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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Is it the right age to meditate?

Rajyogi Brahmakumar Nikunj , Hindustan Times

Mediation is the most common word used today by people across the world.

Every home has atleast one person who is into Meditation.Lets understand what is this all about.To put it in simple words, Meditation is a spiritual love-link of the soul with the Supreme Soul. It helps us to know the spiritual truths of life and transform us into a value-based person so that we are not influenced by worldly matters.

There has been a debate since years as to what should be the right age for Meditation”. Some believe that why should youngsters indulge in these things at a young age? Coz its their age to eat, make merry and enjoy life. Meditation or spirituality is for the old people is the common belief of society.

I feel meditation is helpful for everyone; rather it is of utmost importance for the young generation. At this age, mind is fresh and energetic and not yet polluted by worldly matters. So they can inculcate values and virtues easily and bring about a positive change in themselves, so that they can have a developed and balanced personality.

It makes us fearless, increases our concentration power, helps us to generate pure and positive thoughts, gives us peace of mind and helps us to achieve success in every aspects of life -whether it is studies or career.

It is said “As you sow, so shall you reap”, hence if we sow the seeds of divine values and virtues in the minds of the young at a tender age, we would reap its healthy fruit in the form of a happier and beautiful world in future.
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Travel travail

Rameshinder Singh Sandhu, PTS

I love travelling and believe that it is very useful and makes life interesting. When I was in Europe for my studies, I utilised every holiday break for travel fully. I visited several famous destinations which offered different and new experiences. I met many nice people and befriended some of them. In short, I fell in love with the Europeans.

Now I am in India for work experience,  but I hardly meet any interesting person when I travel around. Before boarding a train or flight, I always pray to God that my co-passenger should be of my age or should be at least a nice one. Unfortunately, my recent journey from New Delhi to Amritsar was far from good and enjoyable. I discovered that my neighbour was an old man who seemed to be very rude and angry.

After sometime, I noticed that the old man was taking two newspapers out of his bag. I felt happy seeing the papers. I requested if I could read one of them. I was furiously answered, "Let me read and do not disturb. I spent my own money on these newspapers. There are still five minutes. Go and buy." I felt insulted. Many thoughts came to my mind but there was one thought that made me cool and calm: all individuals can't be the same.

Soon, a newspaper hawker came in. He distributed a railway magazine and other newspapers on complimentary basis. I got several of them. When the old man had asked for his choice, it was out of stock. It gave me a sort of thrill and I was joyous and read different articles and editorials. I thought the old man must have regretted his own 'doing'.

Later, I saw him reading a book called Organisational behaviour: Attitude Matters. Why is he reading a book of this kind and how will it be useful to him since he does not know how to behave with others? I continued reading my papers and soon fell asleep. When I woke up, he was gone. 'Thanks a lot, God'. I didn't know what else to say!
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dynamic nature of time

Bhartendu Sood, Hindustan Times

If a man is able to remain hopeful even in the worst situation, he has to thank the dynamic character of time. There is a time in everyone's life when things move favorably for him. 
Things move so nicely and so fast that we get the feeling that somebody is working for us. But then a phase comes when even our best efforts, and most meticulously planned moves remain nonproductive. We confront one failure after  another. Even our corrective actions backfire.  It is nothing but the effect of the dynamic nature of time. Time has never remained same for any body. 

 But, it is also true that this is the dynamic character of time that generates hope in us and makes us continue with our efforts even in the worst situation. The wise and learned understand this unique characteristic of time and develop in them the qualities of perseverance and forbearance. I know of an 80-year-old person, who, dabbling in shares, never booked a loss even if it meant waiting for 20 years and made good profits.

He has a story: A person was given capital punishment. When the time of execution came, he was asked for his last desire. He replied he regretted he couldn't teach the king's horses to fly. The king gave him one year's time to teach his horses to fly.

Relieved, he reached his home. On hearing everything, his wife was very happy but soon her ecstasy gave way to anxiety.

She said she was worried thinking what would happen after a year as she knew very well that he couldn't make horses fly.

Her husband completely relaxed and free from all tensions replied, "Look! I have come to understand the dynamic nature of time and it is this knowledge which has made me hopeful.

So many things can happen in a year. I can die before the due date. State can be attacked and the King can be replaced by some other king or this king can die. Last, who knows the horses may start flying!"
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Essence of spirituality

Sadhguru, Hindustan Times

It is important that the spiritual dimension of life is brought into everybody's lives. Why some people develop an allergy to spirituality is because they are told that spirituality means leaving everything and going to the mountains. It is not true. It is better to learn how to be spiritual in your office, in your home, on the streets, or wherever you are. Spirituality is about your interiority, not what you do outside.Spirituality is an inner science to create a conducive inner atmosphere. The quality of your life is dependent on how you are within yourself. This moment, that quality depends on how joyous, how peaceful you are.

Your body is simply accumulations of what you have gathered from the Earth. When you leave, you cannot take even an atom of this body. So this body is not really yours. Your mind is not yours either. So, there is something else which needs to be looked at beyond these dimensions.

Even if your memory is erased, you will still be there. Your family, your status, your business, and everything that you own in the world will disappear. But still you are there. So beyond all the things that you identify yourself with, there is still something called 'You'. This 'You' is not subject to what you accumulate from outside.  Unfortunately, that 'You' has been covered up and crowded with other things, that you never allowed yourself to look at that. You always thought that what you are identified with is much more important than who you really are.

The whole process of spiritual science, yoga in particular, is to elevate you to an experience that is beyond the five sense organs. When you transcend the limited experience of what you know as yourself, your experience of life is naturally in a different dimension. Then you begin to experience that which is not physical but the spiritual, the divinity of your true nature. You then will begin to experience the joy, the blissfulness of knowing who you really are.
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Friday, May 4, 2012

Power Of Acceptance

Rajyogi Brahmakumar Nikunj ji, Hindustan Times

The Virtue Of 'Acceptance' is one of the extremely needed divine virtue that can bring not only simplicity in our life but it is also the foundation on which divine powers like power to tolerate, to accommodate, to face can be built.

Usually, most of the people think that to accept or to confess their mistakes will lead to degrade their image. But this is a big misconception. The reality is that Acceptance of the mistakes committed is also one of the great acts of charity. It is said that 'Truth is always victorious', "Truthfulness is the main element of character." When we confess our guilt, the power of truth within us will emerge and 'truth' has the power to make the person in front of us contented and docile.

Whenever the thought of 'hatred' springs up in our mind or if our heart doesn't agree to accept someone's nature, then we have to think a while, why Supreme Almighty  is being called Ocean of Love and Mercy? It is because he accepted all of us along with our vicious sanskars, defects and weaknesses. He never hates anybody , instead he praises us and always tries to make us similar to him by showering all the treasures of His knowledge, powers and virtues.

In order to be like him, we have to make our hearts big enough to accommodate everyone. Hence, the one who accepts others would contribute his best to establish ‘World Brotherhood’,that would enable her/him to be ‘Loved by self, Loved by God and loved by others.
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The Master’s way

Arvind Alok , Hindustan Times

Lord Buddha's quest for excellence lies in the development of human values irrespective of caste, creed and religion. He asked his followers not to follow him out of mere admiration and submission. He emphasised on the practicability of his teachings and gave his followers full liberty for investigation before practising them for their emancipation.

Buddhists around the world understand the very essence of Buddhism by going through the extensive investigations in modern perspective and thus follow their Master's sayings. Needless to say, the world today is passing through a disastrous phase of survival when so many countries have already entered into confrontation.

As a result, the common people are either being killed or disabled, which undoubtedly reminds one of the world going towards a disabled order.

For the attainment of materialistic excellence, we forget to even to maintain the minimum human ethics, thereby worsening the very atmosphere of human's survival.

All this are happening because of the defilements which are deeply rooted into the minds of the people.

We take a lot of care of our physical beauties, but we never pay any attention to the mind as the supreme gift after wandering into many births and rebirths. For the spiritual person, mind is the source of emancipation and enlightenment; whereas for the common men and women, it is mainly for a  healthy, prosperous and peaceful life.

Therefore, we must take care of our mind properly.

We should always try our best to preserve the natural beauties and should never allow to get them polluted so that all living beings can live on this beautiful planet peacefully and happily.

A mindful effort is always fruitful and blissful; whereas without taking this aspect into consideration, one can always fall into the traps of shameful and harmful behavior that takes him nowhere.

We have it from the Dhammapada, “The mind is very hard to perceive, extremely subtle, flits wherever it listeth; let the wise person guard it, a guarded mind is conducive to happiness.”

(Buddha Purnima falls on Sunday)
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A hearty change

Vineet Mani, Hindustan Times

I was half asleep and yet eagerly waiting for my grandfather to begin telling a story. I do not remember that I ever missed an opportunity listening to his stories. His interesting way of narrating real-life experiences has helped me learn a great deal. One day, someone knocked at the door. I could hear murmurs and music outside. After a few moments, Kaka, our caretaker, entered the room and whispered in grandfather's ear. He got up from the bed and moved towards the door. I followed him. I was feeling agitated partly because I wanted to sleep and partly because I did not want to miss my bedtime story.

When I reached the door, I saw an old, fragile and poor man in a tattered saffron robe sitting on the cot. My grandfather and other family members were standing around him and listening to him intently. He was smiling, and giving blessings. Soon, Kaka brought some rice and pulses and put it gently in the untidy bag lying beside the old man. The man walked away slowly, reciting prayers.

I was bemused why this treatment? I walked up to grandfather and urged him to narrate a story. He smiled and put me on his lap and started narrating:

“Around 30 years ago, a dacoit ruled this region and no one could ever challenge his reign of terror. He killed people, burgled endlessly and damaged properties. One day, a small boy somehow reached his hiding place and asked for some work. The boy innocently told him that a gang of dacoits killed his parents, robbed them and that he did not have even a grain to feed myself and his little sister.

“This moved the dacoit and he surrendered. He went to every household and apologised for his sins, and distributed the wealth he had amassed. Now he runs a school for the underprivileged children and serves everyone who is in need. He goes to every house for alms to feed himself. Can you guess who is he?”

I too was moved.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The call of mountains

Sami Rafiq, Hindustan Times

Mountains have always been a source of mystery and wonder for me. During my childhood, my visits to the mountains endeared me to the climate and the peace of the hills. 
I often questioned myself as to why mountains are associated with spirituality. A recent visit to the Vaishno Devi shrine gave me the answer.

We had gone to the mountains burdened with worries and concerns. But as the car climbed up the circuitous route to Katra and Vaishno Devi, it became cooler and the verdant green mountain with the shrine of the Mata began to beckon us. I felt rejuvenated and forgot my sickness because of the sacred aura of the shrine, its sublimity and etherealness everywhere. I felt attracted to read about Mata Vaishno Devi and her whereabouts. What I learnt about her was that she was actually a girl who had a mind inclined towards God since childhood.  She had set her heart and soul on marrying Sri Ram who met her when she was deep in meditation. When she told this to Ram, he said that he was already married, but if she managed to recognise him in disguise, he would surely marry her.

She was unable to recognise him but Ram did not disappoint her and promised to marry her in a future life.

What, however, left an indelible impression on my mind was her deep and boundless love for Ram. What else is enlightenment but the realisation of love at the highest level?

 The aura and tranquility of love was apparent in people who came from far and near to visit the shrine.

The long winding route around the steep mountain did not tire them or deter them.
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Hope against hope

PP Wangchuk, Hindustan Times

When Emerson said that one must hitch one’s wagon to a star, he had a telling point of inspiration. No man in history could achieve greatness without stubborn hope soaring high into the sky.

In a different wavelength, Samuel Johnson said hope itself is a “species of happiness; and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords.”

And we know that hope not only sustains life, it keeps one happy and positive under all kinds of stressful conditions. One has to hope for the best and then be carefree.  Because hope is the driving force that keeps you struggling without letting you fall a prey to pessimism.

An international researchers’ team, led by the University of Queensland, conducted studies in Australia and China for over nine years and found that those who had hopes for the future lived happier and better. With a sample of 10,000 people, the study showed that people who overestimated how rosy their future could be never had any reason for grumbling and they had all the reasons to live merrily.

Let’s admit that one who hopes against hope never accepts defeat. She/he somehow gets the best ways and means to come out successful in what earlier looked impossible. Such people may be quite rare but they are there.

We say that some people have done miracles but these ‘miracles’ are nothing but the result of their constant and sincere struggle. As someone said, such miracles are fruits of hope in spite of having all the ground lost.

One has to realise what is lost can be regained. Keep in mind that hope with action is the greatest weapon in getting one’s hopes realised.

Remaining cheerful is the key to keeping hopes alive. Before one loses hope, one should repeat Henry Wordsworth Longfellow’s mantra, “The setting of a great hope is like the setting of the sun. The brightness of life is gone.”

Let us take this opportunity to be prisoners of hope (Zechariah) so that we are masters of our own destiny and have no qualms with life.
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