My Power Quote !

A good book on a rainy day is happiness for me - Ruskin Bond

Monday, November 28, 2011

PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA : THE MESSENGER OF INDIA TO US

 After Swami Vivekananda and Swami Rama Tirtha swayed the American soil with Eastern Wisdom, it was Paramahansa Yogananda who went to US in 1920 to represent India in the international congress of Religious Liberals. Like Vivekananda did with his famous Chicago speech, Yogananda deeply engraved the Eastern Thought on American minds.

In most parts of India, everybody knows his famous book "Autobiography of Yogi' which is a very famous biography. Yogananda eloquently narrated all experiences of his life in a simple prose. The influence of Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda on American psyche is such that in 1930, Dr. Wendell Thomas, author and former professor at the College of the City of New York wrote a book "Hinduism Invades America".  Philip Goldberg's book 'American Veda" also dwelt at length about the contribution of Yogananda. The book is mainly about Indian yogis, swamis, gurus that influenced American culture.

In 1952, after Paramahansa Yogananda died on a banquet in Los Angeles, the corpse had been taken to Forest Lawn Memorial-Park to be enbalmed and placed in a crypt. SRF (Self-Realization Fellowship)  published excerpts of Los Angeles Mortuary Director Rowe's letter under the heading "Paramahansa Yogananda. A Yogi in Life and Death" Rowe mentioned that "Weeks after his departure, his unchanged face shone with the divine luster of incorruptibility." This is the power of spirituality where spirit overrides matter and natural laws take a ride !

Sunday, November 27, 2011

KNOWLEDGE HIGHWAY


There was a time when Encyclopaedia of Britannica & Americana in their physical form adorn our libraries as the most distinct entities, and to know anything in depth, they are the authorities. During my childhood days, I used to visit libraries more often. In such visits, I use to take a glimpse of these encyclopaedias and a huge respect outpours from my heart, being the mankind's whole knowledge that is systematically arranged, more so, alphabetically. But the drawback of hardbound encyclopaedias is that the subject cannot be updated instantly to bring out new insights/ research/ facts in sciences and humanities. We cannot escape from the fact that new information and new statistics only make the subject more holistic.

Knowledge is an ever expanding horizon. New insights always creep into the subject and the reader must have an updated information with a 360 degree perspective. Instead of bare facts, the information should be neatly sandwiched with relevant multimedia i.e. videos and images, which was missing in traditional hardbound encyclopaedias.

The Internet Revolution changed all the game rules for KNOWLEDGE. The traditional route of knowledge sharing i.e. mouth to mouth is now through Twitter and Facebook etc. Around 1999, when Google gained ground as a giant search engine, indexing the whole internet into searchable database for user's convencience. It was around this time in January, 2001, Jimmy Wales, who had Masters in Finance from US, founded a non-profit Foundation Wikimedia and hosted the website, Wikipedia

Jimmy with his brainchild wikipedia made rapid strides in gaining popularity as he facilitated a free and continuous updating mechanism by which the information started updating and everybody started using it as a 'reference tool' in their daily needs. Jimmy's achievements brought him so many laurels including the Times Magazine which in its 2006 edition named him in the list of world's most influential people.

Wikipedia is only having 679 servers and 95 staff, but it ranked as the world's 6th mostly viewed website. In terms of resources and manpower, it is a tiny organization not supported by Ads, but only through donations making a large impact on our lives. Its penetration on internet is laudable.

Wikipedia is offered in 282 languages. In terms of public service, wikipedia serves 365 million different people every month. It has 20 million articles on its servers of which 3.8 million articles are in English. All these articles have been written by volunteers with online editing capabilities by any one so that each article refines in terms of accuracy, content and links. Wikipedia has around 1 lakh dedicated regular contributors. It is estimated that Wikipedia receives 2.7 billion monthly hits from the United States alone.

The word wikipedia is actually derived from Hawaiian word 'wiki' which means quick and it's catchy slogan : The Free Encyclopedia. Internet's search giant Google pays it's tribute to wikipedia by giving the wikipedia's articles as it's first link in its search index page.

We all owe a lot to Jimmy for creating this Knowledge Highway !

Sunday, November 20, 2011

DREAMER TO ACHIEVER


Rural India is not dearth of talent. A strong drive to achieve puts you on higher pedestal and treads a path to success. It is immaterial where you are born with social and economic conditions you have inherited. What matters is the quantum of fire in your belly.

Some people perish in the course of their struggle and only few will rise to change their destiny.

Dodde Anjaneyulu belongs to the second lot. This pride of Andhra achieved his father's dream of becoming IAS in the 2010 Civil Service Exam and got 278th rank. His father who was a watchman in a sleepy village: Jammikunta in backward Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh inspired his son to become Collector and the son took his father's dream to heart, despite abject poverty.

Anjaneyulu through arduous efforts shined in academics and thereafter completed his engineering graduation in 2005. He settled as software professional for 2 years to accumulate finances for IAS exam preparation. Though the sudden death of his father in 2007 somewhat crippled him, but it solidified his resolve.

Getting selected to IAS is no mean achievement. Every year, around 4 lac aspirants compete Civil Services Examination, out of which only 10 thousand clear preliminaries and very creamy few i.e. 1000 finally get selected for IAS, IFS, IPS and other allied Group A & B services. So it is all merit and hard work that matters. Anjaneyulu through this covetous achievement, once again proved to the world that a fire in the belly do wonders.

After reading his story in a local Telugu paper (Saakshi dated 19.11.2011) I was totally moved. The way his mother broke down after seeing her son’s achievement would strike a chord with the readers. It is palpable to understand the emotions of a mother who wept out of ecstasy, but felt sorry because her husband was no more to see their son's grand achievement. It is a soul-stirring story I ever read in recent items. It is really a heroic achievement.

After reading about Anjaneyulu, I could not resist without congratulating him. But how? That question hunted me for a while. Had it been 20 years earlier, I might have crushed my desire. But the Information Age prompted me to find ways. So I jumped into action and searched for his email ID in the Google. Being an internet buff, it was not a difficult task and I managed to get his Facebook link through which I got his e-mail ID. Immediately, I sent an email congratulating him for his achievement. It was so exhilarating that he not only acknowledged my mail quickly but spoke to me over phone with full of gratitude and humility.

I read somewhere that the great tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us (talent) while we still alive. Anjaneyulu deeply engraved his father's dream to become IAS by which he not only proved a darling child of his parents, but a shining star to the millions of aspirants. Hope this man will contribute immensely to the society, especially the poorer sections and stand tall in his efforts to change their destiny.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

BENEFITS OF HONEY


Honey comes from natural source.  So use it as an alternative to sugar.

For a nation afflicted with 40 million diabetics, India can't take the risk of increasing the number further.   Healthy life style reduces the chances of diabetes.

Intake of honey stirred with lemon juice and lukewarm water, early in the morning keeps your digestive track clean.   It will also help in absorbing excessive fat deposits in the body.  In fact honey has 20 % less calories than sugar.   Unlike sugar, honey is enriched with important minerals like calcium and iron as well as essential vitamins like B1, B2, B5, B6 and C.  It has also antioxidants.

Do you know that a honey bee makes 1/12th of teaspoon of honey in it's life time?  So friends, these are not honey words, but naked truth!
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