Saturday, May 28, 2016

832. There are Lessons from Nature we can grasp if we are Alert.!

Order in life is an entity which is sure to take an individual towards excellence. The lessons on it are not only got from school and home, nature surrounding us also teaches us to a great extent. Nature has a set of rules to follow and we have in turn molded our lives in synchronize with them. Look at the way a tree flowers synchronizing with the season, unless we use biotechnology and alter its gene.

A usual aspect of order that nature provides is gravitational pull. Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravity but even before he discovered its subsistence dates back when the earth plane was emanated from the primordial atom. There is a lesson for this gravitational pull for us, it remains us to have our feet grouted no matter how successful or elite we are. This is a way of living a life of humbleness and humility. 

The concern of maintain the ecological balance is another form of disciplining us to live in harmony with other creatures with a mind-set of co-existence. There is a mutual dependency with the living and non-living objects which nature has planned to help us comprehend the importance of living in harmony with other mortals with morality. Any small imbalance in this harmony will cause a butterfly effect which snowballs into a disaster and we are aware of it. There is a lot to learn from Nature and if we are alert enough the lessons it provides can be grasped. 

Guru Dattatreya was unique he did not have a human being as Guru, for him everything around him was his master. They steered him and taught him the vital lessons of life. He says he has learnt from 24 such Gurus. Here is one of those lessons.

One evening he was walking along the sands near the ocean. He was watching the waves rhythmically hitting the shore and then making a retreat back again into the ocean. He observed that while the waves spread out on the sand it would bring even a small twig or a leaf to the shore and leave it back on the sand.

“The ocean lacks magnanimity”, Dattatreya thought to himself. “It does not tolerate even a small twig; it does not allow it to be in its fold.”

Sensing the thought of Dattatreya, Ocean talked to him!

“Do you think that I am not magnanimous, Dattatreya?” asked the ocean. “Do you feel by letting the twig which came into my fold out on the shore, I am selfish? But, O sensible saint, understand that if I let this small twig to defile me I am no longer clean and the inhabitants in me will no longer feel the purity they require for their existence. If I show compassion to a small dirt more will follow and it will become impossible for me to take control over them. I can deal with small dirt and get rid of it, hence I am always vigilant and make sure that at any moment of my life I do not allow things that will cause impurity in me.”

In a jiffy our Dattatreya understood what ocean wanted him to know.

“If a single negative thought is let into the ocean called MIND it will impure the base of it. If one such thought is allowed, then lots and lots of them get accumulated and it will become difficult to get rid of all of them. They make me weak, so I must follow the example of the ocean. I need to be always aware never let a negative thought put its stamp on my mind. Only then I can be sure of having a crystal clear Mind. With crystal clear mind my thoughts are good and from such good thoughts my words are sweet and with my sweet words my action is exuberant. And it is only then my thoughts, words and actions are in harmony and pure, this makes my life contented, happy, steady and monotonous like the ocean.”

Guru Dattatreya fell on his knees and bowed down to the ocean in gratitude for the valuable lesson it presented on order of life.

Friday, May 27, 2016

831. Criticizing others is Homicide and Self-Boasting is Suicide.

Criticizing other has many reasons one of the prominent being envy or jealousy. If there is no tolerance towards other one become jealous about others getting more attention and cannot digest. This could be because of feel inferior which might have cropped up due to pride. If this is let loose then it becomes a habit to criticize other and criticism will become way of life. The lack of will to appreciate makes one search for the flaws so that he can criticize.

 Criticism is an indirect form of boasting. Boasting is blowing one’s own trumpet and telling others about the achievements, intelligence, status and so on. Boasting might help gain the confidence of other but it will never help self as the Self is the ultimate knower. Boasting is like bluffing and creates a false prestige which is unwanted. Boasting which would start as telling what is really there will lure to say what is not in the due course. It further leads to exaggerate things unnecessarily putting one in a situation to write the screenplay dialogues and do the direction also along with acting.

At the time of Kurukshetra war when Dronacharya was killed, Karna takes over as the commander-in-chief of Kaurava army. He goes on a rampage killing the great warriors in the Pandava army. Karna was challenged by Nakula who said he would kill him as he was a thorn in the Pandavas army. Karna just smiled at his remarks and asked him to show his skills in action not in mere words. Infuriated Nakula went all out at Karna but could not be a match and his bow was cut to pieces. Karna caught him and said, “Stop boasting, I have given a word that I will not kill any of the Pandavas expect Arjuna so I let you go.” Saying this Karna let him off.

After the end of the days war Nakula went straight to Yudhisthira and narrated the humiliation heaped on him by Karna. Yudhisthira looked at Arjuna and said, “Your Gandiva is good for nothing” as Arjuna is unable to control the outrage of Karna.

Arjuna had taken a vow that whoever humiliates him he will forgive but would not spare those who humiliates his Gandiva, the bow which was gifted to him by Agnideva. Arjuna had to kill Yudhisthira but he cannot do it as he was his elder brother. And at the same time he cannot break his vow. Sri Krishna who was witnessing all this came to Arjuna and suggested him to criticize Yudhisthira. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, “According to shastras criticizing a person would be equal to kill him. So if you criticize your elder brother it would be like killing him.” Arjuna thought it was a better idea and anyhow he was wild about Yudhisthira for letting all of them be used as stake at the game of dice along with Draupadi. Taking it as an opportunity Arjuna started to criticizes Yudhisthira for being mild and tolerant towards Duryodhana and his brothers. Arjuna points out that because of him Draupadi had to face humiliation in the assembly. It was the result of his soft decisions that they lost their rightful share of kingdom.

Standing at the corner Sri Krishna was enjoying all this as he knew that anger in the subconscious mind of Arjuna had to flush out. Then after criticizing his elder brother Arjuna draws his sword to end himself. Sri Krishna asks him what the reason was. Arjuna replied, “According to shastras criticizing ones elder brother is unpardonable sin and hence I am unworthy to live on this earth after speaking against my elder brother.” Sri Krishna told Arjuna, “Do not worry I have a suggestion even for this, according to shastras just as criticizing other is equal to killing so is boasting equal to suicide. If you boast about yourself it is like killing yourself.”

If you criticize a person it is like killing him, and if you boast about self it is like killing yourself.

Please Let’s Not Commit Suicide………….!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

830. What would you do in such a situation???

Just imagine you are driving on a highway one night and you notice a car has met with an accident and the driver of the vehicle is dead and at the rear seat to your surprise you find a most corrupt politician. This politician is in news for land grabbing and looting money beyond his capacity while in power. He will bleed to death if he is not taken to the hospital. What are you going to do???

1) Take him to the hospital immediately.

2) Let him die on the road thinking that it would be like getting rid of a most corrupt politician for the benefit of the society. 

My personal feel is that he has to be taken to the nearby hospital immediately. As I feel a person at agony has to be attended irrespective of the quality of his Gunas. As a human it becomes my Sva-Dharma not to let my fellow being to bleed to death when I am in a postion to help him.

But in my doing so the corrupt politician will be saved, would my action be going against the welfare of the society???

My defensive logic to rush and help the corrupt politician is because of the words of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 3 verse 35, Sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah (Damage/Fault if caused in performing one's own duty is better).

What is Sva-Dharma???

Sva-Dharma is according to my knowledge is Atma Dharma. It is the responsibility of every individual to perform the duty for Inner satisfaction. Satisfying my body, mind, and senses is not Sva-Dharma as I would prefer to be biased when I start appraising them.

Could anybody digest the act of neglecting a distressed person by justifying that he is ill to the society???

Would it not be violating my Sva-Dharma if I don’t attend to the person at distress by giving a cheap excuse of his ill conduct???

I request my fellow seeker to solve this Yaksha Prashna in my mind???

Friday, May 20, 2016

829. Does one become Spiritual only if he Stop being Religious???

“Spiritual but Not Religious” some say, and this is become a new trend and mantra among youngsters. Just as they like fast food they are obsessed with this service also. In a way to second their thoughts some modern masters have been assuring them with this knowledge. Those masters have in fact forgotten that the data that they have obtained to say “one does not need religion to become spiritual” had sprouted when they were practising some religion.

The word “religion” comes from the Latin word “religio” which has a meaning influenced by the verb “religare” to bind, in the sense of “place an obligation on.” While the word spirituality is derived from the Latin “spiritus” meaning “breath”. The fact is that breath is provided to me by the Absolute. It is because of Him I am able to inhale and exhale at all the time, even in my dream state and deep sleep state when my senses and mind are at rest. It is the only act that is happening in me without my conscious. Hence I am automatically spiritual first since birth and then because of this I am bound to Him in obligation and there was a need to be religious.

Religion and Spirituality are not strangers to each other; they complement each other very well. They are like two sides of the same coin. Religion as an institution focuses primarily on ritual, theology, mythology and well-being of the community, while Spirituality as an attitude guides me to excel personally and help in focusing on the Truth.

Initially in the framework of religion as a seeker I try to look for answers to who I am, where I came from and where do I go, and my purpose of life. By finding the answers to these questions I will learn about ethics and morals by which I should live, I am introduced to system of rewards and punishments that I receive here or hereafter. Moral fear put me in a situation to value other living beings that share the earth plane with me. What started as moral fear will take a turn towards compassion and kindness. I will start loving all, as I comprehend His presence in everything that I perceive.  

Religion helps me to experience Him. But is it enough to go as far as believing and experiencing Him or is there a need to thread even further to consciously align with Absolute is the matter I need to decide and choose. It is at this juncture my religious mind takes help from spirituality and I step into the unquestionable realm.

Religion is like a path to the journey to align with Him and it is important for me to understand that there are many paths like what I have stepped on. If I have enough intelligence to understand that He is one and paths leading to Him are many, and if I respect my neighbours path as I respects mine then any number of paths will never be an issue to me. This spiritual thought is not merely due to tolerance or acceptance it has to make me a Universalist so that I feel the oneness.

In my spiritual life, I need to look upon Divinity not only in terms of my personal God, but in terms of everybody’s God. Thus my spiritual life firmly upholds the sense of unity in diversity. When I have such thoughts I need not confine to any particular religion by putting myself in a label of Hindu, Muslim or Christian. Since I have realized that when my visa to this earth plane (Prarabdha Karma) has ended and I return back to the Eternal realm, I will not walk through a door with a label on it even though I am cremated in my community crematorium…….What Say???

Monday, May 16, 2016

828. Scriptural Knowledge Alone Does Not Help!

The knowledge of scriptures brings sense of accomplishment and happiness but unless our attitudes are flawless and our conscience as clear as crystal, it will be hard to achieve steadfastness and peace. How much ever one is well versed in Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita and even if he has the slokas at his fingertips, he must possess control over  senses, limit his desires and contemplate on the knowledge he has to attain spiritual progress. Ravana had unmatchable knowledge, but of what use???

The continuous chain of trials and tribulations of various degrees and magnitude in life have made a seeker to understand the meaning and purpose of life. An ignorant person blame either Absolute or his destiny or even more so his family and friends for all the events. The seeker utilizing the scriptures tries to get a boost to elevate. But will only scriptural knowledge help??? Sri Sri Sankara tells that by reading scriptures alone are not sufficient one has to imbibe their message and translate words into deeds.

A man wants his young son to learn swimming. He takes him to the nearby lake to give him lessons on how to swim. He first ties an inflatable tube to his waist, so that it lets him float. After some days the boy is familiar with the up thrust got by the arm cycle and leg kick, he learns about the buoyancy. When the father is confident that the young boy can swim without the help   of swimming tube he removes it and would let the boy to swim.   An inflatable swimming tube only helps the boy to remain afloat on the surface of the water; it only assisted him in learning how to swim. Likewise scriptures help us to get a vision of a vivid account of glory and splendour of the omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence of the Absolute. But it will be our own efforts like as in swimming the cycling of arms and kicking of legs, alone that can us towards spiritual progress.

We have seen many scholars and pundits who have the only objectives of proving that the philosophy that they follow is superior or more advanced. Is it necessary to talk about the philosophies which are like the inflatable swimming tubes in the learning process???

To make the learning boy to float his father used an inflatable swimming tube, in many places they use the dried un-punctured bottle gourd, some use thermocole blocks, some use float boards. Now we should realizes that it is the importance of learning how to swim that is significant, not the material used to keep us float. No one will ever ask us what type of material we had used to keep ourselves afloat while we were learning to swim.

Isn’t it???

Friday, May 6, 2016

827. Sabr karo! kyonki sabr ka phal meetha hota hai................!

A few years back Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif endorsing for Pepsi Co's mango drink “Slice” reminds us the importance of being patient and assures us that the fruit of patience is always sweet. In regard she says mangoes should ripe the natural way, but what have we done? In greed of making quick money the mangoes are ripened using Calcium Carbide. The mango traders who indulge in artificial ripening of mangoes may have made good money and become successful mango merchants but are they not putting their own brotherhood into the harmful effects of Calcium Carbide consumption include headaches, dizziness, and mental illness. Impatience involves greed and jealousy.

Patience is the companion to wisdom and is our passions restrained. Patience is waiting for the right thing to happen at the right time even though we put our maximum efforts. Sometimes patience is mistaken to passive waiting which is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow is patience. The key to everything is patience. We get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it. Patience is not something that can be acquired overnight. It is just like shaping up our muscle which needs every day work outs.

In our mythology we encounter with numerous stories about the importance of being patient one such story is the birth of Aruna, the charioteer of Sun God. Aruna was born with half-body developed because of his mother’s impatience.

Sage Kashyapa had two wives Kadru and Vinata. Once Sage Kashyapa insisted his two wives to ask for a boon each. Kadru asked for one thousand Nagas or serpents as her sons. Vinata wished for two sons with great strength. In due course of time, Kadru gave birth to one thousand eggs and Vinata gave birth to two eggs. The eggs were carefully placed in a steaming vessel. After several years, thousand serpents emerged from Kadru’s eggs.

But nothing emerged from the two eggs of Vinata. As days passed Vinata grew impatient and was also jealous seeing sons of Kadru. Finally, she broke open one of the eggs and saw her son with only upper part formed. His lower part was yet to take shape. Angry over his mother’s impatience he cursed his mother to be enslaved by the women with whom she was competing and said that she will be saved from slavery by her other son provided she has the patience to wait for his natural birth.

After this Aruna rose to the sky and now appears every morning as the crimson red sky at Arunodaya. He became the charioteer of the single wheel chariot of Surya and came to be called as King of Dawn. The other egg was born at the right time and he was Garuda who released his mother from the slavery curse and then became the vehicle of Lord Vishnu.

Patience is the best armour…….!    

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

826. Theists may be one type but Atheists are many types…

Theist believes in Absolute for all that has happened, for all that is happening and for all that is going to happen. The name and the form of the Absolute of one theist might vary from what the other. The ultimate aim is that even if the name and form of the Absolute may vary according to the region and religion they have adopted, the central point of the believing that Absolute is the savior. Theist do not differentiate between the form of adoration of the Absolute be it Saguna Upasana (with form) or Nirguna Upasana (without form). It is wrong to conclude that all theists do not think logically or they are irrational.  

Contrary to popular opinion that all the Theists fall into one type, there are many kinds of Atheists. I could think of some types here:

Shraddhabhanjakas (Iconoclastic) are those who do not tolerate Saguna Upasana they go to the extent of breaking the idols not even considering the architectural value and artistic importance of it. They look at certain religion and its practices as harmful and hence they go about devastating their icons, symbols, houses of worship. Funny development is that these categories of atheists tend to establish a new kind of ideology in the place of the idols they have destroyed. People with Communists thought fall in this category. They care not for the sentiments of the believers and do not respect the faith of certain section when they feel that the bridge to Sri Lanka has an historical and mythological importance. This type of atheists have no scientific or rational approach their rejection of Absolute could be out of irritation and frustration looking at the way the society is operating or could have an hidden agenda to replace existing faiths with a different ideology of their own so that they have numbers.

Vastavavadis (Pragmatist) are practical people who are rationalist who feel that most things in life can be explained away without involving Absolute or His intervention. They do not think that there is need of a super power called Absolute. They blame rituals to be a hindrance in leading a practical and peaceful life. For them miracles are just coincidences and charge some religious organization for making it propaganda to serve them of vested interests. This category of atheists does know about the deeper topics of science or inner knowledge of how the nature works. But they have enough logical and reasoning power to conclude that events that happen does not need intervention of a supernatural being called Absolute who does not exist. “Get me the proof, I may consider” is their stand. There are many instances where a hardcore pragmatist could have started to believe after a personal touch of supposed miracle. They do not hesitate to make a U-turn and embrace a religion and all its ideologies and also become supporter of it. People of this category start of as atheist at young age due to rebellious attitude, and then as time passes they may eventually become strong proponents of religion and belief in Absolute after gaining confidence from the personal incidents or revelations.

Ajivikas (Deist) are scientifically bent and ask deeper questions about the forces of nature, and how nature is run. They don’t think Absolute is running this place by listening to the prayers of theists. They do believe that there is a supernatural force that is behind the creation of this Universe and that force need not be a conscious being. That force does not interact with the daily affairs of the living things and has any hand in their triumphs and turbulences. But they admit that the universal laws were set up by that force for which we are to amend to. This category does assert the supremacy of reasoning and denies the act of miracles, prophecies and does not support fundamental thought.

Naastikas (Supreme Atheist) are a sect who does not bother about Absolute or science or nature, they just want to enjoy life to the extreme. They are neither worried about the past nor interested in the future they live for present. They are not interested to prove or disprove the existence of Absolute. They live for themselves and are not worried about others also; they feel if each one can take care of himself the whole world would take care of itself. They neither want to create history nor would want to remember any from the history. They say “live happy and experience everything you like and get lost from here”  

Having said all about types of atheists, they are also one of the important creations of the Absolute and are equal in getting the grace from Him, is what the extreme level of thinking of a theist like me is …….Do you agree???

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

825. Prioritisation brings out Purity….!

Prioritisation brings out Purity said my brother Baturam Nayak to a post a few days back. Just how right he was, yes it is all priorities. I have always said that no one is busy but it is all the priority that matters. That is purely about the daily chores we may forget to do. But what my brother was telling about is that intensity in us which takes us further towards our source which is BLISS.
What is it that which can assure us Bliss???

Bliss is what is in us, its pure tranquillity. Now many of us think that getting rid of stress which we accumulate while doing our work is Bliss. There are expensive Spas which advertise so and promise us that we rejuvenate and experience Bliss. Is it so then???

For a session in those expensive Spas we need loads of money and we need to earn lots of them. In order to make money we work more and get stressed. It is a vicious cycle we never notice. Yes, I agree money is important but there is something which is more important than making money. We all are aware that money is not important but in reality craving for it is still there. There is a notion among some that without money life is full of suffering and hardships etc.

Money is just a tool to help us live a better life but it is certainly not worth to put it into the centre of our lives. If we look in deep we find many of them who have made money and yet are not satisfied with the things that happened in their life. 
The creator of iPhones Steve Jobs is one of them. Undoubtedly successful and extremely rich but had to cope up with that terminal illness at the very young age. Now what would be his priority? Would he not be ready to give up his entire earning to get rid of that illness? His abilities to provide more electronic gadgets to the world would be certainly high. He would have probably traded his money for the time in this world. Here I understood health is my priority than money.

Vijay Malya, the liquor baron duped the banks to make money and lost his integrity. To what extent would one go to make money? Is it right to compromise on values and give a higher ranking to money. Most of us would emphatically draw the line and say that on the question of integrity there can be no compromise even if it means sacrificing lots of money. Here I understand that my integrity has the priority than money.  

Finally when I read this episode in Mahabharata where Arjuna and Duryodhana go to get the help of Krishna and his army, the Narayana sena. Duryodhana opt for the huge army while Arjuna wants Sri Krishna. And we all know who won. When the Lord is with us everything is with us and the health and integrity become insignificant. So here I understand He is my first and last priority. When I realise His presence in me I am BLISS.   

I hope you too what Him to be your first and last priority?