Saturday, May 22, 2010

apologies to all!

Apologies friends, for my seeming unresponsiveness to your comments and also for leaving my thoughts mid way...
I'm at the last stage of my doctoral research and so my mind and time is full of those deadlines. Hope to get back to you and your comments in elaborate ways, soon.

Till then... j

Lecture series... on Happiness

Bangalore's intellectuals have come together to start something like lectures in India Habitat Centre... went to a new lecture series today. The first one was about 'pursuit of happiness'. Well done presentations, along with people who were really interested to know about it and also got curious about my work on similar topics.

But overall i came back with one observation... all the spiritualists philosophers from Indian traditions, who gather at such places are a particular kind!!! The Jnana margi- those who walk on the path of knowledge and generally the yogis. And thus all the discussions are a particular kind, in a particular language inspired by a particular tradition!

Nothing wrong about it, but sometimes i wonder about another group which is under-represented there. The Karma yogis and the bhaktas!!!
Meaningful... for these two must be busy elsewhere... where they are at home! :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Women's spirituality!!!

I just noticed, much of women's spirituality movement lately is a lot about sex and sensuality. Seems it goes like this in the popular literature ... women- associated with paganism or tantra- associated with inner power/ women/ earth & productivity - associated with sacred sex!!!

Well, Even feminism has over time associated a bit too much with freedom for pay cheque and sex... this is heights of getting out of one stereotype to falling into another!There is something v. ironic about this whole business!!!

I wondered if someone out there is noticing it... I googled and funnily found this study...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,557744,00.html
http://www.livescience.com/health/090930-spirituality.html

Ah! I'm exasperated with the world!!!

Wise decisions...

There are lot of refined tastes in life which generally need some bit of learning to appreciate it fully! I believe wisdom is one of them ...

On one level, choices and decisions are made at the level of least resistant path, something with which we have grown up, which society tells us to do! On next level one becomes unfettered, free of external and internal rusting chains... to only acknowledge ones own well being, own pleasure or pain, at the most immediate and basic level. Hedonism rules!!!

But taking wise decisions are much more than these... its about having foresight, and making such an informed decision, which will be beneficial for all involved. Its also much more about the motives, than only about the actual acts or decisions!

Wonder where this art has gone from the public and private spaces... we need to once again start celebrating it, ... do some bit of advocacy, educate people, organise ourselves... and bring it back into the memories and values of people everywhere! :)
Ah! we have come to this level ... it seems to be getting extinct!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

some town somewhere...

On and on, goes the analysis of my research interviews... but I stumble upon lots and lots of interesting observations... not only about the topic of study, but in general about people, life and also about myself.

Sometime back I was looking at some interview from a smaller town and realised how entrenched it is, in the language of relationships. As if relationships far and wide, with people and places, gives meaning to life.
As a friend observed about the common culture of a north Indian state (and might be applicable to many more small towns in India), life and memories revolves around my father, my mother, my cow, my house, my Tulsi plant and so on...

It sits in contrast to the lives in metros... which is much more focused and goal oriented. Meaning and identity is self-created in life through what one chooses to do. Friends (and even family) are like the base camp to return to, after a climb towards one's aims. They are not entangled closely with the reason to live.

But then, may be this stage still comes, invariably comes, just a bit later in a city life. When one really, mentally, settles down! Till then, family and friends are expected to understand and cultivate the useful, but boring virtue of patience...
Or, who knows! what will happen... the way local culture is interacting with the global culture, everything seems much more fluid. No predictions stand!!!

Well... even in past we have got interesting examples to follow through... Krishna lived a deeply entwined, interpersonal life in Vrindavan (still a small town;), but if one looks at the second part of his life... well, that was very much like a king, who had too many things in his hands to return and give a visit to his near and dear ones, in that old small town, left behind!!!
Even in Gita, after that long discourse, he tells his friend to do what he deems fit! Wow pretty independent view of decision making!

I live in a big city, with small town ethos... I think I need to make a shift, either which way... thinking of a shift to a small Himalayan village!!! ;)
Amen! :)


Disclaimer: As an after thought... I might be looking at macro aspect and generalising, which might not be sustained at micro level analysis.
So everything written here can be an illusion! beware! ;)