Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Choose Your Battles Wisely...

An elephant took a bath in a river and was walking on the road. 
When it neared a bridge, it saw a pig fully soaked in mud coming from the opposite direction. The elephant quietly moved to one side, allowed the dirty pig to pass and then continued its onward journey.
The unclean pig later spoke to its friends in arrogance, “See how big I am; even the elephant was afraid of me and moved to one side to let me pass”.
On hearing this, some elephants questioned their friend, the reason for its action. Was it out of fear?
The elephant smiled and replied, “I could have easily crushed the pig under my leg, but I was clean and the pig was very dirty. By crushing it, my leg will become dirty and I wanted to avoid it. Hence, I moved aside.”

This story reveals :
Realized souls will avoid contact with negativity not out of fear, but out of desire to keep away from impurity though they are strong enough to destroy the impurity.
We do not need to react to every opinion, every comment, or every situation.
Kick the drama and keep going ahead on your journey.

Choose your battles wisely... Not everything deserves your time and attention

                                        (Received from: Aashi Ahuja ji)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

क़तरा एवम दरिया Qatra vs Dariya (Drop vs Ocean)

दरिया में यूँ तो होते हैं क़तरे-ही-क़तरे सब
क़तरा वही है जिसमें कि दरिया दिखाई दे

क्यों आइना कहें उसे - पत्थर न क्यों कहें
जिस आइने में अक्स न उनका दिखाई दे

कैसी अजीब शर्त है दीदार के लिये
आँखें जो बंद हों तो वो जलवा दिखाई दे

                                      (कृष्ण बिहारी 'नूर ')


                Qatra vs Dariya (Drop vs Ocean)


Dariya me yoon to hote hain qatray hi qatray sab

Qatraa vahi hai - jis me ki dariya dikhaayi day

Kyon aaina kahen use - pathar na kyon kahen 

Jis aainay me aqs na unka dikhaayi day

Kaisi ajeeb shart hai - deedaar ke liye 

Aankhen jo band hon to vo jalvaa dikhaayi day 

                        By: Krishan Bihari 'Noor' 




Monday, September 18, 2017

Gurmukh Gaaddi Raah Chalaaya

Bhapa Ram Chand ji often used to quote a verse from Bhai Gurdas ji:
“Gurmukh gaaddi raah chalaaya”
The path of the devotee is like a gaddi (train) which runs on the fixed railroad tracks.
It cannot reach to the destination if it falls off its tracks.
Bhapa ji would further explain that the tracks are the guidelines that are written in the Holy Scriptures by those who had found the right path and achieved their goal - The path shown by the saints, Gurus and masters who have already traveled this path and experienced it.
One must stay on the right path and adhere to the guidelines as directed by the Enlightened ones.”

After one such congregation, when he mentioned this verse in his discourse, I respectfully asked:
Bhapa ji! There were no trains or buses during the time period of Bhai Gurdas ji. There were no railroad tracks in those days. How could he give such example?
He smiled and said: Have you ever been to a village or visited a farm?
I said - yes.
“Have you ever noticed two deep and long parallel groves on the dirt road that leads to the village from the main road or into the farms?” He asked.
I said yes Bhapa ji and I always wondered who made them.
He said “no one really made them intentionally. When the ox-driven carts move on these narrow dirt roads over and over everyday, their wheels inevitably create these tracks. Over the period of time, these tracks become so deep and solid that once the driver or owner of the bullock-cart guides the bulls and places the wheels in the tracks, the cart stays in the tracks. The bulls keep moving on the right path on their own - without being guided by the owner.”  
Then he further added - “that is the kind of ‘Gaaddi Raah’- ‘the wagon and the tracks’ Bhai Gurdas ji was talking about - but this example fits perfectly on today’s railroad tracks, which is easier for everyone to understand these days - especially the younger and urban audiences.
             That evening, I understood that the old metaphors - when translated or converted with current technology and today’s life style - could convey the message more properly - in a better way.
It would certainly make more sense to the new generation at least, because it would be easier for them to understand the old concepts if they can relate to them - with the things they know or have seen personally. 

                                     ‘Rajan Sachdeva’


Enter Ye in at the Strait Gate:

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in there at.
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it”
                                                                                       (Matt. 7:13-14)

"And he said unto them: Strive to enter in at the strait gate" (Luke 13:23-24)

                  Enter in at the strait gate:
It means direct approach. No side tracks, no shortcuts.
Unfortunately, most people want shortcuts, and an easy way. 
In every religion, most people think that they can enter into the gates of heaven simply by paying - or serving the Godmen, priests or clerics in some way. That the priests will pray for them or do whatever rituals are needed to be done in order to achieve what they want; including happiness and salvation.
But unlike Religion, Spirituality is personal and individual.
God does not need a mediator – everyone can and should approach Him directly - through the strait gate.

                            And the path is narrow:

The road to salvation is narrow; we can only enter ourselves -individually. No one can accompany us.
Guru Kabeer ji said:
 “Kabeer Mukti duaara sankuraa, raai dasven bhai”
(The gate of Mukti, Moksha or salvation is extremely narrow)

 "Prem gali hai saankari, taame do na smaahin".
(The path is so narrow that two cannot enter together)

So, no one can accompany us - not even ego.
No one can take us there. We have to walk our own path and enter in at the strait gate - following the narrow path that leads to it.

Bhapa Ram Chand ji often used to quote a verse from Bhai Gurdas ji:
“Gurmukh gaaddi raah chalaaya”
The path of the devotee is like a gaddi (train) which runs on the fixed railroad tracks.
It cannot reach to the destination if it falls off its tracks.
Bhapa ji would further explain that the tracks are the guidelines that are written in the Holy Scriptures by those who had found the right path and achieved their goal - The path shown by the saints, Gurus and masters who have already traveled this path and experienced it.
Though, we need the proper guidelines - yet, it’s we who have to do what’s required and walk the path. 
No one else can do it for us.

                                         'Rajan Sachdeva'



Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ik duniya mein sab rehtay hain - Ik duniya sab ke andar hai

Ik duniya mein sab rehtay hain - Ik duniya sab ke andar hai 
Is duniya se miltee jultee - phir bhee is say alag thalag
ik duniya sab ke andar hai 

Is duniya ko apane andar sab chhupaa ke rakhtay hain 
dekh na lay koyi, sab kee nazron se bachaa ke rakhtay hain 

Koyi kitna paas bhee aa jaye - dil mein bhee chaahay samaa jaye 
Phir bhee is duniya pay ham pardaa hee daalay rakhtay hain 

Dartay hain ki andar kay bhaavon ko koyi jaan na lay
Chhupay huye is andar ke maanav ko koyi pehchaan na lay

isi liye ham chehray par koyi nayi naqaab chadhaatay hain 
ik din mein hee dekho kitnay hee chehray badlaatay hain

Andar chaahay nafarat ho baahar se prem jataatay hain 
Andar hai abhimaan, baahar nimrataa dikhlaatay hain 

Kehatay hain kuchh aur zubaan say, dil mein hota hai kuchh aur 
mukh se maangen bhakti, dil mein hai shakti mil jaye aur 

Baahar say dikhtay bharay puray, lekin andar say reetay hain 
Andar aur baahar kee duniya kayi rangon mein jeetay hain 

Auron kee nazron say to ham isay bachaa kay rakhte hain 
Lekin khud bhee apnay andar jaanay se ham dartay hain 

Kabhee jo andar ka maanav apnaa ehsaas dilaata hai 
main bhee hoon, mujhako bhee dekho - ye aavaaz lagaata hai 

Uskee aavaaz dabaane ko ham khud ko aur uljhaatay hain 
Shor badhaa kay baahar ka andar ka shor dabaatay hain 

Dartay hain ki antas hee kaheen aaeena hamen dikhaa na day
Asleeyat jo hai hamaaree - vo tasveer dikhaa na day 

iseeliye ham shaayad kabhee akelay baith nahin paatay
Aur apnay hee andar kee duniya ko dekh nahin paatay

Auron kee ya khud kee nazron say to isay bachaa lengay 
Antaryaamee Prabhu say lekin kaisay isay chhupaa lengay 

Ik duniya mein ham rahatay hain - Ik duniya apnay andar hai 
baahar kay jag se miltee jultee -phir bhee is say alag thalag
Ik duniya apane andar hai 

Antar aur baahar mein choonki farq banaa hee rehtaa hai 
isee liye hee jeevan mein uljhaav sadaa hee rehtaa hai 

Andar aur Baahar kee duniya jis din ik ho jaayegi 
"Rajan" us din hee jeevan mein parm shaanti ho jaayegi

                                                "Rajan sachdev "


इक दुनिया में सब रहते हैं - इक दुनिया सब के अंदर है

इक दुनिया में सब रहते हैं, 
                            इक दुनिया सब के अंदर है 
इस दुनिया से मिलती जुलती, 
फिर भी इस से अलग थलग,
                            इक दुनिया सब के अंदर है 

इस दुनिया को अपने अंदर सब छुपा के रखते हैं 

देख न ले कोई, सब की नज़रों से बचा के रखते हैं 

कोई कितना पास भी आ जाए

दिल में भी चाहे समा जाए 
फिर भी इस दुनिया पे हम परदा ही डाले रखते हैं 

डरते हैं कि अंदर के भावों को कोई जान न ले 

छुपे हुए इस अंदर के मानव को कोई पहचान न ले

इसीलिए हम चेहरे पर कोई नक़ाब चढ़ाते हैं 

इक दिन में ही देखो कितने ही चेहरे बदलाते  हैं

अंदर चाहे नफरत हो बाहर से प्रेम जताते हैं 

अंदर है अभिमान, बाहर नम्रता दिखलाते हैं 

कहते हैं कुछ और ज़ुबां से, दिल में होता है कुछ और 

मुख से माँगें भक्ति, दिल में है शक्ति मिल जाए और 

बाहर से दिखते भरे पुरे, लेकिन अंदर से रीते हैं 

अंदर और बाहर की दुनिया कई रंगों में जीते हैं 

औरों की नज़रों से तो हम इसे बचा के रखते हैं 

लेकिन ख़ुद भी अपने अंदर जाने से हम डरते हैं 

कभी जो अंदर का मानव अपना एहसास दिलाता है 

मैं भी हूँ, मुझको भी देखो, ये आवाज़ लगाता है 

उसकी आवाज़ दबाने को हम खुद को और उलझाते हैं 

शोर बढ़ा के बाहर का अंदर का शोर दबाते हैं 

डरते हैं कि अन्तस् ही कहीं आईना हमें दिखा न दे 

असलीयत जो है हमारी वो तस्वीर दिखा न दे 

इसीलिए हम शायद कभी अकेले बैठ नहीं पाते 

और अपने ही अंदर की दुनिया को देख नहीं पाते

औरों की या खुद की नज़रों से तो इसे बचा लेंगे 
अन्तर्यामी प्रभु से लेकिन कैसे इसे छुपा लेंगे 

इक दुनिया में हम रहते हैं, इक दुनिया अपने अंदर है 

बाहर के जग से मिलती जुलती, 
फिर भी इस से अलग थलग,
                            इक दुनिया अपने अंदर है 

अंतर और बाहर में चूँकि फ़र्क़ बना ही रहता है 

इसीलिए ही जीवन में उलझाव सदा ही रहता है 

 अंदर और बाहर की दुनिया जिस दिन इक हो जाएगी 

"राजन" उस दिन ही जीवन में परम शान्ति हो जाएगी 

                                      "राजन सचदेव " 


Saturday, September 16, 2017

समझदार - बुद्धिमान कुत्ता

एक शाम गिरिधारी लाल अपनी दुकान बन्द कर ही रहा था कि एक कुत्ता अंदर आ गया 
कुत्ते के मुॅंह में एक बैग था जो उसने काउंटर के सामने फर्श पर रख दिया 
गिरिधारी लाल ने कौतूहलवश उस बैग को खोल कर देखा तो उस में सामान की एक लिस्ट और कुछ पैसे रखे थे 
गिरिधारी लाल ने पैसे लेकर लिस्ट में लिखा सामान उस बैग में भर दिया 
कुत्ते ने बैग मुॅंह मे उठाया और चला गया

गिरिधारी लाल आश्चर्यचकित होकर जल्दी से दुकान बंद करके कुत्ते के पीछे पीछे चल पड़ा -
ये देखने के लिए कि इतने समझदार कुत्ते का मालिक कौन है 
कुत्ता बस स्टाॅप पर जाकर खड़ा हो गया -  थोडी देर बाद जब बस आई तो उसमे चढ़ गया 
गिरिधारी लाल  भी उस बस में चढ़ गया
कंडक्टर के पास जाकर कुत्ते ने अपनी गर्दन आगे कर दी - उस के गले के बेल्ट में पैसे और उसका एड्रेस था 
कंडक्टर ने पैसे लेकर टिकट कुत्ते की कॉलर बेल्ट मे रख दिया
अपना स्टाॅप आते ही कुत्ता आगे के दरवाजे पे चला गया और पूॅंछ हिलाकर ड्राइवर को इशारा किया, 
और बस के रुकते ही उतरकर चल दिया 
गिरिधारी लाल भी उसके पीछे हो लिया 
अपने घर पहुँच कर कुत्ता घर के दरवाज़े को अपने पैरों से खटखटाने लगा।
गिरिधारी लाल बड़े आश्चर्य से ये सब देखता रहा   
तभी मालिक ने ग़ुस्से में बड़बड़ाते हुए दरवाजा खोला और पास पड़ा हुआ एक डंडा उठाकर कुत्ते को मारने लगा 
आष्चर्य-चकित गिरिधारी लाल ने आगे बढ़ कर मालिक को रोका 
और पूछा कि वो इतने समझदार कुत्ते को मार क्यों रहा है - जो उसके लिए इतने सारे काम करके आया है ?
मालिक ग़ुस्से में बोला .. "मेरी नींद ख़राब कर दी - साला घर की चाबी साथ लेकर क्यों नहीं गया?

गिरिधारी लाल सोचने लगा कि जीवन की सच्चाई भी यही है .. 
लोगों की अपेक्षाओं (expectations ) का कोई अन्त नहीं है 
आप कितना भी अच्छा कर लो लकिन जहाँ आप चूके वहीं पर लोग आप की बुराई करने लगते हैं 
और पिछली सारी अच्छाईयों को भूल जाते हैं 

इसीलिए भगवद गीता में भगवान कृष्ण कहते हैं कि "निष्काम भाव से अपने कर्म करते चलो"

लोग तो कभी भी आपसे संतुष्ट नहीं होंगे ।।                                  

बात तो तब है​ ​....Baat To Tab Hai

बात तो तब है​ ​कि अपने दिल ​कुछ ​इस तरह मिले ​हों 
घर  मेरा जग​मगा​ उठे ​- ​जब दीप तेरे घर जले ​हों ​ 

​तेरे ​ ​ग़म ​को ​मेरी ​खुशी ​​इस तरह ​से ​​दे सहारा 
किआँख तो​ हो मेरी   -​ ​उसमें ​आंसू​ बहे​ तुम्हारा ​
                                                   (लेखक : अज्ञात )

Baat to tab hai ki apnay dil kuchh is tarah mile hon 
Ghar mera jagmagaa uthay jab deep tere ghar jalay hon 

Tere gham ko meri khushi is tarah say day sahaaraa
Ki aankh to ho meri - us men aansu bahay tumhara 
                                                                 (Writer: unknown)





Friday, September 15, 2017

Be Generous to Give and Open to Receive

As important as it is for us to learn how to give unconditionally, it is also important that we allow others to give to us. A person who refuses to receive love, support, wisdom, or care - can stop the flow of positive energy just as much as someone who doesn’t want to give it. 
On couple of occasions, when I was touring with him, Bhapa Ram Chand ji told me that refusing to accept an unconditional gift or any kind of help or seva from others is also a sign of EGO. By refusing to accept their gesture of love and kindness, we are not only hurting their feelings; their sentiments, but showing our sense of superiority as well. 
Be open to gracefully receiving from others; whether it’s a gift, a compliment or just a friendly advice. 
Giving and receiving – both are integral part of the life. 
With a newly born child, parents are all about giving and loving, and the child is completely at the receiving end. But over a period of time, the roles are reversed. The parents reach at the ‘receiving end’ when they become too old and helpless. This is the time when the children have to take up the role of ‘giving’. Now it’s time for them to become ‘providers and care-takers’. Considering the physical anatomy and capabilities of humans at different stages of life, this seems to be a normal law of the Nature. By understanding and adopting this natural law, we can create a more balanced and energetic lifestyle - by giving generously, and receiving gracefully. And more importantly - knowing ‘when to give and when to receive’.
                                                     
                                                                                       'Rajan Sachdeva' 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

रिक्शा - संत अमर सिंह जी पटियाला

भाई साहिब अमर सिंह जी पटियाला वाले संगत के किसी काम से पैदल कहीं जा रहे थे।
उनके बड़े बेटे हरवन्त सिंह उनके साथ थे।  
" पिताजी, आप रिक्शा कर लो - सिर्फ एक रुपया  खर्च होगा  - इतनी दूर पैदल जाना है, थक जाओगे " हरवंत सिंह ने कहा। 
उस समय सामने एक मशहूर समोसे बनाने वाले की दुकान पर ताज़े समोसे बन रहे थे।  
भाई साहिब अमर सिंह जी ने कहा  "बेटा हरवन्त !  ये जो सामने इतने स्वादिष्ट समोसे बना रहा है, किसका दिल नहीं करता होगा 
कि दो रुपये खर्च करके समोसे खा लिये जायें।  मगर एक गरीब गुरसिख अपना मन मार लेता है, समोसे नहीं खाता।  उस पैसे को 
बचा कर संगत में सतगुरु के चरणों में नमस्कार कर देता है। 
अब ऐसी नमस्कार की माया में से मैं अपने आराम के लिये  एक रुपया भी खर्च करूं तो मेरा दिल कांपता है बेटा।

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Negativity is there But......

No doubt that there is too much negativity in the world around all of us. 
And many a times, we may not be able to see any positivity and goodness in others.

There are times when we wonder, if we ought to still keep trying to be good, when others are not. 
It all seems worthless at times and we ask ourselves: “why do I have to be good all the times?”

I remember Baba Avtar Singh ji used to say that this world never recognizes the saints in their lifetimes. 
Only a handful people see them as saints when they are alive. Others may realize their greatness after these saintly people are long gone.
He used to ask “Do you want your bhakti, devotion and goodness to be seen by the worldly people or God?

So, the question is not “Why and how long we should keep trying to be good?”
The important question to ask ourselves is: Am I trying to follow the path of righteousness and spirituality to achieve moksha or liberation for myself, or to show my virtues to others. Do we want to become kind, generous, compassionate and peaceful by nature - or simply want others to see the goodness and positivity in us?

If it is for others to see, then most people in this world may never see it - no matter how hard, and how long we keep on trying. No one can please everyone in the world.
But if it is for ourselves - for our own good and peace of mind - then we should keep trying until it becomes an integral part of our nature.
Because once the positivity and goodness becomes our nature, we would not be able to think or do otherwise.
We will not have to try …. It would just happen.
                             
                               ‘Rajan Sachdeva’


Vo Humsafar Tha Magar

Vo humsafar tha magar us say hum-navaayi na thi 
ki dhoop chhaaon ka aalam rahaa - judaayi na thi 

Adaavaten thin, taghaaful tha, ranjishen thin magar
bichhadnay vaale me sab kuchh tha - be-wafaayi na thi 

Bichhadtay waqt un aankhon me thi hamaari ghazal
Ghazal bhi vo jo kisi ko kabhi sunaayi na thi 

Kabhi ye haal - ki dono me yakdili thi bahut 
Kabhi ye marhalaa jaise ki aashnaayi na thi 

Mohabbaton ka safar is tarah bhi guzraa tha 
Shiksta-dil thay musaafir, shikast-paayi na thi 

Na apnaa ranj, na auron ka dukh, na tera malaal
Shabe-firaaq kabhi hum nay yoon ganwaayi na thi 

Kisay pukaar raha tha vo doobtaa huaa din 
sadaa to aayi thi lekin koi duhaayi na thi 

Ajeeb hoti hai raah-e-sukhan bhi dekh "Naseer"
Vahaan bhi aa gaye aakhir jahaan rasaayi na thi 

                                                   By:  "Naseer Turabi"


Humsafar                    Companion 
Hum-navaayi             Harmony, understanding, unison conversation 
Aalam                          Situation
Adaavaten                  Enmity, Animosity    
Taghaaful                   Indifference
Ranjishen                   Feelings of anger
Be-wafaayi                 infidelity 
Yak-dili                       Oneness of hearts
Marhalaa                   Moment
Aashnaayi                  Friendship, affectionate relationship
Shikasta-dil                Broken heart, disheartened 
Shikast-paayi            Defeated, 
Ranj                             Sorrow 
Malaal                        Sadness / anger
Shabe-firaaq             Night of separation
Sadaa                          Call
Duhaayi                     Cry for help
Raahe-sukahan         Ways of speech
Rasaayi                       Reach
           Rasaayi na thi   (was out of reach)


वो हमसफ़र था मगर

वो हमसफ़र था मगर -उस से हमनवाई न थी 
कि धूप छाओं का आलम रहा - जुदाई न थी 

अदावतें थीं, तग़ाफ़ुल था, रंजिशें थीं  मगर 
बिछड़ने वाले में सब कुछ था - बेवफ़ाई न थी 

बिछड़ते वक़्त - उन आँखों में थी हमारी ग़ज़ल 
ग़ज़ल भी वो जो किसी को कभी सुनाई न थी 

कभी ये हाल कि दोनों में यकदिली थी बहुत 
कभी ये मरहला जैसे कि आशनाई न थी 

मोहब्बतों का सफ़र इस तरह भी गुज़रा था 
शिकस्ता दिल थे मुसाफ़िर -शिकस्तपाई न थी 

न अपना रंज, न औरों का दुःख, न तेरा मलाल 
शबे फ़िराक़ कभी हमने यूं गंवाई न थी 

किसे पुकार रहा था वो डूबता हुआ दिन 
सदा तो आई थी -लेकिन कोई दुहाई न थी 

अजीब होती है राहे-सुखन भी देख "नसीर"
वहां भी आ गए आखिर जहां रसाई न थी 
                                  "नसीर तुराबी "


हमसफ़र              Companion 
हमनवाई              Harmony, understanding, unison conversation 
आलम                 Situation
अदावतें               Enmity, Animosity    
तग़ाफ़ुल              Indifference
रंजिशें                 Feelings of anger
बेवफ़ाई              infidelity 
यकदिली            Oneness of hearts
मरहला               moment
आशनाई             Friendship, affectionate relationship
शिकस्ता -दिल      Broken heart, disheartened 
शिकस्त पाई        Defeated, 
रंज                      sorrow 
मलाल                 sadness 
शबे फ़िराक़        Night of separation
सदा                    Call
दुहाई                 Cry for help
राहे  सुख़न         Ways of speech
रसाई                 पहुँच , Reach

Thursday, September 7, 2017

सारी दुनिया मैली कर दी

भगवान ने इंसान बनाया 
- इंसान ने हैवान बनाया
जात पात का ज़हर भी घोला 
सब के सर पर चढ़ कर बोला

हिंदू मुस्लिम सिख इसाई
कब थे, किस के भाई भाई ?
इक दूजे की चिता बनाई
इक दूजे को आग लगाई 

नीली झीलें - नीला अम्बर 
लाल क्षितिज - हरी वादियां 
रंग बिरंगे फूल बना कर 
उसने सब की झोली भर दी

और रंग बिरंगी ईंटे लेकर
हम ने दीवारें बनवाईं 
पोत के उन पे धर्म की मिट्टी 
सारी  दुनिया मैली कर दी  

           "डॉक्टर जगदीश सचदेव "

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

We Can Learn From Everyone

I have learned silence from the talkative, 
Toleration from the intolerant, 
and kindness from the unkind; 
yet, strange, 
I am ungrateful to those teachers. 
                                           "Khalil Gibran"


“If I am walking with two other men, 
each of them will serve as my teacher.

I will pick out the good points of the one 
and try to imitate them - 
and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself”. 
[Author Unknown]

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Happy Teacher's Day

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan’s birthday is designated as Teacher’s day in India - to appreciate the vital role that teachers play in shaping our future.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (September 5, 1882- April 17, 1975), first Vice-president and then the President of India from 1962 to 1967, was one of the greatest scholars of Indian and Western philosophies in recent times. He wrote several volumes on Indian philosophies and Vedanta, including commentaries on Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and Brahm Sutras.

In 1962, when Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan began serving as the second president of India, it was suggested that his birthday be celebrated as ‘Radhakrishnan Day”. However, he declined this move and said that “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5 is observed as Teachers’ Day.”

Radhakrishnan was born in 1882 in a town called Tirutani in Andhra Pradesh. Though his father wanted him to take on the role of a priest, the boy’s talents brought him to join schools in Tirupati and Vellore. He eventually joined Christian College, Madras, in order to study philosophy.
He believed that the study of Indian philosophy and its interpretation in western terms would cast off inferiority complex and give his countrymen a new sense of esteem. As a professor at the Presidency College in Madras and the University of Calcutta, he was very popular among students and was seen as an evocative teacher.
He later served as the Vice Chancellor of both Andhra University and Banaras Hindu University and was recognized by Oxford University when he was called to fill the Chair of Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions. In 1939, he was elected ‘Fellow of the British Academy’.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once said “He has served his country in many capacities, but above all, he is a great teacher from whom all of us have learnt much and will continue to learn. It is India’s peculiar privilege to have a great philosopher, a great educationist and a great humanist as her President,”

Radhakrishnan was awarded India’s highest civilian honor, the ‘Bharat Ratna’, in 1984 and the British Order of Merit in 1963.

Despite all his achievements and contributions, Radhakrishnan remained a teacher throughout his life. Teachers’ Day is celebrated - not only to honor the memory of India’s first Vice President and then President – but also to commemorate the importance of teachers in our lives.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Charity Wrapped in Dignity

She saw a fruit cart on the side of the road and asked "How much are you selling these bananas for?"
"Five rupees for each, Madam." The old & feeble fruit seller replied.
"I will take 6 for Rs.25/- or I will leave." She said in a firm voice. 
The old seller replied, "Ok Madam, take them at the price you want because this is the beginning of my day. 
I have not sold anything since the morning yet. May God bless."
She took six bananas for 25 rupees and walked away – feeling proud and victorious as if she had won a big battle. 
She got into her expensive car and went to pick up her friend, to have lunch in a fancy restaurant.
At the restaurant, they looked at the menu and ordered whatever they thought would be good. But they did not finish all the food they had ordered and left a lot in their plates to be wasted.
Then she went to pay the bill at the counter. The bill was for Rs. 1,250. She gave 1,500 rupees to the owner of the restaurant and said: "Keep the change."

It seemed a normal gesture to the owner of the restaurant.
But would it seem fair to the fruit seller?

Why do we always show that we have the power when we buy from the needy and the poor – who works much harder to make his living? And we are generous with those who may not really need our generosity?

I remember a conversation with the son of a rich man who said, "After every visit to his temple, my father used to buy simple ordinary things from the street venders, even though he did not need them. Sometimes he would pay more than the asking price. I used to get concerned by this act, and one day, I asked him about it.
He said: “My son! It’s a charity wrapped with dignity.”

Let’s compare these two stories of social behavior.
The first one is disappointing and the second one is inspiring.
May God enlighten our vision.



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