Thursday, August 16, 2007


In 1907 Dr. Duncan MacDougall conducted experiment on 6 patients who were on the verge of dying and concluded that the man loses 21 grams of weight after death or in other words the weight of the soul is 21 grams. I was really amazed to learn about the experiment and the extent to which the thinking of man can take him to prove that even the proverbial, immortal, conceptual soul is nothing but 'matter’ which according to definition is anything which occupies space and has weight and volume. The film 21 grams (starring Naomi watts, Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro) based on the similar concept ends with beautiful lines when the images of the characters are flashed for few seconds along with the ups and downs which they face during their journey of life – how much is lost? How much is gained? How much is actually lost? How much is actually gained? It seems to laugh at the concept and says that life is not a mathematical equation. Both sides can’t be equal every time. All the facts and calculations in which we remain bogged down throughout our very existence on this earth seem to lose their meaning when life comes to an end and then when one tries to calculate the net loss and profit he made in his lifetime, he actually laughs at his foolishness which he carried all along.

Do we still need a similar experiment?

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The darkness grows within
Spreading its roots inside
The light still glows within
Keeping the hope alive
I smile at the darkness
I smile at the light…


Lost in translation
Osho says that Buddhism died along with Buddha and what we have today is nothing but a modified form of Buddhism translated by the scholars and the disciples of Buddha to preach the masses and satisfy their spiritual needs and desires. When Buddha died, the followers of Buddha, the so called enlightened people tried their best to translate and write down the philosophies and teachings of Buddha in the form of scriptures to pass it on to the next generations. When they were done everyone had his own interpretation and no two interpretations matched with each other. The moral is clear. Meaning was lost in translation so was Buddhism with Buddha.

Yesterday I was watching a movie ‘The Motorcycles Diaries’ based on the life of two South American doctors, Ernesto Guevara and his friend Alberto, who went on a tour of South America to cover 8000 kilometers in 4 months. It was in some Latin American language. The subtitles were there. The dialogues of the movie were really very good and thought provoking. But when the movie ended we felt that the movie wanted to say something more than what we could actually make out from the subtitles. Something was definitely lost...

Few days ago I was reading Geeta as translated by Swami Prabhupad. He has talked about an importance difference that exists between the two words dharma and religion. For a moment I was completely taken back because I never knew such kind of difference even occurred. According to him RELIGION means a belief and a belief is susceptible to change with time. It is not constant like dharma because DHARMA refers to something which is constant, which cannot be changed, which cannot be destroyed. It brings us to a fact that we don’t have an equivalent of dharma in English language. What we really have is the lost ‘Dharma’ in the form of ‘Religion’. Something is definitely lost in translation. Isn’t it true?

All our ancient scriptures and holy texts were written in Sanskrit or the languages which nobody is well versed with nowadays. A lot has been said in those scriptures, a lot has been translated for us but don’t you really think that what we are interpreting today is nothing but things which have lost their essence in the journey of translation?

I remember a very famous joke at the moment. When the human beings were created, God sent a messenger to earth to inform that we have to sleep 3 times and eat one time a day. But the messenger suffered from a kind of memory loss. He jumbled the message and translated it to the human beings. As a result what we have today is a severe competition for survival and food. Don’t you feel that this world would have been a heaven if we spend 75%of our time in sleeping and not in cutting each other’s throats?

Words lose their essence in translation. They come to be interpreted in a different form and manner. What lies in the end is nothing but a distortion, a distortion which we have to believe, a distortion with which we have to live with and a distortion which we have to leave as a part of our legacy to the generations ahead. Does it leave us with a painful conclusion that all the religions, studies, thoughts and interpretations of the thinkers and scientists which we believe today have been distorted in some way or the other and in the process of translation, they have undergone a significant change in the meaning and aim with which the words were created and arranged to convey a particular message? Is this our fate to remain lost in translation... forever…?

Or do we have a way out???

Friday, August 3, 2007


This article is inspired from Veronika , the central character of Paulo Coelho's novel 'Veronika Decides To Die.' But I dedicate this article to My Veronika who is standing on the verge of destuction but still can manage to thrive for thousands of years more. Paulo Coelho's Veronika has everything in her life a girl can ever dream of. Her life consists of loving parents, attractive boyfriends, and all means to fulfill her dreams. Sometimes you just can’t expect more from a life. But still she is discontented, still her heart is empty, still her heart craves for something missing from her life, still she wants to end up everything and die. Ultimately she decides to embrace death in hope to find the treasure after her existence comes to an end. But the struggle doesn’t end here. She utterly fails in her attempt and reaches a mental asylum where she realizes the fact that there is a difference between living and being alive.

Now, I would like to tell you about My Veronika. Her life is entirely different from the life of Paulo’s Veronika. Her life is full of miseries. She is an orphan. She is not beautiful. Her face is half burnt with acid. She doesn't even know if she would be able to have her next meal. In short her life is a hell, anybody would like to get rid of. But still she is contented, still she has embraced life like a treasure, still she wants to live and face what life wants her to face, still she enjoys every moment of her life and tries to give a meaning to it, still she wants to cross the river and reach its other end and dive in the innermost depths of the invincible oceans, still she manages to smile, no matter there are thousand arrows in her broken smile. Her smile is without any ego. It is as pure as the smile of an infant. It is filled with the entirety of life. It seems to have imbibed the sweetness of honey. It is filled the sacredness of thousands of temples. It is a source of inspiration to all those who are standing on the cliff of a mountain waiting for the right moment. Life has tried to rip it open with full force but still it has managed to preserve its structure and form. Her fight with life starts the moment she wakes up in the morning unlike Paulo’s Veronika who wants to run away from her fight by ending up the things. She extracts happiness out of the small things she does in her life. She hasn't learnt to stop. She moves ahead and ahead into the darkness of the road in hope to find the dying spark which would enlighten her life. She is just invincible. She is life in its accomplished form. She is My Veronika and I simply love her.

This proves that happiness is subjective. It comes to those who search for it. It may not be a bouquet of accomplishments but still it can be the one. It is the contentment of soul which makes you happy and draws a smile on your face. My Veronika searches for it. She has found it too. She has found it entangled in the bushes of dark jungles where even light fails to penetrate. She has found it in her deeds. She has found it in her efforts and the little success she achieves through these. She is the most successful person existing on this earth. She is mine and I simply love her.................


It is often said that a philosophy has many interpretations. Everybody can interpret a philosophy in his or her own manner. But in my view philosophy has only one interpretation; one that is eternal, one that is truth and one that is ETERNAL TRUTH. All other interpretations are nothing but beautiful illusions, always trying to allure you, always trying to embrace you, always trying to put you on an easy but the wrong path. But there is only one interpretation which emanates from the essence of a philosophy. It can’t be described in words and understood by mind. There is no language which can describe the meaning of philosophy because words have a language and philosophy has no language of its own. Its comprehension lies beyond the level of mind. It is similar to enlightenment. A moment comes and everything seems to be clear, beautiful and consequential. The path to its interpretation is illuminated by thousand lights. You don’t need a candle to explore its path. You just need to get rid of all the predeterminations. You need to be free, free from all the illusions, free from all the pre-determinations and free from all the beliefs. As Buddha says

“Belief as such is a barrier; it does not matter what belief it is, true or false.”

Be free and just follow the light. Surely you would be able to interpret the philosophy and understand the profundities that lie beneath.