Always Speak the Truth Because It Takes Us Directly to God-Realization

“The world contains a mixture of truth and untruth. Discard the untruth and take the truth. Even those engaged in worldly activities, such as office work or business, should hold to the truth. Truthfulness alone is the spiritual discipline in the Kaliyuga. Dwell in the truth and you will certainly realize God.”
– Sri Ramakrishna

The Mundaka Upanishad boldly proclaims: Satyameva Jayate – Truth alone Triumphs and not Untruth. This is because only by being truthful with ourselves and with others, can we clear away the scum of the ego-driven imperfections that cloud our mind; and when the mind is thus purified, our soul can see its reflection clearly and realize its True Self, its Infinite Divine Svarupa in Samadhi or Moksha.

Therefore the act of speaking the truth always takes us towards Soul-realization, which is the same as God-realization.

On the other hand when we lie to ourselves and to others, then we immediately cloud our mind with egotistical impurities and thus devolve to a lower consciousness by getting enveloped in the darkness of falsehood. For this reason being truthful has always been emphasized by the sages of the Upanishads as the most important spiritual discipline.

And it was this very same teaching of the Mundaka Upanishad that Sri Ramakrishna underscored for his disciple Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda) in a very interesting incident. At the time this incident took place, Rakhal was still a young disciple under the tutorship of Sri Ramakrishna and had not yet attained to Nirvikalpa Samadhi or complete mergence with God. Hence Sri Ramakrishna was focused on pointing out the imperfections in his disciple’s nature, so that Rakhal could correct them and thus attain to the perfection of God-consciousness.

Satyameva Jayate – Truth Alone Leads to God – Sri Ramakrishna Teaches Rakhal

“When the lamp of truth is lit, darkness vanishes by itself. Stand up men and women, dare to believe in the truth, dare to practice the truth!”
– Swami Vivekananda

One day when Rakhal came to Sri Ramakrishna’s room, Sri Ramakrishna said to him: “Rakhal, for some reason, I can’t look at you. I see a veil of ignorance covering your face. Tell me have you done anything wrong?”

Rakhal was greatly perturbed. He tried hard to remember what he had done wrong but could not recollect anything.

“Try to recall”, Sri Ramakrishna said “if you have told any untruth.” Rakhal immediately remembered and admitted that he had recently jokingly told a lie to a friend.

Sri Ramakrishna forgave him and said: “Never do it again. To speak the truth always is the most important spiritual discipline. The virtue of truthfulness is most critical. If a man always speaks the truth, and tenaciously holds to the truth he will realize God, for God is Truth.”

“The great King Bhartrihari said – ‘Let the sages blame or let them praise; let the goddess of fortune come or let her go wherever she likes; let death come to-day, or let it come in hundreds of years; he indeed is the steady man who does not move one inch from the way of truth.’”
– Swami Vivekananda

Om Namah Shivay

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Shiva Manasa Puja

Shiva Manasa Puja: Ratnai Kalpitam Asanam – in sanskrit with meaning – stotra on Sri Shiva

– composed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya

शिवमानसपूजा – रत्नैः कल्पितमासनं
Shiva Manasa Puja – Ratnai Kalpitam Asanam

Sri Shiva

रत्नैः कल्पितमासनं हिमजलैः स्नानं च दिव्याम्बरं
नानारत्नविभूषितं मृगमदामोदाङ्कितं चन्दनम् ।
जातीचम्पकबिल्वपत्ररचितं पुष्पं च धूपं तथा
दीपं देव दयानिधे पशुपते हृत्कल्पितं गृह्यताम् ॥१॥
Ratnaih Kalpitam-Aasanam Hima-Jalaih Snaanam Ca Divya-Ambaram
Naanaa-Ratna-Vibhuussitam Mrga-Madaa-Moda-Angkitam Candanam |
Jaatii-Campaka-Bilva-Patra-Racitam Pusspam Ca Dhuupam Tathaa
Diipam Deva Dayaa-Nidhe Pashupate Hrt-Kalpitam Grhyataam ||1||

Meaning:
1.1: (O Pashupati, please accept my Mental Worship of You) I offer an Asanam (Seat) studded with Gems for You to Sit on; I Bathe You in Cool Waters from the Himalayas; and with Divine Clothes …
1.2: … decorated with various Gems, and with Marks of Sandal Paste of the Musk Deer (Kasturi), I Adorn Your Form,
1.3: I Offer You Flowers composed of Jaati (Jasmine) and Campaka (Magnolia), along with Bilva Leaves, and wave Incense sticks …
1.4: … and Oil Lamp before You, O Deva, You Who are an Ocean of Compassion and the Pashupati (the Lord of the Pashus or beings); Please Accept my Offerings made within my Heart.

Shiva
सौवर्णे नवरत्नखण्डरचिते पात्रे घृतं पायसं
भक्ष्यं पञ्चविधं पयोदधियुतं रम्भाफलं पानकम् ।
शाकानामयुतं जलं रुचिकरं कर्पूरखण्डोज्ज्वलं
ताम्बूलं मनसा मया विरचितं भक्त्या प्रभो स्वीकुरु ॥२॥
Sauvarnne Nava-Ratna-Khanndda-Racite Paatre Ghrtam Paayasam
Bhakssyam Pan.ca-Vidham Payo-Dadhi-Yutam Rambhaa-Phalam Paanakam |
Shaakaanaam-Ayutam Jalam Rucikaram Karpuura-Khannddo[a-U]jjvalam
Taambuulam Manasaa Mayaa Viracitam Bhaktyaa Prabho Sviikuru ||2||

Meaning:
2.1: (O Pashupati, please accept my Mental Worship of You) I Offer You Ghrita (Ghee or Clarified Butter) and Payasa (a sweet food prepared with Rice and Milk) in a Golden Bowl studded with Nine types of Gems, …
2.2: … and then Offer Five types of different Food preparations, and a special preparation composed of Payas (Milk), Dadhi (Curd) and Rambhaphala (Plaintain),
2.3: For drinking I Offer You Tasteful Water scented with various Fruits and Vegetables; then I wave a piece of Lighted Camphor before You …
2.4: … and finally offer a Tambula (Betel Leaf) and complete my Food Offering; O Lord, please Accept my Food Offerings I created in my Mind through Devotional Contemplation.

Shiva
छत्रं चामरयोर्युगं व्यजनकं चादर्शकं निर्मलं
वीणाभेरिमृदङ्गकाहलकला गीतं च नृत्यं तथा ।
साष्टाङ्गं प्रणतिः स्तुतिर्बहुविधा ह्येतत्समस्तं मया
सङ्कल्पेन समर्पितं तव विभो पूजां गृहाण प्रभो ॥३॥
Chatram Caamarayor-Yugam Vyajanakam Ca-Adarshakam Nirmalam
Viinnaa-Bheri-Mrdangga-Kaahala-Kalaa Giitam Ca Nrtyam Tathaa |
Saassttaanggam Prannatih Stutir-Bahu-Vidhaa Hye[i-E]tat-Samastam Mayaa
Sangkalpena Samarpitam Tava Vibho Puujaam Grhaanna Prabho ||3||

Meaning:
3.1: (O Pashupati, please accept my Mental Worship of You) I Offer You a Canopy (Umbrella) for Cool Shade and with a Pair of hand Fans made of Chamara, I Fan You; I Offer You a Shining Clean Mirror (representing the Purity of Devotion in my Heart),
3.2: I fill the Place with Divine Songs and Dances accompanied by Music from Veena (a stringed musical instrument), Bheri (a kettle drum), Mridanga (a kind of drum) and Kaahala (a large drum),
3.3: In this Divine surroundings, I do Full Prostration (Sasthanga Pranam) before You and then Sing various Hymns in Your Praise; All these are by me …
3.4: … created in my Heart and Offered to You; O Lord, Please accept my Mental Worship.

Shiva
आत्मा त्वं गिरिजा मतिः सहचराः प्राणाः शरीरं गृहं
पूजा ते विषयोपभोगरचना निद्रा समाधिस्थितिः ।
सञ्चारः पदयोः प्रदक्षिणविधिः स्तोत्राणि सर्वा गिरो
यद्यत्कर्म करोमि तत्तदखिलं शम्भो तवाराधनम् ॥४॥
Aatmaa Tvam Girijaa Matih Sahacaraah Praannaah Shariiram Grham
Puujaa Te Vissayo[a-U]pabhoga-Racanaa Nidraa Samaadhi-Sthitih |
San.caarah Padayoh Pradakssinna-Vidhih Stotraanni Sarvaa Giro
Yad-Yat-Karma Karomi Tat-Tad-Akhilam Shambho Tava-Araadhanam ||4||

Meaning:
4.1: O Lord, You are my Atma (Soul), Devi Girija (the Divine Mother) is my Buddhi (Pure Intellect), the Shiva Ganas (the Companions or Attendants) are my Prana and my Body is Your Temple,
4.2: My Interactions with the World are Your Worship and my Sleep is the State of Samadhi (complete absorption in You),
4.3: My Feet Walking about is Your Pradakshina (Circumambulation); all my Speech are Your Hymns of Praises,
4.4: Whatever work I do, all that is Your Aradhana (Worship), O Shambhu.

Shiva
करचरणकृतं वाक्कायजं कर्मजं वा
श्रवणनयनजं वा मानसं वापराधम् ।
विहितमविहितं वा सर्वमेतत्क्षमस्व
जय जय करुणाब्धे श्रीमहादेव शम्भो ॥५॥
Kara-Caranna-Krtam Vaak-Kaaya-Jam Karma-Jam Vaa
Shravanna-Nayana-Jam Vaa Maanasam Va-Aparaadham |
Vihitam-Avihitam Vaa Sarvam-Etat-Kssamasva
Jaya Jaya Karunna-Abdhe Shrii-Mahaadeva Shambho ||5||

Meaning:
5.1: Whatever Sins have been Committed by Actions Performed by my Hands and Feet, Produced by my Speech and Body, Or my Works,
5.2: Produced by my Ears and Eyes, Or Sins Committed by my Mind (i.e. Thoughts),
5.3: While Performing Actions which are Prescribed (i.e. duties prescribed by tradition or allotted duties in one’s station of life), As Well as All other Actions which are Not explicitly Prescribed (i.e. actions done by self-judgement, by mere habit, without much thinking, unknowingly etc); Please Forgive Them All,
5.4: Victory, Victory to You, O Sri Mahadeva Shambho, I Surrender to You, You are an Ocean of Compassion.

Om Namah Shivay

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Can Mantra Chanting Bestow Siddhi (God-Realization)?-3

Returning to Gurudev Shriram Sharma’s discourse: “Bhagiratha rishi also performed immense penance but it was all for social welfare. He abandoned everything for the public good and only then was he able to bring Mother Ganga to earth and quench the thirst of humanity. Had Bhasmasura nurtured a similarly noble objective, he too would have been able to help many people.”

“He could have asked Lord Shiva for such a boon that would have allowed him to cure any person simply by placing his hand on their head. But he could not think of performing such virtuous acts because he had not refined his inner self. So long as there is lurking greed, attachment and sensuality within a person, he/she cannot rise in their Sadhana (spiritual practice). These demonic tendencies pull a Sadhak (spiritual aspirant) downwards.“

“Only after passing the preliminary goal of self refinement can a person steadily climb up the ladder of spirituality. I lived on jowar roti (bread of millet) and buttermilk for 24 years. I did not take any salt, sweets or spicy food. I brought the tongue under control; only then could I control the mind. If the taste buds are controlled, all the 10 senses and the mind are easily controlled. Once mental control is achieved, realization of the Self becomes easy whether the sadhak is Jain, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian or Hindu.”

Note: In Vedanta a tremendous emphasis is laid upon controlling of the tongue (the organ of taste and speech). Once the sense of taste is brought under-control, the sexual instinct is also automatically conquered. It is a yogic observation that the two are intimately linked. The desire to enjoy tasty food is always accompanied by an increase in lustful tendencies in the mind and vice versa. Moreover since the tongue is the organ of taste and speech therefore, controlling the sense of taste also leads to a control of one’s speech, which in turn leads to a control of one’s thoughts, emotions and desires. In this way once the mind is brought under control the realization of the Self becomes easy.

Once Shriram Sharma Acharya visited the continent of Africa. There a disciple showed him a pet parrot, who had been trained to chant the Gayatri Mantra in perfect Sanskrit. Later Shriram Sharma Acharya would often use the example of this parrot to emphasize that a mere outward repetition of the Gayatri Mantra (similar to the parrot), is not sufficient to take us to the doors of God-realization. If this was the case then even that parrot could have attained to Samadhi.

Instead chanting of the Gayatri Mantra (or any Mantra for that matter) is successful only when its true meaning is permanently inscribed in the heart, through the transformation of each and every thought and action. We must become living embodiments of the Mantra. Only then can we truly become Siddha (Enlightened, God-realized).

Om Namah Shivay

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किस देवी-देवता की कितनी बार करें परिक्रमा, ताकि मिले मनोवांछित फल-2

कार्तिकेय तथा गणेश की परीक्षा

मां पार्वती की बात सुनकर कार्तिकेय तो झट से अपने मोर पर सवार होकर निकल गए ब्रह्मांड की परिक्रमा करने, लेकिन गणेश जी वहीं खड़े थे। वे आगे बढ़े, अपने दोनों हाथ जोड़े और अपने माता-पिता की परिक्रमा करने लगे। जब कार्तिकेय पृथ्वी का चक्कर लगाकर वापस लौटे और गणेश को अपने सामने पाया तो वह हैरान हो गए। उन्हें अपनी आंखों पर विश्वास नहीं हो रहा था कि कैसे गणेश उनसे पहले दौड़ का समापन कर सकते हैं।

गणेश जी ने समझाया

बाद में प्रभु गणेश से जब पूछा गया तो उन्होंने बताया कि उनका संसार तो स्वयं उनकी माता हैं, इसलिए उन्हें ज्ञान प्राप्ति के लिए विश्व का चक्कर लगाने की आवश्यकता नहीं है। यह कथा हमें परिक्रमा करने का महत्व समझाती है, लेकिन महत्व के साथ किस देवी-देवता की कितनी बार परिक्रमा की जाए यह भी जानना अति आवश्यक है।

परिक्रमा के नियम

जिस प्रकार से हिन्दू धर्म में हर धार्मिक कार्य एक सम्पूर्ण विधि-विधान से युक्त होता है, ठीक इसी प्रकार से परिक्रमा करने के लिए भी नियम बनाए गए हैं। परिक्रमा किस तरह से की जानी चाहिए, कितनी बार की जाए यह सब जानना जरूरी है। तभी आपके द्वारा की गई परिक्रमा फलित सिद्ध होगी।

किसकी कितनी बार की जानी चाहिए परिक्रमा

यहां हम आपको केवल देवी-देवता की परिक्रमा कितनी बार की जानी चाहिए, इसकी जानकारी देंगे। यदि आप श्रीकृष्ण की मूर्ति की परिक्रमा कर रहे हैं तो इसे तीन बार करें। तभी फल की प्राप्ति होती है।

शक्ति का रूप

आदि शक्ति के किसी भी स्वरूप की, मां दुर्गा, मां लक्ष्मी, मां सरस्वती, मां पार्वती, इत्यादि किसी भी रूप की परिक्रमा केवल एक ही बार की जानी चाहिए।

भगवान विष्णु

इसी तरह से भगवान विष्णु एवं उनके सभी अवतारों की चार परिक्रमा करनी चाहिए। श्रीगणेशजी और हनुमानजी की तीन परिक्रमा करने का विधान है। शिवजी की आधी परिक्रमा करनी चाहिए, क्योंकि शिवजी के अभिषेक की धारा को लांघना अशुभ माना जाता है। शायद यह बात आप पहले से जानते ना हों, इसलिए भविष्य में ध्यान रखिएगा।

ये गलतियां ना करें

परिक्रमा कितनी बार करें यह तो आपने जान लिया, लेकिन परिक्रमा करते समय कुछ बातों का विशेष ध्यान भी रखें। क्योंकि इस दौरान की गई गलतियां आपकी परिक्रमा को बेकार कर सकती हैं। परिक्रमा करने के आपके उद्देश्य को निष्फल कर सकती हैं।

मंत्रों का जप कर सकते हैं

आप जिस भी देवी-देवता की परिक्रमा कर रहे हों, उनके मंत्रों का जप करना चाहिए। इससे आपको अधिक लाभ मिलेगा। भगवान की परिक्रमा करते समय मन में बुराई, क्रोध, तनाव जैसे भाव नहीं होना चाहिए। परिक्रमा स्वयं आपका मन शांत जरूर करती है, लेकिन उससे पहले भी आपको खुद को शांत करना होगा।

जान लें नियम

एक बात का विशेष ध्यान रखें, परिक्रमा हमेशा नंगे पैर ही करें। परिक्रमा शास्त्रों के अनुसार एक पवित्र कार्य है, इसलिए पैरों में चप्पल पहनकर उसे अशुद्ध नहीं किया जाना चाहिए।

शांत मन से परिक्रमा करें

एक और बात… परिक्रमा करते समय बातें नहीं करना चाहिए। शांत मन से परिक्रमा करें। परिक्रमा करते समय तुलसी, रुद्राक्ष आदि की माला पहनेंगे तो बहुत शुभ रहता है।

गीले वस्त्रों के साथ परिक्रमा

शायद आपने कभी गौर किया हो कि परिक्रमा करने से पहले लोग स्नान करते हैं, वस्त्रों को पहने हुए ही जल में डुबकी लगाते हैं और गीले वस्त्रों से ही परिक्रमा करते हैं। दरअसल शरीर को गीला करके परिक्रमा करना शुभ माना गया है, और एक बार बदन गीला करने से जल्द ही सूख जाता है। इसलिए वस्त्र ही गीले कर लिए जाते हैं।

Om Namah Shivay

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किस देवी-देवता की कितनी बार करें परिक्रमा, ताकि मिले मनोवांछित फल-1

भगवान की भक्ति

किसी से यदि पूछें कि वे भगवान को किस प्रकार से याद करते हैं, तो भिन्न-भिन्न प्रकार के उत्तर प्राप्त होते हैं। कोई कहता है कि प्रभु के नाम का जप करने से उन्हें याद किया जाता है तो कोई कहता है कि रागमयी अंदाज़ से भजन के माध्यम से उन्हें याद किया जाता है। यह भजन हमें ईश्वर से जोड़ते हैं, ऐसा मानते हैं लोग। लेकिन वहीं कुछ लोगों ने प्रभु की आराधना करने के विभिन्न तरीकों में कुछ छोटे-छोटे तरीके भी जोड़ दिए हैं, जिनका अपना ही एक खास अर्थ एवं महत्व है।

परिक्रमा है एक माध्यम

उदाहरण के लिए धार्मिक स्थलों पर भक्तों द्वारा की जा रही परिक्रमा की ही बात कर लीजिए। मंदिर, मस्जिद, गुरुद्वारा या किसी भी अन्य धार्मिक स्थल पर आपने लोगों को उस पवित्र स्थल की, वहं मौजूद भगवान की मूरत की या फिर किसी भी ऐसी चीज़ के आसपास चक्कर लगाते हुए देखा होगा जिसकी जनमानस में काफी मान्यता है।

क्या है मान्यता

लोग कहते हैं कि परिक्रमा करनी जरूरी है, लेकिन क्या कभी आपने जाना है क्यों? परिक्रमा, जिसे संस्कृत में प्रदक्षिणा कहा जाता है, इसे प्रभु की उपासना करने का माध्यम माना गया है। सनातन धर्म के महत्वपूर्ण वैदिक ग्रंथ ऋग्वेद से हमें प्रदक्षिणा के बारे में जानकारी मिलती है।

ऋग्वेद में क्या लिखा है?

ऋग्वेद के अनुसार प्रदक्षिणा शब्द को दो भागों (प्रा + दक्षिणा) में विभाजित किया गया है। इस शब्द में मौजूद प्रा से तात्पर्य है आगे बढ़ना और दक्षिणा मतलब चार दिशाओं में से एक दक्षिण की दिशा। यानी कि ऋग्वेद के अनुसार परिक्रमा का अर्थ है दक्षिण दिशा की ओर बढ़ते हुए देवी-देवता की उपासना करना। इस परिक्रमा के दौरान प्रभु हमारे दाईं ओर गर्भ गृह में विराजमान होते हैं। लेकिन यहां महत्वपूर्ण सवाल यह उठता है कि प्रदक्षिणा को दक्षिण दिशा में ही करने का नियम क्यों बनाया गया है?

दक्षिण दिशा में हो परिक्रमा

मान्यता है कि परिक्रमा हमेशा घड़ी की सुई की दिशा में ही की जाती है तभी हम दक्षिण दिशा की ओर आगे बढ़ते हैं। यहां पर घड़ी की सूई की दिशा में परिक्रमा करने का भी महत्व मौजूद है। हिन्दू धर्म की मान्यताओं के आधार पर ईश्वर हमेशा मध्य में उपस्थित होते हैं। यह स्थान प्रभु के केंद्रित रहने का अनुभव प्रदान करता है।

मध्य में भगवान

यह बीच का स्थान हमेशा एक ही रहता है और यदि हम इसी स्थान से गोलाकार दिशा में चलें तो हमारा और भगवान के बीच का अंतर एक ही रहता है। यह फ़ासला ना बढ़ता है और ना ही घटता है। इससे मनुष्य को ईश्वर से दूर होने का भी आभास नहीं होता और उसमें यह भावना बनी रहती है कि प्रभु उसके आसपास ही हैं।

परिक्रमा करने का लाभ

यदि आप परिक्रमा करने के लाभ जानेंगे तो वाकई खुश हो जाएंगे। क्योंकि परिक्रमा तो भले ही आप करते होंगे, लेकिन शायद ही इससे मिलने वाले आध्यात्मिक एवं शारीरिक फायदों को जानते होंगे। जी हां… परिक्रमा करने से हमारी सेहत को भी लाभ मिलता है।

ऊर्जा मिलती है

यूं तो हम मानते ही हैं कि प्रत्येक धार्मिक स्थल का वातावरण काफी सुखद होता है, लेकिन इसे हम मात्र श्रद्धा का नाम देते हैं। किंतु वैज्ञानिकों ने इस बात को काफी विस्तार से समझा एवं समझाया भी है। उनके अनुसार एक धार्मिक स्थल अपने भीतर कुछ ऊर्जा से लैस होता है, यह ऊर्जा मंत्रों एवं धार्मिक उपदेशों के उच्चारण से पैदा होती है। यही कारण है कि किसी भी धार्मिक स्थल पर जाकर मानसिक शांति मिलती है।

सकारात्मक ऊर्जा की प्राप्ति

परिक्रमा से मिलने वाला फायदा भी इसी तथ्य से जुड़ा है। जो भी व्यक्ति किसी धार्मिक स्थान की परिक्रमा करता है, उसे वहां मौजूद सकारात्मक ऊर्जा की प्राप्ति होती है। यह ऊर्जा हमें जीवन में आगे बढ़ने की शक्ति प्रदान करती है। इस तरह ना केवल आध्यात्मिक वरन् मनुष्य के शरीर को भी वैज्ञानिक रूप से लाभ देती है परिक्रमा।

परिक्रमा का इतिहास

यदि परिक्रमा का इतिहास जाना जाए तो सबसे पहली परिक्रमा शायद गणेश जी द्वारा अपने माता-पिता, माता पार्वती एवं भगवान शिव की गयी थी। पुराणों में उल्लिखित इस कथा के अनुसार एक बार माता पार्वती ने अपने दोनों पुत्रों कार्तिकेय तथा गणेश की परीक्षा लेने का सोचा। उनसे कहा कि जो पूरी दुनिया का चक्कर लगाकर सबसे पहले कैलाश पर्वत वापस लौटेगा, वही उनकी नजर में सर्वश्रेष्ठ कहलाएगा।

Om Namah Shivay

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Maha Shivaratri

The whole world functions according to laws of Nature. What is that? That is Shiva. The whole world is moving in an auspicious rhythm of innocence and intelligence. That auspiciousness is divinity. Shiva is harmonious innocence which knows no control.

Shiva reversed is Vashi. Vashi means control. Control is of the mind. Control means two, weakness. One is not doing something naturally but exerting pressure. Often people think they are in control of their lives, their situation. Control is an illusion. Control is a temporary exertion of energy in the mind. That is Vashi.

Shiva is opposite. Shiva is the permanent and eternal source of Energy, the eternal state of Being, the One without a second.

Duality is the cause of fear. That harmonious innocence dissolves duality.

When the moment is whole, complete, then that moment is Divine. In the moment means no regret of the past, no want for the future. Time stops, the mind stops.

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The consciousness which is bliss, innocence, omnipresent and the bestower of dispassion is Shiva.

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AWESOME: WHEN GOD IS WITH THE DEER WHY DOUBT HIM FOR US?????

In a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth. She finds a remote grass field near a strong-flowing river. This seems a safe place. Suddenly labor pains begin. At the same moment, dark clouds gather around above lightning starts a forest fire. She looks to her left sees a hunter with his bow extended pointing at her. To her right, she spots a hungry lion approaching her. What can the pregnant deer do? She is in labor! What will happen? Will the deer survive? Will she give birth to a fawn? Will the fawn survive? Or will everything be burnt by the forest fire? Will she perish to the hunters’ arrow? Will she die a horrible death at the hands of the hungry lion approaching her? She is constrained by the fire on the one side the flowing river on the other boxed in by her natural predators. What does she do? She focuses on giving birth to a new life. The sequence of events that follows are: – Lightning strikes suddenly blinds the hunter. – He releases the arrow which zips past the deer strikes the hungry lion. – It starts to rain heavily, the forest fire is slowly doused by the rain. – The deer gives birth to a healthy fawn.

In our life too, there are moments of choice when we are confronted on all sides with negative thoughts and possibilities. Some thoughts are so powerful that they overcome us overwhelm us. Maybe we can learn from the deer. The priority of the deer, in that given moment, was simply to give birth to a baby fawn. The rest was not in her hands any action or reaction that changed her focus would have likely resulted in death or disaster. Ask yourself, Where is your focus? Where is your faith and hope? In the midst of any storm, do keep your faith in God always. He has your best in heart Always.

Om Namah Shivay

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Mahabharata: Epic retold -3

Arjuna Versus Karna

Once inside, my brother had fought brilliantly. Ashwathma and the Bahlika prince Bhoorisravas had challenged him – only to retreat. Karna had then faced Arjuna. The two fought a dazzling duel.

Kauravas Cheer

But, as dusk approached, and Jayadratha was yet to be sighted, Krishna asked Arjuna to pretend to give up on his vow and withdraw, dejected. Seeing Arjuna turn back, the Kauravas had cheered. For a brief moment, the formation parted to reveal an ecstatic Jayadratha.

Krishna Takes A U-Turn

That was all Krishna needed. Whipping the chariot around with amazing speed, he presented Arjuna a clear shot of his quarry. The Gandiva spoke. Jayadratha fell, an arrow through his throat.

Bheema Introspects

Leaving Yudhisthira’s tent, I walk to mine. A vow fulfilled. Jayadratha killed. But has Abhimanyu been avenged? Will it return him to life? What about Kshatradharma? And Jayadratha himself? It occurs to me war is an endless cycle of revenge.

Bheema Offers Food To Drishtadyumna

Drishtadyumna is waiting for me at the tent. He must have come straight from the battlefield. I notice blood oozing from under his armour. Knowing no words to console him, I ask Visoka to bring food. Drishtadyumna eats absently. I am glad for the silence.

Drona’s Fall Certain

“Drona must fall,” he says, when he finishes. “I do not say that because of Kshatradharma alone. Drona must fall for us to win this war.” He adds as an afterthought, “I almost had him today.”

So What If Arjuna Kept His Word?

“Still, today we were lucky,”‘ I say. “Our losses weigh heavy, but Arjuna kept his word–“. “Yes, his foolish word. Though that was the work of midnight messengers. Not luck!”

What If Krishna Broke His Vow?

Seeing the expression on my face, Drishtadyumna says, “Krishna threatened to break his vow and fight if Jayadratha did not fall today.” Drona understood the danger. Krishna as charioteer was one thing, but allegiances would falter if he fought for us.

Division In the Ranks

The old brahmin knew how many under his command revered Krishna. They would find it difficult to raise a weapon against him. The Kauravas could lose divisions.

Wily Brahmin Who Bartered His Own

“The wily brahmin thought Jayadratha was a fair price to pay,” Drishtadyumna says. “Why do you think he kept away from the chakravyuha?” Ghatotkacha is right. We are worse than animals. We barter our own if it suits our purpose.

War Is Always Ugly

Seeing my troubled face, Drishtadyumna says softly, “War is ugly. There never has been one without treachery. There never will be. “The righteous war you seek exists only in Yudhishthira’s mind… Come, we must prepare for the battle at night!”

Om Namah Shivay

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