Friday, August 29, 2014

543. GANESHA, the Lord of Creativity.........!

Ganesha Gayathri:

Om Ekadantaya Vidmahe Vakkratundaya Dheemahi
Tanno Danti Prachodayat

 We devote our thoughts to the One Tusked Lord. We meditate upon Him who has a Curved trunk. May the tusked one grant us the Dhi Shakti.

The iconography of Lord Ganesha depicts Him sitting on a small rat. It is unimaginable and beyond our imagination for a massive body to mount on a small creature. Here it is just proclamation of “Nothing is impossible.”

 His large ears remind us to be always attentive and open to all kinds of Knowledge that the nature has to offer. The huge trunk has the capability to lift heavy weight as well as pluck minute grass of the field, Adaptability is the key.

He is seen seated with one foot on the ground and the other and folded, He wants us to keep a balance between the material and spiritual world.

Ganesha has four hands in one hand he holds a Lotus which is the symbol of enlightenment and in another hand he holds an axe which symbolizes that when enlightenment comes all the past deeds whether good or bad of our old karma gets annihilated. In the third hand he holds Laddus representing the rewards for a virtuous life. He has the Laddus in hand not to eat but to give (have any of the iconography show Ganesha eating Laddus? NO). There is an ancient saying that wise men never get attached to the rewards of their deeds. In His fourth hands is shown holding the pot of wisdom to grant to all. 

His broken and unbroken tusk represents the equanimity in loss and gain indicating that one should not get upset if the task is not accomplished and at the same time not get over excited if the task is accomplished. The enormous belly wants us to digest any kind of insult which other unknowingly use upon us, in other words “Take it easy policy”.

Elephant Head and Human body represents both Jnana Shakti (Knowledge) and Kriya Shakti (Creativity). The principle qualities of the elephant are wisdom and effortlessness. Elephants don't walk turning away from the obstacles nor do they stop at them. They just walk through them removing them and creating a new way by themselves Trend setters. Lord Ganesha blesses his devotee so that these elephant qualities within us are kindled.

When Ganesha was approached by Bhagavan Vyasa Maharshi to write Mahabharata when he dictates it to Him. Ganesha accepted on one condition that He would write without stopping. Hence Vyasa has to dictate without stopping. Vyasa agreed but wanted Ganesha to understand well before He writes and thus he got time to frame the words. Ganesha was very happy with the creative thinking of Vyasa and blessed him. Now with His grace we have the Great Epic for us to guide.

    Finally Chai pe Charcha with Lord to get His suggestions.....

Let the Lord of Creativity bestow the art of creativity to one and all............

542. Let’s Welcome Ganesha, the Master for Self Realization!!!!!!

The one who has realized the SELF will enjoy the fruit of it. This is what is conveyed in this Puranic Story.

Once Sage Narada on his visit to Kailasa handed over a mango to Shiva and Parvati and said that it was an unusual mango which would confer eternal wisdom on whoever relishes it. But there was a drawback the mango should not be cut and had to be consumed by a single person. Shiva and Parvati wished to give it to their sons Ganesha and Karthikeya now they were puzzled as to who should have it. Narada suggested a solution to the problem. He said that the fruit could be given to the one who first succeeds in circumambulating the universe thrice. Shiva and Parvati approved to Narada’s suggestion. Karthikeya without delay mounted on his peacock and set out to achieve the task. Ganesha on the other hand simply circumambulated his parents thrice and put forth his right of the fruit.

When insisted to explain, Ganesha modestly said that his parents were his universe and that there existed nothing apart from them. Respect for parents would be the moral of the story on the gross level. However if one looks at the subtle level the real meaning of the story extends beyond the gross level depicted moral.

The subtle message in this story is that Self realization which is illustrated here as mango can be achieved only if one tries to find the Absolute here portrayed as Shiva and Parvati inside as Absolute is eternal and present every where. Mind which is potrayed here as the act of Karthikeya is searching the outer world and hence is incapable of attaining the Absolute. Mind that goes inward like Ganesha is the one which is capable of realizing it and attaining wisdom. Ganesha in this short story reveals the fact that self realization can be attained only with one’s vision focused on the Absolute which is inside.

Agamas have portrayed Ganesha in a very peculiar form. If one does a deep contemplation on the various inner meanings of the form, we end up having a lot of ideas and as we all know He is the Lord of creativity.

The elephant head of Ganesha symbolizes His wisdom, auspiciousness and scholarly skill. His vast ears depict capacity and His readiness to listening to the endless anguishes of the mankind. Huge tummy of Ganesha signifies the boundless space that can hold the whole manifested universe. The four arms of Ganesha are symbolic of subjective evolution. In His right arm He holds an axe, a noose in His left arm, a sweet modaka in His lower left arm and the lower right hand reveals the hand that showers blessings.

In every seekers approach towards liberation, the axe disunites the unwanted materialistic attachment and bonding, the noose cautions the seeker against the entanglement in Maya; the modaka represents the attractiveness of bliss and the hand that shows the sign of “Abhaya” promising protection and confers unlimited deliverance.

The mouse which is the vehicle of Ganesha represents the ego which creeps into even a small opening if not vigilant. Ganesha riding over it represent the victory over ego. Further the picture of an enormous Ganesha on a tiny mouse motivates nothing is impossible.

Let us celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi realizing the inner meaning of the aspects of Ganesha. Let us get away from the materialistic attachments and emancipate ourselves from the noose of illusion and annihilate ego by surrendering our self to the Lord who assures shelter and attain the sweetness of bliss of spiritual enlightenment.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

541. I owe Him Immeasurable Debt of Gratitude for being on Earth.

The moment I step down from my bed every morning my foot can step on something hard that can support me from sinking further. Yes, I have got this hard Earth to support me when I place my leg down. Whom should I owe for this grace none other than Sri Varaha Swamy. His kindness is unlimited and unimaginable. Maha Vishnu came down in the form of a wild boar and lifted the entire earth which was submerged in ocean and unfit for any form life to survive. He restored its fitness to be the substratum for all the life forms. It is because of His mere gentle touch She is overflowing with the life sustaining ability.

This earth was submerged under the ocean by the demon Hiranyaksha, “Golden-Eyed” to challenge Maha Vishnu for a combat. The demon knew that Maha Vishnu would come to the rescue of any woman in distress and so he hid mother earth in the deep ocean. When He (Maha Vishnu) placed all the planets in the solar orbit and positioned Himself as Sun, He was the sole saviour to them. When one of the members was harassed He assumed the form of a wild boar and lifted Earth out of the deep ocean by His tusks and placed it safely among other planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. While thus placing the Earth, His tusk gently rubbed the Earth which caused the nutation axis (23 ½ degrees tilt off its axis) which the mother Earth experiences even today. Science has no answer to this but our puranas recorded it when it happened. 

    Varaha Restoring Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy

One of the most mysterious forms of Maha Vishnu is Varaha Avatara. And this incarnation does not have a lengthy span also as it was short just to save the Earth from the wicked demon. Symbolically, Varaha represents the knowledge. Taking the form of the Boar considered the lowest of creatures among the land animals; he helps remove the ignorance and provided knowledge to the seeker. In the iconography of the Lord we can find Bhudevi (Mother Earth) sitting on his snout. She represents giver of knowledge, the Lord executes the knowledge through Her. She is also referred to as Varahi and is one among the Saptamatrikas.

                      Emblem of Vijayanaraga Empire.

Varaha represents a mighty spiritual force that manifests in the unconscious mind of a serious seeker. It is mystically symbolized as Varaha, the spiritual force will takes on Hiranyaksha representing the mind that is focused primarily upon the material values of life, ignoring the ethical and spiritual values. One of the primary reasons for worshipping Varaha is indefeasibility. As Varaha is the mighty incarnation which does not have a defeat and which has not fought many wars, it was only one war and which was won. In ancient times when Kings ruled this land they kept Varaha Yantras to be victorious. The valiant Vijayanaraga Empire under Sri Krishnadevaraya had Varaha in their emblem.
Before the Charama Sloka (Ultimatum) of Sri Rama (Lord’s assurance to Sugreeva in Yuddha kanda of Ramayana) and Sri Krishna (Lord’s assurance to Arjuna in Bhagavad-Gita) this is Varaha assuring Bhudevi (when She expresses concern for the well being of all Her children) thus: 

Sthithay manasi Suswasthay sareeray satiyonaraha |
Dhaatusaamye sthithay smarta viswaroopam chamamajam ||
tatastam mriyamanantu kashta paashaana sannibham |
aham smaraami madbhaktham nayami paramam gathim ||

If anyone thinks of Me, with sound mind (Sthithaymanasi), with the body in good health (Suswasthaysareeray), and with all mental and physical faculties working perfectly and intact (Dhaatusaamye sthithay) thinks that I am indeed the very cause of this universe (Vishwaroopam), that I am without birth (Ajam) then I assure (Bhudevi) that I will remember (Aham Smaraami) this particular devotee of Mine (Madbhaktam) who he is on his deathbed (Mriyamanantu) lying helplessly like a stone or a log of wood (Kashta Paashaana) in a position unable to remember Me, I personally take him to the My Abode (Nayami Paramam Gathim).

Today is Varaha Jayanthi. Lets us surrender ourselves without an iota of doubt to that Mighty Sole Savior....!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

540. Pooja and Prarthana: Is there any difference between the two

At the first place is Pooja different from Prarthana??? Yes, these two words may sound similar, but they are different. Is not Prarthana or Pooja asking Absolute for His grace or thanking for His grace?? No, it is an irony to know that Pooja and Prarthana today has become more of an act of petitioning or putting up requests unto the Absolute. It is quite common to see many putting up a list of their desires while performing a Pooja or while practicing Prarthana. 

Pooja and Prarthana should not be a mere list of materialistic wantons, pride, self-interest & ego but rather for the well-being of the individual and all others. It has to be an act of submission to the Absolute sincerely and purely without other worldly apprehensions. Hence there is a need to know the difference between Pooja and Prarthana.

Pooja is an act done physically while Prarthana is mental. Mental Pooja is Prarthana and physical Prarthana is Pooja. Pooja has its base in ritualism; it needs articles, a particular place, time and an image. Pooja leads to ritual growth and is basically to know the Divine. Pooja has a lot of rituals and it is a technique used to detach the individual from routine life. It is a way of imposing discipline and regulation in a seeker and letting him to deviate from the monotony of life. It consists of religious practices like adorning, adoring and admiring the deity. It is a way of showing your love towards the Absolute. Pooja is sometimes done in groups and requires a certain procedure to be followed. Pooja needs mantras and guidance of the priest. And it is a lifestyle.

Prarthana is the vital breath of spirit. It means to communicate with the Absolute without any articles and irrelevant of time and place. Prarthana is for the spiritual growth and to achieve Divinity. It does not require any particular procedure to be followed and is done mostly in solitude without any mediators.

As a young boy I used to watch my father cleanse the idols in the altar every morning and on every Friday he gave them an ablution with milk, curds, honey, ghee and sugar. Then he would apply turmeric and vermillion and offer betel leaves, areca nut and a fruit. At the end there were incense sticks and waving of a ghee lamp as Aarthi with the reciting of Mangalasasanam. In the evening my father used to just sit in a room closing his eyes. Though the morning rituals by my father were fascinating to me, I could not grasp the intention behind his silence at the room in the evening at that age.

Now I do understand that his ritualistic Pooja in the morning was to get me and my sister in the groove. Though he was connected to the Absolute in the morning by doing the ritualistic Pooja, it was the evening Prarthana in silence which now I understand is necessary and more fascinating. I came to know that what my father did in the morning was Sagunaopasana (Ritualistic Pooja) and in the evening it was Nirgunopasana (Mental Prarthana). Now it is my turn so that my daughter also gets to understand them. Years later she will know the difference between Pooja and Prarthana.

It is remarkable to note that Pooja and Prarthana gets blended very well. In fact if they are done together it brings benefit to the individual and at the same time the young in the house will also make a habit to follow. This is the belief in every religion and hence even though Sri Sri Sankara had mentioned about Nirgunopasana, He composed many Stotras and Slokas of different deities. But it is generally believed that Pooja sans Prarthana does not have any sense.

Monday, August 25, 2014

539. Copper, the Encounter Specialist to the Bacteria……..!

Our ancients had used copper utensils for over thousands of years. They recommended water that is stored overnight in a copper container and consumed first early in the morning will benefit. But they would not want us to store milk and curds in the copper vessels instead instructed us to store them in earthen pots. When they wanted us to cook and store in copper vessels why were we told not to keep curds in it??? This made me do a little study on this matter. Unfortunately at those times people would not ask “Why” hence many “Dos and Don’ts” which were framed by the ancient seers do not have a valid reasoning, but that does not mean they are ridiculous. When we do a little thinking on why they told us so we will definitely get the message.

Copper has got the inherent property to kill bacteria it does not matter if bacteria is helpful or not. Now we all know that curds coagulate with the help of lactic acid that bacteria produce for fermentation. If milk is stored in copper the bacteria are killed and the curds do not form, hence we were told to store them in earthen pots.

Copper has been used for thousands of years in our civilization for the treatment of chest wounds and the purifying of drinking water. Modern research has indicated that copper helps prevent inflammation in arthritis.  In temples the holy water is served from copper urns. But as copper was inducted as the trading metal the price of copper became expensive just as what gold and silver are now facing. Aluminum vessels seem to be a better option so people slowly moved away from copper. But now intelligent and innovative western world have done a lot of appreciable research on this and are going back to using copper.

Here are some of the latest on use of copper from British News Papers:
An Irish hospital has copper door handles throughout in a bid to reduce infection as the door knobs and handles act as disinfectants, providing the best possible solid protection to the patients. Another hospital use copper taps, toilet seats and door push plates to reduce microbial contamination by 90-100%.  About 80% of transmissions are caused due to surface contacts. The hospital in Birmingham, says bacterium Staphylococcus aureus which transmits infections can’t be killed even by antibiotics. A small section of the hospital was taken as a trial run and decided to replace the existing stainless steel fittings with copper and the results were amazing which greatly cut infection hence the bathroom fittings of the entire hospital were changed to copper. Even the pens used by the nurses and hospital staff were made of copper.

Metallic copper surfaces kill microbes on contact they do so literally in minutes, by causing massive membrane damage to the bacteria just in a minute's exposure to copper. When microbes were exposed to copper surfaces, they were found to be killed at the rate of tens to hundreds of millions of bacterial cells within minutes. This means that usually no live micro-organisms can be recovered from copper surfaces after exposure.

We are using copper bottom to save fuel but are we using copper to save ourselves from harmful bacteria …Though use of copper cannot guarantee a second of expanded life span, it will help you keep this body active to the end, just as using the engine oil for the vehicle will keep it running till it is grounded in the garage...... Let’s give it a try and drink water stored over night in copper tumblers …… I know that most tiresome job is cleaning those vessels … Lemon juice or tamarind pulp should take care of it.  No Pain No Gain…What say???

Saturday, August 23, 2014

538. The Day when I go on to seek Alms once in a Year.........!

Shravana is the fifth month in the Hindu calendar. As per the scriptures this particular month is considered as highly auspicious. In Vedas, this month is described as “NABHAS” (Celestial). Shravana Purnima coincides with Nakshatra (birth star) of Sri Maha Vishnu, Shravana nakshatra, hence the whole month is called as Shravana masa. This makes the month so auspicious and is considered as important and significant.

Among the seven days in a week, Mondays are considered auspicious in the month of Kartika, Thursdays are auspicious in the month of Margashirha and Sundays are auspicious in the month of Magha. But in the month of Shravana there are three days which are most auspicious. On Tuesdays the newly wedded brides observe Mangala Gauri Vrata which is performed to safeguard the future of their husbands. On Fridays married women observe Shravana Shukravara Vrata for prosperity. On Saturdays every Vaishnava worships Sri Maha Vishnu particularly in the form of Sri Lakshmi Venkateshawara, especially the last Saturday which happens to be today.  

When I was young (school going kid) my mother used to wrap a dhoti around my waist and adorn an attractive “Urdhva Pundra” (Nama) on my forehead and would give me two bowls. With the two bowls in my hand starting from our house, I had to go to every house in the neighborhood and chant “Sriman Narayana Govinda..... Govinda” standing at the threshold of every house. Hearing the chant the women from the household would put rice in one bowl and toor dal in the other. I had to finish seeking alms from all the houses and run to my school which would start early compare to other weekdays. All the so collected rice and toor dal had to be donated to the temple in the evening. This is the tradition of seeking alms which even now I practice on the last Saturday of Shravana.      

But secret behind this tradition of “seeking alms” is to “induce humility.” This happens to be a common practice on certain path to induce humility. The absence of humility is the beginning of Ego. No matter how wealthy one could be, the way to surrender is taught in a very meaningful way of culture and tradition. If one feel that there would be no whiff of Ego in a small kids, this practice will work to annihilate inhibition and introvert nature in them. Some say seeking alms is bad but if it can be used as a tool to induce humility the purpose is served! Ego is subdued! Once the ego is cowed down there is no need to go for seeking alms again until the next year! Thus, there is a vast difference between the one who seeks alms to induce humility, and one who does the same just because he is lazy, the later remains beggar the whole life, while the former transcends Ego and moves towards Divinity!

In Sikh community also we can find a tradition where cleaning shoes at the Guru Ghar or voluntary service in langar is done as an act of humility. Those who do not know the greatness of such acts think it is an act where the self esteem is diminished, but such services every now and then will induce humility and humanity.

Even Maha Vishnu did not deter to take up the incarnation of Vamana where He had to seek alms from King Bali to tame Ego.... the only difference there was the Ego of the giver was tamed by the receiver.

Friday, August 22, 2014

537. Sudama did not ask even a Jequirity Bean from Krishna…..!

Sudama and Krishna were batch mates at Guru Sandipani’s Ashram. After their sojourn with their Guru, they parted. Years rolled by and Krishna was at Dwaraka while Sudama lived a life of poverty. It was hard for him to provide even the basic needs to his family, but he still led a contented life, thanking himself for having the grace of Krishna on him and his family.
One day his wife Kalyani was upset looking at her starving children. She gently brought up an idea with Sudama, “You have told me that Krishna of Dwaraka is your friend and his wife is the Goddess of Prosperity incarnate. I plead you, for the sake of our dear children go and meet Krishna”.

Sudama replied: “I will go and meet him, as it is been so many years since I have seen my childhood friend, but I will not ask for anything”.

“My Lord, even a visit to Krishna will be a benefit for us”, hoped his wife.

There is a tradition that if one has to meet someone after a long period he would take something as token of love. Sudama remembered that beaten rice was Krishna’s favorite and decided to give it as a gift to the Lord and he had only that in his house.

Sudama happily set off for Dwaraka recalling the happy moments he had spent with Krishna. When he reached Dwaraka, his eyes widened with wonder. The city was so stunning and beautiful!
Krishna saw Sudama from a distance and rushed out and grasped him in his arms. Krishna’s eyes were filled with tears to see this old, devoted friend. He seated Sudama in the royal seat, washed his feet and honored him. The classmates then walked down memory lane, recalling the sweet times they had spent together at the Guru Sandipani’s ashram. But Sudama did not spell out his woes.
Sudama suddenly remembered the flattened rice, but was ashamed to offer something so meager to a great person. As he hesitated, Krishna noticed the little bag and asked “What is it that you are hiding from me? Let me see…”
Krishna grabbed the little bag from him and exclaimed in joy when he saw what it contained. “Sudama, you remembered that I love beaten rice!” He ate a fistful of it, and was about to eat a second when Rukmini Devi stopped him. She said, “Lord, one fistful is more than enough for this world and the next.” Sudama could not understand what she meant. But he was happy that the Lord had enjoyed his meager offering.
Sudama spent that night happily with his friend and the next morning, he took leave of Krishna and Rukmani Devi. On his way home he thought: “The moments I spent with Krishna enchants me. I did not ask and he did not give. But I am content. He received me with great warmth.”

When he neared his home, he saw a palace instead of his hut and everyone were happy. His wife asked him: “Beloved, how did this happen?”

“Believe me, I asked for nothing and He showered his love and affection on me. I could not ask for anything, but Krishna knows all that is in our mind”, he replied.

The Lord had bestowed great wealth on Sudama without him asking for it, simply because He was grateful for his friend’s selfless devotion and love. This episode is captured by Sri Dasappana in one of his Ugabhoga (freestyle Kannada verses) in Dasa Sahitya. It goes like this:

Kuchelananu Suchelana madide,
Kaya, Vaacha, Manasa ava Nina Bedidane Kadidane
Neenagi nachiyetteyo Varada Gopala Vittalareya

The composer writes “You (Krishna) made Sudama's life worthy. He never nagged or begged at you in his action, or in words, or in thought but it was you who granted him out of embarrassment.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

536. A very simple way to avoid getting disturbed by MAYA, the illusion......!

A very knowledgeable young man was requested to deliver a lecture on life in a rural area. Before leaving to the village he felt it was important to tell his father about the programme. He went to his father and informed him.

His father asked, “How do you think you will go that village?”

The man answered, “Papa, I shall take the bus to the town and then I have to walk for about 30 minutes through the fields to reach the village, I am told that some people will be waiting for there to pick me up.”

Father told, “Son, I have heard that in the fields there are fierce dogs guarding the flock of sheep they might harm you.

The man replied, “Do not worry Papa; I shall handle them I will scare them away with stones.

Father shook his head and said, “You never will be able to control a pack of dogs, if you are aiming at one the rest will attack you.”

The man asked, “Papa, in that case I will use a wooden staff to scare the group of dogs away.”

Father replied, “They always attack in groups so I don’t think you can control them even with the wooden staff.”

The man seem to be helpless he finally asked, “O.K Papa, what do you want me to do in that situation then ?”

Father then replied, “Without seeing the dog eye to eye go to the shepherd and tell him that you have to go to the village and he will assist you with guarantee of no harm to you from his dogs.”

The man thanked his father and proceeded to the village.

Knowledge is good but without experience, that knowledge may not be of any help. The illusion of knowledge seem to be a greater enemy than ignorance. A person of wisdom learns about a thing and then analyze from multiple dimensions in order to have an insightful understanding of the things he has learnt. Similarly in the journey of LIFE I need to take the help of Brahman (Absolute) who is like the shepherd playing His flute and rendering enchanting music in order to see that Maya does not veil my true nature. Maya (Illusion) will take up the role of Absolute to take care of the universe which is like flock of sheep. I cannot come out of the grasp of Maya by hurling the stone called Ego or by wielding a wooden staff called Attitude. The more I disturb Maya or get disturbed by Maya the more I get entangled by its web. The simplest way of all is for me to completely surrender to Brahman so that Maya just gets faded away......What say????   

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

535. Transformation is as important as Improvement in our life!!!

Pragathi (Improvement) is the talk and need of the day. There are lots of tips for the physical, mental, financial improvement we get to learn from everyone. There are special courses on how to go about and get self improved. To excel in life such tips are necessary, nevertheless those tips bring in enormous change in our lives but there is still something that is essential hence we need to look for something more than just improvement. Why is it that we need to improvise again and again? Why improvement done once does not change our life permanently?

Improvement in our lives is just scaling from one level to another and an effort made to see surface changes. It is like getting a make-up done, not that it is unnecessary but we can do better. There is a change required permanently and which can happen when there is Parivartan (Transformation). It is a complete overhaul that takes place internally on the qualities called emotions, attitudes and habits. It means not just nipping on the negative traits every now and then, but also checking on our habits which turn out to be the hindrance in the process of reaching the Light within. By Transformation it is possible to have a through control on self and get aligned to the Divinity inside.

A bit of ego, pride and vanity is essential to improve, but at times they let “self pity” to creep in as well. This is the time when we are captured and imprisoned in the lockup of material world. Such situations make us thrive harder in the most terrible conditions with our attitudes and tendencies also taking part in the venture. In Improvement we work on our physical well-being and intend to see a positive change in our daily life. In a way we can say that Improvement is a part of Transformation, but unfortunately if we focus only on Improvement, we will always have the feeling of emptiness and insufficiency. This ability will not provide us the capability to cope up with the turbulent sea of emotions, wantons and desires. Improvement lacks in providing us peace, equanimity, compose that are essential to experience triumph over the battle of emotions within. Without the victory over the inner enemies the vision of Divinity within is near impossible.

While Improvement is a continuous process Transformation is one time feat. Transformation helps us to rediscover and recover our inheritance with Divinity. We are not human beings with a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings with a human experience. We are sparks of that Divinity on a human journey with a bit of attitude that has made us stray away from the path, we need to get transformed and return back to that path which takes us to our real abode. As soon as we make a wish to transform ourselves we tend to break free from all these false prestige and fake attitudes. We are able to relive the Light within us and get aligned to that Absolute Consciousness……. Thought we need Improvement it is much more important for us to concentrate on Transformation also……….. Am I right in saying so???? 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

534. If God is the creator of the Universe, who is His creator?

In the blog which was posted yesterday titled “An Atheist Graduate Son and Peasant Father in Conversation….!

An illiterate peasant father tells his Graduate son that just as we conclude the existence of a gardener when we see a well kept garden, There has to be Absolute to have created this vast Universe. In some of the responses I found a question if God created the universe who created Him. This question though simple has baffled both the scientists and the spiritual seekers. I am also curious to take a plunge to explore the answer, first let me see what the question is asking about?

Though we all believe God to be a Supreme Power we have provided it different names in different language depending on the religion and the mindset of the person who adores that same God. Hindu religion has numerous Gods. Though there are verses depicting the universal oneness like

Akashat patitam toyam, yada gachchati sagram, Sarva devo namaskaraha, keshavam pratigachchati”.

(Meaning: As every raindrops falling from the sky ultimately join the ocean, prayers offered to all gods ultimately reach the One Lord.)

the seekers are granted freedom to choose the deity they would wish to adore. And I in the initial stages regarded my deity to be the Super Hero who had a lot of saga in mythological references portraying His heroism. Even then the question, “If my Super Hero created everything, who created my Super Hero?” always bothering.

Nevertheless, when I transited from ritualistic approach in searching for the answer and went further deep into the spiritual aspect then I started describing Him to be Omnipresent, Eternal, and Formless Energy which cannot be comprehend by my five senses. That Formless Energy is “Brahman” in Hinduism, “Allah” in Islam or “Holy Trinity” in Christianity. That Formless Energy is beyond Time, Space and Causation. It is here I started to understand God in the lines of Sat (Existence), Chit (Awareness) Ananda (Bliss), which always existed, which was never born or would never die, then the question itself began to fade away.

Anything that is created gets destroyed as time elapse. But that Formless Energy was never created and hence can never be destroyed. But I keep looking at that Formless Energy in its manifestations and get perplexed, it is same as the ocean being viewed as waves, foam, bubbles, and saying that the waves bubbles and foam got destroyed as it hit the shore. 

I have observed the tea vendor at the tea stall pours tea from one glass to another several times very vigorously and in the process there is froth formed on the surface. Now if I say that the milk is the cause and the froth the effect, then can I consider milk and forth to be separate entities? No, they are one and the same. Hence when I say that this universe is created again I am wrong as I am looking at the manifested form of the Formless Energy.  Every form of living and non-living things originate from that Formless Energy and finally merge into it. It is not getting destroyed it is going back to the origin to come back afresh.

Someone asked a Sadhu from Himalayas, “Sadhu Maharaj, just as a sculptor is there for a sculpture to come into existence, if we look at this vast universe, should we not consider God to be the creator of the universe?”

After a brief silence, the Sadhu replied, “Your have a point there in saying so. But I would like to say that in your sculptor and sculpture analogy, the sculptor is separate from the sculpture. Moreover the sculpture exists even if the sculptor passes away. So a more appropriate analogy could be that of an actor and his act. This world is like an act to the Supreme Actor. When the actor stops acting, the actor still remains. Even while acting, the act being a just make believe one, the reality is the same – Actor only IS.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

532. An Atheist Graduate Son and Peasant Father in Conversation…!

Alok, a fresh graduate who had left the village came back after his college. He was a very few from the village who had obtained a degree. Obviously father was very proud of his son’s achievement. In order to pay obeisance to his Kula Devata (deity of his family) the father wished to visit the temple on the hillock on the outskirts of the village. The young graduate was reluctant to join them.

Father asked his son “Is this what you have learned in your college? Don’t you wish to thank the one who has provided education to you?”

Son replied, “Dad, you are ignorant there is no God, it is a false belief that are being followed from centuries. If you come out of your conditioned mind you will know that everything here is because of Science and Technology.”

“Alok, I agree that I am ignorant, please tell me who created this universe?”

“Dad, many scientists like Darwin have proved time and again that millions and millions of years ago a piece of burning matter separated from Sun and cooled down, water was formed and due to the heat from the Sun moisture developed and there was the formation of a living cell. Gradually organisms and other forms of life came into existence. It was man who created road, rail, building and bridges. Not your God”

“Oh Oh,,, hmmm… that is interesting,” replied the father. Within himself he thought education has not induced humbleness in his son instead developed ego.

Next day morning father look his son to their sugarcane field and on the way they had to cross a garden. Seeing the garden the young man asked his father, “Dad, when I left for the city there was no garden in the village, how come a beautiful garden has shaped up?

“Alok, it just came on its own. You know all of a sudden the flowering plants started growing and the ornamental foundation plants germinated and when they reached certain height and it stopped growing. Perfect humidity, favorable temperature and circumstances got created so that this beautiful garden came into existence.”

The young man understood the sarcastic remarks from his father. “Dad, stop kidding if there is a garden there must be a gardener to prepare and maintain it?”

“Alok, if you feel a small garden cannot come into existence without a gardener, then how is it you believe that this huge universe came into existence on its own, without a creator?”

Alok could realize his mistake and kept quite. His father continued, “Alok, we villagers may not be as knowledgeable like you but we believe that there is someone above us who is taking care of all of us. For you to believe so or not is all at your judgment. These are all ideologies which should not be force on others. No one else should enforce beliefs upon you, not even me or your mother. However, I only want you to keep your mind open, so that you don’t become a victim of narrow mindedness. You can never ever deny the existence of Absolute Consciousness that is operating this universe as well as your body in a perfect harmony with precision. Tell me do you have control over your heart beat, breath, on converting the food you consume to chyle and chyle to energy and distributing that energy to all parts of your body.”

“But those things take place due to the anatomy of the body.”  

“No Alok, there is a Supreme Power that resides in your heart and gives strength to the anatomy of the body, in the same way it is that Supreme Power which is the cause for you to get inspired to do something good or reprimand you when you try to do something stupid. It is the same Supreme Power that energizes your mind and gives rise to the thoughts which makes you experience happiness and sorrow. That Supreme Power is omnipresent, eternal, and blissful energy that many of us refer to as God, the Absolute Consciousness.” 

With all his ego of edification blown off, the son accepted the wisdom of his father and replied, “Dad, I know that there is some Supreme Power that science cannot prove and if that is what you are referring to as God. I do believe in it. Let us go to the temple on the hillock tomorrow morning. ”

Sunday, August 17, 2014

533. Do you wish to have a portrait of Lord Krishna!!!!!

Once there was a painter in Hastinapura who could create wonders on the canvas. He was considered the best portrait painter in the region. Once he taught of painting the portrait of Sri Krishna and came to Dwaraka. After introducing himself to the guards at the entrance of the fort, he put forth his wish to draw the portrait of Sri Krishna. He was allowed to the chamber of Sri Krishna. Beaming a smile at the painter Sri Krishna asked, "I heard you want to draw a portrait of me. Are you certain that you can draw my image?" 

The painter boasted, "I have made the portrait of many Kings and Warriors in Hastinapura and am sure that I can do a portrait of you as well."

Hearing this Sri Krishna said, “If you are confident enough you can start right away and what am I supposed to do.” 

The painter said, “If you could just sit still for about an hour without swaying that would be of great help to me, I can draw an outline and then later on I will fill in the details.” Obliging to the request Sri Krishna sat down and remained without moving for the painter to make the preliminary sketches. 

After sometime the painter with a huge sigh of relief said, “I am done.”

Smiling Krishna asked, “When will the portrait be ready?”

The painter answered, “By this time tomorrow I will have it completed.” Saying so the painter took leave thanking Krishna.

The whole night he worked on the task of accurately putting the colours to the outline of the portrait of the Lord on canvas. When he was satisfied with it he covered the portrait with a silk cloth and took it to the palace.

Amazingly for him the tiring work of the whole night went waste as he found the image in the portrait was different he observed that there was only a slight resemblance between Krishna and the portrait.

Krishna who looked at the portrait pointed out, “My dear artist, there seem to be little similarity to me and the portrait”. 

The painter said, “Forgive me, Give me another chance and I will bring a better one tomorrow.” This went on for ten days. Every time the painter brought the portrait it did not look the same as the Lord.

The painter had put all his efforts but it was impossible for him to capture Sri Krishna on the canvas. And now the painter started to feel embarrassed and thought of running away from Dwaraka to save from being humiliated. As he was about the cross the border he confronted Sage Narada. Narada asked, “You seem to be leaving the city quite disturbed. Tell me what the matter is.”

The painter told him all that had happened. Laughing at the words of the painter Narada said, “Well, Krishna is the master director of the whole universe and He scripts everything to perfection. If you use your methods it will never work. I will suggest you a method if you listen to my words and follow them implicitly surely you will succeed.

With no other option the painter agreed to do exactly as Narada wants him to do. The next morning he went to Krishna, and said, “My Lord with your grace I have at last been able to capture you exactly as you are. I request you have a look.” Saying so he removed the silk covering, when the cloth came away, it revealed a clean mirror which reflected the image of Krishna as he was.
Exactly so, if one wishes to have the portrait of the Lord with temporary painting materials he can only have Him temporarily. In this visible universe everything is temporary each and every thing is constantly changing. Is it possible to have a perfect vision of the Lord with such ephemeral forms???? Yes, it is possible to have a picture perfect vision of the Lord; one can obtain it only on the clean mirror as the painter did, which is ones own purified Mind and Heart......... Let us get the potrait of the Lord inside us????????

Friday, August 15, 2014

531. The Real Independence for my Country…...

It is been 67 years since we have driven out outsiders from our country and called ourselves an independent country. We celebrate the independence day every year. Are we independent in real sense? How can we be independent?

My views looking at the scenario now is there are three things which we need to be considered seriously to say we are an independent country.

1. Women has to be respected. Women have a very special position both at home and in society. They are capable of taking important decisions as they used to do in the Vedic era. Manusmriti says Yatra Naryastu Pujyante, Ramante Tatra Devata (Divinity Blossoms where women are respected). Male chauvinism is an attitude that causes some men to think women are inferior and exist only to serve them. For how long should women in my country tolerate such idiots???     

2. State and religion has to be separate. Agreed ours is the country of many religions and we are proud of it. Our constitution allows an individual to practice the religion of his choice. No one has the right to question him or distract him from the belief he has in certain ideology. What is the necessity for the religion to get mingled with administration of the state? Why do we not look at it different? If these two are inevitably amalgamated where is independence????

3. Business and politics has to be separate. Agreed that a businessman can be a politician and a politician can be a businessman. But how is it that a person who is unsuccessful entrepreneur becomes a successful business magnet when he becomes a politician? There could be two aspects one he is misusing the power or he is corrupt and using his business to defend his unlawful earnings. How long does this “Chalta Hai” (Take it for Grant) attitude remain in us and yet we say we are independent???

We had heard in ancient days Kings used to go on to the streets in disguise at night to know the pulse of the subjects and verify the value of their administration. With the inputs received the King would rectify his way of administration so that his subjects do not face hardship. If someone like me writes about it in a blog the response would be “Your thoughts are all old and it does not have place in the modern world. Now with the use of technology the administration can get the feedback.” But one has to keep in mind that those feedback can also be manipulated.

I feel with heavy heart and regret to say that unless we have a society that respects women, politicians who do not use religion to come to power and business to cover their loot and citizens who feel that this country is theirs and start to work for its prosperity my country is not really independent. 

Yet I take the privilege of celebrating the 67 years of Independence today as I am proud of those individuals who have don the role of excellent Leaders to take my country forward, Mothers who are nurturing the future of my country, Teachers who are molding the hope of my country, Soldiers who are guarding my country, Farmers who are feeding my country and Industrialist who are helping develop infrastructure in my country. I bow to all those souls.......

Happy Independence Day!!!!!