In my childhood I studied in a school in Nainital. My father was also posted there. The road from Nainital to Mukteshwar, a small picturesque hill station, was in charge of my father. I always liked to travel along with my father, especially when he used to go for special visits while clearing the roads from high amounts of snow. He also used to go to a small ashram on a hilltop in Mukteshwar, where the grand old bearded Swami ji used to offer a hot drink to my father. Those days, the weather at Mukteshwar used to be very rough and shivering cold. Although I was too young to start tea or coffee, due to very cold weather, I developed an instinct to try that hot drink. Observing the curiosity in my eyes, Swami ji, happily gave a cup of that hot-drink to me. Somehow I liked the taste in the first go itself. I asked its name. Swami Ji, said “cof-tea”. My father asked swami ji, “Everyone offers me tea in this weather, but whenever I come here I always have an urge to get this special drink of yours. What is the magic behind this thought of yours”. Swami Ji replied with a meaningful smile, “Garg Sahib! This is the power of mixing two good things in a right ratio. In the same way art, culture and religions can be mixed. They will also form a good recipe. It is just simple, that I tried this on coffee and tea and you can try it in all spheres of life”. As the taste of that cof-tea is still imprinted on my mind, so is the message that Swami Ji gave to me and my father.
Recently, I felt the same message running through my mind again. I went for admission of my son in Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata. There, students had been selected from all parts of the country. I, along with my son and his mother, went one day ahead of the reporting date to enquire if my son will adjust properly amongst students of different states and cultures, especially when we are totally vegetarians. We visited the authorities to find if my son could be accommodated with other students from our state Uttar Pradesh or at least some other Hindi speaking state. The authorities replied that they allot rooms by a lottery system only. They said that they want students from all states to actually mix together and grow together. This way they will turn out to be better scientists in future. The word cof-tea immediately came to my mind. The message from Swami Ji of Mukteshwar tingled again and I happily accepted the situation. And to my surprise my son and his mother accepted this situation even more easily.
Try this Cof-tea recipe today in your kitchen as well as in life.
By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 30-09-2017
My habit of creating different kinds of expansions of regular words is resurfacing again and again these days. As a student, I always used to remember my lessons by remembering first letters of any bulleted points. When I started teaching, I started expanding regular words as if they are acronyms. This was just an attempt to help learners to remember the concepts easily. Today it is the turn of the word “GURU”. Our traditional understanding of the word ‘GURU’ immediately locks one of the two meanings in our mind; A Teacher or An Expert. Both these meanings highlight that knowledge is flowing from a Guru to his disciple or subject. This is also called a Mentor- Learner relationship. Let’s dig deeper. A true Guru would be one who knows a lot. A person who knows a lot will find opportunities to learn things from everyone and everywhere. He will not hesitate to learn even from his disciple. So! In my opinion a Mentor-Learner relationship should be bi-directional. This is called give and take relationship by behaviour science experts. This relationship in common language is what we call as a relationship of friends.
With the above discussion we can now evolve a new expansion of the word GURU as: Guru – Gives U, Receives U (Read it as Gives You, Receives You). An ideal GURU is like a close friend. I have seen some people establishing this kind of relationship even with their Deities. My mother used to talk to the statue of Lord Krishna, as if he was sitting right next to her. She even used to scold her Lord, if something didn’t go the way she had planned. This is possible only if there is a relationship of friendship. As a learner I think the best policy is to completely get devoted and bowed down towards your Guru, so that he can receive you well. A true Guru, while giving to you, will make sure that he has learnt something new to be given to you when you meet again.
By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 16-09-2017
Because of profession as a teacher and motivator, I keep talking to many people. One common thing I am noticing off late is that many people today have very shaky perception about the so called religious practices. A system of belief that was developed and nurtured for centuries is undergoing a replacement phase. Bombardment of conflicting information on social media has made things quite different. Today we see so many contrasting things on a day to day basis that even experienced people are getting confused and start doubting the faiths they have been carrying since long.
Sample these statements:
“Oh Mom, Please stop cleaning your worship place every day. It is just another almirah only. Do you clean your almirah every day. “
“I am sure every Godman will lend in jail very soon.”
“I achieved success solely due to my efforts. Papa! It has nothing to do with the fasts you were keeping on every Tuesday.”
Please do not be mistaken of these statements as coming from my family, but surely they sound quite familiar in our circles. Today forwarding pictures of deities on whatsapp may have increased, but the fact is that very few people retain them. I know that religion doesn’t mean deities, worship and rituals, but the way it has been projected in past few years did mean an undue expectation of blindness in context of faith. So! Finally this jinx is getting broken and people are opening their eyes. Unfortunately, the new things modern generation sees after opening eyes is also dark and jittery. I think that people
who can show light need to arrive. People like Jesus, Mahavir, Buddha, Nanak, Gandhi etc. need to arrive again in different casts this time. The current concept of religion may end in this century. The new concept may not be based on the theory of assuming an unknown creator. Even the concept of creation has to be created again.
By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 30-08-2017
He is an old man in the category of super senior citizens. He often comes to our house while on his way back from his morning walk. I often chat with him regarding various contemporary issues. During one such discussion he asked me the source of idols of Lord Krishna which I use while decorating the “Janmashtami Jhanki” at my place. I told my readers earlier that since last many years I do a special decoration at my home on the festival of Janmashtami, which is celebrated to mark the birthday of Lord Krishna. Anyway, to his question my answer was – “I purchase that from local markets and they are made of earthen clay and are painted quite decently”. He replied that his son wants it and he won‟t buy such cheap things, he wants some really good and costlier ones.
I do not know why but the ‘cheap’ comment somehow was not easy to digest for me, especially for the icons of Lord Krishna, which I decorate every year with full passion and devotion. I replied, “Sir! I do not know if your son wants to possess God or be possessed by the God”. I told him many places where the so called costlier Gods are available. He was looking for someone, who could come to their house, show him some costly statues and then sell him God. I did not reacted much beyond this point as discussion would have lead to a different direction. After his departure, I kept on thinking further. This is some kind of reality we see all around. We see rich temples and ordinary temples. Many people make beelines outside rich temples, as they believe that God there will probably be more resourceful and will help them get out of their problems much more easily. Frankly! I have debated this many times with myself, if I am an atheist or a typical Indian believer in God. When I analyse, I find that the belief system has been imbibed inside me since childhood and as I grew up, I started knowing about many alternate theories and beliefs regarding the concept of Deities.
More I studied, more I started respecting all the base concepts. Still the concept of valuing the belief system directly in terms of money was not seen by me in any of the basic belief systems. All the documented belief systems had the element of using the fear of unknown, using the trust factor to tap our emotions, using demonstrations of some kind of miracles, super natural story narrations, but not a direct connection of wealth and financial aspects was found in these systems. But what I see in reality is that the financial aspect has taken over every kind of belief and trust systems. At this moment, I can only wish that with time some self corrections will come and a much more rational belief system will evolve. More than this even the law doesn’t permit me to write as I am not supposed to hurt anyone‟s sentiment regarding his belief. These days the word ‘sentiment’ seems to have changed its meaning itself. Till then, keep possessing Gods. God doesn’t need to possess you.
By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 22-07-2017
When I first learned the Darwin’s theory of “Survival of the Fittest”, I was little skeptic about the concept of fight a species has to do against the other species and the environment to prove that they are the fittest one and will go forward in the evolution path. By that age I was already quite impressed with Gandhi Ji’s theory of non-violence. My understanding at that age kept on quizzing me regarding the contrast between two theories.
Now I feel, that it is important to be powerful when you want to practice non-violence. If some country keeps on doing some proxy-war and keeps killing innocent people in a neighbourhood country the retaliation has to be there. It has to be powerful, secret and should have a long lasting impact. Still on the face of it policy of non-violence must be maintained. Non-violence should be towards the innocent and not towards the elements who have vested interests even in the system of terror. After all Darwin’s theory is quite proven and survival challenge is needed to be acted upon. Unfortunate most of us are man of words rather than man of action. Our tongue and lips act more than our minds. These days our fingers have started acting on social networks much more than they can act on triggers. Let there be no demonstration of power. It should rather be proxy versus proxy without any one ever knowing, who did what.
By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 07-07-2017
Many times I derive my inspiring thoughts from TV shows. This time I would narrate you a thought derived from story of a human trainer who trained two tiger cubs. This trainer helped one of the cubs to care for his wound. After this care, the cubs developed a great relationship with their human trainer. Both grew with him. The trainer was worried that the cubs were learning more manly habits than their tiger like habits.
He tried to train the cubs to get hold of the prey. The basic problem of these cubs was that they were unable to understand which prey was right for them. In a scene the young cub was standing near a very large hippo in the hope that he might be able to grab him through his neck. Another time the tiger cub stood behind the zebra and what he got in return was a thumping leg stroke from the zebra. In one another chance the cubs tried to get entangled with elephants. Obviously the elephants drove them away. As the cubs grew into full fledged tigers, it was the daily duty of the trainer to leave these cubs with the jungle animals to learn the tricks of the jungles by themselves. He just kept a watch over them from a distance.
The lesson of mentorship that I could catch from this film was that a mentor needs to leave his pupil learn with their own experiences. Sometime difficult times will come for the learners. Some lesson’s might be life threatening, ego hurters or may require to be learned many times again and again. It is important to keep a vigil, but the larger share of life’s lessons are one’s own experiences.
By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 25-06-2017
I wanted to say this since long, but somehow, I kept myself on hold for reasons unknown to frontal me. Most of this world seems to show double standards and a hypocritical style in its treatment of various situations. I felt this many times, but I felt this lot when I was watching the sainthood ceremony of Mother Teresa. The thing that was pinching me most was that this recognition was in return of two approved miracles of healing. In a country where people become saint just by wearing saffron clothes, a lady who worked for downtrodden people with the greatest commitment possible was supposed to do certain miracles to be called a saint by people of her own religion. Interestingly the entire world media was watching, heads of many states or their reps were there. No one dared to say that true sainthood is her deeds and not the two isolated case studies of healing.
That’s how religious ceremonies are there in all religions. We have a habit of dramatizing things in order to possibly acquire more followers. Ultimately in the race of dramatizing, the urge of proving my drama better than someone else’s drama becomes strong and people start fighting for silly reasons. Some say that the GOD is formless while others argue that a form is a must for common people to allow them the rituals to be performed and be satisfied with that. Formless or Formed, the drama element and rituals are no way less in any of them.
More than this I won’t say at this moment. Find such dramas around you and think if in some way you can be a contributor to the true cause these concepts were made, rather than being carried away by the paraphernalia.
By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 07-09-2016
Mixing Our society is passing through a phase of dilemma when it comes to mixing religion with politics. When a religious preacher reaches one of the state assemblies to preach his school of thoughts, no law abiding biggies speak a word about it. When an ordinary citizen shows his anger, he is dipped into the pool of guilt. Not only guilt, even the sword of IPC streams are put over him. We as a society are keeping our thought powers aside and are becoming a combination of thoughts that evolve on some social media channels or TV debates. If a person dares to derecognize icons of religion, but is an upright and righteous man, he is still driven away as somebody who is out of this planet. I carefully studied many preachers of our times and I found that at some point in time each one of them have spoken bad words about people who are atheists. Even the most respectable ones have done so. With this trend, politicians have definitely taken a message that since believers are large in numbers, group dynamics of votes works better if religion is used as a hidden agenda while making their strategies. Interestingly the believers also seem to be double minded. On the face of it no body agrees that religion should be mixed with politics, but when it is mixed they are carried away and do not even notice.
The concept of secularism which is often re-debated many times talks about keeping state to be free of any bias which is based on religious rules and teachings. Is it bad to be biased by religious thoughts if they are good? Some people feel that it is bad because this bias can lead to insecurity amongst those who believe in a different school of thoughts. If we go back in times most religions as they exist today are by-products of rules as framed by a certain group of people who were living together or who expanded their zone of living. Since today we have well defined countries and their geographical, social and economic boundaries, we can safely say that rules today are related to these boundaries. For e.g. if people in India follow the only religion called “Indian”, it can be a sufficient condition to be a believer. Some people will say that, when 8-10 religions in this world are creating such a mess, what will happen if we talk of a concept of more than 200 religions. Just have a re-look at it. Things will be simpler as people will associate to their country only and reasons to fight for different customs within a country will be gone. Customs of a country can be followed by a person with much more ease. With this kind of concept mixing religion and politics will always be fair and acceptable.
By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 31-08-2016
could spot only two Alien Women who brought laurels for us in the recently
finished olympics at Rio. You may be little surprised or some of you may be
annoyed, when you hear this expression ‘Alien’ for these women. I just called
them Aliens as we knew a very little about these women when the Olympics
started. When none of the celebrity athletes clicked, they performed much
beyond their past known skills. Being a married man, I must admit, that women
have always been like Aliens to me. Please do not take this on a humorous note
or a cut pasted matter from WhatsApp. Earlier also I wrote about a particular
school of thought, which believe that life on earth is of Alien origin. I
believe that women are similar kind of creators. They are not only creators,
they are operators as well. After creating us they also live along with us to
ensure that their creation keeps ticking. Actually we are no one to protect
them, educate them or feed them. They do all this for us in various forms.
Sometime back I also used to think that I have studied a lot about human
behaviour and I started analysing every person I came across. Later I realised
that I very often failed when I did this analysis on the fairer breed. Further
analysis yielded me the answer. The creators should never be questioned.
Believe me, my intentions are not to flatter a group of my readers. It is the
way I have started thinking, when I see the power quotient of Alien Women.
By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 24-08-2016
We struggle with priorities on day-to-day basis. People have devised various techniques to set priorities to achieve time management, but here I would like to talk about priorities we take to keep us happy and satisfied. Few years back when I was sitting in a meeting of top company executives, discussing about company’s objective, a gentleman from accounts background clearly spelled out that the primary objective of any business organization should be maximizing profits. Obviously the type of meeting it was, almost everyone agreed. People who did not agree kept silent. Many years have passed and this sentence, spelling out the primary objectives still reverberates in my mind. The reason is that I often see people, organizations, governments all seem to be running behind this primary objective only. I see government focusing on making larger roads, then inside road of towns. I see local level establishments putting their energies on decorating buildings, rather than finding right garbage disposal mechanisms. At personal levels people keep spending on clothes and electronic gadgets, than taking up a self-development course. People have lot of time on mobile than to talk to their parents. I know that old father of a rich person kept filling his eye drop bottles with water as this person always forgot to bring a fresh eye drop bottle in time. That is how we set priorities. We try to maximize financial gains and end up gaining stress and all sorts of complexities. Setting the right priorities can simplify our life. Let us detoxify our needs.