Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Desire from Inside-Out model perspective

On Desire
"Desire is the root cause for misery"

- that is what is written about Buddha's teachings in school books

Actually through the course of my life I have learnt desire is Grace - God's greatest gift to us. Our desires defines our tastes in life, it defines who we are at a given moment.

Any desire is OK - it has to be my desire - i have to be able to give my 100% in pursuing it. To know whether we are fully involved in something of an art - I fell into a typical error that one must watch out for - to pursue something because of somebody else - I was great impressed by Buddha himself - and I started doing things to attain his state. While the Buddha attained his state as a by product in his pursuit of ending human sorrow - my pursuit was simply attain the state of Buddhahood. Since my pursuit was different but the method was taught by Buddha - the end result was quite different and miserable.

Moral of the story -

  • " Do not copy methods when intents/desires are different"
  • " your desires are what you are - no desire is invalid - every desire is divine"
  • "Do not worry too much about figuring out what is actually your desire - it can be a pretty confusing - a lot of trial and error may be required.
  • "Since any desire is as good as any other - what you choose to be your desire is your desire." You may use your value system or what appeals to your sensibilities.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Notes on Karma
The word Karma is a Sanskrit word which is used in many senses related to work. The theory of Karma can be traced back to Bhagwad Gita - the sermon given by Lord Krishna and after that it has been interpreted by almost every Indian Philosopher.
Culturally people use it to account for fate or some constraint that prevents people from doing what they want. People in India typically use is to account for some ill luck that befalls even on nice people. In the west it is dismissed as just bad luck, though there seems to be much anguish and concern as to why GOD is not fair.
The colloquial theory of Karma essentially explains bad luck and the constraints that people experience, by telling them that they are "Reaping what they sowed ". Past life is invented to account for something that a person is reaping (some terrible bad luck - like cancer at a young age, untimely loss of spouse or child ) that is hard to account in his/her present life.
However after many years of effort to understand the Theory of Karma - I found a lot of sense in it and is a creation of great beauty. In this note I wish to bring some of the profound ideas that lie in the Theory of Karma and how it works.
The Theory of Karma
Karma literally means action.
We first take an intent and follow it up with action in the form of thought, speaking to others, planning and execution. According to the Theory of Karma - every action taken to achieve a result and profit (fruit of action) leaves a trace or a karmic residue behind it. It is this residue that keeps accumulating and takes away ones well being and freedom. Only a person who acts to produce results without worrying about profit (Nishkama Karma or Niskarma) does not accumulate such a Karmic residue. Such action normally comes out of love or pure passion.
Quoting from Gita :
"I shall now describe nishkama karma yoga, the path of selfless action. You have a right to perform your natural prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to any fruits of that action. You should neither act with desire to enjoy the fruits of your work, nor, as a result, should you be attached to neglecting your duties"
How does Karmic residue work?
Any action whose motive is other than love or passion, begins a psychological compensation process which is hard to complete. Example: If we helped somebody when we did not want to - no amount of compensation helps later as we always feel incomplete. Any incomplete action somehow begins to consume a part of our free attention (in software terminology - an unproductive daemon) on how to get rewarded. During our journey of life we accumulate considerable Karmic residue and this depletes our free attention significantly. Lack of free attention means lack of intelligence. Many of the bad situations we get into life are a result of a lack of intelligence and attention.
However there are pure random events in life and nature that need not be accounted by the Theory of Karma.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Inside out model for development

Inside-Out model for Development reforms

The Purpose of life
• The purpose of life is to fulfill one's Vasanas or yearnings.
• The intensity of this yearning is passion. A passionate person pursues his/her yearnings with great vigor. Passion comes from innocence and love. All work done without love but to acquire some other benefit leads to a residue (called Karma) that reduces our passion.
• The perusal of our yearning leads to the engagement with the world i.e. application of energy and intelligence.
• Fulfillment of every yearning leads to inner growth - personal evolution. However if a goal or yearning cannot be achieved in the given social framework then the fulfillment path first entails personal evolution followed by social evolution with some form of social re-engineering or re-structuring.

The role of society and social structures

Human beings have developed the ability to communicate with each other through speech, writing, body language, and even silence. We used communication ability to further our well being and growth. This has enabled the emergence of higher social entities, which exist in the form of various social institutions. Hence we call human beings are social beings with a strong interaction between various individuals. However the social structures in the form of institutions have a life of their own if they are not managed properly they often can become counter productive to individual well being and growth. The structure exists in the form of vision and mission as communicated to the people by whoever assumes leadership, social values, culture, policies, goals, and processes for decision making and implementation….

On Passion
Considerable concern has been expressed that unrestrained passion and freedom may harm the society. People may kill, rape, burgle, cheat… I want to make it clear that all activity (including anti social activity) has a motive. A person who has been loved can love. A person who has been accepted can accept others. A person who has been encouraged can encourage and so on. Only a truly happy person can be kind and moral. It is an Inside-Out effect. An unhappy person can never be truly good. We should be wary of persons who do not exude happiness but engage in so called good activities as he must be outright and openly antisocial. We must also re-look at happy people who apparently are antisocial (Robin Hoods).

People engaged in an activity they love – high positive energy.
People engaged in an activity out of trauma – high negative energy.
People engaged in an activity to look good – low energy.
People engaged in an antisocial activity due to fear – low energy.

When we speak of passion it is in the sense of a high positive energy.
"We are a passionate society, deepening the practice of our unique perspective of harmony and evolution. We interact vibrantly with rest of the world through sharing all that is of mutual interest and benefit for humanity at large”.

• The Inside–Out model is our unique perspective
• Mukti or Moksha or Liberation has been the central question of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions.
• Intuition has been the foundation of our perception. In which case we can leave out the phrase “our unique perspective of harmony and evolution” and trust that a passionate society will discover what is needed for us at a given point of time.

An alternative vision statement can thus read as
“A passionate society responding to our needs”.

Passion is promoted in a society, which does not traumatize its people and preserves the natural innocence of a child throughout their lifetimes. This requires the society to provide the following:
• Security
 Physical security
 Guaranteed Employment opportunities for people to purchase food, shelter and clothing
 Justice - that is humane and within the reach of every citizen
 Acceptance - equal treatment of all citizens
 Education - basic education to fend for oneself's Kama,

• Opportunities for growth
 Liberal environment - respect for all traditions and personal beliefs
 Encouragement
 Networking of people - roads, railway, airlines, telephones and internet
 Education - opportunity to interact with people and enrich our lives. Centers for higher learning - Artha,
 Trusting our people with important assignments, giving opportunities to local companies and businesses - Confidence building.
 Respect
 Love
• Leadership
Development of leadership is extremely important for giving direction to a society and giving a human touch to respond properly to the fast changing world without losing sight of our fundamental direction. Our mission for leadership consists of:
 A live field education system to develop leaders of impeccable character, vision, commitment - Dharma, Moksha.
 A mechanism to ensure that people of the above qualities are at the helm of affairs ( a true democracy)
 A mechanism for people participation