Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The age of the machines

In August, 2015 the world had 4.4 zettabytes of data. That is equal to 4.4 trillion gigabytes. And only 0.5% of this data is analysed. So much of data is collected on a day-to-day basis, but much of it just sits somewhere without being attended to. The data deluge will get worse. By 2017, we will be having 44 zettabytes of data. So what do you with this deluge. For an individual or a small company, this doesn’t make a difference. At least for now. But the need for a competitive advantage will force everyone on this planet to depend on Analytics. This will be made possible by Data Analytics tools. When useful data is analysed, we get insights about us, our companies, our nations and other things. Co-relations can be made to detect hidden patterns within data and we will also further be able to predict the cause of a particular situation.

We are all creatures of limitations. There is a finite amount of thinking that we can do or what can be observed through our senses. Hence we need machines. They augment our senses and thus transcend some of our limitations. Another reason why we can use machines is because they are fast and uncannily accurate. But machines do break down. But they do not require food or water. They are also not social animals. They also can be operated in a 24 by 7 schedule. They do not require sleep. All they require is a constant supply of electricity. Now, I’m not talking about mechanical machines (like the analog watch). In this new age, a majority of machines will be digital. We are witnessing the rise of the machines in this age.

When we talk of technology, there are 2 aspects of it :

  • How do they work ?
  • Where can it be applied ?

The first aspect is quite complex. With hardware and software exploding everyday, we have invented so many myriad of tools and techniques to make them work. There are infrastructure related issues (means how does the machine perform in a particular foundation). Then there are the applications which are connected to this massive infrastructure through platforms. There are many platforms out there, not necessarily inter-operable. When a new product comes to the market, the initial curiosity can be intriguing. If this product succeeds by demonstrating its prowess, the market votes up for it. If this product promises to plug in a need hole, then it may be a winner.

However, the important thing about technology is not how it works – but where it is applied. What problem does it solve ? How does that affect the bottom line ? As humans we are always looking at solutions to problems. If a product or a service demonstrates this successfully, we don’t mind opening our wallet. For every new product there are features and limitations. If the benefits outweigh the costs, it’s a winner. Some of them go on to become viral. One of the greatest drawbacks of human beings is that we think linearly. Whereas we can find a lot of people / companies growing at an exponential rate. If you are a startup, this is the mindset that you should be having. But while you are at it, do not forget to smell the roses along the way. Remember that we have reached here with support from God, and there is no reason not to say ‘Hello’ to him once in a while. Because he is enjoying the show as much as you are.

Good luck,


Friday, September 25, 2015

What happens to us after death

Nobody has returned from the afterworld, to tell us that this is the way it is. But there are many graphical descriptions in the books. Is there a heaven or a hell ? Some cultures do not refer to hell, as they say there are two worlds only. Out of our imagination, we have created so many different worlds. Heaven or Hell is what we are in a particular moment. If we are happy and come from joy, we are in Heaven. Whereas, if we are depressed or feeling like a grouch, we are in Hell. That is as far as our state of mind is concerned. Beyond this, is a state when we experience the universal consciousness. This state is the one referred to as one without a second, in the great scriptures. This is the state that we should be aiming for. If life is worth living, it’s sole purpose is to realize ourselves in this state.

So, what does this have to do with death? Well, we have to have this realization in our life time, in order to avoid rebirth. A person who comes from this state, is always peaceful and happy. He sees himself in others and others in him. This state can also be called as the God-realized state. Actually we don’t realize God. We become God like. Existence becomes a bliss and every moment seems to merge with other moments. Time becomes an illusion and we become like that pigeon or the lion who, when asked ‘What time is it now?’ replies ‘Of course, the time is now’. There is no longer a past or a future. This enlightened person just lives for the present moment.

When such a person dies, his soul merges with the universal soul. There is no rebirth for this person. Mind you, we will keep talking births, as long as we do not achieve this unified goal. Such a person’s karmic footprint is washed away and he has a zero balance in his karmic account. But what happens to a person who has not realized this state ? Well, for one, his body is not there anymore. So the senses are no longer working. His brain with which he processes information also is no longer there. So thoughts are also absent. But his life moments are recorded in Akashic records. The resulting karma, will dictate as to what will happen to this person. Will he be waiting for some time for a rebirth, or immediately be cast into a world and all that will depend upon what he has accumulated in this life.

Death is not a full stop. It’s just a comma. Your soul can never die, as it awaits for emancipation. The only thing that can happen to your soul, is that it will take on new bodies and get reincarnated in a new form. Now is the chance for the soul to attain realization. Or else the cycle continues. Are these all predestined? No. They all happen according to individual efforts. Astrology, palmistry and other occult sciences can just predict the conditions. It’s like giving you a map. But when you traverse the map, what experience you will collect, is entirely up to you. The soul is the only noun in the universe. And as your body faces the life tunes, it gets older with experience. The idea is to realize that you are a part of God, before you die. Because this very state (samskara) will be predominant when death strikes you. Much about what happens to you after death will be directly related with the way you have lived.

Death will not die. Neither do you. As you are an everlasting soul in the bosom of God.

To your liberation,


Saturday, September 19, 2015

The ultimate knowledge

If you read the Vedanta, there are 7 Mahavakyas (Great sentences) in it :

Brahma satyam jagan mithya

This simply means that Brahman is real and the world is unreal. Brahman is a reference to our soul. Jagan (World) with all it’s variations is not reality. It is just our perception. We all perceive the world in our own ways. An insect experiences the world in a different way compared to a bird or a human. Perceptions come and go. They are not permanent in nature. The soul is something that never took birth or never faces death. Hence the only truth is the soul. The word mithya means unreal and that denotes the experience of the world that we are in.

Ekam evadvitiyam brahma

Brahman is one, without a second. Ekam means one and evadvitiyam means without a moment. Brahman or our soul is not entrapped by the time illusion that we have. It simply supersedes time. Hence it is without a second. As time passes, we see changes in our body, thoughts etc. But the soul is not affected by time. As a lotus flower which is found in a muddy place, steers itself away from it’s surroundings, we must also be pure (realize the soul) and take ourselves away from the material world. Because, you see, everything in the material world is impermanent.

Prajnanam brahman

Brahman is supreme knowledge. Prjananam is Praj (Supreme) and Gnanam (Knowledge). We all think that we are well equipped in the world with our doctorates or masters. But that knowledge is not sufficient. True knowledge is knowledge of Brahman (Soul). When we realize the soul, we can say that we have achieved the purpose of life. Hence our life should be devoted to the study of soul, as this is the highest knowledge that we can ever possess. You may have read the entire library, but if you do not know the soul, you still are a toddler.

Tat tvam asi

You are That or This is what you are. Tat (You) , tvam (Are) and asi (That). You may have mistaken yourself for an entity with a name that belongs to yourself. You have a last name, you have your fathers name and the world recognizes you by this. You may also have some conceptions about you. But here’s the truth : You are just the soul (Brahman). All other identities are false. They are not permanent in nature. They all go away, once you die. Hence you must realize it during your lifetime, that you are that – or the soul and nothing else.

Ayam atma brahma

This simply means that the Atman (Soul) and Brahman are the same. There is no distinction between them. Some people call the Brahman as the Supersoul or God himself. But the atman or your soul is not qualitatively different from the Supersoul. You are a part  and parcel of the very God that exits in the depths of you and only this part of you is not going to go away, anytime. Thus, your atman (some people also refer it to as Jivatma) and God is same. In other words, you are not the drop in the ocean, but the ocean itself. So realize this truth.

Aham brahmasmi

I’m Brahman. This realization is said to take years of effort to materialize. You simply can’t say that your are the soul. You have to realize it. Through practices like Meditation. Imagine the moment you come to this realization, that you are Brahman and the whole world that you perceive, is being experience by Brahman, who is nothing but yourself. As human beings, we are a privileged class. We have the awareness that can take us to this level. (In the Upanishads, mention is made of the state called ‘turiya’ where we realize God in the full meaning of it.)

Sarvam khalvidam brahma

Sarvam (everything) – khalvidam (indeed this) is Brahman. This is the ultimate stage of realization, where you see that everything around us, including us, is pervaded by God. Here. in this state, whatever we see or experience around us, we see God in it. God or Brahman exists everywhere. The penultimate stage to this is when we realize that we are Brahman, then we realize that the world around us (nature) is Brahman and thus finally we realize that everything is Brahman. And this is the realization that we should come to. There is nothing beyond this. Brahman (God) is truth, Truth is God.



Monday, September 14, 2015

How to make your dreams come true

Do you dream a lot or a little ? I’m not talking about the dreams that you get when you sleep. What I’m referring to is the things in your life that you want to achieve. Do you have a plan for them ? Have you started working towards them ? Did you think and visualize the details of your dream ? For example, if you want to make a million dollars a year, what is it that you can contribute to make it happen ? Do you have the requisite skills ? If you don’t, do you plan to get yourself trained in those skills that you are lacking ? Do you believe in the law of attraction ? I do. But without the effort part of it, you are bound to receive what you have been getting till now. Without raising your level, you won’t get much of traction. The word ‘DREAM’ is an acronym. Here’s the breakup for that :

‘D’ : Decide

Once you have sorted through those thoughts that seem to run in your head always, you have to arrive at a conclusion. Ask yourself what is it that makes you perk up, or what is it that you can do without much effort ? I mean, what is it that comes to you naturally ? Well, you are cut out to be that. Maybe a doctor or a journalist or whatever. Once you have decided that this is what you are going to be, then don’t turn back. Go for it on full steam. Some people may actually try to give you an advice that they think is apt. Do not listen to naysayers. This is about you and you are the only person who can decide what you will be in the future. So listen to your heart’s voice and go right after it.

‘R’ : Respond

Respond to situations in a way that makes you feel happy. We all have good and bad days. But it is for us to decide whether the so called bad days were really bad or just lessons towards making us better. Do not let bad days deter you. Remember, whatever may be the situation, the response is for us to choose. And this ability is correctly termed as responsibility – the ability for you to respond in an appropriate manner. Do not go against your values – never. Do not criticize. Choose a positive response always, however negative the ambience may be. If somebody makes you angry, it’s not about the other person. It’s what is brewing inside of you. The only person who can change this feeling is you.

‘E’ – Enthuse

Without energy, nothing is possible. You must raise yourself up to the stage that you want to get to. Say you are at level A. And you want to get to level ‘B’. So what does it take to get up there. The answer in one word – your energy level. You have to raise your vibrations to get there. Like what Tony Robbins says ‘Everyday you have to raise your standard’. People complain that the law of attraction does not work. It will, if you change your energy levels. If there is no change, the Universe responds to you as it always has been, which means in the same way as before. Be passionate about your goals. A person who does not have passion for what he/she is after, is already a dead person. Ask yourself, do I want to be dead or alive, bubbling with energy ?

‘A’ – Act

None of the three steps above is going to be of use, if you do not act upon the opportunities that come your way. You see God keeps sending us these opportunities disguised as work. You have to grab them and sweat it out. There is no other way out. If Lord Krishna were alive today, his message to mankind would be ‘Go, do your job!’. There is no escaping this. Work is worship. All the results of your actions are based on how you have worked on a particular opportunity that God has sent. However, don’t go overboard. The results are not in your hands. Work with an attitude, where you do work for work’s sake – that is, get excited about it. The results will automatically come. Action without intensity or involvement is going to be a dull action. So put all your heart into what you do.

‘M’ – Mastermind

This simply means that you have to network. No point in having all these skills and capabilities, if the world doesn’t know that such a person exists. Your relationship when you network should be a two way communication. Not only are you interested in showcasing yourself, but you should be interested in other people genuinely. This helps you, because you can pass on the opportunities that come your way to others, if you find that, you cannot fulfil it. This also helps you in building a trust relationship with several people. Some within your bandwidth (your interests) and some outside. Maybe you will go on to become best friends with some of these people. So do not ignore these facts. Networking is the final step which will land you into opportunities.

If you follow the above five steps, I do not see any reason, why you will not be able to reach where you want to be. So what are you waiting for ? Go ahead with all you have got and with God’s blessings, you will definitely make it.

To your dreams,