God’s Religion

When in religions all,

‘Mother’ means the same,

‘Father’ means the same,

Duties mean the same,

Rights mean the same.

 

When in religions all,

‘Good deeds’ mean the same,

‘Bad deeds’ mean the same,

 

When ‘Nature’ is the same,

‘Universe’ is the same,

When each one is the child of God;

 

Why then are sins committed?

Why does man kill man?

Though depart must we all,

To the same Destination.

Are we a good listener?

We continue to hear one complaint either it is our home, school, college or office that no one listens to anyone. We grudge that we say something and the other fellow does not listen properly and understands something else.  Why does there occur a big gap between speaking and listening?  This may be due to the fact that each one of us is taught how to speak, however, we are not guided how to be good listeners in our life. Listening is more important than speaking and if we do not listen properly, everything which is spoken targeting us becomes worthless.

We speak so that there could be a dialogue, there could be a conversation and communication. When our heart listens, it evaluates whether what we are listening is right or wrong. If we start applying our mind, we come out with counter argument to the statement heard by us. It means only heart is ready to listen. When there is something in the heart, our heart opens its doors and accepts others. The energy enters through these open doors in us. If we remain calm and listen to others with intent, flowers will bloom and it will be like spring. If you want to experience it, first we should see what others are up to and how they are speaking and narrating and how one is listening. We may feel that those we call sound relations are actually not so. We keep expecting from each other and we sub-consciously all are using each other. Therefore, we see many well wishers around us but they are not actually connected with us, it is like searching for a glass of drinking water, when there is sea around us.

After examining others, we shall do self examination and introspect, how we ourselves listen to others.  The introspection will enlighten us. We may start listening with more alertness and calmness and with deep concentration. When you prove to be a good listener, others will surely appreciate it. If people feel that we are listening to them with due concentration, they will feel happy inside and our presence will work as a medicine for them. We need to share our ‘self’ with others to make them feel that we are there well wishers.


No good deed goes unpunished!

Sometimes however good we try to be, however good we try to do for others, we end up hurt and sad. Even with the best of intentions, we can have the worst of ordeals. This is something, we have no control over.

Last week, when a patient was counting money again and again for the diagnostic tests advised by the doctor, he looked broke and perplexed. He certainly looked shattered both from within and without. Long term illness has made him frail and the expense involved in his healthcare has made him lose his self esteem. This was not the first time that I met someone like him. I knew exactly what to do. I have the privilege of waiving off the consultation charges for my boss, a senior cardiologist in the country. I did exactly, what I was supposed to. I sent the patient to the billing counter asking him to do the minimal billing for the non-invasive tests at a reduced rate. The patient didn’t know what to do but his eyes glittered telling me a lot. It felt good.

I expedited the procedure and tried to wind up things for him since he had a train to catch. He is living in a remote suburbs that takes him nearly five hours to reach. The examinations went passed fast and even faster he got the reports. Even the ones that was supposed to be delivered the next day.

As I forwarded the reports to the doctor and guided the patient to the office, I was complacent. It feels good when you genuinely do something from your heart. The patient came out after a short while with a comprehensive prescription and guidelines. I explained to the patient the whole thing again. When and how to take the medications and what and what not to do for a better living. It was a long counseling, but I never felt bored. I never feel actually. As a matter of fact it gives me immense pleasure to have people understood me. The challenge still lies in their conviction to imbibe those in daily life though.

The patient smiled at me – his way of thanking me and went off only to return after half an hour. Now, he asked me something that took me by my feet. He told me that the doctor hadn’t seen him properly. When asked the reason, he told me that why else he didn’t charge him! I was taken aback by his question. did not know what to answer. Couldn’t even blame him since the healthcare industry everywhere has been so commercialized today. No one can imagine having complimentary visits to doctors’ offices.

That day, I realized something. Somethings in life never change. Who you are, some people with good values and ‘no good deed goes unpunished’.

The ‘Julie and Julia’ syndrome – day5

Understanding the changes within

Till the last day of her life actress Parveen Babi was convinced that Amitabh Bachchan was trying to poison her. Parveen Babi had suffered from Schizophrenia all through the later part of her life.  The height of “innocence” they say is “madness” where one is unaware of his own self.

Is it fate then, that lead to these circumstances and conditions in life? Are we doomed to it? Or is there a way out?

Don’t we all live schizophrenic lives to some degree or other? Can we guarantee that our view of this world is always clear and correct?.
Every time we perceive something, it is always filtered through our emotions, our desire, jealousy, pride, ignorance, or aggression. And when insecure we pass judgements, we compare and get defensive.

The origin of perception is always from within and not outside. A piece of music may bring pleasure to some and discomfort to others. The same  tourist place may bring happiness to some and displeasure to others.
All the different perceptions we have, arise from our very own minds. Through our prejudices, which is our own creation. Or sometimes through external conditioning, when  we accept what has been taught to us without analyzing or examining its  reliability or authenticity.

The sum total of all our experiences ( the internal reactions to the external events ) and conditioning condense within us and we form a belief system. This belief system is what takes us through our life. Either towards prosperity or towards doom.

Lets have a look at what then could be the winning formula.
Studies show that our brain vibrates at Alpha level (9 to 14 Hz) when in a calm meditative state and at Theta level (4 to 8 Hz) which is the deep relaxation or problem solving state, when all the distracting thoughts are blocked out and  a state of awareness is brought about. Awareness provides the presence of mind to see the assumptions and false beliefs before we invest in them. And when we no longer live by the false beliefs in our mind we no longer have unnecessary emotional reactions. With practice we can choose in the moment not to believe what our mind is saying. This allows us to see the emotional roller coaster coming.

Meditation brings about a stability in the mind and takes us to a state where we no longer ‘react’ (with our emotions), but we ‘respond’ (taking responsibility of our role in the situation and remaining conscious of our feelings, thoughts and reasons and being aware of the bigger picture ).

Self-awareness is empowering. We almost always perceive ourselves as a part of the system outside . We believe that the system and the design outside is fixed and perfect and that we need to fit in there. With self-awareness we can  look at ourselves in isolation. It is in the simplest terms, the discovery of one’s own personality.

Making meditation an integral part of one’s daily routine is the key to the whole predicament.

The mind can weave itself warmly in the cocoon of its own thoughts, and dwell a hermit anywhere.” – James Russell Lowell

TARGET HEALTH :

Today is the  27thday of my self-proclaimed exercise regimen (read my post “The julie and Julia syndrome – day1”). The compulsion I have laid upon myself to be accountable in my blogs for the same has turned out to be a very very successful experiment. I am feeling light. All the aches and pains in my body have disappeared. I have lost most of the flab.
But certain areas like around the waist etc still measure the same.  I have not only, not broken my consistency, but I now aim to link it to some sport. Though I have yet to decide upon something specific. Meanwhile I completed  the basic course of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ‘Art of Living’ .

There is paragliding, there is bungee jumping and then there is the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s  ‘Sudarshan Kriya’ . Only experience will speak. The thrill is something that cannot be put in words.

God’s review of our design features

All of us   would want to have a feed back on what we  have done, be it a performance on the dais or a painting or an article or a home maker’s new dish at the dining table. and so on.

In the same way,  God  Almighty too would have wanted  to  know  right from the mouth of Adam and Eve of what they thought about their body design?

The Holy Bible says that God created Man in His own image. Won’t  “Own image” mean that all parts of our body  are the  same as God’s? So, we can imagine that God too has a head, a face, two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet etc exactly like us.

In one of His usual daily  afternoon visits, God happened to ask, “Adam, are you happy,  my son? Is everything all right?  Do all fruits get digested well?”

Adam didn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘digested’.  So he gave an answer at a tangent “The pine apple pokes my tongue, Father god.”

“Next time, remove he skin and eat.  Okay/” God  had advised.

Adam’s eyes shone at the advice.  Why didn’t it occur to him earlier?.  He had remembered to peel off the banana skin,  but as regards the pine apple…”

But this is not  what God wanted and hence  came straight to the point Himself. “Are you happy with two hands, Adam?”.

After a minute’s pause, Adam said, “Father-God, please give me a tail like the monkeys …”

“Tail?  What for, son?”

“Father God, when I feel  scratchy at the back, Eve refuses to scrape me nicely.  She just runs her palm over the surface and runs off.  That’s why?”

God  turned His head Eve-wards with a jerk.

“Father-God, Adam wriggles and writhes when I touch his skin.  I think he feels tickled.    Hi…hi…hi…”

Interrupting her, Adam said, “If I have a long tail I could scratch my back nicely  right up to the end all by myself until I feel satisfied. I don’t have to depend on Eve, Father-God.”

“ Have you  any suggestions in this regard, Eve?”

“Yes, Father-God.  I would like an eye at the back of my head so I can see who follows me. I could also rub my own back by manipulating my  left arm and the right arm.  I don’t want two eyes in front.”

“Oh !” exclaimed God Almighty.  He felt so pleased that Adam and Eve could think for themselves  so logically, a characteristic that was absent in His other creation in Heaven, the angels, who were almost like robots receiving and  executing the orders faithfully without argument.

But God was in no mood to  alter anything that He had already given His human creation.  “Supposing they ask for two pairs of      hands and two heads ! It may be difficult to convince  them.  They think pretty fast too …..”

“That’s all for today, children.  See you tomorrow..” and God had disappeared for the day.

.

After God  had taken leave of them, Adam took Eve to task.  “Why did you ask for transfer of one eye from the front to the back.?” he demanded.

“Because I want to see what goes on at the back side of me.  You too make fighting gestures standing behind my back, don’t you?”

“Yes, I try to frighten you.  That’s all.  Did  you like my bid for a tail?”

“No.  You should have asked for two more legs so that you could run as fast as the tiger.”

“Even now, I can outrun Mister Tiger, ” Adam asserted.

“No, you can’t. You will lose.  Miser Tiger is too fast, you know? Shall I arrange  a contest, say tomorrow?”

“Okay, “ Adam agreed and looked forward to the dawn of the next day.

‘VEDANTA’, IS NOT CONTRADICTORY TO OTHER FORMS OF KNOWLEDGE

In India, neither Vedanta consider itself contradictory to the empirical sciences, nor those sciences consider themselves contradictory to Vedanta. Rather, all the sciences and knowledge accepted and adopted relevant Vedantic concepts in their own systems.

In the field of sight, the eyes are the authority, and in the sphere of sound, the ears. The one can not do the job of the other. There is no contradiction between the knowledge given by the ears, say fine music, and the knowledge given by the eyes, say the beauty of the songstress, though both are different and are given by different instruments ( senses ) of knowledge. Similarly, man gains different types of knowledge and experience, material and spiritual, through his different faculties, such as the senses, the intellect, intuition, trance and mystic perception. Sense experience can not be a valid authority on the transcendental plane of mystic experience. There is day and night from the stand point of the sun, which is ever shining. So, for knowledge in each field one has to resort to relevant authorities and the related methodology – and not to some world-famous person or system in another field and their methodology.

In the Ayurveda system of medicine, for example, considers man as a spiritual being living association with a physical body and mind. Hence its treatment of the patient is integral and holistic, whereas modern Western medicine  considers man as a Psycho-chemical conglomerate, and its treatment of the patient is of an ad-hoc nature.

Vedanta does not have to give up its own formulations because science has different formulations in its own field. Biology does not give up its idea of chromosomes and genes just because physics has found every thing to be certain subatomic, vanishing fundamental particles. Moreover, Vedanta does not ask science to give up its formulations and accept its own empirical formulations. Scientific formulations are accepted by Vedanta as valid, as far as they go, in the field of science , with its own methods.

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE OF INDIA

INDIA, the ancient ‘BHARATH’ has a culture of its own from the time immemorial. We called our country as ” Bharath Matha”, Bharath our Mother. We were of different religion, faith, custom, and culture from the tip of Cape Comorin  in the south to the Great Himalayas in the north, Hindukush in the west to Burma in the east. Her hospitality to the visitors from other countries and continents were very cordial and friendly, always receiving them with folded hands. But the visitors thought this as our weakness and exploited its special feature of ” Unity in Diversity”. They found it very easy to divide our people and finally succeeded in ruling us. Pakistan thus became one of the by-product of this foreigner’s policy.

We had great Hindu Rulers under whom every body irrespective of religion and faith lived peacefully and likewise there were great Muslim rulers like Akbar the Great, under whom people of all religion lived like brothers.

If this was the story of ancient India, we in modern India too have no religion of its own. All religions are given equal importance under the Indian Constitution. Every place dedicated to the worship of God, be it a temple, a gurdwara, a chaitya, a mosque, a church or a synagogue is a ‘ Devasthana’, a House of God. People visit these holy places to pray and worship. We have places of worship of every description in this country, no matter who built them or how. India, more than any other country, and Hindus, more than any other people, have acknowledged since time immemorial that God cannot be different for different people, no matter how we call Him or how we worship Him. Tolerance and appreciation of the positive elements in other religions is the essence of good living and an investment in our pursuit of happiness. Real history is what we do to build our future upon and not what we resurrect  from the muck and stink of yesteryears. Prayer is the quintessence of every religion. God’s grace will not descend on mankind if religion comes to be misused to promote hatred, violence and terrorism.

OUR BODY AND MIND DURING WALKING,DREAM AND DEEP SLEEP

Our Body and Mind acts differently while we Walk, Dream and Deep Sleep..

In our Walking state our five sense organs present to us five kinds of perceptions: sound, touch, sight, taste and smell. We are also aware of the functioning of the mind: cognition, emotion, feelings and volition. We pass through states of calmness, confusion, stress, strain, joy and misery. When we have pain in the heart, we know whether we need to visit a cardiologist or a psychiatrist: we are able to distinguish between physical and emotional pain. In short, we identify ourselves with the body and mind during the walking state. So we can call this as a State of Alert.

In the Dream state the body is inactive. Though involuntary activities like circulation of blood and breathing continue, the dreamer is not conscious of them, or of his body. For our analysis, we can say that the body is dead from the dreamer’s point of view. He still experiences in dream the five kinds of perception. This proves two things: (1) We have subtle sense organs corresponding to the gross organs ( ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose ), which are inactive in the dream. (2) In the dream the mind makes its presence in two ways: The dreamer experiences pleasure and pain in the dream; and the dream itself is the result of impressions stored in the mind. While in the walking state we are identified with the body and mind, in the dream we are identified only with our mind, for the body then ceases to exist ( for the dreamer ). It is not in state of alert.

In Deep Sleep, both the body and mind cease to exist. The ” I “–which experienced objects in the previous two states– is also apparently non-existent, since there are no objects of perception in sleep. What happens in deep sleep is known only when the person says on waking up,” I slept happily; I didn’t know anything.” During sleep, the ” I ” was free from the bondage of the body and mind, but could not perceive any object. Only the self exists in sleep as the blissful substratum that links the personality that went to sleep with the one that awoke. That is why we say we slept happily. But the happiness in sleep is of an unconscious variety.

Life Management

Life Management By Self-empowerment-1

To find the ways to manage our lives, we have to first understand what life is and what management is?

The difference between a dead and live person: Our body consists of innumerable number of live cells. Each cell is an independent unit. Numbers of cells keep on changing all the time. The dead cells are replaced by the new cells. A person is live till the time this process of change in number of cells in his body is taking place. If this process stops the person is dead. Throughout the life span of a person this process keeps on taking place. Therefore, if one wishes to increase his life span, he has to make sure that this process of change in number of live cells remains active. Moment this process stops he is declared dead.

Now Life (age) of a person in years is the time span between his birth and death. When we say ‘management of life; we mean ‘to manage activity in this time span’. In my opinion, we keep on changing our life span (or remaining-age period) all the time. This happens because of our activities. We can’t survive without activity. Even while sleeping (either relaxing or otherwise) our life span keep on changing. All our activities – god or bad – will have effect on our life span. In other words, our remaining life span is in our hand.

Management is broadly defined as ‘efficient utilisation of all available resources to achieve the desired objective in predefined time frame.’

Now to manage the life we have to define its objectives, available resources and the time period available – to achieve those objectives.

Now let us first understand that time period available (remaining-age) to one is not specified. One can live for a long period or one can die at any moment. So we can’t define time period available. This increases our difficulty to manage life.

Next we have to define objectives of our life. Now each individual may set different objectives for his life. This also makes it impossible to make a fixed formula, which can be universally applied to all persons, for managing life.

Next, resources available also vary from person to person. Resources available may be time, energy, will power, intelligence level, money, manpower, material help, responsibilities etc.

Thus it becomes more difficult to define a universal formula for life management. In short, laying down a plan for life management, which can be applied to all, is not an easy task.

However, we should not leave hope and try to do it.

Firstly let us set an objective that is universally applicable to all living beings, irrespective of time period (remaining-age) and resources available to an individual.

We know – one of the main requirements of good management is efficient utilisation of available resources. Efficient means optimum utilisation of resources to achieve optimum results.

Now it is a well-known fact that our efficiency is optimum when we are happy (i.e. we are in the best mood and our mind is at rest). When we are sad our efficiency is the least.

Therefore, our aim in life should be ‘to remain happy all the time’ so that our efficiency is optimum; and thereby what ever we do we do it to the perfection. Now this objective can be universal, as it is independent of available time or resources.

Now we will try to find ways to achieve this ‘objective of life’ i.e. TO REMAIN HAPPY ALL THE TIME.

In other words, Management of life means – ‘to manage our life in such a way that we are happy all the time’. In other words, we have to control our activities in the present, so that they have good effect on us and we remain happy all the time.

To remain happy all the time we have to understand what happiness is and what are the factors affecting our happiness?

One of the paths to achieve happiness is self-empowerment. And this is the most important path, as any one who is dependent on any one else for any thing can’t remain happy. Can you remain happy in your old age, when you have to depend on others (including doctors or medicines or conveyance etc)? So, we have to depend or rely more on us for our daily requirement. How we can do it?

As we have realised that life can be managed well if one can live it efficiently; and one is most efficient when he is happy.

As the life span of an individual is uncertain one has to live happily all the time. One can not postpone his living happily otherwise his efficiency will go down, and his life span (remaining-age when he can do some activity as per his wish) will reduce.

Living happily all the time means we have to live our life (consciously) in the present, as we can’t live in past or future.

Living in the present means we have to live every moment of our life consciously so that we make sure that we utilise that moment efficiently. The moment not utilised will not come back to us. Our future depends upon our activity in the present. We will reap in future what we sow in the present.

Therefore, we have to empower ourselves so that we live all the time happily. Therefore, one should not waste any moment without efficiently utilising it.

Self-empowerment can be achieved by self-awareness and self-actualisation.

The other important point in life management is – how to increase our life span so that our problem of life management becomes little bit easy. Less the time, more is the difficulty in managing it.

Therefore, we should find methods of increasing our life span – period available to us till our death. This period should be such that we can use it for some creative work – not to feed the body only and curing it with medicines.

This leads us to next important point of living healthy all the time. Unless we are healthy we can’t be happy. We will also see how to remain healthy without having any medicine – whether allopathic, ayurvedic, homeopathy or of any other pathy.

(To be concluded…)

(Presented by: Harish Nagpal, [email protected])

The Two Worlds

I love to watch people
I love to watch their complexities
I love to watch the brawls, conflicts, struggles, pleadings
I love to watch the affection, warmth, love and caresses

It’s a vast world of differences and likelihood
It’s a vast world of connectivity and estrangement
So many faces, so many minds, souls
So many identities, distinctiveness, uniqueness

Then there is another world
Inside my heart where I dwell with my solitude
Silent, placid, tranquil, serene and peaceful.

Past Life Memories

Those steps I see
Do they lead to heaven?
Is it God’s abode,
A few hundred steps above?
The heavenly ring of bells,
Wakes me up before sunrise,
Memories take me back
To a land unknown
As I struggle to recollect,
Those disturbing visions
They lose vividness of color
The nomadic life
Landed me up in this place
Far away from home
Amongst unfamiliar surroundings,
It is natural to feel lonely and lost.
Through my bedroom window
I watch the sun sets
And the moon rises
From the other side of the mountain.
Those narrow steps leading to the top,
May have something to behold.
Sometimes I get a glimpse
Of two small feet
Running up the steps,
With the musical clinking of her anklets,
Everything around seems familiar
For a fraction of a second
Then the moments fade away
What can that be,
If not some visuals from my past life??

Janmashtami,A Hindu Festival,September2nd

Janmashtami , an enchanting Hindu festival

Janmashtami  also called Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated by all Hindus in India.It is one of the sweetest concepts on which a festival is founded. It is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aavani[which normally falls in September,] and Lord Krishna’s birth star is Rohini. Lord Krishna was supposed to be born at midnight and it normally rains during the birth of Krishna. This period coinciding with the southwest monsoon, it does rain. But, even in  Tamil Nadu, where south west monsoon is not always accompanied by rain in certain parts , it does rain or at least drizzle.

The Hindus adorn their households with a beautiful Rangoli, and the baby feet of Lord Krishna are seen walking from the threshold to the shrine in the house, where His idol and pictures are kept and decorated with flowers.

The belief is  that Baby Krishna is walking into every devotee’s house and   the  petal soft  chubby little feet  leave pearly imprints there. These imprints are seen in white kolams  on the floor. Baby  Krishna walks into the house and happily helps himself to His favorite dishes.

Many people fast during the day and they make certain special dishes as an offering to Lord Krishna. A famous quote from the Divya Prabhandam[a religious text in Tamil]  where  it talks of “Appamudan aval kalandha  sitrurundayum akkaravadisalum[1]’,has inspired some people to make these dishes and offer them to Lord Krishna.

Krishna is said to be a lover of butter, beaten rice etc.., and these are offered to Him along with other fruits, kheer, condensed milk etc..People prepare these with love and affection for the beautiful baby  Krishna., All chant prayers invoking the Lord and sing songs  praising Him.

There is fun and merriment in different parts of India and many youngsters celebrate this in different ways. The idol of Lord Krishna is taken round the streets in a  procession in some places. There are games  where  youngsters participate in ‘uriyadi’ , a game where pots are tied on top of poles and the boys stand on the shoulders of other boys in circles and try to reach the top and win the prize in the pot. ] This Uriyadi’ function is another episode in Lord Krishna’s colorful childhood.

India is rich in its diversity and the festival has quaint little differences  in the way it is celebrated in various parts of India, but the spirit is one, one of devotion and love to Lord Krishna.

This is one of the most enchanting festivals of the  Hindu Religion.


[1] appam-a sweet dish made of riceflour,jaggery,coconut

aval-beaten rice

sitrurundai-round sweet balls made of coconut and jaggery also called sukiyan

akkaravadisal-kheer made of condensed milk and jaggery and dry fruits.

Who am I!

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?

At the doorway of most ancient mysterious mystery schools

Are these autograph – Man Know their self

The question here is – Do you know who you are?

Have you ever asked yourself – Who am I?

We all know that you are a two-legged creature

Creatures looking like you are called human beings

Do you know who you really are?

Everybody around probably knows your full name

You too know all your given names and nicknames

We all know that human beings are more than names

Do you know who you really are?

Do you know your own likes and dislikes?

Do you know what you like doing in your spare-time?

Apart from your profession, what else do you do?

Do you know your strengths and abilities?

Do you know your weaknesses and faults?

Do you know your potentials as a human being?

Do you know you were born with some natural talents?

Everybody knows their own sign of the zodiac

The question here is – are human limitations

decided and controlled by their sign of the zodiac?

All things been equal, there are good and bad people

in every zodiac sign, while there are rich and poor

people also in every astrological sign

To attribute your weaknesses and failures to astrology

is a sure evidence of fallacy and self-delusion

Do you know who you really are?

Look at yourself in the mirror

Let today be the start of your self-analysis

Your journey to self-discovery has began

A new event at India a dog realization itself.

By this knowledge it offered prayers to lord Rama.

Sri Krishna

Krishna is God himself, the Absolute, the Brahman, the Supreme being, the complete incarnation of Vishnu, and the great exponent of the Bhagavat Gita. To his devotees, Krishna is the favourite philosopher, teacher and friend. In fact, Lord Krishna and the Lord who dwells in the heart of all beings is one and the same.
The Vedic “uttama sidhanta” which is Srimad Bhagavatham confirms Krishna as the “source of all Avtars and the cause of all causes.” Lord Krishna is the deliverer of the Bhagavat Gita. Krishna when he was on earth as an avatara protected the virtuous, redeemed the wicked by ending their worldly existence and established righteousness on earth.
According to the sentiment and faith of the worshipper the form of God- realization varies. Realization of Krishna by his Grace helps one come out of his ignorance. Doubts and confusion are dispelled, and one’s Karma is exhausted.
Bhagavat Gita, the words of Krishna discuss at length the paths of devotion, knowledge and action.The Lord advices to follow the path of action with special emphasis on devotion.
He who worships Krishna as his own self, becomes one with Brahma or the Absolute. Bhagavatam describes Him as this—“To those who regard him as absolute or formless, he is devoid of attributes or form (XII.3). To those who look upon him as qualified and formless, he is possessed of attributes though devoid of form. (VIII.9). To those who view him as almighty, all-supporting, all-pervading, all-surpassing, i.e, adorned with all excellent virtues, he is endowed with all noble virtues(XV.15) To those who hold him as embracing everything, he embraces all.(VII.7-12). To those who recognize him as possessed of form and attributes both, he reveals himself as such. (IV.8)”
Bhagavatham says- “ He who looks upon well-wishers and neutrals as well as mediators, friends and foes, relatives and objects of hatred, the virtuous and the sinful, with the same eye, stands Supreme” …That’s Krishna.
Krishna was born in the Dwarpara Yuga. He is embodiment of love and divine joy. Krishna is an instigator of all forms of knowledge and born to establish the religion of love. He came as the messenger of peace.
Lord Krishna in Bhagavat Gita mentions the merits of Knowledge with realization. The Sanskrit verse can be translated as; “This knowledge with realization, is the sovereign of sciences, and mysterious, and is, supremely holy, most excellent, directly realizable, very easy to practice and is imperishable.

Amen to Truth

I have seen many people who would never tell the truth right away. Some lie outright and some are just so scared to tell the truth! They fumble, hide, make up fake stories and become hated in the whole process so much so that it becomes their habitual thing. Like the other day as I was coming down from the ICU, I heard one doctor speaking on phone telling the caller that he was on the over bridge and would be right there in 5 minutes! No way could that doctor would have reached that place in five minutes! He had a straight face but others had utter disgust for that same person they look up to as “God’!  He was being demoted to a liar in seconds!

Nothing could be grosser than to lie when you have a better option. I can understand why some people lie. They are fearful of the consequences that they might have to go through on being truthful. But then, there is no better choice than to tell the truth and be guilt free in life. White lies are still OK since we are saving others from some harsh reality but I would most certainly loathe a liar who just speaks untrue things habitually.

I personally, however tough it may sound, never quite get to the point where I have to lie. White lies are fine sometimes and I have been there as well but making up stories and cheating is just so gross. I believe, there is but one truth. No burden, no guilt- only sometimes we have to be careful the way we deliver it because truth is not always taken in the right spirit and may hurt people who should not be punished. So, for me, there is only one truth, one guilt free option and one beautiful life.

Shakuntala’s grief

The Kalidasa Mahakavya Abhinjanashakunthalam is the story of King Dushyantha and Shakunthala retold from the Mahabharatha.

King Dushyantha while hunting in the forest meets the beautiful Ashrama kanya Shakunthala and they fall in love..Without the consent of her father she agrees for the Gandharva vivah with the king. When he leaves to his palace, he promises to come back and escort her to the palace. He gives her a signet ring.
One day Shakuntala was lost in thoughts while the sage Durvasa appears. She fails to notice him.
The temperamental sage curses her: “He whose thoughts have engrossed you would not remember you anymore.”
Shakuntala’s grief had no bounds, she pleads to the saint for mercy to take back the curse. The sage calms down and tell her the king would remember her when she shows him a souvenir given by him.
Shakunthala was pregnant and her father sends her to the palace. On the way she lost the signet ring and Durva’s curse comes true. She comes back to the ashram rejected by the king. She gave birth to a boy. They live in the Ashram.

Once Maharishi Viswamitra came in search of Kashyap muni. He felt the sanctity of the Kashyapashram in the thick forest. The singing of the birds and the fragrance of wild flowers welcomed him. He sat under the Ashoka tree and sent his shishya to inform his presence.
Meanwhile a young boy runs to him and sits on his lap. Viswamitra felt an affection to the boy and hugs him. His mother comes in search of the kid.
The young woman attracted the sage’s attention. She looked very familiar. “I know you. You are Menaka.” he said to himself.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“I’m Shakunthala. I’m Kashyap muni’s dasi.” she whispered.”When I was born my parents seperated and my mother left me in this ashram”. There was pain in her voice.
Raja Dushyanth married me but abandoned due to the curse of Maharshi Durvasa.
“Who is your father?” Viswamitra asked.
“Brahmashri Viswamitra” she said.
“She is my daughter! Menaka is her mother.” Viswamitra held her affectionately and whispered. “I’m Viswamitra, your father.”
Tears flowing down her cheeks, Shakuntala touched her father’s feet for blessings. “This is my fate, father. I blame no one.”
Viswamitra overwhelmed by the purity of his daughter’s noble thoughts, blessed her. “You will join your husband soon and lead the life of a queen.”
His blessings came true and she lived in the palace with her son Bharatha. It is after the Prince Bharatha, the country got its name, Bharat.

The Color Eight on My Rainbow

“Laugh as Much as You Breathe and Love as Long as You Live.”

We are in the middle of another year we did live it. Some very well, some of us not so well but we did live it. Life is like that. No matter how difficult it seems, how sad, how upsetting it appears we live on. Nothing is more normal than living. But then, the way we choose to live, the way we choose our priorities and precedence, the way we face and live the obstacles, make us happy or sad at the end of the day.

How did it matter if I had smiled at that infamous fellow who was unnerving everyone with his uncharitable behavior? How did it matter if I had helped that old lady crossing the lane or how much time would I have spent, had I stopped by the unknown flower and appreciated it! Now, as I look back, I can only feel sorry about it now. I should have listened to my heart instead of frowning over some deadlines, some drudgery. Yes, I should have. I cannot do anything about it now except regretting the moments when I did not listen to my heart. Time is like sand, we cannot hold it on our palms. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

I have learned one thing, that one thing that I would like to go along with for the rest of my life. We must take charge of the kind of living we are supposed to live. We must not frown over what could have been, what should have been and what ifs. Focusing my consciousness to a greater and better goal and living it as my conscience tells me to, will help me face the ordeal positively. No blaming game, no regrets, no remorse. Being myself, loving and living life to the fullest, forgetting, letting go, smiling more often, being able to take the censures and learning from them and enjoying life with others around me – that sounds terrific, isn’t it? We cannot rewind the cycle of life, neither can we live it again. We cannot get back to 2009; we can only look forward to 2010 with a different kind of effort if we are not happy with the present. Doing things differently will yield a different result, may be better and more beautiful.

I have never taken any resolutions ever, nor did I make any pledges. This year also, I haven’t, for long term goals never work for me and especially in today’s perspective when I do not quite know what’s going to happen tomorrow. So, no resolutions – only more consciousness, more awareness and more perception, more righteousness with an evolving support system, happiness network that uplift me spiritually.

I have dived into the depth of my inner self. The first dive was very scary but soon I started liking the challenge. The fear comes when we are unsure, hesitant and ignorant but once we know where our beings are, what we want – we are vibrant with the color of life. I have just begun to enjoy the vibrancies of life. It’s ecstatic! It’s a new color in my life – the color 8 on my rainbow. I call it the color sun.

Do you rightly divide your time?

Life is like a mission.  We are always in a hurry to do as much as we can and gather whatever comes our way. Sometimes we feel that even twenty four hours in a day are not enough. We crave for more and more. Shall we always keep running after things and goals or shall we sit and ponder at any point of time? We need to give pause to fast paced activities of our lives; else we will lose the charm of living our lives. It reminds me of a story told by my Professor of philosophy  in our class.

One day our Professor came in the class with a big transparent jar of glass.  He put the jar on the table and started filling it up with Table Tennis balls. He filled the jar completely with the tennis balls and no more space was left. He asked the students in the class – “What do you think, is the jar full with balls?”

Students said – “Yes, sir, it appears full”.

Thereafter, the Professor brought some small pebbles and starting putting those pebbles in the jar. When he shook the glass jar many small pebbles settled in it.

He again asked the same question to the students – “What do you think, is the jar full now?”

Students said – “Yes, sir, it appears full now”.

Then the Professor brought a small bag of sand and started pouring the sand in the glass jar. Now the sand settled in the spaces in between the tennis balls and small pebbles. The students felt stumped as their assessment about the ‘full jar’ proved wrong.

The Professor again threw the same question to the students – “What do you think, is the jar full now?”

All the students said unanimously – “Yes, sir, it is really full now”.

The Professor pulled out two cups of tea from a side table and poured the same in the glass jar. The sand absorbed all the tea.

The he started explaining to us – “Look my dear students! You should consider this glass jar as your life”. He continued – “The tennis balls are most important part of your life and they are like your God, your family, your children, your friends and your health and interests/hobbies. The small pebbles means your job/profession, car/scooter and your house and sand means trivial matters, conflicts and quarrels. If you had first of all filled sand in the jar, then you would not have been able to fill up it with tennis balls and pebbles. Or initially, if you had filled it up with pebbles, you would not have been able to put in the tennis balls, though sand would have come in the jar.”

He explained further – “the same principle applies in our lives. If you continue to run after trivial matters or give importance to meaningless chores then you would not be able to spare time for your family, friends and other bigger issues. It is for you to decide what is important for your welfare and peace. You should spare time to play with your children, to water the plants, to be able to go for a walk with your wife/husband. You should throw away the useless items/things from our home and get yourself medically checked up to remain fit and healthy. You should worry about ‘tennis balls’, which are most important in your lives, rest all is like sand.”

The students were listening with rapt attention. Suddenly one of the students asked – “Sir, you did not explain, what about two cups of tea?”

The Professor smiled back and retorted – “I was thinking, how come you did not ask this question so far”

He said – ‘My dear students, though the life may appear complete and saturated, however, you must spare time to have a cup of tea with your dearest friend”.

We all were spell bound to listen to his teachings.

Do you apply these principles in your life? I try my best to adopt these principles in my life.

What is the meaning of Easter?

This year, Easter falls on 4 April. This day may mean nothing to you, if you are a non-Christian. The pity is, it is not even a public holiday  in India. Easter is always on a  Sunday year after year.  For us Christians, it is a great festival.  You need to know something about Easter as a matter of general knowledge.

On this day, Jesus Christ became alive after 3 days inside the grave. He breathed His last on the cross three days earlier;  that day is called ‘Good Friday’. Good Friday and Easter are one unit, one following the other. Resurrection  is a distinctive and second to none event. A dead man coming to life and  remembering everything of his previous life! Incredible  indeed.  Such second life hasn’t been  granted to  any human being in the  world till now.  If it has happened to some one, he cannot be an ordinary earthling like us but someone exclusive from some other world.  Jesus  is that  extraordinary man. He did not belong to the Earth. Actually, He is a Man-God.  He was fully Man and fully God.  As Man he died and as God, He rose from the dead.  Death could have no dominion over Him. 

You would  surely like to know why Lord Jesus died if He was destined to live again?  There is a strong logic behind it. At the beginning of time, God created Adam and Eve and placed them  in a beautiful habitat called, “Garden of Eden”. This couple had full freedom to do what they liked and live how they wished.  Their food was only fruits from all kinds of trees. God had announced one restriction that they should not eat the fruit of a particular tree. “If you eat it, you would die,” He had told them. They did eat that forbidden fruit tricked by Satan. They had become instantly unholy and sinners but they didn’t die. God had pended their death punishment.   The Creator didn’t want to execute them as per  His verdict.  He applied the same rule for  their future  descendants also who were billions in number because He had a tremendous love for the earthlings.  He wanted to save the human race  from annihilation at any cost; nor could God   condone  the death punishment.  It had to be gone through. He had thought of a via media. “Why not one holy  person die in place of  the billions of sinners?”  The trouble was, God could not find even one holy person in the entire world.  If anybody it was only  God himself. He only could die as a substitute. For that, He had to become a Man and  born of a woman as well.  That’s how one Mary, a virgin, conceived without a human father and gave birth to baby Jesus. There has been no virgin birth in the world history.  A virgin born Man is an unparalleled person, isn’t he and he was a holy being too? Such a Man  was qualified to be a proxy for the billions of condemned human beings.

So, God had carried out the  judgment proclaimed in garden of Eden by making Jesus die on the cross in our place.  Jesus is God in a different personality, that’s all.

Jesus  lived on the Earth for 33 ½ years and performed several miracles to prove His divinity.

Jesus’  death on the cross had a second purpose too.

When  God created Adam and Eve, His expectation was that these two and later  their off springs  should live on the Earth, enjoy everything  God had planted  in it, lead a good life and ascend  to  Heaven at a certain stage of their life. Probably Adam and Eve and their lineage  were not assigned to die at all and were  travel to Heaven in their original shape.  But by eating the forbidden fruit, they not only  invited physical death but also had  lost their place in Heaven.

For stepping into Heaven one has to be hundred percent holy. Heaven is not a place for sinners.   Although the human race had been exempted from the death  punishment , they continued to be sinners in God’s view. Adam and Eve were holy initially   and their children too would  have been holy.  But through disobedience the first couple  had become unholy and this sin had been mounted on their off springs too. In  the post-fall period,  Man could not make himself sinless and  holy  no matter however much he may try. God knew our total helplessness in this regard. Yet, God wanted  every earthling to come and live with Him in Heaven. Therefore, He made Jesus’  blood,  shed on the cross,  to   cleanse us all completely and make us fully  holy to  be able to enter into Heaven.  To enjoy this great  gift,  all one is required to do is, “To have full Faith and Trust   in Lord Jesus Christ and in His sacrifice on the Cross.”  It’s as simple as that. The resurrected Lord Jesus thus has made Himself  the lone  Salvation giver.

And here comes a bomb shell.  You cannot walk  into Heaven by any other method because no one could give you cent percent holiness except Lord Jesus nor could you lead a holy life yourself.  Such holiness will be bestowed upon you at the time of your earthly death.

Jesus is the only Way to Heaven and there is no  other. That’s the message of Easter.

Ganesha

Why Hindus start everything after worshipping Ganesha? Ganesha or Ganpathy is Vighneswar, who removes all obstacles.
Ganesha is the most widely worshipped deity of the Hindus. Ganesha is known by many attributes. He is easily identified by his elephant head. The other name by which he is known is Vighneswara, which means, the ‘ Lord of Obstacles’. He can remove as well as create obstacles in ones’ life. Today before any venture is undertaken, it is Ganesh who is invoked and whose blessings are sought. Ganesha is the Lord of intellect and wisdom. At the start of every puja, ritual and ceremony Ganesh vandan is done to honour him so that the functions go well without any obstacles.
Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. He has a brother, Skanda. A competition between Ganesha and his brother was held as to see who could circumambulate the three worlds faster and hence win the fruit of knowledge. Skanda went off on a journey to cover the three worlds while Ganesha circumambulated his parents. When asked why he did so, he explained that his parents Shiva and Parvati constituted the three worlds and thus he won the fruit of knowledge.
Ganesha is also known as Ekadanta, referring to His one whole tusk and the other broken. Devotees say that his single tusk indicates his ability to overcome all forms of dualism. They also believe the single tusk is a symbolism to retain the good and throw away the bad. Devotees interpret his elephant head as indicating intelligence, discriminative power, and think big. The large elephant ears are said to denote wisdom and listen more. It is easy to please Ganesha. A handful of roasted rice would satiate Ganesha, if it were offered with humility and love.
The scriptures dedicated to Ganesha are the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana, and the Ganapati Atharvashirsa. Ganesha is often shown riding on a mouse, it symbolizes Tamoguna, as well as desire. Desire unless it is controlled can cause havoc. ‘You ride the desire and keep it under control, and don’t allow it to take you for a ride’ is the message. Ganesha is considered to be the Lord of letters and learning. Ganesha is identified with the Hindu mantra Aum. Omkaraswaroopa is Ganesha which refers he personifies the primal sound ‘AUM’
Hinduism believes the kundalini shakti, the great spiritual potential, waiting to be aroused and brought back up to the source from which it originated, Brahman. Muladhar is a subtle abode of Ganapati. In Ganapati Atharvashirsha, it is mentioned that “one who worships Lord Ganapati would easily grasp the concept and realize Brahman.”