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Archive for November, 2012

 

“Long ago in a small, far away village, there was place known as the “House of 1000 Mirrors”.

A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly.

 As he left the House, he thought to himself, “This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often!”

 In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, “That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again…”

 All the faces in this world are Mirrors!!!!

Now the question is “What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?!”

 

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There Robbers

 

Once a rich man was passing through a forest, when three robbers surrounded him and robbed him of all his wealth. After snatching all his possessions from him, one of the robbers said: ‘What’s the good of keeping the man alive? Kill him.

‘ Saying this, he was about to strike their victim with his sword, when the second robber interrupted and said: ‘There’s no use in killing him. Let us bind him fast and leave him here. Then he won’t be able to tell the police.’ Accordingly the robbers tied him with a rope, left him, and went away.


“After a while the third robber returned to the rich man and said: ‘Ah! You’re badly hurt, aren’t you? Come, I’m going to release you.’ The third robber set the man free and led him out of the forest. When .they came near the highway, the robber said, ‘Follow this road and you will reach home easily.’

‘But you must come with me too’, said the man. ‘You have done so much for me. We shall all be happy to see you at our home.’ ‘No,’ said the robber, ‘it is not possible for me to go there. The police will arrest me.’ So saying, he left the rich man after pointing out his way.

“Now, the first robber, who said: ‘What’s the good of keeping the man alive? Kill him’, is tamas. It destroys. The second robber is rajas, which binds a man to the world and entangles him in a variety of activities. Rajas makes him forget God. Sattva alone shows the way to God. It produces virtues like compassion, righteousness, and devotion.

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Is ‘meditation’ or ‘sadhana’ essential for happiness? Is it necessary to meditate? Is being good or kind to others not enough to attain happiness?

First of all, I’d say, if you are happy, if you really are happy,if you are fulfilled, if you are happy within yourself, if you are independent of anything external and still exude happiness, then you don’t have to do Sadhana.

There is no necessity for doing sadhana because the very need for doing sadhana arises because one finds that one is not happy.

Even if he’s happy – the only problem is, if you look carefully enough – you’ll find that this happiness that you’re talking about is usually fleeting. It is not with us all the time. Therefore we think, it is essential to find that happiness and peace which is lasting and not fleeting. Then only one looks for sadhana.

All sadhana is not mere meditation.

Sadhana has to be complimented by one’s activity in the outside world. How one deals with other human beings and so on. That’s also an essential part of sadhana, not merely sitting closing your eyes and pretending to meditate.

In fact my master used to tell that if you can sit down with closed eyes without moving for a full hour everyday and can do it for ten years in the same way
and you don’t hear the crying of a hungry child in your neighbourhood, all your meditation has gone waste.

You understand what I mean?

Which means meditation – the search for happiness – is successful or shall we say is most effective only when mind begins to change.That is essentially sadhana and meditation, not merely the mechanical practice of sitting down.

Of course there are meditation techniques that are practised to calm the mind and make one turn inward. But the real meaning of sadhana is to begin by wondering if there is an essential being in us? Our true consciousness – a spark of the divine!

And if it is so, the same spark of the divine has also to be in all other human beings.

Therefore the true sadhak  not only meditates in the way his Guru has taught him to, depending on his needs. He also begins to function in the world with
the understanding, although weak in the beginning, that the divine spark which is in him, is also in all living beings.

And, therefore to serve, to help, to be kind is also a form of worship of that divine spark in other living beings. So kindness and doing good to others should go side by side along with one’s meditative practices. They are not against each other, rather they complement each other.

Now to the question, ‘Is being good to others not enough to attain happiness?’

I would say that If you really, by doing good to others, by recognizing the divine spark in others, If you really feel happy, then you are already an advanced soul who needs very little of any other kind of meditation. But if you look carefully enough , you see that this is not always so. Sometimes you are kind , sometimes you are not. You are not uniformly kind all the time.

Most of what we call kindness that takes place or is expressed – is only when we are not threatened or when we don’t feel that something is going to be taken away from us or that our rights are being trampled upon.

Sometimes also kindness doesn’t consist in giving something to somebody who is in need. It is also sometimes necessary to make the person who is in need to understand the need to stand on his/her feet and find what he is looking for himself. That may require sometimes a little bit of unpleasantness.

When the child who is not doing well is scolded by the mother or the father, it is not being unkind. It is kindness. So one has to be very careful when one defines in being kind.

But I can tell you that anyone who meditates, anyone who’s moving towards the spiritual goal – by the very nature of one’s sadhana – becomes more kinder, more helpful. (He) does good to others and definitely atleast not cause harm to others.

Step by step , gradually, it may not happen in a day, he or she is discovering the spark of the divine which is in all living beings which is form of or part of God,
either through service or through worship.The spark of divine which is to be worshipped through rendering service.

Also most people are themselves not full of happiness. So what will they share with others? It is only when you are complete that you can give. When you are  not complete what will you give to others?

Therefore what  I mean by sadhana is first to find that completeness, which doesn’t mean that while you are trying to find that completeness, while you’re performing your sadhana, you should not be doing good to others. It’s not what I mean.

You should (do good) because that completes your meditation. If you have done one good deed and sat down and meditated, that day’s meditation is 100 times better than when you have caused harm to somebody.

As you go deeper and deeper into your sadhana, whatever be the sadhana , that’s taught to you personally by your personal teacher, you’ll find that you’re becoming not only happier, bu also a kinder, more caring and a better person.

(Courtesy http://www.Satsang-foundation.org)

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Since we started with the understanding that happiness is found within, not without (outside), the search naturally has to be within. So the ‘Sadhna’ has to be turning inward; so from extroversion to introversion.

Now, believe me, this does not mean that the sadhak who turns within to find the truth which is its own self, neglects the world or runs away from it. This search for happiness, this search for one’s true identity or consciousness, is not reserved for renuncients, monks or sanyasis.

It’s for every human being, every human being like you and me who lives in this world, works for his living and who has a family, who cares for other human beings.

But, then the daily activities of the world are often distracting, so distracting, that to practice sadhna, one needs to find certain times, certain periods when one can sit in solitude and practice. Once one becomes an expert at it, it can be done anywhere in the world.

Now, this practice of sadhna is what is known generally as meditation. This meditation that we are talking about is not some kind of mumbo jumbo, done behind closed doors, it is merely a method taught to a student by a spiritual teacher who has himself practiced it and it is based on the kind of student.

What stage he or she is in and how much he or she can practice regularly? Therefore, to study and understand this meditation which is called sadhna, requires intimate contact between the teacher and the taught, between the student and the teacher.

There is no common formula by which millions of human beings can touch their inner self and find true happiness, because everyone is made differently – physically, mentally and psychologically.

Now, there are so many ways and so many methods of sadhna, depending upon the person’s background, personality and psychological makeup.

In this regard, I’d like to mention a great sage, teacher and saint, Ramakrishna Paramahansa, who was the spiritual teacher of Swami Vivekananda. We are all familiar with Swami Vivekananda. He is well known and he was one of the first spiritual teachers from this country to go west and speak about Vedanta and the practice of yoga.

Now, Ramakrishna Paramahansa had many disciples and each one he treated and taught in different ways and every one of them, at least most of them, turned out, at the end, to be sages in their own right. Not one technique was the same as the other. The approaches were different.

So what I mean to say is there has to be an intimate contact between the teacher and the student so that the teacher can discover what kind of a student one is and teach accordingly, so that he may proceed at his own pace and come finally to one’s true inner self, which is the consciousness deep down of us which by its very nature is full of bliss.

The Vedas have called it satchitananda, which is actually one word made of three syllables, which are sat – the truth, chit – consciousness and ananda – happiness. So slowly and gradually by the practice of sadhna, under the guidance of an expert teacher, the student moves inwards, goes deep within and realises that his very nature is happiness. He doesn’t have to look for it anywhere outside.

When this really happens, not theoretically but as an experiential thing, then one becomes a perfect yogi. Then one is ready to teach not before that. But the question often asked is, ‘If we take to the practise of sadhna, how can we work in this world and do we have to go away to a quiet cave and meditate to find the happiness that you are talking about?

It’s not true, although short periods of solitude are required. Ultimately one comes out of it and mixes with the world. If you go to the caves of the Himalayas and meditate for twelve years and say that I am free of anger and jealousy and all the emotions normally associated with undeveloped human minds, I really can’t be speaking the truth because there is no way to test it.

I can’t get angry with the cave, I can’t get upset or jealous with the grass growing outside. It’s only when I come out and get into a bus and somebody kicks me on my foot that I am able to find out if I am really free of anger, jealousy, so on and so forth.

So while it’s required to spend some period in solitude, especially in the beginning, Ramakrishna Parmahansa used to say that in the beginning of the sadhna, one should protect oneself like the little sapling which is protected by surrounding it with a ring of thorny bushes, so that the cow doesn’t eat it up before it grows. But once it grows, there is no need of any such protection.

One can come back into this world and lead a life which is quite, to all intents and purposes, looking the same to others.

Deep down, one is a changed person and the change which is within, that is absolute peace and happiness, is reflected in one’s dealings with the outside world. Now this process of finding one’s true self which is one’s true consciousness, which is happiness, unalloyed happiness, independent of anything of the outside world, this is what is meant by the spiritual journey.

So you would have understood by now that it’s not cut off from day to day living. In fact it complements day to day living. One who practices meditation and lives in this world will soon discover even the workings of this world or his relationship with this world or the way he functions in this world is much more perfect than it was before.

Now, one has to start somewhere and that starting point is not far away but right here and now. One can start with ten minutes of introspection daily and then slowly proceed to the more important and intricate aspects of meditation.

So now we can deal with what is meditation, what are the different kinds of meditation and so on and so forth.

(Continue in next post. Courtesy from http://www.Satsang-foundation.org)

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Happiness

I thought for a long time and finally decided to share this transcribed text of a discourse that was given by Sri M. It made so much sense and sharing with you all was but natural response.

 

The question that has been asked for centuries is a question we ask even today. What are we searching for?

What is it that human beings look for? Search for?

All the time we are working, looking for more and more, collecting things, trying to become – Now that’s the catch word – trying to become ‘what’?

I think, and this is not just my thought, it’s been what has been recorded in the ancient scriptures. This search, this constant search of the human being is for happiness.

Happiness is one thing that all human beings – irrespective of caste, creed and religion – search for.

We search for happiness all our lives, in our own way, whatever we have – (as our) ideas of happiness. A child has his own idea of happiness. As we grow up, we have our own ideas of happiness and then we are middle aged and we have our own idea of happiness; and then we are retired and we have our own idea of happiness.

How much money should be there in the bank when I retire? How am I going to continue with my life and be happy and keep my luxuries still with me? And so on and so forth; we know the whole thing.

This search for happiness leads us on, goads us on to live a life. The question is do we really find it? It has a very simple answer. Somebody says ‘Yes’ I can find it in this, somebody says I can find it in that.

But if one finds it finally then why does one go on looking for it, searching for it constantly?

One answer suggests itself for this question which is perhaps – although we search for happiness all our lives in things external, thinking that by acquiring this or by acquiring that or having a big bank balance or a beautiful wife – you know the whole theme, so on and so forth – we will find happiness but it looks like we don’t.

We don’t find real happiness because we are not satisfied ever with anything that we have. Maybe there is satisfaction for a short time but in the long run we are still looking, searching, sometimes grabbing.

The main thing is that the happiness we seek seems to evade us, seems to be so slippery that the moment we get hold of a little bit of happiness, we try to hold on to it with all our life. Why?

Because we know that it is so rare and it can vanish at any time.

Now, suppose I have defined happiness as finding A or B or some such thing, I have found it. Okay! So I think I am happy, but deep down my subconscious mind knows that it is going to go away very soon. So what do I do?

I try to hold on to it as fast and as firmly as I can, fearing that it might slip away! If I hold on to something and there is at the back of my mind the fear that it will slip away, where is the happiness now? There is insecurity.

Can insecurity produce happiness? Can I ever be happy wondering when this happiness is going to slip away from my mind? So this is not happiness really; so then I search again and the search continues endlessly.

Mind you, I am not saying that we should not enjoy the little joys that we find in life day to day. Please do it. We should, because that’s the greatest, most wonderful  thing that the world can offer us. These little joys of life, but then also I think we should remember that the lasting happiness that we seek is not to be found outside oneself.

So the question is, If it can’t be found outside oneself, can it be found inside oneself?

Is there some happiness in each of us which can be tapped? Is there a happiness which is independent of anything external? Is there some way by which we can remain happy deep inside us, fully satisfied and yet continue to live in this world and do the right thing?

The great books – the great scriptures of this country – The Upanishads and the Vedas seem to suggest that there is a way to find lasting happiness within, which is independent of all external things; and the great sages who have experienced it are on record saying that ‘that’ happiness when it comes, is an ecstasy that is so beautiful and all embracing that you feel like sharing it with the entire humanity.

Then life becomes joyful. Every little thing is full of joy. The dew drop you find on the grass in the morning, the breeze that blows in quietly, bringing in the perfume of the jasmine, the smell of the earth after the first rains. The ice clad peaks of the distant mountain, the laughter of the child, the song of the peasant. Everything becomes the festival of joy and the root of it is within oneself.  It’s only when the inner being becomes full of joy that the world becomes full of joy.

You must have heard of the great weaver, singer and saint called Kabir Das, who lived inBenares. In one of the beautiful songs of Kabir, there is a beautiful example of man’s search for happiness – humankind’s search for happiness. He gives the example of a deer, the deer which is known as the musk deer.

This musk deer whose habitat is usually the Himalayan regions, the foothills of the Himalayas, carries kasturi musk in a little bag just under its tail. In the breeding season, the musk exudes a lovely perfume which attracts the females.

So Kabir Das says, when the season comes and the lovely perfume comes forth from under its tail, the poor deer goes around searching in the forest, trying to find the source from which this beautiful perfume is wafting in and he does not find it. Because he looks everywhere, except right under its tail.

So there we are!

This is a perfect example. We search for happiness like the kasturi deer, all over the world, forgetting that happiness can be found within and only when it is found within, does one derive complete satisfaction that one is looking for.

There is a beautiful word in Sanskrit for completeness –‘poorna’. Upanishads say poornawhich means fulfilment, fullness, completeness, this is the essential characteristic of one’s essential being which is one’s  own consciousness, free of all distractions, which is called the ‘atman’.

It is when this atman or the real self , which is the centre and core of the consciousness of every human being is found, that one reaches the state of prefect happiness and realises that this is in every single living being, although untapped.

This centre of our consciousness can’t be exclusive to anybody. All human beings have it deep down and that is the true consciousness. The process of finding it is what is known as ‘sadhna‘. If there is something, there must be a way to find it. Its futile to say that there is no way to something, because if there is no way, it doesn’t matter if it exists or it doesn’t exist.

Makes no sense. The Rishis have thankfully, fortunately for us, discovered that there is a way by which this happiness can be found, can be tapped. It can be taught and it can be shared with other human beings. (To be continued in subsequent parts. Taken from http://www.satsang-foundation.org).

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Finite & Impermanent objects can never gift you the Lasting Happiness!”

Try it with every single objects that you Desire to Have/Possess & Enjoy in a Life time, then you will realise it!!!

You will definitely feel certain joy & pleasure from all those objects, but just for a while only.

Often these ‘pleasure objects’ leads you to greater suffering, either by becoming an addict to it or later when you lose it!

This theory is applicable for Not only to “Things”, but also to “Mortal Relationships

If the Objects can’t provide the Permanent Happiness, that we are seeking ‘from the Womb till the Tomb’, then definitely the Subject has to have It! And the Subject is none other than Each and Every One us, who are chasing It for the whole life (or many lives…), like the Musk-Deer wandering around the mountains, looking for the source of Musk, not realizing that the same fragrance is coming from Under its own Tail!

 In short “The Source of Eternal Happiness lies just Within Us only”,

if you can just take an oath to “Refuse to feel Miserable anymore”, come What may!

(Adapted from Sudha)

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Choose Today

One tree can start a forest,
One smile can begin a friendship,
One hand can lift a soul,
One word can frame the goal,
One candle can wipe out darkness,
One laugh can conquer gloom,
One hope can raise our spirits,

And…One Choice can change our Life.

Think about that One choice, just one, that can change your life forever.

Whatever Your life today is what choice You had made,

and with a Different or New Choices, you can Change its directions this Very Moment.

 

…we’re often ‘One choice’ away from changing our life:

1.     Choose Your Career Passion2.     Choose to be in the “Driver’s Seat”

3.     Choose to Make a Difference

4.     Choose Your Attitude

5.     Choose to Take Back Your Life

6.     Choose Financial Freedom

7.     Choose Kindness…and Watch it Change Your Life

8.     Choose Not to Give Up

9.     Choose to Start a New Business

10. Choose to Change Your Environment

11. Choose to Look at the Possibilities

12. Choose Discipline in Your Life

13. Choose to Love

14. Choose to Simplify Your Life

15.  Choose to Take a Chance

 

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