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Posts Tagged ‘Affection’

The Story of a Wallet

Posted by kathavarta on December 17, 2008

Once an old man was travelling by train on a pilgrimage to Brindavan. At night, whilst he was asleep, his wallet fell from his pocket. A co-passenger found it the next morning and enquired as to whom the wallet belonged. The old man said it was his. A picture of Sri Krishna inside the wallet was proof that the wallet really belonged to him.

The old man then began to relate the story of the wallet. He soon had a group of eager listeners around him. Lifting up the purse for all to see, the old man said: This purse has a long history behind it. My father gave it to me years ago when I was a mere schoolboy. I kept my little pocket money in it and also a photograph of my parents.

Years passed. I grew up and began studying at university. Like every youth, I became conscious of my appearance. I replaced my parents’ photograph with that of my own and I would look at it often. I had become my own admirer.

Then came marriage. Self-admiration gave way to the consciousness of a family. Out went my own picture and I replaced it with that of my wife’s. During the day I would open the wallet many times and gaze at the picture. All tiredness vanished and I would resume my work with enthusiasm.

Then came the birth of my first child. What a joy I experienced when I became a father! I would eagerly rush home after work to play with my little baby. Needless to say, my wife’s picture had already made way for the child’s.

The old man paused. Wiping his tearful eyes, he looked around and said in a sad voice: Friends, my parents passed away long ago. My wife too died five years ago. My son- my only son- is now married. He is too busy with his career and his family. He has no time for me. I now stand on the brink of death. I do not know what awaits me in future. Everything I loved, everything I considered my own, has left me.

A picture of Lord Krishna now occupies the place in my wallet. I know He will never leave me. I wish now that I had kept HIS picture with me right from the beginning! He alone is true; all others are just passing shadows.

Sri Sharada Devi, the holy mother, says: “Don’t be afraid my child, these earthly ties are transitory. Today they seem to be the be-all and end-all of life, and tomorrow they vanish. Your real tie is with God. God is one’s very own. It is the eternal relationship. He is ever looking after you. Call on the Lord who pervades the entire universe. He will shower His blessings upon you.”

From ‘Dipika’ A publication by Sri Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa; on http://hinduism.co.za
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The Letters from the Lord of Death

Posted by kathavarta on December 16, 2008

A man by the name of Amrita, living on earth, thought to himself that the one thing he feared most was death. He hit upon a bright idea that if he befriended the Lord of Death, then may be death can be kept at a distance. Amrita practised austerities and concentrated his mind upon Lord Yama, the Lord of Death. Lord Yama was pleased and granted a vision to Amrita.

Lord Yama said: I know, by the aid of my divine powers, that you seek to befriend me. Your wish has come true. My presence is only available to those upon whose deaths my messengers or I take their souls to my domain. Those that are born must die and those who die will be born again. This is the eternal law. No one can escape death. Yet I grant you my vision while you are still living.

Amrita said: As a token of our friendship, I ask this favour of you. If death is inevitable, I ask that if I am to die, then at least let me know beforehand of the time when my end is to come so that I can make proper provision for my family before departure.

Lord Yama said: Sure, this is a simple matter. I shall certainly inform you beforehand. But as soon as you get the message, please set about making the preparations.

With these words Lord Yama, the Lord of Death, vanished.

Many years passed. Amrita’s hair began gradually to turn grey, but he was living happily with not a thought about the fear of death. His life was full of sensual pleasures and enjoyments. He did not look forward to receiving any correspondence from his friend, Lord Yama, and he was pleased that so far no letters had arrived from the Lord of Death.

Some more years passed by. By this time Amrita had lost most of his teeth. But he was living without any worries about death or dying. Still no letters had arrived from his friend, the Lord of Death.

As the years rolled by, Amrita’s eyesight became dimmer. Old age is catching up with me, he thought. But I am thankful that my friend has still not sent any letter addressed to me. I know that my friend, Lord Yama, always keeps his promise. He will surely send a message beforehand.

Some more years passed by. Amrita was now an old man who could not stand straight up. With his back bent forward, he could not walk without the support of a walking stick. His skin was all wrinkled. One day he suffered a stroke and became paralysed. People said his condition was very critical. But Amrita was still in a happy frame of mind. As long as his friend Lord Yama had not sent any letter, the thought of death and dying never entered his mind.

Then the inevitable happened. Lord Yama, the god of death, entered the room. Amrita was startled and his mind was seized with fear.

Lord Yama said: My friend, come now, you have suffered greatly. Today I have come to take you with me.

Amrita was trembling with extreme fear. He said: Alas, you have betrayed me. You have not kept your word. You did not send any letter to me. You have now come with your fearful form to take me away. Are you not ashamed to thus deceive a friend?

Lord Yama said: O man! You spent all your life in shameless sense indulgence. Now you cast aspersions on me, the Lord of justice. Pleasures and enjoyments made you blind. How then could you know the letters I sent you? Not one, but four letters did I send to you. But you heeded them not.

Amrita was greatly puzzled: Four letters did you say? But not one reached me. It is just possible that they may have gone astray in the post.

Lord Yama said: With all your cleverness you were fool enough to think that I would take up pen and paper to write letters to you. O deluded mortal! Time is my messenger who brought my messages to you. Now take your mind back in time and recollect, years ago, your hair turned grey. That was my first letter. You did not heed my message but blackened your hair with dye.

My second letter reached you when your teeth began to fall out. Then too, you took no warning, but got yourself a set of false teeth.

My third letter was sent to you when your eyesight failed.

The fourth message was when your body became paralysed.

Amrita said: Oh no! I have grievously erred. Unforgivable is my error. Yet once more I crave your indulgence, Lord Yama.

Lord Yama replied: Indulgence! What more indulgence is there for me to give? What use did you make of the priceless opportunity bestowed on you of the gift of this human birth? Sensual indulgence and drunkenness- with these you wasted your life. Wasting this precious human life, fie on you! Now you shamelessly ask for more time. Time for what?

Amrita said: O friend, remember our past friendship? Please recall those days now and bestow on me one more chance.

Lord Yama said: That friendship was of that time. Now it’s done. I come neither as friend nor as foe. I come as the dispenser of the granite law. This law is above love and above hatred. This law is just, true and impartial. No human servitor am I who for gifts or money would from duty’s path swerve. My course is straight and true to the end. I carry out the stern dictates of destiny. All mortals have to bend to my final mandate. This is the divine law. Now let us go.

Lord Yama, the god of death, puts the noose over the dying man’s neck. The man begins to gasp and then chokes. An agonised expression fills his face.

People said: Amrita is dead.

Paraphrased from the writings of Swami Shivananda, The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh; on http://hinduism.co.za

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Enjoy this conversation

Posted by kathavarta on November 28, 2008

A Project Manager working in a MNC (Indian Govt. office), as usual after lunch goes to the cafeteria for coffee.

He relaxes in canteen. He sees a canteen boy cleaning tables there. so he decides to have fun with him. He calls him.

Project Manager – (Asks canteen boy): How much do you earn?

Canteen boy smiles…

Project Manager: what are your future plans?

Canteen boy keeps quiet…

Project Manager: where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?

Canteen boy gives a cold stare.

Project Manager: Jab mai Bangalore aaya tha tab mere paas bhi kuch nahi tha…. Aaj mere paas kya nahin hai… naam hai, shohrat hai, paisa hai…. tumhare paas kya hai?

Scroll down to find out his answer
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Don’t think that he answered like Shashi Kapoor of Deewar ki “Mere paas Maa hain”
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Canteen boy: Sa’ab mere paas kaam hai….

Project Manager leaves the cafeteria silently…….

By: Jagadeesh, for http://www.19.5degs.com
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Posted in Funny Story, Moral story, Story for Adult, Varta | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Fisher

Posted by kathavarta on November 18, 2008

A Fisher once took his bagpipes to the bank of a river, and played upon them with the hope of making the fish rise; but never a one put his nose out of the water. So he cast his net into the river and soon drew it forth filled with fish. Then he took his bagpipes again, and, as he played, the fish leapt up in the net.

“Ah, you dance now when I play,” said he.

“Yes,” said an old Fish:

Moral:
“When you are in a man’s power you must do as he bids you.”
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Posted in Aesop Fable, Children story, Fables, Moral story, Varta | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What is Ashtavakra Gita?

Posted by kathavarta on November 11, 2008

The Ashtavakra Gita or the Song of Ashtavakra, also known as Ashtavakra Samhita is an Advaita Vedanta scripture which documents a dialogue between the Perfect Master Sage Ashtavakra and Janaka, the King of Mithila(Videha).

Ashtavakra Gita was written by Sage Ashtavakra. This Gita perhaps precedes the Bhagwat Gita as the later has references of the Ashtavakra Gita’s teachings. Sage Ashtavakra, deformed from eight limbs on his body, (so the name) was a very enlightened sage, who at the young age of 12 years became the teacher of King Janak. Ashtavakra’s teachings are presented in the form of his dialogue with Janak, the King of Videha.

The story goes that Ashtavakra’s father is defeated by Vandin in an intellectual debate in King Janak’s court. Ashtavakra goes to the court to debate with Vandin to redeem his father’s reputation.

In the debate Ashtvakra completes the unfinished thirteenth shloka which implies that Self is essentially non-dual, free and unconditioned. The Self becomes subject to happiness and sorrow, and the cycle of birth and deaths through the thirteen viz. (ten organs of sense and activity, and intelligence, mind and ego-sense). Through wisdom, the Self not only should transcend happiness and sorrow as well as the twelve silas (viz., dharma, truth, self-restraint, penance, good-will, modesty, forgiveness, exemption from envy, sacrifice, charity, concentration and control over the senses) but also surmount the thirteen. This is liberation in life, and the supreme Upanisadic truth, “I am Brahman” (aham brahm-asmi) and the self is all that exists (sarvam atma).

Ashvakra defeats Vandin in the debate and King Janak becomes Ashtavakra’s disciple.

Significance:
Ashtavakra Gita presents the traditional teachings of Advaita Vedanta with a clarity and power very rarely matched. The work has been a constant inspiration in his life for many years. May it be so for many others.

Overview:
The Ashtvakra Gita starts with three questions posed by King Janak to Sage Ashtavakra as follows:

1. How is knowledge to be acquired?
2. How is liberation to be attained? and
3. How is dispassion to be reached?

Ashtvakra gave his answers in the following first three shlokas. Rest of his Gita is only the explanation of his teachings, and question answers with King Janak.

The Sage replies, that if you are seeking liberation, my son, avoid the objects of the senses like poison. Practice tolerance, sincerity, compassion, contentment and truthfulness like nectar.

You are neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind nor sky. For liberation know the self as embodiment of pure consciousness, the witness of all these.

If you differentiate yourself from the body and abide in rest in pure consciousness, then even now you will become happy, serene and free from bondage.

Ashtavakra Gita states that there is no such thing as existence or non existence, right or wrong, or moral or immoral. In the eyes of the Ashtavakra, one’s true identity can be found by simply recognizing oneself as Pure Existence and that as individuals we are the Awareness of all things.

The Ashtavakra Gita teaches that one is already free once one realises one is free. It advocates non-action (similar to the Daoist concept of Wu Wei), the loss of desire and severing of worldly attachments. To free oneself from the cycle of life and death one should withdraw from all Earthly desires, worries and cares. To continue indulging in Earthly things even after one has realised their true nature is said to be foolish and time wasting. Instead it paints a picture of The Master as someone who continues to keep up their responsibilities in the world, not because they believe they have to or due to any worldy attachments, but simply that it is in their nature to do so. To avoid misinterpretation in this regard teachers traditionally recommend that Ashtavakra Gita be pursued by only those who have already advanced on the spiritual path.

John Richards has given wonderful translation of this divine scripture. According to him:

“The Ashtavakra Gita, or the Ashtavakra Samhita as it is sometimes called, is a very ancient Sanskrit text. Nothing seems to be known about the author, though tradition ascribes it to the sage Ashtavakra; hence the name.

There is little doubt though that it is very old, probably dating back to the days of the classic Vedanta period. The Sanskrit style and the doctrine expressed would seem to warrant this assessment.

The work was known, appreciated and quoted by Sri Ramakrishna and his disciple Sri Vivekananda, as well as by Sri Ramana Maharshi. Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (2nd President of India) refers to it with great respect. Apart from that the work speaks for itself.

It presents the traditional teachings of Advaita Vedanta with a clarity and power very rarely matched.”
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Surrender and Devotion to a Guru

Posted by kathavarta on November 10, 2008

Whereas the creation in general was created by God, so that its nature is to surrender to Him. In the same manner, we must surrender to a liberated Guru. Mankind has been endowed with moral choice and free will so that, having an innate awareness of God and capable of reason and understanding, each individual may choose good or evil.

The Guru usually does not act, he/she is mainly a reactor. Whenever you pray to him/her with faith, devotion and surrender, a spiritual connection is established with his/her Light and then you may receive. What you receive from your Guru will be in accordance with the faith, devotion and surrender that you have towards your spiritual master. If there is real faith, devotion and surrender to your Guru, he/she will always be spiritually near you in order to attend your prayers nourishing and purifying your soul.

It is very important to understand the relevance on having a total surrender of mental, physical and spiritual activity to a fully realized Guru, who is the veritable physical manifestation of God, because by doing this, we establish a strong spiritual connection with the Guru’s Light, in order to attain a prompt spiritual liberation.

According to Vedic law, surrender of the will is part of the first commandment of all. Surrender draws down the Guru’s grace. In Christian teaching, no good or perfect work can be done without resignation, or surrender of the individual will to the Will of God; while surrender is the actual meaning of the word Islam!

He/She who attains victory over the mind and the ego is the truly free man. It is to attain this victory, that man surrender to the higher evolved personality of the Guru. By this submission, he/she vanquishes his/her lower ego and realizes God’s Light.

Around 60 000 000 000 beings of a different nature abide in the astral planes. We are interconnected with them in one way or another. As a result of this, we face two tremendous problems. One of them is that thousands of millions of these souls, are of a very low nature and they can influence our thoughts, words and actions leading us astray.

Another problem is that some deities, such as Christian saints, angels and also devas -‘gods’ misconceived by the Hindu tradition as spiritual liberated souls-, have reached certain stages in spiritual evolution, though they have not attained full spiritual realization. All these deities are immersed in pleasure and tied to it. They are bound to their emotions, because they have not attained spiritual liberation. They can feel all sort of emotions, positive and negative, such as joy, anger, hatred, egoism, envy, etc. Therefore they might even cause the physical destruction of each spiritually evolving man in this human Universe, as he/she evolves approaching the deva stage, mainly due to envy and jealousy shown towards the increase of evolution in the evolving human. Devas, ‘gods,’ saints, angels or any kind of deity, don’t want to be overcome by any evolving soul in this Universe.

All the earlier spiritual masters -Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, etc. had suffered like this in the hands of evil forces and jealous spirits of their spiritual evolution.

So always keep in mind what is stated in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: “Devotion to the spiritual master -Guru- becomes the purest, quickest, and simplest way to realize the nature of our mind and all things.”

In other words, it is the fastest path towards liberation.

Source: www.santhigiri.com.
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