December 17, 2016

Use the ink before it dries...

If you have owned an inkjet printer, you have probably experienced the drying of ink cartridges, if not used frequently. The case is similar for a pen refill/ cartridge or paint colors. Each of these have a life span before which you have to use it, else it dries and becomes unusable.

Sometimes the inks or colors can be revived by adding water or some solvent and sometimes it can go beyond reuse. The only real choice you have is to use it or allow it to decay over time. When your usage is high, you can upgrade to a laser printer where the ink does not dry!

The same idea holds true for the skills we possess or learn. If we do not keep using those, we will lose those over time. Talents and skills have been given to us to make use of and not to keep in a show case. Many of us either do not find time or keep waiting for the perfect opportunity to use our talents. In the process, the talents become blunt and eventually go away.

The sacred texts also say that if you do not use your talents, then they would not be given to you in your next birth.

Even in a supply chain management context, we see production planners maintaining a minimum usage of old or niche technologies to keep the manufacturing skill alive. They do not want to be caught off guard when they have to produce large quantities of these products.

If the ink has dried, not all is lost :-) You can either hope that someone inspires you like Jamavanta (Jambavan) reminded Hanuman or you can go deep into meditation practices that can not only revive the parched skills, but also allow new talents to blossom. You can experience simple and deep meditation from the Art of Living here.

So, go ahead and use the ink before it dries…

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 and

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: and