My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Friday, August 01, 2014

1601- Secret Of Enjoyment: Objectivity

Jaya Row
(1)Pain is a given, but suffering is a choice:
Everyone faces obstacles in life. They are part of life. You can choose to be victim or victor, succumb to setbacks or rise above them. Life is like a game. Some times you win, at other times you lose. You have to be able to take it in your stride.

(2)If you depend on the constantly changing, unpredictable world you will get crushed by it:
Learn to be self-reliant. The world will bow to you.
Spiritual development is inversely proportional to your dependence on the world.
The more you lean on it, the less you get. The less you need the more you get!

(3)Vedanta helps you become independent of the world and enables you to gain more from it:
An enlightened master is totally independent, yet has the world at his feet!

(4)There are three states of balance ­ restless, fragile and steady.
The lowest is when you are like a cone on its apex, totally dependent on external factors.
The intermediate state is when you are like a cone on its side ­ calm by yourself but the slightest fluctuation creates long spells of mental agitation. Be like a cone resting on its base. Nothing will topple or overwhelm you. You will be constantly at peace irrespective of what the world offers.

(5)Every challenge is an opportunity to grow:
The way out is to build inner reserves. Gain knowledge of your real worth. Fluctuations of the world will no longer traumatise you. They will only amuse and entertain you. Assess people and situations what they are, not what you would like them to be. Then you will not have unrealistic expectations and disappointments. Defer decisions if your mind is clouded. Consult a clear thinker who will throw fresh light on the matter. Get a sense of humour!

(6)The spiritual path does not demand change of lifestyle, wardrobe or location:
You do not have to move away from family , friends or career. It only calls for a change of attitude. Move from the mindset of -
taking, to that of giving. The law is ­ give, you gain; grab, you lose.
Base your life on serving, adding value to others, offering your talent to a larger cause.
See the miraculous results it brings.

(7)When you have conflict with the people you love most you tend to blame them:
Look within. It is your selfishness that is the cause. You expect people to dance to your tune; you make demands and impose restrictions on them. This makes them want to break free. Love people for what they are. Accept them with their faults and idiosyncrasies. Learn to be self-sufficient. You will enjoy their presence and not miss them when they are gone. They will love you dearly .

(8)Objectivity is the secret of enjoyment:
You are able to `enjoy' tragedy , even murder, and horror on screen, because you know you are apart from it. Similarly you are an actor on the stage of life. Play your role to the best of your ability , wholeheartedly . Exit when the time comes.

(9)You are your Self:
You have nothing to do with the roles you play . You seem to have lost your identity . Understand who you are. The world will lose its sting. You will enjoy the roles and retreat into an oasis of Bliss when your part is over.
(Aug 01 2014 : The Times of India (Chennai) THE SPEAKING TREE )

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

1600- 'Sakshi Bhav’

(Witness consciousness / clinical,objective, detached, impersonal, dispassionate, Disinterested,impartial, unemotional watching)

Sakshi Bhav is relating to the ‘environment’, our current situation, condition, position, however good or bad they may be, from a stand of a third party, that is suppose I am talking to a friend, then as I am talking, I see the ‘video’ of my talk with a friend, both happening parallelly, multi or rather dual tasking one may say. There I am an third party observer, seeing my reactions to the ‘stimulus’ from environment. Everything that happens, good, bad, not so good, not so bad, is received by our brain as a signal, which is called stimulus in brain language. As I watch my reactions, they start getting modified and turn to responses, that very presence of a watcher is sakshi bhav, third party perspective who is not attached to either.

Once Ram Lal and Shyam Kumar were enjoying their morning cup of tea watching the queue of woman folk filling their vessels from a public tap.
Suddenly, to their amusement, they found some of the woman quarreling over a petty matter. Ram Lal started making fun of their nature but soon turned serious when he found his own wife also getting involved in the matter.

As long as Ram Lal was just a witness to the whole affair uninvolved, he was happy. The moment his wife came to the scene, he got involved and his miseries started. Same is true in all the situations of life. Can we become a witness and look at our problems objectively, look at the whole world as a sakshi, a witness? Then we will be free from many of our difficulties. According to a great philosopher, if one can 'watch' one's anger with awareness it disappears.

Sakshi Bhava is an age old way of witnessing one's own mind and, thus slowly transcending it. As it is our mind in a very tricky fellow. So, to begin with, we can watch something gross, say, our breathing. Just sitting quite, comfortably, and being a Sakshi to the air that goes in and comes out of our system.

An anecdote by Osho, which can help one gauge how sakshi bhav can help is that of Swami Ram’s(or Ramteertha who was M.A. in math & Persian , author of 7 volumes of " in the woods of Adwitha Wedanta ") visit to America. He was guest to some hosts and went out for a walk. After some time came back looking a little disheveled, yet smiling. When hosts asked what happened. He replied, today it was great fun. What fun u had. He said, some youth surrounded raam ( he used to always address himself in third person like children do, this was his trick of keeping himself reminded of raam and sakshi bhav ), and started making fun of him, his dress, etc. later they started slapping him, and only after he pleaded with them, did they leave him alone. Seeing ram receive that thrashing was so hilarious.
I don’t wish for any one to be I such situation, but look at the kind of control over oneself it gives, one can choose to react / respond.
-Aditya Choudhary and Yoga Sudha,May1996


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1599- 'Native Wisdom!'

Hemantha Kalam - 23
( Tuesday, 1 July 2014)
As I was pondering on the subject for my next blog, a chance exchange of a couple of messages, over the Facebook, on ‘wisdom’ between me and Prof. Anandswarup Gadde, Australia, triggered a subject for this blog.

Tempered with Common Sense and Experience ‘Wisdom’ is effective outlook, good judgment, knowledge imparted and received through ages, towards planning a right and effective plan of action.

In my humble opinion, wisdom quotient is embedded in every person though, might be, in different levels. Thus the wisdom of an uneducated person could be much more than that of an educated person and / or vice versa too.

I wish to write on three examples now; two of them passed on over ages as adages and fables and the last one – an experience of my own.

In all these cases, the protagonists are not educated but experienced.

In Telugu, my mother tongue, we have a saying ‘Chaduvukunna vaadi kante Chaakali vaadu nayam’. Freely translated into English, it says that a ‘launderer is better than an educated man’. Now this adage is a representation of age old wisdom of the natives and so I wish to call this as ‘Native Wisdom’

While the forecasts and predictions, of the meteorological department, with all their education and equipment is quite off the mark many a time, and vary on the veracity, the prediction of weather by a launderer, on seeing his donkey’s activities, was considered more reliable.

In India, for a very long time, the launderers used, and in several rural places even today use, the donkey, for carrying the load of dirty and soiled clothes to the waterfronts to clean and wash the clothes.

As the washed clothes needed drying in sunlight, the launderer needs to know when the sun will be available and when the rain is likely to occur. For this, he keeps observing the donkey’s activities and understands the weather conditions by the change in the donkey’s moods and movements.

The fable goes that one day a launderer warns his villagers to harvest or cover their paddy fields as rain is expected in the afternoon. The village’s learned men predict that being not a rainy season, there cannot be any rain in the following days. The launderer completes his washing and drying in the morning itself and returns home from work before the afternoon. And rain, indeed, falls as forecast by the launderer on that day afternoon itself, inundating the farms and resulting in the loss of crop and grain. The launderer explains that his donkey always bends its tail in a peculiar way and stiffens its ears a few hours before it rains and it has never done this otherwise.

So his ‘native wisdom’ is derived from observation and experience.

The second fable is also about rain.

In a court of a king, the country’s designated astrologer dies and a need to fill the position is created. The king arranges for the testing of several astrologers for the post and finally two are short-listed.

On behalf of the king, the minister administers the final test of asking the astrologers to predict what will happen in the afternoon. One astrologer says that though at present the atmosphere is dry and clear, by noon slowly clouds will form and by afternoon there will be a stormy atmosphere with incessant rain. He even predicts that a dead white fish would be seen floating at the main entrance of the court. The second astrologer also confirms the same but adds that the fish to be found would not be white but slightly brownish in colour and it would not be found at the main entrance of the court but a few feet away from the main entrance.

As predicted, the weather changes, the rain occurs and a dead fish, brown in colour would be found a few steps away from the main entrance of the court.

The second astrologer would be declared winner of the two and is appointed as the Court’s astrologer. The first astrologer approaches the winner and asks him what went wrong with his prediction. The second one answers, ‘nothing but lack of common sense’ He says the fish that was seen is indeed white in color and was originally at the entrance only. But because of the heavy rainfall it floated a few feet away from the entrance and in the process got dirty and acquired the brown tinge.

Here, the emphasis is on the need of education to be combined with common sense.
Now, my own experience!

In one of my assignments, I was the General Manager – Marketing and Sales of Security equipment such as CCTVs, Spy Cameras, Image Recorders, Voice Pens and what not? All these, when most of India was not even aware of such products!

The promoters and my bosses were frugal in education but much rich in business experience. So much so, that they could see a niche in products and could really make a very good business out of it, as pioneers.

When I used to approach my immediate boss Fakhribhai, for a discount, beyond my authority, for a customer, he used to ask me why I am recommending it. If I said that the discount is likely to bind a customer with us for a longer time or that I can ensure larger quantity of sale, he used to consider the merits and decide on the quantum of discount, if he is willing to allow.

If I say that the customer is a small customer and he cannot afford the prices, he used to say, ‘GM saab, agar aapko dhanda karna hai to aap daftar ko dimaag leke aana, dil ghar mein rakh kar. Aur jab waapas ghar jaten hain, tab dimaag ko daftar me rakh kar dil ko leke jaana’ In English it means, ‘when you come for business / office leave your heart at home and bring only your mind and when you return home leave your mind here and take home only your heart’.

How true and sensible? This comes out of an experienced outlook.

Nowadays, sadly though, we tend to notice that as more and more educated we are and more and more structured our thinking is becoming, the common sense, on which the native wisdom is based on - sharing with experience though, is being affectively eclipsed. And we are becoming more mindful and less hearty at our homes.

Isn't it? What do you think?

You tell me!
Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy
Chennai, India

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Live longer in 15 minutes
(Quickscan, Health, The WeekSaturday, October 29, 2011)
Just 92 minutes a week of exercise can increase life expectancy and reduce all-cause mortality and cancer risk
Just 15 minutes a day
or 92 minutes a week of exercise
can reduce the risk of dying from cancer by 10 per cent, all-cause mortality by 14 per cent and increase life expectancy by three years, according to a study of 4,16,175 Taiwanese people who were followed for eight years in The Lancet.

Every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise beyond the minimum 15 minutes further reduced the risk of all-cause death by 4 per cent and the risk of cancer death by 1 per cent.

The benefits were seen in all age groups and in both genders.

TV watching:
Another study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has found that watching TV for an average of six hours a day can shorten lifespan by five years. Every hour of TV watched after age 25 reduced life expectancy by nearly 22 minutes. The negative effects were equivalent to smoking two cigarettes.

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1597-6,000 steps (walking an hour, approx. 3.5 to 4km) a day can reduce pain in people with knee arthritis!

Taking 6,000 steps a day can reduce pain, functional limitations and the risk of disability in people with knee arthritis, according to a study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

The researchers tracked the foot steps of 1,788 people with or are at risk of knee osteoarthritis with an ankle monitor for a week, and again two years later. They also measured functional limitation by assessing their walking speed and physical function.

People who walked an average of 6,000 steps a day had better mobility and fewer problems with standing, walking and climbing stairs. The minimum for preventing functional decline was between 3,250 and 3,700 steps a day. With each additional 1,000 steps taken each day, the risk of loss of mobility was reduced by 16 to 18 percent.

People usually average 100 steps per minute. So 6,000 steps equals to about walking an hour a day. Every step counts even going to the bathroom.
(Quickscan, Health, The Week, July 27,2014)

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1596- Daily running can lower death risk

On an average, runners lived three years longer compared to non- runners.
(via Indian Express)
A new US study has suggested that running everyday, even for a few minutes, can significantly reduce a person's risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases.

Since time is one of the strongest barriers to participate in physical activity, the study may motivate more people to start running and continue to run as an attainable health goal for mortality benefits, according to study’s lead author Duck-chul Lee, assistant professor of the Iowa State University, US.

Researchers studied 55,137 adults, aged between 18 and 100, for 15 years to determine whether there was a relationship between running and longevity, Xinhua reported.

They found that those who persistently ran over a period of six years on average had the most significant benefits, with a 29 percent lower risk of death for any reason and 50 percent lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke.

On an average, runners lived three years longer compared to non- runners.

“Promoting running is as important as preventing smoking, obesity or hypertension,” the researchers said in a statement.

” The benefits were the same no matter how long, far, frequently or fast participants reported running. Benefits were also the same regardless of sex, age, body mass index, health conditions, smoking status or alcohol use.”

The findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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1595- If an engineer becomes a doctor...

An Engineer was not getting a job even after two years of graduation. so he decided to open a clinic & wrote outside:
"Any treatment in Rs.300/- & if we cant treat, we will pay you back Rs.1000/-. "

A CLEVER Doctor thought that he will fool the engineer and & get Rs.1000 from him.

He says to the Engineer:
I cant feel any taste on my tongue...

Engineer asks the Nurse to put few
drops of medicine from box no 22.
After that the doctor shouts: "What d _____ ...its URINE!!
The engineer says congratulations your sense of taste is back now.

The Doctor was angry as he lost Rs.300.

After 2 weeks the same doctor comes back again & this time he thinks to get back his previous 300 too.
Doctor : I've lost my memory.
Engineer: Nurse! pls put some drops of medicine from Box no 22 on his tongue.
DOCTOR : Wait Engineer but that medicine is for sense of taste.
Engineer: Congratulations your memory is back.

Moral: Don't try to be over-smart with a desperate unemployed Engineer... 



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

1594- The vicious cycle of unhappiness!

{via Indian Administrative Service (IAS)}
A crow lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life.

But one day he saw a swan."This swan is so white," he thought, "and I am so black. This swan must be the happiest bird in the world."

He expressed his thoughts to the swan. "Actually," the swan replied, "I was feeling that I was the happiest bird around until I saw a parrot, which has two colors. I now think the parrot is the happiest bird in creation."

The crow then approached the parrot. The parrot explained, "I lived a very happy life—until I saw a peacock. I have only two colors, but the peacock has multiple colors."

The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw that hundreds of people had gathered to see him. After the people had left, the crow approached the peacock. "Dear peacock," the crow said, "you are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. When people see me, they immediately shoo me away. I think you are the happiest bird on the planet."

The peacock replied, "I always thought that I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. I have examined the zoo very carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. So for past few days I have been thinking that if I were a crow, I could happily roam everywhere."

That's our problem too. We make unnecessary comparison with others and become sad. We don't value what has God given us.
This all leads to the vicious cycle of unhappiness.

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1593- In every man sleeps a prophet. (Unposted letters, 'RA')

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