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Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission

Year 21

Issue 8


Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission Feb 2016 : Year 21 / Issue 8

Editor: Swamini Samatananda Saraswati

loZHkwrkf/kokla p ;n~Hkwrs"kq olR;fiA loZkuqxzkgdRosu rnLE;ga oklqnso%AA I am ‘that’ Vasudeva who is the very substratum of all things & beings; and who abides in all (as their very Self) and blesses them all. Amrutbindu Upanishad -22

Published by

International Vedanta Mission

http://www.vmission.org.in / vmission@gmail.com


Section Index 1.

Message of P. Guruji

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5

4.

Letter

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9

2. 5. 6. 7. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11.

Tattva Bodha

-

6-7

Gita Reflections

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10-11

Yoga Vasistha

-

14-15

VM News

-

18

Jivanmukta

Story Section

-

-

13

17

VM Activities

-

19

VM Programs

-

23

Album

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20-21


from Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji

Panchagni - five fold Yagna In the Mundaka & also in the Chandogya Upanishads, the creation of man has been revealed to be an outcome of five-fold Yagna - termed as the Panchagni (Pancha-Five, Agni-Yagna). This reveals the divine process involved in the final manifestation of a human being in this world. Yagna is a very special word in the Vedas. It reveals the divine art of karma. Yagna-bhava is the highest motivation & spirit of karma. This Yagna-spirit is natural & effortless in God, and therefore this attitude becomes worthy of emulation & learning by all his devotees & sadhakas. All sadhanas are our humble efforts to tune up with the divine ways. In Gita, we are told dozens of ways to convert 'all' our karmas into Yagna, and that is what Karma-Yoga is all about too. In Yagna-spirit, we begin by aiming for something noble, inspiring & great. The limited can even dare to dream for the limitless, and put in very loving yet concerted & holistic efforts, as an offering to our beloved God, and the final fruit is seen to be bestowed by him alone. In Yagnabhava it is a game of two, and not my burden alone, thus at no stage is karma a matter of stress, but is only a matter of joy & privilege. The Panchagni's are: Swarga (Heavens), Megha (Clouds), Prithivi (Earth), Purusha (Man) and finally the Woman. We know punya karmas take us to swarga, so the first stage of creation is noble & virtuous aspirations, magnanimous dream and detailed planning of the nature of our purushartha. Dream of a beautiful & divine creation should be motivated by the prayer of the wellbeing of all, and not our ego-fulfillment, security or even gratification. That which is initiated by pettiness keeps us petty too. Second stage is Megha - clouds. Clouds help transform a level to something to more concrete level. Similarly when our dreams are so clear & intense that they as though start raining, dreams start manifesting as clear plans and a clear road map manifests. Third stage is Prithivi, gross manifestations of our dreams in the form of a beautiful world, in which we have the potential to help make anything possible. Its a beautiful world where all being are so nice and helpful. In such a world is born the man - a highly potent creation who has the capacity to create as beautifuly as God. Right education endows him with the same godly spirit of yagna-bhava and similar noble aspirations, and finally comes the fifth & final stage when such a man lovingly places his sperm in the womb of a woman who is equally aware of the scheme of things, and thus it is our mothers who become the final instrument in the manifestation of his godly & divine progeny. Without this yagna-bhava, the creation will be motivated merely by gratification & attachment. Product of such egoistic motivation are as petty minded as their parents, while the progeny of loving, wise & magnanimous people have the fragrance of their parents. Creation is a serious business and appropriate preparation & education is required for creating a beautiful world with its beautiful people.


Tattva Bodha The Causal Body

In the previous discussions we studied about the Gross and the Subtle bodies. The Acharya further explained about the five organs of perception and the five organs of action, their functions and dieties etc. The string of thought that connects all these discussions together is the discrimination between the Self an the Nonself. In the subject under discussion we are seeing that which the Atma is not. To see that the Atma is beyond the three bodies it is important to know what the three bodies are. What is their real nature? What is their cause? This is the only objective of such a detailed study of all our faculties. The Acharya now introduces to us the Causal Body.

What is Causal body? That which is inexplicable, beginningless and in the form of Avidya (ignorance of

the Reality), the cause for the other two bodies (the subtle and the gross), ignorant of one’s own real nature (Self), free from duality or division, is the Karana sarira or the Causal body. The Causal Body as the name suggests, is the state of ignorance which is therefore the cause of the first two bodies. It is due to ignorance that a Jiva is bound to move around with his baggage of the subtle body and take birth in the gross body. It is due to ignorance or the causal body that the Jiva moves around endlessly in the trip of samsara. The Causal body is the most subtlest of the three bodies and pervades the other two bodies. Here the Acharya gives us some pointers to expalin the causal body. Avidyaroopam: The nature of the causal body is ignorance. It is not a body like the gross and the subtle bodies, but it is a state of ignorance. Ignorance has no size, shape or quality. It is always related to an object. Like the ignorance of computers. With reference to the Self ignorance never stays by itself. It is soon followed by misapprehension of the self. If I do not know my self I can

never stay with that ignorance, I will identify with something that is cognisable, it may be the physical body, the mind, the intellect, my relationships, or my status etc. The glory of the self is such that it can light the presence of ignorance as well as knowledge. Since the causal body can be negated just like the other two bodies so the causal state is also known as a body. In sanskrit ‘Shareera’ means that which is perishablesheeryate iti shareerah. Like the other two bodies the cause of ignorance too can be removed hence it is is called the causal body. Anirvachyam: It is inexplicable. Since it cannot be objectified like any other object of shape and size, the causal body cannot be described in words or grasped by the mind. Ignorance simply implies lack of knowledge. It does not actually have any existence yet it cannot be said to be totally non-existent, because we experience

Vedanta Sandesh


its effects. It manifests as the gross and the subtle bodies and we experience the consequences of ignorance too. Not only do we face pain and suffering in our day to day life, but we continue to be on a constant seeking trip from one birth to another. Our work, our relationships, and above all the basic understanding of the self and life as a whole is completely misguided due to ignorance. As long as ignorance is not handled and wiped off by the light of knowledge so long we will continue to suffer. Anadi: Ignorance is beginingless. If I say I dont know chinese language I cannot go back to a precise date. We cannot identify since when we are ignorant. So also regarding the Self. If we draw a begining line then a question arises what was there before ignorance. In that case we cannot say that there was a void, because ignorance can never crop up from nothingness. If we say that before there was knowledge, then ignorance cannot crop up from knowledge either. So one cannot point out a begining fro ignorance. Therefore it is anadi-beginingless. Shareera dvayasya karana maatram: It is the cause of the gross and the subtle bodies. These two layers of our personality cannot exist from nothing. There must be a cause. Ignorance is not knowing the Self and then since the mind cannot live with this ignorance it superimposes on the Real Self that which is easily objectifiable to it. We walk into a pottery shop. There are various things made out of clay. There are mud pots, forms of gods and godessess, toys, flower vase etc. We believe we are seeing various kinds of things like the pot, flower vase

etc. But the fact is that we are really seeing only clay. If we are ignorant of the clay, we will take the names and forms of the clay to be real. It is a similar situation with the self. When I am ignorant of the self, I take the appearance of various objects such as the body and mind to be real. Here in stead of the various forms of pot etc I identify with the body and mind and think this is what I am. However, when the self is known, they are seen to be only the self. Once this misapprehension takes place then the trip to attain extraneous gratification begins. Since I identify with the limited appearance as the Self then I will constantly need something to fulfill it. Thus begins the trip of samsara. So ignorance and then misapprehension‘causes’ the non-dual self appear to be something other than what it really is. Sat svaroopa agyaanam: I know I exist. We all know our existence, even an animal or a bird does. But being aware of this physical existence is not the knowledge of the Real Self. I do not have the true knowledge about the Self being pure existence, self effulgent and blissful by nature. Nirvikalpakarupam: Ignorance is homogeneous. It is one. My ignorance is not different from yours. I may be ignorant about computers, you may be ignorant about driving. The objects of ignorance may differ, but ignorance is the same. It does not have any forms and divisions. Ignorance can be destroyed by knowledge. Therefore the Causal body is not eternal. Through knowledge it is discovered that I am beyond the three bodies.

WISHING EVERYONE A VERY COLORFUL & JOYOUS BASANT PANCHAMI

The nature is at its best. Out of the white snowy sheets in the Himalayas manifest the latent beauty. -7-


The Way to Heaven & Hell There was a Samurai. After winning a war he was returning home with his army. On the way he passed through a forest. In the forest, a monk was deep in meditation. The Samurai bowed and asked humbly, ‘Oh Monk! Which is the way to heaven and which is the way to hell?’ The Monk did not respond. Now the Samurai repeated his question a little more loudly. The Monk still did not respond. the third time, the Samurai roared the question in a thunderous voice that shook the very tree under which the Monk was meditating. Now the Monk opened his eyes and said sternly, ‘You stupid fellow! Why did you disturb my meditation?’ Now the Samurai was really furious. He immediately pulled out his sword and raised it to kill the Monk. The Monk said with a smile, ‘This is the way to hell’. The Samurai realised his folly. The truth dawned on him and his anger abated. ‘the Monk called me ‘stupid’ not to chide me but to teach me the truth...’ He gently placed his sword in the sheath. and the Monk said, ‘This is the way to heaven!’ Drawing the sword in anger was reaction-To re-act is the gateway to hell. And putting the sword back into the sheath was pro-actionto respond is the gateway to heaven. Heaven & Hell are the states of our mind.

Vedanta Sandesh


Padma Awards Hari om !

When someone

respects a Swami,

then every Swami

worth their salt clearly knows

that

this

respect is not really for an individual, but for

that knowledge he/

she stands for, and may be the good intentions & hard work for that for which he

lives for. So there is no problem when others respect us.

- PoojyaGuruji

It was a matter of great joy to hear that this year the Govt of India awarded Padma awards even to some Mahatmas, they are: Poojya Brahmaleen Swami Dayanandaji, P. Swami Tejomayanandaji and also Sri Sri Ravishankerji. The new dispensation at the center respects & realizes the great contribution of spiritual masters in the process of nation-building & world-peace. This is a big change from the earlier so called secular rulers, who in the name of secularism just ignored this aspect of nation-building, but did keep on appeasing the minorities for their vote-banks. Religion & spirituality are very important tools of nation building & integration. They also help in the inculcation of proper values & ethics by providing a philosophical basis & logic to them. In this context someone asked me whether Mahatmas should accept these awards, specially because they are expected to be above all such worldly awards & respects.

Well, no Mahatma in their wildest dreams ever expected these awards, far less lobbying for them. Awards are being bestowed on them by the leaders of the people - because it is these ‘leaders’ who respect their contribution to the society. Even when there was no thought of any awards, such noble souls kept on working tirelessly, so from their point of view awards do not really matter; yet respects & awards do matter from the people’s point of view. Respect for anything initiates the process of inculcation of that which we respect. If the leaders truly value something then obviously not only these leaders shall certainly be good people & better leaders, but will also help translate them into into policies for the wellbeing of all. So this is certainly a good step. Let all be wise, let all be happy - is the prayer of these masters, and if by this small step we go nearer to that cherished dream then certainly this step needs to be appreciated & welcomed. When someone respects a Swami, then every Swami worth their salt clearly knows that this respect is not really for an individual, but for that knowledge he/ she stands for, and may be the good intentions & hard work for that for which he lives for. So there is no problem when others respect us. The greatness of a Mahatma is obviously in that equanimity for all ups & downs, and in fact for using all ups & downs for more & more effectively communicating that for which they have dedicated their lives. Blessings to those wise leaders for this step, becasue this will help the society become wise too. Love & om

Swami Atmananda -9-


by

God is ever present in yagna

Tasmaat brahma yagye pratishthitam

Swamini Samatananda

Creation is bringing into a manifest form that which is potentially in the unmanifest. It can be seen at the cosmic level where Ishwara creates this beautiful, divine and orderly world and at the individual level where a man & woman bring into this world an entity who is equally living and dynamic. Vedas reveal of a unique & divine vision and also its philosophy about how the cosmic creation has been brought about and how an individual too should ideally be brought into this world. If one were to look at the entire cosmic creation of God one can see that the world is beautiful, full of harmony and highly organized. We can sleep peacefully at night because we know that our breathing, digestion, pumping of the heart etc all bodily functions will automatically function perfectly. Each and everything in nature introduces us to a divine creator who has very lovingly, very consciously and intelligently created this world. The Vedas and the Upanishads reveal to us a unique and divine process of creation which can be seen at the cosmic level when Ishwara creates this world and which is a ‘must know’ knowledge at the human level. When animals give birth to their children there is no deliberate resolve in it because they live all the aspects of their life in a programmed manner as per the designing of God. But a human being not only has a great degree of intelligence, in depth emotions but also has the freedom to genetically engineer a progeny that is divine, fulfilled, compassionate, sensitive, healthy and highly intelligent. Hence giving birth to a child should never be looked upon as a fruit of some chance factor nor some accidental result of lust. The Vedas give us a vision that not only looks upon child birth as a divine manifestation but the very process of bringing a human being into this world is divinised by making it a yagya. Ishwara effortlessly inculcates the spirit of a Yagya at the cosmic level when creating this world and so also bringing an individual to this world should be a yagya.

What is a Yagya and Spirit of Yagya:

The spirit of Yagya features a belief in the existence of a divine, magnanimous, all pervading power the Ishwara and tuning in very finely with him. A spiritual student with the spirit of yagya feels privileged to be the chosen one to perform all that the cosmic will has planned for him. He tries to recognise and understand the will of God and is available as a privileged, dynamic, humble and loving instrument of him. All actions are performed without )any baggage of an ego centric attitude. Thus work is enjoyed, there is no anxiety, or pressure in action or towards the fruit of action. The end result of all action is seen as a blessing from God. With such a tuning one can keep the highest of goals without any worry because I am an instrument of a very magnanimous, potent and divine power. I dont see myself as a doer but keeping a divine magnanimous goal I make my self available for whatever Ishwara has planned for me. The flip side of yagya bhava is a self centric attitude wherein the worldly goals may be high, the hard work put in may also be tremendous but there is a sour odour of individual sense of doership and enjoyership. Success and failures for such people become a roller coaster ride. Srimadbhagwadgita predominantly speaks of the yagya bhava in almost every chapter and Sri Krishna teaches us to uncompromisingly inculcate this spirit of Yagya in everything we do in life. In the Mundaka Upanishad the teacher talks about ‘Panchagni’ or five levels of Yagya in the process of the manifestation of a human being. The 5 components of Panchagni are Swarg (heaven), Varsha (the rains), Prithivi (the Earth), Man & Woman.

Panchagni:

Swarg or the Heavens:In the Vedas the entire cosmos is symbolised as a divine cosmic human form where in the heavens represent the head of this cosmic form. The head represents the power house of intelligence, sensitivity and discrimination. Bringing a human being into this world should not be a chance factor or a product of lust but it should be a thoughtful, planned, resolve to Vedanta Sandesh


create a spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically healthy being who is born out of a sense of fulfillment and love. A being who grows up to be a blessing for the self, the family, the society and the world at large. Rains: Once a resolve and an intellectual understanding takes place it gives birth to its translation into reality. Rains are like an overwhelming joyous expression of translating a desire into more perceptible form. Earth: Enlivened with rains the earth or the physical & gross gets fertile enough to bring about the best of creation. Everything in nature becomes supportive in bringing about the creation. Both the instrumental and the material causes are created, who take the form of man & women. Rains blessing the earth is one of the best example of earth being blessed by someone to flower & bloom. Enriched & enlived by rains the earth also incorporating the same yagya-spirit facilitates the manifestation of so many other beings, including man and also the physical creation of a women. However the next level of creation is by this man - for the women.

Lets remember that in yagya-spirit, we are just blessed instruments to manifest the already existing unmanifest which has infinite potential & capacities. It is only after these stages of yagya where in the goal is divine & holistic, the basis of creation is fulfillment, love n joy , that a man & woman come together to become the instruments of God.

Man & Woman: The final privelege of creation of a child is in man & woman. First man becomes the instrument to plant the seed and finally the women bears the child to manifest him/her in this world - all in the same yagya-spirit. Lets remember that in yagya-spirit, we are just blessed instruments to manifest the already existing unmanifest which has infinite potential & capacities. It is only after these stages of a yagya wherein the goal is divine and holistic, the basis of creation is fulfillment, love n joy, that a man and woman come together to become the instruments of God. They bring into this world a Jiva who will further translate God’s divinity by living a holistic life and aiming to awake to the truth. This is the Panchagni that the Upanishads give to us, a divine means to continue and sustain this creation. The process of creation starts much earlier than we perceive and the real creator is God himself. With Panchagni he alone is realized as the real creator and everyone gets blessed with the yagya-spirit to be his instruments. When creator is god alone then alone the created will be divine. In and through this discussion of creating a human being by going through the five levels of Panchagni one must not miss out the deep implication of this yagya spirit which is the spiritual objective of Panchagni. Even though Panchagni or the spirit of being a divine instrument of God is the subject of discussion here, yet the main objective is not just to become an instrument of God but ultimately this journey must culminate in becoming one with God. The journey of an individual, ego centric jiva begins by a sense of gratitude and becoming a loving, humble and dynamic instrument of God but such a karmayogi must aim for oneness with God. One must awaken in a state where the Self identifies with Ishwara as the very own Self and the atma of the entire creation. All my actions and creations are performed in the state of Godhood where all manifestation is born out of fulfillment, love, bliss and selflessness. This alone is the crux and objective of Vedanta. The knowledge of such a glorious Vedic heritage is the need of the hour. It reflects the purity and divinity in the intentions of having a progeny, it reflects the humility to see the blessings of various divine factors in bringing about any creation and sustaining it and so also the complimentary nature of man and woman in becoming the divine instruments in the continuity of the world. In today’s times, male-female relationships are predominantly featured by ignorance of the goal of life & the importance of mutual partnership in living a righteous life further culminating in spiritual awakening. There is suppression and then erruption of unguided physical and emotional expressions. Such an enlightening vision alone can redeem the world of slef-centric attrocities of unhealthy families, and an unhealthy world. The well being of any creation begins with either the knowledge or faith that I am divine & fulfilled by nature. - 11 -


Failure There was a very successful businessman. He lived

in plenty and prosperity. Unfortunately his ship got caught

in a storm and sank. His factory was closed down due to labour trouble. His debts exceeded his assets and he lost

everything in the process and became a pauper. For five long years he worked very hard and gained back his lost status, constructed a bigger factory, acquired not one, but two ships; now he was richer than ever before!

Learning about this turn of fortune, journalists came

to interview him. They flooded him with questions about the secret of his success.

His reply to them was, “I know that I failed in my

business... but I never told myself that I am a failure....that

is the reason my regained success!� Failing in an endeavour is one dimension and to treat oneself as a failure is yet another dimension.

Vedanta Sandesh


Wandering in Himalayas Difficult Routes,

Blissful

Contemplations

Pilgrims who proceed from Rishikesh to Gangotri, Kedar or Badri enjoy

charming and wonderful sights in the Himalayan regions. This part of India,

known as Kedarkhanda in the Puranas, is unique in the world for its tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty. The ancient scholars have paid glowing tributes to the region in words such as these: “The learned call the land to the north Swargabhoomi (Paradise). All other regions are called Prithivi (Earth).”

In the Himalayas my mind immerses itself in contemplation of God to the

exclusion of all other thoughts. But at Badrikashram it turns involuntarily to Kerela, the place of my birth. I fully believe that modern Badri owes its greatness to Kerela. It was our Shankara-a renunciate of action but nevertheless a Hero of

action-who removed the image of Buddha at Badrinathand installed that of Lord Narayana in its stead. It was he who drew up strict rules for the performance of

worship and the proper maintenance of temples. But for his services Badrinath

would have been lost to Hindus. Gyanis like Pakkanar, bhaktas like Vilvamangalam and Spiritual Teachers (Acharyas) like Sri Shankara were born and brought up in Kerela. If the names of Pakkanar and Vilvamangalam are still confined to the four boundaries of their homeland, Sri Shankara’s fame has travelled to the remotest corners of the globe.

Excerpts from

As I sit in the Badri Temple, in the presence of Lord Narayana, talking to

the

the head priest in our common tongue, in Malayalam, I am inevitabely reminded

of

dounds to the glory of Shankara, and his glory is the glory of Kerela. I doubt

Travel Memoirs Param Poojya Swami

Tapovanji Maharaj

of our Vilvadrinath and Guruvayoorappan. That a Brahmin from the distant malabar should hold the office of the head-priest in this Himalayan temple re-

whether many of her children know that an enduring pillar of her fame was

erected on a Himalayan peak, at a height of 11,000 feet several centuries ago. Soul-force can never be acquired except through the knowledge of the

soul. Such knowledge is by no means a monopoly of sannyasins like myself

who pass their days in solitude in out-of-the-way places like Badrikashram, Anyone can attain it, whether he is a Brahmachari, householder, farmer or judge.

There is nothing incompatible between the realization of the soul and the maintanence of wife and children or cultivation of lands. You may be a politician,

social reformer, or religeous leader. Whatever you be, do your work with the knowledge of the soul.

- 13 -


by

Swamini Vidyananda

The questions of Karkati are so amazing and clever, they are worth to be

cited without exceptions.

The demoness asked: O king, what is it that is one and yet is many, and

in which millions of universes merge even as ripples in an ocean? What is it that is pure space, though it appears to be not so? What is it that is me in you and that

is you in me; what is it that moves yet does not move, that remains stationary though it is not so; what is it that is a rock through conscious and what plays wonderful tricks in empty space; what is it that is not the sun and the moon and fire

and

yet

eternally shines; what

is that atom that

seems to be far and yet

so near; what is it

that is of the nature of

what is it that is all

and yet is not any of

self of all, is veiled

by ignorance and is

intense

persistent effort; what

consciousness

and yet is not knowable;

these; what is it regained

that, though it is the very

after

many

and

is it that is atomic

of

and yet contains a

mountain within it,

and that transforms the

it that is atomic

and

three worlds into a

Adhyatmic Teachings of Guru Vasishtha to Sri Ramji

life-times

blade of grass; what is

immeasurable;

yet

is

what is it that without

ever renouncing

its

atomic

nature

appears to be bigger than the biggest mountain; what is that atom in which the entire universe rests like a seed during the cosmic dissolution?

What is it that is responsible for the function of all the elements in the

universe, though it does nothing at all; even as ornaments like bracelets are

made of gold, of what are the seer, the sight and the seen made; what is it that

veils and reveals the threefold manifestation ; in what is the apparent threefold division of time established, even as the tree is in a seed; what is it that comes into manifestation and vanishes alternately, even as the tree comes out of the seed and the seed comes out of the tree alternately?

O king, what is the creator of this universe and by whose power do you Vedanta Sandesh


exist and function as a king, protecting your subjects and punishing the wicked;

what is it, seeing which your own vision is purified and you exist as that alone without a division?

O king, to save yourself from certain death, answer these questions. By

the light of your wisdom dispel this darkness of doubt in me. He is not a wise man who is unable, when questioned, to cut at the very root of ignorance and doubt.

If, however, you are unable to uproot this ignorance in me and to answer these questions, you will appease my hunger today. (*)

So, these are her two dozen questions she addressed to the king and his

minister. These are amazing questions, worthy of the deep meditation.

Seemingly opposite concepts are placed against each other - what is big and

small at the same time? who can be doer and non-doer? divided and nondivided? We are used to think that a small thing cannot be big, and big cannot be

small, and this is taken as an absolute truth without much additional thinking. And

this is true, if we speak of a THING, an object. But there is much more to the

world and me than just objects contained in it. Did you ever think of this? The

demoness does not ask about any object of the whole universe, but what does she asks about? Think. The king will answer in the next issue.

(*) Cited by Vasistha's Yoga translated by Swami Venkatesananda.

Nature's first green is gold Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf, So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day Nothing gold can stay.

-7-


Quotes You are responsible for your own happiness. If you expect others to make yo happy, you will always be disappointed. If you want to see God, just open your eyes. Knowing yourself is the begining of all wisdom. Be Somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect. Some days you just have to create your own sunshine. Animals dont frighten me, Mankind does. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing you will be successful. Before Truth can set you free you must first recognise which lies are holding you hostage. Its never too early or too late or a bad time to start anything. Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.

Vedanta Sandesh


Indra and Takshak Story Section

n o p u e c O n e ... m a ti

King Parikshit, the grandson of Pandavas, was killed by Takshak, the king of snakes. When Janmejaya, Parikshit’s son grew up and became king, he decided to avenge his father’s death. Along with Rishi Uttank, Janmejaya did yagnya for the end of all snakes. Rishi Uttank would say some mantra and offer the snakes to the fire “swaha”. Tens of hundreds of snakes would come and fall into the burning fire. The yagna went on for many days. A group of snakes that were still alive went to their king Takshak for help. Takshak knew the yagna was to kill him to avenge King Parikshit’s death. However, instead of helping the other snakes, he went to Lord Indra to seek refuge. Indra granted him asylum. As the yagna proceeded more and more snakes were sacrificed every time Rishi Uttank said “swaha”. Meanwhile the pull of the mantras could be felt by Vasuki, the snake that helped devas and asuras during samudramanthan. He went to his sister Jaratkaru for help. “Sister, you have to help us. The pull of the mantras is too strong for me. I feel like I am on fire, and I can only imagine the plight of the other snakes. According to Brahma, your son Asteek will save our clan. Please send him to Janmejaya’s yagna and ask him to stop.” “Asteek is but a mere boy. How can he stop the yagna?” Jaratkaru asked. “Asteek may be young but he is very knowledgeable and knows all the vedas. When you were married, Brahma had predicted your son would save our clan. Do not worry, send Asteek.” Jaratkaru agreed and sent Asteek to Janmejaya. Asteek was not allowed to enter the yagna. So he began to sing praises of King Janmejaya. Hearing his melodious voice, the King met with him. Asteek began to sing the Vedas and the Mahabharata. Janmejaya was impressed. “I am impressed with you and will give you in gift whatever you ask. Please ask for anything, son.” In the meanwhile on the yagnya floor, Uttank was chanting mantras to bring in Takshak, but to no avail. Then an informant informed that Takshak had taken refuge with Indra and was being protected by him. Uttank was furious; he chanted mantra, “Indray Takshakay swaha”. Meaning, I offer Takshak, along with Indra to the fire. Both Indra and Takshak began to descend towards the sacrificial fire. Asteek asked Raja Janmejaya to stop the sacrifice and the yagna. Janmejaya having given his word to Asteek to ask anything had to keep his word and stop the Yagna. Asteek chanted mantras to slow the descent of Indra and Takshak. With the yagna called off, Takshak and Indra were thus saved.

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Vedanta Sandesh


On 1st Jan is the birthday of Yogi - our beloved Ashram member. At Vedanta Ashram, while the teaching is to realize the timeless in all, yet every manifestation is loved & respected. When non-duality is not negated by its manifestation in the various forms, so manifestations too are worthy to be celebrated. The Ashramites and various devotees (esp. Yogi’s friends) got together and not only prayed for his well-being, but also celebrated the New Years day with BBQ and Bhajans. An interesting bhajan session too was there in the form of a game - passing the pillow. Later Samaira cut the cake on Yogi’s behalf. Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji conducted a week-long Gita Gyana Yagna at Atmajyoti Ashram, Vadodara from 4th to 10th Dec. The subject matter of his twin discourse series were Gita Chapter-4, and Kaivalyopanishad. During this Gyana Yagna during the evening Bhiksha P.Swaminiji conducted Satsangs on some sections of Hanuman Chalisa - which was also very much appreciated. On 5th Jan, Poojya Guruji and some Ashamites alongwith some devotees drove to the newly made Sangam Sthal of Ma Narmada & Kshipra. We also visited Devguradia, Kevadeshwar Mandir’s apart from visit to Ganga Dam few kms ahead of Kampel village. At the Ashram Poojya Guruji is continuing his daily pravachans on the deep reflections on Mundakopanishad. Right now we are studying the first section of the second Mundaka in which the discussion is on the Panchagni Vidya. On 26th Jan, the Republic Day of India, the Ashramites got together to hoist the tricolor. While the teachings of Vedanta certainly transcend the boundries of any one country, but certainly the very fact that the values & traditions of this country were such that such knowledge & exploration could be possible makes it deserving to celebrate this amazing country. Later there were spacial snacks for all. On 31st Jan, the last Sunday of the month, there was the monthly Hanuman Chalisa. Pravachan continued on 7th chaupayi. Later there was aarti and prasad. - 19 -


On st Jan Yogi completed his six years and entered the 7th. and we all prayed for his well-being.

By P.Swamini Amitanandaji at Atmajyoti Ashram, Vadodara - from 4th to 10th Jan. Gita-4 / Kaivalyopanishad

Vedanta Sandesh


Some Ashramites drove to Sangam of Narmada & Kshipra on 5th Jan. Nice place & outing.

Ashramites celebrated the Republic Day of India on 26th Jan by hoisting the tricolor

Jan edition of the HCS was organized at Ashram on the 31st Jan, the last Sunday. Chaupayi-7

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Time Time is slow when you wait!

Time is fast when you are late!

Time is deadly when you are sad!

Time is short when you are happy!

Time is endless when you are in pain! Time is long when you feel bored! Time ‘is’ when there is duality!

Time ‘is not’ when there is non-duality.

Time is determined by our minds and us, and not by clocks.

So why not be a master of time, and always have a nice time.

Vedanta Sandesh


Gita Gyana Yagna, Amdavad

A week-long Gita Gyana Yagna by Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji will be organized

from 8th-12th Feb at Ramkrishna Kendra at Maninagar-Ahmedabad. The subject matter of the proposed discourses will be Gita-12 / Laghu Vakya Vritti.

Hanuman Chalisa Satsang - Feb’16:

The Feb 2016 edition of monthly Hanuman Chalisa Satsang will be organized

on 28th Feb Jan. There will be bhajans, chanting of Hanuman Chalisa, followed by continuation of the talk of P. Guruji on the 7th chaupayi Chalisa. Open to all.

Mahashivratri Camp, Indore :

A 5 days Vedanta Camp will be organized at Vedanta Ashram from 3rd to 8th Mar.

On 8th is Mahashivratri. Subjects: Isavasyopanishad / Kamna Section - Gita-3

Gita Gyana Yagna, Jalgaon :

Poojya Swamini Poornanandaji will be organizing a week-long Gita Gyana Yagna

(in Marathi) at the same Dutta Mandir, Jalgaon. Subjects will be Gita-6 / Katho-2-3.

Gita Gyana Yagna, Bhubaneshwar :

Poojya Swamini Samatanandaji will be organizing a week-long Gita Gyana Yagna

at Sivananda Samskritik Kendra at Bhubaneshwar from 7th to 13th April. Subjects will be Gita-2 / Katho-1-2.

Gita Gyana Yagna, Mumbai :

Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji will be conducting a week-long Gita Gyana

Yagna at Ramkrishna Math campus in Khar, Mumbai from 15th to 21st May. Subjects will be Gita-14 / Mundaka 3-2.

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International Vedanta Mission http://www.vmission.org.in/

Vedanta Mission Blog: http://blog.vmission.org.in/

Indian Cultural Foundation http://icf.vmission.org.in/

Earlier ‘Vedanta Sandesh’ issues http://bit.ly/1oGD4TK

Om Tat Sat

VedantaSandesh Feb2016  

Feb 2016 issue of Vedanta Sandesh, the English monthly eMagazine of International Vedanta Mission, containing inspiring and enlightening art...

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