First of all! Thank you for kind and heartfelt birthday wishes. I treasure my friends and family.
Every year around festival of forgiveness I ask my friends and family to forgive me if I have hurt their feeling in last year. This year I celebrated the festival but didn’t seek forgiveness publicly. What better an opportunity, than a birthday! So friends – Over the past year, if I have hurt your feelings knowingly or un-knowingly in any way or form, please forgive me – Michammi Dukham, Khamat Khamana. I sincerely wish that you will also forgive my shortcomings.
So why ask for forgiveness?
Shyamapana is a festival of forgiveness; its popular among folks of Jain faith. This last day is a culmination of a weeklong fest of repentance called “Paryushan“. To quote an article :
“For 357 days of the year we carry out our responsibilities to our business, our family and our career. We live a very busy, worldly life. In the process, we accumulate a lot of mental and emotional clutter. We gather unnecessary baggage of pride, fear, animosity, greed, ego and delusions in our thoughts and feelings. So Paryushan is the time to clear that clutter and make a bonfire to burn that junk, that rubbish which is corrupting our minds, our lives and our relationships. The Jains have designed the special eight days of Paryushan as a time of reflection, purification and renewal.”
During Puryushan this year I did something different. In addition to fasting and rituals of Pratrikraman, I took sometime to reflect and read something spiritual. I choose the book, Nine Lives by William Dalrymple.
Nine Lives is a very fascinating read! The first chapter describes a Jain Nun. For anyone who is not familiar with Jainism and the ascetic traditions it is a great and insightful read. The rest of the chapters of the book go a bit deeper in to lesser known belief systems in India.
William Dalrymple does do justice to each of the belief systems by just being voice of the religious person being described in the chapter. I myself was not aware of details of these belief systems and I think I have a new insight in to India and its religious richness!
My take away from the book is to whenever possible look for the lessons from the relentless ascetics trying to sustain an age long belief system among modern invasion of a populist religion and a me-too culture.
So, after that heavy analysis of my week of repentance and reflection, I want to take the opportunity of a birthday to may be start a new tradition of kick-off some interesting project and makings some resolutions on the day!
I’m starting work on my new project, Thousand Drops! I have been working in healthcare & technology industry for a few years now. Thousand Drops is my attempts to create a community and a technology platform to help each one of us to contribute a little bit to wellness and health around the world. I’m starting slow and intend to nurture this project for a long time. Please signup on the link, if you wish to be kept up to date as the project grows.
I have posted a lot about my endeavors in collecting, managing and analyzing my financial, productivity and health data. Heck, I even wrote a book on how to program yourself with health data! I’m gradually hoping to start writing software to maintain a dashboard of things I like to track (for e.g how often do I get a haircut ?) – so announcing data.vitraag.com.
Last but not least, as many of you are aware of my experiments with art of mixing drinks – Libar! I’m hoping to make a Libar specials book, so that all your friends and family can lookup and order that special drink at the speakeasy next time you visit!!!
Now on to resolutions! Well the resolutions of the next year really aren’t many but couple –first is to keep the sink clean (I’m guilty of piling dishes in the sink ) and second is to travel for pleasure!
Speaking of Travel! I’m have at least made a good attempt to plan that! At least half of the following planned travel is for pleasure – I’m planning to be in SF (Oct16-18), MN (Oct 29-30), Washington DC (Oct 31-Nov 1), India during Diwali (Nov 5- 20), London/Amsterdam (Nov 21-26), and a long due vacation to Ecuador (Dec 21-Jan 5). Would love to see you if you are around there!!
Now on to dinner!!