Thursday, June 16, 2011

56. Control over Senses - Indriya Nigraha.

Control over five senses is a difficult notion but is easy to comprehend if we start with the fundamentals. Human beings have five sensory organs: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Our mind and body depend on these five senses for the information of the outer world. With the relevant information’s supplied from these five organs our body functions through movement of muscles or release of chemicals in the bloodstream to activate any sensors. The inputs given by the sense organs make our mind feel the emotions of joy, excitement, apprehension or desire. The mind is not in contact with the outer world by itself. If the five sense organs give the information of the outer world to the mind then the individual reacts to it sometimes he is trounce by panic, rambling with delight, overjoyed by excitement, bewildered by anxiety, unsteady by desire and so on. If we do not have a suitable method to filter and control the inputs from the five senses then our mind will have to bear the consequences of all the worldly experiences. So without the help of the five sense organs our mind is cut off to the outer world. It is near impossible for us to cut off the five sense organs from the world.

Even though the five senses is outwardly focused, it is our mind which will be enthusiastic to the information provided, for instance if we are on the way to attend the funeral of a close relative and we happen to pass by a place where a film shooting unit is picturising a song sequence where the actress is clad in skimpy dress, even though our eyes are seeing the event does our mind which is engrossed in the thought of the death of the relative interested? No, why? Just because it is not in a position to entertain the inputs provided by the sight.

Once Veda Vyasa and his son Sukha Muni walked past a river. There were many young girls taking bath in the river. When they saw Sukha Muni, they continued to bathe, without any shyness. But the moment they saw Vyasa, they hastened to cover themselves with clothes.

Vyasa was old man but Sukha Muni was youth. Vyasa was surprised by their act and asked them why they did so. The girls replied that they had to cover themselves in the presence of a man. Then what about Sukha Muni, who had just passed by, Vyasa wondered and wanted to know. Why had they not covered themselves when Sukha Muni had passed by?

The girls replied that Sukha Muni would not notice that which is outside, for he saw nothing but would be engrossed in Self. But Vyasa had his five senses beaming to the outer world and so they had to cover themselves up. Vyasa himself was a great sage. And yet even could not attain the state which his son had reached, namely Indriya Nigraha, control over senses and was not in a position keep his eye sight away from the body of the young girls. Sukha Muni was in this sense superior to his father.

To ensure avoidance of unwanted inputs to our mind from our five sense organs, we need to develop a system that filters and controls the input. This control system which Patanjali Maharshi explains in the Yoga Sutras is Indriya Nigraha, an ability to shut out or restrain from the information and related instinctive reactions from the five sense organs at our choice.

55. Everything is Pre-planned, Nothing happens by Chance!!!!

In our life span we come across people from whom we get some sort of help, or learn something from them and then we conclude that these happenings are coincidence. We never know who these people are they maybe our neighbour, colleague, an old friend, or a complete stranger. The moment we meet them we are assured that something will influence our life in some profound way. This is termed as Runanubhandha. The Karmic debts (Rina) lead to bondage or attachment (Bhandha). These Karmic attachments pull us into the wheel of existence.

“Runaanubandha rupena Pashu, Patni, Sutha, Alaya”. --------- “We get material comforts like vehicle, wealth, wife/husband, children, House we live in, friends etc., according to our Karma.”

Sometimes the interaction with those people may seem ghastly, agonizing, and unreasonable at the beginning, but in the process we realise that without undergoing those obstacles we would have never estimate their support, strength, helping nature in them. Everything is per-planned and nothing happens by accident. But this is not that very easy to understand but time will let us know by unfolding the mysteries. Not a thing happens by chance or by means of luck.

Grievance, ill health, adoration, moments of glory, and utter idiocy all occur to analysis the limits of our endurance with these people. Without these small assessments our life would be like a smoothly road taking us nowhere. It would be secure and at ease, but boring and utterly meaningless.

People we meet in a way shape our life in the success and disgraces we experience, help us in molding our self and making us understand who we are. Even the dreadful experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most touching and important ones.

The gist of Bhagavad Gita is:

“Whatever happened, it happened well.
Whatever is happening, it is happening well.
Whatever will happen, it will also happen well.”

There is a Chinese story of an old farmer who had an old horse for tilling his fields. One day the horse escaped into the hills and, when all the farmer's neighbours sympathised with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

A week later the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills and this time the neighbours congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

Then, when the farmer's son was attempted to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Some weeks later the Kings army marched into the village and enrolled every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg they let him off. Now was that “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

54. I Bow to the Divinity in You!!!!!!!

“I bow to the Divinity in You!” This sentence was always used by Swami Rama of Himalayas whenever he used to address a gathering. True, a person should understand that we are all the creations of Supreme. All are Divine as I am. We all are basically an eternal, imperishable and immortal Atma.

We are not this perishable body nor the agitated and contaminated mind filled with egotism, annoyance, audacity, greed, cravings, etc. Neither are we this inadequate and fixed intelligence which, at times is prone to error and fails us at very crucial period. But beyond body, senses, mind, and intellect, we shine dazzling as an eternal and immortal Atma.

Not that we are not interested in identifying the Divinity but ours is a weird way of looking at it, we are fascinated in the “miracles” of Divinity like the “Shirdi Sai Baba Statue idol opens eyes” or“a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary began dripping water” or “statue of Lord Ganeshji drinking milk”. If we look at in our daily life there are many more miracles happening which are the acts of Divinity like, “the painted canvas at the Sun rise in horizon” or “ the peeing out sprout from the seed” or “the bud blossoming fully as a flower.” These are also the acts of Divinity which we ignore.

A greeting with two hands together gesture, named “Namaste” has come into our culture as a universally accepted as harmless gesture. It does have a spiritual significance also. A namaste greeting is when someone puts their palms together with fingers pointing upward and gives a slight bow to another person. It means that the person who is doing this gesture is acknowledging the presence of Supreme in the other person. It literally means “may our minds meet.” This world would be a better place if we recognise the Divinity in others. But first we have to discover the Divine in ourselves and conduct our lives in a peaceful, spiritual manner to be able to find Divinity in others. It is the concern of humanity and humility. It is a way of changing our world and life by allowing the experience of love and compassion to happen inside of us. It is about humbling our self and setting aside our ego to recognize the Divinity in all others, and ultimately in our self.

Divinity is beyond description in any way but is imminent as a witness in the whole universe of living and nonliving things. It is like oil in a seed, aroma in a flower, ghee in the milk, fire dormant in the fire-wood, sweet juice in a fruit. Just as Supreme remains hidden like the thread that holds the pearls in a necklace. He pervades the entire universe. The prime duty of man is to recognize the Divinity and to convey his experience to every single person in the society.

In Bhagavad-Gita Lord Krishna says:

Vidyavinyasampanne Brahmane Gavi Hastini: Shunichaiva Shvapake Cha Panditah Samdarshinah (Bhagavad-Gita 5.18)

“A learned person sees a dog, a dog-eater, an elephant, a cow and a brahmana all on an equal level."

The only solution to eradicate casteism and racism is this sloka from Bhagavad Gita. The hatred among the humans will definitely be solved once we start recognizing the Divinity in others. The white men think that they are better than black, simply because of the colour of the skin which is perishable. Another rift is between the communists and the capitalists always friction and disharmony on account of peripheral differences. Bhagavad Gita teaches us to see the equal nature in all living individuals, both in their happiness and distress, because the living individual is not a product of material energy, but the material energy is created by the living force.

53. Our Richness is in Contentment!!!!!!!!!!

The wisest person is the one who lives within his income and tries to spend less than what he is capable of earning. This attitude stops him from going into debt. But in this prevailing scenario we are made to purchase through our plastic cards and are bound to be debtors for the whole life. May be I am wrong but this plastic cards have made us get into the habit of impulse buying.

Contentment is richness, craving is poverty. Craving for more is a sign of inadequacy and the moment we feel so we are beggars. A wealthy business man who is always interested in making more money than becoming successful in business is really a beggar. For that matter a daily wagers coolie who earns few rupees and feel contented is a crorepati. For at least he does not have nagging feeling of lack and the beggarly attitude of more. A successful man may not be the happiest one but a happy man will surely be a success in life. It is observed that in contentment one is in abundance he infact has enough to spare for his fellow beings. Once contented there is nothing that can make us unhappy about. If the craving is rejected then in one moment we can experience that the object we were yearning for follows us this is the law of abundance.

Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase. For some contentment is moral laziness but it is not true, contentment is in terms of the material obsession not for the work attitude. Working is different and earning is different, as we know that a person who works like a donkey may not earn more while a person who is not so good at doing work may earn more. So the term contentment should not be taken as moral laziness. One should do sincere efforts in any endeavor, but be ready for whatever happens to the result. True contentment is not about having or not having possession of object; it is actually about the contentment of the soul. Like a person in water never feels thirsty.

Contentment is easily being developed in us by looking at the brighter side of life rather than traveling nomadic waywardly in the darkness of hankering. Discontentment has a lot of tentacles which holds our peace of mind and we are never satiated and satisfied, in the mad rat race for achieving what others have materialistically. We sacrifice our ethics, values and even ignore conscience in an attempt to materialize our desires and fulfilling our malcontent mind. The evident result is loss of peace, dignity and contentment. Contentment is to be derived from within. We cannot get from external sources. It’s something which is within ourselves and we are to bring it to surface.

There was a sage who put out a board on a vacant ten acres site which read like this “THIS 10 ACRES SITE BELONG TO ME I AM WILLING TO GIFT IT TO A PERSON WHO PROVIDE ME THE PROOF THAT HE IS CONTENTED” in response to this many would approach him and the sage would laugh and tell them, “If the 10 acres site is a necessity, then you are not contented.”

52. Facts of Karma Unveiled!!!!!!

Karma is universal law that says every psychological, emotional and physical act how much ever insignificant it is ultimately comes back to us with same impact. There are many misconceptions about Karma. This is an attempt to go into details of it and try to understand Karma better.

Karma is not what we often hear when people in distress tell like: “may be this is my Karma” or “that is his Karma.” The expression like this will symbolize Karma as something bad, which is not true.

Then is Karma our destiny? No, every individual has free will. And no external force can act on our life. If destiny means something expected which is firm and controlled by mystic power then Karma and destiny are not the same. Karma is the after effect of individuals past deeds. In Sanathana Dharma Supreme is not responsible for our destiny. We are the creators of our own destiny by the virtue of past deeds. Past deeds determine the present, and the present deeds decide the future according to the doctrine of Karma. Karma is not the thoughts alone even our words and action are responsible for good, bad or mixed destiny.

Can our prayers to Supreme protect us from the remorse of our bad Karma? No, we have this habit of accusing Supreme. “Why has God done this to me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” Supreme has no hand in intensifying or diluting our Prarabdha Karma. Prarabdha Karma is like the money that is withdrawn from the account which has to be spent whatever happens. Then what is the meaning of prayer, prayers are meant for us to keep our mind calm so that we don’t accumulate bad Karma in future.

So Karma inherited in the past life cannot be modified??? Yes, we can modify, it is a simple equation of deposits. The Sanchita Karma is like deposits. Here it is still in the account (not encashed) so if we acquired sufficient credit by doing good Karma it may wipe out the effect of bad Karma, the one in the deposit. (Never mistake for the one which is already encashed which has to be spent).

Can Karma be completely wiped out???? Yes it can be wiped off, In Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4, Sloka 37, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna “Just as blazing fire burns firewood to ashes, true knowledge attained by the grace of God, through a Guru, burns all Karma to ashes.” Here Lord Krishna is specific on the Sanchita Karma (deposit) not Prarabdha Karma, which anyhow will get exhuasted at the end of the indviduals life span.Sanchita can be wiped out only if we do deeds with an atittude of non-doership.

Can astrology cause or dictate Karma? No, astrology is an actual relation between us and the characteristics of the solar system and certain star huddles. But it is not a cause and effect relation. Planets and stars don’t cause or dictate Karma. Their orbital relationships establish proper conditions for Karma to activate which is unavoidable. Then what is the use of doing all the rituals in the name of astrology then? Shear solace for the disturbed mind. Once a person is acquainted with the Law of Karma then he is not worried about the hurdles in life and will not go to correct his astrological status. And for this a strong mind that accepts Law of Karma is needed.

Does past Karma alone can lead to success without any effort???? No, the results of past Karma alone cannot lead to success unless our efforts are utmost. That is why in the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna after informing Arjuna that his destiny favors win in the battle advises Arjuna to fight. In Chapter 11 Sloka 33, the Lord Krishna says “Arise, o Arjuna, conquer thy enemies, enjoy the kingdom and win the glory.” Although the impact of an individual's past Karma cannot be underestimated, it is the effort the one must utilize as free will.

So there cannot be free will because the present life is determined by the past Karma????? No again, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, our first Vice-President said “In the game of life, the cards are given to us, we do not have the opportunity to select them, they are traced to our past Karma, but we can throw and pick cards in the play as we please, and do what suit to us and as we play we gain or lose. And that is what free will is.”

51. Arranged or love, Marriages sustain only with LOVE!!!!!!!

In an arranged marriage the groom and bride will have little or no say. This is because the elders of the family believe that marriage is not merely a union between a man and a woman, it is a merger of two families. Hence many other factors will be given more preference apart from getting the consent of the couple. The compatibility of not only the couple, but also that of the two families, the monetary security of the young couple, social and other support networks essential for a descent living is also considered relevant. After all these factors are considered only then do they ask the choice to the couple concerned and sometimes they don’t also. If asked, what the couple who are not known to each other would decide about? It is not only looks but they need to understand if their mentalities match. This is the only small setback in an arranged marriage the bride and groom are not sure if they are of same wavelength. More importantly in such kind of marriages there is the support of all the family members in case something may go wrong in future, they will volunteer to settle the minor issues that may crop up as in all marriages.

In love marriage only the couple concerned has the say and they agree to marry because they are in love with each other in spite of cultural differences which may seem unconcern at that time. According to this criterion, it may be love at first sight or it may occur as the time passes on. Love is blind they say, so no comments on it. The positive note about this type of marriage is that the couple would have understood each other well, having said that there is one more side to consider the couple would also indulge in impressing each other when in courtship. In that case the either of them will come to know about the real nature only after marriage. This is one of the major reasons for the break up here.

The selection of a life partner is a huge task it requires to know the temperament, adjusting nature, academic interest, and financial potential of the would-be-spouse. It is near to impossible to meet all our requirements which we expect in the partner. The process involved in arranged marriages is to see that maximum of the overall requirement is taken into account with virtual importance of each aspect. It is done more in an implicit rather than in an explicit manner. Also, it is based on the theory that the partners can discover and establish to love each after marriage even though they have not met before. This is not impractical but a possible anticipation if parents own experience is taken into account if theirs is an arranged marriage.

There are statistics which imply that love marriages are more susceptible to break compared to arrange marriage. We cannot take it as a thumb rule and conclude that all love marriages end up breaking or all arranged marriages stick together. If we believe what these statistics indicate? Love marriages more importantly which appears to be love at first sight or that which happen at inappropriate age may not be a safe or adequate basis for choosing a partner for life. In this statement we should not mean that love in a marriage is irrelevant. On contrary, it is very important. Love in not just liking for each other. Indeed, no marriage can last without love for each other.

The important observation to be made is that whether it is the arranged marriage or the love marriage, if it has to sustain then there should be love, understanding and compassion for each other. There should be no clash of ego and respecting each other is the key. A long-lasting commitment to each other's well-being keeps the marriage going and this is more important than anything else. In the end it is not the type of marriage that matters but more importantly it is how well the couple jell with each other.

With all this phases considered parents have to advice the youngsters who are students, the difference between infatuation and love. They should make them understand that there is always a right time to think about it and right now it is time to think of their studies and set their mind in career development. Once they feel they have settled they can consider about who would be their life partner, of course with the concern of the parents. If parents are taken into confidence in this matter, they will and should support. If this is inevitable then there is no point in opposing the wishes of the young couple as the first love is the one which haunts a lot in future.

50. If Self is Gold our Attitudes are Ornaments!!!!!

Our senses helplessly comprehend the Reality which is mystifying as this world. The normal person sees only the form in a thing and attributes complete authenticity to it. Simultaneously, he witnesses the unpredictability of the form, but he is unaware of it or ignorant to it. Every philosophy put forth an effort to make us understand the Reality behind the form. Further when one looks from the Reality point of view, there is no form either.

In Vedanta to make the seekers understand Reality, unique illustrations are used. Lets take an example here of the gold and the ornament. For a normal person who looks at an ornament, at the first glance sees the thing as only the ornament. But on second thought, he acknowledges that it is made of gold. His sense perception has made him to think of the thing as ornament first and then the gold. After some more contemplation, he recognizes that between the form and the gold in the ornament, the form often gets modified, while the gold remains constant. In view of the fact that gold is the vital element of all gold ornaments and since the form is only a momentary appearance leaving nothing behind, he is obligatory to admit that the gold only is eternal and that the form as ornament is merely a make shift. Thus if a person is made to understand gold in its pure formless nature by asking him to look at the ornaments from the standpoint of gold, then he sees nothing but gold in the ornaments just as a banker or a robber would. At this level even in the form it is the gold that appears and not the ornament. An “ornament” is an ornament only by principle, but at the core it is actually gold.

Taking the lesson from the above Vedantic illustration and applying to the Self and our own body, senses and mind, we can see the Self in its pure nature as gold and the others as the form. If we see the world from the view point of that pure Self, we can see the whole world as nothing but our own real Self. This is how we are helped to experience the Truth of the Upanishad dictum: “SARVAM KHALVIDAM BRAHMAA” This entire universe is verily Brahman - Chandogya Upanishad Ch. 3 Sec 14 Verse 1

Now having said that, let’s analyse further. If we try to take away our mind from the ornament, the ornament alone does not disappear it takes the gold also along with it and this creates a void and we are left helpless and are placed in the dark. But if we are taught to see the gold in the ornament and understand that the gold is the only part which is permanent, then in every succeeding view of the ornament, we will highlight only the gold in it.

Similarly, when we start seeing our body, senses and mind as the ornaments of the real Self we have only to emphasize the Self in each. The shift of our interest, from the appearance to the essence is all that is needed. Then, everything appears as gold or the real Self.

Hence we can observe that, we may not like the make or type of the ornament and dislike the way it is crafted but have we found any person who has got complaints with the gold itself???? Likewise our attitudes as rude, humble, arrogant, adamant etc are like the ornament but the true self is like gold and no one will and should have a problem with it.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

49. Align with Super-conscious Mind and receive Resources.

Super-conscious mind is the cosmic mind. We humans are always connected to it but are unaware of it. Our mind which is developed more on animal instincts and relay on logic and reasoning is Conscious mind. Behind this Conscious mind free from unrest and agitation, there is a Super-conscious mind, the enlightened intellect which is the faculty of Spiritual perception. When the Conscious mind is stilled by discipline with the divine grace and instruction of the Guru, this higher faculty called Super-consciousness can be tapped and used. This Super-conscious mind is infinite, universal, and a very powerful gift to mankind.

All the creative activities are first developed in this Super-conscious mind and used by all great explorers, painters, lyricists, actors, writers, businessmen, scientists, and sculptors on a regularly basis. The Super-conscious mind helps in assisting us for the fulfillment of our goals by provide us the continuous flow of ideas and positive energy. This is called “Dhi Shakthi.” But the catch is that our mind is assisted by this Super-conscious only when we possess a confident and calm mindset. We would have experience that at a time of deep contemplation we get a spark of inspiration or a drive towards the direction of the goal which pushes us to act on it immediately. This is the exact time when our Super-conscious is directing our mind.

Mahatma Gandhi use to say “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” If a person thinks and talks always of what he wants he will definitely achieve it as he is always contemplating it. Here his consciousness is always in connection with the Super-consciousness which will help him achieve it. For the Super-conscious mind to yield results the other two, Conscious and Subconscious mind has to freeze.

Conscious mind is always updated by our Subconscious mind called Chitta which is a bunch of submerged experiences, memories, and unfulfilled ambitions thrown into the cellar room but recoverable. The Subconscious mind is like a calm lake and thoughts are waves upon the surface of this lake that is updating the Conscious mind periodically. The only possible way is to sit in the seat of silence without thoughts and open our mind to receive the “Dhi Shakthi.” The Super-conscious mind is very powerful and is working all the time it is our fortune to tap and utilise it at the time of need.

In the great Gayatri Mantra this "Dhi Shakthi" is that we ask for!!!!


48. Maya (Illusion): Superimposition of Chetana on Achetana

In Vedanta School of philosophy we are regarded as Atman. But our nature of Atman is made unknown to us by Maya.

What is this Maya????

Maya is a power which has two dimensions:

1. Avarana Shakti (Veiling Power)
2. Vikshepa Shakti (Projecting Power)

This dual power of Maya acts on us simultaneously. With its power of veiling it keeps the truth that we are Atman away from us and makes us ignorant of our original nature and through its projecting power we are mesmerised as having name and form with mind and body concept. We start identifying with our body and mind not Soul.

Now which of it is Chetana (living) and Achetana (Non-Living)???

Atman is Chetana Vastu. It is eternal, does not decay. But our Body is Achetana Vastu it is perishable and subjected to decay as it is made of Pancha Maha Bhutas (Five Elements like: Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth) which are themselves Achetana.

What is Mind then?? Is it Chetana or Achetana?????

Mind is Achetana, but since it is in contact with a Chetana Vastu called Atman it gets superimposed to be a Chetana Vastu.

In the text Atma Bodha Sri Sri Shankara gives a beautiful example on how superimposition of characteristics takes place. Sri Sri Shankara points out the transformation of Red Hot Iron Ball. Iron ball is by nature black, and cold. And fire is clearly known to be red, and hot. When an iron ball is put into a furnace for some time, it is noticed that the black and cold iron ball is transformed into red and hot ball. With the association of fire the iron ball has acquired the redness and heat of fire. This transformation that has happened is not permanent once the iron ball is taken out of the furnace, the iron ball will retain its true nature of black and cold.

Similarly, if we look at the forests or a green paddy field we are made to believe that the earth is full of life but the fact is that the vegetation is full of life not earth. The life of vegetation is superimposed on the inert soil and this makes us feel the life in it. Likewise our mind which is Achetana becomes transformed into Chetana vastu and starts dominating the body.

Therefore we consider ourselves as limited individuals, and experience the problems, happiness, pain, fright, sense of insecurity etc. that is related to the body and the mind. While if we observe properly we can make out that it is the body mind complex that thinks, does action, enjoys and suffers and hence it is the doer and enjoyer, not the Atman. To distinguish between Chetana and Achetana we need to use Buddhi (Intellect) and this is Viveka (the human faculty of Discrimination).

Our purpose in the world, with this view, result in acquiring a commitment to get rewards or punishments for good or bad thoughts, words, and deeds respectively in future births. In the wake of enjoying and suffering of reward and punishment, we again connect ourselves in further transactions and gain further compulsions for the discharge of which we have to be born again and again. Thus, we are caught up in the cycle of births and deaths and enjoyment and suffering. This entanglement is because of “Maya.”

47. Namrata: The Supremacy of Humility.

Humility is colossal power which is acquired if one distances oneself from having supremacy over others. The adamant desire in us to have control on others will hamper the ability to organize, focus, and implement our own actions. The illusion that we already know everything is the hindrance which crop up due to lack of humility and stop one from excelling to higher levels of enlightenment.

The habit of passing judgments on others and jumping to conclusions is the signs of lack of humility. Total new world of prospect will unfold before us, if the thought that we are better than everyone else is gone. With humility we start to accept the situation as it is, rather than demanding for the best. In this way we experience highest level of true abundance that we never could have imagined before.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna declares humility as the prime quality of a saint. The bird that soars on high sky builds the nest on the ground. Some of us are arrogant because we are proud of our knowledge, power, and status and think that we are rich, famous, and powerful. It is because we are always identifying ourselves with the material richness that we possess. It is an erroneous belief to identify with our body, mind, and intellect. All these are susceptible to damage and decay.

Once King Yudhishthira wished to perform Rajasuya Yajna and as per the rites of the Yajna all the five brothers had to take part in it. Yudhishthira was in a dilemma since there were none to take care of the guests if all the five brother took part in the rituals.

Messengers were sent out to invite all the kings and rulers of the land for the great Yagna. Thousands and thousands of them came with joyous hearts to the city of Hastinapura. Now to receive the guest in honour was the problem for the Pandavas as they were unable to leave the place of rituals. In the assembly of vast gathering Lord Krishna who understands the situation volunteers to do the job and sets example by showing his greatness in humility, and He washes the feet of the guests. What a beautiful lesson Lord Krishna teaches us as a gentle server that we must never disrespect any service, however humble it may be and that service of others is the highest duty.

In Ramayana, Hanuman is the icon of humility. At the time of search for Sitadevi when the group which had headed south stops at the ocean, and when all of them are worried about who could jump 100 yojana to reach Lanka. Hanuman who was capable of doing so does not boast that He could jump, but humbly waits to find if Angada or Jambavan could jump. Again when Hanuman was asked as to who He was, at the court of Ravana, king of Lanka, He proudly proclaimed in that he was the servant of Lord of Kosala (Sri Rama) “Dasoham Kosalendrasya.” Humility is such a strange emotion that the moment we think we have got it, we lose it.

Humility can be developed by submitting to the Supreme and legitimate authority and also by recognizing the values and talent of a person who has surpassed us and giving him due credit. By living each moment with humility, modesty, and gratitude the whole of life that surrounds us is wonderful. And we are sure to have found a treasure that is infinite.

46. Two things that can never be retrieved!!!!!!

A Young woman was waiting for her flight in the boarding room of an airport. Her flight was delayed and she had to wait for few hours and so she decided to buy a book and read to spend her time. Along with a book she also purchased a packet of cookies. She sat down in an armchair, in the VIP room of the airport, to rest and read in peace.

Besides the armchair where the packet of cookies lay, a man sat down in the next seat. He opened his magazine and started reading. When she took out the first cookie, the man took one also. She felt irritated but said nothing but gave a cold stare at him. She just thought: “What a nerve! If I was in the mood I would punch him on his face for this!” For each cookie she took, the man took one too.

This was infuriating her but she didn’t want to create a scene. When only one cookie remained, she thought: “Ah... What would this crazy man do now?” Then, the man, taking the last cookie, divided it into half, giving her one half.

Ah! That’s was too much! She thought. Her anger had reached high level!

In a huff, she threw the half cookies he had given her and asked him to go to hell and took her book, her things and stormed to the boarding place. After an hour or so they announced that the flight was ready. When she sat down in her seat, inside the plane, she looked into her purse to take out her eyeglasses, and, to her surprise, her packet of cookies was there, untouched, unopened!

She felt so ashamed!! When she realized what had happened and knew what went wrong….. She had forgotten that her cookies were kept in her purse. The man shared his cookies with her, without feeling angered or bitter.

All the while she had been angry, thinking that she was sharing her cookies with him. And now there was no chance to explain herself. Nor to apologize to the man.

There are TWO things that WE CANNOT RETRIEVE.....!

WORD……! After it’s UTTERED!

TIME……! After it’s GONE!

45. Are we ready for the Guru to appear????

“When the Shishya (Student) is ready, Guru (Master) appears,” says scriptures. At times we hope of having a Guru so that our spiritual journey will be easy to thread with his guidance and blessings. There is a need for a Guru who can clear our doubts on Universe, Reality, Truth, and so on. One may wonder why ignorance cannot be dispelled by just reading religious scriptures like the Bible or Quran or Guru Granth Sahib or Vedas or the Gita.

Swami Shivananda of The Divine Life Society has answered this question in the following quotation: “The scriptures are like a forest. There are unclear passages. These passages appear to be contradictory and may have obscure meanings, diverse connotation, and concealed explanations with cross-references. You are in need of a Guru who will explain to you the right meaning and remove doubts and ambiguities. Guru can place before you the essence of the scriptures.”

We have seen many who read the Vedas, the Gita and other scriptures for some years but still remain ignorant and restless. It can be from a Guru one can attain peace of mind and learn to unshackle from the chains of material bondage so that his concentration is on the path. Hence Guru occupies a prime place in spirituality.

However is it possible for a genuine Guru to appear if we are ready for spiritual initiation, is the question???? 

We are aware from media that there are so called Gurus who are robbing people of their money and trust. In a way it has become a very lucrative business as the Gurus are sure that we don’t ask any questions about their credibility. The main point for this to happen is either we are afraid or ignorant or have the belief that in the name of Dharma no one will cheat us. Hence there is confusion as to know if the Spiritual Guru whom we follow is capable of lifting us from this ocean called Samsara. This following therefore is a funny affair. Guru is not the one who has many followers.   

In “Vivekachudamani” one of the greatest works of Sri Sri Shankara there is a description on the qualities of a Sadguru as follows:

Guru is one who is versed in the Scriptures, sinless, untouched by desire and a experiencer of Brahman par excellence, who has united himself with Brahman; who is calm, like fire that has consumed its fuel, who is a boundless reservoir of mercy that knows no reason, and a friend of all people.

To have a genuine spiritual Guru is a true requisite and an exceptionally rare lucky thing. If we are true seekers, we become intelligent and sharp enough in being under someone who is a Guru. We have to use both our sensibility and worldly wisdom to know if that Guru has an eminent conduct. 

Always we have to remember that a Guru can guide us but to move towards the goal it has to be our own effort and no one can possibly do it for us. It is easy to say for example, the words of Guru like ‘I am not this Body’, but to realize and apply it in daily life is an unusual experience all together. It calls for a change in perception, a transformation in the way one looks at the world around him.

Guru Dattatreya proclaims that he had 24 Guru and names them as: 1. Earth, 2. Air, 3. Space, 4. Water, 5. Fire, 6. Moon, 7. Sun, 8. Dove, 9. Snake, 10. Moth, 11. Ocean, 12. Butterfly, 13. Fish, 14. Honeybee, 15. Deer, 16. Elephant, 17. Phyton, 18. Prostitute Pingla, 19. Eagle, 20. Child, 21. Young Girl, 22. Arrow maker, 23. Spider, 24. Wasp. 

Guru Dattatreya goes on to explain what he had learnt from them. Sometimes a Guru can appear in a form of a friend, wife, book, experience, and so on.

The question is are we ready???

44. Karmasu Kaushalam -------- Excellence at Work!!!!

JOB to some is popularly believed to be Just-Obey-Boss or Just-Over-Bend! Those who do job with such intentions trade their life time for a mere survival. Survival is considered animal-instinct and not typically human!

We human beings are social beings who can obtain experience of life through Body-Mind and Soul. Hence we are supposed to rise above a mere physical survival. A holistic integration of Body-Mind-Soul demands one to ask questions to oneself and find answers to this! Amazingly if observed it boils out to the thriving for the wellness of society.

Lord Krishna talks to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 50 about “Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam” – Yoga is excellence at work. This verse advices us to perform our allocated duty in an excellent manner. Kaushalam signifies doing work with devotion and without attachment i.e. without becoming a workaholic. Such detached attitude enhances its values and improves the concentration and skill of the worker. If we work with elegance, fortitude, and skill our Body-Mind-Soul will co-operate with our hands. By becoming a tool in the hands of Supreme one has to perform the work. Any work becomes valuable if carried out with full concentration, dedication, and abilities and also helps us to become valuable to others as well as to society. We should never yearn over the fruits of action. The extrinsic incentives e.g., money, other bonus, etc. play a very minor role as motivators. The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. Says Ralph Waldo Emerson.

There is a story of Chuan and Jing in a Chinese inspirational stories which highlights the point that attitude of approach to the work can yield in different results. The story goes something like this……… Chuan and Jing joined a wholesale company together just after graduation. Both worked very hard.

After several years, the boss promoted Jing to sales executive but Chuan remained a sales rep. One day Chuan could not take it anymore, tender resignation to the boss and complained the boss did not value hard working staff, but only promoted those who flattered him.

The boss knew that Chuan worked very hard for the years, but in order to help Chuan realize the difference between him and Jing, the boss asked Chuan to do the following. Go and find out anyone selling water melon in the market? Chuan returned and said yes. The boss asked how much per kg? Chuan went back to the market to ask and returned to inform boss the 120 yuan per kg.

Boss tells Chuan, I will ask Jing the same question? And put the same question to Jing. Jing went, returned, and said, boss, only one person selling water melon. 120 yuan per kg, 1000 yuan for 10 kg, he has inventory of 340 melons. On the table 58 melons, every melon weighs about 15 kg, bought from the South two days ago, they are fresh and red, good quality.

Chuan was very impressed and realized the difference between himself and Jing. He decided not to resign but to learn from Jing.

A person who is immersed in the job is more observant, thinks more, and understands it to the depth. For the same matter, he is able to sees several years ahead, while for some who look at job as just bread earner see only tomorrow. There is a vast difference between a year and a day that is 365 times. We have to think! How far have we seen ahead in doing our job? How thoughtful in depth are we in doing the job right the first time?

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. - Pearl Buck (1892 - 1973)

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

43. Time alone knows the real value of LOVE!!!!!!

Once all feelings and emotions went on vacation to a coastal island. According to their temperament everyone were having a good time. Suddenly, a warning of an approaching storm was announced and everyone was advised to vacate the island.

As soon as the announcement was made there was a sudden panic. All of them started rushing to their boats. Everyone thought of getting out of the place as quickly as possible.
Love did not wish to leave as it found the place enchanting. But as the clouds started rushing towards the island, Love realised it had to leave. Alas, there were no boats to spare. Love looked around but could not find one.

Just as it was wondering what to do Prosperity passed by in a luxurious boat. Love shouted, “Prosperity, could you please take me in your boat?”

“No,” replied Prosperity, “my boat is full of precious gems, gold and silver. There is no place for you.”

A little later Vanity came by in a beautiful boat. Again Love shouted, “Could you help me, Vanity? I am stuck and need a lift. Please take me with you.”

Vanity responded arrogantly, “No, I cannot take you with me. My boat will get soiled with your muddy feet.”

After sometime Sorrow passed by. Again, Love asked for help. But it was in vain. “No, I cannot take you with me. I am so sad because of this storm. I want to be left alone for myself.”

When Happiness passed by a few minutes later, Love again called for help. But Happiness was so happy that it escaped the fury of the storm and was so engrossed in itself that it did not look around, hardly heard the voice of Love.

Love was growing impatient and crestfallen. Just then somebody called out, “Come on Love, I will take you with me.” Love did see who it was, but jumped on to the boat, very much relieved that she would reach a safe place.

On getting inside the boat, Love met Knowledge who was also travelling in the same boat. Puzzled, Love inquired, “Knowledge, do you know the owner of this boat who generously gave me a lift just when no one else wished to help?”

Knowledge smiled, “Oh, It was Time.”

“And why would Time stop to pick me and take me to safety?” Love wondered.

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and replied, “Because only Time knows your prominence and what you are capable of. He knows that only you can bring peace and great happiness in this world. Hence Time does not wish to lose you at any cost. ”

The important message from this is that when we are prosperous, we overlook love. When we feel pride, we forsake love. Even in happiness we neglect love and in sorrow we forget love. Only with passing time do we realize the importance of Love.

41. Would you like your wife to be Happy or Proud??????

A common belief in some is that for a good relationship in a family the man has to impress his wife and children every now and then with goodies. In fact at this juncture a person even losses his intellect to rethink if he on the other side of the law in doing so. He very slowly gets into the whirlpool of corruption before he can recall what he was up to. Once if he is caught he justifies that all that he had done is for his family. Is it acceptable?????

A male Bower bird builds and decorates an elaborate nest to impress his partner. This is the way its nature has allowed it to display its care for the partner but it does hard work for that. It picks up all bright coloured soft materials such as feathers, leaves, ferns and creeper curls. It never grabs from the nest of others. Agreed man has to prove his ability to keep his family in comforts. In enjoying the comforts the wife will never want her man to earn unlawfully and get into trouble. Let him be a Govt servant or a public / private sector employee or for the mater has his own business a person should always stick to what he has to do in a righteous manner as living respectfully is what the ultimate wish of a caring wife is. Generally she can be contented with what is earned by her husband and tries to run the family and keep it happy, if not all at least our Indian women are so.

We know Valmiki as the great sage who wrote the Ramayana, but he was not so in his early life. In his youth he was a highway robber. He was then called Ratnakar. Young and strong, he attacked travelers going by lonely roads and stole their money and valuables. He knew this was wrong, but he thought it was the only way he could make his livelihood. Moreover, his father, mother and wife were there at home, depending on him.

One day Ratnakar caught hold of a traveler who had nothing. Angry, he asked him how he could wander around like that. “I am the Narada,” said the traveler. “I travel freely even between heaven and earth.” After knowing the intentions of Ratnakar, Narada asked him whether his family would share his sins as they enjoy his share of booty. Without battling the eyelids Ratnakar they would, but did not sound too sure of himself. Narada asked him to go to them and find out. So the robber tied Narada securely and went to his family.

His father, his mother and even his wife refused to share his sins. They told him that it was the duty of the man of the house to feed the family and in doing so if he has accumulated sin that was unconcern to the family members. Ratnakar was shocked that all these years he had been doing this entire sinful act because he wanted his family to be happy but now he realized that what he had done was foolishness. His eyes were opened. Going back to the tree where Narada was tied, he told the sage what had happened. He begged forgiveness and asked Narada how he may atone for his sins. Narada taught the young man to righteousness and told him to go into the forest and do contemplation. He went into solitude and began to practice meditation and prayer. And then he wrote Ramayana the great epic.

It can be noticed that mostly (% wise) it is men who are more willing to pay or take bribes compared to women who are more reserved to pay or recieve bribe. This does not mean that men are more corrupt than women. The fact is that men are more inclined towards paying bribe because they are more in touch with this horribly rotten system and compared to women, they have this notion that things won't work without bribing. Men deal with corruption more often than women. It has been also noticed that when a woman wants to pay bribe or take bribe it is en-routed through a man. In both the cases if it is men or women ultimate idea of taking bribe is to amass money intentionally to keep them happy but what is the use if they are to spend rest of life behind bars or lose peace of mind. There are many instances we see around us including the active participants of CWG, 2G, Coalgate, Railgate, Choppergate, Adarsh and so on.. 

A happy wife can be proud of being happy but will a proud wife feel happy?????

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

36. Prana Vayu – Life Breath, the vital force.

Vayu, the vital breath is regarded as the element of air at a material level. In Vedas it is mentioned that Vayu includes the concept of space or Akasha. Space in motion is air, while air at rest it is ether. These are the two sides of Vayu, which is the unity of air and ether. Ether is the field in which Vayu as a force operates. Vayu is the power through which everything comes into manifestation and into which everything eventually returns. 

Vayu is not just the material element of air and space but the cosmic principle of energy and space that pervades body, mind, and consciousness. The entire manifest universe arises from space and energy which is Vayu at an outer level. At an inner level, Vayu stands for the formless principle of air and space, the invisible Brahman behind the visible world of the earth, water, and fire elements, the realm of name and form. Pranamaya Kosha consists of five types of Vayu namely Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samana. These are the vital principles of basic energy and subtle faculties of an individual that sustain physiological processes.

Prana vayu draws the universal life-force into the body for distribution, and finally, its expiration. The subtle or gross materials that enter the body are a result of Prana vayu. All sensory perceptions and respiration are due to Prana vayu. It operates the autonomic nervous system of the cervical region, governs the verbal mechanism of the vocal cords, the movements of the gullet and the respiratory tract.

Apana vayu is responsible for the elimination of waste products through the lungs and the excretory system. By controlling the lumbar portion of the autonomic nervous system of the body, it governs the excretory system and its related vital organs such as the kidneys, bladder, genitals, colon, and rectum.

Vyana vayu is present throughout the body and holds all of the parts together. Its work is extension, contraction, and flexion of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments; the stored-up energy of the muscles. This vayu maintains blood circulation in the physical body, and gives the body shape, flexibility, and sensitivity. Since it is all-pervasive it is usually referred to as “Trivikrama.”

Udana vayu is responsible for expression through speech. It is the upward moving energy. It is the natural intuitive force, which separates the astral body from the physical and help in maintaining erect position of the body.

Samana Vayu is located in the navel region it governs the internal balance of the prana and apana vayu. Samana vayu controls the process of digestion and assimilation by directing the secretions of the digestive system, and regulates the organs of digestion; the stomach, liver, pancreas and intestines. Just as oxygen is the supporter of combustion in the material world Samana vayu is to the Jataragni, the digestive fire. Samana vayu influences metabolism and metabolic disorders. Since it is concentrated in a small region and yet has its effect to all parts of our body this vayu is referred to as “Vamana.”

In addition to the five vital forces, the Natha tradition explains the beneficial function and importance of five sub-vital forces called upa-pranas.

The upa-pranas are Naga, Krikara, Kurma, Devadatta and Dhananjaya.

Naga vayu functions are belching and rising of Consciousness.

Sneezing, hunger and thirst are the Krikara vayu functions.

Kurma vayu works the automatic movement of the eyelids while winking, arms and legs while in movement, etc. just like how a pneumatic cylinder works in mechanical world.

Yawning is the result of the Devadatta vayu.

Dhananjaya vayu responsible for opening and closing of heart valves and is concerned with coma, swooning, trance and does not leave until after death. Once this vayu exits the body starts to decompose.  

35. Lighting the lamp of Knowledge.

The Sanskrit word Upanishad consists of three words—“Upa" means "near,” "ni" means "down" and "shad" means "be seated.” "Upanishad" means, "to sit down near the Guru to receive knowledge." The Guru is the personification of wisdom and the Shishya represents a spiritual seeker eager to come closer to wisdom. The Upanishads are knowledge in the form of dialogues between the Guru and Shishya from ages ago which denotes the Parampara (Lineage). This Guru-Shishya Parampara gives the picture of the finite getting close to the infinite as well as the known reaching out to the unknown.

Knowledge has to flow from one to another just like a river, if not it gets vanished or will be stagnant and of no use. Knowledge dispels ignorance. Ignorance and darkness has not got any permanent place. There is no person whom we could say is and will always remain ignorant and there is no place in the whole of universe which we can call a dark place. One spark of knowledge and beam of light respectively can change them. Hence knowledge is likened to a lamp (Deepam). If we want to light a lamp, we need a container, we have to fill it with oil and place a wick in it. We need a flame source to light the wick. Only when we have all four accessories we can light the lamp. This lamp dispels the external darkness. Similarly, to dispel the darkness of ignorance, we need to have vairagya (renunciation), the container; unconditional love, the oil; one pointed concentration, the wick; and Jnana (spiritual wisdom), the flame source.

It is customary to light a lamp ahead of an auspicious event and once it so happened in such event, an ultra modern person who was seated in the gathering asked the distinguished guest lighting the lamp, “Gentleman, why are you using the same old out dated way of stating the function by lighting a lamp using oil, wick, and flame? Why not change according to the time? Why not "ON" a LED light or a CFL Lamp by just operating a switch? Will it not dispel darkness as your lamp does????”

The distinguished guest replied, “Son, you are right the time as changed a lot and every thing has advanced by using science and technology, but the way in which knowledge is transferred from an individual to another has remained the same, just like the flame is brought near the wick of the lamp that has to be lit. Is it possible for a LED or CFL lamp which is glowing to light up another LED or CFL which not lit when brought near it????”

34. Let's be Wise, not just Intelligent ………!!!!!!

Intelligence is a theory that reveals how smart a person is as compared to the next. A person may be intelligent, but at times may display little or even no common sense. For example, an intellectual can give us a thesis on how dangerous it is to step onto a road with little sense for oncoming vehicles, but may do that exact thing by being preoccupied not conscious while talking on his mobile. Wisdom, on the other hand, is life-experience that can be equated to having common sense to not only to share with others but also to use it. A wise man is not a person who has gained profound knowledge while living in a cave but he can be a common person with a lifetime of experiences to share. A wise man would never step in front of oncoming traffic. He would have understood the concept of looming danger consciously and unconsciously. He will never be arrogant and does not have the "it will never happen to me" attitude in life; because he is aware that life is fragile.

Intelligence is mere ability to accumulate facts from outside world and understand concepts at an elevated level. Wisdom is obtained from personal experience. It has got a deeper understanding that events may have a far reaching consequence and helps visualizes the maturity of our judgment. An intellectual is satisfied with what he knows and is proud of his intelligence while a wise man is humble and feels what he knows is less and is eager to learn more. Intelligence is knowing how to create something, Wisdom is knowing when to use or when not to use it.

Knowing others is INTELLIGENCE; knowing our self is WISDOM.

32. Jivan Mukti --------- Liberation Here and Now!!!!!

Jivanmukta is the one who is liberated while he is still alive. He is liberated from material consciousness which results in dissolving of the inbred mind or false ego to recover his Pure Consciousness. For a Jivanmukta the soul remains in the body without being conscious of it. He disowns the body and mind. Once disowned the body and mind run for a little while and dies just like a fan that is switched off, rotate for some more time and then stops. That is Videhamukti.

An ordinary human is continuously stirred up by illusions (Maya) while witnessing day-to-day life. But a Jivanmukta observes the play of the life through the prism of the Pure Consciousness without any desires, emotional attachment, impatience, prejudices, and agitations of the mind. According to the teachings of the world scriptures there is need to awaken this Pure Consciousness within. This Pure Consciousness which is our true nature can be awakened by fully roasting the seed of Ignorance in the fire of Knowledge. So that the seed does not sprout again. Thus in true sense becoming Jivanmukta is simply getting rid of false Ego and to live a liberated life.

The need to become Jivanmukta has been illustrated by all realized souls and the scriptures. They say Liberation or Mukti is not an after death phenomena. It must be achieved here and now while being still alive! Becoming Jivanmukta also means closing of the bodily Nine Gates (two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, mouth, anus and the genital opening), and opening of the Tenth Gate (Divine Consciousness). While the Nine Gates are open it is near to impossible to enter the Spiritual Consciousness. In other words, the process of becoming Jivanmukta needs separation of the Consciousness from the Material Bondage. It is a total union with one's true nature from which the Jiva (individual) never returns again.

The state of Jivanmukta does not mean committing suicide, abandoning one's duties, remaining inactive, running away from the world, or neglecting one's responsibilities of life. On the contrary, the life of a Jivanmukta is full of actions that are spiritually centered, actions that are sinless, without any selfish motives, actions that do not create new seeds of Karma, and actions that use his bodily powers to serve Lord and his creation. Hence to be Jivanmukta simply means detaching from the mundane consciousness.

Upanishads tells about the quality of Jivanmukta in the following ways:

One, who is awake all the time no matter it is day or night, even though his body takes rest, he remains awake consciously.

One, who is free from affinities and of whom mind is unattached from material objects – whether he performs activities or not.

One, who has not slight conception of being an actor (ego) doing the things.

One, of whom, no one is afraid and he is not afraid from anyone.

While participating in the worldly affairs, he remains in the real identity (soul) and acts like that everything belongs to others.

One, who has equanimity of mind every time and everywhere.

One, who understand and see everything in totality without making distinction in ‘I’, ’he’, ‘you’, and ‘others’.