Guru’s position – a disciple’s perspective.

5 09 2014

Prologue : A teacher is one who wants to teach you, a ‘Guru’ is one who makes you learn. A students idea is ‘to be’, whereas a disciple (shishya) is the one who wants ‘to become’. In other words a student is looking for change while a disciple is aspiring to transform.

Whatever I say is with this context in mind.

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Many years back, must be my secondary school days, if i remember it well, around my wonder years,  back in time when I was studying in 8th or 9th grade, I happened to read a story. This story has had a lasting impact on my thought process. I do not clearly remember that story and its context, but it is this one scene from the story which has stayed with me and shaped my understanding. It goes like this.

A young disciple, completely devoted to his guru, was someone who was committed to follow on the path shown by his guru. He had this habit of always going to his guru whenever in some critical decision making situation. And the Guru would readily guide him out during each such instance; in the process the guru would enlighten the disciple. One fine day, in a similar situation as the disciple reaches out to his Guru, the Guru doesn’t offer him any guidance. The disciple is astonished and couldn’t believe this fact. The Guru sends him back by saying “Son, I have given you enough, I leave you now to imbibe all of that, find your own path, and make your own experiences. Its time you take your decisions without me.”

Now this incident from the story found its way deep within myself. Over different periods of my existence this story has provided me different lessons. It started with me believing that a ‘guru’ can only take one this far. One cannot have a guide to eternity. At some later stages i realized the importance of ‘swadhyay’ or ‘learning by self’. Further ahead I understood that it will all be fruitless if one does not learn to take his/her own decisions.

Over many summers of my existence I was fortunate to come across many learned people and many loving teachers. It was quite later in my young life that i discovered a ‘Guru’. It was destined for me to get my greatest lessons from this one person. However the above story was always a part of me, and hence in spite of total surrender I never actually became dependent. That infinite love and reverence can thrive and still one remains boundless was a unique experience and a learning for me. Secondly I knew that the physical proximity and one-to-one transfer of knowledge with the ‘Guru’ can only happen till a limited period of time. This understanding fueled my urge to learn and make the most of those transactions. Many individuals close to me, around that period, sensed a transformation in me, they sensed an urgency in me; I could not explain it to them, than, but deep down i knew that i need to build myself to a level from where I can be on my own. Also I never wanted to come to a point, like the boy in that story had to, where my Guru feels that his disciple has not learned to be on his own.

Many Guru – Disciple relations end in agony and bitterness or in sheer blinded dependence. The crux of this eventuality is the non-realization of the fact that – a guru can only take you this far. With this dawned another important learning from that story and a whole new dimension of learning opened up for me. A disciple is the one who is aspiring to move to a higher destination, in every which way. A ‘guru’ is the form who takes the disciple to that destination. However if one remains focused on the destination and not the form, than ‘guru’ dissolves his form and becomes a part of your being. Somewhere within you the ‘guru’ is installed, and without any one-to-one interaction the transaction continues. Whenever in doubts or in crisis  I am able to talk with my ‘guru’ without even talking with him. In certain extraordinary situations i would have resorted to the one-to-one interactions, but largely I have come this far with the help of the ‘guru’ within. Many times while I ponder on all that I have received from my ‘guru’, I end up tearful. The enormity of the receipt is so huge that all the ego inside me is pushed out by way of tears.

And so I learn that the ‘guru’ in the story while denying his disciple the guidance, has actually given him the greatest lesson anyone can learn. That ‘without’ can be turned into ‘within’.

This has been my experience since a decade now, whereby the ‘Guru’ has found a position ‘within’. In his distinct  style he had shared something, which for me is the articulation of the above learning. He said to a few of us, “I do not want you to be learned, I want you to be learners’.

In whatever limited capacity, with pride, I can tell myself, that I have not stopped learning and I know, the ‘Guru’ within would not let me decay ever.

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Six Essentials For Blissful Living.

28 08 2014

for blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Essentials for Blissful Living

Based on Jaina Knowledge
An interpretation by Mihir Gajrawala

©Mihir Gajrawala
Published on http://www.mihirgajrawala.com on 28.8.14

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Note : Many of the nouns and verbs used in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Ardhmagdhi do not have synonyms in English. Jaina knowledge documents exists in the above three languages. Historians and Translators (of English language) over centuries have created certain synonyms, which as per my understanding are misguiding. For eg. Vrat is made synonymous with fasting and Maya with magic or allure. Similarly Yoga is today a term which means Indian exercise system. There could be several such examples. To truly understand this words a lot of effort has to be put in understanding the context of the Indian knowledge base. However I wouldn’t say the same for vernacular translation works.

In my piece I have tried not to produce a translation. Instead the attempt is to share the crux of the subject in a totally new context. Wherever required I have made use of the original words.

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Each one of us is aspiring to be contended. In other words each one wants a permanent state of happiness. Putting it simply we all aspire to be blissful. The current order of world has prescribed us a certain way of living, a certain set of activities to be done at specific times of our lives. We all have subscribed to this prescription of schooling, economic pursuits, material achievements, wealth accumulation etc. Our common sense is enough to tell us that this prescription is not working. Than what could be the way to blissful living? How does one achieve a permanent state of bliss?

Jaina knowledge has, many eons back, discovered SIX essential activities or rituals which if executed on regular basis with honesty and belief has the potential to lead each seeker to a blissful state of being. However such a suggestion has always garnered stiff resistance and it has peaked in the current era. Before getting on to the main subject let us take a small digression here.

The two main arguments in support of resistance are: 1) the feeling that ‘rituals’ are useless and 2) the importance of theory over practice, when it comes to the domain of traditional wisdom.

These can be argued against as follows: We fail to understand that whatever we are doing today, for our living is also a ritual. A Ritual is not about a religious practice, it is about a certain set of prescribed activities to be done in a certain specific manner.

Secondly ‘Knowing’ per se is not the path, but ‘conduct’ acquired from ‘knowing’ is the path to bliss! In other words it is not knowledge, but the conduct based on that knowledge that leads to blissful existence! The essence of all knowledge is conduct and essence of all conduct is liberation. Knowledge acquired without intent for good conduct is ignorance and any form of conduct executed without the intent of liberation is an illusion. Knowledge that does not lead to right conduct and conduct that does not lead to path of liberation are rendered fruitless and meaningless, in the pursuit of blissful living.
In other words if one practices certain prescribed conduct, it would lead the seeker to the fruits that are linked with that conduct.
Simply put, a ritual is knowledge in action.

This forms the base for all the prescribed activities that a seeker must subscribe too. For all those demanding an explanation for existence of rituals should consider the above.

Now let us come back to the point.

The activities or rituals which have the potential to lead a seeker to a blissful state of being are the SIX Essentials. Before we move further let us define ‘Blissful state’. From a spiritual perspective we are aiming at ‘liberation’ or ‘moksha’. From a more worldly perspective we mean Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy relations and healthy career, a combination of these can be considered as a blissful state of being. So the essentials are a way to attain and sustain the above mentioned four states.

In Sanskrit these essentials are referred as ‘shadavashyak’ (षडावश्यक ). Shad (षड)  means SIX and avashyak (आवश्यक)  means essential requirements. The six essentials prescribed are :

  1. Samayik – To experience equanimity
  2. Chauvisathao – To cultivate higher aspirations
  3. Vandana – To develop gratitude
  4. Pratikramana – To re-calibrate the self
  5. Kayotsarga – To treat a transgressed mind
  6. Pratyakhyan – To develop discipline

These six essentials are same for both the monks (who have renounced worldly life) and the commoner. The life style of a monk and a commoner is extremely different, yet the SIX Essentials are said to benefit both of them.

Let us understand one more fact before moving ahead. Any act has three parts, 1)object/goal 2) doer and 3) method. Certain eligibility of all the three is necessary for the successful accomplishment of any act. We shall try and understand each of the six essentials with respect to its objective and its method. The focus of this article is the ‘ritual’ and hence we shall not spend much time on the eligibility of the doer. Though it is of equal importance we shall not be able to touch upon it here.

The Six Essentials

1. Samayik
Objective: the installation of the doctrine ‘I am better than none and I am lesser to none’ on the seekers mind.

The root of all our conflicts is ‘fear’ and ‘insecurity’. Fear exists in mind as it is conditioned to believe in comparisons. Comparisons lead to feelings of superiority or inferiority. Unless one is freed of these complexes it is impossible to find success in the journey to discover bliss.

In management context, unless one gains equanimity a fair and objective analysis of work done is impossible. In an organization there are only a few who are eligible for objective analysis.

In other words to be in a state of a new born child is the objective of this act. All the tools, techniques, rituals and activities that could help the effort of being in this state are ‘Samayik’. Equanimity is the true nature of every being; it remains hidden in unawareness and ignorance. ‘Samayik’ is the ritual or method or technique to discover this nature of self.

समत्वं योग उच्यते    (bhavad gita, 2-48)
योग:कर्मसु – कौशलम् (bhagvad gita, 2-50)

योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोध: (patanjali yogsutra, 1-2)

चतुर्वेगग्रनिर्मेक्षो योगस्तस्य च कारणम्।
ग्यान – श्रद्धां – चरित्ररूपम् रत्नत्रय च स:। ।  (Yogshastra, 1 – 15)

Many will find it radical when I say ‘Samayik’ is an equivalent of ‘Yoga’. To prove the point I have quoted three sages/scholars who are undisputed as far as their ability of comprehension is concerned. Sage Ved Vyasa in Bhagvad Gita has described ‘Yoga’ as equanimity and deftness of action; Sage Patanjali, helmed as father of ‘Yoga’ has described cessation of the perturbations of the mind as ‘Yoga’; Sage Hemchandracharya in his work ‘Yogashastra’ has described ‘Yoga’ as the technique to attain ‘moksha’ or Liberation. All these definitions of ‘Yoga’ are comparable to the concept of ‘Samayik’. To attain liberation, to learn right conduct, to develop equanimity, to free mind from presence of conflicts and develop stillness – both Samayik and Yoga have practically same results, which is transforming the mind of the doer.

Yoga has four types: Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Raja Yoga and Hath yoga. ‘Samayik’ falls under the ‘Rajayog’ category which focuses on mind by way of self-discipline.

To sum it up ‘Samayik’ is a form of Yoga called ‘Raja Yoga’; the practical form of ‘Raja Yoga’ is ‘Samayik’

2. Chauvisathao
Objective : To cultivate and install aspirations of higher degrees.

Men have the tendency to become what they believe in. So it is important to have right beliefs. If for someone, a small hilltop is the only peak to visit, s/he will only reach till there, but if someone knows about the existence of Mt. Everest, the highest peak, than s/he might strive to reach there. This means that the quality of one’s pursuit depends on the quality of one’s aspirations. Given this, each one should understand and imbibe the highest possible aspirations on one’s mind.

This leads us to the inquiry that what is the ‘peak’ of blissful living? The peak of blissful living are the 24 Tirtankaras, who had achieved the most any individual can ever comprehend. Hence knowing about them, and accepting them as peak of existence is the second essential to strive for. A Tirthankar is a being who has become ‘Arihant’ – devoid of all conflicts. There cannot be a higher state of being than this. Each of the 24 Tirthankaras have exhibited 12 distinct qualities. ‘Chauvisathao’ is the technique to know and develop those qualities within oneself.

I would here take another digression to explain a basic tenet of Jaina Knowledge. In Jaina knowledge there is no ‘creator’. It believes that universe was, is and will remain. In the most ancient of Jain Texts one would find reference to the term ‘Pudgal’. It is mentioned that he Universe is a ‘Pudgal’; ‘Pudgal’ means that which is created and destroyed simultaneously. Today, in modern science, the twenty first century description of vacuum states that in a vacuum state where there is supposed to be nothing, there is a constant eruption of particles and destruction of particles. Creation and Destruction are happening at the same time in a vacuum state. All these years we believed that a vacuum means total nothingness; that nothing happens there. But now we know a vacuum state is phenomenally dynamic. Creation and destruction is happening at the same time. Modern Science is saying that today. This is what Jaina Knowledge has been saying since thousands of years ago. Scientists now talk about black hole – something which is nothing yet powerful. This fundamental of physics is already discovered in the meaning of ‘Pudgal’. There is no creation and hence no creator. In Jaina School it is not about ‘being’ it is about ‘becoming’. And hence the entire focus shifts from ‘creator’ to the ‘doer’. In that perspective it is an atheist’s religion. In Jain school ‘Dharma’ is not the end, it is a means to an end; the end is becoming one’s own self, discovering one’s true nature, totally free of all influences and impressions. The Navkar mantra considered among the most powerful sound in universe never talks about any individual. It only talks about qualities and states of being. Same is applied in various suggestions from Jaina Knowledge.

Many think that ‘Chauvisanthao’ is about worshiping the Tirthankaras. That is a grave misunderstanding. The entire focus of this essential is to memorize the qualities that make a Tirthankara. AS discussed above if the reality is not about ‘being someone’ but ‘becoming someone’, the pursuit is to be more, to be deep and to be constantly turning into something more and more. We can be more only when we desire more, to be at the peak. a Tirthankar is the peark, and if the qualities of 24 Tirthankaras are remembered regularly it can have unfathomable impact on the aspirations of a seeker which eventually would positively impact the quality of life of the seeker. Science has proved that habitual doing of any act has an effect on the mind and belief system.

‘Chauvisathao’ is the ritual to do the same.

3. Vandana
Objective : To develop gratitude towards learned beings.

It is not possible to travel the path of bliss without the guidance of a ‘guru’. A guru means ‘dispeller of darkness’. In our society there are individuals who have dedicated their being to knowledge and attainment of the ultimate state of liberation. These individuals have given up on the worldly chores so that they focus all their energies in the single pursuit of liberation. We call them monks or ‘sadhu’ and ‘sadhvi’. The qualities of right knowledge, right perception, right conduct and penance are what define a monk. The practical form of it can be seen when an individual exhibits a coherence between his/her deeds, words and actions.

Respecting and surrender to such a monk is the first step to path of bliss. Gratitude is the greatest quality of a seeker, and ‘Vandana’ explores this quality of a being.

In today’s world, we ask children to celebrate Teachers Day. We ask them to develop gratitude for their teachers who impart knowledge to them. Same applies for a seeker who is set on a higher pursuit of blissful living.

‘Vandan’ or ‘Bowing’ is an act which prepares a seeker for surrender. Surrender means absence of struggle, just falling. Such a surrender can exponentially open the receptivity of the seeker and make him  imbibe the higher qualities.

Vandana is the ritual for the same.

4. Pratikramana
Objective: To recalibrate the self through introspection and retrospection.

Influenced by indifference(towards self) the soul gets displaced, the movement of soul from its displaced position to its original position is termed as ‘pratikramana’ in jain science. In simple terms the process of re-calibrating a self indulged in digressions or the process of bringing the self back to self is called ‘pratikramana’.

Many of us working in corporate environment would have struggled with frustration, resulting out of one’s inability to attain one’s goals. This happens because in every day activities we lose sight of our goals. Worse is when many of us have no goals. Such a self remains lost and dissatisfied, irrespective of one’s potential and ability. Management Gurus have formed a theory that every company and every individual should have their personal Vision and Mission statement, which on timely basis should be re-looked at, so that one doesn’t lose sight of where one is heading.

From other perspective, the main reason for this displacement is too much focus on ‘future’ or ‘tomorrow’. The goal lies in the future and hence we remain focused on future, forgetting that learning lies in the past. Learning happens from knowing what happened before, what happened yesterday. Unless this is done, one cannot gain experience. One just blindly keeps on doing. And in all possibility will keep on falling in the same puddle every day, because one has forgotten to retrospect, one has forgotten to introspect, to look within!

Such an effort of introspection and retrospection when done in a certain disciplined manner for life’s objective of attaining bliss is called ‘Pratikramana’.

5. Kayotsarga
Objective: treating a transgressed mind

In our every day routines we are focused only on our physical being. Jain knowledge says that state of bliss can be attained once the focus shifts from matter to non-matter. Self is made up of both the matter and non-matter; non-matter is trapped within the matter that is how a physical being is constructed. Matter is known as ‘ajiva’ and non-matter is termed as ‘jiva’. ‘Ajiva’ is that which will die and ‘Jiva’ is that which cannot die, it is infinite.

Kayotsarga word is combination of Kaya (body) + utsarga(upward movement, arising) , meaning the act to experience the self beyond the physical boundaries. If one is able to establish this belief that s/he is more than this body, a completely new set of possibilities would emerge.

Continuing from above example of frustration from corporate life, many times even after having a vision or mission statement, even after regularly re-looking at it, one finds unable to see any direction. This is due to extreme negative habitual patterns developed which hurt the individual’s ability and capacity. The modern Management guru’s have no great solution for such a state. The only solution offered are ‘taking a break’, ‘a sabbatical’ or ‘switch your job’ kind of non-descript acts.

However if one is focused on attaining a blissful state of living such a wandering soul is offered a technique to overcome such severe perturbations.

The ritual to do the same is termed ‘Kayotsarga’; wherein one is made to experience the non-physical part of self. Simply put it is a deeper form of meditation.

6. Pratyakhyan
Objective : To develop discipline

The path to bliss is the path to gradually ‘not do’. Slowly and silently as the seeker starts realizing the fruitlessness of his actions, he should start to ‘not do’ those actions. There are innumerable actions that a self performs. And this realization may happen over a certain breadth of time. Given this it is important to build tomorrow upon today’s realization. The method to do this is by way to taking vows of self control.

Even in modern corporate context, a management executive is asked to keep a log of his/her learning’s and build his/her future strategies based on those learning’s. Same if applied to spiritual context can take one ahead in his/her path to bliss.

‘Pratyakhyan’ is the ritual to build self-control. None of the essentials would give benefit unless discipline and self control is practiced. There are systematic tools provided to help one develop such discipline.
I haven’t gone into the details of the procedures of each ritual. As discussed above for successful accomplishment of any act – eligibility of the objective, the doer and the method – all three are important. In this piece we have attempted to understand the objective and know the concept behind the method. We are not touching the details of method nor are we discussing the eligibility of the doer.

Many will have question, that if above is done in ritualistic manner, will one attain bliss? The response to that is – apart from the efficiency of technology the eligibility of the user is also important. A tablet’s efficiency and utility changes from user to user, even if they all have the same operating system. Same applies to this bliss attainment technologies.

These six rituals are the six essential activities to be performed to attain a permanent state of blissful living. There could be other activities too, but these SIX are the essential most; the compulsory ones.

Let us sum it up :
1. Equanimity
2. Higher aspirations
3. Gratitude
4. Re-calibration
5. Meditation
6. Self-discipline.

These Six terms are to be tattooed on one’s mind. If these SIX words are incorporated in one’s life, there is no stopping to achieve a healthy body, a healthy mind, healthy relations and healthy career.

These actions (essentials) put together is what in layman terms we know as ‘pratikramana’. A ‘pratikramana’ is actually a combination of these six essential rituals to be performed in a sequential manner as part of a regular ritual practice.

It is suggested to perform this at following intervals :
• Every morning at dawn : Rayasi pratikramana
• Every evening after sunset : Devasi pratikramana
• Every month : Pakhi pratikramana
• Every four months : Chaumasi pratikramana (on full moon day of kartk, Fagun and ashadh months of Jain calendar)
• Every year : Samvatsari pratikramana

Importance is given to different essentials in this different pratikramana’s. It is a deep science; having said that more than scientific exploration, the better way to understand it would be the way of doing.

Each of this essential can also be performed individually. Important is discipline and regular execution.

In our work and businesses we do keep audits at regular intervals, in order to know where the business is going. Even employees go through appraisals at regular intervals. The point is regular check points are pre-requisite for successful goal achievement. Similarly if the goal is a permanent state of bliss, the above discussed rituals would act as check points, on the path of spiritual progression.

Post Script: I would not want to categorize the above as a piece of research. And hence I am not offering the bibliography. However the strength and quality of the interpretation attempted is capable to withstand severe critical analysis. There is no claim about my authority on the subject. The above piece is an outcome of various readings, various discussions with scholars and my own observation of ritual practices that I have been part of in my family tradition. Hence I call it an ‘Interpretation’ and not an essay. I have deliberately kept it concise to garner greater engagement. This piece shall form the basis of further research and analysis work which I intend to take up; whereby I shall look at each of these essentials in greater detail. With this I humbly accept my limited capacity of comprehension and apologize for any pertinent errors.

 सिद्धि : स्याद – वादात्।

(To accept infinite beings made from infinite expectations and infinite perceptions is ‘Syadvad’. This acceptance is what leads one to ultimate knowledge and glory )





Krishnaverse.

29 04 2014

Most of ancient Indian knowledge is written in the form of ‘verse’ known as ‘shloka’ or ‘sutra’. A sutra is like a seed, from which thoughts would emerge. A Universe is the term used to define ‘all that exists’. ‘Krishna’ – the hindu god who gave profound wisdom to his devotee and relative ‘Arjuna’, said it all in the form of verses, which is celebrated all across the world as the ‘Gita’ (song of god); this happened while the world was at the cusp of a mythical time zone.

For me and hundreds of students all of this comes through our teacher Dr. KVSM Krishna. Since classroom days to real life situations filled with dilemmas, he is a teacher who is always around to make us learn the ability to take our own decisions. Over a decade and a half a lot of us students would have interacted with him and many who continue to do so, have learn a lot  from these conversations. These conversations contain a lot of meaning for everyone who is a student of this University called Life.

A few of those conversations that happened with me, a few with someone else, but were shared with me, I am attempting to bring them here in the form of question and answers, for every student to learn and enrich himself/herself.

This i would like to term as ‘Krishnaverse’.

The next blog will be a first in this series.

 

My earlier writings on Dr. Krishna can be found here :

https://mihirgajrawala.com/2009/05/10/a-teacher-as-is-see/

https://mihirgajrawala.com/category/my-musings/dr-krishna/

Note : My faculty of memory and comprehension is extremely limited in comparison to the quantum of wisdom Dr. Krishna would have shared. The writings I present will be contained by this limitation. I request every reader to consider this as my interpretation of a conversation and not a verbose representation of what he would have said or meant. I apologize for any wrong comprehension that I might end up doing in this process. My intention is to share with many, what some of us have learn from him.

I also invite other students to share the conversations they had with Dr. Krishna over this years. I will be happy to articulate them to the best of my abilities.

 





“I wish to die, now” ranked #3 on Amazon best sellers

26 04 2014

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Our time is precious. And i firmly believe that it has to be utilized and invested on with extreme discretion. Given this as a new author, i need to be sensitive about my readers doubt. And so whoever decides to invest their time on my book, i need to give that reader a benefit of cost that they may be investing.

With this thought I am running a campaign on Amazon for this weekend, whereby my ebook can be downloaded for no cost. The campaign will last only till 8 am , 28.4.14 (pacific time). My objective is to introduce myself to a host of intelligent readers and start a dialogue with them.

And i am so delighted that in less than 24 hours of campaign being initiated, my title “I wish to die, now” is ranked #3 under the philosophy section of Kindle books collection.

(the list is updated every hour, the heartening fact is it immediately found its way in the Top 100 free best sellers in Philosophy)

I promise to make my relationship with my reader more and more enriching in times to come.

Thanks,
Mihir





” I wish to die, now ” – available on amazon Kindle

18 04 2014

 

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I took a while to prepare myself for this. It took a basket full of encouraging words from  patrons, reading enthusiasts and academicians for me to finally put my compilation out there in the market. Yes the kindle edition of “I wish to die, now” is up and available across all major amazon online stores across the globe. All you need is a kindle or a kindle reader on your device.

I genuinely look forward to this organic expansion of my thought realm by way of connecting to thousands of readers all across the globe. I am keen to see whether my thoughts are able to find a resonance in the worlds which I have never been exposed to.

Below is a brief description of the book for you to take a buy call.

happy exploring !

MIhir Gajrawala

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“I wish to die, now”, is an individual’s tryst with himself; a passionate attempt to set the self free – a self that is holed in conventions, a self that is trapped in conditions and a self that is bound by compulsions. The author uses the medium of words to let the trapped energy of within, manifest itself. These are not mere essays or articles; these are the reflections of a sensitive soul, which is craving to break out.

The reader will encounter a variety of thoughts that will make him/her get closer to his/her deeper persona. From belief systems to communal behavior, from entrepreneurship to gratefulness, from politics to friendship, from philosophical prose to romantic poetry, from essays to opinions – it is a really broad canvas, which is a potent space for an exploratory reader to dwell in.

As Nietzsche puts it, “one must have chaos inside oneself to give birth to a dancing star”; the passages in the book will take the reader closer to the chaos that exists within him/her. It will make you question, it will make you wonder, and it will shake away all your inertia and bring you closer to your true being.

Irrespective of your interest in the specifics of subject matter, the book will connect you to the thoughts presented. The book will give a fillip to your sense of exploration and wonder.

And all of these come out as scintillating word sketches from a first time author, who describes himself as an expressionist.

“I wish to die, now” will make you want to live, even more!

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here’s the link to the amazon page.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JQYK2YK

If you happen to buy the book, I request you to take time out to give your review on the amazon page. That shall really help me to know how my thoughts are being perceived.





Paradox of doing and not doing.

4 12 2013

Letter sent to The Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, seeking a private audience to His Holiness during my visit to Dharamsala with my friends in coming January.

Ahmedabad, December 2nd, 2013.
© mihir gajrawala

It is our misfortune that HHDL is not available in Dharamsala at the time of our visit. The Office of HHDL informed us of his unavailability.
I am sure that many would find a resonance in the thoughts presented in this letter. Hence sharing it here on my blog.

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Thought Map
A peep into our minds to explain the significance of being an audience to His Holiness

‘Paradox of doing and not doing‘

As entrepreneurship students we are educated to keep ourselves occupied in investing our energy in ‘achievements’. To work towards a better tomorrow, to work towards economic growth ; that you be more tomorrow than what you are today – is the mantra given. Yes our teacher did warn us to not equate this need to achieve with ‘greed’ and ‘short cuts’, but ‘achievement’ remains the fulcrum of our thoughts all through out.

A dozen winters have passed by since we completed our post graduation in entrepreneurship and set out to ‘achieve’. We are a bunch of individuals, separated by culture and geography, but bound by our sense of purpose.

Over these dozen odd winters, we have grown, we have changed in more ways than one; but our understanding still revolves around this word ‘achievement’. As any other individual, we have encountered both wonder and despair during our experiences and it has an impact on our comprehension on life. Over countless chats, numerous discussions, unaccounted hours of introspection, individually and collectively, we all have started to look at this term ‘achievement’ a bit more differently than what it was when we started our journey.

‘Sometimes things go wrong; that’s normal. But we have a saying in Tibetan, ‘Nine times fail, nine times try again’. @dalailama via tweeter

Yes we believe in the above. We exhibit this spirit in our endeavors; we manage to not get bogged down by failures. Having said that, readings of various spiritual masters have resulted in the germination of the belief that ‘any quantum of action if invested in a direction opposite to one’s nature will only generate disillusionment and dissatisfaction’.

At this point we all differ. Each one has a different perception of what this true nature is. But we all agree that none of us has ever experienced that infectious and innocent smile that we always see on the face of His Holiness. What is it that could give such perennial smile? If such a smile is the manifestation of being in ones nature, what direction may lead us there? And this makes us re-look at the concept of achievement. Does ‘achievement’ takes one away from ones true nature, does willful ‘giving up’ brings one closer to his true nature?

Does such a smile needs to be ‘achieved’ or it is an outcome of ‘giving up’ ?

We do not know. At this question we are stuck. We see a dead end. And so worldly speaking, we are in a situation where we have ceased to ‘achieve’; we are not growing any more (in our chosen fields of entrepreneurship). That is the paradox we are living in – the paradox of doing and not doing. The paradox of feeling ‘nothing’ amidst ‘everything’

We are TOTAL neither in doing nor in not-doing. We are neither someone nor are we no-one. We are neither fully Present nor completely Absent.

We do not claim to be seers or seekers. We are absolutely normal anybodies that exist everywhere. With all genuineness we accept the presence of hypocrisy in our expressions.

Who are we then? And why this mail?

Well we are a bunch of friends, 14 to be precise, who got united during our education some 13 years back. Many of us reside in cities quite far away from each other. We embark on this little vacation to discuss, introspect and meditate upon the above paradox, which we all are living in.

Our request is not to talk or debate. Nor do we have a list of questions. With above described mindset we wish to walk into the room of His Holiness, see His smile and just listen.

Legends say that Mahavira never spoke, He was only heard. We wish to have the blessing of hearing to His Holiness.

Thank You.





food for thought.

11 01 2013

During last holidays I paid a visit to my teacher. He is a wise ol’ man who loves his students. As we were talking about various things, out of my concern, I diverted the talk on his physical health and fitness.

I tried to advise him to take care of his health and get into a disciplined food intake. To try and convince him I quoted my own experiments with naturpathy and how it had helped me regain my fitness post turning 30. To be honest, I was trying to show to my teacher that I have turned wise.

For a few moments he let me speak. Finally as I ended my ‘wise talk’ , he spoke…

“Yes, I agree that I am not disciplined in what food I intake. May be I am not as frugal as you when it comes to eating.” He took a pause, his eyes fixed on mine, he asked me, “look around.” The room was filled with books, hundreds of them, across genres. In fact the place smelled of books. I almost realized my folly. I could fathom what he was going to say. He continues, “Look around, I am so disciplined in the thoughts that I intake, I am principled in consuming only that which I deem fit for my mind. I do not succumb to watching mindless TV nor waste my energy on every page of newspaper. I take care of what I should learn. And along side I take some decent care of my health too, and so by every logic I  am  better off than you – who only takes care of food intake and is blinded to the necessity of  thoughts intake.”

By the time he ended the sentence, my eyes had dropped down. I could not see into his eyes any more. He concluded,

“In all probability you will lose the immunity of both your mind as well as your body, by the time you reach my age.”

The final lines that has had a great impact on me are,

“I would have appreciated if you would have had a holistic approach on your health, on your idea of ‘disciplined’ intake, but your current attitude concerns me”, with this he ended.