The print version of “The Gita In My HomeWork” is out

Taking a freshly minted book, smelling the pages, is sure a much different and satiating feeling than viewing an ebook on computer / tablet. I am delighted to let you know that the print version of “The Gita in My Homework” is now available for purchase.

How to purchase:?

The book is available on Flipkart at: http://www.flipkart.com/gita-my-homework/p/itme2rpc3sm7pf74?pid=RBKE2RPCFHT69KPF 

Also, available on Amazon as a paperback and in ebook format: http://www.amazon.in/Gita-My-Homework-Raj-Waghray/dp/B00R32UQ2U/

WCF – a lesson in living the Gita

I was reading the 18th chapter of The Gita today and realized that the events that led up to the build up of World Cultural Festival, the festival itself were, in fact, a lesson in living the Gita! So, here it goes:

After all the mud-slinging,
lies and deceit,
when the man couldn’t stop,
it seemed as if Nature too
conspired – for a while –
to the immense joy of
the tamasic one’s.

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Satyameva Jayate!

Dr. David Frawley tweeted:

Why does India media attack Hindu gurus who honor all religions, but respect Christian and Muslims claiming theirs is only true faith.

This is not a new phenomenon but has been the case for decades. Why? Let’ see what Swami Chinmayananda had to write in the late 1950’s, in response to a question.

“.….And we, a generation who had to reach miserably our own culture in the leaky boats of the British, and read our own sastras through books published by them we, who are taught from our childhood in the missionary high schools and colleges – we, poor victims of a villanous treachery against the greatest culture of the world – believed them.

Not much has changed for us, the media crooks are the new villains who have complemented and taken on the burden to propagate this treachery against the Hindu Religion and who are the targets? The first being the Guru’s obviously. Be it Osho, or Satya Sai Baba or Sri Sri as in this case of WCF, they have all faced fraudulent allegations. The Media and the NGO’s would not comment on anything to do with other religions for it invites swift and brutal retaliation from burning down newspaper copies to decapitating the author’s head.

Swamiji goes on to write:

Let us try to unlearn, the unhealthy ideas that have been taught to us by a foreign imperialist hand-maiden, that had come to India to sabotage the Hindu cultural integrity in the garb of fraudulent Christian Missionaries, who had in the days of foreign rule a special privilege to monopolise the education of our generation. Read independently the pages of our sacred Bhagavat. You will see clearly a new meaning and a healthy message in every line.

It is in own hands to reclaim the spiritual heritage of our culture, read the scriptures, understand their true meaning, and lead our lives in the pursuit of Dharma. It is also our duty to call out the untruths and the biases of those who mislead deliberately.

It was indeed disheartening to see the barrage of news articles with slanted news stories planted to defame Sri Sri and the work he has been doing. Even worse is to see friends jump onto the bandwagon criticizing Sri Sri without even understanding the real issues. Tasteless jokes, running down all Saints, calling them all fakes, making movies disparaging them etc. have become the new normal.

Folks, who have never planted a tree in their entire lives have become the new environmental crusaders.

People who have never walked on the path of Dharma, now quote us the Scriptures….

People who confused between Bhagavat and Bhagavad Gita, lecture us on Karma Yoga…

The ash of untruth can cover truth only for a while! When the wind blows, the ash has no choice but to get dispersed.

#SatyamevaJayate!

Life is so generous a giver….

Stumbled upon this beautiful prose and couldn’t help but share it. Read it line by line, savour it and soak it all in!

I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.  There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see.  And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.

Written by Fra Giovanni Giocondo (c.1435–1515). He was a Renaissance pioneer, accomplished architect, engineer, antiquary, archaeologist, classical scholar, and Franciscan friar.  He wrote this letter to Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve, in1513.

The Gift of Grace.

I am back after a refreshing Art of Living Part 2 Program, at the Bangalore Ashram in the presence of Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar). Advanced Programs are usually spread over 4 or 5 days (sometimes longer too for those who can’t have enough of the silence) comprising of yoga and deep meditations, with silence at the root of it. Every time I do this program, I feel deeply rested, the mind becomes clearer and for me creativity springs up. Needless to say, yet another poem sprang up based on my experience and wanted to share it with you all!

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Tech Writing finds a new home!

Seems like LinkedIn Pulse is becoming my de-facto technical blog.

Here are some of the recently published articles:

There are couple of others too in the area of Conscious Business and Leadership.

The best book on Leadership & Spirituality that I have read!

It is very difficult to articulate the effect of a spiritual guru in your life. While on hand one goes through life’s up and down’s like everyone else, there is a unseen connection and bond that permeates all through. Dr APJ Kalam’s latest book “Transcendence” is a brilliant exposition on the impact that his spiritual guru – Shri Pramukh Swamiji of Swaminarayan Sanstha had on him.

Kalam writes:

“How do I summarize Pramukh Swamiji’s effort on me? He has indeed transformed me. He is the ultimate stage of the spiritual ascent in my life, which started with my father, was sustained by Dr Brahma Prakash and Prof Satish Dhawan; now finally, Pramukh Swamiji has put me in synchronous orbit. No maneuvers are required any more, as I am placed in my final position in eternity.”

Those of us who are fortunate to find a living spiritual master can instantly recognize what Kalam writes. My first visit to Swaminarayan temple was in Chicago sometime in 2004 or 5 and then I visited Akshardham in Delhi sometime in 2008 and was blown away watching the movie on “Neelakanth” (Linking to Mystic India movie on YouTube, but I guess the one I watched in Akshardham was a shorter version and more crisp)

Kalam writes about his experience of his chance encounter with the BAPS organization and Pramukh Swamiji and how the spiritual connection and the presence of Swamiji helped him take tough decisions with ease. Kalam talks about politics, his presidential term, his travels, his vision for India, all coupled with stories, anecdotes, and lessons from the lives of scientists and great leaders. But the underlying essence of the book is how the presence of Swamiji in his life helped him. Kalam quotes extensively from The Quran and Thiruvallavur and from other great philosophers and thinkers driving home the point as to how a true spiritual person embraces wisdom of all religions and makes it his own and more importantly, reflecting on the knowledge, acting on it and living can make a huge difference.

The book is divided into four parts and I loved the part where Kalam writes on Creative Leadership.

He drives home the point that Creative Leadership as the foundation of change. He writes:

“Creative Leaders are not born. They are the product of particular circumstances and conditions; they evolve to bring change for the better. I have enumerated eight facets of creative leadership, namely – fearlessness, courage, ethical living, non-violence, forgiveness, compassion, vision and cooperation….” Each of these attributes are explained through stories drawn from the lives of Nachiketa to Verghes Kurien.

I wish I could write more, but suffice to say that this book integrates Science, Spirituality and Leadership in a scintillating way and will remain as one of the best books on leadership and spirituality that I have read.

The Magic Wand of Gratitude

This is a reproduction of article that was published in Huffington Post by Guruji. I usually don’t copy and paste articles but this one resonated and I wanted to preserve this.

The full moon in the month of Ashadha is celebrated as Guru Purnima. It is an occasion to be grateful for the wisdom that life has offered. When you see how wisdom has transformed your life, it’s natural to feel grateful for all that has come your way. Gratitude is an inner feeling; it’s not an action. It has to arise from within in recognition of the love that the Creation is pouring on you every moment. Often people ask me how to be more grateful. Dropping the sense of wanting more is the highest degree of gratitude. As long as you are in the race for more, even if it is for spiritual attainments, you cannot be contented. “I want nothing” is both the beginning and culmination of contentment. And without contentment, gratitude cannot arise. In the Bhagavad Gita, it is said, “Yadrccha-labha-santusto Dvandvatito Vimatsarah.” It means one must have some level of contentment with whatever is coming to one’s way. If you are discontent and grumbling, how can you be grateful?

Gratefulness comes with knowledge. The knowledge that you are being loved by the Creation is the source of gratitude. Only the feeling of “I am being taken care of” can bring true gratitude. When you don’t feel a sense of lack, then you feel grateful. The feelings of lack and gratitude cannot co-exist. In life, whatever you put your attention on, grows. It’s natural for the seed you sow to grow and multiply if you nurture it. If you sow the seed of lack, only lack will grow. When you feel a lack, grumbling begins in some corner and life gets into a self-perpetuating cycle of negative feelings. You feel a lack for something today and something else tomorrow. When you open up to the providence the Nature has bestowed on you, immediately a sense of contentment comes and with it more providence. And when you complain and grumble, even whatever little joy, peace or love with which you have come into this world will all also vanish. As the Bible says, “Those who have will be given more; as for those who do not have; even what they have will be taken from them.” It’s appears to be a very cruel injunction, but this is the law of nature.

Gratitude is like a magic wand. When you are grateful, everything else flows to you. An element of grace is needed to be happy in life. This is what people often refer to as luck! It’s the glow of one’s life. Grace comes from being grateful. Gratitude is contagious. A grateful person purifies his entire environment and everyone around him feels uplifted. Only knowledge can take you out of discontentment and grumbling. Guru Purnima is significant as on this day we rejoice in our relationship with knowledge. Guru signifies wisdom or knowledge; Purnima signifies fullness. The feeling of fullness that comes out of knowledge is what we celebrate on Guru Purnima.

Whatever we have learnt in life is because we have had a teacher (Guru) to teach us. Either knowingly or unknowingly, we have always had a Guru. Our mother is our first Guru and then from science to spirituality, from birth to death, the Guru Principle permeates our life. There is a guru for every discipline — a Dharma Guru (religious), a Kula Guru (family), a Raj Guru (guru for the kingdom), a Vidya Guru (guru for a particular discipline) and a Sadguru (spiritual guru).

The Guru Principle is that which removes darkness, misery. It is charged with wisdom, and wisdom alone can bring lasting happiness. So people seeking happiness, knowledge and a better life have to come to a Guru. The gratitude that dawns on getting in touch with this principle does the magic.

When you are grateful, you also become sensitive and that sensitivity reflects in your actions. This Guru Purnima, let us be sensitive ourselves and also sensitise people to our environment. Feel gratitude for our very existence, our very body, all that you have and all the love you have received. And this gratitude will bring you a flood of grace. Abundance dawns and life becomes full!