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.

The Gita In My HomeWork

How to purchase:?

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

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

Here are some Customer Reviews:

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The Seeking

The Seeking

It rained and rained 
last night;
soaking the parched 
earth; 
a bright new day dawned;

The freshly washed trees
with raindrops glittering
like pearl-drops 
on their leaves
as the bright morning
sunshine spread 
its glistening rays!

The Azure blue sky
seemed like a canvas
scattered rainy clouds,
a lone eagle flying high
and the almost invisible
crescent moon of the eid;

The city had not yet woken up
despite - the occasional sound of a vehicle,
the chirping of birds,
and the whining of a squirrel nearby
- it was still a very quite morning!

As I took in the scenery,
the sounds and the smells
I set out on an 
unintended voyage 
to discover that "I"
through which I see,
I hear, I smell, I touch,
taste, think and act!

It wasn't a long journey either
to find that out that the "I"
that I was seeking,
was just not within;

In that blue azure sky;
in those sharp rays of the sun;
as well as that gentle moonlight;
in that pearl shaped raindrop;
in that chirping of bird,
the silence of the city
and flight of the bird
was that "I" 
- spread
all over and yet
within me too!

A deep dive in
ties the ends of the thread
the one within
and the one without! 

#Meditation #Kriya #Notes #June62019

Stillness

Oh! How do I tell you
the cure for all
that ails you is 
right here,
right within
in that deep Stillness!

There is an unparalleled
beauty to sitting in silence;
and letting the heart 
dive deep into 
that crashing
waves of silence;

A million 
– aches and pains,
– fears and insecurities,
– emotions and turmoils
all dissolve and 
disappear
into the 
ripples of stillness;

The Stillness has cures
for all that ails you;
take the dive deep within!

#Poem #Kriya #Jan2019

The warm quilt of Love & Grace

The waxing moon
in the chilly Sankratri night
shimmered
a little more brightly
right over the amphitheatre
cooling the dew in the grass;
 
Waxing and Waning
ever so often;
time and again
since eternity;
It knows the ebb and flow
of humanity!
It had seen them all –
The Saints and the Sinners;
The prophets and Masters;
The innumerable billions who
walked this planet;
And yet, today
The Recognition dawned!
 
One amongst billions
shines so bright
and that too
ever so rarely;
 
Delighted!
It danced in the sky
right above The Master!
 
Its luminous rays
ever so shining;
as if it had stretched its arms
to wrap itself
around The One
wanting to soak in
the warm quilt of
Love and Grace
that He had spread over!

The 4 (and a half) books that I spent most time with this year!

It’s that time of the year where the timelines are full of best books of 2018 or books to read in 2019. I have been a voracious reader, but something changed this past year and I have consciously stayed away from buying books liberally this year, despite being tempted so very often. On reflection, I realized that I spent most of my reading time with the following 4 books this year. 

  1. The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living by Eknath Easwaran. I have been reading books by Easwaran for over twenty five years now. I have read this trilogy so many times that I suspect that I know it by heart.

1.5 If you don’t know it yet, I had authored an introductory book on Gita for kids titled – The Gita In My Homework – which is greatly loved by adults too. If you haven’t read the Gita yet, or want to introduce The Gita to your children, this is the book to reach out for.

2. Celebrating Silence by my spiritual master Sri Sri RaviShankar – we read a page every time we have a Satsang at home. Deep wisdom delivered in byte sized nuggets.

3. Love Everyone by Parvati Markus – this is a book about the stories of disciples of Neem Karoli Baba and how his grace and wisdom shaped their lives. It is on my kindle and I periodically go back to soak in the stories of deep love and unconditional faith. 

4. The Law of Success: Yogananda Paramahamsa  This thin book sits on my bookshelf right by the side of my bed as well as on my kindle and I periodically peep into it only to get inspired to go back and work hard.  

There are books that I read for professional knowledge or technical know-how or just ’cause of the hype – they are temporal, while these four on the other hand, are timeless and inspirational. I can go back over and over to these books and get something new every time I read them.

Loud Silent Sound of Eternity

Open eyed, in the world!
There is noise and cacophony;
The soundscape of everything
around us – the noise of the traffic,
people talking, phones ringing and
whatever else!

Eyes Closed in the midst of the world;
the chatter of the mind is louder
than the noises of the world!
Perpetual loud thoughts,
those desires and wishes
anger and regret and so on;

Sit still – there is the chatter of memory;
thoughts that just simply don’t go away;
like a stuck record player, screeching,
playing the same memories,
over and over again;

Watch as the intellect wades
into the arena
as a big brother;
trying to help
the chatter of mind and memory;
Making quick decisions on their behalf!
It screams – Do this, do that! Don’t do this, Don’t do that!

Sitl still and observe.
A step deeper – beyond this cacophony
– is the first ripple of silence. Calmness descends!
A few seconds of deep rest;
where the mind lets go and all the chatter,
the noises, desires and the decisions cease!

Don’t give up yet!
Wade a little deeper into the ocean of peace;
Wave after wave of absolute stillness crash onto the shore!
Not even a ripple of thought arises here –
as if the whole mind is washed away repeatedly
of all its impurities!

Beyond that, a step more,
is that effervescent joy;
Oh, how do I describe it?
A totally rejuvenating,
rapturous and beatitude!
swirl of energy;
……………….
deep within where the only sound
is the sound of
Peace and Love –
echoing ever so loudly –
Seek it!
That Loud Silent Sound of Eternity!
is right within!
Waiting since eternity for you to seek it!

#SudarshanKriya #Meditation 2Nov2018

Loka-Sangraham

I had written about a few businesses and leaders under the series titled “Conscious Business and Awakened Leaders: Under the Bodhi Tree” earlier. (Premise; CCS; The Bonsai Tree; Inclusive Growth etc.) Most of these articles featured businesses and leaders whom I had heard about or read about. This one is different, I had the opportunity to visit The Deshpande Foundation, meet people working there, see the impact on the ground and also had the chance to hear Desh talk about his vision.

This was an invitation from the Sandbox Startup incubation center at Hubbali to join a one day conference with their founder – Gururaj Deshpande. A day prior to the event, they had organized a one day tour of all the projects that they support in and around Hubbali.

We started off with a tour of Deshpande Educational Trust (https://www.detedu.org/). This is really a finishing school for students coming out of colleges, but are unemployable due to multiple reasons – could be as simple as the inability to communicate in English or lack of technical skills. The school’s premise is simple – they run a cohort for about 5 months or so – in varied disciplines – IT, Electricity, CNC Machines, Farming, Accountancy, etc. The idea being that by the time the students come out, they should be proficient in both spoken English as well as technical skills. This year ~ 2000 students have gone through this program. This is a residential program open to boys and girls and over 80% of those who graduate gets placed. A tie-up with a large number of companies looking for skilled employees ensures placements. Some choose to strike out on their own too. While staying at the campus, the students have a tough schedule that starts at 6 with yoga and ends at 10 and are engaged all through the 5 months with no breaks even on Sundays. While this sounds tough, it isn’t a detention camp, the foundation has built a nice program that keeps the students engaged right through. Sure there are dropouts, but that happens in the first week or so itself.

We then went to Akshaya Patra, which is one of the largest kitchens in Asia, serving mid-day meals to a staggering 10 lakh children every day; the Kitchen is supported by Deshpande Foundation (https://www.akshayapatra.org/news/philanthropists-passion-for-eradicating-hunger).

Post the lunch at Akshaye Patra, our next destination was a visit to a farm, 50-60 km away from Hubbali in a village off Navalgund. The story of transformation is told very passionately by Innus Khan – Dy Director of Agriculture at Deshpande Foundation, who hails from Rajasthan, went through the 5 months training program at DET and chose to join the Foundation. He stayed at Navalgund for 2 years working on building a sustainable revenue generating model that is now adopted across different states in the country. Rather than telling the story here, I will point you to this link to read more about it. (https://thestoriesofchange.com/2018/01/29/farm-pond-karnataka-navalgund-farmers-agroculture-neer-sinchana-farmers/); Innus Khan, tells me that there is a waiting list of over 3000 farmers wanting the foundation to dig ponds in their farms.

We came back to the city and were introduced to an initiative called Navodyami (http://navodyami.org/) through which the foundation is working with small and medium traders and artisans in helping them take their products to a larger market.

We met and spoke to a few farmers as well as owners who were positively financially impacted by these programs and had wonderful things to say about the impact the foundation’s work had on their income.

Closer home, I had seen the impact of River Rejuvenation projects, the Youth-Leadership-training programs and the commitment of volunteers and teachers of Art of Living; this was the first time I had seen such a committed workforce in a business social venture.

There are multiple kinds of philanthropy; this one demonstrated by Deshpande seems to marry the best of social and business worlds; is replicable, and our country should have more of it. Desh elaborates on the thinking behind this in a succinct interview here (https://www.livemint.com/Home-Page/ZKNhFW8SwSe5HVUmXAGjgO/People-must-become-problem-solvers-Gururaj-Deshpande.html).

This was ‘Loka-Sangraham’ implemented in its true spirit. Shri Krishna says

सक्ता: कर्मण्यविद्वांसो यथा कुर्वन्ति भारत |

कुर्याद्विद्वांस्तथासक्तश्चिकीर्षुर्लोकसंग्रहम् || 3:25||

 

The ignorant man works for his own profit, O Bharata; the Enlightened One’s work for the societal welfare, with the good of the world in view“.

If you ever get an opportunity or an invite from the Foundation to visit Hubbali and view their projects, don’t miss it.

Love and Light!

As a pebble dropped
in a lake creates a
ripple of waves;
so does the Mantra
dropped in the heart;

A brilliant light
radiates within;
sending out ripples
each of frozen stillness;

Time stands still;
the Mind dissolves
in
that deep hue
of luminance;
and it emerges out
carrying with it
that effervescence
of gentle love
and light!

#Meditation 19-Sep-2019