Can Black Or White Be Auspicious or Inauspicious?

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Different cultures have different representation of colors; especially black or white. Let’s explore.

People wear white in Hindu funeral, while people black in a Christian funereal. Indian babies are applied black dot on the forehead to protect them from evil eye, while a temple for home is built with white marble. Throughout the world, black and white cars sell the most.

Cult practices like applying black dot on the forehead still rule in India. Black cat is considered evil. This suggests that black isn’t a favorable color, or we can say it’s considered inauspicious. Then how come, black dress and black car is favored? Why is the hair black? Even the stone Lingam of Lord Shiva is black?

I have explained in my earlier blog post about the science and psychology of color. Color is purely based on perception and is pure physics. So, are colors; especially black or white, auspicious and inauspicious or is it in our mind? Is black and white good or bad, or is it in our distorted life values, our hypocrisy?

We give adjective to each and every creature and phenomenon in nature. We give adjectives to animals, and demean them. We give adjectives to time, duration of the day, and disrespect natural process. Is black or white the culprit or is it our dead conscience?

The Great Black Indian Dot: Protection Or Superstition?

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The evil eye is a curse believed to be cast by an ill glare, usually given to a person when they are unaware. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury.

I don’t know about other cultures but I definitely have seen Indian parents tying black threads and applying a black dot on child’s forehead. It’s quite ridiculous as per my limited knowledge because it defies the true essence of religion and spirituality. In fact, it questions the existence of the almighty; which is anyway a topic of discussion.

Cult practices like tying black threads and applying a black dot on child’s forehead is unscientific, illogical and might give a wrong signal to the generations to come. Let’s explore from my point-of-view.

It’s believed, in all cultures, that a child has come from the almighty’s home. The child is innocent, pure and nearest to God. The child is nearest to God, innocent, pure, fearless, positive and full of divine energies. The child is the most resilient creature on planet and doesn’t need protection. In fact, the adults are most vulnerable and need protection and if these cult practices have to be practiced, it should be done on adults not children.

Children are a heritage from the Lord. Psalm 127:3-5.

Following a particular ritual blindly is also a sin; as per ancient scriptures. Faith has to be with true understanding; only then it’s real benefit might be achieved. Upanishads emphasize a lot on understanding the essence of rituals and practices. It also guides us to be logical and not fall into trap of ignorance.

Lead us from ignorance to truth, lead us from darkness to light, lead us from death to eternity. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

Thus, I really feel that we should stay away from such illogical, irreligion and unscientific cult practices that bring shame and demean the entire existence of such a beautiful creation. I don’t know about right or wrong, but I feel we shouldn’t follow it blindly because others are doing it or our older generations have been following it. It might give a wrong message for the generation to come and they might fall in trap of superstitions and make a wrong image of religion.

 

Exploring Reincarnation The Scientific Way

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Let’s first understand the meaning of the word reincarnation. The word reincarnation is derived from Latin, and literally means entering the flesh again. This also translates to changing forms.

Reincarnation is the philosophical concept that an aspect of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death. It’s also called rebirth or transmigration, and is a part of the doctrine of cyclic existence. It’s a central tenet of Indian belief systems like Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism. The idea of reincarnation is found in many ancient cultures, but does it have a scientific explanation?

In my perspective, yes. It does. Let’s explore.

When a living organism dies and is buried in soil, the particles—that make the body—are broken into many sub-atomic particles and get merged with the soil with support of many micro-organisms. The particles are transferred into various living organisms like a plant. Then, the plant grows into a tree and it’s cut for wood to make furniture. In this way, the furniture has the same particles that were once a part of the plant; and those particles were a part of the living organism that dies and was buried in soil.

Quantum Physics and Law of Conservation Energy also explains a part of the philosophy of scientific reincarnation. Thus, reincarnation, if looked in a purely scientific purview, is possible and is happening every moment.

The Tree Of Life

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No, this article is not about deforestation but this is about me. I am a selfish person and most of the blog posts are about me or things that revolve around me.

Being selfish has opened doors for me like never before. It’s because of being selfish that I got the opportunity to introspect, and begin a self-study tour; what we usually call spiritual journey.

From a distance, it looks like I was doing a lot of social work, getting connect to supreme spirit. But the fact it that I was looking inside, connecting with myself.

The photograph of this half-cut tree has many meanings for me—vulgar display of power, road to somewhere or nowhere, journey is process, tale of valor and sacrifice, helplessness, transformation, and of course the simplest of all of it; deforestation. But, I am sure something is about to happen; something is on the way.

The state of the tree looks like that of my heart; after the heart-break of 2001 and again of 2005. My heart was not sure why was it broken? And the best part was that it remained half broken for a long time. There was some work going on; it was in a process of being crushed or in the path of transformation.

After a lot of introspect, I realized that my heart was as old as the tree in the photograph. In fact, it might be more ancient as Indian mythology has lot of information about the eternal soul.  Maybe, my heart is also in the transformation process like the tree in the photograph.

This is 2017, and Mumbai is upgrading. The news of deforestation is everywhere. Some say that thousands of trees will be cut, some say these trees will be a martyr in the war of development, and some say that these trees will be a reason for transformation of the city.

Million mouths have million words.

I read somewhere that there was no oxygen on planet Earth. Then came these green beings and provided oxygen for human to evolve. I have also heard that one prince became the great Buddha under a tree. I have also observed women in India tie threads around a tree and offering prayers. I also remember my father telling me bed time stories that had a tree as the main character.

Our world like a banyan tree that has different branches. Bhagavad Gita 15:1.

Bhagavad Gita is all about transformation and through the above quote it has something radical to offer; in my little understanding. On one hand, it brings out the importance of a tree and on the other side it brings on the importance of impermanence.

Nothing is permanent, as per all ancient scriptures. And be it Bhagavad Gita or Quran, all scriptures emphasize about a supreme doer. So, the question is who is cutting the trees? Is it human or is the supreme doer? Is mythology a truth? If there is an eternal soul what are we cribbing about? Does the concept of soul exist or is it only for humans? Is there something as death or is just transformation of one form into another? Is spirituality rational or is it just good for books? If everything is anyways going to end one day what are we lamenting upon? So many questions and so less time.

There are 7.5 billion people in this world. All of them have different perspectives? It’s difficult for me to understand who is right or wrong? Everyone is full of half knowledge and subjective perspective. Scientists, philosophers, spiritualists, activists, rationalists, believers, non-believers, politicians, artists etc. All have their own logic and reasons.

The whole world is full of contrasts. Opposites. Who is right? Who is wrong? I don’t know. If I don’t take this side, this group is angry, if I don’t that side, that group is irritated. Everyone has taken one side—have chosen either black or white. But, I am in the grey and I think most of the life happens here; at least for me.

Whatever, but this photograph has raised a million questions in my mind. It has ignited a cold fire of finding the truth, the eternal truth. Is this development? Can there be any other way? Because all the cities were built by massive deforestation. I am sure there might be more sides to this.

Humans are considered as most intelligent species on the planet and I am sure there might be more ways to progress that we can achieve collectively instead of just blaming or clapping.

 

The Will Of A Dying Tree

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This photograph by an alert citizen—Abhay Azad—is haunting me. As soon as I saw this photograph, I rushed to the venue to meet this tree. My parents left us without any will and I know how difficult the life ahead is without a will.

The photograph of this half-cut tree has many meanings for me—vulgar display of power, road to somewhere or nowhere, journey is process, tale of valor and sacrifice, helplessness, transformation, and of course the simplest of all of it; deforestation. But, I am sure something is about to happen; something is on the way.

With this in mind, I met the tree who narrated me its last wishes. We, together, made a will and recorded its last wishes:

  1. I want my visible assets to be given to the poor employees of the contractor of municipal authority. They’re are poor and each and every part of me might bring in prosperous for their family. I want all my visible assets to be of use to someone or the other.
  2. I want people to address me as a martyr. I have lived all my life for service and I want to die in service. I am a green-warrior.
  3. It will be great if some of my torso can be used to build little homes for the birds that I hosted. They’re my family and I don’t want them to be homeless again.
  4. I understand, that I had to leave. Everyone has to leave one day but I am proud to be sacrificed in service of my country, in service to my people, in service of development.
  5. I want the current and next generation to cultivate more green-warriors like me that can lay down their life in the service of nation.
  6. I want my invisible assets i.e. goodwill, kindness, gratitude and love to set an example for coming generations.  I won’t be there, and maybe many more like me won’t be there but life goes on. Goodwill, kindness, gratitude, compassion, love and all of that has to continue. Let’s fill the world with colors of love. Nothing is permanent—cultivate more of me and I shall never die.
  7. I am being sacrificed for progress and I wish my people, whom I served all my life, to progress not only materialistically but also morally, holistically and spiritually. I don’t have any regret from the people who have given me an opportunity to be a martyr. I share my gratitude and forgive them.

A tree is known by its fruit; a human by deeds. A good deed is never lost; one who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and one who plants kindness gathers love. Saint Basil.

This tree has been a giver all its life and will continue to give, forever. In the last moment also, it was sharing its gratitude and thinking of contribution.

The tree was positive about the future, positive about the sensibilities of human intellect. It had faith in the divine system, design thinking, technology and more trees that shall be cultivated.

It shall never die. You and me will die, it shall never die—givers never die.

The Strangest Question On Earth

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Why are they selling roti here?

This is what he said when he went to a restaurant for the first time in his life. This is the line that has ripped my heart. It’s one of the most philosophical questions I’ve heard in my life. For me, this question has left behind the greatest philosophers of human civilization.

I met little Bhuria in a tribal village that isn’t even on the map of India. He is young lad who knows nothing, absolutely nothing about the world outside his tribal village. The village mentor did and experiment and took few children outside the tribal area for the first time, and he took them to a restaurant.

He, and other children, had never seen such thing called restaurant and they were totally psyched out. In their village, the children go in any home and are offered unlimited food. The village works on community living system, fondly called as gift economy.

Our little angel is an example of completely innocent being that exists in today’s world. He is totally unaware of the outside world. He doesn’t know what the country is, Earth is etc. but he knows to cook food, clean his utensils, cook for others, share, keep his land clean, and love his motherland.

There are thousands of wonderful questions floating in every field of studies but this question is something out of the world. Such innocence can only win heart and create a new perspective in heart that is contrast to the rat-race and consumerism we’re victim of. It encourages me to think that where are heading by selling even basic necessities and needs of us humans.

I thank the almighty to have created such clean and innocent being. He’s such a great teacher of innocence and unlearning!