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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Indian edition of “How and Why of Yoga and Meditation” now available

An India based charity organization has brought out an Indian edition (paperback) of my recent book “How and Why of Yoga and Meditation – Yoga scientifically explained”. This full color Indian edition is fairly good quality and at a very affordable price (less than US $3!). 
Book show recently held in Bangalore, India
The book was put to sale in a recently held Yoga program in Bangalore and received good response. As you know, this book is available both in e-book as well as paperback format through Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Nobles and several other online as well as offline book stores. Several leading Indian book stores have shown keen interest in selling this book, the proceeds of which goes to charity.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

3 sutras for achievement

  1. Be focused
    Bite only that which you want to chew.
  2. Know your abilities
    Don't bite more than what you can chew.
  3. Improvise
    Better your chewing skills.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Two views (continued, part 2)

The other view we were talking about was that “Human beings are inherently imperfect and need to evolve to perfection.”

Most of our current thinking revolves around this view.

An evolutionary theorists says that ‘we’ started as unicellular organisms, evolved into more perfect animals, further, as intelligent apes and finally as human beings who are the most perfect of all. We may continue to evolve into more perfect beings.

An anthropologist would tell us how we evolved from primitive, barbaric and perhaps nomadic tribals into more refined and more capable, cultured races with a well defined societal structure, following rigid norms for peaceful coexistence. 

A social scientists may explain how a basically ‘animal like’ creature namely human beings can be molded into more refined being by setting up appropriate rules and regulations. All of us are criminals by nature, but adopt a more ‘civil’ way of life for the fear of punishment. Stricter and stricter enforcement of laws is the only way to make us better human beings.

The clergy would term each of us a sinner and would urge us to repent and pray to become better human beings.

All these stem from the assumption that we are inherently imperfect and we need to ‘become’ perfect by refinement.

Now the question is which one of these two views is right? Are we inherently perfect and have become imperfect or that we are inherently imperfect and need to become perfect? 

Let us continue in the next post.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Two views

There are two views

  1. One is that human beings are inherently perfect but imperfection is something that is superimposed on them.
  2. The other is that human beings are inherently imperfect and need to evolve to perfection.

There are people who categorize the former as “typical eastern view” and the latter as “western view”. Or probably as Hindu verses non-Hindu view. But that is not so.

Ancient Greeks considered “psyche” as the driving force behind all living beings. And this Psyche is the most perfect and holy. That being the case, there is no way we can be inherently imperfect. Imperfections, if any, are added onto something that is inherently pure and perfect. Pythagoreans even went to the extent of saying that these imperfections can be “cleansed” by mathematical reasoning.

Even the Bible says that God created human beings “in His likeness”. So, God being perfect, there is no way his likeness can be inherently imperfect. As per Bible, it is the Satan who brought in blemishes on what would have been otherwise perfect.

Ancient Indians considered all beings as forms of God who is by nature perfect. In fact, there are several verses in the Upanishads (parts of Vedas) that describe how the one and only ‘Ätma’ (the Upanishadic equivalent to God) replicated itself to take on several forms (living and nonliving). The imperfections we see, are either illusions (as per Šankara’s Advaita), or something that are superimposed on what is inherently perfect. An Upanishadic sage prays

“The golden pot is covered by darkness. Oh God! Shine your light so that the darkness is driven away and the pot’s full glory is made visible”

Here the “golden pot” being referred to is the individual who even though perfect, appears to be imperfect due to darkness (superimposed blemishes).

So, there seems to be unanimity among the ancient thoughts – whether eastern or western, Hindu or otherwise – that human beings are inherently perfect and holy. If anything, we need to remove the imperfections that are superimposed. 

As against this view, the other view is that we are basically imperfect and we need to ‘become’ perfect. I will talk about that view in the next post.