Gurcharan Das writes on the role of Dharma for individuals and for a competitive free market economy.
I just took advantage of the fact that I was down with a fever-cough-cold combination to listen to Time Machine with Neelesh Misra. I stumbled on to the show while looking for something to listen to whilst lying bored in bed.
Mystical retelling of the Mahabharata and Ramayana like those of Ashok Banker’s Prince of Ayodhya and Ten Kings are finding favour with a growing audience, it is sometimes lovely to hear these mythic story in their original. Neelesh Misra narrates stories written by members of his writer’s group called Mandali in this series on Saavn. The story telling is compelling with sound effects that we would have imagined as kids listening to the tale from our grandmothers lending the dramatic touch. Misra made me feel that in losing the art of storytelling, we have lost something significant in our busy life.
I shared it both with my wife and my brother and thought I should share it with you as well. If reading is not your thing, maybe listening to these stories might bring back fond memories.
Towards the end of 2015, I slowly began to loose interest in reading religious texts. They seemed repetitive to the extent I began to wonder that if the texts were so similar, what was there to fight about. D introduced me to Sandeep Maheshwari, an entrepreneur from Delhi who gave talks inspiring students. The first video of Sandeep that I watched was “Last Life-Changing Seminar” on YouTube.
Till then the only things I used to watch on YouTube are TED talks and Talks at Google. The Life-Changing Seminar was the first Hindi video that I heard from start to end. The full hour or so.
Slowly, Sandeep’s videos started to move towards the spiritual. This started, in my opinion with a how-to video on basic meditation. He understood that not everyone was interested in the spiritual and hence started a separate channel on YouTube for his spiritual stuff. This is the channel that interests me. His inspirational video and videos related to personal excellence continue. The first few times I watched the spiritual videos, I spent them trying to pin down what teaching he followed. I wanted to categorise them so that I could then read the books myself.
While I am still getting the hang of the basic meditation video through daily practice, I have continued watching his videos on his spirituality channel. Slowly, I concentrated more on what he was saying than trying to classify his talk. His spiritual talk, also in Hindi, seek to clarify and are linked to examples befitting the twenty first century.
These talks helped revive my own spiritual interest, helped clear my understanding and understand some things much better in Hindi than while reading some texts in English.
Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as http://parallelspirals.blogspot.com. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on December 29, 2010 as per the time stamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.
Between the age of 18 and 23, I didn’t go to temples off my own accord. I normally tagged along with family. It was during this period that I read Krishnamurthi and Osho. I was also a member of the skeptic gang and was trying to find a scientific way of defining God. In reference to this, at a recent lecture series, Jaydeep Mukherjee said that it was vital that science and religion be kept separate. Do not try to explain science with religion or religion with science.
The ice started breaking on my freeze on visiting temples when I read S Radhakrishnan’s book “The Hindu View of Life”. I then differentiated between visiting temple for spiritual aims and visiting temple for ritualistic aims. A look back will show you that it is this ritualistic Hinduism that spawned Buddhism and the various reform movements in the 19th century. The spiritual Hinduism is not totally devoid of problems, but it does its best under the circumstances.
It was Krishnamurthi who stressed on living from one moment to another, Osho re-emphasized it and introduced me to Zen Buddhism. My interest in Osho began when I read his critique of Krishnamurthi which was fun. It then went further when I heard the Malayalam film actor, Mohan Lal had “followed” some of his ideas. This turned out later to be not entirely true. It was around this time that my Orkut entry for religion turned from atheist to agnostic.
There are not many places where you get to go and sit alone in some place in India without getting disturbed by a long forgotten relatives (apologies to all such relatives, but you’re timing does not help sometimes). I thought the temple would act as a refuge but I have not tried it yet. I have considered the temple, though.