Saturday, February 20, 2010


One went in search of an honest man in a market place in the bright day light. Finding himself in vain he remarked: " Market is a place where people deceive each other conventionally buying at a lower price giving at a higher price, and which is accepted by all." Thus goes the story of a Zen Guru who used to go the market place every evening, observing all the new products just arrived in the market. He was known to be a saintly Guru who had only a begging bowl and a single dothi at his possession. However, his disciples were scandalized at this particular act of Guru that which expressed a persisting desire for the worldly things. But nobody dared to ask him about it. Days went on, the old Guru fell sick and was bed-ridden. As he was almost nearing the death, one of his brave disciples enquired him about his irreligious habit of market visit: "Dear Master, although you are considered by many as a saintly Guru living a life of complete detachment, why was it that you always visited the market place and looked at the worldly things displayed in the market, with so much of fascination?". The Guru replied: "Oh..! It was a curiosity of mine to see all those newly arrived things in the market which I do not require to live a happy life." Market has its own dynamism, often artifical. their faces are enchating only to attract you, words are sweet like honey only to trap you, commodities are fascinating only to create new demands in you. The magic of the market is that it will generate in you a happiness that can never satisfy you. It is like honey, the more you drink the more you are thirsty. And it doesn't allow you to find happiness within yourself. Another law of market is utility. In market only things that have utility have demand. And when the human relations are marketed the danger is much more grave. Old age, insanity, lack of abilities and charm, powerlessness, poverty etc. take you to the perifery of the market of life. At times, even I wonder at myself when my "contacts" are increasing and relations are decreasing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

After war, alliance = Marriage

Before marriage groom's and bride's families fight each other on their own maxium advantages. Marriage is the final alliance to settle the issue. Affection and love were less important considerations - Diogenes.
When hearing that her marriage is fixed I asked her, " How is the boy?" She said, "He looks OK." My brotherly love for her couldn't help me asking her a few more questions. I continued, " Have you known him before, I mean, his character?" She said, "NO. It is an arranged marriage." "Have you visited the house where you are going to live for the rest of your life?" She replied, "NO. My parents did." "But they are not coming to live with you, isn't it?" I said. After a few minutes of silence she definitively replied with two big drops of tears flowing down through her cheeks, "You know, after all I am a girl."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


It is said of Diogenes, the Greek cynical itinerant and a contemproary of Alexander the great: Alexander the great who lived amidst the power and pomp of this world ever felt a deep seated prick of conscience while standing before this poor naked wanderer. To somehow get rid of the guilt feeling he wanted to appease Diogenes. One day he went to visit Diogenes who was enjoying the fresh sunlight of the morning sun, lying on the sea shore. He did not notice the arrival of the great emperor. As he sensed that his sunlight was blocked by some shade he turned around and looked, then he saw Alexander the great standing against him. Alexander greeted him and made an offer of a solid amount of gold. Just shaking his head with a sarcastic smile he replied: "please stand away from my sun...!" Things of great value cannot be bought with money. Who can buy sun, wind, horizon, freedom.... with money? And who can take away them from me? Ultimately, life is a gift to be taken with utmost respect, and not to trade with it in the market. In the book of Acts in the New Testament we have the story of a man named Simon, who was a magician from Samaria. He became the follower of Christ after hearing Philip preach the Good News. Later, when Simon saw how the apostles imparted Holy Spirit to the new converts, he was so much impressed by it and asked them if he could buy the power to impart the Holy Spirit. The old magician in Simon saw a potential market for this kind of power. Peter the fisherman is bit indignant in his response to Simon: “May you and your money go to hell, for thinking that you can buy God’s gift with money.” Certainly, there are number of things in life that money cannot buy for you: time, health, happiness, peace, respect, love, friendship, immortality….. The well known saying goes like this: Money can buy house but not home. Money can buy clock but not time. Money can buy bed but not sleep. Money can buy book but not knowledge. Money can buy position but not respect. Money can buy sex but not love. Money can buy luxuries but not happiness. When purchased with money things are goods, when received with respect they are gifts. Purchase and Reception are two attitudes in approaching things in life. The beggar came to meet the emperor to make a request for his basic sustenance. He was told by the court guards that the emperor is praying in the temple, that he can directly go to the temple and meet him there. The beggar stood outside the temple for some time and returned. While returning one of the guards asked him whether he made the request to the emperor. He said, “No!” Guard asked, “Then why did you come to meet emperor ?” He replied, “I thought he was an emperor, but now I understood that he is bigger beggar than me. I heard him begging in the temple before God for greater victory, gold and power.” At times it so happens to us we lose sight of little things in life which are precious but not found in market place at our disposal to purchase.