Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Science, Religion and Philosophy

Science, Religion and Philosophy

Science looks for the reason behind everything and is not satisfied until it finds the answer.

Philosophy's goal is unity. Throughout the history, its concern has been to find a common ground to unify humanity.

Religions evolve around supreme personalities.

The true Spiritual path includes all three aspects.

The true Spiritual path does not promote blind faith. Like science, it encourages to seek and helps to find the answers.

The true Spiritual path requires a supreme personality, namely the ' Guru ', who guides and helps the disciple throughout his/her spiritual journey.

The true Spiritual path, through the knowledge of one supreme, almighty God, can bring unity among mankind and eventually the unification between 'Atman and Paramaatman', the soul and universal soul.



                                              'Rajan Sachdeva'

Friday, June 21, 2013

What seems to be weak......


Nothing is so flexible like the water, although appears to be weak.
But in time could penetrate the hardest rock.

What seems to be light, in time conquers the heavy,
What seems to be weak, in time conquers the strong.

Although, every one seems to know these facts,
Few people are ready to apply them in life.


                                                    (From :Unknown Source)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Self .... Ashtavakra Gita

O Master,
Tell me how to find
Detachment, wisdom, and freedom!

Child,
If you wish to be free,
Shun the poison of the senses.

Seek the nectar of truth,
Of love and forgiveness,
Simplicity and happiness.

Earth, fire and water,
The wind and the sky -
You are none of these.

If you wish to be free,
Know you are the Self,
The witness of all these,
The heart of awareness.

Set your body aside.
Sit in your own awareness.

You will at once be happy,
Forever still,
Forever free.

You have no caste.
No duties bind you.

Formless and free,
Beyond the reach of the senses,
The witness of all things.

So be happy!

Right or wrong,
Joy and sorrow,
These are of the mind only.
They are not yours.

It is not really you

Who acts or enjoys.

You are everywhere,
Forever free.

Forever and truly free,
The single witness of all things.

But if you see yourself as separate,
Then you are bound.

"I do this. I do that."
The big black snake of selfishness
Has bitten you!

"I do nothing."
This is the nectar of faith,
So drink and be happy!

Know you are one,
Pure awareness.

With the fire of this conviction,
Burn down the forest of ignorance.

Free yourself from sorrow,
And be happy.

Be happy!
For you are joy, unbounded joy.

You are awareness itself.

Just as a coil of rope
Is mistaken for a snake,
So you are mistaken for the world.

If you think you are free,
You are free.

If you think you are bound,
You are bound.

For the saying is true:

You are what you think.

The Self looks like the world.
But this is just an illusion.

The Self is everywhere.

One.
Still.
Free.
Perfect.

The witness of all things,
Awareness
Without action, clinging or desire.

Meditate on the Self.
One without two,
Exalted awareness.

Give up the illusion
Of the separate self.

Give up the feeling,
Within or without,
That you are this or that.

My child,
Because you think you are the body,
For a long time you have been bound.

Know you are pure awareness.

With this knowledge as your sword
Cut through your chains.

And be happy!

For you are already free,
Without action or flaw,
Luminous and bright.

You are bound

Only by the habit of meditation.

Your nature is pure awareness.

You are flowing in all things,
And all things are flowing in you.

But beware
The narrowness of the mind!

You are always the same,
Unfathomable awareness,
Limitless and free,
Serene and unperturbed.

Desire only your own awareness.

Whatever takes form is false.
Only the formless endures.

When you understand
The truth of this teaching,
You will not be born again.

For God is infinite,
Within the body and without,
Like a mirror,
And the image in a mirror.

As the air is everywhere,
Flowing around a pot
And filling it,
So God is everywhere,
Filling all things
And flowing through them forever.

The Self - Ashtavakra Gita

Need of a Living Master



Humanity



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Faith verses Gyana (Knowledge)


Organized and evolved religions teach the confirmation of faith in the old existing ideas and dogmas.
While the true spiritual masters provides the 'Gyana, the knowledge of 'Atman' and 'Paramatma ' (Individual and Universal Soul), they also encourage their followers to use their wisdom to understand the Truth, and to gain personal experience to strengthen their faith.

Most people just keep doing what they have seen their parents and ancestors doing. They simply follow the traditions of their religious community without trying to understand them.

Religion, to most people, simply means to follow traditions and to perform rituals.

Though, the sages and Gurus in the past and present have repeatedly told us not to follow rites and rituals blindly.

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.

Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. 

But after observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is  conducive to goodness, then accept it and live up to it."  
                                                                ~ Gautama Buddha ~

Unfortunately, most people, instead of striving for the knowledge, simply choose to follow the leaders.

Sant Kabeer ji says :

' जहँ मार्ग पंडित गए , पाछे गई वहीर
इक औघट घाटी राम की तहँ चढ़ रहयो कबीर "

" Jehi Maarg Pandit gaye, Paachhe gayi vaheer
Ik Aughat ghaati Raam ki, Tehn chadh rahyo Kabeer"

“The crowds of lay-men follow the Pundits (religious leaders) blindly.
The path to the valley of God is extremely hard, and Kabeer is climbing up (this high mountain, thru Gyana and Guru's Kripa).”

 Liberation cannot be achieved just by following tradition and rituals.

"Kurute ganga saagar gamanam, vrata paripaalanamathavaa daanam .
Gyaana vihinah sarvamatena, muktim na bhajati janmashatena. "

                                    (Adi Shankrachaarya- Bhaj Govindam 17)

“One may go to Gangasagar where the river Ganga meets the ocean, observe fasts, and give away riches in charity !
Yet, the one who is devoid of the 'Gyana', cannot attain ' Mukti '  (Salvation) even at the end of a hundred births."
                                  (Adi Shankrachaarya- Bhaj Govindam 17)

Truth is to be known, realized and experienced. Only then we can be liberated.

How can we achieve such Gyana ?   Lord Krishna tells us the way:

" Tadviddhi Pranipatena, Pari-Prashnena Sevayaa
  Updekshyanti Te Gyanam, Gyaninastatva Darshinah " 
                                                          (Bhagvad Gita 4 : 34)

"Learn that (the truth) by humble reverence, by Inquiry and by rendering service (unto Guru)

The men of knowledge who have seen the truth, will teach you that Gyana (knowledge)”

To achieve this knowledge, the ' Gyana', We need to approach the ' enlightened one ', who knows the 'truth' and can reveal to us.

Sat Purakh jin jaaneaa, Satguru Tiska Naao.
Tis ke Sang Sikh udhrai, Nanak Hari gun Gao.    (SGGS Page 286)

(The one who knows the true Lord, is called the true Guru.
In his company, O' Nanak, disciple is saved, singing the praise of Lord.)
                                                           (SGGS Page 286)

According to Sant Namdev ji, singing Lord's praise without seeing Him, may not bring us the bliss and contentment we want.

“Jab Dekha, Tab gaava, Tau Jan Dheeraj Paava".

(Whosoever, when, sees, and then sings (His praises),
Such a person becomes contented and blissful)

" Gur Prasaadi Jaaniaa , Jan Naama sehaj Samaaniaa "

By the grace of the Guru, I realized (the Gyana)
Thus, this humble man "Naama" is absorbed in the Celestial Lord.
                                       (Sant Naamdev ji, SGGS page 656)

Faith, which is based on 'Gyana', and strengthened by personal experience, brings happiness and ever-lasting peace.

Such a faith cannot be shaken or shattered.

By surrendering to God's will in complete faith after achieving this knowledge, the "Brahm Gyaana", one becomes liberated, even while living in this world.


                                            'Rajan Sachdeva'

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Who are you ? Who am I ? From where do we come ?



"Who are you ?         Who am I ?

From where do I come ?

 Who is my mother, who is my father ?

Ponder thus deeply, look at everything as essence-less
and give up the world as an idle dream."   
                           (Adi Shankarachaarya - Bhaj Govindam : 23 )

                                     
    2.

" Is Man kau koi khojahu Bhaayi
Tan Chhootay Man kahaan Samaayi " 
                          ( Sant Kabeer ji SGGS Page 330)

Search for this  'Mind ', O' people.
When it escapes from the body, where does the mind go?

 Originals :


" Kas tvam ko hamm kuta aayaatah, kaa me jananii ko me taatah.
Iti paribhaavaya sarvamasaaram,  vishvam tyaktvaa svapna vichaaram. "

                      (Adi Shankaracharya - Bhaj Govindam : 23)


ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਕੋਈ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ
ਤਨ ਛੂਟੇ ਮਨੁ ਕਹਾ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੪॥ 

    (ਰਾਗੁ ਗਉੜੀ ਗੁਆਰੇਰੀ ਅਸਟਪਦੀ ਕਬੀਰ ਜੀ )



Friday, June 14, 2013

The Cockroach Theory for Self Development

The Cockroach Theory for Self Development

At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach.

Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.

The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but ...it landed on another lady in the group.

Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama.

The waiter rushed forward to their rescue.
In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.

The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt.
When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.

Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior?
If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?
He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.

It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies.

I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it's my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.

It's not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my
inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.

More than the problem, it's my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.

Lessons learned from the story:
Do not react in life. Always respond.

The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.

Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of, just and right to save a situation from going out of hands, to avoid cracks in relationship, to avoid taking decisions in anger, anxiety, stress or hurry.

                                                                            
                                                   (From: Unknown source)



Friday, June 7, 2013

The illusions ( By: Gary Taneja)

             By : Gary Taneja




7:38am Jun 6
Here is a great compilations of illusions:

The illusion of inhabiting a separate body.

The illusion of having a separate mind.

The illusion that happiness comes from maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.

The illusion that we are alone in the universe, cut off from a higher power or intelligence.

The illusion of death as a great ending.

The illusion that life isn't fair, due to random chance and accidents.

The illusion that physical objects are the measure of what is real.

The whole basis of 'Braham Gyan - God Knowledge" is to burn these illusions to cinders - these illusions are the basis of all our delusional thinking and its accompanying suffering. The second part then should lead us to the awakening or birth to our true self - 'the silent witness'. As part of this journey to an awakened state we start to rely and depend on our True Self for everything - contemplating this new reality through awareness based Simran, seeking opportunities for bliss versus seeking happiness and becoming more at peace with everything and everyone.

In a great post that Rajan ji wrote yesterday he explained that as a Gyani Bhakta we seek a relationship with the "personal God" through devotion and worship of the living Guru and prayer and sublimation to Nirankar. The three S's are a great compilation of practices to make this transformation happen.....May Baba ji bless all his devotees to make this transformation in this life time...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Personal or Impersonal God

A question came this morning:

"I wanted your thoughts on the following issue, which someone has raised with me:"

"I am personally grappling with the apparent gulf between this neutral essence or power, which is a quiet witness who never intervenes, and the idea of a loving personal God who hears prayers and responds in kind."

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<           <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< 

First of all, I personally do not see any gulf between the two. 

Let's look at both the theories and their apparent difference.

                 Impersonal, Niraakar, abstract God :

As I understand, The Vedanta, Gurubani and of course the Nirankari philosophy, not only believes and supports, but explains thru the Gyana the philosophy of Niraakar and Nirgun Brahm which is 'Impersonal God '. 

Gurubani says : "Roop na rang na rekh kichh, Trai gun te Prabh bhinn, " God has neither any form or shape, nor any of the three qualities" 

That means neither anger nor compassion or kindness. In other words, Supreme God is a silent witness.

The complete Nirankari philosophy is outlined in the first shabad of Avtar Bani;

 "Roop rang te Rekhon nyaare, Tainu Lakh Pranam " (Salutation to the Formless God)

Bhagvad Gita says :   "Nadattey kasya chit Paapam,
                                      nachaiv sukritam Vibhuh"
Meaning "God neither punishes anyone for their sins nor rewards for their good deeds." 
          He is just a quiet witness. 

It also indirectly implies that we have freedom of choice and we are responsible of our actions as well, and that no one intervenes in any way.  

This is the view of a Brahm Gyani and a Nirankari who believes in the formless Niraakar and Nirguna God. 

The only problem with this belief is that most of us can understand this intellectually, but practically it is extremely difficult to follow. 
We cannot always feel, in reality, that " I am a part of Almighty God and in control"
We can not really see every situation, good or bad, as 'illusion'.
We can not always detach ourselves from everything by saying that “I am not a body and nothing of this world affects me".

 Most of us, most of the times, feel that we are more or less helpless and we need someone to pray to, who will listen to us, fulfill our desires and take care of us when we need. 
So, instead of impersonal God, most of us like the idea of believing in a personal God.

The Vedanta, besides teaching about the abstract Impersonal God, also explains its three forms, namely:

1.  Nirgun Brahm :  Niraakar and Nirguna 
      (Formless with no attributes)  A silent witness.

2.  Ishwar or ParamAtma:     Niraakar but Sagun Brahm : 
      Formless God with qualities such as compassion, love and 
      kindness.

3.  Bhagvaan :        Sakaar and Sagun : 
    God in physical form with above mentioned qualities such as 
    Gurus or Avtaars. 

First would be considered Impersonal God while 2nd and 3rd would be the 'Personal God'

 Personal God can be  "Niraakar " or 'Sakaar ' 

Are they different ?  No. 
Do we have to choose one?  No. 

In reality, all three are same in different forms. It depends on how we look at it. 

Goswami Tulasi Das says;

“Agunahi Sagunahi nahin kachhu Bhedaa”

“Jo gun Rahit, Sagun soi kaise
 Jal, Hima, Upal Bilag nahin jaise”

Meaning: There is no difference between Nirgun Brahm and Sakaar Brahm.
   How could that be? Just as water, ice and steam are not different. They are  simply different forms of the same.”


Which belief is good for us? Depends on who we are and which level we are at.

Dr. Radhakrishnan divides the humanity in 3 categories.

1. Intellectual
2. Emotional
3. Action oriented

The first two would be relative here;

    Intellectual or Gyani & Emotional Bhakta.

For the first ones, who have the knowledge and control over 'self ' the path of Nirgun and Niraakaar Brahm is fine. But the Bhaktas who are emotional, may not be able to accept and handle the idea of an Impersonal God who is not going to do anything for them. So the second or third path might be better for them.

  "However one worships, 'He' accepts his devotion."
                                                              (Bhagvad Gita 4:11)

In the end, it all comes down to the acceptance and surrendering. 

A Gyani will say   "It happened the way it happened because of my Karma. God is simply the witness".

A Bhakta will say “It happened because God wanted it to happen this way."

If it happened in his favor:" He gave it to me because I prayed" 

If not in favor: "I prayed but He did not give it to me because, for whatever reason, He did not want it." 

A Gyani will say "There is no need to pray”.

“Bin boleyaan sab kichh jaanadaa, Kis aage keechai Ardaas”
                                                               (Gurubani)

A Gyaani thinks “Whatever is going to happen, will happen according to my Karma", and he accepts it.

Bhakta  finds satisfaction in praying and accepts the outcome as "His will "

Unlike a worldly person who will complain and get frustrated or angry, the Gyani and the Bhakta, both will maintain their peace by accepting everything, thru their own respective belief. 

I cannot say which would be the right belief for someone else. It depends on each individual's intellectual and mental- emotional state. 

Lord Krishna says in Gita " Teshaam Gyani Nitya yukta, EkBhaktir Vishishyate" 

“The 'Gyani Bhakta ' is my favorite one” (combination of both)

Nirankari Mission is teaching exactly the same.... Bhakti thru Gyana. 

Regards,

‘Rajan Sachdeva’


Monday, June 3, 2013

Humility or self elevation ?

Received a nice question / topic yesterday.

 Rev. Rajan ji

There are 2 quotes as they say---

1. Mita de apni hasti to, ki dana khak mein mil kar hi gule gulzar hota hai

2. Khudi to kar buland itna ki har tahrir se pehle khuda tujhse khud pooche, bata teri raza kya hai?

Both are ways to reach god as they say but what does it mean by khudi ko kar buland itna? Does it refer to self-confidence or super-ego.:)

      ---------------------

  Thank you for bringing up these two great and famous verses.

The complete shers (couplets) are as such :

1.   "Mita de apani hasti ko agar kuchh martabaa chaahe
       ke daana khaaq me mil kar gul-o-gulzaar hota hai '        ***

                     मिटा दे अपनी हस्ती को अगर कुछ मरतबा चाहे
                     कि दाना खाक़ में मिल कर गुलो- गुलज़ार होता है

2.  "Khudi ko kar buland itna ki har taqdeer se pehale
      Khuda bande se khud poochhe, bataa teri razaa kya hai "

                    ख़ुदी को कर बुलंद इतना कि हर तक़दीर से पहले
                    ख़ुदा बंदे से ख़ुद पूछेबता तेरी रज़ा क्या है
          
                              
   Both these shers are written by Dr. Iqbal Muhammad.

    First of all, I would like to add that a unique quality of Urdu poetry is that any sher or verse can be translated and equally applied in the materialistic or the spiritual field.

Both these couplets are talking about achieving some goal, a ' Martabaa' a status in life which is a basic human desire, part of the human nature.  May it be in the office, business, community or any organization - social, political or religious, everyone wants to climb higher up.

There is nothing wrong in having such desires as long as we don't try to achieve it by taking it away from others or by hurting others. As Baba Avtar Singh ji used to say “extend your own line, expand yourself without erasing someone else's line".

Seemingly, these two couplets are suggesting two different methods, two different ways to achieve this goal.

But in reality they are not different at all.

 First one clearly suggests the path of ’humility ' thru the example of a seed becoming a beautiful flower and eventually a garden after getting buried under the ground.

The second couplet, which is in question here, may create a small confusion in some one's mind.

The confusion comes from the word "Khudi " which simply means ' self '.
Depending on the context, it can also be used for ' confidence ' or ' ego ' or even super ego.

Thinking excessively and selfishly about the ' self ', presenting my 'self ' with ' lies' and exaggerations becomes ego.

Presenting the ' self ', even truthfully, to establish our superiority over others, is also ego.

However, thinking about the 'self ' realistically, to understand and improve the ' self ', is not ego.

Now, if we read that couplet again in this context, the writer is suggesting us to elevate our ' khudi ', the ' self ' thru noble thoughts and actions and virtues to such a level that 'God' will provide us everything without even asking for it.

Let us not forget that ' humility ' is the greatest virtue of all.

So in the end, both these couplets are leading us towards the same path, the path of ' Humility '.

Humbly,
Rajan Sachdeva

            ***    ke daana khaaq me mil kar gul-o-gulzaar hota hai ' 
                         कि दाना खाक़ में मिल कर गुलो- गुलज़ार होता है

                   गुलो- गुलज़ार    Gul-o-gulzaar means Flower and the garden

               However, in some books it says  गुले गुलज़ार Gul-e-Gulzaar : which means flower of or in the garden.




     
              Please post your comments 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Way to Happiness


Strange is the nature of 'man'. We are always longing to get or achieve something.
The moment we get it or achieve it; longing for it diminishes and its value reduces.

We take it for guaranteed and start longing for something else. We want a job. When we get it, we start longing for promotion. When we were children, we wanted to grow up faster so we won't have to be dependent on the parents. When we grew up, we longed to have a partner and children. When we have children, we expect them to listen to us and do what we tell them to do. As they grow, we expect certain services from them.
At some point in our life, we start longing for ‘Gyana’. By the grace of Lord, when we receive it thru the Satguru, we take it for guaranteed and
start longing for something else... namely 'Power '.

 Power makes us hungry for more power.

Would there be ever any ending of our 'wants' and desires? Would we ever be happy and satisfied?

We think we will be happy if we continue to accumulate more and more of what we want, may it be money, love, respect or power.
We do not appreciate what we have. We forget there was a time, when we were desperately longing for what we have right now.

"In summer we like it cold, in winter we like it hot.
It’s the nature of man to always like what it is not."

Acceptance and appreciation of what we have, is the way to happiness.


                                                                               ‘Rajan Sachdeva’


Mujh ko bhee Tarqeeb Sikhaa de yaar Julaahay

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