Category Archives: Random Musings

Documentary Review: “KUMARE”

I have been stuck in bed and sick, sick, sick the past 3 days. What else should I do, except lay there and watch tv show after tv show on my computer? Needless to say, I am now hooked on “Downton Abbey” and “Parenthood”. But, telling you about those two tv shows is not the purpose of this blog post. [I will say though, that they are both excellent shows, and if you’re looking for a new tv show to get hooked on, those 2 are great!].

Anyways, I I know I’ve talked about this website before, but I frequent mindbodygreen.com. You know, I’ve signed up to get daily emails and what not, so I can see what new articles they have. Well, as I was checking my daily MBG digest, they had an advertisement for gaiamtv to check out a documentary called “Kumare“. Intriguing? Absolutely. Did some googling and found that it was on Netflix. Check. Alright let’s see what this is all about.

So, what’s this all about? This dude named Vikram Gandhi from New Jersey is essentially doing this experiment on spiritual leaders. He’s found that a lot of people who willingly call themselves prophets and swamis and gurus and connections with the Divine, are just phonies. Do I agree with this? To some extent. I think a lot of people who make these claims are all a little bit yahoo, and are in it for the wrong reasons. I think this is a cause for blind faith. But, that’s a post for another day. So, Vikram takes on the identity of “Kumare”, an Indian guru from the Himalayas. He goes to Phoenix, Arizona and creates a decent-sized following.
And what exactly does he do? He creates a fake doctrine. He teaches these people yoga asanas he made up, a meditation technique called “Blue Light Meditation”, and teaches them songs and words that are completely bogus. All of this takes guts, a risk I’m not so sure I would be willing to take myself.
His teachings He is basing his whole philosophy off of what he personally believes, which I find very commendable. At least, that part’s not fake. But, he believes that we as individuals don’t necessarily need spiritual guides. That these gurus and swamis and messengers are all within us, that we have the capability to guide ourself down a righteous path. He also taught his followers that the image of an ideal self that we’ve created of ourselves is an attainable truth. We have what it takes to be the ideal self that we envision. We have all the tools and resources to achieve this, we just have to look deep within and find them.
But then what happens? These people that have become his “followers” are so incredibly connected to him. I mean, they really truly believe that he is the solution to their problems. They find so much value in his teachings and the time they spend with him.

I don’t want to spill the ending, because it definitely caught me off guard. Either way, there are some things I agree with, some things I don’t. I do think gurus are necessary to help you walk whatever path you desire to walk on. I think they’re important in guiding you to realize your full potential. Yeah, a lot of them are hokey, but when you find someone who does it for you, you can’t help but fall in love with idea that this person is going to help you attain your ideal self. However, I do agree with Mr. Kumare Gandhi that we have everything we need inside of us already. We just need to figure out how to harness all that energy and power. Enter your spiritual guide.

My recommendation: if you have Netflix, or some other way of getting to watch this documentary, watch it. It took guts for Vikram to do what he did. Someone has to take these risks, and he did, which is something commendable. You might get pulled emotionally either for Vikram or for his followers [or both!] towards the end. Definitely interesting to see how his story played out.

If you want to know the ending, I’ll be more than happy to share with you though.

you are a human

Today, is one of my favorite days of the year. It marks the birthday of the man who is the reason behind my drive, my thoughts, my positivity, and my passion to want to live a truly spiritual life, Rev. Shri Pandurang Shashtri Athavale, Dadaji.

But more than the celebration of this MahaPurush, this great man that myself and thousands of other were fortunate to be blessed with, it is the celebration of being human–today is Human Dignity Day, Manusha Gaurav Din!

You are a human. You are not a helpless being merely going through the motions of life. We have been graced with intellect and rationality. So why do we fall victim to instincts and acting blindly?

To be human is to be grateful. This is one of the strongest statements that I have ever heard. We have the ability to show our gratefulness to the Supreme for all He has given us. Nothing we do, think, feel, sense is solely because of us. But, why are we so reluctant to show our gratefulness, krutagnata, to the Creator?

‎”We are not mere helpless creatures or puppets in the hands of the supernatural being. We are participants in Gods divine and creative play.” -Pandurang Shashtri Athavale, Dadaji

Tu maanas che! You are a Human! If we realize that God is with us and within us, if we realize that not only are we the children of God, but we are a part of God then how can we live like every other animal that walks the planet. We are something special. Arise! Embrace all that you are.

Tat Tvam Asi. That thou art. (That “THAT” being the Absolute, the Supreme, the Ultimate)

 

HAPPY MANUSHA GAURAV DIN

I’m 3 years older than 18

Change of plans happen. I’ll go back to my point 5 from my last post in a bit. I’ve had another epiphany that I would like to share with my few and dedicated readers.

i’ve been up since 4am trying to get this research thesis irb finished and done with. it’s been a very long and frustrating week for me. this irb has LITERALLY been haunting me. i have about 15 missed phone calls from my friends and family that i’ve ignored, along with countless missed and ignored gchats so i can get this thing done done done.

well, while doing some last minute literature review, i’m looking up at my bulletin board. i have a bunch of quotes posted on it. and there is one that i really love. it’s written by a founder of my sorority. and it says, “above all, we wanted a high and active special purpose to justify existence and a simple devotion to some worthy end”. now this is one of my favorite quotes. i feel like it really encompasses the essence of why we as humans are here. and i’d like to share my opinion on the matter with you all, if you don’t mind. i’m going to do this by breaking the statement into a couple parts. just flow with me.

“we wanted a high and active special purpose”–we are all on this planet for a reason. obviously different ones, so that we can all support one another and sustain human life. religious backgrounds and ties, and lack thereof may give different reasons as to why we are here. some people have really lofty and high goals, some just want to get by. either way, it’s a very personal thing. and we lose sight of that. i do this all the time. i get so frustrated when i see untapped potential; when i know that this guy or girl can do SO much with their life, but just choose not to, because that’s what they want. i tend to forget to see life from other people’s perspective. this is definitely one of my flaws that i’ve realized to an even greater extent than before–i’m a really selfish person. i claim everything that i have done, do, and want to do for myself (my career, my life, my family, this is what i want, why i want it, etc.). now, stella makes a really good point here. we wanted a HIGH AND ACTIVE SPECIAL PURPOSE. a lot of my frustration lies in this part. why do i get so agitated with untapped potential? because of idleness. are you doing something with your life? i don’t care what it is, just what are you doing? what are you doing to distinguish yourself from the next person in your family, school, city, country. have you taken what every institution has told you is the “reason why we’re here” and made it yours? is it personal? what makes you stand out? what makes you so special? i mean, it is SO easy just to do the bare minimum to get by. mediocrity is the bane of our society. and we’ve allowed it. we teach at such a young age that average is good. but do we ever emphasize that extraordinary is even better? my parents pushed me to be the best me, yeah, but at times i was okay with being just average–lost in the crowd, nothing special. just nishita. what makes me so great? so special? i have been given a lot in this life, both externally and internally. i’m devoted, loving, caring, personable, social, awkward, sometimes funny, and more. so am i using this to create my own personal, special purpose, and am i active in trying to reach this purpose? these are questions that i don’t ask enough. and sitting here right now, realizing this, i can give hundreds of reasons of what makes me like the next person, but only a handful of what makes me special. i need to start cultivating those things in my life which are going to make me special.

“to justify existence”– this part can become a little criticizing, and just a disclaimer, anything i’m about to write applies to my life just as much as anyone else. to justify existence. now this says a lot, but i’m going to keep it at a minimum (i think it’s an intense question enough that you can take in and introspect for yourself). actually, i’m just going to ask this one question. do your actions, thoughts, efforts, and everything that makes you up as a unique individual justify your existence?

“a simple devotion to some worthy end”–and i leave with this final part of the quote. what are you striving for? is it worthy enough for you? you are a human being. you are a great being. are you doing everything you can to ensure that what you’re doing is the right thing? just a simple devotion. that is all you need. a simple devotion to yourself and your life.

stella was hitting a lot of key points when she said this. i’m impressed (but who isn’t with stella). i asked a lot of questions in this post, and these are all questions that i asked myself when really reading this quote. it’s funny how things just hit you randomly throughout the day. i want to live such a life that i am special. and whether or not people remember me for what i did or anything, i will have the peace that i was devoted to myself.

“above all, we wanted a high and active special purpose to justify existence and a simple devotion to some worthy end”                  stella george stern perry

peace in this day.

not quite 17 things I’ve learned this past week

Today, I woke up early to go to a park and read the Geeta. Well, a transliteration of it at least. A very good one might I add. If you want to know the author, let me know. But, back to the point I’m trying to make. A lot has been on my mind the past week, and it’s really hard for me to express those thoughts. I get embarrassed, and afraid. Afraid that people will judge me for what goes through my mind. Maybe they won’t agree with it, maybe I’m too scared to not be accepted. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe maybe maybe. This is what my life has become. Endless amounts of maybes that encourage me to teeter on yes or no. Like my mom always says,”maybe is not a real answer”. And she’s absolutely right. Everyone knows the definite answer to every situation, idea, feeling, thought, question, everything…but we’re just to something to admit it. Acceptance. We all strive for it. But is it absolutely necessary? We came into this world alone, and we are going to leave alone. I know that this is a semi-depressing thought, but it’s the truth. The people and things that we surround ourselves with in our lives are there to make this journey we call life a little bit more pleasurable. We learn from them and these things, hoping that at the end of the day we have become a better person. So maybe if we thought of life in this sense just a little bit, we probably wouldn’t have so many “maybes” and we would probably be more confident with ourselves.

While reading the Geeta this morning, I came across a few things that I think if I understood better, I could learn to be a more confident individual. And maybe, just maybe, it will help me understand the purpose for what i’m living a little bit better:

  1. we have 5 senses. we let these senses take control of our actions. wrong. our mind needs to control our actions.
  2. everyday we are led by our desires. we want this and that, and all those things over there. but, are these desires going to help us grow towards our ultimate goal?
  3. we are all connected. all humans are part of mankind/humanity/whatever shall you. so, if one person is affected, than so everyone else is too. this leads to my 4th point
  4. why are we not more merciful towards the other human? are we not all part of one species? doesn’t it make sense to have a little bit more sympathy for other people?
  5. my final point: everything that makes us up as an individual is constantly changing. it changes with the people we are with, the situation we are in, the surroundings that consume us everything–our personality, ego, senses, emotions, will, intellect. EVERYTHING. how can we honestly say that we are this, or that we are that when we aren’t anything but situational.
point 5 is what i will elaborate on this week. so look out for that. until then. peace to you. 

a proton is positive: number 16

hey folks! time for a blog update. school is back in full swing, and at UAB, we’re going in on our 3rd week. it’s crazy to think that senior year is actually here. where has my college career gone? being a senior and 21 was something i only dreamt of as a kid, and now that it’s finally here, i’m not sure what to do with it.

there are a lot of things i have learned in college. i learned that procrastination only works sometimes, due dates are not set in stone, and that as long as you surround yourself with good company, life can’t really be all that bad.

but the most important thing i have learned in college was in chemistry class. the proton. a proton carries a positive charge. it attracts electrons holding a negative charge, and even though it attracts these negative charges, it still stays positive.

we as humans, really need to learn from this teeny tiny particle. for us, the first negative thought that we are surrounded by, we immediately start thinking negative. negativity spreads quicker than spilled milk, and the odor it leaves behind is just as bad. human beings are very influential creatures, but also very easily influences. we want to be fit in, so we will act and think just like the person next to us.

why are we not able to stand firm in our thoughts and beliefs? why is it so uncool to have a positive attitude? protons and electrons have the capability to create very powerful forces, just like the human. yet, we can’t even stand firm in our attitude.

one positive idea, thought, attitude can change the way many people think and act and feel. it takes just one. just one proton carries the energy to practically change the world–why do you think we want to try to split and harness that energy so bad? just like that, one person has the exact same capability.

so use it. use that positive energy and change the world. be the unchanging proton that we have learned about.

and i leave you with this quote:

“You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.” -ralph marston

peace to all.

i am legend #15

a lot has happened to me these past several weeks. i realized that life really hits you. and when it does, dangit it hits hard. it’s really remarkable how just one week in a certain type of atmosphere can change the way you think about life all together. you realize that you weren’t living the way you had anticipated. i’ve realized that you can’t predict how your life will turn out. sure you can make timelines and goals and hope to progress towards these wants. but then so many things become distractions in your life, and you look back and you think, man i could have done so much better.

this is exactly what happened to me. the idea of “legend” came to mind. what does it mean to be a legend? do you have to be famous? discover the cure to cancer? have a number one selling record for multiple weeks? i’ve always wanted to be a “legend”. when i was little, i wanted to be known for something. to be great. to make my parents proud. but what does this mean?

i start my senior year of undergrad in two days. life really hit me when i started thinking about the gravity of the situation. no longer am i young kid, teenager. i need to start becoming a role model, start acting more like an adult. when i was young, i had these grandiose ideas of where i would be at this point in my life…on my way to med school, top of the class student, perfect in every way i imagined. i thought that i would for sure be known for something at this point in my life..if not my way to it.

i look back, and i think am i really leaving a mark on the lives of the people i’ve interacted with? in the places that i stepped foot in? are young people looking up to me? in good ways? for the right things? this is when i began to realize that i’ve strayed off the path that i had set for myself.

i want the next generation to know me for being great. a great person. a good person. i want to have touched at least one person’s life. to make one person smile. this is my goal in life. one quote that comes to mind is “go and watch movies, but live such a life that people want to make movies about you”. this is the kind of life i want to live.

taking the easy way out…we’ve all been there before at some point or other, but it’s the hard path that will actually allow us to be that “legend”. whatever your definition of legend may be, we should all strive to want to be a legend.

i’ll continue this topic next time. but for right now, i leave you with this, are you on your way to be a legend?

peace on earthh. to all. young and old.

lucky number 13.2: post 14

per request from one of my readers, i was asked to expand on my post from yesterday. now, i don’t usually like to delve in topics more than once, but i figured that the topic of luck and creating your own destiny was one that i could expand on.

so yesterday, i talked about how i don’t think luck is real, that we create the situations and our actions are really what we are calling “luck”. i posed the question, do we create our own destiny? or is it pre-determined? or is it a little bit of both. and this is my opinion.

humans have been given the power of free will. we are able to choose what we eat, think, who we’re friends with, etc. why we do things is all a product of our free will. so technically, with this idea, we create our destiny. so, there is really no such thing as luck. what we consider “lucky” is just the outcomes of our free will. yes, those fruits of our efforts may come unexpected, but is that really being lucky? i am a huge believer in God helps those who help themselves. so, if we sincerely put in a strong effort for something we want, why wouldn’t God help us? and even if the outcome we get isn’t what we “wanted”, can it not be something that we may need?

so is our destiny pre-determined? maybe. maybe the opportunities that we happen to stumble upon are given to us. but, what we decide to do with those opportunities…that is us creating our destiny.

are there really scapegoats that we can blame our situations on? did we not actively make the decision to do every action, to think every thought? yeah, because of that free will. i’ve been guilty of this many a time. i’m not perfect.

but, coming to this realization is a huge step. i am where i am, because of my decisions. i am where i am, because these are outcomes of the efforts i may or may not have made. so can i blame that on being lucky or unlucky? nope. my thoughts, my actions, my decisions, my destiny.

peace on earth.

lucky number 13

so this is post numero 13. (if i knew how to say “13” in spanish, i would. too bad i took latin in high school) anyways, i think that i will make the theme of this blog luck. is it really luck? or is it coincidence? or just destiny?

i am a constant victim of the following phrase: “i am so lucky to (fill in the blank)”. i say this statement probably on a regular basis. or i will say “omg you are so lucky (fill in the blank). but the more i think about it, the more i realize, that everything is supposed to happen for a reason (or so i believe), then how can we call it luck?

and then what really baffles me is that so many people agree (again, including myself) that things happen for a reason, and what is meant to be will be. we have all fallen under this safety net. is this really an excuse for our actions, and whether or not we do things? is our destiny changeable? and what we really consider “luck” isn’t that our destiny.

are we as humans, that irresponsible to claim our actions instead of just defaulting to the excuses that society has handed us on a silver platter. or do we just get “lucky”? i’m not lucky that i’ve been given the life i have. i am blessed. and that is a distinction the human race needs to understand. “count your blessings…” (don’t really know the rest of the saying…)

anyways, this post has been deep enough. hope y’all got your minds churnin’ though! until next time…peace to all, on this earth.