Archive for ‘Arsha Vidya Gurukulam’

October 24, 2017

Why Rituals – Swami Paramarthananda – Audio File

Why Rituals – Swami Paramarthananda – Audio File

Please let your children listen to this also when they ask why do you perform pooja. All parents please listen.

Dharma has three important aspects

1. Values
2. Attitudes
3. Rituals

Vedic Religion consider Rituals are most important for initial part of Veda.

Why rituals ? two psychological and sociological benefits.

1. Values and attitudes are abstract as they belong to the mind, if they have to communicated, it has to be physicalized or verbalized. So rituals are physicalization or verbalization of the values.
if the parent has to communicate the value to the child, the mother will communicate to a 4 year old. It has to be done by physicalized action like doing namaskaram. This applies to friendship also , since friendship is a mental faculty. This is show by shaking the hands or hugging. Ritual is a concrete expression of an abstract emotion.

2. Rituals are one of methods of keeping a group together. Togetherliness is possible if everyone in the family takes part. A family that does rituals (of some kind) stays together. Satsangha is another example.

………………

More content in the audio file.

Please let your children listen to this also when they ask why do you perform pooja. All parents please listen.

Download Audio File Link

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2fhZcwHT-QgREJ6ZTNXZkRFOE0

Ram Ram

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October 30, 2015

Sandyavandanam – Many resources in one place – mp3 – articles, how to, audio etc.

Namaste

Here is a collection of Sandhyavandanam resources ( documents, manuals, books, audio, videos) in one place.
Please email at hari.ramasubbu at gmail dot com to add sandyavandanam related content so that everyone will benefit.

p92a

 

http://tinyurl.com/sandyavandanam

The link has three parts, articles , audio and how-to manuals. Please click the above link to see all and download.

Special Mention on Audio: The audio directory has some useful audio but Swami Paramarthananda’s Sandyavandanam audio talks is worth a mention.
Swamiji’s audio content is a treasure for those who want to truely understand this important nithya karma.

Here is a direct URL to Swami Paramarthananda’s Sandyavandanam audio talks.

http://tinyurl.com/SPji-Sandyavandanam

 

 

More articles are published also at
https://thapas.wordpress.com/category/sandhyavandanam/

http://tinyurl.com/sandyavandanam

One stop source for see many Sandhyavandanam related info.

Namaste
Hari
thapas.wordpress.com

February 27, 2015

Conversion is an Act of Violence – by Swami Dayananda Saraswati

Aggressive religions have no God-given right to destroy ancient faiths and cultures


Religious conversion is a widely discussed topic in the Indian media these days. I think this issue needs to be thoroughly understood by all the people that count in every religion.

The world’s religions can be categorically said to be either aggressive or nonaggressive. Each religion has a certain promise in the form of an ultimate goal. Their faithful people try to live the prescribed life and reach the promised goal. Neither they nor their clergy are out to bring the people of other religions to their flock.

Zorastrians follow their religious tradition without attempting to convert anybody to their religion. This is true with the followers of the Jewish tradition, Vedic religion (now known as Hinduism), Shintoism, Taoism and the many other religions of various tribes in the world. I call these religious traditions nonaggressive because they do not believe in aggressive conversion.

Then there are religions like Christianity, whose theologies, containing a number of basic nonverifiable beliefs, advocate conversion. Evangelism and proselytization are sacred commitments of the entire cadre of the highly organized clergy. The clergy-inspired laity are not any less committed to conversion. They are zealous in their mission of preaching and conversion. In their zeal, the end more often than not justifies the means. From the days of the Inquisition, every attempt recorded in history to stop their program of conversion only stoked their flame of zeal.

As a result, many religions with their unique cultures have disappeared, leaving behind only mammoth relics, like the ones in Greece and Mexico. The loss of such great living cultures of the world is the mark of success for the zealous of the aggressive religions. The truth is that where there should be a sense of guilt and remorse, there is a sense of achievement and pride.

Many leaders of nonaggressive traditions think that the charity of the missionaries is designed to neutralize any protest from the native religious community. One cannot totally dismiss their thinking.

Religious conversion by missionary activity remains an act of violence.

Religious conversion by missionary activity remains an act of violence. It is an act of violence because it hurts deeply, not only the other members of the family of the converted, but the entire community that comes to know of it. One is connected to various persons in one’s world. The religious person in every individual is the innermost, inasmuch as he or she is connected to a force beyond the empirical.

The religious person is connected only to the force beyond he has now accepted. That is the reason why the hurt caused by religion can turn into violence. That is why a religious belief can motivate a missionary to be a martyr. When the hurt of the religious becomes acute, it explodes into violence. Conversion is violence. It generates violence.

Aggressive religions and nonaggressive religions are not on the same plank. Conversion is, therefore, a rank, one-sided aggression. The genius of the nonaggressive traditions cannot change, and therefore, they cannot be asked to do the same thing as the aggressive religions do.

Humanity cannot afford to lose any more of its existing living religious traditions and cultures. We want to enjoy the religious cultures of both Christianity and Islam as we also want to enjoy the cultures of Jews, Parsis, Taoists, Shintoists, Hindus and others. Humanity will not let a pyramid be razed to the ground by the Egyptian government to create a housing complex. Even though they are in Egypt, the pyramids are too ancient to be the property of that country. They are standing monuments of human genius–they belong to the whole of humanity. So, too, are all the monuments of the past lying all over the world.

Religion and culture are not often separable. This is especially true with the Hindu religious tradition.

The greeting word, namaste, is an expression of culture as well as religion. Even though a religious mark on the forehead is purely religious, it is looked upon as a part of Hindu culture. Rangoli [patterns drawn on the ground with rice flour] at the entrance of a Hindu house is not just cultural; it is also religious. Indian music and dance cannot separate themselves from the Hindu religious tradition. There is no classical dance, bharata natyam, without Siva Nataraja being there. The classical, lyrical compositions of Meera, Tyagaraja, Purandara, Dikshitar and many others are intimately connected to the Hindu religious traditions. Therefore, conversion implies destruction of this entire culture.

A committed Christian will not wear a tilakam, much less have rangoli in front of the house. If there is no rangoli at the entrance to a Tamil Nadu house, we immediately know that it doesn’t belong to a Hindu. A converted Christian woman ceases to wear Indian traditional clothes, like saris, etc. No Christian woman will wear a nose ring.

It is amazing how easily cultures disappear by the program of conversion through various means, leaving only dead monuments to be preserved for posterity. The living religious traditions, intimately woven into the fabric of their respective cultures, have to be allowed to live and thrive. Religious conversion should stop–the aggressive religions should realize that they are perpetrating violence when they convert. We want them to live and let others live.

Youtube videos on the same topic can be found here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4sEMVJuDCY#t=86

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnAo65rcye4

May 28, 2014

Swami Omkarananda Tamil Satsangam – Saturday June 7 2014 6pm to 8pm – DFW Hindu Temple Irving TX.

Please find enclosed the info on a rare and not-to-be-missed opportunity to listen to a Tamil speaking community in DFW.

Please RSVP in this form so that we can get a head count.

Please forward it to your friends and family who may be interested in this Tamil satsangam.

Excellent Youtube Video from Swamiji in Tamil: http://tinyurl.com/swamijitalk

Swamiji Website: http://www.vedaneri.org/

About Swamiji: Sri Swami Omkarananda was born in a traditional Vedic family and learnt the Vedas from a very early age. In his early twenties, greatly inspired by the teachings of Sri Swami Vivekananda, he joined Ramakrishna Tapovanam at Tirupparaithurai, was given Sanyasa by its founder Sri Swami Chidbhavananda, on 4th May 1985 and was named as Sri Swami Omkarananda. His quest for knowledge of Vedanta led him to Sri Swami Paramarthananda, disciple of Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati, under whose guidance he studied Vedanta from 1987 to 1994.

On completion of his studies he founded “Sri Swami Chidbhavananda Ashramam” on the banks of river Surabhi Saraswathi or Mullaiyaru at Theni and established the Vedanta Sasthra Prachara Trust to manage the Ashram. As the Chief Acharya of the Ashram, Sri Swamiji takes Vedanta classes for the Brahmacharis, and conducts regular classes in the Ashram for the benefit of general public. He conducts regular Jnana Yajnas in India and abroad.

Sri Swamiji has succeeded HH Sri Sri Santananda Swamigal of Sri Sri Judge Swamigal Adhishtanam, popularly known as Sri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham, at Pudukottai. This Pitham has a long history of conducting various homams and pujas. Sri Swamiji is touring the US at the invitation of the Sringeri Vidya Bharati

Namaste

Hari Ramasubbu

February 26, 2014

Importance of Gayathri Manthra by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.

Swami Dayananda talks about the importance and meaning of Gayathri Manthra.

Part of the 2013 Anniversary Talk titled ‘Living In the Present’.

The Gayathri Manthra topic from 19th minute of this 4o minute audio lecture.

Audio of the lecture

http://www.mixcloud.com/thapas/importance-of-gayathri-manthra-19th-minute-onwards/

The Gayathri Manthra topic from 19th minute of this 4o minute audio lecture.

Transcript from the lecture

Why is Gayathri Manthra a great prayer ?

You can prayer for wealth, power etc. Gayathri does not have that kind of a prarthana. The one who burns all confusions and ignorance is called Bhargaha.

Yo Bargaha , naha Asmakam , prachodanam kuryath.
May that lord who burns all confusions make our minds decide properly. To be at the right time right place is not in your hands.

In an intersection of a road, When we seen the green light, the assumption is someone else has seen the red light and responded to it also. That is why Prachodayat. Lord, bless to decide me properly. Between the two rights, what will work is another decision.

When a boy is 9 years old, the whole life is open for him. What prayer he has got. O lord, bless me to make decisions properly, to be at the right place at the right time. Every successful man was at the right place at the right time. Really true. It is not in your hands.

Therefore Gayathri prays for you to be at right place at the right time.  It is important to know that it is not in your own hands to be at the right place at the right time. Therefore one has to do One has to do.

There is no sharing karma, your karma is yours. You have to do it. You are doing what you have got to do. Decisions can become very painful. You do not have the heard to dismiss. It is allowed in Dharma to dismiss this person for helping in some other way. So this painful decision , the first thing should be painful decision.

Therefore when I told this to an audience, one fellow told me, ” I have been procrastinating, I have lost jobs, relationships. So I missed out a possible marriage, your talk was inspiring. So from next week onwards I’m not going to procrastinating”.

From NOW on make it a point to do what is to be done from NOW on. However painful it is, do it first. May the lord help you.

Om is the lord – Avathi , rakshathi ithi ohm.
Om is the bhu – Om is the earth, the lord is the earth.
Om is bhuva – Om is the all above the earth
Om is svaha – Om is all that is beyond our perception.
That is OM.
That Varenyam – Only in India it is possible. That OM thatvam , that lord has to be understand. You have to choose to know. Nowhere in the world, Bhagawan is to be understood. For us what it is here is easwara. Om is Bhuhu, Bhuvaha, Suvana.

God is to be understood not to be believed. Pending understanding, it is ok to be believe.

Dheemahi – we meditate up on. We include others also. We include all of them. Savitha is the sun, the solar system, and the whole universe.
Savithuhu – the lord of the entire universe.
Sabaraha – The one who is all knowledge and who burns all ignorance.

Make our minds think properly, decide properly, understand properly. Let there be no corners in my mind on what is to be done.

What is real and what is not real? Let there be no confusion about that. That’s how we should use the time. Time is available for what you are interested in. What is TO be done, it does not depend on your interest, and it should be done.

What choice you have got to play the role of a mother. You have no choice. What choice you have got. Just play the role.
There is no choice. What is to be done is Easwara. May the lord help to do what is to be done IN TIME.
———

December 20, 2013

Swami Omkarananda – Sanskrit Upanyasam – Not to be missed.

An not-to-be-missed upanyasam about the greatness Samskritham , Bharatheeya culture and Vedas in Samskritham language for 45 mins.

I’m sure even people who have less Samskritham knowledge can understand it , since most Indian languages have Samskritham words.


Swamiji is from Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham and a great teacher of Vedanta. One of his vedanta guru is Swami Paramarthananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam(Swami Dayananda Saraswathi). His ashram is in lush and picturesque Theni, Tamilnadu.

More info at website is http://www.vedaneri.org/

More information about swamiji.

HH Sri Swami Omkarananda
  • HH Sri Swami Omkarananda has taken up the sacred mission of rejuvenating the spiritual values and cultural traditions of India.
  • Born in a family steeped in culture, he adopted the Vedic life style from an early age.
  • He took his Sanyasa from Pujyasri Swami Chidbhavananda, founder of Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam, Tirupparaithurai.
  • He studied Vedanta under Pujyasri Swami Paramarthananda, one of the foremost disciples of Pujyasri Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.
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  • Through his eloquent discourses, he drives home the deep insights of the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads, such that even an average person can comprehend them with ease.
  • He expounds the essence of some of the sacred texts in Tamil, such as Tevaram, Tiruvachakam, Tirumandiram, Tayumanavar’s hymns, Bharatiyar’s songs and in particular Tirukural.
  • He interacts freely with people of all strata without discrimination of caste, creed, age, economic status or education and attracts them by his compassionate words and friendly demeanour.
  • It is no exaggeration to say that all those who have been attracted by his teaching are rooted in spirituality and lead a purposeful life of righteousness and love, and enjoy inner peace.
  • He is actively engaged in many social activities, contributing to the well being of the society through the two Trusts he has set up – Vedanta Sasthra Prachara Trust and Sri Dakshinamurti Seva Samiti.
  • Under the auspices of Vedanta Sasthra Prachara Trust, he has successfully developed a settlement called Vedapuri in Theni on the bank of the river Mullaiyaru and has established Sri Swami Chidbhavananda Ashramam there.
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  • Under the auspices of Sri Dakshinamurti Seva Samithi, he has constructed a magnificent edifice named Adiguru Sri Prajna Dakshinamurti Vidya Pitham and conducts its affair in a grand manner.
  • He succeeded Pujyasri Santananda Swamigal as the pontiff of Sri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham at Pudukkottai, in the lineage of Sri Dattatreya.
  • He has established Sadguru Santananda Satsangam Trust in Chennai to further enlarge his range of activities for the well being of people.
Sri Sri Judge Swamigal AdhisthanamSri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham
  • Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra Saraswati’s (also known as Judge Swamigal) Samadhi is located at Pudukkottai. He attained Mahasamadhi around 1908.
  • His disciple Sri Swayamprakasa Mahaswamigal installed a Linga at the Adhishtinam and performed Mahakumbhabhishekam in the year 1936. He later directed his disciple Sadguru Sri Santananda Swamigal to look after Sri Judge Swamigal’s Adhisthanam. He installed the idol of Sri Bhuvaneshwari in the year 1962. He founded Sri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham. Under his divine guidance homams have been regularly performed for the past fifty years.
  • Sadguru Santananda Mahaswamigal attained Mahasamadhi in the year 2002. On 11th May 2005, Pujya Sri Omkarananda Mahaswamigal took charge of Sri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham.
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  • The most important mission of Pujya Sri Swamiji at Sri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham is to conduct various homams for the benefit of the world, which are executed by Sri Bhuvaneshwari Charities Trust and Sri Swayamprakasha Avadhuta Sadasiva Trust. Pujya Sri Swamiji has also founded Sri Bhuvaneshwari Seva Mandali to carry out social service activities like free tuition to needy children, etc.,

Namaste

Hari Ramasubbu
thapas.wordpress.com
​www.sdfglobal.org
www.vidyadaanam.org​

August 31, 2013

How does prayer influence destiny? – Answers by Swami Viditatmananda

Destiny is like the river that is flowing and my free will is like the boat.

Answers by Swami Viditatmananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam

Question: Does prayer always go along with devotion?

Answer: When I pray to the Lord, I accept in my mind that the Lord is all-powerful and merciful. He can give me what I need and is kind enough to give it to me. I cannot pray if I don’t have this kind of trust. I cannot perform a prayer unless I am convinced that my prayer is going to be answered, or at least going to be heard, with a sympathetic ear. I do not want to say something to deaf ears! If God does not listen to me at all, then I do not want to pray to him. So when I perform the prayer, I know that He listens and cares. There is at least that understanding or acceptance on my part! This is devotion. This kind of śraddha or trust is involved in prayer.

Question: How does prayer influence destiny?

Answer: Prayer is an expression of free will. The human being has been given free will and, therefore, the capacity to perform a deliberate action, which is what we call purushārtha. Purushartha means a deliberate action that is performed, using free will. Then there is destiny, prārabdha. There are many forces in life, which are not in my control. My own action, however, is in my control. In every situation, there are two factors, prārabdha and purushārtha or destiny and free will.

In explaining this, a certain example is sometimes given. Let us say that I have a boat and it is floating in the river. Destiny is like the river that is flowing and my free will is like the boat. I have a certain freedom with reference to my own sail with which I can guide my boat whichever way I wish, even as the river is flowing. Similarly, there is a flow of destiny in life, but I do have a limited amount of freedom to navigate my boat to my destination. In life, there are many things and situations that are not under our control. How we respond to each situation is something that is within our control. This is where free will, purushārtha or self-effort, comes in.

Prayer is an expression of my free will. Although there is destiny, with the help of my prayer, I can bring about some change in my destiny. If my destiny is very strong, I may not be able to change it significantly, but if my destiny is weak, I can change it. So prayer can definitely influence destiny. In praying, we are performing a deliberate action that we call puNya, meaning that we are worshiping the Lord and thus creating a positive influence. The positive influence created by prayer can counteract any negative influence that may be in my destiny. In that sense, I can bring about some change in the effect of destiny. How much change, however, will depend upon how powerful my destiny is and how powerful my prayers are. But any positive thing that I do will definitely counteract something negative, which may be there in my destiny.

Posted by AVG Sevak

January 18, 2013

Vedic Way To Victory !! New Year Message by Swami Paramarthananda ji

Vedic Way To Victory !!
New Year Message by Swami Paramarthananda ji

First of all I wish you a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year.

In our tradition we are supposed to get up early in the morning and offer our prayers to the Lord is one very important and significant prayer for mornings. This is the well-known “Kara Krava Lakshmi”, “Kara Madhya Saraswati” and “Kara Moola Gauri” – Prabatha Kara Darshanam.

Look at your hands for Lakshmi resides in the tip of the hand, in the middle there is Saraswati, and at the end is “Durga” or “Gauri”. When you look at the hands don’t look at the lines remembering palmistry but pray to Durga/Lakshmi/ Saraswati. One needs to remember and invoke the grace of all these three deities.

 

Durga Lakshmi & Saraswathi

There are two reasons to worship Durga Lakshmi & Saraswathi:

1.They are the spouses or consorts of the three murthis (Brahma/Vishnu/ Shiva)
2.These deities represent three very important Shaktis or powers (Resources).

Durga Devi represents our health especially important as we are growing old.
Lakshmi Devi represents wealth for when health is lost you will realize the importance of wealth in the form of expensive medical bills.
Saraswati Devi represents wisdom or knowledge.
These three basic resources are required by every one of us: health, wealth, and knowledge.

When we have them we don’t know their value and take them for granted. Only when we are deprived of any one of them we discover the value of that particular resource. Therefore all the three are equally important.

When we are sick we think that health is most important. In poverty we feel that wealth is the most important. So which of the three is deprived we conclude that is most vital for living. Actually there is no pecking order and if we give weightage each would score 33.33%!

Health, wealth, and knowledge are necessary for survival, for success in our ventures, and life itself. Hence Sastras recommend that we remember these three resources every day.

Navarathri

  1. In our tradition we talk of two navaratris – one is called Vasanta (Spring) Navaratri and another is Sarada (Autumn) Navaratri.
  2. During navaratri we exclusively worship Durga for three days, Lakshmi for three days, and Saraswati for three days. We invoke the grace of these three shaktis then what follows? The tenth day is called “Vijayadasami” or victory.
  3. The Vedic way of victory is Shakti Samyam – all the three resources must be there and they must be in balance. Otherwise life will be a failure. Therefore let us start the New Year by invoking these deities and every day too.

The scriptures say that we must ask for two types of favours from each deity

  1. Two types of health
  2. Two types of wealth
  3. Two types of knowledge.

What are the two types of health we must pray from Durga Devi?

 

  1. One is the physical health which is extremely important and second is the mental health. Our modern lifestyle is such that we are neglecting Durga Devi. All the magazines talk of “lifestyle diseases”. Our very lifestyle is the cause of diseases. These are due to improper lifestyle – our eating habits are wrong, sleeping habits are wrong, and working habits are wrong. They reveal that we are disrespecting Durga Devi.
  2. One morning prayers states: In Brahma Muhuratham one must not sleep. Sleeping in this time will deplete one’s punyam and produce pappam. For this sin one must do praichittam. Even before New Year eve people attend all night parties, drink all kinds of things, and don’t even see the New Year sunrise (lifestyle disease). Even there is an English proverb that talks about the virtues of rising early: Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy.
  3. When you rise early you get the blessings of Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. We are violating all health habits (eating, sleeping, and working habits are wrong because we don’t enjoy our work).
  4. There is too much pressure and stress. Work place has become a field of war due to increased competition. I have to outperform all my competitors; there is pressure and lot of aggression. Working places resemble war zones and when we come home it is like Ashoka coming from a Kalinga war. Therefore mental stress is a major problem of modern day living.
  5. Continuous stress reduces the immunity of a person and that invites all kinds of diseases. A person may be chronologically 40 years but ravaged by constant stress the body ages to 60.
  6. A man squanders his health initially working for wealth. Then he squanders his earned wealth in search of health! And ultimately loses both.
  7. In Sanskrit there is a humourous verse – O doctor, my namaskarams to you for you are the elder brother of Yama dharmaraja. Why elder? Yama only takes life while the doctor takes both the life and money and say,” Operation was successful but the patient died”.
  8. So Durga Devi is so important and one must pray every day to HER for physical as well as mental health.

What are the two types of wealth we must pray from Lakshmi Devi?

 

  1. One is the outer wealth in the form of money, gold, shares, real estate etc and the other is contentment. In the Vedic jargon wealth is reduced to “gold and land” to signify every kind of wealth.
  2. Swami Dayananda says that we call it real estate for we ourselves have a doubt. Like ever silver is never silver!!! We have to invoke Lakshmi Devi for without external wealth we cannot conduct life. We respect money without which survival is not possible. Even a sanyasi requires wealth in the form of food, clothing, and shelter.
  3. Vedas state that we should not stop with the desire for external wealth; internal wealth is just as important – inner wealth in the form of contentment or tripti. If Tripti or contentment is not there we will face several problems. Then desire for external wealth will not be balanced for without contentment desires will escalate. Desires by themselves are harmless but unknowingly “Kama” will be converted into Lobah or Greed. Kama (desire for wealth) is one of the four purusharthas but it needs to be balanced with contentment.
  4. Modern lifestyle provides a conducive environment for GREED. Every manufacturer is promoting greed for his products through advertising. There is an advertisement you might have seen.
  5. A child is asking mom that for pongal it wants a I-pad or Laptop and not some boring toys. The media drives this acquisition and greed in society. If we are not careful we will fall under the trap of greed.
  6. The first consequence of greed is running after Lakshmi Devi and ignore the other two deities which disturbs the “shakti or resource balance”. Instead of “Shakti Samyam” Lakshmi will become predominant and unbalanced life will have disastrous consequences.
  7. Greed will pressurize the mind to become more and more aggressive, and more violent. The value of Ahimsa is thrown to the winds. I shout at everybody as they don’t keep up with me. I work with constant pressure and aggression. Greed will also force a person to compromise with dharmic values too like Indian politicians.
  8. First the “shakti imbalance” and the second “the loss of dharma” will obstruct success in our life especially spiritual success. Thirdly when there is greed, there is competition and cut throat philosophy.
  9. Some will become more and more rich while most would become poor. There will be few “haves” and many “have nots” and the widening disparity will increase the crime rate. We can never live in contentment for fear of burglary, chain snatching, or even murder. The headline “Old couple murdered” is getting regular and our children are not around.
  10. Greed creates a lot of stress. The world has enough for human need but world does not have enough for human greed. If humanity is in the grip of greed then the natural resources would be exploited more. We are abusing nature and it is already turning violent on us. These environmental/ecological imbalances will affect the next generations and they will not have enough even for an ordinary life.
  11. Greed causes problems both at the micro and macro level because of individual greed, family greed, corporate greed, national greed. In fact recession is caused from corporate greed. They are promoting more and more loans and credit cards (acquire more and greed is promoted!!!). In our parent’s generation the word loan was fraught with shame while now we wear it as a crown (bhushanam)!
  12. We are so caught up with external wealth that we forget the internal wealth of contentment (tripti). Veda says that whatever you earn legitimately one must be contented without comparing with neighbours or falling for New Year discount sales! Therefore we must pray to Lakshmi Devi to extend wealth to include contentment too.
  13. We don’t appreciate the value of contentment for we wrongly think that our level of enjoyment would come down. This is a serious misconception and delusion born out of greed.
  14. Our Sastra take great pains to remove this misconception: If external wealth is the source of joy then internal wealth of contentment is as much a source of joy if not greater.
  15. In Traittreya Upanishad this important message is given graphically. They have divided external wealth into ten levels.
  16. Let us imagine a man acquiring more wealth and goes from level 1 to level 2. Let us take another wise man who progresses in contentment levels from level 1 to level 2 (contentment is also divided into ten levels parallelly) .
  17. Traittreya Upanishad states the second person who progresses on the contentment scale has hundred times more joy than the person who finds happiness in material acquisition.
  18. Let’s say at level -10 a Ambani or Bill Gates and take a wise man sitting under a tree without bank balance, without laptop, without I-pad, without television, without home theatre, without home itself. He’s joy is hundred times more than the richest man on earth.
  19. So when you pray for Lakshmi Devi every day include external wealth and also internal wealth.

What are the two types of knowledge we must pray from Saraswati Devi?

 

Then there is another important deity, “Saraswati”. From Saraswati Devi we have to seek two types of knowledge.

One knowledge is material knowledge given by material sciences; science and technology being developed in thousands of laboratories all over the world. They are trying to corner the external world with better set-up; better houses, better gadgets and everything better and better. Conquering the external world and manipulating the set-up which is called Apara Vidya.

The Para Vidya is spiritual sciences represented by our scriptures which are designed to change our internal mindset.

  1. Material sciences are used to adjust the external set-up to suit our likes and dislikes. While spiritual knowledge is to change our mindset. This is extremely important for however advanced material sciences maybe we can never be totally in control of the external set-up.
  2. Go to Pondicherry and see the havoc played by the cyclones! The external set-up is uncontrollable, unpredictable, and unsustainable and we will have to face unfavourable professional situations, we will have to face unfavourable family situations, unfavourable personal situations according to our karma. We have to face unfavourable set-up either temporary or face them lifelong.
  3. The doctor will say, “You will have to live with it” for there are many genetic diseases for which there are no remedies. In such a situation material sciences will throw their hands in despair. When we cannot adjust the set-up it has become a choiceless situation then you will have to adjust the mind. Our mindset and perspectives must be adjusted such that it cushioned and protected from the external unfavourable situations.
  4. Like wearing a cooling glass in hot sun that protects the eyes but when things cannot be changed externally we must know how to adjust the mind. That is why our Sastra make a difference between spiritual ignorance and spiritual knowledge.
  5. An ignorant mind is like a convex lens that magnifies any external unfavourable situation. The doctor only says there should be an investigation and the mind begins to dread the worst.
  6. The mind is always is insecure, always in panic and exaggerates every little difficulty. Spiritual ignorance exaggerates every choiceless situation. In contrast spiritual knowledge is one that makes a person face even the most unfavourable situation with an appropriate attitude.
  7. Lord Krishna in the Gita presents two techniques to deal with any problem: Karma yoga and Jnana yoga.
  8. Material sciences teach how to adjust the world while spiritual sciences alone will tell us how to adjust the mind. Mental adjustments are necessary when we are facing choiceless situations. There are certain situations that have no remedy and at that time you need spiritual knowledge to cope with your situation. Therefore pray to Sarawati for both types of knowledge.

So on this auspicious new year let us invoke the grace of Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati for two types of health, physical and mental; two types of wealth, physical and contentment; two types of knowledge, material sciences and spiritual knowledge.

Let this prayer be on behalf of ourselves, our families and the entire world.

December 11, 2011

Useful Hindu spiritual sites/blogs for learning on the net.

If you are a spiritual seeker (Asthika) following Sanatana Dharma , these web sites might come in handy for you.

http://sumukam.wordpress.com/
Excellent resource to find tons of bhajans, namasankeerthanam audio, discourses, upanyasams, vedanta talks and many more.

http://www.pravachanam.com/
Excellent discourses in samskritham, tamil, hindi, telugu and english. Dont miss Swami Paramarthananda’s Sandhyavandanam audio lecture in this site.

https://www.vedavichara.com/index.php
Excellent resource to find structured teaching by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi’s “Arsha Vidya” teaching tradition of Advaitha Vedanta.This site also has authentic Vedic chants from Kalancheri, TN Veda Pata Shaala.

http://mystudyofvedanta.blogspot.com/2008/03/introduction.html
Textual transcript of Swami Paramarthananda’s “Introduction to Vedanta”. Swami Paramarthananda is a great vedanta teacher and sanyasi from Arshya Vidya Parampara. This site has the very introduction to the Vedanta which will answer many questions most Hindus have. Questions like “What is the varna system” , “Why we must follow Dharma”. If one really wants to learn about Hinduism , you must read this with patience. The basics.

Namaste
Hari