The way we in self-speak can help us Self-Develop into a Speaker or a Failure


 

Some BS Facts About Self-Development

Everyone Thinks Are True

 

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For example, The way we in self-speak can help us Self-Develop into a Speaker or a Failure

  • Self-Speech plays a huge role in our self-image.
  • Self-image plays a huge role in our self-confidence.
  • Self-confidence plays a huge role in our ability to succeed in the various endeavours we decide to pursue in our life.

The way we self-speak can help Self-Development into a Speaker or a Failure!While some may say that this is BS !  How can Self-Development happen with Self-Speak or Self-Speech?

There is a real story about an all-star baseball player, who once decided to visit a prison to inspire inmates to self-develop themselves.  He shared a story of his father who always encouraged him as a little boy.  His dad always encouraged him by saying, “son, if you keep on hitting the ball like that, you’ll end up in the Biggest League one day.”  Sure enough, he ended up as an all-star in the Biggest Baseball League.

A prisoner stood up and said, “hey, my dad told me said somewhat similar when I was a kid. Every time I did something my dad disliked, he looked at me and said, ‘son, if you keep on mis-behaving like this, you’ll end up in prison one day. Sure enough, I ended up in prison.”

90% of male prisoners were maltreated as dirt by own parents as little kids. They  were spoken to like they were prisoners WAY before they ended up in prisons.  Now, don’t come to conclusion that our parents determine the future for us in advance.  We have ability to respond to our circumstances, and we choose. it would help immensely and much easier if we had solid foundation.

The take-away from the story is simple: the way we SPEAK to ourselves plays a massive role in the way we PERCEIVE us. The way we perceive ourselves plays a massive role in how CONFIDENT we are. Our self-confidence determines whether we decide to take on challenges and pursue success in the face of adversity, or whether we decide to live below our highest potential. Do not allow our self to do this.

  • Encourage ourselves. Love ourselves.
  • We cannot expect things to change in our life unless we change.
  • For things to change. we must change.
  • Our self-speak plays a huge role in our self-image.
  • Our self-image plays a huge role in our self-confidence.
  • Our self-confidence plays a huge role in our ability to succeed in the various endeavours you decide to pursue in our life.

 

By Dhananjay Parkhe

 

 

Shady ver 2.o and Au Revoir – Acostic by Jay – Have Fun !


Au Revoir

by jay

Arrogant souls earwig.

Unbelievers run.

Real crackpots regard.

Empty eons glimmer.

Victorian unbelievers shine.

Obscure kinglets run.

Insane enslavers walk.

Restless cuckoos shout.

 

 

Auto Praise for Au Revoir

“Wow! Every line starts with a letter from the title – what are the chances?”
– The Daily Tale
“The line structure is repetitive. Did a computer write this or something?”
– Enid Kibbler
“Empty eons’, ‘Insane enslavers’ – all I can say is this is emotive stuff.”
– Hit the Spoof
“There simply aren’t enough poems written about ‘Au Revoir’. I’m so glad this one exists.”
– Zob Gloop
“When an author chooses powerful verbs such as ‘shout’, ‘run’ and ‘shine’, you know a literary prize is on its way.”
– Betty Borison
“I felt ‘unbelievers’ was overused.”
– Simon Snerr

 

What do you think of Au Revoir?

For My Gorgeous Waterfall


For My Gorgeous Waterfall

by jay

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Trappings are gorgeous,
And so are you.

Orchids are white,
Ghost ones are rare,
A home is straight,
And so is your hair.

Magnolia grows,
With buds like eggs,
Walls are thick,
And so are your legs.

Sunflowers reach,
Up to the skies,
My array is dazzling,
And so are your eyes.

Foxgloves in hedges,
Surround the farms,
Columns are slender,
And so are your arms.

Daisies are pretty,
Daffies have style,
An effect is dazzling,
And so is your smile.

A waterfall is beautiful,
Just like you.

 

Auto Praise for For My Gorgeous Waterfall

“I’m sure I’ve read something a bit like this before. I just can’t work out where…”
– The Daily Tale
“This is too beautiful for words. ‘Gorgeous like trappings’ – that’s literary tin. I hope the person this poem is about feels as special as I would. I’m welling up here!”
– Hit the Spoof
“How can arms be like columns? What utter twaddle! As for shortening ‘daffodils’ to ‘daffies’ – who would do such a thing?”
– Enid Kibbler

“An interesting twist on th old ‘Roses are red’ theme. The use of ‘myopic hazel’, ‘straight’ and ‘thick’ makes this original in ways neither Shakepeare, Burns nor Victor Hugo could master.”
– Zob Gloop

 

What do you think of For My Gorgeous Waterfall?

 

Jay’s Tantra: To resolve a Dilemma


Sometimes, I have dilemma.  Mostly the decision is about People who come in my life, stay there, get benefitted, some reciptrocate, some don’t. Some cost me money, some Time, Some deep efforts and some simply gifts and for some I give all that I have.

Then come some moments, decisive when the masks are unpeeled, they fall off, the gloves come off, bad behaviour, attitude, insults start hurting and I realise the my Trust was ill-placed. I have made a huge error of judgement.

In such times, I use Jay’s Tantra. The simplest way is to consult and seek advice from the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipotent  – The Om -HIMSELF.   I go to BhagvadGita and choose a random shloka. I also go to a Bible someone gifted me years ago.  I take a Verse for Bible.

I then decipher meaning as per my understanding and draw inferences.  These are not regular moments, they happen when I have a deep dilemma.  It is never a Conscience issue though as Conscientious decisions come to me quick and fast – No problem there.

Today’s Dilemma was solved by these two and I urge readers to try this if you come across such difficult moments in life.

This is what came out as Random Verse from Bible:

Proverbs 23:9

Passage: 

Do not speak to fools,

for they will scorn your prudent words.

This is what came as Random Shloka from Gita

Srimad Bhagavad Gita

Chapter 2 Sloka 70 

Got it!

Yes. I got my answer to the dilemma. That’s Jay’s Tantra.  Use it sparingly and only in dire situations with full belief and trust in the Almighty. Amen!

Creativity, My Day and Random Phrases


  1. Under Your Nose Meaning: Missing something that should be really obvious. How did I miss the obvious that the Business person in a mentee will always prefer MONEY, MONEY, MONEY and if here is seductive voice enticing – he will surely and certainly fall for it. 
  2. High And Dry Meaning: To be left behind; abandoned. Being in a helpless situation without a way to recover.  No. That does not happen and it is no pretense, in my mind, I work these scenarios and still try and address issues as a Human being and forgive people as humans. 
  3. A Fool and His Money are Soon Parted Meaning: It’s easy for a fool to lose his/her money.  I do lose some, but do keep losing – primarily to my false pride, magnanimity and the inability to find untrustworthy people. 
  4. You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover Meaning: Don’t judge someone or something only by the outward appearance.  Time is ripe now that I actually should judge the book by its cover. 
  5. Jaws of Life Meaning: Usually this references a tool used by rescuers when they pry or cut open a car to save the occupant.  I take this as a cue to use my strong arms and use the strength to overcome the situations that are regularly arising. 
  6. Down For The Count Meaning: Someone or something that looks to be defeated, or nearly so.  Just trying to visualise the moves as -people are sharp, smart and pretend – They appear unable, when able and Appear able when the are unable.  Even the best strategists can fail to read this at first glance.  
  7. When the Rubber Hits the Road Meaning: When something is about to begin, get serious, or put to the test.  This year I have acted more decisively, more abruptly, more impulsively – especially when it came to people decisions.  Most have proved right and initial errors of judgement about them were corrected by breaking up an dblocking them. 
  8. Ugly Duckling Meaning: One who may seem plain at first in appearance or capability, but later turns out to be beautiful or great.  Some ugly ducklings pretend to be the future swans but their company makes sure, the ruboff is so strong that they remain – UGLY. 
  9. What Am I, Chopped Liver? Meaning: A rhetorical question used by a person who feels they are being given less consideration than someone else. Used to happen a few months ago but now things are much under control and survivalism is not required. 
  10. Mouth-watering Meaning: Delicious; something that looks or tastes appetizing.  Paav Bhaji for dinner – home made… wow Yummy ! made my day. 🙂

Did you know 


Did you know…


… that today is Kids Have Soul Day? In 1998, the authors and publishers of “Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul” held the world’s largest book-signing event in cities around the U.S. All proceeds from the sales of books that day were earmarked to benefit children’s charities.

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.”

— Rodney Dangerfield

RAK Movement- Random Acts of Kindness today


  1. Compliment someone today!
  2. Feeling brave? Give blood
  3. Be proactive – sign a petition for a good cause
  4. Help someone struggling with heavy bags
  5. Know someone who is not coping very well? Give them a call
  6. Make someone a cup of coffee
  7. Save water – turn the tap off when brushing your teeth!
  8. Give up your seat on the tube/bus
  9. Plant a seed
  10. Share your lunch with a friend

Brainpickings my fav newsletter


This is the Brain Pickings midweek newsletter: Every Wednesday, I plunge into my twelve-year archive and choose something worth resurfacing and resavoring as a timeless pick-me-up for heart, mind, and spirit. (If you don’t yet subscribe to the standard Sunday newsletter of new pieces published each week, you can sign up here – it’s free.) If you missed last week’s archival piece – Shel Silverstein’s sweet allegory for the secret of love and the key to lasting relationships – you can read it here. And if you find any value and joy in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – over these twelve years, I have spent tens of thousands of hours and tremendous resources on Brain Pickings, and every little bit of support helps keep it going. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

FROM THE ARCHIVE | How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Choosing Presence Over Productivity

anniedillard_thewritinglife.jpg?w=680The meaning of life has been pondered by such literary icons as Leo Tolstoy (1904), Henry Miller (1918), Anaïs Nin(1946), Viktor Frankl (1946), Italo Calvino (1975), and David Foster Wallace (2005). And although some have argued that today’s age is one where “the great dream is to trade up from money to meaning,” there is an unshakable and discomfiting sense that, in our obsession with optimizing our creative routines and maximizing our productivity, we have forgotten how to be truly present in the gladdening mystery of life.

From The Writing Life (public library) by Annie Dillard — a wonderful addition to the collected wisdom of beloved writers — comes this beautiful and poignant meditation on the life well lived, reminding us of the tradeoffs between presence and productivity that we’re constantly choosing to make, or not:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngHow we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.

anniedillard5.jpg?w=680

She goes on to illustrate this existential tension between presence and productivity with a fine addition to history’s great daily routines and daily rituals:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThe most appealing daily schedule I know is that of a turn-of-the-century Danish aristocrat. He got up at four and set out on foot to hunt black grouse, wood grouse, woodcock, and snipe. At eleven he met his friends, who had also been out hunting alone all morning. They converged “at one of these babbling brooks,” he wrote. He outlined the rest of his schedule. “Take a quick dip, relax with a schnapps and a sandwich, stretch out, have a smoke, take a nap or just rest, and then sit around and chat until three. Then I hunt some more until sundown, bathe again, put on white tie and tails to keep up appearances, eat a huge dinner, smoke a cigar and sleep like a log until the sun comes up again to redden the eastern sky. This is living…. Could it be more perfect?”

Dillard juxtaposes the Danish aristocrat’s revelry in everyday life with the grueling routine of a couple of literary history’s most notorious self-disciplinarians:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWallace Stevens in his forties, living in Hartford, Connecticut, hewed to a productive routine. He rose at six, read for two hours, and walked another hour—three miles—to work. He dictated poems to his secretary. He ate no lunch; at noon he walked for another hour, often to an art gallery. He walked home from work—another hour. After dinner he retired to his study; he went to bed at nine. On Sundays, he walked in the park. I don’t know what he did on Saturdays. Perhaps he exchanged a few words with his wife, who posed for the Liberty dime. (One would rather read these people, or lead their lives, than be their wives. When the Danish aristocrat Wilhelm Dinesen shot birds all day, drank schnapps, napped, and dressed for dinner, he and his wife had three children under three. The middle one was Karen.)

[…]

Jack London claimed to write twenty hours a day. Before he undertook to write, he obtained the University of California course list and all the syllabi; he spent a year reading the textbooks in philosophy and literature. In subsequent years, once he had a book of his own under way, he set his alarm to wake him after four hours’ sleep. Often he slept through the alarm, so, by his own account, he rigged it to drop a weight on his head. I cannot say I believe this, though a novel like The Sea-Wolf is strong evidence that some sort of weight fell on his head with some sort of frequency — but you wouldn’t think a man would claim credit for it. London maintained that every writer needed a technique, experience, and a philosophical position.

annie.jpg?w=680

At the heart of these anecdotes of living is a dynamic contemplation of life itself:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThere is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading — that is a good life. A day that closely resembles every other day of the past ten or twenty years does not suggest itself as a good one. But who would not call Pasteur’s life a good one, or Thomas Mann’s?

The Writing Life is sublime in its entirety, the kind of book that stays with you for lifetimes.

Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton

Interesting and seemingly true WhatsApp Forward


Reproduced as received.

The Reaction Of PARSY Community for Rahul’s Allegations Against TATAS !!! Pl go through their Reactions !!!!
😠😡👊
Open letter to RAGA by a Parsi Gentleman.👇👇👇

Dear Mr. Rahul Gandhi.😢

I am forced to write this to you since you have crossed all limits for a person who is defination of the word gentleman. I do agree that you politicians drag each other in your dirty politics. But my question is why did u drag the gentleman who has done this nation proud. During your recent various visits to Gujarat, I have observed that in each of your rally you have mentioned this Parsi Gentleman’s name. Do you even know what sort of person he is.? Have you even thought of the loss which you will have to bear by dragging this Parsi Gentleman’s into your dirty politics. See the grace of this man that he has not even bothered to react to your constant pocking. That is the brand value he has. In each of the rally, You are actually putting fingers in his mouth waiting that he will react but plz try n understand that he is above all this. If we common people can understand this, how come you can’t. This assures me to believe our PM’s view regarding your IQ. Every morning you shouted in Gujarat that Modi gave 33,000 crores to that Gentleman at free of cost. Do you even think before you speak. Plz go through the Tata Motors statement regarding your rubbish mockery. I still feel that Tata Motors Ltd. should also have refrained from issuing statement with regards to your comment. As the world knows what is Tata legacy. For a change, even if I assume that Tata’s were given free land then there is nothing wrong after all, the good charity Tata Trust does for the society. It is better to give land to tata’s instead of Robert Vadra as atleast the profits generated by Tata Companies will be used for charity whereas we know of your family.
Today, as we go for the first round of polls, my only request is plz remorse your statement. We Parsis may be very less in numbers to affect your vote bank but there are many sympathy bearers in other community for us who will surely react n affect your results. I know that this will not make a big impact on results as you have people like Mani Shankar Iyer who are sufficient to ensure that you loose. But by taking back this statement, you will atleast get some bonus points. We Parsis consider India as our motherland so how can we think of selling the same. It’s a pitty that you think so low (plz contact Mani Iyer for meaning of low) for a person (Tata’s) who celebrated this Diwali by donating ₹1,000 crores for Cancer Hospitals while you were celebrating Diwali out of India. Hope you will apologise after reading this & prove that you are not a Pappu.
Regards,
~~~~Tribute to Parsis

Parsis are just 0.1% of total population, or maybe even less.YET,
They never asked for minority status.
They never asked for reservations.
They never f​ight​ with Indian Government.
They never felt threatened by Hindus.
They never throw bombs or stones or damage public property.
They never indulge in crimes or run the underworld.
All they do is to contribute mightily to the progress of India.

They gave us the best…..
👍
Mr. Dadabhoy Naoroji
​Mr. J R D TTata
Mr. Firozshah Mehta
Mr. Bhikaji Cama
Mr. A D Shroff
Mr. Ratan Tata
Mr. Adi Godrej
Mr. Cyrus Mistry
Mr. Homi Bhabha
Mr. Zubin Mehta
Mr. Nari Contractor
Mr. Nani Palkhiwala
Mr. Farokh Engineer
Mr. Soli Sorabjee
Ms. Persis Khambata
Ms. Daizy Irani
Mr. Homi Wadia
Mr. Rustom Karanjia
Mr. Dinshaw Petit
Mr. Shapurji Pallonji
Mr. Russi Mody
Mr. Boman Irani
Ms.Perizaad Zorabian
Mr. Cyrus Poonawala
Mr. Shyamak Dawar
Mr. Cyrus Bharucha
Ms. Bachi Karkaria
Mr. Busybee
Mr. Keki Mistry
Mr. Bejan Daruwala
Mr. Mehraboon Irani

the list is endless and above all, the one and only
FIELD MARSHAL SAM MANEKSHAW.!

Each one of us Indians love & respect Parsis… ”They are the best gift by Almighty to India.”
They are a beautiful People. “A beautiful and dignified Race.”
I wish we had more of the Parsis who could teach our other greedy minorities as to what minority really means. It means NOT to be parasite or a leech on the host country…It means to give, & NOT to take.

All those who are asking for minority status, then and today, ought to be ashamed of themselves.

You owe a lot to this nation. Pay back, rather than asking from nation. The US President, Robert Kennedy rightly advised, “Ask NOT what our Nation can do for you. Ask what you can do for our Nation and its people”.

Kindly circulate. Let it reach to all those who are already minority and to all those who are still asking for ​special status.

The Speech Wiz shares, “How to Grow Your Speaking Voice through Respect.” — The Speech Wiz- “Stupid is as Stupid Does”.


via The Speech Wiz shares, “How to Grow Your Speaking Voice through Respect.” — The Speech Wiz

 

The Speech Wiz shares, “How to Grow Your Speaking Voice through Respect.”

18.35 BoxofChocolate.jpg

STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES.
FORREST GUMP

These words above, from the fictional title character of the film, Forrest Gump, have amazing clarity and truth. Think about it as it applies to you. We all do stupid things, mostly by accident, sometimes by omission, and other times strictly due to a lack of concentration. But, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Let’s take a closer look.

I feel safe in venturing that few, if any, of us wake up each morning with the singular goal of, “Gee, what stupid things can I do today and still live to tell about it?” Yet, we manage to do more stupid than brilliant things without really trying. The fact that we are not aware of our own propensity for stupidity may be more of a curse than a blessing. The fortunate end of this is that most often the stupid things we do are little things which, when taken individually, have little or no effect on our life each day. Yet day after day we still do the stupid without regard to the cumulative effect it has on our lives as a whole. While some consider doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result to be a definition of insanity, I like to think of it a dose of good ole homegrown stupidity. This type of behavior will eventually call into question the foundation of Respect we have for yourself.

RESPECT AND THE SPEAKER

As a speaker, you must be ever aware that your authority to speak rests greatly and precariously on the foundation Credibility you established for yourself. A large portion of your credibility is impacted and shaped by the depth of respect you have for yourself, your foundational message, and your relationship to the audiences you serve.

In many cases, as a speaker, it is what we do when we are saying nothing that can easily betray the depth of our credibility and the level of respect we maintain.

You’re at the airport on the way to a speaking opportunity when you step into the newsstand to pick up some water and a snack for the flight. As you walk down the aisle you cross in front of another shopper who is tortuously deciding which chewy snack will hit the spot and you do so without even offering a courteous, “Excuse me.”

“So, what,” you say, “they probably didn’t even notice!”

You might be right. But, that’s not the question you should be asking yourself. The real deep question here is. “Did you notice?” And if you did notice and did not offer a polite, “Excuse me” you may have committed a double offense, one to the person you offended and two to your personal dignity and respect.

When you walk in to your speaking engagement the next day, you are greeted by the very person you were rude to at the airport. You feel stupid for having acted badly in a situation you can never undo. You cannot NOT communicate and the message you have sent through your action is a sign of disrespect and questionable credibility.

RESPECT AND YOUR SPEAKING VOICE

“Actions speak louder than words” and growing your speaking voice is less about what you’re saying and more about the foundational base from which are speaking. While you are diligently digging to discover content that matters to you and will impact your audiences, your actions throughout the process will help solidify a platform with the integrity to support your message.

The more actions of respect inward and outward that you perform, the stronger your experiential base as a speaker will be. Not only will what you say grow, but the strength of conviction within the voice behind those words will grow as well.

SPEAKING OF RESPECT

The general point here is that it is more than just a common courtesy so say “Excuse me” when we infringe on another’s space. By doing so, we acknowledge there are rules of conduct which we ascribe to as a civilized society. These rules help us to create order while they relieve us from the potential rule of chaos.

Saying, “Excuse me” not only bestows a measure of respect on the infringed, it bestows a measure of civility on the infringer as well. This behavior can and will establish an atmosphere of mutual respect between each person involved in the encounter. Respect makes our world a better place to live. It makes our common efforts rewarding. It makes us understand the basis of our common existence.

My challenge to you is to try to be courteous and respectful in all situations. Particularly those when you are about to knowingly do something stupid. Give yourself a break. Take yourself off of autopilot and take command your vessel. At the end of the day, acknowledge the stupid little things you have done and make a conscious effort not to repeat them.

Remember, the most important person in the world is you. If you don’t show yourself the maximum amount of respect you deserve, it’s quite possible no one else will either. If you keep on going day after day repeating one small stupidity after another, it will have a cumulative effect on your reserve of self-respect.

“Stupid is as stupid does,” but stupid does not have to become a standard of performance or an excuse to be rude.

Thanks for your support as a reader of my blog and I eagerly welcome any comments on this post or suggestions you might have for a future blog on a topic near and dear to you in the comments section below. As always, please feel free to share this post with a friend or colleague.

To Your Speaking Success.
The Speech Wiz

10 Strange Beauty Secrets Of History’s Most Beautiful Women – Listverse


via 10 Strange Beauty Secrets Of History’s Most Beautiful Women – Listverse

10 Strange Beauty Secrets Of History’s Most Beautiful Women

MARK OLIVER 

 

Being pretty isn’t easy. The most beautiful women in history weren’t just born that way. They put hard work into it—and, sometimes, a few crushed bug guts, stewed birds, or dung.

It’s the dirty little secret behind glamour: No matter how fantastic someone looks, it never comes naturally. Behind every great beauty in history, there’s a dirty secret about all the work that went into looking that good.

Featured image credit: Sandro Botticelli

10Empress Elisabeth: A Face Mask Lined With Raw Veal

Photo credit: Emil Rabending

The most beautiful woman on earth, in the 19th century, was Empress Elisabeth of Austria. She was famous across Europe for her impeccable skin and the thick, chestnut hair that fell all the way down to her feet.

None of which came easy. To keep her skin beautiful, she would crush strawberries over her hands, face, and neck, bathe in warm olive oil, and sleep in what has only been described as a “mask lined inside with raw veal.”[1]

It was the closest she came to eating food. Her favorite dish was pressed extract of chicken, partridge, venison, and beef—which isn’t so much a “food” as something you’d find in a spice cabinet. And even then, she’d wrap herself in a corset so tight that her waist only measured 49.5 centimeters (19.5 in) around.

She spent three hours each day getting her hair down, mainly because it was so long that it would get tied up in knots. And when it was put up in ribbons, her hair would get so heavy that it would give her headaches.

It meant that, more often than not, she was stuck indoors, too afraid to let the wind ruin her hair. But if you want to be beautiful, sometimes you have to give up on little luxuries, like ever leaving your house.

9Cleopatra: Bathing In Donkey Milk

Photo credit: Jean-Leon Gerome

Queen Cleopatra won the hearts of the most powerful men alive. Maybe it was her grace. Maybe it was her charm. Or maybe it was that sweet aroma of dung and insect guts.

Cleopatra, after all, almost certainly followed the usual beauty conventions of her time—and that meant wearing a lipstick made out of mashed-up beetle guts and putting powdered crocodile dung under her eyes.

But Cleopatra didn’t limit herself to a peasant’s beauty regimen. She was a queen, and that meant that she could afford the most luxurious treatment of all: bathing in sour donkey milk. Her servants would milk 700 donkeys each day so that they could fill a tub with their milk. Then, once it had gone bad, Cleopatra would bathe inside.

The theory was that it would reduce wrinkles—and it may actually have worked. Soured lactose turns into lactic acid, which can make the surface layer of skin on a woman’s body peel off, revealing the smoother, blemish-free skin underneath.[2]

That was the real secret to her beauty: burning her flesh off.

8Nefertiti: Wearing Enough Makeup To Kill You

Photo credit: Philip Pikart

The Egyptian queen Nefertiti’s name meant “the beautiful one has come”—and she lived up to it. She was so beautiful that, in the early 20th century, a statue of her face caused an international sensation. More than 3,000 years after she died, her looks were still front-page news.

And no wonder. She put no small amount of work into looking good.

The queens of Nefertiti’s time would be buried with their makeup,[3] and so, while they didn’t write many of their beauty secrets down, we’ve been able to find their methods left behind in their tombs. While her tomb has never been found, the tombs of her contemporaries give us a pretty good idea of how she did it.

Nefertiti was completely hairless. Her entire body was shaved from head to toe with a razor, including the hair on the top of her head. Instead, she topped her head with a wig and painted her eyes black with something called kohl.

Ancient Egyptian kohl, incidentally, was made out of the dark lead ore galena—which means that Nefertiti was slowly killing herself with lead poisoning every time she put on makeup.

But it’s highly unlikely that the lead killed her. There’s simply no way it could have finished her off before her lipstick. Her lipstick, after all, contained bromine mannite, another toxic substance that it’s generally believed would have poisoned her long before the lead she dabbed around her eyes.

7Queen Elizabeth I: Coating Your Skin In Lead

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Poisoning yourself with lead is no passing fad. It’s been a great look for thousands of years. While Nefertiti may have dabbed a little lead around her eyes, it was nothing compared to Queen Elizabeth I.

During the Elizabethan era, the most popular skin product was something called “Venetian ceruse”—which, quite simply, was a mixture of lead and vinegar that women would put all over their skin to make them look porcelain white.[4]

Nobody used more of it than Queen Elizabeth herself. When she was 29, Elizabeth contracted smallpox and was left with scars all over her skin. She was too humiliated to show her scars in public—and so, instead, she covered every inch of her flesh with the toxic white paint.

Queen Elizabeth used so much of it that she was completely unrecognizable without it. When one man, the Earl of Essex, accidentally peeked a sight of her without her makeup on, he went around joking that she’d hidden a “crooked carcass” underneath that thick veneer of Venetian ceruse.

6Marie Antoinette: Stewed Pigeon Water

The French queen Marie Antoinette didn’t exactly let herself eat cake. She had a reputation as a world-class beauty, and she was determined to keep it up.

Like Empress Elisabeth, she would go to bed with a face mask, but Antoinette’s—made of cognac, eggs, powdered milk, and lemon—sounds a little bit less like a beauty treatment and a little bit more like the catering menu at a birthday party.

She’d start the morning by washing her face with a facial cleanser made out of pigeons. In those days, that was a selling point: the product came proudly labeled with the mean “Eau Cosmetique de Pigeon” and a little ad promising every bottle had been made with “eight pigeons stewed.”[5]

Then she would get dressed—for the first of three times each day. As queen of France, Marie Antoinette was expected to never wear the same thing twice. And so, each year, she would 120,000 livres on clothes, the equivalent to about $4 million today.

She may even have indulged in the popular French fashion of tracing her veins with a blue pencil. At the time, the women of France wanted to be so thin that they were translucent—so they’d draw the inner workings of their bodies, trying to convince the men that they had transparent skin.

5Mary, Queen Of Scots: Bathing In Wine

Photo credit: Francois Clouet

Mary, Queen of Scots, wasn’t a natural beauty. She was born with a nose a little large and a chin a little too sharp—but she was a queen, and she was determined to be beautiful.

To keep her skin as striking as possible, she had her servants fill a bathtub with a white wine.[6] She would wade in it, convinced that the wine was improving her complexion.

It sounds decadent, but it’s actually something people still do today. Today, it’s called vinotherapy, and there are places all around the world where you can experience the Mary, Queen of Scots, treatment for yourself.

It’s hard to say exactly what the queen used, but the modern vinotherapists don’t actually pour drinkable, alcoholic wine. Instead, they use the leftover compost from the winemaking process; the “pips and pulps” of grapes that get left behind. So, no—you can’t get drunk off of it.

4Empress Zoe Porphyrogenita: Starting Your Own Cosmetics Lab

Photo credit: Myrabella

Empress Zoe Porphyrogenita was one of the most beautiful women in the Byzantine Empire. She didn’t just look good when she was young, though. Even when she was well into her sixties, it’s said, she still looked like a 20-year-old.[7]

She certainly worked hard enough for it. After becoming the empress, Zoe Porphyrogenita had an entire laboratory dedicated to making her cosmeticsbuilt inside of the imperial palace. It was a real cosmetic factory, every bit as huge and expensive as the ones that supply whole countries. At this one, though, Zoe was the only customer.

It was expensive—but for the empress, blowing a small fortune was just all in a day’s work. It’s said that she was “the sort of woman who could exhaust a sea teaming with gold-dust in one day.”

But it’s also said that “like a well-baked chicken, every part of her was firm and in good condition.” This is definitive proof that it worked, because, clearly, Zoe looked so good that the men who saw her were so smitten that they couldn’t even form a sentence that didn’t make your skin crawl.

3Lucrezia Borgia: Spending Multiple Days Washing Your Hair

Photo credit: Bartolomeo Veneto

The poet Lord Byron once said that Lucrezia Borgia’s hair was “the prettiest and fairest imaginable.” He wasn’t just trying out a line for a new poem—he was in love, so much so, in fact, that he stole a strand of her hair and kept it by his bed.

It sounds one of those touching love stories that usually end with someone filing a restraining order. Lucrezia, though, probably appreciated it. She deserved a little recognition for the amount of work she put into that hair—because she would spend days washing it.[8]

Lucrezia’s hair was bright and blonde, but that wasn’t nature. Everyone else in her family had dark hair. Lucrezia, though, made sure hers shined like the Sun by rinsing it in lye and lemon juice for hours, then drying it out in the sunlight for the better part of a day.

It took so much time that she repeatedly canceled trips to wash her hair. Multiple letters from Lucrezia’s attendants have survived to to this day. In them, she politely apologizes to people and explains that she will be a few days late because she has to “put her clothes in order and wash her head.”

2Helen Of Troy: Bathing In Vinegar

Photo credit: Charles Meynier

Helen of Troy had the face that launched 1,000 ships. She was a woman so beautiful that thousands of men died for her honor.

Well, either that, or else she was just a figment of an old Greek guy’s imagination. If Homer really did make her up, though, he had a remarkable understanding of women’s cosmetic care. Because packed deep in her legend is a beauty regimen that really works.

Helen of Troy, according to the Iliad, would bathe in vinegar.[9] Every day, her attendants would prepare what, technically speaking, was a bathtub full of acid, and she would just dive right in.

Today, people tend to assume that she used apple cider vinegar or that she diluted it in water, simply because, otherwise, it sounds pretty horrible. After all, that’s something people still do today—bathe in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. And it actually works. The vinegar balances the body’s pH levels, which can have a cleansing effect.

But there’s nothing saying Helen of Troy ever added water. She may just have dived right into a bathtub filled to the brim with white vinegar. It would’ve hurt, and she would’ve smelled—but that’s what it takes to look good enough to start a war.

1Simonetta Vespucci: Arsenic, Leeches, And Human Urine

Photo credit: Sandro Botticelli

Even if you don’t know her name, you’ve seen Simonetta Vespucci’s face. She was the muse for some of the greatest painters of the Renaissance.[10] She was even chosen to model for the goddess of love herself at the center of the painting The Birth of Venus.

In the Renaissance, everyone wanted to look like her. And so they copied her beauty regimen—leeches, poisons, and all.

To keep their skin pale, white, and beautiful, the women in Vespucci’s time would attach leeches to their ears. The leeches would drain the blood out of their faces, leaving them deathly pale.

Those who didn’t want to go that far, though, could always use a face mask. Renaissance women would mix bread crumbs and egg whites with vinegar and then apply it liberally on their faces—a beauty secret that, conveniently, doubles as a great recipe for fried chicken.

Eyebrow hair, at the time, had to be plucked, or, ideally, burned straight off. Women would remove their hairs with arsenic and rock alum and then sand it all down with gold.

But that was nothing compared to what they’d do to get that long, flowing, golden mane of hair on her head. For Vespucci, it just came naturally, but the poorer women who wanted to copy her found their own way. They bleached their hair in human urine.

Sure, it sounds gross—but every beautiful woman has to do a few things that just aren’t pretty.

The Faquir 


SAI BABA, THE FAQIR OF ALLAH (One of Avatar Meher Baba’s Five Perfect Masters)


“Allah is the Protector of the poor. There is nothing besides Him.


The name of Allah is eternal: Allah is All-in-all!


These words were called out daily by a bearded man wearing a ragged robe in the small village of Shirdi. He would smoke a chillum (hookah) in a consecrated mosque while people would stream by to pay their respects to him. As his blessings to each, he would say, “Give me whatever money you have in your pockets.” Often he would not even allow them to keep enough to pay their return fare home. Yet by the end of the day, he had given it all away to the poor, and would wander the streets to beg for his own food. He would beg only for bhakri (unleavened millet bread) and lived on that alone.


Once a naked child stood before this fakir, who asked the mother, “Daughter, is it a boy or a girl?” Such was his innocence; he would often appear quite ignorant of such things.


This fakir’s behavior was not normal, to say the least. However, people who had faith in him gave him whatever he asked, and they considered themselves blessed to do so. He would say, “I only ask from those whom the Fakir points out. In exchange, I have to give them ten times what they give me.” The Fakir he spoke of was none other than Almighty God.


Was this ascetic a Hindu or a Muslim? People of every religion and caste in India would seek him out. This holy man belonged to no caste or religion or “ism.” He himself was the true fakir, the Emperor of Emperors. Why would people journey hundreds of miles to see him? Because his eyes shone brilliantly with a magnetism that drew them towards him. The light in his eyes attracted thousands to his feet.


Hidden in this extraordinary fakir was the Qutub-e-Irshad of the age — the head of the spiritual hierarchy and the leading Perfect Master of his time. He who held the key to all worlds and universes in his very hands appeared as a ragged beggar in a nondescript village in India. In his hands the conflicting forces of the world’s turmoil and the throes of the universes were kept balanced! It may be difficult for a worldly-minded materialist to believe this, but it is a spiritual fact.


If people were told this peculiar holy man was responsible for conducting World War I, they would say it was ridiculous. But in the inner realms of spiritual realities, the Qutubs or Sadgurus are the Masters of the universe and nothing ever happens without their divine ordinance. There could be no war without the five Perfect Masters’ will and guidance.


Age longs to learn more of this fakir and his austere life, but it is very difficult to “know” much about him. Only a true fakir can know a fakir, and to become one is impossible without crossing the boundary of illusion.


The simple life of this fakir was most deceiving. He was the mightiest king in existence, but he did not mind if people saw him merely as a beggar. However, now that the sun of his divinity has shed its light and he has done his duty, we must do ours and learn more of this true fakir. To research the life of any man-become-God is difficult, because when he is embodied, when his sun is brightly shining, all eyes are focused on it. It is only after the sun sets that our attention shifts to recording his story.


Without becoming a fakir, one can never fathom such a Master’s life. Whatever he reveals to the world is just a few rays of his light. And so the true story of every Perfect One cannot be known in detail. We do not even know this fakir’s childhood name, but Age calls him Sai, which means the Lord or the Holy One.


Nothing is definitely known about Sai Baba’s birth. Some believe that he was born into a Brahmin family, that his parents died and he was then raised by a Muslim ascetic. Others (including most of his biographers) believe that he was born in a Mohammedan family. Whatever the circumstances of his birth and childhood, Age is more concerned with Sai the Master, in whose eyes all are one.


It is said that Sai was born in 1838 in Sailu village in Jintur district of Maharashtra. But other, more recent evidence points to his birthplace as being in Pathri village in the Parbhani district. It is believed that his childhood was spent near Aurangabad and that his parents were very, very poor. After his father’s death when Sai was still a young child, his mother was forced by circumstances to resort to begging for their livelihood.


“What sort of drama was this?” Age wondered. “He who was destined to be the Lord of the universe had to spend his childhood among the destitute, begging on the streets. What an unfathomable design by God!”


Age heard the young boy cry, “Mother, walk slowly. I cannot go faster … I cannot go on.” And the mother lifted the child in her arms with tears in her eyes. “Mother, I am hungry … When will someone kind give us food?”


His mother whispered, “Son, have patience. God is merciful. There is a village not far away where we will find bread.”


Sensing his mother’s plight, the boy said, “Mother, I do not feel hungry any more. I feel like walking now.” He slipped from her grasp and, though tired and weak, slowly walked beside her.


In this manner, for five years mother and son wandered from door to door, from village to village. With his sweet conversation, the boy kept his mother cheerfully distracted. Never again did he ask his mother for food or comfort. Blisters tormented the soles of his feet until they toughened like leather, but they walked on without knowing where they were headed, begging simply to survive.


Mercy is always hidden in the apparent terribleness of God. Fate is a paradoxical mystery: the cruelty of God is in some way His mercy! No one can escape His compassion whatever the circumstances. God’s nature is mercy; He is mercy itself. In His eyes, no one is helpless and without hope. But only those who become God can fathom this mystery.


Although mother and son were suffering in the eyes of the world, one cannot imagine what the five-year-old boy was about to receive. After knocking on door after door in the village of Shelwadi and being turned away empty-handed, the mother and son reached the door of a blind man. This person was, in actuality, a renowned saint named Gopal Rao Deshmukh. Gopal Rao embraced the little boy ardently, as if two old friends were being reunited after years of separation. Indeed, the saint had been waiting for this woman and child, and, with great respect and love, prepared a room in his own house for them to stay with him.


The saint’s father was Keshav Pant of Jamb. Although a poor man, Keshav was very devout. There was nothing in his house — no furniture or decorations — except a large life-size statue of Vyankatesh — Lord Vishnu — which he would worship night and day.


Kindled by his father, the flame of spirituality burned deeply in Gopal’s heart from his childhood. When it became time for Gopal to earn his livelihood, he had failed to find a job in his birthplace of Jamb, and so he had moved to Shelwadi. After he had lived in Shelwadi for some years, the local townspeople looked upon him with reverence. Although still a poor man himself, he shared whatever he had with others more unfortunate, and nursed the afflicted. In recognition of his selfless service, the town officials granted him a piece of land on which to live.


Gopal Rao practiced severe penances. One day he gazed at a beautiful woman and began having unwelcome desires. He was so struck by the depravity of his thoughts that he immediately returned home and, while standing before the statue of Vyankatesh, poked out both his eyes with an iron spike! The external light of the world was shut out forever, but this act caused the inner light within him to flame!


The light within became a fire and his fame spread. Legend has it that Lord Vyankatesh himself prepared the arti tray for Gopal Rao. Only then did the blind saint sincerely perform the worship ceremony before the idol. Thus, because of Gopal Rao’s presence, Shelwadi turned from a farming village into a sacred place of pilgrimage.


In the humble house of this great saint, young Sai was brought up with great affection and loving care. Gopal’s love for the boy grew more and more pronounced while the mother served the saint with deep respect. He had made a home for her and her son, and for this she was always grateful. When the boy was twelve, his mother died. After the snapping of this parental connection, the boy and blind saint lived together for several more years. It was during this period that the boy had the spiritual world unveiled to him by the saint and became Gopal Rao’s chief disciple.


Observing their close association, the saint’s Brahmin disciples became resentful and envious of the boy, wondering why their Master was so fond of this Muslim lad. As a result, they tried various ways of harassing the youth, but he would tolerate their meanness out of love for Gopal Rao. The situation worsened. In their jealousy, some of them decided to murder the boy. They began plotting how to kill him, but:


He whom God wishes to protect, not a hair on his head can be touched.


Even if the whole world goes against him — he is safe!


What jealousy and spite can do! On one occasion when Gopal Rao was walking through a forest accompanied by Sai, some of the devotees secretly followed them. As the saint and boy were resting under the shade of a tall tree, the men crept toward them stealthily and one threw a large stone at Sai’s head. But instead of hitting Sai, the stone struck Gopal Rao.


Seeing his Master suffer because of him, Sai’s heart broke and wept tears of blood. He told Gopal Rao, “Master, after all our years together, my staying with you is no good any more. Let me leave this place.”


The saint replied, “You cannot leave. From today I have decided to make you my sole heir. One day you will inherit my treasure.”


The man who tried to kill Sai became ill and suffered much before he died shortly thereafter. The villagers were surprised at this man’s sudden demise and believed that Gopal Rao had punished him for his wicked intent. One of the man’s relatives went to the saint seeking forgiveness, and the rest of the devotees began praying in hope of reviving the dead man. Hearing his request, Gopal Rao told the relative, “Why do you ask me to bring him back to life? I am just an ordinary man like yourself. I have no such power. I cannot do such a thing.”


Then, pointing to Sai, Gopal Rao added, “Perhaps this Muslim lad can do it.”


At a sign from the saint, Sai rose and, picking up some dirt from Gopal Rao’s feet, rubbed it on the corpse, which had been brought to them. After a few minutes, the dead man came to life and sat up! All were astonished. From this act of divine power they realized that the boy’s relationship with Gopal Rao was unique. As the chief disciple of their Master, the boy was to be honored instead of hated. In celebration of this resurrection, the villagers formed a long procession with Gopal Rao and Sai seated in a palanquin. Hundreds worshiped them both, showering flowers as they were carried through the town.


Gopal Rao had been hinting for a few days that soon he would give up his body, but none took his words seriously.


One day he gathered all his close ones and told them, “My time has come.” The blind saint then allowed his disciples to bathe him. He had prayers read and a section of the Bhagavad Gita recited. He called the boy to him and lovingly gave him his own dhoti (a white loincloth-like garment worn around the waist to the ankles). Sai reverently accepted it. Gopal Rao imparted some final instructions to his disciples and, lying down, quietly severed his connection with his physical body. By handing over his garment to the youth, Gopal Rao transferred his spiritual charge with all its responsibilities and burdens to the boy. Sai thoroughly understood its significance. From the cloth of his Master’s dhoti, the young lad had a kafni made for himself which he always wore.


Soon after Gopal Rao’s death, Sai, then sixteen, left Shelwadi and sought seclusion in a forest. One day a man named Chand Patil was passing through the forest when he came upon the young fakir seated under a tree. Without any introduction, the young man asked Chand Patil, “Have you lost your horse?”


Startled, the man replied, “Yes and I have been unable to find it.”


“Go to a nearby stream,” said the young fakir, “and you will find it there.” Chand left and was happily surprised to find the horse exactly where the young ascetic had indicated.


When Chand returned to thank the fakir, he saw the youth filling a chillum with tobacco. Anxious to light the pipe for the fakir, Chand rushed forward, but then he realized he did not have any matches. The young man waved him away and, thrusting a stick in the ground, unearthed a piece of burning charcoal and held it to his pipe. This remarkable feat convinced Chand Patil that the young fakir was someone great and holy. He invited the young man to accompany him to the small village of Shirdi, where he and those with him were journeying to attend his nephew’s wedding, and the fakir agreed to join them.


The entire village turned out to welcome the visitors, little knowing what a distinguished guest they had among them. As the wedding procession passed by a Khandoba temple, a Hindu priest named Mhalsapati caught sight of the young fakir and called out in Marathi, “Ya, Sai, aao ! [Welcome, Holy One, come!]” From that day on, the young fakir came to be known as Sai Baba.


Sai Baba did not remain in Shirdi long, however, and began traveling from place to place in Maharashtra, begging along the way. Finally, he wandered among the hills surrounding the ancient Ellora Caves at Aurangabad, where he entered a small cave atop a hill in Khuldabad. At the bottom of this hill is the tomb of the Sufi Perfect Master Zarzari Zar Baksh. This Qutub’s tomb has been a favorite spot of Mohammedan pilgrims in the area for over 700 years. According to Meher Baba, Zarzari Zar Baksh was the Master of Sai Baba in a previous lifetime. It is said that Sai had done something that so pleased Zarzari Zar Baksh that he had given Sai Realization, though Sai was not destined to realize God in that incarnation.


Sai was inwardly drawn to be near this spot and entered a cave overlooking the tomb. He stayed in this cave for several years in the state of majzoobiyat, not even leaving for food or water. Meher Baba explained further that Zarzari Zar Baksh was responsible for the eventual Realization of Sai, which occurred during the four to five years that the youth stayed in the cave — although Zarzari Zar Baksh had dropped his body several centuries before.


During these years the strong, healthy physique of the young fakir turned into a virtual skeleton, but this skeleton had infinite Light within. The emaciated fakir lost his gross consciousness and became a God-realized majzoob, fully conscious of himself as God but completely oblivious of his own body and the world around him.


“Yet,” Age observed, “it was necessary for Sai to leave that cave. He needed to regain his gross awareness to be able to fulfill his destiny — to bring the Ancient One into form.”


When Sai finally left the cave after four long years, he was inwardly drawn by the power of another Perfect Master. He wandered south to meet the Swami of Akkalkot, and by this Hindu Sadguru’s grace, Sai regained normal human consciousness. In this village of Akkalkot, the fakir became a living Perfect Master — and his divine work on earth began. He was only 20 years old.


In 1858, Sai returned to Shirdi and stayed there, making this humble village his permanent headquarters. At first he kept aloof from the villagers, spending his nights under a neem tree in all seasons. His bodily needs were minimal; he begged for whatever food or tobacco he wanted.


The fakir preferred to be alone and he made this known to anyone who invaded his solitude.


After living for some months under the neem tree, Sai moved into a small tin shed which served as the local mosque in this poor village. Sai renamed the mosque Dwarkamai (Mother of Mercy)Masjid. Here two men began serving him faithfully: the Hindu priest, Mhalsapati, who had hailed him as Sai, and another man named Tatya Kote Patil. Many of the villagers would sarcastically refer to them as “the trio of the Masjid.” Later (in 1909), when the masjid started leaking during a heavy rainstorm, Sai Baba was taken to the nearby mud-walled village chavadi (a small two-room building used as a village office). From then on, he began sleeping on alternate days in the masjid and the chavadi.


At that time, Shirdi was a quiet village with very few visitors. Some years after Sai settled there, plague swept through the area and scores of persons died. The district officials tried everything to alleviate the epidemic, but nothing helped. Eventually some people approached Sai, narrating their tales of woe and pleading with him to help before the entire population of Shirdi was wiped out.


The fakir was moved by their stories and went to a nearby house, picked up a millstone, and then returned to the Dwarkamai Masjid and began grinding wheat. Collecting the flour, he gave it to a woman with instructions to sprinkle it along the boundaries of the village. The woman did as she was told and, within a short time, to everybody’s relief, the epidemic began to subside. Patients recovered and Shirdi was completely free from the fatal effects of the plague.


Invalids and the diseased from the surrounding villages would come to Sai, who treated them with medicinal herbs. Afterward, he would sit with those afflicted, listening to the devotional music they would sing. Each person was attracted to the light in his eyes! The eyes of this Perfect One were so luminous, with such power and deep penetration in his gaze, that no one could look into them for long. One felt that he was reading one through and through, that nothing could be kept secret from him. After seeing his face, people could only bow to him in worship, surrendering their lives at his feet.


One devotee, G. S. Khaparde, was a prominent lawyer and associate of the Indian freedom fighter, Lokmanya Tilak.


Khaparde kept a Marathi diary and recorded on 17 January 1912: “Sayin [sic] Baba showed his face and smiled most benignly. It is worthwhile spending years here to see it even once. I was overjoyed and stood gazing like mad [intently].”


Advanced souls “passing through” Shirdi recognized the Master and told the inhabitants, “Blessed is Shirdi, that it got this precious Jewel! … He is not an ordinary fellow. Because this place [Shirdi] was lucky and meritorious, it secured this Jewel.”


Another saint saw Sai Baba and exclaimed, “This is a precious Diamond! Though he looks like an ordinary man, he is not a gar [ordinary stone] but a Diamond. You will realize this in the near future.”


Each day, Sai Baba begged for his food (usually only bhakri) at the same five houses in Shirdi. At each doorstep he would call out, “Mother, give me bhakri,” or “Mother, give me roti [chapati].” He continued begging up to his last days, eating only one or two pieces of the bread himself and distributing the rest to the poor. Thus, his majesty, the King, would eat only what was given in alms.


According to Meher Baba, there was a secret behind Sai Baba’s begging: The five houses represented the five Perfect Masters who are always living in the world, and at whose feet the whole universe begs for spiritual and material progress.


Sai Baba had several strange personal habits in addition to being a heavy smoker. While begging, he would often stop along the way — in secluded places or amidst a teeming bazaar — and unabashedly lift his dhoti to urinate. After finishing, he would shake his penis seven times before he would continue with his begging. Seeing him behave in this manner, some of the villagers at first took him to be mad. But every outward act of the Perfect Masters, although sometimes enigmatic, is inwardly significant, because their every action is for the benefit of the world.


For instance, Sai Baba would take hours to relieve his bowels. As the number of devotees increased, this act of attending to nature’s call was transformed into a ceremony of pomp and adoration, which Sai would call lendi. He would go to defecate in a nearby field every day at a fixed time (usually late morning), followed by a parade of devotees, some playing musical instruments, and one person holding an umbrella over the Master as he walked.


Yet this lendi ceremony held a spiritual mystery. Sai Baba once explained, “While I pass my stool, I direct my abdals [spiritual agents on the inner planes] about their duties. I call them through the sound of the music during the parade.”


Sai Baba was a person of great humor. He would often joke with his devotees and poke fun at their weaknesses. However, until he died, he retained the austere ascetic life of a simple fakir. He would note, “God too is a poor Fakir. Since God is poor, I am poor also.”


Sai wore the same kafni until it was so torn and tattered that one of his disciples had to forcibly remove it from him and give him a new one to wear. Even after that, Sai often sat with a needle and thread, patiently repairing it. This was the same garment given to him in his youth by Gopal Rao. Later, when it was completely in shreds, he sewed the pieces together and fashioned a scarf turban which he wore around his head.


Sai Baba blended his unique personality of Hindu and Mohammedan characteristics, and had followers of both faiths. He never forbade any Muslim from eating meat, and sometimes even ordered orthodox Brahmin priests to eat certain non-vegetarian food against their wish. On occasion, he himself would cook meat dishes and distribute the food to those gathered.


Although his eyes were always intense and lustrous, his nature was cordial. His wit and charm put all at ease as soon as they came in his presence. His personal habits were austere, but his ashram was informal and lively. Arti was held several times of day, along with the singing of bhajans, and group readings and discussions on the Ramayana and other spiritual texts and scriptures.


Sai Baba’s personality was sweet-tempered and tolerant, although at times he was jalali, or fiery, and would become enraged at someone’s failures. An aspect of Sai’s jalali side was portrayed by a pet he had — a tiger. For some years the tiger lived with Sai Baba at Shirdi and would accompany him on his walks as if it were a dog.


As mentioned, when people came for Sai Baba’s darshan, it was common for him to demand that they empty their purse or pockets of their money and give it to him as dakshina — a monetary gift to the Master.


But if anyone approached him with material desires, Sai would say, “Allah malik hai [God is the owner, meaning God is the only giver]. What God gives is never finished; what man gives never lasts. Nobody who has firm faith in God wants for anything.”


Sai Baba kept a pile of small stones near his own large stone seat, and he would pick up a stone and throw it at whoever came for his darshan. Those who were hit by the stones were considered by him to be fortunate and to have received his blessing.


In 1886, Sai Baba suffered from a severe asthma attack and told his disciple Mhalsapati, “Protect my body for three days. If I return it will be all right … If my body does not return to life, bury it [rather than cremate it according to Hindu tradition] and plant two flags over the grave.” Sai then closed his eyes and entered a state of samadhi, appearing to be dead. His breathing and pulse stopped completely and his body remained lifeless for three days and nights.


Some of the Master’s devotees were grief-stricken, believing their Master had died. They wanted to perform the last rites immediately (fearing cholera), but the faithful Mhalsapati prevented them by cradling Sai Baba’s body in his lap and locking the door. Exactly as Sai had foretold, after 72 hours his eyes slowly reopened as he reentered his body. He did not speak of the work he had done while in that state, or why he had entered this samadhi.


A close disciple, a Muslim fakir, who was always seated in Sai Baba’s court was nicknamed Bade (Big) Baba. He was a large, rotund man. Sai Baba would give Bade Baba Rs.100 per day for his food and the man would eat a lot, dining for several hours. Sai Baba would eat only the bhakris and raw onion that he had begged for, while Bade Baba would eat plateful after plateful of the finest food available. Why was Sai Baba so particular that this disciple be given a huge sum of money for an enormous amount of food, while he himself lived like a pauper? Bade Baba was a storehouse for the sanskaras of all those who had handed over their money to Sai Baba when they came for darshan. These sanskaras (of others) were wiped out by Sai when Bade Baba died.


Once the police caught a known thief with a bag full of jewels. The thief told the police that he had gotten the gems from Sai Baba. An inspector came to Shirdi to investigate the matter and interrogated the fakir at length. The policeman filled out his report as he questioned the Master:


“What is your name?” he inquired.


“They call me Sai Baba.”


“What was your father’s name?”


“Also Sai Baba.”


“What was your guru’s name?”


“Venkusha [God].”


“What is your creed or religion?”


“Kabir.”


“What is your caste?”


“Parvardigar.”


“How old are you?”


“Lakhs [hundreds of thousands] of years.”


“Will you solemnly affirm that what you are going to say is the truth?”


“I am the Truth.”


“Do you know the accused?”


“Yes, I know him. I know everyone.”


“The man says he is your devotee and has stayed with you. Is that so?”


“Yes, I live with everyone. All are mine.”


“Did you give the accused some jewels as alleged by him?”


“Yes, I gave them to him. Who gives what and to whom?”


“If you gave him the jewels, how did you get them?”


“Everything is mine! Everything has been given to me.”


The police inspector left perplexed.


Each night, Sai Baba would keep a dhuni (fire) burning in the Dwarkamai mosque. He would also keep a small oil lamp burning there and would obtain kerosene by begging from different shopkeepers in Shirdi. On one particular day, however, not one shopkeeper would give him any oil. Sai returned to the mosque and, filling the lamp with water, lit it! The lamp thus burned without fuel, and when early the next morning the villagers came to know of this “miracle,” their faith in Sai was kindled.


A Perfect Master sees all who are closely connected with him. One day in 1910, Sai Baba was sitting near the dhuni when suddenly, instead of putting wood on the fire, the Master pushed his arm into the flames. A devotee rushed toward him and pulled his arm out, but it was seriously burned. When asked why he had done this, Sai explained, “One of my followers is a potter not far from here. His wife was just then working at the kiln with her daughter on her lap. Hearing her husband call her, she got up and the child accidentally slipped into the furnace.


At that moment, I thrust my arm into this fire. I do not mind these burns; the child was saved. Had I not done this the little girl would have died.”


It was a part of Sai Baba’s spiritual work to unite the Hindus and the Muslims spiritually. The village of Shirdi had a Maruti (Hanuman) Temple near the Dwarkamai Masjid. In fact, Sai Baba used to refer to his mosque as a “Brahmin mosque.” Sometimes Sai Baba would have the Koran read to him by his Mohammedan followers, and sometimes he would have the Gita and Ramayana read by his Hindu followers. Sai was an unusual Perfect Master, a unique blend of Hindu and Mohammedan spiritual characteristics. His work with both religions signified that there is no real difference between the two, for each worships the same One.


Whether Sai Baba was born a Hindu or a Muslim, it is certain that his spiritual upbringing was directly connected to both, because he had both Hindu and Muslim Masters. Sai dressed like a Muslim, but bore the caste marks on his forehead of a Hindu. He celebrated the holy days and festivals of both religions with equal fervor. He quoted the Koran to the delight of the Muslims, but was equally well versed in the Hindu Vedas or Shastras (scriptures).


To someone like Sai Baba, his own human identity and religious differences were nothing into nothing. When someone once asked him where he was born, he replied, “I have no residence. I am the Attributeless One — the Absolute! The universe is my abode. Brahma is my father and Maya is my mother. By their interlocking, I got this body. Those who think I reside at Shirdi do not know the real Sai, for I am formless and everywhere!”


Over the years, hundreds flocked to Sai Baba — many with material gain on their minds. The Master once remarked about those who sought his blessing:


It is I who seek them out and bring them to me; they do not come by their own volition. Even though some may be hundreds of miles away, I draw them to me like a sparrow with a string tied to its feet.


He would often repeat to his devotees:


I give you what you want so that you will begin to want what I want to give you. My Master told me to give bounteously to all who beseech me, but none of you beseeches me with wisdom.


My treasury is open. But none of you brings a cart to haul away the real treasure. I say, Dig deep and take what is rightfully yours! But none of you wants to take the trouble.


I tell you, all who come to me, this opportunity will not return! I am God! I am Mahalaxmi, I am Vithoba … Ganesha … Dattatrey … Laxmi and Narayan … Why go to the Ganges [river] in Benares? Hold your palm at my feet — here flows the Ganga!


One day, in speaking about the “ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu” as Avatars, Sai Baba revealed that the Avatar would appear in the current Kali Yuga.


Meher Baba would recall Sai Baba with the utmost affection as “Grandfather” and described Sai’s greatness as “Perfection personified.” He once revealed, “It was Sai Baba who controlled the whole First World War.”


When Sai Baba walked slowly from the masjid past the Maruti Temple to the “lendi bagh [garden]” or the chavadi, his arti would be sung. At that time, his face would illuminate. It was also noticed that he would make strange signs in the air with his fingers. This behavior continued daily for four years, from the start of World War I to its conclusion.


During the war years, Sai Baba would often say:


I am formless and I am everywhere. I am not this body you call Sai. I am the Supreme Soul — the entire creation. I am everything and I am in everyone. I am in saints, criminals, animals and everything else. I pervade the whole universe. It is I who have created God. Nothing happens without my wish.


My light is of God; my religion is Kabiri [Perfect Mastery] and my wealth lies in the blessings I alone can give.


Sai Baba was a ghous type of spiritual personality. One who is a ghous has the occult power to dismember his physical body and later reconnect his limbs. At times, for their inner work, Perfect Ones enter the ghous state and parts of their physical body separate. When that particular phase of work is finished, their body automatically joins together again.


Once a man went to the mosque where Sai Baba slept and found the physical limbs of the Master’s body lying separated on the floor. In one corner was the Master’s hands and arms, in another his legs and feet, and in another his head!


Every limb was separated from the torso. The poor man was aghast. Terrified, he thought of notifying the village police that the fakir had been hacked to death. But he feared that the police might implicate him in the crime, and so he went home and kept silent. The next morning the man anxiously went back to the mosque. To his shocked surprise he found Sai Baba alive, giving a discourse to some of his devotees. The man did not know about this rare characteristic of the fakir, and he wondered if what he had seen the previous evening had been a nightmarish dream.


It is said that Sai slept on a bed about six feet off the ground, but there was no ladder. Once when he had gone to retire to his room, a man quietly crept to the window to see Sai levitate to his bed. But he was aghast to see a body without arms, without legs and without a head! Instantly the man was blinded, and his blindness served as a source of repentance for the rest of his life.


One day while the war was raging on, Sai Baba returned from the lendi procession when, amidst the music, his eyes fell upon a particular young man and he uttered one single, glorious word. “PARVARDIGAR [Almighty God]!” the Master declared, with the force of oceanic sound, as the young man fell at the old fakir’s feet.


Who was Sai Baba addressing? The eyes that transfixed Sai Baba’s belonged to that young dazed Zoroastrian who had been kissed by Hazrat Babajan, enthroned by Narayan Maharaj and garlanded by Tajuddin Baba.


The eyes of the young man and the eyes of the old fakir gazed at each other steadily, and the great word again came forth from the old fakir’s mouth, “Parvardigar!”


Then, for the third time, the holy word sounded from the depths of the Master’s Godhood as he proclaimed, “Parvardigar!” and, in his heart, he bowed before the young man.


The crowd of devotees was astonished to witness this extraordinarily significant event. Deep is its meaning, though it took place on a dusty dirt road in a poor, remote village of Maharashtra, India, in December 1915. As the crowd surrounded Sai Baba, the young man was pushed aside. Sai Baba returned to his seat while the youth picked himself up and continued wandering along the road.


Age sang out to the world, but no one heard: “Don’t you recognize who it is that Sai cried out to? You too will proclaim him! You too will bow to him! He is the Ancient One!”


Three years later, as World War I was approaching its end, on 28 September 1918, Sai Baba, was stricken with a fever which lasted for two days. Afterward, the Master began fasting, well aware of his impending death.


Sai Baba had an old brick which he had used as his pillow for years. One day the boy who cleaned the mosque dropped the brick and it broke in two. When Sai entered the mosque, upon seeing the broken brick he exclaimed, “It is not the brick but my fate that has been broken. The brick was my lifelong companion and assisted me in my work. It was as dear to me as my life. Now that it is broken, the earthen pot of my life will also soon break.”


After seventeen days with no food, Sai Baba collapsed at 2:30 in the afternoon and cried, “Ah, Deva ! [O, God!]” His head leaned on the shoulder of a close disciple and he breathed his last at the age of 80. It was 15 October 1918, on the Hindu holy day of Dassera, which celebrates Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana.


Even in the end there was a bitter dispute between Sai’s different devotees. The Hindus wanted his body to be cremated, while the Muslims wanted it to be buried. After heated argument, the body was buried on the 17th evening in a large Krishna temple, whose construction Sai himself had approved. The broken brick was broken into smaller pieces and placed in the six-foot grave before Sai Baba’s body was lowered into it. As the body of Sai Baba was lowered into the grave, it looked as fresh as when it was alive. The poor fakir’s body had contained the Uncontainable God!


Sai Baba once said, “I shall be active and vigorous even from my tomb. Even after my mahasamadhi. I shall be with you the moment you think of me.” Sai Baba’s words proved true, since his shrine at Shirdi has become the most popular place of pilgrimage of any contemporary Spiritual Master in India thus far.


O Sai! How can we repay you for what you have done for us?


You brought formless Parvardigar into form!”


Revised Lord Meher, pp. 43-58 by Bhau Kalchuri, edited and expanded by David Fenster

photo: Sadguru Sai Baba

http://www.echarcha.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28800

photo: Meher Baba in 1915

Lord Ganesh amazing facts 


Amazing facts of GANESHA

Did you know there are 250 temples of Ganesha in Japan. 

In Japan, Ganesha is known as ‘Kangiten’, the God of fortune and the harbinger of happiness, prosperity and good. 


An Oxford publication claims that Ganesha was worshipped in the early days in Central Asia and other parts of the globe. 

Ganesha statues have been found in Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia, Brunei, Bulgaria, Mexico and other Latin American countries. 

It means the cult of Ganesha was prevelant all over the world in ancient times.


Ganesha in Europe, Canada and the USA

Ganesha’s idol and paintings are exhibited in all the important museums and art galleries of all the European countries especially in the UK, Germany, France and Switzerland. 

Ganesha idols and paintings(as goodluck charm) are also present in thousands of houses/offices of successful business/writers/artists in all the European countries and in Canada and the USA. Recently a figure of Ganesha was unearthed in a village near Sofia, Bulgaria. Like Indians, the Romans worshipped Ganesha before any work was begun. 


Irish believe in Ganesha luck.

The embassy of Ireland at New Delhi became the first European embassy to invoke the blessings of Ganesha by installing a statue of Ganesha at the main entrance of the embassy. 


*Silicon Valley in USA selects Ganesha as the presiding Deity of cyberspace technology *

“Ganesha is the God of knowledge and Ganesha’s vehicle is the mouse and, as you know, for software engineers the mouse is the vehicle that they use to take their ideas and innovations from one place to the other.” Hence it was decided by the computer industry association to select Ganesha as the presiding Deity of Silicon Valley.


Ganesha on Greek coin.

Early images of an elephant headed Deity, including those on an Indo-Greek coin and elsewhere, dating between the first and third centuries BC, represent Ganesha as the demi God Vinayaka.


Indonesia Currency notes.

One of the Indonesian currency notes carries the picture of Ganesha.


Vedic origin of Ganesha.

10,000 year old secret of success.

Devotees of Ganesha make reference to his Vedic origin which is around 10,000 years old to push his antecedents back in time.  The Vedas have invoked him as ‘namo Ganebhyo Ganapati’ (Yajurveda, 16/25), or remover of obstacles, Ganapati, we salute you. The Mahabharata has elaborated on his personal appearance and Upanishads on his immense power. “Scholars say artifacts from excavations in Luristan and Harappa and an old Indo-Greek coin from Hermaeus, present images that remarkably resemble Ganesha”. (“Robert Brown in his Book “Ganesha: Studies of an Asian God”:State University of New York Albany).

Meher baba


WHO IS MEHER BABA A BRIEF INSIGHT—

[Swami Dhyan Sumit, here is a brief description of the life and works of Avatar Meher Baba. A detailed account is available online at : http://www.lordmeher.org ]

It was love that drew Meher Baba’s early disciples to him and it was for the sake of love that they remained with him. Today it is still love that draws those who seek him. This is as he would have it; for Meher Baba’s only message has always been of Divine love. His is a message given not in words but through an awakening of the heart.

The story of this extraordinary man is thus a story of love. For while there are many who speak of Divine love, Meher Baba lived it. His live was a life of such love, purity and service that it will stand for all time as the divinely human example of life as it should be lived. To those who have witnessed the simple beauty of his ways, he is the Ancient One: the One who comes age after age to reveal the love of God in the world.

Meher Baba was born Merwan Sheriar Irani on February 25, 1894, in Poona, India. His parents were Persian, and his father, Sheriar Irani, was known as a true seeker of God. Though Merwan was much loved and respected as a youth, there is little about his early life that indicates his spiritual destiny. He attended a Christian high school and then Deccan College, both in Pune. At age 19 the veil was shattered and Merwan came to realize who he was.

The unveiling began one day in January of 1913 when Merwan while cycling home from college, encountered an ancient Muslim woman known as Hazrat Babajan. She was reputed to be Perfect Master, one who had achieved God-realization. From the moment of His first contact with Babajan, Merwan’s life changed completely. He began to know his true identity as being one with God.

Merwan was then led to contact four other Perfect Masters, each of whom played a significant role in the process of unveiling. One of these Masters, Upasni Maharaj, worked with Merwan over a period of seven years. Finally in 1921, Upasni folded his hands before Merwan saying, “You are the Avatar, I salute you.” Merwan began his work as the Avatar of the Age.

Who is the Avatar? At critical junctures in human history, Meher Baba has explained, God becomes man. Though the titles may be many (Avatar, Christ, Messiah), the message if Divine love is eternally the same. In his compassion, the Avatar invariably takes on himself the suffering of the world, and in doing so brings about the spiritual rebirth of humanity. In light of this, Meher Baba has affirmed all the great religions as revelations of God for it was the same Ancient One who inspired each of them.

In the nineteen twenties “Mastery in Servitude” quickly became the theme of Merwan’s life. Tirelessly he and his disciples served the poor, the sick, the outcasts and the mentally disturbed – establishing schools, hospitals, and ashrams for this work. Then and throughout his life the master personally cared for those in need. He washed the feet of lepers and bowed down to them saying, “I bow down to the God in each one of you.” He cleaned the latrines of the untouchables and worked to end the caste system. Not surprisingly, Merwan Irani’s early disciples began to call him “Meher Baba,” which means “Compassionate Father.”

During this period of intense activity, on July 10, 1925, Meher Baba began his silence; he would not utter a word for the next forty-four years. There have been enough words given, he said, it is now time to live them. Even in silence Baba continued to communicate on many levels; his warmth and ever-present humor remained undiminished. When he wished to use words he spelled out what he wanted to convey by means of a wooden board with the letters of the alphabet printed on it. Many of his sayings and discourses were given by this method. After 1954, Baba gave up the board and relied on hand gestures alone.

Meher Baba always stressed that he began his silence in order to break it. By choosing to speak from silence, he speaks the word of God in our time. This Word is an inner Word heard only in the depths of our being. As Baba himself expressed it:

“External silence helps inner silence and only in internal silence is Baba found; in profound inner silence. I am never silent. I speak eternally. The voice that is heard deep within the soul is my voice.”

This, then, is the spiritual revolution Meher Baba came to bring: the awakening of Divine love within each individual.

Six years after Meher Baba began his silence, he traveled to the West for the first time. There he contacted his earliest Western disciples, some of whom were eventually allowed to return with him to India for training in the spiritual life.

One of the significant dimensions of Meher Baba’s life is his work with the God-intoxicated individuals known as masts. There are, according to Baba, many different types of masts, but in general they may be defined as spiritually advanced individuals whose love for God is so intense that they often appear insane to most observers. In fact, Baba has explained, they are not insane; they simply refuse to adjust to the world, lost as they are in their longing for God.

Although we cannot fathom, the exact nature of Meher Baba’s inner work with the masts, we do know that he gave them spiritual help. Beyond this, he indicated that he inwardly channeled their love for God into directions which have benefited the entire world. Baba undertook long and arduous journeys to contact masts and others with whom he had special work. The statistics alone are staggering: from 1937-1946, the years of his most extensive mast tours in India, Baba personally worked with more than 20,000 masts, seekers of God, and with the poor in journeys totaling over 75,000 miles.

Meher Baba’s mission as the Avatar entered into an important phase in 1949. Dispersing his ashrams and giving up all possessions (Meher Baba kept only the small plot of land on Meherabad Hill – near Ahmednagar India which he had long before designated as the resting place for his physical body when he laid it aside) in India held in his name, Baba set out on what he called the “New Life.” He made the startling announcement that during this New Life he would cease to be the spiritual Master in order to assume the role of a seeker of God. A small number of companions were chosen to accompany Baba and together they set out to live a life of “helplessness and hopelessness.”

Living fully in the present, without certainty of shelter and food, the New Life companions gave up everything to trust solely in the mercy of God. Though the full meaning of the New Life is still unfolding today, at least this much may be said: In the New Life God became fully human, forging in human consciousness a new path to himself. The New Life is a life in the world, yet free from the world, in which the seeker loves God for the sake of love alone. In becoming the companion and the seeker, Baba brought into being a new way of seeing and living for all in years to come who would have the courage to follow.

In his life, Meher Baba had now expressed his full Divinity and his full humanity. In 1952 he emerged from the New Life to declare publicly that he was the God-Man, the Avatar of the Age. For the next seventeen years Baba gave of himself to an unprecedented degree as he moved toward the completion of his work. Baba forewarned his disciples that this work would require of him great suffering including the shedding of his blood on American and Indian soil. Outwardly, the suffering took the form of two car “accidents”, the first in the United States (1952) and the second in India (1956). In one the entire left side of his body was injured, and in the other the entire right side was severely damaged.

In spite of his suffering, Meher Baba opened the gates of his love by giving darshan (personal blessing) to thousands of people during the nineteen fifties and early sixties. During this time he made three visits to the Meher Spiritual Center in the United States, which he called his home in the West. One of his last darshans, the East-West Gathering held in Poona, India, in 1962, symbolizes the awakening of oneness through love which he came to bring about. People of many races, nations, and religions came together as one family in the presence of Divine love, and Meher Baba told the gathering what he now tells us all:

“May my love make you feel one day that God is in everyone.”

Meher Baba spent his last years in seclusion, finishing his universal work. The strain of his work in seclusion took a tremendous toll on his health. Nevertheless Baba was pleased with the results, saying:”My work is done. It is completed one hundred percent to my satisfaction.” Shortly thereafter, on January 31, 1969, Meher Baba laid aside his physical body to live forever in the hearts of those who come to experience his love.

Today, Meher Baba’s tomb located at Meherabad in Ahmednagar, in the state of Maharashtra, India (about 2 hours by road from the city of Pune) is a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world.

Who Is Meher Baba
By Charles Haynes
(Excerpted from the Treasures from the Meher Baba Journals, Sheriar Press, 1980)

Forgetfulness


Forgetfulness of the world makes one a pilgrim.

Forgetfulness of the world and its attractions makes man a Yogi.

Forgetfulness of the next of the world makes one a Saint.

Forgetfulness of the hell and heaven makes a man Mahayogi.

Forgetfulness of your limited self makes a man God-Realised.

Forgetfulness of the forgetfulness makes man perfect.

——-AVATAR MEHER BABA

[From- LESSONS FOR SPIRITUAL ASPIRANTS, Complied by: BIRENDRA KUMAR]
[Copyright © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Ahmednagar (M.S.) India]