Quotes on Nishkama Karma Yoga

Ever wondered that the profound concept of Nishkama Karma Yoga (Selfless Action with Detachment) is contradictory in nature? How do we find inaction in action? And how do we do anything selflessly without any expectation? We are humans, right?

There cannot be any motivation if we are not result-oriented. Hmmm! But this contradiction is the beauty of Nishkama Karma Yoga. If we go to heart of it, we will know that this great philosophy mentioned in the Bhagavd Gita ensures perfection minus stress and anxiety. And the ultimate reaper of any selfless action is the doer!

We have to understand this – Nishkama Karmayoga is about detachment not disconnect. Detachment is different from disconnect. Disconnect would stop karma altogether detachment will bring karma to the center instead of the result factor. To a detached person, all enjoyment comes from just the action and activity, the result is surrendered. Here are a few quotes that underscore the meaning, the path and the greatness of Nishkama Karma Yoga. These quotes will hopefully dissolve the contradictory factor and make us evolve into our better selves.

What is Nishkama Karma Yoga – This quote helps us understand the concept

If one can joyfully involve in any activity, that is Karma Yoga. If one does it with stressful effort and a motive, it is just karma, not yoga.

Here is why a Nishkama Karma Yogi stays stress free and gets a better result automatically!

How to practice Nishkama Karma Yoga – How to remove the result part from the action part?

Tricky, right? Love and faith is the answer. Nishkama Karma Yoga can only happen if you love somebody or something so completely that you work just for the heck of it. Appreciation and recognition is a bonus! For those who believe in God, every action is an act of surrender. The devotee believes He is the doer, the act and the result, so he stays blissful. And did you know it is being practiced as a great management mantra in some of the big organizations?

Why is Nishkama Karma Yoga so amazing?

If you have been struggling from not getting the desired results, try practicing Nishkama Karma Yoga! Surrender every hard work to the almighty. Everything will fall in place! Haribol!

(Images courtesy Google)

Are you hunting for vaccines too in Minnesota?

Are you hunting for Covid-19 vaccine too? This Tuesday, everyone above the age of 16 became eligible to receive covid-19 vaccination in Minnesota, USA.

And since then there has been a mad rush to book vaccine appointments, which disappears as soon as it appears on appointment booking sites of Walmart, Hyvee, CVS, Walgreens etc..

Those who have received their vaccinations recommended checking the MN Vaccine Connector every few minutes. Some say that midnight is the best time to book.

I have found this particular Twitter handle quite quick in showing the availability of vaccines – Minnesota Vaccine Alerts (@MNVaccineAlerts). I have not been able to book one but the handle is genuine. Another good site is MN Vaccine Spotter. I guess, as this mad rush settles down a bit the vaccines will be more easily available.

People have been comparing one vaccine to other. But which of the three – Moderna, PFizer or Johnson & Johnson is the best? According to Dr. Melanie Swift, co-chair of Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution Work Group – “People really should take whichever vaccine is available to them. You can’t compare these vaccines head to head because they were tested in different circumstances. They are all highly effective,”

I tried booking for vaccination at Fairview Hospitals when I heard that they were giving preferences to BIPOC. But then South Asians are not in the list.

So, I guess I will have to wait longer and keep trying through MN Vaccine Connector. I believe by April – May, most of us would be vaccinated and win against the pandemic.

Have you rolled up your sleeves and got your shot or are you still looking? What has been your experience like? Here is wishing you all the best for your vaccine hunting! #victoryagainstcorona #RollUpYourSleevesMN

Images courtesy Google

A Letter to you – One year of parenting amidst Covid-19

My Dear,

In March, last year, I wrote about the unavailability of hand sanitizers in Minneapolis, U.S., on this blog site. At that time, we were beginning to know a little about a disease called Coronavirus in China that was spreading everywhere. We did not take it very seriously. I had no idea then that we would face a mammoth problem that would change the world forever. I did not suspect then, that the issue would stay as a challenge for more than a year.

I am sure your experiences are similar to mine and you have many stories to tell – stories of loss, resilience, experience or growth. But the biggest challenge I faced during Covid-19 was related to parenting. It is in 2020 that I truly appreciated the roles of schools and teachers for the well-being of our children.

Before the pandemic struck, I had received my EAD and had begun to work as a substitute teacher. But that stopped abruptly due to rising coronavirus cases. The pandemic made me dive into self-publishing and it was very fruitful. But my kids were absolutely distraught while dealing with so many obstacles.

The children were initially excited about getting iPads from school for online learning but the novelty of it faded soon. Zoom lessons and activities became dull and uninteresting by the middle of the school year. They wanted to meet their peers and interact face to face. There were no parties, no outings and no friends – all they had were parents giving directions to wash hands and finish school work.

Second challenge for them was staying silent while their father worked. He often had back to back and face to face meetings where the house had to stay quiet. Staying silent for long hours often made them morose but they did all they could to support their parents.

I tried using creative ideas to keep them feisty and occupied. I also enrolled them in online hobby classes to keep up their spirits but the disinterest followed soon. I knew it was unnatural to stay like that. The festive season in November and December kept them occupied in a positive way but matters became worst in cold January. Apart from Covid-19, the savage cold in Minnesota forces people to stay indoors. During this time, the basement turned out to be the most pleasant place. Every evening, I encouraged them to get some exercise.

Third challenge I faced was monitoring the digital time. I am sure every parent in the whole entire world faced this. They had almost three to five hours of school work on iPad everyday. And then they had their TV time. If I denied giving them TV time, how would they spend their time? They had to be quiet and silent as their father would be working. And As I said, there were no outings and social distancing in place. Yes, they read books but how many books can you ask a first grader and fourth grader to read? Interacting with Google became a way to pass time, yet that was not enough. I knew all that digital time would affect their eyes and brain. But how else could I resolve the issue? I felt I was facing a wall. And then, this famous line would come to my mind, ‘what can’t be cured must be endured’!

And with time, things have started falling in place… My kids will stay in digital learning till June this year but we are planning to send them in person in the next school year starting September.

With the arrival of Spring and loosening of Covid-19 restrictions, I am glad to see smiles back on their faces. Hope has returned in the form of Covid-19 vaccine! Last week, we went to Marshall’s and it was a delightful experience for them after a year in lockdown. As the weather has become good, we are going out often for walks and for bringing their favorite meals from food outlets. Some normalcy is returning as I see kids in schools and in the park with masks in place.

So, one year of parenting during Covid-19 has been tough but I want to applaud every parent for trying their best during the crisis. And kudos to our kids for bearing with every obstacle and moving on… Great things are just around the corner for the little ones. Hang on!

Love,

Shivangi

Just a thought – Would the next superstar be a digital human?

This is Will – a handsome digital human (courtesy Google)

As Artificial Intelligence continues to grow at top speed, the digital humans may replace humans everywhere in the digital world. Who knows the next superstar we get crazy about may turn out to be a digital human!

He or she would be Artificially created with the best facial features, lovely expressions and acting prowess. They would have an amazing body and dancing skills.

And those digital actors would be inexpensive as opposed to human film stars who need a lot for their upkeep! The producers would not have to spend a fortune on their make up, clothes, botox or fitness regime. Imagine, a digital human would never age so they would keep doing films!

And our current film heartthrobs would be giving interviews and talking about the time before the digital humans took over the silver screen…!

Not only film stars, we will have digital humans as YouTube creators, news reporters, webinar speakers, instructors, teachers, instagrammers…

And then there will be a role reversal – realhumans would begin to follow digital humans because they would be so perfect, so amazing, so stylish, so beautiful…!

I often wonder what that first digital human superstar would look like! And whether the popularity of digital human superstars would continue or humans would get tired of fake, perfect digital humans? And whether humanity would fall in love with human imperfections once again? Hmm…just a thought…let’s see!

Book Preview – My Comeback Trail by Manish Kumar

My Comeback Trail‘, the second book of the author and Air Force veteran pilot Manish Kumar, promises to be a stirring and inspiring read just like his first bestseller, ‘Be Your Own Pilot‘. I found the book candid and motivational.

About The Book – Inspired by true events in the life of Manish Kumar, the book deals with the theme of the triumph of the indefatigable human spirit against all odds. Life throws one challenge after another as he juggles to keep his sanity when his entire support system threatens to crumble around him. 

The story begins with the author being in a respectable profession and having a happy married life, but everything changes soon. There is a crisis in his professional as well as personal life and he ends up in a psychiatry ward, dangerously close to losing everything. 

In his own words, “You can fight for your country, your loved ones but what do you do when you start doubting your thoughts, your sanity and your entity? Nothing can be more vicious than doubting yourself.”

He gets betrayed, abandoned and duped by people he loves and trusts most, while his most precious gift gets taken away from him….. he feels there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It is then that the comeback trail begins…!

My Take – This real-life story of a soldier, shows unexpected twists and turns in the author’s life and his dramatic comeback. The book is highly recommended for those who are dealing with extremely challenging, anxious situations. It will inspire them to hang in there, while life turns for the better. 

Manish Kumar has a strong narrative voice and the female characters are very well portrayed. 

The book is dotted with motivational quotes from great books and authors. The quotes not only support the author as he tries to find sense in the sudden chaos that surrounds him but also engages the reader. The book is set to release soon and available for preorder.

Do grab your copy here , encourage a good author and rejoice in the victory of the human spirit.

10 Stunning Sunset Pictures from the same location

Didn’t I tell you every sunset is different? These 10 sunset pictures taken from the same place, prove this fact. Have a look at the stunning, glorious sunset pictures that will amaze you. And there are some amazing Sunset quotes for that extra effect! Enjoy.

Call for the grandest of all earthly spectacles, what is that? It is the sun going to his rest.
Thomas de Quincey
How can I know anything about the past or the future, when the light of the Beloved shines only Now? – Rumi

Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second.
Mattie J.T. Stepanek
The best way to live your life is this: At sunset, just think of the beauty of the sunset, because life is nothing but what the present moment offers you!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Sunrise is the start of something beautiful: the day.
Sunset is the start of something beautiful: the night.
Juansen Dizon
“I just need you and some sunsets” – Atticus
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
-Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
Sunset is always wiser than sunrise because sunset has added the experience of an entire day to his soul!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Don’t forget:beautiful sunsets need cloudy skies.
Paulo Coelho
Whenever you want to see me, always look at the sunset; I will be there.
Grace Ogot

Images courtesy – My Iphone

Small Things#30 – English, Indian Istyle

Indian English is quickly carving its own space in the world. The tone, accent, colloquialisms, vocabulary, sentence construction, and variations are slowly being accepted rather than laughed at. Various localization projects worldwide treat Indian English separate from British, American, or Australian English, and …that’s a relief!

Because since long, we Indians have been so self-conscious and focused on using the English language correctly, that we have hardly been able to express ourselves at all. We have stayed segmented and almost mum in many ways.

It has been like always pretending to be someone else – a caricature of something we believed to be ‘grand’. But now, Indian English is finding its own footing. We no longer need to blush with shame for using the Queen’s English in Indian style. The self-consciousness in using English is lessening as we personalise and Indianise English. Indian English is now spoken by 125 million people and it is high time the language gets its own stature and dignity.

In my home, here in America, the boys often notice my English and ask about my ‘different’ pronunciation. They find my English accent strange and dissimilar from their American way of talking. I say, “I have studied British English, so, my English is a little bit different from yours.” Actually, my English is ‘very’ different from theirs, it is full of Indian words and Indian ways of sentence construction. It is decidedly Indian English!

A few days back, the word ‘opportunity’, gave me the opportunity to talk to my kids on the subject of different types of English. I was reading a book and when I said – ‘OP-POR-CHUNITY,’ I had their attention.
“But Mumma, it is ‘aa-pr-too-nuh-tee,” the little one said.
“But Mumma, in British English, “it is op-uh-tyoo-nuh-tee’. You spoke it differently.” The older one said.
And I found myself saying – I speak Indian English, you know! A few years back, I would not have done so because nothing was clear-cut then. Indian English had no properly defined presence at that time.

It is now time, that Indian English gets properly defined guidelines of its own. This does not mean – distorting or meddling with the original beautiful, flexible language. This means, using the language as an Indian rather than being an Indian and using it as a foreigner. English has the rare flexibility and ability to adapt, that’s why it has survived and thrived for so long. It should be used for our advantage rather than being overwhelmed by it.

By giving dignity and support to Indian English, we will have a new generation of confident kids who would not feel conscious in speaking English, in Indian style.

(Image courtesy Google)

The Laughing Saint – An Ancient Wisdom Story

Note – This story is reaching you with a message today. Hope the message rubs on you. When the story alighted in my mind, I laughed. And may you laugh too and spread it far and wide.

More than one thousand years ago in India, there lived a laughing Saint. Some called him a genius, others thought he was wise and some believed he was a fool.

So, a famous traveler from a faraway kingdom visited him one day. He wanted to evaluate and judge the man. The Saint was making an ordinary garland from grey flowers that had a very strong smell. On seeing the traveler, he pointed towards a bamboo mat.

The traveler kept sitting for a long time, watching the Saint, who would chuckle while putting fresh flowers in the thread. Soon, he got bored and thought the Saint was quite mad.

So, he started a conversation to get further proof of the Saint’s madness. “Ahem, hello Swamiji, for whom are you making the garland?”

No one in particular, ” the saint laughed.

Then why are you wasting your time on the garland?” the traveler asked.

The Saint looked at him and laughed again. The traveler got annoyed and thought this man was not only mad he was a fool too. There was nothing wise or intelligent about the man. Why was this idiot so famous?.

He got up to leave.

Sit down, dear friend. I am sorry I offended you, ” said the Saint. “I will ask you a few questions that will make you understand why I laughed. Tell me about yourself?”

I am a famous astronomer, scientist, and mathematician from a King’s court in the South. I own many palatial homes, immense wealth and I am highly respected in society. I have a lovely family and I live a grand life...”

That’s very good. So, what brings you here my friend?”

I wanted to know the secret of your laughter. But I think I have got my answer now, ” the traveler said, looking at him from top to bottom.

You have everything in life. It must make you happy, so why did you come here looking for silly secrets?” the Saint asked, wrapping the garland in a wet cloth.

The traveler cleared his throat. “The problem is I should be happy but I am not always happy like you.

Ok, so what will make you happy like me?”

Hmmm, I feel happy when I think about my wealth and power. And soon I am planning to go on a sea voyage, I guess, that will make me happy like you, ” said the traveler.

The Saint laughed again. “Well, thinking about your wealth is a memory of happiness! And planning a sea voyage is about future happiness. Tell me what will make you happy, right now? Because real and pure happiness can only exist right now!

The traveler looked closely at the laughing Saint. Something clicked in him but he was still confused so he continued the conversation.

I can be truly happy right now if I get something which I am hoping for.”

Like?”

Umm… like a better position at the King’s court.”

So, you can be truly happy only – when you get what you love. But what if you – Accepted and loved what you got every moment the same way, ” the Saint laughed again.

That is so simple and yet so difficult. But yes, that would make me happy right now! But I would still need to make plans for my future happiness…

If you stay alive in the Now, the future and your plans will be taken care of automatically. A fresh path gets carved out of every moment of conscious presence. Trust the universe to make everything work in your favor. Now, do you want to know why I laughed while making the garland?

The traveler nodded.

Well, this morning, I got some flowers as a present from the little girl next door. You would hardly ever see me making a garland at this time. But today, I decided to make it for no reason at all. The process of making the garland was exhilarating. The freshness, color, shapes of each flower was delightful. But a thought arose in me – Why was I making the garland? I didn’t pay attention to it and continued being in the moment. And then you came along.

The traveler nodded again, listening with bated breath.

You asked the same question – For whom are you making the garland? And I laughed appreciating the glory and grace of the Universe. Of course, for you, my friend! The little girl unknowingly picked up the flowers for you and I blissfully made the herbal garland for you. And the universe sent you here to get what you were really looking for. I know you have a rare disease in your left leg, I can smell it. So, here take the garland, the smell of the flowers will cure it.

The traveler was bewildered and accepted the garland gratefully. He really had a rare disease that he had kept hidden from the world. “Yes, this was what I was looking for around the country. I am so joyful I got it. I am so indebted to you. But this cure was not what I was hoping to get from you. I really wanted to know why you laughed so much.

And you know now. Don’t you? I am blissful because I choose to accept and ‘just be’ in every moment. Whenever you want to be blissful, just come back to the moment from your past or present and flow with what is… May you always be as accepting and grateful as you are right now after getting the cure. And the universe will give you more opportunities for bliss and gratitude,” the Saint blessed him.

When he returned home, the King of Southern Kingdom asked about the laughing Saint. The traveler said – “At first, he may look like a mad man, then an idiot and a fool, and finally one of the wisest men on Earth. But one thing is sure – his child-like laughter and positivity will stay with you like the fragrance of a rare garland.”

Beautiful Girl Digital Art

“The Artist always has the masters in his eyes.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did you like her eyes? I had great fun creating her on SketchBook – a curious digital tool for art lovers. It is fun, fast, and has that undo button, which can quickly delete all my mistakes. While I think physical artworks are sacred, digital tools are feisty. Why not give it a try this weekend? BTW, do you like this girl with an intense gaze? What are your thoughts about her?

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a cool and creative weekend!

10 Great Quotes on Relaxation after a busy week

Has the week been hard on you? Take a moment and inspect your burden – too many things going on, tasks to finish, pending work, children or parents to take care of, a household to tend to… And then there are the emotional issues – a mishap, some misunderstanding, someone may be ill, someone in a bad situation! And then, on top of it, physical ailments, unresolved issues from the past, responsibilities in the future…! Ah, too much, isn’t it? We are all in the same boat so, why don’t you and I put down our burdens for a minute and relax with these quotes.

Here are 10 great quotes that will lead to relaxation and shift in perception:

Yes, you and I are enough, my friend. So relax! Hope these quotes helped you to relax, rejuvenate and believe that – all is and would always be well! And yes, keep setting aside your burden from time to time, believe me, it will shrink with time. Have a great weekend!