A Salute to the Underdogs

A note on the achievements of a Pakistani lad who brought laurels with his work on Electric Honeycomb.

Mr Niazis success is truly remarkable, not for discovering the electric honeycomb but for the innovation that comes in the absence of a milieu. Dr Ambedkar’s success is far more than Pandit Nehru’s from this same perspective. Driving innovation or achievements far different especially in the absence of milieu is a rare landmark.

We never realize how our milieu defines and shapes not alone our fate and destiny but it also modulates and rewrites our own thinking. The milieu has such a global footprint and impact that we as a cohort think the way we think, never realizing that two way cross talk with our milieu. So many amongst us are achievers and those achievements can be handsomely credited to one unique aspect – that milieu. Of course, you all may argue that individual human efforts and fate too has a place. However, amongst these confounding factors, despite our best efforts, I weigh in favor of milieu.

The success is starkly driven by him rather than the milieu offering the ripe environment for achieving those laurels. In fact, the milieu was a great distractant but despite, he achieved with a singular focus. That’s the differentiator. Milieu drags and offers fertile ground. In his case, despite the drag, he achieved this which makes it several times commendable. Salute to those unique souls who achieve despite this odds.

Please note, i transcend nationality, religion, ethnicity, culture and material factors while I appreciate these iconic class.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41548203

The Ravan within Rowlett

We all have a Ravan within us, either infesting us individually or pervasively proliferating within the system. An educated sane correspondent of a reputed news outlet, tried insane things at the spur of the moment, without any thought to the consequences of this glorified insanity. This blog is not about Rowlett, it is about we all, going through these Ravan phase during some pervert ill defined moments during our lifetime. It is exactly such insanity that sometimes defines and significantly influences the course of the future. 

We all have a Ravan within us, either infesting us individually or pervasively proliferating within the system. Justin Rowlett, a BBC correspondent based in Delhi is a sane man trying insane things at the spur of the moment, without any thought to the consequences of this glorified insanity.

The Story refers to a reporter, Justin Rowlett’s narrative on BBC blaming the street tattooer. Justin, a married man with a two kids, went for burning the effigy of Ravan, a demon depicting the evil within – society and individually within us. While at the Dusshera celebration, he tattooed himself from a street vendor. I would never excuse an educated, married man with two daughters, trying this vernacular pleasure.

Rowlett should blame the Ravan within him, that exactly is the concept behind the ritual of Dusshera celebration. So what if he was offered an assurance on tattoo? He has to own his decision to get the tattoo on the street side, exposing himself to all those diseases plus the unblemished permanent mark. Ravan, nor India or its custom can be blamed. Of course not the poor man who put that tattoo.

It is not about Rowlett, it is about we all, going through this Ravan phase during some pervert ill defined moments. It is exactly such insanity that sometimes defines and significantly influences the course of the future.

A permanent reminder of my own stupidity
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-41510293

Should We Question Our Guru?

Science, Arts or Spirituality would cease to grow if we don’t oppose our Guru. That opposition has an element of obeisance and regards of highest kind, since the Guru is the one who has provided that eternal milieu for growth and realization.

Prologue

All religions are deeply embedded with humane perspective, ethical values and principles. We follow religion what is told to us and as followers, we come up with questions. Often, religious practices or preachers forbid us from asking questions. In fact, in the interest of your faith, you should question your tenets or those who impart those principles of religion and at times, we should oppose something that does not appeal to our morals or sense of judgment. Science, Arts or Spirituality would cease to grow if we don’t oppose our Guru. That opposition has an element of obeisance and regards of highest kind, since the Guru is the one who provides us that eternal milieu for growth and realization. More on the importance of asking questions to understand your faith.

The Importance of Guru

Guru or a teacher is a must in every aspect of life and living. When we are born, the one who holds us, our Parents, are our Guru. When we learn to walk and run, and play in the field, we need a Guru or alternately, we are continuously guided by someone in the form of Guru. As we graduate through different levels of learning, we realize, several learned folks have contributed in making us what we are at that snapshot of time. At no point in our individual journey of life can we claim that we are on our own. We develop as an amalgamation of outside forces, the learning and our own ability to comprehend internally what emerges from within the milieu we exist. Be it science, arts, technology, business, politics or spiritual. Selected few are beneficiaries of dedicated didactics whereas, most are imbibing the radiance emanated from these folks, through books, discourse, artifacts analysis, on the ground lessons, hands-on learning etc. and as time progresses, we transition into Guru. In fact, we should consider that as one of our most noble social responsibility while build that continuity. There is no invitations, you simply offer yourself to the devotion of dissipating and spreading that wisdom, knowledge being one aspect of it. Do we need Guru to interpret religion? Obviously yes, this journey would not be a journey without a Guru and life would have no meaning without the presence of Guru.

Should Guru Charge for the knowledge?

Some do it selflessly, while others do it with collateral. However, irrespective of an exchange is occurring or not, it is pertinent that the transfer of wisdom should transition from generation to generation as does the genomic material. As is clear from the foregoing, the day you destroy that genomic transcription, the world will cease to exist and time will come to standstill.

What are the essential traits of Guru?

I strongly believe, we need Guru to interpret religion. We need a Guru to interpret religion. Please correct me if I am wrong but I presume, Guru is at a level sufficiently evolved that the disciple, second Guru is above material attachments and third, Guru is above biases. If all of these qualify, I presume, we still have occasionally people born with precocious intelligence and they interpret life beyond the box, those are the same folks who expand that envelop, that’s how Buddha came into being and I presume, the entire edifice of Sanatan dharma was built upon.

Should we be restricted within the confines of Guru?

No one helped Einstein with his quantum physics or theory of relativity. History of science is adorned with several such examples. In fact, when a disciple takes it beyond the confines of imparted knowledge, the disciple honors his Guru and the stature of their Guru too rises beyond an act of deliverance of knowledge to the one of evolving the tenets, a supreme contribution to the cause of mankind.

Do we question Guru?

Definitely Yes! You may notice that ‘definite’, and if we don’t, we will initiate the degradation and degeneration.

Why Spiritual Guru’s should be above material attachment? Knowledge is so pristine and supremely inspiring and awakening, that it often lures the acquirer into installing the beholder onto higher pedestals. During such times, it makes sense to not be attached or be minimalist in his/her attachment to the material world. If the Guru’s are not, disciples land up encountering Guru Ram Rahim. Power corrupts and religious power corrupts absolutely. That is how we got Guru Rajneesh.

Only if Lord Shiva would have registered an IP or Patented Yog

Our Age Old Yog (So called Yoga) is a case in point. Yog are taught, not in the comfort of conditioned environment but in the temple precincts and after paying due obeisance to Lord Shiva. Western world has corrupted it to Yoga, followed with a liturgy of similar distortions from Rama, Krishna, Arjuna. Our original words is Yog, Ram, Krishna etc.

Let me come to the point – Yog originated from Lord Shiva as a primeval knowledge and mechanism for the uplifting of human living and existence. Lord Shiva initially transferred the understanding to Lord Parvati and upon her insistence to the Seven Sages, after they went through severe penance, devotion and commitment. Yog was thus born not as a religious preaching or kinesthetic principles but as a spiritual science. Yog does not adhere to any particular religion, belief or community but as a mechanism for inner wellbeing.

What’s wrong with today’s Guru’s?

We see the likes of Ramdev, SadhGuru and others, who through their Siddhi bestowed on them, are prophesying Yog but indulging in material gain. If only Lord Shiva patented Yog. They specially fall out since they are acclaimed Siddha Purush (enlightened). Other lesser mortals can definitely do business but I don’t consider them enlightened.

Guru Shishya Vyavastha in Prachin Bharat Varsha

It is important to understand the origin of Guru, Disciple and Gurukul tradition. In ancient India Guru held their own learning institutes called Gurukul. Disciples stayed with their Guru and imbibed the learning as it was imparted. These Gurukul were supported by Bhiksha and the ruling kings. It is wrong to say Gurus were Brahmins. Disciples often served the Gurukul with day to day activities. Gurus were the learned class and a Brahmin was considered learned class devoid of any material attachments as they were supported by alms and the state. Guru Dakshina was part of the tradition and it never meant material repayment to the teacher. It meant a respect that may have included some material form, irrespective of the value.

Guru GuruKul

If you notice, the entire edifice of Guru and his learning ecosystem are based on the percept of selfless dedication, irrespective of the players – Teacher, Disciple, Institute or the Community that benefitted from the posterity.

Science, Arts or Spirituality would cease to grow if we don’t oppose our Guru. That opposition has an element of obeisance and regards of highest kind, since the Guru is the one who has provided that eternal milieu for growth and realization.

You may also like Who Am I? – Swami Sarvapriyananda from Mandukya Upanishad

Citations:

Yoga: Its Origin, History and Development

 

Ethnic Cleansing

Pragmatism is not above humanity

The clip above shows Indira Gandhi weighing in favor of being pragmatic. Bangladeshi immigration is often cited as an example while dealing with outside immigrants. To those Indians who favor the above approach, let me ask a question – What should we do if Hindus in Pakistan face Ethnic cleansing? Same applies to Hindus from Africa or other land. In Uganda, Idi Amin started a massacre against Hindus. Their property and other belonging were taken over by the state machinery. Hindus and specifically Indians started emigrating, should we have welcome them?

Ethnic Cleansing and Emotional Outburst

Below, a clip showing an emotional outburst by a so called humanitarian. Emotions are respectful but they have very limited value in making a right decision. Such issues cannot not be solved with emotional outburst. A complete life cycle view of the immigrants and the natives have to be understood in the context of where both exist and eventually, a solution can be drawn.

 

 

There is no support in favor of ethnic cleansing, either it be the Buddhist by Imperial China from Tibet, Hindu Nepalis from Buddhist Bhutan or Muslim Rohingyas from Buddhist Myanmar. Ethnic cleansing is not restricted to any religion nor is immigration to any nationality.

Pope was the first leader to highlight and focus the attention if the international community towards the plight of Rohingyas (let us stop using religious suffix or prefix and polarize this murky world). I would be happy to see someone like Pope, who thinks beyond his religion or community. I would be happy to see a Muslim (I am purposefully avoiding nationality as a suffix), talking about the plight of a Buddhist in Afghanistan or China or a Hindu in Bhutan, when I see that happen, I would surmise that as a true yearning for humanity.

On a side note – this woman is too distraught and emotional, an element that highly introduces bias to influence our thinking. Either she is doing that innocently, and I will give the benefit of doubt, or she is intentionally to get us into overriding our intellect through emotion. Irrespective, I will disregard her emotion tone and look beyond and identify the core issue.

Another side note – why should the world media is on hyper edge against Muslims? Can we disregard the recent history? When did the faithful (amongst the Muslims) oppose those gory deeds committed by their brotherhood? If only Muslim terrorism is opposed by mainstream Muslims, should we expect to see fundamental changes in the perspective amongst international community? Media is writing what people want to read, with some monetary influence though, but let us ask a question. Why would someone funds a media blitzkrieg against Muslims?

Last, the only Muslim who has raised awareness amongst the faithful to oppose terrorism is Fatehullah Gulen, who is ostracized and banished from Turkey. That opposing to terrorism is the onus of the faithful. Outsiders, ie people of other faith will respond eventually. However, to reiterate, the protection of one’s faith rests with the believer, it be Muslims, Hindus or Christians.

 

The world on leash

This world is increasingly getting ridiculous boisterous, two brats seating in unassailable places with the most powerful weapons, the world has ever seen 😩, both beyond and without control, both throwing bellicose tantrums in a world where diplomacy and sanction have turned ineffective. Oh boy! This is way different than dealing with those Arabian Knights like Saddam, Assad or Gaddafi’s.

Poor Monkey

This world is increasingly getting ridiculous boisterous, two brats seating in unassailable places with the most powerful weapons, the world has ever seen 😩, both beyond and without control, both throwing bellicose and boisterous ‘egomaniac’ tantrums in a world where diplomacy and sanction have turned ineffective. Oh boy! This is way different than dealing with those Arabian Knights like Saddam, Assad or Gaddafi’s.

Tracing the history of the wars that ravaged the civilization, at least to my gullible mind, those WW I/II or the cold war following those were dominated by intellect, rationale and a poisonous dose of one-upmanship and an attitude to dominate.

Those Arabian Knights!

Gradually, the scenario changed and we had those Arabian Knights and the wimpy guns misfiring in wrong direction for blowing our citadel. Now, as technology is maturing towards Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics and driverless cars, i believe, we are getting entangled in the morasses of brats dealing with brats and the world watching helplessly.

Five course meal

This is not enough, not as tasty and succulent, let’s add some spice. Let’s add Islamic radicalism and little Islamophobia. How does it taste? Not yet there. Ok, let’s add little more Crimea and encroach some lost East Europe, does it sound good? Not yet. Hey, we have more stuff – every brat needs a nuclear gun. That audience is 😋 hungry waiting for the sizzling dishes. Not yet there. Let us add little Chinese hegemony, Hindu radical retaliation and Pakistani perjury. May be sprinkle a little recession, poverty, Ebola,  AIDS, mutinies, bellicosities. Oh get it ready now, the Tutsis have started killing the Hutus. Hey hey, hey, it is not yet ready, where are you taking those raw dishes? Why don’t you ravage the nature and make it a little warmer place, may be raise the thermostat by 2 degrees, break a little ice from those Antarctic shelves and chill until I deposit this in my Oh, … ummm…Swiss & Panama Account.

Guys, are you ready?

Those hungry mouths are now over 7.5 billion. Can we cook faster? Stop more succulence and give it as it is? They simply need food, not a five course meal.

Friends, this is democracy. Any objection?

Sun Zhu

The Irresponsible Idiot inside me

For generations now, news has been always sensational, something apart from the normal, something that evokes the irrational, tribal fear within us, something that needs immediate gratification to perplexing perpetual and often festering problems. Almost daily, we all fall prey to such follies, of not validating the truth behind such sensational messages; we get caught in with our own internal bias and become a proponent of that rumor. I too committed a faux pass by forwarding a message. Social Media Technology like WhatsUp may be new but forwarded messages is not a new phenomenon. We all have that instinct of contributing to the rumor mill by adding unvalidated views.

Our times are keenly watching radical Muslim onslaught and the reaction from their moderates. However, Islam is not the only religion displaying radical aggressiveness. We see that radical manifestation spreading gradually amongst other religions too. Views and perspectives are getting percolated and barriers and prejudices are being built. Humanity, and especially our next generation, is getting caught in polarizing views that are diametrically opposite. Biases are subjugated and getting percolated through these media and the real enemy is we, those users who are not validating information and adding forwards to rumor mills.

I have two questions to both the polar sides –

1. Irrespective of the content of either message or the ground realities, does it add to social harmony, stability and peace?

2. We all agree with our believe systems. But have we reached out and made attempts to understand how many agree with our polar views?

Religion is sacrosanct to Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhist equally. However, while practicing our faith, we have purposefully chosen to interpret a selected meaning and introduced our own bias. Are these medieval biases helping us? Is there a need to revisit and decipher the message for humanity (and possibly expunge the old messages that tear us apart). We need an ideology to guide us through these trying and tormenting times, to stabilize the new norm of globalization, ideological conflict and technological evolution. However, while we are struggling to achieve that, let us behave responsibly by not forwarding any message that will deprive the community of harmony and peace. Let us not forward any sensational provocative news.

For generations now, news has been always sensational, something apart from the normal, something that evokes the irrational, tribal part within us, something that needs immediate gratification to perplexing perpetual problems. If I say a particular political or religious leader devoured a person say, another businessman or a slender gender, it immediately evokes that sense of interest. However, if I write another article on how the same person completed his job successfully, it is devoid of news.

We all are prone to such scandalous traps. This morning, I saw a WhatsApp message that talked how a Canadian Mayor refused to ban pork from school Canteen.  Since the message aligned with my own ideology, I forwarded that message to a select few, from mostly my own religion and a few Muslim friends whom I consider close and with whom I yearn to have this dialog (not to hurt their sentiments but to bridge the chasm of ideological differences by overtly expressing rather than behind the back passionate discussions.

My two Muslim brothers responded. One, whom I can call neo-liberal Abdul, a doctor by profession, based in UAE, another Aslam, a traditional mainstream based in US (names changed to anonymize identity). I am appending Abdul ‘s comments (the neo-liberal Muslim friend who is practicing as a Surgeon in UAE).

Abdul

Aslam, my friend from our small home town, now settled in US felt the message was a hoax and forwarded another message that supported the ban on pork.

Aslam

The above are two polar extremes, a version between two hardliners…

Almost daily, we all fall prey to such follies, of not validating the truth behind such sensational messages; we get caught in with our own internal bias and become a proponent of that rumor. I, however, have two questions to both the polar sides –

  1. How many believers agree with the other diametrically opposite polar extreme?
  2. Irrespective of the content of either message or ground realities, does it add to social harmony, stability and peace?

That’s the concern with identity – religion is far secondary in the notion of identity and humanity is caught in this unrelenting quagmire, neither polar side attempting to reach out to the other (and understanding what the others feel) and neither intending to move out of status quo… including you and I.

We feel our identity – as a nation, as an ethnic stalk, as a religion and a culture are superior to others.

We are so much wrapped and warped in this notion of self-prophesying truth that we rarely think of stepping out of the cocoon of self-serving identity calamity and ever venture out to seek truth.

Muslim Protest and Rallies

I have never seen a rally a Muslim terrorist bombed when San Bernardino, or Manchester or London Bridge. I have seen Muslims protesting against Trump’s ban on immigrants from six nations (of note, he did not ban Muslims from other 54 Muslim nations). The world is often surprised to see how Muslims flocked to protest Trump’s decision. I have no intent to politicize this issue but Muslims could have seen this issue independent of Trumps background and perspective. They could have asked a simple question –

  1. Has he banned all the immigrants from all the 60 Muslim nations?
  2. What’s wrong in banning immigrants from strive torn nation sending people prone for violence? Are we not screening and doing background check (in a granular way to validate the same intent)?

Agreed Palestine-Israel issue is perpetually hot, agreed India-Pakistan border skirmishes are unrelenting but when will Muslim rise in opposing any incidence of violence, be it San Bernardino, London Bridge or the concert at Manchester?

No one can be spared for violence or perpetuating violence directly or indirectly but those who stand muted to violence, especially to their own brethren’s, commit bigger atrocities by tacitly encouraging such phenomenon.  It is easy to assume Muslims are only responsible for such aggressive behavior. Not true, radicalism is on the rise in India too and India is not an exception. We see pockets of radical outbursts gradually expanding and confluencing.

Mumbai Muslims are iconoclast

If Muslims are responsible, so are others who are following the same path of aggressive assertion. Why can’t we oppose our own son who does a wrong? When we oppose our son doing a wrong, the message is beyond moral, it enshrines our faith in humanity and it emboldens our own values and virtues. I admire Mumbai Muslims, who refused a burial ground to Ajmal Kasab or the mother of the London Bridge bomber, who said, she will devote her life to find how much extremism has infiltrated her society and how best to stop.

Fighting over Cow Slaughter and Pork Ban

In India banning cow slaughter in in vogue right now.  We have forgotten that India belongs to its people, we have also forgotten that it is respecting cow is a vestige of a transition to an agrarian society. Of course, she serves multitudes of reasons, foremost amongst those her status of being at the epicenter of an entire utility world we created cow being at the center of this agrarian ecosystem. Do we really need to ban cow and stop eating beef? Do we truly want to impose our ideology on the minority, who practice different religious belief? A solution for cow proponents – those who vehemently oppose beef ban, can buy all those old cows marked for beef and protect them at quarantine with their money. Protecting them with personal donation will offer two fold advantages – a feeling of piousness and the ultimate service towards cows.

Is it right to ban pork from a multicultural multiethnic school canteen? Are we opposing inclusiveness? Where are we heading? It is a number game. If we are a majority, we want to dominate. We want our will to flourish over others.

Religion for the Global World

Protecting cow or pork ban was perfectly fine in a small compartmentalized old world. With globalization, technological innovation and evolution, we need to evolve with distinctly different ideologies that would support harmony and peace to coexist humanity and assimilate and adopt to the newer challenges of homogenized world.

Do we ban WhatsUp or Twitter or Facebook?

Certainly not! I need a religion that guides humanity to see above ourselves, an ideology that offers a perspective to see a diverse perspective other than ours, an ability to withstand criticism, and an ability to accept that diversity with sagacity. . If we are wrong, we should have the audacity to admit, unwavering support to wrong will never espouse the cause of humanity. We need a religion that will enlighten us from advocating such rumors, an ability to validate the information I receive, and think through (about humanity) before forwarding.

 

Donate for Tornado Affected

In the last few days that I have been talking with my family friends and professional circle and I got a deep realization that, that benevolence, that kindness is deep within you all. I am no exception. You all feel so strongly for the cause of those affected.

It bonds us when we stand together in times of crisis, when we share the pain and pathos, when we lend a hand to get them back to life. None of those whom I approached declined to help. Everyone I turned towards for getting this help is equally motivated and supportive towards those affected. Time is of essence and those who have lost the roof over their head don’t have a holiday, weekdays and weekends sound same to those distraught.

Canton and a swath of East Texas were hit by Tornado on April 29, 2017. As per one government estimate, almost 5200 addresses were significantly damaged or affected. Many amongst these were those who are economically deprived and never had any coverage – home or auto. Looking at the plight, it is natural desire to help these victims. While the local and state government are doing their best, it is utmost important that, we citizen/residents who are not affected share their pain and plight.

Roof blown away

Roof Gone

It bonds us when we stand together in times of crisis, when we share the pain and pathos, when we lend a hand to get them back to life. None of those whom I approached declined to help. Everyone I turned towards for getting this help is equally motivated and supportive towards those affected. Time is of essence and those who have lost the roof over their head don’t have a holiday, weekdays and weekends sound same to those distraught.

No Home left Behind

No Home Left Behind.png

In the last few days that I have been talking with my family friends and professional circle and I got a deep realization that, that benevolence, that kindness is deep within you all. I am no exception. You all feel so strongly for the cause of those affected.

Trust me, you will be amazed how strong that feeling resides within each of us and when you approach your network, you will be surprised to see those deeply embedded humane feelings, that aptitude to help someone not related to us.

Together we can, small contributions help

Can you pledge an amount for those affected? Only 5% of that amount should come directly from your pocket, the remainder should be from your network of family, friends and profession.

  • You pledge an amount, say $200
    • Only 5% donated you
    • 95% from your network
  • Please ask your family members, friends and professionals to pledge additionally and create their own network of donors
  • Money goes directly to the City of Canton, no intermediate handling of the donations
    • VZCtornadorelieffund2017
    • The above account is set up by the Van Zandt County for the Tornado affected victims
  • You only collate the names of those donors and the amount they donated
  • Donors can contact Commissioner s Office to validate the cause and the account details on below address –
    • Susan Strickland, Secretary to the Commissioner’s Office, Van Zandt County, Texas
    • Commissioners office can be reached out on 903 567 2166
    • You may Google and reach their office

Those without a roof on their head have no Saturday or Sunday, Night and Day are same for them. Please don’t wait, do it as a priority and do it before you forget. This world exists with the benevolence of us all.

Thank you,

Ash Heda

PS: If you have a question, please reach me on my cell (972 345 0508) or email (ash1201@gmail.com)

Faces of destruction – news and images, ‘Tornado Ravaged Van Zandt County’, April 29, 2017 –

Rebuilding Canton and vicinity: http://wp.me/p7XEWW-RL

Officer Ron Duke’s Story: http://wp.me/p7XEWW-So

Campaign launched –

Deeper Discount to Tornado affected – http://wp.me/p7XEWW-SR

Petition on Change.Org for Discounted Material

National Weather Service Ranks East Texas Tornado

Surviving the Storm: Life After East Texas Tornadoes

Canton Car Dealership takes a direct hit

10 Dead, Dozens Hurt After Tornadoes Hit Texas, South

Fruitvale Church Puts Their Faith To Action Cleaning Up

Tornados rip through Canton, Van Zandt County, killing at least four and injuring dozens