As you sow, so you reap

February 28, 2011

  

As you sow,

so you reap

 



Movement of any machine is not called as ‘karma’ because any work to be called as ‘karma’ must be done by a living being.

Involuntary movements of millions of our body cells resulting in the functions such as blood circulation, food digestion, breathing etc are not called as ‘karmas’ because of the absence of ‘active I consciousness’.

 

Lord Krishna says in Gita – “Every action of a man is caused by five factors, namely the body, the active I consciousness, the sense-organs, the movement of vital air and the supernatural factor.

 

 It is only the action that differentiates a man from a machine, a man from animal and a man from another man and it is the action only that elevates a man to a state of ‘actionlessness.   

 

Every action of a man leaves two types of impressions in his mind. The first one is known as ‘karmasaya’, which means the desire to repeat the action.  For example, when one tastes an ice cream for the first time in life, that ‘karma’ of tasting the ice cream sows the seeds of desire to have that experience once more.  Supposing through intellectual analysis, the man has conquered the desire for having the ice cream once more still he must have the memory of his tasting the ice cream for the first time in life, though he may not hanker for that now.  That memory of his past experience without any hankerings for having it again is called ‘vasanas’. .      

 

It is only the desire caused by the karmasaya that binds one to sufferings and not mere memory of one’s past experiences known as vasanas.  A person who has never tasted ice cream cannot have a desire for it; he can at best have only a curiosity for it. 

 

The first action of tasting the ice cream is karma.

 

The fulfilment of the present desire to have it again will also be through karma.

 

The eradication of the desire also has to be achieved through karma only. It is said that through intellectual analysis, one can conquer the desires.  But it is easier said than done.  It is only through the performance of a fresh karma, the results of old karmas can be destroyed. The process is first to weaken our desires by doing some fresh karmas the results of which will strengthen our minds to overcome the pressure of our desires. When we start doing karmas to weaken our desires, we become ‘Karma Yogis’ and thus we make our beginnings in our spiritual life

Knowledge of “Law of Karma’ is a basic requirement to every spiritual aspirant. 

 

Every action gives two types of results to the doer.

 

The first one is cosmic phala or fruit that comes back to the doer from outside. No one on earth can say in clear cut terms as to the type of effect of each action. Though each cause has its effect, the effect of each cause is not defined in the science of karma. Lord Krishna says in Gita that even the wise men are perplexed about the ways of action as it is beyond human understanding – gahana karmano gati. Supposing A abuses B, it is not sure that A will be abused in the same way by C. But it is cock sure that A has to get back some kind of retribution for his action of abusing B.  We have ethical standards such as ‘maximum good to maximum number of people’, ‘good as per one’s own conscience’, ‘do to others as you would like to be done by others’ etc. that are used  as yard sticks to evaluate an action as good or bad. These parameters are flexibly used and spiritual aspirant is left to himself with the task of evaluating his action.

 

 

The second type of result that accrues to the doer is karamasaya.  Each desire prompted action produces seed of desire in the mental plane of the doer coupled with the memory of his past experience. The seed of desire is called ‘karma bija’. The sum total of all the seeds is called karmasaya.  The memory of past experience is called ‘vasana’.  We have learnt in our primary school botany lesson that seed will sprout only when it gains contact with water or earth. Similarly the karma bija also will sprout only when it gains contact with the will, which is the active aspect of our Self.  Hence, seeds of desire as such do not harm the spiritual seeker but it does harm only when the will of the person is connected to it.  So, the first and foremost duty of every aspirant is to learn the secret of detaching his will from the seed of desire. This is called attenuating the seed of desire.  How to unravel this mystery?   The will power of the man has to be diverted to gain contact with the seed of love for God. Though such seeds may not be present in our mental field, we have to begin collecting them by doing fresh karmas. Thus, once this connectivity is established then a big harvest is waiting for the aspirants.  The bumper harvest is the spiritual illumination.  This spiritual fire will burn away all the seeds of desires that are stored in our mental warehouse. Once all the seeds of worldly desires are burnt away, they loose their potentiality to sprout even when they gain contact with the earth and water in the form of the will power of the man. That was how Buddha, Jesus, Ramakrishna and other saints have gained mastery over their minds.     

 

Now it is clear that the first result of cosmic phala can not be stopped by any one on the earth from coming back to the doer, whereas the second result of karma bija can be made ineffective.  The first one is like the arrow that has left out of the hands.  One has to accept it, whether joyful or painful but the second result of karma bija can be over come through spiritual efforts such as prayer, meditation, social service etc.  

 

Any sincere student of spiritual science will ask – “Can God not save us from the cosmic phala of our wrong action?” If one has to necessarily undergo the sufferings for his earlier action, then what is the role of God in the life of a devotee?      

 

Indeed a very pertinent question. 

H2 + O = Water

 

 

Who created this equation?

 

 

Every one will say it is a natural phenomenon. No body has created it, for every creation will meet its destruction.

 

 

The logic that governs the physical science holds well in the metaphysical science of karma also. Each action as a cause brings its own effect to the doer.  God has no role to play and it is not rational to expect God to waive the doer from the effect of his own action. Then, shall one turn out to be an atheist? No. Rather, an atheist has to become a lover of God for the following reasons:

 

 

1.      Faith in and love of God enables the devotee to bring out the energy hidden within himself to bear with the trying situations. A patient can undergo surgery either with or without anaesthesia. But, accepting anaesthesia will free him from the experience of pain during surgery.  If he prefers not to have anaesthesia, he is allowed to remain as such.  But, of course he has to feel the pain of surgery. The act of surgery is bound to take place in both the situations. Similar is the case with faith in and love of God.  Prayer to God frees one from the feeling of pain only. Prayer does not stop the happening of painful act.  This is what we learn from the lives of saints and seers.  Ramakrishna had throat cancer and all His disciples had innumerable hardships but those were sufferings only for ordinary people like us.  But, they did not have the word ‘suffering’ in their dictionary. Their mind was one with God and they felt ‘suffering’ only when their mind was separated from their beloved God. 

 

 

2.      The second advantage of seeking divine help is the protection that the devotee gains from committing the same type of action or any new action that will yield painful experience to him.  There are innumerable occasions wherein even a wise man realises his mistake only after its commission.  Hence, before effecting any action one needs to have a clear understanding of one’s do’s and don’ts.  A devotee owns responsibility of his past actions and becomes fully conscious of his future plan. A mind that doesn’t see the outside imperfections will try to mend its own imperfections and thus it gains a perfect decision making power.

 

 

 

Every one is thus responsible for each of his thought, word and deed.   A student of spiritual science with the shield of divine love lives happily and serves others also to live happily. He understands that true love is neither an emotion nor a desire.  It is a unifying power inseparable from life.  Man does not create love; rather it creates him. Man out of ignorance does not handle this divine power and meet with failures in expressing love to others. How can one manipulate love towards God and people around him successfully?

 

A very good question, indeed? 

A true Karma-yogi is conscious of the source of all forms of love.   He is aware that his own Self is the source of all love.  He accepts and loves his self. His Self is of the nature of Sat-Chit-Ananda – ever existing, all knowing and ever blissful. He doesn’t seek love outside of him. He is love personified and seeks union with others. The self-union is the highest form of expression of love whereas sexual-union is the lowest form. An ordinary man who doesn’t have any idea of “karma and its effects” will refuse to accept himself and spends his time and energy to become somebody else in the name of unselfishness.  It is not at all a true unselfishness but pseudo-unselfishness. People thrust service upon others against their wish so as to make others dependent upon them.  Such type of service emanates out of self-hatred or fear.  One can witness such type of unselfishness between husband and wife, parents and children, teacher and students, employers and employees etc. Since their so called love is artificial their life becomes mechanical without any creativity or life in it.

  

“Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself” – that was Jesus, the Christ.  Lord asks us to love our self first and then love our neighbours also in the same way. Is it bad to love oneself?  Is love for oneself contradictory to love for others? The way to truly love others is first to love one’s self.  Why?  It is because love is non-dual and is present within one.  Every one is having fountain of love within oneself. When one becomes conscious of this fact and allows that fountain to flow towards others there the unifying power of love is established. That is the only way of loving our neighbour.

 

Once, a devotee by name Shambu Mallick told Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna about his plans of constructing hospital, laying roads and digging wells for the service of others.  Sri Ramakrishna admonished him saying, “Don’t go out of your way to look for such works.  Undertake only those works that present themselves to you and are of pressing necessity – and that also in a spirit of detachment. It is not good to become involved in many activities. That makes one forget God.”

 

 Thus an aspirant’s thought, word and deed are to benefit himself and as well others.  Loving one’s own self and others are complementary to each other and not contradictory.

 

Swami Nishthatmananda

Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama

Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India

Radhashtami

September 18, 2010

 

 

 

RADHASHTAMI – APPEARANCE OF SRIMATI RADHIKA

From time immemorial, we are identified with a body.  It is because of this genuine reason we understand the term ‘love’ as the attraction of one body for another.  If one is spiritually trained, he goes little beyond this body consciousness and considers love as the attraction towards the noble qualities manifested in a particular body.  But even this understanding is not perfect as here also man depends on a body to express the noble qualities.  This is an inherent defect of human’s life!    

Was there a person in whom this divine value of love was fully manifest in its full perfection?

Yes, the scriptures say.

It was in Srimati Radharani.  It was in her the perfect ideal of love for Shri Krishna, completely unconscious of bodily and mental comforts, without least caring for social opinion, completely ignoring the prestige due to birth, family, good conduct and respectable position, was manifest.  No body in the world had ever experienced such a degree of perfect love and who so ever wished to have even a glimpse of it could do so only by the grace of her.

And the world was fortunate to have the incarnation of Radha along with Krishna in the holy person of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486 A.D – 1533 A.D) to teach the humanity to transform the human love into divine love.  All the signs of pure love of Radha were present in Chaintaya’s body, though it was of a male one, thus proving that pure love is not of body consciousness. It was for the second time such a perfect manifestation of divine love was given to mankind.

 

The grace of the Lord upon the humanity often brings Him down to earth.  To demonstrate the divine virtue of pure love, Goddess Radhika once again appeared on the earth in the form of Rajput princess Mira Bai in the year 1498 A.D. “Mere to Giridhara Gopala doosro no koi – Now none else but my Giridhara Goapala can I claim as my own” were only the words coming out of every pore of her body all through her 50 years of life. Her life of pathos shall ever remain written on the temple of love. She lived on tears and she slept on tears.  That was her language of love.  In spite of her mental communion with her chosen lord, her loyalty towards her earthly husband and other members of her family was not least ignored.  Thus she was a perfect role model for the humanity in discharging one’s domestic and social duties, yet giving the mind to God.     

 

And again, for the third time, in the body of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna we have the record of manifestation of such a perfect divine love. When Sri Ramakrishna he wished to have the vision of Lord Krishna he underwent the discipline of ‘madhura bhava’ (the attitude of a woman towards her lover) in the year 1864.  He adorned himself with sari, bodice, artificial hair and a set of gold ornaments and merged his mind in the moods of the women of Vraja.  He lost the consciousness that he was a male person as every thought, word or movement of his became womanly.  He was in this mood continuously for 6 months.  The pangs of separation felt by Him for the vision of Lord Krishna were to the extent that drops of blood used to come out from every pore of His body. He realised that vision of Krishna was not possible without the grace of Radha and hence applied His mind on Her.  About His vision of Radha, He said, “Is it ever possible to describe the glory and sweetness of that incomparable, pure, bright form of Radha who renounced her all for the love of Krishna?  The splendour of her body was bright yellow like the pollens of Nagakesara flowers.”   After the vision of Radha, Ramakrishna began to realise Himself as Radharani and experienced ‘maha bhava’ the ultimate state of madhura bhava.    Maha bhava is a state of simultaneous experience of nineteen kinds of emotions. For an ordinary man, even whole life practice may not bring perfection even in a single emotion.  But in Ramakrishna all the nineteen emotions were present in its fullest perfection. Shortly after His vision of Radha, He had the vision of Shri Krishna also. It is to be remembered that in the year 1868 along with a group of 125 persons, Sri Ramakrishna undertook a pilgrimage to Vrindavan during which time He visited places like Radhakunda, Shyamakunda and the Govardhan hill and underwent ecstatic experiences.   

 

 

A true lover does not mind any of his personal distress.  His only wish is the happiness of his beloved.  Radhika’s only wish was the happiness of Krishna. She was of the view that if Krishna felt happiness in giving her distress, then that distress itself was the best of her happiness.  We see such a mental state in the life of Sri Sarada Devi.   Just 15 days after the Mahasamadhi of Sri Ramakrishna, in Sep. 1886 Sri Sarada Devi undertook a pilgrimage and stayed in Vrindavan for a year.  As Radhika shed tears of love for Krishna, Mother Sarada also wept day in and day out upon the physical separation caused to her from the Master. It was during this stay she prayed at the temple of Sri Radharamana to make her free from finding fault with others. The boon that she got here became her last message which she gave to Mother of Annapurna.  Her last message – “My dear child, if you want peace of mind, do not see the faults of others; rather see your own faults.  Learn to make the whole world as your own; no one is a stranger to you.” – is the only solution to all our problems even today.  It was perhaps Radha’s unconditional love vibrating in the soils of holy Vrindavan that had made Mother Sarada to pray for this pure love upon the whole humanity. Mother has thus demonstrated the transformation of ‘love of God’ in to ‘love of God in men’.    

On the auspicious occasion of Sri Radhashtami observed throughout the country, especially in the North, we shall bring in to our hallowed memory the advent of Radha, a name familiar to every religious historian and devotee.

 

Authoritative texts on the life of Lord Krishna like Bhagavata Purana, or Vishnu Purana, or the great epic Mahabharatha does not make even a single reference about Radha. We get the following few details about Radhika as given in Padma Purana and Brahmavaivartakapurana:

  • Radha made her appearance at Rawal, near Barsana village of Vraj on a lotus flower in the Yamuna River on the eighth day in the bright half of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September).   This year it falls on Wednesday, the 15th September 2010. 
  • King Vrishabhanu found the girl baby on the waters of Yamuna River as King Janaka found Mother Sita on the earth while ploughing the land.  Vrishabhanu carried the girl baby and showed to his wife Kirtika.  The couple was sorrowful as the eyes of the child were not still opened.
  • After a year, Sage Narada comes to the house of King Vrishabhanu.
  • On the same occasion from Gokul, Yahodha comes to the house of Vrishbhanu along with the new born baby Krishna.  As soon as the baby Krishna was brought in front of the girl baby, she opened her eyes and child Krishna was the first person on whom her eyes fell upon. It is to be noted that Radhika was elder to Krishna by one year.  Though, Krishna Janmashtami comes before Radhashtami, the year of birth was not the same. It was after the birth of Radhika, Krishna was born. 
  • Sage Narada names the girl child as “Radha” since doing ‘aradhana’ to her beloved will only be her whole life mission.  The sage said that the name “Radha” denoted the promise of her lover Krishna. The moment Krishna would hear the sound ‘RA’ from anyone’s lips, he would grant them his supreme bhakti and the next moment when he would hear the sound ‘DHA’, Krishna would completely lose himself and become intoxicated in Radha-nama because of his great longing to hear the name of his beloved.
  • When Krishna was eight years old boy the famous play of Rasalila took place which is very touchingly described in the Rasa-Panchadhyayi of the Srimad Bhagavata. Let us become aware of the specific significance that is attached to the relationship between Sri Krishna and Radha, the supernatural love that operates in this mysterious relation between God and the world. The world is moved by love, which is the quintessence of God. The term ‘Love of God’ means two things.  Firstly it denotes the love that a devotee evinces in regard to God and secondly it is the love that God has for a devotee. Apart from the idea of male and female, there are other things by which we are bound to this earth, all of which are, as it were, chains with which we are bound to our own ideas. Our individual personalities and ideas have to be sacrificed before our all-loving God. This sacrifice of the human individuality is called Love of God. 
  • At the age of ten, Krishna leaves Vrindavan for Mathura.  Due to the curse of her brother Sridama, Radhika got separated from Krishna for 100 years and it was in Kurukshetra again she meets with Krishna. During her days of physical separation from her sweet heart Shri Krishna, Radhika was always in mental communion with Him.  It is said that once Srimati Radharani was inside a pitch dark room. On the ground there was water, pebbles, thorns etc.  Someone asked her what she was doing. Radharani replied: “…on the new moon day (Amavasya), how will I go in the forest to meet Krishna. If I go, may be these things disturb me in my service to Krishna. Therefore from now on I am practicing to walk on them.” Lord was often giving her darshan in His Narayana form, though not in Krishna form. 
  • Radha lived with her physical body for 125 years in Barsana some 5000 years ago but since then She has been gracing all the souls who ever had sought her pure love.

 

The degree of purity and perfection of Radhika’s love, though very for from us, still trying to understand and gain even a glimpse of it will do a lot for us individually and through us to the world at large. Baburam, one of the sixteen direct disciples of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna shows us the way of such living.   Baburam Maharaj known for his childlike innocence was held by Sri Ramakrishna in a very high esteem.  In a divine vision, He had seen Baburam as a goddess with a necklace and told that Radhika, the Goddess of Pure Love, Herself was partially incarnated in Baburam.  It is because of this vision of Sri Ramakrishna, Narendra gave Baburam the name of Premananda, when all the disciples took formal initiation into Sannyasa. All through his life, Swami Premananda showed his inherent love towards all who ever came in touch with him. During holidays school / college students would come to meet Premanandaji Maharaj who would treat them like a mother. He would often write instructive letters to them.  Towards the young monks his affection had no limits.  He would say, “Be gentle first, if you desire to be a Sadhu!  By his loving appeals, he would implant the ideals of the Master and Swamiji in their hearts.  Even the Muslim women, who were strictly observing the rules of purdah, would come to him to listen to his words.  Till his last breath he used to advice – “Make the whole world your own through love.  Let there be none outside the pale, none your enemy. Let there be no egotism, and drive away such foreign ideas as enmity.  Let the whole world become one through love….Money can do nothing; it is love and character that can achieve everything.  Show it all by your actual life, and then will people listen to you.  Let the mouth be closed, and action peak.” Love and concern for the devotees did not leave him even during his fatal illness. A couple of days before his passing away, he called his attendant to his side and said, “Will you be able to serve the devotees?  Don’t forget to serve them.”   That was Premananda through whom the Goddess of pure and unconditional love reached the whole humanity. 

On this blissful occasion of Mother Radhika’s advent on the earth, I put forth my heartfelt prayers to make us worthy of receiving Her pure love in our lives.

Swami Nishthatmananda

Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama 

P.O.R.K.Ashram, Bela 

Muzaffarpur 843 116, Bihar, India

Phone: 91- 0621 – 2272127

Teacher’s Day – 5th September

September 4, 2010

 

It is in India alone one can find that the craze for knowledge influenced even the aristocracy and royalty. There were kings not merely patronizing learning, but also making themselves as students.

Janaka of Videha, Ajatasatru of Kasi, Pravahana Jaivali of Panchala were the illustrious examples of the divine value – craze for knowledge – which was the backbone of Indian soil.

In Mahabharaatha, we have our Ekalavya known for his love for knowledge and his readiness in offering his thumb finger as his “guru dakshina” knowing fully well that by such offering all his learning would become futile.

Then we have Janaka, who offered his whole kingdom as ‘guru dakshina’ to his teacher.

Nowadays it is difficult to find men who can equal Valmiki and Vyasa in letters, Kalidasa in poetry, Kapila, Kanada, Gautama, Patanjali, Jaimini, Sankara and Ramanuja in philosophy, Panini in grammar, Nagarjuna in Chemistry, Aryabhtta in Mathematics or Kautilya in Politics.

The secret of our educational system lay in its very conception of education. It was the process of brining out all the positive powers of the students that are hidden within. It was done through the closest contact between teachers and students. Teachers were given equal status of God, as they dispel the darkness of ignorance and bring the light of knowledge. Students were having life-long gratefulness and respect towards their preceptors. On the birth day of Sage Veda Vyasa, which falls on Aashaad Poornima day, all learned men would express their gratefulness to their own teachers. It was thus a “Teachers’ day” celebration in olden days to men of all walks of life.

Thanks to the modern ways of educational system founded by Thomas Macaulay in 1835. The word ‘education’ was started to mean only secular education to earn one’s livelihood. Knowledge of philosophy, God and related issues were confined to men of old age or who ever choose to know it.

The roots of the Indian soil are so fertile that despite the influence of modern education, the year 1962 saw revival of such occasion wherein students express their gratefulness towards their teachers, thus remembering and recognizing the role and significance of teachers in a human’s life.

Thanks to Dr. S.Radhakrishnan, for his suggestion to celebrate his birth day on September 5 as “Teachers’ day” when as the second President of India he assumed his office in the year 1962.

Though the traditional spirit is lacking but yet it is a matter of joy and pride that in India the role of teachers in the evolution of human life is recognized.

May our indigenous traditional and ways of educational thoughts be imbibed in our modern ways of life!

 

  nishthatmananda of muzaffarpur, bihar, India.  

 

 

Sri Krishna and Sri Ramakrishna

August 18, 2010

 

 

Sri Krishna

and

 Sri Ramakrishna

 

“He who came as Rama and He who came as Krishna, He Himself has now come as Ramakrishna” – said Sri Ramakrishna.

When we hear this statement two thoughts rise in our minds.

The first one is that the said statement must be true and we have to necessarily accept it without any doubt as it has been told by Sri Ramakrishna Himself.

The second one is that our curiosity in knowing the inner meaning of the said statement.

Now we shall try to understand the hidden message of Sri Ramakrishna’s statement.

  • God assumes human form and descends on the earth not to only to kill wicked ones and thereby protect the virtuous ones but to give one another divine form to the devotees. Thus, the task of killing the demons can easily be got done by the God, from wherever He is. He need not have to come down on the earth for that purpose alone. It is because God came as Rama or Krishna, we have the divine forms of them also as our ‘dhyana murtis’.
  • God’s coming down on the earth in human form is for giving the sweet names of the God, to the devotees just by reciting which millions and millions cross over the world. It is because God came as Rama or Krishna, today we have their sweet and holy names for our recitation.
  • By descending on the earth and giving His Gospel to the society, God thus keeps His mission ever alive and active. The Ravanas and Kamsas that are residing in our hearts in the form of evil tendencies are being destroyed and God is thus establishing dharma even now which will continue in all the days to come.

These three points make us agree that the purpose of God’s assuming different forms according to the need of the hour remains the same though the external appearance of the divine form and the mode of expression of the gospel differ from one another.

This is the hidden message of the statement of Sri Ramakrishna that He who came as Rama and He who came as Krishna, He Himself has come as Ramakrishna.

Now, we shall try to understand the similarity in the philosophy of God in His Krishna Avatara and in His Ramakrishna Avatara.

 

Normally the word philosophy entails in itself three main components viz. the God, the world and the man.

 
 

 

From the point of view of God, He alone exists in the form of Himself, the world and Man.

From the point of view of the world, it is God from whom it has come into existence, it is supported by Him and unto Him, it ultimately gets dissolved.

From the point of view of man, it is God has created himself and the world.

Though, in substance all the three are one only, they appear as different because of our ignorance. We shall discuss each one of them one after another.

 

GOD

 

The word God denotes both of His aspects, namely God with form and God without form. Sri Krishna in the 9th chapter of Bhagavad Gita discusses about 4 types of persons:

  1. The first type is he who out of ignorance does not recognize God in human form.
  2. The second type is he who recognizes God man, but considers Him as confined only to the form they see.
  3. The third type is he who understands the Imperishable nature of God in its Immutable aspect from whom originates all God-men and all objects both animate and inanimate of the world. But he fails to accept both aspects of God as equal as he has the feeling of gradation among the aspects of God with form and without form.
  4. The last type is he who is of high order, endowed with divine virtues understands Him to be the Immutable, the source of all God-men that had come already and that are to come in future and also the source of all living beings and sees no difference between the aspect of God with form and in its formless aspect.

Sri Ramakrishna endorses the same philosophy but expresses in a different way. He says – “God the absolute and God the personal are one and the same. Belief in the one implies belief in the other. Fire cannot be thought of a part from its urging power, nor can its burning power be thought of apart from it. Again, the sun’s rays cannot be thought of apart from the sun, or the sun, apart from its rays. You cannot think of the whiteness of milk apart from its milky whiteness. Thus the Absolute cannot be thought of apart from the idea of God with attributes i.e. personal God and vice versa. The Primordial Power and the supreme Brahman are identical – It is like the snake and its wriggling motion. . . . And He is also that which transcends both form and formlessness. He alone knows what all He is.”

 

WORLD

 
 

 

Sri Krishna, in the 9th chapter of Gita says that He is the father, the mother, the grandsire and the sustainer of this world. It is from Him that the world has come out. It is but He who is manifested as the world and its objects.

Sri Ramakrishna also gives a much greater degree of reality to this world. Though not eternal, it has a relative existence and hence cannot be nullified. It is like ice crystals appearing on water and again dissolving back in water. The ice crystals are as real as water – but do not endure permanently. A sadhaka though keeps him away from active involvement in the world, when he becomes a man of knowledge, accepts the very same world and sees his chosen Lord Himself has become all the objects of the world. Sri Ramakrishna gives a practical lesson in this concept of divine immanence in all the objects of the world. He says that God is in all men, but all men are not in God; that is why they suffer.

  

MAN

 

Sri Krishna, in 18th chapter of Gita says that the Lord dwells in the heart of all beings. It is He who is activating them all as if they are all mounted on a machine. But, because of His mysterious power of illusion, man is not able to recognize the presence of God in Him and thus thinks himself to be the doer and enjoyer of all the actions. Sri Krishna classifies men into the following 4 categories:

  1. Man who is in a distressed situation.
  2. Man who seeks God alone.
  3. Man who seeks wealth and related pleasures.
  4. Man who has experienced Godhood in him.

In verse no.55 of 11th chapter of Gita, Sri Krishna elucidates the way for men to reach on to Him through any one or more of the popular 4 yogas.  Also, He prescribes the preliminary essentials necessary for all aspirants, which are listed hereunder:

  • In the 2nd chapter of Gita, from verse no.55 to 68, the qualities of a man of steady wisdom.
  • In the 13th chapter of Gita, from verse no.7 to 11, the values of knowledge.
  • In the 16th chapter of Gita, from verse no.1 to 3, the divine values.

Above all, it is the performance of ‘svadharma’ that is emphasized very much by Sri Krishna. One’s ‘svabhava’ determines one’s ‘svakarma’, the action for which he has taken birth. ‘Svakarma’ done with a sense of sacred duty towards the society is his ‘svadharma’. So, the collective welfare of the society or the world through thededicated performance of one’s ‘svadharma’, is the grandest ethical teaching of the Bhagavad Gita.

Apart from ‘svadharma’, another distinctive feature of Gita is the concept of religious harmony. In the 21st sloka of 7th chapter, the Lord tells that whatever may be the form a devotee seeks to worship with faith-in that form alone He makes his faith unwavering.

Sri Ramakrishna too is of the view that man is God Himself. He says that as a current of water seems to be divided into two, when a plank of wood is placed against it edgewise, so the Lord appears divided into two, the jivatman and the Paramatman, due to the limitation of maya. Water and a bubble on it are one the same. The bubble has its birth in the water, floats on it, and is ultimately resolved into it. So also, man and God are one and the same, the difference between them being only one of degree.

Sri Ramakrishna, though accepts all men as equal to God, yet classifies them in to 4 types in accordance with their evolution and this classification is only of degrees and not of kinds.

  • The bound men who are not conscious of their bondage.
  • Men who are struggling for liberation.
  • Men who have experienced their divine nature.
  • Men who are ever free but assumed human form for the welfare of the world.

Sri Ramakrishna advises mankind that the way to the world is through God. When one passes through the angle of God, he gains necessary power and knowledge to remain successful and peaceful in the world, for he will see the world in it’s real nature, i.e., as God Himself. But, if he chooses to go straight to the world, he will be loosing not only this world but also the kingdom of heaven. Hence, Sri Ramakrishna pleads to the humanity to gain both here and hereafter. As regards the ways and means for experiencing God nature, Sri Ramakrishna gives the following advice:

  • First, seek a competent spiritual teacher and then practice disciplines according to his directions.
  • One can follow the path of bhakti, jnana, yoga and karma either singly or in combination.
  • But, vyakulata, the great earnestness is an essential condition in all the paths.
  • Accept all paths as true and equally valid in taking men to reach on to God. But one should choose his ishta, the chosen form, to develop a sweet relation ship, through which he will see His own lord manifested in multifarious divine forms.

 

Thus, Sri Ramakrishna’s avatarana, i.e. descent on the earth like Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Christ was to fulfill the same divine mission of help and guidance to the human beings. He came as an ordinary man. Adopted different kings of sadhana, realized the highest truth in every sadhana and set forth an example that whoever will be sincere in his sadhana, he will experience the ultimate truth.

 

 

 

I pray on this auspicious occasion that the Lord, who came as Rama, as Krishna and as all incarnations on the earth before and who has now come as Ramakrishna, the avatara varishtha, the best among incarnations, to bless us all in experiencing our true nature.

Swami Nishthatmananda, Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India

 

The Gist of Srimad Bhagavad Gita

August 9, 2010

 

The Bhagavad Gita, the mother of all scriptures

 

 

Adi Sankara, in his commentary on the Bhagavad gita, says that the essence of Gita is contained in the last sloka of the 11th chapter of the Gita.

 

The verse is as follows:

 

 

Mat karma krin mat paramo mad bhakta sanga varjitaha

Nirvaira sarva bhuteshu ya sa mameti pandava

 

 

The meaning of the sloka is as follows:

 

“He who works for Me, has Me for the Supreme Goal, is devoted to Me, and non-attached, and bears no hatred towards any creature, he attains to Me, Oh, Pandava.”

 

The Lord explains the 5 conditions that a man has to fulfil in order to reach on to Him.

 

What are they?

 

  1. One should work for Him.
  2. One should have Lord as his Supreme goal.
  3. One should be devoted to Him.
  4. One should be free from attachment.
  5. One should have no hatred towards any creature.

 

 

 

Now we shall try to understand these 5 conditions.

 

  1. The first one is that one should work for Him – Normally, one works for satisfying the hunger and thirst of all his 11 sense organs.  Then he has to fulfil his wife, children and other members of his family circle. But the Lord says that one should work for Lord.  One may ask that if one works for his wife and children, then is he not doing his duty.  Well.  Accepted.  What the Lord says is one should not be pleasure oriented in the name of serving his family.  He is supposed to follow the path of dharma and earn the livelihood through right means only.  So, a dharmic, i.e. a righteous way of life in all circumstances is insisted in the first condition.
  2. Next condition is that Lord should be one’s Supreme goal.   Why the Lord puts this second condition?  Because, there may be dutiful servants to a master.  But, the dutiful servants need not have their masters as their ultimate abode, i.e. a place to be resorted to after one leaves the physical body.  Hence, though one may be righteous in earning his livelihood, he is told to accept the Lord as the Supreme goal, i.e. the place to which he should aspire for to reach after leaving this world.
  3. The third one is one should be devoted to the Lord.  The fact that one has accepted Lord as his destination after leaving the world should not make him forget his supreme goal during his life time.  All through his life time, one is supposed to remember his goal and work accordingly.  Hence constant remembrance of the Lord in all moments of our life is expected out of us, if we are to call ourselves as true devotees of the Lord.
  4. The fourth condition is that one should be free from attachment.  Here we have to understand 2 things – i.e. what is attachment and to whom we should not be attached. Attachment means a sense of possessiveness. If I am attached to a person or an object, then I feel that the person or object exists for me only – i.e. they are for me and not me for them. As long as they fulfil my thirst and desire, they are very nice to me and the moment they slightly deviate from my set-boundary they are traitors.  It is both like a sticking gum and a magnifying glass.  The mind gets stuck with the person or object and magnifies that person or object which in reality he or it is not so.  Now we shall see the next aspect of this fourth condition – with which one is not supposed to be attached?  Man out of selfishness normally gets attached with 5 things, viz.  his own wife, children, wealth, friend and the relatives.  One is advised to be completely free from all these 5 things.  Then, does it mean one can remain attached with the things other than the 5 mentioned ones?  Definitely not.  It is assumed and expected that when one develops an attitude of detachment from the 5 mentioned ones, one will surely be free from the disease of attachment with any thing in the world and his mind will be fully filled with the thoughts of God. 
  5. The last but not the least condition i.e. not having hatred towards any creature in the world.  Normally human mind is susceptible to either attachment or hatred.  When one tries to be free from attachment there is every possibility that his mind unconsciously slips in to hatred.  Hence the word of caution from the Lord.  The whole world is but one family. All are brothers and sisters to each other. This globalization of human existence is the need of the hour.  It is neither attachment nor hatred but pure love.  The attitude of seeing the manifestation of one’s chosen Lord in all the animate and inanimate objects of the world.

 

Thus, when one fulfils these above 5 conditions then he is sure to reach on to the Lord.  Let us all take a resolve on this auspicious occasion 

  • that each and every activity of us be dedicated to God and God alone     
  • that we shall give up all our attachments to any particular thing or person
  • that we shall expand our heart to the whole of humanity and
  • that we shall experience Godhood on this earth itself which is the duty of each and every one of us.

 

I conclude with my humble prayer to Lord Krishna that He blesses us to fulfil the conditions put forth by Him and thus make us eligible to reach on to Him.

 

Namaskar.    

 

Swami Nishthatmananda

Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama

Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India               

Nama Parayana

August 8, 2010

VISHNU SAHASRANAMA PARAYANA

 

Next to one’s body, one’s name becomes the most precious possession. Name and form are the basic symbols without which no ideation is possible. We think of a person. At once his name and form flash on our minds. Personality is as much identified with the name as with the physical features. If the names of ordinary persons like us are so vital, how much more powerful the name of Lord’s must be? God and His name are congruent. Call Him by His name and He comes. His identification with His name is so thorough and absolute that He responds to our call even if our utterance of His name is casual.

Why the name of the Lord is so powerful?

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in his Siksastakam says:

“Naamnaamakaari bahudha nijasarvasakti

Tatraarpitaa niyamita smarane na kaalaha

The meaning of this sloka is as follows:

“Various are Your names revealed by You into which You have infused Your own omnipotent powers, and no limitations of time for remembering those are ordained by You.”

So, from this it is clear that reciting the holy names of God introduces a new rhythm, harmony, into the personality which calms the nerves and unifies the powers of our mind. And in due course, this leads to the awakening of the Spirit within. As the saints showed in the past, so in the present it has been proved time and again that the power of God does manifest through the divine Name.

When we have different forms of worship like doing ritualistic pujas, visiting holy temples, observing fasts, meditating on the divine form of God, why are we attracted towards this nama parayana form of worship?

The special features of nama parayana answer to this question:

Chanting of Lord’s name is incredibly free from rules and rigid regulations. One can recite it in any place, at any time, in any manner that suits him or her.

Even the pronunciation of the Name need not be correct. We have the example of highway robber who got transformed as sage Valmiki just by repeating the words ‘mara’ , ‘mara’.

Even without real devotion, the Name can be chanted and it will give its results. Supposing if a person swallows poison by mistake, will it not produce physiological changes in the consumer?

Ignorance does not excuse one from its effects. Whoever utters the name of God, voluntarily or involuntarily, and pronounces it howsoever, attains Immortality. Life of Ajamila comes as proof to this point. One may say that Ajamila in his death bed called his son Narayana only, to whom he was very much attached and he did not call the name of the Lord Narayana. Yes, it is true. It is because of his attachment towards his son, he saw the Yama- dhutas. But Ajamila also saw the sacred and blissful Vishnu-dutas, because his mind had acquired the necessary purity, thanks to the inherent power of the Lord in His name Narayana. Thus, his impure mental tendencies made him saw the Yama-dutas and the power of the Lord in His name made him see the Vishnu-dutas and finally it was Vishnu – dutas who won and Ajamila reached the abode of the Lord Narayana.

 

The above said special features of nama parayana should not desist one from having the faith on the powers of divine name. We must have faith in the power of the divine name. The name may appear very simple. But we should remember that a banyan seed is able to crack the rock and grow into a mighty tree to which elephants can be tied. We have the story of a man who wanted to cross the sea from Sri Lanka to India. Vibhishana gave him a folded leaf and asked him to tie it to a corner of his cloth and told him that he could walk on the water with that. The man also did as he was told and was happily walking on the water. Suddenly he felt the curiosity of knowing the thing that was kept inside the folded leaf. In the midway on the water he opened the knot and found nothing inside the leaf except a two – letter Sanskrit name, ‘Rama’ written upon it and said, “Pooh! only a name”. He was at the bottom of the sea in the next moment. If we have faith then all our mistakes are pardoned off.

Now, coming to reciting the sacred 1000 names of Lord Vishnu, popularly called as “Vishnusahasranama” , if we study the background of its origin, it will help in enhancing our devotional attitude. According to the 149th chapter of Anushāsanaparva

the names were handed down to Yudhisthira by the famous warrior Bhisma who was on his death bed at the battle of Kurukshetra. 

Yudhisthira asks Bhishma the following questions:

kimekam daivatam loke

kim vāpyekam parāyaṇam
stuvantaḥ kam kamarcantaḥ prāpnuyurmānavāḥ subham
ko dharmaḥ sarva dharmāṇām bhavataḥ paramo mataḥ
kim japan mucyate jantuḥ janmasamsārabandhanāt

The meaning of the sloka is as follows:

“In this universe who is the one deva of all? (i.e., at whose command all beings function?, or who is God of all?. Who is the one greatest refuge for all? Who is the one Divinity by praising and by worshipping whom a man attains good? Which according to you is that highest form of dharma  (capable of bestowing salvation and prosperity on man)? What is that by uttering or reciting which any living being can attain freedom from cycle of births and deaths?”

Bhisma answers by stating that mankind will be free from all sorrows by chanting the Vishnu sahasranāma’ which are the thousand names of the all-pervading supreme being Vishnu, who is the master of all the worlds, the supreme light, the essence of the universe and who is Brahman.  All matter animate and inanimate reside in him and he in turn resides within all matter.

In the Sri Vaishnava tradition, the Bhagavad Gita and the Vishnu Sahasranama are considered the two eyes of spiritual revelation.

Believers in the recitation of the Sahasranama claim that it brings unwavering calm of mind, complete freedom from stress and brings eternal knowledge. A translation of the concluding verses (Phalasruti) of Vishnu sahasranama, state the following: “Nothing evil or inauspicious will befall a man here or hereafter who daily hears or repeats these names.. Whichever devoted man, getting up early in the morning and purifying himself, repeats this hymn devoted to Vasudeva, with a mind that is concentrated on Him, that man attains to great fame, leadership among his peers, wealth that is secure and the supreme good unsurpassed by anything. He will be free from all fears and be endowed with great courage and energy and he will be free from diseases. Beauty of form, strength of body and mind, and virtuous character will be natural to him…. One who reads this hymn every day with devotion and attention attains to peace of mind, patience, prosperity, mental stability, memory and reputation…. Whoever desires advancement and happiness should repeat this devotional hymn on Vishnu composed by Vyasa… Never will defeat attend on a man who adores the Lotus-Eyed One (Kamala Nayana), who is the Master of all the worlds, who is birthless, and out of whom the worlds have originated and into whom they dissolve.”

We should recall the wonderful incident that took in the holy shrine of Guruvayoor. Though it further explains the earlier point that we had already discussed that wrong pronunciation is not a mistake in the eyes of the Lord who sees only the mental attitude of the devotee, we mention it here as it relates to Vishnu Sahasranama parayana. An uneducated Namboodiri was chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama. He recited “Padmanabho maraprabhu”. Another scholarly Namboodiri who was seated nearby scolded the earlier one saying that he did not study the Sanskrit grammar rule and the way in which the compound word should be split and advised him to chant as “Amaraprabhuhu” – the God of gods, as “maraprabhuhu” would mean ‘lord of trees’. All the persons who were assembled and listening to the conversation of these two Namboodiris were taken aback when suddenly out of the sanctum sanctorum was heard a golden voice,” Who else is the Lord of trees? Allow him to chant in his own way.” The Lord does not reject a devotee’s call merely because it is not properly pronounced. He doesn’t see the outer expression but sees the inner mental attitude.

Swami Nishthatmananda

Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama

Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India  

 

 

 

SHRAVAN MELA

August 8, 2010

 

 

SHRAVAN MELA

 

The month of Shrawan is filled with devotional fervours for the devotees of Lord Shiva. The full moon day to full moon day festival – Guru poornima to Rakhi Poornima – is the most devoted worship filled with austerities and faith though not marked with festive colours as we have for Diwali or Durga Puja.  This year the Shravan month is from July 27 to August 24, 2010. 

 

The worship is offered at all Jyotirlinga shrines throughout the month, more particularly on Mondays and the last day – Shravan Poornima day.  This year it falls on  August 24, 2010.  

 The month of Shrawan is attributed to the worship of Lord Shiva because it is believed that it was on the full moon day of this month that Lord Shiva revealed the  secret of the creation of universe known as “Amar Katha” to Mother Parvati at Amarnath, the holy abode of Lord Shiva.  Since, all cannot afford to go to Amarnath Cave, worship is offered in the nearby Shiva temples, especially in all the 12 Jyotir Linga shrines of India. 

Jyotirlingam, ‘the linga of light’ is so called as the God is in the symbolic form of a stone tinctured with a cycle of light.   The Jyotirlinga is an attempt by humans to give a form to the formless Brahman.

 

The twelve temples with Jyotrilinga in India are:

  1. Somnath Temple at Saurashtra in Gujarat.
  2. Mallikarjun Temple in Srisailam, or Shrishailam, in Andhra Pradesh.
  3. Mahakal Temple, or Mahakalaswar, in Ujjain Madhya Pradesh.
  4. Omkar Temple, or Amishvar, at Omkareshwar on the banks of Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh.
  5. Kedarnath Temple or Kedareshwar in Uttarakhand.
  6. Bhimashankar Temple at Dhakini in Maharashtra.
  7. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, or Viswesh, at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
  8. Trimbakeshwar Temple near Nasik on the banks of Gautami River in Maharashtra.
  9. Baidyanath Dham or Vaidyanath Temple at Deoghar in Jharkhand.
  10. Nageshwar Temple near Dwarka in Gujarat.
  11. Rameshwaram Temple in Tamil Nadu.Grishneshwar
  12. Temple Near Ellora in Maharashtra.

For the people of Bihar and Jharkhand, visit to holy Jyotirlinga shrine at Baidyanath, Deoghar is an important form of worship of Lord Shiva during Shrawan month.  Lakhs of devotees called as “Kanwarias” carry water from Ganga for offering to Lord Shiva. The name Kanwarias comes from the pole the yatris carry called ‘Kanwar’ on their shoulders. Pots with Ganga Water hang from the two sides of the pole.

Nearly a million Kanwarias carry Ganga water from Sultanganj, to the famous Deogarh Shiva Temple during Shravan Mela.  Some prefer to walk the entire stretch from there home to the River Ganges silently chanting prayers. Some go in groups singing praise of Lord Shiva. Some devotees create a Mela atmosphere by travelling on trucks and carts with loudspeakers playing different types of music. Then there are the relay marthon runners called ‘dak kanwarias.’ In it each yatri runs a certain distance and is then taken over by another yatri.

 

 

Numerous Hindu spiritual organizations and other voluntary organizations setup camps along the National Highway during the Kanwar Yatra. The Kanwarias are provided food, shelter and safe place to keep the Ganga water.

 

The Shiva temple of Deoghar is a recognized place of Siddh. With the slogans of ‘Bol-Bam, Bol Bam’ the environment of the region becomes spiritually elevated one.   From the first day of Shrawan month, which started on July 27, 2010 lacs of devotees will travel to Deoghar for 105 kilometers, taking the holy water from Sultanganj’s uttarvahini Ganga wearing the traditional saffron dresses and as Kanwariyas.  The devotees will devote the holy water to one of the twelve jyotirlinga’s of Mahadev Shiva and will be the participant of virtue.

 

More over this holy place is further sanctified by the foot prints of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna during his pilgrimage to here, on his way to Varanasi.  It was in the month of January 1868, Sri Ramakrishna accompanied with 125 persons headed by Mathurnath Babu visited this holy shrine.  And it was here the first relief operations of Ramakrishna Order was inaugurated by Sri Sri Ramakrishna Himself.  During his stay here, Sri Ramakrishna happened to see the miserable plight of men and women.  He requested Mathur to feed them and to give pieces of cloth to each of them.  Thus, Sri Ramakrishna’s “Shiva jnane,  jiva seva” was started here as he saw the Lord of Baidyanath in the faces of those poor ones.   

 

 

 

 

 

 Lord Shiva revealed the secret of becoming immortal to Mother Parvathi.  Lord Shiva is the Lord Amarnath, the lord of immortals.  Swami Vivekananda visited this holy shrine in the year 1898 and was blessed with the boon of “Ichcha Mrityu”, i.e. leaving the body at the time chosen by him. 

 

 

Shiva known for his name “Asutososhin” – one who is easily pleased, is the beloved deity of people of all walks of life – school going children, married ones and the sannyasins.

 

 

Seek and ye shall find

July 25, 2010

 

 

 

“Seek and ye shall find.” – says Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

Man can get anything on the earth.  If he hasn’t got his desired thing then it only shows he has not sincerely sought.  We often come across with the word “single-mindedness”.  The thirst or the hankering to realise one’s cherished goal is supposed to be as intense as the pain of a man when a burning piece of coal falls on his back.  He exerts all his efforts to make himself free from pain.  No other thought is present in his mind except the one to save him from the pain. Body, mind, intellect and the soul of a man – all in unison should seek the desired goal.  If one’s lips only seek without his heart and soul, then he is not actually seeking.  This unison of all layers of one’s personality makes one to find his object sought for.  This is what Christ means.

 

 

 

When Christ says to seek he also means not to seek.

 

 

 

Yes.  When a man wants to go towards north, both his legs should move towards north.  Very simple, isn’t?  But, if one puts his first step towards north and the next towards south, can we expect him to reach on the cherished destination?  Surely impossible, isn’t?  In the same way, when one seeks one thing, he is not supposed to seek all other things on the earth.  One cannot serve two masters.  If one wishes to serve one Master, he has to take complete leave from the other.   

 

 

We find that this advice of the Christ is being made applicable to worldly pleasures and as well finding a place in the kingdom of heaven.

 

 

 

But though we can try to apply this maxim in our pleasure oriented goals, in the long run we face with the difficulty of not proceeding further.  There comes stagnation.  Why? We shall analyse the ‘why’ of it? Now, what is the rule of Christ?  One has to seek his cherished goal through all layers of his personality, i.e. he has to seek through his body, his mind, his intellect and through all his soul. O. K. As far as the earlier three layers, i.e. body-mind-intellect are concerned there is no difficulty if our selected goal is of a pleasure-oriented one. We can make these three layers to come in unison.  But the last one or rather the source of all the layers, viz. the soul of man is of the nature of divinity and is not compatible with temporary pleasures of sensory nature.  It is of the nature of non-sensory bliss that is eternal, infinite and full of enlightenment.  By default, soul of a man doesn’t lend its support to man’s pleasure oriented goal.  It is because of this reason man always fails to proceed further in his search for infinite bliss through finite objects of the world. 

 

 

 

So, it goes without saying that the words of Christ can be made applicable only when the goal is for seeking a place in the kingdom of heaven.  If we seek Him through all our layers of personality then surely we shall find Him in our own hearts on this very earth and make this earth a veritable place of heaven.      

 

Ishvara Pranidhana – surrendering to the will of the Supreme

July 25, 2010

 

 

·        Isvara Pranidhana, is a value that makes an aspiring student eligible to take up his practical lessons in the lab of spiritual education.

 

·        When the student fully exhausts all his physical and mental energies in preparing himself for the experience of his chosen goal, he reaches a mental state wherein he just allows the things to happen without any hold over it. He becomes self satisfied and looks forward to divine grace.  His mind is poised with the attitude of surrendering the results of all his actions along with the sense of doer ship and thus becomes a witness of his own physical and mental activities. Though he owns the responsibility for all the errors, he passes the credits of his right actions to a power supreme.

 

·        This value of self expression blended with self experience is called Isvarana Pranidhana.

 

·        The life of such a man becomes a learning experience and this experience becomes joyful only when it finds expression in right fields.  On the contrary, mere expressions without any experience will not last long as we cannot pour water out of an empty vessel.

 

·        Spiritual expression is giving, while spiritual experience is receiving.  Expression in our day to day life is giving, something we convey to the outside.  Experience is something what is happening to us inside.  Both the things are complementary to each other.  We must have a balance of giving and receiving in our spiritual life. Only receiving, i.e. aiming for spiritual heights without sharing with the public, greedily puts us at the risk of building up impurities and blockage, and only giving can cause us to fail to hold on to enrichments we need to grow spiritually.

 

·        Again, experiencing spiritually our chosen God can be difficult, but expressing ourselves spiritually to each other is usually a little more complicated.  This is not just because we must learn to see our chosen God in each other, but also because expressing ourselves spiritually to another person can actually invite hostility from him or another who may happen to be observing.

 

·        This exercise of achieving a balanced self expression coupled with self experience involves three stages –

 

1.     In the first stage, the student has the attitude of “I am His” with his chosen God.  It is like the waves and the ocean. It is the waves that belong to the Ocean not the vice versa.

2.     In the second stage, the student’s sense of “myness” with regard to the Lord is so great that he feels that He can never separate Himself from him, i.e. the student.  The student recognises his lover’s inability without him, i.e. the student.

3.     In the third and final stage, the highest stage of surrender is represented by the disappearance of “I” in the “He” and there only “HE” – the Lord remains.

 

·        Thus, resigning oneself to the will of the divine is the highest spiritual value that makes one experience the purpose of human life. 

 

·        Students of spiritual education have to evaluate themselves and march on with perseverance that the Lord is surely holding their hands leading them to their desired end.

“Except a man, be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

July 25, 2010

 

 

“Except a man, be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – says Jesus Christ.

 

Christ says that only those who are born again can see the kingdom of God, whereas those who are born only once cannot.

 

By the words “to be born again”, Jesus means to undergo spiritual awakening. This is not the formal baptism, sprinkling with holy water with oil, reciting of sacred texts, rituals or worship, etc. It is the spiritual awakening what is known as “to be born again”.

“To be born again” of Jesus Christ emphasises the initial awakening of a man by an illumined teacher. The baptism of the west or Gayathiri mantra upadesha of the Orientals is supposed to bring this initial awakening. But, it has become a procedural routine in many households. These ceremonies are not performed when the children are in their tender ages thus depriving the young ones of their legitimate rights.

As we need a guide in all walks of life, so do we in the matters of spiritual science. It is the paramount duty of the parents to administer their young ones with this awakening. One needs to attune his soul with the Supreme Self in the young age itself. One may read religious texts, write books after books on philosophies, deliver big talks, but all this will be of no avail unless we learn to attune ourselves with the spirit within. This attunement is made possible by one who is pure, a knower of spirit. He is called the real teacher, the preceptor, the Guru. Such teacher is the messenger of God who has come to lift us from the world.

On July 26, 2010, on the occasion of Guru Poornima celebrated by the admirers of Hindu faith, I pay humble salutations to all the teachers who had come and are to come with prayers to lead us to the Truth.