Friday, 23 October 2009
Friday, 16 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Shyama Charan cried and cried. He did not want to go. His Master consoled him and said, No, you have to do something most special for God while staying with your family and leading the life of a householder. But I assure you, whenever you are in need of me, just invoke me, and I shall come to see you and bless you.
With a heavy heart, Shyama Charan left for home. On his way, he stayed for two or three days at the home of some of his friends. His friends said to him, Do you believe in occult power or spiritual power? We don't believe in it. There was a time when Indian sadhus had occult power, but now those days are gone. People who claim that they have occult powers are all fakes.
Shyama Charan said, What do you mean? I have just been initiated by a great spiritual Master. I know how much occult power he has.
His friends did not believe him, so he said, If you don't believe me, I can prove it. You just leave this room, allow me to meditate for a few minutes and I assure you my Master will come here.
Lahiri's friends had no faith in occult power, but they were all curious, so they left. When his friends left the room, he invoked his Master most soulfully. In fifteen minutes time Babaji came into the room in his subtle body, and then he assumed his physical body.
Shyama Charan was overjoyed to see his Master inside the room, but Babaji scolded and insulted him mercilessly. He said, Look at your audacity! I came from such a great distance, only to please your curiosity and to challenge your atheist friends. I warn you, I will never, never do this kind of thing again. I told you that whenever you invoke me I shall come, but I am revoking my promise to you. Now I wish to say that whenever I want to see you, only then shall I come to you, wherever you are.
Shyama Charan cried and cried for forgiveness. Babaji said, I have forgiven you, but never invoke me any more to display my occult power or to display your devotion. Only when I feel the need shall I come to see you. In the inner world you can invoke me, you can feel my presence, but I dont want to show my physical presence this way any more.
Shyama Charan bowed down to Babaji and said, Now that you have come, O Master, out of your infinite Compassion, please, please give me a boon.
What is your boon? Babaji asked.
I want my friends to come and see you, said Shyama Charan, so that they will believe in your occult power.
The Master laughed at him, saying, Yes, and also in your invocation-power. Go and tell them to come.
Shyama Charan opened the door and his friends came in. They were so surprised to see a sadhu with long hair and a long beard seated in a lotus position. Babaji did not talk to them, but he smiled at everyone and everybody bowed down to him. Shyama Charan brought some food for the Master and the Master ate in front of them. Then Babaji asked everyone to leave for a few minutes. When they returned, he had disappeared.
The display of occult power or spiritual power,does not lead one to the path of wisdom.It only increases your ego which you are trying to shred along the way. Miracle-power does not and cannot change humanity's face. Humanity's face can be transformed only by inner awakening, inner dedication and surrender to God. Curiosity is not spirituality. An inner awakening is the only true spirituality which God appreciates lovingly, compassionately and unreservedly. For God's universal Oneness, universal Love, one should look into one's self and stop pleasing others or try to change their ways.Each one has a different path for the same destination and one should find it on their own. gurus are like the walking stick they are not the vehicles for transporting you into eternity.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
One's soul takes several births to fulfill its wishes and to reach its goal.We always look at the smaller picture and think that is it but the soul is in search of its eternity and by our actions we should help the soul to reach its goal if we deviate from its path the soul is in a mournful mood and thus leading us into falsehood.
Saturday, 10 October 2009
I was writing about the great masters in my other blog,then something inside me said that I had to share it with the readers who have already the knowledge of kriya yoga. It is my duty to put forth these stories of the great masters and the lesson that we could learn from them.I have often admired the simplicity and their humility.such great souls are admist us today and they will remain with us forever.Hope you also feel the tranquility that I feel while knowing about such great masters.I have read alot of Maharishi Lahiri and one incident which fascinates me even now is the photographic incident.Here it is for the benefit of the readers.
Shyama Charan Lahiri was dead against anyones taking a photograph of him. But since his intimate students were repeatedly requesting permission to take his photograph, he once agreed. The students called in a photographer, and like a child the Master asked him questions. The photographer was deeply honoured, so he taught the Master the ABCs of photography.
But when it was time for the Masters picture to be taken, the photographer could not see him in the viewfinder. He aimed the camera at the Master, but the Master was not visible. When he focused on others, he saw them perfectly, but when he focused on Shyama Charan, there was nothing visible at all.
Finally the frustrated photographer said to the Master, It is impossible. I cant take your picture. I dont know what you are doing.
The Master smiled and said, All right, I shall behave myself. Now you can take it. This time when the photographer looked through the viewfinder, Shyama Charan Lahiri was clearly visible, so he snapped the picture. Then Shyama Charan Lahiri said to him, Spirituality and spiritual power far surpass modern science. Just have faith in the Real, which is spirituality.
That particular picture is an immortal picture, the most authentic and the highest picture taken of the Master. His students now worship in front of that picture.
Some spiritual Masters are not in favour of taking a photograph. They feel that since the body-reality is so transient, why pay any attention to it? There are other Masters who are of the opinion that a photograph does not represent a mere object, but can serve as an inspirational force and an elevating and illumining experience. These Masters feel the supreme necessity of seeing the highest reality inside the body-reality first, and then transforming the body-reality into the souls universal mission and transcendental vision. According to them, a photograph is not a mere piece of paper reflecting an outer face or appearance; it is an illumining revelation of what one inwardly is.
There are those who think the achievements of the world, in the world, are useless, and the world itself is useless, for it is unreal; therefore, they do not want to leave behind anything when they enter into the other world. But those who think of the world as the field of God-manifestation will strive to leave behind a transformed life and revelations of an immortal soul. Both parties are equally correct in their respective approaches to reality, according to the depth and height of their own realisation.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Diwali Laxmi Puja has a very simple procedure and the material required for pooja is also very easy to get for people of any economic status. Here is the list of material or accessories needed for Lakshmi Puja.
Silver coins or Gold coins or rupee coins
Suparis – 10 (betel nuts)
Akshata (consecrated rice)
Betel leaves (paan leaves) – 10
Coconut – 1 or more
A bronze pot with water (Fill the pot with holy water if possible)
Kumkum to shower on Goddess Lakshmi and to apply Tilak
agarbattis (incense sticks) (Dhoop sticks)
Procedures to perform Lakshmi Puja
Take a piece of cloth (red or yellow or green in colour) and spread it at the sanctified puja place. On the cloth, spread 9 mounds of rice and keep betel leaves with suparis on the top of the rice mounds. The nine betel leaves with suparis indicate the nine planets (Navagraha devatas).
You can keep a betel leaf and supari in the place of Ganesh or can place a Ganesh idol.
A pot has to be filled with water and adorned with betel leaves. Keep a coconut on the top of the water filled pot.
Now dress the pot with red cloth and tie a red thread around the pot. On the pot, draw four lines with kumkum. The four lines indicate the Chatur Vedas. Place kumkum for the pot.Now, the pot with all these decorations is referred as Kalash or Purna Kumbh which represents the Universal power (Supreme deity).
In Diwali Puja thali place some silver or golden or simply rupee coins. The coin is a direct form of wealth that is Goddess Lakshmi.
Now the actual puja begins. Take some water on your left hand and sprinkle on to yourself after purifying your hands.
Place a flower on your palm and take some akshata (consecrated rice) into your hand.
Chant the Gayatri Mantra for 3 times. You can skip this step as it is an optional one.
Now start Ganesh Puja. If you don’t know Ganesh puja procedure then simply install or visualize Ganesha in your heart, chant a sloka of Ganesh and offer some flowers and akshata to Ganesh idol or thebetel leaf with Supari representing Lord Ganesh.
In the same way pray to Lord Shiva. If you don’t know the simple Shiva puja procedure then you can chant a sloka of Lord Shiva.
Sprinkle some pure water on Kalash or Purna Kumbha. Apply some kumkum and shower akshata.
Offer a sweet and fruit to the Kalash. Treat the Kalash or Purna Kumbha as a guest and worship the sacred pot with utmost devotion. Kalash is considered as powerful as the Goddess. Follow the same puja procedure with the Navagrahas or the 9 planets or the 9 supari placed at the nine locations on the puja cloth. The same puja procedure is followed with the 4 directions. Sprinkle water towards 4 directions – North, South, East and West. This puja procedure of 4 directions represent 4 dishas of the Universe.
Perform the bath to silver and gold coins with milk (ksheerabhishekam), with water (Jalabhishekam), with gulal and with flowers (Pushpabhishekam). Then offer sweet recipe to the coins. It is believed that jingling coins would let Goddess Laxmi Devi to install in your pooja place.
Install or keep Goddess Lakshmi Maa in your heart and chant a mantra or sloka or stotra of Goddess Mahalakshmi and pray to her heartfully. If you know the stotras of Lakshmi Ashtottaram or Laxmi Shatanamavali, recite the stotras.
Now it’s the time to perform Aarti to Goddess Mahalaxmi. Light the Diya or camphor for Aarti. Ring the bell while singing Lakshmi Aarti.
After performing Aarti to Lakshmi Mata, keep Lakshmi Puja Thali at a safe place. Complete the whole puja to Lakshmi with devotion and dedication.
Keep your worries aside about any mistake you did unknowingly during the pooja procedure. Mantras to be recited:
"Om Sri Maha Lakshmyai Namah"
This simple mantra is often chanted by people in their day to day course of work. The chant simply means salutations to O great goddess Maha Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and wealth. "Sarvagyay Sarvavarday Sarvadushtbhaydkree Sarvadukhaharay Devi Mahalakshmi Namostutay"
O divine Goddess Ma Lakshmi, nothing is hidden from you. You grant all favors to your children removing all miseries from their lives and on the other hand are fearsome for the evil. Accept my salutations O auspicious goddess.
"Padnaasanstithay Devi Parbrahmaswaroopeene Parmashree Jaganmatra Mahalakshmi Namostutay"
O mother Lakshmi you are like supreme Brahman and reside in the hearts of all your devotees. O Devi you are the mother of the entire Universe and to you I offer all my respects and salutations.
"Sthulsukshmay Maharodray Mahashakti MahodrayMahapapharay Devi Mahalakshmi Namostutay"
You know it all O mother goddess, nothing is hidden from you. O mother you are the one who removes all the sins and grant boons. O propitious goddess I bow to you, accept my salutations.
Monday, 5 October 2009
Sunday, 4 October 2009
However, there are places in Kerala which are dominated by prominent Tamil, Gujarati or North Indian communities. In such areas, Diwali is celebrated with much pomp and pageantry, not to mention nostalgia. People of these communities organize grand feasts and put up a colorful display for the benefit of their Kerala neighbors. Many visit temples and then get together with friends and relatives to enjoy the fireworks on Diwali day. However, it is not to say that people of Kerala are not interested in Diwali at all. As India grows economically strong, people of all races are learning to integrate each other’s customs, and it is common to see Diwali being celebrated with immense joyousness in many town and cities of Kerala.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
Today let me list out the Ten reasons to celebrate diwali or deepavali:
1) Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday: On this very Diwali day, the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi is said to have been incarnated from the depth of the bottomless ocean. The Hindu scriptures tell us that both Devas(gods) and Asuras (demons) were mortal (Mrita) at one point of time. Seeking a deathless condition (Amarattva), they churned the ocean to seek Amrita, the nectar of immortality (an event mentioned in the Hindu scriptures as "Samudra-manthan"), during which a host of divine celestial objects came up. Prime among these was Goddess Lakshmi, the daughter of the king of the milky ocean, who arose on the new moon day (amaavasyaa) of the Kartik month. She was subsequently married to Lord Vishnu on the same darkest night of the year and brilliant lamps were illuminated and placed in rows to mark this holy occassion. Hence the association of Diwali with Goddess Lakshmi and the tradition of lighting of lamps and candles during the festival. To this day, Hindus celebrate the birth of the goddess Lakshmi and her marriage to Lord Vishnu on Diwali and seek her blessings for the coming year.
2) The Legend of King Mahabali : The Bhagavata Purana (also known as Srimad Bhagavatam), the most sacred Hindu text, reveals how on a Diwali day Lord Vishnu, in his fifth incarnation as Vaman-avtaara, rescued Lakshmi from the prison of King Bali during the Treta Yug. Bali, or rather King Mahabali, was a powerful demon king who ruled the earth. Powered by a boon granted to him by Lord Brahma, Bali was invincible and even gods failed to defeat him in battles. Although a wise and perfect king otherwise, Mahabali was violent in his ways with the Devas (gods). On their insistence, Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a short Brahmin and approached Bali for some charity. The righteous and benevolent King couldn't refuse the Brahmin's offer and was tricked into giving up his kingship and wealth (of which Lakshmi is said to be the Goddess). Diwali marks this overcoming of Mahabali by Lord Vishnu and this is another reason why Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on Diwali. In Kerala, the festival of 'Onam' is celebrated around the month of August to mark this legend.
3) The Killing of Narakasura: The Bhagavata Purana tells us about Narakasura, an evil demon king who had managed to acquire awesome powers. Unrivalled in prowess, he conquered both the heavens and earth and was tyrannical in his reign. Addicted to power, he even stole the earrings of Aditi, the heavenly mother goddess, and usurped some of her territory. When Lord Vishnu was incarnated as Krishna in the Dwapara Yuga, he killed Narakasura on the day preceding Diwali and rescued 16,000 women whom the demon had imprisoned in his palace. The deliverance from the terrible Narakasura was celebrated with much grandeur, a tradition that continues to this day. However, another version of the story credits Lord Krishna's wife Sathyabhama as the one who eliminated Narakasura. It is said that Narakasura could only be killed by his mother Bhudevi and as Satyabhama was an incarnation of the same Bhudevi, she only could kill him. Before death, however, Narakasura realized his mistake and requested a boon from Satyabhama that everyone should celebrate his death with colorful light. To commemorate his death, the event is celebrated in some parts of India as Naraka Chaturdasi, two days before Diwali day.
4) The Return of the Pandavas: The great Hindu epic ‘Mahabharata’ reveals that it was ‘Kartik Amavashya’ (the new moon day of the Kartik month) when the Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice (gambling). The five Pandava brothers, their mother and their wife Draupadi were honest, kind, gentle and caring in their ways and were loved by all their subjects. To celebrate the joyous occassion of their return to Hastinapura and to welcome back the Pandavas, the common people illuminated their state by lighting bright earthen lamps everywhere. And the tradition is maintained to this day.
5) The Victory of Rama: The great Hindu epic ‘Ramayana’ describes how Lord Ram (the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the Treta Yug) conquered Lanka after vanquishing the evil King Ravana and after passing a period of of fourteen years in exile returned to his capital Ayodhya on a new moon day of Kartik with wife Sita and brother Lakshman. To celebrate the homecoming of their beloved king, the people of Ayodhya burst crackers, lit up their houses with earthen lamps (diyas), and decorated the entire city in the grandest manner. Year after year this homecoming of Lord Rama is commemorated on Diwali with lights, fireworks, bursting of crackers and merriment. The festival gets its name Deepawali, or Diwali, from the rows (avali) of lamps (deepa) that the people of Ayodhya lit to welcome their King.
6) Coronation of Vikramaditya: It is also said that Vikramaditya, the legendary Indian king famed for his wisdom, valour and magnanimity was coroneted on the Diwali day following his victory over the Sakas in 56 BC. This was marked by a grand celebration which is still maintained annually. One of the greatest Hindu monarchs, Vikramaditya ruled the greatest empire in the world from modern-day Thailand in the east to the borders of modern-day saudi Arabia in the west. Diwali, thus, apart from being a religious festival also has a historical association.
7) The Enlightenment of Swami Dayananda Saraswati: Diwali also marks the auspicious occasion when on a new moon day of Kartik (Diwali day) Swami Dayananda Saraswati, one of the greatest reformers of Hinduism attained his nirvana (enlightenment) and became Maharshi Dayananda, meaning the great sage Dayananda. In 1875, Maharshi Dayananda founded the Arya Samaj, "Society of Nobles", a Hindu reform movement to purify Hinduism of the many evils it became associated with at that era. Every Diwali, this great reformer is remembered by Hindus all over India.
8) The Enlightenment of Vardhamana Mahavira: For Jains, Diwali commemorates the enlightenment of Vardhamana Mahavira(the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankaras of the Jains and the founder of modern Jainism) which is said to have occurred on Oct. 15, 527 B.C. This is one more reason to engage in Diwali celebrations for pious Jains and other than the purpose of commemoration, the festival stands for the celebration of the emanicipation of human spirit from earthly desires.
9) Special Day for the Sikhs: For Sikhs, Diwali holds a special significance for it was on a Diwali day that the third Sikh Guru Amar Das institutionalized the festival of lights as an occasion when all Sikhs would gather to receive the Gurus blessings. It was also on a Diwali day in 1619 that their sixth religious leader, Guru Hargobind Ji, who was held by the Mughal Emperor Jahengir in the Gwalior fort, was freed from imprisonment along with 52 Hindu Kings (political prisoners) whom he had arranged to be released as well. And it was also on the same auspicious occasion of Diwali when the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar was laid in 1577.
10. Goddess Kali: Kali, also called Shyama Kali, is the first of the 10 avatars (incarnations) of Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva's consort. According to legend, long ago after the gods lost in a battle with the demons, Goddess Kali was born as Kal Bhoi Nashini from the forehead of Goddess Durga. Said to be a personification of Nari Shakti (female power), Kali was born to save heaven and earth from the growing cruelty of the demons. After killing all the devils, Kali lost her control and started killing anyone who came her way which stopped only when Lord Shiva intervened. The well-known picture of Ma Kali, with her tongue hanging out, actually depicts the moment when she steps on the Lord and repents. That momentous day has been commemorated ever since and the main purpose of celebrating Kali Puja is to seek the help of the goddess in destroying evil both external and internal to us as also to get her blessings for general happiness, health, wealth, and peace.
To conclude, there are several reasons behind Diwali celebrations and almost every region of India has its own reason to observe the occasion. All of these however, matters little to the festival itself. Whatever the cause behind its celebration, Diwali is undoubtedly a national festival of India, and the aesthetic aspect of the festival is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith.
To Be Continued.......