Monday, September 30, 2013

Would It Be Practically Possible To Live In This World Doing God's Will ? Any Benefits ?

Before answering those questions, let me tell you some fundamentals that my favorite book of divine revelation taught me. Note that some of these fundamentals have been known to human kind for the last hundreds of years or perhaps even thousands of years. But at the same time, I consider it very important that we recapitulate some of the key knowledge pieces once again. Please go through the following and see whether they match with your concepts fully or partially:

1. The material universes as we know today comprising of our planet earth, our solar system, our galaxy and millions of other such galaxies and dark bodies all came into existence at some point of time billions of years ago as physical or perceivable or visible energy and matter due to an act of some intelligent mind which existed beforehand. At that moment of time, space and history as we know today also came into existence. Time before that , which we cannot comprehend is called eternal time.

2. There existed only one pre-existent energy not comprehensible to us, which we may denote as spiritual energy and one infinite mind energy pervading over this spiritual energy forming an infinite Personality and certain intelligent creative actions of this infinite Personality that happened, during the eternal times. About the creative actions that happened during eternal times, we have only vague ideas. The Original Infinite Mind or Personality that has been existing eternally is our Universal Father God, because we all exist in life, intelligence and personality due to Him. From Him all things and personalities came in to existence later.

3. During eternal times, the Universal Father God created other Spiritual Personalities like Him and distributed Himself to them his attributes and powers for various purposes including further creative actions. The first eternal personality formed from the Universal Father may be identified as the Eternal Son and the next one as the Infinite Spirit. These three there after acted independently and jointly to create other spiritual personalities and spiritual materials during eternal times. The original three together is God, the Trinity. There are yet other divine beings originating from the original Trinity, who too could be deemed as God for all practical purposes. But it is a wise decision to keep the concept of the Universal Father God in mind whenever we give our reverence to God in general. 

4. All spiritual energy, spiritual material and spiritual gravity are concentrated at the Centre of the Universes that we perceive now as space, though we may not be able to perceive its existence. The abode of the eternal God and his associative spiritual personalities are predominantly in this region. The Universes around it are growing in space and material as a result of the continued creative actions of the God or His high spiritual associates. The fundamental particle that makes up the fundamental material particle, electron, is the ultimaton, which is formed out a pimordial force drawn from the spiritual energy realm. Spiritual energy is predominant (the major constituent) if we take up all energy, spiritual and physical, together.

5. There are innumerable spiritual personalities who exist from eternity or are created later. All of them are immortal beings, unlike beings who are created in physical material by different techniques including we the human beings, who are mortals ( i.e, those who cease to exist in their physical form after some time). 

6. Personality and life of any living being, divine or otherwise, is a direct gift of the Universal Father God.

7. All living beings have a form or body made of either spiritual matter (spiritual beings) or physical matter (material beings) .It is difficult for beings in physical body to perceive or see beings in spiritual form or body under normal circumstances unless they are provided with some special prerogatives. The reverse is also true. But some of the spiritual entities are capable of making their presence perceivable to physical beings while the physical beings do not have any such powers inherent in them.   

8. Both spiritual and material beings require some form of energy, either spiritual or material, for sustaining their lives.

9. Immortals who deviate from perfection can lose their immortality. Similarly, mortals with personality attributes who aspire for perfection by doing the will of God may attain immortality. All mortal material beings and many immortal beings in the lower orders  can be in the presence of the Universal Father God and 'see' Him only if they attain certain perfection levels.

10. God is not a respecter of persons or individuals; He loves everyone impartially and according to His universal laws.

11. All living beings in physical material form do not have God gifted personality attributes. For examples, plants and animals. They exist for a while for certain limited purposes only. But mortals like human beings have God gifted personality attributes which can survive death under certain conditions. According to the universal laws of God, mortals too can gain immortality and become like one of the spiritual personalities of high power and abilities, provided they live according to certain universal laws of God while they live in mortal form. Otherwise they too will perish as plants and animals.

12. Human beings have an additional God gifted power, in addition to life, intelligence and mind, which ensures personality survival even after physical death. This power is called the Thought Adjuster which is a direct gift of God which is equivalent to a micro mind of God Himself. This power resides within the human mind. This spiritual power is the one that compels man to seek God and develop those qualities that are liked by God.

13. When the human mind accepts the feeble leading of the God gifted mind or the Thought Adjuster and live according to that leading, then we can say that this human being is living according to the will of God. All humans who live according to the will of God are likely to survive death and their personalities would survive the physical death to advance to become immortal spiritual personalities.

14. Advancing spiritual personalities such as those human beings who have survived physical death are called the ascending sons of God, unlike those spiritual personalities who have a different kind of origin. The ascending sons of God progress towards perfection through varying levels of universe experiences. When they attain perfection, they would be in the direct presence of God where they are likely to be assigned high responsibilities in the worlds that are under the process of creation or evolutionary progress. During this process of progress in intelligence and mind capacity, they may exist in various forms, while their basic personality remaining intact.

The above are some essential information to be understood. 

Now comes the question of doing the will of God while we live our lives on earth. We may live in any physical condition, rich, poor, privileged, underprivileged, short lived, long lived, with high abilities or with lower abilities, facing problems always or leading a good life always, etc., etc. 

Whatever be the case, we are likely to perish as plants and animals unless we live according to the will of God. We do not require any one's help to know the will of God now as the will of God is perceivable by  us from the Thought Adjuster that is already within our mind.

Now to understand the leading of the Thought Adjuster that is within us, our own mind should not get elated by self importance called our own ego. I think this is a situation we can know our self if we are a bit attentive to our own inner consciousness. 

All human beings are likely to face this difficulty. The moment their own abilities make them elated in mind, they fail to recognize the feeble voice of the God given mind residing deep in their own minds. That causes the danger of not living according to the will of God, while their own mind might justify otherwise.

If this is so, would it be practically possible to live according to the will of God? I think it is possible. Only thing here is that one has to make some conscious efforts not to allow the self importance that develops within the mind to envelop the whole mind subduing even the Thought Adjuster.

Doing the will of God, does not mean that we can live without any errors in our own judgement while we live. Errors do happen in human life, because God has not made us as perfect beings. We humans are imperfect beings in the process of advancement towards perfection. But committing errors always and willfully with no regard to the guidance of the Thought Adjuster is some thing that is regarded as disobeying the will of God.

Those humans who are guided by the will of God exhibit certain qualities.

They are too willing to seek the true God. Their inner self would not accept just any one or any thing as the Universal Father God. For them God is much beyond any human being that they know, however superior they might appear to be. They keep loving and worshiping that God in their mind always and submit to Him for his guidance always.

They also recognize that other human beings are also the children of God and they too have the God given power of the Thought Adjusters residing in their minds. So they love their fellow beings unconditionally.

So, enmity, envy, hatred and selfishness have no place in their minds. While they pray to God, they pray for the well being of all and not  for only their selfish needs. They would never try to exploit underprivileged human beings. They would use their abilities to be of some use to others. In other words, those who are living according to the will of God are willing to serve others.

Material and physical well being, though important, are not the priority for such humans. They seek to develop themselves to attain spiritual progress so that they could be in the presence of God some time.

They know that those who do not do the will of God are going to perish for ever, even when some of them may appear as very successful or powerful humans on earth. So they do not have any anger towards such people, but only sympathies. They understand the meaning of what Jesus taught some 2000 years ago: If one gains the whole world, what good it for him, when he is losing his life ?

Those who live according to the will of God would not like to live as lazy or foolish beings. They know pretty well that their God given abilities are to be used wisely for the benefit of their world in some way or the other.

Those who are doing the will of God realize what is the true will of God. They will not create situations where those who do not do the will of God become more and more successful in perpetuating their deeds.

They will not force their ideas on others, even while they are willing to give good advice and possible help to those who seek it. They realize pretty well that each and every human being has a God given free will intelligence to adopt right or wrong  or good or bad.

They would not encourage others to praise them and adore them for whatever good qualities or capabilities they posses, because they know that they are humble humans like all others and only God is to be adored and worshiped. But at the same time they understand the mature way of honoring , respecting and loving others.

They will never use their abilities and powers for the purpose of their own pleasure or satisfaction. Neither those who work for them are their slaves, nor for whom they work are their gods. They will never ever exploit the weak nor they would be sycophants for personal gains. 

They are not zealots to deny any material pleasures, but they know how to indulge in those wisely so that they seldom create any harm to either themselves or to others. 

They know how to use their God given intelligence and wisdom. They would never close their minds to any new idea or knowledge, because that they know is important for progress. In other words, they are broadminded. They are open to criticisms, but would not argue endlessly to push their ideas on others. 

They know religion is essentially a personal experience of knowing God and developing in spiritual growth. While recognizing all religions as some man made arrangements for realizing the love of God they appreciate all religions and faiths but would not allow the errors of those religions and faiths to disturb their personal spiritual convictions. They are perpetual seekers of God. 

My dear reader, do you think it very difficult to live according to the will of God ?

Doesn't  your inner mind accept the possibility of the benefits I mentioned ?

Is your intellect refusing to accept what I wrote or try to convince you as rubbish ?

It is wholly up to you decide.

Best wishes.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Historical Dates Recorded in the Urantia Book: Now We Have Software To Confirm Those !

A historical narration of some events that happened in some dates, that are part of some pre-historic times recorded with a high degree of accuracy after an elapse of nearly 2000 years and at a time when there were no easy means to verify  the validity of those dates, is an impossible task for human authors to create.

My favorite book of life guidance- the Urantia Book- has many such dates dating back to times when Jesus Christ began his earth mission. 

Till the times of publication of the Urantia Book, the historical aspects of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ never existed except those given in the Bible or the Apocrypha Books. And there were nothing for the modern day historians to verify these biblical narrations, except that they are recorded in many books and some have originals which had been carbon dated for their probable period of creation. 

Moreover, no known books existed earlier which gave a date and day for an event that happened during the days of Jesus Christ. 

Under such circumstances, when an author narrates an incident with its day and date according to the Common Era calendar that we use today internationally, it is nothing but a miracle. 

But when this book got published in the year 1955, the few readers of the book could not have possibly verify those because there existed no known method commonly known to even the most learned people to cross check those dates easily by manual calculations. Moreover, the idea of computers and computer programs were just getting initiated in the minds of the scientists at the time when the Urantia Book got published for the first time.

Thus if the Urantia Book's authors wrote some thing like this:

 'On Sunday night, January 9, A.D. 7, his (Jesus Christ's) baby brother, Amos, was born', [The Urantia Book, Paper 124, 5.2]

we the readers had to just take that statement for granted. 

There was no way that we could spent days and days doing the calculations to find out whether January 9th of AD 7 was indeed a Sunday! 

But suppose that we could check that now and find that it was indeed a Sunday, we are bound to salute the super intelligence and meticulous accuracy that the authors of the Urantia Book had maintained. 

We would wonder how the author/s could be so meticulous and accurate when he/they wrote this book when it was impossible to back calculate and maintain that kind of an accuracy! 

We might even be forced to deduce that the author/s had some personal diary with them with the chronological events recorded accurately.

Personally speaking, I find this something extremely noteworthy and this aspect together with many such things, make the Urantia Book not a book of the other kinds to be discarded as a hoax or a huge work of rubbish. Many thinking intellectuals who are careful readers and students of this book have come to the same conclusion. 

That conclusion is that it is humanly impossible to create a literary work of knowledge and facts, as the Urantia Book. It is indeed a revelation from superhuman sources as the authors of the book repeatedly tell the readers. 

Now coming to the verification of the historical  dates and days, by people like us. 

I have come across the work that got created by a computer software specialist, named Mr Scott E. Lee. He had made a website for a calendar conversion service some time in the 1990's.

His website is named : Rosetta Calendar [click to visit it] 

It now gives the conversion of dates for the Gregorian, Julian and the Hebrew calendars online by just a click. For example, you could enter the date of the Urantia Book that I gave above (9th Jan AD 7) in the Julian calendar and click the convert button to find whether it was indeed a Sunday. Simultaneously you could also get the corresponding dates in the other calendars as well. Isn't it great ?

Now use this facility to check some more statements such as these from the Urantia Book:

In January of this year, A.D. 21, on a rainy Sunday morning, Jesus took unceremonious leave of his family, only explaining that he was going over to Tiberias and then on a visit to other cities about the Sea of Galilee. [ the Urantia Book Paper 129, 1.1 ]

Jesus and the two natives from India — Gonod and his son Ganid — left Jerusalem on a Sunday morning, April 26, A.D. 22. [ The Urantia Book, Paper 130, 0.1  ]

Sunday morning, February 24, A.D. 26, Jesus took leave of John the Baptist by the river near Pella, never again to see him in the flesh. [ The Urantia Book, Paper 137, 2.1 ]

My dear reader, there are too many such examples which were humanly impossible at the time the Urantia Book's manuscript was written and given to mankind for publication. 

Such humanly impossible things and knowledge that are contained in the Urantia Book, with extreme consistency and grace make the book totally different from all those humanly created books that we have! Some thing that makes the right thinking humans pause a moment to give attention to what it says !

As for me, I have no doubt that this book was authored for us by invisible celestial beings as the authors themselves introduce themselves. And that is very very important for me. Because, that information logically compels me to believe in the existence of invisible intelligent beings. They are a reality. If they are real, then God is real. And if God is real, my faith in God is with a real foundation!

And if that is so, the truths that are revealed through the Urantia Book cannot be discarded. I have to read carefully what these celestial personalities have to tell me !

So I read and study that. I find it a great guidance, indeed !

I wish all in this world were given those guidance ! And it is not that difficult.

Provided that they are willing to listen to those truths and guidance!

Provided that they have a desire to know !  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Something to Think for Those Seriously Concerned with Science, Humanity and Religion !

[The following are some concluding remarks made by the authors of my favorite book of life guidance, which I reproduce below in part and with some minor editing. Click on the book link to visit the site which gives more information on the book and its authors. This book's original manuscript in English was provided some time in the beginning of the 20th century while it got printed in 1955. The passages below may not be illuminating the ordinary people, but it should do so for a few of those with a superior mind level concerned with science, humanity and religion who happen to read these. Those few of the latter kind may also be inclined to find the book and read it in whole. The link above would help them to find the book for an online reading. You would also find many blogs based on this book which you can find and read by clicking the Blog Archive on the right side of this page.]

The twentieth century has brought new problems for Christianity and all other religions to solve.

The higher a civilization climbs, the more it  becomes the duty of man to 'seek first the realities of the Kingdom of God' which means putting efforts to stabilize the society and facilitate the solutions for its material problems.

Truth often becomes confusing and even misleading when it is dismembered, segregated, isolated, and too much analyzed. Living truth teaches the truth seeker accurately only when it is embraced in wholeness and as a living spiritual reality, not as a fact of material science or an inspiration of intervening art.

Religion is a purely personal and spiritual experience and must forever be distinguished from man’s other high forms of thought, such as:
1. His logical attitude toward the things of material reality.
2. His aesthetic appreciation of beauty contrasted with ugliness.
3. His ethical recognition of social obligations and political duty.
Even his sense of human morality is not, in and of itself, religious.

Religion discovers for the soul those supreme values which are in contrast with the relative values discovered by the mind. Such superhuman insight can be had only through genuine religious experience.

A lasting social system without a morality founded on spiritual realities can no more be maintained than could the solar system without gravity.

Do not try to satisfy the curiosity or gratify all the latent adventure that rise up within your mind in one short life in the flesh. Be patient! Do not get tempted to indulge in a lawless plunge into cheap and sordid adventure. Harness your energies and restrain your passions; be calm while you await the majestic unfolding of an endless career of progressive adventure and thrilling discovery (awaiting you ahead, even after your short life in your material world)

In confusion over man’s origin, do not lose sight of his eternal destiny. Forget not that Jesus (the sovereign of this universe when he lived among you as one of you)  loved even little children, and that he forever made clear the great worth of human personality.

As you view (your) world, remember that the black patches of evil which you see are shown against a white background of ultimate good. You do not view merely white patches of good which show up miserably against a black background of evil.

When there is so much good truth to publish and proclaim, why should men dwell so much upon the evil in the world just because it appears to be a fact? The beauties of the spiritual values of truth are more pleasurable and uplifting than is the phenomenon of evil.

In religion, Jesus advocated and followed the method of experience, even as modern science pursues the technique of experiment. We find God through the leading of spiritual insight, but we approach this insight of the soul through the love of the beautiful, the pursuit of truth, loyalty to duty, and the worship of divine goodness. But of all these values, love is the true guide to real insight.

(Your) scientists have unintentionally precipitated mankind into a materialistic panic; they have started an unthinking run on the moral bank of the ages, but this bank of human experience has vast spiritual resources; it can stand the demands being made upon it. Only unthinking men become panicky about the spiritual assets of the human race.

No matter what the apparent conflict between materialism and the teachings of Jesus may be, you can rest assured that, in the ages to come, the teachings of Jesus will fully triumph. 

In reality, true religion cannot become involved in any controversy with science; it is in no way concerned with material things. 

Religion is simply indifferent to, but sympathetic with, science, while it supremely concerns itself with the scientist.

The pursuit of mere knowledge, without the attendant interpretation of wisdom and the spiritual insight of religious experience, eventually leads to pessimism and human despair. A little knowledge is truly disconcerting (or a cause of emotional disturbances).

At the time of this writing the worst of the materialistic age is over; the day of a better understanding is already beginning to dawn. The higher minds of the scientific world are no longer wholly materialistic in their philosophy, but the rank and file of the people still lean in that direction as a result of former teachings.

But this age of physical realism is only a passing episode in man’s life on earth. Modern science has left true religion—the teachings of Jesus as translated in the lives of his believers—untouched. All science has done is to destroy the childlike illusions of the misinterpretations of life.

Science is a quantitative experience, religion a qualitative experience, as regards man’s life on earth. Science deals with phenomena; religion, with origins, values, and goals. To assign causes as an explanation of physical phenomena is to confess ignorance of the ultimate and in the end only leads the scientist straight back to the first great cause—the Universal Father  (God).

The violent swing from an age of miracles to an age of machines has proved altogether upsetting to man. The cleverness and dexterity of the false philosophies of mechanism belie their very mechanistic contentions. 

The mechanistic naturalism of some supposedly educated men and the thoughtless secularism of the man in the street are both exclusively concerned with things; they are barren of all real values, sanctions, and satisfactions of a spiritual nature, as well as being devoid of faith, hope, and eternal assurances. 

One of the great troubles with modern life is that man thinks he is too busy to find time for spiritual meditation and religious devotion.

Materialism reduces man to a soulless automaton and constitutes him merely an arithmetical symbol finding a helpless place in the mathematical formula of an unromantic and mechanistic universe. 

But whence comes all this vast universe of mathematics without a Master Mathematician? Science may expatiate on the conservation of matter, but religion validates the conservation of men’s souls—it concerns their experience with spiritual realities and eternal values.

But religious leaders are making a great mistake when they try to call modern man to spiritual battle with the trumpet blasts of the Middle Ages. 

Religion must provide itself with new and up-to-date slogans. 

Neither democracy nor any other political panacea will take the place of spiritual progress. 

False religions may represent an evasion of reality, but Jesus in his gospel introduced mortal man to the very entrance upon an eternal reality of spiritual progression.

To say that mind “emerged” from matter explains nothing. If the universe were merely a mechanism and mind were not separated from matter, we would never have two differing interpretations of any observed phenomenon. 

The concepts of truth, beauty, and goodness are not inherent in either physics or chemistry. A machine cannot know, much less know truth, hunger for righteousness, and cherish goodness.

Science may be physical, but the mind of the truth-discerning scientist is at once super-material. 

Matter knows not truth, neither can it love mercy nor delight in spiritual realities. 

Moral convictions based on spiritual enlightenment and rooted in human experience are just as real and certain as mathematical deductions based on physical observations, but on another and higher level.

 Freedom or initiative in any realm of existence is directly proportional to the degree of spiritual influence and cosmic-mind control; that is, in human experience, the degree of the actuality of doing 'the Father’s will' (God's will).  And so, when you once start out to find God, that is the conclusive proof that God has already found you.

The sincere pursuit of goodness, beauty, and truth leads to God. 

And every scientific discovery demonstrates the existence of both freedom and uniformity in the universe. 

The discoverer was free to make the discovery. The thing discovered is real and apparently uniform, or else it could not have become known as a thing.

Facts never quarrel with real spiritual faith; theories may. Better that science should be devoted to the destruction of superstition rather than attempting the overthrow of religious faith—human belief in spiritual realities and divine values.

Science should do for man materially what religion does for him spiritually: extend the horizon of life and enlarge his personality. 

True science can have no lasting quarrel with true religion. 

The 'scientific method' is merely an intellectual yardstick wherewith to measure material adventures and physical achievements. But being material and wholly intellectual, it is utterly useless in the evaluation of spiritual realities and religious experiences.

Science lives by the mathematics of the mind; music expresses the tempo of the emotions. Religion is the spiritual rhythm of the soul in time-space harmony with the higher and eternal melody measurements of Infinity. Religious experience is something in human life which is truly super-mathematical.

 In language, an alphabet represents the mechanism of materialism, while the words expressive of the meaning of a thousand thoughts, grand ideas, and noble ideals—of love and hate, of cowardice and courage—represent the performances of mind within the scope defined by both material and spiritual law, directed by the assertion of the will of personality, and limited by the inherent ability as per situation.

The universe is not like the laws, mechanisms, and the uniformities which the scientist discovers, and which he comes to regard as science, but rather like the curious, thinking, choosing, creative, combining, and discriminating scientist who thus observes universe phenomena and classifies the mathematical facts inherent in the mechanistic phases of the material side of creation.

The scientist, not science, perceives the reality of an evolving and advancing universe of energy and matter.  The religionist, not religion, proves the existence of the spirit realities and divine values which are to be encountered in the progress of eternity.

Secular social and political optimism is an illusion. Without God, neither freedom and liberty, nor property and wealth will lead to peace.

The complete secularization of science, education, industry, and society can lead only to disaster. During the first third of the twentieth century humans killed more human beings (e.g the first and second world wars)  than were killed during the whole of the Christian dispensation up to that time. And this is only the beginning of the dire harvest of materialism and secularism; still more terrible destruction is yet to come.

Do not overlook the value of your spiritual heritage, the river of truth running down through the centuries, even to the barren times of a materialistic and secular age. In all your worthy efforts to rid yourselves of the superstitious creeds of past ages, make sure that you hold fast the eternal truth. 

But be patient! when the present superstition revolt is over, the truths of Jesus’ teachings will persist gloriously to illuminate a new and better way.

Monday, September 16, 2013

National Pension Scheme of India: Why The Banks Cannot Be Entrusted to Handle Peoples' Savings ?

If a government fails in its duty to safe guard some security to its old people who are no more in a position to earn a decent livelihood, such a government cannot be considered as a government for the people. In a democracy, if the government is not for the people, it simply ceases to be a democracy. 

Governments of olden days and some present day governments of nations, where civilization has not matured enough, could be made of people whose qualities are more or less matching with the selfish beasts. Here they come up to occupy the ruling positions by using instruments of terror and hold on to their positions for exploiting their country men. Such systems are bound to be dictatorial and there is no way that the people can expect some thing good from them.

Dictatorial governments composed of selfish and authoritarian people cannot be expected to  do any good to the common citizens. They use all kinds of tactics to control the citizens for getting benefits for them by extracting a portion of the toils of the citizens. That is understandable.

But when that happens in democracies, citizens have to do some introspection. After all, democracy is by the people, of the people and for the people !

Our democratic systems, of late, seem to run away from peoples' problems. They are made so complex that on one can get any worthwhile solutions from them. And who is making them complex? The irony is that the complexities are made by the elected representatives of the people themselves.

Suppose that you are entangled in a trap of strings. If you do not know how to come out of it by removing those looped up and knotted strings, you are likely to move here and there in panic making those strings to strangulate you to death. Our law makers seem to make the present day laws in this fashion. They seem to make laws that are going to strangulate them and others some time later. Every time when they try to untie a knot, the knot further tightens !

I have written this much as I watch the sorry state of affairs in this country where newer and newer laws make things more complicated.

Of late the government seems interested in making more and more autonomous controlling authorities in each an every field. It is the licensing raj in its latest avatar allowing the elected government to wash its hands if something worse happens. These autonomous controlling bodies would be responsible and not the government !

Latest in this series now is the National Pension Regulatory Authority. Its official name is Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). With the passing of the bill this body has become a statutory one. It has now some teeth to bite ! The only thing to be seen is how it is going to bite and how such bites give the pensioners the protection !

But unfortunately, the government (the people who form the government and those drafting the rules) have not possibly kept the interest of the people who are the pensioners or  the would-be pensioners. People who have retired from active work should have some income to live comfortably and that income should reach them at their convenience on a regular basis.

Wise people who are smart enough in financial matters know well how to save for the difficult years and use their saved funds wisely.

But a good majority of people do not have such a wisdom or the financial discipline to manage their own funds. So, many people even with good accumulated funds could lose their savings making them in great financial difficulties.

Pension schemes come to help in such a situation.

Let us imagine a situation like this: Suppose that you have saved 5 % of your monthly income in a recurring deposit of the bank with for the entire period of your active working life of say, 35 years at an interest rate of say 8.5 % per annum. Suppose that this 5 % of your monthly income is Rs.1000. So for 35 years or 420 months you will save at the rate of Rs.1000 per month making your total contribution Rs.420000. But you would be surprised to know that your total savings would come to over Rs 24 Lakhs at the end of 35 years.

Now if this corpus fund of 24 lakhs is invested at the same interest rate, it would be sufficient to give you a monthly return (or pension) of Rs.17000 without any interruption for the rest of your life. That means your pension is 17 times the monthly contribution you have made. Moreover, your corpus fund of 24 lakhs remains intact and can be handed over to your legal heirs !

You can still do this without the government help. Only problem here is your own temptations which may tempt you to break your recurring deposit and use that money for some emergencies that you think as more important than your future pensions.

Now had the government simply made a small change in the existing laws that allowed the banks to create such schemes it would have been possible. Already the Public Provident Fund and such other schemes exist. But the PPF does not have an annuity payout system attached to it. All you have to do is take out your corpus (accumulated fund) and deposit in a bank as a fixed deposit with monthly interest payout option. Here too, the problem is control of your temptation to withdraw the corpus fund.

Now if the government allows the banks to prevent your temptation (of withdrawal of the already saved fund or allowing any withdrawal other than the monthly payment of interests except return of the corpus fund to the legal heirs at the time of death of the depositor) and make some deposit schemes similar to this mode, it amounts to a simplified pension scheme. Remember, the government can instruct the banks to deposit all these collected savings in government bonds so that the government gets thousands of crores of rupees for running its business as well.

The above scheme has a guarantee attached to its just as we have the guarantee on the fixed deposits of the banks. As long as the banks run, there is no problem of our funds that are invested. Normally, the banks work for generations, unless the governments make foolish policies to ruin them or they allow them to be managed with out proper checks and balances. 

Now it is again possible for the government to give some income tax benefits for such bank run pension deposit schemes because they are long duration deposits. Moreover it is possible for creating bank run pension deposit schemes for all people irrespective of the number of years that they have for active work and also allow people to contribute to their pension funds in irregular frequencies as well. The idea is to create an individuals pension corpus fund which will allow annuity payments on a monthly basis to them once they achieve their universal retirement age of say 60 years. The annuities will be payable to them during their life time and there after to their spouses and after that the entire corpus fund is returnable to their legal heirs.

But the government has now come up with the creation of an authority which will do the supervision and regulation of various pension funds to be created by financial companies. And these financial companies will do the investment of the funds mostly in the share markets which allow the funds to be drained out without anybody ever realizing it. If that happens the investors can simply curse their bad luck !

In this context, I remember the bad fortune I faced when some two decades ago, the same people in the present government allowed the banks to come up with mutual fund related savings schemes to be offered by government owned banks. I had invested some hard earned money a scheme called IndraPrakash floated by Indian Bank. I remember this bank sending me my account details, pretty impressively through out the entire 7 year investment period only to be told in the last that they do not have the money to make the repayments. The money was gone ! The government did nothing ! So many financial scams happened there after in this country with thousands of people losing their hard earned money and savings.

When the government is yet to move forward with such a scheme for the people who save for their hard times is unimaginable. It is simply anti people when pension funds are allowed to be run with no guarantees of returns. And that too when there are options for guaranteed returns !

Only when those in power feel authoritarian just as in autocracies such situations can happen. In true democracies, the prime concern of those elected representatives and those who are paid servants should be to serve the people and to work for the benefit of the people.

They should never think of making rules and laws which are anti people ! They also have a responsibility to alleviate the fears and apprehensions of the people ! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Water Flows Only to Lower Fields !

During school days, we used to learn our mother tongue Malayalam as a language. The Malayalam language teachers used to teach us the higher levels of the language and its grammatical rules that the ordinary folks never understood or needed for normal verbal interactions.

One of the things that the teachers tried hard to drive home was the use of metaphors, a phrase or a sentence which literally meant something but conveyed some deeper meanings for those who could understand it.

One of these used to be pronounced in Malayalam like this : Thana nilatthe' neerodoo ! [ താണ നിലത്തേ നീരോടൂ !} Literally translated it meant the title of this blog above.

While we were learning these in the lower classes, it appeared as a difficult thing to understand. We were required to write a page or so to explain its hidden meanings in an explicit manner.

Water flows to low lying fields. It is a universal truth observed by humans over the centuries. One can check its scientific validity by conducting experiments.

But the metaphor conveyed a deeper meaning that cannot be so easily proved by experimentation or casual observation.

So this metaphor has some thing more to understand, we were told. Only those who are low in their egos (self importance) can learn new knowledge from those who have already acquired it. In other words, only humble fellows desirous to know more only can enhance their knowledge. Here water is equated to knowledge and lower fields are equated to the ego-less minds.

My life observations for the last many years have made me to realize this much better.

The biggest self realization is the realization of one's own ignorance. If we do not feel the emptiness of some knowledge in our minds, then we are not going to feel the desire to fill that void with additional knowledge.

When our stomachs are full, we do not feel hungry to eat further.

When our mind is full, we cease to have the curiosity and desire to learn more. Our minds then get bloated with the so called high feeling or ego.

Such a situation sets in when a person completes some so-called high qualification degrees or gets in to some higher posts of authority.

At that juncture the mind gets saturated to accept further knowledge due to a self induced mind limit switch.

This kind of a situation not only happens to those of high formal education and those so called high achievers, but also to ordinary beings, students, housewives, workers and just any one.

Then such persons land into the I-know-all syndrome.

When the majority of people are inflicted with this mind disorder the society suffers. This society cannot be taught to discard its foolish preconceived ideas. It ceases to learn from the history and the experiences of others.

The progressive nature of society ceases.

Are we Indians developing such a syndrome ?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our Double Standards : Think of These for A Moment if Your Mind is Sane !

A few years ago, I had a friend who was a senior officer in the security forces. He was a gentleman according to my assessment. But some time later I met a jawan who used to be in the same security organization and he too became a bit close to me. The latter one knew that I was an acquaintance of his superior officer and so he disclosed certain things he was not liking about his boss. According to him, his boss was a terror and a person with no feelings to his subordinates. He took sadistic pleasures in troubling those under him. It was news to me. I never thought this officer could be like that to his subordinates within his domain. 

But then some day I was purchasing some fruits from the road side vendors who used to sell their merchandise on hand pulled carts. All was going on well with the poor roadside vendors doing pretty good business. All of a sudden there was a commotion among the vendors and the vendors began to run, some pulling their carts at their top speeds and some without bothering to pull their carts. The clients like me could not understand the reason for  this sudden panic among the vendors. Then suddenly I observed a uniformed jawan of the security in his Khakhi approaching the scene on his bicycle. He quickly approached the scene and began to get in to action. He overturned some of the carts, wielded his cane randomly on some of the vendors who moved out and were watching from a distance, hitting a few while yelling abuses at them. In this commotion we the clients too quickly moved in to our cars parked by the side. This jawan was the same one whom I knew and some how he did not see me. Here in this act he was unleashing a terror and I could not believe that this fellow whom I knew earlier as a harmless and innocent human could be like this ! He too was just like his boss! Under favorable situations he too was a terror ! And he used to complain about the inhuman behavior of his boss ! 

I had a subordinate officer who used to get too annoyed and shout when this person's subordinate committed some mistake or did not observe punctuality. But what was interesting is that this officer was not at all a role model for anyone especially when it comes regarding punctuality !

I have seen people who are fortunately positioned in society with such lucrative jobs which provided them very high incomes who are so reluctant to give even a fifty or a hundred rupee note to the coolies or laborers who did some service to them. Were these people not helping them physically, life would would not have been very comfortable for these affluent class. But the irony is that they do not feel ashamed for bargaining for five or ten rupees with these poor country cousins of theirs ! At the same time they might tip in hundreds to the bell boy of the five star hotel who just kept their hand baggage in their car in the porch ! They would bargain for reduction of the price of a kilo of veggie from twenty to ten in the local farmer's weekly market but are very comfortable to pay more than a fifty for the same kept in an upper market stall ! Double standards ? Isn't it ?

Have you not seen people criticizing others for their mistakes while these critiques themselves have done such mistakes many times ! 

You expect others to be polite and friendly with you, but you personally are not like that to others !

Many of us cannot forgive those who have knowingly or unknowingly did some wrong to us. But we expect others to be forgiving us always ! I did not do such a grave mistake that he or she took it so seriously, you might say ! 

Many of you reading this are both a boss and a subordinate at the same time. Likewise we all have many kinds of interpersonal relations. It is a good idea to find out our double standards. The standards that we have knowingly or unknowingly set for us and for others ! 

Have you not noticed our political leaders ? When they are in the ruling side their opinions and standards are likely to be just the opposite while they are not in power. Don't we keep wondering about this? But have you ever thought of the situation when we are in their roles, even if it is just for an imagination ? 

Again, I would like to mention about another double standard syndrome that we humans are likely to fall into. That is about our standards and attitudes when we are ordinary fellows and when we happen to be blessed with power and money. Most people when they are in the former state would not have any difficulty in maintaining their friendship and love with their old friends and companions even when they are not in contact for a long period. But would it be the case when the latter is the case ? When power and money come in, friendships are gone for ever ! It is extremely difficult for many of us to acknowledge our old friends and relatives if some how our position has relatively improved as compared to them. The more this relative difference, the more we fail to recognize our old companions ! 

Have you not heard the story of Lord Krishna and Sudama (Kuchela) in the great Indian epic of Mahabharata? Lord Krishna did not forget his childhood friend, the poor brahmin Sudama, when the latter in his later day difficulties decided to approach the former who had become the king. Sudama, was apprehensive but Krishna did not behave the way others in power and position used to do. The poor brahmin got all the help, love and respect from his old childhood friend.

On the other hand, Mahabharata also has another story of two other childhood friends, Drupada and Drona. Prince Drupada and the brahmin boy Drona were good friends and the prince even had promised half of his kingdom to his friend Drona. But, Drupada when he had become the king, insulted his childhood friend Drona who approached him for help- the incident that sowed the seeds for the great Mahabharata war that destroyed all ! 

Some days ago, a friend of mine was telling me an incident of how an old friend of him, now in some top position, refuse to recognize him when he chanced to meet this big fellow. One thing I am sure. It is not that this 'big fellow' now in big position is not remembering his old pal. He remembers everything, but he is afraid to show the same friendly relation to his old pal.   This situation is due to the lack of confidence and courage of the 'big fellow'. Perhaps, this big fellow subconsciously recognizes his weaknesses that are known to his old friend ! I am not sure. But this kind of a situation is quite common now-a-days ! Perhaps more and more narrow minded and incompetent people are managing to get to become 'big fellows' ! Is the society is slowly and slowly getting degraded by our collective acts ? Would you make some one who is likely to run to safety first, the captain of your ship ?

I had asked a few people why they are reluctant to treat their servants or those who do some manual labor for them, well. Their answers and logic have surprised me a lot. Those who do the lowly paid works will not work if they are paid well, some argue. If their tummies get full, they are going to be disobedient, others argue. But what if these so-called affluent person some how looses his or her affluence due to some reason and had to do some job of that nature for survival ? But those in power and affluence, to my surprise, refuse to accept the possibility of such a thing happening to them. 

For that matter did Saddam Hussain ever could have thought of the time when he would be caught like a rat in the hole ? Does it ever occur to the other man now repeating the same mistakes ? 

But it has nothing to do with the anyone's actual power and position. Just a relative power and position difference would make the change in attitudes ! That is a reality with most of us ! Why does such a thing happen ? 

I was just thinking ! I have no concrete answers. But, perhaps we would be able to discard these double standards that cause us to swing between animal and human tendencies if we pause for a moment to think, retaining our sanity. 

Perhaps we would progress in civilization.

After all, civilization is that which makes us migrate from animal tendencies to real human nature !

That humanized nature is what God wants us to achieve and not the beastly behavior that Satan wants us to retain !

But the rewards of retaining the beastly nature apparently appear as too tempting. That is the cunning temptation of Satan that misleads gullible humans ! Again you need a sane and intelligent mind to understand it !


Friday, September 6, 2013

I Pray Now This Way Everyday to God (The Brief Story of the Evolution of My Prayer ! )

During my early childhood, I still remember the way my grandmother (mother of my father) taught me to pray to God. I was too young at that time and was perhaps just a toddler. I was just beginning to understand and talk in my mother tongue, Malayalam. Yet I remember the day when she attempted to teach me the prayer and continued to pray that way later for many years. Often silently before I go to sleep in the night ! 

That prayer was simple and I demanded nothing much from the unseen God but just a request to take care of me and those in my family.

Later in the adolescent years partial learning of science and the readings of the writings by the so-called rationalists made me confused about the existence of God to some degree, though not fully. But yet I remembered God in my thoughts quite often. My prayer had now become shortened to just a salutation, that too in my thoughts. And it remained that way later for many years so long as I faced no threats and troubles.

But during the days of problems and sickness, I used to pray to God for his help and often I found that His comfort reached me miraculously. 

For me God was like an unseen father somewhere and I was just comfortable not to have any form of image of Him in my mind while I thought about Him. The Creator of the Universes cannot be comprehended and encapsulated in the form of some image of His creations. That reasoning was quite logical.

Though the religion of my parents, Christianity and the writings of its holy book, Bible initiated and enhanced my concepts of God, it was never complete or perfect. In reality, it was also some cause for me to doubt in the existence of God.

As I have explained in many of my earlier blogs in this site, the Urantia Book was the source ( and it still is) that gave me the opportunity to view life altogether differently and in a wholesome manner. The encounter with this source of information  I consider as the greatest fortune I got in my life. The immense treasure of revealed knowledge in this book has been the agent that allowed my imperfect concepts of life and God to advance and progress to much refinement.

My belief in God has now become stabilized and I have no doubts about that now. Besides, I understand why this world is like what it is now. The immense plans of God are getting more and more clear to me and I am able to appreciate and admire it even with my limited mind capacity. 

My prayer too have evolved. I realize the importance of keeping in touch with God through my prayers. But I do not pray to Him for worldly pleasures and material goals ! He knows what I need !

Now, I spend some time every day almost always in the evening to have our family prayer. The prayer, translated in English, is something like the following: 

" Our Heavenly Father !

This time we come to your presence, O God. Thank you for the opportunity that You have provided for that.

We thank you and praise you for keeping us well under your care and protection.

We thank you and praise you for keeping us under your protection for all these years right from our childhood.

We thank you and praise you because you are the source of our lives.

We thank you and praise you because you have given us the right to be considered as your children and the right you have given us to call you as our father.

We thank you for keeping us protected from all the dangers and sicknesses and other troubles that we face now in this world. We thank you for giving us the strength to over come such problems. We thankfully remember the times you have provided us comfort during the times of our miseries.

We thank you for giving us all that material things that we deserve to live  in this world so far even at times when there are problems and turmoil all around us.

We know, God, that we live in an imperfect world of evil and we have the faith in you that you will not allow us to be perished here.

We believe in your eternal plans for us which give us the confidence to live peacefully and confidently in this world. 

God, we know and admit that we are imperfect humans of limited knowledge and capacity. We know that we have human weaknesses that cause us to commit errors in our lives. We earnestly pray for forgiveness for all the errors and sins that we might have committed in our lives knowingly or unknowingly.

We pray for your forgiveness for all errors that we have committed in our words, thoughts and deeds.

We also pray to you for strengthening us in our body, mind and spirit so that we could live a life in accordance with your wish in this world.

Father, keep guiding us daily so that we live according to your wish. Give us the wisdom to know what is good and what is bad always.

God, we pray for all in the family and our dear ones. Keep them under your watch and protection.

We pray for all individuals in our family. Provide each one what is needed. Strengthen each one in body, mind and spirit. 

We pray for our world and all the people of this world. Have your mercy and providence to all in this world. 

Do not allow evil to pervade this world. Give us the knowledge and the wisdom to transform this world to one as per your liking just as those others in the heavens.

Teach us to live following the good path. 

Give us the mental strength to forgive those who might work against us and do harm to us either knowingly or unknowingly. 

Strengthen us to do our daily works sincerely and truthfully and in a manner that is pleasing to you.

We know God that our lives in this world are only for some years. But we also know about your promise of giving us a future life of eternal adventure even after our material deaths in this world. Make us God, worthy of that future everlasting lives.

Keep us God in your protection and care in our future days and years so long as we live in this world. 

Give us all the good that we may need.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen. "

Dear reader, you might wonder why my prayer ended in the name of Jesus Christ. As a person born in a Christian family and as per the Christian traditions we used to pray that way earlier. But to admit frankly, I was not sure of its purpose. But now, the book I have mentioned above removed all those doubts. I now know who is Jesus Christ for sure and why I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Elsewhere in my other blogs you could read much about those.