Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

I'll be grateful if you...

May 28, 2012

MUSIC: Folk Songs like of Bihar / UP (INDIA) in EUROVISION 2012


Yesterday night Buranovskiye Babushki (meaning "Buranovo Grannies") won second place in the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest (Sweden's Loreen won the first place). These old beautiful ladies, did not know the English lyrics but said that it was easy for them to sing. Its a lovely song and I loved it, more than the winner as it reminded me of our own village songs that my own grandmother, and family used to sing while doing daily chores or doing some community things like harvesting, community cooking or festivals/marriages.

(Buranovskiye Babushki is a Russian ethno-pop band containing eight elderly women. Buranovskiye Babushki represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The band consists of eight "grandmothers", but only six were allowed to appear on the Eurovision stage. They are from the village of Buranovo, Udmurtia, halfway between the Volga and the Urals in Russia. The band performs most of their songs in the Udmurt language.)

Their initial notes of the song reminded me of another very powerful folk song by Valya Balkanska known for singing the song "Izlel e Delyu Haydutin", part of the Voyager Golden Record selection of music included in the two Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. You must listen to Nevena Tsoneva's singing at the final of Eurovision 2007 singing that very powerful song by Balkanska...
To know more about her as well as hear her sing.. click here....
To hear Nevena's lovely rendition of Balkanska in her finals at Music Idol 2007 - Bulgaria's which won her finals... Click here 
नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

Text curtsy Wikipedia Click here

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MUSIC: Valya Balkanska

May 23, 2012

WHISPERS: Memories and some Haiku...

My latest set of Haiku and some of the memories made and lost… and living in dying… titled ‘Memories’. Hope you will enjoy these verses…

Moon walks the lonely Path
Darkness of night dotted with stars
Hides all tears
Under the desert sky
Even fallen stars shine over
Shifting dunes of dying time
You sit beside me
Counting countless stars
On my finger tip

Searching for lost
Scent of life
I look every where
Is there a meaning
Of this emptiness
Or is there a cosmic design
About to fall?
Is living, all about dying?

Why Sun sets
Why the sea waves fall
Why stars shine
Only in dark
Why the scent of your smile
Floats away, every time
I try to hold,
In my cupped palms

I gather the grains of sand
Left by your foot prints
In my broken heart
I smell the sunsets of your shadow
About to fall
In the spray of ocean scent
In the whispers of sea breeze
All over my broken heart

Remember that ledge of sand;
Where you sat down to count
Countless stars
– Fencing the endless horizon,
Of the dark night?
All still there, waiting
In endless living and dying
Between memories made or lost

There was no space between us
Now the ocean has filled, even that gap
As I sit across in my own desert spaces
That Orion’s belt still shines bright
You know, every lonely night
And I end my dreams with that lovely star
And shatter my living
In a new sunrise, another star
नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

Submitted to an amazing group of talented poets @ dVerse Poets Club, at their Open Link Night WK 45, to add your own verse at dVerse Poets Pub and read some amazing talented poets, click here…

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How To Save A Drop of Love

May 16, 2012

WHISPERS: How To Save A Drop Of Love ... and Haiku

Sharing some of my Haiku and thoughts & feelings of right now… Hope you like it.

River flows, Sun melts over the rock
She brings into my arms
– Earth and distant star
Dreams, dream dreams
Dying on and on...
– Into living
Cut into pieces – thrown apart
By time and space
There are many things wrong with me, right now

How to save a drop of love from drying up....
As time takes its toll
As life takes its topsy-turvy turns
Like a river
Spiraling togetherness away from our lives
- Away from the static banks of past
The present flows into the unknown future
Into the Ocean of all - the living and the dead
Drop by drop, as water under the bridge
We all drift apart

Given enough space
Belongingness too, fades away
– Into the sea of memories
The living dead
 Then how to save...
A drop of love from drying up
Drop it into the ocean of togetherness
That was and that is and that will be
नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
Submitted to an amazing group of talented poets @ dVerse Poets Club, to add your own verse at dVerse Poets Pub and read some amazing talented poets, click here…
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Dante's Love Story and The Red Sand...

May 9, 2012

WHISPERS: Dante's Love Story and The Red Sand...

Remembering DanteAlighieri on his birthday today by sharing a very beautiful love poetry from La Vita Nuova ("The New Life") and a little bit about his amazing one sided love story.
(The exact date is not known, but assumed by some online records that I came across, to be 9th May, c1265–1321)

Though Dante is best known for the monumental epic poem La divina commedia (Divine Comedy), considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature. But here I am sharing ‘Tanto gentile e tanto onesta pare’ from La Vita Nuova the story of his love for Beatrice Portinari, who also served as the ultimate symbol of salvation in the Comedy.

Sometime in his twenties, Dante decided to try to write love poetry that was less centered on the self and more aimed at love as such: he intended to elevate courtly love poetry, many of its tropes and its language, into sacred love poetry. Beatrice for Dante was the embodiment of this kind of love--transparent to the Absolute, inspiring the integration of desire aroused by beauty with the longing of the soul for divine splendor.

Yet it is still not entirely clear what caused Dante to fall in love with Beatrice. Since he knew very little of the real Beatrice, and that he had no great insight to her character (Dante met Beatrice only two times first at 9 year of age and then after another 9 years on the street, as shown in the painting, below, while passing by, and she greeted him. She died 8 years later at the young age of 24), it is perhaps unusual that he did. But he did, and there are clues in his works as to why:

"She has ineffable courtesy, is my beatitude, the destroyer of all vices and the queen of virtue, salvation."

Dante saw Beatrice as a savior, one who removed all evil intentions from him. It is perhaps this idea of her being a force for good that he fell in love with, a force which he believed made him a better person. This is certainly viable, since he does not seem concerned with her appearance - at least not in his writings. He only once describes her complexion, and her "emerald" eyes.

The poems (Of La Vita Nuova) present a frame story, recounting Dante's love of Beatrice from his first sight of her (when he was nine and she eight) all the way to his mourning after her death, and his determination to write of her "that which has never been written of any woman."
Text and Image Curtsy Wikipedia

Anyways, let’s cut the discussion and share the beautiful part which, it’s said, is known to most Italian by heart...
Dante and Beatrice, by Henry Holiday.
 Dante looks longingly at Beatrice (in center)
passing by with friend Lady 
Vanna (red) along the Arno River

So Gentle And So Dignified Appears
So gentle and so dignified appears
My lady when she greets others,
That every trembling tongue becomes dumb,
And their eyes do not dare look upon her.

She walks on, hearing herself praised,
Benignly clothed in humility;
And seems to be something arrived
From Heaven as a miracle on Earth.

She appears so pleasant to those who looks upon her,
And through her eyes a sweetness touches the heart,
Which cannot be understood by those who feel it not:

And it seems that from her lips emanates
A delicate spirit full of love,
That speaks to the soul: Sigh.
Translation by Serena

Now coming to my this week’s poetry submission to dVerse poetry group…  after a long time… Hope you will like it too… Though I know after Dante, it will look so plain…

The Red Sands
To incur so many misfortunes
I feel privileged
To still survive
With vigor that defies
The dark depths
To sing
An eternal tale of many lives

For, forever and more
Bound by strings of blood drops
Of many lives; shed in dying
I still see, within the sheen of red drops,
Reflections of your smile

Like a mirage
Calling out to me, forever,
To live on and on
Into many more lives of despair
I know these sands of time, too;
Will turn into
An another oasis of blood

A red pond sprouting daemons
In their finery of green
Palm trees, dates and cactus flower
On the desert winds
The sands of time

Every traveler strives to reach
This oasis of nowhere, in every life
Where path is the one that leads to its last
With every foot steps taken, bleeds memories
And every sigh, spills another red drop of living
Filling, forever, thirsty desires of
The red pond – just to survive

And a lonely boat plies
Within the fragment world of mirage
And the tired voice of my dreams
Lies down to sleep in the red sands of time
To the songs of eternal life
 नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

To add your own verse at dVerse Poets Pub and read some amazing talented poets, click here…

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The Lost Soul

May 6, 2012

TALKING POINT: Is Human Nature Basically Selfish?

The first time I read Sigmund Freud, almost two decades back, I was not able to relate to it. The repeat reading of the same ideas and ideologies through Brenner, in such a beautiful and simple way which basically sank deeper in my psyche, got me closer to the thoughts and ideas Sigmund Freud promulgated. And it created within me a view that Human beings are basically made up of two basic drives i. e. the SEXUAL and the AGRESSIVE.(Freud 1920).  So yet again, thoughts of Sigmund Freud, some of them given below, I was not able to relate to, or digest in totality...

Freud Sofa for his patients
(Wikipedia Image)
1) In 'Beyond the Pleasure Principle' Freud proposed to account for the instinctual aspects of mental lives by ASSUMING the existence of two drives, the SEXUAL and the AGRESSIVE. (Freud 1920) 

2) Sigmund Freud pointed out that the person whom the child is attached in its early years has a place in its mental life which is unique as far as influence is concerned. This is true whether the child's attachment to these persons is by bonds of LOVE, of HATE, or both, THE LAST BEING BY FAR THE MOST USUAL.

The act of birth is the first experience of anxiety,
and thus the source and prototype of the affect of anxiety.
(Sicilian triskelion)
Image from Wikipedia

3) Freud discovered rather early that there were regularly present in the unconscious mental lives of his NEUROTIC patients fantasies of incest with parent of the opposite sex, combined with jealousy and MURDEROUS rage against the parents of the same sex (Pg 105 - The Psychic Apparatus Chap V) and goes on to say (1910-15) that it became  apparent that Oedipus complex was not just characteristic of the unconscious mental life of neurotics, but was on the contrary present in the normal person as well.

4) Oedipus complex (this is the period from 2 and Half years to 6 years as per Freud) is a twofold attitude towards both parents: on the one hand a wish to ELIMINATE the jealously hated father and take his place in a SENSUAL relationship with the mother, and on the other hand a wish to ELIMINATE the jealously hated mother and take her place with father.... the most important single fact to bear in the mind about the oedipal complex is the strength and force of the feelings which are involved. Its real LOVE AFFAIR.  For many people its the most intense affair of the entire lives, but in any case as intense as any which the individual will ever experience.

John Haidt (A professor of psychology whose research focuses on the psychological bases of morality across different cultures and political ideology, in one of the most interesting discussion on the subject, I could actually find on the YouTube, says

“For 40 years, evolutionary theorist has told that human nature is basically selfish. Many people knew in their hearts that it’s not true
, few of them has been as eloquent as His Holiness Dalai Lama, in arguing for different concepts of human nature. In 'Ethics for new millennium', His Holiness writes that the basic human nature is not only non-violent but actually disposed towards love and compassion, kindness, gentleness and affectionate. Recent research in evolution theory finds that co-operation is infact a basic principle in evolution.

In that same discussion Antonio DamasioProfessor of Neuroscience at the University of Southern California, where he heads USC's Brain and Creativity Institute, puts across his thoughts about the subject, so beautifully, to begin with by sharing 3 facts to known to our modern scientific community presently...

Fact No: 1) Social behaviour - Social emotions, which is one of the main categories of emotions, are natural carriers of morals & ethics.
Fact No: 2) Its quite likely that when we talk about social emotions in general, we talk about sets of behavior & strategies that were planted in mammalian brain by genomes, even if they can certainly be tuned by learning, specially in humans.
Fact No: 3) Adult neurological patients, when they sustain damage to a confined part in the frontal lobe - a very specific part, they are not able to use social conventions or obey ethical rules, although they retain knowledge about that social conventions and those ethical rules. Worse, when the comparable damage occurs in the early years of life, e.g. children up to the age of 3-4, it so happens that not only that resulting in abnormal moral behaviour, but the children are (also) unable to learn the convention and rules to begin with. So in both the adults and in children, the most blatant sign outside their impaired moral behaviour is actually a lack of social emotion (because of the damage to a particular section of the brain) - That should be a food for thought.

And Professor Domasio, goes on to say ...

"The biological function that best captures what is going on (in) moral behaviour is truly Homeostasis - in plain terms the life regulation. I would like to say there are two kind of Homeostasis, 1) the very basic given by our genomes, that ensures the welfare of the self & next of kin & rarely does it even ever go beyond socio cultural. 2) Homeostasis that developed because human brains were able to generate cultures, once they were emerging a collective of other human beings & then in those collective cultures, it was possible to reflect on moral knowledge and it was possible to structure that moral knowledge in such a way that it would result not only to the benefit of the immediate self and of the next of kin but also to others further away to the larger circle of humans".

An American biologist Edward Osborne Wilson known as "the father of socio-biology" says...

"Although much human diversity in behaviour is culturally influenced, some has been shown to be genetic - rapid acquisition of language, human unpredictability, hypertrophy (extreme growth of pre-existing social structures), altruism and religions."

Wilson, along with Bert Hölldobler, has done a systematic study of ants and ant behaviour, culminating in their encyclopaedic work, The Ants (1990). "Because much self-sacrificing behaviour on the part of individual ants can be explained on the basis of their genetic interests in the survival of the sisters, with whom they share 75% of their genes (though the actual case is some species' queens mate with multiple males and therefore some workers in a colony would only be 25% related)"

He  further argues that culture and rituals are products, not parts, of human nature. He says art is not part of human nature, but our appreciation of art is. He argues that concepts such as art appreciation, fear of snakes, or the incest taboo (Westermarck effect) can be studied using scientific methods. Previously, these phenomena were only part of psychological, sociological, or anthropological studies.

Here is a little back ground on the study, mentioned above, known as ...
Westermarck Effect

Edvard Alexander Westermarck 
A Finnish philosopher and sociologist, among other subjects, studied exogamy and the incest taboo. The phenomenon of reverse sexual imprinting (when two people live in close domestic proximity during the first few years in the life of either one, both are desensitized to later close sexual attraction), now known as the Westermarck effect, was first formally described by him in his book The History of Human Marriage (1891). Observations interpreted as evidence for the Westermarck effect have since been made in many places and cultures, including in the Israeli kibbutz system, and the Chinese Shim-pua marriage customs, as well as in biological-related families.

In the case of the Israeli kibbutzim (collective farms), children were reared somewhat communally in peer groups, based on age, not biological relation. A study of the marriage patterns of these children later in life revealed that out of the nearly 3,000 marriages that occurred across the kibbutz system, only fourteen were between children from the same peer group. Of those fourteen, none had been reared together during the first six years of life. This result suggests that the Westermarck effect operates during the period from birth to the age of six.

Freud argued that as children, members of the same family naturally lust for one another, making it necessary for societies to create incest taboos, but Westermarck argued the reverse, that the taboos themselves arise naturally as products of innate attitudes.

Steven Pinker wrote on the subject:

"The idea that boys want to sleep with their mothers strikes most men as the silliest thing they have ever heard. Obviously, it did not seem so to Freud, who wrote that as a boy he once had an erotic reaction to watching his mother dressing. But Freud had a wet nurse, and may not have experienced the early intimacy that would have tipped off his perceptual system that Mrs. Freud was his mother. The Westermarck theory has out-Freuded Freud."
—Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works

What do I think?
I have searched long and hard in my own conscience, the way Freud did in his later years, to find that miniscule hint of that person, hidden within the folds of my ID, Ego and Super Ego, who would be sexually aroused by mother, who would be detesting father, or trying to kill my siblings for that extra chocolate. But have not found even slightest hint.

I firmly believe in the goodness of human being. And I feel that is the reason, the humanity has survived many upheavals, catastrophic changes and adversity on many fronts, despite being, as some say, the most weak animal form to roam the planet earth. In my opinion, Human nature at its core is positive and good.

What do you think?
 नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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'LOVE – The most powerful brain system'

UP, Close & Personal : Sigmund Freud

Remembering Sigmund Freud on his birthday today...

Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud (6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939), was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis. Freud went on to develop theories about the unconscious mind and the mechanism of repression, and established the field of verbal psychotherapy by creating psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient (or "analysand") and a psychoanalyst. Though psychoanalysis has declined as a therapeutic practice, it has helped inspire the development of many other forms of psychotherapy, some diverging from Freud's original ideas and approach. Freud postulated the existence of libido (an energy with which mental process and structures are invested), developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association (in which patients report their thoughts without reservation and make no attempt to concentrate while doing so), discovered the transference (the process by which patients displace on to their analysts feelings based on their experience of earlier figures in their lives) and established its central role in the analytic process, and proposed that dreams help to preserve sleep by representing as fulfilled wishes that would otherwise awake the dreamer.

Freud's theories have been criticized as pseudo-scientific and sexist, and they have been marginalized within psychology departments, although they remain influential within the humanities. Critics have debated whether it is possible to test Freudian theories. Some researchers claim evidence exists for some of Freud's theories. Freud has been called one of the three masters of the "school of suspicion", alongside Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, while his ideas have been compared to those of Plato and Aquinas.


Early Works
The goal of Freudian therapy, or psychoanalysis, was to bring repressed thoughts and feelings into consciousness in order to free the patient from suffering repetitive distorted emotions. Classically, the bringing of unconscious thoughts and feelings to consciousness is brought about by encouraging a patient to talk about dreams and engage in free association, in which patients report their thoughts without reservation and make no attempt to concentrate while doing so. Another important element of psychoanalysis is the transference, the process by which patients displace on to their analysts feelings and ideas which derive from previous figures in their lives. 

As a medical researcher, Freud was an early user and proponent of cocaine as a stimulant as well as analgesic. He believed that cocaine was a cure for many mental and physical problems, and in his 1884 paper "On Coca" he extolled its virtues.

The Unconsciousness
The concept of the unconscious was central to Freud's account of the mind. Freud believed that while poets and thinkers had long known of the existence of the unconscious, he had ensured that it received scientific recognition in the field of psychology.

The Dreams
Freud believed that the function of dreams is to preserve sleep by representing as fulfilled wishes that would otherwise awaken the dreamer.

Way to Freud's Chamber in Vienna
Psychosexual development
"I found in myself a constant love for my mother, and jealousy of my father. I now consider this to be a universal event in childhood," Freud said. Freud sought to anchor this pattern of development in the dynamics of the mind. Each stage is a progression into adult sexual maturity, characterized by a strong ego and the ability to delay gratification (cf. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality). He used the Oedipus conflict to point out how much he believed that people desire incest and must repress that desire. The Oedipus conflict was described as a state of psychosexual development and awareness. He also turned to anthropological studies of totemism and argued that totemism reflected a ritualized enactment of a tribal Oedipal conflict. Freud also believed that the Oedipus complex was bisexual, involving an attraction to both parents
Id, ego, and super-ego
In his later work, Freud proposed that the human psyche could be divided into three parts: Id, ego, and super-ego. The id is the completely unconscious, impulsive, child-like portion of the psyche that operates on the "pleasure principle" and is the source of basic impulses and drives; it seeks immediate pleasure and gratification.
The super-ego is the moral component of the psyche, which takes into account no special circumstances in which the morally right thing may not be right for a given situation. The rational ego attempts to exact a balance between the impractical hedonism of the id and the equally impractical moralism of the super-ego; it is the part of the psyche that is usually reflected most directly in a person's actions.

Life and death drives
Freud believed that people are driven by two conflicting central desires: the life drive (libido or Eros) (survival, propagation, hunger, thirst, and sex) and the death drive.

Freud regarded the monotheistic God as an illusion based upon the infantile emotional need for a powerful, supernatural pater familias. He maintained that religion – once necessary to restrain man’s violent nature in the early stages of civilization – in modern times, can be set aside in favor of reason and science.


Verdicts on the scientific merits of Freud's theories have differed. Gilbert Ryle calls Freud "psychology's one man of genius" and the influence of his teaching "deservedly profound" even though its allegories have been "damagingly popular", while David Stafford-Clark calls him "a man whose name will always rank with those of Darwin, Copernicus, Newton, Marx and Einstein; someone who really made a difference to the way the rest of us can begin to think about the meaning of human life and society."

In contrast, Lydiard H. Horton calls Freud's dream theory "dangerously inaccurate" and Eysenck claims that Freud "set psychiatry back one hundred years" and that "what is true in his theories is not new and what is new in his theories is not true", while Peter Medawar, a Nobel Prize winning immunologist, made the oft-quoted remark that psychoanalysis is the "most stupendous intellectual confidence trick of the twentieth century", and Webster calls psychoanalysis "perhaps the most complex and successful" pseudoscience in history.


TEXT and Image from Wikipedia, click here to read more

To further read some of my thoughts on Sigmund Freud and related interesting topics, please check these out.

A-    Is Human Nature Basically Selfish? – A brief note on Sigmund Freud’s idea of Oedipal Complex: An infant’s twofold attitude towards both Parents: on the one hand a wish to ELIMINATE the jealously hated father and take his place in a SENSUAL relationship with the mother (or vice versa in case of girl child).

B-    “When Nietzsche Wept” is an interesting movie based on the real life story of Nietzsche and Lou, where Sigmund Freud has played an interesting part in their lives, click below to read more…

 नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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