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Much ado about Makara Sankranti

Much ado about Makara Sankranti

Wish you all a happy Makara Sankranti. And Pongal, Uttarayan, Lohri and all the other festivals celebrated today. Did you know that the sun entered Makara rashi (the zodiac sign of Capricorn) over 3 weeks ago? That is literally what Makara Sankranti means. Yes, Makara Sankranti was on the 21st/22nd December. And it has been that way every year during our lifetimes. December 21st was also the Winter solstice, which marks the start of Uttarayan – the annual tilt in…

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What’s the point of a guru?

What’s the point of a guru?

I went to the temple yesterday. I wasn’t specifically planning to, but things worked out that way. Which was nice as it was Guru Purnima. Baaghi – martial arts masala movie with guru-shishya plot Later in the evening, we watched the Hindi movie Baaghi on TV. The 2016 version, not to be confused with the 1990 or 2000 ones (seriously, why is this name so popular they make a movie every decade?). I enjoyed the movie in a didn’t-expect-too-much sort…

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Why do people fall into cults?

Why do people fall into cults?

I have spoken to many followers of various religious/spiritual organisations and leaders (both Hindu and others), and these are the most common reasons why people were drawn to the organisation. “The guru has deep understanding of all the world religions and their underlying oneness.” That is excellent. There are many very knowledgeable and erudite people, and we should learn what they have to teach. This is no different than learning from our school teachers, or learning music or dance. All…

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Kabir on guru

Kabir on guru

The search is for you alone to make जैसे तिल में तेल है, ज्यों चकमक में आग तेरा साईं तुझ में है, तू जाग सके तो जाग As the sesame seed contains oil and the flint stone, fire, Your lord is inside you, awake and find if you can. It is an immense privilege to have a guide गुरु कुम्भार सिख कुम्भ है गढ गढ काढै खोट अन्तर हाथ सहार दई बाहर बाहै चोट Like a potter with an unbaked…

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Checklist for the Seeker

Checklist for the Seeker

Sounds disrespectful doesn’t it, testing a guru? But we have a duty to ourselves to do exactly that. We didn’t develop the faculty for critical thought over millions of years of evolution, just to switch it off and blindly follow anyone. And this is not just me saying so – I have it on excellent authority. Sant Kabir is just one of many great sages who have explicitly asked us to exercise judgement before accepting anyone as Guru. So, without…

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Brexit! Omigosh!

Brexit! Omigosh!

Brexit may push the world into recession says this economist, along with many others making dire predictions for the U.K. and the world. It MAY, of course. But is it likely to? We have never been very far from the brink of recession in the past 8 years. A massive inter-governmental act of printing money, together with a collective suspension of disbelief in the market ‘for fear of finding something worse’ is what is keeping us going. Sure, Brexit may…

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