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Importance of Guru

Posted by kathavarta on November 13, 2008

Dear KathaVarta visitors, I have already post some article for the Importance of Guru, in this month, I found one another useful article for the same. I hope you wiill enjoy this as well. Hapy Surfing with http://www.KathaVarta.org

When Lord Narayan was in the midst of creating universe, Goddess Laxmi, His consort was very upset. Lord Narayan saw this and asked her what the reason was. To this She replied that Lord Narayan was creating the universe in which He would crerate human beings and the Karma Department, which would be totally independent of anything. Due to the Karma theory, mankind would only suffer due to their own doings, as Karma is totally an independent theory.

No God or Demi God influences what a human being wants to do and all this would lead to misery and unlimited sorrow and sadness.Since humans are no one else but the children of Lord Narayan/Goddess Laxmi it was all but obvious that a mother would cry if she sees her children in misery. So She wanted the Lord to create some method, which could end the misery of mankind. To this Lord Narayan created the following method:

He said that any human being, no matter whatever bad karma he has done earlier in this birth as well as his previous births—once he accepts a spiritual leader or Guruji (in the disciple succession of guru Parampara),takes naam daan from the Guru and surrenders himself totally to his Guru(Sharnagati)— this person’s sin would be forgiven and forgotten and he would be on the path to Moksha (oneness with the Supreme Lord)

It is very funny that if someone wants to learn music, they look for a good music teacher. If someone wants to learn tennis he looks for a good tennis coach, but when it comes to spiritual life it is basic human nature that he thinks he is good enough on his own and does not need a teacher in this field.

We see around that everything needs a teacher so how on earth we enter the spiritual world without a teacher.That’s why a spiritual teacher or Guru is so important. The scriptures also say that a Guru is not only important, but is essential which means that there is no choice, if one wants to head towards self realization, then one has to have a Guru and there is no allowance to this rule.

LAXMINATH SAMARAMBHA

NATHYA MUNI MADYAMAH

ASMADACHARYA PARYANTA

VANDE GURU PARAMPARA

Lord Krishna himself tells Arjuna that if you want to approach me then approach me through a teacher who himself is self realized and who knows who I am so that He can guide you successfully through this spiritual world and make you one with Me.

Our own Guruji says to have a Guru is so important in life. He further says that we feel Guru Nanikji was himself a Guru so He may not have needed another Guru,but dear friends even Lord Rama ,Lord Krishna everyone needed a Guru to sail across life cycle.

In the Purana we can get the gyan of our Gurus. Guru Nanikji in His Granth starts saluting His past Gurus including Pandit Hardayal Shastri and Bjakt Renu.

Lord Rama had Vashisht Muni as his spiritual teacher and Lord Krishna’s spiritual teacher was Sandipan Muni. So who are we to go through the spirtual world without a teacher or Guru.

To sum it all as Kabirdasji wrote:-
“Ram Krishna se koi bade, jinhone Guru kinh, teen lok taran tarn Guru aage aadheen.”

Source: www.jagatguru.in
Visit www.eTirth.com for more religious information.
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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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Problems in Spiritual Evolution

Posted by kathavarta on November 10, 2008

Many people around the Universe worship many kinds of deities; saints and angels in Christianity; devas and Trimurti -Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva- in India; great Muslim leaders in Islam; Bodhisattvas and a great array of deities in Tibetan Budism.

This is a great problem in most religions. We begin praying to the Supreme and then we find ourselves praying to lower spiritual entities, that in some cases, we find more accessible towards our demands, giving us material gains and other things that we want, but that might perilously obstruct our spiritual evolution.

By worshipping these deities, we create a spiritual connection with them, so we merge into their energy, and the stains that their souls have, because of past wrongful actions, contaminate our souls creating in us tremendous problems that will be present in this life, or in future incarnations, such as sicknesses, sorrows, sufferings, calamities, physical deformities, mental retardation, etc.

Another problem is that material gains and fortunes are prayed for and accrued by the devotees, then the deities, take away in turn, from the devotees, punya -merit or light within the soul- and baghyam -good luck stored within the soul acquired by performing good deeds- causing further lowering of their soul.

The deities, saints, angels, etc. have not attained spiritual liberation. Patanjali Maharshi, compiler of “Patanjali Yoga Sutra,” famous book on yoga, had gone on record saying that “the yogi -person who practices yoga in order to evolve spiritually- must be very careful about deities -devas. They are more jealous of the human beings than a fellow human being can ever be.” They always prevent the spiritual progress of a yogi. Hence a yogi should be very much cautious of them lest they deceive him/her, so that he/she cannot elevate himself/herself spiritually and become a rival to them. It is understandable that the worshippers of these devious deities can never attain spiritual perfection, because a deity can only give to his/her worshipper what he/she has attained for himself/herself in the spiritual path.

India’s Puranas, epics and Vedas -India’s sacred books of knowledge- prescribe a laborious method of long term practice for the attainment of spiritual realization.

The present age, which we live in, is Kali Yuga -era of great spiritual upliftment where we can evolve at a much faster rate than in previous eras. Hence it is the age of Gurumargam or the path of Guru. Though Gurumargam has been in vogue in all ages, it is only in Kali Yuga -actual era-, Guru illuminates in fullness and the Supreme is worshipped and attained through Guru. Through a fully realized Guru, people will be able to attain spiritual liberation. This Great Soul is the only one capable of dispelling ignorance in people, helping them to live and act righteously and thus enhancing their growth materially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Source: www.santhigiri.com.
Visit www.eTirth.com for Gurus information.
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Stick to One Guru

Posted by kathavarta on November 9, 2008

After finding a fully realized Guru we must stick to him only, because if we dig here and there, we might find many false Gurus and then chaos and confusion will arise within ourselves. We must remember that we can find a real Guru within a million ‘Gurus.’

Try to imbibe thoroughly the spiritual teachings from one preceptor alone. Merge with his Light and knowledge through faith, devotion, surrender and righteous actions. Drink deep from this realized man or woman.

There is no use of wandering from one Guru to another Guru, out of curiosity, losing faith in a short time.

Follow the spiritual instructions of one man only. Only then you will have rapid spiritual progress. If you go to several people and follow the instructions of many persons, you will be bewildered, then you will be in a great dilemma, and automatically chaos and confusion will arise in your mind.

Source: www.santhigiri.com
Visit www.eTirth.com for Gurus information.
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Finding a Guru

Posted by kathavarta on November 9, 2008

To find a fully realized Guru is a blessing and it is undoubtedly very hard to find him. It is easier to find a pearl in the sea than to stand in front of a real spiritual being. We usually cannot recognize a fully realized Guru, because we are attracted by false Gurus who exhibit siddhis -occult powers, such as levitation, walking on water, invisibility, etc., though a real Guru does not exhibit any siddhi.

For a real seeker, help on finding a Guru comes in a mysterious manner. When the time is ripe, the Guru and the disciple are brought together by God Almighty in so many mysterious ways. By dreams, by reading a book or an article on that Guru, by meeting someone related to that Guru, by chanting a mantra in which the Guru’s name is involved, by meeting the Guru itself, or by some other means a reaction can be experienced within your soul, such as an inner heat, a vibration within your body, the attainment of darshans -spiritual visions-, the arousal of a great joy within yourself, or not being able to pronounce not even a word when you find yourself in front of such a Great Soul.

In my case I, Carlos Guzman, had a spiritual vision of the Guru, when I was in Mexico thousands of miles away from him and without even knowing him personally, I felt an urge of the soul on making a trip out of my country in order to find this Great Soul. In October, 1991, two and a half months after starting this trip, I had the fortune of meeting my Guru. An incredible detailed narration is given in this Web Page under the name “Experiences of Guru’s Disciples.”

After reading the article “Experiences of Guru’s Disciples”, I will extend an invitation to meet Nava Jyothi Sri Karunakara Guru.

Source: www.santhigiri.com
Visit www.eTirth.com for Gurus information.
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False Gurus and Siddhis

Posted by kathavarta on November 9, 2008

The Universe is full of false preceptors. Overly clever, they surround themselves with selfish pleasures and bestow their ‘grandiose’ teachings upon the unwary. Prematurely publicizing themselves, intent upon reaching some spiritual climax, they constantly sacrifice the Truth and deviate from the real spiritual path. What they really offer the Universe is their own confusion.

In the Universe as at present there are plenty of people masquerading as Gurus, due to sheer ignorance or in a deliberate attempt to deceive the gullible. Hence it is essential for the aspirant to be very sure of the person, before he accepts and accolades him as his Guru. There are some who profess to be Gurus, and are ardent worshippers of some deity or other. These people may even get or cause to get their deities of choice to manifest and thereby exhibit siddhis -occult powers, such as levitation, walking on water, seating on ice for hours, being immune to pain, appearing certain objects, walking on fire, becoming invisible, etc.

A Guru can be endowed with countless siddhis. Possession of siddhis, however, is not the test to declare the greatness of a sage or to prove that he has attained Self-realization. A real Guru does not exhibit any miracle or siddhi.

Sri Krishna is believed to be the most exalted in the knowledge of spiritual liberation. He never tried to develop any kind of siddhis. He merely ate and drank like a normal human. Yet he was a far greater Guru than that all past great spiritual preceptors.

Buddha severely criticized some practices that lead to the attainment of siddhis because he said that this could severely interfere with our spiritual growth.

In the Kevatta Sutta -Buddhist philosophical scripture- Buddha said that there are three types of occult powers:

1. The miracle of psychic power.- Walking on water without sinking, vanishing, going unimpeded through walls or ramparts as if through space, levitating, etc.

2. The miracle of telepathy.- There is the case where a person reads the minds, the mental events, the thoughts, the ponderings of other beings.

3. The miracle of instruction.- This is the ability of a person to instruct and to lead people in the correct path towards mukti -spiritual liberation.

Buddha said: “Seeing the drawback to the miracles of psychic power and telepathy, I feel horrified, humiliated, and disgusted with the miracles of psychic power and telepathy. The only miracle that a person should practice is the miracle of instruction.”

The great sage Ramakrishna Paramahamsa declared that siddhis were an obstacle in the attainment of spiritual liberation. Though better off than the common ignorant, these people cannot be accepted as Gurus. Some false Gurus exhibit occult powers, performing miracles to attract the people that are near them. This has become an universal problem nowadays. The attainment and practice of occult powers -siddhis- goes in contradiction with the Yugadharma -Spiritual Law of this age.

Source: www.santhigiri.com
Visit www.eTirth.com for Gurus information.
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