Thursday, April 30, 2015

719. Spirituality at your door step but with a Price Tag!!!!

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/self-improvement/spirituality-at-your-door-step-but-with-a-price-tag



Spiritual thoughts are very easy to preach, and to some extent easier to understand yet they are complete difficult to practice. Spiritual thoughts that I refer to here is to practice compassion, detachment and letting go of negative emotions like Anger, fear, worry, insecurity, anxiety, hatred, grief and suffering. While interacting with the society everyone is challenged by everyday situations wherein it is unavoidable to wrestle with these emotions. It is here that the Spiritual Thoughts bring in awareness of the situation and help us to make progress on the path.

Spirituality is most used and abused word in recent times. While one section has soiled it with the narrow minded dogmas and belief, the other section is the most dangerous one it has used it to mint money. Every upcoming city in India has many ashrams which boast about conducting Spiritual Awakening Courses. But isn't Spirituality the blooming of Inner Awareness? Is it not just to be aware that “I” came with nothing and will go with nothing?

When I know that “I” will go with nothing and this is the substratum of Spirituality why should a seeker pay to know this? Earlier this spiritual knowledge was given by an enlightened soul and every seeker would go to him, now the so called Spiritual knowledge is at our door step with a price tag with it.

Now the question is what is the seeker seeking? Is it the Spiritual Knowledge or just a solace to the restless Mind?

We have confused Spiritual Knowledge with Mind Management. Most of those who attend the various courses at various ashramas are from upper middle class and high class societies. There is lot of stress and strain they undergo during the weekdays for which they find solace if they attend those so called “Spiritual Retreats” every weekends. But Spiritual Knowledge is not so once the seeker imbibes them it opens the doors to experiencing LIFE as it is, for what it is. The seeker thus comprehend that life is nothing but a string of experiences where each moment is relished with the curiosity of a child and the courage of an explorer.  This secret to experience life as it unfolds is never revealed to the seeker in the so called ashrams as they want the seeker to attend all the courses organized by them.

An individual who seeks relief from stress and strain is different from a seeker who is a mumukshu. A mumukshu needs and searches for Spiritual Knowledge while the other person wants just Life Transformation skills. The later has to update himself every now and then as he finds it difficult to accept the Spiritual perspective to living. Spiritual perspective is living with awareness. He connects everything in life to a material which is impermanent and hence he is depended on the sense of security. All his fears, insecurities and worries are connected in some form or the other to his money which is why it is difficult to stay detached.

Actually, detaching in itself is easy. What scares an individual most is what might happen when he become detached. The bottom line is that the idea of living without money is easy and simple, but the fear of living without money kills. The individual is in a dilemma and so he clings on to that fear and hence has to suffer. Detachment, clinging and fear have a very messy relationship.

Spirituality means to live free and live in a let-go!  To know this does a seeker have to take a course and pay for it……..I wonder!!!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

720. OM ! SHANTHI ! SHANTHI ! SHANTHIH !



The Upanishads have Shanthi mantras and each of the shanthi mantras conclude with Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthihi. 

Why do we ask for shanthi three times in each shanthi mantra????  Is there any significance in doing so????
 There are three kinds of Pida (Afflictions) that we humans are to face, Adhyatmika, Adhibhutika and Adhidaivika.   

Adhyatmika are problems that are related to one's own self. These maybe physical and mental issues that one person has to deal within himself like diseases, anger, frustrations, emotions etc. 

Adhibhutika is imposed on one due to circumstances involving people maybe his family members, relatives or friends and events that come as part of one's Prarabdha karma like accidents, human contacts, pollution, crime etc. 

Adhidaivika are those beyond our control which may affect whole of the society in which we live including us such as Tsunami, Earthquake, Volcanoes, and such Natural Calamities.

We humans are very intelligent we have strength to monitor the natural calamities and give us updated of such event in prior but destiny will deceive us and bring disaster with death with it. Humans are indeed doing their part very well but the mother nature has her own say.   
 So while reciting Upanishad mantras there are the Shanthi mantras which request the Providence to bring in peace to us. It is chanted aloud the first time, addressing the unforeseen forces (Adhidaivika). It is chanted softer the second time, directed to our immediate surroundings and those around (Adhibhutika), and softest the last time as it is addressed to oneself (Adhyatmika).

May the people of Nepal and affected area get the strength to overcome this disaster, and let us pray it may not repeat again

OM SHANTHI SHANTHI SHANTHIH !!!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

718. Srimad Ramanujacharya’s doctrine of Vishishtadvaita Vedanta.

http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-blogs/seekers/mysticism/srimad-ramanujacharyas-doctrine-of-vishishtadvaita-vedanta



Today (24-04-2015) happens to be the birth star of Srimad Ramanuja who is considered one among the Acharya Trio in Indian Philosophy, let us know about the doctrine he proclaimed in which gave importance to Bhakti along with Knowledge.  


Srimad Ramanujacharya was born in 1017 in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. He lived for 120 Years and preached Vishistadvaita (Qualified Non Dualism) philosophy. Though he did not differ much from Sri Sri Sankaras’ Advaita philosophy (Non Dualism), he wanted to clarify certain things. In the opinion of Srimad Ramanuja, God is not only eternal, ‘His’ nature contains elements of plurality i.e. ‘He’ is empowered with manifestation.

Srimad Ramanuja rejects the doctrine that the materialistic world is illusory and unreal. According to Srimad Ramanuja, the materialistic world is not unreal unless it is viewed as distinct from Brahman. The materialistic world is not simply a realm of false and illusory appearances. He says the materialistic world can never be overlooked by illusion. If Maya (Illusion) itself were to subdue the Brahman, then illusion would be greater than Brahman. His version of this materialistic world is the Drama (Leela), which happens at His instructions. 

Srimad Ramanuja also differs from Sri Sri Sankara on equating Jivatmas and Paramatma. Jivatmas can never be equated to Paramatma; though he is a particle of it, his position is to serve the Brahman. As the hand is a part of the body and also a servant of the body. 


Srimad Ramanuja preferred Saguna Upasana worship in Gross Form (Idol worship). He agreed to Sri Sri Sankara about the Jnana (Knowledge) being important for Mukthi (Salvations), but felt Jnana (Knowledge) and Bhakti (Devotion) are both necessary. Like the knowledge of the name of pill for a headache alone cannot relive the pain one should take the pill.

Srimad Ramanuja never distinguished between Nirguna and Saguna aspects of Brahman. According to his theory, Brahman is personal with qualities like Sarvavyapta (Omnipresent), Sarvgana (Omniscient), and Sarvashaktha (Omnipotent). When Vedic text describes God as Nirguna it means that God is untouched by the qualities like high and low. Being Saguna ‘He’ stands perfect without changes in accordance with space and time.

Since Brahman is accepted as Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient, the Srimad Ramanuja declares that ‘He’ is the only one with Satyattva (Embodiment of Truth), Jnanattva (Embodiment of Knowledge) and Anantattva (Embodiment of Infinity). Moreover, Srimad Ramanuja speaks in his Vedanta sutra that the Lord is Imminent, Transcendent, and Unchanging.

Srimad Ramanuja emphasized on Prapathi through Bhakti i.e. Surrender through Devotion for Liberation (Mukti) in his Vishishtadvaita Vedanta.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

717. Message on Endurance from Jagat Jyothi Basaveshwara.

http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-blogs/seekers/self-improvement/message-on-endurance-from-jagat-jyothi-basaveshwara



Endurance is efforts with patience and wisdom. The power to hold on in spite of anything is the quality of a winner and this is termed Endurance. Our greatest wisdom is not in never to fail, but to rise every time we fail. It's our constant and determined effort that will eventually break down all resistance and sweep all the barriers before us. Endurance is the crowning quality of success.

Many of us have this attitude of dropping the efforts if it is not achieved in a specified time, and venture into something different hoping to get success there.  Jagat Jyothi Basaveshwara, the 12th century philosopher and a social reformer from Karnataka has illustrated that endurance will take us to the goal.

It so happened that one morning his father was engrossed in worshiping at home. At the same time Basaveshwara returned from playing, he was tired and thirsty. His mother did not allow him inside when he asked for water. She did not want Basaveshwara to disturb his father’s pooja. But his father was involved in worshiping many deities. He was offering pooja to Ganesha, Saraswathi, Shiva, Vishnu, Parvathi, Lakshmi, one after another. Instead of meditation and spiritual thoughts which were essential for spiritual attainment, a mechanical recitation of verses was going on. Once in every ten minutes 

Basaveshwara used to come in and enquire his mother whether his father's pooja was over. When he learnt that his father had not yet completed, he came out and started digging in front of the courtyard. After worshiping all the deities in the pooja room, his father came out to worship Sun, the threshold, and Bilva tree. 
There he noticed many small pits dug by Basaveshwara. He became curious and enquired, “What play is this Basava? Why have you dug so many pits in the courtyard?” He asked his son. 
“Father, I was very thirsty. When I asked mother for water, she told me not to disturb your pooja and asked me to wait. But I was very thirsty, so I started digging these pits to fetch water and quench my thirst.” 

"You fool! Does water come so soon? Does it come if you dig like this? Instead of digging so many pits, you have to dig only one and deeply, only then you get water, is it not?" Father said.

”Exactly father! To get close to God we have to channelize all our attention on one with the help of only one mantra. Instead of this if we worship different deities mechanically; can we experience God who is the confluence of knowledge and bliss?"

Father was astonished by this answer, and then Basaveshwara pronounced that endurance is belief in Energy that has to be without any flaw. 
Now a days we are influenced by others on the approach towards God, and even go to the extent of conversions. It is not the philosophy which can enlighten us but the belief in it. All philosophies talk of the same faith; it is good to know about all the philosophies but to get some enlightening knowledge it is important not to compare one with another but to relate one with other.  

Today is the appearance day of Sri Jagat Jyothi Basaveshwara   

“Saranu Saranarthi” (really, You are my refuge)

Monday, April 20, 2015

716. Akshaya Tritiya: From Yellow Metal to Green Gold…….!!!!

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/faith-and-rituals/akshaya-tritiya-from-yellow-metal-to-green-gold


Akshaya is a Sanskrit word which can be roughly translated to English as “Inexhaustible” and Tritiya is the third day of the month. True, Akshaya Tritiya is an auspicious day as it was on the same day about 5000 odd years back King Yudishtrira received Akshaya Patra, a vessel that would give unlimited food from Suryadeva while they were on exile. It was on this very day Bhagavan Vyasadeva started to dictate to Ganesha the great epic Mahabharata. It was this very special day Sudama visited Shri Krishna with a morsel of broken rice to request the Lord for abundance. Holy Ganga touched down on this earth plane on this auspicious day.

Those events in the history have made us accept the relevance and importance of this day, Vaishaka Sukla Paksha Tritiya for material gains and wealth acquisition. Astronomically also this is the time when Sun and Moon are in exaltation and are observed to be in the peak of their brightness. As told in the puranas any deed started this day will make it never ending, never diminishing, it will be limitless and forever. That is the importance of this day, but it is so unfortunate that we have limited this day to just buying GOLD.  

We must know that the Indian household collectively have 18,000 tonnes of gold worth 950 billion dollars which is 11 % of the entire global gold reserve. Is my country so very rich I feel proud, but there is a question. If so, why is the parity between rich and poor still a reality in my country again i wonder? I do not know when this craze of buying Gold on this particular day started and who is behind this stupidity. Could be the bullion merchants who are playing this entire trick and hitting on the sentiments of the people? All this tamasha is affecting my country’s Current Account Deficit (Balance of Trade, Export minus Import payments). With gold as an investment commodity we are buying it recklessly. This has made the import payments more. Why did Gold become so much volatile? Was the speculation the eradicator of the yellow metal shine? Earlier the yellow metal was purchased for an occasion but now the traders at Safara Bazzar lure the women folk with designs and added to it we never know if the gold brought is 14 K or 22 K. Also we happen to hear that jewelry companies adulterate gold by mixing Iridium and Ruthenium which bring in the risk of skin cancer. This avaricious frenzy in both Satta Bazzar & Safara Bazzar for that yellow metal has no longer left it to be a beautiful ornament on our lovely women of India.

If anything which is started on this day will be with us forever and grow and outlive us why not plant a sapling on this Akshaya Tritiya. …….. Let’s move from Yellow Metal craze to Green Gold grace …… What say???

715. Did the Lord really get Angry????

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/faith-and-rituals/did-the-lord-really-get-angry


“Kill your mother, Rama” shouted Jamadagni to his last son Parashurama. Without batting an eyelid He slashed His Axe and down rolled the head of Renuka. Parashurama did not even know what mistake His mother had done. First priority for Him was to carry out the orders of His father. Jamadagni was enraged because Renuka had experienced a feeling of lust looking at Gandarvas romancing when she had gone to the river to fetch water for early morning rituals. Each of his four sons refused to obey his command. Parashurama was the only son who obeyed his father's command.

Parashurama knew the power of His father, and therefore He carried out His father's order. He knew that if He had refused like His brothers His father would find other means to see that Renuka is killed. Instead if He carried it out the order, His father would be pleased, and when his father was pleased, Parashurama would ask the benediction of having His mother life back. Parashurama was confident in this regard, and therefore he agreed to kill his mother along with it He requests His father to shun anger. Parashurama is the sixth Avatara of Maha Vishnu.

Once Haihaya King Kartavirya Arjuna visits the hermitage of Jamadagni. Mesmerized by the hospitality shown to the entire regiment by the sage he finds out that it was possible due to Kamadhenu, the cow of abundance which provided the feast for the army. He being the king of the land wished that the cow be his property. This covetous behaviour from the King was not acceptable moreover that cow was gifted by Indra to fulfil the needs of the hermit dwellers. But the king took the cow forcefully to his palace. Parshurama killed the king and got back the cow from the palace. As revenge the sons of the king kill sage Jamadagni.  Angered over His father’s death Parashurama vowed to enact genocide on the war-mongering audacious Kshatriyas all over the world.

Now how could Parashurama who could request His father to shun anger become angry to such an extent to cause genocide?

The vow to eliminate audacious Kshatriya clan was not Anger (Krodha) but it was Manyu. Krodha is a state where an individual loses the level of intellect and patience and mostly the agitation here is pertained to the self centered view point, but Manyu is a state where the individual is fully aware of the situation. He is filled with courage, patience and intelligence and most importantly the outcome of this anger is to serve the cause of the society.

Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that the war was the result of great people like Bhishma, Drona and Kripa not using their Manyu. When there would have been condemnation for the acts done by Duryodhana and his brothers the war could have been avoider HB. Likewise even to this day if we tolerate injustice and corruption in society we are doing a big blunder…….hence Holla Bol!!!!    

Today on the appearance day of Lord Parashurama I remember Him who inspires me to fight against injustice and make me raise my voice……I Bow to Him!!!!!!




OM jamadagnyaya vidmahe
mahaviraya dhimahi

tanno parashuramah prachodayat

Friday, April 17, 2015

714. Significance and Symbolism of Lotus in Indian Philosophy…..

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/mysticism/significance-and-symbolism-of-lotus-in-indian-philosophy




Hindus gods are depicted as either standing or sitting on a bloomed Lotus flower, what is the significance of Lotus in Indian culture and tradition? Maha Vishnu is seen holding a Lotus flower in His hands, why? According to Indian Philosophy lotus is the symbol of creation. Lotus plant sprung from the naval of Maha Vishnu and then upon opening, it gave birth to Brahma, the creator who in turn created the rest of the universe. Hence it is believed that Lotus is a mythological map of the entire world. 

Lotus is a symbol of Purity, Spontaneity and Divine Beauty. It rises from unclean water to blossom as a pure uncontaminated flower. Dearth and Dharma come from the fact that despite lotus growing in muddy waters it still restores such a beauty. It makes no pretense of being better than it is and yet it's naturally beautiful. In spite of being in water it is never wet. It does not bothered about its surrounding but it blooms and vanishes. It teaches us to perform actions without getting attached to the outcome of the action performed and also not to bother about the external factors that might influence the action. 

A Lotus bud transforms itself as an enchanting flower just as the Individual Consciousness does the same on the path to enlightenment. Lotus represents purity of actions, morality of practical life and the spirit of detachment. Its unfolding petals suggest the development of the soul. The transformation of the Lotus bud to Lotus flower represents excelling from primal thought to highest spiritual consciousness. Atharva veda compares human heart to lotus, it is not the physical heart but the spiritual heart that the lotus represents. Maha Narayana Upanishad says, “One should meditate upon the Supreme – the limitless, unchanging, all-knowing, cause of the happiness of the world, dwelling in the sea of one’s own heart, as the goal of all striving. The place for His meditation is the ether in the heart – the heart which is similar to an inverted lotus bud. Like the bud of a lotus, suspends in an inverted position, the heart, surrounded by arteries. In it there is a narrow space which supports everything.” It is here that He dwells. Hence we see Hindus God shown sitting or standing on Lotus. 

Lotus and the Sun reciprocate unconditional love displaying the importance of perfect symbol of love. The love showered by the Sun on the Lotus is unconditional, but the Lotus blooming out to smile at the Sun is reciprocal. In the muddy waters of still ponds deeply anchored root stretches triumphantly toward the surface. Hovering at the surface from the water is the beautiful bud that will allow it to unfold slowly, one petal at a time as the Sun showers the rays. The Lotus closes itself at night and sinks underwater the whole night and waits for the Sun to reappear at dawn and unfurls itself again. This signifies the fact that human mind flourishes with the illumination of spiritual thought and squirms without it. The lotus leaf which does not get wet despite being in water is often figuratively used in scriptures to indicate the nature of a Jnani (Enlightened Soul) who is ever blissful, untouched by the sorrows and the changes which is characteristic of the world.
Lotus has many names in Sanskrit I have tried to compile some here.

Aapja, Bisaja, Toyaja, Sarasija, Jalaja, Saroja, Neeraja, Vaarija, Ambuja, Pankaja, Vanaja, Aravinda, Rajeeva, Indeevara, Kunala, Pundarika, Ravindra, Indeevara, Pushkara, Mahotpala, Taamarasa, Kamala, Kumuda, Nalini, Mrunalini, Padma, Sujala, Ravipriya, Shatadala, Ambhoruha, Sarasiruha, Saroruaha ….  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

713. Diversity in Devotion: Four Ways of Devotion to Absolute....

http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-blogs/seekers/faith-and-rituals/diversity-in-devotion-four-ways-of-devotion-to-absolute


Lord Krishna while explaining to Arjuna about various paths for liberation mentions about Bhakti. He elaborates to Arjuna on the four types of devotional service rendered to Him by His devotees: 

First is the one who thinks of Him at the time of distress. He is the Aartha

Second is the one who is worried by the struggle in acquiring power, status, and property. He is the Artha-arthi.

The third is one who yearns for the realization of the Atman, reads the scriptures and sacred texts, moving in the company of spiritualists, and is always motivated by eagerness to reach the lotus feet of the Lord. He is Jijnaasu

The fourth is the Jnani. He is immersed in the Brahmatattva and looks for the Lord in all possible places; he yearns for nothing.

Aartha worships Him only when he is in difficulty. When he prays to Him, the Lord hears and satisfies him only in relation to that particular difficulty.

So too, when the Artha-arthi prays for riches, power or high status, He listens and awards him only the particular thing he craves for and only if he deserves.

The Jijnaasu is blessed with the chance to work without expecting the fruit of action. With a Guru as guide and an intellect that is sharp enough to discriminate between Atma and Anatma he helps himself to achieve his goal.

The Jnani only needs His help to be saved from not been distracted to the worldly pleasures and get deviated from his intentions, so that he is able to concentrate on the single aim of liberation.
 
The devotion of Gajendra, the elephant that was saved by the Lord from the mouth of the crocodile, was Aartha.

Sudama, Krishna's friend, exchanged beaten rice for richness, displaying Artha-arthi devotion.The devotion of Gora Kumbar, the ardent devotee of Panduranga Vittal was of Jijnaasu, thinking of the Lord always, knowing that He is present to look after his and his family's welfare.

Prahlada was a Jnani who saw the Lord in all things and surrendered himself completely to the Lord.

All the four have their own value and none is inferior or superior. He answers to any type of devotion ….. the only similarity in all the four is they all SURRENDER to Him.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

712. Mahabharata has many lessons in it to shape our way of life!

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/self-improvement/mahabharata-has-many-lessons-in-it-to-shape-our-way-of-life




Mahabharata is an epic which ingrains Dharma. Instead of being curious over whether it is an allegory or an event which took place 5000 years ago we can draw some useful message which assist us to live a life of harmony. Even if it is proved to be a mythical story the message I get from it will not make any difference at all. The core essence in it that has made me what I am today is what counts to me most. Every religion has a history and it is through the events that happened it would present the quintessence of life.  My father told me and my sister the story of Ramayana and Mahabharata when we were in our primary school. When I was in college my father gave me Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari fondly known as Rajaji to read. While reading that book I got to know more about how the lessons of lifestyle were encompassed in that epic.

Vyasa Maharshi the composer gives this epic the status of Itihasa (History) while all His other compositions are called Puranas. Mahabharata and Ramayana are recorded contemporary history. Veda Vyasa was present at the time of Mahabarata and Valmiki was at the time of Ramayana. These two epics did happen and there are many proofs that are been unearthed in this regard. But those findings only will establish if the event was real but for me Mahabharata will always be one of the greatest epics as it has everything in it. It has both the contraries of love and hatred, courage and cowardice, truth and lies, honesty and deceit, wisdom and foolishness, like and dislike. The epic depicts that the end consequences of all those unlawful activities that we are seeing today like rape, eve teasing, narcissism, audacity will be miserable.

Every character in Mahabharata has something to teach us let me point out a few hear.

Kuru King Santanu teaches us not to yield to passive weakness and indulgence. For it was because of his weakness his son Bhishma had to take a tremendous vow of celibacy.

Satyavati, the second wife of Santanu teaches us not to underestimate the destiny; when her sons Chitrangada died heir less and Vichitravirya did not have children she had to request Bhishma to marry so that their dynasty lineage is continued.

Bhishma teaches us a great lesson, wherein as a son nothing could be important than fulfilling his fathers wish.

Dhritrashtra, father of Kavravas teaches us how misplaced love can be a pain in the neck, due to which he had to lose all his sons at the war.

Pandu, father of Pandavas teaches us if one does not have control over senses what danger it could bring to us.

Kunti, mother of Karna, Yudhishtra, Arjuna and Bhima tells us how difficult it would be if one has to maintain secret for the whole life, she could not divulge that Karna was her first son.

Karna teaches us that being a friend of a person who has no virtues will not be of any benefit to him or other.

Duryodhana teaches us knowing about Dharma is not enough; it has its credit only when one practice it.

Draupadi teaches us how if humility takes a backstage even for once it could lead to war, it was because of her giggle when Duryodhana fell in the water at Maya Sabha (Hall of Illusion) it all started.

Dushasana, Duryodhana's brother teaches us never to insult women and regard all women with high respect.



Shikandi teaches us when the desire is strong and to accomplish it you need to take any number of births, Amba came as Shikandi to avenge against Bhishma.    

And finally Lord Krishna Himself teaches us the way of life in Bhagavad Gita ……. One who has understood Gita can live anywhere and everywhere without yearning for anything and as comfortable as possible….. Do you agree????

Friday, April 10, 2015

711. A Tale of Long Twig and Short Twig..…………

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/self-improvement/a-tale-of-long-twig-and-short-twig


Into the court assembly of King Sri Krishnadevaraya barged in a scholar from Vidarbha challenging the King to prove that the scholars in the court were wiser than him. The King asked the scholar to take rest in the palace room and granted to keep the contest the next day and sent for the scholars of his kingdom to assemble in the court the following day. The next day scholar from Vidarbha entered into the court with a twig about a foot long in his hand and place it on the decorative table. He bow to the King and asked if there is any scholar or a learned person in his kingdom who can make this twig short without touching it.

Every great scholar in the court had a hard look at that the twig and mentally wrestled to shorten the twig but the catch was that they could not touch the twig. When all the scholars and learned men in the court failed, the scholar asked the King to acknowledge that there were no scholars in his kingdom who could equal his talent. Tenali Ramakrishna, the jester in the court got up from his seat and requested the King to grant him permission to give a try. The King knowing that Ramakrishna was very sharp and witty gave him the go ahead. Ramakrishna whispered to the attendant to bring some thing. The assistant brought a similar looking twig which was a little bit longer than the one scholar had kept on the table. Ramakrishna placed the twig next to the twig of the scholar, which made it look shorter.        

This tale of two twigs shows us the need to excel on our own efforts rather than cutting short the other. In this competitive world everyone wants to be ahead and to achieve that, it does not matter if one has to pull the one ahead of him. All are not so, some improve their capabilities and try hard to get to the goal, while others use shortcut methods by capitalizing on the others person’s shortcomings. Unfortunately it is the second way that is popular among many in the BPO & Corporate sector. But what is the use of reaching the goal in such a way? A fool tries pull others down in order to get to the top while wise pulls himself up to reach the height. A victory can be better relished if one has shed a bit of sweat for it.

This pulling down others to reach the top is termed as “Crab Mentality” which is due to selfish attitude and short-sighted thinking. A person who has such mentality breeds the attitude of “if I do not get what I want, neither you should.” Generally a person with such superfluous thought display poor reflection of his personality. The crab mentality is an indication of the famous saying “I like to see my friends get ahead, but not too far ahead.” This is lack of tolerance and not being magnanimous to be happy for other.

There is an interesting story on how this term “Crab Mentality” was framed.

Once there was an old woman who sold Crabs in the market place. The bucket in which she had kept the Crabs did not have a lid. A man who stepped in to buy the Crabs found this and asked the old women, “Why don't you cover the basket? The Crabs can climb down the bucket and escape!”

The old women shook her head and said “No, that is impossible every time a Crab tries to get out of the basket there is one behind it to pull it down”.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

710. Assumption may not Pay but Anticipation brings you Gains..!

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/self-improvement/assumption-may-not-pay-but-anticipation-brings-you-gains



Assumption is made with less of base and literally no support. It is just a thought that might have occurred out of situation and circumstances around. Assumptions may not turn out to be as expected always; it is just like playing Russian Roulette everyone know that there is a bullet but do not know in which cylinder.  Assumptions are made on others people all the time and conclusion drawn. Those assumptions are on what others are thinking and doing. The problem is not in assumption alone it is with the negative slanted views. If we are to react to a person’s word or action, ninety percent of the times we assume the worst of intentions on the person’s part, never will we assume a positive intention.

Assumptions make us jump to conclusion which might hurt the feelings of the others in question. Instead anticipation is a positive trait it has a strong base and is supported well by the incident and consequences. In anticipation we bring a future thought into the emotional present we go into the future mentally and try to “live” in the anticipated condition, including experiencing the emotions we are supposed to feel then. Though this may not always be accurate there is a concern of caution in it. A cautious anticipation is always better than a vague assumption. Assumption is the outcome of instinct while anticipation comes from intuition.

On morning a C.E.O entered into his corporate office and found a young guy leaning against the wall in a corner and sticking a toothpick in the gap between his front teeth, doing nothing. Looking at the young man the C.E.O was furious he approached him and shouted at him, “How much are you paid?”

The young man was quite amazed that he was asked such a personal question, he replied, none the less, “I am paid 8000 a month, Sir. Why?”

The C.E.O would not entertain other to poke their nose while he was firing someone. His anger would get doubled in such situation so everyone in the office just kept watching the action sequence without uttering a word.

Not interested to answer the young man, the C.E.O, took out twenty four 1000 notes and gave it to the young man and said, “See man, here people are paid to work, not for standing in the corner and mending the frontal teeth! Here is three months' salary, take it and just beat it, we do not need you here”.

The young man took the crispy notes and was quickly out of sight. Noticing the onlookers, the C.E.O said in a very upset and angry gesture, “And that applies to all those who think they can earn just by loitering around in this company”.

He then approached one of the onlookers and curiously asked him, “Which section does that young man I just fired belong to?”

To which an amazing reply came off, “He is the stationary delivery man, Sir. He had come to deliver..!”

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

709. Division of Labour in ancient society





Sri Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita explains Arjuna in regard to the Four Varnas. He says “Chatur-Varnam Maya Shrustam, Guna Karma Vibhagasha” - I created the four varnas namely Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vyshya and Sudra according to the prominence of Gunas in them and the natural aptitude they have towards the action they do. The Guna that is told here is not the character but the Prakriti (nature) of the individual containing the amalgamation of the trigunas i.e. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.



An individual who has Satva Guna is categories as Brahamana (Teacher/Scholar)

An individual who has Satva and Rajas with Rajas in prominence is a Kshatriya (Ruler/Administrator)

An individual who has Rajas and Tamas with Tamas in prominence is a Vaisya (Merchant/Tradesmen)

An individual who has Tamo Guna is categories as Sudra (Worker/Craftsmen)



In the Shanti Parva of Mahabharata, Yudhisthira describes a Brahmin as an individual who is truthful, forgiving, and compassionate. He clearly mentions that a Brahmin cannot be a Brahmin just because he is born to a Brahmin family, nor is a Shudra a Shudra because his parents are Shudras. Manusmrti (11.157) says, “Just as a wooden toy elephant cannot be a real elephant and a stuffed deer cannot be a real deer, even so, without the knowledge of Scriptures and Vedas and not having developed the intellect an individual even if born to a Brahmin cannot be considered a Brahmin”. According to the Dharmasutra of Apastamba, by birth every individual is a Shudra. It is only by knowledge, upbringing, behaviour and wellness that one becomes a Dvija the “twice born”.



This system of division of labour was to help the individuals in inter dependence to strive for the existence of society. But this division of labour has so much so divide our society that we give much credit to Engineers and Doctors but we care less to Farmers and Soldiers. A road layer and a sanitary cleaner are as important to society as space scientist and research doctor. We usually tell our children to study well and give the instance of becoming a road layer and a sanitary cleaner if they don’t study well in this way we bring the division of labour in them. Instead we can tell them by studying well one can serve the society better than a road layer and a sanitary cleaner even though those work are divine and are necessary for society.



Karma is not the work that we do but is the latent desires that the souls have carried from their past lives. If suppose an individual who had been in the category of Brahamana and had a desire of having lordship over others as a ruler but could not fulfil his desire in that life, he will be given an opportunity by Supreme in the future life in letting him to take birth in a Kshatriya family. The proof for this is in “Atmasamyama Yoga” of Bhagavad-Gita in Chapter 6 Arjuna asks Krishna what would happen to a person who has full faith in Karma yoga but is unable to control his mind and senses and cannot practice it to perfection and passes away midway. Gita Chapter 6.Verse 37-38. Listening to the queries of Arjuna, Krishna answers that a person who has stepped into the path of Karma Yoga will never come to grieve in this world or in the next. Evil never befalls one who does good deeds. After death, he will be born in a family of prosperous and pious parents after enjoying the celestial world. Gita-Chapter 6. Verse 41-42.



But now in the modern society we foolishly do not consider the Guna and Karma but we look into the family background which has become the deciding factor. A son of a Brahmin is a Brahmin even though he is rude or rouge and fall to his feet and a son of a Sudra is considered an outcaste even if he has a profound knowledge and behaves a disciplined gentleman he is looked down upon……this is the irony of the civilised society……….What say????

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

708. Absolute Grace is on who is Truthful, Loving & Compassionate!

http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-blogs/seekers/self-improvement/absolute-grace-is-on-who-is-truthful-loving-compassionate


Absolute is inexpressible yet one can experience Him to be Satya (Truth), Prema (Love) and Karunya (Compassion). An individual who acquire there three basic qualities even if he is a non believer he is human, while a believer who does not possess these how much ever pious he might be he cannot be categorized as human.

Truth is eternal it is that quality which make us strong from inside and shields us from deterring to any falsehood by inducing valor. Truth is the ultimate destination and many philosophies have provided many factual statements but no philosopher has given the picture of Truth completely. Truth is such a vision that one cannot put it in one photo frame. Every religion or philosophy has a piece or two of the puzzle picture game and hence the seekers should never resolute that the philosophy or religion which they follow has the complete picture of Truth. The vision of Truth could be obtained by scriptures and with the help of a Guru, but ultimately one has to search, find, and experience all by himself. Truth is easily accessible when there is confluence of Love and Compassion.
 

Love if it is unconditional it will annihilate the negative thoughts and purifies the Antahkarana (Inner Conscience) comprising of Buddhi (Intellect), Manas (Mind), Chitta (Memory), and Ahamkara (Ego). This unconditional love has the capacity to take the individual beyond the realm of Tri-Gunas (Psyche Components), Raga (Like) and Dvesha (Dislike) and place him at the Tatstha Sthiti (State of Indifference). This state of indifference pulls the mind from avaricious behavior. The individual will enjoy all that the Prakriti (Nature) has to offer to him but the enjoyment will be pertained to present, there is no encouragement for amassing it for future. If the nature provides him more than he can use he is always willing to share them with his fellow being whether it is knowledge, food, or even ideas. These are all necessary conditions of unconditional love.

While unconditional love is the perennial juice that flows out of the heart, compassion is the sturdy emotion from mind which wishes happiness and welfare of others. It is a unique inherent and cultivated desire which does not want to see others suffer or wither in pain. Generally compassion is related to a feel which melts the heart at the sight of a person at pain, like sympathy. But compassion engulfed by love is a feel that places the individual in that situation, like empathy. Compassion does not mean just show of pity; it is to see that the situation like that never repeats the next time. Some think of feeding the orphans on the occasion of their kids birthday in the orphanage and they think of doing it the next year also, does not this thought want them to see more and more of orphans in the orphanage the next year also. This thought of expecting others at the receiving end cannot be considered as compassion. Compassion is the key part of spirituality in thinking everyone in the same status. One does not need a disaster to educe compassion in him instead it has to be spontaneous. If we can be so to our family why not to others outside the family after all it is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

Monday, April 6, 2015

707. Knots of Ignorance to be untied with Knowledge…….

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/science-of-spirituality/knots-of-ignorance-to-be-untied-with-knowledge



Ignorance is present in every individual; it is like dark place where light of knowledge is essential. There is a continuous effort by a seeker to eliminate Ignorance. There are three stages of Ignorance that a seeker has to get off from. Amazingly until the seeker has made up his mind to sort out the three stages and learn about them he cannot do anything by just having a will to annihilate. Ironically Ignorance does not allow him to know about them. There are lots of scripture from the ancients which guide the seeker and introduce him to them and also give the ways to try and eliminate them.  

Yoga School of Thought has named them as Granthis (Knots). There are various types of knots but the major among those are named as Brahma GranthiVishnu Granthi and Rudra Granthi. Not to go deep into their names and why they are called so and where they are located, it is better to know that there seems to be a triple knot that has to be dealt with. These are psychic knots that are like traps and snares that block the seeker from reaching his goal of emancipation. 

At the onset there is total Ignorance of our connection with the Cosmic Consciousness and this is due to the identification of this universe that has been created by Brahma in its name and form. The universe of names and forms enter our mind, the sixth sense organ through our other five sense organs. The inability to recognize Absolute in the visible universe is due to the Ignorance of Brahma Granthi that creates like and dislike in us. Just like the gold ornament that draws good and bad design, while the gold within it when melted will not have the good and bad status. Once we perceive every animate and inanimate thing as Absolute we have Samatvam (Equanimity) and we have successfully untied the first knot. This knot is related to Physical Realm. 

Next in the line is the second knot Vishnu Granthi which has an inclination to regulate which is bad but at the same time due to Ignorance we have this habit of being skeptical about Absolute. Lord Vishnu has the job of preservation and this has made us think we are guardians of ethical acts. For example there is no harm in helping a person infected with a deadly disease, while doing so we question the existence of Absolute and wonder if He is so ruthless to have done this to the poor person. It is like arriving at a theater in the middle of movie and not understanding what had happened in the scene before, but trying to feel sorry for the guy when he is been thrashed by public for misbehaving with a women. Everyone has taken birth to repay his karmic debts, understanding this will help one becomes Stithaprajna (Steadfast) and has successfully untied the second knot. This knot is related to Mental Realm.  

The third is Rudra Granthi. After successfully untying the first two knots there is a flow of Sidhhis, the miraculous powers like to have intuition of things that happen in near future and so on. These siddhis are like motivational incentives for a seeker but sometimes they become a hindrance to seekers as they get overwhelmed and are attached to such Siddhis. Some spiritual seekers who have obtained these siddhis have this foolish desire of showing their powers and get applause from their followers. These are the power bestowed by Absolute to benefit them and they are not supposed to show off. Even some have the audacity of their knowledge which will be a blockage for their further spiritual growth. There were greats like Sri Sri Sankara who could travel astral and amazingly travelled to four corners of India in the span of 32 years without any hi-tech travel convince. There are many who even today have obtained this Siddhis but have not used or rather misused them for their benefit. Once this ignorance is understood then one becomes Brahma Jnani (the knower) and the third knot is untied. This knot is related to Intellectual Realm.

With all these three knots untied there are no obstacles for the seeker to get Liberation thereafter.