A mishmash of spirituality, human relationship, adult and children's literature, news analyses and anti-road-rage tirades

Three life lessons from Lord Krishna’s life


Illustration by Devangshi Sharma

Janmashtami is celebrated across the world with great fanfare. It marks the birth of Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Nobody in the living world today has seen Lord Krishna. We all have come to know about him from the writings of ancient sages or from our elders. Krishna’s life has inspired many to do good to the society, while it might have also misled a few of us to do otherwise.

What are the takeaways from Lord Krishna’s life in today’s world? Can we inculcate them in today’s so-called practical world? Most importantly, do these teachings have any real-life applications?

First of all, Krishna’s Bal Leela teaches us three parenting lessons.

1. Do not differentiate between the dark and the fair. Treat all children as equal.

This might have implications on those among us who have an unnatural fascination for fair skin and go to any extent to demean dark-skinned children. This might also lead some of us to re-think whether we should give preference to fair-skinned brides or grooms.

2. Allow children to play. Place equal importance to studies and play. Do not force children to stick to academics only.

Perhaps this might have a bearing on those who employ children in their factories, shops, and homes. Children should ideally be left to play and study and not work to earn a living. 

3. Treat each child as a representative of God.

This has implications on those who go to the extent of inflicting crime on children. This has lessons for those teachers, fathers, guardians, or paedophiles who see children as objects of desire.

Secondly, Krishna’s Raas Leela during his youth has lessons on women empowerment and equality.

Krishna treated his women friends at par with his male friends. He would share his problems and moments of joy with his friends, whether they were Sudhamas or Radhas! He had sixteen hundred Gopis or female friends. He never saw women as objects of desire. His relationship with women was Platonic and non-carnal. He was completely devoted to his wife Rukmini.

This has perhaps a bearing on those of us who desire to have multiple sexual partners. Those of us see women as objects only, and not co-humans capable of being good friends. Perhaps this will also have a bearing on those who have accounts on flirting apps like Tinder. We need to be faithful to our spouses.

Thirdly, Krishna’s lessons during the war of Kurukshetra are well known, as they have been recorded in the hymns of Bhagvad Gita.

An important lesson from the Gita is that we all should do our duties and give cent per cent to them. It should not bother us whether on completion of our duties we will be awarded or not.

This has a bearing on everyone. Every person on this planet has a duty. In fact, the Constitution of India also incorporates a few Fundamental Duties for its citizens. If a soldier performs his duty well, if a housewife performs her duty well, a student performs her duty well, a cleaner performs his duty well, and so on and so forth, I think the world will automatically become a better place to live in.

This Janmashtami, if we are able to reflect on these life lessons from Lord Krishna’s life and restructure our lives, I think we would have celebrated his birthday in the best way.

This blog article was written around six months before I founded Spirituality with Ranjit (SWR), India’s India’s first interfaith community that considers science an ally to advancing humanity’s spiritual understanding. SWR strives for world peace and an abundant green planet by helping people see beyond the narrow confines of nationality and religions to realize the power of religion-neutral, gender-neutral, geography-neutral spirituality in making their lives better and the world a better place to live in.

Read more about SWR through this blog post:
Do connect with SWR through the following links:

Filed under: Heresy, parenting, Philosophy, Relationships, Spirituality, , , , , , , , , , ,

Three antidotes against messages that burn


Image courtesy: Pixabay

How often have you been tempted to give a fitting retort to an acrid message posted in a group? How many times did you decide to back out at the end?

These things occur to me thrice as often as most of you would think they happen to you! For as many times, I pull out of such situations and decide to store my energies for something worthier. But at times, I do oblige to their whims!

Recently, I got caught into the quagmire of the riposte game by a disturbing WhatsApp message that went viral. It comprised a text message in Hindi and a 05:45-minute-long video.

The text message in the form of a paragraph hails the man in the video as a hero, who supposedly took a bold step by catching hold of the propagators of another religion and by ‘teaching them a lesson’.

The video presents a man announcing himself to be making this video from Dera Bassi toll plaza at 11 o’clock at night. Dera Bassi is a satellite town of Chandigarh.

The camera zooms in on three faces. The man claims that he caught the trio in the act of distributing pamphlets in the toll plaza. The pamphlets are supposedly aimed at promoting a minority religion. What happens beyond this is too contentious and too graphic to be elaborated here, considering my own safety and sanity.

I am anyway not of the opinion to give such videos a chance for more traction. This is the same reason why I am not sharing the video here.

But I wanted to leave a message for the person posting such a message as well for those who might have been encouraged to share it in other groups. I wrote the following sweet-coated yet tart lines in reply to the post. Kindly put up with me a few more moments to go through them and let me know how you think about them.

Religion is about love not hatred or force. Religion is love for God, love for self, and love for others. Religion is about being capable to treat the people belonging to your faith in same way as you would treat people belonging from other religions.

If anybody is forcing someone to do something or not do something in the name of faith, it is not religion. In fact, this act can bring the greatest disgrace to the religion. Hindu religion is based on the principles of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. It advocates the simple truth that ‘the whole world is one family’.

In a secular democracy, everyone has the right to follow and propagate their religion.

If Christian missionaries are spreading their religion through pamphlets, Hindu missionaries like Ramakrishna Mission, ISKCON, and Paramahansa Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship are also propagating the principles of Hindu religion across hundreds of countries around the world. Had those countries barred us from spreading Hindu religion, we would have shrunk to the confines of a handful of countries only.

Therefore, I request everyone not to spread such messages that divide people on religious lines.

Having said that, I would like to draw your attention to an important aspect of unfiltered forwards. I request everyone to inculcate a habit of contemplating on every message before forwarding it to others.

You may be hell-bent to share nationalistic messages. You may feel duty-bound to share a message informing about a lost child or about how a chivalrous group of people just saved your religion from extinction. Here is another such example. This video falsely shows Kerala Muslims burning Hindu god images in protest against CAA. The clip has been widely circulating on Twitter and Facebook.

But do give it a thought whether it is serving the purpose of national building or public in reality or not. The message may be based on fake news, may be politically motivated, may be aimed at inciting communal violence, or may be simply a prank.

You may use the following checklist to self-assess your message before forwarding.

  1. Checked the factual correctness
    • Did the sender verify the facts? ☐
    • If the message includes a phone number or weblink, did you try calling the number or visiting the website? ☐
    • Did you verify from authentic news sites? ☐
    • Did you check with fake-news-buster websites like Alt News and Hoax Slayer? ☐
  2. Understood the motive
    • Does the message put any political party in unusually bad light? ☐
    • Does the message portray any particular person, community, or nation negatively? ☐
    • Does the message sound too beneficial or too helpful to be true? ☐
  3. Checked if it incites violence
    • Does the message incite violence? ☐
    • Does the message contain too much of graphic detail? ☐
    • Is the message safe for children to view? ☐

If you think I have left out any, you may add your own to the list in the comments section below. Thanks.

Here a beautiful article written by the Mozilla Foundation team on how to make sure you aren’t spreading misinformation online.

Filed under: Current News, General Awareness, Heresy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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