When do we lose? - Inspirational Blog

All of us have lost some or the other time in our lives. The beauty of life lies in its undulating nature. The ups and downs we experience as we traverse, only serves to enrich the purpose of our journey and make us wiser, if we keep an open mind and learn from them. Now, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case, there are usually several discernible and copious subtle reasons as to why we lose. So, if we work on these reasons, the chance of losing next time may diminish significantly.

Why do we lose?

Ergo, the important aspect of learning from losing is not to know WHY; rather it's about WHEN. When do you lose? One may list down a myriad of situations when we can lose. For instance, when we let our anger get the better of us, or when we toss away our idiosyncrasy or when we are dawdling or when competition's quite high.

But all the aforementioned situations only contributes to defeat; they do not signify the exact moment of our defeat. It is because of them one may be pulverized, for they may be the causes of defeat, but they do not, in fact, indicate defeat themselves.

So, when do we lose?

Is it when someone outmaneuvers us? Or when someone beats us? Or when we fail? Or when we don't succeed? Or when we don't fulfill expectations? Or when we disappoint others? No! A big NO! Again, these may the reasons of losing, but they do not augur when we lose.

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Defeat is a "feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goals." So, not unlike victory, defeat is a state of mind. What the mind perceives to be true, is what you believe to be true. And your belief is what makes you or breaks you. So, when do you lose? It's when you get this feeling. So, consequently, the next question that we need to answer is when is that we get this feeling and how do we avoid it?

You lose only when you lose hope. ~ Manas Madrecha
Hope provides us with indispensable morale that keeps us going. The anticipation that if not today, tomorrow I'll win keeps the feeling of defeat at bay. Acquiescence of defeat bespeaks nothing but forsaking of hopefulness. It's only the abandonment of hope that results in defeatism (acceptance of the inevitability of defeat). The day you surrender your hope, is the day you lose.

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So, how to avoid failure?

Be confident, be assertive, be tenacious, be smart, blah blah blah. But nucleus of winning lies in never ever losing hope. So, stop underestimating your good self and have a little faith in the preponderant energy that you are.

No one can defeat you as long as you refuse to yield. What is defeat? It's just an "unsuccessful ending to a struggle or contest". So, just keep trying and trying. But, until when? Until the end. And when’s the end, then? Not until you win.

Bhala Ho (Stay Blessed)

~ © By Manas Madrecha
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A Muslim Terrorist - Thriller Story

The sun was about to set, and the western sky had turned blood red. Sirens, shrieks, and suspense clouded the atmosphere. Even with my eyes closed, as I was being held in the stretcher to put in the ambulance, I knew all the faces were set upon me; I could feel the greatness of veneration with which the media persons and other policemen were looking at me.

The rumbling of the van was nothing as compared to the pandemonium going in my head.

"Patil! Take a jeep too and escort him safely to the hospital!" I heard my superior's commanding voice.

"That won't be needed," I tried to object, but my meek protest went unheard in the chaos of the situation.

The ambulance doors closed shut and began to move, as few doctors inside started to fumble with my upper left arm that had been shot.

I knew that in no time, more and more media people will start pouring in. Some were already trying to flash their cameras incessantly on the van, in which I laid, while others were broadcasting live feed as newer facts were coming into light.

But, despite the fact that in a couple of hours I was going to be the star of the nation, the only fact that mattered to me was that I had killed a man. I had become a murderer and a sinner.

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***
An hour ago - Dharavi slums

"Stop!" I yelled for the tenth time, but as expected it was of no use and I continued chasing the man.

I realized for the first time how intricate the slums of Dharavi were. But, it was not the time to marvel at the labyrinth. I had been running since 20 minutes. My legs were tiring.

Half an hour ago, thanks to the relentless efforts of my trusted men, I had got a tip about the whereabouts of this man, who had been eluding Mumbai Crime Branch since a year. Immediately with a team of seven, I had rushed to the spot.

But, the sinuous lanes of the slums had proved treacherous to us, and the man had had a head-start in running away. Only I could keep up with the ensuing chase, owing to my IPS training.

But, the maze was getting excruciatingly puzzling. Left, right, right, left, right, left, we kept on moving and in no time, I lost the track of where we were going. My only focus was on apprehending that man, who kept on jumping, turning, and pushing anyone and anything out of the way.

Ah, there he was! Dead end, at last! I rushed forward with a spurge and he started to violently throw whatever things he could get hold of, as he saw me approaching with a gun in my hand.

"Finally, a cornered cat!" I smirked with triumph.

"You have no idea whom you're dealing with!" He grunted, panting heavily.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you Aslam Sheikh, a filthy fugitive who killed hundreds of people last year?" I regarded him unsympathetically.

"Oh! And you are some bold cop with a pretty loud tongue, aren't you?"

I kept my unflinching stare fixed upon him.

"What are you looking at, huh?"

"A son of a bitch, who's going to spend rest of his life in jail!"

"Look, officer, can't we sort things ourselves, huh?"

"I don't deal with spineless creatures, who kill for no reason!"

"No reason? We only kill sinners and those sinners died because they didn't surrender their will to Him."

"You are the one who kill, yet the ones who die are sinners?"

"Anyone who refuses to believe us or Him is a sinner, because we are doing God's work!"

"And for that, you terrorize people?"

"No stimulant is as good as fear. One day, the world will kneel before Him and we will make sure of it!

"Hmm... but, who are you to make sure of it? Which God gave you the right to kill?"

"It's ordained, you foolish person! What will a foul-mouthed and blasphemous person like you understand about God and the religion based upon His will?

"I do understand that the only essence of any religion, if any, is to have compassion for all and have a non-violent attitude. And anyone who kills is a sinner. So, now, I'm going to call for back up and turn you in!"

As I dialed for more forces to nab him up, everything happened in a jiffy: he took out a gun from in back pocket and pointed it at me.
"If you had been a Muslim, you would have understood!" He hissed.

"Then, I believe ignorant atheism is better than misguided theism. Now, keep that gun on the ground, and place your hands above your head, or else - NOOOOO!"

Two gunshots reverberated at the same time in that narrow lane. I screamed in agony. A bullet had soared past just above my heart and blood had started oozing out. But, my aim had been more unfortunate; Aslam lay on the ground. Unlike his bullet, mine had gone for a head shot. I had killed. I had become a sinner.

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***
An Hour Later - Minister's office

"Sir ji, did you see the news?" my secretary asked, as he stepped into my ministerial office.

"If I have to watch the news by myself, why have I kept you, Shinde?" I replied, with my head immersed in writing the reply to a show-cause notice I had received last week from the party's high command.

I still couldn't figure out why was there any need for such notice! A week ago, during the Hindu Mahasabha rally, I had said something very obvious.

"Muslims are terrorists!"

"Listen, the party can't afford to fall into any controversy at this point!" The high command had retorted back on the phone.

"But, even the public was cheering at the rally, sir!" I tried to explain.

"Look, the media has made an issue of it, and this is a very crucial juncture for the party, with elections coming next month."

"But, sir..."

"You better give a decent reason why the party mustn't take any action against you. Also, if you want a ticket this time, then better apologize publicly!" Yelling so, he had hung the phone down.

It was not that I hated Muslims; I just found them to be odious. A Muslim will always patronize with his fellow Muslims, even if they kill. A Muslim can never love this country or do any good for it.

"Oh sir ji! But, you can't miss this! Let me turn on the TV," my secretary urged eagerly.

"This better be good, Shinde!"

I always thought that all the news reporters are nincompoop, because for them every other petty things was a breaking news.

A lady was blabbering, "In an eventful evening today, the highly notorious criminal Aslam Sheikh, most wanted terrorist for the Mumbai bomb blasts last year, was allegedly encountered on the outskirts of the Dharavi slums. The police investigation is currently going on and..."

The world had gone silent for me.
Aslam Sheikh encountered? God! That's so amazing! A terrorist dead. Another Muslim dead. My statement had just been substantiated. Party high command will now understand. No need for apologies. This event will definitely be polarizing. My reelection is sorted. Hahaha.

The news continued, "... our sources have reported the officer who chased the terrorist is allegedly shot, and on way to the hospital..."

Brave person, I remarked. Mumbai police have always been brave. This man should definitely be rewarded. Let me recommend this officer's name for the Presidential felicitation. Oh wait, what's his name again?

I gulped. Guilt overwhelmed my aversion. Maybe to deliberately break my prejudice, the breaking news had flashed his name: Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sarfaraaz Khan.

© Story by Manas Madrecha
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When Someone Mocks You - Hindi Poem on Criticism

How to deal with criticism positively? What to do about the gossipmongers who spread rumors associated with you? We cannot stifle the levity of remarks hurled upon us, but we can always neglect the venomous talks, disregard the deriding mockery and turn a deaf ear to contemptuous ridicule, because fomenting hatred or falling in an abyss of depression is never a rational reaction.

Following is a Hindi poem on Criticism by Manas Madrecha that suggests that the best course of action is to relish the knowledge of how those shallow tattlers or backbiters are making you popular and to imbibe any underlying constructiveness of the criticism, with a benevolent heart.
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Prayer for Forgiveness - Jain Paryushan Samvatsari Special


The adherents of Jainism religion celebrates the eight or ten day long festival of Paryushan during the month of August/September every year. Jainism, whose followers (Jains) are particularly known for their non-violence, strict vegetarianism, fasting, and substantial dominance in political and economic spheres of India, is a minority religion with less than a 5 million followers in the country, yet being the most literate religion of India (as per 2011 Census).

Founded by Bhagwan Rishabh in pre-historic period, the most-recent and last Tirthankar (one who establishes fourfold religious order of householders and monks, both male and female) of this era was Bhagwan Mahavira (599BC-527BC), whose contemporary was Lord Buddha. Jainism preaches five principles of non-violence, chastity, truth, non-stealing and non-possessiveness, which are to be achieved through the three jewels of right knowledge, right perception and right conduct.

As per Jain philosophy, the importance of forgiveness can never be overemphasized, and unsurprisingly Paryushan, the holiest period in Jainism, is a festival of repentance, soul-searching, atonement and most importantly, forgiveness. Other external rites during the festival includes undertaking fasting, quitting even root vegetables (stricter Jains follow these habits throughout the year and lifetime), reading and analyzing scriptures, and daily doing Pratikraman , an act of seeking forgiveness for the sins committed and reflecting upon one's actions for self-correction.

Jain canonical texts are usually written in Arghmaghadi Prakrit, a language prevalent in ancient Indian subcontinent. Herein, I have brought forth three basic sutras, with their translations in Hindi and English languages with word-to-word meaning. These sutras convey cardinal message of forgiveness and compassion, seeking peace and absolution through accepting our fault and vowing not to repeat them. And the best thing is these sutra are neither bound by any religion nor do they profess fundamentalism by praying to some exclusive deity. These sutras are universal in nature and can and should be read, recited and pondered upon by everyone advocating for non-violence and love.

  • Khamaasaman Sutra (खमासमण सूत्र)
  • Icchakaren OR Iriyavahiyam OR Aalochna sutra (इच्छाकारेण / इरियावाहियं / आलोचना सूत्र)
  • Micchami Dukkaddam Sutra (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम् सूत्र)

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Khamaasaman Sutra (खमासमण सूत्र)

Khamaasaman sutra is one of the principal mantra in Jainism. Seeking forgiveness is a great thing to do. This sutra is the seeker's talking to compassionate preceptor, who can be anyone whom he considers to be his preceptor - teacher, monk, liberated one, Tirthankar, etc. This sutra seeks atonement directly, with no intermediaries, from your preceptor.

Original Sutra in Prakrit:
इच्छामि खमासमणो! वंदिउं जावणिज्जाए निसीहिआए मत्थएण वंदामि।

Original Sutra in English:
Icchaami khamaasamano! Vandiyum jaavnijjaaye nisihiyaahe matthayen vandami

Glossary:
इच्छामि - I want to
खमासमणो - Prakrit form of क्षमा-श्रमण - O Kshama-Shraman (Forgiving Preceptor)
वंदिउं - to pay obeisance; to offer salutation
जावणिज्जाए - as per all my strength
निसीहिआए - having averted from all activities; having surrendered all the sins
मत्थएण - with head
वंदामि - I pay obeisance; I bow down

Meaning in Hindi Translation:
हे क्षमाशील तपस्विन् श्रमण गुरु! अपनी शक्ति के अनुसार अन्य सब कार्यों का निषेध करके, सब पाप-कार्यों से निवृत्त होकर तथा अविनय अशातना की क्षमा मांगकर, वन्दन करना चाहता हूँ; और तदनुसार मस्तक झुका कर, मैं वन्दन करता हूँ।

Meaning in English Translation:
O Compassionate Preceptor! As per my commensurate strength, having surrendered all wrongful acts (having cast away my sins), I wish to bow down; and thus accordingly, I bow down to you with my head.

Icchakaren OR Iriyavahiyam OR Aalochna sutra (इच्छाकारेण / इरियावाहियं / आलोचना सूत्र)

This sutra is extremely practical and vital in day-to-day life of a person. It doesn't ask for any wordily gain or materialistic prosperity. It simply seeks to absolve the soul of the impurities attached to it by the sins committed knowingly or unknowingly throughout the day. Its grandeur lies in the fact that it seeks forgiveness from each and every living being, regardless of its size, shape, specie, color, race, gender or any discriminatory trait. It makes us realize how in the end, we all should respect each and every being and hurt no single living entity.

Original Sutra in Prakrit:
इच्छाकारेणं संदिसह भगवन्!
इरियावहियं पडिक्कमामि? इच्छं।
इच्छामि पडिक्कमिउं इरियावहियाए विराहणाए।
गमणागमणे पाणक्कमणे बीयक्कमणे हरियक्कमणे ओसा-उत्तिंग-पणग-दग-मट्टी-मकड़ा-संताणा-संकमणे।
जे मे जीवा विराहिया एगिंदिया, बेइंदिया, तेइंदिया, चउरिंदिया, पंचिंदिया, अभिहया, वत्तिया, लेसिया, संघाइया, संघट्टिया, परियाविया, किलामिया, उद्दविया, ठाणाओ ठाणं संकामिया, जीवियाओ ववरोविया, तस्स मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्।।

Original Sutra in English:
Ichhakaren sandisaha Bhagwan!
Iriyavahim padikkamami? Iccham!
Icchami padikkamium iriyavahiyae viraahnaaye.
Gamanagamane paanakkamane beeyakkamane hariyakkamane osaa utting panag gad matti makdaa santana-sankamane.
Je mai jeeva viraahiya egindiya, beyindiya, teyindiya, chaurindiya, panchindiya, abhihaya vattiya, lesiya, sanghaiya, sanghttiya, pariyaviya, kilaamiya, uddaviya, thanao thanam sankamiya, jeeviyao vavroviya, tassa michchhami dukkadam

Glossary:
इच्छाकारेणं - by my desire
संदिसह - give me the permission
भगवन् - O Lord!
इरियावहियं - Prakrit form of ईर्यापथिकी - act of Irya-pathiki (walking, traveling, moving, etc.)
पडिक्कमामि - Prakrit form of प्रतिक्रमण in first person singular - I am to do Pratikraman (act of repentance/forgiveness)
इच्छं - I want to!
इच्छामि - I wish
पडिक्कमिउं - to do Pratikraman
इरियावहियाए - caused by acts of moving on path/road
विराहणाए - Prakrit form of विराधना - for doing Viradhna (acting evil, causing suffering or distress, etc.)
गमणागमणे - in the act of coming and going
पाणक्कमणे - in the act of crushing living beings
बीयक्कमणे - in the act of crushing (animate) seeds
हरियक्कमणे - in the act of crushing plants
ओसा-उत्तिंग-पणग-दग-मट्टी-मकड़ा-संताणा-संकमणे - in the act of squashing dew, anthills, five-colored moss, water, mud, spiders and spiderwebs
जे मे जीवा - Whichever beings by me
विराहिया - have been anguished
एगिंदिया - beings with one sense
बेइंदिया - beings with two senses
तेइंदिया - beings with three senses
चउरिंदिया - beings with four senses
पंचिंदिया - beings with five senses
अभिहया - have been beaten or struck
वत्तिया - have been covered or mixed with dust
लेसिया - have been smashed
संघाइया - have been collided with one another
संघट्टिया - have been touched or tilted
परियाविया - have been caused suffering
किलामिया - have been fatigued or harassed
उद्दविया - have been intimidated or terrified
ठाणाओ ठाणं संकामिया - have been shifted from one place to another
जीवियाओ ववरोविया - have been separated from life; made lifeless; killed
तस्स - of that (all the aforementioned sins)
मिच्छामि दुक्कडम् - may my wrongful act be nullified or absolved; forgive me

Meaning in Hindi Translation:

हे भगवन्! अपनी इच्छा से ईर्यापथिकी क्रिया का प्रतिक्रमण करने की मुझे आज्ञा दें। (गुरु इसके प्रत्युत्तर में "पडिक्कमेह" [प्रतिक्रमण करो] ऐसा कहें, तब शिष्य कहें) मैं चाहता हूँ; आप की आज्ञा स्वीकृत करता हूँ।

अब मैं मार्ग में चलते समय हुई जीव विराधना का प्रतिक्रमण अन्तःकरण की भावनापूर्वक इच्छा करता हूँ।

आने-जाने में किसी प्राणी को दबाकर, बीज को दबाकर, वनस्पति को दबाकर, ओंस की बूँदों को, चींटियों के बिलों को, पाँच रंग की काई (नील-फूल) को, कच्चे पानी को, कीचड़ को, तथा मकड़ी व जाले आदि को खूँदकर या कुचलकर -
आते जाते मैंने जो कोई एकेन्द्रिय, दो इन्द्रिय, तीन इन्द्रिय, चार इन्द्रिय, अथवा पाँच इन्द्रिय वाले जीवों को पीड़ित किया हो, चोंट पहुँचाई हो, धुल आदि से ढाँका हो, आपस में अथवा ज़मीन पर मसला हो, इकट्ठे किये हो अथवा परस्पर शरीर द्वारा टकराये हों, छुआ हो, कष्ट पहुँचाया हो, थकाया हो, भयभीत किया हो, एक स्थान से दुसरे स्थान पर रखा हो, उनको प्राणों से रहित किया हो (जान से मारा हो), उन सभी अतिचारों का पाप, मेरे लिए निष्फल हो। अर्थात, जाने-अनजाने विराधना आदि से कषाय द्वारा मैंने जो पाप-कर्म बाँधा, उसके लिए मैं ह्रदय से पछताता हूँ, जिससे कि कोमल परिणाम द्वारा पाप-कर्म नीरस हो जावें और मुझे उसका फल भोगना न पड़ें।

Meaning in English Translation:
O Lord!
Give me the permission to repent or seek forgiveness with my desire for the sins committed while walking/moving on the road. (In response, a preceptor will say "May you repent or seek forgiveness", to which the person seeking forgiveness will say) that's what I want; I accept your permission.
Now I desire for repenting or seeking forgiveness for causing suffering or distress while walking/moving on the road.

While coming and going, crushing living beings, animate seeds, plants, or squashing dew, anthills, five-colored moss, water, mud, spiders and spiderwebs,
By me, whichever beings have been tormented - may they have one sense or two senses or three senses or four senses or five senses - beaten, covered in dust, smashed, collided with one another, touched, tilted, caused suffering, fatigued, harassed, intimidated, terrified, shifted from one place to another, killed,
My sin of all that be absolved off (I seek forgiveness for the sins committed)

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Micchami Dukkaddam Sutra (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम् सूत्र)

Every word of this sutra is what mankind needs today. It not only seeks forgiveness from all, but also asserts that first, I forgive you all. This is very important because only when one's own heart is not burdened with anger, hatred, avarice, jealousy and enmity, one can expect others to forgive him/her. This sutra is truly a universal one, and treats not only each human being as his friend, but each and every existent being in the universe, with no hostility towards any one. Let us cherish this sutra and imbibe it in the deepest corners of our hearts.

Original Sutra in Prakrit:
खामेमि सव्व जीवे, सव्वे जीवा खमन्तु मे ॥
मित्ति मे सव्व भूएसू, वेरं मज्झ न केणई ॥

Original Sutra in English:
Khamemi savve jeeva, savve jeeva khamantu me
Mitti me savva bhuyesu, veram majjh na kanei

Glossary:
तस्स - Of that (sin)
खामेमि - I forgive
सव्व - all
जीवे - living being
सव्वे - all
जीवा living beings
खमन्तु - may forgive
मे - me
मित्ति - friendship
मे - my
सव्व भूएसू - in all the living entities
वेरं - enmity or animosity
मज्झ - my
न केणई - with no one

Meaning in Hindi Translation:
मैं सभी जीवों को क्षमा करता हूँ। मैं सभी जीवो द्वारा माफ़ किया जाऊँ। मेरी सभी भूतों (जीवों) से मैत्री हैं। मेरी किसी से कोई दुश्मनी (वैर) नहीं हैं।

Meaning in English Translation:
I forgive all the living beings. May I be forgiven by all the living beings. I have friendship with all living entities. I have animosity with no one.

***
I hope after reading these magnificent lines, some people might have come crossed your mind. Let us promise ourselves to forgive them and also, seek forgiveness from them for keeping ill thoughts towards anyone. As Manas Madrecha quotes,
In a world replete with hatred, if you hope for love, you are a fool. And if you stop hoping, you are a bigger fool.
Bhala Ho (Stay Blessed)
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Words are Whiffs of the Wind - Hindi Poem

An interesting gossip always pricks up our ears. And when the gossip’s about us, the fascination to absorb each word of the talk knows no bounds. Nevertheless, there are no rosy talks about us each and every time and the bleak rasping words tend to dishearten or infuriate us. Following is a poem by Manas Madrecha that advocates anger management and advises on how to keep calm by keeping our futile rage aside and focusing on being happy indifferently.
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Wake up, Young Man - Hindi Poem on Morning

No part of the day is as beautiful as the daybreak when the sun creeps languidly over the horizon with its luscious crimson rays and begins to embellish the world asleep in morbid darkness. Following is a poem on morning by Manas Madrecha that portrays the ubiquitous contrast between today’s hectic man and the wholesome nature with respect to priorities and preferences of life.
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