Saturday, November 8, 2008

Precious Moments....

We are all sleepwalking through this experience we call life. Our only purpose here is to become aware of this state of illusion in which we live our daily lives. It is only in this state of awareness that our life takes on it's true dimension. To become "awakened" in life is to shed all of our preconceived ideas of what our experiences mean and allow them to take on a new meaning based on who we really are ... instead of what we've all been programmed to be. Then enjoy every moment of life.

This reminds me of a word,"Ichigo-Ichie" is such a word, originally a Zen Tea Ceremony word, and it is used in many situation in ordinary life. The meaning is "If you meet some one, you should think it as only one precious moment in your life." Now I remember a Japanese storybook, "The Spring of Incipient" by Tetsu Kashiwa.I love following phrase which is from the opening paragraph of the storybook.
Mostly everything in the world begins with very subtle way.
The first dew drop which fell on your face,
Who keep in mind it was the begining of the heavy rain
which was lasting few days?
The old intimate friend you feel as from long long ago,
Who keep in mind the day you talked with him first?
Without the encounter of the day you might remain as
stranger, Do you remember the precious memorable day?

Quote :- " Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure." - Oprah Winfrey

Meditation = Awareness

Quote:- "When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place. "

Meditation ????
Remember one thing: meditation means awareness.
Whatsoever you do with awareness is meditation.
Action is not the question, but the quality that you bring to your action.
Walking can be a meditation if you walk alertly.
Sitting can be a meditation if you sit alertly.
Listning to the birds can be a meditation if you listen with awareness.
Just listening to the inner noise of your mind can be a meditation
if you remain alert and watchful.
The whole point is: one should not move in sleep.
Then whatsoever you do is meditation.
Remember, meditation will bring you more and more intelligence, infinite intelligence, a radiant intelligence. Meditation will make you more alert and sensitive.Your life will become richer.
When I say, "You have to drop thinking" don't conclude in a hurry, because I have to use language.So I say, "Drop thinking," but if you start dropping, you will miss, because again you will reduce it to a doing. "Drop thinking" simply means: don't do anything. Sit. Let thoughts settle themselves. Let mind drop on its own accord. You just sit gazing at the wall, in a silent corner, not doing anything at all. Relaxed. Loose. With no effort. Not going anywhere. As if you are falling asleep awake - you are awake and you are relaxing but the whole body is falling into sleep. You remain alert inside but the whole body moves into deep relaxation.
Thoughts settle on their own accord, you need not jump amongst them, you need not try to put them right. It is as if a stream has become muddy... what do you do? Do you jump in it and start helping the stream to become clear? You will make it more muddy! You simply sit on the bank. You wait. There is nothing to be done, because whatsoever you do will make the stream more muddy. If somebody has passed through a stream and the dead leaves have surfaced and the mud has arisen, just patience is needed. You simply sit on the bank. Watch, indifferently. And as the stream goes on flowing, the dead leaves will be taken away, and the mud will start settling because it cannot hang forever. After a while, suddenly you will become aware - the stream is crystal-clear again. Whenever a desire passes through your mind the stream becomes muddy. So just sit. Don't try to do anything. In Japan this 'sitting silently' is called zazen; just sitting and doing nothing. And one day meditation happens. Not that you bring it to you, it comes to you. And when it comes, you immediately recognize it; it has been always there but you were not looking in the right direction. The treasure has been with you but you were occupied somewhere else: in thoughts, in desires, in a thousand and one things. You were not interested in the only one thing... and that was your own being...

The more you understand the mechanism of the mind, the more the possibility is that you will not interfere. The more you understand how the mind functions, the more the possibility is that you will be able to sit in zazen. That you will be able just to sit, sit and do nothing, that you will be able to allow meditation to happen. It is a happening.

Awareness - Part 2

You will fear no one and you will fear nothing. Isn't that extraordinary? You'll live like a king, like a queen. This is what it means to live like royalty. Not rubbish like getting your picture in the newspapers or having a lot of money. That's a lot of rot. You fear no one because you're perfectly content to be nobody. You don't give a damn about success or failure. They mean nothing. Honor, disgrace, they mean nothing! If you make a fool of yourself, that means nothing either. Isn't that a wonderful state to be in! Some people arrive at this goal painstakingly, step by step, through months and weeks of self-awareness. But I'll promise you this: I have not known a single person who gave time to being aware who didn't see a difference in a matter of weeks. The quality of their life changes, so they don't have to take it on faith anymore. They see it; they're different.

They react differently. In fact, they react less and act more. You see things you've never seen before. You're much more energetic, much more alive. People think that if they had no cravings, they'd be like deadwood. But in fact they'd lose their tension. Get rid of your fear of failure, your tensions about succeeding, you will be yourself. Relaxed. You wouldn't be driving with your brakes on. That's what would happen.

There's a lovely saying of Tranxu, a great Chinese sage, that I took the trouble to learn by heart. It goes: "When the archer shoots for no particular prize, he has all his skills; when he shoots to win a brass buckle, he is already nervous; when he shoots for a gold prize, he goes blind, sees two targets, and is out of his mind. His skill has not changed, but the prize divides him. He cares! He thinks more of winning than of shooting, and the need to win drains him of power." Isn't that an image of what most people are? When you're living for nothing, you've got all your skills, you've got all your energy, you're relaxed, you don't care, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose.
Someone once said, "The three most difficult things for a human being are not physical feats or intellectual achievements. They are, first, returning love for hate; second, including the excluded; third, admitting that you are wrong." But these are the easiest things in the world if you haven't identified with the "me." You can say things like "I'm wrong! If you knew me better, you'd see how often I'm wrong. What would you expect from an ass?" But if I haven't identified with these aspects of "me," you can't hurt me. Initially, the old conditioning will kick in and you'll be depressed and anxious. You'll grieve, cry, and so on. "Before enlightenment, I used to be depressed: after enlightenment, 1 continue to be depressed." But there's a difference: I don't identify with it anymore. Do you know what a big difference that is?

You step outside of yourself and look at that depression, and don't identify with it. You don't do a thing to make it go away; you are perfectly willing to go on with your life while it passes through you and disappears. If you don't know what that means, you really have something to look forward to. And anxiety? There it comes and you're not troubled. How strange! You're anxious but you're not troubled.

Isn't that a paradox? And you're willing to let this cloud come in, because the more you fight it, the more power you give it. You're willing to observe it as it passes by. You can be happy in your anxiety. Isn't that crazy? You can be happy in your depression. But you can't have the wrong notion of happiness. Did you think happiness was excitement or thrills? That's what causes the depression. Didn't anyone tell you that? You're thrilled, all right, but you're just preparing the way for your next depression. You're thrilled but you pick up the anxiety behind that: How can I make it last? That's not happiness, that's addiction.

Awareness - Part 1

Come home to yourself. Observe yourself. self-observation is such a delightful and extraordinary thing. After a while you don't have to make any effort, because, as illusions begin to crumble, you begin to know things that cannot be described. It's called happiness. Everything changes and you become addicted to awareness.

There's the story of the disciple who went to the master and said, "Could you give me a word of wisdom? Could you tell me something that would guide me through my days?" It was the master's day of silence, so he picked up a pad. It said,"Awareness." When the disciple saw it, he said, "This is too brief. Can you expand on it a bit?" So the master took back the pad and wrote, "Awareness, awareness, awareness." The disciple said, "Yes, but what does it mean?" The master took back the pad and wrote,

"Awareness, Awareness, Awareness means -- Awareness."

That's what it is to watch yourself. No one can show you how to do it, because he would be giving you a technique, he would be programming you. But watch yourself. When you talk to someone, are you aware of it or are you simply identifying with it? When you got angry with somebody, were you aware that you were angry or were you simply identifying with your anger? Later, when you had the time, did you study your experience and attempt to understand it? Where did it come from? What brought it on? I don't know of any other way to awareness. You only change what you understand. What you do not understand and are not aware of, you repress. You don't change. But when you understand it, it changes.

I am sometimes asked, "Is this growing in awareness a gradual thing, or is it a 'whammo' kind of thing?" There are some lucky people who see this in a flash. They just become aware. There are others who keep growing into it, slowly, gradually, increasingly. They begin to see things. Illusions drop away, fantasies are peeled away, and they start to get in touch with facts.

There's no general rule. There's a famous story about the lion who came upon a flock of sheep and to his amazement found a lion among the sheep. It was a lion who had been brought up by the sheep ever since he was a cub. It would bleat like a sheep and run around like a sheep. The lion went straight for him, and when the sheep lion stood in front of the real one, he trembled in every limb. And the lion said to him, "What are you doing among the sheep?" And the sheep-lion said, "I am a sheep." And the lion said, "Oh no you're not. You're coming with me." So he took the sheep-lion to a pool and said, "Look!" And when the sheep-lion looked at his reflection in the water, he let out a mighty roar, and in that moment he was transformed. He was never the same again.

If you're lucky and the gods are gracious or if you are gifted with divine grace (use any theological expression you want), you might suddenly understand who "I" is, and you will never be the same again, never. Nothing will ever be able to touch you again and no one will ever be able to hurt you again.

Story,Sadhana & Satguru


Once upon a time, a small bird named Tasoo lived in a vast jungle. One hot summer day, a terrible wildfire erupted and the flames devoured many trees and animals living in the jungle. Other birds flew high into the sky and far away to safety, but Tasoo couldn't bear to leave her precious jungle home to burn. Day and night, she flew with all her might back and forth to the river, filling her tiny beak with water to drop on the raging fires. Tasoo's rare heart of courage and unshakable determination moved the heavenly gods to shed tears, and a great rain poured down upon the jungle, extinguishing the flames. And so it is that even the smallest actions of a determined spirit can change the world.

Intensity in your Sadhana brings Authenticity in your Self (Meditate twice a day):-

By means of systematic Sadhana (spiritual practice) it is possible to tap the inner resources that God has endowed man with and elevate yourselves to the purer and happier realm of the Reality. Look at the trainers of wild beasts. They bring the tiger, the most ferocious of animals, like a cat into the circus ring, and make it jump through a hoop of fire, or lap milk from a plate, face to face with a goat, sitting on a chair! They are able to subdue its ferocity and tame it, reduce it to the position of an unassuming toy! How could they do it? They did Sadhana, they made the tiger also go through a regimen of Sadhana and they succeeded! If you could succeed with the tiger, can you not succeed with the ferocious denizens of your mind?

Remember :-

To be born as a human being is no small privilege. It is a very precious gift given by divine to the soul. Having got a human birth, to have an aspiration for liberation is the next difficult thing to obtain. So, if one obtains both these, one is indeed doubly blessed. But having been born as a human being, if you do not want to know, and yet even after knowing that, if you do not know the way, you are not fully blessed. Therefore, if you get the shelter of a Mahapurusha ( Satguru), one who has known what has to be attained and one who is in a position to show you the way, you can admit that you are thrice blessed. This unique blessing has to be remembered always. Then alone will you be careful not to waste the opportunity.

Sadhaka - A Seeker

One simple Brahma-Sankalpa produced these countless universes. When the time comes, in the twinkling of an eye, you will realise the Self and attain liberation. While you are in a dark room, you grope in the dark and almost endlessly search for the torch. You stumble over many things and knock your head here and there. At last you get hold of the torch, which you so frantically searched. Now no more of this groping in the darkness, no more trials and pains; instantly there is light in the room. It is the search that takes a long time. It is the preparatory step in Sadhana that takes a considerable time.
And, then, even when you feel that Truth is within your grasp, you ought to be vigilant, till it becomes part and parcel of your consciousness, till you actually live in it. It is not enough if merely the light of Truth illumines a dark corner; you must live in it. When in a dark room, you light the lamp, darkness vanishes; but if you put the light out, the darkness returns. Till the sun rises there is need for a constant flame of light in the room to keep it illumined. Similarly in the dark cavern of your heart, there is a lamp lit—it is Bhakti or a little understanding of the Omniscience, Omnipresence and Omnipotence of God. This gives sufficient light to see things clearly and understand the nature of this universe, the Self and God. But if you put the light out by negligence or wilful indifference to Sadhana, in the false belief that you have attained the goal, you will again be enveloped by the darkness. You must keep the flame bright till the sun of Self-realisation arises within you. Then there will be light and light alone everywhere. The darkness has vanished forever. Light becomes part of the very nature. Darkness does not approach you. What was Sadhana done with effort previously becomes Svabhava or second-nature now. Bhakti is the aspirant's Sadhana and the sage's Svabhava. Righteousness is the aspirant's Sadhana and the sage's Svabhava. At no time, therefore, are these things given up. The aspirant studies and hears the Divine Lilas of the Lord as a necessary part or basis of his Sadhana; the sage listens to them with great joy, as he naturally loves to listen to the Lilas of the Lord.
Therefore, study of scriptures, hearing the sacred truths propounded by men of wisdom, listening to the Lilas of the Lord are never to be given up by sincere Sadhakas at whatever stage of spiritual evolution they may be in. Are you more advanced than Sri Sukadeva who was a born-sage and Siddha? Are you more advanced than the great sages who assembled at Naimisaranya to listen to the Srimad Bhagavata narrated by Suka? Learn a lesson from these illustrious examples of great sages. Be forever a Sadhaka. Be forever a thirsting aspirant after spiritual knowledge. Be forever a Mumukshu (a student).He and he alone is an old man who feels that he has learnt enough and has need for no more knowledge. He is a man dead while alive who does not feel a compelling eagerness to listen to the stories of the Lord's glories or to spiritual discourses. You can stave off old age and even death itself by preserving within you the youthful zealous and devout eagerness to learn more, to practise more and to realise more deeply, the great Spiritual Truth, which is inexhaustible in spite of having been extolled and expounded by numberless saints, sages and seers from time immemorial.

Silence is the Cure

"Silence indicates the quality of your conciousness" -- Sri Sri

Maun (silence) is a tool to exercise restraint on speech. Self-restraint increases our strength. The sadhaka, who is capable of observing silence over a long period of time, attains a kind of psychic power of whatever he says coming true. His mind gets introverted and develops a penchant for introspection. Silence, supplemented with japa, helps the mind concentrate gradually. Reflection develops into meditation and slowly all kinds of psychic powers are awakened.

Speech is the characteristic of every living being, while silence is the language of its Soul. Human life is an inconstant melody confined between two points of Absolute Silence. The eternal silence of the soul is broken when it enters the world made of the five elements. Then while taking leave of the world it merges back into the eternal stream of silence. What can not be achieved by speaking, is easily accomplished through silence. Speech has its limitations, but silence has no limitations whatsoever. Silence symbolises peace and is a means to peaceful living in the world.

So far as the importance of silence in the material world is concerned, it is considered that speaking only to the extent essential, while avoiding even a single unnecessary word, is practical silence. One, who speaks more than what is required, proves himself to be guilty of vain speaking.Silence has been given a place of great significance in spiritual life. It is believed that everything can be achieved through silence. Unfortunately, we either do not know the importance of silence or despite being aware there of fail to bring it into practice. Most of us start speaking at the slightest excuse and go on incessantly . A lot of our vital energy is unwittingly wasted. To check this squandering of energy, saints advise us to speak only when necessary and not to utter the second word, if it is possible to do with one. Mahatma Gandhi used to observe complete silence one day a week. It was called Mahatma Gandhi's Maun day. And people would be astonished at the great amount of work he could accomplish on that day.

Silence gives us strength and teaches us self-restraint. Self-restraint is required not only for the body, it is also required in the matter of speaking. As physical restraint gives us health and longevity, restraint of speech saves us from many troubles and difficulties. Most of the internal quarrels are started by some harsh word uttered by somebody.

Maun is an important vrata for building up strength. Whatever is said by one observing Maun contains relatively more truth. A talkative man is usually
a liar. Gandhiji used to say,"When in doubt, don't speak." Unnecessary and meaningless speaking are more likely to lead to strife. An adage puts it aptly, "Silence of one defeats a hundred." Pure Silence is within you. It is not just the absence of sound, or lack of noise. It is the ground, the basis of your very being. There is nothing to find out, nothing to prove. Just listen with your whole being to what is here, now. It is the most amazing thing you can ever discover.
-- (found this article on Orkut)

"Most of the sorrow in the world is because of this: speech... what people say. If they kept their lips tight, ninety percent of the problems in the world would be over!" - - Sri Sri

Friday, November 7, 2008


"When the wealth in the house increases,
When water fills a boat,
Throw them out with both hands,
This is the wise thing to do"
-- Kabir

Art of Giving

"Rivers do not drink their own water, nor do tree eat their own fruit, nor do rain clouds eat the grains reared by them. The wealth of the noble is used solely for the benefit of others"

Even after accepting that giving is good and that one must learn to give, several questions need to be answered.

The first question is when should one give?

We all know the famous incident from Mahabharat. Yudhisthir, asks a beggar seeking alms to come the next day. On this, Bhim rejoices that Yudhisthir, his brother, had conquered death! For he was sure that he would be around the next day to give. Yudhisthir gets the message. One does not know really whether one will be there tomorrow to give! The time to give therefore is now.

The next question is 'how much to give?'

One recalls the famous incident from history. Rana Pratap was reeling after defeat at the hands of Mughals. He had lost his army, lost his wealth, and most important he had lost hope, his will to fight. At that time, in his darkest hour, his erstwhile minister, Bhamasha came seeking him and placed his entire fortune at the disposal of Rana Pratap. With this, Rana Pratap raised an army and lived to fight another day. The answer to this question how much to give is "Give as much as you can".

The next question is what to give?

It is not only money that can be given. It could be a flower or even a smile. It is not how much one gives but how one gives that really matters. When you give a smile to a stranger, that may be the only good thing received by him in days and weeks! "You can give anything but you must give with your heart."

One also needs answer to this question whom to give?
Many times we avoid giving by finding fault with the person who is seeking. However, being judgemental and rejecting a person on the presumption that he may not be the most deserving is not justified. "Give without being judgemental."

Next we have to answer 'How to give'.

Coming to the manner of giving, one has to ensure that the receiver does not feel humiliated, nor the giver feels proud by giving. In giving follow the Bible 'Let not your left hand know what your right hand gives'. Charity without publicity and fanfare, is the highest form of charity. 'Give quietly'

While giving, let not the recipient feel small or humiliated. After all what we give never really belonged to us. We come to this world with nothing and will go with nothing. The thing gifted was only with us for a temporary period. Why then take pride in giving away something which really did not belong to us? Give with grace and with a feeling of gratitude.

What should one feel after giving?

We all know the story of Eklavya. When Dronacharya asked him for his right thumb as "Guru Dakshina", he unhesitatingly cut off the thumb and gave it to Dronacharya. There is a little known sequel to this story. Eklavya was asked whether he ever regretted the act of giving away his thumb. He replied, and the reply has to be believed to be true, as it was asked to him when he was dying. His reply was "Yes" I regretted this only once in my life. It was when Pandavas were coming in to kill Dronacharya who was broken hearted on the false news of death of his son Ashwathama and had stopped fighting. It was then that I regretted the loss of my thumb. If the thumb was there, no one could have dared hurt my Guru" – The message to us is clear. Give and never regret giving.

And the last question is 'how much should we provide for our heirs?

Ask yourself 'are we taking away from them the "gift of work" - a source of happiness!The answer is given by Warren Buffett: "Leave your kids enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing."

Story from Yoga Vasista

We are told that a great sage called Vyasa had a son known as Suka. He is said to have grown into a boy of sixteen at the very moment of birth, and walked away. The old sage Vyasa was very fond of his son and ran after the young man, calling him. This born sage, Suka, did not even answer the father. As the young boy was walking along, the trees responded to the father's call.

Why was it so? Because this young sage had identified himself with the entire universe.Such a born sage was instructed in the atma jnana, self knowledge, by his father, the sage. The boy himself had studied the scriptures and as his father was explaining to him, he thought: 'I know this already.' So he said to his father: "Father, what is the truth concerning this existence? What is the truth concerning this life? I feel that there is a cosmic oneness, and we are all so many." The father said: 'Yes, that seems to be right and that is what the scriptures also say. It looks as though your own understanding points in the same direction.'
Incidentally, there is an axiom: you cannot educate your own husband, wife or children—they will not listen to you.

The old man realised this problem and said: "My son, this is all I know; but there is no end to knowledge. It is better to have your realisation confirmed by an enlightened being, an enlightened sage. Only then will this little shadow of doubt that has arisen in your mind and which has made you come to me with this question, be completely dispelled. If you want to attain supreme enlightenment, I would recommend that you go to an enlightened monarch called Janaka. He will teach you further and will be able to help you to confirm your realisation."

The young boy went to Janaka's palace, stood outside the palace gates and announced through a messenger that Suka, the son of Vyasa, was there seeking his blessings. Janaka heard this but gave no response, no welcome. Instead, he asked his scavengers to dump all the garbage on the boy's head and subject him to every type of indignity. This boy stood there, unmoved. "I have come to learn from this emperor, who is also a sage, and that is all. I am not interested in anything else."
That is what is called concentration; that is called, dedication; that is called faith, enthusiasm.
At the end of one week the emperor had him brought into the palace. There was dance, drama, music and so on, and he was bathed in perfumed water. There again, he remained unmoved. "I have come to see the emperor to attain atma jnana."This is called vigilance. Why is this vigilance so important? Because it is a sign of the recognition that all that is produced by the mind is bondage, whether it looks good or bad.

Eventually, after the end of the second week, Suka was ushered into the royal presence and the emperor said: "You shine like an enlightened being who knows already. What do you want me to say?" The young man replied: "Sir, my father said such and such, this is how I felt, and this is what the scriptures say..." The emperor responded: "Correct! I say exactly the same thing. Now, go!"
Thus, at the end of two weeks of torture, what Suka had himself realised, and what he had learned from his father and from the scriptures, was confirmed by the enlightened person. What comes from the lips of the enlightened person is not a product of the mind, and is therefore acceptable. This is the process of enlightenment, and if we adopt this method it is possible that our quest also might become fruitful.

Wake Up & Be Alert

In the Katha Upanishad there is a beautiful declaration: uttishthata jagrata—wake up!No one else can do this for you. You can be the disciple of God Almighty Himself, but even He will not be able to wake up on your behalf. If you feel hungry, you yourself must eat. The guru is not going to do the eating for you. The guru may indicate to you, but it is your problem. And if you feel it is your problem, then you awaken, and then you are awake to the problem.

Unless you stop blaming others, including yourself, for the state you are in, you are not awake. When you are walking through a tunnel, you see the light in front of you and the light behind you. Even so, when you are in darkness you think you see some light in the past or in the future. It is an absurd pastime.

Therefore, a major qualification for the student of yoga is to realise that no one is responsible for the state you are in. No one can bring about a spiritual awakening in you. Someone can help, anyone can help, but you have to do it. This spiritual awakening is brought about by life itself, but even to be awakened by life, a certain grace and a certain inner alertness is necessary.

Waking up is easy, but to remain awake is not so easy. Those of you who have attempted to wake up early in the morning in order to meditate will appreciate this. You set an alarm clock, it rings and you wake up. But to remain awake after that is not so easy. The mind loves to sleep. Why? Because the mind is born of ignorance and therefore it loves sleep and it loves a thick psychological blanket.

Therefore, wake up! That is your problem, your responsibility, not the teacher's. From there on, ever be vigilant. Whenever I use this word 'vigilant', I am reminded of Buddha's famous teaching. In some texts it is said that during one of the Buddha's last sermons, he told his disciples: "Live in this world as you would if you were living in a room with a live cobra at the door." Can you imagine that? If you were in a small single room which had only one door and no windows, nothing to escape by, and you found a cobra sitting by that door in the middle of the night, what would you do? Would you sleep? Would you even nod? How vigilant you would be! Such must be the vigilance of the seeker.

Birthday Party

One day at 9:00 am, I told Gurudev that I was going to the city. Gurudev said that Kirpal was also going so I could go with him. Then Raghu, too, wanted to go in the same car. Along the way we met Divya and she, too, wanted a lift to the city and Kirpal agreed. I didn't know what was going on.

I had wanted to go to the city to collect some clothes from my tailor. I got out at the tailor shop and asked them to continue, but they said they would wait. The clothes were not ready, so I sugggested that we go to the snack shop opposite, since it was always noon . After eating, Kirpal had work to do, so he said that he would
meet the rest of us shortly at a place on MG road.

While we were walking towards MG road. we met Shekhar, a cousin of mine who was looking after the Ashram gardens. He said that the director of the Agriculture University and his wife were waiting in a car and he wanted us to meet them. I was reluctant and not at all interested in meeting them. The people around began giggling and I could not fathom why. Anyway, I went with shekhar to the car, which
was parked in the front of the Oberoi Hotel. Inside the car were my father and mother. The entire set-up had been arranged as a birthday surprise!

It was such a great experience and I was totally overwhelmed being with people who were most close to me. We were given the centre table in the restaurant. I thought that Gurudev did not know what happened and when we returned to the Ashram, I began to tell Him the story.But He cut me short, saying, "Ah, so you got the centre table!" So He was behind all this...

Another year we were in Pune, I had forgotten it was my birthday. That morning in a Satsang of over 1000 people, there was a question-and-answer session in which someone asked, "What happens when you come to a Guru?" Gurudev responded, "When you come to a Guru, fun is born." IN Hindi, the word for 'fun' is my name Vinod. That's when I realised that it was my birthday.

On another Birthday, Gurudev was away in Canada. I recieved a phone call: it was Gurudev. He said, "Everybody is singing Art of Living birthday song!" In the background, I could hear the entire satsang group singing away. I was overwhelmed. He has remembered me!

Life with the Master is not easy to talk about, because it touches me so intimately. All those deep impressions which you cannot share with anybody else, you can share with the Master. He is there to take all those away. He meet each of us at our own level, constantly inviting us to open up to Him. This becomes easier later on, because you realise that He is totally non-judgemental.

-- Vinod Menon

Guru stories

I remember listening to one of the Guruji's talk, where Guruji narrated an incident that happened during the time He was with Maharishi. Guruji said, often Maharishi would give the instructions put all the chairs this way on the left side and after a while He would say why is it on the left side?

No one could argue saying You only told us to put it there! Maharishi would argue that He has not said so...And there was no way to win over Maharishi...

You have to simply accept and say YES. Guruji said it was training to really say YES to whatever it is.

It was very hard training. He would get angry for having followed His instructions, He would say put the chairs on right side and you put it there and you would get scolding for nothing. In either way you will be scolded!

I have heard Guruji saying if you suffer in the ashram, you will never have to suffer outside in the world. Yes all the buttons are pushed in the ashram to make you button proof, leaving you with only YES to whatever it is :-)

It seems the purpose of Divine is to get you to the state of YES, it doesn't matter where ever you are ashram, house, office, movie theatre or on the cross!

Inspiring Thoughts

You know, there are bullock carts in India .Usually two bulls are harnessed to a cart, and sometimes a sheaf of straw is dangled at the tip of the pole, a little in front of the animals but beyond their reach. The bulls try continually to feed upon the straw, but never succeed. This is exactly how we are helped! We think we are going to get security, strength, wisdom, happiness from the outside. We always hope but never realise our hope. Never does any help come from the outside.

There is no help for man. None ever was, none is, and none will be. Why should there be? Are you not men and women? Are the lords of the earth to be helped by others? Are you not ashamed? You will be helped when you are reduced to dust. But you are spirit. Pull yourself out of difficulties by yourself! Save yourself by yourself! There is none to help you—never was. To think that there is, is sweet delusion. It comes to no good.

Pleasure is not the goal of man, but knowledge. Pleasure and happiness come to an end. It is a mistake to suppose that pleasure is the goal. The cause of all the miseries we have in the world is that men foolishly think pleasure to be the ideal to strive for. After a time man finds that it is not happiness, but knowledge, towards which he is going, and that both pleasure and pain are great teachers, and that he learns as much from evil as from good. As pleasure and pain pass before his soul they have upon it different pictures, and the result of these combined impressions is what is called man's "character". If you take the character of any man, it really is but the aggregate of tendencies, the sum total of the bent of his mind; you will find that misery and happiness are equal factors in the formation of that character. Good and evil have an equal share in moulding character, and in some instances misery is a greater teacher than happiness. In studying the great characters the world has produced, I dare say, in the vast majority of cases, it would be found that it was misery that taught more than happiness, it was poverty that taught more than wealth, it was blows that brought out their inner fire more than praise.
Now this knowledge, again, is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside; it is all inside. What we say a man "knows", should, in strict psychological language, be what he "discovers" or "unveils"; what a man "learns" is really what he "discovers", by taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge.

We say Newton discovered gravitation. Was it sitting anywhere in a corner waiting for him? It was in his own mind; the time came and he found it out. All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in your own mind. The external world is simply the suggestion, the occasion, which sets you to study your own mind, but the object of your study is always your own mind. The falling of an apple gave the suggestion to Newton, and he studied his own mind. He rearranged all the previous links of thought in his mind and discovered a new link among them, which we call the law of gravitation. It was not in the apple nor in anything in the centre of the earth.

Great things can be done only through great sacrifices. No selfishness, no name, no fame, yours or mine, nor my Master's even! Work, work the idea, the plan, my boys, my brave, noble, good souls--to the wheel, to the wheel put your shoulders! Stop not to look back for name, or fame, or any such nonsense. Throw self overboard and work. Remember: "The grass when made into a rope by being joined together can even chain a mad elephant." The Lord's blessings on you all! His power be in you all--as I believe it is already

Now you see what Karma-Yoga means; even at the point of death to help any one, without asking questions. Be cheated millions of times and never ask a question, and never think of what you are doing. Never vaunt of your gifts to the poor or expect their gratitude, but rather be grateful to them for giving you the occasion of practicing charity to them. Thus it is plain that to be an ideal householder is a much more difficult task than to be an ideal Sannyasin; the true life of work is indeed as hard as, if not harder than, the equally true life of renunciation.

--- by Swami Vivekananda


Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You're covered with thick clouds.
Slide out the side. Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.
The speechless full moon
comes out now.

by Rumi

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Management Mantras

1. Cosmology (Sankalp) Learning about self will help you to know cosmology. Whereas self is the reference point around which changes are happening.
2. Compassion
3. Commitment

There are 3 levels of management - Top Management, Middle Management and Lower Management. Remember that Lower management must be quality conscious.

Three things every organization must do:
1. Take Social responsibility
2. Welfare of people
3. Long term ethics and values in business.

Another part of management is creativity. It comes with silence, A whole new dimension of life opens. Creativity comes from calm and serene mind. Bharat means Brilliance, Intellectuals. Lack of self esteem in youths is keeping India poor. You are a global person. The whole world belongs to you. One must learn

1. Team Work from Japanese
2. Precision from Germans
3. Marketing skills and negotiations from Americans
4. Human Values from Indian Villages
5. Courtesy and Decency from British

-- By Sri Sri Ravishankarji

Water or Stone

embrace your weakness
with humility
and flow
like water
not like stone
or a rock
that stands
in the false firmness
of it's resolve
and ego

--- taken from Shekar Kapur's blog

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Think it over

A Mother's Advice

Jiun, a Shingon master, was a well-known Sanskrit scholar of the Tokugawa era. When he was young he used to deliver lectures to his brother students.

His mother heard about this and wrote him a letter:

"Son, I do not think you became a devotee of the Buddha because you desired to turn into a walking dictionary for others. There is no end to information and commentation, glory and honor. I wish you would stop this lecture business. Shut yourself up in a little temple in a remote part of the mountain. Devote your time to meditation and in this way attain true realization."

No Attachment To Dust

Zengetsu, a Chinese master of the T'ang dynasty, wrote the following advice for his pupils:

Living in the world yet not forming attachments to the dust of the world is the way of a true Zen student.

When witnessing the good action of another encourage yourself to follow his example.
Hearing of the mistaken action of another, advise yourself not to emulate it.

Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest. Express your feelings, but become no more expressive than your true nature.

Poverty is your teasure. Never exchange it for an easy life.

A person may appear a fool and yet not be one. He may only be guarding his wisdom carefully.

Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline and do not drop from heaven of themselves as does rain or snow.

Modesty is the foundation of all virtues. Let your neighbors discover you before you make yourself known to them.

A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value.

To a sincere student, every day is a fortunate day. Time passes but he never lags behind. Neither glory nor shame can move him.

Censure yourself, never another. Do not discuss right and wrong.

Some things, though right, were considered wrong for generations. Since the value of righteousness may be recognized after centuries, there is no need to crave an immediate appreciation.

Live with cause and leave results to the great law of the universe. Pass each day in peaceful contemplation.

A Letter to a Dying Man

Bassui wrote the following letter to one of his disciples who was about to die:

"The essence of your mind is not born, so it will never die. It is not an existence, which is perishable. It is not an emptiness, which is a mere void. It has neither color nor form. It enjoys no pleasures and suffers no pains.

"I know you are very ill. Like a good Zen student, you are facing that sickness squarely. You may not know exactly who is suffering, but question yourself: What is the essence of this mind? Think only of this. You will need no more. Covet nothing. Your end which is endless is as a snowflake dissolving in the pure air."