Monday, September 1, 2014

The Dangers of Belongingness and Advantages of Obligations

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Belongingness can bring about a host of negative emotions. Like demand, jealousy, unawareness and lack of gratitude. Just look into your own life, you feel more grateful to strangers than the people you feel "belong" to you. Belongingness reduces gratefulness, awareness, and gives rise to demands which destroys love. This is the biggest problem in relationships. People are nice to strangers and give more attention to them. With a sense of belongingness comes carefreeness and lack of attention.

Look belongingness can make you insensitive, dull, and take away the charm in life! Anyway, who belongs to whom in this world? Here you are a stranger and everyone is a stranger to you! Blessed are those who feel themselves as a stranger! You feel more obligation to a stranger than the person you feel belongs to you. Obligation is very good to keep a check on your ego. It makes you humble. There is no greater antidote to ego than humility. Being humble is the beginning of all virtues.

People have such resistance for obligations. They do not realize that they are always under obligations, whether giving or taking! Dull people think that one is obliged only when one takes. The wise knows that even when one is giving one is under obligations, as the person has accepted what one gives. So whether you give or take you are under obligations. And if someone does not give or take, you are still under obligation! For they are freeing you from visible obligations!!

That is to say, you are obliged to all those who do not make you obliged! Got it?

Life (you) renews itself everytime by becoming a stranger in this old and familiar world. You are simply loaded with obligations and you are a total stranger in this world every moment!

How does it feel (Laughter!)

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Now is the Time to Act

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Behind every action, there is always a motivation to get a specific result. When you do every action with an eye on the end result or on any specific goal, the expectation of the result affects the process of your action. Put it another way, the means of achieving the end often becomes bigger than the end itself. But when you do some action as an expression of joy and are not bothered about the result, you will not be lost in the means. When you do some actions expecting joy out of them, it makes the action inferior. For example, you want to spread happiness, but if you are keen on finding out whether the other person has become happy or not, you get entangled in their vicious circle and you lose your happiness in the process. Or suppose, you want to take up a project, but you start it by worrying whether it will happen or not, then your whole enthusiasm for the project gets dampened.

The concern about the outcome of your action is what pulls you down and dampens your enthusiasm. So when you are aware of your potential, just jump into the action you want to do without bothering about the result.

When you are in doubt, any activity you do will bring more doubts. When you have a choice, the grass on the other side will look greener and this will prevent you from enjoying what you have in your hand. It will not allow you to focus on what is right now. So when you are bothered by a choice, just relax and understand that choices bring conflict and there is freedom in ‘choicelessness’.

So how to be centered when there is a doubt or conflict? In Narada Bhakti Sutras, Narada says, “Karmanyapi Sanyasyati” Take a break, not just from activity, but also from the fruit of the activity. You can take a break from the fruit of the action when you let go of the result and become totally centered in the action itself. It will bring deep rest from doubts and conflicts in the mind.

One who is not concerned about the outcome, is centered in the action itself and reposes in the Self, goes beyond the dualities, beyond conflicts.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop acting. Though one who is wise, who has attained knowledge, and experienced divine love, is beyond all actions yet he continues to engage himself in action. You can transcend only what you have gone through. You can let go only what you have. So to let go of the fruit of the action, you need to have the fruit and to have the fruit, you need to act! This is so beautiful.

Shri Krishna used the fruit of the action to motivate Arjuna to fight. He told Arjuna that if you die in the battle, you will attain heaven and if you win, you will rule the world. Jesus also did the same.

When you are bogged down with laziness, you need motivation to do something and the expected fruit of action acts as the motivating factor. But once you start acting, let go off the expected result. Just focus on the work on hand. So be active. Keep doing your work, and drop the fruit of action.All the fruit of action is there as the motivation for you to start acting. This is the way of the wise!

Blossom in the Divine Love with profound and inspiring knowledge by Sri Sri on 'Narad Bhakti Sutra - Aphorisms of Love'

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Big Debate: Godman or Badman

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Spiritual gurus can marry if they want to.
In Hindu thought, the four ashramas are brahmacharya, grihasta, vanaprastha and sanyas. Though sanyas ashram comes last, there is a provision to allow mature people to go directly from brahmacharya ashram to sanyas ashram. The maturity comes from memory of past life and sadhana (mediation) in the present life.

Celibacy is more or less a happening than a vow. When ones prana rises up from the base chakra to higher chakras, the body becomes insignificant, hence the interest in sex is reduced to nothing.

Proponents of only three religions in the entire world — Hinduism, Buddhism and Catholics — practise celibacy as a religious vow. Among the three, Hinduism is much more liberal. There are swamis who are also grihastas (householders) like Ramakrishna Paramhans, Sriram Sharma of Gayatri Parivar and many others. So, spiritual leadership does not entirely lie only on sanyasis but also householders.

Though there have been cases where sanyasis got married and became householders, such decisions have not been appreciated by the society.

Sant Dnyandev’s father was a sanyasi who got married late in life. Society branded him an outcast. Dnyandev and his brothers and sister underwent a lot of hardships. Times have changed now and there is not as much stigma involved in such cases. Honesty, sincerity and simplicity are the fundamentals of a religion.

According to me, it will be difficult if you are not a yogi, to live in the world and still be a celibate. The pleasure one gets in deep meditation and samadhi is quantified as 1,000 times that of carnal pleasure. So naturally, the buddhas, the siddhas, sadgurus or sanyasis don’t feel the need for carnal pleasures.

Benefits of Meditation - Click Here to know more

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Friday, August 29, 2014

The Symbolism of Ganesh Chaturthi

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Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the day on which Lord Ganesha is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Though it is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the symbolism behind the festival is much deeper.

The essence of Ganeshji is brought out beautifully by Adi Shankara. Though Ganeshji is worshiped as the the elephant-headed God, the form (swaroop) is just to bring out its parabrahma roopa. Ganeshji is described as Ajam Nirvikalpam Niraakaaramekam. This means that Ganeshji is never born.

He is Ajam (unborn), he is Niraakaar (formless) and he is Nirvikalpa (attributeless). Ganeshji symbolises the consciousness which is omnipresent. Ganeshji is the same energy which is the reason for this universe, from which everything is manifested and it's the same energy in which the whole world will be dissolved. Ganeshji is not somewhere outside of us, but the very centre of our life. But this is very subtle knowledge. Not everybody can perceive the formless without the form. Our ancient Rishis and Munis knew this; so they created the form for the benefit and understanding of people at all levels. Those who can't experience of the formless, over a period of sustained experience of manifested form reach the formless Brahman.

So in reality, Ganeshji is formless; yet there is a form to which Adi Shankara prayed and that form carries the message of the formlesness of Ganeshji. Thus, the form serves as the starting point and gradually the formless consciousness begins to manifest. Ganesh Chaturthi marks a unique art of reaching formless Paramatma called Lord Ganesh by repeated worship of the manifest form of Ganesha. Even the Ganesh Stotram, the prayers recited in the praise of Ganeshji, conveys the same. We pray to Ganeshji in our consciousness to come out and sit in the idol for us for a while so that we can play with him. And after the puja, we again pray asking him to go back to where he comes from; that's our consciousness. While he is in the idol, we offer back whatever God has given us through the puja of the idol.

The ritual of immersing (visaran) the idols after few days of worship reinforces the understanding that God is not in the idol, it's inside us. So experiencing the omnipresent in the form and deriving joy out of the form is the essence of the Ganesha Chaturthi festival. In a way such organised festivity and worships lead to an upsurge in enthusiasm and devotion.

Ganeshji is the lord of all the good qualities in us. So when we worship him, all the good qualities will blossom in us. He is also the lord of knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge dawns only when we become aware of the Self. When there is inertia, there is no knowledge, no wisdom, nor is there any liveliness (Chaitanya) or progress in life. So the consciousness has to be awakened and the presiding diety of consciousness is Ganeshji. That's why before every puja, the Lord Ganesha is worshiped to awaken the consciousness.

Therefore, install the idol, worship it with infinite love, meditate and experience Lord Ganesha from within. This is the symbolic essence of Ganesh Chaturti festival, to awaken the Ganesha tatva which is masked inside us.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Facing the World Takes Faith

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Mankind is passing through difficult times. With rising stress levels, terror attacks, environmental pollution, there are dangers lurking in every corner.

When times get difficult, we need to renew our faith. It’s faith that pulls one through difficult times. It brings out the hidden courage and potential in more ways than one.

Another thing you need to have in order to sail through difficult times is a calm mind. When the mind is calm and you are centred, it’s much easier to face any situation. For this, you need to train the mind a little to live in the present moment and drop the stress. This can be done by attending to your breath.

Combine the inner calm with your faith, and then you have a formula to face any situation. Having faith is to realise that God’s protection is there for you. This much faith is enough to move ahead in life. During the time of reaping the harvest, the farmer holds a broad sieve and puts all the grains into it and stands on an elevated platform and shakes the sieve. If it is mere husk, it just flies away in the air and is lost.

If grain is present, then it falls to the ground and stays. If your faith shakes very quickly, then you are akin to being like the husk.

If your faith shakes quickly when difficulty strikes, you will not be able to face it with your smile intact. If you have faith, you will be able to find ground. And when you have faith that everything will be all right, everything will settle down.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar visits Zurich - Click Here to know more

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