Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Resource Utilization



Buddha, one day, was on deep thought about the worldly activities and the
ways of instilling goodness in human.
The following is the text of conversation between him and his disciple.

One of his disciples approached him and said humbly " Oh my teacher ! While
you are so much concerned about the world and others, why don't you look in
to the welfare and needs of your own disciples also."

Buddha : "OK.. Tell me how I can help you?"

Disciple : "Master! My attire is worn out and is beyond the decency to wear
the same. Can I get a new one, please."

Buddha found the robe indeed was in a bad condition which needed
replacement. He asked the store keeper to give the disciple a new robe to
wear on. The disciple thanked Buddha and retired to his room. Though he met
his disciple's requirement, Buddha was not all that contended on his
decision. He realized he missed out some point. A while after, he realized
what he should have asked the disciple .

He went to his disciple's place and asked him "Is your new attire
comfortable? Do you need anything more ?"

Disciple : "Thank you my Master. The attire is indeed very comfortable. I
need nothing more"

Buddha : "Having got the new one, what did you do with your old attire?"

Disciple : "I am using it as my bed spread"

Buddha "Then.. hope you have disposed off your old bed spread"

Disciple " No.. no.. master. I am using my old bedspread as my window

Buddha " What about your old Curtain?"

Disciple "Being used to handle hot utensils in the kitchen"

Buddha : "Oh.. I see.. Can you tell me what did they do with the old cloth
they used in Kitchen"

Disciple : "They are being used to wash the floor."

Buddha "Then, what about the old rug being used to wash the floor...???"

Disciple "Master, since they were torn off so much, we could not find any
better use, but to use as a twig in the oil lamp, which is right now lit in
your study room...."

============ ========= ========= ========= ===

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Disaster of 'Me,Me' - PLEASE READ!


This happened in Mangalore as February 14 — now marketed as Valentine’s Day by traders to sell their wares — was approaching.

Upset with public drinking by boys and girls, a freak by name Pramod Muthalik got mad. He got some of them in a pub beaten up like their parents would do, but unlike them. He had informed the media about his show so that the news cameras were in place to telecast the Muthalik action everywhere. Thus the Muthalik show was a joint venture between him and the media to keep away the state police, which could spoil the show. Predictably, the whole world pounced on poor Yeddyurappa who heads the BJP government in Karnataka for allowing Muthalik to take the law into his hands. The BJP, ever torn between its love of Hindu culture and its desire for a modern image, was greatly embarrassed. With the BJP in power in Karnataka, Muthalik knew the publicity value of his show. Had he enacted his theatre elsewhere, like when the Shiv Sena raided pubs years ago in Mumbai and Pune under the ‘secular’ Congress rule, it would have been far less noisy.

More. By just one mad act, Muthalik turned many, including a minister, into full-scale lunatics. Renuka Chowdhury, a minister of state, supported a “pub bharo andolan” to take on Muthalik, thus openly encouraging young boys and girls to take to mass drinking in public. And believe it or not, her portfolio is Women and Child Development. Came an even more mad response to Muthalik’s take on Valentine’s Day. “I support every kind of love, heterosexual, transgender, marital, extramarital”.

This is Arundhati Roy sermonising to youths. Why she left out incest from her catalogue of love is not clear. Now, take the secular media. It quickly equated pubgoing with individual rights, and held Muthalik as an offender against human rights. Evidently, the mad act of a freak Hindu in a distant corner of India is sufficient to turn the whole of secular India into lunatics. Now move away from this trivia to the danger to which Renukas and Arundhatis expose the nation’s economy.

The current Indian discourse on individual and human rights, which tends to smuggle in even gay and lesbian rights, apes the West. As India attempts to copy the West, it clearly misses the serious economic issues that confront West, thanks to its obsession with unfettered individual and human rights. Many in the West now seem to realise that continuously undermining the moral and social order has led to the present economic crisis. The West did not slide overnight. Beginning from the late 19th century, the Anglo-American West gradually moved away from a relation- based lifestyle to a contract-based lifestyle.

While culture and tradition govern relation, law and rights inhere in contracts.

And this move from relation to contracts became almost complete in the second half of the 20th century. With law overriding relations, even parents could not curb the rights of their wards once they legally matured.

It is the other way. If they acted against their wards, the law would punish the parents for child abuse. So contracts replaced relations, and rule of law substituted for moral order. To what effect? The rise of unfettered individualism and undefined feminism have led to the erosion of families and a rise in divorces, singleparent families, unwed mothers, lesbians, gays and almost the collapse of traditional families. Over 50 per cent of the first marriages, 67 per cent of the second marriages, and 74 per cent of the third marriages end in divorce in the US. Over 40 per cent of births are outside wedlock. Almost half of the families are headed by a single parent.

The number is more in most of Europe. It was seen as cultural erosion first. But slowly it has turned into an economic disaster.

The contract-based model undermined families and led to low or no household savings, high personal debt, credit card based living, outsourcing of household functions including kitchen work. The erosion in relation-based lifestyle soon imposed a huge social security burden on the state because the family mechanism that supported the unemployed, infirm, aged and the rest and the state had to step in to aid them. Thus the family functions were taken over by the state. The families were nationalised. The overburdened state consequently had to shed its traditional functions, like public works, and privatise itself.

The socialisation of family functions obviated the need to save for a rainy day and led to even lower savings. With the growth of individualism to the exclusion of kinship and relations, corporates and the state alike promoted unrestrained consumerism.

Result, some 110 millions US households have some 1.2 billion credit cards, almost a dozen cards per household.

As the people saved less and spent more, they got into trillions of dollars of private debt; and as the government spent more, it also ran into tens of trillions of dollars of public debt. The result is that the government is bankrupt and so households are insolvent. More, the US, the largest creditor nation of the world three decades ago, is today the number one debtor of the world, with $12.5 trillion of debt.

A quick survey shows this: all individual- centric economies are deep in debt; but nations more family-oriented and less individual- centric, like Japan, China, India, and generally Asian nations, account for over three-fourths of global savings; the individualist West lives off the savings of family-centric Asia. Today the West says that, in the present crisis only Asia, which has huge savings thanks to family orientation, can save the West, which has almost lost its traditional family lifestyle.

So the idea of unbridled human rights and unrestrained personal freedom that have led to social and cultural degeneration are increasingly seen as the cause of the present economic crisis. Weeks ago, Thomas L Friedman, a leading economic journalist, wrote in the New York Times that he had told those eating in a restaurant that they could no more afford to eat out and they had better cook and eat at home. But how will they cook and eat at home unless families are re-created? If they do, how would the US compensate for loss of employment if restaurants, which exist because households have closed their kitchens, shut down? There seems to be no solution within economic laws to the present crisis of the West. Amoral economics once yielded higher returns. It now yields negative returns.

Here Renukas and Arundhatis advocate unbridled individualism that has undermined families and morals and dynamited the economies of the West. Renuka questions the idea public morals. Arundhati advocates amoral living. Both seem unaware that an economy built at the cost of family and social morals, too collapses on the ruins of the morals it has brought down. QED: morality supports economics; lack of it ruins economies

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Playing to the Ones in Need - Blue Frog - March 5th, 2009

Our preparation and sound check was flawless, our meditation before the show took us deep into the harmony of all existence and when the lights went out and Full Moon Rising was announced, we took the stage as musical light-beings, ready to offer something unique and special for the people in attendance. Looking out over the crowd of upper-middle class Indian and Foreign NRI's, we were met with a crowd, in which the majority showed up only because it was the cool thing to do. It was a full-house, but the 10 foot raised stage and far-removed booths and tables in the venue gave that eerie feeling of a club in which the music act becomes separate from the audience, sometimes providing background music and other times, irritating the audience. Knowing that our sound had the vibrations of love, we continued through the night landing upon moment after moment of elation and spontaneous uplifting vibrational flows. We were in a cosmic dance of musical creation, as the four of us had only worked together for one day. Finishing soul stirring songs like Brave New World and WAWFF to be met only with an courtesy applause made us wonder, "what the hell is going on?" So, I went about my usual banter, getting those involved whom did not want to and those who were already involved to dive deeper. I went after the audience. And, then, finally, toward the end of the show, I jumped off that stage into the audience to only be met with the realization that the sound in the room was at such a level that you could possibly sleep soundly in the middle of it. Why would the sound be so low? Why would we be treated as the dinner party band??? Why would we be so separate from the audience?? What happened to people coming to a live music venue to see live music???

The answer came even at the beginning of the night. We will keep the vibration of LOVE, COME WHAT MAY!! And, we did!! Those whom got involved, blissed out in the sounds of soulful reflection, Experienced something magical, and, those whom spent their night conversing instead of watching, I have agreed to conclude that the high vibrational content of the music this evening will have an effect on their life. Who knows, maybe they woke up transformed. I only pray for that awakening through the vibrations of music!! I know we were awakened, just by being together onstage and allowing the great gift of musical flow to come through us.....effortlessly.

As for the Blue Frog, well, I am sure it has it's nights, being that it is the 4th best Venue in the world. But, words of advise for anyone playing...BRING YOUR OWN CROWD!!!! The local crowd there is streamed completely from upscale dinner/nightclubs from all over the world in which the interest in the musical offering (If it is not Mainstream POP) comes second to the mindless chatter and gossip of their daily GAB!!

With Gratitude and Love for yet another opportunity to grow!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Living the Music!!

So, since I have began to release the acoustic demos of the tracks for my upcoming album, the Great Universe has given me a chance to live the message in the tracks themselves. The very next day after second track, Into the Sun, was shared, I came down with an chest cold that stuck around for the last two weeks, debilitating most of my daily existence. During this time, we have moved apartments, played and organized an event for the youth, played a college festival and helped inspire an group of young musicians to share their talents. Instead of letting the sickness control my life and keep me from contributing to the world, I got out of bed each day and out of "ME" and did what I needed to do in the world on that day, thus living and experiencing the track, "Into the Sun." I am blessed that the great Universe is setting up opportunities for me to live the music has come through, rather then to conceptually put it out there because I read or heard someone speak of these things!! Only then, can the music maintain it's purity!!

For the first track, "Walking Through" I was blessed with the opportunity to lose my LAPTOP!!! You can imagine how many changes that brought up in my life. I had no choice but to gracefully walk through them!!! So while I have been compiling all the old information and busting through the walls of self-hatred, I immediately rose into love and acceptance for the happening and sent a blessing to honor the recipient of such an large gift!! After two weeks of waiting, I was then blessed with a brand new Mac Book Pro in which I received at the price I was willing to pay. This new machine has brought up even more change in my life as it is moving at such intense velocity, that it literally has my head spinning all day long in awe of the amount of work that can be accomplished in a 24 hour period!! WOW. "Walking Through" is right.

I must thank God for this incredible opportunity to authenticate the offerings that are coming through me. What kind of musician and teacher would I be if I was actually just regurgitating old information. Living the songs is the most important thing that can happen in this life. And as that journey of authentication transpires into a living reality, again, I show up every day ready to accept each living moment, sharing, caring and growing more deeply into that loving space. They say that God will only give you what you can handle. Well, there is sure a whole hell of a lot on the plate right now, and, each and every day I am ready for a new and dynamic challenge.