Friday, May 29, 2015

When will cravings end?

When will cravings end?

Originally there was nothing. 

We came in this world with nothing and it is nothing that we return to. 

Renounce unnecessary cravings and desires.

Turn towards the divine. 

It satisfies, and it brings joy and peace.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

सा विद्या या विमुक्तये Knowledge sets one free.

' सा विद्या या विमुक्तये '
विद्या एवम ज्ञान वही है जो मुक्त करे। 

' Saa Vidyaa Yaa Vimukta-ye '

What sets one free, is Gyana, the true Knowledge.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Kisi ko Makhmal par bhi neend nahin Aati

Kisi ko Makhmal par bhi neend nahin Aati
Pathar par bhi koi chain se sota hai 
                        (Rajan Sachdeva)

किसी को मख़मल पर भी नींद नहीं आती 
पत्थर पर भी कोई, चैन से सोता है   
                                        (राजन सचदेव)

Creation verses Manifestation Part 3

Since there was nothing in the beginning*, everything appeared from within the ‘Akshar Brahm’, the Imperishable Nirakaar (Formless Almighty) so the universe, according to the Indian Holy Scriptures, is considered ‘Manifestation’ of the Almighty** and not the creation and therefore, the ‘Samsaara’ or the universe is not different than the Almighty. That is why the eastern philosophies say:
“Kan Kan mai Bhagvaan -- Kan Kan hai Bhagvaan”

“Everything is in God,
 God is in everything
 And everything is God”.   

“How is that possible?” One wonders. “How can trees, plants, people, animals and everything be God? A tree is a tree, people are people and animals are animals. How can everything be part of Brahm?”

It is certainly difficult for those to understand or accept this philosophy who consider God as a ‘Ruler’, the world his creation and its inhabitants his subjects.

Going back to the analogy of the ‘hair growing out of a living scalp’:
Hair, just like skin or any other part of the body is not different or separate than the body but at the same time, it has its independent existence as well.

A ring made of gold is both the ‘ring’ and ‘gold’ at the same time.
It is a ring indeed, but it is gold as well. We cannot separate the two. It depends on how we look at things and how do we perceive them.
A small girl saw her mother wearing a gold necklace for the first time and asked her what it was. The mother, knowing that her two year old daughter has never seen it before, says “This is a necklace”. Few minutes later, her friend saw it and said “Oh! This is beautiful. What is it?” She said “Its gold”.
Why the different answer?

Because the mother knows that her grown up friend is not asking if it is a ring or a necklace, instead she wants to know what the material is. What is it actually made of? So her answer is different but in reality it is a necklace as well as gold, both at the same time.

Similarly, a Gyani or the enlightened one can see everything in both ways; as it appears to be and as a part of the Almighty.
                                            ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

*Arbad narbad dhuhdhukaara
Dharani na gagana, Hukum apaara
Na Dina rain, Na chand Na sooraj
Sunn Samaadhi lagaayenda
                      ‘Guru Nanak’ -Page 1035

** “Sab Gobind hai Sab Gobind hai, Gobind binu nahin koi”
                     (Sant Naamdev - page 485)


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Origin of universe; Creation verses Manifestation Part 2

Part Two

3.     Manifestation: 
     According to the Hindu Vedantic theory, since, in the beginning there was no material available to create from, everything came out of the “Brahm*”.

Yathorna Naabhih Srajte grahmyate cha 
yatha Prithvyaam Aushdhyah Sambhvanti
Yatha Satah Purushaat kesh lomaani
Tathaakshraat Sambhavteeh Vishvam

                                             Mundakopanishad ||7||

“Just as a spider brings forth from within the material to build its web,
Just as the plants and trees grow out of the ground,
And Just as the hair comes forth from a living person’s scalp,
Thus the universe came into existence from the Imperishable”.
                                                          (Mundak Upanishad: 7)
This is a beautiful explanation but there are few important points to be considered in this Mantra.

I have seen in ancient and later Sanskrit and Hindi poetry, a style, where the poet begins with certain analogy and then, as if saying ‘nah’, and adds few more analogies to prove his/ her point.
There are three analogies used in this Mantra one after the other and sort of nullifying the previous ones. Because, even though they might seem to be similar, they are quite different and I believe the author emphasizes on the last one.

1.     Firstly, Spider has a selfish motive; to catch other insects in its web whereas God has no such motive in creating the universe. Secondly, the spider does bring out the material from within itself but the web is neither part of it nor it can evolve, whereas the universe is part of the Almighty and is ever evolving and expanding. So the Rishi (Sage) rejects his own analogy and moves on to the next.
2.   Plants and trees are the living beings that spring forth from the ‘non-living’ earth whereas the universe, with such precise design and order could not have come from a ‘non-living’ field of energy.  So the author moves on to the next example.

3.   The hair comes out from a living and thinking; conscious scalp, it is part of the body and it keeps on growing as well.

Satisfied with this last analogy, the writer says:
“So the universe came into existence from the “Akshar” the Imperishable, ‘Living and super-conscious’ source of energy”.  

It is interesting that the Upanishad used the word ‘Akshar’ rather than any equivalent of ‘God’ such as Ishwar or Bhagvaan. Because the moment we say ‘God, Bhagvaan or Ishwar’, our mind, consciously or unconsciously, starts imagining a ‘Personified God’. A creator with a ‘form’, no matter how huge and vast it may be, cannot be logically accepted to create such vast universe.

Science believes that energy is imperishable, and that energy and matter are inter-changeable. Energy, in certain circumstances converts into matter and vice versa.
So, the ancient Vedantic concept of the “Imperishable, Super-conscious” source, manifesting itself into the universe, and that it will merge back into the ‘Imperishable’, makes perfect sense and is also at par with the modern science.

The analogy of hair growing out of the scalp has another meaning also. It does not grow to its full length instantaneously. It keeps on growing slowly over the period of time. Similarly, according to the science, the universe also appeared and expanded and is still constantly expanding and evolving, along with the life on the earth.

                                       ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

*Please note that there is difference between Brahm and Brahma (pronounced: Brahmaa)

 यथोर्ण नाभिः सृजते ग्रहम्य्ते च 
यथा पृथ्व्याम् औषधय सम्भवन्ति 
यथा सतः पुरुषात केशलोमानि 
तथाक्षरात सम्भवतीह विश्वम 
                 (मुण्डकोपनिषद : 7 )

Monday, May 18, 2015

Origin of universe; Creation verses Manifestation Part one

As I understand, there are three mainly popular theories about how this universe came into existence. 

1.  According to Science, no one designed or created the universe; it just happened with a ‘Big Bang’ and evolved over a long period of time and is still expanding. There are some new updates and few other scientific theories have also been developed lately. Tons of material is available on this subject on the net so I do not need to go into the details.

2.   According to the western religions, namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the universe was designed and created by an all-powerful Almighty God. Since Christianity and Islam, both draw their main philosophy from Judaism, their concept of God and the universe comes from Torah, the Holy Scripture of Judaism, adopted in the Christian Bible as Old Testament. According to them, the universe was created in six days and the seventh day, God rested. Therefore, Christians all over the world believe that Sunday, the seventh day should be kept only for worship and rest. Secondly, earth was the center of the universe and the sun, moon and stars were created to divide the day from night and to provide light. Interestingly, earth, sea, grass and the herb yielding seed and trees yielding fruits, all were created on the third day and the sun and moon and stars were created on the fourth day; the greater light to rule the day and the lesser lights to rule the night. Whales and all other sea creatures and all kinds of birds were created on the fifth day. 
"On Sixth day, God said; Let the earth bring forth the living creatures, cattle and creeping things and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.  And God saw that it was good. And God said; Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and all over the earth… So God created man in his own image. And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it".  
                                      (Bible, Genesis chapter 1)

Wo kis raastay se Ayaega​ ?​........

मैं अपनी राहों में ख़ुद दीवार बन के बैठा हूँ 'फ़राज़'
वो आएगा - तो किस रास्ते से आएगा ?

Main apani raahon main khud deewar ban ke baithaa hoon 'Faraaz'
Wo Aayega to kis raastay se Ayaega?​
                    "Ahmed Faraaz"

"I myself have become a wall; blocking my own way
  How can he ever come to see me?"

Friday, May 15, 2015

Vedanta... A brief but comprehensive introduction

Hindu philosophy is the most misunderstood and misinterpreted philosophy of all. Unfortunately, most Hindus also do not know the real philosophy of their own religion, so when they try to explain it to others, they create some serious doubts and questions among the seekers.
In the following article, published in Hindustan Times, Dr. Karan Singh (Yuvraj of Jammu & Kashmir) has briefly but very beautifully explained the core of the Vedantic philosophy, which is the bases of all major and popular religions of the east.              
          Vedanta can heal the scars of history
                                             Karan Singh (May 11, 2015)
Hinduism, which has a billion followers around the world, is the oldest, continuing religion dating back to several millennia B.C. During this long period it has produced a rich and vast corpus of scriptures that cover almost all aspects of human life. Among these the most significant are the Upanishads, those glorious dialogues which represent the foundation of all later schools of Indian philosophy. Collectively they are the basis of the Vedanta, as they come at the chronological end of the Vedas and also represent the high watermark, not only of Hindu but of world philosophy. The basic features of the Vedanta give us a holistic philosophy of life and death, cutting across all barriers between human beings. This is particularly important today when all sorts of regressive concepts are propagated in the name of Hinduism.
The basic concept is that of all-pervasive Brahman — ‘Ishava-syamidam Sarvam Yatkincha Jagatyam Jagat’: Whatever had, does or will exist and wherever it exists, whether it is moving or not, is permeated by the same divine power and force. The Upanishadic view is that in the ultimate analysis all is a manifestation of the divine. Indeed there can be no manifestation without the divinity behind it, and this in a way parallels the realization of modern science. In the post-Einsteinian situation there is now the realization that whatever exists is really the same energy appearing as a particle or as a wave. The unified field theory, which the scientists have been desperately seeking, has its spiritual counterpart in the concept of the all-pervasive Brahman of the Upanishads.
The second basic concept is that this Brahman resides within each individual’s consciousness, in the Atman. The Atman, as it were, is the reflection of this all-pervasive Brahman in individual consciousness; but the Atman is not ultimately separate from the Brahman. The concept of ‘Ishwarah’ — the Lord residing within the heart of each individual — is the second great insight of the Upanishads, and all the four yogas — Jnana, Bhakti, Karma and Raja — are directed towards bringing about the union between the Atman and the Brahman.
Flowing from this is another important Vedantic concept, which is that all human beings are in the final analysis members of a single, extended family. The Upanishads have a beautiful word for the human race — ‘Amritasya Putrah’, children of immortality — because we all carry within our consciousness the light and the power of the Brahman. For those of the greater consciousness, the entire world is a family, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
A fourth major philosophical concept of the Upanishads is the essential unity of all religions — ‘Ekam Sadviprah Bahudha Vadanti’ as the Rig Veda has it; the Truth is one, the Wise call it by many names. All creeds and religious formulations arise in different times and areas, but if they have a true aspiration, they reach the same goal.
A fifth Vedantic concept is the welfare of all beings — ‘Bahujana Sukhaya Bahujana Hitaya Cha’. The Vedanta seeks the welfare of all creation, not only of human beings but also of what we call the lower creatures.  In our arrogance and ignorance we have destroyed the environments of this planet.  We have polluted the oceans, made the air unbreathable, desecrated nature and decimated wildlife.  Thousands of species have become extinct because of our hubris as human beings; and thousands more are on the verge of extinction.  But the Vedantic seers knew that man was not something apart from nature that human consciousness grew out of the entirety of the world situation and therefore they had compassion for all living beings.  That is why the Vedanta constantly exhorts us that while we are working for our own salvation we must also shun the path of violence and of hatred.  We must seek to develop both elements of our psyche, the inner and the outer, the quietest and the activist.  While working out our own destiny we also have social responsibility, and as long as we are embodied we have to continue to work for the welfare of all beings and of the planet itself.
These five concepts of the Vedanta — the all-pervasive Brahman the Atman, which resides in all beings; the four-fold Yoga, which seeks to unite them; the concept of the human race as members of an extended family regardless of all differences; the idea that all religions are essentially different paths to the same goal; and the concept that we must work for the welfare of society and of all beings — taken together provide a comprehensive world view which can greatly help humanity in the process of globalization upon which it has embarked, and enable us to overcome the many psychological, economic and political problems that we face.
The last century, despite its extraordinary scientific and technological achievements, has been one of the most lethal in human history.  Two World Wars and dozens of inter-regional and intra-regional conflicts have left millions dead and tens of millions uprooted from their homes.  A disturbing feature is the revival of religious fanaticism that poses a major threat to humanity in the 21st century.  It is, therefore important to re-discover and re-articulate the foundational principles of the many religions that flourish on planet earth. In my view the Vedanta represents the fundamental principles of Hinduism, and, I make bold to say, can provide a template for the inter-religious movements around the world.
Publisher’s Note: Dr. Karan Singh, is a former Union minister and an MP, Rajya Sabha.
                         (Courtesy of Sh. Manjit Dhingra)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Internet Era

In this era of Internet, almost everyone is sending dozens of messages on WhatsApp or other similar sites every day. The moment some people get a message, they rush to forward it to others; sometimes without understanding it or even without reading it completely.

What purpose will be served by simply forwarding knowledge and words of wisdom, just for the sake of spreading and sharing?

The first and foremost thing about Knowledge is to understand it and then apply it in day to day life.

Remember: We cannot get connected with ‘Self or to God via internet.

The only way to connect with ‘SELF or God is through the Inner-Net not the Internet.

Long before the internet was invented, Saints and sages have been reaching and staying connected with the Self and God by logging on to their “Inner-net’; through Sumiran and meditation or Samaadhi.

Let’s try to log on to our Inner-net more often.

   ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Let the heart be free..... Sometimes

अच्छा है दिल के साथ रहे पासबाने अक़्ल 
लेकिन कभी कभी इसे तनहा भी छोड़ दे                                                                                                                                                        (अलामा इक़बाल )

'Achhaa hai Dil ke saath rahe Paasbaane* Aql
Lekin kabhi kabhi ise tanhaa bhi chhod day'*
                                           (Dr. Mohammed Iqbal)

It’s good to have the intellect control the heart and mind
but sometimes the heart should be left alone 
(Let it be free to develop faith and loving relationships.)

We learn about people and objects through intellect, but the relationships are developed in the heart, through emotions.

Same is true in spirituality also. We try to learn and understand spirituality through intellect but in the end, it’s the heart that brings spirituality in one’s life through love, faith and devotion.

* Paasbaan =  Guardian/ protector 

**  'Day' should be pronounced as 'they'

Monday, May 11, 2015

Jhagade / Quarrels


क़ुर्ब  के,  ना  वफ़ा  के  होते  हैं 
सारे झगड़े  अना  के  होते  हैं 
              ' फैज़ अहमद फैज़ '

 Qurb ke, Na vafaa ke hote hain 
 Saare JhagadeAnaa ke hote hain 
                                (Faiz Ahmed Faiz)

It’s neither about the relationships nor sincerity

The fights are always about I, me and mine; the ego.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Do you want to continue to live after death?

       अगर मरने के बाद भी जीना चाहते हो
तो  एक काम ज़रुर कर जाना

या तो पढ़ने लायक कुछ लिख जाना,
या लिखने लायक कुछ कर जाना

If you want to continue to live after the death, then do at least one of the following:

Write something for people to read
Do something for people to write about you. 

Dr. Dalip Singh Ji Patiala completed his journey

‘Gurmukh janam savaar Dargah chaleya’
There are some people, who not only achieve the fulfillment in their own life, but help others also to achieve it. One such simple but great soul was Dr. Dalip Singh ji of Patiala who completed his worldly journey yesterday at the age of 94.  

He was a man of few words, extremely polite and humble, who lived all his life with simplicity and great devotion. He had received bachelor in English from Lahore University in early 1940’s, which was considered quite an achievement in those days.
After partition, they lived in Amritsar for a while and came in Contact with Sh. Rajkavi ji. After receiving Gyan from Bhapa Ram Chand ji in 1958, he moved to Patiala along with his family where he spent much of his time in Sumiran, twice a day Satsang; every morning and evening, and selflessly serving the saints and community.

Though he was one of the rare people among the older generation in Patiala Satsang group with a college degree but he never showed it off. Besides his regular job of working in the Punjab electricity board, he also learned the science of homeopathy and started a homeopathic dispensary at the Bhavan. Soon, everyone lovingly started calling him 'Dr. Dalip Singh ji'.  Before going to his office, he used to spend couple of hours every morning to see and help patients with free Homeopathic medicines and whatever else he could do, which he continued till about couple of years ago. Even though he was an old timer, a senior and active member of the Patiala Sangat, he never wanted or expected any designation or credit for his selfless services.

When I visited Patiala in November last year, I was told he was over 93 and yet came to the Satsang every morning all year long on a rickshaw, being unable to ride his scooter or bike. 

I had the privilege of, not only seeing or meeting him but seeing his life closely. 

When I went to join my first job as junior lecturer at Government Women College in Patiala, I stayed a few days at the Bhavan. I was trying to find a room to rent for myself but being unfamiliar with the city, was not able to find a suitable place. Sant Bhai sahib Amar Singh ji did not want me to rent a place. He wanted me to stay at the Bhavan. However, after a week or so, upon my insistence and of course after receiving a word from Bhapa Ram Chand ji Kapurthala, he decided to help me find a place. Since I was quite young at that time and new and a stranger in that city, he wanted to find an appropriate place with right environment for me. Next day, after the morning Satsang, he asked Dr. Dalip Singh ji if they can spare the outer room in their home and rent it to me. Even though, having four children and only three rooms in their house, they had no intention of renting out any room; he simply bowed his head and said "Sat Vachan". Not only I got a nice place, I got the opportunity to live with a wonderful and devoted saintly family.
Because of his simple and humble life style, I could have never imagined that he was B.A. in English and could speak fluently in English. Besides the college education and knowledge of Homeopathy, he also had a great deal of knowledge of the Sikh Holy scriptures. Being from a Hindu traditional family, I did not, at that time, know much about Sikh religion. He introduced me to some other books such as Janam Saakhi and Panth Prakash etc.

As they say, "Behind every successful man, there is a woman."
He was very fortunate to have an equally devoted, understanding and supportive life partner. His wife, whom we call 'Bee ji', is an amazing tall woman with many great qualities. She is so energetic and full of love for everyone. I was just a tenant in their house, but she always treated me like her own children, used to cook for me quite often and sometimes, even wash my clothes. She would happily serve anyone and everyone who walked into the house regardless of who they came to visit; to see them or to me. I know loving and caring is her own personal quality, but she used to say that this kind of hospitality was a part of the culture that she grew up with during her early childhood in the Frontier region, now in Pakistan. I don't know about now after all these years, but in those days, she could fluently speak in Pashto, the language of the Pathaans of the Frontier and Afghanistan.   

One thing I can never forget about both of them. 

Even though they were as old as my parents and treated me like their son, (I was about 22 at that time) but they never called me by my name. They always called me "Bhai Sahib Ji".  Not only I requested but repeatedly insisted that since I called them Bee ji and Bhapa ji, they should call me by my name. Their answer was always the same; "we love you but we also want to maintain the 'Gurmukhi Rishta', which they always did; even till today**.

Though Dr. Dalip Singh ji lived a quite long, happy and meaningful life, and got to see his great-grandchildren, though he accomplished many things in his life and achieved many qualities and virtues, I believe simplicity and humbleness were his best virtues of all. 

Bhai Sahib Dalip Singh ji did not 'die', rather "Poore ho gaye*", has become 'Poorn'* after completing his journey successfully.

As the Holy Gurubani says:

"Sooraj Kiran mili, Jal ka jal huaa Raam
 Jyoti jyot rali sampoorn theeaa kaam."

                      'Rajan Sachdeva' 
                                    May 8, 2015

"Gurmukh janam savaar dargah chaleya
 Sachi dargah jaaye, sachaa pidh maleya" (Bhai Gurdas ji)

Note:  *'Poorn' and Poore means Complete, fulfilled or accomplished. 

**After hearing the news, when I called Bee ji this morning, first, perhaps because of bad signal or for whatever reason, she could not understand me. After I said couple of times loudly "this is Rajan from America", her tone suddenly changed and affectionately and emotionally, she said "Oh...Bhai Sahib Ji? I am so touched that you have called". 

  •  Their elder son Harikishan Singh ji lives in the Sant Nirankari Bhavan Sydney, Australia.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The only way out

When I did not know what to do
A wise man gave me a clue
He said the only way out 
is the way to go thru.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Jin Khoja Tin Paaya

When I used to live in Jammu, during the hot summer days, we used to go to a small park near the old Science College to get some cool breeze at the banks of the ‘Nehar’, (river) that runs along the Jammu-Akhnoor road. Most people would jump in the water and swim to escape the heat and enjoy the coolness of water; I always sat at the bank with only my feet dipped in the water. Friends would ask me to come into the water. “You can’t get the real coolness just by sitting there. Come in the water and see how refreshing it is”, they would say. But I never dared because I did not know how to swim. Nevertheless, my experience was not the same as theirs. 

At that time, I would always remember this beautiful and meaningful Doha, a couplet by Sant Guru Kabeer ji:
जिन खोजा तिन पाया गहरे पानी पैठ 
मैं बौरी ढूंडन गयी, रही किनारे बैठ

Jin khoja Tin paaya, gehare paani paith 
Main bauri dhoondan gayi, rahi kinaare baith  

Those who searched, found (the treasure), but only by diving into the depth of the sea.
I too went, but foolishly stayed only at the shore (could not dare to dive in)

The following sher by Allama Iqbal is like the Urdu version of Kabeer ji’s Hindi Doha.

इल्म के दरिया से निकले गोता ज़न गौहर बदस्त 
वाये महरूमी ! ख़ज़फ़ चैन-  लबे साहिल हूँ मैं 

Ilm Ke Darya Se Nikle Gota Zan  Gauhar Badast
Waye Mehroomi! Khazaf Chain-e-Lab-e- Saahil Hun Main

From the sea of knowledge, divers came out with pearls in hands.
Alas, O deprivation! A mere pebble collector on the sea shore I am.  (Allama Iqbal)

We need to go in depth of the ‘Gyana’ to explore, to understand and achieve the Truth. Just some Superficial knowledge is not enough.
As the saying goes: Neem Hakeem khatraa-e- jaan” having little knowledge (of medicine) can be dangerous to the life.

Unfortunately, most of us are afraid to dive deep into the Gyana.
We simply go to a religious place of our choice and convince ourselves (and perhaps others) that we are quite a devotee and Gyani. And if this boosts up our ego, then we will surely deviate from our path.

   ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

Dhoondta Phirta Hun Apne Aap Ko

ढूँढ़ता फिरता हूँ    'इक़बाल' अपने आप को 
आप ही गोया मुसाफ़िर, आप ही मंज़िल हूँ मैं 

Dhoondta Phirta Hun Ae ‘Iqbal’ Apne Aap Ko
Aap Hi Goya Musaafir, Aap Hi Manzil Hun Mein

(O’ Iqbal! I am wandering in constant search for myself
though I am the traveler as well as the destination)

By: Allama Iqbal

​हाथ ​तो उसके भी दुखे होंगे Haath to us kay be dukhay hongay​

​हाथ ​तो उसके  भी  दुखे  होंगे ज़रूर  ​जिसने मेरी राह में काँटे बिछाए होंगे ​ Haath to uskay be dukhay hongay​ zaroor  Jisne meri ...