Let's talk it out
At the age of 23, mind of Bhagat Singh was so matured that it could think and articulate something like “Why I am an atheist”. I have wondered how these people at such a young age achieved this much maturity. And every time I got only this answer: they were rational and fearless readers and thinkers.
So, I also started contemplating about the idea of God. There are may theory related to existence and non-existence of God. Some people believe in singularity of God, others in multiplicity of His existence. Some people think God lives in temple/mosque/church/etc, others believe He resides in the heart of people.
I, on the other hand, believe God resides in the human body but not in the heart. In fact I don’t think there is some third party called God who resides in us. It’s part of us. Actually according to me God doesn’t exit at all. It’s we who have created God, not the other way around.
So, what is it that we call God? I have read and taught myself about the power of subconscious mind. The part of mind which made more than 85% of our mind. If you don’t know about your subconscious mind, probably you don’t know about yourself. We keep listening in many teachings which say “know thyself”. This same quote also appeared in movie The Matrix when Neo went to meet the Oracle for the very first time.
So, why all religions, all spiritual teachings keep telling about knowing yourself. What is inside us which we need to know, one may wonder. However, I have come to conclusion that these all teachings are talking about knowing one’s subconscious mind and about its power. This is what we call God. You call it God or subconscious mind, choice is yours. But know what you are addressing or interacting with. Its not the statue or any other symbols but its your subconscious mind. Isn’t it become easy and comfortable to communicate if you know who you are talking to? One might have heard about theory of Chinese whisper. So it becomes even worse to communicate indirectly. More lengthy is the line, more noisy communication would happen.
So, know your God. It’s your subconscious mind. Know how to communicate with it. Know how to use it. Know how to improve it. And know yourself. This is what God is. This is why Bhagat Singh became an atheist. This is why you need to contemplate. Think about Buddha or Mahavira. Learn about Geeta or Kuran. This is what all have talked about “know thyself”.
These days “Ram mandir and Babri Masjid” case is very much discussion of any conversations. I read a beautiful essay written by Arundhati Roy, titled “How deep shall we dig?”. I am going to discuss here the thought process put forward by Ms Roy.
According Ms Roy, there is no need to change the status-quo. As she is regarded as leftist scholar. It is easy to believe why she said it: because of her ideological inclination. May be. But she gave reasons which are more profound and rational than any reasons on this topic I have ever read.
According to Ms Roy, if we dig the Mosque, we can find a temple. But what if we don’t stop there and keep digging. What will happen then? And when we should stop digging if we are going to stop at all? According to her, if we keep digging there might appear, another temple of other Hindu god other than Ram, further there might appear a Vaishnavite temple. If we dig deeper there might appear some Buddhist stupa as it was prevailing religion in India once. Further there might appear some God of tribal people. So, there is no rationale in digging the mosque at the first place. If anything that can be a reason, it would be a political one.
This reason is way far more rational than emotional reason like respecting the sentiments of the Hindu. But people who give such reasons forget about the Muslim sentiments. Or if we take larger picture, how it will affect India’s foreign policy while dealing with Muslims majority countries of middle east on which we are still dependent for oil, security and remittances. 1992 demolition has given a blow to Indian foreign policy. Pakistan was able to keep India out of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC). Now Pakistan uses this same platform to raise issue of Kashmir and tries to internationalise it.
Further, India is opposed to Pakistan’s two nation theory. If we build a temple by force at the place of the mosque, we will legitimise the existence of Pakistan. If I am right, Pakistan will be praying for something similar to happen. So they can give reasons to their future generations about their separation from India and why Bangladesh broke away from them.
What is needed is: a non-violent and peaceful solution. Also if we go for out of court settlement trust deficit will remain. It is better to go for formal judicial court-room fight. Like Allahabad judgement which was peaceful, SC can also give some reasonable and peaceful solution. As a country, let celebrate our differences. Lets fight through debate and discussion not through hate speeches.
He called her. She came. It was Navratra time. He invited her for Chicken party at a friend’s place. Both shared a plate. He praised her carelessly ‘tum kinni beautiful ho be’. She responded with a glitter and bit naughtiness ‘wo toh mai huhi’.
This was surreal. But just a dream.
However, she said, she doesn’t eat non-veg during Navratra. But when she came, they din’t share the plate. And when he praised her ‘tum kinni beautiful ho be”. She coldly replied ‘kuchh bhi bolte ho tum”.
But in reality she never showed up.
He asked “friends?”. She thought “F.R.I.E.N.D.S?”. She replied “Anytime”. He extended his hand. She responded with an “oh!”.
There are lots of hue and cry about what to read and from where when it comes to Ethics, GS4, preparation. Here is simple and concrete guideline:
With above preparation anyone can go to ethics paper and write good answers(Try this in some mocks). You need to use as much as possible ‘keywords’ and Articles of Constitution from above mentioned sources.
For Quality improvement:
For Ethics, more than knowledge, you should depend on application of knowledge which you, and we all, already have acquired from Polity, Newspapers, Essay, and Society part, even from history.
All the best.
There are many guides and suggestions available online and offline on this topic. So I am going to be short, very short.
There are only two things required to clear UPSC.
Time Management: Again on this topic there are huge amount of literatures available. So again I am going to be short here again. To effectively manage time, just be aware of time all the time. Get a watch preferably one which make some sound every hour. Be aware of time left for exam, time you have spend preparing for UPSC, time wasted in a day, time you really spent studying. Be aware and keep telling yourself what your real goal is.
Relevant Materials: Again huge literature and guides available on this topic too. Very hard to confine oneself to just relevant materials. Its very easy to get swayed away to other areas. Try to read one book many times rather reading many books on same topic. In coming days I may publish what relevant materials are, which are just right.
Till then all the best. Keep your focus on Time and Materials. They matter the most.
Colourful Holi is coming yet again. Fifth for me in Delhi. It has been memorable journey so far. Filled with struggle and excitement. But as this Holi approaches, it reminds me of an incident which happened during my first Holi in Delhi.
It was 2013. I had just shifted from Bengaluru to Delhi to get started with UPSC preparation . I was staying in a hostel near Nirankari colony in North Delhi. Much like every evening I took a walk from my hostel to the colony for evening snacks. I was alone and immersed in my own thought. It was all going good. But then something surprising happened.
A balloon hit me. It was not filled with colour but just plain water. I was taken aback. Both the sudden event and cold water startled me. I looked in the direction of the balloon. First reaction was bit of disappointment which suddenly turned into a broad smile. There was a cute-little girl with one more balloon ready in her hand. She didn’t hide after throwing the first balloon but waited for my reaction. When I looked towards her. She said “Happy Holi”. And then when she saw me smiling she threw the other balloon in her hand and kept smiling. That made my Holi ‘happy’ for sure.
That was beginning of Holi for me in Delhi. Most probably this will be ending of Holi for me in Delhi. I have shifted to ORN(Old Rejendra Nagar) now. So far many balloons have passed by me leaving me untouched. But main difference here is: its hard to find throwers.
Let me start by saying that I am totally against the idea of Nationalism which is exclusive in nature. Instead I support the idea of Patriotism which is inclusive in nature. Here I am going to paint two scenarios and I would like know who are more patriotic?
There is a girl named Geeta. She said something which lets say some people, who called themselves Desh-bhakts, find anti-national. So they tried to beat her up. If they could not. They tried to threaten her with gang-rape and started bringing her old videos or posts on social media to mock her and ridicule her.
However when Geeta, was threaten she went to institutions which make India for her protection. She complained with police and other agencies about this hate and threat which she received.
Now, here is one to decide who is more patriotic. The desh-bhakts or the girl, Geeta. When something which desh-bhakts didn’t like they think its their duty to make it right or teach her a lesson. They did not believe in the institutions of India. They could have approached to Police and filed a complaint about any anti-national things. But they took law in their hands. This makes India look a ‘weak-state’. But Geeta believed in idea of India and in its institutions. She made India look ‘strong-state’. Now you decide who did more disservice to idea of India and Indian-state? Who is more patriotic?
Recently I watched a TED talk “A Scientific approach to Paranormal“. It reminded me of one incident which is associated with me.
I was in studying in 8th standard. I started getting headaches. It was very painful and unbearable headache. Even medicines for headache work sometime but next time they are found ineffective. After trying lots of doctors, mostly in and around of my village and block . My parents decided to explore the idea of going to Temples and even Mosques.
I was taken to Panditji and to Maulaviji. Bu they were ineffective. Eventually my parents found me one Sadhuji. He did something and I felt lighter and my headache went away. Since then whenever i used to feel headache I used to call my parents or elder brother who then used to go to Sadhuji and my headache used to go away. I don’t know whether it was really a case or not. Whether there is any connection or not.
But then i got an opportunity to meet this Sadhuji. I asked him, “Why I only have this headache in my family?”. He said everyone is not same and there are some weakness in my planets. Somehow I got convinced. Days passed, weeks passed, years passed, and eventually I landed up in Delhi to prepare for UPSC.
Only fear when I came to prepare for UPSC was, what will I do when I get headache in or during the exam. Or even during preparation if I get regular headache how will I crack such a touch exam. But luckily something happened. My paranormal meets science.
My roommate in Delhi, who was also aspirant, had this same issues of headache. He belonged to family doctors. Once I was going home from Delhi, I was having very bad headache. I told him about it. He gave me one tablet of pain killer. I took that tablet and boarded the train. I felt relaxed and my headache went away.
I came back from home and asked him what tablet he gave me. He told that it was “Diclowin Plus” and anti-inflmatory pain killer. I thought the medicine which can be cured my twelve or thirteen years of issues of headache must be costly. But it was very cheap. Cheaper than even a glass of fruit juice. Then I told him about my issues and he told me that it could be due to Sinus issues. He also had this issue. Since then whenever I feel discomfort I take half-tablet of this tablet.
Now, I am not required to call at home whenever I get a headache. What I realised is: diagnosis is very important of any disease. After realising that I have issue of Sinus, now I don’t think about weaker or stronger planets anymore. Somewhere, now, I even think that my dad also have this same issue. Even if its true my grandmother and paternal aunt, both are no more, also had this same issue. But they all were diagnosed wrong. May be one day I can make things right.
[PS: Do not take any medicines before consulting a doctor]
Many UPSC aspirants have asked me that how to start preparing for UPSC and what it takes to clear this, one of the toughest exams in the world.
I am simply going to state here about how to get going. In later blogs I will discuss in details what specifically needs to be done to clear this exam.
So, to get started with the UPSC preparation, irrespective of where you are and what are you doing, you need to start giving attention to news from all over the India and the world. Next step will be to start reading editorials in newspapers, preferably from TheHindu and IndianExpess. Keep doing these two things as much as possible and till you get selected. But to get selected there will be other things which are required to be done.
Further, it would be most logical step to read and know about the UPSC syllabus. Why? Because, when you will be reading news then if you remember Syllabus then your attention for that particular topic will increase drastically.
Now, to understand news in totality one need to understand the Polity. So next most logical step will be reading Laxmikant for Indian Polity. And read this book along with reading news.
If you can follow these things religiously for months. Then you are ready to plunge into the nitty-grity of the UPSC preparation. In next blog on this topic I will cover the book list which one needs to follow for Preliminary examination.