Our Tulsi Plant An Update

I had written here about planting our Tulsi Plant.  After several repeated efforts to keep it alive, it has not survived.

We’ve tried keeping it at different locations, observing various ritualistic rules, changing the soil mixture but to no avail. I had thought that getting the Tulsi plant right would be the first step towards building a home garden in our balcony but the plans are suspended for now as we try and figure out how to plant and grow the Tulsi.

Desire

There are moments when I wonder if I had done such and such a thing at such and such a time, how my life would have changed. I realize the importance of doing that thing at that time but never actually do it. That is what makes me average. People who know what to do and then who have the gumption to actually do it are the people who are successful.

Where does the gumption to do it come from?

It comes from previous successes.

How does one go about building the gumption?

It comes from small victories.

Where do these small victories come from?

From taking the first step.

What motivates one to take the first step?

Having the desire to achieve the first step.

The world is full of suffering,

The suffering has a cause

The cause of suffering is desire.

Mumbai. January 8, 2016.

Magic

Human beings associate magic with things they do not understand. It is for a category of things that are not so spectacular so as to be associated with God.

We logically conclude as above based on very limited understanding and with techniques that have not matured enough yet to give us a complete picture.

But, one by one, we understand things that are magical. Hence, the category of magic is for me, a vision of the things we need to understand and the things we need to create.

Empathy

In our fast driven world, one of the spaces that needs the slow movement and quickly, is the services industry. There is need for fast and efficient service in the services industry but these need to be limited to work that can be done by robots rather than human beings.

Human beings are slow by default. Only a rare few can deliver the quick service that has become an expectation today. This becomes even rarer when there are no support systems in place to provide the speed in service even when the service provider sometimes wants to.

My post today is only to urge you, the customer, to show a little more patience and a little more empathy. The person providing you the service is also a human being and bound to have feelings, have his own issues and also trying to make a living.

If you are not getting a service at the speed that you demand, try to understand why. It will take you only a few more moments of your precious time and will lead to a much better understanding of the service that you sometime take for granted. You only realize the value of the service rendered once it is gone.

Lower your expectations. Show a little more empathy.

Mumbai. January 6, 2016.

Disease

I always wanted to be sick. Not for the physical discomfort or for the incredible pain but because those close to you took care of you. You could lay in bed most of the day, with someone attending to you – putting you to bed, giving you food to eat at bed and someone always checking on you. Everyone loves being taken care of. Don’t wait for a disease to take care of someone you love.

Mumbai. January 5, 2016

Hindu

It was only right before marriage when I sought to write down what my essential beliefs would be. I saw marriage as introducing chaos into my world, one which I embraced and enjoyed. Before the introduction of this chaos, I wanted to reduce my involvement in other things and prioritize them when I could not totally remove them.

One of the things that I had the most difficult time was to select what would be the set of beliefs that I would follow. I am a Hindu by birth but I have the choice of what set of beliefs I would take in and what I would keep out in the multitude of beliefs.

I read through books on Christianity, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism and Islam and chose Hinduism to be the broad umbrella in which I’d like to continue to stay. Like all teenagers, I’ve been through atheism as well.

After choosing the broadest stream that there is, in religious beliefs, there were still many more options left to choose from. Even within Hinduism there are a range of practices and beliefs. There are organisations and traditions. This too left with me far too much diversity and only increased the chaos.

After a study of the books, I looked at how many of the people I know practiced the religion on a day-to-day basis to help me get a little more handle on things. I noticed how my grandfather practiced Hinduism. He would light the lamp at the small altar in his house and pray. He would visit temples but would stay away from elaborate ritualism but still supported the festival in the temple close to his house. He had an interest in astrology but did not let it guide him. He was content with this and had a remarkably simple practice of the religion with little interest in its theology.

After a lot of thinking, I adopted this practice as well. I would pray every day at the altar at my house and visit the temple one day a week. I’ve had an interest in some philosophy and rather than take in too many differing views have restricted myself to reading stuff mostly  from the Chinmaya Mission and to talks on Buddhism on the Against the Stream podcast to satiate my philosophical appetite.

Mumbai. January 4, 2016.