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Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission

Vedanta Sandesh Year - 24

Issue 2

Aug 2018

Sri Krishna Janmashtami Greetings


Cover Page

This month our cover page is dedicated to Bhagwan Sri Krishna, whose avataran day is coming earlier next month on the 2nd of Sept. Our Sri Krishna Janmashtami special Vedanta Camp is starting on 27th Aug itself.

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Avataran is descending of God at our plane of consciousness and manifestation. He too dons the same human body and undergoes the similar fate of all humans. In our ignorance we think that human manifestation is full of misery, problems & grief. The endless conflicts within and outside us too point at this same common perception. Avatara is one who doesn't assure us to be a redeemer etc, but someone who helps us realize that all our problems & pains are just because of our ignorance & the subsequent misunderstandings. In spite of being in a human body and having unimaginable problems right from the beginning of his birth, what he teaches us is the fact that a human being with right wisdom can still become a winner and a master, and carve out his or her future of their dreams. Those who believe in redeemers see the problem to be real and which requires super-human effort to manage & efface, but this is not so with our beloved Krishna. He empowers us to realize the real issue and thus live like a master. God in Hinduism is not someone who is just venerated & worshipped, but someone who represents our awakened

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CONTENTS

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Vedanta Sandesh Aug 2018

1.

Shloka 5

2.

Message of P. Guruji

3.

Tattva Bodha 9-13

4.

Letter 14-15

5.

Gita Reflections 16-22

6.

The Art of Man Making

7.

Jivanmukta 30-33

8.

Story Section 34-37

9.

Mission / Ashram News

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23-29

38-58

10.

Forthcoming Progs 59

11.

Links 60 3

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Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission Aug 2018 : Year 24 / Issue 2

Published by

International Vedanta Mission Vedanta Ashram, E/2948, Sudama Nagar, Indore-452009 (M.P.) India http://www.vmission.org.in / vmission@gmail.com

Editor:

V edanta Sandes h

Swamini Samatananda Saraswati

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nsgkU;RokĂŠ es tUe& tjkdk';Zy;kn;%A 'kCnkfnfo"k;S% laxks fujhfUnz;r;k u pAA

Being other than the physical body, I do not have any

birth, old-age, diseases or death (all these afflictions are just for the body); moreover, being free from Sense-Organs, there is no questions of attachment to objects. Atma Bodha - 32


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Message from Poojya Guruji

Chaturmasya The four months of Chaturmasya start from Guru Poornima. During this time all the sanyasi’s stay put at one place and share their wisdom with their devotees and disciples. They pursue their sadhana’s too and at times merely by their presence they assure that the people at large continue to believe in the trascendent & immanent truth as their very self. Some teach with words while others by their mere presence and silence. Bharatvarsha being a predominantly agrarian country and that also predominantly dependent on monsoon for water supplies, the people at large complete their sowing etc and then just wait for the crop to grow with the blessings of

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rains. They cannot move around also, so the people at large too are available for understanding and exploring the truth of life. Appropriate traditions too encourage these satsangs & sadhanas. Thus not only the Mahatmas but also the people at large all devote their time to satsang. Just few days before the Poornima, there is the Dev-Shayani Ekadashi. The sciptures tell us that the devatas take a break and rest. Bhagwan Vishnu, who basically manages the whole creation, goes into Yoga-Nidra - his way to take a break, and so too his entire team of devatas. From the month of Sravana, which starts a day after Guru Poornima, the devotees start special & dedicated worship

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of Bhagwan Shiva. In fact this goes on for four months - directly or indirectly. Ganesh Parva, Sraadha fortnight and later the Navratras - all pertain to some member of Lord Shiva’s so called family. In this whole story there is an interesting message being communicated, which is regarding the role of Pravrriti and Nivritti. Bhagwan Adi Sankaracharya in his Bhashya on Bhagwad Gita says that the Vedic Dharma is two fold, Pravritti and Nivritti. These are broadly translated as Action and Detachment. Action is how best I express outside and detachment is the capacity to detach, and turn within for introspection and meditation. Both these are as important as waking up and living dynamically and then going to sleep. Howsoever important any work is, we know how important is sleep in order to live properly. Out of 24 hours, our sleep should be average one third of the time. Interestingly out of the twelve months of the year, the chaturmasya is one third its time - four months. So the message is that do work very nicely, enthusiastically and also holistically, however, in order to assure that you continue to remain intelligently & creatively productive, it is extremely important that we take a break from our life of aspiring for profits & pleasures and get a wider perspective of our own lives. Everyone needs to be aware of various facts like Who am I? From where have we come? What is the world? What do we seek, and where exactly is that happeiness which we seek eternally? This is what nivritti is all about, and this is what Bhagwan Shankar represents.

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So take a resolve to devote a least a third of your annual time to adhyatma. Study some Vedantic scriptures, do some tapasya and live a thoughtful & exploratory life. Om Namah Shivaya.

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TATTVA BODHA

Benefits of the Knowledge of Oneness

Swamini Samatananda


Tattva Bodha H

aving shown the oneness between the in-

dividual Jiva and Ishvara the Acharya now goes on to speak about the culminating state of knowledge where a spiritual aspirant is awakened. In other words the Acharya speaks about the fruit of this knowledge. Once a person goes through a process of spiritual learning through shravan, manan and nididhyasan at the Revered Feet of a Sadguru and directly sees the truth of himself and others too as being Brahman he is liberated from the shackles of helpless seeking and samsara. He awakens in a state of a Jivanmukti i.e. liberation here and now.

,oa p osnkUrokD;S% ln~xq:ins’ksu p losZ"ofi Hkwrs"kq ;s"kka czãcqf)#Riék rs thoUeqDrk bR;FkZ%A “Thus, by the proper studies of Vedanta through a proper spiritual Guru,when there is direct appreciation of the truth of everyone as Brahman itself, then such enlightened souls are called as Jivanmukta.”

,oa p osnkUrokD;S% ln~xq:ins’ksu p

Those who have studied Vedanta at the Feet of a Sat-Gu-

ru, In these lines the Acharya summarises on the means of V edanta Sandes h

knowledge and its culmination. Knowledge culminates in lib-

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Tattva Bodha eration from samasara. Samsara is an endless seeking of a Jiva which is borne on an imaginary premise that I am an unfulfilled and an incomplete being and therefore I need to seek fulfillment from outside. Moksha is seeing the truth that I am not only basically fulfilled within my self but I am limitless and the very consciousness of which everything is born. The journey of samsara is only a result of ignorance and misapprehension and thus the way out of it is only through knowledge. That is why here the means of liberation is only directly seeing this truth through the study of the scriptures. The study of scriptures is never undertaken by the self independantly but it is a realisation brought about by an indepth and systematic study of Vedanta at the feet of the Master. This methodology is called ‘Sampradaya. That is why in the scriptures the sadguru is defined also as ‘Sampradaya Vit – the one who has acquired the knowledge through a liniege of Vedic Masters and has the skill of communication; knows the methodology of transferring this difficult knowledge. The scriptures call such a Master as ‘Shrotriyam Brahmnishtham’ that is one who himself has acquired this knowledge systematically from his guru and also has the skill to communicate this knowledge. The journey begins by the practise of Karmayoga and Upasana and bringing about sadhan chatushtaya sampatti which are the four fold qualities prescribed by the scriptures as prerequisites for Ve-

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dantic knowledge. Once a student is qualified one has to go

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Tattva Bodha through a process of shravan, manan and nididhyasan. Shravan is listening to the knowledge of the scriptures at the feet of a Guru with an open mind, with faith towards the Guru and the scriptures. Manan is then clearing all the doubts that may have risen during the process of shravan. Then nididhyasan is the practice of owning up the knowledge. Having gone through a systematic study one directly awakens into that state of Brahman which is beyond the limitations of time and space.

losZ"ofi Hkwrs"kq ;s"kka czãcqf)#Riék The Acharya says such a person comes to not only see one’s own self as Brahman but he sees everything living and non-living being as Brahman-the Pure Self-effulgent and Blissful Consciousness. Awakening into the state of Brahman and seeing the same divinity as the non-dual essence that is the substratum of everything is the vision that one is blessed with when one studies Vedanta. One comes to see the fact that everything, my body, another person’s body, plants animals, mountains, lakes, the skies and the ocean every thing is nothing but Brahman, the orignal consciousness. This is the vision of a Man of Wisdom. Even though there will be a diversity in the names, forms and their functions, even though there will be differences in the Guna and the karmas of everything yet the underlying substratum is the one non-dual Brahman.

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Therefore he can be loving, compassionate patient and accept-

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Tattva Bodha ing everyone without any attachemnts and aversions. He could see the karmic impurities of Valmiki when he was a bandit and yet he is also able to see that essentially he is Brahman and so can help him awaken into the sate of Brahman. This awakening has far reaching consequences. The Acharya says-Such a Brahma Gyani is a Jivanmukta.

rs thoUeqDr% bR;FkZ%

They are called as Jivanmukta. He is liberated here and

now. The beauty of a Jivanmukta is that even though he is a part of all the names and forms and lives amidst them yet he is like a lotus in water. He not only lives untouched in this world but he sees everything as a reflection of his very ownself. This vision translates as a being who is detached, balanced and untouched in the various situations of life. Yet he lives a life of dynamism, enthusiasm, selfless service, and joy, living for the welfare of all beings. He mingles with this very world yet nothing can bind him, he experiences the various colours of life yet nothing can bind him with a sense of seeking. He lives amidst every one and yet dives effortlessly in the depths of solitude and contemplation. He can identify with the world and also drown in the nir-

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vikalpa. This is a Jivanmukta.

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Mail from Poojya Guruji Yoga-Nidra & Sleep

Well, further to your question regarding Dev-Shayani & Dev-Uthani

Gyaras, please note that Bhagwan Vishnu along with his entire team of Devatas, take recorse of Yoga-Nidra for four months, just as we take recourse of sleep for about a third of our one days time. Sleep rejuvenates, re-builds and in modern parlance recharges us. If it is Yoga-Nidra then it not only does all this, but even negates all moha in our minds and thus facilitates us to live a more enlightened and positive life.

Bhagwan Vishnu not only revels in Yoga Nidra but also motivates us

all to at least devote a third portion of our time for such an experience. Howsoever much complex a problem maybe, never take impulsive decisions, but first learn to sleep over any problem. Detachment helps us get a different perspective, and with a different perspective the whole scene changes. Something which was a problem is many a times seen as a stepping stone or even a blessing. So make it a habit, not only to detach from everything in your life and then again re-look at your own life in a detached way as a third person. Just as you never see the situation of the other person as a problem, but just a situation to be faced, so also we shall see for our so called problems.

Yoga is not only detachment from our worldly identities, relationships

and aspirations, but it is much more. For mere detachment sleep is enough. In Yoga we discover our true identity. Not knowing our real truth, we all attach ourselves to our body-mind complexes and then start our innings. This is V edanta Sandes h

what real moha - delusion is. So we start with a wrong and then contiue with infinte wrong. Yoga is to discover our true self after this initial detachment. It is like an actor who having donned a role has forgotten his real identity,

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so it is advised that you go to the green room and undress and then have a re-look at your self in the mirror. So also having kept aside all your worldly robes and responsibilities, then again re-look who are you at that time. Obviously we are not the one who is recently born or the one who will die, simply because we have already kept the body aside. We appreciate ourselves as self-effulgent existence which is so peaceful & devoid of any problems. It is this awakening which is the goal of all Yoga.

So Bhagwan Vishnu and his team make it a point to regularly detach

and wake up to his truth. This alone assures a complete life. So when our gods go into Yoga-Nidra, so also you need to keep aside other agendas and pursue something more esoteric. That is the objective of this time between DevShayani and Dev-Uthani Gyasras. Yoga-Nidra is Detach, Relax and Realize, while Sleep on the other hand is just detach & relax, there is no realization involved. Make the best use of these four months of Chaturmasya and learn both the science & technology of these subjective sojourns.

Love & om,

V edanta Sandes h

Swami Atmananda

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Gita Reflections

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vga oS’okujks HkwRok izkf.kuka nsgekfJr%A izk.kkikukS lek;qDr% ipkE;éa prqfo/ke~AA (Gita 15/14) 16

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All Pervasiveness of God (vga

oS’okujks HkwRok----)

Swamini Samatananda

I reside in the body of beings as Vaishvanara Agni, and endowed with the Prana & Apana Vayus, it is I alone

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who digests the four-kinds of Food. Gita 15/14 17

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Gita Reflections

A

ham Vaishvanaro bhutva’...is a very famous

sloka of one of the most famous 15th chapter of Srimad Bhagwad Geeta. In this Lord Krishna gives us the ‘Vaishvanara Upasana’. Sri Krishna here reveals that ‘I’ alone am the conscious principle that manifests as the Vaishvanara agni (fire) in the stomach of all living beings. The Geeta is one of the exclusive scriptures that divinises the various powers that help in the functioning of this beautiful world. Be it in the very body of a living being or the various forces of the world outside.

We all are aware of the fire in the outside world at the

macro level which is the nucleus of our life. This same element of fire supports the individual body too at the micro level. This agni is known as the ‘Jathara Agni. ‘Jatharam’ means the ‘stomach’, so ‘Jatharagni’ means the fire within the stomach. It is also known by another name, ‘The Vaishvanara agni’ and this fire is called the digestive fire, which cooks the eaten food. The food we eat goes through two types of cooking before the body actually assimilates it. One is the external cooking or any preparation that makes food edible, and the other is the internal cooking. In each cooking the food gets transformed. When the food is cooked outside it is made palatable and easy to consume it from the mouth to the stomach. Sri Krishna says, Once we have consumed the food

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then the process of digesting and assimilating the food that we

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Gita Reflections have eaten is blessed by Bhagwan himself. As a human being we indiscriminately eat all sorts of food without any discipline but it is with the blessings of the Jathara agni that all the food is digested. The implication of the word ‘Digestion’ in this sloka is that it is this fire principle that takes out all the essence of the food that we have eaten. All the nutrients of the food is extracted by the Jathara agni. This has a strong implication that we must eat food when this fire of digestion is truly awakened. In simple language we must eat food when we are realy hungry. This discipline alone is the bestower of good health.

This sloka kindles the lamp of being aware and grateful to-

wards that life principle which not only brings life in our body as a whole but it also helps in the functioning of each and every part of our body. We are able to breathe effortlessly, our heart is beating and pumping blood in and out of the blood vessels without us even being aware of it, our kidneys, our livers and the list goes on and on. Isn’t it amazing that our body being such a complex machine all the parts of the body function so perfectly, dynamically, intricately and in the best of co-ordination with each other. How is all this possible? Surely there is a life principle which is not only living but also highly intelligent, dynamic, meticulous, joyous and compassionate so as to keep the body bubbling with life and functioning without much efforts on our part. This sloka is

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only one of the many slokas in the Bhagwad Geeta which drives

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Gita Reflections our attention towards this intelligent and compassionate life principle. The strong message here is that it calls for an indepth and inexplicable feeling of gratitude for this cosmic life principle. Just imagine what would life be if we had to consciously control these various functions of our body? God has been so compassionate that he has left only simple things in our control like choosing the kind of food we eat, how much we eat and when and how we eat. Even then this is so poorly managed that surely our body has to work extra hard to keep us going for a good sixty plus years on this earth. If at all we only took care of our eating habits then life would be a bigger blessing. Our body is the most physically visible asset of our existence. There cannot be a better medium of feeling the presence of God. The Geeta inspires that even if a person cannot feel the presence of God in a more subtle manner surely one cannot miss out on the existence and blessings of God if one were to drive one’s attention towards the functioning of our body. This is one of the best ways to express our gratitude and feel the presence of God.

Another very important message given in this sloka is the

spirit of Yagya or Yagya Bhava. It is the unique teaching of the this divine song that it teaches us to convert any and every action into an act of worship by inculcating the attitude of Yagya. The attitude of Yagya is divinising every action we perform by making

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it an offering to God. The spirit of Yagya is to perform every action

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Gita Reflections with a sense of gratitude and privilege of being able to serve God through whatever we do. Thus making every action divine, free of anxiety and enjoyable. Having inculcated this spirit, work itself is a blessing and a means of enjoy and the fruit of action is an added bonus which is the prasad of Ishvara. The hidden message in this sloka to divinise the act of eating food. To an ignorant man bound by his senses, food is another source of enjoyment which is extremely superficial and lasts as long as the journey from the taste buds to the throat. Thereafter we only face consequences of how and what we have eaten. Sri Krishna gives us a hint that one should make eating food as a means of performing a Yagya. Our physical body is a temple, Jathara Agni is the Devata invoked in this Yagya and eating food is an offering made in this yagya. Thus it should be an expression of gratitude towards God and a fulfillment of our dharma towards our physical body and mind. Just as we have to perform our dharma towards various things and people so also it is our dharma to noursih and keep the body healthy so it becomes a good instrument to serve God and fulfill our spiritual goals. Our food habits affect our physical and mental alertness and reflect our attitude of tapas.The Gita teaches us to strike a balance. Bhagwan says in the sixth chapter that a person who over eats or does not eat at all both are unfit for contemplation.

Thus Bhagwan says that I reside in the stomach of all liv-

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ing beings as Vaishvanar Agni and digest the four types of food.

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Gita Reflections First is Bhakshya-that is foods which are masticated, which you bite and masticate and swallow, any solid type of food, second is Bhojya-foods which you directly swallow i.e. all liquids like milk or soup or coffee or tea. The third one is called lehya, that which has to be licked and consumed; You cannot directly pour into the mouth like honey and pickles, the fourth one is choshya that which has to be sucked inside, like the sugar cane, etc.

All this is done by kindlling the fire with the help of Prana

and Apana Vaayu. Prana-breathing in and Apana-breathing out is the fanning of the digestive fire. This is directly proportional to our physical activity. Whenever we are physically active, breathing becomes faster and with this the internal fire is kindled intensly and therefore Vaisvanara agni intensifies, and one feel hungry. When the breathing slows down, hunger too slows down.

Thus in this sloka the Geeta Acharya shows us to see the

presence of God and his blessings in every aspect of our life. That is why the philosophy of Sanatan Dharma has the divine vision of seeing that every force in the universe is blessed by a diety who blesses the functioning of everything. There could not be a better way to start seeing the presence of God and his blessings than the physical world itself. A person who is able to connect to the blissful and conscious life principle in the physical world alone will develop

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a sensitive and sharp mind to discover Ishvara as one with the Self.

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-5-

The Art of Man Making Swami Chinmayananda


-5-

The Art Of Man Making

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The Art of Right Contact

P.P. Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji 24

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The Art of Man Making

G

reatRishisinthepastmusthavehadtheirownna-

tional problems to solve. They must also have thoughts:’How can we become a nation, how can we maintain the integrity of character in society and collective beauty of action in the individuals? In short, how best can a total national development be gained?’ It cannot be bro ught about merely by wishing. Each individual must come to accomodate others and learn to come together, and then only can society stand up and lead the age to a glorious era, which we all so anxiously look forward to. Other than the attempts made and the results achieved today in Laboratories and in the field of economics and politics, our religion also must have some ideas to contribute in rebuilding our nation.

As sincere students, let us try to see if the Geeta scheme

of life has got anything to give to us. We shall study the textbook independently without following blindly what others have said about it, and a steady scientific outlook. This will be the scheme of our talks on the Bhagavad Gita.

One of the most popular text books on life is the Geeta.

Every educated man discusses it. Some of us at least keep a well bound copy of it in our drawing-room shelves. But by merely V edanta Sandes h

knowing that Bhagwad Geeta is a wonderful book, we cannot

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The Art of Man Making be benefitted by her, either socially or culturally. We must all try to know precisely everything discussed in the Geeta, courageously reject that which we cannot at present comprehend and usefully employ, and with a determined will, live and practice the high tenets and the subtle devices of the Geeta in our daily lives.

The Geeta offers a solution to all problems of humani-

ty-at least this is the repeated claim of all scholars. Let us try to experiment upon these unfailing values in our own daily life, and to find out for ourselves their truth, so that we, as individuals, may bring about if possible, a greater stability of mind, a greater harmony in our own personal and social life. We have all heard about the contents of the Geeta. But we do not now know clearly what the spirit of the Geeta has to offer us. Let us try to understand the Geeta, in the context of modern Psychology, in the light of declared scientific discoveries and with reference to the demonstrated advanced knowledges that are today available for us. Let us try to re-evaluate the Geeta, as she is said to summarise the high tenets of Vedanta. We are told that she, as a scripture, provides us with an intellectual approach to all our problems-be it in our personal, social, national or international life.

Man is always more important and sacred than the things

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and beings that exist-the behaviour and incidents that are tak-

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The Art of Man Making ing place around him. History tells us that there had been successive waves of dark ages and golden eras in the world from time immemorial. That is the history of man and we need not, therefore, look aghast at the painful picture of the present-day world’s political despondency. When the calibre of man gets broken down, everything is lost; as long as man is strong within, he can rebuild the world around him-however desperate the conditions be about him. Instances are many in history where we find that very often our nation was scotched by successive waves of invasions, but the heart of Bharat never got corrupted-our true culture never got destroyed.

We have now gained our independence, more splendor-

ous than ever before. We have plans and schemes, visions and hopes. We have been continuously striving-we have made sacrifices. We are running forward, no doubt, and yet, strangely enough, we are not progressing! What is wrong with us?, is the question. Are we not, as a generation, feeling terribly over burdened with our historical despondency, economic despair, social selfishness and personal vanity? Is this not the cause why we cannot make real progress? We must learn, perhaps, how to unload ourselves, how to remove the crushing weights off our conscience. We must find a way to liberate our hearts from these chains gathered from the recent past, so that we may feel

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really free to live a courageous life, like our spectacular forefa-

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The Art of Man Making thers the Aryans did of yore. We then shall come to maintain in our national life the enduring values of the Bharateeya culture.

The physical body is clothed by its nourishing trellis of

blood vessels, through which alone we contact the world outside, and the impurities in the blood will hamper the efficiency of the body. Similarly, the spirit within us is enshrined in a mesh of thoughts, which is called the mind; in that thoughtweb through which alone we express ourselves in the outer world-if we allow ‘suspended impurities’, necessarily there will be ugliness and pain in our experienced life. The modern world has progressed much in raising the material conviniences, and yet the modern man’s woes of life has only increased. And this is because in the thought-life, and this inner insanitary state, when expressed in our social life, it helps to breed the unhealthy conditions of sorrow all around in our national life. We must all know how to eliminate this ‘impurity suspension’-within each of us. We must surcharge our minds with the divine, significant realities of life. Arjuna, though a staunch Bharateeya, was not able to meet his challenges in life, and Lord Krishna, the Geeta Acharya, found that Arjuna was no more a true Bharateeya! For, the Pandava Prince allowed himself to suffer from mental degradation; and such a man is surely un-Ar-

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yan. The Lord had to teach him the technique of rediscovering

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The Art of Man Making the greater personality in himself. This ‘art of self-discovery’ is the entire discussion in the Geeta discourses.

The Bhagwad Geeta is very intimately connected with

the life lived by every one of us. Whether we be in the market place, at home, or in the political field, we have to come in contact with the world outside, and in doing so we must know the ‘art’ of making right contacts. If a man makes wrong contacts unintelligently, the world will crush him and devour him up! Remember, the world has no mercies-realise, the world has

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only its laws.

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Jivanmukta Wandering In Himalayas

68 Lake Reewal (contd) Excerpts from the Travel Memoirs of Param Poojya Swami Tapovanji Maharaj


Jivanmukta S

uch is the Puranic story regarding the

lake and its islets. However, the sight of floating islets is not a rare phenomenon in Kahsmir. There all kinds of vegetables are grown on masses of floating earth and drawn about from place to place over the waters of the lakes. Nevertheless the sight of the floating islets in Lake Reewal inspires the people of North India, and they look upon the lake as one of the principal places of pilgrimage.

We passed three or four joyful days in a lonely house on

the shore of the lake. As in various other parts of the HImalayas, here, too, I came across families of Sannyasins who had fallen from their rigorous way of life. During my rambles through the mountains I had the good fortune or misfortune of accepting the hospitality of such families. When I see an erstwhile sannyasin sorrounded by women and children, I am irresistibly reminded of the the extremely onerous nature of a sannyasin’s life and conduct. For common mortals it is indeed a difficult task to observe the rules of sannyasa.

Historians tell us that after Buddha’s and Sankara’s time

sannyasa spread all over India. As, many became monks without V edanta Sandes h

the requisite qualifications, it was only natural that some should

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Jivanmukta fall tempted by woman or gold. Merely by putting on the saffron robe one cannot shed desires and inborn tendencies.

Passions like lust and greed lurking in the heart of man

are stirred up in the presence of congenial objects. To nip such passions in the bud requires years of patient efforts. Even with earnest effort it is possible only for a few exceptionally blessed people to attain that goal. That was why our ancients regarded the duties of a sannyasin as highly difficult and held true sannyassins in the highest esteem.

While I was staying at Hridalaya, I used to pay my hom-

age to Lord Buddhain the Buddhist temple on the shore of the lake. Like the lake, the temple too, invoked my feelings of great devotion, joy and elevated thoughts. The priest in the temple was a Tibetan householder. During my visits to the shrine, he used to welcome me with great friendliness and inquire about my stay. At the time of my first visit I also met a Lama from Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. He had come to Reewal on a pilgrimage. The Lama and the priest informed me that the lake was as holy in the eyes of the Buddhists as in the eyes of the Hindus. In Buddhists books it is called So-Paima. Hundreds of pilgrims from Tibet and other countries visited the place every

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yearand conducted circumambulation of the lake. In their view,

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Jivanmukta going around the lake was far more meritorious than any other form of worship. The Tibetans also narrated to me a story regarding the religeous significance of the lake- a story altogether different from that found in the Hindu Puranas.

A light that is never allowed to go out is kept burning in

the temple before the image of Lord buddha. The Lama from tibet seemed to have little else to do except prostrate before the image or walk around the lake. In fact, I found him doing nothing else. Rigorous indeed is the discipline of the Buddhist Lamas. While I was staying with them in Tibet, I had been very much impressed by their strictly disciplined life. Our Hindu Sannyasins seem to waste most of their time in lofty talk.

At last we bade good-bye to the happy days at Hridalaya

and returned to Mandi. I do not mean to suggest that life at Mandi or at any other place was anything other than happy. The fact is, a sannyassin experiences only bliss, at all places and at all times. Even in what others consider sorrow, he find joy.

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Pain as well as pleaure is Brahman and therfore the same.

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STORY Section 34

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Dev Shayani Ekadashi

E

kadashi is the eleventh lunar day of the

fortnight which occurs twice every month. One falls during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the moon) and the other on the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the moon). There are 24 ekadashis in a year. The number goes up to 26 during the ‘Adhika maas’, extra month as per the Hindu calendar. Ekadashi that falls on the Ashadha month, the eleventh month according to the Hindu calendar is called as Devshayani Ekadashi. In 2018, Devshayani Ekadashi falls on July 23. Devshayani Ekadashi is also known as Ashadi Ekadashi, Padma Ekadashi, and Hari Shayani Ekadashi.

Devshayani Ekadashi is believed to be the day when Lord

Vishnu goes into Yoga Nidra and wakes up after four months on Prabodhini Ekadashi. It is also said that during these four months as Lord Shri Vishnu goes into Yoga nidra He hands over the functioning of the world to Lord Shiva. This period of four months is also known as Chaturmaas.

This event of Lord Vishnu going into Yoga Nidra for

four months and then Lord Shiva taking over should not be taken literally as Bhagwan Vishnu going off to sleep for four V edanta Sandes h

months. This entire story has an inspiring spiritual conotation

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Dev Shayani Ekadashi hidden. In the Vedas there are two types of Dharmas prescribed for a fulfilled life of a human being. One is Pravritti Lakshan Dharma and the other is Nivritti Lakshan Dharma. Pravritti is the involvement of Man in the field of action wherein he fulfills all his worldly desires based on the conduct of righteusness. Nivritti is getting over all attachments to worldly life and dedicating ones time to spiritual practises and spiritual knowledge. Now Lord Vishnu being the sustainer of the universe represents pravritti lakshan dharma thus the implication here when it is said that Lord Vishnu goes into Yoga Nidra is that this is a message for a spiritual aspirant too to give up all worldly attachments and desires and at least dedicate these four months towards spiritual sadhanas and spiritual learning. This also explains the meaning that Lord Shiva takes over for the four months. Lord Shiva represents dispassion and revelling in the spiritual Self that is self contented and does not need any worldly pleasure for fulfillment. Thus this legend is an indication that during this period of four months one should detach oneself from worldly attachments and seek spiritual fulfillment.

The four months of Chaturmas is also the four months

of the monsoon season in India. The onset of the monsoons

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brings life to a standstill as it is difficult to venture out in the

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Dev Shayani Ekadashi heavy rainy season. Thus this is also the time when Sannyasis and saints settle down in one place for the period of four months and it is the time when they teach scriptures to devotees and guide to perform various sadhanas. This event of Lord Vishnu going into Yoga Nidra and Lord Shiva taking charge thus translates into inspiring all spiritual seekers to take time off from pravritti that is constant involvement into the field of desires and their fulfillment through action and and becoming free that is nivritta and taking time out to quiten the mind and absorb oneself in spiritual practises.

This is the spiritual connotation of Dev Shayani Eka-

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dashi and Chaturmaas.

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Mission & Ashram News

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Bringing Love & Light in the lives of all with the Knowledge of Self

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Ashram News Guru Poornima Celebrations

Poojya Guruji does Puja of his Gurudev

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Pad-Pooja of Poojya Guruji

By Tanmay & Virali Patel, Ahmedabad

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Ashram News Guru Poornima Celebrations

Puja, Pravachan and Bhandara

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Local and Outstation Devotees

Guru Poornima is Vyasa Poornima

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Ashram News Guru Poornima Satsang

All devotees sang lovely Bhajans

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Guru Altar was tastefully decorated

with Pictures of all Acharyas

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Ashram News Guru Poornima Satsang

There was a good group from Gujrat

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All Mahatmas also sang glories of God & Guru

27th July 2018

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Mission News Guru Poornima Celeb @ Mumbai

with Poojya Swamini Samatanandaji

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Pooja by Adv Satish & Nandini Prabhu

Program tastefully organized

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Mission News Guru Poornima Celeb @ Mumbai

Welcome by children

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Gita Shloka chanting - by children

Guidance of Anuradha & Omkar

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Mission News Satsang @ Borivili, Mumbai

By P. Swamini Samatanandaji

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At the new house of Sh Navin Sharma

29th July 2018

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Ashram News Hanuman Chalisa Satsang

by Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji

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Chaupayi 28 started

29th July

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Ashram News Rudrabhisheka by Brni Sakshiji

Thanksgiving Puja

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Blessings of all Mahatmas

17th July 2018

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General News Green Drive, Indore

by Poojya Guruji & Ashram Mahatmas

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Organized by Speaking Tree (TOI)

1st July - at Maachal (Dhar Road, Indore)

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General News Green Drive, Indore

by Ashram Mahatmas & Devotees

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Organized by Speaking Tree

At Maachal, Dhar Road, Indore

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Ashram News Interview of P. Guruji

by Sonal Srivastava - Speaking Tree Editor

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at Vedanta Ashram

2nd July 2018

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Ashram News Birthday of Brni Sakshiji

17th July

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Puja and Bhandara

@ Vedanta Ashram

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Ashram News Birthday of Daya

His first Birthday

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Loves Everyone and Guards Ashram

1st July 2018

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Ashram News First Savan Somvar Jhanki

Bhasma Vigrah of Gangeshwar Mahadevji

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Puja followed by Bhajans & Katha

30th July 2018

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General News Visit : To Patalpani

Lovely Waterfall - outshirts of Indore

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Ashram Mahatmas & Devotees

8th July

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Genaral News Visit : Tincha Fall

30 Kms from Indore

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Surrounded by lovely forests

16th July 2018

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General News Visit: Bamnia Kund Waterfall

Ashram Mahatmas & Devotees

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20 Kms ahead of Mhow

21st July 2018

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General News Visit: Ralamandal Sanctuary

Outskirts of Indore

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Ashram Mahatmas & Neena Bhatnagar

Lovely place with Deer Park

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General News Visit: Ralamandal Sanctuary

They have a nice Deep Park

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Taking visitors around in a Golf Cart

We also drove to the mountain top

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Forthcoming VM Programs 28th Aug - 2nd Sept 2018 VEDANTA CAMP @ Indore Amrutbindu Upanishad / Vigyan Nauka Stotram All Ashram Mahatmas 2nd Sept 2018 Sri Krishna Janmashtami Celebration @ Indore Vishnu Sahasranama Archana / Krishna Janma All Mahatmas & Campers

7th - 9th Sept 2018 SATSANGS @ Mumbai Different Topics P. Swamini Samatanandaji

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30th Sept - 7th Oct 2018 GITA GYANA YAGNA @ Lucknow Kena (2nd Section) / Gita-11 P. Swamini Amitanandaji

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Visit us online : International Vedanta Mission

Check out earlier issues of : Vedanta Sandesh

Visit the IVM Blog at : Vedanta Mission Blog Published by: International Vedanta Mission Editor: Swamini Samatananda Saraswati

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Vedanta Sandesh - Aug 2018  

Aug 2018 issue of Vedanta Sandesh, the English monthly eMagazine of International Vedanta Mission. VS contains inspiring and enlightening ar...

Vedanta Sandesh - Aug 2018  

Aug 2018 issue of Vedanta Sandesh, the English monthly eMagazine of International Vedanta Mission. VS contains inspiring and enlightening ar...

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