Festival of Forgiveness – 2014

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?
Well, today is the “Shyamapana festival”. Shyamapana is a festival of forgiveness; its popular among folks of Jain faith. This day is a culmination of a weeklong fest of repentance called “Paryushan“. To quote an article :

Continue reading

The Sramanas– Embracing Spiritual Hacking

Every year I try to keep some focus on fasting, meditation, spiritual pursuits and reflection during the week of Jain Paryushan. This year is no different – I’m making sometime to learn more about Jainism, other spiritualties and reflect. My goal is to complete reading the book “Goodness without God” this week, more on it later. In this post I wanted to focus on Sramanas, and their effect on world spirituality as early as 6 B.C.

Wikipedia talks following about Sramanas:

The Pāli samaṇa and the Sanskrit Śramaṇa refer to renunciate ascetic traditions from the middle of the 1st millennium BCE.[4] They were individual, experiential and free-form traditions, independent of society; and in religious competition with Brahmin priests, who as opposed to Śramaṇas, stressed mastery of texts and performing rituals.

Growing up I heard the word Sramana quiet a bit and it is mentioned fair times in the Jain religious scriptures I have by heart. Only this week I’m getting to learn more about the broader context of the movement and associated thoughts. The Shramanas were the free thinkers and spiritual hackers of their time. They gave up the worldly life and the existing Vedic traditions to explore and discover new ways. Since they didn’t believe in authority of Vedas they would be termed as Nastiks.

Among the multitude of Sramana movements a few created their own thought stream and philosophical or religious schools. The Carvakas believed in perception, and to an extent established one of the earliest hedonistic school of thought – in ones life equation net pleasure should be more than net pain. They did not believe in cycle of life and birth. On the other hand the Jains stressed on non-violence (Ahimsa) believed in karma, cycle of life and birth. Whereas the Buddhists thought stream believed in a middle ground. A notable fact in all of these philosophical and religious viewpoints is that they were the rebels or reforms in Vedic thought process (or the mainstream if you will), trying to simplify and make spirituality relevant from the technicalities of time. They were spiritual hackers!

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Fig 1. The Sramanas

So why did I pick to read “Good without God”? I think the Sramanas very much like the modern days atheists or agnostics did not believe in one almighty powerful force controlling the fate of each individual and the premise of “Good without God” seems to imply that. I’m looking forward to reading and learning more..

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Fig 2: Reading Assignment

Festival Of Forgiveness – 2013

As I’m catching up on my notes to share, the top-most one is the note for forgiveness! Every year around festival of forgiveness I ask friends, family and well-wishers to forgive me for my shortcomings, and idiosyncrasies. For the whole year, relationships accumulate a lot of mental and emotional clutter this is a moment to reflect and give a sincere shot to start fresh and reduce the clutter.

So friends, family and well-wishers – Michammi Dukhdam, if I have not asked earlier.

This year during the eight days of Paryushan, I fasted the first and the last day and read the book – “Conversations with God”. Continue reading

A Birthday– Reflections, Reverberations & Resolutions!

First of all! Thank you for kind and heartfelt birthday wishes. I treasure my friends and family.

Reflections

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.

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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.

 

Reverberations

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!!!

Resolutions

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 Sad smile) 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!!

Festival Of Forgiveness – Michammi Dukdam

Today is the "Shyamapana festival". Shyamapana is a festival of forgiveness; its popular among folks of Jain faith. This 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.”


So over the last year if I have hurt your feelings in any way or form, please forgive me -"Michammi Dukdam".

cheers,
Vaibhav
————–
~~My Jain Influences~~
————–
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My Jain Influences

I grew up in a Jain family and my mother did a lot of hard work for us siblings to understand the ideals of Jainism. To date I’m really impressed by Jain philosophy and a large part of what I’m is influenced by it. I particularly would call out:

  • Ahimsa – which mean non-violence. I guess I wont have to explaining the importance of this but would like to call out Ahimsa just doesn’t mean to not hurt other human beings but actually encompasses all living things.
  • Anekanthvad – there are more than one possible explanations, particularly in religious terms. This principle pre-empts all Jains from getting in to arguments about whose God is better, I wish this tolerance principle was core of other philosophies.

The most important Mantra of Jains is Navakar Mantra.

vitraag

Jainism Resources

UPDATE (8/24/2009): Yesterday, myself and Maris did the Smavatsari Pratrikraman together. This ritual last about 2.5 hours and in addition both of us were fasting for the whole day (24 hours). The interesting revelation for me during this was when I was explaining the Pratrikraman in English as I was doing it. I used the above English version to paraphrase the meaning of some Paaths to Maris. However I did make a lot of mistakes. If any of you have good English versions of Pratrikraman I would be interested and also do share your experiences in explaining it to folks new to Jainism in the comments below.

Namo Nanasa.

Festival Of Forgiveness – Michammi Dukdam

Today is the “Shyamapana festival”. Shyamapana is a festival of forgiveness; its popular among folks of Jain faith. This 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.”

So over the last year if I have hurt your feelings in any way or form, please forgive me -“Michammi Dukdam” and give me a mandate to start a new score!

Take Care and have a nice weekend!!

cheers,

Vaibhav

~~My Jain Influences~~

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Shyamapana

Its Shyampana Day – the last day of Parushan. Here is what i would like to say to all my buddies..

Dear Friends:
Liebe Freunde

Of late I’ve really been guilty of not keeping in touch. So here is the reason – what better, a festival!! Yep it’s the “Shyamapana festival”. Shyamapana is a festival of forgiveness; it’s popular in folks of Jain faith. This day culminates a week long fest of repentance called as “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.”

So over the last year if I would have hurt your feelings in any way or form, please forgive me – “Michammi Dukdam” (“Verzeihen Sie mir bitte”) and give me mandate to start a new score J!!

Take Care…

Cheers,
Vaibhav
~~My Jain Influences~~