Horshito

I have no idea what that means. No amount of googling and playing with word lead me anywhere.

Last night I had a sliver of chance to meditate before I went to sleep and then I had this completely vivid dream. Before going to bed I did read Steve Jobs’ sister’s eulogy . I was very moved. I mean to see a complete human perspective of his last days did move me. Then I was reading a post of my friend on FB where she was talking about how Nov 4th is an auspicious day and whatever you choose to become on that day will stay with you for next 29 years. So, with these thoughts I went to sleep. I was wondering what is that I would want? Whether if I want something, would I stick to it for so many years?

Then I had a dream. It was so clear. A group of people were preparing me for some initiation. They kept saying that word – horshito – to me. They were referring to me about the teacher who is going to initiate me. They were telling me not to be weirded out by the methods used by the teacher. Then I was sitting in lotus position and the teacher is sitting in front of me. The initiation is happening. Then I see that I bought some laddus for all the people who are present. There were 192 of them.

Then I hear this shriek and I wake up only to see Sahana playing happily and trying to talk to me. It took me a while to come back to senses. 4:13AM. I tried to jot down fast what I saw. It occurred to me that the guru I saw was Indian spiritual guru – Swami Chinmayananda. I have seen this Swami’s pic before but never paid attention. Only today I learned about him in much more detail.

I have no idea what that means and more perplexingly what horshito meas. My only logic to that is – it’s Harshito in sanskrit which means joy. This sort of thing happened to me couple of years back where I got the word Ruminal Thread

Books for the Travel

In a week we are starting out for a 3 week trip to India. It’s going to be hectic but awesome. A lot of things to do and a lot of responsibilities to take care of. The excitement hasn’t kicked in yet. I know, the moment I reach SFO – I would be super excited and then those 24 hours on flight. Oh my. Can’t depend on Dramamine this time, as we will have Sahana with us.

Me and Sangita usually pick a book whenever we travel. Well my obvious choice this time is – Steve Jobs biography. I think 600 pages over 20 days is good reading material. A lot has been already written about the book but somethings were interesting. Steve Jobs was influenced by Hindu philosophy and then moved to Zen buddism. He had only one book on his iPad – guess what it is? Autobiography of a Yogi! He used to read it once every year. That I didn’t expect. Who would have thunk it?

I usually carry 2nd book just in case I finish the first one. I am thinking That used to be us, but may be a little too depressing and heavy handed – especially about education in US. Sometimes it makes me wonder whether Singapore would be a good place to go back to (or wonder if I never left). They have the best education in this world (seen the TIMSS rating recently?), zero crime rate and the best of all – 4 hours away from India!

Well – if not that depressing book, I will have to find something interesting. Looking…..

Double barrel

The weather like this reminds me of my time in NY & NJ. Those gloomy and cold evenings. Walking back from train station to home for some warm drinks.

Nothing makes it better than some good old fashion.

Chasing the wrong thing

(Note: This isn’t looking down on anyone, it’s more of what I dig up through self-reflection, writing etc and which sort of gets expressed as self-deprecation. I am as flawed as anyone I have ever met.)

I think a lot of us chase the wrong thing in our lifetimes. I am talking about things and objects. Like 10,000 feet outlook. Not about your new iPhone 4s (yes it’s pretty) or your new low price pants (yes you look pretty too) but at much higher abstraction level of objects and attachment. When we chase something we are attached to it. We are actually attached to the object of desire – which is fine, but it comes with some side-effects. Wherever there is attachment, pain breeds. It’s inevitable.

I think we as humans are at very core level are all about “Self-Expression”. Not about these moving plethora of new shiny gadgets that fill our lives and never give us time to think. I think we seek – constantly – self expression. We do it though various ways. Our work is one main avenue. But there are many other things through which we like to express ourselves – art, dance, music etc. But somewhere we forget that and we start to believe that we are out there seeking objects. Objects of desire. This leads to false self-identity and later does not bode well.

I think the key to happiness is to find out what we want and then dig deep into it to find out what self-expression do we seek from it. It could be anything, a 50″ tv for example. It may not be that you are just satiated by the HD reel that runs through it – but there could be more to it – may be like you like your entertainment in a big way, may be you like to express yourself in a big way which is making you go for a big ass tv. I know it’s a silly example, but I think for any objects we are chasing – there is more to it other than just mere momentary gratification.

I think there is way to sort it out. Here is what I think could help.

1. Find out what you like most. What is your object of desire.

2. Reverse it. Think as if this object is desiring you

3. How would you expect that this object is trying to express itself through you?

4. What are the feeling that you feel when you think of this object is trying to express itself through you?

5. Focus on those feelings. I bet you will find the core of your self-expression there.

Philosophically – when we chase down our objects of desire and once we have it, the fun ends. There is no where to go. And just because you cashed in some of your karma to chase that object of desire you will have to face the opposite action of your actions. It’s unavoidable. But in case you don’t chase the object of desire but the feeling – the feeling of your self expression may be with that object or may be not, then it’s a whole new ball game. You just made the object of desire a means to an end. Not an end. That way, you are guaranteed of endless opportunities of self-expression and not face the reverse karma.

Chasing that feeling is what we should be doing. But instead we are chasing the wrong thing, yep including me.

RIP Dennis Ritchie

My academic software learning started with Pascal but my career software learning started with C language. Before India became a hub for outsourced software development – C was the language you would learn to do things in. Now it’s sadly, Java. I started to learn C in 1993 – after someone mentioned that it’s the language closest to machine. I picked up the default book by Dennis Ritchie and started to write programs. Since I didn’t own a computer and I had to wait till I get my turn to get into computer lab – I would write the program on paper first and type it in when I got my chance.

Dennis Ritchie’s book taught me the basics of programming. Thanks and RIP Dennis Ritchie.

The Tiger Swami

When I first met Sangita – she mentioned that the story of “Tiger Swami” changed her life. I was skeptical and later decided to check it out. It’s from the book called – “An Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. As I read the the story I was in awe. I was hooked. I read the whole book and even till this date haven’t come across any book as satisfying as this one.

The Tiger Swami – is a story of Yogananda visiting this Swami who is popularly known as Tiger Swami – a name he achieved by fighting tigers with nothing but his bare hands. It’s a fascinating story of how his hubris grew as he won over many tigers until he met his match in Raja Begum – a royal bengal tiger. He defeats it but it brings profound change in him. He becomes spiritual and rather goes on to win the tigers of desire.

A fascinating book and my dream is one day to produce the book as a movie. A mix of spirituality, science and myth. I would highly recommend the book – even if you are not a fan of Yogananda. Here is a quote from the Tiger Swami chapter –

Mind is the wielder of muscles. The force of the hammer blow depends on the energy applied; the power expressed by man’s bodily instrument depends on his aggressive will and courage. The body is literally manufactured and sustained by mind. Through pressure of instincts from past lives, strengths or weaknesses percolate gradually into human consciousness. They express as habits, which in turn manifest as a desirable or an undesirable body. Outward frailty has a mental origin; in a vicious circle, the habit bound body thwarts the mind. If the master allows himself to be commanded by servant, the latter becomes autocratic; the mind is similarly enslaved by submitting to bodily dictation.

 

Read the book online here – http://www.ananda.org/inspiration/books/ay/