Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sakaar vs Nirakaar

When we got home after the 23rd February Birthday Sangat - aka Guru Pooja / Baba Hardev Singh ji's Birthday (observed on Sunday February 26th) - I found a package in my mail box. It was a gift from a friend who recently came back from India. There were two books in that package – one of them was ‘Ashtavakra Gita’– written exactly in the form that I was looking for – with the original Sanskrit text and its word to word meaning, along with brief but precise translation.

I was quite excited to find what I was looking for, and randomly opened the book and looked at the page in front of me. It was the eighteenth Shloka of chapter one. 
                  साकारमनृतं विद्धि निराकारं तु निश्चलम 
                  एतत्तत्वोपदेशेन न पुनर्भव सम्भवः 

     Saakaaram-Anritam viddhi Niraakaaram tu Nicshchalam
     Etat-Tattvopadeshna Na Punarbhav-Sambhavah 

“Know that which has ‘form’ - to be false.
And the Formless to be changeless. 
Through this ‘Tattva-Gyaana’ (true knowledge),
You shall escape the cycle of re-birth.”

That which remains changeless in the past, present and future is the ‘Real’ and that which was not from beginning and will not be in the future, but seems to exist temporarily in a certain period of time, is ‘unreal’.

Regardless of how much physical and emotional value we place upon an object, which has a physical form is changeable and perishable. Whereas only Nirankar, the Formless, remains unchanged and constant.
I was astonished, and had to read the shloka again. 
It was a moment of ‘soul-searching’ for me – to look deep into my heart to see what do I really believe in... 
Nirankar or Sakaar?
Though a follower of the 'Nirankari' Mission, what do I really value more...
The ‘Formless or a particular ‘Form’?...
Accept the present or believe in the past?

I thought…. What a co-incidence it was - that opening this sacred book randomly right after coming back from the above mentioned event- I would accidentally come across this particular Shloka. 

But then... 
I started to wonder….
Was it really a co-incidence or a message from ‘Beyond’?

                        ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

Sunday, February 26, 2017

तब हम कहाँ थे ?

एक बार दो दोस्त घूमते हुए एक महल के पास पहुँच गए....

पहले दोस्त ने उस शानदार महल को देखकर कहा कि जब इनमें रहने वालों की किस्मत लिखी जा रही थी - तब हम कहाँ थे?

दूसरा दोस्त पहले वाले का हाथ पकड़ कर उसे हस्पताल ले गया 
और ICU में पड़े मरीज़ों की तरफ इशारा करते हुए पूछा :

जब इनकी किस्मत लिखी जा रही थी तब हम कहाँ थे??


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Story of Nachiketa Part 11 (Kathopnishad)

Previously:
In order to repay – to compensate for his discomforts for three days and nights outside his house - Dharm Raj offered to grant three boons to Nachiketa.

             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nachiketa said “O Lord. As the first of the three boons, I choose that when you send me back, Gautam - my father should be calm, kind and free from anger towards me; that he may greet me and accept me (with love)”

For his first boon, Nachiketa could have asked for unlimited wealth, power or kingdom but instead, he asked for good and pleasant relationship with his father.

At first, it may seem like a childish desire... because after all Nachiketa is a child; uncertain and insecure.
So, he is asking for the protection of the only person he has known to be there for him whenever he needed any help. Just like a child, when scolded or beaten by the mother, yells for help by calling ‘Mommy…Mommy’. He still calls mother for help, knowing that it’s the mother who is scolding and hurting him.
Similarly, we may think that though, his father shouted at him angrily saying that ‘to death shall I give thee’, Nachiketa’s first wish, like any other child, is to regain his father’s affection.

But Nachiketa is not like a small innocent child who does not know any better.
Nachiketa is highly learned and wise young boy, who knows that family plays very significant role in any individual’s life. He understands that keeping healthy and pleasant relationships within one’s family is very important. Though his father shouted at him angrily, Nachiketa knows that his father did not mean it; that his father loves him-unconditionally.
Nachiketa also knows that he himself was the reason for his father’s anger. He bothered him when he was engaged in serious discussions with his friends and consorts. He even taunted his father and insulted him in front of his friends and other nobles, so his anger was justified. Therefore, he is not keeping any grudge against his father and wants his father to lose his anger as well.

The ancient Scriptures have a subtle way of teaching the morals and good conducts to the society in the form of stories.
Not only in India, loving and respecting one’s parents and elders has been an important part of all cultures around the world.
Unfortunately, it’s declining.
Most elders and parents, especially from India, are always complaining about their children not respecting them enough. But they tend to forget that it’s a two-way street; that healthy and pleasant relationships have to be maintained from both sides.

Nachiketa’s first choice of boons should not be translated and preached to teach to the children and younger generation only. It should be applied to elders as well; to equally love and respect their children and younger generation.

Ironically, some seekers or devotees, who are inclined towards spirituality and are followers of some spiritual path or spiritual guru, do not see the importance of having a good and healthy relationships with the people around them.  Searching for God and self-purpose and secrets of life are indeed important, but in the end, if we don't know how to make use of all that knowledge - to have healthy relationships with people and our surroundings, then what have we really learned? Imagine you set aside your family, friends and relatives to discover God and the secret of life and when you discover ‘the secret’, it tells you to love everyone.... including your family and relatives whom you had left - how ironic would that be?

Nachiketa understands this. He could have asked to become the king of the whole earth. But instead of asking for wealth, power or kingdom, he asks for a pleasant relationship with his father and his family. (Father being the head, represents the whole family.)

Dharm Raj happily grants this first boon saying: "He will not have any resentment against you. He will lose his anger and will treat you with love and affection just as before".

Then, as his second boon, Nachiketa talks about Swarg-Lok (heaven) and how to attain it.   

In the next verse, there is a beautiful – short and brief but precise definition of Swarg or Heaven.

                           ‘To be continued’

‘Rajan Sachdeva’


Positivity At Its Peak


Friday, February 24, 2017

देता रहेगा ये अंधेरों को रौशनी

दिल से दे दुआ तो भिखारी - अमीर है
मोती न दे सके तो समंदर  - फ़क़ीर है                         

देता रहेगा ये अंधेरों को रौशनी
जब तक तेरे वजूद में रौशन ज़मीर है


Dil se de duaa to bhikhari ameer hai 
Moti na de sakay to samandar faqeer hai 

Detaa rahega ye andheron ko Raushani 
Jab tak mere vajood me raushan zameer hai 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Little Knowledge

One day an airplane cleaner was cleaning the pilots’ cockpit when he saw a book “How to fly an airplane for beginners. Volume One”.

He opened the first page which said, “To start the engine, press the red button.”.  He did so and the airplane engine started.

He was happy and opened the next page. “To set the airplane moving press the blue button.”

He did so and the airplane started moving at an amazing speed.

He wanted to fly so he opened the third page which read, “To get the airplane fly, press the green button.”

He did this and the plane started to fly.
He was excited!!!!!!

After 20 minutes of flying, he was satisfied and wanted to land so he opened the next page. Which said:

“To learn how to land, please purchase Volume Two at our web site. You will receive it in 4 to 5 business days…. or visit the nearest bookshop!!!!"
He fainted …….


LITTLE OR HALF KNOWLEDGE CAN BE DANGEROUS



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Story of Nachiketa Part 10 (Kathopnishad)

Previously: 
Dharam Raj was unhappy with his consorts because Nachiketa had to stay at the doorsteps for three days; unattended.
Nevertheless, he was a guest. He should have been treated well. He should have been offered some food and place to stay.

What happens next is truly amazing; something that we don’t see very often. A rare phenomenon that is hard to find in the history of Guru and Shishya (disciple) – Gyani (Enlightened) and Jigyaasu (seeker) or the king and beggar.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                         Part 10

Dharam Raj had quickly realized that his guest is not just an ordinary young boy. He recognized the commitment and steadfast determination in young Nachiketa who waited for him for three days and nights outside the house without any kind of hospitality or food.   
Therefore, Dharam Raj apologizes to him and asks for forgiveness for negligence and the mistake made by his family and servants.

He bows his head down and says to Nachiketa:

“O’ Brahmin (wise person) My prostrations to you.”

Imagine… a highly revered and powerful Guru as Dharam Raj - so powerful to be known as the ‘Lord of Death’ - doing prostrations and asking for forgiveness from an unknown young boy who has come to him as a disciple. And that too for something which is not even his fault. Remember - he was not even at home.

It would be extremely hard to find such an example of humility and righteousness in the history of religions where a Guru so powerful as the ‘Lord of Death’ - doing prostrations and asking for forgiveness from an ordinary, unknown disciple.

Usually, leaders of any political or religious organizations tend to think that they are above the law; that they do not need to apologize from anyone. However, to get applaud from the audiences, sometimes they may say some hefty words during the public lectures that they are servants of all – but usually they are quite opposite in their personal life; in their day to day dealings with others.

And here, a great and so powerful Guru Dharam Raj is personally bowing down - rather prostrating in front of a disciple and profoundly asking for forgiveness. He feels personally responsible for the actions of his people. He says “May good befall me”- implying that even he is not above the law – that even he may receive some unpleasant rewards for the wrong karmas done by his family and servants.
At the same time, he also sets an example for the future leaders and other people in power, that in order to teach their followers and subordinates, leaders and teachers must also obey the law - that the upright karmas and virtuous traditions should be taught by doing the righteous actions themselves.

As Lord Krishna said:
          Yad-yad Aacharti Shrestas, Tad-tadaiv Taro janah
          Sa yat Pramaanam kurute, lokas tad Anuvartatay

“Whatever a great man does, the same is done by others as well.   
  Whatever standard he sets, the world follows”
                                                       (Bhagavad Gita 3: 21)

This is exactly what Dharam Raj did. He was not giving a lecture to an audience.
He was sincerely and honestly asking for forgiveness from a disciple - with genuine humility.
In order to repay – to somehow compensate for his discomforts and unfriendly experience - he offered to grant three boons to Nachiketa.

He says:
          Trisro Raatri Yad Avatsir grahe may, 
          Anashnan Brahmin Atithir namasyah
         Namahstestu Brahmin, Swasti mayastu, 
         Tasmaat Prati trin VraanVraneeshva

“You have remained outside my house for three days and nights without any food. O’ venerable guest, my prostrations to you. And now, in return, you choose three boons. May good befall me.”
                                                                (Kathopanishad 1 – 9)

      'Rajan Sachdeva'

                                         To be Continued




Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Anyone can achieve their fullest potential.

Who we are might be predetermined,
But the path we follow is always our own choice. 

We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the 
frontiers of our destiny. 
                                               

Monday, February 6, 2017

Think of the rivers of blood


Think of the rivers of blood, 
spilled by all those generals and emperors -
So that in glory and triumph, 
they could become the momentary masters 
of a fraction of a dot in the universe ......... 
called earth. 

Mujh ko bhee Tarqeeb Sikhaa de yaar Julaahay

The poems of Gulzar Sahib are not just poems – they are beautiful expression of some forgotten sores that are still hidden in the depths of...