“VALUE HAS A VALUE ONLY IF ITS VALUE IS VALUED”


 

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a Rupee 500 note. In the room of 200,
He asked, “Who would like this Rupee 500 note?”

Hands started going up.

He said, “I am going to give this note to one of youbut first let me do this.”

He proceeded to crumple the note up.

He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

Still the hands were up in the air.

“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?”

And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty.

“Now who still wants it?”

Still the hands went into the air.

“My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson.

No matter what I did to the money.

You still wanted it because it did notdecrease in value. It was still worth Rupee 500/-.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless.

But no matter what has happened or what will happen.

Never lose your value.

You are special. Don’t ever forget it! Never let yesterday’s disappointments overshadow tomorrow’s dreams.



Navaratri is a call for spiritual awakening


Nava-raatri is a call for spiritual awakening

October 5, 2013 | By  | Filed Under Letters

 

DEAR EDITOR,
Hindus are currently observing one of our very and perhaps most sacred and auspicious festivals—Nava-raatri. In its literal sense, it is nine nights of worship, prayer, introspection and scriptural recommitment.
Religious observances, traditional worship have, at times, more than one significance.
Apart from them being the adoration of the Divine, they are commemorative of thrilling bygone events, allegoric when interpreted from the occult standpoint, and are significant pointers guiding man on the path of God-Realization.
Nava-raatri is one such event. Outwardly, the nine days of worship are featured with wide performances of ritualistic worship. It is dedicated to worship of God as Mother—the feminine aspect in three prominent names, viz, Durgaa, Lakshmee and Saraswatee.
However, underlying all outward engagements during this occasion, there must be a more sublime and profound inward transformation of life, that every spiritual aspirant seeks to undergo. This deeper purpose of Nava-raatri is captured in its division of three sets of three nights each, to which the spiritual aspirant in his life of spiritual pursuits adore the different aspects of the Supreme Goddess. This has got a very sublime, yet thoroughly practical, truth to reveal. In its cosmic aspect, it epitomizes the stages of the evolution of man into God, from manhood to Godhood. In its individual import, it shows the course that his spiritual pursuits should take.
The central purpose of existence is to recognize your eternal identity with the Supreme Spirit. It is to grow into the image of the Divine. The Supreme One embodies the highest perfection. It is spotless purity, “Niranjana”. To recognize your identity with That, to attain union with That, is verily to grow into the very likeness of the Divine.
The spiritual seeker has, therefore, as the initial step, to get rid of the countless impurities and the un-divine elements that have come to cling to him in his embodied state. This transformation is to be had during the first three nights (first segment of Nava-raatri), where the Supreme is worshipped as Mother Durgaa. Then he has to acquire lofty virtues and auspicious divine qualities. This happens in the second three nights of the season, wherein the Goddess as Lakshmee is adored. Thus purified and rendered full of purity and goodness, Knowledge flashes upon him like the brilliant rays of the sun upon the crystal waters of a perfectly calm lake. This is to be had in the final section of Nava-raatri in which Saraswatee is worshipped.
This arrangement has also a special significance in the aspirant’s spiritual evolution. It marks the stages of evolution which are indispensable for every seeker of spirituality, through which everyone should pass. One naturally leads to the other, and to short-circuit this would inevitably result in a miserable failure. Nowadays, many ignorant spiritual seekers aim straight at the appropriation of Knowledge without the preliminaries of purification and acquisition of divine qualities, and complain that they are not progressing in the path. How can they? Knowledge will not descend till the impurities are washed out and purity is developed. The pure and good plant can grow on no impure soil.
Therefore, Nava-raatri if observed as pointed out above brings man to realize his higher self and to feel the Supreme Spirit within— all of which helps in the journey of realizing the Ultimate Goal—to merge with the Supreme. There are two birds on the same tree. One is perched at the top and the other below. The bird which is sitting on the top is perfectly serene, silent and majestic at all times. It is ever blissful. The other bird, which is perching on the lower branches, eats the sweet and bitter fruits by turns. It dances in joy sometimes. It is miserable at other times. It rejoices now and weeps after some time. Sometimes it tastes an extremely bitter fruit and gets disgusted. It looks up and beholds the other wonderful bird with golden plumage which is ever blissful.
It also wishes to become like the bird with golden plumage, but soon forgets everything. Again it begins to eat the sweet and bitter fruits. It eats another fruit that is exceedingly bitter and feels very miserable. It again tries to become like the upper bird. Gradually, it abandons eating the fruits, and becomes serene and blissful like the upper bird.
The upper bird is God—the Supreme Spirit within. The lower bird is the individual who reaps the fruits of his deeds, viz., pleasure and pain. He gets knocks and blows in the battle of life. He rises up and again falls down as the senses drag him down. Gradually he develops dispassion and discrimination, turns his mind towards God, practices meditation, attains Self-realisation and enjoys the eternal bliss of God, which is the end goal of life. Nava-raatri must foster and help in meeting this end.
In essence, Nava-raatri is a call for spiritual awakening.
Pandit Charranlall Nandalall
Secretary of
Sanatan Vaidic Dharma Pandits’ Sabha, Region 3  

 

 

 

Communicate with God


> One day a construction supervisor from 6th floor of building was calling a worker working on the ground floor. Because of construction noise, the worker on ground floor did not hear his supervisor calling.
>
> Then, to draw the attention of worker, the supervisor threw a 10 rupee note from up which fell right around in front of the worker.
>
> The worker picked up the 10 rupee note, put it in his pocket continued with his work.
>
> Again to draw the attention of worker, the supervisor now threw 500 rupee note the worker did the same, picked 500 rupee note, put it in his pocket started doing his job.
>
> Now to draw attention of the worker, the supervisor picked a small stone threw on worker. The stone hit exactly the worker head. This time the worker looked up the supervisor communicated with the worker.
>
> This story is same as of our life. Lord from up wants to communicate with us, but we are busy doing our worldly jobs. Then God gives us small gifts we just keep it without seeing from where we got it.
>
> Then God gives us amounts (gifts) we are the same. Just keep the gifts without seeing from where it came without thanking God. We just say we are LUCKY.
>
> Then when we are hit with a small stone, which we call problems, then we look up we communicate with God.
>
> So every time we get gifts, we should thank God immediately, and not wait till we are hit by a small stone, and then communicate with God.
>
>

 

Interesting – Why am I a Hindu ?


A Hindu was flying from JFK New York Airport to SFO San Francisco Airport CA to attend a meeting at Monterey, CA.

An American girl was sitting on the right side, near window seat. It indeed was a long journey – it would take nearly seven hours.

He was surprised to see the young girl reading a Bible unusual of young Americans. After some time she smiled and we had few acquaintances talk.He told her that I am from India

Then suddenly the girl asked: ‘What’s your faith?’ ‘What?’ He didn’t understand the question.

‘I mean, what’s your religion? Are you a Christian? Or a Muslim?’

‘No!’ He replied, ‘He am neither Christian nor Muslim’.

Apparently she appeared shocked to listen to that. ‘Then who are you?’ “I am a Hindu”, He said.

She looked at him as if she was seeing a caged animal. She could not understand what He was talking about.

A common man in Europe or US knows about Christianity and Islam, as they are the leading religions of the world today.

But a Hindu, what?

He explained to her – I am born to a Hindu father and Hindu mother. Therefore, I am a Hindu by birth.

‘Who is your prophet?’ she asked.

‘We don’t have a prophet,’ He replied.

‘What’s your Holy Book?’

‘We don’t have a single Holy Book, but we have hundreds and thousands of philosophical and sacred scriptures,’
He replied.

‘Oh, come on at least tell me who is your God?’

‘What do you mean by that?’

‘Like we have Jesus and Muslims have Allah – don’t you have a God?’

He thought for a moment. Muslims and Christians believe one God (Male God) who created the world and takes an interest in the humans who inhabit it. Her mind is conditioned with that kind of belief.

According to her (or anybody who doesn’t know about Hinduism), a religion needs to have one Prophet, one Holy book and one God. The mind is so conditioned and rigidly narrowed down to such a notion that anything else is not acceptable. He understood her perception and concept about faith. You can’t compare Hinduism with any of the present leading religions where you have to believe in one concept of God.

He tried to explain to her: ‘You can believe in one God and he can be a Hindu. You may believe in multiple deities and still you can be a Hindu. What’s more – you may not believe in God at all, still you can be a Hindu. An Atheist can also be a Hindu.’

This sounded very crazy to her. She couldn’t imagine a religion so unorganized, still surviving for thousands of years, even after onslaught from foreign forces.

‘I don’t understand but it seems very interesting. Are you religious?’

What can He tell to this American girl?

He said: ‘I do not go to Temple regularly. I do not make any regular rituals. I have learned some of the rituals in my younger days. I still enjoy doing it sometimes’.

‘Enjoy? Are you not afraid of God?’

‘God is a friend. No- I am not afraid of God. Nobody has made any compulsions on me to perform these rituals regularly.’

She thought for a while and then asked: ‘Have you ever thought of converting to any other religion?’

‘Why should I? Even if I challenge some of the rituals and faith in Hinduism, nobody can convert me from Hinduism. Because, being a Hindu allows me to think independently and objectively, without conditioning. I remain as a Hindu never by force, but choice.’ He told her that Hinduism is not a religion, but a set of beliefs and practices. It is not a religion like Christianity or Islam because it is not founded by any one person or does not have an organized controlling body like the Church or the Order, I added. There is no institution or authority..

‘So, you don’t believe in God?’ she wanted everything in black and white.

‘I didn’t say that. I do not discard the divine reality. Our scripture, or Sruthis or Smrithis – Vedas and Upanishads or the Gita – say God might be there or he might not be there. But we pray to that supreme abstract authority (Para Brahma) that is the creator of this universe.’

‘Why can’t you believe in one personal God?’

‘We have a concept – abstract – not a personal god. The concept or notion of a personal God, hiding behind the clouds of secrecy, telling us irrational stories through few men whom he sends as messengers, demanding us to worship him or punish us, does not make sense. I don’t think that God is as silly as an autocratic emperor who wants others to respect him or fear him.’ He told her that such notions are just fancies of less educated human imagination and fallacies, adding that generally ethnic religious practitioners in Hinduism believe in personal Gods. The entry level Hinduism has over-whelming superstitions too. The philosophical side of Hinduism negates all superstitions.

‘Good that you agree God might exist. You told that you pray. What is your prayer then?’

‘Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,’
लोका समस्ता सुखिनो भवन्तु !!! ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः !!!

‘Funny,’ she laughed, ‘What does it mean?’

‘May all the beings in all the worlds be happy. Let there be Peace, Peace,and Peace every where.’

‘Hmm ..very interesting. I want to learn more about this religion. It is so democratic, broad-minded and free’ she exclaimed.

‘The fact is Hinduism is a religion of the individual, for the individual and by the individual with its roots in the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita. It is all about an individual approaching a personal God in an individual way according to his temperament and inner evolution – it is as simple as that.’

‘How does anybody convert to Hinduism?’

‘Nobody can convert you to Hinduism, because it is not a religion, but it is a Culture, a way of leaving life, a set of beliefs and practices. Everything is acceptable in Hinduism because there is no single Authority or Organization either to accept you or to reject you or to oppose you on behalf of Hinduism.’

He told her – if you look for meaning in life, don’t look for it in religions; don’t go from one cult to another or from one Guru to the next.

For a real seeker, He told her, the Bible itself gives guidelines when it says ‘ Kingdom of God is within you.’ I reminded her of Christ’s teaching about the love that we have for each other. That is where you can find the meaning of life.

Loving each and every creation of the God is absolute and real. ‘Isavasyam idam sarvam’ Isam (the God) is present (inhabits) here everywhere – nothing exists separate from the God, because God is present everywhere. Respect every living being and non-living things as God. That’s what Hinduism teaches you.

Hinduism is referred to as Sanathana Dharma, the eternal faith. It is based on the practice of Dharma, the code of life. The most important aspect of Hinduism is being truthful to oneself. Hinduism has no monopoly on ideas. It is open to all. Hindus believe in one God (not a personal one) expressed in different forms. For them, God is timeless and formless entity.

Ancestors of today’s Hindus believe in eternal truths and cosmic laws and these truths are opened to anyone who seeks them. But there is a section of Hindus who are either superstitious or turned fanatic to make this an organized religion like others. The British coin the word ‘Hindu’ and considered it as a religion.

He said: ‘Religions have become an MLM (multi-level- marketing) industry that has been trying to expand the market share by conversion. The biggest business in today’s world is Spirituality. Hinduism is no exception’

He said “I am a Hindu primarily because it professes Non-violence – ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma’ means – Non violence is the highest duty. I am a Hindu because it doesn’t condition my mind with any faith system.

A man/woman who changes his/her birth religion to another religion is a fake and does not value his/her morals, culture and values in life.

Hinduism is the original rather a natural yet a logical and satisfying spiritual, personal and a scientific way of leaving a life..

 

__._,_.___

Bhakta and Bhagawan – devotee and the Almighty


A story of a devotee of LORD VISHNU.
‘Work incessantly, but be not attached to the world’ is the teaching in Bhagavadgeetha. It conveys the precept that to achieve Jnana, one should not run away from his family ties or his earthly position, but he should be in the midst of samsara but should not be tied down to it or depressed by it. In one word he should be like a lotus leaf in water. Bhakta Senanapith stands as a true example of such a life.

Bhakta Senanaith was a barber in Avanthipur. He was born low but he had a great soul. He was blessed with Jnana, bhakti and Vairagya essential qualities required of man to seek moksha. He knew he should not turn out to be a sanyasi, but he should fulfil his duty properly. He had a perfect control over his indriyas, he was totally devoid of the temptations of any man, he had conquered the two evils that usurp man’s reasoning ability-bondage and egoism. He had established Lord Vittala in his heart and he had been performing manasik puja unto the Lord.

One day, it so happened that the Muslim king wanted to have his hair cut. So he sent for Senanaith. But at that time, Senanaith was cut off from the world, lost in his prayer to God. This staunch devotee was bathed in the waters of Santhi, wore the white dress symbolic of peace, decked himself with vairagya, cleaned the temple of heart, situated in the nine doored body, arranged it with the rangoli of vignana, seated Lakshmikanth on the asan of satya, lighted the lamps of compassion, equality and philanthropy, ‘Sravana, manana nidhi dhyanas’ as Arghya padyas offered his purified soul filled with jnana as mahaprasad, a selfless thought as tambula and a feeling of total surrender as harathi. He was thus engrossed in his prayer unifying body, mind and soul.

He was one with God thus when the king’s soldiers came to fetch him. His family members did not want to bring him down to the mundane world from his ecstatic world. So they said that he was away. Relatives are worse than fire. One relative thought it the best time to pull down the image of Senanaith in the eyes of the king. So he took the trouble of going to the king and conveying the message. This angred the king and he ordered the barber to be drowned in the sea.

Will the allmighty living in the heart of his disciple leave him to his fate ? No! He dressed himself as Senanapith, held a bag under his hand and presented himself before the king. The omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all pervading God dressed himself as an untouchable to be a barber to a muslim ! Can anything be more surprising than this ? He was prepared to do hair cut to a muslim just as a lover stoops down to a low level to please his lady love.

The king’s anger cooled down at the sight of the Lord in the guise of Senanapith. The king and his followers were filled with a special love for the barber ! It’s but natural since it was not the lowly barber before him but the Almighty Himself ! God began the duty of the man he had donned ! He carried on the job of the barber with such a skill  that the king was highly pleased with it. Then the servant maids brought him scented oil in a large silver bowl to be applied to the king. The barber began to apply the oil to the king’s head ! How lucky the king was ! By the holy touch of the Lord, he was cleansed of his petty jealousies and was blessed with a pure heart. What more ! He could see the reflection of his barber in the oil bowl, not the regular face he knew, but the face of the Almighty. He saw him four armed. He was fully decked with various ornaments at his hands and the neck, with a diamond crown on his head, the heavenly sankha and chakra in two arms and with Abhayahasta with a broad chest the seat of Lakshmi devi, broad eyes and a pleasant smile on his face.

The king couldn’t believe his own eyes. He was lost to the world deriving pleasure out of the darshan he had of God until he was requested by his first assistant to have his bath. The king got up and addressed Senanapith – ‘You are so wonderful! I’ve never come across such a person like you. I’ll have my bath and food and come back. In the meanwhile, you too have your food and come back to me’ So saying, he gifted him with a handful of golden coins. God went to Senanapitha’s house, kept them in his cash bag and disappeared.

The king could not forget the godly image he had witnessed in the oil bowl. The feast he had that morning could not beat out the feast to his eyes, before that. He told his courtiers, ‘I have not come across such a pure heart. His leela appears unbelievable to me ! You fetch him to me once again.’

By the time the soldiers came to the house of senanapith, the latter got over ecstatic state and had become down to earth. He heard from his family members that the soldiers had come many times to fetch him.

Initially he was frightened about the anger he would have aroused in God, but his bhakti, vairagya dominated over his fears. He consoled himself thus- ‘Why should I worry ? If the Lord Brahma gets angry over his vahana – Swan, He may stop gong on it but can he deprive it of its innate tendency of separating water and milk ? Accordingly the king may deprive me of my earthly possessions, but can he raise his little finger against the Almighty seated on a throne in the kingdom of my heart ? God is omnipresent, in me, in the king in everything around. If that is the case why should I worry about the anger of the king ? When God is the director of human drama we play, why should we be disturbed over it ? Will the God who accepts my pooja make me suffer in the hands of the king ? God himself had donned the form of Panduranga and had given us these physical forms. A foolish man behaves wisely if he sits on the throne of Vikramaditya. The same way, I thought foolishly, for a second being born in karma bhoomi.’ Thus he drove the darkness of his ajnana through the light of jnana and proceeded on his way. He felt sorry for us human beings. Ironically we treat the real as unreal and unreal as real. The world we live in is maya, while the God who lives beyond it is real but being lost in this maya we don’t find the time or the need to chant the name of god. As if to teach us a lesson he was chanting Anantha, Vaikunta, mukunda, Krishna, Govinda, Damodara, Madhava on his way, The king was delighted to see him as the sunflower at the sight of sun, as the lotus at the sight of moon, the lover at the sight of his lady love. He prostrated before Senanapith and hailed him thus.

‘Oh great man ! I am sorry, I have treated you as lowly all along but today I had an awakening. I am thrilled at your ‘divya darsan’ in the oil bowl. Why don’t you show it to me once again ?’ So saying he sent for such a bowl once again. But no! he couldn’t be blessed for a second time. Senanapith could guess at once what had happened. He was moved to tears at the kindly act of God. ‘Oh Dayasindhu, Deenabandhu, oh Pundarikaksha ! have you come down to do such a menial task for a menial labourer like me ? You can create, sustain and destroy by a mere thought. Inspite of having such great powers have you done my job to display your warmth for me ?

The king too shed tears of joy when he heard that he had the darshan of God. The staunch devotion of Senanapith made him lucky. He could easily get the darshan. Senanaith said, ‘Oh king, you are very lucky. Your parents are blessed souls!’ He felt his bag was heavy and when he looked inside he saw the golden coins given into the Lord by the king. Senanaith cried again.

‘Oh my Lord ! what an irony ! You lord of Goddess Lakshmi are given a few gold coins for the menial job you have undertaken for mysake, your bhakta ! How can I praise your kind’ness and how can I ever express my gratitude to you ?’

Ever since then, the king became Senanapith’s disciple and they have been praying to God together.

Such is the greatness of true devotees of God. God blesses not only those who pray to him but also those who are associated with them.

ways to make your Parents Happy


The parents now a days are quite worried about the behavioral changes in their children due to several socio-economical reasons. The gap between parents and�us, the youth,�is increasing day by day due to which the family bonding is getting weaker and weaker.�We, the youth, want liberty in every deed we do. We want our parents�not to be disturb�us in what-ever�we do�in what-so-ever manner.�We have�forgotten the amount of time�our parents have invested in for�our brought up.�We have forgotten the countless efforts and sacrifices by�our parents throughout our lives.�
Starting from our birth they have taken care of our food (  years * 365 days * 3 times = 24000 times!), our clothes (daily washing, ironing, new purchasing), our education (daily home works, uniform, school/tuition fee), religious moral teaching every day (THE REAL GREAT JOB), computer toys purchasing and God knows how many other countless efforts they have put in to make us a complete human being�to survive in this world. Indeed, all those efforts�cannot be covered in this article but the overall emphasis is that its our moral and�religious�mandatory responsibility�to take care of them now.
Below are some small�acts of kindness which I request you to consider to show your affection with them and to take care of them:


  1. Give them enough money so that they don’t have to ask you.
  2. Share funny and entertaining things with them to make them laugh or smile.
  3. Don’t speak loudly. Speak slowly, nicely�and softly.
  4. Do not walk in front of them in market or anywhere. They might walk slow being old; stay behind them. Give them respect.
  5. Ask for small tasks again and again. For example, “Abou Jee, do you need water? Should i bring tea for you? Are you hungry, baba” etc�
  6. Closely monitor thier health. visit doctor if required. Have them thorougly checked time to time.
  7. Take care of their medicines. Set reminders on your phone for their medicines and�serve them on time.
  8. Take them to the mosque. Walk slowly. Follow their pace.
  9. Take them to the park�for walk. If not possible daily, then take them on weekend.
  10. Do not call them by their name. Call them with respect.
  11. Open the door for them with respect
  12. Adapt yourself according to�their�schedule not vise versa.
  13. Do shopping for them (buy their clothes, shoes, small items like tooth paste).� Buy your mother a nice coffee cup. Take them to market and buy them according to their likings. Buy your parents some nice books; usually people love to read books in old age.
  14. When you come back to home, visit them first in their room.
  15. Respect thier social circle and let them enjoy with their friends.� Article written by Junaid.Tahir
  16. In case of conflict on any issue, try to follow them as much as possible. Remember, they have been sacrificing their money and time in raising you for years and years. Its time to pay back. They have been showing all the patience during your childhood. Its time for you to be patient.
  17. Keep them with you instead of sending them�to old houses etc. This will be a big act of ignorance if you do.
  18. When starting the food, serve them first.
In the end, I would recommend�making a check list of this email and and paste it on any wall in your room or kitchen and read it often to remember
Please do share if you are doing any other good thing in making your parents feel great 🙂



 

Little Girl and her plant- story


 

 

A little girl was enjoying the beauty of the garden in her home. Her father had a good collection of rare and exotic plants. He grew them with tender care.

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The girl was fascinated by a plant full of fine and fragrant flowers. She went near the plant and enjoyed its beauty and the fragrance of its fine flowers. Suddenly she noted that the plant was growing in a heap of filth. She could not tolerate the presence of dirt at the bottom of the plant with such fantastic flowers.

She conceived a plan to clean the plant. She pulled the plant with all her might and uprooted it. She then carried it to the tap and washed the shoot and roots in running tap-water till all traces of dirt were washed away. She then placed the plant on a clean stone and went away, thinking that she had done a great deed indeed.

Later her father came to the garden and saw the uprooted plant. Its flowers and leaves had wilted and the plant had almost died in the scorching sun. His little daughter ran to him to exhibit her achievement. “I have cleaned it, Daddy”, she reported innocently. “It was placed in dirty soil. Now it is clean.”

The father showed her how her treatment had almost killed the plant. He told her that he had collected the filthy soil and placed it to cover the plant’s roots as it was the best medium to grow that plant. It could grow up healthily and produce fine flowers only if grown in filthy soil. She was sad that the plant had suffered and withered by her cleaning.

Flash:

Pain, poverty and illness may cause agony in our life. Sight of successful persons may make us depressed and envious. A great gardener mixes the right soil for each plant. In the same way God provides each of us with the best environment required for optimum spiritual growth. But it may appear to be unpleasant to us and we may even complain to God about our plight.
– – – written by Angel