Inspirational Thoughts: 7/24/2017: Mental Flexibility


Human capacity is limited to the five senses. Every phenomena in this material world is based on tangible proof that can be seen, touched, smelled, heard, tasted or felt. Every idea can only be validated when we have tangible proof using the sensory input. This is true for both religion and science.  In Science there is a hypothesis that needs to be proven, and in religion there is a belief needing a proof.  Science uses various instrumentation to prove or disprove an idea. Religion uses its religious text to prove its point. In either case it utilizes the sensory input to prove or disprove an idea. However the noumenon behind all phenomenon is the cosmic intelligence that cannot be perceived nor proven by any sense perception. What can be seen is this material world is the phenomenon which is temporary, what is beyond sense perception is eternal and permanent. However as humans we cannot conceptualize anything that cannot be perceived and thus we look for a tangible proof in science to prove the existence of a  phenomenon and a perceived miracle in religion to prove the existence of God. Amazingly even those who ridicule idol worship (sense perception) to be a pagan practice are the ones who say that the only way one can achieve God status is if they can resurrect themselves (sense perception). Why is it that humans look for a phenomenon to prove the noumenon? How is this possible????

To understand that which is beyond sense perception requires mental flexibility. It requires the mind to reason beyond human interpretations, and rituals. It requires the mind to step out of the comfort zone. God is not in a book, in a building, nor is God in the name. God is just everywhere and in every phenomenon regardless of the belief system. God cannot be explained using cause-effect or logical reasoning and analysis.

The universe is a vast interconnected system. The tree needs dirt, the dirt needs water, water needs the sun, the sun needs the clouds, clouds need water, the water needs the wind, the wind needs temperature changes, the temperature changes are dependent on the sun. The tides are dependent on the gravitational pull. All these phenomenon just happen on an endless rhythm. There is no switch to turn it on or off, there is no technician to make sure it is working correctly. So how does this all happen? The cosmic intelligence which is the noumenon cannot be seen, touched, felt, heard, smelt, tasted, but is always there keeping the universe alive with or without me, you, religion, science, history, geography, language,…………….. So why then are we constantly trying to disprove each other’s belief systems? Why can’t we just accept that all our beliefs are just that. There is no way of proving the noumenon within this material world. All beliefs are just paths to reach the world beyond sense perceptions. These paths are not to be compared, disregarded, or condemned. Each path to eternity is beautiful. However the souls that walk on these paths pollute them with their egoistic and narcissistic beliefs. If each of us learn to accept each other’s paths and seek the beauty, God will just manifest within and without this material energy that we call universe, galaxy, planet, earth, …………….All that is needed is FAITH to know God, we do not need our senses to BELIEVE in God.

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Inspirational Thoughts: 9/6/2016: 6 Stepping Stones to cross Bhavasagara


Bhavasagara is the ocean of worldly existence that can only be crossed by seeking and knowing the noumenon of cosmic intelligence- God. Humans are naturally drawn to reason and logic. We try to explain every perceived event as a phenomenon. We are so conditioned to understanding the universe using our sense perceptions, that majority of us just fail to understand the noumenon of existence, which is behind every manifested  form in the universe. Thus we minimize the material manifestations of this noumenon using intelligent ideas under the guise of Science.

Due to the lack of ability to perceive beyond our 5 senses we can only perceive good vs. bad. Thus we strive to live a good life to understand God. Doing good and leading a good life is of course very essential, but seeking the true knowledge of God is much more than that.

The path of self-realization is tedious. To cross the ocean of worldly phenomenal existence to the other-worldly being of noumenon is difficult because the ocean of life is very unstable and scary as long as we are attached to our sense perceptions. As God has indicated many times, that 1 in a thousand seeks me and only 1 in a thousand who seeks me knows me. To stay on course there are stepping stones, which is difficult to balance on due to the fierceness of the ocean of life.

The first stepping stone of self-realization is Karma. Every perceived manifestation of the Noumenon in this universe has a purpose as long as it is allowed to exist by the same Noumenon. While fulfilling ones purpose there has to be a balance of action and inaction. As it is said in the Bhagavad Gita- there has to be action in inaction; and inaction in action. Understanding and accepting ones God given purpose is ones Karma. Knowing well that every action or inaction, i.e.Karmic action, creates a series of events that is orchestrated by the Noumenon which is often oblivious to those who depend on sense perceptions solely to understand creation. These series of events as a consequence of 1 action or inaction is the balance of Karma that is created for oneself. So we cycle ourselves through life and death to clear this balance sheet, being unaware that we are driven by a cosmic intelligence with a final goal of realization. Until the internal motivation of  “seek ye’the kingdom of God” is created, the karmic balance will continue to wax and wane. Thus in an attempt to nullify the Karmic Balance humans often turn to religion to understand righteousness or Dharma
Leading a good life is of course a noble life, however there is an obvious drawback to following this path exclusively. By the virtue of being dependent on our sense perceptions, humans may do or say certain things that can be perceived as morally righteous to one, but immoral to the other. The disadvantage of Moral Relativism is inevitable in this pursuit of happiness by just doing the right thing (those who hunt for food, kills an animal, it may be morally righteous for the hunter because he is feeding and taking care of his family, however the animal that was killed suffered in the process, and possibly causing distress to the others in the herd or flock. Humans justify it by the phenomenon of the food chain, and that the act was performed to feed his family which is thus for a noble cause). Thus leading a righteous life or following Dharma, or maintaining the mode of goodness is the second stepping stone in the pursuit of self-realization. Often religion is the basis for understanding Dharma. Just being religious is not sufficient to seek and understand God. Dharma has to be done without any egoistic attachment which only the doer and God is privy to this. Dharma done with egoistic attachment leads to greed, envy, coveting, stealing, and all other deadly sins. This is hard to overcome with just the religious knowledge of Yama-Niyamas (dos and dont’s- the moral code of life)

Religious based dharma or moral/ religious righteousness are often contradictory because we are not able to know God’s message through this phenomenal existence. We have to seek to gain the divine vision and audition to hear the message as intended by God. When left to human interpretation it becomes very convoluted leading to factioned ideas of God. This factioned ideologies lead to different branches within the same religion. This division in the thought process of God creates strife and unrest among humans. The faction is caused because humans just believe in God. To understand God Faith-Bhakti is needed. Faith thus the third stepping stone. Yogananda explains faith or intuitive experience of all truth is present in the soul. It gives birth to human hopes and the desire to achieve, but also hides behind the wall of ignorance. Belief is an imagination of reality without knowing it to be certain. There is an expectation to know for certain at some point of time. So belief in God is expected to become reality for certain sometime in the future. Belief is good as long as there is a desire to realize what you are believing. The realization of the belief materializes only when there is an incentive to persevere towards it.Belief in God has to be time tested to prove its value. Blind faith without perseverance will not bring results. Concentration and Meditation is important to achieve Yoga or the Union with God.Belief converted into experience becomes Faith With Belief and Faith comes wisdom. Seek the boundless wisdom from God’s all-possessing, all-bountiful hands. Then in the valley of humbleness, the fathomless ocean of God’s Wisdom will gather. With faith there is no need to faction the universal God who is ominiscient/ omnipresent/ and omnipotent.

Faith can sometimes waver due to life’s instability. To stay on course and be firm in Faith we need the fourth stepping stone of Strength -Shakti.  This strength is only derived from the Grace of the same God we are seeking to know. Without this strength faith can be very hard to hold on to.

Steady strength is difficult to maintain because being humans we are susceptible to fatigue. Mental fatigue is very easy especially when facing the ups and downs of this worldly existence. The fifth stepping stone is Patience-Saburi. Unless we develop undying patience we can easily fall back into the ocean of worldly existence half way through this rocky journey.

Even with patience God can still stay elusive causing our vision and direction to waver. To stay strong on course the sixth stepping stone is Complete Surrender-Sharanagati. Sharanagati can be achieved by adapting the mindset of “let it be”and “let it go”. Give it all to God, good-bad-and ugly. Unless we surrender all our actions and thoughts to God, we cannot reach our final destination of Self-Realization. A self-realized soul is only full of love and bliss. Nothing in the word can change his mind.

Self-realization is none other than knowing Noumenon God. To know the Noumenon existence of God we need to reach the inner core Sanctum Sanctorum within each manifestation of material existence be it living or non-living. The process of this Cosmic Intelligence that binds this universe which can be explained scientifically using phenomenal ideas. However we can never understand why it exists the way it does. Only the existence of God beyond sensory perception can explain why the world exists and why it changes with time.

 

 

Inspirational Thoughts 3/20/16: Yoga


God is the Universal Spirit and the Cosmic Intelligence that creates endless shapes and forms to be appreciated and perceived. The irony is one cannot perceive or appreciate their own form or shape. It can only be revealed through another material medium via reflection. Without the power of reflection one would have no idea of their own material self as perceived by others who can see it. This paradox where we can perceive everything except our own self attests to the fact that we can only realize our true self through intuitive knowledge.

The true self is the inner spirit within us which projects out as our material shape and form in order to be perceived and appreciated by the sense organs. The spirit of God can only be appreciated and perceived in the material world through our sensory inputs and motor outputs. As material beings we can only gauge this universe by what we see, hear, smell, taste, feel and proprioception (The unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself).

The spirit of God is infused into the entire contents of the universe. The universe is a a large mirror which reflects the variety of shapes and forms of God’s creation through the material world. Everything we know about the material world through out senses is thus God Incarnate. We ourselves are God Incarnate by the virtue of being materialized through the spirit. However the lack of intuition to know our true self or realize the spirit of God within us makes us mortal souls in the universe being bound by our senses.

Thus as material sentient beings we are created in the IMAGE OF GOD reflected via the universal mirror of the universe. The material world is the medium through which we can perceive God through our senses.  The infusion of Spirit of God within us can only be realized through the Union of our inner true self which is the Spirit of God within,  with the Universal Cosmic Spirit without. This Union with the Cosmic Intelligence of the Universe is the true meaning of YOGA.

The Cosmic Intelligence is formless (Nirakara), without qualities (Nirguna), and without attributes (Nirvishesha). Thus to know the Cosmic energy behind this material expression we need to use our intuitive skills beyond our shape, form, attributes, and qualities. Although we have to know that God is beyond the material manifest, we have to acknowledge the presence of God in the manifest universe. Based on this knowledge we have to develop the knowledge of presence of God everywhere and in everything. Only through this knowledge can we develop universal LOVE for one and all equally without discrimination.

Inspirational Thoughts 3/20/2016: Yoga as Narrated by God

 

 

 

Inspirational Thoughts 10/11/2015: History Repeats


We often say that the only thing constant is change. We also say that more things change more they stay the same. Although seemingly contradictory, they are both equally true. Nature is constantly changing. The cycle of life is constant. Everyday nature evolves into more viable species, while some others become extinct because of inability to sustain their kind while life and death remains constant.

Nature’s topography is changing everyday. Natural and unnatural forces constantly trigger and foster these changes. Hurricanes, volcanoes, blizzards, avalanches, floods, nuclear bombs, radiation, deforestation, wars, etc can all change our external environment permanently. While these forces seemingly remove any trace of life in that area, eventually new life sprouts with time. The loss and change is soon forgotten. Nature embraces and accepts these changes graciously. The fight for survival is only at the moment of the calamity. Flora and fauna that perish eventually rejuvenate without lamenting the past losses (Chernobyl or in the volcanic islands in Hawaii). Nature works tirelessly there to regain lost grounds with increased lushness. Moving forward without being stuck in the past.

On the other hand humans with a higher level of consciousness and conscience often get caught in past. The despair over the losses is so over powering that moving forward is just not possible. The fear of the unknown keeps us stuck to the past. The fear of change keeps us from moving forward. We in our infinite abilities and capabilities are unable to accept change because we inherently seek stability in life. We are not able to accept and embrace change graciously just as well as nature around us. Any action and inaction that result from this resistance stems out of fear is often self-preserving at the cost of others peril. This human nature has not changed since the history of mankind.

Mahabharata and Ramayana. are 2 ancient Sanskrit epics of ancient India. They contain a conglomerate of stories of human behaviors based on a set of main characters. It was aimed to help mankind live a full life while pursuing the four goals* by the morals and lessons provided in these stories. Both epics emphasized the idea of divine intervention in everyday events. However the stories themselves were intended to illustrate the basic fact that every action or inaction, seemingly good or bad, has a consequence that can follow the doer for a long time. Times have changed, external appearances have changed, however these stories illustrate that basic human nature has not changed. Actions of impulsivity, greed, avarice, power, lie, deceit, oppression, lust, coveting, envy etc have remained the same. The cycle of life, diurnal rhythm, seasonal cycles, etc have remained the same, but the flora and fauna have changed.  The world outside has changed, but the humans internally have stagnated.

Repeating History since ancient times:

Teen Pregnancy: Kunti- Queen Mother of the Pandavas in Mahabharata accidentally bore Karna. Afraid of being an unwed mother, she placed the baby in a basket and set him afloat on a river. This impulsive action haunted her later when she was unable to save her son in the deadly war of Kurukshetra. It was too late when she realized that Karna was her own son. At that time Karna was not prepared to join the Pandava camp due to his own internal conflicts. Eventually Karna was killed in the war by his own brother. Consequence of Kunti’s innocent action was so grave that even God could not save Karna’s death.

Gambling: Yudhishtra the oldest Pandava son was the most honest and just human but gambling was his greatest weakness. Yudhisthira succumbed to a challenge in the game of dice by his cousins the Kauravas. He gambled his kingdom, and even his wife in the end. He lost all his kingdom in the game and was forced into exile for 13 years, which included one year in anonymity. Fortunately his wife was saved from disgrace of Kaurava atrocity because of her undying love for God and invoked his protection.

Blind love: Gandhari was the Queen Mother of the Kauravas in Mahabharata. Gandhari’s major flaw was her love for her sons, especially her first-born, Duryodhana, which often blinded her to his flaws. She was never able to reprimand him for any of his atrocities including lying, deceit, cheating, even his attempt to rape his cousin’s wife Draupadi. Her love made him into a monster. Blinded by her love, she was never able to advice him about Dharma (righteousness and moral ethics). This later cost his life in the war where he was left powerless by God’s powers. Duryodhana and most of his brothers are not seen on the same level as the Pandavas in their adherence to virtue, duty, and respect for elders

Corruption of Power and vengeance: Duryodhana had become so blinded by the money and power he amassed in the gambling game that he was unable to see the light of truth. He had started to feel invincible. He was focused on taking his revenge and destroying the Pandavas his cousins, because he was not the crown prince to the thrown which he believed to be rightfully the next heir. After he won in the gambling game, Duryodhana encouraged his brother Dushasana to drag Draupadi into the court because he claimed that she was Duryodhana’s property after Yudhisthira had gambled everything away to him. Corrupted by power and money he justified his actions.

Coveting:  Ravana is the primary antagonist in the Hindu epic Ramayana. a great scholar, a capable ruler and a musician. His ten heads symbolically represent his knowledge of the six shastras and the four Vedas. Despite his accomplishments he invited his demise because he kidnapped Rama‘s wife Sita to exact vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister Surpanakha.

Lusting: Surpanakha is the considered the catalyst of the chain of events leading directly to her brother’s demise in the Battle of Lanka. She was so enamored by Lakshmana- Rama’s brother. She kept pursuing him despite his many attempts to discourage her. Lakshmana was a married man and loyal to his wife and had no interest in another woman. Surpanakha blind and lustful pursuit cost her nose.

Weakness of mind, jealousy, envy: In the Epic Ramayana Kaikeyi was one of King Dasharatha’s three queen-wives and a Queen of Ayodhyā. Dasharata  selected Rama to be crowned King, Kaikeyi was delighted and as happy as she would have been had it been her own son, Bharata’s, coronation. However, Manthara her aide, worried that Kaikeyi would lose her status as Chief Queen at Court if Rama ascended the throne decided to instigate trouble. She fueled Kaikeyi’s dormant jealousy. Finally, Kaikeyi’s ardent desire motivated her to demand Dasharatha to make her son Bharata as the crown prince. To ensure that Rama would be no threat to her son Bharata, Kaikeyi further demanded the exile of Rama from Ayodhya for 14 long years. But Kaikeyī’s desire never bore fruit. After sending his son into exile, a grief-stricken Dasaratha died of a broken heart six days after Rama left Ayodhya. She came to blame herself for this death. Furthermore, Bharata swore never to ascend the throne as it was his older brother’s birth right. He further blamed her for his father’s death and is said never to have addressed her as “mother” again. Realising her mistake, Kaikeyi repented for sending her most beloved son away for 14 years. After Rama’s return, she apologized him for her sin. Rama touched her feet her and insisted Bharata to forgive his mother.

There are thousands of such stories around the world of human foibles and weaknesses. All of these stories indicate that humans have always been subject to such sins. The only way to overcome it is by changing ones behavior internally. It is easy to change the external environment in the hope of improving behavior (abstinence versus promoting birth control in teens, compassion versus promoting gun control, love versus promoting religious wars, universal spirituality versus promoting secularism). These changes can only be effective if humans learn to fill their internal voids of insecurity. The fear of loss of what they have or fear of change of the life as they know it triggers the basic sins of life. Focusing on something larger than themselves, accepting their circumstances graciously, not being self-indulgent, not lamenting over their loses and moving on in the hope of building a stronger self is essential for self-improvement and promoting a morally strong and loving society.

 

 

(*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puru%E1%B9%A3%C4%81rthaPuruṣārtha (pronunciation: /pʊrʊʃɑːrθ/, Sanskrit पुरुषार्थ) literally means an “object of human pursuit”.[1] It is a key concept in Hinduism, and refers to the four proper goals or aims of a human life. The four puruṣārthas are Dharma (righteousness, moral values), Artha (prosperity, economic values), Kāma (pleasure, love, psychological values) and Mokṣa (liberation, spiritual values).[2][3]All four Purusarthas are important, but in cases of conflict, Dharma is considered more important than Artha or Kama in Hindu philosophy.[4][5] Moksha is considered the ultimate ideal of human life.[6]Historical Indian scholars recognized and debated the inherent tension between active pursuit of wealth (Artha purusartha) and pleasure (Kama), and renunciation of all wealth and pleasure for the sake of spiritual liberation (Moksha). They proposed “action with renunciation” or “craving-free, dharma-driven action”, also called Nishkam Karma as a possible solution to the tension.[7][8])

 

Inspirational Thoughts 10/7/15: Universal Spirituality


Hitler’s obsession to promote an Aryan world, resulted in mass murder of innocent lives based on religion.

Gang rape in 2012 in New Delhi India. The young girl died a miserable death being overpowered by strength.

The Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 ending innocent lives before their time based on lack of adequate defenses.

The Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 killing many aspiring young hearts due to helplessness and lack of defenses.

The mob killing in 2015 in India because of a rumor that the man had consumed beef, based on religious differences.

The mob riots in Baltimore in 2015 because the police arrested and apparently killed him based on color differences.

Cleveland kidnapper arrest in 2013 after ruining the lives of 3 young girls and their families because of misplaced trust and familiarity

In all of the above cases the only common factor is the involvement of a deranged human who has lost perspective of humanity, compassion, and love.

The common public outcry to resolve these situations in the world is usually directed towards the Government to do something about that. After all Government is by the people, for the people, and of the people. The people elected in the government are the individuals in the society. The individuals have to make internal changes to bring about external harmony including changes to the Government to truly represent we the people.

We have to promote equality not from external appearances, or socioeconomic status, religion, health, color, caste, etc. We have to truly promote the idea that everyone is created equally in the eyes of God. If we have to make a difference we should be turning towards our religions and demanding universal spirituality through religious freedom rather than promoting religious factions through identity and superiority.

Every religion in the end has to eventually preach universal spirituality based on the fact that there is 1 creator and creation is just an extension of this universal creator. Under the external appearance of religious label, color, race, culture, creed, caste, we all have the same organs that function exactly the same. If religions do not base their message on this basic fact we can never promote harmony. Self-control, love, and compassion can only come from acceptance and embracing external superficial differences. Every life on earth is sacred and special.
Crimes have always existed since the history of mankind. Every civilization has stories of atrocities and oppression. Deranged minds succumbing to lust, greed, avarice, anger, attachment and delusions, hubris, arrogance, envy, impulsivity, etc. For these minds anything in their external environment can become an easy weapon to use to serve their own needs. The answer definitely is not external controls like gun bans. All crimes and wars are instigated by deranged people using a variety of tools to further their purpose. Secularism is not the answer. Promoting universal spirituality is the only way to make a difference in the world.

Inspirational Thoughts 10/3/205: Know when to walk away


A couple weeks ago my family and I were discussing religion and spirituality. One of the conversation points was that if we all followed Jesus and ‘turned the other cheek’, there would eventually be world peace. At the moment it sounded like a sound suggestion, although we all agreed that it is not human nature to be able to do that consistently. The dilemma is what is one to do when innocent lives are at stake. Rapists, oppressive dictators, terrorists, thugs, cheats, and many others that disrupt the overall mental balance of a peaceful free society.  Would turning the other cheek be the solution to regaining balance.

After all Mother Mary did watch her Son being crucified. Was that with total helplessness or was that because she wanted to turn the other cheek? Other than making of a new religion was peace ever established in that holy land. 2000 years later chaos prevails. The difference is 2000 years ago there was only 1 major religion dominating the land, now there are 3. Has that holy land ever experienced true peace?

In India’s Vedic tradition, the students in the *Gurukulam* were taught how to live life fully using parables and fables. One of the stories was about 4 very intelligent scholars and 1 ignoramus. The 4 scholars were very book wise and also knew how to take rebuild the bones of a dead animal back to life. On one of their many travels through the jungles they found bones of a lion. The 4 arrogant scholars decided to revive the animal. The ignoramus was petrified and warned them of the ramifications. However the 4 scholars did not heed to his warning and went on to build the animal. The ignoramus climbed up a tree and waited. As expected the 4 scholars did not live to see their talent. The Guru would conclude saying just book knowledge is not enough, common sense and intuitive thinking is of greater value in living life.

The point of this fable is religion has many guidelines for moral, ethical, and peaceful living. However using the doctrines without the use of God granted common sense, and intuitive thinking are just useless and sometimes very dangerous.

As Tevye said in Fiddler on the Roof, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will leave the whole world toothless and blind. Could it be possible that Jesus advised his followers to turn the other cheek because at that time of his life there was a general mind set of- ‘eye for an eye’ and ‘tooth for a tooth’? Jesus also said, “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.” as well as, “Love thy neighbor”. Possibly turn the other cheek is most effective when the other 2 moral codes are in place.

In Ramayana- India’s great epic written by Sage Valmiki, King Rama turned the other cheek and agreed to give up his kingdom go into exile for 14 years when was the crown prince to honor his father’s promise to his step mother Queen Kaikai. During the exile, his wife Sita was kidnapped by King Ravana of Lanka. At that time he was determined to fight evil and rescue his wife. Again after he became the crowned king following the completion of his exile, he did send his wife Queen Sita into exile because one of his subjects of the land doubted her purity having been in Ravana’s possession for so many years before she was rescued. Here again he turned the other cheek to keep the peace of the land and avoid controversy.

in Mahabharata- India’s other epic written by Sage Vyasa, Krishna once left the battle field to avoid blood shed. He pardoned his cousin’s atrocities 100 times before he finally decided to kill him. He was the main player in the battle of Kurukshetra where he asked his faithful follower Arjuna to fight his very unjust and immoral cousins to preserve the morality and peace on the land at that time.

Common sense and intuition dictates that moral values and peace will prevail in the society where there is a commune of saints or ‘Satsang’ in Sanskrit, meaning- company with an assembly of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the truth (wikipedia). When there is a threat to this congregation, it behooves us to take action. Action can be in many phases. It does not always have to be war. During the same discussion at home earlier about religion, there was a conversation about what one needs to do when the member of the church is disrupting the general calm of the congregation. First the disruptive person has to be spoken to privately with love about his behavior and encouraged to change his ways. However if this does not work more people from the congregation will be asked to talk to him with love. If after many attempts of avoiding chaos to the general peace, finally the member will be asked to leave. Asking a member from a smaller congregation to leave, and fighting a war to get rid of those who are creating general world chaos is essentially same. Just the proportion of action is different. **The Sama, dana, bheda, danda approach**.

While turning the other cheek is a non-violent approach to peace through avoidance, there will be times when removing a disruptive element from society through force is necessary. May be instead of ‘eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth’ which is a form of ‘offence-defence’ strategy,  the better way of preserving peace, morality, and love of the land, would be through ‘avoid and assert’ principle.

*(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurukula: Gurukula or gurukul (Sanskrit: गुरुकुल) is a type of school in India, residential in nature, with pupils (shishya) living near the guru, often within the same house.[1] Prior to British rule, they served as South Asia‘s primary educational institution. The guru-shishya tradition (parampara) is a hallowed one in Hinduism and appears in other religious groups in India, such as Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. The word gurukula is a contraction of the Sanskrit guru (teacher or master) and kula (extended family).

**( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C4%81ma,_D%C4%81na,_Bheda,_Danda: Sāma, Dāna, Danda, Bheda is a method of persuasion used by Hindu Kshatriyas. This is a political methodology to approach a given situation. Start with conciliation or gentle persuasion ( Sāma – Respect ). If that does not help, give something ( Dāna – Gift, bribery ). If that still does not change the status quo, divide the enemies or create division among them ( Bheda – Division ). Use force ( Danda – Punishment ) to resolve the situation where the previous three fail. In addition to it, the use of illusions or deceit (Māya), deliberately ignoring people (Upeksha), use of jugglery (Indrajālā) are also suggested to resolve any situation. Chanakya recommended these seven strategies to Chandragupta Maurya in dealing with his neighboring powers.[1]

In the context of Mahabharata, finally it was decided by the well-wishers of the Pandavas that the three earlier methods could not succeed, though they attempted their best in the pursuance of these policies. War took place, by mysterious maneuvers and divine interventions of various types.

Pandavas won the war because they had completely and fully surrendered the outcome of the war to the will of GOD, they were merely acting upon God’s will to end evil on earth of those times.)

Inspirational Thoughts 9/20/2015: Homeostasis


Everything in the universe is seeking internal stability. The world exists in its quest to maintain this stability. Thus as we say the pendulum always swings back, fashion, moral values, culture, history, etc, have all swung back and forth and come back to some semblance of previous state. However our world is always in a state of flux and change is constant, so it is impossible to go back to the exact point where the pendulum had swung from. So the new cycle starts all over again.

Every time forces of nature senses some kind of degradation or threat to the stability there is a compelling force to stabilize it with an equal and opposite reaction to maintain the internal stability. However in doing so it may push it to another extreme where there is again another sense of instability. Although the universe and its forces are all trying to attain this internal stability, it is not possible to maintain it for a long time because of the constant change which automatically destabilizes it. The weather can only remain nice and pleasant for so long, but it cannot be maintained because there are other destabilizing forces such as wind, rain, sun, day, night, etc. Similarly the we can only be happy and content with the latest gadget we bought because market changes will have another better gadget which will become more enticing. The thought of wanting the latest gadget becomes the source for instability.

Change is a domino effect. One change effects another, and thus it is almost impossible to revert back in time even if one would like it so. The constant change and the need for stability is what keeps the earth alive. Maintaining the stability is impossible, however if this is reached at any point of time, existence will seize because changes in the forces of nature will also seize at that point of time.

The pendulum keeps shifting from one extreme to another. From evil-virtue, good-bad, wealthy-poor, black-white,  oppression-downtrodden, etc. This oscillation from one extreme to another is triggered by lust, anger, greed, jealousy, attachment, coveting along with insolence and indolence.These are the forces of human nature that keep the society in a state of flux and destabilize the short periods of stability. Where there is too much wealth, jealousy and greed takes over and coveting happens. This leads to anger due to the attachment, which degrades the ‘overall goodness’ to retaliate and this changes the good to evil if the anger continues. Too much oppression will trigger anger and the downtrodden will rise up to become rebels. The forces will eventually swing back to goodness or wealth when evil and poverty prevails and the forces of nature will push back to regain stability.

Humans can overcome this instability only by making internal changes. The concept of world peace can be achieved only by creating internal harmony within each soul. This internal stability, harmony, or balance is Sattva. The neutral state of internal being where the world is not viewed from extreme points of view. The diversity of the society is accepted without judgment. This Sattvik nature is the balance between the Tamasic and Rajasic natures (indolence and insolence). The Sattvik person is not emotionally riled up in any circumstance yet acts when there is a need to take action and rests when there is a need for it. To attain this homeostasis of sattvik nature one has to ground self equally in Faith, Tolerance-Strength, Patience, and Moral-Ethical way of life (Bhakti, Shakti, Saburi, and Dharma).

Existence as we know it is just a very small piece of the big picture. Nobody knows whence we have come from and where we are going to. The only saving grace is our faith in the divine. From divine love comes universal love. Where there is universal love there is no judgement. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the same divinity. Where there is no judgment there is strength to tolerate everything. Yet from the same divine love comes the drive to strive to follow the moral-ethical path every moment of life.

Inspirational Thoughts 5/15/2015: Balance


I was pondering an intriguing presentation by Cesar Milan- the ‘Dog Whisperer’. He said that there are 3 types of people- the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual kinds. He said dogs are instinctual.

I realized that in fact humans do belong to one of the 4 categories. The emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and instinctual. Some are attached to the worldly pleasure (the Bhogi) and some are liberated from this attachment (the Yogi).

The Bhogis: They stay bonded to this life. They look for good-bad; evil-divine; ugly-beautiful etc.

The Emotional types succumb to anger; depression, jealousy, lust, greed, coveting, fear, etc. due to attachment to the pleasures of life

The Spiritual types succumb to blaming God for all their miseries, or eventually stop being believers

The Intellectual types look for answers in books. They read voraciously, they have amazing memory for facts, and continue to search for the truth endlessly with no answer. They look for logic and reason in everything. If logic and reason cannot be applied they call in coincidence.

The instinctual kinds completely succumb to fulfilling their physical/ bodily needs- hunger, thirst, sex, sleep, excretion, and aimless activity

The Yogi: They are liberated from the bondage of life. There is no polarity of thoughts, everything neutral to stay balanced.

The emotional types recognize their unhealthy emotions. Through Sattva- through neutral balanced emotions that promote love not indifference, they realize that these reactions only bind the human to their own egos and keeps them bound to the worldly miseries. Realizing the more they surrender these unhealthy emotions closer they are to liberation and freedom which in and of itself is finding the truth.

The Spiritual types recognize that God is not an external entity granting or denying wishes as a King. Through Bhakti -Faith, they know that divinity is within and without. The will of the divine always exists. Surrendering their will to the will of divine liberates them from the bondage of the world. ‘Thy Will will be done to eventually find the truth.

The Intellectual types are those who realize all books are just opinions of other humans who too are in the quest of the truth. Through Shakti- Strength, they overpower their intellectual ego. They realize there are no coincidences, it is all orchestrated. They make divine will their own will, and thus do not feel out of control, and eventually attain liberation, and find the ultimate truth.

The Instinctual types realize that instead of being bound to the physical body instinctively, it is better to be bound to the divine soul within intuitively. Through Dharma-Righteousness, their Intuitive knowledge binds them to inner sixth sense which liberates them from the bondage of the physical body, to ultimately find the truth.

Dharma, Sattva, Bhakti, Shakti are paths to seek the same truth. There is no age limitation to seek the truth. India has stories of young children seeking the truth and finding liberation.

BhaktaPrahalad’s story is a fine example of story of Shakti to attain liberation

Nachiketa’s story is an example of  story of Dharma to attain liberation

Shankaracharya’s story is a good account of Sattva to attain true knowledge

Dhruva’s story is a great example of Bhakti to attain liberation or Moksha.

Self-realization can be achieved through Yoga of living. Mindfulness and Self-Control can be achieved through meditation and use of Yoga postures/ asanas. Eventually one realizes that freedom and liberation from this ocean of life is God as well as bondage to this life is also God. Sometimes God promotes extreme bondage to help you seek liberation by willingly letting go of his attachment to be liberated which is also orchestrated by the same Universal God. A true Yogi is one who is able to enjoy the worldly pleasures while staying liberated from the attachment to them.

Inspirational Thoughts 5/3/2014: Conversion


I was thinking about my grandfather today. He passed away when I was about 7 or 8 years old. Although my personal memories of him are vague and few, he has been kept alive and well with tales of his glory by all his children. He was so loved by them that he could do no wrong. The stories of his generosity are many. He was willing to give his shirt off his back for someone in need, even though he faced financial hardships all his life. The family was large with 7 children and my grandparents. Providing food, clothing, and shelter for all was somewhat an ordeal.

Following British invasion into India, missionary work became very common. Conversion to Christianity was a common occurrence too. Tales of conversion of many village and tribal communities in rural India is well-known. Tribal culture in India at that time was primitive and raw. Village culture was mostly uneducated agrarian culture. While the tribes did not necessarily conform to any religion and poverty in rural India was rampant, these communities were easy targets for conversion into organized religion. India with the largest democracy in the world provided a safe haven for missionary work. Missionaries seemed to be more focused on the quantity of conversions rather than quality of conversions. Tales of petty bribery such as a sack of rice, to coerce people into Christianity are numerous.

My grandfather was a French Teacher. He worked in a Christian Missionary school. They were very aware of his financial hardships. Although he had served many years in the school as a respectable teacher he was denied a pension package because he declined to convert into Christianity. They had presented him with a good pension package with a caveat that he would follow and convert into Christianity. My grandfather was not willing to succumb to bribery, even though that was his ticket to financial stability. He later passed away at a relatively young age of a heart attack, possibly because of life stressors including financial burdens.

This story often touches my heart and I wonder if denying pension on the basis of religious label was a Godly action. My grandfather was certainly a very Godly person. He believed in sacrifice. His extreme generosity was known to friends and family. He imparted great moral values. In fact if one looked at the ten commandments he fulfilled every one of those Godly characteristics without a doubt. Why then was he not considered a Godly person in his school? Was the label so important, that they forgot to recognize a true child of God? When God asked his word to be spread, did he ask for quantity or quality? If he asked for quality, then did the Principal of the school have to answer to God because he dismissed a soul who was already on the path of God?

What then truly is the meaning of Conversion? It does not seem as though converting the label is the purpose of conversion. The intent of conversion should be to set a strong example of Godliness within one’s life, that those around us will imbibe the actions and follow the steps of Godliness with reverence. The purpose of conversion should be to convert the non-believers to believers, to help the prodigal souls to return to their father, to be a GPS for those who have wandered out of the path of Godliness, and to enlighten those who have embraced worldliness without Godliness. Changing a label does not necessarily change these traits. One can change these traits without changing the label.

Religion is a path to self-realization. Self-realization is the goal of every soul. A self-realized person will not see the need to discriminate between black and white.  They will realize the same God in all regardless of the label attached to them. It will not matter if there are more Jewish people or fewer Hindus in the world. Every religion which is the path of Godliness has the same message of self-realization. Every religion has the same innate message of seeking God as the ultimate purpose of life. So instead of focusing on increasing the total numbers of your religious path, would it not be more Godly to encourage more to become believers through example.

That is,…. that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, God, Sai Baba, and many others would agree and would embrace all regardless of the label they are attached to as long as they are seeking God. Everyone is seeking the same God through different means. All paths of Godliness lead to God.

Only one in a thousand who seek God know him, so let us put more effort in knowing God rather than putting time and effort into converting names and labels.

The one who walks on the path of righteousness with faith and belief finds God, but the one who communes with the universal spirit, beyond the boundaries of space and time knows God (temple, mosque, synagogue, church, monastery, etc)

Let there be light everywhere!!!