Reveries

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

Hashtag Spirituality with Ranjit

Spirituality_with_Ranjit_Completes_120_DaysStarting 22 February 2020, I have been posting a message a day on Twitter, under the hashtag #SpiritualitywithRanjit. Never imagined that on 19-Jun-2020, #SpiritualitywithRanjit would complete 120 days of continual daily posting. Never imagined that it would grow into India’s first #interfaith community that considers science an ally of spirituality. Thank you everyone. Thank you Almighty!

What is #SpiritualitywithRanjit?

Self-evident from the hashtag title, these tweets are based on my own views and experiences on God, spirituality, immateriality, piety and secular beliefs in the supernatural being that formed a part of the solutions towards ensuring a lasting world peace and a greener planet. I have come across these thoughts over a period of four decades.

#SpiritualitywithRanjit (SWR) is India’s first interfaith community and 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.

An itsy-bitsy history

Born to a Hindu Brahman family, I had a religious upbringing that was more spiritual and secular. The concept followed was—I may be a born Hindu, but I should love Muslims, Christians, Jains, Shankaria Vaishnavites, Sikhs and animists—the followers of faiths common in his place of birth.

The first visual representation of God for me was the Hindu God Lord Shiva, followed by the Hindu Goddess of Learning Saraswati. Around the same time, I was also introduced to the hymns to Jesus Christ and the prayers to Allah through various sources, which included a Christian cemetery nearby as well as a missionary school and some family friends.

My experiments with religion and spirituality continued throughout my school days in Guwahati, and then in my college and professional days in and around New Delhi. In my new city of residence, I met people from some other faiths—Parsees (Zoroastrians), Jews, Baháʼís, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. I also got to know about communities like ISKCON, Brahma Kumaris, Osho and Ananda Foundation. All these added to my experiences.

My thoughts on spirituality have been on an ever-evolving trajectory. Each day has been a learning experience towards a better understanding of the supernatural being and towards a finer attempt to find a meaning behind our existence on this planet as well as in this universe, more precisely, in these multiverses! All these experiments have in some strange way gestured to me to reach out to people and tell them about the greatness of God, the formless, all-pervading, omniscient, omnipotent, omnific, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, omniactive, supreme being, who is above all religions and countries.

I think people from all walks of life will surely be benefitted from my unique experiences and experiments. My unique understanding will certainly add to the efforts of those who endeavour to make this world a better place to live in. With this premise in mind, I started the a-message-a-day service on Twitter, sharing my thoughts under the hashtag #SpiritualitywithRanjit from my personal Twitter handle @ranjitksharma.

#SpiritualitywithRanjit (SWR), the daily message service on Twitter, is gradually developing into a strong global interfaith community that aims at helping people see beyond the narrow confines of nationality to make the world a better place to live in through the pursuit of religion-neutral, gender-neutral, geography-neutral spirituality and world peace. It has now its own Twitter handle @SpiritualityWR, its own Facebook page fb.me/SpiritualitywithRanjit, a Medium Publication, a YouTube channel, a WordPress blog spiritualitywithranjit.wordpress.com and own email ID spiritualitywithranjit@gmail.com.

You can see some of the old Tweets in the following screenshot.

Screenshot of #SpiritualitywithRanjit Tweets

Initially I chose Twitter over other platforms, because it gave me the independence and the required scaffolding to be precise and clear in identifying each thought uniquely. The added benefit includes the ability to post even when I have pressing deadlines to meet in my editorial projects, through which I earn my bread and butter. Even today, I post my first post on Twitter, followed by others.

Of course, I also have the advantage of expanding my tweets in the form of blog posts or YouTube videos in due course of time.

An ultimate vision

Let us share here our audacious dream and vision. All the continents were once together in the form of a land mass called Pangaea. With time we separated out. All the humans together belong to one species. Yet, we created the borders, separating one nation from the other and spending millions of dollars in securing these man-made frontiers.

We think that it is now time to #BreaktheBorders and recreate a practical Pangaea land. No borders, no military, no countries, no disparities; just one Earth, one nation, one currency. Cities that are currenty the national capitals of various countries take five-yearly turns to become the mega-capital of the proposed Pangaea land. This rotational system of capitals, in the ascending order of the current national wealth of the countries, will ensure development in the poorest lands on Earth.

Since there will be no millitary expenditure (a minmal police force can exist), the huge wealth saved can be utilized to judiciously use and store all of the energy available on our planet, thus leading us to become a Type 1 civilization in the Kardashev scale.

The humble hits

I would like to share some achievements here:

  • In the month of MayJun 2020, we had over 55,000 Twitter impressions through the two Twitter handles (@spirtualitywr and @ranjitksharma) combined.
  • We are humbled by the fact that the followers of our daily Tweets include not just Indians but also Muslim clerics from Pakistan, UK, and Niger, Christian pastors and ministers from Kenya, Congo, Poland, UK and USA, Jew Rabbis from Israel as well as atheists, agnostics, astronomers, physicists, climate activists, interfaith scholars and associations from the USA, Norway, Finland, Bangladesh, Ghana and Australia. There are many other countries whose citizens have become our Twitter followers and have showered their love on us. The list is growing and I am sorry that I am unable to list them all here.
  • On 23-Apr-2020, we launched #FearNotThereIsGod campaign that helps people fight #COVID19 #lockdown stress and anxiety through #interfaith spiritual support.
  • MENAFN (The Middle East North Africa Financial Network), a Delaware (USA)-based newspaper portal published #SpiritualitywithRanjit’s press release as a news item. Here is the link to the published news item. Here’s the link to the original press release on Online PR Media.

Happy reading!

If my spirituality Tweets have affected your lives in a positive way, do share your experiences with others. Retweet, re-blog, comment, like and share.

If you have the time to retweet any posts you like, you are taking a step in changing the world with me, and I appreciate it. Let others be benefited.

Also, I would like to invite interested individuals and organizations from across the world to collaborate, volunteer and join hands with us in whatever way they can.

#SpiritualitywithRanjit #spiritualawakening #SpiritualQuotes #spiritualgrowth #HumanityFirst #Spirituality #Share #ShareTheLove

Links

Following are the various ways to communicate online with SWR:

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

Three life lessons from Lord Krishna’s life

Janmashtami_20190824_Devs_Ver_2.0

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 only 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 Bhagavad Geeta. 

An important lesson from Geeta 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.

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

Pleasure

I thought of trying my hand at writing a short story today. Took me two hours to devise the plot, write the story and upload it on my blog. I will be grateful if you can spend a few while reading it and giving your valuable feedback in the comments section below.

Mrs X noticed her chirpy neighbour after a long time; quite surprised to see her standing stoically beside Mrs X‘s entrance.

“Long time no see!” gleaned Mrs X with an ear-to-ear smile, “Where have you been all these days?”

“Come along,” she motioned towards her living room, “Let’s catch up over a cup of tea”.

“No. Not now” replied Mrs Y with a smirk, “Thank you”.

“I’m in a hurry. Will catch up with you later,” she spoke the words as she dashed unexpectedly towards her residence and vanished.

***

A woman aged forty-twoish barged into her bedroom, heaving deeply all the way. Her face was both red with fear and bright with snobbish pride.

The twelve-year old budding painter, seated on the bed, glanced her mother without raising her head. She immediately recognised her mother’s familiar body language during moments of triumph and adventurous escape.

“What’s the trophy this time, mom?” she raised the much-awaited poser.

“Sabotaged her plumerias,” she replied with a genuine chuckle.

Pleasure - A short story on nosy neighbours

Plumerias (Image courtesy: Wikipedia)

“Sabotaged whose plumerias?”

“That rustic simpleton’s,” she responded motioning towards the house next door.

“You mean, Aunt X’s?”

“Who else?” explained Mrs Y, adding, “And she thought I was waiting beside her entrance only for her tea!”

“But mom, what do you gain by devastating blooming flowers? Poor little plants and their hard-working owners!”

“Pleasure, my daughter, pleasure!”

***

Next morning, while watering her little front garden, Mrs X was at her wit’s end figuring out how the top part of her young plumeria plant could have separated completely from the stem below. It had been just a few days that the plant started bearing flowers.

“Didn’t I warn you the last time when my dahlias were destroyed? Never ever dare to harm my plants, got it?” she charged her little daughter.

Mrs Y, standing in her high-walled veranda, thought herself to be doubly lucky to be an audience to the high drama going on in the house next door.

“Pleasure, my child, pleasure!” she thought.

Filed under: Flash Fiction, Relationships, Short Story, , , , , , , ,

Are We Still a Democracy?

Democracy's Dance of Death (Illustration by Ranjit K Sharma)

Democracy's Dance of Death (Illustration by Ranjit K Sharma)

Imagine yourself standing next to your neighbourhood shopkeeper and bragging about your son’s smashing performance at the latest exam, while your domestic help appears in front of you all of a sudden only to inform on how your son’s school has sent him back to home today as a punishment for his bullying behaviour. Well, you are speechless, motionless! Isn’t it?

Indians too have found ourselves in a similar situation recently.

While Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s words, “mantle of democracy is now very much strongly held by India,” when addressing an audience at Oxford University’s Said Business School, highlight India’s strong democratic credentials, at the same time, the Jallianwala Bagh-like, mid-night crackdown on peaceful protesters, supporting Baba Ramdev’s fast unto death at Ram Lila Ground, New Delhi on Saturday night, tends to accentuate the glaring shortcomings therein.

Not in the distant past, we remember having settled down smugly self-satisfied at the victory of democratic values. The Indian democracy has deepened when members of the civil society such as Anna Hazare and others were included in the drafting process of the Jan LokPal Bill.

But with the above surprise, forced eviction, where thousands were manhandled, Indian democratic credentials have surely come under scrutiny.

Swami Ramdev’s demands might be too far-fetched. He may be a political greenhorn. He might be limelight-hungry. He might have assets worth over a thousand crores!

But that do not justify such undemocratic way of curbing his voice against the government; not to tell AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh’s uncalled-for statement of naming Baba a thug.

I think Baba has done the right thing by continuing his fast unto death.

The only positive sign about which he should feel lucky is the fact that he wasn’t arrested by the police, charged with an “attempt to commit suicide”, and force-fed though the nose like Irom Sharmila, who has been doing a Ramdev since November 2, 2000 for protesting against a similar, undemocratic law of the government.

Let’s cross our fingers and watch where we are heading towards!

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

My Workshop on E-Learning Products

Ranjit K Sharma conducting the sales presentation

Ranjit K Sharma conducting the sales presentation

See me conducting a workshop on the new e-learning projects of Madhubun Books for the national sales personnel.

The event is a part of Madhubun’s annual National Book Launch Conference held between October 4-6, 2010 at Hotel Clarks Shiraz, Agra. It was participated by a strong audience of 200 professionals comprising 150 Madhubun sales personnel and 50 invited dignitaries that included authors of Madhubun books and principals and senior teachers of leading schools from Agra, Kanpur and Lucknow. Dignitaries also included, among others, Sajili Shirodkar, Director, Vikas Publishing; Deepa Baruah, Editorial Manager, Madhubun Books and Sanyukta Ludra, Editor-in-Chief (Hindi), Madhubun Books.

Here are the links to my photostreams:

Filed under: Children's Educational Books, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How far is Ayurveda relevant to modern lifestyle?

Not all people in India repose faith on Ayurvedic system of medicines. A section of advocates of allopathy (or the modern system of medicine) consider Ayurveda and some of its sisters like Unani medicines and homoeopathy as a pseudo-science and a system best followed by quacks and the illiterates.

True, allopathy is the single uniformly followed system of medicine across the world due to its accuracy and speed. But an exceedingly great number of people are now looking for alternative form of medicines like Ayurveda and the like for their obvious “only-effects-no-side-effects” advantage. And for over 5,000 years now, Ayurveda too has evolved and become more organised.

At least in India, love it or hate it, knowingly or unknowingly, generations have been subscribing to Ayurvedic products or procedures some way or the other. To put it simply, Ayurveda can not be detached from the Indian household.

Even doctors have been prescribing such Ayurvedic preparations such as Liv.52 for healing liver damage (cirrhosis,) Neeri for preventing and curing kidney stones, Janma Ghunti for helping digestion in babies or Boro Plus for curing cracked lips and nipples. We have heard our grandfathers pushing us to eat neem leaves for eliminating worms in our stomachs. All these testify the role Ayurveda has in our lifestyle.

While allopathic treatment requires you to visit a registered medical practitioner even for common ailments like fever, cold, headache, etc., Ayurveda, on the other hand, teaches you to be your own doctor. Any thing that is easily available in or around your home such as herbs, vegetables, fruits, spices, grains or oils, can be used as a home remedy, unlike in the case of allopathy. Simple home remedies can be very effective in relieving symptoms, and preventing further development of a disorder. More importantly, these home remedies may also support treatments prescribed by a physician.

Since, Ayurveda is so ingrained in our daily life; it is foolish to ignore the benefits of Ayurveda. We can, of course, choose a two pronged approach: for common ailments we can follow Ayurveda and save ourselves from a thousand of side effects; and for diseases which demand elaborate procedures like invasive techniques or surgery we can accept the boon from modern medicines.

 

Filed under: Ayurveda, , , , , , ,

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