Friday, 25 April 2014

who can be your ideal ?

HARI  OM  

Practical  steps  to  spirituality  section 6 part 80 

The  Gita  revisited 

Who  can  be your  ideal  ?  

                   Doing    good  actions  and  having  good  conduct  is   the  highest  dharma  . In these   modern days   we  find   youngsters  choosing  film stars  and  celebrities   as  their  idols   and  try  to  emulate  their  life style and  behavior   in the  film world   as well  as  in their  real  life. . The  youth  cannot   be  blamed  for  emulating  them  .as  they  do not  have   any  role  models   to  look  up to  . They cannot  look  up  to  even   their  parents  as  their  role  models  . because  many  a  time  the  parents  present  an  image  where  there  is  a  contradiction  between  what  they  speak   and  their  behavior  . It  is  good actions  and  conduct  alone  that  can  qualify  a  person  to  be  great  .  The  politicians  too  fail  miserably  on  this  . Even  the  fake  gurus  who  have  mushroomed   all  over  the  world  turn  one  into  a  dis- believer.  

                    So  now  the  question  arises   as  to  whom  we  can  look  up to  as  a  real  role  model  ? It  is  the  Infinite  God  alone  , who  is  Omniscient,  Omnipotent  and  Omnipresent  , that  can  be  our  role  model. . He  is  the  changeless  substratum  of  the  ever  changing  world  . He  presides  over  all  our  actions   and  is  the  karma phala  data   who  gives  the  results  at  the  right  time  and  without  any  mix up . The  Lord  through  His  incarnations  as  Sri  Rama  and  Sri Krishna   and  through  His  life  , work  and  teachings  ,demonstrates  to  us   as  to  how  to  face  life  's  toughest  situations   and  work  tirelessly  for  the  welfare  of  the  world. . Lord  Rama   walked  the  talk  and  even  under  the  toughest  situations  He  did  not  give  up  His  Dharma  . He  is  called  Maryada  Purushottam  Ram  . Lord  Krishna  through  His    Gita   has  given  us   a  priceless  teaching  as  to  how  we  should  live  our  lives   with  a  sense  of  purpose  and  attain  the  highest  goal  of  life-  that  of  realizing  the  Self  , and  selflessly  contribute  whatever  best  we  can  for  peace,  prosperity   happiness  and  welfare  of  all  of  God's  creations. 

to  be  continued....

Friday, 18 April 2014

What prompts an action ?

HARI  OM  

Practical  steps  to spirituality- section 6 part 79 

The Gita revisited 

What prompts  us to do actions ?

                   We  , spiritually  ignorant  , perform  actions  because  we gain something  by doing  them  . With an  eye  to gaining favours   from others  we  perform  some  actions  only  to please  them . Sometimes we lose something by not  doing an  action. . A timely  help not  given  is  always  remembered  in anger  by  others  .  Some  of  the  social  customs   are  such  that  when  they  are  not  followed  , we lose  the  goodwill  of  others  or  sometimes  we  are  ostracized  by  society  . . Sometimes  we  do  actions  because  we  are  attached  to  or  dependent  on them  for  our  happiness  . A  mother  continues   to show  care  for  her  child  even  when  he  is  grown  up  and  can    take  care  of  himself. . This  she  does  because  she  is  attached  to  her  action  

                 When  we  contrast  ourselves  with  a  Realized  Master  , we  find  that  he  does not  have  any  of  the  above  compulsions   and  is  totally  free  to  do  or  not  do  any  action. . While    we  seek  fulfillment  from  our  actions  ,  he  does  actions  out   of  a  sense  of  fulfillment. . It  is  said  of  King  Janaka  that  he  followed  the  path  of  action   and  became  a  truly   Realized  Master   and  thereafter  he  worked   for  the  welfare  of  others  with  the  karma  yoga  attitude. 

                Lord  Krishna  says   to  Arjuna  "  for  me  there  is  nothing  to  be  achieved  from the  three  worlds   and  nothing    more  to  be  gained  , yet  I  continue to  do  my  duties. . If  I  fail  to  engage  myself  in  proper action  , people  would  follow  my  footsteps  and  become  inactive. "  So  the  Lord  says  that  just  as  the  ignorant  are  attached  to  their   actions   and  their  results  ,  the  wise  should  remain  unattached   to  actions  and  their  results   in  order  that  they  might  uplift  the  world. 

to  be  continued..... 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Tyaga and samarpana

HARI  OM  

Practical steps to spirituality- section 6 part 78

The  Gita revisited

Tyaga and samarpana  

              The  Gita  says  "  one who eats  without sharing  eats  sin." . When  we  perform  all  our  actions  with  yajna  spirit  , it  involves  giving  up  something  (  tyaga  )  and  offering  something  (  samarpana  )  . We  see Nature  is  always  doing  the  same  .  The  waters  from  the  ocean  evaporate (  tyaga  )   and  are  offered   to  the  sun  and the  clouds  in its own  turn  showers  (  samarpana  )  rain  on the  earth.  The  coconut  tree  gets  water  from  the  earth  and  in its  turn  it  gives  back  the  sweet  water  to  the  passersby  . . Similarly  ,we  too  human  beings  should  keep  this  wheel  of  action continuous   by  giving  up  something   and  offering something for  the  welfare  of  all. 

          Those  who  only  take   and  do  not  give something   back  become  a  clog  in the  wheel  of  action. . When  we  waste  this  precious  human  life   in  laziness  , carelessness  , procrastination  and  criminal  activities   or  in being  insensitive  to  others' needs , then  our  life has been  lived  in  vain. . We  are  then  said  to  be  eating  without  sharing  with others. Scriptures  say  that  a  thief  is  not  only  one  who  takes  others' things  without  asking  , but  a  thief  is  also  one   who  never  acknowledges   others ' help  or  one  who  fails  to  give  credit   to  others' timely  help, whatever it  be  . In  modern  times  Plagiarism  is  stealing  others  literary  work  . Receiving  pay  but   not  doing  one's duty , the duty for  which  he  gets paid ,  is  also  another  form  of  stealing. 

            As  one  grows  spiritually  , one   becomes  aware  of the   importance  of  sharing  with  others  whatever  one  is  blessed  with. in  plenty. The  joy  of  sharing  one's  wealth  towards  educating  the  poor  orphans  or  building  homes  for  the  poor   is  great. The  joy  of  sharing  one's  knowledge  of  the  scriptures  is  really  immense  and  is  immeasurable. . Lord  Krishna  says  "  those  who  teach  this  knowledge  (  of the  Gita  )  to others   are  dearest  to  Me  " .  Sharing  this  knowledge  is  an  yajna  . All selfless  actions  manifest  the  Lord's  Divinity.  

to  be  continued....

              

Friday, 11 April 2014

the pancha maha yajnas

                                                              HARI  OM  

Practical  steps  to spirituality- section 6 part 77

The  Gita revisited 

The  pancha maha yajnas  

                Right from  the time  we  are born  , we  are taken care of by nature, our parents , and other relatives  and  by society  .Scriptures tell  us  that  it  is  time  to  give  back  to  all  when  we are  mature  enough to  understand   the  value  of  paying  back  . Hence  scriptures  enumerated  the  five  yajnas  to  show  our  gratitude  to  all  from whom  we  continue  to  receive benefits . . The  pancha  maha  yajnas  are  a  daily  ritual  performed  to  repay  our  debt  to   nature,  all  living  creatures,  to  fellow  human  beings  ,  to  our  fore fathers   and  the  great  rishis. 

                 The  Bhuta  yajna  :  It  is our  duty   not  to  exploit  or  destroy  other  living  creatures   but  to  help  in  the  protection   and  preservation  of  all  species. . Each  of  God's  creations  helps  us  in its  own  ways   and  it becomes  our  karthavya  to   extend  our  love  to  them . When  we  understand  the  deeper  implication  of  this  yajna  , we  will  become  pure  vegetarians  and  come  to  believe  in  ahimsa   .The  Deva  yajna  :  Nature  serves  us  all  the  time  . . The  sun,  the  wind  , the  rains  , the  cycle  of  seasons  , the  different  kinds  of  vegetation  , the  rivers  and  mountains  all  help  us  and  without  whom  we  may  not  be  able  to  survive. . Can  we  ever  imagine  life  without  the  sun?. So  it  becomes  our  duty  to  keep  our  environment  pollution  free  , the  rivers  from  getting  polluted  by  industrial  waste.  and  so  on. . We  should  help  in  maintaining  ecological  balance. .The  Pitr  yajna  :   Our  parents  and  other  family  members   take  care  of  our  physical,  emotional well  being  . Our  fore  fathers  have  handed  down  to  us  the  value  system  , culture  and  tradition  . It  then  becomes  our  duty  to  live  as  good  human  beings  , take  care  of  our  parents,  follow  the  value  systems  given  to  us  by our fore fathers  and  pass  them  on  to  the  next  generation. 

                The  Nr yajna  :   Society  provides  for  our  good  health,  education  ,  for  our  total  well  being  . It  is  now  our  turn  to  pay  back  to  society  by  becoming  responsible  citizens   in  extending  a  helping  hand  to   the  poor  and  needy,  in  helping  to  educate   street   children ,  in building  homes  for  the  orphans   and  help  each  human  being    live  his  life  in  dignity. Even  paying  taxes  in  time  becomes  an  yajna.  The  Rsi  yajna  :  The  sages  of  the  past  have  handed  down  to  us  a great  treasure  in  the  form  of  the  invaluable  scriptures  . We  should  study  the  scriptures   and  live  our  life  in  accord  with  the  principles  laid  down  in the scriptures. We  should  also  help  in spreading  this  knowledge  to  others. 

                   Following  the  above  five  principles  and  doing  the  five  great  yajnas   as  a  daily  ritual  helps  us  to  lead  our  life  with dignity and grace  and we help others too  to  lead  their  lives  in peace  and  happiness.  

to  be  continued....

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Prasada buddhi

HARI  OM  

Practical  steps  to  spirituality- section 6  part  76

The  Gita  revisited 

Prasada  buddhi  

                        We  have  seen  in  the  last  page  the  details  of  Iswara  arpana  buddhi. . When  we  do  all  our  actions  with  the  attitude  that  we  are  indeed  doing  them  all  for  Him,  that  we  carry  out  His  work  with  the  strength  and  knowledge  given  to  us  by  Him  , then  it  becomes  natural  for  us  to  accept  cheerfully   all  the  results  that  come  to  us  for  our  actions  as  His  Prasada  ,  as  His  blessings  . 
                    In  the  temple,  after the   puja  ,the  priest  gives  prasad   to  all . The  prasada   is  partaken  by  us  eagerly  with  love  and  devotion  for  God. . We  also  show  our  gratitude  to  Him  by  happily partaking  of  the  Lord's  prasada  . We  show  no  resistance  , no  insistence  ,likes  or  dislikes , or  complaints    in  accepting  the  prasada  .  and  we  share  even  the  small  amount  received  with  others  . Similarly  when  we  accept  cheerfully  all  the  results  of  our  actions   from  the  Lord  who  is  the  karma phala data  ,  we  no  longer  have  any  complaints   to  God  . We  no  longer  would  ask   ' why  me  ? why  is  this  happening  to  me  ? '  We  then  would  not  cry  to  the  Lord   while  going  through  tough  situations   in  life.   and  we  would  no  longer  say  ' this  is  simply  unbearable  . I  cannot  take  it  any  more.'. When  we  accept  cheerfully  all  that  comes  to  us  in  our  life  , pleasant  as  well  as  unpleasant  situations, we  call  this attitude  as  Prasada  buddhi.

               In  the  earlier  page  we  saw   that  doing  all  our  actions  as  worship  of  the  Lord is  Iswara arpana  buddhi .  Prasada  buddhi  is  accepting  all  the  results  that  comes  to  us  as  a  gift  from  God   So  karma  yoga  = Iswara  arpana  buddhi  (  while  performing  actions  )  and  Prasada  buddhi  (  while  accepting  cheerfully   the  results  )  . We  would  then  carry  this  attitude  in all  spheres  of  our  life   and  consider   all  that'  I  do  as  an  offering  unto  the  Lord  and  receiving  all  that  I  get  as  His  gift  to  me  '.  This  attitude  helps  us  to  face  any  situation  in  life  with  courage  and  do  our  best  . We  then  will  have  no  problems  in  accepting  people  and  situations  as  they  are   as  here lies  the  keys  to  peace, joy  and  happiness   in  our  lives.  


to  be  continued....