DASHAVATARS OF LORD VISHNU-2

⇒ Krishna Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of a Cowherd’s Boy
The eighth avatar, Krishna, along with his brother Balarama, appeared in the Dwaparyuga to kill the demon king, Kansa. Lord Krishna conveyed the message of love and humanity to the world. Krishna told the epic poem Bhagavad Gita to the warrior Arjuna ,in which he acclaimed : ”Whenever Dharma, or the situation of law and order, is endangered on this world, I incarnate onto this world to re-establish Dharma, law and order, and to protect the Sadhus or saints and to destroy the evil elements of the society.”

⇒ Buddha Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the Form of Buddha
The ninth avatar, Mahavira Buddha, appeared in the Kalyuga, to teach the lesson of following a middle path in life. ”Buddha” means ‘the enlightened one’. He taught that all sorrow comes from attachments and desires, so it’s better to curb all attachments in order to remain happy.

⇒ Kalki Avatar – Lord Vishnu on Horse
The tenth Avatar, Kalki, (“Eternity”, or “time”, or “The Destroyer of foulness”), is yet to appear on the earth. And it is expected to appear at the end of Kali Yuga, the time period in which we currently exist, which will end in the year 428899 CE.

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Q: Guruji, Please give your special message for ‘Christmas’.

Guruji: The Christmas tree is pointing upwards and its branches grow on all sides, and we all have that capacity to blossom to the fullest of the human potential. At the time of year when no tree bears anything, the Christmas tree has many gifts to offer and it is evergreen throughout the year. A Christmas tree bears the gifts and the lights not for itself, but for all. The gifts you are carrying in your life are for others. You offer the gift of service to anyone one in need, and you will wonder how your needs are being taken care of!

In the Bible, Jesus said, ‘Unless you become like a child, you cannot get into the kingdom of heaven.’ The whole world is one family, so it is necessary that we live with naturalness and simplicity; only then life blossoms. The second thing is, the wall that we erect between ourselves and others needs to be demolished. Drop all inhibitions between you and others. From your side you drop inhibitions. Go on and shake hands. This is what kids do. However, as we grow up, we tend to lose that. We create a wall between us. We bring formalities between us and forget our naturalness.

All those who are grown up physically, but want to be a child again, or think you are one, just go for it! Don’t worry about what others think about you. If the world calls us crazy, let them say, but you be happy. Be in the present and be natural. What is most important in the world is innocence along with intelligence. The innocence of an ignorant person has no value. Similarly the crookedness of an intelligent person has no value. What is most valuable is innocence and intelligence. Innocence and intelligence should go together.

Om Namah Shivay

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Jesus – Embodiment of Love

Love is the most sought-after but least expressed mystery of life. We try to express love in so many ways, still it remains a mystery. And it rarely happens that love is expressed in its fullness, in its totality.

Jesus and love are synonymous. If you say love, you need not say Jesus and if you say Jesus, it means love. Jesus once said, “If you call God in my name, whatever you ask shall be given. For God is love.” You find such a complete expression of love in Jesus. Whatever little glimpses you may get here and there indicates that fullness, that ultimate expression of the inexpressible that life is striving to express all the time.

Love makes you weak, but brings you the kingdom of heaven. However strong you are, you are the weakest when you are in love. Yet love is the strongest force on this universe. Since love makes you weak, it also is scary. Among thousands, just a few followed Jesus. Many heard, but just a few came. Even after performing many miracles, only handful of people could recognise him.

Jesus said, “I have come to put man against man, father against son, daughter against mother.” Very few people have really understood what it means. Whom you think is your friend is really not a friend because he or she makes your faith on the matter strong, and spirit weak. “I have come to put one against each other, I have come to put fire, not make peace.” Jesus said this because he knew the depth of slumber. When you talk something nice, peaceful, everybody will go to sleep and when there is something sensational, people wake up and listen. This is how the human mind operates. And Jesus made all efforts for one to cross the mind and get into the soul, the spirit, the source of life, the Self. You break through the limited identities and recognise the Divinity within you. You are much more than just a human; you are part of the Divine. And you inherit the kingdom. And that kingdom is right here, right within you.

Love has no name, nor form. Love is abstract, yet it is very concrete. It has no name or form but manifests in all names and in all forms. This is the mystery of creation. You can see love everywhere in this creation if only you have an eye to see it. Just see a bird, and a small one in the nest. The bird comes and how it feeds its young one. See how the young one waits for the mother bird to come. There is love in it. There is love among fish. There is love in the sky. There is love underneath the water. There is love on the ground. And there is love in the outer space.

Every form is full of love and every name represents love. And that is how Jesus is One with the Father. Father is One with his creation. In India, the creation and creator are compared to the dance and the dancer. You cannot have a dance without a dancer. Dancer is in every move of the dance. The creator is in every spec of the creation. That is what is omnipresent, omnipotent. If God is omnipresent, he is present everywhere, isn’t it? The creator, if he is different from the creation, then he is not present in his creation. Then he is not omnipresent. The whole definition of God is gone.

Love is present everywhere, but somewhere it finds total expression. And the knowledge of the Self leads you towards that total expression of love, of blossoming of love. It lifts your eyes from all tiny little things. One Divine is providing for everybody. Neither the python goes to work nor the birds toil. Everybody is taken care of. Everything is taken care of.

Jesus said, “Love each other as much as I love you.” What more do you need to see that embodiment of love?

Om Namah Shivay

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Religious Conflicts

Q: Guruji, in the Bible Christ says, ‘I am the only way’. The Koran says that it is the only way, and the Gita also says ‘Mam ekam sharanam vraja’? Is this the reason for all religious conflicts? How can we change this? 

Guruji : This knowledge was given to people present at that time, to help focus their mind in the present. Now if you are listening to me, I will tell you, ‘This is the truth, just be here, now!’ This is because the mind has a tendency to glorify the past, or wait for the future, and discard the present; the now.

Lord Krishna said,‘Mam ekam sharanam vraja’, meaning, ‘Come to me alone’. He said this to his dearest disciple Arjuna to make his mind totally be there to value the present. Whenever this has been said (I am the only way), it has been said from the higher consciousness, not to make one a fanatic. It has been said to make one realize the truth, and the truth is only One, and so they said, ‘It is the only way’, to emphasize that (One truth).

Otherwise the mind discards the present. The same thing happened with Jesus. People at that time were only thinking about somebody in the future, or the past. That is why he said, ‘Right now, right here, I am the only way’. He said this from the ‘I am’ consciousness. The Bible was also written 70 years after Jesus Christ left His body. Just imagine how much His words could have been interpreted; or how these same few words could have been translated at that time, is a big question mark. When Jesus said, ‘I am the son of God’, the church interpreted it as Jesus is the only son of God. What Jesus said was, ‘I am the son of the only Father.’ There is only one father for everybody, and He said, ‘I am the son of the only one father’. Otherwise why would He say, ‘Let us pray to our father in heaven?’ He says, ‘Our father’, which means everyone’s father. Then how can he be the only son of God? Then what about everybody else? What about other people who were born before him; are they not the children of God?

How can we all pray, ‘Our father in heaven?’ Then we should only pray, ‘Jesus’s father, you help me. You are not my father!’ This is a result of wrong interpretation. When Jesus said, ‘Our father in heaven’, he meant that He is the father of everybody. He said, ‘The son of the only father’, but this got twisted to, ‘The only son of the father.’ Just shifting one word from here to there can make a big difference. This is the reason why, when interpreting the scriptures, one should always take into consideration when, where and how it was said, to whom it was said, and for what purpose.

Knowledge always is contextual, even though truth is timeless and universal. But there is always some context to knowledge. Jesus once said, ‘I have come to put father against son, and mother against daughter. I have come to put fire and not make peace.’ If you take this out of context and say, ‘Look at what Jesus said’, then that would be wrong. You have to see where He said it, what he said and how He said it. Jesus came to bring a revolution. Lord Krishna came to do the same thing, bring about a big revolution, and change the mindset of people.

Mohammad Paigambar also did the same. People were so lost in rituals that they would never go deep within and pray quietly. So He said, ‘Come on, enough of this. You are just going from one statue to another all the time. You are not closing your eyes and going within and meditating. Enough, now close your eyes and meditate!’ The rituals had become a business. People went to worship the idols out of fear. So he said, ‘Just go within and pray.’ Nirgun nirakar parabrahma, pray to the formless, unmanifest divinity. This is the essence of Vedanta. It says, go from the form to the formless. And how? Through meditation.

Om Namah Shivay

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Advent Season And Jesus Christ As Incarnation

The Advent season commenced for Christian believers around the world on Sunday, November 30 this year. In the four Sundays before Christmas, the focus of worship and reflection would be the incarnation of Jesus Christ in this world.

St John, in the first chapter of his Gospel, explains the meaning and purpose of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Two key verses are John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God,” and John 1:14, “And the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.” While these two capture the essence of incarnation, images in the same chapter such as life, light, grace and truth introduce the mission of Jesus Christ.

‘The Word became Flesh’ is one of the most perplexing statements in the Bible, and commentators down the centuries brought out several meanings as to why St John described Christ as the `Word’. In Greek language, in which John wrote his Gospel, the word Logos was most significant, which carried diverse meanings such as `reason’, `knowledge’, `ground’ and `animating principle of the universe’. When John wrote that “In the beginning was the Word (Logos),“ his intention was to show Christ as the supreme reality, highest reason and the ground of all being.

`Christ as the Word’ could also convey three other meanings: One, just as a word (an ordinary word) reveals or uncovers what is otherwise hidden in the mind, Jesus reveals the nature of God; secondly , just as a word facilitates communication process, Jesus made communication between God and humans possible; and thirdly , just as a word could bring about comfort and consolation among peoples, Christ came into the world to offer comfort to weary souls, leading to their salvation. The `eternity’ came into `time’, when the `Word became Flesh and dwelt among us’.

The incarnational model, which is based on the birth and mission of Christ, is a powerful way of living out the life of a Christian. By His in-carnation (literally Coming into flesh), Christ demonstrates how human beings could live a perfect life and relate themselves meaningfully to their fellow beings. Love and forgiveness, sacrifice and service lie at the heart of Christianity . Whether it is the feeding of 5,000 people or washing the feet of his disciples or forgiving his enemies or laying down His life for humanity , Jesus showed the path, the narrow path, to tread. His Sermon on the Mount is an inspiring moral discourse, which touched the lives of countless people, cutting across all borders of religion, language and culture.

‘WWJD’ (What Would Jesus Do) had for centuries been the motto and guiding principle for Christian believers to live their life in accordance with the Word of God. Whether a Mother Teresa embracing the destitute baby or a Graham Staines bandaging the wounds of a leper or a Pope washing the feet of a criminal or a missionary starting a school or college or hospital, it is the same incarnational model they sought to follow. ‘The Word became Flesh’ at Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, but its effects are seen around the world in every nook and corner.

Christmas is the season for believers not only to remind themselves of the defining qualities of Christ such as love and forgiveness, service and sharing, but to practice them in their lives.

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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New avatar for old crusades-2

They also said that he, who had defied death, had also been immaculately conceived in the womb of a virgin called Mary, who was to marry a man called Joseph. They declared Jesus was Christ, the messiah of God, sent to suffer for the sins of humanity. Their word became the gospel, and they became known as the apostles. Their tales and interpretations of what Jesus said became very popular more in the West than in the East, first amongst Roman slaves, then Roman nobility and eventually Roman royalty. This is how the polytheistic Roman Empire transformed into the monotheistic Holy Roman Empire. Cynics say religious conversion was the only way the Emperor could bind the crumbling empire together. But Christendom was not united. The Christians who lived in Byzantium in the east consciously separated themselves from the Christians who lived in the west and owed greater allegiance to Rome.

Then about 1,500 years ago, an Arab trader called Muhammad was approached by the angel Jibreel and asked to recite the words of God. In a series of such encounters, the Quran was revealed to him and he was declared as the final prophet who would bring humanity to the right path. He was even taken on a horse that could fly to Heaven where he was told the right way to be a Muslim. Prayers thereafter had to be offered facing, not Jerusalem, but Mecca. In the Prophet’s lifetime, Islam became a dominant force in Arabia. Soon after his death, the Muslims were divided as the Sunnis who followed the path forged by the Prophet Muhammad’s father-in-law and the Shias who follow the path forged by the Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law. But this division did not stop the astonishingly rapid spread of Islam from Arabia through Persia to Africa and thence to Asia and Europe. It eventually met stiff resistance in Christian Europe.

A thousand years ago, resistance eventually gave rise to a series of war campaigns known as Crusades led by Christian Europe determined to regain control over the Holy Land of Levant, specifically the city of Jerusalem, from the Muslims. The Crusades nearly lasted for centuries and finally ended with the fall of Constantinople five hundred years ago. With that the Muslims, or rather Ottoman sultans, were declared the masters of the East and the Christians had to be satisfied with the West.

In the last 500 years, Christian pride resurrected itself with enlightenment, industrialisation, colonisation, and finally capitalism. It changed the course of the world forever. America came into being, and colonies finally gave way to secular nation states, but not before two devastating World Wars in the 20th century. One significant outcome of the World War II was the carving out of the erstwhile Ottoman Empire into a number of Muslim states, and one Jewish state – Israel.

Many Muslims see the establishment of Israel on lands, which for centuries belonged to the Muslim Ottoman Empire, as Christian revenge for their defeat in the crusades. For it made no sense why the Christians who for centuries persecuted Jewish people as descendants of Christ killers would want go out of their way to help them. Perhaps to allay the guilt of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust during which millions of Jews were systematically slaughtered by the Nazi regime of Germany. Or maybe, it was the result of Christian nation states being arm twisted by powerful Jewish bankers who realised it was important to have a nation state of their own, after centuries of being homeless and persecuted.

The rise of the Jewish state and the domination of Euro-American commercial powers in the affairs of the Middle East, especially to control the lucrative oil there, spurred the rise of radical Islam that rejects all things modern (read Western), first in Iran and now across almost every country with a Muslim population. Though never admitted, the Gulf War and the Afghan War and now the opposition to ISIS, is being seen by many as a new form of the medieval crusade. Much as the West wants to deny it, for the Muslim world secularism, rationality, liberalism and democracy are just new avatars of their old Christian foes.

 Om Namah Shivay

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How Sri Ramakrishna Saw Jesus Merge Into His Body-2

Sri Ramakrishna’s Vision of Christ
The year was 1874 and Sri Ramakrishna was then 38 years of age. Towards the end of that year, sometime during the month of November, Sri Ramakrishna felt a great urge to learn the truth about Christianity.

He began to listen to readings from the Bible, by Sambhu Charan Mallick, a devotee of his from Calcutta. Becoming intensely fascinated by the life and teachings of Jesus, Sri Ramakrishna longed to gain a vision of God through the Christian path.

Scarcely had this desire arisen in his mind, when it was fulfilled it in a most marvelous way. The event happened at the garden house of Jadunath Mallick, which was situated to the south of the Kali temple at Dakshineswar. Sri Ramakrishna used to go there now and then for a walk. As Swami Saradananda narrates in his book, Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master (pages 414 to 416):

Jadunath and his mother had great devotion to the Master (Sri Ramakrishna) from the time they first had seen him. Therefore, even if they were not present in the garden at the time of the Master’s walk there, the officers would open the door of the parlour and ask him to sit and rest there for some time.

There were some good pictures hanging on the walls of that room. One of those pictures was that of the child Jesus in his mother’s lap.

The Master used to say that he sat one day in that parlour and was looking intently at that picture and thinking of the extraordinary life of Jesus, when he felt that the picture came to life, and effulgent rays of light, coming out from the bodies of the Mother and the Child, entered into his heart and changed radically all the ideas of his mind!

On finding that all the inborn Hindu impressions disappeared into a secluded corner of his mind and that different ones arose in it, he tried in various ways to control himself and prayed earnestly to the divine Mother (Kali), “What strange changes art Thou bringing about in me, Mother?” But nothing availed.

Rising with a great force, the waves of those impressions completely submerged the Hindu ideas in his mind. His love and devotion to the Devas (Gods) and Devis (Goddesses) vanished, and in their stead, a great faith in and reverence for Jesus and his religion occupied his mind, and began to show him Christian padrees (priests) offering incense and light before the image of Jesus in the Church and to reveal to him the eagerness of their hearts as is seen in their earnest prayers.

The Master came back to Dakshineswar temple and remained constantly absorbed in the meditation of those inner happenings. He forgot altogether to go to the temple of the divine Mother (Kali) and pay obeisance to Her. The waves of those ideas had mastery over his mind in that manner for three days.

At last, when the third day was about to close, the Master saw, while walking under the Panchavati (grove of 5 sacred trees), that a marvellous god-man of very fair complexion was coming towards him, looking steadfastly at him.

As soon as the Master saw that person, he knew that he was a foreigner. He saw that his long eyes had produced a wonderful beauty in his face, and the tip of his nose, though a little flat, did not at all impair that beauty. The Master was charmed to see the extraordinary divine expression of that handsome face, and wondered who he was.

Very soon the person approached him and from the bottom of the Master’s pure heart came out with a ringing sound, the words, “Jesus! Jesus the Christ, the great Yogi, the loving Son of God, one with the Father, who gave his heart’s blood and put up with endless torture in order to deliver men from sorrow and misery!”

Jesus, the god-man, then embraced the Master and disappeared into his body and the Master entered into ecstasy (Bhav Samadhi), lost normal consciousness and remained identified for some time with the Omnipresent Brahman (God, the Ocean of Consciousness) with attributes.
– Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master by Swami Saradananda (pages 414 to 416).

Om Namah Shivay

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