Sunday, December 27, 2009

Milk & the Butter Story

In relation to God we have generally many queries like, Who is God? Where is God? Why don’t we see Him? What does God do all the time? etc. etc. In this blog, earlier I have written many articles which describe about, Who is God? or about the Omnipresence of God & that God is sitting in everyone's heart. But here below is a beautiful story from Hinduism which answers these questions beautifully. Here is the story:

Once upon a time, in ancient India there lived a poise Brahmin who was considered by all to be the best authority on Hindu Philosophy. One day the local king asked him to appear before him. When Brahmin did so, the king said:

“I have three questions that puzzle me, rather torment my mind always: Where is God? Why don’t I see Him? And what does God do all the day? If you can’t answer these three questions then I will have your head cut off.”

The Brahmin was appalled and terrified, because the answers to these questions were not just complex but they were impossible to formulate. In other words: he did not knew the answers. So his execution date was set.

On the morning of that day the Brahmin’s teenage son appeared before the king and asked him if he would release his father if he-the son-would answer his questions. The king agreed, and the son asked that a container of milk be brought to him. It was done. Then the boy asked that the milk be churned into butter. That, too, was done.

“The first two of your questions are now answered,” he told the king.

The king objected that he had been given no answers, so the son asked: “Where was the butter before it was churned?”

“In the milk,” replied the king.

“In what part of the milk?” asked the boy.

“In all of it.”

“Just so, agreed the boy, “and in the same way God is within all things and pervades all things.”

“Why don’t I see Him, then,” pressed the king.

“Because you do not ‘churn’ your mind and refine your perceptions through meditation. If you do that, you will see God. But not otherwise. Now let my father go.”

“Not at all,” insisted the king. “You have not told me what God does all the day.”

“To answer that,” said the boy, “we will have to change places. You come stand here and let me sit on the throne.”

The request was so audacious the king complied, and in a moment he was standing before the enthroned Brahmin boy who told him: “This is the answer. One moment you were the king and I was a common man. Now things are reversed, I am the king & you are a common man. God perpetually lifts up and casts down every one of us. In one life we are exalted and in another we are brought low. Oftentimes in a single life this occurs, and even more than once. Our lives are completely in God's hand, and He does with us as He wills.”

The Brahmin was released and his son was given many honors and gifts by the king.

Now here below are many verses of Bhagwat Gita which explain about the Omnipresence of God:

"sarvatah pani-padam tat
sarvato ’ksi-siro-mukham
sarvatah shrutimal loke
sarvam avrtya tishthati" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Thirteen verse 14)

"Sri Krishna told Arjuna about God: Everywhere are His hands and legs, His eyes, heads and faces, and He has ears everywhere. In this way the Super soul exists, pervading everything & everybody."

"mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Seven verse 7)

"Sri Krishna said: There is nothing else besides Me, Like clusters of Yarn-Beads, Formed by knots on a thread, All this world is threaded on Me (universal soul)."

"athakasa-sthito nityam
vayuh sarvatra-go mahan
tatha sarvani bhutani
mat-sthanity upadharaya" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Nine verse 6)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, Just as the extensive and all-pervading Air always remains in Space, likewise know that all creation & beings reside in Me (God)."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Problems In Life

Problems, we all have problems in our life. Everyday we encounter problems at work, problems at home, problems in our relations & also in many other situations of our life. Some problems we are able to solve, some unresolved ones remain in our mind which keep our mind disturbed & agitated.

Natural state of our mind should be a peaceful one. It is generally said that we see this world through our mind, if our mind is peaceful; we see this world in a good way & enjoys the beauties of nature & love being born to enjoy this life. But if our mind remains in a disturbed, agitated state of mind, we may miss the simple beauty of a flower in our nearby place also. We shall never enjoy our life if our mind remains in a disturbed state of mind.

Now what should be our attitude when our mind is disturbed by problems of life. Let us understand a very simple thing regarding the law of Nature. In this Nature, everything that is there, is there for a limited time period. Say, every creature that is born in Nature lives for a limited time period & then die with time. Similarly plants grow from seeds & after a particular life cycle cease to exist. When you see a movie, it starts & ends after few hours i.e. it has a beginning & an end. In nature everything changes & change is the law of nature. Seasons too change, spring goes then summer comes, summer goes then autumn comes, autumn goes then winter comes. Similarly times in our lives change as per the law of the nature.

Same is the case with the problems in our life. There is nothing called permanent problems. No problems last forever in our life & these get resolved with time just like seasons change in nature. Problems too have a birth date & a death date. Problems too have a limited duration of lifetime. Either problems automatically get resolved with time or with your understanding & acumen gets resolved very soon. So we should not get discouraged in life with problems. We should have faith in our mind that problems always have a solution. Try resolving the problem, if you are able to solve the problem then it is well, otherwise do not get discouraged, as it shall die down it's own death with time as no problem is to stay in our life for ever.

Now below are few verses from Bhagwat Gita which teaches how a person of peaceful, unwavering and undisturbed mind behaves in life:

"sama-duhkha-sukhah sva-sthah
tulya-priyapriyo dhiras
tulya-nindatma-samstutih" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Fourteen verse 24)

Sri Krishna said: One who is situated in the Self (soul) and behaves same during happiness and distress; one who looks upon a lump of earth, a stone and a piece of gold with an equal eye; one who is equal toward the desirable and the undesirable; one who is situated equally well in praise and blame is the one who is of steady mind.

"manapamanayos tulyas
tulyo mitrari-pakshayoh
gunatitah sa ucyate" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Fourteen verse 25)

Sri Krishna said: One who is steady in honor and dishonor; one who treats alike both friend and enemy; and who has renounced all material activities—such a person is said to have transcended the three modes of nature & lives in a peaceful state of mind.

So do not get discouraged in life with the problems. Keep your mind peaceful & think that problems in life are like small hurdles when we walk in a rough terrain but sooner that rough terrain passes with time & we come once again in a smooth terrain. Just be unwavering and undisturbed in all circumstances, keep your mind in control & then you shall overcome all problems of your life.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Spiritual Intelligence

Today I came across a beautiful article at TOI, "What is spiritual intelligence?". It describes in detail about what it is "Being Spiritual" & "What is the difference between spiritual intelligence and spirituality?" etc. Just few lines from it below:

"Spirituality is to ‘know’ who you are and Spiritual Intelligence is to ‘realize who you are and to live life in that awareness. You have always been who you are and, in truth, you can never be other than who you are, but it requires ‘realization i.e. that moment when you ‘see it’, when you ‘get it’ and then you ‘be it’.

Spirituality is the knowledge of yourself as spirit/soul, and the understanding of your highest spiritual qualities and attributes, which are love, peace, purity and bliss. Spiritual Intelligence is the expression of these innate spiritual qualities through your thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. Being spiritual means the ego has dissolved, virtue has been restored to character and spiritual values connect your inner and outer worlds (thought to action). It is the ability to see every other human being as soul/spirit, and thereby transcend all the false identities of race, colour, gender, nationality, profession and religion. It is in this awareness that we are then able to recognize and connect with the Supreme Power."

Read full article here at TOI............What is spiritual intelligence?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You Should See the Divinity in All

We all are having different bodies & each body is having a face of it's own. Such variety in nature creates the illusion that we all are different individual beings. But all that variety in nature is at the physical level & at the soul level there is only one indivisible, omnipresent soul that is present in all of us. Its the indestructible soul present in our bodies that makes it so lovable, otherwise no one can love this body of five nature elements. All attractions in the body are due to this divine soul only. Once this divine soul leaves this body, it is called the death of that body & all attractions, all love departs with that soul. This divine soul is nothing but a spark of the universal omnipresent soul, the Almighty God. All human beings are lovable due to the presence of this divine soul in our body.

Now all the religious texts & Bhagwat Gita also teaches us that we should love all beings equally as the God resides in everyone's heart & seeing the presence of that divinity present in all beings, we should not discriminate with any body & love everyone equally. Below verses of Bhagwat Gita explain that only:

"sarvasya chaham hridi sannivisto
mattah smritir jnanam apohanam cha
vedais cha sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedanta-krd veda-vid eva chaham" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Fifteen verse 15)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me comes remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas."

God again says in the Bhagwat Gita that He Himself resides in the heart of all human beings. Below verse explains that:

"ishvarah sarva-bhutanam
hrd-dese ’rjuna tishthati
bhramayan sarva-bhutani
yantrarudhani mayaya" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Eighteen verse 61)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, The Supreme God dwells/resides in the hearts of all beings, who are mounted on the automation of this body, causing them by His illusive power of material energy to revolve (according to their actions) and is directing the wanderings of all living entities."

So it is certain that, God is there in your heart who is sitting silently over there in the "Antaryami" aspect, watching you & your actions. Same is the case that God is sitting in everyone's heart & watching over our actions. Now if a person is able to see that God is present in everyone's heart then he/she shall love every creature of this universe equally as he/she shall be adoring the lovable God only in every creature. Below verses of Bhagwat Gita explain that only how a person of true knowledge sees all equally.

brahmane gavi hastini
suni chaiva sva-pake cha
panditah sama-darsinah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Five verse 18)

Sri Krishna said: The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision, the God present in a learned and gentle Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater (outcaste) even.

"ihaiva tair jitah sargo
yesham samye sthitam manah
nirdosam hi samam brahma
tasmad brahmani te sthitah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Five verse 19)

"Sri Krishna said: Those whose minds are established in sameness and equanimity have already conquered the conditions of birth and death. They are flawless like Brahman, and thus they are already situated in Brahman."

Now here below is a beautiful story how a devotee of God could not drink the nectar & attain to immortality as he could not see the God present in all beings.

"Once there was a Brahmin who was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. He had no home & always used to wander in secluded areas. He was free of desire, lust, hatred, greed & used to live in a world of his own.

Lord Krishna became very happy with his devotion & asked him for a boon. Brahmin told Lord Krishna that he was desire less and he did not want anything, but Lord Krishna insisted for some boon to be granted to him as a reward of his devotion. At this Brahmin asked for a boon that ,whenever, he was in need of water & he felt thirsty, water may be provided to him. Lord Krishna granted him that boon & disappeared.

One day, Brahmin after walking for a long distance felt thirsty, but there was no trace of water. Then he remembered that the Lord Krishna had granted him a boon that he would find water at his desire. Suddenly, he saw a hunter dressed in torn rags accompanied by furious dogs, carrying water in a leather pouch and asked him, "Sir, would you like to have some water." Looking at the apparent impure condition of the hunter & being a staunch Brahmin (High caste), he felt repelled. He politely refused "No, Thank you". The hunter again approached him for the water, but in utter disgust & in anger the Brahmin told the hunter to go way and that he was not interested in the water. The hunter and the dogs disappeared. Witnessing this, he realized that it must be God, who disguised Himself and came to quench his thirst. He felt hurt how Lord Krishna could send water to him through an impure, Scheduled Caste person. How could Lord expect a Brahmin to accept and drink water from the impure leather bag?

Now Lord Krishna again appeared before the Brahmin, smiled and asked him 'Who was the hunter? Lord Krishna told the Brahmin that He had asked the Indra Devta (King of heaven) to fetch the water, who instead of water, had actually brought nectar to make you immortal, but on one condition to test whether you could see the Divinity in all. 'Hence I allowed him to do so'.

Brahmin understood how he had failed in the test. It was his Ego, which made him refuse the nectar, which came in the form of water and through Indra Devta.

So the moral of the story is that we should see the God/Divinity present in all beings & we should not discriminate with any body & love everyone equally."

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Unattached in Mind

We at all times are involved in the daily affairs of our family & our life. In this way, things of this world always revolve in our mind. We become so much engrossed in our mind about this world that we are unable to see beyond our daily day to day life. In such a state, our mind cannot think beyond what you are used to in your routine daily life. The higher purpose of life, what is beyond the daily routine life is always missing in your life. That higher purpose is knowing the true nature of your self & knowing the God.

Now is there any way in which we are able to live our daily day to day life normally & also able to achieve higher goals of knowing our self & making our next births beautiful. Yes, there is a way to do so. Bhagwat Gita gives us a solution for this. In Bhagwat Gita Lord Krishna teaches Arjuna that if a person's mind is unattached internally to worldly things then that person lives in this world just like a water drop living on a lotus leaf, which is there on it but is still not attached to it. If you turn your mind towards God's devotion internally then your mind shall start revolving around God internally & shall not be wandering in the outer worldly things. So if you do all your duties thinking of God only then though living with your family & living a normal life you can yet attain to higher goals.

"brahmany adhaya karmani
sangam tyaktva karoti yah
lipyate na sa papena
padma-patram ivambhasa" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Five verse 10)

"Sri Krishna said to Arjuna: One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the God, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water."

So do not let anything else take control of your mind & let God be always on your mind. Here below is the story of two monks which describes that if you are always absorbed in thought of God then how you can still remain unattached in mind.

"Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to a her lifted her in his alms and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery.

In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, "Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman?"

The elder monk answered "yes, brother".

Then the younger monk asks again, "but then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside?"

The elder monk smiled at him and told him "I left her on the other side of the road, but you are still carrying her"