Thursday, June 28, 2007

BHAKTI OR DEVOTION - Swami Vivekananda (some articles)

BHAKTI OR DEVOTION - Swami Vivekananda

The third is a still higher test. Love is always the highest ideal. When one has passed through the first two stages, when one has thrown off all shopkeeping, and casts off all fear, one then begins to realise that love is always the highest ideal. How many times in this world we see a beautiful woman loving an ugly man? How many times we see a handsome man loving an ugly woman! What is the attraction? Lookers-on only see the ugly man or the ugly woman, but not so the lover; to the lover the beloved is the most beautiful being that ever existed. How is it? The woman who loves the ugly man takes, as it were, the ideal of beauty which is in her own mind, and projects it on the ugly man; and what she worships and loves is not the ugly man, but her own ideal. That man is, as it were, only the suggestion, and upon that suggestion she throws her own ideal, and covers it; and it becomes her object of worship. Now, this applies in every case where we love. Many of us have very ordinary looking brothers or sisters; yet the very idea of their being brothers or sisters makes them beautiful to us.

The philosophy in the background is that each one projects his own ideal and worships that. This external world is only the world of suggestion. All that we see, we project out of our own minds. A grain of sand gets washed into the shell of an oyster and irritates it. The irritation produces a secretion in the oyster, which covers the grain of sand and the beautiful pearl is the result. Similarly, external things furnish us with suggestions, over which we project our own ideals and make our objects. The wicked see this world as a perfect hell, and the good as a perfect heaven. Lovers see this world as full of love, and haters as full of hatred; fighters see nothing but strife, and the peaceful nothing but peace. The perfect man sees nothing but God. So we always worship our highest ideal, and when we have reached the point, when we love the ideal as the ideal, all arguments and doubts vanish for ever. Who cares whether God can be demonstrated or not? The ideal can never go, because it is a part of my own nature. I shall only question the ideal when I question my own existence, and as I cannot question the one, I cannot question the other. Who cares whether God can be almighty and all-merciful at the same time or not? Who cares whether He is the rewarder of mankind, whether He looks at us with the eyes of a tyrant or with the eyes of a beneficent monarch?

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume 2 [ Page : 49 ]

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Entry for June 24, 2007

[This excerpt is taken from "Making Life out of a Life" by Srimat Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj - http://www.sriramak rishnamath. org/magazine/ vk/2000/12- 3-1.asp]

In the Mahabharata, we get a powerful verse. Whenever and wherever I have quoted that verse, it always had a tremendous impact on the mind of listeners. It is a short Sanskrit line containing a profound message of the beauty of an intense life. There was a king by name Sanjaya in the Northern Sindh region; his mother bore the name Vidula. She was a heroic queen-mother. How she inspired her son to be brave is what the story conveys. This young king went out for battle, got defeated, became weak-minded and depressed. The mother tried to rouse his royal spirit in several ways; it did not happen. Then, finally, she uttered a sentence conveying a tremendous power that helped to rouse the courage of the prince. That line conveys so much inspiration in so few words. That is the uniqueness of great literature-- the capacity to convey great meaning to humanity in a few words. And what that great queen-mother conveyed to her princely son ages ago, our Mother India conveys to every child in this country today:

Muhurtam jvalitam shreyo,na tu dhumayitam chiram.

'It is better to flame for one instant, than to smoke away for ages!'

A short intense life, burnt out in a great struggle and achievement of the humanistic impulse, is preferable to a humdrum life of long duration. That is the message to us from our own past. In this modern period, we had a Vivekananda. During his brief 39 years, he made a tremendous impact on both East and West; even in that short span of life, his actual public work was only during the last nine years.

Live such a life that when you die, you will leave a permanent wholesome impact, small or big, on the world.


Friday, June 22, 2007

BHAKTI OR DEVOTION - Swami Vivekananda

BHAKTI OR DEVOTION - Swami Vivekananda

A disciple went to his master and said to him, "Sir, I want religion." The master looked at the young man, and did not speak, but only smiled. The young man came every day, and insisted that he wanted religion. But the old man knew better than the young man. One day, when it was very hot, he asked the young man to go to the river with him and take a plunge. The young man plunged in, and the old man followed him and held the young man down under the water by force. After the young man had struggled for a while, he let him go and asked him what he wanted most while he was under the water. "A breath of air", the disciple answered. "Do you want God in that way? if you do, you will get Him in a moment," said the master. Until you have that thirst, that desire, you cannot get religion, however you may struggle with your intellect, or your books, or your forms. Until that thirst is awakened in you, you are no better than any atheist; only the atheist is sincere, and you are not.

A great sage [Sri Ramakrishna] used to say, "Suppose there is a thief in a room, and somehow he comes to know that there is a vast mass of gold in the next room, and that there is only a thin partition between the two rooms. What would be the condition of that thief? He would be sleepless, he would not be able to eat or do anything. His whole mind would be on getting that gold. Do you mean to say that, if all these people really believe that the Mine of Happiness, of Blessedness, or Glory were here, they would act as they do in the world, without trying to get God?" As soon as a man begins to believe there is a God, he becomes mad with longing to get to Him. Others may go their way, but as soon as a man is sure that there is a much higher life than that which he is leading here, as soon as he feels sure that the senses are not all, that this limited, material body is as nothing compared with the immortal, eternal, undying bliss of the Self, he becomes mad until he finds out this bliss for himself. And this madness, this thirst, this mania, is what is called the "awakening" to religion, and when that has come, a man is beginning to be religious. But it takes a long time.

All these forms and ceremonies, these prayers and pilgrimages, these books, bells, candles, and priests, are the preparations; they take off the impurities from the soul. And when the soul has become pure, it naturally wants to get to the mine of all purity, God Himself. Just as a piece of iron, which had been covered with the dust of centuries, might be lying near a magnet all the time, and yet not be attracted by it, but as soon as the dust is cleared away, the iron is drawn by the magnet; so, when the human soul, covered with the dust of ages, impurities, wickednesses, and sins, after many births, becomes purified enough by these forms and ceremonies, by doing good to others, loving other beings, its natural spiritual attraction comes, it wakes up and struggles towards God.

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume 2 [ Page : 45 ]

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

BHAKTI OR DEVOTION - Swami Vivekananda

BHAKTI OR DEVOTION - Swami Vivekananda

So we find that in almost every religion these are the three primary things which we have in the worship of God -- forms or symbols, names, God-men. All religions have these, but you find that they want to fight with each other. One says, "My name is the only name; my form is the only form; and my God-men are the only God-men in the world; yours are simply myths." In modern times, Christian clergymen have become a little kinder, and they allow that in the older religions, the different forms of worship were foreshadowings of Christianity, which of course, they consider, is the only true form. God tested Himself in older times, tested His powers by getting these things into shape which culminated in Christianity. This, at least, is a great advance. Fifty years ago they would not have said even that; nothing was true except their own religion. This idea is not limited to any religion, nation, or class of persons; people are always thinking that the only right thing to be done by others is what they themselves are doing. And it is here that the study of different religions helps us. It shows us that the same thoughts that we have been calling ours, and ours alone, were present hundreds of years ago in others, and sometimes even in a better form of expression than our own.

These are the external forms of devotion, through which man has to pass; but if he is sincere, if he really wants to reach the truth, he goes higher than these, to a plane where forms are as nothing. Temples or churches, books or forms, are simply the kindergarten of religion, to make the spiritual child strong enough to take higher steps; and these first steps are necessary if he wants religion. With the thirst, the longing for God, comes real devotion, real Bhakti. Who has the longing? That is the question. Religion is not in doctrines, in dogmas, nor in intellectual argumentation; it is being and becoming, it is realisation. We hear so many talking about God and the soul, and all the mysteries of the universe, but if you take them one by one, and ask them, "Have you realised God? Have you seen your Soul?"-- how many can say they have? And yet they are all fighting with one another! At one time, in India, representatives of different sects met together and began to dispute. One said that the only God was Shiva; another said, the only God was Vishnu, and so on; and there was no end to their discussion. A sage was passing that way, and was invited by the disputants to decide the matter. He first asked the man who was claiming Shiva as the greatest God. "Have you seen Shiva? Are you acquainted with Him? If not, how do you know He is the greatest God?" Then turning to the worshipper of Vishnu, he asked, "Have you seen Vishnu?" And after asking this question to all of them, he found out that not one of them knew anything of God. That was why they were disputing so much, for had they really known, they would not have argued. When a jar is being filled with water, it makes a noise, but when it is full, there is no noise. So, the very fact of these disputations and fighting among sects shows that they do not know anything about religion. Religion to them is a mere mass of frothy words, to be written in books. Each one hurries to write a big book, to make it as massive as possible, stealing his materials from every book he can lay his hands upon, and never acknowledging his indebtedness. Then he launches his book upon the world, adding to the disturbance that is already existing there.

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume 2 [ Page : 43 ]

Sunday, June 17, 2007

5 Ways to Combat Stress

Stress is a disease that can be partially cured. Here are a few thoughts that may help you live more in peace with yourself.

Read complete article at our blog with Wisdom from Tirukural” Deliberate Before Acting”. Mostly our stress develops due to lack of organized thinking. Thiruvalluar gives his advice on how to think prior to any action so that later stress is avoided.

Visit the following link:
http://www.uttishth 06/17/5-ways- to-combat- stress/
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You can start lowering your stress level starting today.
All you have to do is choose your priorities!
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If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty millions of your mythological gods and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you. Have faith in yourselves, and stand up on that faith and be strong; that is what we need.
- Swami Vivekananda

Monday, June 11, 2007

Religion- What it means.

Sanjay Chacharkar
Subject: Religion- What it means.

Swami Vivekananda defined religion in such away that it would be equally acceptable to people professing any religion or belonging to any country. His definition of religion was divested of dogmas and creeds, and external aids like sacred books, rituals and ceremonials, some of his famous and cryptic definitions of religion are:
  • Religion is the struggle to transcend the limitation of the senses.
  • Religion is the idea of raising the brute unto man and man unto God.
  • Religion is the eternal relationship between the eternal soul and eternal God.
  • Religion is the idea of evolution of the individual soul towards the infinite.
  • Religion is the manifestation of divinity that is already in man.
  • Religion is realisation
Swamiji said that in essence, the concepts of spirituality in different religions do not differ from one another. He Pointed out that whatever be the mode of practice in whichever religion, the following four disciplines alone form the basis of all spirituality.
  1. Control of the mind.
  2. Dispassion towards the things of the world.
  3. Company of holy men
  4. Love for fellow beings.
Be happy and contented.
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih.
Jai Swamiji.
Religion leads one by hand and shows him the way to realisation of the Self. That is, not only how to live the life but also how to give up the life (mundane) and achive the eternal life. Yad gatva na nivartante tat dhama paramam mama - Gita.

Entry for June 11, 2007

Excerpted from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna p.137

Sunday 10/6/07

The Master Said: [with a laugh]

"Of course you can realize God without complete renunciation !
Why should you renounce everything? You are all right
as you are, following the middle path.
[note: Thakur was speaking to a BrAmho devotee]
- like molasses partly solid and partly liquid.
Do you know the game of nax? Having scored the maximum
number of points, I am out of the game. I can't enjoy it.
But you are very clever. Some of you have scored ten points,
some six, and some five. You have scored just the right
number, so you are not out of the game like me.
The game can go on. Why, that's fine !"

This comment caused much mirth among the devotees

om tat sat

~~~~~~ om shanthi om~~~~~~


Wednesday, June 6, 2007



Give me Thy grace, good Lord
to set the world at nought;
To set my mind fast upon Thee,
and not to hang upon the blast of men's mouths;
To be content to be solitary,
not to long for worldly company;
Little by little utterly to cast off the world,
and rid my mind of all the business thereof;
Not to long to hear of any worldly things,
but that the hearing of worldly phantasies
may be to me unpleasant;
Gladly to be thinking of God,
piteously to call for His help;
To lean unto the comfort of God,
busily to labor to love Him;
To know my own vileness and wretchedness,
to be humble and meeken myself under the mighty hand of God;
To bewail my sins passed,
for the purging of them patiently to suffer adversity;
Gladly to bear my purgatory here,
to be joyful of tribulations;
To walk the narrow way that leads to life,
to bear the cross with Christ;
To have the last thing in remembrance,
to have ever before my eye my death that is ever at hand;
To make death no stranger to me,
to foresee and consider the everlasting fire of hell;
To pray for pardon before the Judge come,
to have continually in mind
the passion that Christ suffered for me;
For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks,
to buy the time again that I before have lost;
To abstain from vain conversations,
to eschew light foolish mirth and gladness;
Recreations not necessary to cut off,
of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all,
to set the loss as nothing
for the winning of Christ;
To think my greatest enemies my best friends,
for the brethren of Joseph
could never have done him so much good
with their love and favor as they did him
with their malice and hatred.
These attitudes are more to be desired of every man
than all the treasure of
all the princes and kings Christian and heathen,
were it gathered and laid together all upon one heap.
(Saint Thomas More, `A Meditation on Detachment')