Just not about God
It was the third day after my marriage.
“Beta tumahre maayke se koyi aaya hai,” said my mother-in-law. “He wants to meet you but refuses to come in.”
Who could it be? Puzzled, I rushed out.
Near the gate stood a bearded, elderly looking man, wearing a skull cap. He had a box of sweets in his hand. I strained my eyes to recognize him. Oh, God…It was Quasim, our old house help. When I was a kid, he used to drop me and my brother to school. I had not seen him in a decade. Why was he here?
“Beta aap khush to ho naa?” he asked hesitatingly.
Unable to attend my marriage due to ill health, he had come to Delhi to meet me. Only to ensure that I was happily married!
“Aap andar chaliye. Khaana kha ke jaayega,” I told him. He refused, saying that it was not proper to eat at a daughter’s house. He handed over a box of sweets. There was nothing much to say. He blessed me and left.
Entering my room, I went back to my childhood. Those days, my father a doctor with the Indian Railways, was posted at Moradabad. And Quasim, a middle-aged railway employee, used to work in our house. He would carry my school bag and drop me to school. Then he returned back to complete sundry jobs of buying vegetables and playing cricket with my younger brother. His punctuality, his honesty and his quiet dignified presence was a big support. In fact he was our Man Friday.
Then the unfortunate riots between Hindus and Muslims flared in 1980. We were in school. With minor skirmishes in the city, the situation was tense. That day the school decided to close early. And even before parents could come, Quasim was there to pick me up. Unfortunately, when it was time for him to return back, curfew was imposed. His house was in the heart of the city, where maximum rioting had taken place. Yet, he wanted to go. My father forced him to stay with us that day. Reluctantly he agreed.
Worse was in store that night. Rumors floated that a man from a different community was staying in our house. A fanatical mob had plans to get him that night. Oblivious of the tension prevailing, as kids we were devising plans to hide him. It was exciting, just like a mystery novel. The secluded pooja room in the courtyard was the safest option. My grandmother was not informed about it. It was our secret. For two nights we managed to keep my grandmother away from her pooja room, concocting stories about some repair work. When the curfew was relaxed on the third day, my dad dropped Quasim home in an official vehicle with police escorts. Then my father got transferred to Nagpur, and we lost touch with him.
This incident came to my mind recently when the ghost of Ayodhya had returned to haunt us. And as the government panicked in self-inflicted tension, faith in goodness prevailed. It was all about playing games with the incendiary mix of religion and politics. It was just not about God.
What’s about God, you ask?
Helping, caring, sharing……Maybe it’s as simple as smiling at someone.
People who made a difference
There comes a moment, a time when one gets the chance to test his courage. Some takes time to react on that moment and some do not take any action at all, but few does. A moment of courage makes an Ordinary person a Hero, a real Hero who makes a difference. No, I am not talking about Heroes in movies, I am talking about real life Heroes, who have made a difference.
This article is about people who stood out from the Crowd and did what many of us can not even dream of.
Kuldeep Singh was a DTC Bus Driver by profession, not a perky job. He was on his regular trip on 29th October 2005 when he got to know that the bus he was driving had one of the bombs from the series of blasts meant to happen that evening in Delhi. He had all the time to stop the bus, jump out and run away for his life, but no, the brave heart decided to take on the bomb. He picked up the bomb and decided to throw it away from everyone, and while trying the same, bomb blasted. He saved many lives but lost his own eyes.
Kuldeep Singh won accolades from all over India and was awarded with Shourya Puraskar last year. But is it enough? A Man of the Match in Cricket gets more than what Kuldeep Singh got.
Khushroo Poacha is a man who has saved 100s of lives because he cared for human life. Many of us have heard of people dying due to non availability of blood, few of us might have witnessed it and forgotten it. But Khushroo Poacha did not forget when he saw someone dying as no blood was available on time. Khushroo Poacha was not a millionaire, he had a family to look after in his limited salary, but his love for human life and pain he felt on watching people die made him do something extraordinary. He launched http://indianblooddonors.com/ from his own pocket in Mid 90s. The whole idea behind launching the website was to provide needy with blood and to find volunteers to donate blood. Initially, his idea did not take off and he almost went bankrupt with no money left even to pay his telephone bills but he still carried on with his idea. But it was only after 2001 earthquake in Gujarat, his website actually did what it was meant for. People who wanted to donate and who were in search of blood registered on his website and gave a helping hand to each other. Khushroo Poacha is a perfect example of “When there is a will, there is a way”
Sharmila Chanu of Manipur is on Fast since 2000 demanding the Government of India to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. This is said to be the longest running fast in the political history ever. She has been arrested many times on charges of attempt to suicide and on court order she was fed through her nose forcibly. She continues her fast every time after getting released from the Jail. The cause for which she is protesting may be debatable keeping in mind the conditions in North East India but the way of silent and non violent protest she has shown in today’s world is commendable. She sets a benchmark and rightly so is called “Iron Lady of Manipur”.
V Mani retired as a Manager from Reserve Bank of India in Bengaluru, prestigious job. People tend to use their savings wisely on their needs after their retirements, especially bankers. But V Mani and his wife Saroji had a different plan for their savings. V Mani, went passed Central Jail everyday while going to his work and he was immensely moved by looking at children of prisoner who used to cry outside the jails waiting to meet their parents and were treated as a burden on the society and would have become anti social had V Mani not lent his helping hand to them by launching Socare Ind (Society’s care for Indegent). Today his society is housing approximately 150 children and is taking care about their education. Children in Socare are provided Vocational Training as well after 10th Standard which allows them to have opportunities of employment. V Mani’s had a vision and he has used it for the betterment of society.
In India, Doctors are meant to be rich. Dr Ravindra Koelhe, MD had all the qualifications to be rich and live a luxurious life but he chose the other way. After studies, most Doctors head towards places, where they can earn but Dr. Ravindra Koelhe went to a Tribal Region to serve people and not to earn. He runs a clinic in Melghat of Maharasthra since last 24 years and charges only Rs. 2 for the first visit and Rs. 1 for the second visit from Tribal patients. Ruskin Bond once wrote “If you want to serve mankind, go and work among the poorest and most neglected”. We can not count how many actually understood and followed what Bond said, but yes Dr. Ravindra Koelhe is one of those selfless souls who understood each and every word that Bond wrote.
As long as we have people like above and many more who I missed out in my article, we will never be short of goodness around us. God Bless these selfless people.
Article written by Ali Zaffar. This is his first article for GingerChai after joining GingerChai Author panel..
Understanding the Concept of God – Part 7
So far, it’s all about understanding Who or what is God? – God is the space or conscious, or Intelligence.
In all these chapters I haven’t mentioned anywhere about love. We say God is love & love is God. Where does this quality come in space?
I had said that this Consciousness has another quality – Totality or wholeness or oneness other than Force & Intelligence. It is this totality which is omnipresent & binds together everything in the Universe . This quality is love. If there isn’t this binding, love cannot be felt in the human beings. I have many a time put this question to myself why on earth did this Intelligent evolved? Why can’t it simply stay like that? The answer I got is there is the force which made it to evolve. If there isn’t intelligence & if there is only force, then this Universe would have functioned without any control & the Universe itself would be in a total collapse.
My Guru explains how we are bound in the space with a simple example. When a sponge is put in the water, the sponge absorbs the water & there is water in and around it. In the same way the whole Universe with all the living beings is soaked in space. A scientific truth is that 99.00001 % of all the living beings are space, i.e Intelligence is a whole lot in the physical appearance & the body is only a tiny part. We are ignorant of this & use the physical body to the maximum in a wrong manner & make it worn out soon. So it is in our hands to take care of the body & use the intelligence fully to solve problems, take the right decisions without unnecessarily getting tension, needn’t fear, needn’t be dependent on any one ,except to the intelligence which protects & guides us all the time.
Understanding this is the 1st step. To put it into practice in our life is the 2nd step.
How do we put into practice?
Its only meditation which helps to bring the mind under control. The mind is a chatter box, non stopping going into the past or to the future. Why can’t it be in the present for a while.
Meditation helps us to be in the present. How does this happen in meditation?
Thoughts are of 4 frequencies. They are Beta wave, Alpha wave , Dheeta wave & Delta wave.
Beta wave – the normal conscious mind, frequency will be between 13 to 40 cycles /sec. Normally any person will be in this frequency & when one is angry it will slowly rise to 20 & above. At this state the outward situation easily traps anyone to get angry, tensed, irritated & they will always be stressful.
Alpha wave – sub conscious mind, between 8 to 12 cycles/sec. It is the peaceful state in 8 & if one is in this state for a very long time there is chance of one to go below. If one is above 10, there is chance of him to go to beta wave. It’s again in our hands to maintain in the peaceful state where our intelligence will function in better way.
Dheeta wave – unconscious mind, it is in this level all the previous births & whatever is done unconsciously is recorded & it is between 5 to 11 cycles/sec.
It is very difficult to pass this state & go beyond to reach the delta wave as once we do meditation & go deep the imprints below come above as it is stimulated. Only then do we see so many sufferings in one’s life & we say God is testing & we have to face such situations with patience. Once we transcend this it will be easy to experience the no mind state.
Delta wave – super conscious mind, between 1 to 4 cycles/sec. This is the place where the enlightened persons are almost with the Totality, showing love & fully in aware of what is happening around them very clearly. When one is in 0, they are in total awareness, pure conscious & this is the no mind state. Normally when one is in this state, either the person is dead or in coma, but a man under meditation can be in this state in full awareness. This is the real samaadhi state, where he is sama means equal to aadhi ( beginning).
Even though one experience the different levels one cannot sustain in it very long as the outward situations will stimulate & one will be pushed again to the alpha level. When one is not at all affected by any situations & is very calm, then he can stop all his sadhanas. He will know the secrets of this life & he is said to be a self realized person. In the next chapter we will deal with how thoughts arise & the different steps of mind & which will help in introspection.