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Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission

Vedanta Sandesh Year - 22

Issue 12

June 2017

Jagannath Yatra Greeetings


V edanta Sandes h

Cover Page

This month our cover page is dedicated to the grand annual Rath Yatra of Bhagwan Jagannath. Mandir of Bhagwan Jagannath is situated on the eastern coast of India - in the city of Puri, in the state of Orissa, and is one of the four revered Vaishnava Teerth called Char Dham. Jagannath means Lord of the Universe. Bhagwan Jagannath is accompanied by Balabhadra and the Goddess Subhadra, who together constitute the main trinity of deities worshiped at the temple. As per Vasihnava traditions they are worshipped as living beings, with religious daily routine, of getting up, getting ready, bathing, eating, resting, etc. Religious traditions are maintained very strictly & religiously., and tourists who come just for sightseeing without any religious bhavana are not allowed inside. It is strictly a Hindu's only temple. Once a year Bhagwan goes out to meet his praja - and that is when Rath Yatra is organized in a grand way. The King of the state sweeps the road with a golden broom, and all devotees vie for pulling the chariot in turns. It is a great festival and at this time tourists too can come and have darshan of the trinity. Every year a new wooden chariot is made and intricately decorated. It is 45 ft in height and 35 ft wide, and there are three of them for every diety. Rath travels for 3 Kms to one Gundicha Temple. This year the Rath Yatra in on 25th June 2017. Jai Jagannath.

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CONTENTS

V edanta Sandes h

Vedanta Sandesh June 2017

1.

Shloka 5

2.

Message of P. Guruji

3.

Tattva Bodha 9-14

4.

Letter 15-16

5.

Gita Reflections 17-23

6.

We Must 24-29

7.

Jivanmukta 30-33

8.

Story Section 34-37

9.

Mission / Ashram News

7-8

38-48

10.

Forthcoming Progs 49

11.

Links 50 3


Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission June 2017 : Year 22 / Issue 12

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:

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Swamini Samatananda Saraswati

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rkoRlR;a txn~Hkkfr 'kqfDrdkjtra ;FkkA ;koé Kk;rs czã lokZf/k"Bkue};e~AA

This world, which is comparable to the illusion of silver in

the mother-of pearl, appears real only so long till we realize its substratum, the Brahman, as the truth or basis of this entire creation. Atma Bodha - 7


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Message from Poojya Guruji

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Paroksha to Aparoksha ‘I have studied Vedanta, but find it very difficult to live’. ‘Intellectually I understand all of it, but assimilation is a big issue’. What could be the problem? These are the various lamentations of various students. So let us go into this common query. Vedanta basically reveals our real nature as the timeless, imperishable & infinite truth. This is something which was beyond our wildest dreams or imagination. Not knowing the truth imagination is our only resort, however, anything which is a product of mind is always limited. That is in short the story of mankind. Caught in our own imaginary worlds & identity. Our fundamental conclusions can be summarized in two conclusions. One, I am limited & perishable and the world outside has the potential to make us complete & fulfilled. With this as the foundtion our lives & its struggle goes on & on - endlessly. Some thoughtful people do realize that something is fundamentally wrong somewhere and thus they tried to look for answers and studied philosophies like Vedanta. They may have appreciated the message of Vedanta, but the problem is that realization of the truth of ourselves can never be possible while still holding on to our existing identities and other fundamental conclusions. Vedanta is not merely about the information about we all being the infinite non-dual Brahman, but it is also about realizing that the Jiva-bhava is mithya. As long as we continue to hold on to misapprehensions so long apprehension of the truth is veiled by these very delusions. Let us try to understand this from the point of view of our classic example of rope & snake. As long as we continue to erroneously see the rope as a snake so long the truth

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of the rope is veiled by these very conclusions. So also if we continue to retian our our identity, its relationships, its memories, its joys & sorrows, its aspirations & dreams etc. so long all these alone continue to be our reality. Our conclusions alone our sarpa-sthaniya, so what is required is not to keep repeating & believing that � am Brahman, the infinite, non-dual consciousness etc’, but our approach has to be different. What is required is negation of our existing perceptions. We need to very clearly realize that all our existing conclusions are baseless. This should not be a matter of belief but a matter of direct & deep realization by very objective & deep enquiry & analysis. Every journey starts from where we stand today, so also our enquiry has to question our most intimate beliefs & conclusions. Every desire, every value, every conclusion. All this has to be brought under the lens. It is not that someone else has said this, but we have to clearly realize facts. During the study of Vedanta, we are told that for cracking the truth of Mahavakyas we have to take resort of Bhagatyaga Lakshana, but most of the people take resort of Ajahad-lakshana, and some people resort to Jahad-Lakshana. What this means is that for appreciating the truth of Mahavakyas, which reveal the truth of Vedanta, we cannot keep on taking the Jiva as real. In ajahad-lakshana, we do not negate the individuality but add something new to our existing knowledge, and the compassionate teacher warns us of this possibility. Very clearly the scriptures say that this is not the way to go. In Jahad-lakshana, on the other hand, we negate the entire individuality and then there is nothing to enquire. This is also wrong. The way to go is Bhagatyaga-lakshana, which means that enquire on your very individuality and discover that it is a sum-total of our imaginations and reality. Sieve our the truth from the untruth. This viveka or discrimination is the way to go. Vieveka results in realizing the anatma as anatma and thus negating various such superimpositons on our self. Our adhyatmic progress is directly proportional to the extent we have unloaded ourselves of the various imaginations. How can the knowledge of Vedanta bless us as long as our old identity along with all its past & aspirations continue to exist. For all such people Vedanta will indeed remain like a bunch of information, paroksha, which will never bless them. Basically they have not studied Vedanta. Most of such people may hear or read some people but occasionally but the real way is the study Vedanta at the feet of some enlightened master, who can see through our fallacies and guide us accordingly to make it aparoksha.

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TATTVA BODHA

Swamini Samatananda


Tattva Bodha T

here exists a divine power called ‘Maya’, which is dependent on Brahman, and which has three intrinsic qualities called Sattva, Rajas & Tamas Gunas.”

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czãkJ;k lÙojtLreksxq.kkfRedk ek;k vfLrA In Vedanta Shastras the story of creation is vividly discussed which not only reflects a physical discription about how the entire creation came about but ultimately such discussions aim to finally knowing the Self. In the previous section we saw that the Acharya has taken a resolve to reveal to us how the entire creation has come about, what is the nature of this creation and how many components make it up and above all who is the cause of this creation. In this section the text reveals to us the details of how the creation has come about at the individual level. The reason being that the story of creation is the same at the individual level as it is at the level of totality. Studying the details of creation at the microcosmic level is not different from the details of the macrocosmic level. So here the Acharya simplifies the matter by taking into discussion the creation at the individual level. Every effect must have a cause. An effect is an organised manifestation, having birth, growth and effacement. It is perceptible by the body,

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Tattva Bodha

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mind and intellect. It is made up of various components which cannot be created by themselves nor can they get together by themselves. Behind every effect there has to be an intelligent and independant cause which brings about the entire creation. There can never be an effect without a cause behind it. We can not imagine that this beautiful, well organised creation, functioning in an equally organised manner can come about from no where or that all the components coming from no where got assembled together on their own and thus the creation came about. This will only be a logical absurdity. Thus the ‘Truth’ that alone is, is the cause of this entire creation. But the ‘Truth’ is changeless. It cannot become anything other than Itself. It is of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. But we do see a world of names and forms which is ever changing and inert. Thus the question arises that how can a changeable, inert world be born of a changeless and conscious truth. To explain this Vedanta introduces to us the concept of Maya. What is Maya? Maya is that which is not yet which appears to be (Ya Ma Sa Maya). Maya is that power which projects the world like a dream on the substratum of the Truth. This is also a fact that even though it is the power of Maya that brings about this creation yet Maya cannot function on its own in an independent manner. Maya is the projecting power of Ishwara. The story goes back to the begining when God alone was in his state of pure existence-pure consciousness and bliss. When this substratum of all existence makes a resolve to create He thus comes to be called as Ishwara. The manifested form of Pure existence.

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Tattva Bodha Ishwara then wields his power of creation called ‘Maya’. Just as a magician wields his magical powers to show his magic so also Maya is Ishwara’s power to bring about the creation. What is this power of Maya is now illustrated in this section. The scriptures give us a very crisp introduction of this magnificiant power of creation. Getting introduced to Maya Shakti we shall then see how everything else manifested from this power.

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Maya has Two Powers : 1. The Aavarana Shakti / Veiling Power : This aspect of ignorance veils the truth. It just acts in our intellect and the knower misses out the awareness of the object. 2. The Vikshepa Shakti / Projecting Power : Not being aware of the truth, the vacuum is filled up by this aspect of Maya and we use our power of imagination to project something as per our existing conditionings. Imagination is like a dream, and because we consider it to be real so it indeed becomes real for such a person. We not only see the imaginary projected world as real, but our identity is also dependent on all perceived realities. It is this shakti which prepares the foundation of our endless seeking. Both these shakti’s are powers of Maya, which is the power of Ishwara, so we look upon Ishwara as the Abhinna Nimitta Upadaan Kaaran, meaning he is not only instrumental but also is the material cause of the creation. Maya Shakti cannot bring about the creation independently by its own Self. It is the conscious and blissful nature of the Supreme being who when desires invokes his power of creation to create this world. Thus

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Tattva Bodha

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it is Ishwara alone who becomes the one non -dual instrumental and material cause of this entire creation. Every creation requires two causes. The Nimitta karana is the factor of intelligence required in any creation while the Upadana karana is the raw material which this creator uses to create what he creates. For example to create a mobile phone one needs various elctronic parts, but all the parts cannot come about together to become a mobile phone. There has to be an intelligent cause, a living entity who brings about this creation. Now in such a worldly creation both these causes are seperate but in the case of the creation of the world, both these are one. Initially God alone was, so he alone is the intelligent cause of the creation, and he alone is the material cause of everything that is created. It has been mentioned that Ishwara invokes his power of Maya. Thus this power of Maya becomes the Material Cause. From the point of view of intelligence or consciousness he becomes the Intelligent cause. God or Ishwara is thus referred as ‘Abhinna-Nimitta-Upadana-Karana’ - i.e. that which is both the Material and the Intelligent causes simultaneously. Maya is ‘Brahmashraya’: Maya has been indicated in the above statement as ‘Brahmashrya i.e. Maya by itself is inert and it is dependent on Brahman to function. It does not have an independant existence of its own. Just as the magical power of the Magician belong to the Magician and cannot function on its own, so also Maya is the magical power of God. It has no separate individual existence. If Brahman and his Maya were two independent entities then ad-

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Tattva Bodha

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vaita or non-duality or discovering total identity with God would never be possible. The possibility of Moksha too would cease to exist. Thus Maya is the power of the Supreme Brahman and he out of his love and independence invokes it to bring about the creation. Trigunaatmika Maya Asti: Maya has three gunas - sattva, rajas and tamas. These three gunas together constitute the very maya shakti. Wise men compare it to the plated hair a a woman which is woven by three divided parts of the hair. Guna basically means the property of a thing. So Maya has three very definite attributes which reflect certain distinguishing traits-within Maya. Each of the guna has its unique identity, and thus reveals its unique effects in a given situation. Each produces a definite effect, and together with other gunas may also create a different effect too. In the begining all these three gunas are in a state of equilibrium - wherein all are in equal proportion, and later depending upon the sankalpa of the creator as to what he wants to create, the balance is disturbed, and there is predomination of one guna over the other. So in Maya there is a constant flux, and the domination of a particular guna can be changed. Sattva Guna stands for Gyana Shakti, Rajo Guna stands for Kriya Shakti, and the Tamo Guna stands for Jada Shakti.

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Mail from Poojya Guruji Starting-Point Hari om ! It was a great joy going through your nicely drafted & thoughtout, introspective mail. I appreciate your dedication & sincerity in trying to appreciate the subtle intricacies of the mind. Every person lives as per some conditionings or the other, that’s the general rule, but what is required is to slowly be conscious of these subtle facts and do whatever necessary to handle all those self-imposed conditionings & complexes. This is what sadhana is all about. Believe fully that every disease has a medicine and all problems have a solution. This is the fundamental drive. As you keep appreciating various things, then this deeper insight itself becomes instrumental to let all jig-saw puzzle pieces fall into right places and the complete picture will slowly but surely be clear. A small advice - never let your starting point be your self-imposed limitations, fears or complexes, but start with the belief that ‘fundamentally all is well, and you are complete’. Like every diseased person should believe in his / her heart that good health is natural and diseases are extraneous. Because of this they be-

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lieve that I will surely grow over all diseases and will shortly return to good health again, deep down I am fine & healthy, I just need to remove some thorns. So also always believe that fundamentally you are com-

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plete, blissful, infinite - pure consciousness. You are Brahman. You are love. All what you need to do is to remove some thorn like impediments. Let the world think what they wish, but let this be your conviction. All Upanishads & Gita declare this to the world. You not only need to love & be one with your beloved God, but really speaking this initial duality and the subsequent sadhana to be one with him is all because of my wrong perception, and is not a fact from the point of view of God. He says I am always in your heart, as your very self. Just know this fact and be free. All my teachings are based on this fact, which slowly & steadily you are appreciating & imbibing. To the extent these convictions get reflected in your life you will be blessed otherwise the consequences become painful. Love & om

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Swami Atmananda

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Gita Reflections

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;= dkys Rouko`fÙka vko`fÙka pSo ;ksfxu% iz;kUrk ;kfUr ra dkya o{;kfe Hkjr"kZHk%AA (Gita 8/25) 17 17


Yatra kale tvanavrittim... (;= dkys Rouko`fÙke~)

Swamini Samatananda

When does a Yogi attain a state wherein there is no transmigration, and when does he continue this

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transmigration, O the Best amongst the Bharat clan, I shall now reveal the truth of all this. 18 18


Gita Reflections

W

hat is my param dhaama? So far in the

eighth chapter of Gita we have seen that Sri Krishna reveals that one who has single pointed devotion towards me ultimately goes on to attain param siddhi. He attains my param dhaama i.e. a state which is beyond the limitations of time and space, a state where there is no scope for more ananda, the ultimate blissful state. A state of bliss where there is no need for any other relative ananda. This is what the scriptures call as ‘Niratishay ananda’.

In the last section of the chapter the Lord says that there is

one state of the unmanifest Brahman and there is another state of unmanifest maya both being called as ‘Avyakta’- the unmanifest. The unmanifest state of Maya is the seed state of all creation. When the creation is dissolved it goes back into the seed state. The state of unmanifest Brahman is the state of pure existence. A spiritual student focuses on the unmanifest Brahman. If one focuses on the unmanifest state of Maya then the cycle of birth and death continues.

The last section of the eighth chapter speaks of two types

of journeys at the time of death. These two types of journeys are based on the kinds of devotion a person practises during his life time. Devotion can be understood as two types. One is selfless devotion and the other is self-centred devotion. Devotion should not be lightly understood at the surface level as having faith towards

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God. Often devotion is superficially seen where in we see God as a super power and the individual Self as a small incapacitated being and thus God is that agent with whom we relate to fulfill our

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Gita Reflections needs. True devotion is a subtle and selfless relationship which is not based upon give and take between God and his devotee. But it is rather seeing God as the one who is constantly showering blessings upon us without any expectations. Although a self inspired relationship with God is more often the first step in holding the hands of God. God being the compassionate one does not discourage this either but the one who finally attains God is the devotee who has a selfless devotion and this devotion culminates in the desire to know the ultimate nature and truth of God. The nature of Devotion reflects the nature of the relationship, character, attitude and the journey of a devotee. Two types of journeys after Death:

Sri Krishna reveals the two types of paths or journeys one

takes after death. The two types of journeys are ‘Avrittim’ and Anavrittim. This herein has also been called as the the path of the Sun and the path of the Moon. The journey of Avrittim is a fruit of self-centred devotion and Anavrittim is a blessing of selfless devotion. The path of Avrittim:

It is the path that a jiva is bound to take wherein the in-

dividual Jiva is born-dies and is reborn again. Thus the cycle of birth and death goes on. What is the implication of coming and going, taking birth and dying and so on. Coming to the world is not a problem, but taking birth and coming to the world is a reflection of the desire to experience the materialistic world.

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When does one go to the market? Only when there is a desire to do some shopping. When a person feels a vaccum within and is seeking some means of fulfillment in the world outside. This

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Gita Reflections journey of desires becomes a journey bound by conditionings. We gather some impressions through the interactions with the society and family, then we desire something and then further get conditioned. Thus we are trapped in our own vicious circle of desires and conditionings.

For someone its knowledge, for some money, for some

righteous money. Devatas (Celestial Beings) too are bound by such desires. But devatas do it on the basis of righteousness. Devatas and Asuras(Demons) make their types of efforts to attain something. So also this individual jeeva. Every person is looking for something. Every peson inspired by his samskaars is looking for something. This goes on and on & this will keep on repeating. Repitition is the path of Avritti. It is indicative of a lacking person. There is no problem in taking birth and coming to this loka but the mind set that I am lacking something and then looking for somethiing to fill the cup is bondage, its helplessness and reflects a terrible illusion. In this world we can acquire anything by our punya (merits) and paap (sins). The body comes and goes but the thirst remains. Punya will take us to a divine loka and sins will take us to so called Hell. One can earn earn good merits by performing good actions and can get a ticket to Heaven. But this is only as long as one has the currency of merit in the pocket. Once this is spent then back to the earth. Thus the cycle of birth and death goes on and on. The birth of a human being is got by mixed fruits of actions. Merits and de-merits. So people who

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are devoted to God inspired by some desires, such people also worship God but it ensures a repititive cycle of birth and death. This is the path of Avritti. People with an attitude of Me & mine

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Gita Reflections and thus self centric devotion have also worshipped god but such people are escorted by krishna paksha devata, smoke devata, god of night etc. They are a horrifying but this the fall out of a self obsessed individualistic life. The Journey of Anavrittim:

Sri Krishna further goes on to speak of the path of Anavrit-

tim. This is the path of the Yogis. A devotee or a Yogi taken on this path does not come back to this world. This person wants to awaken to a state of complete contentment that is discovered within. He wishes to close the chapter of eternal seeking. This devotee is not concerned about what I want. They also live here and do many things but all their actions are for the welfare of others. Be it humans, animals and birds or be it nature. They serve one and all like an ambassador of god. The path of anavritti is of selfless people. This is true devotion and love. Tat sukh sukhitvam. Being happy in the happiness of God). Not concerned about ones own gains but serves in which ever way possible. The path of anavriiti is the path of the Sun and also known as the Pitru marga. Further God says on this path Gods will welcome such a devotee-they go to Brahma loka, where Brahma resides. They stay there for as long as one cycle of creation exists. They acquire the knowledge of Brahman. And when the creation is dissolved they then attain liberation. These people who are still not people of Self-knowledge but are devotees and are escorted by Agni devata during the Uttarayana. V edanta Sandes h

Both these Shukla and Krishna Gatis are an eternal system

of this creation. These are the two paths. From one a person does

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Gita Reflections not come back and one he does.

Having mentioned these two, Lord Krishna says, there is

a different objective for this. I suggest you don’t go by either of these. There is a third path which is not dependant on being one with God by giving up the body alone. Why should one go to god by giving up the body alone. A devotee is one who does not have knowledge of the truth, therefore he has to go somewhere. Where? To the place of god, to His Loka. But the third type is one who has the knowledge of the truth and who’s mind has awakend in the truth and has attained a state of contentment. These wise ones do not even go from the path of Anavritti. The Body goes back to the five elements the panchmahabhutas and their jeeva bhava aslo is dissolved. This is called ‘Sadyo mukti. They are not people who go to the Heavens, they are Brahmaleen.

We do not use the word Brahmaleen lightly, it is used only

for those who while living have taken Sanyas, given up all karmas completely, and then at the feet of a Shrotriya Brahmanishtha Guru have deeply studied Brahma-Gyana and in the process realized that all limitations on Self are imaginary and the self is basically one, non-dual infinite reality, and every perceptible thing around is a product of Maya - a dream. Such knowers of Brahma, as though become Brahman here alone. Only such people who leave the body are said to have become Brahmaleen - a state of

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anavrittim.

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WE MUST 13

Break your shell, open your wings and fly


- 13 -

We Must

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Create a Divine Character

P.P. Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji 25


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We Must L

et us be happy. Let us be contented. These depend entirely upon our mental evaluation of the world in which we live. No arrangement of things can be satisfactory to those who have decided to be unhappy, who are determined to be discontented. So long as our bosom is agitated by these two unhappiness and discontentment we can gain no success within or without, since thereby we will come to squander all our mental energies and dissipate our entire physical vitalities. We must cultivate happiness and contentment ....We Must. In fact, energy and its earnest employment in any great, noble and divine task does not exhaust us. It can never bring exhaustion of our powers within. On the other hand, in such an atmosphere of work, the mind gathers fresh powers, grows to new dimensions and discovers new strength. There fore let us police carefully our own within to avoid all such unintelligent pillaging of our own personality-wealth. This can be achieved by avoiding the undue strain that comes from anger, worry, passions, excitement, anxiety and a host of similar other immoral and unethical urges. Geeta advises us to be “untroubled and contented in all situations�. These can be achieved and the consequent balance within can be maintained only when we, having dedicated ourselves to the Lord, cultivate and come to live intelligent values of life. We Must. Decide, we must, that our daily activities shall be carried out in an inner attitude of balance and aloneness. Such freedom and poise will drive away all agitations and worries, confusions and strains. Let us consciously learn to conserve our mental and physical energies as though they are our earnings and savings. A large reserve

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We Must of power and strength are needed for great undertakings. When we have a substantial wealth of the personality-vitality, we shall draw from it an assurance and self-confidence which it is known to possess and which we can learn to wield. These are qualities of the head and the heart which go into the composition of all great men who rise to staggering achievements in life and their own ultimate unfoldment within. Such qualities are enumerated and their attainment advised in the Geeta. We must industriously, with a joyous heart, in boundless enthusiasm, cultivate them all. Let us be very careful in watching for the probable wrong notes that may arise from us, distorting the melody of our life as it serenades through us. Many wrong habits of thinking and acting enter into us unconsciously. They thrive in their secret lush growth to form dangerous jungles of weeds in which lurk poisonous serpents of disastrous tendencies. These unseen foes raise their hoods, hiss and strike us from behind when we are at the heat of our activities, engaged fully in meeting our problems in life. They have been exhaustively listed by the Lord for Arjuna. Let us never allow such thorny undergrowths to grow in the bosom. It is suicidal. Let us be on our guard against the dangers of unconsciously forming wrong habits of thinking and feeling. With all alertness and smart promptitude let us do our work and exhaustively exploit all the opportunities that open out for us each day at every step in our forward and onward march. Ruthlessly destroying all wrong tendencies, let us learn to stand firmly determined to pursue what is noble, great and divine. Let the sacred scriptures lead us in the beginning; once we have the “ear�; for the music of life we shall know every wrong note in our thinking: we shall then be a guide to ourselves. Let the Swara

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We Must be kept up through ardent meditation and continuous Iswara-Smaran* Character is formed from the repeated choice of thoughts and action. Make the right choice we shall have a firm and noble character. Character it is that achieves and accomplishes in the world. To a missionary, character is life, wealth, strength and power. Cultivate it ... We Must. The work of making a successful life, beneficial to others around us demands constant application, faithful effort and intelligent thought. Those who depend upon some lucky chances surely will be disappointed. Luck is opportunity availed, and success is luck exploited. To be smart to make use of the opportunities that come to us is the only preparedness necessary for making a brilliant life of Seva to the world around us. And such chances visit all of us only, we are not ready to make use of them. There is an inexhaustible fund of Bliss and Satisfaction in the very discipline of honest work, loving service and dedicated exertion. Only those of us who have lived it know the heights of joy to which the very “fatigue�; of such noble work, when lovingly undertaken, can lead us ... Experience this, We Must. The society everywhere is very sensitive to this power of Seva. Instinctively the world ignores those who live on it as idlers, consuming more than what they produce, taking more than what they give. Always the world visibly stirs up to respect, to worship and to crown the man of consistent efforts, who pours out his devoted services through undemanding love, unquestioning faith in goodness, ungrudging dedication to all the creatures around. To work for a great ideal is a privilege of the intelligent; to serve in the great cause, and be at least a sincere follower of a great movement, is a distinction. To help a great man of vision and love, of honest

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We Must

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convictions and high ideals, is in itself the highest Tapas known to the great Religions of the world. We must all work, all through our life, earnestly and dedicatedly for an inspiring idea, for a revealing Truth, for an honest master, for a world-serving ideology. This is the only known way by which we can make our life sublime, our existence rewarding, our days rich in joy and satisfaction, in happiness and contentment . . . We Must. The only qualification we need, to serve in great revival movements, and to work in all history-making endeavours, is that we must have a pure, clean heart and a ready and willing body. Reject pride, envy, impatience, fear and selfishness and cultivate steadily, through conscious effort, kindness, love, purity, humbleness and reverence. Let us consistently keep on weeding out the former set of evils and constantly cultivate these noble beauties in ourselves. Come. We Must!

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Jivanmukta Wandering In Himalayas

57 Amarnath Yatra Excerpts from the Travel Memoirs of Param Poojya Swami Tapovanji Maharaj


The Amarnath Yatra

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fu%lax fueqZfDr ina izi| czãkReÒkosu fojkftrks ;% Jh lkSE;dk’kh’k egs’ojk; rLeS ue% Lokfe riksouk;AA 31 31


Jivanmukta I

t was a delightful trip: the road passed

through rich paddy fields, thick with ripe ears of rice. Trees of equal height stood on either side of the road, making it cool and shady. Anantanag is a town with a considerable population. The famous river Jhelum has her source about 16 miles away, at Verinagh. Pahalgaum is situated northwest of Anantnag. Ordinarily a traveller who proceeds on foot from Anantnag takes two or three days to reach Pahalgaum. Situated on the bank of Dugdhganga and covered with dense Deodhar forests.

On arrival at Pahalgaum, I found a large number of tents

pitched by Europeans who were camping for pleasure or for re couping their health. I rested there for two or three days. By God’s grace we were spared all worries about food, clothing or other necessities of life. After our meals I used to leave the crowded place and enter the deep forest where I could enjoy perfect solitude. One day at noon, a few Moslems, natives of the region whom I met in the forest, gave me warning. “Babaji, “ they said, “during this season of the year bears roam about these wods even in daily light”. Of course, bears are terrible creatures when our paramount consideration is the preservation of the body; but from a spiritual point of view, even the

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bear is an object of love and joy.

Generally the pilgrims who start from Pahalgaum stop

to rest at Chandanvari, six or seven miles along the route.

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Jivanmukta At Pahalgaum the landscape begins to change. It is all level ground up to Pahalgaum; beyond are mountains rising tier on tier. From pilgrims begin to feel the strain of the ascent. The route leads up along the banks of the Dugdhganga. The wooded mountains with their lovely grandeur reduce the strain of the journey to some extent.

For those who leave Chandanvati, the next station is

Sheshnag. Sheshnag is really the name of a beautiful lake about a mile in circumference situated 12000 feet above sea level. Its milk-white waters make the lake remarkable. The Dugdhganga is a stream starting from this lake. Above the level of the lake, at a distance of about one mile. is a vast plain. It is here that the pilgrims on the way to Amarnath pitch their tents for rest and refreshment. Both on the inward and outward journeys I made my way to Sheshnag in the company of Sadhus to enjoy the charming beauty of the lake. We spent some time on its lovely shores and bathed in the ice-cold waters with great devotion.

It is a wonerfully holy place. On all sides we can see noth-

ing but high rocks covered with snow glittering white in the sunshine. One can appreciate such beauty only by personal experience. Words cannot describe it, and I shall not render myself rediculous by attemting the impossible. Perhaps a description may help to decieve people who have not seen such sites, V edanta Sandes h

but it cannot but evoke the redicule of people who have seen them.

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V edanta Sandes h

STORY Section

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Keeping One’s Word

W

e all know that the pandavas left

their kingdom for 13 long years for keeping up their word! Well, for Arjuna going away from the bhogas of a king, for the sake of truth, was not new. He did it once well before the aranyavaas. The story goes like this:

The marriage of pandavas with Draupadi was an unu-

sual one. However, it was perfectly according to dharma shastras. Infact Draupadi is one of the greatest pativratas and praised even by Lord Krishna for her Dharma vartana.

Narada, again an avataar of Lord Vishnu, suggest-

ed some rules to be followed by pandavas and Draupadi for living together. This is because, though they were amshas of Gods and Godesses, since they had a human form some additional rules according to dharma shastras needed to be followed. One of the rules was that: Draupadi should spend one year with each of the pandavas and while she was with one of them, no other pandavas should visit the palace where

V edanta Sandes h

they might be. In case of any breach of their rule, one-year pilgrimage was prescribed by way of penance leaving the

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Keeping One’s Word kingdom.The pandavas and Draupadi were living happily until one day: a brahmana came running to Arjuna saying that the thieves had stolen his cows. Arjuna wanted to rush with him to catch the thieves but he realised that his bow and arrows were kept in Yudhisthira’s palace and he was there in the company of Draupadi. He hesitated for a while, then seeing brahmana’s plight he rushed in to Yudhisthira ‘s palace took his bow and arrows and ran to catch the thieves. After he caught the thieves and punished them, after restoring the cows of the brahmana, Arjuna came back to Yudhisthira and told him about his transgression of the rule.

Yudhisthira, knowing the reason of the breach of their

rule, said their is no need for Arjuna to take the pilgrimage. Since it is a mistake committed towards him, and that too for a good reason, he will pardon Arjuna. However, Arjuna would never break his word. He immediately set out for a one-year pilgrimage.

The story shows how important it is to keep up ones

word, whether it is of any consequence or not, how much ever difficult it is. Rewards for such people do show up as immediate difficulties, but in the end – it is truth is which alV edanta Sandes h

ways wins (Satyameva jayate). The scriptures too speak that in life a human being always has two options to choose from.

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Keeping One’s Word One is Preyas and the other Shreyas. Preyas is that path or option chosen which is based upon personal likes and dislikes. It is a self-centric outlook towards life. Such a path is easy to persue and the experience tastes sweet in the begining but in the long run all self-centric desires only lead to the downfall in the righteousness of a person. The immediate results being an unhappy and distracted mind. On the other hand the option of Shreyas is a difficult one and may taste bitter in the begining but ultimately it is this path that not only brings about good fruits of an action, peace of mind and the well being of others but it is this path alone that opens the doors

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to Self-knowledge.

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37


Mission & Ashram News

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

38


Mission News Gita Satsang, Pathankot

by Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji

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Residence of M/S Grover’s Infra Company

7th May 2017

39


Mission News Amritsar Darshan Yatra

Golden Temple

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Durgiana Mandir

8th May 2017

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Mission News Yatra to Sidhabari Ashram (HP)

Paying Respects at Samadhi of Poojya Gurudev Brahmaleen Swami Chinmayanandaji

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Darshan of Chamunda Devi

10th May 2017

41


Mission News Yatra to McLeod Ganj

Capital of Exile Govt of Tibetians

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Dalai Lama’s Mandir & Palace

10th May 2017

42


Mission News Vaishnav Devi Yatra

Poojya Guruji & Swamini Samatanandaji

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Pathankot - Jammu - Katra - Bhavan

11th May 2017

43


Mission News Pathankot Mandir Darshan

Ancient Mata Mandir

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Nostalgic Memories

13th May 2017

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Ashram News Hanuman Chalisa Satsang - 28th May

by Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmanandaji

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Pravachan 44 / Chaupayi No 20 (contd)

Album Link

45


Ashram News Bhandara by Arora’s

Celebrations at Ashram

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Celebrating Siddharth’s Award at Oxford

Presentation of Jokes Program by Manohar

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Ashram News Birds clicked by Swaminiji

Barn Owl / Doves / Sparrows / Hummimg Bird

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First Sighting of Barn Owl Pair above Ashram

vksse~ ue% f’kok;

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Ashram News Devotees Page

Shiv Puja on Birthday - 20th May

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of Anagh Sharma / Bharat Raikwar

Taking Blessings of Poojya Guruji - Parvat family

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Forthcoming Programs 5th - 11th June 2017 GITA GYANA YAGNA @ Mumbai Gita Ch-16 / Laghu Vakya Vritti By : Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji 18th - 24th June 2017 GITA GYANA YAGNA @ Vadodara Gita Ch-7 / Kathopanishad 1-3 By : Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji

9th July 2017 GURU POORNIMA Celebration@ Ashram Puja / Pravachan / Bhandara In the presence of All Ashram Mahatmas 24th-30th July 2017 V edanta Sandes h

GITA GYANA YAGNA @ Bharuch Gita Ch-2 / Drg-Dryshya Viveka By : Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji 49


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

VedantaSandesh June2017  

June 2017 issue of Vedanta Sandesh, the English monthly eMagazine of International Vedanta Mission. VS contains inspiring and enlightening a...

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