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Monday, October 7, 2019

Love thy nature


Place : Grass Farm Nursery, Jaipur

When I saw all the employees of the nursery are busy with other clients, I knelt down to take out the packed saplings from the seedbed. As I was about to take out the sapling, a heard a blurred and harsh voice. I looked up. An old man with not so pleasing look with his right hand close to his chest tried to stop me with his not so distinct voice along with gestures with only left hand. As he speaks, saliva was dripping from his mouth. He was wearing thick glasses on his bulging eyes. I tried to understand what he was saying to me. When he repeated it three four times, I came to know that he was offering help.

“Let me do it for you!”

I was a bit hesitant whether he would be able to do it correctly physically as the packed saplings were quite heavy and mentally as they needed to be counted. He started doing it. When I noticed that he was doing the job perfectly, I stepped back.

He helped me in collecting different types of saplings in varied numbers. He also showed me some of the fully-grown trees in the nursery of those varieties that I selected.

He accompanied me to the checking and payment desk. The officer there told me, that this very special person was a retired person from the same department and he regularly visited nursery even after his retirement and work honorary, as he loved to live in greenery.

I was amazed to see his love for nature!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Book Review : Aatma Sutra – Unveiling The Soul by Hingori


To feel Aatma (soul) one must madly fall in love with oneself. One must learn to accept, respect and revere oneself. There are several obstacles in accepting oneself like societal norms of evaluation (age, profession, physical appearance, social background, negative feedback) and things beyond one’s reach (frustrations and fate, our thoughts, an impediment, guilt, samskars-mental impressions). The magic attitudes for evolution are empathy, acceptance, vairagya or detachment, role play, pratipakshbhavana (art of creating an opposite attitude to something you do not like) and doing seva (selfless service). By changing one’s attitude one can feel Tat Twam Asi meaning you are that (supreme consciousness) or Aham Brahmasmi meaning I am Brahman (divine).

The author also talks in detail about the aura in this book. It is the electromagnetic field that encompasses all life forms. The thicker the aura, the more spiritually powerful the person is. The aura acts like a protective layer for the body. One can enhance one’s aura by chanting mantras, by changing to sattvic (purity) nature of mind, by doing seva (helping others), by spiritual healing, by greening places, by watering plants and by visiting religious places and caves.

The quotes that I like from the book are as follows:-

1.      It is only when one learns to look at divinity in everything can one lose the arrogance and ego. When we start looking at things this way, we are already divine.

2.      When you criticise someone and their qualities, even unwittingly, you magnetise a fraction of the person’s qualities. Therefore, criticising someone regularly will at some point instill within you the very qualities that you criticised. The same rule applies if you praise or admire someone.

3.      According to yogic teachings, if you want to acquire speed, meditate upon a horse. Similarly, meditate on the strength of the elephant, the courage of the lion, the patience of the spider, and so forth. The moral of the story is : what you meditate upon, that you become.

4.      Self-love has to go beyond attention seeking. If you look around, your dog is asking for it, your kids are asking for it, and many of your friends are asking for it as well. So do not join the attention-seeking club. Once you see the spark of divinity within you, you will not want attention from anyone else. You will look for vairagya and that solitude will give you a high.

The most interesting part of the book is Life Scorecard. It gives equal weightage to three main parameters of life i.e. physical, intellectual and spiritual. It motivates one to score more in these three fronts of life.

At the end of the book, there is a glossary to explain the meaning of Indian words and terms. It is very helpful in understanding the concepts related to Aatma, aura and destiny. The illustrations are thought provoking, appealing and inspiring.

Hingori Sutras has unfolded four spheres namely Dream Sutra, Aatma Sutra, Karma Sutra and Guru Sutra. You can share your spiritual experiences, comments and viewpoints with the author at hingori@hingorisutras.com. You can also take up a spiritual quiz here https://www.hingorisutras.com/karma-quest/ and can read the blog here https://www.hingorisutras.com/blog/.

Highly recommended book for those who wanted to fall in love with themselves! :)

Monday, August 19, 2019

Book Review : Karma Sutra – Cracking The Karmic Code by Hingori


All actions performed by the body, mind, senses and intellect are called karmas. There are two types of karmas – voluntary and involuntary. The actions, which are done with a desire are voluntary karmas whereas the actions done without desires are termed as involuntary karmas. Steeping onto an ant while walking is an involuntary karma. Involuntary karmas are not accounted for. The Shrimad Bhagwat Gita teachings emphasised doing actions without having the desire of the results of the actions.

According to ancient Indian philosophy, karmas are of three types – kriyaman karma, sanchit karma and prarabdh karma. Kriyaman karma is an action that is instantly fructified and exhausted at the same time without carrying forward to the future. Sanchit karma is the sum total of the assets and liabilities of your personal karmic balance sheet. Prarabdh karma are the karmas that fructify during a person’s lifetime in the form of his/her luck.

Destiny is the fructification of our positive and negative karmic stock. Several lifetimes produce several profit and loss accounts of karma. The balance sheet of an individual defines their current state of wealth. The expenditure side of the profit and loss account of a particular life are what we owe to our parents, to the five elements, to plant kingdom, to animal kingdom, to guides and teachers. It also includes the negative karmas done by us like criticising others, acts of unfairness, criminal acts that harm others, mental hurt and trauma. The income side of profit and loss account includes positive karmas like feeding others, greening places, providing shelter and medication to needy, educating poor, being righteous, being empathetic and being humble.

This book explains the causes and effects of karmic destiny and the karmic laws that govern us in a very simple way. It defines the profit and loss angle of our karmic assets and liabilities. It guides in accumulating karmic wealth by doing positive karma.

The quotes that I like from the book are as follows:-

1.      The power of mind, it is said, can move mountains.

2.      I (Author) have received several communications from people who find it difficult to plant trees since they live in densely populated cities. My recommendation to them would be to talk to friends, associates who own farm houses or are involved with institutions like schools, colleges and hospitals, and try and donate trees to be planted there, and if required pay the pro-rata cost of nurturing and maintaining the trees. There are several corporate houses across the globe that do tree plantation as a part of their corporate karma. One can also pay NGO’s to do this on their behalf.

3.      Allowing a seed to grow, investing in its space and nurturing it is considered great karma. Trees and plants provide food and shelter for birds, animals and humans; even the wood is used for various purposes. Dried leaves are also used as an effective manure, not to mention the ecological benefits. Therefore, helping to grow and sustain greenery is an inexhaustible wealth of karma as it has multiple effects and benefits. The karmic benefit of this act will accrue to the planter not just in this life but also beyond. Not a bad return on investment!

4.      When good karmas fructify, people attain wealth of different kinds like money, property, status, fame, glory, well-paid jobs and thriving businesses. They are also gifted physical wealth like good looks, good health and physique. Some get wisdom, intellectual and spiritual wealth and a lot more!

At the end of the book, there is a glossary to explain the meaning of Indian words and terms. It is very helpful in understanding the concepts related to karma, gunas and koshas. The illustrations are remarkable, elucidate karmic concept, convey peace, evoke soulful energy and provide calmness.

Hingori Sutras has unfolded four spheres namely Dream Sutra, Aatma Sutra, Karma Sutra and Guru Sutra, the latest in the collection. The author spent the first half of his life as a non-believer. During his early years, he contracted arthritis and suffered it for 10 years until he met his spiritual guru who cured him in 60 seconds flat! That minute changed his life. The second half of his life was spent in philosophy, philanthropy and spiritual practice. His teachings, which are the secrets of the spiritual path, have been a closely guarded secret up until this book. If you have any spiritual queries or need any spiritual help, you can write to the author at hingori@hingorisutras.com.

Highly recommended book for those who are keenly interested to know about the age-old theory of karma in simple words! :) A book that has to be read again and again for better understanding and for better perspective and for concept clearing. :)

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Children Story Book Review : Lost and Found by Arundhati Nithiyanandhan


Reading level: 1 - 12 years
Paperback: 26 pages
Publisher: White Falcon Publishing
Published On: 24 October 2018
Language: English
ISBN:978-9388459143
Price: 199/-

Osito is Arundhati's favourite soft toy. It is white colour teddy bear. It is also one of her constant companions when she goes on vacation with her family. Both have travelled many places in India and abroad. They have been to Melbourne, Singapore, Shimla, Bekal and Udaipur. During her vacation trips, she has inadvertently misplaced it and later found it, much to her relief! This story is about one such incident that happened in Udaipur Lake Palace and how she finds her favourite travel buddy back.



In the summer holidays, Aru went to spend her vacations in a resort along with her mother. She packed her clothes, shoes and her favourite travel friend ‘Osito’, a teddy bear soft toy. She enjoyed the company of Osito very much and loved to see different places with it. One fine evening, she realised that she has lost the toy somewhere in the resort. She started crying. Her mother asked her to think where she saw Osito last time. She recalled that she forget it in the playroom. The next day, she ran to the playroom to find Osito. She was glad to see Osito near the table where she left it yesterday. She picked it. She hugged it. She promised to herself that she would never lose it again.



When I was author’s age, I loved to play with toys. I had lots of toys like block building, puzzle solving, word making, snake and ladder, chess, colourful vegetables and fruits made up of clay, different miniature animals, a bird that lays eggs, kitchen utensils and cooking range and many more. Out of these, my favourite toy was a working miniature sewing machine whose needle moves up and down on moving its handle. Whenever I started playing I checked and counted all the pieces of my game and after playing game I checked them again before putting them in the bag. This double check policy had helped me a lot and I never lost any of my toys anywhere.


One day, I was playing with my toys at my grandmother’s house. My parents left me there and went to the market for shopping as market was close to my grandmother’s house than to ours. They told me that they would return after two hours. Hardly, half an hour had passed then my parents returned. They asked me to wind up playing and came along them. They told me that they had some urgent work to do at home so we all would be leaving right now without wasting a second. I hurriedly packed my toys. And I forgot to count them before packing.



Next day, when I was playing with the same set of toys I realised that my sewing machine toy is missing. I was very sad as I liked that toy very much. In the evening, I went to my grandmother’s house with my parents. I gloomily told my grandmother about the toy I lost last evening. She patiently listened to me and then asked me to open the drawer of the table near her bed. On opening it, I was surprised to see my sewing machine in it. I picked it up and gladly thanked my grandmother. I gave lots of toys out of my collection to my younger cousins but even now I have that sewing machine toy with me in remembrance of my grandmother. Later my passion developed into my career as I did M.Sc. in Clothing and Textiles and taught Fashion Designing in a reputed college of the town.



Arundhati Nithiyanandhan is seven years old and lives in Bangalore, India. At such a young age she has authored two more books namely ‘Likes and Dislikes’ and ‘Aru’s Balcony Garden’. She loves to play in the sand. Her hobby is to paint colour sketches. She creates stories from her day-to-day incidents. She loves telling new stories to her father while they both go for a walk in the evening.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Children Story Book Review : Aru’s Balcony Garden by Arundhati Nithiyanandhan


Reading level: 1 - 12 years
Paperback: 26 pages
Publisher: White Falcon Publishing
Published On: 24 October 2018
Language: English
ISBN: 978-9388459136
Price: 199/-

The story revolves around Arundhati, a school going cute girl. She lives in an apartment community of a metro city and has a small garden in her balcony. Her balcony garden is full of blooming plants. She loves to observe them. Every morning she likes to spend some quality time with her plants before leaving for her school. The story is about one day when she feels that the wilted plants are asking her for water. In her favourite teddy mug, she fetches some water from the kitchen and waters them. The plants bloom and thank her.



Reading Aru’s Balcony Garden, reminds me of my terrace garden in which I used to water plants when I was in school. One day, my teacher theoretically taught me plant structure and its functions. To explain the things practically to me, my mother gave me an empty coconut shell and asked me to fill it with soil. Then, she gave me a cutting of sprouted potato and asked me to plant it in coconut shell with care. To balance the shell on slab, I placed it in a bowl. I put them in the sunshine on my windowsill. I daily watered that plant. I loved to watch it growing one leaf after another. When the plant was about 6 inches high, one day out of curiosity, I picked up the coconut shell and lifted it from the bowl. To my utmost surprise, the snowy white roots had grown out of the eye of the shell!



When my father returned home after an official tour, he was glad to see my interest in plants. Next day, he bought several pots made of clay. They were of different sizes and shape. He also bought some small packets of seasonal vegetable seeds. He prepared the terrace garden for me and sowed seeds like sem (beans), spinach, eggplant, fenugreek, tomato etc. in different pots. I never forget to water them and was eager to eat vegetables grown from my terrace garden. Till now, my craze to eat organic vegetables grown by self have not faded.



The author, Arundhati Nithiyanandhan is just seven years old and lives in Bangalore, India. She got inspired to tell stories after drawing her first storybook in a storytelling workshop conducted by #blrlitfest 2017. She loves telling new stories to her father while they both go for a walk in the evening. She has authored two more books namely ‘Lost and Found’ and ‘Likes and Dislikes’. She loves to play in the sand. Her hobby is to paint colour sketches. She creates her stories from her day-to-day incidents and most of them are treasured part of her childhood. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Children Story Book Review : Likes and Dislikes by Arundhati Nithiyanandhan


Reading level: 1 - 12 years
Paperback: 26 pages
Publisher: White Falcon Publishing
Published On: 24 October 2018
Language: English
ISBN:978-9388459136
Price: 199/-

Every person has his/her own likes and dislikes about various things. Likes and dislikes are about our five senses. Five senses are see, smell, taste, hear and touch which we feel with five sense of organs are eyes, nose, tongue, ears and skin respectively. With eyes, we see beautiful and pleasing things and situations. With nose, we smell aromatic fragrances. With tongue, we taste delicious dishes. With ears, we hear pleasing sounds. With skin, we feel soft textures. 

Likes and Dislikes is a story about two friends who talked about their likes and dislikes while playing in the terrace. They discussed about what they love and hate to see, hear, taste, smell and touch. The author explained the concept very clearly with the contrasting options for each sense. The story is lucid and interesting. It is full of cute and colourful illustrations. 

At the end of the book, the author asked about one’s likes so here are mine....

SEE

1.      I like to see clouds.

2.      I like blue colour.

3.      I like bird watching.

SMELL

1.      I like the fragrance of flowers especially motia flower.

2.      I like the aroma of cooked dishes.

3.      I like the smell of first rain on the sand.

TASTE

1.      I like the chole bhature.

2.      I like lemon pickle.

3.      I like juice of neem leaves though bitter in taste but still I enjoy drinking it.

HEAR

1.      I like the burbling sound of the stream.

2.      I like sound of a temple bell.

3.      I like the sound of a flute.

TOUCH

1.      I like to touch rabbit.

2.      I like the touch of bird’s feather.

3.      I like the feel of velvet cloth.

Author is seven years old and lives in Bangalore, India. She has authored two more books namely ‘Lost and Found’ and ‘Aru’s Balcony Garden’. She loves to play in the sand. Her hobby is to paint colour sketches. She creates stories from her day-to-day incidents. She loves telling new stories to her father while they both go for a walk in the evening. She loves travelling.
Highly recommended for the children who wish to learn about five senses. :)


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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Book Review : Dream Sutra – Perceiving Hidden Realms by Hingori & Hannah


Sleep I must, to become one with the world.
Dream I must, for I am the world.

A dream is a sequence of things, persons, events, situations, images, ideas, thoughts and emotions that occur involuntarily in the mind during different stages of sleep. For many years, it has been a topic of interest of philosophers, scientists and spiritualists. Everybody tries to interpret dreams in his own ways. Matysa Puran also throws light on the auspicious and inauspicious dreams during different phases of night and discusses different ways to reduce the inauspiciousness of a dream by donating things and by adopting some other simple methods. Dream Sutra talks about the spiritual evolution of oneself during a dream. A spiritual guru (with or without physical body) appears in the dreams of devotees and disciples to impart knowledge, share experiences, give instructions, convey messages, fulfil wishes and solve problems. The persons who have advanced in the spiritual progress sometimes dream about their guru, receive directions and spiritual help from them, which further assist them in connecting to their higher self.

Author narrates various fascinating incidences about the dream and dream sequences of many from the past as well as from the present. I like the interesting stories of dreams related to the great saints like Mahavir and Buddha. He also talked about a dream that Raja Janak saw and its philosophical interpretation is worth reading.

Some years back, I had a vision of Bhagwan Dattatreya in my dream although I had never worshipped him but I strongly believed in his teachings. Like him, I too have many Gurus to guide me on my spiritual path.

The best part of the book is the explanation of why more trees should be planted. According to author, “We know that growing and sustaining greenery has multiple karmic benefits. If a tree were to bear fruit for 60 years, the benefit of that fruit being consumed would accrue to the planter or the person responsible for the planting, for the entire span of those 60 years. All plants, insects, birds, animals and humans who take refuge under the tree would also be indebted. Moreover, the use of the wood of the tree during its lifetime would be a credit to the planter and a debt to those who benefited from its usage.”

The quotes that I like from the book are as follows :

1.      While meditation and mantra recitation are ways of increasing the intensity of one’s aura, sleep is a method of recharging it.

2.      Seva commands great sacrifice and it is about prioritising the needs of others before your own.

3.      Eating meat and fish may be delicious experience but is also an expensive one. One pays for it in two currencies – money in the physical life and debit in the spirit life. Animal life becomes more expensive the higher their evolution in the animal world. The positive balance of karma gets depleted with such negative karmic acquisition. This is the reason saints call for vegetarianism.

At the end of the book, there is a glossary to explain the meaning of Indian words and terms. It is very helpful in understanding the concepts related to dreams and Guru shishya parampara. The illustrations are eye-catching, convey spiritual messages, inspire peace, evoke soulful energy and provide serenity.

Hingori Sutras has unfolded four spheres namely Dream Sutra, Aatma Sutra, Karma Sutra and Guru Sutra, the latest in the collection. If you have any spiritual queries or need any spiritual help, you can write to the author at hingori@hingorisutras.com.

Highly recommended book for those who are interested to know more about dreams and wishes to progress spiritually in dreams! :)

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