Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sadhu with a Businessman

Once there was a businessman. He had spent his entire life amassing wealth. For him money was everything. He could do anything to get it. The businessman had two sons. They were pious as compared to their father. In due course of time the businessman grew old. His two sons were very much concerned about their father’s hankering for material pleasure. They felt that as their father is growing old and in his entire life he hasn’t done any pious and devotional activity so he would definitely go to hellish planet. Being concerned about their father’s unholy life style they decided to send him on a pilgrimage with a sadhu.

They requested a sadhu to take their father to all the holy places and not to bring him back home unless his heart completely changes. The sadhu agreed to take up the responsibility. He took the old man to different holy places and tried to convince him through philosophies that material pleasure is temporary and permanent happiness is in spiritual realizations. He told him various devotional stories but nothing would seem to change the old man’s heart. Finally the sadhu started to give up. He thought, “It’s beyond my capability to change this man’s heart.” So he sent a message to his sons saying that it is impossible to change their father’s heart. But the sons insisted that at least he should try once more. Maybe some miracle might take place, they thought. The sadhu agreed to give a last try.

This time he took the old man to Varanasi. He decided to visit the crematorium. The moment the old man saw the burning dead bodies kept on logs of wood, tears started flowing down his eyes. The sadhu was ecstatic. He thought, “Now, he has come to his senses and has realized the truth of this world.”

So, he put his hand on the old man’s shoulder and said, “Now after seeing all this how do you feel?”
Wiping out his tears the old man said, “I feel very bad. It seems I wasted my entire life”.

The sadhu asked, “Why do you feel so?”
The old man said, “Because I never realized the truth”.

The sadhu said, “Do not worry. Still time is there, something can be done.”
The old man said, “No it’s impossible. I have lost a lot and it’s not possible to undo all those losses.”

The sadhu asked, “Why do you think you can’t make up the losses?”

Tears kept on flowing from the old man’s eyes. His voice was choked.

With a heavy heart he said, “Look, throughout my life I did business in clothes. I never knew that wood is in such a great demand. If I had known this I would have never done business in clothes. ”

The sadhu left him never to return back again.

Moral of the story:
It’s very difficult to change habits in old age. So, it’s better if one starts leading a pious life when he is young instead of waiting for the old age to arrive.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Conquering the Pain

A survey conducted by Sunday Times of India (March 6, 2011) threw up a surprise. Contrary to the perception that young people in India are becoming disinclined towards spirituality the survey shows that younger people are more & more becoming interested in spirituality.

A person may own a palatial bungalow, may own a fleet of cars, may possess all the latest technological masterpieces, is a renowned scholar and his coffers are brimming with the gold, silver and liquid cash but still the person may feel hollow from within.

Suppose that we take a fish out of the water & put it in an aquarium made of gold but no water in it. Will the fish be satisfied & happy just being in gold plated aquarium? The answer is ‘NO’. A fish can be happy only in water.

Similarly no matter how much comfort we provide to our body unless & until we nourish our real self we will not get the satisfaction. We need to understand that we are not this body but we are souls presently in a human body. As a soul we are sac-cid-ananda i.e. eternal, blissful & full of knowledge. The nature of the soul is to be in constant association of the Lord. So, when we endeavor to connect to the Lord we feel a sense of inner satisfaction & bliss from within. In an article published in the Reader’s Digest (‘Searching for the Divine’, Jan 2002) Prof Andrew a neurologist explains that at peak moments of prayer & meditation a person goes to a state of complete relaxation and deep satisfaction and experiences a higher reality.

The following story of a Polish girl illustrates how spirituality can help a person to tolerate a great pain.

The girl was 16 when she discovered that she has cancer & the cancer had already spread all over her body. The girl was undergoing through tremendous physical pain but fortunately she had discovered a medicine which would help her to bear the unbearable pain. She would find solace & comfort in singing the Hare Krishna kirtan (song). Slowly her condition deteriorated further & it became impossible for her to even speak. Then she requested her brother to sing the kirtan for her. Her brother who was studying in a college used to phone her and sing the kirtan for her everyday from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. It continued for 2 months. And one fateful night the girl left this world while her brother was singing the kirtan for her. Her brother was not aware of this fact. He came to know about her sister’s death only when his mother picked up the phone and informed him that his sister is no more. Her death was peaceful. (Reference: travelingmonk.com, I-never-Cry, Volume 11, Chapter 10, Oct 11, 2010).

The girl was able to withstand the tremendous physical pain because she was able to connect herself with the Supreme Lord which enabled her to experience a higher taste and a higher level of satisfaction which was beyond the body, mind & senses

Spirituality not only purifies our consciousness but also helps us to understand our real self. So, we should re-spiritualize our lives & develop a harmonious relationship with the Lord. Just like Arjuna we too should take the shelter of the Lord & perform our prescribed duties in a righteous manner.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Surrendering to 11 Mortals

Either 1.1 billion or 170.6 million people will suffer on 30th March 2011.

Yes on 30th March 2011, when the much hyped cricket match will be played then it would make either millions or billions of people brokenhearted.

We love to claim that we are a cricket crazy nation and very shamelessly chant ‘Cricket is our Religion’. Millions of Indians have very submissively surrendered themselves to the 11 mortal cricket players & their happiness or sorrow is totally dependent on them.

Why we fail to understand that cricket is a mere sport and it should be watched in a sporting spirit. If 2 teams are playing then one will win & the other will lose and also victory or defeat is not just dependent on the skills & expertise of the players but it is dependent on many external factors like weather conditions, light condition, amount of moisture in the pitch, psychological condition of the players etc. Even though the players will try their best but still they cannot guarantee that they will definitely win for the nation and we cannot blame them.

What if India loses & what if India wins. If India wins then what difference is it going to make to our lives? Around 2 lakhs farmers in our country have been forced to commit suicide in the last 13 years, what difference the win is going to bring to the lives of the bereaved farmers’ family.

There are instances where people even get heart attacks or even commit suicide upon knowing the outcome of the match. This is nothing but a sheer madness. It is really surprising that we are ready to waste this valuable human life for such a flimsy thing. Sastras explains that this human form of life which we have got is very precious and we should utilize it to revive our love for Lord Krishna.

Human body is just like a boat using which we can cross this material ocean. Out of the 8.4 million species this is the most opportune moment for us to revive our love for God. If we waste this opportunity then we might again have to wait for millions of years to again get this human body. We should realize the importance of this human life and make an endeavor to get rid of this vicious cycle of birth and death and go home Back to Godhead.

Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad – Gita:

Anta-kale ca mam eva smaran muktva kalevaram

Yah prayati sa mad-bhavam yati nasty atra samsayah (BG 8.5)

(And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body remembering Me alone at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt)

So, if we remember Krishna always then we will go back to his abode from where we will never have to come back to this material world.

Krishna asks us to remember him always & we are foolishly remembering cricket. We can remember Krishna always if we regularly chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra :

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

So, instead of surrendering to these 11 cricket players we should surrender to Krishna, instead of remembering them we should always remember Krishna and instead of chanting cricket we should chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. By doing this our life will be successful.