Happy New Year 2015


Friday, July 31, 2009

A Thought for Today-208:

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love - St Basil

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Picture of the day-10:

A Thought for Today-207:

Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence and justice - Spinoza

Sunday, July 26, 2009


My life is an indivisible whole, and all my attitudes run into one another; and they all have their rise in my insatiable love for mankind - Gandhiji

A Thought for Today-206:

Life consists in what a man is thinking all day - Emerson

Picture of the day-9:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Thought for Today-205:

Let us not be justices of the peace, but angels of peace
- Saint Therese of Lisieux

Picture of the day-8:

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Thought for Today-204:

Helping someone in trouble, caring about people you hardly know, is almost a form of prayer, when you stop to think about it. It is an offering to God and the benefits flow right back to you - From 'The Power of the Plus Factor' by Dr.Norman Vincent Peale

Picture of the day-7:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Picture of the day-6:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Random Thoughts-28: "Unique Talent"

I sincerely believe that every one of us has some unique talent. Only most of us are not aware of it. So the first step is becoming aware of this and then identifying one's unique talent. Then comes nurturing it and manifesting it - Manifesting it for one's own welfare; for the welfare of one's near and dear; and also for the welfare of the society at large.

It needs nurturing because it remains just a spark. When you nurture it, it starts growing and glowing. In the light, you see your life's unique mission. Then life becomes focused and meaningful. You cut down all distractions and march towards your life's unique mission with single-minded devotion. When you attain your goal, your life becomes fulfilled. Even if you don't reach your goal, the very process of striving for it with all your mite should be satisfying and make you happy.

The greatest tragedy of life is not having this awareness. The spark flares up now and then to draw your attention to it. But if you still ignore it, it is really a pity.

Nurturing it and finally manifesting and utilizing it for your own selfish ends would be a crime.

How to identify your unique talent? Turn inward and dive deeper and deeper and deeper; you will find it. Why waste your precious time in the pursuit of limiting materialistic goals?

There is this reassuring advice from great sages: "Know that by knowing which everything becomes known; attain that by attaining which everything is attained."

Blessed are those who have found their unique talent early in life; nurtured it properly and manifested it fully for the welfare of one and all.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Picture of the day-5:

Yet another fascinating flower.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Picture of the day-4:

Karaikudi Railway station now has several beautiful buildings and provides many comforts to the passengers. This photo is from the garden inside the station campus.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Picture of the day-3:

Flowers fascinate everybody, not just ladies. I took this during a visit
to Poovalur (near Lalgudi, Trichy Dt).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Picture of the day-2:

Yet another picture taken on the Sriram Nagar-University Road, Karaikudi. The outstretched branches make the trees look elegant and I thought it deserved a click. Hence you have it here.

Random Thoughts-27: "Number Thirteen"

Thirteen is considered to be an unlucky number by many. In US, many hotels do not have a 13th floor; after 12th floor, you get to the 14th floor! Likewise, there is no Room No.13. People do not want to commence or take up anything of importance on the 13th day of the month. Whatever you take up may fail or there may be worse misfortunes. People seem to be damn afraid of that number. This superstition seems to be universal breaking borders.

I have a special connection to number thirteen. My official date of birth is 13. My real one is something different. Those days schools won't admit children below six . When I was 5, I was admitted in school; probably somebody added a year to my age, which is all right with me; but they changed the date and month. At random they might have chosen the numbers. I had my share of troubles and misfortunes in my sixty-year old life, whether due to it or otherwise.

This fear associated with number thirteen makes me think. For me, Swami Vivekananda is the embodiment of fearlessness, courage and manliness. He says that if there is one word that keeps recurring in the Upanishads, it is fearlessness. The Bhagavad Gita also puts fearlessness in the first place when it starts listing out divine wealth or divine values. So it is a virtue or value one must cultivate. Analysing our fears one by one threadbare may help. Facing your fears head on may be a way. If you are spiritual like me, japa (repetition of the holy name), meditation and prayer also should help to some extent.If there are other ways, I shall be glad to learn.

On looking up 'Thirteen' in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, I found a lot of interesting facts:

* There were thirteen disciples of Jesus in the Last Supper and Judas Iscariot was the thirteenth.

* In the Sikh holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, the word 'Waheguru' appears 13 times.

* 13 is the age at which a boy becomes Bar Mitzwah in Judaism.

* 13 is the sixth prime number.

* The morbid fear of 13 is called Triskaidekaphobia.

* Thirteen is the age when one becomes a teenager.

* The unsuccessful mission to moon by the US is Apollo 13.(An oxygen tank exploded in Apollo 13 on April 13(!), 1970 leading to failure of the mission).

The surprising news is that there are people to whom 13 is a luck number. If you look up Wikipedia, you will find more details about them. For example, in Italy, 13 is considered to be a lucky number. So also at the Colgate University. But then considering a number lucky or unlucky, is not the same, I mean, superstition?

The world is full of superstitions, some of them very interesting though. One day I should sit up and collect the details; maybe I would write an article for my blog about superstitions.

Grateful thanks to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eyecatchers-139: "Teenager fell into a manhole"

Harper's Weekly reports of a teenager in New York City, who fell down a manhole, while writing text message in his mobile.

Those of you who use your mobile while walking or riding, watch out! ensure that you don't meet with the same fate or worse. Avoid using the mobile while walking or riding.

Picture of the day-1:

This is a new feature. After visiting many blogs, I realized the importance of pictures and took steps to buy a camera. At last I did it. It cost me nearly a month's pension. Still I bought it. It is a Canon Powershot A590 digital camera. Then I started clicking, clicking and clicking. Now I have a lot of pictures in my Picture Folder.

The camera made me realize how blind I have been to nature. For example, when I board a train or bus, I open my book and start reading or at least try to read. and forget the outside world. But, now the story is different. I take out my camera and look for object to click. Oh, there is no dearth for objects! When I upload them to my PC and view them, I am impressed. I admit I am only an amateur photographer and don't know much photography. I have started learning slowly the art of photography.

When I opened my picture folder today, I got an idea: why not have a special feature for photographs in my blog? Hence this column. I have uploaded the first photo and hope to continue. It was taken two days back, when the sun was about to set. The location was Sriram Nagar-University Road. The road was almost deserted!

Needless to say, I would very much appreciate comments/hints to improve my knowledge of photography.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Random Thoughts-26: "Swami Vivekananda Memorial Day"

Photo of Swami Vivekananda at Vivekananda Kendra, Kunyakumari,
taken by Suri using his Canon Powershot A-590 camera

It is on this day, July 4, Swami Vivekananda attained Mahasamadhi. It also coincides with the American Independence Day.

I call myself a devotee, admirer, follower, worshipper of Swami Vivekananda. He is just 'swamiji' for his devotees. He has been a great source of inspiration for me. His writings have moulded me; but still I have to go a long way to call myself as a true devotee of swamiji.

On this day, I choose one of his great sayings and would like to dwell on it, discuss it and share with you my personal thoughts on that.

"Strength is Life, Weakness is Death.
Expansion is Life, Contraction is Death.
Love is Life, Hatred is Death."

The first line exhorts us to develop strength of mind, body and character. With strength you overcome weaknesses, don't yield to temptations, surmount obstacles however big they seem to be and face evil with courage and confidence.

The third line reminds us that without love, life is meaningless, worthless, pointless and a total waste. When we hate somebody, whether it affects the other person or not, it definitely affects us; not only that, it could destroy us; it takes us away from our goal of life.

The second line is the most beautiful to me. We all begin our life, so to say, as a dot. That dot grows into a small circle encompassing our beloved mother and father; then the circle gradually expands to include all our near and dear; people of our place, our country and our world; not only that, even plants, birds and animals; finally breaking all barriers, we become one with the universe. (We find this all-embracing love in great souls like the Buddha, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and others.) It is the goal of life, the purpose of life, fulfilment or whatever you want to call it. So if we stop or stagnate at any particular point, it is a pity, for we lose the purpose of our life; we have fallen short of the goal; if you are a believer in reincarnation like me, then we may have to take more births and continue from where we left off till we finally reach the goal.

It is 'maya' or ignorance which deludes us and distracts us from our real purpose of life. We think name and fame are the goal of life; or still worse, money and other material possessions are the goal of life; they are not. We easily forget this. Days like this are to remind us of our true goal and to goad us to seek and strive for that goal- no matter how many times we forget it or lose the battle; it may be a thousand times; still we keep on trying and never stop till we realize the goal of life.

Jai, Sri Swamiji Maharaj ki Jai!
Jai, Sri Mahamayee ki Jai!
Jai, Sri Guru Maharaj ki Jai!