Just add Encarta® Instant Answers to your list of IM buddies and start asking questions such as:
- What's the population in Karnataka?*
- Do you speak French?
* It's a different matter that Encarta and Google give different answers to the same question.
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Three brothers bought a ranch in Texas and planned to raise cattle. They couldn’t think of a name for their ranch so they asked their mother, who said, "You should name it ‘Focus.’" The brothers were puzzled. "Why?" they asked. "Because," said their mother, "‘Focus’ is where the sun’s rays meet."This was touted as the world's only triple pun, but I heard another later:
When Mohinder Amarnath was a kid, his Dad, Lala, took him on an overseas tour to England. Frank Chester, the umpire, was quite taken in by the little kid and asked Lala's permission to seat him on his lap to which Lala replied with a vehement "No". Chester was quite taken back till he heard Lala's reason: The son never sits on the British Umpire!Which reminds me of another type of pun one finds in India, the LingoPun (is there a pun there?) which cuts across languages. For instance, the Arctic tundra.
Once, we were thinking of enjoying some nice tea with chai-biscoot in the back garden. Set up the whole shebang and queried WiFi: "Byte* thein"?* Bite in English, Sit in Hindi, and Outside (bayata) in Telugu.
Erling Kagge is a man of steely resolve. Carrying food, water, conviction, and himself, he walked to the South Pole alone in 50 days. A feat made only the more unbelievable because before he trekked south, he laid claim to skiing to the North Pole. Both times, he travelled without dogs, motorised equipment or contact with the outside world. With the ends of the world behind him, he set out to climb to the top of it. He did so, easily taking Everest's peak. As the first person to take all three poles, he offers sage advice for those willing to follow his intrepid footsteps: "Think ahead, travel light and leave your fears behind."In one fell swoop, I was transported into some other realm. I didn't have to turn another page. Reminded me of Sri Ramakrishna who went to the museum, saw a lion, was reminded of Narasimha Swami, and went back home.
A few years later, I was privileged to arrange the players for the Unity Cup Cricket Match. Swami has always said, "Life is a game. Play it." Bhagavan wanted to show that there could be unity among different countries, cultures, and communities through sports. So, the Unity Cup was played with players from all over the world, including Pakistan.I remember the final being played on the 25th b'day (24.APR) of Tendulkar. In the morning, I was attending an HP seminar on data warehousing. The speaker was an Aussie and he was gloating on the pasting that the OZs were gonna give India. Too bad none of us retorted; anyway, Sachin did that for us later on in the day.
Several senior retired players were honored and had the good fortune to be blessed by Bhagavan.
Who can forget Bhagavan patting Sachin Tendulkar on the back and telling him, "I am with you!"
What a season Sachin had after that as he virtually single-handedly demolished World Champions Australia with his batting that seemed to be of a totally different dimension after that pat from Bhagavan!
"I always wake up listening to the strains of his santoor. That gives me the energy to go through the day...”Greatest praise? I wonder. I think Shivji already got that exactly twenty years back, on the 60th birthday of Swami:
Santoor maestro Shivkumar Sharma got the greatest praise of all: Besides the Sangeeta Ratna Mysore T Chowdaiah award, none less than the President of India said this about him — words every musician dreams of hearing.
Kalam told Sharma: “I have all your CDs. I even have your son’s CDs. India is grateful to you for your contribution. Like Thailand Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who has spread peace in her country and revived traditional music by singing with the common people, our music exponents are also reaching difficult, even terrorist minds through music...’’
Sharma said he was overwhelmed: “Music is a prayer, where we try to be one with God. It is the uniting force. I tell people, music is my religion.’’
Shiv Kumar Sharma is one of my truest followers, and if you desire to experience Nirvana in music, listen to his music.Here's the readable page from Journey with a Hundred Strings.
Geckos that forego sex and instead clone themselves are able to run farther and faster than relatives that reproduce the more conventional way.So there must be some truth in our spiritual gurus exhorting aspirants not to go around sowing their wild oats! As Sri Ramakrishna says:
"This is extraordinary," said Kellar Autumn from Lewis & Clark College in Oregon. "The traditional theory is that when a species gives up sex and reproduces through cloning, the offspring will have reduced performance."
The Bynoe’s geckos turned out to be much better athletes than their sexually reproductive relatives, outperforming them by 50 percent on the treadmill.
One of Autumn’s coauthors, Michael Kearney, said that some parthogenetic species, like the Bynoe’s gecko, evolved when two species crossed, or hybridized. Kearney compared these ultra-fit geckos to the "super tough" mule, which is a cross between a horse and a donkey.
"If there was an Olympic team of Bynoe’s geckos, there wouldn’t be a single male on it," Autumn said. "They are the Xena: Warrior Princess of the lizard world."
If a man practices absolute continence for twelve years, the Medhanandi, a special nerve, is activated. His understanding will become capable of penetrating and comprehending the subtlest of ideas. With such an understanding man can realise God. God can be attained only through a purified understanding of this type.
You have to keep looking at the edges to see where the center is shifting to.Bill Gates didn't do that for a while in the mid-'90s and is still playing catch-up.
Stop Living on Edge, Find Your Centre
By Swami Kriyananda
The average person is like an eccentric flywheel that is not centred properly. The faster the wheel turns, the more violently it vibrates, ultimately flying apart. Most people are frequently in danger of “flying apart” mentally. Living at their periphery, they vibrate more violently the faster they whirl through life. Few think of themselves as even having a centre. They are forever “on edge”.
Living at periphery forces you to relate to others at theirs. They, in turn, will be “on edge” with you. Your understanding of them will be superficial. Get mentally inside whatever you are trying to understand, to gaze outward from its centre. The secret of understanding others is to identify with them at their centre. To find the centre of anything or anyone, first withdraw to your own centre and project your feelings empathetically from that point.
Meditation is the process of finding your centre. Its success depends on right attitude. The first attitude fundamental to “centring” is self-acceptance. You are who you are. Make the best of it, and envy no one for what he is. Encourage yourself in your efforts to attain your highest potential. Self acceptance will come progressively as you try to live up to the highest in you.
True conscience is innate. It is the silent voice of the soul. Be clear in your true conscience. Such clarity comes only when we accept that our higher Self is our eternal reality. When you resist your lower impulses and strive towards inner heights, your conscience will be reasonably clear. You will achieve that measure of emotional and psychic relaxation without which it is impossible to find rest at your centre.
Accept kindness. You should also practise kindness towards yourself. You’ll never overcome your failings by hating your shortcomings, but don’t allow kindness to excuse them. You should work to strengthen yourself in virtue. Seek always your highest potential. If this means being stern with yourself occasionally, so be it. Never be judgmental. By kind acceptance also of others you will find yourself intuitively aware of them at their centre.
The more you attune yourself from your centre to the centre in everything, the more you will find that there is a sympathetic interrelationship in the universe that enables perfect understanding of all things. Depend not on intellectual analysis, which separates things and compartmentalises them, but try to feel the heart of what you are trying to understand.
Paramhansa Yogananda practised this and could converse easily with people of specialised knowledge, using their own terminology. A lady in Mexico City who spoke no English had a private interview for one hour with Yogananda, who spoke no Spanish. “I don’t know how it happened”, she told me, “but we understood each other perfectly”.
Finding your own centre is not a process of divorcing yourself from objective reality, but of touching that universal centre of which all objective reality is a manifestation. To do so bestows far greater than normal comprehension. Wisdom gained from tuning in to one’s own centre is not at all like going to school, where the goal is to learn. Meditation is a process of unlearning the limitations of delusion imposed on us by our egos.
The Infinite One
Cannot be Understood
On December 28, 1925, a unique occurrence took place at which I was present. At a meeting of the Star Congress under the banyan tree in Adyar at 8 o'clock in the morning, with the amplifiers turned off, a dramatic event took place while Krishnaji was speaking. It came at the end of his talk. He has been speaking about the world teacher; suddenly his voice changed to an exquisitely sweet yet powerful tone and, through great waves of compassionate power, he continued: "He comes only to those who want, who desire, who long"—and then it became a different voice—calm, serene and with a ringing quality. He said: "I come for those who want sympathy, who want happiness, who are longing to be released, who are longing to find happiness in all things. I come to reform and not to tear down. I come not to destroy but to build."This happened on 28.DEC.1925, just a few months before Swami's birth (on 23.NOV.1926). I have no doubt whatsoever that:
... In the ninety-second year of my life my memory is probably defective, but I do recall this unforgettable experience with crystal clarity.
—Russell Balfour Clarke
Banerjee, a fourth-generation planter—his great-grandfather G.C. Banerjee purchased the garden from Captain Samler, a British army deserter who established the garden in 1859—says Makaibari's decades of harmonious coexistence with mother nature has led to the evolution of a new insect (he says it is the only such evolution in recorded history) that he has named Tea Deva. "When life forms are becoming extinct all over the world, the fact that this unique insect (which looks like a tea leaf) has evolved here is nothing short of a miracle," Banerjee told Outlook. The Tea Deva, which feeds on insects that harm tea leaves, has attracted the attention of entomologists worldwide.However, it looks too much like the Javanese Leaf Insect to my eye.
… It [the Last Hour] will not come until you see ten signs… landslides [with a sinking down, caving in, or displacement of the earth] in three places, one in the East, one in the West and one in Arabia…The displacement of the land in the East is an easy one: that created by the Boxing Day tsunami.
The oil industry has been good to Louisiana, providing low taxes and high-paying jobs. But such largesse hasn't come without a cost, largely exacted from coastal wetlands. The most startling impact has only recently come to light-the effect of oil and gas withdrawal on subsidence rates. For decades geologists believed that the petroleum deposits were too deep and the geology of the coast too complex for drilling to have any impact on the surface. But two years ago former petroleum geologist Bob Morton, now with the U.S. Geological Survey, noticed that the highest rates of wetland loss occurred during or just after the period of peak oil and gas production in the 1970s and early 1980s. After much study, Morton concluded that the removal of millions of barrels of oil, trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, and tens of millions of barrels of saline formation water lying with the petroleum deposits caused a drop in subsurface pressure-a theory known as regional depressurization. That led nearby underground faults to slip and the land above them to slump.The third part is much more difficult to substantiate, but the Hyahya article says:
"When you stick a straw in a soda and suck on it, everything goes down", Morton explains. "That's very simplified, but you get the idea." The phenomenon isn't new: It was first documented in Texas in 1926 and has been reported in other oil-producing areas such as the North Sea and Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. Morton won't speculate on what percentage of wetland loss can be pinned on the oil industry. "What I can tell you is that much of the loss between Bayou Lafourche and Bayou Terrebonne was caused by induced subsidence from oil and gas withdrawal. The wetlands are still there, they're just underwater." The area Morton refers to, part of the Barataria-Terrebonne estuary, has one of the highest rates of wetland loss in the state.
One of the most noticeable incidents of the 2003 Iraq War was the sudden disappearance of a large part of the Iraqi Army. Many newspapers and TV channels reported on the disappearance of the 60,000-man force known as the Republican Guard and 15,000-man force known as the Fedayeen.We are indeed living in interesting times.
"Never underestimate a person," he said often. "You never know where his talent lies. And never overestimate a person because of his appearance." Behind this was KRN's experience of adversity.The author, who was Secretary to President K.R. Narayanan between 1997 and 2000, is the Governor of West Bengal.
There was something in KRN's civil deportment that could be described, without offence to ourselves, as western in the best sense of that term. Most notably, in the way he showed courtesy and considerateness to his wife, Usha. Almost formal, that respect of a husband for his wife simply stood out from the all-too-familiar Indian practice of taking the wife's presence for granted. KRN and Mrs. Narayanan were, as a couple, out of the ordinary.
When I saw KRN fleetingly in the ICU, his hands were covered. But I could see they were still and did not beckon me. He seemed to say, "Now you do not have to come; I do not need help around here or where I am going; I think I can manage on my own." Go well, sir, as they would say in South African English. Go well to the High Table where there is better company and conversation or just plain silence. For who knows? You have not got there by a fluke.
What be-gannet all was the love of a bank lark named Albert Ross, for a gull whose tastes were too eggs-pensive for his poultry wages. She was his starling, his swan and only dove.
Aviary night, this chick had a quail of a time at the local casino and, with a few wings driving heron, she quickly frittered away his little nest-egg. With no money left, she threatened to auk out of his life and never re-tern. Desperate to keep his only dove, our little bank lark cooked the rooks at work, though he knew it was ill-eagle.
The next jay, a surprise chick was made on the accounts and Albert was arrested for robin the bank. The life of a jailbird was hard and, in his lonely shell, Albert became very bittern. His heart was filled with egret and driven beyond the linnet, he simply lost the quill to live and, in a few beaks' time, was as dead as a dodo.
నీవు నీళ్ళు నమిలితే నిండెను వేదములు
—హరి నీ ప్రతాపము, నీకే శరణు
The Power of Arunachala
रमते राम आओजी आओजी
उदियां की गॉनियां लाओजी
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