A Collection Of Links

This page contains various links I have collected over the years (read some, and others added to a todo list). If you find any of them interesting you could follow up on that topic. If the Internet is like an ocean, then you can say that my hobby is to do deep sea diving and these are some pearls, not just those I discovered but also those that my friends have sent me.

A Drawing Excercise

Try this drawing excercise... pay careful attention to the instructions... dont worry too much about accuracy... its more about how your brain works than your artistic skills . Btw the book (see the home page) is supposed to be pretty good too and enhances creative thinking, etc in addition to teaching drawing.

(you could even try the applet at the bottom of the page)

Awaken The Artist Within You

Fun With A Pencil by Andrew Loomis is a neat online book that teaches drawing available at http://www.saveloomis.org/

--- Excerpt from the introduction ----
"BANG" THERE IS IN IT. MAYBE HE NEVER KNEW. MOST FOLKS LOVE TO DRAW EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW LITTLE ABOUT IT. IT STARTED WITH THE CAVE MAN, AND STILL SURVIVES ON THE WALLS OF PUBLIC PLACES... BECAUSE ITíS SO MUCH FUN, AND SO EASY, ITíS A SHAME NOT TO BE ABLE TO DO IT BETTER. ANDREW LOOMIS ALL THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW, TO START THIS BOOK, IS HOW TO DRAW A CIRCLE. . . . Donít start out with that old gag, "I couldnít draw a straight line." Neither can I, freehand. If we need a straight line, we can use a ruler. Now please try it, just for fun. And it can be as lopsided as the family budget, and still work out. --- End of Excerpt ----

Unleash The Music Composer Within You

Ever thought of composing your own music? ...you could download an evaluation of a synthesizing software from www.fruityloops.com ...the best among those I've tried out... very intutive user interface... (evaluation copy dosent allow you to save your composition)

Yoga Without Tree Hugging

By Paul Bancroft

Excellent very small book on Yoga... brilliant and very humourous.

It dosent really teach yoga (best learnt from an instructor), but explains it. Of course there are 1000s of books on Yoga, but this book explains theres more to Yoga than just managing to get into confusingly convoluted postures.


Some quotes by Yoga guru BKS Iyengar:

Intelligence alone will not solve problems,
unless it is linked with observation.
First observe, and then use the intelligence.
Use your intelligence to control the body
Before starting the movements of the body.
In the beginning,
The brain moves faster than the body;
later, the body moves faster than the brain.
The movement of the body and the intelligence of the brain
Should synchronize and keep pace with each other.

This story made a lot of sense:

"The Buddha once visited a small town called Kesaputta in the kingdom of Kosala. The inhabitants of this town were known by the common name Kalama. When they heard that the Buddha was in their town, the Kalamas paid him a visit, and told him:

'Sir, there are some recluses and brahmanas who visit Kesaputta. They explain and illumine only their own doctrines, and despise, condemn and spurn others' doctrines. Then come other recluses and brahmanas, and they, too, in their turn, explain and illumine only their own doctrines, and despise and condemn and spurn others' doctrines. But, for us, Sir, we have always doubt and perplexity as to who among these venerable
recluses and brahmanas spoke the truth and who spoke falsehood.'

Then the Budhha gave them this advice, unique in the history of religions:

'Yes, Kalamas, it is proper that you have doubt, that you have perplexity, for a doubt has arisen in a matter which is doubtful. Now, look you Kalamas, do not be led by reports, or tradition, or hearsay. Be not led by the authority of religious texts, nor by mere logic or inference, nor by considering appearances, nor by the delight in speculative opinions, nor by seeming possibilities, nor by the idea; "this is our teacher'. But, O Kalamas, when you know for youselves that certain things are unwholesome (akusala), and wrong, and bad, then give them up ...
And when you know for youselves that certain things are wholesome (kusala) and good, then accept them and follow them.'

The Buddha went even further. He told the bhikkhus that a disciple should examine even the Tathagata (Buddha) himself, so that he (the disciple) might be fully convinced of the true value of the teacher whom he followed."
Source: http://www.cains.com/bucha/kalama.html

What is Zen - based on the book The Tao of Physics

The perfection of Zen is thus to live one's everyday life naturally and spontaneously. When Po-chang was asked to difine Zen, he said, "When hungry, eat, when tired, sleep." Although this sounds simple and obvious, like so much in Zen, it is in fact quite a difficult task. To regain the naturalness of our original nature requires long training and constitutes a great spritual achievement. In the words of a famous Zen saying,

    Before you study Zen, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers; while you are studying Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and rivers are no longer rivers; but once you have had enlightenment mountains are once again mountains and rivers again rivers.

One Day The Sun Will Rise

Many have screamed the truth to the heavens, many will continue to do so to the wind; but few ears are really willing to listen. Can it be that our human nature prevents us from "hearing" what our masters are telling us? Can it be that humanity is asleep, choked with false values, idols or ideals? Why do most people roam searching, consciously or unconsciously, for something or someone to follow? Are we facing our own drowsiness when we search to be identified, noticed and become a part of something?

Many people have asked themselves: Who am I? Where am I going? Why am I here in this world? Questions that surely have troubled us, but the real problem is not the question, rather the answer. How many of us have found it? Sadder still, how many of us haven't found it? Even sadder still, how many of us, once we've made the question haven't even taken the time to think about it? It seems easier to follow the "normal" course of things, be born, live and die without knowing why and what for.


Let's not waste our time, let's wake up and jump right in the adventure of personal development, the search of the real I. And how far will we go? It all depends on how deep we are willing to go.



There is a way in which we may conduct our lives without regrets, and in such a manner as assists in developing and realizing our individual potential, without harming others, or inhibiting the realization of their potential, and which is beneficial to a healthy society.

Such a way of life may of course be conducted without a name, and without description, but in order that others may know of it, and so as to distinguish it from other ways in which life may be conducted, we give it a name, and use words to describe it.

When discussing or describing this way in which life may be conducted, rather than refer to it in full, for convenience, we refer to it as 'the way', meaning simply that the discussion is concerned with this particular way, not that it is the only way of conducting one's life. In order that we might distinguish it more easily from other ways, we refer to it also by its original name, which is 'Tao'.


Complete translation: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/gthursby/taoism/ttcstan3.htm

Another translation: TaoDeChing - Lao Tze

Chinese classic.



Life is very complex in these days. The struggle for existence is very keen. Man finds no time to study big philosophical and religious books, or the whole of the Gita. Here is an abridged edition of the Gita which contains its quintessence for the use of students, doctors, advocates and busy people.


This is an excellent writeup on the essence of the Gita...

The Essence of the Gita

The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation

This provides a means to enable practicing whatever is written in all the other literature.

Everyone seeks peace and harmony, because these are what we lack in our lives. From time to time we all experience agitation, irritation, disharmony, suffering; and when one suffers from agitation, one does not keep this misery limited to oneself. One keeps distributing it to others as well. The agitation permeates the atmosphere around the miserable person. Everyone who comes into contact with him also becomes irritated, agitated. Certainly this is not the proper way to live.

One ought to live at peace with oneself, and at peace with all others. After all, a human being is a social being. He has to live in society--to live and deal with others. How are we to live peacefully? How are we to remain harmonious with ourselves, and to maintain peace and harmony around us, so that others can also live peacefully and harmoniously?


7 Spiritual Laws of Success
by Deepak Chopra

This is an excellent book - very small thin book - fascinating reading... the summary is available here:



About Sudha Murthy... wife of Mr. Narayan Murthy, CEO, Infosys


Zen Stories

These are very small interesting stories typically not more than a short paragraph or two. Yet inspite of their simplicity, they offer surprisingly profound insights into human nature and the cosmos! And more importantly, they're a lot of fun to tell since they are also witty and typically puzzling. The stories usually dont have one single obvious 'moral'. They cause you to think, and different people interpret different meanings in them. Talking about those meanings with your friends and family can be a truly educational experience!

Hence you could use them as handy conversation pieces, to help you and others talk, think, and laugh about the wondrous and mysterious details of this thing we call Life.




Vedic Mathematics

How does Vedic mathematics differ from its more conventional counterpart? Mr. Glover answers with an illustration. "Take the Wimbledon tennis competition. There are 128 entrants, they play in a knock-out manner," he says. "The first round has 64 games, the next has 32 games until you reach the quarter-finals, semifinals and the final.

"The problem is to find out how many matches there are all-together. The conventional approach is to add the number of games- 64 plus 32 plus 16 plus eight plus four plus two plus one-to get to the answer, which is 127.

Now the Vedic approach, which uses one of the sutras, argues in the following way :-

"Since there are 128 players and only one person wins the competition, there must be 127 losers and for each loser there is a match, so there are 127 matches." Thus, Vedic mathematics teaches you different approaches to problems systematically. That's what makes it such a useful educative tool.

Vedic Maths Tutorial

Vedic Maths is based on sixteen sutras or principles. These principles are general in nature and can be applied in many ways. In practice many applications of the sutras may be learned and combined to solve actual problems. These tutorials will give examples of simple applications of the sutras, to give a feel for how the Vedic Maths system works. These tutorials do not attempt to teach the systematic use of the sutras. For more advanced applications and a more complete coverage of the basic uses of the sutras, we recommend you study one of the texts available.


A Gentle Introduction To South Indian Classical (Karnatic) Music
B y Mahadevan Ramesh

What is the focus of this primer?

Many of us have grown up in India, where we were exposed to Indian classical music in one form or another. However, if you are not from a musically inclined family, the odds are that you perceived classical music to be something esoteric that only a selected few could understand and appreciate. An occassional devotional song or a 'classically tuned' film song would have made you stop and take note. Your curiosity could have been aroused. But, you may have quickly ignored the instinct and made a beeline for the usual pursuits in life. Even if you were interested enough to find out about classical music, you did not know what books to read or who to talk to. Even if you managed to talk to someone, it is likely that the person made you feel inadequate about your lack of musical abilities or proceeded to give you a long lecture about music with a million buzzwords that confused you and weaned you off your curiosity. It is unfortunate that there is an almost total lack of simple, readable, introductary texts on Indian classical music, especially when compared to volumes and volumes of elementary books available on Western Classical music. No wonder an average college-educated person in the USA is at least mildly knowledgeable about Western classical music whereas an average Indian is by and large ignorant about the technicalities of Indian classical music. This primer is a feeble attempt to introduce Karnatic music in a gentle way, in a language presumably we all can understand. I want to be able to rekindle your interest and help you discover some of the 'method' and grammar of Karnatic music. Even though these notes are aimed at introducing Karnatic music, a lot of of what I have to say also apply to Hindustani Classical music.


A Brief Introduction to Carnatic Music
By Candida Connolly

Carnatic music is the classical music of South India, with 'classical' taken as meaning a style 'adhering to an established set of principles of regularity, balance and purity of form marked by stability of form, intellectualism and restraint' (Collins dictionary).

The Carnatic raga is presented through various styles of composition, improvisation Ė both a-rhythmically and within rhythmic structures Ė and rhythmic patterns precomposed within various mathematical calculations. The complexity of these rhythmic ideas has been and is being developed and refined through the ages, by the rigorous practice and perfection of rhythmic calculations, creating arguably the world's most sophisticated rhythmic form. The legacy of previous great musicians is also captured in their compositions which are handed down to the next generation of musicians and are notated using 'sargam' Ė a script-dependent syllabic notation. Thus it is a style which both preserves the musical ideas of great masters of the past and evolves with the performances of living musicians.


So you think you know all about Mahatma Gandhi?

Sure? Confident? Based on what I remember about history in school and movies and the media, I was too... until I had a look at this excellent article.... a real eye-opener especially the last paragraph on Satyagraha.

Mahatma Gandhi and His Myths
By Mark Shepard

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
By Richard Bach

I KNOW youre all very very busy, I KNOW you generally don't have much leisure time...


Take my word for this just once. Buy this book (or print it out, its available online at this link... http://www.42.dropbear.id.au/jls.html )

Its so small you wont take more than an hour to finish it.

The first time I read it, I got bored after a few paras... but luckily rediscovered it a few months later... and this time finished it at almost one reading! It really made me feel... I wont tell you, hope you read it... but its one of those small powerful books meant for both the young and old. So... if at all you find it boring in the beginning... make an attempt to reach atleast two pages till you give up! :-)

This book can be read many times, each time we can learn something new from it!

Maslovs Heirarchy Of Needs

Maslow is a humanistic psychologist. Humanists focus upon potentials. They believe that humans strive for an upper level of capabilities. Humans seek the frontiers of creativity, the highest reaches of consciousness and wisdom. This has been labeled "fully functioning person", "healthy personality", or as Maslow calls this level, "self-actualizing person."

Maslow has set up a hierarchic theory of needs. All of his basic needs are instinctoid, equivalent of instincts in animals. Humans start with a very weak disposition that is then fashioned fully as the person grows. If the environment is right, people will grow straight and beautiful, actualizing the potentials they have inherited. If the environment is not "right" (and mostly it is not) they will not grow tall and straight and beautiful.

Maslow has set up a hierarchy of five levels of basic needs. Beyond these needs, higher levels of needs exist. These include needs for understanding, esthetic appreciation and purely spiritual needs. In the levels of the five basic needs, the person does not feel the second need until the demands of the first have been satisfied, nor the third until the second has been satisfied, and so on.



What the Matrix was actually about

Many people didnt really appreciate the movie the Matrix much. They felt its
a boringly confusing movie with nothing but special effects and action to
its credit. (Maybe they had fixed ideas of what a "good movie"
should be like, and the Matrix dissapointed them when it didnt meet such

For some others, the movie got them thinking. They might agree with
Socarates who had said, "The life which is unexamined is not worth

I hope both kind of thinkers like this link... it shows the many diverse
kinds of ideas and thinking that went into the making of the Matrix.

Just to give an idea...
"At the beginning of The Matrix, a black-clad computer hacker known as Neo
falls asleep in front of his computer. A mysterious message appears on the
screen: "Wake up, Neo." This succinct phrase encapsulates the plot of the


"We will be better and braver if we engage and inquire
than if we indulge in the idle fancy that we
already know - or that it is of no use seeking
to know what we do not know."