‘Me’ First?

Are we trapped in too much of self-concern?
Do the world start with me, and end with me?
Am I only interested in My job, My family, My Relationship, My life?
Do you think of helping others because you think it gives you satisfaction?

In this article, we would explore the tendency to come out of our me first conditioning. It’s not so easy, but it could help us to come out of the disastrous consequences like fear, craving for positions, and specific pattern-based life.

The ultimate happiness in life is to spend our life for the advantages of others. The service towards others, without any expectation, is real treasure of living. Humans are lost. They don’t know which directions to choose. They are just following the society, traditions, cultures, popular sayings, books, Government, Laws, and the regular habits. Have we ever thought, ‘why we include “me” or “I” in almost everything?’ ‘ Why do we try to find out the relations among everything?’ ‘Why don’t we consider the things individually?’ Apart from all this, we also don’t want to be into things or situations, where we are not getting anything in returns. Like we don’t want to work for something, where we may get nothing, neither profit nor satisfaction/ popularity.

Suppose you are in a situation, where you are physically yourself, but mentally or emotionally, you are with other individual or being. How effective that situation could be? You aren’t thinking anything about yourself, but you are absolutely absorbed in a situation or being. This kind of absorption is a pleasure without any expectations. This is the real joy without any adulteration of your interest, satisfaction, gratification, and expectations. This joy is a complete one. Other kind of happiness is always mixed with the impurities of our thoughts, views, opinions, guess, and demands.

The way humans have synchronized the world with their self-interest is doing harm to every other being. We want to see everything as we have already seen before. We don’t want to see anything new. We have fear that “the new” might not include us. It might not fit with our creations. We are afraid of being left alone, rejected, and lost.

Humans are not good in finding their own ways. They are mostly the followers, with a very few leaders. And this few leaders are also adding to the illusion of this world, by the “leader first” or “me first” or “I first”. The only thing which could take us out of this illusions is to scrap down the structures of “me first” and get totally engaged in the life. The true living is equivalent to lesser expectations, more faith, and transformation into a being which is “a new” and not the copy of your older being. Our older being is most likely to be the product of our circumstances, surroundings, conditioning. Once we step out of our older being then Life appear simple, and “me first” tendency gets erased. And thus, try to step out of your “I-ness” or “me-ness”, and you would definitely see the world trouble-less, ego-less, and failure-less.

Knowing Animals Emotions

We, humans, consider animals as lower beings. Lower because they aren’t rational-minded and they can’t make decisions as we do. Their consciousness level isn’t high and their main function of life comprises just survival, food, and reproduction. We don’t feel any kindness towards them. And we often leave and ignore them. There are very few animal lovers in the world. Those people not only show care, empathy, and kindness towards mute beings. But, also give enough space, love, attention to them. This writing is not any form of advice or research on the subject of animals’ emotions. It’s my personal experiences that I observed in looking after my pet dog. I will particularly talk about dogs’ emotions. But, the emotions of other animals are inclusive in this post.

Like others, even I didn’t have any idea of animals emotions and feelings. I was totally ignorant and so I kept reading blogs to get knowledge in animal care. I realized that animals just don’t need food for survival. They have full emotions and equally need our love, care, and support. They are very particular about time and routines. So, unlike humans that change habits and activities frequently. Animals prefer to keep a good routine. They don’t even need a watch or time to decide when they could go to walk. They are so much particular about their patterns of food, hunts, rest, and roaming activities. If humans try to change habits or patterns of their pets, their behavior definitely changes. They start getting annoyed, irritated, aggressive, lethargic, and sad. But, in all this, they never stop loving their human friends. They will understand quickly that humans are busy with other tasks and they wait until you feed or give time to them. They have the inbound patience to wait for their human friends.

Pets like dogs will never lose their patience easily. Once you go out leaving them behind and they get to know. They will react in the first instance, they will bark and show their willingness to come with you. And once they realize that humans can’t take them, they sit quietly and wait patiently for their return. Sometimes humans may be tired and feel low to love and cheer their furry companions. But animals always stay positive and happy to greet their human friends. It might be the time when you have badly scolded or even beaten your pet for some reason. But the animals will never take it too seriously. They will still come to you and show that they have forgiven you.

All these facts clearly represent that animals also have emotions. They need you to play, love, and understand them. Their eyes reveal the deep affection they carry for humans. Their wagging tails and other body movements reveal that they are always excited to see their human friends. The pet owner knows very well that their pet is having some natural character. They may be naughty, clever, aggressive, friendly, jealous, or possessive. Their nature gives a hint of the emotions they carry. Even they got hurt when humans ignore or leave them. The only difference is they can’t speak about that. God has gifted them the memory which can keep the moments alive but couldn’t trouble them in their daily things. Their short term memory helps them stay connected to present moments.

Making a comparison between animals and humans is not right. But, finding similarities is essential. And it seems meaningful to understand that animals also have emotions. Hence, we must take care that we aren’t hurting others. It should always be our responsibility to care for other animals and include them in our way of living. Every act should contribute to the welfare of other beings. Harming and affecting other beings is the sign of cruelty. Being Humans, we should show the finest behavior to love, support, and nurture other animals.

With the reflection of my experiences, I want you to ask yourself the duty towards others which we have forgotten. We humans, call ourselves rational. Couldn’t we try to understand the emotions of animals and give them the least of care they deserve? Couldn’t we be a little careful to not take away their spaces to fulfill our greed? Couldn’t we be more humanistic towards other beings? It’s time not just to think but to understand and act. Because it’s always the actions that speak better than words.

Dharma- the all time victorious!

Dharma is the secret force behind all the happenings of the universe. The subject philosophy mostly refers to the Dharma, its source, virtues, variations, outputs, flow and its misuse. There’s a lot to talk about Dharma. And I hope we are all acquainted with it. And so I wouldn’t take a lot of time to clarify the Dharma Theory, rather I would propose a few brief points that make it the iconic theory of all time.

As a student of philosophy, we are aware of the four types of purushartha (purusha:human, artha:meaning)- the qualities which gives meaning to human life.

Dharma or duties : the duties or virtues which humans follow for the accomplishment of an action.

Artha or wealth : the possession acquired by humans throughout its life.

Kama or sexual appetite: the innate desire of a person.

Moksha or liberation : one’s final destiny or end of the chapter of soul life cycle.

Throughout our life, we race towards the possession of money or fulfillment of appetite. The duties to be sought are rarely look after. The so called necessity or compulsion makes one active towards one’s duties. But, the self desire is known to be minimal towards the accomplishments of duties. And why there is lack of this self desire? This is because we are not motivated for it. Our mind and heart doesn’t recommend it to us. Our family doesn’t make any pressure for it. Our society rarely appreciate the duty bound person. The success is always measured by the quantity of wealth acquired. The unsuccessful are detested and looked down. The authority of money-loving personality works. The meaningful actions are rarely noticed unless it brings a tremendous change.

Despite all this shortcomings, the Dharma is always victorious. During the situation, when entire Nation is fighting the pandemic corona virus, only duties towards humanities are getting counted. The selfless actions and meaningful contributions of doctors, cleaning staffs, security officers and farmers are reflected to its truest form. We must never forget such duties which is for the welfare of the Nation in danger. In all the purusharthas, Dharma has the voice whose echo could be heard for long.

The Hindu dharma includes the religious obligations, moral rights and duties of each person, as well as actions that allow social order, the right conduct and the virtuous. Dharma is what all existing beings must recognize and value in order to preserve peace and order in the universe.

Dharma Quotes (taken from webpage speakingtree.in)

  1. Aapadi praanaraksaa hi dharmasya prathamannkura: Bharat Manjari

Saving a life in jeopardy is the origin of morality.

2. Eka eva suhrud dharma: nidhane pyanusyaati ya: MS 8-17 Hitopadesa 1-66

Dharma is the only constant companion who comes along in death.

3. Ghoramapi svam cared dharmam – sup

Though appalling one’s own duty ought to be performed.

4. Jayasyaayatanam dharma: paapam varthma kshayasya ca rm 6-11-371

Dharma is the abode of victory; sin, the path of doom.

5. Yató dharma: tató jaya: Vidura Niti 7-9; Susasita Ratna Bhandaagaara 3-35

Where there is Dharma, there lies Victory.

6. Dharmena hiinaa: pasubih samaanaa: — Hitopadesam 1-25

They are animals who lack dharma.

7. Vedókiló dharma muulam – Manu Smrti 2-6

The entire Vedas form the foundation of Dharma.

No doubt, this is the best time to teach our children about Dharma and the importance of fulfillment of duties. We must follow our duties towards self and others.With the passing of time, all other things lose their meaning, but the Dharma remains evergreen and victorious.

pc: Diksha Hemane @artistic_affair

“No More differences”- The Latest step to Reality

The students of philosophy very well value the relevance of perception. They just don’t see but they perceive things. Perception is the meaningful contact of senses and objects around. When we perceive things, the reasoning is automatically created. The process of reasoning is the work of our mind. This reasoning is sometimes dangerous. You may think what’s wrong in reasoning? But I tell you how?

The reasoning leads to judgement. And judgement often creates biases on the basis of knowledge, feelings, bonding, attitude, relations and willingness. Humans are called selfish by nature- they always try to see their benefits in everything around. we know who we choose friends- it’s not just because we really wanted to choose (suppose A as a friend). But because ‘A’ may have certain qualities which I really need in my friends.

This prejudice due to reasoning is making all the differences, variations, dislikes and negative views.  So what could we do? Should we stop making reasonings? A big NO! The reasoning is the work of our brain & mind, we can’t stop it, we could only divert it. We should divert it towards Reality. Once we identify reality through the use of our reasonings, we stop making meaningless differences. The process of identification of reality isn’t easy but the continuous chain of efforts & unbiased processing could bring fruitful results.

The future of Tomorrow is in our hand, and therefore, Let’s embrace everything around and dive in the ocean of love & peace. 

*This idea is taken from one of the guest talks of Swami Narasimhananda, current Editor of Prabuddha Bharata (an English monthly journal devoted to the social sciences and the humanities, started in 1896 by Swami Vivekananda).

Business Ethics- ‘Redefining’

Most of us are clueless about the world of ‘Direct selling’. Even I had no practical experiences of this field until I encountered one in reality. Because the experiences were bad and so, I thought of writing on it. Notably, the customers should have awareness and the business owners must stay ethically right.

Let’s Know about Direct-selling..

Direct selling is the process where individual salesmen reach out to a person directly, which is away from a fixed retail store. It means you aren’t going to stores, but the store is coming to you. Yes, a whole list of products would come to you through the means of direct selling. It also includes the products you don’t need in reality. Also, some service is of no real worth to you.

Direct selling services

The direct selling could be home to home service, one-on-one, public hunting, family-relations, friends sharing, a stranger’s approach, customers chase or online sales.

Direct selling- How it works?

1. Pyramid scheme– These are the business schemes that will promise you to gain huge money with little or no efforts.

2. Company will ask for a large amount of money as an investment and sell you the products or services which isn’t meant for you.

3. This company will hire you as a representative and will make you work for their own advantages.

4. The pyramid scheme is also a kind of networking business where you get a bonus on enlisting a new selling agent.

Suppose you added an X agent in the world of direct-selling. When X would bring some other Y agent. Then, X agent and you yourself will earn the bonus. And this process will go on for a long duration.

Direct selling- A trap?

This process doesn’t seem to be interested in selling product but selling customers.

I heard the company tagline which says “customer as a product”. I can’t say intention. But the selling of customers as a product is insane.

It spoils the whole motto of business. A real business means selling some useful products or services so that both the seller & consumers are happy and satisfied. But nowadays, the whole definition of business is ruined. Today, the business owner only sees their profits no matter whether or not the material they are selling is useful. They aren’t even hesitant to use customers’ profiles for making profits.

Such kind of business is a black spot to business ethics.

I won’t say that direct selling should be restricted because they are selling inappropriate items. Obviously, it is an obligation of the consumer to see what they are buying and where they are investing money.

“Direct selling is bringing a massive revenue to the country and it is a good choice.”

But, when the process of direct selling takes advantage of a person innocence, ignorance, illiteracy, family sentiments, friendships, and other relations of importance then it’s going the wrong way.

Sellers- Mind it Please

Selling at the level of annoying a person is really not useful. A seller should understand the situation in which he is selling his products.

1. If a person isn’t interested in buying, then he shouldn’t be forced.

2. Direct selling shouldn’t condition a person into buying a product. It should be a free-flowing business.

3. Direct selling should not come between friendship, relations, family and child. One cannot say that as a family member one should be added to a direct selling process. The family should be kept at one side and business at the other.

4. Direct selling doesn’t mean that if a person is not buying then you shouldn’t maintain the relations with him/ her.

5. Buying is a choice in which a person should involve freely without any influence or force.

Direct selling – Make it a real Business

If you ever wish to be in direct selling, then first ask yourself a question, “Are you really eager to invest your time, money and efforts into making business through direct selling?

For direct selling, you have to place product orders, attend training sessions, reach to distributors and do many other business-related tasks. For all this, you are either paid or not paid.

  • Before joining any direct selling company, check out if it is involved in scams or complaint lists.
  • Be sure of the company’s compensation plans and return policy.

Direct selling could be a boon to customers and business parties, only if the actions are initiated freely. Forcing a person into some wrong investment is a crime. If you are aware of scams, then guide a person about it.

If you are a victim of direct selling, then you can file a complaint and could spread awareness of same.

Business Ethics

Any kind of business is good when it is ethically right. Ethically right means it is conducted freely and with no persuasion, pressure, wrong intentions, false claims, dissatisfaction, disagreement, and unwillingness.

The ethically right business should have certain characteristics & values like:

Honesty, Integrity, Promise-keeping & trustworthiness, loyalty, fairness, others-concern, legally right, commitment to excellence, accountability, and morality.

Conclusively, don’t be afraid of direct-sellings, if it suits you then make it your business part and if no, then stay away from getting trapped.

If you have any suggestions, then please feel free to comment. Thanks for being a dedicated reader.

Maya- The unknown Ruler

“We run towards illusionary happiness, the materialistic life. We should know that real happiness is within us. We just need to identify it.”

Maya is a cosmic illusion. It’s a magic we generally fail to identify. We are known to be in illusion from the past to present days.
Maya is not an ordinary kind of illusion. It decieve us of reality and make us see what it wants us to show. Due to Maya, it’s difficult to recognize the truth and our life is affected a lot. It’s just because of Maya that we are blind despite having eyes, deaf despite having ears and mute despite having mouth.
Maya cover the reality/ the truth in such a way that we see illusion but believe it to be reality. Maya is just like a mirage which shows water in desert.

Life on Earth isn’t real but a divine Leela.

If everything is illusion, then what’s reality? Where is truth?
This is the major metaphysical problem in philosophy. What we consider reality, isn’t true in real. Reality is completely different from what we see around.

Today’s perspective:  Influence of ‘Maya’ in our Life

Today our world is most badly affected by Maya. I will put forward the daily life examples which would make it easier to understand the concepts:
Today we give time to technology & work so much, that we forget to give time to our own family, people, and even to self.
We won’t skip a day browsing Instagram, Facebook, twitter and we rarely get time to read the artistic writings and noble works of writers.
Today communication & transport has turned much easier due to technology, but we don’t prefer going to our village and spending time with our relatives.
Today the right means of living is broadcasted everywhere on TV, Internet, and social media. Still, our country is fighting cancer, HIV and another deadly disease.
Because of Maya, the loyal & poor people are ignored; whereas corrupted & rich are celebrated.
Today the royalty is measured by dressing & styles, and not by knowledge & beliefs. And the blame goes to Maya.
Our country is badly affected by the illusionary power of MAYA. Our life is threatened for its true essence. We focus our major part of life in building a happy house, and suddenly the disaster comes, and everything is destroyed.

How could we avoid falling in the trap of Maya?

“We run towards illusionary happiness, the materialistic life. We should know that real happiness is within us. We just need to identify it.”
There are so many limitations in people’s thinking & beliefs. Despite all these drawbacks, our country prospers because it values the talents and keeps on pushing the poor to live a life of comfort & respect.
The reason is explicably called as the self-power. Maya despite being so powerful & outreach, couldn’t affect the soul which could differentiate between the reality & fake.
In today’s world, if we identify the reality & fake,  then we are untouched by the mischief of Maya.
WE are humans, a masterpiece with errors. So, we shouldn’t be afraid of errors but should do our tasks with great pride and interests. Whatever will turn wrong could be blamed to Maya.”
Despite having the influence of Maya, an illusion, if we try to manage our life positively & logically, we can avoid getting affected by Maya.

Philosophical perspectives: Understanding Maya

1. Maya projects illusion and Maya conceals the truth. Maya stops us from achieving God’s realization and self-realization. It’s because of Maya that we are drowning in the sea of ignorance. We can’t see the island of truth. We are an intelligent being. But, we feel like most ignored.
2. Maya creates the materialistic desires in us. It’s the materialistic desires which make us do work or activity. Since childhood, we want to grab the thing we see. We are running for fake happiness only to be realized at the end.
The secret of the universe couldn’t be explored because we are troubled by Maya.  Modern science is exploring the universe and has been true in finding some deep truth. But still, it hasn’t found the absolute truth. It’s because of Maya we couldn’t reach to the absolute truth. The more efforts we put to get the truth, the bigger the problems turn.
3. The most important question which arises in understanding Maya:
If Maya is projecting illusion everywhere, then what about our own world? Does the world really exist? Or it is just the projection of Maya? Vedanta Philosophy explains that world doesn’t exist in reality. It exists only in relation to our mind. It’s same as per the definition given by popular Greek philosopher Descartes. I think; I exist. And therefore, I exist; the world exists.
Since our world has got both positive and negative phenomenon. And so, our world couldn’t be defined as completely real. Our world has got both optimistic & pessimistic thing. Our world seems hopeful and disaster at the same time. The dual nature of the world couldn’t be accepted in the theory of absolutism. Because of the duality of the nature of this world, philosophers and scientists have declared it as unreal and geared up to search the real world. Or the world which has got complete truth and no falsehood. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been possible to reach the truth despite persistent efforts.
4. Spirituality claims that realism is all inside us. There is no way we could find it at another place. While spirituality is exploring the inner life, scientists are making an effort to find reality outside.
Conclusively, no satisfactory results have been found. And all is blamed to the unknown ruler- the Maya which deceives us in a way that no-one could explore the reality. If we fully understand Maya, we would be successful in identifying and judging reality.
When we know the reality, everything changes, and we feel peace.
Therefore, let’s start getting unaffected by the materialistic life and focus on the true, spiritualistic, valuable, and genuine development of the self.
I hope you like the summary on ‘Maya’. Though there are many concepts related to Maya, I tried to finish it in reference to our actual life. Thanks for your continuous support. 🙂

The skeptical approach in Free-thinking

Before we understand skepticism, we must know dogmatism which is just the opposite of the skeptical theories. Dogmatism is the belief which claims that no theories could be doubted or disputed. Any judgements is considered as a final, when it is announced by a trustworthy person.

Drawbacks of dogmatic views

The dogmatic views is giving a lots of troubles to the free thinking individuals. The opinions of the free thinkers are often neglected on the basis that it is wrong and novice.  The dogmatic views claims that they are cent percent true in their opinions and their opinions could not be rejected in any ways. This kind of beliefs is dangerous for the society. The society is getting moulded in the same dogmatic form and are not allowed to grow in a different & unique way.

Society problems identified

The  problems faced by the society are- inter-caste marriages, same-sex marriages, live-in relations, age-difference marriages, divorcee marriages, legal abortions, etc.

The dogmatic views strictly rejects the rightness of the above mentioned problems. According to them, marriages are pure union between the two opposite partners. The purity of union depends on some conditions. These conditions like partners castes, communites, gunas,gender, age, mental conditions, etc. In this, some conditions could be accepted, but some conditions seems totally insane.

We need to change our dogmatic views to deal with the on-going problems of the society and to accept various latest trends. Suppose for a second, if dogmatic views are vanished completely then various problems would automatically be solved- the inter castes, same sex marriages and legal abortions would be allowed and accepted easily. Just because of the dogmatic views, this trending thing is facing many barriers to become transparent in society.

Philosophical approach- skepticism

Getting solutions to any problems is the first job of philosophy. If phiosophical views are problematic to society, then it also has got solutions for the same problem. Yes, solution is right here in skeptical thinkings.

Let’s understand the meaning of skepticism. Skepticism is the belief that there is no certainty in human knowledge. Everything can be doubted and could be proved wrong.  Skepticism could also be called as the intellectual therapies for those affected by the dogmatic beliefs. Skeptics are the radical doubters. They claim that they don’t know anything in this world. Everything is unknown to them. Through the medium of right sense and thinking, they could explore the things out.

According to skepticism, we should have a good reason to accept knowledge rather take it for granted.

To look further, Descartes method of inquiry has a proper system to seek truth in science. “It is because others believe it as true, and so do I” makes no sense. The right method is to explore the reasons for the truthness of an opinion. Once we have verified a problem by the use of our own senses, then we could easily accept a theory.

Descartes Method of inquiry

“Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum” – “I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”

The method of obtaining knowledge through a systematic doubts as well as right testing would be the appropriate way to accept the latest trending social problems.

Suppose the dogmatic people stop accepting the old beliefs, and start self -judgements about the latest social problems. In such conditions, many problems would be sorted out and the society would start implementing new changes. The developement of the society is directly proportional to the continuous changes and progress. As per the demands of its people, the society should adapt the changes.

To conclude, our beliefs should not depend on the dogmatic stance rather it should be well verified by our own thinking. Whatever things sounds stable in a large number, should be given a legal validations and should be accepted by the people.

Some quotations which would strengthen our Skeptic stance

David Hume, British Empiricists, “A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.”

Marcello Truzzi “Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary proofs.”

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