Sunday, February 28, 2010

Greed

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Greed is typically the desire to have anything, more & more, than it is actually required in your life. It is generally considered, the accumulation or hoarding of undue wealth for personal satisfaction than it is required to sustain one's life. It has no useful purpose except to become rich and to continue getting more wealthy. It is a strong desire in each and every one of us that is extremely difficult to overcome. Greed is typically considered a major source of evil that is the root cause for stealing, hoarding, plundering, and treason, just to name a few sins. Greed sometimes drives people to do unethical, immoral, and illegal things in the pursuit of more money.

Greed - the desire to have what someone else has is really the basis for almost all forms of sin. Every war in history was fought because someone wanted to occupy a space on the planet Earth that another group of people inhabited. Many marriages have been torn apart and children have suffered because another woman desired the husband of another woman.

Many people have been shot to death because someone desired to have something they didn't presently have - and for some reason or another - felt that they deserved it. And think of the multitudes of criminals who break into houses, steal cars and other possessions belonging to other people every few seconds across the World.

All of these sins have one thing in common — Greed!

Our religious books too call Greed a Sin. Below is what Bhagwat Gita Says about Greed.

"tri-vidham narakasyedam
dvaram nasanam atmanah
kamah krodhas tatha lobhas
tasmad etat trayam tyajet" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Sixteen verse 21)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, There are three gates leading to the hell—Lust, Anger and Greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the Soul."

Now here below is a beautiful story which shows why we should shun the Greed.

The Gold-giving Serpent

"In ancient India there lived a Brahmin named "Haridatta". He was a farmer, but was able to earn little through his labour. One day, at the end of the hot hours, the Brahmin, overcome by the heat, lay down under the shadow of a tree to have a doze. Suddenly he saw a great hooded snake creeping out of an ant-hill near at hand. So he thought to himself, "Sure this is the Guardian deity of his field, and I have not ever worshipped it. That's why my farming is going in vain. I will at once go and pay my respects to it."
When he had made up his mind, he got some milk, poured it into a bowl, and went to the ant-hill, and said aloud:

"O Guardian of this Field! all this while I did not know that you dwelt here. That is why I have not yet paid my respects to you; pray forgive me." And he laid the milk down and went to his house. Next morning he came and looked, and he saw a gold coin in the bowl, and from that time onward every day the same thing occurred: he gave milk to the serpent and found a gold coin.

One day the Brahmin had to go to the village, and so be ordered his son to take the milk to the ant-hill. The son brought the milk, put it down, and went back home. Next day he went again and found a coin, so he thought to himself: "This, ant-hill is surely full of golden coins; I'll kill the serpent, and take them all for myself." So next day, while he was giving the milk to the serpent, the Brahmin's son struck it on the head with a cudgel. But the serpent escaped death by the will of fate, and in a rage bit the Brahmin's son with its sharp fangs, and he fell down dead at once. His people raised him a funeral pyre not far from the field and burnt him to ashes.

Two days afterwards his father came back, and when he learnt his son's fate he grieved and mourned. But after a time, be took the bowl of milk, went to the ant-hill, and praised the serpent with a loud voice. After a long, long time the serpent appeared, but only with its head out of the opening of the ant-hill, and spoke to the Brahmin: "'It is this Greed of yours that brings you here, and makes you even forget the loss of your son. From this time onward friendship between us is impossible. Your son struck me in youthful ignorance, and I have bitten him to death. How can I forget the blow with the cudgel? And how can you forget the pain and grief at the loss of your son?" So speaking, it gave the Brahman a costly pearl and disappeared. But before it went away, it said: "Come back no more." The Brahmin took the pearl, and went back home, cursing the folly of his son."


So the Moral of the story is that we should not fall a pray to Greed. Below are few famous quotes on the Greed.

“The world is burning in the fire of desire, in greed, arrogance and excessive ego.” - Sri Guru Granth Sahib

“Inflamed by greed, incensed by hate, confused by delusion, obsessed by mind, a man chooses for his own affliction, for others' affliction, for the affliction of both and experiences pain and grief” - Gautama Buddha - the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.

“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” - Erich Fromm

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed” - Mahatma Gandhi

So let's not run unnecessarily after what others have & let's try to earn our living by rightful means & do not fall a pray to Greed. Only through continuously contributing and donating to society can we find true rewards that are far greater than the illusion that Greed provides.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

GitaBlog.com

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Dear Readers,

Thanks to all of you who have been reading my Blog "Bhagwat Gita & Our Life - Philosophy" regularly. Now I have made things easier for you to come to my Blog. Now you can come to my Blog directly by entering the URL address http://gitablog.com It will take you to my original blog only. However, earlier addresses http://gita-blog.blogspot.com or http://www.gita-blog.blogspot.com shall also take you to my Blog only.

So now just type smaller address http://gitablog.com or http://www.gitablog.com or just gitablog.com in your address bar & you shall come to my Blog only.

So Dear All, Hope typing smaller URL address http://gitablog.com shall work easier for you.

Just Try. Do give me feedback in comments area or email me, how does it work for you?

Thanks,
Sancho

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Do Not Cling to Untruth

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How many times it has happened with you that you got frightened with some shadow in the dark but when you switched on the light, nothing was there? Once a person saw in the dark that there is a snake in the room but on switching on the light, it turned out to be a rope only. So believing something to be something else is called ignorance. The person believing the rope to be a snake, was an ignorant person.

Same is with the philosophical truth of God & this world. As per the scriptures, God created this universe & sit's in an invisible way in every nook & corner of the universe. This outer visible world is His creation, while He is there within this world in an invisible way. This whole world is changing all the time, while God is constant, changeless.

But why it is so, that we cling to this visible world only & just forget the invisible God, who is the creator of this world. It is due to our ignorance only. In philosophy, it is said that we are clinging to Maya (visible world) & ignoring the God who is the real thing. So that's why, it is said that we should not cling to the unreal, untruth (Maya) & should turn our mind towards the God, who is the only reality & truth. Just like alighting a small lamp eats away all the darkness in the room, so just by illumining your intellect with the knowledge, shall lead you to the truth of God.

Now, why do we fall in to ignorance? It is all due to the Nature born "TamoGun" (mode of ignorance) which we put into practice in our lives. "Tamas" or "Tamo Gunn" is the mode of Nature which is responsible for ignorance, delusion, indolence, laziness and sleep in a person. We should not fall a pray to this "TamoGun".

Here below is a story "The Lost Son" by Gautama Buddha who is teaching us through this story that we should not cling to the untruth, as when we fall a pray to the ignorance, then we do not see things clearly & ultimately it harms our life only.

"A young widower, who loved his five year old son very much, was away on business when bandits came who burned down the whole village and took his son away. When the man returned, he saw the ruins and panicked. He took the burnt corpse of an infant to be his son and cried uncontrollably. He organized a cremation ceremony, collected the ashes and put them in a beautiful little bag which he always kept with him.

Soon afterwards, his real son escaped from the bandits and found his way home. He arrived at his father's new cottage at midnight and knocked at the door. The father, still grieving asked: "Who is it?" The child answered, it is me papa, open the door!" But in his agitated state of mind, convinced his son was dead, the father thought that some young boy was making fun of him. He shouted: "Go away" and continued to cry. He shouted time & again, "Go away" "Go away". After some time, the child left.

Father and son never saw each other again."

After this story, the Buddha said: "Sometime, somewhere, you take something to be the truth. If you cling to it so much, even when the truth comes in person and knocks on your door, you will not open it."

Now here below is a verse from Bhagwat Gita which also tells us that in this whole creation, unreal has no existence, and the real (God) never ceases to be, So we should always turn our mind towards the God who is the only reality & truth.

"na-asato vidyate bhavo
nabhavo vidyate satah
ubhayor api drsto ’ntas
tv anayos tattva-darshibhih" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Two verse 16)

"Sri Krishna said: The unreal has no existence, and the real never ceases to be; the reality of both has thus been perceived by the seekers of the truth.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wise Man

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How can you solve all the problems in your life? Simple answer to it is that if you act wisely, then all problems in your life shall be solved & no problem shall affect you. To act wisely, the prime thing is that, while taking any decision your mind should be peaceful. In all such troubled situations, your mind should be controlled, unwavering and undisturbed. Only such a mind can take correct decisions. Now how can you be such peaceful in mind or how can you control your mind?

Simple way of keeping your mind in control & be peaceful is described in the below verse of Bhagwat Gita. As per that if a person keeps faith in God & does practice of meditation regularly, then his mind is not disturbed in normal circumstances. Such a person always acts wisely in life. Meditation is a powerful means of directing the mind towards God.

"tad-buddhayas tad-atmanas
tan-nisthas tat-parayanah
gacchanty apunar-avrttim
jnana-nirdhuta-kalmasah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Five verse 17)


"Sri Krishna said to Arjuna: When one’s Intelligence, Mind, Faith and refuge are all fixed in the God, then one becomes fully cleansed of misgivings through complete knowledge and thus proceeds straight on the path of liberation." Such a person is really called a wise man.

In our life, if we daily think of God & do little prayer to Him with true love and devotion, then all our problems will become lighter and eventually will disappear. Just like the ice which, with the addition of the heat will turn into water, and that will eventually evaporate as steam and disappear.

Now here below is a Beautiful Story in which a Wise Man solved the tedious problem of the villagers:

"In ancient times, there was a rich man who owned 19 horses. One day he died. In his last will and testament he had written that upon his death, half of the horses he owned should go to his only son; one fourth should go to the village temple and one fifth should go to the faithful servant.
The villagers were puzzled, how to divide the horses as per his will. How can they give half of the 19 horses to the son? You cannot cut up a horse. Villagers were puzzled over this dilemma for more than two weeks and then they decided to send for a wise man who was living in a neighboring village.

The wise man came to the village riding on his horse and asked the villagers if he can be of any help to them. The villagers told him about the rich man's last will and testament which stated that half of the (19) horses must be given to his only son, one fourth must go to the temple and one fifth to the faithful servant.

The wise man said he will solve their problem without any delay. He had the 19 horses placed in a row standing next to one another. Then he added his own horse as the 20th horse. Now he went about giving half of the 20 horses – that is ten horses to the son. One fourth of 20 - that is 5 horses were given to the village temple. One fifth of twenty - that is 4 horses were given to the faithful servant. Ten plus five plus four made 19 horses. The remaining 20th horse was his own which he promptly mounted, spoke a few inspiring words, and rode back home.

The villagers were simply awestruck, full of disbelief and filled with admiration. And the parting words of the wise man were inscribed in their hearts and minds which they greatly cherished and passed on to their succeeding generations till today.

The wise man said: In our daily lives, in our daily affairs, simply remember God’s name, do little prayer to Him and then go about facing the day’s happenings & all of the problems in your life shall be solved."

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Om Namah Shivaye

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Today is Maha Shivratri. It is also called Sivaratri or Shivaratri (Night of Shiva or "Great Night of Shiva"). It is a festival celebrated every year by the Hindus. It is celebrated in the honor of Lord Shiva who is one of the Hindu Gods forming the trinity, Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh (Shiva). Sivaratri (Night of Shiva) literally means ‘the grand night dedicated to the worship of Shiva. This festival is observed for one day and one night every year.

Many legends are associated with the Sivaratri festival. According to one legend, Sivaratri is the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. As per another legend it is the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava Dance - the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. Another legend associates Sivaratri with the great mythical churning of the ocean called Samudra Manthan. According to the legend, during the churning of the ocean, a pot of poison emerged. The gods and the demons were terrified as it could destroy the entire world. When they approached Lord Shiva for help, He, in order to protect the world, drank the deadly poison. However, he held it in his throat instead of swallowing it. This turned his throat blue. Since then Lord Shiva came to be known as ’Nilkantha’, the blue-throated one. Mahashivaratri celebrates this event by which Lord Shiva saved the world.

As per the Hindu mythology, God is ONE. Lord Krishna is same as Lord Rama & also same as Lord Shiva. As per Bhagwat Gita Chapter Ten Verse - 23, God himself declares that He (Lord Krishna) is same as Lord Shiva.

"rudranam sankaras chasmi
vitteso yaksha-rakshasam
vasunam pavakas chasmi
meruh sikharinam aham" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Ten verse 23)


"Sri Krishna said: Of all the Rudras I am Lord Shiva, of the Yakshas and Rakshasas I am the Lord of wealth [Kubera], of the Vasus I am fire [Agni], and of mountains I am Meru."

Now here below is a beautiful story which shows the kindness of Lord Shiva to his devotee & how He saved one of His devotee from the tiger.

Lord Shiva saves the Hunter

Once a hunter was wandering in a dense forest, to chase a deer and suddenly he found himself on the banks of river Kolidum, where he heard the roar of a tiger. In order to defend himself from the tiger, he climbed up a tree close by. The Tiger sat on the ground below the tree without the purpose to leave.

The huntsman stayed at the tree whole night and to keep himself awake, he plucked one leaf after another from the tree and threw it down. There was a "Shiva Lingam" under the tree and gracefully the tree turned out to be a ''bilva'' tree (leaves of this tree are adored by Shiva). Without any knowledge, the huntsman had delighted the Lord Shiva by pouring Bilva leaves all night. With the arrival of the sun, the hunter looked down and found that the tiger has gone. In its place, Lord Shiva was standing there and he prostated before the lord. With Shiva's blessings, he attained salvation from the bondage of the material world.


Om Namah Shivaye

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

See the God in your heart

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Our mind always wanders outside in the world & always goes about the objects of the senses. Say, if you see a beautiful fruit or food, your mind wants to eat it. If there is good music going on out there, then your mind wants to listen to it. If there is good fragrance out there, then your mind wants to smell that. After seeing a picturesque scenery in the nature, your mind says Wow!! So it's certain that your mind finds joy in the external world objects which are experienced by your senses. But your mind rarely goes inside yourself & tries to find joy over there.

The pure joy is there in your self (soul) which is a part of the God only who sits in your heart. If your mind shall turn inwards & see the God sitting in your heart then you shall get the eternal pure joy & peace which is much better than joy of the senses. Below is a little tale--"parable" about looking for the God in your heart. This little tale is by India's great saint from Bengal, Sri Ramakrishna.

"In the olden days, one Indian village hired a night-watchman to keep a vigil during night time to check for robbers that were frequent in those times. Night-watchman would go around the streets and lanes in the village with a square metal lantern, open only at the front. The watchman could see, wherever the lantern cast its light. No rays of light used to fell on him, who carried the lantern. If you wanted to see who the watchman was, you had to ask him to turn the lamp back on his own face. We too are like that watchman!!! Our eyes (ears, tongue, nostril etc.) are all facing outward, looking at and feeling the things of the world. God says, "If you want to see me, turn the lamp around; look within your heart and you shall find the Source of all the light over there."

Same is said in the Bhagwat Gita by Lord Krishna:

"sarvasya chaham hridi sannivisto"
God is seated in everyone’s heart

"ishvarah sarva-bhutanam
hrd-dese ’rjuna tishthati"
The Supreme God dwells/resides in the hearts of all beings.

So let's look inwards & find the God in our hearts who is the source of all Joy, Peace & Bliss. Be sure that "God Loves You", only thing is that you need to turn toward HIM.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Body & Soul

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How many of you see your face & body in the mirror?
How many of you have sometimes closed your eyes & tried to be peaceful?

Now what is the link between the above two questions? When you see your body in the mirror, you are seeing & relating yourself to this body of flesh & bones. When you try to close your eyes & try to be peaceful, you are trying not to link yourself to this body but to something inward inside you where you can find peace. What is that inward thing that you are trying to find where you find yourself to be more peaceful? Yes, It's your Soul. In Soul, there is peace & you are trying to delve into that only in times of closing your eyes or in meditation.

I am remembering an old English song whose two lines are here;

"Faces.......all around different faces I see,
Some are happy, some in misery.............."


On this earth there are more than 7 billion people & each one is having a unique face. In fact God has created a vast variety of human bodies (to create illusion) & it seems that these all people are different only. But if we see closely then we shall find that all the bodies are made of similar nature elements & at Soul level all these are same only. Variety of bodies is external only but on deep analysis it is not so & are the same consequence of few nature elements. As per Bhagwat Gita, at soul level all these people are one only as one all pervasive soul pervades through all these bodies.


"Sri Krishna said:
There is nothing else besides Me,
Like clusters of Yarn-Beeds,
Formed by knots on a thread,
All this world is threaded on Me (universal soul)." (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Seven verse 7)



So a person should not consider himself/herself limited to this body of flesh & bones but should consider himself/herself to be that universal soul only. 


In fact a person's soul is infinite, omnipresent and is diffused everywhere throughout the space. A person's soul is as much same in London or New York as in Bombay, although it can only apprehend and feel and act where the body is. As the soul is subtle so it is not the object of physical perception.


Human body is made of Eight constituents of material nature. These elements are Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego. At death when the body perishes it is dissolved in these elements only but the soul which is indestructible survives. So it's up to you, if you perceive yourself to be a body then one day you shall die but if you consider yourself to be indestructible, infinite, omnipresent universal soul, then there is no death for you & you are immortal.

Here below is a saying from Upanishad which explains about the mortal body & immortal soul:

"It is true that the body is mortal, that it is under the power of death,but it is also the dwelling place of Atman (Soul), the Spirit of immortal life..............when a man is in the joy of the Spirit, he is free from all bondage, the bondage of pleasure and pain."

Same is said in Bhagwat Gita:

"na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah sasvato ’yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarire" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Two verse 20)



"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, The soul is never born nor dies at any time. Soul has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. Soul is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. Soul is not slain when the body is slain."

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Persistence

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Here Below is the most famous verse of Bhagwat Gita which explains that one should excel in doing his work without keeping the end result in mind. If you do not work with the end result or preset outcome in mind & rather enjoy the way, the process, the path in doing any work, you shall certainly succeed in your work. So it is always better to perform your actions and carry out your duty in an efficient way rather than caring or worrying about the results.

"Karmanye vadhikaraste
ma phalesu kadachana
ma karma-phala-hetur bhur
ma te sango ’stv akarmani "(Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Two verse 47)"


"Sri Krishna said to Arjuna: You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty."

Here below is a beautiful real story which teaches us the same.

"In 1947, Lester Wunderman was arbitrarily fired from his advertising job in New York. But he felt he still had a lot to learn from the head of the agency, Max Sackheim. So the next morning, Wunderman went back to his office and began working as he had before. He talked to co-workers and clients; he sat in on meetings - all without pay. Sackheim ignored him for a month.

Finally, he walked up to Wunderman: 'Okay, you win', he said, shaking his head. 'I never saw a man who wanted a job more than he wanted money.' Well, guess what? Wunderman went on to be one of the most successful advertising men of the century. He's credited with having invented preprinted newspaper inserts, plus subscription cards such as those used by Time-Life Books and the Columbia Record Club; ideas that have produced billions of dollars in profit. Now, advertising may not be your thing - but action must be.

What are you willing to do to achieve your dream? Work without pay? Refuse to quit? Success begins at the beginning, and it continues with consistent action without caring for the success or failure."

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