Monthly Archives: February 2015

The past, the present and the future

Recently in one of the lectures I heard the phrase; every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. And I could just say ‘how true’.

None of us can say that we haven’t erred, none of us can say that I am spotlessly clean but the point is how you evolve, how you polish your positives and wipe out the negatives. Just like iron has to bear the heat and the beats to assume a shape, all of us have to go through the burns and the beats to assume an identity but the question is what identity do we choose.

As spirit souls all of us are eternal and also the part and parcel of the Supreme whole, so what do we choose? Some path which takes you far from the whole or the path which takes you closer to the whole?

The intelligent will choose the latter.

Have you seen the river which flows sometimes slow and sometimes fast, it is eager to run to its destination the ocean. And when it does reach it gushes and it froths because it has finally met its mother. So it is with us. We may be happy on this planet but all the comforts, the riches give us just temporary happiness. I may buy the latest Mobile and be obsessed with it for a few days but the day I master it, my interest in it is gone and I search for some other obsession. So it is with love. You love somebody, then you marry, the attraction goes less. Then the child arrives and you shift your focus. Then after sometime you focus on your child’s education and so on. Your focus, your love keeps on changing in this world. And so Krishna in the Bhagvad Gita has quoted this world to be ‘dukhalayam ashashwatam’. Meaning a house of miseries and the nature of this house is temporary and not eternal.

It is said in Srimad Bhagvatam that Goloka Vrindavan or even the Vaikunta Planets do not have any ‘lights’. Lights which we have here-bulbs, tubes, LEDs. The glow of the Lord is enough to illuminate it. So wonderful isn’t it. It has the best of everything and yet everyone is engaged in the loving devotional service of the Lord. You may wonder why.

Because serving the Lord is our constitutional position. Doesn’t the part serve the whole? So we being part and parcel of the lord are meant to serve the whole. Simple.

There are people here on this earth trying to develop bhakti, trying to live a regulated life and who are often ridiculed. ‘Life is meant to be enjoyed’, ‘Why all this restrictions now…you are still young; you can practice all this in your old age’ are the arguments that they have to hear. But the truth is nothing gives more joy or sense of achievement than devotional service.

Bali Maharaj when asked by three steps of land from Vamandev, agreed. It was the duty of the king to fulfill the demands of a Brahmana. And so when Vamandev with two steps covered all the land and asked where to put my third step, he offered his head.

Some may argue that he was such a fool to offer his head but ahh what joy in having the Lord’s foot on one’s head…………

Bali Maharaj may have lost everything material but he gained everything spiritual and he is known as one of the Mahajanas.

Quoting from the purport of Srimad Bhagvatam second canto, seventh chapter 17th shloka, ‘So, by giving everything to the cause of the Lord, one does not lose anything, but he gains everything that he could never otherwise expect’.

Have you heard about Alexander, the Great’s dying wish? His first wish was that his physicians should carry his coffin, the second was that the path to his grave should be paved with precious stones and the third was that his hands should dangle out of his coffin.

Do you understand his wishes?

Physicians should carry his coffin…..no one can really stop one from dying, The expiry date of each one of is written at the time we take birth. So value this life, do what is right.

Whatever possessions you have or acquire, cannot be carried to your next life. You will have to leave all that and go.

The third is because empty-handed we come, empty-handed we go.

But one thing we can carry with us always and that is bhakti. Keep on collecting it until your pot is full and you return to your final destination.

 

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The braid

This is an old post from my other blog. The message fromt his post is such that I feel like reading it again and again, so reposting for the benefit of everyone

 

Have you observed the braids that girls/ women make?

The braid in Sanskrit is known as ‘veni’. Veni as in Triveni in Allahabad. Triveni is the confluence of three rivers-Ganga, Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati which flows in from the underground.  Similarly the veni or the braid needs three bunches of hair to be tied but only two can be seen.

Usually in life we are obsessed with ourselves-I, me, myself. Then we are concerned with our immediate environment concerning ourselves like our family, our friends, the money we make etc. What is the third angle to this triangle, which is the third part of this braid which connects the two-the self and the environment?

 

 

Have you ever been in a chokor home. It was a square-shaped house with an empty space in the middle. Vastu has different places for different functions. There is Agni where the hearth should be, water where the well could be etc.

Have you seen ancient temples. It is built in the center with empty space around it. Exactly the opposite to houses. Why?

 

The space in the middle is supposed to be Brahman or the place where God resides. Also God is supposed to be in the middle of our lives and our lives is supposed to revolve around Him.

 

But slowly houses became smaller, God was moved from the center to a corner then from there to underneath the staircase then he was pushed to the garage and finally he was ousted.

When God is ousted from a place, kaal enters. (kaal means time here it means bad times) Kaal enters with his wife, “ayyo”. (as in the expression ayyo) and children-‘quarrel’ and ‘hypocrisy’ and from then on there is no peace left.

So for peace to exist in homes, for happiness to flourish in a home, there is need to keep God in the center of our lives. God is the third angle of the triangle, He is the third bunch in the braid of our life.

And to keep God in the center of our lives CHANT and make your life sublime.

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The Karma cafe

WelcomeToTheKarmaCafe-60409I was searching for some quotes on karma and when I saw this picture here, I burst out laughing. How true it is!!

What goes around comes back is a quote which is often heard. Newton told that every action has a reaction and so on and so forth. Sometimes the reaction is instant and sometimes it takes years and in some cases many births.

So can we just sit idle and wait for our karma to act. No, we can’t. No one can be idle if not physically we will be active mentally. Krishna says in the Gita chapter 3, shloka five:

na hi kascit ksanam api
jatu tisthaty akarma-krt
karyate hy avasah karma
sarvah prakrti-jair gunaih

TRANSLATION

All men are forced to act helplessly according to the impulses born of the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.

So you see inaction is not our human nature, action is.

So do good and get good should be the motto. But then accidentally we may hurt somebody either by our thoughts or our action or our words, So reactions are bound to happen.

So what is the solution

A seeker on the spiritual path does all his work as a service to the Lord. He speaks of the Lord, he works for the Lord, he eats the remnants of what the Lord has left and he thinks also of the Lord only. So when the Lord comes in all the other mundane things go out. Simple solution. So when the Lord is int he center of existence, there is no bondage

Krishna says in the ninth shloka of the third chapter of Bhagvad Gita

yajnarthat karmano ‘nyatra
loko ‘yam karma-bandhanah
tad-artham karma kaunteya
mukta-sangah samacara

TRANSLATION

Work done as a sacrifice for Visnu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage.

By simply offering your food to Krishna you can spiritualize your life. How? When you offer food to Krishna it means not only the food is sanctified but also the activities behind. Like the job which you do and which earns you money, that money  you use to buy groceries, the act of going to the supermarket and buy things….every single action is sanctified. Simple formula isn’t it.

So go ahead sanctify your life.

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Is it right….

to end one’s life?

I take care to post at least once in both of my blogs in a week. But this week it has been difficult. My mind has been restless.

We become agitated when we see our kith and kin suffer from pain whether physical or mental. We cry out when we see kids being sick. Death whether near ones or acquaintances affects us.  Accidental death, death by catastrophes, disease shake us up. But what when one decides to end one’s life. How do you feel?

I feel devastated.  The guilt that I could not in any way help a person is enormous.

Long long back when I was in Mysore one of the girls in hostel committed suicide. I was a fresher that year. And she was in final year. The reasons why she took that extreme step is still unknown to me. Most of the girls were worried whether her ghost will roam the corridors. I don’t blame them, we were all young and naive. But I remained sleepless thinking why she could not confide in any of us.  There were so  many of us, didn’t she think anyone suitable enough to confide?

But who am I to judge? And who know what goes on in the minds of anybody.

The mind can be your worst enemy or your greatest friend. Learn to harness it  and it can be your greatest boon, let it free and it becomes a curse

At one point or the other we all realize the futility of any relationship. Your friends, your family, your spouse maybe with you but they will not be always with you. I mean you change jobs, move houses or shift cities, friends distance and new friendships form. You may not be in consensus with your spouse all the time. Most of the relationships start with vigour ( even that with the partner), reach a plateau and then settle down to a cordial line. So don’t expect your friend to rush to your home when you shed a tear. But be happy that wherever she is she is there to listen to you. Speaking to someone sometimes is very therapeutic.

SO is a relationship in a marriage. Very often we think that our marriage will be the same as it was during our honeymoon. In 99% of the case, it will not be. It is not important that you always hold hands. What is important is that you are there for each other.

Patience, tolerance are virtues which are in the downswing  today. But then very often these are the qualities which ho;d a relation together.

Another quality which is on the rise is the ‘I, me and myself’. we are so much bothered with our feelings, our pride, our self-worth that we do not care that the other person too needs the same.

You may be thinking that I have digressed. But no. Recently I have seen two suicides. And these thoughts are off shoots of those observations.

Krishna in the eighteenth chapter 65 shloka says:

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo ‘si me

TRANSLATION

Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.

The point which gives me a lot of solace is that ‘you are my very dear friend. Of course he is talking to Arjuna  but then ‘via’ Arjuna he is talking to all of us. So whether there is anyone for us or not. Krishna as Parmatma is always with us.

So technically we are not alone, never.

And then in the next shloka he goes on to say

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah

TRANSLATION

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.

We all make mistakes. After all we are humans. So instead of regretting one’s mistake and ending one’s life, it is better to know that Krishna is there for us. He is giving his assurance that do not fear,  He will deliver from sinful reactions provided you surrender.So the points to remember always are:

  • Krishna is a friend who is always with you
  • We all err it is not uncommon.
  • All relations have their ups and downs. Possessiveness will not fetch you anything

Being lonely, or regretting mistakes or thinking that your partner is not as loving as he was earlier are not reasons for suicide. In the Bhagavad Gita ,the Lord has said

 CHAPTER 8 TEXT 5

anta-kale ca mam eva
smaran muktva kalevaram
yah prayati sa mad-bhavam
yati nasty atra samsayah

 TRANSLATION

And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

As we see Krishna says that at the time of the death if anyone remembers him…..it means that when it is time for death. It does not say when you want to be dead. Each person has a prefixed time of death, when that moment arrives, one who thinks of HIM attains liberation.

No problem is so big that one has to end his/ her life.  Laugh a little, read a little, be with positive people, chant. Let the moment pass but do not end your life.

 

 

 

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