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Friday, September 25, 2015

Catching Train at Platform 9&3/4

By Swami Yogatmananda

Humans have a tremendous attraction for the mysterious. We all keep imagining the world that lies beyond ‘this world’ – i.e., the world which we can grasp and measure by our senses. Of course, we are conscious of a lot of things that elude the senses. For example, we all are conscious of beauty, joy, wonder, love, peace as well as their opposites. And of course, the most important and constantly experienced, yet most inexplicable phenomenon of ‘I’! But none of these can be precisely presented in terms of mathematical measurements or logical constructs. The expressions of these emotions can be understood as brain-functions and can thus be reduced to mathematical terms, but not the emotions themselves. The spiritual urge in us therefore wants to go beyond the boundaries of reason, which is truncated by the limits of whole numbers. Mathematical logic, which is also related to set theory, has to work within the whole-number frame-work: we cannot conceive of a set having 5&7/10 objects; it has to have either 5 objects or 6, but not ‘in between’. In arriving at a conclusion using formal logic, we have to go step 1->step 2 ->. . . .  If, for simplification, we put a step between steps 1 & 2, then that becomes step 2 and what was earlier called step 2 becomes step 3. Absolutely no possibility of having step # 1&1/2!

But suppose we can sharpen our basic faculties and are able to actually conceive a logical system that goes in between?

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Quest

By Arunim

I see it sometimes…
The fleeting glimpses
In that moment everything is right
Every pixel perfect

     Then a fog comes down
     Envelopes it all.
     Through it I keep searching…
     Tripping and falling.

I hear it sometimes…
The heavenly song
In that moment everything is right
Every note perfect

     Then a tumult rises
     Drowns it all.
     Through it I keep searching…
     Shouting and screaming.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Surrender and Service to Guru

by Romaharshā ("lady with horripilation")

Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati (also called “Maha Periva,” meaning “a great person” in Tamil), the former head of Kanchi Peetham in Tamil Nadu (India), was known for his simplicity, erudition in scriptures, and more importantly, as a God-realized soul. He traveled across India on foot, camping at various places while his traveling disciples arranged for the daily worship of Chandramouleeshvara (Shiva Lingam handed down the lineage by Sri Sankaracharya). The following is an incident narrated to me by a disciple of the great saint.

Once when in Andhra Pradesh (India), Maha Periva decided to camp for a few days. The disciples, to their predicament, found no bilva trees (whose leaves are used to worship Shiva) around. The next morning, Maha Periva was informed about the unavailability of bilva leaves. Eventually, someone spotted a basketful of bilva leaves outside the camp from an unknown source. That day's worship was done. The same event happened the next day too. On the third day, a 12-year old boy was found to be the source of those leaves. The boy was taken to the saint who thanked him for the leaves. He asked the boy how he knew to pluck the leaves in the right way to be suitable for the worship.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

ABC ... of Life

by Devotee

Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi in India is revered by millions all over the world as a saint or God Himself. His biography can be read in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sathya_Sai_Baba

I had never been a big follower of him - he has his fair share of ardent followers, admirers and detractors too. In fact, more often I was a skeptic of his motives, but so I was about every person who wore an ochre robe. But what I admire most and I have to admit is the serious devotion, goodness, simplicity, moral and spiritual discipline that his devotees imbibed through following him. In fact the reference given below is a testimony to this fact. I had seen numerous such people since childhood: a devoted family  who were poor financially and with a paralytic as the family head, but always had evening aarati and meditation on him at their home; another person who worked in office but distributed Baba’s pithy spiritual and moral short sayings to children of various schools during his off-work hours so as to inspire the children etc. Besides the devotional and spiritual focus, his organization also does a lot of welfare activities: They run schools/colleges, hospitals, build homes, lay water supply network to their home district (county) etc.

The Baba had given his teachings as ABC … of Life to a close devotee who presented the same to a large gathering [1]. The gist of that presentation is being given here:

ABC: Always Be Careful,  Always Be Cautious, Always Be Compassionate, Always Be Concerned, Always Be Charitable, Always Be Cheerful, Avoid Bad Company

D: Duty, Dedication, Devotion, Discipline, Discrimination