Monday, June 30, 2014

Great Companies to Work in India:Why There are Only 2 PSUs in the 2014 List of 100?

Today morning, while glancing through the business news, there was a not-so-important news coverage that got my attention. The news was about some organization doing some research to publish the list of 100 odd companies that are found as great places to work in India. 

Google India Pvt Ltd topped the list.[ surprisingly, Google's Indian wing, though registered as a private limited company in India, does not have a website of its own!] As per available information, Google India Pvt Ltd has 1625 satisfied employees, who really feel their company is a great place to work in India. There is no need for any one to doubt that, because it is the satisfied employees of Google who made their company- a small business venture registered by two PhD students of Stanford University almost recently in 1998- to become a 50,000 employee strong multinational entity whose name has become synonymous for internet search. Even this blog that you are reading would not have been possible without the dedicated work of many of these people who work for this great company.

Now the same Google helped me to find more information about the research finding that I was reading in the newspaper in the morning. I have found out the list of those 100 best companies which are declared as great companies in India to work during 2014 and also more information about 

When I observed the list closely, I find most of the companies are either privately held or privately owned public limited companies, except two companies that are government owned. The latter in India are commonly called the Public Sector Undertakings (PSU). 

Having decades of experience in a PSU, it is not any thing surprising for me that many PSUs are not in the list. But as I have guessed rightly, I could find the National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC) and the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) in the list, thought not in the first fifty. 

NTPC, though a PSU has been born with a work culture that is much different from other PSUs. Much of this work culture is because of the top leadership of this company right from its incorporation. This company was some how fortunate to get good top management team right from the beginning. For individuals and for corporate entities, good genes make lots of difference! Thus this PSU company was able to develop a good work culture and produce good leaders from within. Its present CMD, Dr Anup Roy Choudhury who has been leading this company for more than a decade now is an eminent technocrat who could maintain that work culture and improve it even under the severely constrained work environments that PSUs generally face. [You may also read: Why Indian Public Sector Undertakings Fail to Perform Now?]

When NTPC was founded way back in 1975 as a government of India owned, central PSU for setting up and managing large scale thermal power plants, the government handed over the small Badarpur thermal power station which was a poor performer and a small power producing utility to the management of NTPC. From less than 100 MW power production at Badarpur in 1975, NTPC now is a company with an installed capacity of over  43000 MW of coal based thermal power. With a workforce mostly drawn from other PSUs, this feat is some thing of a remarkable achievement and a fine example of exemplary work culture that this CPSU has been able to develop and sustain! There were many of my colleagues who preferred to shift to this company way back in the beginning of the 1980's. I do remember a senior colleague who shifted to this company calling me too join them giving due regards to my experience in thermal power chemical control and water treatment! Though I declined that offer due to personal reasons, I was a keen observer of the work culture of this PSU and the outstanding progress this company has been making as compared to other PSUs which could not emulate the NTPC work culture!

Let me narrate one or two examples of that work culture that I have personally experienced. Some time in the late 1990's the PSU where I worked, faced some serious problems with some of its captive thermal power plants. These problems were essentially related to poor management of the power station chemical control including its water management. These captive thermal power plants were my initial work place, but when this incident happened I was no more working in the power plant department. Yet some member in the top management of our company remembered me and called me to get my advice to overcome the problem.

I studied the problem and gave my suggestions. Our company could have gone ahead to implement the suggestions that I gave. But the work culture of our company had become too complex by then that the top management wanted me to undertake an all India tour to other thermal power stations to study those problems in a few other thermal plants and then give my technical study report for further actions.

So I visited a few large and small thermal power plants owned and managed by a few state electricity boards, some other private companies and also one super thermal power station at Ramagundam managed by NTPC. When I reached, Ramagundam by road from Vijayawada, after visiting the thermal power plant there, I was not knowing what to expect as I did not know any one there.

I did not have the opportunity to observe the NTPC culture till then. When I reached, the gate of the power station I found the security forces of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)- the para military organization of India which is mandated to provide security to most government owned industrial establishments in India. Having experienced the attitudes of CISF jawans in some other places including the PSU where I worked, I was a bit apprehensive. The existing work culture of the place does affect these forces too and many a times people find it not so pleasant!

But to my surprise, I find the officer of CISF at NTPC-Ramagundam  very cordial and cooperative which was not what I was expecting. This officer helped me to get in to contact with the right officer of NTPC and talk to him over phone from the security gate. The response from the NTPC officer too was a pleasant surprise. This officer- who was junior to me by the PSU rank- instructed the CISF officer to make the entry pass for me and the CISF officer did that immediately. (In many other PSUs, this thing could be a harassment even for the company guests!) The NTPC officer told me to wait for a few minutes till he sent one company vehicle to pick me inside. That was another surprise because, the company where I worked, even the top executive might also find it difficult to do such a thing! 

The company vehicle arrived at the gate to pick me within a few minutes and I was taken to the officer whom I knew only just a few minutes, that too over the intercom of NTPC at the security gate. 

For the rest of the day, I had a rewarding professional experience. I got the opportunity to meet almost all the officers of the plant and interact and exchange our professional experiences. I could visit the plant with them and I was greatly impressed to know about their working style, a style that invariably reflected on the upkeep of the plant.

I was impressed by the office ambiance that my contact officer of NTPC had there, some thing many other private and government companies never bothered about. With all that atmosphere and authority that his company provided, I could feel the professional pride and satisfaction of my contact officer of NTPC. Obviously, such employees are going to make their company perform well! How the employee feels that way was obviously the distinct work culture of this CPSU which got developed due to the vision of its top management from the very beginning!

During the professional interactions, I found that NTPC Ramagundam was adopting a technique that was a bit more complex to manage a technical issue pertaining to its cooling water management. It was the same problem of our captive power plant too, for which I was sent by our management for detailed investigations. I gave my suggestions to the NTPC fellows too as I did to our top authorities. 

To cut the story short, within months, I learnt that NTPC Ramagundam implemented my suggestion where as my report eventually went to rest in my own organization with nothing happening. Later the situation in my organization with regard to the captive power production deteriorated further. Later, some of the captive thermal production facilities of our company were handed over to NTPC to be managed by an NTPC controlled joint venture. The power plant where I began my career too went under the management control of this new joint venture.

The first major change for these units under NTPC controlled management has been the drastic changes in the employee benefits and facilities. NTPC began their actual control of operation and management only after all the employee facilities had been created as per their own standards! And that is what makes NTPC different from other PSUs.

But that does not mean that NTPC or any other such organizations which find their name in the list of best companies for employees for 2014 would remain as such in the future too. They may change for better or worse in the future. And that all depend on the attitudes of the top management and the rest of the key authorities in their respective organizations who are responsible for making the people work earnestly, taking pride in their organization. 

If corporate history is any indication, there would be many companies that would compete in the future to find their names in the list that I mentioned above. That is a matter of prestige and some top corporate managers are too willing to do any short cuts for gaining such prestigious positions without honestly making any real cultural change within their organizations.

That is true with all management systems, be it of total quality  management (TQM), corporate social responsibility (CSR), Environment Management, Safety, etc., etc. 

In short, every thing ultimately boils down to people. If the organization is made of people having the 4 C's that I wrote some time ago, things would naturally follow a better path and the company would naturally be a great place to work. The more such people in the organization, the more it would be a better place to work! 

But there is a critical mass in this case too. When the numbers of the  4 C-people go down below a certain limit, the company or organization begins to collapse as it would not be easy for the company to make any positive changes by its own.

It would be an interesting study if any one ventures to study why only 2 PSU's were liked by their own employees! Of course, such studies and their findings would be of any use only when there is some one to examine those for positive actions!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Some Selected Info Compilation For Car and Bike Enthusiasts!

Carscoops is a website that gives much information about latest trends in the global auto markets. The New Cars page of Carscoops features latest cars as offered by renowned auto makers of the world. Other interesting pages of this website are spyshots featuring photographs and news about new models about to be launched in the market by the auto makers, Concepts which gives information of future concept cars, Future Cars which gives some insight in to the future cars that could be launched by the global auto companies in the near future, etc. The right panel of all pages gives a list of hyper linked names of almost all renowned automakers of the world. By clicking the names one can get specific news about the models those auto companies and their various designs. But carscoops does not give much information about the Indian automakers and the Indian trends.

For that the Indian Auto Blogs is a good site. 

In my opinion all automobile or car enthusiasts should have some insight about automobiles including the history of the automobile industry. Obviously, the automobile page of Wikipedia is the best place for that. 

Youngsters may be more interested to know about motorbikes and the latest trends in the two wheeler industry. Again the Wikipedia page on motorcycles should be given a look before venturing into other sites. But the scooter page of Wiki should not be overlooked. Even if you may not be able to afford one, it is a good idea to have some idea about the fastest motorcycles that are available in the world from

But talking about automobiles of the world, one cannot ignore these most expensive cars of the world and also the most expensive motorcycles of the world as of now. 

But the most expensive cars need not be the nicest cars. Auto enthusiasts have varying opinions. But this reviewer gives those considerations for the selection of the top 10 nicest cars of the world.

But expensive or nicest cars are not for the common people. For the common folks of the world, the experts have selected the best 10 cheapest cars of the world gives a list of the cheapest motorcycles that are available in the world market that are legally certified for common use. 

For the Indian car enthusiasts, provides the list of all cars that are available in the Indian market with their showroom prices. The site also gives facility to filter the various makes and models with regard to their prices and also compare the various models with regard to their specifications and features. Similar facility is offered by is another such site for the Indian enthusiasts of autos, both cars and motorcycles. 

There are some rich auto enthusiasts in the world who are willing to pay anything to grab any old and classic autos to their collections as they are passionate auto collectors. So if you keep your car or motorcycle well maintained for a few generations it could become something more expensive than gold. The Wikipedia gives some insight into some of the most expensive old car auctions that had happened in the past.  Old is gold becomes literally true for cars and motorcycles too!

If you have some interesting information in this context, consider sharing those with others by using the comments facility.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Campa Cola Apartment Eviction Case: Who Are Responsible? Who Are to be Punished?

The Campa Cola Apartment Case is becoming a test case in India regarding the rule of law. It is proving that justice in India goes by the written laws impartially and blindly at whatever be the outcome.

But the Campa Cola case is a test case in the administration of justice because, in this case it has become difficult to ascertain who is or who are the culprits. On the one side, there is the mighty democratic system of governance represented by the local administration of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ably patronized by the state government of Maharashtra and on the other side there are about 250 odd owners of the apartments built on the Campa Cola premises in Worli, South Mumbai. 

The background of the case is some thing like this. Some decades ago the governments at the central, state and local levels in India were having much land in their possession. They also had enough statutory powers and the officers of the government had enough guts to acquire land using the prevailing laws.

To promote growth and development of factories, educational institutions, hospitals, roads, etc, it was an acceptable practice by the governments to lease out large peaces of land to both private and public organizations for such purposes.

Leasing out of landed property is quite different from outright sale. The custodian of the property in the former case is called a lease holder while in the latter case the custodian who has purchased the land is the owner holding the free hold title to the property. The lease holder enjoys some rights on the property for a long period as per the lease agreement which could go as long as 99 years in some cases. After the original lease period, the lease holder has to return the land back to its original owner or his legal heirs. If the lease holder had constructed buildings etc on the land, those have to be demolished if the agreement so stipulates.

Normally, as per the standard lease agreements in vogue in India, the lease holder has no right to lease out the property in full or in part to others without the concurrence of the original owner. 

Now coming back to the Campa Cola case. A private company, M/s Pure Drinks Ltd- the makers of the popular Indian soft drink, Campa Cola- got the land for constructing its soft drink bottling plant on lease from the local government, the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) who were the owners of the land. The BMC authorities naturally would not have done so, without the approval of the state government authorities of that time. Initially, the lease was for the purpose of building the factory. But later, the company approached BMC to amend the lease terms in such a way that they could build some apartments for their employees on the same land. It seems that the BMC agreed to this.

But the company with the help of some private builders thought of making a big profit from this. Instead of the initial five floored buildings to function as the official quarters of their employees, they began to construct additional floors  for the use of those not connected with the work of the company. They built about 250 additional apartments and wanted to sell them to the public there by taking full advantage of the high premium for residential apartments in the highly populated city of Mumbai. Naturally, as per the lease agreement, the company was not authorized to sell property to others or even lease it out to others. But under the guise of building apartments for their own employees, they built the additional apartments for sale or lease to the public. 

It was the duty of the BMC authorities and the government to prevent the additional construction and its sale to the public. But there was no such enthusiasm from the representatives of the governmental authorities (the owners of the land) during that time. Perhaps there was some attempts from some authorities to be watered down by some others. There was some tacit understanding between the owner representatives and the lease holder company representatives!

The public fell in to their trap and 'purchased' those apartments by paying heavy amounts. In reality many of them did not understand whether they are really purchasing those properties or not as per the law. Perhaps they knew it, but cared little because they cared less for the law and its ramifications later. But ignorance of the law is no excuse!

But the long hands of the law acts slowly in many instances. It has taken long 25 years. Those of the public who had paid huge sums to acquire these 'prime properties of Mumbai' later realized their folly, but refused to accept it. The question they have been asking is all these time has been this: Why the authorities allowed the illegal construction and its sale? Why only targeting us, the hapless buyers of the apartments? How come the other authorities provided us water and electricity and other such facilities if we were illegal occupants? 

Yes, all these are valid questions. But that does not mean that the public who had paid for these flats are totally innocent. It is the duty of the purchasers of properties to ensure the legal aspects before they shell out their monies!

Obviously, in this case there are errors and violations made by all the three parties. The BMC authorities of that time, the company authorities of that time and the public who paid to occupy these illegally made apartments. 

But it is for the court of justice to decide those things critically and give out the final verdicts. That is what the SC has done. 

This is not an isolated case in India. Due to misunderstanding of the provisions of lease agreements, laws , the over enthusiasm of officials of public authorities and the casual approach of the citizens, so many such instances had happened in India in the last few decades. 

I know a case wherein many people ignoring the warnings of a state government of central India and proceeding to acquire properties that a Public Sector Undertaking was trying to lease out to its employees! Not only they ignored the warnings but went ahead to acquire the properties and further made the things more complicated by constructing palatial buildings later by personally 'managing' and circumventing the lease stipulations!

For the time being, nothing has happened to most of them. But there is no guarantee that some thing of this sort would not happen in the future. Because, when laws and agreements are violated, things could really go bad, not necessarily immediately.

So those who think of manipulating the laws by their own influences should remember that they could not do that always. 

And that is the lesson that people should learn from the Campa Cola case!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

You Just Cannot Predict How Antagonized People Would React to Settle Scores!

For every action there is and equal and opposite reaction. That is a universal law discovered by the eminent physicist Sir Isaac Newton a couple of centuries ago. But that applies with regard to force and its manifestations of mechanics.

But in the areas of human relations, actions and responses this law could be modified to some extent and stated some thing like this:

Every action of humans elicits a reaction from other affected humans , not necessarily equal but more or less and not necessarily recognized as a direct consequence to the original action.

So if you smile at another human, he or she may respond directly or indirectly often with another smile but not necessarily recognized by you always.

If you help some one you also may get help some time later in more or less measure directly or indirectly.

If you abuse some one, you too might be abused directly or indirectly sooner or later.

If you go to war with a nation and kill its people, your people would sooner or later get killed either directly or indirectly in situations that you may not even recognize as war.

You may think of wiping out a group whom you think as some nuisance to you, but your peace would not last long as the reaction to your annihilation action sets in sooner or later annihilating you or your people.

Be careful before you initiate your acts that cause antagonism in others. Antagonized people would sooner or later react in such a way that you never understand what is happening to you.

When America finally declared one of the high tech war to overpower a big mouthed dictator of Iraq, it might have thought of doing some good to the world as a whole, but invariably landed in to the situation of antagonizing thousands of others turning a few of the others to become potential threats of the future than the earlier dictator who was exterminated.

Trying to exterminate and punish all potential and existing enemies is no solution for any one to live in peace. Had it been so, our world would already have become a peaceful area.

All those who resort to take the sword to cut and throw all those irritant individuals of their lives are bound to perish by similar swords that come in reaction to their actions.

I am not against justified law and order actions of the state against law breakers. But when such actions are taken, it has to be ensured precisely and justifiably even to the satisfaction of the people who are punished.

That is indeed some thing that could be ascertained by higher order minds. 

Lower order humans have more animal traits in them than higher order humans. That implies that all humans might show animal tendencies more or less under situations of compulsions. A very loving and compassionate human being could attack or kill another human being under certain conditions when their mind level falls down to that of the animal kind. When that happens, the human mind loses its capacity to think rationally.

Well domesticated dogs are perhaps the only animal that may not bite the hands of its master that feed them. But they too might do so in rare occasions. Harmless animals are harmless in the general sense, but that does not mean that they fully reciprocate your love and affection always.

In a similar manner, human beings could also be categorized as inherently harmless, circumstantially harmless and potentially harmful. The latter two could cause immense problems to others when they are antagonized. 

But  hidden within the minds of all humans, unlike the animals, is a minute power residue of God that makes humans different from animals. In some humans, the animal mind is fully dominated by this power residue of God. In such a scenario, the humans tend to become all loving, all compassionate and all pardoning just as God.

But the majority of humans, that is not the case. In their case, their animal minds overshadow the minute power residue of God that resides in their minds. Coupled with other natural human mind characteristics of will, intelligence and creativity, humans become greedy, egoistic, revengeful and suspicious in such cases, though not often. But when it happens they tend to become anti-god or devilish. 

You rub them the wrong way, they would get antagonized and revengeful. Their minds would start thinking of ways to teach you a befitting lesson sooner or later. Their fear of the circumstances may not allow them to be explicit or direct to express their animosity. In that case they adopt subtle ways of revenge. 

The world is predominated by circumstantially harmless and potentially harmful peoples. All of them have some scores to be settled with someone. Thus the world becomes a human network of perpetual malice not always discernible to all.

Our world can improve only when love and compassion to others become the primary motto of living. Our governments, our judiciary , our law enforcers, our businesses , our education systems all have to adopt this principle as the primary principle of living. That promotes universal brother hood of man.

When universal brotherhood starts developing in the minds of men and women, they become more and more reflecting the power of God. The world would begin to transform as a pleasurable and enjoyable place for all.

But the process has to start form the higher individuals. They are the ones who could set the examples for others to follow.

They are the ones who possess the potential to overcome their animal minds by their power of the will.

Would it happen?

I am just wondering and dreaming for such a thing to happen.

It is time that we do intellectually some thing to reduce the numbers of our antagonistic fellows around us. Not by exterminating them, but by soothing their minds to remove their frustrations and antagonisms. 

Will you support this idea my friend?    

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Inhuman Working Conditions of Indian Railway Loco Drivers: Think about it when You Travel!

Indian Railways being a central government monopoly would perhaps be one of the  whole sole business opportunity that the unconcerned bureaucrats and technocrats associated with the Indian Railways mismanage to the core unwittingly due to various systemic lacunae associated with the whole system.

The railways have a tremendous potential for business enhancement because the demand for its services are much higher than the supply. Unfortunately, either due to incompetency or due to various deep rooted vested interests the railway authorities at the top and at the bottom seem to keep the Indian railway services as a matter of perpetual scarcity. Had they managed it well, it could have provided much more employment than the present in a much more decent manner, besides giving satisfaction to the millions of its users. Indians as a whole would have some thing to showcase and be proud of. But unfortunately it has not been so ever since India got independence.

As a railway user, I would not have felt it as a problem to pay a little more, had they enhanced the quality of services, its availability and its safety.

The railways in India is a monopolistic business directly run as a governmental organization unlike many other government controlled businesses. Once upon a time the telecom business was also a similar governmental monopolistic organization in India. Telecom sector has since been opened up to the private sector. Some how those in power do not want to try the telecom experiment with the railways and lose the power and privileges they have been enjoying even from the British Raj days!

I had written about the Indian railways in this forum in earlier occasions too. When governmental systems try to manage business it causes several challenges and those challenges cannot be addressed with a conventional mindset. It requires forceful people who could remove the lethargy of legacy in government. Unfortunately lethargic systems of people hardly facilitate that. Even those who are part of governance become unaware and helpless to effect changes because the systems blind them from understanding the root causes.

What tempted me to write about the Indian railways again is a news that appeared in the national newspapers a couple of days ago.

The news was regarding the pitiful working conditions of the Indian locomotive drivers. Perhaps this news was a small synopsis of a detailed doctoral thesis paper published in 2013 in the IOSR Journal of Business and Management titled Work Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco Pilots)  authored by Dr Rajesh Ranjan and Dr T Prasad based on their detailed investigative studies. 

I recommend all those who are interested and concerned to have a reading of this research paper for themselves.

It is most unfortunate that the Indian authorities have not considered it to take any appropriate actions to fill up the acute shortage of loco pilots during the past years that the shortage as of now is reportedly to the tune of over 20,000. This has caused the train drivers who drive the goods and passenger trains in India to work much more time on a regular basis than what is humanly possible. It is reported that the heavy work load has made the loco pilots to work on an average 10 hours at a stretch now. 

Instead of enhancing the rolling stock to cater to the ever increasing demand, the authorities have been trying to enhance the use of the available rolling stock (loco engines, passenger coaches, goods wagons, etc) to maximum use, sometimes even necessitating compromise on their maintenance, safety, inspections and replacement of spares. Since they have been adopting a policy of decreasing the manpower for enhanced profits and cash generation, the availability of trained and experienced personnel has been on a continuous decline over the years. This has caused difficulties in using even the available equipment optimally. 

It is all the effect of some foolish management consultants propagating the idea of reducing man power for better business sense that has been percolating the corridors of power slowly in such a way that the conditions that existed at the time of the original proposal is no more valid as time elapsed in years. With some bureaucrats getting the idea later, become proponents of the idea much later when it is warranted the least, we land into a situation of complex and contradictory policies!  Effectively, such a scenario causes the governmental systems to work in an antagonist manner always. The resultant is a non functional government which is under constant ridicule by the informed citizens and facing the ire of the common citizens! Under such circumstances, citizens feel pity about their political leaders who head the railway ministry and keep parroting the verses taught by the officialdom under them as explanations to all the ills of the railways that people keep facing day in and day out! 

Some years back there was a report in the news papers regarding Indianization of imported high power locomotive engines as suggested by some of the 'enlightened' technocrats and bureaucrats of the railway ministry. The foreign supplier was delivering air conditioned locos with much facilities to the loco pilots as was the usual practice as per the international specifications.

But some individuals of the Indian techno-bureaucratic system that manages the Indian railways wrote their expert opinions in the concerned files advising against the air-conditioning. Perhaps that had forced the supplier to charge more for removing a standard facility from their advanced engines in order to Indianize them! Unfortunately such decisions that take place within the system of governance hardly get noticed and the concerned technocrats and bureaucrats are never questioned by any one for their so called wisdom! More over the Indian political bosses hardly have the competence to overrule the recommendations of the techno-bureau-financial expert recommendations always. Virtually more often they are contented to act as rubber stamps giving approvals without the ability to get themselves convinced as the representatives of the common man before they give their approvals or disapproval.

Is it not inhuman and cruel that the loco men and women have to keep entrapped in their engine rooms under hostile environment for hours at a stretch even without the facility to attend the nature's call? 

Who are to be blamed if their human bodies succumb to the tiresome situation and their eyelids close for a few seconds and miss the signals while the engine haul them at tremendous speeds exceeding 100 km/hr? 

Are they responsible or those who sit in cool and comfy cabins to write their own opinions on the files without ever understanding what the railway or the loco are? 

Fatal rail accidents are a common feature now-a-days in India. The railway administration is very keen to penalize the loco pilots for all accidents.

Are they responsible? 

To be very frank, I have never ever imagined in the past that our railway loco drivers are discharging their duties under such compelling circumstances.

I salute them. They are our heroes. But what about those who try to exploit our heroes?

Think about it when next time you travel by the Indian railways! 

Teachings of Jesus about Angels!

As they journeyed up the hills from Jericho to Bethany, Nathaniel walked most of the way by the side of Jesus, and their discussion of children in relation to the kingdom of heaven led indirectly to the consideration of the ministry of angels. Nathaniel finally asked the Master (Jesus) this question: 
“Seeing that the high priest is a Sadducee, and since the Sadducees do not believe in angels, what shall we teach the people regarding the heavenly ministers?” 
Then, among other things, Jesus said:
“The angelic hosts are a separate order of created beings; they are entirely different from the material order of mortal creatures, and they function as a distinct group of universe intelligences. 
"Angels are not of that group of creatures called ‘the Sons of God’ in the Scriptures; neither are they the glorified spirits of mortal men who have gone on to progress through the mansions on high. Angels are a direct creation, and they do not reproduce themselves. 
"The angelic hosts have only a spiritual kinship with the human race. As man progresses in the journey to the Father in Paradise (Universal Father God), he does traverse a state of being at one time analogous to the state of the angels, but mortal man never becomes an angel.
“The angels never die, as man does. 
"The angels are immortal unless, by chance, they become involved in sin as did some of them with the deceptions of Lucifer
"The angels are the spirit servants in heaven, and they are neither all-wise nor all-powerful. But all of the loyal angels are truly pure and holy.
“And do you not remember that I said to you once before that, if you had your spiritual eyes anointed, you would then see the heavens opened and behold the angels of God ascending and descending? 
"It is by the ministry of the angels that one world may be kept in touch with other worlds, for have I not repeatedly told you that I have other sheep not of this fold? 
"And these angels are not the spies of the spirit world who watch upon you and then go forth to tell the Father the thoughts of your heart and to report on the deeds of the flesh. 
"The Father (God) has no need of such service inasmuch as his own spirit lives within you. 
"But these angelic spirits do function to keep one part of the heavenly creation informed concerning the doings of other and remote parts of the universe. 
"And many of the angels, while functioning in the government of the Father and the universes of the Sons, are assigned to the service of the human races. 
"When I taught you that many of these seraphim (an order of angels) are ministering spirits, I spoke not in figurative language nor in poetic strains. 
"And all this is true, regardless of your difficulty in comprehending such matters.
 “Many of these angels are engaged in the work of saving men, for have I not told you of the seraphic joy when one soul elects to forsake sin and begin the search for God? 
"I did even tell you of the joy in the presence of the angels of heaven over one sinner who repents, thereby indicating the existence of other and higher orders of celestial beings who are likewise concerned in the spiritual welfare and with the divine progress of mortal man.
“Also are these angels very much concerned with the means whereby man’s spirit is released from the tabernacles of the flesh and his soul escorted to the mansions in heaven. 
"Angels are the sure and heavenly guides of the soul of man during that uncharted and indefinite period of time which intervenes between the death of the flesh and the new life in the spirit abodes.”
And he would have spoken further with Nathaniel regarding the ministry of angels, but he was interrupted by the approach of Martha, who had been informed that the Master was drawing near to Bethany by friends who had observed him ascending the hills to the east. And she now hastened to greet him. [Quoted from Paper-167 of the Urantia Book]
My dear human son/daughter of God!
If reading the above ignited your inner thirst for knowing more about the loving God of the Universe, you should consider reading the book from which the above passage is taken. You can do so by looking for it on the right panel of this page.
Share this with those of whom you consider ripe to receive knowledge beyond their daily chores of routine living! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Teachings of Jesus about Marriage and Divorce!

The following is a passage from the gospel according to St.Matthew as given in the New Testament Bible [ NT Bible, Matthew 19:3-12]

One day the Pharisees ( with an intention to irritate him) asked Jesus this question: 

“Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”

He answered, “Haven’t you read in your (scriptures) that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”

They shot back in rebuttal, “If that’s so, why did Moses (in the scriptures) give instructions for divorce papers and divorce procedures?”

Jesus said, “Moses provided for divorce as a concession to your hardheartedness, but it is not part of God’s original plan. I’m holding you to the original plan, and holding you liable for adultery if you divorce your faithful wife and then marry someone else. I make an exception in cases where the spouse has committed adultery.”

Jesus’ disciples objected, “If those are the terms of marriage, we’re stuck. Why get married?”

But Jesus said, “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked—or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”

Now let us see the explanation related to this incident as told to the 20th century people of earth by the invisible, superhuman authors of my supreme book of life guidance: (The Urantia Book Paper 167) 

That night, in Jericho, the unfriendly Pharisees (members of the ancient Jewish Sect who followed strict religious traditions and laws) sought to entrap the Master (Jesus) by inducing him to discuss marriage and divorce, as did their fellows one time in Galilee, but Jesus artfully avoided their efforts to bring him into conflict with their laws concerning divorce. 

As the publican (keeper of the Jewish place of worship) and the Pharisee illustrated good and bad religion, their divorce practices served to contrast the better marriage laws of the Jewish code with the disgraceful laxity of the Pharisaic interpretations of these Mosaic (rules stipulated in the Jewish Bible believed as written by Moses) divorce statutes. 

The Pharisee judged himself by the lowest standard; the publican squared himself by the highest ideal. Devotion, to the Pharisee, was a means of inducing self-righteous inactivity and the assurance of false spiritual security; devotion, to the publican, was a means of stirring up his soul to the realization of the need for repentance, confession, and the acceptance, by faith, of merciful forgiveness. The Pharisee sought justice; the publican sought mercy. 

The law of the universe is: Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find.

Though Jesus refused to be drawn into a controversy with the Pharisees concerning divorce, he did proclaim a positive teaching of the highest ideals regarding marriage. 

He exalted marriage as the most ideal and highest of all human relationships. 

Likewise, he intimated strong disapproval of the lax and unfair divorce practices of the Jerusalem Jews, who at that time permitted a man to divorce his wife for the most trifling of reasons, such as being a poor cook, a faulty housekeeper, or for no better reason than that he had become enamored of a better-looking woman.

The Pharisees had even gone so far as to teach that divorce of this easy variety was a special dispensation granted to the Jewish people, particularly the Pharisees. And so, while Jesus refused to make pronouncements dealing with marriage and divorce, he did most bitterly denounce these shameful floutings of the marriage relationship and pointed out their injustice to women and children.

He never sanctioned any divorce practice which gave man any advantage over woman; the Master countenanced only those teachings which accorded women equality with men.

Although Jesus did not offer new mandates governing marriage and divorce, he did urge the Jews to live up to their own laws and higher teachings. 

He constantly appealed to the written Scriptures in his effort to improve their practices along these social lines. While thus upholding the high and ideal concepts of marriage, Jesus skillfully avoided clashing with his questioners about the social practices represented by either their written laws or their much-cherished divorce privileges.

It was very difficult for the apostles (disciples of Jesus) to understand the Master’s reluctance to make positive pronouncements relative to scientific, social, economic, and political problems. 

They did not fully realize that his earth mission was exclusively concerned with revelations of spiritual and religious truths.

After Jesus had talked about marriage and divorce, later on that evening his apostles privately asked many additional questions, and his answers to these inquiries relieved their minds of many misconceptions. 

At the conclusion of this conference Jesus said: 

“Marriage is honorable and is to be desired by all men. The fact that the Son of Man (Jesus often preferred to address himself like this) pursues his earth mission alone is in no way a reflection on the desirability of marriage. 

"That I should so work is the Father’s (God's) will, but this same Father has directed the creation of male and female, and it is the divine will that men and women should find their highest service and consequent joy in the establishment of homes for the reception and training of children, in the creation of whom these parents become co-partners with the Makers of heaven and earth. 

"And for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall become as one.”

And in this way Jesus relieved the minds of the apostles of many worries about marriage and cleared up many misunderstandings regarding divorce; at the same time he did much to exalt their ideals of social union and to augment their respect for women and children and for the home.

I earnestly hope that you ( who read it patiently with the spiritual curiosity that compelled you from within) could get some valuable insight.

Share it with those of whom who might be receptive to the true teachings of Jesus. 

How I Managed My Chronic Gum Disease and Tooth Pain!

When you approach old age, your body systems begin to deteriorate and you begin to get ailments of various kinds.

I am no exception. I am fast nearing to the accepted age when every one would formally or informally designate you as a senior citizen- a clever nomenclature to designate people who are branded for obscurity in some short period of time ahead.

Let me admit this. I am comfortable with that condition as I understand the destiny that is certain for all who have born as humans in this world.

Perhaps the politicians of all nations would be the only exception. They are the only kind in the world who are not comfortable with the thought of thinking about their sunset years. They are not comfortable to make way to those who march forward behind them.

That is the problem with those who have made much wealth and money too. The few decades of less than a century are not enough for them. They are willing to spend any amount of money to any hospitals and medicos just for keeping them alive and to escape the dread of death.

The fear of old age debility , pain and  death by such people give enough opportunity for medical and pharmaceutical business to flourish in leaps and bounds.

So a celebrity is not hesitant to spend billions for transplanting or transfusions of body parts and fluids from the incapacitated bodies of the less privileged and accept it as their own. Perhaps the same living body of the underprivileged might have been a repulsive thing for the celebrity on all previous occasions!

Then there are the medical researchers and the medical scientists and the celebrity medical doctors of modern age who do not forgo any opportunity to make cash by trading human flesh and blood, though they may glorify it in the name of advanced medical science.

Then there are the bio-medical engineers and the pharmaceutical bio technologists who keep discovering, patenting and selling all kinds of substances and equipment under the umbrella of unscrupulous businessmen and business women who have sold out  their human nature and humanity for greed.

They join hands with the paid media to terrorize the common people and draw them to them encouraging them to spend money for all medical panacea even at the cost of all their savings of life just as the fearful celebrities do for saving their lives.

When celebrities and the powerful ones do all these, that is the order of the day. The inferior lots do not have enough brains to think. They are followers always!

Some time ago, a friend quoted a philosopher who said like this: Money begets money; work begets work.

Perhaps the philosopher had observed the world around him. He had observed that those fellows who keep making money keep on making money. He had also observed that some people are always busy with work as either they keep on getting some work always or they cannot get out of their work even for some time to relax. They are in the look out for some work to keep them busy always! These two kinds of people end up their whole life either making money or doing some work whether important in life or otherwise!

In a similar way some others are perennial patients. For them disease begets disease. The medical doctors call them as having hypochondriasis. That simply means that they are always worried about some ailment affecting and troubling them and they would not get any comfort unless they visit the doctor or the hospital every day! A good majority of modern men and women are affected by this medical anxiety syndrome that they form a good market for the unscrupulous medical business fraternity. The latter may some times do all such things that the former are kept under the same condition as long as they can!

The internet search engines provide enough material for all hypochondria men and women fully engaged. The medical advice sites they finally land would enhance their fears and anxieties several fold, instead of giving them any reassuring confidence.

For example their minor headache could be due to a tumor in the brain which also cannot be over ruled unless it is thoroughly examined under a total head computer aided tomography (CAT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MMI) scan, the modern medical diagnostic equipment invented by some medical research companies in the past decade. These machines cost millions and unless they are fully engaged without lose of even a minute, those who had invested those millions could not possibly recover their investments and make profits.

I am not against research or advancements in the field of medicine or medical technology. But so long as there exist unscrupulous and greedy persons among us, all good could turn out to do more harm than good. And that applies not only to this field, but in all fields of human endeavors.

You may be wondering why all this sermons that is not relevant to the title of this blog. After all who has the time to listen to sermons in these age of fast food and fast culture? Come to the point, buddy! You might say.

Do you have some thing to discuss about the world cup? You may ask. No, I have nothing to say. But I pity all those who become prey to the big money makers who know how to trap the millions like you to get glued to the big event just as the short lived moths who live for a few minutes before they flock to the bright lights for a short lived enjoyment of their life time! Are you moths of that kind?

Okay, I do not want to test your short temper any more.

As old age progressed I got a severe tooth ache and a swelling around the affected molar tooth of my upper jaw. I was affected by a similar problem for my canine teeth of either side on my lower jaw a decade ago. I visited my dentist who was pretty renowned of our locality at that time.

He examined it thoroughly and got them x-rayed and declared them as not salvageable. The solution is to pull them out. I had not other choice but to agree as the pain was severe and unbearable. So in a weeks time both my teeth got to the grave before me.

The doctor suggested that I should make up my lost teeth with artificial ceramic teeth that the modern technology has invented. The technology had advanced to such levels that he could fit them in such a way that they look better than the original if I was prepared to foot the high bill. More than the money, what I wanted to know was about the procedure.

He told that the permanent fixture of the teeth would be made by making a so called bridge to fix the artificial tooth. For making the bridge, he had to chisel, chip and drill my existing teeth and the jaw bone to some extent under local anesthesia. And it might take a few sittings for a couple of days. To make the existing teeth cause no pains later, he also had to remove the pain transmitting nerves which are embedded deep inside the teeth, a dental surgery procedure the dentist call as the root canal treatment.

Would it cause pain? Nothing much, but sometimes, a little bit. He re-assured me. I had my own doubts. As I am a fearful person, especially when it comes to things like this, I was not ready to swallow it fully.

So I talked to some others who underwent the procedure bravely. What I gained from is that the root canal treatment is much more painful than the actual pain of the decayed tooth. Of course, I have not experienced it. But why should I? Old age is going to create problems of this sort and I am not going to be an young person any more by getting those sparkling artificial teeth fitted in my mouth! More over the two teeth loss had not caused much problem to me including my facial appearance.

So I decided not to fit those artificial teeth to make me young.

A decade later, my upper jaw molar teeth became affected as was the situation earlier. It began with pain, numbness of the whole teeth and swelling of the jaw. The pain began to increase. I went to the doctor who as usual gave the final verdict of pulling the affected tooth as the solution and fitting new artificial one later.

This time I decided not to go as per the dentist for the time being. I decided to tolerate the pain by alleviating it by house hold techniques including some self medication with common pain killers. The teeth almost became lose from its root and began to move to and fro when I chewed food causing much discomfort. But I thought I should be patient for some time.

My logic was simple common sense. The pain is due to infected sensory nerves that connect to the teeth. In the root canal treatment the dentists artificially desensitize these nerves and drill them out to retain the affected bone structure of the teeth intact. Later the nerveless tooth start behaving as an artificial tooth with no means to transmit sensory pain signals to the brain.

If that were so, what would happen if I allow my decaying nerves to decay fully? Give it some time to complete that process naturally taking due precautions that the bacterial decaying process does not go out of hand to create other complications in and around . It would be a natural root canal process! 

I thought of giving my logic a try.

The decay has to proceed. So I should not kill the decay causing bacteria from the inside. So a big no for using any antibiotic drugs.

But the decay should not affect other teeth and the exterior gums. Bacteria should not make my teeth and gums their harvest field. 

By this time swelling and bubbling in the affected gum area and tolerable pain have been a persistent affair. And I kept it going like that for at least two years periodically trying some bactericidal mouth wash when problems aggravated.

Then suddenly an idea came in to my mind. Why not use ordinary table salt as my tooth paste? Salt is the best known bactericide. In no time I put that thought in to practice. At first it caused some discomfort when the salt entered the depths of the bacterial infected regions hidden between the tooth and the gum.

To my surprise, in a couple of days the year long problem vanished and my my tooth got fixed on its foundation firmly. The pain and the gum swelling have gone for ever. I have finally succeeded in getting my old decayed molar teeth and the affected gums salvaged. And the great remedy was nothing but simple table salt!

Now I brush my teeth using my tooth paste covered with a layer of table salt twice daily. It is now nearing an year and the problem has not returned.

Of course it does not mean that my old teeth would not give me trouble in the future. After all, my body and its parts are aging and would no more exist after its designated life time on this earth.

Yet it has proved one thing. Modern medicine and its opinions may not be true always. Because human knowledge about his own body design is no where near the Supreme knowledge of its original Creator.

So, better accept that supreme fact and act according to the wisdom that also provided along with. 

That is what my mind tells me.

And I try to follow that feeble instruction as far as possible.