July 28, 2007

Dera Guru gets stung by IndiaTV, Tehelka

To forgive and be forgiven is in our hands

The latest from India TV's sting operations was on Dera Guru Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh (GRRS). A video was telecast today morning showing Gurmeet's driver Khatta Singh explaining the spiritual leader's sinful acts.

Tipped off by this sting, a spokesperson of the opposition, on the same news channel, heaped much more allegations that the Dera guru 'called himself a god'. He continued giving his account of investigations being carried out, even as the channel presented a letter written by a victim (woman raped by Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh) to the Prime Minister of India detailing the shady works of the spiritual leader.

I'm not giving out news, but what I'd like to point out, was how the opposition leader was in such fury, filled with extreme hate, attacking the Dera Guru pointing that the hypocrite deserved severe punishment and death. Not just that, but he even went on to say, that this Dera Guru was not to be forgiven at any cost, and the thought of forgiving him itself was not acceptable AT ALL.

The most obscure / puzzling fact was that the opposition spokesperson said that, anyone who thinks of forgiving or talks of forgiving the Dera Guru GRSS should also be given the same punishment as deserved by the Dera Guru.

That suddenly reminded me of what I was taught, that to forgive and to be forgiven is in your hands. Jesus said, at the point of his death, looking down from his cross at the people who persecuted him, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And he instructed us to forgive.... and that forgiveness has no conditions no matter what.

Well, a clarification at that point is that, 'forgiveness' or 'deserving forgiveness' (from God) is subject to repentance. However, 'forgiving' or 'to forgive' is in our will alone, and the love we share for a fellow being.

That reminds me of the tolerance levels, as a citizen of secular and democratic India we claim to have, and what we actually display in our thoughts, words and actions...

Just sharing a thought...

Link to India TV article: http://www.indiatvnews.com/level2_tmpl3.aspx?path=0/132
Link to Dera Sacha Sauda Organization: http://www.derasachasauda.in/

July 24, 2007

The power of a W-O-R-D

“Words are Pregnant!” Yes, do not be puzzled, that’s what I heard, and do believe after observing.

It was when I was getting ready to move to office, that I saw this preacher Bishop TD Jakes, uttering those words, and here’s the complete text…

“Words are pregnant,” he said, “They carry life within them. When you say something, it gets planted in someone’s conscience (just like a seed thrown on the ground). It gets planted and takes root, grows up and becomes a full grown tree bearing fruit it's kind.”

Remarkable! But, what does it mean? Take an example of a school teacher and student. If the teacher is displeased with student’s performance and starts scolding him, lets say, she calls him “Useless”, or “Dumbo”. Now, that word has got planted in his conscience that his teacher perceives him as a ‘Useless’ student in the class. Depending on the student’s psyche, he may either hear it and get it out of his head, or keep it within, and validate it every time he interacts with someone that most would find him useless.

This thought process may hinder him to explore new ideas ,as he’s under constant fear of making a mistake and of being perceived ‘useless’. The reinforcement of the thought only makes it worse.

Yes, now there are questions…
Q1: The student should understand the spirit in which the comment was made.
A: Well, many things ‘should’ be like they ‘should’ be, but not all are. The world is not in pure black and white; as the cliché goes, there are (too many) of gray. And so, not everyone thinks only positively and not everyone things absolute negatively.

Eventually, the student, if he takes the comment in a positive way, he shall work to overcome his weakness. Or, the student may dwell in those words of condemnation, and eventually become actually an useless being.

Q2. Is that all?
A: No, that isn’t all. There’s the responsibility of the teacher, or speaker. People who are in influential positions, whether or not by virtue of authority must be very mindful of the words they speak.

But, why? It is their influence which doubles the volume of impact in either creating positivity or negativity out of their their words.

The point of discussion about the power of words is because of the manner in which we might take each other for granted. We don’t question when we need to, nor do we appreciate when it is required. And our pregnant words do not deliver. And when issues accumulate, we hurt each other with our words not knowing what the baby is going to be - good or bad, kindness or hatred, positivity or negativity?

Next time you’re about to say something that matters, just remember that your words are pregnant.

July 22, 2007

The Dark things & Deathly hallows!

The sorcery and conjuring of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series that’s gripping the fascination of young and adult minds equally may be the explosion of the occult into our lives in a very subtle way…

‘Wingardium Leviosa’, ‘Expecto Petronam’, ‘Crucio’, ‘Stupefy’, these intriguing words are much beyond what they sound like. Pronounced at the whip of a wand, they can conjure extraordinary feats and unleash supernatural powers. The changes in culture and thoughts over the years is simply unfathomable should one draw a comparative analysis between the witches of Salem who were hunted, tortured and burnt alive as against the way the same phenomenon is cheerfully welcomed in our homes today.

Common audience is latching on to wizardry, sorcery, potions, spells, tarots, crystal gazing, which were all regarded as dark and eerie things. We (yes, including me), are getting addicted to mysticism. As I watched Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and such movies which made use of Sorcery to overcome ‘dark lords’, I could only think and feel how close and real Hal Lindsey’s, ‘Satan is Alive, and well on Planet Earth’ (written way back in 1972, which spoke a great deal of mystic practices and the popularity of psychic powers and sorcery in the western world) is becoming.

It’s a great sign of warning to us, as I believe that the powers of Satan are subtly but accelerating to seep into the mindsets of all. Kids across the world fave these shady movies, and as a parent in India was talking to a news channel cheerfully as she got her first copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, “Me and my daughter keep fighting over who’s a bigger fan of Potter,” the attraction it gathers is simply consuming.

Personally, the images of Harry Potter and lord Voldemort have inhabited my mind too since a few years, and I’m sure they’ll continue to do so for still many more years to come. Thanks to the series of books written over ten years (1997 - 2007) and the movie series (last movie of the series is perhaps set to release in 2010) that’s following it which will keep bringing the mystic imagination alive.

Cinema is art, and art wields a great influence on the generation, the same is applicable if one looks back at how pop music, rock music, modern art, yoga etc., have influenced the masses, and today, as we know are an integral part of our lives. Similarly, sorcery too, may become a part of our lives, and we may not find anything wrong with it in a few years. Why wait for some time, tarot reading for example, another mystic art is already being practiced widely; if there are any disagreements, check out on people read their horoscopes in the newspapers or some magazines. You can be they’re addicted to the occult.

Sounds very simple, but it should really make us think how strange these mystic practices have become a part of our lives.

The trap of sweet and friendly words…

My professor, Sumit Chaudhuri always warned me about people who talked sweet. “I’m very afraid of such people. I’d rather have someone criticizing me upfront, rather than praising and flattering me,” he used to say. But, what’s the problem with that I used to wonder. It so happens many times, that people say what they do not mean, and such words have hidden motives, either to influence you to do or not to do some act; to extract some information or wield some power over you. Such people can only be dealt with, if you have a clear presence of mind, and be aware of yourself completely so you know if someone’s complimenting you, or simply fooling around!