Thursday, December 22, 2011

A foggy Sunday

Like everyday of this month, last Sunday was a foggy Sunday. Dense fog with a heavy cold wave welcomes us when we open the door in the early morning. Around eight in that morning I started for a local short trip with my camera to take some snaps of this foggy morning. My 13 years old daughter was also with me. She is a good photographer (according to my opinion and considering her age). Earlier, she captured some memorable moments. Jointly we took some natural photographs ignoring the fog and cold waves. Both of we enjoyed our weekend tour very much.

We are presenting some photographs for the Honorable readers of this Blog.

An Appointment Diary

Like every year, last Saturday, I have purchased an appointment diary for 2012 by only Rs 30. It is an ordinary diary but very useful. Every year in November / December, I used to go to market to purchase an appointment diary for myself. I record all my appointments and `work to be done` in that diary. I have no idea regarding this. I have learnt the art of recording appointments from Revered Swami Saradatmanandaji Maharaj, the then President of Ramakrishna Math, Midnapore in the year 1988. It was the month of May. I went to market to purchase an appointment diary just after returning from the Math. But, it was very difficult to get a new year’s diary in the month of May. However, somehow I managed one. From the year 1989, I never forget to purchase an appointment diary.

This is a small diary and you can easily carry this in your journey. Nowadays, for appointments or `work to be done`, we use our mobile phone. But, diary, in written form in your own handwritings has no alternatives. As I told you earlier, to execute every appointment, diary is important in our daily life. We are leading a very busy life. We have to do different types of work for myself and for my family members. If we record our work earlier in the diary, it will give us alarm well in advance. If you seriously try to follow this diary, you can easily execute at least 80% of work in proper time. You can record your important work for the coming year. You can also manage your time; plan your coming holiday trip etc. If you like, you can record your appointment or coming work by purchasing an appointment diary today by paying a nominal amount.

Make an appointment to purchase your Appointment Diary for 2012. Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

159th Birthday of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi

Today is the 159th Birthday of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi

Some sayings of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi.

I am the Mother of the virtuous, I am the Mother of the wicked. Whenever you are in distress, say to yourself: `I have a mother`.

Holy men are born on earth to show people the way to God. They teach differently. There are many paths leading to the same goal. Therefore the teachings of all the saints are true.

The aim of life is to realize God and remain immersed in contemplation of Him. God alone is real and everything else is false.

Misery is truly a gift of God. I believe it is a symbol of His compassion.

One must not speak unpleasant truths unnecessary. By indulging in rude words one’s nature becomes rude. One loses sensitivity without control over one’s words.

Only through work can one remove the bondage of work. Total detachment comes later. One should not be without work even for a moment. Work helps one to fend off idle thoughts.

If one sits alone without any work, various thoughts may come into the mind.

When a man sees defects in others his own mind first gets polluted. What does he gain by finding faults in others? He only hurts himself by that.

One should not trifle with a thing, though it may be very insignificant. If you respect a thing, the thing also respects you. Even a broomstick should be treated with respect. One should perform even an insignificant work with respect.

My child, if you want peace, then do not look into anybody’s faults. Look into your own faults. Learn to make the world your own. No one is a stranger, my child, the whole world is your own.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Brajarajpur in Bankura District (West Bengal) is famous from the ancient period for the temple of Sri Sri Shyamsundar Jiu. The main deity is Sri Shyamsundar and Sri Radhika. The literally meaning of Brajaraj is `the king of Braja`.  Brajadham is a place near Mathura where Sri Krishna passed his childhood days. The king of Braja is Sri Krishna. Sri Shyamsundar is the other name of Sri Krishna.

The temple of Sri Shyamsundar Jiu is the main temple of Brajarajpur. It is locally known as `Shyamer than` - The holy place of Shyam (Sri Shyamsundar). The temple is nearly 400 years old. Last renovation of the temple was done nearly 101 years ago. The main festivals of this temple are Rassyatra and Dolyatra (Holi festival). Sacred Bhog Prasad is available in the temple during noontime daily.

Brajarajpur is one of the Gram panchaytas of Indpur Block under Khatra subdivision of Bankura district. Brajarajpur is a prosperous village. Goswamis are the main inhabitants of this village.

How to reach: From Bankura Gobinda Nagar Bus stand, take buses towards Khatra via Indpur. Bus Stoppage - Dangarampur. From Dangarampur, Rickshaws and Cars are available towards the temple (nearly 3 km).  The distance from Bankura town to Brajarajpur is nearly 20 km. Hired cars are also available from Bankura Railway station.

Main entrance of the Temple


Kirtan Mandapam

Front view of the Temple

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Do your own work yourself

We love to give orders. From morning to night, we are giving different types of orders to our near and dear ones including our parents. We want that all will follow my orders and nothing else. But, when others are asking me to do something, my attitude is negative. This is the daily picture in our family life.

From this moment, try to do your own work yourself. Do not give any orders to anyone. Train your mind to be self-sufficient. This is one of the good qualities of human character. Do your all work and at the same time serve more to your old parents and junior brothers and sisters. As a Youngman, why will we give orders to anyone? God has given us physical strength and mental energy. Why will we depend on others? Why will we take the services of others? Build a positive mind from the early childhood to serve more to others rather taking services from others.

I have seen many teenagers who are fully dependant on their parents. The father is taking them to the tuition daily on his bike; the mother is washing their school uniform and Cades. Most of the school-going students are unable to arrange their school bag or cover their books and exercise copies properly without the help of their parents. Even they do not know how to fill up an application form, how to fill up a Railway Reservation Slip, how to fill up the pay-in-slip or withdrawal slips of banks, how to fill up the Money Order form etc.

Learning is a continuous process. There is no end of learning. Try to learn all with an open mind from the early childhood. From the early childhood, take care of all your belongings. Arrange your books and copies in your study table properly and neatly. Cover properly your all books and copies in your own hand. On every Sunday, wash your garments and school uniform and Cades in your own hand. Learn how to press the garments. On every Sunday, clean your own bicycle in your own hand. Help your parents in domestic work as far as possible. Go to the market and purchase some commodities for your home. You will be acquainted with the prices of different commodities in the market, which are gradually increasing. Then only you can try to control your family wastage. At the same time, as a student, you must learn your study materials properly to make your academic foundation strong.

A story

Place: A Railway station in Bengal
Time: Evening

A passenger train was slowly entering in a station. `Porter, Porter` - A Youngman was shouting from the window. But, at that time there was no porter in the platform. A middle-aged person with a simple dress was standing in the platform near the train. He proceeded to the door of the train. The Youngman gave his light luggage treating him as a porter. When both of them crossed the area of Railway platform, the Youngman asked the middle-aged person about the portarage. The person said, `I am not a porter. My name is Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar. My dear son, when you are able to carry this light luggage, why are you asking help from someone? Do your own work yourself. `

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Learn from parents and seniors

t is our general tendency to disobey our seniors. We are not ready to accept or respect them. We are not ready to follow their instructions. We think, our decision is enough. In our family life also, we disobey our parents and other senior members of our family. Even we do not show the courtesy in our daily life. Being a highly educated person, we think our knowledge is superior to our parents and seniors. We are passing a very busy life! We are not helping our parents in the domestic works.  Both of them are toiling hard from the early morning and as a son or daughter, we are watching this as a spectator.

Try to learn from seniors. Obey them. Respect them. They have enough and long experiences. They are the old soldiers, who are still fighting in the battlefield of samsara. Pay respect to their long experiences. You may have some academic degrees in your bag, but experiences are totally different thing. As we are older day by day, we are gaining different types of experiences. Learn from these experiences, as experiences are our teacher.
For learning anything from anyone, an open mind with willing to learn is necessary.

When you are going to take any decision in your life, ask your parents or seniors for their valuable suggestions. Your parents or seniors are always pray welfare for you. They will give you correct suggestion. If it is not according to your choice, you can use your own analysis power. But, obedience must be there. If you want to make your home a sweet home, you must be obedient. What we are observing nowadays? In our own family, there is unrest and unhappiness. We may have management degrees but we are unable to apply the theories of management in our own family.

The first condition is obedience. When my father is telling me to go the vegetable market, my first duty is to go the market. When my mother is asking for a glass of water, my first duty is to give her a glass of water. No excuse. First, train your mind to be obedient. The result will come. If you want peace in your life, the blessings of your parents and seniors are necessary.

Learning is a continuous process. We must learn from the life of our parents and seniors. We can enrich our knowledge from their long experiences. Best result will come through the experiences of seniors plus the enthusiasm of juniors. 

`Knowing that mother and father are the visible representatives of God, the householder, always and by all means, must please them.
If the mother is pleased, and the father, God is pleased with the man.
That child is really a good child
who never speaks harsh words to his parents.`

Swami Vivekananda
C.W. 1:43

Monday, October 24, 2011

Positive Thoughts from Early Childhood

Give your children positive thoughts from their early childhood. Otherwise, it is very difficult for you, as a guardian or parent, to rectify their old habits in their future life. Time is going on day by day. Your children are also growing day by day with some habits. These habits are may be good (positive) or may be bad (negative). These habits will make a shape in the near future. Repeated habits will make character, as human character is nothing but the bundle of habits. You are giving your children proper education in the school. Your child is scoring excellent marks in examinations year after year. But academic education is not sufficient. Academic education cannot solve the problems of real life. In the present scenario, Man-making and character-building education is not only necessary but also essential.

As a parent or guardian, give them proper education from their early childhood so that they can make their human life beautiful and meaningful. Give them positive training from their early childhood so that they can grow some good habits. At the same time, as a mentor, you also make your life beautiful. Otherwise, only vocal tonic and suggestions will not make any fruitful result.

Today all we are worried about the future of our children. All we want to see the brighter future. We are investing lakhs of rupees for their education every year. But we are not worried about their human life, which is precious. We are not worried about their bad habits. We are not worried about their character, which is the main structure of human life.

From the early childhood, give them proper education. That education, which makes your child as a MAN. Give them the idea of unselfishness. Give them the idea of self-confidence. Give them the idea of wide outlook to love the neighbors, to love the near and distant relatives. Give them the positive thought to love their Motherland. Train and guide them from their early childhood so that they can make their human character beautiful.

If you can, then you are a real teacher. You will be hero in the life of your children. Your children will only remember you for this positive direction. They will also guide their children as you are guiding them today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


We want success. We want to improve more. We want to make our life beautiful. We want to reshape our life. We want to make our character neat and clean. We want to leave our old habits. We want to re-sharpen our skills. For these, practice is absolutely necessary. Without practice for everyday, it is very difficult and sometimes it is impossible to achieve our goal. All we want success, but we do not want practice. All we want to make up our deficiencies in the stage. Daily practice is very difficult. We make our daily routine, yearly planner etc, etc. Time is going on. Our life is also going on in the same old directions. We are biologically growing everyday. But our life is not growing internally. We are not innerly improving.

Practice is essential in every field of life. If a student wants to improve his/her handwriting, practice is essential. If a student wants to improve more in mathematics, practice is essential. If a speaker wants to improve his/her oratory power, practice is essential. If a person wants to improve his/her writing skill, practice is essential. In every field of work, practice is necessary.

We know the popular proverb that practice makes a man perfect. We also want perfection. But we do not want to practice. Who is responsible for that? Our laziness. On one side, we want success and the other side we are not ready to leave our laziness. We must remember that day and night will not come together.

For every day practice, punctuality is necessary. We must be punctual in our daily practice. Otherwise laziness will come. The support of our good mind is also necessary.  There must be an aim of our human life. Our human life is precious. We must make our life beautiful and meaningful. We must unfold our inner energy. We must develop the qualities of human character. But the pledge is not sufficient. Practice is essential. Our progress will solely depend on our practices. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Down Chennai Mail

The down Chennai Mail is entering Visakhapatnam

Recently I went to Apollo Hospital, Chennai for an urgent orthopedic treatment of my wife. I had to stay there for fifteen days. When I was returning from Chennai by down Chennai- Howrah Mail, I took some photographs from the train. Really, the landscape of Andhra Pradesh is beautiful.
The palm trees

A Train from a Train

Beautiful landscape of Andhra Pradesh

The coconut trees

Green vs Green

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pray for others

An interview with my mirror

Sir, do you pray?
Yes, certainly. Everyday I pray for myself and for my family members.
Sir, do you pray for others?
No, no. I only pray for myself and for my family members. Why I will pray for others?
What you are praying?
I pray for my name and fame. I pray for money. I pray for my promotion. I pray for my success. I pray for safety and security of my family members.
Sir, do you pray everyday?
Yes. I pray everyday. Actually, I pray more seriously when I am facing a critical situation or I am in danger.
Sir, one more question, please, does God hear your prayer?
I don’t know. Sometimes my prayer fulfils, sometimes I feel dejected.

We pray

Yes, we pray. We pray to God for ourselves and for our family members. But, our prayer is limited. We only pray for ourselves and not for others. Actually, we pray to God to fulfill our desire. All of us are busy with our outer environment. We are not looking into our inner world. We must remember that we are not only a body-mind complex. If we want to make our life beautiful, want to make our character perfect, we have to pray sincerely to God to give us strength. There are different types of difficulties we have to face when we are going to reshape our life. We think we can overcome all the difficulties through our physical and mental strengths. But these are not sufficient. A sincere and regular prayer is essential.

Pray for others

Break your narrow boundary of limitation. Pray for others. Don’t always pray for yourself or for your family members. We are not alone. All the brothers and sisters are my brothers and sisters. Pray for their continued welfare. Swami Vivekananda said:

``Sit in a straight posture, and the first thing to do is to send a current of holy thought to all creation. Mentally repeat, ``Let all beings be happy; let all beings be peaceful; let all beings be blissful.`` So do to the east, south, north and west. The more you do that the better you will feel yourself. You will find at last that the easiest way to make ourselves healthy is to see that others are healthy, and the easiest way to make ourselves happy is to see that others are happy.`` (CW 1: 145-146)

When we sincerely pray for others, we will feel oneness as our heart gradually expanding. We can feel joy with the joy of others. We can feel sorrow with the sorrow of others. This is spiritual development, which develops us internally.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Be Cheerful

Always try to be cheerful. It is a challenge in this present world, which is full of stress. Cheerfulness will come from our inner life. External environment can help us to some certain extent. Honesty in every work and in every respect is highly essential to be a cheerful person. If we are not honest, it is very difficult for us to be cheerful. Actually, it is impossible. If we are not honest in our family life, in our corporate life, in our social life, we will feel always tensed. Hypertension may attack us.

As a human being, we have different types of problems. As a head of the family, we have to face the problems of our family members also. While solving various types of problems, we have to solve these with honesty and truthfulness.

What is the position of our present life today? All we are want to purchase more, want to consume more. Our desires are unlimited. Literally, we are burning with desires. We are always restless. Peace in our life is like a dream. The desires for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) are growing more and more nowadays. Our mind is restless. The whole world cannot satisfy us. One of the major problems nowadays is Demonstration Effect. We are always feeling unhappy when we are comparing with our neighbours. So, how cheerfulness will come?

An inner look: Take a look in your inner life. Human life is precious. Our life is our capital. We have a sound body and a sound mind. We have a brain, which can think. We have a heart, which can feel. We have our capacities. We have different types of human qualities. We can change our life.  We can make our life beautiful. We can make our own future.

Compare yourself: When you are feeling unhappy, please compare yourself with others. There are thousands of people who are not getting a square meal daily. They are not getting the scope of higher education. They are not getting even a glass of pure drinking water. They have to struggle hard for their existence. It is very difficult for them to come out from the vicious circle of poverty. Compare yourself with them. Gradually you can feel their pain and sufferings.

Use your opportunities: Try to use your opportunities (what you are getting today) for a positive end. God has given you everything. Just you organise these factors with an aim in your life. Always try to see the brighter side of everything.

Do not expect any return from anyone: We give Rs 5 to a beggar and demand a big Thank You from him. Do not expect any return from anyone. Just continue your duties with purity and honesty. If you expect something from anyone as a return, certainly you will feel unhappy.

Swami Vivekananda said: ``The first sign that you are becoming religious is that you are becoming cheerful. `` (CW – 1:264)

When you are cheerful, your whole surroundings will be cheerful to you. In every step, you will feel encouragement and can encourage others. Your positive way of life can inspire others. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th July 1902

`` It may be that I shall find it good to get outside my body 
– to cast it off like a worn-out garment.
But I shall not cease to work!
I shall inspire men everywhere, until the world shall know 
that it is one with God! ``

Swami Vivekananda

Sunday, July 3, 2011


``O Jagannath, Lord of the Universe!
O Friend of the world!
O friend of the poor!
I am not, O Lord, outside Thy universe.
Be gracious to me!``

Sri Ramakrishna

Thursday, June 30, 2011


There is no end of desire in our life. It is increasing day by day. Literally, we are burning with desire. As soon as one desire fulfills another is alarming.  The desire of my son, the desire of my daughter, the desire of my wife and my own desire all is hammering on my head constantly as I am the head of the family. You can feel my pain, as you are also a passenger in the same train. The gist is: the desires are increasing day by day.

Increasing Desire: The income level of consumers has increased and as a result, the total demand of the market is increasing day by day. It is a good sign no doubt, but it makes our life restless. We want to purchase more, we want to consume more. Just we go to a nearby ATM, collect money, and go to market. Actually, we are purchasing more than our requirement day after day.

There are different types of desires growing in our mind. The desire for different types of commodities, the desire for money, the desire for name and fame, the desire for happy and peaceful life etc, etc. We are growing day by day and the desires are also growing day by day. There is no end of it. Literally, we are applying fuel in the fire everyday. We know the story of Maharaj Jajati. But, we never learn a lesson from the experiences of Maharaj Jajati and his conclusion.

Use Analysis Power: If we want peace in our life, we have to use our analysis power strongly and positively. As a human being, we have our analysis power to analyze anything.  We use this power rarely.

Positive Desire: Mould your desires in a positive way. We are running behind a golden deer throughout our life. At the end of our journey, we will feel that it is meaningless. Grow positive desire in your mind. Desire for a better life, desire for a perfect human character, desire for a heart that can feel for others. Human life is precious. It is a gift of God. Good and positive desires will make our life happy, peaceful and meaningful. It will also help us to develop both externally and internally. If we have no desires, then there will be no development. Our life will be like an unchanged wall or a simple chair. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) said:

``what makes us miserable? The cause of all miseries from which we suffer is desire. You desire something, and the desire is not fulfilled; the result is distress. If there is no desire, there is no suffering. But here, too, there is the danger of my being misunderstood. So it is necessary to explain what I mean by giving up desire and becoming free from all misery. The walls have no desire and they never suffer. True, but they never evolve. The chair has no desires, it never suffers; but it is always a chair. There is a glory in happiness, there is a glory in suffering. `` 1

The will is almighty: ``What is the cause of evolution? Desire. The animal wants to do something, but does not find the environment favourable, and therefore develops a new body. Who develops it? The animal itself, its will. You have developed from the lowest amoeba. Continue to exercise your will and it will take you higher still. The will is almighty. If it is almighty, you may say, why cannot I do everything? But you are thinking only of your little self. Look back on yourselves from the state of the amoeba to the human being; who made all that? Your own will. Can you deny then that is almighty? That which has made you come up so high can make you go higher still. What you want is character, strengthening of the will.`` 2

Input – Output Ratio: Generally, we are taking more from the world, from our society and even from our family. But what is our contribution? We have to calculate the ratio. Try to take less and give more to the world.

A prayer for everyday:  `` O Thou Lord of Gauri, O Thou Mother of the Universe, vouchsafe manliness unto me! O thou Mother of Strength, take away my weakness, take away my unmanliness, and make me a Man! `` 3

  1. The complete works of Swami Vivekananda (CW) Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata. 2:147
  2. CW, 2: 356-357
  3. CW,  4: 480
Desire to bloom

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Encourage others

Mutual encouragement is highly essential in the present scenario. Your sweet words of encouragement or an inspired letter full of encouragement or just a phone can change the life of your near and dears. It is highly essential in family life also. As a head of the family, you have to encourage your tender kids, your growing children or other members of the family. Encouragement is also indispensable from seniors when you are going to make your life beautiful, want to make your character perfect. All we are struggling in this world to be good and do good. However, generally we are not encouraged by others, especially in our core environment. Some are discouraging some are indifferent. It is very difficult for a person to continue his journey without encouragement who wants to make his life beautiful. Swam Vivekananda said, `Upon ages of struggle a character is built. ` 1

Encourage yourself first: At first we have to encourage ourselves. It is our duty. Always cultivate positive thoughts in your mind. Never allow any negative thoughts or ideas. Shun these like poison. Always think, I have a human life, which is precious. I have a sound body and a sound mind. I can make my life beautiful. I can make my character perfect. I am the maker of my life. I must be an honest citizen of our Motherland. I will manifest my inner potentiality by constant practices. I shall be a MAN.

Encouragement in family life: As a head of the family, you should encourage positively to your tender kids, to your growing children and other members of the family. Remember, you are the leader of your family (please take this in a positive way considering your responsibilities). Take the responsibility of leadership and encourage them by showing the actual path. Build your self-confidence and at the same time try to build the self-confidence of your children. The encouragement from parents can change the life of the children. There are many examples regarding this.

Encouragement in life making process: It is very easy to explain the method of character building. Very easy to give a lecture regarding this or write in the blog. But it is very difficult to make it in practice. Considering the present scenario, life making and character building is a tough job. But it is not impossible. I have seen many young men and women who are trying to make their life beautiful ignoring the Himalayan difficulties. Therefore, it is possible. But encouragement is necessary. Mutual encouragement will help in great way in this field. If we read the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ma Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda, we will see that their lives and teachings are full of encouragements and inspirations. If you read the letters written by Swami Vivekananda or the lectures delivered by him from Colombo to Almora, I am sure you will get encouragement. Because these are full of encouragements and inspirations.

Sources of Encouragement: Sri Ramakrishna said, ``One should always seek the company of holy men. The nearer you approach the Ganges, the cooler the breeze will feel. Again, the nearer you go to a fire, the hotter the air will feel. `` 2

When the company of holy men is not available, please read from Swami Vivekananda. Instantly you will get encouragement. 

  1. Letters of Swami Vivekananda, Advaita Ashrama, Calcutta. Page No. 146
  2. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras -4. Vol. I, page No. 241

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The story of a little squirrel

Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay (1894-1950), the famous writer and novelist of Bengali literature has drawn a beautiful character in the novel Aryanayak. The name of this character was Jugalprasad. In this novel, Satyacharan (the hero of this novel) was working as a Manager in the dense forest of the then Purneia district. One day he was returning through the dense forest on his horse from a survey camp. Suddenly he saw a man was digging some holes in the dense forest near Saraswati Kundi. Gradually he learnt that the name of the man was Jugalprasad. He purchased beautiful flower plants from nearby towns like Purneia and Bhagalpur and planted these saplings in this dense forest. That was his hobby. Jugalprasad wanted to see the beautiful flowers blooming in this forest. The selfless services of Jugalprasad stunned Satyacharan. (Aryanayak, 69-72)

Occasionally we criticize our environment, by observing its gradual deterioration. We blame our society, our government, our local area, even our own family except ourselves. However, blaming to others will not get any result. It is one type of escapism. If you really want to see a better tomorrow, please come and do something as per your ability to improve this situation. All we have some ability and we have to use it properly. If we want to change the environment, first we have to change ourselves. Charity begins at home. First, we have to do our allotted duties properly. We have to make our life, our character perfect, neat, and clean. Ignoring our own life, if we want to do any social service, that service will not be beneficial for the society in the end. Actually, social services will help us to make our life perfect. Swami Vivekananda said, `Be Man and Make Man`. First `Be`. This is a very important message to everyone.

Gradually, as per our ability, we can spread the positive message to our near and dears. When you are giving a picture of a great man or a book as gift to some school-going children, you are spreading a positive message. When you are lending a good book to your peer for further reading, you are spreading good message. When you are telling the stories from the Ramayana or the Mahabharata to tender kids, you are spreading good messages. These steps are small no doubt, but they have no alternatives. Swami Vivekananda said, ``All the powers of good against all the powers of evils``.

The story of a little squirrel

We can take a lesson from the story of a little squirrel. Swami Vivekananda delivered a lecture on ``The Ramayana`` at the Shakespeare Club, Pasadena, California on 31 January 1900. There he told the story of a little squirrel who was working to the best of his ability for the Setu-Bandha. Swamiji said: ``Learning everything about Sita from Hanuman, Rama collected an army, and with it marched towards the southernmost point of India. There Rama`s monkeys built a huge bridge, called Setu-Bandha, connecting India with Ceylon. …..The monkeys removed the hills, placed them in the sea and covered them with stones and trees, thus making a huge embankment. A little squirrel, so it is said, was there rolling himself in the sand and running backwards and forwards on to the bridge and shaking himself. Thus in his small way he was working for the bridge of Rama by putting in sand. The monkeys laughed, for they were bringing whole mountains, whole forests, huge loads of sand for the bridge – so they laughed at the little squirrel rolling in the sand and then shaking himself. But Rama saw it and remarked: ``Blessed be the little squirrel; he is doing his work to the best of his ability, and he is therefore quite as great as the greatest of you.`` Then he gently stroked the squirrel on the back, and the marks of Rama`s fingers, running lengthways, are seen on the squirrel’s back to this day. (CW: 4: 71-72)

An artist`s view: Shri Ramachandra is blessing
the little squirrel during the Setu-Bandha

We can also take participation to improve the present environment like the little squirrel. As per our ability, we can also contribute something for a better tomorrow. Gradually our ability will increase through our selfless services. God will help us as we are trying to serve better to our sisters and brothers of our Motherland by being a good and honest citizen. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Use your leisure time in a meaningful way

Leisure time? Sorry, I have no leisure time. From morning till night I have to work hard for my family. The load of samsara is increasing day by day. My leisure time will come when I will go to the burning ghat – This is our general conception regarding leisure time. But this is not the real picture. Man is not a machine. From morning till night, a man (generally) cannot work hard at a stretch. There must be some leisure time. But the burning question is how we can spend our leisure time? Because upon the effective utilization of our leisure time, the shape of our life depends.

Let us look at a glance, generally how we spend the twenty four hours.
Sleep & Rest
± 7 hours
Own preparation & for 2Tiffin, 2Meal
± 2 hours
Office time/ School & Colleges
± 8 hours
Journey to office/  School & Colleges
 (up and down)
±2 hours
Family duties and marketing etc./ Play in the playground
± 3 hours

± 22 hours
Leisure time
± 2 hours
24 hours

If our leisure time in a day is ± 2 hours, that means we are getting ± 60 hours in a month and ± 730 hours in a year! 730 hours means more than 30 days extra in a year.

We must remember that the shape of our future life will depend on this leisure time and its effective utilization. There are two roads and we are standing in a junction. Now we have to take decision solely regarding our life. If we want to make our life beautiful, want to make our character perfect, then we have to utilize effectively and positively our leisure time in a meaningful way.
Leisure time
Road 1
Road 2

Idle leisure time
Leisure time used in positive and meaningful way

Idle thinking
Construction and positive thinking

Idle work
Positive work

Idle habits
Positive habits

Formation of idle character
Formation of
positive and constructive character

Idle pattern of life
Beautiful and meaningful pattern of life

Use your leisure time in a meaningful way. Try to use every opportunity. Time is going on. Learning is a continuous process. There is no end of learning. Enrich yourself. Our character is the bundle of habits. We can make our character as per our habits. We are the makers of our own life. Our future is uncertain, but we can control our future by controlling the present time, which we are passing. Make a routine of your daily life and try utmost to follow it. If we use our leisure time in a meaningful way, we can enrich ourselves. Start from today to utilize your leisure time for a better tomorrow.

Some may ask, yes, I have some leisure time, but what I will do? The summer is going on. Especially the students of school and colleges are enjoying the summer vacation. My humble suggestion is, please read the following books during this vacation.

  1. The Life of Swami Vivekananda by His Eastern and Western Disciples (Vol.I & II)
  2. Lectures from Colombo to Almorah
  3. Letters of Swami Vivekananda