Sunday, June 29, 2014

Do You Know Your Soul Strength?

What is Soul Strength? What is Inner Strength? Is Soul Strength, Inner Strength & Mental Strength, one & the same thing?

When you are depressed, sad & are in distress; in all such times, where from you find your inner strength so as to come out of all such negative symptoms? Is there any God on whom you can rely in all such times? If yes, then where is that God & how can He help you in all such troubled times?

Inner Strength is your Soul strength, Mental strength or Personal Strength which comes into action in your hard times to defeat all such negative symptoms of sadness, depression etc. in your life. In hard times it helps in building your low esteem and loss of confidence. When you are passing through bad times, you have a feeling of self dejection & a feeling that you will not succeed in life. In all such times, your Inner Strength comes into play.

Inner Strength is basically an exploration to find our authentic self. Now how we can peep into & explore our original inner self? Here is a great book "Bhagwat Gita" which is a reservoir of all such questions. "Bhagwat Gita", time & again tells us that we have a Soul inside our human body & this Soul has infinite potential. As this Soul of ours is a spark of the Infinite all powerful, all pervasive Universal Soul, so it's powers are also limit less. This Soul present inside our human body, in fact gives strength to our mind to carry out all difficult tasks. Believing in oneself is nothing but believing in one's inner Soul. All fountains of knowledge & strength come out of this inner Soul only.
Below verse of Bhagwat Gita says about this truth of Soul Strength:

"jyotisam api taj jyotis
tamasah param ucyate
jnanam jneyam jnana-gamyam
hridi sarvasya visthitam
" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Thirteen verse 18)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is un-manifested. He is knowledge, He is the object of knowledge, and He is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in everyone’s heart."

In Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Thirteen verse 18, God himself tells that He is situated in everyone’s heart & gives strength knowledge & guidance to every human being. So if we have faith in God, faith in our inner Soul then we shall get all the power & Inner Strength to get out of all our adversities.

So let's look inside ourselves so that we can come in touch with our real self (Soul) from where emerges all our Inner Strength. Be yourself & be proud of yourself, as your original self is part & parcel of the Universal Self (God) & with His grace you shall come out of all the adverse circumstances. So have devotion in God & it shall strengthen your mind to face all the challenges of Life.

Jai Shri Krishna

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why Worship of a Deity is Necessary?

In Hinduism, one sect worships the God as subtle, formless, un-visible, unmanifest, nirankar & the one God who cannot take any shape. In fact Sikhism also talks of the same formless, unmanifest God. Bhagwat Gita also tells us that God is present in all creation as Supersoul who is formless, un-visible with naked eyes & unmanifest in nature. But how can a person concentrate on God who cannot be seen, who is formless but is present all around us & in all the creation? So to concentrate our mind on God we need to worship Sakaar God, the God who takes a Form & incarnates in different forms. As we need to concentrate our mind on something during our prayers, worship, so that is why it is necessary to have a Deity, a form of God on which we can concentrate our mind.

Swami Vivekananda in his youth age was in search of a true master who would lead him to God. Whenever, he used to meet any saint, he would ask him, "Have you seen God?", but no one would say with conviction that he has seen God. Same question he put to Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa when he saw him for the first time. At his question Sri Ramakrishna replied,"Yes, I have seen God as real as I am seeing you before me."

Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was the caretaker of Kali Temple at Calcutta. He used to worship the stone image of Goddess Kali in the temple but due to his devotion, Mother Goddess Kali, used to take the live form & used to talk to him. As per Sri Ramakrishna:

"ALL doubts disappear when one sees God. It is one thing to hear of God, but quite a different thing to see Him. A man cannot have one hundred per cent conviction through mere hearing. But if he beholds God face to face, then he is wholly convinced.

Formal worship drops away after the vision of God. It was thus that my worship in the temple came to an end. I used to worship the deity in the Kali Temple. It was suddenly revealed to me that everything is Pure Spirit. The utensils of worship, the altar, the door-frame - all Pure Spirit. Then like a mad man I began to shower flowers in all directions. Whatever I saw I worshipped."

God is all pervasive Pure Spirit. This universe is infinite only due to that Infinite Pure Spirit pervasive all around us. Pure Spirit as infinite being is limitless, omnipresent & the one who fills this limitless space. Such an Infinite Pure Spirit exists everywhere. Below are few verses from Bhagwat Gita which describe about the infinite nature of Pure Spirit :

"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 (Pure Spirit) in this world. Like clusters of yarn-beads formed by knots on a thread, all this world is threaded on me (Pure Spirit).

So though God is there in clay Idol in unmanifest form but that un-manifest God is Pure Spirit who is present everywhere & encompasses whole universe in it. That un-manifest God as Pure Spirit only takes live form before a true devotee. That infinite, un-manifest, Pure Spirit is realized in meditation as God & that Pure Spirit only helps us when we think of God & ask for His help. That all pervasive Pure Spirit is only called Bráhmn. So let's understand that Bráhmn, the all pervasive Pure Spirit & once we are able to understand & realize that then we shall transcend from Deity to Infinity as everything in this universe is Pure Spirit only.

God is Infinite Pure Spirit,
Whole world dwells in Infinite Pure Spirit,
Whole world comes from Infinite Pure Spirit,
Whole world goes back in Infinite Pure Spirit,
Whole world breathes in Infinite Pure Spirit,
Let's worship that Infinite Pure Spirit, the God.

Jai Sri Krishna

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Our Relationship with God

We are born as an individual Soul. This Soul resides in our body. God, as Supersoul who is Indestructible, very fine, very subtle & is the omnipresent who is also sitting in your heart as "Antaryamin", one who is witness to all of our actions. Our body is the Temple in which the Divinity of our Soul & Supersoul (God) both live together. In fact, our longest relationship is with God who has been by our side through thick and thin. To better understand this let's first read below a parable from "Mundaka Upanisad".

"Mundaka Upanisad" compares the individual Soul and the Supersoul as two friendly birds sitting on the same tree (your body made of elements of nature). One of the birds who is the individual Soul, is eating the fruits of the tree (enjoying the pleasures of the senses afforded by the material body), while the other bird, the Supersoul (God) is simply watching his friend, the individual Soul. Of these two birds, although both are of the same quality, one is captivated by the fruits of the material tree (this material world) while the other is keeping watch on him only. Although they both are friends, one is the master and the other is the servant. Forgetfulness of this relationship by the individual Soul is the cause of one's changing his position from one tree to another, or moving from one body to another. The Jiva, or individual Soul, is struggling very hard on the tree of the material body, but as soon as it agrees to accept the other bird (God) as the Supreme spiritual master, (as Arjuna agrees to do so by voluntary surrender unto Lord Krishna for instructions), the subordinate bird immediately becomes free from all lamentations.

Below are verses from Mundaka Upanishad explaining that only:

"dva suparna sayuja sakhaya
samanam vriksham praishasvajate
tayor anyah pippalam svadv
atty anasnann anyo 'bhicakasiti"

In the tree of this body, Soul & Supersoul (God), are like two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic Soul) is eating the fruit of the tree (the sense gratification afforded by the material body), and the other bird (the Supersoul) is not trying to eat these fruits, but is simply watching His friend.

"samane vrikshe purusho nimagno
'nisaya socati muhyamanah jushtam
yada pasyati anyam isam asya
mahimanam iti vita-sokah"

Although the two birds are on the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord, and knows His glories, at once the suffering bird becomes free of all anxieties.

Below are few verses from Bhagwat Gita which too explain about the nature of Soul & Supersoul:

"dvav imau purushau loke
ksharas chakshara eva cha
ksharah sarvani bhutani
kuta-stho ’kshara ucyate" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Fifteen verse 16)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, There are two classes of beings, the fallible (this body) and the infallible (this Soul). In the material world every living entity having a body is fallible, and while this Soul is infallible & it never dies.

"uttamah purushas tv anyah
paramatmety udahrtah
yo loka-trayam avisya
bibharty avyaya ishvarah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Fifteen verse 17)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, Besides these two (this body & this Soul), there is the greatest living personality, the God, the Supersoul, the imperishable Lord Himself, who has entered the three worlds and is maintaining them."

So now it is very clear, how this little individual Soul is different from the Supersoul (God) in nature. Though Soul is part & parcel of the Supersoul (God) only & both are unborn, imperishable but still one is limited in capacity & power, while the other is Lord of unlimited power. Individual Soul is the enjoyer of fruits of this vast nature, while Supersoul (God) is the provider of all these fruits & simply watches the actions & play of these different Souls. Let's turn our mind towards our friend Supersoul (God) who is sitting in our heart only in the subtle form. Doing so we shall come in His protection & He shall shower us with His divine love & grace always. So once we turn toward the God, we shall become free from all the anxieties & lamentations in life.

Jai Sri Krishna

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Your Soul is Only a Witness

Raju after playing all the day, comes back to home & falls asleep, as soon as, he lies down on his bed. He is in deep sleep & is enjoying the sweet dream. He dreams about his school friends & about the play in his school. He is actually loving all the dreams when his mother wakes him up with a jolt.....”O! Raju wake up....your friend Dinesh has comes.” Raju wakes up with a jolt & comes back to waking state from the dream state. Raju tells Dinesh that he was actually playing with him only in his dream!!!

While Raju was dreaming, he was like a witness to his dream, just like, when you go to see a movie in a theater, you are a witness to seeing that movie while it plays on the screen. Raju in fact is a Soul who was witnessing the dream played on the screen of his inner consciousness & created by the mind of Raju only. When Raju is waken up from the dream state by his mother then also in seeing this live world, Raju is only a witness who is witnessing the play of the God (this world created by Nature elements of God).”

During sleep state we are not conscious about this gross body of ours. If we dream during the sleep state then we identify ourselves with a dream body of ours & not this gross body which is asleep. Now who is this I or you who was there in such a sleep state, watching this sleep state. Otherwise, who is there in dream state who watches these dreams & on waking up describes that I had very bad dreams or sweet dreams. In fact this is your true Self, your Soul, which is beyond this Gross body or Dream body.

The physical body cannot be considered as your real Self, because even when you are fast asleep and are not conscious of this gross body, still you are existing. So, if you can exist even without the consciousness of a body, it follows from that experience that you can exist without the body. That means you are not the body. One who is the experiencer, the witness, in all the three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping, this is pure consciousness, your true Self, your Soul.

Your Soul is Only a Witness in all the states.

Below verse of Bhagwat Gita says about this truth of Soul that it as passive, witness only:

"prakrityaiva cha karmani
kriyamanani sarvasah
yah pasyati tathatmanam
akartaram sa pasyati" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Thirteen verse 30)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, One who can see that all activities are performed by the Nature (Prakriti) alone and sees that the Self (soul) does nothing & is Passive, actually sees." (The Self is the silent witness).

So Nature or Prakriti is the Active expression of God & is perceived as a mysterious and majestic expression of Divinity. It is Prakriti only which does creation, preservation, and destruction of this Universe, While Supersoul or God is the Passive entity which though is there within & beyond this creation of Prakriti but still is Inactive & is a witness to the game of Prakriti.

So let's always see ourselves to be that Soul only as it is eternally present. It always remains in our body, be it gross or subtle. So let's not identify ourselves with this gross body but with the eternal Soul. Let's think ourselves to be part & parcel of that Universal Soul (God) than identifying ourselves with this body. Once we do that we shall always be with that Universal Soul (God) & shall always enjoy happiness & bliss in life.

Jai Sri Krishna

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Do Your Work as the Worship of God

Work is Worship” but When “Work is done as the Worship of God, it is called Karma Yoga”. To offer all of your actions to God, to live your life for the God, to service the God in every way is actually called the practice of Karma Yoga. By practicing Karma Yoga our future actions shall get purified & all of the bad karmas of our past shall get dissolved.

By devoting all our Karmas to God our mind gets purified of all the impurities & our mind receives the Godly light, Godly grace and Godly knowledge. If we do Service of humanity then also it is the service of God as God sits in the heart of all human beings. Let’s work without attachment and egoism & offer all the good works of ours to God.

By practicing Karma Yoga our heart reaches out to other people & through it we see God in all people’s hearts. By such devotional practice, divine virtues such as love, mercy, tolerance, kindness, patience, self-restraint, etc. are developed in us. Karma Yoga destroys jealousy, hatred, malice and the idea of superiority in us.

Below are verses from "Bhagwat Gita", in which God is asking his disciple Arjuna to do all his actions / activities for Him only. The below verses are firstly, written in, as it is written in original Sanskrit in Bhagwat Gita & below that is English translation of that verse.

' 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.'

Through above verse 6 & 7, God is telling 'Parth' (another name of Arjuna, his disciple), that those people who work for God only & offer all their activities & work to Him only, to such a Soul He shows great mercy, always protects him & finally rescues him during & after death.

"mayi sarvani karmani
nirasir nirmamo bhutva
yudhyasva vigata-jvarah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Three verse 30)

"Sri Krishna said: Therefore, O Arjuna, surrendering all your works unto Me, with full knowledge of Me, without desires for profit, with no claims to proprietorship, and free from lethargy, fight."

Now, how we can work for God only? This whole world is the creation of God only & knowingly, unknowingly, we all are working for the maintenance of this world only. Just introspect & see that, whatever, work or job (good one), you are doing in this world, it is helping in someway or the other in maintaining & sustaining this world. Just take it in that sense, that if all the people of the earth stop doing their daily work, duties, this whole world shall come to a standstill. In that case nobody shall grow food, vegetables, fruits & other things which sustain our life & hence we shall all die. Same is the case with other professions & each person is adding value to this world by doing his/her duty.

Now, though we do duty to sustain this world only but we don't realize that. As this world is a creation of God, so we should work for Him only. If we develop this sense that we are working selflessly to sustain this world created by God only, then also we shall develop an affinity towards God. In the above verses, God is making very clear that if a person offers all his work & activities to God, thinking this world to be a creation of God only, then also He shall be happy with that person & shall protect & shall deliver that person from the cycles of birth & death. By working for God, we shall attain peace & shall attain His love & devotion. So Let's all Work for God only.

Jai Shri Krishna