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WHAT IS MEANT BY VALUE/VALUE SYSTEM?

WHAT IS MEANT BY VALUE/VALUE SYSTEM?

VALUE SYSTEM

 

Value of an idea or a thought

In the form of an earnest attitude

Made applicable by us all

Or a thing, so important

Depends on the value it entails

For its utility or a price tag it carries

in our daily lives

These value systems are the precursor

Of our society in which we aspire

For new ideas of values to percolate

And make us move forward

Discarding what’re (ideas) old and faded.

Values are the prime-movers of any society

And keep us wrapped-up with the reality.

But in reality economic value and its possession

Cannot earn for us valuation

Equivalent to goodwill and wellness creation.

WHAT IS MEANT BY VALUE/VALUE SYSTEM?

First of all, it is pertinent to delve on the literal meaning of word ‘value’. In economical parlance, the value of goods and services is determined by the price tag it carries. In international monetary matters, the value of respective currencies fall and rise due to internal and external pulls and pressures; these may be economic or other factors. For example, the value of a particular country currency falls due to overall internal production factors (like decline in industrial output, agricultural output) or when imports and exports are incompatible or when there is sluggishness in the international economies like fall in China’s growth story has made a huge dent on the internationally or when there is imminence of war/war like situation between countries. Then we have fall or rise in real estate or in bullion market or mineral oil value according to the domestic factors (location/geography of the place, transportation facilities, school and communication facilities available etc) besides current international economic cues coupled with demand and supply factors too affects the value of goods and services. Value tag of goods and services is thus given according to utility which is attached to it.

Before giving value or importance to an idea or a thought, it is worthwhile to understand what is the yardsticks or parameters used for measuring value of an idea or thought? It is used for a culture or a tradition – as to what is good in a culture or for a culture depends upon attitude and behavior of the society in question. How we can have orderly behaviour and attitude and best to use these in our daily lives depend on what we have imbibed / learnt from our home or from the society in which we are living? Our behaviour or attitude also depends on our behaviour vis-a-vis our society and its environments.

Humans are one of the best creations of our Creators; endowed with the power of discrimination besides all individuals have different traits, intelligence, understanding and aptitude to act. By practicing discrimination in our real life, we can adopt those values which are good for us and through the process of nihilism (refusing to obey a body of beliefs or doctrines or traditional values which have lost their utility in the present times may be due to moral or ethical standpoints). We have to follow value based life on daily basis; enjoying every moment of it while performing daily duties or karma to the best of our abilities besides living our lives most sincerely, honestly on the principles of ‘live and let live’.

The intrinsic value of life can be understood when we adopt those modes of life which are realistic in nature/lifelike – the present moment is the true gift of our Lord, we can adopt wholesome values this moment only. Procrastination leads us nowhere. Who knows about tomorrow – it may come or not for us?

It has been observed that half backed information or its application of value system is being fed to our young minds from various sources which themselves do not have much inherent knowhow about the value system.

The way we adopt fairness or even-handedness to handle some problems impacting our domestic life counts but our sincerity with which we follow the course of action also impacts the values we espouse.


Value also connotes the right or wrong with respect to:

  • Ethical values,
  • Moral values,
  • Traditional values,
  • Thoughts and actions with values attached,
  • Beliefs and faiths and values attached with these,
  • Norms of behaviour, family values and societal values.
  • Sometimes we become too much judgmental about a value; may be due to passage of time or value has lost its utility over a period of time.

In recent times, it has been observed that the value system has been eroded to a maximum extent – may it be on political or sociological sphere. I speak about the political scene of India. It has virtually become a wrestling match/mud slinging match. Selfishness is the prime motive rather than pubic service.

EROSION IN POLITICAL VALUES

Examining the Indian political scene, the political values have slowly but steadily degenerated over a period of time. The richness in national debates that we used to have in both houses of Parliament have lost in value. The noisy scenes that are generated/slanging match in august houses by the parliamentarians seemingly look like a wrestling arena. Although so much of tax payers money is spent on these parliamentarians yet very little or no worthwhile contribution is being made by way of speeches on various legislations/bills. For instance, our chosen representatives are entitled for lifelong pension even for being an Member of Parliament for less than five years! We witness a lot of noise and din created sometimes without any reason whatsoever – just to stall the working of the houses. The unprecedented noise which is created every time something happens in any state (even though that comes under the jurisdiction of a particular State) its undercurrents are felt in the Parliament- more so in Rajya Sabha. Reasons may be any; for example the National Herald case, killing of a Dalit in Punjab or Haryana or due to utterance of some by some politician – invent an incident and stall the parliamentary work has become the order of the day. Any reason is sufficient enough to stall the proceedings in the parliament and disrupt the proceedings.

What is more appalling is that the politicians are dividing the people on the basis of caste, religion, sex, regionalism and thus exploiting the masses to the hilt for garnering votes. One of the causes of economic backwardness of the masses is the non-passage of some bills and legislation like GST and Land Bill etc in the parliament.

After we gained independence, the national building and its destiny rested with our people since they chose their representatives but noisy scenes as we witness in the parliament especially in Upper House is really appalling. Trooping in the well of the house and raising sloganeering besides disrupting the session after session is the order of the day. Now some politicians are not concerned about improving the lots of their people who voted them to power. They play power games as they are not interested in the service and upliftment of the masses. This has resulted in the disillusionment of the electorates. All this and much more has contributed in huge erosion in political values.

ETHICAL & MORAL VALUE

Knowledge about moral or ethical values notwithstanding, these are of no consequence till such time we utilize these practically in our daily lives. Mere theory will not do – practice makes difference. For example, though we’ve learnt that positive behavior and attitude like obeying the older members of our society are good but when it comes to really practically using the same we do it otherwise! Then possessing that value system is of no consequence – learning to use it practically makes sense. This value inculcation may be from our parents, gurus or any other members of our society. Merely listening discourses from religious discourses/congregations (satsang) are of little value till we use the same practically.


Then what we’ve learnt by way of value system ought to be clarified from a person who is well versed in spiritualism or Jnana Yoga (absolute wisdom) in the light of new knowledge revolution which is sweeping the world over.


Those who are having essential values and use these on daily basis are the real friends of the community. In Mahabharta there is a fight between Pandavas (positive forces having positive values system) and Kauravas (representing negative forces – without values). The one who is having knowledge always follows the good or positive karma, have positive frame of mind, leads a life full of compassion for others. While dark forces are self centred, conceited, negatively oriented and have their growth only as their sole ambition is to fulfill their self-seeking plan.

Knowing the inner truth is precursor for self realization. It is also a fact that we as humans are bestowed the power of discrimination; as to what is good or what is bad for us and proceed further in the path of self awareness.


Demon king Ravana too was obsessed with pride and wanted to suppress all the civilized and positive values prevailing at that time proved his negative credentials by even abducting Sita Mata, the consort of Lord Rama thus represented evil as its worst manifestation. Lord Rama (incarnate of Lord Vishnu) represented positive forces. In order to annihilate evil and establish good value system, Lord Rama killed Ravana. The domain of God can never be understood by demanding proofs that form essential part of science. Pure wisdom (Jnana Yoga) could be attained through pure value system.

SOURCES FROM WHERE WE CAN GET VALUE SYSTEM

  • We can realize truth and gain values for use in our life from any source of knowledge Quran, Bhagwad Gita, Bible Sri Garanth Sahib and other religious scriptures.
  • Transfer of traditional value systems from parents.
  • Transfer of value system from formal and informal institutions.
  • Present moment is the time when all those theoretical values which we’ve absorbed have to be made applicable practically first by trial and error method and subsequently these values become part of our daily habits. Past is dead, whatever done or not done by way of imparting values is hardly of any credence.
  • Value system which has lost its shine due to passage of time could be replaced with some gained presently.
  • Religious scriptural values are eternal in nature and hence could be revived and revised through discourses with religious preacher or Gurus who have got self realization.

 

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2016 in Inner Thoughts

 

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What is traditional and modernity? Can these two could be married for a healthy and peaceful living?

 

TRADITION WEDS MODERNITY

Whilst we learn a great deal

From lessons transferred  by our forefathers

Becomes our stepping stone

From where we can pick and choose

Our life’s norms suiting us the most

Intention counts much

Freedom for deciding

What we want following

We have to introspect thoroughly

What was good in the days gone by

Called traditional way of thinking

Is still relevant at this instant indeed

Like paying respect

To our older members of our society

Observing fast on some days so vital

Celebrating our regional festivals

Including our national festival

Also,  events like Eid, Diwali, Dussehra and Christmas

With enthusiasm and with highest fervor.

Some norms of behavior

Which have lost their sheen with passage of time

These rites, rituals and social customs

Are  just shown the door permanently.

Healthy mix of both

Bestows us fond hope

For living a life full of peace

Proving – when both tradition & modernity marry

Together these grant us avenue to make merry.   

What is traditional and modernity? Can these two could be married for a healthy and peaceful living? 

A practice which has long since followed and passed from generation to generation with time is traditional in nature and what is relevant today is modernity. Then with the similar yardstick, moderns of every / any age considered themselves contemporary; in sync with the time and those in the past traditionalist and old and haggard hence obsolete. it may be social custom, rites, attitudes, habits etc? Our forefathers termed themselves as more value oriented, more accustomed to traditional way of thinking and outlook. Even now, people who have lived their lives, just compare the value system of today and then when they were young.

Who is traditionalist – individual, groups of individuals, family or society which follow particular way of starting the day’s chores, following a positive approach when thinking about an idea when initiating something new, thanks giving to the God when something gets fructified, thanking somebody who does some favour to us, fasting to cleanse body and mind, need for meditation and prayers for maintaining connectivity with God etc. These traditional value systems are just transferred or handed down by our forefathers from generations together so that continuity of good behavioral norms remains intact and pursued. It may be value system, cultural traditions in the form of various festivals in the community, particular beliefs/ faiths, rituals and rites, religious teachings/preaching, particular norms to be followed with it, method of prayers etc.

The traditionalists generally  make comparisons with modern world; like in olden days there used to be more respect for the older members of the society; joint family system prevailed where old people had a say in the affairs of the family, oriental ways of thinking where respect is paid to Nature and its varied forms (Creator with all His creations are duly respected – trees, animals including Sun, Moon etc). Thus the thought which we inherit from our older members of the society, a usual pattern of ideas or actions or a particular behavior pattern or a body of beliefs which are rampant in the society since time memorial.

Then there is question of cultural continuity, social behavioral patterns which bind us with our society and if we deviate from those norms we are considered as outcastes or pseudo-modernists. Just to live and grow with the society, we are constraint to follow traditional behavior patterns which suit us. This affords us the opportunity to assimilate with the members of our society.

Many a times, we break with the tradition due to present experiences and lessons learnt. There are some social and cultural festivals which are in fact local in nature but are continuing since long, these are:

  • Sankat Chouth Vrat (A fast which is observed by the ladies for the wellbeing of the children).
  • Karva Chauth. Fast observed by the married women for the wellbeing of their husbands (in this fast the women do not take even water and take water given by her husband when the moon is seen on the sky).
  • Vash Dua: This fast also is observed by the ladies of the household for the wellbeing of the entire family along with pet animals).
  • Ganesha Sankat Chauth Fast – this fast is observed on Ganesha Caturthi by the devotees of Lord Ganesha for the wellbeing of the entire family. This year this fast would be on 27th Jan 2016.
  • Observing Shradha for our dead ancestors. In order to keep the memory of our ancestors who are no longer with us, offerings of food is made to Brahmins – it is believed that by doing so we not only remember them but also pray for them.

TRADITIONAL IMPORTANCE OF A GURU

Then we have special traditional relationship of respect for our Gurus – a most revered one who is a spiritual master and self realized individual. The relationship between disciple and Guru is most sacred – it is an old traditional based (parampra). The Gur Mantra given by the revered Guru is a binding force between the two. Guru helps the individual concerned in self realization (self aware) besides helping that individual in connecting with God. The importance of Guru is highlighted

in Bhagwad Gita as: Learn the Truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him with reverence and render service unto him. Such an enlightened Saint can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the Truth.

TRADITION OF JOINT FAMILY & NUCLEAR/UNIT FAMILY

It is in fact in joint family all members are duly respected and provided care and protection, our teachers who mold our life, our older members of the society etc. But as joint family system (Grand parents, their children along with their spouse(s) and others) has given place to nuclear family system (consisting of both the spouses and children) partly due to employment of the breadwinner and partly due to social compulsion/personal reasons particular to the spouses.

With the sea of changes that science and technology have wrought and resultant pressures that the family fabric have been subjected to, changes in our mindset per se are considered in essence a crying necessity. The things which were considered indispensable are dispensed with out-rightly – it is rather intriguing on its face value but it happens.

SOME TRADITIONAL RITES WHICH DO NOT SYNC WITH PRESENT TIMES

As time passes on, humans evolve, in thoughts and actions. This evolution takes for granted some of the traditional thoughts which has lost much of its utility or may have proven outdated with the passage of time.  It has also been observed that people living in rural areas are more traditionalists than those living in urban areas – urban elites are more updated about the new knowledge and knowhow and hence more prone to modernistic attitude.

  • Practice of Sati. Be that as it may, the earlier held custom of Sati; women whose husbands died, she was, regardless of her choice, had to sit in her funeral pyre duly bedecked and then pyre lit. She died then and there. Afterwards, a temple used to be raised at that place and respect paid to the departed soul. Raja Rammohan Roy, renowned social reformer educated people to shun this ill-conceived traditional    Presently the custom has been stopped through legislation (law of land).
  • Child Marriage. There was custom of child marriage, especially in rural areas. This practice was prevalent since long. This had disastrous consequences since both the boy and girl, at that time were very young in age – were dependent on others for their needs. This practice too resulted in giving birth to many a social, ethical and moral implications.
  • Then Bull Fight in Tamil Nadu – Pongal Festival Jallikattu has been banned by the Supreme Court recently despite notification by the Central Government.
  • Superstition of Crossing Path By a Cat When One is Walking. Some prevalent superstitions like crossing a cat the way when one is walking that path. It is believed that crossing your way by a cat means a bad omen and consequences are deemed to be disastrous though that person may be going for an important commitment.
  • Superstition of a Sneeze When One is Going For a Urgent Obligation. When a person is starting his/her job, and there is a sneeze by somebody. This is considered a bad omen. People just stop going for the job in hand.
  • Some other traditional superstitions like; entry of bride or groom in the family for the first time by putting some tamarind oil on the floor near the entrance gate of the house. This act is considered also auspicious for receiving guest of honour or welcoming newborn.

SUITABLE TRADITIONS / CUSTOMS REQUIRE TO CONTINUE


Life is like constant currents of the ocean – one current gives place to another and the process just goes on. With passage of time, the steady evolutionary changes take place in human psyche. With it all, the old beliefs and attitudes once held sacrosanct change with time. At the same time some social norms and practices still persist because of these are considered essential due to one reason or another. For example, what has been transferred to us by our forefathers and is connected with our family values and faiths; like festivals which has seasonal occurrence (Lohri, Holi, Pongal, etc) or National Festivals like Republic Day and Independence Day or some traditional religious based festivals like Eid, Dussehra, Diwali, Christmas or festivals which has regional or connected with family-tree connectivity/overtones continue uninterrupted. For example, I usually attend annual Khajuria brotherhood congregation {his  mela in Baba Jito Shrine at Zeeeri (Jammu District)}.

VIEWS OF MODERNISTS WITHOUT FORGETTING TRADITIONAL THINKING

Modernists, are of the opinion that with time, our some of our traditional thinking should give place to modern thoughts. They view that even in the human relations immense evolution have resulted. The joint family system has given place to nuclear or unit family system, where only the wife, husband and the children live and share everything but live separately. Thus all the financial and other responsibilities are taken by husband and wife. More often, both the spouses are constraint to work. When both are working, then their children remain without quality time from the parents, consequently they remain loveless for most period of their childhood. Owing to this, children just while their time and are influenced by the situations and environments they are placed. Also, the modernists say that the traditionalists want to stick to the old and defunct traditional way of thinking. If one has to acquire a house for the joint family in the big cities (where both the spouses work), it is financially not possible and to rent a house too is not viable because the daily expenditure that it entails for the entire joint family is exorbitant. The modernists too think that they want their children to grow up independently – without any encumbrances. In modernist view, the spirit of enquiry is encouraged now whereas in traditional way of thinking it is discouraged besides everybody has the liberty to keep pace with the changes that are taking place. In their views, when science and technology has changed so much then why we have to stick to the old and worn-out way of thinking and acting. With availability of new goods and services has made it necessary for us to acquire these things for daily use. Though industrialization has made our environment polluted, resulting in various lung related diseases, yet there new medicines have resulted in enhancement of our life span.

TRADITION & MODERNITY COULD BE MARRIED FOR A HEALTHY AND PEACEFUL LIVING

Conclusively, it could be believed that both thoughts based on modernity and traditionalist could be wedded but for this to happen, we have to first understand which traditional norms require continuation besides we have to change our mindset accordingly. It is the combination of the two that any society could move forward. Any rigid stand on one could lead to widening the chasm between the two. But I opine that excessive reliance on traditional way of thinking could put a spanner in our progressive thinking.

The modern men should think that we are reaping the harvest of our forefathers for their inventions and also in the field of literature – not that modern man have not done anything. Hence, it can conveniently be deduced that our traditionalists must adopt some modern ways of thinking if cohesion and cooperation between the two is to be ensured. Modernity will not have its footstep on the ground if they leave traditional thinking.

 

 

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Posted by on January 23, 2016 in Inner Thoughts

 

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Animals are the best of God’s creations for keeping balance in nature: discipline & training of animals for enhancing its usefulness for the humanity

ANIMALS & THEIR IMPORTANCE FOR HUMANS

Animals are the best of God’s creations for keeping balance in nature: discipline & training of animals for enhancing its usefulness for the humanity.

Amongst all the bounties and creations of our Creator, animals are the most useful of all but for this creation, humans must not have growth and development as has been done presently. These animals not only give fillip to our economy but also give us sense of security when these faithful are with us.

Animals play most important role in human life. The animals like cows, goats, buffaloes etc,  provide protein rich diet of milk and its dairy products. Bye-products like wool/fur/hair of animals like  sheep, goats, hare etc are used for making woolen cloths which protect us from winter cold, some medicines / drugs are made from the extracts / parts of some animals, non-vegetarians can get meat from some animals and finally at the demise of animals, their hide is used for making shoes or other articles for the use of humans.

Not only this, animals like camels, bulls, elephants etc are employed for carrying loads. Bulls/camels are being used for tilling fields for enhancing agricultural produce. Dung of animals like cows, buffaloes  etc is being used as manure for increasing the fertility of fields for  he use of humans and other living beings.

It is also a fact that animals contribute hugely in increasing the economic development of a country in variety of ways: like export of finished products (woolen clothes, leather products, meat, dairy products, extracts of some animals for medicines etc) besides meeting internal demands of a country.

The use of some animals like monkeys etc for testing the efficacy of newly made medicines and for research purposes. This may sound unethical, but these medicines cannot be administered directly on humans.

Animals have been useful for maintaining the eco-system besides keeping a balance in the population of rodents and insects which are otherwise dangerous for humans. The animals which are domesticated and kept as pets are of much help to the mankind in many ways than one besides these are very useful for entertainment.

Description of some of the important domesticated animals / pets is given as under:-

COW

Cow is a domesticated animal. It gives us milk  with which we make varieties of milk products. In Hindu culture and traditions, cows are held in highest esteem. Its milk which is sattvic in nature is used for drinking  and also for making milk products (hot-milk, cold-milk, curds, ghee, varieties of sweets). Its dung is used for manure for fields for enhancing agricultural productivity and also for making dung cakes for fuel purposes in the villages. Cow thus is revered as gau mata or mother because it feeds us and its milk is very useful for us. Even its urine has medicinal value. Bulls are being used as bullocks for tilling fields.

Krishana (also called Balgopal), the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, tended herds of cows and partook cow’s milk and its products. Its mention is there in Rig Vedas. Cows are mentioned as symbols of wealth and compared with river Goddesses. There is a mention of Kamadhenu (mother of cows) in Hindu mythology and also called as the source of prosperity. She is the also called the ‘mother of piety’; as cows in general are venerated in Hinduism.

In Bhagwad Gita Lord Krishna reveals that amongst cows He is manifested as the kamadhuk meaning kamadhenu the original wish fulfilling cows known as the surabhi cows. Just who and what are thesurabhi cows and how the surabhi cows attained such an elevated and exalted position that they are able to represent a portion of the energy of the supreme….

ELEPHANT


There are two species of elephants; African and Indians, have distinctive features – having a long trunk which is used for breathing, lifting of heavy loads, logs of wood etc. Elephants were used to carry the warriors and their weapons on their back because of its endurance and bulk.  Elephants are also trained and disciplined to act in circuses and other shows for entertainment purpose though this practice is now opposed by the animal lovers.

In Hinduism, elephants are held in high esteem because it symbolizes Lord Ganesha.

In the battle of Hydaspes between King Parus and Alexander the Great, the great armies of Paurus consisted of elephants which showed their mettle in the battle field.

HORSE


Horses have the unique characteristic of carrying loads, used for recreational purses, games (like polo, races, hurdle race etc), for their well developed balance, requisite training is a must for harnessing and channeling their energies when required partly for enhancing their endurance and usefulness in multifarious roles. Even now horses are being used variously.


Horses live a lifespan of 24-30 years. Before the advent of fuel run vehicles, horses proved its mettle their utility both for carrying loads to far flung otherwise inaccessible areas or during bad climates. They are saddled properly for performing its functions both in carrying loads in the far flung inaccessible areas. Generally, horses are of three categories of horses; hot blood (have speed and high endurance), cold bloods (useful for carrying loads) and warm bloods (These are trained to be developed from crosses between cold and hot breeds for riding purposes. There are more than 300 species of horses. There are domesticated horses, wild horses and sea horses.


The chariot of Arjuna with Lord Krishna as a Saarthi had two well-trained horses which had the unique qualities of fight-or-flight response in tune with their masters.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji famed horse which was affectionately called Neela,  was trained and disciplined in such a manner that it obeyed and understood each and every requirements of Guru Ji.

The horse of Maharana Pratap Singh, nick-named Chetak, proved its services and bravery in the battlefields. It obeyed its master’s command – lived for him and even died for him finally.

DOG

Dog is one of the best friends of man because of its unique qualities of behavior (being faithful to the person who domesticates and keep as pets), sensory traits (for which it is used by police and military) and its physical features. Dog is uniquely attuned to human behavior and its food habits (starch-rich); much related extent to humans dietary habits. Its sensory characteristics are really exclusive to it; that is the reason that it is employed as ‘sniffer dog’ duties. With its special training, it is used in tracking crimes by the police.


There are many species of dogs bull terrier, rajapalyam, poodles, ariege, American white shepherd etc. It is used for hunting, pulling loads (are group of dog breeds which are trained for pulling dog sledge on arctic regions to carry loads or used in areas which are inaccessible), it is extensively used for protection of households and organizations at odd hours.

Amongst dogs too, there is great feeling of love and care. This was evident, many a times, when I witnessed peculiar type of behavior. There are some stray dogs in my neighbourhood, whenever I keep something as a feed for the young one, and if suddenly, the older dog comes, the young one just stops eating. This is, I think, as a love for the older member! Can we find such love and care amongst humans?

DONKEY

Donkey is a domesticated animal. It is a beast of burden. It can track long distances with load to inhospitable terrain like mule. Otherwise a docile animal but sometimes it behaves obstinately, therefore, it has to be trained properly. Also, because it is a passive animal, it should never be exploited but given due consideration as far as  its needs for proper diet and should never be unduly burdened.

CAT

CAT is a domesticated animal and that is why it is also called as house cats when kept as pets in the houses. There are wild cats too. These provide us company when we are alone. There are about 70 breeds of cats. The main characteristics of cats is; flexible body, quick reflexes, adaptability in catching and killing prey. Nature has provided cats quick hearing power, can see even in darkness, have good sense of smell. Cats are having cat specific body language. It preys on small insects, birds etc. It is domesticated for companionship and removing the loneliness of some people.

The above are some of the animals but there are many others land based animals like lions, tigers, hares/rabbits, monkies, hyenas, deers, etc which are equally or even more useful for establishing equilibrium in the eco-system besides performing other valuable balancing acts. Some are kept as pets, others live under the forest cover for their sustenance.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2016 in ANIMAL WORLD, Inner Thoughts

 

CELEBRATION OF LOHRI & MAKKAR SANKRANTI

CELEBRATION OF LOHRI & MAKKAR SANKRANTI

CELEBRATION OF LOHRI
(ON 13th JANUARY)


WISH YOU A HAPPY & PROSPEROUS LOHRI AND MAKKAR SANKRANTI
MAY THESE TWO FESTIVALS FOSTER BROTHERHOOD AND AMITY AMONGST ALL


LOHRI FESTIVAL


Every festival is associated with some legendary figure or a particular season
Or definitive & popular occasion
Which bestow us chance for celebration
With our friends and relatives’ participation
In which we share our joys with supreme elation.

Lohri is a winter festivals of repute
Falls in the month of January – Paush
Marks the end of winter season
And beginning of longer – a little hotter days ahead soon
For farmers it is one of the happiest occasion
For they start harvesting rabi crops
Start of Spring Season is a Natural bounty
Adds additional spice to the festivities.
(Rabi Crop: Wheat, Gram, Pea, Mustard, Linseed, Barley, Peas)

Traditionally on Lohri Day a bonfire is lit
People congregate around it
And reverently offer, Jaggery (gur), sesame seeds (til)
Sesame coated sugar candy and popcorn are put into leaping bonfire
The skyward leaping fire
The bonfire too demonstrates that it is enjoying all acts of hers
Gathering partake the sacred offerings themselves too as (parsad) offering
With satiety mixed with joy writ large in everybody’s face.
Offerings too is made to ‘PANJ TATAVAS’ five elements
Fire, water, ether, earth and wind
Going around the bonfire with great reverence
And singing traditional songs with dance makes much difference.
And that too in tune with beating of drums!

Tradition has it that there was a very brave person of repute
Named Dulla Bhatti from lineage of warrior race of the Rajputs
In the reign of Mughal king Akbar
He used to rescue poor girls from the clutches of robbers
And got them married to suitable boys
People sing Lohri songs with highest reverence
And shower utmost admiration to the courageous one.

Thence another legend of the origin of Lohri
is connected with Saint Kabir and his wife named ‘Loi’
Herself a lady so pious.
Kabir was  lovesick for his spouse
At pitch dark night, when the house was locked from inside
On the first floor she was peacefully sleeping fitfully
He took the help of a rope, just dangling
To climb to reach her place
When asked how he had entered by his doting wife
He took her to show her the rope for an easy climb
Whilst she saw that in person
She was aghast to find a huge python hanging
Which was taken as an assistance for entering
Then she scolded her husband
With the pithy and terse words
So much so you’re so obsessed for her love
That you took a huge python for a rope!
Wish that you possessed the same attraction
For the God in the Heaven
Then you would have  ensured your salvation – so certain
This way Kabir got a eternal lesson
He determined for total devotion to (God) Bhagwan
And earned him the image of renowned ‘SAINT’
Who is revered by the people in general

For his pearl of wisdom-filled (dohas) verses, so engrossing.

Lohri festival is celebrated in Northern Indian states. It is generally celebrated on 13th January – in the month of Paush or Magha, one day before Makar Sankranti. We term this festival as a community based festival where Bhangra (dance by men folks) and gidha (dance by women folks) to the beats of drums bring verve and gaiety to the celebrations. Seasonal dry fruits like peanuts, jaggery eatables besides milk cakes are specially made and distributed amongst relatives and friends. It is celebrated in Northern States of India like Punjab, Jammu, Haryana, Delhi etc while Sindhi community celebrate it as Lal Loi.
Following are some of the reasons for its celebration:-


SEASON RELATED

 It marks the end of winter and beginning of harvest season. It infuses vitality and zeal in the lives of people – especially the farmers. It symbolizes prayer to fire (Agni puja) in the evening. People take a few parikarma (rounds) around the bonfire and shower offerings to fire. Special bounties are asked for the wellbeing and prosperity besides peace in the entire households. Newly wedded couples and newly born receive special attention on this festival.

LEGEND.

The legend of Dulla Bhatti (Rai Abdullah Khan) is very popular. It is a legend of a Rajput warrior who saved a damsel in distress BELONGING TO HINDU RELIGION from the clutches of lustful officials. The valiant Rajput adopted her as his own daughter and married her off to a young and suitable Hindu body. He also gave her presents – nine mounds of sugar etc as gift on her marriage. This shows the community feeling during those days. If during those days feeling for each other was rampant then why not now!

A song is sung for this legend:


Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicharaa ho!
Dullah Bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paata ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chacha gali dese!……

 

(This song is related to a beautiful girl who was brought up by Dulla Bhatti and he got her married to a suitable boy in her marriage he gave her jiggery measuring one ser. The girl is in her red attire but with torn shawl she is thus married off. Now give us something on Lohri; do anything but give me something and the youth laugh and cry in their own curious way)

LEGEND IN CONNECTION WITH SUN GOD

Lohari marks the end of winter season on the final day of Paush. On this day Sun God is worshipped as a thanksgiving for providing us heat. A special Mantra is chanted in praise of Sun God while circling round the bonfire.

 

MAKKAR SANKRANT
(ON 15TH JANUARY THIS YEAR)


Lohri too is linked with Makar Sanranti
Which too is another winter festival very famous
Celebrated one day after Lohri celebrations
A day so fixed
14th January – indeed very sacred
It marks the beginning of solar maagha masa
Makar Sankranti is start of harvest festival
And beginning of pleasant Spring Season
Celebrated in all parts of country.

It has its origin to the movement of the earth
Sun movement begins from (Sankranti) one zodiac sign
Into another – Capricorn zodiac (Makar) sign
Two movements are termed as Makar Sakranti.

This day marks the beginning of warmer days
As the sacred months start from this day onwards
Makar Sankranti is celebrated with great fervor
In western and northern India
There is a mention of this day in Mahabharata
As, it is the festival of Sun God
Who gives us light and heat
To living beings without bias
And bestows us divinity and wisdom,
Thus holding an eternal meaning.

India being a home to multicultural, multilingual and multi-religious society can pride itself in having different festivals. These festivals may be season based, traditional based, culture based, religious based or for that matter any other considerations. But the fervour and enthusiasm that accompanies with these festivals is second to none. It is here that a Hindu or enjoys Eid or Gurpurab or as a Muslim enjoys Diwali or all of them enjoy Christmas Day. That is the beauty. I do not dispute that hotheads are there in any strata of life who do not know either about their own religious festivals nor of others. One thing which pleases us is the shine on the faces of every one while celebrating any festival! That is more alluring than anything else.


Makkar Sankranti is celebrated in the month of Paus (January) Makar Sankranti is the day when the Sun God starts enters the Northern Hemisphere. Hindus like Greeks worship Sun God – the giver of immense energy. Sun God is termed as the manifest God, having all the glorious divinity. It is worthwhile to mention here that Gayatri mantra, which is from Rig-Veda, was specifically made with dexterity is for offering our respect to Sun God. He is the bestows us intelligence and sagacity. It goes to show that Makkar Sankranti is associated with cosmic event which affects the life of humans immensely.


This festival is celebrated with gaity and fervor in all the parts of India with different names but the enthusiasm remains the same. Devout get up early in the morning, take bath in holy rivers and offer prayers in the temples. After having offered prayers, people give alms to the needy according to their capability. In the afternoon people share a special Kichri (Hotchpotch) made of rice and black dall uradh.

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5 Comments

Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Inner Thoughts

 

ON SELF-RELIANCE / SELF SUFFICIENCY

ON SELF-RELIANCE

ON INDIVIDUAL PLANE

While speaking about self reliance, we have to be doubly sure about individual’s self-sufficiency in relation to an his/her body needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs etc. We also think that every individual is different, intelligence wise, physically besides putting up with changes that may entail while facing a situation. A person who, through his work and achievements, inspires confidence despite handicaps is really a person with a difference. Irrespective of what others think, nobody but myself can make things right for me. My strength flows from the strength of my own mind. The assertion by Napoleon Bonaparte is more relevant here: ‘The word impossible is in the dictionary of fools’. He was the person fired by self confidence and drive who faced every situation squarely and came out unscathed. He was a workaholic and risk taking genius – a personage with steadfast mind. He exemplified a personality imbued with a pursuit of self-reliance and self sufficiency and exploited his resources to the hilt. But everybody cannot be Napoleon. So nobody can work for me, think for me, pray for me (I have to do it by/for myself).

If I fall; I only have to make efforts to get up, nobody except me will have to do it. If nothing works well in our life, I’ll have to make concerted attempt to put synergy in our effort in whatever way we can. This is what happened in my case. I had an accidental fall last month due to which my left hand wrist got fractured. It looked as though every path around me had stopped; my job, my active life, my prayers, etc just got affected. But my inner voice prompted me to face the facts squarely and encouraged me to not to put a stop on any activity with even a sling pouch in my left arm proving that if we want to face challenges, we can!

A question pops up, can we be self reliant with all the inconsistencies and imperfections in our capacities? Nobody in fact is perfect in all the walks of life and if somebody thinks it otherwise then that person seemingly is over-indulging in self-worth. Also we have to introspect whether the chessboard of life could be played by a single person or not. Self-sufficiency or self-reliant surmise may spring a thought as to how an individual could be self sufficient, he may excel in one field but may have to take the help of others in fulfilling his agenda. But it can also be emphasized, despite imperfections, we can take the assistance of those who can fill the gap in inconsistencies and make sincere efforts for becoming self-contained.

We tend to be overwhelmed by our disabilities but think of the people who suffered from various forms of disabilities yet they made their mark in different fields. They not only became SELF RELIANT but also inspiration for others who get disheartened even with slightest adverse circumstance.


How best the people with various types of disabilities train and conduct themselves through trial and error method in order to be self reliant. Although failures will certainly be there yet will to survive and excel under duress makes huge difference. They not only make themselves reliant for themselves but also become beacon-light for others and show that disability of any nature could be overcome with self-determination of highest order. Following are some of the examples of physically challenged persons challenged the adverse situations / conditions and showed their fighting instinct and out-shined..

  • Sudha Chandran from India despite her disability (with artificial right leg – which was amputated due to an accident) she became a talented dancer. For her talents she has been numerous awards.
  • How blind and deaf Helen Adams Keller learned to communicate and camoaigned the causes of women, rights of workers along with other causes.

  • Stephen William Hawking with motor neuron disease (which was detected when he was only 21 years) but became a world famous theoretical physicist, won Presidential Medal of Freedom (a highest civilian award) and other awards due to his strong will and zeal to excel.

  • Example of John Nash is really impressive. He started showing signs of paranoia. After recovery, his scientific temper became more pronounced besides he won rewards for his work.

We follow other people’s footprints or follow oft beaten track while doing anything important and do not create some unique or adopt out of the box method for fructification of our fforts. Even in prayers we tend to conform to what others do and fear what ‘others’ would think if we adopt something singular practice in order to seek God’s connectivity. Those who do their jobs differently achieve something exclusive. Mere empty ideas will hardly make any difference; putting these ideas into practice in our own way; using our head and heart; without external influences or coercions will make us more self reliant self-contained.


Self-reliance actually means to nurture a belief that one is self-sufficient; one is able to satisfy one’s needs without depending more on others for meeting needs. Here too one thing stands out, by nature, all things created by our Creator are dependent on each other for their survival. Interdependence and sustain each other is the natural outcome for an action plan to be executed in a systematic manner.

Individualism is reasonable but humans cannot exist in isolation though all have their importance in their sphere of activity/influence. When an individual takes for granted others, besides a person who forcibly or illegally snatches others possessions through deception, that person lives a parasitic life. One who does not care for others or does not share the fruits of his action is bound to fail after sometime.


Man depends on others for meeting his needs; from childhood onwards. The child wholly depends on parents for meeting all its needs. In the loving care of parents, child grows up, learns the first lesson from parents and then from the formal institutions and his confusions are removed and his self-confidence is established.


Normal practice is to send our children to school and our combined education makes them self reliant. But it is sad commentary that when we talk about self reliant, we mean it for economic self reliance. Real self reliance happens if a person gains spiritually, morally and economically partly through self efforts and partly through the assistance of others with enough graces of our God. Confidence in working with strangers comes when one has learnt the traits of assimilation initially. Thus essentially, gaining independence and taking decisions freely result when one is flexible in learning the art of living under different sets of situations one is placed for self reliant in all the spheres of our lives.


SELF RELIANCE IN PRODUCTION

If above is relevant for humans it is also relevant for nations. We are aware that now a days we are living in a global village where anything happening casts a shadow globally. For instance economic slowdown /meltdown in China is having economic repercussions world over the happenings in Syria is having its reverberations all the world over.


In other words, what is true of an individual is also true in a larger perspective while it relates to international relations. Besides being proud of our heritage and produce things ourselves for meeting our demand but also export the same for earning foreign exchange which could be conveniently used for meeting the import bills besides boosting our foreign exchange reserves. A country should be self sufficient in the fields like industry, agricultural produce, science and technology in sync with the growth in population. Also, now a days, one country has to be self reliant in defence related production to protect its sovereignty.


Total self reliance is not possible, so the nations depend on each other for meeting their demands. Some countries may say that they are self-reliant, they do not need other countries support for driving their economies which can meet their demand and supply – it is not possible at least presently because of advancements in various fields.


For self reliant we should ponder over the following aspects:-

  • Creative Zeal. To be self reliant at individual plane we have to create something unique / some out of the box accomplishment.

  • Excel despite our limitations, (physical and resource-wise). No adverse circumstance should deter us from our chosen path. There are several examples wherein people have become self contained and self reliant despite their disabilities. Here self confidence coupled with God’s graces count.

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 9, 2016 in Inner Thoughts, SELF IMPROVEMENT

 

New YEAR RESOLUTIONS (2016)

New YEAR RESOLUTIONS (2016)

Our sojourn of life is unending. While traversing on this life’s journey, we sometimes have to stop and analyze the progress of our efforts. When this evaluation takes place at the end and beginning of year, it beings in its wake fresh interest and expectations. We can even reorient our target, method of fructification etc. It is also understood that one function ends, the another starts and it goes on. In our zeal to reach goal, we want to reach our coveted target with a speed just forgetting the meaning of God’s speed resulting in earning for ourselves stress related diseases.

The amount of our effort is different while realizing our target and make it a reality.  The imponderables of richness of accomplishments depends upon; what we’ve achieved that we aspired for, whether our performance will bring tangible results or not, what are the implications if there are external impediments and how best to remove them for a smooth functioning, what we’ve gained and sometimes lost or pin-pricks experienced during our endeavor and finally happy and sad moments observed.

During our sincere attempts, we’ve have to maintain a healthy balance under trying situations. Half of our task gets accomplished if we adopt positive approach coupled with equi-poised method for any task at hand.  For our goals to achieve in ease and peace we have to have self confidence despite hurdles and grace of God.

While choosing our coveted resolutions, what happened in the past should give us experience to stride ahead despite some adverse situations. Successes make us happy and failures should bestow us lessons and experiences for forward movement and provide us self belief to go ahead and if need be reorient our resolutions midway.

The following are my resolutions. Also, it can also  be said that same sets of resolutions could be attained and made applicable to all of us:-

  1. Keeping humour as our companion. In order to keep stress-free life it is essential to not to lose sight of humour even in most stressful contingency in order to keep ourselves safe from hypertension and other stress related diseases.
  1. Family values. When there is cohesion in the family, every member respects each others’ privacy and the old members are given due reverence and consulted for advice on varied matters bedeviling the family, there is understanding between husband and wife and give quality time to their children for their vertical (advancement in thinking capability)and horizontal development (adding more knowledge, skill and competencies) besides there exists love for each other.
  1. Removing negativity or regressive tendencies from our midst. It is a must that we should drive negativity in the form of ego, anger, jealousy, bitterness, greed for worldly possessions, lust for sex outside the family, etc.
  1. Difficult situation and way to face them. When faced with dreadful situation, there are two options either fight to the end till the problem ends or flight to avoid the onslaught of the situation confronted. What we want doing depends on us. Here presence of mind and inner strength is a must.
  1. Pursuing Simple lifestyle. We should pursue simple living, simple habits, simple prayer, simple dietary habits. By following simplicity in all walks of life, we can remain within our resources and not fall prey to our ostentatious style of our life.
  1. Spiritual forward march. Through spiritualism we can investigate, analyse and then classify an arising situation concerning spirit  proving spiritualism as science. When we study laws of nature both seen and unseen concerning life and reaches to a conclusion based on facts and figure; in this case it is philosophy besides when we try understanding religion in the light of physical, mental and spiritual Laws of Nature.
  1. Quality of our productivity. Whatever profession we pursue, we ought to perform with utmost sincerity and with due diligence – putting to use all our resources at our command so as to create extra-ordinarily glowing output. This should be based on percept; Quality is better than quantity.
  1. Life to be lived out not rust out. Our idea should be to live with our life with our head held high notwithstanding the functions we perform. Whiling away our time and frittering our knowhow will not solve problem. If we do so then we’ll rather rust ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually.
  1. Failure is a stepping stone for a successful life. Aspire for the best and if results are not to our expectations then another sincere effort is called for. Failure should be taken as stepping stone for success finally with firm belief on our inner strength and belief in God.
  1. Egoistic tendencies. Our success, through our self effort, should not make us egotistical and and full of pride but rather make us humble and we should thank God for all.
  1. Belief that every shining thing is not gold. In our real life, we get swayed and get attracted by outer glitter without knowing the inner quality of someone and something. To remain grounded, it is important that we distinguish what is good for us and what is not.

May our efforts fructify.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 2, 2016 in Inner Thoughts