Opportunity cost of being Humans


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It was a 2013 evening, my sister and I went for a walk after dinner. It was a daily practice for us those days. Chinu was playing with the stray dogs – well behaved and good dogs of our area. This habit also included feeding left over chapatis to these stray dogs. We had started eating multi-grain chapatis, my sister used to prepare the composition (of course sourced from internet) of different grains – usually five. One day my sister told me – “I have noticed that these stray dogs do not eat these chapatis, earlier when we were making wheat chapatis it did not happen.” I jokingly said – “They have not developed a taste for it!” Her observation was correct, these dogs did not touch these chapatis, matter became bit serious and a learning – eat chapatis of one grain at a time. Perhaps the animals are closer to the nature than us, they know what will suit their body more than we know about our body. That is our problem – we have moved away from listening to our natural instinct. I wonder if animals have glutton intolerance or lactose intolerance etc. We humans have such eating disorders. I believe the reason is our not listening to our body. I believe our body can give us signs that – you should not eat it. But we do not listen.

I could remember incident of 2013 when I had been watering plants at home. I noticed that the pots were discarding water that the plant did not need. Plants also take as much as required, we do not, our greed is for more money than what we need to survive, we’ve huge wardrobes and eat more for taste than for nourishment. Have you seen a fat leopard? But obesity is a problem with us. We go to gym to be fit, yet our eating habits belie our natural instinct.

Have you heard a saying birds of a feather flock together. Needless to say, many must have seen birds of same species flying together from season to season. Literal meaning of this saying actually changes in our (human being’s) context. Because we humans have divided our existence by color of skin, our way of thinking and our religious following etc. We have been fighting for Left Vs Right or religious supremacy – be it ISIS in Syria (for Islam) or Rohingya (against Islam). That is an opportunity cost of being Humans.

We have – somewhere – missed our intelligence in our growth (smarter phones but dumb people), our belief of being morally correct (building stock pile of nuclear weapons for self protection – war for peace) and proving one being religiously pious than the other (my religion is better and correct than your religion is). That is opportunity cost of being human!

The question to ask is – are we really “being” human? Animals are better in some sense, they don’t kill to either propagate their religion, control other animals and show supremacy.

In Indian theology it is said that a person is born as human after a million+ lives as other creature. Well, few people would not accept this concept because of their way of thinking or conditioning of mind. Why there is harmony in nature but not in our cities, countries? Isn’t it the “cost” we are paying for the opportunities we have got as human beings?

This was topic for Sept 7th 2017 LBC, I wrote after a month. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Ramana uncleji, Ashok and Shackman.

PS – English meaning of Opportunity cost – the loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

More on opportunity cost as concept of economics at investopedia

Image source – http://www.jamieatlas.com/2008/07/24/stepmill-most-underrated-machine-in-your-gym/

Decision making


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One can make a decision or gets into a situation of decision making only when one has choices. Choices at times spoil us or confuse us.

I would not want to write much when I have a great video to share in relation of this topic – it is about life, choices and decisions.

Decision making is (LBC topic) Loose Bloggers Consortium topic where MariaRummuserAshokShackman and I write. You can visit their blogs and read their thoughts on the topic.

Future shock – watch our act


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I have forgotten why world war I started. One needs to read and remember history for that. However, I do remember that after the war there were some very heavy penalties on the losing side. These penalties eventually resulted in world war II, isn’t it? At times it comes in this little mind that our present actions determine possibilities of what twist future might take – perhaps that is what is future shock.

Let us take another example – wars are not good for anyone, everyone knows this, yet countries (specially the politicians of the countries) create such situations – be it North Korea or United States, these days China is pressurizing India. I wonder why politicians want to control people and their mind – specially in China – and to own land and other things?

I – though not a political analyst – see it as diverting India’s attention from Pakistan orders where China is making CPEC, to move away Indian troops actions against Kashmiri terrorists. I wonder if all these events convert in any disaster of war, because everyone will start taking sides in such cases to provoke world to an almost extinction. All these are present shocks and not future shocks.

A shock is always in the present, not in future! Let us take an example of end of world war II, the nuclear explosion was a present moment shock and loss. We may argue that it was a possibility. However, I still maintain, shocks are always in the present, in fact any experience is in the present. Take an example of climate change, recently US president rejected it in G-20 summit.Climate change is a present shock a truth that we are facing on a daily basis. As a society we never looked at it by asking ourselves what are we doing? We were running behind growth, cutting trees, polluting air, water and soil. I came across this video some years back thought to share it here

Our past acts become our future shocks, yet these ‘past’ acts were ‘present’ when performed and the future shock is observed in the ‘present’ again. So any future shock is a mirage, everything happens in the present, only thing that we can do is – watch our act! Be it climate change, or owning the world (winning landmass or controlling others)

On this note – I leave you with these two videos –

Future shock was (LBC topic) Loose Bloggers Consortium topic where MariaRummuserAshokShackman and I write. You can visit their blogs and read their thoughts on the topic.

PS – Author knows there is a book with the same title, he hasn’t read it though. author knows the definition of future shock by Alvin Toffler, yet tried defining and understanding future and shocks in his own manner.

Hidden potential


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I had inflammation of gums recently and was not able to eat properly. Instead of looking for solution first, I started looking for causes why I had this swelling? Root cause of the same of my eating roasted corn. So, next time onwards I will be careful when eating roasted corn. Currently, I am having backache, all due to wrong postures while working in office seating in office.

We do not even notice small integral parts of our body such as gums or back until we have a trouble with them. These parts exist and function as per their role in the physiology of our body, yet we are in oblivion of them, until those have some issue – for us those are almost nonexistent until they let us know they exist and have some limits, in my case it was backache and gum’s swelling. I had kept on noticing gums every time I put something in my mouth, back is reminding me of it’s existence until now.

What is hidden? Hidden – to us human beings – is something that we cannot perceive. The gums and back was something hidden until I had troubles there, it existed physically, I knew it existed but I did not notice it.

Perceptions are another limitation, our perceptions are limited to our five senses. If something exist beyond these senses we may not know of it’s existence such as noise beyond a certain range.

We cannot see air, it does not mean it does not exist, we know air is there because our sense of touch can feel it – breeze or cold. A seed has a possibility of become a tree, that is it’s hidden potential. We cannot see it manifested and thus we do not believe in it; that is our problem. Our perceptions are actually created by our previous learning. In the image here, there is no gate or fence, it is all in the minds of sheep.

I have written on it earlier on perceptions and specially here what I learnt from Sai kaka, about our past impressions –
Sanskar yukt chaitanya jab (संस्कार युक्त चैतन्य जब)
1. chintan karata hai to usko chitt kahate hai (1. चिंतन करता है तो उसको चित्त कहते है)
2. manan karata hai to usko man kahate hai (2. मनन करता है तो उसको मन कहते है)
3. nirnay karata hai to usko buddhi kahate hai (3. निर्णय करता है तो उसको बुद्धि कहते है)
4. asmita ka bhan karata hai to usko aham kahate hai (4. अस्मिता का भान करता है तो उसको अहं कहते है)
inme se sansakar nikal jaye to jo bachata hai vo shuddha chaitanya hai (इनमे से संस्कार निकल जाए तो जो बचता है वो शुद्ध चैतन्य है)

A rough English translation of the same is –

When a conscious filled with rituals (or say the lessons learnt about ‘way of living’, include religion)

1. thinks we call it mind (imagination)
2. contemplate we call it Mind [there is a difference between Chitt and man which I am not able to translate in English]
3. makes a decision we call it intellect
4. perceives pride we call it Ego

Now when the rituals, religion or ‘way of life’ learnt, get out of this conscious mind, what is left is the pure consciousness.

It means “pure consciousness” is blurred by our different (Sanskara) learning about life. Therefore in some cases religion becomes a problem.

This is the problem of our perceptions such as we think East is far different from the West. Can we try experimenting – a kid born in Say US should be reared in India and vice versa. Would these kids grow up to behave in similar manner such as US born kid raised in India, would behave like any kid born and raised in US and vice versa? When we talk about East Vs West our perception are based on the “sanskar”, at times those are the hidden potentials.

Hidden potential was an old LBC topic, I wrote on it today. Loose Bloggers Consortium is where MariaRummuserAshokShackman and I write. You can visit their blogs and read their thoughts on the topic.

Image source – unknown currently.

Marginal utility


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This was the topic for last weeks LBC. I have been finding it difficult to spare time these days to write regularly. The year 2017 has started like this irregular weekend blogging, hope I will break it sooner.

Half full, half empty, possibility thinking, optimism, pessimismI have written on Marginal utility earlier – Marginal analysis. Let me first explain what is this jargon? My wife explained it to me – see if you are very hungry and you are given an orange you would find it the most satisfying thing in the world. My wife is a CA, she knows economics better than me, I was trying to come up with an example of buying a 1 bedroom hall kitchen (BHK in short) apartment in Mumbai vs a 2 BHK or 3 BHK etc, but I could not come up with some example like that. She does not like oranges as much, wonder why and how orange came as an example in her mind. It is difficult to analyze mind of a lady!

She continued – once you have had one orange and your hunger is bit quenched, now the second or a third orange would not be that satisfying to you. The satisfaction you get from the second or third orange is less, marginal utility is the same what is the incremental utility, benefit or satisfaction you get from eating the one extra orange.

The concept can be applied to anything in life – having an extra laptop or mobile to a home. In terms of economics the concept fits perfectly. Marginal utility of anything reduces over the quantity. Just because of the same we have abused air, water and everything that we have available freely. I am trying to relate this concept to a Sanskrit saying – Ati sarvatra varjayet (अति सर्वत्र वर्जयेत) – surplus of anything is not good.

The next best thing that comes to my mind on it is – love. I have had a tough time explaining to someone that love does not necessarily mean sex, I have written on love earlier. Love is something where there may not necessarily be a marginal utility. It is something unconditional, something endless. So goes, the concept of profits and revenue. Yet both the types of endlessness are of different types. In love – a particular type – there is no ownership. When there is no ownership and mostly when there is no “I” or ego, it automatically becomes endless – so the concept of marginal utility ends the slop is infinite. On the other hand how much is too much for a company to grow? There is no marginal utility question on revenue each unit revenue brought adds utility in terms of PAT. Of course we may say that until breakeven of a company the marginal utility of each unit revenue is steep whereas after a certain profit margin say 30% PAT the utility diminishes. Sometimes sales are differed to next quarter or booked in current quarter even if that costs in terms of dumping products to distributors.

If we start living in present moment in spontaneity I wonder if we would even have a complex calculation of “Marginal utility” in life.

I am late in writing this post again, Marginal utility was last week’s LBC topic where MariaRummuserAshokShackman and I write weekly. You can visit their blogs and read their thoughts on the topic.



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I and my wife were rushing to our offices on our two wheeler. This a routine happens daily (include Saturday for her). Actually, this race to office is common place in Mumbai. Many go without interest and many others like us go not only with choice but also to make a difference. Yes, sounds strange – what difference one person can make? But this is how I and my wife take our jobs “very seriously”. This race starts in the morning at about 7:30 AM and ends at about 7:30 PM in evening or later. Now, do not ask – how much difference we have made in our respective companies or our own life. When I ask this question to my self – at times I feel as if we both are running on a treadmill. We are running very fast but are not reaching anywhere on a treadmill.

This day was no different, we were on our two wheeler, it was not raining. Rain had played a lot of games with us recently. Whenever we were wearing raincoat, it didn’t rain. It was bit sunny and therefore we thought its may not rain today, hopefully by we reach office. Suddenly it started raining and raining like anything, yes this was shocking but happens. So instead of rushing I stopped our vehicle at a bus stop shed and we both wore our raincoat, besides we waited for rain to subdue – it was not very cloudy so we knew it wont rain for long. Ten minutes and it stopped, we started our rush to office again, this time we did not take off our coats.

In these ten minutes I learnt something interesting – some times, “it is ok to stop in life instead of rushing.” On the contrary it was good to take that break in this particular situation rain stopped.

When are we going to teach such things to our coming generation? I thought that we teach many things to our children however most of the time, it is for economics returns and not necessarily for living a fulfilling life, just an example – instead of rushing and running just being. An after thought of this question is this – education is a very formal approach, whereas learning is informal. Learning is – stop somewhere instead of rushing; on the contrary education – that is a formal one – makes one assuming rushing to the destination is the solution. Before anyone makes any opinion about my thoughts – I am not trying to undermine education (certificate based formal teaching), it is required to help an individual to be economically better off and help the society take an example of Kashmiri stonepelters – if they get a regular job they wont unnecessarily go out to support terrorists.

Education was last week’s LBC topic where Maria, Rummuser, AshokShackman and I write weekly. You can visit their blogs and read their thoughts on the topic.

Melting pot


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I am sure when we read the title we all will speak about culture and nation. My take apparently is no different. India as a country, culture and in terms of way of life has been a melting pot of thoughts. If we look at Mahabharat time – there were many kingdom fighting from one side or the other in the war. The range goes from present day Afganistan to South East Asia and Kerala.

Afganistan reminds me of Bamiyan Buddha statues. The smaller statue was so big, check photo (sourced from Wikipedia), that a man standing at the foot measures only till the ankles. The statue reminds me of Gwalior fort Jain tirthankar’s statues. No wonder, when I saw them some had disfigured heads.

The Buddha was basically from Nepal. He came to India for his quest of spirituality. India at that time too, was a confluence of different ways of life. Buddha studied with same master’s who were worshipers of fire, some teachers were of Yoga and Indian philosophies. After learning so many things we was still not self realized. After six years of hardwork, following many different teachings – including fast he was emaciated and almost on the verge of death. That day he was enlightened. Lord Mahavir was his contemporary – he had a different teaching. Both the teachings blended in Indian culture.

Indian culture basically accepts many different approach of spirituality and religion. The best blend you can see is Bhagvad Geeta. It talks about Bhakti, Gyan, Dhyan and Karma yoga etc. Every chapter in the book is a type of Yoga – yoga means addition. What does a melting pot do – it mixes everything. Right? That is what Yoga is. I have written on Yoga earlier too – including a debate and court case in the US – whether Yoga is Secular or no!

The question on secularism moves me to another dimension of India. We are secular, and in last couple of years Indian intellectuals (apparently others are equally intellectuals but are considered lesser) have returned awards for lynching of a Muslim Indian citizen. It was a sad incident in the state of Uttar Pradesh during Akhilesh Yadav Government (Samajwadi Party, which apparently is more Muslim centric political party). Recently, another lynching happened – a police officer was killed – muslim Indian citizen – in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, this time state Government is a coalition with BJP (more Hindu tilting political party). Last time the intellectuals returned awards, this time no one came forward! This is all economics of power.

Economics reminds me of an interesting fact of Indian politics. The best economists – Mr Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram – came up with farm loan waiver in last decade. When a non economics expert can understand that it is not a solution why a renowned economist takes such a decision – a melting pot you see. The decision was a confluence of politics in economics.

All the above thoughts are in a melting pot here. My thoughts mostly are  multi-directional – so this blog moves from socialism to capitalism and spirituality to business etc. The melting pot includes few dreams I have – one is here, add to it wish to help Sindhutai Sakpal‘s Orphanage, Art of Living foundation projects and rainwater harvesting in Malwa region of MP. I wrote to one District Magistrate, never received a response, not even from CM’s office – is this a participative government?

Melting pot was this week’s LBC topic where Maria, Rummuser, Ashok and Shackman write weekly. You can visit their blogs and read their thoughts on the topic.

Angels and Demons – Possession


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After a long long time, I am sharing another interesting story from The Prayer of the Frog. Occasionally I read one of the other story from the book by Father Antony de Mello. The book is available in two volumes Prayer of the Frog Volume 1 and Prayer of the Frog Volume 2. This time I was searching for a story on “Angels and Demons”, I was confident to find some or the other story because Abrahamic religion have a deep rooted concept of angels and demons. I was taken aback when I could read more than one stories on angels but none involving demon! This is a very interesting story so thought that without delay I will share it here.


An old woman died and was taken to the Judgment Seat by the angels. While examining her records the Judge could not find a single act of charity performed by her except for a carrot she had once given to a starving beggar.

The power of act of kindness is such that she was taken up to heaven on the strength of that carrot. The carrot was brought to court and given to her. The moment she caught hold of it, it began to rise as if pulled by some invisible string, lifting her up towards the sky.

While she was ascending a beggar appeared clutching on to the hem of the woman. He too was lifted along with her. Behind came another person holding the beggar’s foot and was lifted too. Soon there was a long queue of people lifted up to heaven by that carrot (act of kindness). The woman did not feel the weight of the people who held on to her; in fact she was not even aware about them.

The whole queue rose almost near the heavenly gates. The woman looked back to catch a last glimpse of the earth and saw this whole train of people behind her. She was indignant! She gave an imperious wave of her hand and shouted, “Off! Off all of you! This carrot is mine!”

In making her imperious gesture she let go of the carrot for a moment—and down she fell with the entire train. There is only one cause for every evil on earth: “This belongs to me’”

Angels and Demons was this week’s LBC topic where Maria, Rummuser, Ashok and Shackman write weekly. I had suggested this topic, you can read what other writers have to say in their respective blogs.

Source – Prayer of the frog Vol 1

Leaking pipe, economics and politics


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Recently I went to meet one of our relatives. We were generally speaking and his plumber came, I asked what happened? He said – Pravin, we requested our plumber to fix the leaking pipe. Later we asked him to put blocker from where the leaking pipe was having water inlet. I said why did you solve the problem of leaking pipe twice? He said the fixing the pipe with m-seal and other plumbing means was cheaper. But second time you had to put a blocker, isn’t it? It costs and your plumber might have charged you twice too. I curiously went to check the place – being an insider to this family it was alright. I repeated – you tried to fix a wrong problem and you did it twice! and also by putting blocker you made the pipe irrelevant too…

The same keeps on happening in our society be it bailout or loan waiver to farmers. Those who cannot get in such beautiful moral hazard go to UK or become part of crony capitalism.

I was speaking with my wife today, she said “loan waiver is not a permanent solution”. Yes she is right. This endemic was started by government of our own very famous economist Mammohan Singh and his another gem of an economist finance minister Chidambaram in 2008. It was a waiver of 60,000 cr, largely to win upcoming election. Manmohan Singh government won that election too, just to end up embroiling themselves in scam after scams. The scams resulted in public anger and protest – India Against Corruption. There are long lists of corruption under the Manmohan Singh government however the point of discussion currently is farmer’s loan.

The kind of waivers offered mostly result in moral hazard. Just imagine, if I am a farmer – this year monsoon is expected to be good – why would I care to pay my loan EMIs when everyone is getting sops? The other trouble is – even after 70+ years of independence of India we are more dependent on monsoon rather than our skills of farming! Connecting all the rivers was a dream project of Atal Bihari Vajpayee 10+ years back, yet it has to see light of the day. Furthermore, we ignore solving the problems we created ourselves such as depleting underground water level. Mostly, the reason is – we are individually smart but collectively dumb. We assume that I cannot control where the underground water goes – why should I?

Imagine, the amount of 60,000 cr farm loan of 2008 – had it been utilized in making canals and rainwater harvesting, educating farmers for better methods of farming and technology interventions in agriculture and post harvest we might have been able to solve the problem to some extent if not completely. The other thing to note is – how can we ascertain the benefits are transferred to the right people? Those who have small land holding may be taking loans from local private lenders, also they might not even have their credit ratings for bank to offer them loans. Where exactly does such huge amount go?

Now think again about where the government gets this huge amount from? Have you ever seen your bills? Did you see Krishi Kalyan Cess? Government generates parts of such sops from us when we pay taxes – indirect tax. This is a problem to worry for middle class only. They earn and pay income tax, they buy and pay Krishi Kalyan Cess and when farmer’s are on strike they pay exorbitant amount for buying vegetables too. Mostly this expensive vegetables are procured by middlemen at cheap prices – all cash business less or least tax with black money. A better option for middle class Indian is to either become a farmer and get loan waiver or become an industrialist take loan and leave India!

When I completed my sentence – “you tried to fix a wrong problem and you did it twice!… …The leaking pipe was old and rusting, you should have changed it at first instance. why don’t you fix it permanently? My relative said “why should I? It is a rented property? I may go next year, someone else will come, so I am fixing it temporarily.” Same is with the governments – they solve a problem as temporary fix – farmer loan waiver for winning next election and not solving problem which causes farmers to take extreme step of committing suicide or protesting for loan waiver.

According to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch the farm loan waiver will cost 2% to the GDP of India by 2019. This wrong precedence was set by two of the most knowledgeable economists of India – Mammohan Singh and Chidambaram. Go figure what it means to be subject matter expert!

Does Time Run Out? Terror Attacks


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This is the same thing as sunset and sunrise. Time is the way existence just ‘is’! Time runs out for us because we believe that our existence is limited to our this life. A person on deathbed may think that time is running out, because he may die soon – again because our perception of life is very limited to the body.

Ok! I got it. Many people will say – “I don’t believe in past life or future life”. Many would say – “We do not believe in the concept of life beyond this body, because our scriptures do not support this concept.”

Let me try to explain a perspective from those scriptures – is it a possibility that they say there is no life beyond, because they do not consider the physical death as death? Is it a possibility that the scriptures suggest that death of this body is not death of something which is beyond the perception of existence?

What is time? Time is not what you see on your wrist watch. If that was the thing TIME, you would start calling yourself as “173CM” or may be “75KG” because you measure as much in height or weight respectively. The measurement is not the THING. Measurement is a dimension of the THING, isn’t it? If you say I am overweight and reduce say 5 kg, would you reduce actually? So, if the belief is the exact time in your clock is TIME. Why is it different in US Vs Europe Vs India? Have you ever thought that how did the first person who created watch know “what is the time right now?” Why does time not remain same (figuratively too) if we are on the same planet earth? What is earth stop revolving around its axis? What is earth stops revolving around sun? The point I am trying to make is – we are very limited by our perception and that creates our realities. Same is the case with time, when I say figuratively too – it means the words of astrologers – “you are going through a tough time, do not get involved in such and such things”. Or this is the best time for you to invest in XYZ. Besides these I came across an interesting video on Time and theory of relativity, here it is

This was the line of thought for this week’s LBC post, I suggested this topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Rummuser, Ashok and Shackman. However, after thinking this much and after Manchester attack, I have to think in a different way too. The time is really running out for us as humans. If we know correctly Dinosaurs did not invent weapons yet they are extinct. We have a bigger problem, we are more susceptible to higher losses.  In that sense of the world time is running out. When I was a kid, I used to think Kashmir terrorist problem (early 90s) is only limited to India. Now, when I read news like this – UK, France, Indonesia, etc terrorist attacks and a remote island country Philippines fighting ISIS I get surprised, terrorism may have been a local phenomenon but seems no more now.

I read on Twitter – the suicide bomber was a 22 year old Salman Abedi, a son of immigrant from Libya. The irony is – he was born in UK! People of Twitter were making observations from both the sides – stop immigration and what will you get if you stop immigration the lad was UK born. I asked myself another question – if this person was born in UK do we need to contest immigration or we need to look at the other sources where the root cause of such attack reside? The other thought that ran through my mind at that time (and I love thinking about it) how would the Buddha (or any other spiritual master of our time) handle such brat?

Source - https://hateandanger.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/albert-einstein-i-know-not-with-what-weapons-world-war-iii-will-be-fought-but-world-war-iv-will-be-fought-with-sticks-and-stones-1.jpgSA – I would die for my religion. TB – Why dont you live of it? SA – I’ve been commanded to spread the message, those who do not follow must be killed. TB – Can your death justify spreading the message? SA – ??!! (I’m confused what he will answer.) TB – What happens when you get killed or you kill them? SA – I will go to heaven. TB – What is the proof that you will go to heaven? Is not the earth where you live is a heaven? You live in the UK one of the most developed country, is not it a heaven? What happens to those who die due to your attack? SA – they will rot in hell. TB – Can you prove it? What if they also join you in heaven? Or what if the opposite happens – you go to hell and they in heaven? SA – That is not possible. TB – Do you have any proof, that wont or cannot happen? I think you can guess the response of SA. I hope people like SA get to meet the Buddha type of enlightened masters when alive and change their perceptions – that will help eliminate the underlying problem- root cause.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. – Albert Einstein

When I raised this question to myself about root cause – I realized – we are really running a race against time, and before it is too late, we need to unequivocally, categorically, without any denial of any sort accept that the boy was brainwashed somewhere and need to stop this menace. Yes in such situations we can say time is running out for existence of humanity.

Image source Einstein quote- https://hateandanger.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/, image 1 – unknown