Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission Year 19
Maha Kumbha Mela is the biggest Fair on Earth. Touted as a â€˜Must-See-Once-in-a-Life-Timeâ€™ congregation. Gyanis, Yogis, Bhaktas etc of all Sampradayas converge here on the celestial occasion. Starts 27th Jan 2013 for a month.
Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission Jan 2013 : Year 19 / Issue 7 Editor: Swamini Samatananda Saraswati
nsoku~ Hkko;rkusu rs nsok Hkko;Urq o%A ijLija Hkko;Ur% Js;% ijeokIL;FkA Appease the Gods with your selfless, loving and dedicated karmas, and let the Gods appease you. Thus lovingly & selflessly living for the well-being of each other, you all will certainly attain the heighest good.
Published by International Vedanta Mission http://www.vmission.org.in email@example.com
In This Issue
1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 7. 7. 8. 9. 10. 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 10-11 13 14-15 17 18 19 20-21 23
from Poojya Guruji Country of our Dreams Delhi witnessed a brutal rape incidence, when a 23 year old para-medical student was not only brutally raped by six goons, but she was also very severely hurt and then later thrown out of the bus like a trash, along with her friend - brutally battered and left to die. Even after eight days of the best medical care in the country, she is still said to be critical and still not out of danger. The incidences of this kind are ever increasing not only in Delhi, Haryana & UP but also in other parts of the country. There are many shortcomings in the Indian society and governance today, and such incidences do compel the people to pressurize the men in power to change the state of affairs for the better. Every citizen of the country certainly deserves some basic security to go around, work, travel, enjoy or entertain with dignity & respect. That is why we have government, who collects taxes to not only secure our borders but even provide the best inland security. Ultimately the struggles for independences, in any country, are only to help their people live a life of security with complete freedom and dignity. Vested interests are stalling the long due Police Reforms, because of which our police forces are not able to do their duties properly and professionally. Knee-jerk first-aids are no solution, there should be proper reforms, which helps the so called last-man too fully. Do we need such brutal attacks on the children of our leaders to wake up and do something effective? Anyone who has gone to a Police Station knows that even to lodge an FIR is such a tough job. Policemen avoid registering a crime, because it officially shows that their area has criminal activities. It requires great hue & cry and at times pressures to register a crime 'properly'. Judicial Reforms too are needed very urgently. The amount of cases which are pending makes justice a joke. The criminals take advantage of such a scenario and continue with their crimes unabated. In fact once are are labelled as criminals then they have nothing more to lose, and it is free-for-all voilence. Either we have innocent people filling the jails along with hardend criminals for years because the justice is not forthcoming, or we have officially branded criminals roaming around scot-free because the cases are still pending. This is indeed a very serious matter which needs to be looked into in case we really wish to make our country safe, secure and prosperous. We may keep dreaming about Ram-Rajya but with such a scenario it will continue to be a dream. We need to act firmly to convert our dreams into reality. While the Police and Judicial Reforms are a must, yet we need to enquire whether this alone is the cause of such violence and behaviour. The ball comes finally in the court of politicians. They are the modern day rulers. They alone frame laws and execute them as per their conveniences. They alone interfere with Police work and also in a way the slow pace of judicial reforms. We all know the statistics of how many elected representatives of people are registered criminals. So when the very criminals enter the portals of governance then certainly the country has been left to dogs. Many such goonda elements are supported by some politician or the other. They come in handy to get their dirty work done and get protection in liu of their services. In theory democracy is the best kind of governance, but no one in their wildest dreams can ever say that the kind of governance we are getting is the best one, so obviously we have to look very seriously into some far reaching fundamental political reforms too. We should be proud of our leaders and country who sincerely take care of one & all - as their own family. The present political system does not represent the wishes & dreams of the masses, because it is these very masses who are suffering, and raising their voices through various ongoing agitations. Anti-graft movements were basicaally directed against these politicians, who are seen to be busy just filling their pockets - by hook or by crook. However, we feel that the real reform is not just about handling criminals quickly and effectively, but more about assuring that such a mind-set does not arise. Rape is not just about insensitive sexual gratification by some repressed soul, but more about getting satisfaction in hurting the weaker ones. It is indicative of a mind which is badly hurt, which has become insensitive, which is looking forward to sadistically hurt someone very badly in any possible way, including sexual. These people are in fact rebels and are very angry at someone, but could not vent their feelings. It is this which comes out in the form of such dastardly acts. So how do we prevent this. The challenge of assuring that the minds of our children and citizens is made beautiful is also a challenge of any society & its rulers. This is where education system comes. It was only for these objectives that we had religions too. Today with our funny definitions of secularlism the land which gave the world some of the greatest religions is crying for even basic values. We have ignored religion and all the moral values for too long, we now need to wake up. Even the father of nation religiously did his daily prayers & meditation. It was only because of religion that our motherland was divided and yet our citizens are bereft of all the wisdom of their ancestors, because someone somewhere has baseless fears about such matters. High time we wake up. Can we take this opportunity to really go deep into this issue and address it holistically and assure that we have a worthy country for not only our children, but even for our soldiers who would love to live & die for it. -
Ramayana is basically a Subjective Story In the previous sloka, the Acharya explained that a liberated one, by incessant contemplation gives up all the previous identifications with the body, mind & intellect and awakens into the state of Brahman. In the following sloka the entire spritual journey is indicated by the classic example of Ramayana where the jiva is lost in the ocean of delusion. This ocean of delusion is crossed by purifying the mind of all evil tendencies and by gaining the knowledge of the Self
50 Teertva mohaarnavam hatvaa raaga dveshadi raakshasaan Yogi shaanti samayuktah atmaa ramo viraajate Teertvaa:After crossing; mohaarnavam: the ocean of dellusion; hatvaa: killing; raagadveshaadi:likes & dislikes; raakshasaan:the demons; yogi: yogi; shaantisamaayuktah:united with peace; aatmaraamo: in the glory of hi own realised self; viraajate:dwells. After crossing the ocean of delusion and killing the monsters of likes and dislikes, the Yogi who is united with peace dwells in the glory of his own realised Self – as an Atmaram.
Teertva mohaarnavam: A spiritual aspirant in quest of liberation crosses the ocean of ignorance and misapprehension. Ignorance & as a consequence the wrong understanding of the Self is the root cause of samsara-of constantly seeking something for fulfillment. As I do not have the right knowledge of my self I come to a conclusion that I am the physical bodymind-sense-complex. Once this eroneous conclusion about the Self is made I am then subject to change, ageing & death. The condition of the body is my condition, the condition of the mind is my condition, therefore I am unhealthy, I am hungry, I am tall, I am short, I am agitated, I am knowledgeable etc. These are all conclusions of the Self as a limited being. With this conclusion my whole life becomes a constant struggle to come out of these limitations, to become something that is limitless. This is what the scriptures call as Moha - misapprehension about the
truth of Self, taking it as something else. Here the Acharya says teertvaa moharnavam, meaning, having crossed the ocean of delusion. A spiritual seeker aspires to liberate one’s self from their own misapprehensions (taking something as what it is not) and the subsequent sense of limitation, by awakening into the truths revealed by Vedanta. What is this message of Vedanta? The vision of Vedanta points out, “You are not what you think you are”, Neti Neti. You are not the physical body, you are not the senses, you are neither the pranas, nor the mind or the intellect. You are the one who lights them all. It is with your light that that all these faculties enlighten the world. These are your instruments and they cannot directly reveal you. Having awakened to this truth of Vedanta one is liberated from all the imaginary sense of limitation and seekerhip. With this kind of a realisation one crosses the ocean of delusion.
Hatvaa raagdveshaadi raakshasaan: Crossing the ocean of ignorance and illusion is only possible when one destroys the demon like qualities of raaga & dvesha i.e. our individual likes and dislikes. L & D are the conclusions in the mind based upon the past impressions on the mind by our various interactions in the world. These impressions condition the mind and decide how we are going to be happy. Some people, experiences and objects elate us with joy, while others make us feel uncomfortable. The desire to hold on to the objects of our likes is called raaga(Likes) and the desire to cut off from all those things and people who are unconducive to our mental conditionings are the objects of dvesha(Dislikes). An ignorant person continuously struggles to attain the ideal situation as per his L&D. He is always caught up with ‘what should be’ rather than ‘what is’. Likes & dislikes make the mind dull, inert and insensitive too, wherein the ego continues to get strengthened. This impurity of the mind is the biggest hurdle for any person. Purifying the mind of such L&D is a significant prerequisite for any student of Vedanta. Awakening in the true nature of the Self as Paramatma is only possible in a purified mind. A purified mind is a mind free of the conditionings of likes and dislikes. It is a subtle, sensitive and peaceful mind which is free of any individual likes and dislikes. Hence the Acharya says having destroyed the demons of likes and dislikes one then is able to overcome the biggest demon of ignorance and attain the blissful and peaceful state within.
Vedanta and is able to see the Self as Brahman. Here too the spiritual aspirant is a Yogi who has attained such a peaceful mind, but, as long as Ignorance or Maya still exist in him, his victory over the likes and dislikes will be temporary. Ignorance must be totally destroyed by knowledge. The Sadhaka – after gaining total control over the agitations of the mind and has integrated his mind, must now vanquish and eliminate Maya or ignorance with the knowledge of the Real Self and awaken into the state of self effulgence and bliss. Here ignorance is symbolised by Ravana. Even thou one may kill many other demons here & there, but until Ravana the king of all these demons is not destroyed one cannot attain param shanti i.e. ultimate peace and bliss. Ravana has ten heads –which represent the ten sense organs which are forever hungry for worldly experiences. Rama tries to behead each head of Ravana. But, Rama is unsuccessful in it. The heads start coming back even as they are chopped off. In Vedanta parlance, the reason is – as long as Ignorance, which is the main villain, persists, the mental impurities keep coming back. So, it is said, Rama was advised to use the Brahmasthra (the weapon of Brahma) – which effectively killed Ravana once for all and restored Sita to Rama. Similarly when ignorance is completely destroyed then alone we are liberated from all the bondages born of ignorance. Atmaramo viraajate: Having destroyed the darkness of ignorance the Wise Man awakens and revels into his own reality which is pure existence, self effulgence and blissful in nature. This nature is the nature of all living & non-living beings too. A Man of wisdom sees the entire creation as his ownself and sees himself expressed as the entire creation. He revels in a state of self-contentment amidst the dancing waves of life, untouched by the inevitable highs & the lows of life, untouched by the calm & strong winds. He is called the Jivanmukta.
Yogi shaanti samaayuktah: The Yogi, the spiritual aspirant having overcome the impurities of individual likes & dislikes attains a mind that is pure, subtle and peaceful. A peaceful mind alone is the space where the sun of knowledge rises. It has been often explained that awakening into knowledge demands a mind which is subtle, pure and at peace within itself. Such a mind alone absorbs the subtle principles of
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One can make a difference
I always believed that one man could always make a difference. It happened on a bright Saturday morning which was the last for the month which we observed as the environmental sanitation excercise. Our compound was full of weeds and in dire need of cutting, but the question was who was going to bell the cat, which simply meant who was going to take the lead in cutting the weeds with five youthful men in the house. I got a cutlass and began cutting and then the most profound thing happened. While I was cutting the other men came out with other working implements and jumped on the bandwagon which I had earlier kickstarted. In minutes the whole compound was sparkling clean. The older men were proud of us; as they congratulated me. I will always remember that fateful Saturday when I was a living example that one man could indeed make a difference.
Blessings to VM Mumbai Hari om Avi,
Letter of the Month
‘Pl assure that all your meetings too start with a prayers in future. May all resolve to be like the beautiful flutes
Krishna. No work is a burden with such
The celebrations of the 20th year of Vedanta Mission was befitting. It was an appropriate salute to the great masters because of whom we have this amazing wisdom of Vedanta, and was also indicative of our resolve to continue with our work with greater missionary zeal in the times to come. We may have started nicely and firmly in these twenty years but we have still very far to go, and I am relying on you all for this onerous task to be our hands & legs to execute & fulfill our dreams to make not only our country but rather the entire world aware of the amazing message & heritage of Vedanta. We shall remain committed to this goal till our last breath uncompromisingly. This is the only objective of our life. Overall your entire team offered their ahuti’s as best as they could. Some could dream big & execute, most of them remained inspired with amazing sraddha & perseverance in spite of all odds, the ego’s of some got hurt and they could not get along with others, some dominated others too much with their baseless overconfidence, while some joined only when the foundation work was over. However, that’s always the world in which we live, and the best HR Managers have to live to conquer their frontiers which such human resources alone. True leaders are a different lot - inspired, dedicated to their goals & dreams, they have the strength to walk alone with a never say die attitude, are happy with challenges more than the results, they instill confidence in others, take everyone along with them, pat them on their back for all the success, and draw their satisfaction from the fulfillment of the basic objectives, which very few can even see, rather than elate with ephemeral credits & acclamations. I see you with potential of such a leadership, and if it was not for you the team could not have done anything as much as you all finally did. May God bless you.
an attitude and no challenges are any problem too., ’ - Poojya Guruji
I just wish & pray that the entire team connects with the blessings of God very sincerely. If this connect & conviction is there then it will manifest in various ways very sincerely. That humility alone takes one far and not the egoistic elation which is in fact the biggest brake. Pl assure that all your meetings too start with a prayer in future. May all resolve to be like the beautiful flutes of Lord Krishna. No work is a burden with such an attitude and no challenges are any problem too. My Blessings & Best Wishes to the entire team. Thy own Self, Guruji -
(Perceptible World is Ephemeral)
VedantaSandesh Sandesh- Mar - April 2009 Vedanta 2012
The world and its experiences are vivid in nature, always coming to us in opposites. Heat & cold, pain & pleasure, happiness & sorrow etc. Situations do not come to us our way all the time. Things keep on changing. Some situations are favourable and some are not so favourable. But the interesting fact in and through these situations is that they both do not last for ever. Change in the nature of every situation is inevitable. The pleasant arrives and goes away paving its way for the unpleasant and vice versa, just as the day is followed by night and the night makes its way for a new day. This very change and uncertainty often becomes the cause of our insecurity and anxiety. When a situation is pleasant we are anxious or insecure that it will soon pass away, and when it is unpleasant we painfully wait for the new dawn of happiness to take place. Life in this manner becomes a chapter of ongoing sorrow. What then is the understanding that closes the chapter of insecurity, anxiety and sorrow once and for all. In the Gita Bhagwan sri Krishna says that a wise person knows that what does not change cannot be changed (the atma) and what changes cannot be stopped from changing(the anatma). When these facts are clear to a person he revels in his own state of eternity and accepts the transitions as the nature of Maya. Contact of the sense organs with its relative objects brings about experiences& conditionings: The sense organs with the mind as its controller comes in contact with sense objects. These contacts give us the experience of cold, heat, pleasure, pain etc. The journey of these experiences does not end here, but each experience creates an impression on the mind of being pleasant or unpleasant, thereby conditioning the mind with likes and dislikes. The next time we interact with objects, people and situations we look at it with the various conditionings of the mind and consequently feel happy in a situation suitable to our conditioings and unhappy in a situation unsuitable to our conditionings. We get trapped in a vicious circle of helplessly reacting as per our conditionings and are further building up new impressions on the mind. Thus begins the story of happiness and sorrow. Pleasure & Pain are relative in nature: Pleasure and pain do not have an objective reality, but are very much relative in nature depending upon the mental conditionings of a person. A sunny day makes me feel extremely good , however some people might be intensely praying for a rainy day. Therefore the pleasure experienced on a sunny day or the sorrow experienced in the absence of the sun are all very very relative and vary from person to person. Situations by themselves cannot be categorised in pleasure and pain. Our responses give rise to happiness and sorrow. Unlike mental pain physical pain of the body is not something that can be fully Vedanta Sandesh
avoided. The phyical body is subject to pain with regards to heat, cold, illness & old age. If I have an upset stomach I will experience pain. In such cases, one can protect the body to some extent, but because it is constantly changing, discomfort or pain will be there. This is the nature of the phyical body. But this kind of a pain can be reduced with a positive and a factual mindset. Sorrow is something that one builds onto the pain because of a mindset that does not see the nature of the physical body factually and similarly does not accept this nature of the body. Bhagwan Sri Krishna says that this is where one needs to bring about an understanding. Take every situation as it comes with endurance and right understanding. Opposites do not have a Real and independant existence: Opposites in life cannot really do anything to us, because by nature they do not have any independant existence by themselves. It is the ‘I’. I am the one who gives existence and sense of reality to all the experiences at the level of the body, mind and the intellect. Identifying with the body and the mind as the ‘I’ brings about the misapprehension that I am suffering. When I say I am sad I am imposing the sadness of the mind on the Self which is untouched by any happiness and sorrow. Ignorance about these facts of the self and the non-self is the cause of imposing sorrow on the atma.
Changes in situations and objects is a fact. Therefore Sri Krishna says, ‘Endure them’Taans titikshasva. Neither will the pleasant stay for ever nor will the unpleasant.
Avoiding contact and experiences of the objective world is not the solution: Escaping or avoiding any kind of interaction with the world and its people in order to avoid pain and sorrow is not the answer to the problem. We need to get the fundamentals of the Self and the world correctly. We need to understand the facts of life. It is of utmost importance that we take to the study of what our great scriptures have to say. It is extremely important to go at the Feet of a Master who can reveal to us the facts of life. It is such an irony we spend loads of money and time in gaining various kinds of worldly knowledge but are so highly ignorant when it comes to knowing the facts of the same very world and the very self for whose sake we are constantly striving to gain peace and happiness. It is better to learn how to surf the waters of life than to escape it. Nothing to worry about: Changes in situations and objects is a fact. Therefore Sri Krishna says, Endure them’. Taans titikshasva. Neither will the pleasant stay for ever nor will the unpleasant. Do not strive to hold on the pleasant and do not tr to averse the unpleasant. Take every situation as it comes. For such a person who appreciates the facts of life there is no sorrow, there are only situations to act upon.
Instrument Of Righteousness Let me be Your Instrument of life Let me be the melody in Your song I will be Your drum line and fix what is wrong I will be the heart beat of Your life Use me in any way I will compose You a song I will do what ever You say Your words is never wrong I feel like crying of joy I need to be Your instrument of love I will praise and cherish Your words of joy Our world needs Your Love The music You compose Itâ€™s divine to my ears You remove all my fears With Your words I compose I like the sound of Your divine voice It bring life into a lifeless world It doesnâ€™t make a lot of noise It bring peace to my world -Sirbestian Nzula
Wandering in Himalayas Birds, Beasts and a congregation of Seekers
7 Excerpts from the
Travel Memoirs of Param Poojya Swami Tapovanji Maharaj
On both sides of the Gana at Rishikesh are primeval forests, Atalotaka plants with bunches of white flowers, bilva trees with green fruits, hanging down in hundreds from the branches, clumps of ancient bamboos which send down liberal showers of seeds, woods covered with dark green foliage, flowers and fruits, creepers and bowers-all these render the forests enchantingly beautiful. Elephants and wild boars, bears and tigers are found in large numbers in that region, on the far side of the Ganga. The piercing cries of the birds reverberate through the forests, and the peacocks, spreading their rainbow-hued feathers, dance in sheer joy. Monkeysof two types, red-faced and black-faced-satisfied with eating and drinking, abandon for the time being all their natural fickleness, and sitting quitely in large numbers on the branches of trees or on the ground, watch the peacockâ€™s performance with curiosity and reverance. I sometimes enter the forest for diversion and share the joy of the dancing peacocks. I have wondered whether the joy-intoxicated dancers are not some great rishis, who have lost themselves in love for their Lord. Perhaps, the monkeys who sit around enjoying their dance performance are also rishis who have assumed such forms at will. It is only natural that such fancies should haunt a man who believes in the divine charater of the Himalayas and the supreme powers of the mahatmas. Observe the truly satwic conduct of wild birds who admire the beauty of the peacocks, enjoy their dancing, and sometimes express their appreciation in loud cries, What a contrast to the human world where man, so proud of his learning and wisdom, finds it impossible to eat or sleep for jealousy and rivalry! if only man had the good sense to learn from these wild creatures!
by Swamini Vidyananda
Shri Valmiki, author of Yoga Vasishtha, is not only a Brahma Nishtha but also a Shrotriya - of the highest order. Brahma Nishatha is one who always & effortlessly revels in his transcendental truth; while Shrotriya is one who is adept in the art & science of effective communication, even of that which is beyond words & comprehension. Using all tools at his command he effectively communicates the subtle truths to all kinds of people. Inspiring & enlightening stories after stories follow to not only make the whole discourse highly interesting, digestible but also relevant - and all in an amazing sequence, like blossoming of a flower. It is like a travel where scenery never stays the same. It reminds one of soulâ€™s travel from life to life, from birth to death and another birth, each one being in unique conditions, with different notions and emotions, surroundings and relations. From mendicant to a king, from king to a deer, from deer to swan, flower, creeper, bird, bee, fish, sage, snake - in a seemingly never-
ending sequence. Till one is mesmerized with things around, striving for some and leaving some others, getting in and out of relations and exchanging one place for another, world after world and life after life give an abundant field for various experiences. He is like a child who plays with toys, so deeply engaged into his play that he forgets about everything else. In the book, we are getting a full view of many lives and Valmiki draws our attention to never-changing reality which transcends all these lives, notions and experiences, however different they seem to be, and instead of being just another of many wonderful amazements, they become pointers to subtle truth lying behind and through all happenings. Like a thread connecting many beads in a necklace, not seen from outside, but essential for keeping these beads together, here is a
Adhyatmic Teachings of Guru Vashista to Sri Ramji
reality behind and through all things and experiences, which holds all of them together. Instead of looking out for wonderful and amazing beads, you start looking inside for the thread which is always present, but stays as if hidden for these who never look for it. Each story is a pointer - instead of casually looking out, look within yourself to discover that one indivisible reality which makes the whole world possible. Besides stories which go one after another, Yoga Vasishtha is full of stories within stories within stories within stories. The process begins on the very first page and also may appear as having no end, like a series of dreams within dreams, and coming out of the one, you go right into another one. Without a wise knowledgeable guide this process goes with almost random transitions, which depend on many factors. With wise guidance of Valmiki, stories sequence and development are not random, they set to bring one to understand its own self. Central story of Yoga Vasishtha, Vedanta Sandesh
set up in the middle of several other stories surrounding it, is the teaching of sage
YV starts with Sutikshana asking Agastya
Vasishtha to Shri Rama, and with Rama reaching enlightement, all other stories neatly come to a final conclusion. With one dream ending with understanding of your own nature, all other dreams end also, karmas are destroyed, and one is set free from the spinning wheel of samsara. All what is seen in the dream, from a mountain to people, is nothing but the dreamer himself, here is no materiality in stones, buildings and relations. If any personage of a dream realizes what he is not a dream character, having separate existence, and wakes up to his true nature, the whole dream ends, and all its worries and joys are seen as not really existing. So, with one dream character being enlightened by Shri Vasishtha, all stories, all dreams are bursting like soap bubbles, and what is within merges with that which is without. Narration of Yoga Vasishtha starts with sage Sutikshna asking wise Agastya about the problem of liberation - which one is conductive to liberation, work or knowledge? Agastya replies - ‘Verily, birds are able to fly with their two wings: even so both work and knowledge together lead to the supreme goal of liberation’. To explain it further, he tells the story of Karunya, who seeks liberation and approaches his father with a question, and his father Agniveshya tells him the story of celestial damsel Suruchi who asks divine messenger Devadutta, who tells her the story of king Arishtanemi asking the sage Valmiki, who tells him the story of teaching of sage Vasishtha to Shri Rama, incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Vasishtha, giving explanations to divine Rama guiding him and helping to realize his own nature, is also answering the question of sage Sutikshna about connection between liberation, actions and understanding. Does it remind you the teaching of immortal Gita? In Bhagavat Gita, Krishna, divine incarnation of Shri Vishnu teaches his human friend Arjuna on the field of Kurukshetra about the science of the right action. The problem which Arjuna and Sutikshna face is the same fundamental problem any person faces many times in his or her life, as old as life itself, - should I engage in actions or should I shun actions and be quiet in meditation. Gita, as well as Yoga Vasishtha offer holistic approach for acting in life, Gita does it in a short form while Yoga Vasishtha goes into detailed explanations. While actions are essential and unavoidable, alone they are not enough for understanding fundamental truth of whole existence. Actions clean one’s mind, and only clean mind can successfully find answers to the most important questions only a human being can ever think of - who am I, what is this world around, what is it which makes my existence and existence of the whole world possible? And truth found by the shining and capable mind cleaned by righteous actions, transcends any division, including between action and knowledge. Having attained the highest realization “I am the Divine Self”, Shri Rama, as well as Arjuna, engage themselves in the actions reflecting their understanding of their true nature and their roles in this divine play called life. -
Seven Steps to Holistic Living
Relationships Relationships are inevitable in life, learn to make the best of them. Give justice to allyourself, your family, society, humanity, the animals, birds, and all the powers that be. Always give more than you receive. Always try to see the other side of a situation or an opinion. Always retain your freedom choosing your responses. Never ‘react’, but always deliberately & consciously ‘act’.
The Story of Ashta Vasuâ€™s Story Section
on p u e Onc me ... a ti
Shantanu was the king of Hastinapur. He was wise, kind and just. All the citizens loved him and respected him. The river Goddess Ganga was his first wife. She married him on the condition that he would not counter question her, on whatever she did. Ot of love, he agreed to obey her conditions. Ganga was a beautiful woman. She was also a devout wife and looked after the king with love and affection. They were so happy that Shantanu even forgot that a year had already passed. He also forgot about his promise to Ganga. Meanwhile Ganga gave birth to a baby boy. The kings happiness knew no bound as he fondly look at his heir. But his joy was short-lived. The same night Ganga carried the baby and headed towards the river. Shantanu was perplexed. So he followed her. By the time he could realize her intentions she had thrown the baby into the river. Shantanu was about to ask her the reason attitude when he remembered his promise to her at the time of their marriage. He could not question her about anything. Both of them returned to the palace silently. Even after this incident Shantanu's love for Ganga did not diminish in any way. But he was perplexed about her behavior. How could she kill her own child? Was she a demon or a woman, he wondered. Nevertheless, he decided to forget about this incident and continued to lead a happy life with Ganga. Subsequently, Ganga gave birth to another baby boy. The baby met a similar fate as the first born, Shantanu turned pale with worry. But still he did not have the courage to question Ganga. He felt very sad and depressed. Ganga gave birth to seven baby boys, one year after the another. But all the babies were thrown into the river after their birth. And it was none other than their own mother who killed them. When Ganga gave birth to a baby boy for the eighth time, Shantanu could no longer bear the situation. By then, he had already been a dejected man. When Ganga was about to throw the newborn into the river, Shantanu stopped her and asked her. "Do you know what you are doing? Are you a demon or a devil? You have killed seven sons of ours. I can no longer bear it. I will save at least this child." He could not control his emotions. Ganga was angry with Shantanu because he dared question her actions. "I will not live with you even for another moment" she said. Shantanu loved Ganga very much. He was grief-stricken. He begged and pleaded with her not to desert him. But Ganga told the king that she had to return to her abode as she had fulfilled her task upon the earth. She then explained to Shantanu what her task was. Long ago, there were eight Semi-gods known as Ashta Vasus. Once, out of sheer greed, they wanted to steal Sage Vashista's cow and the youngest of them, by name Prabhasa had stolen the cow. Vashista was enraged at this and cursed them to be born as human beings upon the earth. When the Vasus sought to be forgiven, the sage relented and laid down that the seven Vasus could live only for a few hours upon the earth but Prabhasa was to lead his entire life upon the earth. These Ashta-Vasus were the babies born to Ganga. The seven Vasus were thrown into the river and Prabhasa was the only survivor. Ganga narrated this episode to Shantanu and disappeared after promising him that she would hand over Prabhasa to his care subsequently. -
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Tvgjzbob-!Nvncbj; The grand Cultural Program organized to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Vedanta Mission, Mumbai in the form of Sufiyana was a grand success. The Manik Sabha Gruh was full, all the presentations were highly appreciated, the artists were very happy with the arrangements and hospitality, and overall Poojya Guruji too expressed his satisfaction and blessed all. The objective of collection of funds too was satisfactorily fulfilled. The program started with a Bharat Natyam presentation, followed by yet another classical dance by Raul & Mitali D’souza. This was followed by a presentation by Parvati Baul and finally there was the amazing performance of Mir Mukhtair Ali. Just before that Poojya Guruji blessed all and gave an inspiring talk on the spiritual foundation of Indian Culture.
Hjub!Hzbob!Zbhob-!Nvncbj; This year the Gita Gyana Yagna was organized in the sylvan surroundings in the Ramkrishna Math at Khar. On the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda the GGY was organized at the well-eqipped ‘Vivekananda Auditorium’. The President of the Math Sri Swami Sarvalokanandaji inaugurated the Gyana Yagna by lighting the lamp and his inspiring speech. Poojya Guruji spoke on the 7th Chapter of Bhagwad Gita and the last valli of the 2nd chapter of Kathopanishad. All the discourses were highly appreciated and were full house. On the last day Poojya Swami Sarvalokanandaji invited Poojya Guruji for more such Yagna’s in the premises.
Hjub!Hzbob!Zbhob-!Binfebcbe; A week long Gita Gyana Yagna was organized at the Ramkrishna Kendra at Maninagar from 23rd to 29th Dec by Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji. The subject matter of the discourse series were Gita Chapter 15, and Panchadasi Chapter 10.
Hjub!Kbzbouj!Dfmfcsbujpot-!Joepsf Gita Jayanti is always celebrated at Indore in a big way. This year also a mega celebration was organized at the Agrasen Dham adjoining Sudama Nagar. Poojya Guruji inaugurated the celebrations by lighting the lamp and his inaugural speech. Later all the Ashram Mahatmas spoke there on different days. On the main Gita Jayanti day, Poojya Guruji was the main speaker, and he addressed the large crowd there. They all were highly inspired. The program concluded with Gita Aarti.
Cjsuiebz!pg!Qppkzb!Hvsvkj The birthday of Poojya Guruji was celebrated both at Mumbai and then at Indore on 15th & 18th Dec with great love & respect.
Check out the detailed Photo Albums of the various functions on VM News Blog at : http://vmissionews.blogspot.com/
Weekly Online Satsang Vedanta Mission started a new program in Sept 2012, and that was of a Weekly Online Satsang. At present Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmanandaji is explaining a small text called ‘Sadhana Panchakam’. This series is in Hindi. One Video of the discourse is released every Sunday at 10 AM. This is about an hour long, and this is followed by half an hour session of ‘live’’ Question & Answers on Google Hangout on the Google Plus Page of Vedanta Mission. The link of the discourse is available on the Google Plus Page of VM, VM News Blog or on VM Website.
Forthcoming Sadhana Camp, Indore: The annual Winter Sadhana Camp at Vedanta Ashram, Indore will be organized this year from 22nd to 26th Jan 2013. The deligates will need to arrive at Ashram by 21st Jan, and can plan to leave on 27th. The subject matter of the Camp will be 6th Mantra of the first Mundaka of the Mundaka Upanishad, and 10th Chapter of Bhagwad Gita.
Mahashivratri, Indore: The Mahashivratri this year is on 10th March (Sunday). As earlier there will be special Pujas throughout the day. The first puja will be at 9 AM, the second at 6 PM and the last at 11 PM. There will be chanting of stotras and sankirtan at other times of the day, in which various devotees will participate.
Gita Gyana Yagna, Lucknow: A week-long Gita Gyana Yagna by Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji will be conducted at Hari om Mandir, Lal Baug, Lucknow from 19th to 25th Mar 2013. Poojya Guruji will conduct discourses on Gita Chapter-4 and Kathopanishad 2-1 in the evening and morning sessions respectively.
Gita Gyana Yagna, Vadodara: A week-long Gita Gyana Yagna by Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji will be conducted at Atmashakti Ashram, Vadodara from 19th to 25th Mar 2013. Poojya Swaminiji will conduct discourses on Gita Chapter-17 and Drg-Dryshya Viveka in the evening and morning sessions.
Gita Gyana Yagna, Lucknow: A week-long Gita Gyana Yagna by Poojya Swamini Samatanandaji will be conducted at Hanuman Setu Mandir Auditorium, Lucknow from 11th to 18th Apr 2013. Poojya Swaminiji will conduct discourses on Gita Chapter-2 and Kathopanishad 1-2 in the evening and morning sessions respectively.
Gita Gyana Yagna, Mumbai: A week-long Gita Gyana Yagna by Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji will be conducted at Vivekananda Auditorium in Ramkrishna Math, Mumbai 13th to 19th Mayr 2013. Poojya Guruji will conduct discourses on Gita Chapter-8 and Mundakopanishad 1-1 in the evening and morning sessions respectively.
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Om Tat Sat
Published on Dec 30, 2012
Jan 2013 issue of Vedanta Sandesh, the English monthly eMagazine of International Vedanta Mission, containing inspiring and enlightening art...