Tag Archives: Mahatma Gandhi

The Game Of Life

Rules-For-The-Game-of-Life

By Sarvesh Mehrotra

All the reading that we do, the education that we get, and the experiences that we go through are to one end: to help us to live our potential. Life wouldn’t have created us, if it didn’t want us to bring an aspect of it  to life, or if it didn’t believe in our capabilities to do so. If we’re here, it is because we’re endowed with the ability to manifest an aspect of the Divine in this three-dimensional world. So basically our main objective in life should be to find out what our unique abilities are, and set about bringing them to life.

Instead, we get lost in distractions. These come in many forms: money and the things it can buy; family, friends, relatives: all well-meaning and good-intentioned but driving us away from what we should be doing at any moment; job and responsibilities taken to impress other people; TV, Internet, social media; habits like smoking and drinking; sleep. Society around us isn’t set up to help its constituents shine. It’s set up to keep them alive and well-fed and clothed, and we have invented numerous and amazingly complex mechanisms to ensure survival.

Staying alive is important, of course. Keeping  our bodies fed and clothed is too. However, getting lost in just ensuring these is like keeping a car well-oiled and serviced and sparkling clean, but never taking it out of the garage. Things are getting better and better, to the point that we don’t really need those improvements. Our cars are getting faster and more powerful as the space to drive them in shrinks. Our phones now have more technology than a space-ship of a few decades ago. We’re creating better software and spending money and time to create better robots and artificial intelligence. And while our problems have only become different from the generations before us, our state of mind as individuals is the same as, if not worse than, before. I think as a society, we’re getting carried away with our ability to keep “the car well-oiled and serviced and sparkling clean” so to speak, and are solving problems that needn’t be solved at the expense of those that should. What point better and “smarter” phones, when our relationships are breaking down and divorce rates are going up? We have trouble communicating with and understanding each other, and we’re busy making it easier to speak, text, or tweet.

However, there’s a reason why we’re like this. The Divine Intelligence that permeates us and all that we see didn’t make a mistake by planting in every individual the desire for heroism, while letting us create a society that is dead against it. The reason for that is simple. We’re able to walk only because there is friction between our feet and the earth we walk on. Movement is possible only through pushing against a force that resists it, and only when we push against a resisting force, do we learn our lessons such that they’re never forgotten. If discovering and manifesting our deepest potential were easy, it wouldn’t be worth anything at all. And if it’s the reason we exist, there’s got to be a formidable force set up against it, which must be overcome.

Individually too, if living the courageous and superlative life of a hero were easy, there would be no joy in success. The whole journey of running into opposition, failure, criticism, and doubt yet persevering makes success that much sweeter. It creates the stories that inspire generations, and keep the world running. There would be no Mahatma Gandhi if there were no British Raj, and Martin Luther King wouldn’t still be remembered if the society that created slavery didn’t exist.

And so it’s important for those of us who aspire to live a fulfilling life, one in which the potential that we hold within us has fully come alive, to remember that the world and people around are meant to be the distractive forces that they – sometimes despairingly so – seem to be. They are the frictional force that we push against and learn to walk. They’re the rules of the game of life, the boundary and the court within which the game must be played and mastered. Without the rules, restrictions, and opposition, where’s the game?

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A Ramnavmi Special : रामनवमी पर विशेष

Ram_Navmi1

 

Satish Tehlan here talks about the Ramnavmi and pays his homage to Lord Rama in this insightful piece. 

आज उस हस्ती का जन्मदिवस है जिनका नाम लेना ही अपने आप में अभिवादन है। महात्मा गाँधी जैसे महापुरुष के आखिरी शब्द भी उन्हें ही पुकार रहे थे। कहा जाता है राम नाम सत्य है और वाकई केवल यही सत्य भी है।  राम हिन्दूओं के लिए एक भगवान ही नहीं बल्कि उनके जीवन का एक अटूट अंग हैं। सुबह उठते हैं तो जय श्री राम,किसी से मिलते हैं तो राम-

राम और किसी अनहोनी या भय पर हे राम। राम इस देश में एक ऐसी महिमाशाली विभूतियाँ रहे हैं जिनका अमिट प्रभाव समूचे भारत के जनमानस पर सदियों से अनवरत चलाआ रहा है। राम सदाचार के प्रतीक हैं, और इन्हें “मर्यादा पुरूषोतम” कहा जाता है।

भगवान श्री राम का जन्मदिन रामनवमी एक पर्व के रूप में मनाया जाता है। चैत्र मास के शुक्ल पक्ष की प्रतिपदा को प्रतिवर्ष नये विक्रम सवंत्सर का प्रारंभ होता है और शुक्ल पक्ष की नवमी को रामजन्मोत्सव जिसे रामनवमी के नाम से जाना जाता है,  मनाया जाता है। रामनवमी, भगवान राम की स्‍मृति को समर्पित है। राम को भगवान विष्णु का अवतार माना जाता है, जो पृथ्वी पर अजेय रावण(मनुष्‍य रूप में असुर राजा) से युद्ध लड़ने के लिए आए। राम राज्‍य (राम का शासन) शांति व समृद्धि की अवधि का पर्यायवाची बन गया है। रामनवमी के दिन, श्रद्धालु बड़ी संख्‍या में उनके जन्‍मोत्‍सव कोमनाने के लिए राम जी की मूर्तियों को पालने में झुलाते हैं।

maryada purshottam ram

मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम

भगवान विष्णु ने राम रूप में असुरों का संहार करने के लिए पृथ्वी पर अवतार लिया और जीवन में मर्यादा का पालन करते हुए मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम कहलाए। आज भी मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम राम का जन्मोत्सव तोधूमधाम से मनाया जाता है पर उनके आदर्शों को जीवन में नहीं उतारा जाता। अयोध्या के राजकुमार होते हुए भी भगवान राम अपने पिता के वचनों को पूरा करने के लिए संपूर्ण वैभव को त्याग 14 वर्ष केलिए वन चले गए और आज देखें तो मर्यादा मर गई लगता है और उसकी याद ही बाकी है तभी तो वैभव की लालसा में ही पुत्र अपने माता-पिता का काल बन रहा है।

राम का जन्म

पुरूषोतम भगवान राम का जन्म चैत्र मास की शुक्ल पक्ष की नवमी को पुनर्वसु नक्षत्र तथा कर्क लग्न में कौशल्या की कोख से हुआ था। यह दिन भारतीय जीवन में पुण्य पर्व माना जाता हैं। इस दिन सरयूनदी में स्नान करके लोग पुण्य लाभ कमाते हैं।

ram-navami-rituals

रामनवमी की पूजा

हिंदू धर्म में रामनवमी के दिन पूजा की जाती है। रामनवमी की पूजा के लिए आवश्‍यक सामग्री रोली, ऐपन, चावल, जल, फूल, एक घंटी और एक शंख हैं। पूजा के बाद परिवार की सबसे छोटी महिला सदस्‍यपरिवार के सभी सदस्‍यों को टीका लगाती है।

रामनवमी की पूजा में पहले देवताओं पर जल, रोली और ऐपन चढ़ाया जाता है, इसके बाद मूर्तियों पर मुट्ठी भरके चावल चढ़ाये जाते हैं। पूजा के बाद आ‍रती कीजाती है और आरती के बाद गंगाजल अथवा सादा जल एकत्रित हुए सभी जनों पर छिड़का जाता है।

 

Why Should You Learn a Foreign Language: a Learner’s Perspective

Learn Foreign Laguage

 

Anuj writes why learning another language apart from the one’s you know is so important in self as well as world development.

“Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt.”

The limits of my language are the limits of my universe. (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

Communication is the only thing that can bring people close to each other. The thread that connects people from diverse culture is called language. Learning a new language is a gradual process which could be real fun. Learning another language opens up new opportunities and gives you perspectives that you might never have encountered otherwise. People learn new languages for different reasons i.e. passion for learning new languages, job prospects, business reasons, pleasure, to build formal and informal relationships, etc.

A language is not an academic topic that you can pass or fail, but a means of communication. There is no failure here but various degrees of success while using a different language. Even a small success of being able to buy lunch in a new language, even with average grammar is worth being proud of. Hence when we learn a new language it’s always advisable to enjoy the process of learning it. This rejection of the mere idea to score marks will change the way you think and learn a new language, thereby making the process more fun.

“I speak English, so I don’t have to learn a foreign language”

Everyone speaks English, right? Well, certainly not everyone speaks English. According to the CIA World fact book, only 5.6 % of the world’s total population speaks English as a primary language. That number doubles when people who speak English as a second or third language are counted. By conservative estimates, that means that well over four-fifths of the world’s population does not speak English.

It’s true that English has become a global lingua franca over the past several decades. This fact, however, really should have little effect on your decision to learn a foreign language. The attitude that English alone is enough in fact creates self-imposed limitations. To remain monolingual is to stunt your educational development, to restrict your communication and thinking abilities, and to deny yourself the ability to fully appreciate and understand the world in which you live.

“No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.” – MK. Gandhi, Indian Nationalist.

Learning another language gives the learner the ability to step inside the mind and context of that other culture. Without the ability to communicate and understand a culture on its own terms, true access to that culture is barred. For survival in the global community, every nation needs such individuals.

A person competent in other languages can bridge the gap between cultures, contribute to international diplomacy, promote national security and world peace, and successfully engage in international trade. As globalization and mobility and communications are bringing the world closer together, even more urgent is the need for global citizens to be competent in other languages.

Pedagogy

There are many places and ways to learn languages in any country. There are some well established institutes associated with teaching languages. The pedagogy followed may be slightly different but most of them concentrate on spoken and written communication. The language courses for each levels range from 3 to 6 months.  The good thing about certain institutes is the key principle of restricting students to use English or any other language apart from the one that is learnt.

A learner may feel like a fish out of the water initially but that changes for the better and he/she starts taking cue from the visuals, body language, symbols etc.  Certain Institutes do not even permit students to use a dictionary in class which may be surprising initially but is helpful in the long run. Thanks to these institutions that language has gained significant importance in many countries and this has encouraged people to become more dynamic.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

(Nelson Mandela)