Friday, April 7, 2017

Speak or Not to Speak - DuCheez TeerahAql दूचीज़ तीरा अक़्लअस्त

 अगरचे पेश ख़िरदमन्द ख़ामोशी अदब अस्त 
  बवक़्त मसलेहत अन बै कि दर सुख़न कोशी 
दू चीज़ तीरह अक़्ल अस्त - दम फ़रो बस्तन 
बवक़्त गुफ्तन - ऊ गुफ्तन बवक़्ते ख़ामोशी    
(शेख़ सादी )
اگر چه پیش خردمند خاموشی ادب است 
به وقت مصلحت آن به که در سخن کوشی 
دو چیز طیره عقل است - دم فرو بستن 
به وقت گفتن و  گفتن به وقت خاموشی    
      Agarche pesh khiradmand khamoshi adabast
Bavqt maslehat an be ki dar sukhan koshi 
Du cheez teerah aqal ast - dam faro bastan
 Bavaqt guftan, ou guftan bavaqt khamoshi  
                                                       (Sheikh Sa’di)
Translation
Though it's a virtue for the wise to stay quiet (not talk too much) 
It is also virtuous to give advice when required (at the right time)
Two things are imprudent – (unwise choices)
To keep quiet when one should speak
And to speak when it’s time to keep silence.   (Sheikh Sa’di)

One of the greatest abilities that humans have, is the ability to judge – to evaluate and modify or adapt their behavioral patterns according to the situation. Effective Speaking is an art – a talent, a skill, which may require some learning and practice.
Silence is also one of the great skills which also requires a lot of patience and practice. 
‘Wisdom’ is to know when to speak and when not to speak - the ability to evaluate the situation; when it’s time to offer advice and when it’s important to stay quiet. 
However, just as ‘keep on talking’ and giving ‘un asked for’ - unwanted advice is not useful, Silence may also not be always positive and useful. 
It is up to us to assess the situation and decide when and where we must be silent and be a quiet listener, and when and where we should not be silent. 
If our silence is in the wrong place, at the wrong time, it can damage personal and social relationships and even bring down the family, business and social establishments. Many great organizations and empires have collapsed just because the right people did not (or were not allowed to) speak up at the right time. 
In the classic epic of Mahabharat - when Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas was being insulted and unrobed in the court - the eminent scholars and stalwarts of ethics and morality such as Bheeshm and Dronachaarya did not speak up against such a malicious, immoral action of their lords, the Kauravs. They had a dilemma - to choose between ‘Rules and Ethics – between ‘loyalty and morality’. Apparently, they made a wrong, unwise decision of choosing ‘Rules* and Loyalty’ instead of ethics, principles and morality – and the history never forgave them for that. 
  
Right decision at the right time is very important.
Speech or Silence?  Speak or not to speak? 
It all depends on the situation.
          Choose wisely.

                               ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

*Pandavs lost Draupadi in the game of chess to Kauravs. According to the rules laid down before the game, winners had the ‘right’ to do anything they wished to. Though, Bheeshm and other ministers and scholars present in the court believed it was unethical and immoral what Kauravs were going to do, they still kept quiet in order to support the law– the rules of the game. They thought law and rules, (and loyalty to their lords) were above ethics and principles.



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Satguru's Blessings


       "Satguru's Blessings"   By: Skattar Sandhu (Canada)

Sometimes we seek the blessing of Satguru if there is a problem. Satguru gives us advice to solve the problem in certain way. Sometime Satguru asks,” What you are doing?” and so you tell Him what you are doing. He gives you directions to proceed in a way you never thought about doing. If you carry out His commandment without any question then, the task is accomplished without any delay. Instead, if you start using your intellect then nothing is really done. This is what happened to me once in 1970, when Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji sent me to Canada. He, Nirankari Rajmata Ji, Rev. Chadha Sahib Ji, and Rev. Harimohan Sharma Ji came to North America the first time for a tour. Rev. Nand Lal Ji, Bahen Shiela Ji, Rev. Vasdev Ji, I went to Madison, U.S.A. from Toronto to welcome them.
They had already arrived when we reached there. We were very excited to see Baba Ji and Rajmata Ji. We stayed overnight there to seek their blessings. That night I had the opportunity to walk with Baba Ji. He asked me what I was doing and I said, ”With your blessings, I got immigration and now I am working.” He further asked if I had a driving license. I replied that I didn’t have one. Satguru Baba Ji instantly reminded me that you used to be a Mission driver in Bombay. You should have already taken a driving license by now. We asked  His permission to leave for Toronto the next day. When we reached Toronto, I decided to go the Ministry of Transportation office to inquire about the driving license after work. The clerk informed me that I have to have a learning permit and so he handed a learning license booklet to me to study before the test. I told him that I wanted to take the test immediately however, he insisted that I should come back after studying the booklet. Despite his warnings, I went to take the test that day. There were twenty people waiting to take the test before I entered the room. The examiner distributed the papers and gave instructions to all of us. I read all the questions and realized that I did not know any of the answers so I started to do Simarn. On the first question, which was multiple choice, I noticed that the answer was already lightly marked. As I continued the test, I realized that all of the answers were slightly marked as the first one was.  I quickly marked all of the answers and then I turned the exam paper in. After I turned it in, the instructor told me that he knew that you would not know any of the answers because I did not study the book. He told me that I would get the result of the exam the next day. However, because I lived far from the office I requested that he gives me the results that day. He asked me to wait for everyone to finish the exam before giving me my results and so I sat down in the waiting room. After the exam, he called me in and said that he was surprised  by my score. He asked,” How did you get 100% on the exam without studying?!” I told him that I had not answered any of the questions and I showed him a picture of Baba Ji  and said that He was the one who answered all of the questions. The instructor was quite astonished by this statement that I had made. Later I came to a rooming house where I used to stay with three other saints. I showed them my learning permit. They were very surprised to see it. I told them this is the power of Satguru Adhesh. My faith became even more stronger than it ever was before.
                                           "Skattar Sandhu" (Canada) 


Monday, April 3, 2017

Surrender Carefully and Gracefully

In one form or the other, we are surrounded by the gestures and actions of ‘Surrender’ every day - every moment of our life. Some actions of ‘Surrender’ are graceful and undertaken voluntarily – while some others might be for different reasons. 

Parents surrender to the children; to their needs and desires out of love.
Children surrender to the wisdom of their parents out of love and respect but also because of lack of experience and resources. 
Students and disciples surrender to the wisdom of their teachers and Gurus. 
Domestic animals surrender to their masters out of ignorance* and vigorous training. 
A defeated army surrenders to the victorious out of humiliation. 
When USA dropped atomic bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan surrendered …. Out of fear.

Every day, every moment, we constantly surrender to our needs and desires; to physical and mental appetites and cravings – to envy, greed and anger.

However, it is important to know and to be careful - ‘To whom do we surrender? And for what reason?’

Do we surrender to greed or to contentment?
To anger or to patience and acceptance? 
To confrontational nature or to silence?
To our egotistic ideas to fulfil our own selfish agendas – or to the virtues of ‘Selflessness’? 
To logic and reasoning or to blind faith?
To ‘Will of God’ - the outcome of Karmas or to the ‘Self-centered’ mind full of grievances and ‘blind-spots’.

Are we slaves of our ever-desiring mind and surrender to its constant and even unreasonable demands?
Or do we surrender to God, or whatever we may want to call – Nirankar, Nature, Karma, Destiny, Hukam or ‘THAT’- the unseen and unknown ‘Most-high Being’.

                                 Surrender carefully:

Surrendering blindly to someone or something may be hazardous and a disgrace of self-inflicted slavery – which may take us away from the desired aim or destination. Moksha means freedom - Freedom from fear and slavery.

And most importantly --- 
Do we surrender ‘Lovingly’ or ‘Out of Fear’?
Surrendering out of fear cannot provide ‘Peace and Bliss’.

Therefore, Surrender lovingly and gracefully: and move with the natural flow- 
Like floating effortlessly in a river – to whichever direction it’s flowing.
Like a bird, with its wings spread, effortlessly riding on an air-wave – wherever it takes him.  
Like dancing with natural and graceful movements to the subtle music of a symphony.

Let the Symphony of Life guide your steps, the movements and speed – and move along with its pace – Naturally and Gracefully.  

                                  ‘Rajan Sachdeva’ 

Note:
*Even in the primitive times, animals such as bulls, horses and elephants – though physically much stronger than humans - became slaves of humans out of ignorance and started doing laborious work for their masters.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Story of Nachiketa Part 15 (Kathopnishad)

As his second boon, instead of asking for a guaranteed place in Heaven, Nachiketa wanted to know - what knowledge should be known and what Karmas should be performed in order to enter the Heaven.  

Dharam Raj must have been delighted to find such a great and keen student. He says to Nachiketa:
प्र ते ब्रवीमि तदु मे निबोध स्वर्ग्यमग्निम् नचिकेतः प्रजानन 
अनंतलोकाप्तिमथो प्रतिष्ठाम विद्धि त्वमेतं निहितं गुहायाम  

                   "Pra Te Braveemi Tadu May Nibodh
                   Swargyam-agnim Nachiketah Prajaanan
                   Anantlokaaptim atho Pratishthaam
                   Viddhi Tvametam Nihitam Guhaayaam"
                                                  (1 - 14 Kathopanishad)

“I will explain it to you well (in detail), Nachiketa, pay attention to me. Learn from me carefully and know about the Agni - the Gyan (knowledge) which leads to Swarg. 
Know it well to attain the Eternal Heaven and to remain in that realm - which is seated / hidden in the cave”. 

Many scholars translate the word ‘Agni’ literally, and talk about some special kind of ancient ritual, sacrificial ‘fire’ used to perform Yagnas in the Vedic period. Translating it literally makes it pertaining to or related to some particular religion and may create doubts and disagreements in the minds of the followers of other religions and atheists. Numerous times, the word Agni has been used as a symbol for Gyan or knowledge in Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and other Scriptures as well. 
Not rituals, but appropriate Gyan or knowledge is what leads to a happy and peaceful life in the outer and inner - physical and psychological worlds. And it is seated / hidden in the ‘Guha’ ‘the cave’. Just as a cave, hidden in the mountains or deep in the earth is not visible from outside, Similarly, this secret Gyan and the blissful state may not be visible from outside. It is seated deep in the cavity of heart or mind; the ‘Chita’ - the ‘sub-conscious’… beyond the dominions of the Conscious mind. 

It is not for a ‘show-off’. 
The ‘Shruti’ says: “The one who says I know- knows not.” 
Unfortunately, now a days, Spirituality has become a fashion, a social event - an entertainment or a thing to show off. Dharam Raj says “it is seated in the hidden cave of Sub-conscious mind”. It has to go beyond the grips of conscious mind.
Until and unless this ‘Fire’ - the Gyan finds its way into the Chita- Subconscious mind and stays seated in the Subconscious, it may not provide tranquility, the Bliss. To achieve such a state, one must practice and strive to remember the Gyan and repeat it often. (which Nachiketa did in the next verse – repeating the instructions he received, back to the Guru) 
There might be another reason for many students and disciples for not being able to achieve that state.  
Dharam Raj, the greatest teacher of the time, says to his worthy student: “Pay attention to me O’ Nachiketa. Listen carefully and know well this Fire - the Gyan, from me- from my mouth.” 

In olden days, the learning was directly between Teacher and student - Guru and disciple…especially the spiritual knowledge. Disciples learnt directly from the Guru’s mouth and cleared their doubts directly from the teacher, the Guru – not from other senior students or monitors or other sources. Unfortunately, now everything is learnt indirectly from other sources, or from the internet or Google- not directly from the Guru. And that makes a big difference.

When I was in high school, our teachers randomly used to pick some students and asked them to repeat what the teacher had just said. We were supposed to memorize the lesson and repeat it next day. 
When we went from high school to college, we learnt that the college teachers are not called ‘teachers’. They are called ‘lecturers’. True to the literal meaning of the word, they simply ‘deliver the lecture’. It’s up to the student whether to pay attention to his lecture or not- understand and grasp the lesson or not… the ‘Lecturers’ were not responsible. 

Unfortunately, the same is happening today with the Spiritual schools also. They have also become institutionalized – established organizations with hierarchies of their own. They simply deliver the prestigious spiritual knowledge in the form of lectures to masses – in groups of hundreds and thousands - or through their representatives. It’s totally up to the disciples and listeners to understand and grasp the Gyan and other instructions on their own. Some may be able to grasp it well and follow, while the others may not. 

Here, Dharam Raj is instructing his disciple directly and strongly: “Listen to me. Pay attention to me. You must know it well and absorb it deep in the cave of your heart – the subconscious mind”. 

Being face to face with his teacher – sitting alone at the feet of the Guru, and being instructed directly and so strongly by the Guru, Nachiketa, the disciple has no other choice than thoroughly paying full attention to his words–to his instructions…and then repeating it back to him.
                                                 ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

To Be Continued……

Note: 
Please disregard few misspellings in the Sanskrit text as I do not have a proper Devanagari (Hindi) font... therefore cannot type Sanskrit words properly at this time.