जिंदगी में क्या खोया और क्या पाया ?

एक बार किसी रेलवे प्लैटफॉर्म पर जब गाड़ी रुकी तो एक लड़का पानी बेचता हुआ निकला ।

ट्रेन में बैठे एक सेठ ने उसे आवाज दी : ऐ लड़के, इधर आ ।

लड़का दौड़कर आया ।

उसने पानी का गिलास भरकर सेठ की ओर बढ़ाया तो सेठ ने पूछा : कितने पैसे में ?

लड़के ने कहा : पच्चीस पैसे ।

सेठ ने उससे कहा कि पंदह पैसे में देगा क्या ?

यह सुनकर लड़का हल्की मुस्कान दबाए पानी वापस घड़े में उड़ेलता हुआ आगे बढ़ गया ।

उसी डिब्बे में एक महात्मा बैठे थे.. जिन्होंने यह नजारा देखा था कि लड़का मुस्कराय मौन रहा ।

जरूर कोई रहस्य उसके मन में होगा ।

महात्मा नीचे उतरकर उस लड़के के पीछे- पीछे गए ।

बोले : ऐ लड़के, ठहर जरा, यह तो बता तू हंसा क्यों ?

वह लड़का बोला : महाराज,, मुझे हंसी इसलिए आई कि सेठजी को प्यास तो लगी ही नहीं थी । वे तो केवल पानी के गिलास का रेट पूछ रहे थे ।

महात्मा ने पूछा : लड़के,, तुझे ऐसा क्यों लगा कि सेठजी को प्यास लगी ही नहीं थी ।

लड़के ने जवाब दिया : महाराज,, जिसे वाकई प्यास लगी हो वह कभी रेट नहीं पूछता । वह तो गिलास लेकर पहले पानी पीता है.. फिर बाद में पूछेगा कि कितने पैसे देने हैं ? पहले कीमत पूछने का अर्थ हुआ कि प्यास लगी ही नहीं है ।

वास्तव में जिन्हें ईश्वर और जीवन में कुछ पाने की तमन्ना होती है,, वे वाद-विवाद में नहीं पड़ते । पर जिनकी प्यास सच्ची नहीं होती,, वे ही वाद-विवाद में पड़े रहते हैं । वे साधना के पथ पर आगे नहीं बढ़ते..

अगर खुदा नहीं हे तो उसका ज़िक्र क्यो ?? और अगर खुदा हे तो फिर फिक्र क्यों ??

मंज़िलों से गुमराह भी कर देते हैं कुछ लोग । हर किसी से रास्ता पूछना,, अच्छा नहीं होता ।।

अगर कोई पूछे जिंदगी में क्या खोया और क्या पाया ?

तो बेशक कहना…
खुबसूरत रिश्ता है मेरा और भगवान के बीच में,,
ज्यादा मैं मांगता नहीं,, और कम वो देता नही ।।

Om Namah Shivay

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चार मोमबत्तियां

रात का समय था, चारों तरफ सन्नाटा पसरा हुआ था , नज़दीक ही एक कमरे में चार मोमबत्तियां जल रही थीं। एकांत पा कर आज वे एक दुसरे से दिल की बात कर रही थीं।

पहली मोमबत्ती बोली, ” मैं शांति हूँ , पर मुझे लगता है अब इस दुनिया को मेरी ज़रुरत नहीं है , हर तरफ आपाधापी और लूट-मार मची हुई है, मैं यहाँ अब और नहीं रह सकती। …” और ऐसा कहते हुए , कुछ देर में वो मोमबत्ती बुझ गयी।

दूसरी मोमबत्ती बोली , ” मैं विश्वास हूँ , और मुझे लगता है झूठ और फरेब के बीच मेरी भी यहाँ कोई ज़रुरत नहीं है , मैं भी यहाँ से जा रही हूँ …” , और दूसरी मोमबत्ती भी बुझ गयी।

तीसरी मोमबत्ती भी दुखी होते हुए बोली , ” मैं प्रेम हूँ, मेरे पास जलते रहने की ताकत है, पर आज हर कोई इतना व्यस्त है कि मेरे लिए किसी के पास वक्त ही नहीं, दूसरों से तो दूर लोग अपनों से भी प्रेम करना भूलते जा रहे हैं ,मैं ये सब और नहीं सह सकती मैं भी इस दुनिया से जा रही हूँ….” और ऐसा कहते हुए तीसरी मोमबत्ती भी बुझ गयी।

वो अभी बुझी ही थी कि एक मासूम बच्चा उस कमरे में दाखिल हुआ।

मोमबत्तियों को बुझे देख वह घबरा गया , उसकी आँखों से आंसू टपकने लगे और वह रुंआसा होते हुए बोला ,
“अरे , तुम मोमबत्तियां जल क्यों नहीं रही , तुम्हे तो अंत तक जलना है ! तुम इस तरह बीच में हमें कैसे छोड़ के जा सकती हो ?”

तभी चौथी मोमबत्ती बोली , ” प्यारे बच्चे घबराओ नहीं, मैं आशा हूँ और जब तक मैं जल रही हूँ हम बाकी मोमबत्तियों को फिर से जला सकते हैं। “

यह सुन बच्चे की आँखें चमक उठीं, और उसने आशा के बल पे शांति, विश्वास, और प्रेम को फिर से प्रकाशित कर दिया।

मित्रों , जब सबकुछ बुरा होते दिखे ,चारों तरफ अन्धकार ही अन्धकार नज़र आये , अपने भी पराये लगने लगें तो भी उम्मीद मत छोड़िये….आशा मत छोड़िये , क्योंकि इसमें इतनी शक्ति है कि ये हर खोई हुई चीज आपको वापस दिल सकती है। अपनी आशा की मोमबत्ती को जलाये रखिये ,बस अगर ये जलती रहेगी तो आप किसी भी और मोमबत्ती को प्रकाशित कर सकते हैं।

Om Namah Shivay

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How The Mind Creates Dis-Ease

The word ‘disease’ is often associated with ailment. However, it points to a state of dis-ease, both in body and mind. Moreover, the mind is so powerful that it can create any sickness in the body. This is hard to believe but true. Even scientific research today is proving what our sages said millennia ago, that the body manifests what goes on in the mind. Therefore, a diseased body could be an indication that the mind is not `at ease’ and this factor needs to be first addressed.

Just as a slave has to simply obey his master’s commands without any choice of his own, the body too is subservient to the all-powerful mind. Mind dictates its demands, the body simply follows. An agitated, confused, unhealthy mind lays the foundation of disease. Thus, several diseases, once thought to be merely physical dysfunctions, have been found to be psychosomatic in origin. In a highly competitive and stress-ridden world, tension and worry are major killers. While hypertension causes dangerous fluctuations in blood pressure, there is risk of brain stroke, heart attacks and hemorrhage leading to paralysis. Cancer and ulcers too could be offshoots of a highly stressed-out mind, according to some experts. These days, we often hear of young adults being afflicted by these ailments. It could well be the result of a tense, stressed-out mind, which could cause abnormal cell multiplication, manifest unhealthy growths, cause abscesses and fabricate clots, literally out of nothing! And when the mind has decided that it will not heal the body , even the best medicine in the world may not work.

It is not an exaggeration to say that a mind writhing in turmoil and turbulence, self inflicted pain and sorrow, holding on to past anger, resentment and grief is truly in a hell of its own making. It is no wonder then that all bodily systems go haywire. Digestion gets impaired, muscles become tight, taut and simply refuse to relax, breathing becomes shallow and constricted and all this affects the entire body . Thus we end up constipated, both in body and mind, refusing to let go of the junk of the past ­ grudges, heartaches, negativity and frustration.

Conversely, when the mind is able to re main calm, quiet and balanced in any situation, then even if the body is unwell, it might be able to heal itself. Most interestingly, it has often been observed that in some cases ­ depending on a lot of factors ­ even terminally ill patients undergo spontaneous remission once they work at cultivating a healthy, stress-free mind. Their relationships too become more harmonious and fulfilling, as they rid them selves of physical, mental and emotional clutter. What’s more, their immunity could get boosted so their response to chemotherapy and drugs improves dramatically! They sleep better and are able to gradually bring their bodies back into a state of balance.

When this wonderful tool of mind is trained to go inwards under the guidance of a master through dedicated practice of yogasanas, pranayama and mantra chanting, it becomes our best friend, our staunchest ally .

Then the blessings of a loving, forgiving disposition, tolerance and reverence for all creation, a meditative mindset and gratitude for life’s abundance adorn our life. In this way , connecting to the godliness in us heals, nurtures and transforms us. And our own mind, radiating peace and joy, itself becomes a heaven, a paradise regained.

Om Namah Shivay

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Why We Must Be Thankful for Difficult Times

Many years ago, I came across a saying in a Chinese fortune cookie: “A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.” In those days, I was facing some difficult times and so these words bolstered my spirits considerably.

Still later, I chanced upon the same wisdom, expressed in even greater detail in the writings of Rabindranath Tagore, the great Indian poet, whose life was full of intense tragedy. By his own account, death was a steady companion, having lost his wife, daughter and youngest son in quick succession.

But through it all Tagore maintained an unwavering composure and faith in God, and emerged from this painful period, to write the profoundly moving and Nobel Prize winning poems of the Gitanjali.

The lesson to learn, as Rabindranath Tagore beautifully explains below, is that life’s turbulent phases serve an important purpose. They are the nurseries in which the hidden buds of courage, determination, self-confidence and patience can find the right conditions to blossom within us.

Just as we do not become a skilled captain, until we have mastered the roughest seas, so too in life we never truly attain everlasting mental calm and spiritual strength, unless we have overcome difficult times.

More importantly, as Tagore explains below, without having developed such profound inner strength, courage and will power, we are simply ill-equipped for life’s real journey into the infinite – in which each of our souls must traverse through numerous cycles of births and deaths – in every birth, facing unforeseen challenges, learning new lessons and working out old karma – till finally at long last we attain liberation.

Om Namah Shivay

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WORDS OF SRI ANANDAMAYI MA-14

Loss of consciousness and of self-control are never right.

In the course of the same conversation, SRI MA said:

The Lord Buddha is Himself the essence of Enlightenment.

All partial manifestations of wisdom that come in the course of sadhana culminate in Supreme Enlightenment (Bodha Svarupa).

In a similar way, Supreme Knowledge (Jnana Svarupa) or Supreme Love (Bhava Svarupa) may be attained.

As there is a state of Supreme Self-knowledge, likewise is there a state of perfection at the zenith of the path of love. There one finds the nectar of Perfect Love identical with Supreme Knowledge. In this state there is no room for emotional excitement; indeed, that would make it impossible for Supreme Love (Mahabhava) to shine forth. Be mindful of one thing: if, when following a particular line of approach, one does not attain to that which is the consummation of all sadhana, namely the final Goal, it means that one has not really entered that line.

At the supreme summit of Love, – which is Mahabhava – exuberance, excessive emotion and the like cannot possibly occur. Emotional excitement and Supreme Love are in no wise to be compared: they are totally different from one another.

While absorbed in meditation, whether one is conscious of the body or not, whether there be a sense of identification with the physical or not -under all circumstances, it is imperative to remain wide-awake; unconsciousness must be strictly avoided.

Some genuine perception must be retained, whether one contemplates the Self as such, or any particular form.

What is the outcome of such meditation?

It opens up one’s being to the Light, to that which is eternal.

Suppose the body had been suffering from some pain or stiffness – lo and behold, after meditation it feels perfectly hale and hearty, with not a trace of fatigue or debility. It is as if a long period of time had elapsed in between, as if there had never been a question of any discomfort. This would be a good sign. But if tempted at the first touch of Bliss to allow oneself to be drowned in it, and later to declare : “Where I was, I cannot say, I do not know,” – this is not desirable. As one becomes capable of real meditation, and to the extent that one contacts Reality, one discovers the ineffable joy that lies hidden even in all outer objects.

If on the other hand one loses oneself as it were, lapsing into a kind of stupor while engaged in meditation, and afterwards claims to have been steeped in intense bliss, this sort of bliss is a hindrance. If the life-force seems to have been in abeyance -just as one has a sense of great happiness after sound sleep – it indicates stagnation. It is a sign of attachment, and this attachment stands in the way of true meditation, since one will be apt to revert to this state again and again; although from the standpoint of the world, which is altogether different, it would seem a source of profound inward joy and therefore certainly an indication of spiritual progress.

Om Namah Shivay

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Seven Choices for Success and Significance

How to Live Life From The Inside Out

“The power to affect your future lies within your own hands.” 

Regardless of where you were born or what your financial position in life, the power to affect your own future lies within your own hands. Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.

So today is the day to start living the life of your dreams. It all starts with the right choices, because the choices you make define the person you become.

What is success? Only you can define it in your own life. In my own life, I have attempted to define both Success and Significance.

To me, Success is secular. Significance is spiritual.

It doesn’t matter how you define your own spirituality. Spiritual matters are always finer, deeper, and longer lasting than secular matters.

Success focuses on three Fs:

• Fans
• Fame
• Fortune

Success is focused on tasks, even goals.

Significance also focuses on three Fs:

• Faith
• Family
• Friends

But, significance focuses on purpose. Why am I here? What do I do with the talents, experiences and skills that I have? How can I make the world a better place? How do I plant seeds of greatness in the lives of those around me? How do I make an impact in the circles of influence where I find or place myself?

To choose success and significance, you must be a strategic thinker who:

• Has a clear vision of what you want to accomplish
• Develops a solid strategy that answers three questions:
- Who or what are we today?
- Who do we want to become?
- How do we get there?
• Employs practical systems to achieve your goals
• Commits to consistent execution because in consistency, success emerges.

When implementing your strategic plan for success, it really comes down to three “Ds”:

Decide what you want most to achieve
Determine the first step to getting what you want
Do the first thing that will start you moving toward your goal.

Using these seven keys, you can choose success and significance. But keep this in mind: success is not a matter of luck, not an accident of birth, not a reward for virtue. The most successful people I know are the ones who have something to do, somewhere to be and someone to love.

No one is responsible for your success or your joy. You must search for it and be in a continual state of earning it.

To merely succeed is not an end in itself. You must use your success to impact other people…to impact the world…to Live Life from the Inside Out.

It all starts with the choices you make—they determine the person you will become.

Om Namah Shivay

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How Sri Ramakrishna Saw Jesus Merge Into His Body-3

In this way,

Sri Ramakrishna realized his identity with Christ, as he had already realized his identity with Kali (Divine Mother), Rama, Hanuman, Radha, Krishna, Brahman (Absolute Ocean of Consciousness), and Mohammed.

Thus he experienced the truth that Christianity, too, was a path leading to God-Consciousness. Till the last moment of his life he believed that Christ was an Incarnation of God. But Christ, for him, was not the only Incarnation; there were others – Buddha, for instance, and Krishna.
- Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna by Mahendranath Gupta (“M”): (Chapter: Introduction).

Now, after reading this account, two interesting questions naturally arise:

#1: What Exactly is Signified by Christ’s Merging into the Body of Sri Ramakrishna?

The vision of Jesus disappearing into the body of Sri Ramakrishna, is representative of a tremendous spiritual fact. And that is – that the individual soul of Sri Ramakrishna, after following the path of Christianity, had expanded to the same state of consciousness as that attained by Christ. In other words, Sri Ramakrishna had reached Christ-Consciousness, i.e. his individual soul had expanded and became one (merged) with Christ’s.

In this state of expanded Christ-Consciousness, Sri Ramakrishna arrived at the same ocean of God (Sat-Chit-Ananda) that he had previously reached, by following the Hindu spiritual practice of worshiping the Divine Mother Kali. And hence he was able to conclude that the religion of Christianity too led to the same ocean of God-consciousness.

“I see people who talk about religion constantly quarrelling with one another. Hindus, Mussalmans (Muslims), Brahmos, Shaktas, Vaishnavas, Saivas, all quarrel with one another. They haven’t the intelligence to understand that He who is called Krishna is also Shiva and the Primal Sakti (Kali), and that it is He, again, who is called Jesus and Allah. There is only one Rama and He has a thousand names.”
- Sri Ramakrishna speaking to his disciples as recorded in the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (Chapter 21 – A Day at Dakshineswar) by Mahendranath Gupta (“M”).

#2: What Did Jesus Look Like? The Answer Given by Sri Ramakrishna

Many years after this incident, Sri Ramakrishna was conversing with his disciples, when this topic of Christ once more came up:

(Sri Ramakrishna asked:) “Well, boys, you have read the Bible; can you tell me what is written in it about the physical features of Jesus? How did he look?”

We said, “Sir, we have not seen this mentioned anywhere in the Bible; but as he was born a Jew, he must have been very fair in complexion, with long eyes and an aquiline nose to be sure.”

When told so, the Master said, “But I saw that the tip of his nose was a little flat; I don’t know why I saw him like that.” Though we did not then say anything about what the Master said, we thought, “How could the form seen by him in ecstasy (Bhav Samadhi) tally with the actual form of Jesus? Like all the Jews he too must have had an aquiline nose.”

But we came to know, shortly after the Master passed away, that there were three different descriptions of Jesus’ physical features; and according to one of them the tip of his nose was a little flat.
- Swami Saradananda recounting his guru’s conversation, in his book Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master, page 416.

Om Namah Shivay

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