Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ever lifted a person with your finger?

'Is this possible at all?' you might wonder. The answer is yes, it is. And I did this on 28 oct, 2009.

A spiritual Guru called 'Nithya Shanti' was visiting our company this day. He was explaining to us the power of the mind when he asked five volunteers to get on stage for an experiment. I was one of the five enthusiastic volunteers.

He then asked us to join our palms (like a namaste) and then have only the index fingers standing upright, with the remaining fingers interleaved to form a fist. He then asked one of the volunteer - a man weighing 85 to 90 kgs - to sit on a chair and asked the remaining four to lift him only with the index fingers. Two volunteers standing in front of him had to put their fingers under his knee and the two behind him had to squeeze in the fingers in his armpits.

We tried but we failed to even lift him an inch. I even had to crack my knuckles after it since I had never subjected my fingers to such experiments before and it started paining.

So then he made us all put our hands over the sitting volunteer's head and made us close our eyes. He then started saying some affirmations and asked us to start believing that his body is getting lighter for our fingers to lift him and our fingers are getting strong enough to lift him. After about one and half minute of this affirmation, he made us take three slow and deep breaths.

Then he asked us to try lifting him. As we four tried lifting him, I could hear gasps of disbelief in the crowd and some mute shock in the volunteers breath as we were all left agape. We had lifted this person well over two feet from the chair with only our index fingers.

That is the power of our mind. In one moment, the Spiritual Guru, turned over its head the age old saying 'Seeing is believing.' For now we saw what we first started to believe and not the other way round.

Below I embed the video of Nithya Shanti proving the same with a different group of people.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Gandhi - a Sublime Failure

The title of this article is inspired from the book of the same name written by S. S. Gill. I have yet to read the book but what attracts me to it is the title, which so succinctly packs the contradiction that Gandhi’s life was.

Not many Indian leaders have done as much for the Muslims as the Mahatma did through the Khilafat movement and during the post-independence riots; yet not many Muslims rate him highly as their leader.

Not many Indian ‘upper caste’ leaders have done so much for eradicating untouchability and fought so diligently for the upliftment of lower-castes; yet the so called ‘lower-caste’ communities have completely ignored Gandhi as someone who contributed to their wellbeing.

As a saint who loved humanity beyond the divisions of religion, caste or race, he did so much for entire humanity – which benefited the Hindus as well – but the current Hindu youth hardly consider Gandhi their benefactor. In fact, they consider Gandhi almost the sole reason for India’s partition and the strife that followed.

What could be the gap that explains his lack of credit-worthiness in the minds of those he fought for? Why doesn’t a single community, caste or religion accept that Gandhi was with them?

The answer to this is two-fold. Firstly, the humanity as we know it has deep rooted insecurity and secondly because Gandhi – the Mahatma – was spiritually way ahead of the times we still live in.

The insecurity has evolved from a deep rooted fear called ‘survival of the fittest.’ Man has always been fighting a battle for supremacy because of his inherent fears that he will be killed if he doesn’t kill, and trampled if he doesn’t trample. He wiped out forests and built civilizations to lessen his fear of animals. Concomitantly, his thoughts and concepts developed into religions and castes and various other forms that divided man from his fellow-men. As he outgrew the fears of basic security from animals, his mind started feeling the threat of a different race, religion and so on. And hence the religions and castes started the battle for survival. Some of the biggest conflicts in the world have been fought for such supremacies. The human mind is so insecure that anything good you do to a man’s adversary is not good for the man himself. There lies the inherent contradiction of Gandhi’s life.

Everytime he helped a Muslim, the insecure Hindu felt the pinch. Everytime he toiled for an untouchable, the upper class Hindu became circumspect. Not to mention that the Muslims could never accept Gandhi over someone from their own religion (Jinnah) and so did the lower-castes that gave him the boot in favour of Ambedkar; Gandhi, to them, was still the significant ‘other.’ The fact that none of these communities could make Gandhi their hero due to the limitations of their own insecurity remains irrelevant.

Secondly, not many true saints have made politics their bastion. In a field where ‘winning’ is the only thing that matters at any cost, it ran in a direct conflict with a man to whom the means mattered as much as the end.

To him, Independence as an end had no value if it was attained through blood-shed. Independence with partition was like freeing a person from jail after amputating his limbs. To us, no price was big enough to achieve independence. So what if we had to stain hands with the blood of the perpetrators if that ensured a quick freedom?

He was against the British rule but had the capacity to love the British. To most of us, the British deserve as much hatred as their tyrannical government. He was capable of separating the real bad from the real good and was not scared of praising the good in the aggressor while denouncing the bad.

We have always believed in ‘tooth for a tooth.’ It is anybody’s guess what a common man would advise a Hindu father whose child gets killed by Muslims in riots? When approached by one such man, Gandhi asked him to find and ‘adopt a Muslim boy orphaned by Hindus in the same riots’ so one Muslim’s faith in the goodness of Hindus and vice versa remains intact – and love gets a chance to bloom again.

He was the messenger of unconditional love – we are very far from there yet. Hence Gandhi can never be our hero. Inspite of his subliminal love, he will remain a failure for all of us.

It wasn’t Gandhi that failed us, but mankind that failed this Mahatma.