Sunday, December 25, 2011

How Big Is God?

Can you tell me how Big is this Universe or how vast is this Space in which endless Planets & endless Galaxies are there? In fact all this Universe with endless Galaxies is Infinite. Infinite simply means “Without Limits” & beyond the comprehension of human mind. When we think of that infinite then we just think of the limitless. Now God is called the creator of this limitless Universe & is much bigger than this Universe. Vedas say that all this Infinite, limitless Universe was created with just one fourth of the powers of God & three fourth of His powers still remains with the God. So God is beyond Infinite & is incomprehensible.

Once someone sent a model device made of salt in the "Big Ocean" to measure it's depth. But when model went in the ocean, it just got dissolved in the waters of the ocean & became one with the ocean. It could not measure it's depth. Same is the case with human beings. When a person tries to measure the vastness of the God then in this search that person becomes one with the infinite God but he cannot in reality know the true vastness of the God. So the question "How big is God?" is not to be answered by the finite human mind. Human mind is having it's own limitations due to which it cannot know someone who is having Infinite vastness & Infinite powers.

God as infinite is limitless, Omnipresent & the one who fills this limitless space. Such an Infinite God exists everywhere & is not limited by time or space. In all the religions of the world God is designated as a singular, universal Supreme Being who encompasses all this creation. His all the attributes such as power, wisdom, love, compassion etc. are limitless & hence Infinite.

Bhagwat Gita describes the God as unborn, eternal, ever-existing, infinite and primeval. God is never born nor dies at any time. God is manifest & un-manifest both i.e. He is there before the creation & also present during the creation. He is omniscient (knows everything), omnipresent (who is present everywhere), omnipotent (who is having all the powers & is all powerful), imperishable & indestructible. He is invisible, inconceivable and immutable. He is having supernatural powers. He is Truth Absolute, Knowledge Absolute and is Infinite. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same. So are some of the qualities of God described.

Here below are few verses from Bhagwat Gita which describe about the infinite nature of God:

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

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, Everywhere are His (God's) hands and feet, His eyes, heads and faces, and He has ears everywhere. In this way the Super Soul exists, pervading everything in this world."

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

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, there is nothing else besides Me in this world. Like clusters of yarn-beads formed by knots on a thread, all this world is threaded on me.

Here below is a "Hymn to that Universal, Omnipresent Infinite God". It is from "Svetasvatara Upanishad":

"O God,

You are the Ancient One & the Lord of Shining Light,
You dwell beyond all the darkness and the night;
knowing You alone can a man cross over death,
There is no other path for him to take."

All heads are Your heads, all faces Your faces,
You dwell inside the heart & also in all hidden places.
Through the whole universe, You have extended Yourself.
You are Shiva, the auspicious, the ever-present Lord."

With hands and feet everywhere, eyes and ears
Everywhere, heads and mouths everywhere,
You have filled up every corner of the space.
Smaller than smallest and larger than largest."

Present are You in the depths of our heart.
When free of desires and unshaken by sorrow, we
Seek for You only, then by Your grace,
Your Form and Your glory stand clearly before us.

"O Lord, Creator of even Brahma, the creator,
Revealer to him of the knowledge called Veda,
To You, I come in my longing for freedom;
To You, for refuge, with reverence, I come!"

So let's pay our obeisance's to such an Infinite God. Let's also think that God is always near to us & is always in our heart. Then He too shall never give you up or never depart. God is always with you & shall always be with you if you think Him to be supreme. So always have trust in your life that God is near you though He is present in all the creation.

Jai Sri Krishna

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bhagavad Gita & Russian Ban

Bhagwad Gita / Bhagwat Gita, one of the holiest Hindu scriptures, is facing a threat of legal ban in Russia. The holy book is also being asked to brand it “an extremist” literature across Russia. The Moscow Times reported that Bhagwad Gita and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf may be included in the Russian Judicial Ministry’s list of banned extremist literature.

The prosecutors are citing a passage from the original book as a reason for the ban and not the translation that is available there. The translation has been done by the founder of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The translation is called “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”.

However, a Russian court on Monday suspended its verdict till December 28 on the demand for banning Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita, which a group linked to the Christian Orthodox Church has described as 'extremist'. "The ruling has been postponed till December 28, as the lawyer of ISKCON requested the court to seek opinion of Russian ombudsman and experts from Moscow and St. Petersburg - the main centers of Indology in Russia", Sadhu Priya Das of ISKCON told PTI after the court in the Siberian city of Tomsk suspended its verdict.
The Bhagvad Gita is a holy Hindu scripture where Lord Krishna preaches the followers. It is also considered a great piece of literature in philosophical studies and is an important part of the Indian epic, Mahabharata. On the battle field of Kurukshetra, when Arjuna, the disciple of Lord Krishna got infatuated & forgot his duty to fight, then Lord Krishna reminded Arjuna of his duty to fight a lawful, justful war & gave him the teachings of Bhagwat Gita. Arjuna after having been taught in the path of knowledge by Lord Krishna came back to his path of duty & fought a lawful battle against the Kauravas (his enemies) & won the battle with the grace of Lord Krishna.

Bhagwat Gita is the "Song of the Divine" told by the Divine (God himself) to His disciple Arjuna. In it God (Lord Krishna) himself teaches Arjuna the philosophy of truth. In it Lord Krishna tells Arjuna about the philosophy of rebirth or reincarnation & how individual soul transmigrates from one body to the other. It also teaches you the difference between a Soul & Supersoul (God). It also tells you, what is Karma & how you can do the Karma effectively through Karmayoga.

In Bhagwat Gita, God teaches basically the four paths through which one can understand the philosophy of soul or oneself. First one is "Sankhya yoga" or the "Yoga of Knowledge". In it one can know the God through knowledge or through one's intellect. The second one is "Karma yoga, or the Yoga of Action." In it one can know the God through offering all of his / her actions to God. Third one is "Dhyana yoga" or the "The Yoga of Meditation". In it one can know the God through Meditation of God. Fourth one is "Bhakti Yoga" or the "The Yoga of Devotion." In it one can know the God through having devotion, love towards God.

So Bhagwad Gita / Bhagwat Gita does not teach us hatred & is not an extremist literature. It teaches one to do one's duty properly. It also teaches us the philosophy of life. It teaches us who we are, how this universe was born, how we can understand this universe, how we can know our true self, Soul, How we can know Super Soul God. It is a marvelous book of knowledge & is not at all an extremist literature. Russian court should not BAN this book at all & should respect its teachings.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Why this Pain in Life???

"Joy & Pain", "Good & Bad", "Attachment & Detachment" etc. are dual characteristics of Nature or Maya. Individual soul or "Soul" is beyond this dual Nature & is of the nature of Bliss. But when this "Soul" gets involved with Nature or Maya, then it experiences dual fruits of Nature like Joy & Pain. In this world when we get involved with material things or people around us then attachment to those things or people happen. It seems to give us joy, happiness when we are with these things or people. But as Nature is of dual characteristics so these very things or people give us equal amount of pain in life when these are not with us or are gone away from our life. It is as simple as that involvement gives joy while separation gives pain in life but both are two aspects of the same coin.

That is the reason that saints ask us not to get attached with the things or people of this world. Even if we have to remain with these things or people in the world then just remain like a drop of water on a Lotus flower, where though it is there on it but it is not attached or touched by it. Basically the nature of our mind is so that it gets attached to some object, place or person badly. In such a state our mind is swayed by the emotions & we always think of that object, place or person & without it, our life seems impossible. So in all such cases if our mind is attached to them greatly then great shall be the pain to the mind during separation from them. Same applies to other material things like your home, car, money etc. So if our mind is attached to these things greatly, so great shall be the pain to our mind during its separation.

As per the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddhism), craving for worldly things is said to be the cause of all suffering that one experiences in human existence. The extinction of this craving leads one to ultimate happiness, or Nirvana. Nirvana means "cessation", "extinction" of suffering. It is also known as "Awakening" or "Enlightenment". As per the teachings of Gautama Buddha, suffering is an inevitable part of life as we know it & the cause of this suffering is attachment to, or craving for worldly pleasures of all kinds. The suffering ends when the craving and desire ends, or one is freed from all desires.

In this world we are getting deluded by the delusive energy of God called Maya. She puts our minds through the pains and sufferings of life & we all our life feel these regularly. Our mind is always full of worries, anxieties, pains of day to day life, diseases and mental sufferings. Sometimes that delusive energy of God called Maya removes a little pain from our life & gives us a small happiness & pleasure. We at that time feel that we have got fully rid of all the problems & miseries of the life & we again rush with more vigor towards the jungle called life. We forget that all those miseries & pains of life are still there & if we do not find the true answer to get rid of all these sufferings then we shall always feel the same way all through life & shall get reborn again to live a life of pain & sufferings. To get rid of all these pains & sufferings permanently, is to know your true self which is your Soul & Supersoul (God). Once you know your Soul & Supersoul (God) then all the miseries of life shall go away from your life.

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.

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

"Sri Krishna said: One who performs his duty without any Attachment, surrendering all the results unto the God, is unaffected by sinful action, as the Lotus leaf is untouched by water."

Below is a story regarding a monk who lived a life of detachment in this world:

"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."

So remain in this world like the one who is not attached to the things & beings of this world. Don't say to yourselves, 'I have money, home, I have a son, I have a daughter, I have numbers of men and maids for my service, I have precious gold etc; do not cling to these things with craving and desire. Simply do not get attached to anything very much that you cannot leave it. Again, just live your life like a water drop living on a lotus leaf, which is there on it but is still not attached to it.

Jai Sri Krishna

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Uniqueness of Bhakti (Devotion) - The path of Love

As per the Hindu mythology, in other paths like "Jnana Yoga", the path of Knowledge or "Dhyana Yoga", the Yoga of Meditation etc. it is essential that one practices self discipline, masters his senses, passions etc. to realize the God. But Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion is Unique in that sense.

As per the great saint Sri Ramakrishna:

" Is it possible to realize God unless one’s passions have already been controlled? In a sense not. But that is true only of Jnana Yoga, the path of Knowledge. The knowing one says, “One must first be pure if one desires to see God. One must first control one’s passions. First self-discipline, then knowledge of God.”

There is however, another path leading to God – the path of devotion (Bhakti Yoga). If one man gains love of God, if once the chanting of His holy name begins to thrill the devotee with joy, what effort is needed for the control of passions afterwards? The control comes of itself. Can a man suffering from intense grief be in a mood to enter into a quarrel, or to enjoy a feast, or to give his mind up to the pleasures of the senses? So one absorbed in the love of God cannot think of sense-pleasures.

A poet has compared devotion to God to a tiger. As the tiger devours animals, devotion also swallows up all the ‘arch-enemies’ of man, such as lust, passion and the rest. Once the devotion to God is fully awakened, all evil passions like lust and anger are completely destroyed."

In "Bhagwat Gita", Lord Krishna Says that if a person is devoted to God only then God rescues that person from ocean of Birth & Death i.e. that man becomes eligible for permanent life beyond death forever with God.

As per (Gita: Chapter XII verse 8) God says that:

"mayy eva mana adhatsva
mayi buddhim nivesaya
nivasisyasi mayy eva
ata urdhvam na samsayah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Twelve verse 8)

" Fix Your mind on Me (God) and establish your reasoning in Me (God) alone; thereafter doing so you shall abide in Me (God) only. There is no doubt about it. "

' Ye tu srvani krmani
myi sanyasya mat-para
anany-naiv yogen
maam dhyayant upasate '
' Tesham-aham samud-dharta
bhavami na-chirat parth
mayy-avesita-chetsam ' ( Bhagwat Gita: Chapter XII verse 6-7 )

'Those people, who worship Me by surrendering all their activities unto Me, are always devoted to Me, always meditate upon Me, Having always fixing their minds upon Me, O Parth - to them, I swiftly rescue from the ocean of birth and death.'

So as per assurance given by God in Gita, Lets all be devotees of God only & let's pray for Him (God) daily.

Jai Shri Krishna