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Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission Year 21

Issue 4


Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission Oct 2015 : Year 21 / Issue 4

Editor: Swamini Samatananda Saraswati

'kCnek;ko`rks ;kor~ rkofÙk"Bfr nq"djsA fHkÊs refl pSdRoa ,desokuqi';frAA As long as the Jiva is affected by the namesake Maya, so long the sufferings of limitations & transmigrations shall continue; however when by right knowledge he wakes up from the illusion, he realizes the one, non-dual reality and becomes as though free. Amrutbindu Upanishad -15

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

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6-7

Gita Reflections

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10-11

Yoga Vasistha

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14-15

VM News

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18

Jivanmukta

Story Section

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-

13

17

VM Activities

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19

VM Programs

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23

Album

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20-21


from Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji

Sraddhanjali to a great Teacher On 23rd Sept 2015, a great teacher of Advaita Vedanta, Shrotriya, Brahma-Nishtha, a compassionate manifestation, founder of Arsha Vidya Gurukula, AIM for Sewa, Acharya Sabha - Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswatiji Maharaj attained Mahasamadhi. He was not keeping well from last few years. His kidneys had failed and was on regular Dialysis, apart from various other ailments. Poojya Swamiji said that with the blessings of God he has very satisfactorily fulfilled all the goals of his life, and doesnt wish to continue his life with external support systems anymore, and merged back into the infinite truth on 23rd Sept night. Our humble & heartfelt salutations to the great master. We at Vedanta Ashram, feel a great loss to us and also to the country & the world at large. Such teachers are very rare and Bhagwad Gita says that it is after lives of dedication that a Brahma-Gyani of this kind manifests. He was initiated into Sanyas Ashram by Brahmaleen Swami Chinmayanandaji Maharaj, and later studied Vedanta under other great teachers too. In due course of time he became the teacher of teachers. He taught Vedanta to hundreds of Mahatmas - in India & abroad. Today all the teachers of Chinmaya Mission, Arsha Vidya Peetha and our Vedanta Mission trace their roots to him. He basically designed the three years Vedanta Courses run in all these organizations. Today his students are in all the parts of the world & country, teaching Vedanta. Like Sri Adi Sankara, he contributed profoundly to rejuvenate the Gyana Ganga in particular and the Sanatan Dharma & the well-being of the country and the world at large. Poojya Swamiji loved & respected his roots and also the country profoundly. He was totally against the religious conversions, and spoke strongly about it in his famous talk wherein he proves that 'Conversion is Violence'. He even wrote to the Pope about it, which of course would have been ignored. In order to stop their work he decided to do something concrete about it, and thus established the AIM for Sewa wing. AIM stands for All India Movement. Under this project Poojya Swami decided to have Hostels for poor, village & tribal children in rural places. They were given facilities of stay, health & education in nearby govt schools. It is these health & schooling baits which are used by the missionaries to convert the poor people to their religion. Later Poojya Swamiji established an 'Acharya Sabha', a forum of the Acharyas of various ancient Matha's & Ashram's of the country, so that their concerns & wishes can reach the government. This too was a big step. He not only attained the ultimate knowledge himself, and thereafter passed it on to the posterity very effectively. Like his name Dayananda, he was indeed an embodiment of Daya - compassion. Even if someone was not fully dedicated to BrahmaGyana, yet they too found a place at his feet and got necessary support & guidance. He loved all, even the monkeys in Rishikesh use to come and sit with him and got some fruits or prasad from him fearlessly & lovingly. Poojya Swamiji visited Indore three times, and we are blessed that in all these three visits he accepted our requests and visited our Ashram too. Even though I am not associated with his organization directly, yet he gave us an open offer to use his Rishikesh & Coimbatore Ashram for our Camps. His knowledge, magnanimity & love were beyond words. We bow down at his lotus-feet and pray that may we continue to receive his blessings and attain all that for which he wroked & lived. Om Tat Sat.


Tattva Bodha What is Atma?

The second section of Tattva Bodha began with ‘Tattva-Viveka’ an enquiry into the truth by discrimination

between the Truth & the Un-truth. The Scriptures reveal that the Atman is real and rest all is unreal. Our entire spiritual learning is solely based upon this discrimination of the Truth and the Untruth. One who awakens to the

truth is a liberated being. So having introduced the two dimensions or Real and Unreal, Truth and non-truth, a question arises in the mind of the student. If the Self is Real rest all is unreal, then in that case today I dont see

myself as that. So what is the Atma which is my real nature? Thus the Master goes on to answer this question.

That which is other than the Gross, Subtle & Causal bodies, that which transcends the Five Koshas, that which is the witness of the three states of consciousness, and is of the nature of Existence-Consciousness & Bliss - is the real ‘I’, the Atma. The Acharya speaks about the atma by giving us some pointers indicating it. The Atman or the Self can never be defined. Neither the scriptures nor the Acharyas ever define the atman, because anything defined becomes limited in nature and limited in time. So the scriptures have a smart way of revealing to us that which cannot be revealed in words and form. They use what we may call as ‘Pointers’ Pointers indicate the Atman but are not definitions of the Atman. These pointers are mostly in the form of negating that which the Atman is not and in this process of negation, revealing that which ‘is’ there unbound by the limitations of time, space and any kind of changes. Apart from the process of negation another pointer is one which reveals the instrinsic nature of the Subject. What is Atma? Answering this question the Acharya speaks of the Atma by means of four pointers. All these four point-

ers have their roots in the three types of pointers used by the scriptures to reveal the Atma. 1. Atma is that which is different from our three bodies. 2. Atma is that which transcends the five koshas 3. Atma is that which is the witness of our three states of consciousness. 4. Atma is that which is of the nature of Sat-Chit & Ananda. 1. Atma transcends the three bodies: The gross body, the subtle body and the causal body. God has designed our manifestatation in the form of this three piece suit. The gross body can be percieved by our sense organs and is nourished by the food we eat. The subtle body cannot be seen or touched by our sense organs but can be clearly felt in the form of desires, emotions, thoughts, memories, convictions etc. The Causal body is the seat of all our

Vedanta Sandesh


inherent tendencies (vasanas) which are the cause for the gross and the subtle bodies. The scriptures reveal that the Atma is different from the three bodies. This is clearly seen when we use phrases like my body, my hands, my legs, my mind, my pranas and so on. We use the word ‘my’ or ‘mine’ only when something is seperate from ‘me’. Even though we are so intensely identified with the body & mind that we also associate ourself with the body and mind and say I am born, I will die, I am hurt etc. So there appears to be a grave misunderstanding and delusion regarding that which I am and that which I am not. Negating this delusion and doing the right discrimination between the real and the unreal is the crux of Vedantic learning. 2. Atma transcends the five koshas: The Taitteriya Upanishad gives us the methodolgy of realizing the nature of the Self. The Upanishad divides our personality into five layers called koshas. ‘Kosha’ means that which protects. The Atma stands protected or vieled by the koshas. There are five layers or koshas in our personality. The Annamaya Kosha (physical); the Pranamaya Kosha (physiological); the Manomaya Kosha (emotional); the Vigyanamaya Kosha (intellectual) & the Anandamaya Kosha (the layer of joyful experiences). The Annamaya Kosha the food sheath is the gross body made up of food. The Pranamaya kosha-the vital air sheath manages all our physiological activities, the manomayathe mental sheath is the level of all thoughts & emotions, the vigyanamaya kosha-the intellectual sheath is the level of discernements, and the anandamaya kosha-the bliss sheath stands for the motivation of all endeavors - getting happiness. As long as we identify with these faculties of our personality so long these faculties will become a sheath and obstruction in seeing the real nature of the Atma. Atma transcends all of

these. By negating our identifications with these layers of our personality we turn our attention towards that which is the substratum of all the layers - that which gives them existence and life and yet remains untouched by them. 3. Witness of the three states: Our total spectrum of experiences comprises of the three states of consciousness that we go through. In each state we have a particular identity and we identify with each state. But the truth about these states is that each state mutually displaces the other. When we are in the waking state we are not in the sleep state and so on with the other states of consciousness. Since each state displaces the other, the Masters compare the movement in the three states as that of an actors role. Just like an actor plays variety of roles yet he is aware of what he truly is so also a seeker of truth is able to see the coming and going of the three states of consciousness and see the substratum the seer which is common in all the states. There is an ‘I’ which stands apart and sees the states come and go and I the Seer is constant. The unchanging Seer is the truth of the Self. 4. Nature of Sat Chit Ananda: The final pointer of the truth of ourself is that it is of the nature of Sat Chit Ananda or Existence, Knowledge & Bliss. On negating the non-self what remains is the nature of this Sat Chit Ananda. Inspite of any situations, changes and states of existence I exist so I am of the nature of Sat. I alone is that light which helps illumine everything and which does not require any other illuminater. A state where there are no dualities and where we experience limitless and a sense of fulfillment is the state of Ananda. This is indicated in the Upanishads as the Atma.

Sanyas Deeksha Day of - Poojya Guruji

On 10th Oct is the Sanyas Deeksha Day of our Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmanandaji Maharaj. Special pujas, bhandara & celebrations are being planned at the Vedanta Ashram on that day. -7-


What will they say of You? As a boy, Abin-Alsar overheard a conversation be-

tween his father and a dervish. "Careful with your work", said the dervish. "Think of what future genera-

tions will say about you." "So what?", replied his father, "When I die, everything shall end, and it will not matter what they say."

Abin-Alsar never forgot that conversation. His whole life, he made an effort to do good, to help people and go about his work with enthusiasm. He became well-

known for his concern for others; when he died, he left behind a great number of things which improved the quality of life in his town.

On his tombstone, he had the following epitaph en-

graved: "A life which ends with death, is a life not well spent."

Paulo Coelho

Vedanta Sandesh


I want Moksha? Hari om !

that

The very fact we

are

uncomfortable with

the 'sense of lack' itself indicates that

this lack is not natural, but is rather prompted

by some extraneous

factors, and all desires unconsciously reveal

our belief that this lack can be shaken off, and

we

can

be

effortlessly at peace & fulfillment.

- PoojyaGuruji

Moksha is indeed the ultimate goal of human life. Anyone who wishes for Moksha is a blessed person. This desire is a natural culmination of the life of a sensitive, intelligent & a conscentious person. It is borne out of realization that there is no problem with the world or its people. Everything is going on beautifully & nicely, the only problem is that ‘I am insecure & uncomfortable’ in myself. Whatever I am is ‘limited & incomplete’, and this alone is a matter of greatest discomfort. When finally a person becomes introvert in this way, and wants to handle this endless suffocation & limitation - in our own very existence, then alone a person is called as a Mumukshu - a person desirous of Moksha. Moksha is not a doorway to some better, blissful & lasting experience, but is a realization that desire for any experience whatsoever simply implies that 'I' am still a seeker, a limited being. Every experience comes like a lovely breeze and we experience momentary bliss & peace, but we also know that whatever comes - also goes away, and thus leaves us thirsty once again. So simply using our time & energy is bringing about just one more unique experience doesnt make sense anymore. What such people wish is ending of the very necessity & compulsion to experience anything whatsoever. Desire of any experience reveals our intrisic lack, and a natural lack of desire obviously indicates our natural state of fulfillment. The very fact that we are uncomfortable with the 'sense of lack' itself indicates that this lack is not natural, but is rather prompted by some extraneous factors, and all desires unconsciously reveal our belief that this lack can be shaken off, and we ‘can be’ effortlessly at peace & fulfillment. While all our worldly aspirations are motivated by this unconscious belief, yet very rarely people pause to base their efforts on the implications of this belief. If our lack is not natural, but only because of some extraneous factors then, we dont really require any special external configurations or even subjective appeasements to handle our deep-rooted problems. In other words, we dont really require any Karma, but just some Gyana about our truth. Desire for Moksha is borne out of this conviction that we can shake off all our sense of limitations & insecurities - just by some deep & valid knowledge about our Self. We can be free - Mukta, from the fundamental problem. Moksha is just freedom from our own ignorance and all the subsequent superimpositions about ourselves. If the nature of bondage is appreciated in this way - then alone we are a proper Mumukshu, otherwise desire for Moksha can become one more way of gratifying the endless appetite of the ego of some more or unique experience. Please go deep into the nature of your motivation behind your desire for Moksha, then alone all subsequent sadhanas like sanyas & dhyana etc will make any sense. Love & om, Swami Atmananda -9-


by

Swamini Samatananda

In the Seventh Chapter of the Gita in the first few verses Sri Krishna prepares Arjuna for a discussion ahead wherein he introduces the subject of Ishwara to Arjuna. He reveals himself (Ishwara) as the instrumental, causal and material cause of the entire creation. In this discussion Sri Krishna negates the idea of seeing God as someone who sits high up beyond the clouds and rules the world. He negates the fallacy of a human being seeing himself as a small, impotent being who is always dependant upon the mercy of the such a God who runs the world from somewhere up there. By introducing this concept of Ishwara Sri Krishna reveals to us the divinity that pervades all living and non-living beings. As long as we do not know the real truth abot the creation of this world, its creator and myself so long we will continue to see ourselves as small and limited seeking beings waiting for the divine wnd to bless us. The truth on the other hand is I alone I am the Godly divinity who is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of this world. Sri Krishna introduces the concept of Ishwara by speaking of God’s two fold Prakriti, his two fold nature. Sri Krishna speaks of this two-fold cause as Apara Prakriti and Para Prakriti. The word Prakriti means that which has the essential capacity to create. Prakriti is also called the ‘Karana’-the Cause. Apara Prakriti: Apara Prakriti is also called ‘Maya’. This is my immediate cause. Para prakriti is the ultimate cause without which no effect is possible and Maya or Apara prakriti is creating power of Paramatma of which everything comes into form. This Prakriti is the Upadhi from which the whole creation has come. The Apara Prakriti or Maya is not seperate from paramatma, it is not a parallel reality, but it is Lord’s own Shakti and it is for Paramatma. Bhagwan says my apara Prakriti or Maya becomes the eight fold cause for the entire creation. It is divided in an eight fold way which envelopes the entire spectrum of creation, the gross and the subtle. The eight-fold prakriti are the five elements earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect and the sense of doership. The five elements in their various subtle and gross combinations take the form of the gross and the subtle bodies. Where does Maya or Apara Prakriti have its being? Where does maya come from? Where is its being? Is it in the product it has created or is it in Brahman? Maya cannot be in the product because the product itself is Mithya. Maya has its existence in Brahman, as his own creative power. Brahman is the ashraya the substratum for Maya to exist. Brahman is satyam gyanam Anantam which is the Atma. So Maya in an eightfold way becomes the cause for this creation. Vedanta Sandesh


Maya is the lower Prakriti: Maya is the Apara or lower prakriti. Sri Adi Sankara says this prakriti brings about the undesirable. This is the prakriti that brings about samsara or seeking. It’s illusory attraction lures an ignorant person into seeking, binding him further in the chains of happiness and sorrow. My Real Nature-Para Prakriti: The Lord says-other than this Apara Prakriti or Maya there is another Prakriti which is the higher one. It is pure and untouched. Apara Prakriti binds an individual into samsara so it was called the Lower Prakriti. On the other hand when one gains the knowledge of this Para Prakriti one is liberated, so it is also called the Higher Prakriti.

Sri

Krishna

says all beings and

elements have their cause in this two-fold Prakriti. Therefore I

am the one from

whom this entire world comes; so too,

I am the one into whom everything resolves.

My Real Nature is You: Here Sri Krishna speaks as Ishwara and not as an individual form. Speaking thus he says please understand my Real Nature and that real nature is Jivabhuta-in the form of the jiva. And that is none other than you. Jiva is one who is there in every physical body. It is the one who illumines the sensory world, the body, the senses, the mind and the intellect. This is the Atma. The entire objective world and the body-mind complex go through changes but the Atma is always there in and through all the changes including birth and death. This truth has been explained in another way too in the 13th Chapter of the Gita where Bhagwan says the body & mind complex is a kshetra -a field and the one who illumines the world and the body-mind complex is the Kshetragya-the knower of the field. Know the Para Prakriti to be the Kshetragya of this field. Everything exists in this two-fold Prakriti: Sri Krishna says all beings and elements have their cause in this two-fold Prakriti. Therefore I am the one from whom this entire world comes; so too, I am the one into whom everything resolves. The two fold prakriti includes all beings begining from Brahmaji the creator to the smallest worm. All non-living things too come in the fold of this prakriti. All the lokas, all knowledge, all the celestial beings, the entire cosmos is borne of this two fold prakriti. One is of the the nature of Brahman and the other is the Maya Shakti. This two fold prakriti is nothing but me alone. I am the cause for the projection of this entire world. I am of the nature of Sat Chit Ananda, the Para Prakriti and I alone project this entire world through my Maya shakti the Apara Prakriti. I am the one from which everything comes. I am the one into whom everything goes back. therefore there is nothing other than my self. Both the Prakritis are nothing but me alone. Please ascertain this truth. - 11 -


Tea Combat A master of the tea ceremony in old Japan once

accidentally slighted a soldier. He quickly apologized, but

the rather impetuous soldier demanded that the matter be

settled in a sword duel. The tea master, who had no experience with swords, asked the advice of a fellow Zen master who did possess such skill. As he was served by his friend, the Zen swordsman could not help but notice

how the tea master performed his art with perfect concentration and tranquility. "Tomorrow," the Zen swordsman said, "when you duel the soldier, hold your

weapon above your head, as if ready to strike, and face him with the same concentration and tranquility with which

you perform the tea ceremony." The next day, at the appointed time and place for the duel, the tea master followed this advice. The soldier, readying himself to strike,

stared for a long time into the fully attentive but calm face of the tea master. Finally, the soldier lowered his sword,

apologized for his arrogance, and left without a blow being struck.

Vedanta Sandesh


Wandering in Himalayas Great indeed is the power of dispassion (vairagya). When vairagya

dawns tenderness changes into hardness, weakness into strength and

Dispassion

grief into joy. It makes the impossible easily possible. But true vairagya is difficult to attain, because desire and attachment spring from multifarious

sources. Desire is Hydra-headed monster. Cut off one head and you will

find several taking its place. Overcome sexual desire and it is soon replaced by the desire of wealth. Overcome that too, then the attachment to the body shows itself with unprecedented strength. get over the attach-

ment also, and then the desire for immortal fame call aloud like a Lioness from the caverns of a heart.

Even the wisest and the most learned are ensnared by the desire

for fame. Verily, desire for fame is the last infirmity of noble minds. It can

be overcome by only wise and heroic efforts. Very often common people are misled into taking this hankering after fame as the love of one’s com-

munity, of one’s country or of religeon. He who engages himself in national or religeous work to perpetuate his name is no true patriot or saint.

People may pretend that the prosperity of their country and religeon is the

Excerpts from the

Travel Memoirs of

Param Poojya Swami

Tapovanji Maharaj

sole objective, but their real objective may be self-aggrandizement. In english there is a saying, ‘Even the devil not knoweth the mind of man.’ the Omnicient alone knows the real motives of one’s conduct. Desire is some-

thing subtle and beyond the comprehension of the senses. Our surmises

based on exernals are therefore liable to go wrong, and do often go wrong. But let us return to our subject.

True Vairagya is result of thought. The other kinds of vairagya, re-

sulting from various other causes, can, at best, be only weak, temporary and halting. Yudhisthira’s vairagya was of the true type. Stricken with remorse at the death of so many kinsmen and at the thought that he himself was the cause of such massacre and misery, his mind turned inward. He

now turned over the vanity of worldly things-state, riches, and relationships like father and son-over the heartless crimes committed for the sake of such vain things, and over the great sorrows, man has to come to suffer in this world and the next as a result of thoughtless conduct. - 13 -


by

Swamini Vidyananda

Adhyatmic Teachings of Guru Vasishtha to Sri Ramji

In the spring, the trees grow new leaves. They start to grow out from buds, at first they are tiny, and later grow bigger and bigger, and stay on the tree for the whole summer. Some of them are chewed on by the hungry insects, some are blown off by winds. In the fall, the remaining ones change colors and begin to fall off, and tree remains as if without leaves for the whole winter. We see leaves come and go, we see them for some time, but don’t see at other time. But do they disappear completely? Do they “die”? To appear afresh in the spring, they should stay somewhere, aren’t they? Surely, all the time these leaves stay inherent in trees themselves! Sometimes they are manifested, and some time they are not seen. But they are always right here, not really going away, and not really coming. The tree supports them, while they are manifested, and while they are unmanifested, too. The tree, the support for the leaves, is the same tree, sometimes with leaves, sometimes without. The tree remains unchanged while leaves sprout, grow, live and fall down. Knowing the unchanging tree, there is no reason to cry for dying leaves. The same way this creation exists all the time within the absolute pure Consciousness. It is not created, nor is it destroyed. It just sometimes manifested to the view for some time, and sometime unma nif ested. There is no destruction, there is no birth, it is always here. Same way as the whole world exists, the jiva also exists all the time in the absolute pure Consciousness. It is not created and it is not destroyed, it just manifested at some moment, and not manifest at another. There is nothing to be happy or unhappy about. All the time only that pure absolute Consciousness is, manifested in so many different and amazing ways. The one simple change of the point of view is the difference between a suffering jiva afraid of its own death and changeless blissful absolute Consciousness. Manifestations are many, the pure Consciousness stays the same and unchanging. Like gold stays always the same, although a goldsmith may put it in many different shapes. Gold bracelet, gold necklace, gold ring, gold ornament so many forms, but gold in all of them always stays the same. To see the gold, one needs to “transcend” its forms, not be fascinated by them. Then only he sees the Vedanta Sandesh


same gold behind and through all these different shapes. The same way with the pure Consciousness - to see it, one need to transcend all various visible forms, drop all likes and dislikes toward various objects, people and situations, drop even the notion of the separate “I”, - all these notions draw our attention to forms. Then only the one sees the same pure unchanging reality behind and through all these different forms, shapes, names and arrangements. All things are equally inhabited by intelligence, the self of all. The expression “all things”, “the world” and “I” are used as a figure of speech for the ease of communication, for only the infinite Consciousness, or Brahman, exists. As there is no division between a bracelet and gold, and no division between leaves and tree, there is no division between the universe and the infinite Consciousness. This Consciousness alone is the universe; the universe with everything in it does not exists as some separate reality. All reality of the visible world is the reality borrowed from the pure Consciousness. And only this Consciousness really exists. That infinite Consciousness alone is the unenlightened appearance of this creation, this Consciousness is always the same before and after the creation, and during its existence, it is the same always. The creation exists in Brahman just as leaves exist in the tree, like various ornaments exist in gold, like a sprout exists in the seed, like liquidity and various water-forms exist in water, sweetness in milk and whiteness in snow. But in ignorance the creation appears to be different from and independent of Brahman. And then only, in ignorance, appearance and disappearance of transient forms becomes important, and may bring joy and sorrow, pain and attachment. Deal with that ignorance and realize there is no division, no difference, no distinction. This Consciousness in indivisible and has no parts or limbs. In it the mountains, the ocean, the earth, the rivers, etc do not exist as such, but only as consciousness; hence there are no parts or limbs in consciousness. There is not even a temporary or subtle river in the mirage - even so there is in no sense a real world, but only pure Consciousness. Hence, “world’ and “cosmic consciousness” are synonyms. Nothing has ever been created anywhere at any time; and nothing comes to an end either. The absolute Brahman is all, the supreme peace, the unborn and eternal pure Consciousness. As and when one turns away from the notions of “I” and the “world”, one is liberated - the notions “I am this”, and “world is that” are the only bondage here. They who know the infinite Consciousness as the nameless, indescribable, formless substratum of the universe, gain victory over samsara. As the world of samsara is non-existing, it is really easy as easily as one turns away from a non-existing beautiful picture. -7-


Quotes You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the

creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.

Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form.

I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.

When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.

Vedanta Sandesh


The Legend of Pitru Paksha Story Section

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

One of the very important personalities of Mahabharata, Karn ( the son of

Kunti-Surya and supposedly brother-like to Pandavas) who is fondly remembered as “Daanveer Karn” made lots of charity in form of jewels, money and lands. When he died and ascended to heaven, he got all that he gave in form of charity in multiples.

But, he didn’t get food as he did not give food-charity. He starved for days

and finally asked the “Yamaraj” if he could get a chance to make for this deficiency. Yamaraj allowed him and granted a period of 14 days to go back to the

earth and make for it. These 14 days were used by Karan to give numerous food-charities and he also offered Shradh to his ancestors.

When he finally returned back to the heaven, there was plenty of food

available to him.

Thus, in Hindus, it is considered very auspicious to donate food in form of

Shradh to poor, as whatever donated is supposed to reach directly to one’s ancestors. During these days and especially on the day of new moon it is believed

that the soul of the dead ones (Atmas), are permitted by Yamaraj to reach earth and receive the benefits of these rites from their children.

The Scriptures reveal that “The soul never dies”, it only transforms from

one external form (body) to another. Thus it is believed that in whatever form our ancestors exist, the charity during this time surely reaches them.

The sons performing the rites of Pitru Paksha are free of any Pitr dosh

and are eligible for Pitr lok. It lasts for a fortnight and the day to perform the rituals depend on the Tithi, calculated according to the Hindu calendar.

In southern and western India, it falls in the Hindu lunar month of

Bhadrapada (September–October), beginning with the full moon day (Purnima) that occurs immediately after the Ganesh festival and ending with the new moon

day known as Sarvapitri amavasya, Pitru Amavasya, Peddala Amavasya, Mahalaya amavasya or simply Mahalaya. Most years, the autumnal equinox falls within this period, i.e. the Sun transitions from the northern to the southern hemisphere during this period. In North India and Nepal, this period corresponds to the dark fortnight of the month Ashvin, instead of Bhadrapada.

- 17 -


Vedanta Sandesh


A five days Vedanta Camp prior to Sri Krishna Janmashtami was organized at Vedanta Ashram, Indore from 31st Aug to 4th Sept 2015. Sadhakas from Mumbai, Lucknow & Ahmedabad participated. The subject matter of the two main discourses were: Natakdeep Prakarana of Panchadasi (Chap 10) by Poojya Guruji, and Avatara Rahasya by Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji. P.Swamini Samatanandaji took Meditation & Chanting Classes, while P. Swamini Poornanandaji handled the daily puja department and also managed the Kitchen. On the last day all the campers expressed their profound gratitude for all the profound knowledge, camp arrangements & facilities in which even the minutest things were lovingly taken care of. On 4th Sept, the Janmashtami day, first there was chanting of some select chapters of Bhagwad Gita, followed by the Dakshina Program of the Camp. Later in the evening first there was an elaborate program of Vishnu Sahasranama Archana. More than 36 devotees sat in the Samashti Ritual. Later there was chanting of stotras, and finally at dot 12 the birth of Bhagwan Sri Krishna was celebrated with great fanfare & devotion. After Aarti & songs, devotees even swung the newly born in the nicely decorated jhula. Poojya Swamini Poornanandaji conducted a week-long Gita Gyana Yagna at Dutta Mandir at Jalgaon from 9th to 15th Sept. She conducted discourses on Gita Chapter 5 and Kathopanishad 2-2 - both in Marathi. P. Swaminiji visits Jalgaon twice a year and has been taking both Bhagwad Gita and Kathopanishad right from the beginning. On 27th Sept was the last Sunday of the month, and thus was the day of the monthly Hanuman Chalisa Satsang. Even though it was the Anant Chaturdashi day - which is a big festive day at Indore, with huge processions & jhankis etc, yet nothing could stop the diehard bhaktas of Hanumanji. As usual the program began dot on time with lovely spirited bhajans by the Das Bagichi Bhajan Mandali, this was followed by the chanting of Hanuman Chalisa by all. Poojya Guruji later talked on the first part of the 6th chaupayi - sankarsuvan kesari nandan. Later there was aarti & prasad. On 28th Sept, all the Ashram Mahatmas and many devotees joined in the Sraddhanjali Program in the memory of Brahmaleen Swami Dayanandaji Maharaj, who was a great Acharya of our parampara. There was talk and later bhandara for all. - 19 -


Five days Vedanta Camp - by Poojya Guruji and all the Ashram Mahatmas at Vedanta Ashram, Indore - from 31st Aug to 4th Sept 2015

Gita Chanting, Vishnu Saharanama Archana & Janma Celebrations - on 4th Sept at Ashram

Vedanta Sandesh


by Poojya Swamini Poornanandaji at Dutta Mandir, Jalgaon - 9th to 15th Sept. Gita-5 and Katho 2-2

Bhajans by devotees and Pravachan by Poojya Guruji - 27th Sept

In memory of Brahmaleen Swami Dayanandaji - Ashram Mahatmas & devotees - on 28th Sept

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Vedanta Sandesh


Gita Gyana Yagna, Lucknow :

A week-long Gita Gyana Yagna by P. Swamini Amitanandaji will be organized at

Hariom Mandir, Lal Bag, Lucknow from 4th to 10th Oct. Subs: Gita-8 /Kaivalya Upanishad.

Gita Gyana Yagna, Bhavnagar :

A week-long Gita Gyana Yagna by P. Swamini Amitanandaji will be organized at

Ramdas Ashram, Bhavnagar from 25th to 31st Oct. Subs: Gita-8 /Kaivalya Upanishad.

Hanuman Chalisa Satsang, Indore :

The Oct edition of the monthly ‘Hanuman Chalisa Satsang’ will be organized on

the 25th Oct - the last Sunday of the month. All are invited.

Gita Gyana Yagna, Indore :

A week-long Gita Gyana Yagna by Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmanandaji has

been planned to be organized at the Main Hall of Hindi Sahitya Samiti Sabhagruh, RNT Marg, Indore from 23rd to 29th Nov. Subs: Gita-3.

Gita Gyana Yagna, Lucknow :

A week-long Gita Gyana Yagna by P. Swamini Samatanandaji will be organized at

Ramnaam Bank Community Hall, SBI Colony, Lucknow from 27th Nov to 3rd Dec. Subs: Gita-1 / Tattva Bodha.

Gita Gyana Yagna, Mumbai :

A six days long Gita Gyana Yagna by Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji will be

organized at Ramkrishna Math Campus in Khar, Mumbai from 7th to 12th Dec. The subject matter of the proposed discourses will be Gita-13 / Mundakopanishad 3-1.

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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 Oct2015  

Oct 2015 issue of Vedanta Sandesh, the English monthly eMagazine of International Vedanta Mission, containing inspiring and enlightening art...

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