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, , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m a girl

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Image courtesy: cocoparisienne/Pixabay.com

I’m neither greater nor equal.

I’m unique.

I’m a girl.

 

I’m neither stronger nor feeble.

I’m just me.

I’m a girl.

 

I need neither pity nor overprotection.

I only need understanding.

I’m a girl.

 

I deserve neither infanticide nor pampering.

I need only care.

I’m a girl.

 

Do not treat me as a boy.

Do not identify me with a boy.

I’m a girl.

 

© Ranjit K Sharma | 18-Apr-2018

Filed under: Children's Literature, Philosophy, Poetry, , , , , , ,

Two Monkeys

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Last year my little daughter (who was three and a half then) had to participate in a story-telling competition at school. The challenge was that the story had to be both very, very short and unique at the same time. In spite of my several searches on the Internet, I couldn’t zero in on any such story.

Finally, I decided to pen it down myself. I also got it illustrated by sourcing freely-available images from the Internet and layouting them with some help from my colleague Sudhir Sharma.

What came out is in front of you. Do give it a read and please do not forget to leave a comment!

Two Monkeys

 

Once there were two monkeys. One was Chinu and the other was Duggu.

Chinu and Duggu

Chinu and DugguImage Courtesy: Internet, Ranjit K Sharma, Sudhir Sharma

Chinu used to eat only chocolates and fries.

Chinu's Junk Food

Chinu’s Junk FoodImage Courtesy: Internet, Ranjit K Sharma, Sudhir Sharma

Duggu loved to eat dal, roti and fruits.

Duggu's Food

Duggu’s Food – Image Courtesy: Internet, Ranjit K Sharma, Sudhir Sharma

When Duggu grew up, he became a famous doctor.

Duggu as Doctor

Duggu as Doctor – Image Courtesy: Internet, Ranjit K Sharma, Sudhir Sharma

Chinu too grew up but fell ill. He went to Duggu and said, “Dr Duggu, will you cure me?”

Chinu Fell Ill

Chinu Fell Ill – Image Courtesy: Internet, Ranjit K Sharma, Sudhir Sharma

And Duggu offered him treatments. Chinu finally got well.

Chinu left eating chocolates and fries. He promised to eat dal, roti and fruits instead.

 

Chinu became healthier and worked hard to be a famous farmer.

Chinu as Farmer

Chinu as Farmer – Image Courtesy: Internet, Ranjit K Sharma, Sudhir Sharma

Filed under: Children's Literature, Flash Fiction, , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sex and Murder: Yet another Angle

The Daughter and Her Beau

The Daughter and Her Beau (Photo Courtesy: The Hindu)

“A young school teacher and her male friend have been arrested for allegedly stabbing her mother to death at her Paschim Vihar residence this past week and then trying to pass it off as a murder during a robbery.”

……………….

“The young man brought a bottle of beer with him and the two made themselves cosy in the house. But Sakshi’s mother, who had gone to a religious congregation in the neighbourhood, happened to return earlier than expected. She had the key to one of the entrances and caught the two red-handed. The woman lost her temper on seeing them together and screamed at them.”

These are the lines from a recent news story. Kindly read the story first in order to enjoy the discussions below.

While prima facie the murder seems to be a typical example of Walter Cannon’s fight-or-flight response of human beings towards stress-causing situations, a closure look can reveal deeper implications of the mental make-up that the youth of today possess. The first impression that any keen observer will have at this level is that the daughter displayed a total lack of values.

I am not going into the humdrum of casting aspersions on the very sexual act that was the kingpin behind the brutal murder of a mother at the hands of her own daughter. Let me assume the intercourse as an ordinary act of wrong-doing, one of hundreds of evil deeds that everyone of us does during the span of our lifetime.

Having assumed the act of Sakshi calling her beau and her subsequent engaging in fornication as ordinary, the only extra-ordinary thing that happened on the fateful day was that she was caught red-handed by her elderly mother. And it is easy for us to imagine how she could have reacted to such an unimaginably bizarre act of perversion that her daughter was seen doing—a daughter completely lost in an orgasmic ‘high’ in between ‘breathful’ of penile thrusts from her partner all in front of her mother! It was but natural for her to lose “her temper on seeing them together and [to scream] at them.”

But how natural was her daughter’s reaction to her? Quite unnatural and very disgustedly undesirable. There were hundred other ways of reacting to her mother’s lambasting words than the one that she and her boyfriend Sunny chose to. There could only be one, if any, in a trillion mothers who were dogged enough so as to not forgive her weeping daughter at her feet. And even if she would not be ready to compromise and be bent on handing her over to the police, what loss could the daughter have incurred in even receiving the noose from her mother? At least she would not have been accused of the grave moral crime for which she is imprisoned now.

Filed under: Current News, Philosophy, Relationships, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Time to Read(?)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Mortimer Adler in 1988 Photo Credit: Wikipedia

When I was in the tenth standard, the following essay by Mortimer Adler had a lasting impact on my mind. It was a part of our English curriculum in the form of a textbook, Learners’ English. Years later, I am still fascinated by its relevance to the current times, more so when the good, old habit of children’s reading books is in its way to the coffin, what with the advent of e-books, intensive study-packages, et al! I am thankful to him (whom I wished I could meet one day; but alas, he left for his heavenly abode in 2001, much before I could afford to visit the U.S.!) and M/s Sawpon Dowerah (who also served as my teacher for sometime) and T. C. Baruah for having included this piece in their anthology.

Please click on the following link to download a PDf document and read: What is a Great Book?

Filed under: Children's Literature, General Awareness, Philosophy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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