Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission Year 19
Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission June 201 3 : Year 1 9 / Issue 1 2 Editor: Swamini Samatananda Saraswati
Just as the whole tree is in unmanifest state inside a seed before its sprouting, so also this entire creation was earlier in the unmanifest state ; and then with his Maya Shakti manifests the entire diversity of time-space and objects. He who in his freedom effortlessly & playfully manifests this entire creation like a magician or a great Yogi, to that divinity, present here as my reverend teacher Sri Dakshinamurti, my humble salutations.
International Vedanta Mission http://www.vmission.org.in email@example.com
In This Issue 1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 7. 7. 8. 9. 1 0. 11 .
Message of P. Guruji Atma Bodha Letter Gita Reflections Jivanmukta Yoga Vasistha Story Section VM News VM Activities Album VM Programs
5 6-7 9 1 0-11 13 1 4-1 5 17 18 19 20-21 23
from Poojya Guruji
Is Jiva Brahman? - Brahman is the one, infinite, timeless truth, and 'you' are indeed that alone. - However, Brahman is not Jiva. Our Individuality is our erroneous & comprehensible identity. - Brahman is not comprehensible - by any words, neither can it be imagined by our minds. - Brahman is never an object of our Upasanas. - We can neither pray to Brahman, nor can ever sing its glories. - Brahman is never realized by any divine or noble actions whatsoever, - Karma, Devotional practices like Puja or Upasanas etc are just to purify our minds. - Purification of mind is all about having capacity for deep, daring & unconditioned enquiry. - Having attained the desired goal - all purificatory practices have to be dropped completely. - The mind-set of deep enquiry doesnt go along with mind-set of actions & achievements. - Actions are tools of change, to create a world of our dreams; - Actions basically reject what 'is'; while Knowledge is all about knowing what is. - So such a Gyana and Karma can never go hand in hand. - To know Brahman aim for the mind-set of knowledge, and then just deeply & humbly enquire. - Enquiry of Atma & Brahman too is of a unique kind. Knowing is not of the usual kind. - Proficiency in worldly knowledge is no assurance for getting the knowledge of Brahman. - Here, knowing is basically negation of all that which is limited & changing, including the thinker. - Negation is not non-perception of something, but realization of the ephemerality of perceptible. - Brahman is 'never' known by any Jiva whosoever. No Jiva can ever shake-hands with God. - Brahman is 'that' me which alone 'is' after our individuality is completely negated. - Individuality is our imaginary identity, a product of our ignorant minds. - Individuality alone limits us. It divides our world, and is the cause of all sorrow & seeking. - It alone is the proverbial lid which as though veils the truth. - So dont say 'I am Brahman' too soon, just work to negate the Jiva - completely. - Jiva is like the proverbial snake, and Brahman the rope. - Negate the snake completely to discover & directly know the unknown rope.
Brahma-Gyana ends all Seeking From the previous sloka the Acharya is revealing to us the nature of Brahman, the Self by using certain pointers. In the following sloka the Acharya continues these amazing pointers and tells us from a different angle as to 'What is meant by Brahman?' We all are constantly trying to 'see', 'be' and 'know' various things endlessly. He now says that 'Know that alone to be Brahman, seeing, being & knowing which all such aspirations and seekings come to an end'. Very interesting indeed:
Yaddrishtva naaparam drishyam yadbhootvaa naapunar bhavaha Yajgyaatvaa naaparam gyeyam tadbrahmetyavadhaarayet
Yaddrishtvaa: Having seen which; naaparam drishyam: nothing else is to be seen; yadbhootvaa: having become which; naapunar bhavah: there is no other becoming; yajgyaatvaa: having known which; naaparam gyeyam: there is nothing else to be known; tad brahma: that is Brahman; iti: thus; avadhaarayet: should understand. That is to be understood as Brahman, having seen which there is nothing to be seen, having become which, there is nothing else to become and having known which, there is nothing else to be known.
Yaddrishtva naaparam drishyam:
As the Acharya continues to reveal the nature of the Self as Brahman by the process of tatastha lakshana, he goes on to say that know that to be Brahman seeing which nothing else in the world remains to be seen. One must understand here that although the Acharya uses the word 'by seeing which' one should not take it literally. As one gains the knowledge of the Self it is important to know that the truth of the self cannot be shown, described or explained in words. Words only describe that which is objectifiable and that which is limited and can be defined. The Atma is neither limited nor can it be objectified. Infact the scriptures make it very clear that the Atma cannot be seen, because that which can be seen becomes an object other than the Self. Yet such words are
used in the scriptures as pointers and the use of which only reveal the limitation of words by themselves and the implication of which can only be revealed by knowledgable Masters. The implied meaning of 'seeing which nothing else remains to be seen' is awakening into the truth of the Self, the state of Brahman, the realization of which negates all the extraneous tendency of the individual to seek outside. All our lives is spent in exploring the outside world and seeking fulfillment from experiences outside. Seeing the truth of the Self as a fulfilled being and seeing the transitory and ephimeral nature of the objective world one sees the illusory nature of all the things in the world outside. One comes to see the reality that awakening into the state of Brahman alone is worth awakening and revelling
unto. This journey inwards is a journey of an indepth vision compared to seeing the superficial level of plurality of names and forms and living at their level. By seeing the indepth nature of the Self as that which is permanent, non-transitory, blissful, and the very life giving factor to all that lives one comes to see the fultility of giving undue importance to the superficial, changeable and momentary world. Seeing the Self as Brahman is the ultimate vision that leaves behind the desire to see the world with thirsty eyes. Physically the world will not cease to exist but the wrong relationship of seeking eternal bliss and gratification is redifined and one sees the dream as a dream and the real as real. Thus having seen this reality nothing else remains to be seen. Gaining this ultimate knowledge one sees the reality of the Self, the world and Ishwara.
Yadbhutva na punar bhavaha:
Further to this sloka, the Acharya says being which the journey of becoming comes to an end. We have seen that even as a child grows and starts getting conscious of his or her identity he takes up the journey of becoming. I want to bbe happy, I want to be a doctor, a rich man, a teacher, a mother, a father and so on. From our very childhood until we live we all have desires of becoming something or the other. A desire which does not limit itself to one thing but we want to be so many things one after another. This desire to become something or the other is known as 'bhava roga'-the disease of becoming something or the other. As we blindly fall into this trap of becoming something very rarely someone is inspired to diagnose this disease and look for a cure for it. Our scriptures reveal that our baseless presumptions and convictions about our very Self as being incomplete and unfulfilled gives a start and momentum to constantly want to become something in order to fill this cup of contentment. If I become rich I will be happy, If I become famous I will be contented etc. Unfortunately we end up in a never ending trip of seeking like a thristy man runnig after mirage water. All the happiness and satisfaction that we attain is conditioned, relative, and limited in time and space. Whatever we become is always with relation to something. I am a father with relation to my son, I am an officer with relation - 7
to my work, I am rich with relation to money etc. Our identity is dependant on some person, some work, or some object. Thus our life our joys our individuality is all bound in the limitations of time, space, objects and conditionings. This bondage alone is the cause of all our suffering and grief. Liberation from the shackles of such relative identities and achievements is the goal of human life. As the reason of such bondage is ignorance and wrong identification of the Self so the solution is only right knowledge and awakening in the real Self which is Brahman. Awakening into which the endless journey of constant becoming also comes to an end.
Yajgyaatvaa naaparam gyeyam:
Knowing which nothing else remains to be known is another pointer to reveal Brahman. In the world we acquire various kinds of knowledge, but at the end of the day a person realizes that all worldly knowledge is limited, changeable and perishable. how much ever knowlege we acquire of various subjects yet the inner self Self is never gratified. Yet the mystery of life remains as it is. we are still ignorant about the various facets of life, death, birth, joys sorrow, change etc. Until these questions in life are not answered we will continue to look for superficial knowledge, acquire some materialistic things and continue to seek for ever and ever. Not only is worldly knowledge limited and perishable but every knowledge makes one realize how little we know and the quest for knowledge and objects continues. In that sense that which is truly worth knowing is the imperishable. The nature of the Self which is free from the limitations of time, space and object is what a human being should aim for. This is a knowledge which having known one knows the essence of all creation. It is like seeing the play of different waves in ocean, big and small, and yet knowing its reality is nothing buut water. The waves may go through changes and deathbut water is its reality which is unchanging and permanent.
Know this nature as discussed here to be the nature of Brahman, which is the very nature of the Self. Knowing which the three fundametal quests of eternity, knowledge and bliss are fulfilled. -
A Little Mouse Story A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package. What food might it contain? He was aghast to discover that it was a mouse trap. Retreating to the farmyard the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mouse trap in the house, a mouse trap in the house!" The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Excuse me, Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it." The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mouse trap in the house, a mouse trap in the house!" "I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse," sympathized the pig, "but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured that you are in my prayers." The mouse turned to the cow. She said, "You say, Mr. Mouse. A mouse trap? Like I am in grave danger....NOT!" So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mouse trap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mouse trap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife.. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. His wife's sickness continued so that friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well and a few days later she passed away. So many people came for her funeral, that the farmer had the cow slaughtered, to provide meat for all of them to eat. So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when the least of us is threatened, we all may be at risk. We are all one family on this planet Earth
Sushupti & Samadhi Letter of the Month
lessons of the study of deepsleep help you become free of all this duality of the experiencer and the objects
experience. Holding on to these is a product of unvalid knowledge.’ Poojya
Greetings Chinese friend, Well, our bondages, endless seeking’s, grief etc are all in the waking state alone, and so the solution too has to be got here alone; all these problems are because of the lack of the ‘knowledge’ of truth here, so what really matters is the right knowledge here alone, and not some unique experience. Experiences will always come & go, but in this process they do help us to get some knowledge of the truth & untruth – here in this state, and that is why we study them. In the Deep Sleep state we may be dissociated from our Body-Mind faculties and therefore it may appear that in that state we are just the immaculate truth in all its glory, we experience bliss too, but that is not so, no scripture says that Sushupti (Deep Sleep) & Samadhi are same. So dont bother to either emulate the Sushupti experience here in the waking state, or even try to wake-up in the deep-sleep state :), rather just aim to get right lessons from these experiences. In the deep sleep state also there are various conditionings and even ignorance which continues to exist, so even if it is a blissful state it is not our goal. The Shunyavadi Buddhists do suggest to bring about the Deep-Sleep like state here, but that is not a proposition of Vedanta. We do not aim for any experience whatsoever, but for right knowledge alone. So what are the lessons we learn from Deep-Sleep state? Study of this state tells that, firstly all that is ‘seen’ here is all ephemeral, so it is not worthy of giving any reality. When we give reality to something then we either try to hold it or drop it. Both these responses indicate giving reality to something. So let this knowledge help us to become free of all such possible responses. Secondly, when there is nothing to be really experienced then trying to hold on being an ‘experiencer’ is also meaningless. Now please see that the crux of your question is how should we ‘experience’ the deep-sleep-like state here. You still want to remain an experiencer and experience something special. Why not let this drop too – right here & now. Let the lessons of the study of deep-sleep help you become free of all this duality of the experiencer and the objects of experience. Holding on to these is a product of unvalid knowledge, so by valid knowledge, let your mind be free from all such self-created fragmentations. That is the strength of knowledge, the moment you negate all the duality then you wake up to something completely new, which is your real being. A state of mind blessed with right knowledge, wherein even the experiencer and all the objects of experience have been negated, and there is obviously no motivation to experience anything whatsoever – is also something which you can directly know, but mind you even without donning the role of an experiencer. That is the way to Samadhi. Aim for that and not try to emulate Deep-Sleep. Love & om, Swami Atmananda - 9
(Some rare few see the Self - in Amazement)
We often speak of wonders of the world. While a handful are man made the whole cosmos itself is an inexplicable wonder. Living and non-living beings, the planets, the stars, the mountains, the rivers, animals, birds, the list is endless. Amongst all these in the creation, the most unique one, is the human being. The unique difference between a human being and the entire creation is that a human being alone can see, experience and be conscious of the creation and above all he can also be conscious of the Self. At the superficial level we all are conscious of the Self as being a human being, a man, a woman, a father, a mother, an officer, a rich man, a poor man etc. These are the various identities we have about ourselves. But are these are real identities. Being a man, a father-mother, etc is this my real identity? This is the question which was pondered upon by our great Rishis of yore and they dived deep into the personality of man to discover the essential nature of Man & this world. The Vedas have given us answers to the most fundmental question of 'Who am I'? What is my identity? they have revealed to us that all the so called identities we recognize ourselves with as being someone or the other are all ephimeral, relative, displaceable and secondhand. I am so and so only with relation to money, relationships, post, plae etc. But as our Masters reveal there is a dimension of the Self which is one without a second, which is constant, which is self effulgent, eternal and blissful. Unfortunately we aim to acquire various kinds of knowledge but truly we have no introduction to our very own self. whatever little we think we know about the Self is a total misapprehension. As our Masters rightly say that the 'I' is the most used word and it is also the most abused word too. We acquire a lot of objective knowledge but our subjective knowledge is nil. In Mundaka Upanishad it is said that two kinds of knowledge is worth knowing-Para Vidya & Apara Vidya.
Anything that can be objectified by our senses or mind comes under the classification of Apara Vidya. Under this category comes all our worldly knowledge's. Science, arts, commerce, management, technical knowledge's etc. Interestingly in Mundaka Upanishad the teacher even classifies the knowledge of the Vedas and Vedanga's in this category, because they are also a part of the limited & changing world in front of us. In Apara Vidya one's mind may become disciplined and capable and a person may specialize in any one field of objective world but any kind of specialization only makes the knower more humble revealing to him his ignorance and making him realize how little he knows. It makes one more n more humble and can be instrumental in invoking the desire to knowing the ultimate truth of the world and the Self. More importantly the pursuit of Apara Vidya helps us to realize the ephemerality of the objective world, and thus helps Vedanta Sandesh
us to get qualities of vairagya etc, and also motivates us to look out for something more permanent in this ever changing world. The objective of categorization is to indicate to us that however much we may know the world outside, but by this pursuit alone we shall never know that knowing which our thirst for knowledge is ultimately gratified, since we have known the essence of the very creation and the Self. It does not awaken us to that state where our seeking ends. Apara Vidya shall help us to make a living, have a dignified & respectable life, have a thoughtful intelligent mind, but this knowledge will always be limited and will not reveal to us the ultimate truth of life, of our joys and sorrows etc.
When all 'objects' are negated, then there is nothing to know outside, and the very duality of 'knowerknown' gets redundant and thus falls off, and what remains is the very essence of the knower.
The second category of knowledge is Para Vidya, or Higher Knowledge. By Para Vidya is meant 'that knowledge' by which the imperishable is known. Here not only the very 'object' of knowledge is very different, but even the approach & methodology is very different too. Here even though the words are used but no words directly define the imperishable. The use of words limits the object and defines it as only 'this much'. With such limitation of words one cannot reveal the limitless. Words are used very dexterously with paradoxes to point the imperishable indirectly through implications. In Para vidya the very knower is focus of knowledge. The knower has to know his own self, which cannot be objectified by our senses or mind. Anything that is objectified by the senses and the mind is seperate from the knower, it is changing and perishable. Thus the imperishable can never be an object of our knowledge. However, there is a very clear & definite way of knowing this subjective essence. Pointers are used whose implied meaning is unfolded at the Holy Feet of the Master and the scriptures reveal the truth by the process of negation, where one needs to keep negating till no objects whatsoever remain in our mind. However, one needs to understand correctly the nature of negation. Negation is not just 'not-seeing' any objects, it is basically realizing the ephemerality of an object so very clearly that getting or losing that object doesn't bring about any difference in us. Then alone we have 'negated' them. When all 'objects' are negated, then there is nothing to know outside, and the very duality of 'knower-known' gets redundant and thus falls off, and what remains is the very essence of the knower, the actor who was playing the role of a knower, which is incidentally self-effulgent or self-revealing. In the Gita Sri Krishna says that it is some rare person alone who sees this real nature of the Self and its knowledge as a great wonder and out of this amazement persues this knowledge to awaken to the eternal, omniscient and blissful Self. - 11
Quotes The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before. There is no wi-fi in the forest but i promise, you will find a better connection. What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while. Possession of material riches wthout inner peace is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake. People may hear your words but they feel your attitude. When your intent is in accordance with the universe things start happening. Your true home is in the here and the now. Everything was impossible until someone did it. Empathy isSeeing with the EYES of another Listening with the EARS of another Feeling with the HEART of another
Wandering in Himalayas Birds, Beasts and a congregation of Seekers
The Lord of Uttarkashi reposes in perpetual samadhi, in the solitude of undisturbed silence. While the sadhus of Banaras lead an unquite life in positions of power and splendour, the ascetics of Uttarkashi pass their days in peaceful samadhi among the mountain caves and hermitages. Uttarkashi is sorrounded by high mountains on all sides. To the east is Hariparvatha; to the south is the high Valakhilya mountain famed in the Puranas. Even today one may see in the Valakhilya mountain the wonderful caves where sage valakhilya and others passed their days in penance and meditation. Old and faithful sadhus hold that even today the Rishis who can assume any form at will are present in the Himalayas in various disguises.
The Heritage of a Golden Past
11 Excerpts from the Travel Memoirs of Param Poojya Swami Tapovanji Maharaj
The Puranas go further and suggest that the great souls are to be now found as birds and trees. Close to the Valakhilya mountain, in the heart of the forest, is the place where Nachiketas had his hermitage. Nearby is a lake still called nachiketa-tallav. The story of Nachiketas, who went to the realm of Death and learned the great Truth from the God of Death himself, is well known in the Puranas. His great wisdom and detachment are glorified in them. To hear the sound of his name is a holy experience; how much more holy should be the sight of the place graced once by his corporeal presence. In the past there was a Golden Age for India when the Rishis who had conquered their senses and lived upon fruits and roots spent their time in the solitude of forests, steeped in meditation. Compared with that age ours is a stone age in spiritual life. Our ancestors were never satisfied until they had fully realized the Truth. they did not rest content with hearing spiritual texts quoted from Scriptures or expounded by learned teachers. It was because of their tireless efforts that India became famous as the land of spiritual wisdom. Their experiences have been embodied in a number of invaluable books which have hardly a parallel in the literature of any other nation. But that Golden Age is gone. Gone are those Truth-seekers who cast to the wind all worldly pleasures and immersed themselves in introspection. God alone knows whether, at any time in the future, India will once more have such a race of men, so noble and so intent upon the persuit of Truth.
by Swamini Vidyananda
Adhyatmic Teachings of Guru Vashista to Sri Ramji
Our world is an interconnected one. Everything is connected to everything else in terms of notions, causes, effects, materials, energies, times and distances. Each event has multiple causes and, in its turn, brings multiple effects. Even if something seems disconnected at the beginning, it can prove itself to be connected if looked up closer. If we don’t see how everything relates to everything else, it is rather a limitation of our vision, and not the quality of the universe. For the one, who is able to see the harmony and interlinkedness of everything, a drop of honey will be a quintessence of all the flowers, bees, sunshine, rains, winds and earth, whose work was put together into the production of that single drop in his mouth. For the one, who does not see this beautiful interconnectedness, he will always be separate from the bees and sun and winds, he will be separate from everything else till he manages to see how beautifully everything is put together. While Rama was grieving on the account of not being able to find the meaning and satisfaction in the changing objects of the fleeting world, the totality was already preparing a most fit answer to the questions he was pondering upon. Such important questions cannot appear without a possibility to have an answer to them. In the near-by forest the demons were defiling the sacrifices of the great sage Vishvamitra. Each time he was building the sacrificial fire and starting the ritual, they would come and scatter blood, meat and bones on the sacred grounds. The sage was seeking to perform an important ritual, and could not use the power of his wrath to destroy the demons himself. To fight off the demons and complete his sacrifice, he goes to the palace of the king Dasharatha. Dasharatha eagerly comes to greet and honor him, and as a token of his respect offers to fulfill any desire of the sage. Anything he can ask of, the king offers to think of as already fulfilled. The sage Vishvamitra is greatly pleased with such a promise, for he came to request an assistance from the king. As the sage explains the problem with the demons harassing his sacrifice and asks the king’s beloved son Rama to fight the demons, the king’s enthusiasm vanishes, his face pales and limbs tremble. The most precious thing, the object of his greatest love, beloved Rama, is requested to be taken away from him for the serious and dangerous task no one, seemingly, can accomplish. And although the king was respecting the sage, although he just gave the promise to fulfill his any desire, although he was ashamed and afraid of the sage’s wrath, he started to blabber on how Rama is just a boy, unskilled in warfare, who knows only play and games with his mates... As he goes on, his shaking voice strengthens, he finds more and more arguments to break the freshly made promise, - all the living beings naturally love their children and would never put them to danger, he himself with his great army can protect the ritual, and finally, probably no one can fight these demons, even gods, so it is better just to wait till they disappear from the earth in the natural course of life... Here, the mighty king Dasharatha shows how even the great kings having the greatest power and great possessions can be bound by a blind Vedanta Sandesh
Qualifications of a Student
egoistic desire to hold on to something they think as “their own”. And, being left on its own, egoistic person can talk himself into anything, prove to himself to be right, and doing only what is natural and good. Many people do it all the time, compromising a little bit every time the notions of what are right things to do and what are wrong. Gradually, they go deeper and deeper into the mire of their own distorted conclusions. But even noble and generous people are prone to mistakes, when their most dear objects and relations are concerned. Egoistic desires quickly bring even the most powerful rulers to the level of a blabbering incoherent weak and miserable wretch. Vishvamitra is greatly annoyed and angered by the refusal of the king to part with Rama, and he is ready to spill his wrath, but, luckily for the great king, there is a wise adviser near him, the great sage Vasishtha. His authority for the king is unquestionable, and his advice he is not able to disregard. The wise Vasishtha interferes and reminds the king of his kingly duties - if the king breaks his promise, who else would be keeping theirs? Besides that, he reminds the king of the great weapons Vishvamitra possesses, and so, Rama will be safe under the protection of the great sage. The mighty king, who was just ready to swerve from the path of righteousness, abides Vasishtha’s wishes and heeds his advice, sending an attendant to fetch Rama. Here, the greatness of the king is in that he is able to break off his egoistic tendencies and listen to the wise advice. The real greatness of a person is not in not having absolutely no egoistic tendencies, but to be able not to feed them and do what is right despite them. Everyone has his free will to follow or to refuse to follow his good or bad tendencies, which appear as a result of his past actions. By doing the right thing now, the bad tendencies weaken, and good ones get strengthened, and this, in turn, makes doing right things easier, and adds up to accumulated merits. This process constantly reinforces itself. And, while the truth is not known, it is important to be in a good company of wise and intelligent people who would be able to give a good advice at the moment of indecision and hesitation. At this point, the sad state of Rama is revealed to the wise Vishvamitra by Rama’s chamberlain. Instantly, Vishvamitra recognises such a state as not coming from an ordinary unfulfilled desire, but as indicating Rama’s readiness to receive the teaching about the truth of the life. Vishvamitra is eager to see Rama and to listen about his condition from his own perspective. When Rama comes and greets the assembly, the king and the sages ask him questions about his sorrow, and Rama duly answers their questions. Rama precisely pin points the problem of the human existence, showing a great maturity of his mind capable of deeply discerning important matters. He says: “My heart begins to question: what do people call happiness and can it be had in the ever-changing objects of this world? ...I do not perceive any meaning in all these transient phenomena which are the roots of suffering and sin... ... to be continued next month
My heart begins to question: what do people call happiness and can it be had in the ever-changing objects of this world? - Ramji to Sage Vasishtha - 15
Message of Bhagwad Gita 3. Two Points of view You can see life either from your personal point of view or impersonaly from God's point of view. Individualcentric perception is of a limited and divided world, full of endless misery; while the vision from the point of view of totality is a divine scenario-one, blissful and all embracing. How and what we 'see' is always our personal discretion and freedom.
Story of Matsya Avatar
pon u e c n . . O . me i t a
One day Brahma was in a deep sleep. He kept with him the Vedas. While he was asleep, a demon named Hayagriva stole them. Hayagriva swallowed the four Vedas, and hid deep inside the ocean. Without the Vedas, the world was in a lot of danger of going completely dark. To protect the world, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Matsya to save all that was good in the world before its destruction. At that time there was a pious king called Satyavrata who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Satyavrata was down by the river for his morning prayers to god Vishnu. After he picked himself up off the grass, Satyavrata went over to the river to wash his hands and cleanse himself. While he was washing his hands a tiny fish swam into the gap of his cupped hands. The fish was extremely small. Satyavrata spoke the language of the animals and tried to comfort the small fish so that it did not die from shock. Satyavrata found out that the name of the little fish was Matsya and that he had been separated from his large family by getting caught in a strong current. Satyavrata felt bad for Matsya, and decided that he was going to take care of him. In his palace he kept him in a small little cup, which was more than enough room for Matsya. Within days, Matsya had grown to the size of a small hand. He was moved to a large bowl to make sure that he always had enough room to swim. A few days later and Matsya had already outgrown the bowl! Satyavrata carried the fish to the small pond that was behind their home. This growing kept happening until Matsya had outgrown the pond, a stream, a lake, and a river. Satyavrata was not going to give up on Matsya because he felt an unnatural devotion to the once small creature. He was extremely drawn to him and felt that he must protect him at any cost. Matsya, in return, was always grateful for the help of Satyavrata. The next move and presumably the last was Satyavrata putting Matsya into the ocean. He was in doubt that this would even be big enough to hold him but Satyavrata was out of options, so he got on his knees and prayed to Vishnu. This triggered something in Matsya. He revealed himself as Vishnu and he began to speak prophecy. He told Satyavrata that he had one week to prepare for a flood that would cover the entire earth, destroying everything. He instructed Satyavrata to take all medicinal herbs, all the varieties of seeds, and to bring the seven saints along with the serpent Vasuki and other animals, and to build a big boat to put them all in. He told Satyavrata that he would be back at the end of those seven days before the flood begins. Then to restore the Vedas, Matsya dived into the ocean to kill Hayagriva. A furious battle ensued between Lord Vishnu and demon Hayagriva for seven days, in which Hayagriva was defeated and killed. Vishnu restored the Vedas to Brahma. Because there was so much splashing and fighting, a big deluge (rainfall) occurred all over the Earth. Everything was in a big flood! Satyavrata made all arrangements as Vishnu had advised him and at the end of the seven days, Vishnu appeared. The lord advised Satyavrata and others to board the boat and fastens the serpent Vasuki to his horn as a rope to the boat, and sailed all of them to a safe place. Matsya told Satyavrata that he had been chosen because he was the most kind and loving human Vishnu had ever seen. Satyavrata had shown his devotion to not only a god but also to a small helpless creature. Vishnu said there was hope in the world if all men were to show so much love to all creatures.
Gita Gyana Yagna, Mumbai:
A Gita Gyana Yagna was organized at Vivekananda Hall in Ramkrishna Mission, Khar, Mumbai from 1 3th to 20th May 201 3 by Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmanandaji. In this series Poojya Guruji gave very inspiring & enlightening discourses on Gita Chapter-8, and Mundakopanishad 1 -1 . The ambiance of Ramkrishna Math is great, it is green, quiet, with chirping birds and fresh air, it also has good parking spaces and has good connectivity from all parts of the city. Mundakopanishad is a dialogue between Sage Angira and his disciple is a very well-known person of that time - Shaunak, This Upanishad is apart of Atharva Veda. Shaunak asks an amazing question: 'Reverend Sir, What is it knowing which everything else is known.' The great sage understood the very root of the question & his problem, and told him that well, there are two kinds of knowledges. You desire the fruit of the second type of knowledge, but approach the issue with the system of the first kind. So first pause and appreciate the uniqueness of both these kinds of knowledges, and thereafter starts the amazing details of both the kinds of knowledges. The eighth chapter of Gita is a detailed discourse on death, so that we learn to live properly.
Sri Sankaracharya Jayanti, Mumbai :
On 1 5th May was the Jayanti of Bhagwan Sri Adi Sankaracharya. On this day the President of Ramkrishna Math, Khar kindly came over and before the beginning of discourses gave a short & inspiring talk on the life & contribution of Sankaracharya. He put a garland on the picture of Adi Sankara. Special prasad was distributed to all.
Sri Sankaracharya Jayanti, Indore:
At Vedanta Ashram too, celebrations of Sankaracharya Jayanti were there. As our readers may be aware that we have a statue of the great Acharya in our Satsang Hall. There was special decoration of the statue, chanting of stotras and Aarti.
Completion of Ashram Renovation Work:
We are happy to inform all our well-wishers, donors and disciples that the renovation project at Ashram has been successfully completed. It involved removing the tin shed in front of dining and making a RCC roof in its place, making of a parikrama around the giant Shiv-Linga on the roof, and its re-painting with special stone texture and blue-pearl metallic finish paint.
Check out the detailed Photo Albums of the various functions on VM News Blog at : http://vmissionews.blogspot.com/
Sadhana Panchakam Discourses Vedanta Mission had started a new program of Weekly Online Satsang in Sept 201 2, which will conclude on 2nd June 201 3. In this program Pujya Guruji Sri Swami Atmanandaji gave elaborate discourses on the first shloka of Sadhana Panchakam, a text written by Sri Adi Sankaracharyaji. In this series of 35 discourses, which were a commentary of the first eight sutras of the text, the initial preparatory journey of a spiritual aspirant has been discussed, the last stage of which was the natural manifestation of the inquisitiveness for AtmaGyana. Vedanta shastra reveals the science behind this Jignyasa, and once this is there then the journey thereafter is relatively easy, and so these shlokas and the commentary are of great importance. While so many sadhakas sincerely do so many sadhanas, but very rarely all this culminates in such an inquisitiveness, they obviously miss out on few subtle facts, which have been elaborated in these discourses. This series is a 'must listen' for all such aspirants who wish prepare the right foundation for the journey within and we would highly recommend all Hindi speaking sadhakas to regularly and very sincerely listen on them. Preferably small groups can be formed and these Video Pravachans should be shown to all such people for the well-being of all. Desirous sadhakas can either listen to them online, or can even download them for uninterrupted telecast. Pl visit the Vedanta Mission Web Site for links of these discourses.
Forthcoming Vedanta Camp, Rishikesh:
A six days Vedanta Camp by Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji will be conducted at Arsha Vidya Gurukula, Rishikesh from 24th to 29th June. The delegates will have to reach there by 23rd evening and can get their return reservations done for 30th June.
Guru Poornima, Indore:
This year Guru Poornima is on the 22nd of July. As every year special programs will be organized on that day. Respects will be paid to the entire Guru Parampara by Poojya Guruji, and Poojan of Bhagwan Sri Sankaracharya will be done. Thereafter devotees will offer their respects to Poojya Guruji. Bhandara will be organized for all.
New Long-term Vedanta Course, Indore:
A new four years Vedanta Course is being started at Vedanta Ashram - by Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmanandaji. This is the secondd such course to be conducted at Vedanta Ashram, and will begin after the Guru Poornima in July.
Janmashtami Camp, Indore:
A unique first ever 'Pancha-Kosha-Viveka Camp' will be organized at Vedanta Ashram, Indore, from 23rd to 27th Aug. On 28th Aug is the Janmashtami, and all devotees will participate in the preparation of the festival.
Gita Gyana Yagna, Lucknow:
A Gita Gyana Yagna is being organized at Hari om Mandir, Lal Bag, Lucknow by Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji from 23rd to 30th Sept. The subject matter of the discourse series will be: Gita Chapter-6, and Laghu Vakya Vritti.
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Om Tat Sat