Sunday, March 26, 2017


Life is a combination of time and energy. This combination finds expression first through desires, then by action, and then by knowledge gained. Desire spurs us on to action, which makes us experience the result of the action; and that experience teaches us something, which restructures our desires. This spiral activity evolves all the living beings.

All living beings are activated by desires arising from within because of the instincts. They engage themselves in various actions for fulfilling their desires. These actions reward them with various kinds of experiences. Sometimes, their desires are fulfilled through sensory perceptions. Sometimes, they fail in their attempts and experience anger, frustration, depression and so on.

Though these physical or mental experiences end, they leave a subtle trace of the experiences, called vAsanas. For e.g. we drink a cup of delicious bAdAmghIr. The sweet experience enjoyed through the tongue may be over but the taste lingers in mind as a vAsana. On the next favorable occasion, the memory of bAdAmghIr surfaces and stimulates a desire to drink it again. The vAsanas of both pleasant and unpleasant experiences stimulate in due course likes, or dislikes, and these lead to actions for or against the relevant things.

The experiences of life educate us most effectively. The knowledge gained by our own experiences is referred to, as the firsthand knowledge because it is internalized by us and becomes part of our mental energy.

Desires are the expression of ichchA sakti (power of aspiration) and actions caused by them are the expression of kriyA sakti (power of activity). The knowledge we gain through experiences are the expression of gnAna sakti (power of wisdom).

Good desires cause good actions, which in turn elevate our knowledge. From this higher state of knowledge, better desires arise in our mind and they lead us to better actions, which in turn further improve our knowledge. Thus, we become wiser and wiser. This spiral action evolves the living beings to noble and enlightened spiritual states in the long run.

On the other hand, if we allow bad desires to activate us, they would lead us to nefarious activities, which in turn would lower of level of wisdom and develop baser instincts. We would become involved in unworthy deeds and become criminals.

If we are intelligent enough, it is possible to learn good lessons from bad experiences also. But this is like swimming against the current. It happens very rarely. Sometimes, a true friend, or teacher may interfere and lift us up from the effects of bad experiences. We cannot however, count on these chances.

We should always cultivate good thoughts and noble desires and work for uplifting experiences. The essential components of life are time and energy. It is always moving forward. Moving further, we continue to learn simultaneously through experiences. We should always ensure that our desires, efforts and lessons are all harmoniously moving in the right direction. Thus, we may ward off all the negative influences of the world and achieve progress in physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual layers of life.    

Friday, August 26, 2016

Peace and Conflict

Peace and Conflict
K S Venkataraman


The peaceful atmosphere needs a truthful foundation. It cannot prevail on falsity.

The general advice, one is likely to receive on most of the occasions is to avoid conflicts. The conflicts may grow into serious fights and undesirable consequences. Therefore, it is better to avoid them at any cost. Thus runs the arguments of peace lovers. We should admit that they are not off the mark. However, there are exceptions, which, if ignored, would cost us dearly.

Sometimes, remedies can be worse than the diseases they are supposed to cure! In the ancient Indian epic the Mahabharata, the Dharmaputra decided not to reject any invitation or request, in order to avoid war. His idea was not to offend anybody, so that his behavior would not lead to any conflict. That was why, he agreed to participate in the game of dice, proposed by Duryodana. Finally, the game led to a great war!

We cannot always be milk, sugar and honey towards all. We cannot see eye to eye with others on all matters. When we are not directly involved or duty-bound, we may keep a diplomatic silence and look the other way. If such an option is not available, it is better to be frank and express our opinion politely, with our reasons; rather than suppressing our opinion and nodding our head unwillingly.

It is true that truthful statements often give rise to unpleasant arguments; but chances are that in due course they would be accepted and facilitate smooth sailing. If we hide our disagreement in the beginning, we could not participate in the implementation of the project wholeheartedly; our real stand would hamper our work and at times may even obstruct the work of others.

While explaining the principles of conflict resolution, R.J. Rummel observes, "… Doubtlessly, some conflicts are unnecessary, some needlessly intense and long lasting. But some also are a real and unavoidable clash, the only means through which one, as a partisan, can protect or further vital interests and achieve a more satisfactory and harmonious just peace. …" (

The peaceful atmosphere needs a truthful foundation. It cannot prevail on falsity. This is applicable to all the situations, threatened by small or big conflicts, from family to international levels.

There is no point in buying a worse inner conflict while attempting to avoid an outer conflict. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

SATYAM BRUYAT - Justice Katju : We must reunite

SATYAM BRUYAT - Justice Katju : We must reunite: Some people agree on principle with my idea of reunified secular India , which includes India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, but ask how it is...

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Punishment is an Effective Tool for Crime Control

The ancient Tamil sage Thiruvalluvar has said, “The action of the King in severely punishing the criminals, who have committed heinous crimes like murder, is like a farmer removes the weeds for protecting the food crops.” (Thirukkural 550) 

Are Punishments Necessary?
Crimes are reprehensible because they work against the fundamental principles of human co-existence. They weaken and even threaten to demolish the social structure. They repudiate the individual’s normal rights of peaceful living and cause undue suffering or even death. They become all the more repulsive when they are perpetrated deliberately in organized manner. Still worse is when the criminals are directly or indirectly supported by the very same persons who are duty bound to prevent them. It becomes exasperating beyond limits when the victims are made to suffer and the criminals go scot-free. In India, the situation has become exasperating; and is going terribly and irremediably awry.

Reforms are needed in all the areas relevant to criminal justice. While urgent, serious and sincere action is needed to improve the system, it has become a fashion to talk about softening towards the criminals in general, and doing away with death penalty in particular.

There cannot be two opinions about the need for proper investigation. The accused should not be humiliated or presumed to be guilty till their guilt is proved. The sadistic treatment of any person is not correct. Extenuating circumstances if any should be properly considered. While I concede all these, award of punishments play a vital role in ensuring good behavior in the society and preventing trouble.

In the administration of criminal justice, punishments are imposed not as a matter of revenge. It has nothing to do with the principle of ‘eye for an eye’.

Gandhi is quoted often, irrelevantly of course, that if the principle of eye for an eye is followed the entire world would become blind. Maybe it is true. But what has prevented the entire world from becoming blind is the fear and possibility that the principle of eye for an eye might be followed. In the absence of that fear, the world will have two sets of people; those, who enjoy gouging the others’ eyes out; and those who were blinded by them.

If a court imposes a punishment, including the death penalty, on a convict, it is not at all revenge; it is a professional, judicial, impartial, administrative measure taken in the larger interests of the society and to deter others from committing crimes.

The ancient Tamil sage Thiruvalluvar has said, “The action of the King in severely punishing the criminals, who have committed heinous crimes like murder, is like a farmer removes the weeds for protecting the food crops.” (Thirukkural 550)

Can We Afford to be Criminal friendly Beyond a Point?
A good government should take care of its law-abiding citizens first. For this, the criminals should be sternly dealt with.

The existing situation in India is just the contrary. Here the law-abiding citizens have to be on the back foot, while criminals usually have nothing to fear about.

Crimes are always increasing. Their number goes up everywhere; they are becoming more and more cruel and well-planned; the perpetrators are becoming richer and bolder; their roles are growing significant in all walks of life, mainly in politics and business. Any effort to reduce the criminals’ influence is met with stiff opposition by united political class. They don’t normally unite for any national cause with such spontaneity.
‘Minor girl gang-raped by village youth, burnt alive in UP.’1
‘Hyderabad techie gang-raped by cab drivers in luxury car.’2
‘Another minor girl gang-raped in moving car in Delhi.’3

Such heinous crimes occur with sickening frequency and alarming ease. They just get converted into uninteresting statistics. If at all, there would be some excitement for a few days and the men in power know very well that left to themselves they would die natural death.

At the same time, when the criminal politicians’ interests are involved, things move very efficiently and the ordinance path is taken! For how long the people of India are going to be taken for a ride by the politicians, for whom bad governance is a matter of their birth-right?

The pertinent question is why the entire system is not taken up for a serious review and reform at national level? Why remedial measures are not ushered in with the urgency the subject deserves?

Are Punishments Irrelevant?
A report on the Delhi crime begins with an observation: “Death penalty to four convicts in the December 16 gang rape case has failed to act as a deterrent as rapes continue to haunt the national capital.”

Interestingly an argument against the death penalty is that it has not been proven that death penalty can reduce the crime rate.

Don't ever say that death penalty has failed to prevent crimes. Say that the penalties are not quick enough, inclusive enough to prevent crimes.

People know that only in one out of a million cases deserving death penalty, it is actually implemented. In many cases, it takes more than a decade to finish a case; and imposing a punishment stands disconnected with the crime in the minds of the people. How can anyone evaluate its relevance and effectiveness?

If organized crimes are exponentially increasing in number, there are several reasons. Some of them are:
Bad governance
Political interference
Money power of criminals
Apathy in investigation and prosecution
 Inordinate delay in delivery of justice
 Inadequate punishments
 Flaws in prison administration
Misguided and mischievous propaganda of pseudo-human rights activists and pseudo humanitarian organizations
Cut-throat and profit-minded media, especially the visual media

Punishments duly implemented would definitely have a deterrent effect; only that can deter the people. But many people deliberately turn a blind eye to the real reasons and instead try to neutralize the system of punishment.

The legal system and criminal procedure are supportive of the criminals. Most of the human rights persons or men in power do not bother about the rights of the law-abiding persons and victims. In how many cases the criminals have come out in bail only to commit crimes?

The failure to impose reasonable punishments makes the affected people lose faith in government. In many cases they opt for settling the scores by themselves. Local gang-leaders and hired guns get good business and establish themselves with the help of dishonest politicians and officials. This leads to organized crimes in the society.

The truth is that the seriousness that should be attached to prevention of crimes in a civilized nation is not at all there in India. The people in power should be ashamed of the statistics on the subject; but they are busy with their personal agendas! Administration has become a plaything in their hands.

Aim at Zero Level
Only after umpteen filtering systems that allow criminals to escape by different routes, after becoming convinced about its justification, death penalty is imposed. After that there are so many chances to escape; and now you should find out if the criminal has any chance of getting reformed! Any hard-core criminal, who has absolutely no intention of reforming at all, can argue that he has a chance of reforming. This would virtually eliminate fear in the minds of criminals; and would also encourage them to expand their nefarious activities.

Why should you want to try the impossible task of reforming the hardened criminals, who has already seriously harmed or even killed law-abiding citizen(s), again at the cost of innocent members of the society? Who gave such a right to the men who happen to be in power?

There is a maxim that says, “Aim at the sky, if you want to shoot the bird sitting on the tree.”  Here the persons in power cheat the people by shamelessly talking things like about percentage of detection! And here a  ‘youth’ leader says that it would take 20 years to eliminate corruption in India!

The truth is that the seriousness that should be attached to prevention of crimes in a civilized nation is not at all there in India. The people in power should be ashamed of the statistics on the subject; but they are busy with their personal agendas! Administration has become a plaything in their hands.

The people are entitled to zero level crime and zero level corruption. If there is enough political will, it is not impossible.





Sunday, October 19, 2014

President Obama Diwali Message 2014 doing pooja and lighting diyas

How beautifully he experiences and shares the universal spirit of Sanatana Dharma in wishing the happiness, wisdom, and prosperity of all living beings. Cannot help feeling sorry for the self-proclaimed 'pakuththaRivu vAdhikaL' of our own country, who have fallen prey the mischievous, false propaganda of the selfish persons with vested interests.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Avoid Vain Arguments by T Joseph Benziger (Editor, Dynamic Youth)

DYNAMIC YOUTH online Magazine - Editor's Letter for August 2014

Avoid Vain Arguments
From the Editor

Dear Youth of the World,
Man is a social animal. We value relationships for exchange of ideas and mutual evaluation. We share our experiences with one another that turn out to be beneficial to all.
Even from childhood we long for recognition. For children, the positive strokes they receive from others make them happy and self-confident. This helps them grow as strong adults and enables them to move with the external world fearlessly.
Those who suffer from inferiority complex usually avoid mixing with others and their communication is limited to grunts and groans. But a person who has clarity of mind has unambiguous views on all the subjects related to him; and others also would greatly benefit by discussing with him. When there is disagreement on any issue, discussions help us thrash it out from all the points of view and arrive at the most sensible solution for it.
It is important that discussions, whether it is between two persons or among the members of a group, should take place in a healthy atmosphere. All the participants should aim at finding the right answers without any bias or prejudice. They should be open-minded and should be willing to share their knowledge with others and also to benefit by the views of others.
If there is ego problem the objectivity in discussion will be totally lost. Similarly, if a participant is particular that only his views should be accepted by all others, the quality of the decision taken will greatly suffer. The presence of a sensible group leader or moderator would be useful in such cases.
We should always be particular in providing a system for open discussion in all organizations including family. Any simple difference of opinion can develop into serious quarrels in the absence of chances for frank discussion.
While a discussion is intended for exchange of ideas and enhance the general level of understanding of a subject, we should take care about maintaining its standard. If any of the participants in a discussion is not sincere in his approach, if he has some vested interests, if he is obsessed with fear, anger, hatred or any other negative feeling, his mind would not allow him to be dispassionate and balanced. His thoughts would not be well-organized and so he cannot also appreciate the genuineness of the views of others. He would go on repeating what he believes, overlooking the arguments of others, however sound they may be. In such cases, even a well-intentioned discussion would become a heated argument and may also lead to a quarrel.
We should be watchful about the attitude, and manner of presentation of the other person and if we find him obsessed with a wrong point of view, we should avoid further discussion with him, lest it should become a quarrel even if we are not for it. Their friendship is not good.
Thiruvalluvar says: We cannot introduce clarity by our words to those whose minds are disorganized, unstructured, and unreceptive. (Thirukkural 825)
மனத்தின் அமையா தவரை எனைத்தொன்றும் சொல்லினால் தேறற்பாற்று அன்று. (manaththin amaiyAthavarai enaiththondRum chollinAl thERaRpaRRu andRu.)
Mark Twain said in his own inimitable manner, "Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."
Wishing you all the best,

(T Joseph Benziger)
  26 July 2014

Sanskrit Carnatic Saptaratna Krithi (Raga Kiravani) - "Bala Sarasa Mural...

Sanskrit Carnatic Saptaratna Krithi (Raga Kiravani) - "Bala Sarasa Mural...

UthukkAdu Venkatasubbayyar,
also known as Venkata Kavi, for whom the Lord Himself was the mAnasIka guru, has many firsts to his
credit like the Navavarana and the Saptaratna kritis.
 He initiated the idea of composing thematic compositions like the Avarana kritis. This was followed by
Muthuswami Dikshitar and Swati Tirunal. 
His Saptaratna
may have inspired Tyagaraja to sing the Pancharatna kritis.