Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Can Extreme Poverty Be Eliminated? SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN has a very informative article on this.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Last Sunday when I brought a CD to watch a new Hindi movie I was surprised and angry to find that it was a pirated one. The sound and picture quality of the movie was so poor that the whole movie appeared to be recorded using a video recorder in a movie hall. The movie pirates are creating havoc with the quality and economy of the films. It was heartening to know that six major Hollywood studios, hoping to gain more control over their technological destiny, have agreed to jointly finance a multimillion-dollar research laboratory to speed the development of new ways to foil movie pirates. ...MORE. I hope that similar steps will be taken by the Bollywood studios here.


As the winter approches and Christmas is not far you can benefit from a little research on the wines from different countries and their unique taste. But according to a recent study it is the American taste which is going to be most popular.....MORE

Sunday, September 18, 2005


A new study proves that our brains are still evolving. Is it true that the brains of groups of people from different parts of the world function differently? For more read here

How To Have A Beautiful Mind is an excellent book by Edward De Bono. Bono writes that we spend a fortune on clothes, cosmetics, diets, workouts and even on surgery - to make our bodies more attractive. But we hardly make any effort to make our mind beautuful. He starts his book with this story-"There is this beautiful women at a coctail party . She has flawless skin, elegant clothes and aperfect figure. Surprisingly, she seems to be much on her own. people come up to her and quickly drift away. then there is this short, balding and mousy man. He is always surrounded by people in animated conversation with him. What is going on? The beautiful women had a boring mind and the mousy man had a beautiful mind. This is the difference." The book spread over eighteen chapters throws a new light on the functioning of human mind. It teaches you how to have a beautiful mind. A great book.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


George Band is in Gangtok. He was part of the 1955 British expedition to Mount Khangchendzonga led by Charles Evan. In 1953, Band barely 18 years old had accompanied the John Hunt expedition to the Everest that put Hillary to the Top. By 1955 Everest has been conquered and so had K2, Khangchendzonga was the third highest peak in the world which was yet to be conquered. Charles Evan was successful in reaching to the top of Khangchendzonga. As the peak is worshipped by the local tribes in Sikkim the expedition left the six feet of the summit undone as a gesture of respect to the local sentiments.

Though Such expedtions are no longer allowed, Sikkim is celebrating 50th anniversary of the Khangchendzonga expedition.


Is our growing population a threat to Planet Earth? Scientific American has this to say.

The Festival

Pang Lhabsol festival is quite unique to Sikkim. It was popularised by the third Chogyal (King) of Sikkim, Chakdor Namgyal. In this festival the snowy range of Kachendzonga is worshipped for its unifying powers. This festival marks the signing of the treaty of brotherhood between the Lepchas and Bhutias by Khye Bumsa (17th Century King of Kham province of Tibet) and Tetong Tek (17th Century Lepcha ruler of Sikkim) when the local deities were invoked to witness the occasion. In fact Phang means witness. On this day, the guardian deity is portrayed by masked Lama dances as a fiery red-faced deity with a crown of five skulls, riding a snow lion. To lighten the mood of the spectators, jesters called 'Atchars' play antics during the Chaams (Dance). The mood in Sikkim has become festive.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


I found it very intertesting that a 1905 masterpiece by Pablo Picasso has sold for $104m, becoming the world's most expensive painting.Garcon a la Pipe - or Boy with a Pipe - was sold to an anonymous bidder at Sotheby's in New York. Picasso painted Garcon a la Pipe when he was 24. It depicts a young Parisian working boy crowned with a garland of roses, holding a pipe in his left hand. He completed the painting in 1905.
But I wonder why the buyer want to remain anonymous! Does he fear thieves or Tax officials?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I really like this guy called Mulla Nasiruddin.He was a sufi mystic. I think he achieved enlightenmen through jokes and through his sense of humor. Here is a joke about Mulla.

Mulla Nasrudin and his wife went to Israel for their holidays and visited a nightclub in Tel Aviv. A comedian was on the bill who did his whole act in Hebrew. Nasrudin's wife sat through the comic's act in silence, but Nasrudin roared with laughter at the end of each joke.

"I did not know you understood Hebrew," she said to the Mulla when the comedian had concluded his act.
"I don't," replied Nasrudin.
"Well, how come you laughed so much at his jokes?"
"Oh," said Nasrudin, "I trusted him."

Sunday, September 11, 2005


I think that knowing the cause of suffering, avoiding them (causes), handling misfortune and pain and knowing the art or science of being happy and spreading happiness in the world is enlightenment. I find it hard to believe that there is any mystery attached with ‘Enlightenment’. Enlightenment can be achieved through meditation, sex, reading, writing, traveling, talking, loving, helping others, dancing, music, sports, business and making money, drinking, partying, foods (cooking or eating them) or even through blogging! This is what my idea of enlightenment is! I might be right, I might be wrong. But then it is a journey, the journey of self-discovery that I have embarked upon. This is my first step towards discovery of a spiritual world that I think lies within us. More on this in my next blog.





Saturday, September 10, 2005


Studying the spread of Vajrayana Buddhism in the Himalayan region, I was surprised to learn that enlightenment can be achieved through Sex. So far, I had only known that one fine day Buddha, a former prince in the 6th century BC India, sat under a tree and went on meditating for days and nights and overcoming many physical and spiritual hurdles, achieved enlightenment. I have even wondered what exactly enlightenment is? While trying to understand enlightenment, I was told that Enlightenment couldn’t be comprehended by Intellect. Intellect is not the right faculty to understand enlightenment. The word enlightenment has the word 'light' sandwiched between 'en' and 'enment'. It occured to me that through meditation a light must have appeared before Buddha dispelling all the darkness, which I think, are negativities. Or he may have achieved extraordinary control over his mind that he was able to control all the ramifications and emanations not only of his mind but of other people's mind too. This is my conjucture, there might be other theories.

But in the process of my learning, trying to understand enlightenment in the light of sex was puzzling me. I think OSHO was the first person from the Indian subcontinent who publicized the theory of achieving enlightenment through sex. He said (in his book 'From Sex To Superconciousness') that a sexual union between a male and a female can result into enlightenment if one knows the method. He was not liked in India. He became very controversial for propounding that. People found it hard to accept that a religious Guru is preaching sex! But what he telling was not a new theory but a very old one. I learnt that there have been from the first century onwards many practioner of Vajrayana Buddhism who with their female consort practiced Tantra to achieve enlightenment. Guru Padmasdambhava who brought Buddhism to Sikkim and Tibet was such a Buddhist master. More on this in my next blog.


Sunday, September 04, 2005


USA may not be short of funds to help the Katrina affected people. The amount ($5Million) sent by India may not be adequate to help the people affected by Katrina, but I think it is a small gesture from us that we do care!


As I opened the web page of
The Pioneer, I read this:
India contributes $5 mn for Katrina relief

Agencies/ New Delhi

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced a $5 million contribution to the US Red Cross for relief and rehabilitation of the victims of the devastating Hurricane Katrina.

Sania Mirza is performing very well at US open. Her next match is with the Russian girl Maria Sharapova. Best of luck and all good wishes to Sania.


I think I have to take a break from Sikkim. The news from New Orleans is disturbing. I just saw the footage of New Orleans devastation on BBC, Thousands have died and millions become homeless because of the Hurricane Katrina. People are begging for food and to add to the problem there is complete lawlessness. Armed gangs have been reported to roaming and on looting spree. Reuters have this to report , "New Orleans today is a nightmare come true for America as the hungry beg for help, bodies lie along flooded sidewalks, and bands of armed thugs thwart fitful rescue efforts. Gunfire in some areas has halted search and rescue efforts. Police Chief Eddie Compass, commenting on the anarchy that has seized New Orleans, said, "We have individuals who are getting raped, we have individuals who are getting beaten." A woman said she asked a police officer for assistance and his response was, "Go to hell. It's every man for himself."

This is disturbing indeed! But I have a firm faith that the people of USA will rise to the occasion and with tenacity and courage will overcome the misfortune. May God help them in their fight!

Thursday, September 01, 2005


In Buddhism, the most intertesting thing I find was understanding the mind. I have realised that Buddhism is essentially a mind religion. I remember a story told to me by a monk :

Once upon a time in ancient India in the land of Uruvella (modern Bodhgaya) there were two monks; one old another young. Once they were visiting a monastery on the other side of the river Niranjara. They came across a young beautiful girl, bejeweled and in fine clothes. She requested them to help her in crossing the river. Being the summer season the river was shallow and the water was waist deep. The young monk lifted the girl on her shoulders and crossed the river. The girl thanked him and went away. The old monk became disturbed. He kept murmuring and showing his annoyance. Walking, they came to a point the old monk could hold no longer. “ Why did you touch her? We monks are not supposed to touch women. There was no need to carry her”, the old monk scolded. The young monk remained calm and replied, “I left her at the bank of the river, why are you still carrying her?”.

Reading some Buddhist texts I learnt that we use our mind as 'goods carrier'. We carry all sorts of goods on them. Most of the goods that we carry are nothing but junks, not worth carrying. They are our petrified thoughts, ideologies, beliefs and conditionings that has been constantly fed to us from our milieu that we live in. These goods greatly affect our nature of mind. If the thoughts that we carry are negative in nature they will lead us to negative action. Likewise if they are positive our action will be positive. We are constantly assaulted with barrage of different thoughts.

India has a tradition of philosophers that have pondered over the nature of mind. They discovered many meditation technique of knowing the nature of mind. They discovered that the mind have two positions one that looks out and another that looks in. Most of the times our mind looks out. We see the material world outside. We have not been conditioned or trained to look inside. The very idea of looking inside makes us uncomfortable and we don’t know how to do it.

Looking inside we discover the inner nature of mind. We learn about the composition of mind. If we analyze the negative compositions of our mind, we discover: Anger, Greed, Jealousy, Spite, Cruelty, Fear, Anxiety, Ego, Ill-Will, Hatred, Suspicion, Distrust, Violence, Deceit, Weakness etc. Likewise the positive compositions are: Compassion, Empathy, Love, Trust, Kindness, Non-Violence, Courage, Will power, Creativity, etc.

The positive and negative qualities are very much there. The idea is not to condemn the negative one and feel good about the positive one but just to understand that they exist. With the knowledge that these qualities exist or doesn’t exist will come understanding. Understanding the nature of mind is the first step towards having a controlled mind. A controlled mind is the gateway to a successful, happy and contented life.

The masters of Buddhism through the ages have discovered the techniques , meditational methods to control the mind. They are the real gems in evolution of human mind. My discovery continues. More in next blog.