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Friday, December 23, 2011

Balancing your Karma

Ravindra Kumar, Hindustan Times

A woman was walking towards Empire State Building in New York to jump and end her life. She married five times and each one of husbands deserted her. A friend advised her to consult one Dr. Michael Newton for past life regression and know the cause of these happenings. During the session, she travelled back into her five past lives and came to know that every time she came to earth as a male. Higher souls had advised her against it as she would collect a lot of negative karma.
However, before the present incarnation, she requested higher souls to bring her to earth as a woman and that she should undergo the same sufferings that she had caused to others in her five previous incarnations. Coming out of the session, she wept endlessly, which washed her sin/karma. Later, she married and this time it was successful.

A friend in Tanzania owned big factories and was proud of his wealth. One fine evening, his car met with an accident and he died, leaving behind all factories and his family. My younger brother’s teenage daughter in Delhi hanged herself to death through the ceiling fan because of the failure in her love affair as her parents did not agree with her. Some women commit suicide on the death of their husbands and some industrialists do the same on the failure of their business.

Failures like this occur in life to balance the karma from former incarnation(s) and one is supposed to live the miserable afterlife to learn the lesson. But if one ends one’s life without learning the appropriate lesson, one will have to incarnate again under till the lesson is learnt.

If you see a person shivering with cold in winter, you cannot help him much by giving a blanket or some money as the nature wants him to learn some lessons which can be learnt only that way; the next life then may be trouble-free. Only when all lessons are learnt either by suffering or by sincere repenting, one can turn to spirituality.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Life without angularities

VN Chhibber, Hindustan Times

On family values, says the Dalai Lama, “If there is love, there is hope to have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace.  If the love within your mind is lost … no matter how much material progress is made, only suffering and confusion will ensue.” Have you ever reacted 

to a situation impulsively and later wondered why you reacted that way?

Decisions have to be taken, but not post-haste, without reason. Without enough awareness of the gap between stimulus and response, there is no real freedom of choice. You are just the product of your conditioned responses. Allowing yourself to react automatically will evoke the old feelings of anger, fear, sadness or jealousy that can only further discord, misunderstanding and regret.

Using the human capacity of self-awareness, imagination, conscience and independent free will, you can exercise this freedom that is even larger than the freedom of your opponents or enemies. You could choose your own response to anything that stood in your way.
Your wisdom will reduce complex situations to simple ones and you will become a genius.  This approach eventually makes you an inspiration to others. Between happening and response, there is a space. In that space is your power to exercise your response wherein lies your growth and uniqueness.

Space always exists between situation and response; you hardly have to strive for it. Your freedom of choice lies in becoming increasingly aware of this gap, using it wisely, making it into your ‘zone of considered and considerate decision’.

If within the in-between space, you take a moment to breathe deeply, decide not to always want to ‘win the argument’ etc., then it will prove that you want a favourable outcome for everyone.

Imagine having the magic power that could freeze time long enough to the most appropriate response, in any given situation.

In time it should become more natural to respond in a way that promotes harmony. The Buddha had stressed that which is most needed is a loving heart.
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

The power in prayer

RP Sharma, Hindustan Times

Prayer is the humblest expression of seeking divine intervention by a believer in the karmic journey otherwise determined purely by the inflexible principles of karmic cause and effect. Prayer is acknowledged in every religion and faith. The karmic journey of life is always fraught with too many uncertainties which do give rise to many insecurities resulting from unexpectedly challenging situations. This often leads to a situation where even the most confident amongst us would feel hopeless and frustrated. The power of prayer works miracles in these situations.
The moment one sits in prayer to invoke the divinity, the spiritual energies of the body and mind get activated. This is not something which happens purely at a psychological level, there are now scientific and medical researches to prove how the power of prayer ignites the release of certain kinds of hormones in the mind which are responsible for arresting the release of hormones that trigger depression and other negative feelings.

There is no particular form and method or even time for prayer. The prayers have to come straight from the heart as naturally as the cry of a child who seeks mother's attention when in distress. Words are not important and even not relevant to an extent. It is not the mental or physical energy which carries the prayers, it is the emotional energy that carries the prayers. All prayers are heard, no doubt about it.

Anybody and everybody can pray. It is not necessary that all prayers would be fully accepted, divine intervention is an exception and not the rule, yet no prayer would ever go completely unrewarded.
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A Guru is a live map

Sadhguru, Hindustan Times

Let us say all that you are seeking is to go to a distant city right now. If you are alone and there are no proper directions, definitely you would have wished, that there was a map to tell you how to get there. On one level, a Guru is just a map, a live map.  If you can read the 

map, you know the way and you can go. A Guru can also be like your bus driver. You sit in the bus and doze off and he will take you to the city you want to go to; but to sit in the bus and doze off, or to sit in the bus joyfully, you need to trust the bus driver.
Every moment, at every curve in the road, if you go on thinking, ‘Will this man kill me? Will this man go off the road? What intention does he have for my life?’ then you will only go mad sitting there. We are talking about trust not because a Guru needs your trust. It is just that if there is no trust you will drive yourself mad. 

Right now, you trust unconsciously. Everyday when you sit in a car and go to work, unknowingly, you trust this vehicle, which is just a bundle of nuts, bolts and pieces of metal, so much. You have placed your life in the hands of this mechanical mess, which is just nuts and bolts, and rubbers and wires. You have placed your life in it, but you trust the bus unconsciously. If the same trust arises consciously, it would do miracles to you.

So if you can draw your own map, if you can drive your own bus, that is wonderful.  But on an uncharted path, if you go without a map, it may take lifetimes to find a certain place. It may take lifetimes to cross. If you go with a map you will cross easily.  If you go with a good bus driver, you will cross very easily.
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The curse of stress

Dinkar Shukla, Hindustan Times

One can say stress is a boon as long as it is in manageable proportion. It delivers results. But if it grows out of proportion, it could lead to serious problems. Prolonged stress shatters the immune system of the body. 
'Jeevan Sadhana - A Noble Art of Living', has articles that 

identify the causes and effects of stress. In substance, they point to haphazard way of living, declining culture of cooperation and camaraderie, cut-throat competition and, most importantly, unbridled ambition. All this add up to aggravate the intensity of stress.
If left unmanaged, stress becomes a source of psycho-somatic maladies. It could lead to diseases of the heart, stomach, skin, respiratory system and even to mental breakdown. The mind could be the first victim. School-going children easily fall prey to stress-related ailments. Stressful urban life too results in the growing incidence of diabetes and other complications.

It also discourses on the way to lead a healthy, vibrant, enlightened, happy and balanced life. At one point, it says that stress is just a messenger, a warning signal or an alarm bell. It cautions us to set things right before it is too late. What is, therefore, called for is to have the right attitude. It also reminds one to direct one's energy towards positive thinking, pursuit of a healthy life-style and meditation on problems that are overpowering.

Unbridled ambition too has been diagnosed as one of the main causes of stress. It is agreed that one must dream and set his sights high so far as life's goals are concerned, but the key word is compatibility. 

The 5th Century philosopher, Democritus, had observed that a wise person limits his ambition according to his ability.  H.W. Longfellow had said that most people would succeed in small things if they are not troubled with great ambitions. In his classic, 'Les Miserables', Victor Hugo had noted that many great deeds were done in the small struggles of life. Similarly, the protagonist in Harold Robbin's novel, 'The Lonely Lady', rues that people don't get frustrated by systems alone but by their dreams as well.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yeh Zindagi Na Mile Dobara

kamal wadhwani

The universal law states that everything in the universe moves vibrates and travels in circular patterns. The same principals of vibration in the physical world apply to our thoughts, feelings, desires and will in our ethereal world. Each sound, thing and even thought has its own vibrational frequency, unique unto itself. 
It is a law of the universe that the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, the moon shines in the night and there are 15 nights with moon and 15 nights without moon – these are unchangeable laws of the universe.
In the same manner, the law of life of a common man is unchangeable. Here, I indicate myself as a common man. And my morning starts without the chirping of birds. My day starts with noise pollution and air pollution of buses and other vehicles. As usual I get up early in the morning and after morning tea I go through the newspaper and find tumult reported from everywhere. After I am free from morning ablutions I go to my office and being a common man I work hard for the two square meals of my family. After facing hardships of work during my office hours I come back home at night. Exhausted and tired, I climb the stairs of my house on the 2nd floor very slowly accompanied by the sound of the cricket commentary from my neighbor’s house entering my ears telling me that India is in a sound position. As I move up the first voice gets diluted and the second one starts. I hear Mr. Amitabh Bachan in Kaun Banega Crorepati and  that very  moment I forget my tiredness and I start dreaming.
Amitabh Bachan - Mr. so and so, “How do you feel sittimg on the hot seat ?”
“Sir, as an ordinary person feels on seeing a God blessed person.” I reply.
Mr.Amitabh - “ok ok. Now it is the 8th question  for Rs. 6,40,000. What is man? And your options are: 1-Animal  2-Human being 3-Soul 4-Brahma.”
I start dreaming within the dream: “ Rs.6,40,000 is a big amount. With one part of this amount I can clear my all debts and rest part of the amount I will keep safe for my daughter’s marriage.”
Mr. Amitabh Bachan breaks my reverie - “What is your answer?”
“Sir, the option is A - An animal.”
Mr. Amitabh- Why an animal?
“Sir, because a man acts like an animal, behaves like an animal and our ideas are so
 polluted that we think like the animals.”
“Lock kar diya jaye?”
“Yes”, I say.
“Yes, this is the right …..”
In the meanwhile my mind gets disturbed by the sound of my father’s cough and I knew it was again the bronchitis attack - my dream breaks and I come out of the fantasy. I rush to my father’s room and pull up his shirt and rub his back softly. My mother stands near by wearing an old sari with one of its part torn.(Anchal) Perhaps, with it she had been protecting me from rough winds in my childhood. She covers her head with this part and through this part of her sari I get a peep into my colorless life.
Suddenly I turn back and I see the smiling face of my wife who tries to add a little bit of color in to my colorless life.
I remember the quotes of Vivekananda - ‘My nature is to love Him. And therefore I love. I do not pray for anything. I do not ask for anything. Let Him place me where ever He likes. I must love Him and for I cannot trade in love”.
So where He has put me, I am pleased with it.

Kamal Wadhwani
20-b pkt-b ph-2
Ashok Vihar
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Master your mind

Simi Bajaj, Hindustan Times

No one can escape it. Each one of us has been a victim of this vicious whirlpool of feelings leading you to a state of mind full of emptiness called depression. Life is like a roller coaster ride with so many ups and downs. We have to buckle up and face it with a positive spirit. Each

one of us has our own destiny, which is set before our birth. Many times, one gets the feeling of being helpless, when faced with situations that are beyond your control. This is the time when God is testing you; this is where your inner strength guides you to search for the right cure.
Always remember, when God shuts down your favourite window, he opens another door. It all germinates in the mind. Thoughts generate actions, which invoke reactions.

The great philosopher, Montaigne, had observed that "the great and glorious legacy of a human being is to live with purpose."

The secret of ever-lasting happiness is to first accept the fact that happiness is a journey and not a destination. To be happy, first you have to savour the beauty of your life and live every moment, as if it was your last day on earth.

Let go of the burdens of the past and do not worry too much about the future, appreciate the present and live for today.

Mahatma Gandhi had said, "when I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the creator..."

God has given us so much. We must bow our heads down with gratitude. Life is not perfect, there is grief and sadness everywhere, but our minds have to accept this fact that setbacks should not crush our souls, but should inspire us to surge ahead in life with clear vision. Humanity is the biggest religion above all. Love and kindness should start at home where tender brains should grasp the importance of being kind. And remember these words of Winston Churchill, "the price of greatness is responsibility over each of your thoughts."
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Be a space changer

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

There are three types of space that exist. One is the external space (Bhut Akash), in which all the elements are there. The second space is inner space (Chit Akash) where thoughts and emotions come. And the third space (Chid Akash) is the space of energy where there is no thought, no emotion but 

you feel energy.

All inventions come from these three types of space. We seldom understand and pay attention to these three spaces. You may have noticed in life that in some places you get jittery and angry. In that space, there are people who have been agitated; when you go there, it affects your behaviour.

And when you’re in good company, you feel lighter, uplifted, and at peace.

There is a beautiful story. There was a small hill in a beautiful garden and whenever the gardener would go on the hill, he would invite everybody walking on the streets saying, “Please come and take flowers and fruits.” When the people would come and he got down from that hill, he would say, “how dare you come here, this is trespassing,” and chase them away.

This pattern kept repeating itself. So the wise people thought they would find out in what space he was in. They decided to dig the mound and found a big golden throne that belonged to a king called Vikramaditya. This king had been a pious, generous king of good character and he had ruled the country sitting on that throne, many years ago. Therefore, the vibrations still existed. So whenever the man went on the hill he got into the generous space and when he came down he became nasty. So the space you are in matters a lot.

Similarly, when you are singing in a group, the space generated is harmonious and serene. But that won’t be the case in a disturbing situation. That doesn’t mean you should avoid people because they are not good company. You have to be strong; and instead of running away from negative influences, you must positively impact any environment.
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God, my dearest!

Ajit Kumar Bishnoi, Hindustan Times

 I would like to share my experience; the kind of benefits I am deriving due to my connection with God. There is so much happiness that it spills over. I feel like a king and I have never been happier. Maybe, this is what you call bliss. Peace engulfs. Worries come and disappear. I wouldn't call myself fearless, but nothing disturbs me for long. I feel satisfied with what I have. As a matter of fact, I feel that I have been provided with more than I deserve. There is so much comfort that I feel satiated. All desires miraculously get fulfilled with time; nothing appears impossible. Yes, my desires are proper, because they are inspired by God. Consciousness is slowly turning spiritual; attraction for material objects is diminishing. Not only in the matter of desires, my dearest friend and master, God, guides me all the time. I have completely surrendered myself to Him, and He never disappoints me, not for long in any case. When I stray or I am likely to make a fool of myself, he warns clearly and unequivocally such that I cannot miss or ignore the warning. I have lost count of the number of times He saved me from embarrassing situations. This has helped in my purification, and my self-respect has gone up. God provides answers to whatever troubles me. The answers come from many sources such as from another person or newspapers. I feel blessed. God has such an assuring presence that I never feel lonely. And my mental control comes from God only. I take oaths to reform myself, and He fulfills them. This has helped me in making a steady progress in my life/spiritual journey. Minor miracles do happen all the time. Nothing surprises me any more. I am always hopeful, and why not with God being my support! Time passes as it has wings. Sleep comes easily. People around me also seem to get help from God. Wouldn't I be sad if they were affected? Thank you God, thanks a million!
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Life a learning process

Lama Lobzang, Hindustan Times

 To celebrate the 2600th year of Sambodhiprapti (enlightenment of the Buddha), over 800 world Buddhist leaders and scholars are having brain-storming sessions in New Delhi from Nov 27 to 30, under the umbrella theme — ‘Collective Wisdom, United Voice’. Organised by Ashoka Mission, New Delhi, the congregation will be known as Global Buddhist Congress. Since India has been the birth place of Buddhism, the congregation is being organised at an international level to highlight the contribution of Buddhism to world peace so that social development take place unhampered in a cordial manner. Representing 32 countries, the delegates aim at finding out newer ways and means to examine the capacity and the resilience of Buddhism to engage itself and be useful in giving a more peaceful and progressive world. Hence, the topics discussed include conflicts and violence, social disparity, environmental degradation, the role of ethics and values, besides seeking novel ways to make Buddhism play a more effective role in evoking the conscience of the people in trouble-hit regions of the planet. Besides all-faith prayer meetings, a ‘dhamma yatra’ will end with the planting of saplings from the sacred Boddhi trees from sacred locations like Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Sri Lanka. A Buddhist cultural heritage festival (Sambodh) will highlight the richness of the cultural “assets” of various nations and how they can be used as cementing bonds between the countries. Focus will also be on how to locate and preserve priceless Buddhist artifacts and monuments all over the country and elsewhere, where they remain neglected. India, the mother of many cultures, will indeed be richer if we can care for our heritage and love of humanity. That was the message the Buddha had left 2600 years ago. And the message will reverberate over this week as the Buddhist leaders will chant in unison the peace mantra for a more loving and caring planet to live in.
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The divine hand

Ravindra Kumar

 When a woman in New York jumped from the helicopter, she forgot to press the button to open the parachute. She became very nervous and panicky seeing immanent death. Suddenly her astral body came out of her physical body. In these few moments of being out-of-the body, she could visualise the right button, which she pressed just in time and landed safely to her amazement. However, her mission changed completely after this experience with divinity. She took to meditation seriously, achieved success and is now guiding people spiritually in New York. One has heard of many people who have reported near-death-experience while on the operation table. They go to strange places, experience extra faculties like seeing everywhere at the same time, travel with the speed of thought, disappear at one place and reappear at another without traversing the space in between, and so on. One must read books like Life beyond Life by Dr. Raymond Moody, and those by Edgar Cayce and Dr. Michael Newton. Some of them have taken to meditation afterwards through a Guru or otherwise in search of permanent peace and bliss. When asked about death, St. Paul said, “I die daily” (in meditation). Real spiritual search begins only after such a touch of divinity is experienced either accidentally or through the help of a Guru, and not through reading scriptures theoretically. Religionists going to temples, mosques or churches have rarely reported touching such levels of spirituality; they mostly remain theoretical with bookish knowledge. When a man asked Guru Gobind Singh that nothing has happened to him in 50 years of coming to the temple, the Guru replied even 50 lifetimes will not help this way unless he finds a jnani (wise man) who can take him to His own level. On how to find a jnani, He said when the desire is intense, the Guru will appear Himself. Otherwise, he cannot recognise the Guru even if living with Him. Many of us in this way miss the opportunity because of not having the “burning desire” to find the truth. -
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