Just an update

Travelling to a foreign country to pursue your futher studies, while leaving behind your loved ones, is a daunting experience. But I realised this only in the first few weeks after my dad left Sydney after he settled me here. Before that I was excited to be going to a new place, as I know it would be the first time I would have to live by myself and depend on no one. Later it became very difficult to the point I was badly depressed and wanted to go back to Singapore. 
As weeks went by, as classes started and my schedule began to look filled with activities (some of which I purposefully filled up even though I didn’t need them), I got over the depression and I started to normalize things and experiences around me. I think it is natural and everyone goes through this. Frankly speaking, this experience is way better than the prospect of getting married and leaving my house to live with some stranger!!! I prefer this because I can still retain some form of independence, which I don’t intend to loose anyway, even if I get married! 
The past week has been really horrible, cramming for exams in the last minute. I hope it doesn’t happen again and I will make sure I don’t go through cramming again! People may think I’m really studious! But I just don’t care. I want to be prepared early on! So in the coming weeks, I am going to gradually start studying for the finals, which is like around 6-7 weeks away… 
The only thing I really miss is doing my daily prayers and chanting. I try to do, but I can’t keep up. This week I am taking the resolution to do chanting and manasa puja (doing a puja through meditation, mentally, by chanting shiva manasa puja). Chanting is really beneficial and I don’t want my mind to rot without the rejuvenation I get from chanting! I think it was because of my chanting daily for the past 2 years that has helped me improve my clarity in thinking and organising my thoughts. Not to mention, my improved eyesight!! 🙂 
P.S. If you want to improve your eyesight, do chant Aditya Hrdayam, which is a really powerful hymn praising the Sun Lord. Sun is the presiding deity for the sense of sight. Chant it everyday to see the results, but it will take time. Chant with devotion and faith (pending discovery) 🙂

Random…

Hi everyone! I’m posting after a long long time! Nope! I’ve not forgotten my child, that is my blog… 🙂 I wanted to start this new chapter in my life, cos I’ll be graduating soon from NUS, with an article review. Basically, I’m just gonna respond to an article I came across, which hurt me a little. You can read it here.
This article, in summary, is written by an Indian Poly student. He is not happy with the increasing influx of foreigners, especially Indians from India. The following are the reasons he quotes, and my responses along with them:
1) Many Singaporean students felt they were being denied the chance to be the first in the subjects and tests. Shouldn’t public schools be focusing on nurturing our own talents?
–  Denying the chance to be the first? You will be the first, if you deserve the place. You are never behind in any race. All the students, regardless of whether they are from China or India or any other country, have the same brain, the same functioning capability, and the same fundamental concepts taught to them. Eventhough they come from another country, they undergo the same education under our system as all of us. But they can perform better because of their individual skills and not because they have come from China or India. 
– Scholarships are also provided to the locals, mind you. Meritocracy rules here in Singapore! Nothing else!
2) Similar to the situation between PRCs and Singaporean Chinese, there is very little in common between Indian PRs and us. Little India has been all but overrun by them. Local Indians now try to stay away as far as possible. We have been crowded out from the restaurants, markets and temples.
– If “foreign” Indians have not at all been allowed into Singapore, then there would be no Little India, there would not be this many temples as they would all have to be closed down due to low incomers, as of the markets no need to say anything at all. Foreigners form an integrate part of our land. Infact, to think of it, all of us were initially foreigners. Because we had never always been in Singapore. Most of us have come from either India, Malaysia, Burma, China, etc. a few generations back. So in that case, ALL of us are foreigners…
3) Most PRs who come from India are not Tamil-speakers and generally look down on South Indians, who Tamils belong to.
– I agree to this statement to an extent only. Because this happens in India as well. Not just in Singapore. Northerners do have a certain condescendence regarding their skin colour being akin to Westerners. However, we cannot generalise and say this is true of all non-Tamil speaking Indians.
4) There is a belief among Indian PRs that they are in demand to work in Singapore because the local Indians are not as good as they are, and therefore they behave with a sense of superiority and snobbishness.
– This one, I’m not entirely sure of. Again a sweeping statement is made about the foreign Indian PRs. I am not defending anyone here. But only telling you not to speak of it, without showing proper evidence. Even if this might be true in the initial stages, Indian PRs do learn to accept and live with the rules and regulations set by fellow Singaporeans.
5) The scourge of castes has completely disappeared in Singapore. We see each other as Indians and nothing else. But these PRs are bringing in their prejudices from India and corrupting our local culture.
– Hello! Have you forgotten that you are an Indian too?? Remember that you are an Indian with a close or distant Indian origin! The caste system will never disappear completely, not in India and not in Singapore. It is a fact of life and part of life, it will exist. Nothing can be done about it. In what way are they corrupting our local culture? So are you telling that the Chettiar Temples in Tank road and the Sithi Vinayagar one have corrupted our local culture?? Please think before you pen down your thoughts to a newspaper for publication!

Two wonderful songs

I was watching a drama series and came across some lovely songs which really touched my heart. It was really nice, but they are old english songs. I tried searching for them online on youtube and found them both in one video! It was fantastic! I feel so great about finding two the songs I was looking for in just one video!! I mean, what are odds of finding two songs you were looking for separately, in just one video? Well here it goes:

First Song: A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square

That certain night, the night we met,
There was magic abroad in the air,
There were angels dining at the Ritz,
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.

I may be right, I may be wrong,
But I`m perfectly willing to swear
That when you turned and smiled at me
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.

The moon that lingered over London town,
Poor puzzled moon, he wore a frown.
How could he know we two were so in love?
The whole darn world seemed upside down

The streets of town were paved with stars;
It was such a romantic affair.
And, as we kissed and said `goodnight`,
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square

I know `cos I was there,
That night in Berkeley Square.

Second Song: The Very Thought of You

The very thought of you and I forget to do
The little ordinary things that everyone ought to do
I’m living in a kind of daydream
I’m happy as a king
And foolish though it may seem
To me that’s everything

The mere idea of you, the longing here for you
You’ll never know how slow the moments go till I’m near to you
I see your face in every flower
Your eyes in stars above
It’s just the thought of you
The very thought of you, my love

உனக்கோர் பேர் தான் கிடையாது
அதனால் சொல்ல முடியாது
கடலை பிடிச்சு கையில் அடக்கிடத்தெரியாது

வின்னில் போனால் நிறமாகும்
மன்னில் வந்தால் மழையாகும்
கோவில் போனால் சிலையாகும்
கோடியில் பூத்தால் மலராகும்

ஒத்த வார்த்தையில் சொல்ல சொன்னால்
உனது பேரே அழகாகும்

Love my family!

For a first time in a long time, I had a fun time with my dear family! 🙂 It is so nice to be with them. But it also hurts to think that they cannot relate with me in terms of my new-found interests. They seem like very different people from myself, although ultimately we all belong to the same family.

Still, I love them very much! They have already been very tolerant with whatever changes I’ve made to my life and they have been very trusting and not so strict with me. So for that, I am grateful to have such wonderful parents.

Aligning your thoughts, speech and actions…

It is said that for a person, the most important of all things is his thoughts. It is one’s thoughts that become one’s words, and it is one’s thoughts that also become one’s actions. And one’s actions determine his character and a lot more. As such, it is only logical to say that one with good thoughts is a good person who speaks good words and does good things; and that one with bad thoughts is a bad person who speaks and does bad things.

Logically, one can arrive at this decision. But by experience, you can confirm this truth. In my 22 years of existence, I have seen what has happened to good & bad people when they have moved on to afterlife. Such an experience and examples, right in front of me in my own extended family in India, has deepened my principle to always have good thoughts about oneself and others.

Sometimes you might think that what could possibly go wrong in my life if I think badly about someone else? Or if I curse someone else? But in whatever we think, say or do, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Newton’s third law has already been thought out and explained in our dharma shastras (it is difficult to give a direct translation, as the words mean a lot more than intended, but I’ll call it moral scriptures of the Hindus). The concept of karma is now accepted and regarded as logical by many people today. The common phrase they like to use is, “what goes around, comes around.” Or they will say, “what you sow is what you reap.”

Taking examples from my own family, the people I know closely either directly or indirectly from what my parents discuss, this truth is proven again and again. I had a great grandmother who had just passed away a year ago. My mum said about some horrible things she did, that didn’t keep the people around her happy at all. She had hurt many people by her words and actions. Later she reformed her ways, but she was tossed around from one home to another as none of her sons wanted to keep her in their homes for long. She lived a long life, but for a year before she passed away, she was in a lot of pain and couldn’t wait to put it to an end.

My great grandmother on the other side, who is still living but a little sick, is someone who is grumpy, always nagging and such an irritating person. She is the kind of person with whom you can never be comfortable having around. But she doesn’t wish anyone any bad. She does not curse others or harm others in any way. You know how old people get grumpy and feel insecure as they age? That is how she is like. But never thinking bad about others. And look at her now. She has a good house, people are there to take care of her, she gets her monthly allowance and a devoted son (my dad) who takes care of her and provides for her.

My grandmother, on the other hand, is a living example of what will happen if one has bad thoughts. She is in such a financial mess right now, and also not being able to discriminate what is right and what is wrong, who is jealous of her own daughter-in-law and maybe also jealous of her own daughter (my mum)! I believe that someone who curses and thinks bad of another person, is never really inflicting that curse on that person but to oneself!

Its a simple rule: You do good, people will do good to you! And believe it or not, you think good, you will speak good, and you will do good. So it all lies in the way you think. Train yourself to think positively, that no matter who the person is, just think good about that person and nver bad. Your life will transform right before your eyes! It is very difficult to be honest, especially to yourself. But a honest person is one whose thoughts, speech and actions are aligned in the same plane. Otherwise he is a hypocrite.

MESSAGE OF LORD McCAULEY:

Thursday, 08 May 2008,

EVERY INDIAN SHOULD KNOW THIS MESSAGE OF LORD McCAULEY
Lord McCauley’s speech in British Parliament on 2nd February, 1835 for converting India to a land suitable for them to rule and make Indians the British slaves : “I have traveled the length and breadth of India and there I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”

The World’s Greatest Misconception

Hey guys!

Take a look at the video below. This is what is happening to our fellow Hindus who have lost their Shraddha (faith) in our way of life and have reverted to Christianity (or Islam). God bless their souls! I have nothing against converting to other religions, but I have so MUCH against converting because of our own ignorance of our Sanatana Dharma! My commentary for the video below is only until 3:42 minutes, as I don’t care about what he says on Christianity.

“importance of scriptures, work out our own salvation, so that we won’t go back to the cycle of birth and re-birth (samsara)” – This was the advice given to him by his dad who was a priest. Let me dispel this World’s Greatest Misconception in Hinduism:

Moksha (liberation, salvation or realisation of the true Self as God) is NOT THE ONLY GOAL for all Hindus!!!

Moksha is ultimately our goal. But it is not the only goal! Listen to me friends. If someone comes and tells you that you should do yoga or meditation or fasting to attain God, think about it! Is moksha what you really want? This person’s dad has adviced him, when he was only 8, to go read these books so that he can escape samsara (bondage). Don’t be an escapist! That 8 year old fella has not even lived his life fully yet, and his dad is asking him to do penances to attain moksha! My God! Please save these people!!

“fasting, meditation, mortification of the body, penance, rituals to attain salvation” – Imagine an 8-year-old kid doing all this in his quest for salvation?! Seriously, who told you that if you do all this, you will attain moksha?! I can prove to you that doing yoga WILL NOT give you moksha! You need KNOWLEDGE to attain moksha! There is a very BIG difference between doing these penances without knowledge and doing these penances with knowledge!

“how to get moksha: book to read, went to building top to meditate to escape samsara, to be with the creator” – Hahaha… I can only laugh! Seriously!

“I was indulged in the pleasures of the word”, “guilt and pain to live a life of hypocrisy”, “seeking for something that would release him from the power of guilt”, “still in bondage, lust, anger, life of hypocrisy” – Great! This is what is happening to most of the ignorant beings in this world! Every Swami is preaching us to renounce happiness and do all the difficult things like yoga to attain moksha! These ignorant beings (I was also once like these people), never realise the BEAUTY OF SANATANA DHARMA!! We are all alpa janmas (limited beings) and as such ignorant of all such beautiful things… I’ll explain to you in a while what the beauty of Hinduism is…

“what is life after death? chance of eternity?”
, “lost faith in attaining salvation in Hinduism” – You were ignorant! And now you are blaming Hinduism?! Sigh… I don’t blame you as well. You are only misguided by all those who were misguided… The blind leading the blind…

THE BEAUTY OF HINDUISM:
Sanatana Dharma says that humans have 4 goals… Artha (basic securities and wealth), Kama (pleasures, entertainment), Dharma (ethics, code of conduct in life) and then Moksha (the magic word). I colour-coded Moksha differently because lets leave it for a while and look at the other three first, shall we?

Artha and Kama is the common goal of ALL human beings (including animals in some instances) regardless of race, religion, language, creed, nationality, etc. You agree with me? Because we all need shelter, water, food, money, and some pleasures in life. We need a bed to sleep on, but once we’ve fulfilled the first goal of Artha, we can then move on to getting a water bed for our pleasure ;P So where in Hinduism, tell me, does it say that you can’t have pleasure?! When some alpa janma comes and tells you to “renounce happiness, be neutral, be even-minded, etc.” it is NOT meant for YOU!! Don’t listen to them. You are happy with your life right now, then just BE HAPPY! BE SATISFIED! Why are you making yourself feel guilty with all this talk about renouncing happiness, when Hinduism tells you to be happy?! This is the BEAUTY of Hinduism I’ve been talking about…

Why is Dharma one of our human goals? As I said before, artha and kama are common goals to BOTH humans and animals! What then, differentiates us from animals? The very fact that we can make a CHOICE! Dharma is our guiding principle that helps us to pursue artha and kama in the RIGHT way. So WE NEED DHARMA!

So now we come to the fourth goal: moksha. One thing you have to be very clear: Moksha is for those who SINCERELY SEEK for it! That is why I colour-coded it differently. If you do not seek it, you will not attain it! This is the BEAUTY of Hinduism. If you are happy settling for a normal life and want to enjoy this life, GO AHEAD and DO IT! Why look at Moksha, when now itself you are happy with your life AS IT IS?! Please don’t make this mistake… I’m writing this post to those who have this very big misconception embedded in their minds!

Let me tell you something! Just by following Dharma and assimilating it in your life, just by doing your duty, you would come to realise (in this birth or the next coming births) the limitations in living a life with artha and kama as your pursuits! That is when you will realise that your True and Ultimate goal is Moksha! Until you realise this, be calm and just do your duty. Bhagavad Gita’s main point is also this: Do you duty!

14th Feb…

Wow… Its been a long day! I felt that this day was my most useful day in my life. You must be thinking I’m going to talk about my Valentine’s Day right? Haha. NO! In fact, I don’t really celebrate, or would never even dream of celebrating something like a Valentine’s Day! Come on! Why must they have a separate day for love, when it can be present anywhere, anytime?! Nevermind!

I was going to talk about this day, because from the morning at 9am till 9pm, I was constantly exposed to Hinduism, and nothing but Hinduism! We had a Lit & Lead Leadership course for our HS members and God! It was simply amazing to see the transformation take place right in front of your eyes. Kathir did a wonderful job and I actually felt a great sense of satisfaction after the workshop ended, which was around 1pm. It was simply a great unforgettable event for me in HS!

It all started with a idea that sparked in my mind back in November last year. I am really thankful to God for making my vision come true! At least one person would have benefited and his/her life changed for the best as a result of this workshop! That’s more than enough for me. So after this workshop, Kathir, Susanth and I took a cab to Hindu Centre for our Hinduism class. On our way, we were so hyper and talking all along the way about the workshop and how it has turned out.

Again, the Hinduism class was a wonderful session. Later at 6, Susanth and I had dinner in Madhan’s. We didn’t have lunch at all, so had an early dinner at least. All the while during the dinner, Susanth and I were ranting to each other how the rest of those who missed the course lost something valuable! Its such an irritating thing! When people promise that they would come, and then they don’t turn up without informing us, its just frustrating. I mean, think about those who make the effort and turn up for the event! What’s up with these guys? They want CCA points, but just showing face doesn’t work here! Susanth was so irritated, that all he wanted to do was sack the people, dissolve the HS committee and just move on with our lives! I guess that wouldn’t happen at all, but he was that frustrated and disappointed with these people. He sent a one-liner message to everyone the next day: “I am utterly disappointed! Thanks a lot guys!”

After our dinner, we attended a talk on Kumbhabhishegam (Temple Consecrecation Ceremony). It was a very informative talk and I really gained a lot of insight from it. I finally understood the need to go to Temples and how is it that they all say that God resides in Temples! It was something marvellous, my eyes was opened during the talk! I now appreciate Temple Worship a lot and understand why this is still very much prevalent today.

I don’t think Kalki has to come to save this world and the religion. If we do our part to keep Hinduism alive, we are all Kalki avatars!