These will make us understand how smart the structure of data acquisition is. Moments of pleasure-seeking, feeling defensive, moments of crisis-avoidance, moments of right and wrong and intervention to correct are the self strengthening moments.

We see something, feel fully with that and the sensation is followed by feeling of ownership, possession. Moving away from the sensation is the routine moments of wrong-turn.

Feeling defensive are also moments of wrong-turns. Moments you feel defensive are the ones which are precious moments of your life, holding the potential for immense learning. When you cry, don't feel defensive. When you are moved by an intense feeling, don't feel defensive. Those are the moments of reckoning.

When the mind gets in to a crisis, that is a moment of reckoning. In a hurry, we move away from that to 'safety'. That is an invaluable moment. The crisis, if it gets welled-up/strengthened internally, makes the self experiences it's impotential and the self is completely defense-less and gives itself up. The vital difference is that it is not an intellectual understanding, but an actual experiencing for the self.

We can’t worry much about casual moments of lazy thoughts which actually are moments of brain's survival, bring-in-order functions. As sleep is necessary for brain's order, this half-sleep state also is necessary for the same reason. But it is vicious also, that is why we get in to it quite often.

Subconsciously, we are always loaded when we look at somebody....we are not innocent at that time.....we are not open.... the other person is looked at in certain way, either with acquisitiveness or insignificance or profitably or defensively, as a pleasure-object or as a profit-object or as trivial, depending on who the other person is…. This is the major fault-line in our living...that is, we are data-forms in the field of data… data-form interacting with another data-form is our field of relationship… this nature of our presence in data-form results in Naroda Patiyas and a 10 year old raped and killed near Salem by 5 people….in a communal violence, any common man could become a victim or a perpetrator….. it means that the individual is not responsible, but his data-form is…..meaning, any data-form.....does it mean that every moment of my presence in data-form is responsible for the holocaust?...

In addition to seeing these subtle aspects of data-form, it is very vital to cut-off the supply line to database to make it wither away completely. As data is getting acquired all the time from various daily activities, even from insignificant engagements, ensuring there is no constant feeding of data from these activities is very important. Does it mean that we may have to be away from certain engagements? It may become clear as we travel; the engagements which are inimical may get dropped on the way, as all these are insignificant in front of the vibrant and living truth.

K says absence of abstract state help human consciousness to lessen fear. Absence of abstract state reduces the common fear, common pain, and common exploitation; could wipe away the cruelty of child rape, the pain of that child; could have stopped the millions maimed in Rwanda and the horror of concentration camps, could have prevented the sad pain of abandoned elderly and makes the presence of energy visible all around us, in the blade of grass to…..


Friday, February 7, 2014

"Do not judge people. You never know what kind of battle they are fighting"

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pure act as described by Jiddu Krishnamurti and exhibited by children normally

Krishnaji to Dr David Bhom: "When you were talking to me — I was noticing it — I was not listening to your words so much. I was listening to you. I was open to you, not your words, as you explained and so on. I said to myself, all right, leave all that, I am listening to you, not to the words which you use, but to the meaning, the inward quality of your feeling that you want to communicate to me".

And also came across this point about children in a website :

Listen to your tone instead of your words . At times, it’s not what you say, but the way you say it that makes an impact. Kids sense what their parents are feeling. Often, they’re not listening to your words so much as looking at your face and reacting to the tone of your voice

Look at the truth

Can we not look at the truth without creating ideas? It is almost instinctive with most of us when something true is put before us to create immediately an idea about it. And I think if we can understand why we do this so instinctively, almost unconsciously, then perhaps we shall understand if it is possible to be free from effort. - Krishnamurti, On Truth

"I am because you are"

"I am because you are"

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Who is the Common Man?

Who is the Common Man?

Nissim Mannathukkaren
"As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become" - Jean-Paul Sartre
A couple of years ago, my then four-year-old daughter asked me, “What are all these tiny shoes doing here?” She was pointing to the mountain of shoes in glass cases. There were nearly 80,000 pairs, including 8,000 that belonged to children. We were at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, at the site of the deadliest concentration camp of Nazi Germany. I pretended not to hear her question and looked away. I did not tell her that it was people — common people like us, aam aadmi , if you will — who manned the camps; that it was common people who sent other people to gas chambers; that it was the people who elected Adolf Hitler to power. It was ordinary people who eliminated nearly one million of their countrymen in Rwanda. It was common people who burnt alive fellow human beings inside a train in Godhra. And gathered in Naroda Patiya to loot, rape and burn their own neighbours.
The aam aadmi has risen. And we must celebrate that. But what do we mean by the aam aadmi ? Does it include people who live in a 27-floor mansion surrounded by other people who live in slums?
The task of defining what is common and ordinary confronts us. What classes and what standards of living are excluded from the definition of ‘common’? Even if we empirically account for that, there will still remain moral and ethical questions about what values commonness should imply. Because we have already seen what ordinary people are capable of doing to other ordinary people.
We cannot wish away these questions by simply wearing the aam aadmi cap or chanting, “main bhi aam aadmi”. ‘The people’ cannot be a singular entity devoid of complexities and contradictions, or of class, gender, and ethnic divisions. If we do not recognise these divisions, and a democratic way to mediate these conflicts, democracy turns hollow. The rule by ‘the people’, as theorists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri argue, can become the rule of ‘the one’ over ‘the many’. This is the irony of the people as a collective turning authoritarian and dictatorial, capable of committing the worst atrocities.
One of the dangers of celebrating the rise of the people is the equating of ‘people’ with ‘most popular’. Democracy is not just a question of ‘opening the phone lines’ and asking what the people think (as a certain television anchor threatens to every night). If we go by what is most popular, we might have to conclude Big Boss on television is the most democratic activity in the country because it involves voting! In fact, a few years ago in the UK, when Big Brother (the parent of Big Boss ) was the reality television rage, there were debates about whether more young people were voting in it than in the general elections.
People in a democracy are an ethical category, not just an empirical one. We are not born as a people, we become one. By our social locations, all of us are not the aam aadmi ; even those who are might not have the desires and aspirations of one. But all of us can become the aam aadmi . What is more important is deciding what kind of aam aadmi we should become.
Historically, the most just outcomes have resulted when social and political struggles have alluded not only to a concept of the people, but when the concept represented the most marginalised and oppressed in society. Unless the concept of the aam aadmi does that, the ordinariness and commonness it claims become vacuous.
When the Mexican government tried to tarnish Subcomandante Marcos, the legendary leader of the Zapatistas (who fight for the rights of the indigenous people of the Mexican state of Chiapas) by branding him gay, Marcos responded:
‘Yes, Marcos is gay. Marcos is gay in San Francisco, black in South Africa, an Asian in Europe, a Chicano in San Ysidro, an anarchist in Spain, a Palestinian in Israel, a Mayan Indian in the streets of San Cristobal, a Jew in Germany, a Gypsy in Poland, a Mohawk in Quebec, a pacifist in Bosnia, a single woman on the Metro at 10pm, a peasant without land, a gang member in the slums, an unemployed worker, an unhappy student and, of course, a Zapatista in the mountains.’
Can the aam aadmi become, like Marcos, ‘all the exploited and oppressed minorities resisting and saying ‘Enough’'? Can the aam aadmi become, like Marcos, ‘every minority now beginning to speak and every majority that must shut up and listen’? Can the aam aadmi become a Dalit in Khairlanji, an Adivasi in Bastar, a Kashmiri woman in Kunan Poshpora, and a Thangjam Manorama in Manipur?
Should the aam aadmi only represent their immediate needs and aspirations or should they be equally aware of a world beyond themselves? Should they only be proud patriots or be aware of a larger responsibility beyond one’s country to humanity itself? Finally, in our precarious present, should the aam aadmi not plausibly have a responsibility to save the planet?
If there is no recognition of these questions and no attempt at providing some answers, there will be nothing aamabout the aam aadmi . On the other hand, if one does attempt it, even the people in 27-floor homes can aspire to become the aam aadmi . In that sense, it is disingenuous to claim that the aam aadmi does not have any ideology. If there is an ethical imputation to the concept of the aam aadmi , it cannot but have a robust ideology.
The people, as history shows, are caught in what the philosopher Theodor Adorno calls the “dialectic of culture and barbarism”. After all, it is the people who stormed the Bastille to overthrow monarchy, and it is the same people who participated in the most successful slave rebellion in Haiti.
Let us continue our search for the aam aadmi who will refuse to serve as the janitors, clerks, guards, and managers of the Auschwitzes, Rwandas, Godhras and Naroda Patiyas of the future. Let us build our own aam aadmi .
The writer is Associate Professor, International Development Studies, Dalhousie University,

Wetland is a unique and important part of our ecosystem

Protect our wetlands

According to the Ramsar Convention, February 2 is World Wetlands Day. A day to emphasis the importance of one particular ecosystem.

For migratory birds:A haven.Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty
For migratory birds:A haven.Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty
February 2 is designated World Wetlands Day.
In 1971, in Ramsar, Iran adopted the Convention on Wetlands. It is an intergovernmental treaty and gives the framework on how wetlands need to be protected and how to use its resources wisely. The mission of the Convention is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
Why are wetlands important? To begin with wetlands prevent flooding by holding water. They keep water levels normal and also filter and purify the surface water. They function very much like a sponge would when submerged in water. When water levels are low, wetlands slowly release the water they hold.
Besides being a store for water, they also release vegetative matter into rivers. This provides food for fish. They also counter the human effect on rivers by rejuvenating them and surrounding ecosystems.Wetlands are ideal during migration and for reproduction.
As we can see wetlands are not only essential but also unique. However, they are not isolated and independent but connected to the land around it, the flora, fauna, animals and people. It is the wetlands that improve other ecosystems because they act like cleansing agents. In fact, they work as kidneys do in a human. They control the water flow and clean the system. Wetlands clean the water because they can filter out sedimentation, decomposing vegetative matter and convert chemicals into useable form. This ability to recycle gives them an important role to play in the well being of the earth. Wetlands are probably the only eco system that is as productive or unique in its process of conversion. It is for this reason that in some places artificial wetlands have been created.
The theme for World Wetlands Day 2014 is Wetlands and Agriculure. This is because 2014 is the UN International Year of Family Farming.
The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.  The Ramsar Convention is the only global environmental treaty that deals with a particular ecosystem. The treaty was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and the Convention's member countries cover all geographic regions of the planet. 
For millennia, wetlands have been used directly for agriculture, and for supplying food, fuel and fibre to support lives and livelihoods. Wetlands continue to play an essential role in supporting modern day agriculture.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Imagining Gandhi

Imagining Gandhi

T.M. Krishna

He made an entire people visualise a future without blood on their hands, says T.M. Krishna on Gandhi’s 66th death anniversary.

Whether you worship, revere, respect, fault or even detest him, the Mahatma, Gandhi, or as his British Indian Passport saw him, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, remains a character of great, if intriguing, relevance.
Among his numerous contributions, one of the greatest is his redefining of the idea of struggle, of revolt and the role in these of violence. Each of these concepts has traditionally invoked hurt, suffering, and even death, very often to the oppressor himself.
In Gandhi, the hurt and the suffering were self-inflicted. In fact, the more the hurt and suffering, the higher the risk of death, the ‘purer’ for him was the struggle, the more justified the revolt.
For Gandhi, his work, his passion, which found such intensity in struggle, was not a question of good vs. evil but a series of battles within the site of the ‘good’ itself. Each mass movement gave a paradigm of change, which was about more than just the immediate objective. Both by intent and method, he left behind an altered scene in which both oppressed and oppressor stood challenged, transformed.
Every January 30, at 5.17 pm, we revisit the moment of his ‘silencing’ with silence. At that moment not only was he killed but a wholly new vision that he had created evaporated. The sense of loss that engulfed the nation was about more than the loss of a person. A whole world crumbled at that instant, something only he represented, something only he was.
Gandhi was saint, social reformer and freedom fighter, but what intrigues me is why he was different, not just in degree but in his whole being, from the many others who struggled for exactly the same causes. Like many before him he too traversed the country. But Gandhi did not travel to observe or learn from India in the ordinary sense. He became the laughter, tears, drudgery, suffering, friendship, anger and hope. The observer became the observed. Every experience moved him closer to who he was, leading to revelations that were not always pleasant, but were the truth. What he saw as the future was very different.
The difference lay in his imagination, in his visualising sensibility. Yet what he saw as India’s destiny was anything but imaginary, it was tangible. It was not just about social inequalities and the depressing conditions, but he saw deep inside these external actualities, the hidden fire of tomorrow, the fire that would burn not to destroy but to recreate. This was the imagination of a master visionary, not a delusion of Mohandas.
He knew that he had to address Today for a Tomorrow. But he also immediately realised that no one can address reality without imagining the future. To imagine something for oneself is one thing, but to make every other person imagine it at the same time is completely another.
What of his own did Gandhi create in the actuality of Indians’ lives? The most magnificent ‘creation’ was the possibility of a future in which violence, bloodshed, hurt, and destruction were not part of the edifice. It was not a passive vision, rather an active, dynamic, even aggressive force that sought to change the weaknesses of a violent today for a morally mature tomorrow.
He made an entire people envision something radically new. They were imagining a future without blood on their hands. This was the creation of the Mahatma.
Was the identification of India with Gandhi’s vision of India self-deceptive, or, worse, was it false, a dream?
As much as Gandhi may have tried to transfer his imagination to the people, it was essential that they feel his imagination, his vision within themselves as their own imagination and their own impulse and feeling. It was essential that they make Gandhi’s vision of the future, their India of the future, for which they took responsibility. They did try to do this, earnestly, emotionally, intellectually, with utmost loyalty. They felt the empowerment, happiness, joy and a possible future in equality in independent India. This was the master at work. This emotional world was charged using created action. The actions were not just about their political or social impact but about creating an emotional anchor. This was not the Mahatma’s personal anchor; it was the collective foundation for all. But this left everyone believing that Gandhi’s vision was their own.
This connection existed only till the creator of the vision lived. His imagination of a future India was like a painting, which he made with his own life. The painting was his life and his life was the painting. Until he remained, the future as he envisioned was within everyone’s embrace. But with him gone, the illusion disappeared; what seemed to be their future, created by him, but collectively owned, existed no more.
The memory of it lingers, of course, but it evokes nostalgia rather than the active, living participation he wanted. So, was his imagination a waste of his energy, of India’s time? The problem lies in the fact that everyone else is living in the imagination of these ‘thought leaders’ and not imagining for themselves. Every individual must imagine and work for true change in society. We took shelter within Gandhi’s imagination, forgetting that his greatest gift was the idea of imagination itself, which he did not own.
Gandhi’s use of creative imagination is fascinating. He created from his experience and skills a certain vision which, like a piece of art, arose from within him, and then tried to envelop every individual around him. He also gave his personal vision a collective personality, by investing it with an objective quality, like an artist would his work of art.
Was the Mahatma an artist? He would have been happier being called an artisan. What distinguishes the two? Nothing but this, that while an artist hopes to create art, an artisan is untroubled by the thought ‘Am I creating art?’
But is every one of us an artist? An artist lives within everyone, but we need to have the sensitivity to ‘receive the world’, the strength to question it, and emotions beyond the self to make of our experience what Gandhi did, namely, to present a new imagination that goes beyond the person who is imagining it. For a beautiful world, we all need to be artists in life and not live within the creations of others.