About Me  

I'm joining Service Space because ... I would like a space where I can practice pure service.

A good day to me is when ... I do things from the heart and with mindfulness.

My hero in life is ...Vivekananda, Gandhi, Dr. V., my grandfathers

My favorite book is ...Bhagavad Gita, Warrior of the Light

One thing I'm grateful for is ... my family and friends' support.

A Parable On Inner Transformation

Jun 03, 2015 Randomly browsing Quora, I came across a question - "Why should one read the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu scripture)?" and a well-written answer to the question as well! Sharing it below... (For those not familiar with the Bhagavad Gita - It is a question-and-answer-based philosophical conversation about achieving clarity on our purpose and the way to achieve it, between Creator and Creation - this question may also be interpreted as "Why should I study/practice spirituality?") The allegory below highlights the real outcome -- inner transformation, as opposed to achieving a specific external goal. Question: Why should one read Srimad Bhagavad Geeta? Answer: [This is the answer by Sowjanya Sri on Quora] Many people (including me) wonder why do we have to read [the Bhagavad] Geeta, when we hardly are able to understand and remember the things inside this great book. Here's one beautiful story explaining why: An old Farmer lived on a farm in the ... Read Full Story

Rethinking International Development

Feb 27, 2015, 2 smiles An interesting article on why people are losing faith in international development. The article points out that multi-national organizations have gained far more than the benefit that international aid has brought to developing nations. "We need to break with the logic of growth altogether, and abandon the mistaken assumption that wealth equates to happiness and freedom." "We would also need to roll out new, saner measures of economic progress, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), or the Happy Planet Index (HPI) presently being developed by the New Economics Foundation." An alternative the article provides is "​to evolve new narratives and new visions, speaking to the public about the imperative of justice, and uniting people in opposition to an economic system that impoverishes and degrades." This is exactly what Nipun's post on Well-Being explores, and what SS members work towards! 

Song From Today's Awakin Call

Mar 30, 2014, 2 comments, 10 smiles What a beautiful message from Suresh-bhai Parmar on yesterday's Awakin Call! Suresh-bhai ended the call with a heart-warming song in Hindi: The lyrics and translation below: ram rahe atam ram, sabhi ke man mandir mein (We delight in thinking of the One that dwells in every heart) gudh rahasya yeh koi koi jaane sab hoye nishkaam, sabhi ke man mandir mein (The secret to work that few know - 'Work with no expectation' - but secretly dwells in every heart) jagmag jagmag jyoti jalat hai bina jane kangaal hot, sabhi ke man mandir mein (The Light shines and glows, dwelling in every heart Unaware of this, we experience scarcity) sat chit anand dham, sabhi ke man mandir mein (The fount of Truth and Joy that dwells in every heart) jag mag jag mag jyoti jalat hai, har dam aatho dhaam, sabhi ke manmandir mein (The Light shines and glows dwelling in every heart is the destination of all pilgrimages) sab jan jaane vignyaan aap ko tab paave vishraam, sabhi ke ... Read Full Story

Many Of You May Have Heard ...

Jun 29, 2013, 2 comments, 1 smiles Many of you may have heard of the devastation caused by the floods in most of northern India and a pilgrim site called Kedarnath. I've been deeply moved by the rescue efforts going on, and stories of brave volunteers and soldiers who have been giving their time, effort and even lives. While a number of us have been monetarily donating to these efforts, I am wondering if there are deeper ways to express gratitude to the volunteer teams and individuals involved. Would appreciate any thoughts :)

I Shared A Few Copies Of ...

Apr 17, 2013, 2 comments, 8 smiles I shared a few copies of Infinite Vision with some of my professors/mentors at IIT Madras. One of them took voluntary retirement a year or so ago and has been working on rural development projects in his native village. After reading it, he wrote a few months ago "Thank you very much for the book on Aravind eye hospital that you presented to me, which gives me some ideas and energy in my efforts". What is more, on contacting him again recently, he writes again "...the book on Aravind Eye Hospital has given me several ideas and inspirations. We are working further on... the Land to Kitchen Project to take the rural produce directly to urban consumers." Coming from a less-than-loquacious person, I can see what a deep impression it has left on his mind. It really made my day :) Kudos to Pavithra and Suchitra!!

Came Across This Lovely Story Shared ...

Mar 28, 2013, 1 comments, 6 smiles Came across this lovely story shared by Shara Jean on Google+: "We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we're approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter - 'Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended' They pay for their order, take the two and leave. I ask my friend: 'What are those 'suspended' coffees ?' 'Wait for it and you will see' Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers - three for them and four 'suspended'. While I still wonder what's the deal with those 'suspended' coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks 'Do you have a suspended coffee ?' It's simple - people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal."

The NYTimes Writes About Mindfulness, Living ...

Mar 23, 2013, 1 comments, 4 smiles The NYTimes writes about mindfulness, living in the present and its role in stress reduction. This includes a cautionary note, that mindfulness is not the answer to everything, and can not be used as a way of achieving something, not even peace! This reminded me of Yogi Mccaw's beautiful article summarizing insights from 25 years of meditating - "...Normally, we always do something to get something. If you're actually in meditation, you're not doing anything, and you're not getting anything....Yes, calmness, a strong sense of being centered even in adverse conditions, and expanded viewpoint, can all result from meditations, but really all those are side-effects.All I can say is that it is truly the only way to get beyond the 'doing something to get something' phenomenal existence we live in everyday. That expansion is what makes it worth it..." 

Came Across This Manifesto That Reminds ...

Oct 30, 2012, 2 comments, 2 smiles Came across this manifesto that reminds of the shift from consumption to contribution: http://lifemanifestos.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ProducerManifestoLarge.jpg  

Anshu Gupta, Ashoka Fellow, Who Shared ...

Oct 05, 2012, 1 comments, 2 smiles Anshu Gupta, Ashoka Fellow, who shared his thoughts and experiences at the SS retreat in Princeton (Ashish's place) featured in the New York Times: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/clothing-the-poorest-for-survival/

Happiness Leads To Success, Not The ...

Mar 29, 2012, 3 smiles Happiness leads to success, not the other way around :) "As a society, we have pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon, waiting for success to be happy. But our brains work in the opposite order. Raising positiveness level in the present leads to a 'happiness advantage', allowing the brain to perform significantly better than when it is stressed. Intelligence levels, creativity, productivity, all increase. We need to be happy to see what our brains are actually capable of" says Shawn Achor, in his TEDx talk. And gratitude, journaling, exercise, random acts of kindness and meditation are among those that lead to sustained positive change :) http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html?awesm=on.ted.com_Achor&utm_campaign&utm_medium=on.ted.com-static&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=awesm-publisher