November 06, 2016

Tracking cookies in real life

A few days ago, my wife and I were discussing about dhoti pants. And minutes later, I see ads popping up on my smartphone asking me to buy those online. I am sure many of us would have noticed that the smartphones listen to our conversations and present options to take that conversation further.

Not just your smartphone, your computer also tracks your moves on the internet using 'cookies'. These smart cookies tweak the content coming to you and show you relevant ads on the sites you browse. In case you have not noticed, there is usually a small disclaimer on each site informing you that cookies will be installed on your computer should you choose to continue browsing the site.


Some of these cookies are essential for managing your current login session while others like 'tracking cookies' are the ones that store your browsing history and patterns for future usage. This data is then used by corporations to show you content that is relevant to you. In other words, you are fed content similar to things that you are focusing on.

This also extends to social networks, where you are prompted with friend suggestions based on your profile, interests and the people you are already connected to.

So, the question that arises is - If an internet network built by humans can do all of these, why do we think the super network in the universe does not have these capabilities? It is said that what you focus on, grows. It is true, because the universe also has its cookies installed in our system. It feeds you a version of reality (content) that is similar to things that you are focusing on :-)

You notice certain things only after you have started focusing on it. For example, from the time I got actively involved in CSR activities, I have seen an increased coverage of CSR in the newspapers. During the same time, other people around me (colleagues, friends) do not recollect seeing any such trend. This concept has been elaborated in the movie 'The Secret'.

Many decades of experiments in Quantum Physics have now shown the smallest building blocks in the universe exist only as 'probability waves' and they turn into 'particles' the moment you observe it. It is proved that when you are not focusing on them, they move around like waves in an ocean. The moment you focus on them or try to sense them, they start behaving like small particles and move in straight lines/ defined paths.

Understanding this phenomenon is path-breaking. Reality is just a wave of probabilities and our focus on it condenses it into particles. So, watch your thoughts, watch your actions and watch the company you keep. All of these contribute to creating a personalized version of reality for you.


Can we delete these tracking cookies from our system? Definitely, yes! Like you clear the computer cache, you need to keep clearing your mind cache. Daily practice of breathing and meditation techniques surely helps in erasing the browsing history and patterns from your system :-)

You can learn more about the techniques from Art of Living here

(Images sourced from securelaptop.org and askleo.com)

October 10, 2016

Are you right or loyal?


What prompted Vibhishana to join hands with Ram? Why did Bhishma fight for Duryodhana? History is full of incidents where, not just ordinary humans, people with great powers had to choose sides. It is the same story today and will be in the future. When Vibhishana joined sides with Ram, Ram asked Lakshman what would he have done if he was faced with a similar choice? It is a choice between righteousness and loyalty; each gives strength and also its own ending.


Reading various stories from the history makes you realize that the turn of events could have been very different if the leaders of different times had made a different choice. It is not an easy choice and one prays that they are never faced with an either-or choice. You pray that you are loyal to the right person!


You may be bound by your word of commitment, rules, traditions, personal interests that may force you to be loyal. You may be so committed to being right and correct, that sometimes you may go against yourself too.

So, when Lakshman was asked the question by Ram, he simply replied that he knew that Ram would always be right!

What would you do? In today's yuga (era), there is often no clear distinction of what is right. Something considered right by you can be considered wrong by the other side. There may be more than one side in this tussle, each one with their own views.

What do you stand for? Unquestioned loyalty or firm resolve to be right? Each gives strength and also has its own ending.

Are you loyal to righteousness or do you believe that being loyal itself is right? One thing for sure, there is no right answer :-)

All you can ask for is 'Vivek' (intellectual discretion) to distinguish the two and allow you to take appropriate actions - something that meditation and practices like Sudarshan Kriya can help achieve.



Image credits: yourstory.com and hindufaqs.com

September 24, 2015

The Miraculous Intutive Instinct

It’s been exactly one year and seven months now, since I first did my Happiness Program designed by Poojya Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founder of The Art Of Living. In this duration, I have seen and felt many benefits of the “Sudarshan Kriya”,a powerful breathing technique,taught in Happiness Program.It’s also so amazing to have a Living Master, guiding you through the ups and downs of life. Every day is a gift of the Divine, filled with bliss, so enchanting, so fruitful. My life has taken a 360 degree turn, a positive turn! Guruji helps me in my daily life, guiding me at every step, just like a father would lead his little one. I feel so blessed to have the Master in my life.


Below I have described a miraculous experience that got me stunned.

I am a professional, with tight work schedules, and am also actively involved with NGOs. Despite the tedious schedule, I enrolled to do my PostGraduate studies. This was a tough decision for me, as I knew it would be extremely demanding in terms of time and effort. But I decided to go ahead.

During the course of my studies, there were many assignments to be prepared and submitted by me. One such assignment got me into a real fix. I submitted a couple of drafts for the same, but for some reason, my lecturer was still not happy with my work, and not only that, she also commented in front of the entire class stating that I was totally out of topic! I could not figure what exactly my lecturer wanted, and all she told me when I asked for guidance was “This is a post – graduate paper, not under-graduate” and she gave me a book saying “I hope this will help you.” So I took the thick book and walked towards my car, in dejavu! God, time was running out on me, and I had a great deal of work commitments to complete that week. I did not know how I was going to manage everything.

The work pressure was getting at me.On reaching back home, I thought with a calm mind and reached the conclusion that there is no point in panicking,I had exactly 5 days to complete the assignment and I had to make the most of it.

That night, I sat to read the book. It was quite interesting, but it did not seem to answer my quest for the assignment.I read some other material as well, but didn’t really get anywhere. I had only 1 more day to go.To add to my agony,my brother suddenly had some health complications and had to be rushed to the hospital and was then admitted to the ICU. This was one of the most testing times of my life.I prayed to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Guruji in my mind saying “Gurudev, I know you are with me and with my brother too.” This was running like a Japa (Chanting) in my mind. After a few hours, things got stabilized, and the doctors told us that there was nothing to worry.I was more at peace on hearing this soothing piece of news.

By the time I returned home, it was late at night and the first thing that hit me was, “Oops! My assignment!” I was extremely nervous then, as I knew that if I don’t submit in the morning, I would fail the paper.In a helpless state,I ran to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji’s photo and said, “Gurudev, please help me. I’m not even sure what to ask you for, but please give me some idea,I need to get this assignment done by tomorrow morning”. After that, I had my shower and meditated for sometime.That gave me some calmness and a sudden urge to watch videos of Gurudev.
It was quite strange but I just went ahead and followed my instinct. The very first video that was displayed on the list that day was Guruji talking about the GM crop during one of the Satsangs. Someone asked to send a petition about brinjals, and Guruji explained about the fate of farmers who cultivated BT cotton, and the effects it has on the soil, and also about the many types of original rice breeds which were lost, which we may never bring back!

Suddenly everything made sense, the contents of the thick book, the title, the comments,everything made sense. My lecturer actually wanted me to think out of the box,about legality and morality, the difference between being legally right & morally right, about Corporate Social Responsibilities, about Business Ethics. And Gurudev’s video had explained it all.

Five hours passed, and I did not even realize, and my assignment was complete. It was already 6.00 am, just nice for me to get ready and drive to my University, which is about a 2 hour drive from home. All through my journey, I could not stop thanking Sri Sri! The moment I saw my lecturer, I briefly explained to her what I had written, and she smiled and said, “Finally!”

And guess what – 2 months later, when the results were released, I got the grades I wanted! Guruji! Thank You So Much! No words could express my gratitude. Nothing I do will express my gratitude enough, except to spread HIS message of Love & Peace to ALL!!!
Love You Gurudev! You are my Guru, my mentor, my best friend. What can I say when the DIVINE is present in my life, in the form of my ” Guruji “, holding my hand & guiding me in my journey back “HOME”!!!

Sri Sri is amongst the foremost spiritual master of today. He does not restrict himself to spiritual work alone. Sudarshan Kriya has been recognised by United Nation and major companies like Google use it as a tool to train their employees. Today’s generation is being led by materialism and consumerism, it is important to nurture the soul too. Sri Sri does exactly this and his simplistic approach appeals to all.

Jai Gurudev,
Rathaa.