On Time

I had one of those serendipitous moments today.
It didn’t come easy.
I struggled for many decades because I didn’t even know what were the right questions to ask.
It only came because, over the years, I had gotten better at seeding the right questions in my brain.

Over the last 3 decades…by reading about time management, by using every time management tool there is possible, by optimizing, by juggling, by prioritizing and by trying to run my life as a project…..I haven’t actually been doing what I thought I did – Managing time instead of letting time manage me.

Due to my eastern learning, fortunately, I also know that time itself is timeless.

With that context, here is the realization that dawned on me today.

Ready for it?

I actual haven’t been managing time or let time manage me.
Something more.
I have been trying to OUTRUN time.
Did you hear that?

How foolish?
How contrived?
How conceited?
How powerful?
And yet, how foolish and futile?!

In the picture, I am trying to outrun time and make it to Mt. Whitney 14,505 feet peak by noon.

Yes, I braved changing mountain conditions with a couple of hailstorms and indeed bagged Mt. Whitney one beautiful day in Summer 2010, by noon time, as I had willed it.

On Living Thru Hurricane Harvey

Thank you for all the concerned, thoughtful texts and messages asking if we are safe as #HurricaneHarvey passes through Austin.

Austin has been windy and rainy the last 24 hours. We have stayed indoors to avoid risk of driving through any flooded streets.

Hope everyone is safe and nature’s wrath will leave without causing too many damages.

The weather outside called for spicy mixture, hot samosa and yummy chai for the 3 boys who survived the hectic “first week back to school” routine.

As I stand on the verge of boundless non-existent time boundaries, I wonder what the next 2 decades will bring.

On Soaking in a Summer Day

Today, the boys and I headed out to a spring and natural water pool.
It was a long drive.
It was also a hot day.

When we reached our destination, the beautiful sight of bluish green water awaited us.
I walked down to the natural pool.
Under the rich green trees and blue water, the sun didn’t seem that hot.

I know only a tad bit of swimming.
I waded in the water.
Then, when I got to deeper part, Adi offered to ferry me across the water so I can stand under the water fall.
I took up his offer and rided on his shoulders to the other side of the pool.
Several people gave them their hand and offered to lift me off the water and up the rocks.
I gladly took their hands.

Then, I climbed up on the rocks and found my way to where the water came pouring down.
I placed myself under the pounding cascade of the cold waterfall.
I soaked in the water fall.

I turned around and gazed at the beautiful natural pool.
I looked at the tropical-looking greenery.

I let the water flow against my body and nourish by mind and soul.

I soaked in the water and the summer day.

Misogi – is a Shinto purification ritual of standing under a waterfall.

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krause_Springs

Meaningful Mantras

In my younger days, I used to think mantras (or slokas, prayers) were all meaningless. I still recited them out of awe and respect for Appa who taught me with such passion and love.

However, now, as I age, I understand that mantras have more meaning than I can comprehend during this lifetime.

There is nothing religious about this. It is pure science.

I don’t want you to take my word for it. You never should.

Read about the science of the universe, cosmos, sound and how our body resonates.
Mull over it and share your learnings with me.

To get you started, here are a couple of links:
Thank you Srinivasan T Venkatraman for sharing awesome resource FE with me.

While, we are on this topic, here is my favorite song/mantra (or whatever else you want to call it) of all times – Bho Shambo Shiva Shambo.

You don’t have to understand the words, the meanings, the ethos…nothing.

Just listen….and feel the power.

I have heard many versions of “Bho Shambo Shiva Shambo” by many talented highly acclaimed singers recite it. Of all those, the 2 best versionsare the following:
* Maharajapuram Santhanam’s version is the best…because of the strength of his voice
* The version my dear friend Subashini Ganesan sang for me many decades ago in a dorm room when we had no strength left in us to get through the next page of some damn physics book in our freshman year. Unfortunately, I don’t have a recording of that powerful version. But, the sound and power of her singing it is safely stored somewhere as biochemicals in my brain and I can recall on it during my weak days. I am confident advancement in science will find a way to transfer that as mp3 some day soon. That is the day, I’ll retrieve her voice from my brain to share with you.

“Bho Shambo Shiva Shambo” words transliterated in English:
bhO shambhO shiva shambhO svayambhO

gangAdhara shankara karuNAkara mAmava bhavasAgara tAraka
nirguNa parabrahma svarUpa gamAgama bhUta prapanca rahita
nija guhanihita nitAnta ananta Ananda atishaya akSayalinga

dhimita dhimita dhimi dhimikiTa kiTatOm tOm tOm tarikiTa tarikiTakiTa tOm
matanga munivara vandita Isha sarva digambara vESTita vESa Isha sabEsha nitya niranjana nitya natEsha Isha sabEsha sarvEsha

On Bells and Chimes

Bells and Chimes are used in cultures throughout the world in ceremonies and religious places. There is many reasons for this. But, the one that I like the most is the following –

The sound produced by a bell is designed to strike a cordial balance between our right and left brain. The striking of the bell is believed to instantly halt all thought movement, creating a natural state of awareness. This also works to soothe the mind. The ringing of the bell produces a sharp sound which reverberates for approximately 7 seconds as an echo, long enough to touch on the seven healing centers or chakras in our body.

A well designed bell can produce resounding strains of the sound of “OM”.

With that background, let me recount for you what happened today morning.

It was a windy day here in Austin. I walked into the Sri Venkateswara Temple of Austin (which had the Maha kumbhabhishekam last weekend). As I walked into the temple courtyard, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound of the bells. I just stood there for several minutes focusing on the sound and taking it all in.

Here is a short recording.

I hope the sound of the wind and the sound of the bell brings you as much joy as it did to me today morning.