Friday, November 29, 2013

'Soft and Hard'

                                   'Soft and Hard'    

When people are born they are soft and supple
 when they perish they are hard and stiff.

when plants shoot forth they are soft and tender
 when they die they are withered and dry

Thus it is said the hard and strong are followers of death,
 The soft and weak are followers of life.

 when an army becomes strong it suffers defeat
 when a plant becomes hard it snaps

 The hard and strong dwell below .........

 The soft and weak dwell above.

                                                                From Tao : 76.1 to 5

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

3 Types of karma (Action)





                                
               3 Types of karma (Action)


There are three types of Karmas or actions, physical, vocal and mental.

Normally we attach more importance to physical actions, less to vocal and least to mental activities.

In reality, it is mental action that is most important. Because:

1.       The physical actions are not independent of the mind. First there is a thought that comes to mind and then the action follows that thought. Even the actions that are triggered by a reflex action or out of fear are based upon some past thought and experience. 

2.    All vocal and physical actions have different significance according to the intention behind it.

For example, when parents get angry at their children; call them lazy, stupid, or yelling at them for not doing their homework, it is out of love. Like a teenager shouting at his sibling “I will kill you if you touch my iPod,” is not taken seriously because we know he has no real intention of doing so.

But if we speak in the same manner to some strangers, call them stupid, lazy or threaten to kill them; will have different consequences according to the intention behind it. 

So it is the thought that is more important than the speech. 

Similarly, the intention behind every physical action is important as well.   
Like a surgeon using a knife to operate on a patient, verses a robber using it to injure and rob someone. Like a soldier fighting for his country verses a criminal using a weapon to kill innocent people. 

That is why the Upanishads and most other Holy Scriptures command us to control the mind by watching our thoughts because they become the actions, vocal and physical.

The great Upanishads say:
Watch your thoughts, for they become your actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become the character.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Two types of ignorance



There are two types of ignorance:
Aavarna and Vikshepa   
(Pronounced Aavarn and Vikshaip )  आवरण तथा विक्षेप
Aavarna means veil, or a cover.

When things are under some cover or even covered with darkness, we do not see them clearly. This type of Agyaana or ignorance is known as Aavarna.

Vikshepa means to assume.
When we don't actually see or feel anything but we assume that something is there, is called Vikshepa ignorance.

In many ancient scriptures, Its mentioned as " the Sarpa Rajju Bhaava". If a person sees a piece of rope lying in a crooked way on the ground, slightly moving because of the wind, he assumes it to be a snake.
Sometimes, such ignorance could even be based upon one’s experience.
Few years ago, an American handyman came to fix something in our house. After the initial introduction, he asked me if I was from India. I said yes. He immediately said “then you must be a doctor". I smiled and asked what made him think that I must be a doctor? He said every Indian man he had met in his life, and he had met only 15 or 16, happened to be a medical doctor. He assumed that every Indian who lives in the United states is a doctor.

Though his assumption was based upon his own (limited) experience, it was still ignorance, Vikshepa Agyaana.

In other words:
In the first type, the Aavarna, we do not see what is there, 
and in Vikshepa, we see what is not there.
We do not see the reality of God because it’s behind the veil, Aavarna of Samsaara or Maya.
We find happiness; rather assume that we will find happiness in worldly pleasures when in reality it’s not.  

                                                           'Rajan Sachdeva'



Note:  The literal meaning of Vikshepa is distortion but it can be used for manipulation or twisted assumption. Distorted images or ideas are known as 'Vikshipta'.
In the context of this article, the word Vikshepa is used for (wrong) assumption.



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Beggar vs. King




Beggar vs. King

We pretend to be an emperor, a king, but in reality we are simply a beggar.

Every day, we keep on asking and begging for one thing or the other.
We are never satisfied. We never get tired of asking for more. 

“Daata oh na mangiye,  phir mangan jaaiye “ 

Why do we have to go to ‘Daata’, the provider again and again? 

Either ‘Daata’, the provider is not capable of giving everything at once or we are not asking for the right thing. Which one is it? 

Of-course “Sarv ka Daata”, the true Guru / the almighty Nirankar is all powerful and most merciful who not only can, but gives us everything. He makes us the king. He makes us realize the “Self” and its power but we forget it every day and start behaving like the beggars again. True Guru is like a father who not only gives his son a loaf of bread but also teaches him how to earn it. Perhaps we are like those children who tend to forget the lesson every day.  

I heard a story of a monk who lived in a small village. One evening, he decided not to cook because he thought he was not hungry. Later he regretted it and wanted to cook some rice but he did not have any fire in his stove. In those days people in small villages did not have the matches. They used to keep a small piece of wood burning all night in the stove and add some more wood in the morning when they needed to cook. 

The monk thought he would not be able to sleep at night if he did not eat. So he picked up his lamp and went to his neighbor and asked if they had any fire. The neighbor apologized and told him that they have already put out the fire and they would also need to get it from someone in the morning. 

The monk went from house to house asking for fire and got same reply from everyone until he reached at the last house on his street. Sad and disheartened, but yet with a dim light of hope, he knocked and an elderly woman opened the door. 

“Pardon me ma’am, but I am hungry and want to cook some rice. Would you please be kind enough to give me a little fire so I may be able to light my stove? ”The monk asked.  

The lady looked at him and laughed. 

“Ma’am, I have knocked at every door in the village. You are my last hope.” The monk said, “Earlier, I thought I was not hungry so I put out the fire. But now I am hungry and want to cook some rice. Is it so wrong to change my mind and cook at this time? Why do you make fun of me O’ mother?”

The lady smiled and said “I am not laughing at you because you are hungry and want to cook so late at night. I am laughing because you are carrying a lamp in your hand with burning fire, and yet you are going from house to house begging for it. Did you not know what was in your hand? Did you forget that you had it with you all this time?”


The monk felt ashamed.

But don’t we do the same thing? 

Day after day….. Moment to moment…. We keep on asking and begging … and then begging for some more, without realizing what was given to us by the Guru. 

Guru gives the Gyana to realize the ‘Self’, which is a king, not a beggar.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Bazeecha-e Atfaal


A beautiful Sher (couplet), with a great wisdom.

            
बाज़ीचा  ऐतफाल है दुनिया मेरे आगे 
           
होता  है शबो रोज़  तमाशा  मेरे आगे              ( मिर्ज़ा  ग़ालिब)

     Bazzecha-e- Aetfaal hai duniya mere aage
     Hota hai shab-o-roz Tamaashaa mere aage
                                                  (by Mirza Ghalib)

                                         Bazeecha =  Toy /game
                                         Atfaal = Children
                                         Shab o Roz = Night and day
                                        Tamaashaa =  A play / Drama

Ghalib says" To me, this world is like a children's play.

All the happenings of each day and night, are like a drama being played on the screen in front of me."

A wonderful concept of Vedanta, beautifully explained in Urdu shayari.

The concept of "Saakshi Bhaava" being a witness not a subject is the theme of the Vedanta philosophy. In other words, everything is just happening and I am simply witnessing it.

I remember a story told by Shri  Vivek Shauq ji.

His mother, Mrs. Padma Shauq ji went to see a movie. In the story of that movie, a young boy was kidnapped by the villain. The parents of the boy were asked for the ransom in return. When the parents could not arrange for the money in time, there was a scene where the villain proceeded to kill the boy. When he lifted his sword over the boy's head, Padma ji started doing the sumiran and praying loudly " Tu hi Nirankar....hey Sucche Paatshaah bachaa lai.......Oh God please save this innocent boy".
People sitting around in the theater started laughing.
Then she realized it was just a movie, a drama being played on the screen.
Vivek ji said that the story has already been written. We are simply watching it.... witnessing it. If the writer had saved the boy in the story of this movie, then he would be miraculously saved at the last minute, otherwise he would be killed.

As Sh. Kumar ji (Haiderabad) once said “everything happens exactly the way it is supposed to happen..... No more, no less.

                                          (Rajan Sachdeva)





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