Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Deepawali

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Hari surya maya tama Govinda Radhey
Ya tey santon ki Diwali nitya bata dey.
“God is like the Sun, and maya is like darkness.  Hence, every day is Diwali for the Saints.” 
(Lecture given by Shree maharajji on the occasion of Deepawali)
Deepawali (Diwali) is the festival of light.  And what is the opposite of light? Darkness! Light is a manifestation of God, and darkness is a manifestation of maya.  These two things have existed since eternity, and they are opposite of each other. Where there is light, darkness cannot remain. 
Krishna surya sama maya hoye andhakar
jahan surya tahan maya nahi adhikar
Darkness in front of light? Impossible. Maya or darkness cannot stand in front of the Form of Effulgence, Shree Krishna. So, these two things are contradictory - God and maya. The biggest contradiction is - God is Supremely Sentient and maya is always totally insentient.
However, both God and maya are alike in one thing.  God is eternal, and maya is also eternal.  God did not create maya, and neither can He destroy it. Don't be surprised by this statement. God cannot destroy the existence of the entity, maya shakti.  All He can do is to remove the maya upon you.  Remove means just as someone was tied up and he is released. The ropes of bondage still exist, but he has got released from them.  His darkness has gone, but darkness still exists, and others are in the grip of it.
Let me tell you a joke. Amongst the followers of Shankaracharya, some say that there is only one entity called Brahm. That Brahm is sitting inside all. What about the soul? They say that there is no soul. The soul and Brahm are one; one is there and only one will remain; the rest is all illusion. Is that right? If this philosophy is correct, then tell me one thing - this is Kripalu's logic - if there is only one Brahm in all and you do not consider the soul, when that one soul's darkness is removed, everybody's ignorance should be removed.  If one soul’s darkness has gone and he becomes a brahmagyani, he may be any of the God-realised personalities, Brahma, Sanakadik, Janakadik, Sukadik, Sankaracharya, then every soul should become God-realized.  When they claim that there is only one Brahm, and ignorance of one Brahm has gone by doing sadhana, then everybody else's ignorance should also go. But this is not the case. One's is gone, and the rest's is still remaining.  All souls need to do their individual sadhana. And you say there is only one Brahm! 
So maya, which is the nature of darkness, exists only in the absence of God, who is the nature of light. Once a soul realizes God, his darkness is dispelled, and he becomes illumined with light. Now God resides in him, which means God manifests His splendor in that soul. From that point onwards, God remains forever with that soul.  Now when God is light and He is there always with the God-realized Saints, such Saints will have Deepawali every day. Then the statement, “Tomorrow is Deepawali,” becomes redundant. They now experience Deepawali for the rest of eternity.  Thank you.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Who Am I ?

|| Lecture By Shree Maharajji ||

The entire world seeks to answer two questions.  The first one is, "What do we all want?" and the second, "How will we attain it?"  All the knowledge in the world, right from the worldly to the Vedic, attempt to answer these two questions. "What do we want and how do we attain it?"  How surprising it is that in countless lives, we have not been able to answer them. The day we find the answer, our relationship with this material world will come to an end.  With that, our wandering in the 8.4 million life-forms, the five sorrows - joy and suffering, love and hatred, fear of death, ignorance, ego (pride) and the five sheaths of maya will also come to an end.
Let us take up the first question.  What is it that we want?  It is a very simple question and can only be answered when we understand who we are.  We use the pronouns I, we, you.  What is this 'I' that we refer to?  Once we understand the true 'I', we will automatically understand what 'I' want.
What is this 'I'?  You have two things in your possession - one of them is conscious and the other is not.  The body, the sense organs, the mind and the intellect are insentient - devoid of consciousness.  You may disagree and say that they are conscious.  After all, your hands and feet do move, the eyes see and the ears listen.  Every sense organ is working.  The mind thinks and the intellect takes decisions.  All of these appear to be conscious.
You can say that a chair or a table is not conscious.  This statement is true.  But, how can you say that the body, mind and intellect are not?  Furthermore, if you stick a pin at your body, you experience pain, don't you? Yes! Well then, how can that which is not conscious, experience pain?  So, understand that the sense organs, the mind and the intellect, are all included within the body.  We are two - the body and the soul. We sometimes say, "My body is old; my body is ill; my body is fat; my body is thin."  We say 'My'.  'My' means, 'that which belongs to me'.  This means that the body is 'mine', and that 'I' am not the body.  Moreover, we observe our body daily, and we feel that it is conscious.  After the entity referred to as 'I' has left the body, do you call the body conscious or non-conscious?  That body starts decomposing in 24 hours.
ghar ke kahahiṁ vegi hī kāṛho,  bhut bhae kou khaihaiṁ
jā din man pachhi uṛi jaihaiṁ
What does this mean?  It means that there is an 'I' within the body.  When this 'I' leaves, the body loses its consciousness. In other words, it is the 'I' that keeps the body conscious.  The body itself is not conscious.  The entity called 'I' is responsible for keeping the body alive.  When the 'I' leaves, the body returns to its original form.  The original form of the body is that it is a puppet made of five gross elements.
The Vedas, Shastras and Saints have given a name to the entity referred to as 'I'.  They call it 'Soul'.  Soul means that which is alive and which keeps others alive as well.  The soul has two functions - It remains alive by itself, and keeps others alive.  It is conscious, and as long as it remains within the body, it keeps the entire body conscious.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Goal of Human Life

Extract from a lecture by Shree Maharajji on aim of human life:
Every destination has two ways. One is the right way and the other is the wrong way. If one knows the right way, then no matter how far the goal is, the destination will be reached one day. On the other hand, if the wrong path is chosen, then no matter how far or near the goal is, disappointment is certain.
We already know that every soul makes constant effort to attain happiness. Even though the tasks are different, the aim of performing all actions is one - HAPPINESS. So in this world, there are different paths and religions to attain happiness.
There are 11 religions active in the modern world - Sanatan vedic (Hinduism), Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Christianity, Judiasm, Taoism, Confucianism and Shinto. We can classify all these religions in two -
The religion of the mortal body - Materialism
The religion of the soul - Spirituality
According to materialists, the creation, development and destruction of the world are according to the rules of nature and not by the rules of God. They say that everybody wants happiness and by the fulfillment of every material desire, one can be happy. They believe that we are not eternal souls but mortal bodies, and by the fulfillment of the material senses one can be happy. The sense of seeing, hear, smell, touch, taste are five senses of our body. With the help of these senses we make use of this world. So, according to the materialists the means of happiness in this material world is this corporeal body. 
On the other hand, according to spirituality, we are eternal souls and not this physical body. This body is destroyable and is made up of five structural elements (water, air, fire, ether and earth) whereas, the soul ('I') is spiritual, eternal, and is an eternal part of God. Bliss is the other name of God and being a part of "Him", we naturally desire for happiness-
raso vai saḥ
Now which way to choose?
This is a very difficult question for an individual to answer. Every religion claims to be perfect in its own ways.
The answer to this can be explained in the following way:
We have two entities - the soul and the physical body. It is true that we will achieve our goal of attaining supreme bliss only by surrendering to God, and that the soul needs God. Similarly, we have to realize that this body requires the material world because this body is made up of five elements and this world is also comprised of these five elements. 
No spiritualist can oppose a materialist, and no materialist can oppose a spiritualist. It is only with the help of this material body that devotional practice (Sadhana) is made possible and without God realization, mental afflictions, i.e. material desires, anger, jealousy, ego, etc. will never go away and we cannot have peace and happiness. Therefore, with the point of view of keeping our body healthy we have to do devotion. We have to keep our body healthy with the idea of serving and worshipping God. Shri Krishna says in Bhagwad Geeta: "O Arjun, keep remembering me in your mind and go to war."  If we don't provide the necessary proteins, minerals, vitamins and all the required nutrients to our body, we will surely fall sick and instead of remembering God we will only remember pain and misery.
To summarize, we could say that we have to follow spirituality along with materialism. This can be explained with the help of example: 
A nurse takes care of thousands of children in a hospital over her lifetime. She feeds and cleans them, gives them medicine, etc. She performs these tasks as part of her duty and not because she is attached to them. Her love and attachment are mostly for her children and family. She does not love the babies in the hospital as much as she does her own. The sickness of her own child brings her anxiety and pain. She will do everything possible to bring her own child back to normal health at the earliest. 
But if  a child falls sick in the hospital, the nurse will tend to it immediately and perform her duties well. Her reaction to the sickness will be quite normal and not emotional. She is not emotionally attached to the sick child.  In the same way, we have to perform our material duties without any attachment for sake of duty and not being bothered of the loss or profit. This is called as Karm-yog.
man hari meṁ tan jagat meṁ, karmyog tehi jān |
tan hari meṁ man jagat meṁ, yah mahān ajñān ||
Attaching our mind to this material world and worshipping God with our body and material senses is a sign of great foolishness.
Hence, both materialism and spirituality are necessary for us because we are spiritual by nature - soul and we have this material body. We need this material world for existence. Now we have to understand that who is God? How can we realize and attain Him? Because the supreme bliss that we are searching for can be achieved only by attaining Him. If we do not realize God in this human form, then this will be our greatest mistake and we will have to suffer the endless pain of life and death of 8.4 million forms of life. However, we do not need to worry about attaining God. He is easily attainable. We will understand this science in the coming topics.