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Durga Pooja – The Source of Invincible Energy

Durga Pooja – The Source of Invincible Energy

Land of India is not just limited to a great and sacred culture but it is also a holy hand of gods where many incarnations of the divine have manifested. There are many Puranic stories related to these incarnations. The whole universe, including the sun, stars, planets, constellations and five elements […]

Buddhu sa mann hai – Kapoor & Sons

Buddhu sa mann hai – Kapoor & Sons

While the first song I chose in the “Feel the music” section was intense, poetic, romantic and deep, second song is fun, exciting and full of life. It’s also one of my favorite song – Buddhu sa mann hai from the movie Kapoor & Sons. […]

Mumbai rains – the flip side

Mumbai rains – the flip side

Mumbai rains have been news of the nation in last 24 hours. I switched on news channel to see the mumbai updates. Switched it off in 2 minutes. I opened my whatsapp and am flooded with more messages on dangers and alerts of mumbai rains than the flood in mumbai itself.  I myself was out whole and had reached home at about 5pm. On my way I would stop by to click some beautiful pics of Mumbai. At some of the places my car tyres are drowned to almost 75%, driving slowly, trying to figure the potholes and its size by the movement of the vehicles ahead of me. Looking around at bikers and seeing them wearing windcheaters and raincoats that are totally of no use. On a bridge, my vision is totally blurred coz of heavy rains. All I could see is whiteness and rainshowers. After 4 hours of drive I reached home. Enjoying the view from my window, allowing rains to pour in my house and playing with raindrops. I was very hungry after a long drive. Maggie came to be a savior. After some time, I saw people are all set to go for 5 days Ganpati Visarjan. I was like wow! That’s what so special about this city of dreams. Mumbaikars have a different spirit altogether. And I saw that everyone is so capable to help themselves as well as others. But the news channels and whatsapp and facebook adds so much of drama around it. Drama not in the sense that people are having troubles. But they are sometimes hyped, they create panic, they spread rumors and so on. This kind of a situation in Mumbai has its own beautiful flip side too if we just don’t look at the struggles that we face for 1 day. I would like to share some of the good things I came across during this crisis.

Alerts and dangers are issued in public interest. Roads are flooded. But visarjan is full on. That’s the spirit of Mumbai. That’s why people say Mumbai never sleeps.

Beauty of rains!

Food Distribution at rustomjee dahisar west to needy person who loss house in yesterday rain

MUMBAI POLICE: They are always there the unsung heroes.

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KEM HOSPITAL

National park highway bridge. Posted by Rajesh jain with message:

Next time you put concrete in River…. remember…

next time you cut trees … remember…

next time you cut mangroves remember….

next time you throw plastic on the road and rivers remember….

This is how nature will give you back all of these things.

Tweet by Anand Mahindra:

Mumbai local train—or Hovercraft?

 

Why Mumbai gets flooded even in slightest rains?

Marine Drive after heavy spell of rains. ❤ (Picture courtesy: Shreyansh Sheth)

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Another beautiful aspect of these floods:

All over internet relief center details were being circulated. During such crisis, everyone unites and help each other. You see only one religion and one class in these crisis and that’s HUMANITY. Mandir, Masjid, Church, Dargah, people living in slums, people living in small and large apartments, restaurants and hotels, all were just there to help everyone.


And there were rumors too 🙂 Like fall of chakala bridge. This rumor was being circulated on whatsapp along with some old pictures.
Another one was Crocodiles are in waters near powai. Please be careful. This too was being circulated along with pictures.
Cyclone alerts and so on. I remember the day when I was stuck in Train in about 2007. I went to office at Opera House in heavy rains just to know that I can go back. Of course I used to travel by train – from Charni road to Malad. Looking at the conditions, I knew I might get stuck. I called home to update my parents on the situation and asked them not to panic if I late or I reach late evening or tomorrow morning. Consider I am stuck coz of heavy rains but also know that I am going to be safe. Well in 2007, there was no whatsapp and facebook too was new. Not many people used it. Especially not on a mobile. There were no rumors or panicky messages to share with people. I got in train from Charni road and it was stuck between lower parel and dadar for 5 hours. I boarded the train at about 11am from Charni Road station. Train started moving slowly after 5 hours. I reached malad station just to walk on roads with waters upto and above my knees. I remember that I reached home at about 8 or 9pm. Yes, it was inconvenient, struggle but also adventurous. I didn’t have control over rains or floods but I had control over what I do. First thing was to tell my family that I am safe and on my way. I even told them, don’t worry if my mobile is not reachable (battery may go down, or network issues or anything is possible in such rains). Second, I knew I may get stuck before boarding the train. Luckily I found a street food vendor, selling vada-pavs. I bought 2 vada pavs, chips and bisleri. I knew I would get a chance to picnic in the train. I chose to enjoy in that moment in whatever was available. More importantly I didn’t have whatsapp or BBM or FB app on mobile to create panic in me or others. But I had an mp3 player to enjoy music. And I also had my Nokia Nseries – N72 to click pictures. Nseries was one of the first mobiles with better cameras than others available at that time 😛 . That moment was just too perfect with all its imperfections – heavy rains, stuck in train, almost empty trains, sitting near the door, eating chips and vadapav and music. What a feeling yaar? Before such messaging apps too Mumbai have been flooded, in much more worst ways. Everyone helped back then too. Everyone had to go thru their own journey back to home and each one of them can be a wonderful story. Let’s enjoy these stories instead of being so dramatic about it. 🙂 And just look at Mumbai. It has already restored its pace. Do you ever wonder all weather alerts we get are so incorrect. If its raining heavily today, immediately we get messages with the forecast that next 48 hours there’s going to heavy rainfall, cyclone, floods, etc. etc. Next day, sun says, ok challenge accepted and there are no rains at all. :P. Why didn’t they gave us the forecast a day before the heavy rains? Lol. This is so funny. Anyways, I hope all enjoyed their heavy rainfall and floodwala journey. Am sure you have your own story to tell. Let life give you some more situations to tell the story! Have fun!

Mumbai Rains – picturesque beauty

Paryushan or Das Lakshana Parva

Paryushan or Das Lakshana Parva

Generally, festivals are celebrations characterized by excitement, enthusiasm, and enjoyment; Jain festivals are characterized by renunciation, austerities, study of the scriptures, and repetition of holy hymns by reciting Sutras and Stavans, meditation, and expressing devotion for the Tirthankars. Paryushan is the most important festival in […]

Fourteen Dreams

Fourteen Dreams

Mahavira was the last Jainist Tirthankara. People call Lord Mahavira by different names such as Vira or Viraprabhu, Sanmati, Vardhamana, Ativira and Gnatputra. When it comes to the values of Jainism, Lord Mahavira deserves a special mention, as he was the one to establish the […]

I like Villians more than Heroes

I like Villians more than Heroes

Breaking news! It’s absolutely normal to do so. Sounds like a big relief, right? Like you, there are many more people who find Joker more interesting than Batman, Lord Voldemort more fascinating than Harry Potter and so on…. One of the major reason for this is; Villians are flawed like we all are.

There is no such thing as perfect and as ideal as any movie, comics, books or series hero. Empathy is the strong emotion that we have and helps us understand a character. Psychiatrist Carl Jung once said, the real reason we find interest in evil characters is because these villians force us to ‘confront and understand our own hidden nature to grow as human beings’.

Nothing in the world is black and white or as simple as good and bad. Even good guys are susceptible to wrong doings or making a wrong decision. We, as human beings are all Heroes in some areas and Villians in other areas of our life. And it’s completely normal. No one is born evil and no one is destined to be good. We are full of emotions – love, hate, anger, fear, anxiety, guilt, resentment, jealousy. Whatever you feel, all are valid. That’s also another reason why we all like villians. They feel all the emotions that come natural to we humans.

Know that, just because you like villians, it doesn’t mean you believe in ripping people off or believe in carnage or crimes they do. It simply means you believe in all these emotions. Let me put it in another way, would you ever approve of terrorists killing the innocents? No, never. See point proved.

When it comes to movies, books, comics and series, its reverse. Not because villians are bad and heroes are good. But, because heroes just don’t sound realistic. Besides on a lighter side, villians have better clothes, they are cool, have better dialogues – especially the monologues at the climax, they have a background to be evil where you empathize, they are more creative than hero, they get to be cruel when they want to be, they have freedom of speech and the list is long.

Villians have free-will –  not constrained by rules and regulations or morality. We are tied up with time-tables, hectic daily routines, exams, jobs, sleep on time, wake up early, we have scheduled time to play and do home-work, go to coaching classes, arts classes, sports classes, projects, and so on. Hardly any time left in a day to do what you love. At the end of the day, we are all exhausted. We feel villians are liberated soul. Villians get to go wild as a character, you and me have to be descent, smiling and good to everyone all the time. Villians can blow up in anger anytime they want, they can insult anyone they want. But as a hero, you are too good to do that or suppress those emotions to look good.

Psychologically, in some or the other areas of our life we find ourselves as victims. So better villain than a victim. Emotion of anger feels better to us than the emotion of anxiety or fear. A victimized person who cannot figure out ways to take responsibility, will become destructive for the need of self-assertion. A person with healthy mind would rather take accountability and deal with the consequences.

You like villians not because you like villians. You like villians because you don’t like those all perfect heroes or you just cannot like them – because they personify perfection and idealism, which is not realistic. We have to choose either this or that. We are trained to first figure out things we don’t like instead of what we really like. For example, from a buffet of ice-creams, you are asked which one you want, you would first check all the ice-creams laid in the buffet, make a mental note that there’s Sitafal ice-cream, Strawberry ice-cream and chocolate ice-cream and say ‘I want chocolate’ ice-cream. Majority of the people choose something because they don’t like the other in the given choices. You choose chocolate flavor because you don’t like Sitafal or strawberry flavor. If there’s another flavor that you like, say, butter-scotch, you would be confused which one to have because you like both. Complex emotions. You will choose what your senses relate most to or to put it in another way, you chose the one you like the most.

Now consider you are a hero and your problems and struggles as villain. What would you say about this? So now you like your problems? Will you feel heroic when you overcome them, just like a hero defeats villains in the end? A hero only appears as heroic as the challenge he or she has to overcome. Villians move in and out of a story to reveal how heroic a hero can be. Great heroes require great villians.

You are the hero and villian of your life. The problems and struggles you face today will help you grow and move on to another level of your life.  On a new level, there will be new challenges and so on. You are a hero in whose life villians will keep moving in and out at different stages. Each one of us is a hero with villians in our life who he is there to help us grow. Villians are not bad and heroes are not good. Both are equally needed, both are good at something, both are bad at something and both are average in something too.

Keep affirming to yourself and believe that:

You are perfect the way you are and the way you are not. You are unique and special. You are loving, loved and lovable.

I can feel you. (my first POEM)

I can feel you. (my first POEM)

I can feel you His eyes staring at sky Living the moment A drop of tear rolls down from eyes Let them be, let them flow For the moment you are living twice One in present and one in your memories That you spent with […]

Kashmir Issue – 70 years.

Kashmir Issue – 70 years.

This year we witness the 70th Independence day of India and 70 years of Kashmir Issue. We all know about Kashmir issue in bits and parts. If not in detail then atleast one thing that two countries (actually 3) are fighting for a piece of […]

Dalai Lamas

Dalai Lamas

Everyone is aware that Dalai Lama is the political and spiritual leader of Buddhism. But what exactly does Dalai Lama mean?

The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. In Tibetan, Avalokitesvara is known as Chenrezig.

He is responsible for all religious and cultural matters in Tibet. The First Dalai Lama was Gendun Drup, he was born in 1311. There have been 14 Dalai Lamas until now.

When the Dalai Lama dies the Buddhist Council of Tibet searchs for the reincarnation of him. He is then trained and assumes position of Dalai Lama at the age of 18. “Dalai” means “ocean” in Mongolian (the name “Gyatso” comes from the Tibetan word for ocean). “Lama” is the equivalent of the Sanskrit word “guru,” or spiritual teacher. Put together, the title of Dalai Lama is literally “Ocean Teacher,” meaning a “teacher spiritually as deep as the ocean” or “ocean of wisdom”.

In 1578 the Mongol ruler Altan Khan gave the title Dalai Lama to Sonyam Gyatso, third in a line of reborn lamas of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. The title means “ocean of wisdom” and was given posthumously to Sonyam Gyatso’s two predecessors.

In 1642, the 5th Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso, became the spiritual and political leader of all of Tibet, an authority passed on to his successors. Since that time the succession of Dalai Lamas has been at the center of both Tibetan Buddhism and the history of the Tibetan people.

All 15 Dalai Lama’s:

GEDUN DRUPA, THE 1ST DALAI LAMA

 

Gendun Drupa was born to a nomadic family in 1391 and died in 1474. His original name was Pema Dorjee.

He took novice monk’s vows in 1405 at Narthang monastery and received full monk’s ordination in 1411. In 1416, he became a disciple of Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa School, and eventually became Tsongkhapa’s principle disciple. Gendun Drupa is remembered as a great scholar who wrote a number of books and who founded a major monastic university, Tashi Lhunpo.

Gendun Drupa was not called “Dalai Lama” during his lifetime, because the title did not yet exist. He was identified as the first Dalai Lama several years after his death.

GENDUN GYATSO, THE 2ND DALAI LAMA

Gendun Gyatso was born in 1475 and died in 1542. His father, a well-known tantric practitioner of the Nyingma school, named him Sangye Phel and gave the boy a Buddhist education.

When he was 11 years old, he was recognized as an incarnation of Gedun Drupa and enthroned at Tashi Lhunpo monastery. He received the name Gendun Gyatso at his monk’s ordination. Like Gedun Drupa, Gendun Gyatso would not receive the title Dalai Lama until after his death.

Gedun Gyatso served as abbot of Drepung and Sera monasteries. He is also remembered for reviving the great prayer festival, the Monlam Chenmo.

SENGDROMA GYATSO, THE 3RD DALAI LAMA

Sengdroma Gyatso was the only female Dalai Lama so far. Actually there are have been 15 Dalai Lamas so far. The current one is 15th one and not 14th one. Sengdroma Gyatso is not listed as Dalai Lama by many. Hence with her the count is 15 and without her the count is 14.

SONAM GYATSO, THE 3RD DALAI LAMA

(4th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)

Sonam Gyatso was born in 1543 to a wealthy family living near Lhasa. He died in 1588. His given name was Ranu Sicho. At the age of 3 he was recognized to be the reincarnation of Gendun Gyatso and was then taken to Drepung Monastery for training. He received novice ordination at the age of 7 and full ordination at 22.

Sonam Gyatso received the title Dalai Lama, meaning “ocean of wisdom,” from the Mongolian king Altan Khan. He was the first Dalai Lama to be called by that title in his lifetime.

Sonam Gyatso served as abbot of Drepung and Sera monsteries, and he founded Namgyal and Kumbum monasteries. He died while teaching in Mongolia.

YONTEN GYATSO, THE 4TH DALAI LAMA

(5th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)

Yonten Gyatso was born in 1589 in Mongolia. His father was a Mongol tribal chief and a grandson of Altan Khan. He died in 1617.

Although Yonten Gyatso was recognized to be the reborn Dalai Lama as a small child, his parents did not allow him to leave Mongolia until he was 12. He received his early Buddhist education from lamas visiting from Tibet.

Yonten Gyatso finally came to Tibet in 1601 and soon after took novice monk’s ordination. He received full ordination at the age of 26 and was abbot of Drepung and Sera monasteries. He died at Drepung monastery only a year later.

LOBSANG GYATSO, THE 5TH DALAI LAMA

(6th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)

Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso was born in 1617 to a noble family. His given name was Künga Nyingpo. He died in 1682.

Military victories by the Mongol Prince Gushi Kahn gave control of Tibet to the Dalai Lama. When Lobsang Gyatso was enthroned in 1642, he became the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. He is remembered in Tibetan history as the Great Fifth.

The Great Fifth established Lhasa as the capital of Tibet and began construction of Potala Palace. He appointed a regent, or desi, to handle the administrative duties of governing. Before his death, he advised the Desi Sangya Gyatso to keep his death a secret, possibly to prevent a power struggle before a new Dalai Lama was prepared to assume authority.

TSANGYANG GYATSO, THE 6TH DALAI LAMA

(7th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)

Tsangyang Gyatso was born in 1683 and died in 1706. His given name was Sanje Tenzin.

In 1688, the boy was brought to Nankartse, near Lhasa, and educated by teachers appointed by the Desi Sangya Gyatso. His identity as the Dalai Lama was kept secret until 1697 ​when the death of the 5th Dalai Lama finally was announced and Tsangyang Gyatso was enthroned.

The 6th Dalai Lama is most remembered for renouncing monastic life and spending time in taverns and with women. He also composed songs and poems.

In 1701, a descendant of Gushi Khan named Lhasang Khan killed Sangya Gyatso. Then, in 1706 Lhasang Khan abducted Tsangyang Gyatso and declared that another lama was the real 6th Dalai Lama. Tsangyang Gyatso died in Lhasang Khan’s custody.

KELZANG GYATSO, THE 7TH DALAI LAMA

(8th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)

Kelzang Gyatso was born in 1708. He died in 1757.

The lama who had replaced Tsangyang Gyatso as Sixth Dalai Lama was still enthroned in Lhasa, so Kelzang Gyatso’s identification as 7th Dalai Lama was kept secret for a time.

A tribe of Mongol warriors called the Dzungars invaded Lhasa in 1717. The Dzungars killed Lhasang Kahn and deposed the pretender 6th Dalai Lama. However, the Dzungars were lawless and destructive, and the Tibetans appealed to the Emperor Kangxi of China to help rid Tibet of the Dzungars. Chinese and Tibetan forces together expelled the Dzungars in 1720. Then they brought Kelzang Gyatso to Lhasa to be enthroned.

Kelzang Gyatso abolished the position of desi (regent) and replaced it with a council of ministers.

JAMPHEL GYATSO, THE 8TH DALAI LAMA

(9th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)

Jamphel Gyatso was born in 1758, enthroned at Potala Palace in 1762 and died in 1804 at the age of 47.

During his reign, a war broke out between Tibet and the Gurkhas occupying Nepal. The war was joined by China, which blamed the war on a feud among lamas. China then attempted to change the process for choosing the rebirths of lamas by imposing the “golden urn” ceremony on Tibet. More than two centuries later, the current government of China has re-introduced the golden urn ceremony as a means of controlling the leadership of Tibetan Buddhism.

Jamphel Gyatso was the first Dalai Lama to be represented by a regent while he was a minor. He completed the building of Norbulingka Park and Summer Palace. By all accounts a quiet man devoted to meditation and study, as an adult he preferred to let others run the government of Tibet.

LUNGTOK GYATSO, THE 9TH DALAI LAMA

(10th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)


Lungtok Gyatso was born in 1805 and died in 1815 before his tenth birthday from complications from a common cold. He was the only Dalai Lama to die in childhood ​and the first of four that would die before the age of 22. His reincarnated successor would not be recognized for eight years.

TSULTRIM GYATSO, THE 10TH DALAI LAMA

(11th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)


Tsultrim Gyatso was born in 1816 and died in 1837 at the age of 21. Though he sought to change the economic system of Tibet, he died before being able to enact any of his reforms.

KHENDRUP GYATSO, THE 11TH DALAI LAMA

(12th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)


Khendrup Gyatso was born in 1838 and died in 1856 at the age of 18. Born in the same village as the 7th Dalai Lama, he was recognized as the reincarnation in 1840 and assumed full power over the government in 1855–only a year before his death.

TRINLEY GYATSO, THE 12TH DALAI LAMA

(13th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)


Trinley Gyatso was born in 1857 and died in 1875. He assumed full authority over the Tibetan government at the age of 18 but died before his 20th birthday.

THUBTEN GYATSO, THE 13TH DALAI LAMA

(14th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)

Thubten Gyatso was born in 1876 and died in 1933. He is remembered as the Great Thirteenth.

Thubten Gyatso assumed leadership in Tibet in 1895. At that time Czarist Russia and the British Empire had been sparring for decades over control of Asia. In the 1890s the two empires turned their attention eastward, to Tibet. A British force invaded in 1903, leaving after extracting a short-lived treaty from the Tibetans.

China invaded Tibet in 1910, and the Greath Thirteenth fled to India. When the Qing Dynasty collapsed in 1912, the Chinese were expelled. In 1913, the 13th Dalai Lama declared Tibet’s independence from China.

The Great Thirteenth worked to modernize Tibet, although he didn’t accomplish as much as he hoped.

TENZIN GYATSO, THE 14TH DALAI LAMA

(15th for if we do not consider Sengdroma as Dalai Lama)

Tenzin Gyatso was born in 1935 and recognized as the Dalai Lama at the age of three.

China invaded Tibet in 1950 when Tenzin Gyatso was only 15. For nine years he attempted to negotiate with the Chinese to save the Tibetan people from the dictatorship of Mao Zedong. However, the Tibetan Uprising of 1959 forced the Dalai Lama into exile, and he has never been allowed to return to Tibet.

The 14th Dalai Lama established a Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala, India. In some ways, his exile has been to the world’s benefit, since he has spent his life bringing a message of peace and compassion to the world.

The 14th Dalai Lama was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2011 he absolved himself of political power, although he is still the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Future generations are likely to regard him in the same light as the Great Fifth and the Great Thirteenth for his contributions to spreading the message of Tibetan Buddhism to the world, thereby saving the tradition.

 

 


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