सत्संग और महात्माओं का प्रभाव -१० –

महात्मा पुरुष हमे याद करते है तो उसके ध्यान में हमारा चित आ जाता है । इससे भी बहुत लाभ होता है और हम महात्मा को याद करे तो भी हमे लाभ हो जाता है । वीतराग पुरुष को याद करने से जो लाभ होता है, उससे अधिक महात्मा को याद करने से होता है और उससे भी अधिक विशेष लाभ श्रीभगवान् को याद करने से होता है । स्मरण करने योग्य तो श्रीभगवान् ही है । उनकी स्मृति मात्र से मनुष्य का कल्याण हो जाता है । भगवान् में शरीर-शरीरी भेद नही है । अत: उनका शरीर दिव्य-अलौकिक चिन्मय है । परन्तु महात्मा का शरीर ऐसा नही है । महात्मा का शरीर तो पंचभौतिक है । इसलिए भगवान् को दिव्य-चिन्मय माधुर्य-मूर्ति कहते है । उनके दर्शन, भाषण, स्पर्श सभी आनन्दप्रद और कल्याणकर होते है । इसलिए भगवान् के समान तो भगवान् ही है । परतु महात्मा पुरुष का स्मरण-सँग भी अत्यंत लाभदायक है । महापुरुष के सँग की महिमा बताते हुए कहा गया है-

एक घड़ी आधी घड़ी आधी में पुनि आध ।
तुलसी संगत साधू की, कटे कोटि अपराध ।।

एक घड़ी, आधी घड़ी या आधी में भी आधी घड़ी का जो महात्मा पुरुषों का सँग है, उसका इतना महात्म्य है की उससे करोड़ो अपराध कट जाते है । यह समझे की एक घड़ी चौबीस मिनट की होती है, आधी बारह मिनट की और आधी से भी आधी यानी चौथाई छ: मिनट की ।

महात्माओं के पहचानने की एक साधारण युक्ति यह है की जैसे अग्नि के समीप जाने से जानेवाले पर अग्नि का कुछ-न-कुछ प्रभाव जरुर पड़ता है, वैसे ही महात्मा के समीप जाने से महात्मा का प्रभाव पड़ता है । जैसे सरकार के किसी सिपाही को देखने से सरकार की स्मृति होती है, वैसे ही भगवान् के भक्त के दर्शन से भगवान् की स्मृति होती है । जिसका सँग करने से अपने में दैवी सम्पदा के लक्षण आवे, जिसके सँग से, जिसके साथ वार्तालाप करने से, दर्शन से, स्पर्श से आत्मा का सुधार हो, अपने में भक्तों के लक्षण प्रगट होने लगे, गुणातीत पुरुषों के लक्षण आने लगे तो समझना चाहिये की यह महापुरुष है ।

जब हम महापुरुषों का सँग करने के लिए जाय तो हम यह समझे की हम ज्ञान के पुन्ज् के सम्मुख जा रहे है । जैसे सूर्य के सम्मुख जाने से अन्धकार तो दूर भाग ही जाता है, किन्तु अधिक-से-अधिक प्रकाश होता चला जाता है । हम देखते है की जब प्रात:काल सूर्य उदय होता है, तब ज्यों-ज्यों सूर्य नजदीक आता है त्यों-ही-त्यों सूर्य के प्रकाश का अधिक असर पड़ता है । वैसे ही हम जितने ही महात्माओं के समीप होते है, उतना ही हमको अधिक लाभ मिलता है । वे एक ज्ञान के पुंज है, उस ज्ञानपुंज से हमारे अज्ञानान्धकार का नाश होकर हमारे ह्रदय में भी ज्ञान-सूर्य का प्रागटय होता है ।

Om Namah Shivay

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Adding Value to Education-2

Education reform should include innovative strategies that empower teachers to improve student outcomes and nurture their growth. Today, media, Internet, movies and video games bombard children with information. This information overload affects the brain’s capacity to digest and analyze data, and often results in health problems like Attention Deficiency Disorder. Creative methods of teaching can help combat these issues and help children build healthy personalities. In addition to intellectually stimulating children, education systems must also include physical activities such as sports as well as ancient techniques such as meditation, yoga and pranayama as part of a child’s learning process that will teach them how to manage their emotions. True education means more than pursuit of a certain course of study. It means a preparation for achieving life skills to attain not only one’s dreams but also build a safe and strong community. When a child grows up with a sense of belonging towards everybody, he or she is ready to engage with the communities in a meaningful way. And by the time young graduates pass out of college, they learn well how to embrace their duties towards themselves, the nation and the world.

It is time that we came together to identify ways and means of restoring the respect, honour and dignity that education has had historically. The need of the day is a broad-minded education accompanied by a warm and caring heart. The function of education is to teach one to think critically – where intelligence comes with character. It is of no use if one acquires good education and then begins to look down upon others – or just engage in building wealth for oneself. A well-educated person is one who is friendly and compassionate, and is capable of selfless action. A complete education is one which empowers an individual to play the role of a global citizen in making the local community stronger and the world a safer and happier place to live.

Om Namah Shivay

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Adding Value to Education-1

Only a human values oriented approach in education can impart true intelligence. Today, every parent envisions that their child grow up to be a well educated and happy human being with good values. However, education often fails to fulfill its true goal – happiness.

A child’s smile, joy and friendliness are unmatched. However, observe the face of the same child by the time he or she passes out of school and university – does the child still retain that joy, that innocence that beauty endowed as an infant?

Is there a way to retain the innocence of children once they grow older? If we can, then we would have attained something really marvelous, because innocence is beautiful.

How can we introduce and sustain the human values of compassion, caring and sharing into our education system? How can we ensure that education will nourish inbuilt virtues of a child and that every child will learn to be friendly and giving even in a competitive environment? Is education only about getting good grades so that one can secure a good job later — or is it about laying the foundation for long-term prosperity of the society as a whole?

The basic human tendency to “give” is lost somewhere in the pursuit of an education that has a narrow vision and promotes selfishness and greed. Old and outdated methods of teaching warrant reform. Education must not only instill in students an appreciation for the sciences but also reflect today’s diverse cultural influences. A good system of education must instill self-esteem and creativity in children. It must help nurture a free, un-obsessed, anger-free and relaxed mind. Such a well-rounded education system can also prevent fanaticism in young minds. Education’s stakeholders must ponder on an education system that will retain human values and address the various aspects of life. Teachers are the single most important resource to a child’s learning. Teachers and local authorities must join hands to create a class room system wherein a child learns to increase awareness and not just assimilate information.

Om Namah Shivay

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No Water No Moon

When the nun Chiyono studied Zen under Bukko of Engaku she was unable to attain the fruits of meditation for a long time.

At last one moonlit night she was carrying water in an old pail bound with bamboo. The bamboo broke and the bottom fell out of the pail, and at that moment Chiyono was set free!

In commemoration, she wrote a poem:

In this way and that I tried to save the old pail
Since the bamboo strip was weakening
and about to break
Until at last the bottom fell out.
No more water in the pail!
No more moon in the water!

Go where your faith takes you. Be where you want to be. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).

Ultimately, it all boils down to one thing ­— the old pail. Human ego. It is painful to break your ego, but it is the path to immense freedom. Like a caterpillar you crawl out of your cocoon and fly out a butterfly. If you find the vessel more important than its bearer, you are bound to misdirect your energies. This temple or that shrine, this guru or that master, makes no difference in the final analysis. Eventually, you must lead a responsible life to walk any path — spiritual, material or both.

The laws of nature are the same for everyone. No guru, no matter how you see him or her, can pluck a mango from an apple tree if you see what I mean. Your own life is the greatest miracle, you are a miracle. Just like a honeybee takes the pollen from a real flower and goes back to its hive, feel free to take wisdom from wherever you get, regardless of its religious or ethnic source, and deposit it in your own repository of knowledge. There is no harm in taking learning from any source you so fancy.

A sense of individual existence you carry in your mind is as temporary as the reflection of the moon in your vessel. One ripple in life, one tiny shake, and the whole image gets distorted. Just like the real moon is not an object that can be held in a pail, the real you can’t be held down by a guru or a belief (read religion). It’s when you limit your own infinite existence to a small receptacle that the reflection starts to feel the real thing.

You break the vessel and all that you are holding within you pours out. In that state you go beyond even emptiness. There is no pail and there’s no water. You are free. Individual consciousness, expanding beyond infinity, merges in the cosmic consciousness then.

No water. No moon.

Or no water, no moon. It’s how you look at it.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Power of Intuitive Thinking-3

Love Lab

In an experiment to determine whether a couple will get divorced or not, John Gottman asked his staff to come to a conclusion about marriages by watching a random fifteen minute videotape of couples, while focusing only on the Four Horsemen: Defensiveness, Stonewalling, Contempt and Criticism. On the basis of those calculations, Gottman has proven something remarkable. If he analyzes an hour of a husband and wife talking, he can predict with 95 percent accuracy whether that couple will still be married fifteen years later.

The Perils of Intuition

It’s not the case that our internal computer always shines through, instantly “decoding” the truth of a situation. It can be thrown off, distracted or disabled. Our instinctive reactions often have to compete with all kinds of other interest and emotions and sentiments. So, when should we trust our instincts, and when should we be wary of them?

Let First Impressions bloom in a Healthy Environment

Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions- we can alter the way we thin-slice- by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions. If you are a white person who would like to treat black people as equals in every way- who would like to have a set of associations with black that are as positive as those of you have with whites- it requires more than simple commitment to equality. It requires that you change your life so that you are exposed to minorities on a regular basis and become comfortable with them, so that when you want to meet, hire, date or talk with a member of minority, you aren’t betrayed by your hesitation and discomfort. Taking rapid cognition seriously- acknowledging the incredible power, for good and ill, that first impressions play in our lives- requires that we take active steps to manage and control those impressions.

Expert Speaks

Charnita Arora, founder of Perfect Life Spot (Institute of Language and Holistic Learning) says, “Intuition can be cultivated by developing mindfulness. One of the simplest yet profound ways of developing mindfulness is by being aware of one’s breath. The modern world is an over stimulated mind-world. In such a context, it is highly important to develop a tranquil refuge within by being aware of one’s existence in the here and now.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Power of Intuitive Thinking-2

Blink

We live in a world that assumes the quality of a decision is directly related to the time and effort that went into making it. What do we teach our children? Haste makes Waste. Look before you leap. Don’t judge a book by its cover. We believe that we are always better of gathering as much information as possible and spending as much time as possible in deliberation. We really only trust conscious decision making. But there are moments, particularly in times of stress, when haste does not make waste, when our snap judgments and first impressions can offer a much better means of making sense of the world. Decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately. There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.

The Adaptive Unconscious

Whenever we meet someone for the first time, whenever we interview someone for a job, whenever we react to a new idea, whenever we’re faced with making a decision quickly and under stress, we use that second part of our brain. When you walk down a street and suddenly realize that a truck is bearing down on you, do you have time to think through all your options? Of course not. The only way that the human beings could have ever survived as a species for as long as we have is that we’ve developed another kind of decision-making apparatus that’s capable of making very quick judgments based on very little information. That part of our brain that leaps to conclusions like this is called the adaptive unconscious.

Educating your blink

The power of knowing, in those first two seconds, is not a gift given magically to a fortunate few like Sandeep. It is an ability that we can all cultivate for ourselves. Your snap judgments can be controlled and educated.

The Art of Thin-Slicing

‘Thin-Slicing’ refers to the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in behavior based on very narrow slices of experience. It too, is part of what makes the unconscious so dazzling. But it is also what is most problematic about rapid cognition. How is it possible to gather the necessary information for a sophisticated judgment in such a short period of time? The answer is that when the unconscious engages in Thin-Slicing, what we are doing is an automated accelerated unconscious function of the brain. While Thin-Slicing, one doesn’t need to focus on everything that happens. You will be overwhelmed by the task of counting events. Be far more selective, particularly in a negative environment.

 

Om Namah Shivay

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The Power of Intuitive Thinking-1

Kedarnath Survivor Speaks

On the 16th of July, when river-water started collecting in the valley due to incessant rain, Sandeep Tiwari, who runs a shop next to the Kedarnath shrine decided to seek shelter there and left the shop, along with his hard earned money. At 7:00 am on the morning of 17th of July, he and his brothers decided to go back to their shop. As they were preparing for another usual day of work, Sandeep heard a noise and went to the backyard, from where one had a pellucid view of the Chorabari Glacier. What he witnessed there was the epoch which marked the beginning of the Himalayan Tsunami. He saw a cloud bursting and precipitating into the Mandakini River. Boulders, snow and debris came running down the stream. Within a blink, Sandeep made a decision to go back to the temple with his brothers. While the rest of the valley was washed away, they survived.

I am blessed

Some may call the survival of Tiwari family during the Kedarnath flash floods a miracle as it was truly surprising and unprecedented. But Sandeep has something different to say, “People are calling me lucky, I don’t know about being lucky but I sure am blessed. If I recall those terrifying moments then I can say with certainty that the decision to go to the temple was more than mere guess work. I have been living here for decades, I know about the scientific findings regarding the strength of the Kedarnath shrine. I have seen this temple over the years facing the rigours of the weather.” Did he have the time to weigh all his options in the wake of a life-threatening calamity? “Of course not. I don’t know how I came upon that life-saving decision. And I will never know.” The mystic nature of Sandeep’s answer has baffled many. 

What is Intuition?

What is intuition? Is it sixth sense, a psychic ability, clairvoyance or the gift of prophecy? This simple question has baffled seekers and led them to different directions in search of the answer. Intuition is the ability to arrive at decisions in the blink of an eye. It is immediate assimilation of reality without having to undergo the cognitive thinking and reasoning process.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

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