Christian Persecution in India: The Real Story
We have heard about what the Christians in India have called the persecutions against them. However, there is much more to this story than we often hear, and there are certainly two sides to it. The following is a first-hand investigative article that relates what has really been going on with the Christians in India, much of which has been kept from the public. This shows the duplicity in the Christian activities in India. This article, by Francois Gautier, is reprinted from the “Annual Research Journal, 2001” published by the Institute for Rewriting Indian [and World] History.
WILL HINDUISM SURVIVE THE PRESENT CHRISTIAN OFFENSIVE?
By Francois Gautier
When Prime Minister Vajpayee was in the US in September (2000) , the National Association of Asian Christians in the US (whom nobody had heard about before), paid $ 50,000 to the New York Times to publish “an Open Letter to the Honorable Atal Bihari Vajpayee, prime minister of India.”
While “warmly welcoming the PM,” The NAAC expressed deep concern about the “persecution” of Christians in India by “extremist” (meaning Hindu) groups mentioning as examples “the priest, missionaries and church workers who have been murdered,” the nuns “raped,” and the potential enacting of conversion laws, which would make “genuine” conversions illegal. The letter concluded by saying “that Christians in India today live in fear.”
The whole affair was an embarrassment (as it was intended to be) to Mr. Vajpayee and the Indian delegation, which had come to prod American businessmen to invest in India, a peaceful, pro-Western and democratic country.
I am born a Christian and I have had a strong Catholic education. I do believe that Christ was an incarnation of Pure Love and that His Presence still radiates in the world. I also believe there are human beings who sincerely try to incarnate the ideals of Jesus and that you can find today in India a few missionaries (such as Father Ceyrac, a French Jesuit, who works mostly with lepers in Tamil Nadu) who are incarnations of that Love, tending tirelessly to people, without trying to convert them.
But I have also lived for more than 30 years in India, I am married to an Indian, I have travelled the length and breadth of this country and I have evolved a love and an understanding of India, which few other foreign correspondents have because they are never posted long enough to start getting a real feeling of this vast and often baffling country (nobody can claim to fully understand India). And this is what I have to say about the “persecution” of Christians in India.
Firstly, it is necessary to bring about a little bit of a historical flashback, which very few foreign correspondents (and unfortunately also Indian journalists) care to do, which would make for a more balanced view of the problem.
If ever there was persecution, it was of the Hindus at the hands of Christians, who were actually welcomed in this country, as they have been welcomed in no other place on this planet. Indeed, the first Christian community of the world, that of the Syrian Christians, was established in Kerala in the first century. They were able to live in peace and practice their religion freely, even imbibing some of the local Hindu customs, thereby breaking the Syrian Church in two.
When Vasco de Gama landed in Kerala in 1498, he was generously received by the Zamorin, the Hindu king of Calicut, who granted him the right to establish warehouses for commerce. But once again, Hindu tolerance was exploited and the Portuguese wanted more and more. In 1510, Alfonso de Albuquerque seized Goa, where he started a reign of terror, burning “heretics,” crucifying Brahmins, using false theories to forcibly convert the lower castes, razing temples to build churches upon them and encouraging his soldiers to take Indian mistresses.
Indeed, the Portuguese perpetrated here some of the worst atrocities ever committed in Asia by Christianity upon another religion. Ultimately, the Portuguese had to be kicked out of India, when all other colonisers had already left.
British missionaries in India were always supporters of colonialism. They encouraged it and their whole structure was based on “the good Western civilized world being brought to the Pagans.” Because, in the words of Claudius Buchanan, a chaplain attached to the East India Company, “Neither truth, nor honesty, honour, gratitude, nor charity, is to be found in the breast of a Hindoo!” What a comment about a nation that gave the world the Vedas at a time when Europeans were still grappling in their caves!
And it is in this way that the British allowed entire chunks of territories in the East, where lived tribals, whose poverty and simplicity made them easy prey to be converted to Christianity. By doing so, the Christian missionaries cut a people from their roots and tradition, made them look westwards towards a culture and a way of life which was not theirs.
And the result is there today for everyone to see: it is in these eastern states, some of which are 90 per cent Christian, that one finds the biggest drug problems (and crime) in India. It should also be said that many of the eastern separatist movements have been covertly encouraged by Christian missionaries on the ground that “tribals were there before the ‘Aryan Hindus’ invaded India and imposed Hinduism upon them.”
The trouble is that the latest archaeological and linguistic discoveries point to the fact that there NEVER was an Aryan invasion of India –it just was an invention of the British and the missionaries to serve their purpose. Aryanism is a synonym of Vedic culture.
Secondly, Christianity has always striven on the myth of persecution, which in turn bred “martyrs” and saints, indispensable to the propagation of Christianity. But it is little known, for instance, that the first “saints” of Christianity, “martyred” in Rome, a highly refined civilization which had evolved a remarkable system of gods and goddesses, derived from Hindu mythology via the Greeks, were actually killed (a normal practice in those days) while bullying peaceful Romans to embrace the “true” religion, in the same way that later Christian missionaries will browbeat “heathen” Hindus, adoring many gods into believing that Jesus was the only “true” god.
Now to come to the recent cases of persecution of Christians in India at the hands of Hindu groups. I have personally investigated quite a few, amongst them the rape of the four nuns in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, nearly two years ago. This rape is still quoted as an example of the “atrocities” committed by Hindus on Christians.
Yet, when I interviewed the four innocent nuns, they themselves admitted, along with George Anatil, the bishop of Indore, that it had nothing to do with religion: It was the doing of a gang of Bhil tribals, known to perpetrate this kind of hateful acts on their own women. Today, the Indian press, the Christian hierarchy and the politicians, continue to include the Jhabua rape in the list of atrocities against Christians.
Or take the burning of churches in Andhra Pradesh a few months ago, which was supposed to have been committed by the “fanatic” RSS. It was proved later that it was actually the handiwork of Indian Muslims, at the behest of the ISI to foment hatred between Christians and Hindus. Yet the Indian press, which went berserk at the time of the burnings, mostly kept quiet when the true nature of the perpetrators was revealed.
Finally, even if Dara Singh does belong to the Bajrang Dal, it is doubtful if the hundred other accused do. What is more probable, is that like in many other “backward” places, it is a case of converted tribals versus non-converted tribals, of pent-up jealousies, of old village-feuds and land disputes. It is also an outcome of what — it should be said — are the aggressive methods of the Pentecost and Seventh Day Adventist missionaries, known for their muscular ways of conversion.
Thirdly, conversions in India by Christian missionaries of low caste Hindus and tribals are sometimes nothing short of fraudulent and shameful acts. American missionaries are investing huge amounts of money in India, which come from donation-drives in the United States where gullible Americans think the dollars they are giving go towards uplifting “poor and uneducated” Indians.
It is common in Kerala, for instance, particularly in the poor coastal districts, to have “miracle boxes” put in local churches. The gullible villager writes out a paper mentioning his wish such as a fishing boat, a loan for a pucca house, fees for the son’s schooling. And lo, a few weeks later the miracle happens! And of course the whole family converts, making others in the village follow suit.
American missionaries (and their government) would like us to believe that democracy includes the freedom to convert by any means. But France for example, a traditionally Christian country, has a minister who is in charge of hunting down “sects.” And by sects, it is meant anything that does not fall within the recognized family of Christianity — even the Church of Scientology, favoured by some Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise or John Travolta, is ruthlessly hounded. And look at what the Americans did to the Osho movement in Arizona, or how innocent children and women were burnt down by the FBI (with the assistance of the US army) at Waco, Texas, because they belonged to a dangerous sect.
Did you know that Christianity is dying in the West? Not only is church attendance falling dramatically because spirituality has deserted it, but less and less youth accept the vocation to become priests or nuns. And as a result, say in the rural parts of France, you will find only one priest for six or seven villages, whereas till the late seventies, the smallest hamlet had its own parish priest.
And where is Christianity finding new priests today? In the Third World, of course! And India, because of the innate impulsion of its people towards god, is a very fertile recruiting ground for the Church, particularly in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Hence the huge attention that India is getting from the United States, Australia, or England and the massive conversion drive going on today.
It is sad that Indians, once converted, specially the priests and nuns, tend to turn against their own country and help in the conversion drive. There are very few “White” missionaries left in India and most of the conversions are done today by Indian priests.
Last month, during the bishop’s conference in Bangalore, it was restated by bishops and priests from all over India that conversion is the FIRST priority of the Church here. But are the priests and bishops aware that they would never find in any Western country the same freedom to convert that they take for granted in India? Do they know that in China they would be expelled, if not put into jail? Do they realize that they have been honoured guests in this country for nearly two thousand years and that they are betraying those that gave them peace and freedom?
Hinduism, the religion of tolerance, and spirituality of this new millennium, has survived the unspeakable barbarism of wave after wave of Muslim invasions, the insidious onslaught of Western colonialism which has killed the spirit of so many Third World countries, and the soul-stifling assault of Nehruvianism. But will it survive the present Christian offensive?
Many Hindu religious leaders feel Christianity is a real threat today, as in numerous ways it is similar to Hinduism, from which Christ borrowed so many concepts. (See Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s book: “Hinduism and Christianity”)
It is thus necessary that Indians themselves become more aware of the danger their culture and unique civilization is facing at the hands of missionaries sponsored by foreign money. It is also necessary that they stop listening to the Marxist-influenced English newspapers’ defense of the right of Christian missionaries to convert innocent Hindus.
Conversion belongs to the times of colonialism. We have entered the era of Unity, of coming together, of tolerance and accepting each other as we are, not of converting in the name of one elusive “true” god.
When Christianity accepts the right of other people to follow their own beliefs and creeds, then only will Jesus Christ’s spirit truly radiate in the world.
[The author, who writes “The Ferengi’s Column” in The Indian Express, is the correspondent in South Asia for Le Figaro, France’s largest circulating daily. He has just published “Arise O India” (Har-Anand).]
[This article and more information at www.stephen-knapp.com]
The Rajiv Malhotra Interview
– R. Jagannathan
(Another Indian who fights for united Hindus in India and across the Globe. To stop all human violations in India and see ‘developped India’, Hindus need to be united as one single deciding force, be it political or non poliltical. Welcoming and thought provoking interview. – Balaji Canchi Sistla)
English medium education weakens India. The PISA test proved it
(She supports my thought process……. Thanks Maria ji. – Balaji Canchi Sistla)
MARCH 4, 2017
Science and Religion
(……..While the main aim of Westerners is to defame the legacy of India and her customs, one West born Bharatian reveals the very truth of West atrocities towards India and reveals concrete facts of India and her expertise in Science thousands of years ago. Thanks Maria ji for elightening the rest of the World and unware Indians even today of their legacy. – Balaji Canchi Sistla)
JULY 1, 2015
Spirit of Satan at work in India – M. K. Gandhi
(This article is an eye opener for so many so called ‘Secularists’ in India who always refer Gandhi ji as their mentor. If that’s true, the so called ‘Secularists’ learn from Gandhi ji. Be a true follower of Gandhi, that is how one can respect his ideology! – Balaji Canchi Sistla)
FEBRUARY 17, 2015
AN AMAZING STORY…
FEBRUARY 6, 2015
Great Life Advice from Mark Twain
(Mark Twain is considered by many to be one of the greatest American authors in history. He wasn’t only a writer though, he was also a source of constant inspiration, a fountain of memorable quotes and a man with an incredible intellect. So when we say we have some words of advice for you from the mouth of Mark Twain, there is a very good reason to listen!)
1. Age is in your mind more than anywhere else.
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
JULY 25, 2014
Indian Customs Vs Scientific Reasons
DECEMBER 9, 2013
How to train your brain to see what others don’t!
NOVEMBER 14, 2013
An Excellent Solution for Corruption and Black Money
OCTOBER 14, 2013
Universal Skills You Need to Succeed at Anything!
SEPTEMBER 25, 2013
Why should a GOD be so INSECURE?
AUGUST 21, 2013
“The Top 10 Things Amazing Leaders Do” by Robin Sharma
AUGUST 1, 2013
13 Smart Habits That Will Help You
JULY 22, 2013
1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven.
2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven.
3) But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into Jail.
They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer’s field. As They talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he Picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two Black pebbles and put them into the bag.
He then asked the girl to pick A pebble from the bag.
Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have Done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you Have told her?
Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:
1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag And expose the money-lender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order To save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
The girl’s dilemma cannot be solved with Traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses The above logical answers.
“Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the Bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I Picked.”
Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had Picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his Dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into An extremely advantageous one.MORAL OF THE STORY:
Most complex problems do have a solution.
Fish Which Eat The Shark
The Japanese have always loved fresh fish.
But the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades.
… So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went further than ever. The further the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring the fish.
If the return trip took more time, the fish were not fresh.
To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go further and stay longer.
However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish. And they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price.
So, fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste.
The fishing industry faced an impending crisis! But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan. How did they manage?
To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks but with a small shark.
The fish are challenged and hence are constantly on the move. The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!
Have we realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired and dull? Basically in our lives, sharks are new challenges to keep us active. If we are steadily conquering challenges, we are happy.
Our challenges keep you energized. Put a shark in the tank and see how far we can really go!
Who says, he is blind?
(Read the following story, I salute this ‘Mt. Everest’ high confident boy. The intake from this story strongly recommends that when ‘WILL’ emerges, all ‘impossible’ things have to vanish – Balaji Canchi Sistla)
Tips To Make Effective Decisions
It is true that you are the product of your own thoughts and decisions. Whatever you decide on daily basis, whatever you do in your routine life is directly or indirectly linked to your future. That means you are making the foundation of your destiny with your decision and actions in your routine life. So by looking at the bigger picture, it is right to conclude that decision making is critically important for your success and achievements of lifetime goals.
Given below is the list of insightful factors which you need to consider while making decisions.
1. Consider the short term and long term consequences: Whether the decision is materialistic or a sensitive family matter. You have to consider short terms and long terms benefits.
2. Cost Vs Quality if applicable. If you intend to purchase something, consider cost, quality, warranty perspectives. Usually cheep products have less life and bad quality but not the case always. To cope up with this, define your budget and then carefully analyze all the options which are falling within your budget.
3. Need Vs Wants Analysis: Are you purchasing for pleasure or it is your long term need. Remember this is a difference between pleasure and happiness. Sometimes pleasure does not last long so you don’t want to spend a lot for the sake of short time pleasure. If you are in Need of something then consider point-1 and point-2.
4. Consider Emotions: This is quite sensitive aspect. You have to put yourself in everyone’s shoes to understand his/her emotions. You don’t want to hurt someone with your decision instead you want to keep your stake holders emotionally satisfied. Emotional Intelligence is an art; learn it by reading on internet. To understand people you have to have true sense of judging people
5. Consider Win-Win: A balanced approach in which everyone gains is always recommended.
6. Consider all Options: Don’t stop your brain on one idea or approach. Think about more options. Seek advice from others on different possible solutions of the given situation/problem. to the problems which need decisions.
7. Ask for Criticism: If possible ask for criticism before implementing the decision. Although it’s never too late to ask for criticism even after your decision, feedback always helps in your future.
8. Learn to differentiate between Urgent and Important tasks.
9. Closely Observe Others: Think about what your friend/colleague/acquaintance did under a specific condition. A wise man always learns from the mistakes of others.
Sent by: ALAN Peter HILDER, A.F. AIM Assoc. I E Aust A.M. AIRAH M.SAGS
Can be contacted: firstname.lastname@example.org
Narayana Murthy on Western Values!
Ladies and gentlemen:
It is a pleasure to be here at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management. Lal Bahadur Shastri was a man of strong values and he epitomized simple living. He was a freedom fighter and innovative administrator who contributed to nation building in full measure. It is indeed a matter of pride for me to be chosen for the Lal Bahadur Shastri Award for Public Administration and Management Sciences. I thank the jury for this honour.
When I got the invitation to speak here, I decided to speak on an important topic on which I have pondered for years – the role of Western values in contemporary Indian society. Coming from a company that is built on strong values, the topic is close to my heart. Moreover, an organization is representative of society, and some of the lessons that I have learnt are applicable in the national context.
In fact, values drive progress and define quality of life in society.
The word community joins two Latin words com (“together” or “with”) and onus (“one”). A community, then, is both one and many. It is a unified multitude and not a mere group of people. As it is said in the Vedas: Man can live individually, but can survive only collectively.
Hence, the challenge is to form a progressive community by balancing the interests of the individual and that of the society. To meet this, we need to develop a value system where people accept modest sacrifices for the common good.
What is a value system? It is the protocol for behaviour that enhances the trust, confidence and commitment of members of the community. It goes beyond the domain of legality – it is about decent and desirable behaviour. Further, it includes putting the community interests ahead of your own. Thus, our collective survival and progress is predicated on sound Values.
There are two pillars of the cultural value system – loyalty to family and loyalty to community. One should not be in isolation to the other, because, successful societies are those which combine both harmoniously. It is in this context that I will discuss the role of Western values in contemporary Indian society.
Some of you here might say that most of what I am going to discuss are actually Indian values in old ages, and not Western values. I live in the present, not in the bygone era. Therefore, I have seen these values practiced primarily in the West and not in India, hence the title of the topic.
I am happy as long as we practice these values – whether we call it Western or old Indian values. As an Indian, I am proud to be part of a culture, which has deep-rooted family values. We have tremendous loyalty to the family. For instance, parents make enormous sacrifices for their children. They support them until they can stand on their own feet. On the other side, children consider it their duty to take care of aged parents.
We believe, ‘mathru devo bhava’ – mother is God, and ‘pithru devo bhava’ – father is God. Further, brothers and sisters sacrifice for each other.
In fact, the eldest brother or sister is respected by all the other siblings. As for marriage, it is held to be a sacred union – husband and wife are bonded, most often, for life. In joint families, the entire family works towards the welfare of the family. There is so much love and affection in our family life.
This is the essence of Indian values and one of our key strengths. Our families act as a critical support mechanism for us. In fact, the credit to the success of Infosys goes, as much to the founders as to their families, for supporting them through the tough times.
Unfortunately, our attitude towards family life is not reflected in our attitude towards community behaviour. From littering the streets to corruption to breaking of contractual obligations, we are apathetic to the common good. In the West – the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand – individuals understand that they have to be responsible towards their community.
The primary difference between the West and us is that, there, people have a much better societal orientation. They care more for the society than we do. Further, they generally sacrifice more for the society than us. Quality of life is enhanced because of this. This is where we need to learn from the West.
I will talk about some of the lessons that we, Indians, can learn from the West.
In the West, there is respect for the public good. For instance, parks free of litter, clean streets, public toilets free of graffiti – all these are instances of care for the public good. On the contrary, in India, we keep our houses clean and water our gardens everyday – but, when we go to a park, we do not think twice before littering the place.
Corruption, as we see in India, is another example of putting the interest of oneself, and at best that of one’s family, above that of the society. Society is relatively corruption free in the West. For instance, it is very difficult to bribe a police officer into avoiding a speeding ticket.
This is because of the individual’s responsible behaviour towards the community as a whole On the contrary, in India, corruption, tax-evasion, cheating and bribery have eaten into our vitals. For instance, contractors bribe officials, and construct low-quality roads and bridges. The result is that society loses in the form of substandard defence equipment and infrastructure, and low-quality recruitment, just to name a few impediments. Unfortunately, this behavior is condoned by almost everyone.
Apathy in solving community matters has held us back from making progress, which is otherwise within our reach. We see serious problems around us but do not try to solve them. We behave as if the problems do not exist or is somebody else’s. On the other hand, in the West, people solve societal problems proactively. There are several examples of our apathetic attitude. For instance, all of us are aware of the problem of drought in India.
More than 40 years ago, Dr. K. L. Rao – an irrigation expert, suggested creation of a water grid connecting all the rivers in North and South India, to solve this problem.
Unfortunately, nothing has been done about this. The story of power shortage in Bangalore is another instance. In 1983, it was decided to build a thermal power plant to meet Bangalore’s power requirements. Unfortunately, we have still not started it.
Further, the Milan subway in Bombay is in a deplorable state for the last 40 years, and no action has been taken.
To quote another example, considering the constant travel required in the software industry; five years ago, I had suggested a 240-page passport. This would eliminate frequent visits to the passport office.
In fact, we are ready to pay for it. However, I am yet to hear from the Ministry of External Affairs on this.
We, Indians, would do well to remember Thomas Hunter’s words: Idleness travels very slowly, and poverty soon overtakes it. What could be the reason for all this? We were ruled by foreigners for over thousand years. Thus, we have always believed that public issues belonged to some foreign ruler and that we have no role in solving them.
Moreover, we have lost the will to proactively solve our own problems.
Thus, we have got used to just executing someone else’s orders. Borrowing Aristotle’s words: We are what we repeatedly do. Thus, having done this over the years, the decision-makers in our society are not trained for solving problems. Our decision-makers look to somebody else to take decisions. Unfortunately, there is nobody to look up to, and this is the tragedy.
Our intellectual arrogance has also not helped our society. I have travelled extensively, and in my experience, have not come across another society where people are as contemptuous of better societies as we are, with as little progress as we have achieved. Remember that arrogance breeds hypocrisy. No other society gloats so much about the past as we do, with as little current accomplishment.
Friends, this is not a new phenomenon, but at least a thousand years old. For instance, Al Barouni, the famous Arabic logician and traveller of the 10th century, who spent about 30 years in India from 997 AD to around 1027 AD, referred to this trait of Indians.
According to him, during his visit, most Indian pundits considered it below their dignity even to hold arguments with him. In fact, on a few occasions when a pundit was willing to listen to him, and found his arguments to be very sound, he invariably asked Barouni: which Indian pundit taught these smart things!
The most important attribute of a progressive society is respect for others who have accomplished more than they themselves have, and learn from them. Contrary to this, our leaders make us believe that other societies do not know anything! At the same time, everyday, in the newspapers, you will find numerous claims from our leaders that ours is the greatest nation. These people would do well to remember Thomas Carlyle’s words: The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.
If we have to progress, we have to change this attitude, listen to people who have performed better than us, learn from them and perform better than them. Infosys is a good example of such an attitude. We continue to rationalize our failures. No other society has mastered this part as well as we have. Obviously, this is an excuse to justify our incompetence, corruption, and apathy. This attitude has to change.
As Sir Josiah Stamp has said: “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities”
Another interesting attribute, which we Indians can learn from the West, is their accountability. Irrespective of your position, in the West, you are held accountable for what you do. However, in India, the more ‘important’ you are, the less answerable you are. For instance, a senior politician once declared that he ‘forgot’ to file his tax returns for 10 consecutive years – and he got away with it. To quote another instance, there are over 100 loss making public sector units (central) in India. Nevertheless, I have not seen action taken for bad performance against top managers in these organizations.
Dignity of labour is an integral part of the Western value system. In the West, each person is proud about his or her labour that raises honest sweat. On the other hand, in India, we tend to overlook the significance of those who are not in professional jobs. We have a mindset that reveres only supposedly intellectual work.
For instance, I have seen many engineers, fresh from college, who only want to do cutting-edge work and not work that is of relevance to business and the country. However, be it an organization or society, there are different people performing different roles. For success, all these people are required to discharge their duties. This includes everyone from the CEO to the person who serves tea – every role is important. Hence, we need a mindset that reveres everyone who puts in honest work.
Indians become intimate even without being friendly. They ask favours of strangers without any hesitation. For instance, the other day, while I was travelling from Bangalore to Mantralaya, I met a fellow traveller on the train. Hardly 5 minutes into the conversation, he requested me to speak to his MD about removing him from the bottom 10% list in his company, earmarked for disciplinary action. I was reminded of what Rudyard Kipling once said: A westerner can be friendly without being intimate while an easterner tends to be intimate without being friendly.
Yet another lesson to be learnt from the West is about their professionalism in dealings. The common good being more important than personal equations, people do not let personal relations interfere with their professional dealings. For instance, they don’t hesitate to chastise a colleague, even if he is a personal friend, for incompetent work.
In India, I have seen that we tend to view even work interactions from a personal perspective. Further, we are the most ‘thin-skinned’ society in the world – we see insults where none is meant. This may be because we were not free for most of the last thousand years. Further, we seem to extend this lack of professionalism to our sense of punctuality. We do not seem to respect the other person’s time.
The Indian Standard Time somehow seems to be always running late. Moreover, deadlines are typically not met. How many public projects are completed on time? The disheartening aspect is that we have accepted this as the norm rather than the exception. In the West they show professionalism by embracing meritocracy. Meritocracy by definition means that we cannot let personal prejudices affect our evaluation of an individual’s performance. As we increasingly start to benchmark ourselves with global standards, we have to embrace meritocracy.
In the West, right from a very young age, parents teach their children to be independent in thinking. Thus, they grow up to be strong, confident individuals. In India, we still suffer from feudal thinking.
I have seen people, who are otherwise bright, refusing to show independence and preferring to be told what to do by their boss. We need to overcome this attitude if we have to succeed globally.
The Western value system teaches respect to contractual obligation. In the West, contractual obligations are seldom dishonoured. This is important – enforceability of legal rights and contracts is the most important factor in the enhancement of credibility of our people and nation.
In India, we consider our marriage vows as sacred. We are willing to sacrifice in order to respect our marriage vows. However, we do not extend this to the public domain. For instance, India had an unfavourable contract with Enron. Instead of punishing the people responsible for negotiating this, we reneged on the contract – this was much before we came to know about the illegal activities at Enron.
To quote another instance, I had given recommendations to several students for the national scholarship for higher studies in US universities. Most of them did not return to India even though contractually they were obliged to spend five years after their degree in India.
In fact, according to a professor at a reputed US university, the maximum default rate for student loans is among Indians – all of these students pass out in flying colours and land lucrative jobs, yet they refuse to pay back their loans. Thus, their action has made it difficult for the students after them, from India, to obtain loans. We have to change this attitude.
Further, we Indians do not display intellectual honesty. For example, our political leaders use mobile phones to tell journalists on the other side that they do not believe in technology! If we want our youngsters to progress, such hypocrisy must be stopped. We are all aware of our rights as citizens. Nevertheless, we often fail to acknowledge the duty that accompanies every right. To borrow Dwight Eisenhower’s words: People that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. Our duty is towards the community as a whole, as much as it is towards our families.
We have to remember that fundamental social problems grow out of a lack of commitment to the common good. To quote Henry Beecher: Culture is that which helps us to work for the betterment of all. Hence, friends, I do believe that we can make our society even better by assimilating these Western values into our own culture – we will be stronger for it.
Most of our behaviour comes from greed, lack of self-confidence, lack of confidence in the nation, and lack of respect for the society. To borrow Gandhi’s words: There is enough in this world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. Let us work towards a society where we would do unto others what we would have others do unto us. Let us all be responsible citizens who make our country a great place to live.
In the words of Churchill: ‘Responsibility is the price of greatness’.
We have to extend our family values beyond the boundaries of our home.
Finally, let us work towards maximum welfare of the maximum people – Samasta janaanaam sukhino bhavantu. Thus, let us – people of this generation, conduct ourselves as great citizens rather than just good people so that we can serve as good examples for our younger generation.
Facts that we in India must learn from Bali (Indonesia)
1. NYEPI DAY, A DAY OF TOTAL SILENCE (MAUNA) ONCE A YEAR, WHEN EVEN THE NGURAH RAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OF DENPASAR IS CLOSED FROM 6 AM TO 6 AM. NO CARS, NO TRAFFIC, NO ENTERTAINMENT, NO TV. SIT IN THE HOUSE, DO CONTEMPLATION, DO PRAYERS. CAN WE INTRODUCE THAT NYEPI DAY IN OUR NOISY COUNTRY?
2. THE CULTURE OF BALI WAS BEGUN BY THE RISHIS OF INDIA, WHOSE NAMES ARE NO LONGER TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOLS OF INDIA BUT WHICH ARE COMMON IN THE SCHOOLS OF BALI—MARKANDEYA, BHARADWAJA, AGASTYA – THE NAMES WE HEAR IN THE PURANAS BUT THEY ARE PART OF THE WAY THE HISTORY OF BALI IS TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOLS OF BALI. HOW MANY RISHIS CAN YOU NAME? DO YOU REMEMBER ANY ONE OF THE 402 NAMES OF THE RISHIS AND RISHIKAS (FEMALE RISHIS) FROM THE RIG VEDA (THE MOST ANCIENT AND MOST SACRED TEXT OF HINDUISM), WHICH ARE OUR ANCESTORS AND THE FORMING FATHERS OF OUR RELIGION – VAIDIKA SANATANA DHARMA?
3. THE NATIONAL BALINESE DRESS FOR BOTH, MEN AND WOMEN, GIRLS AND BOYS, IS DHOTI. NO ONE CAN ENTER A TEMPLE WITHOUT WEARING A DHOTI. EXCEPT IN SOME PARTS OF SOUTH INDIA, DHOTI IS LAUGHED AT IN INDIA TODAY. WHY ARE WE SO ASHAMED OF OUR HERITAGE? EVEN MOST INDIAN PRIESTS CHANGE THEIR DRESS AFTER THEY ARE FINISHED WITH THE WORSHIP BECAUSE THEY FEEL ASHAMED IN A DHOTI??
4. THE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SYSTEM OF BALI IS BASED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF TRI-HITA-KARANA…THREE BENEVOLENT, BENEFICENT PRINCIPLES— THAT EVERY HUMAN BEING HAS THREE ASPECTS …THE DUTY, THE RELATIONSHIP THAT WE HAVE WITH GOD [PARAHYANGAN]; THE RELATIONSHIP THAT WE HAVE WITH HUMAN BEINGS [PAWONGAN]; AND THE RELATIONSHIP THAT WE HAVE WITH NATURE [PALEMAHAN] AND THESE ARE THE THREE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH THE ENTIRE CULTURE OF BALI IS BUILT. THIS WAS ALL ESTABLISHED BY THE RISHIS WHOSE NAMES ARE JUST ABOUT FORGOTTEN IN INDIA WHICH ARE TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOLS OF BALI.
5. TRIKALA SANDHYA (SUN WORSHIP THREE TIMES A DAY) IS PRACTICED IN EVERY BALINESE SCHOOL. THE GAYATRI MANTRA IS RECITED BY EVERY BALINESE SCHOOL CHILD THREE TIMES A DAY. MANY OF THE LOCAL RADIO STATIONS ALSO RELAY TRIKALA SANDHYA THREE TIMES A DAY. CAN WE EVEN THINK OF INTRODUCING SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO OUR SCHOOLS IN INDIA? HOW MANY INDIAN HINDUS ARE AWARE OF THEIR DUTY OF TRIKALA SANDHYA? IT IS AS CENTRAL TO OUR RELIGION AS THE 5 TIMES NAMAZ IS TO ISLAM, YET?
6. IN THE YEAR 1011 AD, AT A PLACE WHICH IS NOW KNOWN AS PURASAMANTIGA… THERE WAS THE FIRST INTERRELIGIOUS CONFERENCE OF THREE RELIGIONS: SHAIVA AGAMA, BAUDDHA AGAMA AND BALIYAGA, THE TRADITIONAL PRE-BUDDHIST, PRE-HINDU, BALINESE RELIGION. THE SCHOLARS AND THE LEADERS SAT DOWN AND WORKED OUT A SYSTEM BY WHICH THE THREE RELIGIONS SHOULD WORK TOGETHER AND EXCHANGE FORMS WITH EACH OTHER AND THAT IS THE RELIGION OF BALI TODAY.
7. IN BALI EVERY PRIEST IS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT. DESPITE THE FACT THAT INDONESIA IS A SECULAR COUNTRY WITH THE BIGGEST MUSLIM POPULATION IN THE WORLD, THE PRIEST OF EVERY RELIGION IS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT SO EVERY RELIGION IS SUPPORTED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THAT IS THE INDONESIAN FORM OF SECULARISM. CAN WE EVEN THINK OF THIS IN INDIA?
8. THE NATIONAL MOTTO OF INDONESIA “BHINNEKA TUNGGAL IKA. ONE IS MANY, MANY IS ONE.” IS INSPIRED BY AN INDONESIAN HINDU SCRIPTURE SUTASOMA KAKAVIN. THE COMPLETE QUOTATION IS AS FOLLOWS – “IT IS SAID THAT THE WELL KNOWN BUDDHA AND SHIVA ARE TWO DIFFERENT SUBSTANCES; THEY ARE INDEED DIFFERENT, YET HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO RECOGNIZE THEIR DIFFERENCE IN A GLANCE, SINCE THE TRUTH OF BUDDHA AND THE TRUTH OF SHIVA ARE ONE? THEY MAY BE DIFFERENT, BUT THEY ARE OF THE SAME KIND, AS THERE IS NO DUALITY IN TRUTH.” WHY CAN’T WE HAVE “EKAM SAD VIPRA BAHUDHA VADANTI” (THE TRUTH IS ONE, BUT THE WISE EXPRESS IT IN VARIOUS WAYS – RIG VEDA) AS OUR NATIONAL MOTTO?
9. BALI IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST PROMINENT RICE GROWERS. EVERY FARM HAS A TEMPLE DEDICATED TO SHRI DEVI AND BHU DEVI (LAKMI THE GODDESS OF WEALTH AND MOTHER EARTH – THE TWO DIVINITIES THAT STAND ON THE EITHER OF SIDE OF TIRUPATI BALA JI IN INDIA). NO FARMER WILL PERFORM HIS AGRICULTURAL DUTIES WITHOUT FIRST MAKING OFFERINGS TO SHRI DEVI AND BHU DEVI. THAT IS CALLED CULTURE, THAT SUBAKSYSTEM. THE AGRICULTURAL AND WATER IRRIGATION PLAN FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTRY WAS CHARTED IN THE 9TH CENTURY. THE PRIESTS OF A PARTICULAR WATER TEMPLE STILL CONTROL THIS IRRIGATION PLAN. AND SOME WORLD BANK OR UNITED NATIONS SCIENTIST DID A COMPUTER MODEL THAT WOULD BE IDEAL FOR BALI. AND WHEN
THEY BROUGHT THE MODEL THE BALINESE SAID ‘WE HAVE BEEN PRACTICING THIS SINCE THE 9TH CENTURY. WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING HERE?’ AND I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY MILLION DOLLARS THESE WTO, THESE WORLD BANK PEOPLE, UNITED NATIONS PEOPLE, SPENT ON CREATING THAT CHART WHICH WAS ALREADY CREATED IN THE 9TH CENTURY WITHOUT ANY COMPUTERS…. AND THAT SUBAK SYSTEM STILL CONTINUES. SUCH SYSTEMS WERE IN PLACE IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. ITS REMNANTS ARE STILL VISIBLE HERE IN INDIA. I HAVE VISITED AREAS WHERE THERE IS NO WATER FOR MILES DUE TO DROUGHT, YET THE WELL AT THE LOCAL TEMPLE STILL PROVIDES FRESH WATER.
10. IN BALI HINDUS STILL DON’T READ A PRINTED BOOK WHEN THEY PERFORM PUJA (WORSHIP). THEY READ FROM A LONTAR, WHICH HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN SCRIPTED BY HAND ON PALM LEAF. WHEN THEY RECITE THE RAMAYANA KAKAVIN…WHERE THE BOOK IS KEPT, WORSHIP WILL BE PERFORMED. THERE IS A SPECIAL RITUAL OF LIFTING THE SACRED BOOK, CARRYING IT IN A PROCESSION, BRINGING [IT] TO A SPECIAL PLACE, DOING THE BHUMI PUJA, WORSHIPPING THE GROUND THERE AND CONSECRATING THE GROUND, THEN PLACING THE BOOK THERE. THEN THE PRIEST WILL SIT AND RECITE THE RAMAYANA.
WHEN I WAS CALLED TO BALI IT WAS TO TEACH AND PREACH THE VEDIC TEACHINGS. BUT I CAME BACK WITH A HUMBLE REALIZATION THAT I HAVE TO LEARN MORE FROM BALI THAN I CAN ACTUALLY TEACH THEM.
FACTS ACCORDING TO SWAMI VEDA BHARATI, A GREAT MASTER OF MEDITATION FROM THE HIMALAYAN TRADITION.
Why does my child study Sanskrit?
(By Rutger Kortenhorst and published in Irish Daily – Rutger Kortenhorst, a Sanskrit teacher in John Scottus School in Dublin, Ireland, speaks to parents of his school children on the value of teaching Sanskrit to children, based on his own experience with the language)
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to spend an hour together looking at the topic ‘Why does my child study Sanskrit in John Scottus?’ My bet is that at the end of the hour you will all have come to the conclusion that your children are indeed fortunate that this extraordinary language is part of their curriculum.
Firstly, let us look at Why Sanskrit for my child? We are the only school in Ireland doing this language, so this will need some explaining.
There are another 80 JSS-type schools in UK and also around the world that has made the same decision to include Sanskrit in their curriculum (they are all off-shoots from the School of Philosophy).
Secondly, how is Sanskrit taught? You may have noticed your son or daughter singing Sanskrit grammar songs in the back of the car just for the fun of it on the way home from school. I’ll spend some time telling you HOW we approach teaching Sanskrit now since my learning from India.
But Why Sanskrit?
To answer that we need to look at the qualities of Sanskrit. Sanskrit stands out above all other languages for its beauty of sound, precision in pronunciation and reliability as well as thoroughness in every aspect of its structure. This is why it has never fundamentally changed unlike all other languages. It has had no need to change being the most perfect language of Mankind ever.
If we consider Shakespeare’s English, we realize how different and therefore difficult for us his English language was although it is just English from less than 500 years ago. We struggle with the meaning of Shakespeare’s English or that of the King James Bible. Go back a bit further and we don’t have a clue about the English from the time of Chaucer’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ from around 700 AD. We cannot even call this English anymore and now rightly call it Anglo-Saxon. So English hadn’t even been born!
All languages keep changing beyond recognition. They change because they are defective. The changes are in fact corruptions. They are born and die after seven or eight hundred years –about the lifetime of a Giant Redwood Tree- because after so much corruption they have no life left in them.
Surprisingly there is one language in the world that does not have this short lifespan. Sanskrit is the only exception. It is a never-dying constant. The reason for the constancy in Sanskrit is that it is completely structured and thought out. There is not a word that has been left out in its grammar or etymology, which means every word can be traced back to where it came from originally. This does not mean there is no room for new words either. Just as in English we use older concepts from Greek and Latin to express modern inventions like a television: ‘tele [far] – vision [seeing]’ or ‘computer’.
Sanskrit in fact specializes in making up compound words from smaller words and parts. The word ‘Sams – krita’ itself means ‘completely – made’.
So what advantages are there to a fundamentally unchanging language? What is advantageous about an unchanging friend, say? Are they reliable? What happens if you look at a text in Sanskrit from thousands of years ago?
The exceptional features of Sanskrit have been recognised for a few centuries all over the world, so you will find universities from many countries having a Sanskrit faculty. Whether you go to Hawai, Cambridge or Harvard and even Trinity College Dublin has a seat for Sanskrit –although it is vacant at present. May be one of your children will in time fill this position again?
Although India has been its custodian, Sanskrit has had universal appeal for centuries. The wisdom carried by this language appeals to the West as we can see from Yoga and Ayurvedic Medicine as well as meditation techniques, and practical philosophies like Hinduism, Buddhism and most of what we use in the School of Philosophy. It supports, expands and enlightens rather than conflicts with local traditions and religions.
The precision of Sanskrit stems from the unparalleled detail on how the actual sounds of the alphabet are structured and defined. The sounds have a particular place in the mouth, nose and throat that can be defined and will never change.
This is why in Sanskrit the letters are called the ‘Indestructible’ [aksharáni]. Sanskrit is the only language that has consciously laid out its sounds from first principles. So the five mouth-positions for all Indestructibles [letters] are defined and with a few clearly described mental and physical efforts all are systematically planned: [point out chart] After this description, what structure can we find in a, b, c, d, e, f , g…? There isn’t any, except perhaps that it starts with ‘a’, and goes downhill from there.
Then there is the sheer beauty of the Sanskrit script as we learn it today. [Some examples on the board]
You may well say: ‘Fine, but so why should my son or daughter have yet another subject and another script to learn in their already busy school-day?’ In what way will he or she benefit from the study of Sanskrit in 2012 in the Western world?
The qualities of Sanskrit will become the qualities of your child- that is the mind and heart of your child will become beautiful, precise and reliable.
Sanskrit automatically teaches your child and anybody else studying it to pay FINE attention due to its uncanny precision. When the precision is there the experience is, that it feels uplifting. It makes you happy. It is not difficult even for a beginner to experience this. All you have to do is fine-tune your attention and like music you are drawn in and uplifted. This precision of attention serves all subjects, areas and activities of life both while in school and for the rest of life. This will give your child a competitive advantage over any other children. They will be able to attend more fully, easily and naturally. Thus in terms of relationships, work, sport– in fact all aspects of life, they will perform better and gain more satisfaction. Whatever you attend to fully, you excel in and you enjoy more.
By studying Sanskrit, other languages can be learnt more easily; this being the language all others borrow from fractionally. The Sanskrit grammar is reflected in part in Irish or Greek, Latin or English. They all have a part of the complete Sanskrit grammar. Some being more developed than others, but always only a part of the Sanskrit grammar, which is the only language complete in itself.
What Sanskrit teaches us that there is a language that is ordered, following laws unfailingly and as they are applied your child gets uplifted, not only when they grow up, but as they are saying it! This means they get an unusual but precise, definite and clear insight into language while they are enjoying themselves.
They learn to speak well, starting from Sanskrit, the mother language of all languages. Those who speak well run the world. Barack Obama makes a difference because he can speak well. Mahatma Gandhi could move huge crowds with well-balanced words. Mother Theresa could express herself with simple words which uplift us even now.
The language of the great Master Teachers of mankind from times past is all we have got after centuries and millennia, but they make all the difference. We can enter the remarkable mind of Plato through his words. If your daughter or son can express themselves well through conscious language they will be the leaders of the next generation.
Sanskrit has the most comprehensive writings in the world expressed through the Vedas and the Gítá. The Upanishads –translated by William Butler Yeats have given people from all over the world an insight into universal religious feelings for more than one century now.
To know these well expressed simple words of wisdom in the original is better than dealing with copies or translations as copies are always inferior to originals. We really need clear knowledge on universal religion in an age faced with remarkable levels of religious bigotry and terrorism arising from poorly understood and half-baked religious ideas.
Vivekananda, a great spiritual leader from India revered by all in the World Religious Conference of 1880 in Chicago said:
You can put a mass of knowledge into the world, but that will not do it much good. There must come some culture into the blood. We all know in modern times of nations which have masses of knowledge, but what of them? They are like tigers; they are like savages, because culture is not there.
Knowledge is only skin-deep, as civilization is, and a little scratch brings out the old savage. Such things happen; this is the danger. Teach the masses in the vernaculars, give them ideas; they will get information, but something more is necessary; give them culture.
Sanskrit can help your child to express universal, harmonious and simple truths better. As a result you will really have done your duty as a parent and the world will reap the benefits in a more humane, harmonious and united society. Sanskrit can do this as it is the only language that is based in knowledge all the way. Nothing is left to chance.
Just think for the moment how confusing it is for a child to learn to say ‘rough’, but ‘dough’. And why does the ‘o’ in ‘woman’ sound like an ‘e’ in ‘women’? How come the ‘ci’ in ‘special’ is different from the ‘ci’ in ‘cinema’?
Teachers may well say ‘Just learn it’ as there is no logical explanation, but it only demonstrates to a child that it is all a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. What else does this randomness in the fundamental building-blocks of language teach a child about the world? That it’s just a confusing, random chance-event? How can this give anyone any confidence?
Now go to a language where everything is following rules. Where nothing is left to chance from the humble origin of a letter to the most sophisticated philosophical idea. How will that child meet the world? Surely with confidence, clarity and the ability to express itself?
I have seen myself and others growing in such qualities, because of our contact with Sanskrit. I have just spent a year in India. Though it felt a bit like camping in a tent for a year, it was well worth it.
For many years, we taught Sanskrit like zealots i.e. with high levels of enthusiasm and low levels of understanding, to both adults in the School of Philosophy and children in John Scottus School. We did not perhaps inspire a lot of our students and may have put a number of them off the study of Sanskrit. It felt to me like we needed to go to the source.
Sanskrit teachers worth their salt need to live with people whose daily means of communication is in Sanskrit. I had already spent three summers near Bangalore at ‘Samskrita Bharati’ doing just that and becoming less of an amateur, but it really needed a more thorough study. So I moved into a traditional gurukulam for the year. This meant living on campus, eating lots of rice and putting up with a few power-cuts and water shortages, but by December 2009, I made up my mind that I would step down as vice-principal of the Senior School and dedicate myself to Sanskrit for the rest of my teaching life.
It felt like a promotion to me as quite a few could be vice-principal but right now which other teacher could forge ahead in Sanskrit in Ireland? [Hopefully this will change before I pop off to the next world.] With Sanskrit I’m expecting my mind to improve with age even if my body slows down a little.
Sanskrit is often compared to the full-time teacher, who is there for you 24/7 whereas the other languages are more like part-timers. The effects of studying Sanskrit on me have been first and foremost a realistic confidence. Secondly, it meant I had to become more precise and speak weighing my words more carefully. It also taught me to express myself with less waffle and therefore speak more briefly. My power of attention and retention has undoubtedly increased.
Now, let me explain for a few minutes, HOW Sanskrit is taught. To my surprise it is not taught well in most places in India. Pupils have to learn it from when they are around age 9 to 11 and then they give it up, because it is taught so badly! Only a few die-hards stick with it, in time teaching the same old endings endlessly to the next generation. This is partly due to India having adopted a craving to copy the West and their tradition having been systematically rooted out by colonialism.
For learning grammar and the wisdom of the East, I was well-placed in a traditional gurukulam, but for spoken Sanskrit I felt a modern approach was missing.
Then I found a teacher from the International School belonging to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. His name is Narendra. He has developed a novel, inspiring and light method to teach grammar, which doesn’t feel like you do any grammar at all. At the same time it isn’t diluted for beginners so you don’t end up with partial knowledge. I also followed a few Sanskrit Conversation camps, which all brought about more familiarity. Narendra says he owes his method to Sri Aurobindo and his companion The Mother who inspired him to come up with the course we now follow in Dublin. This is one of the many things The Mother said to inspire him:“Teach logically. Your method should be most natural, efficient and stimulating to the mind. It should carry one forward at a great pace. You need not cling there to any past or present manner of teaching.”
This is how I would summarize the principles for teaching Sanskrit as we carry it out at present:
1. Language learning is not for academics as everyone learns to speak a language from an early age before they can read and write and know what an academic is. So why insist in teaching Sanskrit academically?
2. The writing script is not the most fundamental thing to be taught. A language is firstly made of its sounds, words and spoken sentences. [The script we use -though very beautiful- is only a few hundred years old.]
3. Always go from what is known to what is new.
4. Understanding works better than memorisation in this Age. Learning by heart should only take up 10 percent of the mental work, rather than the 90 percent rote learning in Sanskrit up to the recent present.
5. Don’t teach words and endings in isolation; teach them in the context of a sentence as the sentence is the smallest meaningful unit in language.
6. Any tedious memory work which cannot be avoided should be taught in a song.
7. Do not teach grammatical terms. Just as we don’t need to know about the carburetor, when we learn to drive a car.
8. The course should be finished in two years by an average student according to Narendra. This may be a little optimistic given that we are a little out of the loop not living in India, which is still Sanskrit’s custodian. At present I would say it is going to be a three-year course.
9. Language learning must be playful. Use drama, song, computer games and other tricks to make learning enjoyable.
We have started on this course since September and it has certainly put a smile on our pupils’ faces, which makes a pleasant change. I now feel totally confident that we are providing your children with a thorough, structured and enjoyable course. Our students should be well prepared for the International Sanskrit Cambridge exam by the time they finish –age 14/15- at the end of second year. We will also teach them some of the timeless wisdom enshrined in various verses. At present we are teaching them: “All that lives is full of the Lord. Claim nothing; enjoy! Do not covet His property”- in the original of course.
Let us look at the 500 – year cycle of a Renaissance. The last European Renaissance developed three subjects: Art, Music and Science to shape the world we live in today. It had its beginning in Florence. The great Humanist Marsilio Ficino made Plato available to the masses by translating it from Greek to Latin. We live in exciting times and may well be at the beginning of a new Renaissance. It also will be based on three new subjects: Some say that these will be Economics, Law and Language.
Language has to become more universal now as we can connect with each other globally within seconds. NASA America’s Space Program is actively looking at Sanskrit in relation to I.T. and artificial intelligence.
Sri Aurobindo said “…at once majestic and sweet and flexible, strong and clearly-formed and full and vibrant and subtle…”.
What John Scottus pupils have said:
It makes your mind bright, sharp and clear.
It makes you feel peaceful and happy.
It makes you feel BIG.
It cleans and loosens your tongue so you can pronounce any language easily.
What Sanskrit enthusiasts like Rick Briggs in NASA have said:
It gives you access to a vast and liberating literature.
It can describe all aspects of human life from the most abstract philosophical to the latest scientific discoveries, hinting at further developments.
Sanskrit and computers are a perfect fit. The precision play of Sanskrit with computer tools will awaken the capacity in human beings to utilize their innate higher mental faculty with a momentum that would inevitably transform the mind. In fact, the mere learning of Sanskrit by large numbers of people in itself represents a quantum leap in consciousness, not to mention the rich endowment it will provide in the arena of future communication. NASA, California
After many thousands of years, Sanskrit still lives with a vitality that can breathe life, restore unity and inspire peace on our tired and troubled planet. It is a sacred gift, an opportunity. The future could be very bright.
Rick Briggs [NASA]
You may well have a few questions at this stage after which I would like to introduce you to a plant in the audience. A parent turned into a blazing ball of enthusiasm over Sanskrit grammar: John Doran. I would like him to wrap up.
I’ll give NASA’s Rick Briggs the last word from me:
One thing is certain; Sanskrit will only become the planetary language when it is taught in a way which is exciting and enjoyable. Furthermore it must address individual learning inhibitions with clarity and compassion in a setting which encourages everyone to step forth, take risks, make mistakes and learn.
(A forwarded message from a friend of mine)
Be INDIAN but in INDIA
(Received from NRI businessman’s Group in India)
I would like to sum up our performance in the 20th century in one sentence. Indians have succeeded in countries ruled by whites, but failed in their own. This outcome would have astonished leaders of our independence movement. They declared Indians were kept down by white rule and could flourish only under self-rule. This seemed self-evident. The harsh reality today is that Indians are succeeding brilliantly in countries ruled by whites, but failing in India. They are flourishing in the USA and Britain.
But those that stay in India are pulled down by an outrageous system that fails to reward merit or talent, fails to allow people and businesses to grow, and keeps real power with Netas, Politicians, and assorted manipulators. Once Indians go to white-ruled countries, they soar and conquer summits once occupied only by whites.
Rono Dutta has become head of United Airlines, the biggest airline in the world. Had he stayed in India, he would have no chance in Indian Airlines. Even if the top job there was given to him by some godfather, politicians and trade unionists would have ensured that he could never run it like United Airlines.
Vikram Pundit was head of Citigroup until recently, which operates Citibank, one of the largest banks in the world.
Rana Talwar has become head of Standard Chartered Bank, one of the biggest multinational banks in Britain, while still in his 40s. Had he been in India, he would perhaps be a local manager in the State Bank, taking orders from politicians to give loans to politically favored clients.
Lakhsmi Mittal has become the biggest steel baron in the world, with steel plants in the US, Kazakhstan, Germany, Mexico, Trinidad and Indonesia. India’s socialist policies reserved the domestic steel industry for the public sector. So Lakhsmi Mittal went to Indonesia to run his family’s first steel plant there. Once freed from the shackles of India, he conquered the world.
Subhash Chandra of Zee TV has become a global media king, one of the few to beat Rupert Murdoch. He could never have risen had he been limited to India, which decreed a TV monopoly for Indian company, Doordarshan. But technology came to his aid: satellite TV made it possible for him to target India from Hong Kong. Once he escaped Indian rules and soil, he soared.
You may not have heard of 48-year old Gururaj Deshpande. His communications company, Sycamore, is currently valued by the US stock market at over $30 billion, making him perhaps one of the richest Indians in the world. Had he remained in India, he would probably be a politician in the Department of Telecommunications.
Arun Netravali has become president of Bell Labs, one of the biggest research and development centers in the world with 30,000 inventions and several Nobel Prizes to its credit. Had he been in India, he would probably be struggling in the middle cadre of Indian Telephone Industries. Silicon Valley alone contains over 100,000 Indian millionaires.
Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi has been the CEO of PepsiCo Inc. since 2006, a Fortune 500 company.
Sabeer Bhatia invented Hotmail and sold it to Microsoft for $ 400 million.
Victor Menezes, born in Pune in 1949, was number two in Citibank until late last year.
Shailesh Mehta is CEO of Providian, a top US financial services company.
Also at or near the top are Rakesh Gangwal of US Air, Jamshd Wadia of Arthur Andersen, and Aman Mehta of Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp.
In Washington DC, the Indian CEO High Tech Council has no less than 200 members, all high tech-chiefs. While Indians have soared, India has stagnated. At independence India was the most advanced of all colonies, with the best prospects.
Today with a GNP per head of $370, it occupies a lowly 177th position among 209 countries of the world. But poverty is by no means the only or main problem. India ranks near the bottom in the United Nation’s Human Development Index, but high up in Transparency International’s Corruption Index.
The politician-raj brought in by socialist policies is only one reason for India’s failure. The more sordid reason is the rule-based society we inherited from the British Raj is today in tatters. Instead money, muscle and influence matter most.
At independence we were justly proud of our politicians. Today we regard them as scoundrels and criminals. They have created a jungle of laws in the holy name of socialism, and used these to line their pockets and create patronage networks. No influential crook suffers. The Mafia flourish unhindered because they have political links.
We are reverting to our ancient feudal system where no rules applied to the powerful. The British Raj brought in abstract concepts of justice for all, equality before the law. These were maintained in the early years of independence. But sixty years later, citizens wail that India is a lawless land where no rules are obeyed.
Then the British came and imposed a new ethical code on officials. But, he asked, why should we continue to choose British customs over Indian ones now that we are independent?
The lack of transparent rules, properly enforced, is a major reason why talented Indians cannot rise in India. A second reason is the politician-raj, which remains intact despite supposed liberalization. But once talented Indians go to rule-based societies in the west, they take off.
In those societies all people play by the same rules, all have freedom to innovate without being strangled by regulations.
This, then, is why Indians succeed in countries ruled by Non-Indians, and fail in their own.
It is the saddest story of the century. Be Indian BUT Not in INDIA
Ratan Tata – A REAL Indian Hero
12 rules for being a human being!
Don’t try to be perfect. Just be ‘an excellent example of being human’.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Growth requires pain. – Be patient and tough, someday this pain will be useful to you. Those with the strength to succeed in the long run are the ones who lay a firm foundation of growth with the bricks that life has thrown at them. So don’t be afraid to fall apart for a little while. Because when it happens, the situation will open an opportunity for you to grow and rebuild yourself into the brilliant person you are capable of being.
You will learn as long as you live. – There is no stage of life that does not contain new lessons. As long as you live there will be something more to learn. And as long as you follow your heart and never stop learning, you’ll turn not older, but newer every day.
There is a positive lesson in every life experience. – Don’t forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way. If you make a mistake that sets you back a little, or a business deal or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means a new opportunity is out there waiting. And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.
True beauty lives under the skin. – When you start to really know someone, most of their physical characteristics vanish in your mind. You begin to dwell in their energy, recognize their scent, and appreciate their wit. You see only the essence of the person, not the shell. That’s why you can’t fall in love with physical beauty. You can lust after it, be infatuated by it, or want to own it. You can love it with your eyes and your body for a little while, but not your heart in the long-term. And that’s why, when you really connect with a person’s inner self, most physical imperfections become irrelevant.
Only you know what you’re capable of. – Unless someone can look into the core of your heart, and see the degree of your passion, or look into the depths of your soul and see the extent of your will, then they have no business telling you what you can or cannot achieve. Because while they may know the odds, they do not know YOU, and what you’re capable of. That’s something only you know.
Your love creates your happiness. – The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give. When you love, you subconsciously strive to become better than you are. When you strive to become better than you are, everything around you becomes better too. During your youth, love will be your teacher; in your middle age, love will be your foundation; and in your old age, love will be your fondest memories and your greatest delight.
You earn respect by being respectful. – Respect isn’t something you can demand or manipulate by saying what you think people want to hear. You earn respect by listening, acknowledging feelings and treating others with the same respect you hope to get in return. Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.
Negativity poisons the soul. – Don’t let needless drama and negativity stop you from being the best you can be. Avoid the drama, and focus on what truly matters. Life is insanely short and your time is precious, so don’t waste your time on trivial matters. Let go of the things that are weighing you down. As you unclutter your life, you will slowly free yourself to answer the callings of your inner spirit.
Your health is your life. – Regardless of the size and shape of your body, it is the greatest tool you will ever own. Without it, you wouldn’t be alive. How you take care of it or fail to take care of it can make an enormous difference in the quality of your life. Exercise to be fit, not skinny. Eat to nourish your body. To truly be your best, you must give your body the fuel it needs. Toss the junk and fill your kitchen with fresh, whole foods. Run, swim, bike, walk – sweat! Good health is essential for having the energy, stamina and outlook to tackle your goals and dreams.
Letting go is part of moving on to something better. – You will not get what you truly deserve if you’re too attached to the things you’re supposed to let go of. Sometimes you love, and you struggle, and you learn, and you move on. And that’s okay. You must be willing to let go of the life you planned for so you can enjoy the life that is waiting for you.
This moment is a gift. – The truth is, your whole life has been leading up to this moment. Think about that for a second. Every single thing you’ve gone through in life, every high, every low, and everything in between, has led you to this moment right now. This moment is priceless, and it’s the only moment guaranteed to you. This moment is your `life.’
Your choices design your life. – You have a choice each and every single day. Choose to appreciate what you have. Choose to make to make time for yourself. Choose to do something that makes you smile. Choose to be excited. Choose to laugh at your own silliness. Choose to spend time with positive people. Choose to be persistent with your goals. Choose to try again and again. Within your choices lie all the tools and resources you need to design the life of your dreams, it’s just a matter of choosing wisely.
[Courtesy: A Weekly Bulletin of Osmania Campus MBA Alumni Association]
The beauty of being a Hindu lies in your freedom to be who you want to be. Nobody can tell you what to do, or what not to do. There is no central authority, no single leader of the faith. No one can pass an order to excommunicate you, or like in some countries, pass a decree that orders your death by stoning for walking with a strange man.
We don’t appreciate our freedom because we can’t feel the plight of others who aren’t free. Many religions have a central authority with awesome power over the individual. They have a clear chain of command, from the lowliest local priest to the highest central leader. Hinduism somehow escaped from such central authority, and the Hindu has miraculously managed to hold on to his freedom through the ages. How did this happen? Vedanta is the answer. When the writers of Vedanta emerged, around 1500 BC, they faced an organised religion of orthodox Hinduism. This was the post Vedic age, where ritualism was practiced, and the masses had no choice but to follow. It was a coercive atmosphere.
The writers of Vedanta rebelled against this authority and moved away from society into forests. This was how the ‘Aranyakas’ were written, literally meaning ‘writings from the forest’. These later paved the way for the Upanishads, and Vedanta eventually caught the imagination of the masses. It emerged triumphant, bearing with it the clear voice of personal freedom.
This democracy of religious thought, so intrinsic to Vedantic intelligence, sank into the mindset of every Indian. Most couldn’t fathom the deep wisdom it contained, but this much was very clear. They understood that faith was an expression of personal freedom, and one could believe at will. That’s why Hinduism saw an explosion of Gods. There was a God for every need and every creed. If you wanted to build your muscles, you worshiped a God with fabulous muscles. If you wanted to pursue education, there was a Goddess of Learning. If it was wealth you were looking for, then you looked up to the Goddess of wealth — with gold coins coming out of her hands. If you wanted to live happily as a family, you worshiped Gods who specially blessed families. When you grew old and faced oncoming death, you spent time in contemplating a God whose business it was to dissolve everything — from an individual to the entire Universe.
Everywhere, divinity appeared in the manner and form you wanted it to appear, and when its use was over, you quietly discarded that form of divinity and looked at new forms of the divine that was currently of use to you. ‘Yad Bhavam, tad Bhavati’… what you choose to believe becomes your personal truth, and freedom to believe is always more important than belief itself.
Behind all this — was the silent Vedantic wisdom that Gods are but figments of human imagination. As the Kena Upanishad says, “Brahma ha devebhyo vijigye…” — All Gods are mere subjects of the Self. It implies that it is far better that God serves Man than Men serve God. Because Men never really serve God — they only obey the dictates of a religious head who speaks for that God, who can turn them into slaves in God’s name.
Hindus have therefore never tried to convert anyone. Never waged war in the name of religion. The average Hindu happily makes Gods serve him as per his needs. He discards Gods when he has no use for them. And new Gods emerge all the time — in response to market needs. In this tumult, no central authority could survive. No single prophet could emerge and hold sway, no chain of command could be established.
Vedanta had injected an organised chaos into Hinduism, and that’s the way it has been from the last thirty five centuries. Vedanta is also responsible, by default, for sustaining democracy. When the British left India, it was assumed that the nation would soon break up. Nothing of that kind has happened. The pundits of doom forgot that the Indian had been used to religious freedom from thousands of years. When he got political freedom, he grabbed it naturally. After all, when you can discard Gods why can’t you discard leaders? Leaders like Gods are completely expendable to the Indian mindset. They are tolerated as long as they serve the people, and are replaced when needs change. It’s the triumph of people over their leaders, and in this tumult, no dictator can ever take over and rule us. Strange how the thoughts of a few men living in forests, thirty five centuries ago, can echo inside the heart of every Indian. That’s a tribute to the resurgent power of India, and the fearlessness of its free thinking people.
Source: A forwarded email from a friend of mine
Respect my authority! 10 ways to lose the respect of your team
Sometimes the best way to eliminate bad habits in leadership is to see them parodied. So in that spirit, here are the ten quickest ways to ensure your team are demotivated and your leadership is always in question:
1. Always over react, rather than not react
So something has gone wrong and you’re not sure who’s to blame. The best response is a knee jerk reaction: take it out on all the people involved. It’s better to make it clear that you’re not happy rather than wasting time cooling off and allowing yourself to think rationally.
2. Claim credit for anything that goes well
Surely, if a success takes place under your leadership, then it’s down to that leadership and therefore you have the right to take credit for it. Why allow your team to take the glory just because it was ‘their idea’ to make something happen?
3. Punish in public. Praise in private
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear” said H. P. Lovecraft. Capitalise on your criticism by making it a full blown public humiliation. If everyone knows the terrible consequences of making a mistake, they won’t make any, right? You’d hate to give praise in public – it may go to someone’s head.
4. Make your team work the same hours you do
Team members need to prove their commitment. After 12 months of sixteen hour days, you can be sure that they have no social life and no meaning to life apart from work. Perfect – you’ll have their total loyalty and undivided attention then.
5. Don’t let reality get in the way of a good idea
When Fred Goodwin was making the disastrous decision to acquire ABN-Amro for RBS, he famously told his board “We’ve done this before, so only need a ‘due diligence-light’ on this deal.” You don’t get to be a leader without learning to trust your intuition, so why waste time doing your homework?
6. Make promises you aren’t planning to keep
Motivate your team by promising them the world. There will be a temporary boost to productivity, and when those expensive rewards come within reach, just move the goalposts. You’re busy – you can’t be expected to be held to everything you say.
7. Never admit mistakes or show weakness
A good leader should avoid losing face in front of her team at all costs. That means burying mistakes and never discussing your weaknesses openly. If all else fails and you’re forced to admit defeat, then blame someone else – you’d hate to lose respect or credibility.
8. Assume your competitors are stupid
It’s very important to be proud of your company and mentally exclude any possibility that someone else might be doing things better. The leaders of Research in Motion just knew that keyboards were better than touch screens. And all those loyal Blackberry users are a testimony to how right they were.
9. Get the deal, worry about the consequences later
In business, you should live for the moment and take the money whilst it’s on the table. ‘Operations’ can worry about delivering later. All that stuff about the lifetime value of a customer and long term partnerships is just marketing puff anyway.
10. Assume you can do any job better than a member of your team
Your input is the most important. That means you should feel confident in steamrollering over the hard, time-consuming work of your team. Most importantly, be wary of hiring anyone who might outdo you in future. You’d hate to be shown up.
Do what you love and the money follows…
For the lucky few, doing what you love does bring in the money, but the hard fact is that only too often the things we love doing are not the things that are financially rewarded in our materialistic world. Artists, musicians, inventors – all sorts of people with enormous creative talent – can spend years struggling to see any reward for their efforts, and maybe it never happens at all. Not everyone manages to turn a dream into an unimaginable fortune at the age of twenty-five.
And the rest of us? We put our dreams aside. We need a regular income to support our families or to maintain the standard of living we’ve come to expect. What we really love doing becomes a “hobby”, or “something we’d like to do one day”. But at what price? Should we really ignore the fact that deep down we’re longing to do something else with our lives? And isn’t there a way we can combine what we really love doing with the work we have to do to pay the bills?
What are your options?
No one can see into the future and be absolutely sure whether they can turn what they love doing into a financial success. Of course, there are risks; maybe making a career out of what you love will make it too much like normal employment, so all the fun goes out of it. Or maybe you’ll find that once you start, you’re actually not very good at it – or that no one wants to invest in it. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know.
Option 1: Do it – now
Give up your job and do what you love, by all means – but be aware that this is a huge risk and that you’ll probably be doing what you love at the expense of the people you love. That’s why it’s a lot easier to follow your dream when you’re very young and don’t have any responsibilities or dependents. So should you go ahead when you have more to lose? The answer is: it’s a hard world, and you should only give everything up to take the plunge if you can truly afford to fail without hurting yourself or other people.
Option 2: Wait
Another option is to wait until you can “really afford” to give up your job. But the danger here is that you won’t ever take the first step because you’re afraid of losing what you have (which tends to increase with each year that passes). And that is likely to lead to feelings of frustration, as the years pass and your dream remains just a dream.
Option 3: Start slowly
The most financially secure person is the one with several different income streams. So keep all your options open: start now, and do it in stages. This way, you don’t need to choose between your dream and your job – you can do both, fitting your dream into your daily life. Don’t think about what might happen or try to see into the future – just take the first step towards making it happen. You’ll be able to test the waters and see if there’s a market for your idea, without taking any huge risks. Give it six months and then assess your progress. And you never know: you might even end up bringing in enough money to eventually devote all your time to your venture.
And before you start, remember our three useful tips:
1. Make a road map
Make yourself a plan of action and define clear, realistic goals. Don’t be over ambitious! Small goals are much better than impressive-sounding large ones. Break the goals down into achievable steps, and check your progress regularly (for example, each week). As time passes, you’ll have a much clearer picture of whether or not your idea could really turn into something that generates a regular income. And if it’s not working, recognise that it’s time to quit, before you invest too much time and energy into it.
2. Work hard
It’s what you love doing, but your dream job is still a job and you must be prepared to work hard to make it successful. Whether you’re doing it full time or just in the evenings or at weekends, stick to regular hours when you can focus on just your idea and nothing else. Don’t try to do it when you’re at your normal job: it will distract you and could lead to real problems with your employer, particularly if you try to use office equipment or office space for your own purposes.
3. Love what you do
If the market for your idea is saturated, or if you’re not confident that you can earn enough doing what you love, then maybe you can start to love what you already do. Try to identify which element of your job you like best, and then explore ways that could allow you to do more of it. Maybe you can do a training course, or take on new responsibilities which give you the scope to explore your creativity. Find colleagues who share your interests and talk to your manager – they may be more receptive than you think to your initiative.
Whatever you do, enjoy it – that’s the key to a happy, fulfilled life. So keep your work–life balance healthy, and check it from time to time, just to make sure you’re still on the path you want to be on. And if you have a dream? Well, as we’ve said, if you don’t start, you’ll never know – and your dream will remain just that, and no more.
So it’s worth a try, isn’t it?
The Rat Race And The Monkey Trap – A Short Story
Life Lessons: The Burnt Biscuit
When I was a kid, I remember my Mom liked to cook food every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made dinner after a long, hard day at work.
On that evening, my Mom placed a plate of bread, jams and extremely burned biscuits in front of my Dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my Dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and asked me how my day was at school.
I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember hearing my Mom apologize to my Dad for burning the biscuits. I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burned biscuits.”Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy and say Good Night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned.
He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Momma put in a long hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides…. a burnt biscuit never hurt anyone but harsh words do! “You know, life is full of imperfect things… and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else.
What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each others’ faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
PS: QUITE A FEW OF US MIGHT RELATE OURSELVES TO THIS STORY, MAY BE IN DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES.
Life is too short to wake up with regrets… Love the people who treat you right and have compassion for the ones who don’t.
ENJOY LIFE NOW – IT HAS AN EXPIRY DATE!
Bouncing Back Quickly to Win
You’ve probably never heard of him. However, in Hungary, he’s a national hero – everybody there knows his name and his incredible story. After reading his story, you’ll never forget him…
In 1938, Karoly Takacs of the Hungarian Army was the top pistol shooter in the world. He was expected to win the gold in the 1940 Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo.
Those expectations vanished one terrible day just months before the Olympics. While training with his army squad, a hand grenade exploded in Takacs’ right hand, and Takacs’ shooting hand was blown off.
Takacs spent a month in the hospital depressed at both the loss of his hand, and the end to his Olympic dream. At that point most people would have quit. And they would have probably spent the rest of their life feeling sorry for themselves. Most people would have quit but not Takacs. Takacs was a winner. Winners know that they can’t let circumstances keep them down. They understand that life is hard and that they can’t let life beat them down. Winners know in their heart that quitting is not an option.
Takacs did the unthinkable; he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and decided to learn how to shoot with his left hand! His reasoning was simple. He simply asked himself, “Why not?”
Instead of focusing on what he didn’t have – a world class right shooting hand, he decided to focus on what he did have – incredible mental toughness, and a healthy left hand that with time, could be developed to shoot like a champion.
For months Takacs practiced by himself. No one knew what he was doing. Maybe he didn’t want to subject himself to people who most certainly would have discouraged him from his rekindled dream.
In the spring of 1939 he showed up at the Hungarian National Pistol Shooting Championship. Other shooters approached Takacs to give him their condolences and to congratulate him on having the strength to come watch them shoot. They were surprised when he said, “I didn’t come to watch, I came to compete.” They were even more surprised when Takacs won!
The 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled because of World War II. It looked like Takacs’ Olympic Dream would never have a chance to realize itself. But Takacs kept training and in 1944 he qualified for the London Olympics. At the age of 38, Takacs won the Gold Medal and set a new world record in pistol shooting. Four years later, Takacs won the Gold Medal again at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Takacs – a man with the mental toughness to bounce back from anything.
Winners in every field have a special trait that helps them become unstoppable. A special characteristic that allows them to survive major setbacks on the road to success. Winners recover QUICKLY. Bouncing back is not enough. Winners bounce back QUICKLY. They take their hit, they experience their setback, they have the wind taken out of their sails, but they immediately recover. Right away they FORCE themselves to look at the bright side of things – ANY bright side, and they say to themselves, “That’s OK. There is always a way. I will find a way.” They dust themselves off, and pick up where they left off.
The reason quick recovery is important is that if you recover quickly, you don’t lose your momentum and your drive. Takacs recovered in only one month. If he had wallowed in his misery, if he had stayed “under the circumstances,” if he had played the martyr, and felt sorry for himself much longer, he would have lost his mental edge – his “eye of the tiger” and he never would have been able to come back.
When a boxer gets knocked down, he has ten seconds to get back up. If he gets up in eleven seconds, he loses the fight. Remember that next time you get knocked down.
Takacs definitely had a right to feel sorry for himself. He had a right to stay depressed and to ask himself “Why me?” for the rest of his life. He had the right to act like a mediocre man.
Takacs could have let his terrible accident cause him to become permanently discouraged, to take up heavy drinking, to quit on life all together, and maybe even to end his own life. He could have acted like a loser.
But Takacs made the DECISION to dig deep inside and to find a solution. To pick himself up and to learn to shoot all over again. Winners always search for a solution. Losers always search for an escape.
Next time you get knocked down, DECIDE you will act like a winner. DECIDE to act like Takacs. Get up quickly, take action, and astound the world!
Learning from the story :
“Next time you get knocked down, DECIDE you will act like a winner. Get up quickly, take action, and astound the world!”
Response Vs Reaction
At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.
The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but …it landed on another lady in the group. Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.
The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant. Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior? If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed? He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.
It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies.
I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but its my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me. Its not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.
More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.
Lessons learnt from the story:
I understood, I should not react in life.
I should always respond.
The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.
Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of, just and right to save a situation from going out of hands, to avoid cracks in relationship, to avoid taking decisions in anger, anxiety, stress or hurry.
Courtesy: E-mail forwarded by friend of mine!
INCREDIBLE INDIA. . .
We live in a nation where,
- Rice is Rs.40/- per kg and SIM Card is free.
- Pizza reaches home faster than Ambulance and Police.
- Car loan @ 5% but education loan @ 12%.
- Students with 35% get in elite institutions thru quota system and those with 90% get out because of merit.
- Where a millionaire can buy a cricket team instead of donating the money to any charity. 2 IPL teams are auctioned at 3300 Crores and we are still a poor country where people starve for 2 square meals per day.
- Where the footwear, we wear, are sold in AC showrooms, but vegetables, that we eat, are sold on the footpath.
- Where everybody wants to be famous but nobody wants to follow the path to be famous.
- Assembly complex buildings are getting ready within one year while public transport bridges alone take several years to be completed.
- Where we make lemon juices with artificial flavours and dish wash liquids with real lemon.
Think about it!
What happens when one illegally enters other country?
If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 years hard labour in an isolated prison.
If you cross the Iranian border illegally, you get detained indefinitely.
If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you get shot.
If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally, you get jailed.
If you cross the Chinese border illegally, you get kidnapped and may be never heard of again.
If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally, you get branded as a spy and your fate sealed.
If you cross the Cuban border illegally, you get thrown into a political prison to rot.
If you cross the British border illegally, you get arrested, prosecuted, sent to prison and be deported after serving your sentence.
But story is not the same when it comes to India.
If you were to cross the Indian border illegally, you get:
1. A ration card
2. A passport (even more than one – if you please!)
3. A driver’s license
4. A voter identity card
5. Credit cards
6. A Haj subsidy
7. Job reservation
8. Special privileges for minorities
9. Government housing on subsidized rent
10. Loan to buy a house
11. Free education
12. Free health care
13. A lobbyist in New Delhi with a bunch of media morons and a bigger bunch of human rights activists promoting your cause
14. The right to talk about secularism, which you have not heard about in your own country!
15. And of course voting rights to elect corrupt politicians who will promote your community for their selfish interest in securing your votes and right to fight election for MLA or MP.
Hats-off to the corrupt and communal Indian politicians.
Hats-off to the inefficient and corrupt Indian police force.
Hats-off to the silly pseudo-secularists in India , who promote traitors staying here.
Hats-off to the amazingly lenient Indian courts and legal system. That’s why people like Afzal Guru are still alive, same will happen with Kasab.
WE self-centered Indian citizens, who are not bothered about the danger that our country is facing. The illogically brainless human-rights activists, who think that terrorists deserve to be dealt with by archaic laws meant for an era, when human beings were human beings.
Courtesy: A forwarded message to my email ID.
Things you have to leave to be Happy!
Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:
1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?
2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu
3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.
4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle
5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle
6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, many things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.
8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.
9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell
10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open.
“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer
11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.
13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.
14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self-less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.
15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves. You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.
Courtesy:OCAMBAAA (Osmania Campus MBA Alumni Association)