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Joseph Mattappally

Sri. Joseph Mattappally, Founder and Director of Indian Thoughts, is a writer and social worker. He is also a Reiki Master (RIRC Mumbai) and licensed Amateur Radio Operator ( VU2JIM). He has authored 'Success Secrets', a book detailing basic life management principles.

Right Thinking

There is an old Buddhist saying which I may not forget ever. It says, “You are your own master; you make your own future.” This ‘You’ referred in the quote is nobody other than your attitude. With good attitude, life is colorful, full of Nature painted in exuberant colors of joy. Most important is that there is no competition either with the records of others or that of yours.

I have a crazy friend, who is some 40 years younger to me. He is different; he is open to all thoughts without considerations of good and bad or right and wrong. This attitude could fetch for him distinct knowledge on variety things. He recently wrote me:

‘New York is 3 hours ahead of California, but it does not make California slow. Someone graduated at the age of 22, but waited 5 years before securing a good job! Someone became a CEO at 25 and died at 50, while another became a CEO at 50 and lived to 90 years. Someone is still single, while someone else got married. Obama retired at 55, but Trump started at 70. Absolutely everyone in this world works based on their Time Zone. People around you might seem to go ahead of you, some might seem to be behind you. But everyone is running their own RACE, in their own TIME. Don’t envy them or mock them. They are in their TIME ZONE, and you are in yours! Life is about waiting for the right moment to act. So, RELAX. You’re not LATE. You’re not EARLY. You are very much ON TIME, and in your TIME ZONE Destiny set up for you. In conclusion don’t rush to get something and don’t be sad. Make today your day!!’

By Joseph Mattappally on 01-07-2017

In Finite Blessings

‘Be yourself’, ‘Be aware’……, every body gets a lot of advices like these. The problem of the day is that neither the giver nor the receiver knows what the exchanged information means. When I see beautiful quotes and adages flashing through social media boxes, I wish if at least the sender had understood the spirit of the message.

Either we understand it or not the Universe is built in such a way that every part of it, be it a tiny particle or a big mass of earth, be it active or inactive, gets a feeling that it is at the centre of the Universe and the whole universe exists just for that element or compound. Measure time by past and future; you will find yourself in the centre. Measure space by north and south; then also you will be in the centre. This is the case with everything in this Universe. Still we do not trust the Universe or the Power we call God, who we believe has created us.  We also end up in the disappointment of having received no blessings. The truth is that it’s because of our holdings and inhibitions that we could not access them.

Here is a story: A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box.  Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man’s name embossed in gold. Angry, he raised his voice to his father and said, “With all your money, you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible there.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized that his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him.  He had not seen him since that graduation day.  Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things. When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart.  He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago.  With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages.  And as he did, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible.  It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL.

By Joseph Mattappally on 15-06-2017

Love Matters

In the beginning there was only one thing – Nature. As humans with double consciousness took shape in cloths, Nature further split into Me and the Nature around Me. Words with reference to Nature were the first to form in every vocabulary. Me further split into Others and My People. It continues growing down and down. 
It wouldn’t have been bad if we had been closing into ‘self-love’; but what is happening is that we are moving towards ‘selfishness,’ which is its’ opposite in every sense. ‘Self -love’ holds the theory that everything in Nature is close-knit and we are supposed to consider everything here, though our concern is limited to a small area. In Selfishness Nature and the Self are two entities positioned at opposite poles. In selfishness we don’t like others having the same thing or pleasure – that is the problem! It shows that we are slowly losing our touch with Nature. 
Have anybody thought of what happens when we lose our touch with Nature? I just copy and paste a Social Media post. It reads:“If you lose touch with nature you lose touch with humanity. If there's no relationship with nature then you become a killer; then you kill baby seals, whales, dolphins, and man either for gain, for “sport,” for food, or for knowledge. Then nature is frightened of you, withdrawing its beauty. You may take long walks in the woods or camp in lovely places but you are a killer and so lose their friendship.” And finally you reach a point where you probably are not related to anything even to your spouse or children.

By Joseph Mattappally on 24-05-2017

On Right Attitude

Attitude
decides everything and so we are always cautioned about being in the right
attitude. See, Rs. hundred is too much for a beggar but okay when it’s given
as tip at a fancy restaurant; hours at a gym look alright, but helping the mother
at home doesn’t. Praying three minutes turns boring but never a three hours
long movie. The length of a given unit of time also changes according to our
attitude. When we are in pain time is unusually longer. In all these cases, it
is our attitude that makes the difference.

Many times I have pondered on this
strange human behaviour. No satisfactory answer! This strange behavior is seen
not only among the commons but among the great uncommons too. Two poor starving
kids sitting on the pavement may not get even a slice of bread but a
realistic painting of them might fetch many lakhs of Rupees. It is because of this
human tendency to see everything through a sensually appreciable frame that we
have an established advertising industry which presents everything in a way
people easily loves to have.

Digging deep, we understand that our
attitudes are mostly shaped by our past experiences, especially those that we
had in childhood years. Because of these experiences we have lost our purpose
with all social activities – religions too. We have now swiping machines
decorating the idols and what we develop also is a swiping spirituality.
Somebody has embedded in most believers that religion is something to be
learned. What is more important in religion – experience, ethical codes or
knowledge? Certainly experience. Spiritual experiences are subtler and need not
be physical at all. Then why are there big institutes for Philosophy, Theology
and Ethics? It is because our attitudes have not changed.

It is right attitude that takes us to
the right experience. Right attitude can easily be identified by observing the
grade of consideration we apply, when deciding upon things where another thing
from Nature is involved. Always think in other’s favour. It is when your
sibling smiles that your peace buds blossom within you. Everything in this
Universe is created in a way that it cannot resist love or an expression filled
with it. A smile anyone gets makes his/her whole day bright. Give it to
everyone for free!

Joseph Mattappally

By Joseph Mattappally on 06-12-2016

My India

Desktops, Laptops, Palmtops, Rolltops… technology is advancing or evolving in a cracking pace. All innovations added together have made both the nation and the individual smart. But, this is not the India of my dreams. The more we embrace shortcuts and change our life styles to become smarter and smarter the more we become prone to disappointments of all sorts. India of my dreams is not a crowd luxury mongers but a family of self-confident people who live in a state of peaceful happiness and celestial awareness.  India had a bright past. All that the present world cries to have newly invented were not unknown to India. What is special with India was that we knew how to use knowledge in all its appropriateness. The theory of gravitation, which we attribute to Newton, was originally invented by Bhaskaracharya. (Read it in 'Siddhantha Sirmani’ > part ‘Bhuvanakosam’> Chapter 6. It was Aryabhatta who first said that the earth is round and it is rotating around the sun (read ‘Arybhatiyam’ which Aryabhata 1st wrote in his 23 year in AD 449). It was not Isaac Newton who first said that light is travelling. Instead, it was the great Vijayanagar Empire Guru, Sayanacharya, who prayed, ‘I bow to Thee Sun God who sends light at a speed of 2022 ‘yojana' in half of a ‘nimisha'. Remember that Varahamihira had calculated the longitude and latitude of the city of Alexandria to be 23.7 degrees in the year AD 553, while with Greenwich meantime also, the figure is almost the same – 23.3 degrees. In front of St. George Sanskrit University in Germany, we see a sculpture of our Indian Seer Panini. Know that German grammar is based on the book 'Ashtadhyaayi', which he wrote. Our Atharva Veda with all its 51 branches is a complete medical book. The father of Medical Sciences Hippocratus says in his book 117 times that he has heavily drawn from the Indian Mystics, Charaka and Susrutha. Surveys of Washington Post and New York Times say that 65% of the 40 plus people there do Suryanamaskar – the Indian Yoga. Patanjali talks about evolution well in his Natyasasthra. It is Chanakya in ‘Arthasasthra who talked about a one day break in seven days. In the Bodleian library of Oxford University, there are around 2000 numbers of palm leaf records kept at high security. Those 442 Rigveda books in Harvard University belong to India. Maxmuller who learned Sanskrit, translated very many Sanskrit books and finally wrote the Book of Oriental for himself agrees that the whole world will once stretch both its hands before India, just to know what they missed. The Persians, the Dutch, the Portuguese, the French, the English …., all invaded into our country – some with Semitic philosophies and some with Arabian disciplines, but most prepared to loot our open treasuries. Still, India is intact and stands against all recessions and famines. India was always a hard nut to crack, even for the gunmen of the West. How many of us know that India is the only continuing ancient culture of that kind? All other ancient civilizations are under mud, but India is not. Don’t you Indians feel proud of our rich heritage? But now, it is very sad to say that the purpose of all social workers, religious or political, seems to be looting each other. It pains me heavily. I envision an India in which God Consciousness is a common gift and where parents are honoured, teachers are respected, leaders are followed, siblings are served and the entire humanity is loved unconditionally. Just one determined human being is enough to transform this great nation back to its original ambience – its’ You!

By Joseph Mattappally on 29-11-2016

Inner Mahabharatha

Indian epics always are subject to multitudes of inner and outer interpretations. This is one touching interpretation for which I owe my unknown friend Krishna. The story goes:“Sanjay, at the end of the war went to the spot where the greatest war took place; Kurukshetra. He looked around and wondered if the war really happened, if the ground beneath him had soaked all that blood, if the great Pandavas and Krishna stood where he stood. “You will never know the truth about that!” said an aging soft voice. Sanjay turned around to find an Old man in saffron robes appearing out of a column of dust. “I know you are here to find out about the Kurukshetra war, but you cannot know about that war till you know what the real war is about.” the Old man said enigmatically.“What do you mean?” “The Mahabharata is an Epic, a ballad, perhaps a reality but definitely a philosophy.” The Old man smiled luring Sanjay into more questions. “Can you tell me what the philosophy is then?” Sanjay requested. “Sure”, began the Old man. “The Pandavas are nothing but your five senses, sight, smell, taste, touch and sound and do you know what the Kauravas are?” He asked narrowing his eyes.  “The Kauravas are the hundred vices that attack your senses everyday but you can fight them and do you know how?”  Sanjay shook his head again. “When Krishna rides your chariot!”  The Old man smiled brighter and Sanjay gasped at that gem of insight. “Krishna is your inner voice, your soul, your guiding light and if you let your life in his hands you have nothing to worry.”Sanjay was stupefied but came around quickly with another question. “Then why are Dronacharya and Bhishma fighting for the Kauravas, if they are vices?” The Old man nodded, sadder for the question.  “It just means that as you grow up your perception of your elders change. The elders who you thought were perfect in your growing up years are not all that perfect. They have faults.  And one day you will have to decide if they are for your good or your bad. Then you may also realize that you may have to fight them for the good. It is the hardest part of growing up and that is why the Geeta is important.” Sanjay slumped down on the ground, not because he was tired but because he could understand and was struck by the enormity of it all.  “What about Karna?” he whispered. “Ah!” said the Old man. “You have saved the best for last. Karna is the brother to your senses, he is desire, he is a part of you but stands with the vices. He feels wronged and makes excuses for being with the vices as your desire does all the time.  Does your desire not give you excuses to embrace vices?” Sanjay nodded silently. He looked at the ground, consumed with a million thoughts, trying to put everything together and then when he looked up the Old man was gone.

By Joseph Mattappally on 21-11-2016

Right Attitude

“They are well off!” said my friend. It was about a family we both knew that he was talking about. Well off according to him simply meant that all those in the family are decently employed, children thriving academically and they have a good sum in custody. They are physically healthy too; no doubt – they are well off! Under somebody paying them, people are generally well off! When shall we find a generation trying to be well off at their own risk? With the right attitude and approach, it is not impossible at all.
Quite recently, when I happened to read the story of a man who had begun preparing his suicide note in 65, this was the thought that stormed inwards. How many of us sell what we have? This story I mentioned is about a man from Kentucky. He lost his father when he was five. He quit the School at 16, married at 18 and got divorced soon. He was a big failure wherever he worked. When he was preparing the suicide note he looked into himself to see what actually he knew in life. He found that he was never cursed for what he did in the kitchen of small restaurant, years back. He remembered that his recipes were appreciated. 
For the little retirement benefit he received from the Government, the same day he bought some chicken, got it fried using his exclusive recipe and went door-to-door selling it. Remember, at 89 Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Empire was a billionaire. He died happily. Yeah, life is all about identifying what one has, using it appropriately and sharing it with the right attitude. 

By Joseph Mattappally on 29-06-2016

Quite Unevolved

The Country of Israel has got two seas in it – Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Galilee is rich in life and the Dead Sea is hell for life. The Dead Sea is famous for its hyper saline water, which makes floating easy. Interestingly, both these are fed by the same river of Jordan. The sea of Galilee, through which river Jordan flows, has a lot of springs in it but the dead sea has got no other inlets or outlets other than the river Jordan which ends in it. The same water demonstrates two distinct features. Nature is so mysterious; so is human mind too, which also is part of Nature. 
From North India we hear a lot of cry and clamor against cow slaughter. As I understood it, basically it was not the idea of any political party but the outcome of an empathetic attitude of the religious Indians in India. Truly, most upper cast Indian communities in India are vegetarians who are broadly against killing of animals of any kind. In North Indian cities, stray dogs fed with biscuits and bathed in milk are common scenes. These people do not like anybody neither killing dogs nor hurting it, though dogs usually create a mess in the crowds. In the cast sensitive and arson popular city of Ahmedabad, tubs filled with water for the birds are common. The city has a million of pigeons in it. Still, a wounded pigeon is taken care of by its inhabitants and the animal helpline agency alike. Amdavadis also are a kind sect of people, just like other citizens of India. But who can forget that it was in the same city that many people were brutally burned or cruelly murdered recently? 
There are Niagaras of love in everybody, so are springs of hatred too. Unlike most other living species on earth, it is strange to see the self hating attitude of human beings. Unlimited love to another being of the same kind is very limited in our realm. There is nothing strange in it; this is what keeps us unevolved.

By Joseph Mattappally on 06-06-2016

The Hair of a President

On the walls of the White house Oval Office, photographs of memorable events are hung. They are always updated with new ones every two weeks. But since three years there remains the picture of a five year old boy touching the head of the first black President of USA – Barack Obama. This picture, as his wife Michelle explains it, was shot from White house itself. In the picture, the President is bend by 90 degrees from his waist and a small boy is touching his head as if a great Guru is blessing his dearest disciple. According to the story behind this picture, a White House staff with his wife and two children one day came to meet President Obama. When the President approached the family, the youngest of the boys, raised his hand as if trying to touch somewhere on the face of the President. A little confused, Obama wanted to know what he meant. The boy said that he wants to know if his hair also is the same as that of him. Obama instantly bent his head well low saying, “Why don’t you touch and know it for yourself?” The boy touched his head and shouted in joy, “Yes it is the same.” This moment was clicked.The White house sees this picture as a signature photo of the times, which shows the change that USA has gone through during the past 150 years. One and a half centuries back, the White House was full of slaves; now it has only Masters. I see this picture from a different perspective. According to me, it is the picture of a small enthusiastic boy, who anxiously yearned to know the differences between an average human being and a real hero. This boy got convinced that he also is built by the same elements. I wish, if this picture would be reminding everyone the fact that we don’t generally use many of the available machineries within.

By Joseph Mattappally on 02-05-2016

Burying your Valuables

Human habits and attitudes are typical. We throw a tip of 500 Rs. in a five star hotel with pleasure but are not comfortable while giving 10 Rs. to a beggar. There are a minimum of two personalities in every person. The world needs smart techniques to educate people. That’s why the Ten Commandments turn just part of an epic only. Nobody learns that adultery or murder is a sin. It is here that I love the Brazilian millionaire Thane Chiquinho Scarpa, who tried a smart technique to teach the public a lesson. He announced in his facebook page that he is going to bury alive his million-dollar Bentley car. His announcement raised many eyebrows all over the world because already he was known for outrageous acts, such as willing his fortunes to his cockatoo. He announced that he will be burying his vehicle in his yard, just as pharaohs did with their precious possessions. On the day of the burial, Count Scarpa's real intentions were revealed. As the press gathered around Mr. Scarpa, the Bentley and a big hole in the ground, it was announced that the event marked the opening of “National Organ Donation Week,” and Scarpa's stunt turned out to be the launching pad of a campaign by Leo Burnett Tailor Made. “I didn't bury my car, but everyone thought it absurd when I said I would,” he said. “What's absurd is burying your organs, which can save many lives. Nothing is more valuable. Be a donor and tell your family.” 

By Joseph Mattappally on 25-04-2016