An Evening with Homeless

An Evening with Homeless

Winter is starting in Vienna. The festival season is all about lighting, food, vibrant colors in almost everywhere in the world. All shops and malls are decorated with new arrivals.  Great discounts in all the shops, friends and colleagues in office always sharing about new offers and x-mas discounts. The Starbucks and other coffee shops are always  full and the X-mas special stalls which sale the ‘Punch’ (a type of drink with / without alcohol) are always crowded with people. We bought nice warm jackets, mufflers, winter boots.. and the list goes on.

In short, happy faces everywhere. Hands full of shopping bags, stomach full of warm coffee or punch… and roaming on the cold chilly December evenings, wrapped up in new branded winter outfit is fun.

We started Art Of Happiness program in Vienna, together with a nice group of enthusiastic people and when we learnt the trick to be happy for no reason, we became more dynamic, content and ready to spread the happiness. Trying to be somebody or attain something, brings greed & fear. The flower doesn’t try to be beautiful…it is beautiful. When we stop trying to be…we experience beauty within & without.We came up with a idea to spread these smiles to the homeless people of the town. There are many such people who are homeless for various reasons, War is such one.

Everyone of us cooked fresh food, Chai, Coffee, Pasta, Noodles, Rice, Sandwiches. We also got some warm pair of socks, warm caps, mufflers, sweaters and more. We all packed it nicely in small bags and went out it town in search of the homeless. On the way we found some people and gave them Warm Chai and Coffee. The smiles on their faces were our reward and that made us more than happy to go further. We went to a place where all such people gather for dinner. We shared with them what we had with us.

While doing this, we heard some compliments, the gratitude they had for such small things. Did you ever be happy for getting socks? But here we were watching so many happy people for these simple things. An old lady was telling her friend, “And suddenly some angels appeared from nowhere and brought me food, a winter cap!”  Was it just about that? No, they were not happy only because of the food and warm clothes. They were more happy because they felt someone came for them, someone cares for them. Isn’t it with us as well? We always like to be cared, not left alone.

What  I noticed during all this is really interesting. Some of those people politely denied the food, simply because they were not hungry. They let the others eat it. They were not greedy. They were satisfied. I don’t find this kind of satisfaction in many wealthy people around me. The more they have the more is the greed.I bet even you have so many dresses in your wardrobe that you didn’t wear since long, still you want more.. and more. More money, more needs. I heard some such rich guy say “It is better to cry in a Ferrari, than to cry on bicycle”. I find no difference. When you are sad, Ferrari or bicycle doesn’t really matter to you. All you need is a little love, someone to be with you and some little happiness in smalls things that really matters.

When Alexander came to India, some people presented him with a plate of gold bread. They told him, since he was an emperor he could not eat a normal wheat bread. He told them he was starving and wanted bread. To which the people said: “Don’t you get bread in your country? Are you going all over and trying to conquer the world just to eat the same bread we are eating?” The statement shook Alexander’s world. It made him realize that what they were saying was the truth. He thought to himself: “What is the point of conquering the world? When all you want is happiness and peace.” Legend has it that Alexander then proclaimed: “When I die, leave my hands open. Let people know that Alexander, who thought he had taken everything, is leaving the world with nothing.” A story by Sri Sri RaviShankar

Best Holidays!

Best Holidays!

One whole year I was waiting for this week. As I was approaching Kamalshile I was happy to recognize the known landmarks of the place. Something inside was getting more happy as I was going close to the Brhmi DurgaParmeshwari Temple. Many known familar faces and many new were welcoming me when I reached the temple. It was like a family reunion.

 

I look back in the past events and wonder if it really happened to me. Its been 1.5 years from the day my life started transforming. And now everyday is so fresh, it brings something new everyday. This year I was blessed again to attend the Guru Purnima with Chayanna at Kamalshile. The Art Of Silence course in his presence was a very different experience than the previous year. The meditations were just happening. My daily practice of Yogasanas and pranayam helped me to sit longer in Purna Padmasana and helped me attain a higher bliss during the course.

Chayanna’s knowledge sessions were amazing as always. Yet something takes a strong pinch. He was explaing what would be the best thing to ask your God, it would be Dispassion. Pleasure always comes with its side effect of sadness. The pleasure that comes from senses is momentary. It wont last long. But the bliss is eternal. To enjoy this bliss, one should experience the beauty of dispassion.

This time I was always witnessing the relaxing music of river. That background music was very pleasing during meditations and when I was in my bed. During the nature walk when Raghu Anna took our group on the waterfall, the scene was beautiful. The fall was in its full power. Nobody dared this time to get inside except two heros. I was sitting long time on the bank watching the water current. I remember the divine words from Guruji who look at the flowing river as life. The river is same for thousands of years yet the water is always fresh. I was finding my life like that waterfall, it was flowing, so many events, good and bad I have seen and so many to come and go. I will go through all. There is no point holding on to those events.

This Gurupurnima, after the Yagya was done we took our seats for lunch. As a custom the Brahmins (Pujari) who does the Yagya rituals are offered the lunch first and we (the sadhaks) follow them. We were watching Chayanna going to all of them and serving food. We were extreme lucky that  our beloved Swami Suryapada himself came to us and served us the sweets. My throat chocked with gratitude and happiness. To excel it, he again came to each of us during the evening satsang and showered flowers on us with his blessings.

After completing the course we went to visit Sri Krishna Temple at Udipi. The Krishna Matha was founded by the Vaishnavite saint Shri Madhwacharya in the 13th century. He was the founder of the Dvaita school of Vedanta. It is believed that Madhwacharya found the idol of SriKrishna in a large ball of gopichandana.

Once Kanakadasa, a pious worshiper and devotee of Lord Krishna, was not allowed entry into the temple. It didn’t upset him; instead it made him pray with intense devotion.Lord Krishna was so pleased that the statue turned back to where Kanakadasa was praying, and the wall before Kanakadasa broke up to allow the disciple to gaze upon his heavenly form at the back of the mutt (monastery). Because it was the mutt & Sri Madhwacharya told in his TANTRASARA SANGRAHA that Idol can be placed Pashimabhimukha. What About the idols in other Ashta mutts where all are facing Western side.Till today, devotees still worship Lord Krishna by praying through the same window where kanakadasa was seeing the offerings/Pooja from outside.It is known as Kanakanakhindi.

That week was different, so many things were happening, yet nothing. Mind was settled yet some emotions used to pop up. However nothing was bothering. I was always with the contend feeling. I am feeling more complete when I am back. As if, something was pending and it is done now. Started my journey back in the world hoping to implement the new lessons I learnt, waved off Udipi to see again next year GuruPurnima.

Atul Chitnis, My hero!

Atul Chitnis, My hero!

Lost a good friend, the best boss, technology guru, ideal of a man.
He has thousands of followers, fans and friends. His life was full of people and technology, everybody has something to say about him. These are some of the many memories, of how I knew him.
The day I joined Geodesic Ltd, I logged in to Mundu to ping Atul Chitnis. Just to let him know that I am his bigggg fan. He was cool, had a few words with me. I so wanted to work with Atul, and an year after working in Geodesic, I got that opportunity. I started working with the Geodesic IT team. That was when I met him personally in the team meetings. He was no different on the Foss.in platform, and in our team meeting. Same enthusiasm, same passion for the technology, no discrimination in his colleagues. I am getting more impressed by knowing him more.. personally!
Those early days, he just knew my name, saw me just once in a team meeting, but he was checking my regular emails. During a meeting, heated arguments, he fought for me, he fought to give me justice, with some people in office. He taught me how to stand strong. He taught me be a team player.
I was in bangalore for a couple of days, working on some critical issues and Atul pinged me. He was not working with Geodesic that time. He invited me his home for dinner. I was feeling so grateful. Such an extraordinary man, still remember me? and want me to visit his home for dinner. I was more than happy to accept his offer. We had lots of talks, he showed me his home, his music room, his gadgets, his dogs, his new home, his new lawn and trees, his sound systems. I had amazing dinner that night, with Atul and his family, Shubha and Anjali, aka Geetanjali. I was in heaven. I was so grateful. He taught me to keep feet on ground no matter how high you can fly. That day, he also planted a thought in me, to quit liquor.
I used to ping Atul, every time I achieve something in my technical life. He always had time to listen to my small things, he used to encourage me, support me and showed me the right way to go ahead. He was my mentor.

Thank you Atul, for being Atul Chitnis.

Sweetness

Sweetness

As a kid i remember the chocolates  then known as Cadbury, gifted to me by the guests. I used to first keep it in refrigerator  That 1 bar of chocolate used be shared with siblings and parents, or anyone else present at home that time. One bite a day, that chocolate used to be enjoyed for a week if not more.
Now, I go anytime and buy any expensive chocolate whenever I want. And finish it start to end in a minute.
But I don’t find the taste which I had as a kid. The chocolate, shared with everyone, and ate over a period of time was always much sweeter and delicious than any chocolate I eat alone today.
Sharing makes such a huge difference, isn’t it?

The Shift

The Shift

There is a place deep within us that wants feel fulfilled. That wants to know that my life made a difference; that I have left this place; the planet that I have lived on, better than when I arrived; that someone’s life has been profoundly touched because of my existence. We all want that.
It is not about age or about finding yourself, Whoever you are; at whatever age, you only a thought away; from changing you life.