Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wiser Thoughts

Okay. I've calmed down about what's happened in Ferguson, MO, though what I've said about it still stands. I still stand in solidarity with the protesters there, and I haven't said anything that would be misconstrued as being indicative of me doing any violent action. The point is I'm being more rational with my thoughts about the whole tragedy - it's still a grave injustice what happened there, don't get me wrong, but I can more calmly do something about it.

Naturally my thoughts have been about big questions such as how to repair race relations. And one thought in particular I came up with might be beneficial, in fact - it's abstract and not fully formed, but I think it's a good genesis for intelligent discussion.

This thought has to do with reparations for slavery in the USA. And it's this: if the US government paid out reparations for slavery, moral issues aside, it might actually be good for the US economy.

What's my basis for this? I'm thinking of it in terms of the New Deal that former President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed through during his time - he included in the New Deal money as a gift for poor citizens, the idea being if these poor citizens spent the money to buy what they needed or wanted, it would create profits for businesses, which would in turn create jobs, hiring said poor people, thus ending the vicious cycle that created the Great Depression in the first place.

If poor black people got paid reparations for slavery, it could stimulate America's current economy in a similar way as they spend the money on what they need.

It's a concept similar to this comedy sketch Dave Chappelle did for Comedy Central back in 2003:
Obviously the above video is meant as a joke, but it may be onto something. Sometimes things are funny because they're accurate in some way.

Of course, I may be wrong on this whole thing. There may be flaws in my argument that I haven't seen. If there are, please calmly point them out to me. The whole reason I am posting about this is as sort of a thought experiment, so please don't read any malice into it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This Has to Stop

I don't know if you're aware of the events going on in Ferguson, Missouri at present. If not, here's the summary: a brutal police crackdown is in progress as I type this blog post, in response to protests against the unjustified killing of a black youth in the area.

This has to stop. You racist police officers and other white people who think this is okay, who think it's okay to kill black people with extreme prejudice on my behalf, to think that you're representative of my beliefs and principles, you're dead wrong. I am not okay with this. I may have white skin, but I am not like you. I will combat you every opportunity I get. Perhaps not violently, but definitely through any and all peaceful means.

Why do you think I wanted to convert to Hinduism? It's because of racist white people. I want to be associated as little as possible with them. I know I'll forever be tainted with pale flesh, but the least I can do is not worship the same god as them. Some people say black people are "born guilty." Well, I say it's a greater crime to be white, and it's a crime I'm sick of being guilty for.

I may not have much power at all. In fact, I'm increasingly angry at my increasing powerlessness. But what little power I do have is going to be focused against racism and racist whites. My mental health may prevent me from joining the protests in person. But I will be there in spirit, through my writing and my righteous fury that I hammer out on my keyboard, as futile as it may be.

It's because of racist whites that I have to be ashamed of who I am, that I am unable to live my life with any semblance of lasting joy. My happiness will forever be tainted by racist whites. Therefore I will do whatever it takes to keep myself from being you.

I will never join the dark side you embrace, and I will forever fight you for the Hell you so seek to put me into.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Unintentional Yatra

Namaste readers! As cliche as this opening line may be, a funny thing happened on the way to the Hindu Temple of Rochester last night...

Last night, I attempted to take the bus to the Hindu Temple of Rochester, to attend Sankat Hara Chaturthi, a puja performed in honor of Shri Ganesha. The bus system here in Rochester is a bit of a mixed bag...it's cheap, on one hand, a plus for me since I can't afford a car, but you get what you pay for, in the form of confusing routes that don't really get you where you need to go sometimes.

This was hardly the first time I took the bus in Rochester - I live here, after all - but what ended up happening is I wound up on the completely wrong bus! In a semi-panic, I had to get off three, maybe four miles from my destination. I then had to walk the rest of the way.

It seemed like a Herculean (maybe Krishna-sized) task walking all those miles in a single hour, and my right foot protested incessantly in pain as a result. But I still made it there. And on time! I was certainly a sweaty mess when I got there, but I was still accepted at the temple to partake in the puja.

I brought this up on Facebook and a Hindu discussion forum, trying to make sense of what had happened. One forum goer had an interesting idea: apparently in India, there are special walking pilgrimages one can undertake called yatra. Oftentimes these yatra are pretty lengthy, and since it's a pilgrimage the ultimate destination is a Hindu religious place.

This forum goer suggested that maybe Shri Ganesha wanted me to undertake a yatra. I don't know if walking through an American suburb would count as a yatra, but regardless of where I walked through, the end result was the opportunity to worship Ganesha...so maybe it's not that far off the mark.

At any rate, I certainly feel I've accomplished something.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Shri Ganapati, Show Me the Way

Namaste readers! I've had a...revelation of sorts. No, it didn't take the form of a special vision or literal miracle or anything like that, but rather it was a thought that stuck with me. That thought: I should place even more trust in my Ishta Devata, Shri Ganesha (also known as Ganapati) than I do now, and to that end, I should show more devotion towards him, as I feel a swelling of devotion towards him in my heart right now.

I guess the origin of this revelation is the dark period I'm going through right now - perhaps my mind suddenly wanting to seek out Shri Ganesha even more now is probably a sign that my soul has had enough. I know what some people will say - that I should focus on more real matters, and not worry so much about Shri Ganesha.

To that I say: would it be too much to do both? Working towards bettering my situation is definitely my primary goal, but can't I have two primary goals, the other being to engross and envelop myself in Shri Ganesha's love?

After all, it's not like I have anything better to do. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

10,000 Views!

Namaste readers! I probably should have written about this milestone when it happened, but recently my blog has hit the milestone of 10,000 views! I don't know how many of those were legitimate versus how many were spam bots trolling the web, but regardless, this is a big milestone and I want to thank everyone who has read my blog. You readers are the reason this blog is still around, so again I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I think I will mark this milestone with a dream I had tonight, which I remember very vividly and I hope to share with you readers. This is partially to write this down, as I feel it's important to remember it.

In this dream, I apparently had an opportunity to meet Lord Vishnu, which seemed unusual, but I was elated! Upon meeting him, he seemed to send me off to a female consort (who I didn't know anything about), and this consort then told me that in my next life I was going to be a tiger, and that beforehand I was to undergo some testing. As if to reflect this fact, I could actually feel myself becoming a tiger, growing the tiger fur and everything! The testing seemed to consist of me being a tiger cub (or maybe a house cat?) and testing what decisions I would make. I remember making some decisions regarding what I would do in certain situations...and then I abruptly woke up.

I have no idea what this means, if it should be taken literally, or if there's a deeper meaning, or if this dream is of no consequence at all. Perhaps one of you readers might have some insight? You will have better insight than those internet spam bots, at any rate! :-)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

On X-Men: Days of Future Past, and its Unexpected Spirituality

Namaste readers!

I recently wrote a piece for the official Art of Living blog on the recently released movie X-Men: Days of Future Past. It's been published and you can find it here:

http://artoflivingsblog.com/art-of-living-x-men-days-of-future-past/

As for what it's about, in summary it's about the unexpected spiritual angles of this most recent of X-Men movies. There are mild spoilers in this piece, but don't let that stop you if you've already seen it, of course. :)


Monday, May 12, 2014

Short Book Review: the Power of Dharma

Namaste readers,

Recently I've had the pleasure of reading an eBook on how the scriptures of ancient India can be applied to modern times. This book is none other than The Power of Dharma, written by Dr. Nicholas Sutton and Hemal Randerwala.
The Power of Dharma is a unique book, in the sense that it has taken the scriptures of ancient India and Hinduism and found ways to interpret them for the modern world; while this book isn’t the first or only text to do so, what is unique about this work is that it has ways to apply the ancient wisdom of India to everyday life in present times. This is important because the scriptures of ancient India have valuable things to teach the modern world about topics such as altruism and working to benefit others. What is especially important about The Power of Dharma is that the book offers guidance on how to properly balance the needs of oneself vs. the needs of others! After all, if one cannot take care of oneself, it is doubly hard to take care of others as a result. This I would say is why reading this book is so important, because it actually offers compelling, relevant advice on how to live dharmically, as to live in that way is the epitome of the aforementioned need of balancing the needs of oneself vs. others.

There are two ways which you can acquire this book: one is through the website GoDharmic.com, where you can also find more writings by Hemal Randerwala. You can also buy the book through Amazon.com.