Thursday, December 03, 2015

Quick notes: Wetlands, Deportees...

  • Explained: Why Chennai is under water: What may have been a tank, lake, canal or river 20 years ago, is today the site of multistorey residential and industrial structures. There are over 1.5 lakh illegal structures in the city.

  • Sunita Narain: Planners see only land, not water and greedy builders take over. Wetlands are rarely recorded under municipal land laws, so nobody knows about them.

  • We don't want you: Europe to Return Thousands of Pakis. "Pakistanis will not qualify as political refugees as their country is under a democratic process".

  • Mohammedan victimhood + sense of entitlement: Pakistan demands evidence of a potential crime when host countries seek to deport illegal Pakistani immigrants. 

  • Modi’s Pride: The True Spirit of India: Imran Khan.

  • Maria Wirth: Why I am grateful to India:  In school I had learnt that Hinduism was about an unjust caste system and plenty of (false, since Christianity has the true one) gods, and not knowing better, I had believed it. However, during this stopover, I stumbled on India’s ancient tradition and was amazed at its depth. I appreciated that intelligence was used in trying to establish the truth about this universe and no unverifiable dogmas were imposed. Swami Vivekananda’s Jnana Yoga was the first book I read. He stands in a long line of rishis who have dedicated themselves since time immemorial to an intensive, disciplined, inner search for what is essentially true. Their findings don’t contradict modern science:

    The basis of every appearance in this universe, including our own person, is the same one Essence or Presence – real, infinite, eternal, formless and nameless. All forms and names are like waves on the ocean. The waves may think that they are separate from the ocean. They may not even see the ocean but only other waves. They may cling to their (temporary) form and be terrified to lose it, but ultimately all waves are nothing but the ocean and nothing is lost when their form subsides. Similarly, though we may consider ourselves as separate from the whole and cling to our impermanent person, our essence is pure, limitless awareness and nothing of substance is lost when form and name are lost. The purpose of life and its fulfilment is to discover who we really are, the rishis declared. 

    This knowledge made immediate sense to me and became a source for great joy. It was in tune with my vague intuition that, if there was a God, he must be the basis of everything, and not a separate entity.

    Early during my stay in India, I met Devaraha Baba and Anandamayi Ma, two renowned saints of that time. I had never met persons like them. There seemed to be nobody there behind their eyes, and their presence felt beneficial. “It is because they are enlightened,” someone explained to me. “God shines clearly through their form, because there is no ego to block that.”

  • What Is NYT Smoking?:

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