Saturday, May 6, 2017

Shiva Says:

Shiva says, “The fourth is what you truly are. You aren’t awake, you aren’t dreamy, you aren’t deep sleeping... in all the three there is a fourth and that’s what you are!”

If you keep remembering this fact in all your states, gradually the fourth will resurrect and you will be out of suffering. Suffering cannot touch the fourth state. It can occur at the level of your body, mind or intellect only. The fourth cannot be subject to suffering for the simple fact that it is different from all of these. It’s the centre of your being and once you are able to establish it as different from the periphery the magic is done.

Right now the centre of your being and periphery of your existence are intermingled. You are almost 100% at your periphery and are totally oblivious of the center. For example, when you perform your day’s work you think you are performing them whereas it’s only your body-mind organism, not you. So also, when you are dreaming while in sleep, your body and conscious mind are at rest and subconscious is at work. This is also not you. 

Your subconscious, a storehouse of memories, experiences and unfulfilled desires, has the unique ability of creating dreams. And in a dream, everything is so real that you intensely get identified with it. It’s only after awakening that you realize it was a dream. But, the core of your being still remains untouched. Shiva says you can remember the fourth in dream state also. By just remembering, the dream breaks instantly and there is a tangential growth in awareness. Then this breaking up of dreams midway becomes a dear habit as it leaves one deeply rested.

Finally, when the subconscious is at rest too and you have a very deep rested sleep, still, there is a light.... a luminous but cool flame that is alive constantly. That’s what the core is. And Shiva says even when your body, mind, intellect, memories etc all the layers are at complete rest, you can remember this core which is a rock like real bliss and rest personified. A reality that is free of time and suffering, a joyful state.

There is no way you can define the fourth state fully. For understanding sake, you can give it a representative term. Mahavir has called it ‘Kaivalya’ whereas Krishna calls it as being ‘Atmavant’. Lau-tsu calls it ‘Tao’ and Kabir says it is ‘Surati’.  Shri Nanak Dev ji calls it as ‘Akaal Purakh’. Whatever way you describe it the essence is difficult to fathom as our world, unfortunately, is a world of definitions. In order to understand a word we need even more words. Hence Shiva has given a unique term – ‘Turiya’, i.e.  “the Fourth”. He indicates a “state” and not a word. This is the beauty of Shiva.

Turiya is our true state of being and we will do well by remembering it constantly.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

My thoughts on living and action:

Different people may have different outlook on life as everyone’s conditioning and circumstances have been different. 

But as far as life’s purpose is concerned, by and large "bringing peace and contentment to oneself" is life's purpose. We are all seeking this objective inherently.

To desire is very human like and we need not be ashamed of it. Having a strong desire to achieve anything is a starting point of living. it is connected with our belief in our worthiness and joy of living.  

The first step, then is “Aligning the actions with the thoughts”. This brings us the authenticity and character that is the foundation of peace and contentment in life.

When we have a desire for achieving and take necessary action to meet the desire, the first step is cleared. Action itself is enough. The outcome may or may not be to our liking but we need not be unnecessarily occupied with it while taking action. Actions taken towards reaching a strongly desired goal bring us peace and contentment for sure.

If we desire anything and do not complement it with reasonable action, the result is frustration and confusion. Therefore, choosing realistic goals and complementing them with actions is important as against taking unrealistic goals and avoiding the action.

Next is our ability to remain undeterred and unperturbed in the face of difficulties, once we have taken a task. As a matter of fact the real pleasure comes when we have achieved our desired Goal but we must realize that these are two different states: 

1. Desire for achieving a Goal and acting for it. 
2. Getting the result of actions.

Thus the total process of living includes desiring and setting a target, acting on it, achieving it and getting motivated to grow further. And in the total process there are two separate states as above. 

There are some catalysts and some deterrents as far as action is concerned:


  •          Belief that ‘I deserve happiness and pleasure’ in life.
  •          Strong desire for achieving prominence.
  •          Hope, Energy, Fire & Motivation. Enthusiasm.
  •          Value system: I love doing what i said (or thought) as         it brings me greatest contentment.
  •          Loving the feeling that comes after getting any award         or recognition.
  •          Feeling of worthiness.
  •          Finding it easy to act. (Habit of making correct mental       image and not making a bigger than actual image of         any task.)
  •          Feeling driven (what they call to have a Drive) 
  •          Loving the activity in general and enjoying it.
  •          Clarity of vision


  •         Lack of confidence. Lack of Fire, Energy or                        Motivation. Lack of Enthusiasm.
  •         Any kind of Fear. (Fear cripples the action)
  •         Absence of a strong desire to achieve. (devoid of               purpose)
  •         Temptation to have things & pleasures without           efforts and work
  •         Dislike towards working hard (Making the mental              image bigger than the actual.Fearing difficulties).
  •         Lacking courage.
  •         Impractical or unrealistic approach. Inability to plan          realistically and execute happily.
  •         Lack of worthiness or having low self esteem due to          guilt or inferiority. (Such a person thinks internally              that he does not deserve happiness and pleasures of        life so why take action which will bring them. He feels        a particular type of malaise before he starts anything)
  •         Fear of responsibility. (Doing timely and excellent               work will bring bigger responsibilities, how will i meet         them? He forgets that bigger responsibilities bring             bigger power and facilities too and in fact it becomes         easier to take action then. This skewed thinking                 prevails in non performers).
  •         Wrong beliefs.
  •         Lack of vision. They do not have clarity of destination        and want to be in status quo. In short, always looking        for security instead of growth.
  •         Lack of initiative (which comes due to lack of clarity           or vision)

Therefore, it is all about improving upon the catalysts and bringing down the deterrents. This two pronged strategy really works.

I suggest you to have realistic and reasonable Goals, have a strong desire to meet them and compliment it with smart action. This is the key to happiness and contentment. This is also the key to success and peace. Amen! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

UP Poles : Great Mandate to BJP

For the first time in the history of independent India this secular-communal bullshit is over. UP's electorate has shown it conclusively that our democracy has matured. Though some political leaders would still love to be in denial. For example Behenji says how it is possible that Muslim majority areas have voted for BJP candidate? It's unbelievable! Behenji, it happened because the farce of all these years is no longer valid! Simple as that. That you give 90 seats to Muslim candidates simply because they are Muslims, is secular? That Mr.Digvijay unashamedly questions the timing of unravelling a terror conspiracy is secular. But Yogi Adityanath emphasising need of safety & security of every one in UP without discrimination is communal?. Reversing a Supreme Court's decision in Shahbano case is secular? But talking of legitimate rights against Tin Talaaque is communal? Actually this majority-minority bullshit has sidetracked all these years, the main agenda of safety, security, employment, development, infrastructure & equal opportunity. It's no coincidence that the states where this Business was in play all these years are the most backward ones today. But now the voter has matured. And for that matter kudos to UP electorate. Even in Punjab also the AAP party, a bubble of electronic and social media, has been shown its true place. BJP-SAD combine has also been given the warning in Punjab.
It's clear that masses want an honest intent and delivery from the ruling party now. Gone are the days when you will easily polarize on cast-creed lines and get a contract for 5 years to ' luto-khasoto'. After 5 years you will play the same card again. Now you will be required to ensure what we call 'good governance ' and stick to the agenda of 'Development'. Modi n Shah have definitely been able to turn the tables on this so-called secular 'Pariwar'. And the road ahead will be chequered with controlling our own 'Pariwar' too, lest the central agenda is sidetracked again. Wish you luck Mr.Modi.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Raver Khedi:

It happened all of a sudden. I was reading about the strategic moves and warfare of Great Bajirao I. The context was that of Battle of Palkhed and Battle of Bhopal. And suddenly tears welled up in my eyes. A great surge of emotion arose. This great man Bajirao Peshwa spent his whole life fighting for his cause of protecting the motherland and creating one unified Maratha confederacy. He was more on a horse’s back than on his masnad. In those turbulent years (AD 1700 – AD 1720) India was no unified a nation. There were English, French, Portuguese, Moguls, Afghans, Siddis (Abbesynians) and even Dutch all vying for a share in the pie. In such times this man dreamed of relieving India from the tortuous shackles of invaders. Right From the day he got Peshwai in 1720 till his death in 1739 this man fought constantly. At times moving at a lightning speed and defeating much larger armies than his, he won many a strong and loyal friends in the process. He never lost a single battle. Creating one Hindawi Swaraj from Sahyadri to Hindukush was the single minded goal he pursued.

Oh what a Man! And what a life!

When I came to know that Samadhi of Bajirao I, is in Madhyapradesh only I immediately made up my mind to visit the place. This place is a village by name Raverkhedi near Sanawad, a small town in Khargone ditrict of Madhyapradesh. Bajirao was often called ‘ Rau’ or ‘Rao’ and in all probability the name Raverkhdi evolved  from Rao. About a 100 km from Indore this is a village slightly in interior but the good thing is MP Govt has now constructed a ‘good motorable road’ right up to the Samadhi place. It is a very serene place and stands right on the bank of river Narmada.

Even during my journey also I felt some previous life connection. When I enquired the way at a place, quite unexpectedly I heard myself asking the villager,“Peshwa Saheb Sarkar ki samdhi kahan hai?”  Before this I never used the words like Saheb or Sarkar with Peshwa.

Anyway, God only knows the reality, but I will suggest you visit this place only if you have interest, connection or affinity with the history of Marathas. Only then will you be able to experience the serenity and spirituality involved with the place.

You can visit from both Maharashtra or MP side. From Indore in MP you have to take Khandwa Road which is quite a busy and well known state highway. There are picturesque hills and greenery on the way. Your first stop should be ‘Mortakka’ which is a bridge on Narmada and comes right after Badwah a small town like place. It will take about two hours to reach Mortakka from Indore.  It’s a very nice site and you get a good restaurant also for refreshment or food etc. 

After this move on another 10 kms and you will reach ‘Sanawad’. In Sanawad you have to enquire ‘Khargone Road’. Leaving Khandwa Road move on to Khargone Road which is also quite a wide and nice road. Only a small patch is under construction but it is quite motorable. Keep on moving till you reach a place called ‘Bedia’ which is about 15-20 kms from Sanawad. Here you will find the signboard of MP Tourism indicating the direction to Bajirav Peshwa Samadhi Sthal. Please see the photo below.

Taking a right turn at Bedia move on Kasrawad Road and after about 7 km there is another Signboard clearly indicating the road to Raverkhedi. This is a nice single Tar Road and gives you picturesque greenery of village India on either side. In Raverkhedi you will have to enquire again because you will cross a small rivulet (Not Narmada) and will find yourself right in the village not knowing where to go? The road to Samadhi goes from the midst of village and villagers will be happy to guide you. It is still about a km or two and Tar Road is available.
Once you reach Samadhi Sthal (You will have to park your vehicle little in advance and walk a little) you will see serene Narmada flowing just beside. It’s a cool and calm place and is being maintained by ASI. Normal cleanliness has been maintained.  There is a Large Pipal tree at the entrance and also a board giving the brief history of the place.

This place has a lot of emotional value. You can sit below the Pipal Tree and watch Narmada flowing quietly. How things must have been about 300 years ago?  You will be suddenly transported to that era.

About a lakh of troops under Bajirao I, camped here and they were just about to cross Narmada and enter North (That time called ‘Uttar’ by the Dakkhanis). In those days Narmada was the dividing line. Below it was South and above it was North. It was the month of April and probably Nimari Sun took its toll on Bajirao. He, reportedly, had a heatstroke and developed a high fever which turned fatal. Peshwa died at a young age of 39 but within that short span he had left such an indelible mark on contemporary India that Nader Shah who was looting Delhi that time decided to go back. Peshwa's expedition of solid 1 Lakh army was to fight with the invader only. Crossing Narmada he would receive solid support from his trusted lieutenants of Malwa (Holkar), Dhar (Pawar) and Ujjain (Scindia).  But that was not to be. He succumbed to an untimely death on 28th April 1740. 
Had Bajirao not been taken by death, Nader Shah would have had probably the toughest time of his life and Takht-e-Touse, Koh-e-Noor etc. would have been saved. Above all India’s Self Respect would remain intact.

On May 1st , 1740 Nader Shah returned to Afganistan, leaving Delhi plundered and pillaged.  


Visit this place between November to February. Avoid Monsoon and Summer. From Indore it can be easily managed in a single day. It takes about 3 hours one way. 

If you happen to come from Maharashtra then your route should be : Dhule – Shirpur – Sendhwa – Nimarani  on NH 52. After Nimrani you should leave NH 52 and take a right turn to Kasrawad. Now you are treading ‘parallel to Narmada’ actually. On this Road only you will find Raverkhedi phata. Google map can be referred for distances etc.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The following article has been published in "The Times of India", dated 9th Jan 2017

Understanding Ego:

Ego is neither good nor bad. Ego is false. This is what we must understand.

False is given to you for you cannot reach truth without passing through the false. There is no way to perceive the truth directly. That is the sole reason why you have been given the falsity called ego.

When a child is born he is not aware of himself. He does not know himself as a body or a mind or any such entity. It is through his senses that he grows in awareness and creates an identity for himself. But all his senses open outwards be it see, touch, smell … whatever. Thus he develops a concept of himself in contrast to the outside world. Do you see this? There is no way for him to know himself by himself.

Usually a child’s first encounter is with his mother and through her only he becomes aware of his own body. Thus a centre is born which is in reference with the world outside, in this case, the mother. If the mother caresses the child and treats him with love, the child feels he is loveable. If the mother rejects him the child feels he is not good enough and is worthless. This is how his concept of himself develops. This concept of oneself which is based on treatment of the outside world is ‘Ego’. It is not our reality but it is the image of ourselves or the concept of ourselves that has formed based on how we are treated by the outside world. It is a reflected awareness. And that is why it is false.  

Gradually this center becomes the kingpin. After all we live and grow up in a society. And society always reflects. If you go to school your teacher reflects who you are. If you be in friendship with other children, they will give opinions about you. When your parents interact with you they exhibit their opinion about you. You see, everybody adds something to your image and it gets reinforced day after day. You start living your life from this centre and believe it to be yourself. It is for this reason that when someone suggests you to drop your ego you cannot. You feel lost then. You do not know where to go?  Remember! You cannot drop your ego. It drops by itself. It’s just like a leaf of a tree. When it matures it drops by itself without causing any damage to the tree. As if nothing happened. But if you try to remove a fresh leaf from a tree you will damage it. Do you see this?  

Our ego or self-image is our social need. We interact with the world with the help of this friend or foe. If we have a healthy Ego we behave strongly in the society. Whereas, a weak or an ill-formed ego makes us behave either as a victim or a victimiser.  Psychologically speaking, all that comes to the conscious from unconscious passes through the barrier of Ego. If this barrier is not strong & healthy then uncensored desires and wishes will come to your conscience and you will be confused. You will be tempted to gratify them uncontrollably and this is what they call a psychological disorder. Therefore, all psychological disorders have something to do with the health of this centre called Ego. And it is false in the first place because it is given by the outside world. No one is born with it. We must see this great fallacy of the human birth.

So the whole story is you come here without an ego, get it here from outside, have to mature it and then let it drop! You have to get over it or see through it for the simple reason that you cannot know the reality unless you see this falsity as falsity! We often miss this last part and spend our whole life without getting an inkling of the real thing. Do you get this? Your pleasures are false as well as your sufferings are false too. They all relate to a centre that is not your own doing. And this centre demands a lot. Its food is attention and you have to keep feeding it. So you make ten thousand efforts to get attention. But however much you get it you are not satiated. Why? For, it’s like trying to be happy with the beauty of a plastic flower. However beautiful an artificial flower may be you always know it’s not real. It’s a dead thing. However fragrant it may be you always know you have put the scent into it yourselves. It cannot come on its own. So nothing really brings you peace! In fact there is one more irony. Your ego helps you stand up in this world and brings you success. Hence, it becomes very dear to you. But you have no guarantee it will always remain strong and friendly to you. It’s just a matter of time. A slight turn of events can change everything and leave you as confused as a pigmy. We all know how Arjuna, a great personality of his time had gotten confused in the very beginning of a battle that was most crucial to him.

Know! O, Sage; that you were always in the state of ‘being’ before your birth and will return to it again after your death. The “Space of Being” is your true centre. The moment you are free of your false centre you are in the space of your being. And that is the true freedom. That is your home. No suffering can touch you here because suffering is irrelevant to the space of being.  
Saints try to make you understand but your false centre comes in between..  They want to give you the real pleasure and the real scent, (which if realised once, will never leave you) but you want petty toys only. They say your toys will break soon but you do not want to believe. It’s not your fault. You are living from a false centre.

You have to just explore a little more and see the false as false. By its very seeing it becomes transparent and loses its grip over you. Then ups and downs will not affect you so much.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kashmir: The valley of saints and sinners

The valley is under fire once again. It is a sad story and worse still we have very coloured and limited information about the whole issue. Recently I read "Kashmir - the storm centre of the world" written by Shri Balraj Madhok. I have yet to find any other book that is so authentic n so honest on the whole issue. Of course Mr Madhok's political leanings come at places more than one yet no one, in my view, has dealt this subject so originally &  with such geo political details. Another book I remember is  "India after Gandhi" - by Shri Ramchandra Guha which also gave some interesting details. However, Mr. Guha's  communist mind set  and love for Nehru (which I think is a natural corollary for every communist) probably stopped him from calling a spade a spade. Since Mr. Madhok was originally from Kashmir and had been an active player in all the events his analysis is extremely sharp. He also enjoys the gift of pithy, crisp n clear expression. For anyone who is interested to know about the whole issue these two books are invaluable.

In my view every Indian should be concerned about the affairs in Kashmir as they can drag us in a world war like situation any time. Since we have been cut-off all along, we are not able to see the danger that is brewing there.

The problem of Kashmir is our diplomatic failure instead of anything else. We won all the three wars yet could not settle anything with Pakistan for only one reason: Diplomatically we were confused 😖!

In my view , there are 3 vital aspects of this issue :

a) what is the genesis of the problem?
b) who wants to solve it and who wants to keep it alive forever?
c) what should be our line of action?

We want to be in denial on all of the three points above that is why I say ours is a diplomatic failure. For example we think the issue had its origin in the dilly dallying attitude of Maharaja Hari Singh and his not acceding to either India or Pakistan by Aug 15, 1947. But we are blissfully unaware why it happened in the first place? What were the reasons behind Maharaja's indecision. Dogras (the clan to which Maharaja belonged) were patriotic Rajputs and it was too natural for the Maharaja to prefer India over Pakistan. Still he could not decide. Why?

We have see the situation in its entirety and scratch a little deeper.

Long before Aug 1947 and sometime around 1925, the English had begun supporting a Muslim guy in Kashmir who was raising the cause of Muslims dissatisfaction in the valley. Though Dogra rule was there for more than 100 years and the whole state (including Jammu n Ladakh region) was more than happy, this guy raised the issue that higher administrative positions were dominated by Hindus. The guy was highly ambitious to become champion of Kashmiri Muslims and destabilize Maharaja's government. He was well versed in Koran, a gifted orator, a tall n handsome personality n master of histrionics. Kashmiri Muslims immediately fell for this guy, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and a party by name Muslims Conference came up under his leadership. Sheikh had full support of the English. It's at this point that the first seeds of communalism were sown in Kashmir valley otherwise it was the single state in the country where no rioting took place in Aug 47 and  Buddhist, Sikhs, Dogras, Pandits n  Muslims all lived peacefully totally unconscious of their religious identity. They were all Kashmiris. That Mr. Abdullah was a first choice for the British is not as unfortunate  as the fact that it hit it off instantly when he met our dear would be Prime Minister Mr. J.L .Nehru. The two kinda fell in love with each other at first sight (no pun intended please). This was as early as 1925.

Year 1927 saw Sheikh leading various representations to Maharaja about the cause of Kashmiri Muslims and their rights etc.

In 1931, Sheikh Abdullah led a protest march and some arsoning and disturbances took place and curfew had to be imposed in Shrinagar. Sheikh was jailed by the state. Mr. Nehru tried to visit the valley to help his "Friend" but he was detained at the border by the prime minister of Maharaja. Sheikh was released later.

Things came to a head when Abdulla called for quit Kashmir movement in 1946 and called upon Maharaja to relinquish his rule and let the state be ruled by "awam's representative".  So much so that The Maharaja had to charge Sheikh with sedition and put him behind the bar.

Such was the turmoil and turbulence in the valley in the years 1946-47 when the question of accession came up before the Maharaja.

As is well known Mr. Nehru was a great friend of friends (and greater enemy of enemies). He had not forgotten his humiliation of 1931 when he was detained at the border by Maharaja. Hence, when the issue of accession came up, Nehru decided to settle the score. A precondition was indicated to the Maharaja that Sheikh Abdullah be released and given a high position in the administration of Jammu n Kashmir. Only then the accession will be acceptable to the government of India. It's this reason that put Maharaja in a fix. He didn't want to accede to Pakistan. He also didn't want to release Mr.Abdullah at any cost. So what to do ? This is what actually delayed the accession of J&K.

Someone, at this point,  gave him the idea of making Kashmir the "Switzerland of east" and Maharaja immediately took to it as he had himself spent sometime in Switzerland. Maharaja indicated to Mountbatten and others of his wish to remain independent and in fact proposed a stand still agreement to both India and Pakistan. Jinnah immediately signed but India vacillated to sign this agreement.

So lack of clarity in vision regarding the issue of Kashmir was nowhere else but in our own house. This we must not forget!

It's here the genesis of Kashmir problem lies.

We were in fact presented with an opportunity  when Pakistan attacked us through tribals in 1947. For, the decision that was not being taken by Maharaja became indispensable now. He had to decide in favour of India if he wanted to save his state and people from aggressors. Maharaja ate the humble pie and agreed for accession and any precondition whatever. Therefore, an "Instrument of accession" (IA), was signed in black n white like it was done with all the other princely states acceding to either of the nations after partition and government of India extended military help to protect the state as it was its own territory now.

IA is the first and foremost legal document that supports our claim on the state of Jammu & Kashmir. We Indians simply don't know why this document has been underplayed all these years? Why our diplomats n powers that be, did not put it emphatically in UN and all such international forums that we have a legal document of accession? Nothing else matters really. After aggression in fact Pakistan had lost its case totally. We had our Army already doing a commendable job and living up to the occasion. It was simply a matter of remaining assertive, driving back the aggressors and claiming our legal right. That's all! If we did it sincerely and firmly there wouldn't be any Kashmir problem today.

But we made an unforgivable blunder. We stopped our forces from moving any further and took the matter to the UN. Supposedly, it was  Mountbatten who had advised Nehru to do that. It could be so because in those times USSR n US were two super powers and there was cold war between the two. J & K had a strategic location which was not far from Russia. As such, it's possible that US n UK didn't want the whole of J&K to go to India as Nehru and his India were known to be having leftist leanings. Whatsoever be the reason Mr. Nehru got into the trap and referred the matter to UN. It's at this point that Pakistan got some footing and became a contender otherwise Pakistan had no case whatever. At UN, power politics came into play and we were defeated diplomatically when UK , US etc showed their true colours and Russia stood aloof(?). Nehru regretted his decision badly afterwards.

The UN ordered ceasefire and passed a resolution for a plebiscite with a precondition that both the nations withdraw their forces n restore normalcy. Pakistan was ordained to withdraw its forces first because it was the aggressor. Pakistan did not care for this mandate and kept fighting. Here again we lacked political will. If we really insisted upon UN to make Pakistan withdraw and somehow managed the plebiscite to take place we would have surely won. In 1947-48 nobody  wanted to go with Pakistan. But we didn't do anything and the plebiscite never happened as the precondition was never met. In my  view going to UN was not all that bad but following up the resolutions half -heartedly was.

Anyway, since  Oct 1947 Abdullah was the de-facto Prime Minister of J&K and he continued till 1953 with full and almost blind support from New Delhi where the supreme authority was his friend J.L.Nehru.

We still had one more diplomatic blunder in our fate. Now that the matter was in UN, Abdullah suggested to Nehru that there should be a constitutional link that will define the relation of India with J&K. I do not know who were the actual perpetrators of Article 370 but as per books the article was drawn by Sheikh and supported by Nehru. The constituent assembly of India did not approve it and B R Ambedker had refused its draft out rightly. Still the assembly was given an assurance that it's only a provisional arrangement and it will die its own death in the course of time. How shrewdly Sheikh secured himself a very very special status as compared to any of the other states of independent India! Right in the making of constitution he maneuvered the insertion of Article 370. It was a suicidal step for India as it nullified and in fact superseded the legality of instrument of accession which was the original legal document.

Our naivety was beyond comprehension.

The contents of article 370 were in every manner suicidal and put India forever at the expense of head of state of J&K. He could always blackmail and change posts on the strength of provisions of Article 370 (Sheikh did exactly that and in fact had to be jailed in 1953 for Anti India activities). Article 370 tied India's hands forever to make any attempt of integration of J&K into India.
I take a quote verbatim from Ramchandra Guha's book : " It was curious to see whether Sheikh was a man of Nehru in J&K or Nehru was a man of Sheikh in India." 

There was a perennial flaw in the policy of supporting Sheikh blindly. It had a reversing effect on the regions other than valley. After coming to power,  Sheikh immediately took to agrarian reforms. A ceiling was put on land and big landlords in the valley (who were mostly Hindu Dogras) had to surrender excess land to be   redistributed among Muslim peasantry. As a natural consequence  Jammu and Ladakh regions grew sceptical about anything Sheikh did and they had reasons for it. As a result parties like Praja Parishad (Peoples Party) came up to support their cause & large scale protests and marches were conducted. Mr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee supported the cause of Hindus of Jammu vehemently and ultimately paid for it with his life. In a nutshell, an environment of rift, resentment and total distrust resulted in the valley. How could Pakistan watch all this silently whose sole agenda was to snatch Kashmir from India? It did everything possible to add fuel to fire.

Pakistan has wedged three wars on us on this issue. We have won all of them yet on the table of negotiations we have failed miserably. For one reason or the other we always lost diplomatically. Reportedly, Pakistan always had a mole or two in our foreign ministry and our preparations were always leaked to it. Whatever be the cause, we haven't settled a single thing in 1947, 1965 and 1972 , though ours was a commanding position in all of them. In Tashkent in 1965, we were ditched by our friendly country USSR. Shastri was so much pressurized by USSR to return the already 'won territories ' to Pakistan that he could not bear the brunt of signing a losing accord and did not see the light the next day. A possibility of foul play cannot be denied as no post-mortem was carried.

In 1972, Mrs Gandhi showed a tough front initially. She was a goddess anyway because we had a clear victory with 90000 prisoners of war and 5000 sq miles of won territory in our hand. Bhutto withstood a lot of pressure and when talks were almost about to fail, requested one to one talks with Mrs Gandhi as a last resort. Whatever transpired in those 1-2 hours, after that Mrs Gandhi agreed to everything she shouldn't have. We returned the won territory as well as prisoners of war and couldn't even convert LOC as international border. It's said Bhutto assured her something verbally and Mrs.Gandhi believed. However,  after Bhutto returned to Pakistan all assurances went to thin air and we were back to square one as far as Kashmir was concerned i.e. the position of 1949.

The Simla accord of 1972 was such a fiasco that there were news of a military coup in India too as our Army had felt badly humiliated. After all they had put up such a gallant show and we couldn't settle even a single thing with Pakistan. Not only that, in our magnanimity, we returned everything Army had won through its blood and toil.

So, summarily it can be concluded that diplomatic failures one after the other is the underlying reason to what we are witnessing in the valley today.

Now so much of water has flown through the Jhelum that the overall situation is really precarious today. There are so many stake holders that any one amicable solution is really difficult if not impossible. But before talking of any solution we must think as to who really wants to have one? Pakistan surely doesn't want one that much I can say. Because if the issue of Kashmir is settled Pakistani ISI and polity will be jobless. We must understand this. Pakistan's interest is not in solving the issue but in keeping it burning and live. That is the sole reason not an inch of progress has been made in all these 69 years on the table of talks. As such we should keep on talking for international show and sake but should expect nothing out of it.

Kashmiri leaders have nothing to gain if the issue of Kashmir is settled because it will reduce their importance (and packages) too. If they were really interested in being peacefully integrated to India there wouldn't be any article 370 today. Just talk of review or removal of article 370 and see the reaction! Leaders of all hue and cry in Kashmir, however bitter enemies they may be internally, are all at consensus that Article 370 must remain and must not be meddled with. In reality it means that you treat us as your state as far as funds and development packages are concerned but leave us aloof as far  as demography and usage is concerned. the safety and security of the people of Kashmir is in any case your responsibility because its a state of India. Do you see the double game of Kashmiri leaders?

If there is peace and settlement in the valley what will they negotiate with the Indian government?

Then there are separatists whose agenda is to get Azadi. In a way theirs is a valid mission because common Kashmiri is fed up of this ping- pong being played by India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leaders on the table of Kashmir. But India can never afford to have an independent Kashmir that's friendly with Pakistan in its neighborhood. It will be a great threat to our security. And surely enough Pakistan will look up to creating some new trouble.

So the only real beneficiaries of a peaceful Kashmir are:

The people of India: Because there tax money is being utilized to safeguard and maintain whatever law n order requirements are there in the valley.

The people of J&K: Because they are the true sufferers of any disturbances and not able to live a normal life.

The Government of India : Because a lot of energy, resources and attention is invested in Kashmir politics and a disturbed valley is a thorn in our neck.

We must see that our stake is higher than anybody else. Therefore, we must put in more efforts than anybody else.
I have to suggest following line of action:

1.The solution is possible only through diplomatic and political prowess and of course through political will.

2. First n foremost we have to find a leader in the valley who can counter Pakistani propaganda effectively and who, in the long run, can help us do away with the Article 370. 

3. Outwardly, We have to involve all stakeholders (Kashmiri leaders, Separatists,  Pakistan etc) in peace talks, pretty well knowing that nothing is going to come out of it. These people neither have any solution nor they want it. They only seek importance which should be given to them for the time being.

4. We have to see whether we can separate Jammu n Ladakh from the valley. It is the valley that is adjacent to Pakistan and most disturbed. Jammu n Ladakh region should be separated and be made into a separate state if possible.

5. We have to bring Pakistan on the defensive which we have not done all these years. The steps like Baluchistan are a good initiative. We should also stake our claim on POK on whichever international forums possible as actually it is ours legally.

6. As an eventuality, we should keep preparing for another war with Pakistan.

The whole saga reminds me of one she'r:

तारीख की आँखों ने वो दौर भी देखा है।
लमहों ने ख़ता की  थी, सदियों ने सजा पाई।।

Here is the link for the book:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

What Happens when we die:

Death is a lovely experience. When we die and become free of our physicality, our overall understanding changes fundamentally. When we are in a body, our position is that of a “start” and an “end”. Everything in our life starts at a certain point and ends at a certain other point. We are born and at some other point of time we die. Overall, we have a linear sense of time. However, after death the sensory perceptions are over and direct perception replaces it. That is when we realize that, in reality, “time’’ does not exist in a linear sense. Jesus had said it categorically to his disciples, “In the kingdom of my father, there shall be time no longer!”     

Another fundamental change in the realm of reality is end of “fear”. In the earthly life fear is a major denominator. It is because right since the day of our birth, we are exposed to judgement by others. We are described as either fair or dark, chubby or skinny, playful or crying, good or bad ....our world is a world of definitions. Actually, when a child is just born, it is ego-less. Gradually however it forms an image of her/him which is a reflection of what it receives from its surroundings. And a false center, namely, the ego is born. Ego is always susceptible to judgement either by others or by ourselves and it is afraid of losing its ground per se. Hence we humans living through our egos resort to various defense mechanisms. After death however, the ego is finished and judgement is over hence the very concept of fear or possibility of being scared does not arise.

Related to being fearless is the possibility of being joyful. Fear kills the joy. After dying we come to realize that pure joy is unconditional. And we are rather perplexed as to why we didn’t realize it earlier?  All our life we pursue happiness and hope to get it upon certain condition being fulfilled. Only after dying we realize that conditional happiness is no happiness at all. It is opposite to being fearful. The pure happiness or pure joy is without any cause or condition and we are made of it. It is our very essence.

Third major realization comes in the form of “connectivity”. When we are ego-less we are connected and in fact unified with everything else in the universe. Actually separation in earthly life is because of separate egos.  After death the original substance, the ‘essence’ takes over. This is an all together different, a ‘love-like’ substance and within its jurisprudence, everything is fundamentally “one” i.e. everything is inter-connected. Hence people who come back from NDE (Near Death Experience) are full of love towards one and all, unconditionally. In our earthly life the unconditional love is rare as there is a sense of “difference” amongst one another. Hence our love is always with an agenda. At the most we can empathize with others but we cannot become others. This condition changes after we die as everything and everyone is “us” only.

And the ultimate of all is the realization that there is no other place to go to. Since time stops existing in a linear fashion everything is here and now. Since a state of pure joy is experienced (which is without fear and full of connectivity), heaven or any other state of being is just not needed. Everything is so perfect and heavenly here and now. This is our home.    

We take our life very seriously because we think this world and this life is real and it is the only dimension there is to it to the existence. We have forgotten our ‘essence’ and ‘magnificence’ because our perception is limited by our senses.  A true Yogi is one who has transcended sensory perception in this very life and tasted the elixir of pure “being”. He is called “dwij” or twice-born. He is the true Bramhan ! 

Above article was published in The Times of India , column Speaking Tree on 5th Aug 2016