The Winner Takes it ALL


guru-shishyaThe last initiation was going to be given to the disciple. The Master said, “Your last initiation will be given in a very indirect way.” The disciple had passed all the hurdles that the Master had put in his way; he had proved his mettle. Now the last initiation… and once he has passed the last initiation, he will be declared enlightened The disciple touched the feet of the Master and said, “I am ready. Just order me and I will do whatsoever needs to be done.”

The Master said, “You will have to go to the King, and go early in the morning; be the first visitor to the King. Because the King has a habit: whosoever comes to him first, whatsoever he asks, the King gives. But the country is so rich that it is very rare that anybody goes. Years pass and nobody goes to ask for anything. But don’t take any chances — be there very early. The King comes in the morning into his garden, as the sun rises the King enters the garden — be there. And he will ask you, ‘What do you want?’

And whatsoever you want, ask him.”

The disciple could not understand what kind of initiation this last one was. But the order had to be followed. He went. He didn’t take any chance: three o’clock early in the morning he was waiting for the King.

As the sun was rising, the King entered.King in the garden

The young man bowed down to the King; the King said, “Have you come to ask for something? You can ask for anything! Whatsoever you ask, I will give it to you.”

A great desire possessed the young man. He was a poor man, had come from a very poor family, “And the King says whatsoever…?” To be certain, he asked again, “What do you mean by ‘whatsoever’?”

The King said, “Exactly that I mean — whatsoever. Even if you demand my kingdom I will give it to you. You can ask for as much money as you want…”

The poor young man could not think much. He thought, “Maybe ten thousand rupees will do.” But a desire came that “Why ten thousand? You may never get such a chance again – – why not one hundred thousand?”

And then another desire, and desires upon desires… because mind constantly asks for more. So whatsoever he decided, the mind was still asking for more.

The King said, “It seems you are not yet ready to ask. I will go for my morning walk, meanwhile you decide. And when I return, whatsoever you ask will be given to you.”

That half an hour was a torture. He went on and on, “I can ask for this and that, and a golden chariot, and so many millions of rupees, and so much land — I will create a small kingdom of my own.”

Desires and dreams… and the King came; that half hour had passed so fast. The King was standing there and he said, “Young man, have you not decided yet?”

And then suddenly the young man thought, “Whatsoever I ask will be less than the King has, so why not ask for all? Be finished with the figures!”

So he said, “Sir, if you are so willing to give, I ask for every-thing! — all that you have.

Your whole kingdom, all your riches, your palaces — everything. You simply get out of the palace! And you cannot go back in. You may take something. You simply get out — forget all about it. I can allow you only these clothes that you are wearing.”

Even that he did reluctantly; even that much he would have less.

The King fell on his knees, started praying to God, tears rolling down from his eyes — of great joy, ecstasy! And he was thanking God saying “I have been waiting for such a man.

How long I waited! But finally you heard my prayer, and now he has come and I am free of all this nonsense. Thank you! You heard my prayer, although it has been so long and I had to wait so long, but still you heard it. I am grateful.”

When he was saying these things to God, the young man was standing there and he started thinking, “What is the matter? If this man is feeling so happy renouncing the kingdom, what am I getting into? If this man has been praying for thirty years, as he is saying, ‘Send a man who can take my whole kingdom, who can ask for my whole kingdom!’ — if for thirty years he has been praying, then it is not worthwhile at all. I am getting into unnecessary trouble.”

He also fell on his knees, touched the King’s feet and said, “Sir, I am a young man — I am a young fool. Please excuse me. I don’t want anything. Your prayer to God, your thankfulness to God has finished my whole mind. I am going back to the forest to my Master.”

The King tried to persuade him, “Don’t go. Just have a look. Come into the palace! I will not only give you my palace, my kingdom, my riches, but my beautiful daughter also.

Come and just have a look!”

But the young man said, “I cannot stay here, not even a single moment — because the mind can betray me. An insight has happened, and I am thankful to you just as you are thankful to God. I am finished!”

And when the young man reached back to his Master and told the whole story, the Master said, “Your last initiation is over. Now nothing will ever make a slave of you. Now you are alert, conscious, free. You have passed — I am happy. I was watching from here, and when you had asked for the whole kingdom, my heart was crying. I was thinking, ‘So, fifteen years’ work on this fool, and all finished.’ You can’t imagine my happiness,” said the Master, “that you are back, that you could see the point, that you were observant.”

Be observant, just watch…. People have money, people have great palaces, people have all that you can desire — just watch, just see: are they happy? are they contented? They may be more happy than you are and more discontented than you are — then don’t follow them. They are blind! They have followed other blind people. Don’t follow them, don’t imitate the crowd.


Another story from Anand Zen

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Remember the goal

I will tell you one story. It happened in Tibet. A lama who, was working in a faraway valley wrote a letter to the chief monastery, to his master, to send one more lama: “We need him here.”

The chief of the monastery called all his disciples, read the letter, and then said, “I would like to send five of you.”

One lama asked, “But only one has been asked for. Why five? ”

The old chief said, “You will know later. I will send five and then, too, it is not certain that one will reach because the way is long, and distractions a thousand and one.”

They laughed. They said, “The old man ha s gone out of his mind. Why send five when one is needed?” But the old man was insistent, so five started on the journey.

5 Monks

The next morning when they were passing a village, a messenger came running to them from the chief of the village. “Ou r priest has died and we need a priest. The salary is good.” The village looked rich, prosperous, so one of the five said, “I would like to stay because that, too, is Buddha’s work. Why go to the valley? There, too, I am going to do the same work. You four will be enough — only one is needed — so I will stay here.” One dropped.

The next day they were passing by the ou tskirts of a town. The king of the town passed by them on his horse. He look ed at them. One young monk was very beautiful and healthy and radiant. The king said, “Wait. I am looking for a young man because my daughter is ready to be married. I have been watching and looking, but you seem to be exactly ri ght. Are you ready? I have only one daughter. My whole kingdom will be yours.”

Of course, the young man said to his friends: “Goodbye!” He left; the second disappeared.

Now the other three became aware that the old man was not mad. The way was really long and distractions a thousand and one!

Now the three decided, “But we will not do such a thing” — although deep down they were feeling jealous that one ma n had become a king and another had become a great priest. And who knows about what is going to happen in that valley?

The third night they lost the way. From far away on a hilltop only one lamp was seen, only one house. Somehow they reached there. There was only one young woman there and she said, “It is good that you have come. You are a godsend because my mother and my father were to come back this evening and they have not come back. I was very afraid to be alone in this house so far away from the town. It is good that you are here. You are a godsend, you are sent by Buddha himself. Please stay with me and do n’t leave me until my parents come.”

The next morning they had to leave. But one of them — who, deep down, had fallen in love with the woman — said, “I cannot go until her parents are back. That would not be compassion.” Comp assion was not the thing, PASSION was the thing! But when there is passi on, people talk about compassion.

The other two said, “This is not good. We have to reach an d you are dropping out. And we had decided that now we would not do that.”

The man said, “I have been taught my whole life to be compassionate. The woman is alone, the parents have not retu rned. To leave won’t be good, it won’t be virtuous. Buddha will never forgive me . You can go” — in fact, he wanted them to go — “but I will stay here.” The third dropped.

In a village the next morning they were surrounded by a crowd, because the village was atheistic; they didn’t believe in Buddha. The two were challenged:”You have to prove that what Buddha says is true.” They had a great atheistic scholar in the village and the scholar challenged them.

One of the two accepted the challenge. The second said, “What are you doing? Who knows how long it will go on?”

He said, “Even if my whole life is wasted…. I am devoted to Buddha, and this man has challenged Buddha and his philosophy.” It was not a challenge to Buddha; it was a challenge to his ego. “I cannot leave this village, I will convert this village. You can go. In fact, only one is needed.”

And that’s how it happened. The man remained there to argue and only one reached!

So, Remember the goal.


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Predictably (sic) I suppose you thought I was going to write about the little thingamajig that you hold in your hand and expect it to think ahead of you and insert words into messages! You got another thought coming up.


If there is one given in life, it is the conversations that go on between kids and their Mums!! The kids know exactly what their Mum is going to say in any given situation and the Mums are programmed to responding with ‘predictive text’ to common situations that besiege our humdrum lives and homes.

Here are some predictive texts that kids expect their Mums to say from Jenny

25 Things All Moms Say to Their Kids Sooner or Later

Jenny Isenman

May 28, 2013 at 2:29 PMLOL

The Illogical:

Don’t look at me with those eyes.

Children are to be seen, not heard.

If you keep making that face, it’ll freeze that way.

If you want to act like a child, I’ll treat you like one.

Quiet down, I can’t even hear myself think.

One day you’ll thank me.

Because I said so, that’s why!
The Logical:

As long as you’re under my roof, you live by my rules.

God gave you a brain, use it.

Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.

The Sarcastic:

Are your legs broken?

If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?

Oh, Jen’s mom lets her do (Blank), fine, go live with Jen’s mom … I’ll help you pack.

Shut the door, were you born in a barn?

Your room looks like a cyclone ran through it.

Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall.

Let’s play the quiet game

Someone better be bleeding.

Where are your manners — were you raised by wolves?

The Threatening:

I’m not asking, I’m telling.

When you have kids, I hope they’re just like you.

Don’t you use that tone with me Mister/Missy.

Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.

You better wipe that look off your face.

Don’t make me: tell you again / come back there / turn this car around, et al.”

Another ‘predictive text’ that we never ever stop using as parents…whatever our age…and to our kids ‘whatever their age’ is “I TOLD YOU SO”! This can be used in any situation from marriage, running a home, employing/handling househelp, finding the right school, extra curricular activities, eating habits, dating situations, travelling disasters, buying anything from a brand of biscuits to a condominium or bungalow, taking insurance, financial matters (especially when the stock market crashes)…and the list is endless.

We cannot exist without this wonderful idea called ‘predictive text’ can we?

To check out what the other bloggers in our LBC group choose to present on this topic that I suggested when I was sending a message from my cell do visit Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, Shackman and The Old Fossil.
Our new members are Pravin who blogs at Holly blogs at

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The Rough and The Smooth

Another topic suggested by Maria/Gaelikka for LBC where seven of us write on the same topic.

languageLanguage is the system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings to each other. Basically all communication is language but the verbal medium is the most widely used and recognized system. There are hundreds of languages and thousands of dialects and variants.
Language can generate the most wonderful sounds from the throat. The same language can take on different colours as it were when spoken by different people. The male voice can be ‘rough’ with hoarse throats and guttural sounds. Women’s voices can be sweet, shrill, smooth as honey or staccato. Words can be expressed like bullets shot from a machine gun or flow smoothly like liquid gold.
Some languages are rough to the untrained ear. People like to think that German and many East European languages are harsh and rough. The French believe that theirs is the sweetest language ever to be spoken. In fact all the Latin based languages do sound smooth and treacly. If you read Old English it has a rough quality to it. The Scottish burr or the Irish brogue does have a smoothening effect on spoken English. The Americans have added a drawl that has changed the language considerable while the Australians have added the rough outback rhythms to the language. The West Idies have amalgamated the Calypso rhythm to English just as the islands have changed the French language into a local flavour of Creole!!
In India we have so many languages. My own mother tongue is Tamizh…if you pronounce it this way it has a lovely twirl of the tongue that smoothens its consonants. The British Raj changed this pronunciation to Tamil and managed to roughen up the diphthongs. Many other Indians find Tamizh a harsh and rough language that clatters and clangs like stones in a brass pot. Sanskrit is intrinsically tied up with music as the Vedas are chanted and the verses are created with mnemonic sounds that repeat and take off from endings…remember this was a language tht was passed on aurally.
Bengali and Telugu are spoken off as the sweetest languages of India. In fact it is said that Bengali sounds as if the speaker has a round, syrupy sweetmeat, the Rasogolla, stuffed inside the mouth. Telugu has been the popular language for lyrics that are set to music. Hindi is a language that is a dialect that has grown from Sanskrit and other regional variations. It is based on Khariboli, the vernacular of Delhi and the surrounding western Uttar Pradesh and southern Uttarakhand . Urdu was “the language of the court” and with many Persian words came into prominence during the Mughal Empire (1600s). In the late 19th century, there was a concerted effort to standardise a written language from Khariboli, for the Indian masses in North India and Hindi began to be standardised as a separate language from Urdu, the language of the elite.
Urdu is still considered a more flowing and smooth tongue that is used for poetry and romantic songs. The various dialects of Khariboli like Bhojpuri, Bihari, Rajasthani do sound rougher than pure or shudh Hindi and Urdu!!
Here is a wonderful clipping that demonstrates how the rough and guttural sounds can slowly be transformed in the mind’s eye or ear into a beautiful and soulful music.

Awesome Mongolian Throat Singing

Language with swear words can be rough.Rough language

Language spoken to a child or to a sweetheart is sweet and pleasant on the ear…that is why it is called coochie-cooing! 2013-11-27-11_51_32-Sweet-Talk

Finally, any language becomes rough or smooth depending on the tone in which it is spoken, right?

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The Long And The Short

Traditionally, the accepted height differences between a couple is that the man is taller and the woman shorter. My parents were a classic example of this with a foot difference between them. In Indian arranged marriages the first check point is height and inevitable parents of a tall girl find it difficult to get a groom taller than their daughter.

This rule is strangely enough adhered to both by girls and boys. Mills and Boon romances talk about a tall dark handsome hero as the dream figure for the heroines. This is perpetuated by social traditions and customs. When there were child marriages, this norm was sometimes negated as the girl would shoot up after puberty while the boy would remain short or remain an average height. The differences in height was accepted but with a bit of raillery from relatives and neighbours.child marriage

Once the marriages began to be fixed when the boy and girl were in the teens or early twenties, the boy being taller became a necessity.

Nowadays, there are quite a few couples who choose their own partners. A few do not mind differences in height and tall girls do not mind shorter men. Of course, women who select partners of the same height or slight differences rue the fact that they have to forgo wearing heels!!

Here are some statistics…

The average woman is eight percent shorter than her male partner.

  1. In one survey, about half of collegiate men said that their date had to be shorter and nine out of every ten women said they would only date taller men.
  2. Online dating women or the ones in search of a partner calculate how tall they are in their highest heels, add a few inches for safety and then filter out men who fall below that height.
  3. Height prejudice can be so telling! One guy changed his height on his profile from his real 5’4″ to an average 5’9″. Guess what, the responses to his profile doubled.

There are any number of celebrity couples in the West, especially in Hollywood who are happy with this situation. Women are gradually accepting that some great relationships can be achieved with shorter men.

Take it easy on the stretching exercises!

A preliminary study says that shorter men actually make better partners:

  • They take on a greater share of housework.
  • They earn a higher salary
  • They are less likely to get divorced.

So next time you see a tall woman with a shorter partner, bite your tongue before you say….The Tall and Short of it!!

The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, Rummuser, Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

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A Working Peace System

dovePeace has been defined on the net as a period of harmony between different social groups that is characterized by lack of violence, conflict behaviours and the freedom from fear of violence.

I come from a land that has produced iconic figures who spoke about peace and peaceful means to achieving harmony. Throughout Vedic traditions, history has recorded persons who have achieved a great deal of harmony through their peaceful and pacifist approach. I will talk about two who strode across the sub-continent propagating peace.

BuddhaThe first was Buddha who made such an impact on the population not only in India but right across the east. Centuries after his birth and death, his teachings continue to impact people. His sphere was religion and the search for enlightenment about birth, life and death. He abhorred violence and his teachings talk about attaining personal and social equilibrium.

The second person was Mahatma Gandhi. His circle of influence extended from his basic tenets formed by the Bhagavad Gita to a political landscape. He led a non-violent fight for freedom for this country from the shackles of the exploitative and subjugated Raj of the British. His non-violence movement began with his own person and rippled across aGandhi nation. The Independence of India was not however, gained with the total absence of bloodshed and violence.

There is more knowledge about war than about peace. History has always focussed on wars, occupation of territories, usurping of land and people and establishing might through weapons and battle strategy. When we talk of peace, it is always a Utopian condition envisaged for the future. Descriptions of reigns, governments and nation building are not defined by peaceful conditions.

Peace can only be achieved through cooperation and integration between major human groups. This has been made possible through the dissemination of information that is part of the IT revolution. Today, electronic means to spread information is a huge aid in the effort to build lasting peace. By helping people communicate, view information, make decisions, and understand each other better, media, cell phones, social platforms and the internet can help greatly. The media can positively impact people’s opinions and attitudes and if used positively it can put an end to conflict and war. Sadly, that is not the case now. Emotions and feelings are whipped up to create tensions and conflict among communities based on religion, class, ideology and political differences.

Peace is not created with a one-time act of calling a cease-fire, signing agreements and accords, or publicly demonstrating reconciliations. It is just a date or milestone between two instances of war. In fact war and peace is a well-known, well used phrase that is just a metaphor in nation’s polity.

True peace can only be established over time. It involves dialogue and compromise, understanding and the will to let another person’s point of view prevail at many different levels. Peace is possible only through the action of different people, in different ways and at different points in a timeline of a conflict.

Arbitration, mediation, negotiation, reconciliation, peacekeeping by civilian and military authorities—these are important foundations for permanent peace solutions.

In the Vedic tradition the concept of Ram Rajya is an important goal or social and political condition. Ram Rajya embodies the popular conception of administrative perfection—the ideal ruler or the ideal status of monarchy. This is not typically a promotion of a single head or ruler who ‘owns’ the nation, the land and the people. Ram Rajya means that the State exists for the benefit of the people and not that the individual exists for the benefit of the State.

Ram Darbar

Several thousand years have passed and people still remember the reign of Sri Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Protector of the universe. Rama’s reign has always been a benchmark in governance. His rule was an ideal one and stands for good administration, material prosperity and moral and spiritual well being of a nation. For the people of Ayodhya, Ram Rajya was a Bhuloka Vaikuntam- heaven on earth. It was Mahatma Gandhiji’s ardent wish to establish Rama Rajya in modern India after the freedom struggle. He said Rama Rajya is the kingdom of God on earth.


The great epic poet Valmiki, describes in The Ramayana about Rama Rajya at the end of the Pattabhishekam sargam, No. 128—the last sargam of the Yuddha Kanda in the Valmiki Ramayanam. The poet says that there was peace and prosperity everywhere. All the citizens were happy and content. There were no untimely death, people lived up to their full life span and free from all diseases and grief. The seasons never failed, the land yielded crops in abundance and the trees blossomed perennially with flowers and fruits. The winds were always pleasant and there were no devastating floods or cyclones. Trade flourished and there was plenty and more importantly, there was equity. As there was no one in the land who was needy, there was no need to give charity. There were no thefts anywhere and there were no signs of internal or external trouble. In Ram Rajya, Valmiki concludes, the idea of Bhuloka Vaikuntam had become a reality.

Ideal State

That is the idea of peace in the true context for where there is equity, when justice in its true sense prevails, when there is nobody in need…then there is no conflict. Peace prevails.

This topic was suggested by Shackman, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Conortium where currently eight of us write on the same topic every Friday. This is my contribution to that effort. The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, Padmum, Shackman and The Old Fossil.

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The Horse that Became a Donkey-AAP today

This was an article written by my husband Prof N Natarajan in April 2014..foresight you can call it!

HorseThere is an old story which grandmothers told their grand children in the good old days. One version of the story goes like this. A magnificent white horse was spotted far away. Even at that distance it impressed spectators with its elegant gait. Everyone thought it was from the royal stable. The crowd of admirers grew larger and they longed to see its beauty at close quarters. They tried to excel one another in describing its beauty and majestic trot.

As it came closer and closer, its elegance and attractiveness began to diminish. Even its ivory colour now seemed to fade into a pale gray. Disappointment writ large on their faces, the spectators decided to suspend their judgement till it came right up to them. As the horse trotted close enough for the crowds to see it at close quarters, the expectations and thrill had all but vanished. Then, to the horror of the crowds, the animal began to sing and its music was unbearable as it was braying in its inimitable voice. The entire crowd of admirers now pulled their hair in frustration. The creature was after all only a donkey!


Unfortunately the story of Aam Admi Party threatens to end like grandma’s story. Initially, Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal had stood by their principles. Anna’s age and Arvind’s agility drew vast crowds in Delhi. They just wanted to fight corruption and they professed to have no political ambitions. Then the ruling government and its supporting parties scored a self goal. They heckled Anna and AK saying that they had no right to speak on behalf of the people and challenged them to get elected to parliament and raise issues.

At that time the Anna movement split. Anna refused to rise to the bait and went back to his village. The more sophisticated Arvind Kejriwal defected and picked up the gauntlet and formed AAP. ‘AAP is different’, he claimed. “It was the common person’s party”. It was not his aim to capture political power. He merely wanted to fight corruption and bring into force the Jan Lokpal.

Then came the Delhi state elections. AK and his band of AAP won 28 out of 70 seats. BJP had more seats but no absolute majority. Arvind said AAP would sit in the Opposition. He was goaded to form the government by the Congress Party’s unilateral support. After initially demonstrating his reluctance, he formed the Government. To mix metaphors, AAP Government was formed without any ‘horse trading’. At that time, the distant horse-the AAP animal-began to look less and less like a horse and more and more like something else. His party men and women ran amuck. Even though he was the CM, he wilfully sat in Dharna and cited the precedent of eight earlier Dharnas undertaken by other CMs. Like any other CM, AK immediately fell into the mould of a political CM and went overboard with continual freebies of water and concessional electricity even to the undeserving to demonstrate his lightning performance. In short he ceased to be ‘different’.

Since then there has been a sea change in AAP’s appearance and voice. Having joined politics, Arvind is now a complete politician, warts and all.  His party too has desertions and corrupt members. Fresh rich entrants and their money are more than welcome. Old faithful are dispensable. A dinner party @ Rs. 20000 per plate was arranged in Bangalore to collect funds. AK has conveniently forgotten his basic objective.  Like every other ‘polutician’, he likes to be a true Neta. Corruption is no more his prime agenda although sloganeering on corruption is. The aim is to cash in on goodwill to win as many Lok Sabha seats as possible. He is prepared to mouth any populist slogan to win votes. Aam Admi has vanished from his radar. He resorts to communal gimmicks like his dip in the sacred Ganga, the studied pause in his speeches during the prayer time of Muslims and his support to the Khap Panchayats in Haryana! This is nothing but the familiar vote bank politics practiced by other parties.

AK has lost sight of his raison de etré and has begun to blindly attack every opponent, no matter what their plusses are. He had to show off his importance and indispensability by taking an Executive jet from Jaipur to Delhi at the expense (Rs70 lakhs!) of a mega media house and publicize it. Gandhian Arvind is now a Rahul clone Gandhian! One fleeting visit to Gujarat and he is convinced that it is one of the most backward states of India and that contrary to every international and national report, he shouts from the rooftops that there is no development in Gujarat. Why worry about truth at a time when every vote is paramount!

It shows that Anna and Amitabh Bachchan were perhaps right. Politics is indeed a cesspool and every one entering it smelling of roses, re-emerges sprayed with the unbearable stench, odour and colour of current Indian politics. One only hopes that after the elections are over Arvind Kejriwal will take another dip in the Ganga to make a leisurely self appraisal and emerge as the self-declared saviour of the ‘aam aadmi’.

AAP has ceased to be Aam Aadmi Party. It is now only JAP, or Just Another Party!

Prof N Natarajan


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