The Pancasila code of happiness
Recently, I attended a conference where one of the participants objected to the popular depiction of our national ideology, Pancasila, as one of the four pillars which support the nation. The other three being the 1945 Constitution, the integrity/unity of the Indonesian State/Nation, and our National Motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, meaning “appearing as many, but essentially one”.
Musings on the Bhagavad Gita
The war on the battlefield of Kurukshetra is not a historical event alone that happened about 3,000 years BC, but also an ongoing war happening each day, every day in our lives. The fearful Arjuna in great despair and confused about his course of action also lives within each one of us. Similarly, Krishna, the great advisor, is also here. He is our inner voice. His is the voice ever guiding us and encouraging us to face the challenges of life as a warrior. Krishna’s is the voice of hope, whereas Arjuna is our mental/emotional composite...
Let Go and Find Your Love
My musings on love sometime back provoked readers to write to me and share their thoughts. Many of them, including some Javanese living in Bali, acknowledged that, yes, they did not realise that “love was missing” in their lexicon. Let me say that a word missing does not prove that the feeling is also missing. I may not be good at articulating my feelings, but all the same those feelings are there. Either we live loving – we live in love and with love; in other words, we accept love – or we reject love.
All Set, but Mind Upset
Imagine a meeting of more than 100 spiritual minds, gurus from different traditions – from the most traditional to the ultra modern. Very rare, but that’s what happened last April in New Delhi. What was the meeting about? Swami Chidanand Saraswati, the ochre-robed spiritualist, presented his views in Hindi: “India today is no longer India 20 or 30 years ago. The Indian economy is booming. Our fresh graduates do not have to hunt for jobs the way their parents did. As fresh graduates they can get salaries and benefits unimaginable by their parents even after 10 or 15 years of hard work. Life is all set for them, yet their minds are upset…”
The Secret of Hindu Civilisation’s Survival
Last April I was invited to Guru Sangamam, the Confederation of Gurus convention held in New Delhi. The convention was a great experience, and I shall fondly cherish the memory of my interactions with 100 over spiritual dignitaries from all over India. What I found amazing is this: At home here, some of our minority groups are still struggling for the recognition of their religious identity and belief system, whereas in India the established religious institutions struggle to transcend such identities and what they believe as “limiting” belief systems.
No Conflict in True Spirituality
I managed to raise a few eyebrows when I discussed this subject in Singapore some time ago. So what is spirituality, then? First, let us check our lexicons for the definition of the word “pluralism.” The following are the most popular ones: a theory or system that recognises more than one ultimate principle; a theory that there are more than one or more than two kinds of ultimate reality; a theory that reality is composed of a plurality of entities