Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to overcome ill effects of planets?


The skies were getting dark. There was a gentle breeze. The dark clouds simply stopped to move over head. There was no sign of the bright moon. Gurudev's hair were gently floating around. A time to sit back and enjoy his mere presence.

The satsang today was several notches higher than yesterday. Yesterday Gurudev had to intervene to give it some life.

Gurudev was enthusiastic about the rapid fire questions on Sunday Satsang. The team asking the questions went overboard. Sometimes in over enthusiasm we are not able to sense the guidance provided by the master.

First sign.
The master was eager to come and sit.

Second sign.
Even during his meditation the master was capturing the minds of his devotees. Finally, when he brought the mike closer he wanted to stay in the moment. A time and sign for the restless to display some patience and wait. Such is the time when knowledge directly comes from the master without any questions.

Third sign.
The people asking question said "Children"
Gurudev said "What about children?"
They said "The word is children".
Gurudev did not answer. Still they did not get it.

Next word was "Jai Gurdev". Gurudev tried to deflect it but then started playing the rapid fire game slowly and steadily.

Jai Gurudev
    Yeah, we use it everywhere, wish in different types of day, for thank you, welcome, in excitement and so on.
   
Shopping
    Do not do spiritual shopping.

Relationship
    Difficult to maintain harmoniously but one should nevertheless try and not give up.
   
I forgot the rest. If you remember do leave in the comment.
   
Finally, since the signs were not getting through. He said, enough, a little of everything is good.

They did not get it, fortunately stopped the rapid fire and asked a question instead.

Meanwhile Gurudev was fidgeting with Bhagvad Geeta, opened it and closed it. He seemed to be in the mood to start next chapter but then closed it and kept it aside.

He went ahead and answered the question on "The fear of Rahu and Sani causing fear, losing faith".

    It is a good time to go inward. The whole objective of shani/saturn is to let you go inward. Once you are settled with your inner being shani has no role to play in your life. Same is true of Rahu or ketu. The moment we are lost in the outside world shani and friends come and give us little jolts here and there to wake us up.
   
    Astrology is jyotish vidya, its the spark/light that takes you to your true self. Its science so its little knowledge helps but getting overwhelmed by it is detrimental. Its nice to blame planets which are far away for the mistakes in and around you. Atleast, you are not blaming yourself or people close to you. That way the blame is getting deflected to something which is far away. You cannot go and make it right there so instead you have upchaar or corrections which you can make here.
   
    The best correction is to go into the devotion of the supreme lord of all planets, Shiva. Just chant "Om Namah Shivaye" and you will be freed of all ill effects of planetary movements. You still may have problems but they will be mild.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Enthusiasm and Commitment


On a lazy sunday afternoon when most people hit the bed after watching movies like Jolly LLB, I too was at the crossroads.

The choice was
  1. Agree to tamas (तमस) and allow the human body to sleep in the day 
  2. Go to ashram and witness satsang in Gurudev presence
The family said No for accompaniments. They went to sleep.

The other usual suspects were not going or were in Ashram.

I said, I have to go (commitment). Anyways its 3 hours and its worth spending in the company of the master. The tamas vaporized. The decision made. The movement began. 

I did not want to take my car (enthusiasm) as I was alone.

When I was walking towards the main gate of the apartment complex, I was wondering about the 3 km walk to nearest bus stop to take the BMTC bus (public transport - commitment) from konankunte cross roads. I remembered another soul which has moved in Brigade Gardenia (apartment complex) recently. I had earlier messaged him and did not want to disturb thinking he would be snoozing by now. Since , no reply came I did not dare call. 

But, with my tamas dispersed I placed the call and he asked me to wait for 5 mins. I waited on Main gate for 20 mins and he did turn up. We went to the ashram to attend the satsang at 4:30 PM last sunday, in his car. 

The satsang was not so vibrational so Gurudev rendered a song and lead and showcased the satsang mandaly to raise their level. Heres the video of the same




There was a rapid fire from children doing the Ancient Wisdom and Colors of Joy programs in the +Art of Living ashram. Here some excerpts.

Enthusiasm and Commitment
There are two ways to get a job done. Either you are entusiastic about it or your are committed to complete it. When you take your own car out to go somewhere its enthusiasm. When you take public transport then its commitment.

Seva
It should be part of your life.

Sri Sri
Always there for you.

Ashram and art of living
To make you happy

Anger
Just a little to initiate action

Devotee
Few lucky ones

Cricket
In bad shape

I forgot the rest, if you remember do add them in comments.

During the satsang he also read a research report that quotes that Jersey cow milk is the cause of many diseases because of excess of some strain of protein whereas the desi cows have another strain which is beneficial to human body. What milk do you drink or give your kids?

devotees rapt in masters attention


Friday, May 24, 2013

Why is death so fearful?

The fundamental fear is of death.

Let us prove it.

Death by definition is dying of human body. When this body becomes lifeless, it is called as death. It is fearful because what you witness as lively human being is suddenly motionless and cold. Sometimes it's painful and other times its unnoticeable.

If you want to know what happens, before, during and after death then find time to listen to Katopanishad - a commentary by HH +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji.

Here we will work on the premise and try to prove it. Yes, the first sentence in this blog.

For proving, I will borrow a term "mini death" from the commentary. It will  differentiate death from the one that signifies loss of human body. "mini death" is not the loss of human body, clear. Ok, lets continue.

If I want Masala Dosa, the restaurant does not have it. What happens?
If I want promotion, the manager ignores me completely? What happens?
You are offered fruit after you had heavy breakfast. What happens?
You want to go for a movie show, the friends simply want to stroll? What happens?
You want pizza but your family takes you to burgers. What happens?
You are asked to make the most imported presentation and you stammer. What happens?
Your proposal to most beautiful girl (according to you) gets rejected. What happens?

What happens is  "mini death"?

When your desires die without expected outcome your state of being is in mini death.

The outcomes of mini death are visible and can be experienced in human body and mind.
Some of the outcomes are

  • its okay
  • how can you do so
  • how can you be so unreasonable, irrational, selfish, insensitive ....
  • i have been harboring this desire for so long and now you kill it 
  • if you were not my spouse i would have ...
Some of the feelings that come through are 
  • anger
  • frustration
  • worry
Let us explore worry. Worry gives longevity to mini death. It gradually diminishes life out of you. The more you worry the more you mini die. You build life on fear foundation. 

So you build a pattern. You desire something and when you act of the desire there is this overwhelming fear that something will go wrong. As Gurudev says "fear needs to be like salt in food and not the food itself otherwise food becomes uneatable". 

The expression of the fear in the body is pain. That is why the constrictions happens in the breath, the breath get short and quick. There is thickening near chest. There is churning in the stomach. 

The expression of the fear in mind is suffering. Worry being a glaring example of same. Its like holding the garbage can and moving around with it. The mind has the capability of recording and replaying your suffering.  The more it replays the deeper the impression becomes. The deeper the impression the harder for you to erase it. 

Then what is the cure. Sleep and or MEDITATION.

The pain in the body can come and go, you cannot have pain for 24 hours. If you are not able to release the stress in the body your sleep will. In sleep you allow nature to heal your body and mind without you knowing it. In meditation you heal your body and mind knowing it and hence its manifold powerful than sleep.

They say in meditation we die, 
when we die each time we meditate then fear of death also dies. Then we start to live.

When the real death happens you don't even notice it. "You have eaten death

The above quote is by by HH +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji in his commentary on katopanishad. To know the complete death story buy and listen with your friends to the kathopanishad. It should be available any +Art of Living divine store near you or by phone at 1800 258 8888 in India.


Where do thoughts come from?

At times you wonder, do you create thought or are they created for you? If I am not the thought generator then how do they come into existence? If its a mystery still, then read on, you may stumble on some truth.

Thoughts have a certain purpose. They express in words. Words have their limitation but thoughts are made up of words and thus have limited expression. There is an urge to express and that urge is fulfilled via the thought medium. Now, what is that urge to express? Why is it so strong? Why can't it be controlled, regulated?

It is said that thoughts simply come. You cannot regulate or plan for your next thought. They just pound and pouch at their own leisure.

Its a beautiful phenomenon if you love laid back experience. These days nobody wants to touch the remote or the mouse and change videos, they should simply keep playing, changing as we warm the couches.

Today in sahaj meditation similar curiosity arose, a question to know the origin of thought. And some insights were found. Hold on, will share with you in a moment. These days of reality shows have enforced those ticking moments before truth is revealed. You can have your ad break if you wish.

okay, so here we are for the finale.

Impressions are etched all across and in every cell of ours, from many life times. They are fully exposed and visible in human body and lifetime (To know what happens to them after death, listen to kathopanishad - a commentary by HH +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji).

Impressions have an urge to express. One component of that expression is thought. Thought may result in action or inaction. In either case if the thought is not allowed to pass the way it came then it creates another impression (this observation is also called as meditation). And the cycle continues.

If the expression of impression is simply observed and let go then it erases itself from your blueprint, your DNA. Thus, it is observed that people who have been meditating for a while have little or no impressions left.

What happens when all impressions are erased. Infinity is born. Light is visible. Your true self comes into the fore. The self which has been playing hide and seek comes aplomb with full expression. Sometimes your body cannot take it and you are confused but it does not retires and keeps coming back.

When the self expresses, its poem, painting, music, dance, inventions, blessings....

So if you are still feeling thick and dense inside, let it be. Learn any meditation and regularly practice it. Someday you too will be a complete expression of bliss.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
content inspired by Gurudev's commentary on Kathopanishad - that unravels and reveals mysteries of death ...To know the complete death story buy and listen with your friends to the kathopanishad. It should be available any +Art of Living divine store near you or by phone at 1800 258 8888 in India.

bottomline --

The knowledge of death springs life....

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bliss or Bananas


Yesterday in the QnA post Bhagvad Geeta discourse Gurudev mentioned to a question from kids doing Ancient Wisdom course that

"What should be take away from Ashram?"
What do you take from a supermarket? When you go to a mall you take what you want? Do you ask me what should I take from supermarket? Same thing happens when you come to ashram for a course or seva or just a visit. 
People who come to ashram can take whatever they want. Some take prasad and go, some take some more and others take bliss and go. You can take bliss or you can take banana, the choice is yours. Also, you can leave all your worries or concerns here. 
Pain and love
 If you run away from pain you will run away from love to. Let it happen. A little pain is essential. It could be because of your karma or it could be the natural way. 
See when you come into the planet there is so much pain to you and your mother. Coming out of womb is so much pain. You have been floating and happy for six months in the womb. You did not even have to chew your food, it was directly supplied to you. Suddenly the water goes away and you have to come out. When you come out you cry. If you don't cry then others cry. If you cry and others pour their love on you. The endearing eyes of your mother, the smiles and adorations of your uncles, aunts, grandparents and all. A little pain followed by so much of love.  
But once you are established in spirituality then there is no pain. The eternal bliss is the state of the self, your atma.
Childrens goals and focus
As young ones you must learn many skills. Until you cross teens do not stop acquiring more and more talents. Learn to sing, dance, paint, languages be jack of all trades. Do not set a target or a goal that you have to become this or reach there now. Play and learn. Once you grow up then you stick to one thing. 
नाडी दोष
Two of my friends are in love and their parents are in agreement too but their horoscope shows nadi dosha for them and they are confused as to what to do. 
Guruji said "शहनाई बजने दो। " let marriage happen.
Some highlights from the commentary of Chapter 7 of Bhagvad Geeta.

Karma
People with bad karma cannot come to satsang. You can try but they will not be able to come. Even if they come there mind will be elsewhere. 
आत्म-सत्ता
हमें अपनी आत्मसत्ता मैं स्थिर होना चाहिए। हमारे चारों और सब कुछ बदलता है लेकिन एक चीज़ है जो नहीं बदलती और वोह है हमारी आत्मा सत्ता। हमें यह जानना जरूरी है।
पाप और पुण्य
लेकिन हम कब अपनी आत्मा सत्ता मैं कब विस्वास करेंगे। जब हमारे बुरे कर्म अंत हो जाये और हमें अच्छे कर्मों का फल मिलने लगे। यह हमें प्रभु कृपा से मिलेगा या फिर यह मान सकते हैं की जब हमारी श्रद्धा इतनी हो जाये की हमें गुरु के सिवा कुछ और न दिखे तो यह संभव है. 
Spirituality
अध्यात्म
जब पाप और पुण्य का हिसाब किताब हो जाता है तब अध्यात्म जनमता है। तक तक आपको कुछ चीजें अच्छी लगती है और कुछ चीजें परेशान करती है. इन अच्छी बुरी के dvaand/संघर्ष मैं आप लगे रहते हो. बुरे कर्मों के जाल मैं फंसे रहते हो। अध्यात्म सब को नसीब नहीं होता। जो इस संसार की योग माया मैं अटक जाते है उन बेवकूफों को तो बिलकुल ही नहीं। जो मुझे नहीं जानते है उन्हें तो कभी नहीं मिल सकता।
अध्यात्म मैं तुम्हारा पुण्य कर्मों का ऊदय होता है। तुम प्रकाश हो यह जान लेते हो। 

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Image courtesy Swami Madhusudan ji.
Content inspired by talk by +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji on Bhagvad Geeta.
Location courtesy - +Art of Living international ashram, bangalore
Tip: If you want to be blessed by Swamijies then they generally occupy the last row on left side of Gurudev on most satsang days :), you can see some of them in the picture above too... 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Four types of people find love


तीन गुण
भौतिक शास्त्र ने माना है की यह सृष्टि को चलाने के लिए तीन चीजें चाहिए। जैसे पंखे को चलने के लिए तीन पंखुड़ियां चाहिए, दो से नहीं चल सकता। एक लोलक (पेंडुलम) मैं जब तक चाबी भरी हो तब तक चलती है और फिर रुक जाती है. 
भगवद गीता मैं भी श्री कृष्ण येही कहतें है। यह संसार/ब्राह्माण तीन गुणों से चलता है।  सतो,रजो और तमो गुण। यह तीनों भगवान् से उत्पन होतें हैं पर यह भगवान् नहीं होते। जो इन गुणों मैं फँस गया है वोह मुझे नहीं पा सकता। मैं इन गुणों से परे हूँ। मैंने इन्हें जन्म दिया है पर यह मैं नहीं हूँ।
परमात्मा को पाने के लिए उनकी कृपा जरूरी है. उनकी शरण मैं  जाकर इस मोह/माया जाल से तर सकते हो. बिना उनकी कृपा से कुछ नहीं होता। 
संहार
भारत ही ऐसा देश है जहाँ संहार को भी पूजा जाता है। इसलिए शिव को भगवान् माना है। बाकि जगह तो संहार को शैतान का रूप माना है जो देवता से अलग है। 
ब्रह्मा का तो सृष्टी निर्माण लगभग पूरा हो गया, अब विष्णु और शिव जी को अपना काम करना है.  
भ्रम
 तमो गुण भी भगवान् की कृति है. माँ काली का भयानक रूप भी भगवान् का ही है. माया का काम है की तुम्हे इस भ्रम मैं रखे कि हाँ अब सुख मिल सकता है। भ्रम भी भगवान् की कृति है।  
प्रेम और मोह
मोह सुख की कामना से होता है। कुछ पाने की चेष्टा होती है। इसलिए माँ का बचे के प्रति मोह , पति का पत्नी के प्रति और सब प्रकार के मोह। यह सब दुःख देते हैं क्यूंकि इनका दृष्टिकोण संकीर्ण होता है, यह सिर्फ अपने अहम् तक ही सिमित रहतें है।
प्रेम सबके प्रति होता है, उसमें सब आते हैं। जब हम प्रेम मैं होतें है तो दुःख हो ही नहीं सकता।
 In the US there was a lady who was conducting a seminar on "How to find and be in love?". She herself was 8 times divorcee and must have learnt all the things that are required to break a marriage and must be sharing her experience. 
निंदा और सम्मान
जब हम निंदा करते हैं तो जिसकी निंदा करते हैं उसके गुण धारण कर लेते है। यह निंदा की धारणा है. लेकिन जब प्रशंशा करते हैं तो कुछ ही समय मैं भूल जाते हैं।  
अक्सर देखा गया है की हम संसार को दोष देते हैं, यह गन्दा संसार है, यहाँ तो दुःख ही दुःख है. लेकिन जब हम प्रकृति का सम्मान करते हैं तब प्रकृति हमें इस संसार के परे ले जाती है. एक और दुनिया मैं जहाँ न तो कुछ घटता है और न ही बढता है. कुछ भी अव्यय नहीं होता। बस एक असीम सुख और शांति बरकरार रहती है.   
भग्वद गीता मैं श्री कृष्ण कहतें हैं कि  चार प्रकार के लोग मेरी शरण मैं आते हैं। शरण मैं आने के लिए यह लोग कुछ अच्छा कर्म करते है जो इनको मेरी कृपा दृष्टि मिलती है.

  1. दुखी 
  2. कुछ पाने की कामना से 
  3. जिज्ञासु 
  4. ज्ञानी 

दुष्कर्म और दुःख
कोई अच्छा कर्म ही तुम्हे दुःख दे सकता है।  सृष्टि मैं किसी भी प्राणी को दुःख पसंद नहीं है और न ही वह चाहता है।  लेकिन जो दुष्कर्म करता है उसे इसका आभास भी नहीं होता। इसलिए वह नरों मैं अधम ही रहता है। वह  काँटा चबाता रहता है और भ्रम में रहता है की यह सुख है। उसे यह खबर ही नहीं रहती की उसके मुंह मैं काँटा है।
दुःख मैं हम गुरु या परमात्मा की शरण मैं जा सकते है।  शरण मैं हम चरण की महिमा समझते है। 
दुःख का एक विकृत रूप होता है जिसमें लोगों को अभिरुचि होती है, उस दुःख से प्रभु नहीं मिलतें है।
In the US there are advertisements in newspaper asking for partners who can chain and beat them everyday, who can slap them with shoes everyday. This is a distorted side of the pain. This has been accepted by scientist as possible state of human mind where it is in a state where these kinds of pain is pleasurable, they may have had a childhood where they got shoe treatment everyday and considered it as integral to life. Here guruji made it clear that he was not seeing those advertisements because he was looking for such people. The whole ashram amphitheater was in peels of laughter and everyone felt so light after heavy dose of knowledge. 
 कुछ कामना हो
हम हर छोटे काम मैं भगवान् की , गुरु की कृपा मांगते है तो वोह काम आसान हो जाता है। हर काम मैं भाग्य का महत्व है। काम शुरू होने से पहले अगर हम गुरु का आशीर्वाद लें तो उसके सफल होने की सम्भावना बड जाती है. 
जैसे विध्यार्थी परीक्षा के पहले मंगलवार को हनुमान जी के मंदिर के सामने प्रसाद अर्पण करते है. या आपको पार्किंग नहीं मिल रही हो तो गुरु को याद करते हैं।  
एक बार प्रभु की कृपा मांग कर फिर जोश से काम मैं जुट जातें हैं। यह नहीं की अब तो गुरु मेरे सारे काम कर देंगे और हाथ पे हाथ धरे बैठे रह जाते हैं। 
जिज्ञासु
जो लोग जाना चाहते है की यह दुनिया क्यूं हैं, मैं कौन हूँ, यहाँ आने का मेरा मकसद क्या है। 
ज्ञानी
जो लोग जानते हैं मुझे और सिर्फ अपनी कृतज्ञता प्रकट करते हैं। जो कहतें हैं "मैं जो भी हूँ आपकी कृपा से हूँ ", "मुझे जो भी मिला आपकी कृपा से मिला". जो लोग मुझे जानतें हैं वोह ही कृतज्ञ हो सकते हैं। 
जीवन मैं यह चार स्थितियां आती जाती हैं। हो सकता है हम दुखी अवस्था मैं गुरु शरण मैं जाएँ लेकिन समय के साथ हम कृतज्ञता के पात्र बन जाते है. फिर हो सकता है की दुःख आये और हम गुरु की तरफ फिर से अग्रसर हो जाते है।

The self, Guru, Atma, God are all same. They refer to one and only one thing and that is love. To find love you need to surrender to the divine. To surrender you need the grace of divine. The grace is always flowing but there are only four kind of people who can connect to this grace and they are the people in

  1. Pain 
  2. Desire
  3. Seeker
  4. Wise

You can be in any of the above four state if you have done some good karma in the past. Even the evil/obsessed person does not realize that without the grace of the Guru nothing works in the world. They start work independently and display confidence outside but are seething in pain/confusion inside because they don't progress on the task the way they have planned. They have discounted the luck factor and thus suffer due to the same. That is mostly the state of atheists. But a good act somewhere shift their attention to pain and a genuine suffering brings them closer to the divine.

--------------------------------------------------
Image courtesy Swami Madhusudan ji.
Content inspired by talk by +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji on Bhagvad Geeta.
Location courtesy - +Art of Living international ashram, bangalore
Tip: If you want to be blessed by Swamijies then they generally occupy the last row on left side of Gurudev on most satsang days :), you can see some of them in the picture above too...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rekindle passion


Why is passion not understood well?
What is passion?
Is passion destructive to spiritual growth?
Is passion one sided road to hell?

Passion can confuse.
When you work in the world you will get into many types of people. Some intelligent and some foolish. A misguided passion/जोश may want you to be jealous of intelligent and make mockery of the foolish. Jealousy could lead to unhealthy competition. Mockery could further dip their morale.

In your drive to success become aware of what you ransack. Your bulldozing attitude may have been hard earned but may not be the way of success.

Success happens when you gain and everybody around you also gain.
It is not when other around you are crushed. Their evolution is as much your responsibility as theirs.

Seeing God in Guru is simple, anybody can and does experience divinity in the realized masters.

Seeing God in foolish person around you is challenge and requires effort. These are the people who dwell in your mind and in your meditations. They come and stay put in your heart. The more you try to drive them out the harder they stay put.

Wisdom is to see God in everyone in meditation. Once in the world see them as they are. If they come as thief then you become police. If they come as patient then you become doctor. If they display anger you counter it with serenity. And so on. Do it passionately and regularly.

Take up project that evolve you as well as the society, the people around you. If you passion is to create wealth for the self alone then you may be limited but if your goal becomes to create wealth in the society then you will get back in manifold. Same with environment, natural resources, social evils ...

Distribute your energies. They are for the world.

Let your passion be to create a better world, for you and people around you.

---------------------------------------------
Inspired from words of wisdom by +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji on the occasion of his birthday at beautifully built Guru Paduka open air amphitheater at +Art of Living ashram at Bangalore.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Every moment a celebration

Love
It is your very nature. If you do not have tension then you express love. You are made up of love. 
Young ones watching TV
Kids till 5-6 years of age should NOT be put in front of TV. The cartoons and other programs activate their brain more than their age and later they become dull for life. If necessary, beyond six not more than one hour of TV per week for kids.
Surrender
What is yours that you can surrender? This body is Gods. Everything in and around you belongs to THE GOD. When I say Surrender it only means to unload yourself of the weight that you are carrying, the lack that you are experiencing, the worry, the botheration, the tension that you are living with. Offer it as आहुति to me, into the feet of your Guru, your loved one, anybody who is very dear to you. Just feel the release, let go.
 Types of questions
You know there are five types of questions that people ask.
  1. Out of misery, pain
  2. Out of Anger
  3. Out of the space that they know and to check if you know or not
  4. To make their presence felt
  5. Genuine -  जिज्ञासु 
 The first four are not looking for answer. They just want to be heard. The fifth one is a seeker and knows that you know the answer and therefore asks with all sincerity. 
 What to do when you receive such question? 
  1. Listen grimly, do not smile else you will get quite a mouthful
  2. same as 1 but you may be thrashed too if you smile
  3. say "Oh, you know so much, I really don't know answer to that" and with a smirk uplift the spirit of other some more
  4. They would look here and there after the question and you too look here and there and don't answer.
 Every moment a celebration.
In India we celebrate New Moon Day as well as the Full Moon Day. The moon has certain effect on the mind. Your regular days need not be morose. Make everyday a celebration, एक पर्व की तरेह हर दिन होना चाहिए। 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 The above points were provided by Gurudev +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in +Art of Living  satsang at Bangalore ashram on 7th May 2013.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The dark side of Orcha

Once fortified and majestic ....

Orcha had its glory period. Orcha has occupied a significant spot in history. It has also been a scenic beauty, with jungles, hillocks and a river to boast of. God too has decided to settle down beside the regular temple to teach a lesson to level the ego of the King from those times.

Orcha is going through a tourism boom.
Foreigners abound in season time. Locals with with luggage on head walk around visiting temple, hardaul baithak, hardaul samadhi, remembering the legacy of the bygone era. They are the sincere tourists.
mysterious tree near hardaul samadhi

Sun setting over hardaul samadhi

Orcha is gaining religious importance. There was a time when it would be difficult to find someone to ring the bells in Shree Ram Raja Temple during aarti. Now uncontrollable masses gather there at specific times of the month to seek blessings.

Orcha is also decaying. The following was observed and noticed during the recently concluded Ram Navmi.
  1. Opium (Ganja) is freely consumed on banks of Betwa.
  2. The chatraps are used as liquor den wherein drunkards drive in and empty bottles from late evening.
  3. There have been incidents of call girls imported to entertain guests. 
  4. Vehicles move vigorously and with continuous honking. 
In a beautiful gathering of Ram lila there were masses burning cigarettes and bidis and chewing paan. There were town girls/ladies in little skirts laughing with derelicts, drunkards. 

In the keshav Mahakavi sammelan, organizers had to chase away kids from front of stage, rest of the area was occupied from villages from neighbourhood villages and districts, the so called teerth yatries not poetic aficionados. They simply sleep in the open, take bath in the morning in the polluted Betwa and get darshan of the God. 

At about 10 PM when sincere poets are rendering their poems the people are scampering to collect their few puries and sabzi. They keep the food on the organizers chairs and eat and organize their own personal kavi sammelan. 

There are regular thefts in the neighbourhood. There was one in the temple premise too. There are specialist thieves who look out for couples seeking privacy in historical monuments and torture them to release money. 

The political party leaders deflect the ground reality and are only concerned to make as much before their tenure ends. A national phenomenon. Cannot blame Orcha alone for same. 

There is tourist police too. They simply warm their chairs in the evening of their duty.  

A village now with crime patterns of a city. 

A ticking time bomb. 

Monday, May 06, 2013

Corrupt Indian railways TTE/TC in Sampark Kranti Express

Date - 29th April 2013
Day - Monday
From - Jhansi
To - Yeswantpur

Karnataka Sampark kranti express was late by about 10 minutes. The tiles were being laid on Jhansi station platform number 3. The tile lair was spitting tobacco around the work site, putting cement glue on top of it, then the tiles and then the measure to check if they were getting aligned properly.

Few college students from Andhra, with chappals and unkempt hair, with laptops hanging from shoulder and some full pants were raised by few folds were chatting around the trolley that carries goods items.

Two gentlemen were confused if their sampark kranti was on this platform or was it another on other platform.

A full bodied gym going muscular educated class youth, aged around 25 was throwing plastic from the biscuit and namkeen packets near his foot and munching along with his uncle.

I kept sipping drops of precious water that my dear mother had packed for me.

The train came and people negotiated the tiles near the bogies under construction, trying not to slip on the sand and get under the train instead of in the train.

The AC 3 tier was way behind and I kept walking for a long time. Unfortunately, this time around too the seat was a upper berth near the door. The bottom was packed with luggage. I requested and they minced words before they made space for one bag. Some lady going to bhopal was lying on my upper berth. Her son was spreading his legs on lower berth.

Suddenly few more genuine seat holders came and the ladies with fake supremacy had to take their luggage and leave their captured seat  from delhi. They were muttering "TTE has given to us, and these people are taking away our seat".

A software engineer bound to Hyderabad, came and asked to vacate the window seat because that belonged to him.

A fauji (army man) came along with his friend. Along enquiry it was revealed that his friend was on waiting list but they confidently planted their luggage underneath and complained about the earlier ladies capturing the seats and luggage space. They had their food. He offered me also and I said No, thank you.

I urged them to talk to TTE so that the waiting list guy would atleast have some place to sleep in night. The TTE was going up and down without pausing to check our tickets. Finally they realized and stopped the marching TTE on one of his trip, he instinctively gestured them to come out, near the door. He offered them another seat in another coach. It was a middle berth. His customer service so cool that he offered another seat at another place in case they did not like it. The following happened near the door
TTE- 500
fauji - 100
fauji - 200
fauji - I cannot give more than 300. TTE agreed and the ticket was confirmed.
The fauji was a young recruit who would be serving in the India defence. ANother fauji had server 17 years and was going for retirement. TTE did not even spare them.

The fauji asked me to take the bought seat but I said it was middle and I would prefer upper berth.

Bhopal came. The powerful lady and her family of four who had captured my seat on top left. Another software engineer bound to Hyderabad came and he said he would not mind taking my seat. Another gentleman came and said B1-62 is mine. My nervousness had peaked. Thankfully, the fauji intervened and the man retreated with the same confidence which demanded the seat before "TTE has given me the seat, why dont you talk to him." to "Okay, the TTE will give me another seat".

I intercepted the Jhansi to Bhopal TTE. A tall and bulky man with frenchie. He was quite confident "I have not given your seat to anyone". But you have also not checked that I had boarded train. The train started moving and he jumped out with his loot. He did not even collect the excess fare from all those who had boarded from Jhansi incurring losses of thousands of rupees to Indian government. But who cares about the government who has given the job and lifestyle when the choice comes to warm their own pockets.

I started moving towards the new TTE who would be in charge from Bhopal to Nagpur. Another location of ruckus where local goondas has slapped another genuine seat holder demanding the seat "TTE has given the seat to us." Ah! the godly TTE.

The fauji asked us to come back. Later in a minute or so he went along and met the TTE.
Fauji -  B1-62 is boarded from Jhansi.
TTE - it is not marked in my chart.
Fauji - The Jhansi TTE did not come to check.
TTE- Its your responsibility to let TTE know that you have boarded.
Fauji - he was sick and came in and slept off so he could not come ( a blatant lie that saved the berth for me)
TTE -  okay

Later when the TTE came to check for berths, I showed him my ticket.
TTE - Did you board from Bhopal
I - No
TTE - Then let me complete checking for people from my mohalla Bhopal and then I will check yours
I - The Jhansi TTE did not collect excess fare (I was feeling guilty of not paying the excess fare)
TTE - The other TTE should have collected it, I have to worry about my mohalla.
The guy had so many seats that another family who were distributed all over the place got seating next to each other in another mohalla.

The smart software engineer from Jhansi quipped, they have added 2 more AC coach and that is why the TTE were minting gold even in peak season like this when the tickets were booked almost 4 months back. Even then I had waiting that was confirmed later.

We discussed about nexus of booking clerk-on duty TTE-agents and other officials. Everybody else was eating money in India except us. Why?

Disqus for dsteps blog