Busy? Read this!

Before I start, I suggest you read this blog very slowly, mindfully, reflecting, and trying to answer every question you come across throughout the blog, till the end!

Busy? Who is not? Everyone is busy. Everyone’s busy in some kind. Whether they know it or not, many people use the word ‘busy’ very often than necessary. Does that mean they are more aware of it? Not necessarily. Actually to most people, the reality is far from it. Before I get into that, I feel like I should address this first.

How do you know?

I’ve come across people who use ‘busy’ most probably out of compulsion and all to avoid or give a valid reason for their absence. I’ll tell you what, never say you’re busy, to your close ones! Never ever! And if possible, restrain yourself from saying it to anyone, for that matter! Sure, you might have been occupied. You may convey the same, by saying – ” I’ll call/chat/see to it after my class, or meeting or ______ is completed”. Because sure you may be busy. But the word ‘busy’ does not give any clue on the significance of the kind of ‘busy’ you’re in. And hence, it doesn’t suggest you’re busier than the other person. How do you know? And do you think that your ‘busy’ is more significant than the other person’s? How do you know? Do you think that the person who reached out to you for anything is enjoying life not trapped in time? How do you know if the other person did reach out to you despite his ‘busy-ness’? How do you know?

Do you know?

Why do you think you are busy? What kind of ‘busyness’ are you in? Are you aware of how much time is occupied by each particular action you perform in your daily life? Are you aware of the answers to these questions? I mean, I’m not saying you should have an excel sheet measuring each of your activities. That would be against what we’re trying to do here, it would be time-consuming, instead of time conserving. Speaking of tracking time, are you aware of your screen time? Are you truly occupied that much that it’s hijacking your freedom? Or, Are you using the word ‘busy’ to instill more significance into your life?

Know!

Try to know the answers to those questions mentioned above. Be aware of what kind of tasks occupy your daily life, and the significance of each of those tasks. Be aware, first of all, of the necessity of the task you’re executing. What I mean, is to urge you to wonder if the activity you’re performing, is even necessary. If you observe your daily actions, you’ll come to know many aspects of your personality. Your daily actions show your priorities. And your daily activities determine your life. Meaningful & balanced daily activities = Meaningful, balanced & fulfilling Life. Hence get aware of your time spent on various activities. Track your screen time (most smartphones now come with a “Digital Wellbeing” feature in-built ). And once you track, observe and look for patterns and see if your words and actions are matching. If not, there’s a lot to work on, within yourself.

A screenshot of the Digital Wellbeing app on my phone showing my screen time.

Do you find yourself scrolling through social media for hours and yet on the other side, do you find yourself complaining you don’t have time to read books, meditate, or make art? You have a lot to work on! But no worries, as I always say, once you are aware of a problem, you’ll soon be aware of its solution as you now work on that problem that you are aware of.

One of the best ways to think about conserving and getting better time management is to parallelly think in terms of energy, along with time. Many times, if we can find ways to conserve energy (not compromising productivity or effectiveness), we end up conserving time too.  And sometimes, strategically expending energy on certain activities can give you back more time to you later! Ex: Expending your energies on reviewing your week, planning, exercising, writing in your journal, and meditating can actually save a lot of time.

And we must realize, that it is not only in actions. Our bodies and mind are also constantly busy. So you ask yourselves, how well you are utilizing each of those types of activities – mind, body, and action at hand. What all do you use your brain power/brain time for?

We all have heard “It’s not lack of time, it’s lack of priority”. But have you realized it?

Everyone is busy. All that matters is what they’re busy at. Living meaningful, balanced, and hence fulfilled life, or merely existing, meaningless, unbalanced, and hence unfulfilling loop of time.

I request you to ponder over the questions you came across, in this blog. And if necessary, feel free to read this blog twice!

Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Live a little?

Live a little? There’s little truth to it. Or in the right words, it’s a part of the truth.

PLANES OF REALITY

The universe, the reality, consists of various planes of reality. Imagine, layers, planes that are forming this reality. If the topmost layer is the absolute truth, the bottom layers are the truths of the transactional reality. And sometimes we are confused due to this. We do not consider the idea that all truths are not of the same significance, or in other words, we don’t dive & think enough to know the deeper truth.
I’ll be writing more about (such) confusions, in the future.

This blog is about one of the examples of such confusion. Ok, let’s get into it.

LIVE A LITTLE?

If you have to say to yourself “Live a little”, then what that means is that you are not living otherwise. You are not living a fulfilled life, you are existing far from Life! So, the phrase “Live a little” is only relevant then. In other words, It makes sense to take a break and live a little, if you’re not already living it.

What that statement is actually trying to say is, at least for once in a while get off the rat race.

However, that applies only to (the majority of the population), who’s actually in the rat race, i.e, pursuing meaningless doing meaningless.

It does not apply to you, who is living a life that’s filled with meaning, a balanced life, a life of service to humanity, a life of fulfillment. You don’t need to take time from ‘thriving’ to ”live a little”. Does that make sense?

If you’re already living a fulfilled life, you don’t even need to stop to think about ”living a little”, because you are ‘thriving’, i.e, you are living your life to the fullest!

REST & RECOVERY

However, the phrase ‘Live a little’ is not to be confused with active recovery/rest period. Active recovery is required for ‘thriving’, hence, it is part of Life! A peak performer knows what he’s doing, he also knows recovery is part of peak performance, so he ensures he gets enough active[intentional] recovery period regularly. He’s resting and recovering so as to live more and thrive to the fullest of life he is. So, rest/recovery is definitely a necessity, however, it must be to ‘thrive’, to live to the fullest, and not to ‘live a little”.

At the beginning of this blog, I mentioned the idea of the existence of planes of realities/truths. I hope by now (after reading the blog), you’re able to notice that ‘Live a little’ belongs to lower planes of reality. ‘Live a little’ is undoubtedly true and good advice for one in the rat race. But we must see deeper. Can we possibly try to abandon the race itself? Can we make our lives a journey where the journey itself is the reward and not what may come after? Can we stop postponing ‘Living’? Can’t we live & thrive ‘now’ rather than simply existing in the anticipation to live in the future?

What I mean to convey through this blog is that, Start living in such a way that you don’t have to ask yourself to ”Live a little”. By the way, if you are interested to know more about living a fulfilled life, you may find it helpful to read my book “The Flower of Fulfillment“.

Thank You
Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Worm & The Wise

We’ve all had that one friend who everyone called ‘a bookworm’ or at least we know someone who our parents called a bookworm. And of course, there are people who your parents call smart (in honor of their exam scores) but you’ve realized them to be just ‘a bookworm’.

It’s been a topic of interest for me for a long time. When people notice someone who reads a lot, they label them as either a bookworm or a Wiseman. What distinguishes between the two? But of course, in this blog, I’ll not be talking about what people think of another person, instead, we’ll be seeing, objectively, what makes one a wise person? And when is a person not wise, but a worm?

We all know almost intuitively the answer to these questions. And yet, we either fail to even ponder these questions, or we fail to use the insight from them in our lives.

We’ve come across people like this. One who reads a book similar to ‘Built to Serve’ or listens to a podcast called ‘Greatness Guide’, but fails to respect & serve the old members of his/her own family. One who has read a book similar to ‘Atomic Habits’ (or Power of Habits) and yet fails consistently to install any new good habit and remove his/her bad(compulsive) habits. One who has read a book called ‘The Alchemist’ but has failed to pursue his/her dreams. One who reads a book called ‘The War of Art’ and yet fails to even remember the last time they defeated their resistance to make art. We’ve also come across one who has read a book called ‘Courage is Calling’ but still fails to make the leap, in other words, he fails to be courageous enough to stand for himself.

A person who reads a lot of books, but does nothing concerning what he has read can be referred to as what we all call ‘a bookworm’. [ It’s sad that most students of Gen-Z are in fact, bookworms, whether they realize it or not.]

And the irony is, it is these kinds of people who talk ill of books, especially non-fiction, and even specifically, self-help books. They would have the right to speak of books if at all they had tried implementing what the books have offered in their own life.

Books are a tool that can help us understand reality. However, bookworms don’t see it that way, they probably think what they read is entirely different from reality. Forget about understanding reality, they aren’t able to connect what they’re reading to their life.

The Wise, however, is quite the opposite. All he reads is quickly turned into wisdom. And hence it is in his every cell and action. Of course, when I say reads, I not only refer to reading books, but I refer to all forms of consumption. Podcasts & lectures he listens to, videos & even the movies ( with great values in them) he watches, everything, everything that he consumes, he reflects on to turn them into wisdom. [Which is also the equation I present in my book too for the wisdom petal, Knowledge + Reflections = Wisdom ].

 Of course, it is not a new philosophy, it has been part of Jnana Yoga for ages. It is referred to as SHRAVANA, MANANA, NIDHIDDHYASANA. Shravana is the consumption as I mentioned earlier. Manana is the contemplation or reflection. Nidhiddhyasana is the meditative & final stage that leads to enlightenment. However, it’s not to say that these must be in sequence only, they can be and must be practiced parallelly for the best growth in terms of awareness.

And also, it’s not possible to just consume knowledge without reflecting on it.

The more the power of knowledge you have, the more the power of reflection you require!

From my re-flect-citation notes

 [Observing your thoughts, i.e, self-reflection becomes very important as your brain thinks more and more. And more complex problems.]

Containing the power of knowledge is not an easy task. It’s very hard and risky.

From my re-flect-citation notes

No wonder the bookworms do not act on what they’ve read because they’ve actually not learned/realized anything, he has just read through. Without reflection, it’s not learning, because it won’t stay.

However, the Wise becomes the wise because he knows & will manage to balance and contain the power of knowledge.

So here’s the question underlying the core of this blog, Are you wise or a worm? And by the way, if you’re not a reader, you may not be a book worm, but you have all the chances of being just a worm. : )

If you haven’t yet, you can choose what you want to be, from now on. Just ponder about what you’ve consumed and recheck whether you’ve lived up to it.

Now go back to the top of the blog and start reflecting on it.

Thank You,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Monthly Wrap! (June)

Monthly Wraps are blogs that are up on the last Sunday of the month which include:

  1. Blogs of the month
  2. Book recommendations 
  3. What did I curate? Resources I’m binging on – of course, I’ll be choosing the major ones. Just a brim of how much I curate!
  4. Reminders & Reflections to ponder – Of various of my reflections of the month, I’ll choose one or a few. And some re-realized reminders!
  5. My writing journey/ my book updates 

Here’s June’s “Monthly Wrap!”

Blogs I wrote this month:

  1. Blog 58: Understanding Advaitha | Part -1 | Advaitha relative to Dwaitha
  2. Blog 59: Understanding Advaitha | Part -2 | Myth-busting
  3. Blog 60: Understanding Advaitha | part – 3 | Why these discrepancies?
  4. Blog 61: Monthly Wrap! (June)

NOTE: I’ll pause the “Understanding Advaitha” series for now. To simplify and try to convey Advaitha’s core philosophy relative to what people already know, so that it’s easily understood, and then, busting myths around Advaitha, and finally explain the root causes for those myths.  I hope I have given enough for someone who’s beginning to understand Advaitha and that was the only intent behind this initiative.  So, Until I have another intent/purpose, I won’t be writing about Advaitha. Because it’s useless to talk about Advaita for the sake of it (Bcz all that needs to be said has already been said by Krishna, Shankara, etc) , especially without interacting – answering questions. Until then, MEDITATE!

Book Recommendations:

This month I could read 4 books:

  1. Mind Full to Mindful by Om Swami – The first book I read by Om Swami was The Wellness Sense. I really enjoyed reading it and got a lot of value from it. And that made me buy these 2 books of his. This book is also very good. It has very short chapters and hence an easy read. It mainly focuses on Zen. Zen can be practiced whenever regardless of the task you are performing in your day. But unlike the wellness sense, I didn’t get much novel information or ideas through this book, however, it was a great reminder!
  2. When All is not well by Om Swami -As I mentioned, this is the third book that I’ve read written by the author. His writing is very simple and engaging. The real-life stories he adds to the book, as examples of intended points are very engaging. This book talks about sadness, depression, anxiety, and how to handle it, all said through the ayurvedic lens. Even though finally there’s nothing new again – food, exercise, meditation, prayer, etc are the simple action steps you can take to control your or someone’s life who’s suffering from extreme sadness or depression, However, I think this is a must-read book to every all belonging to GenZ. Because it acts as a great reminder and helps us to be more mindful of our food, exercise, meditation, prayer, and through them, our mental health.
  3. Courage is Calling by Ryan Holiday. 4th read of the book written by the same author. Ryan Holiday is an author who is the best compiler. He takes a topic and gathers all there is in history to give real-life examples for the point of explanation. This book specifically was highly inspiring and resonated with me a lot! I suggest you read this book if you’re on the verge of making a leap or already have made one. CAUTION: Only for the brave!
  4. Aparokshanubhukthi by Sri Adi Shankaracharya – So clear, straightforward words. Start with this book if you want to know about Advaita. Super basic, yet it is still Advaita, so it has to be mind-provoking, but still Sri Adi Shankaracharya manages to say all he has to say in an as simple manner as possible.

What I curated:

Movies:
  1. The Greatest Showman (Must Watch) (Also must listen to “A Million Dream”)
  2. KGF Chapter 2
  3. X-Machina
  4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse Madness (Of course, Must Watch)
  5. Speed
  6. Speed 2
Series:
  1. The Flash ( Amazon Prime Video)
  2. Young Sheldon ( Amazon Prime Video)
  3. WandaVision (Hotstar) (completed)
  4. Air Crash Investigation New Season
  5. Superstructures Engineering Marvels (Completed)
  6. The Queen’s Gambit (Completed)
  7. Inside Incredible Machines (Completed)
Trailers:
  • Avatar: The way of water
  • Strange World
  • Black Adam
  • Man vs Bee
Few (must watch) YouTube videos:

Agnipath Scheme – Don’t get misled | Rioters Exposed [Spread the news]

Studio Tour:

  1. My New Music Studio – Moving From France
  2. I’ve Got a HUGE Secret Hiding Behind This Fake Office

Science: The Absurd Search For Dark Matter

Reminders & reflections to ponder:

  • Ignorance is bliss. Until there’s a glimpse of light.
  • People who see greatness in others have at least the possibility to be great because they aspire to be!
  • Unless the person is observed clearly & deeply, a spiritual person is always seen as a mad person or at least a misfit.
  • It is not just torturous when you are in a gas chamber. It is torturous when you are forced to drink mediocrity!
  • When you are detached, acceptance is natural

My Book Update:

  • Few insights have arrived to make the simpler and more profound.
  • But in terms of work, as in words written, it’s near to zero. I’ve been occupied by concerts, recordings, etc.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Understanding Advaitha | Part -3 | Why the discrepancies?

Namasthe! Welcome back to the series “Understanding Advaita”. In the first 2 parts, we’ve discussed Advaita relative to Dwaitha and busted some of the most common myths about Advaita. In this blog, we’ll be seeing the reason for the confusion and discrepancies. Why are there so many teachings of Advaita that are misunderstood?

Why these discrepancies?

To understand the answer to that question, we must know a little bit about yoga. Basics at least. We all know yoga vaguely means ‘union’. It signifies and can be defined in various ways through varied perspectives. 

For the convenience of categorizing and understanding, yoga is said to be divided into 4 main categories: Jnana Yoga, Bhakthi Yoga, Karma Yoga, & Raja Yoga. [ However, as you try to understand life more profoundly, you will realize that Yoga is not of types. It’s like a spectrum of light that has beams of different wavelengths. ]

Discrepancies arrive when “Bhakthas”, “Karma Yogis”, & Kriya practitioners, talk about “Jnana”. Do you see what I’m telling? You can find someone who degrades Advaita and defames Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya to be a Bhaktha, not a seeker. [Truly wise people do not try to degrade others’ ideologies, beliefs, etc. And the ultimate wisdom is one that can comprise]. What I’m trying to say is that when you try to understand what is art, from a businessmen’s perspective, you’re far from the truth than when seen from an artist’s perspective. You can’t learn to play football with an astrologer as your mentor. 

Similarly, it’s mainly “Bhakthas” who mistook and considered themselves “Jnanis” for reciting Krishna’s lines from Bhagavadhgeetha. Of course, there is the ultimate wisdom in the Bhagavadgeetha, no doubt about that. Did they truly understand it deeply enough to consider themselves “Jnanis” or in other words to speak ill about great scholars, true Jnanis like Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya?

Why do ‘Bhakthas’ degrade or defame Advaitha – Path of Knowledge?

Because they do not understand it. Either they haven’t tried to understand it or while trying to understand, they couldn’t withstand that their beliefs needed to be broken. And that’s not a trait of a seeker.

Only the person who can destroy his own belief system and rebuild a fresh one can grow and realize the truth.

Only a believer says “I don’t agree” without explaining, but a seeker/knower is always open to novel arguments even if it destroys his belief system and he says “I don’t agree because”, according to him there’s nothing that is out of reach through his reasoning.

However, I must remind you that Advaitha does not disregard any form of attempt in realizing truths. I agree Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s words are so straightforward that they might be seen as disrespectful to other forms of realizing the truth. But that’s far from it, he’s being so straightforward, so as to deliberately push our reasoning abilities and provoke us to reason and reflect to realize the ultimate truth.

I’ll give you an example to understand the scenario here:

Seeker: Why does this world exist? Why do we exist in it?

Bhaktha: For all the Jeeva to go through their karmas and attain liberation.

Seeker: I’m asking before that, why do even Jeeva exist? Ok, forget why, tell me this, was Jeeva created by the Paramathma (God) for his entertainment?

Bhaktha: No, God did not create Jeeva.

[ They wouldn’t say yes, because If Jeeva had been created by God, how would it be Dwaitha (Dualism)?]

Seeker: I understand God has no beginning, and that he’s out of the time dimension, but if Jeeva also existed independently since god, then is it also timeless?, does that mean both Jeevathma and Paramathma are derived from one single source, Nirguna Parabrahma commonly called the ‘Brahman’?

Bhaktha: I disagree. No Nirguna Parabrahma.

Seeker: Then who created Jeeva?

Bhaktha: I don’t agree. No Nirguna Parabrahma.

Ok, I must admit this is a real scenario. However, this is not mentioned in the intent to defame Bhakthas as a whole. But it is true that the discrepancies in Advaitha are due to some Bhakthas trying to teach what they do not know.

“Jnana” in Jnana Yoga refers to ”Knowledge of the Self”, the ultimate wisdom. People got confused Jnana to be knowledge of god, specific knowledge, general knowledge, etc, subjectively. “Mithya” refers to delusion. But people got confused that it meant to be “false”.

They were masked by an effect what Psychologists now call “Confirmation Bias”. They couldn’t for once see clearly setting their beliefs aside. They couldn’t even assume there could exist different planes/levels of realities. They couldn’t understand that not only they are telling is truth (in transactional reality) but the other person is also telling the truth (Absolute reality) but in different planes of reality.

 Bhakthas Love, Karma Yogis Do, Kriya practitioners experience. The problem began when some of them assumed their roles to that of a seeker (Seekers See) and started preaching ‘Jnana’. It’s the confusion in their roles, or in other words, the lack of self-awareness that led to these discrepancies. [Of course, an individual can choose more than 1 path, but one must be aware of his choice]

And the other reason that added onto this delusion-creating machine is that people got confused with the topic of discussion as to be ‘religion based’. It is not. There existed no concept of religion/caste in ancient times. And especially Sanathana Dharma never specifies religion at all. [Varna system is not a discrimination system based on religion, it was based on the work people do ]

So,

  1. Try to know about something before drawing conclusions and fixed beliefs and mindset around it. Try to understand Advaita clearly before you come to any conclusions.
  2. Triple check whose opinion you’re listening to. Let a CA not tell you how to proceed with your artist life! If you want ‘Jnana’ receive from one in the path of knowledge itself, not from who may have high-level expertise, but on a different path!

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Understanding Advaita – Part 2 | Mythbusting

In the last blog, (Blog 58: Understanding Advaita – Part 1) we saw Advaita relative to Dwaitha, and mainly, we saw how Advaita and Dwaitha are not opposites. You may say they are two concentric circles, Advaita being the outer radius circle. To understand Advaitha, It’s very essential to know what it is not. So, in this blog, I’ll be busting some myths about Advaitha.

Myths:

1. An Advaitic life will be boring, depressing, and lifeless. 

In fact, it will be the opposite of all that. Isn’t it interesting to unravel who you truly are? And don’t you think that knowing that you are beyond just body and mind is liberating?, And isn’t that knowing, a fulfilled life? And that’s what Advaita is.

2. Advaitha is the worship of Lord Shiva as the epicenter rather than Lord Vishnu. 

Far from the truth. The Advaitic way, in fact, does not require you to worship any deity. However, it is not prohibited either. You may worship any deity of your choice. The segregation of Jeeva and God (sadhguna parabrahma) exists only in the transactional reality, and Advaita is only bothered about the absolute reality.

3. Advaitha discards the existence of god.

No, it does not. Why would Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya write so many shlokas on various deities from Govinda to Devi, if he discarded the existence of god? His hymns clearly show how grateful and out of pure heart, he is praising the Lord. As I mentioned in the last point, Sadhguna Parabrahma (God) distinctly exists in transactional reality. It’s just that, Advaita emphasizes less on worshipping, rituals, etc. And again, it’s not that any of it is prohibited. In the Advaitic view, worshipping a deity, rituals, etc are all great tools to attain the balance you require to understand the ultimate, i.e, your ‘self’.

4. Advaitha discards Dwaitha. 

No, It’s just that Advaitha took the discussion even further. In fact, Even the beacons of light who re-established Sanathana Dharma in perspective of their choice, if Shankaracharya (Advaita) and Madhwacharya (Dwaitha) came together, do you think they would fight each other, or even have a heated debate? They would, in fact, try to solve the confusion in people’s minds together and show their mercy on those people who are not able to understand that they both are representing truths individually, wouldn’t they? They both were great people, godly great, that’s why people even worship them. Only half-boiled, confused people fight over Dwaitha vs Advaitha.

5. “Aham Brahmasmi” translates to “I am God”. 

This cannot be far from the truth. This is not the meaning of that statement – “Aham Brahmaasmi”. It conveys the meaning that “I am the Brahman”. And brahman here is not the lord Brahma, it is the eternal consciousness within all of us, even in the gods, The Brahman. So, here, knowing the clear distinction between nirguna (formless) and sadhguna (good/virtuous) Parbrahma becomes essential. You may read my blog 7: GOD to know the distinction.

6. “Jagan Mithya” translates to “World is false”. 

Again, this is one of the greatest misconceptions in understanding Advaita. It’s probably mainly due to the word ‘Mithya’ having the meaning ‘false/lie’ in Kannada. But this ‘Mithya’ here is a Sanskrit word which means ‘Maya‘, I.e, delusion. And that’s a maker or a breaker kind of distinction. What Jagadguru Shree Shankaracharya is trying to convey is the absolute reality, there is nothing but the consciousness, the Brahman. All the world we see is a transactional reality. Sri Shankara’s statement is made at that level of understanding. People cannot misinterpret it by staying at this transactional level of understanding.

And when everything is the Brahman, what we are seeing with our eyes isn’t it delusion in that perspective?

Again, All I can do is provide the questions and reflections to ponder. You are free to think and understand in your own way.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Related posts:

Blog 7: GOD

Blog 14: Maya

Blog 30: Advaita & Meditation

Upcoming blogs:

Blog 60: Understanding Advaita – Part 3 – Why the discrepancies?

Understanding Advaita – Part 1 | Advaitha relative to Dwaitha

Since I noticed many people around me seem interested in Advaita (as I’ve come to know by their reactions to my WhatsApp stories and their tendency to ask questions to me about Advaita), I’ve thought of writing a series of blogs on Understanding Advaita. I don’t know how many parts/blogs this will eventually require, but I’ll start with part 1. So, here you go.

In part 1, we’re understanding Advaita relative to Dwaitha. The reason is that Dwaitha is much well-known to everyone, so it helps in understanding the less known, Advaita. Moreover, I want to, first of all, discard the myth that Dwaitha and Advaitha are opposites.

Dwaitha and Advaitha are not opposites!

Like Dwaitha, Advaitha too can be understood by all that we see. And now, with different views/perspectives, let’s try to understand the same.

Numerical view:

I don’t know why isn’t this obvious. Why are people debating 1 vs 2? A debate has its place when there are discrepancies between two facts. But here, there is not. You want to say 0 and infinity are opposites, that’s agreeable, but how are 1 and 2 on opposite sides? [FIY: Advaitha does not discard Dwaitha, more on that in the upcoming blogs of this series]. Can there be multiple, without “one”?

Yin-yang view:

Who doesn’t know the yin-yang model? Who hasn’t seen the yin-yang symbol? Everyone has seen that symbol and knows the philosophy behind it. There is a black/dark side and a white/bright side. And it clearly depicts they are inseparable with dots of the other side on each side. Again, at the surface level, you might say there are two things. But if you see clearly, both of those aspects still are in the form of one circle. I repeat. They both emerge from the “One” circle.

Thinking of those black & white in the yin-yang circle leads me to my next approach.

Light & dark approach:

White is essentially all-colored lights. Black is void of light. We know that darkness does not have an independent existence. So that leaves with “one” thing – Light.

Speaking of light, I think of Sun, which leads to my next approach.

Sun & Moon approach:

Sun is a star, he is a source of light. Moon does not have his own light right? So, there are two different celestial bodies but one source of light right? Ok, in this example you may say that yes that’s what dualism says, the god with form (Sadhguna Parabrahma) is the only source of light. But go wider again, you may see that light exists in other regions of galaxies and even outside of galaxies, right? That means light is in many other stars other than the Sun right? Light is not limited to ‘our’ sun alone. Light is in all!

Ok, leave that. How about this analogy? It’s said that Sun and Moon are two eyes of the Lord Vishnu. At the upfront, there are “two” eyes, but where do those “two” eyes belong? To “one” body! Those are “two” eyes on “one” Vishnu’s face, right?

Fire & Water:

It’s a common example of opposites we shouted at teachers at school when we were kids. Fire and water are opposites in terms of how they react to each other or how you feel exposed to them. But are they truly opposites? No. From one perspective, they are just 2 elements of the panchabhoothas.

In another perspective, Fire and water are essentially dependent on “one” – gas. Fire cannot exist without oxygen, can it? Water cannot exist independently without gases, right? (Hydrogen and Oxygen being gases in H2O).

And going even further, even wider, what are hydrogen and oxygen? Elements.

Musical approach

If you haven’t yet, go and listen to my composition FLIP, which is a composition made of 2 ragas Mohana and Hamsadhwani, flipping every bar. So, there are swift changes in two ragas, and hence two distinct expressions and emotions. So, it looks as though the music is clearly depicting ‘two’ things. However, if you view it from a wider perspective, you’ll notice there may be another “one” raga that is of this type (Mohana and hamsadhwani combined), if not, you will be able to notice that both are major scales, or if not that, you’ll be able to at least see that, both ragas are essentially from the same entity called Music isn’t it?

In fact, the next composition I’m creating appears to show the same but within a single raga. Splitting the expressions and emotions of the same raga into two, all to realize that it has been derived from the same raga. That is precisely what Advaitha is!

Ragas are essentially the boundaries that we’ve put in order to perceive, understand and play music. Even if you say there exist two separate entities called Shruthi and Laya in Music, I urge you to ask yourselves, are those two entities really separate from each other? Each pitch(Shruti) has laya, doesn’t it? (Pitch is nothing but the frequency, and frequency is the number of oscillations per unit of time). And what about the existence of laya without Shruthi? They are inseparable.

And anyway, they are entities of one dimension.

Camera approach:

The best way to understand and explain what is Advaitha relative to Dwaitha is this. As we saw in the previous examples, we see dualism everywhere in our universe, but when we pause to see clearly, we see that non-dualism is in all of those examples used to depict or understand dualism.

So, when I said, when we pause to see clearly, what we are essentially doing is viewing from a wider perspective.

Now, let’s imagine a camera. Let’s say the camera is set to 55mm (or 85). Whatever you’re seeing through the eyepiece of the camera is a specific area and maybe is real and beautiful. And now, let’s say you turn the lens to a 10mm focal length. Now, you have a whole wide area that you discovered. And you realize so many aspects of that area you previously saw using 55mm focal length of the same lens. You’ll realize that the area you saw, the truth, and the beauty belonged to a much bigger entity, absolute truth, which may be even more beautiful.

So, how can you talk anything about the wider perspective, when all you’re seeing is through that 55mm lens?

Think!

When the whole world is designed this way [depicting dualism upfront and leading to one source when you go deep, or in other words, when you look at it from a wider (wiser) perspective], don’t you think that even we are designed that way?

At the front (surface level), we may see just Jeeva(any being) and Paramathma (God) are two separate entities, and that’s the end of the story. But, is it truly that way?

All I can do is provide the questions and reflections to ponder. You are free to think and understand in your own way.

Thank You,
Yours Loving,
Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Related posts:
Maya
Advaita & Meditation

Upcoming blogs:
Blog 59: Understanding Advaita – Part 2 – Busting the most common myths around Advaita
Blog 60: Understanding Advaita – Part 3 – Why the discrepancies?

Monthly Wrap! (May)

Monthly Wraps are blogs that are up on the last Sunday of the month which include:

  1. Blogs of the month
  2. Book recommendations 
  3. What did I curate? Resources I’m binging on – of course, I’ll be choosing the major ones. Just a brim of how much I curate!
  4. Reminders & Reflections to ponder – Of various of my reflections of the month, I’ll choose one or a few. And some re-realized reminders!
  5. My writing journey/ my book updates 

Here’s May’s “Monthly Wrap!”

Blogs I wrote this month:
  1. Blog 53: Birthday Gift to yourself!
  2. Blog 54: Burn your Certificates!
  3. Blog 55: A Life Compass!
  4. Blog 56: Do you understand ‘The Joker’?
  5. Blog 57: Monthly Wrap (May)
Book Recommendations:

This month I could read 5 books:

  1. Essentialism by Greg Mckeown is a book that provokes you to reflect on how you’re designing your life, on all aspects from how much time you spend on activities to what you buy, the author provokes and promotes you to apply essentialism to all aspects of your life. This book does not teach you anything new (Do the essential, drop the non-essential), but it is a great reminder!
  2. The Courage to be disliked by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi is again a provoking book. It forces you to drop your insecurities around people and assumptions that inhibit you. Again, it’s nothing new, we’ve already heard ‘do not care too much about people’ but have we implemented that in our life so that our assumption of people’s opinions are not inhibiting us anymore? That’s where this book helps, this book is a great reminder!
  3. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell is a good book. ‘It’s good to have read’ kind of book. However, my expectations were very high since I had read the author’s previous book ‘Outliers’ and had loved it. This one has the same kind of brilliant way of narration but this is by nature an open-ended topic, and hence you don’t feel that sense of closure or get the opportunity to adopt its principles immediately into your daily habits.
  4. Range by David Epstein is a great book! It’s a must-read for all youngsters. However, again, I didn’t find anything new in this book except the statistical or research results that support the fact that “Generalists triumph in a specialized world”. Many other books I’ve read have already mentioned that fact and also, it should be a pretty obvious conclusion considering the advancement of robots trained to do very specific tasks. But I still recommend this book for someone who has an opposing view to this fact, or to someone who hasn’t thought of it this way, this book is the best way to start thinking that way.
  5. Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull is a very inspiring book! There are no other words to describe the experience of reading this book. Who doesn’t want to know the behind-the-scenes of great animation movies like Toy Story, Up, Inside Out, Incredibles, etc? It’s not just the way he narrates throughout his book, but the journey of Ed Catmull and Pixar is itself so amazing, so inspiring! Every creative person must read this book! And not just to artists, this is a great book for artists’ managers.
What I curated:

Movies:

  1. The Adventurers
  2. King Richard
  3. The Secret: Dare to Dream
  4. Orphan
  5. The Spacewalker
  6. Sharmaji Namkeen
  7. Masterminds
  8. King Of Thieves
  9. The Bank Job
  10. Troop Zero
  11. Gifted
  12. Better Nate Than Never
  13. Turning Red

Series I’m following:

  1. The Flash ( Amazon Prime Video)
  2. Young Sheldon ( Amazon Prime Video)
  3. Welcome To Earth (Disney+Hotstar)

Trailers:

  1. BayMax! | Trailer 2
  2. Lightyear | Special Look

Few (must watch) YouTube videos:

  1. Where is the Original Vishweshwara Temple?
  2. How ZHC Gained 13 Million Subscribers In A Year (inspiring)
  3. Dan Mace’s How I sold every Idea
  4. Struthless – 10 things under $100 that changed my life
  5. Mark Rober’s Pranks destroy scam callers
  6. Solutions to all problems in the world

Studio Tours:

EPIC HOME STUDIO Setup 2022 | Steve Bellamy (studio tour)

Science:

  1. After 15,000 years, it’s waking up
  2. How Electricity Actually Works
  3. A Picture of the Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

Reminders & reflections to ponder:
  1. There are planes of reality. 
  2. Don’t get caught up in these dreams, intents, and goals of the materialistic world. Always remember, that the ultimate intent is liberation.
  3. It’s only when you’re lacking clarity ( awareness) that there’s inaction. When and Where there’s clarity, there’s action.
  4. The more the power of knowledge you have, the more the power of reflection you require! 
  5. A tool is never something that inhibits or harms, either in the short or long term.
  6. Creativity and originality are definitely not rocket science. It’s about who has the courage to choose to be creative and original. It’s about who has the courage to execute and bring his ideas to life! That’s it, that’s what separates the creator from the herd!
  7. The ultimate intent is liberation. But we don’t know when that’ll happen, so meanwhile, your intent should be to serve people, as much as possible, in your own way. Find that way, and start serving!
  8. Being called an artist is easy, being an artist is hard. But please choose the ‘hard’. Please be an artist in the world of hacks! Artist is not a status quo. Being an artist is a responsibility! Summon enough courage to take that responsibility!
My Book Update:
  • I’ve been working on my book more consistently than the previous month.
  • I jot down pages of various key points/paragraphs in a rough book.
  • I completed transferring that to digital format.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Do you understand ‘The Joker’?

Yes, I’m referring to ”The Joker” from the movie ‘Joker’, a masterpiece of work by Todd Phillips and amazingly enacted by Joaquin Phoenix. You’ve watched that movie? Yes, that movie, which is one of the most depressing movies of all time!

If not, go watch that movie, not for entertainment, but to observe and learn objectively.

When I first watched the movie, I was completely taken aback. First of all, I don’t like depressing movies. It may be true that most of those movies are far nearer to the truth than those that showcase all fairy-tale, win-win, positive ending stories, but I believe movies are not meant mainly for that. It’s good and ideal that movies are made with ”lessons to be learned” or the moral as the central objective. But it should not be at the cost of the viewer’s good mood. It should not be at the cost of the actor’s mental health. Most moviegoers go to a movie, not to learn but escape from their daily mundane lifestyles, in other words, their realities. They don’t want to be shown the same or even worse in movies for which they’ve come as an escape. And movies like Joker even have the power to aggravate the wild, rash, harming, dangerous part of a person undergoing extreme pain. So, I still stand on the opposite side of making such films.

However, today I’m not just here to talk about why I don’t like particular kinds of movies. I’m here to ask you whether you’ve understood ”The Joker’s” plight? Only with a similar experience can someone relate to such sad states. Only with experience can someone understand the need to wish to rain so that no one will notice when you cry.

Understanding ‘The Joker’

The essence of the joker’s story is not just that he’s broke and couldn’t handle his emotions. Even though that is just what it is on the surface level, I would like to dive deep and pick one of the insights and present the same line of thoughts to you.

Role of collective mindset to ‘fit in’

As I said, the problem the joker faced was not just the fact that he’s broke. The problem was that the people around him valued only that which he didn’t have. The collective mindset of the society has become such, and it is now considered normal that people value money over everything even though they’ll say family, love, health, or whatever, but truly they haven’t realized that yet. ‘The Joker’ was a wealthy man, in terms of his creativity, moral heart, even in his kindness & innocence. As the story unravels, when his true wealth is not recognized, combined with ignorance, he stops fighting the ‘good fight’. He stops being a moral, law-abiding good citizen by shooting a bullet at the interviewer on a live TV show.

Role of collective mindset towards growth

And that connects to how people see ‘growth’ as. When a person ‘A’ is trying to grow beyond what society can imagine, they inhibit that person, they even try to ‘mend him’ with their so-called good intended advice! In other words, they’re trying to ‘fit in’, this person into the box that they understand in this world as. The person ‘A’ is trying to be extraordinary but people want him to ‘fit in’. And ‘fit in’ is nothing but mediocrity, average and ordinary.

For extraordinary people. They may not have friends, and they may not have a regular degree, regular job, or regular high-paid salaries. And it may seem as though they won’t fit in. It’s far from the truth. It’s just that, their playfield is at a totally different level. They belong with people not just of regional people and their beliefs, they belong to humanity and humanity’s growth at large.

They don’t ‘fit in’ because they’re contributors to humanity, it may be in terms of creativity, innovation, whatever. They are the needle movers of humanity’s growth! And most of the people are not contributors. They’ve forgotten the need to serve humanity. They’ve forgotten to be extraordinary! And yet they try to advise the extraordinary of being ‘normal’ and be average.

So, what does all this imply?

Do not try to fit in. You are unique. That’s told innumerable times and it sounds cliche now. But remember, all you’ve got to do is seek the truth, believe in your self and serve humanity!

Summon all the courage there is to defend your true self when society tries to pull you down. Trust your ‘self’ and keep going!

Thank you,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

A Compass For Life!

In blog 2: Read your obituaries I talked about remembering our mortality every day to put our whole life into a clearer perspective.

However, that blog was just a reminder and advice in a general or broad sense. It was more about pondering what you would do now, knowing that you’ll die today.

In this blog, I want to show you how to use that reminder in your life specifically to test/check the direction you’re headed in life, just like a sailor’s compass that helps him navigate through the seas and oceans.

If I die now! ( From here on, don’t just read, ask like you truly mean it)

Ask yourself this ” If I die now, i.e, this instant, this immediate second, would I die living a fulfilled life?”, “If I die now, what would be my story, how does it look like, do you like it?”, “Did you live life to your fullest?”, “Were your dreams fulfilled? or at least, did you die working on it?”

If you answered yes to all those questions, you may stop reading, you’re living a fulfilled life. But I think most people aren’t ready to die yet. Why’s that? If you lived a fulfilled life, you would be able to accept death with grace whenever it dawns upon you.

If you introspect deeply you’ll know that you’re not ready to die because you’re not living the life of fulfillment, or you haven’t started living the life of fulfillment, or probably even far from it, you might have forgotten to live the life of fulfillment itself!

And speaking of the life of fulfillment, please check out my book – The Flower of Fulfillment, which is a great guide to start with, in my opinion, it’s the best first self-help book that anyone must read! And in it, I’ve clearly laid out what is a life of fulfillment, and hence how you can live a life of fulfillment. The life of fulfillment, in short, is basically a conscious and balanced life.

Once you’ve realized “This isn’t the life I want to live”, figuring out how you want to live becomes easier. Moreover, now that you’ve realized how you don’t want to live, you’ve made “How I want to Live” into a conscious choice instead of it being compulsive or unconscious surviving. That’s a major shift towards living a life of fulfillment. 

This major shift is basically a spike in your self-awareness heightened! And that sudden surge of awareness can be highly overwhelming, no doubt. You might even feel worthless and feel like you don’t want to live at all, that’s because you’ve just compared your ideal way of life to the (past) way you’ve lived until now. Let go of the past. Forget however you’ve lived till now, forgive yourself for being so far from the truth, far from a conscious and balanced life.

Write how you want to construct your life so that you’re working on a future but at any point in time you’re living a life of fulfillment. Writing is not compulsory for everyone, of course, it’s the best way to clarify thoughts and especially something so important as your life!

Again, my book will help you a tonne in this process, because the elements of fulfillment are already mentioned there, all you’ve got to do is match your lifestyle with it.

Then Act! Live your life! Live the life of fulfillment. I hope you realize what all changes this simple yet major shift in perspective will bring into your life. You’ll realize there’s no place for procrastination after this shift, no postponing living the life of fulfillment. No excuses whatsoever.

[ I still felt like spitting this out! After this, you should have realized all these as myths – I’ll live a happy life after I graduate, after taking a job, after I’m married, or after I have my own house, or after I have x amount of money, or after I’ve become that, or after I have so and so. They all are just excuses that are postponing your fulfilled life! ]

I believe this blog has brought high value into your life, especially if you’ve deeply reflected on it.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

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