Saturday, November 26, 2016

एक रुबाई Ek Rubaayi

क्या तुमसे कहें जहाँ को कैसा पाया 
ग़फ़लत ही में आदमी को डूबा पाया 
आँखें तो बेशुमार देखीं हमने मगर 
कम थीं बख़ुदा कि जिनको बीना पाया 
                     "अक़बर अलाहाबादी "

Kya tum se Kahen jahaan ko kaisa paaya 
Ghafalat me hi aadmi ko dooba paaya 
Aankhen to beshumaar dekhin hum ne magar 
Kum thin bakhuda ki jinko beena paaya 
                      'Akbar Alahabaadi'

Ghafalat = Ignorance
Bakhuda =  By God
Beena =  able to see 

Friday, November 25, 2016

A wrong concept

Quite often we hear a popular phrase: 
"Parmatma ki ichha ke Bina kuchh nahin ho saktaa"
"Nothing can happen without the will of God"

However, the true quote from the Scriptures is......

"Parmatma ke bina kuchh nahin ho saktaa"
"Nothing can happen without God" 

Another popular phrase:
"Parmaatma ki ichha ke Bina pataa bhi nahin hail saktaa"

"Nothing, not even a leaf, can move without the will of God"

But the actual phrase is:
"Nothing, not even a leaf, can move without "God"

I don't know when and how the word "will of God" got added in these phrases. 
"What is the difference?" One may ask.

There is a big difference... that may create confusion in the mind. By saying "will of God", not only we imply that God has 'desires', but preferences as well. It means God is not impartial and just, that He favors or disfavors certain people, creates and destroys according to His preferences. 
If nothing can happen without the "will of God" then why does 'sin and evil' exist in the world? It means that all the bad things; killings and hatred etc. are happening with the "will of God".

But when we say "nothing can move without God", has a different meaning altogether. It makes perfect sense and it is perfectly scientific. 

Every gadget and appliance in our homes runs on electricity. We see the appliances working but do not see the energy behind them. For example, we only see the light bulb shining, not the electricity flowing through it, because the light bulb is physical and electricity is Formless. Though we don't see the electricity, yet we know that the bulb cannot shine without the electricity.

Now, can we say that the bulb cannot shine without the 'will of electricity"? 

We don't see electricity shining, heating or cooling, or even flowing - but none of the household appliances can work without it. And without a doubt, we know it's the 'electricity'- not the 'will of electricity' that makes the appliances move or work.
Electricity simply provides the energy. Shining, heating or cooling depends on the design and programming of the gadget, not on the will of electricity. 

Similarly, God is 'Nirankaar, 'Nirgun' (Formless and attribute-less) - the 'Basic source of energy' behind everything. Nothing can move without God. 
But Love or hatred, kindness or cruelty, generosity or selfishness, helping and saving or torturing and killing etc, depends on the individuals, not on the so-called 'will of God'. 

           'Rajan Sachdeva'

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

To be peaceful

To be peaceful is to be free -
of expectations from others
and to want nothing from anyone. 


Thursday, November 17, 2016

True Experience # 2

We all have different choices, and different ways of looking at things. Therefore, every incidence could be perceived and experienced differently by each individual. 

Not only every incidence is perceived and experienced differently by each individual, but the same cannot be shared or explained properly to others. A personal experience or emotion can never be expressed in its true sense. 

In the Baal-Kaand of 'Ram-Charit-Maanas, Sant Tulsi Das explained it beautifully. He gives a profound logic:

स्याम गौर किमि कहौं बखानी 
गिरा अनयन - नयन बिनु बानी
       (राम चरित मानस बाल काण्ड दोहा 228 के बाद दूसरी चौपाई )

Syaam Gaur kimi Kahaun bakhaani
Giraa Anayan - Nayan Binu baani 
                 Baal-Kaand (Chaupaai between Shloka 228-229)

Devi Seeta's friend,while explaining the beauty of Lord Ram to her, says: 
"How can I explain his beauty to you...
My tongue does not have the ability to see, and my eyes cannot speak". 

Five hundred years after Tulsi Das, a great modern poet Anand Bakhshi expressed the same sentiments in his own words.

तुझको देखा है मेरी नज़रों ने - तेरी तारीफ हो मगर कैसे
कि बने ये नज़र ज़ुबाँ कैसे -  कि बने ये  ज़ुबाँ नज़र कैसे

ना ज़ुबाँ को दिखाई देता है, ना निगाहों से बात होती है
                                                          'आनन्द बख्शी '

Tujhko Dekha hai Meri Nazaron ne, Teri Tareef ho magar kaise
Ki banay ye nazar zubaan kaise, ki banay ye zubaan nazar kaise
Na zubaan ko dikhaayi deta hai - Na nigaahon se baat hoti hai                                                                
'My eyes have seen you – 
but how can your beauty be expressed in words?
How can my eyes turn into tongue?
How can my tongue become the eyes?
Neither the tongue can see nor the eyes can speak'
(In other words, the tongue cannot describe exactly what the eyes see)
What we feel in our heart and mind, can neither be shared, nor can ever be expressed in words.
              'Rajan Sachdeva'

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Story of Nachiketa (Kathopanishad) Part 4

Nachiketa confronts his father and tells him that his supposedly charitable actions are useless. Gautam, Nachiketa’s father found his remarks disrespectful and insulting.
And when Nachiketa asked: “To whom you shall give me?”
He became extremely angry and shouted “To death shall I give you”

I am sure we all would feel that it was wrong for the father to speak such harsh words to his son. A Father is supposed to love and take care of all his children, even if they are at fault and never have any ill-wishes towards them. Nachiketa’s father loved his son and his outburst was out of anger, not from heart.

At times, under certain circumstances, most people react out of momentary anger by shouting phrases like “I am gonna kill you” or “you are asking for your death warrant or “go to hell’ etc. If there isn’t true understanding between the parents and children, then such dialogues can have serious consequences, pull apart relationships, and even split up families.

But we can understand from his previous observations- and will see more as the story unfolds- that Nachiketa was not an ordinary child. Even at such tender age, he was very wise and seems to have learned the scriptures as well. He did not react in the same way; in anger, because he knew his father did not really mean what he said. He knew his father loved him very much and did not have any ill-wishes towards him.

Nachiketa also loved and respected his father very much and considered him as his mentor and Guru. He wanted to obey his father. He wanted to do whatever his father wanted him to do. So he began to think “what did my father really mean when he said, ‘To death shall I give you’.  It cannot be what it sounds like…there must be a deeper meaning to what he said”.
He was too wise to take those words at the face value and began to ponder.
Since he had studied the Scriptures, he knew that a learned man, such as his father, knows very well that ‘no one dies before their time'.
“Perhaps by saying ‘to death shall I give you’, my father wants to send me away to find out and understand about Death", he thought.

Considering his father was too busy with his project of the Yagna, Nachiketa decided to embark on the journey on his own - to meet the Yam Raj - to find ‘Death’.

                              ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

(To be continued)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Story of Nachiketa (Kathopanishad) Part 3

Previously: Nachiketa warns his father:
"Joyless are the worlds which he attains who gives such dakshina – gifts or alms."

Nachiketa loved his father. Like any other young; nine-year-old son- Nachiketa’s father was his mentor, his hero and as we can see, he seems to be very wise too. He warned his father, not to insult him, but for his welfare… out of love and respect he had for the father. But the father could not accept such advice from his young son. He took it as an insult.

Most parents and elderly people react in the same way. Every generation believes that they know more and the new young generation should not tell them what to do - that the youth should follow the elders without questioning.

We tend to forget that every new generation has one major advantage over the previous generation. Whatever knowledge has been learned, discovered or invented previously is already available to them and they can learn the next steps and advance their knowledge from that point onward. That is why the new generations have always been ahead of the previous ones.
Those, who cannot accept this basic natural fact, will always have a clash with the new younger generation.

Nachiketa’s father also thought that his son was too young to give him any valuable advice. He found it disrespectful for his young son to tell his learned father what to do. He was asking for advice from his friends and colleagues but he found his own son’s advice insulting and disgraceful to his position. His ego was hurt. He became angry and shouted “To death shall I give you”

The purpose of reading these stories is to learn from them.
Faced with a similar situation, when we receive advice from the youth or our children, instead of feeling hurt and disrespected; instead of getting angry, we should listen to them calmly and ponder upon their thoughts seriously.                   

                                     ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

To Be Continued........

Wise Person Knows that......

Sunday, November 13, 2016

True Experience?

We live in the information age.
Net is overloaded with all kind of information on every topic, every subject. We feel that people are connected - that the world has become smaller. We think that everyone knows what is happening everywhere else in the world. 

But then again, there is so much different and contradictory information available on every subject, that it is hard to know what is right and what is wrong.

The only true information we may rely upon, is our own personal experience. 

But then again- our personal experience also depends on our own observation and perception of the events; by comparing them with our past experiences. We all have different choices, and different ways of looking at things. Therefore, every incidence could be perceived and experienced differently by each individual. 
In fact, a person may even experience the same incidence differently under different circumstances.

Can there be a universal 'true-experience’ in the physical world? 

    ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

Friday, November 11, 2016

किसी के दिल में क्या छुपा है Kisi ke dil me kya chhupa hai

किसी के दिल में क्या छुपा है ये तो रब ही जानता है 
दिल अगर बेनकाब होता तो - कितना फसाद होता

Kisi ke dil me kya chhupa hai ye to Rubb hi jantaa hai
Dil agar be-naqaab  kitanaa fasaad hota 
                                            (Writer -Unknown)   

Thursday, November 10, 2016

For the one...

For the one... 
In whose heart the 'Brahm-Gyan' has appeared 
this world and the next unseen, unknown world 
- both become the same.

He is neither worried or afraid in this world nor about the next. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Diwali - Deepawali # 2

Though every Indian religious tradition has its own reason for celebrating Diwali, mostly it is associated with the story of Lord Ram coming back to Ayodhyaa after defeating Ravan, and is looked upon as the victory of good over evil. However lately, the authenticity of the popular version of this epic story and the morality of certain events described by Sant Tulasi Das in the 'Ram-Charit-Maanas' have become questionable and a matter of debate.

Instead of searching for the historical facts and its authenticity, let us examine the metaphorical meanings of certain events to draw some useful conclusions for our own advancement.
By carefully examining the nature of the two main characters of this larger-than-life story, Lord Ram could be considered a symbol of Gyan; full of wisdom, tolerance, patience, love, kindness and sympathy along with sense of morality - and Devi Sita, a symbol of Bhakti or devotion.
During the exile, after leaving the palace, they lived in forests without any luxuries or even simple household facilities. Though they did not have much, they seemed to be quite happy and comfortable for the most part of their exile; meeting ordinary people and enjoying the company of learned Rishi's and sages as well.
But then… one day Devi Sita saw ‘the golden deer’ and the problems started when she became obsessed with the desire to have it.

The ‘Golden deer’ is obviously a symbol of ‘Maya’. Lord Ram, ‘Gyana’ tried to convince Sita, the Bhakti, that the Golden deer is a mirage; it’s illusion and she should not get attached to it. Looking at it, enjoying and admiring its beauty would have been alright, but Devi Sita wanted to possess it. She eventually convinced Lord Ram to go after it and bring it to her.
For practical purposes, even today, this story could be related to the life of many spiritual seekers. When a Gyani Bhakta becomes obsessed with Maya, Gyana tries to constraint him by reminding that all Maya is transitory and its obsession may become a distraction and take him away from his aim to achieve the Moksha, the ‘Ultimate Freedom’. The desiring Bhakta tries to find logics to justify his desires; by reasoning that Bhakti does not mean living in isolation with no desires or comforts. That a Bhakta can be very rich and own everything he desires, live a luxurious life and still maintain his devotion and spirituality.

In fact, this logic is absolutely right. We can find many Gurus, Rishis, Avatars and highest spiritual icons such as Maharaj Janak, who lived a rich and luxurious life style and some of them even ruled as kings. Undeniably, this ideology is true, but, if used as a justification for the excessive desires and wrong means to achieve them, it becomes a problem.

Lakshman was always guarding and protecting both; Lord Ram and Devi Sita with his watchful eyes. He drew a circle; a boundary line around Sita to protect her. And the moment Sita ji crossed that ‘Laxman-Rekha’, she got kidnapped.

Contentment is an important part of Bhakti. 
Desires and wants, and the means to fulfil them must remain within the ‘Lakshman-Rekha', the 'Maryaada'.

However, ‘Lakshman Rekha’ or 'Maryaada' does not mean just to control desires and attachments. It is actually the means; the ways how we try to achieve and fulfil our desires. Baba Avtar Singh ji used to emphasize on the virtues of honesty and truthfulness in how we live; how we earn and spend our money. In his discourses, he often used to say: “Do not lie, do not cheat anyone, earn your money with honest means. Do not try to harm anyone – even if they have done some wrong to you”.
I remember him and Bhai Sahib Amar Singh ji Patiala quoting this verse from the Gurubani many times:
             "हक़ पराया नानका उस सूअर, उस गाय"
        “Haq paraaya Nanakaa, us soo-ar us gaaye”  
Meaning: To take away what rightfully belongs to someone else, is like a Muslim eating pork, or a Hindu eating cow.

Unfortunately, we are hardly reminded anymore about the importance of keeping these codes of conduct, the Maryaada to make our spiritual journey smooth and to maintain our Bhakti in it's pure form.
If excessive desires and attachments, and the ways to fulfil them are wrongfully justified with the Gyana, then the Gyana itself gets lost. When Lord Ram, persuaded and convinced by Sita, goes after the Golden deer, their happy and peaceful life in exile turns into chaos. Devi Sita is kidnapped and Lord Ram is also lost; wandering from forest to forest searching for her.
To be re-united - to bring Sita back, the golden Lanka had to be burnt and Ravan had to be defeated.

Without each other – just like Ram and Sita, Gyana and Bhakti cannot achieve Divine Bliss - ever happiness and Moksha; the ultimate freedom. They have to stay together in their purest forms.

To bring the Bhakti back, the golden Lanka, symbol of Maya has to be burnt, and Ravan; the symbol of Ego has to be killed.

           ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Diwali - Deepawali

Diwali or Deepawali is a festival of lights; celebrated on a dark moonless night, traditionally illuminating the inside and outside of the houses by burning ‘diyas’; small clay lamps or candles. 

All ancient religious and cultural traditions or rituals started for a reason and they convey some deeper message that we tend to forget during the celebrations. For most people, it is simply a joyous festival, but for the Gyanis; for the wise and thoughtful observants, the message of Deepawali is very clear: 
“Andhkaar say Prakaash ki oar” 
(From darkness towards the light)

Deepawali reminds us a famous and very meaningful Vedic prayer: 

“Tamaso Maa Jyotirgamaya”   तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय

(Not to the Darkness, but towards the Light may we go)

Diwali is also time for cleaning; discarding the old useless things and getting new clothes and other useful things. 
However, for most people, it is simply a joyous festival along with certain rituals and just cleaning the house, discarding the old clothes and things and getting new ones and illuminating the in and outside of the house and surroundings.  But for the Gyanis, for the wise and thoughtful people, it is more than just a festival, and more than just cleaning the house. It is cleaning and illuminating of the inside; the mind as well. 
And to do all this, not only for illumination, but even for cleaning, we need light. Can we clean our house in total darkness… and place everything in its proper place where it belongs? 
Since Jyoti or Light is the symbol of Gyana, the knowledge, therefore, we need the light of Gyana to clean the mind; to discard the old useless concepts and to learn, accept and adopt the new useful ideas.
And new garments of ‘oneness’, the virtues of tolerance, acceptance and open-mindedness in place of narrow-mindedness, should be brought into life. It is time to accept the change and move on the path of real ‘Spirituality’ - that leads to the ‘Formless, Limitless and Timeless’, and discard the mentality of ‘Naam-Roopa’; the concept of limited and transitory ‘name and form’. 
However, to do all this, we need to put our sincere efforts. 

The outer darkness eventually goes away and the light prevails when the sun comes out. No matter how dark the night is, eventually the day breaks and everything lightens up. But it doesn't happen automatically with the inside - with the mind. 

On the dark ‘Kartik Amaavas’ night, Deepawali reminds us to put our effort to get rid of the darkness by burning clay lamps, candles or bulbs - not only to illuminate the houses and surroundings, but to illuminate our minds with the “Gyana-Jyoti’ or the ‘Light of Knowledge’ as well. 

                     ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

हम दुआ लिखते रहे - Hum Duaa Likhtay Rahay

हम दुआ लिखते रहे - वो दग़ा पढ़ते रहे  एक नुक़्ते ने महरम से मुजरिम कर दिया  Hum duaa likhtay rahay - vo daghaa padhtay rahay Ek nuqtay nay...