Anticipation.

The image is of a Cricketing batsman anticipating a delivery from the bowler at the other end of the wicket.

This topic has been suggested by Shackman for our weekly Two On One Friday Blog Post. Please go over to his blog to see what he has to say on the topic.

anticipation

a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen in the near future:
As with most pleasures, it’s not so much the experience itself as the anticipation that is enjoyable.
The postponement of the film’s sequel has held cinemagoers in eager anticipation for several months.”
~ Cambridge Dictionary.

Having no wild or even tame oats to sow any more, I have little to look forward to in my life in anticipation for something that is likely to happen in the near or distant future.  On a daily basis I have three things that I anticipate and I have one long term anticipation.

My day inevitably starts with anticipation for the arrival of the daily newspapers. Once I have organised myself comfortably and settled down to read them, the mood changes to various emotions. Disgust, happiness, anxiety, pity, sorrow, joy etc, depending on what the contents convey. While I am going through all those emotions for about an hour and a half, there is an undercurrent of anticipation for the settling down to solving my daily quota of crossword puzzles.

The next thing I anticipate is my afternoon siesta with the hope that I do not get disturbed by visitors or telephone calls.  By and large I am satisfied with the time I do get for it but, occasionally, courier delivery men will disturb and that disturbs my equilibrium somewhat.

The last thing I anticipate is a good night’s sleep and I inevitably get it.

In the long term, I anticipate a simple death having already lived eight years beyond our national average life expectancy for men,  and I regularly use two Vedic prayers.

ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिंम् पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ।।

Om Tryambakam(pronounced as Trayambakai) Yajamahe Sugandhim pushtivardhanam; Urvaarukamiva bandhanaan Mrityormuksheeya maamritaat.

“We worship the three-eyed One (Lord Siva) who is fragrant and who nourishes all beings; may He liberate me from death, for the sake of Immortality, even as the cucumber is severed from its bondage (of the creeper).”

अनायासेन मरणं विनादैन्येन जीवनं ।
देहि मे कृपया शम्भो त्वयि भक्तिं अचन्चलं ॥

Anaayesaena maranam ,Vinaa dhainyaena jeevanam
Daehi mae Kripayaa shambho ,Thvaya bhakthim achanchalam

Meaning : Requesting Lord Shiva to kindly grant three wishes:-

  • To give a peaceful death without any bodily troubles to me or others
  • A life without any trouble for the basic needs
  • Total Bhakti to Lord shiva.

Some three decades ago, my Guru instructed me on Action and Outcomes. The gist is that there are four possible outcomes for any action taken – 1. Get what is expected; 2. Get more than what is expected; 3. Get less than what is expected and 4. Get something totally different to what was expected.

The trick in living a life of balance and comfort is in accepting that any of these four outcomes are possible and accepting whatever comes out of our actions as what we deserve at that particular point of time.

This clip explains that well and it gives me great pleasure in sharing it with my readers.

Courtesies.


As my readers know, I am a newspaper addict and I wait for my dose of them every morning with bated breath. As soon as I hear the newspaper boy drop them outside the door to our flat, I stop doing whatever I am doing to go over, open the door and retrieve them.

A little explanation. We have two doors to our flat, one solid wooden inside and a screen mesh one outside. We had installed the outside one as an added protection when we first moved in here almost thirty years ago as, then our neighbourhood was in the boondocks and still being developed. The problem with the outside screen door is that it opens out to the landing from where the stair case to go up to the first and second floor flats start.

After the newspapers are dropped off outside our door, the young man charges upstairs to both the floors to drop off papers for the four flats there. On his return, often it happens that I have to wait for him to pass before I can fully open the outside door so that it does not hamper his exit. When he sees this, he inevitably bends down, picks up the papers from the floor dusts them off and hands them over to me with a cheerful “good morning” and when I thank him, with a “you are welcome” and pushes off.

This morning, he went one step further. He must have seen me sitting in our veranda having my morning mug of tea and so decided to come over to the outside of the veranda and handed over the papers to me through the grill. I was overwhelmed. He is not on my payroll nor do we have a relationship other than the morning greetings whenever we meet each other.

Remarkable, in these times of break neck speed and hurry to spare such thoughts and extend a small but meaningful courtesy to a senior citizen. All that I could do was to mentally give him my blessings for his thoughtfulness. May his tribe increase.

That exchange led me to dig out this clip by Simon Sinek to look at the real world.  This morning was my porcelain cup for just the reason that I am a senior citizen!

Older And Wiser.

The inspiration for this Friday 2 on 1 post came as I was listening to the old classic “Those Were The Days” by Mary Hopkins. The last verse of the song goes:

“Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh, my friend, we’re older but no wiser
For in our hearts, the dreams are still the same.”

Wisdom is defined as “the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgements”. This of course implies that one has gained knowledge over the years and has also had enough experiences during that process. In my personal case I find that while I have gained a great deal of book knowledge, my experiences do not somehow enable me to take sensible decisions and / or make good judgments. But, believe me the dreams are still the same as they were when I was younger.  Only, now I am wise enough to know that there simply isn’t enough time to make them come true.

I am often surprised by the amount of practical knowledge that people much younger have over the current state of affairs which despite my seniority seems to have eluded me. This, despite my devouring newspapers and periodicals more than the younger lot do who are more dependent on the social media and television plus friends and actual live exposures to the daily grind.

Experience and wisdom, leave alone age is best explained by this Sufi tale.

An old man caught a bird. The bird said to him, “Release me, and I will give you three valuable pieces of advice. I will give you the first when you let me go, the second when I fly up to that branch, and the third when I fly up to the top of the tree.”

The man agreed, and let the bird go.

Now free, the bird said, “Do not torture, torment and burden yourself with excessive regret for past mistakes.”

The bird then flew up to a branch and said,
“Do not believe anything that goes against common sense, unless you have firsthand proof.”

Then the bird flew up to the top of the big tree and said, “You fool. I have two huge jewels inside of me. If you had killed me instead of letting me go, you would have been rich.”

“Darn it!” the man exclaimed. “How could I have been so stupid? I am never going to get over this. Bird, can you at least give me the third piece of advice as a consolation?”

The bird replied, “I was merely testing you. You are asking for further advice, yet you already disregarded the first two pieces of advice I gave you. First, I told you not to torment yourself with excessive regret for past mistakes, and second I told you not to believe things that go against common sense unless there is firsthand proof.

And yet, you just tormented yourself with regret for letting me go, and you also believed that somehow there are two huge jewels inside a tiny bird like me!

So here now is your third piece of advice: “If you are not applying what you already know, why are you so intent on gaining what you do not know?”

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the subject. Thank you.

Spirituality And The Media.

This week’s Friday 2 on 1 fascinating topic has been chosen by Shackman. I am really curious to know quite what he will have to say on it and, I am sure, so will you be. So, without much delay, please go over to his blog to find out for yourself.

For me, the most important media is the print one. I prefer that to any other and I am lost without my quota of newspapers, periodicals and books. The largest of these is the newspaper one and India’s largest, The Times Group in two of its publications offers daily small stories and every Sunday, publishes a suplement devoted entirely to Spiritualism.


The next in the Print series will be my monthly dose of publications from five separate institutions, though three of them belong to the same order, The Sri Ramakrishna Mission.

The next in line for me are shows on religious / spiritual themes on our television channels. India has a long history of such serials starting with the famous Ramayana Series by Ramanand Sagar in the eighties. Today too, there are any number of channels offering such fare and I watch one on Sai Baba Of Shirdi every week day for half an hour.

India has any number of Godmen as they are called derisively by the sophisticates, and I occasionally get links through WhatsApp to Youtube broadcasts on spiritual matters by some of them. Here is one by Satguru, a very popular religious leader which should amuse my American readers.

One also gets bombarded by messages on spiritual and religious matters via WhatsApp, email and SMS messages, all using modern social media and I often get quite annoyed at the sheer volume of stuff that I have to delete every day.

I can therefore conclude that this must be the single largest subject for modern media and I am sure that my readers will agree.