Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

I'll be grateful if you...

Dec 29, 2012

WHISPERS: An Apology To The Delhi Gang Rape Victim

Today, a sad day indeed for the common people, who are feeling helpless and were looking forward to a bigger fight along with the brave heart girl, who fought and fought... Shame on all of us, if we let her fighting spirit die. Let’s all fight to bring back the dignity that India has within, which it lost in a senseless act of lust and drunken criminality of psychopaths...

Here is my "Apology" to her spirit and my pledge not to let memory of her fight, fade and keep the struggle going on till we regain the dignity of Delhi and in turn of India.

Took this picture of the moon, the morning The Brave Heart died.


You "The Brave Heart"
We "The People"
Hide behind "The Cowards"
That every time
We choose to elect
The darkness of shame

But we will not let you go
We will not let you drift apart
From our hearts
We will not forget
And will never forgive
The loss of You "The Brave Heart"

Your fight continues
On every street corner
Within every sensible heart
Within the colours of tears
And pain
Your blood will not dry in vain.

We 'The People"
You "The Brave Heart"
Will bury "The cowards" before you.

 नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

To read about this Brave Heart Girl and the incident, please check out this link...
Click Here

Sharing this with dVerse Poets Pub for the Open Link Night WK 78, if you would like to share and read some great poetry, please click here..

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Understanding Haiku - A beginner's Guide                          One Week Winter Spiritual Retreat

THE READER: An amazing "Confession" by Leo Tolstoy

“Faith is the strength of life. If a man lives he believes in something.”

Reading a beautiful book “Confession” first published in Russia (1882), which was removed by Orthodox Church censorship and later published in Geneva (1884). In his “Confession”, Leo Tolstoy confronted his own reflections about the will to live, when in the end, it’s all about nothing.  Every moment is a step closer to dying, then why this whole life’s attempt to gain fame, family, friends and power.

This Buddhist influenced treatise on living Christianity through each moment was Tolstoy’s attempt to explain his own rationalist religious feeling. Although the “Confession” led to his excommunication, it also resulted in a large following of Tolstoyan Christians springing up throughout Russia and Europe.

“Whatever the faith may be, and whatever answers it may give, and to whomsoever it gives them, very such answer gives to the finite existence of man an infinite meaning, a meaning not destroyed by sufferings, deprivations, or death. This means that only in faith can we find for life a meaning and a possibility... Faith is the strength of life. If a man lives, he believes in something”. – Leo Tolstoy 1882

Now, some of the most important thoughts from the book that made me think about life differently and more purposefully.

"Is there any meaning in my life that the inevitable death awaiting me does not destroy?"

From the time I was sixteen I ceased to say my prayers and ceased to go to church or to fast of my own volition. I did not believe what had been taught me in childhood but I believed in something. What it was I believed in I could not at all have said. I believed in a God, or rather I did not deny God – but I could not have said what sort of God. Looking back on that time, I now see clearly that my faith – my only real faith – that which apart from my animal instincts gave impulse to my life – was a belief in perfecting myself... the beginning of it all was of course moral perfection, but that was soon replaced by perfection in general: by the desire to be better not in my own eyes or those of God but in the eyes of other people. And very soon this effort again changed into a desire to be stronger than others: to be more famous, more important and richer than others.

(At twenty-six years of age) I returned to Petersburg after the war, and met the writers. ... The view of life of these people, my comrades in authorship, consisted in this: that life in general goes on developing, and in this development we – men of thought – have the chief part; and among men of thought it is we – artists and poets – who have the greatest influence. Our vocation is to teach mankind.

Tolstoy photographed at his Yasnaya Polyana
estate in May 1908 by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky.
The only known color photograph of the writer.
I naively imagined that I was a poet and artist and could teach everybody without myself knowing what I was teaching, and I acted accordingly.

The truth was that life is meaningless. I had as it were lived, lived, and I walked, walked, till I had come to a precipice and saw clearly that there was nothing ahead of me but destruction...

One can only live while one is intoxicated with life; as soon as one is sober it is impossible not to see that it is all a mere fraud and a stupid fraud!

"Art, poetry?". . .Under the influence of success and the praise of men, I had long assured myself that this was a thing one could do though death was drawing near – death which destroys all things, including my work and its remembrance; but soon I saw that that too was a fraud. It was plain to me that art is an adornment of life, an allurement to life.

It was pleasant to look at life in the mirror of art. But when I began to seek the meaning of life and felt the necessity of living my own life, that mirror became for me unnecessary, superfluous, ridiculous, or painful.
Now in the experimental sphere I said to myself: "Everything develops and differentiates itself, moving towards complexity and perfection, and there are laws directing this movement. You are a part of the whole. Having learnt as far as possible the whole, and having learnt the law of evolution, you will understand also your place in the whole and will know yourself." Ashamed as I am to confess it, there was a time when I seemed satisfied with that.

And I understood that those sciences are very interesting and attractive, but that they are exact and clear in inverse proportion to their applicability to the question of life: the less their applicability to the question of life, the more exact and clear they are, while the more they try to reply to the question of life, the more obscure and unattractive they become.

These are the direct replies that human wisdom gives when it replies to life's question.

"The life of the body is an evil and a lie. Therefore the destruction of the life of the body is a blessing, and we should desire it," says Socrates.

"Life is that which should not be – an evil; and the passage into Nothingness is the only good in life," says Schopenhauer.

"All that is in the world – folly and wisdom and riches and poverty and mirth and grief – is vanity and emptiness. Man dies and nothing is left of him. And that is stupid," says Solomon.

"To life in the consciousness of the inevitability of suffering, of becoming enfeebled, of old age and of death, is impossible – we must free ourselves from life, from all possible life," says Buddha.

I found that for people of my circle there were four ways out of the terrible position in which we are all placed.
1)    The first was that of ignorance. It consists in not knowing, not understanding, that life is an evil and an absurdity.
2)    The second way out is Epicureanism. It consists, while knowing the hopelessness of life, in making use meanwhile of the advantages one has...
3)    The third escape is that of strength and energy. It consists in destroying life, when one has understood that it is an evil and an absurdity.
4)    The fourth way out is that of weakness. It consists in seeing the truth of the situation and yet clinging to life, knowing in advance that nothing can come of it. People of this kind know that death is better than life, but not having the strength to act rationally – to end the deception quickly and kill themselves – they seem to wait for something. This is the escape of weakness, for if I know what is best and it is within my power, why not yield to what is best? . . . I found myself in that category.

Tolstoy dressed
in peasant clothing by 
Ilya Repin (1901)
My position was terrible. I knew I could find nothing along the path of reasonable knowledge except a denial of life; and there – in faith – was nothing but a denial of reason, which was yet more impossible for me than a denial of life.

Whatever the faith may be, and whatever answers it may give, and to whomsoever it gives them, every such answer gives to the finite existence of man an infinite meaning, a meaning not destroyed by sufferings, deprivations, or death. This means that only in faith can we find for life a meaning and a possibility. ...but faith is a knowledge of the meaning of human life in consequence of which man does not destroy himself but lives. Faith is the strength of life. If a man lives he believes in something.

I began to understand that in the replies given by faith is stored up the deepest human wisdom and that I had no right to deny them on the ground of reason, and that those answers are the only ones which reply to life's question.

I understood that my question as to what my life is, and the answer – an absurdity and evil – was quite correct. The only mistake was that the answer referred only to my life, while I had referred it to life in general. "Life is evil and an absurdity", referred only to my life, but not to human life in general.

A goat, a hare, and a wolf are so made that they must feed themselves, and must breed and feed their family, and when they do so I feel firmly assured that they are happy and that their life is a reasonable one. Then what should a man do? He too should produce his living as the animals do, but with this difference, that he will perish if he does it alone; he must obtain it not for himself but for all. And when he does that, I have a firm assurance that he is happy and that his life is reasonable.

If I exist, there must be some cause for it, and a cause of causes. And that first cause of all is what men have called "God". And I paused on that thought, and tried with all my being to recognize the presence of that cause. And as soon as I acknowledged that there is a force in whose power I am, I at once felt that I could live.
"He exists," said I to myself. And I had only for an instant to admit that, and at once life rose within me, and I felt the possibility and joy of being.

I need only be aware of God to live; I need only forget Him, or disbelieve Him, and I died.

I live, really live, only when I feel Him and seek Him.

I returned to a belief in God, in moral perfection, and in a tradition transmitting the meaning of life. There was only this difference, that then all this was accepted unconsciously, while now I knew that without it I could not live.

That shore was God; that direction was tradition; the oars were the freedom given me to pull for the shore and unite with God. And so the force of life was renewed in me and I again began to live.

... the essence of every faith consists in its giving life a meaning which death does not destroy.

Mohandas K. Gandhi and other residents of Tolstoy Farm, South Africa, 1910
The Tolstoy Farm was created by Gandhi ji, In part, influenced by these ideas..


Hope you have liked reading this book with me, for more info on the book, click here to go to the Wikipedia...
Image curtsy : Wikipedia
नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
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Understanding Haiku - A beginner's Guide                          One Week Winter Spiritual Retreat

Dec 18, 2012

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL : Winter Spiritual Retreat by an unique Community Paras Dharma Ashram


Days filled yogic practices, meditation and the service. Visits to powerful spiritual centers in and around Rishikesh, Kushinagar and Varanasi, where you will have a chance to experience your inner peace. A trek along holy river Ganges in Himalaya to attune yourself to the nature. A day spent in meditation and a silent walk in the pristine surrounding of Buddha's Nirvana Temple in Kushinagar. Or take a leisurely boat ride on the softly flowing Ganges in the holy city of Varanasi and watch the world famous Ganga Aarti of thousands of oil lamps on the Varanasi Ghat. During the retreat, you will also have an opportunity to visit a village in remote corner of eastern Uttar Pradesh near Kushinagar to undergo a training program in the service of rural village folks.

The bi-annual Winter and Summer Spiritual Retreats is organized, for a limited group of only 25 ‘pre-selected’ participants, by a unique community and Non-Profit Organization and Trust “Paras Dharma Ashram” which is based out of Kushinagar.

Triveni Ghat - Rishikesh

The organization believes in over all spiritual growth through selfless service along with powerful meditation techniques and yogic practices. To inculcate these ideas and the thought process as well as to train aspiring people, who believe in spirituality and selfless service, the organization has created A well co-ordinated Winter and Summer Spiritual Retreats of ‘One’ and ‘Two’ Weeks Duration.

The organization also subsidizes the cost of participants to some extent as well as also sponsors various competition to select deserving participants of creative and spiritually focused attitude. Currently, the organization has initiated a contest “Write A Haiku on Spirituality” in Haiku Group at Google+ (Click here to win an all expense paid one week ‘Winter Spiritual Retreat’)

This will be organized Between 3rd Week of Dec, 2014 to 4th Week of Dec, 2014

Day One:
Reach Rishikesh in the afternoon and after lunch walk alongside the Holy River Ganges and visit many of the ashrams on the way. Spend an idyllic time at the Triveni Ghat and close the day with a great dinner at German Bakery.

Day Two:
Divine Life training / River Rafting in the River Ganges / 15KM trek to one of the most powerful temple of Shiva on top of a hill

Day Three:
Travel to Kushinagar Via Delhi
Maha Nirvana Temple of Buddha at Kushinagar

Day Four:
Reach Kushinagar – One of the most holy place of Buddhism, where Buddha attained Nirvana. Explore the Temple, attend Mantra Chanting. Visit the local town and end the day with your favorite Chinese / Japanese / Thai dishes for lunch and dinner.

Day Five:
Meditation with Buddhist Monks / Training in Tantra Meditation / Pranic Healing

Day Six:
Training in Yogic Sadhana / Praanayaam / Vippasana

Day Seven:
Service in Village – Teaching at village school / Preparing and serving lunch and clothes / Providing medical health care etc.

Day Eight:
Arrival at Delhi

TWO WEEK DURATION (Rishikesh/Kushinagar/Varanasi)

An extension of the program days at both the centers i.e. Rishikesh and Kushinagar, with an inclusion of two day yoga initiation and practice in the holy city of Varanasi. Register for more details…

NOTE: The above program is provisional. The final schedule and program will be confirmed to the participants on 1st Dec, 2013.

Myanmar Temple Kushinagar
The organization “Paras Dharma Ashram” preselects the participants for the Winter or Summer Spiritual Retreats for One or Two week program. This selection process is based on the interest shown by the aspiring participants. A desire to learn specific yogic and meditation techniques is valued at Paras Dharma Ashram, hence a participant with desire to learn something specific is a preferred choice. The screening is done through A) Question and answer session through emails, B) Back ground assessment as well as C) Dedication of the aspiring participant for selfless service.

This screening is done to encourage and support people who care for spiritual growth and enjoy selfless service, and interested in being much, much more than just a TOURIST.

The process of selection of participants for the Winter Spiritual Retreat (Between 4th Week of December, 2013 and 4th week of Dec 2014) will be begin by 1st week of Aug, 2013 and will be completed by 1st Dec 2013.

For registration into the two programs, please send an email to to receive the registration forms by first week of January, 2013. Once you have submitted the initial registration forms, you will be sent a set of questionnaires for assessment and finally admitted to either one or two week Winter Spiritual Retreat Program 2013.  

Ganges Varanasi
As a non-profit spiritual organization, Paras Dharma Ashram does not charge any profits but subsidizes some of the costs of all the participants, as well. Since the travel, boarding / lodging cost varies from year to year as well as during the long term planning of these retreats, we are not able to give exact cost at the moment.

Yet, on the average, cost of boarding and lodging (Including breakfast, lunch and dinner) comes to be around 115 US $ per day per person on twin sharing basis. Travel, Training, Reading Materials, Tools and local travel cost will be around 400 US $ for one Week and 550 US $ for Two Week Program per person.

All the cost will be finalized and shared with all the selected participants by 1st Dec, 2013.


for any information, suggestion and / or registration

नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
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WHISPERS: Write a Haiku and win all expense paid week long stay in spiritual retreats

Write a Haiku on "Spirituality" on or before 31st March 2013, and win a chance to be one of the 7 WRITERS who will be offered an all expense paid week long stay in spiritual retreats in Rishikesh, Himalaya and in Kushinagar (A place where Buddha attained nirvana) 
 - Sponsored by "Paras Dharma Ashram" - An organization, based in Kushinagar, which believes in making people's life better through selfless service.

- Click here to submit your Haiku or read more about it...

- Click here to know more about the Winter Spiritual Retreat Program

Some of the Rules and Regulations
Write a Haiku on 'Spirituality' and post it before 31st March in this Haiku Group at Google+

A panel of 10 Judges will select the best SEVEN writers of Haiku on the topic 'Spirituality'.

1) Write Haiku on 'Spirituality' in ENGLISH and email with subject heading as ENTRY FOR SPIRITUAL HAIKU CONTEST BY PARAS DHARMA ASHRAM.

2) Each individual contestant can submit up to 3 Haiku, either in one or through individual emails. Each submission has to have certain details of the individual writer as given...

3) The Guiding Rule of Haiku for this contest: Each Haiku has to have three lines and should be 5-7-5 syllable format. The heading, if given, will not be counted for the syllable count. Please check syllables before submitting each Haiku. (There are many online places for the same. If you would like, they can guide you to some)
Click here to submit and read more about the same...

The two "Paras Haiku Masters" will be offered all travel, boarding and lodging expenses paid week long spiritual retreat in India INCLUDING To and Fro Tickets from the winner's country to the Week long Spiritual retreat in India as mentioned above.

The Five "Dharma Haiku Masters" will be offered all travel, boarding and lodging expenses paid week long spiritual retreat in India as mentioned above starting from Delhi Airport.
Winners will be announced on 1st May, 2013

The proposed start date of Spiritual Retreat is tentatively fixed during the winter holidays in the month of Dec 2013 - January 2014. This is in order to facilitate winners across the globe to arrange necessary documents and papers. The final dates of the spiritual retreat will be announced on 31st May, 2013.

A day filled yogic practices, meditation and the service. Visits to powerful spiritual centers in and around Rishikesh and Kushinagar where you will have a chance to experience inner peace. A trek along holy river Ganges in Himalaya to attune yourself to the nature. A day spent in meditation and walking in the pristine premises of Buddha's Nirvana Temple. You will also have a chance to visit a village in remote corner of eastern  Uttar Pradesh near Kushinagar to undergo a training in Pranayaam as well as spend a day serving rural folks.

...Click here to know more about Winter Spiritual Retreat.

To know more about Rules and Regulation as well as to submit your own Haiku on Spirituality please click here …

नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
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Understanding Haiku - A beginner's Guide                          One Week Winter Spiritual Retreat

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