Friday, November 15, 2013

Finding sense into the essence of marriage and its related rituals..

since it seems to be the season of wedding (as most of people around me are getting married ;) ) i decided to post few things i have been reading recently related to it.. so here i have tried to explain as simply as i could..
In Ramayana...when Shri Ram and Sita were announced they will get married and Dashratha came to Mithila with his other sons..Janaka made a proposal to marry his other 3 daughters with his three sons and their family be united..
Dashratha accepted this proposal and along with Ram Sita..Laxman married Urmila, Bharata married Mandavi and Shatrugan married Shrutakirti.
Janaka gave his daughters to the son of Dashratha saying 'I give you Lakshmi,wealth, who will bring you pleasure and prosperity. Grant me Saraswati, wisdom Let me learn the joy of letting go'. This culture came to be known as kanya-daan. Unlike dakshina, where wealth is asked in exchange and bhiksha where power is asked in exchange. in daan only wisdom is sought.
The four couples took seven steps together in front of their elders. this meant they would share seven things for ever: a house, fire, water, income, children, pleasure and conversation. Placing their palms one below the other they made offering of ghee and grain to the fire so that the smoke carried them up to the realm above sky where devas could feast to their satisfaction. offerings were also made to the cow, dog, serpent, banana plant , banyan tree, to rocks to water, a reminder that humanity does not live in isolation.
Finally as the brides were about to leave, a fistful of rice was given to them. they threw it over their heads. that rice symbolized repayment of a daughter's debt to her parents. Sita, Urmila, Mandavi and Shrutakriti wanted to turn back but they knew that there is wisdom in letting go and moving on.
a huge caravan of horses ,elephants left with the brides. it contained fabrics ,jewels, pulses, vegetables, herbs. for when a bride enters the husband's house she brings with her not just the promise of a new generation but also a new culture and with that new  thoughts that enrich her husband's household.
marriage since vedic times, is just not the union of man and a woman but an opportunity for two cultures to intermingle so that new customs and beliefs can enter an old household and revitalize it.

well hope this lends a new perspective to our thoughts on marriage and its related rituals..will keep posted as i unravel the beauty and wisdom of our puraans and mythologies.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What is a Brahman?

Brahmaarpanam Brahma Havir
Brahmaagnau Brahmanaa Hutam
Brahmaiva Tena Gantavyam
Brahma Karma Samaadhinaha

Meaning:
The act of offering is Brahman.
The offering itself is Brahman.
The offering is done by Brahman in the sacred fire which is Brahman. He alone attains Brahman who, in all actions, is fully absorbed in Brahman.
 

this might clear the confusion of people who consider brahman to be a rigid system or birth right..instead it is a philosphy..those who follow the phillosphy and act accordingly are true brahmans..much like hinduism is a philosphy and to be a true hindu one doesnt have to keep fast or sing chants all day but follow the philosphy of hinduism and act accordingly.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Intellect and its different forms

There are three types of intellect.

 One is an intellect which is dormant or doesn’t function at all; sleepy, in slumber and only into negativity. This is Tamasic Intellect.

Then is Rajasic Intellect. Most people have a rajasic intellect. Everyone functions with a rajasic intellect.
Rajasic intellect means seeing everything as different – This person is different, that person is different, this person behaves that way, that lady behaves this way; dwelling on these differences. Thinking there are so many people, so many personalities, and seeing that as reality. Doing this sometimes you go very high and sometimes you go down. This is rajasic intellect.

Then there is Sattvic Intellect, which is the goal of evolution.
Sattvic intellect sees there is only one thing that is underlying all other differences. That is the reality.
There is one underlying truth. That one thing has come up in so many forms.

As an example take a case of a puppet show..
A rajasic intellect is seeing all the puppets as different characters. A sattvic intellect says, 'There is only one person who is making all these dolls dance.' Actually it is a Mono Act.
One person who is behind the curtain, is making with his ten fingers all these different stories happen on the screen and is making them dance.
They tie one thread to each of the ten fingers and they make all the puppets run around.

So a sattvic intellect is seeing that there is one thing, one truth, one reality, one consciousness that is underneath the whole creation. When this truth is well lodged in the mind though you see the differences, dwell in differences, you will be unshaken.
A house that has a very good foundation does not collapse in an earthquake. It has a shock absorber. A real shock absorber is deep inside knowing that all this is made up of one consciousness.
All of matter is one consciousness. I am that one consciousness and everything is that one consciousness.

One who knows this is free. It is called freedom. ‘I’m so free. Nothing bothers me.’

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Paramhansa yogananda's explanation on the law of karma

"A visitor: "The Bible says that evildoers shall be punished, and the good, rewarded. Do you subscribe to this teaching?"

Paramhansa Yogananda: "Certainly. If we accept the principle of cause and effect in Nature, and of action and reaction in physics, how can we not believe that this natural law extends also to human beings? Do not humans, too, belong to the natural order?

"This is the law of karma: As you sow, so shall you reap.18 If you sow evil, you will reap evil in the form of -suffering. And if you sow goodness, you will reap goodness in the form of inner joy."

The visitor: "How specific is the law? In physics, the law of motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In Nature, effects are often very specifically, and not only vaguely, related to their causes. Yet we've been taught to view reward and punishment for human behavior in more general terms. If we're good, we've been told, we'll go to heaven, and if we're bad, we'll go to hell. But people don't think of themselves as reaping specific consequences for specific deeds."

Yogananda: "The karmic law is exact. There is, furthermore, no question of suffering in hell for eternity. (How could the misdeeds of a few years on earth deserve eternal punishment? Could a finite cause have an infinite effect?)

"To understand karma, you must realize that thoughts are things. The very universe, in the final analysis, is composed not of matter but of consciousness. Matter responds, far more than most people realize, to the power of thought. For will power directs energy, and energy in turn acts upon matter. Matter, indeed, is energy.

"The stronger the will, the greater the force of energy—and the greater, consequently, the energy's impact on material events. A strong will, especially if combined with awareness of the cosmic energy, can effect miracles. It can cure diseases, and make a person well. It can ensure success in any undertaking. The very seasons are obedient to the man of strong will power and of deep faith.

"Even unenlightened human beings shape their destinies, more than they themselves realize, according to the way they use their power of will. For no action is ever an isolated event. Always, it invites from the universe a reaction that corresponds exactly to the type and the force of energy behind the deed.

"Action originates in the will, which directs energy toward its desired end. This, then, is the definition of will power: desire plus energy, directed toward fulfillment.

"Energy, like electricity, generates a magnetic field. And that magnetic field attracts to itself the consequences of action.

"The binding force between human action and cosmic reaction is the ego. The consciousness of ego ensures that
a person's actions will have personal consequences for himself. These consequences may be delayed, if the will power engendering a thought or deed was not powerful enough to have immediate results, or if its thrust was thwarted by other, conflicting energies. Sooner or later, however, every action, whether of body, of thought, or of desire, must reap its final reaction. It is like a circle completing itself.

"Thus, man, made as he is in the image of God, becomes in his turn a creator.

"The results of good and bad deeds are not experienced only after death. Heaven and hell are realities even here on earth, where people reap the painful consequences of their folly, and the harmonious results of right action.

"People seldom think of their own actions as bad. Whatever they do seems, at least to them, well-intentioned. But if they create disharmony for others, and thus on deeper levels of their being for themselves, those waves of dishar-
mony will inevitably return to them in the form of disharmony.

"Every action, every thought, reaps its own corresponding rewards.

"Human suffering is not a sign of God's anger with
mankind. It is a sign, rather, of man's ignorance of the
divine law.

"The law is forever infallible in its workings.."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Golden rules for a satisfying life

We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:


1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves. You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Buddha's teaching


Once Buddha was travelling with a few of his followers. While they were passing a lake, Buddha told one
of his disciples, "I am thirsty. Do get me some water from the lake."
The disciple walked up to the lake. At that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy and turbid. The disciple thought, "How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?"

So he came back and told Buddha, "The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink."
After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake.
The disciple went back, and found that the water was still muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same.
After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back.
This time, the disciple found the mud had settled down, and the water was clean and clear. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.
Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said," See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be, and the mud settled down on its own -- and you have clear water.
Your mind is like that too ! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don't have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.