Who teaches her?

I am astounded every time I look at her. She moves with grace and agility, plays with the table tennis ball as she should play with a mouse (and like a pro footballer), and jumps like an athlete. She grabs a piece of rag and drags it around. She smells the ground and discovers every corner of the house. She covers up her liquid and solid excreta. When she is hungry, she looks up, her eyebrows narrow, and cries, “Myau Myau”. Except during such hunger and times she’s irritated, this little tabby kitten understands the instructions we give her. Who teaches her to do all these things she does?

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Billy on the stack of chairs

I met her first the first time in November with her twin. Their mother had left them after keeping them in a drum under the stairs. They were crying. We waited for their mother’s return but that cat did not return. We kept them in a box and started feeding them with milk in a bottle. The nutrition in the dairy milk we get is non-existent. The twins survived but were malnourished. We named them Lily and Billy.

Even when they were malnourished, Billy was the smarter among the two. She had figured out how to jump out of the box, how to play with her sibling and how to irritate her. Life was going on pretty good for them until two weeks later when their mother came back with two other kittens. Would she recognize and accept Lily and Billy and take them away? We thought it would be good if she did and at that, we made the mistake we should never have.

We showed the cat Lily and Billy on our roof. They were smaller than the other kittens she had brought but she seemed to recognize them from their scent. She wanted to take Billy first but the kitten was too stubborn and reluctant. She did not let the cat carry her. Lily too resisted but she was not as smart as her twin. The cat caught her scruff and took her away.

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Lily and Billy the day before they were separated

The mother cat came back again. We decided to give up Billy as well. We did not know whether Lily-Billy could survive. Even if they died, it would be nice if they died together, we thought. After an effort of more than half an hour, the cat took Billy away. A little farther, she could not carry Billy. She was still struggling to get away. The cat tried her best to take her away but when she could not, left her. Billy cried alone on that balcony for more than an hour in front of our sight before we decided we would now adopt her as long as she wants to stay with us.

Meanwhile, the cat took away the fourth kitten and never returned for the kitten. She came back a few times to steal milk and we haven’t seen her for more than a fortnight now.

Now Billy is with us on her own. And she has learnt everything her instinct allows her. When she was with her twin, we thought they learnt together but even when this tabby is alone, she has learnt everything on her own. Who teaches her? I tried to know the answer. I discussed with my parents and my sister.

Does Nature teach her? How, though? Could Billy’s genes have carried her natural instincts and behaviours? Does the DNA carry all the things she needs for survival?

It’s strange to note that humans have very few individual survival instincts. We are not as agile as the cat, we don’t have the physical strength they have. We don’t even cover up our excreta as a natural instinct. It’s a learned social behaviour. Why does a cat have more survival instincts and more unique natural behaviours than a human? Aren’t we vain in saying that we are the smartest or the most intelligent creature on the planet? I have seen the kitten picking up our language before we picked up hers. How are we the only sapient beings? And finally, I came to the question that has intrigued people for ages: why are we here thriving (not just surviving) against all odds?

Humans are physically weak. We don’t have strong legs like that of the felines and canines. We don’t have strong teeth and claws to hunt. We don’t have a thick hide to protect us from cold. We don’t even have furs. The only strength we have is our large head (more than 2 kgs), which is also an evolutionary liability.

Yet, it is in our head the brain lies and it has the ability to analyze the world like no other creature in the world. We are the only creatures that can understand the secret of this world and that of the universe. Only we can alter our natural instinct of fear to compassion.

Are we really thriving to understand the real secrets of our lives, how we originated and to care for the lives around us, to coexist with every living being in harmony? Eastern philosophers and poets of my own country have answered “Yes” to the question.

But is there any force or energy that compels us to survive, to contemplate and to understand? Why is the Nature the way it is? Why is the cat the way she is? What is the source of the chaotic order that rules the Earth? I have come to believe in the existence of that energy that has created this chaotic order. I have now come to believe this energy is the God–the Creator, the Caretaker and the Destroyer.

In these two months, the cats have taught me a lot of things about life and the way we behave and feel. And we can’t always control everything that happens. We make mistakes we can’t amend. We don’t know what happened to Lily but Billy continues to grow and to impress. She is here in my house with a purpose–to teach me about other living beings, including humans.

When I died

I had been sick for some time. My parents, wife and children were sitting around me with grim faces. I had already lived more than twenty five years of my years and I felt like I was going to die. However, I did not want to die young. So I remembered my parents, my wife, my children and everyone who had been dear to me. All of a sudden, I lost consciousness. I stopped remembering anything.

When I regained consciousness, a man dressed in black was standing before me. He had a pale face with a big mustache and huge beard. His eyes were hollow. He looked at me as if he was disgusted with me. He produced a whip from the thin air and lashed hard at me. Before I could cry, the whip had tightened around my throat. I struggled but in vain. He was too strong.

He rose above in the air and I was dragged behind him. I tried to free myself again but I feared that I would fall down. He dragged me up to the clouds. He stopped and looked at me with disdain. He said, “Do you want to see your world before I take you to mine?” His voice was deep and sounded like he was speaking through a hollow bamboo. That moment I knew that he was death. I nodded slowly in affirmation to his question. He then told me to look down and that I did.

The world looked tiny from that height but Death mystically zoomed it for me. He said, “Look at your family for the last time.” And my children were in front of my eyes.

They were crying. My body lay amongst them. I called them out. But they could not listen to me. I tried to touch them but could not. I could do nothing to console them. Sometimes later, they carried my body to the crematorium and it was cremated. The existence of my body had come to an end.

Death did something and the time ran pretty quickly. My family was not sad. My children were playing. My wife looked a little weak but she was smiling. “They have learnt to live without you now,” Death said. He then showed me images from all around the world. Poor and rich, happy and sad, stupids and geniuses, religious and non-religious, rulers and the ruled, he showed me all sorts of people. “Why do you think I showed you all these?”

I noticed that the whip had gone away from my throat but still I could not speak. He said, “Everyone I have showed you and every life in this world, everything in this universe will die one day. They can’t escape death.”

“You know you must die. Yet you are scared of Death. You never lived life to their fullest because of the fear. You were also more concerned about afterlife than the life you lived. You donated to the poor to make your afterlife better, so that you can rest in heaven and avoid hell after death. That was very selfish of you. You followed religions in the hope that the door to the heaven will be opened. You looked after your parents because the scriptures said you will be in heaven after your death.

“You have not done anything that will make other people’s lives better. Give to the poor to see their smiles. Take care of your parents with all your heart. Start thinking that good things you do will make someone happy, that those acts will create heaven in your life. Stop thinking that your good deeds will land you to heaven only after your death. Stop fearing hell. Understand that your bad deeds will create hell around you. You don’t need to die to see the hell. Stop fearing death. Death will come to you for sure.”

I opened my eyes. The sun had risen up high. I was neither sick, nor dead. I recalled everything the man in black robes said in the dream. I smiled, got off from my bed and went to meet my life. It was grinning ear to ear.

Monthly Feature 14: Is there problem in the world?

“The world does not seem to have any real problem.”
I read the comment as I was listening to a song on YouTube.

The song composed by A.R. Rahman was sung by students of Berkelee College of Music who belonged to different nationalities, religions and ethnicities. Yet they sang an Islamic devotional song together that has touched the hearts of thousands of people.

Each of us is different from the other. We should not be scared by the differences between us. Captain Paul says:

We must respect the differences we have. We must also be able to know that despite our differences, we have some similarities.

What really do we have in common? A lot. You just need to observe them carefully. One thing that I would like to discuss here, however is that we all want peace. Music is one form of art that has bound us since the beginning of time.

I love listening to songs of different religions. They have beautiful, meaningful words and soothing music (even if I don’t understand word.) They touch my soul. I feel my connection with the Being Supreme- the caretaker of all souls.

I have sung and listened Bhajans (Hindu devotional songs), I have listened (and cried with joy) listening to Buddhist hymns and Islam Sufis. These songs have taught me a lot of things: human culture, life and above all, humanity.

No song has taught me to disregard the Supreme Being. (Some pray Bhagwan, some Ram, some Krishna, some Buddha, some Allah, and some Khuda.) No song has taught me to kill others for fun. No song has taught me to cheat people. I have always learnt to be good to everyone and everything around me.

So, why are there disputes in the names of religions? All the religions in the world show path to the same Supreme Being called by different names. I intend to share a few other songs on YouTube that have touched my soul.

  1. Zariya – AR Rahman, Ani Choying, Farah Siraj – Coke Studio
  2. Phoolko aakhama by Ani Choying Dolma
  3. Bhagwan Timro – Ani Choying Dolma
  4. Tri Ratna

On this day of Saraswati Pooja–the day of the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, wisdom, art and music– I pray that our knowledge defeat the darkness of ignorance.

The Faults in our God

It is said sinful to put a debate on God. May I be punished for the sins I will be doing here!

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The question I think of often, “Did God create us or did We create gods?” There are ample evidences for the latter while there is a huge amount of speculation for the former. Yet people seem to believe in some supreme force that governs them. There are also people who dare to challenge the Divine Authority. I find myself in the middle.

How can someone be in the middle of believing and not believing God? You might be thinking. Well, that’s where I am. Sometimes I believe in God so much that every inexplicable/unexplained thing becomes Divinity. Take the origin of life (not evolution), for example. Sometimes I doubt God so much that every progress in human-induced. For example, the technological progress is the best thing humans (especially the Western World) have done. I am really confused about the existence of God.

But in the Geeta, God is said to “exist and not exist” at the same time, that God is “as small as microbes and as huge as universe”, that God is both “the creator and the destroyer Himself”. If God preaches duality, maybe I am following his path of duality at the moment. Maybe it is that fault I am unwilling to accept.

God is said to balance both Good and Evil within Himself. He is said to possess both physicality as well as spirituality and he is said to create everything visible and invisible (let’s not get into destruction right now). So, we should possess both the Good and Evil within us. We should have similar physicality and spirituality as that of God; that we should be able to tell right from wrong. And we should be able to tell differences between God and god.

You might have recognized that I have been writing “God” and “god” in different senses. If not; by God, I am talking about the Omnipresent, the Omnipotent and the Omniscient Being: the “Creator”. By gods, I mean the ones created by Humans. To God, death is “soul changing its body” like we change our clothes. (Hence, no emotions!) To a god, death is emotional. Shiva mourning for Sati is an example. A god is driven by passion, like Indra seducing Ahilya. And God is not jealous as Indra envies kings.

But I am confused again. If God created us and if We have created gods; and if we have all qualities of God and god have all our features, aren’t gods the same as God? Shouldn’t God be as emotional, as passionate and as jealous (if not more) as us and our gods? Are the faults in me (or those in God) confusing me?

4 Exemplary Stories of Friendship from the Mahabharata

In most countries, Friendship Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of August. There is variation in dates, however. Learn more on Wikipedia. Today, on the occasion of Friendship Day, I have brought to you exemplary stories of friendship from the epic Mahabharata.

1. Krishna and Arjun

Well, they were cousins. Arjun’s mother Kunti was Krishna’s aunt. But they were not just tied by the bloodline. They were intimate friends. One could understand the other through his gestures. Krishna and Arjun, according to the Mahabharata are the incarnations of Narayana (God) and Nara (Human), who together can destroy evil.

The most remarkable point in the story of their friendship is Krishna’s recitation of the Bhagavad Geeta (The Song of the God) to Arjun. Though a fierce warrior he was, Arjun was filled with compassion seeing his relatives. He did not want the victory obtained by killing millions of people. Arjun wanted to leave the battlefield. Krishna motivated Arjun by saying that it would have been a possible if the war had not started. At the battlefield, one has to fight. Else, he would be called a coward. “Do you want to be called a coward by the future generations?” Krishna asked Arjun. He also told that Arjun could establish righteousness in the Dwapar Yug.

This story, if considered from the point of religion, tells us that God is a friend of righteous humans. It is through the guidance of God that we can bring an end to the evil. The main moral in this story is, however that a true friend should never let a friend depressed. Neither does he should let him be ashamed.

Krishna and Sudama. Source: http://appmithistories.blogspot.nl

2. Krishna and Sudama

A long time after Krishna set himself as the king of Dwarka, a poor man came to his door asking for alms. He wanted to meet Krishna but when he saw the grandeur of the fort-city, he repressed his desire. The poor man was about to go away, when Krishna recognized him. He was Krishna’s childhood friend, Sudama.

Once, when they were young, Sudama had stolen Makkhan and had eaten it alone without sharing with his friends. Sudama was tall and his friends made him steal the pots kept on the higher places. He had done so because when they used to steal together in that manner, he often used to get the least share. Unfortunately, since that day, his family became poorer and poorer. By the time Sudama had reached Dwarka, he had nothing but thin clothes and not a morsel of food.

Seeing his friend and knowing his story, Krishna embraces Sudama and serves him well. Within a few days, Sudama looks better. Krishna then helps Sudama build a house within Dwarka so that he can meet his amigo frequently. Such a generous friend Krishna was! (I heard this story from my grandmother some days ago.)

3. Karna and Duryodhan

Karna, though a Kshyatria by birth (Surya and Kunti were his parents), was called Sut-putra (child of a Shudra) because he was raised by a charioteer and his wife. When this warrior wished to compete in a ceremony with Arjun, the Pandavas humiliated him. Duryodhan, who has been portrayed as evil for most part, stands up to his brothers. He can not make Karna compete but later on, as a mark of friendship, grants Karna the kingship of Anga Province within his empire. Though one may say Duryodhan wanted to exploit Karna to fulfil his evil design against the Pandavas,  Karna always took the friendship truly. He supported Duryodhan in whatever he did and went on to the extent of saving his only friend’s life several times. The Mahabharata says that the only mistake of Karna was to support the Chir haran of Draupadi. When Kunti later told to change sides, Karna said that because Duryodhan had only one true friend, Karna could never leave him.

4. Krishna and Radha

These are the subjects of numerous songs often describing romantic relationship between them. But there was more than the romantic feeling between them. While Krishna was a smart boy, Radha was wise. She believed in following the traditions as they were. Whenever Krishna made mistakes she was the one to correct him. For example, when Krishna killed a bull, Radha was enraged. She told him to bathe in the major rivers of the world to eliminate his sins. Krishna is believed to have brought water from Yamuna, Ganga, Sindhu, and Saraswati into two ponds now known as Radha Kunda and Shyam Kunda. In that sense, though Radha and  Krishna’s friendship is not much told in stories, they had deep regards for each other.

I’m done with stories of amity from the Mahabharata. Happy Friendship Day to all!

गौतम बुद्ध: जन्म, कर्म र हाम्रो धर्म

सिद्धार्थ गौतमको जन्मका सम्बन्धमा
करिब २६४० वर्ष अघि बैशाख पूर्णिमाको रातमा यस धर्तिमा अवतरण लिएका थिए सिद्धार्थ गौतमले रानी मायादेवीको कोखबाट- लुम्बिनीमा । विभिन्न कालखण्डमा त्यो पवित्र भूमि विभिन्न देशभित्र पर्‍यो । वर्तमानमा त्यो क्षेत्र नेपालको सिमानाभित्र पर्दछ । लुम्बिनी संरक्षणको दायित्व अहिले नेपालीको काधमा छ । तर त्यसको अर्थ बुद्ध ‘नेपाली’ थिए भन्ने होइन । बुद्धलाई कुनै एउटा देशको नागरिक बनाउन इतिहास र नैतिकता दुवैले दिँदैनन्[१] ।

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यो विज्ञान प्रविधिको युग हो । यस युगमा हरेक विषयमा तथ्य केलाइन्छ । बुद्धकालिन कला, संस्कृति, लेखोटका आधारमा लुम्बिनी नै सिद्धर्थ गौतमको जन्मथलो थियो भन्ने प्रमाणित भइसकेको छ । उनको यात्राको बाटो पनि पहिल्याइ सकेका छन् इतिहासकारहरूले । उनको जन्ममितिमा भने एकमत छैन । खोज गर्नै पर्ने विषय जन्ममिति हो, जन्मस्थल होइन ।

बुद्धको जन्मथलोको विकासको “गुरु योजना” २८ वर्षअघि बनेको रहेछ । आजको मितिसम्म योजनाले पूर्णता पाएको छैन । केही संरचना बनेका छन् तर ती पर्याप्त छैनन् । बौद्धहरूको चार धाममध्ये प्रमुख लुम्बिनीको विकासमा किन ढिलाइ ? २९ वर्षको उमेरमा त सिद्धार्थले राजपाट त्यागि सकेका थिए, सम्यक ज्ञानको खोजी गर्न । हामी बुद्ध भूमिका संरक्षकहरू किन आफ्ना व्यक्तिगत स्वार्थ त्याग्न सक्दैनौँ ? उनले बाटो देखाइ दिएकै थिए त ।

सिद्धार्थ र बुद्धका कर्मका सम्बन्धमा

सिद्धार्थको बाल्यकाल सुखसयलमा बितेको थियो । राजा (गणनायक?) सुद्धोधनले वातानुकुलित तीनवटा महल बनाइदिएका थिए भनिन्छ । यद्यपि भौतिक सुखले उनलाई छुन सकेन । मैले सानो छँदा एउटा कथा पढेको थिएँ, जुन यस्तो छ-

हरेक वर्ष रोपाइँ सुरु गर्नाका खातिर हलो चलाउन किसानका खेतमा जान्थे । उनलेे छ वर्षका सिद्धार्थलाई साथ लगेका थिए । रोपाइँको तामझाम छोडेर सिद्धार्थ चाहिँ एक्लै बसिरहेका थिए । वरपर कुदिरहेका कमिला हेरेर रमाइरहेका बेला एउटा छेपारोले तिनलाई खान थाल्यो । फेरि हेर्दाहेर्दै एउटा सर्पले त्यो छेपारोलाई निल्यो । एकैछिनमा, त्यो सर्प पनि बाजको आहारा बन्यो । प्रकृतिको समिपमा त्यस्तो अनौठो चक्र देखेपछि उनी गम्भीर हुन थाले । प्रकृतिमा यस्तो नियम किन छ भनेर सोच्न थाले । मनमा आउने दार्शनिक सोच हटाउनकै लागि ती तीन महल बनाइएका थिए । तर सिद्धर्थ प्रकृतिमा फर्किन चाहन्थे । २९ वर्षको उमेरमा उनी फेरि प्रकृतिमा फर्किए । उनले रोगी, वृद्ध र मृत देखे [२]। उनलाई त्यही दिन थाहा भयो पहिलो आर्य सत्य- दु:ख छ । त्यो दु:ख निवारण गर्न सकिन्छ कि सकिँदैन भन्ने विषयको ज्ञान प्राप्त गर्नु नै उनको लक्ष्य थियो जसका लागि उनले व्यक्तिगत स्वार्थको त्याग गरे । लक्ष्यमा सफल भएका कारण बुद्धका नामले चिनिए ।

दु:खका कारण र निवारणको माध्यम पत्ता लागेपछि उनका मनमा विचार आयो- ‘मैले पत्ता लगाएका कुराहरू अरूलाई सुनाऊँ या नसुनाऊँ । कसैले सुन्ला मेरा कुरा ?’ आम मानिसमा हुने प्रश्न उनमा पनि आएका थिए तर उनले कोशिश गरे । बोधगयामा उनलाई तपस्यामा साथ दिएका दुईजना अनि कुशिनगरमा भेटिएका तीनजनालाई उनले आफ्नो खोजका बारेमा बताए । उनको बोली मधुर हुँदो हो, सरल अनि लोकको भाषामा प्रवचन दिँदा हुन् । त्यसैले त उनको दर्शनबाट प्रभावित हुनेको सङ्ख्या बढ्दै गयो । संसारभर छरिएका बौद्धमार्गीहरूका आस्थाका केन्द्र हुन् गौतम बुद्ध ।

जन्मबाट होइन, कर्मबाट महान् भइन्छ । सिद्धार्थको जन्म राजकुलमा भए पनि संसारले उनलाई ज्ञानको अद्भुत खानीका रूपमा चिन्दछ । जन्मका आधारमा त उनी क्षत्रिय हुनुपर्ने, युद्ध गर्नु पर्ने तर उनले साधक भएर शान्तिको सन्देश दिए[३] । कर्मले महान् भएका बुद्धलाई म मनैदेखि नमस्कार गर्दछु ।

हाम्रो धर्म
मेरो विचारमा उचित कर्म नै धर्म हो । सिद्धार्थ गौतमको धर्म थियो चार आर्य सत्यको ज्ञान हासिल गर्नु, बुद्धको धर्म थियो जनजनलाई आफूले पाएको ज्ञान बाँढ्नु । बुद्धले त्यो ज्ञान नबाँढेका भए के हामी उनको चर्चा गर्थ्यौँ होला ? तर हाम्रो धर्म चर्चा गर्नु मात्रै होइन । हाम्रो धर्म त बुद्धका मार्ग र धरोहरको संरक्षण गर्नु हो । बुद्धका संदेशलाई आत्मसात गरेर नै हामीले उनको सम्मान गर्न सक्छौँ ।

[१. महान व्यक्तिहरू कर्मले चिनिन्छन् । जन्म त सबैले लिएका हुन्छन् तर केही मानिस मात्रै सत्कर्मका कारण प्रख्यात हुन्छन् । यस्ता महान व्यक्तिहरूले सधैँ सम्मान पाउँछन्, उनीहरू जुनसुकै देशमा जन्मेका किन नहुन ।
केही वर्षयता नेपालमा बुद्धलाई नेपाली बनाउने क्रेज देखिएको छ । बुद्धको नाम र तस्विर राखेर फोटोशप गरिएका नागरिकता पनि देखिए सामाजिक संजालमा । मन चिसो हुन्छ । हामीले बुद्धको संदेश लिएर शान्ति बाँढ्नु पर्ने हो तर बुद्धलाई नै खिचातानीमा पार्छौँ । नेपाल र भारतका लागि राजनीतिक विषय हुन्- बुद्ध र उनको जन्मस्थल । बुद्धका  शान्ति संदेश रुँदै छन् पुस्तकालयका कुनै कुनामा ।
२. बुद्धचरीत्रमा भवनबाट निस्किएका  सिद्धार्थले तीन दिन तीन मानिसलाई क्रमशः देखे भनिएको छ- वृद्ध, रोगी र शव । कतै सिद्धार्थले एउटै मानिस त देखेका थिएनन् ? पहिलो दिन सायद उनले एउटा बूढो मानिस देखेका थिए । उनले पहिले कहिल्यै वृद्ध नदेखेकाले उनले चासो लिए होला । भोलिपल्ट सायद ज्ञान भयो कि ती वृद्ध रोगी पनि रहेछन् । तेस्रो दिन सायद ती बूढाको मृत्यु भैसकेको थियो । मानिस किन दु:खी छ र मरेर गएपछि अरूलाई पनि दु:खी किन बनाउँछ भन्ने साधारण प्रश्नले सिद्धार्थलाई बुद्ध बन्न प्रेरित गर्‍यो ।
३. बुद्धले मानव शान्ति र विश्व शान्तिको सन्देश दिए । उनले चार आर्य सत्य प्रतिपादन गरे: १) दु:ख छ ; २) दु:खका कारण छन् ; ३) दु:ख निवारण संभव छ ; ४) दु:ख निवारणका लागि अष्टाङ्गिक मार्ग छन् : सम्यक दृष्टि, सम्यक सङ्कल्प, सम्यक वचन, सम्यक कर्म, सम्यक आजीविका, सम्यक व्यायाम, सम्यक स्मृति, सम्यक समाधि ।]

I Believe!

“I believe in luck. Call it fortune, coincidence [or serendipity], I believe in incidents that occur all of a sudden and change the course of life.”
As I was thinking of the above statement from an essay by Nagendra, I knew I had to present instances if I had to bring it up an article. I got them in a magazine. The stories of Buddhi Tamang and Kameshwor Chaurasiya made me believe the statement even more.

Would you have ever thought that a man who was doing labour works could get into movies? That’s Buddhi Tamang. He worked in different places as a porter until someone told him to work at a theatre. Gradually he got into acting and was soon doing dramas. After doing a few movies, he worked in the superhit movie Kabaddi Kabaddi. “Hait,”- the one word that made him famous. His acting was praised by all. He now aims to be a director. All the best Mr. Tamang!

When you have a passion for something it’s better to pursue it. But this did not happen to Kameshwor Chaurasiya. He got involved in stage acting but could not get a chance in the theatre- in Nepal and in India as well. One day he declared himself a failure and started selling ‘chatpate’. His passion came up alive once again when he met Anup Baral, the famous director on the road. Though details were not provided, he got a chance somehow and rose to fame after his work in the movie Resham Filili.

Call them fortune, universal conspiracy or Maktub (as Coelho says in ‘The Alchemist’) or ‘lekhaanta'(in Nepali) I believe in instances of sudden change in fortune. This dangerously means loss as well although I have mentioned gain here.

***

I believe in God. As a student of science, I should not just believe in God. I should be able to show evidence on God’s existence. But I am not only a student of science. I live in a society that believes in divine power. My parents tell me to have faith in God. In fact, faith is a way of life.

Nepal is known as the home of Gods. Most people believe that the mighty Himalayas and the plain of the Terai are gift of God to the Humans. Living in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal aka the City of Temples, there is no way I can avoid God. If I say I don’t want to believe in God a hundred times, God somehow makes me believe in the Divine existence.

This week I saw in much details the process by which Goddess was invoked into a stone sculpture. Through Tantra-Mantra-Yantra, when the Goddess was said to have entered the statue, we could feel the change in energy. Everything looked beautiful. You could feel the positive vibes of the Mother entering into you. There were smiles everywhere. A transformation of Goddess also promised a transformation of Human hearts.

That’s one way of having a faith in God but I also believe in the existence of all powerful God within us that we often fail to identify.

***

I believe in Love. The soothing feeling while you are with your family, the comfort you feel with your friends, the awesome inexplicable feelings while you meet your lover- Love comes in various forms.

Love is within us and among us. But we fail to recognize it’s presence most of the times. That’s why the Buddha, Christ, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale are special to us. Had there been no Love, the World would have fallen apart. I believe Love is what we live by (just like Tolstoy penned in ‘What Men Live By?’

***

At last:

I believe Love can change our Luck, Luck can help us discover God, God shows us way to Love and Love makes our lives worth living. I believe that if we can invoke God into a stone, there is no way we cannot discover God within us. It’s just matter of time, patience and well doing.

New Year Resolutions

2072 was a year to remember. Earthquake, economic bloackade, fuel shortage, intimacy with China and coldness with India. Dark clouds loomed all over but every dark cloud has silver lining- ancestors told in proverbs. Do we seek for the silver lining? Yes, we do.

The silver lining we seek for depends on our resolutions. Our resolution should be the following so that we can do something to help ourselves.

1. Developing sincerity
We do tasks for the sake of doing them. We do homeworks so that we can show them to teachers, that too with an intention to cheat. But we did so because our teachers were not sincere. They did not instruct us well.

Why would they? Facilities and wages at government schools and colleges are not enough to solve their family problems. The government run academic institutions say that they have not been sent enough budget. The money to be spent on education is not sent because the Secretary at the Ministry of Education is on a leave. Some parents are trying to bribe him so that their children can get a medical scholarship. He does not want to support corruption but he alone can not do anything. The “system” does not help. We make the system. It is insincere because we are, fair and square.

Sincerity on our own part can help a lot in upbringing of a good system.

2. Learning to be happy

We are not happy. Why? We are not involved in the works we are the best at. The society wants us to do whatever it wants. We give in. Our dreams die.

Did they really die? Not quite. They might have been unconscious. Suppose we wanted to be famous in robotics but under unavoidable circumstances, we could not join science in plus two. We had to study commerce. We had pledged to be sincere. So we sincerely studied and sought for happiness. Happiness came up when we saw Computer Programming as a subject. We took an interest and then one day, we dream of writing a program for a robot. Our dream was alive all the time. It was just unconscious for some time.

3. Willing to fight
As said before, we set up the system and if we are to change it, we have to fight the people who support wrongdoing in the name of system.

Are we thinking of beating them up? Wait! Life is not a movie. We can not do that to someone who supports the system. Someone on the top of the system can attack us easily.

What do we do? We seek help of the constitution and laws. We seek help from each other. We raise our voices, not our arms. We sincerely do our works. We happily get involved in the change. We gradually fight the system. Slowly, steadily we reach the common dream of making Nepal the most prosperous country.

4. Developing rational/logical thinking
Suppose we have moved on to pursue the Great Nepalese Dream. Meanwhile someone says, “We were happier while we could easily bribe officers. The new system controls corruption but does our work slow.”

Do we pause thinking that the person is right or do we move on solving the problem he pointed out- slow working? The correct logic would show us new paths. The incorrect one would take us back to where we had struggled to come from.

If we can distinguish right from wrong, we will definitely progress.

Lastly,
Our resolution is the silver lining of the dark clouds. The silver lining been found, we need to work them out on solving our problems. The dark clouds will scatter soon. The sun will shine brightly. The sky will be our limit.

Note:
The New Year I mention here is the Two Thousand and Seventy-Third year of the Bikram Sambat (Calendar of King Bikram).

This World is an Art!

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March marks the beginning of Spring here in Nepal. Plants that shed their leaves during Winter have are already beginning to come up with new leaflets and flowers. As I look up my surrounding, I am inspired by an Art, of which Nature is the artist.

“Life is an art,” some philosophers say. Life is an art because the world we live in is an art itself. Everything here has been thought of by Someone so that we can live here. I realized this one recent day while reading the properties of water. The pH, boiling temperature, freezing temperatures, and specific capacities of water are unique to support life. Water also has lower density while it is in a solid form (ice). Because solid ice floats over liquid water, life can go under the ice capped water bodies. Water is a wonderful artistic creation of Nature.

“All the world is a stage,” Shakespeare once wrote. We are enacting everything that Someone wants us to do. We don’t realize, but everything seems to be written by Someone’s Hands. “Maktub,” the Arabians of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist would say. The guidance is an art an we are following it so that we ourselves can be involved in artistic creation.

“Imagine if our lives were the dreams of Someone, that when They wake up we die and They start living,” I had read in Mistika- the most bizarre book I have read till date. I would say- Imagine we are the characters of a mega novel. The Writer would add fine details to every second of our activities and would move us as They would want. When the Writer feels it’s enough, They would kill us. There would be no option. We ourselves  do that many times. We love our characters as we develop them but there comes a time when the story does not move ahead without their death or we don’t feel free unless they die. Sir Doyle did that to Sherlock Holmes only to reincarnate him sometime later.

The Art of the Nature is the magnificent of all. There is everything for us to live. Nature nurtures us with Love. Nature Herself destroys us, but that’s only the transformation of the body made up of the Nature’s five elements- Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Metal. No life sustains without these. Who created them? Who created the Nature? I believe on a Supreme Being, the imperfect Artist of the artists- the first Author of the Universe and of this World. The flawed Writer who aims at crafting a beautiful story every time They set to write one. The One who teaches us to live and learns from us at the same time.

Does Crying Make One Weak?

I asked the question last Saturday. How that question came up? How I tried to find answers? What were the conclusions? Coming up in this post.

Background

On Saturday morning, while I went to the barber’s for a haircut, I saw a couple with their daughter there. The little girl’s head was shaved. Her mother said, “She does not have nice hair. Will she grow nice hair after the shave?”

For me, the hair seemed nice. At least it was better than mine. But that’s not the real thing. The girl, like most of the girls, loved her hair and was crying as the electrical razor was moving over her hair. Her mother first said, “We’ll not throw the hair. We will braid it and keep at home.” While the girl was not convinced, “Don’t care what other will say. Your hair will grow up again. You need to be strong. You should not cry. Crying makes you weak.

The first response my mind gave was that the notion was wrong. Occasional crying has actually helped me psychologically and emotionally. Later on, as I thought more, I felt that she might be right.

[Note: It would be unfair if I did not tell you that the woman was actually obsessed with the hair of her daughter. I was compelled to think that the hair was not bad at all. The couple might have thought about selling the hair to make a wig. I can’t be sure, however. God knows what they wanted to do with it- sell it or keep it on display.]

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Discussion

I debated within my mind. Whether or not crying could make someone weak, I could not say. Thankfully, I am a member of a blogging forum, Blogger’s World! (Blogging 101:Alumni, until December 9- you can note the old name on the web address!) I posted this question on Sunday, December 6, 2015 and received comments from about at least ten people.

The first comment came from Piyusha @Wandering Soul.

I strongly disagree that it makes one weak. People certainly perceive the one who is crying as weak, so it may make you look weak. But doesn’t make you weak. and honestly, which is better? To bottle up emotions inside you and not let them out because you are to scared to express yourself or to be brave enough to freely express emotions and hence, emotionally healthy even at the risk of being perceived as weak because people don’t understand emotions as much as they should or as much as they think do.

The next was from Heather @heathernotes.com, began the conversation with the evidence of physiological difference between men and women:

Scientists speculate that women cry more because they have shallower tear ducts than men.

The third one came from Anand/Vibrant @Blabberwockying. His comment was worth a post and he did it as well. In short, he said that crying could be weakness if we do not care when and where to cry. He also said that devotees cry for their God, thus attaining a deeper connection with the higher consciousness. (He was also attacked by other bloggers for the comment, but because that does not meet my objective here, I would want you to click the link to the forum above.)

Cathy Lynn Brooks@cathylynnbrooks.com said that children should be able (allowed) to express emotions and cry. Ishita @!shita believed that crying was healthy no matter however people looked at it. Ria @koko boocro, Amanda @raniamanda, 21 Time traveler agreed that crying was not a weakness at all. It was an emotional outlet, difficult to handle to most people. Darshith Badiyani and Bethany Harvey @Overlooked Nature said that people had to embrace crying as any other human emotions. Rashmi @Mind and Life Matters said that crying was just as important as laughing. Dawn Marie, Indira and shinepositivepower accepted that crying did not make one weak, but was a method of cleansing one’s soul.

Conclusion

It’s impossible to say whether crying makes one weak or not. Though, the participants in the discussion generally agreed that crying did not make one weak, I now believe that it actually depends upon the situation.

When can crying become your strength?

  1. When you are in a problem and need help, crying can help you get help easily.
  2. When you feel sad from deep within, shedding a little amount of tears can help your soul.
  3. Crying can be a process of healing your psyche.
  4. If you can manipulate someone by crying.

In short, when you cry to let out your emotions, you become healthy. What can be more beneficial to a person than a healthy mind?

When can crying become your weakness?

  1. When you cry in wrong places and at wrong times.
  2. When your fears and emotional problems are exposed to your enemies.
  3. When you can not decide when to cry and when not to.

The Dual Nature of People Who Cry

Being sensitive can make you weak, so is the condition when you become too expressive. Becoming insensitive or inexpressive does not mean you are strong either.*

Almost every one in the discussion believed that we cry while we are emotional and it is difficult to handle someone who cries often. We also say, “Don’t cry,” to someone who is going through an emotional stress. But we also encourage someone to cry if their burden can be decreased.

All in all, crying is a result of overwhelming emotions- sad or happy and it has to be accepted as a part of our emotional, spiritual and bodily health. (Crying is good for your eyes!)

[*Final Note: The topics of sensitivity and expressiveness were also prominently discussed in the forum. Here is the link again. These are the inherent characters of humans, which tell people of your strengths and weaknesses. For example, seeing you cry often (expressiveness) people might say you are weak, even if it is not the case. Also, crying may not always solve one’s problem.]