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SARVEPALLI GOPAL (Third Impression 2008) JAWAHARLAL NEHRU – A BIOGRAPHY
Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the great political figures of the century and one of the most difficult for the biographers to portray. For modern India, only Mahatma Gandhi is more elusive to the biographer grasp. When viewing the mountain, one perspective at a time is the best one can do and so with the biography of Nehru. Sarvepalli Gopal is a historian of note and so is his biography. The first sentence of chapter 1 provides the clue: The broad details of the early life of Jawaharlal Nehru are by now well known”. In fact, they are not well known except to those who have read a great deal. Even to the specialist this presentation of Jawaharlal Nehru’s life from birth to the harrow, Cambridge and inns of court years, marriage and Indira – appears not so much like a skillfully directed movie or a master novel as like a photograph album of casual if accurate insights. The person presented by S. Gopal is a historical boy and man. We must look elsewhere for details about Jawaharlal’s troubled marriage, his sister’s opinion about him, the curious situation of his having an abundance of admirers and colleges and yet a paucity of close friends, and, of course, his special affection for Indira.
Prof. Gopal’s biography does give us a tremendous amount of new information, especially from the Nehru letters to which he had access. In many cases, Prof. Gopal now lets us in on the secrets. As a good historian with excellent access in India and Great Britain, he has tracked down the minutiae of details in the archives; he has interviewed Lord Mountbatten and other former rulers in India, and he has examined the private letters and archives of Nehru’s colleagues. It is to be regretted that the thirty-year-rule of British archives prevented the author from consulting directly the papers of 1946-47 that only now are being made available.
The first volume up to 1947 covers an important segment of the Indian nationalist movement. For me, the most impressive and informative chapters are those (Ch.: 5 to 15) that narrate in such an excellent way Nehru’s political work in Uttar Pradesh, and his ascendency with Gandhi’s support to the highest level of leadership in All India National Congress. Much of this material is fresh and adds a new dimension to an understanding of Jawaharlal’s ‘greetings’ in politics. The chapters (Ch. 16 to 22) deals with World War II as it related to India – the various political crises, up to the transfer of power and independence. Here one finds the historian turning historian, and forgetting or under stressing his biographical subject.
Several strands of analysis running through this book fail to convince. One is Nehru as Marxian socialist. There is not much a proof that Nehru read Marx or understood it.  He was intellectually against the oppression of the poor but he couldn’t be called a socialist in the ‘scientific sense’.
He was convinced that science was essential to modernize India, but his grip on scientific theory and its applied use in Indian setting was based more on faith than on knowledge. Nehru was in many ways a technocrat, not a scientist, in his approach to physical and economic planning. The writer has correctly displayed minor faults of Nehru such as grand displays of temper, impossible princely behavior in political discussion and fails to nail Nehru on important errors in judgments like failing to realize the demand of Muslim league for Pakistan.
To that end, the book succeeds, and uninitiated readers are provided with a background of the Indian independence movement and post-independent India along Nehru’s political. Perhaps no other Indian leader symbolized and affirmed the pluralism of post-independent India more than Jawaharlal Nehru did. It is not surprising, then, that the book gives a fascinating account of Nehru’s commitment to secularism, to the nurturing of democracy and toward the establishment of diversity and a pluralistic setup in India’s political structure and institutions.
Many interesting incidents and anecdotes fill the book, such as that of the first national elections of 1952 when, as crowds cheered Nehru during his campaigns with “Pandit Nehru Zindabad” (Long live Nehru), he would urge them to say “Naya Hindustan Zindabad Kaye” (Long live the new India). Or of how his threats to resign both from the party and from the premiership of the country could quieten the entire opposition. Another point is drawn out by the author and unknown to most readers is the unfair criticism that Nehru has faced for having propagated dynastic rule. This was never so, and the writer goes on to tell us how Nehru never groomed his daughter Indira (later to be the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi) and often remarked “I am not trying to start a dynasty. I am not capable of ruling from the grave.” Indeed, he was succeeded by another highly admired politician, Lal Bahadur Shastri. Indira’s advent into the echelons of power was to occur later.
“My legacy to India,” Nehru had said, “is hopefully 400 million people capable of governing themselves.” Four decades after Nehru’s death, Indians have learned the habits of democracy well. As the recent election in India where the ruling party was routed out of power has shown, the people and the politicians have learned well the lessons on the power of the vote and the mandate of the people. He has written a meticulous historical biography and is to be looked upon for any information on Nehru’s work.

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Never In My Wildest Dreams

You came into my world like high beams on some two lane highway in the middle of a desert night; just as I lost the fight between thirty more miles and pulling over for a nap until sunrise. Fracturing my momentary dream into a million pieces of panic and surprise as your light burned through the lids of my eyes and your horn’s noise grabbed at nerves that shook my insides alive.

I remember the giant halo of your glow and light coming head on, the fog in my brain was overwhelming, as muscle memory spurred both hands and they registered on the wheel. My grasp was wrapped tight and pulled sharply, sending me into a wrenching swerve; a sudden desperate attempt to avoid our impending collision, as you careened head long my way. In the moments that came, I couldn’t tell if you were slowing or attempting to avoid the obstruction of my vehicle that had wondered into your lane. I only knew the fear as my life flashed before my frozen, bulging eyes. I felt my knuckles strain, threatening to rip flesh, as they pulled against the tension of my grasp on the wheel.

I remember feeling my knee slam under the dash as terror took me and I over compensated. With pang in knee, I stabbed my foot back down at the break. I remember the feeling of gravity shift as my vehicle began to swerve and my body flatten into the door panel as I began the fight to regain control of my vehicle, careening down that lonely highway.

I remember my body recognized and felt something I couldn’t have truly felt. At least something felt different, this specific time, than any other before or after. Both the fear of loosing control and this new feeling are forever linked somehow. It was something I felt as my shoulder pressed into the drivers side door panel: the feel of the gravel beneath my tires, not in the normal sense of peeling out, or hot rodding around a turn, or when you are navigating a gravel incline and a tire slips, spinning a bit. But, I remember feeling every, single, piece, of gravel, as my tires slid over them, like they were brail desperately attempting to be read by someone with an untrained hand.

And suddenly, I remember, I was fighting gravity to avoid being thrown into the empty passenger seat next to me; with the dutiful assistance of my seat belt I remained square in seat. By this point my perspiration was beading at my brow and my palms were slick and damp. The smell filling my nose was terrible: rubber skidding across tar and the metal chemical burn of clutch mixed with burning metallic fumes of locked, red hot breaks. The noxious smoke produced from the instant tire tread wear of tires attempting to grapple with the texture of pavement at sixty miles per hour and the dust thrown up from the narrow desert road was thick in the air as my vehicle began to spin violently. This must have been one of my wildest dreams.

Your tail lights passed by my view out the front windshield a few times before I came to a slow, lazy roll backwards, eventually coming to a halt on the pavement; vision now dizzy and disoriented. My motion had not stopped however. The spinning had turned my head into one of those twirling carnival rides and transformed my extremities into shaking nerve noodles, who’s vibration emanated from my core.

Regaining my composure, I found myself immediately worried about who I had almost collided with and what state they were in; my concern seemingly met with reply as your hazard lights lit up from the tail lights of your vehicle ahead. I remember blood pumping in my temples as I raced toward your vehicle, grateful to be alive, and grateful you were still on the road and in one piece as well. Closing the distance to your flashing hazards just hoping you were okay. I felt embarrassed and foolish for putting myself, and you, at risk not stopping a few miles back. I prayed you were not scared or upset with me. Not knowing what to expect as I slowed to a jog nearing your vehicle, I took in the details of the multiple spins my vehicle completed as it whipped round and round directly down the center of the highway. I took in the sight of fresh tread on the pavement left by my tires, scrawled like a signature of some artist signing their work of near miss.

I remember as I looked up again to where your vehicle had come to a stop, that you too where now running my direction. As we approached each other I could tell we both did a quick visual assessment of each other, our vehicles, the tire tread scrawl on the road. We asked each other if the other was okay and learned no harm had come to the other other than shaken nerves and a bit of embarrassment on my part.

I remember hearing your laugh for the first time as we sat on the side of that highway in the middle of the night and lost track of time. We talked about everything, and nothing, as we watched the stars and smiled at each other honestly. Morning came faster than either of us expected announcing it’s a rival gloriously. The sunrise was exceptionally beautiful that morning. As we peacefully watched, finally pausing in conversation for the first time since we met, we took in it’s orange, blue, yellow, and pink shifting colors sharing glances at each other now and then, smiles and blushing cheeks as we did.

As the morning sun’s heat set upon our skin and the brightness of the desert view began to become overwhelming you turned to me with a smile. I remember taking your business card and the electricity fire through my fingertips as our hands touched for the first time.

Your touch felt so exotic then, like some distant land I had read a million books about and knew every detail of but had only learned from in the texts written in those pages. I imagine I looked like an adventurer, captivated and in awe, as they stepped of an old steam engine train onto a new landscape. Amusing the locals watching a new traveler standing starstruck seeing, smelling, and feeling the foreign environment they had read so much about but were only experiencing in person for the first time.

As I put your business card into my wallet, so many unknown feelings and pressing questions that I wanted to ask you were coming to my head fighting each other for place in line and internally pleading for one more second of your time. They were interrupted by one major new question I hadn’t considered so distracted by my internal conflict.

When would I would see you again? This question was followed by an even larger: Would I see you again? I was so caught off guard at their staggering weight I remember feeling intimidated by how much it meant to me. I chickened out. I didn’t ask and though in that moment didn’t know what to do with myself, or my shaken emotions, as we said our good byes.

Before you turned to depart I managed to make sure you too had my number and awkwardly, shuffled back, half facing you, half trying to walk away. I could tell you noticed in the words your smile always seemed to hold.

I remember you driving away and the stress I felt realizing we were going in opposite directions for the first time since we met and how something immediately felt missing in my world. I remember kicking myself not wanting to end up just some guy who you met and called you down the road or being just a story of a time you almost got hit head on by some guy in the middle a desert one night. A bit late, but just in time, I buckled my seat belt and decided not to become that guy. I threw my vehicle in drive and accelerated after you. Headed in your direction for the first time.

My heart raced as I drove fast to catch up to your vehicle once again and as I pulled up behind you, obnoxiously got your attention with my horn and the flashing of my lights. I couldn’t believe I had chased after you like a crazy! What would you think of this? Was I crazy?

As you stepped out of your vehicle your beauty was staggering and I confidently acknowledged, almost applauded myself; I had made the right decision. I jogged up to you on the pavement of that two lane highway and blurted out “When will I see you again?!”. Your laugh told me everything as it often did, I would learn.

I canceling my plans, my new job would have to wait, or I’d find a new one when I got to my destination. I suddenly had you placed at the center of my life’s main screen and didn’t for one second consider what else was on outside in my periphery. Everything seemed like it mattered just a little bit less than the focus my mind found when trained on you. I spent the day with you, headed in your direction. We played, both lost in the world together, on a new adventure, and loving every moment of it.

By that evening I was already in love, and knew it as for the first time I watched the sunset reflect forever in your eyes. I will never in my wildest dreams forget your smile when I admitted my love to you as we watched those stars again, together, that second night.

I also remember how we really met, and this isn’t it! Not even close! But it sure could have been. I mean, some things are similar to how we met all those years ago. You do remember don’t you?

The night we first met we were hurling in each other’s direction at a million miles per hour and barely missed colliding. That near miss put us into permanent dance as we orbited each other - dancing in and out of each other’s life, always friends, lovers, strangers, family; whatever we needed to be for the other at that specific moment in time. The first night we met I knew I had met the most amazing woman and I couldn’t believe that I had finally found you; never in my wildest dreams did I think you were really out there.

We did watch the stars and talked until the sun came up. We also spent the next day playing together and I really did watch the sunset reflect forever in your eyes. I did fall in love with you, only immediately, almost at first sight.

My love switch flipped the very moment you said “Hiiii” that way you did. Your mysterious brown eyes - strands coloring them wonderful, as your cheeks smiled for days. They reached into me latching onto my heart and I did not resist the comfort of your grasp. There was just something so familiar in the way you drew me in and made a place for me in your world. I felt like I had seen this smile of yours before somewhere and it belonged right after that “Hiiii”, and right in front of me. There was also something so familiar in the way you said my name, always smiling, you giggled a lot more back then.

I chased after you and that smile, following the echoes of that giggle from that moment on without any regret and loved every moment you chased me back laughing as we played. I remember how grateful I was getting to know you, and how grateful I always will be to have spent all the moments we shared through the years, building our story. The rest of that story and how we really first met is ours. A story to be remembered another time I think.


I remember the many other things that are similar in the story I have told but happened completely differently, to a completely different moment, in a completely different part of our story that I’d like to share in this letter to you. I think it is supposed to help...telling you these things, we always shared our deepest feelings with each other and It’s hard holding them all by myself. I’m working on it, love, I promised. Writing these letters to you and the chapters of our time together contained within.
In this part of our story, the true part of this story, and part of our chapters I’m sharing in this letter is a moment where I remember a collision that happened head on and it all started with a phone call.

I remember we were both asleep at the wheel and wholly unprepared as I raced down the highway to you. I remember how sudden the impact came after I reached your side. I remember the pain and jarring as your light in my world, that light that engulfed my vision completely, was in a moment no longer present. I remember my confusion as my momentum came to a complete, and immediate, stop. I remember that I didn’t even have time to scream or brace myself as everything in my world shattered in a devastating explosion and all it’s shiny pieces showered into the air around me. I remember that I didn’t even have both hands on the wheel as my life turned upside down. I remember that there was no seat belt to fasten me in as my breath choked in my throat, stalled, as if suspended mid air.

I remember the look, taste, sound, smell, touch, and feeling of every, single, thing, in that hospital room. I remember the smell of my tears in your hair. I remember how soft your skin was and that your fingernails were not painted like they normally were as I held your hand. I remember the feeling of my nerves as they achieved complete pandaemonium within me. I remember I was trembling as I struggled to breath between crying, then breathing, then crying, tasting the snot running from my nose mixed with the salt that clung to my face as I sat at your side. I remember hearing the sobs in the room as your heart rate monitor stopped blinking. I remember that exact moment you left me. I remember all of the feelings I felt at that moment as my emotions burned deep within and imprinted them as if by brand, permanently emblazoned on my soul. I remember not having the words for them then and I still do not have words for them now.

I remember every single detail, reflected in the pieces of my world as they crashed to the polished surface of the tiny room’s grey and white checkered tile floor. I remember that for the first time in a long time we were no longer running toward each other, or in the same direction together, and you weren’t there to make sure I was okay. I remember praying that you would be okay but my heart didn’t hear the echo of yours anymore to be sure. I remember hoping you were not lonely just minutes after you left and began crying: differently, because I didn’t know how to be there for you like I promised I always would be. I remember wanting so badly to chase after you, especially in the months that followed your funeral to keep that promise I made. I remember wanting to make sure you weren’t alone and be by your side as you took off on this new adventure to make sure you got under way okay. I remember trying to lighten my mood and joke about you making a new friend jealous, telling them about a guy that loved you unconditionally in another life. But, I remembered I could not chase you this time; I couldn’t be there to hold you if you happened to fall in love with him and he broke your heart. There was no catching up to you minutes down the road, just to see your smile again and hear you laugh at me for being silly. There was no way to pick you up off the ground and piece your heart back together with pieces of mine if it was broken this time.

I can only hope you receive all the letters like this one and that you are able to answer my call when I get home. We can meet in the middle of some two lane highway in the clouds, talking about life down below, or everything, or nothing, and laugh at the concept of time.

I can’t wait for that moment I see you again and we can remember all the years since the night we first met and remind each other how that story really went. I want so badly to be reminded exactly how it feels seeing the sunset reflect forever in your eyes like I used to.

I remember you every single day and wrote this letter to remind you: that more than anything, I patiently wait to learn how we finish our story, because never in my wildest dreams, could these stars be as beautiful as I remember, all those moments, I spent watching them with you.

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Gita on Character Building
Human body is only for attaining God (Paramatma). etc. Therefore, if one becomes determinate on the one aim of God Realization, then man will turn towards God. On turning towards God, good qualities-good conduct come on their own, and character building begins to take place. However, if man forgets about God Realization, and begins to hoard worldly possessions and enjoy sense pleasures, then he falls down in character. He who loses his character, is not even worthy and deserving of being called a man.“Par drohee par daar rat par dhan par apabaad |Te nar paanvar paapamai deha dhare manujaad ||(Manas 7/39)Bhagavad Gita’s entire spiritual instructions are for building character. Previously, Arjuna’s sentiment was to fight the war, therefore he invited Lord and accepted Him in the form of a charioteer and became ready to enter the battlefield to fight. However, Lord’s intent was to see to Arjuna’s eternal good (salvation). Arjuna said that place the chariot in-between both the armies so that I can see who is present to fight me with both hands. The Lord, did exactly as told and placed the chariot right in between both the armies and said, that see the members of the Kuru dynasty (1/21-25). On hearing the word, Kuru dynasty, Arjuna suddenly became conscious of his family, affiliated with his body. He became frightened by the thought that all of them will die and thus turning away from his duty, said – I will not fight. To turn away from one’s duty is the main obstacle in character building. The Lord said – O’ What are you doing? It is your duty to fight, therefore giving up attachment and cowardliness, stand up to fight (Gita 2/2-3).It is only to engage man in the path of duty that Bhagavad Gita manifested. It is only in renouncing your rights and properly performing your duties that character is developed, whereas on neglecting your duties the character is destroyed. God says – “Na tvevaaham jaatu naasam….” (Gita 2/12) - Here the Lord begins His spiritual instructions and first deliberates on the body and the indweller, the perishable and imperishable. The point is that leaving aside (not paying attention to) the perishable things, pay attention to the imperishable. By doing so, character building takes place.There is one very important point, that when the aim is of the imperishable, the perishable things will come on their own. You will not have to undergo suffering for them. But if the aim and focus is of the perishable, the imperishable essence will not be attained, and one will have to worry and make an effort for the perishable. And further ahead Lord says, that see toward one’s innate duty, therefore it is only beneficial to fight the war of righteousness for a Kshatriya. (Gita 2/31). The point is that it is only by fulfilling duty that man progresses, and by going towards non-duty he takes a fall. The main thing in fulfilling one’s duty, is to renounce desires, proprietary interest and attachment. The meaning of renouncing these is that one should not have the aim of “jada”, the inert (insentient). Previously the body etc. were not ours, later on as well, they will not remain ours and at present too they are separating from us every single moment. If this kind of alertness is awakened then the aim will not be of the inert and the senses, the inner faculties will be restrained and controlled on their own. In self-control itself is the building of character. In lack of control and lack of restraint, progress is curtailed and with that the character falls.In the beginning of the third Chapter, Arjuna asks that why are you engaging me in these most sinful acts? Lord says – though these appear to be very sinful on the surface, than too one must fulfill their duties by giving up selfishness, proprietary interest, egoism, and desires. By doing so, the dreadfulness does not remain, only the action remains. Actions can be various according to one’s varna (order of life) and ashram (stage in life), but the terribleness, the filth, the passion , all lead to one’s downfall, and it arises due to desires. Keeping desires in the forefront if one reads and shares with others the spiritual messages (with the aim of money or other things), it is considered demoniac tendency and one cannot escape sins; even on listening and sharing spiritual truths, good character cannot be developed because desire is the root of all sins (Gita 3/37). However, if the aim is God, then even though engaged in worldly duties and activities, then too good character will come in them. Therefore, in the third chapter, Lord gives great emphasis on renouncing desires and doing one’s duty. Similarly, in the fourth chapter it has been said that when there is no desires, when there is no sense of pride in doership, then all actions become inactions, in other words, even while doing karma, man is not bound; because his aim is to go towards God. In the fifth chapter also says to fulfill one’s duty -Yuktah karmaphalam tyaktvaa shanatimaanoti naishthikim |Ayuktah kaamkaarena phale sakto nibhadhyate || (Gita 5/12)“He who is a Karmayogi, who by abandoning attachment to the fruit of action, attains everlasting peace (God Realization); whereas, he who acts with a selfish motive, being attached to the fruit of actions through desire acquires bondage.” Fruits (objects) are the kind that will be born and will later perish, but the desire for them is what is binding. Desire makes one fall in character. When character takes a fall, there is lack of peace and whereas building character, one attains peace. The moment there is ill feelings in the mind, one experiences lack of peace. And the moment there is good feelings within, peace immediately follows.If you are attentive, then it is every man’s experience that the more that he renounces the perishable, that much peace, joy, equanimity, good qualities, continue to come in him and the more that he desires the perishable things, that much lack of peace, discord, anguish, burning infliction, and bad qualities arise.In the sixth chapter also, it has been said to engage in God having “That” as the aim. That God is present and pervading everywhere. He who sees Me (the Universal Self, God) present in all beings and sees all beings existing in Me (Paramatma), I am never out of sight for him, nor is he ever out of my sight.Yo maam paschyati sarvatra sarvam cha mayi pashyatiTasyaahum na pranashyaami sa cha mein na pranashyati || (Gita 6/30)That man who sees other’s sorrow and happiness as his own happiness and sorrow, he is an eternal yogi -Aatmoupamyena sarvatra samam pashyati yorjuna |Sukham va yadi vaa dukham sa yogi paramo matah || (Gita 6/32)He who has the sentiments - Let there be no sorrow such a one attains God (Paramatma tattva). How can the suffering of all come to an end? How can all be happy? One who has such sentiments - their character is the highest of all. Further when the conversation lead to bringing the mind under control, then the Lord revealed about study and practice “abhyaas” and detachment “vairaag” (Gita 6/35). In other words, there too the talks are about removing the mind from the world, and engaging it in God. When talking about progress in the life beyond this world, there too the same has been intellect is only in God, he is considered the best among the yogis (Gita 6/47). He who walks the path of God, if his spiritual practices comes to an end in the middle and he dies then too he will be benefited, he will attain misfortune (Gita 6/40). Those who do work for the welfare of all, even if their work is left incomplete, he will be benefited. He whose mind and It is only eminent to be engaged in God.He who is not devoted to God, God calls him an evil doer (Gita 7/15) and he who is devoted to God, he is called virtuous (Gita 7/16). The point is that he who walks the path towards God are called virtuous and benevolent, and he who walks the path of the world is called an evil-doer. Further ahead it is said that he whose actions are pure, whose character is great, they become unyielding in their spiritual pursuits and do worship and devotion of God (Gita 7/28).
In walking the path towards God, remembrance is the key point. In the beginning of the Eight Chapter, on questioning by Arjuna, the Lord said that he who leaves this body while remembering Me, he attains Me - of this there is no doubt. (Gita 8/5).
Because whatever the sentiments and feelings that are recollected at the time of leaving the body, that alone he attains. (Gita 8/6) Therefore God says, that keep in mind and remember Me at all times - “Sarveshu kaaleshu Maamanusmara” (Gita 8/7). Then God said something extra-ordinary that he who remembers Me at all times, for him I am easily attainable.
Anayacheta satatam yo maam smarati nityasah |
Tasyaham sulabh paarth nitya yuktasya yoginah || (Gita 8/14)
To remember God is a divine trait. It is innateness the root of good character. The meaning of being in remembrance of God is - that remembering and recollecting the innate relation that we have with God, that very relationship, is the one only real relationship. I do not have a relationship with the world. I have only assumed a relationship with the world, therefore this relationship does not last. It is clearly seen that the relationships we have in this birth, they were not there in the previous birth, and they will not be there in the next birth. In the same way this world is constantly changing, but God is the same, as Is, and I myself am also the same. Therefore my relationship with Paramatma is eternal. Remembering this itself is recollection and remembrance (smruti). Thinking can also be of the world, but “smruti” can only be of God. On having such recollection and remembrance, good character is axiomatic.
He who is inclined towards God, becomes the best of all. There is greater gains among those who walk the path of God with aim of God, than the gains that come from Vedas (holy texts), sacrifice, austerities, charity, visiting holy places, fasting etc. (Gita 8/28).
Therefore inclination towards God is considered to to be the sovereign of sciences (king of all knowledge), most mysterious, supremely holy, most excellent, directly realizable, endowed with virtues, very easy to practice and imperishable (Gita 9/2). God finds Himself to be so easy to attain, that “he who with devotion offers a leaf, a flower, a fruit, water etc. I partake in that thing., (Gita 9/26). Therefore, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice (yajna), whateer you bestow as a gift, whatever you do by way of penance, dedicate it all to Me, then you will be freed from bondage of actions having good and bad results; and freed from them you yourself having completely surrendered shall attain Me (Gita 9/27 – 28).
Whether a man is evil or good – he must not worry. The main point is that that he is engaged in God. On becoming engaged in God, his bad conduct cannot last. He can very quickly become righteous and he attains eternal peace (Gita 9/30-31) . Women folks, Vaisyas, Sudras, and even those that are born of sinful wombs taking refuge in Me, attain the Supreme God. (Gita 9/32-33). However many different “jaatis” that are present, of these externally there is the separation due to nature, but from within all are a part of God. Therefore in worldly relations, the importance is of conducting one’s self according to one’s “Varna,” but in the path of spirituality, there is no importance of “varna” etc. because in the form of divinity (being a part of God), every one’s true nature is pure and all are equally entitled to God. God says, that “Fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, adore Me, prostrate to Me, thus making yourself steadfast in Me, and entirely surrendering to Me, you will reach Me.” (Gita 9/34). The point of all this is that only be engaged in Me.
In the tenth chapter on Arjuna’s pleading, God described His super human powers and His Universal form. The essence of what He said - “I am all pervasive in the World. Wherever you see something extra-ordinary, (glorious, brilliant, powerful), know it to be a manifestation of a spark of My splendor” (Gita 10/41). That specialty is due to Me alone. The point is that wherever whatever you find brilliant, abundant, remarkable, there too, the sight should turn towards God. There after he says “what is the reason for you to gain detailed knowledge? I stand supporting the entire Universe, with a single fragment of Myself.” (Gita 10/42) On hearing this, Arjuna, desired to see that Universal Form of the Lord, in Whose single fragment is the entire Universe. The Lord bestowed Arjuna with “divya chakshu” (special divine vision) to behold this sight. * On seeing the divine vision, Arjuna became perplexed, became filled with fear, became charmed. Then God said that this is your foolishness. I am the same One, then why are you fearful?
In the twelfth Chapter, Arjuna asked “he who worships the Imperishable and the Unmanifest and he who worships God with attributes (bhaktimarg), which of the two are better versed in yoga? (Gita 12/1). The path of the Imperishable, Unmanifest (jnana marg), are using their own effort, but in the path of “bhakti” the dependence is on only God. In the path of the Imperishable, divine attributes, discrimination and detachment etc. have to be acquired, but in the path of devotion, on taking refuge in the Lord, divine qualities, good attributes and conduct are automatically and naturally acquired (Gita 12/7). Therefore God says that “you give your mind and intellect to Me alone, there upon you will live in Me alone.” (Gita 12/8). God says - the devotee who is living in Me alone, is most dear to Me. As such, all the beings are dear to God, but he who takes refuge in God, he is most dear to God. Simply by being devoted and engrossed in God, good qualities and conduct come on its own, without any effort.
In the thirteenth Chapter, God describes the path of knowledge (of the Imperishable), and while he describes good qualities such as “absence of pride” (amaanitva) etc., he brings up “Unswerving Devotion to Me with sole dependence on Me alone” – ”Mayi chaananyayogen bhaktiravyabhichaarini” (Gita 13/10). In the Fourteenth Chapter also there is talks about devotion “bhakti” - “He who worships Me with unadulterated devotion, rises above the three modes and becomes eligible, for attaining Brahma”. (Gita 14/26). It is only due to affinity with attributes (gunas) that demonaic traits are born, due to which births in higher and lower forms take place. On walking the path of Divinity (God), one rises above the three modes.
In the fifteenth chapter God reveals His extra-ordinary glories and radiance and says that I am the Supreme Personality (Supreme Soul) over both the “Insentient” (Perishable) and “Sentient” (Imperishable Embodied Soul). (Gita 15/16-18). He who knows Me as the Supreme Personality, the Highest Person, is “sarvavid” the knower of all, and he worships Me, with all his being. (Gita 15/19). Divine traits naturally manifest in him who is devoted to Me and worships Me. Therefore in Sixteenth Chapter, God gives the description of “Divine Traits”. But, he who has become distant from God, who only wants to nourish his own body, to engage in sense enjoyments and in hoarding, demoniac tendencies manifest in him. God elaborates at great length those demoniac traits in the Sixteenth Chapter. He says, Divine traits leads to liberation, whereas Demoniac traits lead to bondage. (Gita 16/5), and such a person attains birth through 8.4 million different wombs (Gita 16/19) and goes to hell. (Gita 16/20).
In the Seventeenth Chapter, the Lord describes the three modes - of goodness (sattvic), passion (rajasic) and ignorance (tamasic). Even on seeing this, the goodness and divine sentiments are among those that have a disinclination for the world and inclination towards God. They rise above the sentiments of passion and ignorance. Thus those who perform the acts of sacrifice, penance and various acts of charity for God, then such acts are of the mode of goodness and they are liberating. (Gita 17/25). However if they are done for the world, i.e. with aim of honor, fame, pleasure, rest and relaxation etc. and sacrifices, austerities, charity etc. done with negligence and ignorance, then they become of the mode of passion and ignorance.
In the Eighteenth chapter, God elaborates in great detail, Sanyaas (Sankhyayoga) and “tyaag” (Karmayog). In the end God concludes that leave dependency of all dharmas, and only take refuge in Me.
“Sarvadharmaan parityajya maamekum sharanam vraja |
Aham tvaa sarvapaapebhyo Mokshayishyami maa suchah || (Gita 18/66)
All the work in the world, all accomplishments, all progress, all is encompassed in that one – “sharanagati” (taking refuge in the Lord”. God says that all the sins that are there, evil qualities and conduct, I will free you from these. You do not worry. By My grace, the divine traits will come naturally, on their own.
Just as a child that stays in his mother’s lap, gets provided for, is nourished, taken care of and he grows, similarly, on taking the refuge in the Lord, all the good traits and conduct will come unknowingly. Building of character will take place on its own.
In this manner, in the entire Gita if one sees then there is only one point - walking the path towards God, i.e. becoming inclined towards God. The aim of going towards the Lord is itself an aid in preventing the fall of one’s character. All evil qualities and conduct come from desire for sense pleasures and hoarding. Of this, the importance of money and dependence on it, leads to the worst downfall. By this, man’s character goes down. When character takes a fall, people talk ill of him and he is dishonored.
A man who has fallen in character, he is lower than even animal and those dwelling in hell; because animal and hellish ones are suffering the consequences of their past actions, and are moving towards human birth, but by incurring sins, a characterless man, is moving towards animal life and hell! Association of such men is the kind that will lead to downfall. Therefore it is said -
Baru bhal baas narak kar taataa |
Dusht sang jani deyi bidhaataa || (Manas 5/46/4)
Therefore for improving your character, become inclined towards God, that is – I am God’s and God is mine. I am not this world’s, the world is not mine.
The mistake that man makes is that which is not his, those thing that belong to the world, he considers them as his own, and that which is actually his, i.e. God, he does not accept as his own. As such, if it is seen, the things of the world are his only for proper use. But for himself, God is his very own. Because the things belong to the world, therefore they have to be offered to the world for serving and man himself is God’s, therefore he must surrender himself to God. Neither he has to take anything from the world, nor does he have anything to take from God. If something is to be taken, then let that be God Himself.
By desiring things of the world, one establishes a relationship with the world. Desire arises from attachment, i.e. desire arises by considering the body, wife, son, wealth, etc. as mine. Now if we think and accept the body, wife, son, wealth etc. as our own, can we say we have an independent right over them? Can we keep them as long as we like? Can we stay with them forever? If the answer is No! Than what is the difficulty in getting rid of the sense of mine-ness? By leaving the erroneously accepted sense of mine, desires will not arise. When desires do not arise, automatically there will be a feeling of mine-ness with God; because God is eternally ours from time immemorial and God is ever-attained. On having sense of mine-ness with God, feelings and conduct will be purified.
Body, wife, son, wealth, house, various possessions, are they real or unreal – this doubt may arise, but our relationship with them is unreal, of this there is no possibility of doubt at all. On knowing the unreal as unreal, the unreal relation is renounced very easily and on becoming inclined towards God, the eternal relationship with God is automatically awakened. Thereafter good character and conduct comes on its own and man becomes a role-model of good character, in other words, his character becomes one that is worthy of respect.
Yadyadaacharati shreshthasttdevetaro janah |
Sa yatpramaanam kurute lokastdanuvartate ||
(Gita 3/21)
Whatever an ideal person does, he is followed by others, as well. Whatever standard he sets, the world follows the same.”
A person of good character is never dependent. An ideal person is entirely independent, capable, eligible and entitled.
Narayana ! Narayana !! Narayana !!!
From "Kalyaan Path" in Hindi by Swami Ramsukhdasji

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What are the books that can change people's lives?


#1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho [Fable]



There are millions of Books but none like this one. This is a masterpiece in FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS tale. This is the story of a boy who followed his dreams. You can understand everything about the Universe, Dreams, and Life in this one epic adventure. If you want to read one and only one book, then I would recommend this one only.

Two of the most powerful quotes from the book:

There is ONE GREAT TRUTH on this planet:
Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you want something, it is because that desire originated in the soul of the Universe. It is your mission on earth.

To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation. All things are one. When you want something; all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

#2. Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill [Personal Development]



Napoleon Hill interviewed "40 millionaires" to discover the common thought processes and behavior that had led to their success. His study of these "best practices" was revolutionary in a world where it was largely assumed that great wealth resulted from a combination of greed and luck.

Best quote: "All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination. Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth."

#3. Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy [Mind Programming]



This book will unleash the hidden treasure in your mind. This book that can change you as a person and can re-program your personality and can attract anything and everything you want. Most importantly it is full of case studies and affirmative techniques that you can start using immediately. 'The Power of Your Subconscious Mind' will open a world of success, happiness, prosperity, and peace for you.

Best Quote: “As you sow in your subconscious mind, so shall you reap in your body and environment.”

#4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen [Personal Development]



It's a classic written in 1902. It explains how your thoughts mold your personality, and how that personality drives you to take action and determines the type of action you'll take.

Best quote: "The dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers."

#5. The Secret By Rhonda Byrne [Law of Attraction]



Most people love this book, and some hate it. But this is the book that lights up more life than any other books in Self-help arena by unfolding the secret to the Universe. It holds the treasure to the Universal Law of Attraction. Read this book and it will help you in every area of life while keeping you motivated.

Many people hate this book also because they consider it like a one stop solution. Remember no book can change anyone’s life jut by reading but only with the consistent application, it shows the result. Moreover, read this book and the follow the next two books by Rhonda Byrne The Power & The Magic and together they will give you the real action plan to manifest your dreams. Millions and millions have changed their life with these three books only. So don't buy the negative feedback from anyone ..Read them and try it and see the result.

Best Quote: “Be grateful for what you have now. As you begin to think about all the things in your life you are grateful for, you will be amazed at the never-ending thoughts that come back to you of more things to be grateful for. You have to make a start, and then the law of attraction will receive those grateful thoughts and give you more just like them.”

#6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey



Our habits build or break our life. This book will help you develop better habits

It also convinces you that acquiring them will make you a better person.

Best quote: "Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny."

#7. Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins



This a masterpiece from Tony Robbins, which align emotional state and physical dynamics to bring any kind of transformation in life. Which is now more popularly known as NLP but this book will take you deep inside the process and how to apply in life to achieve a massive result.

Best quote: "If you can't, you must. If you must, you can."

“Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”

#8. The Science Of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles [Self-Help]



This book is a practical manual on how to program your mind, feelings and actions to become rich in life. And here rich not only means money but if you follow the same, you will become rich with happiness, health and love also.

#9. Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz [Self-Help]



This is a very powerful book about Self-Image. There is no other Self-Help book as scientific as this. With tons of examples and case studies, this book is a treasure house of Action Plans to follow.

This is a book take deep dive into the power of imagination, relaxation and hold the secret to HIGH-PERFORMANCE in any field.

Best Quote: “A human being always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment...For imagination sets the goal ‘picture’ which our automatic mechanism works on. We act, or fail to act, not because of ‘will,’ as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination.”

#10. Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen (Inspirational Stories)



Chicken Soup for the Soul is a collection of motivational essays and true stories about ordinary people’s lives, compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. After 144 publishers had rejected the book, it was finally accepted by a small firm, and became a roaring success. You will love the inspirational tales, and it will serve as a daily motivation at the times of difficulties.

Chicken Soup series one of the highest selling books ever and only Harry Potter series has surpassed their sales volume.

Apart from the above ten books with details, I am listing the list of other books with title, and I believe you will explore them:

#11. How to Win & Influence People by Dale Carnegie (Self-Help)

#12. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (Inspirational & Spiritual)

#13. The Power by Rhonda Byrne (Law of Attraction)

#14. The Magic by Rhonda Byrne (Law of Attraction)

#15. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (Self-help & Personal Finance)

#16. You Can Heal Your Life by Luis Hay (Self-Help & Wellbeing)

#17. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield (Inspirational)

#18. Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Milman (Inspirational & Memoir)

#19. You can Win by Shiv Khera (Self-Help)

#20. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma (Inspirational & Fable)

#21. Autobiography of a Yogi (Autobiography/Inspirational)

#22. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (Biography, Entrepreneurship)

#23. Made in Japa by Akio Morita (Autobiography, Entrepreneurship)

#24. Losing My Virginity by Sir Richard Branson (Autobiography, Entrepreneurship)

#25. 4-Hours Work Week by Tim Ferriss (Productivity, New Life Style)

#26. The $100 Start-Up by Chris Guillebeau (Entrepreneurship)

#27. Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life by Dr.Wayne Dyer (Self-help)

#28. Talent is Overrated by Geoffrey Colvin (Science of Success / Productivity)

#29. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (Science of Success / Productivity)

#30. WINGS of FIRE by Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam (Autobiography & Inspirational) - One of my most favourite book.


1. Philosophy: The Open Society and Its Enemies of Karl R. Popper. Although those are two Volumes (I and II) the topic is the same. In the first Volume Karl Popper makes a brilliant analysis of ancient philosophers (Plato and Aristotle in particular) and how they influenced our culture till those day. In the second Volume Popper focuses on Hegel and Marx and how they influenced modern times ideologies. Although Popper is the only modern philosopher with a scientific approach the open society is a harsh critique to how those philosophers’ interpretation of the world lead eventually to the birth antidemocratic ideologies. Believe me when I say that this is one of the most mind-blowing texts ever written. In addition Popper’s style is very simple and captivating.

how did it change my life? Popper is one of the first philosophers which look at other philosophers with a skeptical eye. Once you read Popper you realize that also Plato and Aristotle were men and as such they made mistakes. Therefore, you don't take anything for given anymore.

2. Neuroscience:  Soft-Wired How the New Science of Neuroplasticity can change your life – Dr. Michael Merzenich PHD. This book is going to open your mind on how our brain actually works. You will see many myths that you believed true throughout your life bust in the pages of “Soft-Wired”. The book is brilliant since it explains the new scientific findings but also how to improve your life through neuroplasticity. It is really a guide on how to live.

how did it change my life? Adter reading Soft-wired my belief system shifted. I no longer believed to be a fixed individual. In other words I realized that DNA plays a dismal role compared to life and experience. And if you are willing to put the effort you can change yourself at any time in life. Empowering!

3. Non-Fiction: The Black Swan – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Taleb is going to open your eyes on many topics and human biases. If you read this book carefully, eventually you will understand things about yourself and society in general that you did not notice before.

how did it change my life? It made me realize how humans are biased. Join the modern skeptics!

4. Fiction – The Divine Comedy – Dante Alighieri

Absolutely the best work ever written by any account. Dante Alighieri mixes fiction (he travels through hell, purgatory before reaching heaven) with history. Indeed in this fantastic journey he encounters many historical figures. His guide throughout this spiritual journey will be the Latin author Virgil that he defines as great master.

how did it change my life? Reading Dante is like going back in time and meeting many of the greatest ancient authors and mythological characters. It makes you discover a world that you did not have idea existed. Enlightening!

5. Autobiographies: Anwar El Sadat: In Search of Identity an Autobiography.

The amazing, inspiring and heroic personality, Sadat (former Egyptian president eventually assassinated) tells his story that seems more a tale than a real story. Sometimes reality exceeds fiction and this is one of those cases.

how did it change my life? Sadat story gave me strength. We realize that our everyday challenges are nothing compared to the ones Sadat had to face throughout his life.





 

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