Does God Really Have A Future?

The seed of unbelief is in all of us. It offers plenty of reasons not to have faith. I hope as a compassionate human being I would have looked at the spectacle of a crucifixion and felt pity. But when it comes to my own life, I go to work, save for the future, and look over my shoulder at night on a dangerous street. I put more faith in myself than I do in an external god. I call this the zero point, the nadir of faith. At the zero point, God doesn’t really matter, not when it comes down to the tough business of living. From the zero point of view, God is either pointless or feeble. He may look pointless or feeble. He may look down on our suffering and feel moved, or just as likely he may greet suffering with a shrug.

For God to have a future, we must escape the zero point and find a new way of living spiritually. We don’t need new religions, better scriptures, or more inspiring testimony to God’s greatness.Making such a radical change involves a total rethinking of reality. When you challenge God, you challenge reality itself. But if reality is something that extends into higher dimensions, the story changes. You can’t rebuild a God who never existed, but you can repair a broken connection… Something deeper must be done…This implies an inner transformation. The spiritual path begins with a curiosity that something as unbelievable as God might actually exist.

`The God Delusion’, a slogan from a band of militant atheists who are avowed enemies of faith, is centred around Prof Richard Dawkins who cloaks its vehement, often personal attacks in terms of science and reason…Faith, if it is to survive, can only be restored through a deeper exploration of the mystery of existence.

I have no harsh things to say about atheism without the militancy…Dawkins and company are proud to be intolerant. It’s not right, however, to suppose that atheism is always opposed to God. According to a paradoxical 2008 Pew Research survey , 21% of Americans who describe themselves as atheists believe in God or in universal spirit, 12% believe in heaven and 10% pray at least once a week. Atheists have not entirely lost faith; there’s nothing in that to judge against.But Dawkins proffers spiritual nihilism with a smile and a tone of reassurance. I realised that I had to speak out against this, even though I feel no personal animus against him.

Faith must be saved for everyone’s sake. From faith springs a passion for the eternal, which is even stronger than love. Many of us have lost that passion or have never known it. As I argue for God, I wish that I could instill the urgency expressed in just a few lines from the bhakti saint-poet Mirabai: The love that binds me to you, O lord, is unbreakable. Like a diamond that smashes the hammer when it is struck. Like the lotus rising from the water my life rises from you, Like the night bird gazing at the passing moon I am lost dwelling on you. O my beloved ­ come back! In any age faith is like this: A cry from the heart… If faith can be saved, the result will be an increase in hope. By itself, faith can’t deliver God, but it does something more timely: It makes God possible.

Om Namah Shivay

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Energy And The Law Of Attraction

In her phenomenally successful book, The Secret, Rhonda Byrne explains the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction deals with you and your desired object. The law states that if you visualise and strongly think of any object or opportunity, then that object, and the opportunity will both come to you. Whatever thoughts you put out, will be returned to you in kind. It is a belief that likes attract likes. This belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both made of pure energy and that energy attracts energy.Ancient truth In the Bhagwad Gita, Sri Krishna declares that “whatever form a devotee seeks to pursue with shraddha, strong thought, I make that thought of his unswerving“ (7:21). So, it is not a “secret“ but merely the ancient truth which is already stated in the Gita, where Krishna advises Arjuna in order to restore his confidence in the face of a daunting challenge ­ with armies of friends and relatives arrayed on either side of the battlefield at Kurukshetra.

Here we are talking about sending out positive thoughts with good intentions. However, there are those who act out of selfish motives and so have taken this idea to an extreme level or should we say , a ridiculous level. They are using this idea for selfish purposes, thereby making a mockery of it. The Law of Attraction should not be used for attaining petty objects. Some people are using strong thought for getting small things like parking, or even cinema tickets.

This is not the purpose of this idea. People say but the law does work. Of course, it will work, but that is not the purpose of this law. It is like someone using a 1,000-rupee currency note as a napkin. A 1,000-rupee note is not meant for that use, it has a larger purpose. Therefore, the Law of Attraction has a larger connotation. The moment you continuously think a thought, the thought becomes the reality .

Nature’s ways Thoughts are like seeds. Some seeds give fruit within weeks and some, after several years. The moment you entertain a strong thought, nature starts its work. When totality is working to fulfil that thought, we change that thought and create a new thought. Thereafter, totality again starts working on new thoughts.

If you keep on changing your thoughts, there will be total chaos in the plans of nature. A half-baked understanding of this law will be harmful rather than being benevolent. Therefore, before you entertain a thought, please filter it through your intellect and then pursue your desire.

Confusing signals In the beginning of the computer age, when we had old-style computers, the system used to take its own time. When we tried to open any window, it would be slow. But because of our impatience, we would delete that window and open a new window. Again the computer would go slow and ultimately hang. Similarly, when you entertain a strong thought, nature starts its function. But because of our impatience, when we discard that and entertain a new thought, again, totality starts functioning according to our new thought.

Practise patience If you keep on entertaining different types of thoughts, the whole system will hang.

Therefore, understand that thoughts are like seeds, they will take their own time to germinate, sprout and produce fruit. Don’t be impatient.

Om Namah Shivay

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Aggression as a Way to Overcome Depression

Lack of idealism is the main cause of depression among the youth today. Life appears to be so meaningless to these children, who are either too scared of the competitive world or bogged down by heavy stimuli. They need an inspiration and Spirituality is that inspiration that can keep the spirit up!

Aggression is the antidote to depression. Depression sets in if there is a lack of zeal to fight. Depression is lack of energy, and anger and aggression are a bolt of energy. When Arjuna was depressed, Krishna inspired him to fight and thus reinstated life back in Arjuna. If you are depressed, don’t take Prozac – just fight – for any cause!

If aggression crosses a certain limit it leads you back into depression. That’s what happened with King Ashoka, who won the Kalinga war but became depressed. He had to take refuge in Buddha.

WISE ARE THOSE WHO DO NOT FALL EITHER INTO AGGRESSION OR DEPRESSION.

That’s the golden line of a Yogi. Just wake up and acknowledge you are a Yogi!

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When you sit and meditate, you are in the Shiva principle. And that Shiva principle is truth, benevolence and beauty. These three things together form Shiva.
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Q: How can one achieve all the four aspects of Purushaartha – Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha?

Guruji : Both Artha (wealth and material comforts) and Kaama (desire or passion) arise in life from time to time according to one’s needs. Fulfilling those needs to sustain one’s life, yet not getting entangled in too much greed or lust is the responsibility of Dharma (righteous action) and Moksha (liberation from suffering).
The main goals of our life are Dharma and Moksha. In the course of our life, from time to time, we have to engage ourselves in the pursuit of Artha and Kaama. Enjoying them but at the same time not getting caught up in it. This is why we should engage in those action that are in alignment with our Dharma, and refrain from those actions that go against Dharma. The same goes for Artha also.
Life cannot run without any one of the four aspects of Purushaartha. In the course of life, you must have Moksha as your supreme aim; adhere to and uphold Dharma at all times, and you will see that your pursuits for both Artha and Kaama will also give good results in due course of time.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Washing Machine

Our body is like a washing machine. Our mind is like cloth. Love is like pure water. Knowledge is detergent. Each lifetime is one wash cycle.

The mind comes into the body to get cleansed and pure. But if you put in mud instead of detergent, your clothes will become dirtier than before. You will have to go on putting your clothes in the washing machine to get them cleaned. And the process repeats again and again.

Similarly, you will have many more births until you stop repeating the mistakes that you have made.

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Only Silence is complete. Smiling with all the existence is Silence. Purpose of words is to create silence.

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Q: How do I see God in the face of a stranger?

Guruji : It is actually the other way around, you can’t see God in people you are familiar with. In a stranger, you might think that maybe God is like this because you don’t know their bad qualities or good qualities. If you don’t know their bad qualities, it is easy for you to see God in them. People whom you are familiar with, you know their bad qualities and weaknesses, and you will ask me, ‘How do I see God in them?’

If I say, ‘Forget seeing God in anybody, see God in yourself’, you will say, ‘I can’t see God in myself’. Then I would say, ‘Never mind, be a communist and don’t see God anywhere’. So it is your choice! What do you mean by God? God means love. Can’t you see the other person as made up of love? One would find it easier to see God in a stranger than in someone familiar. Have you heard the saying, familiarity breeds contempt? But I don’t agree with that. There are many cases where people are very centered. The more close you go to them, the more charming and loving you will find them. But familiarity breeds contempt is also true to some extent.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Art of Giving

“Rivers do not drink their own water, nor do tree eat their own fruit, nor do rain clouds eat the grains reared by them. The wealth of the noble is used solely for the benefit of others!

Even after accepting that giving is good and that one must learn to give, several questions need to be answered.

The first question is:

When should one give?

We all know the famous incident from Mahabharat.

Yudhisthir asks a beggar seeking alms to come the next day. On this, Bhim rejoices that Yudhisthir his brother, has conquered death! For he is sure that he will be around the next day to give. Yudhisthir gets the message.

One does not know really whether one will be there tomorrow to give!

The time to give, therefore, is now.

The next question is:

‘How much to give?’

One recalls the famous incident from history.
Rana Pratap was reeling after defeat from the Moghals. He had lost his army, he had lost his wealth, and most important, he had lost hope, his will to fight. At that time, in his darkest hour, his erstwhile minister, Bhamasha, came seeking him and placed his entire fortune at the disposal of Rana Pratap. With this, Rana Pratap raised an army and lived to fight another day.

The answer to this question how much to give is:
“Give as much as one can!

The next question is:

‘What to give?’

It is not only money that can be given away. It could be a flower or even a smile.

It is not how much one gives but how one gives that really matters. When you give a smile to a stranger that may be the only good thing received by him in days and weeks!

“You can give anything but you must give with all your heart!”

One also needs answer to this question
Whom to give?

Many times we avoid giving by finding fault with the person who is seeking. However, being judgmental and rejecting a person on the presumption that he may not be the most deserving, is not justified.

“Give without being judgmental!”

Next we have to answer:
‘How to give?’

Coming to the manner of giving, one has to ensure that the receiver does not feel humiliated, nor the giver feels proud by giving.

In giving, follow the advice ‘Let not your left hand know what your right hand gives? Charity without publicity and fanfare is the highest form of charity.’

‘Give quietly!’

While giving, let not the recipient feel small or humiliated. After all, what we give never really belonged to us. We come to this world with nothing and will go with nothing. The thing gifted was only with us for a temporary period. Why then take pride in giving away something which really did not belong to us?

Give with grace and with a feeling of gratitude.

“What should one feel after giving?”

We all know the story of Eklavya. When Dronacharya asked him for his right thumb as “Guru Dakshina, he unhesitatingly cut off the thumb and gave it to Dronacharya.

There is a little known sequel to this story.

Eklavya was asked whether he ever regretted the act of giving away his thumb. He replied, and the reply has to be believed to be true, as it was asked to him when he was dying.

His reply was “Yes! I regretted this only once in my life. It was when Pandavas were coming in to kill Dronacharya who was broken hearted on the false news of death of his son, Ashwathama, and had stopped fighting. It was then that I regretted the loss of my thumb. If the thumb was there, no one could have dared hurt my Guru?

The message to us is clear.

Give and never regret giving!

And the last question is:

‘How much should we provide for our heirs?’

Ask yourself ‘are we taking away from them the gift of work? – A source of happiness?

The answer is given by Warren Buffett:

“Leave your kids enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing!”

I would conclude by saying:

Let us learn the Art of Giving, and quoting the Saint Kabir:

“When the wealth in the house increases, when water fills a boat, throw them out (for good causes) with both hands!”

This is the wise thing to do!

Om Namah Shivay

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रावण से जुड़ी जानी-अनजानी रोचक बातें

दशहरा पर्व राम की विजय और रावण की हार का दिन है। दस सिर और नाभि में अमृत कलश होने के बाद भी रावण पराजित हुआ। बुराई का प्रतीक माने जाने वाले रावण में कई बुरी आदतें थी, जो उसके लिए विनाश का कारण बनी। साथ ही कुछ ऐसे गुण भी थे जो उसे महान विद्वान बनाते थे।

रावण जितना दुष्ट था, उसमें उतनी खुबियां भी थीं, शायद इसीलिए कई बुराइयों के बाद भी रावण को महाविद्वान और प्रकांड पंडित माना जाता था। रावण से जुड़ी कई रोचक बातें हैं, जो आम कहानियों में सुनने को नहीं मिलती। विभिन्न ग्रंथों में रावण को लेकर कई बातें लिखी गई हैं। फिर भी रावण से जुड़ी कुछ रोचक बातें हैं, जो कई लोगों को अभी भी नहीं पता है।

आइए, जानते हैं कि किन बुराइयों के कारण रावण का पतन हुआ। किन अच्छाइयों के कारण उसे विद्वान माना जाता है…

महिलाओं के प्रति दुर्भावना – रावण के मन में महिलाओं के प्रति हमेशा दुर्भावना रही। वो उन्हें सिर्फ उपभोग की वस्तु मानता था। जिसके कारण उसे रंभा और सीता सहित कई महिलाओं के शाप भी लगे, जो उसके लिए विनाशकारी बने। भगवान महिलाओं का अपमान करने वालों को कभी माफ नहीं करता क्योंकि दुनिया में जो पहली पांच संतानें पैदा हुई थीं, उनमें से पहली तीन संतानें लड़कियां ही थीं। भगवान ने महिलाओं को पुरुषों से आगे रखा है। रावण अपनी शक्ति के अहंकार में ये बात समझ नहीं पाया।

अपने बल पर अति विश्वास – रावण को अपनी शक्ति पर इतना भरोसा था कि वो बिना सोचे-समझे किसी को भी युद्ध के लिए ललकार देता था। जिससे कई बार उसे हार का मुंह देखना पड़ा। रावण युद्ध में भगवान शिव, सहस्त्रबाहु अर्जुन, बालि और राजा बलि से हारा। जिनसे रावण बिना सोचे समझे युद्ध करने पहुंच गया।

सिर्फ तारीफ सुनना – रावण की दूसरी सबसे बड़ी कमजोरी यह थी कि उसे अपनी बुराई पसंद नहीं थी गलती करने पर भी वह दूसरों के मुंह से अपने लिए सिर्फ तारीफ ही सुनना चाहता था। जिसने भी उसे उसकी गलतियां दिखाईं, उसने उन्हें अपने से दूर कर दिया, जैसे भाई विभीषण, नाना माल्यवंत, मंत्री शुक आदि। वो हमेशा चापलूसों से घिरा रहता था।

कैसे हारा रावण – बालि ने रावण को अपनी बाजू में दबा कर चार समुद्रों की परिक्रमा की थी। बालि इतना ताकतवर था कि वो रोज सवेरे चार समुद्रों की परिक्रमा कर सूर्य को अर्घ्य देता था। रावण जब पाताल के राजा बलि से युद्ध करने पहुंचा तो बलि के महल में खेल रहे बच्चों ने ही उसे पकड़कर अस्तबल में घोड़ों के साथ बांध दिया था। सहस्त्रबाहु अर्जुन ने अपनी हजार हाथों से नर्मदा के बहाव को रोक कर पानी इकट्ठा किया और उस पानी में रावण को सेना सहित बहा दिया। बाद में जब रावण युद्ध करने पहुंचा तो सहस्र्बाहु ने उसे बंदी बनाकर जेल में डाल दिया। रावण ने शिव से युद्ध में हारकर उन्हें अपना गुरु बनाया था।

संगीतज्ञ और विद्वान – रावण संगीत का बहुत बड़ा जानकार था, सरस्वती के हाथ में जो वीणा है उसका अविष्कार भी रावण ने किया था। रावण ज्योतिषी तो था ही तंत्र, मंत्र और आयुर्वेद का भी विशेषज्ञ था।

ऐसा था रावण का वैभव – रामचरितमानस में गोस्वामी तुलसीदास लिखते हैं कि रावण के दरबार में सारे देवता और दिग्पाल हाथ जोड़कर खड़े रहते थे। रावण के महल में जो अशोक वाटिका थी उसमें अशोक के एक लाख से ज्यादा वृक्ष थे। इस वाटिका में सिवाय रावण के किसी अन्य पुरुष को जाने की अनुमति नहीं थी।

वीर योद्धा भी था रावण – रावण जब भी युद्ध करने निकलता तो खुद बहुत आगे चलता था और बाकी सेना पीछे होती थी। उसने कई युद्ध तो अकेले ही जीते थे। रावण ने यमपुरी जाकर यमराज को भी युद्ध में हरा दिया था और नर्क की सजा भुगत रही जीवात्माओं को मुक्त कराकर अपनी सेना में शामिल किया था।

रथ में जुते होते थे गधे – वाल्मीकि रामायण के मुताबिक सभी योद्धाओं के रथ में अच्छी नस्ल के घोड़े होते थे लेकिन रावण के रथ में गधे हुआ करते थे। वे बहुत तेजी से चलते थे।

Om Namah Shivay

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यज्ञ का रहस्य

वेदानुसार यज्ञ पाँच प्रकार के होते हैं :

(1) ब्रह्मयज्ञ
(2) देवयज्ञ
(3) पितृयज्ञ
(4) वैश्वदेव यज्ञ
(5) अतिथि यज्ञ

यज्ञ का अर्थ है- शुभ कर्म। श्रेष्ठ कर्म। सतकर्म। वेदसम्मत कर्म। सकारात्मक भाव से ईश्वर-प्रकृति तत्वों से किए गए आह्‍वान से जीवन की प्रत्येक इच्छा पूरी होती है।

(1) ब्रह्मयज्ञ : जड़ और प्राणी जगत से बढ़कर है मनुष्‍य। मनुष्‍य से बढ़कर है पितर, अर्थात माता-पिता और आचार्य। पितरों से बढ़कर हैं देव, अर्थात प्रकृति की पाँच शक्तियाँ और देव से बढ़कर है- ईश्वर और हमारे ऋषिगण। ईश्‍वर अर्थात ब्रह्म। यह ब्रह्म यज्ञ संपन्न होता है नित्य संध्या वंदन, स्वाध्याय तथा वेदपाठ करने से। इसके करने से ऋषियों का ऋण अर्थात ‘ऋषि ऋण’ ‍चुकता होता है।इससे ब्रह्मचर्य आश्रम का जीवन भी पुष्‍ट होता है।

(2) देवयज्ञ : देवयज्ञ जो सत्संग तथा अग्निहोत्र कर्म से सम्पन्न होता है। इसके लिए वेदी में अग्नि जलाकर होम किया जाता है यही अग्निहोत्र यज्ञ है। यह भी संधिकाल में गायत्री छंद के साथ किया जाता है। इसे करने के नियम हैं। इससे ‘देव ऋण’ चुकता होता है।
हवन करने को ‘देवयज्ञ’ कहा जाता है। हवन में सात पेड़ों की समिधाएँ (लकड़ियाँ) सबसे उपयुक्त होतीं हैं- आम, बड़, पीपल, ढाक, जाँटी, जामुन और शमी। हवन से शुद्धता और सकारात्मकता बढ़ती है। रोग और शोक मिटते हैं। इससे गृहस्थ जीवन पुष्ट होता है।

(3) पितृयज्ञ : सत्य और श्रद्धा से किए गए कर्म श्राद्ध और जिस कर्म से माता, पिता और आचार्य तृप्त हो वह तर्पण है। वेदानुसार यह श्राद्ध-तर्पण हमारे पूर्वजों, माता-पिता और आचार्य के प्रति सम्मान का भाव है। यह यज्ञ सम्पन्न होता है सन्तानोत्पत्ति से। इसी से ‘पितृ ऋण’ भी चुकता होता है।

(4) वैश्वदेवयज्ञ : इसे भूत यज्ञ भी कहते हैं।पंच महाभूत से ही मानव शरीर है। सभी प्राणियों तथा वृक्षों के प्रति करुणा और कर्त्तव्य समझना उन्हें अन्न-जल देना ही भूत यज्ञ या वैश्वदेव यज्ञ कहलाता है। अर्थात जो कुछ भी भोजन कक्ष में भोजनार्थ सिद्ध हो उसकाकुछ अंश उसी अग्नि में होम करें जिससे भोजन पकाया गया है। फिर कुछ अंश गाय, कुत्ते और कौवे को दें। ऐसा वेद-पुराण कहते हैं।

(5) अतिथि यज्ञ : अतिथि से अर्थ मेहमानों की सेवा करना उन्हें अन्न-जल देना। अपंग, महिला, विद्यार्थी, संन्यासी, चिकित्सक और धर्म के रक्षकों की सेवा-सहायता करना ही अतिथि यज्ञ है। इससे संन्यास आश्रम पुष्ट होता है। यही पुण्य है। यही सामाजिक कर्त्तव्य है।

Om Namah Shivay

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