Can We Stop The Violence and Create Peace In The World?


Peace & Violence

Mass shootings in Oregon in USA, two people shot dead in front of Paramatta police station in Sydney (one victim and one perpetrator), USA bombing in Afghanistan of a hospital (collateral damage is the claim), refugees fleeing out of their homelands, increasing deaths due to domestic violence (66 deaths in 9 months in Australia alone), human trafficking etc etc etc.,

How did humans become so violent – profiting from, mutilating and killing each other? To what end?

The violence I mentioned above on the global scale also plays on an individual level.  Our minds are “bubbling hot baths of violence” when we

  • Contradict, dislike, judge each other subtly or openly,
  • Constantly compare with each other,
  • Live in the artificial world of ‘us & them’
  • Spew negativity in the name of wanting to understand,
  • Get stronger in our own convictions even if they openly hurt another,
  • encourage cut throat competition in the name of fulfilling ambitions
  • consume excessively  created by extensive wants and desires…

Result is low self-esteem, over confidence, depression, fears, anxiety, scarcity thinking, hoarding, substance dependence to get away from all of that, which creates more problems.

We simply have forgotten how to live simply.

Global wars and crimes are micro played in our  minds first and we become blame shifters – it is the

  • Government’s fault,
  • The law’s fault,
  • Police not doing enough or
  • Religion’s fault.

Our phobias increase rampantly as we desperately isolate groups or individuals to pin blame on.

We are spending more money on weapons instead of educating people.

We spend time and effort and money on finding essential elements for survival in space (water on Mars) while actively contaminating and pilfering the precious resources here now on earth that we call home. Geroge Monbiot said in his recent article – “The richer a country becomes, the less its people care about their impact on the living planet.”

How is finding water on Mars save children who die daily because they don’t have access to clean water?  How is selling guns to countries who can’t feed their population an answer to their problems?

Where are we heading collectively?

I am sure these are questions that everyone ask of themselves, shake their heads helplessly and go back to living in their safe silos and hot heads (me included) – too far away, not my problem.  We have food, clothes, shelter – the basic necessities and we belong to a family, a community that is our safety net. We believe that one day someone somewhere will come up with a magic solution to all the problems…

Bonding, Belonging and Believing – three essential ingredients for human happiness.

Is it enough to have these three at individual level?  Is that even happening at an individual level?

How bonded are we with each other beyond our immediate family and even within our immediate family?

Do we feel safe in belonging in our communities – of course that depends on which community or country we are talking about.

Do we believe that solutions t0 problems are other people’s headaches?

Where do we individuals stand on these global issues – are we not responsible individually and collectively, no matter how immediate or far removed the issues are from us?

The gadgetry distractions we have created for ourselves, the fear induced selfishness which is making us become increasingly indifferent – are these the values that we are passing on to our children?

If we feel responsible, what can we do?

What do we teach our children?

What are we teaching ourselves?

When we know this is not who we are, how do we go about finding who we truly are?

How do we put an end to, may be not possible to put an end to, but at least curb the violence we witness each day?

Here is what I think (for what it is worth)

To curb violence in the world, we need to stop violating ourselves first and foremost.  We need to go back to the fundamental Human Values that are inherent in all of us.  We need to actively teach our children what these values are and how it helps them grow up to be caring human beings.

Bonding and belonging is more important than any thing else. So instead of creating bonds with gadgets for our children because we are busy, can we perhaps make time to give them our time instead of a gadget and create bonds that last. Research shows that IPad usage by two year old children may harm language development which means inability to express which means inability to communicate and we know what that can lead to.

Yes, we don’t have control over global scale violence, but…

We have control over how we can

  • Develop the inner moral compass of our children,
  • Enhance their sensitivity to moral cues,
  • Make them become aware of our interdependence and
  • Teach them to live with personal integrity which helps them to take responsibility for their state of minds and actions.

Here is a free educational program that does just that for 4 to 6 year old children.  Use this program for your own children or gather a group of children from your local community and teach them.  Catch them young and mold their minds.

What else can we do?

We can stop being excessive consumerists and limit our desires

The older generation has so much wisdom that the young needs to learn from beyond the three R’s, in fact more than reading, writing and arithmetic, children today need to learn Resilience, Resonance and Reflection.

Retired people among us can volunteer their time with local High Schools and mentor the kids there especially the ones that are not coping with the demands of high school.  Show them how valuable they are, teach them how to respond and not react, as well as the value of being kind, being healthy, being helpful, forgiving, taking care of themselves and the planet etc.

They need to understand and practice the values of Love, Truth, Peace, Right Conduct and Non-Violence.  For that they need adults in their lives who practice and demonstrate those values in action.

We may not be able to solve the worlds problems, but we certainly can help in our local communities particularly children and young adults and create loving bonds and a sense of belonging that will stop them from straying away, becoming depressive and suicidal or violent like the 15 year old boy in Sydney who ended up dying.

We want a peaceful society, it is up to us to create that.  We are not helpless in doing that. We need to put our own inhibitions aside, limit our desires and the resulting consumption.   We need to  take genuine interest in the welfare of our next generation and use the freed up time and resources for the welfare of the community that we live in.

Let us form little ‘Circles of Safety’ and bring our younger generations into those circles and equip them to become character laden citizens.

We have nothing to lose and everything to gain – do you agree?

Would love to know what you think and how we should go ahead with this…Please drop a line in with your comments and action plans

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

Fear or Love – Can One Sheath Have Two Swords in it?


FearUnity and love

Yesterday I posted a news item on my Facebook page about an Anti-Islamic group planning to move protests to Albury amid mosque renovation plans and shared this news on a community page that I  maintain.  I have called for support to the local Muslim community and not allow outside groups to enter and disturb the peace and harmony in our town, if and when it happens.

This post sparked a debate with one gentleman who took objection to the post and ended up posting you tube videos that show Islam extremist groups fighting local authorities and their capacities, and asking  me not to post anything like this on a community Facebook page.

I also had a private conversation with another person who expressed concerns and ended up quoting the popular saying which echoes many peoples views on Islam and terrorism and that is – “Not All Muslims are terrorists but every terrorist is a Muslim”

This made me think.  This is how it is everywhere isn’t it – from individuals to societies, to countries –  people stuck on what they see as right, not willing to give the other party a chance to explain, wanting to have their word as the last word by all means, distinct ‘us vs them’ mentality, using religion to support arguments, to create arguments, forgetting the basic humanity.

The overriding need for safety of the self drives a person to behave in a way that suits them operating from within their silo.

Is this what humans have become?  What is it in us that is so threatening to each other?

We profess words of peace, but inside we are riddled with doubts, worry,  judgment, fear, persecution – how can our smiles be genuine?

How can love blossom in hearts that are shrinking with fear and crouch in that corners of safety that is illusory?

Love is the answer no doubt and caution needs to be exercised as well when getting into public debate because not everyone comes from the basis of love.  Solution for any of theses issues from micro to macro is in individual understanding and adjustment.

At a time when we are living with all nationalities and religions together in communities, do we isolate one particular community because the larger diaspora of that community on an international scene is not just labelled but marginalized as terrorists because of a few hundred or thousands of peoples’ actions?

Which religion is exclusive of fundamentalism?  There are fundamentalist terrorists in all religions Hinduism included.  In fact, every individual is capable of being a terrorist.  As long as we are operating from fear, the capacity to terrorize in the name of self protection not only is there but is on the ever increase. When enough people with this terror in their hearts join forces, extremist groups are formed. Anti-Islam groups are equally the terrorists.

Yes, I agree when we chose to migrate from our home lands, we have to abide by the law of the host country.  I don’t see any Islamic group in Australia nor any other religious group acting against the law of the land barring a few isolated cases.  So why do we have to bring international fears into our home towns or allow others to pollute our minds?

Is Fear the driver of the 21st Century?

Did we not let fear rule us so far and look where we collectively brought the world to.  I cannot exclude my role in the large collective drama.  Every fear I harbor in the deep dark corners of my heart, no matter how hidden and deep, will contribute to the larger scene.  It first plays on me, then on my family, community and it spreads.

When our children have to sit side by side in schools with Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs etc what are we teaching them – not to help a child in need because he happens to be a Muslim, therefore a terrorist by default?

When that fear is big in our hearts, how can we genuinely demonstrate to our children to become caring individuals?  Can we preach something that we are not prepared to follow?

I am not asking that we should become activists in an effort to solve world problems.  But what is wrong in asking to become activists for ourselves, to weed our own hearts from the damaging fears and prejudices, plant seeds of love to sprout and grow in recognition that –

“Skin deep, we all flow red” and the fistful of muscle that beats in our chest cavity and throbs inside our skulls wants only one thing – LOVE.

What is the worst thing that can happen if we all converted to the Religion of LOVE, just for today, and tomorrow – one day at a time?

Start the day with Love – Send loving thoughts for yourself, your family, your community and the world.

Spend the day with Love – Smile and wave at everyone.  Extend loving help where possible. Don’t be a grouch. Smile does not cost anything

End the day with Love – Say thank you for the day’s events, send loving light into the world and pray that even more loving day will dawn tomorrow.

If we took time to make this an individual practice and also do it collectively, then fear will have no room in our hearts.  We can put aside our minds’ little worries, fears, pressures of various sorts of daily living and grow in love.

Continuously spending a few conscious moments everyday living in love and gratitude, we pave our way to create unity and harmony – recognizing the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of  man.

Fear and Love are the two swords that cannot fit into the one sheath. 

What is your choice – Fear or Love?

One binds and the other releases from our own self created shackles.

Let Love be the driver of your thoughts, words and deeds.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

How To Create a “Culture of Care”


Featured image

We know that the world is in utter chaos and we all crave for a world order to be brought about – by Governments, by Scientists, by others…..

Pope Francis’ Encyclical entitled “Laudato Si – On Care for Our Common Home” that sets out a program for change calls for the need to develop a “Culture of Care” in society and it starts with each individual.

A friend of mine asked “Why do we need to listen to a religious leader talking about climate change when the scientists who are the authority on the subject cannot get heard? My response – Pope’s call is not just for religious followers but for the entire humanity, because Climate Change is not just a scientific issue but it is a moral problem.

In order to fully comprehend Pope’s message, we need to first unpack what is a “Culture of Care” and how it looks like and then perhaps connections can be made how the world’s chaos needs spiritual solutions.

A ‘Culture of Care’ is based in Love.  When Love permeates a human being, he/she will do nothing but care for themselves and the others, wherever they are, which has a domino effect eventually.  When enough people care, societies transform. Caring nature results in beauty in character.

Sai Baba said – ” When there is beauty in character, there is harmony at home; When there is harmony at home, there is order in the nation; when there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.” 

So a Culture of Care results in world peace.  Sounds far fetched? Let us explore what that Culture of Care actually looks like.  A Culture of Care looks like:

  • Content humans with what they have, which grounds them in the present.
  • A grounded person in the present has a solid identity of who they are.
  • A person who knows who they are is not competitive or an aggressive consumer
  • A non-aggressive consumer does not focus on ‘getting.’
  • When the focus in not on getting, the natural opposite fills in the void – which is ‘Giving.’
  • What can a content and grounded, non-aggressive consumer give?
  • A natural compassion because there is no comparison or competition.

What does natural compassion look like?

A Kind, Satisfied, Happy, Caring, Sharing Person because a naturally compassionate person has

    • Love in their thoughts – therefore Truth prevails
    • Love in their actions – so Right Conduct manifests
    • Love in their feelings – and Peace penetrates
    • Love in their understanding – thus a non-violent world results.

Is this formulaic? I don’t think so. Do you see the connection?

It starts with stopping being an aggressive, competitive, jealous consumer and be content with what we have and live in gratitude. There is always someone who has less than us.

A content and caring individual recognises the interconnectedness as they see the world from within.

If contentment is an answer to create a ‘Culture of Care,’ how can we remain content when the world screams at us that we cannot be happy unless we have more?

Pope’s answer is “Growth marked by moderation” In fact this principle has been given as a “Ceiling on Desires” program four decades ago by Sathya Sai Baba.

Accordingly, Desiring is a natural human phenomenon and cannot be eliminated completely. So, we put a Ceiling on our Desires to consume, whether it is food, money, time or energy.

  • If we learn to stop with one piece of chocolate cake, there is more to share – Ceiling on Desire for food can be connected to relieving world hunger – you do the maths.
  • If we learn to use less energy, there is less burden on natural resources, which means more to share and a safer planet.
  • If we conserve and manage our time, we overcome unhealthy anxiety which means happy families and peaceful societies engaged in meaningful activities.
  • If we desire less, we don’t have to buy more, which means savings. More savings, better lifestyle and happy individuals.

Our consumption of food, money, time and energy are directly linked with our capacity to be content or discontent.  Sounds simplistic? Don’t answers to large problems often have simple solutions?

So, ‘Culture of Care’ starts with an individual and can happen only if we stop excessive consumption and be content. When we are content, we create a ‘Culture of Care.’ Love blossoms as a result and Inner Peace that is directly related to care for ecology and common good results. This is each and every one of our responsibility.

Without a moral and imaginative structure that links our wellbeing to that of others, so that their suffering feels as urgent as ours, or is at least measured on the same scales, we will render our planet uninhabitable.  Not only do we urgently need to understand the human nature but live with the knowledge that Love is the undercurrent of everything and that Love is our true nature.

Ceiling on Desires is a simple ANSWER for today’s complex crisis in the world – from micro to macro.

Shall we start a revolution by creating a ‘Culture of Care?’ Share your thoughts and action plans please….

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

Wishcasting Wednesday: What Do You Wish to Claim?


World Peace Flag of the Universal Peace Congress.
World Peace Flag of the Universal Peace Congress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a question posed at Jamie Ridler’s blog and I thought I will answer this here as she suggested.

I wish to claim:

World Peace starting from me starting from now – this means that no matter what happens in my life, I will only wish for the best outcome for all people involved including myself.

I wish to claim that I live my life based on the Five Human Values of Love, Peace, Truth, Right Conduct and Non-Violence.

I wish to claim and I know this for a fact that I am Non-Violent in thoughts, words and deeds.

I wish to claim that I love people unconditionally. Working on this, so claiming out loud will make it a reality.

I wish to claim – my birthright to being creative and wish that everyone recognize their creativity and not shy away from it. Your scribbles, doodles, aimlessly penned words – everything you do is creative. So, go right ahead and say it loud – I am creative. Claim it and make it happen – whatever form it takes.

I wish to claim that I see goodness and kindness in people everywhere.

What do you wish to claim?

Please comment here

Until next time – remember, what you wish will come true.

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

 

3 Enemies That Rob Your Health – Part I


 

 

“The old enemies of peace”
“The old enemies of peace” (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

Do you know you constantly battle with 3 enemies every moment of every day?

I know I do.  Those 3 enemies never leave my side.  They are my constant companions, whether I am awake or half asleep.

 

They tempt me from every corner.  They rob my physical, mental and emotional health.  They create a gaping hole in my spiritual health.  The more I give into those 3 temptations, the bigger is my loss of health in all the 5 personality domains – Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social and Spiritual.

 

The 3 enemies keep me on a roller coaster of thinking that I do and that I care, all the while tempting me to indulge because I can.

 

Growing impatient to know what they are? Any guesses?

 

Well, impatience is certainly not one of them, all though, it can be a result of one of them.

 

OK!! No more suspense – Here they are.  Ready???

 

The 3 enemies that rob your health are………………..(drum roll)

 

HURRY, WORRY & CURRY

 

It’s not a joke.  You read it right.  Hurry, Worry & Curry are the 3 enemies that rob your health.  Those are not my invention.  They are as said by Sai Baba.  All I am doing is trying to elaborate on them – one by one.

 

Enemy No.1 – HURRY

 

Hurry – robs me of my physical and mental health.  How?

 

When I hurry……..

 

  • I forget
  • I make mistakes
  • I can trip and fall and injure  myself
  • I am impatient
  • I am frustrated
  • I get anxious
  • I get irritated at little inconveniences

Result –

 

Love is a distant companion.

 

Truth tangos between little white lies and blatant lying to outright exaggerations.

 

Right Action and Peace jump out of the window due to anxiety and fear.

 

And – Mild Violence will be a happy comrade.

 

Yes, Hurry does all that and more.  Hurry keeps me in a constant flurry of activity and I collapse at the end of the day exhausted physically as well as mentally, only to start all over again the next day.

 

I hear you say – but we have to hurry to keep up, to do everything that we HAVE to do.  If we don’t hurry, life will run us over and shove us aside.

 

We have to hurry to…

 

  • catch the next bus/train/appointment
  • finish the next thing

Because, we don’t have time.  We are late etc etc

 

Hurry to catch up? does it make sense – NO.

 

But we do hurry – if not physically, mentally.  When we are a zillion miles far mentally, but physically here, do I need to describe the impatience, irritation and frustration that results in exhaustion, energy depleted and ultimate breakdown?

 

So, is there an antidote to this.  Of course there is.

 

I know you are hurrying to get to the end of the post, so you can find out what remedy I have to suggest.

 

Slow down………. I am going to show you the remedy

 

S L O W D O W N

 

Yes, that is the remedy.

 

Deliberately, Consciously, Intentionally  –

 

S L O W  D O W N

 

B R E A T H E – DEEPLY IN………………… EXHALE OUT LOUD (PHEW……………………….)

 

Sorry, if I am deliberate in writing this.  But the only remedy for hurry is slowing down.  Is that enough? Its a start.

 

We need to slow down physically as well as mentally and plan ahead.

 

Nothing new here but we don’t make time to do it because if we are not hurrying we are not accomplishing.

 

When our bodies are tired, we don’t have the energy to get up earlier than necessary, we don’t have the energy to plan ahead and so the cycle continues.

 

So, first steps:

 

  • Deliberate and conscious deep breathing will ease the hurry mentally. Meditation of course will yield enormous benefits.  But deep breathing is a start.
  • Planning as we all know, gains us time.  With easy breathing, plan the next day before hand.  This gives control and help slow us down physically.

The benefits of these will flow on to help with the other 2 enemies

 

Stay tuned for Enemy No. 2 – WORRY.

 

Now don’t hurry in your waiting for the next post – will you.

 

Until next week – BREATHE & SLOW DOWN

 

With Love and Respect

 

Padma Ayyagari

 

3 Little Words That Make a Big Difference….


Nike Ad
Nike Ad (Photo credit: NathanMega)

Three little words that grip you by the shoulders and shake you out of your slumber.

What are they? No, that’s not the three words.  The three words I am talking about are

DON’T TRY, DO”.

We are always ‘trying’, trying to lose weight, trying to get fit, trying to change life style, trying to even attain liberation.  Now is there really such a thing called ‘Trying’?

We either “Do” or we “Don’t”

But in ‘trying, we create such a drama between “Do” or “Don’t”?

The emotional struggles,

The battles of the will brutally slashing at choices as they present,

The half-hearted attempts at doing something we have to whilst drooling at what we want to – crying like a baby being pulled away from its favorite toy,

Wanting to move to what I want to do whilst stuck in what I have to do,

Trying to do what I have to with all eyes firmly fixed on what I want to do,

Frustrated, stuck, knowingly choice less, caught in a time warp –

Is that what “Trying” is?

“Trying to Do” – chains me down.  Either I Do or I Don’t, what is this “Trying” business?

“Trying” buys me time.

A tiny gap between ‘Do’ or ‘Don’t’ that gives me hope to hang on to, a justified satisfaction that at least “I am Trying”, an anticipation that there is always a tomorrow, ignoring the preciousness of the moment unfolding and indulging in a future that may never come.

Is that what “Trying” gives me – a false sense of security in my known mortality?

“Trying” is a false and imaginative lifeline to make permanent a guaranteed impermanance.

So, for today, I have decided to live by the words – “Don’t Try, Do”.

What ever it is that I have to, want to, need to, should, must, – anything, I just DO, not TRY TO DO. There is no next moment to TRY – all I have is this moment and I can “JUST DO IT” (Nike Ad has a lot of wisdom in it)  in the moment.

That is what liberates me, frees me from my mental and emotional struggles, gives me peace of mind and a heart full of love.

Try it – Oops, Sorry, “DON’T TRY, DO”

Join me.

Pick up what ever it is and once you picked it up, “DON’T TRY, DO”

Leave a comment to tell me how you went.

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

Who Is The Master Mind Behind Your Life?


Sai Baba
Sai Baba (Photo credit: Raios de Luz – Gláucia Góes)

Did you ever think of that? Who influences you in your decisions? What is the moral fabric on which you write your story?

I would like to share mine here.  This story is my spiritual journey so far in a nutshell and I am attempting to pay homage to a larger than life phenomenon who has directly affected my life and transformed me.  I know that my words would fail to convey my feelings and yet I have to try, because through that trying I reinforce what I feel and give shape to it.

It has been two years that a Loving Divinity in the form of Sathya Sai Baba walked on this earth physically for 85 years.  His clarion call to “Love all, Serve All; Help Ever, Hurt Never” reverberated from a tiny hamlet of Puttaparthi in South India – a dot that was not on the world map until recently, a village so remote once upon a time, that access to it was through many means of transportation including a walk through the sands of Chitravathi River.

That call to Love that started 73 years ago when He was a mere lad of 14 now has spread through just about every country in the world, touching millions of people directly and indirectly.

I heard that call 3 times before I took serious note of it, once in 1969, once in 1983 and finally in 1993.

November 1969 – A Friday evening, a quiet street in Red Hills, Hyderabad, India.  An evening of regular devotional singing at a retired Judge’s house; a nine year old girl led the bhajan “Hara Shiva Shankara” to a room full of packed young, old, middle aged men and women ecstatic in their collective expression of ritualistic worship paying tribute to their Gods.

A middle aged woman approached the 9yr old and asked if she attends Bal Vikas classes.  The girl never heard of that name before and she was told that is a weekly class for young children to learn new devotional songs and stories about God.

Coming from an Orthodox Hindu Brahmin family where worship of Lord Shiva is as normal and spontaneous as breathing, the girl eagerly nodded agreement which meant a 5km walk each way every Sunday afternoon come rain, hail or shine for the next 4 years.

As life took over, the central figure of Bal Vikas classes faded into background and the girl grew up to get married and lead the dutiful life of a good daughter-in-law and wife – in that order.  Religious worship was still a strong driver in the girl’s life, but this time in the in-law’s house the worshiped deity is not Lord Shiva but the Living Lord Sathya Sai Baba.  The girl was only a respectful observer from a distance with no close personal attachment or ties to this Lord.  She heard the exciting stories narrated by her mother-in-law with half an ear.

February 1984 – 6 months pregnant with her first child, the girl, one day saw Sai Baba in her dream.  He came, stood in front of her and said “Anandam, Anandam, Nityanandam, Brahmanandam; Omkaram Para Brahma Swaroopam” – loosely translated it was about Supreme Bliss and ‘Om’ the ultimate embodiment of Divinity.

The girl woke up startled at the dream so vivid and real, turned to her mother-in-law for guidance but was brushed off with a comment that it wasn’t easy to dream about Sai Baba.  Confused at the comment, perplexed at the seeming reality of the dream and not having any answers or further guidance, the girl moved on with life but never forgot the dream or what was said in the dream.

That was the second clarion call beckoning to follow the ‘Living Love’ walking this earth on its mission to show and tell what Love is all about.

Fast forward to May 1993 – life brought the girl to Australia for a better future but unbeknown to her, the real force behind migration was the ‘Living Love’ trying to connect with her brought her here to reveal itself.

A little ad in the local paper caught the girl’s attention which read “Sathya Sai Baba bhajans on every Friday, call……. for info”. “Wow! I can take my mother-in-law for the bhajans, I like to sing as well and she will enjoy her weekly sessions that she misses so much” – were the thoughts running through the girl’s head as she drove her mother-in-law on a cold, dark, wet evening on a Friday in May.

There were a whole heap of books on Sai Baba.  The girl who likes to read picked up “Man of Miracles” and “Holy man and the Psychiatrist”.  The miracles of that Holy Psychiatrist have hit home hard and memories of the dream came flooding back as the girl realised the previous two callings from LOVE to love and patience with which that LOVE waited and repeated its call.

The girl was ready to receive it fully, openly and humbly, grateful to have found it, knowing that she will never fully understand or fathom its power but craving to be enveloped and anchored in its simplicity of living and loving the LOVE that is physically present in its form.

That LOVE showed a way to a Peaceful, Truthful living with Righteous Conduct that ultimately leads to Non-Violence in Thought, Word and Deed.

How can the girl ever pay homage to the LOVE that is pervading and patiently persuasive in its eagerness to show the way?

How can the girl pay homage to the LOVE that demonstrated tirelessly, without taking a break, for over 7 decades, what love is all about, ?

Is it possible even to think that she can understand or fathom the depths of that LOVE that shines purely in its simplicity and is brighter than a thousand suns?

Is it humanly possible to peer into the depths of those loving eyes that see everyone in their naked vulnerability and yet love them to their core?

Can she hide from a pervading force that is embedded in every cell and atom of everything that seem to operate from that Force?

No, it is not humanly possible for me to understand that.  So, I will not attempt to understand or analyse.  I will just allow myself to be enveloped in the arms of that Gentle LOVE with total acceptance and through that touch I will come to know that LOVE enveloping me is already in me and is not separate from me.  It is in me, around me, in front and back, above and below, always in all ways.

When I understand this, I have understood the LOVE that walked this earth even though no longer physically present in  a form, is very much present in all the deep recesses of every living atom that is being guided and driven by it.

I pay homage to that LOVE which physically embodied as Sathya Sai Baba and walked on this earth to show and tell what loving is all about, what life is and to wake up and recognise that I am that LOVE, You are that LOVE, we all are that LOVE which manifests in a variety of colors, forms, shapes, sizes, smells and tastes, so we all can enjoy its varied flavors.

I pay homage to Sathya Sai Baba who made it possible for us to recognise that, not only recognise but to live with LOVE as an anchor that moors us solid in the flowing waters of life so we can become a resting place for the restless passers by.

The ultimate homage I can pay to Him is to become that resting place as He is to me.  I can only do that if I become Love in Action like He showed through His life.

I can only do that if I make My Life HIS MESSAGE which is LOVE.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

5 Ways To Bring Love Into Your Life – A Gift Offer


Love Love Love
Love Love Love (Photo credit: Gregory Jordan)

I have written this post for Christmas 2011.  The reason to re blog this is to offer a gift to all my readers so far, who actually grew in number recently.  Thank you for taking time to read and comment.  I really appreciate it. Read on and there is a gift to download

A year and a bit later, whether it is festive season or not, I have grown to believe that every day is a festival if we want to be.  The choice is ours.  If we dwell in our story and only look at the story taking wrong turns, then it will be hard to share the love.

There is a manifesto to download and it is yours for FREE.  Download it, print it, share it – do whatever –  your choice.  My only hope is that you like it and live it.

So here is the blog from Christmas 2011.

This  is the season of Joy, Fun, Friendship and Love.  A season to take stock on how our lives are travelling and to bring more of what we cherish. ‘ Love’ stands right there at the top of the list along with Truth, Peace, Right-Conduct and Non-Violence.

However what we find in today’s fast paced society is that these are the rapidly declining values.

We all agree that we need to slow down and bring back our attention to how we manifest what we truly are – Love

As it is said in the Bible

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Can we live up to that – Yes we can

Do we have the potential – Of course we do

Its just that our potential to love is covered under the many layers of soot of busyness, of trying to win the rat race, of selfishness, of greed, of jealousy, of envy, of anger, of hatred, of desire etc.,

When we blow this soot away gently with the winds of Truth and Right-Conduct , the embers of red hot Love will be visible underneath glowing in Peace and Non-Violence.

Want to know how to do this?

Get your free copy of ‘Manifesto of Love’ attached below and find out how Love is the undercurrent of all human values.  This is my thank you gift to you all for supporting me in this blogging adventure.  It was a learning experience and I am slowly getting a handle on how to write, how to blog and how to serve you all through this.

Manifesto of love

Wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hope 2012 brings you all the joy, happiness, health and wealth that you deserve.

I am sincerely hoping, wishing, desiring that I will be able to share a lot more with you through this blog.  I hope you do enjoy reading, if you do please subscribe.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

Are You Doing Your DUTY???? Or…….


English: The inscription says: "Our holy ...
English: The inscription says: “Our holy obligation is to reach a helping hand to the brotherly peoples “. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is DUTY a loaded word for You? Do you ever ask that of yourself? Is that a question that ever plagues you?

It does me…

I constantly ask myself – ” Am I doing my duty?” “Am I doing my right duty?” Questions that poke me, make me reflect and agonize over sometimes.

Do you know what exactly “Duty” means?

Duty is derived from “Right-Conduct” which is a very lose translation of the Sanskrit word “Dharma”.  Duty is attached to every role we play in life.  I have a duty as a Daughter, Wife, Mother, Grand Mother, Friend, Employee, Employer, a Citizen – every role we play, every hat we wear comes with a set of terms and conditions relating to that role.

Duty is not limited to people.  Wetness is the duty of Water, Heat is the duty of Fire, and when those elements perform contrary to their duty – things start to go wrong.

Whilst Duty is a synonym for Obligation, Duty is more than Obligation.  Obligation can be externally imposed and Duty is intrinsic to our nature.

Performing my duty in an obligatory way can be devoid of love.  Anything done without love will soon become an obligation, an imposition, a chore that we come to resent. What would be the result of doing something out of resentment? I begin to regret my actions. It eats me and the  build up is hazardous for  my health and detrimental to the health of my surrounds.  

Sathya Sai Baba says,

“Duty without Love is deplorable;

Duty with Love is Human;

Love without Duty is Divine”

Now we all teeter between the first two statements, performing our duty with and without love.  We generally perform our duty with love when it comes to family and friends and perhaps even our jobs.  There are certain duties that we perform without love – cleaning in my case.

But what does it mean to Love without Duty?  

Is it possible to love something or someone knowing that we have no obligation to do so, knowing that we are not bound by duty to love?

How would that look? Would that be spontaneous actions? Would that be responding rather than reacting? Would Love without Duty show up as kindness, empathy, caring?

We can easily do those things with nature, animals and children. But when it comes to extending love without a duty to adults, we struggle.

Why is it easy to love a child or a puppy spontaneously without hesitation?

I think we can do that because we have no preconceived ideas about who they are other than what we see in front of us – little bundles of innocence, joy and purity and we get drawn to those qualities instantly.  Whereas when we come in front of adults our previous interactions are the first ones that jump into our minds before we even finished saying hello and those interactions color our greeting instantaneously.

We put people in pigeon holes and expect them to stay there, forgetting that people change all the time.  Our sense of security is threatened when a person acts differently to how we know them to be.

Those colored perceptions and judgments make us forget to look at the intrinsic beauty, innocence and purity of each human being.  

Result – at best we are polite or walk away, at worst we clash openly, with hostility. And of course, we regret later and agonize over our actions.

So how is Love without Duty possible?

Every time we come across somebody we picture them as a child, innocent and exuberant brimming with pure joy.  We deliberately not let our previous interactions color our perceptions in the moment.

It is very difficult to do that especially when we know we are wronged by someone.  Remembering that they are doing their ‘duty without love’ and therefore their actions are deplorable  will help in separating the person from the action.

If water catches fire, we put the fire out and move on, we don’t condemn water for its action.

Separating people from actions and labeling the actions help us to interact with love and compassion. It is a deliberate, constant and continuous practice.

Ultimately ‘Love without Duty’ is the only balm that would heal the wounds and the only obligation we have in order to create peace within us and in our society.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

Would love to hear your comments.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Simple Ways To Be Happy


Worry
Worry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you rolling your eyes at the title? Probably….

Is this an overrated subject  – Perhaps…..

Does this sound like a formula – Sure…

Does it work – I think so, sorry, not think so, but I know so…

In a world that is so complicated, busy and overloaded with information, we need to make conscious efforts to not get carried away and lose our happiness and peace of mind. The Easter long weekend is a time to pause, reflect and consider the message of Christ.  Now, I am not a Christian and I don’t claim an authority on Christian Theology.  However, I do understand the simple message that Jesus had given to this world in how to live happily and peacefully.  As we all know, He was crucified today on Good Friday and He resurrected on Sunday.  Apologies to all Christians if I am not using the right words here, but in a nutshell, this is what I understand of Easter.

Whilst we know what Christ demonstrated through these acts, question remains, what personal message can we take from crucifixion and resurrection? How can we live that message daily?

What do we need to crucify and what do we need to resurrect?

We need to crucify our judgments, worries, anger, sadness, guilt, shame etc., all the negative qualities that bog us down and make us suffer.

Jesus demonstrated that we have infinite capacity to be compassionate and caring, that we are capable of forgiveness even as we are being wronged or badly done by, that we need not carry resentments.  Jesus demonstrated  that we are LOVE first and foremost and that all the other qualities that we struggle with are only acquired and can be shed like a worn garment -as easy as that.

We need to resurrect the qualities of Love, Truth, Right Conduct, Peace and Non-Violence that are inherent in us.

So on this Holy Good Friday and Easter what can we do to adopt the message of Christ?

Here is what we do….

Every time we hear a judgement coming, we say PASS;

 Every time we get angry, scared or worried, we say PASS;

Every time we look at something or someone, we say LOVE;                        

Every time we catch ourselves drifting into past or future, we say NOW;                  

Every time our brow is knitted, we say  CHEESE  & SMILE!!!!

If we did that each time, every time without fail, what is left but Peace and happiness?

Wouldn’t you agree that these are 5 simple ways that anchor us to the present time ?

Well, all good things in life are simple, we make things unnecessarily complicated.

What do you say? Agree or disagree – would love to know.  Please leave a comment.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari