Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to manage your work?

The work load is increasing day by day. There are different types of work. Our official work, our duties towards our family, some social services -How to manage? We are leaving our bed in the morning with a heavy work load in our mind. There is no end of work. Just I finish one work, another is alarming. Sometimes we are restless, feeling irritated. The burning question is, how to manage our work?

As I said earlier, an appointment diary will help you in this matter. If you are not maintaining an appointment diary, please purchase one from your local book store. It costs just Rs 30-40 only. Record all your work-to-do in that diary (date wise). Record the `Holiday List` of your organization (in which you are working) in that diary. Then only you can make a previous plan. Let us take an example. Suppose you have to pay Rs 500 as Insurance premium for your two wheelers on 20 September, 2011. Now March is going on. Just open the page of 20 Sept and record this work on that day. This is not enough. Open the page of 13 Sept (7 days before) and record that `the renewal date for Insurance premium is on 20 Sept.` It will alert you well in advance. Now, in this seven days you can contact your agent; give him the related papers and the fees. You will get the renewed copy in time. This is just an example. But if you follow this routine, your journey will be smooth. You can use your cell phone also for previous planning. If you record the holiday list, you can make a plan well in advance for your outdoor work. You can make a plan for a short weekend tour also if Monday is a holiday in any month.

There are different types of work we have to do in a day or in a week. Make a priority list and follow the list. If possible, decentralize your family workload among the family members. It is not possible for you to do all types of work as a head of the family. Allow your children to do some work. Give them freedom and guide them. They will also help you to share your load.  Encourage them. Gradually they will learn from the experiences.

Regarding official work, you can reduce the workload by your sincerity and punctuality. Do your allotted work as fast as possible. Every work must be neat and clean. Come your office in exact time and leave your office in schedule time. This is the first condition to reduce the workload. Always cultivate positive attitude in your mind. If you are not able to love your work then how can you expect that you will finish your daily work? Motivate yourself. Learn from everyone. Give proper respect to each and every employee in your office. Help your colleague, when necessary. Please remember your sincerity and punctuality will inspire others, especially your juniors in the office.

Start your daily life as early as possible. If you leave your bed just 30 minutes before, you will get extra15 hours in a month! Active period in our human life is only 20-30 years. So, don’t waste your time. Alertness is necessary.

Don’t waste your time. Always use your 24 hours in a meaningful way. Make proper use your wrist watch. Make a weekly plan on Sunday for the coming week. Try to follow the plan in 7 days. If you divide your time among different types of work, certainly you will do a lot of work in 24 hours. But planning is necessary and the most important thing is to follow that plan. This is a tough work. Come and accept it. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Delete the layers

Always think positively. Make it a habit by constant practice. Generally we are accustomed with negative ideas and thoughts from our childhood. This is the pattern of life. Whenever we are going to do any work, our own mind gives us negative signals. Sometimes we also convey negative signals to our near and dears. Whenever we think negatively, we are making a layer on our divine potentiality. Our life is going on and these layers (created by ourselves) are thicker day by day. As a result, we are not observing the light of our precious human life. We think we are helpless, nothing to do, blame to our fate and gradually these negative ideas - personified. When this is personified, we convey these negative ideas to our family members, to our friends, to our peers, even to our own children. Gradually they are also negatively encouraged. This is an alarming problem in our society.

Always cultivate positive thoughts in your mind. Read holy books which give you strength. Think positively and act positively. Spread the message of positive thoughts to the world. Always say to yourself: I have a sound body, I have a sound mind. I have got this precious human life. I will make this life beautiful. I have infinite energy, I have infinite potentiality. I must develop my inner human qualities by constant practices. I will make my character neat and clean, I will develop more so that I can serve more to my brothers and sisters. I shall be a good citizen which is the need of the present time. Daily repeat it five times and act accordingly. I am sure within 15 days you will get strength. There is no magic. If you read it daily five times, indirectly you are deleting the layers of negative thoughts from your life. Gradually you can feel the strength of this precious human life. This is the wonderful result of positive thoughts.

If you try, you can. Human life is not the bed of roses. There are ups and downs. But struggle, to overcome this, must be there. Struggle for inner development is the sign of life. If you read the life history of the great men of the world, you will find their struggle to overcome the negative ideas and thoughts. Their lives are the burning examples of positive ideas and thoughts. They spread the positive thought to the world throughout their life.

We will get the power of positive message from the following incident told by Swami Vivekananda in his lecture `Man the maker of his destiny` (CW: 8-186):

`I was once traveling in the Himalayas and the long road stretched before us. We poor monks cannot get any one to carry us, so we had to make all the way on foot. There was an old man with us. The way goes up and down for hundreds of miles, and when that old monk saw what was before him, he said, ``Oh, sir, how to cross it; I cannot walk any more; my chest will break.`` I said to him, ``Look down at your feet.`` He did so, and I said, ``The road that is under your feet is the road that you have passed over and is the same road that you see before you: it will soon be under your feet.``  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

If you want peace

In a fine morning a teacher entered into a classroom. After taking attendance, she draws a black spot in the big white board hanging on the wall. Then she asked the students:
`My dear students, what are you watching in the board? `
The students shouted, `Madam, we are watching a black spot in the board. `
`How strange! Are you not observing THE BIG WHITE BOARD? `

Generally we are all like this. Always we are seeking the black spots in others. We are not observing the bright side of our near and dears. We all think that I am the right person; everything in my life is OK. We blame our friends; our bosses, our parents, our family members. We blame everyone except ourselves. We think blaming to everyone is my right. But that is not the correct way.

Every man has his/her limitations. They have their inner qualities also. Every man in this world has some good qualities. They are not zero. Human life is precious. Each and every one of us there is infinite potentiality, infinite energy. Ignoring this fact, we are only observing the darker side of others. Always we are busy in finding fault in others. As a result our life is restless and miserable. We are not getting peace in our mind.

If we want to overcome this sad situation in our life, we have to change our attitude. There are two types of attitude – the positive attitude (PA) and negative attitude (NA). We have to cultivate the PA more in our life. This is a matter of practice. Always try to see the brighter side of everything. Always try to think the good qualities of others, good habits of others, good character of others. Don’t think for a moment, the bad qualities of others, as this will make a deep impression in our mind. Always think positively and make it a habit.

The last message of Sri Ma Sarada Devi -

``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. ``

Save your coins

The purchasing power of money is decreasing day by day. Nowadays the coins are more or less valueless. Sometimes we ignore the returns in the market. Here is a humble suggestion. We can save our coins and use it in a meaningful way. Whenever we return from market, we can save the coins in a piggy bank. After six months or more the coins will be an amount of Rs 50-60. Easily we can convert this savings in paper currency in a nearby grocery shop. Now, from this amount you can help a needy primary or secondary student in your locality or some poor helpless widow mothers in your locality. It will bear no extra cost in your financial budget. Your amount may be small, but remember every drop of water makes the ocean.
v     You can purchase a geometry box and present to a student who is going to school regularly.
v     You can purchase some exercise copies for some needy students.
v     You can purchase an atlas book and present to a needy student.
v     You can purchase a Dictionary and present to a girl student who is serious in her studies.
v     You can purchase woolen garments in winter and present to a helpless widow mother.
v     During festival seasons you can present something to someone who is in a poor state.
v     Every month you can help someone from this small savings.

There are different types of options. Just you make it a habit to save your coins in a piggy bank and after sometimes, use it in a meaningful way. A geometry box is nothing to you, but it has more value to a needy student whose father is a daily labor. When you present something to someone, just see his/her bright face with a pleasant smile. I am sure; their unlimited joy can’t be measurable in terms of money. You can also feel the joy as you are breaking your created limited boundary. Gradually you can feel their pain, their struggle, their entreaty and their indomitable spirit for development. A small step by you can bring the dawn in others life. 

Monday, March 14, 2011


Loneliness is a curse of our modern civilization. As our civilization is developing day by day we are also feeling loneliness gradually. Today majority portion of world population are feeling loneliness. Especially the senior citizens are feeling more. The early men lived in groups.  Just thirty years ago, the people had a good social network. The social relationship was more cordial than today. Every house was a Home. There was no boundary between you and me. The juniors of our locality were like our own brothers and sisters, all the seniors were our guardians. They rebuked us and at the same time they loved also. The whole locality was like a family. At that time poverty was there, but people had the courage to fight against that poverty. The (outer) standard of living was poor but the inner standard of life was high. People could feel the joy and sorrows of their neighbors. The family communication system was also good. Hand written letters, specially the yellow postcards are the main medium of communication system. At that time the term loneliness was an unknown term.

The scenario has changed. We are progressing. Our income level is increasing. As a result, our standard of living is also increasing. Gradually we are becoming family centric. Today, we know only our families and nothing else. Today’s children can identify their near nuclear family members only. They have no friends to play, no friends to share their sorrows and happiness. They feel alone. A busy person works 24X7, yet he is feeling alone. The limited social relationship is something artificial. There is a rapid change in our communication system. But where is that hand written letters wrapped with love, which came from my distant relatives? Senior citizens, our old parents are feeling loneliness more. We have no time for them to spare. We are living like a lonely island.

How we can overcome this? Some humble suggestions:
v     Expand your love. Don’t love yourself only.
v     Think for others. Feel for others.
v     Make a phone regularly to your near and distant relatives.
v     Attend family festivals & get together.
v     Write hand written letters to your old parents & senior citizens.
v     Visit your ailing friend’s house with your wife and children.
v     Read good books. Increase your reading habits. 
v     Wish your friend on his/her birthday or anniversary.
v     Help needy students. Give them proper guidance.
v     Help at least one poor in a week. Feel their struggle.
v     Increase your contact power by adopting various Medias.
v     Always feel that I am not alone, the whole world is with me.

Expansion is the first condition. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) gave us a direction - ``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: 1-145-46).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The student life of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar

It is said that student life is the golden period of every person. As a student we must -know the student life of Ishwarchandra Bandyopadhyay (1820-1891) who secured the title `Vidyasagar` (the ocean of learning) when he was only nineteen years of age. In 1882 Sri Ramakrishna met Vidyasagar in his Calcutta residence. Sri Ramakrishna told Vidyasagar: "Ah! Today, at last, I have come to the ocean.  Up till now I have seen only canals, marshes, or a river at the most.  But today I am face to face with the sagar, the ocean." Swami Vivekananda once told to sister Nivedita, ``There is not a man of my age in northern India on whom his shadow has not fallen! `` (CW: 9-349)

Ishwarchandra was born on 26th September, 1820 at Birsingha village of Midnapore district (West Bengal, India). Birsingha was then in Hooghly district. His parents were Thakrudas Bandyopadhyay and Bhagabati Devi. They had seven sons and three daughters. Ishwarchandra was their eldest son.

At the age of five, Ishwarchandra took admission in village primary school. Kalikanta Chattopadhyay was his first teacher. He was very naughty but intelligent in his childhood. His father, Thakurdas worked in Calcutta. He was the money collector in the business of Ramsunder Mallick at a monthly salary of Rs 10. Thakurdas brought Ishwarchandra in Calcutta for higher education. At that time it was not easily accessible to go to Calcutta from a remote village as the transport system was very poor. They had to walk all the way on foot. On the way, Ishwarchandra learnt English numbers from 1 to 9 from the road side mile stones. He was so intelligent!

In Calcutta, Ishwarchandra took admission in the school of Swarup Chandra Das. He studied here for three months. Then after a short break (due to his brief illness), he took admission to Sanskrit College to learn Sanskrit as desired by his father. At the age of nine, Ishwarchandra took admission to Sanskrit College in 1829. Ishwarchandra went to college everyday from their Burrabazar private residence with his father.

Everyday Ishwarchandra went to the river Ganga for a holy dip. After bath, he purchased the vegetables, fishes etc. from the local market. There was no servant or cook. He cooked for 4-5 persons everyday. He went to School after washing all the utensils. This was his daily routine during his student life.

His father, Thakurdas was a strict mentor. Everyday at 9 pm he returned from his duty. Then he guided Ishwarchandra to his studies. Ishwarchandra was also very serious in studies. He asked his father to wake him up when the clock of nearby Armenian Church stroke 12. Thakurdas waited two hours everyday after his dinner (Honorable reader, please imagine the sacrifices of his father). The church clock struck 12. Iswarchandra woke up and he studied seriously for the rest of the night. Just imagine the strong determination and devotion of Ishwarchandra to his studies.

As a result, Ishwarchandra ranked high in his class year after year and awarded many prizes and scholarships. In the year 1839, Ishwarchandra passed Law Committee Examination conducted by Hindoo Law Committee of Calcutta. This committee awarded him the title `Vidyasagar`. Ishwarchandra was then only 19 years of age.

Further reading: Karunasagar Vidyasagar by Indramitra. (in Bengali)
Ananda Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Calcutta – 9.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


If you want to change your life you have to unfreeze yourself. Here change means upward improvements in the life. Human life is precious. Each one of us there is infinite potentiality, infinite energy. We can make our life beautiful. We can make our own character beautiful. We are the maker of our life. But we all love status-quo. We don’t want to change our life.  Even we don’t want to change our habits. We stick to our old habits, even if it is harmful for our body and mind.

We are facing resistance for change in our life when we are going to take steps for any change in the pattern of our life. This resistance comes from our external and mainly from internal environment. Our restless and uncontrolled mind is our main enemy. Identify this enemy. Only identification is not sufficient. Try to control your mind. Use your analysis power. Don’t run behind your restless mind.  In our daily life when we are going to do any work, our mind resist us. `Leave today, I shall do it tomorrow` - this is our mantra. But, tomorrow never comes. Life is going on, we are growing older day by day and our habits are also stronger day by day. It is very difficult to change these strong habits.

Take a strong determination. Unfreeze yourself. Unfreezing means moving to new level of behavior. Break the pattern of your life. Only eating and sleeping is meaningless. Improve the quality of your life. When we are going to market, we are much concern about the quality of the product. But we are ignoring the quality of our own life which is a gift of God. Brick by brick make your good habits ignoring the resistance from your restless mind. If you strong in character, your mind will follow you. If you weak, you will follow your mind. Then you are the servant of your mind. Act like a master.

In the beginning, make a chart and analyze it at the end of the week. If there is progress, encourage yourself. If there is no progress, think seriously the causes. Some examples:

Breaking status-quo
Suppose you want to be a punctual employee in your office and your reporting time is 10.30 am.
Suppose you want to be an early riser
Suppose you want to morning walk and take some physical exercises to make your body fit
Suppose you want to leave the tobacco products
Suppose you want to read a holy book at least 10 minutes daily which will give you strength
Suppose you want to be neat and clean in official as well as personal matters

Life making and character building is not a magic. Care must be there. If you are trying utmostly, you will succeed.  If you not unfreeze yourself, you are unable to taste the joy of this precious human life. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Mother’s House

If you want to visit a holy place, you can visit the Mother’s House (popularly known as Sri Sri Mayer Bari) in Calcutta. Sri Ma Sarada Devi stayed in this house for eleven years (1909 -1920).

Sri Kedarchandra Das, a local straw merchant donated this plot of land (at Baghbazar – Gopal Neogi Lane) to Belur Math on 18th July, 1906. Swami Saradananda started the construction with only Rs 2,700 as opening cash balance and a loan of Rs 5,700 at the end of 1907. Swami Saradananda (1865-1927) was a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and he was the General Secretary of Ramakrishna Math and Mission nearly 30 years (till the end of his life). By the grace of Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother, he completed this house in 1908. The total cost was approximate Rs 11,000.

Holy Mother arrived in this new house on 23rd May, 1909. It was Sunday. She stayed in this house for eleven years. Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, Sister Nivedita and many other devotees came in this house. Devotees are still coming in this house from around the world throughout the year.

In this house, Holy Mother left her mortal body and entered into mahasamadhi on 21st July, 1920.

               Address: 1, Udbodhan Lane
               Baghbazar, Kolkata 700003   India.
               Phone: 033-2533 9292, 2554 2248

How to reach: From Howrah station’s Jetty Ghat (opposite to Howrah station) take Launch towards Baghbazar. From Baghbazar, the Mother’s House is a walking distance of 10 minutes. Rickshaws and Auto-rickshaws are available. Buses and Taxi from Howrah/ Sealdaha/ Kolkata station are available.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Enrich yourself

Learning is a continuous process. There is no end of learning. Learn from everyone. Learn from nature. We have to cultivate learning oriented attitude in our life. Don’t be pessimistic. Always see the bright side of opportunities. Time is precious and it is going on. Use your spare time in a meaningful way. That is actual smartness.

Enrich yourself. You will get the joy of life. Enrich yourself externally and internally. Learn new things. There is no age bar of learning. You can start from this moment. Increase your study hours. Increase your reading skill, increase your writing skill. Please read good books which will give you mental strength. Just you spend only 1% of your monthly income in purchasing books, periodicals and journals. Read newspaper daily. Watch national and international news in television in a particular time. Learn computer. Up to date yourself and re-sharpen your skills. Learn how to cook. Learn how to press the garments. Learn how to write a letter. Learn how to write the address on the envelope. Learn how to seal the envelope. Learn how to make a proper telephone call. Learn how to read a poem. Learn how to control your wastage in the family. Learn how to fill up the return of your Income Tax.  Learn how to cover a book. There is no end of learning.

Academically you must be sound.  You can take the opportunities of various distance education courses offered by different Universities. In this way you can enhanced your academic qualification.  If you have time, interest and requisite qualification, you can start research work under a proper guide. Write your Diary every day and record your improvements. Engage yourself in a meaningful process. There is no result in just sitting idle and blame your fate. You know the negative result of an idle mind.

Enrich yourself internally. Please grow the good habits in your life which will form your character in the long run. Your thought, conversation and work must be neat and clean. People will remember you for your sweet behavior. Respect senior citizen. Learn also from juniors. Feel for the poor. Do something for them according to your capacity. Gradually expand your heart, think for others.

Lead the life of a man in a meaningful way. Your journey will inspire others.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Everyday we make hundreds of commitment in our daily life, like this:

  1. Don’t worry; I will come back here exactly at 5 pm. (to a friend)
  2. As soon as I reached there, I will make a phone to you. (to mother)
  3. Don’t make tension, I am always with you. (to a friend)
  4. Don’t worry Sir; I will surely give you feedback. (to Boss)
  5. Every Sunday I will write a letter to you. (to mother)
  6. I will give you all information regarding this. (to a friend)
  7. In the coming month, I will surely buy a cycle for you. (father to children)
  8. From tomorrow, I will try to improve my handwriting. (student to teacher)
  9. Leave today Sir, from tomorrow I shall be punctual (teacher to Headmaster)
  10. From 1st January, I will wake up early (to myself)

There are several examples like this. But we are not so serious to fulfill our commitment. Life is going on and we make many excuses for the non fulfillment of this commitment. Actually, we are not so serious when we are making commitments.   I am eagerly waiting for an important feedback from a friend, but days are going on, the feedback is not coming. I have promised to my mother that I will write a letter to her every Sunday and mail it on Monday, but weeks after weeks are passing by, I have no time for her. My mother is eagerly waiting for my letter in my native land. My friend is waiting for myself from 5 pm (as promised) but when I reached there it is 7 pm. This is the overall result! Who is responsible for this sad situation? We blame everyone in the universe except me.

Please take your commitments seriously otherwise as Swami Vivekananda said, ``people lose their faith in you.`` Swamiji wrote in this letter (Dated: 4th October, 1895) - ``Whenever you promise to do any work, you must do it exactly at the appointed time, or people lose their faith in you. Money matters require a speedy reply…… Business is business…..``

v     Purchase today an Appointment Diary (cost is Rs 30 to 40 only) and record your all appointments.
v     Use yearly planner.
v     Use your mobile phone (to- do- note – mark/unmark)
v     Set alarm in your mobile phone for any appointment or predetermined work.
v     Be serious in giving feedback.
v     When you are giving feedback, try to give 360 degree feedback.
v     If you fail to give feedback by phone or E mail use alternative channel.
v     Be serious while you are making commitments.
v     Think twice before making any commitment.
v     Manage your time and make a plan.

It is said that, if there is a will there is a way. If you wish, you can do it exactly at the appointed time. The commitment of Pandit Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar (1820-1891) to his mother to attend the marriage ceremony of his brother is world famous. He crossed the river Damodar in a rainy night to attend the party. Prepare yourself for this type of devotion and commitment. It is possible.