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LET GO AND REJOICE
To live amicably in society we need to be able to communicate well. One of the deterrents to good communication is anger. A feeling of emptiness always follows anger. Anger takes all that you have within you and so you are left vacuous and dissipated in its wake. Different methods are there to help us tackle our anger, but that is only anger management. It does not get to the root. To combat anger we have to understand the reasons for it before treating it. A verse in the Gita says that our sense organs are always seeking sensory pleasures and objects that give pleasure.

The seeking develops into an attachment, even an obsession. Naturally, then you like to possess that which you desire and in the desire to possess, anger has its roots. The desire to possess may be related to a person, object or situation. Till the desire is fulfilled, anger comes to support in the struggle to possess. It may come as a means of self-defense but becomes so powerful that it makes you forget your moorings and gradually even your memory. You lose touch with yourself. You forget who you are.

That is why when a person is angry he behaves in a fashion that is uncharacteristic of him. A good example is road rage. An angry man has poor memory. With loss of memory, by losing touch with yourself, by forgetting who you really are, you lose your mental balance. You no longer think straight. The root cause for all this is desire. True, it is difficult to live a life completely free of anger. But once we are aware of the cause of anger and the route it takes to ruin our life, we become wary of getting angry.

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Krishna who was giving the above advice – he did know that it is difficult to follow. Yet, because it is difficult to follow, we cannot forget about it. We have to remember it at all times as the reason why simple life and living have been held in such high esteem. That is why our life and philosophy have been formulated such that we keep desire to its minimum. If you are deeply satisfied, then, there are no expectations, no desires. That is why the Ishavasya Upanishad says Tena tyaktena bhunjita -- Let go and rejoice. When you let go, your dimensions are becoming bigger. It is difficult to let go, but small attempts can definitely be made. What should one let go? One should let go of all hurtful and painful memories. Stop carrying anything of yesterday into today. Otherwise regret and pain follow us like shadows. Life itself has a tendency to let go, then why are we clinging to thoughts and ideas of the past? If we let go, there is peace instantaneously, then why carry that burden? I find that when I meet people for the first time, there is difficulty in communication. The difference between Ego and Self-respect Wisdom is to know the difference between ego and self-respect, and to become more aware towards these. When the ego is satisfied there is happiness, and when hurt, pain and irritation are experienced. But self-respect is beyond respect and disrespect. On being satisfied or hurt, under any circumstance, it inspires for karm. To satisfy the ego (ahankaar) people might indulge in manipulations, become calculative and avoid working hard towards growth, whereas self-respect (swabhiman) always propels one to work harder for self-satisfaction. Just like Shri Krishn inspired Arjun to fight for self-respect and self-duty. A self-respecting human understands well the importance of self-respect and his duty towards it. He knows its value, whether it is his own, of others or of his nation or even the Earth. The absoluteness (poornta) of a truthful (karm) action is in negating imperfection and falsehood, and to challenge it. For anyone who does so, the Supreme himself becomes his charioteer. Himmat-e-marda, maddat-e-khuda

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God helps those who help themselves. Knowing the difference between self-respect and ego, if personal action is not decided accordingly, then acquired knowledge gets converted to ignorance, stagnates, becoming merely for exhibition. It is important to know how according to the time-requirement a particular course of action (karm) needs to be decided and how with all your mental and physical capacities it should be performed and concluded. Whosoever has perfected the sudarshan chakr of truth, he/she will be inspired to work according to the time requirement. Many people know about time but the courage and pledge to safe guard self-respect for rightful action/duty (karm) at the right time, as done by Rani of Jhansi and Bhagat Singh is missing. A true Karm yogi will defend self-respect with all his might – may it be body, mind, soul or resources. The symbol of Maa Bharati‘s glorious self-respect and its crowning glory are the white pure high peaks of the Himalayas. Working for this is true-endeavour (karmmathta). The absoluteness (poornta) of life is not it a long life but how human dharm (manav dharm) is conducted.

An Experience of Divine Healing -----------------------------------Many years ago, I was preparing to give a public talk, when all of a sudden I had a kidney attack. My body was shaking like a leaf. The thought of riding over bumpy roads to the doctor was more than I could bear. I couldn‘t speak, because I was shaking all over from the pain. I didn‘t want to pray for myself, because I remembered a story that my Guru told. There was a saint who was always praying for people. One day, he fell sick, and the disciples said, ―You‘ve prayed for all these people – why don‘t you pray for yourself?‖

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The saint thought, ―Well, why not? That‘s a good idea.‖ And so he did. And just then he heard the Divine Mother say to him, ―Of all things! You‘ve got all these bodies to pray for, and you‘re in all these bodies. Why are you attached to this one little body?‖ He had given his body to God, and it was God‘s to take care of. Remembering this story, I didn‘t want to pray for myself. But for the next two hours the pain kept getting worse until I thought I would faint. Finally, I looked at my watch and saw that it was fifteen minutes before I was supposed to give the talk. So I prayed, ―Divine Mother, if You want me to give this talk, You are going to have to take this pain away.‖ I wasn‘t praying for myself; I was praying for the others. And the moment I prayed, the very instant I prayed, like a hand wiping a table, the pain vanished and was replaced by a joy that was so intense that I could barely speak. It wasn‘t the joy of relief from the pain. It was a dynamic joy that was so intense that I found it was just as hard to speak afterwards as before! It was a wonderful experience, and it was one more proof of how God is always with us, always listening to our needs and our prayers.

Soothe Your Back Back pain, slipped disc and sciatica do not get cured easily. Even slight bending, lifting weight or sitting for a long time aggravates the pain which in some cases, may persist for years. So you need to be cautious. Doctors may prescribe painkillers or advise wearing a waist belt. This keeps the back straight and offers some relief, but the problem doesn‘t go away. If the pain becomes unbearable, surgery is recommended. The disc cushion between two vertebrae is removed and the vertebrae joined together. It removes the pain, but the person can‘t bend forward for life. So surgery is not the best option.

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We need to understand what is causing the problem and avoid doing things that aggravate the pain. A jerk, for instance, causes the pain to shoot up. When we are careful, the pain subsides, but if we are careless, it gets aggravated. Gentle massaging with oil or a warm bath can provide relief. When lying on the bed, always lie straight on your back, facing the ceiling, and place a pillow under your knees. Always sleep on a hard bed and do not use a pillow for a head rest. Permanent cure is possible only if you exercise and make efforts to strengthen your back muscles. After a lot of research, we have created a curriculum of yogic exercises to reduce and cure back pain. If the problem is acute, the yoga regimen should be performed twice a day. This exercise regimen makes the stomach, waist, thigh and leg muscles and nerves supple and strong and also helps other parts of the body to remain fit and healthy. While doing the exercises, keep repeating to yourself that you are becoming fit and the problem in your back is slowly receding. Unless you are completely dedicated to the yoga routine, you won‘t get results. Remember: Thinking about an ailment makes it worse. Thinking about good health promotes good health. So think positive, always.

Yoga Benefits ---------------Stretching is an excellent treatment for common back pain; it improves blood circulation and the muscles and ligaments are stretched and relaxed. Yoga is excellent for strengthening specific muscles that do not get enough exercise during normal day-to-day activities.

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Improved posture — yoga teaches you the right way to stand, move, stretch and breathe. Posture is extremely important and is stressed in yoga instructions. Mental focus is used to create a sense of calm and well-being. The body becomes more flexible. Preparing for Yoga It‘s best to do yoga early in the morning, on an empty stomach. Wear loose clothes; sit on a mat in a ventilated room. Normally, yogic exercises are done sitting on the floor. But if you have a backache, sitting and getting up from the floor might be difficult. You can do the asanas sitting on the bed, but ensure that the mattress is even and not too soft. If you are doing yoga in the evening, make sure there‘s a gap of four hours since your last meal. Face the east or north direction so as to avail the positive benefits of cosmic energy. While Performing Yoga Your mind should be calm. Do not do yoga in haste or when you are agitated or angry. Your eyes shouldn‘t feel any strain. Always keep your age, body and mental state in mind while doing the asanas. Don‘t be in a hurry; do not force yourself into exercising. Remember, your waist should not suffer any jerk while doing yoga. While exercising, concentrate on your back and keep repeating to yourself that the asanas are increasing the strength and suppleness of your back.

lie down for sometime on your back and fold your knees. Virginia was considered unmarriageable and was placed by him in the convent of San Matteo at the age of 13. pulled to pieces and wanted to destroy.7 After Performing Yoga ------------------------Wait for half-an-hour before you eat or take a bath. A nun. who at the end of their lives and till the time they died. was an outstanding scientist the Church of Rome vilified. Don‘t miss it even if you are out of town. It‘s great if you are able to fix a time and place for your daily practice. After you have finished your asanas. show how staunchly she supported him. . Galileo. ironically. Being conceived out of wedlock. was a Bride of Christ. When the Earth Moved Sr Maria Celeste‘s letters to her father. Galileo Galilee. One of them. the other. where she adopted the veil of a cloistered sisterhood taking the name of Maria Celeste. Marina. found themselves living in virtual incarceration and isolated from the rest of the world. says Mukul Sharma This is the story of a father and daughter. Cloistered Sisterhood ------------------------Virginia Gamba was born in northern Italy in 1660. the eldest of three illegitimate children sired by their father‘s brief relationship with his housekeeper.

a devoutly religious person and brilliant astronomer. Meanwhile. In the process. These reveal an absolutely adoring daughter.000 years of established cosmology.8 Conditions at this particular convent in those days were no better than a poorhouse and worse than a prison. insightful and ingenious who had learnt to read and write in Latin and matched her father in intelligence. Charged and Imprisoned --------------------------- . whom Einstein has called ―the father of modern physics — indeed. he threw the full weight of his own empirical evidence behind Copernicus. On top of that. he ran headlong into the wrath of the Vatican. was lively. who was not only outstanding herself. the Clarisses or Poor Clares as the nuns in the convent were called depended solely on alms and often went hungry. of modern science altogether‖ was busy overturning some 2. Living under a vow of poverty. Championing the theories of Copernicus who believed the Earth went around the sun and not the other way around. but given the circumstances of her brutally spare life. Maria didn‘t have her own room for a long time and shivered through the bitter winters because of insufficient warm clothes and blankets. devotion and wit. however. she was almost always chronically ill and suffering. was the regular and loving correspondence father and daughter exchanged for years of which only some 124 of her letters to him survive today. Inspiring Correspondence -----------------------------The one thing that kept her going besides her faith. the father.

the Roman Catholic Church believed in the old Ptolemaic cosmogony of the Earth being the unshakeable centre of the universe. it cannot be moved‖ (Psalms 104:5).9 At the time. One is left wondering if this is ultimately a story of science or spirit. he was hauled up by the Inquisition at the Pope‘s behest where he was found — under threat of torture — to be ―vehemently suspect of heresy‖ and required to ―abjure. she helped run his estate. As a result. Two New Sciences. When he wrote the most important book of his career. His works were forbidden. A Parsi’s Faith in Ganesha ------------------------------Renowned astrologist Bejan Daruwalla confesses that he relies on Vinayaka for direction. as her father himself averred. She had not only read and discussed his work with him and was his strongest ally. they had a year together before she succumbed to dysentery at the age of 34. his books banned and he was sentenced to formal imprisonment which was later commuted to house arrest for the rest of his life. curse and detest‖ his opinions. if by so doing I could set you at liberty. Daughter’s Support ---------------------Maria Celeste supported him throughout his trials. ―Had I been able to substitute myself in the rest of your punishment. she prayed for his health and eternal blessing. because it agreed with the Bible which said that ―the world is firmly established. most willingly would I elect a prison even straiter (sic) than this one in which I dwell. but also knew. While he chafed under arrest in Rome. that he was not a heretic but a staunch Catholic who could not refute the truth of his theories. reports Narayani Ganesh . And when he was finally allowed to go home.‖ she wrote in a letter.

―My belief is this: No cheating. I would follow what he did and was also a devotee of Hanuman. no lies and no fraud. just in case you thought you could roger the 80 year-old Bejan for an explanation if things didn‘t happen the way you perceived they would. but Ganesha. understanding and goodness. the stronghold of Amba Mata and my father was a Hanuman bhakt. says the jocund forecaster who continues to wear the kusti or holy thread that devout Parsis wear round the waist. Goodness is the very soul of life.‖ For the ebullient Bejan. According to him. I joke with him! He‘s my sweetheart. O my God. a Hindu god? ―I grew up in Ahmedabad. I play gulli-danda with him. And goodness is what Zarathustra stressed on. .‖ he says. He‘s also the Supreme. I don‘t remember exactly when and why. but one fine day I found that I had somehow slipped into Ganesha mode. from his forecast! Ask him: ―But aren‘t you a Parsi?‖ and he exclaims.10 The letterhead describes former professor of English Bejan Daruwalla as an astrologer and columnist. He‘s my very dear friend! You know. not salvation. salvation is a personal equation to be resolved in isolation whereas goodness is universal. as seamlessly as day turns to night! I don‘t do anything without seeking his blessings first and also thanking him for all the blessings He has been showering on me. How did he come to rely so much on Ganesha. addressed to the elephant-head god known as Vigneshwara or Remover of Obstacles (see below). ―So? Yes. His popular weekly forecast column in The Times of India is titled ‗Ganesha Says‘. with the words Shree Ganeshay Namah printed below it. I am a Parsi. Ganesha stands for three things: mercy. But what grabs your attention is the bright red Ganesha embossed right on top.‖ Bejan pulls out a poem he wrote.

―I ring the brass bell in my local temple everyday and feed the sparrows in full view of the town‘s elders. So why try to attain God at all?‖ The visitor expecting a defence was stumped. I went along wondering how being in Khetri could be part of my destiny. . He responded stubbornly. gravelly. The ashram was housed in the erstwhile king‘s palace with old architecture and huge gardens. stony. ―Why do good people go through hard times and why does black magic harm good people?‖ Swami Atmanishthanando or Saptarishi Maharaj.11 The Call of a Swami ----------------------It was DEBASiSH ROY‘s first visit to Saptarishi Maharaj‘s ashram but he was filled with a strange sense of deja vu. The maharaj heading the ashram there had phoned with a lot of enthusiasm.The maharaj was busy attending to disciples. a university.‖ I usually stay away from godmen but I was intrigued. Saptarishi Maharaj. looked tall and comfortable in his saffron gown. He posed a counter question. ―Come. He responded: ―Maybe. a motel or just a temple to punctuate the otherwise quiet journey. The road from New Delhi to Khetri showcased rural Rajasthan — fields full of cacti. I refrained from answering any more questions. it is your destiny to be here now. ―What if you are extremely proud and this attitude is leading to hard times?‖ He had clearly not expected to be addressed in spiritual matters by a monk-in-waiting wearing a Raymond shirt. turned and looked at me. you would like to answer his question. One of them was asking the maharaj. you also catch cold and get cured with a tablet.‖After that. ―Why just hard times. as the ashram head is fondly called by his devotees.‖ So I began my visit branded as a monk in civilian clothes. The maharaj‘s deputy gathered his saffron cassocks around him and showed us to our spartan room. I sat beside the maharaj and asked the ageing visitor from Bikaner what made him think that he was a good person. sandy earth. I reached out to touch his feet.

There are many ways to attain God. Wall of Faith The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem is not a place of sadness. Don‘t you know that this place is the most holy. ―We have one such mirror from the time of the kings. I kept waking up after every 15 minutes and felt as if someone was standing near my head. With my grip on my sword. . we retired to bed. You will find your way. but one huge message board.‖ Soon. the most high‖. ―Don‘t be surprised. She was beautiful. After a light dinner and prayer. I knew every room and every smudge. says the Jew in a black coat and high hat standing next to me as I click away furiously. I did and he said. we were on our way back. In the basement. When I started to leave the hallway. He said. Then I dreamt I was wearing clothes of a nobleman and was standing behind a lady seated in front of a mirror. ―You can take a look at it. I looked at her longingly. I am sure you can find your way around this building. I just know that there is a higher power which runs things around the universe and we remain playthings in His hands. He is right.‖ he said.‖ I was struck with an unearthly feeling.‖ We spoke of Swami Vivekananda. He asked me to describe the mirror. ―I hope you sleep well. I saw the Maharaj waiting for me.12 ―I am glad you have come. I found an exact replica of the mirror as well as the image of my dream. it is prohibited. I had disturbed him in a private moment at the most sacred spot for all Jews: the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.‖ the monk turned to me. Numerous portraits of kings hanging on the walls looked familiar. I knew shortcuts in a building that I had never visited before. I joined Saptarishi Maharaj for breakfast with a headache and discussed my dream. Next day. I thought the palace had looked familiar. My head was swarming with questions but there were few answers. through which the devout petition God to answer their prayers. writes ARUN GANAPATHY Don‘t use your camera.

a kabbalist (Jewish mystic) who lived at the time of the Ottomans. This morning. First to Istanbul and from there to Ben Gurion (Tel Aviv) airport. looks at you through the narrow slits of her burqa. In that story. where he could find the Shehina or the Divine presence. Go to Jerusalem and pour out your prayers before the wall and you will prove yourself worthy by seeing the Shehina there. At such a place. ―Know that your days are numbered. you will live another 22 years. Armenian. The Old City -----------------The main attraction is the old city which is at the heart of three major world religions: Islam. the Rabbi Abraham Ha Levy asked Ha Ari. are jostling for space with Jewish rabbis. There is a hint of romance as a perfumed Palestinian woman with lovely black eyes. Through mystical means. and from there through low rolling hills filled with vineyards that takes you to this holy city.‖ . for Jerusalem is quite a way off from India.‖ said Ha Ari. Arab boys carrying freshly baked bread on the backs of donkeys. the central artery of this neatly divided city (the old city is divided into four quarters: the Muslim. Christianity and Judaism.13 But I have started this travelogue almost at the end. Ha Ari pointed to the Western Wall as the surviving part of the Second temple. while an old Palestinian woman sells vine leaves out of a punnet — as her ancestors had perhaps done 2. Date palms dot the highway and the ‗high security zone‘ feel you just experienced falls away as you enter the gates: the streets are cobbled and narrow.000 years ago at the time of Christ. I am heading down Bab-As-Silsila. Jewish and Christian) following a story I had researched for a book. ―but if you do as I tell you. you would expect peace. and Christian monks in long brown habits. but the first thing you experience is quite the opposite: sniffer dogs check you out and policemen escort your bus all the way to the town.

he stood before the wall in deep meditation. typical of the Herod building style. what have I seen?‖ Finally. while the stones above are smaller. weeping and praying. Jews believe that the Divine presence at the wall is real and have been coming to this site and wailing. giving the place its name of the Wailing Wall. ―Woe is me. I can see men in black coats and felt or fur hats. I have turned from Bab-As-Silsila Street and the crowd is growing. is ―160 ft long and about 60 ft high — the original length was estimated to be around 450 metres. there is yet hope for thee and the children of Israel will return their inheritance and I will have mercy on them.‖ It is said that Ha Levy lived exactly 22 more years. he fell in a deep slumber and dreamt the Shehina appeared to him and said. By now. As part of the Al-Haram-Ash-Sharif. Tearing his hair. hurrying towards a huge open air synagogue that is divided into two sections — a small area for women and a large railed enclosure for men. The story goes that the image of a woman clad in black.‖ King Herod built the original in 20 BC and ―only intended it as a retaining wall to contain the landfill on which the second temple compound stood. The Great Wall -----------------Immediately in front is the Wall — a massive structure — that my guidebook says. I notice that the lower stones are larger.‖ As I match what I read to what I see. Ever since. he cried in a loud voice. all have beards like birds‘ nests and pigtail. built during the Muslim period. The .14 The Divine Presence ----------------------Rabbi Abraham fasted a while and then went forth to Jerusalem. appeared to him on the face of the wall and immediately he fell upon the ground in great fear.‖ My guidebook further says the wall was ―never really a part of the temple. ―Console thyself My son.

others have phylacteries tied around their arms and still others just have copies of the Torah. The Message Board -------------------------Standing closer up to the wall. but large Jewish families and the black-garbed Haredi (Ultra Orthodox Jews) who throng the place. I go up close to see if they are weeping or wailing. Some have high trestle tables with large Torah scrolls on them. it isn‘t the Muslims (the Temple Mount is on the other side of the wall). I can see the rabbis. they mumble or whisper or read their prayers aloud. and bring the messianic era with the arrival of the Mashchiah (Jewish messiah). Muslims consider it as the place where Prophet Muhammad tethered Al-Burak. although some had sad expressions. However. none actually wailed. rock back and forth nodding into their Torahs. the Jewish ritual signifying the coming of age of a boy. . before ascending to Heaven. What were they praying for? ―Those whom God returns to the land of Israel. in one of the strangest things I‘ve seen. gather all the Jews and rebuild the third temple. Today is Shabbat (Saturday). the holiest day in the Jewish week and a very special day for prayer. the Haredi and other Jews praying. his winged mount. and. All of them are praying. They are here for Bar Mitzvah. Occasionally. they break off from their prayer to press themselves against the wall and kiss the stones.15 Temple Mount.‖ As I look on. is Islam‘s holiest site in Palestine. At the centre of every family this morning are young boys dressed in shimmering white and gold.

goes back to its source. No one can escape this cycle. musical shows and folk dances are held and scholarships to deserving students are given. industries and businesses thrive on this mega event. Visarjan reminds you of the cosmic cycle of creation and dissolution. Today. Ganesha with His small eyes looked calmly as if bestowing His blessings. The entire city was awake. songs and dances. returns to earth by dissolving in water. Local community members vie with each other to create the largest and the best Ganesha pandal. many write out their prayers on little slips of paper and insert them into the crevices between the rocks. dancing and singing.16 Instead. As the family immersed the clay idol. that the wall is no place of sadness but one huge message board. child labour and global warming. Lokmanya Tilak’s Legacy When freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak hyped the Ganesha festival into a large-scale celebration to challenge the British and rebel against the caste system. The deity made of mitti. Ganesha Mandals try to create awareness of relevant issues by conveying social messages on swine flu. And that is the lasting image I have of the place. through plays. Elephant God --------------In Mumbai on Ganesha visarjan or idol immersion day I held a stranger‘s cart carrying Ganesha. too. poetry recitals. stage shows. the mortal body. but several Ganeshas. Websites have also . Free medical and blood donation camps are held. Discourses. Similarly. just to get a feel of the whole thing. for instance. play competitions. earth. many artists. Looming large against the sky were not one. no one imagined it would become so popular. through which God daily hears the fervent prayers of his children.

at other times he holds bow and arrow like Sri Rama or He is shown holding a tanpura like Narada Muni.17 jumped into the fray. the fourteenth day of the waxing moon. He is worshipped as the god of wisdom. Ganesha Comes First While there are different accounts of who is foremost amongst Brahma. Ganesha leaves for Mount Kailash. moti chur laddoo. Special dishes like modak. soldier or sportsman. puran poli. On the tenth day coconuts. rules came to be relaxed.‖ . In 1950. the Maharashtra government imposed a ban on variation in attires of Ganesha as the more orthodox devotees didn‘t like Him being depicted as a political leader. karanji. prosperity and good fortune. Gradually. Sometimes Ganapati sits on a snake like Vishnu. there are no two opinions about Ganesha being the foremost god. He is remembered first in all prayers by Vaishnavas. moong dal halwa.. His name occurs right in the beginning of the Rigveda : ―Gananam tva ganapatim havamahe. Vishnu and Mahesh. Ganesh Chaturthi is the birthday of the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati.. flowers and sweets are offered amidst shouts of ―Ganapathi Bappa Morya. come again next year! Carrying away misfortunes of devotees. chivda and besan laddoo are offered to the deity on this day. Pudhachya Varshi Laukar ya‖ — O Lord Ganesha. The ten-day festivities end on Ananta Chaturdashi. Shaivites and Durga devotees. however. kaju katli.

The moon laughed at the sight and an irate Ganesha threw one of his tusks at the moon. and he broke his tusk to use it as a pen. lost balance and fell. so that the moon waxes and wanes. Parvati is primordial energy. Shiva‘s spouse. cursing it to perennial darkness. Shiva placed the first head found facing north — that happened to be that of an elephant — on Ganesha. Once Gauri. Another story says that on his birthday. His caring embrace includes all creatures. The moon pleaded and Ganesha relented. . One-tusked According to one of the many legends. losing itself over two weeks and then regaining its beauty over the next 15 days. Ekadanta. an elephant‘s head and a mouse as vehicle. Cosmos is the belly of Ganesha. Ganesha‘s head was cut off. Ganesha was asked by Veda Vyasa to write down the Mahabharata. and Parvati had to tie up his belly with a snake as belt. Ganesha perched on a mouse with a full stomach. The obedient Ganesha did not permit Shiva to enter and in the ensuing struggle. resplendent on Full Moon night. great and small.18 There are different versions of the story of his birth. Cosmos In His Belly Ganesha has a human body. Shiva declared that Ganesha would be worshipped in the beginning of all undertakings as he would remove all obstacles as Vigneshwara. To appease the distraught Gauri. created a white Ganesha from the dust on her body and asked him to stand on guard while she bathed. He is the Lord of ganas or groups — groups of elements and groups of senses.

I gave to Love. My name is Faith.. Relationships and Practical Spirituality My name is Faith. represented by the mouse. The world forgot. Ganesha controls our ego.. My home is where Betrayal has not found its way.19 The seven realms above. By controlling the ego. one can develop cosmic consciousness. seven realms below and seven oceans are all inside Ganesha‘s belly. . Long ages passed..... held together by the kundalini or cosmic energy symbolised by a snake. I gave to Love The gift of Truth Wrapped within myself.

In relationships which are not going on smoothly. Now only Spirit knows My name is Faith. consider this: there has been an . humiliation. Let‘s say a partner doesn‘t inform us of his/her whereabouts and isn‘t answering the phone. suspicion. Long ages passed. Spirituality in relationships? Yes. All beautiful. if we stop for a few moments to consider some tenets of spirituality.‖? First of all. and at the worst. with complete and true faith in your own ability to be the perfect mate for him/her.20 And legends sang of us. Of course it brings worry and anxiety. faith and gentle. is there a feeling of ―YOU make me feel unhappy/depressed/angry or humiliated.. loving and harmonious relationships have an underlying foundation of love. does it not? Now just for a moment. honest communication between the partners. unhappiness and depression are not emotions which anyone can give to anyone else. Accusations always make a situation worse than it is and it lengthens the friction. These are the reactions triggered from our own ego to certain words or actions/non-actions from our partners. The imagination runs wild.. But I am still What I was then. anger.

gently let your partner know that YOU feel worried if there‘s no word from him/her about a late homecoming. ―What would You do if You were me?‖ And a great calm will spread through you.21 impromptu and urgent meeting called at the work-place. says OSHO Possessiveness is not about having things. so when the partner does phone and say he/she is on the way home. and trust in your partner. Okay. what is our first response? ―You made me feel so worried. This is just one random example. It refers to the feeling of ownership over things. It all depends on the attitude with which you relate to those things. ―I am so glad to hear your voice and so relieved you are ok and on your way home.. So much better than an accusation. Secondly. Have faith in yourself. will not ever make a partner feel guilty. If ever in doubt. Parigraha means possessiveness. you don‘t want to go through these emotions again. there hasn‘t been time for the partner to inform anyone. he/she does not expect the meeting to last that long. we are also possessive about people. It has nothing to do with how many things you have.‖ Of course. . faith and trust in relationships.. and you will also get the right words to express your feelings gently and with love. And we are not only possessive about things. practical spirituality only holds love. (NOT the moment the partner arrives home). Aparigraha Is A Great Virtue First understand parigraha. there are so many that crop up in relationships. in what way you are connected to them. without condemnation or criticism.‖ Yes? Practical spirituality would say. isn‘t it? Practical spirituality if applied through gentleness. And communicate with gentleness and love. so at a quiet moment. mentally ask Divine Consciousness.

without making someone a slave one cannot be the owner. Ownership of things is one prevailing matter. I have immediately moved into deep violence. it is impossible to be an owner. Because the bliss which comes with being the master of self is altogether unique. the husband is also called swami meaning owner. In India. and wherever there is possessiveness the relationship becomes violent. As soon as I claim ownership of someone or of something.22 A Dimension Of Violence Possessiveness is nothing but another dimension of violence. But we are not our own masters and throughout life we compensate for this lack by possessing others. it is impossible to be possessive. Without being violent. but we even hold ownership over human beings. the husband. is the owner of the wife. this idea of ownership disappears. Without imposing slavery. A father may be the owner of the son. a teacher. Master Yourself First Why is there such desire in man‘s heart to possess? Why is there such desire to possess someone? Why is there such interest in becoming the owner of someone else? We like to own someone else because we are not masters of ourselves. and possessiveness means a desire for ownership. Only a violent person is possessive. Pati. For someone who becomes his own master. The very meaning of the word pati is the owner. one cannot be their owner. and becoming a master of others brings nothing but misery. But even if one becomes the owner of the whole earth this lack cannot be compensated for. Ownership is violence. owner of the disciple. . but wherever there is ownership there is possessiveness. Without being violent towards someone.

Is this cow tied to the man or is the man tied to the cow?‖ The people of the village said. but we also become his slave.23 To be the master of oneself is bliss. ―It is clear and simple that the cow is tied to the man. It Is Double Slavery Ownership is double slavery. He cannot leave the cow.‖ Then the sanyasin asked. And they also want to make us dependent. to be the master of others is always a suffering. too. the more we become a slave of the enslaved.‖ . he becomes a complete slave to it. The master is also the slave of his slave. There is a rope around the cow‘s neck. Visible And Invisible A man tied a cow with a rope and was dragging it towards the jungle when a sanyasin passed by. And however great an empire the emperor might own. ―The cow is tied with a visible rope and the man is tied with an invisible rope. Mastery of oneself cannot be attained by becoming a master of others. ―If the cow runs away. He also becomes a slave to fear. However much the husband becomes the master over the wife. Thirst cannot be quenched with fire. The more we become master of others. he becomes her slave. The cow has a rope around this man‘s neck too. will the man run after it or not?‖ They said. and then opposition and rebellion towards us begins. which can be seen. The one whose master we become certainly becomes our slave. which is clear but cannot be seen. Hence. the greater the misery. ―I want to ask a question.‖ The sanyasin said. The sanyasin stopped and said to the people of the village. because those we make dependent upon us also become afraid. ―He would have to run. the greater the ownership.

his pot belly is a symbol of cosmic harmony. The possessor becomes the possessed. meaning one who is the remover of obstacles. But there is deeper meaning to his appearance. His big stomach and other parts of the body represent the cosmos in its entirety. cherubic Ganesha is a symbol of wisdom and prosperity across cultures. writes SONAL SRIVASTAVA Ganesha is perhaps the most interesting deity in the Hindu pantheon. who also goes by the names of Ganapati and Vinayaka. and a pot belly. Osho International Foundation. . He is often referred to as vighna harta. the cherubic god is an antithesis of the more handsome gods in the Hindu pantheon. His birthday is celebrated across the country with fervour. This unconventional god. He is the first to be invited whenever a puja is performed as He is believed to bring prosperity and initiate new beginnings. Cosmic Deity With an elephant head.‖ says B R Kishore in his book. is the master of ceremonies. Lord Ganesh. the god of good fortune and success is believed to grace his devotees with his presence. During Ganesha Chaturthi festival.24 This is the only difference between master and slave — one‘s slavery is visible and the other‘s slavery is invisible. Non-possessiveness arises by looking for answers to the question: ―How do I become my own master?‖ Jyon Ki Tyon Dhar Dini Chadariya. ―The stomach stands for vast capacity for synthesis and assimilation of thoughts and ideas and great digestive and spiritual powers. held in the Hindu month of Bhaadrapada. God Of Auspicious Beginnings The pot-bellied.

sword and spear. education and trade. He is often depicted in red. Kangiten Vinayaka is offered radishes. Every year. He is a global traveller. Some regard him as a manifestation of the Avalokiteshwara. Ganesha is worshipped as Kangiten or Binayaka-ten. In Japan. help their Hindu brethren in making Ganesha idols. he welcomes Avneesha — another of Ganesha‘s name — in his home. each holding an axe.25 Communal Harmony People from all walks of life and different religions participate in the festival. The lovable. who has charted vast territories — from India to Tibet. wine. people shower rose petals on the Ganesha procession when it passes through predominantly Muslim areas. one of the tantric deities. . Film actor Salman Khan celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi with his family. In Mumbai. pestle and a bow. helpful god appears in Tibetan Buddhism as Maharakta. Bollywood stars bring home Siddhivinayaka. vajra. performs puja and also participates in the immersion of the idol. The festival unites the two communities. three eyes. There is evidence of Ganesha worship in Latin America and Europe also. He is associated with arts. Ganesha is known as Phra Phikanet and is worshipped as the deity of good fortune. In Thailand. Thailand and Japan. In Jaipur. honey and flour. China. arrow. Muslim craftsmen from Chandausi. Pan-Asian Idol Ganesha‘s charm transcends the boundaries of culture. with sharp white tusks. Moradabad. with great fanfare. and fresh fruits and bliss buns made of curd. who revel in harmony. hook. language and religion. and eight hands.

irrespective of country or religion. we need to think about the desired virtues and how one can develop those virtues. Krishna outlined to Arjuna a system of ethics that has withstood the test of time In the Bhagavad Gita. Janus presides on beginnings and transition. generosity.26 In the 19th century.‘ Fear of the unknown is the most basic of human emotions that affect all. hope and love. a number of others were added – compassion. Christians added faith. Aristotle‘s virtues for the city state included prudence. empathy. Sir William Jones drew a close comparison between a particular form of Ganesha. Krishna tells Arjuna not. and the two-headed Roman god Janus.restraint. justice. The Gita and business ethics The word ‗ethics‘ comes from the Greek word ‗ethikos‘. a liminal god of beginnings and transitions. on the battlefield at Kurukshetra just before the start of Mahabharata war. hospitality. Business ethics is the code of good conduct that a business adheres to in its daily dealings both with other businesses and with customers.only how to build character but also the root cause of ethical failure and how to avoid it. and is depicted with two heads. Therefore. It refers to one‘s moral character and the way in which society expects people to behave in accordance with accepted principles. hence he is present in different cultures. Over time. Jones referred to Ganesha as the ‗Janus of India. modesty and civility. bringing clarity and a fresh perspective. Ganapati helps us cope with that fear and anxiety. courage and self. In the month of Magha (December) 5. known as Ganesha-Jayanti. guiding people through ambivalence. . the founder of the Royal Asiatic Society. Virtuous people will live ethically. Most philosophers conclude that ethical failure occurs because of lack of character. in the true spirit of Indutva.000 years ago.

If only every manager. obedient. employee. which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world. is fighting. administrator. saintly. Who doesn‘t wish to be disciplined. humble. to achieve home-work balance and . but it simply refers to. clean.an overwhelming desire for anything. To be happy. eloquent. simple. expert and conciseIt is easy to give a list of positive qualities that we can all agree upon. that is. The Gita is as fresh in insight and as relevant today as it was 5. even though. it is lust later transformed into wrath. lust or selfish desire Most people think kama means just sexual craving. one can experience the positive transformation. The Gita can help us to learn to regulate our senses. his own Kurukshetra. worker and others pick a copy of the Gita and spend a few minutes daily reflecting on its message. dishonesty and corruption are all byproducts of lust. Why? Krishna answers in chapter three. the living entity is similarly covered by different degrees of this lust‖. western businesses separated work and spirituality.his own battle. verses 37 and 38: ―O Arjuna. respectful. control our minds and gain spiritual strength. Ethics is linked to spirituality For the last century or more. when it really matters.27 Krishna outlines 26 qualities of a gentleman – to be merciful. friendly. one must control lust Gita‘s solution to the ethical failure and downfall of corporations and society and family is controlling the senses with spiritual strength. As fire is covered by smoke. charitable and peaceful He should have surrendered to God and not be greedy or possessive but remain steady and determined. the Gita says.hundreds of trainers work day and night to teach people good character. sober. people‘s character still fails. magnanimous. grave. successful and well situated. free of the six bad qualities. Kurukshetra was also about mind control.000 years ago. truthful. not gluttonous. To maintain good character. mild-mannered. Every one of us. compassionate. such as lust for power. we must overcome kama. politician. Yet. equitable. Greed. or as the embryo is covered by the womb. as a mirror is covered by dust. whether as manager or employee.

it is here that akriti is conceived. Akriti stems primarily from prakriti.environment? The US-based writer is ISKCON member and consultant on contemporary management topics based on the Gita. the seed and the womb. Akritis should be considered visual knowledge. In their own unpretentious way. a tradition where the visible and the palpable are as important as the oral and the ocurrent. which through their purely visual language are a pointer to not only our culture but equally to brahma jnana or transcendent knowledge. religious and aesthetic traditions. where our highest truths are embodied not only in our erudite texts but in akritis which are rich with forms and shapes. Many of these forms have an ancient pedigree and are archetypal. a culture of many visual feasts. Prakriti is the bija and the garbha. Visual Knowledge India is a civilisation of many images.28 bring peace and harmony in a secular. This inquiry will explore some akritis or visual forms that adorn both majestic and grand monuments as well as common and ordinary spaces. Living Culture These beautiful visual representations of both the samajika or ordinary people are not individual expressions but that of the shared experience of the community and the preserve of the family. it is here that it empowers the human hand . that is. These akritis are part of our living cultural. and hence become primal and living expressions of a world view of an entire civilisation. it arises out of the material and the physical. they become sources of visual knowledge. and which have been passed down through trackless generations.

the birth and the marriage of Parvati. and it is the hand that moves the potter‘s wheel and the weaver‘s loom. primal yantras and mandalas. a whisper of joy at a samskara. on fabrics it is a blessing and on the scrolls of itinerant singers they are a living narrative. a song. Drawn on the ground it is invocation to the earth. a cry. a hushed voice of excitement for a forthcoming family event. we confer a valued pedigree on the akritis as we connect it to its mythic origins. the surface that enshrines the akriti is equally special. In doing this. Sacred Surfaces If akritis are created by the mind and executed by the hand. the samudra manthan or the churning of the ocean. In every akriti there is a voice. the Natyashastra and the creation of the mandapa.29 and it is from this human hand that comes the rekha and it is with the hand that the tulika and the kalam. a silent prayer of thanksgiving. on palm leaves and paper and in pothis and books it is visual knowledge. on the walls and threshold. Creation Myths Our starting point in this column of beautiful Indian forms will be to acquaint ourselves with certain primal myths. and make these artistic representations universal and timeless rather than specific and time bound. akritis often carry with them an expression of our deepest longings and heartfelt aspirations. So are shastras or canons on . The creation myth of Indra and the stambha. the brush and the pen are held. doors and windows of our homes it is a visual prayer. For. these are starting points of our inquiry into these beautiful creations. it is the hand that holds the needle and the thread. the dream of Trishala.

thrilling it with divine love. our birds and animals in the ambience of which Indian civilisation developed. One had only to sit in his presence for a few minutes to feel the weight of problems and worries lift mysteriously. too. The conversation was of mundane matters – he was giving us instructions regarding some holes that had to be dug (or filled. or your outward appearance – that you affect others by a much subtler quality. I felt as if a strong magnet were drawing my consciousness to the center between the eyebrows. or good looks. we must take note of the tropical environment. Whenever I meditated with him. I sat and meditated. On other occasions too.30 Shilpa and Vastu which determine how our abodes and dwellings should be constructed and beautified. or worldly reputation. It would help you to be aware that your own power to influence others. The uniqueness of this experience lay in the unsupportive circumstances in which it occurred. I remember sitting with a group of monks in the presence of my Guru. Perhaps you persuaded yourself that their influence was due to something perfectly ordinary: their physical stature. Sometimes he would merely look at me. And finally. I forget which). Change Your Magnetism .Change Your Life You have surely met people whose very presence emanated an indefinable power. I remember a brother . our trees and creepers. and a strange power entered my heart. Suddenly I felt as if my forehead was opening. is not limited to your command of words. to be replaced by a deep peace. Paramhansa Yogananda. I and my fellow disciples experienced our Guru‘s uplifting influence. our flowers and blossoms. my consciousness soared out into a freedom it had never tasted before. Since I wasn‘t directly involved.

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disciple of mine who was going through a test, and not taking it very well. He would come into my room and sit on the edge of my bed for a few minutes, his back bowed in misery. After he left, a cloud of gloom remained behind him. I could only dispel it by a determined attitude of cheerfulness, and by japa (continuous mental chanting).

It is important to understand that human magnetism of all kinds is never the outcome of mere wishful thinking. Two people may think positively in an undertaking, yet one will attract success, and the other, failure. There are ―weak magnets,‖ and strong ones. A current passed through an electric wire will generate a magnetic field, but it takes a strong current to generate a strong field.

Once you understand this principle of magnetism, it is important to realize that it can be misused. Be careful what you want, because wrong desires, even fears, can put this subtle law into operation. Thus, the devotee would do well always to try to unite his will to the divine will.

Every human activity manifests a magnetism of its own kind. For success in that activity, the most important requirement is that one develop the corresponding type of magnetism. Once this magnetism has been well developed, one may achieve success even if his formal training has been limited. (In fact, the greatest benefit from any kind of training is the confidence born of that knowledge, which develops in one the magnetic power to attract success.)

Mixing with others to acquire their magnetism requires not physical proximity so much as an attunement of consciousness. In every case, the amount of the exchange will depend on one‘s own magnetic drawing power, which in turn depends on a deep, sincere effort of will.

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To draw rightly in this way, don‘t be a sponge, passively soaking up whatever magnetism you can get. It is possible thereby to deplete another person without truly gaining anything yourself. Remember, as you draw magnetism, you, too, must become a magnet, by giving to others in return. The more your magnetism increases, the greater will be your drawing power, but magnetic development of this kind is always an interchange.

Finally, remember that everything originates in the Infinite Spirit. Magnetism of every kind is born of the magnetic power of God‘s love. Divine love is the most powerful – indeed, in the last analysis the only – force in the universe. By the magnetic power of divine love, all things can be accomplished – even that most seemingly impossible of all tasks, our salvation from delusion.

What man by his own power can never accomplish, divine love accomplishes easiWhy We Look For Eternity If we are devoid of eternal bliss, we won‘t have the desire to express it, says B S Nishkinchan Maharaj.

If humans are to be considered non-eternal, then how is it that they desire eternal existence, knowledge and bliss? If we are devoid of the attributes of existence, knowledge and bliss, logically we cannot express the desire to live in this world eternally, to attain complete knowledge and bliss. Beyond the existence of the physical body, we can directly feel the existence of mind, intellect and perverted ego. As we are of a finite nature, it naturally follows that our mental and intellectual capacities will also be finite.

The existence of perverted ego can be perceived by the presence of specific thoughts such as thinking that one belongs to this or that country; this or that religion; that one speaks this or that language or belongs to this or

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that group — whatever it may be. It may be questioned whether after death of the physical body, there is the existence of any such nationalist, religious or language groups — in fact, it may be pertinent to ask whether everything is destroyed or if there is the existence of a subtle body consisting of mind, intelligence and perverted ego or even beyond that, the existence of an eternal entity.

We have the special quality of power of discrimination between good and bad and eternal and non-eternal. Physical bodies are in the grip of numerous births and deaths, and are subject to many other drawbacks and so the body is non-eternal. Similarly the sense organs and whatever is perceived by them must also be non-eternal. Therefore, any eternal entity, must exist beyond the comprehension of material, non-eternal sense organs.

Because God is infinite, everything about Him is infinite. He has created countless beings. If one accepts that human beings can determine their own cause by means of material senses, mind or intellect, then that will be an intellectual concoction, and not reality. If reality is in fact reality, then He must always exist. Hence, we are to find the way to realise the Truth.

God is Sachidananda and so are we. Sat-chit-ananda together makes Sachidananda. Sat in Sanskrit means eternal life, chit means eternal knowledge and ananda means eternal bliss. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains to us that we are all actually souls. The soul is Sachidananda.

We were given this limited body so that we should realise that we are Sachidananda and we should strive to realise our true identity. Our duty is not to hanker after temporary bliss, but to experience eternal bliss. We have to find ways to realise this true identity of ours and become servants of Sachidananda.

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Since we are part and parcel of the Supreme Power, we come from Him. Hence it is our primary task to serve Him or to act in a way that would please Him. Once we begin to realise this eternal truth, we will realise Him. Once we realise Him, we will get to know other eternal truths, and then we will come to know that not only He, but His associates do not take birth; they simply descend. Once all this happens, then there is no doubt that instead of taking birth, we will descend with Him, when He asks us to, while staying as a reality.

ly. And its task, once accomplished, is accomplished forever. The most important thing is for us to attune ourselves by meditation to that subtlest ray.

Offer your love to God. You will create a magnetic field which will draw His love to you. In this way, you will gradually become ever more perfectly a channel for His love, drawing Him to you on higher levels of awareness until your love attains perfection in Him. Remember, God‘s love flows to you always. And you, by your love, must complete the circuit, thereby generating the magnetism that can draw to yourself the very consciousness of Infinity.

Healing Anger
There is a lot of anger and resentment between the generations, which is unproductive – it doesn‘t help things. How can we deal with this anger better? To be angry is to be out of control and so someone who is angry deserves my love and compassion more than ever. If I can stay in my own peace and patience and keep my self-respect, I can help others to do the same. When I see people‘s good qualities, I empower both myself and them. This is true generosity.

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By reaching a place of peace inside, I can share that feeling with younger - or older - people, so that they can free themselves from their own anger. If someone throws something at me, like an insult or an angry comment, I can just let it drop and leave it lying there. By not picking up another person‘s anger, I protect myself and at the same time give them the chance to take it back. When I remember my own inherent goodness, I can share it with others. For this I need to spend time in silence and really get to know and love my true, spiritual self and connect with the Divine. At the Brahma Kumaris, we use the words, ‗Om Shanti‘, which mean ‗I am a Peaceful Soul‘, to remind us of who we really are - no matter what is happening around us. To be peaceful is to be powerful. It is also our natural way of being.

Fearless And Free
What does freedom mean to you? Everyone talks of freedom; they want to have a sense of freedom but there are many interpretations of that word and its meaning. There‘s physical freedom and mental freedom. Freedom has to come from within first, so that the whole colour of life changes. In our minds, we need to have the freedom to choose; but we hesitate to do so because of ignorance and distraction; we are confused, so there is suffering. It‘s a challenge. A young person today is faced with many choices, but how to choose well? Our approach tends to be more physical than mental. It‘s fun, but it‘s confusing. And there‘s conditioning. If we know how to choose, that is in itself freedom. But we are ignorant, and that is the opposite of freedom. What can help one realise freedom within?

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You have to be smart and you have to find this smartness in you, without listening to the ego. This takes us to the philosophy of life and it means to understand nature. We need to adopt a philosophical way of approaching life. Right now we are focused only on the physical aspect of the world. A bit of understanding of nature is needed. For example, choosing a pair of spectacles is not so much about appearance as it is about nature and its bounty, its kindness for ultimately, everything is derived from nature. It goes back to the love of nature.

Understand the beauty of it by acknowledging where it comes from. Then you will be content, and you can choose happily, not aggressively, with lots of time, because you understand the philosophy. You‘ve said that nirvana and samsara are two sides of the same coin. However, isn‘t nirvana an eternal, permanent state, unlike that of samsara?

I wouldn‘t say nirvana is eternal. I would say both of them are eternal. There‘s no risk in saying that! But we perceive them in different ways. Samsara is manifestation of nirvana; it‘s the movement of nirvana. You say, you think nirvana is a permanent, unmoving, eternal state but thinking that way itself is ignorance.

There is nothing to show. We can only talk about it. There is no such thing for we are all nirvana — the table, you and me — if only you know the reality of it; rather, what we call reality. Otherwise, it is samsara. What is nature; what is its depth? There are so many categories of nature like stream, rainbow, waterfall, mountains and trees...all primitive, temporary perceptions but there is far more depth in nature when you see it from a philosophical perspective. Do you mean that all nature is a bunch of atoms, in constant motion, that there is change in what appears changeless?

Once you get into that really deep level of understanding. but these are not good terms.‖ It is a misunderstanding of ego. This would not be my interest to try and ‗see through‘ buildings or people. it is no longer that important. when I hear of someone waiting for a visa and there are difficulties. It doesn‘t mean they will collapse or the building will collapse. You have created fear that comes from ego. Not even the Buddha or any other realised being can describe it — if they did. authentic omniscience comes from deep understanding of what shunyata is. It is that which cannot be described. For instance. you say omniscient or I might say ‗I can read your mind. When you get deep into nature. they are no longer important for you in your understanding. Real. bio-blockages you are experiencing right now seem passive. The physical. But I would say it‘s all shunyata — you cannot describe it scientifically. . a solid building may no longer seem solid to you. are we not restricting ourselves by marking out territories and identities that curb freedom? I ask myself why. ‗tricks‘ or jadoo. I can see the other side!‘ There are so many mantras. To describe shunyata as nothingness or infinite is not appropriate as language is poor in describing it. Coming back to the subject of freedom. my space. Why borders? I think the answer is greed and ego that says: ―This is my territory. If I know shunyata. you start to know. they are wrong. to me. You become omniscient. You have to consciously create that sense of freedom.37 Perhaps that‘s right. a building may not appear solid at all in terms of importance.

He once asked the Dalai Lama why only Buddhists and Hindus claim they remember past lives. Small species tend to run around as though they are restless. that it shows a certain cultural association. there have been instances of people of other faiths recollecting past lives. I‘ll give you a metaphorical example: The elephant is large. slow. Before negotiating physical barriers. For that. fearful. they panic. But to be large is to be confident in the mind. feeling insecure — so they bite. What do you make of that? That‘s not entirely true. You have to accept. You have to love. The strength for this comes from within. not small. it is gentle. and they are small and afraid. with less confidence. you first have to be comfortable with yourself. The sense of freedom comes from inner strength and compassion. Physical power and armies have little to do with it. The Dalai Lama laughed in response. . You have to be large. we need to overcome mental barriers. I recently met this Muslim child who says he remembers his past birth in which he says he was a Buddhist monk of the Drukpa lineage! For instance. You have to be self-confident. The Dalai Lama might have laughed because this is not something that can be explained or he would have had to say a lot. moves with confidence. You need to feel genuinely comfortable no matter where you are. most don‘t remember their previous births! Reincarnation could also mean you switch genders. Feel secure. Khushwant Singh says the theory of reincarnation and rebirth has no basis.38 Penetrate that mental barrier. for instance. A majority of people don‘t believe and among those who believe. there was this Sikh child in Chandigarh who recognised a couple as his parents in a previous birth. looks cool.

writes Sanjiv Kakar Today we see tens of thousands of citizens. or for discussion on how ancient wisdom can be applied to contemporary issues. What is it that we can do to establish ahimsa in our youth? Since protest is here to stay as a vital tool in the political arena. . there is very little space for reflection with peer groups. School textbooks offer a rather dry history of religion without inspirational content. Gandhiji‘s satyagraha was influenced and inspired in part by religion. Today. education in non-violence becomes a priority. the young need to find peace within. for instance greed and corruption. for young people.39 Agitation And Ahimsa To protest peacefully. We only hope that the movement remains nonviolent. religious instruction is mostly a family affair. especially Jainism and his own Vaishnava upbringing and he held regular satsangs. or is imbibed through popular television programmes. The spectacle of families bringing their children to Anna Hazare‘s fast at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi for a dose of morality and ethics raises fundamental questions. including many youth taking to the streets for a better tomorrow. Since there is no structured discussion in a classroom environment. In a country with a sizeable young population. having youngsters in the forefront of a political agitation is not surprising. for violence always ends in failure and it is truth that wins.

Patience is required for sustained negotiations. Nurturing the spirit of ahimsa and truth is what youth need. . The fact that so many youth are taking to the streets in a spirit of ahimsa is commendable. ahimsa is fragile. however. Sri Sri has called for a spiritual tsunami as the means of transforming people and creating a divine society. With spiritual practices like meditation. ―The seed of the universe is deep inside you. We need to recognize the divinity in everyone.. This self-enquiry is what helps us traverse the boundary between religion and spirituality. is when nonviolent protestors face resistance. nothing can provoke us. Spirituality can solve social problems.40 Without meaningful discussion and proper mentoring how can young people go deep within and create meaning for themselves? It is this looking within. Corruption happens where there is no belongingness and spirituality is experiencing belongingness with everyone. Let us hold our breath and pray that people fed up with corruption continue to hold onto spiritual values. .your life is more than your activity. The real test. This should especially inspire youth. Anger and hatred come in the way of dialogue and conflict resolution. We need to honour its wisdom. we can go deep within and experience the space of silence and love. including ourselves. or violence. Life is not just about achieving. it is about contributing. opposition. that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar calls the ‗Guru within‘. for they are eager to do something for society. this introspection.‖ Without spiritual training. It was a spiritual force that guided our nation through nonviolence to freedom. Once we are in touch with ourselves and can celebrate the silence within. As Sri Sri says.

the same inconsistency arises. but people feel a very modern impulse to erase some bad old ways and jump into the 21st century. Time is set aside for meditation. They want to infuse spirituality into their daily lives. Hazare may be using time-honoured methods first recorded in the yogic practice of ahimsa or nonviolence. as is happening already in the education and technology sectors. His hunger strike and the way he identifies his political action with M K Gandhi‘s could resonate nowhere else. Since this behaviour gives room for . or prayers. not with this kind of power. people lapse into everyday behaviour. even the most secular among us is sick of India‘s reputation for a bought-and-paid-for government and a ruling class where membership automatically entails corruption. It was only a matter of time before someone galvanised the country‘s mass resentment. But let‘s examine a bit more closely.41 Dharma And Dharma Writing from California. back to the beginning of recorded history. On a practical level. all but unbroken. DEEPAK CHOPRA says the peoples‘ movement against corruption in India is touching a chord in all those who are sick of unethical practices. feeling that they have done their duty. the spiritual implications of Hazare‘s crusade. When God Gets The Crumbs A complaint that has existed for years concerns people who are religious on Sunday but not the rest of the week. The secular state is bound up with religious beliefs in every part of the world. Social activist Anna Hazare and his campaign against corruption has stirred deep memories in India. after which. but in India those beliefs weave a thread. puja. In every faith.

the soul. prayer. If everyday behaviour could join in the project of healing the divided self. greed. anger. Life needs to be lived on a coarser. observances. It might even be better if we were completely realistic and stopped paying lip service to our so-called higher selves. we see that rituals. The simple solution: return to the Self. which signals the end of the divided self. Anyone who has meditated or even experienced a simple state of a relaxed. Atman. and violence — the whole spectrum of human flaws and suffering — it would seem that God gets the crumbs while the other side gets the loaf. and temples are quite secondary to the transformation that needs to take place. The Indic spiritual tradition recognises this. family affairs. since unity consciousness. jealousy. .42 indulging selfishness. But they have no solution for human suffering. higher reality. the self that is separate from God. more realistic basis. This inconsistency (a harsher term is hypocrisy) actually feels necessary. too restrained and too reflective about our deeper nature. Every hour would be for God. The result is that our divided nature becomes more divided. there is no such thing as being apart from one‘s own Self-awareness. which may be business. The real transformation must take place in consciousness. and since we are conscious the entire day. self-awareness takes a back seat to outward awareness. and if we go into the real meaning of Vedanta. there would be no need to set aside a special time for God. and the bustling activity that absorbs everyone. the subject is overshadowed by the object. easy being knows what it‘s like to be with the Self. Nonbelievers and secularists certainly think so. call it what you will. Or so we assume. is God consciousness. Return To The Self In everyday situations. God requires us to be too good. which is rooted in that divided self.

The Real Source Of Power The second aspect is much less well-known. people fear the spiritual life. With that practicality in mind. worried. You must desire a shift of allegiance away from the outer to the inner. To cultivate the state of Self-awareness. The inner world can fulfil the desires that we run after in the material world. or participation in the real world. fulfilment. more centred. quite . open. you first must want to. How could it be different. That‘s a gross distortion of true spirituality. in which the world is overcome as an illusion by seeing that it can be managed as effortlessly as a dream. This is another form of self-division. actually. Candidly. when the outer world is almost finished with.43 This state is quieter than the everyday mind. since we attribute the entire creation to God and the force of life to Shakti? The divided self has so infiltrated even spirituality that the power of spirit has been ignored. and its rewards are external. If there is truth behind God. preoccupied mind. that aspect is well-known. Your allegiance to the inner Self must be here and now in order to be effective. however. and loose. higher reality. Its opposite is the rushed. or Shakti. power. The attraction of the inner self is twofold. India — and many other religious societies — are notorious for saving the inward gaze for late in life. as if ‗spiritual‘ must mean without desire. this truth contains the fulfilment of desires. There is intelligence. and creativity built into higher consciousness. It is meant to bring peace and silence to the restless mind. why should anyone want such a thing? The world demands participation. Being stuck in the old misinterpretation.

As a matter of fact. and so two paths open up. Go On A News Fast Negative news sells. because your allegiance has shifted away from outward show to the source of real power and creativity. I am not against newspapers or television by any stretch of the imagination. A newspaper with a headline revealing the latest tragedy will sell more copies than one announcing the latest scientific breakthrough. the everyday side of spirituality can be rich and rewarding in every sense. Before you start reading the morning paper. Use it as an information tool to serve you and to make . The secret of Vedanta is that we want more from a dream. My point is simply this: become more selective in the news you expose your mind to. because they want more from the world. Be more deliberate in the way you read your newspaper and in the way you watch your television. Either way is legitimate.44 understandably. I find excellent information in many newspapers and have learnt much from the intelligent TV programmes I have watched over the years. In our society. not less. With this in mind. The real problem is that it is easy to get addicted to reading and watching negative news. I know so many people who begin their day by reading less-than-uplifting newspaper stories and who end it by catching up on the latest crimes. Renounce the dream or master it. have a purpose in mind. more people will choose to watch the criminal trial of a celebrity rather than the biography of a truly great human being. accidents and scandals on the late-night news.

Vow not to read even one negative story in the newspaper or watch even one negative news report on television for the next week. . One of the best ways to wean yourself from the ―news addiction ‖that so many of us suffer from is to go on a seven-day news fast. you see the wall. objects and inferences. your experience is mixed with words. which is blissful. Then why are you missing Him? You might not be aware. the room and your own body. The moment you wake up. About Bliss SWAMI BHOOMANANDA TIRTHA says that by thinning down the thought process. you will find that the seven-day news fast offers yet another benefit: more time to do the things that will truly improve the quality of your life. but you are happiness personified! When is the time you experience yourself? On waking up. You will still hear about the most important stories of the day from the conversations that circulate around your office and through your encounters at home. Besides. you will not really miss out on much information. it is never pure consciousness — it is a mixed state of consciousness because it is coupled with objects. You will notice two things. you will feel much more peaceful and serene. But in deep sleep state. Even a sinner‘s sleep is not affected by the sin and hence everyone is untainted. there is no mixed state. the result is comfortable sleep. so whatever experience you have. When it is you minus object inference. First. the seeker can create conditions for Samadhi God is present everywhere. you get ananda or bliss because only you are there and nothing else. Second. Only when you are disconnected.45 you wiser rather than as an excuse to help you pass time.

God has given you a body and a mind and they have their properties and that is all. you would pray for forgiveness. that doesn‘t mean you have a right to foster the ego: ‗I have given birth and I am the mother. but it remains the same and undergoes no change. created or instituted doership.‘ You have no right to foster ownership and ego. in your waking state you have the power to reflect objects but it doesn‘t mean you become the reflection. By reflecting them in me. If you have sinned. The mind is exactly the same. All objects get imprinted and the mind doesn‘t lose its original state and hence no wear and tear happens to consciousness. Otherwise. A plain mirror carries the reflections of objects.46 Know Your Real Nature You get tainted when you are mixed up with something else. If you‘ve given birth to a child. your real nature is unconditional bliss. but if you would do the same. they do not get any knowledge. I process them and arrive at a great degree of understanding. Human nature is different from animal nature. . Your consciousness remains the same ever and ever. Painted By The Mind The Bhagavad Gita says that the Lord of the universe has never installed. you go to the church because of guilt. Troubles and agitation arise when you are mixed up due to impressions on the mind created through objects and events outside. you gave birth only because you have a female body and a uterus. A reflection might make the mirror go black but the mirror remains untainted. but God has no part to play in taking away anything. You have no blemishes. No change or modification of any kind takes place in you. Objects are inert. A cat bites her own kitten.

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God doesn‘t come in the middle as guilt is a byproduct of thinking. God has only given you a mind and a mind has its own properties which are exclusive of God. Everything is manmade. When you become indifferent to thoughts arising in you, you become quiet and get closer to God. God is a painting of the human mind. There are societies that don‘t think of God and don‘t believe in the Supreme. God is a creation of thought. So God is a conclusion and a suggestion. Has God ever spoken? We have spoken on behalf of God, so we have manufactured God — designed Him and instituted religion. So let‘s define religion and use it for common benefit.

Religion is a psychological science and does tend to appease the psychological needs of humanity. When it comes to consciousness, it is capable of producing figures, shapes and letters without occupying space in the human body, so it is all the same consciousness giving you the notion of thought, figure and space, so these are notionally there. The comfort and the joy of the empire of the Self is far more extensive than the extensive external world. The external world is an extension of your internal world.

The Power To Think
Mind and intelligence are not physical deliberations; when I think and produce thought, don‘t think the mind becomes the thought. The mind has the power to think; it gives the notion of ideas, but there is no condensation taking place. By interacting with objects or thoughts, we don‘t become them.

The biological body is the transformation of various substances like different types of food evolved from the earth, air, heat and energy. This kind of transformation does not take place in the consciousness. By its very nature it is

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untransforming. It has the power to give you notions, like fire gives heat and glowing power. With spiritual knowledge, you‘ll get the happiness of the Self and experience inner splendour.

Consciousness Is Indivisible
Everytime an idea arises, understand it to be an idea and check where it comes from, its source. When you find the source, you‘ll find that it is neither the body nor the constituents and segments of the body. It is entirely different from consciousness, too.

Consciousness admits no kind of division. It is indivisible. The ‗i‘ notion is generated from the source, namely consciousness. Your dying is also a notion. When the prana or life force ceases to operate in the body and it becomes un-functional, you call it death. Birth and death are just biological events; never attribute it to the consciousness of the soul.

Thoughts just arise and subside into and from the same source. Samadhi is the thinning down of the thought process until at last the very thought process merges into the thinker or the thinking substance. Understanding and Coping with Nicotine Withdrawal Each year, nearly 450,000 Americans die from smoking related illnesses. That's more than all deaths from HIV/AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. So why do smokers continue to light up when statistics like these make it clear that they should quit? Nicotine addiction is powerful, which makes quitting difficult—but it is possible. There are now 45 million smokers, but 47 million

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successful quitters. By understanding nicotine addiction and withdrawal, you can be better prepared to crush out this destructive habit for good. Understanding the Addiction When you smoke, nicotine speeds to receptors that trigger the release of dopamine, your body's feel-good chemical. Nicotine causes dopamine to be released in several parts of the brain: the mesolimbic pathway, the corpus striatum, the nucleus accumbens and the frontal cortex (highlighted above). Over time, the receptors where nicotine can connect become desensitized. This means that they lose some of their ability to send signals that result in the release of dopamine, and other neurotransmitters. As a result, more nicotine receptor sites are created. The overall effect is that smokers who have developed additional receptors need more nicotine to avoid having withdrawal symptoms.

The longer you smoke, and the more you smoke each day, the more severe nicotine addiction becomes. The craving for nicotine intensifies and becomes more frequent. Ignoring the cravings brings on unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. And what alleviates those? Yes, more nicotine.

The Rewards of Nicotine
Let's face it: If there were no positive outcomes to smoking, no one would ever do it. ―There are many motivations to smoke,‖ says Michael D. Stein, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Community Health at Brown University and author of The Lonely Patient and The Addict. ―The dominant one is physical dependence—that is, smokers who try to stop have withdrawal symptoms, and cigarettes relieve the symptoms. But nicotine can also improve attention and vigilance. Smokers smoke when they need to concentrate or focus. Smoking helps some people feel in a better mood, or they feel a high, a buzz. Some smokers enjoy the taste and smell of a cigarette. Finally, smoking

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serves as an appetite suppressant. People smoke to control their weight.‖ While all medical experts agree that the health risks are not worth these beneficial aspects, many smokers have a real fear of losing the sense of control and other pleasurable sensations when they stop. So, how can quitters learn to conduct their daily routine smokefree? Understanding what to expect and planning for withdrawal symptoms is a great place to start.

Managing Nicotine Withdrawal
The physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are rough stuff. The brain and body still crave nicotine's positive effects, so its absence causes quite an uproar. Quitters can experience any combination of irritability, anxiety, depression, sweating, headaches, insomnia, confusion, cramps and weight gain. Understanding what feelings and symptoms accompany nicotine withdrawal is important, because there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms.

1. Craving for nicotine If you aren't using a nicotine replacement treatment, you may have cravings. Cravings last only a few minutes, but will feel much longer at first. Stay busy, especially during the times when you used to smoke. Plan a small snack or distracting task during these times.

2. Irritability The frustration of leaving your desire for nicotine unfulfilled affects your mood. Know that your emotions will be intensified for the first few weeks after you quit. Talk about your mood, and the fact that you've quit smoking, to anyone in the line of fire. Going for a walk or other exercise can take the edge off. 3. Anxiety Smokers with pre-existing anxiety disorders have a harder time quitting. Other quitters may have new feelings of anxiety. Anticipating this frame of mind, and knowing that it's related to quitting is the first step. Try to wait it out, or take a break to talk to a friend who knows what you are going through.

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4. Depression Some of the prescription drugs for smoke cessation treatment also treat depression. If you are quitting without those, realize that you may start to feel down. If you have planned a support system and engaging distractions for your transition to the non-smoking life, rely on them.

5. Sweating Metabolic changes and increased circulation after quitting smoking may bring on sweating. Dress to stay cool, and drink plenty of water.

6. Tingling in hands and feet Your circulatory system is making positive adjustments after you quit, which can create some new sensations. A tingle in the extremities is a good thing. Just wait it out.

7. Headache Could be a circulatory effect, or a result of tension and anxiety from craving. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen if you usually do. Try deep breathing or meditation to relieve tension.

8. Cramps and nausea Smoking can cause peptic ulcers and other digestive ailments. As your digestive tract recovers from your time as a smoker, you can feel temporary discomfort. Avoid spicy, irritating foods as you wait for this phase to pass.

9. Insomnia Nicotine is a stimulant, so it has definitely affected your sleep-wake cycle. Treat yourself to extra soothing activities before bedtime: a warm bath, a massage, total quiet.

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10. Mental confusion Nicotine gives smokers focus and clarity. Its absence can make you feel a bit foggy. When confusion takes over, stop. If you're in the middle of a task, take a break. Confusion gradually dissipates as you adjust to the absence of nicotine.

11. Weight gain Some smokers fear gaining weight so much they don't attempt to quit. Most quitters gain fewer than 10 pounds. ―Weight gain following smoking cessation is mostly due to decreased metabolic rate, increased food intake, and decreased physical activity‖ after quitting, says Michael D. Stein, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Community Health at Brown University. ―Also, an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which affects fat cells' metabolism, becomes more active after you quit. And some appetite control agents, including leptin and neuropeptide Y, are influenced by nicotine.‖ Dr. Stein notes that those who are concerned about gaining weight are more likely to relapse after quitting. Exercise would be a great substitute for smoking, if you're concerned about gaining weight.

Most of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms are short-lived and symptoms pass in time, usually in less than a week. Withdrawal is the most uncomfortable part of quitting, but getting past this rough patch is the first real challenge in staying away from tobacco for good!

Night Of Power
Although Ramzan comes once in 12 months, we need to keep alive the spirit of the season throughout the year, writes SADIA DEHLVI As Ramzan comes to a close, my heart is filled with both joy and sadness. The cheer comes from spiritual rejuvenation and gratitude to God, that one is healthy enough to have been able to keep the fasts as commanded

one doesn‘t know when the journey of this life will end and if God will sustain my life through another Ramzan. on every errand: Peace!. They see the night as a Divine blessing. which are the 21st. so the faithful devote more nights to prayer in quest of the blessed night. 27th and the 29th. some collectively in mosques. invoke Allah by his name as Al Afwu. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah‘s permission. From Heaven To Earth The Quran affirms the elevated rank of the Night on which the Quran was sent from Heaven to Earth: ―We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: And which will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The sadness stems from the Muslim belief that the gates of Heavens that are thrown open this month — from which Mercy flows in abundance — will soon close. Surely. their Beloved.This until the rise of dawn! (97: 1-5) Muslims spend these nights in prayer. the only surety in life. the Pardoner. the attribute of Al Afwu is One who pardons. According to popular traditions.53 by Him. is among them. Among the 99 names of God. for the LayalatulQadr. a unique spiritual technique granted by God to turn to Him for sincere repentance and spiritual renewal. there is no specific certainty in the scriptures. there is a hidden wisdom in the uncertainty. say special prayers and make tearful supplications to their Lord. Special litanies recommended by the Prophet for the night. Although many believe that it falls on the 27th... Prophet Muhammad told his followers to look for the special night in the odd nights of the last 10 days of Ramzan. With death. Night of Power. quiet nights. in the secrecy of their homes and the intimacy of dark. They recite the Quran. The last of Ramzan acquires an even more sacred status. while others seek Allah. 25th. erasing the sin of the sincere petitioner. .

He is trying us with wealth. putting aside their differences. For. It is a way of sharing happiness with the poor. After having renewed our relationship with Allah during Ramzan. The Quran says that fasting is necessary to gain consciousness of Allah and protect ourselves from harm. It is usually calculated by the value of three kilograms of weight of rice. a small amount of money to a poor person for every member of the household including the staff and houseguests. Muslims are obliged to pay the Zakat al-Fitr. where Muslims traditionally greet family and friends. gratitude and indulgence in charitable deeds.54 Festival Of Eid The festival of Eid is also said to be a day of forgiveness. Abstaining from food and drink during fasting helps us to appreciate the abundance of it in our lives. enabling them to enjoy the festival. According to traditions. Prior to Eid prayers. People generally pay the cash equivalent of the food grain. Recognising the needs of the poor is one of the most important lessons of Ramzan. This must be paid in the town one resides in. the challenge lies in not forgetting the primary lessons of patience. for Allah clearly says that He forgives those who forgive others. Zakat al-Fitr is dependent on the main item of food consumed by a person during the year. rewards for fasting are not granted till this charity is paid. if Allah has tried them with poverty. need for true guidance and God consciousness. . God warns us not to neglect the needs of these people. Fasting for six continuous days beginning from the next day of Eid is highly recommended in Islamic traditions. Awareness Of Human Dignity Ramzan brings about an awareness of human fragility. wheat or barley. One must forgive those who have harmed or hurt us.

55 Prophet Muhammad said. I am doing everything that will ensure that my wish will be fulfilled for example I am ambitious and I like competition.. I see dreams to become famous and rich. I am a responsible man and I believe if something goes wrong. In heaven everybody is same but in hell there is always going to be some variety 8. nobody can come and say it was God‘s will. I like my real friends and their company.‖ We need to remember that Ramzan goes away. in hell they keep you going. I do not go to temples regularly. Ten reasons why I want to go to Hell.. I am a non vegetarian. 9. 4. I should be responsible for that . 3. (the month that follows) will get the blessings of fasting for the whole year. god is still an Idea for me but I know devils for sure. I am little fat and I am told. In fact I know some devils personally and acquaintance help 5. but the Lord of Ramzan is the Lord of every month and every day. I rarely waste my time to help someone on the road. I never vote for anyone I just vote against someone. I do not know god. Heaven is a monotonous place with everything in right place. ―Whoever completes the fasts of Ramzan then adds to them the fasts of six days in the month of Shawwal. I do not like surprises and I am told all the good things of life are banned in heaven. everybody serious and sober. I push . I am relieved that in hell.. in heaven people only rest.. 7. I want to show my neighbours that I am better off from wherever they are 6. I do not want to be in the company of strangers 2.

It may be questioned whether after death of the physical body.56 my way to get ahead of everyone in the queue. it naturally follows that our mental and intellectual capacities will also be finite. As we are of a finite nature. It is my right to decide where I go. I remain neutral even when there is a great Moral conflict going on. What the hell. Physical bodies are in the grip of numerous births and deaths. 10. the existence of an eternal entity. The existence of perverted ego can be perceived by the presence of specific thoughts such as thinking that one belongs to this or that country. why I am explaining what I want. that one speaks this or that language or belongs to this or that group — whatever it may be. . Therefore. I pay bribes wherever It is required. any eternal entity. Beyond the existence of the physical body. must exist beyond the comprehension of material. We have the special quality of power of discrimination between good and bad and eternal and non-eternal. there is the existence of any such nationalist. logically we cannot express the desire to live in this world eternally. intelligence and perverted ego or even beyond that. intellect and perverted ego. I lie regularly. knowledge and bliss. religious or language groups — in fact. If humans are to be considered non-eternal. knowledge and bliss? If we are devoid of the attributes of existence. we won‘t have the desire to express it. it may be pertinent to ask whether everything is destroyed or if there is the existence of a subtle body consisting of mind. then how is it that they desire eternal existence. we can directly feel the existence of mind. says B S Nishkinchan Maharaj. to attain complete knowledge and bliss. and are subject to many other drawbacks and so the body is non-eternal. non-eternal sense organs. this or that religion. I only listen to my free will that separates me from everything and everybody Why We Look For Eternity if we are devoid of eternal bliss. Similarly the sense organs and whatever is perceived by them must also be non-eternal.

they simply descend. Hence it is our primary task to serve Him or to act in a way that would please Him. we are to find the way to realise the Truth. If one accepts that human beings can determine their own cause by means of material senses. Perhaps that‘s because Shiva‘s abode is associated with the rugged outdoors. Sat in Sanskrit means eternal life. The cave god Visiting a temple set in a cave is always an ethereal experience. we will get to know other eternal truths. we will realise Him. Once we realise Him. We were given this limited body so that we should realise that we are Sachidananda and we should strive to realise our true identity. mind or intellect. Krishna explains to us that we are all actually souls. Since we are part and parcel of the Supreme Power. and then we will come to know that not only He. we come from Him. and not reality. The womb-like peace and quiet of the cave helps in connecting with God better I felt the same way. but to experience eternal bliss. Once all this happens. Our duty is not to hanker after temporary bliss. The soul is Sachidananda. then He must always exist. if it happens to be a Shiva temple. If reality is in fact reality. then that will be an intellectual concoction. then there is no doubt that instead of taking birth. when He asks us to.57 Because God is infinite. God is Sachidananda and so are we. It‘s more so. In the Bhagavad Gita. while staying as a reality. We have to find ways to realise this true identity of ours and become servants of Sachidananda. Hence. Once we begin to realise this eternal truth. Sat-chit-ananda together makes Sachidananda. chit means eternal knowledge and ananda means eternal bliss. He has created countless beings. everything about Him is infinite. we will descend with Him. but His associates do not take birth. when I stepped into the Tapkeshwar Mahadev .

he met a sage to whom he confessed his desire to have a darshan of Shiva. The child then started praying and crying. Dronacharya went to king Drupada to borrow a cow. the lingam came to be known as Dughdeshwar Mahadev Over time. the temple also doubles up as a picnic spot. The annual Shivaratri festival and fair held here is worth experiencing. Shiva offered to grant him a boon Dronacharya then asked for the knowledge of archery. As advised. So. This dripping gave the place its name. Tapkeshwar. the Shivalingam was installed by Dronacharya. the teacher of the Pandavas and the Kauravas. which was granted He and his wife Kripi were also blessed with a child. The water and moisture from the hills constantly drips (tapak) on the Shivalingam placed directly beneath the pores of the rocks overhead. the temple is one of the busiest pilgrim centres in Dehradun. Dronacharya went to the cave and immersed himself in meditation Pleased by his devotion. The sage advised him to go towards Rishikesh. a stream of water started flowing from a rock here Adorned with rudraksha. he would get the milk by His blessings. Since then. whom they called Ashvatthama However. a stream of milk started flowing from the shrine Shiva‘s heart melted and how! The child tasted milk for the first time. Milk of kindnessIt is believed that when Dronacharya came to these parts during his travels. The sage also told him that he will be able to get a glimpse of the Shivalingam on the bank of a river in the vicinity. The temple reveals its full glory during the monsoon season. .58 Mandir in Uttarakhand. When his tears fell on the lingam. There are many mythological stories associated with the presiding Shivalingam According to one. Kripi was not able to feed her child. Because of its unusual setting. A dejected Dronacharya tried to console his son by telling him that since all the cows were with Shiva. but was refused. Located on the banks of the seasonal Ton River.

His brother and uncle. He not only restrained his impulse to leave. their therapeutic quality makes Tapkeshwar a superb dipping spot for pilgrims. Restraint could manifest as the gap between the apparent and the hidden. writes Sudhamahi Regunathan Among the many definitions and descriptions of art. one is built on the idea of restraint. With the hope that he would change his mind if he had some time to get over the recent tragic events. Here again he employed the idea of restraint which made him . did not like the idea of Vardhamana. however. becoming a monk. Tapkeshwar Mahadev is adorned with 5. Every month on Triyodashi. The story goes that he was desirous of going out into the world. Mahavira could have left the house stealthily. seeking truth. This came soon after his parents died. which is central to Mahavira‘s teachings. between a movement or action and the lack of it. but he respected his kin and didn‘t want to hurt them. he stayed on at home among the riches that his brother and uncle were lavishing on him but partaking of them with detachment. Between desire and need Art is built on the idea of restraint.59 Cool sulphur springs abound here.000 dozen bananas and flavoured milk are distributed as prasadam among devotees by the Sri Tapkeshwar Mandir Seva Dal. Art is that which expresses something and leaves a little unsaid and it is in an attempt to bridge this gap that the rasika or viewer keeps going back to the experience called ‗art‘. devotees in large numbers throng the temple to offer water to the Shivalingam Serpentine queues can be seen outside and the waiting period could stretch to two or three hoursLarge quantities of milk are offered and 12. Vardhamana‘s desireMahavira‘s life was built on much the same idea of restraint.151 rudrakshas Visitors come specially to see this. they refused to give him permission to leave. as he was called then. He wished to denounce family life. On Shivaratri. They asked him to observe at least two years of mourning. or even as between desire and need.

the sense of touch. What is the use of being so severe to the body. unlimited When demand exceeds supply. That which is permanent is the soul. he identified the third component of life. therefore allowing for diversity in thought and action. This made him understand that all living beings have a soul and the difference lies in the number of senses they have. So he controlled his tastebud and his need for material things. Aparigraha is non-possessiveness — especially when resources are limited and wants. The principle of anekanta asserts that truth is multi-dimensional and opposites can co-exist. he stated. Birth of nonviolence Finally the two years went past and Vardhamana left home to become a monk. He was checking out the strength of mind as well as the strength of the body. Every being wants to live and so one should observe restraint with one‘s own desires and allow for other lives to flourish as well. for example. he was just moving from strength to strength. Poetry of life . This gave birth to the idea of ahimsa or nonviolence. the soul.60 state in later years that one cannot hold circumstances responsible for one‘s own weaknesses. and the body is the perishable component. one has to control one‘s senses. have only one sense. When you overcome the desire to possess. it is aparigraha. But Vardhamana was not being severe to the body. To allow other lives to live without disturbing them requires two principles — anekanta and aparigraha. they wondered. When he almost negated the two. Plants. He observed severe penance and there were many who laughed at him. it gives rise to competition and intolerance.

Nadi astrologers are trained to read writings on leaves that appear like scribbles on its surface. To carry them beyond limits. they will bring the bundle and then match it with your profile. It is based on ancient linguistics.. too. To live them truly is the secret not just to a beautiful life but also a very sophisticated and civilised way of living. Some say that writings on the leaves were by rishis. Desire is that which defies fulfilment. for that colourless space on a canvas of colour. Just by looking at your thumbprint. how many children you have and also the diseases you are suffering from. The principles of ahimsa. unless you are in penance. can become poetry with restraint. Vedic scholar Baskaran Pillai tells Sonal Srivastava What is Nadi Astrology? It‘s one of the oldest forms of astrology Nadi leaves have predictions about past. The family of souls The ultimate reality is that we are just sound vibrations. The astrologer will ask you some questions.61 Central to Mahavira‘s teachings is therefore restraintthe same restraint that calls for seconds of silence within a song. a Nadi astrologer will be able to tell you your name. for instance: is your name starting with letters such as K or C or G? This form of astrology is based on the theory that souls are classified as sounds and there are different permutations and combinations of souls. is going against the spirit. how old you are. One binge at lunch requires several long hours to work off the calories. by looking at the thumbprint. who wrote in Sanskrit. Life.. when you were born. .one rude word provokes ten. your mother‘s name. your father‘s name. The leaves are classified according to the thumbprints. written on them. future and present. for moments of stillness in dance. anekanta and aparigraha are to make life poetic.

it can‘t diagnose the problems in the subtle body. What you see is only maya as we process everything through the mind. Earlier we used to think that only the brain thinks. it is everywhere including inanimate objects. the leaves were auctioned by the British to a few astrologers and they became the custodians of this knowledge. but you see it as matter. for sound vibrations create consciousness. and they also have knowingness. Your sound vibrations match with that of sound vibrations representing your father and mother. Do sound vibrations have the power to change our lives? . There is a family of souls and somehow. for instance. but it is made up of particles. By souls. There are no accidents in life even if it is a disease that you are suffering from. Medicine deals with the physical body. even plants and animals have souls. Later.62 A Tamil king collected the leaves and preserved them in a library. they were not created by anyone. A glass of water is not just a glass of water. matter is not just matter. You don‘t think of me as atoms. How important are sound vibrations in our understanding of the soul? The ultimate reality is we are just sound vibrations and Nadi Astrology is also based on sound vibrations. Everything visible has an invisible basis. Soul is a conscious entity. it‘s a bunch of atoms or strings. You are only seeing reality through your senses and your senses are restricted to the material world. we mean consciousness or sound. but our genes think too. it‘s related to your thumbprint. Everybody has a soul. The string theory in Particle Physics talks about vibrations. you perceive me as reality. it is predetermined. Souls are eternal and are ever-evolving.

if you repeat it. you just keep the mantra in your mind It is like an idea — you know that it is present. ‗ah‘ will give you omnipotence. imagination. Another way of using the mantra is called pashyanti. when you have said the mantra at least 10 lakh times. There are different ways of doing the japa. it‘s the cause of several conditions that cause us to fall ill like obesity and indigestion. thought or word? Can you think a thought without a word? Word itself is made of syllables. Consciousness was created from the drums of Shiva. There are 16 vowels and 35 consonants that create consciousness. you can analyse whether you were able to accomplish anything that you wanted to at the start of the mantra. the brain produces alpha waves for creating harmony in the brain Shrim is Lakshmi‘s mantra. When you utter the mantra. you develop intellect. strength and intellect are all dependent on what we eat. if done collectively. practising it attracts wealth. which is a pre-thought form. Think before you eat Food is life-sustaining and yet. The first sound is ‗a‘ — it can give you omniscience. Klim is the mantra of Parvati that helps you work on your relationships and find a life partner. Our moods. The Lakshmi mantra can shield you from stock market fluctuations. ‗aim‘ is the sound for Saraswati. Charaka has provided us with eight principles of . Usually. If you know sound waves. Sage Charaka wrote 2. sound of ‗ee‘ will give you desire.63 Thought is made up of sound vibrations There is often a debate on which comes first. you don‘t have to move your lips or your vocal chords — you chant the mantra in your mind. These sound vibrations are building blocks of energy and matter. complexion. but it is only a concept in your mind. A japa is another way of chanting. you can create everything What are seed mantras? Mantras generate energy in you For instance.600 years ago that food provides vitality.

water melon or fish . undigested food remains in the stomach and intestines. Drink water either half an hour before or half an hour after your meal. Do not eat before the previous meal is completely digested as it is not advisable to add more food to the stomach while the body is still in the process of digesting the previous meal. To aid digestion. Avoid the following antagonistic food combinations: . No food is entirely good or bad. focus your attention on the food. attractively presented which appeals to your sense of taste. food is either easy or difficult to digest and gives heat or cool energy to the body. vigour. Eat neither too slowly nor too fast. kalonji. and not during the course of your meal. and use ingredients that balance the different rasas. Eat to the extent that you are comfortably satisfied. use spices like ajwain. Ensure that the food is rich in herbs and spices. Make a wish that the five elements of food should provide you with health. Don‘t speak with food in your mouth.64 Ayurvedic food culture: Always eat freshly-prepared warm meals. and equipoise. and this leads to the building up of toxicity. Before beginning your meal. smell and aesthetics. radish. Foods that are antagonistic in nature should not be taken together. Never commence eating a meal when you‘re stressed or under emotional pressure. which is the basis of the body‘s energy. Have your dinner at least two hours before going to bed.Milk in combination with sour foods. cumin (jeera) and ginger that enhance agni or the digestive fire during cooking. Eat enough to fill two-thirds of your stomach. With over-eating. Leave a gap of at least four hours between meals and of 10 to 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. Meals should be cooked in a peaceful state of mind. Do not fill it up completely. You may also say a small prayer or a mantra to still your mind.

Food antagonistic to time. for that is like a spider web in which we may get stuck.Combination of too hot and too cold foods .Honey in any heated form or a hot drink immediately after taking honey . While we must satisfy the mind and have our questions answered. Overemphasis on the theoretical side can take our attention too far away from the practices we need to perform. Stop theorising start practisingThere are two elements involved in learning spiritual teachings — the theoretical and the practical.Diet adverse to a person‘s food habits .Foods excessively dominating in one particular rasa (taste) like excessively salty. So many questions. that asked: ―Is the world infinite or finite? Is the soul identical with the human body?‖ Since he was preoccupied with these questions.Deep-fried and oily foods such as samosa or pakoras in combination with cold drinks or cold water . He gave all an equal chance to find the way to enlightenment. One day. Malunkyaputta sought an interview with the Buddha Malunkyaputta had a restless mind. . He requested the Buddha to answer his questions failing which he would leave the order. when he stayed in one place. a disciple. place and constitution . The only time he did not tour was during the rainy season. sweet or sour. Buddha was full of compassion and served humanity selflessly. The Buddha spent 45 years teaching spiritual truths to enable people to break free of the karmic wheel of life that binds them to this world. we do not want to get trapped into mental wrangling. he could not meditate.65 .

like the leaves in the forest. I have not told you. ―No‖ Buddha said. Why did I not tell you everything I know? The reason is that all that information is not useful Information that will not lead to enlightenment. and other such questions.‖ Buddha then told them. or the leaves in the forest around us?‖ The disciples said. It is just like someone who is shot by an arrow who instead of letting the doctor treat him to get out the poison starts saying. But there comes a point when we find that the mind will never stop its wrangling. or what colour is his skin. while there are many more in the forest. We have to discriminate which questions will help our spiritual progress and which ones are merely to satisfy the intellect‘s curiosity. many get involved in intellectual pursuits.‘ The key is to get treatment first. People who are steeped in the theoretical side of religion can spend years debating each point found in scriptural writings and never find any solution. is he tall or short.66 Buddha replied. then one may pass one‘s whole life and never reach the spiritual goal. did I ever ask you to take up this path and did I promise you that I would answer these intellectual wranglings?‖ The disciple sheepishly replied. ―Whoever worries about these meaningless speculations such as whether the world is infinite or finite. Of everything I know. ―You have very few leaves in your hand.‖ While in the Simsapa forest near Kosambi. I have only told you that which you need to know to gain the spiritual experience and find salvation‖ Practise makes perfect As we think about our own lives. what type of bow and arrow did he use. Buddha was sitting with his disciples. Similarly. ―It is the same with my teachings. what kind of person is he. He picked up a few leaves and asked his disciples. ―What is your opinion? Which is more? Is it the few leaves in my hand. It is far . I have only told you a little. ―O Malunkyaputta. ‗I will not allow my wound to be treated until I know who is the man who shot me. if we say we will not do our spiritual practices until we get answers to these questions about whether the universe is eternal or not. What I have not told you is much more. or whether the soul looks like the body. is taking away time from spiritual practice.

67 better to spend time in our spiritual practices so that we can rise above our limited intellect and come in contact with our soul. these conditions have ripened for my karma to teach in New Delhi and other parts of my motherland. It wouldn't be so good if I felt that the vibes were not good. I didn't feel that the karma or the right conditions were there. though I can't speak for anyone else. until recently. Archana. Our soul has all the answers. thanks to Indian rich culture that has been pouring in by sublime lineages of different . Abhishek and Arjun. because we were born with the keys to the doors. then the seeds will never grow. the soul will awaken to the truths lying within It will be open to receive the hidden wisdom within us. I am trying to open the door to those people who have very little ways of opening doors to their own happiness of life. we will not have to wonder about answers. for we will know them for certain and see them for ourselves. that means unsuitable conditions. Conditions are very important for the ripening of positive or negative karma. it is one with the Lord. I have given so many public talks everywhere. Answers lie within. we can use that time to keep the mind still so that the soul can come in contact with the inner Light. For example if we plant some seeds of fruit trees in unsuitable places. As usual. So I feel for me. We always talk about karma and forget about conditions. This is a good beginning. many people and organisations have requested me to give public talks in New Delhi and other parts of India. Fearless Freedom For many years. Then. besides teaching in the Himalayas and in foreign countries. By absorption in that Light. then it would be quite sad. my birthplace. Let us not waste our precious meditation time thinking over the intricacies of the universe Instead. Though I don't think we Indians need that much of encouragement. I want to thank the 3As for making this happen. thank you! For some reasons. except in non-Himalayan part of India. I would always put conditions as a little more important because we need conditions for karma to act.

I look forward to meeting all of you again and again in Delhi and many other places! Contemplation And Compassion . which is more needed. I met a very interesting gentleman. As I said in teaching. the world. that we have to do this many times. I feel that much connected and with the idea givng public talk in Delhi is very good move in terms of contributing to my own country. I will be happily contributing. but in our Himalayan languages. I am only saying boys and girls. That means. my favourite city is New Delhi. Kinnaur and also in Sikkim. He has very special hands. because elderly people have lived their lives. Lahaul. Too bad not much time was given that evening. I came to know that he is a very prominent and experienced politician. I wished we could give them more tickets. I was very happy that many young Ladakhi students studying in Delhi came for the talk. I could feel his genuine sincerity and some sort of blessing. all these Himalayan regions a lot. That was good. so much so that I have confidence and I can raise my voice about that. This is what I really want to do. I have obviously been giving talks in Ladakh. Dr Balram Jakhar. the longest serving governor of India. since my birthplace is India. because city life is full of distractions and challenges. After that. if I may daringly say.68 spiritual beliefs. Although it was one of the smallest crowds that I have ever had for my public teachings in the world. But I can see there is a risk to lose that spiritual "juice" from our life. When we shook hands. Good questions were asked. whether good or bad. not only in this life. our future. but the gathering had very good vibes. they have passed their time. Darjeeling. but lives that I went through. If I am given a chance. even though I did't know then what role he was playing for the society. He has been doing good at diplomatic and society levels. During the talk. ever since Naropa's time. No wonder there was a kind of positive energy that I felt. I have not been finding the right opportunity to talk in a city like Delhi. therefore it is very much needed to remind the youngsters. I can even say that I am filled with Indian spirituality. so young people are our hope for the future. We have to think of the future of our country. Therefore city boys and girls need spiritual reminders more than those living in the Himalayas or mountains.

The ennobling principle is characterised by J Krishnamurti as the essence of intelligence as distinct from intellect. Karuna is the great spiritual force which separates the evolved from the not-so-evolved. The need to cultivate compassion is central to traditions worldwide. .he decided to transport the worms to his own flesh by body contact.so he decided to give up all practices.from which arises the capacity to love. but the Buddhist traditions formalise and conceptualise the principle as a psychological tool to cultivate liking and equanimity for all beings as a psychomeditative technique in itself. At that moment the dog disappeared and Lord Maitreya stood in front of Asanga.In an act of sacrifice. founder of the Yogachara school.helping us to reach a more mature jignasa state of mind where it becomes easier to understand the deeper purpose of life and existence.on his way back to the town he saw a dog whose body was being eaten up by maggots. Lord Maitreya told Asanga that his fervent practice needed to be grounded in universal compassion to enable him to see that the Self he sought was omnipresent. beyond the limited i-me-mine thought process which has conditioned us. Reportedly.but who felt an enormous emptiness. who had mastered the intellectual aspects of the ancient texts and the sutras. A truly intelligent mind is one which can comprehend and experience the sorrow of another as ones own and in this experience. Even his long meditations left him more lonely than alone and completely disheartened.still.Asanga decided to cut the flesh from his own thigh to attract the worms away from the dog. the mind feels the interconnectedness of life. which allows us to understand and love the other. Buddhist scriptures narrate the story of sage Asanga.Overcome by compassion.he resolved to remove the maggots but found it was not possible to do so. Beyond the matrix of our vanities lies this concept of karuna or compassionate wisdom.69 The ancients believed that at the heart of a truly intelligent mind and at the core of a democratic discourse lies the cardinal virtue of compassion that can help us rise above our deepest dislikes and prejudices. When that also did not work.

For me happiness does not mean having whatever one dreams of.70 It is the defining characteristic of a bodhisattva.detached from the limitations of ones own mind-matrix. .And then. . Sometimes it is too late. They keep cribbing about little things in life which don‘t even matter.Buddha saw the need to cultivate compassion as the trigger to develop detachment a paradoxical but a commonsense way to induce a detached attitude.the heroic soul who puts his nirvana state of mind on indefinite hold in order to help others evolve on the path to understanding.you need to detach yourself from the fabric of the Whole as well. Some people are never satisfied. It means smiling and making others smile. Some people keep asking ‗How to be happy?‘ Well. slowly they understand and they move on. They are too ignorant to understand that there is a world which is much beyond their own little self created tiny world. The interconnectedness of life can be felt only by a compassionate heart which would see beyond the misconceptions and the limitations of the thought-mind. . We just have to find it.which.The contemplative path and the path of compassion are really one. Being Happy Being happy. It means moving on and taking challenges with open arms. It means thinking about different things about life..to try and understand the design behind the complex code of life.as the Dalai Lama says. It means being satisfied even when one does not have all that he dreams of. All the strength of the world is inside us. I don‘t get the point of asking this question because all the happiness of this whole wide world is inside us. It means being satisfied with what one has achieved.. by trying to understand the larger whole. is the most important thing according to me. itself (the limited mind) predetermines what we perceive.Compassion is the healing meditative tool to tear away the veil of ignorance that makes us think we are all separate entities..at some point of the journey. Well.

I like to pamper myself and keep myself in the best of health. however. We are always waiting for something or other.71 I have seen that youngsters of my age are never happy. Because till the time I am not happy with me. They are sad if they don‘t have a girl-friend/boy-friend. I was so not sad because of some creepy person who tried to break me down. they are sad because he/she didn‘t call them or ignored them or didn‘t say hey first. They lie to their parents and take hooka. And even if they do. I totally disagree with the psychology of young teens of my age. Each one of them has failed. . I believe that Happiness is a very important tool. I have achieved nothing in life. Waiting. We should be happy by ourselves. they smoke. we shouldn‘t be dependent on any other being on our emotions. Many have tried. whatever. is not to be seen as a distasteful activity. And mostly because they want to act as if they are 20 year olds. I actually like to be self-dependent and happy with me. Teasing and fooling around with my sister. It means seeing my loved ones smile. May be following the Western – trend. NO ONE. Trust me. And those who have understood this are really wise. The definition of happiness in our lives keeps changing from person to person and time to time. I believe that no one can make me sad. I believe that. Chatting and shopping with my mother. you must know how to wait. Playing games with my daddy. In the end I would just like to say BE HAPPY! Waiting and watching One of the most beautiful aspects of human nature is our ability to wait for something. They may have called me FAKE. For me happiness means being with my family and my loved ones and enjoying with them. When I didn‘t show that I am sad. I mean come on! Till when are these people going to crib and sulk about such stupid things. Because I automatically start wearing the smile that they give me. I really enjoy my company. Because honestly speaking I was not. drink and what not! And not only that but many have started making boy-friends and girl-friends. What I believe is very different. Well.

and you tend to simply wait. it comes as a shock. When we are waiting we have no patience in that waiting. This is inertia. the fact is that the environment has its threshold and one day. If you observe yourself. nothing much will happen except that you will allow nature to use a bigger and more powerful hammer to knock you awake. every minute. But you have no courage to change. Nature wants you to change. the more unconscious of yourself you are. every day. You just won‘t be the change you want. that day becomes the beginning of a new way of life. But how many actually work towards achieving these?Nature is often at the receiving end – human activity gives rise to exploitation of resources and pollution. disasters might take place. but you don‘t. Call them natural or human made. collaborate. Catastrophes happen and we are not entirely prepared to face the consequences. However. Human nature is like that.72 There are different ways of waiting and different reasons for waiting. In this inertia we always wait for something to change hoping that somebody will come and give us what we desire. we are out of balance. we are faced with a challenging situation. Waiting is good but if you know how to wait. You are waiting (for what?) and when things get out of hand. Sometimes it takes us by complete surprise. The difference between waiting for change and waiting with patience is that in the latter you have done what is expected of you. Learn how to wait with patience and in silence. in the outward appearance and with your surface nature. the more you live on the surface. The lazier you are. when we wait we do so full of nervous energy and tension. for instance. When we do not know how to live in the present and are always waiting. time comes with you. you are waiting for change to happen. You have . Generally. It is telling you to change. harmony and happiness. The day you understand that you have to cooperate. you will see that life is always knocking on your door. exercise patience and feel connected. it is a reflection of our lazy nature. sometimes we learn from these catastrophes and even take steps to bring about change – in ourselves and the environment. If you do not have patience and do not co-operate but cry and complain. We all want peace. The Mother of Aurobindo Ashram said that when you know how to wait you put time by your side.

there are many hymns with invocations. Hindus remember the dear departed. Constant Remembrance Delivering a lecture on spirituality in America. Then one can wait with patience and put time by one‘s side. That way time becomes your partner and helps you to reach the desired result. Says Sant Aasaram Bapu.73 done your duty. ―Those without descendants need not worry. A Sincere Act . Swami Abhedananda. a disciple of Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa. It is believed that the fruits of virtuous deeds performed in the name of the dead helps their souls in their onward journey and brings prosperity and well-being to their descendants. Offerings of food and other goods are made to people in memory of ancestors.‖ Specific days are marked for those whose tithi or date of death is not known. Pray For Your Ancestors During pitri paksha or shraadh. addresses to the pitris. Friends too can perform shraadh. or the ‗departed fathers‘. The Sanskrit word ‗shraadh‘ means anything done in memory of our departed ancestors. said that in the Rig Veda. That can give you better and faster possibilities in life. The mood is somber and celebrations and shopping sprees are put on hold. whose blessings are invoked and prayers held for their souls. One of the daily duties of the Hindu householder is to spend a few minutes thinking of departed ancestors and to do various acts of charity in their name. They were invited to accept the offerings made to them at the time of shraadh.

This realm is ruled by the first of the mortals. pray that the ancestors feel happy and satisfied. Perform shraadh with total shraddha or sincerity. simply raise your hands towards the sun and pray that the ancestors are happy with the devotion and will in turn. good thoughts and deeds of descendants help the departed soul in getting release from earthly bondage. can make do with flowers or a few sesame seeds. According to Vedanta. Yama bestows on the spirits all the comforts and happiness. Yama. If that too is not possible. While feeding the hungry. reap the fruits of good deeds. they come back to earth even if it is after about a thousand years and reincarnate as humans to fulfil latent desires in them and to reap the fruits of their actions. through good action. But. or just a blade of grass. Bound by desire. Those who can‘t afford lavish offerings. . performed by themselves or in their name by their descendants or friends. who. even in pitriloka one reaps the results of good actions and thoughts. explains Sant Aasaramji. The Realm of Ancestors The realm of ancestors is called the pitriloka. reached that state of consciousness. The only escape is through realisation of one‘s own divine nature. They rise higher and enter the realm of the pitris. where the departed souls enjoy heavenly life.74 So have faith and be sincere to the memory of your ancestors. bless the family.

Crises have a way of either bringing you closer to your faith (in God or religion) or alienating you from it. Courting Violence When terror strikes as it did in New York on 9/11 ten years ago or at the Delhi High Court last week. the reverse position is almost as dogmatic. Is faith nothing but a crutch for some and a way of justifying bitterness for others? What makes one person‘s faith in an unseen power unshakeable and another‘s unpredictable? Mary Rose. Freethinking was contrary to the dogma of the faith. O son of Kunti. You‘ve phrased your first question so that it contains its own answer. In most religions. ―All worlds of experiences. and I agree with you. New York City.75 In the Bhagavad Gita. . without regard for anything as unreliable as scripture or a wisdom tradition. In a secular age. Skepticism and doubt were the marks of heresy. up to the world of the Creator are subject to return. Open-mindedness is desirable. Faith can be the cover for a mind that stubbornly holds on to God or stubbornly refuses to accept the possibility of God.‖ He alone is free who after knowing truth has become truth and who realising the Supreme Spirit has become one with that Spirit. but it must be based on reason and facts. the worshipper‘s devotion was measured by holding on to faith in the face of anything. but after reaching me. faith in a Divine power takes a beating. 55. He is a living god upon this earth. there is no rebirth. for many of us. Krishna says. Such a soul is free and is perfect as the Creator Himself. Read what DEEPAK CHOPRA has to say on this. The 9/11 attacks did this to many of us who lost a dear one or who suffered other kinds of losses. One could take the word ―faith‖ and replace it with ―tradition‖ in your question with much the same meaning. Not to be skeptical is a mark of conformity and blind obedience.

the afterlife. All faiths were founded on direct experience of the Divine. the kingdom of God. faith will no longer be a crutch.76 Your second question leads to a possible solution to this double obstacle. When you find it. or the nature of the things related to God. and faith itself. and hope is unfulfilled unless real experience arrives. such as the soul. Do you think the theory of rebirth is a clever device to make us feel better when we lose someone — so we think she will return in another life? Does belief in rebirth make it easier to bear the loss of loved ones? . But the essence is clear. or liberation of the soul. Turn inward to find the root that faith springs from. this original intention. whether it led to nirvana. dwindled into something much lower. or a desperate hope. I realise that I‘m compressing a deep set of ideas that we could discuss for a long time. Then experience can be the basis of true knowledge. The solution is to return to the original intention and seek a personal experience that would validate faith — a project that has faced every generation of believers and non-believers alike. and their intention was to pass that experience on. Faith is a form of hope. Over time. an excuse. Dogmatic faith and dogmatic scepticism have something in common. the demand for blind faith. Neither is based on actual knowledge about the nature of God.

intelligence. If a person can experience pure consciousness. research into reincarnation has yielded a set of startling data. All of existence is a single thing. Once you realise that these are permanent aspects of Creation. creativity. and there seems to be no marked benefit. Skeptics are not persuaded. the boundary between life and death dissolves. and our grief is amplified by dreadful thoughts. None of us communicates with our last or next lifetime. religions which promise a reward in Heaven also reduce the fear of death slightly.77 Sabina. We grieve when someone crosses that boundary. just as the promise of Heaven does. That embrace is life. 30. rebirth serves in that way. Today. So. but what would change if there was general acceptance of reincarnation? Societies already exist where the doctrine has been accepted for centuries. Perhaps there is a slight reduction in the fear of death. of course. yes. The most convincing consists of children‘s accounts in which they remember their last lifetime. then fear gives way to limitless peace. The solution is to erase the iron boundary between life and death. but arguably. which St Paul referred to as ―dying unto death‖. Lucknow. and evolution. the source of the mind and its thoughts. Even a taste of this peace does a great deal to support the position that consciousness embraces everything.Human beings have always feared the boundary that separates life and death. What if death is annihilation? What if torments and punishment await us? Can anything be trusted other than the reality that greets the five senses? Every faith wants to subdue these suppositions and at the same time offer reassurance so that fear will be calmed. the unfolding of .

you . it‘s sensible to seek a different solution. As always.78 consciousness from its source in the absolute. There has always been a war between two teachings. Human beings have a divided nature. violence leads to more violence. non-violence and a just revenge. Since the struggle has led nowhere but to more violence on a wider scale than ever. as small children will do automatically unless they are held back when they‘re angry. The dark fruit of war and crime has poisoned human existence for long. I‘ve simplified it. Today. but if you look closely. Their answer. if I can reduce it to a common teaching. and yes. The end of the divided self is the only answer to violence. would we solve the problem of terrorism? Didn‘t M K Gandhi say that tolerating injustice is as bad as perpetrating it? But he also said an eye for an eye would make the whole world go blind. Dubai. is to seek unity inside oneself. whether expressed as ―turn the other cheek‖ or ahimsa. an expression of eternal consciousness. which is inside ourselves. finding out who you are. the deepest purpose of life is to rise to a level of consciousness where the fear and anger born of duality are transcended. And where does forgiveness figure in all of this? Shaji Thomas. and we struggle to obey both sides. the same as five centuries ago or fifty centuries. Once transcendence is experienced. But let‘s look at where it originated. resolves this difficult issue. It would appear that this war will never end. seems desirable to any sane adult. and the answer appears one person at a time. If we all turned the other cheek. Each of us longs to strike out against our enemies. evil flourishes when good men do nothing. Struggle breeds more struggle. We believe in justice. The world‘s wisdom traditions have been preoccupied with relieving the kind of suffering that violence brings. Holding fast to the doctrine of non-violence. when slapped. the level of the solution doesn‘t lie at the level of the problem. Yet complete pacifism runs contrary to psychology.

what will happen to the patient? He is sick despite the doctor‘s attention. an anarchist: Lesser the government. their pattern of thinking.‖ But if you remove the doctor. There was a practice in ancient China: The patient did not pay when the doctor cured him of his ailment.79 are no longer the pacifist or the warrior. . Otherwise. but they were all working in the wrong direction. Then there is no need for a government. I don‘t agree. There have been anarchist thinkers like Bakunin. They thought that removing government would solve the problem. It will only increase problems. Less Government Is Better I am fundamentally. the doctor got no money and would have to supply medicines and take care of the patient till he got really well. their way of life. ―Get rid of the doctor and everything will be fine. Make them so happy and blissful that crime becomes an impossibility in their being. he paid only when he remained healthy and did not fall sick for some length of time. Bakunin and other anarchists say. the better it is. I say: Reach an anarchist state by changing the people. you need a doctor. You don‘t remove the government. When you are sick. he will be in a far worse condition. the need for government disappears. Something new unfolds that cannot be predicted when you are still caught up in the struggle. Make the sick person healthy so that the need for a doctor disappears. No government is ideal. without the doctor.

So my idea of anarchism is totally different from Bakunin‘s. Otherwise. they need epidemics so that they can cure people and earn their livelihood. you have in the same way as I have. subsist. ―What kind of man have you appointed? Soon you will be in jail because whatever you have. The profession is basically contradictory. He said: ―Are you mad? I have been robbed and you are punishing me?‖Lao Tzu reasoned. A doctor is trained to make you healthy. On the one hand. Lao Tzu first declined.80 This. You have created the situation. all that the doctor is interested in is in seeing you sick so that he can make some money. he accepted the offer. ―Destroy the government and you will have a good society. exist. But this is the situation in the whole world. to my mind. I want to create a society which does not need a government. on the problems that we create. but when the emperor insisted. He heard the first case which ran like this: A man had stolen a large sum of money from the richest man of the capital. all the doctors will have nothing to do. I can understand what he is saying. Bakunin says. although he is logical. This thief is just a by-product and I cannot punish the by-product when the source is present before me. It is better to dismiss this man.‖ The rich man approached the emperor and said. but of so many other aspects of life. ―You have accumulated so much wealth that it is bound to be robbed sooner than later. you are the source. his idea is dangerous. This is true not just of doctor-patient relationships. If nobody is sick.‖ I say: Have a good society and there will be no need of a government! . Lao Tzu was asked by the Chinese emperor to become the chief of the justice department. but he lives on the hope that you get sick. we create solutions and on the other hand. is an absolutely sane idea.‖ Lao Tzu was dismissed. The rich man was livid. Lao Tzu sentenced both the thief and the rich man to a six-year jail term. those solutions depend. They need sick people. This is a contradiction.

should be kept in the puja or prayer altar at home and worshipped daily.30 am. who was a sales representative at that time. my husband wanted to know why. My husband. When the bus finally arrived. The priest also said that the coin. besides bringing about a change in his place of work. Out of respect for the old man. In such a situation he would normally take a private bus. an elderly man — a Shaivite priest — boarded the bus. but that day. he decided to wait for the next roadways bus that was to leave at 8. the priest took out a one-rupee coin that was tucked away in the fold of his dhoti. but he managed to get a seat in the last row. The priest identified himself as the chief priest of the Meenakshi Temple. it was crowded. then folded the paper and gave it to my husband. Astonished. a priest gave a coin to T V KOUSALYA PARTHASARATHY‘s husband and changed the couple‘s life forever. my husband also got a seat beside him. On that particular day. A few stops ahead of Srivilliputhur. After a while. I had no clue of what happened during my husband‘s bus ride to Srivilliputhur. He usually took the first state roadways bus that left at 6. my husband got up and offered his seat to the priest. The two started talking.30 am. a town 75 km from our residence. The priest told him that when he would return home from Srivilliputhur. when we were living in Madurai. he missed the early morning bus. This incident happened in 1976. which was from a yagna or fire ritual conducted at the Meenakshi Temple the previous day. he would get an important message from his head office which would open a window of opportunities for him. left home for his day-long office visit to Srivilliputhur. placed it in a piece of paper and put a pinch of vibuthi or holy ash on the coin. . A few stops later.81 Miracles That Do Happen On his way to Srivilliputhur.

Learn To Move On Today forgiveness is seen as a sign of weakness and fighting back is seen as strength. My husband used to tell me that whenever he was free in the evenings before our marriage. It was his special interest and hobby. he would spend his time in the temple. I am convinced that Goddess Meenakshi had personally blessed him and sent this message. Sincere faith has a way of yielding positive results. he was stunned to find a telegram waiting for him. My husband was being promoted as manager and was also being transferred to a new station. I have the coin in our sacred altar. says Devdutt Pattanaik. If it involves civilians then there is war crime. The 21st century has seen rise of ideas known as ‗war crimes‘. If the war involves soldiers and no civilian targets then it is non-criminal war. from the Goddess herself. It assumes that there is a non-criminal component of war. He received a lifetime reward for that. But how does one distinguish a civilian from a soldier in an era of insurgency and terrorism? . telling them the story of the Goddess. guiding tourists inside the temple. the telegram was the beginning of his successful career and which changed our life forever. He narrated to me what happened during his bus journey that day. As the priest had said. he was instructed to report to the company head office immediately. to believe in a higher power‘s guidance can do wonders to boost self-confidence and security. Till date.82 When he returned home that evening. it seems.

And. even after defeating the Kauravas and killing them at Kurukshetra. War is an expression of helplessness. A soldier can be a civilian in disguise. That has purified them of all misdeeds and earned the right to enter Heaven. violence takes over. Yudhishtira recoils in disgust. In nature. When words cannot resolve the fight. When the killing starts. ―But we thought you had renounced everything?‖ This made Yudhishtira uncomfortable. War is not logical. . standing besides the gods looking radiant and blissful. the gods said. peaceful solution to accommodate both parties. When do you finally forgive? You refuse to let go and move on. How then do you hope to truly attain Heaven?‖Readers of the epic keep wondering why the Kauravas are in Heaven. animals fight over territory. the paradise of the gods. ―You still cling to your hatred. It‘s an ending that has intrigued scholars for centuries. Yudhishtira steps into Swarga. especially when he learnt that his brothers were in hell. after having renounced everything. It stems from the most primal instincts of man — from his animal side. the Swarga-Ahronika-Parva (Chapter on Ascent to Heaven). it reveals man‘s inability to find an innovative. In the final chapter of the epic Mahabharata. They spread out their arms to welcome Yudhishtira. and is horrified to find before him the hateful Kauravas. The explanation did not satisfy Yudhishtira. Why not just end the epic with the end of the war and the victory of the Pandavas? ―How did these war-mongers reach the abode of the gods?‖ Yudhishtira asks angrily. 36 years after the horrific war at Kurukshetra. war is seen in logical terms. therefore. The gods explain that they were killed on the holy land of Kurukshetra. He was convinced the gods were wrong. The West suffers from the disease of logic. Lines are blurred. He raved and ranted. The gods continued. the divide collapses and everyone in the line of fire becomes victim of bloodlust. We attempt to cover it with the veneer of civilisation using technology but it remains the worst aspect of humanity. Humans fight over property and patents. Finally.83 The civilian can be a soldier in disguise.

Future Group. Today. In the Ramayana. we live in a world where forgiveness and moving on is seen as weakness and fighting for justice is seen as strength. And it is a journey by itself. whose blessings are invoked and prayers held for their souls. when do we let go and when is punishment enough. when Rama finally abandons Sita. devdutt. . Hindus remember the dear departed. is there nobility in Sita demanding justice from Rama or in Sita forgiving Rama and moving on? These are questions storytellers struggle with and often fail to answer. Offerings of food and other goods are made to people in memory of ancestors. We do it for ourselves. This is the new measuring scale. The mood is somber and celebrations and shopping sprees are put on hold.84 Perhaps it‘s Vyasa‘s way of checking if humans actually forgive.com Pray For Your Ancestors During pitri paksha or shraadh. The author is chief belief officer. Will we still forgive? Is that strength or weakness? Does it matter? Forgiveness helps us move on in life. Often we don‘t get justice and the villains do not repent or atone.

simply raise . pray that the ancestors feel happy and satisfied. One of the daily duties of the Hindu householder is to spend a few minutes thinking of departed ancestors and to do various acts of charity in their name. While feeding the hungry. a disciple of Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa. said that in the Rig Veda.‖ Specific days are marked for those whose tithi or date of death is not known. Friends too can perform shraadh. or the ‗departed fathers‘. or just a blade of grass. It is believed that the fruits of virtuous deeds performed in the name of the dead helps their souls in their onward journey and brings prosperity and well-being to their descendants. The Sanskrit word ‗shraadh‘ means anything done in memory of our departed ancestors. addresses to the pitris. A Sincere Act So have faith and be sincere to the memory of your ancestors.85 Constant Remembrance Delivering a lecture on spirituality in America. Says Sant Aasaram Bapu. can make do with flowers or a few sesame seeds. If that too is not possible. Swami Abhedananda. They were invited to accept the offerings made to them at the time of shraadh. Perform shraadh with total shraddha or sincerity. there are many hymns with invocations. ―Those without descendants need not worry. Those who can‘t afford lavish offerings.

who. explains Sant Aasaramji. up to the world of the Creator are subject to return. O son of Kunti. there is no rebirth.86 your hands towards the sun and pray that the ancestors are happy with the devotion and will in turn. Krishna says. reap the fruits of good deeds. The Realm of Ancestors The realm of ancestors is called the pitriloka. They rise higher and enter the realm of the pitris. Yama bestows on the spirits all the comforts and happiness. Yama. through good action. Such a soul is free and is perfect as the Creator Himself. even in pitriloka one reaps the results of good actions and thoughts. But. Bound by desire. bless the family. . ―All worlds of experiences. performed by themselves or in their name by their descendants or friends. they come back to earth even if it is after about a thousand years and reincarnate as humans to fulfil latent desires in them and to reap the fruits of their actions. The only escape is through realisation of one‘s own divine nature. In the Bhagavad Gita. He is a living god upon this earth. but after reaching me. good thoughts and deeds of descendants help the departed soul in getting release from earthly bondage. reached that state of consciousness. According to Vedanta. where the departed souls enjoy heavenly life. This realm is ruled by the first of the mortals.‖ He alone is free who after knowing truth has become truth and who realising the Supreme Spirit has become one with that Spirit.

Firstly Jainism believes that ―God is neither the creator nor the destructor‖.As we cannot find a starting or ending point for bangle. the case is same with the above question.This is supported by an example of a round bangle. If god had created the world.e fusion of chemicals) sounds quite absurd and unconvincing. Secondly Jainism believes that there is no starting or ending point for existence of life on this world.If we will go through this theory we will realize that it is quite practical supported by some concrete reasons.Even if we believe that life evolved through fusion of some inorganic particles then from where these inorganic particles firstly arised from? So the chain of questions goes on and on and there are no satisfactory or convincing answers to the question mentioned above and the theory( i.87 WHY JAINISM? Yes I am talking about one of the most distinguished religion of India‘s diverse culture whose principles are propounded by those individuals who has completely overcomed their inner enemies and thus have no reason to speak or preach anything untrue or misleading. . They are known as ―Tirthankar‖ in Jainism. I would like to put forward some amazing theories as explained by these ‗Tirthankaras which is quite unique and different from other religions. the first question that comes to our mind is that ‗who created the God‖? We also believe that God is full of compassion and pity then why would he create a world full of unequalities. where only a handful of people are happy.

Each of us has the potential to become god by defeating our inner enemies. what is the impact of each of them and how to get rid off it-A complete and detailed explanation is given in this religion. I remembered the value of extending compassion towards myself and made amends by sincerely apologising when I reached my friend. This is where you need to forgive someone for a moderate transgression. causing her to wait for me in the freezing rain for nearly half an hour. and you engage in a conscious and deliberate release of resentment.Part I: Not long ago. writes Cherie Carter-Scott. I got lost on the New York subway. Forgive Another .88 Another feature of this religion is its unique theory of karma. I felt absolutely terrible. my friend who had to wait for me in the . There is a lot more to know.Part I: The second kind of forgiveness is the beginner‘s forgiveness for another. It‘s almost impossible to describe its depth in knowledge but this was just an attempt to somewhat understand it. admire and feel proud about this religion. I finally realised that I was doing the very best I could under the circumstances. your heart is already open. As you move from compassion to forgiveness. I was late for a meeting with a friend. I then released the situation. all the religions have tried to explain about this concept but the logical concepts of ‗Karmic theory‘ given by this religion is incredible.Altough. and it is not possible to learn anything meaningful while you are engaged in blaming. Forgive Yourself . and was on the verge of beating myself up. This is what I call the beginner‘s forgiveness for yourself. Forgiveness is the act of erasing an emotional debt. From how these karma gets attached to soul. when I boarded yet another train to try to reach my destination. Bury The HatchetForgiveness is an act of compassion. In this religion the status of being supreme is not enjoyed by some specific individual. There are four kinds of forgiveness: 1. it takes a load off your chest. 2. Perceiving past actions as mistakes implies guilt and blame. For instance.

but wallowing in these feelings for a protracted period of time is not healthy. which compromises your integrity. She chose to forgive me instead. she said she knew I didn‘t intent to make her wait. You may resist learning this lesson because sometimes it feels good to blame people for their mistakes. harbouring resentments consumes a lot of energy.Part II: The last and perhaps most difficult kind of forgiveness is the advanced forgiveness of another. and identified with my situation. Remember. she recognised that staying angry would only waste her energy and cause me more guilt. It makes you feel superior and righteous when you can look down your nose and hold a grudge toward someone who has wronged you. you create a chasm between your standards and your actual behaviour. Forgive Another . guilt. but instead of harbouring resentment. Just notice the feeling it is sending you. I am not saying that you should drown out the voice of your conscience by rushing to forgive yourself or not feeling regret or remorse. However. you become revitalised and create space in your soul for growth. when you could use that energy for far greater things? When you let go of resentment. and the bigger that gap. Everyone I know has been morally wronged or severely hurt by another person at some time in his life to . 4. learn the lesson. When I asked her to tell me how she forgave me so quickly. the ones you carry with deep shame. 3. Why waste valuable energy on prolonged anger and guilt. your conscience is not your enemy. Forgive Yourself . You need to work very hard at forgiving yourself for these deeds so that you can close this chasm and realign with the best part of yourself. it is there to remind you to stay on track and stick to your values. the greater the chance that you will repeat unacceptable behaviour. Though she was initially annoyed.Part II: The third kind of forgiveness is advanced forgiveness of yourself.89 rain could have been really upset and held a grudge. This is for serious transgressions. Continuing to punish yourself only creates a bigger gap between you and your ethics. she graciously accepted my apology and we repaired the temporary rift. and anger. She herself had been lost in the subway in the past. When you do something that violates your own values and ethics. and move on.

Margo now feels a sense of real accomplishment. Margo was terrified since she had no career training and no means of supporting herself. again. Besides being emotionally devastated. a woman named Margo was abandoned by her husband. Margo was finally able to forgive her husband when she shifted out of victimhood and forced herself to see the bigger picture.90 such a degree that forgiveness seems impossible. make amends. After 12 years of marriage. It took Margo three years to get her life back on track. However. since the business was thriving. . she might never have come into her own power and learned advanced forgiveness. At the age of 45. harbouring resentment and revenge fantasies only keeps you trapped in victimhood. here are the four kinds of forgiveness and how you can master each one: Beginning forgiveness of yourself: Be compassionate toward yourself for doing the best you could with the resources you had at the time. he emptied their bank account and safe deposit box and took off with another woman. she no longer carries around the intense hatred that controlled her for so long. She borrowed money from her sister to go back to school to get a mortgage broker‘s license. Beginning forgiveness of another: Identify with that person‘s motivation so you can understand why she did what she did. So. It is only through forgiveness that you can erase wrongdoing and clean the slate. she can finally view the entire event as a valuable learning experience. and eventually she started her own business. after all. show compassion and then release it. In hindsight. She felt a loathing toward her husband of which she had never imagined she was capable. and then release the situation. Though she still feels sad about the loss of her husband. She was able to shift the focus away from her anger onto seeing the opportunity for growth in the present situation. without this apparent tragedy.

Advanced forgiveness of another: Allow yourself to fully feel the hurt or anger so that you can release it. But the imbued part can be taken care of by us. easy association or identification sake. then view the situation as a necessary part of your path of spiritual evolution.91 Advanced forgiveness of yourself: Understand why you did what you did. Broadway Books. If Life Is A Game. time Every space under the sun has a place in the cosmic scheme of things. These Are The Rules. Perspectives. private or public. make amends as best as you can. individually or collectively. and incorporeal when imbued with human emotions. or lack of it. The occupants now decide to de-clutter it and strive to land it some semblance of order. It could be: personal or impersonal. Imagine a hypothetical situation where a room wears a completely cluttered look. liquid or gaseous matter. then find it in your heart to absolve yourself. Space can be explained by its physicality. commercial or mundane. social or official. terrestrial or extra-terrestrial. Nothing seems to be in place here. or may get a name for convenience. For every single move made in individual capacity can bring about subtle change in its character for better or worse. It could be corporeal when filled with solid. You can't do much to change it. space. It may remain anonymous or amorphous. . The filled part is beyond us.

How beautifully they meld as willed by God and nature. What you want to give it is purely your choice. and with shared imagination puts the thing at a place that fits its size. You can use it for any effect. and gains exclusivity. This exclusivity of space is crucial to its own existence and that of its occupier. but once defined becomes independent of it. . people won't hesitate driving roughshod through it. but what one wants to make of it that is important and responsible for it being the way it is. the room assumes a spick-and-span look and a whole new space is created for more things. If the space is casually thrown open. The occupier has a tenancy to space. fleeting though it may be? Why is it that a library and collective sense of individuals reading in it. spurs your pursuit of learning for a while you are there? Why do work. You can create the illusion of depth in it by making subtle changes.92 Each sets about cleaning the shabby things first. how can he respect the space of another? The problem gets compounded when people mistake space for place which is a corollary to it. market and social spaces strive to fill themselves with a competitive spirit? It is not space per se. or is used as a thoroughfare. use and background. and in no time. Why does a shrine evoke feelings of piety. Apparently the occupier and violator of if it belong to different spatio-temporal zones where one can't understand the other's perspective. He has to pay the price to maintain it the way he chooses to. even though it may not appear to be so to its violator. It is sacrilegious to invade a space that is held sacrosanct by its occupier. or cause delusion of grandeur by stuffing it with frills and furbelows. It is imperative that we first learn to differentiate between space and place and how they fit in the greater cosmic scheme of things. The space in any situation is a given. If the violator doesn't understand his own space.

the wise man does not grieve at this. This exclusive space can't be found outside. One may ask. shall we ever cease to exist in the future. Growing through Grief When Arjuna breaks down in the face of the impending war with his relatives. the immortal Essence that dwells within the hearts of all beings. (II:12) Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna that there is only one Self. verily. The Vedas proclaim. Nor. why grieve? There is yet another reason why the wise person should not grieve: Just as in this body the embodied soul passes into childhood. and old age. ―That thou art!‖ Therefore. It is imperishable and eternal. and in harmony with the world around. Sri Krishna. so also does it pass into another body after death. his charioteer. ready to be tapped just for the seeking. tells him that he must not grieve over the past.93 In order to live peacefully and harmoniously in the world. Rather it exists inside us. youth. where it is mostly filled. nor these rulers of men. and then seek to create a sacred space for ourselves where we are at peace with ourselves. (II:13) . nor you. When the physical form dies the Self or the Atman that has enlivened that body does not cease to exist. nor fear the future. ―Why should we not grieve over those who have died or are about to die?‖ Lord Krishna answers this question: Never did I not exist. It is the Absolute. we need to first know our place in the whole wide cosmos.

Conversely.‖ But we fail to see that these stages belong to the body only and not to the immortal Self. ―I am a child‖ or ―I am an adult. but also by physical factors such as hunger. we enjoy that warmth. but they have a beginning and an end. when this physical structure dies and is no longer capable of supporting life. on the other hand. a cool breeze will bring us joy. heat and cold. the objects that are perceived by the senses are subject to birth and death. Therefore. In its evolution it has progressed through countless changes much like the stages we experience in life. For example. taste. pleasure and pain. or touch. Identifying with the body we say. when it is very cold. smell. colour. and adulthood ever remains the same. Therefore endure them bravely. They give rise to heat and cold. they are impermanent. youth. . The ―I‖ that was there in childhood. That particular body is gone. Those objective experiences lead to the subjective experience of joy or sorrow. (II:14) The sense organs give us the experience of heat and cold. sound. are affected not only by the people and events around us. In the same way. O Son of Kunti. O descendent of Bharatha. when it is very hot. We. and we enter a warm room. As we pass from one stage to another in life we do not grieve over the ―child‖ or ―adult‖ body. the wise person does not become deluded by these changes. thirst. we take another body.94 The body has been the object of our attention throughout many lifetimes. but we are still here. nor do we crave for it. He knows that even death is only a change and it is foolish to cry over it.

For example. That person who is not agitated by the senses and their contact with objects. If we find that a situation is out of control. If something cannot be cured. A more positive approach would be: what cannot be avoided should be accepted cheerfully. ―What cannot be cured. if it is hot. Agitation. (II:15) This deeper understanding of endurance leads us closer to our true Self. But if the power goes off then there is nothing we can do. this seems to imply an attitude of resignation. instead. Our experiences and moods change according to the contact with the sense objects. Experiences come and go. . if we have extreme hunger or thirst. we keep our minds calm we are closer to our true Self. Therefore it is of no use complaining about anything. at least endure it calmly with the understanding that nothing is permanent in this world. instead we should endure all that we encounter in life bravely. we need to keep calm. we can turn on the air conditioner. and is ever balanced in pleasure and pain becomes a fit candidate for attaining immortality or Self-realization.95 Similarly. restlessness. wait a while and then see if we can do anything about it. the further we are from our true Self. There is a saying. must be endured. fulfilment of those needs brings a feeling of contentment. and lack of endurance clearly show that we have identified with the body and mind. The more we identify with them. which is neither the body nor the mind. If.‖ However.

"He mentions the French scientist and essayist Albert Jacquard who observes. the quieter the mind. Interestingly. Therefore. "Information sciencesupplies only communication canned or frozen.believed to be one of Japan's oldest citizens at 111 years old."words have become devalued and degraded and are reduced to empty signs and ciphers. That is why the practice of endurance is so helpful for our spiritual evolution. a breakdown of language. many feel the future is bleak. Illustrating how family ties have been broken. Ikeda links this social disintegration to a failure of communication.Ikeda talks about a mummified corpse of a man. We Need To Talk The importance of being connected. Not surprisingly. We believe that we are connected not just to each other but to the environment as well.Towards a World of Dignity for All: The Triumph of the Creative Life that was presented to the UN earlier this year. . the more we will be able to recognize the true Self within. If we practice endurance cheerfully. Incidents such as the one Ikeda mentions remind us of the fact that these connections have become fragile with family and community bonds growing weaker and people becoming alienated.No one knew he had died. his work efficiency increases."In our information age. the need to speak and share has been brought alive in the Soka Gakkai International president Daisaku Ikedas current peace proposal. not only do we improve our objectivity and efficiency in any given field of activity."he says.96 In everyday life we see that if a person learns to keep his mind calm. but we are also better able to understand the nature of the Self. that was found in his home where he had died some 30 years earlier.

It's a very interactive process.but it is the surest." Interactive exchanges of this kind are exactly Jacquard's perception of "dialogue comprising moments of silence as well as words".the misfortune of others is our misfortune. And the first step in engaging is to talk. This represents a fundamental revolution in the way we view and live our lives.Touching another's heart brings great joy and in reverse.It is only when immersed in words and dialogue that human beings can become truly human.97 It is incapable of evoking the bursts of creativity that come naturally in the course of a dialogue comprising moments of silence as well as words.we will be able to see ourselves in others and feel an inner sense of unity.both in the individual and in society. "The multihued tapestry woven of such tireless striving for dialogue enables us to develop and enrich our minds and souls.there is both confusion and frustration when we are unable to do so. As Ikeda puts it.It is a furnace tempering and training the inner life. The belief in and the attempt to engage in dialogue may seem a very slow way forward. It is for this reason that Socrates declared in his Phaedo that misology (hatred of language) and misanthropy (hatred of human beings) spring from the same source. Finally.we observe the other's reaction and patiently struggle in search of better words."It is only when immersed in words and dialogue that human beings can become truly human.Through this process.To see ourselves in others and feel an inner sense of unity with them represents a fundamental revolution in the way we ."The need is to revitalise all that is human.there is a great sense of fulfilment when words are finally heard and evoke a response.Our happiness is the happiness of others."says Ikeda. It is the exact opposite of 'frozen communication'.

98 view and live our lives. Then why is education necessary? Education means the ability to see the world in unison — macrocosmic vision.an organisation working towards peace through culture and education. an extra dynamism. but he is an educated man. an extra grace — and that grace is the result of education. An Educated Mind An individual who has controlled his mind is the most educated man. Cosmic Connect .when we hurt someone.And when we respect someone. Many think that if they are specialised in computers and are able to earn a good livelihood that is enough. He may not be instructed much. This is neglected in our modern education around the world. If your mind is educated in all your contacts with the world outside.we are hurting ourselves. Therefore. The purpose of education is to help you gain control over your mind with which you are going to work in your profession or in service of society. Merely earning a livelihood and filling the stomach is something that any animal can do.we respect and elevate our own lives as well. to be educated. The writer is a member of the Bharat Soka Gakkai. there shall be an extra beauty. That kind of purity of mind is to be cultivated.

Do you feel unwanted? It may indicate a need to engage in creative activities so that you feel useful and benefit those around you. Take stock of your environment: If we feel stuck at some point in life. do you have a feeling of ‗being settled‘? This comes from growth. If you feel stuck or trapped instead. When you take a look at your life. We have to become aware of the belief patterns we carry within ourselves to make a positive change. we need to work on changing our thought process. our environment changes. We need to do two things before we can attempt to find that cosmic connection. says Rama Awasthi. too. we can reach out and connect with the Creator. the universe is trying to tell you to develop gratitude as a lasting trait. When our subconscious programming changes. . which mi rrors what goes on in our subconscious mind. If you are unhappy with your workplace and feel that your efforts go unrecognised by your superiors. Is there something in your environment that you are neglecting? Maybe. then you need to introspect. it‘s time to look within and make necessary changes. The Creator talks to us through the environment.99 By being less judgemental and more perceptive of our environment.

Be more compassionate towards the child within. These are just examples. you are putting off a project or a decision. rather than turning one‘s face away from unwanted people and situations. which has become an irritant for someone else. Each individual‘s life and situation might be different. We often unknowingly create an atmosphere around us that is not growth-oriented. Rather than run away from a situation. some childhood wounds don‘t allow us to be connected to the Higher Source. you must accept it and become awakened to the possibilities of change. It‘s not about taking the blame for a bad situation. Heal and integrate the inner child: If not properly healed. . Understanding your environment helps to know if a change in approach is needed. The best way to reach out to that Cosmic Power is to try and practise the following that could help us connect within: 1. we can shed outdated belief patterns and replace them with new ones to make the voyage more meaningful. By doing this. It calls for being more involved in life and seeing things at a deeper level by accepting the environment with an open heart. Don‘t run away from a situation: It‘s all about making positive changes by paying a little more attention to your environment.100 Does your environment include people who keep you waiting and are never on time? Perhaps. but about facing up to the problem with the intent to improve things.

slow and rhythmic breathing helps us maintain calm and keeps clutter away. we choose to see the beauty of life which had remained hidden so far. Be aware of your breathing pattern: If you find that you tend to take shallow breaths. We can free ourselves from mental addictions simply by becoming aware of them. De-clutter the mind from negative thoughts. 3. then the message is lost. It leads to a stagnant situation. The power of intent is very potent and frees us to initiate the process of growth in health. Taking an interest in life is a way of expressing gratitude to the Creator. we can nurture a victim mentality by shifting the blame on to others for every little thing. Your Dog is a Spiritual Being . Such addictive thought patterns are far more destructive than physical problems. Feng Shui of the mind: Our mind can make or break us. For instance. He speaks to us through our environment and if we start judging it. we choose to be accountable and responsible for ourselves. Maintain a non-judgemental approach: Being judgemental prevents us from feeling the presence of the Creator. wealth and relationships. Deep. When we‘re connected. Being connected to our Source through the environment opens our hearts and love begins to flow through us. You can also opt for polarity treatment to improve the flow of prana in the body. We were all given the choice for awareness before we were sent on this planet for a wonderful journey called ‗life‘. By choosing to become aware.101 2. and this can help bring to us that which we all seek — balance and harmony. 4. which has no scope for growth. then you need to make changes.I .

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Dogs are spiritual animals, despite the low level of development of their brain. The brain only processes rational reality. So, it doesn‘t matter if the animals have under-developed brains.

Dogs can see spirits. Spirits are everywhere, but humans can‘t see them. Sometimes, the spirits don‘t want the dogs to reveal their presence to the humans. So, they can even hurt the dogs. That is the time when the dogs begin to bark at the spirits.

Dogs can also bring good or bad luck to the owner. They are very intuitive about things that are going to happen. You get a dog and within a few days you can have a dramatic shift in your finances, get an apartment or something of material value.

Sometimes, you can also have bad luck with the dogs. Everything was going good, then you got the dog and your life began to fall apart. You might want to check objectively how your dog affected your life.

Dogs are like human beings when they depart the earth plane. Sometimes, even after your dog died, you can see them in a dream or feel their presence in the dark. Their spirits are out there without being able to make a transition.

There is a special ritual called Tarpanam that will help your dog to cross over, similar to the one performed for the human departed spirits.

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You should do spiritual care for your dog. It seems very intriguing, but dogs can help remove human sins.

The front part of the dog - face, neck and chest – is said to represent daytime. The rear of the dog signifies night time. Day and night together represent time. From a mystical perspective, we can figure out that the dog represents both daytime as well as nighttime.

Karma you have done during day and night can get released when you feed dogs. This is a spiritual truth.

There are many mysteries about dogs. Sometimes great Masters and even angels incarnate as dogs. They are there in your household to protect you. You think you are watching over your dog, but the opposite is true. The dog is your guardian angel. You can have a real communion with your dog on the 8th Moon phase. The 8th Moon is the special period for Kala Bhairava, the deity who governs time. The divine vehicle of Kala Bhairava is dog. On this day, give your dog a bath, feed them some cashews and offer them a food item of their liking.

Countering Terrorism
Modern terrorism must be brought to an end. But this cannot be done through counter attacks. For one thing, this would be like trying to quell non-state terrorism by state terrorism. And for another, modern terrorism derives its strength less from guns and bombs than from its ideology. That is why a counter ideology rather than counterbombing would the more effectively put an end to terrorism.

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Death Penalty Is A Crime
The death penalty is degrading proof of mans inhumanity to man. Look from all aspects to understand why such an idiotic thing has continued everywhere.In a few countries where it has been dropped, it has been replaced by life imprisonment which is worse than the death penalty itself. It is better to die in a single moment than to go on dying slowly for 50 or 60 years.

The first thing to remember is that the death penalty is not really a punishment. If you cannot give life as a reward,you cannot give death as a penalty. This is simple logic. If you cannot give life, what right have you got to take it.

Strangely, unless you are proved innocent,you are guilty. This goes against all humanitarian ideals, democracy, freedom and respect for individuality. The rule should be: unless you are proved guilty, you are innocent.

The death penalty is an eye for an eye. If a man is thought to have murdered somebody, then he should be murdered. But it is strange. If killing somebody is a crime, then how can you remove crime from society by committing the same crime again. There was one man murdered; now there are two men murdered. And it is not certain that this man murdered that man, because to prove a murder is not an easy thing. If murder is wrong, then whether it is committed by the accused or by society and its court makes no difference. Killing is a crime. The death penalty is a crime committed by society against a single, helpless individual. The

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death penalty is revenge. Society is taking revenge because the man did not follow the rules of society; society is ready to kill him.

But nobody bothers that when somebody murders,it shows that man is psychologically sick. Rather than sending him to prison or to be executed,he should be sent to a nursing home where he can be taken care of physically, psychologically and spiritually. He is sick. He needs compassion;there is no question of penalty and punishment.

Yes, it is true, one man is murdered; but we cannot do anything about it. By murdering this man do you think the other will come back to life If that were possible, i would be all in support of this man being removed he is not worth being part of the society and the other should be revived.

But that does not happen.The other is gone forever; there is no way to revive him. Yes, you can do one thing; you can kill this man,too. You are trying to wash blood with blood. Nobody needs or deserves the death penalty. In fact, not only the death penalty, no other kind of punishment is right, because punishment never cures the person.

Every day the number of criminals is growing and you build more prisons. This is strange. Just the opposite should be the case,because with so many courts, punishments and prisons,crimes and criminals should be less. Slowly, prisons and courts should be less. But that is not happening. Nobody is a criminal. People need compassion, not imprisonment. All prisons should be transformed into psychological nursing homes.

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May I die with 1000 unfulfilled wishes f you come across a beautiful rose, take a moment, admire it beauty wholeheartedly and than move on. If you pluck it, it starts to decay and soon the death of rose will sadden you. If you choose not to pluck it but move on after a momentary interaction, it's beauty will remain fresh and fragrant throughout your life, in your heart & mind. Choose wisely. You can apply this rules to many more things in life. For e.g. you may plan for months or years to buy your dream car, but than the moment you buy (pluck it from dealer showroom), it start to rot the passion you had cherished for months or years. I am not saying that you should not buy a car, but to remain passionate you should have many roses in your life. Be a window shopper, learn not to expect or possess anything, just have it in wish list. No harm in having 1000 wises unfullfillled. It will not hurt you or anyone, but will give new meaning to life. :)

f you come across a beautiful rose, take a moment, admire it beauty wholeheartedly and than move on. If you pluck it, it starts to decay and soon the death of rose will sadden you. If you choose not to pluck it but move on after a momentary interaction, it's beauty will remain fresh and fragrant throughout your life, in your heart & mind. Choose wisely. You can apply this rules to many more things in life.

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For e.g. you may plan for months or years to buy your dream car, but than the moment you buy (pluck it from dealer showroom), it start to rot the passion you had cherished for months or years. I am not saying that you should not buy a car, but to remain passionate you should have many roses in your life. Be a window shopper, learn not to expect or possess anything, just have it in wish list. No harm in having 1000 wises unfullfillled. It will not hurt you or anyone, but will give new meaning to life. :)

Mystic Tales - He fell, but my neck is broken! Nasiruddin, in his capacity as a Sufi teacher, makes frequent use of the dervish technique of himself playing the part of the unenlightened man in the story, in order to highlight the truth.

Very often, in many Nasiruddin stories, you will find Nasiruddin acting as the unenlightened man, like an idiot, so that the point of the story is made clearly.

A famous story, denying the superficial belief in cause and effect, makes him the victim. You know we have a belief in this cause and effect which many a time is quite superficial. So this particular story in which Nasiruddin himself is the butt of the joke, illustrates this point quite well.

Mullah Nasiruddin was walking along an alleyway, one day, when a man fell from a roof and landed on top of him.

―What is the teaching from this incident?‖ Nasiruddin said. That means. ―What teaching do you infer from this event. he may be different. Master?‖. even if cause and effect seem inevitable. where is he falling from? We ask this because we generalize. if this man is sitting here and talking. he must be a great teacher. The other man was unhurt but the Mullah was taken to the hospital. if a man falls off a roof will his neck be broken?‖ ―He fell but my neck is broken. He is telling avoid generalizations because individual actions and incidents are different. he cannot break that pattern. how much he is falling. like. A man who was doing some construction work slipped from the roof and fell on Mullah Nasiruddin. Why? Because. when you say who is falling. because we have to see.One of his disciples asked him. ―Avoid belief in the inevitable.‖ ―Don‘t completely believe in inevitability of cause and effect‖. why? ―Shun theoretical questions.108 He was just going.‖ This is actually a very superficial question. . an average person thinks in certain set patterns. He may not be. the average person thinks in patterns.

if a man speaks well he must be wise-there may be wise men who never speak at all! But we work in patterns.‖ thus regarding business prosperity. he loses a great deal of meaning of life. So.109 We have a pattern. because the average person thinks in patterns and cannot accommodate himself to a really different point of view. as the effect of dishonesty. it is not actually possible to embrace the truth because the truth comes completely out of pattern from what you decide 8 Pillars Of Prosperity You can‘t rely on trickery or deception to do good business. a bad thing. Prosperity rests upon a moral foundation. If you cannot break the pattern and see things that things can be different at any point. then. sharp practice. upon trickery. writes James Allen. He may live. even progress. a good thing. but he cannot understand all that is going on. Or. One commonly hears even an otherwise intelligent man declare that ―No man can be successful in business unless he is dishonest. It is popularly supposed to rest upon an immoral foundation — that is. deception and greed. .

In matter. And here is seen how man. in natural phenomena. He never attempts to put up a building in defiance of geometrical proportions. in deeds as in natural processes.. it is erected in accordance with those mathematical principles which are everywhere evidenced in nature. but can only stand securely by the observance of fixed laws. we imagine that they do not obtain. Business and all human enterprises are not exempt from the eternal order. there is a fixed foundation of law which.. as to build successfully while ignoring mathematical principles. if consciously or ignorantly ignored. . In mind as in matter. leads to disaster and defeat. for he knows that such a building would be unsafe….110 Such a statement is superficial and thoughtless. It is as though one should…erect a brick house on a quagmire — impossible in the natural order of causation. but not seeing the spiritual processes. and reveals a total lack of knowledge of moral causation. as well as a very limited grasp of the facts of life. and so we don‘t act in harmony with them.… It is as impossible to live successfully apart from moral principles.. The same law obtains in things unseen — in thoughts and deeds — as in things seen. and act in accordance with them. in material things. this law is presented as mathematical. The spiritual or moral order of causation is not different in principle. in mind. but only in nature. in thoughts as in things... and therefore not to be attempted. obeys universal principles. We see the processes in natural objects. A house or a temple built by man is a…complicated structure. it is perceived as moral. But the mathematical and the moral…are but two aspects of a united whole.

must rest on a solid foundation of moral principle. You can‘t rely on trickery or deception to do good business.. is supported by the following eight pillars which are cemented in a foundation of moral consistency: Energy. affording him protection and comfort. sympathy.. A business built up on the faultless practice of all these principles would be as firm and enduring as to be invincible.111 Prosperity.‖ thus regarding business prosperity. . A roof presupposes a support. a good thing. system. Men speak of ―building up a business. impartiality and self-reliance. then.‖ and. to be stable and enduring.… The permanently prosperous men in any community are not its tricksters and deceivers. It is popularly supposed to rest upon an immoral foundation — that is. sincerity. like a house. economy. indeed. and be supported by the adamantine pillars of sterling character and moral worth. The roof of prosperity. Prosperity rests upon a moral foundation. a bad thing. integrity. writes James Allen. and a support necessitates a foundation. albeit the process of building is a mental one. sharp practice. Prosperity. One commonly hears even an otherwise intelligent man declare that ―No man can be successful in business unless he is dishonest. upon trickery. a business is as much a building as is a brick house or a stone church. deception and greed. but its reliable and upright men. as the effect of dishonesty. is a roof over a man‘s head..

But the mathematical and the moral…are but two aspects of a united whole. In mind as in matter. but can only stand securely by the observance of fixed laws.. In matter. if consciously or ignorantly ignored. as to build successfully while ignoring mathematical principles. leads to disaster and defeat. and reveals a total lack of knowledge of moral causation.. it is erected in accordance with those mathematical principles which are everywhere evidenced in nature. It is as though one should…erect a brick house on a quagmire — impossible in the natural order of causation.. We see the processes in natural objects. but only in nature. but not seeing the spiritual processes. A house or a temple built by man is a…complicated structure.112 Such a statement is superficial and thoughtless. as well as a very limited grasp of the facts of life. Business and all human enterprises are not exempt from the eternal order. for he knows that such a building would be unsafe…. we imagine that they do not obtain. and act in accordance with them. . obeys universal principles. He never attempts to put up a building in defiance of geometrical proportions. in natural phenomena. it is perceived as moral.. and therefore not to be attempted. The same law obtains in things unseen — in thoughts and deeds — as in things seen.… It is as impossible to live successfully apart from moral principles.. And here is seen how man. in material things. The spiritual or moral order of causation is not different in principle. in thoughts as in things. in mind. there is a fixed foundation of law which. and so we don‘t act in harmony with them. this law is presented as mathematical. in deeds as in natural processes.

indeed. unsurprisingly. and a support necessitates a foundation. system. Prosperity. must rest on a solid foundation of moral principle. integrity. albeit the process of building is a mental one. then. like a house.113 Prosperity. economy.… The permanently prosperous men in any community are not its tricksters and deceivers. A business built up on the faultless practice of all these principles would be as firm and enduring as to be invincible. impartiality and self-reliance. A Chance Visit On a trip to Srinagar. is a roof over a man‘s head. is supported by the following eight pillars which are cemented in a foundation of moral consistency: Energy. but its reliable and upright men... Men speak of ―building up a business. . sincerity. The roof of prosperity. The Moi-e-Muqqadas or the sacred hair of Prophet Muhammad is enshrined at the Hazratbal mosque in Srinagar. Mousumi Roy feels the urge to visit the holy shrine of Hazratbal and comes back happy and content.. sympathy. to be stable and enduring. affording him protection and comfort. A roof presupposes a support.‖ and. this has been drawing visitors despite it having seen quite a bit of unrest over the years on account of political turmoil. a business is as much a building as is a brick house or a stone church. and be supported by the adamantine pillars of sterling character and moral worth.

I put on my running shoes and began my trek towards the place where the cloud had pointed. I found myself enjoying the sanctity of the famed Hazratbal shrine there although it was not part of my itinerary. As I stood. ―Maybe. The complex is cared for by the Nishaandehs. Was it my imagination? Or was it a sign? Did something beckon me there? Once the meeting had been wrapped up. was married in 1700 CE. They were shaped like a fist with one finger pointing towards the ground. ―I would encounter a prized icecream stand. my colleagues and I were brainstorming as to how we could provide better housing and urban infrastructure solutions for the average Kashmiri here.‖ I thought. Divine Message Sitting in the conference room.‖ . I smiled. my stay in Srinagar turned out to be rewarding in more ways than one. a nobleman in Bijapur whose roots were from Medina. the descendants of the Banday family. However. framed by the doorway arches. I could sense the turmoil the family must have gone through at that time — especially after Emperor Aurangzeb took umbrage upon learning that the Khwaja had purchased the Prophet‘s hair from Syed Hamid.114 I was in the capital city of Jammu & Kashmir recently on a work-related trip. During one such five-hour session. and this is where Inayat Begum. I looked out of the window and saw the clouds in the sky. the daughter of Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai.

There had been a standoff between separatists holed inside the shrine and the Indian Army positioned in trenches outside. It seemed to be happening to me here. The Prophet’s Relic I sat down on an outcrop of stone.115 After a 40-minute brisk walk. I saw the shrine for the first time. admiring the calligraphy on the cream-coloured walls of the mosque. He replied in chaste Dogri. Emperor Humbled . therefore. you just need to observe and follow the way shown to you without commenting on it or questioning it. Books such as Geoffrey Chaucer‘s Nun‘s Priest‘s Tale mention a friar peddling the remains of the Messiah. Robin Hood‘s Friar Tuck also has similar references to this. I could feel goose pimples on my arms! They say God‘s ways are mysterious. I had no idea what the building stood for and asked a bystander. I could catch only one word. The strand of hair entombed inside had travelled all the way from Medina to Kashmir via Bijapur. I was destined to pay respects to the Holy Prophet‘s hair in Srinagar after a business meeting and that.‖ I had read about Hazratbal when it burst into the news in April 1993. ―Hazratbal. all by myself. too. The Prophet Isaiah‘s (Jesus Christ) remains had raised a lot of controversy and friction in Europe following his resurrection and ―disappearance‖ or merging with godhead. There was no one to come between me and my maker.

The education system we follow in India was started by the British government to create clerks. devotees had to take care not to slip on the wet mortar. the orthodox emperor was reported to have experienced a turnaround of feelings and he returned the hair to Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai‘s daughter.116 Emperor Aurangzeb had imprisoned the person who brought the hair of Prophet Muhammad and seized the hair from him. he was but human. says OSHO. he could not carry his power and riches beyond this world. A good part of the complex was under renovation and repair. He might have decided that the family would legitimately care for it. to avoid any revolution. I entered the complex to find the shrine preserved perfectly from the time it had been built. I went back. and not rote learning. far richer from this wonderful experience. After taking off my shoes. I marveled at how I was brought here by an Unseen Power to experience Hazratbal. No government wants intelligent people… then it is easier to exploit them. It was not crowded at all and that helped me to connect with God quietly. What prompted him to do so could be the realisation that despite being an emperor. Revolutionise Education Reward intelligence and effort. and easier for mediocre people to become leaders. Happy and content at my unscheduled pilgrimage. The British government managed beautifully. a good 500 kilometres away from what I call home. Later. . rule them.

Unless education takes care of all these four in a balanced way.. is so ugly and inhuman. scientific approach to food — because what you eat. . a person is processed in such a way that he turns out either to be a station master. It needs not only exercises. it cannot create a whole individual. Much needs to be done with the body because everything else is based on it. And it creates anger and violence which can be easily avoided. but it also needs a systematic. heart and soul. A real educational system will take care of the whole individual. for almost one third of his life. Non-vegetarian food makes you insensitive. to do violence just for food. but in life they become head clerks but don‘t go further. So it is not a question of reforming it. We should make it a point that non-vegetarian food is not allowed in the universities because to kill. In the university they get gold medals. The whole individual means the body.. These were the needs of the government. aikido and other systems of training. yoga.117 For 25 years. it makes you hard. All the gold medallists in the universities disappear — you never hear of them again. this education system takes care only of the mind. or a postmaster.. mind. For example. it is a question of revolutionising it. the university does nothing to the body. Reformation Not Enough The whole system is wrong. a head clerk. you become.

something is wrong. climbing trees and mountains. Those books should be removed. Taste cannot be the decisive thing. swimming. Students are sitting in the universities the whole day and in the night they have to do their homework and they have to go to the movies. no exercise or the wrong exercise. taste can be added to anything. Experts in diet should be consulted. but we don‘t think about what we are eating and whether we exercise. The body. But the basic thing should be the science of the body. My first concern is the body. Their bodies should be given a chance to achieve their natural potential. Students should be walking. But to doubt .118 Couch Potato Syndrome Taking care of the body means the body should be given adequate exercise. nobody is interested in it. But the body is a neglected part. then you would see an explosion of intelligence. and they should destroy completely any textbook belief system. Doubting Is A Good Sign Professors should give more emphasis to discussion. So if people are dying at 70. to doubt. Nothing is wrong with the body. Scientists say that as far as the body is concerned it seems to have the capacity to go on renewing itself for 300 years. we are just giving it the wrong food. is not created just to go on sitting. They become just sitting idiots. We live in the body. running. by nature.

And it is not important that you pass the examination. you can just have a small computer in your pocket and any answer you need will be immediately available. so the students read just these and nothing else. Every professor should give credits every day. The professor has answered questions which are probable examination questions. And soon there will be no need of any memory. To have faith is evil. I would like it to be based on intelligence. I am against examinations because they create a totally wrong approach. just for one month at the end they are torturing themselves trying to learn everything at once. every day. a computer can do it.119 seems to be doing something evil. . Why waste time and life and torture people about memory when memory has nothing to do with intelligence? Right now. The student becomes interested only in passing the examination. Just the reverse is the case. not on intelligence. our education system is based on memory. But memory is not something great. not just at the end of the year. Rote Learning. and to have faith seems to be spiritual and religious. And the credit should be given according to the intelligence shown by the student. A Waste Our whole system depends on how much you can memorise. So universities have to change their whole attitude about doubt and belief. Go on doubting until you come to an indubitable fact. he looks for a shorter version or a key. My idea is that students should be given credit by each professor. those five examination questions can be answered by a person who knows nothing else. It is the examination system that creates a wrong attitude. to doubt is natural. just the way they take attendance. because that creates trouble. Students don‘t take any interest for the whole year. So rather than reading the book.

until they found themselves transforming into teachers. people simply move.120 I would like them to get credits every day. he moves to the next class. going that extra mile to balance the soul-mind-body relationship to cleanse. why make him waste six months more in the same class? The moment he gets the required credits. salesmen or doctors. reward intelligence. life coaches and gurus. . People are moving according to their intelligence. they help their legion of followers cast away spells of fear and negativity. Instead of memory. While modern medicine is a great boon in dealing with medical emergencies and life-threatening ailments. and there are no fixed barriers. Physicians had long established a mind-body connection. energise and heal the whole. at hand to counsel the distressed. A physician or a surgeon could restore you to your state of health before you fell ill. it falls short of offering a holistic cure that could last a lifetime. but could they take you a step further? Enter gurus who offer an inclusive approach. Master Next Door Who were they before bursting on the scene as spiritual masters? Find out with Reena Singh as she delves into the early life of those who began as fashion designers. nobody fails. Today‘s healer-gurus are everywhere and anywhere. attributing a good many of our illnesses to negative thoughts — something that sages and scriptures of yore have been saying. People of good memory need not be people of good intelligence. So nobody passes. Then the university becomes a moving phenomenon. and if somebody is intelligent enough to get enough credit in six months to pass to another class. Memory functions mechanically and intelligence functions non-mechanically.

I was a clerk in the railways at Bikaner. ―mein roti ke peeche baagta tha. before he had a dream in which he received the siddhi and a mantra of Radha-Krishna. ritualistic trappings of a distant. who headed Moolchand Hospital‘s Cardiology wing. Meditating on his image and chanting his mantra has enabled many to awaken their kundalinis and heal themselves. Ram ke liya time nahin tha.121 Who are these spiritual leaders who motivate and heal? Going by their antecedents. they don‘t seem to be from the traditional guru-shishya parampara. ―The term guru is used very loosely these days leading to confusion and I do not consider myself a guru. and graduated in medicine from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences before moving to the US. The dapper doctor with a sartorial style and global following has his roots in Delhi. social transformation and the attainment of higher states of consciousness. post-army service. Highly successful.‖ he adds. touch-me-not sage. The New Age guru is someone who is one of us — who we can easily identify with and learn from. ―In the ‘70s. He went to school at St Columba‘s. a major presence in western Rajasthan and Gujarat.‖ — I was focused on making both ends meet and had no time for God — he says of himself. he has been heralded as ―the poet-prophet of alternative medicine. shorn of the forbidding demeanour and esoteric.‖ by the international press. Internal Medicine Indeed ―I consider myself a medical doctor with training in internal medicine and endocrinology who expanded his exploration of healing to personal. HugMa’s Jadoo Ki Jappi . He is the son of Colonel Krishan Chopra.‖ says Deepak Chopra modestly. where he first practised and taught medicine before taking up transcendental meditation. Among the more simple gurus is 84-year-old Guru Siyag.

―Yet something was missing.‖ From Darkness To Light Some emerged after encountering their dark side. Her disciples say that she listens to these translations in languages she doesn‘t even know. finally finding light at the end of the tunnel. they enjoyed much wealth and success. at 22. hospitals and other temples of learning. and yet she can instinctively tell just where the translator botched up.‖ and they became Krishna bhaktas to fill this void. She is India‘s HugMa or hugging mother. as manager in a chemical firm. Ammachi‘s teachings are translated into several languages. Paula Horan‘s life story is similar. who taught him that while governments came . Delhi‘s Reiki gurus. They were active in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) before setting up their healing centre. Tolle suffered from depression all through his 20s. Nalin and Renoo Nirula of the Nirula hotelier family had everything going for them. whose wish is to ―lovingly caress people. until he experienced a spiritual awakening. and these include Eckhart Tolle. ISKCON founder Srila Prabhupada‘s story is even more amazing.122 Perhaps the most extraordinary story is that of Mata Amritanandamayi. so to speak. Credited with having brought Reiki to India in the early ‘80s. She now provides guidance to thousands. she dealt with personal unhappiness and illness before turning to spirituality. he grew up a trifle pampered but was devoted to the cause of India‘s Independence. author of The Power of Now. Born Abhay Charan De to a cloth merchant in Calcutta in 1896. to console and wipe their tears. Born to simple fisherfolk in a Kerala coastal village. she is now patron of schools. he met Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. Then. engineering colleges.

a St Columba‘s student and Delhi University graduate is a property broker.‖ he says. said the great teacher of Palestine. sometimes turbulent.‖ he adds. it is instructive to take a peek into the lives of spiritual teachers. He married.True education should equip the . but later emerged a mystic! On the eve of Teachers Day. beginnings. and I finally understood the purpose of my birth. Krishna consciousness was eternal.‖ he says by way of explanation. Leave that to the boardroom.A new type of education is needed.Hand And Heart Judge a tree by its fruits. His book. For no one is born great — it just happens! Teach Head. when he felt less of a nationalist and more of a spiritualist. He teaches yoga ―as a sadhana.Judged by its fruits. There are too many such stories to fit here — like those of Aurobindo Ghosh who spent his early years in Britain. took to political extremism and ended up in prison on murder charges.real life. That was the turning point. chronicles health marvels of his disciples who cured themselves with his patented sanatan kriya. not a ‗business‘. Education must not be merely academic or abstract: it must not aim at stuffing the student with information acquired from dead books or a set of sterile moralities and superficial values. declined the ICS. and was a medical representative before founding ISKCON.123 and went.… Creation was revealed to me. ―I haven‘t formally studied the scriptures but am trained in the world of experience.our current education system has failed miserably. if only to get inspired by their evolution despite ordinary. Guru With A Mace The mace-wielding Yogi Ashwini. 51 Miracles.an education which should be related to life. ―I have to live.

Intellect has developed but reverence is lacking.is receding.power or financial . The number of schools and colleges and universities in India is multiplying.Knowledge has spread.cut off from great ideals.It makes us suspicious and cynical. Ideals that inspired education in ancient India must be rediscovered and introduced in our educational institutions.But have we grown in freshness. Knowledge without sympathy does more harm than good.the power that binds and builds.What is wanted is not mere intellectual improvement but education that helps us become whole.hand and heart.if we are to make our contributions to civilisation and to the freshness of human life.but an education which will give a triple training of the head.Graduates and holders of doctorates are increasing. Nation-building is character-building.vitality and strength Have we become more appreciative of the deeper values which alone give meaning and significance to life Or do we feel bored.with what lies ahead of him so that he may become a worthy participant in the adventure of life.Critical faculties are given free play and sympathy.hearts bereft of the song of sacrifice. A new type of education is needed an education which will not merely develop brain power.The final end of education is not the gain of scholarship or erudition.124 student to cope adequately with life.

Ancient Indic guru-shishya parampara was a beautiful blend of discipline and emotion.There has been too much organisation of the machinery of education. Radhakrishnan.and officialism is the death of true culture.Vidya or education is the search for the spiritual centre of life.Thus ideals shape our lives.Education is analytical and critical.but lacks power for the creative life of society.The ideal is a vital idea.knowledge has made us cynical. A sound theory of education is a theory of ideals the values and means by which they may be secured.Today.it is pulsating with life.It developed the aesthetic side of the students life.125 independence.It is dynamic.Today.to what is called Adhyatma Vidya.Communion with nature was another part of ashram life.For all these without self-discipline and self-control could well transform to becoming anti-social forces.it purified the heart.We have given too much time to the study of processes and too little time to their ends and values. Conflict In Us Religion ought to help you transform yourself for the better. .students receive information but not much by way of training of emotions. True education is not dead knowledge.The object of education would be to form character.Vidya is culture and this is possible with mental and physical discipline.with getting on.with utilitarianism.The ideal shows the principle of infinite vitality. The problem of education will not be solved unless knowledge is related to a Spiritual Synthesis of Life.Organisation has brought with it officialism.It has made alliance with secularism. writes S.

. Spiritual Traditions So to respect spiritual traditions is one of the great lessons which he taught. is entitled to the name ‗Guru‘. Whichever tradition enables us to go higher. when we have been practising religion for thousands of years. are not the true servants of God. will enable us to assert that we are truly religious people. through social service and humanitarian progress. to raise ourselves to the level of spirit. You find there the teachings of the Vedic rishis. that must be accorded due reverence. Activity. the universality of spirit was actually portrayed by Guru Nanak in his writings. Ask why. Anyone who is able to enlighten you. They are not confined to this religion or that faith.126 The very term guru means the person who removes the darkness of your mind: Andhakara nirodhakah guruh. we are still in this imperfect condition? What is it that prevents us from realising God‘s truth on earth? We think we are religious so long as we perform a set of mechanical rites. It is not a scripture which is limited to this particular tradition or that. He taught also that those people who withdraw from the agony of the world into their own cells. who can remove the darkness of your mind. That catholicity. The way of sanctity lies through the sphere of action. We must respect all spiritual traditions. of the Muslim Sufis. or go about meditating there. and of so many other saints of our country.

anger. we are still far away from the way of brotherhood on earth. standardised and not a religion which has searched the depths of our own being and brought about a conversion of our nature. However much we may try. mechanical. We have to scrutinise our hearts and ask ourselves every moment of our lives whether what we are doing is in accordance with our own basic nature. ‗I am religious. mosques. It is a matter of intense self-discipline.‘ He is not a truly religious man. They do not transform our nature. There is a perpetual conflict in our nature. An authentically religious man is not one who merely performs rites or utters hymns or preaches dogmas and goes about saying. A truly religious man must bring about an inward transformation of his being and must rid himself of any kind of greed. we chant hymns. but they act quite differently. We preach this. they aspire high. it takes a lot of time. Our hearts are in conflict. This religion has been formal. we sink into our own inertia. That is why. but when practical problems arise. we proclaim that. not merely intense contemplation. in spite of centuries of religion. but intense self-searching. or gurdwaras. hatred and must look upon the whole world as his kindred.127 Skimming The Surface We go to temples. They do not enter the depths of our being. . but all these lie on the surface of our minds.

What is necessary is self-search. we commit theft uttering the name of God. That is not going to help us to get over our present difficulties. and never this spirit of condescension that we are religious. Let everyone ask himself. The moral crisis of the world today is the direct result of this divorce between our theory and practice. Sikh or Christian. we behave as if there is no God. All religions insist on the same kind of intense self-discipline. What is the sort of religion which we practise? That is the question which we have to answer ourselves. asceticism. And so long as this divorce is there. if in his daily life he is practising what he proclaims. It is not necessary to say we are all religious. We do not practise it. we affirm that there is God. The only way to overcome that crisis is to examine yourself. It is not religion that is at fault. We talk of religion but commit murder uttering the name of God. . There is this discord between what we profess and our actual practices which are materialist. Muslim. All that may not be necessary. the present moral crisis will also be there. but when it comes to practice. but we the followers of religion are at fault. So far as our theory is concerned. whether he is a Hindu. other people are not. That is why all the great religions ask us to practise austerities. ask yourself whether you are drawing nearer to the ideals you profess or departing from them. We are lacking in that.128 Theory And Practice It does not matter what religion we profess.

ever lower your standards. he's still the world's best. Why do I say that? He experienced something that NO ONE expected. What matters is how you handle those setbacks. can easily translate into the perfect life coaching manual for all of us: 1. yet he stayed focused. No one is a super-human in this world.. 2. but do not take things for granted. His experience of the event and the wonderful way in which he handled that one negative incident. . and proved exactly where he belongs. Facing a setback is not the end of the world.129 Life lessons courtesy Usain Bolt. See to it that you never.. Be realistic when you set targets. 3. maintain them at all costs. Despite everything that has happened. When you set certain standards for yourself. it does not mean that history will repeat itself. A mark of a true champion. And the star of the show was undoubtedly. Just because you achieved something special in the past. for all sorts of reasons. It might. taking into account the present conditions and ground situation. the maverick Jamaican runner Usain Bolt. The just-concluded Athletics World Championships at Daegu in South Korea were eventful. to say the least. Even the best of individuals falter.

After an unexpected setback. 6. as compared to a sore winner. But it is only as tough as you make it to be. Do not hesitate for a little help. Do not make winning THE only thing that matters in life. 7. coming back always seems tough.130 4. Not only will it make you lose focus from the further task at hand. 10. but actually proving that you still belong at the top. things might actually work in your favor. If you falter. it is a completely positive sign that the setback was only an aberration. 5. remember opportunities are always present. If setbacks make you perform better than you normally would under the existing circumstances. A happy personality has more chances of garnering support in times of need. Champions take chances and pressure is a privilege. it will also give your detractors enough mileage to take you down even further. which is much more than redemption. Thankful . It is up to you to grab those opportunities. After suffering a setback. give your best shot. But. Who knows. never mope and brood. 9. Even if you feel you cannot repeat those 'special' performances every single time. friendly demeanour. Setbacks in life are only as bad as you make them to be. 8. Ther is no better feeling than redeeming yourself. and make full use of them. what matters in not just redemption. Have an open.

A lawn that needs mowing. The taxes I pay because it means that I am employed.131 A thankful spirit is a healthy spirit. As the twists and turns of life lead to feelings of being out of control. sometimes our attitude is all that we have control over.the following reflection may help you develop a thankful attitude. . The spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking. My shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.... Sometimes life is all about how we look at it! I am thankful for. windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home. The mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends..

for all sorts of reasons. Life lessons courtesy Usain Bolt. The piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby. The alarm that goes off early in the morning hours because it means that I am alive. The lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear. And the star of the show was undoubtedly. The just-concluded Athletics World Championships at Daegu in South Korea were eventful. the maverick Jamaican runner Usain Bolt.. Weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive. My huge heating bill because it means I am warm. to say the least.. Despite .132 All the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.

things might actually work in your favor. maintain them at all costs. Be realistic when you set targets. 6. ever lower your standards. 3. he's still the world's best. it does not mean that history will repeat itself. Have an open. never mope and brood. His experience of the event and the wonderful way in which he handled that one negative incident. Who knows. taking into account the present conditions and ground situation. After suffering a setback. No one is a super-human in this world. Why do I say that? He experienced something that NO ONE expected. give your best shot. A happy personality has more chances of garnering support in times of need. When you set certain standards for yourself. It might. Even if you feel you cannot repeat those 'special' performances every single time. Even the best of individuals falter. A mark of a true champion. friendly demeanour. See to it that you never. 2. Just because you achieved something special in the past. Do not make winning THE only thing that matters in life. but do not take things for granted. 5. Facing a setback is not the end of the world. Not only will it make you lose focus from the further task at hand. as compared to a sore winner. 4. Setbacks in life are only as bad as you make them to be.133 everything that has happened. can easily translate into the perfect life coaching manual for all of us: 1. yet he stayed focused. . it will also give your detractors enough mileage to take you down even further. What matters is how you handle those setbacks. and proved exactly where he belongs.

. what matters in not just redemption.an education which should be related to life. Do not hesitate for a little help. coming back always seems tough. But it is only as tough as you make it to be. 8. said the great teacher of Palestine. If setbacks make you perform better than you normally would under the existing circumstances.Judged by its fruits. Ther is no better feeling than redeeming yourself. After an unexpected setback. Teach Head. remember opportunities are always present.real life.134 7.with what lies ahead of him so that he may become a worthy participant in the adventure of life. and make full use of them. which is much more than redemption. It is up to you to grab those opportunities. 10. Champions take chances and pressure is a privilege. it is a completely positive sign that the setback was only an aberration. 9.Hand And Heart Judge a tree by its fruits.True education should equip the student to cope adequately with life. but actually proving that you still belong at the top.our current education system has failed miserably. If you falter.A new type of education is needed. But. Education must not be merely academic or abstract: it must not aim at stuffing the student with information acquired from dead books or a set of sterile moralities and superficial values.

The number of schools and colleges and universities in India is multiplying.vitality and strength Have we become more appreciative of the deeper values which alone give meaning and significance to life Or do we feel bored.But have we grown in freshness. A new type of education is needed an education which will not merely develop brain power.The final end of education is not the gain of scholarship or erudition.The object of education would be to form character.cut off from great ideals.For all these without self-discipline and self-control could well transform to becoming anti-social forces.hearts bereft of the song of sacrifice.Knowledge has spread.135 Intellect has developed but reverence is lacking. Ideals that inspired education in ancient India must be rediscovered and introduced in our educational institutions.if we are to make our contributions to civilisation and to the freshness of human life.hand and heart.Graduates and holders of doctorates are increasing.What is wanted is not mere intellectual improvement but education that helps us become whole.power or financial independence.Critical faculties are given free play and sympathy. Nation-building is character-building.is receding.the power that binds and builds. Knowledge without sympathy does more harm than good.It makes us suspicious and cynical. .but an education which will give a triple training of the head.

to what is called Adhyatma Vidya.There has been too much organisation of the machinery of education. The problem of education will not be solved unless knowledge is related to a Spiritual Synthesis of Life.and officialism is the death of true culture. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ .with utilitarianism. True education is not dead knowledge.it purified the heart.Today.It has made alliance with secularism.Vidya is culture and this is possible with mental and physical discipline.Thus ideals shape our lives.It is dynamic.students receive information but not much by way of training of emotions.Vidya or education is the search for the spiritual centre of life. A sound theory of education is a theory of ideals the values and means by which they may be secured.We have given too much time to the study of processes and too little time to their ends and values.The ideal is a vital idea.but lacks power for the creative life of society.with getting on.It developed the aesthetic side of the students life.knowledge has made us cynical.Communion with nature was another part of ashram life.it is pulsating with life.136 Ancient Indic guru-shishya parampara was a beautiful blend of discipline and emotion.Education is analytical and critical.The ideal shows the principle of infinite vitality.Today.Organisation has brought with it officialism.

Samadhi gives you a moment to moment spiritual experience that is opening.) What is Samadhi? Samadhi is a spiritual experience that opens us to the highest state of consciousness and inner bliss. and that "oneness" is at the core of who you are. intimate merging with the divine inside you and all around you. it enters the state called Samadhi. Samadhi is found through diving into a consistent state of pure consciousness. It is stepping into your enlightened nature that is free from all suffering. spirit and divine essence) are what is truly real and will never die. and that you (the soul. It is being unified with the Universe through your consciousness. trusting and softening into each new moment of your life. When one reaches Samadhi there is a deep knowing that all is one. If you are interested in having a personal guided experience to get a "taste" of Samadhi with Jafree then click here. that is void of attachment to any thought.D." ~Patanjali (Founder of Yoga. Samadhi is the eternally expanding realization that your ego is not real. Samadhi is a deep personal. circa 500 A. .137 Samadhi Is The Highest State of Consciousness and Bliss! "When all mental distractions disappear and the mind becomes one-pointed.

satisfying and truly heart-opening manner no matter what the outer situation you may be in. Samadhi consciousness releases you from caring too much about who you are. for some reason I started to ask the clouds if they would form a donut around the Sun. the whole world will seem meaningless to you. I relaxed into this one-pointed focus of my attention and within 10 minutes there was a perfectly shaped donut right around the sun! Life is amazing in Samadhi Consciousness. It often takes a Samadhi teacher. the opinions of others. . It was a very sunny blue sky day. The being living in Samadhi is simply accessing our most natural innermost spiritual essence and trusting each experience is guiding you deeper into the Divine. Anything is possible in this divine spiritually enlightening connection. Samadhi can happen for anyone who is devoted to the spiritual source more than life itself. what happened in the past. or what kind of issues you are feeling burdened with. You will see your life open in the most enjoyable. and I decided to lay out on top of the roof of a friends home nearby in Bodhgaya. Staring at a few puffy clouds floating by. meditation practice and self-discipline to find this divine ultimate state of freedom." ~Kabir I remember some very amazing things that happened when having my first Samadhi experience in India.138 "You wander restlessly from forest to forest while the Reality is within your own dwelling. The Truth is here! Until you have found God in your own Soul.

139 Through this specific Samadhi Meditation you will drop through the mind chatter and into this intensely relaxing. super expansive." ~Harold Whitman "The Samadhi meditation is great! I have been meditating for about thirty years using various techniques but have not found one that would take me into the 'silence' as quickly and deeply as yours. they ARE possible. The future of why you are here is completely obvious once once you see how everything happening on the planet is truly flawless and perfect. Samadhi allows you to see this perfection in others the spiritually awake being inside them." . yet there is no clinging to them. I ran a small meditation group of fourteen last evening and introduced them to your Samadhi meditation. The wildest thing about having thoughts in Samadhi is there is nobody to be attached to these ideas. and without exception. and unlimited that all things are possible to you. In Samadhi. Life becomes a magical adventure where your previous "normal" daily reality transforms into this deeply profound relaxation and utter enjoyment of your natural divine connection to everyone and everything. all of these 'wannabe' meditators claimed that they had not been taken so deep before. and deeply healing experience. Because what the world needs is people who are truly alive. It's not just that they "seem" possible. ask yourself what makes you come alive! And then go and do that. Samadhi is being totally 100% synchronistically attuned to the Universe. Your mindbody's vibration is so high that your ability to manifest is truly unstoppable. Sure there are thoughts that pass through the mind. The most amazing thing I've discovered about Samadhi is that there is such a tremendous feeling of bliss that there is truly no "mind" present. The vast ever-expanding enlivening blissful surrendered state of your purest being is all that you see and experience. "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. your consciousness is so vast that your entire life plan and purpose can be easily seen. In fact in Samadhi consciousness you are soooo completely free.

When one reaches Samadhi there is a deep knowing that all is one. Immersion in a conscious or wakeful state is called samadhi. and that "oneness" is at the core of who you are. . and that you (the soul. That still mind which is adorned with the attainment of the limitless supreme Self. It is stepping into your enlightened nature that is free from all suffering. When the mind is in communion with the Self in darkness. alone is samadhi. the immersion of the mind in ignorance. In sahaja samadhi the communion is con-tinuous.140 Samadhi is a spiritual experience that opens us to the highest state of consciousness and inner bliss. Samadhi is found through diving into a consistent state of pure consciousness. spirit and divine essence) are what is truly real and will never die Ramana Maharshi on Samadhi Question : What is samadhi? Ramana Maharshi : The state in which the unbroken experience of existence-consciousness is attained by the still mind. that is void of attachment to any thought. Samadhi is continuous inherence in the Self in a waking state. intimate merging with the divine inside you and all around you. that is. Samadhi gives you a moment to moment spiritual experience that is opening. Samadhi is a deep personal. Samadhi is the eternally expanding realization that your ego is not real. It is being unified with the Universe through your consciousness. trusting and softening into each new moment of your life. alone is the reality of God. Nidra or sleep is also inherence in the Self but in an unconscious state. it is called nidra [sleep].

provided one is . Only after the vasanas have been destroyed can one attain liberation. is sahaja [the natural state]. if one has not rooted out the vasanas one will not attain liberation. When these disturbances are absent. Remaining permanently in the primal state without effort is sahaja. with or without the body-consciousness. but without its destruction. In this state one is not free from vasanas and so one does not therefore attain mukti. When it is with effort due to mental disturbances. Even though one practises kevala nirvikalpa samadhi for years together.141 Question : What are kevala nirvikalpa samadhi and sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi? Ramana Maharshi :The immersion of the mind in the Self. Question : When can one practise sahaja samadhi? Ramana Maharshi : Even from the beginning. What is body-consciousness? It is the insentient body plus consciousness. either savikalpa or nirvikatpa. it is nirvikalpa. Question : May I have a clear idea of the difference between savikalpa and nirvikalpa? Ramana Maharshi : Holding on to the supreme state is samadhi. Both of these must lie in another consciousness which is absolute and unaffected and which remains as it always is. What does it then matter whether the body-consciousness is lost or retained. is kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. Question : Is nirvikalpa samadhi absolutely necessary before the attainment of sahaja? Ramana Maharshi : Abiding permanently in any of these samadhis. it is savikalpa.

. What Is Samadhi? By Matthew Joyce I‘ve recently heard a term I don‘t understand. Rather than delve into the distinctions made by various schools of religious thought.142 holding on to that pure consciousness? Total absence of body-consciousness has the advantage of making the samadhi more intense. samadhi is the realization of a non-dual state of being in which I and all that I experience are one and the same. it‘s more common to progress through a series of experiences or stages on your way to the ultimate goal. the experience they describe is universal and people from other spiritual traditions— or no traditions at all—experience samadhi. Can you explain what samadhi is? Samadhi is a state in which you transcend the bounds of your body. although it makes no difference to the knowledge of the supreme. To me. It is also the process of meditating with increasingly concentrated awareness until you reach that state. and self-identity and merge into an undifferentiated unity with all that is.‖ Although Hindus and Buddhists break down the experience a bit differently according to their traditions. While it is possible to achieve this ultimate state of samadhi in an instant. The term ―samadhi‖ is used in both Hinduism and Buddhism. and it comes from a Sanskrit word that very loosely translates as ―Becoming One. mind. I think it will be most useful if I describe the experience and the process for achieving it.

While remaining perfectly aware of them. you no longer consider them to be parts of your identity. emotions. these experiences hint at what awaits you if you pursue more profound levels. In this stage of samadhi you enjoy profound and lasting peace. or even while enjoying a sublime moment such as listening to music or watching a sunset.) When you truly reach this stage you free yourself from suffering. but your sense of yourself as a separate being remains intact. you experience yourself as a point of awareness that exists beyond your body. you perceive suffering as optional. mind. While fleeting. and for many people achieving it requires deliberate effort. and because you know that your body and mind are tools and not your true identity. Rather you experience them as occurring within your body or your mind. When you reach this level. When you experience it you lose track of time and you temporarily become completely absorbed in your experience in the moment. When you know yourself as a point of awareness that exists beyond your physical self. (This stage is the focus of our Awakened Awareness workshop. You can achieve it while meditating. Deliberate Samadhi The next phase involves a steadier state of consciousness. You perceive them as tools that you can use or. Higher Levels of Samadhi As wonderful as this stage is. exercising vigorously. This doesn‘t mean that you feel no physical pain or that you don‘t experience emotions. and personality. in the case of your personality.143 Initial Hints at Samadhi The first hint of samadhi is one of joy. This is a profoundly freeing condition that can fundamentally change the way that you live your life. it is the starting point for experiencing still further levels of samadhi. as a collection of experiences you‘ve acquired. you can develop abilities to explore . peace and overall well-being.

144 other dimensions and realities beyond this physical reality. other timelines. Because eventually you realize that no matter how many fantastic. The Great Challenge of Samadhi But here you encounter a great challenge because until now. you are still exploring the realm of duality. experiencing past lives and greater parts of your Higher Self imbues you with an expanded sense of who you truly are. There is no single way of achieving this dissolution. Relinquishing your identity as a body. It is at this stage that direct contact with the Divine becomes possible through your deliberate seeking. despite the varied and wonderful experiences you have enjoyed. and healing that come as a result. Traveling to alternative realities. growth-promoting. you have retained your sense of separate self. and other ways of being. . Unity with the Divine lies beyond all experiences of duality and separateness. or ecstatic experiences that you enjoy. There are countless opportunities for exploration and service at this stage. This is no easy task and many people find this extremely challenging. encountering nonphysical beings. but the path you‘ve followed up until now prepares you to a certain extent. Separate from others. In order to achieve samadhi of Divine union you must dissolve your individual sense of self as a separate being. other lifetimes. but this too is just a phase. mind and personality helps to shed your self-concepts. So you may strive to progress beyond occasional glimpses and connections with the Divine in order to merge completely with It. Mystics of all spiritual traditions—from Shamanism to the multitude of organized religions to unaffiliated modern seekers—tell of their adventures in these realms and the great learning. Separate from all that you have experienced. personal growth.

there is no time. There is nothing to experience because you are no longer separate from that which you are experiencing. You simply are. we retain the realization of our true nature as being inseparable from all that is. and each level can be of great benefit depending on your life circumstances and particular needs. . such as expressing pure unlimited love and devotion. The Height of Divine Samadhi In this state. Up to this point the universe seems like an infinite place filled with an infinite number of things. And some spiritual masters make the choice not to. In this state there is no universe. And thus we are able to consciously act as individuals within the physical realm while maintaining our awareness of Divine samadhi. whether by stripping away your layers of identity until nothing remains. nor are you unconscious. There is no place. Because even after separating our individual awareness from that Divine unity. we return forever changed. There is no sense of anything other than yourself as all things. There is no effort. The state is so profound that leaving it is something you won‘t want to do.145 And so. Yet those of us with more to do in human form must eventually return to the Earth plane. you relinquish all sense of separateness and dissolve into the pure bliss and radiant light that is Unity with all that is. You are neither conscious. or by expanding your experience of self to include all things. Each level of samadhi is an experience of growth on a path of spiritual development. When we do. There is no infinity. or by other means.

Reality or Hallucination?? Posted by: Aditya on: February 8. The force started to press her neck. Her sister was also sleeping with her. It was almost night 2 AM when she woke up by the anklets sound. They also told that the anklet sound will stop exactly near the window. She started to pray loudly and once the force became little light she just got up from her bed and ran to the other room. At her home everyone agreed that they have heard some anklets sound sometime at night. In spite of the sound they still have not faced any other big problems till the last Saturday. As it‘s outskirt so there would be enough distance between two houses.146 May you enjoy samadhi at the level most appropriate for you. Her house is somewhere outskirt of Chennai surrounded by coconut trees. Maya closed her eyes and started praying. Immediately after that she felt that some force started coming up from her leg and came up to her neck. 2010 In: Hallucination Comment! Rate This Few days back at work my colleague Maya (I promised her not to take the real name) described me that she encountered some supernatural activity at her home. She was scared to death. Once she started praying she felt someone is pulling her bed sheet towards the closed window. Some points I got from her like. On this Saturday night she was sleeping in her room next to the window. She is from a Hindu family and conservative too. . I am not going to judge whether ghost is real or not. I am trying to see whether her experience matches with any psychological explanation or not.

* The sound of anklet. * She tried to wake up her sister up but she was not able to. May be it was a basic fear which turned into imagination or rather hallucination. Once again I am not going to judge about the existence of ghost. A better way to reduce corruption is for each of us to reduce our greed. What you guys think?? Mind power and corruption The first casualty of corruption is governance. I am trying to judge what exactly Maya felt was that real or was that her unconscious mind? She told that everything was real. Laws need to be implemented efficiently and this can happen with good governance. So is it only their unconscious mind or kind of imagination? *She agreed that this was not the first time for such an incident. corruption cannot be stopped only by making better and harsher laws. In a democracy. due diligence and debate in Parliament is the only way to bring in changes and new laws. As a reason I can say that both were sleeping in different bed. may it was because of wind. *That night she had vegetable for dinner. If there was a problem in digestion then she might have felt pressure on the chest because of gastric issue. She might have dreamed this time as well and her unconscious mind made her believe that it was true. With reduced greed and better implementation of existing laws . They also explained that the sound would be not so irregular.147 *At her home everybody believes about the anklets sound which proves that they have already built a strong believes about it. She already felt the same earlier but that was long ago but then she felt it as dream. However.

This process is accomplished by sensory perception with inputs from the senses helping form memory. As we absorb experience through our senses. This leads eventually to more control and greed. When concentration on a single thought is carried out regularly and continuously for a long time it helps in producing a powerful mind and this is the essence of yoga. Unfulfilled desires lead to frustration and this makes us want more. However. aim. Fulfillment of desires therefore helps us in releasing the ―possessions‖. Besides fuelling corruption. The brain develops right from birth and fast expanding neuron numbers form memory pathways. The basis of greed is desire. the major cause of corruption. ambition.whether it is a person. . An outcome of desire is possession. control and goal. We feel a need to possess whatever we desire -. object or idea. the driving force is the same – power. It is during this process that we ―decide‖ whether our desires are fulfilled or not. This will put much less pressure on earth‘s resources and reduce pollution. money and control. fame. This allows us to think deeply and concentrate during which we can get ―lost‖ in processing that information. the brain processes this information. Simply follow the maxim of ―simple living and high thinking‖. We are hardwired to increase our experience and memories and this is the basis of desire. An emotionally satisfying and decent lifestyle is possible with much less energy consumption of one-seventh that of the US. Possession helps in maximisation of experience.148 corruption can be effectively capped. greed for resources and materials is also creating an unsustainable lifestyle. Desire manifests itself in different forms like lust.

says OSHO. the more anxiety will be there. . captains of the corporate world can create conditions for jobs generation and for improving the quality of life. higher turnover. Religious anguish arises the moment you become aware that something is possible. Besides it reduces our insecurities and hence gives us a feeling of calmness. Creation of powerful mind should start from childhood since brain power is at its peak. A powerful and a sensitive mind becomes empathetic to its surroundings and gives rise to the desire to give back something to the society and help less fortunate fellow beings. changes our priorities in life and helps us in focusing on getting personal happiness through mental peace rather than satisfaction of material needs. well being and happiness. thinking and contemplation we can grow to be better human beings and form a gentler and more sustainable society. They drift. A small individual step for a corruption-less society therefore should start in school. When we focus on reading. With their resources and wealth. You feel impotent. For this they need to reduce their greed and not get caught up in keeping up with the Joneses by acquiring bigger jets. and the greater a man. But when you are unaware.149 Such a mind also makes us sensitive and humble. Animals appear happy.and the wishlist goes on. Grow Vertically To Evolve Our future evolution would be of consciousness and not body. There is no anxiety. They are blissfully unaware. nothing happens. Humans become anxious. greater profit -.

you become totally unconscious. The part which you have forcibly suppressed with alcohol or drugs or something else will arise again. He was on the verge of committing suicide. and more conscious. One is just to deceive yourself — that is to become totally unconscious again. A part of you has become conscious. You can either remain where you are and suffer. You will have to pass through that. Animals are integrated and saints are integrated. you cannot know simple happiness. and the major part of you is still unconscious. The integration is lost. total consciousness is blissful — and you are in between. Only a minor part of a seeker is conscious. you have to do something about it — and you can do something. You are divided. And unless your total being becomes conscious. but that changes everything. So there are two ways. And the goal is not very far. You can take intoxicants…you drug the part that has become conscious. You have become two. . It shows you are becoming more and more aware of that which is possible. aware. and now you will never be at ease unless it becomes actual.150 That was the Buddha‘s condition before he became a Buddha. Total unconsciousness is blissful. because then you can compare. But this is a temporary deception. We cannot leave it to nature because we have become conscious. or you have to go forward and go beyond suffering. you are not one. And you cannot leave it to nature. and then you will feel more suffering. To know it. become more alert. So don‘t be depressed if you feel anxiety. You cannot regress.

You can be total in consciousness also. Then there will be bliss and you will be perfectly aware of it. but that is going to be temporary…. through practising techniques which increase your consciousness. Totality is bliss. This is possible through sadhana. man is now responsible for his own growth. You can chant a mantra and create an intoxicating effect.. it is bliss. It is just like when you are asleep you are happy. No More Physical Growth We have skeletons that are millions of years old. but there is no visible change. it has remained the same. You can do many things which can make you unconscious again. . You are not enlightened because you have not done anything for it. but you have become aware that you are not enlightened. Even the brain has not grown. Remember one thing: totality is bliss.. but you are not aware of it. So it is futile. then too.151 Getting High There are religious methods. So for millions of years there has been no growth in the body. If you are unconscious totally. In a sense. Animals are happy but they are not aware of their happiness. and whenever you are awake.. you are unhappy. but spiritual. And the growth is not going to be physical.

wherever you are. Every religion. religions. That vertical evolution will be of consciousness. Now. has some strains of music or sound — be it the resounding namaz or the sacred Aum or the Guru Bani. Evolution is working horizontally. ‗Rock my soul‘. ‗I want Jesus to walk with me‘ or an African American song has the words. The Book of Secrets. having a captivating vibration that can bind people. And you are responsible for it. methods. courtesy Osho International Foundation. Your body has stopped: it has come to an omega point. they are not just singing but making an effort to connect themselves with the Almighty. High On Music Delhi Public School student Masha Hassan writes on Qawwali as tribute to AMIR KHUSRO. not of body. Music is another way to remember God. Loving Remembrance . during his 707th Urs that concludes tomorrow. you have to take a jump vertically. I have observed.152 The skeleton of a Buddha and your skeleton are not basically different. set to classical ragas. Qawwali in Sufism is used as a medium to convey a mystic religious message and to realise inner knowledge not attainable by normal means. Music plays a very important role in the spiritual world. they work vertically. When Rollo Dilworth sings. but you and Buddha are absolutely different. techniques.

‖ says Bulleh Shah.‖ Sufi Devotional Music Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music. The audience. which is achieved by meditation and other practices. adding. since we punish only those who we count as our own — sings a qawwal. The central themes of qawwali are love. or Allah. Remembrance of the divine presence may be either silent or vocal. koi apna hi samajh kar to sazaa deta hai — Even if he sends me to hell. mainly performed at Sufi dargahs or shrines. devotion and longing for the Divine. too. ―Your devotion was loveless. The Qawwali may be viewed as an extension of the vocal form of this remembrance. qawwali brings one closer to the experience of this inner truth by presenting the words (kalam) in the vehicle of music. Islamic mystical tradition indicates several different paths to arrive at the ultimate truth or marifat. I will still be grateful. now your protestations are worthless. Woh jahannum bhi mujhe de to karoon shukr ada. ―I would‘ve remained silent. urging him to end hijr or separation. is considered a participant in this event.153 In Islam. the loving remembrance of Allah is known as dhikr. It‘s love that compels me to speak forcefully. usually in groups. Intoxicated With Love . The poetry of qawwali is implicitly understood to be spiritual in its meaning and music is used as a medium to meditate on Allah through focusing on singing.

the group starts singing the song and the words are repeated with variations to bring out deeper meaning. How to Attract Women . and reached the eternal happiness‖. The pace of the singing slowly increases until a state of extreme excitement is reached. evoking the Divine presence through music. It is like a mystical journey for a man‘s spiritual awakening through love and devotion. Kleem is a Bija mantra. Participation in qawwali. Repetition goes on leading the audience and the singer towards khamra which means ―spiritual drunkenness‖ — trance or spiritual enlightenment. The performer then moves into the main portion of the performance. Qawwali is not a passive. Says Jalalluddin Rumi. is believed to relieve what is already in one‘s heart. but active realisation.154 In qawwali. It brings out a person‘s love of God and purifies the soul.The Kleem Mantra None. the heart and soul can communicate directly with God. a Sufi saint: ―I was dead. Purpose: . singing in a medium tempo. Through the journey of spiritual music. yet became alive/ I was a tear yet became a smile/ I entered the ocean of love. Qawwali usually starts with the alaap which has no rhythm and is used to create the right environment. singing or hearing.

That‘s right. Kamadeva (literal translation) and incidentally the great Avatar of Vishnu. How it works The Kleem mantra basically aligns your energy/spirit/aura/prana with those of females that already like you. it brings girls to your door! Say what now…?! I believe some explanation is sorely needed on what is likely to prove a popular topic! The Kleem mantra is a Bija mantra – ie a primal sound which taps into the very essence of the universe to function as a mantra all in itself. once mantra siddhi is achieved.155 Attraction of female company. It effectively works by removing obstacles and inhibitions to bring your paths together. Initially. However. it is said that one can attract anything in the universe with the mantra. How to use it . Unsurprisingly. Each Bija mantra typically corresponds to a singular deity. Sri Krishna Himself. this mantra is the essence of the God of Love. it will not be able to change the minds of others.

to see the fastest results. In order to penetrate into another dimension of cognition. The practice of tratak is a great complement to this mantra.salt and wool Even if an apple from paradise is handed over to you (here). The usual target count is 10. Because that is the situation in which we are placed. The disciple understood that the terms which we use for metaphysical things are based on physical terms. Mystic tales . Given the brevity of the sound. you will will see one rotten side. Use the mantra wisely.156 Just repeat the word. However. it is not too tough to complete a set within a 2-3 hours. You can take his video introductions as an effective upadesh (ie Guru initiation into the mantra). Needless to say such a powerful and simple technology can be abused and misused. . we have to adjust to the ways of understanding that dimension. with great power must come moderation and self control. Pillai. It is an advanced technique and I‘ll leave it there for the time being. formerly Dattatreya Sivababa.008 – preferably in a single sitting . for those of you in the know. has some excellent YouTube videos on the topic. Footnotes: Dr.

His donkey. can still pass current on its humorous value. Idea is. Nasiruddin is taking load of salt to the market. As you look at them you will find more and more areas.157 It may be completely different from the way we understand this dimension. The salt is dissolved. much of its impact may be lost. wades through a stream. But Nasiruddin is angry. the ass is frisky because its load has been lightened. In such cases. . A Nasiruddin joke. When it reaches the opposite bank. An example is the 'salt and wool' joke. for you to understand it from within. None of the stories give you the whole thing in a platter. detached from its technical terminology. Rather than from me to give you a 'kashaya' One more.

The word wool. The result is that he loses his food. because Nasiruddin. 'That will teach you to think that you gain something every time. 'There!' says Nasiruddin triumphantly. On the 2nd trip. . the donkey had an increase of burden. By shedding his burden of general goodness. the individual feels better and loses weight. The word sufi itself means wool. could not sell salt to buy fodder. The donkey is the symbol of man.' In the original story. you go through water. Nasiruddin.The word used in Arabic is 'milh' is the homonym for wisdom and for being good. with the increase of weight.158 On the next market day. when he takes up water. The animal is almost drowned. because of the intention of his teacher. Salt . Two technical terms are used. due to the wool. is of course another word for 'Sufi'. he packs the panniers with wool.

It is the final and definitive state sought by mystical saints across different and divergent faiths who seek to unite with the Supreme Power. Defining Madness . Sufi saints. Vaishnava gurus. for a higher price than dry wool. all have explored and revelled in the ecstasies and agonies of divine madness. Saktas and Shaivites. Because Nasiruddin sells the damp wool. divine madness is the most exalted spiritual state. Hasidic Jews. now heavier than before. A psychiatrist unfamiliar with divine madness cannot distinguish between that state and the condition of a patient who is mentally challenged.159 The weight is increased for the duration of the journey to the market. Eastern Orthodox and Western Christianity. Divine madness is an extreme form of mystical experience. writes SHANTANU NAGARKATTI. Divine Madness While ordinary madness may rival the worst of all human maladies.

160 Psychiatry defines madness (psychosis) as ―grossly inaccurate sense of reality. Shiva recognised them to be an expression of extreme and divine madness. . Renowned ‗Mad‘ Saints In Tamil Nadu. filled with a divine version of the worldly conditions they choose to leave behind. Since one of the eyes on the lingam was bleeding. Kannappa plucked out his own eye and placed it on the lingam. the Alvars and the Nayanars displayed extreme shades of divine madness. For the greater part of their time. Seeing the lingam‘s other eye bleeding now. Enlightened saints rise above the collective madness of the culture and society they live in. all enlightened saints by this definition suffer from ‗madness‘. He was about to place it where his foot signified the spot when Shiva appeared before Kannappa and embraced him in appreciation of his selfless devotion. Kannappa placed his foot on that eye (to ―feel‖ the location) and plucked out his other eye. However. water in his mouth and carefully tasted the meat he carried for offering to the Vayu Shivalingam at Sri Kalahasti.‖ Which reality? If one accepts the philosophy that considers the world as illusion and the Divine as reality. Kannappa Nayanar carried flowers in his hair. they live internally in a purificatory spiritual trance. Kannappa‘s acts would‘ve certainly appeared to be that of a madman. To an observer.

dance. To the Alvars. roar and act as if possessed. laugh.161 In Tamil. cry. Such an individual would run. Chaitanya displayed a range of ecstatic states. He would roll on the ground. Chaitanya‘s body would stretch disjointedly in an abnormal way and then there were times when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu‘s limbs would withdraw into themselves like a tortoise. please don‘t take your offering without this ghee‖. sing. parts of his body would swell and transform. cry. In his lifetime. a saint was one who displayed signs of being mad with love of God. dance and roll on the floor in ecstasy. Bengali Tradition Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the role model for all mystic madmen. He describes himself as being drunk with God-realisation. Sant Tukaram declared that the first sign that appeared after he had had a vision of God was madness. while running behind a dog that snatched a roti prepared for prasadam. perspire and change to different colours. . The Alvars recognised saints by their madness. the word Alvar means ―one immersed in God‖. jump. Tukaram states the ideal devotee is one who is mad in the eyes of the world. totally uninhibited. oblivious of the fact that he was trampling his infant son to death. ―Lord. In Maharashtra. laugh. Sant Namdev revealed his divine madness by calling out. no matter that it might seem foolish or crazy. Saint Gora Kumbar once ecstatically danced in divine madness. He would jump.

Sadhana Bhakti has two aspects.162 Rani Rasmani who owned the Kali Temple where he served as a priest. at first considered Ramakrishna Paramhamsa as mad. . Ramakrishna sat and cried for long periods of time and could not keep his clothing on his body. The chief regulative practices are: chanting Krishna‘s name. living in a place of worship and associating with bhaktas or devotees. reading the Bhagavata Purana. Vaidhi Bhakti and Raganuga Bhakti. Here the guru leads the disciple step by step through all the levels of bhakti from sadhana to the mystic madness of bhava and prema. worshipping Krishna‘s moorthi. Raganuga Bhakti or Lila Smarana is the interior practice of visualisation meditation. The potent cocktail of Vaidhi and Raganuga Bhakti explode in the agony and ecstasy of bhava and prema. Here — similar to Ignatius Loyola‘s Spiritual Exercises for his Society of Jesus — the disciple enters Divine (Krishna) Leela in a siddha deha or spiritually perfected body joining in as an observer and minor helper. and threw money into the river Ganga as he considered it to be useless. Vaidhi Bhakti consists of the many external regulative practices for purifying the soul. ate the leavings of the jackals. He cleaned out houses with his hands. Cultivating Madness The Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition is unique in cultivating divine madness by systematic design.

says Anuradha Varma. Born Again! If you‘re looking for spiritual purification and release of personal traumas. Are you suffering from anger. The author is a surgeon and spiritual teacher. you can get relief through rebirthing — a therapy which uses breathwork to release negative emotions. try rebirthing. In the second phase. In the first phase. but the ecstatic states they are able to induce in their disciples. This New Age technique has many takers in India. so he may fit effectively in ‗normal‘ society. Rebirthing is a term coined in the 1970s by American Leonard Orr. one must firmly hold on to his feet and follow him to divine madness. He called it ―the most powerful form of prana yoga‖. the guru teaches the ecstatic. . fear or sadness? Could it be related to the trauma of birth? Like many others.163 Role Of The Guru The role of the ecstatic guru in the divine madness of bhakti is twofold. ‗mad‘ person how to control and hide these states. If one has the fortune to find such a guru. Such gurus are rare and evidence of their exaltation is not the states they display (for these can be faked). he initiates the novice and leads him into divine madness.

―I took my first rebirthing session the same evening and the experience was profound. it‘s important to shed emotional baggage and relieve knots from the past. I was ready for the second session the next day!‖ . The process accesses subconscious realms. the breath having taken over after the first few minutes.‖ Practitioners tell you that rebirthing unravels all human trauma in our present life as well as from past lives. Sheeba Loganey was introduced to the art by Orr one fine day. who took this therapy. and I relived my entire birth process which had been very traumatic because of the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. 15 years ago. leading to spiritual purification and a feeling of connectedness with the world around. I had finally released my birth trauma and my claustrophobia disappeared completely. After this. I actually saw the whole birthing process. As we revisit an experience and go through the pain again. sums up its benefits: ―As part of the spiritual process. along with the people present in the room at the time. My mother later confirmed the details. it helps in resolving the problem forever. and helps optimise our skills and talent. the doctors. She remembers. my father and my aunt.164 Spiritual Purification Sujata Malik. the layout of the hospital room. I felt calm and energised. Rhythmic breathing is the key to releasing negative blocks and filling one with an abundant life force. I felt my whole body pulsating with energy.

we heal the physical problem too.‖ Rohini Chopra also witnessed miracles during her rebirthing sessions. who wanted to sell his property which was under dispute. a deeper connection with the self. who had aches and pains all over his body and the doctors found nothing wrong with him. ―Past-life regressions. A client was looking for a life-partner and it was after only the sixth session that she met her would-be husband at the airport while travelling from Delhi to Bangalore. facing and transcending fears…and so gently and effortlessly. with minimum interference on one‘s own part. a deep sense of well-being. profound insights.165 Loganey explains how it happens: ―Almost everyone who undergoes this therapy feels a tingling or vibrations all over the body after about 10 minutes and this continues for one to two hours. healed completely after 10 sessions. which have sorted out issues in this lifetime. an effortless letting go of blocks without intellectualisation. It then gradually recedes and leaves a person feeling calm and tranquil. Another. resolved all issues with his siblings amicably. It‘s an honour to be a rebirther and witness it hapen.‖ Who Can Undergo Rebirthing . she says. One. Every physical ailment has a psychosomatic reason behind it and when we heal the mental and emotional reasons.

went from being meek to gregarious and positive. he claims. a person needs 10 to 20 sessions with a rebirther before they attempt to do it on their own. ―Rebirthing is a highly revolutionary method as it releases memories of childhood and past life at a tremendous speed. water and fire. who came across rebirthing in 1999. too. Can one undergo rebirthing on their own.‖ He maintains. .‖A good rebirther should teach you how to continue at home. Rebirthing made me assertive. which can take psychoanalysts years to explore.‖ A client. Also people suffering from diagnosed depressive disorders should choose rebirthers with care say practioners. used to be very submissive and found it difficult to express myself. anyone suffering from fear.166 There is no age limit. unsupervised? Says Rohini Chopra. Says cosmetic surgeon Sandeep Bhasin. and with each element. after recalling and releasing the trauma of being sexually abused in a past life. The sessions involve using the elements of earth. The same breathing can be done near fire or by being under earth. ―We use this breathing technique in dry sessions or in underwater sessions. According to Loganey. It has really changed people‘s lives. but pregnant women should avoid it. Each session is five to seven days apart. ―After doing a few sessions under supervision. air. the release of emotions and issues is different. she says. you can do regular sessions on your own to keep the energy system clear. I. anger or emotional problems can take recourse to the therapy.

Start from your feet.. of its health. demands and resolve their problems to increase creativity. say hello to them and.. . soles..it communicates… Talk to your body once a week… Believe me… it communicates… Our body is not just a vehicle of a soul but a planet of more than five hundred species of bacteria and other living things. As we visit our factory and its workers to ask their suggestions. to ask each part. how are you? Are you happy with me? Do I take care of you? Have I made you lazy or forced you to work more? Whether the shoes. toes and the edge of your heels. move your hand gently around your feet. functions. woes and their needs. find a quite place. any other place will do. quality and productivity. Take a shower if possible. soles and toes.167 The key lies in breathing right and in consciously working out troublesome issues! Talk to your body once a week.Believe me. are comfortable? The weight of my body on you is less of more? They will definitely answer you. I have given you. if not. and sit comfortably or lie down. This is our responsibility to visit our body once a week. ask.

why it is happy or sad. Whether it gets food in time. So. They thought it was crazy to leave a permanent job. I told her that the next day she should not go to work. your face will say. you will get answers. She wondered how. how much water it needs in a day? Is it satisfied with the supply of liquids from you? And listen what it wants to say to you. This way you must talk to each part of your body and mind. listen to them they want to speak to you. in proper and healthy way? You can ask your body and its urinary system about the demand of water. to know their needs. Your heart will tell you what is missing. I said the next day morning. who once asked me if her destiny can be changed as she did not want to be cutting meat all her life. She asked when can i change her destiny. of its functions. your eyes will request you what they want to see. Changing Destiny: From Meat Cutter to Business Woman There was a girl. she went and talked to her family members that she was going to quit her job. Believe me. She said she wanted some breathing time. it is as simple as that. suggestions and complaints. what music is pleasant for them. they have language and are always eager to communicate to you.168 You should talk to your metabolism. who was a meat cutter in a grocery store. . and your ears will reply to what they want to hear.

when he had made a decision. He declared that from that day onwards until his death. One day. She yelled at him and asked whether he can eat food without salt. The meat cutter became a business woman. tasted it and found salt in it.169 Then. there would not be any salt in his food. Gandhi said he can. The boss said that for a high school graduate this was a great job and that if she quit the job and later came back. Once you make a decision. He grabbed her food. Her old identity was gone. Not for Gandhi. Changing destiny is not all that difficult. She met a computer science professor who introduced her to selling computer spare parts. Mahatma Gandhi was having food with his wife. she went to the boss and told him that she was going to quit her job. His wife was not supposed to eat salt. She begged for forgiveness and told him not to do this as it was very difficult to eat food without salt. that was final. When he said something that was it. stick on to that decision. She quit her job after a month. She put on better clothes and mingled with better people. That is changing destiny. she wouldn‘t have the job. She knew about Gandhi. . The meat girl also made a decision.

I cant talk like a man.dont conclude you dont have intelligence.You have the power to see. walk and digest and all this is an act of intelligence.being aware of ones helplessness will open up new possibilities of grace. Look at life with awareness. and feeling miserable then it will not validate the power to build a nest which is like a waterproof residence. The bird has the intelligence to build a beautiful nest. feel. hear. such knowledge will bind a person and not free him.Where did this intelligence come from It is hidden in us.you acknowledge you have been stupid. Imagine the bird saying.then such knowledge will not bless you.170 You Dont Have To Be Stupid I don't have the intelligence to live life wisely.I know.Secondly.Many of manmade houses leak despite waterproofing.which can protect it from rain.But we have to log on to it.Thirdly.and any recognition of weakness is a part of strength.Your humility is not an act of stupidity.is helpless and this recognition helps us to act wisely.Life is a combination of ignorance and knowledge.is there a way out .Everyone at some level is stupid. . You are humble enough to ask me this question.i need not change.God has given us this intelligence.If people think.It needs finetuning.You have knowledge but if it is not polished with humility and understanding. First.

Every problem is an invitation for us to be creative.you dream and then take the dream to be real.Yesterday is dead and you are born today in the present.superimposes the world outside and you only see the superimposition.filled with dreams.We have both male and female energies in us.When adventurous energy in you is missing.Dont exaggerate a problem or underestimate it or become indifferent to it.Balance the two.Death has never been an enemy.I am not intelligent.then you feel this pain. Problems do not make you stupid. I am stupid should not be a conclusion but something to be worked on.The real enemy is your non-acceptance of the flow of life and your rigidity on how life should .Foolishness is a sleep you live in.You are unaware and act as though you know.Male energy represents adventure while female energy represents compassion.Go trekking.Like how a snake is superimposed on the rope and then you only see the snake and not the rope.take up a sport. What is stupidity Stupidity is unawareness.So drop this conclusion. Is not the basic problem the fear of death Death is happening at every moment.171 The greedy mind invalidates the riches of life.be in the company of people who have adventurous energy.I am stupid.Drop this drama.You can always wake up.A problem is an alarm system which says.Out of this sleep.This sleep.act on it and be creative to solve it.

I recently decided to brave it and take the plunge. and to top it all. I found it gave me new spiritual insight!First. I am surprised at how well our body is equipped with natural survival instincts to help us float and not drown. People have an answer in spite of being wrong. In life. each one of us is blessed with unique survival skills that we call talent.172 be. Fear of drowning is one reason why many hesitate to learn swimming. one should drown fear itself. Learning to swim was an interesting experience. To return to the pool. Instead of fearing getting drowned. in fact water helps us survive. for fear of failure.An answer does not change our life.it is a door to a new beginning.Be happy with the door and do not bang yourself against the door. We need to appreciate these virtues which shall help us swim in the sea of life.living and acting wisely does. We think the world is out there to take us down. All we have to do is to use that potential to stay afloat.You have treated death as an end of life. I now realise that water is not a threat. Similarly. My second lesson came when I learned how to coordinate my hand and leg movements. problems and roadblocks. My hands had . learning in general helps you stay afloat in life. hence it is a big challenge for water to drown us. Sink or swim in the sea of life After years of gazing wistfully at the pool. We worry about getting drowned in a sea of challenges.in fact. Breathing is second nature to us. we hesitate to dream big or pursue ambitions. Swimming then will come to be as easy as breathing.

Just Listen To Your Heart Be enthusiastic about all that you do. the more you remain up. precisely on time. Just as if we continue to keep pushing negative thoughts down. Contrary to the backward hand push. writes. Wayne Dyer sharing his secret for success The world you live in is an intelligent system in which every moving part is coordinated by every other moving part. This goes contrary to popular understanding that to float one has to push or hold the body up. . we encounter frustration or failure. You showed up here in the body you inhabit. when we handle problems in alignment with our strengths and weaknesses. we handle those problems better. When we panic. This was akin to overcoming hindrances in life‘s path. when we are just splashing water and are not making best use of our talents or find ourselves in the ―wrong job‖.173 to push the water back so I could swim ahead. the more you push the water down. progress is faster and smoother. I learnt that if one just keeps pushing the water down. Therefore. Lessons from the leg movement also did not go unnoticed. It all works together in perfect harmony. An instance of seeing this fallacy in action is when a person who does not know to swim is scrambling to stay afloat. All the more reason for us to understand our strengths and accordingly align our goals and ambitions. The more water we push behind. we lose sight of this simple principle. we will continue to keep our chin up and so stay afloat. You are one of those moving parts. in order to make progress. There‘s a universal life force that supports and orchestrates everything. On the other hand. it is hard for the person to drown. The passion you feel is God inside of you beckoning you to take risks and to be your own person. Even more important is the principle that when my hand movements get streamlined with water movement. Basically. the farther we swim. legs have to be moved downwards.

that‘s sensitive to love. analyses and comes up with the most logical choices for you.‖ So. and then there are times when what you feel will supersede what you know. You must have shown up here for a reason! Why Were You Born? Kahlil Gibran said. You‘re an essential piece of this complex system. that‘s emotional about what‘s important to you.174 Your body will leave here with the same precision.. This is the part of you that goes beyond reason and analysis.. It‘s the part of you that feels things. Generally. figures things out. or the Universal Intelligence. Your right brain represents your intuitive side.Pick a situation and ask yourself if what you know or what you feel is most important to you. your work is placed in your heart. Your left brain calculates. in which all of the galaxies move in harmony with each other. . what is your work? Your purpose? Are you living it out the way your heart urges you to? The constant beating of your heart is a symbol of your infinite connection to the always-present heartbeat of God. ―When you are born. Here you are in this intelligent system that has no beginning and no end. what you‘ll take care of first depends on the situation and circumstances you‘re in. Your intellect can be figuring out exactly how you‘re supposed to act in a relationship when things are collapsing (or when they are rapturous).

lonely or on the other hand.‖ Then your right-brain invisible companion (your death) speaks even louder. I picture this presence as a nagging little creature who sits on your right shoulder and reminds you when you‘ve lost your sense of purpose. invisible presence that‘s always with you. Your intuitive inner voice keeps urging you to play your music that you hear so that you won‘t die with it inside you. loving. you might fail. Your invisible companion will prod you when you‘re spending another day doing what somebody else has dedicated if it‘s not part of your passion in life. and ecstatic. because your left brain has not mustered up the courage to do the bidding that your right brains knows is your destiny. thrilled. . though. trying to get you to follow your dream. you might disappoint all of those who have a different view of what you should be doing. Your Invisible Companion There‘s an intuitive. Be careful. These are the times when your right brain is right. You might not always act on this knowledge. don‘t take risks. This little fellow is your own death. The volume gets turned up and up. Your right brain will lead you passionately to your purpose. urging you to get on with what you showed up here for because you have only so many days to get it done. and then your body will be departing from this visit. But your left brain says. ―Wait a minute. these will be dominant forces you‘ll act upon. You‘ll most likely always know when you‘re off purpose because of your thoughts of frustration.175 If you are feeling fearful.

―How do I know what my heroic mission is?‖ . or being fired from a stifling job. and do what you know you have to do to feel whole. Usually these accidents. You‘ll never be at peace if you don‘t get that music out and let it play.176 Don‘t Let The Music Fade Listening exclusively to your left brain will turn you ultimately into a pretender. Let the world know why you‘re here. or being brought to your knees with an accident..you live a life of fitting in and doing it by the book. Take Risks Being passionate means taking risks. and do it with passion. doing that job that brings in the money and pays the bills. to feel complete. Meanwhile the music inside of you fades. Be Passionate. But it‘s a book that was written by somebody else.. the answer is. illnesses. and to feel as if you‘re fulfiling your destiny... But your constant invisible companion always hears the music and continues tapping you on your shoulder. Listen to your music. a commuter — getting up every morning. and getting up the next morning and doing it all over again. going with the crowd. ―This may look right. or even worse. You‘re aware of that nagging companion saying to you. and forms of bad luck finally get your attention…. The attempts to get your attention may take the form of an ulcer. but does it feel right? Are you doing what you came here to do?‖ For many people. You may indeed find yourself living a comfortable life when you don‘t follow your instincts.

beckoning you to take risks and be your own person…Don‘t die with that music still in you. Why do couples fight Here i would like to share with everyone my experience which happened with me a month back i see a lesson to be learned was present in that situation so.. you can make a living doing it and simultaneously provide a service for others. I had to improved for good.. The passion that you feel is God inside of you. and i would like to share it here with everyone. For me. yes it stretched for one whole month. And what does the word ―inspire‖ mean? It derives from the words. My fiance and I had a fight over the last month. I knew something had to change... ―in spirit‖. Be enthusiastic about all that you do. When you‘re inspired..177 You‘ll find your passion in what inspires you the most. You‘re living it. it‘s writing and speaking and creating products to help people become self-reliant. so when emotions escalated to anger and almost a verbal fight. What‘s your passion? What stirs your soul and makes you feel like you‘re totally in harmony with why you showed up here in the first place? Know this for certain: Whatever it may be. you never have to ask about your purpose. I guarantee it. We rarely fought before. . This has always been my passion. There was something to be learned here.

you will just end up with a bigger fire. our worlds were different before and then we were put into the same frame. and both parties are partially right. There will be no peace. What‘s interesting is that in the heat of ―battle‖. And if both people continue to argue for their side.and to get to know the person we were to spend our whole life with but we both had our own inhibitions. we can be so stubborn. no resolution. It is highly likely that both parties are partially wrong. . It‘s like trying to put out fire with more fire. there will be no end to it. But sometimes.yes it is true we want to prove our point and in that frame of mind we tend to disprove the other. We. we were trying to work out things. what we are essentially trying to do is to show the other person our side – to show them that we are right (and they are wrong). yes that is the third side. were trying to let the other person know us. Both people feel that their point of view is rightfully justified. truth in the sense that those fights for petty reasons will never help us understand each other. we become blind to recognizing the other person‘s point of view – which is equally valid and understandable. After all was said and done we realized that more was said than done. what we were really fighting for was to feel appreciated for our efforts to know each other better since we knew each other for only 5 months now. underneath the problem on the surface. there are three sides to every story my side her side and the truth which we were not accepting.178 The thing about when couples bicker is that both people feel that they are right. When we are arguing. So we try to make the other person understand. In every argument. each in our own indirect way.(using word battle is not an exaggeration) when we are so consumed with wanting the other person to see our side.

i am a doctor).in relationships the fear of failure is bigger and worse than failure itself. leaving us feeling a blissful sense of peace. then a miraculous shift takes place between them. When that happens. its like anticipating a reaction ourselves without even trying to express.. it requires an internal fight with our ego to overcome our natural urge to retaliate and defend for our side. the thing which leads to all this is not expressing the feelings directly and to think about the reaction which we would get. and hope that they would understand it without our telling. When they do.we are humans and not everyone is a mind reader. and nodding our heads in agreement though. also the thing is that we dont express what we expect form our better half. the love in our hearts expands to a realm beyond us. here is where misunderstandings creep in and then the battle starts. and genuinely apologizes for the hurt they may have unintentionally caused. The other person will realize that they too were wrong. . puts their own need to feel right on pause for just a few minutes. And when we do. the energy between them shifts from that of resentment and misunderstanding and hurt to that of the positive energy of love and forgiveness and generosity. But it is possible to make a conscious decision of setting our egos aside –this may require biting our tongues. and sees how painful it must be for the other person.. Admitting that we were wrong can feel as painful as pulling our own teeth(she is a dentist. and likely apologize as well.179 But if one person. there are people who will not understand when even if we say anything directly.

And to end it i quote excerpt from a book i read long back: ―You practice forgiveness for two reasons: to let others know that you no longer wish to be in a state of hostility with them and to free yourself from the self-defeating energy of resentment.what i wanted was to do what is right for us. and released something from the past. I came to the realization that ―I don‘t care to be right anymore. we will see that. There is something we can learn here. Send love in some form to those you feel have wronged you and notice how much better you feel. in a way. I‘ve set it free. I forgave and forgot. That wrong belief -that story which i created around the events that happened and more importantly how i perceived them and that I‘ve held on to. The argument is over something from the past and yes i must forgive. the other person is right – at least partially right. and those around us. To learn from life is the best lesson learnt. I set myself free. which I‘ve held on to so tightly over the past couple of months.‖ . that very moment is the feeling of bliss which i felt and that is the source of love and better understanding between us now and we both are so happy with each other. was the source of much pain than the original fight itself. I began to soften up. And it really doesn't matter if they see our side. And now. Our job is to bring love in to situations and to empower ourselves. which I‘ve created for myself. Why am I constantly trying to bring this unhappy state from the past into my present? And into my future? Why am I creating a future that causes myself suffering and a state of being unhappy?― Like a light bulb going off in my head.180 If we truly become the observer.When I relaxed. and began to relax. just let go of it.

God is not responsible for it. The economists of the world won‘t be able to end poverty. It is really the lack of Money which is evil. Until we correct this concept that separates Money and God. opinions and comments are welcomed God versus Money: Is God against Rich People? We have put Money and God in opposite camps. You become as you think – whether poor or prosperous. and stop associating God with poverty. This is the problem created by all religions. Why are the religious teachers consistently misleading people that you have to be poor in order to be spiritual? It is time that spiritual people stop condemning Money as evil. you are the creator of your own destiny. Their attempts are similar to putting a big band-aid on a chronic tumorous growth. . No religion would ever say so. Fundamentally. humanity will continue to suffer. God is not poor.181 i share it with hopes that it might help others who are in same phase of life. The global financial emergency is also a spiritual emergency. Prosperity is the health of the soul. Poverty is actually a disease of the soul.

not just the individual but the entire species would die out.182 Many saints including the Buddha had remained anti-material and embraced poverty. There is nothing wrong to become a Buddha or another saint who embraced a non-worldly life. without losing sustainability to soul and God. but then it was their choice.100% material and 100% spiritual. but this paradigm is not for common people. whether it is the libido or the death instinct. without which. we need valuebased education to protect us against the danger of being totally materialistic. Is there in us an inbuilt ‗death instinct‘ to counterbalance the ‗life instinct‘? The life instinct is obvious in its manifestation. which has become a part and parcel of our human race. To correct the chronic misunderstanding. the path of total materialism can also be overwhelming and may lead people away from God or spirituality. asks JUG SURAIYA. A Life-and-death Question Are we forever to remain prisoners of our instincts. . rooted as it is in the primordial urge of self-preservation. On the other hand. The solution is to a live 200% life .

. The ‗death instinct‘ would account for why. Freud went beyond the psychological and ventured into the realm of molecular biology. but my genes will live on. which witnessed the massacre of millions. programmed by their DNA to replicate their genetic make-up through future generations and so achieve vicarious immortality: I shall die. He called this contrary force the ‗death instinct‘: the instinct which lies behind violence and aggression. and which seems to be as integral a part of the human make-up as the urge towards life. the novel features Freud as one of the characters. the life instinct is expressed through the libido. however. Or so novelist Jed Rubenfeld claims in his recent book. The Death Instinct In his later years. wars continue to be fought and weapons of mass destruction continue to be made. despite all the advancements made by civilisation. Set shortly after the end of World War I. In trying to explain the meaning and the workings of the death instinct. Freud proposed another theory to account for compulsive human behaviour which seemed to be caused by the polar opposite of the libido and its attendant ‗pleasure principle‘. The Death Instinct. In Freudian terms.183 Sociobiology describes not just the human species but all species as ‗gene machines‘. the sexual urge which compels reproduction of the species.

avatar. So the so-called ‗death instinct‘ — far from being a kind of kill-and-be-killed mental aberration — is a natural process.184 The writer links Freud‘s theory of the death instinct to a biological process called chromatolysis by which the individual cells that constitute our bodies are designed to self-destruct when their life cycle is over. In a process similar to that of individuals dying and giving way to future generations. This is what happens in cases of cancer. Emperor Of Maladies If the self-destruct mechanism fails to work. whether it is the libido or the death instinct? Not necessarily. Freud himself talked about the psychological process of ‗sublimation‘ by which the sexual drive seeks symbolic release in the creation of art. the emperor of maladies. or evolved. based on our bodily cells‘ inherent capacity to self-destruct. Are we forever to remain prisoners of our instincts. sexual energy is sublimated to achieve . what we call culture. however. According to Freud. in its broadest sense. the mutant cell which refuses to die rapidly proliferates. If our cells refuse to accept death when their appointed time is over. all cells die so that new cells can take their place. we get cancer. philosophy and science. In tantricism and other spiritual disciplines. is a manifestation of the sexual impulse in a sublimated. destroying normal cells as it does so.

In Christian iconography. once again. many tantric practices involve embracing the dark forces of death and destruction as a means of attaining spiritual liberation. the agony of Christ on the cross symbolises the ultimate sacrifice made for the redemption of humankind: the Son of God died to bring us salvation. Experience the truth . has long been intuited by various philosophical and spiritual schools of thought. A thought that is cause for literally gloom and doom? Not if we see death as an affirmation of life. This intimate interlinking between life and death. The Life Instinct Death mirrors life. between being and non-being. they are the same face of the same coin.185 transcendental levels of consciousness. But. and life mirrors death in subtle symbiosis. and life as an affirmation of death. Can the death instinct also be similarly sublimated? Freud himself did not address this question. The ‗life instinct‘ and the ‗death instinct‘ are not two faces of the same coin. Like light and shadow. in that neither can exist without the other. life and death are not just interdependent but are essentially one.

He first ties an inflatable tube to his waist. it only assisted him in learning how to swim. some use . unpunctured bottle gourd. limit his desires and contemplate on the knowledge he has. The continuous chain of trials and tribulations of various degrees of magnitude in life could help a seeker understand the meaning and purpose of life. Ravana had unmatched knowledge but his attitude was not good. A man wants his young son to learn swimming. to attain spiritual progress. he must possess control over his senses. we get a vivid account of the glory and splendor of the omnipresence. he removes it and lets the boy swim without the help of the tube. After some days the boy is familiar with the up thrust got by the arm cycle and leg kick. These philosophies are like the materials used to keep the boy floating in water. omniscience and omnipotence of the Absolute Truth. others have used the dried. scriptures help us to get a vision. While one person uses an inflatable tube to keep afloat. Likewise. ultimately we can progress on the spiritual path only by our own effort.and even if one has shlokas at his finger tips. He takes him to the nearby lake to give him lessons on how to swim. so that it lets him float. There are many scholars and pundits who boast and want to prove that the philosophy that they follow is superior to that of others‘. When the father is confident that the boy can float without the help of the tube. Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita -. An inflatable swimming tube only helps the boy to remain afloat on the surface of the water. An ignorant person blames either God or Destiny or even more so his family and friends for all that happens to him. it will be hard to achieve steadfastness and bliss. and he experiences buoyancy. However.186 Knowledge of scriptures might bring a sense of accomplishment and happiness but unless our attitude is flawless and our conscience clear. How much ever one is well versed in the Vedas.

composite. part of Cosmic Consciousness and therefore immortal and infinite -. Dhritharashtra‘s charioteer who had a boon from Sage Vyasa that enabled him to see objects and events from great distances. how to keep afloat – it does not matter what the aids used are. eternal happiness.beyond death and destruction. which. We have accumulated vast mounds of information about the Truth. can take us to Bliss. No one will ever ask us what type of material we had used to keep ourselves afloat while we were learning to swim. Facts are not self-explanatory. they are analysed by theories and theses and these may differ from each other. but very few have experienced the Truth. We are that Self which is comprehensive.187 thermacool blocks. the main criterion is to reach the goal. It is impossible to know the Absolute Truth although by the uninterrupted sadhana and grace of the guru. Truth is one but the means to know it are numerous. Yogi And The Archer The Bhagavad Gita is narrated in the voice of Sanjaya. if understood. Truth thus experienced is but our own experience. It is the same with philosophies also. Hence the facts regarding the Truth are many. Truth which is absolute can never be comprehended by the human mind since it is relative. What is important is that the student needs to learn how to swim. the Self can experience it. . some others use float boards. This is a universal law. He describes the experience of witnessing Gita Gyan as one that made his hair stand on end. We bring you excerpts from Swami Venkateshananda' commentary of selected verses in the Gita‘s eighteenth chapter.

. we shall not understand or profit by even the word of God. preventing them from grasping the real meaning of the lesson imparted. with one-pointed mind? Has the delusion of thine ignorance been destroyed. while listening. Once rapport has been established by the teacher and the taught. I will act according to thy word. it is more profitable to self-hypnotise ourselves (not in the technical sense) in order that our finite little egoistic intellect may not interrupt the free flow of supreme wisdom from the lips of the master to our heart. we do assert that it is better (and less strenuous) to do the hearing first. Whilst we do not advocate blind acceptance of any teaching. mentally carry on an argument. O Dhananjaya? Arjuna said: Destroyed is my delusion as I have gained my memory (knowledge) through thy grace. Verse 72-73 If one-pointedness of mind is not gained. O Krishna. accepting some ideas and rejecting others. receive (not necessarily accept) the ideas and ‗reserve judgement‘. This multi-activity only tires them. There are still others who. my doubts are gone. I am firm. There are many in this world who ask but will not hear! There are others who sit in front of the master. but only physically — their mind is elsewhere.188 Has this been heard. O Arjuna.

189 Only then will we be able to declare with Arjuna that ‗my delusion has been destroyed‘ and ‗I have regained the knowledge which was there always‘ (the knowledge that the body is not the self). egolessly. The mark of enlightenment is given as doubtlessness — a heart in which there is no doubt at all. not in this. I have heard this supreme and most secret yoga direct from Krishna. Through Vyasa‘s grace. the lord of yoga. Sanjaya said: Thus I have heard this wonderful dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. . Radio and television have enabled us. himself declaring it. Verse 74-76 How could Sanjaya hear this dialogue direct from God? How could Sanjaya see the divine cosmic form when he was seated in the palace and was not on the battlefield? These questions would have been valid in the last century. joyously participating in the dynamism of nature. even in this materialistic age. which causes the hair to stand on end. remembering this wonderful and holy dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. Where does this lead to? We do God‘s will. I rejoice. and ‗I am firm‘ reminds us of the state of the sthitaprajna as sage of firm wisdom. to hear someone‘s voice over thousands of miles and to see someone as if in person. O King.

such is my conviction. the condition perquisite is frighteningly impossible. yet. But consider this: should a nuclear war destroy modern civilisation. what prevents us from accepting the possible existence of radio and television in that remote time? One may ask why these things did not exist in India a hundred years ago. on the face of it. the generation that will live in this world a couple hundred years hence might ask the same question and doubt the richness of the present civilisation. Verse 78 This simple verse has attained the high status of being regarded as ‗Gita in one verse‘.190 Even if we are reluctant to accept the validity of psychic phenomena and the possibility of a psychic communion between Sanjaya and Krishna (initiated by Sage Vyasa himself). Mentally . there are prosperity. what Sanjaya said applied then. the seeker. Krishna and Arjuna lived thousands of years ago. dive within yourself and listen to the Gita direct from God‘s lips. If we cultivate the necessary faith and the necessary power of inner communion. Let your soul become Arjuna. Wherever there is Krishna. happiness and firm policy. To foster that spirit within you is the only purpose of any commentary. how does it help us now? The answer is: Look within. May be. the lord of yoga. we can still experience the thrill that was Sanjaya‘s privilege. it does not seem to contain the least portion of the Gita‘s message! Moreover. the archer. victory. Throw away the books and commentaries. wherever there is Arjuna.

There is no evidence of a North-South divide. in relation to Brahmn the Absolute — the target. firmly. With intense concentration of mind.191 repeat the famous verse in the second chapter: ‗Lord. I seek refuge at thy feet. nor are there cultural differences between Punjabi and Christian families or Muslims and Nepalese. and of eating Nepalese delicacies along with Punjabi food. with its unique tradition and lifestyle. Aum is the bow. Courtesy: The Divine Life Society Thanks To The Army' Reena Singh is happy she spent her impressionable years in Army cantonments around the country. The Army may be perceived as being elitist in a way. Fix the self to it. people of several religions and communities live as one. Then you are the true archer. experiencing a cultural diversity that opened her heart and mind. Arjuna. . setting its members apart from ―mere‖ civilians. because typically in any Army cantonment or residential locality. Mom — now in her 80s — still harps about our ‗glorious‘ Army background. I remember us sharing a mess kitchen in a particular station with a Nepalese major‘s family. But beneath that veneer of exclusivity is a strong sentiment of Indutva. I am thy disciple. for instance but just a healthy interest in each other‘s ceremonies and rituals.‘ But you should also be Archer-Arjuna! The Kathopanishad compares the self with the arrow. let the arrow (self) fly towards that Supreme Being who is the Self of your self. String the bow by the utterance of Aum. Instruct me.

would eat the choley-puri and kaali daal cooked with great affection by my mother. fitted with special benches would lumber along every morning. a young Hyderabadi officer and his pretty wife thought nothing of giving us their home as he trooped off for a few months for an army course in Pune. I was dispatched every evening to learn Hindi from a jovial older collegian in the area — a Muslim from Jammu called Khalid. and me. too. a three-ton truck. and houses. No one knew who among us was Bengali or Sikh. every couple of years. transition or relocation was never a problem. . The common denominator was the Army and the close friendship that my parents had struck up with these diverse families. we had a neighbour from the North-east. but in the army. Change can be unsettling. I remember in Delhi‘s Red Fort. schools. In another place. ferrying us to school from the cantonment. in yet another. Keralite or Maharashtrian — we were just a happy bunch of students. never intimidating. with a Punjabi family.192 The Nepali family. My brother and I have stayed as PGs with retired Army families (friends of the family) when we began work — my brother with an Assamese family. merrily singing along or playing word games as we drove the long distance from cantonment to school. and a move to a new city. In Ahmedabad and Agra. where Dad was posted at different times. you change cities. where accommodation was scarce and the waiting list for family housing long. In the Army.

Every festival was celebrated. biscuits and sandwiches when you moved into a new home in a new cantonment. too. Alas! We need Thomas where would edison be without doubting thomas? reilly . and the couple slept in the small. This is something the Army and PSUs like Indian Oil. the fun and the frolic. these are routine events — nobody thought it incongruous how a South Indian could lend his home to a Sikh family and then blend with near strangers in the same home. but have still not been able to penetrate the ―clannish‖ camps of communities. from Onam to Deepavali and Christmas in a spirit of camaraderie and friendship. And then I compare this with my current. Tata companies in Jamshedpur and the Navy and Air Force share. never segregating them. they acknowledge the cultural diversity of their employees. once.193 He locked up his personal belongings in the smallest room and left the rest of the house to us. What I remember of these social evenings is not so much the rituals as the spirit. NTPC and SAIL. and of abiding warmth. He came on leave. cramped room. largely civilian neighbourhood where I have been living these past 11 years. of strangers turning up at your doorstep with a welcoming smile and hot flasks of tea. What I also remember is neighbours you could count upon. but happily eating with us! In the Army. Bokaro Steel City.

i‘m no mind reader. i just read your mind. especially if you have to make a major decision in life. but at some point in time. it‘s perfectly normal to doubt yourself. .194 should i do it? should i try something different? should i change jobs? should i follow my heart and do what i really want to do? or should i just stay where i am. and that just scares the living daylights out of us. safe and sound in my cocoon and let things be? there if you are at that point in life where you‘re wondering if you should go and do the things you really want to do or just follow the herd. no not really. all of us doubt our abilities. it‘s normal because your brain doesn‘t know how else to react. so what do you do? simple. you know what. it‘s something it has never experienced before.

run them through people you trust or just sleep over them. you would live the life your living. . it‘s the best thing to do. you may find something or some way you hadn‘t thought of earlier.195 dig that doubt out of your head. and guess what. this will only help strengthen your plans. if you had stopped believing in yourself and given in to doubt. and then die living the life your living. grumble about the life your living. evaluate them. everyone of them. doubt throws up questions you would otherwise have missed. list them down. there‘s no reason to get scared. what would have happened? life would be just the same. now imagine. only if you learn to understand it and use it in a positive way. pack it into a box and fling it out of the window. doubt can be a good thing. then carry on with your dream.

If we carry a lot of negativity within. To nature. We are linked to one another on this planet. the individuals. . we are also impacting the collective destinies of the whole planet. there is peace outside also. Creating our destinies I have been observing this for a long time. In day-to-day living we create new tracks. If we are peaceful within. new destinies. there is disturbance outside. go do what you had planned. you‘d wish you hadn‘t given into doubt. to environment and to all energies operating on this earth. We are not alone. It is not merely to other human beings but also to all other lives. That is why they spend their lives meditating and creating peace and harmony for the planet. But. so before you reach there. What we emote and think within get manifested outside in our lives. If we experience joy within. there is joy outside. go live the life you want to. Shortly. There are destinies created from the past lives by our Karmas. we create our destinies.196 and then on your deathbed. we can alter these by Meditations and clearing these energy tracks. it manifests even as accidents outside. but then it‘s too late. If we are angry within. The Rishis meditating in Himalayas and other places are aware of this very well. When we are creating destinies for us.

our insatiate longing for harmony and happiness means that we don't love ourselves the right way. as much as anybody in the entire universe. earthquakes and all types of suffering. However. This is our planet. Let us awaken to this reality. . loneliness. incompleteness. yourself. rejection. helplessness and bitterness. it is the duty of every citizen of this planet to emote. Our selfcentred lives may suggest we love ourselves rather well. despair. Let us create Peace and Harmony. We have to keep this peaceful and live peacefully. Self-love is not selfishness You. More and more are meditating and are strengthening the processes of the Transition. The attention we lavish upon ourselves disproves that we don't love ourselves enough. The enormity of their contribution to these is so huge that all the Meditations and welfare energies appear ineffective against them. We are aware that we are transiting from the Dark age to the Light Age. though it may be difficult to believe. we still suffer from sadness. deserve your love and affection. In this time of new destinies taking shape.197 People in power who are manning various systems follow greed and violence. More and more people are awakening. despite pampering ourselves with the best of what life has to offer. think and create conditions for the New Age. our shelter. They are creating suffering and pain. It is true. anger. Yet. that we can prevent wars. We have to become aware of the subtler processes that lead us to Peace and Prosperity and begin to consciously work for the New Age." said Buddha.

198 Given our ethical conditioning. The benign state of self-love is unconditional self-acceptance— which does not in any way preclude love for others—and is therefore not the same as its malignant form. Loving oneself is the prerequisite for loving others and for others to love us. many balk at the overt thought of self-love. love.to people and situations -. forever boastful or regretful for who we are. much of our sense of self gets shaped by how we want others to see it and so we constantly compare ourselves with them. This is because we confuse self-love with selfish disregard for others.extensions of our own feelings and thoughts. respect and trust ourselves therefore comes back to us as feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. "God has given you one face. narcissism. even though it is nearly impossible for it not to exist. Our inability to like. Since that is where we seek our identity. In Shakespeare's words. most of us lie at the extremes: we either gloat or groan excessively. Our over-dependence on external adulation and reassurances leaves us feeling anxious. Selfreverence is not just about being in constant communion with ourselves and our higher state. " True self-love doesn't incubate in the perceptions of others. The focus isn't so much on honing and harnessing our originality as it is on being one-up on the rest. Strangely. and you make yourself another. It is therefore naïve to equate our self-centeredness with true self-reverence. However. We are made by our reactions -. We keep getting caught in the very moulds and stereotypes we help perpetuate as a society. no measure of accomplishment or possession is ever enough for us to feel good about ourselves. corroding self-value and pushing us so hard to stay ahead that the pressures and compulsions of performance . but also about gaining enhanced clarity regarding the people around us. sceptical and powerless.

Ego is what separates us from the rest of the universe.199 eclipse the joy of being. . The Land Of Dharma The epic battle and memorable incidents of the Mahabharata era live on in the numerous shrines that Ranjeni A Singh visited in Kurukshetra. There seemed nothing ancient or spiritual about the place. or dealing positively with what annoys us—this can keep us from squandering our energies on brooding over insignificant things that makes us continually looking for someone to blame. It must therefore not be given a free rein to block out our soul and world-view. Even in public life. our role models happen to be people whose sense of self-importance is driven more by their misled egos than affectionate views of their real selves. taking on our fears and insecurities. death and the beyond? Nah. Our ego invariably finds an expression in pride and haughtiness and is often what makes us our worst enemies. Did the epic Mahabharata battle really take place here? Did Brahma create the Universe from here? Did Krishna. it should be acknowledged and befriended to allow us to extricate ourselves from its subservience and transform its energy into a reinvigorating force of existence that helps us connect with our aspired self and see the other facet of spirit. it couldn‘t be. in 700 verses. I was put off by the numerous ‗historical religious sites‘ that dotted the landscape — they all looked picture-perfect. touristy and too new. tutor Arjuna about life. . Instead. During my first visit to Kurukshetra. Whatever the medium—overcoming the control-freak in us.

however. I realised that the religious aura was in the elements of nature and not in the sandstone structures. The lake finds mention in Kitab-ul-Hind. is believed to have come here from Dwaraka to participate in the solar eclipse fair at Kurukshetra. . along with his family. Mughal Emperor Akbar. Therefore. Brahm Sarovar is often called the cradle of Indian civilisation. written by the medieval Islamic scholar Alberuni. changed during my second visit. visited Kurukshetra during the 1567 solar eclipse. faces glowing with devotional fervour. Brahma is believed to have created mother earth from here. Earn Vedic Merits The Matsya Purana and Padma Purana tell us that if a person takes a dip in the sacred tanks of Kurukshetra during an eclipse. he attains the merits of thousands of Ashwamedha Yagnas. Interestingly. accompanied by his court historian Abul Fazl.200 My perception about the place. I was moved by the sight and faith of thousands of pilgrims jostling with one another to take a dip in the holy waters of the Brahm Sarovar during the solar eclipse. Krishna. a Vedic ritual conducted by kings to acquire power and glory.

One can sit on the banks of the sarovar or the smaller Sannihit Sarovar nearby for hours and observe the way faith moves people. the field of Brahma and as Nardak.201 Surrounded by a number of shrines. and emerging yet again. the field of justice. The Bhagavad Gita describes Kurukshetra as Dharmakshetra. a young girl was helping an old Tamil mami come out of the waters. the largest man-made tank in India — the Brahma Sarovar — presents an enchanting environ to the devout. without sorrow. Kurukshetra offers a unique religious experience. the ancestor of the Kauravas and Pandavas. too. While there are several sacred water bodies across the country. Brajmakshetra. I saw a poor cycle-rickshaw puller and a man emerging from his C-class sedan bathing side by side — praying fervently as they disappeared into the water. A few steps away. . faith is a great leveller. A Unique Experience The best way to experience the religious fervour of the place is to visit Kurukshetra during festivals such as Kartik Purnima and Gita Jayanti. here. The place gets its name from King Kuru.

is known to absolve one of all sins. you can acquaint yourself with the various facets of the Mahabharata with the help of beautiful graphic depictions. Wash Away Your Sins Read up and decide where you want to start your tour of the district. Five km from Kurukshetra is Jyotisar. Kamal Nabhi. Finding your way about the town. But you will find your way and the locals are only too willing to help. The huge banyan tree is believed to be the offshoot of the original tree beneath which Krishna spoke. Shiva was first worshipped in the form of a lingam in this very temple. steeped in history and religion.202 No visit to Kurukshetra is complete without a visit to the Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple or Jyotisar. where Krishna delivered the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. Jyotisar. Taking a dip in the Sannihit Sarovar on amavasya. . At the Krishna Museum. Valmiki Ashram and the Krishna Museum. On the banks of the Sannihit Sarovar are smaller shrines like the Dhruv Narain Mandir. Vishnu Mandir. Narkatari. Gurudwara Sidhbati. might be tricky with the numerous narrow bylanes crisscrossing the place. Reportedly. Hanuman Mandir. Birla Mandir. Next to the museum is the Kurukshetra Panorama & Science Centre where the main attraction is a 34-feet high depiction of the Mahabharata battle scene. to name a few. Bhisham Kund. or New Moon night. Durga Mata Mandir and the Laxmi Narain Temple. There are too many shrines that vie for your attention: Sthaneshwar Mahadev and Bhadrakali temples.

Regular taxis are also available. well-connected with all important towns and cities of the country. The place has so much to reveal of Hindu philosophy that each visit will keep you engrossed. Other Attractions Kalayat: The town is named after Kapil Muni. devotees take a dip at the sacred tank in the town. On Kartik Purnima. By Road: Buses of Haryana Roadways and other state corporations ply through Kurukshetra and connect it to Delhi. Other places of historical interest from the medieval period include Pathar Masjid and Chini Masjid. By Air: The nearest airports are at Delhi and Chandigarh.203 A visit to Kurukshetra will leave you yearning for more. . Chandigarh and other important places. Getting There By Train: Kurukshetra is a major railway junction. who wrote the Shankhya. Haryana Tourism runs special one-day conducted tour coaches from Delhi and Chandigarh. which are well-connected by road and rail.

he asked if I would write a contemporary interpretation (not a translation!) of Epictetus‘s most important teachings in the spirit of Stephen Mitchell‘s easy-to-read version of the Tao Te Ching. . He predicted that the then widespread babyboomer fascination with ―right-brainy‖. as well as a sometime musician living in a small town in northern California circa the third millennium — became the improbable mouthpiece for an all-but-forgotten ancient Western sage named Epictetus who was born as slave in the eastern outreaches of the Roman Empire in 55 CE. enlightenment-oriented Eastern religions — particularly Buddhism — might soon give way to a renewed appreciation of our ―left-brainy‖. By happy accident. morality-based western philosophical tradition‘s treasure trove of life wisdom. I — a harried mother of four children and two stepchildren. an editor at my publisher.204 Nirvana Can Wait SHARON LEBELL talks about how the ancient sage Epictetus changed her life — as his is a philosophy for people who make mistakes and harbour regrets. Discovering A Genius Anticipating this spiritual backlash. and in the mid-1990s. had what turned out to be a stunningly prescient hunch. I make my living writing inspirational books. Harper San Francisco.

resilience. His was a philosophy of personal ennoblement. the Enchiridion and the Discourses. and outward personal effectiveness. And his repeated exhortation to understand and distinguish between that which you can control and that which you can‘t rubbed up against my seemingly irrepressible desire to influence outcome. As I submerged myself in this overlooked philosopher‘s two surviving documents. Epictetus‘s emphasis on duty and decorum. Eastern or Western. which seemed at first blush. you must mean Epicurus. for example. Well. who ever lived. The more closely I read Epictetus and really listened to what he was saying. of whom Epictetus is a seminal exponent. quaint and rigid to someone of my generation. white classical guy was. He formulated a way of life that leads to enduring happiness. fear and grief. I had to do some frantic homework to find out who in God‘s name this dead. kindness. It turns out Epictetus (pronounced ‗Eh-pick-tee-tis) was one of the wisest teachers. who wouldn‘t want some of that?… . At first I was sceptical of. I gradually became won over by his inspiring noble philosophy. right? The pleasure guy? Like most people whose classically bereft education didn‘t happen to include a Talmudic-style perusal of Stoic philosophy.205 Whoa! Epi-who? Surely. and even quietly confident joy. peace of mind. the more I realised that Epictetus was offering up a very workable and perennial approach to dealing with adversity.

because Stoicism is a philosophy of real life for real people living real lives. Epictetus is for all of us. visitations of ineffable joy. which is probably what you‘ve got. not hurt. is a whole bunch of personal life circumstances: problems to solve. ideally. tulku. problems. talents to cultivate. and marvellous wind-atyour-back sorts of days. soul-withering sorrows. if you are like me. knowledge to acquire. you can be a lame. vanities. priest. former slave like Epictetus himself. avatar. and teeth to brush. like Marcus Aurelius. people to love right and to. Epictetus‘s most famous student. a regular person and an exceedingly imperfect person at that — not a spiritual professional: monk. saint. Epictetus‘s philosophy speaks to anyone who has hassles. And. moments to appreciate. What I‘ve got. You can be a future Roman emperor. whose house looks like a hurricane whipped through it most days. and one hopes. Look Ahead . outsized ambition. Stop Whining. prophet. bodhisattva. or spiritual know-it-all on the circuit teaching teleseminars and promoting your website — Epictetus‘s Stoicism will have quite a bit to say to you. or you can be a California mother with a propensity for melodrama. perhaps kids to wrangle. moments of sweet triumph. longings. opportunities to recognise and seize.206 For You And Me The beauty of Epictetus‘s philosophy is that he doesn‘t particularly care what your life circumstances are.

‖ One of the unexpected bonuses of interpreting Epictetus is discovering that I‘m part of this small but growing cabal who are trying to quietly and unsanctimoniously live upright. . decent lives. long-term. decent people). We‘re gonna keep it simple and real here. Epictetus wags his sagacious finger at you and says: ―I know you‘re a very busy person. which is that your life is life-ing away from you right now and you have to figure out what you‘re going to do about it.) I think it is reasonable to assume that if Epictetus were alive today. Seems like an appealing goal.‖ (He means by degrees. his quintessential exhortation to us all would be something along the lines of: ―Let‘s quit trying to be mystics or saints. It‘s also a philosophy for grown-ups. not in one fell swoop. Stoicism asks you to quit mewling and making excuses and to face this problem you have. Bringing Epictetus back from the dead has been a surpassingly gratifying experience. Let‘s hoot for making the most meaningful life possible within the particular personal life circumstances you find yourself in right now.207 It‘s a philosophy for people who make mistakes and harbour regrets. but it‘s less common than one would hope. so let‘s not focus on labour-intensive. and possibly elusive efforts like trying to get enlightened or achieving rapturous mystical states. Epictetus is as realistic about human potential and motivation as he is humanistically compassionate. and I hope that this helpful guidance will inspire and provide solace to the large audience of readers his brilliant thought deserves. and instead try our utmost to be mensches (fully honourable. mind you. Let‘s get on with the task of becoming your best possible self.

the president of the famous film company said to him. to me. I‘m disgustingly wealthy. ―I‘m disgusting healthy.‖ Yogananda said. Another student was Alvin Hunsicker.‖ ―That‘s when he became a student of mine.‖ ―But you aren‘t disgustingly happy!‖ interjected Yogananda. True ‗crystal gazing‘ means to look into the hidden dimensions of space and of time. ―No. I must admit that he himself was the only famous person in whom I had any interest.‖ Eastman became a student of the great Master‘s. . was one of them. and this can be accomplished only by gazing into the spiritual eye in the forehead. ―crystals were imported into India from France. George Eastman.208 Stories of Yogananda Although Paramhansa Yogananda met many famous people during the course of his career. President of Standard Textile Company. Crystal gazing has nothing to do with India‘s teachings. who told the Master that he thought yoga had something to do with crystal gazing.‖ Master said. At that meeting. the founder of Kodak. I‘m not. ―Listen. personally.

‖ the Master said. ―Who are you?‖ ―That‘s just the thing!‖ Yogananda replied. but you don‘t know about mine. You know. Yogananda found himself seated opposite to Oland on a train journey. I know about your kind of craziness. then I will become a movie actor. ―But it is my business. and turned away. but no one gets to find out about his own craziness because he only mixes with people who have the same kind of craziness as himself. you ought to follow me. everyone in the world is a little bit crazy. But if I can convince you that my way is better. was a rather dour man. The actor gave him a look of disgust. Charlie Chan.‖ Yogananda answered.‖ ―You seem to be a very audacious sort of person. . ―I have to sit here and look at you! It would be much pleasanter if that face weren‘t so sour. ―Excuse me. ―We have a great opportunity before us today. the Hollywood actor who played the Chinese detective. If you can convince me that your way of life is better. because I have seen you on the screen. ―why are you wearing that expression?‖ ―None of your business!‖ replied the other. in seventeen movies.‖ Oland commented with a laugh.209 Warner Oland. rudely.

―May you be brought onto this path. Wherever he went. Always. then said. quite naturally. I was always in awe of him also. he followed her to the doorway where they shook hands in farewell. . I didn‘t become a movie actor. for me personally. I asked him beforehand. My mother once visited me at the Guru‘s hermitage. and as she left the room. He continued to hold her hand. Speaking out loud. something about him commanded respect. With tears of gratitude. will you please pray that she come onto this path?‖ ―Yes. and we talked everything out. and he did become my student!‖ He was deeply loving toward all. and was scheduled to have an interview with him. in control of every situation. he prayed to God and to our line of gurus. so almost abruptly that I wasn‘t sure he‘d heard me correctly. ―Sir. people deferred to him. Wherever he went.‖ he said. he was very much the leader. I touched his feet. though I loved him deeply. He was always. a deeply moving moment.‖ This was. however. Speaking for myself. and concerned for their wellbeing. At the end of his interview with her.210 ―He agreed to my terms. And – well.

. I was suddenly awakened by a feeling of a great divine presence in the room. Then I looked out the front window. There was a suggestion of his attunement to the power of the universe. filled with power. Instantly I got up and went outside. I was sleeping on the floor of the living room with several other men. The actual root cause still remains unacknowledged. Swami Kriyananda Is it Migraine or The Perfectionistic personality Disorder ? How many times have we heard of people having Migraine and suffering from this dreaded disorder for years now? Enough research has been done on finding about the root cause of this debilitating headache in the fields of biology and genetics. and saw the Master standing outside. One night at the monks‘ retreat at Twenty-Nine Palms. in California.211 He had a deep. I sat up to meditate. What is Migraine? In alternative forms of healing like Reiki its root cause is about‖ Being obsessed with perfection‖. where I touched his feet. In divine joy. strong voice. Yet there was lightness also. There was no self-abasement in his humility.

But the negative energy keeps boiling within forcing itself into a throbbing pain giving rise to headache. I cant express my anger towards him/her. The Migraine occurrence can be explained this way :Too much anger around an event-> intense emotion Suppressed Migraine episode. We must have heard such people saying ― Its not a normal pain. i‘m supposed to be nice and calm. Migrainers have a strong superego which leads them to continuously suppress their negative emotions due to the fear of being exposed in the outside world. Its like someone is banging a hammer on my head and my nerves are getting torn into pieces‖. If we. My personal fixation with migraine made me do a lot of research in this field. Like what goes on in the mind of such a person is ―No. According to a recent research in the spiritual domain. Such people tend to have an inability to express their hostility or anger for people or events Their negative energy arising out of hostile emotions. Once the strong emotion attached to the event/person fades away. are fascinated and fixated with the idea of perfection.212 Migrainers (Migraine sufferers) as they are called . as aware humans try to focus on the actual root cause of any form of disease that haunts our lives. a lot of effort needs to be made while healing the person in the area of forgiveness. Therefore. we would be able to enable healing at a much deeper and faster pace and then we would be in tune with our . the intensity of the migraine reduces. Its not Right‖. Too much attachment to perfection brings in a lot of underlying anxiety (Migrainers tend to suppress intense emotions like Anxiety). Migrainers are people who cannot forgive others or situations easily. anger etc tends to remain un-channelled and is stored up as anxiety and excess energy which throws up as a migraine attack.

that is. wealth and prosperity become meaningless if our achievements are not appreciated by our partner or the people we care about. children… all these would be mere labels if there was no connectedness among the members. they amplify our experiences and give us joy. 80 per cent of our fulfilment comes from our key relationships that are satisfactory.213 vibrational energies. we feel incomplete. mother. . we remain unhappy. and that God is love and love is God. As you look at the world today. No one needs to tell us why we are being afflicted with a particular disease but learning and understanding the root cause will be a breakthrough in the path of self healing. but where and how exactly do we experience God? It is only through our relationships. if there was no meaningful relationship. senior faculty member. Interestingly. We talk of love. to Mona Mehta. One World Academy. Acquiring fame. Love And Be Loved Try reflective consciousness to improve all your relationships. If these two needs are not met. a family consists of a father. says SAMADARSHINI. Without such relationships. We Are Family We have a fundamental need to love and be loved. no matter what we achieve in life.

it is due to clash of personalities and failed relationships. not relationships. it is difficult for people to get along with their siblings or colleagues. we would realise that when organisations collapse. we have relations. these very things stop enchanting us after a while. That is why relationships come under so much pressure. Parents have a difficult time with their children. if we do not feel for one another. However. a new level of awareness is required if we want to create successful relationships. for instance. There are no shortcuts to relationships and love. If we do not connect with one another. Why is this so? Awareness of interconnectedness of existence is missing. sense of humour and physical appearance. . A fundamental shift in consciousness. Stop And Reflect Often we are attracted to another perhaps because we like each other‘s ideals. While working with them. This is because our mind has the tendency to make everything cold.214 This would apply to organisations as well.

Love is not just about taking care or being taken care of or having some fun moments. a couple has a beautiful relationship. instead. generate respect for each other. It is all that but that‘s not all. we tend not to see the factors that are responsible for the situation. we only blame people. Do It Yourself . Reflective consciousness stops you from blaming each other. and grow to respect each other more. the attraction we feel will graduate to love and possessiveness will give way to togetherness. They spend time taking care of each other.215 For example. which will. Awareness of interconnectedness will enable you to be more compassionate. Awareness of interconnectedness will give rise to gratitude. No relationship can survive without gratitude. they need to find time to appreciate the contribution the other is making to create joyful moments. There is no space for reflection in their life. To improve their relationship. in turn. When they start doing this. When we are angry. they will automatically become grateful. it is also about experiencing each other‘s presence in one‘s life — being grateful for the other‘s presence and respecting the other‘s presence. If we start living on a daily basis with gratitude and compassion. But they don‘t seem to be working on nurturing reflective consciousness.

Songs Of A New Dawn .Reflect on your partner. Know that it is the same consciousness that is present in all of Creation. You can do so by following the ‗One World Meditation‘ technique: Sit comfortably. Feel. Recollect the most enjoyable times you had with them. Conclude your meditation with a prayer for universal well-being. ring awareness to your breath. Thank them for being a part of your life and wish them happiness from your heart. you can connect with the Divine Consciousness. your children and friends and become aware of how they have enriched your life. Regular practice of this meditation will take your relationship with the world to a higher and more fulfilling level.216 If we can dedicate just seven minutes a day to nurturing reflective consciousness — in the morning or at night before going to bed. Start with becoming aware of your parents. Extend your awareness to the people you work with. and eventually the whole world. you are hacking at the idea of blaming either yourself or others and you are bringing awareness which then starts manifesting itself. This way. Thank them and wish them happiness. Wish that all existence be happy with the awareness that all existence is flowing from you. Take five conscious breaths.

The devotional element in his poetry indicates the pinnacle of a movement in human beings towards Supreme Consciousness.018 lyrics that constitute the Prabhat Samgita or Songs of a New Dawn. . written over a span of eight years. Sometimes. says Subhas Sarkar Prabhat Samgita talks about our eternal quest of self offering which involves prapatti or total surrender. images and symbols in his own Samgita. Bhagavata Purana and the Mahabharata. the poet is carried away by the fervour of addressing God — Master of all Creation — as one whose overflowing music pervades the world and where allabounding light and love present themselves through nature and living beings. Tulsidas. is evidence of Anandamurti‘s prowess at poetry and philosophy. The 5. Vidyapati. it is a devotional expression of our eternal quest. emotions. He turned it into a mission by aligning it with a sort of universalism which he calls ‗Neohumanism‘. This idea is enshrined in the Upanishads. Rabindranath Tagore. Chandidas of Bengal and later. There can be no devotion without the element of prapatti. this is what is called Prabhat Samgita. Extending Boundaries Shri Shri Anandamurti — formerly known as P R Sarkar — extended the boundaries of devotional poetry to a higher plane of social and spiritual commitment.217 Prabhat Samgita is music of complete surrender. Anandamurti takes a syncretic view of life and combines the earlier devotional poetry with their thoughts. echoed this thought. Saint-poets Kabir.

ecological whole. It is to this end that we are required to sacrifice our lives of comfort and enjoyment. What Is Neohumanism? The idea of neohumanism is something quite different from the Western concept of humanism. and uplift of the poor and the neglected. which go hand-in-hand with his poetic philosophy. Could we ever believe that without ecological balance. His optimism is thus rooted in his devotion to God as well as commitment to his ideals. Christian humanism postulated by Irving Babbitt and others. he looks forward to the future with hope and optimism.218 In Prabhat Samgita. . this social commitment and new zest for humanistic endeavours turns the poet into an optimist as well as a neohumanist. human beings could live and flourish? The composer believes that God has ordained humanity to render service to everybody. neohumanism and a profound lyrical expression together with deep devotional and mystical elements. His affiliation to Vedanta and Vaishnavism drew him to the Bhakti tradition which represents the quest for unification of the jivatma or unit consciousness with the Paramatma or Cosmic Consciousness — of the physical with the spiritual. Their idea of humanism is anthropocentricity that gives prime importance to the human being. the material with the metaphysical. Anandamurti‘s Samgita includes all beings which is in keeping with the movement to see Creation as one. Undoubtedly. and the human with the Divine. we have philosophy. Hence. He relies on humanity‘s commitment to the cause of universal welfare.

Many scientists. researchers and doctors were very surprised when His Holiness Avdhoot Baba Shivanand ji used the term Science Beyond Science to describe Shiv Yog. As the deeper significance of this description was not so obvious. Babaji has been progressively and regularly revealing the multiple layers. Shiv Yog was perceived and seen basically as a spiritual programme taught by a Siddha Master (lineage of enlightened masters in India). mysteries and secrets of Shiv Yog. the descriptor Science Beyond Science was greeted with part curiosity and part scepticism. It was logical for the scientific community to ask as to what could possibly be beyond science itself? Science was always seen by scientists to be the domain of scientists and not of the spiritual Gurus. SHIV YOG – The Science Beyond Science . While Shiv Yog was gaining popularity in all parts of India and abroad. it was largely seen as a programme that empowered and encouraged seekers to tap into their innate healing talents and capabilities.219 At the root of Anandamurti‘s optimism lies not only his faith in God and neohumanism which urges him to serve humanity and nature. but also the urge to overcome all self-centredness. because of its unique powerful message of self empowerment. SHIV YOG – THE SCIENCE BEYOND SCIENCE Shiv Yog is the Science of Shiva – the Science Beyond Science. Until Science Beyond Science was coined.

220 Shiv Yog. Shiv is the Infinity. Science is defined as a process that helps researchers solve the mysteries of life. SHOONYA or emptiness or nothingness is the substrate of everything that exists. only to discover that the most abundant constituent of any structure. The cosmic consciousness pervades the SHOONYA as its sole inhabitant. While the disturbance in the pattern of vibration could be caused by a multitude of factors – karmic or otherwise. Every part and organ of the human body is in a state of vibration. It is indeed the SHOONYA. What is Science Beyond Science? So what exactly is Science Beyond Science? In general. the secret of universal power is actually in the empty space called SHOONYA. the end result of the disturbance is the disease. including a nano particle is Space. While scientists have achieved this understanding after considerable effort and research. The objective of Shiv Yog is to increase the pace of vibration to align it to the vibrational level of SHOONYA. Everything in the universe originates first at the vibrational plane (Babaji uses the term Spandan) and then goes on to convert into energy and finally has a form that we call matter. Poojya Babaji has been emphasising since the very beginning that. There are various branches of the study of science. . as also the Infinite Consciousness. Science has been able to fractionate even sub atomic particles like the photon. that is the reservoir of all energy and infinite wisdom. The Yog in Shiv Yog is the process of awakening the infinite potential of a human being through invocation with reverence and absorption of the divine energy. Any organ or system of the body that does not vibrate at the requisite pace tends to attract a disease. as Babaji explains is the process of uniting with the Infinite Consciousness. various forms of matter and energy and their interplay.

If you believe in yourself and push yourself through shyness and self-doubt you will succeed more far than you will fail. Goals provide a guide to your destination in life and without them. Believe in yourself To be successful you need to have a positive outlook and believe that you can achieve your goals. others determine where you'll end up. 3. Know what you want You must have the desire to succeed. 4. Never give up Persistence is the number one thing for being successful. This means you need to know what you want in life and be able to identify the actions that you need to take to achieve your goals. 1. Believe and you will achieve. in your relationship or with your wealth the principles are the same. rejection. but to be a true success you must persist through the criticism.221 How to succeed at anythingHow to succeed at anything It doesn't matter whether you are trying to succeed at work. 2. It's easy for people to become disheartened when they are criticised or encounter a hurdle while trying to achieve their goals. A fighting spirit will make you succeed. pressure and failure. you react more confidently to life's challenges. When you feel good about yourself. Never stop learning .

But striving for happiness without sitting back and finding happiness at this particular point in your life is no way to live. I never felt the need to! . rather than just when they think things are going right for them. Do what you love. acquire new skills and seek additional training and it will definitely set you apart from the rest. They learn from their mistakes. Just Say Thanks! Make gratitude a part of your daily life and the universe will send you its blessings. but it helps to love it. Read books. says Preeti Kopikar. Did I ever thank my grandmother for taking care of me as a child when my mother was away at work? Did I ever hug my father gratefully for all the goodies he got me? And have I ever been thankful to God for a doting mother? Perhaps.222 Successful people never stop learning. Being passionate about the things you spend your time on is energising and motivates you to succeed. new experiences and other people. Learning at every opportunity increases your knowledge in old and new areas and keeps you ahead in your field. and success will come. Do what you love To do something well you must at least like it. Avoid conditional happiness Too many of us believe that if some problem resolved itself we would finally be happy. Successful people avoid delayed gratification and don't sit around waiting for problems to resolve. 5. Successful people find happiness at every instance. 6.

money will come in.223 Stop To Be Grateful ―Gratitude is another form of love.‖ says Zenobia Khodiaji. enabling you to achieve personal goals.‖ Blessing From The Universe ―The universe loves gratitude. If you do. Adds writer-director Vinod Pande. It‘s that simple. Dhanyavaad (Hindu) or Meher — as Parsis‘ call it — or being thankful for the gift of life. To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. an ardent devotee of Baba Shivanand. otherwise there is a lurking sense of guilt which manifests into negativity.‖ Every religion emphasises Shukrana (Islam). there is positivity. Feng-Shui consultant.‖ says Zenobia with a smile. Makes You Happier Psychologists Michael McCollough and Robert Emmons found through a study that expressing gratitude actually makes one vibrant. . for things that give you happiness. but how many of us draw on it?‖ says SatChit Anand Paducone. ―Expressing gratitude is a responsibility that nature places on us. During my seminar on attracting money. It just means we are aware of our blessings. the universe always gives more of what you focus on. ―Gratitude is an emotion we all possess. Emmons‘ book Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier shows that expressing gratitude increases happiness levels by around 25 per cent. I devote a full hour on gratitude. True. If you are grateful.

‖ Practise Thankfulness Why express gratitude? Because it brings positivity and genuine happiness. Be thankful. an astrologer who has studied Hindu scriptures. you‘re looking at God‘s creation! Sing to yourself or listen to music you love while you dress for work. ―Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues. Feel happy. He observes. Finally. ―Today‘s young are extremely restless. Look at your happy family.224 Promotes Spiritual Growth Pradeep Shivturkar. says. but the parent of all the others.‖ Being grateful also makes a huge difference to one‘s quality of life. Does that sound too tough? Let‘s give it a try: Begin your day by looking at yourself in the mirror and smile.If they learn to be grateful. As Cicero. . Be grateful and watch yourself prosper. Try not to worry about work. the ancient Roman philosopher said. ―Gratitude brings blessings for spiritual progress. go ahead and make a positive difference in other people‘s lives. it will bring them peace — the first step towards spiritual growth.

make a list of all the positives. glance at your happy and healthy family. Be grateful. If you face a challenging situation. how she dressed. Note Your Blessings Make it a daily practice to write down and give thanks for all the good things that happened to you that day. Remembrance of ancestors The first time I learnt of the practice of ancestor remembrance -. Finally.225 Once at work. Become eco-friendly. As the youngest child. Thank God for ‗tough times‘ as they strengthen you and make you a better human being. Get down on your knees and offer shukrana. the concept of ‗langar‘ sprang from the same emotion. That year for the first time we invited a pandit to our home to perform pitra puja and it turned out to be an interesting experience. Always be in a mode of giving and receiving happily. what she ate. In Sikhism. Islam encourages you to share your surplus with those who don‘t have enough. remember that there are many people waiting outside for the joy you have now. I came to know my grandma‘s real name. like your seat in the bus. It brings ―barkat‖ or blessings. and so on.was from office colleagues who would share kheer with all during lunch break. Every other day. my father had never performed the ceremony. . try and offer someone something that you too need.Pitra Puja or Pitra Paksha -. and there was much sharing of anecdotes – her likes and dislikes. Don‘t hoard things. Take time off from your busy schedule to enjoy nature.

Are you fulfilling that?" I had more questions. so we found ourselves sifting through diaries. When it gets a bodily form as a vehicle it enjoys through senses but without the vehicle of body one enjoys the gratitude. and generally shaking the dust off the family tree. I asked: "What if we had not fulfilled our duties to our ancestors. And your duty is not only towards your immediate family but it extends to all of Creation. but did you love them (your ancestors) then (while they were living)?' He reminds us that . calling up long lost relatives. silent tears were shed. I attended a workshop conducted by Avdhoot Baba Shivanand where he asked us: "It's good that you observe such rituals. Otherwise it becomes a burden. The pandit. grand aunt or uncle. over the passage of time. Any ritual is useless if done mechanically or in ignorance but can be illuminating if done lovingly and with awareness". tales of honesty and bravery. We searched frantically for given names of ancestors – who we usually knew as grandma or grandpa. Strangely. Are they not part of our identity? The ritual makes us aware of our roots and generates a great deal of storytelling and remembering. reach them?" Smiling. . the exercise brought home the truth that we do in fact tend to forget our forefathers and mothers. . clothes and money that we‘re offering in their name. following an accident!Recollecting memories made us sombre. . and peculiar situations such as the one when a member of the family confessed to craving for sweets even as his grandma was being attended to. pointed out that those who dwell in body have to go through their share of pain and pleasure and it is a reminder that the goal of human birth is to be liberated by loving God. These included scandals. will remembering them serve as atonement?‖ He said: "Do everything selflessly. emotions and conscious awareness. . however. "Will the food. the pandit replied: ―The soul never dies.226 The priest explained that elders and youngsters all participate in the ceremony as it is an exercise in collective remembrance.

just won't start. The question is. are all excited and happy. Finally a ramshackle taxi pulls up and haltingly and jerkily takes you to your destination. as you return home. in little things as well as in big things. you do find them. not what you had expected at all.You are an ocean of Love -. And then. and you know you‘re going to have to enter the theatre in darkness. And the movie is so disappointing for you. and after some frustrating minutes of trying to start the car. but someone wants to sell a ticket to you at twice the price. trying to recall where you had put them. And then you realize you cannot find your car keys. what ARE these messages? Let‘s take random examples in everyday life. Finally. it‘s the first show of the first day.227 we have still many who are left behind. You look for them everywhere that you think they might be. the first one in the above example was not finding the car keys. You feel annoyed. Tu pyaar ka sagar hai -. Many of you will have had such or similar incidents . you realize you are running late. Some of us are consciously aware of such messages. because now you can see the movie you wanted to. all of us do.because you are made in the mould of God. our attitude should be that of showering love. if that message can be understood by us. what was the message from the other side? In our daily lives. You feel it‘s been an utter waste of time and money. Tickets are not available. the second was the car not starting. your lovely new car which has never given you trouble. Say you really want to go for a movie. You feel victorious. and on and on and on. and some of us are not aware. and you are really looking forward to go. which you don‘t like doing. We are actually being ―protected‖. and you pay. And you can‘t find an available cab or auto. You are now really late. after ten minutes or so. You get dressed. Spirit gives us messages. So. Reminding us of our present family members the Baba says that with them. Do You Pay Attention To Messages From the ―other side‖? Do you receive messages from the ―other side‖? Of course you do.

Sometimes we want to make an official call to someone regarding a new job.. We are never disconnected from our Source from whence we have come. It is not consciousness itself but the substance. and when we get through to them. even if we face the wrong direction and try to move away from it. consciousness cannot live. sometimes in dreams. yin. they seem to be in a bad mood. The anima is feminine (yin). very protective in all matters. say. the inactive principle.. very off-handish with us. If we begin to become more aware. and we feel disappointed. it might have been different. sometimes it‘s as if a thought just flashes across our mind. there is anima. it is the substance of consciousness. says OSHO.. it is the house in which consciousness lives. we will soon be able to differentiate between a real message and just idle wishful thinking.228 occur in your life too.. We find that their line is busy. Perhaps if we had waited for a couple of hours and then tried again. Being more aware is also part of everyday practical spirituality which enhances our earthly life :-) The Substance Of Consciousness The feminine principle is crucial to the progress of civilisation. It is the very matter. the passive principle. sometimes even whilst watching the news. the connection is still there. we just need to be a little bit more aware. consciousness cannot exist. the woman. We do get messages. She Creates Civilisation . Anima means the feminine principle. These messages which we receive are very real. provided we are able to make the connection. Without it. it is the substance of consciousness. Lao Tzu says: ―In the body is the anima.. Without it. We keep trying. the protection still is there.‖ In each being.

. The eyes are the aggressive part. The room becomes unclean. there would be no civilisation. She has a different vibe. on the other hand. hence the desire in women to listen. Without a woman. If she follows man and imitates.. she has a different function to fulfil in the world. The woman is the substance of consciousness.. her caring. Something can enter through the ears. that‘s because woman inspires poetry with her presence. She should follow her own nature. the spirit cannot soar high. but she is not the SAME as man..229 Women remain attached to their bodies because of the feminine principle.. her love. You don‘t come across as many great women poets. are really careless about the body. the man becomes dirty... at the most there would have been tents but not houses. and she should not be. Men. the more she will become uprooted from her being. as if he is not aware of all this. she is lost. a different destiny. It is not consciousness itself but the house where consciousness lives…. dusty. to the house. . to the substance.. If there is no woman around. The woman is immensely tethered to the body. she should listen to her own soul. It is woman who has created civilisation. The ears are the passive. Meditate over the words ‗substance of consciousness‘: the very foundation of consciousness.. Woman is equal to man. because without houses. The man lives in the eyes and the woman lives in the ears. If man had been left alone. And the more she is lost. receptive part of your being.

Man finds a little difficulty in becoming a disciple. If he cannot... Somebody can look into your eyes so vacantly that he becomes unreachable or look into you so absently that he is unreachable.230 You cannot be aggressive with the ears. he doubts. that his eyes almost start caressing your body. You can reach people with your eyes or you can become unreachable. . No man has ever been able to unravel the mystery. you can look in such a way at a person as if your eyes were daggers. You cannot see clearly. they can reach. You can never be logically clear about the woman. passion. then helplessly he relaxes. The disciple becomes feminine. he creates many ways to somehow escape. at the most. the mystery of the woman. longing. But with the eyes. he fights. The woman jumps joyously…. grope. You can offend people with your eyes or you can love people with your eyes. dark…. but helplessly. She never follows logic. such caring. Only if one has gone beyond both. The woman remains mysterious.. The eyes are the aggressive parts. Or somebody can look with such desire. her path is very zig-zag. They can project. He resists. he becomes a disciple reluctantly. you can. Even if he becomes. That‘s why women are the best disciples in the world. Why So Mysterious? Hence. only if one has become a Buddha. one knows the mystery of both man and woman.

. Osho International Foundation. The Secret of Secrets.. woman looks deep.. it has the light of lightness. then your light is no more shallow. Man is clear like light. man looks shallow. The alchemy consists in understanding these two principles in each of you. the dark part in you. vague. Then. By ‗death‘ there is no condemnation meant or supposed. it has the depth of darkness.. Dark And Light Sides Woman is death. and the feminine is monogamous... man or woman. in helping the dark part help the light part and not to fight with it. Her life is her poetry. the inner marriage. in helping the dark part to move.. The male principle is basically polygamous. anima and animus melt into each other. and in transforming the anima. And it is as dark as poetry: mysterious. Hence. She remains always a question mark.231 The woman is a poet without creating any poetry. And your darkness is no more dark. Hence. into the light part. ambiguous. . man seems to be completely on the surface.then nothing can happen to you any longer. You are secure only when you are dead. then that is real marriage. just that the quality of death is security. Then you start becoming integrated.. If your anima can help your animus.

232 Awaken the Shakti in you Navratri is a festival that celebrates Shakti. During the nine nights and ten days. healthier. On the one hand. Lakshmi. mother of divine power. mother of knowledge. Women become spiritual leaders when they begin to realise the power inherent in them. This inequity is rooted not only in sociological and cultural systems. just. Their mission has been to help make the world a more inclusive. exonerated or condemned. peaceful. nine forms of Goddess Durga are propitiated. Instead. and more sustainable place to live in. For thousands of years. mother of wealth and Saraswati. women have been put on pedestals and are worshipped on account of their purity or femininity in the name of Ambaji. but more particularly within levels of consciousness from which spring attitudes. aspects of the "feminine" have taken mainly symbolic forms from the Virgin Mary to the vestal virgins. the main problem facing women is that they have never been given the respect due to them. And Navratri ought to be seen as a wonderful opportunity to enable the emergence of the intense and positive power lying dormant in women for want of opportunity to find appropriate avenues of expression and action. . Elevated or chastised. Women make great spiritual leaders as we've seen in the likes of Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai who dedicated her life to sustainability issues. The change of consciousness needed is to move away from unworthy feelings and attitudes and to see the greatness that lies buried within. the spiritual power of the average woman has remained largely unrecognised and untapped. women have been facing discrimination in various walks of life on account of their gender. the Feminine Principle. from Earth goddesses to the Shakti Devis. At the same time.

The quality of self-respect comes from the knowledge and experience of the eternal Self which is beyond social. When women touch this inner. Women know how to serve and how to offer. The foundation for assuming spiritual leadership is thus a change of consciousness. is the sign of the greatness of a soul who has overcome the ego. forbearance.233 Feminine qualities such as love. Navratri encourages women to understand and explore the power within. combined with a profound sense of discipline and order. sociological and cultural baggage that have been created -. Every one of us has those qualities but women are more easily and naturally able to express them. cultural or physical identity. The Day Rama Yawned RUMI MALIK reveals the intimate relationship between the Divine and the devoted. understanding and humility are essential qualities of leadership.have prevented women from becoming spiritual leaders.including the physical. for without them it would be impossible to come close to God and attain Self-realisation. emotional. it inspires them with a vision of the valuable contribution they can make to bring about a socio-spiritual evolution-revolution. These are also crucial for spiritual progress. eternal core. Often the notion of service or of putting others in front has been seen as a sign of weakness. compassion. The ability to bow before others. religious. Overcoming formidable barriers -. determination. for feelings of love and devotion come more naturally to women. peaceful and complete with divine and spiritual qualities. self-esteem and dignity. However this quality of giving needs to be balanced with qualities of courage. psychological. Quite the opposite is true. The eternal Self or soul is pure. Giving does not mean self-neglect. . they gain the courage to play the part they are so good at. with true humility.

performing loving service. She asked Rama to relieve Hanuman of his duties. peace prevailed in the kingdom. Hanuman continued to stay by Rama‘s side. When Rama. at last. Hanuman is immensely inspiring in his unswerving devotion to Rama. Sita. than there are to Rama. devotee of Rama. This left the others with practically nothing to do. Bharata and Shatrughana divided all the duties amongst themselves and relieved Hanuman of all work. yawns. Hanuman reasoned that one important task was still left unassigned.234 It is no secret that there are more temples dedicated to Hanumanji. decided to do something about it. An interesting story in the Ramayana reveals how the one (Rama) invoked was as devoted to his worshipper as was the worshipper to him. on the conclusion of the Lanka war.‖ he said. Sitaji thought about it often and one day. Nevertheless. it shortens one‘s lifespan! . who would click fingers? For. humility and sincerity of purpose. I should also be allowed to serve. the divine avatar of Vishnu. Rama was pained to know that the others did not understand the sublime spirit that was Hanuman. to serve Rama. His raison d‘etre in danger. it is believed that if one doesn‘t click or snap one‘s fingers (chutki bajaana) while yawning. After the coronation of Rama as king of Ayodhya. ―I am indebted to him for all that he has done. the world‘s most famous bhakta. his sense of duty.

Hanuman had always looked at Rama‘s feet. who. it is imperative that I stay here. He started yawning. Who knows when the lord would yawn? Ramachandraji on his part thought that it was improper for him to sleep while his parambhakta —his prime devotee — stayed awake. Still. that would lead Rama to yawning again and again. all the while clicking his fingers. Lest he failed in his duty. Hanumanji showed no signs of budging from his master‘s side. with the new duty he had assigned himself. Sage Vasistha requested Hanuman to please discontinue what he was doing — for if he continued to click his fingers. immersed in chanting the Rama Nama. He could sense that Rama was unhappy because his devotee had been dishonoured. He thought of a way to respect his devotee‘s sense of duty. in turn bows before you.‖ . He was led to Hanuman who was sitting outside Rama‘s enclosure. he had the wonderful opportunity to behold Rama‘s face in all its glory. Guru Vasistha was invited to come over. again and again and again! This got Sita worried. Why was her beloved husband unusually quiet? She ran to Kaushalya saying that perhaps a rakshasa had evil designs to finish off Rama. The entire day passed with their being together.235 Hanuman‘s clever thinking brought about another beautiful change. Serving the lord with his head bowed. ―But Ma. Sita requested him to leave. ―Sansar Ram ke aadhin hai aur Ram apke aadhin!‖ — ―The world bows before Rama.‖ Sita stood her ground and insisted that he should leave. Now. Hanuman decided to do the chutki bajaana ritual all through the night. who can know when the lord will yawn? Hence. Night fell. however. He told Hanuman.

In many temples. which is seen as the vital life-giving spark. is believed to purify the atmosphere. matsara or jealousy. The burning of the putlas or effigies. The 10 heads stand for kama or lust. a priest at the Shiva temple in Kanpur. At sunset. manas or mind. filled with firecrackers containing phosphorus. Rajesh M Tiwari. mada or excessive pride. they are one. on Dussehra. lobha or greed. chitta or will and ahankara or ego. Chandi or Durga homam or fire ritual is performed with the same intention‖. A true bhakta is a living ideal of his bhagwan. Japa and loving service lead the bhakta to have the same divine qualities as the god he dotes on. The first verse of Rig Veda invokes fire. Purifire! Religious and cultural traditions around the world regard fire as creator and purifier. we could infer that Rama and Hanuman are not different entities. The onset of winter brings with it many infections. the effigy of the 10-headed ‗demon‘ king Ravana. moha or delusion. once the nine-day Navaratri festival concludes. krodha or anger. And these are consigned to flames in an act that is symbolic of purifying the mind. is set afire with firecrackers. ―After Dasha Hara. budhi or intellect. Fire As Cleansing Agent . the hot summer months end and winter sets in. says.236 From a deeper perspective.

―Blessed are You. covers her face with her hands and recites the blessing. Delhi. honorary secretary. Ruler of the Universe. Malekar says. the Wise Lord. irresistible fire. says that when the Universe was created. Athirathram. an ancient Vedic yagna or fire ritual was conducted in a village in Kerala to purify the atmosphere of pollution. Lord our God. bacteria and negative energies. They also cleanse the negative effects of pollution. Judaism: In Judaism. . there is always aNer-E-Tamid or oil lamp — the eternal light — that flickers throughout the day. 18 minutes before sunset. the spirit of God manifested in the form of a mystical. it purifies the mind and promotes tranquillity. fire.‖ he says. In all synagogues. the Moral Order of the Universe. which is full of warmth is seen as the one that absorbs dirt and negative forces but it stays pure. draws her hands around the candles and towards her face three times.‖ Zoroastrianism: For Parsis. fire represents the spirit of God. Ayurveda physician Sivakaran Namboothri says yagnas balance the cycle of nature and nourish life. Every Friday evening. Raizel Marshak lights two candles. Judah Hyam Synagogue. fire symbolises Righteousness.‖ says Shernaz Cama. They create a pure. ―Light (read fire) removes darkness. ―Our studies say that there is a definite reduction in aerial micro flora in the surrounding area.‖ Ezekiel Isaac Malekar. ―In Indo-Aryan tradition. and commanded us to light Shabbat candles. and Purity. referring to the Athirathram‘s effects. clean and medicinal atmosphere. director of the UNESCO Parzor Project on preserving Parsi Zoroastrian heritage. Zoroastrians regard Atar or Fire as the son of Ahura Mazda.237 Vedas: In April this year. who has sanctified us with commandments.

is associated with the element of fire. Buddhism: Shinnyo-en.‖ . The Universal Purifier US-based ritual expert Donna Henes blogs: ―Purification by fire is the recurrent mythic and symbolic theme of midwinter festivals in many places. Alchemy: In alchemy. the crucible in which a metal was tested became a metaphor for spiritual purification. dark winter tunnel. Egypt: In Egyptian mythology. one of the five primordial Buddhas.‖ Cama adds. the temple fire is kept burning. red Pandaravasini. In Tibetan Buddhism. All these purification ceremonies of renewed fire suggest a clearing of humanity‘s earthly orientation in order to be open to the growing divine light of the coming spring — the reassuring light at the end of the long. the consort of Amitabha. Once it is properly enthroned in a silver afarganiya. believes in fire purification ceremonies. a Buddhist denomination in Japan.238 ―All Zoroastrian agiaries or fire temples have a holy fire that represents goodness and purity. Isis placed the son of the king of Byblos in the fire to purify him from earthly impurity. It suggests the cleansing of our spirits as part of the careful preparations for the coming of the springtime light.

the basic abc steps for the newcomer to develop his/her own intuition if he/she so desires. do NOT use Ouija boards or similar practices. how to ride a bicycle. you may be right. At the start. For a period of at least two weeks. and it is easy. etc. Natural intuition does not need any artefact beyond the use of one‘s own awareness. And low astral entities are always on the look-out for such entries. whenever your phone rings. inclined to talk with you. try and ―feel‖ who is calling. without looking at it. Here it is then. busy. What‘s most important is that it is your own natural ability over which no one else has control.239 Enhancing Your Intuition-Practical Spirituality:11 You were born with intuition. . When you are right at ―guessing‖ the person who is calling. etc. Right at the outset. Keep doing this for each and every phone call you receive. and getting it right each and every time. Self-intuition is safe it is spiritual. Intuition comes naturally to us because it is a ―built-in‖ part of us all. The second thing you do during these two weeks is to first ―guess‖ whether the person you are calling is available. Good people can come in. before you make the call. then you can safely say that the beginnings of intuition are developing within you. It is easier to be intuitive than it is to learn how to drive a car. remember the feeling you get within you. This blog gives easy suggestions on how to develop and enhance your natural intuition. and so can the not-good people. how to learn a new language. Using Ouija boards is like leaving the front door of your home open wide. please be warned that unless you can actually see who you are inviting. or you may be wrong. After practising these two things for about a month.

meaning unless you are perfect in one thing. . you will certainly achieve great and sure results. achieved that stage. Gradually. I mean it. and guess the number. Tell them to hold this number steady in their mind. Aswasthama (Son of Dronacharya)of Mahabharta age. you can then ask the person to think of a number from 1 to 100. But with practice. Also remember that this will take time in the beginning because you have never done it before. not getting a single wrong answer. When I say that . When those of you who want to go further in this have achieved a hundred per cent success in the above. Showing off will delay results. Intuition is NOT a parlour game to ―show off‖ to others. do not try the next stage. revert to me and I will write another blog giving more advanced tips. But before that read the below line and then come at my place. and you try to guess the number.i have said. after getting it right each and every time.you will laugh at me. Ask someone to think of a number from 1 to 20.But. else you will feel discouraged.I am blessed to extend you immortality. I have a formula to achieve the Immortality. In your eagerness please avoid jumping the gun.what.Shri Baba ji(founder of kriya-yog and param guru of Pramhans Yoganand) has achieved that stage. where few can reach.240 The next stage would then be the following. I have a formula to make you IMMORTAL Immortality is a state. Then go up to 1000.

It was now evening. Old lady reached near tothe Mahaprabhu.She soughted.that house has suffered the loss of grand-ma.and asked for the rice. now.Her face was lit with the divinity. Budhdha calmly looked towards the dead body and replied.reply was same .Old lady soughted in anxiety .amongst his follower). You bring the rice bowl and get the immortality from me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why Are You Here? When you take the perennial meditative journey to the depths of your own self.he reached.and said.but you have to do one thing. Lord Looked towards the old lady and smiled with divinity and gravity.they can not give the rice because .An old widow lady come infront of the Mahaprabhu(budhdha was known as Mahaprabhu. I would bring back him. He stand-up and extended his hand and said Budhdhan sharaman gachami Sangham sharnam Gachhami Dhamam sharanam gachhami So. In the backgroung. I extend this challenge to you.Lord asked to bring a bowl of rice from those house.which has not witnessed the death.Old lady was happy and said. sun was setting. He was the only bred -winner of my House.it is very easy.face was glazed with the cosmic light.you are God. you discover what it was like before the beginning.when he was wandering as saint to spread his teacing.She knocked another door. .Old lady rushed towards village and knocked the door of the first house. but the answer was the same time has passed in the process. I am bringing the rice within an hour. In this process.I am ready to do anything.they have lost cousin in last month.give his life.you ordered. She was denied the bowl of rice.Rajgir(a place in Nalanda District in Bihar).241 During the Lord Budhdha time.old lady has knocked every house of the village. with the dead body of His only son.whole aura was filled with divinity.

was all there was to know and to discover. where every question is answered. why would the Universe exist? Why did something come from nothing? . When you taste the profound freedom that is the inherent nature of that primordial ground. And the ques?tion Why am I here? simply does not arise.242 You come to rest in the timeless empty void before the Universe was born. which the mystics call the ground of Being. for meaning or purpose seems absurd. for enlightenment. it can seem like the end of the path. If that empty ground. this is the end of the path. But the journey of Evolutionary Enlightenment does not end here. In traditional enlightenment. Where else could there possibly be for you to go? The very notion of seeking for liberation. The question Who am I? is answered before it is asked. Why? Because the cosmic experiment that is life did not end here.

here we are. Why? Why did something come from nothing? This is not an abstract philosophical question but a profound spiritual contem?plation that can take you to the essence of what it means to be alive. we can behold just how far this miraculous explosion of Becoming has brought us in the fourteen billion . why did it become? But it did. consciousness. . That‘s what it was like before the Universe was born. why would the Universe have emerged? If the ground of all things has no impulse but to be. and no one to be or become. from the depths of that desireless?ness. Out of that utter peace.243 Think about this for yourself: In the experience of the ground of Being. And thanks to evolutionary science. energy. no impetus whatsoever. and you—fourteen billion years later reading these words? Why are you here? If the eternal perfection that is the Source of everything knows no desire. . life. and become light. Why did some?thing come from nothing . there is no desire to do anything. for some reason this miraculous pro?cess burst forth. nowhere to go. matter. There is nothing to do. which you can discover for yourself through the meditative journey. And yet.

or a whole series of cosmic explosions. and locates the very impetus behind that primordial moment of birth. gave rise to life. in your very own experience. It is not enough to follow the question Who am I? to that timeless place where all ques?tions dissolve. in turn. We can reflect on its awe-inspiring progress.244 years since that initial burst. Something is coming from nothing every second. It‘s happening right now. from which emerged the capacity for consciousness. but . When I ask this question. why did all of this come from nothing? I believe that for a human being today who aspires to find enlightenment. The big bang is not just a metaphor or a disputed scientific theory about what occurred fourteen billion years ago. right now. But the perspective I‘m shar?ing with you is one that looks at that very same event from the inside—that gets right beneath the surface of the stillness before the beginning. I‘m talking about a different kind of knowing—a direct. at that instant when Being gave rise to Becoming. so to speak. using complex instru?ments and the laws of physics to show us the explosion of light and energy. I‘m not just talking about whether you believe in a biblical God or a big bang. which. experi?ential recognition of what occurred in that moment fourteen billion years ago. And we can ask ourselves. understanding the primordial moment when something came from noth?ing is crucial. which became matter. and wonder at its ever-greater complexity and integration and creativity. We also need to know: Why am I here? And to find the answer to Why am I here?. We need to know what actu?ally happened at the very beginning. You might not be conscious of it. that question is an essential part of awakening. You don‘t need a powerful telescope to see all the way back to the big bang— you can go there. Scientists look at the big bang from the outside.

in and through each and every one of us. — This article was excerpted from Andrew Cohen‘s new book Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening. Even as you are aware of the body.245 it‘s true. the ground out of which each impulse arises. it‘s a process that leads to self-transformation. Something is coming from nothing. you can begin to intuit for yourself what that very moment must have been like. The essence of Evolutionary Enlightenment is found in that precise moment when nothing became something. . of the passing of time and the movement of thought. you‘ll start to see that there is a vast chasm of empty space that is the foundation of everything that is occurring. Your own experience of action and reaction is not unbroken—there are countless moments of zero between each and every thought. If you slow your experience down. and keep slowing it down. says Sonal Srivastava. every impulse. you can also locate the seed of everything that came out of that nothingness. and every response. When you contemplate the ground of Being. . constantly. . Because you can locate that empty ground in your very own experience. . beneath it all you can become conscious of this current of stillness that is the ground of Being. Be Squeaky Clean Gandhi advocated self-cleansing.

The process is simple. ―Without selfpurification the observance of the law of ahimsa or nonviolence must remain an empty dream.‖ said M K Gandhi.246 Self-purification is a process of cleansing the body and mind. concentration and deep absorption. In South Africa. therefore. . from saintly practices he drew political insights and mental clarity. God can never be realised by one who is not pure of heart. dharana and samadhi — meditation. He would also force his wife Kasturba to clean the chamber pot in their house. Self-purification. It‘s about flushing the toxins out of the body and purging the mind of all self-defeating thoughts. a yogi cannot reach the advanced stages of dhyan. must mean purification in all walks of life. he was obsessed with it to the point of being ridiculed by his contemporaries. Self-cleansing is also an integral part of Patanjali‘s yoga: the first component of the eight-fold practice that Patanjali prescribes is niyam or rules and the topmost among them is saucha or cleanliness — both internal and external. but it has great spiritual significance. Just like Gandhi. he would often inspect the houses of his supporters to check for sanitation. Without observing yam or precepts and niyam. a seeker can observe different aspects of self-purification for a healthier body and mind. Gandhi was a spiritual practitioner and a politician. In a South African jail. Be Pure Of Heart ―Identification with everything that lives is impossible without self-purification.‖ Gandhi constantly strove for self-cleansing. Gandhi took cleanliness seriously.

Eventually. fasting wasn‘t something to be done mechanically. Gandhi was also a great believer in nature cure and would use hydrotherapy to cure ailments like fever.‖ writes Jad Adams in his book Gandhi: Naked Ambition. which he felt were causes of disease. Fasting and vegetarianism are some of the ways that Gandhi used to cleanse the body. For him. Fasting. For Gandhi. He fasted for purification. he was asked to do a sweeper‘s work by jail authorities. Oriental thinkers often say that energy circulates freely in clutter-free surroundings. He would use enemas to cure headaches. it required strict control of the senses. self-purification started by cleaning up the toilets. He said to her: ―You must be constipated I‘ll give you an enema. ―Enemas were a persistent part of ashram life. . on the other hand. Gandhi promised his mother that he would refrain from eating meat.247 Gandhi once volunteered to clean water closets. Practising good hygiene protects you from disease and saves the environment from degenerating. Vegetarianism helps in reducing unwanted chemicals and hormones from entering the body. and had apparently been so since South Africa. Clean Surroundings Clean surroundings are a prerequisite for the process of self-cleansing. de-toxifies your system and gives rest to your digestive system. Gandhi used to tell the story of a European girl who was close to him in South Africa and who suffered from persistent headaches.

in spite of constant. ceaseless striving for it.‖ says William Borman in the book Gandhi and Nonviolence. one has to become absolutely passion-free in thought. Need For Self-examination ―Gandhi considered self-examination the keystone of self-purification. For him nonviolence was also a part of the self-purification process. . which is a product of a healthy mind. Spiritual rebirth takes place when there is a complete transformation. I know that I have not in me as yet that triple purity.‖Gandhi confesses. Recognising the triviality of all passing material interests constitutes more than half the moral battle. an individual has to first purify himself of anguish and animosity through a process of self-examination. speech and action. It requires shedding of ego and observance of equanimity. This is a state of being that can be achieved through the cleansing process. the ability to remain unaffected by joy or sorrow.248 Spring-cleaning The Mind Self-purification also requires a strong will power. Before attempting to win over the enemy. he believed in winning over the enemy not with the help of a gun but with compassion. ―The path of purification is hard and steep. To attain to perfect purity. It requires dissolution of old habits and breaking-free of old-patterns of thought.

. One might sound astounded but that is the way it is. trying to root it out and kill their own children if the need may be if they 'develop it'.. coerce or even kill to prevent it. Our ancestors thought it fit to allow their children to marry and procreate the Love Marriage way too and it seems that there were no rules against it. You can do it too. Then why are we turning ..they would try to dissuade. which is the present equivalent of Love Marriage. One wonders why they do this. One has to think then why present day parents/society has developed an almost allery like reaction to it. is it because of getting a bad name in society. have I got news for you ~ 'Prem Vivah yani Gandharva Vivah ki Swikrati Shastron mein bhi hai' (Love Marriage is even permitted by the scriptures). The very children whom they have brought up with such pains and would stand against the whole world to protect. to break the mould of existence and transform into a newer you.. OMG! Love Marriage permitted in Scriptures Here is the Bombshell! Did you know that 'Prem Vivah'(Love Marriage) or 'Gandharva Vivah' as it was referred to thousands of years ago is approved of by the Scriptures. Come adolescence and the moment a child starts to think in terms of having his or her own soul-mate the whole world even their own family turns against them and the children for whom they have had the most grand dreams turns into hatred so much so that they try every thing in their power to prevent them and separate them.249 Gandhi did it to draw strength to our struggle for freedom. their families or developing animosity for their entire Lifetimes against the Beau's families. In Hindu scriptures there were 8 kinds of Marriages permitted then and 'Gandharva Vivah'. Fighting with their sons'/daughters' choice.that they will be shunned or is it because their religion does not permit it? Well then. WAS permitted.

Don't get me wrong. Desolate. we are bent on killing . Have we forgotten about True Love. If you like arranged marriage opt for it and if you want to marry out of Love-are Lucky enough to have found someone and the Gods are kind enough for you to get united-they should also be given the option. The question is Why did our Ancestors thought it fit to allow Prem Vivah or Gandharv Vivah(Love Marriage) and why in the present day society. Not that I am against Arranged marriage. It is after all one of the highest emotions known to Man. since the British have been here for around 200 years and India has become independent for more than 65 years now.250 against our own children whom. but if someone wants to marry out of Love should he/she not have the choice? Considering the fact that 'Prem Vivah yani Gandharva Vivah Shastron ki Swikrati Shastron mein bhi hai' (Love Marriage is even permitted by the scriptures) you. this happens to the 21st Century the epitome of Science.. Barren. that have been by far the prevalent option. What then could be the reason for rejecting it? In the Indian context. some say it was the moghul invaders because of which the indigenous ladies started getting restricted to their households but may I remind those who blame all the follies on moghul invaders. on an almost daily basis. that most parents have when they say no to such things.. we bring up for 16-21 years with such Love and Devotion. whom you might not approve of and want to be theirs for Life or even beyond. Life-less. To remaining without it would mean going through life like one were wandering in a Desert. but does this mean saying no to Love. now might have not one but 2 Choices. Some say One can even reach God by it. I am also fearful of the factor of unwanted children. I am also against the fear of promiscuity where people are trying to do this because they feels it OK to change partners like undergarments. I mean at their tender age one STILL believes in such things or does it just boil down to Arranged Marriage where how much benefit they are getting from the alliance or how much they are 'bringing' is what matters. that it has been approximately 265 years since they ruled. just to turn their enemies or even kill them because they decide to develop an affection for someone.how long can we keep on blaming the invaders for it and how long before we start taking responsibility for our own actions.

Why Food Becomes An Obsession There is a close relationship between your sexual energy and your interest in food.251 our own children and issuing Diktats against them(Khap Panchayats). It is after all about your own children. Surely there were these kinds of questions thousands of years ago also. Remember It was what happened to most of us as we grew up. RELIGION is also on your side. Could it be perhaps because our ancestors understood that it was only natural for Children to grow into Adults and falling in Love was part of it. says OSHO. This time the Scriptures. their wellbeing you owe it to them. our parents or their parents.S. Perhaps they sought to turn Love into Holy Matrimony and allow something that was only Natural to be harnessed to meet societies ends as well.i. Whether it be Us. So I appeal to you to stop turning morbid and stop killing your own children~shun this quaint attitude towards Love. perhaps just as natural. To allow Love also and help society benefit from it as well. then why did they not reject such a thing-outright.. all in the name of saving Honour. . Which one of us does not recall falling in love for the first time. P. They gave it the Sanctity of Marriage..e. calling it Blasphemy or terming it Evil. not to reject it outright. Surely Honour is not something that can be 'saved' by putting your own children to Death.

You will have to work on your sexual energy. . your interest in food will disappear. Whenever there is need the mother will be available. they balance each other. When the child gets love he is not worried about milk. If the child is not getting love then he does not leave the breast. he can trust her love. Overeating And You The problem arises because the first experiences of food and love for the child are very deeply associated. For a few days you can manage forcibly. the child cannot trust. you will be constantly in trouble. But if the mother is not a loving mother. Food and sex are polarities. and if you try to. and it will be back with a vengeance.252 Whenever you don‘t allow sex energy to move rightly it starts getting obsessed with food. your interest in food will become almost an obsession. the mother has to persuade him. If you have too much non-sexuality. but then you will have the problem back again. He has to drink as much as he can because he cannot be certain when the mother will be available. he does not bother. then. too. then he has to drink as much as he can. If the child gets love. He gets food from the mother‘s breast and love. If you have too much sexuality. he is secure. So you cannot do anything directly about your food. because he is afraid about the future.

If the child does not get love he becomes interested in food. It is a beautiful phenomenon. hold hands. The problem is that if you don‘t love your own body. enjoy your own body. it is nauseating. what is he seeing in you? You don‘t see anything! Unless you start seeing the beauty of your own body you will not be able to accept somebody else‘s love. If you want to change it you will have to move into love a little more. Dance. it is such a gift. And if any opportunity arises where you can love. When you eat too much. That blocked love energy is becoming your interest in food. hug. . the food problem will be solved automatically. stupid. foolish.253 He goes on overeating. Love your own body — begin from there. If he gets love he is not interested in food. To be in love is a great experience and to go on stuffing food is a miserable experience. Food is beautiful only when taken in quantities that you can absorb. don‘t miss those opportunities. Love Energy Blockage That‘s what is happening to you: somehow you have been blocking your love energy. feel and touch your own body. sing. In fact the person who tries to love you will look ridiculous. You will be surprised: as you start moving into love. you will have to become more loving. you will not allow anybody else to love your body. or has just a natural interest — as much as is needed by the body. Because you cannot love your body. The very idea that he loves you shows that he is stupid and nothing else. So love your body.

Break the walls! You are unnecessarily missing something beautiful that love and only love can bring. no more a stagnant pool.very few of the attempts to bring about institutional reforms have helped leverage people power to co-create overall impact. there is no extreme in it. the more your energy starts flowing. that‘s my feeling about your energy: you have made it a stagnant pool. and instead are suffering with this problem of food. That‘s what you have done. you give. When things come to a boil. you share. But how to ensure that cumulative positive influences whether brought about by people power or good governance get sustained The freedom movement that liberated India from foreign domination continues to inspire us. Because when you eat. God‘s Got a Thing About you. why such leaders are not commonplace. Nobody can love to the extreme. And the more you give. we do rise up and question the establishment and sometimes things do change for the better. Social And Spiritual Impact We're all striving to improve the quality of our lives. Hence we look up to those who provided creative and motivating leadership like M K Gandhi.254 It‘s Never Too Much This is one thing beautiful about love: love is never too much. It is an unburdening phenomenon. . however. nobody. when you love. You become a river. There are many reasons. you stuff things in. courtesy Osho International Foundation. However.

To ensure livelihoods there was spinning work and the whole enterprise-solution of swadeshi and khadigram. as did Lokmanya Tilak to deal with an issue in totality. Gandhi then set out a strategy to involve people constructively. Gandhi's leadership was at all times at its zenith. instilling a sense of personal ownership for action that often involved immense sacrifice. Thirdly. .255 Firstly. monetary or technological provisions. Development work is not seen as something that ought to deliver outcomes as if an issue is just about fulfilling some sort of a resource gap say a missing piece of legislation. Gandhi constantly inspired people to believe in what they were doing and to patiently demonstrate it in some form.the principle centred on peaceful non-cooperation. Regulatory and other ways of administration are only the means. For pious people there were satsangs with multi-faith prayers. While regulation and institutional solutions are important.social change evolved out of a shared vision. much more emphasis is placed on public behaviour and restraint. For him. Gandhi believed in poorna swaraj. class and language. Secondly. complete independence. as a noted author and journalist observed: 1.This would also steer one away from divisive tendencies like caste. for lasting change for the better begins with you and me. 2. For activists it was satyagraha. institutional mechanism. deeply rooted in personal experimentation and interpretation of principles like ahimsa and swaraj. creed. Gandhi saw in us enormous humane and social potential and the huge possibility of its committed and purposeful engagement. 3. The concept of being the change or to begin with oneself helped awaken so many people.

. beyond demanding systemic provisions? Are we aware of the need for deep. For journalists and others there were a variety of engagements where their views were aired with a sense of immense personal and collective responsibility. others. however. rub off on us so we can take that small step forward Perhaps then we could be the change we wish to see in the world. for people to support mechanisms of justice to bring the corrupt to book? How can we help alleviate terrorism instead of getting involved only in scientific explanation of the composition and intensity of a just-exploded bomb that destroyed lives? How many businesses will engage the poorest of the poor through their supply chains to help them take the first step of the economic ladder? Would our actions save or destroy flora and fauna? Can we ensure the safety and nurturing of women and children? Why can't a bit of what moved Gandhi. However. Ask: Do we see the need for a leadership that can mobilise people into action. But how to ensure that cumulative positive influences whether brought about by people power or good governance get sustained The freedom movement that liberated India from foreign domination continues to inspire us. Hence we look up to those who provided creative and motivating leadership like M K Gandhi. we do rise up and question the establishment and sometimes things do change for the better. why such leaders are not commonplace. All of these summed up the message to those in power: Quit India. When things come to a boil. Social And Spiritual Impact We're all striving to improve the quality of our lives. There are many reasons. useful engagement.very few of the attempts to bring about institutional reforms have helped leverage people power to co-create overall impact. and through him.256 4.

3. The concept of being the change or to begin with oneself helped awaken so many people. class and language. as did Lokmanya Tilak to deal with an issue in totality. Secondly. . While regulation and institutional solutions are important. 2. To ensure livelihoods there was spinning work and the whole enterprise-solution of swadeshi and khadigram. Gandhi believed in poorna swaraj. as a noted author and journalist observed: 1. Development work is not seen as something that ought to deliver outcomes as if an issue is just about fulfilling some sort of a resource gap say a missing piece of legislation.social change evolved out of a shared vision. For activists it was satyagraha. For him. Gandhi's leadership was at all times at its zenith. for lasting change for the better begins with you and me. Thirdly. Gandhi saw in us enormous humane and social potential and the huge possibility of its committed and purposeful engagement.257 Firstly. much more emphasis is placed on public behaviour and restraint. deeply rooted in personal experimentation and interpretation of principles like ahimsa and swaraj. Regulatory and other ways of administration are only the means. For pious people there were satsangs with multi-faith prayers.the principle centred on peaceful non-cooperation. Gandhi constantly inspired people to believe in what they were doing and to patiently demonstrate it in some form. complete independence. Gandhi then set out a strategy to involve people constructively. creed. monetary or technological provisions. instilling a sense of personal ownership for action that often involved immense sacrifice. institutional mechanism.This would also steer one away from divisive tendencies like caste.

For journalists and others there were a variety of engagements where their views were aired with a sense of immense personal and collective responsibility. All of these summed up the message to those in power: Quit India.258 4. The worst aspect of old-fashioned nationalism has always been the eagerness of one nation to war against another. Globe Over Nation India could lead a global peace movement propelled by ahimsa so that countries transcend the perils of nationalism. designated by the UN as World Nonviolence Day as tribute to M K Gandhi. others. It‘s time now for an evolutionary leap and here. India could play a key role. for people to support mechanisms of justice to bring the corrupt to book? How can we help alleviate terrorism instead of getting involved only in scientific explanation of the composition and intensity of a just-exploded bomb that destroyed lives? How many businesses will engage the poorest of the poor through their supply chains to help them take the first step of the economic ladder? Would our actions save or destroy flora and fauna? Can we ensure the safety and nurturing of women and children? Why can't a bit of what moved Gandhi. beyond demanding systemic provisions? Are we aware of the need for deep. Ask: Do we see the need for a leadership that can mobilise people into action. useful engagement. writes DEEPAK CHOPRA on October 2. and through him. rub off on us so we can take that small step forward Perhaps then we could be the change we wish to see in the world. India was founded on .

the US considered scaling back its massive military spending. It‘s easy to make the wrong choice. . But money isn‘t infinite. to have both guns and butter. it‘s the productive side of an economy. Yet. the temptation in South Asia has been to become more nationalistic. and at a certain point. among dozens of ethnic and religious factions.‖ meaning the benefit to a society when it can use more money for its citizens‘ well-being if military budgets are slashed. Students of economics often face the question: Which is better. Starting in 1985. we have the ludicrous tragedy of North Korea.259 peaceful principles and has managed to keep the peace. as almost all do. President George Bush Sr and Britain‘s Margaret Thatcher promoted the idea of a ―peace dividend. National pride is one thing. A country can decide. even as the lure of nationalism has faded in places like Europe. guns or butter? The choice is between military spending and domestic spending. Butter stands for goods and services that people need and use every day. more or less. armed to the teeth with a massive standing army but facing widespread famine. That‘s exactly what happened. but another era of ―us versus them‖ thinking would be disastrous. Guns stand for spending that drains the economy and is ultimately destructive. the choice becomes an either/or. Take the United States: After the collapse of the Soviet empire. America‘s defence budget was either cut or remained level for 15 years. At one extreme.

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Peacekeeper Or Warmonger?

Then 9/11 happened. The world‘s super power engaged in two foreign wars, incurred a hidden but massive expenditure on secret intelligence gathering, and went full throttle on weapons developments.

As the world‘s major arms dealer, the US was already playing a double game. It pronounced itself the peacekeeper of the world, maintaining hundreds of overseas bases and intervening in foreign conflicts at will. Military adventurism made it the most feared nation in the world, as it squandered much of the sympathy and goodwill that followed from the tragedy of 9/11.

Coming to India‘s position after 9/11: Like other rising economies, India profits most from internal investment that generates jobs, incentives, and innovation. As against this scenario, shoring up guns is a huge drain on peoples‘ lives because every bullet shot and bomb dropped is money taken away from each person‘s income. Every potential worker who becomes a soldier is a waste of creative resources.

Money Isn‘t Infinite

The global economy needs international peace. For 60 years, the US has expended hundreds of billions of dollars worth of funds on military assignments, so that other countries need not defend themselves. However, many of these countries tend to suspect that the ―protection‖ is a ploy to further American geopolitical ambitions.

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Howsoever rich a country is, it does reach a point where the reality dawns that money is finite. America may be forced to reduce its military size and shrink the shield it uses to protect other countries. At the same time, China is flexing its military muscles and exploring new weapons systems, perhaps in a bid to become the next super power, even as it emerges as an economy to reckon with.

Butter Over Guns

India ought to resist the temptation to abandon the peace dividend to go the military way. If it yields, that would be a profound mistake. The ongoing border conflict with Pakistan has compromised internal peace as well in the two countries.

Since Pakistan‘s military is concentrated on the Indo-Pak border, it doesn‘t have the strength to handle the insurgency that fuels war in Afghanistan, violence at home and terrorism abroad. Yet the world‘s future, and India‘s, depends on repairing the global economy, and the best but often overlooked option is to choose butter over guns.

No Need For A Super Power

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There will be no need for a super power to police the world if every nation takes the following two steps: First, decrease military spending and settle old ‗scores‘ through negotiation. Second, support an international peacekeeper like the United Nations with the power to enter conflicts and save lives.

Both steps move away from the destructive side of nationalism while boosting the hope for true globalism. I don‘t know what the future holds, but clearly we stand at a crossroads. If the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — want to wield global influence like the US, what better way than to become the world‘s first peace bloc?

Who Would You Call A Mahatma? A saint is one who is constantly aware that God is Omnipresent, says SADHU VASWANI.

Have you ever asked yourself the question, ―What is the difference between an ordinary man and a saint or a man of God?‖ The difference is that the ordinary man goes about doing his work without awareness, but men of God, whatever they do, right from their daily personal chores to their spiritual disciplines, do so with awareness. A siddhapurush or a saint is one whose thoughts are pure and who lives constantly in the awareness that God is Omnipresent.

Do we love God? Do we love saints and sages? The mark of one who loves God and saints is sacrifice. If my love is without sacrifice, it is selfish. Such a love is barter, for there is exchange of love and devotion in return for something. It is conditional love.

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Virtue Of Sacrifice

True love is selfless. It is prepared to sacrifice. Ascetics and fakirs come to mitigate human suffering; to heal us and lead us on the path. They put up with criticism; they go through many worldly trials. Some of them have even become martyrs for our sake. But they have done all this with a smile and with gratitude to God. Hence sacrifice is a great virtue.

Miss Madeleine Slade was a devoted disciple of M K Gandhi. She came from a wealthy English family. Her father was an Admiral in the Royal Navy. She was brought up in the lap of luxury and opulence. Yet she left everything — her home, her parents, and her country in order to live in Gandhi‘s ashram. When she met Gandhi and sought his permission to join his ashram, Gandhi tried his best to dissuade her.

He told her that she would not be able to live a life of austerity that his ashram demanded of all inmates. He said, ―Many women from royal families have come to live in this ashram. But without exception, they have found it difficult to live under the rules, regulations and the strict discipline of our way of life.‖

True Dedication

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But Miss Slade was adamant. She had come to India to live for her ideals, and no discipline could be too tough for her. In fact, the ‗call‘ to go and serve the Mahatma had come to her even when she was a young woman. Having read his biography by Romain Rolland, she was inspired to dedicate her life to the service of this extraordinary human being. In preparation, she had practised austerity.

She went through all the chores of spinning, became a vegetarian and a teetotaler, started learning the language, taught herself to squat and sleep on the floor. She subscribed to Young India. She spent a part of her training programme in Paris, where she read the Bhagavad Gita, and part of the Rigveda, both in French. And now, standing before Gandhiji, she said to him, ―My Gurudev, I am willing to bear any hardship, if I am allowed to be with you.‖

Gandhi, looking at her beautiful cascading hair, said to her, ―Can you sacrifice your crowning glory for me? Can you sacrifice your hair?‖ She left without replying. Everyone thought she was so taken aback that she had to leave. However, the determined Miss Slade went straight to a barber‘s shop and shaved off her hair. Placing the golden brown hair at the feet of Gandhi she said, ―Bapuji, this sacrifice is for you.‖

Keep The Mission Alive

Miss Slade bore witness to the teachings of Gandhi in deeds of daily living. After India won its Independence, Gandhi‘s associates demanded high positions in the government and in the party. But, Miss Slade whom out of affection, Gandhi named ‗Mirabehn‘, did not wish for anything. She wished to continue Gandhi‘s work in village

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development. She went to a remote corner in the sub-Himalayan region and lived a life of obscurity, offering her service and love to the poor people of the area.

Miss Slade had true love for Gandhi and his ideals. She served him faithfully till the end and bore witness to his ideals.

Asking Forgiveness RABBI EZEKIEL ISAAC MALEKAR walks us through the Ten Days of Repentance, beginning with the New Year and ending with the Day of Atonement.

Rosh-ha-shana, the New Year that commenced this year on September 28-29, marks the beginning of the annual cycle of the Jewish Religious Year. The ten days from New Year‘s Day through Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (October 7-8), are known as the Ten Days of Repentance. Rosh-ha-shana is the Day of Judgement, when decree is inscribed, and on the Day of Atonement, it is sealed.

Get Closer To God

During prayers on Rosh-ha-shana, Jews say, Teshuva, Tefila and Tzedakah, Moavereem Es Roah Hagezairah — that repentance, prayer and charity nullify the evil decree because they together constitute what is necessary for us to lead good lives. The Shofar or horn of the Ram is blown on the two special days to call us to repent. Teshuva

a relationship with God and with fellow human beings. All these three are necessary in order to achieve common benefit. as a visible expression of universal love. pleas. Time For Introspection Rosh-ha-shana celebrates the fact that your word is true and exists for ever. . Rosh-ha-shana is also Yom Hazikkaron. requests. We can help alleviate suffering. Tefila says that we can have relationships. The penitential mood of the day is ushered in by a month of Selihoth. our yearning and prayer to be inscribed in God‘s Book of Life gives added solemnity to the blessings of the prayers. Tzedakah or charity redeems us. and Yom Hadin or Day of Judgement. all ways of communication between us and the Creator.266 or repentance reminds us that we need to have control over our lives. the day of Remembrance. confessional devotion of self-examination and supplication for forgiveness. Charity also says that we ought to help the poor. Charity must be practised and a proportion of one‘s income should be earmarked for this purpose. On this day. supplication and expression of praise and thanksgiving. Tefila or prayer is a ladder which takes us closer to God. It is a unique combination of solemnity and rejoicing. We can change. confession. Prayers constitute an individual as well as community approach to God through meditation. the Book of Life is opened in the heavenly court and as we begin a new year. The home ceremonial of the Kiddush or sanctification is associated with the New Year and it expresses the joyousness of the festival.

Jews say. Jews recall this revelation of His nature in the 13 attributes perceived by the spiritual vision of Prophet Moses: ―The Lord. After concluding the Kol Nidre prayer. obligation rests on each to cleanse his own soul through his communing and his own inward struggle. Jews think of God as the God of mercy. During the Yom Kippur Service. I have spoken evil and slander with false and misleading tongue. for without justice the world could not endure. In every service of the day. love. understanding and forgiveness. dishonestly. ―May all the people of Israel be forgiven. On the first day of Rosh-ha-shana. I have perverted and twisted the right by my words. long suffering and abundant in mercy and truth‖. ―Thou will cast their sins into the depths of the sea. arrogant.‖ On the Day of Atonement. On New Year‘s Day. the Lord our God is compassionate and gracious. Jews go to the seashore or a stream of running water.‖ . But on the Day of Atonement. I have been vicious. recollecting the words of the Prophet. I have dealt falsely.‖ Thereafter the Jews seek God‘s forgiveness to release and pardon them from guilt and perverseness — remove their sins and forgive iniquity and transgressions. every Jew makes Viddui or confession by saying.267 The readings of the Torah on Rosh-ha-shana recalls the promise of the continuity of Jewish tradition through the birth of Isaac and how he was saved from sacrifice through God‘s mercy as well as the celebration of the birth of Samuel. ―I have been guilty and my guilt has piled up in dishonesty and in profaning that which is sacred. and violent. Jews think of God as dispenser of justice.

with a broad chest. respectively. invoking Dhanvantari. like Prophet Joseph. the god of good health. strong arms. his curly hair was anointed with oil and he wore shining pearl earrings. . He was clad in bright yellow. He was well-built. a chakra. people in many parts of the country will light a lamp at their doorstep. suggesting blood-letting.268 Learn From The Past We need not get overwhelmed by guilt. two days before Deepavali. The Puranas say that Dhanvantari emerged during the samudra manthan or the churning of the ocean. respond to our past positively. We can rid ourselves of our guilt if we will. Dhanvantari icons are shown in various postures. they would be observing Dhanvantari Jayanti. It is believed that Dhanvantari is an incarnation of Vishnu and is depicted with four hands — each holding a conch. Shana Tova — A Happy New Year! The God Of Good Health On October 24. and bluish-black complexion. not by denying our guilt but by embracing it and using it as a way of improving ourselves and working towards a better future. In one. he is shown holding a leach in one hand. praying for good health and protection against untimely death. By doing so. medicinal herbs and a pot of amrita or ambrosial nectar.

invoking Dhanvantari in the hope that he would be blessed with a child. Vaidya Bhaskarodaya and Ayurveda Saravali. There are Dhanvantari temples in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. and vaidya. Balachiktse. Dhanvantari replied that he would and he was reborn as Divodaasa to the king of Kashi. so Dirghatamas asked Dhanvantari to be born as his own son. expert in 200 medicines. King Dirghatamas performed severe austerities.269 According to legend. Dhanvantari has been mentioned in Ramayana. Harivamsha and Bhagavatam. expert in 100 medicines. 'Dhanvantari‘ title is awarded by ayurveda institutions to the best of ayurvedic physicians. . The other two titles are bhishek. Nineteen works authored by Dhanvantari have found mention in Chikitsa Deepika. says OSHO. Vishnu foretold that Dhanvantari would appear to teach the science of Ayurveda to human beings. one who has mastered the administration of 300 medicines. There‘s No Limit To Greed Expect more and be miserable. Dhanvantari Nighantu. at the time of the churning. in Kashi. Dhanvantari Nighantu is said to be the most ancient work. The god appeared and offered a boon to the king. Meanwhile.

By the time you have more. He was driving the car. The husband was a very cheerful person. you are always miserable. he cannot understand . And because it goes on asking for more. it goes on asking for more. ―Since you are asking. It never stops. ―I am laughing because in fact he has gained five lakh rupees — but he was expecting ten lakhs.‖ Notional Loss I said. ―He is sad because he has lost five lakh rupees. your greed has gone ahead of you. but one day I found him looking very sad. It is always ahead of you. he looked really depressed.‖ And laughingly she said to me.270 Greed is your aggression. very angrily. The wife laughed and the husband looked at her very seriously. I used to stay in Calcutta with a very rich family and the husband and wife used to come to pick me up from the airport. Whatever you may have. you cannot enjoy it because you don‘t have more. asking for more. I am telling you that the whole responsibility is yours. I am not to be looked at as if I am committing a sin. It is the desire always for more. and the trouble is. ―What is the matter?‖ I asked this because he had always been chitchatting and was always cheerful. The wife said. I asked his wife. ―But you are laughing and your husband has lost five lakh rupees?‖ She said.

and all that you have grabbed and wasted your life for.‖ His misery is that he has lost five lakhs — and he has not lost a single paisa. Greed is an aggressive attitude towards existence: grab as much as you can and go on grabbing more and more and more. ―What is the matter?‖ He said. Ten lakhs were absolutely certain in the business. Waste your whole life and your whole intelligence in grabbing more and more and what is the point? Death will not be late. he is not happy. He‘s sad because he was counting on ten lakhs. I asked the man. do you think that a man who is thinking in terms of expectations can be happy and joyous? Your expectations are always more than the reality allows. There is always a sadness lurking somewhere in your being. Hence. ―In a way she is right.271 that he has earned five lakhs out of a business. and I cannot forget the five lakhs that I have missed. but I am feeling very miserable.‖ Unrealistic Expectations Now. you will have to leave here. there is always a feeling of failure. It always comes at the right time. Even more was possible but only five lakhs turned up. not even by a single minute. What about the remaining five lakhs? So although he has profited enough. .

. It is the nourishment of your authentic nature. Meditation is the antidote to all the poisons of your life. And when greed is not fulfilled. never satisfied or happy with what they have. frustration arises. Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master. you become angry with everybody. irritation. Any excuse is enough for them to vent that pent-up anger.. Greed is the root cause and when it is not overcome. anger arises. Why are they so irritated? Why is it so difficult to stand them? That is because they are frustrated people. they are angry at life.. you become angry with yourself. because they don‘t know what it is like to be content and happy. Ode To An Academic Paradise . A Wasted Life You can see it in many elderly people. even though they have grown old. courtesy Osho International Foundation. they have wasted their entire life in grabbing more and more and even more. Therefore.272 You will find all kinds of greedy people and you will find all sorts of greed within yourself. The more you get. You become angry with the world. and so they become angry. frustration. it leaves you with great anger. the more you want and the vicious cycle goes on and on and on. dissatisfaction and a sense of failure.

Against a backdrop of imposing Victorian architecture juxtaposed with a modern edifice. these sacred grounds were moulding their careers and destinies. The serene ambience lent a mystical aura to the setting. was pursuing her Masters in Science. aspiring students burnt the midnight oil to carve a niche for themselves. caste and nationality. The azure sky complemented the flaming ball of the departing sun. nestling on the east coast of New York. cosmopolitanism and nature at Cornell University campus spiritually uplifting.273 GEETIKA JAIN finds the confluence of education. who after her graduation from IIT-Delhi. valuable education and knowledge was being dispensed to students from every corner of the world. Was nature rejoicing the advent of summer? This was the picturesque campus of Cornell University. The place appeared rife with Divine benediction and grace! . occasionally punctuated by resplendent flower beds offered a visual feast! The majestic oak and chestnut trees along with their humbler counterparts — all garbed in rich hues of green and deep maroon — nodded gently in cordial concord with the soothing breeze. Hallowed Grounds On the sanctified grounds of this Ivy League university. the endless expanse of lush green fields. I was visiting my daughter. It was a home away from home for everyone alike. The diversity of the inmates was astounding and transcended creed. In this sanctum. I stood mesmerised by the spectacular wealth of nature.

encircled by lofty hills. Further down the road. yawning gorge with its gushing. seemed to announce its cogent presence at the hallowed portals of the university. the waters drowned the musical twitter of the birds. A gigantic silver-white waterfall cascading down virtually from the heavens above. Beady-eyed chipmunks. The place compelled one to acknowledge the skills of the Supreme Maestro. an abrupt left turn weaved its way through a wooded area. growling waters. A deep. roared another gorgeous gorge. the cynosure of the campus was a tranquil pool of blue reflection called the Bee-be Lake. flaunting their bushy tails. the east coast of the United States is copious in natural beauty but this particular area appeared to be a favoured canvas of the Supreme painter. Deeper in the heart of the sprawling campus. and fringed with thick vegetation on either sides. culminating in a rocky clearing. The still waters of the lake reflected the infinite .274 By and large. One couldn‘t help but marvel at nature‘s delectable handiwork. gave company to the scurrying students. tenderly embraced a water body at its feet! The Master Artist However.

What is the difference between detachment and non-attachment? It‘s confusing? —Gauri. Along the lakeside. The mortal touch. wild flowers in a riot of colours. the only ripples being created by the flock of ducks. lofty trees. however. the dense foliage had been pruned and disciplined in keeping with the discipline of the university. Lined up on the banks were huge. cosmopolitanism and nature‘s profuse beauty is indeed unique in itself! No Attachment Deepak Chopra explains the difference between detachment and non-attachment. and if other cultures teach detachment. it was ethereal! In retrospect.275 peace of a sage in deep meditation. Needless to say. you can trace such teachings back to Vedic scriptures as their source. The periphery. peeking here and there. 28. A neat jogging track circumambulated the lake. This sacred confluence of education. too. the only rebels were clusters of tiny. no one can escape the teaching of detachment. had been left untouched. a few of them bent at precarious angles in a vain bid to kiss the water. With so much . comprising of thick woods. my sojourn at Cornell appears to be nothing short of a spiritual ecstasy. almost a pilgrimage. Hyderabad In India. It is an established part of our worldview. was evident.

To clear things up. On the one hand. It‘s Not Personal Non-attachment is a state where experience doesn‘t stick to you personally. let‘s not worry too much about terminology. disbelieving. again there will be few to sign up for the programme. the story sticks to you and becomes part of your personal experience. over the centuries. Here is where the problems begin. you‘d think that detachment would be clear by now. The real question is how to connect either word to a valuable experience. You‘ve asked aloud what millions ask in their own hearts. If it means becoming indifferent to your own well-being or separate from friends and family. full of energy. few people will follow such a path. If the teaching of detachment means giving up on personal pleasure. Detachment and non-attachment are the same. millions of people have tried to adopt non-attachment. excited. curious. What happens when you see a story about a car accident that makes the evening news? If it happens to a stranger. if it happens to someone close to you. you are detached. upset. you get emotionally involved. which implies that getting more pleasure is good while also avoiding pain.276 tradition behind it. Far from it. Why is that worthwhile? Is it even possible to attain such a state? After all. and there is confusion everywhere. the story goes in one ear and out the other. What attracted them? . we are set up by nature to feel pleasure and pain. Yet. But. On the other hand.

277 Reasons change. it‘s hard to justify the old reasons to be non-attached. status. We all want more from our existence — more success. I think. achievement. You don‘t become exhausted running after it and depressed when the object of desire flies from your grasp. All kinds of distractions pull the mind this way and that. buying the kind of experience that society labels as ultimate. It‘s a mistake. the emptiness of life makes desire seem trivial or shameful. knowledge. and once accomplished. why not jump in and get as involved as possible? To survive. you are detached. however. In a world of easy pleasure and mass entertainment. which goes like this: the purpose of life is to grow and evolve. then. You can run after the objects of desire. getting the right people to love you. How is it found? By turning your focus from the outer world to the inner. each according to their own desires. For some. Let‘s say that you choose inner fulfillment. as we‘ve seen. Or you can bypass the objects of desire and seek inner fulfillment. to get rid of the stickiness. that becoming detached seems like a very desirable escape. The outer world is very sticky. either physically or mentally. love. Now that times are better. which means making more money. . Inner fulfillment doesn‘t fade. the teaching of detachment has to move with the times. to deny the outer world. life is such a painful struggle. How are desires fulfilled? There are two ways. more appealing to modern people. it has no price tag. It is necessary. and so they pursue a higher calling. The cycle of pleasure and pain is built into us. and daily existence isn‘t automatically a field of suffering. There is a better argument. For others.

you must grow into it. because things that used to upset you deeply become less hurtful. I look upon detachment as a natural stage of evolution. it never dies. Riding a merry-go-round thrills a child who wants to do it over and over. then in water. never grows old or stale. As the Vedic saying goes. experience is written in stone. Therefore. Detachment isn‘t indifference. Experience that was written in stone turns to experience written in sand.278 Detachment is much more about how you personally relate to the outer world. As such. You Must Evolve To Grow You can‘t jump from one state to the other — evolution is the only way. But an adult feels the same experience with detachment and perhaps a touch of nostalgia. Detachment comes down to a simple formula: There are two infinite realities. who dreams of the carved pretty horses and hears the music in his head. the infinity of the diverse world and the infinity of pure consciousness. We see this in everyday life. for the person who lives by the senses. . The first infinity wears out over time. On the spiritual path you discover how real that distinction is. the second never wears out. only then will you know what it feels like. and finally in air. or coldness of heart. Those are the ego‘s imitation of the real thing. callousness. while for the enlightened person experience is written in air.

commanding a view of the river. it stands on the banks of the Yamuna. I would bow my head reverentially while cruising past the Majnu Ka Tilla Gurdwara that stands white and majestic atop a small mound on the banks of the Yamuna. A Gurdwara Steeped in History The Majnu Ka Tilla Gurdwara stands atop a small mound on the banks of the Yamuna river. discovers REENA SINGH. For another. For one. it is steeped in history. The area was named after a Sufi nicknamed Majnu who met Guru Nanak here in July 1505. On my numerous northbound trips out of Delhi towards Punjab. I finally did. vowing to visit it on my way back. Then And Now An unusual story surrounds this gurdwara. . true detachment is born. on a height. you are shifting your allegiance. In that shift. the spot having been first consecrated in 1505 at the time of Badshah Sikander Lodi. Yamuna. but only recently.279 When the truth of this teaching becomes real for you.

spending all his waking moments fasting and looking for the true meaning of God — in vain. made him vow to meet Baba Nanak when he heard that the great Guru was in the vicinity. on the river‘s bank. He finally did meet him on July 20. The hermit was reed-thin. Blessed By Nanak Abdulla‘s quest for enlightenment and for the true meaning of God. This fact is intrinsically woven with another tale at this sacred spot. While the Guru was sitting with his new bhakt. while visiting Delhi. We couldn‘t help think that had the Yamuna been prettier or more environmentally managed. flowing majestically besides this mound back in 1505. the view would have been spectacular. People called him Majnu. 1505. the Guru brought the animal back to life. and got a pretty good shot of the Yamuna flowing alongside. so lost was he in love and devotion for God. and the gurdwara definitely better known. much to everyone‘s amazement. You can feel the serenity even now — if you close your nose to the stench of the modern-day river that wafts frequently into your nose! We photographed the view anyway. who lived atop this little mound. Abdulla. met the resident Iranian Sufi bhakt. but that is the subject of another discussion. there was the sound of a mahout crying aloud at the loss of the Badshah‘s elephant under his care. Guru Nanak. .280 We could not but help imagine how pretty the view must have been of the Yamuna river. Moved by the sound of his piteous crying. He would ferry people across the river in his boat — for free — as service to God.

and ardas and for participating in the community kitchen that marks Baisakhi. The gurdwara has vast grounds and a sarai. It stands tall now as an amalgamation of faith. path. or estate. and of the ultimate belief in Ek Onkar. and partook of a humble meal of puri. Puran Mashi is also celebrated here enthusiastically. It has a kitchen that serves free langar to anyone who stops by. where tired travellers driving up or down the Grand Trunk Road (now National Highway No 1) can stay. The Day Of The Khalsa The jagir. selfless devotion to God by the Sufi hermit — who people said behaved much like the proverbial love-forsaken Majnu — that Nanak told him this area would be immortalised by his name — as Majnu Ka Tilla or the hillock of Majnu — till the world ended. that whatever faith you might believe in. the Ultimate God is One. We also trooped into the langar mess. And that‘s how the name and the gurdwara came about — a Sikh shrine named after a devout Iranian Sufi believer. So pleased was he with the mad. and the birthday of the Khalsa is celebrated here with much festivity on Baisaki day.281 The Guru stayed at the spot till the end of July. the small gurdwara that was built there by General Baghel Singh in 1783 was known by this name. A huge sangat gathers here for the day‘s kirtan. that surrounds it was a gift from Maharaja Ranjit Singh. channa-aloo and apple that they served for breakfast that day. Later. .

Guruji again stayed at Majnu Ka Tilla. and on his way back to Punjab. ―You can also burn your old. The general camped in the nearby Subzi Mandi with his troops and identified seven sites connected to the Sikh Gurus and had shrines raised on them within eight months.000 troops entered the Red Fort in March 1783. Later Guru Har Gobind was released.‖ He adds that people of all religions bring their disused and tattered holy books to be given a final farewell here. who lives in the complex. The credit of building the capital‘s famous Sikh shrines. But the emperor was suspicious of the Guru and had him deported to Gwalior and imprisoned there.5 per cent) of all the octroi duties in the capital. allowing him to raise gurdwaras on Sikh historical sites in the city as well as receive six annas in a rupee (37. the sixth Sikh guru. Guru Har Gobind also stayed here. when he and 40. although the small one that has existed over centuries still stands within the complex. thus goes to Baghel Singh. when he visited Delhi on an invitation from Emperor Jahangir. tattered religious texts and holy books at the chimney that forms part of the gurdwara complex.282 Says Granthi Bhai Jaswinder Singh. The first gurdwara was built by Baghel Singh. . Baghel Singh‘s Delhi Yatra The marble gurdwara that now stands at this spot was built here in the early ‘80s. The Mughal emperor Shah Alam II made a settlement with Baghel Singh. and occupied the Diwan-e-am. Long after Guru Nanak met Majnu.

and opposite Timarpur colony on the Yamuna‘s bank. Guru Tegh Bahadur. is worth a visit. Pray From The Heart Simplicity and sincerity count more than rituals when it comes to prayer. just beyond the inter-state bus terminus. The gurdwara is known to serve langar 24 hours. . Other Attractions Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib was built by Baghel Singh to commemorate the martyrdom site of the ninth Sikh Guru. For the outbound road traveller on the GT Road. says Vincent Rocha.283 Getting There The Majnu Ka Tilla Gurdwara is in north Delhi. The Tibetan refugee camp is also close by. this is a regular stop.

some place their hands on their heads or cross them on their chests. others prostrate themselves. Penitential Prayer and Asking Prayer. Sing Alleluia to the Lord‖. Some even dance to show the joy they feel while praying. And so we have sacred verses solemnly read. while there are others who go on bended knees towards their favourite deities and some who walk around sacred trees. bhajans and psalms. though there are similarities between prayers of all religions. A Christian acclamation preceding scripture reading goes thus:. There is also the Silent Prayer when one sits in quiet contemplation.284 Prayer is an invocation and interaction with God. forms and postures are determined more by cultural background and individual preferences rather than religious beliefs. or in the company of others.―Clap your hands and sing Alleluia (praise). while others sing hymns. some invoke God by chanting loudly or by sounding gongs. Prayer can be a petition made by a person alone. Some devotees sit around a fire. or prayers recited in quick repetition with or without the help of a rosary or rolling beads. Sincerity Pays . They can be of various types — Invocation Prayer. Prayer of Adoration. bells or cymbals. some stand. some kneel. chanted or sung from the holy scriptures during various rituals. A Prayer For All Practices.

the needy. The Importance Of Prayer Once. One practice among the monks (as an extension of their normal prayer rituals). Next. The head monk. He was kneeling in a church with folded hands in the sanctum sanctorum and imploring God with a slow movement of his lips. painting or carpentry. who was well past the biblical three-score and ten. son.‖ he said. He was shocked by what he saw. depending on individual talents. He would quietly slip into the monastery with his kit and with his mediocre skills. but utmost devotion. I had a chance encounter with a holy person. I pray for nimbleness in my feet — that God grants me quickness to reach out to the feeble. ―I pray for just three things. I was curious to know what he could be asking for at that advanced age and as we left the church together. He thought it was profanity and was about to rush towards the young monk and admonish him. And he revealed it all. The new entrant was a street juggler and juggling was the only skill he had. ―Well. curious to know what the young man was up to. I braved it to ask. Thirdly. He appeared to be in total communion with the Master. but soon realised that God appreciated sincerity and childlike simplicity. was to do either gardening. The head monk was astounded at first. perform in front of the Lord‘s image. the lonely and the depressed. Firstly. I pray that God may give me a song in my heart — I seek the gift to appreciate some music and dance to provide rhythm to my life.285 A story goes that a young man joined a monastery to dedicate his life to God. when he saw the Lord come down from His pedestal and wipe the sweat from the man‘s face. I . once followed him and peeped into the monastery.

and the soft sciences started becoming increasingly mechanistic. but in His own time and in His own way. says MUKUL SHARMA. not just for my own welfare but for that of others too.‖ When I asked him if all his prayers were granted. A Holistic Study Finally. Psychology. Finally. quantum theory and emergent life processes. As a result while Physics. Psychiatry and Social Anthropology retreated into a totally materialistic lab-oriented mode. the holy man told me that many were. A Holistic Study There‘s a stream of psychology that studies our transcendent dimensions. Peak Experiences . Chemistry and Biology easily accommodated weird stuff like relativity.286 pray that God grants me a ‗constant prayer on my lips‘ — to know the importance of praying always. and he was confident that God would answer the rest too. A funny thing happened to science in the first half of the 20th century: The hard sciences began discarding their deterministic shells.

287 Psychology in particular. Carl Jung. He called these ―peak experiences‖ — a state of being above the normal. There was also the great Swiss psychiatrist and founder of the analytical school of psychology. experimental psychologists now studied rats in mazes in order to learn more about human beings. who talked about half-baked things such as hypnotism and psychoanalysis. behavioural scientists even denied that people had minds! Obviously something had to give. Maslow knew that people also had elevated moments in life when they were in harmony with themselves and their surroundings. somehow inaccessible to science but accessible to the individual human subject. there had also been voices that advocated for a transcendent dimension to human existence. It came to such a head that at its most ridiculous height. who wrote the first definitive textbook on the subject in 1890. seemed determined to shed what it considered was a woolly-headed origin championed by the likes of Mesmer and Freud. Instead. Traditional psychology for instance seemed only to be interested in a continuum of human behaviour ranging from severe mental illness at one end to what was regarded as ―normal‖ at the other with various degrees of normalcy in between. Psychologist and social researcher Abraham Maslow was perhaps the first person to recognise the wrong turn taken by reducing man to an unfeeling machine. The pioneering American philosopher and psychologist William James. had in fact suggested that mystic experiences involved an altogether supernatural domain. Yet. who is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as ―by nature religious‖ and make it the focus . even before Maslow arrived on the scene and much before academic psychology took a dive into mindnumbing materialism. Actually.

The Fourth Wave It‘s already being called the fourth wave in psychology after psychoanalysis. physical. It was founded on a radically different model that looked at people in a more holistic manner. . performances and achievements. collective unconscious and synchronicity where he proposed that not everything was the result of a laboratory style cause and effect phenomenon but that things were often related by ―meaning‖ too. social and creative aspects of life. along with how we might foster the fulfilment of our highest potentials as human beings. spiritual. Today. non-ordinary states of consciousness. true genius. a new kind of psychology called Transpersonal Psychology slowly came into existence towards the second half of the 20th century. the nature and meaning of deep religious and mystical experiences. behaviourism and humanism which focuses on core areas of inquiry — the intellectual.288 of study and exploration. Many psychological concepts were originally anticipated by him. Transpersonal Psychology is a full spectrum study that encompasses all of traditional psychology and then goes beyond it by adding a serious scholarly interest in the immanent and transcendent dimensions of human experience. emotional. Radically Different Model But largely following the footsteps of Maslow and a few other thinkers like him. These include exceptional human functioning and feelings. including the archetype.

it is a complete wholesome science for all round development from our deepest wounds and needs. The idea is to develop an educational and research model that incorporates all aspects of human experience. says MUKUL SHARMA. Finally. mind to meditation. Psychiatry and Social Anthropology retreated into a totally materialistic lab-oriented mode. seriously. From personality to transpersonality. neuroscience to nirvana. and the soft sciences started becoming increasingly mechanistic. quantum theory and emergent life processes. to the most transcendent capacities of our consciousness.289 This offers not only a solid intellectual foundation in science but an extraordinary opportunity for deep growth and personal experience of the subject matter as well. A funny thing happened to science in the first half of the 20th century: The hard sciences began discarding their deterministic shells. Some people even believe it‘s a true science of the spirit. to the existential crisis of the human being. Peak Experiences . Chemistry and Biology easily accommodated weird stuff like relativity. Psychology. A Holistic Study There‘s a stream of psychology that studies our transcendent dimensions. including the spiritual dimension of our lives. As a result while Physics.

Maslow knew that people also had elevated moments in life when they were in harmony with themselves and their surroundings. who is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as ―by nature religious‖ and make it the focus of study and exploration. who wrote the first definitive textbook on the subject in 1890. . Psychologist and social researcher Abraham Maslow was perhaps the first person to recognise the wrong turn taken by reducing man to an unfeeling machine. The pioneering American philosopher and psychologist William James. Actually. who talked about half-baked things such as hypnotism and psychoanalysis. It came to such a head that at its most ridiculous height. somehow inaccessible to science but accessible to the individual human subject. Traditional psychology for instance seemed only to be interested in a continuum of human behaviour ranging from severe mental illness at one end to what was regarded as ―normal‖ at the other with various degrees of normalcy in between. had in fact suggested that mystic experiences involved an altogether supernatural domain.290 Psychology in particular. seemed determined to shed what it considered was a woolly-headed origin championed by the likes of Mesmer and Freud. including the archetype. even before Maslow arrived on the scene and much before academic psychology took a dive into mindnumbing materialism. He called these ―peak experiences‖ — a state of being above the normal. Yet. Many psychological concepts were originally anticipated by him. behavioural scientists even denied that people had minds! Obviously something had to give. Instead. There was also the great Swiss psychiatrist and founder of the analytical school of psychology. Carl Jung. there had also been voices that advocated for a transcendent dimension to human existence. experimental psychologists now studied rats in mazes in order to learn more about human beings.

The Fourth Wave It‘s already being called the fourth wave in psychology after psychoanalysis. along with how we might foster the fulfilment of our highest potentials as human beings. Today. social and creative aspects of life. emotional. Transpersonal Psychology is a full spectrum study that encompasses all of traditional psychology and then goes beyond it by adding a serious scholarly interest in the immanent and transcendent dimensions of human experience. These include exceptional human functioning and feelings. non-ordinary states of consciousness. behaviourism and humanism which focuses on core areas of inquiry — the intellectual. spiritual. physical. .291 collective unconscious and synchronicity where he proposed that not everything was the result of a laboratory style cause and effect phenomenon but that things were often related by ―meaning‖ too. the nature and meaning of deep religious and mystical experiences. a new kind of psychology called Transpersonal Psychology slowly came into existence towards the second half of the 20th century. Radically Different Model But largely following the footsteps of Maslow and a few other thinkers like him. It was founded on a radically different model that looked at people in a more holistic manner. This offers not only a solid intellectual foundation in science but an extraordinary opportunity for deep growth and personal experience of the subject matter as well. true genius. performances and achievements.

So passionate was his embrace. to rescue the goddess from the clutches of Hiranyaksha. in Goa. Naraka is no ordinary asura. including the spiritual dimension of our lives. to the most transcendent capacities of our consciousness. much like how effigies of Ravana are burned in the Gangetic plains. He Is No Ordinary Asura Krishna‘s killing of Narakasura during Deepavali is celebrated along the western coast and in the Deccan. to the existential crisis of the human being. The post-monsoon festival season witnesses the death of many demons: Durga kills Mahishasura and Rama kills Ravana during Navaratri and Dussehra. the demon who had dragged her under the sea. while Krishna kills Narakasura during Deepavali. In fact. that the earth . This latter event is popular mostly along the west coast of India and in the Deccan regions of Andhra and Karnataka. effigies of Naraka are burned on Naraka Chaturdashi. they made love. He was conceived when Vishnu took the form of Varaha. mind to meditation. says Devdutt Pattanaik. the boar. the eve of the New Moon night. neuroscience to nirvana. As the two rose. From personality to transpersonality. the earth-goddess. seriously. Some people even believe it‘s a true science of the spirit. He is the son of Vishnu and Bhu-devi. it is a complete wholesome science for all round development from our deepest wounds and needs.292 The idea is to develop an educational and research model that incorporates all aspects of human experience.

By calling the vegetation that was harvested and threshed and stored as ‗demons‘.293 — until then flat — was crumpled. And so. Infuriated. giving rise to mountains and valleys. is rather popular in Andhra Pradesh where preference is given to stories of Krishna in Dwaraka as a man married to Satyabhama and Rukmini. This story. associated with the planet Venus. every demon who is ‗killed‘ during harvest time comes back next year as the next crop. to save them from this demon who can be killed by no god. Garuda. Varaha buried his resplendent tusks in the earth and she gave birth to all vegetation. suddenly becomes a cosmic hero. is an intense one. instead of staying under the earth. Vishnu and Bhu-devi. For. possesses Sanjivani Vidya which he uses to resurrect dead asuras. Naraka was born out of this union. the Devas. So Krishna rides up to heaven on his eagle. She watches her husband fight Naraka and at one point. The guru of the asuras. she turns the weapon back on him and Naraka dies instantly. and at another level. early man perhaps sought to allay his guilt. called upon by the sky-gods. Demons never die and so humans always have food on the table. Naraka‘s story is an important one in Krishna Lila as through him Krishna. over the romantic stories of Krishna and Radha in Vrindavan. Naraka‘s weapon hits her. Naraka at one level is the son (crop) of a God and Goddess. Satyabhama accompanies her husband on Garuda as she is eager to see her husband ‗in action‘. . originally from the Harivamsa. The battle with the asura who has risen to the sky. Naraka has a boon — he cannot be killed unless he strikes his own mother. Shukra. a demon (harvest). This story reconfirms the association of asuras with the nether regions and with vegetation and fertility. otherwise mortal and associated with earthly affairs.

Future Group. the red a reminder of the bloodbath.294 Thus. but she will not be a demure domesticated wife. Frankl was detained with other Jewish people in a concentration camp during World War II. or maybe several hours later wondered why on earth you said that? Or did that? Imagine having this magic power that could freeze time long enough to choose the most appropriate response in any given situation. hence mother to Naraka. We are reminded that she is a form of Lakshmi. Wouldn't it be great if you had that power? Well. hence of Bhu-devi. . Wives sometimes bathe their husbands. The earth may be a doting mother. And someone who reminds us about that power is Viktor E Frankl. actually you do. people crush a bitter fruit as Naraka was finally crushed and then bathe after anointing themselves with oil made red with vermillion. The oil soothes the tired muscles. it was Satyabhama who did the final killing. The author is chief belief officer. inadvertently. for while Krishna did fight.and just a moment later. and perhaps secretly chuckle. Know the power of response Have you ever reacted to a person or situation -. These stories of mother-son conflicts are a gentle reminder to humanity not to claim ownership over the earth who nourishes us. In memory of this day. in south India. author of 'Man's Search for Meaning'. Satyabhama becomes a Durga-like figure. An Austrian psychiatrist.

Using the unique human capacities of self-awareness. At a practical level it could simply involve not blurting out that defensive response when you feel accused. sadness or jealousy that can only further discord. In that space is our power to choose our response. imagination. before acting. even torture that he was subjected to. Without enough awareness of the gap between stimulus and response there is no real freedom of choice. he had this particular 'freedom' his Nazi captors could not ever take away. you remove the guilt you have when you have hurt someone's feelings or the negative charge or selfrecrimination when you have said or done the wrong thing. Frankl's approach eventually made him an inspiration to many around him. You are just the product of your learned and unquestioned behaviours. conscience and independent free will. not delivering that sarcastic retort when feeling . This space invites you to reflect. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. even some of the guards. we hardly need to 'make' this space. your conditioned responses. Using the space to formulate a considered and considerate response. making it into what I see as our 'zone of considered and considerate decision'. space always does exist between stimulus and response. and saw that in spite of the daily humiliation. " Come to think of it. He called this freedom "the last of the human freedoms".295 In that awful place he remained aware. It lay in knowing that he could choose his own response to anything that came his way. however briefly. Our freedom of choice lies in becoming increasingly aware of this space. misunderstanding and perhaps regret. fear. He says: "Between stimulus and response there is a space. he exercised this freedom that was even bigger that the freedom of his captors. using it wisely. Allowing yourself to respond automatically will evoke the same old feelings of anger.

you take a moment to breathe deeply and calmly. Use the space between stimulus and response to ask yourself: "What do I really. he will answer. And in time. If you speak one word purposelessly. then your answer will almost always be that you deeply want a favourable and uplifting outcome for all. or feel so personally wounded that all you want to do is to hurt right back. You ask him any questions. or could even be not replying immediately to that annoying or demanding email message. The Problem with Stupid Thoughts There was a great saint called Thiruvalluvar. decide not to always want to 'win the argument' or 'be right'. If you do. If you are alert. then you will not be progressing as a human being. . Developing a mindset of cherishing the space between stimulus and response can make our lives more meaningful. then stupid thoughts will not come.296 misunderstood or challenged. within this space. It also invites you to be aware of just why you say a 'yes' or why you say a 'no'. you can be considered as an animal. then you are not considered as a human being. look at how alert he was. it should become more natural to respond in a way that promotes harmony and better relationships. His knowledge is encyclopedic. He said that we should not think or speak even one word without purpose. His book is translated into almost every language. deeply want?" If.

Sri Ramana Maharishi answered.‖ This is all a matter of training the mind. but I cannot because the moment I sit down in meditation a million thoughts enter. ―What? You started to meditate when you were 12 years old and now you are 60 years. I am so worried about them that I am unable to meditate. it is different for me." The man said. ―You are asking us to meditate. ―You have problem with these thoughts. Thoughts cloud my mind the moment I sit down to meditate. then an alarm will go and you will be able to check the stupid thoughts. The one thing and the only thing I want to say is -YAD BHAVAM TAD BHAVATI (you become what you think). and you have thoughts coming.297 A software can be created that will tell you of a stupid thought. even I have problem with thoughts. ―No. a person came to Sri Ramana Maharishi and said. One day. My problem is that I have to take tremendous efforts to pull a thought inside in the mind.‖ The sage said. 25 simple tips for a great living .― So. When a stupid thought comes.

Develop interesting hobbies 10. 9. Hurt no one 6. Drink lots of water. or atleast smile. Eat proper food. Love everyone 7. 12. Meditate . Laugh out loud . Follow your passion/s and work. 2. Remember to connect to the Creator 14. Develop your self. 5.298 25 simple tips for a great living (not in any specific order ): 1. Sleep for 6-8 hours a day 3. Take time out to meet old friends 11. 8. Exercise your body daily atleast for 30 minutes 4. Play often. Read inspiring books/biographies 13.

Be truthful to self and others. 16. say out loud : "So . Be grateful 22. If in a problem .299 15. See humourous films to have a hearty laugh. whats the big deal. Do seva / help others.. This too shall pass" 18. 25. the person I loved most does not care about me and I was ready to die for him he was least bother about it. Sing songs or play music 24. 19." this lines are very common for us and we all once in life have passed through this situation. have felt the helplessness... Happy Living ! Celebrate Life ! It's good when people do not love you.. "I was very sad.. 21. . forgive enemies 17. Accept the life given to you. 20... Accept the life given to others. Surrender to God 23. Travel and admire Nature. Make friends .

. but this all was easy to say difficult to understand and even more difficult to follow. Third reason when you care for someone or love someone you are doing something good you are thinking very good about someone you praising for someone so if you are doing good then sooner or later you will get the return of it.. do good get good (again as I believe in Karma good karmas are noticed down in our pass book of karma's bank record same as bad karma's are also recorded there so at the same time or in future that recorded good karma will surely work for your favor) .. Suddenly I was in bad trauma. but I am very thankful to him cause of him I get to understand the best practice of life.300 when the person whom we cared a lot does not like us... I was feeling like guilty. As when you cared for someone and other person is not responding you are very lucky First reason is feel that you are lucky is that if person does not care for you the same you do for them you will never have to repay the debt of his/her love and care.. (I believe we have to pay for our each and every thought. I will say that I was fortunate enough that the person himself understand and left my life. Since I did not like him it was very difficult for me to take care for him or to give him same importance in my life as he gave me in his. according to my understanding about life and this all feeling was these are something which makes us feel alive and hurting has same important as loving. As I was in reverse situation someone whom I do not like had care for me a lot and helped in very difficult situation of my life.. ) second reason to be happy is that you have got your freedom whenever you want to you can get in to another relationship as there are no mutual commitments so no hurts nothing to worry cause as I earlier mention when someone cares for you even for 0..1% you will have small amount of guilt to leave him but when these is not there you are free to do anything. words and action in life... Karma's.

but lack the resources or contacts to be able to start a new business. sometimes we want to be self-employed. We have to know. seemingly miraculously. even our goal may seem impossible for us. then all the forces of the Universe help us achieve our goal. work. This happens almost without much effort on our part IF the goal we have in mind is slightly ―other-oriented‖. You can get that money easily and without any frustrating obstacles. without any definite purpose except to study. where we are going. have a family. we bring with us a beautiful uniqueness which is really exclusive to us. so is studying and earning a living. meaning it benefits other people too. First of all. without any shadow of doubt. each has a uniqueness exclusive to him/her. Very important. most of us just seem to ―settle‖ for whatever comes our way. we decide on a particular goal. If the precepts of Practical Spirituality are practised in our daily lives. earn a living. avenues open up to us. There is a purpose to our being born in human form. we need a positive mental outlook without which. When we are IN the flow of the Universe and not moving against It. be it short-termed or long-termed – a definite goal. But most of us are just drifting along life‘s path.301 Career Achievement – Practical Spirituality:15 When we enter this world. With a positive mental outlook is born an enthusiasm. Even if we have an identical twin. IF you have a worthwhile purpose for that money. Having a family is important. sometimes it seems that we just don‘t get the type of job we desire. For example – say your goal is to earn ten crore rupees or more annually. However. etc. as Dr Clement Stone and Dr Napoleon Hill have said so often. Sometimes it is due to pressure from family and relatives. A worthwhile purpose which includes a very comfortable and luxurious life for .

Truth is beauty. fear of losing face. Whether one is employed in a workplace. and create a trust similar to that of the hospital. for no other ulterior reason :-) Putting these simple precepts into our daily lives is also part of Practical Spirituality :-) . it comes from fear. or is self-employed. you could build a school. When we make a commitment to ―deliver‖ something by a certain date or time. whatever it may be. and if we keep Truth as our constant companion. because Spirit IS Truth. Fear has no place in a positive mental outlook. Nature‘s Law of Increasing Returns makes sure that eventually you will be paid more than what you give as service. we must deliver well within that promised time. anything. that it is impossible to speak the truth and be successful in business. and then. with a trust created for grandchildren. We take refuge in lies out of fear. which benefits people and makes life easier for them. one is literally trying to swim against the current. speaking a lie.302 you and your family. When you have such things sincerely set within your heart and mind. You could think of building a large home for the elderly who have no family to look after them. but going the extra mile should be done for the sheer joy of doing it. and helps wonderfully. for whatever reason. You could think of building a hospital with all the latest equipment. it builds up our own integrity. Another thing that is vitally important is that of ―going the extra mile‖ first advocated in print by Napoleon Hill. and creating a trust where the salaries of the medical doctors/surgeons are high enough to be able to secure excellently qualified people from the medical profession. the Universe does help. Going the extra mile means doing more than what you are paid for. we build up our own characters. to do something which really helps those who are not as ―fortunate‖ as you are. Fear that we may not get what we desire. Now. and beauty is God. One of the best known film producers told me once that we cannot succeed in business unless we speak lies. is going against the flow of the Universe. after that. honesty is always the best policy.

national and global levels. the increasingly interdependent body of humanity is composed of diverse elements whose well-being can only be achieved through integration and coordination.303 Unity for effective governance With growing global interdependence. appears deceptively simple. These implications can be appreciated by considering the function of power in human affairs. embodying the unifying and mutualistic exercise of power. it is the unity and interdependence of the body's diverse cells and organs that permits the full realisation of the distinctive capacities inherent in each. To progress. That humanity constitutes a single people. To be effective. Attempts to advance human prosperity and well-being can no longer ignore this reality. . The organic unity that is implied by this analogy has profound implications for the structures and processes of governance within communities at all levels. different social organisations are proving anachronistic. Governance has frequently been characterised by self-interested and competitive expressions of power. Much like the human body. These conditions call for the development of new modes of governance at all levels. in which the welfare of every individual and group is dependent on the welfare of the entire social body. At the same time. No cell or organ lives apart from the human body. approaches to governance at all levels will need to be informed by the principle of the oneness of humanity. with shared interests and aspirations. and the well-being of each cell derives from the well-being of the whole. But these are discordant under conditions of heightened social and ecological interdependence. Such expressions may have served only specific groups. we need to harmonise and coordinate our activities on local. yet it constitutes a fundamental challenge to inherited assumptions and practices in the field of governance.

have profound implications for governance. Take gender equality. the Prophet-herald of the Baha'i faith. within a unified and coordinated framework. and for reflective learning from implementation? And what are the practical implications for the training and education of citizens and public servants. productivity. it is the diversity of the component parts of an organic body that permits the full realisation of its collective capacity. . Exclusion leads to marginalisation of half the population in many decision-making processes. local communities and in national and international arenas. resilience. creativity. On the contrary.and for process of collective decision-making and implementation. What are the practical implications of these principles and insights for the structure and selection of leadership and authority in systems of governance . Only when diverse segments of human society contribute equally to the governance of human affairs. and the mutualistic exercise of power that is associated with this principle. This principle applies to the full range of human diversity. gender equity is necessary. Therefore. women worldwide continue to be excluded from significant decision-making processes within the home.304 The oneness of humanity. will real prosperity and well-being be achieved. diversity is a source of collective capacity. Within human societies. unity does not imply uniformity within a social body. For communities to advance and prosper. innovation and adaptation. Even though the well-being of women and men is inseparably linked. which will be needed to support such structures and processes? Contributed by the Baha'i department of external affairs on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the Bab. Inclusion of women in governance is thus an essential expression of the principle of oneness.

aware and conscious. Same sun rays fall on the cactus as on the flower. someone else is becoming fearless.. . others may not be absorbing it.. Natural law is that what one may absorb. If someone absorbs fear. Say to yourself: ―I am in surrender if I am truthful then divine help will always be there for me‖ Energy is depleted by being fearful. counteract by saying: ―Why should I be scared when I am truly working on my self?‖ People often become submissive..‖ Watch the body language change. Face your fears...it is taking another colour. what they do not absorb. This is how terrorists work! Each one is poorn.. Now we have to be fearless.. Everything is floating in the universe.. the flower is not absorbing it... atmosphere around by being receptive to it. shows on them. We are floating in a pool. By being fearful. An environment of fear is self-created. he is making someone else fearless..Be a worthy medium of divine grace.. I am not taking it. For example: A leaf takes green colour. Understand the subtleties. This is the message.. enhancing the devil by feeling fearful of him.. Grace will descend.. Be fearless and counter attack.305 How to become fearless It is important to understand that the air never gets depleted from the universe no matter how much is consumed. That individual is creating that field.. ―I am on path of truth love karm and light. Doubts and fear come when you are fearful. Don‘t take fear. Universe balances all. The Supreme has made everyone a reflection of itself. karmheen... Forward your fears to the Universe.

sometimes even on weekends.maybe done by his chidren..Truth always conquers You will never come out of it alive "Don't take life too seriously.306 Pranam Karm is dharm. money .... the term "our life" means our job .. That was in 2006. comforts . I felt it had such a deep meaning.. I first saw this hung in a wall of one of my senior directors office in Chicago...Love never fails.. taking care of our health is quite neglected. we put in long hours of stressful work daily . fame and maybe status. career . growth . We all take our life very seriously. Isn't that an irony ? . family . We forget that half of our life we spend earning money only to spend that on medical bills due to ill health. For achieving these . In this process . You will never come out of it alive" The above is one of my favourite quotes. handwritten . Even though I didnt ask the person on why he chose to hang it in his work place. i soon realised that it is qutie an effective stress-buster. For many of us .. It was simple .

Act on the spur of the moment. even though we have time and money . Am not advocating that we should neglect our work always. we come up with an excuse that we have so much of work and no time to go on vacation. Act on your dreams and not procrastinate life. I have enjoyed many vacations where there was bare minimal planning and I took off on the journey. I learnt that extra . as age catches up . Draw a balance between the time spent in "work for a living" and "actually living". unnecessary works dumped on you is called as monkey on shoulder ) Realising this is the first step. A note of caution too much planning sometimes takes the fun away. I believe in the saying that "Work is worship" .307 When we are young and able to go and climb mountains . is there a way out ? Yes. but I also realise that "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Live each moment completely. I try to enjoy the journey and not just focus on arriving at my destination. we wouldnt be able to do the things we can do now. Later on . So .. Second step is to make plans on what you want to do in this life. Learn to say "No" whenever required.( In a mangament seminar. As the slogan says "JUST DO IT " . "Balance" is the key word. Make your own rules. That is the simplest word to throw many monkeys off our shoulder.

308 Remember the day you are born . the countdown has started. Lets make the most of that ! Happy Living ! Celebrate Life ! .

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