Category Archives: personal

How to deal with crisis

In the world which we live, we are constantly facing some or the other crisis. The first problem that we fear is sickness either ours or our loved ones. Apart from the physical limitations we also have to deal with the financial implications. It is a case of the lion’s lair or the shark’s mouth. The second problem especially of people living in the Middle East is that of job insecurity. This problem escalates if you have children. Then you feel the sword hanging over your head 24*7. What if you or your spouse lose your job in the middle of the school year? You may search for a new job but what if you don’t get? If you decide to return to your home country, will your children get admission in the middle of the year? How to deal with such situations?

Our scriptures have divided our miseries into three:

  • Adidaivik: The miseries caused by the demigods like earthquakes, floods, tsunami
  • Adibhautik: Miseries caused by other living entities like dengue because of mosquitoes or your colleague creating problems for you at work etc.
  • Adhyatmik: Problems caused by your own mind. Why is she staring at me or I am not good enough etc.

But very often, we over selves are the cause of most of the miseries. More often than not it’s our ego the I, me, myself which cause problems for us. Colleague causing problems for you very often than not is the cause of an over inflated ego. (adibhautik), Similarly Adhyatmik Problems too are caused because either you think too much of yourself or too little.

Then you may question how do adidaivik problems arise? As we know we were all living peacefully in the spiritual platform along with the Lord but somewhere the desire to enjoy or Lord arose in us. And so Lord created this material world in which we were supposed to enjoy but at the same time we were supposed to do some prescribed duties. When we did these duties like different yagnas, the demigods would be satisfied and they would bless us with ample rain, food etc. Repeatedly doing these duties would arise our God consciousness and we would start serving the Lord and ultimately return to the spiritual world. But the age of Kali is very troublesome. We tend to forget our duties and we incur the wrath of the demigods in the form of flood, tsunami etc. If you are not a believer and you want a ‘scientific’ explanation then let me explain. We have used this earth, this environment to fulfil our greed. The incessant cutting of trees in the Western Ghats and the subsequent floods is an eye opener to all. I shudder to think with our reckless lifestyle what more is in store for the future.

We have heard about the acronym SOS. SOS or save our souls often used by people who have lost their way in deserts pr wilderness. This acronym holds true for us who have lost our way to the actual goal of life which is going back to Godhead.

  • The first thing when crisis hits us is to remember that I am not this body But a spirit Soul. However big the problem is the fact remains that it will not be carried over to your next birth. So don’t panic, this too will pass. The eleventh shloka of the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita explains this perfectly

sri-bhagavan uvaca
asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase
gatasun agatasums cananusocanti panditah

TRANSLATION

The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead.

Be dispassionate…try to look at the problem from a third angle. So the important thing is to Observe. Is there any opening in the market for my qualification…can I secure a place for my children in my home town. Don’t panic but observe. Most of our problems are of the body and it helps when we disengage and watch

  • Weigh possibilities scratch out what is not feasible.

So what is SOS…we are spirit souls, observe from all angles and scratch out options

What gives strength during moments of crisis?

  • Faith in the Supreme Lord. Take all problems as a test
  • Something better is planned for me. We say, man proposes but God disposes. That is often true because He has better plans for us.
  • Whatever happens we learn something and the experience makes us stronger.
  • I am not alone. The Lord stands by Me. As explained in the fifth shloka of Chapter 4 of the Bhagavad Gita        sri-bhagavan uvaca
    bahuni me vyatitani janmani tava carjuna
    tany aham veda sarvani na tvam vettha parantapa

Translation; The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!

So we have never been alone, He has always been with us.

Whatever struggles we face if we are in the path of Krishna consciousness, is a step nearer to Krishna. As Bhagavan says in Bhagavad Gita 4.9

janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so ‘rjuna

 TRANSLATION

One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.

Whatever crisis you come across if you are in the right frame of mind, you lead to Krishna. So take all crises as stepping stones.

(Excerpts from a class taken of 16th October 2018)

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From ignorance to light

Life throws up surprises every now and then. Like you are doing good in your job and suddenly the business shuts shop. Or you are a businessman but you suffer multiple losses. Life can be so unpredictable. Like you are happy, you have finished with your responsibilities and you want to relax and suddenly you discover that you have a lump which is not just a lump.

No, this is not about me.

When I read blogs I often feel it unrealistic. We write about the urban upper class but what about the towns and the villages. Isn’t there a story there.

What about common life, why has it become so uncommon?Quotefancy-1520040-3840x2160

As I said earlier there is so much to write about in the mundane.

I think about life, the ordinary struggles and the shocks and the surprises we keep getting now and then and I want to unravel the mystery.

I know a lady who has raised her two children singlehandedly. her husband is somewhere. I do not know whether her husband was an alcoholic or abusive or both. I never asked. I didn’t want to hurt her anymore than what she was already hurting. But heard that her husband used to come now and then demand money, take and leave.Until one day her son now grown up and earning, threw him out and threatened him.

Out of curiosity I had asked her son once, why your mother tolerates him. He just replied mother can never refuse beggars.

And then it hit me. She was not tolerating him, neither was she doing it as a sense of responsibility. She was doing it as a duty. the duty of a human not a wife; of helping those who are needy. was she right, was she wrong? I am not going to judge her but I realised that every scene has so many angles.

Life when it wants just to show some angles, it throws some surprises. And then the Lord, the witness watches how we deal with it. I look back at my journey from March 31st 2004 and see how I have evolved and with all humility I bow down and hope that I have evolved well. It was that day I discovered that I had pituitary adenoma which subsequently lead me to partial darkness and the knowledge that I have to be on support of external hormones but it has led me to an absolutely delightful journey of self discovery. A discovery which earlier I may not have embarked upon earlier. Have I been good or have I been bad, I will not judge but the fact is that today I am grateful that I had the chance to see so many ups and downs to discover myself.

Someone very dear is going through the same trials. I just hope that she too takes this opportunity to discover self.

The shloka in my mind:

tesam evanukampartham aham ajnana-jam tamah
nasayamy atma-bhava-stho jnana-dipena bhasvata
TRANSLATION
Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance. (BG 10.11)

 

 

 

 

 

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Of faith and belief

I started the New Year in an exceptional way. I got up at 5.30 in the morning and went to the washroom. A pair of eyes looked straight at me. I went into shock…and then it ran and then I noticed that it had a tail too. And then I screamed.

But nobody heard me. I took a stick and tried to bring it out but then thought otherwise; how could I control it if it came out.

I gathered my wits, closed the door of the washroom and ran to the neighbours who stay  upstairs as they too get up early. At first they didn’t open the door but then when they did, uncle who must be in his late 60s immediately came down. Trapped the rat and threw it away.

I thanked him immensely and just bowed down at the altar, I just had to thank the Lord for such good neighbours.

Some months back, my gas cylinder ran out and I could not connect the regulator to the spare cylinder. In Bahrain I never had to do all that and now I didn’t know how to do it. Son had to go to school and I had to prepare his tiffin. Again the neighbour next door came running and helped me out.

Managing alone when the husband is away in another place or country is not easy. There are so many things to be done. But then the point is we are so very illusioned especially in today’s age.

We think that we are the doers but the point is that not even a blade of grass moves without the will of the Lord

And when I think of this statement….I am filled with gratitude for everything; the home I live in, the food I eat, the neighbours I have, everything. The Lord has seen that I can stay comfortably and even if there are some problems He sees that they are solved.

Earlier there have been sleepless nights worrying about something or the other, now I sleep just like a baby because I know that He is taking care.

Everyday I understand new facets of the shloka: ananyas cintayanto mam ye janah paryupasate
tesam nityabhiyuktanam yoga-ksemam vahamy aham (BG 9.22-

But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form-to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.)
We often stay trapped in the words I, me, myself whereas in actuality, we can do nothing, whatever we do is in illusion; maya. As kids we were so happy knowing that parents are there to take care of us. As adults too it is so easy to just have faith and believe that He will take care.
Yesterday was my weekly Bhagvad Gita class. Later the Head Mistress asked me, ‘Why were you walking slowly mataji, are your legs paining?’. I said, ‘ No, I just walk slowly because I don’t see properly’. I could see that she wanted to ask me how, so I told her. And then she asked me a question that I am often asked, ‘ How do you manage mataji’.
And that question always makes me smile because what is there to manage when He is taking care.
It is very easy to quote scriptures but the real knowledge starts to flow in when you really start believing and surrendering yourself.

 

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Slices of life #2

Mornings are usually hurried. Apart from the personal ablutions there is aarti to be done, breakfast to be made, bhoga to be offered and the son to be readied, fed and dropped to school.

It was in this confusion that I discovered that the gas cylinder is empty. And though I have a spare but I did not know how to break the seal of the full cylinder and attach the regulator. Google baba didn’t help me. No, it did actually but in my confusion and hurry it didn’t hit the right notes.

At this moment I ran and rang the bell of the neighbours. She came and opened but she too didn’t know how to do it but she sent her husband. He came changed and went all in 2 minutes flat. And we were right on track.

Its at these moments I send a silent ‘thanks’. The migration from Bahrain to here was not easy but smooth. At every other step there have been difficulties but at every step there has been someone (Some known; some unknown) who have stepped forward and helped. While it reinforces my faith in humanity. I send a prayer to the Lord for being there always with us.

ananyas cintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
tesam nityabhiyuktanam
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham (BG 9.22)
TRANSLATION
But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form-to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.
I am not a great devotee but at every step I feel how He is there to protect us.
There is a true story of a brahmana who lived his life by begging( madhukari). Madhukari brahmins are supposed to beg only at five houses. Regardless whether they get something or not. Very often he and his wife would starve because they would eat only what they got in alms.
Once  when he was reading the above shloka he said how it can be vahamy aham. How can the Lord carry what we lack and he scratched that word because he thought it was used wrongly. Shortly he had to leave for his madhukari. After some time, his wife heard knocks . She opened the door to find two young boys carrying bags  of foodstuff. They said, ‘Master, has sent us with alms’. She was happy to finally see some foodstuffs in the house. ‘But who are you two’, she asked. ‘We are students’, they said. At that point she saw some marks on the back of the younger boy. ‘What happened, what are the marks on your back’, she asked.
‘Master beat me, thinking that I am wrong’, he said
She felt bad, she said, ‘Sit I will prepare some food and serve you’.
In some time the brahmana arrived and said, ‘No one gave alms today’.At that point his wife realised that the boys had disappeared.
She said, ‘But your students came with some alms’
‘Which student, I didn’t get any today, he said
The wife told him what happened and he shed tears for then he understood that the Lord had come Himself to make him understand the meaning of this shloka. Slowly he went to erase the scratch marks on the word ‘Vayamy aham’.
Such is the lord. He protects, he preserves and He loves without any limits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

epped forward

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Longings of the soul

As a teenager I remember sitting with my friends in  the hostel room suddenly bursting into tears. This happened a couple of times. It was assumed that I was homesick. But now when I think back I understand that it was spiritual longing.

I was quite happy in the hostel. The company was good and yet I felt that I lacked something. That something was amiss. I was meant for something else. This feeling persisted even when I finished my professional course and after some time landed up with a job. Even the so called jobs which I landed up with failed to give the satisfaction that I was longing for. Its only after two decades that I realised that I was never made for a corporate job. And I have languished so much over my lack of ability to get a good job.

It is now that I realise that firstly I was not made for those jobs that is why I never was satisfied. Secondly My Lord saw to it that I come up to the devotional path because I  was never made for the other jobs. Today nothing gives me more peace and happiness than my preaching/teaching.

How did this transition happen? Was it gradual, was it sudden? It was gradual. To think of it, I didn’t have to struggle much to understand what I really wanted. After the initial hiccups, I just withdrew and let Him guide me along. So  just a five letter word helped me……F.A.I.T.H.

I just relied on him and He went on showing the way. If I had used that fundamental to guide me from the beginning, life would have been much simpler . I would have progressed much more on the devotional path. But then everything has a place and time.

 

There is a beautiful shloka from the Bhagbad Gita

nehabhikrama-naso ‘sti
pratyavayo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trayate mahato bhayat
TRANSLATION
In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.(BG 2.4o)
In simple words whatever spiritual gains you make in this lifetime remains with you even if you keep on taking successive births. The material knowledge and wealth which you gather remains limited to one lifetime. You may be a surgeon but the skill of a surgeon will remain with you for that lifetime. and if you die and take rebirth and again want to be a surgeon, then you will have to undergo the same process all over again.
Whereas spiritual knowledge is never erased from our memory. It remains as it is. You keep upgrading your knowledge but it can never be ‘formatted’.
So when I used to get upset and cry maybe it was the souls need to get back to its actual self, to its true identity.
This shloka also talks about the most dangerous fear. Which is the most dangerous fear? The fear of death and then being botn again NOT as a human. But for one on the spiritual path, it is guaranteed that he/she will take a human form again. That is the reassurance being given here.
So after a lot of trial and tribulations and errors, I have finally found my path and the peace that it gives me is everlasting.

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Quote Challenge:Day 3 of 3

Day 2 here

Radhanath Swami on Success

And that is my quote for today

We rush ourselves through out our life for that ‘success’. Success is just about getting the highest grade, that seat in the best college, the highest paying job, that contract, that money and so on. But this quote by Radhanath Swami completely redefines success.

Many times I have felt despair because I didn’t make lakhs. Many people tell me I have wasted my education but to tell the truth when I see happy satisfied faces after a class, I feel satisfied. when someone comes with an anguished heart and my words soothe them, I feel joy. These for me are success. Money, position, luxuries can never give me what my vocation has given.

And so that is the last post of the Quote Challenge. Thank you Swaram for tagging me.

The rules of the challenge:

1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.

2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.

3. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

Today I would like to keep it free. Whoever wants to take the tag, can please take it.

Thank you for being with me through this challenge

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Quote Challenge:Day 2 of 3

Day 1 of the challenge here

Srimad Bhagavatam on Faith

And this is my quote for the second day of the quote challenge. This is a quote taken from the purport written by Srila Prabhupad for Text 41 of chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita.

There are those who question my faith and my beliefs. ‘The common questions are, ‘How do you know there is a God?’, ‘Why do you address Him as a He and not a she?’, ‘Why you don’t eat non-veg?’ and so on. For most parts I stay silent because faith. belief is personal. It is better to stay silent than to argue and destroy one’s peace. My mantra…….

I have faith because I know, you will have it too when you come to know 😀

Today I will tag Krupa who is a wonderful writer but who rarely writes now, Chitra who is busy nowadays with her jewellery making and Urban Yogi

The rules for the challenge

1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.

2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.

3. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

Thank you Swaram for tagging me…enjoying the series

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