Extract from “The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living” Volume 2 by Eknath Easwaran


Sri Krishna says, Tushti: “Be content with what life sends you.” Don’t be a beggar, sitting with your little tin cup and begging of life, “Please give me a few cents of pleasure, or at least don’t give me any pain.” Don’t ask always what you can get from life, but danam: ask what you can give. Stand up to your full height and give freely to those around you – your time, your resources, your talents, extra clothes or vegetables from your garden, whatever you have. It doesn’t matter whether the gift is simple or modest; what matters is that it be given freely, wholeheartedly, without any reservations, without even the left hand knowing what the right hand is doing. You are not wealthy simply because you have a lot, you are wealthy when you have given a lot away; the more you give, the more you will have to give – not in money, but in the richness of your life.

He made us all Neelakanta’s

Just back after a advanced meditation program with Guruji (Sri Sri RaviShankar) and this poem came up spontaneously today evening.

Rudra Puja with Guruji - 6th Jan 2014 at VM

Rudra Puja with Guruji – 6th Jan 2014 at VM

A thousand and hundred questions;

A gazillion doubts and a

hundred more fears and a

billion more regrets;

Desires as many as stars in the sky.

All mixed together in colors that are dark;

Come out on the surface and express themselves

in a myriad ways –


-          aloofness to discontent

-          anger to rancor

-          fearfulness to anxiety

-          disenchantment to boredom

gnawing from within as the

fears, regrets, doubts and wants mix

themselves into a dangerous concoction.


All Inflammable’s carry a danger signboard

but there isn’t  one for the mind carrying

this dangerous mix.

Ready to explode

at a moment’ notice

on an unsuspecting victim.


Where’ the Undo button and where’ the

CTRL-Z shortcut?


At time like this,

the Wise One calls out.

Come spend a few days with me;

And let me show you the path

to handle your own mind and emotions


The concoction of poison you

have brewed of relentless thoughts

can be drunk and you can become

The Neelkanta!


Holding hands gently

The Wise One leads

pointing you to 4 roads


-          Sadhana

-          Seva

-          Silence and

-          Satsang

Traverse, this path


And you will lose

All that you have


and when you have

become hollow and empty

you would have arrived

at the Destination.


You know not what the

destination is, but give in to the faith

and start the journey

with a bit of trepidation.


“Welcome Home” say’s the Reception

At the Ashram!

The guy at check in says sorry it’s either

A dorm this time or three-sharing.

The body had enough of dorms

And the mind says it is ok to pamper oneself!!


The road of Sadhana leads to Yagnashala

As one goes through the rigorous SuryaNamaskars

And gentle Padma-Sadhana’s you catch the eye

Of the stray dog who breaks his lazy siesta

With Adho-Mukha-Svanasana

Wow! What majesty and what grace!


Thousands of kilo’s of vegetables all to be chopped;

arranged neatly in colorful baskets;

with tens of folks at it almost the whole day

is lined up on the road to Seva.

The mind cribs at the task at hand

but gives in and disappears into the background

as one immerses into it. Something that

was unpleasant to begin with was now

something to be looked forward to everyday.


The most enchanting and scenic path was

The Road of Silence.

The deep and relaxing meditations and yet

the longing to hear the melodious chants

Of Asangoham, Asangoham stirring some

unplayed chords deep within.


The Silence, so satiating,

yet so short.


As the silence enveloped,

the meditations became deeper.

The play of mind became clearer;

The past comes rushing in

bringing with it memories;

pleasant and unpleasant.


The future not to be outdone comes

With its own set of demons.

Watching them, Intermingle, they take

You on a ride you wanted to get rid

of in the first place.


Muddying the tranquil lake,

Emotions in all hues come up.

And you watch for

there isn’t anything else to do.


And the reverie is broken

As the Wise One takes

you deeper and deeper

into the Ocean of Meditation

making you hollow and empty.


And without your notice, the mind becomes still

As if time stood still for a thousand years;

Beyond there, is a door – yet unopened.

I know not, what lies beyond.

But for sure, what emanates from there

is Peace, Joy, Love and Grace.


As a cloth dipped in color acquires its color

The mind suddenly catches onto

Unbridled Peace and Joy

That comes out in spontaneous

outpouring in the Satsang

the exuberance, the enthusiasm

the dance of gay abandon

catches you unaware.

This is the road of Satsang -

Intoxicatingly beautiful.


Hundreds turn up on the path

With their bundle of wants:

Some are happy with a glimpse;

some want a meeting;

Some a conversation;

some a look, a smile, and

some are happy with a

wave of hand from the Wise One and

He doesn’t disappoint.


As the chants of Rudram fill the VM

the early morning sun rushes in;

in a joyful dance to catch

The Lord of Universe

in deep meditation;

With its desire fulfilled,

it bursts out joyfully

in the sky

having seen the One – formless in a form -

Meditating on Himself!


The hundreds of others

meditating with

The Wise One

Become One with Him

for a few minutes;

Only to be woken up

by a distant but

Melodious ring of

the small temple bell

signaling the

end of the chanting.


The Wise One, Awake


and the

bliss and joy

permeates the whole atmosphere.

The mind which was so restless,

edgy and impatient

suddenly seems to be dyed in

new colors – of tranquility and stillness.

Gone was the restlessness

the doubts and the questions.

The regrets and desires

had vanished into thin air.


The Wise One had kept his promise

As He walked away from the Puja

Waving at us all;

He had made us all Neelakanta’s.

Freeing us from the poison;

of our own making.

It is that time of the year when we reflect back on the year gone by and look forward to new beginning’s. Guruji’s (Sri Sri RaviShankar) in his article on “Looking back, looking ahead” writes:

Just like we live in the outer world of events and circumstances, we also live in the inner world of emotions and feelings, which we are not always aware of. Meditation is the best tool to wipe your mind clean off all past impressions that weigh you down. The distance between the outer and the inner worlds is just the blink of an eye.

Yoga is the skill of keeping attention on the inner world while acting in the outer. When you are lost in the outside world, there is disharmony in the inner and life is like a war. When you are established in the inner world, there is clarity in the outer and life becomes a game.

And gives four mantra’s  for making 2014 a happier year:

  1. To make Meditation a part of daily life
  2. To Serve
  3. To Feel Grateful and
  4. To Spend time with Nature.

Changing tracks for a bit. I find the intersection of Leadership and contemplative practices of meditation and mindfulness very interesting. Now, there is tons of literature and books on Leadership and honestly most of them are banal and pedestrian. It took me time to realize that one has to look beyond what the Mainstream media and influential bloggers try to peddle to find authentic stuff. Bill George is one author whom I rate very highly amongst those who write authentically about Leadership and I guess the clarity and authenticity of his writings are due to the intersection of his rich corporate experience as a CEO Medtronix and his years of meditation practices.

In his article on Your #1 2014 New Year’s Resolution? He states it out in the title itself – “Resolve to live more mindfully” – and then proceeds to list eight exceptional books on mindful living that will help you become a better leader and a more fulfilled human being. One of the books “Finding the space to lead” by Janice Marturano is definitely on my to-read list.  Bill in another article titled “Five Resolutions for Aspiring Leaders“, asks them to think seriously about their development as a leader and lists out 5 to do’s for the year ahead.

But what has meditation, got to do with Leadership?

All contemplative practices start by focusing the light of awareness on within ourselves. Without looking at our own selves deeply, without getting in touch with our Self, we cannot approach authentic leadership and that is where the practices of meditation come into play and helps us in developing as authentic and effective leaders 

And for me it is a delight to see the convergence of thought from the areas of spirituality and business.

The two converging thoughts from Sri Sri and Bill (Meditation and Service) are my two top goals for the year. Or in other words Sadhana, Seva and Satsang! What are yours?

Dear Readers, Have a great 2014 !!

Grateful For

Found this beautiful image courtesy  @raehanbobby

Grateful For

With Nipun Mehta


I had stumbled upon CharityFocus way back in early 2000 via Propoor when I had read an article about Nipun and Guri’s walk in India. Since then I had been a regular subscriber of emails that used to appear from Nipun’ mailbox without fail. Somewhere I had the intention of meeting with Nipun someday. We exchanged emails in 2006 and that was that.

Amid a hectic workday yesterday I stumbled upon Nasscom Product Conference agenda and Nipun’ name on the speaker list caught my eye. Late last night I dropped an email to Nipun and got invited to his talk at NMIMS, Bangalore today. Meena and I grabbed the opportunity to spend an hour or so listening to Nipun talk about his experiences and inspiring the 100 odd students to lead a deeply meaningful life based on principles of sharing, gifting, generosity, kindness, compassion and stillness. We were deeply touched. In the process also got introduced to some brilliant folks who have been spreading joy through service in Bangalore – check out folks behind Vrikssh Restaurant in Bangalore

This was truly a Satsang bang in the middle of a work week.

To know  more about Nipun and his work, you can look up http://nipun.charityfocus.org/index.php?op=projects and don’t miss the TED talk here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpyc84kamhw


 ~Shri Krishna in Bhagavad Gita 

“Renouncing the fruits of all actions or “Nonattachment to the results of action”

The 84th problem.

Read a wonderful parable today in Indian Express and while I couldn’t find the link, I found the same story on [http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.in/2011/07/83-problems-buddhist-sutraparable.html] Posting it out here.


THUS HAVE I NOT HEARD. Once while the Buddha was staying near the fields, a farmer came to him, paid his respects, sat to one side, and said:

“O, great teacher, I am but a simple farmer. I love farming. But sometimes there is drought, at other times flooding. I am a husband. I love being married. But sometimes my spouse is indifferent, at other times smothering. I am a father. I love being a parent. But sometimes my children are dull [incorrigible], at other times unruly. What am I to do?

The Buddha looked at the farmer with great compassion, extended both hands, and said: “Sorry, I can’t help you with those kinds of worldly problems.”

The farmer was dumbstruck for a moment. When he regained his composure, he argued: “Wait a minute. People speak in praise of you from all quarters. They come to you seeking advice for all things. And they go away enlightened. You’re famous!”

“Sorry,” the Buddha repeated, “there’s nothing I can do to help you. Every person has 83 problems. And I can’t help them with that.”

“Well, tell me,” the farmer asked calmly hoping to make the best of his visit, “what can you help me with?”

“I can help you with the 84th problem.”

“O, and what’s that?” the farmer leaned in.

“The 84th problem is the desire not to have any problems.

The farmer was overjoyed. And the Buddha taught him how to overcome suffering.


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