Dec 27, 2010


I am daring to write on an unusual topic which has been the domain of the ‘educated and elite classes’ and they have been instrumental in shaping a civilized society with their acquired knowledge and wisdom by reading books. Therefore, the topic of my discussion is not about education or the education system or the importance of reading vocational or professional books, but the habit of reading books on different topics of interest. There is no doubt that this is one of the best habits one can have, the best friend and the best companion. They not only provide information and take away one’s mind from all stress but they may also help in the enrichment of thoughts if the books have thought provoking content. Reading helps in developing the analyzing capacity and power of reasoning. Therefore, my topic of discussion is centered on literature of higher learning and accordingly its implied impact on our minds which is the ‘enrichment of thoughts’. Does this really take place? Does it make a difference in our thought process? Do we read books for the sake of having information only, or for the sake of entertainment or pass time? For a reserved person, reading books is also one of the best ways to invest his/her time. However, if learning higher knowledge does not help in uplifting our process of thinking on higher levels, then is it a waste of time?

When I say enrichment of thought I mean that as we get worldly or spiritual information through books, our brains should experience maturity and in the process, perspectives of life should begin to change. This also depends upon the type of books we read. Here, I am not talking about fiction books or books on other abstract topics, but rather, books with substance which may contain moral philosophy, high ethical standards, social and cultural values, and the capacity to look within ourselves. These books may also contain subject matters related to social, cultural or spiritual issues which may convey powerful messages to the reader. These books are written not by ordinary writers but people with heavenly qualities such as world renowned writers and poets. They may be the Bible of Christians or Qur’an of Muslims or Kabbalah of Judaism or Granth Sahib of Sikhism, Bhagawad Gita and Ramayan of Hindus or Tipitaka of Buddhists or Kalpa Sutra of Jains. Even texts like the Gospel of Shri Ramkrishna or Vivek Chudamani of Adi Shankaracharya or world famous writers and poets like Tulsidas, Sant Kabirdas, Rabindranath Tagore, Leo Tolstoy, William Shakespeare, Khalil Gibran, Deepak Chopra, Alan Watts, John Bradshaw, Joseph Campbell etc.

Therefore, if anybody claims to have read some of the above books or anything similar in nature and content, then they may agree that the messages that those books convey, must reflect on the personality of a reader. If read with sincerity, then those books have the power to change one’s thought process and outlook towards life. If an iota of the messages conveyed by those books are not followed and practiced, then was reading made for the purpose of passing time, self glorification or just ritualistic habits?

If I philosophise this topic, then in my opinion, the enrichment of thought should make a person humble, kind, noble, and sympathetic, teach veracity and substantial control on ego and anger.  If these qualities do not inculcate into the personality after reading those great books, then was it a waste of time? Isn’t it duplicity or deception of the mind to claim to have read but to not have extracted the essence? It is something like smelling flowers but not being able to recognize the intensity and nature of the fragrance; listening to the sounds but being unable to differentiate between noise and melody.

A modern day computer has two levels of memories. One is called RAM (Random Access Memory) and another is called Hard Disc (Permanent Memory). The RAM does not hold any information for long and the moment we are off the computer, chances of losing data is high. Does our brain also function in a similar way? We read books but keep everything on the RAM part of our brains and the moment we finish reading, our memories gets disseminated.  All the good words are forgotten and all the teachings go into oblivion. Keeping that in mind, we may group readers into different categories and then analyze their mental psyches:
  1) Reading to Read: This group of people read books to pass time. The type of books may be a novel, a fiction, a story, books on nature, or on any abstract matter. While reading these types of books, the mind is generally relaxed, as a result the content of the book is stored on the RAM portion of our mind and some parts may be filtered into the hard disk of our brain depending upon the intensity of the reading. Since the human mind is hundreds of thousand times more advanced than the latest computer, memories stored on ‘RAM’ do not get erased upon closing of the book. Some impressions remain there and can be retrieved on future dates.
    2) Reading to Entertain: This category describes those that read books which provide pleasure to our minds. People read books to gain happiness and then they forget the contents during the course of time. However as I have said above, the impressions remain there unlike RAM of a computer. This type of reading may include magazines on Hollywood or Bollywood, Home and Garden, or on pets and books on comics etc.
     3)  Reading to Understand: The group of people falling under this category, read books in order to understand the content of books and as the understanding clears the cloud of darkness in their mind, they feel elevated. The reading of books gives them a sense of being educated but they may not assimilate the messages in their lives. The content of the literature in this case goes into the hard disk part of our minds, depending upon the importance of the book or the writer.
    4)  Reading to Educate: This type of reading habit generally is possessed by people who read in order to enlighten their minds with the content of the books, depending upon the power of the message these books convey. Books mentioned in the second paragraph fall under this category.

    I have philosophized the fourth category because according to me, reading books does not mean anything unless the message it conveys is deciphered intelligently and then assimilated into the personality.  I have seen many people, who claim to have read several books on knowledge of higher levels, but their overall personalities and their reactions with and to the outside world contradicts this fact. In this case, it seems to me, that the content or messages of those books were stored on their RAM memories, and as long as the impressions lasted in their minds they felt elevated and enlightened. Once the effect of the books faded away, readers come back to their true selves from where they had originally started. Therefore, in no logical sense they can be considered to have read those books.

    The purpose of education of the mind is to provide a sense of balance between good and bad, a sense of prudence, a sense of thoughtfulness, a sense of judgment, a sense of tolerance, humbleness and compassion, control of anger, false pride and ego, personal sacrifices for the happiness of others, a balance in one’s approach towards their own life, family or social life etc.  And if these qualities are not developed even after reading several books of higher knowledge, then for me, the person is still uneducated and reading for them has been a pastime.
     Here, I would like to quote a couplet of Sant Kabirdas. Although the poem is not very much relevant to the topic of our discussion it still conveys a strong message:

Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye
Dhai Aaakhar Prem ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye.
(Reading books everyone died, none became any wise
One who reads the word of Love, only becomes wise)

I would like to interpret the word 'prem' or love mentioned in the poem, which symbolizes one’s understanding of the universal truth, brotherhood and the compassion towards the nature and its creations. And this universal love cannot be triggered inside the brain unless one enriches their mind with the sense of tolerance, sacrifice, politeness, humbleness and the divinity.

I have left ample room for contradictions on my philosophy and instead of commenting on my own blog, I would like to read your comments on the topic in order to generate a thoughtful discussion for the readers of this blog.
Suman Saran Sinha

Nov 7, 2010

PHILOSOPHY OF SAMSKARA - And the making of a personality

Humanly nature, qualities and behaviours are the most difficult for anybody to understand. It is as intriguing for me as for anybody else. And if we do not understand the hidden character of a person, then there are chances that either we will be deceived or hurt in our personal or social life. Apparently, it is difficult to understand the true character of a person as everybody looks the same in whatever circle we move in. This apparent behaviour is so deceiving that sometimes those who talk very sweetly, are not truly sweet, and are putting up a facade to impress. Sometimes, a person can be rude in response but very soft and kind hearted from inside. Sometimes, people project their image as gentle, honest and faithful, whereas in reality, they can be entirely different. Very few people understand the value of their words or actions. Sometimes, their ideology changes to suit their interests. Is it called street smarts or the ability to survive in the odds?  Is it mood swings or their backgrounds or their samskaras which they have inherited from their family, society, or from past lives? If it is the samskaras, then does it vary with the change in situations? Does education, social, or financial factors affect the samskara of a person in presenting themselves to the world?

I have raised a very strong topic to discuss with you all. Therefore, fasten your seat belts and be ready for your mind to take off. Do not feel shy in participating in the discussions. If you do not respond, then I will think that you agree with me fully, whereas I want you to disagree with me in order to enlighten my mind as well as our readers with your valuable inputs. Furthermore, the topic for discussion is purely a product of my mind and as such, I do not wish to quote or bring our ancient scriptures into the discussion, with a few Vedic terminologies as exceptions, to make our discussion easy.

Samskaras may be defined as the values which one carries in his or her life. The values may be moral or ethical forming the character of a person. Moral values differentiate a person from being good or bad. Society teaches us certain moral values and some we inherit from our families. Some moral values come naturally to us as instinctive. Ethics or ethical standards guide us through right or wrong and provide a sense of judgment in our reasoning. Therefore, if a samskara is of higher quality, then it may stop us from doing wrong or in contrary, encourage us to do something which is not acceptable from the social, religious, or ethical point of view.

Now the controversy of who decides these moral or ethical standards or in other words, what is the yard stick of measuring these standards in order to determine samskaras of a person, may arise.

The social rules and regulations are methods to govern a civilized society and they have nothing to do with the values of a person. To my mind, these values come from four sources:

1)    The Family – From the first day when we are born, we see how our parents act or react in different situations. If our parents are religious and we keep seeing them talking or doing good things then our mind gets programmed accordingly. Alternatively, if we see that our parents try to justify every wrong thing like stealing, lying, speaking poorly about others, or other immoral activities, then accordingly a shadow is cast on our minds, and we perceive those things as ‘right’ and create our own moral standards accordingly. This makes our samskaras follow the example of – “Like father like son or like mother like daughters”. However, here I am not talking about exceptions, which are always present.
2)    The Society – the society in which we live casts a heavy influence on our personalities and the way we think. If the society is full of hypocrites and demonstrative people, then we also become like them, or if we live in a society full of scholars and just people, then we also start thinking and behaving like them, which in turn makes our samskaras.
3)    The Religion(s) – Religion plays a dominant role in the making of our thinking and reasoning of a situation. If religion teaches us to be tolerant, kind or God-loving then we become like that, or in contrary, if it teaches violence or differentiates human beings on the basis of caste, creed or religion, then our mind and behaviour gets programmed accordingly.
4)    The Soul – For those who believe in past lives and travelling of the soul from one body to another, some of our samskaras of previous births get carried over to the present life. One may find several examples of this belief on YouTube which shows how children of a tender age can speak several languages fluently or write lyrics of any music by just hearing it once etc., which is otherwise not possible even by the people of the highest scholastic background.

Therefore, keeping in view the above sources of values, the samskaras can be influenced by three Gunas or qualities such as Sattvik, Rajsik or Tamsik, which play critical roles in the making of a personality.

Sattvik: I would like to define Sattvik as pure and true with the sense of divinity. This means a person’s mind has become absolutely pure and free of all doubts. If the samskara is Sattvik, then the person will perform every action keeping in mind the presence of the Divine. Sattvik people discharge the highest ethical and moral values in performing their duties. Their wisdom and dispassion is of par excellence.

Rajsik: The quality of the rajsik can be described as that of action, passion, and creation. Literally, rajsik may mean one that possesses princely qualities. The characteristics of a rajsik personality is more positive than the tamsik one, but lesser than the sattvik. Here, the moral and ethical values change as per the demand of time in order to manage personal or social lives with the sense of justification. People with the rajsik temperaments believe in divinity, but the belief changes to suit their requirements. Therefore there are elements of greed, passion, and attachment to the fruits of action. They do not give away anything without the prospect of a gain or respect in return.  

Tamsik: Out of the three Gunas (qualities) tamsik is considered to be of the lowest category. It represents darkness of the mind or complete ignorance of the real self or the soul. Tamas, from which the word tamsik has originated, may also mean intoxication. It means the mind is intoxicated with impurities. These kinds of people tend to think that they are the body and the body is the main source of enjoyment.  They try everything to gain physical and mental pleasures.  They live for the body and give value to materialistic pleasures. They may be selfish, self-centred, greedy, and jealous and justify these things to suit their personal interests. In order to gain materialistic or physical pleasures, they are more than willing to compromise morality, ethics, or principles of life.

Therefore, every soul is born with the qualities of one of the above gunas and once they associate with the body, then they appear to have tamsik qualities. When the soul associates itself with the mind, then appears to be rajsik, and if the soul gets associated with the intellect and divinity, then it appears to be sattvik. However, if a soul goes beyond all the three gunas then it’s called Nirguna or traigunatya. I would not like to dwell on them in order to avoid deviating from the main topic.

The above gunas or qualities provide a measuring tool to assess the levels of their presence in one’s personality, which makes up their overall samskaras. As per my experience, if two people get along well in life then their samskaras seem to be the same. Birds of the same feathers flock together. If people are too clever, foxy, jealous, critical, gossipers, or flaunt their wealth and/or knowledge and can get along well with similar types of people, then they will have common samskaras. Similarly, if one is religious in nature, God-fearing, wealthy but down to earth, truthful, and sincere, then they will get along well with similar types of people. The problem concerning people’s attitudes and behaviours comes in personal or social lives, when our samskaras do not match. Therefore, it is very important to understand and judge the company of people we know and interact with in our day to day lives.

Furthermore, samskaras also depend upon the varna (class) of a person from which they belong. Varna does not mean the caste system but instead, the inherent nature and the capability of a person to perform work. I have seen several people born in the so-called ‘higher class’ having tamsik nature and indulging in immoral activities. In that case, only fools and the spiritually illiterate will treat them as a person from a higher class. I believe that samskaras can be judged only by the presence of one of the above gunas in a person’s personality.

The role of education plays a greater role in shaping the samskaras of a person. If education is earned for the purpose of enlightenment of the mind and for knowing the true-self (the atman or soul), the source of its origin, the travelling path and how and where it is going to be culminated, is a true education. Otherwise, worldly education tends to emphasize reading books for the purpose of getting a job or earning for livelihood. Therefore, one should not get swayed away from the educational backgrounds of a person as they may be deceiving. One may find many illiterates or not so educated people having enlightened minds with the qualities of Sattvik or Nirguna (beyond gunas). In the modern time, the best example is Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa who was not educated from the worldly point of view but was above and beyond all the gunas.  His teachings are yet to be understood by the most qualified people in the world. He inherited godly qualities by performing Bhakti Yoga or supreme devotion, and as such, the world knows him as God incarnated.

Your feedback and intellectual outburst on the topic will certainly kindle the light of enlightenment in the minds of our readers, and will be much appreciated.

Suman Saran Sinha

Sep 23, 2010


The word love itself is very philosophical, romantic and emotional, and has been the core of human relationships. Several books have been written, several plays are performed, and several movies have been made, yet the word love is the most mystical and beyond the understanding of an ordinary human being.
In the modern world where people have no time to deliver or express this natural emotion, it has become more of an idiom for demonstrative feelings. In some cases, the word or feelings of love have become more synonymous to the term ‘Lust’ where the physical desire is the sole cause of its invocation. And once this pseudo desire is fulfilled, the feeling of love evaporates like camphor. Therefore we are forced to think whether the  love of Romeo and Juliet or Laila and Majnu or Siri and Faryad or Meera and Krishna were also superficial or rather true with eternal feelings without succumbing to any desires. And if it was true love then what makes it different from the pseudo love or untrue love.
Scientifically the emotion of love is triggered by the part of the brain called the hypothalamus and the related endocrine glands. Once the feeling of love is generated and the neurotic activity is electrified, one feels a sense of compassion towards a person or other living creature, and object. It also creates intense interpersonal affection towards the other person. Depending upon the intensity and motive of this feeling, testosterone and estrogenic fluids are released by the brain to the blood.
However, the idea is not to write a thesis on this but to discuss the types of love we feel towards each other in our normal lives, and then to see where we stand when we claim to love people around us; and whether our feelings are genuine, selfless or self-centric, whether we love somebody because we are in need of them, or the feeling of love has come from the deepest part of our hearts.
As I see it, philosophically love can be categorized into seven different types:
1)      Love due to natural bond (Natural Love)
2)      Love due to compassion (Compassionate Love)
3)      Love due to necessity (Temporary Love)
4)      Love due to lust ( Lustful Love)
5)      Love that is superficial (Demonstrative Love)
6)      Love to Oneself (Self Centric Love)
7)      Love due to devotion (Devotional Love)

A mother’s love towards a child, or love between own blood relatives can be considered under the first type. This natural quality has been bestowed upon every living creature on this world and for that, no effort is required. It comes naturally unless we are crooked enough to pollute this natural feeling.

Interpersonal love between husband and wife or two different persons and/or with other living creatures can be considered as the love of the second type. My topic of discussion will be mainly centered towards this type of love which may also fall under another category depending upon the desire and motives of love.

We love our employer or employee or clients or donors or providers due to our reliance upon them for our livelihood or to maintain our lifestyles. As a result, such love may fall under the third category. Any love which activates our endocrine glands only for the purpose of temporary pleasure may be categorized as the love of the fourth type. In this situation the feeling of love evaporates with the fading of intravascular activity. We generally express superficial love, in order to show off to other people that we really love them, whereas the truth is that the person showing the love does not mean it seriously.
The love due to devotion is Para natural and very few people experience this love. Love to the divine with full affection, having the feeling of complete surrender is devotional love. In this love, the emotion is of the purest level and a person is longing for the divine with full faith and trust.
Now I would like to discuss the most contentious category of love and would like to invoke a debate whether we really love our partners, family members or friends? As I perceive, if one really loves another person and that person may be his wife or her husband or other family members or a friend, then that true love should not expect any return from the other person. If we expect any return, then in the process we are trying to conduct a business.

Sometimes I am dismayed seeing people kissing several times in a day and suddenly I see them breaking off. In this case did they really love each other in the first place? Was it all pretentions of love to fool for personal advantage? If they truly loved each other then they should have been tolerant enough to adjust with the difference in mentality and personality. A person cannot become bad or good overnight. There are signs in daily life which tells us about a person’s character and personality which should have been noticed and thought over before outpouring the emotion of love. And if it was true love then it should have survived the litmus taste of time. True love breaks all barriers of anger, ego and discomfort and even tries to look for beauty in a beast. Therefore to me it was a demonstrative love or temporary love or lustful love and it disseminated once the purpose is served.
Hence, we should look within ourselves that in reality do we expect anything from our loved ones or it is just a pure love, free of all expectations? Pure love is based on the foundation of trust, confidence and sacrifices in small things in our daily lives. Thus, if we love a person then are we willing to make sacrifices? That sacrifice will require some mental adjustment with our desire, ego, anger and overall personality.
To provide examples, in our daily life we claim to love our wife or husband but ignore the pain or suffering she or he goes through in her or his day to day life. If we really care for them then we should feel the same pain and sufferings and try our level best to minimize them. We all claim that we love our children but we are not willing to take pain in shaping their lives. Here I mean to create an exemplary life by sacrificing or suppressing our own worldly desires and pleasures for their sake. But instead of doing that, we start debating with ourselves that God has given us only one life and we should enjoy it. Therefore this feeling itself defies the meaning of true love. In case of our friends and relatives including our parents we keep talking that we love them. If we really love them then there should be a sense of longing for them. If the feelings of yearning for their company are not there then it is not love but just to fill a vacuum in our mind or overcome our guilt sense or to pass time. 
I have also come across several people who show self-centric love. It means that they love to love themselves more than anybody else and for the sake of their own pleasure; they are not willing to adjust or sacrifice with anything and with anybody. I will demure in saying that they are the sole cause of their own pleasures or sufferings. These people at times may be heartless in fulfilling their desires at the cost of humility and as such; their love towards another person is more demonstrative and superficial.
What can I say about humanly love when, people even deceive God? I heard many people saying that they believe in and love God. But their love for God keeps changing as per their comfort and suitability. If one really loves God then it means that one has been able to develop a strong emotional connection with the almighty. This strong emotional connection cannot be developed unless one has complete faith and trust in divinity. The true love towards divinity makes one’s nature mellow, humble, and egoless and one becomes calm and stable in all situations. If this has not happened then it will be a mere belief and their visits to the temple, church or synagogue will be more a customary or ritualistic.
Therefore, I would like to invite your comments on this topic, which has been discussed and has been in the minds of many. I have written this article the way I have perceived and I would like to share your perception on the topic.
I wanted to add a poem in Hindi called “Pyaar ki Paribhasha” (The Definition of Love) written last year which describes the meaning of true love but in order not to make this blog  long and boring for English readers, I may share with you in my future postings.
Suman Saran Sinha

Sep 7, 2010


The issue of human relationship has been the most difficult to handle in our day to day life. Somewhere there is a problem between two brothers or parents with their offspring or a husband with his wife, or a friend with another friend or a colleague with another colleague or an employer with employees or a boss with his subordinates or vice versa. It is a great predicament to understand how to handle this delicate human issue and in order to balance it out; one party has to compromise with another at the cost of their ego, self respect, dignity, or at the cost of pecuniary loss. And if these compromises are not made, then there will be friction and rifts in the human relationship at the cost of losing bondage of kinship, marital relationships, or friendships, or universal brotherhood, or even losing a job.

I think our social structure and education system has contributed a lot in mishandling this human dilemma. We all go to schools and colleges to gain knowledge but unfortunately, most of the education system is focused towards teaching books which are going to make us successful in a particular vocation for survival. Medical science can only provide the physiology, anatomy or functionality of a human mind and the science of psychology can explain the state and reactions of such minds in particular circumstances. Every branch of psychology handles a particular issue; how the thought process is evolved and its relationships with the outside world. However the spiritual psychology or the metaphysics may contain the answer to our mental woes, if analyzed or deciphered spiritually and consciously.

The philosophy of metaphysics describes the fundamental nature of being and its relationship with the world. From the time of Aristotle to the present age, several research projects have been conducted in this direction, but it is still difficult to understand this philosophy from a common man’s point of view. And unless we understand this theory of relationships with our body, soul, mind and matter, it will be difficult to explain why human behaviour is so varied and what causes it to be so amazing. Like some, my knowledge of this philosophy is also limited, hence I would like to discuss here how I have perceived human relationships due to my spiritual understanding and what causes people to be so different from each other. If we are able to understand this secret, then we will have no grudges or grievances with each other, which will ultimately build a strong society and human relationships free of all ills.

In order to understand this, we will have to analyze the character of a person, how it is made or what circumstances contributed in its creation. As I perceive, the cause of formation of characters depends upon three factors - the spiritual or metaphysical factors, biological factors and environmental factors. Unless we analyze these three factors, it will not be possible to explain the making of a character and unless we understand this, we will not be able to understand how to live happily with each other in this world. It is hard for me to summarize this intuitive and complicated philosophy in one or two pages. I hope I am able to make points of this topic clear to my readers. I can further expand this topic by responding to your comments.

As per my transcendental understanding of this philosophy, every human being or every soul has its own characteristics. Those characteristics are formed depending upon the evolution of a soul. A soul is evolved through the process of re-birth and as such, in every birth the soul is influenced by the actions or karmas. If the soul has gone through pleasure or suffering, the good karmas or bad karmas then accordingly the sub atomic part of the soul which is in the form of energy, gest coded accordingly and carry those characteristics to the next life. This is the reason that in spite of one's best effort, one is carried away by the influence of its basic nature with what a soul is marked.

The biological factors contribute in the creation of the outer forms of the body where the soul resides. In this case, the law of genetics work in the making of the personality, therefore the saying goes - 'Like father like son'. This likeness may not only be in personality, but in behaviour as well.

The third major factor is environmental, in which a person is born and grows to adulthood. This factor may include the family code of conduct, social rules and regulations, educational opportunity, financial affluences or shortcomings, moral and ethical environment, religious influences etc. and in order to make this article short, I will not like to deliberate much on this factor.

Now the environmental factors may be managed to upgrade one’s personality and thought process, but what about the biological and spiritual factors? This is the reason that in spite of our best education and environment, our original nature--which comprises biological and spiritual factors--, dominates in our day to day life and makes two people think and respond differently in spite of the same parenting, education, and environment.

Therefore as a layman, I would like to illustrate that every person in the world is marked to behave in a certain way which is very natural for that person but may be different, surprising or shocking for others. And if that person as per his or her true nature, accordingly acts or behaves with others, then it does not surprise me, as that person's mind or thinking process and resulting actions are guided by spiritual, biological, and environmental factors. If a person is bad in nature, then he or she is supposed to behave exactly as his or her nature and it would be very surprising to me if instead of behaving badly, that person would start behaving nicely or vice versa.

I often use this analogy to describe the characteristics of a person to my family that "a tomato will always taste like tomato and not like a potato, but the problem comes when we expect the tomato to taste like a potato. If peppers are hot and bitter then that is their characteristics and nothing is wrong with that. The problem comes when we taste those peppers and burn our tongue."

Similarly, if we do not have enough intelligence to understand the characteristics of a person and thus get deceived, insulted, humiliated, or hurt, then the problem lies with us and not with that person. If we can understand that person or if we can get along with that person knowing his or her true nature, then I do not think there would be any problem. However, if our nature or background or ego or lack of spiritual awareness is hurdles in getting along with that person, then it's our personality problem and in that case we should get away from that person as soon as possible in order to obtain peace of mind.

Therefore, to sum up, instead of breeding anger, hatred, jealousy or other complexes with each other in the family, in society, or in our day to day life, if we could uplift ourselves spiritually, understand these natural qualities of a person and then adjust accordingly, then I am sure it will bring harmony and peace not only in our different relationships, but in the society and the world at large.

Your comments on the issue is solicited.

Suman S.Sinha

Aug 29, 2010


In our daily life we get attached to so many things that sometimes, it becomes a bondage. Examples range from small electronic gadgets to cars, houses, personal artifacts, jewelry, pets, family members etc. We also get attached with our social successes and positions so much that the mere thought of losing those makes us worried, nervous, and miserable. It seems that if those things were not around us, then we would become physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically diminished or at least handicapped. We feel as if all hell may break loose and the sky may fall on our heads. For the desire of achieving them or in the fear of losing them, we develop all sorts of psycho-neurological, cardiovascular problems and other diseases. Besides the ill effects on our health, excessive attachment makes us paranoid, which in turn breeds anger, frustration, jealousy, selfishness, possessiveness, covetousness etc.

Therefore, in this mental plight, which is common and seems to be natural, we are forced to analyze whether it is worth worrying so much about the things which we have earned, inherited or obtained in this life. Now, in order to understand this philosophy, we will have to put ourselves in two categories- those who believe in past lives and the theory of karma, and those who do not.

Those who do not believe in past lives or the theory of karma may have the belief that whatever they possess is due to their hard work, intelligence, education etc. and as such, their actions have been instrumental in achieving the pleasures of life. To my mind, if they are the doers and makers of their own destiny, then they should also have the power to make it stable, permanent, or ever lasting. One cannot boast personal achievements as his or her effort and then have no control over its stability without hindrances in daily life. History is the testimonial of this fact that whosoever had this misnomer ultimately went from this world helpless, bare handed, and with repentance. Examples are Alexander the Great, Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, Joseph Stalin etc.

Those who believe in past lives and the theory of karma understand that whatever we are getting in this life is due to the result of our own actions in our past lives. Therefore, if we have done good karmas in the past, then as a reward we get all sorts of pleasures in this life, or vice versa for bad karma.

In fact, the influence of karma is so strong that it forces our mind to think in a particular direction and thus we act or react accordingly. This is the reason that two people are different in their thinking and their actions. One will seldom find two brothers thinking or acting alike. Even identical twins think differently. If the impact of karma is so strong and pervasive that it can result in rewards or punishments, success or failure, affluence or poverty, then why to get attached with materialistic, social or personal relationships? If the soul is traveling from body to body and goes through the process of evolution until it is merged into its source of origin, then why to get attached with the things which never belonged to us in the first place? Why do we not become a spectator of our own efforts or achievements and enjoy the things as they come into our lives but without getting attached? If we understand this truth, then why do we not become a custodian of all our successes or failures and manage them bravely, happily and honestly?

Lord Krishna and later on, Gautam Buddha, Adi Shankaracharya, Goswamy Tulsidas, Acharya Ramanuj, Sant Kabirdas, and Ramakrishna Paramhans, all have deliberated on this issue and they have given us the answers to what we should or should not do to overcome attachment. In order to conquer the pangs of desire and the resulting attachments, we should not expect the outcome of an action, as the result is not in our control. But at the same time it is our duty to act wisely, honestly and ethically with complete faith and trust in the divine power. I will not like to quote the verses of our scriptures to make the answers of my own questions easy. I will leave this on the readers of this blog.

Contrary to my belief, in the modern context, is it possible to stop making the mind yearn when life is so competitive allowing only for survival of the fittest? Without attachment, how can a person be kind, affectionate or loving? If we follow our scriptures and do our karma without expecting any fruitful results, then, it may halt the cycle of life, the path of progress, new inventions and materialistic happiness. Non-attachment will stop our process of thinking progressively. It may make us passive towards events around us, and withdrawn into our mental cage, as the desire and expectations are the driving factors for moving forward in life.

Therefore, even after reading and understanding this theory, I would like to discuss this as a layman with all of you and would like to analyze what factors are involved in making us attached to this world and what happens when we are not attached? And if we are not attached, then what is the ultimate benefit of non-attachment? Also, if the ultimate benefit is not rewarding, then why bother about non-attachment? Unless we address these questions, we will never understand what our scriptures actually mean about attachment and how to remain in bliss without being affected from success or failure.

Are you ready for a debate with your comments or will you remain a passive reader?

Aug 18, 2010


The topic consistency has been roving around in my mind for a long time and I would like to take the opportunity to discuss and share with others through this blog. Here, I do not want to discuss the literal meaning of the word but its applicatory part in our normal life especially its use in the projection of our personality to the outside world.

I used to wonder whether I am one of the few or there are more that understand and believe in consistent behaviour in interacting with others in our day to day life. I understand that consistency and inconsistency both are two parts of our personality. However, if the degree of inconsistency is very large and illogical in our personality, then it may create unrest and put us on an emotional roller coaster due to the backlash from the outside world. Nature is in harmony with its creations, as such keeps balancing whenever any inconsistency occurs. Therefore it is pertinent that we humans should also remain consistent in our thought process and resulting actions, otherwise the resultant impact may be damaging, personally as well as socially. Sometimes, it is beyond the control of the human mind to manifest its own ravelling inconsistent behaviour in a positive way. This results in conflict of our own nature vis a vis the outside world.

I am appalled when I see people changing their words, behaviours or commitments frequently. Sometimes they are nice and gentle and sometimes rude and indifferent. Sometimes they are forthcoming and sometimes they are completely withdrawn. Sometimes they are generous and sometimes miserly and self-centered. Sometimes they present themselves as an educated person and sometimes in the contrary. Sometimes they are religious and other times not afraid of their actions. Sometimes they pose to be spiritually enlightened and other times act or behave contrary to the spiritual philosophy. Why do people have such duality?

Is it the inborn nature, character, or the background that works? Do we call this a mood swing or the inside work of the Ego? In case of mood swings, there are symptoms to identify the cause that a person is in a bad mood or had a bad day. To some extent, the mood swing and the resulting inconsistency in behaviour is understandable, but what about the ego? Is it the ego which makes us generous, kind, friendly, sober, religious, virtuous or in contrary? If it is virtue, then it should have stayed with our personality consistently, as virtues are either inherited or earned.

Is it possible, in the first place, to identify the egocentric people who may be very inconsistent or in other words unpredictable in their behaviour or responses? I do not condemn the presence of an ego in totality but certainly at times, it is hurtful to a fellow human being. Being an earnest advocate of consistency, personally I wish to see egocentric people have some consistency in public discharge of their ego.

I remember a story in which a snake used to bite every passerby for no reason, and as a result, there was terror in the surrounding area. One day, a saint passed that road and he saw the snake coming towards him. The saint had divine powers, and so he gave a sermon to the snake and the snake decided to become humble and gentle by giving up biting. After that, whenever a passerby crossed that road, the snake sat coiled and did nothing. Seeing this, village boys started poking and stoning the snake for fun. After some time, the saint passed by again and he saw the badly hurt snake with blood oozing out of his body. He was surprised and asked the cause of his wretched condition. The snake narrated to the saint that, ‘you preached me to be good and kind to everybody therefore I stopped biting, and the village boys took advantage of the change in my behaviour and stoned me whenever they passed. This is the reason for my plight’. Upon hearing this, the saint said, ‘I told you to be good and kind, but I never told you not to hiss and frighten the attackers.’

Therefore as per the moral of the story, some ego is necessary to protect oneself from harm or loss of respect, but again it should be proportionately consistent with the personality, background, education, social position etc. A king is not supposed to act like a commoner and the problem comes when a commoner starts acting like a king. The problem arises when we transgress this natural instinct and character. If we all could understand this mantra, then I am sure this will make us nice human beings.

I am writing a poem freshly baked out of my mental oven for you to enjoy:


Whenever I see people with their weird responses
lack of courtesy and magnanimity
my mind ponders and thought bounces

Is it the character or the background that works?
or the selfishness, self-centredness
or the ego that lurks?

Why can’t a person be kind and generous?
simple and virtuous

The answer lies in our mental clemency
persistence in good thought,
and generous actions with consistency

Suman Saran Sinha

I would like to invite your comments on the topic in order to enlighten myself as well as our readers with your thoughts and perceptions.

Aug 15, 2010


My previous article on happiness has inspired me to find the reasons of not being happy. Not being in a happy mood most of the time manifests into a sense of loneliness. Loneliness is a feeling in which a person experiences a strong sense of emptiness and solitude. Loneliness is also caused by the individual temperament which often generates the feeling of being unwanted and unimportant. I have seen very few people having the sense of loneliness who are extrovert in nature. Generally, extroverts may find reasons to keep themselves busy by putting themselves in action or looking for an opportunity to share their views with others. Lonely people tend to be shyer, less trusting and more socially awkward, anxious and hostile. Therefore loneliness is also considered a disease.

Loneliness can be described as a feeling of isolation from other individuals, regardless of whether one is physically isolated from another or not. Therefore loneliness can be categorized as situational or circumstantial, and internal. It can even be as a combination of more than the said factors. Therefore, a person can experience loneliness for many reasons and many life style events may be associated with it. For example lack of love, proper responses from parents and other family members or friends, lack of recognition in the society, failure to achieve being strived for, loss of health, wealth, and respect etc. Loneliness does not require being alone only and can be experienced even in crowded places. It can be described as the absence of identification, understanding, or compassion.

I personally feel that constant negative thinking may also aggravate into a sense of loneliness and solitude. If a person analyzes words or statements made by others negatively on a regular basis, then it may result in alienation and depression causing loneliness.

However, being alone by choice or circumstances only do not contribute to loneliness. It can be experienced as positive, pleasurable, and emotionally refreshing if it is under the individual’s control.

Loneliness can be cured or made pleasurable if one practices kriya yoga, pranayama, and meditation under supervision. In this case, an individual is not alone but the person will be in company of his mind and body which will have an immense positive impact. Loneliness can also be overcome by positive thinking which has the inherent power to uplift the mood and change the entire perspective of life. A positive thinker can make the world as the most beautiful place to live, as the power of positive thinking changes the way one thinks. For a positive thinker, the world is not a bad place because the nature has created people to act the way they do. The good or bad actions of a person can be considered as the character of a person because people at large are slaves of their own nature and they are supposed to act or react accordingly. It depends upon the individual to interact according to their adoptability and tolerance. Even suffering can be considered positive as the result of the bad karmas of past lives. By believing in God, one can always thank the Almighty for his compassion in reducing one’s suffering, as they must have deserved more due to bad karmas of past lives.

Alternatively, for an Atheist, Karma Yoga is the best alternative where the person can serve others selflessly without any expectations. This will prove to create immense satisfaction and will change the perspective of life. For a Theist, Bhakti Yoga may be the best possible answer because there can not be a pleasure comparable to anything but to believe in totality in the superpower and love for the divine. In this case, God becomes your friend, relative, and well wisher with whom you interact and you are not at all alone. If we believe in a soul, then we all are the manifestations of the almighty and it is the purpose of the soul to ultimately culminate into the source of the origin. Therefore, why to wait and go through several lives to understand this reality? And I can guarantee that by way of practicing bhakti yoga, one can make use of his or her loneliness into immortal bliss.

Here is a poem called Salvation written by me and I hope it may provide an answer to our woes:

(Composed on Tuesday October 6th, 2009)

It is the grace of the Almighty, who lives somewhere in the blue
Who is all-powerful and mighty, and we have no clue

Our thought and perception is lost due to his illusion
And this keeps our mind in a state of confusion

If we have to get his blessing
Then we should get out of this mental casing

We should pray with full devotion
And activate ourselves into the state of spiritual motion

This way, we will cross the cycle of death and birth
And we will uplift our soul, from the bottom of the hearth

Suman Saran Sinha
(Copyright © 2010)

I will solicit your valuable comments with your perception which may upgrade my process of thinking as well as of our readers.

Aug 11, 2010


One of my colleagues gave me an article called “Happy Like God” written by Simon Critchley, a teacher of philosophy in "The New School", New York, where instead of giving his opinion about happiness, he has heavily quoted the 18th century Swiss born philosopher Jean- Jacques Rousseau.

Therefore, I thought to express my view point about happiness and actually what this noun means to me.

Happiness is not a rational term which can be expressed objectively. Subjectively, it may differ from person to person depending upon mood and the thought process at the time of feeling this abject term.

In order to find the true cause of happiness, I will like to split happiness in two parts viz. temporary happiness and permanent happiness. I will also like to investigate what causes happiness and whether those causes of happiness are permanent or momentary. If it is momentary, then we will keep going back to the state of being not happy or sad, and if it is permanent then there is no point in having a debate on the subject; because the permanently happy person has understood the meaning of life and has gone closer to God where he or she does not need any explanations.

Further, the term happiness depends upon the biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical state of the mind. It is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure or joy. In addition to this, one’s perspective on the definition of happiness also contributes to the quality of their lives. Therefore the state of happiness changes with change in one’s perspective. Due to temperamental connotations, the cause of happiness may be excessive in some cases and subdued in other cases. The positive or negative state of mind also depends upon the socio-economic status, marital status, financial status, health, sex and other situations. The state of happiness also depends upon the person’s extrovert or introvert nature.

A person’s age is also a major factor in determining the state of happiness. Young adults are reported to have more anger, anxiety, and depression due to study-related stress, career stress, financial stress, and stress due to troubled relationships.

The economy of a country and happiness are also closely correlated. On average, richer nations tend to be happier than poorer nations, but this effect seems to diminish with wealth. Apparently, economic freedom correlates strongly with happiness. Thus, in general terms, happiness is characteristic of a good life, that is, a life in which a person executes human nature in an excellent way.

With all said and done, I have seen many unhappy people in spite of social, economic or personal successes. Mundane forms of happiness such as health, wealth and success are not enough to keep them happy all the time. It is the nature of humans to crave for more or something different than what they have already achieved. The intrinsic value of all achievements becomes zero once obtained and in order to get more or something different, they remain unhappy and this never ending cycle continues.

Therefore, ultimate happiness is only achieved by overcoming cravings of all kinds. They can be overcome only by practicing personal discipline, high moral & ethical standards, sacrifice and renunciation. Thus, establishing happiness as beyond material and emotional possession is attainable only through an attentive practice which can extinguish cravings and aversions. I do not mean that by practicing renunciation one is supposed to give up the world and become a monk. Becoming a monk may be the simplest answer, but it is not necessary that all monks will overcome desires such as the power to be recognized as respectable or being a popular monk with some kind of position. One can be happy and may remain in bliss by practicing detachment while living like a normal householder. Detachment means to enjoy the materialistic world but to not get stuck into it like “a bee in the honey pot” and die with pain, sorrow, suffering, and helplessness.

Alternatively, 'Bhakti Yoga' (unwavering devotion to God) is another way to be happy and remain in permanent bliss and yet live a life of a normal householder. I have seen many people reading, listening, quoting, or talking about Bhakti Yoga, but very few have actually practiced it in their lives. Therefore, at times they are happy but most of the time they are consumed with desires or burning in the fire of ego or “I”.

In my upcoming blog posts, I will write about Bhakti Yoga. It will contain my personal experiences and not the quotes from any spiritual book. It will include ways one can use to overcome all obstacles in life and can change the entire course of his or her life positively with the sense of calmness and tranquility. In order to substantiate my beliefs about happiness, I have tried to express my feelings in the form of a poem which is as follows:

(composed on  August 10th,2010)

Our brain is the most complicated structure
It is the reservoir of an emotional feelings without stricture

Sometimes it gives immense pleasure and happiness
And sometimes emotional breakdown with immense sadness

Sometimes small events can make our mood high
Or can make our mood low and dry

At times money, power, or position makes us happy
And sometimes the same things make our mood frustrated and crappy

Sometimes we are happy in the midst of nature and good company
And sometimes they make us lonely or make our mood funny

No materialistic pleasure can ever be sufficient
Nor the health, wealth, or the mental coefficient

There is no permanent solution to happiness
It never stays the same with steadfastness

But there is one solution to the peacefulness of mind
This will give the everlasting bliss of its kind

One will have to surrender completely to God
And tune his or her mind to the almighty with an iron rod

Without craving or expectations of any kind
Making us humble unwavering and defined

If we are true and faithful to ourselves
Inner peace and harmony will set in themselves

This will provide the tranquility and the calmness
That is the secret of everlasting happiness.
(Copyright © 2010)

Please write your comments and present your views to be shared by all.

Suman Saran Sinha