Krishna’s Teaching : “I did for you”

KrishnaSketch-ThoughtsJanmashtami is celebrated all over the world as the birth day of lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is known around the world as the preacher/messenger of love.
He has also given the idea about the way to lead the life which is documented as preaching to Arjun in the “Bhagvad Geeta”. There have been lots of incidences penned as small stories of Krishna to teach the common man about basics of life. One  such story is :
Once Krishna and Arjuna were walking towards a village. Arjuna was pestering Krishna, asking him why Karna should be considered an unparalleled Donor & not him ?
Krishna, turned two mountains into gold. Then said,  “Arjun, distribute these two gold mountains among villagers, but you must donate every bit of it “. Arjun went into the village, and proclaimed he was going to donate gold to every villager, and asked them to gather near the mountain. The villagers sang his praises and Arjun walked towards the mountains with a huffed up chest. For two days and two nights Arjun shoveled gold from the mountain and donated to each and every villager. The mountains did not diminish in the slightest.Most villagers came back and stood in queue within minutes. Now Arjun was exhausted, but not ready to let go of his  Ego, told Krishna he couldn’t go on any longer without rest.
Then Krishna called Karna and told him to donate every bit of the two gold mountains.
Karna called the  villagers,  and said “These two Gold mountains are yours. ” and walked away.Arjun sat dumbfounded. Why hadn’t this thought occurred to him?
Krishna smiled mischievously and told him “Arjun, subconsciously, you were attracted to the gold, you regretfully gave it away to each villager, giving them what you thought was a generous amount. Thus the size of your donation to each villager depended only on your imagination. You expected in your subconscious for people to praise you for your donation. Karna holds no such reservations. Look at him walking away after giving away a fortune, he doesn’t expect people to sing his praises, he doesn’t even care if people talk good or bad about him behind his back. That is the sign of a man already on the path of enlightenment”.
Giving with an Expectation of a Return in the form of a Compliment,Thanks or similar deed is not a Gift, then it becomes a Trade.
We all pretend to be “Karna” in our life but majority of us act as “Arjun “. We share, we do little good things for others but the continuity of that relation depends on the trade meaning the thought always comes up “I did so and so thing for him/her and s/he didn’t reciprocate the same when my time came” or “I did such and such thing for him/her and s/he did not even acknowledge it”, some people can go up to the extent of making other realize “I did it for you”. We forget that we don’t have to maintain the balance sheet of our karma as a trader , what we do or don’t do is between us and that supreme power . We might be just the chosen one by him to reach to desired person. The day we will learn this lesson we all will come to peace with our soul. “Give without  expecting anything in Return.”
There is a beautiful little teaching in the of form a story related to this
एक बार श्री कृष्ण से रुक्कमणि ने पूछा “प्रभु प्रेम का या दोस्ती का सही मतलब क्या है”? श्री कृष्ण ने चपलता से मुस्कुराते हुए कहा “जहां मतलब है वहाँ प्रेम या दोस्ती कैसी”
One day Rukamini (lord Krishna’s wife) asked him ” please tell me the true meaning of love and Friendship”
Krishna replied mischievously ” Where is love or friendship when it’s done with mean intentions” the idea behind this is that any friendship or relation that is based on the simple aspect of trade (mean) as to what I will get out of it is never a true relationship or friendship.
So the idea of “I did it for you ” itself means you are trading your deeds and it can become the cause of your own unhappiness or sorrow. Let’s do good and then forget ..
Jai shree Krishna

Floral Tiara’s

Spa_party6Floral Tiara’s are a new trend this season and loved by the girls of all age group. Like all the other girls my LO was also fascinated by this beautiful accessory and wanted it for her birthday. I decided to make a craft activity with her and the joy of having one custom built with the colors she likes and satisfaction of “made by me” was good enough for her to cherish this tiara. Try making this craft with your girls this summer, or have a Girls night out with your friends and have this as a party activity, I am sure each one will enjoy as not only its a beautiful accessory but also a great prop for the photo shoots.You can use flowers of different colors or even different sizes.These are perfect return gifts too for birthdays or for any bridal shower give aways or even the religious functions(Like kanya pooja in Navratri) . Use them for the preggy mom’s photo shoot. I am sure it will brighten that smile even more :-)

Enjoy this summer with this craft and don’t forget to give feedback …Happy Crafting

Wreath : Perfect for summer ,Easter and Holi

BaloonWreathWreath making is another interest of mine. Those welcoming wreath hanging on the door not only look beautiful but also display the taste and mood of the home owner.

This wreath made with balloons is perfect for summer , hang it from Holi time ,it goes well with Easter theme too and then keep it till whole summer, the fun colours add the zing and the balloons makes this wreath quiet whimsical too. I love this one because you can use it as backdrop decor on your kids birthday , just customize it by adding the number of age of your kid on his/her birthday in the middle and there you go :-)

Another one of my creation that is close to my heart is

Wreath_Esater

This  attempt of mine is based on EAST MEETS WEST concept…HOLI is an Indian festival of Colors and EASTER is about eggs so here are the Colorful eggs to wish you all a very Happy Holi and Easter…

 

 

होली त्यौहार है रंगों का, और ईस्टर त्यौहार है अंडों का
ये रंगीले अंडे समन्वय हैं, होली और ईस्टर के त्यौहार का
जीवन में आपके रंग रहे सदा, ख़ुशी और प्यार का
साथ रहे सदा आपके प्यार, दोस्तों और परिवार का
यही मूल है इस बार इस त्यौहार , हमारी शुभकामनाओं का..

Depending on if you want vibrant summer or pastels pick any of these ideas and if you want to mix the two.. go with either the pastel balloons or bright eggs, Enjoy the creations and don’t forget to share the pictures of your creations here in the comments below.

Renovation Project : Door mat

Innovation sometimes doormat2leads to Renovation“. No I’m not kidding this project is prefect example of what lead me to say the above comment.

It was raining the other day and the kids were not able to play outside and we were thinking what to do.I was trying to innovate some fun activity or game. My doormat was one thing I was thinking to change and was not getting time to go and shop around for the same, this seemed a perfect time to do something about it.

So just picked up the mat and grabbed the paints and brush and the evening turned in to a beautiful art project and Voilà !!! We have a colourful welcoming door mat. I don’t think it will be exaggeration to say now its a sight for the sore eye.

Compare the before and after picture and tell us what you think… and don’t forget to start looking around your home and see what can be your renovation project :-) and do share your picture here

doormat_olddoormat1

Shiva : From a mom’s eye

shivaToday is Mahashivrartri, the most auspicious day for the Lord Shiv(Shiva) devotees. Shiva the undisputed most respected and at the same time the most fearsome god in Indian culture.

There are lots of legends about the significance of Mahashivratri like the marriage of lord shiv and goddess Parvati, the day when he saved the earth by consuming the poison etc.

I was brainstorming how I should explain Shiv to my kids ( A daunting task I know , because people spend  their lives to understand the essence of it, I know I am not going to divulge in to philosophical aspects or dig in to the religious fundamentals). My aim is simple how to make the little mind understand what we worship and how to relate it to the real world.

SHIV (शिव ) can be explained as combination of 3 hindi letters : sh (श) + i (इ )+ v (व)

Sh denotes “Shareer”  (शरीर ) body our physical self, I denotes “Eeshwar” (ईश्वर ) the God , the supreme or the power and V denotes “Vaayu” ( वायु ) literal meaning of Vaayu is air ,the life or the movement. So basically Shiv is the God , the knowledge or the power within us .

The day this knowledge or conscience within us stops working meaning the I or (इ ) is no more the SHIV becomes the Shav(शव ) a Hindi word for death body, meaning the body becomes life less. Thus to be alive keep growing your knowledge and feed your conscience it will help you lead to be the Shiv and not turn in to Shav.

Shiv is depicted with loads of adornments and each of them to my understanding has its own significance (Note : This is how I perceive through what I have read and relate to teach my kids)

1) Ganga River : Shiv is shown holding River ganga on his head (there is story related to it you can find on internet). Ganga or Ganges is supposed to be one of the most Holy river in Indian culture. Ganga represents knowledge , try to grasp as much knowledge as you can from everywhere (nature,books,tv,plays,movies,games). Yes, you can learn from any and everything if you keep your mind open and have willingness to learn. The most basic characteristic of a river is that it flows continuously, similarly try to learn throughout your life just like the flow of the river try to pass the knowledge to the next generation , to others basically if you know something don’t keep it to yourself share with others and help everyone grow.

2) Moon : Shiv adorns Crescent shaped moon on his head.Indian calendars have always been based on the positioning of moon.Hence moon signifies time . Always keep time in mind , be conscious about the importance of time and work accordingly. Once a time gone its gone forever so give your best to each and every moment. When having fun enjoy it to the fullest, when studying give your best ,basically live every moment to its fullest because time will never be the same.

3) Trishul/Trident : Shiv is always depicted with trishul or trident as his weapon. The three prongs of trident depicts Knowledge (ज्ञान) , Action (कार्य) and Will(शक्ति /इच्छा ). This means that as an individual you should use your knowledge to direct your will in performing the best of actions. Meaning you can accomplish any action or task by nurturing your will with the knowledge you gain. You can use your knowledge as your weapon by performing the right actions.

4) Third Eye : Shiv has a unique feature – his third eye on the forehead. The basic function of eyes are to see , We see the physical stuff around us through our eyes, physical meaning like trees , mountains, river,lakes, a person through his outer appearance, but one needs to use the mind’s eye meaning conscience , meaning learn to observer beyond what is physical. Don’t just rely on what you see but learn to use your conscience too.

5) Damroo/The Drum : Shiv holds damroo (डमरू ) an hourglass shaped drum in his hand. The way you create sound through it is by shaking it and its done in a unique style the top becomes bottom and then vice-versa. This means nothing in this world is going to remain as is , change is inevitable. Learn to accept it ,  just like how Himalyas were once within the sea and then came out similarly change is bound to happen that’s the rule of life. Learn to adapt yourself to changes and also not to be proud of your achievements as everything changes.

6) Snake : Snake means always be vigilant be aware of what goes around you .Snakes don’t have external ears (again not going in the biological details) but still they can feel the vibrations and watch the movements hence just like them be aware and alert of what goes around you.It can also be represented as ego, meaning tame your ego in such a way that it becomes your adornment.A humble soul is always respected and appears beautiful than a loud mouth.

7) Tiger skin : The tiger skin represents power, lust or our desires. Shiv sits on tiger skin hence signifies that one should always have control on their desires and power. The path to success is through self control.

9) Blue Throat: The legend is that Shiv held poison in his throat to save the whole world . Holding the poison in his throat turned his throat blue hence the name “NeelKantheshwar”(Lord with the blue throat). Just like shiv try to control your anger in throat. When we get angry knowingly or unknowingly we start using words which we might regret later. Words spoken in anger can act as poison for the one whom they are spoken to, it can spoil your relations forever. Hence learn to control your anger , learn to hold your words in your throat.

Hope we can all inculcate these qualities not only in us but in our kids and make this world a happy place.

Happy Mahashivratri

BASANT PANCHAMI:Festival of India

Basant Panchami or  Vasant Panchami :

saraswatiAn Indian Festival dedicated to Maa Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, music, arts and culture. Vasant or Basant means Spring basically representing the spring season whereas Panchami means the fifth day so Vasant Panchami basically is a festival that falls on the fifth day of spring (Magh month)per hindu calendar.
Goddess Saraswati represents  serenity and calmness. She is generally shown seated on a white lotus, wearing a pure white silk sari and holding a book in her lower left hand. Her four hands denote four facets of human personality namely mind, intellect, alertness and ego. The lotus on her hand or her seat symbolizes true knowledge. Her ride is a white swan which is known for its peculiar capability of separating water from the milk. While the four hands denotes how attainment of knowledge can help us to balance mind,intellect,alertness and ego in life the swan indicates that we should have the ability to discriminate the bad from the goods. The white swan of Saraswati is symbolising Sattwa Guna (purity and discrimination). 
Basically the knowledge we gain in our life should help us not only to discriminate between right and wrong but also how to tame our ego and lead towards the path of intellect.
Spring represents a new beginning when most of the plants bear new blooms many plants come out  of the stage of dormancy hence this is the day when mostly kids are taught for the first time to read and write…basically they start the formal education.Its a big day for students and is celebrated in almost all the educational institutions.It’s considered as an auspicious day to begin the process of learning. Special prayer for Goddess Saraswati are conducted on this day. It is also a great day to inaugurate training institutes and new schools – a trend made famous by the renowned Indian educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (1861-1946), who founded the Banaras Hindu University on Vasant Panchami day in 1916.
The colour yellow also plays an important role in this festival.
People usually wear yellow garments, Goddess Saraswati is worshiped in a yellow dress. Yellow represents spiritual knowledge and also natures bounty is mostly overshadowed in this colour in the form of fruits and flowers.
After worshipping the Goddess generally the offerings of fruits and flowers are given and following mantras are recited:
या कुन्देन्दु तुषार हार धवला या शुभ्रवस्त्रावृता
या वीणा वरदण्ड मण्डितकरा या श्वेतपद्मासना ।
या ब्रह्माच्युत शङ्करप्रभृतिभिर्देवैः सदा पूजिता
सा मां पातु सरस्वती भगवती निःशेषजाड्यापहा ॥
Yaa Kunda-Indu Tussaara Haara Dhavalaa Yaa Shubhra-Vastra-Avrtaa
Yaa Viinnaa Vara-Danndda Mannddita-Karaa Yaa Shveta-Padmaasanaa |
Yaa Brahma-Acyuta Shangkara-Prabhrtibhir-Devaih Sadaa Puujitaa
Saa Maam Paatu Sarasvatii Bhagavatii Nihshessa-Jaaddya-Apahaa ||
Meaning:
1: (O Mother Saraswati), Who is fair as a Jasmine flower and Moon and White as Snow and Who is Dressed in White Garments,
2: Whose Hands are Adorned by the Veena and Staff symbolising Boon-Giving and Who is Seated on a White Lotus,
3: Who is always Adored by Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and the other deities,
4: Kindly Protect me, and Remove my Ignorance.
PUSHPANJALI:
 The popular ‘pranam mantra’ or Sanskrit prayer, Saraswati devotees utter with utmost devotion on this day:The kids should recite this mantra while offering flowers and fruits to Goddess Saraswati

Om Saraswati Mahabhagey, Vidye Kamala Lochaney |
Viswarupey Vishalakshmi, Vidyam Dehi Namohastutey ||
Jaya Jaya Devi, Charachara Sharey, Kuchayuga Shobhita, Mukta Haarey |
Vina Ranjita, Pustaka Hastey, Bhagavati Bharati Devi Namohastutey ||

Meaning : Om Goddess Saraswati,
who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon,
and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops;
who is adorned in radiant white attire,
on whose beautiful arm rests the veena,
and whose throne is a white lotus;
who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me.
May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance.”

ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||
Meaning:
1: Om, Lead us from Unreality (of Transitory Existence) to the Reality (of Self),
2: Lead us from the Darkness (of Ignorance) to the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge),
3: Lead us from the Fear of Death to the Knowledge of Immortality.
4: Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
May the Goddess of Learning always shower her blessings on us..
May the desire of learning never leave us till we reach our grave
May we be wise to understand right from wrong
May we be grounded enough so as the ego never creeps in our mind and heart..

Craft your Present : My Hand painted Bottles

WD_8976

A New year, a new beginning, a fresh start , a clean canvas. If you were wondering why I kept “Craft your Present” title for my post, then I chose this topic as this is the first anniversary of my BLOG too. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.

Yes, the bottles are hand painted by me and no I have not done painting classes formally and its an art I developed lately only…but I love it. I love keeping myself busy it gives me that extra push which is much required.Yes I get tired too, sometimes even I feel I am dabbling in too many things or I am unable to be in charge of everything around me but then comes the voice in my head “This shall pass too” :-)

We all carry some kind of baggage from our various relations(personal and professional) and our daily routines,just as these bottles come with different labels.Thinking them as useless once the juice out of it is gone we can either trash them or scrape them off ,clean it up, and use it fresh and make something beautiful or creative out of it. Same way you can be bogged down by your daily routine and find the daily routine monotonous or shake off the labels and explore your potentials.The point is to challenge yourself. An older friend of mine told me ” I like to be busy…Busy means Buzzing with Life. I would rather be busy than be free, twirling my thumbs and sitting idle doing nothing” and I could not agree with her more.

A friend of mine shared a story about a company that supplied fresh fish to food industry.The demand of fresh fish increased so much that the boats capturing them got bigger and the distance these boats traveled grew longer,resulting in long return time hence the Fish loosing their USP : The Freshness. The company decided to resolve the issue by putting freezer in the boats .Few months went by but the sale of the company started declining, research showed the customers were not liking the taste of frozen fishes.The company tried putting big water tanks on the boats and stuffing it with fresh fish fin to fin to make more profits. The food industry was not willing to pay the same price for their fish as the tired and dull fishes cramped in small place didn’t taste well. Today the company is flourishing and making money with one simple solution.They added small shark to each water tank, the challenge to save their lives kept the fishes active and fresh :-). I know like you, even I would be questioning the authenticity of the story. Point here is that we all sometimes feel dull and bored in this day to day routine of our pond of life. The way to keep it BUZZING is keep yourself busy.. add a little shark to your pond. Set some goals for yourself, challenge yourself, learn something new ,push yourself harder, not only these new challenges will keep you fresh and flourishing , but the satisfaction you will gain by achieving them and the examples you will set for people around you is beyond explanation.

Keep like minded people around you, Meet with one who will challenge you, push you, bring the best out of you (Mainly its all within you). Unravel the possibilities within you and get BUSY:BUZZING WITH LIFE.:-) and I promise once you start crafting your present you will be humming a happy tune at the end of the day.

Christmas Art : Using Pine Cone

XmasArtKids ready for Christmas Break and are you wondering what to do with them during this holiday break.Well don’t go too far . Here are two nice activities that you can do with kids.

1) Elf on the shelf with Pine cone : Choose a nice pine cone, few felt sheets , some glue, and an wooden ball and you are all set to make an elf with your little elves :-) .

2) Rudolph the Reindeer with Pine cone : Pick a pine cone, pompoms,few pipe cleaners,few felt sheets, Wiggle eyes, and Ribbon (if you want to hang it as Christmas ornament on your tree.

You can make different templates and keep different variety of supplies and this can be your Christmas party activity. Attached are the pictures for you to get an idea. Feel free if you have any questions to make the same.

UBUNTU- an Ideal philosophy

UBUNTUThose who are from the world of computers and have explored the world of computers through other venues of doors and yards and not just through the windows :-) must have definitely heard the word UBUNTU.Those who have not, let me give you a quick peek through your windows to other side of technology world.UBUNTU is an operating system developed under the leadership of Mark Shuttleworth who  gathered a small team of developers from one of the most established Linux projects — Debian — and set out to create an easy-to-use Linux desktop: Ubuntu.The need to develop it was to over the come the needs of free software for every day life of most computer users.

Am I here to give you a lesson on technology . No definitely not ..but yes I want to share the philosophy behind this technology.UBUNTU is a word derived from ancient African language which roughly means “I am what I am because of who we all are”. Keep Humanity above all.What was the motivation to name the system UBUNTU?? Well there is a story behind it . It’s believed that an Anthropologist was visiting Africa and he played a game with African tribal children. He placed a basket of candies and sweets about 100 meters away from the kids. He made them stand in a line for race and announced who ever reaches first to the basket will be the one can have all the candies and sweets. With the expectation of kids running and pushing to reach the basket first he whistled for the race to begin. To his amazement , there was no rush , no push, no running, instead he saw the group of kids walking hand in hand towards the basket. They all reached the basket at the same time, shared the sweets and candies among them and relished them.Those little kids not only knew the philosophy of UBUNTU , but the important part is they also knew to implement it in life.

One can not be happy when others around you are sad, one can not prosper on the expense of others.We can grow as an individual or as a society only when we learn the concept of Sharing. SHARE YOUR JOYS, SHARE YOUR SUCCESS, SHARE YOUR PROSPERITY,SHARE YOUR HAPPINESS,SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE…GROW TOGETHER ..since we are what we are because of others around us…

The anthropologist asked the kids why they did what they did and pat came the reply “UBUNTU”…I am because we are..

Lets lead the life with UBUNTU in our core …

Hi-Tech-Diya

CD_DiyaDiwali or Deepavali is the time of the year when all the Indians make an extra effort to clean up the house ,apart from decorating it and making savouries etc. The First step in Cleaning is Purging, and now a days with growing technology, we have so many CD’s that are of no use as they get corrupted or data in it is no more needed or you just have an extra copy of the same stuff or it might be even a blank CD. Collect all those CD’s, gather some beads,rhinestones and let your kids make wonderful Diwali diya’s out of it. Want to go out of box, use the 3-D paints, Glitters,felt cloth , if the kids are too small just use the fancy colorful stickers. You have happy kids , guilt less parents (guilty of letting them watch too much electronics, while you are busy doing all the cooking and cleaning) and a Beautiful piece of art to decorate your home with LIGHTS of LOVE.Not to mention those little cute faces will beam with pride when those diya’s are lit by Mommy.