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