Tuesday, September 30, 2014

567. Never De-motivate or Discourage those who are on the Path……


Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita “svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat 

Meaning: A little advancement on the righteous path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

Yes, Sadhana is not so easy but it is never impossible. We all know that it is natural for the water to flow from higher altitude to lower altitude. There is no extra effort required but to make the same water flow from lower altitude to higher altitude we require some kind of efforts like a pulley bucket arrangement or a pump. The efforts involved here is Sadhana. For all the accomplishments in the daily life there has to be some efforts and sometimes it is time bound but for a person on spiritual path there is no time limitation and a little step in advancement can help him excel.

Some years back our family decided to climb Tirumala hills and have Darshana of Lord. We started from Alipiri footpath; in total there are 3550 steps. At the first phase of the trek to Gali Gopuram there are about 2000 steps of which around 1700 steps are a bit steep and of them the last 500 steps near the Gali Gopuram is where the knees give way and hence it is called “Mokalamitta”. When we were finding it difficult to climb that section an old woman who was also climbing along with us was exhausted. She asked the person who was climbing down as to how far the shrine is. The man said, “kastanta durame” (just a little far). Now this man knew that the old lady has just come halfway but yet did not wish to de-motivate or discourage her by saying that there is another half to trek.

When I post my thoughts about Sadhana in the blogs I have noticed some readers write comments such as “Not Possible” or “easily said than done”. Though anything that has to be achieved is very difficult one should not be de-motivated or discouraged. This de-motivation and discourage is the sign of failure. Sri Sri Sankara has told us that Sadhana has to be like the flow of clarified butter continuous and unbroken. There is no mention of hurry since any effort done in haste is waste. Agreed there might be time limitations for accomplishing certain things but there is no point in going at a wrong direction with greater velocity. A person who is in the right direction and yet slow will reach the destination.       

My grandfather use to mention about a Telugu Proverb “Dunne Voniki Nakkalu Choopoddu” (do not distract a farmer working in a field by reminding him of a jackal). There are many who find pleasure in distracting those who are working. The latest addition to this group is Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, senior journalist who tried to discourage the crowd who had gathered at Madison Square Garden, New York to listen to the inspirational views of Mr. Narendra Modi, beloved Prime Minster of India.

May the Lord put some sense into those who try to de-motivate and discourage others…It is better to keep the mouth shut than to de-motivate or discourage others….What say????

Monday, September 29, 2014

566. Even a Leaf, Flower, Fruit OR Water is OK to HIM.........

The efforts of all the members of the royal family to put some sense into Duryodhana was futile. The war was inevitable and it was Lord Krishna who took the initiative to go to Dhritharastra as an ambassador to Pandavas so that the inevitable war can be stopped. 

As it was against Dharma for a negotiator to stay in the place of either party, Lord Krishna went to Vidura’s place, Vidhura was neural he did not take sides of either Pandavas or Kavravas. When Lord arrived at Vidura' place, Vidhura had left his house and his wife was present. On seeing Krishna, she was very happy and her joy knew no bounds. She was so spellbound that she did not know what was happening. She welcomed him with respect. Krishna waited for Vidura. Vidura's wife seeing Krishna sitting in her house was lost in thoughts. She didn't know what to do. She offered him bananas. In total joy, she peeled the banana, gave the pealed skin to Krishna and threw the fruit down. Without knowing what she was doing she offered to Him and without any objections He happily ate all the banana peels she offered. 

This is a perfect example to show how devotion can make a person get lost in ecstasy and also how He values the love shown to Him by His devotees. He never minds what is given to Him by His devotees what is more important to Him is their love for Him. He values only the devotion shown to Him because He is Bhaktavatsala, the devotee is very dear to Him than anything else. 

Jagath Jyothi Basaveshwara, the philosopher and social reformer of 12th century says thus: 

People who have money build temples, 
What can I, a poor man, do? 
My legs are pillars; 
My body itself is a shrine, 
My head is the golden pinnacle, 
Please listen O, Kudalasangama Deva. 

In fact this is the height of devotion, the ability to present self to the deity. We have seen so much of pomp and show behind the rituals done in the temples. Are they really necessary??? No, He never ever advocated the need of pomp and show but those are done for the visual satisfaction of the mere mortals that we are. We have to remember that He has accepted a brick from His devotee to stand on and became Vittala. 

Lord Krishna tells in the Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 9, verses 26- “Whoever offers me with devotion a leaf, flower, a fruit, or water, I accept that devout gift of the pure minded.” Krishna has referred to Patram, Pushpam, Phalam, Thoyam (Leaf, Fruit, Flower, Water) that can be made as an offering. He says He is pleased with any of these provided it is offered with sincere devotion. 

Here Patram does not necessarily mean the leaf that grows on the plant that we see around. The perennial meaning is that our body itself is the leaf “Tanu Patram”. Pushpam is again not that which is bloomed in a creeper but it is the flower of our heart, “Hridhaya Pushpam”. Phalam is not the ordinary fruit but “Mano Phalam” the fruit of Mind. Thoyam means not the water from a river, well or lake. It refers to the Tears of Ecstasy “Ananda Bashpa” that flows out from a heart that is sincere and submitted.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

565. Poorabhishekam to Lord Venkateshwara Tirumala, Tirupati.


It gives me immense pleasure in sharing with all my friends the experience of being witness to the "Poorabhishekam" to the Lord at Seven Hills. My family of nine members were extremely blessed by the Lord for bestowing us a fortune of having the Abhisheka Darshanam on Friday, the 13th 2006. The seva tickets were booked in advance five years ago on July 31st 2001 and we had been allotted on that particular day as there is only 52 Poorabhishekam seva to the Lord per year. Only on Fridays the oblation ritual is performed to the Lord.

On the allotted day we were at Vaikuntam Q Complex at itself and we were allowed inside at around  after checking the seva tickets. By this time Suprabatam Seva had begun and we could hear the recitation of Suprabatam. We were asked to assemble in front of the coin segregation area (North-West corner of the sanctum), and the names of the sevakartas of Vastram Alankara Seva, Udayasthamana Seva, and Poorabhishekam were called out respectively in date wise priority. For the Vastram Alankara Seva two were allowed for Udyasthamana Seva six persons were allowed and for Poorabhishekam one per ticket. Sevakartas were given silver vessel containing perfumed Kasturi Chandana to be taken in procession around the sanctum as a mark of honour and the same was handed over near the sanctum.

There were 42 Vastram sevakartas and 8 Udayasthamana sevakartas so there were 132 devotees in front of us out of total 186. Though we were first in the Poorabhishekam since we had got the seva tickets back in 2001, we could sit near Bangaru Vakili. Devotees were made to sit from the Kulashekaralwar Padi (Threshold of Sanctum) to the Garudalwar Shrine in Thirumamani Mantapam. Ladies were made to sit to the left side of Lord and gents to the right.

At the time of Abhishekam the lights in the Sayana Mantapam, Ramar Madai, Snapana Mantapam and Tirumamani Mantapam were switched off so that the Abhishekam of Lord could be visible to the devotees near the Garuda Shrine.

This is the most sanctifying ritual in the Agamas that is performed to the Dhruva Bera (Moola Virat) every Friday morning. Abhishekam was done first with milk, then with water, Sandal paste, Turmeric, Kasturi, Civet, and Gambir or pachcha karpura, to the accompaniment of Vedic hymns, Purusha Sukta and mantras. Devotees have darshana of the Lord in all His splendour as the Moola Beram is divested of all ornaments and clothes except Alarmelmanga plaque. This is the most thrilling darshana of the Lord in his "nija swarupa' or 'holy nirvana'.

Abhishekam was then performed for the Gold image of Srivatsa that hangs on His chest, to the chanting of Sri Sukta. And at the end aarthi was performed.

The Lord was then dressed in a pitambaram and darshanam was allowed to all the sevakartas. A packet of Kasturi Chandanam that was placed at the feet of Lord and Camphor crystals (pacha karpooram) applied as Namam to Lord was given as Abhisheka Prasadam to the sevakartas.

I am blessed since I was with my family to witness the most enchanting ritual done to the Lord of Seven Hills. I thank Him for the  opportunity bestowed on me and my family. This is the most memorable and satisfying moment in my life.......

Friday, September 26, 2014

564. Enlightenment is Within and one has to be just Aware of it.......!


One night a Guru and his Shishya were sitting in a hermitage. They had an oil lamp which lit the place and the Shishya was reading scriptures by means of the glow from the lamp. He read aloud, “When sun rays lit the entire world it is from darkness to light, the light assist you to see the world and make you enlightened.” For a brief moment Shishya paused and contemplated and asked the Guru, “Gurudeva, does it mean enlightenment is like the rays from sun which brightens the world?”

“May be and may not be also,” Guru replied.

“Please elaborate,” Shishya requested. “Is it so or is it not?”

Guru walked up to the oil lamp and blew it off, the hermitage became dark.

“Am I visible now?” asked the Guru.

“No,” replied Shishya.

“So, darkness does not enlighten you is what you feel?” The Guru asked.

Shishya thought for a moment and said, “Yes, I feel so.” Guru lit the oil lamp and asked, “If you are in the opinion that an external light is the factor to enlighten you, then according to you a person who is born blind does not get enlightenment at all, Right??.

Now Shishya was in a fix he could neither say yes nor no. He kept quite.

Guru continued, “You have based the substratum of enlightenment to the ability to see. Now are you able to see the objects that are present here in the light.”

Shishya said, “I am able to see all the objects.”

Guru again blew off the oil lamp and there was darkness again.

Guru asked, “The objects that you saw are right here except for the light from the lamp that is vanished, Right?” The Guru asked.

Shishya immediately said, “Yes, everything here is the same except for the light from the lamp which is missing.”

Guru asked, “What do you think is the difference between you and a blind person as of now?”

Shishya said, “With lack of light I am also blind.”

Guru asked, “Suppose somebody outside wants to know if I am here and calls out to you and ask you, you need a light to make sure if I am here. But if a person wants to know if you are here in the dark you need no light to confirm your presence. So, in darkness also you can be enlightened. Just as sun rays or for the matter this oil lamp is required to perceive the object around, there is a light in you called awareness which brightens you to perceive yourself.  The prerequisite for enlightenment is this awareness. Enlightenment is not merely light or lack of it. You are enlightened when you mentally become bright. There is love & compassion in you to be aware of it and apply it unconditionally is enlightenment. ”

Shishya said, “Even with these physical eyes I was blind all these days, from now on Gurudeva you have made it possible for me to perceive mentally. I bow to you.”

Thursday, September 25, 2014

563. Relationship between Sharira (Body) and (Shariri) Mind……!


The word physical body implies to that which has two eyes, two ears, mouth, nose, hands, legs, etc. etc., Every creature which has all these features be it humans, animals or insects can be considered as a being. But the cause for this Physical Body (Sharira) as we all know is Mind (Shariri) and it is so in the Cosmic level also hence the Upanishad saying “Yasya Pruthvi Shariram” meaning “Earth is Body of Brahman.”

In our being there are some conditions for this relationship between our body and mind which we need to understand they are as follows: 

A. The body exists only due to mind so the mind supports the body, if mind cease to exist then the body also cease to exist.

B. Not only does mind support the body but it also controls it. The body acts as per the instructions of the mind. Where the mind goes the body follows. Hence while operation the patient is administered anesthesia so that the mind does not get to feel the pain. 

C. Not only does the mind support and control the body, it makes the body a means to experience the pleasure or endure the pain.    

Amazingly the Shariri (Mind) is mostly filled with Chaitanya (Zeal) got from Atma (Soul) which is Chetana (Consciousness), while Sharira (Body) can be either a Chit (Active) or Achit (Inert) depending on the situations.  

With all the three conditions fulfilled one can understand that the Mind (Shariri) resides in the Body (Sharira). Like wise as per the Upanishad statement “Yasya Pruthvi Shariram” Brahman who is the Shariri resides in Prakriti which is His body. Hence the Divinity can be felt on this earth and in every material present. Earth which is Prakriti is Jada (Inert) until there is the advent of Purusha into it.    

Now if we accept this statement there is a doubt as to how come then Brahman is not affected by the changes in the Prakruti, if He is physically inside it. As we all know that if there is any trauma to the body it is felt on the mind. 

Srimad Ramanuja, the exponent of Vishishtadvaita Philosophy (Qualified Non-dualism) explains it with a beautiful analogy. If a person is served with some sweet made with lots of ghee. After relishing the sweet that person wishes to wash his hand which is smeared with ghee by using a soap or hand sanitizer. But he never bothers to do the same to the tongue which has also had the contact of the ghee, since ghee does not stick to the tongue. Similarly, even though Brahman is present in every material in this earth, the changes in it don’t affect Him. ........ How true and accurate our Shastras are...........just contemplate!!!!!!!   

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

562. Mahalaya Amavasya – A day to pay homage to Ancestors.


On Mahalaya Amavasya Hindus pay respect to their ancestors and wish that the Soul of their ancestors is in peace. It is considered a sacred ritual for Hindus as the scriptures mention it to be the pious duty of generations in Hindu families to perform it as respect to the ancestors without whom the individual would not have existed. The ritual is termed as “Pitru Karya” (Ritual to Ancestors).

Pitru Karya makes sense to only for those who had valued their parents as beloved when they were alive. Puranas points to the lives of Shravana Kumara, Pundalika, Aaruni, and Upamanyu as examples of those who cared for their parents when they were alive. There is nothing great if an individual makes a grand ritual in the name of customs and tradition in this month of Paksha Masa, when the parents whom he had sent to old age home passes away. What is more important is that he should have looked after them well when they were alive.  

Our ancient scriptures says Pitru Karya is more relevant then Deva Karya (Ritual to Divine). In this ritual Pitru Karya could be performed on any of the days between Bharadpada Shukla Poornima to Ashivija Shuddha Amavasya (Today). The essence is to please the soul of our ancestors by feeding or giving donations to Brahmin and crows as per an individual’s capacity. Civilized people ask when we have cremated their physical body and the soul had merged with Absolute who is the beneficiaries of all this daana (offerings). We have totally forgotten that the subtle body (Mind and Intellect) exists even when the physical body or the Soul is not. This subtle body is the beneficiary through a Brahmin. Since subtle body is the constitute of Mind and Intellect and does not posses sense organs it is just satisfied by the emotional feel offered by the posterities. 

Why only Brahmin???? 

At early times a Brahmin community was one which would teach and preach way of life by sharing the knowledge they had. It was their profession and they had no other means of income like the other three communities. An individual is a Brahmin not because he is born in a Brahmin family but the his character and his way of life makes him a Brahmin. He is the one who would live on the donations and not earn by selling knowledge. Also it is not so simple to receiving donations on behalf of departed souls, after accepting such donations a Brahmin has to chant “Gayatri Mantra” at least 108 times so that the fruit of the donation will reach the subtle body under mention.

Why is it that the food is offered only to the Crows?

Crows are the only species which do not fight over food. In fact a crow does not consume food without calling other crows for company to eat and in ancient scriptures we are told that the departed soul would sate its hunger through a crow.    

Why not give donations to orphanage or old age homes????

In those times when the shastras (scriptures) were inscribed there were no orphanage or old age homes. If a child lost its parents the relative would take care so it was never sent to any orphanage, in fact there was no word called orphan. In Mahabharata when Karna was disowned by Kunti due to unavoidable circumstances, he became Radheya since Radha took care of him. It is only in this modern era there are orphanage and old age homes due to slow deterioration of moral responsibility in individuals.  

Pitru Karya though is guided by some ritualistic practice as suggested in scriptures, it is personal where conviction becomes the key. I remember reading about an incidence in Ramayana where Sitamata offered sand balls instead of the prescribed traditional rice and til balls as pinda to her father-in-law (King Dasharatha) while in exile. The Jivatma (Subtle Body) of Dasharatha accepted it joyfully, it doesn't matter what we offer the intention to offer is important. 

Even today we find people who respect their aged parents and look after them with great care. They are just using the opportunity to clear the Pitru Rina (Debt of the Ancestors) when their parents are alive and not waiting for their parents to depart to show their respect ………. I bow to such individuals.

Monday, September 22, 2014

561. Endure all that Life tosses at you be it Pain or Pleasure!!


Whenever a pleasant situation arises in ones life it is attributed to the meritorious deeds done in previous life and in the same way for grief it is tagged to label immoral practices. The moment there is grief in life it is obvious that one wants to do something to annul it completely or try to put off taking the help of an astrologer. This is normal mind-set but if it becomes a practice to run to an astrologer for every small issue it is indeed ridiculous.

Writes D.V.Gundappa in his “Mankutimmana Kagga” thus:

Grahagatiya Tidduvane Jyoisanu Jatakadi?
Vihitavagihudu Adara Gati Srushti Vidhiyim
Sahisidallade Mugiyadaava Dashe Bandodam
Sahane Vajrada Kavacha – Mankutimma

“Can an astrologer change your fate by forging your horoscope? Every thing is predestined at the start hence there is no escaping from effects of the fate on life. One has to simply endure it. And to bear it, we need to have shield called patience.” – Mankutimma

Through the ages we have noticed that those who are on spiritual path and some who were enlightened would not do anything to put off or annihilate Karma Phalas. We have read about Ramana Maharshi who had problem in his arm and Ramakrishna Parmahamas also had problem in throat. They had attained oneness with Absolute and could have altered their Karma Phalas but they never attempt to do so. Why????? Because they knew exactly about how Law of Karma works.         

This was an incident which happened not in ancient times but in middle of 20thcentury, in the life of one of the Pontiffs of Sri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Mahasamsthanam, Daksinamnyaaya Sri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri, Karnataka. The peetadhipathis or the successors are from the lineage of Sri Sri Sankara. They have immense power gained by performing austerities but they never use them for their benefit and most importantly even today the pontiff never get involved in political affairs. One such Mahaswami had Parkinson’s syndrome. While performing the ablution to the Sri Chandramouleshwara, the Crystal Linga which is believed to have been passed on to the linage by Sri Sri Sankara, he noticed that the water which was intended to fall on the Crystal Linga would spill out because of his shaking hands. As this ritual was performed in front of the devotees and was not a manasika pooja, the pontiff was worried that due to his nervous weakness he was unable to perform ablution properly. He thought of asking someone to do the ritual but his heart would not accept it as he wished to do it himself out of devotion. 

After some days to the amazement of all the devotees who would be present to witness the ritual daily, they noticed that the paramacharya's hand did not shake at the time of ablution. But after performing the pooja to the Crystal Linga and when he stepped out the shake in the arms would continue as ever. Many who saw this for a week time thought that it was a miracle. And the close aid of the pontiff who also noticed this, out of curiosity asked him about the miracle. The pontiff said, “Yes, it is indeed the grace of Lord Chandramouleshwara. When I go into the hall to perform the ablution I transfer this syndrome to my Yoga Danda*. The next day the close aid watched that while the pontiff was performing the ablution the yoga danda which was place in the corner was shaking. At the end of the ritual close aid ran to the pontiff and suggested that since he had power to transfer the syndrome to yoga danda he should let it remain with it. 

To this the pontiff said, “Prarabdha Karma Phalas has to be put up with and it has to be endured. If I try to dodge them I have to take another birth to bear it. As I would not like to come back again, I will undergo all that is in my part in this life now itself. Let me not postpone my destiny.”

{* Yoga Danda is a T-shaped wooden staff of about 2 feet used as a support to the arm while sitting in the seat of silence.}

Saturday, September 20, 2014

560. Could Lord Rama have gone back on the promise He made?


A promise is a vow made by a person to another assuring him that he will act according to what he says. It has to be made only if it can be honoured. It is very easy to make a promise but very hard not to break it. The situation at which a person makes a promise will be different from that when he is supposed to keep up. Some people use the situations as an excuses as to try and explain the reason for not keeping up the word. The situation may demand any extreme to keep up the promises it is required to be honoured at any cost. It is not just satisfying the other person but being true to your word.

When a promise is not fulfilled, you will not only end up hurting the other person you've given your promise to at the same time you will kill their faith on you. You will let them feel less of a person because you will give them the idea that they're not important to you. When a promise is made, you have to think of the importance it has to the other person you've given your word to. The person to whom you have made the promise has to get the idea that he is important to you and you give him your at most priority. A promise is generally accepted from a person who does not lie and who is truthful. If once a promise is broken no one will believe that the person is reliable and can be depended upon. There may be many reasons for a promise to break the most important one is if one looks at it in selfish attitude.

Dharma does not allow anyone to go back on the promise that is made, it advice not to make a promise if it can not be fulfilled. In His entire life Lord Rama followed Dharma, hence while briefing about Lord Rama's character to King Ravana, his close aide Maricha warns him and said, “RAMO VIGRAHAVAN DHARMA (Rama is Dharma personified)

In Ramayana, when Lord Rama had to challenge Ravana at the war, He asks Lakshmana to go to Ravana for the last bit to avoid war and request him to return Sita Devi. He tells Lakshmana, “If Ravana returns Sita even at this juncture, tell Ravana that he will be let to be the King”

Sugriva, the Vanara king comes to know about this development and hurries to warn Lord Rama, “O Rama, have you forgotten that you have already crowned Vibhishana the King of Lanka? How will you keep up your promise?”   

Lord Rama smilingly says, “If Ravana returns back Sita and has a feel of repentance to all the wrong deeds done by him, there is nothing bigger purification than that being regretful. If he is a changed man, I am ready to crown Ravana the King of Ayodhya.

Friday, September 19, 2014

559. Joy is my Inherent Nature and so is it Yours!!!!!


To experience joy I need not depend on external mechanism if I am aware that joy is my inherent nature. The external mechanism may sometimes be in favor of my thoughts and at time it may turn out to be contrast of what I feel and think. The moment the external mechanism does not concur with my thoughts and feelings I am not joyful, and this moment wherein I am not joyful is termed as sorrow.

Most importantly sorrow is not just the absence of joy, as joy is being harmonious with Self at any given time. Every being is continuously in harmony with Self but may or may not be aware of it. Joy is not just being emotionally keyed up and feeling good about everything. It is an experience that I comprehend when I am not influenced by anything outside me and come to understand that it is my nature which is JOY. Delight and grief depends mostly on my thought process. I can control them easily if I am the master of my mind. To be the master of my mind I need to be aware that that I am Sat-Chit-Ananda meaning I Physically Exist, Psychologically am Aware and Spiritually I am Blissful.

A psychology professor came up with a unique question for his students at the time of final exams. The students were ready to leave the class and the professor requested for their attention and picked up his chair, dumped it on top of the desk and wrote on the board:
“Using all the knowledge you have gained from the semester, prove that this chair does not exist.”

The professor told the class that he would collect the assignment the next day. All of a sudden there was silence in the class. Some studious students pulled out their project books and started writing. Some reached out to their texts and guides to look into them for anything substantial. Some started to have discussions among others. But there was this fellow sitting in the last bench who took out a sheet of paper and scribbled something and folded it into half wrote his name and handed over it to the professor who had just crossed the threshold of the class. Not only the professor but the entire class was astonished by the young man’s act.

A week later the young guy who was first to write the assignment got the best grade, the whole class was wondered how his assignment could be the best as he hardly wrote anything. When the whole class insisted to know what the young man had written, the psychology professor revealed his answer sheet which had just “WHAT CHAIR?” written in the middle of the sheet.

In the same way when I realize that sorrow is just the result of my ignorance I will be asking “WHAT SORROW?” And further realization of the truth makes me realize the illusionary and dream-like nature of the world, and then I will be in a position to ask “WHAT WORLD?” “WHAT PAIN?” “WHAT LOSS?” “WHAT GAIN?” Delight and grief does not exist in reality since they do not appear on their own, they are temporary flip flop emotions that sprout in my mind as the stream of thoughts flow if I am skeptical. This is the reason Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that with no desires in the mind, if the lower self is satisfied with the higher Self then the seeker is steadfast and rock solid in making decisions.

If I am engrossed in those flip flop emotions in my thoughts and if it cope up well with the circumstances I am happy otherwise I am not. Instead of giving any prominence to my thoughts if I remain imperturbable to the emotions then the circumstances and my thoughts do not affect me, and I can enjoy the uninterrupted harmony with my Self as always. One thing I need to remember is that without my concern and consent the outer circumstances do not have the capacity to affect me…………Am I Right????

Thursday, September 18, 2014

558. He provides what is Needed rather than what is Wanted...!


How many times have we heard a distress person saying, “God does not provide me what I want!” Life is a lot like that; God might not give us what we want but definitely will provide what we need. He has designed us and gave us all the pieces necessary to achieve our purpose. It is our incapability to understand His order. As we journey the path of life we keep thinking that we are not getting that we want, and on the other hand if we have an overview of what has happened it will have a perfect picture. As a matter of fact some extra additions which we might have gathered to add to our life never really fit in and some will be still sitting by the edge waiting to be discovered why we gathered them.

We have not learnt to count on God to give us what we need, for He knows what is best for us. Our prayers will reveal what we anticipate in Him. We are a confused lot in deciding if He is Cosmic Kamadhenu (wish fulfilling cow) looking forward to fulfil our endless wish list or is He the all knower who provide what we deserve. By examining the wishes we place before him as we enter the place of worship we can get an idea of what we really think Him to be – a businessman or a trader? Only He knows how much to give and when to give. Sometimes He provides bread and sometimes He provides the ingredients of the bread and wants me to bake it and many a times he offers something which I cannot comprehend immediately as to why He has given it to me. But I need to accept whatever is offered by Him irrespective of whether I want it or not as I am unable to grasp from my limited knowledge when that which is offered to me will be of use.   

Once a traveller was lost in a desert and he wandered all alone. He was thirsty and was desperate for water. Far in the desert he saw a small hut. Hoping to find water, he walked towards it, only to find an old hawker sitting with a bunch of neckties laid out on the table.

The exhausted man asked, “Please, I'm dying of thirst, can I have some water?”

The man replied, “I don't have any water, but could you please buy a tie? This one goes nicely with your shirt it costs only 10 bucks; moreover it helps me support my family.”

The desperate man shouted, “I don't want the goddamn tie, you idiot, I need water don’t you see I am thirsty. Instead of selling ties here you could have put up a soft drinks shop in this desert, I would have paid 100 bucks for a litre of water. Do you think I am here shopping for a cheap tie? I have better collection of neck ties in my wardrobe.”

“Cool gentleman, it is O.K if you don't buy a tie. The Lord wants me to sell this here and I am doing it. Just to show you what a nice guy I am, I'll tell you that over that hill there, about 5 kms, is a decent restaurant. Walk that way, there you can fetch your thirst.”

The man walked away towards the hill and eventually disappeared out of sight. Three hours later he returned. The hawker asked, “I told you, about 5 kms over that hill. Did you not find the restaurant?”

“Oh yah, I did find that restaurant. But they wouldn't allow me in without a tie.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

557. Devashilpi Vishwakarma, the Divine Architect.


According to Hindus Devashilpi Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. He is Devashilpi (Divine Architect) who designed and created this earth plane at the behest of Brahma, the Lord of Creation. He evolved as the son of Prabhasa (one of the Asta Vasu) and Yogasiddha, sister of Brihaspati (Deva Guru). He is depicted as an elderly person with four arms with chisel and hammer in the two and other two holding the working material.

Rig Veda describes Vishwakarma as the god with multi-dimensional vision and supreme strength. He is able to predict well in advance in which direction his creation will move. Dwarka, Indraprasta and Hastinapura are the historic cites constructed by Him, while the magnificent temple to Lord Jagannath at Puri and the captivating enormous forms of Lord Jagannatha, Subadhra and Balarama were sculpted by this Divine Sculptor.

Legend says that the Vajrayudha of Indra was created by Vishwakarma who assembled the vertebra of Sage Dadachi who donated his backbone so that the demon Vritasura could be killed by Indra using it as a weapon. The Sudharshana of Maha Vishnu was also created by Vishwakarma. Vishwakarma give his daughter Sanjana in marriage to Surya, the Sun God. Unable to endure the heat and brilliance of the Sun’s rays Sanjana requested her father to reduce the intensity of the brilliance in the Sun. Vishwakarma is said to have cut away one eighth part of the Sun’s brilliance to make the Sudharshana Chakra from it.  

The island of Sri Lanka was architected by Vishwakarma. When Lord Shiva married Parvathi, she requested the Lord for a palace worthy for them to reside on this earth plane. Lord Shiva asked Vishwakarma to build it and the magnificent golden palace on the island of Lanka took shape. At the house-warming ceremony (Grihapravesha) Ravana who was then a wise devotee of Lord Shiva was the Pandit. As recompense, Shiva asked Ravana to ask for whatever he desired and He would grant it. Overwhelmed by the beauty of Vishwakarma’s architecture Ravana asked for Swarna Lanka itself. Bholenath granted the request of His devotee and since then Lanka was the capital of Ravana and was witness to the events of the Ramayana which was to unfold later.

Today is Vishwakarma Jayanthi, our artisians and craftsmen accept Devashilpi Vishwakarma and call themselves as Vishwakarma tribe. They pray for His blessing and request Him to grant the knowledge required for their work so that they can perform better in their skills. This spiritual association is very apparent in the arts and crafts of our land, a relatively large portion of which are dedicated to the Divine. In the ancient times when the young king won the war the old minister would advice him to build enormous temples to wash off the sin accumulated by the death of many soldiers in the war. The intention though was to keep the artisians and craftsmen of the region engaged in construction work and give them a platform to exhibit their skills. The number of temples dedicated to the various deities in the Hindu pantheon so far outnumbers the palaces and forts of the mortal kings in India. The prevailing principle in India regards that only those crafts and architecture that honor God are worthy of attention and acclaim. The Architecture of Hoysala Temples in Karnataka are the proof. (Those interested can visit the blog posted in regard to the Art and Architecture of world famous Hoysala Temples - http://hoysalatemple.blogspot.in). May their tribe swell!!!

To this day it is Devashilpi Vishwakarma who has been sharpening my mind so that I can solve any minor problems in the machines at my factory. I take this opportunity to bow to the Divine Engineer of the world.

Om Vishwarupaya Vidmahe Vishwa Karmane Dhimahi 
Tanno Prabrahma Prachodayat

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

556. Criticism has always helped me to Excel Creatively.......!


Criticism is an indication that people like my work and do not want see any deterioration in the standard that I am maintaining. If those criticisms are taken positively there is always a chance of betterment in the quality of work done in future. Criticism can demotivate me if I take it to the heart, instead if I take it to the head and analyse I might find if there is any truth in the critics. If I indeed find an iota of slip-down I can try to correct myself. I see to it that criticism will never lower my confidence level, if it is deliberate criticism I just ignores it, as I am my best judge.   

It is said that even if you have a critic in your dream your life path will be on track. So, I think I am fortunate to have a person in flesh and blood scanning my work and in a way helping me to set right the faults that I have committed. I have never taken criticism personally, if someone does not like the way I have done a work I try to take it in a stride and move on. Even if I feel that the remarks were unfairly, I do not try to even the score with an inappropriate reaction. If I do react, it may land me in irreparable relationship damage and even cause harm to my well-being as well.

There are many occasions where I feel the criticism is too personal and, now and then, I might be right. Critics could be fallible and it is important for me to remember to not be offended by their remarks. However, a person who is yearning to excel will take criticism on board and not respond as though it is made on personal grounds. He will channelize those criticisms to work to his advantage in improving his benchmarks. If a critic is intentionally trying to hinder my work by criticizing what ever I do, unmindful of whether it is correct or not, I just ignore such a critic.

Once Lord Buddha was seated in the seat of silence. All of a suddenly, an agitated person came and started abusing and criticizing him. Lord Buddha was unmoved and remained like a silent observer throughout the ordeal. The agitated man was taken by surprise. How can he remain so quiet amidst such abuses? He asked, “Why are you not reacting to my criticism?”

Lord Buddha replied by a counter question, “Suppose you offer a gift to someone but he declines to accept the same, then to whom the gift belongs?” The man answered, “Where is the question? Undoubtedly, it will remain with the giver only.” Lord Buddha clarified, “Since I have not accepted your abuses, they remain with you only. Why should I be perturbed?”

Saint Purandaradasa one of the prominent composer and contributor to Dasa Sahitya in Kannada literature during the 16th century, writes in one of his compositions thus:

nindakarirabeku samajadali nindakarirabeku
sandigondigalali handigaliruvanthe nindakarirabeku.....

Meaning: Critics have to be there in the society just like a sounder of pigs that are present in the by lanes.....

The pigs are supposed to be the filthiest animals on earth. They live and thrive on muck, faeces and dirt. They are known to be the best scavengers that exist. In olden days the houses in villages did not have toilets and the villagers excreted in the open air. Very often excreta were cleared by these pigs and the village was kept clean. Saint Purandaradasa compares our faults to the filth and critics to pigs which clean them.  

I have to differentiate between Constructive and Destructive criticism, appreciate the constructive one and ignore the destructive...... What say???? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

555. Experiencing God within to act according to His will!!!!


How much ever the scriptural knowledge can get a seeker close to having the experience of God it will not materialise if he does not take the initiative of experiencing Him within. Since all that is said and heard is through this mind, to experience God one has to beyond the presupposed mindset. If one goes in search of Him with the presumed notions in the mind about what is said about Him, then that endeavor may take him close to Him but the seeker will fail to experience the Lord. All mind can deliver is up to certain level it cannot go beyond that level. God has to be experienced in the mind, rather not comprehended as what the mind has presupposed God to be like.  

If mind is fed with the notions and it reflects back only those notions about Him, instead if one sensitize oneself, awaken the true, fine, beautiful qualities that all have, then the mind becomes a channel to experience Him. He is not far away to go in search of, if one can find Him inside him, He will loom as a bud would blossom into beautiful flower filling the air with fragrance. Firstly the sense of light shining within is felt. Then there is eagerness to seek that light and be with it always. When one get used to being with that light he will start to feel the light is the same which permeate the whole universe and he need not feel away from it and this is the time that oneness is experienced. That experience of oneness in God has made many in the past to confidently point the finger towards any object and say aloud that He is present there. At that point it is no longer a belief or faith on God it is just being God. It is the time that one says “I am God”.  What does that mean? Does it mean that I can create a parallel universe? No, that is not the meaning of the saying “I am God”.

To illustrate the meaning of “I am God” there is this incidence which happened in the life of a 13 year old boy. Every year at the natural formation of ice Linga at the Amarnath Caves, his father would take him there. That year the little boy heard shocking news that a bus carrying a group of pilgrims plunged in 70 feet gorge and no one survived. The boy asked his father “Papa, Why didn't Bhole Baba rescue the pilgrims?” The father could not answer but all he could say is that it is fate. The boy had heard his grandmother tell him that everyone was God. “Why no one could save them?” he thought.

That incident haunted the little boy even after he returned from the pilgrimage. He started thinking “If God could not protect those who were on the way to visit His shrine, what is the use of prayers”. This made him behave like a sort of agnostic, years rolled by and when he was a young man of 20 there was another incidence that happened which changed his perception altogether.

One day as he was off to his college on his bike he saw a group of people standing in a huddle and looking down at something. He parked his two wheeler and ran towards the crowd to find a severely injured man. Nobody there was ready to take him to the hospital. This young man lifted the person with the help of other made the injured person sit on the backseat of his bike and rushed to the nearby hospital. Injured person was admitted and had to be operated and given blood. The young man volunteered to donate blood, and by that time the police had informed the relatives of the person. Hours passed, the operation was over and the doctor came out and told the relatives that the person was safe and there was no need to worry. 

Our young man came back home and as he was drenched with the blood of the injured man he took bath and as he was drying his hair with his towel he thought “A life was saved today, if I have had thought that somebody or for the matter God would save the life of the man and left the place may be the man would have dead bleeding.” He suddenly remembered the accident that happened 4 years ago and his grandmothers words, “I am God or God is within me.” He realized its essence that you need not go in search of God outside who is actually within you and do your duty or Karma and He is present in your work. If you experiencing God within, then you are a part of the play which He is directing. He will provide you a suitable role but inspiring from inside. He will let you play the role of the God. This is how many greats have felt the Mahavakya “AHAM BRAHMASMI” resonate in them  ......!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

554. What is Bhakthi? Is it just Surrendering to the Lord?


We humans give a lot of importance to relationships. However we find that every relationship depend on the circumstances and hence is not eternal. A seeker who yearns for a relationship that has to be eternal realizes that his relationship with Absolute is the ONE that is  stable and reliable. The nature of understanding this relationship is called Bhakti.

Bhakti is not have a mind set of surrenderance to Absolute but also to know that He is already residing in you since the moment your body took form. Many think that those who aspire for Moksha alone thread the path of Bhakti. But it is not true. Suppose a person has no desire of liberation yet Bhakti can be beneficial to him.


Accepting of realities as they are is a psychological problem in almost all human beings. We do not want to walk through the problem and emerge victorious. All the time we need some sort of short cut or bypass route so that the problem is evaded. We fail to comprehend that life is like a roller coaster ride which has bumps and drops and it is important for us to experience all those the life serves us. Unable to take life as it come we tend to create an internal resistance mechanism in our mind which is very powerful and at the same time is capable of affecting our performance in life.

Internal resistance becomes an attitude which causes unfavorable consequences. It magnifies the problem and makes it appear to look larger than what it really is and suppress the positive mental attitude. More the resistance chances are that greater is the problem magnified. In such a situation my mind is unable to decide on what has to be done to control the fear of that problem. The fear of the consequence of the problem does not allow my mind to think of solving the problem instead it makes us forget to avail the problem solving skills which we have in us. Failing to solve the problem we get entangled in the web of negative thoughts regarding the future and are unable to get out of it. We are bound to the problem straining ourself. Strain is born out of the resistance to the problem not by the problem itself.

The ancient philosophers knew about the problems that mankind would face so they revived the already existing solution. It was like offering the old wine in the new bottle. They thought if internal resistance was the problem then outright acceptance was indeed the only solution. Outright acceptance generates positive thoughts which prepare us to face the problem with cheerfulness. Cheerfulness is the stage in which everything thrives. It is a first sign and a end result of faith in the Absolute. Cheerfulness generates positive thoughts in us and this continuous flow of positive thoughts and contemplation on these assertions takes us to the realm of Absolute. When in the realm of Absolute we understand about the creation of this universe, its purpose and its predestined project.

There is awareness about this whole predestined project which has been kick started because of our partaking. This universe is the playground of our destiny and we are the master of our own destiny. Whatever we have sown in the past we have to reap either in the present or in the future lives as the results of our own actions. There is no escape route at all and here we get to know about the law of karma which has its validity for ever. As Bhaktas it seems to be logical for us to accept whatever comes to us as sacrament whether we like it or not. It is just accepting the will of the Absolute that gives us the strength to fight the inner resistance mechanism and at the same time have the knowledge to understand that in this play of destiny this phase is just a session which will be for some moments and will pass on.  

Surrender is the quantum leap from mind to no-mind, from ego to egolessness. In a single leap the whole journey is contained. It is not a long journey from you to Truth; it is a single-step journey. It is not a gradual phenomenon; it is not that slowly, slowly, gradually you come to Absolute. It is a quantum leap! One moment you were in darkness and the next moment all is light. All that is needed is to put the ego aside.

Acceptance of the situation happened as we know the vastness of the Absolute. Surrendering to that mighty power will let us accept the problem that we may encounter in the path of life and go through them with a cheerful disposition. More the surrender chances are that inner resistance becomes weaker. By surrendering to Absolute and having develop an attitude to accept any situations we become so wise, strong and powerful to meet any kind of situation that life would offer us.......Am I right????