Archive for February, 2009

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Advaita philosophy and concept of Aham Brahmasmi – I am God

February 23, 2009

 

Before I go to the post, I would like to do the Tag given to me by Su. He has given me 5 words : Song, Infinity, Angel, Peace, God and I am supposed to draw something on Paint/GIMP related to each word and put it here. So, here goes.

musictagangelinfinity1peace1god2

In the above picture that I have made on ‘God’, notice one thing – It is made of so many rectangles arranged together in a pattern. We can either look at it as the rectangles arranged in pattern or look at it as the word ‘God’. Depending on how we look at it, it becomes that – either a combination of rectangles or the word.

There is one saying in Tamil – “Kalla kanda Naaya Kanom; Naaya kanda Kalla Kanom” (Though it has been over used literally as a comic phrase and hence popularized in the movies) meaning – “If we see the stone, we don’t see the dog. If we see the dog, we don’t see the stone”. If there is a stone stature carved to the shape of a dog, we can either look at it as a stone or a dog. (We can also look at it as a stone and a dog, but this discussion is on a more basic level). Kamal Hassan came close to using this concept in the first song of Dasavatharam (Tamil version) – “Kallai mattum kandal, Kadavul theriyathu. Kadavul mattum kandal, kalladi theriyathu” (Meaning, if you look at it as a Stone, you don’t see God. If you look at it as God, you don’t feel the pain of even stone-pelting).

Same goes with the Gold bangle. You can see it as Gold or you can see it as a bangle, on the basic level. Depending upon how you see it, it is. I would like to quote one dialogue from the movie Matrix (Part I) which came very close to interpretation of this concept:

“What is Real? How do you define Real? If you are talking about your Senses, what you feel, taste, smell or see, then all you are talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain” – Morpheus in Matrix

Anyways, that is about the interpretation. (One of the interpretations of this philosophy is that the world is an illusion). But how is the concept in itself defined? I will have to quote from Wikipedia on that:

“Advaita refers to the identity of Self (Atman) and the Whole (Brahman – Don’t confuse this with the Hindu upper caste). Advaita is about realizing the Self (Atman) as the Whole (Brahman) itself which is apparently manifested eternally and simultaneously into animate or inanimate”

“Brahma Satyam Jagat mithya,

Jivo brahmaiva naparah”

“Brahman (Whole) is the only truth, the world is an illusion, and there is ultimately no difference between the Brahman and individual self(Atman)”

Advaita is not about any worship of any kind of deity; not even a singular all powerful supreme being/Ishwara/God. Brahman is at best, described as that infinite, omnipresent, omnipotent, incorporeal, impersonal, transcendent reality that is the divine ground of all beings.

George Feuerstein summarizes the Advaita philosophy as follows : The manifold universe is, in truth, a single reality. There is only one great being, which the sages call Brahman, in which all the countless forms of existence reside. That great being is utter consciousness, and it is the very essence, or Self (Atman) of all beings.

In short, there is only one Brahman – Supreme being and everything else (You, me, stone, world, universe etc) is a form of this supreme being.

“Aham Brahmasmi” meaning “I am God” is the result of realization of this concept. The movie – Naan Kadavul (Tamil) treats this concept in the literal sense. There is much more to being a God than just possessing the power to destroy for a cause. In fact, power doesn’t really matter to a person when he is realizing that he is the Brahman (Whole) and hence he is already infinitely powerful!! J

I will end this article by two quotes. One from the renowned Scientist Albert Einstien and the other from Vedas.

“The fact that a man produces a concept ‘I’ besides the totality of this mental and emotional experiences or perceptions does not prove that there must be any specific existence (Reality) behind such a concept” – Albert Einstien.

Om purnam adah, purnam idam, purnat purnam udacyate,

Purnasya purnam adaya, purnam evavasisyate.

That is full; this is full; This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness, fullness is all that remains (Rough translation)

“Such deep understanding of the nature and such is the brevity and beauty of the expression that one almost misses the subtlety of the logic. One has to understand all the structural and functional aspects of the universe to be able to write these four lines” is what Sunil Thakur, who has done a scientific analysis of the concept of “Aham Brahmasmi” has to say. You can read his full analysis in this link:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/10075060/Aham-Brahmasmi-I-am-the-God

(It takes around half an hour to read, but worth your time).

I will also give you the link to a song from the Tamil movie (‘Naan Kadavul’) which sets in with the theme of this article (This is a full length Sanskrit song with excellent music from Illayaraja). I don’t understand what is being said in that song, but listen to it for the music.

Source:  http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/avhp/

And http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta

 

Destination Infinity

 

PS: This post is not about religion. It is about philosophy.

You could find similar articles in the Concepts and Ideas section of this blog.

 

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Slow Melodious and Soulful Songs

February 15, 2009

Many years back, I happened to hear this song from the movie Geetanjali (Telugu) – Aamani Paadave Koyilaa. I liked it so much. So, I decided to buy a cassette. But I didn’t get the Telugu version and ended up buying the Tamil version of the same movie -Idhayathai Thirudathe. For some reason, the magic that was there in the Telugu version was not there in the dubbed Tamil version, even though the songs were great, no doubt! At that time getting the songs we like was quite difficult. But now, anything and everything is just a click away from us. Even though technology has brought so much within our reach, most of the time, we are lost in this big net of WWW.

Secondly, we are plain lucky to be from India, which has a regional language and a regional culture every 1000 Kilometers. That means that there are also regional songs. I have heard some wonderful Malayalam, Oriya and Bengali songs but have no idea about the album or the song so that I could buy it or listen to it online.

Thirdly, I know Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. But there are lot of Tamil people who do not have an exposure to Hindi songs and vice versa. Even I do not have knowledge about Telugu movies and songs.

So, for all the above reasons I want to create a Tag where some collaboration between the music loving Bloggers is required. My favourite songs are the slow, melodious and soulful (Hence the title). Hence I tag my fellow Bloggers and all the people who happen to read this post to let us know your favorite songs in your regional language/ Hindi / English. You can either do it as a post in your blog and intimate me in the comments section (I will link that post from here). Or, you could just do this tag in the comments section of this post itself (Even if you don’t have a website, just type www.nothing.com if a website name is asked in any column while commenting).

I am doing this tag first (Minimum 10 Songs, in two different languages please):

Click the songs below to listen to them (You could open the link in a seperate page)

Tamil:

Name of movie/Album – Song

Mouna Raagam – Nilave Vaa….

7G Rainbow Colony – Ninaithu Ninaithu parthen….

Kadhal Virus – Sonnalum Ketpadhillai….

Krishna Gaanam – Ayarpaadi Maligaiyil Thai madiyil kanrinai pol…. , Pullanguzhal kodutha mungilgale….

Dhalapathi – Yamunai Aatrile Eera Kaatrile….

Kaadalar Dhilam – Roja….

12 B – Poove Vaai peesum poodhu….

Indira – Nila Kaaigirathu Niram Theigirathu….

Apoorva Sagotharargal – Unna Nenaichen paatu padichen thangame….

Minnale – Vaseegara, yen nenjinikka, un pon madiyil….

Kadhal Konden – Devadhayai Kanden, kadhalil vizhundhen….

GunaJanani Janani Jagam ni agam ni….

Vaaranam Aayiram – Mundhinam Paarthene….

Thiruda Thiruda – Rasathi yen usuru yennudhilla….

Hindi:

Name of movie/ Album – Song

Sarfarosh – Hosh vaalon ko khabar kya….

Yaadein – Nagmein hain shikve hain (Title song)….

Dil Se – Hai Ajnabi tu bhi kabhi….

1942 A Love Story – Rhim Jhim Rhim Jhim….

Banaras – Om Namah Shivaya….

Ham hai rahi pyar ke – Ghoongat ki ardh se….

Jism – Jaadoo hai nashaa hai….

Tere Mere Sapne – Kuch mere dil ne kaha….

Kaho Naa Pyar Hai – Na tum jaano na hum….

Ghajini – Guzarish….

Anjaam – Badi Mushkil hai….

Taare Zameen Par – Title Song….

Lagaan – O Phal Naare….

Ok, now its time for you guys to do this tag. You may or may not link the songs – Don’t worry, we’ll Google or YouTube it! And if you are reading this and you are familiar with some other language that is not mentioned here (Like Oriya or Malayalam) please consider yourself immediately tagged!!

Update – II:

Best of Slow Melodious and Soulful songs – Songs 20 to 11

Top 10 Slow Melodious and Soulful songs

Update – I:

Nimmy has done this tag in Malayalam and Hindi (Don’t miss the 3rd , 6th , and 9th Songs in the Malayalam Section – They are too good). You can listen to them here: http://nimis540.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/tagged-softmelodious-and-soulful-songs/

Vishesh has done this tag in Tamil (Listen to one of them – classical) and some symphonies (The fifth song seems to be nice. If you like visual effects, the fourth one is too good). You can listen to them here: http://visheshunni.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/tagged-23/

Wortman has done this tag in German (My favorites are Karat – Schwanenkonig, Rosenstolz – Liebe ist Alles, Wolfsheim – Kein Zuruck). You can look up to them here: http://wortman.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/slow-melodious-and-soulful-songs/

Radha has done this tag in Chinese (My favorite Chinese songs among them are Song No. 1, Song No. 4, Song No. 6). You can listen to them here: http://radhagarima.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/the-best-of-the-chinese-music-boundlessly-inspiring-in-10-songs-tagged/

Radha has done this tag in Italian (My favorite Italian songs among them are Song No. 4, Song No. 7 and Song No. 10). You can listen to them here: http://radhagarima.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/slow-melodious-soulful-top-10-italian-songs-tagged/

Su has done this tag in Telugu, Hindi and Kannada (My favorite Kannada songs are Nee Amruthadhare (Amruthadhare), Anisuthide yaako indhu (Mungaru Malhe), Hoove Hoove (H20). You can look up to them here: http://harshasrisri.wordpress.com/tag-me/10-the-songs-tag/ (I am yet to listen to the Telugu songs. I will do that soon).

Reema has done this tag in Bengali and Hindi (My favorite Bengali Songs are Amar Raat Pohalo and the two Ravindro songs listed there. And if you are new to Old Hindi songs, there is an entire treasure waiting for you there). You can listen to them here: http://opinionsandexpressions.wordpress.com/2009/02/22/bengali-and-hindi-songs-tag/#more-2563

Radha has done this tag in Napoletano (Yes, there is a language like that J and it is an Italian dialect) So, my favorite songs are Song no. 6, 7 and 10. You can listen to them here: http://radhagarima.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/top-ten-songs-in-italian-dialects-especially-in-napoletano-tagged/

Radha has done this tag in English (At last, one language that we know J and my favorite songs are Song no. 3, 4 and 9). You can listen to them here: http://radhagarima.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/top-ten-soulful-songs-in-english-tagged/

Radha has done this tag in Spanish + Portuguese (My favorites are 1, 2 and 9. The first two songs are instrumental.). You can listen to them here: http://radhagarima.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/top-ten-soulful-meodious-in-spanish-portuguese-tagged/

Swaram has done this tag in Hindi and Kannada. You can listen to them here: http://thesongoflife.blogspot.com/2009/02/whats-life-without-music.html

Man of Roma has done this tag in Italian and English Songs by American Italians. You can listen to them here: http://manofroma.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/italian-songs-anna-magnani-dean-martin-pavarotti-and-the-three-tenors/

Third Time a Charm has done this tag in Tamil and English and you can listen to them here: http://myheadtrip.wordpress.com/2009/02/28/third-time-a-charm/

Sahaja has done this tag in Telugu, Hindi and English and you can listen to them here: http://lovelysunrise.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/my-love-music/

Renu has done this tag in Hindi and you can look into the list of songs here: http://rinksnbitts.blogspot.com/2009/03/soulful-slow-and-melodious-songs.html

My story – ISB and beyond has done this tag in Hindi (First part, old songs) and you can listen to them here: http://ramsabode.wordpress.com/2009/03/07/slow-melodious-soulful-songs-1/

Dev(Lallopallo) has done this tag in Hindi and Punjabi and you can listen to them here: http://lallopallo.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/melodious-and-soulful-songs-tag/

Priya Iyer has done this tag in Hindi (130 Songs!!!) and Gujarati and you can listen to them here:

Hindihttp://priyaiyer.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/songs-for-the-soul-1/

Gujarati: http://priyaiyer.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/songs-for-the-soul-2/

Destination Infinity

You could find similar articles in the Music/ Photo posts section of this blog.

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A Career in Sales

February 7, 2009

I was tagged by Axinia to write about all the jobs that I have held till now. So, here goes:

Market Development Executive – Sales

Sr. Sales Executive

Sr. Executive – Marketing

Sales Manager – South

As you can see, there is one thing that is common with all of them – Sales.

Till my final year of Engineering, I wanted to become a Software Engineer. But two incidents predominantly changed my mind. As a part of the final year curriculum, a technical project needs to be done by everyone. I wanted to do this project myself. I had selected a topic and short listed the hardware and software components required for the same.  But, in spite of my best efforts, I was not even able to start with this project. Secondly, I happened to interact with a few seniors who were employed in big software companies. The feedback they gave about their jobs, was far from impressive! These two incidents moved me away from a technical field of work. The question was – What else could I choose as a career?

Till I finished my education, I was quite an introvert. I was reserved and my pursuits were more intellectual in nature – Reading books, trying to learn a musical instrument, writing something interesting and forwarding it to my friends (Now you know why I am addicted to Blogging!). So, I didn’t have the qualities which I thought were required for a good Sales person (I was not outgoing, talkative etc). This was a driving factor which led me to choose Sales as a career. My logic was, if I take up Sales as a career, I will have to attempt to transform myself as a person. I will have to develop some of the qualities required for a good Sales person. This was very important for me back then, and if a career could help me develop some skills and make me slightly more of an extrovert, it was only Sales.

Besides, I didn’t think it was a big risk, back then. I wanted to do an MBA in Sales/Marketing and I thought two years of experience in a related field would definitely be an advantage (I also wanted to earn some money to fund my higher education. But I never did that MBA because I never saved enough money to afford an MBA which was becoming costlier with every passing year. And I also had to take a break of two years and go back to studying which was quite unthinkable after two years). A strong second factor was recession. I would always be thankful for the recession that happened back then as it was not easy to get a Software Engineering job and campus placements were rare. (Actually the IT market started opening and recruited large numbers only after about nine months since I joined my first job). So, it was easier to convince my parents that I would not be able to join an IT company and hence they should allow me to take up Sales as a career (I think even the proposed MBA after two years helped here).

I was quite afraid when I joined my first job (They don’t expect much from a fresher in this career, but I didn’t know it back then). So, I was doing all that I was asked to do without complaining and to the best of my abilities. My salary was around 4000 Rupees back then but I never had a shortage of funds (In fact, I even managed to save around 1500 Rupees per month).

Companies seem to know when to keep and when to fire their employees. During my first job and for sometime in my second job my performance was not all that good. But the management never fired me for that. They were constantly monitoring what I was doing and observing if I was lying about my reports etc (Contrary to popular perceptions, lying doesn’t go well either with your customers or with your bosses in this career). In fact I was not even asked about the performance in my first job  as long as I was sincerely doing what was given to me. But during the initial course of my second job, I was asked to resign a couple of times. But when I went to the office the next day, my boss would totally forget having asked me to leave (In fact, I was later told that it was done to put some pressure on me).

Pressure, is an important driving factor in sales. And the pressure is not only from your bosses but it also comes from your customers, partners, vendors and almost everyone! In the beginning it was tough to handle that. But in the due course of the job, when I found that the pressure was helping me to do my job better, I developed a more tolerant attitude towards it.

Procrastination costs you dear in this career. If you don’t respond quickly to the client’s request for quotation, some one else would be walking with the purchase order! Coordination is a quality that is important and you tend to develop fast, in this career. You are expected to coordinate everything from the first quotation to the collection of payment (And it is quite a big cycle) and also need to coordinate within the company (Like installation team, finance department, logistics department etc) and with vendors and most importantly – Customers. Touring is an integral part of Sales – You need to travel far, often at short notices (And no, there will not be much time to go sight seeing). Presentation and communication skills are also important (This you tend to develop as you gain experience).  And contrary to popular expectation, you don’t necessarily need to drink a lot of alcohol to get the drive (Maybe it helps, but I never felt the need for it. Especially because it is not good for health. I do go to Pubs with my partners and colleagues but I don’t drink alcohol. In fact, I order for a sprite and give it a ‘Gin’ effect while drinking by drinking it in the style of drinking a Vodka 😉   )

So, to cut a long article short, I feel that sales as a career is like any other. It is highly rewarding and challenging. You need the right attitude and the right perspective. The right attitude will be developed as a part of the job but the right perspective needs to come from within you.

 

Destination Infinity

You could find similar articles in the Non Fiction section of this blog.