Saturday, January 17, 2015


Growth is the most important word for everyone these days. How do we define growth? Simplistically, the amount of money we earn. As it increases, we are growing. And for others to grow, we need to spend. Velocity of money, isn’t it? Surprising though that in a world as divergent as the human race, money has become the sole parameter to define and measure growth. It doesn’t matter what we do to the environment. It doesn’t matter about the deep chasm between the haves and the have not’s. Ethics, values, compassion, love are all kept as ornaments on the mantle. It is not needed on an everyday basis. Use it as we deem fit for our comfort.

Why are we moving towards such a consumption mindset, if we already not were? Why do we require material assets to be happy? The demon of inflation never had so much of fury than it is now. We are all defined by governments as economies rather than societies. What we offer to the world in terms of supplies and how much we consume show our place in the world pecking order.

Thus we have the Thanksgiving or Black Friday sale in the US, the Dubai Shopping festival, and a host of online sales by retailers at deep-discounts.

This brings up the question of online retailers which are the biggest thing in India currently. We have India’s locally grown flipkart closely followed by US giant amazon and other local players such as jabong, snapdeal, indiatimes among others. Every other day there is a big sale announced. The USP of these online retailers is less price vis-à-vis brick-and-mortar stores. And that too from the comfort of the house without having to venture out. This saves us a lot of time. But by saving the time, what good are we doing? Do we go out and play sport? Do we read more books-online or offline? Do we spend time with our family or friends? Do we explore nature? Do we go out and help the needy? Then why are we saving time. What is our achievement in saving time. This is least of the problem. The problem lies because the kind of promotional activities that are done makes one wonder how did we all survive and make purchases when online world wasn't there. We are enticed into buying a host of goodies which you would not bought in the first place were it not for the low price and deep discount. You begin to wonder that do we buy because we need it or want it or desire it or just because we are getting it at a low price.

In the Maslow's hierarchy of needs, after the first two stages, there has to be a third stage of deep discount. We all are swayed immensely by low prices. Digging deeper, one feels that consumerist mindset isn’t the real problem here. The real problem is our disillusionment with the world and our surroundings. There is lack of empathy among people. Tolerance levels have reached its nadir. And therefore we find gratification when we are in possession of physical objects. We love that object more than the people surrounding us. Why? Because the object behaves as we want it to. It doesn’t expect from us. Whereas people expect from us. Thus it is easy to be in the arms of a dispassionate object than having to make sacrifices or leeways with our loved ones. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Did god fight with bhagawan? Then why are we fighting.

It is ironic and sad that there is so much of hatred in the name of religion. A common thread in all religions is live and let live. What is religion? In simple terms, religion is a set of ideals laid out by the Supreme force unknown to all and who we are in awe of. I will not say here if it is god or bhagawan or deva or or allah or give it any identity. The whole concept of an individual believing in the Supreme and the one who doesn't believe in Supreme (an atheist) itself is wrong. Because the Supreme is called into the field of play of our life only when we are taken over by the fragilities of human nature- happiness, sadness, fear, greed, jealousy, and to satisfy the ego of our five senses. Thus everyone believes in the Supreme at some point in life and is an atheist at other times.

Critics might point out that there have been wars since time immemorial on religion. This argument precisely defeats the purpose. Every religion has its sacred books and mythology which talks of the way of life and asks us to choose a path. It means we all have to learn from these stories and from the past. Therefore, if we have a history of wars based on religion, this should not act as a rationale to continue. No history in the world talks of a war between god and bhagawan or between allah and deva. It is individuals who have fought wars out of fear of the morbid.

In the current context, the people of all religions have been wary of existence of another religion. There seems to be an one-upmanship race between different faiths. This is like asking a mother to choose between her two children. Different religions ask you to search for the end result which, in Hinduism (or better say as Sanatana dharma) is Moksha, Christianity is Gratification or Nirvana and in other religions has different names. Wishing is done by people in different ways. Some say hello, some say namaskar, some say salaam, some say as-salamu alaykum. Does the underlying feeling of greeting one another change with the change in language. If it doesn't, then why should our belief in our Supreme change.

If some people do not believe in a particular religion and foul-mouth it, they will pay for their deeds. Letting your anger overpower the good in you affects the Self more than the other. And this has scientific acceptance than mere philosophy. Killing, to avenge the desecration of a Supreme manifestation, cannot have any justification. If everyone starts to think for themselves and not assume that self-thinking is a voice of the collective, there will be no bloodshed. Ever. We all are humans first. Humanity takes precedence over any other belief or ideology or faith. Humanity reigns the Supreme. Being humane will always be in fashion.  

PS: I have used lower case for god, bhagawan, allah, deva because, for me, these are the collective. It is an objective perspective, an idea rather than a material being. And I have used Supreme as a proper noun to signify that that is the only idea which, although non-material, is the one binding force.