Websites ending with pedia

Websites ending with pedia

In this article, I have attempted to assess the SEO aspect of websites ending with pedia. SEO stands for search engine optimization and refers to how searchable, informative and accessible a page is.

Generally we have been programmed to believe that wikipedia is the only such website whose name ends with pedia. However that is incorrect. There are literally 100’s of websites ending with pedia. I have taken a cross-section of such web-sites from various genres and tried to assess the SEO performance of pedia/ wiki websites. Some of the key parameters I have assessed are Alexa Rank, Google PageRank, MozRank, visits/day and web-site worth.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a free-access, free-content Internet encyclopedia, supported and hosted by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Those who can access the site can edit most of its articles. Wikipedia is ranked among the ten most popular websites, and constitutes the Internet’s largest and most popular general reference work. However there have been concerns that Wikipedia is not at all neutral and is completely dominated by the West and Marxists[1].

Encyclopedia

Encyclopedia.com has more than 100 trusted sources, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, and thesauruses with facts, definitions, biographies, synonyms, pronunciation keys, word origins, and abbreviations. Encyclopedia.com provides reference entries from sources like Oxford University Press and Columbia Encyclopedia.

Metapedia

Metapedia is an electronic encyclopedia which focuses on culture, art, science, philosophy and politics. Its focus is on topics that usually are not covered in — i.e. that falls outside of — mainstream encyclopedias. It contains far-right, white nationalist, white supremacist, white separatist, antisemitic, and neo-Nazi points of view.

Conservapedia

Conservapedia is an English-language wiki encyclopedia project written from an American conservative, Young Earth creationist, and Christian fundamentalist point of view. The website was started in 2006 by American homeschool teacher and attorney Andrew Schlafly, son of conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, to counter what he perceived as a liberal bias present in Wikipedia.

Scholarpedia

Scholarpedia is an English-language online wiki-based encyclopedia with features commonly associated with open-access online academic journals, which aims to have quality content. Scholarpedia articles are written by invited expert authors and are subject to peer review.

Jurispedia

  • URL: http://www.jurispedia.org/
  • Alexa Rank – 190,357
  • Google PageRank – 5/10
  • Moz Rank – 3.51/10
  • Estimated visits per day – 4,790 visits / day
  • Estimated Worth – $ 12,130

JurisPedia  is a wiki encyclopedia of academic law in many languages, currently available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish and Dutch. It was started in October 2004, inspired in part by Wikipedia and the Enciclopedia Libre (University of Seville).

Appropedia

Appropedia is a wiki website for collaborative solutions in sustainability, poverty reduction and international development, with a particular focus on appropriate technology.

Hindupedia

Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia, is devoted to educating the public about all aspects of Hinduism ranging from history and philosophy to current events that impact Hindus. They are the only online Hindu encyclopedia that provides the public with a traditional perspective on Hindu religion and way of life.

Uncyclopedia

Uncyclopedia is a satirical website that parodies Wikipedia. Its logo, a hollow “puzzle potato”, parodies Wikipedia’s globe puzzle logo, and it styles itself “the content-free encyclopedia”, which is a parody of Wikipedia’s slogan, “the free encyclopedia”.

Brahminpedia

Brahminpedia is a Brahmin Encyclopedia. It seeks to provide a counter-narrative to the usual Hinduphobia and Brahmin-bias that is inherent in post-modern multi-cultural Western and leftist-secular Indian discourse, as far as main-stream narratives on India and Hinduism are concerned.

  • Who are the Brahmins?
  • Was the Reservation Policy of Government of India a CIA conspiracy to force Brahmins to migrate to USA and turbo-charge American Science and Technology?
  • Why did Muslim invaders slaughter Brahmins?
  • Is it true that almost all great achievements in Science, Philosophy, Art and Culture in India since historic times are because of the 5% Brahmin population in India?

Brahminpedia claims that it will “try to answer all the above questions, as well as those questions which have not yet been articulated.

Conclusion

As is evident, there is a huge variation in rankings of websites ending with pedia. Not every pedia website is considered authoritative. However, what is evident is that Wikipedia is not necessarily everyone’s number one choice for all topics, given its left-liberal bias and lack of independence[2].

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References

[1] http://jagritbharat.com/index.php/opinions/1187-is-wikipedia-independent
[2] http://myvoice.opindia.com/2016/03/wikipedia-is-it-really-independent

Thank you for reading “Websites ending with pedia”. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave your comments in the comment box below and do share with your friends and family.

You are Infinite

You are Infnite

You are Infinite they say

You are Infinite, our Great Rishis have said. But what do they mean?

Men are mortal, they are finite in size and a resident of a finite earth which is bound by finite laws of Physics. Yet our Ancient Seers insist, You are That (Infinite) [tat tvam asi]. Something else must be going on.

Its been more than 6 months now that I have quit corporate life and started my own venture. Nothing fancy or splashy – just a simple Management Consulting practice. I have earlier talked about why I quit corporate life and what all I learnt. And this entire journey has been one of self-discovery.

We all want Freedom

I was always a spiritual sort of chap, but unfocused, confused and aimless. Materially I was quite prosperous with a good enviable job and all, but spiritually I felt something was missing. I was feeling incomplete. And then suddenly I had an intensely private spiritual transformation, and things just sort of clicked into their place. The Upanishads suddenly started making sense, and I realized all at once what the Ancient Greats were trying to say.

But I have to admit – it didn’t happen just like that. I had been doing some intense meditation practices prior to that  for some time and in some of those sessions I would suddenly go to higher states where there was no “body-experience” and then all of sudden I would come crashing down. But still that calmness remained. And perhaps all this ground work helped crystallize my thoughts.

I want to be Free. Freedom was what I craved and freedom is what our Ancient texts talk about. This was not about going to a jungle or mountain top and becoming a sanyasi or sadhu. This was the freedom to be your own Master, to lead your life on your own terms.

Many people quit their jobs after feeling dissatisfied with their work-life scenario. But the problem is that, intellectual and mental preparation alone is not enough – one must be spiritually prepared as well, to face the inevitable post-job issues, the frustrations, the ups and downs and so on. And this is where a spiritual grounding is essential.

Once you realize that the potential of the Infinite is within you, no adverse outcome will faze you. Once you realize that you only have a right to action and not its outcome, you will remain calm in the fiercest of internal battles. All of us are Infinite. You are Infinite, so am I. The problem is that we have forgotten our Infinite Self.

And that is what we must discover within us to become Free.

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When God Created Man

When God Created Man

This is a Guest Post by Tathagata Dey. He may be reached at tatha.blog@gmail.com

From the early days when god created man he sent him alone to this earth. But to contemplate this fact , he gave man the power to reproduce and produce one of its own kind. This phenomenon underlines the fact that man is a social being.

As per Wikipedia, A human society is a group of people involved in persistent interpersonal relationships, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Human societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations) between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent members. In the social sciences, a larger society often evinces stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

When God Created Man Explained

This occurrence in my view resembles an analogy with radicals in the science of chemicals (chemistry). Just like free radicals are unstable in nature by themselves and always search for stability in another radical of heterogeneous nature, in the same way a single man is like a free radical and always searches for stability in another individual of its kind.

The concept of Set Theory in Mathematics can also be beheld as an analogical situation here. If a single man is considered as an element then a set of similar men form a set. Just like a group of men with similar culture and linguistics form a state or a country. Now, the single man is an element of the set state, which in turn is a subset of the superset country and which in turn is a superset of the globe.

When God Created Man - Set Theory Venn Diagram

In a similar way we can find several instances in the art of science which beholds the social nature of men. There are several reasons why the above examples are given. Before that we have to understand the words ‘Art of science’. Now this is so because I am of the opinion that science in itself is an art and art in itself follows a science. As we are aware that everything in science is either a theory or a hypothesis. The above two examples in this context are both theories, i.e. they are proven with experimentation.

To go one step further in the same line, since we are a composition of some elements of chemistry (i.e. our body constitutes of several chemical elements) which when alone are dead (or unstable) but when integrated are alive (or stable). In the same way if we extend the concept of set theory, then every man is a subset and the society is the superset. This proves the fact that man is actually a social being.

Now if we switch our context to sociology, we get the statement that ‘I am the society and every man is the society’. This statement, if considered in the above light does actually have an analogous nature in my view, although we sometimes cannot find a direct analogy but application of our logical reasoning leads to a somewhat similar conclusion. One thing to be kept in mind here is that the above derivation is a hypothesis and critics may differ, which they will (No entity is perfectly stable), contributes further to the fact that the analogy pictured here is only humane.

Illustration

Another fact that fascinates me is that although man is a social being in each and every action he/she commits, but still he/she sometimes is totally unaware of this fact. A modern day person when consuming food at home is served by his wife, now this food in turn is cooked either by his wife or by the maid. The maid in turn is paid by the man. So here (although a very small example) we find a concept of a micro society being formed wherein three individuals knowingly or unknowingly are contributing to their social cause. One more thing to notice here is that each of the three entities here are equally important in their own way. If the maid does not cook then there is no food to eat, if the wife does not serve then there is no satisfaction with the man, if the man does not eat then he is left hungry and dissatisfied and finally if the man does not pay the maid then the maid is left as financially weak.

The above example may sound very compact and satisfying, but one question that indefinitely arises from this, is the fact that who among the three is more important? The answer is relative. As we know everything is relative (remember the theory of relativity). The man has money with which he can buy many valuable things, he has respect in the society and this serves to satisfy his ego. The wife is the befitting counterpart of the man and she is considered the better half of the man. The wife also has social respect and is socially very affluent. The maid on the other hand has less finance and respect but she can interact with the society in a more liberal and free manner, in the sense that she can enjoy the goods of nature without drawing much of unwanted attention , which the man and the wife cannot. So in essence all three of them are left equally satisfied as well as equally unsatisfied at the end of the day.

When God Created Man - Globalization

Another concept of paramount importance here is that our unity lies in our diversity. This fact is eulogized in many spheres of life and in multiple instances. Let us take the most impending and strong point of all. It is inevitably ‘Globalization’. The boon of globalization has in essence improved the global economy in a rapid and mammoth stature. Here we see that people from varied cultures and backgrounds contribute towards a common cause thus making the whole system open source. The advantage being that the whole system is easily customizable and thus subject to rapid improvement and development.

Conclusion

To conclude with, we will go back to the beginning. God created man but did not give a single man every boon. He gave a group of similar and dissimilar men, a group of similar and dissimilar good. This in itself highlights the fact that God created man as a social being.

Every man aspires to be perfect, but somehow or the other he / she cannot (ample real life examples we find in the newspaper every day). The only respite is the Society. We end with the paramount and inevitable conclusion that ‘When left single – I will try, and when together – we definitely can’. On the lines of Probability (Mathematics), 1 man attempting a single task and 100 men attempting the same task collectively , increases the probability of achieving the goal by 100 times. This in itself is the long and short of ‘society’ and we hope for your contemplative thoughts on the same.

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Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar 2015

Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar

Today I will talk about festivities and celebrations of Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar in 2015.

Jagaddhatri also spelled as Jagadhatri (Devnagri: जगद्धात्री, Bengali: জগদ্ধাত্রী) literally means She Who Holds the World or the Protector of the World. She is a form of Devi Durga. She is highly revered in West Bengal, especially in Chandernagore (my ancestral place, a former French colony in Hooghly District, 30 km North off Kolkata) which has the biggest celebration of Jagaddhatri Puja in India.

The epicentre of the festival is in Chandannagar, where it is celebrated for four days with much greater grandeur and fanfare.

Chandernagore also known as Chandannagar
Beautiful Chanannagar (also called Chandernagore)

Image Courtesy: flickr

People come from different parts of India to Chandannagar to enjoy the superb light works. There is also a lot of excitement in my ancestral house in Boro Champa Tola.

Mukherjee House Chandernagore Boro Champa Tola
Thakur Dalan of Mukherjee House, Boro Champa Tola, Chandannagar

Image Courtesy: flickr

Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar

The origins of Jagaddhatri Puja in Chandannagar date back to as early as 1750. It is believed that Indranarayan Choudhury, a local zamindar in Chandannagar started performing Jagadhatri Puja at his home. He was closely associated with Raja Krishnachandrachandra of Krishnanagar who later introduced the Puja in Krishnanagar.

To know more about Jagadhatri Puja read my detailed article in The Advaitist called Jagaddhatri Stotram and Jagadhatri Puja.

Jagadhatri Images

  • Jagadhatri is a popular form of Durga.
  • Jagadhatri Debi rides a lion.
  • She has 4 arms each holding a conch, discus, shaft and bow.
  • Her face is longish with large eyes that spread upto the ears.
  • The snake is her sacred thread.

Below I present some images of Devi Jagadhatri from different places in Chandannagar as taken by my relatives.

Jagadhatri Puja Chandernagore 2015 Murti Pratima 1 1
Notice the different types of chaal (background). They all differ in texture, color as well as design.

Jagadhatri Puja Chandernagore 2015 Murti Pratima 2 1
Jagadhatri Puja Chandernagore 2015 Murti Pratima 3 2a

Traditionally, Jagadhatri is depicted as having the colour of the morning sun. She stands on a dead elephant-demon called Karindrasura.
Jagadhatri Puja Chandernagore 2015 Murti Pratima 4 1

However Jagadhatri is also a symbol of sattva, hence she is also depicted as white. Durga and Kali, symbolising respectively Rajas and Tamas are her counterpart in terms of guna (quality).

Jagadhatri Puja Chandernagore 2015 Murti Pratima 5 1

Story of Goddess Jagadhatri

After Goddess Durga killed Mahishasura, the Gods started believing that since they had given their powers to the Goddess She was able to vanquish the demon. This made them arrogant.

To destroy this arrogance, Brahma appeared before them in form of a Yaksha. He put a blade of grass in front of the Gods and asked them to destroy it.

The Fire God, Agni could not burn it.

The God of Air, Vayu could not move it.

And so on.

So they finally realized that their powers are derived from the ultimate source of power, Shakti who is the supreme Goddess. She upholds the universe with Her powers and hence called Jagaddhatri. Source.

Jagadhatri Puja Light Show in Chandannagar

Chandannagar is world famous for lighting during Jagadhatri Puja, and people from different parts of the world come to Chandannagar to see the amazing lighting.

Jagadhatri Puja Chandannagar 2015 Lighting 1 1

Jagadhatri Puja Chandannagar Lighting in a typical Lane

Jagadhatri Puja Chandernagore 2015 Lighting 2 1
Buddhist Theme

Jagadhatri Puja Chandannagar 2015 Lighting 4 1
Lane Entrance

Jagadhatri Puja Chandernagore 2015 Lighting 5 1
Colorful Lights looking Wonderful against the dark backdrop

Jagadhatri Puja Chandannagar Hooghly District 2015 Lighting 6 1

Light Reflections

— END —

That’s it. Hope you enjoyed reading about Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar.

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External Reading

Thank you for reading “Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar 2015”. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave your comments in the comment box below and do share with your friends and family.

Quotes of Swami Vivekananda

Quotes of Swami Vivekananda

In this post I have compiled popular quotes of Swami Vivekananda.

I have personally read the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda as well as Life of Swami Vivekananda. From these books I have compiled some of his best pearls of knowledge and wisdom, and arranged them by different topics.

Quotes of Swami Vivekananda on Spirituality & Religion

1. You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.

2. Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being.

3. The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.

4. As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.

5. May He who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heaven of the Christians give strength to you to carry out your noble idea.

6. Man is to become divine by realizing the divine. Idols or temples, or churches or books, are only the supports, the help of his spiritual childhood.

7. The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.

Quotes of Swami Vivekananda on Spirituality and Religion

Image Courtesy: jtrsoftware

8. Look upon every man, woman, and everyone as God. You cannot help anyone, you can only serve: serve the children of the Lord, serve the Lord Himself, if you have the privilege.

9. Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man.

10. Despondency is not religion, whatever else it may be. By being pleasant always and smiling, it takes you nearer to God, nearer than any prayer.

11. He is an atheist who does not believe in himself. The old religions said that he was an atheist who did not believe in God. The new religion says that he is an atheist who does not believe in himself.

12. Each soul is potentially Divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal.

Swami Vivekananda Quotes on Self-Development

Swami Vivekananda Quotes on Self-Development

Image Courtesy: cityrockz

13. You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.

14. We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.

15. The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.

16. Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.

17. The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.

18. Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.

19. All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore love for love’s sake, because it is law of life, just as you breathe to live.

20. Our first duty is not to hate ourselves, because to advance we must have faith in ourselves first and then in God. Those who have no faith in themselves can never have faith in God.

21. As soon as I think that I am a little body, I want to preserve it, to protect it, to keep it nice at the expense of other bodies; then you and I become separate. First get rid of the delusion ‘I am the body’, then only will we want real knowledge.

22. Beware of compromises. Hold on to your own principles in weal or woe and never adjust them to others’ “fads” through the greed of getting supporters.

23. Truth, purity and unselfishness — wherever these are present, there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor thereof. Equipped with these, one individual is able to face the whole universe in opposition.

24. Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence & mercy in the world and thus, become pure and perfect. Be grateful to the man you help, think of him as God. Is it not a great privilege to be allowed to worship God by helping our fellowmen?

Quotes of Swami Vivekananda on Inspiration

Quotes of Swami Vivekananda on Inspiration

Image Courtesy: wikipedia

25. Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.

26. Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached.

27. Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin; to say that you are weak, or others are weak.

28. All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.

29. The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.

30. I, for one, thoroughly believe that no power in the universe can withhold from anyone anything they really deserve.

31. Stand as a rock; you are indestructible. You are the Self (atman), the God of the universe.

Eternal Wisdom of Swami Vivekananda

Eternal Wisdom of Swami Vivekananda

37. The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.

38. Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.

39. When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, it is transformed into an actual physical or mental state.

40. If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practiced, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries that we have would have vanished.

41. All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.

42. The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves.

43. Comfort is no test of truth. Truth is often far from being comfortable.

44. They alone live, who live for others.

45. We reap what we sow we are the makers of our own fate. The wind is blowing; those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not catch the wind. Is that the fault of the wind? We make our own destiny.

46. Each work has to pass through these stages—ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood.

47. All truth is eternal. Truth is nobody’s property; no race, no individual can lay any exclusive claim to it. Truth is the nature of all souls.

48. There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point.

Swami Vivekananda on Work

Arise Awake and Stop Not till the goal is reached
49. Even the greatest fool can accomplish a task if it were after his or her heart. But the intelligent ones are those who can convert every work into one that suits their taste.

50. The world is ready to give up its secrets if we only know how to knock, how to give it the necessary blow. The strength and force of the blow come through concentration.

51. Great work requires great and persistent effort for a long time. … Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles.

52. Few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob in a century.

53. When you are doing any work, do not think of anything beyond. Do it as worship.

54. Work and worship are necessary to take away the veil, to lift off the bondage and illusion.

55. Work hard. Be holy and pure and the fire will come.

56. Work for the idea, not the person.

57. To work properly… you have first to give up the idea of attachment. Secondly, do not mix in the fray, hold yourself as a witness and go on working. My master used to say, “Look upon your children as a nurse does.” The nurse will take your baby and fondle it and play with it and behave towards it as gently as if it were her own child; but as soon as you give her notice to quit, she is ready to start off bag and baggage from the house. Everything in the shape of attachment is forgotten.

58. Work unto death — I am with you, and when I am gone, my spirit will work with you.

59. Work, work, for, to work only for the good of others is life.

60. Work, work, work — let this be your motto.

Swami Vivekananda Quotes of Fearlessness

Swami Vivekananda Quotes of Fearlessness

Image Courtesy: RKM Khar

61. Fear is death, fear is sin, fear is hell, fear is unrighteousness, and fear is wrong life. All the negative thoughts and ideas that are in the world have proceeded from this evil spirit of fear.

62. If there is one word that you find coming out like a bomb from the Upanishads, bursting like a bombshell upon masses of ignorance, it is the word “fearlessness.”

63. Face the brutes. That is a lesson for all life—face the terrible, face it boldly. Like the monkeys, the hardships of life fall back when we cease to flee before them.

64. Work on, brave hearts, fail not — no saying nay; work on — the Lord is behind the work. Mahashakti is with you.

65. Work on! Hold on! Be brave! Dare anything and everything!

66. All this fear that pursues us comes from believing in matter.

67. All this is our work, our fear — fear, the beginning of misery, of disease, etc. By being nervous and fearful we injure others, by being so fearful to hurt we hurt more. By trying so much to avoid evil we fall into its jaws.

68. Always say, “I have no fear.” Tell this to everybody –“Have no fear”.

Quotes of Swami Vivekananda on Fearlessness

69. Do not be afraid. Great things are going to be done, my child. Take heart.

70. Generally speaking, human religion begins with fear. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” But later comes the higher idea. “Perfect love casteth out fear.” Traces of fear will remain with us until we get knowledge, know what God is. Christ, being man, had to see impurity and denounced it; but God, infinitely higher, does not see iniquity and cannot be angry. Denunciation is never the highest. David’s hands were smeared with blood; he could not build the temple. (Bible, Samuel, Chap. XVII — end.)

71. If you read the Vedas, you will find this word always repeated — fearlessness — fear nothing. Fear is a sign of weakness. A man must go about his duties without taking notice of the sneers and the ridicule of the world.

72. You need not be afraid of anything.

Swami Vivekananda Quote

Swami Vivekananda Quotes on India

73. The Land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness – it is India.

74. It is the duty of every person to contribute in the development and progress of India.

75. Whether you believe in spirituality or not, for the sake of the national life, you have to get a hold on spirituality and keep to it. Then stretch the other hand out and gain all you can from other races, but everything must be subordinated to that one ideal of life; and out of that a wonderful, glorious, future India will come – I am sure it is coming – a greater India than ever was.

Vivekananda Quotes India Bharat MataImage Courtesy: sumasurya

— END —

That’s it. Hope you enjoyed reading about some of Swami Vivekananda’s most popular quotes.

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Thank you for reading “Quotes of Swami Vivekananda”. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave your comments in the comment box below and do share with your friends and family.

How to be happy

I know this is a vast topic. But it will definitely be an interesting idea to investigate. What makes someone happy? Why is happiness not the same for everybody? More importantly what is happiness? In this post I will try to explore in depth on how to be happy and try to answer many such questions.

At the onset, please accept my apologies for the length of the post. I had intended it to be the usual 750+ words post but ended up going into ~2500 words. I have tried to include a lot of references and links to present my ideas in a detailed way.

My request to you is that, please do read it. 🙂

During my last 3 months in Indiblogger I have come across some wonderful writers. In this article, I have also referenced the works of 3 individuals who have shared their opinion on “happiness”. They are

  • Lata of Lata Wonders. You can read more about her here.
  • Alok Singhal of The Learning Curve. You can read about him here.
  • Somali Chakrabarti of Scribble and Scrawl. You can read more about her here.

And please read this post slowly. Take each part separately, and do share your comments and views and opinions.

What is happiness?

Different people have different definitions of happiness

  • Happiness, gladness or joy is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Wikipedia.
  • Happiness emerges from Self-respect. (Lata) 
  • Evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby say that happiness comes from “encountering unexpected positive events”.
  • Advaitins (the follower of Advaita Vedanta as propounded by Adi Shankarcharya) believe that true happiness is achieved when a person become One with Brahman (the Supreme Principle) or to put it technically sat-chit-ananda is possible when one realizes the non-duality of our existence.

How to be Happy - Smiley

Henry David Thoreau one said, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.

But is that really so? Ancient Indian texts categorically state that one CAN CHOOSE and in fact SHOULD BECOME happy.

Modern day psychologists say that one can choose to be happy. Here is what Tom Valeo says in “Choosing To Be Happy Strategies for Happiness: 7 Steps to Becoming a Happier Person“.

” … psychologists who study happiness … believe we can pursue happiness. We can do this by thwarting negative emotions such as pessimism, resentment, and anger. And we can foster positive emotions, such as empathy, serenity, and especially gratitude.”

Stress is the opposite of happiness. As William James says, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.

Step 1 of How to be Happy : Ask yourself “What do I want from life?”

I think this is pretty much the starting point of our journey towards happiness. When someone sits alone and asks herself, “What do I want from life? What is really my purpose?”, rest assured that that is the very first step on the road to self-realization. Without self-realization there can be no real happiness. It will be fleeting and momentary.

Here is what Gretchen Rubin says in her wonderful article “10 Ways to Be Happier – How happy are you―really? If there’s room for improvement, try one of these suggestions.

A few years ago, on a morning like any other, I had a sudden realization: I was in danger of wasting my life. As I stared out the rain-spattered window of a New York City bus, I saw that the years were slipping by.

“What do I want from life?” I asked myself. “Well…I want to be happy.” I had many reasons to be happy: My husband was the tall, dark, handsome love of my life; we had two delightful girls; I was a writer, living in my favorite city. I had friends; I had my health; I didn’t have to color my hair. But too often I sniped at my husband or the drugstore clerk. I felt dejected after even a minor professional setback. I lost my temper easily. Is that how a happy person would act?

Lata in her wonderful post “In search of happiness” makes the following observation.

“This may sound contradictory but the truth is I found happiness the day I gave up the notion of happiness.”

Mostly, we tend to define our happiness by our success in various aspects of life – material possessions, imagined status, popularity, a desire for one particular love fulfilled et.al.

When we don’t achieve our desires, we live in a constant state of discontent and unhappiness.

I was no different.”

And finally when your’s truly looks back at his  older post, “The way to Happiness – The Three Stages” , here is what he had to say then, and it pretty much holds true now, except that things have improved for the better.

“I am 32 years now.

My hair has streaks of gray, there are bags under my eyes and my trouser waists have kept on shrinking. Or more probably I have gained weight and my waistline has expanded :). Anyway I digress.

Earlier I could walk 2-3 kms per day and climb 4-5 floors easily – now I use an elevator to go from 1st floor to the second floor. Plus I feel tensed all the time, I cannot relax and feel dissatisfied at work. In fact, I am a true corporate manager.

And I have begun to realize how bad things have become. Must go to back to first principles.”

How to be Happy - Life

Image Courtesy: Matthewmorris

I daresay that pretty much sums up what many of us feel. If you have any similar life experiences please do share, so that they may added to this post.

Will a foreign trip really make me happy? Will a new SurfacePro really make me happy? Once we start asking ourselves these questions, we start going inwards into our Inner Self.

As the Wise Men of the Old say, The Answer Lies Within. But how do we get to that answer? I have talked about this briefly in one of my earlier articles “The Answer Lies Within“.

However the way to self-realization is not easy. Looking inwards is a science that cannot be mastered in a day. One cannot simply sit one fine day in padmasana and introspect and become self-realized. Even a gigantic soul like the Lord Buddha took many years to gain self-realization. That’s why Sadhana or intense practice is such a important concept in Indian thought.

Having said that we can start with small steps. Real baby steps. But over time these small steps add up like a compounding machine and give you results you never imagined before.

Step 2 of How to be Happy : I intend to be happy

Once we are done with the first step, we need to make a promise to ourself. I intend to be happy. I shall stay happy no matter what.

Philosopher Bertrand Russel in his book “The Conquest of Happiness” says, “Happiness is not, except in very rare cases, something that drops into the mouth, like a ripe fruit. … Happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods, and in this achievement, effort, both inward and outward, must play a great part.”

Tom G Stevens in his book You Can Choose to Be Happy, categorically states, “Choose to make happiness a top goal“.

Alok Singhal (of The Learning Curve fame) sums it up very nicely in his post “Secret to Happiness

“Many of us get angry at people when we don’t hear what we want to hear. It is a very common reaction! This response of ours has built over the years, maybe because of the way we were brought up or just something that we adapted from our environment.

But then, we would agree this reaction doesn’t do any good to us; rather, we end up doing terrible to ourselves and those around, even taking an extreme step in some cases. And, most of the times, it cannot change the situation also that led to the reaction in the first place. So why not behave in a way which doesn’t do any harm (mentally or physically) to us or those around? What if we train ourselves to be happy irrespective or at least don’t become red-faced?”

Step 3 of How to be Happy : Identify the pre-requisite steps

How to be Happy Baby Steps

Image Courtesy: Advisoranalyst

Now that you have set yourself a goal to be happy, you should first teach yourself how to examine yourself and fix your issues. You need to figure out the tools and methodologies for introspection and self-examination.

As our Ancient Texts say, the key to a happy life is 3 pronged.
1. Physical fitness
2. Mental fitness
3. Spiritual fitness

Unless we are fit at all these levels, we cannot be truly happy. Having said that, as and when we start tackling these 3 items, we will see DEFINITE and POSITIVE changes in our life.

Step 4 of How to be Happy : Physical Fitness

I have talked about this in one of my previous posts and I shall be sharing a modified version of the same write-up here.

Physical fitness is easier said than done. Many people join gyms as part of their new year resolutions, but then quit after a month or so. So a different solution is required.

We should not forget that we humans are ultimately animals, social or not is not relevant. Animals need to stay fit to survive and thrive – it is coded in our genes “Survival of the fittest”.

For Indians, the best options to stay physically fit are brisk walking and Yoga.

Walking

I am a big fan of walking and in this post have given many reasons on why you should walk.

Walking is perhaps the easiest fitness technique that Nature has naturally equipped us with. Walking does not require any special athletic talent or fancy equipment’s.

Walking is especially important for people like us who work in human capital intensive jobs like software or banking, where we spend a major part of our day sitting and essentially leading a sedentary life.

At least 20-30 minutes of walking is required to stay fit. But the walk must be brisk and sweat-inducing, else there would be limited benefits. It is better to walk if the distance involved is less than 1 km. It is useful to take the stairs whenever possible, instead of taking the elevator.

Yoga

How to be Happy - Cats doing Yoga

Image Courtesy: pinterest

Yoga literally means the union of One’s Self with the Universe. Physical exercises (asanas) are a small part of it.

Some asanas are very easy and have a lot of benefits and also help to calm and relax the mind. I have been doing padmasana (for my spine), vrikshasana (improves balance) andvajrasana (for digestion, what else).

Unless one is physically fit, one cannot be mentally fit. No physical wellness, no mental wellness. No mental wellness, no happiness.

Step 5 of How to be Happy :  Mental Fitness

There are a number of small things which we can do to improve our mental fitness. By simply stating that we will not be bogged down by negativity, we start becoming positive and happier.

Positive Attitude

A positive attitude helps us to deal with be happy, peaceful, hopeful and to appreciate the positives in life, says Somali Chakrabarti of Scribble and Scrawl Fame in her wonderful post “Break the Worry before it breaks you” and she goes on to quote a number of very inspiring sayings.

Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. – Bob Bitchin

Cultivate Gratitude

List down things that make you grateful. This will help you to move away from bitterness into happiness. Webmbd.

This has been beautifully capture by Somali in these two lines.

Count your blessings not your woes, count your friends not your foes. Image Courtesy.

How to be Happy - Scribble and Scrawl

Foster Forgiveness

Holding a grudge impacts us negatively by sapping oyr mental and physical energy. By fostering forgiveness one can convert the negativity of despair to the positivity of hope and happiness. Source: Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, happiness researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness.

Engage in Meaningful Activities

We must strive to engage in meaningful activities. It will make time fly, energize us and make us happier. Mundane and routine activities on the other hand will sap our energy and make us miserable. And idle brain (no work) as we all know is the worst, being the devil’s workshop.

Geroge Bernard Shaw once said: “The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation, because occupation means pre-occupation; and the pre-occupied person is neither happy nor unhappy, but simply alive and active. That is why it is necessary to happiness that one should be tired.”

Pretend to by Happy

Remember what Alfred Pennyworth tells Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins “You start pretending to have fun, you might have a little by accident.”

Conclusion

I have shared some of my thoughts on how to be happy. I have liberally referenced the work and experience of many people, and can justifiably say that I can see further by standing on the shoulder of giants. Happiness is a multi-faceted emotion and a lot of things go into making one happy. The easiest way to be happy is to find out those negative things that are making us unhappy and dealing with them. That has worked for me. I won’t say I am the happiest person on earth, but I am better off than when I had started this happiness experiment in May 2015.

The last stage of happiness is obviously spiritual happiness. I have not discussed that as I do not believe that I am qualified enough to talk about spirituality in different faiths. However, perhaps in a future post I may talk about what our Vedas and Upanishads say about happiness or bliss.

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